Try Watching This Without Getting Infuriated

Rick Santorum gets asked why same-sex couples can’t get married. He responds by asking the questioner if it’s ok for multiple people to get married… because, you know, that’s the same thing:

To quote a commenter at Joe. My. God.:

It’s as if he tells me that he thinks capital punishment is good and I ask him to defend genocide instead of explaining why capital punishment is bad.

Not that I’d be opposed to polygamy, but you have to love how smug he sounds, thinking his logic is flawless.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • http://twitter.com/Buffy2q Buffy2q

    If we allow a man and a woman to get married, why not a man and three women.  Why not a woman and two men?  A woman and her horse?  A man and his three-year-old child?

    See, it works both ways.  

    • Rich Wilson

      I’m pretty sure he’d say something about the ability to make babies, so I think I’d be asking why it is that infertile couples can get married.

      • Satan H.

        Government (hopefully)  isn’t going to intrude on a couple’s privacy to determine whether or not they are fertile, or whether or not they want to have a baby (and they could change their mind later).  So the POTENTIAL for a couple (or even a mixed-sex polygamous relationship)  to reproduce has been a major element of  “marriage”.  I am all for a same-sex couple to have the same substantive rights as “marriage” (even if a constitutional amendment is necessary for that), but I’m not in favor of changing the governmental definition of the word.  Since government does not require a “married” couple to cohabitate, love, or have sex, governmental “marriage” is currently available to all….gay or straight…..the only requirement is that in order to be considered married, you must find someone of the opposite sex as your spouse.  I know gays who don’t give a rat’s ass about “marriage”….they just want the legal and tax benefits, and I support that wholeheartedly.  I have no problem with mixed-sex polygamous “marriages” either, as long as all parties are consenting adults and appropriate agreements have been made regarding parental responsibilities.

        • Anonymous

          The definition of marriage has changed countless times over its history.  Why do so many people conveniently ignore this reality?

          The legal definition of marriage changed when interracial marriage became legal ~ did we come up with an entirely different word for it?  no.  Interracial couples are given the simple title of ‘marriage’, like everyone else…….despite the fact that their gaining legal recognition changed the legal definition of the word.

          So why should it be any different with same sex marriage?

          Since procreation isn’t compulsory/necessary for people to be given the title of ‘marriage’ and its privileges/benefits, there’s absolutely no reason for the gender(s) of the participants to be an issue at all.

          Here in Canada, same sex marriage (yep, it’s just ‘marriage’ here, for ALL couples regardless of gender) has been legal for the better part of the decade, and guess what?  It hasn’t affected anything negatively.   There’s been no ‘backlash’ or even a ripple in its wake……

          I’m confident/hopeful that the United States will be following us in the very near future.

          • http://twitter.com/FelyxLeiter Felyx Leiter

            Bravo, AxeGrrl.

        • Edmond

          So you suggest that gay people should have a parallel institution that is equal to marriage in all ways, but should still remain independent of it?  This is called “separate but equal”.  What purpose is there, OTHER than segregation and exclusion, to have two isolated yet identical processes that perform all the same functions?  If they are the same, then there is no reason not to simply have ONE process for everyone.

          Claiming that the WORD “marriage” is your motivation for exclusion is a subtle way of suggesting OWNERSHIP of marriage, as if heterosexuals had copyrighted the thing.  It is a way of saying that gay people may form legally recognized relationships, but we can’t call it marriage because marriage is “yours”.

          The word “marriage” simply means “joining”.  Since joining is what we are doing, marriage is what it should be called.  The word belongs to no one for them to hoard, and the arrangement is exactly the same for homosexuals as for heterosexuals.

          • Satan H.

            Are you then going to demand that women not “own” a “womens” restroom, and that you insist on access to it , too?  Why not?  It’s separate but equal!

            Marriage is NOT exclusive to heterosexuals.  A gay guy can legally marry a lesbian girl and get all of the benefits!  Why? Because, if they are fertile and willing, they can procreate.   Since when does government marriage REQUIRE love between the spouses?

            • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

              Oy…

            • SphericalBunny

              Since when does government marriage REQUIRE love between the spouses?

              Still failing hard there, sweetie; Since when does government marriage REQUIRE procreation between the spouses?

              Oh, and where I live, there exist unisex toilets; singular public ones + whole bathrooms in pubs/bars. No-one’s that bothered. I’ve also seen men in the women’s facilities and the opposite, but have yet to hear anyone screaming ‘ZOMG that’s totes illegal’. I’ve yet to see a disabled toilet in England segregated by sex, come to think of it. Were you considering making a coherent point sometime soon?

            • Erp

              Since when has it required procreation?  (In fact in some states first cousin marriages can take place only if there is no intent to procreate).

            • Edmond

              No, I think it’s fine if women “own” the restroom.  After all, it says “women” right on the door!  That kind of makes it theirs.  Marriage has no such sign on the door.

              If a gay guy can marry a lesbian, couldn’t he marry a straight woman as well, and still get the benefits?  Maybe you could suggest or volunteer a young woman for me?  Perhaps your sister or your daughter would like to enter into a loveless marriage with a gay man?  She wouldn’t mind if I’m not attracted to her, right?

              I hope this isn’t the “sanctity” argument.  Is this what marriage is to you?  A loveless child factory?  Isn’t it about choosing the person you want to spend the rest of your life with?  Standing up in front of family and community to declare your bond?  Making a home and family of your own?

              The government doesn’t require procreation any more than it requires love.  Marriage can happen without procreation, and procreation can happen without marriage.  This is not about making babies.  It is about the government singling out a segment of society to tell them they are to be excluded, they are not good enough to be recognized.  Gay people can have children, and many do.  Should those families be illegitimate and unrecognized and unprotected?  This is about unnecessary discrimination, and the harm it causes.

            • http://www.facebook.com/Tracy.Bradley1 Tracy Bradley

              Why should ‘government marriage’ REQUIRE the POTENTIAL of biological procreation? I mean it, I really want to know. 

        • Anonymous

          I see this all the time.  The word “marry” is from a French word, that ultimately derives from a pre-Christian Roman term, meaning it was originally a pagan concept, not a Judeo-Christian one.

          What you want is Gwz, which is, as far as I can tell, is ancient Aramaic for the same concept, and would’ve been the term used by a hypothetical Jewish apocolyptic prophet at the beginning of the current era.  Proper pronunciation, by the way, is “Zog”.  So you and your fellow “Christian marriage” folks can go get zogged, and leave the marrying’ to the rest of us, to define as we like.

          • Satan H.

            Sorry, but lots of atheists get “married” and they would not do so if there were any religious strings attached….pagan, Xian, or Jewish.  It’s not “Christian marriage”, it’s government (or civil) marriage, despite that prick Gingrich calling marriage a “sacrament”.  Maybe it was that for him, but it wasn’t for me.

        • Heidi

          Actually, I’m pretty sure that marrying someone for financial/legal gain alone is considered fraud. This is also the reason you can’t (legally) marry someone just to keep him/her from being deported.

        • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

          Typing “POTENTIAL” in capital letters doesn’t make your point any more coherent. Why does it matter if the couple has the potential to produce a child that shares their genetic material? How is it relevant to marriage?

          • Anonymous

            Why does it matter if the couple has the potential to produce a child that shares their genetic material? How is it relevant to marriage?

            Exactly.  It doesn’t matter (and if Satan H had watched that video I offered, he/she would understand why)

            It seems that no matter how many times this obvious point is made, someone will come along and repeat the same erroneous ‘it’s about the potential to have kids’ assertion……it’s a little mind-boggling, honestly

            • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

              Satan is studiously ignoring my comments, LOL. He still hasn’t explained why being “biologically different” and having the “potential” to create children together is at all relevant to  marriage, and I doubt he will.

        • http://www.facebook.com/brandie.winchester Brandie Lynn Winchester

          I agree if everyone is consenting adults let them live thier lives. Same sex, polygamous it’s no one elses business let them live thier lives and make a union to however they choose!

        • http://www.facebook.com/Tracy.Bradley1 Tracy Bradley

          ” Since government does not require a “married” couple to cohabitate, love, or have sex, governmental “marriage” is currently available to all….gay or straight…..the only requirement is that in order to be considered married, you must find someone of the opposite sex as your spouse. ”

          Still not sure what your issue is with extending that to include same-sex couples? It’s the potential for biological children??? 

    • Anonymous

      Buffy, your point is simple and brilliant :)

    • Guest

      The reason you cannot marry a horse, or a three-year-old, is because they cannot give consent to the marriage.  Legally speaking a marriage is a contract, and you cannot enter a legal contract with another that cannot give consent.

      Otherwise, why not marry the moon, a tree, or even your house, your car a preferred pair of shoes.

  • http://anythingbuttheist.blogspot.com Ginx

    Obviously the whole social fabric would tear at the seams if gay people could get married and polygamous families could live publicly.

    At least he learned to stop comparing homosexuality to bestiality (I guess he finally nailed down the scientific concept of “species”).

    • Anonymous

      Well, when your name gets turned into a word meaning anal lube froth you might back away from saying such things.

      What I always wonder is why don’t these guys just come out and say why they are really against gay marriage: we hate gays because god tells us to! The people who support them would love to hear it, they might even gain more support, and they could finally just be honest instead of dancing around the obvious.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Rick, you’re not supposed to answer a question with another question, you santorum. Besides, what the hell, if the people involved are all consenting adults, who cares who and how many people get married?

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p010536ce50d4970c «bønez_brigade»

    I got slightly infuriated.
    (Please, Lord Jesus, please let him be the GOP nominee.)

  • Bombardierlen

    He doesn’t think his logic is flawless. He knows his supporters think his logic is flawless.

  • Tyler

    I think polygamy should be legal. I mean, it’s happening already and not hurting anyone. plus it’s in the Bible (SET MATCH). But only because there is a marriage thing. Personally I don’t think there should be ‘marriage,’ the gov’t should treat single people the same way they treat couples. But no one cares what I think.

    • http://www.gratefultobeofthisworld.blogspot.com/ Dea

      Actually most polygamy is religious and there is a great deal of harm involved. Now, if these folks didn’t need to hide their polygamy, maybe there would be less harm, but in the closed communities where it is popular, believe me, there is harm – lots of it. Talk to anyone who has escaped a polygamous religious sect.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1078695333 David Kopp

        Came here to say that. 
        Polygamy is by and large harmful and religiously based. The secular benefits of marriage are also defining a family, so somebody has power of attorney, etc. once you start getting into polygamy, those things start becoming a real issue. A two-person union is plenty for legal rights. Feel free to have as many lovers as you want, but marriage is quite rightly for only two people, from a logistical standpoint.

        For the posters who say that marriage shouldn’t exist… I can agree for tax purposes it’s not fair. But there are many, many other rights granted through marriage that are not for taxation that ARE a good idea.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=527580163 Elizabeth Klein

          Have you seen sister wives? They are happy and their kids are allowed to choose. Not all polygamy is Warren Jeffs’ style of abuse.

          • Anonymous

            Yeah, but that’s just a reality show … and one thing which reality shows lack is reality.

      • Mark Boyd

        The problem is that religious polygamy often does not involve informed consent of all parties in the relationship.  

        Religious rules often force unmarried women into pre-arranged marriages.  Religious rules often force young men out of a polygamous community, against their will, due to the pressure of fewer available wives.  There is obvious harm here - especially when the male leaders of a polygamous marriage are encouraged by their religion to beat  rebellious wives and banish male children from the community.

        Perhaps if such religious communities were to also allow polyandry, or group marriage, there would be fewer unattached males to kick out.  And if the unmarried women are better informed of their rights, and enabled to walk away from an invitation to join a plural marriage without stigma or retribution, then perhaps the harm will decrease.

        Fat chance, I know.  The religious communities that set up polygamous marriage seem to resemble a pyramid scheme to me.  If you are the first few males in the “upline”, your life is fine.  If you are a woman or male child making up part of the “pyramid”, then your life sucks.

    • Anonymous

      The way it’s usually practiced, there is both harm to the women and to society. Women become a commodity and to its its scarcity (men and women are roughly 50:50 of the population, so what happens when every man wants 2 women?) they get fought over. If not with violence then with ever higher prices and lower ages.

      There is nothing wrong with a polyamorous marriage where everyone is on more or less equal footing. But codifying that legally is a nightmare – at least in a way that’s applicable to all couples.

      • http://10dollardifference.blogspot.com/ TychaBrahe

        Why?  Why should it be any harder to codify a polyamorous marriage than it is to codify a business partnership between three people?

        The government for the most part doesn’t even codify marriage besides limiting it by age and heterosexuality.  The government says nothing about how the members of the marriage have to treat each other.  It’s hardly a ketubah, where the husband promises to sexually satisfy his wife.

        • Anonymous

          Actually, there are numerous rules and precedents governing conduct within a state-sanctioned marriage, most of which get brought up during divorces.  All those various grounds for divorce are, in fact, codes of expected conduct.

          And “alienation of affection” is usually considered grounds for divorce, so sexual satisfaction’s in there, too.

  • D.B.

    Hey Rick, why do you have to be such a right-religious bigot?

    • D.B.

      That was supposed to say right-wing, religious bigot.

      • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

        Works either way.

  • Rod Chlebek

    Based on this video, here’s how Santorum’s mind works:

    FIND LOGIC.BAT

    Searching…
    File not found

    USE FALLACIES.BAT
    SELECT VALUE(RANDOM)
    RUN

    • Spencer

      Oh, so that’s the reason why he’s so stupid — his mind runs on Windows.

      • Greisha

        It does not look like a Windows script.

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

          Sounds like he needs a CLUE.BAT

          • Venture Free

            Or UPSIDE_HEAD.BAT (this should not be construed as an endorsement of violence against anyone)

          • Berlie Parks

            Actually, I think the only file he calls on is DING.BAT

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=599737719 Jonathan Blake Robinson

    Yeah… I totally got infuriated. Was that actually logic he was using? If it’s true that the first thing we have to do is differentiate why “if two, why not three?” Ok. If two people can get married why can’t three? How is this a same-sex issue? The issue is why, if two opposite sexed people can marry, why can’t two people of the same sex? If we need to justify “why not three?” we’d need to justify it for both same sex and opposite sex relationships. 

  • Guest

    why would it be a problem if more than two people want to get married? I am only against it as long as women are not treated equal (so society needs to accept Man-2 Women and Woman+2 Men )  As long as we are talking consenting, adults who are able to make decisions and who would be (socially and psychologically) able to say no, go ahead. get married. I consider all this speshul treatment of marriage silly in the first place.

    • PS..

      PS: and yet, first things first: get same sex couples the same rights mixed-sex couples have. 

    • Guest

      There are tax implications to getting married.  If you can claim 5 wives and 4 husbands and 15 kids dependents, you’re not going to be paying much taxes.

      As long as the law states that you can only claim one spouse (regardless of gender), and only the children of that relationship, or adopted into that relationship, as a dependants – then I don’t really care about polygamy at all.  In Canada we have a saying “There’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation”.

      Everyone’s gotta pay they fair share into the public coffers for society to work.  Its broken right now because the super rich are not paying their share, but that is another topic entirely.

    • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

      Marriage is, among other things, a means of identifying one’s primary next of kin.  Being the primary anything implies that it is a role held by a single person. 

      Legally recognized polygamy would require a huge overhaul of the system in ways that allowing same sex marriage would not.  How many spouses would an employer be required to extend benefits to?  How many spouses can be claimed as dependents for taxation?  Which spouse gets final say on medical matters in the absence of a living will or medical directive?  How are assets divided upon the death of one spouse?

      Adapting current marriage licenses and laws to allow same sex partners doesn’t require much legislative effort.  It would be more of a clerical effort, because all that would really need to be done is replacing the gendered words “husband” and “wife” with the genderless word “spouse”.   The rights and responsibilities, the sharing of employer benefits, none of that really changes with same sex marriage.  All those things would have to be changed, and massively at that, if we were to recognize polygamous marriages. 

      This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t legally recognize polygamous marriages.  It only means that same sex marriage is NOT the slippery slope to polygamy that politicians like to pretend it is.

  • Rich Wilson

    This doesn’t actually bother me because although I know he’s just trying to equate gay marriage to something that most of us have a gut “bad” feeling about (polygamy) I do think the logic is sound.  If two consenting adults can enter into a relationship contract, then why not three consenting adults.  The major holdup is our assbackwards way of having health insurance (and other things) as a spousal benefit.  So if you have five people married, and only one is ‘working’, who pays for the health insurance benefits of the other four.

    • Anonymous

      This doesn’t actually bother me because although I know he’s just trying to equate gay marriage to something that most of us have a gut “bad” feeling about (polygamy) I do think the logic is sound.

      Could you be a little more specific about what “logic” you think is sound here?

      If comparing same sex marriage to polygamy is ‘sound’, then I guess comparing same sex marriage to interracial marriage is ‘sound’ as well.

      Let’s see……’if we let people of different races get married”……

      One could easily do this with each and every change to the legal definition of marriage down the line.

      • Rich Wilson

        I’m not sure if this will help, but maybe it’s that I consider it a slippery slope to something else that is perfectly reasonable.

        “if we let people of different races get married, then why not people of same sex?”  And here we are are on the verge of same sex marriage.

        So if we do get to same sex marriage, why not multiple person marriage?  Or why not multiple person-person contracts?  Why should my being married to X stop me from being married to Y?  And X to Y?

        Our views ARE changing, but that’s a GOOD thing.  And as has been said elsewhere, we already have protections in place for pets, kids, and the moon.  And by familial relations, although that makes the assumption that marriage means making babies.

        • Satan H.

          Of course, the difference is that mixed-race couples can create a baby (if they want to, and are fertile), so there’s no biological reason to exclude mixed-race couples from marriage.  It’s a HUGE jump from that to same-sex marriage.  But, as you said, here we are.  From a biological standpoint,  multiple person (3+) marriage should be recognized before same-sex marriage.

          • Rich Wilson

            The biological reason is a non-reason, since it’s only brought up for same sex couples, not infertile in other ways couples.

            Elsewhere you said “Rights are not the same as labels. ”  But having a label recognized is a right, and an important one to some people.  That doesn’t mean it’s a right that people have (I think it is, you don’t) but it is a ‘right’, to be had or not.

            As I’ve said, I used to be pretty much with you on this.  I cared more about same sex couples being able to inherit, and adopt, and sponsor immigrants, and all that.  I didn’t really care about the label, and figured they could just slap on some rings, say “I Do”, and call it a day.  But that PBS video I linked elsewhere made me realize that ‘the label’ is part and parcel of everything else.  You can’t make it “the same except the label” and have it “the same”.  It’s not.  And the reasons for denying the label are, IMO, arbitrary.

            I’m going to try to move on now because I think we’ve passed “agree to disagree”.  If the lead plaintiffs in the case against Prop 8 (who where the opponents in Bush v. Gore btw) can’t change your mind then I sure won’t.

            • Anonymous

              ‘the label’ is part and parcel of everything else.  You can’t make it “the same except the label” and have it “the same”.  It’s not. And the reasons for denying the label are, IMO, arbitrary.

              Beautifully said Rich :)

          • Anonymous

            that mixed-race couples can create a baby (if they want to, and are fertile), so there’s no biological reason to exclude mixed-race couples from marriage. 

            Satan, good grief, being able to create babies ISN’T a prerequisite for marriage.  And not being able to have babies doesn’t make one ineligible for marriage.  How many times does this very simple point need to be pointed out to people??

            Your comment above suggests there would be a reason to exclude (from marriage) mixed-race couples who can’t create babies……but NO couple, right now, is excluded based on their inability to procreate.

            If hetero couples aren’t disqualified when they can’t produce kids, why should same sex couples be?

            Check out the video I posted further down the thread:

            It’s all about children (or at least the anatomical possibility thereof).

            From your post, I think you’re exactly the person who should watch it :)

          • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

            This is getting even more ridiculous. Same-sex couples can and do have children. It’s no harder for a lesbian to conceive than it is for a heterosexual woman. In many cases, it’s easier. My lesbian biological mother got pregnant with me on the first try. This was 1976, and my conception didn’t require a trip to the doctor or any advanced technology.

            It’s no harder for lesbian couples to bring children into their relationship. Studies show that they are doing so at ever increasing rates. So why the hang-up about biological “potential?” Marriage as a legal institution is not concerned about whether married heterosexuals share genetic material with their children. Children might be biologically related to one parent, both parents, or neither parent, but the couple is legally married nonetheless.

  • The Vicar

    I stopped watching video on the Internet months ago. My blood pressure went down ten points.

  • LCR Trap

    You would think the Republicans want Obama reelected this year. 

    • Gordon Duffy

      Why shouldn’t they? He gives them everything they want and lets the Democrats take the blame!

  • Bo Tait

    I didn’t find it infuriating. Just more if the same. I’m sure there were plenty of anti gay marriage folks nodding along with his “reasoning.”

    Just a comment on some of the polygamy stances I’m seein in the comments. Before you pick a side on the issue, please do your homework. Im not saying I’m for or against it but if all you require is consenting adults oto win you over you should probably dig a little deeper. If your not knowledgeable about the arguments on both sides you owe it to yourself to stay on the fence until you do.

  • Lurchi

    I have no problem with Polygamy, Like gay marriage, if it is between consenting adults who am I to judge?

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/GodVlogger/featured GodVlogger (on YouTube)

    By his ‘logic’ here, why are we allowing heterosexuals to get married?

    By allowing a man and a woman to get married, aren’t we already on Santorum’s slippery slope of encouraging three, four, or five straight people to all get married together? He better put an end fast to marriage in couples before this thing gets out of hand.
    :-)

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/GodVlogger/featured GodVlogger (on YouTube)

    Wow. I just had a thought as to why Santorum always goes for this “Slippery Slope” argument….
    It’s his own “santorum” that is making the slope so slippery!

    (Google santorum if you don’t already know).

    New meme to spread: “Spreading Santorum is what causes a Slippery slope!”

  • Venture Free

    I hope that someday for his own sake he figures out the source of those funny feelings that confuse him so much. Maybe then he’ll stop trying so hard to eliminate what he considers the source of the weirdness.

  • Charles Black

    Why is it that that according to latest video statistics that the video has 924 comments but only 311 views? Also Rick seems to be deliberately obtuse in this video which is infuriating in itself.

    • https://www.facebook.com/GentleGiantDK GentleGiant

      Because you don’t have to reload it to comment on it? So if you’re having a “conversation” in the comment section, you can make more comments than times you’ve seen it.

  • Newavocation

    You would think the fundamentalists would be all for polygamy, so they can just marry more people instead of committing adultery. Divorce lawyers should be all for polygamy too and lobbying hard for it.  Can you imagine divorce court TV? 

  • http://blogforthelordjesus.wordpress.com Mike Gantt

    The comment string here validates Santorum’s logic.  That is, if you open the door to marriage beyond one man with one woman you’re obligated to identify when and if you’d shut it again.  I didn’t take Santorum to be saying that his point ended all discussion, but rather that it showed the direction that the discussion must take.  The fact that some of you would allow polygamy and others wouldn’t, demonstrates his point.  If you’re unwilling to give a new definition of marriage and a rationale for it, you can’t blame Santorum and others for clinging to the definition and rationale that they have. 

    People who favor homosexual marriage do not have a common view of what other deviations from the God-given pattern they would allow.  This disparity is something they’d prefer to avoid discussing – for obvious reasons.  And this accounts for the enmity against Santorum for calling attention to it.

    • Anonymous

      No one is actually demanding for polygamy to become legal. No one. Not even  polygamists want to actually marry several people. All they want is one marriage with relationships on the side. They don’t want to be punished for that. That’s all.

      Definition of marriage: Two consenting adults. There

      And stop with your “deviating from god” BS. Haven’t you noticed how that crap doesn’t fly here yet?

      • http://10dollardifference.blogspot.com/ TychaBrahe

        How do you know what polygamists want?  “One marriage with relationships on the side” sounds like open marriage to me, not polygamy.  Polyamorous people see nothing wrong with a long-term committed relationship with more than two people in it.   

        Actually, neither do I.  

        Read Robert Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress for the workings of a line marriage (multiple male and female partners) or Friday, where the Canadian family was one woman with two men, and the NZ family was another clan family. 

        • Anonymous

          I don’t have any citations handy, but there there have been court cases where people fought against anti-polygamy statutes. I think there is even one such case currently filed somewhere (US or Canada).

          The headlines usually go something like “People want to legalize polygamy”. That sounds like they want to legally marry several persons, but what they’re actually after is not be criminally prosecuted for having several people living in the same household as if they’re married.

          The point is that if people really wanted to legally marry several persons, they’d sue for it. That they don’t either means that they don’t want to or at the very least that they know that they’ll be rejected. Either way, the fears are unwarranted

      • http://blogforthelordjesus.wordpress.com Mike Gantt

        I doubt that you speak for all homosexuals, or even for all polygamists, but at least you have stepped up with a proposed definition.  Now carry the discussion forward with a rationale, and specifically a rationale that  will withstand the obvious requests for expansion that will inevitably follow.

        And as for your addendum, you are not using the kind of language that supports the claim of morality without God.

      • Littlebrownbird

        I’m not demanding it, exactly, but I do want it.  I know many people who would want to legally marry more than one person.

    • Anonymous

      God-given pattern…

      Uhm, what “God-given” pattern would that be?

    • Anonymous

      Santorum is using polygamy as a dividing rebuttal question because polygamy in the eyes of the public has a negative slant to it (considering how much press the FLDS get).

      Yet, polygamy was a religious type of marriage, at least when it comes to history and who participated in it (from the biblical times to the mid to late 1800′s).

      So for Mr. Santorum to use a religious type of marriage to steer opinions of the religious against same-sex marriage comes across as very ironic.

      • http://blogforthelordjesus.wordpress.com Mike Gantt

        Perhaps Santorum is as calculating as you suggest.  To me, however, it appears much more likely that he is defending a position because of the requirements of his conscience when his political instincts would tell him to capitulate.

  • Satan H.

    No, Hemant, I think YOU are the one being “smug” here.  Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t like Santorum, for lots of reasons.   I even know one of his cousins here in Pennsylvania who can’t stand him.  (Apparently, he was fairly normal as a kid, but his wife turned him into a religious nutcase.)  But he’s trying to make a point that that if you change the governmental definition of word “marriage” to include same-sex couples (i.e. disregarding the potential of the relationship to produce its own offspring–assuming fertility and desire to produce), why NOT change it to include polygamists, and even “man on dog” (assuming a willing adult dog, of course!)?  Why NOT change it to include marriage of an adult to a 13 year old?  The point is, like it or not, society draws limits.  Those limits are not always religiously based, even though most proponents of those limits are religious.  I’m really sick of anyone who doesn’t agree 100% with every jot and tittle of the “gay agenda” being shouted down.

    • Anonymous

      Having any kind of sexual relationship with a 13-year old is already illegal. And you know why

      • Satan H.

        Well, no.  I don’t really know why.  I mean, why would a particular state make the minimum age for marriage, say, 16 years old with parental consent, rather than 15 yrs 364 days??  Rather than 14 yrs, or 13 yrs?  Government has simply drawn a fairly arbitrary line.  And that’s a lot more arbitrary than disallowing same-sex marriage.

        • Heidi
          • Satan H.

            No, that didn’t help at all.  Why?  Because it focuses on denying people the rights and benefits of marriage.  If you have read all of my posts you would know that I support giving same-sex couples the same rights and benefits of marriage—but without the term “marriage”—even if such a change requires a constitutional amendment.  Rights are not the same as labels. 

            And as for the issue of adults vs. minors, state governments have each picked their own minimum age for marriage.  Those ages have changed over time.  If you advocate changing definitions, why NOT change the minimum marriage age from, say, 16 (with parental consent) to, say 15 yrs and 45 days?  Anything WRONG about that?  Point:  government draws a line.  You want to change the line when it comes to same-sex marriage, but apparently not when it comes to minimum age.

            As for marrying an animal, the argument is that animals can’t give consent.  Well, they can’t give their consent to neutering or spaying or slaughtering either, but those actions are perfectly legal, so why shouldn’t marriage be?  He, it’s just another redefinition!

            Try again.

            • http://www.facebook.com/AnonymousBoy Larry Meredith

              It’s amazing how twisted some people’s panties get when you suggest two loving adults should be allowed to marry just as straight people are. It’s like your whole world would be turned upside down with men marrying multiple cats and dogs and inanimate objects oh my!

              You say you support same-sex couples having all the same rights and benefits of marriage without the term, but what is so special about the term? What is your hang up about redefining it? It’s been redefined a lot over the years. In the past it used to be more of an exchange of property. That’s even more traditional than your ideal loving union between a man and a woman. But over time we as a society reasonably change it when it logically makes sense to.

              • Satan H.

                At what point should we STOP redefining it?  After YOU and/or your friends or family are included?

                • Rich Wilson

                  Language evolves.  Ideas evolve.  Morality evolves.

    • Mairianna

      “man on dog” – dog may be willing, but CANNOT consent.  

    • Anonymous

      That or change it so that everybody has the same rights as are currently enjoyed by the majority. 

      What your doing is playing the slippery slope game in hopes of trying to make unequal treatment under the law sound rational by throwing out ever increasing absurdities.  What next marriage between a banana and a grape fruit with a side of donkey?  Geeze

      • Satan H.

        As I have posted elsewhere on this thread, I fully support granting same-sex couples the same substantive rights as mixed-sex couples, even if it requires a constitutional amendment to accomplish that.  But rights and labels are two different things.  Stop trying to call a rose a carnation.

        • Rich Wilson

          Your rose was already re-named in Loving v. Virginia.

          • Anonymous

            Your rose was already re-named in Loving v. Virginia.

            *pow* (to quote Wanda from ‘Corner Gas’)you’re on a roll today Rich :)

            • Satan H.

              No “pow”.   Just because it was broadened then, doesn’t mean it should be further broadened.  And further.  And further.  (Or should it be broadened just this once more to make YOU happy?)

              • Anonymous

                Just because it was broadened then, doesn’t mean it should be further broadened. 

                Please offer a constitutionally-based reason that same sex couples shouldn’t be eligible for marriage.

                Do that and we’ll go from there.

                • Satan H.

                  From a labeling perspective (not a rights perspective), if it is constitutional for government to label/categorize/enumerate/whatever people by gender (because gender is a biological difference), which I assume it can do (e.g.  mens and womens rest rooms… and, btw, there goes your separate but equal argument), it should be constitutional to label homosexual relationships differently also.  After all, if homosexuals are “born that way” then they are biologically different.

                  BTW, what would you do if SSM becomes legal and 90-95% of the population abandons the term “marriage” and decides to trademark a new name for “mixed-sex” committed relationships?

                • Rich Wilson

                  ‘mixed race’ marriage didn’t receive majority approval in the US until 1991.  I never heard anyone call for ‘same-color committed relationships’.

                • Satan H.

                  Thanks for helping me make my point.   Mixed-race marriages were allowed because it conformed with biology—mixed-race couples (if fertile and willing) can procreate.  And you didn’t answer my hypothetical.

                • Anonymous

                  You’re wasting your breath methinks Rich.

                • Anonymous

                  All those words and you completely didn’t answer the very simple question I posed to you.

                  Saying something like “it should be constitutional to do ____” is irrelevant.  Expressing what you think ‘should’ be constitutional doesn’t answer my question.

                • Satan H.

                  Because, in the end, what you say is constitutional, or what I say is constitutional, doesn’t matter.  All that matters is what the Supreme Court says.

                • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

                  BTW, what would you do if SSM becomes legal and 90-95% of the population abandons the term “marriage” and decides to trademark a new name for “mixed-sex” committed relationships?

                  Good grief. Do you really think 90-95% of the population is so homophobic that they are going to throw a hissy fit simply because same-sex couples are granted the right to call themselves legally married?

                  Frankly, it’s a ridiculous assertion. It hasn’t happened in any state or country that has allowed same-sex marriage, and there’s no evidence it would happen if the federal government decided to extend marriage to same-sex couples.

                • Satan H.

                  No, it’s not “homophobic”.  That means a persistent, irrational FEAR of homosexuals.  Trust me, I have no FEAR of gays and lesbians.  I have gay friends.  I want them to have the same substantive rights–the important legal stuff that they rightly claim they are deprived of (survivorship rights, hospital visitation, tax benefits).  But the reality is that they ARE different from straights, and their relationships always lack the ability to procreate.  So I don’t think they are automatically entitled to the word “marriage” simply because they want government to use that word or because it would make them “happy” for government to use that word.  There are a lot of things I would like the government to do to make me “happy” too.

                • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

                  Ah, I see you finally decided to respond to me.

                  Your reaction to the word “homophobic” strikes me as as a case of “thou doth protest too much.” You’re not anti-gay, you have gay friends, etc. But you still seem to be irrationally afraid of granting the word marriage to same-sex couples. I wonder why that is?

                • Satan H.

                  You really think I sit around here all day, so that I can promptly reply to each and every post of yours??   Hahahaha.   I have a life.

                  I’m not AFRAID of the dilution of the word “marriage”.  I would lose no sleep over it.  Current substantive benefits aside, why is the word “marriage” so vitally important to you?  Are you actually losing sleep over government’s failure to use that word for SS relationships?  As I have posted elsewhere, if government required me to call atheism a “religion” in order to qualify for equal rights as theists, I’d have no objection to it.  In fact, it would water down the definition of religion.

                  If gays/lesbians hadn’t overreached for the word “marriage”, they would have had all of the really important benefits granted by now.  That’s really dumb.  As the only sane GOP candidate, Jon Huntsman  (but there’s a good chance you look down upon the guy because he’s a “breeder”), said last night, “Civil unions are fair”, but perhaps it doesn’t sound ROMANTIC enough for you.  Get real–why the hell should you care if GOVERNMENT uses a romantic term for your relationship?   There’s absolutely nothing to stop anyone anywhere from having a party they call a wedding, and a relationship THEY call a “marriage”.

                • Anonymous

                  “Homophobia” doesn’t just literally mean “fear” but also “aversion”.

                  You are so stereotypical. “I have gay friends”. As if that explains or justifies anything

                • Satan H.

                  Your original comment above ended in “Yeah, right…”
                  I see you have edited it.

                  First of all, you don’t know me.  You don’t know who my friends are.
                  I have one friend who is a “bear”.  He is a great guy, and you know what, unlike most atheist gays, doesn’t shy away from being associated with atheist groups, and being an outspoken activist atheist.  I have another gay friend from back in high school days, almost 40 years ago.  I knew he was gay back then (even though HE hadn’t come to that conclusion yet), I didn’t shun him or avoid him, and I still don’t.   He’s still single and I truly hope he can find happiness.   I have/had another gay friend (I’ve lost track of him lately) who had been married to a straight female, and had sons with her, and he was later widowed, and “turned” gay, so to speak.  He told me he doesn’t give a damn about the word “marriage”, he just wants to be able to share his partner’s medical insurance and be afforded the other benefits of “married” people.

                  But, thinking about it now, none of them are the fashion-oriented, extremely effeminate type of gays.  They are all out of the closet, but they don’t flaunt it.

                  So my comment “I have gay friends” DOES justify that I do NOT  have a fear OR aversion to gays.  End of story.  I simply disagree with them on the governmental definition of the word “marriage”.

                • http://www.facebook.com/Tracy.Bradley1 Tracy Bradley

                  “what would you do if SSM becomes legal and 90-95% of the population abandons the term “marriage” and decides to trademark a new name for “mixed-sex” committed relationships?”

                  Ummm… nothing. Because nothing other than the word for it would have changed. Like how nothing about marriage changed here in Canada, except that same-sex couples can now also use that word legally to describe their relationship.

        • Anonymous

          Marriage today is almost indistinguishable from what it was even 150 years ago. Back then women didn’t have distinct legal identities, where basically chattel and divorce was several restricted. Interracial marriage was forbidden. Hell, at one point marriage between slaves didn’t have any legal consequences either.

          There are also cultures that did have forms of same-sex marriages long ago in one form of another. Almost all North American Indian tribes (two spirits). Some African tribes (so-called “female husbands”). Some Pacific Island cultures. Parts of China at some points. And if that didn’t exist, traditions can’t be kept up for their own sake. At some point things simply change and people move on to something new.

        • Anonymous

          “But rights and labels are two different things.  Stop trying to call a rose a carnation”.

          Umm?  I’m not sure I follow.  Your saying you object to using the word *marriage* to describe the relationship? 

          Kind of like having separate drinking fountains?

           If gay couples have the *same* rights as heterosexual couples under the law, wouldn’t that include the right to use *that* word?

          To co-opt a quote:
          ..It does me no injury for my neighbor to say he is married to his husband. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks
          my leg.

          • Anonymous

            To co-opt a quote:..It does me no injury for my neighbor to say he is married to his husband. It neither picks my pocket nor breaksmy leg.

            Nice :)  it brings to mind this…another great quote, from a poster on another board:

            “Any ‘suffering’ the majority endures owing to the acknowledgement of other’s rights to equal treatment exists purely in their minds.”

        • Rich Wilson

          conformed with biology 

          You keep saying that.  And we keep saying it’s irrelevant since infertile couple can get married.  To you (not wanting to put words in your mouth, but I think it’s accurate) having the right biological parts (working or not) is what defines marriage.  To me, it’s two  people in a committed relationship.  (Ignoring poly for the moment).  I think your ‘biological parts’ is just as arbitrary as ‘same color’.

          I honestly think that ‘biological parts’ is a reaction to same sex people wanting to get married.  That is, nobody had ever considered blocking menopausal women from getting married.  Or making men submit a sperm count test.  But when same sex people started talking about marriage, people against it had to invent excuses to block it.  And having a penis and a vagina became the standard.  Heck, we’d let someone with locked in syndrome get married, as long as they have the ‘right’ part and can blink to say ‘I Do’. 

          And you didn’t answer my hypothetical.

          If it was making a new term for mixed-sex relationships, I think it’s too unlikely to consider.  My wife and I (and I venture most ‘mixed sex’ marriages) wouldn’t dream of doing something that stupid.  And the trend in polls supports that.  You’re looking at barely 50% now, nationally (as best I recall).  And some people already have their own term.  Mormons have a ‘regular’ marriage, and a ‘Temple marriage’, where, IDK, maybe they exchange magic underwear.

          If you meant bathrooms, I actually do think segregated sex bathrooms are a waste of resources, but I don’t expect it to change soon, and it’s not that big a deal.  I have been at crowded events where the women’s line was way longer than the men’s line, and women started using the men’s room stalls to pee.  And nobody died.

          BTW, I don’t think we’ve covered it, but I presume you wouldn’t mind if one or both of the ‘parts’ was manufactured?  That is, as long as one has a penis (surgically created or not) and one has a vagina (surgically created or not) then it’s ok.  In fact, we could even have an XY with a (surgically created) vagina and an XX with a (surgically created) penis, and it would be ok to get married.  But an XX with a vagina and an XY with a (surgically created) vagina would not?

        • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

          (Moving this up because the box was getting too narrow).

          You really think I sit around here all day, so that I can promptly reply to each and every post of yours??   Hahahaha.   I have a life.

          Well, since you were replying to everyone but me, I figured it was intentional. But no matter. Since I have your attention, you still haven’t given anyone a straight answer. I’m asking you point blank: Why does it matter if the couple has the potential to produce a child that shares their genetic material? How is it relevant to marriage?

          I’m not AFRAID of the dilution of the word “marriage”.  I would lose no sleep over it.

          Yet you are fantasizing that 90-95% of the American population would be so freaked out by granting legal marriage to same-sex couples that they would, en masse, throw a temper tantrum and assign a new title to their own unions?

          Current substantive benefits aside, why is the word “marriage” so vitally important to you?  Are you actually losing sleep over government’s failure to use that word for SS relationships?

          Well, considering the fact that no same-sex couple anywhere in America has equal legal rights, the name itself is hardly the main issue. No civil union, no domestic partnership, no state-recognized marriage provides the benefits and protections afforded by federal recognition. Same-sex couples are not likely to get any of that unless Obama makes good on his campaign promise to repeal DOMA. 

          Separate but equal is morally offensive. If it meant that Americans would stop acting like nincompoops, perhaps it would be worth it as a temporary measure. But the anti-gay people, the true homophobes on the ultra-right, aren’t going to go along with it. They don’t want any benefits or protections for same-sex couples and their children. None at all. And they’ve made that abundantly clear.

          As the only sane GOP candidate, Jon Huntsman  (but there’s a good chance you look down upon the guy because he’s a “breeder”), said last night, “Civil unions are fair”, but perhaps it doesn’t sound ROMANTIC enough for you.  Get real–why the hell should you care if GOVERNMENT uses a romantic term for your relationship?   There’s absolutely nothing to stop anyone anywhere from having a party they call a wedding, and a relationship THEY call a “marriage”.

          Did you even bother to read any of my comments? A “breeder?” My parents are lesbians. They’re “breeders” themselves. I’m fairly sure they don’t care what their relationship is called as long as they have equal rights. But they don’t have that, not even in California. They have state protections as long as they’re in our state, but as soon as they travel anywhere, their domestic partnership/civil union/marriage no longer applies.

          BTW, Obama promised federal civil unions, too. It still hasn’t happened.

    • http://10dollardifference.blogspot.com/ TychaBrahe

      Because there is an enormous difference between a 13 year old and a consenting adult.  And between a dog and a consenting adult.  

      A 13 year old cannot buy a house or rent a car or enter into ANY contract.  The contract of marriage is just another example of that fact.  If two gay men can open a business together, why can’t they marry each other?  

    • Anonymous

      Good grief, how many vacuous, many-times-explained ‘points’ can you toss in there?

      People marrying animals?  or underage children?

      *facepalm*

    • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

      But he’s trying to make a point that that if you change the governmental definition of word “marriage” to include same-sex couples (i.e. disregarding the potential of the relationship to produce its own offspring–assuming fertility and desire to produce)

      Whether or not the couple can produce its “own” offspring has nothing to do with marriage. It’s irrelevant whether the couple has potential to create a child out of their own genetic material. There are no fertility tests for marriage. There are millions of legally married heterosexuals who cannot produce children together, and millions more who choose not to. Straight couples with no children, who have adopted children, or who have conceived children via donor insemination or surrogacy are no less legally married than those who have produced children the “traditional” way.

      Not to mention, there are plenty of same-sex couples with children. My parents are lesbians, and they raised two children together. The fact that one of my parents does not share my genetic material does not make her any less my parent, and it certainly should have no bearing on whether my parents should be allowed to be legally married after sharing 30+ years together.

  • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

    The irony is that the religious right is ruining the institution of marriage. By maintaining and insisting that marriage adhere to religious definitions and as society trends away from all these religious traditions, the concept of marriage is starting to unravel. By insisting on maintaining a very narrow definition of marriage, more and more people (even straight people) are simply opting out.

    If the tax code, insurance, and hospital visitation policies change to deal with the new reality of how many people actually are living, marriage may go the way of Baptisms, Conformations, and other archaic ceremonies that many people are simply not doing anymore.

  • Anonymous

    For those who have an issue with bestowing the word ‘marriage’ on same sex couples (instead of ‘civil union’) because of the ‘potential to bear children’ thing, you NEED to watch this (actually everyone should, because it’s frigging brilliant in its presentation and clarity):

    It’s all about children (or at least the anatomical possibility thereof).

    • Rich Wilson

      I used to support having a ‘government benefits’ contract for consenting adults e.g. ‘civil union’ and a ‘marriage’ that was purely ceremonial that churches (or anyone you felt like really) would do for whoever they wanted.  What changed my mind was the two lawyers in the lawsuit against prop 8, talking to Bill Moyers 
      http://video.pbs.org/video/1425834175 I hope the video is still available, I’m getting a ‘technical error’ at the moment.  It’s a great piece.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-Sweet/1280927267 James Sweet

    Regardless of whether you approve or disapprove of polygamy, it is clear that there is at least a rather large legislative difference between allowing same-sex marriage vs. allowing marriage involving more than two people:  You have to change all the laws, all the forms, all the bureaucracy.

    To recognize same-sex marriage, not a single law relating to the practice of marriage changes — only eligibility changes.  To properly recognize polygamy, OTOH, would be a major legislative undertaking.

    Whether you think polygamy is the worst thing ever, or if you think that choice should be recognized too, either way same-sex marriage is not a stepping stone towards recognition of polygamy.  Tremendous barriers remain.

    • Anonymous

      To recognize same-sex marriage, not a single law relating to the practice of marriage changes — only eligibility changes

      Great point James!

      I keep asking people “can you point to anything in the current civil marriage law(s) that fundamentally necessitates that the 2 people involved have differing genitalia?”

      (the answer is ‘no’)

  • http://www.facebook.com/AnonymousBoy Larry Meredith

    I know the Iowa caucuses are pretty much meaningless in the big picture, but how great would it be for Santorum to win the nomination? To see him debating head to head with Obama? Not because it would be an easy victory, but just for how fun that would be to watch. I’m rooting for Mr. Frothy Anal Juice.

  • Robert Grimm

    I don’t have a problem with his logic here. He didn’t bring up anyone who wouldn’t be a consenting adult. He specifically brought up three men getting married. If we’re going to allow any two consenting adults to get married, why not any number of consenting adults? He would have been making a huge logical leap if he was talking about a man and a child or a man and a horse because those are not consenting adults. Instead, he brought up a perfectly reasonable issue that I think we need to talk more openly about. He sounded like he was against it, but at least he’s talking about it. That’s the first step in a national conversation that might lead toward making a change to the law.

    • Anonymous

      at least he’s talking about it.

      That might be because he kinda has to talk about it.  When you become so famous for taking a particular stance on a particular issue that millions of people ‘christen’ your name as a new slang term, meaning “”the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex.”, of course you’re going to have to talk about it at some point.

      But hey, it’s his stance on issues like ssm that makes him so appealing to that certain-faction in the Republican party.

    • Anonymous

      I think he had a good point. Why two men and not three? 
      Personally I don’t have a problem with 3+ people getting married, but I bet a lot of voters do.

      Is there a logical flaw in his argument?

  • T-Rex

    Rick Santorum is a fucking idiot. It’s true. I looked his name up in the dictionary and his picture was under “fucking idiot”. It also said see; fucking asshole, douche bag and moron. Who am I to argue with a dictionary?

  • Rich Wilson
  • http://www.facebook.com/eukota Darrell Ross

    This reminds me of a discussion I had with a coworker today. I had listed off several things I thought should be legal while discussing personal freedoms. One item in the list was prostitution.

    The coworker took issue with this. He said it would be like making hit-men legal. I pointed out his straw-man fallacy did not fly.

    After some discussion, I learned that he felt that prostitution and killing people were morally equivalent. I also learned that he felt that verbally insulting someone and physically assaulting someone were morally equivalent and that verbally insulting someone should be illegal. 

    While I would like to think that in a room alone with Santorum, I could easily dispatch his failed understanding of logic, I would still need a small audience to point out to him how stupid he is. It is too bad that Santorum surrounds himself with yes-men.

  • Anonymous

    Given that we have nations where there is polygamy with no homosexual marriage (or even conduct) allowed, the notion that homosexual marriage somehow ‘leads’ to polygamy is utterly, hopelessly, and fatally flawed.

    Indeed, I can say this with utter confidence: Legalized gay marriage is an absolute barrier to the adoption of Sharia law.    They exist side-by-side in no nation on Earth.  So why, exactly, does Rick Santorum support leaving us open to Creeping Sharia?

  • http://www.facebook.com/shaunphilly Shaun McGonigal

    What is so frustrating about this, from my point of view as a polyamorous person, is that this really is the same question for me.   The issue of gay marriage is basically the same question of civil rights as polygamy (or polyamorous marriage, to distinguish it from harems and such).

    What consenting adults want to do, whether it be have group sex, watch football, or marry each other is no concern of anyone else.  So long as there is no coersion, there should be no problem.

    • Satan H.

      Right, but the issue here is whether GOVERNMENT has any obligation to *recognize* group sex or football watching or same-sex marriage, or any obligation to adopt a particular LABEL for those activities.  Nobody is stopping any same-sex couple from SAYING they are married or from having a ceremony that they want to CALL a wedding.  But they don’t have any right to make government recognize that, or to change government’s definitions and labels.  And from a purely practical standpoint, as an atheist, if government said, we will only give atheists rights equal to theists if atheists call their belief system a “religion”, I’d say, fine, no skin off my ass, it’s a religion.   I’m more concerned with the rights than the label.  The fact that the majority of the gay community seems more concerned with the label than the rights is puzzling.  If they weren’t obsessed about the word, they would probably have the rights by now.

      If same-sex marriage becomes legal (i.e. adopted by government), mixed-sex couples, who wish to distinguish their relationships from the biologically different same-sex relationships, will simply adopt a new word, and trademark it to prevent it from being hijacked by same-sex couples.

      • Anonymous

        Nobody is stopping any same-sex couple from SAYING they are married or from having a ceremony that they want to CALL a wedding.  But they don’t have any right to make government recognize that, or to change government’s definitions and labels. 

        As was already pointed out, when interracial couples were allowed to be married, the legal definition was changed to include them, but the gov’t didn’t come up with a whole new name for the relationship…….so why should it be any different for same sex couples?

        And why is that so many heterosexuals and/or believers seem to think that they’re the ones who are the arbiters of who ‘deserves’ the title of marriage?

        Contrary to what you say above, people do ‘have a right’ to ask for equal legal treatment/acknowledgement of their loving, committed relationship, especially when NO ONE can offer a sound, valid constitutional reason for them to be denied this.

        ‘Separate but equal’ (which is what you’re suggesting) has been tried and been determined to be an invalid approach to equal treatment under the law.

      • Anonymous

        There are cases where the word is tied to the right. Ironically, it’s precisely because the US is such a hyper-religious society.

        New Jersey has Civil Unions. In theory, they provide the same rights as marriage on a state level. In practice, they don’t necessarily. There were hundreds of complaints about companies, hospitals and various organizations not recognizing them. Not out of principle or for any legal reason, but simply because they didn’t know what to make of the term or that they didn’t know that they are supposed to be the legal equivalent of marriage. There were similar difficulties in other states – and they were only fixed until they upgraded to marriage equality

        You can read the official report here:
        http://www.nj.gov/oag/dcr/curc.html

        They unanimously concluded that the law wasn’t quite working

        • Satan H.

          That’s not the fault of the law, but of the organizations’ ignorance of the law.  How many times have we heard that “Ignorance of the law is no excuse”??

      • http://www.facebook.com/Tracy.Bradley1 Tracy Bradley

        Is this what you would do – adopt a new word for your marriage if SSM were legal? Why would you care what the ‘label’ is, if you’re mainly concerned about the rights attached to it? It sounds to me that, while you say you have no problem with homosexuals etc, you just don’t want to be lumped in with them in any way – that when you tell someone you’re married, you want to make sure that they KNOW without question that you’re married to someone of the opposite gender.

  • Achess

    Actually Hemant, I’m pretty curious as to on what grounds you would oppose polygamy among consenting adults.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Hemant Mehta

      Not sure. I didn’t say I would oppose it. But in any case, it’s not relevant to the discussion here.

      • Achess

        I misread. My bad.

  • Rich Wilson

    As for ‘wasting breath’, on the contrary the adherence to a requirement I find so arbitrary has made me think about it more deeply, and made me more sure it’s completely arbitrary.  Getting back to ‘interracial’, we know it’s not like people are either ‘black’ or ‘white’.  People can look ‘black’ but be more closely related to ‘white’ people than other ‘black’ people.  Even trying to come up with silly rules like “one or more black great grandparents” (or whatever it was) breaks down at some point.  If that restriction were still in place, molecular genetics would be making a mockery of it.

    And sex is really no different.  Sure, in most cases it’s pretty clear cut, but when you get to people who have had sex changes, it get murky.

    And to get murkier still, what would Caster Semenya’s marriage options be (if she were American of course)?

  • zero population

    Santorum wants to pound on the polygamy thing to embarrass Romney.  
    There are so many permutations that all anyone is showing is that the government has no right to decide what people do in their own homes.  Maintain the streets, manage the taxes, and provide a military, but otherwise get out of decisions between a doctor and patient, reproduction, a couple wanted to set up a household, people who do drugs at home, etc.  Cross the line and hurt someone else or become a public risk or nuisance, then the government can step in.  Don’t pass laws that discriminate rights for some and not others.  Etc.
    Meanwhile, don’t make me as a taxpayer pay for someone to have 10 kids, abuse their body and seek public health care, or drink and drive.  Let there be consequences for the individual.
    Santorum is not my parent and I am thankful for that.


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