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October 27, 2006

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vnjagvet

I understand the desire to see Loving as a precedent on gay marriage. I think, though, that desire has overcome reason. Loving stands for the proposition that there is no reason for preventing marriage between a man and a woman because one of the two is race a and the other race b.

Although the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution was invoked by the Court,
there is little in the legal reasoning underpinning the opinion that supports same
sex marriage.

Loving held this statute unconstitutional:

"Punishment for marriage. If any white person intermarry with a colored person, or any colored person intermarry with a white person, he shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by confinement in the penitentiary for not less than one nor more than five years."

Of course, there is no such analogous statute now extant in any state in the union purporting to punish anyone for marrying another of the same sex.

If there were, it would surely be struck down.

But what is at issue now is the definition of marriage. That subject was not dealt with in Loving.

Jane

The HRC guy who is supposedly behind the foley outing: http://www.friendster.com/user.php?uid=9566261

And the latest about him:

Foley's Phony Blogger Named

SHADY LANE Hudson
Radar has learned that the anony-blogger behind StopSexPredators—the bogus blog that first posted the Mark Foley e-mails and got the ball rolling on PageGate—is a former Democratic Senate staffer named Lane Hudson.

The New York Times reported today that the Human Rights Campaign, a gay-rights organization, had fired an unnamed "junior staff member" after discovering that he was behind the blog. The Times article described the staffer as an organizer working in Michigan that HRC had hired last month.

According to sources in Michigan's gay activist community, the Human Rights Campaign has placed only one paid staffer on the ground in the state—a get-out-the-vote organizer named Lane Hudson. Susan Horowitz, the publisher of Between the Lines, a gay weekly newspaper in Michigan, said Hudson arrived in Michigan on September 30 and had been attending get-out-the-vote events as recently as yesterday. When Radar called HRC's Washington, D.C., headquarters today, the person answering the phones said Hudson was no longer working with the organization. E-mails sent to Hudson's HRC address were bounced back as undeliverable.

Hudson, a onetime staffer to Sen. Fritz Hollings (D-SC) and former Democratic South Carolina Gov. Jim Hodges, is 29.

Calls to the HRC and to Hudson were not returned.

http://www.radaronline.com/exclusives/2006/10/foleys-phony-blogger-identified.php


And Camille Paglia slamming the dems over Foley: (oh my)

http://gaypatriot.net/2006/10/27/camille-paglia-slams-democrats-over-foley-politicshrc-employee-worked-in-democrat-senate-office

Jane

vnjagvet,

The problem is that most state's constitutions don't define marriage either - which is why you are seeing the rush to do so in so many states. It's odd to me that conservatives want to read a definition into the constitution that doesn't exist.

Personally I'd hate to see Loving used as the precedent, and I'm with Tom, I think the law should always follow and never lead. But I don't think you get there by imputing something in a state constitution which is clearly not there.

boris

most state's constitutions don't define marriage

Everybody already knows what marriage is.

Ids

Kennedy and Harvard. Baseball plane crash?

vnjagvet

Jane and Boris:

Yeah, I know. That is why Loving has little to do with the issues now being so vociferously argued.

Time was when same sex couples were content to live together as companions -- so long as they were not disturbed in their relationship. They could define the extent of their relationship privately.

But they, like brothers living with brothers, mothers living with sons, etc., or friends without a sexual relationship living with friends (they called themselves roommates), got none of the percs or benefits of married couples.

This became a problem of fairness and status.

Over the past twenty years employers have bestowed many of the benefits on their gay and lesbian employees who were living with "significant others". Most have not extended those benefits to opposite sex couples who, for one reason or another, decided not to have their relationship "blessed" or "legalized" with matrimony.

The next step is marriage. Just when marriage is under attack as a heterosexual institution, it is being idealized and sought as a matter of right as a homosexual institution.

My attitude is if the availability of a form of "marriage" or similarly stabalizing institution has any hope of even minimally reducing promiscuity among the male homosexual population (the one most stricken by AIDS)it should be encouraged by state governments.

Extraneus

A logical attitude, as always, vnjagvet.

I still want to see this whole "benefits of marriage" thing itemized, and I think this NJ decision might just finally lead to that. There are disadvantages of marriage, too, but I wouldn't presume to hope to see those listed as well.

Robert Brown

“The problem is that most state's constitutions don't define marriage either - which is why you are seeing the rush to do so in so many states. It's odd to me that conservatives want to read a definition into the constitution that doesn't exist.”


You seem to misunderstand to function of a constitution.

The constitution sets forth certain rights that may not be infringed by the other branches of government (yes they get cluttered up with other stuff).

Conservatives don’t argue that the constitution defines marriage, they argue that not granting the benefits of marriage to same sex couples does not deny them any fundamental rights.

Rick Ballard

Vnjagvet,

You might find this series by Don Sensing at 'One Hand Clapping' interesting. He comes to the same conclusion regarding legalization but with a different rationale.

For myself, I feel that everyone is free to call a pig a horse. Anyone doing so is likewise free to saddle ol' piggy up and ride him to town if they see fit. The folks in town are free to express their opinion of the porquine too, though.

PS - I wouldn't place money on a reduction of promiscuity quite yet. It's possible that it might occur but it's not particularly likely. In fact it's much more likely that a fair number of currently stable relationships will dissolve when marriage becomes an option (the boys up on Brokeback Mountain have never cared for fences) and that newer relationships will be formed on the basis of guaranteed 'openness' (cheat at will). An entirely natural outcome I would think.

Foo Bar

And how do we feel in retrospect about the 1948 California Supreme Court ruling that Kennedy mentions? The analogy between that ruling and the New Jersey Supreme Court decision would seem to be pretty good, insofar as the CA decision led public opinion to some degree, rather than following it.

Shall we look back at that decision and shake our heads in dismay?

vnjagvet

Rick:

Human nature being what it has been for millenia, I suspect your prediction is as likely as not to be correct.

Nonetheless, I am willing to allow states to experiment so as to allow more data on the subject.

"Give marriage a chance" says I.

hit and run

Rick:
For myself, I feel that everyone is free to call a pig a horse.

OK, fine. I will.

You're a horse.





(sorry, couldn't help myself, you left yourself wiiiiiide open on that one, it's just in jest)

Rick Ballard

Vnjagvet,

Watching the unintended consequences of the actions of the legislatures and courts unfold is a rare pleasure. Sometimes it's sort of expensive for bystanders though.

h&r,

That's O[in]K. I understand the irresistable urge.

hit and run

Rick...perfect response!!!!!

I love you.

Not in a gay way.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Sue

which is clearly not there.

It could be because when those constitutions were written, the idea of same sex marriage was unthinkable. And because marriage didn't need a definition.

Jane

I still want to see this whole "benefits of marriage" thing itemized, and I think this NJ decision might just finally lead to that.

Extraneous,

Oh it's been itemized - at least it was in MA, because there was lots of talk about it when the CT decision came down here. There are something like 110 tax breaks that married people get. (I don't recall if that includes federal tax breaks). There are also one or two benefits from not being married, I think one is that the other person can't be held responsible for student loans.

Jane

Conservatives don’t argue that the constitution defines marriage, they argue that not granting the benefits of marriage to same sex couples does not deny them any fundamental rights.

I'd agree with that. Marriage is not a right, but rather a privilege. I don't think that in any way provides a justification for limiting the privilege to straight people tho, considering the way they have mucked it up and the benefit to the children of gays. If you put that stuff on a scale, gay marriage would sweep the country.

Jane

Shall we look back at that decision and shake our heads in dismay?

Foo bar,

That's the compelling argument isn't it?

Extraneus

There are something like 110 tax breaks that married people get.

Wow. That's surprising. I know the tax tables depend on marital status, and of course there are child-related deductions of various sorts, but I never guessed there'd be that many strictly marriage-related deductions.

And all these things are supposed to enhance the cohesion of the nuclear family? Seems far-fetched to buy into that sort of tax-goodie social engineering rationale, and unfair to both gay and hetero unmarried couples. These things deserve to be revisited.

Jim E.

TM wrote: "In 'Loving'[1967] the Supreme Court followed, rather than led."

This is only true insofar as Loving took place after the height of the civil rights movement -- after, for example, the groundbreaking Civil Rights and Voting Rights ACts had been passed.

The specific issue of interracial marriage, however, is another story. In 1967, when Loving was decided, about two-thirds of Americans were opposed to interracial marriages.

It was not until 1991 that Gallup showed, for the first time, that more Americans approved of interracial marriage than disapproved. And even in that 1991 poll, still less than half of Americans "approved" of interracial marriage.

So not sure how the Supreme Court "followed, rather than led" when deciding 'Loving.'

Robert Brown

“I'd agree with that. Marriage is not a right, but rather a privilege.

The constitutional issue, though is whether granting the privileges of marriage to opposite sex couples only violates a homosexuals constitutional right to equal protection. Conservatives would argue that the benefits of marriage are granted by the state to encourage a certain behavior (something the state does a lot of) and granting them to opposite sex marriages only does not prevent same sex couples form entering into a private marriage with their commitment to each other established by contract.

As a policy matter, I agree that same sex marriage is unlikely to have any effect on the institution of marriage as it stands today.

Jane

You know what really needs to be revisited is the whole state intervention in marriage. I'm with whoever said that there should be a religious marriage and a state sanctioned marriage, for everyone. Then the people who oppose to gay marriage for religious reasons, can separate their marriages out to their satisfaction assuming their religion does not allow gays.

But the more I think about the issue, that really isn't the point. Gays (and straights) will all do better with greater integration. If you can tolerate a gay doctor or lawyer, you can tolerate a gay neighbor. The real point is that many gays are very content living in a perfectly straight world. I think we want to encourage that.

Jane

The constitutional issue, though is whether granting the privileges of marriage to opposite sex couples only violates a homosexuals constitutional right to equal protection.

Robert,

And to determine that you look to the wording in the statute. If the statute states that marriage is defined as between a man and a women, there is no issue, if not, the issue is valid. Which I think is precisely what is going on, first with all those states attempting to ratify the definition, and all those states going in the opposite direction.

One issue will of course remain open and that is the constitutionality of DOMA. Since gays who are lawfully married in MA must remarry in CT to have their privileges acknowledged there it gets a bit cumbersome. How many times should we expect a couple, lawfully married, to remarry?

I don't think this is the time for that challange, but it is looming on the horizon. The people who oppose gay marriage finally have something to thank Bill Clinton for!

boris

same sex marriage is unlikely to have any effect on the institution of marriage as it stands today

So what? It most certainly will affect how the institution evolves. Since same sex couples do not produce their own offspring, their influence on the institution will affect a process they are not part of. The impact on our descendents in the future is more likely negative than neutral or positive.

"Nobody knows" is not an acceptable dodge. Make the stand on the basis that a negative effect on future generations is a small price to pay for "fairness" in ours.

boris

needs to be revisited is the whole state intervention in marriage

What about intervention in education then? Does the state have no interest in promoting the well being of children?

The point you refuse to address is that gay marriage and/or exact equivalent will impede the state from specifically targeting the the primary reproductive institution.

Your constant harping on the decline of that institution is irrelevent. It remains the best of the alternatives and largest single cotributor and most amenable to state influence.

Religion and state have always addressed marriage because marriage predates both and probably was a significant incentive for the human development of both. Marriage, state and religion became entwined with human nature because of their participation in reproduction, rearing, and the transmission of human culture.

Jim E.

Gay couples already adopt and rear and educate children. They're doing it right now. Gay families exist.

If marriage can help families flourish, and is therefore a substantial benefit to society, why the hesitancy in conferring the cultural, social and legal benifits to gay couples?

boris

why the hesitancy in conferring the cultural ...

This is a straw dummy argument. Speaking for myself there is absolutely no problem conferring the exact same benefits and incentives for gay families. Zero zip nada.

My argument is simply that linking the reproductive institution of marriage to gay families reduces or removes the ability of society to specifically address their needs without influence from a non-reproductive, activist group. Let said activist group lobby for whatever they may want from whatever society confers on reporductive marriage. No problem with that. At all. LET NOT said group influence how society is able to address the needs of reproductive marriage.

boris

Rephrase for clarity ...

My argument is simply that linking the reproductive institution of marriage to gay families reduces or removes the ability of society to specifically address reproductive marriage needs without influence from a non-reproductive, activist group. (not that there's anything wrong with being non-reproductive or activist)

Jim E.

"straw dummy"

Why are you *always* so rude and hostile?

"no problem conferring the exact same benefits and incentives for gay families. Zero zip nada."

You have "no problem" even though most of what you've written here overtly says that gay marriage's impact on future generations will "more likely negative than neutral or positive"? While that makes little sense to me (why would someone have "no problem" endorsing a Bad Thing?), I'm happy to be corrected.

Jim E.

"reduces or removes the ability of society to specifically address reproductive marriage needs"

Such as?

Cecil Turner

Why are you *always* so rude and hostile?

Your previous argument was in fact a strawman, and identifying it as such was not rude. (The issue is not benefits, a point illustrated by the gap between those who support "civil unions" but not "gay marriage.") They are two different issues.

The societal benefits in encouraging stable family units for purposes of childrearing are obvious. In the long run, tax advantages are well worth the investment. The same benefits do not attend to same-sex couples, who in any event do not incur the significant financial burdens of childbearing. I suppose one could make the argument that the various government incentives do not require children, only marriage, and thus are not particularly directed toward productive couples . . . but I for one wouldn't find it persuasive.

Robert Brown

“And to determine that you look to the wording in the statute. If the statute states that marriage is defined as between a man and a women, there is no issue,”

Jane,

No, I think the issue is that liberal judges consider statutes that restrict marriage to opposite sex unconstitutional since they do not give equal protection to homosexuals. Many states are attempting to amend their constitutions to preempt the judiciary.

Jane

The same benefits do not attend to same-sex couples, who in any event do not incur the significant financial burdens of childbearing.

The ones with children certainly do.

I think you fail to take notice that much of the push for gay marriage is by gays who have families.

Jane

Many states are attempting to amend their constitutions to preempt the judiciary.

Robert,

If you look at the states who are attempting to ratify the statute, they are not the states generally plagued by liberal judges.

BTW I'm in favor of pre-empting a liberal judiciary. I don't think arriving at the right result the wrong way does gays any favor at all.

Robert Brown

“So what? It most certainly will affect how the institution evolves. Since same sex couples do not produce their own offspring,”

Boris,

The number of homosexual marriages will be very small compared to number of heterosexual childless marriages or single parent households so I don’t see how they can have much influence on the family structure now or in the future.

boris

most of what you've written here overtly says that gay marriage's impact on future generations will "more likely negative than neutral or positive"?

My advocacy is that gay families have no say in how society addresses the needs of reproductive marriage. If there is a one-size-fits-all marriage for same sex and opposite sex, then obviously the same-sex group would have and should have an equal say.

So while I do not oppose the same-sex group having benefits equivalent to whatever the opposite-sex group gets, they should exert no influence over how society addresses the needs and future evolution of the opposite-sex reproductive institution of marriage.

After this any future misunderstanding of the point will be attributed to your lack of reading comprehension rather than my lack of skill for expressing a simple logical argument.

MikeW

Robert,

I would like to comment about a couple of your earlier posts, just because I think they illustrate interesting points for discussion. This is not certainly meant to either support or not support your position, but here goes. A little about me up front to "get it out into the open." I am considered conservative by most who know me (although I think it's only on particular issues - such as military and national defense). I am Roman Catholic by faith and got married in the church 25 years ago (yes, we're still together and still with our faith).

In one of your posts, you stated, "Conservatives don’t argue that the constitution defines marriage, they argue that not granting the benefits of marriage to same sex couples does not deny them any fundamental rights."

I disagree with this wholeheartedly (at least from what I've seen and heard, especially here in Virginia. The groups and individuals (all of whom appear soaked in conservatism) who support the Amendment referendum we're set to vote on soon have, without exception, completely focused on the religious perspective that marriage is defined in the Bible as between a man and a woman and that nothing else is acceptable from that standpoint alone. They further extrapolate this to include that only heterosexually wedded couples can appropriately raise children (that children automatically fare better in such coupled relationships). This latter issue is, of course irrelevant in that marriage does not have to result in the procreation of children. It does not follow, despite what many claim as valid studies, that heterosexual couples will rear better adjusted and well-rounded chjildren who are productive in society. History is replete with enough examples to refute that claim many times over. Further, if this were true, then divorce would logically (by that specific argument) have to be outlawed. If that were also true, then neither birth parent should logically be raised by either biological parent that remains single for any period of time. The children would have to be taken from them and provided to a wonderful, loving home with a mother and father present -- for that would have to be the case if the children were proven to do better only in households with both mother and father present. I think we all know that to be balderdash, and there exist a pretty fair number of studies that show that there really isn't any difference between heterosexual parents raising children and homosexual parents rasing them. If homosexual couples have no right to marry, then neither do heterosexual couples. If heterosexual couples have a right to be married, then it can't be for religious reasons as that would then violate many peoples' rights under the US Constitution. If not a right, it is then a privilege or benefit. If it is a benefit, then a law is the vehicle to deny privileges/benefits, not a Constitution. Either way, I disagree with it. The conservatives in this Commonwealth have specifically fostered the argument that they need to define this in the Constitution to prevent "activist judges" from doing something counter to their (conservatives) liking. Unfortunately for them, as it is written for our ballot and consideration, the Virginia proposed amendment will actually cause the exact opposite to happen: court cases will begin to proliferate, because it specifies that any nonmarried relationship will not be given any rights and privileges that approach any of those associated with married couples. Think about that for a moment. It will be a part of the Commonwealth Constitution and will take precedence over any aspect of contract law, because the Constituion clearly trumps statute.

In your other posting, you said, "The constitutional issue, though is whether granting the privileges of marriage to opposite sex couples only violates a homosexuals constitutional right to equal protection. Conservatives would argue that the benefits of marriage are granted by the state to encourage a certain behavior (something the state does a lot of) and granting them to opposite sex marriages only does not prevent same sex couples form entering into a private marriage with their commitment to each other established by contract."

To again highlight my earlier statement about the Virginia proposal, this final statement would in fact be violated in that the Constitutional definition of marriage and the codification in the Constitution that no rights and privileges associated with those of heterosexual marriages will be granted to any in nonmarried relationships. This, by the way, does not at all make it exclusive to homosexual couples; it would also deny them to heterosexual couples who are not married. Any such contracts you have mentioned would be null and void by the newly revised Virginia Constitution. Regardless of how it is worded for Virginia, however, the real truth is this: as it exists in our society at the moment, the right or privilege to marry in our United States is a civil institution. Even if you are married in your church and religion, failure to get a license issued by the legal entity authorized to issue it means that it isn't legal. That license requirement means it is a civil issue for the state (all of them), and religious ovetures (of any sort for any recognized religion) must not enter into the argument. Interestingly, if that (failure to get a license) were to happen here in Virginia, the proposed amendment would make it illegal to extend the civil benefits associated with a legal marriage to such a couple (non-licensed). So, they may not be living in sin in the eyes of their church, but their marriage would be illegal and not recognized for any civil purposes, including automatic rights/benefits such as taxes, medical decisions, rights of inheritance, etc.

As to the issue of the state granting the privileges/rights of marriage to heterosexual couples to encourage a certain behavior, shouldn't the state then be wanting and willing to extend this encouragement to other couples who just happen to be of the same gender? I have to believe that the state would only encourage positive behavior patterns (and the sexual acts in the privacy of one's homes is nobody else's business - unless it involves children (who are not fully capable of critical thought yet) or things like assault and battery or murder charges). Therefore, let's extend that encouragement of proper and positive behavior to all adults in a paired relationship. By the way, placing this amendment into the Constitution or even as a statute as far as I am concerned, makes heterosexual marriage a right and correspondingly a denial of that right to homosexual couples, which actually then does deny them equal protection.

I believe that many homosexual couples desire to get married for the same simple reason I married my wife (and I suspect is the prime reason for the vast majority of marriages): they truly love their choice of partners. There is no other agenda for that. The fact that the state desires to deny them the right - or privilege - to do that is the real culprit here. It isn't a gay agenda pushing itself on the rest of society; it is society that is telling them that they don't have any right to be included in these institutions. A parallel example would be those who blame the deaths of thousands of Iraqis on our presence there rather than on the insurgents and terrorists who are actually killing these innocent civilians. The parallels are quite interesting.

Needless to say at this point, neither my wife nor I will vote for the proposed amendment here in Virginia. I wouldn't vote for it even if it pertained only to gay couples; the other piece about non-recognition of other non-married couples just adds fuel to my fire. It is just plain wrong, and I think it is wrong for any state to do this. Our marriage won't be adversely affected by allowing other couples to marry. Neither will my faith be shattered or even shaken. Interestingly, who knows whether my specific stance on this issue might open me up to excommunication potential?!

Sorry for the long post, folks. I didn't mean for it to be so long. Thought I could express it more succinctly. I guess I failed. As I said at the beginning, just some things to consider on this isue.

Cecil Turner

The ones with children certainly do.

"Childbearing" narrows it down quite a bit, I'd think.

I think you fail to take notice that much of the push for gay marriage is by gays who have families.

What proportion of gay marriages (or current couples) are we talking about (with children)? My sense is that it's a tiny fraction, but no data springs to a casual google. If so, it is perfectly legitimate for society to encourage one institution for the desired effect, even while declining to recognize a similar institution that produces only a smattering of analogous situations.

boris

I don’t see how they can have much influence

Maybe not but at this point given your expressed hostility to any defense of traditional marriage it seems unwise to trust in something "you don't see". Would much prefer some acknowledgment of the basic point to show awareness of the potential problem. The NJ judges could easily have avoided this objection by noting some discrimination would be allowed to account for the reproductive factor, but instead seemed to rule out that consideration by proclaiming EXACT equivalence.

boris

proven to do better only in households with both mother and father present

Balderdash? Children living in a married household with both biological parents have been proven to do better. That is not advocating criminalizing divorce or single parents or gay parents, it just supports giving incentives for that arrangement and speceifically addressing their needs when necessary without interference.

Foo Bar

What proportion of gay marriages (or current couples) are we talking about (with children)? My sense is that it's a tiny fraction, but no data springs to a casual google

Here is one data point:

Nationally, an estimated 1 in 4 same-sex-couple households reports having children younger than 18 living in the home, according to Gary J. Gates, a researcher who co-authored the Atlas.

Here is another one:

What was once unheard of is now a fact of life. Forty percent of same-sex couples aged 22 to 55 are raising children, about 5 percent of whom are adopted, according to the Williams Project, a UCLA Law School think tank. If you include children born in once-heterosexual marriages, raised by single parents and parents of all ages, up to 10 million children are estimated to have a lesbian or gay parent.
Jim E.

Cecil wrote: "Your previous argument was in fact a strawman, and identifying it as such was not rude."

Well, I guess you're a dummy for missing the point.

Jane

What proportion of gay marriages (or current couples) are we talking about (with children)? My sense is that it's a tiny fraction, but no data springs to a casual google. If so, it is perfectly legitimate for society to encourage one institution for the desired effect, even while declining to recognize a similar institution that produces only a smattering of analogous situations.

Cecil,

I don't know that answer but I will tell you what I have observed since civil unions became legal in Vt and gay marriage in MA. Gays get married and start families. I would guess that the same percentage of gays get married to start a family as in the heterosexual world. They may not do it on day one, but that is where they are heading. What I keep thinking is getting mixed in here is some idea that gays have different goals and dreams as straights. And I just haven't seen that. Have you?

boris

Well, I guess you're a dummy for missing the point

Now who's being uncivil?

He didn't miss the point, you did. The term strawman is in fact a shortened version of "straw dummy".

Your argument was in fact a straw dummy argument. If you took that as a personal attack, then shame on you.

boris

What I keep thinking is getting mixed in here is some idea that gays have different goals and dreams as straights.

More straw? Link to someone here saying that.

Jim E.

boris,
I've never once heard the term "straw dummy" (and how is an 11-character phrase a "shortened" version of an 8 letter word?).

In any case, considering your long history of personal attacks against me, it's hardly shameful for me to consider this one to be more of the same. But I'm always happy to learn about new phrases.

You (and now Cecil) have accused me of commenting in bad faith when I was correct in noting your hostility toward aspects of gay marriage. When corrected by you that you weren't against gay marriage, I thanked you for doing so. How is that commenting in bad faith (which is how I would label strawmen arguments)? I suppose you want me to apologize for genuinely wanting to learn more about your viewpoint?

Of course, now that I think about it, I still can't tell if you are against gay marriage or not, so I suppose its possible I've written that wrong in the previous paragraph. From what I can tell, you fear the obvious negative influence of gay unions/gay marriage, yet simulataneously have "no problem" with it.

And as far as Cecil goes, it appears he's really, really concerned about issues of pregnancy, and costs associated with the actual moment of birth, but nothing else after that.

Jim E.

Oops, I got the shortened part wrong. Nevermind about that.

boris

lol

Barney Frank

Here are a few articles on gay marriage that anyone should read before pronouncing that gay marriage has no effect on marriage in general and is not a step onto a slippery slope. There are other people making the same arguments, I am just most familiar with Kurtz.
And sorry, but while I used to know, I am drawing a complete blank on how to hot link them here, so cut and paste is all I've got.


http://www.nationalreview.com/kurtz/
kurtz043003.asp

http://www.weeklystandard.com/
Content/Public/Articles/000/
000/002/938xpsxy.asp

http://www.weeklystandard.com/
Content/Public/Articles/000/
000/003/660zypwj.asp

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MDFhMjk0YjI4NzgyZGM4NjMxZmY4NTQw
ZWNjYzkzYjg=

Cecil Turner

I would guess that the same percentage of gays get married to start a family as in the heterosexual world.

I find that implausible. (There's also a separate issue over whether it's a "good thing" or not.)

What I keep thinking is getting mixed in here is some idea that gays have different goals and dreams as straights.

Seems to me there are some rather obvious biological issues. And in my admittedly limited experience, gay lifestyle seems to tend toward less stable relationships. (I further suspect biology is a significant part of the underlying reason--though that's obviously conjecture.)

Well, I guess you're a dummy for missing the point.

I'd have a lot more sympathy if you'd admitted it was a dishonest argument.

boris

When corrected by you that you weren't against gay marriage ...

So are you asking for assistance in clarifying?

I am not opposed to gay families having benefits.

I advocate society's ablilty to target incentives and benefits specifically for opposite-sex marriage. It's reproductive importance is the reason.

To the extent that "gay marriage" would allow gay families to influence society's ablilty to target incentives and benefits specifically for opposite-sex marriage, I oppose that on principle.

To the extent that "gay marriage" would allow gay families to influence society's ablilty to target incentives and benefits specifically for same-sex marriage, I DO NOT oppose that on principle.

Jim E.

"I'd have a lot more sympathy if you'd admitted it was a dishonest argument."

Calling me "dishonest"?

One, What I initially wrote was written honestly, not dishonestly.

Two, I thanked boris for subsequently correcting me.

Third, I *still* don't understand boris's simultaneous concerns/"no problem" with gay marriage/civil unions. But since my previous acknowledgment of boris's correction means nothing to you, I suppose I'm still being "dishonest" by writing this.

Jim E.

boris,
Yes, I was looking for clarification. Thank you.

My question remains (and I'm not being dishonest, or setting up a strawman in asking this again): What governmental "incentives" and "benefits" are there that *solely* deal with "straight" marriages, as opposed to gay families? I need something concrete to wrap my head around. I'm clear as to what you are referring to.

Jim E.

I'm *not* clear...

Robert Brown

“I disagree with this wholeheartedly (at least from what I've seen and heard, especially here in Virginia. The groups and individuals (all of whom appear soaked in conservatism) who support the Amendment referendum we're set to vote on soon have, without exception, completely focused on the religious perspective that marriage is defined in the Bible…

MikeW,

You are confusing the policy preferences of religious conservatives and the constitutional arguments that conservative judges would make. There is a difference between the preferred policy outcome and the procedures to get to those outcomes.
Virginia is apparently attempting to amend their constitution in a way that you don’t agree with. I am not a fan of constitutional amendments, but that is a better legal procedure that creative interpretation of the existing constitution.

“As to the issue of the state granting the privileges/rights of marriage to heterosexual couples to encourage a certain behavior, shouldn't the state then be wanting and willing to extend this encouragement to other couples who just happen to be of the same gender?”

Probably, but legislatures have the constitutional right to make poor policy decisions.


Cecil Turner
Nationally, an estimated 1 in 4 same-sex-couple households . . .
I was hoping for something a bit more authoritative than an offhand assertion by the author of Gay and Lesbian Atlas, but I guess that's better than nothing.
Forty percent of same-sex couples aged 22 to 55 are raising children, about 5 percent of whom are adopted, according to the Williams Project, a UCLA Law School think tank.
95% are not adopted? I'm having a hard time with that one as well, especially since they appear to break out those "born in once-heterosexual marriages." (Possibly they mean the remainder are born out of wedlock, but there's no obvious reason for the distinction.)

And as far as Cecil goes, it appears he's really, really concerned about issues of pregnancy, and costs associated with the actual moment of birth, but nothing else after that.

Dumb argument (especially as I cited both in the original comment, though Jane chose to highlight the "bearing" part). As to it being a valid concern, many women scrimp on prenatal care . . . with obvious societal detriments (and as my wife is a Women's Health Nurse Practitioner, I'd tend to be aware of that sort of thing).

Calling me "dishonest"?

Yes, Jim, a fallacy is a dishonest argument.

Robert Brown

“If you look at the states who are attempting to ratify the statute, they are not the states generally plagued by liberal judges.
BTW I'm in favor of pre-empting a liberal judiciary. I don't think arriving at the right result the wrong way does gays any favor at all.

Jane,

That’s because the more conservative states are more paranoid about “activist judges”. Ironically, the conservative states likely have a more conservative judiciary.

I think the push for gay marriage is as much about social. acceptance of homosexuality as it is about the benefits. As such, I agree that cramming gay marriage down the throats of society via judicial decree may well backfire. Better for gays to be patient an wait for their social acceptance that is rapidly occurring to allow a legislative solution.

Jane

I find that implausible.

Well ask some of your gay friends and family members. I'm pretty sure they won't find that implausible.

And in my admittedly limited experience, gay lifestyle seems to tend toward less stable relationships.

Well I know a lot of gay people, and that's not true in my experience at all.

Now I think that has changed over the years, and I have my theories about why - but at this point in the discussion, it seems stupid to go there.

Foo Bar

I was hoping for something a bit more authoritative than an offhand assertion by the author of Gay and Lesbian Atlas, but I guess that's better than nothing.

Here is a U.S. Census report. Table 4 on page 9 says 21.8 percent of same-sex unmarried partner households with 2 male partners have children at home, along with 32.7 percent of same-sex unmarried partner households with 2 female partners.

For perspective, 45.6 percent of married-couple households have children at home.

Jane

I think the push for gay marriage is as much about social. acceptance of homosexuality as it is about the benefits.

Well I almost agree - I take a bit of issue with the word "acceptance" (altho that may simply be a function of where I live).
I think gays want to stop the fact that they are singled out. They just want to live their lives. Equal treatment propels that integration.

As such, I agree that cramming gay marriage down the throats of society via judicial decree may well backfire. Better for gays to be patient an wait for their social acceptance that is rapidly occurring to allow a legislative solution.

As we have seen in MA one propels the other. A year after the legal decision which most agree with legislating from the bench the acceptance of gay marriage in MA had increased not decreased.

That being said, I've always thought that the best thing gays can do is start owning the companies and being the employers. Change is easier from that perch.


Robert Brown

“That being said, I've always thought that the best thing gays can do is start owning the companies and being the employers. Change is easier from that perch.

Or simply avoid in your face gay pride demonstrations, come out of the closet and be seen as “responsible” citizens.

Cecil Turner

Well ask some of your gay friends and family members. I'm pretty sure they won't find that implausible.

Well, anecdotal evidence doesn't answer the question. There are also obvious differences in the process (whether by adoption or other means), which would appear to change the dynamic. So in the absence of data . . .

Well I know a lot of gay people, and that's not true in my experience at all.

I used to know quite a few (though have generally lost touch with them over the years), though it was both dated and a younger crowd, so I'll allow as how it may be misperception. And again there seems to be little data out there, but what I see tends to be supportive (e.g., Study finds gay unions brief).

Here is a U.S. Census report.

Nicely done! (And that's far higher than I would've guessed, though I'd expected the disparity in gay male households vs. gay female ones. BTW, I think you should've used the 22.3 and 34.3 numbers, which both make the case a bit better and appear more germane.) Thanks. It's hard to tell whether the data is skewed by empty-nesters, but it does appear the differential (opposite vs same-sex households) is not as dramatic as I'd assumed, which argues for extension of benefits.

Jane

Or simply avoid in your face gay pride demonstrations, come out of the closet and be seen as “responsible” citizens.

That goes without saying. But frankly that is going on all over the place. It's the pride demonstrations that get the attention, and that certainly seems to be a function of shooting oneself in the foot.

And then you have the Rosie O'Donnell's of the world who IMO have set back the integration of gays about 3 decades. She is so '80's. Oh and don't forget organizations like the Human Rights Campaign. The thing to remember is a lot of gays take as much issue with those things as straights do.

Jim E.

Cecil,

Referring to you 11:12am post, what are the substantial post-birth and post-breastfeeding differences between gay and straight families? (And I request this information from you honestly/sincerely/inquisitively and I do not seek--knowingly or unknowlingly--to set up a strawman "argument" with this hopefully straight-forward question that is not intended to be an argument.)

"Yes, Jim, a fallacy is a dishonest argument."

Contrary to what you wrote, I didn't make an "argument" in the post you remain so concerned about. I asked a question.

And please stop with the hair-splitting. For you to throw around the words "dumb" and "dishonest" while also pretending you're not calling me names is pretty lame.

But since you're into splitting hairs,... why did you choose to call my post "dishonest" rather than, say, "incorrect" or "misguided"? (I will set aside, for the purposes of this question, my objection that there was anything "incorrect" about my original question.) It seems to me that you were going after my intent, and accusing me of trying to somehow be deceptive. The word "dishonest," after all, has a different connotation than "incorrect," as a wordsmith such as yourself would acknowledge. Why else would you accuse me of dishonesty even after I had already thanked boris for answering the question?

Robert Brown

“The thing to remember is a lot of gays take as much issue with those things as straights do.”

And I suspect that many social conservatives take issue with the proclamations of Pat Robertson and Jerry Fallwel that are headlined in the media.

Jane

Robert,

Precisely.

Cecil Turner

Contrary to what you wrote, I didn't make an "argument" in the post you remain so concerned about.

Oh nonsense, Jim. You conflated "marriage" with "benefits", which was not Boris's argument, and is a strawman (muddied somewhat, admittedly, by my subsequent expounding on "benefits" . . . which I'm also kinda borderline on). Boris pointed it out, you took it as a personal affront. I pointed it out again, and you continue to act aggrieved. Have fun with it, by all means.

And please stop with the hair-splitting. For you to throw around the words "dumb" and "dishonest" while also pretending you're not calling me names is pretty lame.

I retain the right to split hairs. Marriage≠benefits. (And you don't need to read Boris's mind to figure that out.)

But since you're into splitting hairs,... why did you choose to call my post "dishonest" rather than, say, "incorrect" or "misguided"?

Yet again, a fallacy is a dishonest argument (hair splitting: I didn't call either you or your post dishonest). And though I suspect you did make it in error initially, pretending it's legitimate after being corrected twice . . . Well, draw whatever conclusion you like.

Larry Fafarman

I disagree with the comparison of same-sex marriage to interracial marriage -- they are fundamentally different. For one thing, most people are readily identifiable as to sex but a lot of people are not readily identifiable as to race. Also, racial distinctions are inherently suspect because their usual purpose or effect has been to stigmatize non-whites as inferior or undesirable.

Also, here are some drawbacks of same-sex marriages and civil unions:

(1) They are unfair to people -- whether gay or straight -- who would like the advantages of such relationships (e.g., inclusion in a partner's employer's medical and pension plans) but who do not want to be perceived as being gay. There is still something of a social stigma attached to being gay.

(2) Because laws on recognition of same-sex relationships will vary from state to state, some gays will be more equal than others.

(3) Same-sex marriages and civil unions create great problems for the "full faith and credit clause," Article IV, Section 1 of the Constitution, which says, "Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state." There is already a child custody lawsuit because Vermont civil unions are not recognized in Virginia -- see http://www.courttv.com/news/gaymarriage/081304_custody_ap.html

(4) Monogamous same-sex marriages and civil unions are unfair to people who are denied legal recognition of polygamous and other plural relationships. If monogamous same-sex marriages and civil unions are allowed, what justification is there for denying plural marriages and civil unions?

Also, complaints by gays that not being able to get married prevents them from doing such things as inheriting a partner's assets or visiting a partner in a hospital are without foundation.

I think that by pushing for same-sex unions, gays are risking a backlash and possible loss of some of the gains that they have already made. For this reason, I am surprised that I have not seen any gay organization oppose same-sex unions.

Jim E.

Cecil,

In the part of my post which you still claim I was "dishonest," I was merely trying to correctly paraphrase boris's statement posted directly in front of me. To simplify, I was trying to AGREE with boris by writing that marriage was a good thing for individual families, as well as for society. That's what I was trying to write. Period. It was on that basis (agreement that marriage was a Good Thing) that I asked why he was against gay marriage. The second sentence of boris's post responding to me clarified his stance (sort of -- I still don't know if he's pro- or anti-gay marriage).

You say I set up a strawman, when I was merely trying to paraphrase, a correctly as possible, my understanding of where boris was coming from. I think the our misunderstanding may have to do with what we're talking about in terms of "benefits." You write "Marriage≠benefits." I was talking more generally. It would be a strawman argument if I wrote, in response to your little mathematical formula there, that "Cecil doesn't think marriage has any beneficial role in society." Now *that* would be a strawman.

Cecil wrote: "I didn't call either you or your post dishonest."

Well, then what the heck are you calling "dishonest" if not me or the substance of what I wrote? (And I request this information from you honestly/sincerely/inquisitively and I do not seek--knowingly or unknowlingly--to set up a strawman "argument" with this hopefully straight-forward question that is not intended to be an argument.)

Cecil wrote: "And though I suspect you did make it in error initially, pretending it's legitimate after being corrected twice . . . Well, draw whatever conclusion you like."

I don't even know what you are saying here. (I suspect that will open me up for more ridicule about my lack of reading comprehension, rather than making you or boris ever once re-consider the possibility, however remote, that what you mean to write isn't always conveyed as clearly as you might intend. But I seriously don't know what those sentences mean.)

I'll try this one again, too: what are the substantial post-birth and post-breastfeeding differences between gay and straight families? (And I request this information from you honestly/sincerely/inquisitively and I do not seek--knowingly or unknowlingly--to set up a strawman "argument" with this hopefully straight-forward question that is not intended to be an argument.)

JM Hanes

Geez guys. I disagree with Jim E. often enough myself, but what's with the ad hominems? I find some of the arguments being made here just as hard to follow as he does, none of which, IMO, substantively address the perfectly reasonable statement and the perfectly reasonable question he posted:

Gay couples already adopt and rear and educate children. They're doing it right now. Gay families exist.

If marriage can help families flourish, and is therefore a substantial benefit to society, why the hesitancy in conferring the cultural, social and legal benifits to gay couples?

I certainly see no strawman in that! In contrast, the emphasis on heterosexual reproduction and concentration on the number of gay adoptions alone are what strike me as the real stretch here. Gay couples adopt children, but lesbians also bear children, gay men father children, childless heterosexual couples adopt and rear other people's children every day, whether through adoption agencies or via re-marriage.

In the final analysis, the balance was unalterably tipped when gays (and singles, for that matter) were granted the right to adopt. Whatever one thinks of the civil rights/miscegenation equivalence being floated these days, the childrens' right to equal protection under the law will utlimately trump the rest. We currently deny the benefits of marriage to the parents of some children and not to others. I, personally, fail to see how remedying that inequality is anti-family.

richard mcenroe

“That being said, I've always thought that the best thing gays can do is start owning the companies and being the employers. Change is easier from that perch."

The paragons at HRC were one of the first to do that. They were one of the first to offer their gay couples first benefits... and one of the first to stop because it was just too expensive. Doesn't stop them demanding everyone else do it though.

Jane

When was it stopped?

boris

Geez guys. I disagree with Jim E. often enough myself, but what's with the ad hominems?

Gee Wiz JMH since when is pointing out that a claim is a straw dummy ad hominem?

JimE: why the hesitancy in conferring the cultural ...

This is a straw dummy argument. Speaking for myself there is absolutely no problem conferring the exact same benefits and incentives for gay families. Zero zip nada.

I certainly see no strawman in that!

Then link or quote to someone claiming gay families should not have those cultural, social and legal benifits referred to. Seems to me the debate here is should that be accomplished by redefining marriage to include same sex couples.

If you believe same sex couples should have access to all those things then fine. Advocate that, but don't accuse others who disagree with the marriage redefinition approach of wanting to DENY THOSE POOR GAY FAMILIES THEIR BENEFITS. Because that would be what I consider a straw dummy argument.

boris

There are lots of opposite sex couples who have children and who choose not to marry. Are they being denied their benefits too?

Oh they can choose to marry. Well so can gay couples. Nothing prevents them from marrying members of the opposite sex who may or may not be the biological parents of their children. That also is their choice.

My suggestion ... start a thread to discuss how society should extend benefits to anybody and everybody. Not my interest so don't expect my charming prose there. My only point here is that society should have a mechanism to specifically address the incentives, benefits, needs and law regarding the special case of opposite sex marriage and their biological offspring. Why? Because it's special, the case preferred by science, evolution, religion and historical precedent. I don't care if out of some notion of fairness all other family forms are given access to the exact same incentives, benefits, needs and law. But ... and this is the essence of my objection ... do not structure that extension in such a way that those things become a generalized constraint on how society may modify, extend or otherwise address the special case.

The NJ court did just that which is why I am posting on this thread.

MayBee

We currently deny the benefits of marriage to the parents of some children and not to others. I, personally, fail to see how remedying that inequality is anti-family.

Hmmmm...I'm not sure it's correct to say "we" deny the benefits of marriage to the parents of some children and not others. It seems to me anyone that has children outside of marriage have done that themselves. If we are talking adoption, then the same thing goes. Adoption is a long process, and anyone that undertakes the decision to adopt knowing that they are not married can't be surprised to find their children do not have the benefit of married parents.
This is true whether a gay person or a single person has made the decision to adopt. As soon as we loosened up adoption laws, we opened the door to children having inequitable parental situations.

Considering the fact that many children will be born to people that cannot or will not marry, I'm not certain that inequality can be remedied.

Cecil Turner

You say I set up a strawman, when I was merely trying to paraphrase, a correctly as possible . . .

Boris hit it squarely above. When you say "why the hesitancy in conferring . . ." you are asserting (as part of the question) that there is a hesitancy in conferring . . . Boris made no such argument, so it's a strawman.

I'll try this one again, too: what are the substantial post-birth and post-breastfeeding differences between gay and straight families?

If you're referring to my point about childrearing, it's that more straight families have kids. (How many more percentage-wise is in question, but apparently somewhat fewer than I had surmised.)

vnjagvet

Let's assume that a state legislature would pass a law that allowed any two people who are citizens of the united states to undergo a civil "ceremony of commitment" before anyone authorized in that state to administer oaths, swearing to be responsible for the care of each other for life.

Assume further that the law specifically states that such individuals are not considered "married" to each other, but shall be deemed by the state to be "committed companions";

Assume further that under that law, the official evidence of such a ceremony would bestow on all "committed companions" the same rights and liabilities of "married couples" under that state's laws.

Why doesn't that law effectively create vested rights in the "committed companions" which would be entitled to full faith and credit by all states?

Why doesn't that solve the NJ Court's issues?

What is wrong with such a law?

MayBee

What is wrong with such a law?

Would it mean that private entities (banks, insurance companies) have to recognize the committed companions?
Does an employer have to recognize their committedness?

boris
official evidence of such a ceremony would bestow on all "committed companions" the same rights and liabilities of "married couples" under that state's laws.

What is wrong with such a law?

No objection to any given set of rights and liabilities for such a system.

I object to the linkage because committed companions would then be a consideration for any adjustments made to opposite sex marriage "rights and liabilities". I prefer to keep that special case unencumbered so that it's important reproductive and cultural role can be directly addressed and supported by society without extraneous considerations.

Jane

What is wrong with such a law?

I suspect that is where many states are going. The problem with the law is that it is a policy of separate but equal. I don't think that helps society much.

boris

separate but equal

Integrate the two forms. Make marriage legal only between one homosexual and one hetrosexual. Gender mox nix.

MayBee

Isn't the question why?
Why in the world should the state recognize any two committed companions?

Why should some 52 year old stepfather be able to march down to city hall with his 16 year old stepdaughter and have the state recognize his yearning to be a committed companion to her?
What is the benefit?

boris

What is the benefit?

How about this, single profesional carreer mom hires a nanny and gets to put the nanny on her medical as a committed companion.

vnjagvet

MayBee:

The idea is to create a relationship that is not marriage, but has the same civil rights and obligation.

If you have problems with step parents, etc., you presumably could set up age of consent limitations, as with marriage.

Please understand that in some states, there is nothing to prevent stepdad from marrying stepdaughter now.

MayBee

vnjagvet-
Some states don't have the step parent limitations, some do. So take away the step, and make it a parent. Make my example a dad and his daughter. Heck, make her 18 to take the age of consent out of it.
The point is, what is the benefit to having some sort of relationship between any two people (why stop at 2?) that can be enshrined in law and given the same civil rights and obligations as marriage?

MayBee

vnjagvet-
I would like to further point out that the consent limitations generally lower the age for marriage when parental consent is given.
In some states, someone as young as 14 can marry as long as they have parental consent.
So, would we raise the age limit in those states? Or could our friendly dad give consent to companionize his 14-year old daughter?

I want there to be limits on who can marry, or who can get legal recognition of their very special relationship. Do you not?

Jim E.

Cecil,
So you’re hanging your hat on “hesitant.” Well, “hesitant” is a bit of wiggle word in the first place, so I’m amused you’re accusing me of dishonesty on that basis. But, hey, why don’t you look at the posts that boris wrote on Oct 27 @ 3:52pm, Oct 28 @ 8:42am, and Oct 28 @ 8:55am and tell me where I was off-base in concluding he’s “hesitant” about conferring anything similar to the benefits derived from marriage onto gay couples.

Be sure to look at the 8:55am post, because boris makes clear there that he isn’t just hostile towards gay marriage. He clearly writes how he is concerned about “gay marriage and/or exact equivalent.”

boris lumps together gay marriage and civil unions together (he wants neither, at least prior to 9:05 am), and you think I’m supposed to assume he’s nonetheless in favor of some sort of legal regime that confers cultural, social, and legal benefits to gay couples anyways?? I’ve never heard of such a thing (despite what boris has subsequently written).

If you can't tell, I don't take kindly to being accused of dishonesty. You tried to slither away and claim you didn't accuse me of it ("I didn't call either you or your post dishonest"), but that's bs, as anyone can read for themselves.

JM Hanes

Cecil:

"Boris hit it squarely above. When you say "why the hesitancy in conferring . . ." you are asserting (as part of the question) that there is a hesitancy in conferring . . . Boris made no such argument, so it's a strawman."

The very controversy itself centers on whether or not to extend the cultural, social and legal benifits of marriage to gay couples -- as advocated by some and resisted/rejected by others. I really don't understand your insistance that this is a dishonest strawman, as opposed to being the heart of the matter -- regardless of what Boris personally believes the discussion should or shouldn't be about.

JM Hanes

boris:

"My suggestion ... start a thread to discuss how society should extend benefits to anybody and everybody."

Not my interest so don't expect my charming prose there.

MayBee

I will readily admit that I want gay people to be able to marry simply on the basis that it is the right thing for gay people.
I don't want there to be a broader point, or a larger message, or a right that exists for all people to marry who they want.
I just want to get to the point where most people think that it is the right thing. Period.

Jane

The idea is to create a relationship that is not marriage, but has the same civil rights and obligation.

vnjagvet,

What on earth is the point of that? If you want to assuage those on the planet who feign their acceptance of gays while "joking" that people who disagree with them must be gay, that might work. And if you want to encourage an "us and them" atmosphere, it will serve your ends. I will note that all those people so concerned about "the children" aren't the list bit concerned about gay children or the children of gays.

We let all sorts of disqualified people marry, without even the tiniest bit of scrutiny, because it is a personal decision. But find two guys who love each other, and want to make a committment and suddenly it's our, not their decision, for "the good of society".

I don't buy it. And I just wonder if it has something to do with the exact thing you are proposing - lack of integration. It is really way past time for people to get over the whole gay thing.

Cecil Turner

I really don't understand your insistance that this is a dishonest strawman, as opposed to being the heart of the matter --

This is getting really tedious. Boris made an argument based on the difference between marriage and gay marriage (not benefits thereof). Jim responded with an assertion about Boris's position about benefits. Boris correctly pointed out that fundamentally misstated Boris's argument (i.e., was a "strawman," though he used the term "straw dummy"). Jim got excited about it (apparently over the use of the word "dummy"--which is in fact what a strawman is--but I thought he was disputing the fact that he misstated the argument), I merely pointed out (in passing) that Boris was correct. Then Jim decided I was a dummy, so I reminded him that a fallacy was a dishonest form of argument (which it is).

As to whether it's the "heart of the matter" or not, feel free to decide that for yourself. But if you ask Boris what his position is, and why he wants to nuke the baby gay whales, then he would be perfectly correct to remind you that he never said anything about nuking baby gay whales (and that the correct label for such a misattribution is "strawman"). And if you want to then pretend that's a personal attack, well, it isn't.

So you’re hanging your hat on “hesitant.”

No, Jim, I'm just too lazy to quote the entire phrase after it's been cited more than once. Reread the original, or don't bother, machts nicht to me.

Cecil Turner

It is really way past time for people to get over the whole gay thing.

I'll take that as a vote for "it's not about the benefits."

boris

One gets the distinct feeling that sometimes the debate isn't about what the debate is really about. My argument has been simple and reasonable if only mildly compelling.

When asked to speculate (rhetorically apparently) as to downside on future generations, my hypothetical response was that advances in evolution science on human nature might provide some government policies that would improve the percentage of stable nuclear families, (biological mother father and offspring). A potential downside could be that implementing such policy becomes more difficult because non traditional family advocates, now covered by the same institution and have equal say in it's policies, object and want no changes or different changes to improve their percentages instead.

To which rhetorical speculation requester responded "When pigs fly".

So my take is this. It's not really about benefits and fairness, it's about demanding the respect and dignity society has "unfairly" awarded to traditional families. I suspect if the surface were scratched there would appear to be no small degree of hostility to tradition, especially the Christian sort.

boris

From Cecil's link we learn that in a bull ring the straw dummy is less effective than the rodeo clown.

Wow.

Rodeo clown ... hmmmmmmm ... who could that be I wonder?

Jane

I'll take that as a vote for "it's not about the benefits."

Well it is clearly not about the benefits for some people here. One can only speculate what it is about.

boris

Or learn to read.

boris
boris lumps together gay marriage and civil unions together (he wants neither, at least prior to 9:05 am), and you think I’m supposed to assume he’s nonetheless in favor of some sort of legal regime that confers cultural, social, and legal benefits to gay couples anyways?? I’ve never heard of such a thing (despite what boris has subsequently written).

When you attempt to paraphrase my postings and get is dead wrong, it seems a lot like ishonesty. If you can't paraphrase something I would agree with then perhaps you shoud refrain from the attempt.

boris

--- a lot like dishonesty ---

boris

From yesterday's 8:55AM post

The point you refuse to address is that gay marriage and/or exact equivalent will impede the state from specifically targeting the the primary reproductive institution.

From today's 5:29AM post

implementing such policy [benefiting traditional family] becomes more difficult because non traditional family advocates, now covered by the same institution and have equal say in it's policies, object and want no changes or different changes to improve their percentages instead.

Not exactly a nuclear bomb of an argument, yet neither complex nor inconsistent. Somehow the point gets lost when addressed by proponents of new policy who want to be trusted not to harm existing traditional institutions. Gotta say it doesn't inspire confidence or trust. If you really don't understand this simple point, or dishonestly deliberately mischaracterize it, then you should be kept far far away from advocating changes to public policy .

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