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BaghdadBob
Jul 30, 2003, 01:36 PM
OK, for disclosure very quickly here, I'm all for gay rights, but I've been scratching my head about the gay marriage issue for a while. Because, while I respect a gay couple's right to live like any other couple, and would like for more family values to flourish in the gay community, I also have some respect for the religious argument about marriage, and have had some difficulty figuring out how to please both sides.

So Bush speaks today, saying basically he still thinks marriage should be reserved for hetero relationships, but says (have to paraphrase because I can't find the quote, oddly) "don't talk about a spec in your neighbor's eye when there's a log in your own." Apparently that's a biblical saying...

<---- Doesn't read the Bible

He did talk about some manner of gay union in his campaign. I hope he leads the Republican party to the right way of thinking on this subject, as a right-winger is, like many controversial liberal issues, the best suited to find a solution. But on to the quote.

To me, this makes a point that I have thought about much myself: that marriage between a man and a woman is not necessarily any more religious than that between a gay couple. Certainly, marriage in this country, not only in this country but probably especially here, has lost most of it's significance.

Hopefully this is Bush's way of opening the door to resolving the issue later, even though he is sticking to his guns on the religious basis.

OK...discuss....let's try to keep it civil, I don't want to see my first political thread (an area I tend to steer clear of) get locked down :)

macfan
Jul 30, 2003, 01:48 PM
Gay marriage is inevitable. It is a question of when.

"don't talk about a spec in your neighbor's eye when there's a log in your own." is based on a biblical quote. The actual quote is something like this: "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,' when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."

I would disagree that marriage has lost most of its significance in this country.

IJ Reilly
Jul 30, 2003, 01:59 PM
Gays can already be "married" in some churches, but these unions are not recognized by the states. I believe that requiring the legal recognition of civil unions of an individual's choosing skirts the entire concept of "gay marriage" by addressing some if not all of the issues faced by people who have formed households that aren't currently sanctioned by the state.

BaghdadBob
Jul 30, 2003, 02:00 PM
Originally posted by macfan
I would disagree that marriage has lost most of its significance in this country.
Well, on an individual basis it may be true that people still hold it to be sacred, but what's the divorce rate? What's the multiple marriage rate? How widespread is infidelity?

These are the things I'm talking about. In light of them, I don't think homosexual union is any less Biblically moral than what has become the average marriage. That's what I think Bush is trying to say. For that, kudos, I think that hypocrisy should be pointed out.

"Oh, your marriage is automatically immoral, but ours take effort to make immoral."

cc bcc
Jul 30, 2003, 02:01 PM
I'd like to invite Bush to 21st century.

Ugg
Jul 30, 2003, 02:17 PM
I think that gw and the right is out of touch in regards to gay marriage. Society is increasingly saying that gay unions are valid and desirable and newsworthy. Businesses offer health benefits for partners, some churches will marry same-sex couples, newspapers post gay marriage announcemnets, etc.

Why are they so afraid of this? Is it considered an insult to their brand of religion? If so, why is religion dictating government policy? It's time to move on.

Sayhey
Jul 30, 2003, 02:21 PM
Sorry, I can't make heads nor tails from the Bush quote. As to the issue of Gay marriage, I think whatever is decided will not change the ability of a given religion to determine whether it sanctions such marriages. It is purely a question of civil marriages. It is also long overdue. The decision of the Supreme Court in its overruling of Texas' sodomy laws gives me hope that some folk are waking up to reality. As a society we should be about strengthening the loving ties of people not forbidding them.

Ensoniq
Jul 30, 2003, 02:23 PM
Let me preface my comments by stating that while I am not gay, neither am I homophobic. I am for equal protection under the law, but not an activist for specific "gay rights". That said...

I think for most of the super-right-wing and/or super-religious types, the key here is the word "marriage". Even though people get married for many reasons and not always out of any sort of religious ideology, the simple fact is that "marriage" is a cornerstone of the Judeo-Christian values this country was formed on. Most other religions also see "marriage" as a union that relates to the diety in one way or another.

So marriage is viewed by most groups as being something clearly tied into religion, and most religions have opinions about homosexuality that are not particularly favorable among the gay community. So you can see why trying to promote "gay marriage" is going to be a hard sell to the meat and potatoes American mainstream, who overwhelmingly identify themselves as religious people. It may not be fair, but it's a fact.

For me, the solution to this mess is the creation of a federally recognized "civil union" between partners. You'd be required to fill out the same paperwork for a civil union as you do for a marriage license. Blood tests, age limits, and any other current state/federal requirements would remain exactly as they exist now. The only change is that the two consenting adults do not have to be of the opposite sex.

For civil purposes, entering into a "civil union" would be identical to being married. Tax law, insurance, inheritance, power of attorney, you name it...would work exactly as they do with married couples. And this is exactly what monogamous gay couples who enter into a legal partnership with one another deserve from our government.

But just as the government should not allow it's religious foundation to disallow gays from getting the same rights as married couples, the gay activist groups should NOT insist that the government redefine the word "marriage". By doing so, gay groups are only further alienating themselves from the vast majority of Americans who feel that gays and religion don't mix. (As completely "un-Christian" as that notion is, however.)

Give it a new title, and slide it in under the noses of the religious. Let them keep the word "marriage" for themselves, while letting the government give "civil union" a chance at life without the intense scrutiny that trying to redefine the word "marriage" is bound to create. Insisting that gays deserve the right to "marriage" is an academic argument they can't win...the country simple isn't there yet. "Civil Union" is far less controversial, and gives gays everything they want/deserve without forcing the religious to "admit defeat" on the "marriage" issue.

I defy anyone of either party to explain why this solution can't work in the United States of America. Just as I don't feel the phrases "God Bless America" and "One Nation, Under God" should be so offensive to atheists, I don't see why a Civil Union should be offensive to anyone. :)

-- Ensoniq

IJ Reilly
Jul 30, 2003, 02:36 PM
Originally posted by Ensoniq
For me, the solution to this mess is the creation of a federally recognized "civil union" between partners. You'd be required to fill out the same paperwork for a civil union as you do for a marriage license. Blood tests, age limits, and any other current state/federal requirements would remain exactly as they exist now. The only change is that the two consenting adults do not have to be of the opposite sex.

This is exactly what I was suggesting, so it must be right... :)

Sayhey
Jul 30, 2003, 02:42 PM
Originally posted by Ensoniq "Civil Union" is far less controversial, and gives gays everything they want/deserve without forcing the religious to "admit defeat" on the "marriage" issue.

I defy anyone of either party to explain why this solution can't work in the United States of America. Just as I don't feel the phrases "God Bless America" and "One Nation, Under God" should be so offensive to atheists, I don't see why a Civil Union should be offensive to anyone. :)

-- Ensoniq

Marriage certainly has many different connotations to different people. Each religion has its own interpretation as to what it means, but in the US we have something called the "seperation of Church and State." While the government recognizes the ability of religious institutions to preform marriage ceremonies, it also requires that such rites be registered with the state. This is, of course, in the form of a marriage license. What possible reason should we have for letting religious institutions determine who can get a marriage license? I got married in a civil ceremony before a judge at City Hall and have no need for a church to tell me that my marriage is valid or not.

As to why a seperate "civil union" would not be acceptable to gay couples, one only has to go back to "seperate but equal" to know why this would be offensive. Equal access to the same civil ceremony hurts no one. Let each religion struggle with this question on its own, but as a secular society we need to include all consenting adults in these simple, basic rights.

macfan
Jul 30, 2003, 02:44 PM
Originally posted by Ugg
I think that gw and the right is out of touch in regards to gay marriage. Society is increasingly saying that gay unions are valid and desirable and newsworthy. Businesses offer health benefits for partners, some churches will marry same-sex couples, newspapers post gay marriage announcemnets, etc.

Why are they so afraid of this? Is it considered an insult to their brand of religion? If so, why is religion dictating government policy? It's time to move on.

It is a little misinformed to say that Bush is "out of touch" on the issue when 55 percent of the public do not support the idea of homosexual marriage, while 39 percent do support the concept. This is not a reflection of being "out of touch."

BaghdadBob,
You might be living up to your namesake! ;) I think the divorce rate peaked around 1981 and has been declining. Marriage is still seen as the ideal.

In any event, it is more difficult to make an argument against homosexual "marriage" that doesn't include a religious element, although not impossible. (Similarly, it is difficult, although not impossible, to make an argument in support of marriage of any kind without a religious component). Indeed, without a religious element, it is very difficult to argue against bigamy (the penalty for bigamy being two mother-in-laws).

Ugg
Jul 30, 2003, 02:47 PM
Originally posted by Ensoniq
For me, the solution to this mess is the creation of a federally recognized "civil union" between partners. You'd be required to fill out the same paperwork for a civil union as you do for a marriage license. Blood tests, age limits, and any other current state/federal requirements would remain exactly as they exist now. The only change is that the two consenting adults do not have to be of the opposite sex.

For civil purposes, entering into a "civil union" would be identical to being married. Tax law, insurance, inheritance, power of attorney, you name it...would work exactly as they do with married couples. And this is exactly what monogamous gay couples who enter into a legal partnership with one another deserve from our government.



I think that is a perfect solution. Marriage is tied to religion and procreation and I don't feel that it is the best term to use when describing same-sex unions. Civil unions are the way to go for everyone and marriage is something that can be conferred by a church.

In Germany, the legal union is performed by a civil servant. It is devoid of religious overtones and marriage, if a couple, gay or straight, wants it then it takes place in a church. There are no exceptions to this rule. Muslim, Christians, Jews, Hindus and all other religions follow the same path.

My bet is that the US Supreme Court will be hearing this in the next five years. With procreation becoming less and less a part of many marriages and many being performed outside a church, they will have a hard time telling the US that the govt. should not condone gay unions. Equal rights means equal rights across the board.

macfan
Jul 30, 2003, 02:50 PM
There is no federal register of marriages or civil unions now. I see no reason to create one.

cc bcc
Jul 30, 2003, 02:51 PM
Originally posted by macfan
It is a little misinformed to say that Bush is "out of touch" on the issue when 55 percent of the public do not support the idea of homosexual marriage, while 39 percent do support the concept. This is not a reflection of being "out of touch."


Yes it is, and it also means that 55% of the americans are "out of touch".

Ugg
Jul 30, 2003, 02:52 PM
Originally posted by macfan
It is a little misinformed to say that Bush is "out of touch" on the issue when 55 percent of the public do not support the idea of homosexual marriage, while 39 percent do support the concept. This is not a reflection of being "out of touch."



There is a huge generation gap when it comes to this issue. I don't have figures at hand but an overwhelming majority (2/3, I believe) of the under 35 crowd support gay marriage. So yes, when it comes to younger voters, he is out of touch.

macfan
Jul 30, 2003, 02:53 PM
Originally posted by cc bcc
Yes it is, and it also means that 55% of the americans are "out of touch".

Out of touch with what? Rather, those who support homosexual marriage are "out of touch" with the American mainstream. (Rightly or wrongly).

IJ Reilly
Jul 30, 2003, 02:58 PM
Originally posted by Sayhey
As to why a seperate "civil union" would not be acceptable to gay couples, one only has to go back to "seperate but equal" to know why this would be offensive. Equal access to the same civil ceremony hurts no one. Let each religion struggle with this question on its own, but as a secular society we need to include all consenting adults in these simple, basic rights.

Well yes, and that's where civil union comes in. The state takes a neutral position with respect to who can enter into what is essentially a legal contract between adults. If a couple desires to have that union sanctified in the church of their choice, then this is their option. Churches are then free to sanctify whatever unions they feel fits within their doctrines, but now that decision is made irrespective of what the state recognizes. If a gay couple desires to call themselves "married," that is their prerogative; either way, they'll have the same legal rights and protections (and responsibilities) as a heterosexual married couple.

cc bcc
Jul 30, 2003, 03:07 PM
I think it's the governments job to educate the people, not just simply doing what the mainstream wants. It is possible to make people think deeper about things through education and information.
Bush should not follow the mainstream thoughts on gay marriage, he should make it legal and explain the motives to the public.
And if Bush was pro gay marriage, that 39% figure would rise to above 50% I think, just because many people simply eat what they are fed.

macfan
Jul 30, 2003, 03:14 PM
cc bcc,
Are you saying it's the job of the government to make moral judgments and enforce them on the people through "education?" Interesting. Should the government be educating people that homosexual marriage has no significant historical or cultural tradition and little if any societal benefit? Or should the government only "educate" people in the way that you happen to think is right?

Sayhey
Jul 30, 2003, 03:16 PM
Originally posted by IJ Reilly
Well yes, and that's where civil union comes in. The state takes a neutral position with respect to who can enter into what is essentially a legal contract between adults. If a couple desires to have that union sanctified in the church of their choice, then this is their option. Churches are then free to sanctify whatever unions they feel fits within their doctrines, but now that decision is made irrespective of what the state recognizes. If a gay couple desires to call themselves "married," that is their prerogative; either way, they'll have the same legal rights and protections (and responsibilities) as a heterosexual married couple.

Not sure if I get your points. It seems to me that there are two seperate but important points here.

1 - that all the rights of heterosexual married couples be avalible to gay couples. That is not the case in the US as of now. The closest we come to this is the civil unions in Vermont. A gay couple cannot "call themselves 'married'" and have the same rights at the present.

2 - That the language used to discribe the marriage of straight and gay couples be the same. This may seem a minor point to some, but it reflects an attitude of "second-class" on folks who have been told that their loving relationships aren't as important as heterosexual ones. It cost nothing to make this change, and though I know politically it is harder is seems to me to be an important sign of respect.

IJ Reilly
Jul 30, 2003, 03:16 PM
Originally posted by macfan
Out of touch with what? Rather, those who support homosexual marriage are "out of touch" with the American mainstream. (Rightly or wrongly).

If you ask the question that way, sure, you'll get a majority of Americans to say they're against it. The "gay marriage" question is loaded, though. I'd wager that if you asked people whether gay couples should be accorded the same rights and responsibilities under the law as heterosexual couples, you'd get a very different answer -- around two-thirds in favor, I'd guess. The vast majority of those still against would probably be religious conservatives who view homosexuality as sinful or see gays as making a "lifestyle choice" that can be changed. Take religion out of the equation and you're left with a basic civil rights issue upon which most Americans can agree.

macfan
Jul 30, 2003, 03:32 PM
Originally posted by IJ Reilly
If you ask the question that way, sure, you'll get a majority of Americans to say they're against it. The "gay marriage" question is loaded, though. I'd wager that if you asked people whether gay couples should be accorded the same rights and responsibilities under the law as heterosexual couples, you'd get a very different answer -- around two-thirds in favor, I'd guess. The vast majority of those still against would probably be religious conservatives who view homosexuality as sinful or see gays as making a "lifestyle choice" that can be changed. Take religion out of the equation and you're left with a basic civil rights issue upon which most Americans can agree.

What would you like to wager? A new ipod? ;)

If you ask the question what way?

This way?

"Would you favor or oppose a law that would allow homosexual couples to legally form civil unions, giving them some of the legal rights of married couples?"

That one comes up with 57 percent opposed and 40 percent in support.

Right now, about the same number of people think that homosexual relations should be illegal (44%)as think they should be legal (46%) answering the question: "Do you think homosexual relations between consenting adults should or should not be legal?"

Opinion is divided about 50/50. It's hard to call anyone's position "out of touch."

cc bcc
Jul 30, 2003, 03:35 PM
Originally posted by macfan
cc bcc,
Are you saying it's the job of the government to make moral judgments and enforce them on the people through "education?" Interesting. Should the government be educating people that homosexual marriage has no significant historical or cultural tradition and little if any societal benefit? Or should the government only "educate" people in the way that you happen to think is right?

Nice way of twisting words.

IJ Reilly
Jul 30, 2003, 03:41 PM
Originally posted by Sayhey
Not sure if I get your points. It seems to me that there are two seperate but important points here.

1 - that all the rights of heterosexual married couples be avalible to gay couples. That is not the case in the US as of now. The closest we come to this is the civil unions in Vermont. A gay couple cannot "call themselves 'married'" and have the same rights at the present.

2 - That the language used to discribe the marriage of straight and gay couples be the same. This may seem a minor point to some, but it reflects an attitude of "second-class" on folks who have been told that their loving relationships aren't as important as heterosexual ones. It cost nothing to make this change, and though I know politically it is harder is seems to me to be an important sign of respect.

I think you're assuming that the state must endorse a freestanding institution called "marriage." I don't see why. All the state needs to recognize is the legal domestic contract. Now everyone is on the same footing, and can call their relationships whatever they so desire. If they want to say they are married before God in the Roman Catholic Church, well, then they will have to deal with the Roman Catholic Church on that matter -- not the state.

I am in a very long term heterosexual relationship, but we've never been married -- not that most people even know it. The only difference between our relationship and that of a "married" couple is that we lack the legal rights. This has always seemed ludicrous to me, since we've been together longer then virtually all the legally married couples we know. We are "second class" by virtual of legal rights only.

BaghdadBob
Jul 30, 2003, 03:43 PM
Originally posted by macfan
BaghdadBob,
You might be living up to your namesake! ;) I think the divorce rate peaked around 1981 and has been declining. Marriage is still seen as the ideal.
Shut up :D

I still see values declining in the current generation. See if divorce rates don't go back up as this generation "matures".


bc ccc, you need to open your mind to other people's POVs sometime. We live in a representative government. If it was the government's job to do things that were unpopular by the majority standard then they would have no need to win majority support for anything. They could just wait for things to prove to be the right thing to do. The majority of the American public is not in support of gay marriages, and there are legitimate issues that are behind this other than "homophobia".

Bush, in my eye, is trying to knock down some of those walls so that, when it happens, the majority of Americans are behind the solution.

IJ Reilly
Jul 30, 2003, 03:43 PM
Originally posted by macfan
Opinion is divided about 50/50. It's hard to call anyone's position "out of touch."

I never used that expression, so please save it for those who have.

If you're going to cite polling, cite the sources.

macfan
Jul 30, 2003, 03:49 PM
Originally posted by cc bcc
Nice way of twisting words.

Isn't it? :)
The question is, what happens when you don't agree with what the government decides is best to "educate" the public on? Do you just accept it or do you apply your own standards and fight against it?

IJ Reilly,
The only difference between our relationship and that of a "married" couple is that we lack the legal rights.

First, how do you know that? Second, is a single example sufficient to prove that there are not real differences between relationships that are legally sanctioned marriages and those that are not? (Some significant research suggests that there are differences, and similarities).

Ugg
Jul 30, 2003, 03:52 PM
Originally posted by BaghdadBob
and there are legitimate issues that are behind this other than "homophobia".

Bush, in my eye, is trying to knock down some of those walls so that, when it happens, the majority of Americans are behind the solution.

What issues are those?

Personally, I don't see Bush knocking any walls down, just building them.

macfan
Jul 30, 2003, 03:52 PM
Originally posted by IJ Reilly
I never used that expression, so please save it for those who have.

If you're going to cite polling, cite the sources.

It was in response to cc bcc's earlier post. Sorry.

Gallup.

BaghdadBob
Jul 30, 2003, 03:53 PM
Originally posted by Ugg
...Businesses offer health benefits for partners...
Having worked for a group benefits company, I need to correct you on a technicality here. Groupn isurance companies are legally required to allow for significant others of either persuasion to be covered as spouses, as well as the children of significan others. However, the benefits are not tax-exempt as they are for truly married couples.

It's the law! And without legal union, that's all anyone can do about it, because the only difference in benefits is defined by the IRS, not the policyholder.

BaghdadBob
Jul 30, 2003, 03:59 PM
Originally posted by Ugg
What issues are those?

Personally, I don't see Bush knocking any walls down, just building them.
The issue is that marriage is considered by most to be a religiously based thing -- which it is, in it's roots -- and that homosexual relationships aren't considered to be religiously valid! Those are legitimate issues, you can't go telling someone that their Bible is wrong, but Bush is saying that the religious basis of marriage is becoming shakier, as hetero marriage is considerably less sacred than than is the ideal. I don't see any new walls going up there, he is pointing out some hypocrisy.

The man is capable of doing good, you know. And if you don't appeal to the reason of the religious far-right it will never become an overwhelmingly popular thing, which I think would be a good for gay married couples in society. We want as small a portion of society to be opposed to gay couples as possible, plus every congresssman needs to worry about being reelected, and if they want that they can't go too far agains the will of their constituents, so the more public opinion is with gay marriage, the easier the legislation is to pass.

And, before we go off about how wrong it is to worry about one's constituents, remember that both parties do it. This is American politics.

IJ Reilly
Jul 30, 2003, 04:00 PM
Originally posted by macfan
First, how do you know that? Second, is a single example sufficient to prove that there are not real differences between relationships that are legally sanctioned marriages and those that are not? (Some significant research suggests that there are differences, and similarities).

I've had 23 years to find out, that's how I know.

I'm not trying to suggest a for-instance proof of anything. I am simply offering up my personal experience of what it can mean to have a long-term domestic relationship that is not state-sanctioned. One does not need to be gay to have experienced the legal discrimination created by this arbitrary legal institution called marriage.

I don't give a flying fig newton about what "significant research suggests." These are private issues into which the state has no business poking its nose, Frankly, neither do you.

vniow
Jul 30, 2003, 04:04 PM
Originally posted by macfan
Should the government be educating people that homosexual marriage has no significant historical or cultural tradition and little if any societal benefit?

Err...for all the gay couples out there that wish to get married, you would say that that does not benefit society?

Backtothemac
Jul 30, 2003, 04:06 PM
Originally posted by cc bcc
I'd like to invite Bush to 21st century.

This is not an issue of time. Now, that being said, I am all for gay rights. He is not because of religious beliefs, and whether you agree with them or not, they are his beliefs. That has to be respected.

macfan
Jul 30, 2003, 04:10 PM
IJReilly,
Don't be so thin skinned here. I am not condeming your choices in life! I would argue that you wouldn't be able to judge based on personal experience if there was no difference unless you were somehow able to have experienced both. Even then, it would address only a single case. However, more general social science research can look at relationships in larger numbers and draw certain conclusions. Again, there are differences and similarities.

vniow,
That's not the question I am asking.

BaghdadBob
Jul 30, 2003, 04:10 PM
Originally posted by IJ Reilly
I'm not trying to suggest a for-instance proof of anything. I am simply offering up my personal experience of what it can mean to have a long-term domestic relationship that is not state-sanctioned. One does not need to be gay to have experienced the legal discrimination created by this arbitrary legal institution called marriage.
I think the issue lies in the fact that in order to enjoy the legal benefits you should have some legal commitment to that relationship, otherwise (especially with gay marriage) you could just claim your roommate for such benefits. And when they move out? Claim your next roommate. There are plenty of long-term committed relationships that work, but the gorernment is asking for a legal commitment before they offer the legal benefits of marriage. And why not? one can do it in front of a clerk. If you're committed, and you want the benefits, I don't see the problem with tying the knot legally.

Sayhey
Jul 30, 2003, 04:23 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
This is not an issue of time. Now, that being said, I am all for gay rights. He is not because of religious beliefs, and whether you agree with them or not, they are his beliefs. That has to be respected.

Each religion has to figure out on it own what it wants to do with this issue, but the respect of each religion is not at issue. No one is advocating that a the State should tell Churches, Synagagues, Mosques, Temples, etc that they must preform gay marriages. It just can't be the other way around either. Marriage is no longer primarily a religious institution. It is a civil contract. The issue is for gay couples to have the same legal rights to the same civil contracts that straight couples do. While I can respect the deeply held religious beliefs of people on this subject, I think this should not be decided as a religious issue. Again, the principle of seperation of Church and State needs govern this debate.

vniow
Jul 30, 2003, 04:26 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
He is not because of religious beliefs, and whether you agree with them or not, they are his beliefs. That has to be respected.

So we have to sit by while he imposes his own personal beliefs on our entire society?

macfan
Jul 30, 2003, 04:28 PM
Originally posted by vniow
So we have to sit by while he imposes his own personal beliefs on our entire society?

The majority of the people do not agree with the ideal of homosexual marriage. We have never had homosexual marriages in our society. How, then, is Bush imposing his personal beliefs on our entire society?

cc bcc
Jul 30, 2003, 04:30 PM
Originally posted by macfan
Isn't it? :)
The question is, what happens when you don't agree with what the government decides is best to "educate" the public on? Do you just accept it or do you apply your own standards and fight against it?

That is of course the problem. It's just easier to look at the opinions of the majority when it suits you (as a government) and when it doesn't you influence the opinions through the media. You tell the people about the WMD's in a country, about the terrorist ties etc. opinions change.
It's a dangerous instrument and I'm not suggesting that it should be used for everything...
It could be used for human rights, and I think gay marriage should be a human right. Free choice of partners etc.
That's why gay marriage is allowed here, since discrimination of gays is forbidden by law.

vniow
Jul 30, 2003, 04:31 PM
Originally posted by macfan
How, then, is Bush imposing his personal beliefs on our entire society?

Originally posted by Backtothemac
He is not because of religious beliefs, and whether you agree with them or not, they are his beliefs. That has to be respected.

macfan
Jul 30, 2003, 04:36 PM
vniow,
Quoting backtothemac doesn't answer the question.

cc bcc,
You didn't answer the question.

BaghdadBob
Jul 30, 2003, 04:37 PM
Originally posted by Sayhey
While I can respect the deeply held religious beliefs of people on this subject, I think this should not be decided as a religious issue. Again, the principle of seperation of Church and State needs govern this debate.
Right, that is why a union that doesn't have religious connotations should be formed.

In fact, perhaps there should be two categories of unions: religiously condoned marriages and non. Then non-religious people including of hetero persuasion could have a non-religious union, and churches can individually decide whether or not to condone gay marriage, and lacking the desire for a relgiously condoned union gays can have a merely legal one.

But even if the relgious compromise can't be met immediately, I would at least like to see a legal union.

macfan
Jul 30, 2003, 04:44 PM
Originally posted by BaghdadBob
Right, that is why a union that doesn't have religious connotations should be formed.

In fact, perhaps there should be two categories of unions: religiously condoned marriages and non. Then non-religious people including of hetero persuasion could have a non-religious union, and churches can individually decide whether or not to condone gay marriage, and lacking the desire for a relgiously condoned union gays can have a merely legal one.

But even if the relgious compromise can't be met immediately, I would at least like to see a legal union.

Right now, you do not have to have a religious ceremony to be married. There are already two kinds of unions (religioius and civil). (Three if you count common law, which varies from state to state).

vniow
Jul 30, 2003, 04:47 PM
Originally posted by macfan
vniow,
Quoting backtothemac doesn't answer the question.

I was responding to B2TM's assertion that Bush is making his own personal beliefs the law.

BaghdadBob
Jul 30, 2003, 04:51 PM
Originally posted by macfan
Right now, you do not have to have a religious ceremony to be married. There are already two kinds of unions (religioius and civil). (Three if you count common law, which varies from state to state).
Good point, but all of them are called "marriage" when maybe they should be called "union" or something as well.

[edit:] vniow, these are not just his personal beliefs, they are the beliefs of tens of millions of Americans, and also similarly religious non-Americans. If the administration succeeds legally separating "marriage" as a finely defined thing I think that allows for other finely defined things that don't step on anyone's religion.

wwworry
Jul 30, 2003, 04:54 PM
Originally posted by BaghdadBob

I still see values declining in the current generation. See if divorce rates don't go back up as this generation "matures".
[/B]

I don't know if morals are declining, only that that's what they have always said. In fact, I do not ever recall hearing that individual morality is on the rise.

However, the one bright spot in what I see as a doomed society (just because it's based on ever increasing growth and consumption) is that people in general are more tolerant now of other races, sexual preferences and of gender equality.

One reason the divorse rate is high is that people do not now put up with affairs and visits to the local brothel. In 1870 19 out of 20 men (in NYC) would visit a prostitute at least once a year. In theaters the third balcony was always given over to prostitutes and their clientel. A smart theater owner would give free tickets to prostitutes because more prostitutes meant more regular patrons.

If you read some of the popular press from the early 1970s there was a lot written about "Is an Affair Right For You" and "Freeing Yourself From Societies Strictures".

It is a bit different now. Now women are not as dependent economically on men. It makes sence that when that economic dependence was broken there would be a rise in divorce. Now, if there is independence going into a union it is more likely to be based on reasons of "love".

Blah blah blah
A great book to read is Gotham - Hisotry of New York Until 1898.

macfan
Jul 30, 2003, 04:56 PM
Originally posted by vniow
I was responding to B2TM's assertion that Bush is making his own personal beliefs the law.

I'm not at all sure he said Bush is making his own beliefs the law. After all, the current law doesn't allow for homosexual marriages. The law already happens to conincide with not allowing homosexual marriages, and hasn't allowed for such marriages at any time in the history of the republic.

IJ Reilly
Jul 30, 2003, 04:59 PM
Originally posted by macfan
Don't be so thin skinned here. I am not condeming your choices in life! I would argue that you wouldn't be able to judge based on personal experience if there was no difference unless you were somehow able to have experienced both. Even then, it would address only a single case. However, more general social science research can look at relationships in larger numbers and draw certain conclusions. Again, there are differences and similarities.

The "thickness of my skin" is not at issue, and I could hardly care less what you thought about my choices in life. The point is, it's none of your business, and it's none of the state's business to intercede between people and their most personal, private choices. We would not even be grappling with this "gay marriage" issue today if more people believed that.

Sayhey
Jul 30, 2003, 05:01 PM
Originally posted by BaghdadBob
Right, that is why a union that doesn't have religious connotations should be formed.

In fact, perhaps there should be two categories of unions: religiously condoned marriages and non. Then non-religious people including of hetero persuasion could have a non-religious union, and churches can individually decide whether or not to condone gay marriage, and lacking the desire for a relgiously condoned union gays can have a merely legal one.

But even if the relgious compromise can't be met immediately, I would at least like to see a legal union.

As macfan has stated, these two categories of unions exist already for straight couples. A non-religious ceremony at City Hall is how I got married. The question is should that non-religious ceremony be opened to the same extent to gay couples. It would only seem that we disagree on the wording used, "marriage" as opposed to "civil union," to describe what that relationship should be. I recognize that politically it is far easier to win some people over if the words used are civil union, however making a distinction between the rights of gay couples and straight couples, even in such a seemingly minor aspect as the naming of the ceremony is demeaning to those who won't have the right to a "full marriage."

Backtothemac
Jul 30, 2003, 05:02 PM
Originally posted by vniow
I was responding to B2TM's assertion that Bush is making his own personal beliefs the law.

V, remember the White House doesn't make law. It is currently not legal, thus he is saying he would like to see it stay that way. And remember this. All laws are passed by votes. Those votes are cast due to personal beliefs.

zimv20
Jul 30, 2003, 05:04 PM
Bush said it is "important for society to welcome each individual," but administration lawyers are looking for some way to legally limit marriage to heterosexuals.


link (http://www.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/07/30/bush.gay.marriage/index.html)

if that language is intentional, it goes beyond what's the norm now. there are legally married couples where one or both partners aren't heterosexual.

is this going to lead to a future where, if the state finds out one partner is bi, the state can declare the marriage void and cancel any benefits of the civil union?

macfan
Jul 30, 2003, 05:09 PM
Originally posted by IJ Reilly
The "thickness of my skin" is not at issue, and I could hardly care less what you thought about my choices in life. The point is, it's none of your business, and it's none of the state's business to intercede between people and their most personal, private choices. We would not even be grappling with this "gay marriage" issue today if more people believed that.

I would argue that it is in the interest of society to intercede between people and their most personal, private choices. Indeed, we do this all the time with regard to child custody, divorce settlements, prohibition of bigamy, etc. Stable families are good for society, and society has an interest in promoting them. Marriages are more stable than non marriages, and more beneficial to those who are in marriage relationships (an actual marriage is particularly more beneficial to women, if I recall the research), as a rule, than non marriage relationships. (Again, these are aggregate findings, so don't offer the ecological fallacy of thinking they apply to all individuals).

macfan
Jul 30, 2003, 05:13 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
link (http://www.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/07/30/bush.gay.marriage/index.html)

if that language is intentional, it goes beyond what's the norm now. there are legally married couples where one or both partners aren't heterosexual.

is this going to lead to a future where, if the state finds out one partner is bi, the state can declare the marriage void and cancel any benefits of the civil union?

zimv20,
Must there be a conspiracy behind every rock? ;) Right now, the state won't nullify a marriage if both of the partners are homosexual (one male, one female) and one prefers sheep over people. What makes you think this would change?

zimv20
Jul 30, 2003, 05:13 PM
Originally posted by macfan
I would argue that it is in the interest of society to intercede between people and their most personal, private choices.


privacy issues aren't as easy to tackle as you make them.

some of your examples have to do w/ one more people being hurt or victimized. in that case, yes, it is one of the roles of the gov't to protect.

but other examples are hurting no one involved in the situation -- consenting behavior among adults.

Marriages are more stable than non marriages, and more beneficial to those who are marriage relationships (an actual marriage is particularly more beneficial to women, if I recall the research), as a rule.

where did you find THAT?

zimv20
Jul 30, 2003, 05:16 PM
Originally posted by macfan
zimv20,
Must there be a conspiracy behind every rock? ;) Right now, the state won't nullify a marriage if both of the partners are homosexual (one male, one female) and one prefers sheep over people. What makes you think this would change?

errrr... bush said he's getting the lawyers to write laws that would define marriage as a union between heterosexuals.

BaghdadBob
Jul 30, 2003, 05:28 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
errrr... bush said he's getting the lawyers to write laws that would define marriage as a union between heterosexuals.
That's funny, I thought he said between a man and a woman. Don't take paraphrasing, mince the paraphrasing, and turn it into a 1984 conspiracy.

@ wwworry: I'm not citing divorce rates as a decline in moral values, I'm citing the lack of respect for monogamy, or restraint on promiscuous urges. If people are intolerant of infidelity, good. But the up and coming generation is chasing a pop culture where ****ing everythin that moves is the hot thing to do for both sexes. Thus, divorce rates will rise again. Old habits die hard.

IJ Reilly
Jul 30, 2003, 05:31 PM
Originally posted by BaghdadBob
I think the issue lies in the fact that in order to enjoy the legal benefits you should have some legal commitment to that relationship, otherwise (especially with gay marriage) you could just claim your roommate for such benefits. And when they move out? Claim your next roommate. There are plenty of long-term committed relationships that work, but the gorernment is asking for a legal commitment before they offer the legal benefits of marriage. And why not? one can do it in front of a clerk. If you're committed, and you want the benefits, I don't see the problem with tying the knot legally.

Haven't I been the one advocating civil union here? What I am suggesting is detaching the concept of "marriage" from the legal institution. This takes care of both the emotional "gay marriage" issue as well as the issue of non-gay couples who have domestic relationships which, for reasons of their own, they prefer not to call a "marriage."

Ugg
Jul 30, 2003, 05:34 PM
Originally posted by macfan
Marriages are more stable than non marriages, and more beneficial to those who are in marriage relationships (an actual marriage is particularly more beneficial to women, if I recall the research), as a rule, than non marriage relationships. (Again, these are aggregate findings, so don't offer the ecological fallacy of thinking they apply to all individuals).

Gay couples I know who have deeply intertwined finances tend to be more stable than those who don't. The legal hoops they have to go through can be formidable but until the law recognizes same sex civil unions... Financial interdependence is not going to be the defining factor when it comes to successful relationships, however, it does provide more glue. So, I would agree that marriages do promote social stability and then one has to ask why the religious right is so opposed. Are they interested in ensuring that same sex relationships are unstable by not providing them with the legal framework that heterosexual relationships have?

macfan
Jul 30, 2003, 05:35 PM
Originally posted by zimv20


where did you find THAT?

Personal communication with a Ph. D. psychologist who happens to be an expert in the area.

As to the state coming in and doing away with marriages if someone is bisexual, here's what Bush actually said (empahsis added): "I believe marriage is between a man and a woman, and I think we ought to codify that one way or another"... "And we've got lawyers looking at the best way to do that."

Now, that could be bewteen a heterosexual or homosexual man and a heterosexual or homosexual woman. The key is that Bush sees marriage, like most Americans, as the union between a man and a woman. Not a man and a man or a woman and a woman or a man and a two women of a woman and two men.

Sayhey
Jul 30, 2003, 05:36 PM
What is clear from zimv20's link is that Bush is responding to the right-wing base of his party. The old "defense of marriage" law is not enough. He wants to codify in federal law and preempt from states the right to allow gay marriage. My hope is a fillabuster will stop this mean spirited insanity from happening. Now we can look forward in 2004 to having a Carl Rove campaign based on fear of homosexuals, fear of terrorists, and tax cuts for the wealthy. That's what I call leadership.

IJ Reilly
Jul 30, 2003, 05:41 PM
Originally posted by macfan
I would argue that it is in the interest of society to intercede between people and their most personal, private choices. Indeed, we do this all the time with regard to child custody, divorce settlements, prohibition of bigamy, etc. Stable families are good for society, and society has an interest in promoting them. Marriages are more stable than non marriages, and more beneficial to those who are in marriage relationships (an actual marriage is particularly more beneficial to women, if I recall the research), as a rule, than non marriage relationships. (Again, these are aggregate findings, so don't offer the ecological fallacy of thinking they apply to all individuals).

Now you're using social science to justify government intrusion into private decisions? Interesting. I thought only liberals were supposed to do that.

All of the examples you cite (child custody, divorce settlements, bigamy) are not relevant to this discussion.

BaghdadBob
Jul 30, 2003, 05:50 PM
Originally posted by Sayhey
What is clear from zimv20's link is that Bush is responding to the right-wing base of his party. The old "defense of marriage" law is not enough. He wants to codify in federal law and preempt from states the right to allow gay marriage. My hope is a fillabuster will stop this mean spirited insanity from happening. Now we can look forward in 2004 to having a Carl Rove campaign based on fear of homosexuals, fear of terrorists, and tax cuts for the wealthy. That's what I call leadership.
Right, that's, like, totally clear. Way to knee-jerk. It couldn't possibly be a way to define "marriage" as one thing, opening the doors to define "union" as another thing.

Why does he need to do anything to preempt states from allowing gay marriage? Isn't that the status quo? The change would be to require states to recognize gay marriage.

What I find "mean spirited" is the inability to define any single thing the Republican party does as some kind of KKK-inspired conspiracy to hold the non-rich non-white non-straight down. Give me a break.

Makes me think of the senseless statements Rainbow/PUSH has made about NASCAR.

macfan
Jul 30, 2003, 05:51 PM
Originally posted by IJ Reilly
Now you're using social science to justify government intrusion into private decisions? Interesting. I thought only liberals were supposed to do that.

All of the examples you cite (child custody, divorce settlements, bigamy) are not relevant to this discussion.

It is not an inappropriate intrusion into private decisions for a society to develop laws that promote marriage, IMO. (Some laws we've had have actually discouraged marriage, but that's a whole other topic). Don't worry. It's not like the government is going to burst into your house and force you to get married.

Sayhey,
"Mean spirited insanity"? LOL.

wwworry
Jul 30, 2003, 05:53 PM
Is there any real reason to prevent gay marriages? No.
They used to prevent marriages between people of different colors. That was wrong too.
The most laughable thing is when I hear that gay marriage would undermine heterosexual marriage. I just can't see my marriage changing because a couple of men in Vermont want to get married. It's just crazy to think otherwise.

Sayhey
Jul 30, 2003, 05:56 PM
Originally posted by macfan
I would argue that it is in the interest of society to intercede between people and their most personal, private choices. Indeed, we do this all the time with regard to child custody, divorce settlements, prohibition of bigamy, etc. Stable families are good for society, and society has an interest in promoting them. Marriages are more stable than non marriages, and more beneficial to those who are in marriage relationships (an actual marriage is particularly more beneficial to women, if I recall the research), as a rule, than non marriage relationships. (Again, these are aggregate findings, so don't offer the ecological fallacy of thinking they apply to all individuals).

macfan, using this logic, why don't we mandate marriage? It should be against the law to be single after a certain age, right? After all doesn't society have a right to intervene and promote the stable relationships you are talking about? Let's get rid of divorce while were at it. Certainly it would help those women about to lose the benefits of stable marriages?

There is a line over which the government should not cross in our private lives. Thankfully, the Supreme Court's ruling in the Texas case draws those lines rather well. Let's just hope Pat Robertson's prayers aren't answered and we continue to have that privacy.

BaghdadBob
Jul 30, 2003, 06:01 PM
wwworry, please understand the religious foundation of marriage. This is what the whole controversy is about. Some people believe you shouldn't give the title of marriage to a couple that can neither be defined as a recognized couple by most religions, but also cannot be said to be raising a family, which is what many marriage benefits are designed to assist with.

I'm not saying that these opinions are necessarily correct, but there are several more times as many people who hold these views as who are gay and want to be married. That's why something that would please the gay community's desire to be able to have a legal union and please the religious community that an institution they hold to be sacred and religiously based is not being used for what they (they being tens of millions of Americans) deem to be detrimental to the meaning of that institution....whew...would be ideal.

Everyone get's what they wants. That's what's ideal.

[edit:] to clarify, when I say "cannot be said to be raising a family" I am of course referring to procreating, which of course there are certain ways around for both sides of the gay aisle...but of course this would be also a non-religious definition of raising a family, so I am just addressing the religious POV, not saying gays can't raise a family.

Sayhey
Jul 30, 2003, 06:08 PM
Originally posted by BaghdadBob
Why does he need to do anything to preempt states from allowing gay marriage? Isn't that the status quo? The change would be to require states to recognize gay marriage.

There is a case pending before the court in Mass. that may allow gay marriage in that state. The only reason to propose the law that Bush is talking about is to prevent that from happening. Nothing happens in a vacuum, this has as it back drop the reaction of the religious right to the recent Supreme Court ruling. The Christian coalition and others want to make this a major issue in the next election - I didn't make it up read what they say, including in the CNN article that zimv20 provided a link for.

"The president has taken a courageous stand in favor of traditional marriage at a moment in American history when the courts are conspiring with anti-family extremists to undermine our nation's most vital institution," said the Rev. Louis Sheldon, chairman of the Traditional Values Coalition.
I would love to hear a different explaination.

I don't have a knee jerk reaction to Republicans. My hope for a fillibuster would include the participation of some moderate republicans. I do have a disdain for the type of politics this White House practices.

Rower_CPU
Jul 30, 2003, 06:09 PM
I'd like to see some history on how "marriage" was created by organized religion and is thus a religious institution.

Ugg
Jul 30, 2003, 06:19 PM
Originally posted by BaghdadBob
wwworry, please understand the religious foundation of marriage. This is what the whole controversy is about. Some people believe you shouldn't give the title of marriage to a couple that can neither be defined as a recognized couple by most religions, but also cannot be said to be raising a family, which is what many marriage benefits are designed to assist with.

I'm not saying that these opinions are necessarily correct, but there are several more times as many people who hold these views as who are gay and want to be married. That's why something that would please the gay community's desire to be able to have a legal union and please the religious community that an institution they hold to be sacred and religiously based is not being used for what they (they being tens of millions of Americans) deem to be detrimental to the meaning of that institution....whew...would be ideal.

Everyone get's what they wants. That's what's ideal.


Being gay, I personally find the term gay marriage to be rather stupid. Marriage implies a church, the ability to procreate as you say, and a host of other issues that go along with it. Civil Unions are the way to go and if people feel a need to get married in a church then that is between them and the church. The government should not have anything to do with a person's relationship to their church but it should do everything to provide its citizens with the legal framework for their relationship.

zimv20
Jul 30, 2003, 06:19 PM
Originally posted by BaghdadBob
That's funny, I thought he said between a man and a woman. Don't take paraphrasing, mince the paraphrasing, and turn it into a 1984 conspiracy.


i'm not paraphrasing. i quoted what the CNN article said and didn't claim that bush said it.

yes, bush said "man and woman." it's in the article. also was language that implied marriage would be defined as something that happened between heterosexuals.

who came up w/ that language? bush? a white house official? the reporter?

i'm not claiming conspiracy, i merely mentioned it was language used in the article. no one else noticed it and i found it curious. in my post, i said "if that language is intentional" and "is this going to lead to...", couching it in non-definitive and questioning terms. i.e. what do you guys think?

the answer i get from you and macfan is: "you're paranoid and conspiratorial." i didn't ask what you thought of me, i asked what you thought of the language.

way to kill the messenger.

cc bcc
Jul 30, 2003, 06:21 PM
Originally posted by macfan
vniow,
Quoting backtothemac doesn't answer the question.

cc bcc,
You didn't answer the question.
You twisted my words into that question, but I'll answer it:

The question is, what happens when you don't agree with what the government decides is best to "educate" the public on? Do you just accept it or do you apply your own standards and fight against it?

The answer is, I apply my own standards and fight against it.

Realize that Bush is right now "educating" the public that gay marriage is not done, it's not good, it's weird, gays are not accepted etc. It'll confirm and strengthen anti-gay peoples thoughts on this, and it will weaken some pro-gay people opinions. Face it, that's the influence he has as a president.
I claim that it's inhuman to deny gays this right to make their relation official, just like "normal" people do. If the churches won't do it, fine, but official mariages should be allowed I strongly belief.
So I'm fighting it right now, on a small scale. ;)
And it doesn't even affect me directly, I'm not American, I'm not gay and I have a long relationship (10 years, I'm 26) and I'm not planning to get married. But indirectly it's an attack against all the little things about me that are different for the average. And since everyone is different, I just cannot understand people that deny others the right to be different. Sexual orientation is just a parametre of the cc bcc persona, it's status is at heterosexual and that's how the dice roled for me.

BaghdadBob
Jul 30, 2003, 06:25 PM
Originally posted by Sayhey
There is a case pending before the court in Mass. that may allow gay marriage in that state. The only reason to propose the law that Bush is talking about is to prevent that from happening. Nothing happens in a vacuum, this has as it back drop the reaction of the religious right to the recent Supreme Court ruling. The Christian coalition and others want to make this a major issue in the next election - I didn't make it up read what they say, including in the CNN article that zimv20 provided a link for. I would love to hear a different explaination.
Contextually, isn't there always a case going on like this? He did make a statement, at that bishopy thingy or something I think, during his campaign that he suppoprted the idea of gay union, but not termed as "marriage", which he affirmed today. I guess we'll all believe it when we see it, but in my mind this definition is the first step in that, when you look at the entire strategy of his (and need I point out again that it is ot only his) view on the subject.

Rower, I'm sure there is such a case put together somewhere despite the fact that it is generally recognized as such, however if we're looking at modern-ish history then most of our fundamental laws were based on religious views, although you wouldn't term homocide laws as a religious issue. It doesn't change the fact that it is viewed as a religious institution by a huge segment of our population and the population of most nations.

Rower_CPU
Jul 30, 2003, 06:30 PM
If there's a common misconception as to the basis of marriage, then that's what needs to be combatted in order for "gay marriage" to become acceptable. If marriage is truly a religious term/institution, then a new one needs to be created outside of religious influence.

BaghdadBob
Jul 30, 2003, 06:30 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
i'm not paraphrasing. i quoted what the CNN article said and didn't claim that bush said it.

yes, bush said "man and woman." it's in the article. also was language that implied marriage would be defined as something that happened between heterosexuals.

who came up w/ that language? bush? a white house official? the reporter?

i'm not claiming conspiracy, i merely mentioned it was language used in the article. no one else noticed it and i found it curious. in my post, i said "if that language is intentional" and "is this going to lead to...", couching it in non-definitive and questioning terms. i.e. what do you guys think?

the answer i get from you and macfan is: "you're paranoid and conspiratorial." i didn't ask what you thought of me, i asked what you thought of the language.

way to kill the messenger.
I said you took paraphrasing (from the article) and minced it. He said a man and a woman, they said heterosexual, you said "does that mean if one partner is not hetero they can nullify the marriage" (paraphrasing) and I say, gee, he didn't say hetero, so I guess if it's a man and a woman, unless they specify heterosexuality at a later time instead of just assuming it by gender, then their sexual orientation is not at question.

If I misunderstand the possiblilty you were raising then pardon me.

BaghdadBob
Jul 30, 2003, 06:34 PM
Originally posted by Rower_CPU
If there's a common misconception as to the basis of marriage, then that's what needs to be combatted in order for "gay marriage" to become acceptable. If marriage is truly a religious term/institution, then a new one needs to be created outside of religious influence.
What I'm saying is you could avoid combatting a widespread POV by just creating a bond that no one mistakes for being related to their religious backgrounds. Then you can forego the former and just get to the latter.

It's kinda like making anti-hatecrime laws instead of expecting everyone to accept the widely publicised efforts to reduce hate. It's a long process, and why not protect people in the meantime? Minds are much more difficult to battle than laws.

zimv20
Jul 30, 2003, 06:34 PM
Originally posted by BaghdadBob

If I misunderstand the possiblilty you were raising then pardon me.

no worries. fwiw, i just noticed the headline of the CNN article: "Bush wants marriage reserved for heterosexuals"

if there's nothing to that language, then the headline is misleading.

i also noticed that in the NYT article, the word 'heterosexual' doesn't appear.

cc bcc
Jul 30, 2003, 06:43 PM
Originally posted by Rower_CPU
I'd like to see some history on how "marriage" was created by organized religion and is thus a religious institution.

What strikes me is that most different, geologically separated cultures/religions have, over time, developed that same institution "marriage" in some form.

But isn't our culture still developing? I think it is, and very much so. Religion is no longer the only mayor driving force of the western cultural evolution, since it's now adopting multiple cultures into one. It must be more based on freedoms of mindsets, and governments should not try to stop this.

IJ Reilly
Jul 30, 2003, 07:30 PM
Originally posted by Ugg
Being gay, I personally find the term gay marriage to be rather stupid. Marriage implies a church, the ability to procreate as you say, and a host of other issues that go along with it. Civil Unions are the way to go and if people feel a need to get married in a church then that is between them and the church. The government should not have anything to do with a person's relationship to their church but it should do everything to provide its citizens with the legal framework for their relationship.

I've often wondered whether many gay couples really desire to be "married," so much as they're after a mechanism wherein their domestic partnerships would be recognized by the state for important state and legal purposes, such as inheritance, taxes and medical circumstances. That's all I'm after for my heterosexual domestic partnership. Seems simple enough to me.

I understand that the State of California will be starting a domestic partners register later this year. It isn't clear whether this register will cover the areas that are important to me, and it seems unlikely that any of these rights will be transferrable out of state, but it does seem like a step in the right direction.

Ugg
Jul 30, 2003, 07:45 PM
Originally posted by IJ Reilly
I've often wondered whether many gay couples really desire to be "married," so much as they're after a mechanism wherein their domestic partnerships would be recognized by the state for important state and legal purposes, such as inheritance, taxes and medical circumstances. That's all I'm after for my heterosexual domestic partnership. Seems simple enough to me.


I think most gay couples want the legal rights more than the ceremony although I get the impression that the younger generation sees the issue differently.

I think that the conservatives have a point really that marriage is endangered. It no longer serves the needs of all members of society. Many do not want to marry and many do not want children and many elderly can't marry if they want to keep retirement benefits. Maybe what is really needed is an overhaul of the entire system not just allowing gays to marry.

The current system has failed to protect children, the elderly and gays. That is a pretty significant failure in my mind but the best gw can do is spend millions trying to convince single mothers that they should marry and try and define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

A number of years ago, a friend of my parents had a heart attack and had to be put on life support. She was 32 years old with 3 children, one of whom was 2. Her husband had to divorce her or face bankruptcy. They were very religious and it deeply affected they guy but he had no other choice. Hardly a reason to defend marriage in its current state.

Sayhey
Jul 30, 2003, 07:50 PM
Originally posted by BaghdadBob
Contextually, isn't there always a case going on like this? He did make a statement, at that bishopy thingy or something I think, during his campaign that he suppoprted the idea of gay union, but not termed as "marriage", which he affirmed today. I guess we'll all believe it when we see it, but in my mind this definition is the first step in that, when you look at the entire strategy of his (and need I point out again that it is ot only his) view on the subject.


BaghdadBob, I don't mean to be argumentative, his statements look to mean something very different to me. I hope you are right that Bush will propose some sort of federal civil union. I just don't see it in anything I read of his statement today. If he did that it would be a huge step forward and I will be the first to post my congratulations. This looks to me to be a reaction to the Supreme Court ruling and a strategy of getting through Congress in the form of a federal law what he can't get through in the form of a constitutional admendment. By the reaction of Sheldon and others of the religious right, I would think they think so too. We shall see when the lawyers are done drafting his proposal.

vniow
Jul 30, 2003, 08:17 PM
Originally posted by Ugg
I think most gay couples want the legal rights more than the ceremony although I get the impression that the younger generation sees the issue differently.


Its not about legal issues for me, I mean it is to a certain extent, but its more of an emotional one really, having my marriage to another woman isn't going to stop me from calling her my wife or being in a loving bond as if we were legally married, but having it recognized by the state that I live in does so much to make it more real and less of a live-in relationship...

I would much rather go get a marriage licesnce, go through the ceremony and have that legally recognized as a full-blown marriage than going through some civil union or anything like that, I want to get married but not having it recognized under the law is most definately not going to stop me, I would just be much more comfortable with an actual marriage than anything else.

Ugg
Jul 30, 2003, 08:31 PM
Originally posted by vniow
Its not about legal issues for me, I mean it is to a certain extent, but its more of an emotional one really, having my marriage to another woman isn't going to stop me from calling her my wife or being in a loving bond as if we were legally married, but having it recognized by the state that I live in does so much to make it more real and less of a live-in relationship...

I would much rather go get a marriage licesnce, go through the ceremony and have that legally recognized as a full-blown marriage than going through some civil union or anything like that, I want to get married but not having it recognized under the law is most definately not going to stop me, I would just be much more comfortable with an actual marriage than anything else.

That is why I think civil unions should be the norm for everyone and if you want to have your union recognized by a religion then getmarried in a church. That way everyone has the same rights under the law and the churches can continue to preach hellfire and damnation (does that qualify as hate speech?) to those who don't get married in a church.

MrMacMan
Jul 30, 2003, 09:40 PM
Originally posted by macfan
There is no federal register of marriages or civil unions now. I see no reason to create one.

Lets back track to your first statement saying there will be gay marriages.

Now you say that there will be no middle point?

I see gay partners to but put inder this such category with the same legal rights as a normal marriage would have.


Look right wing backers have been pushing for this for a while, every watch CBN, I did.

My Brain turned inside out.

Look, I hope they have some type of legal partners for gay people, a union, a marriage or something.

Please, thing about it, its easy.

BaghdadBob
Jul 30, 2003, 09:44 PM
Did someone replace MrMacman with someone who can't spell? Right down to the new location...

[Edit:] On second thought, maybe he's been enjoying a Salty Lemon Production.

pseudobrit
Jul 30, 2003, 11:58 PM
The government should not be in the marriage business. It's not their job.

If you're heterosexual and want to get married, you should get a civil union certificate and take it to your Church (much in the way it's done now) to get the ceremony of marriage performed.

If you're homosexual and want to get "married," you should get a civil union certificate and take it to your Church if they allow such a union.

If you just want the civil union, you should simply go to the JP and get your civil union (same as a marriage certificate is right now) certificate and be done with it.

FWIW, that's all my parents did. It was after they had kids that they were married in the Church.

Isn't there something in the equal protection clause that should allow homosexuals protection from this discrimination?

BaghdadBob
Jul 31, 2003, 01:07 AM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
The government should not be in the marriage business. It's not their job.
I'm sorry, but marriage is very much the government's business. Those who disagree can have spiritual marriages that have nothing to do with what the government considers legally married. The issue here is whether you can be married in the eyes of the law, and participants of different sexes are not the only requirement the government has to legally recognize a marriage.

Sorry to nitpick, but I'm afraid that is a bit of a fallacy in the way I have pointed out above.

Sayhey
Jul 31, 2003, 01:12 AM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
The government should not be in the marriage business. It's not their job.

If you're heterosexual and want to get married, you should get a civil union certificate and take it to your Church (much in the way it's done now) to get the ceremony of marriage performed.

If you're homosexual and want to get "married," you should get a civil union certificate and take it to your Church if they allow such a union.

If you just want the civil union, you should simply go to the JP and get your civil union (same as a marriage certificate is right now) certificate and be done with it.

FWIW, that's all my parents did. It was after they had kids that they were married in the Church.

Isn't there something in the equal protection clause that should allow homosexuals protection from this discrimination?

The government has always been in the marriage business. Marriage is a contract between groups and individuals and government has since ancient times looked at itself as the arbiter of these contracts. If you look back into Ancient Athens' court cases most of them are about the dispensation of estates. It would take a drastic change of tradition to take government out of the marriage business.

You raise a interesting point about the equal protection clause of the constitution. In the recent case Lawrence v. Texas, the Supreme Court decided the case on grounds very few thought they would and upheld a general right to privacy. However, in her concurring opinion, Justice O'Connor did cite the equal protection clause of the fourteenth admendment. She said,

"We have been most likely to apply rational basis review to hold a law unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause where, as here, the challenged legislation inhibits personal relationships."

It would seem there is a least some on the court who might support such an argument. If you want to read the case it can be found at: http://www.findlaw.com

IJ Reilly
Jul 31, 2003, 01:26 AM
I think what pseudobrit, myself and others are suggesting is that the government should not be the business of deciding who can enter into contracts. Can you think of any other type of contract where the government establishes absolute requirements for which individuals may enter into contractual relationships with another individual?

macfan
Jul 31, 2003, 01:35 AM
Yes, I can. Including the fact that I don't have a right to sell my children or myself as a slave. I also do not have the right to marry my sister, at least in most states. Nor does the state permit me to enter multiple, simultaneous marriages. Where does the state get off prohibiting that? Isn't that a personal, private matter?

pseudobrit
Jul 31, 2003, 02:03 AM
Does the government have the right to stop an interracial couple from entering into a marriage?

Sayhey
Jul 31, 2003, 02:18 AM
Originally posted by IJ Reilly
I think what pseudobrit, myself and others are suggesting is that the government should not be the business of deciding who can enter into contracts. Can you think of any other type of contract where the government establishes absolute requirements for which individuals may enter into contractual relationships with another individual?

I think the point you all and myself are making that the government should not stop people of the same sex from entering into such contracts is the central core of the argument. That does not mean that government should no longer play a role in the regulation of marriage. There are legitimate societal concerns in the marriage contract. Property distribution in the advent of the dissolution of the contract is obviously one. As to your question about other types of contracts that the government establishes absolute requirements in, the age of majority is certainly one.

The central point is that when weighing society's concerns and the rights of individuals, dispite the protestations of the right-wing, there is no valid reason for society to ban the marriage contract between consenting adults of the same sex. Where no reason exists to "trump" the individual rights the larger society should and must bow to the wishes of the individual.

Sayhey
Jul 31, 2003, 02:28 AM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
Does the government have the right to stop an interracial couple from entering into a marriage?

Absolutely not. That is an onerous intrusion into the rights of the couple. That having been said, it doesn't follow that government has no interest in the marriage. If they divorce, if they have to decide legal or medical questions for their partner, if they have children the responsiblities they will have as a couple for those kids, etc. are all valid concerns of government. I don't mean to say this is only the case for your example of an interracial couple, but rather for any couple. We may not like the idea of the government telling us what we can do, but in some areas it is the only way we can work as a society. None of that means the stopping of same sex couples from marrying is a valid or needed intrusion into our lives.

wwworry
Jul 31, 2003, 05:38 AM
Originally posted by BaghdadBob
wwworry, please understand the religious foundation of marriage. This is what the whole controversy is about. Some people believe you shouldn't give the title of marriage to a couple that can neither be defined as a recognized couple by most religions, but also cannot be said to be raising a family, which is what many marriage benefits are designed to assist with.

This is an easy argument to pick off:

Do you want the government telling religions what rites and rituals they are allowed to practice?

or

Do you want religious myths determining what the govt. and the populace may or may not do? You have to remember that not so long ago it was illegal to be gay! Just because of the same reasons that someone was uncomfortable with the fact of homosexuality they made it illegal.
&
There is no secular legal reason why gay marriage should not exist.

Actually, I think everyone here agrees that gay people should be allowed to be contractually and legally bound together if they so choose. It's up to the individual religions to "recognize" gay marriage or not.

It's clear Bush is not going to sanction civil unions between gay people. Another case where he talks compassionately but acts like a bone head. In 30 years everyone will wonder how Americans could have been so stupid as to deny the validity of proposed gay marriages.

My wife and I were married by a gay unitarian minister. Everything seemed legal and great to me.

Sayhey
Jul 31, 2003, 09:01 AM
I woke to this article about the vatican and gay marriage: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3108349.stm

I don't care one way or the other what the Catholic Church wants to do within the church, but when it starts to tell nations that secular gay marriages must be stopped the church has crossed the line, IMO, of what's acceptable in a nation built on the principle of the seperation of church and state. I don't mean to imply it is just the Vatican; I could just as easily awoke to Jerry Falwell's lastest fulminations. Somewhere, people must stand up for a secular society in which religious doctrine does not determine public policy.

IJ Reilly
Jul 31, 2003, 10:14 AM
Originally posted by macfan
Yes, I can. Including the fact that I don't have a right to sell my children or myself as a slave. I also do not have the right to marry my sister, at least in most states. Nor does the state permit me to enter multiple, simultaneous marriages. Where does the state get off prohibiting that? Isn't that a personal, private matter?

These are ludicrous examples, obviously, because they involve harm done to unwilling individuals and activities which are illegal for reasons unrelated to the contract. As for where the state gets off prohibiting multiple marriages, you got me there. I don't know where a state interest comes in here.

IJ Reilly
Jul 31, 2003, 10:26 AM
Originally posted by Sayhey
I think the point you all and myself are making that the government should not stop people of the same sex from entering into such contracts is the central core of the argument. That does not mean that government should no longer play a role in the regulation of marriage. There are legitimate societal concerns in the marriage contract. Property distribution in the advent of the dissolution of the contract is obviously one. As to your question about other types of contracts that the government establishes absolute requirements in, the age of majority is certainly one.

Age of majority is, AFAIK, a requirement for entering into all contracts, so it doesn't serve as an example in this case. The marriage contract does seem to be the only mutually consensual arrangement where the state sets specific criteria for who may be a party to one. So yes, I'm arguing that the state should butt out of one of the most personal, private decisions people ever make in their lives.

macfan
Jul 31, 2003, 01:01 PM
Originally posted by IJ Reilly
These are ludicrous examples, obviously, because they involve harm done to unwilling individuals and activities which are illegal for reasons unrelated to the contract. As for where the state gets off prohibiting multiple marriages, you got me there. I don't know where a state interest comes in here.

Can I assume that you would support my right to marry 100 wives and your obligation as a tax payer to provide them with Social Security survivor benefits were I to die? Would you also compel a company to provide medical insurance for the 100 wives? People like to complain that homosexual marriage should be allowed because society shouldn't impose its views on individuals, but it seems that only applies to the choices those particular individuals would like to have.

Selling myself into slavery would not involve harm to an unwilling individual. It would involve willing parties providing an exchange of services and money. In other words, a contract. I could see myself for a certain amount of cash, in exchange, the other party gets my services and has to provide food and shelter for me. If I didn't call it slavery in the contract, where's the state's interest?

What about if I wanted to sell some or my organs for transplant purposes? Where is the right of the government to impose on my rights in that case?

If people have a right to enter into a contract for any reason with any person they choose without government interference, then people should also have the right to not enter into a contract with anyone they choose without government interference. This means that a business owner should be allowed to not enter into a contract with an employee based solely on that person's race or sexual orientation, should he of she choose to do so.

wwworry,
There is no secular legal reason why gay marriage should not exist.

While there probably is a secular legal argument that could be made, using the same logic...

There is no secular legal reason why bigamy should not exist.

There is no secular legal reason why interspecies sexual relations should not exist.

There is no secular legal reason why incestual relations should not exist.

Arguing for homosexual marriage does not seem to be an argument that the state should butt out. It is an argument that the state should butt in and force those who disagree to recognize a homosexual marriage as the equivalent of marriage between a man and a woman.

Marriage itself is a religous institution, thus one can make the argument that the state should not recognize any family structure because it smacks of relgion. (although I think that argument is absurd).

Taft
Jul 31, 2003, 01:10 PM
Originally posted by macfan
Yes, I can. Including the fact that I don't have a right to sell my children or myself as a slave. I also do not have the right to marry my sister, at least in most states. Nor does the state permit me to enter multiple, simultaneous marriages. Where does the state get off prohibiting that? Isn't that a personal, private matter?

So what you are saying is that the government SHOULD enforce morality on the people.

I disagree. There are two separate issues here: personal freedom and the protection of rights. I believe in extreme personal freedom (as far as actions are concerned), but do not believe those actions should be allowed to infringe on another person's ability to choose his/her own actions.

And that is what is wrong with prohibiting gay unions (of any kind): you are enforcing morality. It isn't that allowing gay people to be "joined" is infringing on someone's rights or not allowing other people to live their lives freely. It is that "people" have collectively decided that they think homosexuality is wrong and they are consequently limiting the rights and/or freedoms of homosexuals.

The problem is that the government and the court system still have no problem in limiting the freedoms and rights of people as long as a majority of people have declared something to be immoral. People have decided marijuana is immoral. Its illegal (despite mounds of evidence and facts supporting legalization). People have decided gay marriage is immoral. Its illegal (kind of, though its "threat" to the family has yet to have been established).

There are *tons* of other examples of this. My position is that if someone is acting in a way that isn't hurting anyone else, isn't limiting another's rights and isn't costing society as a whole, then why should it be illegal? Why should anyone be able to tell me not to do that?

Now obviously the "cost to society" factor is often difficult to measure or identify. But when we do try to identify the "cost to society" we shouldn't let feelings or religious doctrine come into play. It should be about the facts. Studies should be commissioned to determine as close to the REAL cost as we can measure.

We should eliminate the "feeling" element from our prohibitive laws. It never belonged there in the first place.

Taft

BaghdadBob
Jul 31, 2003, 01:23 PM
Originally posted by wwworry
This is an easy argument to pick off:
Well excuse me, but I believe I have come down on the side of gay unions, so you are pretty much just refusing to recognize the concerns of a majority which sees "marriage" as a religious thing, and therefore a more technical, non-religious sounding union would be less offensive.

But I know being less offesnsive missing the point on some people's agendas, which is why we have some pride parades where guys walk around in glitter, g-strings, and a smile, while a giant ***** statue rolls behind them. Oh, well, hey, everybody get used to it, and BTW, we want to get married. BOY, that really helps breed acceptance. Or we could have a solution to the marriage issue that doesn't offend anyone, but I guess that wouldn't be fair?

I don't know how I personally could be more fair on this subject, but those who see this as a church and state issue misunderstand the meaning of those words and don't recognize the historical significance involved. Being a representative government, the USG is supposed to take the will of its citizens into account, and I'm afraid that most of the citizens here are religious.

What we don't have is the pope telling us what to do, although the senile old codger tries from time to time.

BTW, we are not a secular state and we never have been. We were founded on freedom of religion, not lack thereof.

IJ Reilly
Jul 31, 2003, 01:27 PM
Originally posted by macfan
Can I assume that you would support my right to marry 100 wives and your obligation as a tax payer to provide them with Social Security survivor benefits were I to die? Would you also compel a company to provide medical insurance for the 100 wives? People like to complain that homosexual marriage should be allowed because society shouldn't impose its views on individuals, but it seems that only applies to the choices those particular individuals would like to have.

Selling myself into slavery would not involve harm to an unwilling individual. It would involve willing parties providing an exchange of services and money. In other words, a contract. I could see myself for a certain amount of cash, in exchange, the other party gets my services and has to provide food and shelter for me. If I didn't call it slavery in the contract, where's the state's interest?

What about if I wanted to sell some or my organs for transplant purposes? Where is the right of the government to impose on my rights in that case?

If people have a right to enter into a contract for any reason with any person they choose without government interference, then people should also have the right to not enter into a contract with anyone they choose without government interference. This means that a business owner should be allowed to not enter into a contract with an employee based solely on that person's race or sexual orientation, should he of she choose to do so.

Specious arguments, all. If a compelling state interest exists to prohibit any of these activities, then a separate case needs to be made for each one. I have yet to hear an argument for the compelling state interest in prohibiting bigamy, for instance. Maybe one exists, but the rationale that you or even a whole lot of other people find it icky, won't suffice.

zimv20
Jul 31, 2003, 01:32 PM
Originally posted by macfan
Can I assume that you would support my right to marry 100 wives and your obligation as a tax payer to provide them with Social Security survivor benefits were I to die? Would you also compel a company to provide medical insurance for the 100 wives?


those are good points. i would not support forcing SS, insurance companies, etc. to pay 100x what they would have should there have been only one wife. yet, i have no real issue w/ bigamy (it's a private decision among consenting adults).

a simple sol'n, i think, is that a "standard" payment (from SS, e.g.) would be the same, but divided among the 100 wives.

iow, i support your decision to be married to 100 women, as long as i don't have to pay for it.


I could see myself for a certain amount of cash, in exchange, the other party gets my services and has to provide food and shelter for me.


people do that now, for certain kinds of dom/sub relationships.


There is no secular legal reason why interspecies sexual relations should not exist.


i think there is -- the animal cannot express consent the way an adult human can.


There is no secular legal reason why incestual relations should not exist.


hmmmmmmmmm. i'm not religious, but i feel incest is wrong. so here we have an example which challenges the idea that all morals come from religion. i don't believe that's been addressed in this thread.

macfan
Jul 31, 2003, 03:02 PM
Originally posted by Taft
So what you are saying is that the government SHOULD enforce morality on the people.

I disagree. There are two separate issues here: personal freedom and the protection of rights. I believe in extreme personal freedom (as far as actions are concerned), but do not believe those actions should be allowed to infringe on another person's ability to choose his/her own actions.

And that is what is wrong with prohibiting gay unions (of any kind): you are enforcing morality. It isn't that allowing gay people to be "joined" is infringing on someone's rights or not allowing other people to live their lives freely. It is that "people" have collectively decided that they think homosexuality is wrong and they are consequently limiting the rights and/or freedoms of homosexuals.

The problem is that the government and the court system still have no problem in limiting the freedoms and rights of people as long as a majority of people have declared something to be immoral. People have decided marijuana is immoral. Its illegal (despite mounds of evidence and facts supporting legalization). People have decided gay marriage is immoral. Its illegal (kind of, though its "threat" to the family has yet to have been established).

There are *tons* of other examples of this. My position is that if someone is acting in a way that isn't hurting anyone else, isn't limiting another's rights and isn't costing society as a whole, then why should it be illegal? Why should anyone be able to tell me not to do that?

Now obviously the "cost to society" factor is often difficult to measure or identify. But when we do try to identify the "cost to society" we shouldn't let feelings or religious doctrine come into play. It should be about the facts. Studies should be commissioned to determine as close to the REAL cost as we can measure.

We should eliminate the "feeling" element from our prohibitive laws. It never belonged there in the first place.

Taft

Taft,
Government not only should enforce morality on the people, it does enforce morality on the people. The only question is which morality and to what degree it will be enforced. It is a balancing act between the rights of citizens as individuals and the rights of society as a whole, but it is most certainly the enforcement of morality.

As a general observation, we better not use the cost to society as a primary means of determining what can be restricted by government. Were we to do so, we could kiss good bye to alcohol and tobacco. Forget about legalalizing marijuana and other "recreational" drugs. For that matter, we could also kiss goodbye to certain homosexaul acts between certain consenting men since that is the primary means (although by no means the only) of HIV transmission in the United States. We could enforce abortions on those who can't afford kids using that argument, or prohibit them from having heterosexual sex in the first place. We can also kiss goodbye to hamburgers, fries, etc. Cost to society just isn't an argument that should bear the greatest weight, IMO.


zimv20,

iow, i support your decision to be married to 100 women, as long as i don't have to pay for it.

But you will have to pay for it. You permission for me to marry multiple wives is merely the first step in the process. The next step is to argue that my wives should not be pealized by the government just because their lifestyle choices do not conform to the majority. Recognize the legitimacy of my family structure with multiple wives and give us the same legal rights that everyone else gets. If you do not, you are unfairly discriminating against me and my family.

I use the example of polygamy to point out one reason why many oppose recognition of homosexual marriage: we will have to pay for it down the line, it is not a no cost issue.


i think there is -- the animal cannot express consent the way an adult human can.

The animal is property. Why should the government be involved based on a secular legal reason? Prohibitions against beastiality have religious origins, after all.

i'm not religious, but i feel incest is wrong.

Why should one feel incest is wrong? Would it not simply be the actions of two consenting adults? If consent is, in fact, the standard one wishes to apply?

BaghdadBob
Jul 31, 2003, 03:12 PM
By the by, feeling in law is very much a part of our law and society. Otherwise we wouldn't be discussing prayer in schools, the rebel flag, racial slurs, law suits for emotional damages, diversity in advertising, anti "block-busting" laws in real estate, NYs new gay HS, etc, etc, etc, etc. There is plenty of feeling in law. What some seem to feel is that it is only the feelings of a minority that should be considered, but if we're going to toss everyone's feelings out the window then we have a lot of tossing to do.

IJ Reilly
Jul 31, 2003, 03:38 PM
The specious arguments just keep on coming. Of course we should not use "cost to society" as a primary mean of determining what should be prohibited or regulated. A compelling state interest should demonstrated. The state does not own our rights, to be doled out as it sees fit. The people own their rights, to be restricted only when a state interest in doing so can be demonstrated.

macfan
Jul 31, 2003, 03:50 PM
Originally posted by IJ Reilly
The specious arguments just keep on coming. Of course we should not use "cost to society" as a primary mean of determining what should be prohibited or regulated. A compelling state interest should demonstrated. The state does not own our rights, to be doled out as it sees fit. The people own their rights, to be restricted only when a state interest in doing so can be demonstrated.

IJ Reilly,
My discussion of the "cost to society" being something that shouldn't be the primary measure of whether something is illegal not a specious argument. It is an observation in reposnse to something that Taft said about calculating the cost to society and basing laws on that.

Unless there is a compelling state interest to expand the definition of marriage to include unions between those of the same sex, why should it be done? I can't really see a compelling state interest there.

Backtothemac
Jul 31, 2003, 04:11 PM
Well, a Republican Senator is proposing a constitutional ammendment to make the institution of marriage federal. Thus, it would be a federal law that it would only be between opposite sex partners.

While I personally don't care and think that all people are equal there are polls out there that show the VAST majority of Americans are against the notion.

IJ Reilly
Jul 31, 2003, 04:26 PM
Originally posted by macfan
IJ Reilly,
My discussion of the "cost to society" being something that shouldn't be the primary measure of whether something is illegal not a specious argument. It is an observation in reposnse to something that Taft said about calculating the cost to society and basing laws on that.

Unless there is a compelling state interest to expand the definition of marriage to include unions between those of the same sex, why should it be done? I can't really see a compelling state interest there.

I don't buy "cost to society" as a free-standing argument whether you or Taft make it. And once again, you apparently believe that rights are something held by the state and doled out to individuals when the state has an interest in doing so, when just the opposite is the case.

macfan
Jul 31, 2003, 04:32 PM
Originally posted by IJ Reilly
I don't buy "cost to society" as a free-standing argument whether you or Taft make it. And once again, you apparently believe that rights are something held by the state and doled out to individuals when the state has an interest in doing so, when just the opposite is the case.

IJ Reilly,
If you want to argue against Taft, knock yourself out, but don't call a statement I make in direct response and in line with a statement he made "specious."

added:
Having homosexual marriages is not merely a granting of rights. It is also taking away of rights. You apparently believe that those rights you don't like should be taken away, and replaced by those you do like.

IJ Reilly
Jul 31, 2003, 04:35 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
Well, a Republican Senator is proposing a constitutional ammendment to make the institution of marriage federal. Thus, it would be a federal law that it would only be between opposite sex partners.

Yes, and it should be clear from this article (http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=578&ncid=578&e=2&u=/nm/20030731/ts_nm/bush_homosexuals_dc), that the White House is decidedly disinterested in extending any new civil rights to gays. In fact, from all appearances, they are in actuality trying to work out the best way to avoid it without appearing mean-spirited.

IJ Reilly
Jul 31, 2003, 04:37 PM
Originally posted by macfan
Having homosexual marriages is not merely a granting of rights. It is also taking away of rights. You apparently believe that those rights you don't like should be taken away, and replaced by those you do like.

Really? How do you figure? (And while you're at it, please indicate where I have advocated marriage for gays.)

zimv20
Jul 31, 2003, 05:19 PM
Originally posted by macfan

zimv20,
But you will have to pay for it. [...] first step [...] next step [...] give us the same legal rights that everyone else gets. If you do not, you are unfairly discriminating against me and my family.


ah, the slippery slope argument. i'm a sucker for the slippery slope.

i have no easy answers for this one. and i don't feel that strongly about bigamy itself, only in how it fits into a larger freedom-of-choice framework.


Why should one feel incest is wrong? Would it not simply be the actions of two consenting adults?

it could be, yes, but i'm still opposed, and still on non-religious grounds. again, it's a tough call. but i'll fall back on science -- familial breeding can kill a species. i.e. the species needs a diverse base of genes. so i could oppose it on evolutionary grounds (take THAT, christians! :-)

otoh, incestual sex doesn't necessarily lead to reproduction. i'm still opposed, but now i'm in search of a supportable reason. hmmmm....

cc bcc
Jul 31, 2003, 05:46 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
it could be, yes, but i'm still opposed, and still on non-religious grounds. again, it's a tough call. but i'll fall back on science -- familial breeding can kill a species. i.e. the species needs a diverse base of genes. so i could oppose it on evolutionary grounds (take THAT, christians! :-)

otoh, incestual sex doesn't necessarily lead to reproduction. i'm still opposed, but now i'm in search of a supportable reason. hmmmm....

I agree with MacFan, why should it be forbidden if it's just sex and they are both adult? (I must admit, I love my sister but sex with her? Ahh please no!)
You can say it feels wrong, but is your feeling a good enough reason to deny other people this? I think it feels wrong too actually..
Anyway, some people think homosexuality is wrong because it just feels wrong (for them), unnatural etc. Same thing. I think it should not be a reason for them to forbid homosexuality.
I know it hurts, the thought of incest (adults), but you know you should not forbid it if you think about it.

pseudobrit
Jul 31, 2003, 06:55 PM
"Marriage (legal)" should be classified as a civil union between two adults not related.

Marrying your cousin or sister is a violation of natural law. The government has a right to curtail inbreeding.

Marrying a hundred wives is a violation of common law; it is unreasonable. Though it does occur in some societies, ours has placed a ban on the legal acceptance of this practice.

I think where the law has no place in dictating who can marry whom is when you get down to things like race, sex and creed.

If you don't like the notion of civil unions between same-sex couples, then it would follow that you don't like the notion of interracial or interreligious marriages either.

pseudobrit
Jul 31, 2003, 07:03 PM
The reason the majority of Americans are against homosexual civil unions is because the majority of Americans still hate homosexuals.

People will throw around the words "gay" "******" and "queer" amongst their heterosexual friends without thinking about it as an insult, or thinking about it as an acceptable insult. But "******" and "spic" are not politically correct words to these same exact people.

I've heard so many people say "I don't mind the fags, as long as they don't try to shove it in my face."
Or my favourite: "I'll kick that ******'s ass if he tries to touch me."
WTF? Don't flatter yourself, you baboon.

Women and gays are the last groups of people it's okay to disparage. As John Lennon said, "woman is the n***** of the world.

IJ Reilly
Jul 31, 2003, 07:08 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
ah, the slippery slope argument. i'm a sucker for the slippery slope.

i have no easy answers for this one. and i don't feel that strongly about bigamy itself, only in how it fits into a larger freedom-of-choice framework.

Don't obsess over "slippery slope" arguments -- they are scare-tactics used by people who are attempting to avoid progress of one sort or another. In fact we've proven hundreds if not thousands of times through our legal and legislative systems that we can change one thing without creating a "slope" down which every worthwhile thing must inevitably "slip." A good thing too, or we'd see no progress at all.

So yes, you do have an "easy answer" to this one. If a legitimate state interest exists in the prohibition of bigamy, polygamy or incest, they can be dealt with on their own merits (or lack thereof). Fears of this kind do not need impede progress, though some people would like you to believe they do.

IJ Reilly
Jul 31, 2003, 07:13 PM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
Women and gays are the last groups of people it's okay to disparage.

Heck no, lots of people still think it's perfectly okay to denigrate Jews. In fact, anti-Semitism is on the upswing these days, especially in Europe.

zimv20
Jul 31, 2003, 07:18 PM
Originally posted by cc bcc
I agree with MacFan, why should it be forbidden if it's just sex and they are both adult? (I must admit, I love my sister but sex with her? Ahh please no!)
You can say it feels wrong, but is your feeling a good enough reason to deny other people this? I think it feels wrong too actually..
Anyway, some people think homosexuality is wrong because it just feels wrong (for them), unnatural etc. Same thing. I think it should not be a reason for them to forbid homosexuality.
I know it hurts, the thought of incest (adults), but you know you should not forbid it if you think about it.

you're right. i was considering how i felt about it personally, but forgot to examine whether or not the gov't should forbid it. i am opposed to incest and opposed to a law forbidding it.

Sayhey
Jul 31, 2003, 08:59 PM
Originally posted by IJ Reilly
Age of majority is, AFAIK, a requirement for entering into all contracts, so it doesn't serve as an example in this case. The marriage contract does seem to be the only mutually consensual arrangement where the state sets specific criteria for who may be a party to one. So yes, I'm arguing that the state should butt out of one of the most personal, private decisions people ever make in their lives.

If you don't like the example around age of majority, I'll see if I can come up with another one. Most revolve around the issue of compentency, but I really don't think this is terribly important to the argument. You are objecting to the government intervening in who, among consenting adults, can marry. I agree completely. Even if I could come up with an example of another category that meets your approval it doesn't change the fact the government has no right in this one. While the government has an interest in some aspects of marriage (as I said before - property rights on divorce, etc.) it has no interest that should intrude on this aspect. We have a right to make our own decisions without government intervention.

I see while I was gone the "Santorum" argument was raised - oh, boy! Love those Homosexuality equals beastiality, incest, and bigamy discussions!

BaghdadBob
Jul 31, 2003, 11:13 PM
Originally posted by IJ Reilly
Heck no, lots of people still think it's perfectly okay to denigrate Jews. In fact, anti-Semitism is on the upswing these days, especially in Europe.
Absolutely correct. Anti-semitism continues to be the most prevelant biggotry in the world. I have some Jewish ancestry myself, but not enough for people to recognize it in my features, and I have heard enough to just disgust me. But the funny thing is, you don't have to be listening to private conversations to hear anti-semetic statements, they are made wide open in public. And nobody seems to care.

But OT, we sure have gone on a slippery slope here. Since we've decided that there's nothing wrong with non-procreational consensual incest between adults, what's so wrong with consenting minors who are through puberty? If that is non-procreational, what's so wrong with a "minor" having sex with adults? Just because it seems and feels wrong to some doesn't mean it should be mandated for everyone. If a 14-year-old girl, who has blossomed into her sexuality, decides that she is attracted to adult men, if their sex is protected, why do we decide that they are wrong automatically, to the point of making laws about it? What makes 18 the arbitrary age where you are "ready" for sex? And what is it going to hurt a minor male to have sex with an adult woman? My older brother lost his virginity to a thirty-plus year old woman when he was 14, and I've known a few others. They didn't seem too scarred.

So what's the point of those laws? Are they justifiable without the application of some kind of religious or moral standard, or without provoking some generalizing psychological statements that we have decided apply to everyone?

It's all good, given your own POV........Right? Isn't that where this whole irrelevant argument has gone?

Sayhey
Jul 31, 2003, 11:59 PM
Originally posted by BaghdadBob
So what's the point of those laws? Are they justifiable without the application of some kind of religious or moral standard, or without provoking some generalizing psychological statements that we have decided apply to everyone?

It's all good, given your own POV........Right? Isn't that where this whole irrelevant argument has gone?

The argument does become irrelevant when we set up phony comparisons between the right of same sex couples to marry and incest, beastiality, and bigamy.

incest is maintained as a crime because of the epidemic of abuse that happens in this country that leaves horrible scars to the underage victims by the hands of those most responsible for their well being. Adult incest is so rare and infrequently prosecuted it is hardly worth talking about.

Beastiality is sex with a partner incapable of consent.

Bigamy interferes in the contracual obligations of a married couple, as such the government has an interest in regulation of these types of relationships.

None of this has anything to do with the bigotry that is directed toward gay and lesbian citizens who wish to have the same rights as straight people in our society. If we are serious about equality then we have to recognize the validity of gay relationships.

All this other nonsense is just debating tactics to throw lots of emotionally laden words at people in order to engender a negative reaction toward equality.

Even in the minds of those who view homosexuality as a mortal sin the differences between gay consensual relationships and the rest of this c**p should be evident.

I have no doubt that at some point in my lifetime we will reach the goal of legal equality.

Unfortunately, I have to agree about the prevelance of anti-semitism. Along with many forms of bigotry it seems to be making a comeback. The old civil rights slogan comes to mind, "Freedom is a constant struggle."

pseudobrit
Aug 1, 2003, 12:09 AM
Originally posted by BaghdadBob
Absolutely correct. Anti-semitism continues to be the most prevelant biggotry in the world.

I would contend that anti-Semitism is only the most prevalent politically incorrect bigotry in the world. Women still have it much, much worse. And gays, too. It's still acceptable to show your comtempt for them and belittle them.

But OT, we sure have gone on a slippery slope here. Since we've decided that there's nothing wrong with non-procreational consensual incest between adults, what's so wrong with consenting minors who are through puberty?

One, because consenting minors are NOT consenting adults, which would be the limit, two I would not argue that the government should permit any such "marriages."

I think I've made my reasonable stance clear: a legal union ("marriage") should be recognised by the government between any two adults not related so long as they are not already committed to the same contract with someone else.

What makes 18 the arbitrary age where you are "ready" for sex?

In most states -- including mine -- it's not. A few have it set as low as 14. I started dating my current girlfriend when I was 19 and she 16. Perfectly legal and hardly morally objectionable.[/B][/QUOTE]

BaghdadBob
Aug 1, 2003, 12:47 AM
@ Sayhey -- I hope despite my diatribe that you caught on to the fact that I, too, find those comparisons to be invalid (irrelevant). However, I could somewhat understand what the controversy over the Lawrence case was, in that despite the fact that sodomy has absolutely nothing to do with those other things, the basis on which the case was won was what people were worried about, leading to the "slippery slope." Precedent is always something to worry about, however I fail to see what precedent towards bestiality, bigamy and incest gay marriage would set, so like I said, irrelevant (IMO).

@ pseudorbit: The point is that we have set an arbitrary boundry (true, it varies from state to state) at what age a person is allowed to have sex (most importantly with adults). And 19 - 16 is not as big an issue as 28+ - 16, which is frequent...but who is anyone to say it's wrong? Just a legal issue, right? And if the age of consent is 16, who could find anything wrong with it.

And why is it that 18 is the legal age of contracts anyway? Who's decision is this? Why does the government get to decide when a person is old enough to make important decisions? I'll bet a lot of people around here would say they were ready to do so when they were under 18, but there goes the government, meddling in everyone's business...

All laws are arbitrary and based on a certain POV, and all laws interfere with some people's -- usually even a considerable number of people's -- personal perspective, however just or unjust.

Gay marriage should be allowed in some form because it's right (there's an objective word for you, eh??), not because the government has no business in [insert personal agenda here].

macfan
Aug 1, 2003, 12:55 AM
pseudobrit,

Marrying your cousin or sister is a violation of natural law.

Someone could similarly argue that marriages between two people of the same gender also violate natural law. In fact, since you think incest is against natural law, consider the case of two homosexual brothers who wish to marry!

Sayhey
Aug 1, 2003, 01:11 AM
Originally posted by BaghdadBob
@ Sayhey -- I hope despite my diatribe that you caught on to the fact that I, too, find those comparisons to be invalid (irrelevant). However, I could somewhat understand what the controversy over the Lawrence case was, in that despite the fact that sodomy has absolutely nothing to do with those other things, the basis on which the case was won was what people were worried about, leading to the "slippery slope." Precedent is always something to worry about, however I fail to see what precedent towards bestiality, bigamy and incest gay marriage would set, so like I said, irrelevant (IMO).

...All laws are arbitrary and based on a certain POV, and all laws interfere with some people's -- usually even a considerable number of people's -- personal perspective, however just or unjust.

Gay marriage should be allowed in some form because it's right (there's an objective word for you, eh??), not because the government has no business in [insert personal agenda here].

BaghdadBob,
I did catch that you too thought these comparisons irrelevant. I also get that you are trying to bridge positions to bring people together because you see the need to have some justice (another good objective word) on this issue. I admire your attempt.


You're right the grounds the Court decided the Lawrence case on makes some people very nervous. By the way, there is a republican who I applaud - Justice Kennedy. Not a big fan of other positions of his, but he wrote one of the best principled decisions I've seen come out of this Court. As to those who are nervous, all I can say is I believe that when Americans are approched on the basis of fairness and equality, most of the time they come up looking pretty good. It is with those who stoke the fires of intolerance, like the Rev. Sheldon, that I see no common ground.

As to your observation that all laws are to some degree arbitary - I agree. That doesn't mean they aren't necessary; the trick is to temper them with justice (there goes that word again.)

BaghdadBob
Aug 1, 2003, 01:13 AM
Originally posted by macfan
Someone could similarly argue that marriages between two people of the same gender also violate natural law. In fact, since you think incest is against natural law, consider the case of two homosexual brothers who wish to marry!
Uh, yes, except for the fact that gays don't procreate, and incest leads to horrible things genetically.

Off-topic, anyone ever see that episode of the X-Files with the family that had been inbreeding and living on their property for many generations? I was home alone one thanksgiving watching an X-Files marathon based on votes, and they actually moved that episode to later due to extreme content -- they announced it at the time because they were supposed to show them in the order of popularity -- and, it being the X-Files, that really caught my attention.

It didn't disappoint. IMO, that was absolutely the most scary episode of the X-Files ever. It was bad.


OT, most of the off-shoots we have been discussing are choices, choices that one can choose not to make. You can't choose to not be of a minority, a gender, or a sexual preference. That is why these things deserve protection, not because morality has no place in government.

cc bcc
Aug 1, 2003, 06:04 AM
I found some numbers on 2001. April 1st 2001 was the first day gay couples could marry in the netherlands.
In that year, 79677 man/woman couples got married, 1339 man/man and 1075 woman/woman.
No numbers yet on other years and on divorses.
So it seems like gay marriages have about the same marketshare as Apple has in computers ;)

It has also been possible for gay couples to adopt children since a couple of years. A famous dutch TV show host, and his partner, have adopted a baby from Pennsylvania. Double standards?

wwworry
Aug 1, 2003, 06:16 AM
Yes that x-files was scary and gross.

I even think all this heterosexual chit-chat on whether homosexuals should be allow to do x or y is a bit degrading to them. How would you (heterosexual) feel if someone was having an "informed" discussion about your rights?

Then the idea that "marriage" should be for heterosexuals and "civil unions" for homosexuals is rather stupid as well. No law about a word changes what two people feel for one another or the kind of commitment they want to make to eachother. Our society is beyond the days when marriages were arranged for business and real estate reasons, beyond the passing of a woman from the father to the husband as if she were property, beyond racist and religious "purity" laws.

Marriage should be defined as a life long commitment between two loving people. Let's leave it at that. Define marriage by what is positive about the institution, not by our fears or our predjudices.

wwworry
Aug 1, 2003, 06:19 AM
and Bush's comment" "Yeah. I am mindful that we're all sinners."

Someone tell him I am not a sinner. I did not sign a bunch of death sentences.

Taft
Aug 1, 2003, 10:10 AM
Originally posted by macfan
Taft,
Government not only should enforce morality on the people, it does enforce morality on the people. The only question is which morality and to what degree it will be enforced. It is a balancing act between the rights of citizens as individuals and the rights of society as a whole, but it is most certainly the enforcement of morality.

As a general observation, we better not use the cost to society as a primary means of determining what can be restricted by government. Were we to do so, we could kiss good bye to alcohol and tobacco. Forget about legalalizing marijuana and other "recreational" drugs. For that matter, we could also kiss goodbye to certain homosexaul acts between certain consenting men since that is the primary means (although by no means the only) of HIV transmission in the United States. We could enforce abortions on those who can't afford kids using that argument, or prohibit them from having heterosexual sex in the first place. We can also kiss goodbye to hamburgers, fries, etc. Cost to society just isn't an argument that should bear the greatest weight, IMO.

People getting sick and dying isn't, in and of itself, a cost to society. People get sick and die all the time, by unexpected and natural processes. Moreover, people do stupid things all of the time which cause themselves to die: electricity near the bathtub, accidental injestion of poison, etc. Every stupid or harmful thing a person does to themselves cannot be regarded as a cost to society. In fact, the very existence of insurance companies acknoledges the fact that society expects people to get hurt, have accidents, and do stupid things. We have a certain threshold for paying for others pain/suffering/misfortune/stupidity.

Also, (most) of the morality type laws that exist can be traced back to a fear on the part of parents/people that a certain amount of corruption will ocurr in their own communities or families. People don't like something, they don't understand something, that thing is different, they think the thing will hurt their kids, or corrupt their communities , or is just plain "wrong" and they make a law against it. Nevermind that public opinion or "mass morality" takes no real facts or scientific investigation or statistics into account in an attempt to try and determine if the threat is real or fictional. No matter that the majority of Americans just go off of a "gut instinct" or what their preacher/favorite pundit/close-minded father/etc. told them to do when making decisions. No matter that the general public is the LEAST prepared group to make a determination about ANY subject. Lets all just accept the laws! In fact, why don't we just allow ANYBODY to create laws, then we'll just vote on them ourselves to get them enacted. Morality and public opinion will rule all!

But I take your point about not liking cost of society as a determining factor of legality. Your argument is that when people only do themselves harm, they are indirectly costing society via the various social service organizations that have to "clean up the mess," or the insurance companies whose rates go up after such events, etc. I don't share that assessment. I do, however, like this argument far better than a "state's interest" argument.

Unless some thing or action would threaten the existance of the state, I don't see why I should care about the state's interest. The state, afterall, exists to serve the people, not the other way around. Unless I'm doing damage to the very foundation of the state, or causing another person, or persons as a whole, harm, the state should keep their noses out of my business.

Matthew

macfan
Aug 1, 2003, 10:47 AM
Originally posted by BaghdadBob
Uh, yes, except for the fact that gays don't procreate, and incest leads to horrible things genetically.

Off-topic, anyone ever see that episode of the X-Files with the family that had been inbreeding and living on their property for many generations? I was home alone one thanksgiving watching an X-Files marathon based on votes, and they actually moved that episode to later due to extreme content -- they announced it at the time because they were supposed to show them in the order of popularity -- and, it being the X-Files, that really caught my attention.

It didn't disappoint. IMO, that was absolutely the most scary episode of the X-Files ever. It was [b]bad.

X files aside, you bring up an interesting point. Gays don't procreate. Seens to indicate that homosexuals and heterosexuals have some pretty significant differences that one might take into account in deciding whether it is in society's interest to sanction homosexual marriages.

Consider that incestual marriages are banned even between a man and a woman who cannot procreate. If you want to sanction marriages between, for example, two men, and you do not prohibit brothers from "marrying" each other, then you are extending rights to homosexuals that you deny to the brother and sister who wish to marry.

Sayhey
Aug 1, 2003, 11:27 AM
Originally posted by macfan
X files aside, you bring up an interesting point. Gays don't procreate. Seens to indicate that homosexuals and heterosexuals have some pretty significant differences that one might take into account in deciding whether it is in society's interest to sanction homosexual marriages.

Consider that incestual marriages are banned even between a man and a woman who cannot procreate. If you want to sanction marriages between, for example, two men, and you do not prohibit brothers from "marrying" each other, then you are extending rights to homosexuals that you deny to the brother and sister who wish to marry.

macfan,

I've looked at all of your posts in this thread, and please correct me if I'm wrong, but I can't find anyplace where you state your position - for or against the right of gay couples to marry? You seem to delight in playing the devil's advocate and bring up many more or less extraneous issues, but never an up front position on the subject. Just what is your position?

IJ Reilly
Aug 1, 2003, 11:45 AM
Originally posted by Taft
But I take your point about not liking cost of society as a determining factor of legality. Your argument is that when people only do themselves harm, they are indirectly costing society via the various social service organizations that have to "clean up the mess," or the insurance companies whose rates go up after such events, etc. I don't share that assessment. I do, however, like this argument far better than a "state's interest" argument.

Unless some thing or action would threaten the existance of the state, I don't see why I should care about the state's interest. The state, afterall, exists to serve the people, not the other way around. Unless I'm doing damage to the very foundation of the state, or causing another person, or persons as a whole, harm, the state should keep their noses out of my business.

The legitimacy of the state interest in regulating an activity is a test used by the courts to determine whether various laws should be allowed to stand. So this is not some arbitrary standard that I created for this purpose; it already exists and has been used numerous times in this context. It is a time-tested method of evaluating a "cost to society" question.

I tend to agree with your assessment of the state's limited interests in regulating private personal matters. I've raised the state interest in this context by way of pointing out that taking the government out of the business of regulating one form of activity does not automatically take the government out of every other arguably similar activity (eg, the "slippery slope"). A state interest in prohibiting bigamy, polygamy, and incest can still be established completely apart from anything else that may be allowed. Trying to lump all of these activities together is a classic scare tactic employed to attack the extension of civil rights to disfavored groups.

vniow
Aug 1, 2003, 11:53 AM
Gay people can procreate just like the rest of the population, being homosexual doesn't mean you suddenly become infertile, its gay couples which can't without outside assistance (sperm/egg donor or some couples like to do it the old fashioned way) but just because a couple is of the same sex does not mean that they're not ever going to have children.

Taft
Aug 1, 2003, 01:56 PM
Originally posted by vniow
Gay people can procreate just like the rest of the population, being homosexual doesn't mean you suddenly become infertile, its gay couples which can't without outside assistance (sperm/egg donor or some couples like to do it the old fashioned way) but just because a couple is of the same sex does not mean that they're not ever going to have children.

While I agree wholeheartedly, this argument won't hold up with the people who want to ban gay marriages. Many of those same people believe it would be abuse to put a child in the care of a gay couple and would fight to disallow a gay couple from adopting.

I just think that some people view gay people, gay marriages, gay [insert a noun here] as harmful to their way of life. Its a gut reaction kind of thing (people generally don't react favorably to "new" things or things that are different). Combine that with the ****ty treatment homosexuals get from the church and you have the formula for widespread mistreatment at the hands of the majority.

I give homosexuals who are fighting this hatred a lot of credit. I can only imagine the amount of fear and hatred they absorb from nasty people.

Taft

Taft
Aug 1, 2003, 01:58 PM
Originally posted by IJ Reilly
The legitimacy of the state interest in regulating an activity is a test used by the courts to determine whether various laws should be allowed to stand. So this is not some arbitrary standard that I created for this purpose; it already exists and has been used numerous times in this context. It is a time-tested method of evaluating a "cost to society" question.

I tend to agree with your assessment of the state's limited interests in regulating private personal matters. I've raised the state interest in this context by way of pointing out that taking the government out of the business of regulating one form of activity does not automatically take the government out of every other arguably similar activity (eg, the "slippery slope"). A state interest in prohibiting bigamy, polygamy, and incest can still be established completely apart from anything else that may be allowed. Trying to lump all of these activities together is a classic scare tactic employed to attack the extension of civil rights to disfavored groups.

I realize that state's interest plays a big part in how decisions in court (or in legislature) are made. My point was that I don't agree with that standard, not that it doesn't exist.

Taft

Frohickey
Aug 1, 2003, 02:22 PM
Originally posted by Sayhey
Sorry, I can't make heads nor tails from the Bush quote. As to the issue of Gay marriage, I think whatever is decided will not change the ability of a given religion to determine whether it sanctions such marriages. It is purely a question of civil marriages. It is also long overdue. The decision of the Supreme Court in its overruling of Texas' sodomy laws gives me hope that some folk are waking up to reality. As a society we should be about strengthening the loving ties of people not forbidding them.

I disagree with the Supreme Court decision. Sodomy laws or any other laws not relegated to the Federal government are the purview of the state governments.

I doubt sodomy has anything to do with regulation of interstate commerce, or national security.

macfan
Aug 1, 2003, 02:26 PM
Originally posted by Sayhey
macfan,

I've looked at all of your posts in this thread, and please correct me if I'm wrong, but I can't find anyplace where you state your position - for or against the right of gay couples to marry? You seem to delight in playing the devil's advocate and bring up many more or less extraneous issues, but never an up front position on the subject. Just what is your position?

I would oppose recognition of homosexual marriage, but I would also oppose a Consititutional amendment on the issue. If two people of the same gender wish to live together, that is their right. If a business does not wish to pay them the same benefits that they would pay to a married man and woman, that should be their right, nor should the government be compelled to provide the same recognition to two people of the same gender that they provide to a married couple. Rights attach to the individual, not to the group. This is true whether the group is made up of two people or 2 million people.

vniow,
Gay people can procreate just like the rest of the population

Not with each other, they can't, unless they left out some really important information in my junior high biology classes!

Taft,
The point isn't lumping incest and bigamy in with homosexuality. The point is that there is an arbitrary nature in determining what is sanctioned and what is not. That arbitrary nature applies to those who support homosexual marriage and those who oppose it. Most people draw a line somewhere. It's just a question of where they draw the line.

IJ Reilly,
I do seem to recall that you would prefer that marriage not be recognized at all, so I apologize for mentioning support of homosexual marriage. However, I would argue that your position on the issue of marriage generally, that it is not of society's (government's) business, does dilute and diminish it.

wwworry,
I've always wanted to meet a person who was morally perfect. Thank you for introducing yourself as such.

zimv20,
Sure, incest can kill a species, but if everyone in a species was homosexual, that would kill it even faster! (One generation instead of many).

Sayhey
Aug 1, 2003, 02:32 PM
Originally posted by Frohickey
I disagree with the Supreme Court decision. Sodomy laws or any other laws not relegated to the Federal government are the purview of the state governments.

I doubt sodomy has anything to do with regulation of interstate commerce, or national security.

Can't tell if you agree with the existence of sodomy laws, but evidently you think that our right to make private sexual decisions should be different from state to state. The ruling was done under the Due Process Clause that applies to all citizens, regardless of what state you reside in. The federal constitution and its protections of individuals are not limited by state's rights.

zimv20
Aug 1, 2003, 02:33 PM
Originally posted by macfan

if everyone in a species was homosexual, that would kill it even faster!

i don't think nature would allow such a situation.

vniow
Aug 1, 2003, 02:39 PM
Originally posted by macfan
Not with each other, they can't, unless they left out some really important information in my junior high biology classes!

Didn't I just say that?

Originally posted by vniow
its gay couples which can't without outside assistance

Sure, incest can kill a species, but if everyone in a species was homosexual, that would kill it even faster! (One generation instead of many).

Bull.

Like I said before, there is no biological reason that homosexuals cannot have children, its the couples that can't without outside assistance, if a gay couple want to have children they'll either adopt one, ask a woman (often a lesbian) to be surrogate for artificial insemination or they'll do it the old fashioned way by having sex. It may not be the best lay of their lives, but it'll get the job done.
Same thing with a lesbian couple, they'll use artificial insemination or do it the old fashioned way (often with a gay man).

You underestimate the natural human instinct to procreate.

IJ Reilly
Aug 1, 2003, 02:44 PM
Originally posted by macfan
I do seem to recall that you would prefer that marriage not be recognized at all, so I apologize for mentioning support of homosexual marriage. However, I would argue that your position on the issue of marriage generally, that it is not of society's (government's) business, does dilute and diminish it.

This isn't my position, either. Please refer back to my earlier posts.

macfan
Aug 1, 2003, 02:44 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
i don't think nature would allow such a situation.

Probably not, but it wouldn't allow for an incest situation like that either (except in rare circumstances, like certain lions in Africa). Allowing the few brothers who want to marry their sisters to do so is not going to destroy the human gene pool.

vniow,
An individual homosexual person may have a child, but not with another person of the same gender. That is not "just like the rest of the population."

macfan
Aug 1, 2003, 02:50 PM
IJ Reilly,

I was reading this particular quote of yours.

The point is, it's none of your business, and it's none of the state's business to intercede between people and their most personal, private choices. We would not even be grappling with this "gay marriage" issue today if more people believed that.

By recognizing the legitimacy of marriage, the state does intercede between people and their most personal, private choices. Since you are opposed to that, I naturally thought you opposed the state doing that through recognition of marriage as a superior relationship to non marital relationships. (i.e. when a person dies, the spouse gets everything, the lover gets nothing). That perspective, I believe, does diminsh and dilute the meaning of marriage.

zimv20
Aug 1, 2003, 02:50 PM
Originally posted by macfan

An individual homosexual person may have a child, but not with another person of the same gender. That is not "just like the rest of the population."

our society combines two concepts -- who you love and who you procreate with. why not separate the two?

history is filled w/ instances of people procreating w/ those they don't hold as their primary target of affection. e.g. wasn't it common in royalty for say, a king, to have a child w/ his queen, but keep others around for the real loving part?

zimv20
Aug 1, 2003, 02:52 PM
Originally posted by macfan

By recognizing the legitimacy of marriage, the state does intercede between people and their most personal, private choices.

is that true, though? is there not a significant difference between the recognition and the interceding?

macfan
Aug 1, 2003, 03:04 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
is that true, though? is there not a significant difference between the recognition and the interceding?

The current recognition of marriage involves force of law. It involves significnat interceding. There is not a signigicant difference there. (One could argue that this should not be the case, but that is another matter).

our society combines two concepts -- who you love and who you procreate with. why not separate the two?

And why not keep them together? More to the point, however, what's love got to do with it?

IJ Reilly
Aug 1, 2003, 03:10 PM
Originally posted by macfan
By recognizing the legitimacy of marriage, the state does intercede between people and their most personal, private choices. Since you are opposed to that, I naturally thought you opposed the state doing that through recognition of marriage as a superior relationship to non marital relationships. (i.e. when a person dies, the spouse gets everything, the lover gets nothing). That perspective, I believe, does diminsh and dilute the meaning of marriage.

The state does not recognize the "legitimacy" or the "superiority" of marriage, it recognizes the legal status of marriage. What I am proposing is detaching marriage from its current legal status such that people who wish to call themselves married can do so without the "blessing" of the state, and can also confer upon themselves the legal status currently associated with marriage if they so desire, as a matter of private, personal choice.

I have no opinion about whether this would "diminish and dilute the meaning of marriage." This impresses me as a smokescreen of rhetorical mumbo-jumbo. Arguments against the advancement of civil rights often take this form. Always have and always will, I suppose -- but I'm safe in the knowledge that people who argue against civil rights have always been on the wrong side of history.

Sayhey
Aug 1, 2003, 03:11 PM
Originally posted by macfan
I would oppose recognition of homosexual marriage, but I would also oppose a Consititutional amendment on the issue. If two people of the same gender wish to live together, that is their right. If a business does not wish to pay them the same benefits that they would pay to a married man and woman, that should be their right, nor should the government be compelled to provide the same recognition to two people of the same gender that they provide to a married couple. Rights attach to the individual, not to the group. This is true whether the group is made up of two people or 2 million people.

Thanks for the clarification of your views. I think the right of gay men and lesbians to full equal recognition of their relationships as couples is an elementary step in equality. I would suggest that the bias against that recognition on the part of the present majority (including yourself) has no rational basis, but is a fear of the "other." It's past time we got over the projection of what constitutes "normal" on to those who don't conform.

The argument concerning the cost to employers is a non-starter. If we recognize the simple equality of gay people then we don't dole out rights to only some of our citizens when it is convenient economically.

Frohickey
Aug 1, 2003, 03:38 PM
Originally posted by Sayhey
Can't tell if you agree with the existence of sodomy laws, but evidently you think that our right to make private sexual decisions should be different from state to state. The ruling was done under the Due Process Clause that applies to all citizens, regardless of what state you reside in. The federal constitution and its protections of individuals are not limited by state's rights.

You are right, I did not indicate my stance on the existence of sodomy laws. Laws likes these, and others, which were not codified in the US Constitution are not for the federal government to decide, but to the states or the municipalities. (10th Amendment)

Our right to make private sexual decisions should be different or similar from state to state, however way it turns out to be, but the federal government is not supposed to have any say in the matter, one way or another. Limited federal government.

The federal constitution LIMITS the federal government. To add more powers to the federal government requires a Constitutional amendment ratified by the states granting that power to the federal government. Power flows from the people to government, not the other way around.

As to protections of individuals, the federal government already has a poor record in that.
Campaign Finance Reform is an affront to the 1st Amendment.
Gun Control Act is an affront to the 2nd Amendment.
No Knock raids are an affront to the 4th Amendment.
Endangered Species Act is an affront to the 5th Amendment.

BTW, there is no such thing as states' rights. States/governments only have powers delegated to it by the people. Only people have rights. Bill of Rights makes this distinction clear, it does not confuse rights with powers.

Taft
Aug 1, 2003, 03:56 PM
Originally posted by IJ Reilly

I have no opinion about whether this would "diminish and dilute the meaning of marriage." This impresses me as a smokescreen of rhetorical mumbo-jumbo. Arguments against the advancement of civil rights often take this form. Always have and always will, I suppose -- but I'm safe in the knowledge that people who argue against civil rights have always been on the wrong side of history.

This was really the crux of my rambling about "cost to society." And I agree with you fully.

[FYI, the rest of the post isn't a reply to IJ]

It seems to me that there is no rational base to argue against gay unions. Phrases like "diminish and dilute the meaning of marriage," I think, prove that. In what way does allowing gays to marry (in one form or another, 'union' if you must) diminish or dilute the meaning of marriage? Is it that now we'll allow ANYONE to marry, so marriage is no longer a special bond? Or is it that the majority of the nation simply "don't want those perverts getting married the same way normal people do?" It seems to me that its really a matter of people claiming ownership of a status (being married) and they want exclusive rights. If you equate "diminish and dilute" to "losing exclusive rights", then I don't think I can ever understand your logic.

And even if it does diminish marriage, what is the negative consequence of such an occurrance? Is it that people will be "living in sin" or some such mumbo-jumbo? Is there a real and measurable danger to this? Or is it simply a gut reaction ("if marriage isn't ours alone, it loses all its meaning!") or fear of other people.

To those who oppose gay marriage: what real and measurable negative consequences would occur from the legaliztion or recognition of gay unions or marriages? And if it is about fear, a loss of "power" or another such gut reaction, how do you justify this as a valid reason for treating a whole segment of people differently?

Taft

macfan
Aug 1, 2003, 04:13 PM
Originally posted by Sayhey
Thanks for the clarification of your views. I think the right of gay men and lesbians to full equal recognition of their relationships as couples is an elementary step in equality. I would suggest that the bias against that recognition on the part of the present majority (including yourself) has no rational basis, but is a fear of the "other." It's past time we got over the projection of what constitutes "normal" on to those who don't conform.

The argument concerning the cost to employers is a non-starter. If we recognize the simple equality of gay people then we don't dole out rights to only some of our citizens when it is convenient economically.

And I would suggest that the bias against allowing incestual relationships or polygamous relationships is likewise lacks a "rational" basis. The basis is a moral basis, as is the basis of opposing homosexual marriages. None of these are based on fear, but, rather, on a sense of balancing the rights of individuals against morality in society. These arguments, on homosexuality, incest, and polygamy share the a similarity in that they are moral arguments rather than rational arguments. So, in response to the charge that there isn't a rational basis for prohibiting homosexual marriage, I would argue that there isn't a rational arugment for prohibiting incenst or polygamy, but we do so. It is irrelevant to some degree whether there is a rational argument against homosexual marriage (one rational argument against it is that it is opposed by a majority of the people and we are a democratic society). It is merely a question of where the lines will be drawn, and for someone supporting homosexual marriage to attempt some kind of less-fearful-than-thou more-tolerant-than-thou position has no merit.

The discussion of the impact on employers is by no means a non starter. Recognition of homosexual marriage as marriage implys certain rights that are granted because of that relationship (these are not civil rights, they are not individual rights, they are rights that attach to the couple and dissolve when the couple is no longer married). Enforcement of those rights automatically removes the rights of others to not recognize those unions. It would force me as a business owner to subsidize a relationship rather than pay an individual for his or her work. Whatever way you look at it, it removes one's freedom as a business owner. I think that business should have the right to decide those issues for themselves rather than having it enforced by force of government. Again, civil rights attach to individuals, not to groups, even if the group is made up of two people.

IJ Reilly,
The state does recognize the superiority of marriage. That is why divorce requires a court hearing, while marriage requires a JP. That is why married couples at certain levels, are given a varitey of rights that do not exted to non married couples.

What impresses me is that you spend more time attaking what I say as rhetorical mumbo jumbo than any attempt to understand and engage in serious discussion of the issues.

Sayhey
Aug 1, 2003, 04:19 PM
Originally posted by Frohickey
You are right, I did not indicate my stance on the existence of sodomy laws. Laws likes these, and others, which were not codified in the US Constitution are not for the federal government to decide, but to the states or the municipalities. (10th Amendment)

Our right to make private sexual decisions should be different or similar from state to state, however way it turns out to be, but the federal government is not supposed to have any say in the matter, one way or another. Limited federal government.

Don't want to get into a tangent on campaign finance reform, gun control, no knock raids, or the Endangered Species Act. With the exception of the raids we have very different perspectives on these things and I'll leave it at that.

State's rights is a shorthand used to discribe the tenth amendment and the many conservative arguments for the limitation of federal intervention into areas they think should be the province of the individual states. It was often used as the reason the southern states should not have to comply with desegregation, the Civil Rights Act and so on. As you can tell by my example I'm not particularly fond of the argument.

In this case the Court decided using the clause of the Fourteenth Amendment that states, "...nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law..." - and last I knew this power to protect the rights of individuals was vested in the federal government. This is not an expansion of federal power outside of the constitution. Rather it is an interpretation of the constitution to protect individual liberty. I don't know why someone who so obviously is protective of individual liberty would find this reading of all of our rights as threatening?

Frohickey
Aug 1, 2003, 04:37 PM
Originally posted by Sayhey
In this case the Court decided using the clause of the Fourteenth Amendment that states, "...nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law..." - and last I knew this power to protect the rights of individuals was vested in the federal government. This is not an expansion of federal power outside of the constitution. Rather it is an interpretation of the constitution to protect individual liberty. I don't know why someone who so obviously is protective of individual liberty would find this reading of all of our rights as threatening?

14th Amendment, as to the due process part, is similar, if not identical to the 5th Amendment due process clause. ...nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;......, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law... That was placed there when the secessionist states wanted to keep slavery going, and its still a good thing to have.

But, when you start eroding on the 10th, whats there to stop from eroding on the others?

Taft
Aug 1, 2003, 04:49 PM
Originally posted by macfan
And I would suggest that the bias against allowing incestual relationships or polygamous relationships is likewise lacks a "rational" basis. The basis is a moral basis, as is the basis of opposing homosexual marriages. None of these are based on fear, but, rather, on a sense of balancing the rights of individuals against morality in society. These arguments, on homosexuality, incest, and polygamy share the a similarity in that they are moral arguments rather than rational arguments. So, in response to the charge that there isn't a rational basis for prohibiting homosexual marriage, I would argue that there isn't a rational arugment for prohibiting incenst or polygamy, but we do so. It is irrelevant to some degree whether there is a rational argument against homosexual marriage (one rational argument against it is that it is opposed by a majority of the people and we are a democratic society).

But there ARE rational arguments against incest. For instance, you put your offspring in grave danger by mating with your sister. Its a question of protecting offspring (or the rights of others). A similar argument--protecting the children--could be made against polygamy.

In almost every case you bring up, I can think of facts to support why those things should be illegal. Now the question of wether I'm twisting facts to support my rhetoric is up to you...


It is merely a question of where the lines will be drawn, and for someone supporting homosexual marriage to attempt some kind of less-fearful-than-thou more-tolerant-than-thou position has no merit.

It certainly has merit if other people are using a more-moral-than-though argument against homosexual marriage. Look at the hypocracy of what you are saying: the majority of people in this country are allowed to play the morality card (based off of no scientific evidence or rational basis), but pro-gay marriage people can't play the open-minded card?

What I am suggesting is that we try to actually calculate and predict--realistically through rigorous scientific method--the harm supposedly immoral activity has on our country and its citizens. Applying the "moral law" of the majority is, as you said of an equally fact-less argument, without merit. Our government is meant, among other things, to protect the rights of the minority. If there is no societal harm, personal injury, or ill-effect of an action, how can you justify depriving people of that action? Especially when you selectively apply a law, as in this case, based on identifying features of a group.

That is the textbook definition of discrimination.

Taft

Sayhey
Aug 1, 2003, 05:06 PM
Originally posted by macfan
...The basis is a moral basis, as is the basis of opposing homosexual marriages. None of these are based on fear, but, rather, on a sense of balancing the rights of individuals against morality in society. These arguments, on homosexuality, incest, and polygamy share the a similarity in that they are moral arguments rather than rational arguments....

I've already said what I think is the rational basis for government to not allow incestual and polygamous relationship. If you want to read them go back a few posts. As I said then it has nothing to do with this debate other than to throw more emotional fuel on to the fire.

The question of business being forced to give the same benefits is not germane to the argument. I agree that if we make a decision to recognize homosexual couples have the same rights as married heterosexual couples then it will have an economic cost. My point is that we don't make decisions on whether some of us are entitled to the basic rights that others of us enjoy based on the dollars it will cost. It is indeed a moral question. Equality has always been a moral question whether it pertains to people because of race, sex, creed, or in this case sexual orientation.

If you object to these marriages on the basis of religious doctrine then we have little to argue. I don't think religious doctrine should determine public policy, but I have no interest in debates on what this or that holy book says.

I would say that moral questions are not just the province of religion. We as a society, regardless of our religious views or lack there of, make certain moral choices. The choice for equality of people is one that our nation started with and has been struggling with since that time. The use of rationalism is inherent in the moral choices we have made throughout our history. It only makes sense that if we can overcome our fear of the other, in this case gay men and lesbians, we recognize the same basic humanity in them. And as such this segment has the same basic right to equality that everyone else has, including the right to have their personal relationships not deemed inferior.

If my tone has offended you, I'm sorry, I don't know you anymore than you know me and all we can go on is what we see in a post. We all get irate when our own moral view is called into question. We do seem to have a very different view of what equality means, at least as it relates to gay rights.

wwworry
Aug 1, 2003, 05:13 PM
Originally posted by macfan
wwworry,
I've always wanted to meet a person who was morally perfect. Thank you for introducing yourself as such.

I never said I was morally perfect. I'm not. But also it's none of Bush's business to tell me that I'm a sinner or that we are all sinners. To hell with him ;).

No wonder he thinks it's OK to sign a death sentence (against one of the 10 commandments even: #6, I think) and it's OK to send a bunch of soldiers killing innocent civilians to Iraq. He did not even apologize! Maybe he thinks it's OK because "Hey, we're all sinners!"

OK, back to other people judging the morality of homosexuals.

IJ Reilly
Aug 1, 2003, 05:16 PM
Originally posted by macfan
The state does recognize the superiority of marriage. That is why divorce requires a court hearing, while marriage requires a JP. That is why married couples at certain levels, are given a varitey of rights that do not exted to non married couples.

What impresses me is that you spend more time attaking what I say as rhetorical mumbo jumbo than any attempt to understand and engage in serious discussion of the issues.

No, it is not "superiority" that dictates divorce court hearings, but the dissolution of a legal contract -- a legal contract which the state currently limits to a specific class of participants. The issue is whether the benefits of this contract ought to be extended to all who desire enter into one. I've articulated a complete position on this issue that answers in the affirmative -- that seeks to advance civil rights.

Your argument is little more then circular logic chasing the status quo. I'm not surprised that you are so defensive about your own views, and feel the need to hold other views in contempt. It has always been this way where civil rights are concerned, and sadly I suppose it always will be.

Sayhey
Aug 1, 2003, 05:22 PM
Originally posted by Frohickey
14th Amendment, as to the due process part, is similar, if not identical to the 5th Amendment due process clause. ...nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;......, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law... That was placed there when the secessionist states wanted to keep slavery going, and its still a good thing to have.

But, when you start eroding on the 10th, whats there to stop from eroding on the others?

In this case it is a balancing of different rights and powers embodied in different amendments. When it comes to the right of States to make laws restricting liberty and the personal liberties of individual in this most private area, I'll fall on the side of the individual every time.

pseudobrit
Aug 1, 2003, 05:56 PM
Originally posted by macfan
Someone could similarly argue that marriages between two people of the same gender also violate natural law.

I didn't leave room for that. Homosexuality is a natural phenomenon; it's not unique to humans.

Marrying your cousin is a violation of natural law because it carries a risk of genetic defects. Nature dictates that this should not happen. Notice I'm not saying we shouldn't allow it because it could cause genetic defects, rather because nature says it's bad for the species. Another case: suicide is illegal. So's homicide. Both bad for the species.

Sayhey
Aug 1, 2003, 06:08 PM
Originally posted by Frohickey
14th Amendment, as to the due process part, is similar, if not identical to the 5th Amendment due process clause. ...nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;......, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law... That was placed there when the secessionist states wanted to keep slavery going, and its still a good thing to have.

But, when you start eroding on the 10th, whats there to stop from eroding on the others?

I looked back on my post and saw I left out an important part of the Fourteenth Amendment, the quote should have read:

"No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law..."

The first part is the reason the due process clause that is cited is from the Fourteenth Amendment not the Fifth. Sorry for the oversight.

wwworry
Aug 1, 2003, 09:59 PM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
I didn't leave room for that. Homosexuality is a natural phenomenon; it's not unique to humans.

Marrying your cousin is a violation of natural law because it carries a risk of genetic defects. Nature dictates that this should not happen. Notice I'm not saying we shouldn't allow it because it could cause genetic defects, rather because nature says it's bad for the species. Another case: suicide is illegal. So's homicide. Both bad for the species.

Well there is natural variation within a species and if suicide and homicide were so bad in humans we either would not be here or it would be unknown. Natural law is for the birds.

I think macfan is just prejudiced. Really, he is prejudiced against homosexuals and is blah blah blahing to cover it up.

macfan
Aug 1, 2003, 10:31 PM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
I didn't leave room for that. Homosexuality is a natural phenomenon; it's not unique to humans.

Marrying your cousin is a violation of natural law because it carries a risk of genetic defects. Nature dictates that this should not happen. Notice I'm not saying we shouldn't allow it because it could cause genetic defects, rather because nature says it's bad for the species. Another case: suicide is illegal. So's homicide. Both bad for the species.

Just because you didn't leave room for something in your own mind doesn't mean that someone else can't make that argument.

Taft,
The point I am trying to make is that we are dealing with a moral argument in which one group says "our morality is superior" and the the other group says "no, our morality is superior." Again, civil rights attach to the individual, not to the group.

IJ Reilly,
You sure to try to throw a lot of insulting remarks in my direction. I thought that we had been asked to move beyond that kind of rhetoric, and I, for one, have endeavored to do so. Many other posts are also on board with this. I would sincerly hope you would join in.

Sayhey,
I don't find your tone offensive in the least. Please do not think that. The thing about moral choices is that they imply a moral standard. That standard is going to be an external standard, and not just what we happen to like personally. Determining what that standard will be is not easy, but a good bit of the arguments on this issue simply comes down to one group seeking to impose its view of morality on another. It works both ways. The pro or anti homosexual marriage position are similar in that regard.

wwworry,
You think I am prejuiced? By your definition, I most certainly must be because I don't support homosexual marriage. I suppose that supporting the rights of people to do what they want and be left alone just isn't enough any more. To not be prejudiced today, you seem to think I must celebrate and endorse, not just tolerate, what has been held by most of the world's religious traditions to be immoral for thousands of years. I just don't by that arugment. BTW, as a morally imperfect person, you are, by definition, a sinner, just like the rest of us.

IJ Reilly
Aug 1, 2003, 11:00 PM
Originally posted by macfan
You sure to try to throw a lot of insulting remarks in my direction. I thought that we had been asked to move beyond that kind of rhetoric, and I, for one, have endeavored to do so. Many other posts are also on board with this. I would sincerly hope you would join in.

If you find it insulting to be told that you are on the wrong side of history on an issue, then I regret there is nothing I can do or say to make you feel any better about it. And that, simply put, is all I have done that could possibly have offended you. If some other offense or slight was perceived, then I urge you to be completely specific about it, otherwise I'd have to conclude that your method here is an effort to shut off debate in an area where you have little to argue in your favor.

Sayhey
Aug 1, 2003, 11:11 PM
Originally posted by macfan

Sayhey,
I don't find your tone offensive in the least. Please do not think that. The thing about moral choices is that they imply a moral standard. That standard is going to be an external standard, and not just what we happen to like personally. Determining what that standard will be is not easy, but a good bit of the arguments on this issue simply comes down to one group seeking to impose its view of morality on another. It works both ways. The pro or anti homosexual marriage position are similar in that regard.

The moral standards that we hold as a nation in common are embodied in the Constitution and the ideas that led to the founding of our nation as a democracy. One of those ideas is, "that all men are created equal." Now we have over the past two centuries made some important changes to that proposition to include those who do not own land, women, and people of all races, but in essence it embodies a revolutionary thought that under the law we must all be equal. The very notion that some portion of our citizens cannot enjoy the presumption of equality because of who they love is in contradiction to that moral code we have built and developed a country on over these many years. Is this the replacement of one moral code, that being a religious-based doctrine that views those who love differently as an abomination, by another grounded in that old tradition of equality before the law? I suppose it is. I don't see how we can continue as a non-theocratic (it seems some object to the term "secular" - an argument for later) society and deny equality. It comes down to that simple "moral choice."

macfan
Aug 1, 2003, 11:40 PM
Originally posted by IJ Reilly
If you find it insulting to be told that you are on the wrong side of history on an issue, then I regret there is nothing I can do or say to make you feel any better about it. And that, simply put, is all I have done that could possibly have offended you. If some other offense or slight was perceived, then I urge you to be completely specific about it, otherwise I'd have to conclude that your method here is an effort to shut off debate in an area where you have little to argue in your favor.

IJ Reilly,

I find it insulting that you insist that I am somehow "defensive" about my views, when I am no more defensive about my views than you or anyone else is about their views. It is also insulting and unproductive to accuse someone of being disingenous, which is why I will not do so.

Back on the subject of the superior nature of marriage in society, society does treat marriage as a superior relationship. If one is in a simple roommate live-in situation and there is a break up, then society doesn't recognize the same rights that it recognizes if one is in a marital relationship and that breaks up. Marriage is treated as a superior relatinship in our society and in most other societies, whether one chooses to recognize that personally or not. So much so that we have a term for the relationship of those who live together for a long time: common law marraige.

sayhey,
There's more to the moral basis of the United States than the Consitution. You say that we are a secular society based on the idea that all men are created equal, but that is a contradiction. The document takes note of a creator (no surprise there, being written be a Deist). The United States did not seek to be a secular society in that there would be no role for religion or morality based on the Judeo Christian tradition. The equality that we claim was seen as a gift from the creator.

Again, civil rights attach to a person, not to a relationship. Were a state to decide that it did not want to recognize marriages of any kind, there would be no violation of civil rights.

vniow
Aug 2, 2003, 01:06 AM
Originally posted by macfan
I find it insulting that you insist that I am somehow "defensive" about my views, when I am no more defensive about my views than you or anyone else is about their views. It is also insulting and unproductive to accuse someone of being disingenous, which is why I will not do so.


I find it insulting that someone would deny me the right to marriage based soley on my sexual orintation.

BaghdadBob
Aug 2, 2003, 01:46 AM
Originally posted by wwworry
I never said I was morally perfect. I'm not. But also it's none of Bush's business to tell me that I'm a sinner or that we are all sinners. To hell with him ;).

No wonder he thinks it's OK to sign a death sentence (against one of the 10 commandments even: #6, I think) and it's OK to send a bunch of soldiers killing innocent civilians to Iraq. He did not even apologize! Maybe he thinks it's OK because "Hey, we're all sinners!"

OK, back to other people judging the morality of homosexuals.
This is neither a war thread nor a capital punishment thread. Keep it OT please, Bush's stances on CP and foreign policy have absolutely nothing to do with the subject we are discussing here, and it's rude to make everyone else bite their tounge to not get dragged into a completely unrelated subject.

We are all sinners, by the definition of sin, you basically have to be imperfect to be a sinner, that's why Christians ask for the forgiveness from God for their inabiliy to be perfectly Christ-like. If you don't understand what Bush was trying to say with that statement I'm not going to sit here and parse it again. Read the thread.

Sayhey
Aug 2, 2003, 02:18 AM
Originally posted by macfan
sayhey,
There's more to the moral basis of the United States than the Consitution. You say that we are a secular society based on the idea that all men are created equal, but that is a contradiction. The document takes note of a creator (no surprise there, being written be a Deist). The United States did not seek to be a secular society in that there would be no role for religion or morality based on the Judeo Christian tradition. The equality that we claim was seen as a gift from the creator.

Again, civil rights attach to a person, not to a relationship. Were a state to decide that it did not want to recognize marriages of any kind, there would be no violation of civil rights.

Of course, there is more to the moral basis of the United States than the Constitution! I also spoke about the ideas behind the constitution and the decision to move to a democratic form of government and the many changes that have taken place since then. The moral traditions of our country are enlarged everyday with the arrival of new people to this country and the reevaluation of traditions in the new conditions we face. One could go on ad infinitum about the sources of moral traditions in this country. That changes nothing about my point. There is a moral tradition that arises out of the ideas of the enlightenment and is enshrined in the constitution that all people are equal. Yes, there is certainly a religious component to the origin of that idea, that is shown in the use of the words "endowed by their creator" - that still changes nothing about my point.

When our nation was first formed not only was there this notion of equality that rested at it core, but we also made the decision to seperate church from state to protect those who did not want to follow the doctrine of a church. This is the basis for our secular society. Though we allow for all religious or non-religious traditions, no one religious dogma can dictate how we live. We don't ignore the contribution of some religious thought to society, but we can't let that wall between church and state crumble. That is a "secular" society, not an "atheist" one.

One of the reasons for this is the obvious history of religious intolerance. The intolerance of those who did not believe as the majority did has led to some of the worst abuses of individual rights in history. We have both a tradition within our country of the equality of all people (coming from many sources, including religious ones) and the use of religious doctrine to justify inequality. I don't know how much clearer it can be than in the statements of Sheldon, Fallwell, Robertson, and the recent Vatican statement that religion is again being used to justify intolerance.

Lastly, you seemed to have developed this mantra about rights attaching to a person not a relationship, but it is irrelevant to the argument. I don't care whether you want to attach the right to marry the person of your choice, regardless of sex, to the couple or the individuals involved; it is still a question of equality. Some people, as individuals or as a group are denied the right to marry based solely on who they love. That is as basic a violation of the rights of those people as it gets in our society.

wwworry
Aug 2, 2003, 08:00 AM
You guys keep saying "by definition you are a sinner". I do not accept, nor do I have to accept that "definition". That "sinner" crap is one small sub-set of one religion.

Anyway, macfan you are prejudiced if you don't think homosexuals should have the same rights you have. It's a lot like the colored drinking fountains. Heterosexuals get one drinking fountain. Homosexuals get another.

I suppose that supporting the rights of people to do what they want and be left alone just isn't enough any more. To not be prejudiced today, you seem to think I must celebrate and endorse, not just tolerate...

No one is asking you to celebrate someone elses marriage. But what's the big deal? Who cares if two men or two women get married? It does not affect me or you in the least. In this country people can pray to whatever god they want to, they can speak any language they want to, they can be of any kind of skin color and they all get to marry someone of their own choosing. Who cares!
"That's their own business." is one of the prime tenents of being an American.

I do not know why you would even want the responsibility of having to determine what's right and wrong for homosexuals. It takes time and effort to think about it. In the end what they do has nothing to do with you. Places that have homosexual marriages have not changed for the worse. That homosexuality is less closeted than it used to be is a good thing.

I have had gay room-mates, gay friends, gay bosses, gay neighbors, gay family members. I am a happily married heterosexual. I assure you, these hard working tax paying Americans will not harm you if a few of them get married.

IJ Reilly
Aug 2, 2003, 11:07 AM
Originally posted by macfan
I find it insulting that you insist that I am somehow "defensive" about my views, when I am no more defensive about my views than you or anyone else is about their views. It is also insulting and unproductive to accuse someone of being disingenous, which is why I will not do so.

Once again, I'm sorry if you feel that being told that you are on the wrong side of history on this issue is an "insult." There's nothing I can do about how you feel, except cease making the civil rights argument, which I won't do because it is absolutely central to the issue.

Curiously, in your first post in this thread you offered the opinion that gay marriage was "inevitable." Well, I'm not sure about inevitability, but some of us at least are attempting to find a solution to this dilemma that both extends civil rights where they are being denied, and simultaneously preserves as much of the existing tradition and institutions as possible. By contrast, you appear to be satisfied to be stuck on the horns of that dilemma until some sort of inevitability crops up.

Finally, where I come from, it is not in the least an insult to describe an argument as disingenuous when it appears to be deceptive or evasive, and it is only unproductive to make a disingenuous argument, and not to identify one that has been made.

pseudobrit
Aug 2, 2003, 01:06 PM
Originally posted by macfan
Just because you didn't leave room for something in your own mind doesn't mean that someone else can't make that argument.

IOW, no matter how solid a case I make, you'll still try to crack it open just for the sake of argument.

Do you have a point here or are you just arguing to be contrary?

jelloshotsrule
Aug 2, 2003, 01:32 PM
i haven't read this entire thread, but i feel the desire to share my thoughts.

background: practicing catholic, conservative upbringing....

opinion on the matter at hand:

gay people should be able to get married.


thoughts:

i don't know how i feel about homosexuality on the whole. on the one hand, i do believe in sex as procreative, but on the other hand, i know that there are plenty of heteros that have sex for the pleasure of it, and not even love, and they can still get married. heck, a church would even marry them.

the issue to me is that i have no place to judge. i have my faults, and while i have no idea if homosexuality is a bad thing (i tend to lean towards no, really), it wouldn't matter to me because who am i to tell people how to live?

clearly the church (at least the catholic one) won't allow homosexual marriage anytime soon, but that doesn't mean that a civil, acknowledged commitment/contract shouldn't be allowed... separation of church and state at the core.

also, regardless of the morality issue, there is no reason homosexuals shouldn't be allowed to marry in a civil sort of agreement, the same that any 2 people would. people cry and shout about how "promiscuous" homosexuals are.... right. as though frat boys and even most college males (and many females) don't get around to new partners week in and week out. and if the people can't get married, it's a lot harder for them to take a relationship seriously to the point of seeking out a committed partner. i mean, if there were no marriage for me, it'd be easier to let myself fall into a casual sex type attitude..

and, all of the above paragraph is assuming that homosexuals *are* promiscuous... which while some are, many aren't. just as in any group of people. a few bad apples spoil the bunch. i've known promiscuous homosexuals, and committed, loving ones... i think it's easy to dismiss homosexuals as promiscuous when it allows you to not need to talk to them and see their humanity and such.

man, this entire discussion just feels like objectifying these people, which i'm sure in itself is insulting to them. though it is a good forum to see how people think and for people of all backgrounds to chime in and in theory, learn about each other... which i must admit that i did in one of the gay threads a year+ ago here...

cc bcc
Aug 2, 2003, 07:07 PM
The people that oppose gay marriage, would you still oppose it if you happened to be gay? Or do you think homosexuality is a choice?

edit:
(I don't mean to have you choose between te two. I'm just wondering, gay marriage won't hurt anyone, but it will make a lot of people happy. What's wrong with that?)

Taft
Aug 4, 2003, 03:13 PM
A thought...

The only thing keeping morality in our laws and government is the fact that the majority of the people in this country believe in a core set of morals. Those morals, of course, being those taught by Christian and Jewish faiths.

Now, to me, this seems like a very tenuous situation. I mean, all it would take is a "shift" of the majority from Christian to something else to tip the tables. Then, whatever group held the majority could, theoretically, determine the set of morals they want to enforce.

I would think this would threaten many people who believe strongely in moral legislation. I mean, the overwhelming trend in this country--and many others--is AWAY from the church and its version of moral law.

Now my question to those people who believe in "moral legislation" is this: what if the majority does shift? What if a majority with morals other than your own began dictating the way you live your life? All of a sudden your rights (or what you *perceive* as your rights) would be threatened. Would you be content in allowing another group with a different set of morals make laws that you didn't agree with but nonetheless had to live by?

Do you (kinda directed at macfan, but more generally to anyone on the pro-morality side of the argument) see the problem with legislating the moral will of the majority? Basically, it creates a situation where rational evidence can be easily ignored by legislators in favor of promoting the moral view.

Moral crusaders will tell you that homosexuality is wrong. Why? Because God said so. How do you argue with that? Tell them, "No he didn't?" Won't work. Without identifying a cost or detriment to society or themselves, many people will tell you homosexuality should be illegal or that they can't marry, etc. Without using what I consider to be logic or fact, people condemn the actions of another group. And that is the core of the problem: for people who don't believe what the church is teaching, legislation based on those teachings is completely arbitrary.

There is no rhyme or reason to why "the majority" in this country thinks homosexual behavior should be squelched. It is simply because God said so. This, to a person who doesn't believe in God (or at least the same God that the Roman Catholic Church believes in), makes absolutely no sense. Its arbitrary. Its like if you visited a house in Africa and they told you "you can't drink water with your meal." You ask them why and they reply, "because God said so." It makes no sense and there are no rational arguments for the rule except, "God said so."

And this is what is so dangerous about legislating from a moral perspective. The group on top ("the majority") is making rules not based in terms of actions and consequences, but rather based on completely aribtrary morals (at least when viewed from an outside perspective). If a person were to actually do a study to determine the positive vs. negative effects of homosexuality on the development of children or the general effect on a society I might actually listen to them. But, "because God says so," will never be an argument that I accept. Why? Because my God doesn't say so. And the fact that your God does say so is completely without merit to me as it is completely arbitrary.

Once again, I realize that our country has a long history of legislating with the morals of the majority in mind. But I don't think that is right. Not by a long shot.

Someday, long in the future, a group other than the Christians may represent the majority of Americans. if, in that distant future, the majority begins to exercise its morality on the rest of the people in this country, Christians will be in the exact same position that homosexuals or "non-believers" are in today. If that happens (and for the record, I hope it does not), I hope that the Christians and the other "moralists" realize what a s***ty precedent they've created.

Its time we require justification for all laws we enact in this country. And, as I've stated above, I don't believe "because God says so" is a valid justification, no matter how many people say so.

Taft



"God says homosexuality is wrong."
"Prove it."
"Well the bible says so."
"I thought you said God says so."
"Well, God wrote the bible."
"He wrote it Himself?"
"Well, no. He wrote it through people."
"Prove it."
???

There is no proof!! You either believe, or you don't. And that is the problem: you have no idea wether or not what you are believing is right or wrong. The amount of certainty you have in your opinions is determined by the amount of faith you have and, in fact, the only evidence supporting your opinions is your faith and the faith of those around you. Hence the only way for religion-based opinions to gain popularity is for more people to "have faith." There is therefore never a need within the religion for any justification for a position which the religion has created. As far as those in the religion are concerned, the fact that God says so is enough. But how do you know God says so? [go back to the beginning of the paragraph and repeat]

Dangerous indeed.

Sayhey
Aug 4, 2003, 03:50 PM
A moral outlook on life is not "owned" by any particular religion. Believers and non-believers can have strong moral codes they think should be followed. The idea that morality is what any one religion tells us it is, is an acceptence of intolerance of others views.

Where we can start from is what we have all accepted as a moral basis of society; that all people are equal under the law. For those who believe that gay people should not have equal access to our civil marriage laws, the contradiction of a belief in equality and whatever reasons one bases denial of equality to your fellow citizens is something they will have to struggle with. If one's God tells you to discriminate there isn't a lot of discussion that can take place; other than maybe in the civil sphere, laws should not be made to confom to religious doctrine.

Taft
Aug 4, 2003, 04:26 PM
Originally posted by Sayhey
A moral outlook on life is not "owned" by any particular religion. Believers and non-believers can have strong moral codes they think should be followed. The idea that morality is what any one religion tells us it is, is an acceptence of intolerance of others views.

Where we can start from is what we have all accepted as a moral basis of society; that all people are equal under the law. For those who believe that gay people should not have equal access to our civil marriage laws, the contradiction of a belief in equality and whatever reasons one bases denial of equality to your fellow citizens is something they will have to struggle with. If one's God tells you to discriminate there isn't a lot of discussion that can take place; other than maybe in the civil sphere, laws should not be made to confom to religious doctrine.

You are right that morality or living a moral life isn't owned by a particular religion. I was using Christianity as an example as it is the most prominent and well understood "codification" of morals we have at our disposal. It is also the most prominent religion in this country and as such, most lawmakers share Christianity's moral code.

And I firmly believe that every person should form a set of morals. What I reject is the idea that an opinion formed exclusively out of a moral value be applied to all people. This is because an opinion formed exclusively on the basis of a moral value often has no basis in fact or analysis.

To use the opression of homosexuals as an example, say we found an atheist who was against homosexuality (incidently, the percentage of atheists against homosexuals is probably quite low compared to Christians against homosexuals). If that person said to me, "I think homosexuality is wrong" and I asked him why and he responded, "that is just what I believe," I would consider that equally as arbitrary as "because God says so."

My point is just that a opinion based only on a moral belief to the exclusion of facts and reason has no place in the legislative process. My use of Christianity is valid in that most of the "moral crusaders" against homosexuality are Christians or affiliated with some religion (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, etc.)

Taft

jelloshotsrule
Aug 4, 2003, 04:31 PM
taft- while i agree with you that morality and religion should not run legislation, it's a tough line to tread. and i also think that your representation of christians should be pointed out to be the dumb ones (which there are dumb people in every *group*)... if people asked me why i feel homosexuality is wrong (as a catholic) i'd say that first of all, i don't *know* it's wrong, and i'm not even goign to judge people who are homosexual because it's not my place to do that. BUT, i could answer why the church says it's wrong in general, and that is because sex is meant to have a procreative aspect to it every time you have it.

now, that said, i have a problem with the utter rejection of homosexuality, while the promiscuity of society is not nearly as heavily attacked by the church in general. in other words, clearly heterosexuals are having plenty of non-procreative sex, and that isn't lambasted as heavily.

as far as a moral code in general guiding laws... the problem is that inherently, laws involve morals. not religious based morals per se, but still. murder is immoral. that is fairly universal. but it's very hard to draw the line between what's a "universal" moral and what's purely religious...

that said, i'm all for separation of church/state, and gay marriage, etc... :)

Sayhey
Aug 4, 2003, 04:38 PM
Taft,

I have no disagreement with your last post. I just don't like surrendering the idea of morality to those who only think it must be based on a religious doctrine, especially their own.

Taft
Aug 4, 2003, 05:01 PM
Originally posted by jelloshotsrule
taft- while i agree with you that morality and religion should not run legislation, it's a tough line to tread. and i also think that your representation of christians should be pointed out to be the dumb ones (which there are dumb people in every *group*)... if people asked me why i feel homosexuality is wrong (as a catholic) i'd say that first of all, i don't *know* it's wrong, and i'm not even goign to judge people who are homosexual because it's not my place to do that. BUT, i could answer why the church says it's wrong in general, and that is because sex is meant to have a procreative aspect to it every time you have it.

now, that said, i have a problem with the utter rejection of homosexuality, while the promiscuity of society is not nearly as heavily attacked by the church in general. in other words, clearly heterosexuals are having plenty of non-procreative sex, and that isn't lambasted as heavily.

as far as a moral code in general guiding laws... the problem is that inherently, laws involve morals. not religious based morals per se, but still. murder is immoral. that is fairly universal. but it's very hard to draw the line between what's a "universal" moral and what's purely religious...

that said, i'm all for separation of church/state, and gay marriage, etc... :)

I guess I should state that I am a Christian, too. And I'm FOR homosexual rights. So obviously my depiction of Christians is a bit "off." But your point is taken. Its like the whole right vs. left debate. There are always wingnuts on either side that, if taken as a fair representation of the whole group, would make the whole group seem absolutely irrational. The problem here is something like 60% of Americans don't want homosexuals to be united. I'm sure that implicates quite a high percentage of Christians in this country as being against homosexual unions.

Anyway, I totally agree that its a fine line to walk in keeping morality out of the law books. Take macfan's example of polygamy. My gut instinct on polygamy is that its wrong. My morals would never let me have more than one wife. But then I started thinking about why I felt that way. I started coming up with pros and cons for polygamy and was surprised that I couldn't really identify a societal cost, a "victim" in a polygamous relationship, or a loss of rights as a result of such a situation.

In fact, I started thinking about situations which resemble polygamy and how prevalent they are in society. For example, you can have a wife and a family and maintain numerous adulterous relationships. That is not illegal (it will make it easier for your wife to divorce you, but it ain't illegal). Or, if I weren't married, I could cohabitate with multiple women and father children with all of them. [someone please correct me if these situations are, in fact, illegal]

In any case, there are a lot of ways in which a man (or woman) could act immorally from my perspective, all of which are perfectly legal. Which leads me to question why polygamy IS illegal. Maybe there is some "victim" of a polygamous relationship which I haven't identified. But barring that, I'd be hard-pressed to justify a law against polygamy.

So I agree morality does blend very discretely with reasoning for legislation. However, I think it is the duty of every responsible legislator to seperate the two and only legislate based on factual evidence and rational thought.

Taft

wwworry
Aug 4, 2003, 05:08 PM
I am amazed how little leadership we have had from our legislators on this issue. Clearly sexual preference should not determine the amount of equality one should have. When are our political leaders going to stop reading poll numbers and start leading.

pseudobrit
Aug 4, 2003, 07:23 PM
Originally posted by wwworry
When are our political leaders going to stop reading poll numbers and start leading.

As soon as the numbers start to lean that way.

IJ Reilly
Aug 4, 2003, 09:44 PM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
As soon as the numbers start to lean that way.

A very funny comeback. Sardonic, but true.

mactastic
Aug 5, 2003, 10:11 AM
A Jim Hightower commentary from a long time ago (several years if I remember correctly) included a call to lie to every pollster you meet, on the theory that if we could get the polititicians to bite a couple times on totally bogus polling data, they would have to start forming their own ideas again, instead of trying to find ways to offend the fewest number of people by polling them and then tailoring the message to fit the numbers. Unfortunately I think it only will work if a whole lot of people start to adopt this approach, but I've been trying for a while! Either that or we need a backbone-inserter for each and every elected representative who uses polls to shape his/her ideology.

Taft
Aug 5, 2003, 01:16 PM
Originally posted by mactastic
A Jim Hightower commentary from a long time ago (several years if I remember correctly) included a call to lie to every pollster you meet, on the theory that if we could get the polititicians to bite a couple times on totally bogus polling data, they would have to start forming their own ideas again, instead of trying to find ways to offend the fewest number of people by polling them and then tailoring the message to fit the numbers. Unfortunately I think it only will work if a whole lot of people start to adopt this approach, but I've been trying for a while! Either that or we need a backbone-inserter for each and every elected representative who uses polls to shape his/her ideology.

That is such an awesome idea! I think I'm going to start doing it myself. Of course, that also means I'll have to start *responding* to polls.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the idea behind elected legislators, judiciary, and executives was to provide a degree of separation between those running the country and those living the country. Meaning that the founding fathers didn't want a democracy, they wanted a republic. Unfortunately, that is far from the reality.

My question is: did the country EVER work the way it was "supposed to?" Was there ever a time when senators and congressmen voted on what they thought was the BEST idea instead of what would get them re-elected? Is the current "popularity contest" form of lawmaking a result of the digital or media age? Or was there a time when lawmakers were actually idealists who voted on what they thought was practical and/or right?

I would like to think this situation is "fixable," that we could get politicians to worry more about their country than their chances of re-election. But are the two so tied as to make the removal of one impossible?

The cynic in me thinks things will get worse before they get better. Stop the polls!!!

Taft

Backtothemac
Aug 8, 2003, 05:14 PM
Originally posted by mactastic
A Jim Hightower commentary from a long time ago (several years if I remember correctly) included a call to lie to every pollster you meet, on the theory that if we could get the polititicians to bite a couple times on totally bogus polling data, they would have to start forming their own ideas again, instead of trying to find ways to offend the fewest number of people by polling them and then tailoring the message to fit the numbers. Unfortunately I think it only will work if a whole lot of people start to adopt this approach, but I've been trying for a while! Either that or we need a backbone-inserter for each and every elected representative who uses polls to shape his/her ideology.

OMG, that would be the funniest thing ever. Well, today, I got a poll by phone. I answered everything opposite of what i thought about the new Tax plan in alabama. LOL. It was funny!

The only sad thing is that people will hear the poll, and go like clones to the polls and do what the polls say is most popular, because people like to be popular.
:(

mactastic
Aug 8, 2003, 09:48 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
OMG, that would be the funniest thing ever. Well, today, I got a poll by phone. I answered everything opposite of what i thought about the new Tax plan in alabama. LOL. It was funny!

The only sad thing is that people will hear the poll, and go like clones to the polls and do what the polls say is most popular, because people like to be popular.
:(

Woohooo! The more people who do this the better. Power to the misleaders!

Backtothemac
Aug 8, 2003, 09:56 PM
Originally posted by mactastic
Woohooo! The more people who do this the better. Power to the misleaders!

Yea, I am the leader of the misleader party. I am anti-gay, pro-choice, anti-war, big-government, anti-environment, pro-UN, and anti-education, can I have your vote ;)