Proposed Marriage Ammendment -- Violation of Freedom of Speech?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Neserk, Feb 8, 2004.

  1. Neserk macrumors 6502a

    Neserk

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    #1
    Woulding defining "Marriage" as a union between 1 man and 1 woman be a violation of the freedom of speech?

    The English langauge evolves and words not only have several meaning but also change meanings. To force a definition of a meaning would be basically saying you can not call marriage a union between 2 consenting adults. And violate my freedom to refer to two people to have committed themselves to each other. Also notice definition #3.


    Main Entry: mar·riage
    Pronunciation: 'mer-ij, 'ma-rij
    Function: noun
    Etymology: Middle English mariage, from Anglo-French, from marier to marry
    1 a (1) : the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law (2) : the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage <same-sex marriage> b : the mutual relation of married persons : WEDLOCK c : the institution whereby individuals are joined in a marriage
    2 : an act of marrying or the rite by which the married status is effected; especially : the wedding ceremony and attendant festivities or formalities
    3 : an intimate or close union <the marriage of painting and poetry -- J. T. Shawcross>


    http://www.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/dictionary
     
  2. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #2
    No. For that to occur the amendment would have to forbid you referring to any other marriage than between a man and a woman as a marriage. No one is talking about such an amendment.

    The rights that are enshrined in the Constitution are all balanced against each other in many situations but what you are worried about would not the case.

    What would be the case, is that for the first time since the language about slaves being counted in the Constitution as three-fifths of a human being the document would be scarred with a specific limitation on the rights of a group of our fellow citizens.
     
  3. iMeowbot macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

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    #3
    Re: Proposed Marriage Ammendment -- Violation of Freedom of Speech?

    This is the proposed amendment that Bush supports: "Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution or the constitution of any State, nor state or federal law, shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups."

    This doesn't really define or redefine the word in common usage. Notice that the "in the United States" part implicitly recognizes that other, freer countries may employ a less discriminatory form of marriage. The way the constitution is laid out, this only speaks to what meanings of the term the government would recognize.

    If such a thing was passed and ratified, it would be a really tough argument to try and convince the Supremes that older language in the bill of rights would supersede a later change to the constitution. :(
     
  4. Neserk thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Neserk

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    #4
    That is what I hoped the answer would be.

    But what is the point of the semantics then? If two consenting adult want to commit themselves to each other "til Death do us part." Why quibble about what word we use? If my lesbian friends decide to have a civil union I'm still going to say they are married! In fact, if they have had any kind of wedding ceremony where they commit themselves to one another I'm going to call it marriage.
     
  5. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #5
    i think words are important. to force a group to use a different word to describe themselves (at least in a legal sense) reveals the bigger problem -- there are people who discriminate against it.

    i keep coming back to the similarities of today's gay marriage issue and pre-civil rights era treatment of blacks. i will not say that there is less racism now, but i think it's more hidden. before, the overt nature is evident in separate drinking fountains, bus seats, etc.

    today, the nature of the gay marriage discussion is quite overt. and to deny use of the term 'marriage' is the equivalent, imo, of telling blacks in the 1860s that they weren't "free men and women", but "free persons of color".
     
  6. Neserk thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Neserk

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    #6
    That is what I mean. If it looks like a marriage it *is* a marriage so freakin' call it a marriage!
     
  7. iMeowbot macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

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    #7
    Legalese is only tangentially related to English. Would it be reasonable in real life to seriously refer to a 20-year-old person as an "infant"? Laws frequently use the word interchangeably with "minor."
     
  8. KC9AIC macrumors 6502

    KC9AIC

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    #8
    My religious views state that marriage is intended for one man and one woman, and so I believe that calling a same-sex union "marriage" would be an attack against the sacrament of marriage. Therefore, I cannot stand to have what I believe as sin be legitmatized as "marriage".
     
  9. amnesiac1984 macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    But, you see, surely its up to you whether or not you are going to sin? You believe same sex people getting marrired is a sin. WHy should that stop people doing it? And why should it make you care, after all it's their lives and if it really is a sin then they will burn in hell not you. I hope one day religion will stop preaching hatred and preach tolerance instead.
     
  10. pdrayton macrumors member

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    #10
    Well, in the US church and state are kept separate, so your feelings, while important, are not grounds for determining who can marry and who can't.

    As for marriage being a "sacrament", that's purely a religious/denominational issue because what is considered a sacrament to some religions/denominations is not considered a sacrament to others. As you can see from the quote below given by The Lutheran Church, they don't consider marriage to be a sacrament. Although Episcopalians (such as myself) and Roman Catholics consider marriage to be a sacrament, most Protestants do not.

    Thus, if we act based on your line of reasoning then we'll be making lots of Protestants (the majority in the US) very angry.

    Would you be willing to require couples who marry to denounce the authority of the Pope? After all, for many Christians, Papal authority is heresy and contrary to their religious doctrine. My guess is you're not. Doing so would be contrary to the separation of church & state as set forth in the constitution, and would be very intolerant towards the minority in this country who feel that their religion demands aknowledging the authority of the Pope. If you're going to use religion to justify discrimination against a minority, you should at least be consistent by espousing discrimination against EVERYONE who "attacks" what you consider to be a sacrament.

    For those of you who think that permitting gay couples to have a civil marriage is contrary to a sacrament I suggest you first check to see if your religion/denomination actually considers marriage to be a sacrament. Then read below to see what a sacrament is.

    Visit the official web site of The Lutheran Church for the entire article on the history of sacraments. It really makes the arguments of those against gay marriage, which are based on marriage being a "sacrament", look very amusing and invalid!
     
  11. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #11
    so do any of the gay-haters (sorry, i mean "those who believe marriage is between opposite genders and feel it's their business to interfere with those who want otherwise") have a problem w/ the other definitions of marriage?

    e.g. will i no longer be able to describe a book as "a marriage between revisionist history and fifties futurama?"
     
  12. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #12
    That book sounds like a sin to begin with!:p
     
  13. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #13
    The point is it is not just semantics. Yes, even after the passage of the constitutional amendment in question, you and I can continue to call a gay couples relationships a "marriage" if we wish to, but it would have none of the legal implications of that official relationship. That is not only material benefits such as tax status, legal power to make decision concerning a loved one, etc. but also the status and respect given to heterosexual couples by the recognition of their relationship by the government would be officially denied to gay couples.
     
  14. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #14
    Ah, now you're getting me started. Off the top of my head, here are couple of the things that might become illegal if the Constitution defines marriage as between a man and a woman:
    1. A marriage of equals, since the sex of the equals is not known.
    2. A shotgun marriage, since the gun is neuter.
      [/list=1]
      BTW, Robert Louis Stevenson defined marriage as "a friendship recognized by the police."
     
  15. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #15
    Let's play a game, shall we?

    My religious views state that marriage is an unbreakable covenant with God, and I believe that allowing two people who decide for whatever reason they don't wish to honour this covenant any longer to divorce is an attack against the sacrament of marriage. Therefore, I cannot stand to have what I believe is a sin be legitimized as "divorce" by the government.

    Agree or disagree? Where is my Consitutional amendment?
     
  16. pdrayton macrumors member

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    #16
    To add to what Sayhey has written, it's very important to quibble about semantics.

    In 1896, the US Supreme Court ruled that "separate, but equal" accommodations for blacks was legal, but we frequently forget that the blacks contesting separate accommodations on trains weren't concerned about being able to ride a train, they were concerned about the loss of dignity and the degredation of having to ride in train cars seperate from whites.

    The Supreme Court's ruling was based on the knowledge that whites didn't feel comfortable mixing with blacks in public places, and that factor was considered more important that what was right (that it was degrading to separate people based on race).

    The "Separate, but equal" doctrine unleashed a flood of misery upon black citizens that lasted for over 60 years. The tide began to turn when the US Supreme Court ruled that it had been wrong in 1896, and that "separate" was inherently unequal, and had no place in society.

    Semantics matter. Especially to those of us who don't have 60 years to correct the mistake of "different, but equal" marriage laws for gays and lesbians.
     
  17. pdrayton macrumors member

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    #17
    Hehehehehe. Sharp! Concise! Doubt he'll respond!
     
  18. KC9AIC macrumors 6502

    KC9AIC

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    #18
    Thank you to all those who have replied to me. It's certainly given me something to think about.

    Let me first note that I do not hate any people, regardless of whether they're gay or not. I may dislike and disagree with their actions and try to nonforcibly convince them to stop, but I still respect their value as a person. I'd most like to convert them (also nonforcibly) to my beliefs and then allow them to stop themselves.

    My religious beliefs govern how I act, but do not drive me to dictate how any other person who doesn't share them should act. In other words, if you are a Hindu and consider cows as sacred, I won't demand that you kill them and eat them as steak. But while I don't demand that homosexuals not "sin," I don't support giving them licence to deepen or legitimatize it. So I would support a constitutional amendment to limit this changing definition, as I want to keep laws from changing from what they have been, seeing marriage as between one man and one woman. After all, I'm not changing or "interfering" with how others are acting, but am simply desiring that their behavior not get recognized as legally the same as marriage between two members of the opposite sex. Those who might want to end divorce would be directly changing how people act. So demanding that divorce stop would not be the same thing as preserving the traditional legal definition of marriage. (Personally, I do not like divorce, but do not think it is evil in all circumstances.)

    I call marriage a sacrament based on the fact that I believe it to be holy and instituted by God, not basing my definition of a sacrament on what denominations or religions decide.
     
  19. Neserk thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Neserk

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    #19


    Which is part of the reason why I believe it should be legalized.

    There are no tax benefits to getting married ;) Ever hear of the marriage penalty? The only time there is a benefit is if only one spouse is working.

    The second part is also whay I think it should be legalized.
     
  20. Neserk thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Neserk

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    #20


    Perhaps you should keep reading my posts. You are misunderstanding me. I don't understand why those who want "Civil Union" instead of "Marriage" are quibbling.
     
  21. Neserk thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Neserk

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    #21
    I never understood the argument from tradition. Tradition does a lot of evil things. Think Slavery which for 5,000 + years was tradition. Slavery = evil. tradition is only good when it is neutral or positive. To say that "marriage" should be preserved for 1 male and 1 female because it has always been done that way makes no sense to me. If we do things they way they have always been done where is progress?
     
  22. amnesiac1984 macrumors 6502a

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    #22

    But you are contradicting yourself. It may be technically correct the way you have worded it but I don't see how you can justify your position, no matter how religious you are it still comes down to the fact that people are getting unfairly treated in the way the system is right now, simply because they choose to be gay. The church is seperate from the state so religion should not be governing this policy. Are there any rational non religious regions to not introduce gay marriage? I haven't heard one.
     

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