Same-sex marriage conversation: What do we know? Part 2

As Part 2 of my series on same-sex parenting research, I am posting the transcript of a presentation delivered at the Catholic University just over a year ago. A section on same-sex marriage was provided after Michael Bailey and prior to my speech at the same comference.

(Quotes removed at the request of Brad Wilcox)

Here is a more socially conservative scholar who comes to an assessment similar to Meezan and Rauch: we don’t know much and not really enough.

Some distinctions are arising in the comments on other threads that should be sharpened going forward. Same-sex adoption of special needs kids should be distinguished from use of reproductive technologies to create kids without hope of knowing a parent of one gender. Whereas some would say public policy should not make these distinctions; others would say it can and should. What data exist to inform these discussions? Are there data that could address these issues? Or is policy to be made on the basis of presuppositional principles? How do we decide which principles apply? I would say the best interest of children would be such a principle. If research finds, on balance, discouraging results from studies of same-sex parenting (however defined), do equal protection arguments for adults trump any potential child consequences? What if research finds that some outcomes are better for same-sex parenting and some are not, then how should public policy take mixed results into account?

Let’s keep talking…

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    How one approaches neutral data tells a great deal about that person. They can respond:

    There is no data proving either harm or lack of harm so I will not intrude, or

    There is no data proving either harm or lack of harm so I will I will seek to impose my opinions and values on others.

    But of course, in this instance, the data isn’t neutral. Meezan and Rauch have provided that there is SOME evidence of lack of harm and NO evidence of harm. All that Wilcox provided was speculation and guessing.

    I could counter Wilcox’ guesswork by suppositions of my own.

    For example, I might suppose that those same-sex relationships that deliberately bring a life into the world would be:

    more careful to provide roll models,

    more anxious to parent in a healthy way,

    more sensitive to psychological issues,

    far more prepared emotionally and financially,

    and possessing of greater family stability.

    I might suppose that any old random lesbian couple that deliberately set out to be a parent would provide a healthier, happier, more stable citizen than would, for example, Jamie Lynn Spears.

    Why would my guesswork be any less valid than Wilcox’s?

  • jag

    There are many flaws to this…but where to begin?

    How about his assumptions:

    “one point that I would make just to begin with is that obviously kids who are being raised in same-sex households are not getting the benefit of having parents of two sexes.”

    There are a few problems with this. One is that this is a piece on same-sex marriage. Unfortunately, Brad seems unaware of the fact that in many areas, same-sex couples can legally jointly adopt both here and abroad. Also, Brad seems unaware that same-sex couples are already raising children…the issue he might want to raise in light of the issue of same-sex marriage, is that now that two parents of the same-sex can legally adopt in many areas, and are legally related to that child, why are we denying the parents a legal relationship to each other?

    How do we allow two parents of the same-sex to be each legally related to a child but not legally related to each other? This seems counterintuitive to those interested in family…for the purposes of insurance, benefits, social security upon death of a parent, etc..

    Brad also mentions reproductive technology:

    “I also would point out that these families often times now are being formed very deliberately with assisted reproductive technology. And so, what you have is that kids are being deliberately created without a mother and father…”

    Would Brad be supportive of same-sex couples who use reproductive technology, where the father is known and a part of the child’s life? Likely not.

    Opposite-sexed couples, single women, and couples-who-will-divorce all use reproductive technology. Tackling the issue of single-parenthood, paternal (or maternal) abandonment, divorce, etc…all seem to be issues Brad may want to focus on. Does he suggest restricting medical technology to be available only for some or restrict childbearing?

    Ultimately all of Brad’s arguments fail – not only because of their lack of merit as they stand, but because his arguments are based on arguments around same-sex parents. Same-sex couples are often legally parents already. His argument actually makes the importance of same-sex marriage all the more pressing.

    Same-sex couples have overwhelmingly been shown over and over again to raise healthy, well-adjusted children comparable to their heterosexual counterparts (if you want studies, let me know…I’d be happy to post them). Brad’s argument is ill-informed.

    Why should same-sex couples marry? If we truly believe that men and women should be granted equal rights under the law, and the ONLY reason I cannot marry someone is because of their sex…then that violates a fundamental principle and constitutes sex discrimination. The right to marry isn’t based on whether you are gay or straight – orientation is not a criteria of opposite-sexed marriage.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    The right to marry isn’t based on whether you are gay or straight – orientation is not a criteria of opposite-sexed marriage.

    JAG,

    I’m going to disagree with you there.

    While it is true that closeted persons frequently marry persons of the opposite sex – almost invariably resulting in difficulty and pain and quite often the severing of families, it is not ture that orientation (or acknowledged orientation) is not a criterion for opposite-sex marriage.

    Quite often opposite-sex marriages which involve one gay person are assumed to be invalid or fraudulent.

    Take, for example, immigration. Should ICE determine that one party is gay, that would be grounds for prosecution for fraud. Marry a straight foreigner, and you could go to jail

    So too are inheritances challenged. Should the non-wealthy party happen to be gay, any willed inheritance can be assumed to be based on fraud. He “didn’t realy love her” and “he married her for her money” are claims that would hold up well in court if he were shown to be gay.

    Even in the dissolution of marriage, orientation can come into play. It is not without reason that when Renee Zellweger cited “fraud” as the reason for the dissolution of her marriage to Kenny Chesney, the first assumption of most was that Kenny is gay.

    Anti-gays love to say, “you can get married, but only to a person of the opposite sex”.

    But in truth, a gay person cannot marry anyone at all.

  • Marty

    There’s a lot here to comment on. I’ll make a few breif observations.

    First, thank you Warren for agreeing that “Same-sex adoption of special needs kids should be distinguished from use of reproductive technologies to create kids without hope of knowing a parent of one gender.”

    As for your questions on public policy dealing with the latter, (e.g. “If data find, on balance, discouraging results from studies of same-sex parenting (however defined), do equal protection arguments for adults trump any potential child consequences?”), I would offer a simple ethical model:

    Why should single people or gay couples even be allowed to take advantage of reproductive technologies when there is no medical problem with their reproductive function? This issue here is a social problem, not a medical problem. The reason Susan and Jane are unable to become pregnant is because they aren’t even trying. Because that would mean… “oh, it’s just too yucky to even think about!” Sterilizing human reproduction in a laboratory setting does not in any way reduce the heterosexuality of that event — it serves other purposes altogether. Some are medical, some are social.

    Brad Wilcox also makes a very valid point about family diversity. While it’s plainly obvious that “parents with different sexes have somewhat distinctive talents when it comes to the childrearing enterprise”, many — many who even proclaim support for “diversity” in all its forms — would still approve of depriving children of one of the most natural forms of diversity around. As if suddenly “diversity” doesn’t matter.

    I’ve often found it quite peculiar, and perhaps a bit disingenuous, that many of those who will insist that gender doesn’t matter a whit when it comes to the child+parent relationship are the same ones who will insist that it’s the most important thing in the world when it comes to the spousal relationship. I think that attitude is extremely self-serving, and all too convenient.

  • Mary

    I wonder how Kate and Ally would respond? (Does anyone remember that American sitcom?) Two women (not gay) raising children together and in the same household.

  • Kevin

    Warren, I thought your intention with these posts was to discuss the available scholarly research on this topic. Wilcox isn’t presenting any research — he’s pontificating. I can pontificate too. This seems off-topic.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    When data are sparse, you look to analogous situations. As someone pointed out on another thread, even same-sex parenting proponents stipulate that kids do best, on average, when raised with their married mom and dad. Lots of studies (maybe not 10k, but many) point to this conclusion when kids are compared with single parent homes, divorced homes, etc. What we cannot sort out as yet is whether or not one of the potent factors in these differences is the two-gendered nature of the married moms and dads. Or on the other hand, is it that there are two parents and they are happy together and gender doesn’t matter?

    And so, Wilcox’s concerns are reasonable, in my opinion, based on the observations we already have regarding optimal conditions for raising children. And they are actually not that far away from Meezan and Rauch’s measured thoughts when they suggest we study the matter before, as they say, betting the country on the experiment.

    In my prior post, I hoped to get some comment about Meezan and Rauch’s suggestions for a regional experiment. I don’t recall any.

  • http://sleevenotes101.wordpress.com Jonathan

    I wish I had time to properly respond. Unfortunately I’m out of town with family and there is a lot of distractions. My partner and I have sole custody of his 9 year old son from his previous marriage. Obviously, as with any parents, we don’t want to deprive our child of the best life possible. According to teachers, counselors and others, he’s a happy, healthy, well-adjusted kid.

    Mr. Wilcox intones that children being raised in same-sex homes don’t get to see parents negotiating the challenges of marriage. Hmmmm…perhaps. What our child does get to see is his parents negotiating the challenges of a committed relationship, just like he would see if his parents were opposite-sex. Much like my own parents who just celebrated 40 years of marriage and have worked through some trying times, he sees us committed to working together through the trying times. Just because we aren’t “married” doesn’t mean we are somehow less committed either to our relationship or the rearing of our child.

    I welcome studies of families like mine! Having spent the past week watching my child interact with my siblings kids (his cousins), I can say that he seems to face the same challenges they do and interacts no differently than they do. A week in a house with 5 boys under the age of 9 has been almost enough to drive one insane. It’s also been one of the most encouraging things for me to witness. My nephews are amazing kids that will go far. So will my child!

    When I’ve got more time to digest this post, I’ll hopefully come back and address the issues raised. Thanks for keeping the conversation going.

    j.

  • ken

    Thanks for posting Dr. Wilcox’s presentation, I’ve been wanting to read it and was afraid I wouldn’t be able to.

    Not surprisingly :), I disagree with Dr. Wilcox’s arguments on the matter.

    For the most part he uses what I like to refer to as the “for the children” argument against gay marriage. There are 2 problems with this argument.

    1st, children are not a requirement of marriage in any state in the US. No state asks about it, or requires any form a fertility test prior to marriage. Except AZ (possibly others) which has one case where the couple must prove one of them is infertile in order to be allowed to marry. This is the requirement for 1st cousins to be allowed to marry in AZ. Additionally, all states allow couples who are not capable of having children or adopting to marry. Thus this “for the children” argument does not fit the facts. So while children may benefit from marriage, clearly, this benefit is not the primary (or even significant) reason for civil marriage in this country.

    However, lets examine this concern for children voiced by Dr. Wilcox (and others opposed to gay marriage). Gay couples are raising children in this country (through adoptions, ivf, previous opposite-gender relationships etc). And whether Dr. Wilcox (et. al) like or not, their numbers are growing. Now, wouldn’t these children be better off if their parents were married (Dr. Wilcox seemed to make a strong argument for this)? I certainly think so. It seems to me if Dr. Wilcox really where so concerned about children, he’d be pushing for gay marriage, not arguing against it.

  • Mary

    Seems to me that there are many assumptions being made.

    1. Man/woman is better than man/man or woman/woman

    ….does that side up with black children are better off with black homes?, ADD’s with parents that have the same disability?? Like with like??? Or do we put only those children who are definetly gay with gay parents?

    2. That relationships are viewed only through one’s own home and in isolation

    …. are children allowed to go over to their friends’ homes and see how their families and parents interact?? Or do we trap them in houses and never let them out

    3. The divorce rate is at 50% – and guess what ? That means even if a child is adopted into a man/woman home they are going to experience divorce and a single parent home at some time (not your perfect scenario)

    Too many assumptions made that just are unrealistic and not considering the variety of family experiences that can and do occur and that the variety can be as rewarding and vital as any (so long as it is stable, loving, caring etc…)

    Where was Jesus’ father??? Seems he had sort of left the family – either through death or something else??? Just speculating. If the ‘holy’ family model was disrupted – what does that say about our assumptions.

  • Marty

    Mary, please.

    1. Man/woman is better than man/man or woman/woman

    Obviously, because without man/woman would wouldn’t even be able to debate “parenting” at all. Sexual orientation is irrelevant to the reproductive system and you know this. Race? ADD? It’s as if you’re suggesting that girls should be raised by women and boys by men — when what you know is that what is being suggested is that since we are all the result of one man and one woman, we should be raised by one of each.

    2. That relationships are viewed only through one’s own home and in isolation

    We all learn from external sources, families of friends and neighbors, yet we also have a private and intimate window into our own families that gives us a clearer perspective than any other. But the intimate window of the “two moms” or “two dads” scenario is significantly lacking in diversity — which is always desired when trying to form a clear perspective. An uncle is not a father, nor should be be asked to pretend to be.

    3. The divorce rate is at 50% – and guess what ? That means even if a child is adopted into a man/woman home they are going to experience divorce and a single parent home at some time (not your perfect scenario)

    First, the divorce rate is actually quite a bit lower than 50%. Second, many divorces happen after the child leaves home. Third, did you make a typo here or are you really suggesting that all couples who adopt children are going to divorce? Hopefully a typo. Still, what’s your point here?

    Then, your comment about “too many assumptions made that just are unrealistic” being followed by speculation about what ever happened to Jesus’s father Joseph is just plain odd. As if one set of speculative assumptions can negate another?

    Finally, does your list of positive family attributes (rewarding and vital … stable, loving, caring etc) deliberately omit “diverse”? Or do you think that a diversity of gender perspectives is not important to the upbringing of little boys and girls?

    Considering that a little boy will only ever become a Father, and will never ever become a Mother, one might conclude that it would be a good thing for him to have one of his own while growing up.

  • jayhuck

    Warren,

    Really? Could you have picked a more biased commenter?

  • Evan

    I have recently visited my parents’ home and participated in a family reunion. My sister, who recently divorced her husband, was there too with her 2 and a half year daughter. My niece is a burst of life, she needs on average at least four people to sustain an endurance trial of playing, singing and running around. But I have noticed that she is mostly interested in playing with me (I am a man in my late 20s, remember?), a role which was favourably ascribed to her father some time ago. She is not so interested in her grandfather’s tokens of affection and much less in her grandmother’s attempts to win her attention. Now, I’m not particularly good at interacting with kids, in fact I’m just as good at it as I am at dancing, where zombies perform better. However, my niece succeeds in drawing me in her games and she is most happy when she does that.

    I have a deep voice, just like her father, and when I talk she becomes very attentive, she starts to look at my legs or at my hands as if she is ‘recording’, comparing or making associations. My sister, who has a hard time dealing with her daughter’s unbridled energy and downright rebelliousness, sometimes has to resort to all sorts of tricks to get her daughter into doing something. But to our amazement, her daughter is easier to convince if I talk to her. When her father was together with her mother, my niece was mostly trying to win his attention and conceded easily to do something that benefitted her (like eating her food or getting dressed) if her father told her so. It seems that the presence of a man from the family who bears some resemblance to her father and whom she trusts makes her very happy, trying to get his attention more than any other’s and reducing rebellious attitude in his presence.

    I have noticed that power relations in the family can influence gender appropriation in some children. All observations — including this one — from my own family and my relatives’ families had me thinking that there could be a sort of gender imprinting process, in which power relations between parents’ genders can pitch a child’s relation to gender, according to his/her relation to each parent and everyone’s temperament. Children seem to differentiate between parents, according to how they assume tasks or how they respond to meet their needs. Having the ‘complete set’ of genders as parents seems to be for a child a primal experience of what each gender is and how their interaction could be balanced.

    That’s why I support the view that since the reproductive pair of genders that become parents is the reference point, we should assume that their role in rearing the child cannot be separated from their role in having the child. I don’t think nature separated reproduction from any role in child nurturing — this debate is generated by our own cultural distinctions (and we know that some of our cultural practices go against nature’s ways). Of course, where children have already been deprived of parents, any type of adult or union between adults that are fit for parenting can provide a better growing up environment than an institution. However, where option for fit opposite-sex parents is available, priority should be given to them.

  • jayhuck

    Warren,

    I would say the best interest of children would be such a principle.

    I agree with this but the data should be free of religious meddling! AND, the data that exists shows us that same sex parents ARE able to raise happy, healthy and well-adjusted kids. AND, gay parents are currently raising children as we speak, so my question goes out again: HOW can we best help these parents raise these children????? Does anyone care to answer this or are we going to continue to pretend that gay parents don’t exist? Estimates that I’ve seen show that anywhere between 1 – 6 million kids are being raised by gay parents.

  • jag

    Warren -

    You stated “Lots of studies (maybe not 10k, but many) point to this conclusion when kids are compared with single parent homes, divorced homes, etc. ” Of course this is true, and the data shows this overwhelmingly. You are making a classic turn of hand by comparing heterosexual couples with single parents and divorced homes rather than same-sex couples. When children of “same-sex couples” are compared with those of “heterosexual couples,” the data is not in your favor…and overwhelmingly shows that children of same-sex couples do as well as those of their heterosexual counterparts.

    Mary -

    You make some solid points. One that I agree with (and had suggested on another thread) is that those who believe that children in a heterosexual household will necessarily have the benefits of two parents (note – I did not say a “mother and father,”) are a bit out of line with the data.

    Heterosexuals often forget that many children are born out of wedlock (often raised by a single parent), and many are raised by single parent through divorce. The model of being raised by two biological parents is likely more rare than common of all children created…but I’d love to have the numbers on that.

    Marty -

    “Considering that a little boy will only ever become a Father, and will never ever become a Mother, one might conclude that it would be a good thing for him to have one of his own while growing up.”

    I disagree…a boy might have to be many things to a child. I am assuming by “father” you mean specific gender roles that men typically behave according to, right? I would suggest that your biological sex has little to do with “limiting” your scope of knowledge and breadth of understanding of what both parents often contribute. Unfortunately, there are many men out there raising children on their own.

  • jayhuck

    Marty,

    I’ve often found it quite peculiar, and perhaps a bit disingenuous, that many of those who will insist that gender doesn’t matter a whit when it comes to the child+parent relationship are the same ones who will insist that it’s the most important thing in the world when it comes to the spousal relationship.

    I can’t speak for everyone when I say this, but I don’t believe its a matter of whether or not gender matters. I think gender does matter, I just don’t believe that Opposite Sex Marriages are the only healthy environments in which to raise children.

    Warren,

    I think what Timothy said above should be repeated – that Meezan and Rauch found no evidence of harm. After reading their study I’m having a hard time understanding how you can compare this conservative scholar to Meezan and Rauch. Their study showed NO HARM and this guy is just speculating. I DO understand that they both believe more needs to be known.

  • Marty

    Jayhuck, and others have asked: gay parents are currently raising children as we speak, so my question goes out again: How can we best help these parents raise these children?

    It’s a valid question, but needs to include a bit more:

    How can we help those that exist without encouraging any more deliberately motherless or fatherless families? Yes, we do need to help children who have been shortchanged one of their natural parents, but we should do so in a way that discourages the shortchanging of any more.

    Jag, you’re doublespeaking: Unfortunately, there are many men out there raising children on their own.

    Yes, and not one of them is a Mother.

  • jayhuck

    Marty,

    How can we help those that exist without encouraging any more deliberately motherless or fatherless families?

    That is your opinion, but I would say how can we help those that exist AND how can we encourage more couples: gay or straight, to develop more nurturing and loving homes for their children.

  • jayhuck

    Evan,

    However, where option for fit opposite-sex parents is available, priority should be given to them.

    Why? The research doesn’t support this so I’m assuming you are stating your opinion?

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Evan,

    Your anecdote is interesting and does illustrate a good point.

    But we cannot set policy based on anecdote. And to date the research seems to suggest that same-sex parenting is as good as opposite-sex parenting in meeting the needs of children. This may seem to contradict your personal experience with your niece, but it does seem – according to the best evidence we have – to be true.

    I don’t know if this is relevant to you but I too, for some unknown reason, have a way with kids. I don’t think I’m possessed of great patience or any particular skill but when I was a Junior Church teacher I could get a room full of unruly 3 to 6 year olds to behave and participate. My biggest challenge was a developmentally disabled kid who no one – especially his two-parent heterosexual parents – could control. He delighted in me. He would do anything I asked – if I was smart about it.

    I also dealt with two children whom we later found were being molested by their father. The girl was bossy, demanding, and a know-it-all. The boy was introverted and silent. Somehow I kept them included and participating.

    But I would not want to base policy on any assumptions that could flow from that experience. I suppose I could argue that gay men are better able to handle the unruly or better able to control a room full of wild children (OK, not all were wild). I do know that a great many gay men are very successful teachers.

    But I don’t know that there is any necessary connection between orientation and child corralling abilities. So I can’t extrapolate my single experience and assume it applies to a greater population.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Marty,

    I’m curious. Do you even care about what the research says? Is there ANY amount of research that would have any impact on your opinion?

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Warren,

    I started to respond to Rauch’s proposed experiment, but didn’t post it.

    Sure, I’d like to see the experiment conducted. But I don’t see it’s relevance to telling us whether same-sex couples make good parents.

    I am not sure it would prove anything whatsoever about the abilities of same-sex parents to raise children. Nor does it seem to propose such a test.

    It would, however, measure what civil protection (marriage, civil union, nothing) contribute best to those same-sex families that have children. It seems the only factor that varies between the states is the structure – so that is all it could measure.

    Personally, because I believe in marriage, I would like to see such a study. I believe it would confirm that same-sex marriage is good for kids.

    But if we were to look at the other question, we would have to select some state(s) in which all things are equal and randomly (as best possible) track a sample of kids in same-sex families and a sample of kids in opposite-sex families and see if there was any developmental or other differences. As a prospective, long-term, statistically valid, representative test would take some time, I think the conclusive answer is still a ways out there.

    Until then, we simply have to rely on the non-comprehensive, limited, and not fully representative samples we have. And because they do seem to suggest that same-sex parenting is at least as good as opposite-sex parenting, we will have to tentatively and perhaps hesitantly assume that this is the case. To assume the opposite would stand logic on its head and place bias ahead of observation.

  • jag

    Marty -

    You stated:

    “Jag, you’re doublespeaking: Unfortunately, there are many men out there raising children on their own.

    Yes, and not one of them is a Mother.”

    Perhaps you missed the point. You implied that men only need be prepared to be “fathers,” which I assumed (maybe falsely so, feel free to correct) meant the “traditional roles” that men are often placed in. In stating that there are many men raising children on their own, my implication was that these men are attempting to do the job of both parents – sometimes with success, othertimes not. To imply that boys “will only become fathers,” is a bit errant. I don’t see single parenthood as an ideal for any person – the parent or the child – but it is a reality for many.

    Men may be asked to be many things that traditionally they have not been as involved in…like motherhood.

    I see two parents as ideal, we do not differ on that… and the studies support this…gay or straight, these couplings seem to have the best child outcomes when compared to their single peers.

    Male couples who are parents can arguably be as “mothering” as a woman, and as “fathering” as a father. The flux and variation in how competent, nurturing, etc..a “mother” is varies greatly. I don’t know of any studies which have shown that two men raising a child cannot adequately “mother” them. If you do, I’d genuinely be interested in a read.

    For all the pomp and circumstance, the truth is, many biological parents fail miserably in “mothering” and “fathering,” (although some are arguably fantastic as well). I have no hesitation is saying that parents through IVF, adoption, etc (hetero or same-sex)…can be fantastic parents (as well as poor ones). Being an adequate mother or father has less to do with biology, it seems, than many other variables.

    The two parent model of child-rearing (hetero and homo) has been seen in the majority of literature as equally effective in raising children. That, in and of itself, may say what true “mothering” and “fathering” is all about.

    Also, I would contend, it serves the child well that if they are legally related to both parents…to allow those parents to be legally related to each other- to give them both the privileges and responsibilities that come with parenthood, but also to most optimally provide adequately for the child should a parent pass (with social security to the surviving partner, etc..).

  • Marty

    Timothy Kincaid asks me: Do you even care about what the research says? Is there ANY amount of research that would have any impact on your opinion?

    No. As I stated in part 1 of this series:

    “I disagree with the entire premise of the research.

    The court in Brown v. Board of Education did not examine “outcome based research” to determine whether or not separate is really equal — no, the court found that racial separtism is inherently unequal regardless of the outcome.

    The same holds true for children. Each one of us is the result of the union of exactly one man and one woman. To claim that “two moms” or “two dads” (convienently aligned to support one’s “sexual oreintation” or “gender bias”) is to deprive children of the equality inherent in Mother Nature’s design for humanity.

    In short, separate is simply not equal, regardless of how “well adjusted” these kids may turn out in the end.”

    That’s my position and I’m sticking to it.

    JAG, I think you are very, very wrong. While there may be some element of truth to your claim that “Being an adequate mother or father has less to do with biology, it seems, than many other variables“, I’m hard pressed to see how 2 effeminate men or 2 butch women are going to provide the depth and breadth of coverage than your average man and woman together can provide. Diversity and all that.

  • Marty

    I should probably have corrected the sentence that I just pasted from the previous thread. It should have originally read:

    “To claim that “two moms” or “two dads” (convienently aligned to support one’s “sexual oreintation” or “gender bias”) are equal to “mom and dad” is to deprive children of the equality inherent in Mother Nature’s design for humanity. “

  • Pathia

    Marty,

    Wow, that’s a pretty hard-lined position there. So where does that leave people like me? I’m intersexed. I guess I can’t be a Father figure OR a Mother figure. You keep talking about Mother Nature’s design, but that sort of black and white makes everyone like me incapable of being either to a child.

    Technology is progressing quite quickly, they can already turn an egg into a sperm, this would allow two lesbians to both genetically be the parents. It won’t be that long before they can do the same for gay men with a surrogate womb.

    You also seem to be saying that all gay men are effeminate and all lesbians are butch. Wow…just…wow.

    Children are deprived of the ‘design’ of one man one woman all the time. Divorce, death, single-parenthood. When I was growing up, not that long ago I’m only in my 20′s in my classes having a mother AND a father was the minority. The majority of my classmates lived with one parent, or one parent and a step-parent that they almost inevitably hated.

  • Evan

    Timothy,

    That story from my personal experience was given to illustrate the limits of rational assessments in a life-nurturing experience. I don’t know why my niece feels happiest when a man who resembles her father is around and I seriously doubt that science can capture that in any methodological way without being merely sufficient. We can afford to let ourselves guided by thoroughly rational assessments where they are most welcome, but in at least two realms they can irreversibly go wrong: politics and child rearing. Just as in politics reason is just instrumental, but it’s not the guiding force that overrules our moral judgment, in childrearing we can only hope to use reason to come up with incremental improvements in their nurturing. This problem is not one among others, that we can deal with just like any other — it’s how we call children to human life that can shape their future and ours too. It’s too critical to let neutral science tilt the balance wherever its present paradigms permit. Results are more far-reaching than the unpredictable pace of knowledge.

    All I’m saying is that we are not the makers of our nature and we should not act as if we really were decision-makers in what life should look like according to how far we can see right now. We should play safe and see where we’re going. My position is sufficiently inclusive, I believe, to allow some adults or same-sex unions of adults to adopt children, where no opposite-sex alternative is available.

    PS. For other examples concerning the state of science opposites nature, you can check a recent statement from a team of scientists, who are honest enough to acknowledge that our scientific tools, though limited in their penetratingness, yield too complex data for our immediate understanding. This is just a problem of biological misinstruction, but do we know at least as much about the role of genders?

  • Marty

    Pathia, you have my sympathies for the disability you were born with. My comments do not apply to someone in your condition.

    Technology is progressing quite quickly, they can already turn an egg into a sperm, this would allow two lesbians to both genetically be the parents. It won’t be that long before they can do the same for gay men with a surrogate womb.

    But why should anyone need or want to do that? Is there something “wrong” with the egg of a lesbian that it should be turned to a sperm? Aren’t we just trying to validate gender bias here, rather than correct a medical condition?

    Children are deprived of the ‘design’ of one man one woman all the time. Divorce, death, single-parenthood.

    Yes, it happens all the time, and it is always tragic. Lets agree to avoid creating more tragedies for children okay? Sexual orientation is certainly no excuse for creating still more motherless or fatherless children.

    When I was growing up, not that long ago I’m only in my 20’s in my classes having a mother AND a father was the minority. The majority of my classmates lived with one parent, or one parent and a step-parent that they almost inevitably hated.

    Again, my sympathies for your situation. What you describe is certainly a tragedy, but thankfully it is not the case where I grew up, nor where I live now.

    Lets work together to reverse this terrible trend, rather than embrace it and encourage it.

  • jayhuck

    Evan,

    When is an opposite-sex alternative NOT technically available? Aren’t they always available? That doesn’t mean they will adopt though.

    Not all gay couples adopt either, some have surrogate mothers or use other methods.

    As for playing it safe, if society always “played it safe”, positive changes would never happen. I think your idea of playing it safe and mine are completely different. I think we HAVE played it safe enough.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Marty,

    Timothy Kincaid asks me: Do you even care about what the research says? Is there ANY amount of research that would have any impact on your opinion?

    No. As I stated in part 1 of this series:

    “I disagree with the entire premise of the research.

    Well, okely dokely.

    I’m hard pressed to see how 2 effeminate men or 2 butch women …

    If that wasn’t so offensive, it would be funny.

    Ya know, Marty, you can delight in your own ignorance and dismiss any evidence that contradicts your presumptions. That is entirely your right.

    Of course it also means that no one will take you seriously.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Evan,

    If I read you correctly you seem to be saying that your positions on politics and child rearing are irrational. And that logic should yeild to moral judgment in those areas.

    While that may clarify some of your positions, it is not a ideology that I share.

  • jag

    Marty -

    You stated:

    “I’m hard pressed to see how 2 effeminate men or 2 butch women are going to provide the depth and breadth of coverage than your average man and woman together can provide.”

    I’m not really sure how many gay people you know when statements like these are made.

    I know gay women who are well-rounded paired with other gay women who are well-rounded in different ways bringing a breadth and depth of experiences, interests, and principles to the table – qualities that are often both traditionally masculine and feminine. Women are diverse. The same applies to men, and heterosexual couples. I’ve seen hetero couples where the man runs and squeals when he sees a spider…and his wife comes and kills it, comforting him after his fright. Under your logic, he wouldn’t be an adequate father or man? Let’s not get into stereotyping.

    Evan -

    Same-sex marriage is not a “social experiment,” it is giving legal rights and responsibilities to couples that already co-exist with you in society.

  • Pathia

    “But why should anyone need or want to do that? Is there something “wrong” with the egg of a lesbian that it should be turned to a sperm? Aren’t we just trying to validate gender bias here, rather than correct a medical condition?”

    I think you miss the point. This allows a lesbian couple to have one of the pair be the genetic father, rather than simply taking donor sperm. The child will literally be their full complete genetic offspring.

    Procedures like this are my only hope for having a child directly. My condition and/or the surgeries (It’s impossible to say what might have been had I not been mutilated) that were done to me as an infant have left me sterile. I will adopt if I can, but outside of my intersexism my genes are quite healthy, I’ve avoided all the bullets my parents DNA gave to me, my perfectly fertile brothers on the other hand are genetic landmines of high blood pressure, diabetes and various other conditions.

  • Mary

    Jag,

    Don’t you know all lesbians are taken right from the Well of Lonliness novel?? And all gay men model themselves after Judy or Quinten Crisp??

    Some people – huh???

  • jayhuck

    Mary,

    I just wanted to say I, like Jag, have really appreciated your responses on this thread. Happy New Year! :)

  • jayhuck

    Ooops – wrong thread – LOL! Well, anyway Mary, I have appreciated your responses – here AND on the Same-sex parenting thread! :)

  • jag

    Mary -

    “Don’t you know all lesbians are taken right from the Well of Lonliness novel?? And all gay men model themselves after Judy or Quinten Crisp??”

    Well of course they are! (you are very funny)

    But on a less humorous note, I always appreciate that you see gay men and lesbians as individuals. Your unique history and position, I think, often gives you some great perspective on both sides of the argument.

  • Marty

    I’m hard pressed to see how 2 effeminate men or 2 butch women …

    If that wasn’t so offensive, it would be funny.

    This feigned offense from those of you who intentionally miss my point is very cute.

    The point is that 2 men (whether they be straight, gay, bi, masculine, femme, or any combination) have exactly ZERO firsthand experience in being a little girl, a teenage girl, a young woman, or a woman.

    If what we bring to the table of “parenthood” is our life experiences, I am 100% certain that the combined experiences of one average man and one average woman will have a greater breadth and depth than those of any two men, or any two women.

    How any good liberal who was committed to diversity could argue otherwise is beyond me. Unless of course, they were just making excuses for their own gender bias.

  • jayhuck

    Marty,

    This feigned offense from those of you who intentionally miss my point is very cute.

    Let me assure you, the offense is not feigned.

    And just because I haven’t had any experience being a girl or a young woman has nothing to do with me being a good parent to one who is.

    I know many women who have daughters who are terrible parents.

  • Marty

    Pathia,

    We’re veering off the edge of the topic here, so let me close out this part of the conversation with:

    I do have compassion enough for those with real medical fertility problems, such as yourself, to permit certain reproductive technologies to be used. I know many do not. Your case, being very atypical, may require more examination than the typical man and wife who request simple IVF. But that is a topic for another thread.

    My complaint is not with the medically infertile who may require assistive reproductive technologies to allow them to reproduce, but with the socially infertile who misuse those technologies for primarily 2 purposes: to ensure that the resulting child does not have any rightful claim to the man who “fathered” him (or mother who bore him, as the case may be); and to allow the “patient” to clinically avoid having intimate relations with a member of the opposite sex — something I like to call the “yuck factor”.

    I think those who use ARTs should at a minimum be required to show evidence of a real medical fertility problem, and those who would use them merely to deprive a child of a mother or a father are guilty of something cruel and unusual.

    Perhaps we can continue our conversation on ARTs for the intersexed at another time, in a more appropriate thread. Thanks.

  • Pathia

    “If what we bring to the table of “parenthood” is our life experiences, I am 100% certain that the combined experiences of one average man and one average woman will have a greater breadth and depth than those of any two men, or any two women.”

    You still haven’t answered my question Marty. Really all you did was offend me and disabled people by comparing us to them. Intersex is certainly not a case of disability, it is not appropriate for either to compare them in that fashion, apples and oranges.

    I quite literally had aspects of both girlhood and boyhood. In my case it happened due to my abnormal hormones, but I don’t think only intersexed people have this merged experience. Why is it so hard to imagine someone being able to comprehend, instruct and raise a child just because it wasn’t a direct personal experience?

    We certainly don’t require gym teachers to be former professional athletes or history teachers to be war veterans. Is it helpful? Of course, but is it seen as mandatory? No. If you think only someone who has had direct experience with something can teach and educate about it, that is severely limiting.

  • Marty

    It seems I’m unable to reach you, so I’ll just finish with this and let you take it or ignore it as you will:

    Jayhuck: just because I haven’t had any experience being a girl or a young woman has nothing to do with me being a good parent to one who is.

    No one claimed you could not be a “good parent”. Only that because you have no firsthand experience with being a female, you will be unable to offer your daughter the kind of intimate wisdom a mother would be able to provide.

    And if your sexual preference for men means that your daughter will have to go without such intimate maternal wisdom, that is your choice. But I disagree that your orientation is a good enough reason to deprive her of a mother. I think your reasoning is designed to serve your needs, not hers.

    Pathia: Is it helpful? Of course, but is it seen as mandatory? No. If you think only someone who has had direct experience with something can teach and educate about it, that is severely limiting.

    Oh I believe you. I could teach female biology as well as anyone. But you yourself said that it is “helpful” if I had firsthand experience in the matter. My experience with cramps, menstration, tampons, bikinis, date-rape, etc etc etc is “severely limited” and it always will be.

    And I apologize if my comments about your situation were offensive to you, they were not meant to be. You may not consider your “sterility” and growing up with “abnormal hormones” to be a disability per se, but if it were not then you wouldn’t have any need for ARTs either. Your infertility is a real medical condition. Not so for Jayhuck, who merely doesn’t want to have a woman around the house.

    Happy New Year to all!

  • jayhuck

    Marty,

    I think your reasoning is designed to serve your needs, not hers.

    And I believe that your reasoning is designed to serve your needs as well Marty – not those of children.

    Happy New year to you too :)

  • http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/ José Solano

    NOTE – I initially allowed and then removed the following comment. I am re-posting it because I realized that Jose did not know that references to Nazi’s as an analogy to people you disagree with will get your comments removed. So now, I am making this clear to those on this thread anyway. There was a response comment as well which I will now post. Warren Throckmorton

    It s clear from many of the statements made by the homosexualists on this thread that the primary rationale for having children is self-centered rather than child-centered. Even the intersexed individual, Pathia, talks entirely from this perspective. It’s a question of what “I want” not what the child needs or what is best for the child. “What can I do to obtain a child? Can I manufacture the child through some Mengelian genetic technology? Who cares what that child might go through or how many have genetic problems from trying to obtain children from bizarre manipulations of two eggs or two sperm cells implanted in a womb or whatever.” That’s not even a consideration. We see it in sci-fi movies of aliens abducting genetic material and we are shocked. But it happens in real life and we justify it because it’s really all about what “I want.” Who cares if the child is deliberately missing a father or a mother. “I will do whatever I want that the law might permit.” And we are supposed to lament because the adult may not get what he/she wants.

    Thanks Marty, you have made an excellent effort at trying to reason with these people but it cannot get through because their end is a concupiscent self-fulfillment and gratification that is far more powerful than reason and concern for children. The child for these people has essentially become a commodity without full intrinsic worth and value. Theirs is a political end to obtain their wants. That’s why they would just as readily manipulate genetic material a la Mengele as support aborting, disposing of the child for their convenience. It is no incidental that the culture of depravity works hand in hand with the culture of death. It is thoroughly self-centered regardless of how they twist and turn to fabricate self-justifying terminology distorting the meaning of words till we are left with nothing but gobbledygook by which, as with the ejected ink of an octopus, a confusing screen is produced by which they hope to fully fulfill their wants. But we see through it and very calmly inform them, “We see you,” even if they themselves have come to believe their contradictory constructions.

    Evan, you say, “My position is sufficiently inclusive, I believe, to allow some adults or same-sex unions of adults to adopt children, where no opposite-sex alternative is available.”

    I agree with this but when you say, “allow some adults,” I would specifically state the other options that would be preferable to same-sex couples adopting. This would be non-homosexual couples, triples, etc. Even staying in the adoption agency would be preferable.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Jose – Let me clarify that you meant Mendelian…

  • Pathia

    Jose:

    Thank you so much for putting more words in my mouth. Seriously I question why I post here when this and insults about my medical history pretty much occur at least once per post.

    I am speaking in hypotheticals. I’ll have you know that I am PRO-LIFE. You want to know why? Multiple doctors advocated to my mother to ABORT ME. I would never undergo the treatments necessary to have a child if it involved IVF, because I don’t believe in it. I am Roman Catholic.

    All of this is purely hypothetical, because I am well aware of my mental instability. I am not a suitable child rearer, period. However, I do know some intersexed people who are not as screwed up as I am. They would all make wonderful parents, but they simply don’t fit into the category of male or female. They are completely left out by what Marty is talking about.

    Again, don’t put words into my mouth. PLEASE.

  • jayhuck

    Homosexualists??

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    Pathia – No need to go any further into your personal situation. I appreciate your candor.

    Let me say to all to think through the Scriptural injunction to speak the truth in love as well as to let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. Also, the tongue is a flaming fire issuing blessings and cursings. James exhorts the believer not to curse those who are made in God’s image.

  • Mary

    I thought references to nazism are prohibited???

    a la Mengele?? That is strong language to paint a broad brush over people who desire to raise children. The desire to produce offspring, care for and create a family does not end because a person is gay. Nor does it make one a monster.

    To those who are gay, I apologize for the comment Jose has made about you and your desire to raise a family or adopt children. His comments that equate gays with Mengele are NOT the norm. While some christians may disagree about the value of gay parents, not many would make such a grotesque remark meaning to intentionally hurt another person.

  • http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/ José Solano

    Dear Pathia,

    With your explanation of your views I do believe we have had a miscommunication and we are really much closer in our positions than we are with several others here who appear to be deliberately distorting what I’m saying. I was not aware of your background as stated in your 77741 comment.

    I was merely responding, perhaps reacting to your statement:

    “Technology is progressing quite quickly, they can already turn an egg into a sperm, this would allow two lesbians to both genetically be the parents. It won’t be that long before they can do the same for gay men with a surrogate womb.”

    It appeared to me that you were endorsing these procedures which I see as Megeleian-like experimentation with human beings. I sometimes use the King Herod slaughter of the innocents as an analogy. I think that you as a Catholic and I as a Mennonite would be on the same page on this issue.

    It is important that we continue the dialogue because when communicating in brief comments it is easy to read more into a statement than what is actually being said or intended. Your “hypothetical” views are worthy of discussion even if the actual practices would not be consistent with Christian teaching. We need to wrestle with these concepts so that they may make greater intellectual and emotional sense to us.

    You can see how Mary likes to make ridiculous, inflammatory distortions of my words, tantamount to outright lies, by saying I “equate gays with Mengele.” This is nonsense and heterosexuals are by far more involved in these procedures than homosexuals. It is the murderous procedures that you and I and the Catholic Church vehemently oppose as we recognize that the genetic manipulation to create human beings (two eggs, two sperm), the destruction of embryos, the dismemberment of unborn children, etc., cannot be acceptable practices of any civilization. We must take action to outlaw such activities, starting with the overturning of Roe vs. Wade.

    Pathia, we have a great mission that should keep us very involved throughout our lives.

    Many blessings to you and let’s continue the conversation as a team.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Jose,

    Even staying in the adoption agency would be preferable [to same-sex adoption].

    As has been discussed at length above, children do NOT fare better in institutional care than they do in same-sex families. Not by any measure of well being that is currently known.

    For you to state otherwise illustrates that you are speaking only from a position of religious dogma, a statement of your personal faith that runs contradictory to the observable evidence.

    You are entitled to your religious beliefs. But a wise society does not allow the religious beliefs of some to over-ride the beliefs of others, especially when they cannot be supported by anything other than declaration.

    Otherwise, you might just a well claim that it is in the best interest of children to be sacrificed to the Crocodile God. That too is a religious belief. I give it the same level of credibility as I give your unsubstantiated dogmatic religious declarations.

  • jag

    Pathia -

    Indeed, technology is progressing quickly…national geographic reported on an experiment in which they were able to use the genetic contents of two mouse eggs to produce an offspring. Here is the link if you are interested:

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/04/0421_040421_whoneedsmales.html

    I’m not sure what this has to do with same-sex marriage, however. It seems we’ve gotten a bit off topic.

    Jose -

    Children can and are a part of many marriages, but they are not the reason why everyone marries (ex: the elderly or infertile), and certainly those who are not able to have children because they are never able to consummate the relationship (some inmates without conjugals, the disabled, etc.) also find something unique in the marital relationship that does not include children. While I agree that it should be a part of the conversation (for example, if we knew that same-sex couples could not parent, etc..), then it would indeed be more important. But since science has overwhelmingly found same-sex couples to be just as adequate as parents as their heterosexual peers, the act of reproduction seems less important – because it does effect many heterosexual couples and does not impede their ability to marry.

    Same-sex couples in many places already adopt, are legally both related to the child…but are barred from legal relationship to each other – to me, this is not in the best interest of any child….and seems a bit backward.

    In places where same-sex unions are legal (massachusetts, vermont, new jersey, )…what has this done to heterosexual marriage. I suppose I often hear the phrase that marriage needs to be “protected,” but I often wonder what people feel it needs to be protected from…

    britney spears? divorce? domestic abuse?

  • Marty

    Thanks for the link JAG.

    Even the filename in the URL (whoneedsmales.html) alludes to the fact that this sort of research is not being driven by any medical necessity, but is in fact being driven by gender bias.

    But since science has overwhelmingly found same-sex couples to be just as adequate as parents as their heterosexual peers, the act of reproduction seems less important

    An overstatement, to say the least, but why don’t you want to talk about sexism? Is lesbianism an ethical reason to tell little Johnny that he has no father, only a redundant mother?

  • Fitz

    “The — and I would actually — I would suggest that really almost all this is really more in the way of kind of offering some hypotheses. There obviously have been some studies, and I’ll talk about those in a moment, but I think, really, in an important way, it’s really much more at the stage of hypotheses and thinking about the link between same-sex marriage and child outcomes.”

    Dr. Wilcox is quite right in this assessment. The studies to date are all either fundamentally flawed so as their conclusions are suspect, or so few in number and sample size that it would be premature to offer a definitive answer to the question of child development in same-sex households.

    The policy statement s by groups like the APA and others reinforce this conclusion. They are peppered with phrases like “studies to date” & “there is no evidence to suggest”.

    These are all together different than saying “multiple wide ranging …comprehensive longitudinal,… have created a consensus among experts as to….”

    This later terminology and consensus dose exist on the subject of family formation. Unfortunately it exists when comparing natural intact married families to all other adequately studied family forms. These forms don’t include same-sex parenting.

    Mr Wilcox’s statement is the one of the cautious scientist who (rightfully) waits for the data to be gathered.

    In this respect he reminds me of the thoughts represented well in this post by Sociology professor William Weston in the following post on his blog : “Gruntled Center” (a post you may find interesting & relevant)

    http://gruntledcenter.blogspot.com/2006/03/gay-parent-research-full-of-holes.html

    “Few researchers expect that same-sex couples will turn out to be bad parents. But it is very premature to conclude that their kids turn out the same in all respects as children of married parents.”

    “My expectation is that same-sex couples will, as a group, score similar to parent/step-parent couples in overall kid outcomes.”

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    In places where same-sex unions are legal (massachusetts, vermont, new jersey, )…what has this done to heterosexual marriage.

    Those places are:

    Reciprocal Benefits – Hawaii

    Domestic Partnerships – California, Maine, Washington, Oregon (currently challenged)

    Civil Unions – Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, New Jersey

    Marriage – Massachusetts

    The response so far:

    Massachusetts was forced by the court. However last year they could not find 25% of the legislature to support an amendment to overturn marriage. It seems that heterosexual marriage did not collapse.

    Vermont opted for civil unions when required by court to provide benefits. They are currently considering changing it to marriage and there is very little vocal oppositions. It seems heterosexual marriage did not collapse.

    California has everything but the word “marriage”. The legislature has twice passed the bill to convert to marriage, but the Governor has vetoed it until the courts weigh in on whether a referendum based provision relates to in-state or out-of-state marriages. It seems that outside of Hollywood, heterosexual marriage did not collapse.

    Connecticut and New Jersey both elected without judicial mandate to offer civil unions. They did so based on their observations of the successes in New England. It is expected that they will convert to marriage fairly soon. Though they’ve only been in place for a while, it seems heterosexual marriage did not collapse.

    But you never know. Any minute now Massachusetts, which has the lowest divorce rate in the nation, could suddenly implode leaving its citizens running pell mell to divorce chapels. Little Johnny could say, “If Fred and Joe can get married then marriage has no value so I’m not marrying Suzy”. Flames from the pits of Hell could come erupting through Boston raining fire and brimstone down on the state.

    But I doubt it.

  • http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/ José Solano

    There is a particular relationship between man and woman that is conjugal in that it joins a man and a woman in such a way that they have a sexual relationship that may lead to their having children. This conjugal relationship is consensual and therefore differentiated from rape. The man and the woman have a pleasurable attraction towards each other and they discover that there is a natural and perfectly corresponding match for their sexual organs as they embrace. Their different sexual organs complement each other. This is obvious to all human beings. The male sexual organ produces a sperm cell and the female sexual organ produces an egg which when combined a new human being may be conceived. This natural biological function is so amazing that it is often referred to as a “miracle.” It is astonishing, particularly to the mother who has borne this new human being in her womb for months and then gives birth to this person.

    Throughout the world people have observed this relationship, and since a time so far back in prehistory that we cannot clearly determine when, societies have granted this relationship very special distinctions, honors, privileges and ceremonial blessings. Why have they done this? It is because societies have recognized that this relationship forms the nucleus of family life and society itself. It is the means by which society propagates itself and is consequently foundational in the preservation of the species, of humanity.

    The names given to this relationship have of course varied in different societies through language variations and differences, but regardless of what it is called the relationship is special and thoroughly different from all other human relationships. The relationship itself remains the same regardless of what it is called and regardless of whether or not the name by which it is called is given to some other relationship.

    Over the centuries and through different cultures societies have sought to honor this relationship only within certain conditions so that it is lifted above a merely bestial and prurient motivation. This has been done because of the realization that to be most helpful to society as a whole, the relationship must take on important responsibilities and obligations. Children must be raised properly so that they may be productive members of the community. Millenia of experiences have demonstrated to societies the importance of loyalty and faithfulness to bring about an harmonious, creative and productive social ideal. To honor and privilege this relationship particular standards of conduct for the relationship were instituted. These varied somewhat from culture to culture. Some standards were quite liberal while others rather harsh. Some societies insisted that the relationship be monogamous and not incestuous. Others did not. Almost all honored the relationship only if the persons were of childbearing/reproductive age, a clear indication of the emphasis placed on procreation.

    The question before some societies today is whether or not they wish to honor and privilege this particular relationship as distinct from all other relationships or if they wish to see it as no more meritorious than any number of other partnerships or relationships.

  • Marty

    Any minute now Massachusetts, which has the lowest divorce rate in the nation, could suddenly implode…

    Having a low divorce rate isn’t neccesarily anything to brag about, when Massachusetts also has one of the lowest marriage rates. You cannot divorce someone you never bothered to marry.

    Statistically, and by various surveys, Massachusans appear to take the institution of marriage less seriously than residents of most other states.

    One might suggest that marriage had already imploded in Massachusetts, even before Goodridge came along. Begging the question is SSM a symptom or a disease?

  • jayhuck

    Marty,

    Do you have any references for your claim that Massachussetts has one of the lowest marriage rates?

    And to be fair Marty (if your claim is true), we don’t know if the data on low divorce rates was adjusted for the fact that it allegedly has a low marriage rate!

  • Evan

    First, — Happy New Year to all of you here!

    Timothy Kincaid: If I read you correctly you seem to be saying that your positions on politics and child rearing are irrational. And that logic should yeild to moral judgment in those areas.

    While that may clarify some of your positions, it is not a ideology that I share.

    My position is closer to the conservative critique of any politics based on pure reason. For instance, it is rational to reduce energy consumption in a home (for economic reasons) but if that can affect the health of the inhabitants, rational cutting cost is not an end in itself. Just the same, science can produce many rationally valid conclusions about child rearing, but I am quite sure science cannot define what is good for children. We have to filter these rational conclusions using our moral sense to come to a choice.

    A propos of an earlier mention of a Nazi henchman, you can understand the baleful use of reason in politics by analysing Nazi politics, which were completely rational — ie they had an end (morally horrifying) and a choice of means (less than inhuman, since they brought statistical extermination of choice populations). Nazism lacked transcendence — they only had a mystique of human affirmation based on ideal race ideology which employed science to eliminate whatever was seen to be retrograde to their human-centred purposes (read ‘human’ as a choice race). It’s easy to see that reason unbridled by any moral considerations can produce atrocities, within different ranges.

    Playing God with nature based on rational (limited) scientific questionnaires can produce results that confirm the (limited) data, but which completely does away with our past which tells us what we are, where we came from and how we survived until now. If that past of moral assumptions were completely wrong we would have never reached this point. Let’s not consider parenting as if we lived in a scientific utopia, where the sense of direction was given by scientific periodicals. The final decision must come from our moral sense. If opposite-sex parenting is not available, the moral choice would be to allow other types of parenting, if science does not indicate any significant harm, not the other way around. In this way, society must take the responsibility of allowing any other type of parenting than the opposite-sex one, although I’m sure some will resort to science reports to escape any such responsibility.

  • jayhuck

    If someone would like to read an article that is probably a bit more objective on the history of marriage, here is one:

    Marriage Article

    Interestingly, in this same article, I found this quote:

    “In 2004, the American Anthropological Association released this statement:[28]

    The results of more than a century of anthropological research on households, kinship relationships, and families, across cultures and through time, provide no support whatsoever for the view that either civilization or viable social orders depend upon marriage as an exclusively heterosexual institution. Rather, anthropological research supports the conclusion that a vast array of family types, including families built upon same-sex partnerships, can contribute to stable and humane societies.”

  • ken

    Jose,

    In the United States, Civil marriage has nothing to do with the ability to procreate or raise children. No state requires any intention to raise children as a requirement for marriage. The state supports marriage because promoting long-term, stable relationships is good for society as a whole. To encourage these relationships, the state provides a variety of benefits and privileges to married couples.

    Marriage in america has evolved from a relationship where the wife was little better than the property of her husband, to a relationship where both are equal partners. From relationships exclusive to only white couples to all races and inter-racial couples. I see no reason it shouldn’t continue to evolve to allow for gay couples as well.

  • Chairm

    –> As has been discussed at length above, children do NOT fare better in institutional care than they do in same-sex families. Not by any measure of well being that is currently known.

    I think that orphanages have gotten a bad rap. Nowadays we do very well with small group homes for children in fostercare, especially with children who are older and for whom there is no viable adoption plan — in fact they may even be among the large portionof fosterkids who are not even be available for adoption.

  • Chairm

    Timothy, the courts did play prominent roles in each of the places with civil union status.

    And, contrary to your predrawn conclusion, marriage is on the decline and nonmarital trends are on the incline in each of those jurisdictions.

    That will adversely influence the family formation behavior of coming generations. The merger of SSM with marriage recognition (whether in the form of SSM in Massa. or CU elsewhere) locks-in negatives and locks-out protection and preference for the nature of marriage.

    The sky did not fall where states have affirmed the man-woman criterion of marriage. There is no good reason to abolish that criterion, anywhere. Least of all where the well-being of children takes precedent over the adultcentric desires of adults.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Timothy, the courts did play prominent roles in each of the places with civil union status.

    Not in New Jersey, Connecticut, or California.

  • ken

    Chairm said in post 78162:

    Timothy, the courts did play prominent roles in each of the places with civil union status.

    Really, what role did the courts play in the enactment of Civil Unions in CT?

    That will adversely influence the family formation behavior of coming generations.

    What are these “adverse influences”? and how have you determined they would have any effect?

    The merger of SSM with marriage recognition (whether in the form of SSM in Massa. or CU elsewhere) locks-in negatives and locks-out protection and preference for the nature of marriage.

    How does allowing gay couples the ability to marry effect straight marriages? What “negatives” are being locked in (and how)?

  • Chairm

    Ken you’re standing on quicksand.

    –> In the United States, Civil marriage has nothing to do with the ability to procreate or raise children. No state requires any intention to raise children as a requirement for marriage.

    Procreation within marriage is not compulsory. But when husband and wife enter the social institution, which society recognizes but which the state neither created nor owns, they consent to the nature of marriage, its core.

    And at its core is 1) integration of the sexes — see the man-woman criterion, 2) contingency for Responsible Procreation — see the marriage presumption of paternity, and 3) these fundamentals combined as a coherent whole — see marriage, a social institution.

    There are legal requirements but SSMers attack the nature of marriage and seek to abolish those requirements. For society to recognize marriage, it must recognize the nature of marriage, or else it will not be possible to distinguish marriage from other relationship types.

    The boundaries around that core, the nature of marriage, are regulated by state authorities, because that regulatory power has been delegated to the state; however, no such delegation has been granted in regards to the core of marriage which is a foundational social institution of civil society. The government does not own civil society. The People have a government, not the other way around.

    The proposed SSM merger amounts to the replacement of recognition of marriage’s core for recognition of some alternative relationship type or types.

    So, in the context of procreation and raising one’s children, what is the core of the one-sexed arrangement or of the relationship type that you have in mind when you refer to “marriage”?

    Well, it is clear that for any scenario of two dads or two moms there is a prerequisite of parental relinquishment. Either the dad or the mom is excluded in such scernarios. That, or the significance of the integration of fatherhood with motherhood is greatly diminished or even sidelined.

    This is so whether we are speaking of adoption or of third party procreation. Neither is at the core of marriage; neither forms the core of Responsible Procreation; both are selelctively sex-segregative. Third party procreation, for example, is extramarital procreation even when the husband and wife partake of it. It is sex-segregative when either husband or wife is excluded — as in the case of two men or two women who’d use a supply of a 3rd party’s sperm or ova.

    That is the inverse of the nature of marriage. Do you truly wish to abolish the special status of this? What good would that do society?

    –>The state supports marriage because promoting long-term, stable relationships is good for society as a whole. To encourage these relationships, the state provides a variety of benefits and privileges to married couples.

    Well, encouragement is one thing and tolerance is another. Likewise protection is a third way of treating various relationships.

    Are we not here discussing the preference for a certain type of domestic arrangement? Sure we are. And marriage comes with lots of baggage that some folks want to discard. We expect that the man and the woman will form a sexual relationship; that the relationship needs to provide contingency for procreation; that the contingency supports both spouses, integrates fatherhood with motherhood, and entails the child’s parents sticking around to be, not just the biological progentiors, but also the socializers — the child’s responsible parents.

    Barring dire circumstances or death, that’s the social expectation and that’s intrinsic to the social institution of marriage. There are nonmarital alternatives, sure, but there is no good reason to merge nonmarriage with marriage such that the nature of marriage is no longer shown preference.

    If you think about it, we are really discussing line-drawing, making boundaries, that honor what society esteems.

    We do not tolerate all types of relationships, as you surely must agree. But those we ban outright or discourage in various ways. Not all of this is about governmental intrusions, by the way. We should keep that in mind when discussing the significance of parenting in our society.

    Okay, so we outlaw some arrangements and some relationships. But that which we do not outlaw, we tolerate, at minimum. We can disregard some types of relationships. That is, we can tolerate a diversity that excludes arrangements that cause harm — whether material harm or moral harm.

    Some relationship types, though tolerated, are not worthy of protection. Some that are protected do not merit special status.

    I think that the SSM type of scenario can be tolerated, of course, and is among a much broader category of relationship types that ought to be afforded protections.

    But not preference. That is reserved for the conjugal relationship of husband and wife and the bond they form both with each other and with the children they create, should they recieved that blessing.

    Would you destroy that preference? For what purpose? Based on what principle of justice?

    –> Marriage in america has evolved from a relationship where the wife was little better than the property of her husband, to a relationship where both are equal partners. [...] I see no reason it shouldn’t continue to evolve to allow for gay couples as well.

    That’s a distorted view of the history of marriage. No matter. even if we suppose it were accurate, that does not weigh in favor of selective sex segregation. For there to be equality, both sexes are required. Otherwise, we would have achieved equality within marriage by removing the man and allowing only female-female unions. On the other hand, would polygamy be more equal if we removed the man, again, and added more and more women? Or exclude the women, and allow only men of equal status.

    No, because although multi-marriage does integrate the sexes it does so in an inferior form. Likewise with procreation. In our society we do prefer marriage and we do have an ideal form in mind when we recognize, privilege, and give special status to the one-to-one integration of the sexes not least because we also have an ideal in mind in terms of resonsible procreaton.

    To drop that from marriage recognition would be a devolution, not an evolution.

    –> From relationships exclusive to only white couples to all races and inter-racial couples.

    On this point you are flat outrigh mistaken. But you do point to a problem with the SSM campaign.

    Identity politics is unjust when pressed into marriage recognition. It was wrong when the racist filter was used to selectively segregate the sexes and to impair Responsible Procreation. And, although it might be presented as more benign, the gay identity filter is also unjust when it attempts to drag selective sex segregation and non-respponsible procreation under the auspices of marriage recognition.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    I too lament the decline in the prestige of marriage.

    You guys really screwed it up, didn’t you. What with “honor and obey” scaring off the women and community property laws scaring off the men, it’s a wonder anyone wants into it. And with quicky divorce and and the pressures of an economy that requires all adults to work, I’m surprised the divorce rate isn’t bigger. And when you add in the economic benefits that were for years doled out to single mothers, It’s not confusing why so many kids are born out of wedlock.

    And then when you add in the way that conservatives have been trying to equate marriage with electing Republicans and reviling gay folk, I can’t imagine why any liberals (ie half the country) would even want to have anything to do with it.

    Yep. Marriage is in pretty bad shape.

    But there is hope.

    With gay folk clammoring for the institution, it’s the first positive word that marriage has had in decades. With gay folks seeking to be part of marriage, it has a chance to drop off its exclusionary “old rich white Republicans only” image and regain some of its cache as the gold-standard for couples.

    Hey, it worked in Scandinavia. After they started recognizing same-sex couples, their plummeting marriage rates turned around. Maybe it can happen here too.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    The merger of SSM with marriage recognition (whether in the form of SSM in Massa. or CU elsewhere) locks-in negatives and locks-out protection and preference for the nature of marriage.

    That’s just simply not true.

    Marriage equality does not lock-in a single negative. None. No heterosexual marriage is negatively impacted in any way.

    Marriage equality does not lock-out protections. None. No single protection for heterosexual marriage is reduced or “locked-out”.

    Marriage equality does not lock out preference for marriage. It increases marriage’s cache as the gold-standard. It gives credibility to those who say “you should be abstinant until marriage”. It allows communities to insist on marriage in order to grant benefits without being discriminatory against their gay friends and neighbors.

    The best thing that could happen to marriage would be for a community to be able to insist that all their kids, gay or straight, shoot for that goal.

    Kids see right through hypocrisy. And they know that “gay people can get married, just to a woman” is stupid, bogus, a false notion, and not relevant to anyone’s life. They recognize that gay folks exist, are just like them, and want the same things. Furthermore they know full well that gay couples exist. And function as a family.

    So when you say, “gay couples can’t marry” it leaves to these kids the idea that gay couples can function out there just fine without marriage… and so can they.

    It is so ironic that those who so want to “protect marriage” are doing exactly the things that can doom it and fighting against one thing that could give marriage a fighting chance.

  • http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/ José Solano

    Hi Ken,

    I think you have misunderstood what I have written. I’m talking about the particular conjugal relationship between a man and a woman which is distinct from all other partnerships and relationship and which has been universally honored and privileged.

    If you read carefully I did not even mention the word “marriage” because it really doesn’t matter what you call, it remains a distinct relationship deserving of special benefits and recognition. Marriage just happens to be the name generally given to that relationship in English, although often the two are also pronounced “man and wife,” “hombre y mujer” (man and woman) in Spanish.

    I’m even willing to compromise and say let us retain the special, unique, privileged position of the man and wife relationship and refer to the homosexual relationship non-euphemistically as simply the Homosexual Relationship. Those who would like to honor and benefit that relationship can then lobby for the Homosexual Relationship benefit packages and if the people vote for it they should get it. But let us not confound terminology and relationships by merging the man and woman relationship with the homosexual relationship.

    Although I don’t like it, we can grant you a minor victory—the inevitable consequence of ss”m”—and drop the term “marriage” altogether but retain the distinction between the man and woman relationship and the homosexual relationship. This is pretty simple and could reduce all this tension over the word “marriage.” The word would become archaic and people would just talk about the “man and woman relationship” and the “homosexual relationship.” Society would provide benefits democratically to whichever they wish. Problem solved.

    Peace.

  • Fitz

    Warren

    (I know this is off topic on childrearing – yet the topic has seemed to drift to marriage rates in general and applicable harm that is demonstrable in the acceptance of same-sex “marriage” )

    {8/7/04 THE HAGUE–In an open letter to this newspaper, academics raise the alarm over the deteriorating state of marriage in The Netherlands.}

    http://www.refdag.nl/artikel/105038/

    “Until the late 1980′s, marriage was a flourishing institution in The Netherlands. The number of marriages was high, the number of divorces was relatively low compared to other Western countries, the number of illegitimate births also low. It seems, however, that legal and social experiments in the 1990′s have had an adverse effect on the reputation of man’s most important institution.

    Over the past fifteen years, the number of marriages has declined substantially, both in absolute and in relative terms. In 1990, 95,000 marriages were solemnized (6.4 marriages per 1,000 inhabitants); by 2003, this number had dropped to 82,000 (5.1 marriages per 1,000 inhabitants). This same period also witnessed a spectacular rise in the number of illegitimate births–in 1989 one in ten children were born out of wedlock (11 percent), by 2003 that number had risen to almost one in three (31 percent). The number of never-married people grew by more than 850,000, from 6.46 million in 1990 to 7.32 million in 2003.

    It seems the Dutch increasingly regard marriage as no longer relevant to their own lives or that of their offspring. We fear that this will have serious consequences, especially for the children. There is a broad base of social and legal research which shows that marriage is the best structure for the successful raising of children. A child that grows up out of wedlock has a greater chance of experiencing problems in its psychological development, health, school performance, even the quality of future relationships.

    The question is, of course, what are the root causes of this decay of marriage in our country. In light of the intense debate elsewhere about the pros and cons of legalizing gay marriage it must be observed that there is as yet no definitive scientific evidence to suggest the long campaign for the legalization of same-sex marriage contributed to these harmful trends. However, there are good reasons to believe the decline in Dutch marriage may be connected to the successful public campaign for the opening of marriage to same-sex couples in The Netherlands. After all, supporters of same-sex marriage argued forcefully in favor of the (legal and social) separation of marriage from parenting. In parliament, advocates and opponents alike agreed that same-sex marriage would pave the way to greater acceptance of alternative forms of cohabitation.

    In our judgment, it is difficult to imagine that a lengthy, highly visible, and ultimately successful campaign to persuade Dutch citizens that marriage is not connected to parenthood and that marriage and cohabitation are equally valid ‘lifestyle choices’ has not had serious social consequences. There are undoubtedly other factors which have contributed to the decline of the institution of marriage in our country. Further scientific research is needed to establish the relative importance of all these factors. At the same time, we wish to note that enough evidence of marital decline already exists to raise serious concerns about the wisdom of the efforts to deconstruct marriage in its traditional form.”

    Signed, Prof. M. van Mourik, professor in contract law, Nijmegen University Prof. A. Nuytinck, professor in family law, Erasmus University Rotterdam Prof. R. Kuiper, professor in philosophy, Erasmus University Rotterdam J. Van Loon PhD, Lecturer in Social Theory, Nottingham Trent University H. Wels PhD, Lecturer in Social and Political Science, Free University Amsterdam

  • jayhuck

    Timothy,

    So when you say, “gay couples can’t marry” it leaves to these kids the idea that gay couples can function out there just fine without marriage… and so can they.

    Excellent point! And as long as kids continue to see that there are couples functioning fine without marriage, and they continue to see nearly 50% of marriages end in divorce, they aren’t going to be able to give themselves any reason to GET married. I hadn’t actually thought about this before, but it makes a great deal of sense.

    And I think those who say they are “protecting marriage” have entered into a kind of self-delusion, where I’m sure they believe that is what they are doing, when in fact they are simply rationalizing their own prejudices. And as you say, this may all be to the ultimate detriment of marriage.

  • Marty

    Jayhuck:

    Do you have any references for your claim that Massachussetts has one of the lowest marriage rates?

    But of course:

    Marriage Rates by state:

    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvss/marriage90_04.pdf

    Divorce Rates by State:

    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvss/divorce90_04.pdf

    And to be fair Marty (if your claim is true), we don’t know if the data on low divorce rates was adjusted for the fact that it allegedly has a low marriage rate!

    Oh but we DO! Both links clearly state that “Rates are per 1,000 total population residing in area.” Which means the divorce rate is not adjusted to reflect only those persons who were previously married.

    So it only makes sense that a state where only a small number of couples marry, only a small number will divorce. And vice-versa.

    Tim Kincaid: Kids see right through hypocrisy. And they know that “gay people can get married, just to a woman” is stupid, bogus, a false notion, and not relevant to anyone’s life.

    Yeah, but they swallow that “two moms — no dad” stuff hook line & sinker, don’t they?

    “Marriage equality” (your term, not mine) will mean that more children, not fewer, grow up without a mother and a father. A tragedy, by any standard of common decency.

  • jag

    Marty -

    You raise an interesting point when you state:

    “An overstatement, to say the least [re: reproduction being nonimportant in marriage], but why don’t you want to talk about sexism? Is lesbianism an ethical reason to tell little Johnny that he has no father, only a redundant mother?”

    I’d love to talk about sexism, Marty. I believe (although Timothy and others may disagree), that is it precisely BECAUSE of sexism that two women are denied the ability to marry to begin with.

    If you think about it legally and objectively, the reason susie cannot marry sally, (if sally is not related, and meets all other standards), is solely because of her gender. In states that have equal rights ammendments that ensure equal treatment under the law…how do we justify denying these rights due to her gender? It is actually for the state to prove that extending such rights would be harmful…and to my knowledge there is no research that supports that standard.

    So, the issue Marty, isn’t that I didn’t want to talk about sexism or parenting…but that same-sex parenting is discussed on another thread (of which I have commented much on) and I was trying to keep to the content of this one. I get off track just like everyone else…but I was trying to reign it in.

    And to answer your initial point, I don’t think “lesbianism” is justification for sexism…the scenario runs both ways. While little “johnny” may not have a father, he has the benefit of two parents who love him…which, in my book, makes him luckier than most kids out there.

    I suppose I’m likely the least “sexist” about it…I don’t see two women, two men, or one woman and one man raising a child as being different – and I don’t discriminate by saying one coupling is “better” than another simply because of different gender configurations…it just so happens, that research supports equality as well.

  • ken

    Chairm said in post 78181:

    Procreation within marriage is not compulsory. But when husband and wife enter the social institution, which society recognizes but which the state neither created nor owns, they consent to the nature of marriage, its core.

    Procreation is not “the core” of marriage. And it has never been a requirement of civil marriage in this country. In fact, as I mentioned in another topic, in the state of AZ, certain couples can only marry if they cannot procreate.

    There are legal requirements but SSMers attack the nature of marriage and seek to abolish those requirements.

    The “nature” of civil marriage in the US (and many other countries) is that it is a state recognized civil contract, that grants the couple a variety of benefits, privileges and responsibilities. The only requirement gay marriage supporters are seeking to abolish, is an unjust one that improperly denies the benefits of marriage to an entire class of citizens. Just as the Loving’s challenged the unjust requirement that the couple be of the same race.

    So, in the context of procreation and raising one’s children, what is the core of the one-sexed arrangement or of the relationship type that you have in mind when you refer to “marriage”?

    As I have pointed out repeatedly, there is no “context of procreation and raising one’s children” for marriage. That is a fiction created by those who wish to suppress the rights of others.

    The purpose of marriage is to legally unite 2 people to form a new family unit. This unit does not need to include children, however, it may.

    Do you truly wish to abolish the special status of this? What good would that do society?

    Nothing I have proposed would abolish the special status of marriage in this country. I merely advocate that it be expanded to fairly include gay citizens as well.

    We expect that the man and the woman will form a sexual relationship;

    Even if one of them is in prison for life without the possibility of parole? Even if one of them is impotent and incapable of a sexual relationship?

    that the relationship needs to provide contingency for procreation; that the contingency supports both spouses,

    Allowing gays to marry would in no way change the “contingencies for procreation” in straight marriages.

    We do not tolerate all types of relationships, as you surely must agree. But those we ban outright or discourage in various ways.

    In order to deny a civil right to citizens, the government must provide sufficient reason for doing so. This reason (or reasons) is sometimes referred to as a “compelling state interest” or a “rationale basis.” I have yet to see you or anyone else here come up with any such reasons.

    Would you destroy that preference?

    No I wouldn’t, nor would anything I have proposed do so.

    For what purpose? Based on what principle of justice?

    Equal rights for all citizens. The same principles for granting inter-racial couples the right of marriage.

    For there to be equality, both sexes are required.

    No, it means that both partners must be treated the same under the law. This equal treatment has not always been the case. Even today, I believe wives still have a slight advantage in divorce proceedings. However, the courts have been making significant progress in treating both spouses equally.

    On the other hand, would polygamy be more equal if we removed the man, again, and added more and more women? Or exclude the women, and allow only men of equal status.

    Polygamy is an entirely different matter. One that would raise far to many legal issues, which I believe are insurmountable. However, for the record, if someone could come up with a fair, workable scheme for polygamy, I would consider it. I just don’t think such a scheme is possible.

    –> From relationships exclusive to only white couples to all races and inter-racial couples.

    On this point you are flat outrigh mistaken. But you do point to a problem with the SSM campaign.

    what is it you think is mistaken about my statement? When the US was founded, slaves were not able to enter into any form of legal contract, let alone marriage. And until the Loving v. Virginia decision inter-racial marriage were banned in some states.

  • Marty

    JAG, I don’t see two women, two men, or one woman and one man raising a child as being different

    So separate IS equal after all, is that what you’re claiming?

    and I don’t discriminate by saying one coupling is “better” than another simply because of different gender configurations…

    So separate IS equal, and diversity doesn’t matter either!

    Thanks for clearing that up.

  • Jayhuck

    Marty,

    You might want to rethink your ideas. Here’s a link to a New York Times article that discusses the divorce rate per married persons, not total population. It also discusses some other interesting numbers and one other study. You’ll notice these numbers are different from the ones in the CDC pdf file you linked to.

    ” In 2003, the rate in Massachusetts was 5.7 divorces per 1,000 married people, compared with 10.8 in Kentucky, 11.1 in Mississippi and 12.7 in Arkansas.”

    Here’s a link to the article

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Fitz,

    Your alarmist anti-gay letter writers need not worry. Nor should Stanley Kurtz.

    The Wall Street Journal, that bastion of media liberalism ;) disagrees with that simplistic assessment.

    [T]here is no evidence that allowing same-sex couples to marry weakens the institution. If anything, the numbers indicate the opposite. A decade after Denmark, Norway and Sweden passed their respective partnership laws, heterosexual marriage rates had risen 10.7% in Denmark; 12.7% in Norway; and a whopping 28.8% in Sweden. In Denmark over the last few years, marriage rates are the highest they’ve been since the early 1970s. Divorce rates among heterosexual couples, on the other hand, have fallen. A decade after each country passed its partnership law, divorce rates had dropped 13.9% in Denmark; 6% in Norway; and 13.7% in Sweden. On average, divorce rates among heterosexuals remain lower now than in the years before same-sex partnerships were legalized.

    http://volokh.com/posts/1162396316.shtml

    I jokingly said above that gay marriage rescued marriage in Scandinavia. But I would not be surprised to discover that my jest had some truth in it.

  • chairm

    Timothy you are on a roll but you are overstating things.

    –> With gay folk clammoring for the institution, it’s the first positive word that marriage has had in decades. With gay folks seeking to be part of marriage, it has a chance to drop off its exclusionary “old rich white Republicans only” image and regain some of its cache as the gold-standard for couples.

    Actually, nonmarital trends were making a modest turnaround, but now we have this pro-SSM campaign sucking all the oxygen out of the room.

    –> Hey, it worked in Scandinavia. After they started recognizing same-sex couples, their plummeting marriage rates turned around. Maybe it can happen here too.

    I dunno. Holland’s marriage rate continues to fall and its nonmarital birth continues to rise. Same in Canada.

  • chairm

    And the participation rate is very low wherever same sex union can be registered with the government. The “clamoring” is political, not actual. Surely participation rates are more relevant than hyperbolic claims by the SSM campaign.

  • chairm

    Timothy, I referred to the nature of marriage. In your “it ain’t so” type of response you did ot refer to the nature of marriage.

    You did use the “marriage equality” bumper sticker. You did not address the negatives that are locked-in as per sidelining the nature of marriage itself in the recognition of marriage.

    Integration of the sexes is discarded with the abolition of the man-woman criterion.

    Replacing the marriage presumption with some other presumption that is based on the limitations of the one-sexed type of relationship is an affront to Responsible Procreation.

    Negatives. Locked in. Preference for the nature of marriage, and protection for that, locked out.

    There is no hypocrisy in what I have said, Timothy, just objective truth based on the social institution. Responsible procreation is a coherent set of principles. The first principle is that each of us, as part of a procreative duo, is responsible for the children we create. It is combined with integration of the sexes to sustain the most pro-child social institution that we have. There is great wisdom in having society show preference for this. And, as I said, I am not jsut speaking of the government but the government should not intervene to undermine the nature of marriage.

    The choice to form a nonmarital arrangement, such as the one-sexed type of relationship, is a liberty exercised, not a right denied. See what I said about tolerated and protective status versus preferential status.

    –> So when you say, “gay couples can’t marry” it leaves to these kids the idea that gay couples can function out there just fine without marriage… and so can they.

    That is not the message of the affirmation of the nature of marriage. Rather it is the false message of the SSM campaign. It is very mislelading because it depends on a misrepresentation of the conjugal relationship. And that is done, as per your own comments, for the sake of gay identity politics.

    –> It is so ironic that those who so want to “protect marriage” are doing exactly the things that can doom it and fighting against one thing that could give marriage a fighting chance.

    More hyperbole. You really do overstate the case for SSM. The best SSM arugment is merely a call for provision for designated beneficiaries. Nothing more than that.

  • chairm

    Ken, I referred to Responsible Procreation but you dropped the responsible part. Is that necessary for SSM to be merged with marriage, do you think?

    To which Arizona law did you point to when you said that “certain couples can only marry if they cannot procreate.”? If you mean the faulty compromise on cousin marriage, well, that actually confirms the core of marriage includes contingency for Responsible Procreation.

    –> The “nature” of civil marriage in the US (and many other countries) is that it is a state recognized civil contract, that grants the couple a variety of benefits, privileges and responsibilities.

    The government does not own marriage. If it was just a contract, then, you should be satisified with provision for designated beneficiaries.

    If you are now claiming that the nature of marriage is the sum of the legal incidents that are associated with it, then, you are going in circles. The nature of marriage is recognized, not created, by the state nor by legal incidents that flow from that nature or core.

    –> The only requirement gay marriage supporters are seeking to abolish, is an unjust one that improperly denies the benefits of marriage to an entire class of citizens. Just as the Loving’s challenged the unjust requirement that the couple be of the same race.

    No, not “just as”. You have it backwards, actually. As I said, the anti-miscegenation system selecltively segregated the sexes and undermined Responsible Procreation. That, too, is the effect of pressing the gay identity filter into marriage recogniton.

  • chairm

    –> Nothing I have proposed would abolish the special status of marriage in this country. I merely advocate that it be expanded to fairly include gay citizens as well.

    Hang on.

    Please distinguish marriage from nonmarriage. Then, based on that, draw the lines around marriage so that it can be shown preference.

    I suspect that what you would describe could not justly exclude a larger range of nonmarital arrangements that are neither sexualized nor identified as gay.

    Marriage, the social institution, is not adultcentric. It is childcentric. When you argue otherwise, you do indeed argue for abolishing the special status of the most pro-child social institution in our society. It may be hard for you to accept this because you begin with the false idea that marriage is about the adults and children are merely an optional, even peripheral, part of the social institution and of marriage recognition. So you start with this bundle of beneifts and so forth and then say that there is no actual core, or nature, of marriage that stands apart from the government’s authority.

    You’d have government swallow the foundational social institution of civil society. That is perhaps far more than what you think you advocate, but maybe you need to reconsider the downside of gay identity politics.

    Ken you said: From relationships exclusive to only white couples to all races and inter-racial couples.

    Then you said: slaves were not able to enter into any form of legal contract, let alone marriage. And until the Loving v. Virginia decision inter-racial marriage were banned in some states.

    Okay, your clarification is helpful. Slaves did marry. The slave system did not recognize those husband and wife unions. The slave system directly overturned the contingency for Responsible Procreation. The slave system also selectively segregated the sexes — and segregated fatherhood from motherhood. So, sure, it is an easy thing to say that the slave system was an anti-marriage system.

    However, the anti-miscegenation system barred supposedly pure white individuals from marrying non-pure white individuals. It also segregated the sexes outside of marriage, as you may know. That system institutionalized bastardization from one generation to the next. A white man who married a non-white woman, for example, could expect their children to be “impure” and ineligible to be recognized as his child through marriage. Those children could not marry into the “white race”. The Loving decision was not about a flaw in marriage but a caste system based on racism. The racist analogy does not work the way you think it does for SSM. Quite the contrary.

    There is one human race and the nature of humankind is two-sexed, the nature of human generativity is both-sexed, and the nature of human community is also both-sexed.

    Marriage arises from these objective truths. It would be unjust to abolish the man-woman criterion of marriage recognition for the sake of any type of identity politics. In this case, with SSM, the unjust filter is the gay identity filter which negates the core of marriage itself.

    The SSM merger would replace marriage recognitoin with recognition of something else. Do not assume that the replacement will carry the same shared public meaning as the conjugal relationship has carried.

    The boundaries around marriage are based on its nature, its core, its essence, and it makes little sense to repositon marriage recognition to its peripheral aspects. Just because some secondary and tertiary aspects are shared with nonmarital arrnagements does not require that society sideline the core of marriage for which society is justified in showing preference.

    SSM can be tolerated, even protected (as I favor), as part of a more inclusive range of nonmarital arrangements. But why should society show preference for gay identity?

    Why would excluding other nonmarital arrangements better protect gay arrangements? No SSMer I’ve encountered has adequately answered that question.

  • Marty

    Jayhuck,

    Your article states that it is “based on figures from the Census Bureau and the National Center for Health Statistics”, but provides no actual figures that we can check for ourselves.

    The links I provided (to actual figures), state:

    Note: Populations are consistent with the 2000 Census

    Source: Division of Vital Statistics, National Center for Health Statistics, CDC

    It’s possible both conclusions are correct — they appear to cite the same sources, but we can’t know for sure because your article doesn’t provide the raw data used to reach that conclusion.

    If you can find that data, please let us know.

  • jayhuck

    Marty,

    It’s possible both conclusions are correct — they appear to cite the same sources, but we can’t know for sure because your article doesn’t provide the raw data used to reach that conclusion.

    I’m fairly certain they both are correct Marty. Last night after I left my post I wrote the write of the NYT article asking her for that very information. I realize that its not practical for her to respond to all emails, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I’ll let you know

    The article itself is worth reading for several other reasons though – thanks for taking the time to go through it.

  • jag

    Marty -

    “JAG, I don’t see two women, two men, or one woman and one man raising a child as being different

    So separate IS equal after all, is that what you’re claiming?”

    No, I’m claiming they aren’t separate, they aren’t different, and yes, they are equal.

    Unfortunately, much of society claims that they are separate, should be given separate relationships (domestic partnerships, civil unions or state-restricted marriage)…I don’t.

  • Fitz

    Ken (writes)

    “As I have pointed out repeatedly, there is no “context of procreation and raising one’s children” for marriage. That is a fiction created by those who wish to suppress the rights of others. ”

    This is the height of absurdity. To paper over the obvious an universal link between opposite sex coupling/ childbearing & marriage is a historical, anti-intellectual and self delusional.

    To then accuse those who insist on pointing out the basics of biology as bad faith actors is ludicrous.

    Men and women are members of a class that can produce children. While any member of that class may not or cannot produce a child, they remain members of a class that can produce children. Same sex pairings can never produce children. They are members of a class that always and everywhere are incapable of producing children. Therefore same sex “marriage” necessarily severs marriage from procreation. It both androgynizes the institution and separates it from any necessary link to childbearing.

  • Fitz

    Timothy Kincaid (writes)

    “Your alarmist anti-gay letter writers need not worry. Nor should Stanley Kurtz.”

    #1. Well I have printed the (near) totality of the Scandinavian academics open letter. There is nothing about it that could fairly be called “alarmist”. I found it to be balanced, cautious and respectfully deferential about the limits of social science. I suppose readers can decide for themselves.

    Likewise for Dr. Kurtz work.

    http://defendmarriageresources.blogspot.com/2007/02/stanley-kurtz-work.html

    “The Wall Street Journal, that bastion of media liberalism disagrees with that simplistic assessment.”

    #2. The article you point to is not a Wall Street Journal Editorial. It is merely printed in the Journal. It is the work of two active and open gay advocates of same-sex “marriage” William Eskridge and Darren Spedale.

    Furthermore: nowhere in their analysis to they reference these academics letter nor call the work of Staley Kurtz and others a “simplistic assessment.”</i

  • ken

    José said in post 78191:

    I think you have misunderstood what I have written. I’m talking about the particular conjugal relationship between a man and a woman which is distinct from all other partnerships and relationship and which has been universally honored and privileged.

    What I am talking about (and what others mean by gay marriage) is civil marriage, which is a legal marriage recognized by the state. It does not have any procreation requirements attached to it. It does not require married couples to raise children or perform any type of child care activities. While civil marriage may provide benefits to children, these benefits are not the reason for having civil marriages.

  • Ann

    it is interesting to ponder why God made it impossible for a woman to have a child without a man’s participation and why He also made it impossible for a man to have a child without a woman’s participation. We can finagle this all we want to, and we do, however, it is a sobering thought to wonder about God’s discernment in it all.

  • ken

    Chairm said in post 78297:

    Ken, I referred to Responsible Procreation but you dropped the responsible part. Is that necessary for SSM to be merged with marriage, do you think?

    I gave specific quotes from you that I responded to, I didn’t edit any words out of the quotes. As to your “responsible procreation” term, it is a nonsense term you made up with no legal meaning whatsoever. If you can any state statute referring to it I’ll consider it, until then it has no bearing on civil marriage.

    To which Arizona law did you point to when you said that “certain couples can only marry if they cannot procreate.”? If you mean the faulty compromise on cousin marriage, well, that actually confirms the core of marriage includes contingency for Responsible Procreation.

    Arizona statute 25-101 B which reads as follows:

    B. Notwithstanding subsection A, first cousins may marry if both are sixty-five years of age or older or if one or both first cousins are under sixty-five years of age, upon approval of any superior court judge in the state if proof has been presented to the judge that one of the cousins is unable to reproduce.

    This statute clearly shows that marriage (in AZ at least) is clearly for reasons other than procreation. And I did acknowledge that procreation may occur in marriage, just that it is not a reason for allowing marriage.

    The government does not own marriage. If it was just a contract, then, you should be satisified with provision for designated beneficiaries.

    The government is responsible for defining civil marriage. Again, civil marriage is what I am referring to when I talk about gay marriage. The ability for same-sex couples to obtain a marriage license from the state and receive all of the ensuing benefits, privileges and responsibilities that go with it. Some of which cannot be obtained through any other means.

    No, not “just as”. You have it backwards, actually. As I said, the anti-miscegenation system selecltively segregated the sexes and undermined Responsible Procreation.

    The anti-miscegenation laws were based on race, not sex. And the “dangers” of allowing procreation between races was one of the arguments supporting those laws.

  • Fitz

    KEN (writes)

    “What I am talking about (and what others mean by gay marriage) is civil marriage, which is a legal marriage recognized by the state. It does not have any procreation requirements attached to it. It does not require married couples to raise children or perform any type of child care activities. While civil marriage may provide benefits to children, these benefits are not the reason for having civil marriages.”

    I’m afraid you are wrong as a matter of law.

    Civil marriage (or call it what you will) has been found in multiple courts and Supreme Court precedent to be inextricably linked to childbearing.

    The idea that marriage is a private relationship based on an emotional commitment between two adults is simply foreign to all common law decisions on the subject. Marriage, is and always has been a social institution with the primary public purpose of ensuring that children will have an emotional, moral, and legal relationship to the parents who are responsible for their existence.

    Multiple State Sureme Courts including New York, Maryland, Washington & now Road Island have said that there is no fundamental right to same-sex marriage, that laws defining marriage as a union of husband and wife are substantially different from those banning interracial marriage, and that the link between marriage and procreation justifies the state’s definition of marriage as a union of husband and wife.

    You are making the same mistake the New York Court points out in its recent decision. Discussing the Supreme Court precedents of Turner v. Safley, 482 U.S. 78 (1987); Zablocki v. Redhail, 434 U.S. 374 (1978); Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967); Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965); Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535 (1942)

    Judge Graffeo noted….

    “To ignore the meaning ascribed to the right to marry in these cases and substitute another meaning in its place is to redefine the right in question and to tear the resulting new right away from the very roots that caused the U.S. Supreme Court and this Court to recognize marriage as a fundamental right in the first place.”2

  • ken

    Chairm said in post 78298:

    Please distinguish marriage from nonmarriage.

    Having a marriage license issued and recognized by the state, vs. not having one.

    Then, based on that, draw the lines around marriage so that it can be shown preference.

    Preference is shown based on all of the benefits and privileges given to married couples. There are 1000s of them.

    Marriage, the social institution, is not adultcentric. It is childcentric.

    There are lots of couples who are married who a) have no children and b) have no intention of ever having children. You are confusing the fact that marriage can be a benefit to children with marriage is for children. There is a big difference.

    The SSM merger would replace marriage recognitoin with recognition of something else. Do not assume that the replacement will carry the same shared public meaning as the conjugal relationship has carried.

    Gay marriage should (will) have the same legal recognition as straight marriages. It will recognize that 2 people have joined to form one new family unit. And it will be recognized in other countries, whereas, civil unions or domestic partnerships may not be.

    But why should society show preference for gay identity?

    There is no preference for gays. Right now (except in MA) they are being discriminated. Allowing them to marry is granting equality not preference.

    Why would excluding other nonmarital arrangements better protect gay arrangements?

    Because other arrangements do not grant the same benefits as marriage does.

  • ken

    Fritz said in post 78348;

    I’m afraid you are wrong as a matter of law.

    Can you cite a single statute that has a procreation requirement attached to marriage?

    Civil marriage (or call it what you will) has been found in multiple courts and Supreme Court precedent to be inextricably linked to childbearing.

    And how do these rulings apply to marriages where there are no children involved?

    Marriage, is and always has been a social institution with the primary public purpose of ensuring that children will have an emotional, moral, and legal relationship to the parents who are responsible for their existence.

    then why is it when Oregon tried to pass an initiative, saying that any marriage that failed to produce children (through procreation or adoption) within 3 years should be dissolved, failed?

    Why do none of the state marriage statues list children in the conditions for marriage?

    You are correct that some judges have used the procreation argument as a reason to deny same-sex marriage, however others have not. Ultimately, I suspect this will reach the Supreme Court, and I do not think they rule that the purpose of marriage is procreation. However, time will tell.

    Also, where did you get the quote from Judge Graffeo (a case citation will suffice)? I’m interested in reading that opinion, esp. since some of those cases did not ascribe procreation as the reason for the right to marry.

  • Fitz

    KEN (asks)

    “Can you cite a single statute that has a procreation requirement attached to marriage?”

    Yes- every statute that defines marriage as between a 1 man & 1 woman requires (inherently) that the class of people involved (man + woman) is of the one and only class capable of childbearing.

    Allow me to explain….

    The Court of Appeals of Maryland (the state’s highest court) issued a recent decision Deane & Polyak,v. Conaway,

    Sighting the same United States Supreme Court precedents as the N.Y court : the Marryland High Court noted that these previous cases recognizing a fundamental right to marry “infer that the right to marry enjoys its fundamental status due to the male-female nature of the relationship and/or the attendant link to fostering procreation of our species.”

    In fact, the court said that virtually all of the cases “indicate as the basis for the conclusion the institution’s inextricable link to procreation, which necessarily and biologically involves participation (in ways either intimate or remote) by a man and a woman.”

    In terms of the justifications for the current marriage law, the court ruled “fostering procreation is a legitimate government interest”

    and the “‘inextricable link’ between marriage and procreation reasonably could support the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman only, because it is that relationship that is capable of producing biological offspring of both members”

    The court held “the fundamental right to marriage and its ensuing benefits are conferred on opposite-sex couples not because of a distinction between whether various opposite-sex couples actually procreate, but rather because of the possibility of procreation.”

    “And how do these rulings apply to marriages where there are no children involved?”

    Here I’ll let the California Appeals Court Explain.

    “Constitutionally protected fundamental rights need not be defined so broadly that they will inevitably be exercised by everyone. For example, although the ability to make personal decisions regarding child rearing and education has been recognized as a fundamental right (see, e.g., Pierce v. Society of the Sisters (1925) 268 U.S. 510, 534- 535), this right is irrelevant to people who do not have children. Yet, everyone who has children enjoys this fundamental right to control their upbringing. A similar analogy applies in the case of marriage. Everyone has a fundamental right to “marriage,” but, because of how this institution has been defined, this means only that everyone has a fundamental right to enter a public union with an opposite-sex partner. That such a right is irrelevant to a lesbian or gay person does not mean the definition of the fundamental right can be expanded by the judicial branch beyond its traditional moorings.” 1

    1- In re Marriage Cases, Cal. App. 2006, McGuiness, P. J. (writing for the majority.)

    “then why is it when Oregon tried to pass an initiative, saying that any marriage that failed to produce children (through procreation or adoption) within 3 years should be dissolved, failed?”

    Because it’s a silly and ridiculous law. Why are there no laws mandating jail time for out-of-wedlock childbearing? Just because there are not doesn’t mean we don’t take out-of wedlock childbearing seriously.

    “Why do none of the state marriage statues list children in the conditions for marriage?”

    Because that’s ridiculous. Men and women are members of a class that can produce children. While any member of that class may not or cannot produce a child, they remain members of a class that can produce children. Same sex pairings can never produce children. They are members of a class that always and everywhere are incapable of producing children. Therefore same sex “marriage” necessarily severs marriage from procreation. It both androgynizes the institution and separates it from any necessary link to childbearing

    P.S. (all you need) http://marriagelaw.cua.edu/law/courts.cfm

  • Chairm

    The legal requirements have been already stated and discussed above.

    Responsible Procreation is not made-up. The first principle is that each of us, as part of a procreative duo, is directy responsible for the children we create. This is at the core of marriage where faherhood and motherhood are integrated.

    The man-woman criterion is a legal requirement. SSMers want to abolish it.

    Consenting to the marriage presumption of paternity is a legal requriement. SSMers evade this pro-child principle because no such presumption can be based on whatever two or more persons of the same sex might engage in, sexually.

    Pointing to legal incidents of a relationship status does not point to the core of that relationship status. It points outward. Just as pointing to 3rd party procreation points outside of marriage. Just as pointing to parental relinquishment points outside of marriage.

    There is one human race and its nature is two-sexed. That is not something made-up when using the term Responsible Procreation. The nature of human generativity is both-sexed, again, not made-up. Likewise with the both-sexed nature of human community. The family, founded on the conjugal relationship, is the basic organic unit of human community. It exists prior to the state.

    The state does not own marriage. But SSM argumentation starts with the government takeover of the most significant social institution in civil society.

    * * *

    As for the Arizona law cited above, please explain how such a compromise, existing in that state, in anyway demonstrates that marriage recognition excludes Responsible Procreation.

    You just repeated what has already been agreed: marital status does not depend on the government forcing each and every marriage to create children.

    You are swatting at a strawman argument of your own construction.

    Wipe the slate clean. State the pre-government nature of the relationship type you have in mind. Then, based on that nature, or core, please describe the paramaters around that core for which the state regulates eligibility.

    Failing that, you are merely calling for the abolition of the preference for the core of marriage.

    That core is 1) integrationof the sexes (see the man-woman criterion), 2) contingency for responsible procreation (see the marriage presumption of paternity and what it is base don), 3) these combined as into a coherent whole (see the meaning of a social institution).

    SSM arugmentation rejects this as the starting place. But fails to articulate the starting place that SSM would enshrine in the law.

    State the legal requirements that define the relationship status you seek. If these are not written into the law, then, drop them. If these are not enforced absolutely, as per the SSM remarks about procreation, drop them. What is left? What is the core that all the other stuff hangs on?

    Pointing to legal incidents does not point to the core of the relationship type, as I said. If that is all that is left, then, you argue for an unsustainable relationship status. If its core cannot be identified, then, it cannot be shown preference nor protection.

  • Chairm

    Ken, you asked two questions of Fitz that I’d like to discuss.

    –> why is it when Oregon tried to pass an initiative, saying that any marriage that failed to produce children (through procreation or adoption) within 3 years should be dissolved, failed?

    You clearly misunderstand that stunt.

    To empower the state to unilaterally dissolve marriages would be a direct attack on marriage, privacy, and liberty.

    Are you saying that you think that, and that alone, would justify the man-woman criterion? I’d hope not.

    The Oregon stunt would have the state undermine the core of marriage. Look, if each marriage is conditional, and each couple is deemed sterile until proven fertile (conceiving and bearing children together), that would demote each to the status of pre-marriage. It would have the government enforce an anti-marriage requirement of premarital sexual relations, premarital childbearing, and premarital cohabitation. The stunt was based on the false assumption that the government owns marriage. However, The People have a government, not the other way around.

    – > Why do none of the state marriage statues list children in the conditions for marriage?

    Because the government does not force each and every married couple to procreate. Instead, it recognizes, not creates and owns, the nature of marriage and the people who enter the social institution, which the state reocognizes and does not create nor own, consent to integration of the sexes and contingency for responsible procreation.

    Would you prefer the state intruded with fertility tests that monitor ovulation and such?

    The Oregon stunt should not be taken as seriously as you seem to take it. Give your head a good shake.

  • ken

    So I found the case Fitz quoted in post 78348, it is from

    “Hernandez v. Robles” NY Court of Appeals No. 86, No. 87, No. 88, No. 89:

    Unfortunately, Fitz has misinterpreted what the opinion was referring to, the full quote is;

    But it is an inescapable fact that New York due process cases and the relevant federal case law cited therein do not support plaintiffs’ argument. While many US Supreme Court decisions recognize marriage as a fundamental right protected under the Due Process Clause, all of these cases understood the marriage right as involving a union of one woman and one man (see e.g. Turner v Safley, 482 US 78, 107 S Ct 2254, 96 L Ed 2d 64 [1987]; Zablocki v Redhail, 434 US 374, 98 S Ct 673, 54 L Ed 2d 618 [1978]; Griswold v Connecticut, 381 US 479, 85 S Ct 1678, 14 L Ed 2d 510 [1965]; Skinner v Oklahoma ex rel. Williamson, 316 US 535, 62 S Ct 1110, 86 L Ed 1655 [1942]). Whether interpreting New York’s Due Process Clause or its federal counterpart (which is textually identical), when this Court has addressed the fundamental right to marry, it has relied on federal precedent and similarly used the word “marriage” in its traditional sense. For example, in Cooper v Morin , we grounded the right of pretrial detainees to have contact visits with family on the “fundamental right to marriage and family life . . . and to bear and rear children” (49 NY2d 69, 80, 399 NE2d 1188, 424 NYS2d 168 [1979], cert denied sub nom. Lombard v Cooper, 446 US 984, 100 S Ct 2965, 64 L Ed 2d 840 [1980]), citing US Supreme Court cases highlighting the link between marriage and procreation. As the Third Department aptly noted in Samuels, to ignore the meaning ascribed to the right to marry in these cases and substitute another meaning in its place is to redefine the right in question and to tear the resulting new right away from the very roots that caused the US Supreme Court and this Court to recognize marriage as a fundamental right in the first place.

    the “meaning” was the one man/one woman definition of marriage, not about child-rearing/procreation. As said in the 2nd sentence quoted.

  • jag

    Chairm -

    You stated:

    “The man-woman criterion is a legal requirement. SSMers want to abolish it.”

    The criterion violates the Equal Rights Ammendment, stating that women and men should be treated equally under the law unless there is a harm that can be proven to the commonwealth. The burden of proving harm is upon the state, because the state is denying equal access based solely on the sex of the applicants.

    You also stated:

    “There is one human race and its nature is two-sexed. ”

    I would take issue with this. We indeed have two predominant sexes, but we cannot exclude intersexed, transgendered, hermaphrodite, etc..variations that also exist. Sex is not always as binary as it seems upon initial first glance.

  • ken

    Chairm said in post 78361:

    The man-woman criterion is a legal requirement. SSMers want to abolish it.

    Just as the same race criterion was a legal requirement that inter-racial marriage supporters wanted to abolish. And for the same reasons, because it is an unjust, unfair requirement based on prejudice and bigotry towards a minority.

    The state does not own marriage. But SSM argumentation starts with the government takeover of the most significant social institution in civil society.

    This is the last time I’m going to attempt to explain this to you. Civil marriage is a marriage granted by the state, and ONLY the state. It confers a state recognized legal status of marriage. Via laws and court decisions, married couples are entitled to many benefits, privileges and responsibilities. There are other types of marriages (ex. religious ones), however, when people talk about expanding marriage to include gay couples they are referring to state granted civil marriages.

    As for the Arizona law cited above, please explain how such a compromise, existing in that state, in anyway demonstrates that marriage recognition excludes Responsible Procreation.

    I have no idea what you mean by “Responsible Procreation.” Until you can provide me with a reference to it, from a reputable source, that defines it and shows how it is relevant to the debate on civil marriage, I will ignore any future references you make to this term.

    The AZ law I cited clearly shows that procreation is not a criteria for marriage. There are state recognized reasons for marriage that have nothing to do with procreation.

    State the pre-government nature of the relationship type you have in mind.

    I have no interest in “pre-government” relationships. I am only interested in the state recognized civil marriage. To re-state, the State has an interest in promoting long-term, stable relationships. The state interest is that, on the whole, these relationships are better for the individuals involved and society in general. The state promotes these relationships by recognizing and granting benefits to civil marriages.

  • ken

    Chiarm said in post 78364:

    You clearly misunderstand that stunt.

    I understood that stunt quite well. It’s purpose was to expose that claims “marriage is about procreation” as nothing more than a bigoted smoke screen.

    ,i>Are you saying that you think that, and that alone, would justify the man-woman criterion? I’d hope not.

    No I’m not, I’m saying nothing I’ve read justifies the man-woman criterion.

    Would you prefer the state intruded with fertility tests that monitor ovulation and such?

    I’m not the one claiming marriage is about procreation. I would prefer that the government grant benefits fairly to all its citizens.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    First I would like to concede that in ancient times marriage was about children. The purpose of marriage was for one man to take ownership of a woman (often a child, really) so that he was in control of the fruit of her loins. It was a legal method by which he owned the child and made decisions for it, regardless of the will of the mother. Should she ever decide to flee, because of the marriage contract all children belonged to him. This is still the case in some middle eastern societies.

    Let us agree that this is no longer the purpose of marriage in the West.

    Let us also agree that such notions as “one man, one woman”, and complementarity, and the woman as an equal partner, and Responsible Procreation are all modern concepts and had little or nothing to do with marriage in ancient times. In fact, some of these notions are extremely new.

    To what end, then, is marriage?

    Some seem to be arguing that the only purpose of the institution is to reward heterosexuality. They seem to think the sole distinction between those who are part of the institution and those who are excluded is based on whether there is both a penis and a vagina in the mix.

    I find that to be a rather odd purpose for marriage. An institution based on the exclusion of a tiny minority seems, at best, to be pointless. It’s like setting up public benefits and traditions to honor and reward those who are right-handed.

    I have a question for the anti-gays: If gay people did not exist, what would be marriage’s purpose? Would you still have the institution, the laws, the traditions? Obviously you would. Nor would there be any material difference.

    Nor would there even be the slightest hint of an argument about marriage being about whether or not one can bare children. It would be about establishing the parameters of relationship that are in the best interest of the couple, the society, and yes the children.

    Then excluding gay couples from the mix is not an integral part of marriage. It is, and should be, about establishing the parameters of the relationship.

    I believe it to be obvious that the best parameters of a same-sex relationship – whether or not it contains children – that are in the best interest of society and the couple, are within the bounds of committments, vows, laws of requirements, and community witness. Because I believe that the best place for gay people within society is in stable couples.

    It really comes down to the question: what do you want gay people to do?

    Some have listed what they DON’T want them to do, i.e. marry. But what alternative do you offer?

    Do you really think it is in their best interest, or society’s, that they live a playboy lifestyle?

    Do you think it best that those children currently being raised by gay parents have single fathers or mothers?

    Do you favor less stability?

    Because ultimately your arguments have little to no impact on heterosexual couples. Or their children. You arguments do have impact, however, on gay couples and their children.

    To debate the point without keeping in mind those impacted by decisions is either callous, cruel, or arrogantly selfish. I truly hope none of us here are those things.

  • Marty

    JAG: I’m claiming they [men and women] aren’t separate, they aren’t different, and yes, they are equal.

    LOL! If that were true then you wouldn’t have such aversion to marrying one yourself!

    Game over, thanks for playing.

  • jag

    Marty -

    “LOL! If that were true then you wouldn’t have such aversion to marrying one yourself!”

    I don’t know if you know me well enough to make that statement. It’s not true that I am “averse” to men at all…I fell in love with a woman. I’ve dated both most of my life.

    Game Over.

  • Marty

    Forgive me then JAG, I assumed you were one of the many commenters on this blog who claim that the idea that a gay man could marry a woman is preposterous.

    But if what you claim is true, that men and women are not different, and they are equal, then that claim is what is preposterous.

    Of course, anyone (except you it seems) can plainly see that men and women ARE different, and are not “equal”. Not physically, not emotionally, and certainly not legally.

    And for that reason, separate is not — cannot be — “equal”.

    Except to you I suppose.

  • Mary

    Equal rights is different than saying you are people of equal skills, talents, strengths etc…

  • jayhuck

    Marty,

    I would argue that not all men are equal either: physically, emotionally or legally. To try and lump all men together and say that they are all equal is not right either – although I don’t think that Jag is blind to differences. I have a feeling you missed her point on equality.

  • http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/ José Solano

    It is obvious that we are having a conflict over the definition of marriage. One is the definition it has always had as Chairm and others point out, and which I describe in comment 78096, which is not fabricated by government but rather recognized by government as a universal institution and relationship and then supported by government, and the other is one constructed through political maneuvering in the effort to call “marriage” what has never been seen as a marriage so as to provide marriage privileges and benefits to homosexual relationships.

    The state of Massachusetts, by the power of four judges against three others on the same court, has accepted, indeed, imposed a new definition of marriage allowing those engaging in homosexual relationships to “marry.” All other State Supreme Courts that have considered the issue, have rejected this redefinition and acknowledged that if there were to be such a redefinition it must come through the legislature or the people directly and not the courts. No legislature has yet created such redefinition legislation, instead, recognizing that the homosexual relationships cannot be called marriage, as this term has been always understood, they have sought to provide those in homosexual relationships certain benefits by calling the relationship something other than marriage.

    Now the legislature does have the power to redefine “marriage.” It can actually assert that polygamous and polyamorous relationships will be legal, or even allow for incestuous marriages, or lower the age of consent to allow marriages that would accept pedophilia, or same-sex relationships of two or multiple partners, etc. But before it imposes such radical redefinitions, offensive to the majority of the population, it should go to the people, as it could no longer presume itself to be a government representative of the people. It should let the people vote on these radical redefinitions.

    And of course we know perfectly well how the people will vote because whenever they’ve been given the opportunity to vote they have voted by overwhelming majorities that marriage should be as it has always been, between one man and one woman. The one state where such an amendment was defeated was because it already had legislation affirming the one man-one woman relationship as marriage. Never, anywhere on earth, have the people voted to call a homosexual relationship marriage.

    In comment 78191 I make a compromise that could put an end to the enormously expensive political strife over this issue. I reluctantly suggest that we drop the term marriage altogether—that term could be left to religious institutions—and simply speak of the “Man and Woman Relationship” and the “Homosexual Relationship.” Please understand that this is huge compromise as it means relinquishing the term marriage which the vast majority of humanity recognizes only as the man and woman relationship.

    Peace.

  • Marty

    Men and women don’t even have “equal rights” Mary.

    How could they?

  • ken

    Jose said in post 78448:

    All other State Supreme Courts that have considered the issue, have rejected this redefinition

    This is incorrect. The Hawaii supreme court did rule in favor of allowing gays to marry. However, it stayed its decision for 2 years, and Hawaii passed a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

    No legislature has yet created such redefinition legislation,

    This is wrong as well, the CA legislature did change the state definition of marriage to include same-gender couples. The governor vetoed it, claiming “it is a matter for the courts to decide.” The CT legislature initially had a same-sex marriage bill, but later changed it to the Civil Unions bill.

    But before it imposes such radical redefinitions, offensive to the majority of the population, it should go to the people, as it could no longer presume itself to be a government representative of the people. It should let the people vote on these radical redefinitions.

    Changing marriage to include gay couples isn’t anywhere near as radical as you pretend it is. It is no more radical than say allowing women to actually have a say in who they marry, rather than just having their fathers decide for them.

    And of course we know perfectly well how the people will vote because whenever they’ve been given the opportunity to vote they have voted by overwhelming majorities that marriage should be as it has always been, between one man and one woman.

    Not as overwhelming as you might think. Polls over the last 10 years have indicated increasing support for same-sex marriage. While the majority still favors blocking same-sex marriage the percentage has been getting smaller and smaller. I have no doubt that in 50 years, same-sex marriage will be everywhere. The people of that time will look back at people like you, with the same disbelief (“what were they thinking”) that people today look back at those who supported anti-miscegenation laws of 50 years ago.

  • ken

    Marty asked in post 78449:

    Men and women don’t even have “equal rights” Mary.

    How could they?

    By having the laws and courts not make distinctions based on sex. Equal rights really isn’t that complicated a concept Marty.

  • Mary

    Okay let’s rephrase this

    When we talk about non discrimination and equality I think most people would agree that we are talking about equal access to opportunity and to rights of freedom. And decisions for lending, education selection to publicly funded institutions, jobs both in the private and public sectors, etc… are to be based on merit of performance such as credit, income, grades, accomplishments and ability to perform etc…

  • Marty

    I don’t have a right to abort my unborn child, Ken. My wife will never experience anything like the concept of “presumed paternity”. (I’ve certainly never heard of “presumed maternity” — have you?)

    These are just 2 obvious examples of how men and women are not equal under the law. There are dozens more.

    Men and women are different in some incredibly important ways. If they were not, we wouldn’t be having this debate.

  • Mary

    Actually, men are gaining more paternity freedoms. If he was illegally used for his sperm? Raped by a woman, etc… all of these kind of cases are becoming more pursued by men and their legal right to end a pregnancy.

  • Marty

    JAG also claimed:

    I would take issue with this [“There is one human race and its nature is two-sexed. ”]. We indeed have two predominant sexes, but we cannot exclude intersexed, transgendered, hermaphrodite, etc..variations that also exist. Sex is not always as binary as it seems upon initial first glance.

    Would you also take issue with the statement that “the human race is two-legged”, simply because various birth defects exist that prove otherwise? Or do the exceptions prove the rule?

    Your list of exceptions do not name a “third sex”…

  • Mary

    And besides we are talking about the rights someone has over their own body (to get married to a person of their choosing and raise children together).

  • ken

    Marty said in post 78464:

    I don’t have a right to abort my unborn child, Ken.

    Actually Marty, you have just as much right to undergo an abortion procedure as your wife does. I wouldn’t recommend it, but you do have the right.

    Men and women are different in some incredibly important ways. If they were not, we wouldn’t be having this debate.

    So you believe that because men and women have physical differences that women should not have the right to free speech? Or the right to an attorney?

    As I said equal rights means equal treatment under the law. Everyone is different, and sometimes those differences mean they may have an advantage or disadvantage in some situations. That however does not mean these people don’t have equal rights under the law.

  • Chairm

    –> The [man-woman] criterion violates the Equal Rights Ammendment…

    You begin with the false assumption that marriage is not both-sexed and that the requirement is an unjust exclusion. That’s circular thinking.

    Look first to the nature of the social institution. You say it is something other than sex integration, responsible procreation, and these combined as a coherent whole.

    So, abolish recognition of that. Now, what is left? Please state the nature of the social institution and then point to the legal requirements that define that. And if any such requirement is not enforced absolutely, then, it cannot be counted as definitive, as per SSM argumentation.

    Thanks.

  • Marty

    Mary, Ken,

    I trust you will let me know when I have the same right to abort my unborn son that my wife has.

    Why does she get to determine when and if I will be a father, when I have no such claim over when or if she will become a mother?

    You guys are too much. Seriously.

  • Chairm

    JAG, you have confused abnormalities, diseases, and illnesses with the nature of humankind.

    There is a man who beat his wife. Does that mean that the nature of marriage is violence against wives? Nope.

    There is a human embryo whose lungs have not and cannot begin to develop. Does that mean that the nature of the human embryo is lungless? Nope.

    SSM argumentation is profoundly flawed on this score.

  • Chairm

    –> I understood that [Oregon] stunt quite well. It’s purpose was to expose that claims “marriage is about procreation” as nothing more than a bigoted smoke screen.

    If you understood it better you’d know it was a stunt based on a straw man argument fabricated by SSM argumentation.

    Responsible Procreation. Not procreation solo. Not any and all kinds of procreation. And not mandatory procreation enforced by state troopers.

    SSM argumentation sometimes reveals a totalitarian streak that ought to give SSMers pause.

  • Chairm

    Timothy, to oppose the SSM merger is not anti-gay. You need to look beyond gay identity politics if you want to comprehend the actual disagreement.

    The ideas you say are new are ancient but said anew. And, given the modern deconstructionist attack on the social institution, these ideas are being articulated in modern language. So let’s put aside the falsehood that if not for the SSM campaign there would be no nature of marriage as has been described.

    You still have not identified the nature of the relationship type you have in mind. Based on that, we can examine the parameters that woudl justly be drawn to distinguish that relationship type from others. It is on this straightforward basis that we can evaluate the proposed reform in terms of justice (i.e. to each his due).

    Tell me, would any relationship type be excluded from what you have in mind or is it a free-for-all?

  • Chairm

    –> Civil marriage is a marriage granted by the state, and ONLY the state.

    That explains very little. Instead of repeating that mantra, please state the nature of the relationship type that you have in mind.

    –> I will ignore any future references you make to this term [Responsible Procreation].

    In our laws, customs, and traditions, there exists the principle that, barring dire circumstnaces, each of us, as part of a procreative duo, is directy responsible for the children we create.

    Never mind citations. Do you favor the abolishment of this principle? if you do, then, I don’t blame you for ignoring Responsible Procreation.

    –> I have no interest in “pre-government” relationships.

    Then there is no interest in any relationship type, at all. The term, pre-government, does not mean prior to the existence of government. It refers to civil society which exists apart from government. Government does not float on its own bottom.

    But your response demonstrates, again, that the first step in SSM argumentation, after deciding that disagreement is an act of bigotry, is to assertion government ownership of civil society. That is something that all liberty loving people ought to reject as the premise for a relationship status.

    Likewise the hyperventilating about gay identity. No form of identity politics ought to dictate social policy.

  • Chairm

    The Arizona law on cousin marriages was a flawed compromise based on bordering states which either permitted such marriages or prohibited such marriages.

    It was aimed at discouraging sexual relations and marriage among young cousins, of childbearing age, because of concerns about inter-generational incest.

    But consider its flaw. If a man can marry his elderly cousin, because she is deemed incapable of bearing children, then, why not a son who’d marry his elderly mother? Surely they would qualify based on the zig-zag?

    And if two persons of the same sex are intrinsically a sterile couple, then, they’d qualify automatically — regardless of how closely they might be related.

    Again, SSM argumentation searches for the rarest of exceptions, or apparent exemptions, for the sake of eraising the just lines drawn around the nature of marriage.

  • Mary

    Marty,

    You do not have to engage in sex and then you really do determine what will happen. That is always your right. And if you engage in sex (willfully and without contraceptives) then you are saying by your actions that you want your wife to be pregnant and have given your consent. Now- whether or not she wants the same thing is different. You do not have the right to decide for the woman what she will do with her body – niether does she have the right to decide what you will do with yours (provide sperm or not)

  • Chairm

    –> The Hawaii supreme court did rule in favor of allowing gays to marry.

    That is mistaken. The case was sent back to the lower judicial level. The supreme court did not make a ruling in favor of imposing the SSM merger.

    –> CA legislature did change the state definition of marriage to include same-gender couples

    In the republican form of government, as you may know, the legislative branch cannot enact new law if it cannot over-ride the Governor’s veto. And, in this case, the California legislature was also trying to over-ride the directly expressed will of the people who enacted a prohibition on the very thing you’d favor. There is a seperation of powers that stands in the way of the SSM campaign in California.

  • Chairm

    –> Polls over the last 10 years have indicated increasing support for same-sex marriage.

    Opinion surveys have repeatedly underestimated the support for marriage amendments as expressed in actual votes on such measures.

    The consensus has stood firm: no to merging SSM with marriage recognition.

  • Chairm

    –> As I said equal rights means equal treatment under the law.

    Sure, and to enter marriage a man and a woman are required.

    A man does not become a husband without forming a conjugal relationship with the woman who becomes his wife. And vice versa.

    As I have said before, SSM argumentation begins with the false premise that the nature of marriage is unworthy of special preference in our society.

    Yet the SSMers seem very keen on what appears to be a contradiction.

    On one hand, they argue against preference and in favor of flattening marital status so that it is merely a protective status.

    On the other hand, they argue for a special status for only a tiny subset of nonmarital arrangements. And that subset is presumed to be gay identified.

    But how does excluding other nonmarital arrangments help protect the gay identified subset?

    SSMers really say stuff that amounts to a call for provision for designated beneficiaries. Beyond that they are calling for the misuse of marriage for nonmarriage purposes: to promote gay identity politics and make it immune from criticism and opposition in law, customs, and traditions.

    That’s just not good enough to move the state’s big hairy hand.

    Meanwhile society has need for some means of encouraging 1) integration of the sexes, 2) contingency for Responsible Procreation, and 3) doing so as a coherent whole.

    Marriage is the social institution that does this for the individuals who marry and for their children and for society as a whole. And, as a foundational institution of civil society, it has stood the test of time.

    Busting it up into bits and pieces, all of which are optional, and none of which are central, will make marital status, as more than a mere label appropriated for nonmarriage, unlikely to remain sustainable for future generations.

    And the way that SSMers would get from A to B is to undermine the principles and the practices of self-government in our very tolerant and open society. It is unnecessary and it would be unjust.

  • http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/ José Solano

    Thanks Chairm for your comment at 78485. I was going to respond in similar manner. I would add that the California legislature’s attempt to impose ss”m” was a despotic violation of law as it had no authority to throw out the will of the people clearly expressed Proposition 22. The issue became moot because the governor vetoed the legislature’s political stunt.

    Ken’s comment at 78455 clearly illustrates your observation Chairm that “SSM argumentation searches for the rarest of exceptions, or apparent exemptions . . . .” He seeks to strain out a gnat in my comment at 78448, that doesn’t even exist, while failing to address in any way the substance of my comment. He goes on to make some silly comparisons and fantasize about what homosexualist propaganda might be able to achieve in 50 years. I talk about overwhelming majorities in marriage amendment votes and he talks about polls when the only “poll” that counts is the actual votes of the people and these have been landslide victories for marriage.

    Now I would advise you Ken to accept soon my proposition at 78448 before I change my mind. The man and woman relationship and the homosexual relationship are two totally different relationships. The former is marriage by definition but homosexualists wish to change that definition so as to obtain status and affirmation of their practices by merging with the time honored and privileged position of marriage in society. Defenders of marriage reject the confounding and conflation of the two relationships. Seek out the affirmation of your sexual relationship on your own merits by dropping the euphemisms and calling your relationship simply what it is, the Homosexual Relationship. In exchange I’ll work to change civil marriage licenses to read the “Man and Woman Relationship.” If you prefer calling your relationship the Same-Sex Relationship that might also work. The churches, synagogues, etc. would decide what they wish to call marriage.

    (Speaking of stunts, as I recall the homosexualist’s stunt to break up the marriages of people who did not procreate within three years was in Washington and not Oregon.)

  • jayhuck

    Chairm,

    Do you have ANY idea how the institution of marriage has CHANGED throughout history? No one on here has yet answered any of Timothy’s excellent questions from above.

    Jose,

    It is obvious that we are having a conflict over the definition of marriage. One is the definition it has always had as Chairm and others point out, and which I describe in comment 78096, which is not fabricated by government but rather recognized by government as a universal institution and relationship and then supported by government

    The definition it HAS ALWAYS HAD? You DO understand how marriage has changed throughout the centuries for those who are straight-identified, don’t you?

    What I find interesting is that NO ONE on here can seem to come to a definition on what marriage is. It seems, and its not surprising, that everyone, even straight-identified people, would have a different understanding of what it means for them or for society as a whole.

    The FACT is that gay couples are here, and they are here to stay. SO, for gay couples and gay families, we have to ask ourselves, what is best for them and for society? Is it better NOT to grant them the rights and privileges of marriage? No one seem to want to talk, as Timothy said, about real people and the effects these laws have on them, rather, we want to talk in abstracts.

    AND, gay marriage is already legal in the United States, and several other industrialized countries – that’s another fact that Chairm and Jose are going to have to come to grips with. The understanding of marriage has ALREADY changed – again, I might add.

  • Marty

    Mary, but she does have the “right” to decide whether my son lives or dies. I have no such right. (Ostensibly because I have no such “body” as she.)

    Anyway, we’re off the track here — you and Ken have already conceded that indeed men and women ARE different, and because of those differences, they are not treated “equally” under the law — nor should they be.

    Which brings us back to the original question: can separate really be equal?

    JAG thinks this is not a valid question because JAG (alone) does not believe that men and women are different.

    I have steadfastly claimed that because men and women are so greatly different from each other, that 1 man and 1 woman combined will have a far greater diversity of life experiences than any 2 men or any 2 women. I’m sure you agree.

    So I refuse to accept that when it comes to sex/gender (something obviously much more important to humanity than mere “race”) separate is actually equal after all, and I am personally appalled that so many “progressives” these days are claiming that it is.

    It’s as if all of a sudden diversity doesn’t matter, and fatherlessness doesn’t matter if gender bias is the cause.

  • ken

    Chairm said in post 78482:

    In our laws, customs, and traditions, there exists the principle that, barring dire circumstnaces, each of us, as part of a procreative duo, is directy responsible for the children we create.

    Never mind citations. Do you favor the abolishment of this principle?

    I don’t even agree that this principle exists. and as I said until you can furnish proof of its existence, I will ignore all future references to it.

    post 78483:

    The Arizona law on cousin marriages was a flawed compromise based on bordering states which either permitted such marriages or prohibited such marriages.

    Can you provide any evidence to support this claim?

    post 78485:

    –> The Hawaii supreme court did rule in favor of allowing gays to marry.

    That is mistaken. The case was sent back to the lower judicial level. The supreme court did not make a ruling in favor of imposing the SSM merger.

    From the Baehr v. Lewin 74 Haw. 645, 852 P.2d 44 May 5, 1993:

    In light of the interrelationship between the reasoning of the Brennan plurality and the Powell group in Frontiero, on the one hand, and the presence of article I, section 3 — the Equal Rights Amendment — in the Hawaii Constitution, on the other, it is time to resolve once and for all the question left dangling in Holdman. Accordingly, we hold that sex is a “suspect category” for purposes of equal protection analysis under article I, section 5 of the Hawaii Constitution and that HRS §572-1 is subject to the “strict scrutiny” test. It therefore follows, and we so hold, that (1) HRS §572-1 is presumed to be unconstitutional (2) unless Lewin, as an agent of the State of Hawaii, can show that (a) the statute’s sex-based classification is justified by compelling state interests and (b) the statute is narrowly drawn to avoid unnecessary abridgments of the applicant couples’ constitutional rights.

    The did rule the marriage law was unconstitutional and denied rights to citizens, however, they allowed the state to provide evidence that it was necessary to do so (i.e. provide a compelling state interest). The state never did that, instead they got a constitutional amendment ruling marriage was between a man and a woman.

  • ken

    Jose said in post 78494:

    He seeks to strain out a gnat in my comment at 78448, that doesn’t even exist, while failing to address in any way the substance of my comment.

    What substance do you feel I failed to address?

    He goes on to make some silly comparisons and fantasize about what homosexualist propaganda might be able to achieve in 50 years.

    Nothing propagandistic about it. I’m simply following conclusions based on trends and history.

    I talk about overwhelming majorities in marriage amendment votes and he talks about polls when the only “poll” that counts is the actual votes of the people and these have been landslide victories for marriage.

    Not only polls, but the marriage votes themselves. If you track the votes on the issues you will also see that the margins of those votes are indeed getting smaller. They are following the same trend that the polls are showing. You see what the polls show that the votes don’t is that younger people favor gay marriage, while it is the older generation that does not. As this younger generation starts voting more (and the older generation dies off), you will see more and more support for gay marriage.

    Now I would advise you Ken to accept soon my proposition at 78448 before I change my mind.

    And if I don’t? What happens if you change your mind? I think you overestimate your own importance in this matter.

    The former is marriage by definition

    As I and others have mentioned, the meaning of marriage has significantly changed over time. And in several places it already includes same-sex relationships.

  • ken

    Marty said in post 78524:

    Anyway, we’re off the track here — you and Ken have already conceded that indeed men and women ARE different, and because of those differences, they are not treated “equally” under the law — nor should they be.

    No, I conceded no such thing. I have said that ALL people are different (you are the one who can see past male/female differences). And that sometimes the law needs to adjust to those differences. However, that is not the same as say they are not treated equally under the law. Further, the cases where these differences matter represent a small fraction of cases where they don’t matter.

    Which brings us back to the original question: can separate really be equal?

    As a general assumption no. However, I don’t see how this applies here.

    JAG thinks this is not a valid question because JAG (alone) does not believe that men and women are different.

    No, I believe Jag has been saying that men and women are not different in any way that matters in regards to parenting. I happen to agree with her on this matter.

    I have steadfastly claimed that because men and women are so greatly different from each other, that 1 man and 1 woman combined will have a far greater diversity of life experiences than any 2 men or any 2 women. I’m sure you agree.

    I don’t agree. See above. Using your argument, different races will have a far greater diversity of life experience as well, so do you support the claim that mixed race couples will be better parents? I don’t see diversity of the parents as equating to being better parents.

  • jag

    Ken -

    “JAG thinks this is not a valid question because JAG (alone) does not believe that men and women are different.

    No, I believe Jag has been saying that men and women are not different in any way that matters in regards to parenting. I happen to agree with her on this matter.”

    thank you for the clarification, and for taking points in context.

  • Marty

    Using your argument, different races will have a far greater diversity of life experience as well, so do you support the claim that mixed race couples will be better parents?

    If the mixing of races was what produced children in the first place, of course I would. But race is not crucial to the survival of the species. Sex/gender is.

    But I see there is no reaching you either.

  • jayhuck

    OK, I’m as guilty as the next person for going off on tangents, but is there any way we can get back to the topic of same-sex parenting or have we exhausted it.

    Marty,

    I doubt anyone on here disagrees with the idea that gender is necessary for the survival of the species. But the species is not in ANY danger whatsoever of becoming extinct, in fact, it may be gender that actually brings on more social ills such as over-population.

    There I go going off on a tangent again :)

    Are we reaching you?

  • Mary

    Marty,

    I did not concede that their rights to their own bodies should be treated differently under the law.

    Your argument that men and women are treated differently is different than the argument of one about equal rights. Somehow your are trying to make them one and the same. And you suggest that if a man cannot make his wife abort then he does not have the same rights as she does therefore men and women are treated differently.

    Why don’t you try this on – No one regardless of their gender has the right to make a woman abort her child (under normal circumstances) and the reason is not because of gender but because no one has the right to tell another person what to do with their body. That is not gender inequality that is personal right and freedom to do with your own body what you want – you have that right to do with your body what you want and I cannot tell you what to do with it. So does any other person irregrdless of gender. That is equality. You do not have the right to own nor posses another person’s rights (as in slavery).

  • Fitz

    KEN (you wrote) at 78365

    “Unfortunately, Fitz has misinterpreted what the opinion was referring to, the full quote is; — FULL QUOTE –the “meaning” was the one man/one woman definition of marriage, not about child-rearing/procreation. As said in the 2nd sentence quoted.

    It is both and, not either or… (as the quote makes clear)

    Allow me to demonstrate using the Court of Appeals of Maryland (the state’s highest court) issued a recent decision Deane & Polyak,v. Conaway,

    Sighting the same United States Supreme Court precedents as the N.Y court : the Marryland High Court noted that these previous cases recognizing a fundamental right to marry “infer that the right to marry enjoys its fundamental status due to the male-female nature of the relationship and/or the attendant link to fostering procreation of our species.” In fact, the court said that virtually all of the cases “indicate as the basis for the conclusion the institution’s inextricable link to procreation, which necessarily and biologically involves participation (in ways either intimate or remote) by a man and a woman.”

    In terms of the justifications for the current marriage law, the court ruled “fostering procreation is a legitimate government interest” and the “‘inextricable link’ between marriage and procreation reasonably could support the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman only, because it is that relationship that is capable of producing biological offspring of both members

    The court held “the fundamental right to marriage and its ensuing benefits are conferred on opposite-sex couples not because of a distinction between whether various opposite-sex couples actually procreate, but rather because of the possibility of procreation.”

    To expand (you ask) at 78355

    “And how do these rulings apply to marriages where there are no children involved?”

    “Constitutionally protected fundamental rights need not be defined so broadly that they will inevitably be exercised by everyone. For example, although the ability to make personal decisions regarding child rearing and education has been recognized as a fundamental right (see, e.g., Pierce v. Society of the Sisters (1925) 268 U.S. 510, 534- 535), this right is irrelevant to people who do not have children. Yet, everyone who has children enjoys this fundamental right to control their upbringing. A similar analogy applies in the case of marriage. Everyone has a fundamental right to “marriage,” but, because of how this institution has been defined, this means only that everyone has a fundamental right to enter a public union with an opposite-sex partner. That such a right is irrelevant to a lesbian or gay person does not mean the definition of the fundamental right can be expanded by the judicial branch beyond its traditional moorings.” 1

    1- In re Marriage Cases, Cal. App. 2006, McGuiness, P. J. (writing for the majority.)

  • Marty

    But Mary, it’s not just “her body” that she has rights over.

    If she decides that my child will be born, then I will be held responsible and must (at a minimum) pay child support for 18 years. If she decides that my child will not be born, then my child will die and I’m off the hook.

    Now, we both had equal responsibility in the decision to have sex together, and to risk conception, but now that we’ve done the deed, she indeed has far more rights than I do, and to much more than just “her own body”.

    My child’s life is not “her body”. My parental rights and obligations are not “her body”. But both are held hostage to her whim, simply because she is a woman and I am not.

    You may see this as fair, and that’s fine. But it’s hardly “equal”.

  • jayhuck

    Fritz et al:

    Here is a little more history behind the Maryland ruling (from Wikipedia) -

    “On August 30, 2005, oral arguments from each side were presented to Baltimore Circuit Court Judge M. Brooke Murdock. On January 20, 2006, Murdock ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, writing that “Maryland’s statutory prohibition against same-sex marriage cannot withstand this constitutional challenge. Family law §2-201 violates Article 46 of the Maryland Declaration of Rights because it discriminates, based on gender against a suspect class, and is not narrowly tailored to serve any compelling governmental interests.” [5]

    Judge Murdock immediately stayed the decision pending an appeal by the office of the Maryland Attorney General. [6] On July 27, 2006, the Maryland Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, agreed to hear the appeal directly, bypassing an intermediate court. [7] Oral arguments were heard on December 4, 2006. [8]

    On September 18, 2007, the Court of Appeals ruled against the plaintiffs in a 4-3 decision, leaving the statutory ban on same-sex marriage in place. [9] State Senator Gwendolyn Britt of Landover Hills and Delegate Victor R. Ramirez of Mount Rainier are expected to submit a bill during the 2008 session to legalize same-sex marriage in Maryland. [10]“

    Of course this ruling doesn’t prevent civil unions which, in my mind, as long as they grant all the rights and privileges of marriage, is a good thing. If the so-called “marriage protectors” want sole use of the word marriage, then so be it – but that is just a personal opinion of mine.

    In addition, it looks like Maryland might have same-sex marriage after all anyway :)

  • jayhuck

    Marty,

    I would hardly say its FAIR that the woman is the one who has to endure 9 months of hormone fluctuations, nausea, pain, vomiting, and possibly more severe health problems as a result of the child growing in her either etc either – men obviously don’t have to live with these incredibly burdens. The fact remains is that it IS her body, whether you like it or not, and the child is a part of HER body, not yours.

  • Ann

    is the same equality extended to the other human being that is involved – the pre-born child? They have a body too. What if they want to live instead of die – is that right considered? There are three live people involved – not one or two. Where and what are the boundaries for equality? The pre-born child is a separate human being from the woman whose body it occupies for a short time.

  • jayhuck

    Ugh – OK – Again, I’m as guilty as anyone else of getting us off on a tangent, or even keeping us there – but the thread topic is Same-sex parenting, not abortion – there is a thread for discussing abortion if we like.

    Ann – ultimately I’m with you on this, but I don’t want to go further down this road since there is SO much tied up in that discussion.

  • Fitz

    ALL

    I think we should refrain from having this conversation digress into a conversation about abortion.

    I understand the link between that discussion, the points raised & “equality”.

    Interestingly enough there are multiple proposals out there that address Marty’s exact point, while still refraining from forcing abortions upon “women’s bodies” unwillingly.

    They involve a period of notification of the male father upon discovery of pregnancy. At this point the pregnant woman can either abort or keep the child. If the Husband doesn’t claim that he wants the child – the woman & child relinquish their rights to paternal responsibly and caretaking. This on the theory that she could have an abortion rather than an unwilling father. If she keeps the baby without his authorization, he gives up all parental rights.

    Now – I think such proposals are morally abhorrent. (Yet they are out there and follow the logic of “her own body & extreme “equality” worldview)

    In as much, they illuminate the folly of such thinking and demonstrate how dangerous notions of “equality” like same sex marriage end up treating children like consumer goods that are “commissioned” rather than the natural fruits of the marital union of husband/wife and corresponding natural mother/father.

  • Mary

    oh marty. you are getting way off track – remember you have the right to your body and if you choose to may or may not engage in sex. once you give or sell that sperm then your rights to possessing that sperm and its consequences end. You are still responsible for your actions whether you like that or not. no one forced you to have sex. but now that you have given up that right – willfully – then that’s what you did. you gave away your right to decide what will happen with your sperm once it passed to another person.

    why is it so difficult for you to understand that your body belongs to you and you can use it responsibly or not and once you “give” up those rights of possession then that’s it.

    further discussion of this with you on this thread has ended on my part.

  • jayhuck

    Fitz,

    In as much, they illuminate the folly of such thinking and demonstrate how dangerous notions of “equality” like same sex marriage end up treating children like consumer goods that are “commissioned” rather than the natural fruits of the marital union of husband/wife and corresponding natural mother/father.

    How does same-sex marriage treat children like consumer goods? And please, let’s not pretend that married couples don’t often treat their children as “goods”, I’ve seen this happen – I’ve seen children get used by their parents or treated as slaves, or used as pawns in emotional games by the parents.

    And since when did it require a marriage for a straight couple to have children – Natural fruits of the marital union??????

  • jayhuck

    Fitz,

    Same-sex marriage – just like Opposite-sex marriage, doesn’t require children. It is about society recognizing the relationships of the two people and encouraging that relationship to be a happy, healthy and stable one.

  • Fitz

    Mary

    Please read my comment at 78573 in order to understand how Marty’s opinion is neither unusual nor inconsistent with wide held notions of bodily integrity, personal responsibility & parental rights.

    Also note how your own words can me modified ever so slightly and used to declare that a women who has had consensual sex has a responsibility to carry any child conceived to term.

    “remember you have the right to your body and if you choose to may or may not engage in sex. once you give or sell that egg then your rights to possessing that egg and its consequences end. You are still responsible for your actions whether you like that or not. no one forced you to have sex. but now that you have given up that right – willfully – then that’s what you did. you gave away your right to decide what will happen with your egg once it passed conceived another person.

    why is it so difficult for you to understand that your child dosent belong to you and you can use it responsibly or not and once you “give” up those rights of possession then that’s it.

    Jayhuck

    Re: Your query about – The link between Marriage & Children.

    Read comment 78560 – (& the specific quotes of the Maryland Court)

  • jayhuck

    Fitz,

    What about the Massachusetts court?????

  • Ann

    Jayhuck,

    You are right and I apologize for getting off track regarding the issue of abortion – it is just a sensitive one for me and I had a knee jerk reaction but I realize there is a “time and place” for it to be discussed and it isn’t on this thread. Having said that, the three year old in me is still glad I wrote it.

  • jayhuck

    Fitz,

    Also note how your own words can me modified ever so slightly and used to declare that a women who has had consensual sex has a responsibility to carry any child conceived to term.

    I’m a little lost as to why sentence modification is important here.

  • Fitz

    I was quoting the Maryland court for the specific purpose of illuminating the inherent link between marriage & childbearing. The Mass Court (conveniently) ignores the question of childbearing, parentage and all its intendant consequences.

  • jayhuck

    Fitz,

    The Massachusetts court said:

    “In a 50-page, 4-3 ruling delivered on November 18, 2003, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court found that the state may not “deny the protections, benefits and obligations conferred by civil marriage to two individuals of the same sex who wish to marry.” Chief Justice Margaret Marshall, writing for the majority, wrote that the state’s constitution “affirms the dignity and equality of all individuals” and “forbids the creation of second-class citizens” and that the state had no “constitutionally adequate reason” for denying marriage to same-sex couples. On the legal aspect, instead of creating a new fundamental right to marry, or more accurately the right to choose to marry, the Court held that the State does not have a rational basis to deny same-sex couples from marriage on the ground of due process and equal protection…..

    The denial of marriage licenses to same-sex couples violated provisions of the state constitution guaranteeing individual liberty and equality, and was not rationally related to a legitimate state interest. Superior Court of Massachusetts at Suffolk vacated and remanded.”

  • Ann

    Same sex marriage would have a lot more support if it was based on equal rights rather than moral approval.

  • jayhuck

    Fitz,

    I was quoting the Maryland court for the specific purpose of illuminating the inherent link between marriage & childbearing. The Mass Court (conveniently) ignores the question of childbearing, parentage and all its intendant consequences.

    The Massachusetts court did not ignore childbearing or parentage – what they recognized is that equality can be given to both couples without impinging on the ability to raise or have children by opposite-sex couples and that the state can and does support this interest without denying gay couples the right to marry.

    The fact is Fitz, that marriage has been legal in Massachusetts for several years now and there is no harm that has been done to straight parents, their children or the institution of marriage.

  • Marty

    Jayhuck: I would hardly say its FAIR that the woman is the one who has to endure 9 months of hormone fluctuations, nausea, pain, vomiting, and possibly more severe health problems as a result of the child growing in her either etc either – men obviously don’t have to live with these incredibly burdens.

    Okay, now we’re getting somewhere.

    So let me ask you, what can a little girl possibly learn about these “incredible burdens” from her “two dads”?

    One might suspect that a little girl would do well to have a mother of her own around, to provide a little firsthand perspective on the matter, don’t you think?

  • Fitz

    Jayhuck

    My initial instinct to ignore you has proven valid.

    “I’m a little lost” Indeed

    #1, The sentence modification, replacing ‘sperm” with “egg” is self evident, your query pointless.

    #2. As stated: The Mass Court (conveniently) ignores the question of childbearing, parentage and all its intendant consequences.

    Your quotation merely reinforces that the Mass. Opinion dose not address those issues – but is a bald assertion rather than legal reasoning.

    You can’t just match an on point quote with a general quote.

    You need distance from the argument and more familiarity with the law & facts.

  • jayhuck

    Fitz,

    You make the erroneous claim that just because parenting wasn’t specifically talked about in the ruling, that it wasn’t discussed in the lead up to the ruling.

    You also need more familiarity with the law and facts.

    Marty,

    So let me ask you, what can a little girl possibly learn about these “incredible burdens” from her “two dads”?

    Sigh – this argument is getting old – What if her did is an Obstetrician – or what if the mother isn’t emotionally and intellectually able to share any of her experience with her child. Why are we continuously going over the same ground.

    Gay people are parents – they are parenting now – they will be parenting in the future – research shows that they are doing just as good a job parenting as straight couples. How can we help now and future gay parents be ALL they can be?

  • Fitz

    Hardly, As Justice Cordy wrote in dissent, the majority in the Mass Goodridge decision had -

    “transmuted the “right” to marry into a right to change the institution of marriage itself.”1

    “only by assuming that ‘marriage’ includes the union of two persons of the same sex does the court conclude that restricting marriage to opposite-sex couples infringes on the ‘right’ of same-sex couples to ‘marry’.”2

    “[i]n context, all of these decisions and their discussions are about the ‘fundamental’ nature of the institution of marriage as it has existed and been understood in this country, not as the court has redefined it today.” 3

    Maintaining that marriage’s – “’fundamental’ nature is derivative of the nature of the interests that underlie or are associated with it” -and that a an – “examination of those interests reveals that they are either not shared by same-sex couples or not implicated by the marriage statutes.” 4

    1,2,3,4, – Goodridge v. Dept. of Pub. Health,798 N.E.2d 941, 955 (Mass 2003)

    (Justice Cordy dissenting)

  • jayhuck

    Marty,

    did = Dad :)

  • jayhuck

    Fitz,

    Please – the ruling was 50 pages long – have you read it in its entirety?

    As for redefining marriage – I think the state of Massachusetts has shown us that we can redefine it include gay couples without impinging on the ability of opposite-sex couples to reproduce or raise their children.

    You start from the assumption that redefining marriage is a bad thing, when in fact marriage has been redefined many times throughout history.

  • Fitz

    1,2,3,&4 are footnote #’s NOT page numbers.

    Obviously I have read it, (that’s were the quotes are from????)

    You’re so left field & off point that I’m going to follow my initial instinct & ignore you from now on.

    No offense.

  • jayhuck

    Fitz,

    Here is just a small sampling from the Massachusetts court’s 50-page ruling – I’ll include the link below so that everyone can read it if they like, and then Fitz, maybe you can decide if they considered the things you claimed they didn’t:

    “The larger question is whether, as the department claims, government action that bars same-sex couples from civil marriage constitutes a legitimate exercise of the State’s authority to regulate conduct, or whether, as the plaintiffs claim, this categorical marriage exclusion violates the Massachusetts Constitution. We have recognized the long-standing statutory understanding, derived from the common law, that “marriage” means the lawful union of a woman and a man. But that history cannot and does not foreclose the constitutional question.

    The plaintiffs’ claim that the marriage restriction violates the Massachusetts Constitution can be analyzed in two ways. Does it offend the Constitution’s guarantees of equality before the law? Or do the liberty and due process provisions of the Massachusetts Constitution secure the plaintiffs’ right to marry their chosen partner? In matters implicating marriage, family life, and the upbringing of children, the two constitutional concepts frequently overlap, as they do here. See, e.g., M.L.B. v. S.L.J., 519 U.S. 102, 120 (1996) (noting convergence of due process and equal protection principles in cases concerning parent-child relationships); Perez v. Sharp, 32 Cal.2d 711, 728 (1948) (analyzing statutory ban on interracial marriage as equal protection violation concerning regulation of fundamental right). See also Lawrence, supra at 2482 (“Equality of treatment and the due process right to demand respect for conduct protected by the substantive guarantee of liberty are linked in important respects, and a decision on the latter point advances both interests”); Bolling v. Sharpe, 347 U.S. 497 (1954) (racial segregation in District of Columbia public schools violates the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution), decided the same day as Brown v. Board of Educ. of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 (1954) (holding that segregation of public schools in the States violates the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment). Much of what we say concerning one standard applies to the other.

    We begin by considering the nature of civil marriage itself. Simply put, the government creates civil marriage. In Massachusetts, civil marriage is, and since pre-Colonial days has been, precisely what its name implies: a wholly secular institution. See Commonwealth v. Munson, 127 Mass. 459, 460-466 (1879) (noting that ”[i]n Massachusetts, from very early times, the requisites of a valid marriage have been regulated by statutes of the Colony, Province, and Commonwealth,” and surveying marriage statutes from 1639 through 1834). No religious ceremony has ever been required to validate a Massachusetts marriage. Id.

    In a real sense, there are three partners to every civil marriage: two willing spouses and an approving State. See DeMatteo v. DeMatteo, 436 Mass. 18, 31 (2002) (“Marriage is not a mere contract between two parties but a legal status from which certain rights and obligations arise”); Smith v. Smith, 171 Mass. 404, 409 (1898) (on marriage, the parties “assume[ ] new relations to each other and to the State”). See also French v. McAnarney, 290 Mass. 544, 546 (1935). While only the parties can mutually assent to marriage, the terms of the marriage—who may marry and what obligations, benefits, and liabilities attach to civil marriage—are set by the Commonwealth. Conversely, while only the parties can agree to end the marriage (absent the death of one of them or a marriage void ab initio), the Commonwealth defines the exit terms. See G.L. c. 208.

    Civil marriage is created and regulated through exercise of the police power. See Commonwealth v. Stowell, 389 Mass. 171, 175 (1983) (regulation of marriage is properly within the scope of the police power). “Police power” (now more commonly termed the State’s regulatory authority) is an old-fashioned term for the Commonwealth’s lawmaking authority, as bounded by the liberty and equality guarantees of the Massachusetts Constitution and its express delegation of power from the people to their government. In broad terms, it is the Legislature’s power to enact rules to regulate conduct, to the extent that such laws are “necessary to secure the health, safety, good order, comfort, or general welfare of the community” (citations omitted). Opinion of the Justices, 341 Mass. 760, 785 (1960). [FN12] See Commonwealth v. Alger, 7 Cush. 53, 85 (1851).”

    Read the article here!!!!

  • Chairm

    –> Do you have ANY idea how the institution of marriage has CHANGED throughout history?

    In all that time the nature of marriage has remained unchanged, across history, geography, and cultures.

    It remains as I described it.

    SSM argumentation attacks that without justification. The SSM merger is not an extension but rather a replacement.

    If you are pointing at the parameters, such as the protocols, of marriage, that’s a different thing. And if you mistake that, as the ahistorical accounts of marriage do in the deconstruction of the social institution, then, you may not have a good idea of the subject matter.

    Now, if you honestly survey the pro-marriage argument there is consistency in how the secondary and teritiary aspects of marriage come together at the core.

    The core, the nature, of marriage is the coherent whole formed with sex integration and contingency for responsible procreation. This is the foundation of civilization and goes back uninterrupted for at least all of recorded human history.

  • jayhuck

    A little more from the Massachusetts 50-page ruling – dealing more specifically with children:

    “Where a married couple has children, their children are also directly or indirectly, but no less auspiciously, the recipients of the special legal and economic protections obtained by civil marriage. Notwithstanding the Commonwealth’s strong public policy to abolish legal distinctions between marital and nonmarital children in providing for the support and care of minors, see Department of Revenue v. Mason M., 439 Mass. 665 (2003); Woodward v. Commissioner of Social Sec., 435 Mass. 536, 546 (2002), the fact remains that marital children reap a measure of family stability and economic security based on their parents’ legally privileged status that is largely inaccessible, or not as readily accessible, to nonmarital children. Some of these benefits are social, such as the enhanced approval that still attends the status of being a marital child. Others are material, such as the greater ease of access to family-based State and Federal benefits that attend the presumptions of one’s parentage.

    It is undoubtedly for these concrete reasons, as well as for its intimately personal significance, that civil marriage has long been termed a “civil right.” See, e.g., Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1, 12 (1967) (“Marriage is one of the ‘basic civil rights of man,’ fundamental to our very existence and survival”), quoting Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535, 541 (1942); Milford v. Worcester, 7 Mass. 48, 56 (1810) (referring to “civil rights incident to marriages”). See also Baehr v. Lewin, 74 Haw. 530, 561 (1993) (identifying marriage as a “civil right[ ]”); Baker v. State, 170 Vt. 194, 242 (1999) (Johnson, J., concurring in part and dissenting in part) (same). The United States Supreme Court has described the right to marry as “of fundamental importance for all individuals” and as “part of the fundamental ‘right of privacy’ implicit in the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause.” Zablocki v. Redhail, 434 U.S. 374, 384 (1978). See Loving v. Virginia, supra (“The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men”). [FN14]

    Without the right to marry—or more properly, the right to choose to marry—one is excluded from the full range of human experience and denied full protection of the laws for one’s “avowed commitment to an intimate and lasting human relationship.” Baker v. State, supra at 229. Because civil marriage is central to the lives of individuals and the welfare of the community, our laws assiduously protect the individual’s right to marry against undue government incursion. Laws may not “interfere directly and substantially with the right to marry.” Zablocki v. Redhail, supra at 387. See Perez v. Sharp, 32 Cal.2d 711, 714 (1948) (“There can be no prohibition of marriage except for an important social objective and reasonable means”). [FN15]“

  • jayhuck

    Chairm,

    What, in your opinion, is the “nature of marriage”?

    How do you propose to deal with real people and real situations? Gay people exist, gay couples exist, and gay married couples exist. Gay families exist. Your nature of marriage argument is interesting, but even if I were to agree with it, and I don’t, it doesn’t help us deal with this very real reality. Gay families are here, they are here to stay, and we need to help them be the best families they can be.

  • Fitz

    Chairm Writes

    “The core, the nature, of marriage is the coherent whole formed with sex integration and contingency for responsible procreation. This is the foundation of civilization and goes back uninterrupted for at least all of recorded human history.”

    Marriages were public, tribal, communal rite that was enforced through local custom and folkway. They have always been opposite sexed and inheritly connected to intercoarse & childbearing. One of the world’s first legal codes dates from 1900 B.C. [Read more in fold]

    “With a… [decree] I made the father support his children. I made the child support his father. I made the father stand by his children. I made the child stand by his father.” *

    “If a man took the daughter of a man without asking her father and mother, and has not held a feast and made a contract for her father and her mother –even if she lives in his house for a full year, she is not his wife. If he did hold a feast and made a contract for her mother and her father, and took her, she is his wife.” *

    *“Laws of Lipit-Ishtar,” In Matha T Roth, Law Collection from Mesopotamia and Asia Minor (ATLANTIC: Scholars Press, 1997) p. 25.

    There must be consent there must be a contract there must be a public celebration. The bride & groom must have had sexual intercourse.

    To marry is opposite sex institution that is contractual, communal and public in order to secure parental obligations and mutual suport.

  • Fitz

    Chairm,

    What, in your opinion, is the “nature of marriage”?

    How do you propose to deal with real people and real situations? Polygamous people exist, polygamous groups exist, and polygamous married groupings exist. Polygamous families exist. Your nature of marriage argument is interesting, but even though I agree with it, and I really do, it doesn’t help us deal with this very “real reality” (???). Polygamous families have been here for much longer than gay “marriage”, they are here to stay!

    Don’t we need to help them be the best families they can be?

  • Chairm

    Jayhuck, you point to the profound flaws of Justice Marshall’s opinion.

    1. Marriage pre-dates the State of Massachusetts. It was not created by state laws.

    2. Marriage is a social institution. The law is merey a legal shadow of what is recognized by society through the state power.

    3. Marriage is in the State Constitution. That text was written when common law marriage clearly identified the conjugal relationship as both-sexed.

    4. However, even in colonial times, statutory law replaced common-law marriage. It did not make change the nature of marriage nor did it transfer ownership of the social institution to the government.

    5. Justice Marshall’s opinion falls apart when you realize that each word and phrase in the state constitution has meaning. The text refers to marriage — as inherited from common-law — and as such the man-woman criterion is constitutional. No part of a state constitution makes another part unconstitutional. See the SJC’s own precedents.

    6. Justice Marshall noted that it is undisputable that the statutes also recognized marriage as both-sexed. Statutory subordinates common law. And constitutional law subordinates statutory law. The both-sexed nature of marriage exists in the state constitution and in the state’s marriage statutes.

    7. Justice Marshall used sleight-of-hand. She proposed to change the common law meaning of marriage. But common-law marriage has never existed in Massachusetts. She could change nothing on that score.

    8. But, for the sake of argument, let’s grant her that authority. Still doesn’t change the statutes nor the state constitution. Only a citizen ratified amendment can change the state constitution. Only the elected lawmakers can change the statutes. Judge-made law (i.e. common-law) does not apply to the Goodridge case.

    The upshot is that Justice Marshall erred in many ways including her advocacy of re-writing the law in Massachusetts.

    Just as some here err in misconstruing the actual disagreement.

    –> impinging on the ability of opposite-sex couples to reproduce or raise their children

    Straw man.

    I recall how Justice Marshall flubbed the issue of procreation which is at the core of marriage recognition.

    But tell you what, if someting can be done outside of marriage, then, it is not intrinsic to marriage, as per SSM arugmentation.

    So with that big disqualifying axiom, what is the core of the type of relationship that Justice Marshall described as “marriage”? If you depend on her opinion for the existence of SSM in this country, then, surely you can put your finger on the core of this relationship type.

  • Marty

    Jayhuck, well sure — but how many gay male obstetricians to YOU know?

    Isn’t it far more likely that her two “dads” are a computer programmer and a car salesman, neither of whom have any firsthand experience (and precious little second-hand experience) with those “incredible burdens” of femalehood you spoke of?

    I’m amazed at the lengths some of you are going to, to first deny that there is any difference between men and women, and then when proven badly mistaken on that point, to insist that those differences dont matter at all.

    I’m more convinced than ever that your arguments are entirely self-serving.

  • Chairm

    Jayhuck, see Marty’s comment above. I think he makes a good point through the analogy with multi-marriage.

    And note that polygamy is a series of one-man-one-woman marriages. The second wife does not marry the first wife. And the third wife would not marry either the first or the second wife.

    On the other hand, the one-sexed arrangement (homosexual or not, sexualized or not) is a subset in the much broader category of nonmarital arrangements.

    And SSMers point to protections for families in need, as you just did. But would you exclude non-gay families from such protections?

    See, what you think is an extension of marriage is really a replacement. It is a different thing. And as such its boundaries would be determined based on its nature or core. Not on the nature or core of marriage as I’ve described it.

    So don’t get too caught up in the idea that calling it marriage is enough to maintain current parameters, with the sole exception of the gay identified relationship type. It would be a new thing with a different meaning. And I wonder how you would exclude the millions of families who could use those protections that SSM would deny them, at least initiatally.

    The various prohibitions that current exist — on a variety of both-sexed relationship types — are in existence due to the concerns for the nature of marriage. See sex integration. See responsible procreation. See marriage as a social institutin — a coherent whole.

  • jayhuck

    Fitz,

    As you are getting good at doing, you didn’t answer my question, you changed the subject. – I thought you were going to be ignoring me, btw? :)

    Please tell me where polygamous couples can get legally married in the United States? Gay couples can.

    And besides, if polygamous couples want to marry, why shouldn’t they be allowed to?

    Chairm,

    I don’t just rely on justice Marshall, I’m relying on the majority ruling of the Massachusetts Court. You used many words to refute Justice Marshall without any references to back them up.

    You still haven’t answered my question: What is the nature of marriage in your opinion?

    Marty,

    We’ve already covered this – NO ONE IS DENYING THAT MEN AND WOMEN ARE DIFFERENT. But those differences are not NECESSARY to raising happy and healthy children – as we’ve already shown.

  • Pathia

    “Jayhuck, well sure — but how many gay male obstetricians to YOU know?

    Isn’t it far more likely that her two “dads” are a computer programmer and a car salesman, neither of whom have any firsthand experience (and precious little second-hand experience) with those “incredible burdens” of femalehood you spoke of?”

    I personally know about six of them, but I know alot of gay people. So, now it has to be a requirement that to raise a child you much share an experience with them? So would you have sighted parents disallowed from raising a blind child, or vice versa. One of the pair of parents must share absolutely everything with the child, or we would be depriving them of life education in what it is to be sighted, blind, deaf, diabetic etc!

    I’m sterile. I guess I can only raise sterile intersexed children. If I were to raise a boy or a girl, then they would be deprived their education in what it is like to be a boy or girl.

    This is of course meant to be sarcastic and absurd, but I honestly don’t see that big of a distinction.

  • jayhuck

    While we’re on the topic of history and marriage, I though it relevant to re-post a comment from the American Anthropological Association:

    “In 2004, the American Anthropological Association released this statement:[28]

    The results of more than a century of anthropological research on households, kinship relationships, and families, across cultures and through time, provide no support whatsoever for the view that either civilization or viable social orders depend upon marriage as an exclusively heterosexual institution. Rather, anthropological research supports the conclusion that a vast array of family types, including families built upon same-sex partnerships, can contribute to stable and humane societies.”

  • jayhuck

    Chairm, Fitz and Marty,

    The post above comes from a body that actually researches and studies relationships and families throughout history – one that doesn’t use individual ideologies or understandings of an institution to support personal prejudices – I hope that this will somehow add to the discussion>

    My next question is, if gay marriage succeeds in Massachusetts and the institution of marriage doesn’t falter or become diminished in any way – as appears to be the case – then why are we arguing?

  • jayhuck

    Pathia,

    So, now it has to be a requirement that to raise a child you much share an experience with them? So would you have sighted parents disallowed from raising a blind child, or vice versa. One of the pair of parents must share absolutely everything with the child, or we would be depriving them of life education in what it is to be sighted, blind, deaf, diabetic etc!

    Great point – and I absolutely agree with you!

  • Ann

    If we were to ask any child whether they would want a mom and dad or just a mom or just a dad or two moms or two dads, what does anyone think they would say? Sometimes adults are not the only people who matter when it comes to life decisions.

  • Fitz

    Pathia

    “I personally know about six of them, but I know alot of gay people. So, now it has to be a requirement that to raise a child you much share an experience with them? So would you have sighted parents disallowed from raising a blind child, or vice versa. One of the pair of parents must share absolutely everything with the child, or we would be depriving them of life education in what it is to be sighted, blind, deaf, diabetic etc!”

    Marty is only refering to the natural rights of children to know & be raised by both their mother & father. This “complematariness” has always & everywere been recognized as a key aspect to parenting & marriage. It hardly extends to every disability. It is a mere standard, and a very important one at that. Would you not agree?

    “I’m sterile. I guess I can only raise sterile intersexed children. If I were to raise a boy or a girl, then they would be deprived their education in what it is like to be a boy or girl.”

    I would hope you did not intentionally concieve and raise a child without a married spouse. If your spouse dies or you are divorced then at least the child has its mother/father around.

    It is basic ethics that depriving a child of its mother/father is inhumane.

  • Fitz

    Ann

    “If we were to ask any child whether they would want a mom and dad or just a mom or just a dad or two moms or two dads, what does anyone think they would say? Sometimes adults are not the only people who matter when it comes to life decisions.”

    Exactly – This is an argument about adult desires vs what is best for children.

    Pertinent to this fact is that same-sex “marriage” is a direct violation of international human rights standards/ This is the reason why France & multiple European countries have rejected same-sex “marriage”.

    Article 16 declares the right to marry based on the traditional definition of marriage, and states that such a family is “the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.”

    U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights

    Article 16

    1.Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.

    2.Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.

    3.The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

    Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

    The Convention states in Article 7 that the child has “as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents”. Article 3 states that “In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.”

    Article 7

    1. The child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have the right from birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and. as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents.

    2. States Parties shall ensure the implementation of these rights in accordance with their national law and their obligations under the relevant international instruments in this field, in particular where the child would otherwise be stateless.

    Article 8

    1. States Parties undertake to respect the right of the child to preserve his or her identity, including nationality, name and family relations as recognized by law without unlawful interference.

    2. Where a child is illegally deprived of some or all of the elements of his or her identity, States Parties shall provide appropriate assistance and protection, with a view to re-establishing speedily his or her identity.

  • Pathia

    “I would hope you did not intentionally concieve and raise a child without a married spouse. If your spouse dies or you are divorced then at least the child has its mother/father around.

    It is basic ethics that depriving a child of its mother/father is inhumane.”

    Did you somehow miss the part where I said I was STERILE. I am not merely impotent, I was born without functioning reproductive organs of either sex.

    You cannot accidentally adopt last time I checked. :)

    Given my double dose of gender oddity in that I am intersexed and transsexual, it depends entirely on the state which sex is actually ‘opposite’ for me as well. Or one could say I am neither and should be entirely forbidden by law from being near children. I was discouraged from being a teacher because I would confuse them by being unable to relate because my own childhood was so different.

  • jayhuck

    Fitz,

    This “complematariness” has always & everywere been recognized as a key aspect to parenting & marriage.

    Please provide evidence for this claim!

    ““In 2004, the American Anthropological Association released this statement:[28]

    The results of more than a century of anthropological research on households, kinship relationships, and families, across cultures and through time, provide no support whatsoever for the view that either civilization or viable social orders depend upon marriage as an exclusively heterosexual institution. Rather, anthropological research supports the conclusion that a vast array of family types, including families built upon same-sex partnerships, can contribute to stable and humane societies.””

    Hmmm- U.N. or Anthropologists – I’m going to err on the side of the people who actually do the research :)

  • Fitz

    Pathia

    As a transsexual person I am sure you are capable of looking outside your own situation and doing what’s best for children.

    When dealing in matters of laws and social norms I hope you understand how important it is to maintain the standard of intact married childbearing. That promoting the notion that children should be raised in married natural families is best for society and its offspring.

    Certainly if you were fortunate enough to be raised by your own mother & father you know that neither is inherently disposable & irrelevant.

  • jayhuck

    Fitz,

    When dealing in matters of laws and social norms I hope you understand how important it is to maintain the standard of intact married childbearing. That promoting the notion that children should be raised in married natural families is best for society and its offspring.

    I’ve already demonstrated that many people, including scientists, don’t agree with this statement. I’ll repost it if I need to. But a body of Anthropologists, who have actually studied families and marriage throughout history, apparently disagree with you that married natural families (and by this I assume you mean straight) is BEST for society. That is your personal opinion, not one grounded in fact. And simply because it has been that way for some time in history does not mean it is the ONLY good way.

  • Pathia

    “Certainly if you were fortunate enough to be raised by your own mother & father you know that neither is inherently disposable & irrelevant.”

    My parents were/are evangelicals and kicked me out of the house the second I turned 18 and have never spoken to me since outside of letters to inform me that I am removed from the will. Mom has recently somewhat reconciled with me, but that is because she is dying of cancer. I have to schedule my visits around when my family is there with her.

    I would have been better off with one parent, because then I would have only had ONE to treat me horribly, as a freak, as a deviant sinner and as a blight on their family.

  • Fitz

    Jayhuck

    Fine – one last time.

    Be it from the APA or other “associations” you need to be more discerning and critical in your reading skills.

    #1. These are broad statements issued by the associations themselves NOT scientific consensuses or scholarship in themselves.

    Never the less

    #2. When you read them you can see just how vapid & non-committal they are. (allow me to demonstrate)

    The 2004 American Anthropological Association statement: (ISSUED -the day after President Bush called for a national marriage amendment)

    {notice the precision of the wording}

    “The results of more than a century of anthropological research on households, kinship relationships, and families, across cultures and through time, provide no support whatsoever for the view that either civilization or viable social orders depend upon marriage as an exclusively heterosexual institution. Rather, anthropological research supports the conclusion that a vast array of family types, including families built upon same-sex partnerships, can contribute to stable and humane societies.”

    This says nothing about what most societies recognize as marriage (now or in the past) nor what is best for society or children. It basically says “we anthropologists don’t think the earth will spin of its access if gays get “married””

  • jayhuck

    Fitz,

    I’m assuming there was a consensus among these Anthropologists or they wouldn’t have made this statement.

    This says nothing about what most societies recognize as marriage (now or in the past)

    That obviously wasn’t its intent.

    It basically says “we anthropologists don’t think the earth will spin of its access if gays get “married””

    That is your interpretation – I suggest you become a bit more precise in your interpretive skills. What this says is:

    “Rather, anthropological research supports the conclusion that a vast array of family types, including families built upon same-sex partnerships, can contribute to stable and humane societies.

    There’s a pretty big difference from saying the earth won’t spin off its axis and that these other families can actually contribute to STABLE and HUMANE societies. What more can we hope for from society anyway?

  • jayhuck

    Fitz,

    What I find so interesting about you is that no matter of scientific consensus is probably going to move you. Which is fine. You are free to have your opinions and prejudices – as we all are, but to outright dismiss large scientific bodies because they aren’t saying what you want them to say, is pretty startling. I would posit that a vast majority of scientists agree that same-sex marriage should be allowed.

    I am aware that no amount of science is going to move people who have strongly-held religious beliefs, but I prefer to deal with facts when it comes to important issues such as this, and not simply personal beliefs.

  • Fitz

    Pathia

    My God, Ham it up some more.

    I save my tears for the 1/3 of all children that are now born into out-of -wedlock homes. &0% of all African American children are illegitimate.

    I hope you own circumstances don’t force you to unreasonably support social & legal norms that help maintain healthy intact natural families for children.

    Jayhuck

    Here is just one of many links that discuss precisely the overtly politicized and (as demonstrated) horribly thin statements made by groups like the AAA.

    http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=YWE0YjBiYzE3ZmE3N2MzZTI4YWI1OWVhOWJlM2ZjNzY=

    Don’t be an advocate – be a thinker!

  • Pathia

    Fitz,

    Ham it up? If I wanted to ham it up I would tell you the rest of the story. Being kicked out was a pretty minor event in my life compared to the rest.

    Out-of-wedlock is not the same as physical and mental abuse. It is not the same as being forced into sexwork. It is not the same as being homeless, it is not the same as being kicked out of homeless shelters. It is not the same as being assaulted by your own father and then being arrested for trespassing onto the home you grew up in and being sexually assaulted in prison over night.

    There’s a big big difference there. I’m pretty sure none of that would have happened if I had been adopted by a SSM couple.

  • jayhuck

    Fitz,

    My God, Ham it up some more.

    Oh wow Fitz – if I thought you were without compassion before, now I’m sure of it. How callous and uncaring of you to make such statements. You own Pathia a huge apology!

    Don’t be an advocate, be a thinker

    The same can easily be said of you Fitz. The National Review? The Conservative periodical founded by Buckley? I offer science and you offer political commentary????

  • Ann

    It is basic ethics that depriving a child of its mother/father is inhumane.

    Amen

  • jayhuck

    It is basic ethics that depriving a child of its mother/father is inhumane.

    What if one or more of the child’s parents doesn’t want it? What if it gets put up for adoption? What if the mother or father are unfit parents? Please – this is not basic ethics, this is ethics designed to support your own views.

  • jayhuck

    Fitz,

    That is sort of the conservative MO, isn’t it? Someone points out science and conservatives do their best to denounce it by calling its researchers liberals – as if that, most importantly, invalidates the research or what they have said.

    The AAAS is – according to Wikipedia: “American Anthropological Association was founded in 1902 and claims to be, “the world’s largest professional organization of individuals interested in anthropology.”

    The organization publishes a number of peer-reviewed scientific journals and professional magazines, all available both in print and through its on-line site AnthroSource.”

  • Fitz

    Jayhuck

    “What I find so interesting about you is that no matter of scientific consensus is probably going to move you. Which is fine. You are free to have your opinions and prejudices – as we all are, but to outright dismiss large scientific bodies because they aren’t saying what you want them to say, is pretty startling. I would posit that a vast majority of scientists agree that same-sex marriage should be allowed. I am aware that no amount of science is going to move people who have strongly-held religious beliefs, but I prefer to deal with facts when it comes to important issues such as this, and not simply personal beliefs.

    Right….Ok –critical thinker

    There’s the New Resolution Passed by American Anthropological Association

    Opposed to US Military Action Against Iran.

    There’s another Against Coca-Cola.

    Or maybe people can just go to their site itself and see if this is the result of “scientific consensus”.

    Hint: Such resolutions are not. They are the work of the Association, not the scholars themselves. This is common knowledge.

  • Fitz

    Pathia

    “Ham it up? If I wanted to ham it up I would tell you the rest of the story. Being kicked out was a pretty minor event in my life compared to the rest.”

    Your personal plight (no matter how troubled) dose not bear on the social & legal standards society should adopt to promote responsible procreation and intact childbearing.

    I won’t be emotionally blackmailed because you have had a rough life.

    One could easily bring a million or more testimonials of illegitimate children that faced similar and worse horrors.

    You can attest to the challenges of being born inter-sexed, they could attest to the blight of out-of-wedlock childbearing.

    Which is more germane to the issue?

  • Ann

    Pathia,

    Regardless of what discussions take place on this blog or any differences any of us might have, I want you to know my heart is with you and I wish I had the ability to have given you loving parents because that is what you deserved. I’m not sure what your faith or beliefs are but I do believe our past is our past and that we are all given a future so that we can change that which we did not like or no longer want in our lives. I hope you don’t mind me saying that your name will be in my prayers today and I will be thinking of you having a much brighter and better future – one you can feel safe and secure and peaceful and happy in.

  • jayhuck

    Fitz,

    The scholars themselves ARE the organization!

    And you completely changed the subject – yet again – when you aren’t able to win in one subject, point the finger in a different direction, right? I have a very conservative friend and she operates in much the same way.

    The other way of discrediting what scientists have said has been employed here, is, instead of directly discussing their statement on families, marriage and parenting, you bring everything they are saying to bare.

    Critical thinking indeed!

  • Fitz

    “The scholars themselves ARE the organization!”

    No they are not. These are statments by the orginization, they do not represent scientific consensus on the subject or the views of indivicual members.

    Unless your dense enough to believe all the anthropolists off the world got together and agreed to

    “Resolutions on Iraq and torture” or the AAA Supports of U. Michigan in Supreme Court Case right to invoke affirmative action policies in school admissions to ensure diversity in its student body or the “American Anthropological Association Statement on Cuban Trade Embargo” as well as those I already listed.

    I am a member of the BAr Association. Its policy statments dont reflect my opinions or the opinions of most let alone all lawyers or the “law”.

    This is common knowledege.

    Dont swallow everthing you read as blunt “fact”.

  • Ann

    Jayhuck,

    Many children do not have a mom and a dad because tragedy has befallen them (twin towers, Iraq, Afghanistan, illness, accidents, etc.) but that is very different from intentionally depriving a child because an adult wants to be accommodated.

  • jayhuck

    Fitz,

    Saying that what an organization says is not representative of ALL scientists is misleading. I said it was representative of MOST of the scientists IN that organization – I wasn’t talking about all scientists everywhere.

    And let’s not confuse the fact that even though some members of an organization might not agree with its statements, that doesn’t mean that a majority of the people/scientists IN that organization DO agree.

    I’m not now, nor have I been confusing the organization with its individual members – there will always be members that disagree – but if the organization isn’t speaking for a majority of its members, that organization most likely won’t be around long. AND, I’ve found no evidence that a majority of the members of the AAAS don’t support or stand behind its statements – have you?

  • jayhuck

    Ann,

    Many children do not have a mom and a dad because tragedy has befallen them (twin towers, Iraq, Afghanistan, illness, accidents, etc.) but that is very different from intentionally depriving a child because an adult wants to be accommodated.

    Let’s not go over old ground – straight parents often want to be “accommodated” as well – and you assume that that is what gay parents are doing. You don’t like it when people make assumptions about you, so please extend that courtesy to gay couples and gay families as well.

    No one is depriving children of anything – what we WANT is to give children loving, caring and supportive homes. I don’t agree that same-sex parents are depriving children.

  • jayhuck

    Fitz,

    My apology – let me restate this:

    “And let’s not confuse the fact that even though some members of an organization might not agree with its statements, that doesn’t mean that a majority of the people/scientists IN that organization DON’T agree.”

  • Pathia

    “I won’t be emotionally blackmailed because you have had a rough life.”

    Yet it’s not emotional blackmail to constantly refer to SSM’s raising children as child abuse. Think of the Children! Gays existence threatens children, the fact they might get married threatens children, the fact that they might adopt threatens children.

    Every statement you’ve made against SSM adoption strikes me as emotional blackmail too, just on a broader scale.

    Lets spin it the other way around. Children are tough, I am an example of that. Look at all that crap I went through and guess what? I have a Master’s degree now . I have a good job now. I’ve made inroads at reconciling with my family. All despite what was done to me, I have thrived. I would have done even better if I was raised by a loving SSM couple instead of a misunderstanding, near hateful family, but even so, I am doing well now.

    What is better? A single parent, an abusive pair of biological parents, or a SSM couple that will have gone through a rigorous screening process to make sure they aren’t abusive and would make proper parents? With adoption you can SCREEN. Even if ‘two daddies’ or ‘two mommies’ isn’t as good as mom and dad, I’m pretty sure it would be better than unloving uncaring biological parent(s).

  • jayhuck

    I would have done even better if I was raised by a loving SSM couple

    Amen Pathia!!!

  • Ann

    Jayhuck,

    straight parents often want to be “accommodated” as well – and you assume that that is what gay parents are doing. You don’t like it when people make assumptions about you, so please extend that courtesy to gay couples and gay families as well.

    Please, please, please point out where I made the assumption you are referring to. This is in fact what I said -

    Many children do not have a mom and a dad because tragedy has befallen them (twin towers, Iraq, Afghanistan, illness, accidents, etc.) but that is very different from intentionally depriving a child because an adult wants to be accommodated.

  • jayhuck

    Ann,

    but that is very different from intentionally depriving a child because an adult wants to be accommodated.

    My apologies then Ann – what did you mean when you talked about intentionally depriving a child because and adult wants to be accommodated?

  • Ann

    what did you mean when you talked about intentionally depriving a child because and adult wants to be accommodated?

    When an adult purposely has a child, through whatever means, without any intention of providing that child with a mother or father, then they are deliberately accommodating their own needs and as a direct result, depriving the child of their needs.

  • Marty

    Pathia gets near the heart of the matter with this:

    I am an example of that. Look at all that crap I went through and guess what? I have a Master’s degree now . I have a good job now. I’ve made inroads at reconciling with my family. All despite what was done to me, I have thrived.

    Since this thread is about the “research” done on same-sex parenting, which ostensibly shows that “kids turn out okay” even when growing up with 2 moms or 2 dads, what conclusion might we draw from Pathia’s admission above? That even kids with severe gender issues who grow up with hateful and abusive biological parents still manage to “turn out okay”. That IS what you’re saying here Pathia, whether you want to admit it or not. You’re not just okay — you thrive!

    But the question is why should you have to grow up under such circumstances, even if you did manage to turn out okay?

    A question which you neatly avoided with your next statement:

    What is better? A single parent, an abusive pair of biological parents, or a SSM couple that will have gone through a rigorous screening process to make sure they aren’t abusive and would make proper parents?

    Aren’t you missing the third option? A happy and loving and non-abusive pair of biological parents? Why would you exclude such a family as a viable option for a child? You’ve given the poor kid the choice of half a family, a hateful family, or a redundant 2-half family, but for some reason are withholding the option of a wholesome natural family.

    I can’t help but wonder why… Contrary to popular liberal opinion, these kinds of families DO still exist.

  • jayhuck

    Ann,

    When an adult purposely has a child, through whatever means, without any intention of providing that child with a mother or father, then they are deliberately accommodating their own needs and as a direct result, depriving the child of their needs.

    You are wrong. You make the assumption that simply because a mother and a father are involved that they aren’t simply accommodating their own needs, or that they will be good, parents, OR that they can fulfill the childs “needs”. We have already shown that a child does not NEED to be raised by a mother and a father, so I’m not sure what needs you are talking about.

  • Pathia

    “I can’t help but wonder why… Contrary to popular liberal opinion, these kinds of families DO still exist.”

    They don’t exist in quantities to cover every child. Unless you want to find all these wonderful families and then make them raise every single child up for adoption? Somehow I think they would’t be such golden examples then :)

  • jayhuck

    Marty,

    Since this thread is about the “research” done on same-sex parenting, which ostensibly shows that “kids turn out okay” even when growing up with 2 moms or 2 dads, what conclusion might we draw from Pathia’s admission above? That even kids with severe gender issues who grow up with hateful and abusive biological parents still manage to “turn out okay”. That IS what you’re saying here Pathia, whether you want to admit it or not. You’re not just okay — you thrive!

    The research doesn’t show that you just turn out OK – what the research says is that gay parents raise children who are no better and no worse than straight parents. Simply because Pathia was able to overcome her terrible parents, doesn’t mean all children can or will, or that if she had had loving and supportive Same-sex or opposite-sex parents, that her life wouldn’t be much better than it is and that she wouldn’t have to live with so many scars.

    Aren’t you missing the third option? A happy and loving and non-abusive pair of biological parents?

    Because Marty, you only have one pair of biological parents, and Pathia’s were awful.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Fitz – The ham it up comment was out of line. You are not trying a case here, you are conversing with real people on a blog.

    I have taken comment moderation off for current commenters since the volume is simply too great to keep up with. However, when such things are brought to my attention I will say something and then if it continues remove such comments.

    This thread has gotten very far away from the topic and unless anyone has research to advance, it may be about time to wrap it up.

  • Ann

    Pathia,

    Those are very commendable achievements – in spite of what you went through you had the fortitude to move forward and accomplish what you have. I hope others can learn from you and what you have done.

  • Ann

    You are wrong.

    I don’t think so :-)

    You make the assumption that simply because a mother and a father are involved that they aren’t simply accommodating their own needs, or that they will be good, parents, OR that they can fulfill the childs “needs”.

    Again, please point out where I made the assumption you are referring to?

    We have already shown that a child does not NEED to be raised by a mother and a father, so I’m not sure what needs you are talking about.

    No, a child does not need to be raised by a mother and a father – many children who are being raised without the benefit of a mother or father are safe, happy, healthy and stable – it is just more conducive to their overall well being in a myriad of ways when a loving mother and father are co-parenting the child.

  • jayhuck

    Ann,

    it is just more conducive to their overall well being in a myriad of ways when a loving mother and father are co-parenting the child.

    Please show me research that supports your contention that a loving mother and father are better than gay parents.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Timothy, to oppose the SSM merger is not anti-gay.

    One can oppose same-sex marriage and not be bigoted. One can oppose same-sex marriage and not be hateful.

    But efforts whose sole purpose is to exclude gay couples from entering into that which is open to heterosexual couples are by definition anti-gay.

    In other words, a person who is not necessarily anti-gay may, for other reasons, take a position that is anti-gay.

    I guess each person has to take a close look at their own motivations.

    This is the reason why France & multiple European countries have rejected same-sex “marriage”.

    France has a recognition system for same-sex couples called PACS. It’s similar to civil unions, though not identical.

    Nearly all of Western Europe recognizes same-sex couples. Some with marriage, some with civil unions, some with other methods.

    For a map of what Europe looks like re recognition

    see here. Green is marriage, red is some other form. This map will soon be outdated as Ireland adds recognition this year and Sweden changes over to marriage.

    I find it sad that our nation offers less support and recognition to same-sex couples than Croatia or the Czech Republic.

    One could easily bring a million or more testimonials of illegitimate children that faced similar and worse horrors.

    You can attest to the challenges of being born inter-sexed, they could attest to the blight of out-of-wedlock childbearing.

    Which is more germane to the issue?

    Neither. The issue is same-sex marriage.

    - – -

    An observation:

    When I first started learning about the ex-gay movement I was only exposed to national leaders. Consequently I was under the impression that ex-gays were universally in favor of legislation that was hostile to the lives of gay persons.

    However, as I got to know and converse with actual living breathing ex-gays that were not in leadership, I’ve come to find that many of them have no desire to see gay people suffer discrimination or abuse. Those of you ex-gay persons who write here may not always agree with me, but you have shown me that you do not harbor hostility or endorse theocratic ends.

    Thank you.

  • jayhuck

    Ann,

    You first talked about a child’s “needs” when it came to opposite sex parents, then you agreed with me that a child does not NEED these things – then you change course a bit and say that a loving mother and father are “more conducive” to a child’s overall well-being than loving gay parents, without any research to back it up.

    In fact, what the research shows us to-date is that loving gay parents raise kids whose overall well-being is as good as those raised in opposite-sex households.

  • jag

    Ann -

    You stated:

    “Same sex marriage would have a lot more support if it was based on equal rights rather than moral approval.”

    It should be based on equal rights, and not moral approval, we agree on this. Giving men and women equal access to marriage is important, and holding true to the Equal Rights Ammendment is essential for civil marriage…and civil law. We cannot espouse that a citizen is not to be discriminated against because of biological sex, and then deny a couple the ability to marry because of that very factor…and that factor alone.

    As for what religious institutions decide to “bless” or not bless…that is for them to decide. The religious ceremony of marriage can be determined by individual churches, but the civil rights of equal access should remain in place.

    You know, we have a history as a nation of turning civil rights into moral battles…look at the old statements (actually not that old) made about allowing interracial marriages. An example? There’s even a book on it called “the moral problems of interracial marriage” by Rev. Joseph Doherty. The issues raised with same-sex marriage are nothing new.

    Ann, this statement concerned me a bit:

    “it is just more conducive to their overall well being in a myriad of ways when a loving mother and father are co-parenting the child. [than a same-sex couple]”

    I’m baffled by this…is there research that supports this or is this just what you believe regardless of research to the contrary (pointing to similar outcomes) ? Please clarify where you got this information.

  • Ann

    Please show me research that supports your contention that a loving mother and father are better than gay parents.

    Jayhuck,

    I never said that a loving mother and father are better than gay parents. This is what I actually said -

    it is just more conducive to their overall well being in a myriad of ways when a loving mother and father are co-parenting the child.

    This can include many different familial situations – I did not cite any particular circumstance so please don’t quote me as having done so.

    I have absolutely no research to present to you or anyone other than my personal observations and life experiences with people.

  • jayhuck

    Ann,

    Well, if all you have to offer it your own personal observations and life experiences, then the research we do have stills stands. Which shows that gay parents raise children whose OVERALL WELL-BEING is as good as the children raised by straight parents.

    I’m assuming, if you can make an observation such as “it is just more conducive to their overall well being in a myriad of ways when a loving mother and father are co-parenting the child”, that you’ve observed many gay couples parenting and have observed their children? Otherwise, how you could make such a statement?

  • Ann

    “it is just more conducive to their overall well being in a myriad of ways when a loving mother and father are co-parenting the child. [than a same-sex couple]”

    Jag,

    I did not say “[than a same-sex couple]” – you added this on to what I wrote. I was referring to any familial setting that does not include a mother and father as co-parents, whether it be intentional or through tragedy. This is what I actually wrote -

    No, a child does not need to be raised by a mother and a father – many children who are being raised without the benefit of a mother or father are safe, happy, healthy and stable – it is just more conducive to their overall well being in a myriad of ways when a loving mother and father are co-parenting the child.

    I’m baffled by this…is there research that supports this or is this just what you believe regardless of research to the contrary (pointing to similar outcomes) ? Please clarify where you got this information.

    What I wrote above in bold comes only from my personal observations and life experiences. I have absolutely no research to support it or refute it.

  • Ann

    Well, if all you have to offer it your own personal observations and life experiences, then the research we do have stills stands.

    Jayhuck,

    Sometimes you have to actually experience the consequences of choices and/or observe the consequences of other’s choices to fully understand “personal observations and life experiences”. I’m glad there is lots of positive research for familial settings that do not involve a mom and dad, and I am grateful for those people who rescue children and bless them but it will never change what I also know to be true about the benefits of a loving mother and father co-parenting a child.

  • jayhuck

    Ann,

    Sometimes you have to actually experience the consequences of choices and/or observe the consequences of other’s choices to fully understand “personal observations and life experiences”.

    On this, I couldn’t agree more.

  • http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/ José Solano

    Being enormously tied up at this time with numerous tasks I will only comment on the statement of the AAA. I have studied enough anthropology to know that this is pure political hogwash. And these association, like the APA, etc., are indeed political animals. The facts of science are not determined by a vote or opinion of an association. Open up your eyes and actually examine what they have stated.

    “Rather, anthropological research supports the conclusion that a vast array of family types, including families built upon same-sex partnerships, can contribute to stable and humane societies.”

    “A vast array of family types” is one thing and then they attach “including families built upon same-sex partnerships” ending with “can contribute.” Where is the evidence, the anthropological research saying anything about same-sex partnerships? Is it the flawed and debatable research that we have already been examining on this blog? Where are the societies where these same-sex partnerships are being studied? Because they are anthropologists they would have people imagine that there are all these cultures out there with homosexual partners bringing up children that they have been studying. Nonsense.

  • Chairm

    Jayhuck, if you depend on the SJC’s 4-3 majority vote on Goodridge, then, you do indeed depend on Justice Marshall’s opinion.

    But if you wish to dodge this fact of life, then, that’s okay. Which of the concurring opinions suites your better? Please put your finger on the nature of marriage as articulated by any of the Justices on the Goodridge case.

    –> You still haven’t answered my question: What is the nature of marriage in your opinion?

    Read my commens. Look for the phrase, “the nature of marriage”. Look for the phrase, “the core of marriage”. While you might point to mere opinion, I can rely on all of recorded human history and on the objective truth that is self-evident in the nature of humankind, the nature of human generativity, and the nature of human community.

    * * *

    What we know about “same-sex parenting” is that it depends on parental relinquishment. This is true for adoption. It is true for third party procreation, which is extramarital even when married couples partake of it. Same-sex parenting points outside of marriage and not toward the core of marriage.

  • Chairm

    Jayhuck

    –> You [refuted] Justice Marshall without any references to back them up.

    See the state constitution of Massachusetts; marriage is written there since the start of that state.

    Common-law marriage was superseded by statutes. See the earliest marriage statutes of that state.

    Basic principles of law: common-law is subordinate to statutory law; statutory law is subordinate to constitutional law. Each word or phrase has meaning. No part of a constitution can make the other part unconstitutional.

    Read Marshall’s Goodridge opinion where she proposed to change the common law meaning of marriage in Massachusetts. See where she referenced an Ontario court opinion on common-law marriage. See where she deferred to the legislative power of the legislative branch. See the basic principles of republican government whereby there is a seperation of powers. Read that state’s constitution. Take a basic high school civics course for the background on republican government.

    It is very odd that you have not done this basic homework, given your dependancy on the SJC’s majority opinion on Goodridge, which is one and the same as the opinion written by Justice Marshall.

    The SJC was not empowered to subordinate the state constitution and statutes to common-law; in fact, common-law marriage is irrelevant to the statutory marriage of that state.

  • Chairm

    –> if gay marriage succeeds in Massachusetts and the institution of marriage doesn’t falter or become diminished in any way – as appears to be the case – then why are we arguing?

    You are projecting into the future and asking a retroactive hypothetical.

    See the points made upthread about locking negatives. See the fact that SSMers, such as yourself, have not comprehended the actual disagreement.

  • Chairm

    –> efforts whose sole purpose is to exclude gay couples from entering into that which is open to heterosexual couples are by definition anti-gay.

    The affirmation of the nature of marriage does not have as its sole purpose the exclusion of people based on sexual orientation or even gay identity politics.

    Marriage is not exclusive to heterosexuals. There is no sexual orientation test.

    But SSM arugments makes presumes to equate a one-sex-short arrangement with the conjugal relationship which is both-sexed. Not all both-sexed arrangements are marriages; the line-drawing is very much based on the nature of marriage.

    I asked upthread why should these protections that SSMers demand be denied to other nonmarital families?

    –> In other words, a person who is not necessarily anti-gay may, for other reasons, take a position that is anti-gay.

    Gay is a socio-political construct. It is a political identity. It is unjust to use identity politics to form social policy in a free and liberty-loving society.

    Now, sure, the gay identity politics that has been brought to the fore is not the only instance of identity politics pressing nonmarriage purposes into marriage recognition. So this is not exclusively a problem with pro-gay demands.

    And if someone affirms marriage as the union of man and woman, and does so on the solid ground of reason and respect for human dignity, there is no value in calling such an affirmation anti-gay. There is only propagandic vaue in that.

    * * *

    Regarding votes on state amendments that was mentioned above, here are a couple of charts that show the share of YES votes in the various states.

    Share of Yes Vote on State Marriage Amendments, 1993-2006

    http://bp0.blogger.com/_lcgYqBwho5E/R4BpBb_BjfI/AAAAAAAAAHg/9YZCwVLouuo/s1600-h/Average+and+Totals.jpg

    1993-2006, Share of YES vote in State Marriage Amendments by State results.

    http://bp3.blogger.com/_lcgYqBwho5E/R4BpaL_BjgI/AAAAAAAAAHo/sXcCVCwtPwk/s1600-h/Votes+for+All+States.jpg

    The upshot:

    Pre 2003, the average YES share was 67%; in 2004 (in the wake of Goodridge) it rose to 71%; and in 2005 and 2006 it returned to 67%.

    The average YES share for all results was 69%; and of all the votes cast from 1993 to 2006, the YES share is 67%.

    I’ve got more data on pre-vote opinion surveys which have underestimated the support for the amendments (even in Arizona) by about 10% on average).

    Also, during the past decade or so, as people have aged, and married, they have shifted to the YES side. The pro-SSM opinion among young people is soft. The opposition to the SSM merger is more dedicated and consistent across time.

    For example, see:

    SSM Strongly Opposed by 39% of US Adults: Harris

    http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/2007/09/harris-poll-september-18-2007-views-on.html

    SSM is strongly supported by 19%; strongly opposed by 31%.

    And in state amendment votes there is no “undecided” vote.

  • jayhuck

    I have studied enough anthropology to know that this is pure political hogwash. And these association, like the APA, etc., are indeed political animals.

    I find it interesting that the people who don’t agree with the scientists and the judges are the ones who come to the table with pre-conceived ideas and inherent prejudices. I doubt that this is a coincidence :)

    Chairm,

    See the points made upthread about locking negatives. See the fact that SSMers, such as yourself, have not comprehended the actual disagreement.

    I’m not projecting into the future. Gay marriage has been legal for several years and we have yet to see any of the supposed harms that anti-gay people said would be coming our way. It is both a present and a future statement.

  • jayhuck

    Chairm,

    I appreciate your opinions, but it doesn’t appear that a majority of anthropologists agree with you :)

  • jayhuck

    Chairm,

    The fact that you’ve “studies enough anthropology” is not really impressive.

  • jayhuck

    I’ve said this before, but after two years of posting on this blog I’m coming to the realization that no matter how many scientists or judges weigh in on same-sex marriage, this fact isn’t going to change the minds or opinions of those who have strongly-held beliefs (usually religious in nature) that say gay marriage is wrong or bad. That leads me to wonder what the point is of discussing these issues at all. If science and the law aren’t going to change the minds of people, then most likely, nothing will. People are naturally averse to change which makes things problematic from the beginning – add that propensity to religious beliefs and you have a recipe for stubbornness and an inability to change.

    I don’t believe all people are like this, but it seems, from my experience on here and in other places, that many staunchly anti-gay people are. We find this most recently in the debate on evolution. The courts and a vast majority of scientists (religious and non-religious) agree that Evolution is definitely at work in the world, but that doesn’t and won’t change the minds of some other people of faith who can and will believe otherwise.

  • Evan

    Well, Jayhuck, now you understand the point I was making about moral choices. No matter how much research we can process, science will not make choices for us. Who lives by science deserves to change his world view every monthly issue.

    I can fathom many conceptual areas but I’d never be as bold to say I can fully understand why we need two sexes at all, why we need two sexes for conception and why we need two sexes for parenting. In this respect I am highly interested in every scientific explanation I can find or every hypothesis I can work out by myself, but I think of myself rather as a forever apprentice, no matter how trained, educated or insightful I would be. I leave the copyrighted instructions for sexes to the maker. The maker put forward two separated sexes and their being separate made them attracted and bound to conceive and parent. I see no break in the plan. I’m sure the principle can be mimicked and adapted in many types of formulas, but none is either the original, or the best. It’s just as simple as that. It’s one thing to walk and quite another to cling to someone walking.

  • Ann

    it is also in the presentation of same sex marriage that will either garner support or validate the non-support someone already feels about it. One can put forth an intelligent, thoughtful, heartfelt argument such as Jag does and it commands respect and garners support – the way it is presented by others in a coercive and offensive way is very ineffective in garnering support. While this should not matter, I can assure you it does. That is why I think it should be only an equal rights issue rather than a moral issue. That will insure protection regardless of the presentation.

  • Ann

    p.s. – I forgot a very important word – in addition to the word “moral” I would also like to say “acceptance”.

    Same gender marriage would have more support if it were presented on the merits of equal rights rather than moral acceptance.

  • jayhuck

    Evan,

    why we need two sexes for parenting

    The thing is Evan, we don’t. The Maker also made it so that gay parents are apparently as good at parenting as straight parents. Why did he do this? It is fine for you to state your opinion, its another to try to say that it is fact.

    The maker put forward two separated sexes and their being separate made them attracted and bound to conceive and parent. I see no break in the plan. I’m sure the principle can be mimicked and adapted in many types of formulas, but none is either the original, or the best. It’s just as simple as that.

    The Maker also put forward gay people (even some animals show same-sex behavior) – I might ask, for what purpose?

    To suggest that something is the best is again, your opinion – not a statement of fact, because gay parents apparently do as well as straight parents. Nothing is ever THAT simple Evan.

  • jayhuck

    Ann,

    That is why I think it should be only an equal rights issue rather than a moral issue.

    This is all it has EVER been about. It is the conservative Christians who have turned it into a moral issue – not gay people.

  • Eddy

    LOL! It’s a Sunday morning Cross-Thread Nightmare! We’ve got three ‘same-sex marriage/same-sex parenting’ threads going simultaneously!

  • http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/ José Solano

    There you go again Jayhuck criticizing people while ignoring what has been said. You show no understanding of the AAA statement, just a parroting of their words. It’s not even that I do not “agree” with what they have stated but that I understand that they have not said anything about same-sex parenting other than to attach it to “a vast array of family types,” much as they sometimes attach a totally unrelated item to a bill in Congress just to get it through. How gullible can one be? Where is the scientific evidence, the research? No one needs to deny any scientific research because they have not presented any scientific research on same-sex parenting. All they have done is make a very sloppy political statement that allows the gullible and wishful thinker to imagine incredibly more than they have said.

    Good reading requires more than saying the words. You have to comprehend the meaning of what has been said. If you were in my class I would have to return your paper to redo to express a better comprehension of what you have read. Try re-reading what I have written about the AAA statement and address the SUBSTANCE of what I have said.

  • jayhuck

    Jose,

    We’ve already discussed the research ad nauseam on here that talks about how well gay couples parent.

    Eddy,

    An SMCTN – It most certainly is :)

  • jayhuck

    Evan,

    Living completely by science is one thing, being stubborn and ignoring it is another.

  • Ann

    It is the conservative Christians who have turned it into a moral issue

    Jayhuck,

    Sure about this? What about all of the other religions and cultures around the world who hold the same position?

  • jag

    Ann-

    You stated:

    “I did not say “[than a same-sex couple]” – you added this on to what I wrote. ”

    Yes, that is why it was in brackets, it was not part of your original statement. Apologies if this was not the case of your implication.

    Jose -

    You stated:

    “Being enormously tied up at this time with numerous tasks I will only comment on the statement of the AAA. I have studied enough anthropology to know that this is pure political hogwash.”

    Jose, I have a doctorate in clinical psychology…but it doesn’t mean that my time studying, practicing, and reading textbooks overrides scientific review and conclusions of numerous scholars. You may want to rethink proclaiming yourself more apt in your studies than an entire organization – especially one that has no particular reason to make the claims it did. The AAA isn’t particularly “known” for being in bed with the gay rights movement…it isn’t financially viable because of them, etc..

  • Chairm

    Jayhuck, you misattributed the following to me.

    –> “I have studied enough anthropology …”

    As for the nature of marriage, the anthropological consensus is not what you may wish it to be.

    Tradition and the bedrock social institution

    http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/2005/06/tradition-and-bedrock-social_15.html

    Likewise with principle that the man and the woman who create a child are directly responsible for that child’s well-being and education. Barring dire circumstances or tragedy, the state’s big hand is not moved to intrude upon the bond between father, mother, and their child. This principle is nearly-universal across time, geography, and cultures.

    Marriage makes it normative in our customs, traditions, and legal systems. See the marriage presumption of paternity. It is based on the sexual relations, i.e. conjugal relations, of husband and wife. And that is based on the same thing that consummation is based. The integration of the sexes is combined with the contingency for Responsible Procreation. The man-woman criterion stands for that integration which occurs within the social institution — on multiple levels. Not just for each union of husband and wife, but also within the organic community of family, the extended community in which children are raised and educated, and across society. As for equality, it is through marriage that man and woman, both present and profoundly boned together, that the sexes are brought into equal regard.

    This is not alien to raising children. Responsible Procreation is not about procreation alone. It is a coherent set of principles that have been expressed throughout recorded human history.

    The husband and wife, together, form the single reproductive organism; beyond our mere physiology and basic biology we adapt to what is given. The both-sexed nature of human generativity is not man-made; it is much bigger than the individual human being who, acting alone, is not fertile.

    Sure, as a sort of shorthand, we might discribe an individual as fertile but that leaves silent the most obvious condition for such fertility. The individual may be fertile (with the other sex). And fertility is demonstrated by conceiving and bearing children. Subfertility is usually corrected through changes in behavior — with the other sex — rather than novel out-of-body interventions by lab technicians. But even where IVF is used, no individual can be fertile without the other sex. The inverse is also so: no individual is infertile with the other sex, because if that individual is not fertile in the first place, then, that individual cannot be infertile in the second place.

    When we speak of the fertile couple, we speak of the both-sexed couple. We do not mean two individuals each of whom would be fertile with the other sex. If that is what SSMers mean, then, they point to multi-marriage or extramarital procreation and not the the normative meaning of marriage.

    No one-sexed combination can be fertile; the combination, by its very nature, is sterile, always. More precisely such a combination is non-fertile and is never fertile and never infertile. This is so even if both indviduals in a one-sex combination would be fertile with the other sex.

    Gender neutrality reads sameness into diversity

    http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/2005/10/gender-neutrality-reads-sameness-into.html

    This is basic stuff that anthropologists do not eraise should they make a group of them make a political declaration on “same-sex marriage” or “same-sex parenting”. That much should be self-evident even to SSMers.

    More Arguments from Tradition

    http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/2005/06/more-arguments-from-tradition.html

    Marriage affirms the nature of humankind and in so doing it is our sociological and cultural adaptation to things far beyond even the most brilliant intellectual’s ability to conjure up deconstructions of the foundational social institution.

    This is not mere opinion. I realize that SSMers seek to change the basis for marriage recognition; and I have pointed out that this is a call to replace marriage with recognition of something else.

    That is why I have asked for the opinion of SSMers: what is the nature, the core, the essence of the relationship you have in mind?

    We know that any double-dad or double-mom scenario must begin with parental relinquishment. Then the state must intervene, again, to decree an adoptive relationship of some type. This relinquishment and state intervention is the inverse of the nature of marriage which the state merely recognizes rather than creates.

    Children and the legal incidents of marriage

    http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/2005/10/children-and-legal-incidents-of.html

    That leads back to the question about the harm done.

    First, SSM arugmentation is a direct attack on the nature of marriage. It deconstructs the coherent whole into bits and pieces that are all optional with the core of marriage being sidelined or rejected as superfluous — to marriage recognition!

    Second, the SSM campaign has undermined self-governance wherever it has been imposed. Massachusetts is a good example of that. Look at the obstructionism that went on, and continues, against the affirmation of the nature of marriage in that state. Look at how the SJC has provided tortured reasoningn to circle back to Justice Marshall’s predrawn conclusion. And, recently, with the “lesbian divorce” case across the border, look at how Marshall claimed to not see a “ban” on SSM in Rhode Island even though she discerned a ‘ban” on SSM in the marriage statutes of Massachusetts — statutes that are very similar to those in Rhode Island.

    Now, I suppose, unless society expressly rejects the SSM argumentation, and rebuffs the attack on the nature of marriage, we are supposed to presume that there is no such thing as “the nature of marriage” and marital status will be whatever the state decides it will be.

    Yet the SSM campaign attacks any effort, even in public discussions, that would affirm marriage itself as the union of man and woman. So state level DOMAs and state constitutional amendments are denigrated as tyrannical, by these SSMers. The amending process, for example, has been routinely denounced as “mob rule”. This is a harm done to society.

    In Canada, the same judge who had imposed SSM in Ontario also had his hand in a court decision to grant three adults co-equal parental status for one child. Read that decision and you’ll see the corruption of jurisprudence, the undermining of basic judicial doctrines of parentage that are based on the integration of fatherhood and motherhood, and even the not-so-hidden threat to the two person principle at the heart of marriage itself.

    Look at how in Massachusetts and in the UK the government was prodded by SSMers to force Catholic Charities out of adoption services. That did not serve the children in need of adoptive parents. Look in Canada and in Massachusetts for the suppression of the parent right to educate their own children on fundamental virtues and morals.

    There is much harm done by the SSM campaign and by SSM argumentation. One of the most flagrant, which SSMers actually applaude, is the false presumption that the government owns civil society — that the government creates andn owns marriage in our society.

    The People have a government, not the other way around.

    Think of all of this when you next entertain the idea that “same-sex parenting” is neutral for children and future generationis.

  • Chairm

    –> that say gay marriage is wrong or bad.

    No, the point is that “gay marriage” is not marriage. It is sex-segregative. It does not provide contingency for Responsible Procreation. It stands for the segregation of fatherhood from motherhood. As such, if it were to be merged with marriage recognition, “gay marriage” would be a specious substitution for marriage (i.e. S.S.M.) and such a direct attack on the nature of marriage cannot help but undermine the social institution for all of society.

    Could the one-sexed arrangement co-exist with marital status? Sure. It does already as part of the much broader category of nonmarital alternatives. The provision for designated beneficiaries has long-existed, is well-utilitized, and is available across the country. No relationshp status, at law, is required. The state authorities merely recognize the personal arrangements of individuals and provides protections based on those arrangements. If access and affordability is a real problem, and some SSMers say this is the main issue, then, that can be addressed without touching marital status at all. In Hawaii, the People there affirmed the man-woman criterion of marriage and, at the same time, enacted Reciprocal Beneficiaries to ehance access for a nominal fee of about $15. Such laws can be advanced, based on the nature of the relationship type and the actual problems associated with it, rather than pushing the nature of marriage to the sidelines.

    –> That leads me to wonder what the point is of discussing these issues at all. If science and the law aren’t going to change the minds of people, then most likely, nothing will.

    In your comments you have not relied on the law nor on science. You have waved your arms about but have provided zilch in the way of objective observations. You offer opinion, based on gay identity politics, and then have missed the actual disagreement. You project onto others and say they, not you, have only opinion to stand on. You are mistaken.

    –> People are naturally averse to change which makes things problematic from the beginning – add that propensity to religious beliefs and you have a recipe for stubbornness and an inability to change.

    Adverse to the devolution of marriage recogtion, yes, of course. This surely is problematic for the SSM campaign and for gay identity politics. The main tactic of SSMers is to make emtion-laden appeals, to use circular reasoning, to name-call (even if in a backhanded manner), and to seek to induce issue-fatigue. That’s no way to advance the goal of tolerance for the homosexual variation of the nonmarital domestic arrangement.

    The choice to form a nonmarital alternative is a liberty exercised, not a right denied. Calling it SSM a right does not make it so. But it is tolerated and, given provsion for designated beneficiaries, also protected. Yet SSMers talk of “bans” as if to exercise such a liberty is to become outlawed and persecuted. You would almost think they were polygamists or bigamists, to hear them go on about diversity and choice and state intervention.

    Also, in most of the comments I’ve seen here, an certainly in mine, there is no religious content. SSMers routinely misrepresent the scientific and the pluralistic case against their agenda. So when they can’t make SSM and their claims stand up on their own two feet, they take kicks at religious beliefs, as if that somehow raises the appeal of SSM in our society.

  • Chairm

    Typo corrections:

    - The inverse is also so: no individual is infertile without the other sex, because if that individual is not fertile in the first place, then, that individual cannot be infertile in the second place.

    - As for equality, it is through marriage that man and woman, both present and profoundly bonded together, that the sexes are brought into equal regard.

    [I'd add that for there to be "marriage equality" there must be participation by both sexes. Marriage is not made more equal by removing one of the sexes from the arrangement. The lack of a man does not make for more sex equality between two women. This is evident with polygamy: if one man makes for sex inequality with two or more women, maybe removal of the man would make for greater equality in polygam? Nope. Polygamy would still not provide for marriage equality no matter how many more persons of the same sex are added in the absence of the other sex.]

    * * *

    Is there no taker for the question put to SSMers? What is the nature of the relationship type you have in mind?

    As for same-sex parenting, do you acknowledge that such a scenario depends on parental relinquishment and state intervention? How does that not undermine the integration of fatherhood with motherhood?

  • Chairm

    –> scientific review and conclusions of numerous scholars.

    The point is that the conclusions are not conclusive, as per the lack of randomized longitudinal studies, for one glaring example.

    Also, science is not itself the primary source of wisdom about procreation, much less about raising and educating children.

    The real point is that the gaycentric view of parenting, such as it is expressed in gay identity politics, subordinates the children to the adults in the most fundamental way.

    Put aside the identity politics and clear the underbrush of advocacy statements by some social scientists and some such organizations.

    Return to the empirical evidence for more than cover for assertion of “conclusions” based on insufficient evidence.

    Alternatives to the intact family headed by the union of husband and wife do exist, of course, but fall short of the standard set by that of marital parenting. This is true even when controlling for income and education of the adults.

    Such a small population of children, raised from birth in one-sex arrangements, makes it very difficult for students of empirical evidence on this matter. Folks should stop trying to neutralize this significant problem when citing political and advocacy statements made by some social scientists or such organizations.

    See: Children in same-sex households

    http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/2006/03/children-in-same-sex-households.html

    Children and the legal incidents of marriage

    http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/2005/10/children-and-legal-incidents-of.html

    Parenthood and Rights of Children

    http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/2005/07/parenthood-and-rights-of-children.html

    Where are the children?

    http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/2005/06/where-are-children.html

    Stem Cell Babies

    http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/2005/06/stem-cell-babies.html

  • Chairm

    See: Brave New Families

    http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/2005/06/brave-new-families.html

    The outcomes for lone parent families very closely resemble the outcomes for step-families. Most same-sex households with children include children from previously procreative relationships with the opposite sex and, as such, they resemble step-families.

    On the other hand, the same-sex couple is single sexed, like a lone parent is single sexed, which raises concerns even if the family brings-up the children from infancy.

    Whether or not the difference is based on cultural or biological factors or some combination of factors, families that lack a father, for instance, do indeed share similar deficiencies. These can also be compared with families that are led by a grandmom and daughter combination; or even a granddad and daughter combination.

    There is a shortfall.

    But concerns and doubts do not translate into accusations that two persons of the same sex are incapable of raising children at least as well as a lone parent. More needs to be learned and the usual obstacles in conducting research are no less important for the small size of this segment of the child population.

    Elizabeth Marquardt, of Family Scholars Blog, expanded on the comparison of same-sex households and step-family households.

    She said:

    http://familyscholars.org/index.php?p=4714#comments

    I suggest that advocates for SSM look at the data on stepfamilies, which shows that overall on social indicators children of stepfamilies look much more like children of single parents than those with their own married parents.

    [...]

    The stepfamily model does not perfectly fit the SS couple model – I didn’t claim it does. But there are an awful lot of parallels. And while the research is limited on SS parenting, the data is ample on stepfamilies and worse outcomes for children. It’s worth taking seriously.

  • http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/ José Solano

    Jag, as you know your degree in psychology is irrelevant to what we are talking about. I only mention my anthropology studies to emphasize that I know something about homosexual behaviors in varied cultures world-wide and there is only an extremely small cohort of homosexuals involved in “parenting,” and it’s almost entirely in the industrially developed countries. My focus has been on the empty statement made by the AAA that any reasonable can see through. Neither nor Jayhuck nor other homosexual-behavior-supporters (homosexualists) on this blog wish to address SUBSTANCE or the lack thereof in the AAA statement.

    It’s just silly of you to state, “You may want to rethink proclaiming yourself more apt in your studies than an entire organization.” I have proclaimed nothing of the sort. You’re setting up a straw man to attack. I just ask you to read and understand what they have stated. Reread what both they and I have stated. It doesn’t matter what you read if you can’t understand it.

    If for political purposes you just refuse to understand what the AAA has actually said then we just leave it there and let the objective reader determine the facts.

    Peace.

  • http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/ José Solano

    My statement at 78881 should read, “that any reasonable person can see through. Neither you nor Jayhuck . . . .”

    I’m commenting between numerous tasks.

  • http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/ José Solano

    Ken, it looks like your assumption, imagining a downward “trend” (78533) in the strength of marriage support through state amendments is simply false. The data simply do not support your dream of universal homosexual “marriage” in the US in 50 years. to predict into that distance is simply silly.

    This does not mean that through increased spending and intense propaganda efforts, taking greater control of the educational systems, etc., on the part of homosexualists to subvert the meaning of marriage the masses could not become confused enough to imagine that a same-sex marriage could actually, objectively be formed. (Worse things have happened through political propaganda efforts.) But as you and others have noted, yours is a powerful effort to redefine marriage so as to merge non-marriage with marriage. But there are millions of people working to prevent this conflation. I’ve offered you the option of working for simply calling the homosexual relationship what it is, the Homosexual Relationship, and work, if you wish, to convince society to provide such a relationship special benefits and privileges.

    See http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/2008/01/yes-vote-by-state-1993-to-2006.html and http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/2008/01/share-of-yes-vote-on-state-marriage.html for the Marriage Amendment voting facts.

    We’ll see how it looks when the next round of state marriage amendments comes around. Keep your eyes open.

    Jayhuck, the term “homosexualist” is not derogatory. It simply refers to those that support, endorse and promote homosexual behaviors, generally working towards altering the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples. Most are not even homosexuals. This is nothing to laugh too loudly about. Aren’t you a homosexualist?

    Peace.

  • R.K.

    A few questions in regard to all the studies (on SS-raised children vs. OS-raised children).

    1. Do those conducting the studies on these children not have to get the permission of the parents (OS or SS) before testing or interviewing them?

    2. If so, how can it be determined whether or not the children of those who approved of their being tested did or did not differ significantly from the children of those who did not?

    (In other words, is there anything preventing a huge sample bias here due to the likelihood that those SS couples who believe “their” children are doing well are allowing them to be tested, while those who suspect that “their” children are NOT doing so well simply refuse?)

    3. What is the percentage of SS couples who do not allow “their” kids to be tested?

    4. Do the SS “parents” of the children tested know what the tests are trying to measure when they are asked about their participation?

    5. If not told what the tests are measuring, do the SS “parents” at least suspect what may be being measured? How can we be sure they do not?

    6. How can we rule out whether or not the children are aware of, or at least suspect, what is being measured?

    7. How can we really rule out that the children thus have been “coached”, or that they are not answering questions in a way which they believe will reflect most positively on them and their “parents”?

    (I know, professionals say they have been able to determine these things for decades, but I’ve known, read, or heard of too many cases of people, even kids, being able to fool psychologists in interviews).

    As I see it, unless children raised by SS couples are tested without the consent of their “parents”, which is not allowed, and perhaps even then unless only children unaware of why their “parents” are different are tested, there will be a huge built-in sample bias, and other factors which skewer these studies.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    I was about to close this thread until R.K. came along with these excellent questions regarding the research. When time permits, I will check out how these sources of bias were addressed. This is more what I am looking for in this thread.

    Jose, do you view Christianist as a derogatory term?

  • jag

    Jose -

    This is a bit of an error…

    “I know something about homosexual behaviors in varied cultures world-wide and there is only an extremely small cohort of homosexuals involved in “parenting,” and it’s almost entirely in the industrially developed countries.”

    Nationally, about 25% of gay couples are raising children and have them in their homes

    [http://media.www.dailytexanonline.com/media/storage/paper410/news/2006/10/16/StateLocal/Several.Texas.Cities.Leading.U.s.In.Gay.Couples.Raising.Children-2351219.shtml

    I’m just looking at the United States on that one, but of those households, it is further claimed by the Harvard Law Review (since some households have more children than others..) that there are between 8-10 million children living in same-sex households (as of 1990). It

    doesn’t seem a like a “small cohort” to me.

    You say “let the objective reader determine the facts..” well Jose…here they are.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    It may be a bit of a segue, but I think it worth noting:

    The nations of the world that offer some recognition to same sex couples:

    United Kingdom

    Ireland (in draft form – will pass in 2008)

    Spain (marriage)

    France

    Denmark

    Sweden

    Finland

    Greenland

    Iceland

    Germany

    Netherlands (marriage)

    Belgium (marriage)

    Luxembourg

    Czech Republic

    Switzerland

    Slovenia

    Croatia

    Hungary

    Portugal

    South Africa

    New Zealand

    Australia (in draft form – will pass in 2008)

    Canada (marriage)

    Mexico City

    Coahuila State, Mexico

    Uruguay

    Buenos Ares City, Argentina

    Rio Negro Province, Argentina

    Rio Grande Du Sol State, Brazil

    Falkland Islands

    Colombia

    and of course ten states in the US

    And here’s a selection of some of those who do not

    Iraq

    Iran

    North Korea

    The People’s Republic of China

    Mongolia

    Uzbekistan

    India

    Russia

    Cambodia

    Libya

    Rwanda

    Saudi Arabia

    Jamaica

    (There are some that are a bit transitional where it looks like recognition will be offered soon but is not currently in place. Those would include Italy, Austria, and some South American countries.)

    I can’t help but notice a different world view between those nations that offer recognition of gay couples and those that do not and are not expected to in the near future. At some point you have to look at the company you keep, dontcha think?

  • Evan

    Ann,

    You stated that same-sex parenting should be dealt with as an equal rights issue rather than as a moral issue.

    First of all, equal rights are individual and do not extend to infringe upon the rights of another individual, ie a child. Parenting is not a right, something owed by the state or society to an individual. If that be so, one could say he has a right to be a parent even if he were not able to be one. We are free to do many things, like flying a balloon or taking painting classes, but we don’t need to be awarded a special right for that.

    In the case of parenting, any operating rights are derived from individual rights and from family rights: if two people have a child, the child has some rights and the parents too have some claims over that child; together they also form an entity that can claim some rights. However, the essential point is that the state is not under a legal obligation to do everything in its power to help people fulfill their “equal right to be a parent”. In parenting, it’s not about individuals’ rights to check another square of personal fulfilment, rather it is a question of rights arising from a state of facts — two people have a child and the state must ensure that the new situation is legally accounted for to cover all partakers’ rights, both individually and as a whole.

    I think we can agree that the best nurturing place a child can have is their natural parents’ home (the unfit parents case does not invalidate the fact that if you look for the as-close-to-the-original state you can only find it in such a setting). So the first recommended solution for children from foster care institutions would be families that resemble most their original type of family, the one that had a mother and a father. Why do I consider this to be the recommended first option? Is it because I consider same-sex partners to be second-class contenders or less fit for parenting? No, but since we can agree that the natural state of having a child is by the union of a man and a woman, as you kindly pointed above, it would be optimal for the child to join such a state as if it were his or her original family.

    If no such option exists, it goes without saying that any type of adoption by a fit foster parent or union of two adults can provide a better environment for growing up than the state institution.

    My point about resting on moral option was that in very critical issues like this one, where it is not just about gays, or equal rights, or values, or cultural wars, but where the very principle of how life is being welcomed in society and how future individuals are being called to become humans in certain families, we cannot let science to be our guide. Science can help a great deal here, it can supply us with significant facts and brilliant insight, but it can never replace our faculty of making a choice, of judging right from wrong, good from bad. This is what prevails in such critical issues before making any decision, not just debatable data or legal talk. We can do that too, but it’s only to clarify means and possible avenues, not to replace choices. If present science cannot fully detect how gender relations in a family can shape the child’s future gender perceptions and relations in subtle ways that will also have a bearing on society and their subsequent children, we should not assume we are in a priviledged speech situation over our next generations.

    I am sorry if you find this view to be ‘coercive and offensive’ and ‘ineffective in garnering support’, but consider the fact that I am not involved in this debate politically, since I do not speak from within your society. My position reflects my own thinking, which is not connected to any American party or movement, be they conservative or not. This also accounts for the differences in the way we relate in this dialogue, which I reckon it unfolds in a way that is typical for the US cultural environment and quite different from my own background. I still ponder whether I should emulate the American style of participating in a debate or remain truthful to my own European one.

  • Chairm

    JAG, the participation rate in same-sex householding in the USA is very low. Note that same-sex householding is a much broader category than registered partnerships, in whatever form. The low participation rate is found in the countries in your list, including those that have imposed SSM.

    Based on the Census 2000 and on related sources, including the HRC’s analysis of Census 2000, about 90% of the adult homosexual population does not reside in same-sex households. About 97% of the adult homosexual population does not reside in such households with children.

    In Canada the SSM rate of resident adult homosexual is very, very, very low even in places like Toronto where the SSM campaign has claimed there was a pent-up demand in an urban population they claimed was 15% homosexual.

    –> between 8-10 million children living in same-sex households (as of 1990).

    That’s bogus. There are far, very far, fewer same-sex households than that in the 1990 Census. Same with the 2000 Census.

    In 2000, there were about 72 million children in the Census count. There were only 170,000 same-sex households with children. Let’s round that up to 200,000 households.

    Now, if we are to believe your source, there are at least 8 million children living in 200,000 same-sex households.

    Do the math. Do your really want to claim that there are 40 children per same-sex household? I’d hope not.

    A realistic estimate: About 415 thousand children live in same-sex households.

    This also aligns with the census data from other countries such as Canada, Holland, and the Scandinavian region.

    Most homosexual adults (89%) do not reside in same-sex households; and most homosexual adults (97%) do not live in such households with children.

    According to the pro-SSM statement of the American Academy of Pediatrics, “The majority of these children were born in the context of a heterosexual relationship.”

    See the AAP statement

    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/118/1/349

    See: F. Rottles on calling in-tact marriages a “sham”

    http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/2007/03/f-rottles-on-calling-in-tact-marriages.html

    Quote

    And same-sex householding is strikingly more common among formerly married homosexual people than among never married homosexual people.

    Lesbians are fewer in number than gay men and yet there are almost as many lesbian coupled households as there are gay coupled households. The imbalance shows up with lesbian mothers versus gay fathers. But across the board the indications are that previously married homosexual men and women are more likely to form same-sex households than are never married homosexual people.

    Unquote

    * * *

    See the links in my previous comments.

    Also see: Same-sex Householders in US Population

    http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/2006/12/same-sex-householders-in-us-population.html

    Also see: Where are the children?

    http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/2005/06/where-are-children.html

    Sources — Census and related databases and analyses.

  • Ann

    I am sorry if you find this view to be ‘coercive and offensive’ and ‘ineffective in garnering support’, but consider the fact that I am not involved in this debate politically, since I do not speak from within your society.

    Evan,

    Please know that I respect and admire and appreciate everything you have written – you are not the one or ones I was referring to when I made that statement – I was referring to those on this blog who are condescending and sarcastic and coercive in their remarks when anyone challenged them in an intelligent way regarding same sex marriage. This method does not garner support for them or what they are presenting, rather just the opposite. Few are going to listen to someone abrasive and / or offensive – no matter what they are saying.

    I respect you and everything you have said and appreciate all you have written and the way you have written it. I’m going to read the rest of your post now before commenting more – just wanted to get this out now :-)

  • Chairm

    Evan, your comment about returning to the principles of justice (i.e. to each his due). There is something owed the child. Children are the most vulnerable creatues on this planet. Since humankind is highly social, and thus dependant, the very concept of justice demands that we encourage, and expect, that the man and woman who created a child will stick around to be both that child’s “biological parents” and tht child’s “social parents”.

    This is entailed in Responsible Procreation.

    * * *

    –> it goes without saying that any type of adoption by a fit foster parent or union of two adults can provide a better environment for growing up than the state institution.

    I think that orphanages have gotten a bad rap. There have been fantastic institutions of which alumnae can attest. Today we have smaller group homes for children but these, too, can be remarkable.

    * * *

    Legal guardianship is another viable alternative. Gay identity politics is not the savoir of the children in fostercare. Yet that sort of politics is only too eager to harm children who are available for adoption — how? — by forcing agencies, such as Catholic Charities, out of adoption services. It has happened in Massachusetts, the UK, and Canada.

    I agree with Evan about prioritizing married couples as the best pool for prospective adoptors. Attitude surveys indicte that there are far more such couples intersted in adoption than there are children available for adoption in our fostercare system. We need to remove the obstacles that hinder such adoptions.

    I do not think that “same-sex parenting” is the solution for children in need of adoption. As Evan said, we ought to seek first to approximate the intact home of mother-father-child.

    However, there are exceptions, which should remain as exceptions, where a child might best be adopted by the same-sex sexual partner of his or her parent. But that goes back to the pre-requisite of parental relinquishment.

    And it goes back to the fact that most children, by far, who live in same-sex households have migrated from the previously procreative relationships of their moms and dads. It is just that either mom or dad is not resident in the current household. These children have the protections that society affords children of seperation, divorce, and estrangement. And since most of them have both mom and dad, adoption is not in the cards. But even where it is, for a tiny minority of children, the scenario is much more like a step-family than an intact married household.

    Third party procreation, via fertility clinics, is a whole different matter. In these cases, the adults cannot be acting for the sake of the children. The children have not been created. And they wouldn’t be created — or rather manufactured — unless the adults make certain decisions. Such as deliberately denying the to-be-conceived child either a mother or a father at home.

    The principles of justice do not accord with such actions.

    Third party procreation is enabled through “donors” (i.e. the suppliers of sperm and ova who pre-emptively relinquish parental status in a way that could not be done, say, in a bar or on a one-night stand). This instrumentalizes sex and gametes.

    The mechanics, the technical methods used in clinics, originated with the compassionate response to married couples who experienced infertility — an actual disability.

    But consider that about 10% of married couples experience fertility problems. Almost all of them resolve these through changes in their behavior and do not resort to novel technical interventions. Of these minority of married couples, maybe 1% have used IVF. And of those users, 90% or so do not use “donor” sperm and/or ova. For them, these technical interventions help couples overcome infertility problems.

    Now, sure, we have single people — men and women — using these methods in combintion with sperm and ova supplies. Some of these adults are gay identified. Same-sex scenarios are not infertile because they are never fertile in the first place. So there is no disability at issue.

    The issue is adult choice to segregate fatherhood from motherhood. This is how “same-sex parenting” via these novel methods becomes very like divorce and or parental loss, in terms of the experience of the children.

    But the people who encourage “same-sex parenting” use third party procreation as a sort of affirmative action plan for homosexual adults. This is unjust.

    It also demonstrates how single parenting is similar to “same-sex parenting” in that a non-fertile scenario is equated, by its advocates, to the fertile scenario, and, by extension, the nonmarital to the marital scenario.

    But this practice points outside of marriage and it points away from the social science consensus that the optimum setting for children is the intact married home — barring high-conflict situations.

    Where there is conflict in a marrige the societal expectation should be that the adults lower the conflict, resolve their problems, and see to live-up to their commitment to Responsible Procreation. Because procreation is not just some mechanical means to attain children. Responsible Procreation begins even before the attempt to conceive is first acted upon; it extends beyond the bounds of the social institution marriage, such is the strong fundamental influence of the institution in a strong marriage culture. Responsible Procreation encompasses raising and educting children — by the pre-governmental and organic unit of mother-father-child.

  • Chairm

    –> research doesn’t support your claim that the best nurturing place is a child’s natural home

    The social science consensus says otherwise. In fact, the nature of humankind says otherwise.

  • Ann

    Evan,

    I was in such a hurry to get my initial response out to you that I am not sure if I made the clarification needed. My comment that you noted was for those who present the case for same gender marriage and do it in an abraisive and condescending way – that turns people off and will not command the respect they are seeking. The way the issue is presented will either garner support or diminish it.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    jayhuck – I think we get it – you do not think being raised by opposite sex married parents is necessarily better than same-sex parents. But statements that the opposite view is not fact is not supportable either. We do not that research finds very good outcomes on average with intact opposite sex parents as compared with other arrangements studied. It is an open question whether two intact same-sex parents will do as well on average.

    Regarding the questions raised by RK, one needs to review the study to address those questions. I have not had time as yet, but these issues should be addressed by the authors.

  • http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/ José Solano

    Warren, I have no problem with a term like “Christianist.” Do you define it as “one who supports, endorses and promotes Christianity or Christ?” Sounds like a beautiful term to me.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    It is used as a derogatory term by Andrew Sullivan and others – Christian sounds better to me.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Warren,

    It was my impression that on another thread you mentioned that Meezan and Rauch had investigated the available studies and found that while the evidence supporting same-sex parents was inconclusive, there was no support for the claims of same-sex parenting inferiority.

    I propose that this information that you posted is an adequate basis for Jayhuck’s comments refuting the completely unsubstantianted claims made by others.

    I also noted that Jayhuck was repeatedly refuting the same baseless assertions made over and over and over and over. I’m not quite sure why he is the one chastized.

    Jayhuck has SOME basis for his comments – even a basis that appears to have been the heart of one of your earlier posts. It seems to me that those with whom he was disagreeing have nothing other than bias – or at least no research that was presented.

  • Chairm

    Jaychuck, the sentence from my comment that you quoted comes from the following intended context.

    I said:

    –> Third party procreation, via fertility clinics, is a whole different matter. In these cases, the adults cannot be acting for the sake of the children. The children have not been created. And they wouldn’t be created — or rather manufactured — unless the adults make certain decisions. Such as deliberately denying the to-be-conceived child either a mother or a father at home.

    * * *

    That is factual and not mere opinion.

    Except for the last sentence, this applies to the married couple who’d use sperm and/or ova supplied by clinics. About one-third of IVF users who consume “donated” sperm actually mix the husband’s sperm with the 3rd party’s sperm. (In fact, about half of infertile couples already have children and so they experience subfertility.) So only a tiny minority do what each and every one-sex scenario goes to directly.

    And that direct route taken by the single indivdual or the single-sex twosome (or moresome) does not begin with the experience of infertility. No disability prompts the decision-making. No child exists so, unlike adoption, there is no pre-existing child in need. The key decision is to create a child and to segregate fatherhood from motherhood.

    Sure, there are lesbian couples who have used a known sperm “donor” and have sought to include that man in the lives of their children. But this is a very watered-down form of integration of fatherhood with motherhood. It resembles divorce in that the father is nonresident; it resembles step-family formation in that the both-sexed bond is not intact. But it has its unique features, as well, such as the decision to raise a child, from infancy, in a home in which there will be no father.

    Earlier I mentioned the case in Ontario where a family court granted co-equal parental status to three adults. This is unprecedented. It was prompted when a “donor” refused to relinquish his status as the child’s father; the mother resided with another woman who, as the 3rd adult, agreed with the mother and the father than the father’s parental status was “essential” (their word) to the child’s well-being. The three adults also wanted the mother’s female partner to added to the child’s list of two parents — on fully equal terms.

    The court said that if emphasized the same-sex union, the presence of the mother and the father, and decided that the father should not have to relinquish his status to enable the 2nd woman to adopt the child and to step-in as the child’s second parent. Instead, the court agreed that the father was “essential” and, based on the agreement of the three adults, that the 3rd adult might as well be considered a full parent, as well. So the mother did not have to relinquish either.

    I’ve already pointed out that most of the children in same-sex households, by far, already have both moms and dads. So the Ontario court’s reasoning could apply to most of that segment of the child population.

    It could also apply to the rest where 3rd party procreation is undertaken.

    And these scenario do indeed resemble the situation of children of divorce whose parents are not together. It also resembles step-family formation where the child has another adult — a quasi-parent — attached to her two parents.

    There is a Pennsylvania case along the same lines as the Ontario case, except that the child’s mother and father married and the mother left her female partner. The dispute was about the 2nd woman’s parental status. She, too, got full co-equal status and was treated as if she was a parent whose marriage had busted up. But the father had always retained his parental status throughout the child’s life; the mother, too, did not relinquish her parental status.

    So whether you look at these scenarios with rose-tinted glasses, or through the lens of family dissolution, they are far from the standard to which other family forms have been compared and found to fall short.

    These are jerry-rigged situations. Something is broken. In the case of 3rd party procreation, where fatherhood is segregated from motherhood in a same-sex household, the mom-dad bond is deliberately broken as a necessary step in creating the child. In the case of the Ontario lesbian couple mentioned above there was no bond except through the child; the father and mother were not committed to Responsible Procreation.

    The second woman, because of her same-sex union with the child’s mother, gained parental status — as an additional adult to the mom-dad combination.

    The father is also married and has several children with his wife. The lesbians are not presumed the parents of those children; his wife is not presumed the 3rd mother of the child residing with the lesbian couple.

    But the usual claim of advocates of “same-sex parenting” is that the addition of an adult can only enhance the child’s well-being. So add another 3rd adult as in the Ontario case. Why not add a 4th — the father’s wife? She already is the mother of that child’s half-siblings.

    But put aside the fact that the father is married. Suppose he was gay and had formed a same-sex relationship. Now, could not his male partner become included in the life of his child as a second father? Surely he’d be positioned to do so provided that the four adults agreed that he was “essential”.

    The thread that runs through Responsible Procreation (and the principles that underlay our understanding and our standards for protecting the intact family) can be pulled, yanked, cut, and patched, in many different ways as a result of the push for normalizing “same-sex parenting” in our society.

    When this is done for the sake of gay identity politics, as it has been discussed here, it will open the floodgates for distortions of family law that will inevitably apply to non-gay scenarios as well.

    So, instead of the lesbian union noted above, just combine the far more common scenario whereby a husband and wife have children, divorce, and each remarries. Step-families have not led courts to create tripartite, or quadrupled, co-equal parental status. But maybe that is where the devolution of parenting is being pushed.

    These are inferior forms of making homes for children.

  • jayhuck

    Chairm,

    Read my above comments as an answer to your most recent post

  • http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/ José Solano

    Well, how does Andrew Sullivan define it? Words can have multiple meanings. I’ve given my clean and clear, non-derogatory definition for “homosexualist.” Some homosexuals just don’t like to be called homosexuals and have invented the term “gay” which I refuse to use because it’s a misleading euphemism.

    Another term homosexualists have invented is “homophobia,” which we all know was fabricated to insult those who do not approve of their behaviors. It accuses them of being mentally ill, suffering from a phobia, because they consider such behaviors as perverted or as the Catholic Catechism states, “depraved,” or as the Bible says, “an abomination.” So, as they were struggling to remove homosexuality as a mental disorder from DSM they were busy branding as “homophobic” those recognize homosexuality as a serious problem.

    Now, this really has a lot to do with the question of parenting because if indicators of well-being or unwholesome-being are removed from the start from studies on parenting, then the studies are certainly skewed. If for instance stealing is removed as an indicator (which it is not presently in this society) because the parents are thieves and they live in a neighborhood of thieves, then we could say that the child has adjusted beautifully and grown up to be a thoroughly “normal” unconscionable thief. Neither the child nor the parents nor his environment nor the researchers find anything wrong with his social adjustment. Stealing is just not a problem. The problem is getting caught by people who don’t like thieves.

    Let’s bring it closer to our situation. Let’s say he is raised in a polyamorous home and has six or eight “parents” who enjoy engaging in all sorts of sexual activities, sado-masochism, you name it, and the boy or girl grows up to be a perfectly “normal” polyamorous adult. He supports himself and does not engage in any criminal activity and gets good grades in school. Well, the research will show that the “parents” have done an excellent job raising that child because certain indicators of serious problems have been removed. Stop calling the problem a problem and puff, no more problem. It’s prestidigitation. It’s contemporary psychology. I’m Ok, you’re Ok. It’s a problem only if you think it’s a problem. Polyamorous relationships are not a problem, getting AIDS is a problem.

    Or take the research on intergenerational intimacy. No problem. The kids love it and the adults love it. It’s only those bigots who say it’s a problem.

    Promiscuity is not a problem. Getting pregnant is a problem and abortion is the family planning solution. No problems and everyone is “free” and having lots of “fun.” It’s those rigid Christianists who can’t think outside of the box who have the problem and want to give everyone a guilt trip. They want to consider indicators of well-being that we reject. Their guilt trip is so terrible that they even want us to imagine that we not only risk objective moral well-being but salvation itself.

    We need to stop focusing on cerebral rationalizations and get to the heart of the problems.

    **************

    I do believe that we should address issues and not fall into personal attacks. I will try not to even mention names but focus on the substance of arguments and opinions.

    Peace.

  • jayhuck

    Jose,

    I do believe that we should address issues and not fall into personal attacks.

    I think we should deal with facts and not with personal beliefs, ideologies, prejudices or biases.

  • Chairm

    Timothy, Meezan and Rauch were quoted by Warren:

    –>We believe that both sides of that argument are right, at least partially. The evidence provides a great deal of information about the particular families and children studied, and the children now number more than a thousand. They are doing about as well as children normally do. What the evidence does not provide, because of the methodological difficulties we outlined, is much knowledge about whether those studied are typical or atypical of the general population of children raised by gay and lesbian couples. We do not know how the normative child in a same-sex family compares with other children. To make the same point a little differently, those who say the evidence shows that many same-sex parents do an excellent job of parenting are right. Those who say the evidence falls short of showing that same-sex parenting is equivalent to opposite-sex parenting (or better, or worse) are also right.

    * * *

    That does not say that, “while the evidence supporting same-sex parents was inconclusive, there was no support for the claims of same-sex parenting inferiority.”

    The social scientific consensus is that the intact marital family is the standard by which all other forms of families are compared. The other forms — including those which resemble “same-sex parenting” in important ways — fall short.

    If those who would like to encourage “same-sex parenting” have more than ideology to stand on, then, point to the empirical evidence.

    Note that Meezan and Rauch sorted through a pile of studies and found only 4 which, in the aggregate, studied just 1000 children.

    That’s paltry compared with the extensive research on children in homes other than those featuring “same-sex parenting”. The consensus is strong. The dissent comes mainly from family deconstructionists, themselves advocates of knocking marriage from its special status. The dissent has now added many who endorse the SSM merger with marriage.

    As Warren observed, correctly in my opinion,

    –> Same-sex adoption of special needs kids should be distinguished from use of reproductive technologies to create kids without hope of knowing a parent of one gender.

    In my comments I’ve distinguished those scenarios, based on much more than mere opinion. These are not baseless assertions.

    There is something common to both second-parent adoption and the 3rd party procreation. The pre-requisite of parental relinquishment. That is the inverse of the gold standard: the intact marital family.

    That pre-requisite is intrinsic to any double-dad or double-mom scenariio — with or without a same-sex union being registered with the government.

    The presumption of paternity cannot be based on whatever shared sexual behavior that two men or two women might choose to partake in. Perhaps a different kind of presumption might be concoted based on intent to segregate fatherhood from motherhood. But that would be anti-marriage and would not start with justice for the children.

    The share of children in same-sex households who were attained by alternative means, such as adoption and 3rd party procreation and even fosterparenting, is small. Probably 85% or more of these children came from the procreative rrelationships their parents had prior to the formation of their same-sex households. Gary Gates of the Urban Institute estimates that abougt 4% of the children were adopted (and second-parent adoption would pad that estimate). The rest, about 1-2% were attained via 3rd party procreation methods.

    So, to do the randomized longitudinal studies of that 1-2% would be very difficult. The study of the 4% adopted might be easier but the comparison with other family forms must take into account the various ways that children become available for adoption.

    Meanwhile, the vast majority of these children reside in homes with “blended” features that resemble step-families and single-parent scenarios (including those in which mom is helped by grandmom to raise the children).

    There are also the differences that arise from cohabitation that is registered with the government, cohabitation that is not registered, and the type of arrangement in which same-sex partners maintain two residents. Throw into all of this the very common history of current same-sex householders to have been previously married, and you need to take into account factors common to divorce.

    We have lots of data on divorce, cohabitation, adoption, blended households, and so forth. Ask yourself: which of these alternative forms of family formation resembles the typical “same-sex parenting” scenario less than the intact marital home? And how significant a difference is it, in terms of the criteria being measured in studies of children?

  • Chairm

    Jayhuck, are you making that claim based on comparing 1) intact marital homes with 2) same-sex parenting where children have been attained via ARTs/IVF (i.e. 3rd party procreation methods)?

    If not, please state the apples to apples comparison you can point to when making your assertions about the empirical data. Please be precise.

    Please state the number of children who have participated in the particular studies of outcomes for children that you depend on when making your repetitive assertion.

    * * *

    Here are social scientific reviews of the available studies:

    Lerner and Nagai, “No Basis: What the Studies Don’t Tell Us About Same-Sex Parenting” (Marriage Law Project, 2001) http://marriagelaw.cua.edu/secure/No%20Basis.pdf

    Stacy and Biblarz, “(How) does the Sexual Orientation of Parents Matter?” American Sociological Review 66:159-183 (Apr. 2001)

    Wardle, “The Potential Impact of Homosexual Parenting on Children,” University of Illinois Law Review 1997:833-919

    * * *

    Also see this table –

    Children in Same Sex Households (2000)

    http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/2008/01/children-in-same-sex-households-2000.html

    * * *

    From The Marriage Law Project:

    QUOTE

    Robert Lerner and Althea Nagai have simply evaluated the studies themselves. They have asked: What are their hypotheses? How do they set about to prove them? What do they conclude? In formulating, executing and analyzing their research, do these studies get it right?

    The results are not pretty. Lerner and Nagai identified 49 empirical studies on the subject of same-sex parenting.* After going through them all, inch-by-inch, they found … nothing.

    [...]

    Take the time to see what Lerner and Nagai discovered about the same-sex parenting studies. These authors know a better or worse study when they see it, and they tell it like it is. Whether we like it or not, we are all in their debt.

    UNQUOTE

    Also see:

    Do Mothers and Fathers Matter?

    http://www.marriagedebate.com/pdf/MothersFathersMatter.pdf

    Demand for Same-Sex Marriage: Evidence from the United States, Canada, and Europe

    http://www.marriagedebate.com/pdf/imapp.demandforssm.pdf

  • Chairm

    –> how same-sex parents who obviously operate at a disadvantage are able to do such an excellent job of parenting

    You just raised the bar on the previous request for the studies you depend on.

    Excellence. And “obviously”. And “disadvantaged”. I don’t think you know the subject material if these are the descriptors you use in the context of this discussion.

    Perhaps you imagine that “same-sex parenting” brushes aside the similarities with step-parenting and so forth. Or perhaps you think that the exception is the rule based on your own bias.

    But here, you need to be more precise in matching the available evidence to your newly qualified assertions. This is now the burden you have assumed.

    And, no, we are not talking about the bogus “8-10 million” children claimed upthread to be living in same-sex households.

    And, no, we are not talking about studies done for lesbian clients in divorce and custody cases. Nor those which compared lone lesbian mothers with lone non-lesbian mothers.

    And, no, focussing just on female same-sex parenting won’t suffice, based on what you have now claimed. You need to point to solid studies of male same-sex parenting.

    And, no, we are not talking about reviews and overviews of studies (such are not original studies) nor the political commentary and endorsements issued in statements by this or that organization.

    And, no, we are not talking about phantom studies that have somehow been missed by Meezan and Rauch and the rest of us. If you know of studies that have not been on our lists, then, please cite them so we can add them to our lists.

    No need to keep repeating your wishful assertions. Your message has been received. Now you need to back it up.

    You said you depend on science. Demonstrate that you do. These studies need to pass basic criteria that also match the significance and type of assertion you have made here.

  • Chairm

    And, to be fair, you also need to point to studies of children raised by same-sex parenting from infancy to adulthood. We have data on children raised by married couples and other forms of families. But not sufficient evidence to support your claims about same-sex parenting which more closely resemble the kinds of family types and scenarios that do indeed experience a shortfall.

    And if you have been reading carefully, no one here is claiming that each and every married home is “excellent” and obviously so. And no onehere has been claiming that all nonmarital scenarios are catestrophic. We are discussing family types and situations and optimal results for children.

    Perhaps you have misunderstood the basic subject itself.

  • R.K.

    Jayhuck: “Exactly Warren – If that is not what I said, that is definitely what I meant to say. It makes me wonder for what purpose RK posed such questions on this blog when we can’t answer them.”

    Quite obviously, that the answers to these questions relate to whether or not these studies are valid, and whether or not they tell us anything at all.

    Your answer to the questions is essentially, “Well, we here have no way of knowing or finding out, so let’s just assume that the authors of the studies dealt with these questions, and that the studies are valid”. Sorry, not good enough. With a little digging, people can find out about these things. Yes, ideally the researchers could tell us themselves. But there have also been those who have looked at these studies and found them flawed. (for example, Robert Lerner and AltheaNagai; also Steven Nock).

    In short, without answers to the questions I asked, and others, we have no basis for just dogmatically saying, “studies prove” and using that to dismiss everyone else.

  • R.K.

    Jayhawk,

    Do you, thus, see any reason not to accept Professor Nock’s or Professor Lerner’s and Nagai’s criticisms of the studies as valid? Or are you unaware of them? Are you also unaware that pro-SSM Professor Judith Stacey herself agreed that the studies can not be regarded as conclusive?

  • Ann

    Evan,

    Thanks for your patience in my response to #78943. I have gotten this thread about same sex marriage and the other thread about same sex parenting co-mingled at times. My comment on this particular thread regarding same sex marriage is based on my belief that if same gender couples or unmarried couples are to argue the merits of equality regarding receiving the same rights as married couples, then it should be left there – as an equal rights issue, not a marriage issue. My experience has been that it is argued more as a moral issue demanding acceptance. That argument has not worked, nor will it ever work. My additional comments regarding how it is presented by those who endorse it can either garner support for their thoughtful and intelligent presentation or reduce support if it is presented in a coercive manner. No matter what the advocates have to say, if people don’t like the manner in which they say it, then they won’t listen and will more than likely keep their original position on it. I do agree with you and Jose and Chairm point by point and appreciate all their comments on this.

    Regarding the parenting aspect of same gender couples or unmarried couples and various other familial settings – please read my other posts on this thread and the ones I have written on the same sex parenting thread – we concur almost point by point.

  • R.K.

    Big problem for the studies—because researchers are not allowed to study children without their parents’ permission, the question of whether or not the subjects who were permitted to participate differ from those that were not permitted to participate is valid. (You can’t determine anything about the latter if you are not allowed to study them, obviously). Also, because it is likely that same-sex couples raising kids always suspect that that may be the purpose of the study being requested (regardless of what the researchers tell them), the decision of whether or not to allow their children’s participation is likely to be influenced by whether or not they feel that their participation will produce more favorable results for the study. How to control for this problem without just randomly choosing kids and studying them without the consent of the “parents” is probably insurmountable.

  • Ann

    Evan,

    I’ve added a few words to this sentence for claification.

    My experience has been that it is argued by gay activists more as a moral issue demanding acceptance

  • R.K.

    Jawhuck,

    http://www.marriagewatch.org/publications/nobasis.pdf

    http://www.marriagewatch.org/Law/cases/Canada/ontario/halpern/aff_nock.pdf

    As for the argument that we should always assume that psychologists conducting studies are able to control for variants which may invalidate their studies, and that THEIR bias does not enter, well, read the aricle linked to below. For many years, people cited John Money’s research to argue that it had been proven that gender identity was just a social construct:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Reimer

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    I am going to close this thread soon because it is not serving well the purpose for which I started it. RK raised some excellent points about sampling which I will pursue in another thread soon. Mentioning RK does not mean I am ignoring the contributions of anyone. I appreciate the effort all of you have put into this thread. Let me close with a repeat of Meezan and Rauch’s statement about the current research:

    We believe that both sides of that argument are right, at least partially. The evidence provides a great deal of information about the particular families and children studied, and the children now number more than a thousand. They are doing about as well as children normally do. What the evidence does not provide, because of the methodological difficulties we outlined, is much knowledge about whether those studied are typical or atypical of the general population of children raised by gay and lesbian couples. We do not know how the normative child in a same-sex family compares with other children. To make the same point a little differently, those who say the evidence shows that many same-sex parents do an excellent job of parenting are right. Those who say the evidence falls short of showing that same-sex parenting is equivalent to opposite-sex parenting (or better, or worse) are also right.

    This seems clear. Many efforts to re-state this stretch the statement in ideological directions. Watch for part 3.

  • Evan

    Ann,

    You lifted a rock from my heart.

    Jayhuck,

    It’s not for lack of time or application that I did not review the literature on same-sex parenting here, but because I think it cannot tell us much right now. RK voiced some of my concerns with how much can science really resolve this issue in a way that will ensure adequately informed decision.

    I don’t think anyone doubts here the general parenting skills of fit same-sex partners who can probably score just as good as any other adults at taking care of children. I don’t think that inherently fit same-sex partners have some serious deficiencies that make them unfit for parenting. No, the problem is whether we are able to tell what effects this experience will have on children’s sense of and attitudes towards gender. This is what underlies this discussion, but we are shy to address it openly.

    So, let’s think for the best of children and disconnect our agenda from the back of the mind. If it could be demonstrated that same-sex parenting has measurable effects on a child’s growing up gendered environment would you say same-sex parents have a bias towards raising adopted children in a sex-atypical way? If that were true, do you think it is legitimate to have a child’s life choices nudged in a certain gender direction?

    Chairm,

    I don’t know about the quality of orphanage care in the US, but I doubt that professional attention can provide the same kind of loving or dedicated care that parents can provide. It’s one thing to have a schedule for doing that and quite another to be a child’s north, south, east and west in the world.

    I agree with your stance on Responsible Reproduction and your posts gave me some food for thought, especially on the artificial conception issue. I am of the same opinion that children should not be fabricated for parenting needs. Your posts show a certain rigour in legal issues, do you have a background in that area?

  • Ann

    I remember a show several years back about the children of same sex couples -I think Linda Elerbee was the host and it involved comments from the children. That might be a source to consider. If I remember correctly, and I am unsure about this, I believe Rosie O’Donnell’s little boy was on it and he said he really wished he had a dad. Either he said it or Rosie said he said it – I really cannot remember but it was not what they obviously thought he would say.

    Also, when Anna Nicole Smith passed away her clothes designer and his partner and daughter were being interviewed. When the reporter asked the 14 year old girl what her relationship was with Anna Nicole Smith, she said well, since I don’t have a mom and always wanted one, she (ANS) was like a mom to me. Again, this was not what they thought she would say and it caused obvious discomfort. For reference, I believe it was on Access Hollywood or Entertainment Tonight.

  • Ann

    Please note – my above comments about the tv shows are meant to only provide reference points about what children say both in a controlled environment and an uncontrolled one – both made similar comments.

  • ken

    Chairm said in post 78764:

    Regarding votes on state amendments that was mentioned above, here are a couple of charts that show the share of YES votes in the various states.

    I don’t know where you got the data for those charts but it doesn’t match the election data I got from CNN (and a couple of other sources).

    For example your chart claims in 2006 the % voting in favor of gay marriage bans was 67%, From the CNN Election result data, it was only 62.7%. Even excluding the AZ data (which I can see no valid reason for you to do that) the result would only be about 64.2% And averaging in the 2005 results (Texas and Kansas) still only gets you to 65%.

    Additionally, of all the data on votes I could find prior to 2003(2002,2000, 1998), the lowest margin was 67% to 33% (Nevada 2002). All of the others were by margins greater than 67%. So I’m curious how you arrived at your 63% figure.

    I stand by my original statement that polling and vote data indicate a trend towards greater support for same-sex marriage.

    If anyone wants any links to the data I used, I’ll post them. And for the record Chairm I am asking for the data you used to create those charts.

  • Ann

    Jayhuck,

    I certainly am not questioning the quality of their home life nor calling into question the character of either set of parents. My point was to just provide a reference both in a controlled and uncontrolled environment – one with prompting and the other one without any prompting – they both made similar comments. As to your question about why they would say such things – I personally believe it is innate in every boy and every girl to want a role model who they can relate to on a same gender level, who they can look up and aspire to, who they can be proud of, who they can learn from in ways the opposite sex can never fully provide, and who they can love and understand in a way that will satiate any longing they would otherwise have had without this parent. The same goes for children who want an opposite gender parent in the home with their same gender parent. I believe it is an innate desire of each child to have a loving mother and father co-parenting them. What they see on tv and how they see other people live can certainly lend to their desires. Children have curiosities about that which they don’t have or understand and will find ways to satiate that curiosity through their imagination – sometimes that is healthy and sometimes those thoughts can turn unhealthy. I truly believe social ills start when a child is deprived of two opposite gender parents, especially if it is done just to accommodate a parent or parents without consideration as to how it will affect the child.

  • Chairm

    Ken, There may be discrepancies with news reports of preliminary or incomplete counts of votes from secondary sources.

    I went to the primary sources — the official count per state government. The percentages were derived from the vote tallies as published by each state’s election division.

    Later this week I’ll post a table of the absolute numbers per state. The data has been triple checked and you could go to the primary sources to check again, if you doubt the accuracy after seeing the new table.

    Arizona is an outlier to the question that you and Jose were discussing. The vote result was a virtual deadheat so would not impact the aggregate percentage of Yes votes in any given period of time. In Arizona the No win was not an endorsement of the SSM merger as per your contention and Jose’s reply to it.

    * * *

    Jayjuck you have now scaled back you recent assertion.

    Now you say: “the studies have shown us that same-sex parents parent as well as opposite-sex parents”

    Earlier you said: “same-sex parents who obviously operate at a disadvantage are able to do such an excellent job of parenting”

    I emphasized your inflated claims by highlighting your addition of “obviously”, “excellent”, and “disadvantage”. You have not cited the evidence in studies that match your embellished assertions.

    Meanwhile we have loads of evidence on intact marital homes versus the alternatives, including those in which fatherhood and motherhood have been segregated or where the integration has been watered down.

    The “same-sex parenting” scenarios are not easily studied due to the problems arising from the issues I have already mentioned. This is basic stuff.

    I also reminded you that even in the 4 studies that Meevan and Rauch identified, only 1000 children were studied. But you have to also consider that this is a tiny share of a very tiny child propulation. And within it there are many different scenarios.

    You cannot reasonably here state that all such scenarios are absolutely equally “excellent”, equally “disadvantaged”, and that your assertions are “obviously” evident in the available data.

    The social scientific consensus on the marital home makes no such opposite claim about all both-sexed scenarios (see the step-families and the unwed cohabitations and the adoptive families) nor about all “heterosexual” parent scenarios (the full range of single parenting including where a mother raises her kids with the kids’ grandparent or grandparents).

    In short, you are making a blanket claim for “homosexuals” versus “heterosexuals” and framing it as “same-sex parenting” versus all other kinds of parenting.

    I noted that lesbian couples who have attained co-equal parental status in three-way parenting situations have agreed with courts that the father’s status and involvement is essential — their word and their argument. You seem to disagree for unstated reasons.

    * * *

    Evan, I’ve been involved in adoption and issues related to family law regarding children for many decades. I’ve some training in the law but I am not a pracising lawyer nor a legal scholar. The devolution of family law has been rapid and a mixed bag — but mostly the devolution has erred on the side of adults rather than children.

  • http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/ José Solano

    “Last year the executive board of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) joined the controversy over gay marriage by issuing a statement that declared

    ‘The results of more than a century of anthropological research on households, kinship relationships, and families, across cultures and through time, provide no support whatsoever for the view that either civilization or viable social orders depend upon marriage as an exclusively heterosexual institution.’

    Ideologically, I suppose this is what one has come to expect from the AAA: a reflexive affirmation of leftist pieties. But still, it is surprising to see a professional organization propound such a breathless lie. As an AAA member for some 25 years, I am embarrassed.”

    Peter Wood, Professor of Anthropology, Boston University and provost elect at King’s College.

    See complete article at http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/wood200504260810.asp

  • Ann

    R.K.

    Your questions certainly put into question the validity of the studies that have been conducted. If we can formulate a study with efficacy and integrity, what age groups would be targeted and at what intervals?

  • Chairm

    –> the works of Stan Kurtz on Civil Unions in Scandinavian countries – whose work has been shown to be both misleading and biased?

    You must be thinking of a differnt Stan Kurtz.

    That or you depend on misrepresentations of Stanley Kurtz’s writings about marriage in Scandianvia (and The Netherlands).

    His work remains unrefuted by his openly biased critics.

    http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/search/label/Stanley%20Kurtz

    http://defendmarriageresources.blogspot.com/2007/02/stanley-kurtz-work.html

  • jag

    Ann -

    “If I remember correctly, and I am unsure about this, I believe Rosie O’Donnell’s little boy was on it and he said he really wished he had a dad.”

    Well, if you asked that same boy, I bet he really wished he had a new toy race car, a boat, etc….they may also wish they had a different mom or different dad, etc… Kids will say a lot of things if you ask them, and if you don’t…

    Research supports that kids are typically not reliable reporters, witnesses, easily led, etc…check out the research. My friend’s child recently told me that she had a dolphin in her back pocket after a trip to Seaworld.

    Ann, I am surprised at the hard line you have taken on this subject despite the lack of research that supports your perspective (that hetero couples are superior parents due to child outcome). Also, it would seem that you would then be against same-sex adoption, IVF, marriage, etc. I am quite surprised by this.

    You have a right to your opinion, although it seems contrary to your usual openness.

  • Ann

    Jag,

    I do not consider it a hard line at all and I do have a very open mind. My thoughts have been shaped by personal experiences and observations with others’ experiences and life experiences in general – I have no study, research, or science to refer you to, only what I know that I know that I know through life experiences with a great variety of people and circumstances. It has been an ongoing priority in my life to be involved with children from all backgrounds and circumstances and that has told me more than any research has ever done. I’m glad that the research you and others have referred to is positive and I am grateful for those children who have been in jeopardy to now have a loving home with caring parents but it will not change my mind about what is ultimately best for a child based on what I have seen and experienced. I also think when a child says they really wish they had a mom or a dad it is not the same thing as asking for a toy. One desire they will outgrow – the other one they will probably never outgrow.

  • R.K.

    Jayhawk,

    “I would agree – and I think Meezan and Rauch would agree too – No one has said these studies are conclusive”

    Yet you repeatedly refer to them as if to imply that they ARE conclusive.

    “I’m wondering why you are creating a separate thread with RK’s questions when we can’t answer them?”

    Forgive me, Jayhawk, but it sounds as if you are afraid that somebody can, and that if so, you don’t want to know. Wouldn’t you like to know? There have to be some who have studied the details of these studies more than you or I, and who may be able to post here.

    In any case, the criticism of all studies, whether they be of the numerous studies you cite, or of criticisms of the studies such as Nock’s, or Lerner and Nagai’s, is in the DETAILS of how they conducted the research, not in their associations. Associations may cast suspicion, but they alone do not invalidate, just as expertise alone does not validate.

    Ann,

    “If we can formulate a study with efficacy and integrity, what age groups would be targeted and at what intervals?”

    It’s a very good question, and I’m not the one to answer it, but for starters I would say that to guarantee that the sample of kids raised by SS couples be truly representative, some method would have to be devised whereby the couples would have absolutely no idea or suspicion of what the study was measuring, and whereby the children also had no suspicion about it as well.

    Also, adult children as well as teenage children would need to be studied, and far more than just whether or not they were homosexual or heterosexual, or whether they were “well adjusted”. (An example of things I’d want to determine: how secure were they in their friendships, that is, that their friendships were just friendships; was their sense of the difference between friendship and romantic attraction distinct or blurred; if opposite-sex attracted/married did they regard the same-sex friends of their spouse/romantic interest as threats; if heterosexual to what extent did they go or feel they had to go to “prove” their heterosexuality; just to name a few….not that all these issues may not seep into the general population as well if marriage is neuterized).

  • Eddy

    R.K.–

    “Jayhawk” would also be a great screen-name but our guy is Jayhuck. :-)

  • ken

    Chairm said in post 79136:

    Ken, There may be discrepancies with news reports of preliminary or incomplete counts of votes from secondary sources.

    I rechecked the 2006 results from the individual state data. the percentage voting “Yes” on banning same-sex marriage went from 62.6% (CNN data) to 61.9% (State data). I think the CNN data is accurate enough, however, I’ll await your data to see.

    Arizona is an outlier to the question that you and Jose were discussing. The vote result was a virtual deadheat so would not impact the aggregate percentage of Yes votes in any given period of time. In Arizona the No win was not an endorsement of the SSM merger as per your contention and Jose’s reply to it.

    My contention was that the percentage of people voting to support same-sex marriage bans was decreasing. The AZ data shows that it decreased enough to cause the amendment to fail. Of course it is relevant, and has a significant impact. Enough to move the percentage of all people voting to support bans on same-sex marriage in 2006 from 64% (w/o AZ results) to 62% (with AZ results).

  • R.K.

    “Absolutely RK – and I believe I left behind links that do criticize the details.”

    No, you didn’t. The links you posted were almost entirely ad hominem criticisms. Or guilt-by-association.

  • R.K.

    Jayhuck,

    I apologize for getting your name wrong.

  • Ann

    Also, adult children as well as teenage children would need to be studied

    R.K.,

    Thank you for your response. I think this would be imperative and tell a more accurate story than just studying children.

  • http://www.myspace.com/jayhuck2point0 jayhuck

    BTW – that abstract is from the University of California Press – Caliber

  • Chairm

    Ken,

    Re the charts of amendment votes. My charts are accurate. Your comment uses an example that is also accurate. But my charts cover more than what you have emphasized.

    * * *

    Each state has its own amendment and its own vote on that amendment. One of my charts shows the share of Yes votes per state.

    It also shows the average Yes Share in a give period of time. That is, each state produced a Yes Share. Take together, these shares produce an average during a given period of time.

    That chart does not roll all votes together into a single composite tally, as you have done. Such a tally would not produce an average Yes Share.

    * * *

    The other chart displays a comparison of 1) the average Yes Share (of all states holding marriage votes during a given period of time) with 2) the share of yes votes, in the aggregate, for all state votes, during the same period of time.

    It is the latter that you have described in your comment.

    For example, pre-2003 average was 67%; the aggregate Yes vote was 63%. You pointed to the aggregate Yes vote.

    The 2004 average was 71%; the aggregate Yes vote was 67%. The 2005-06 average was 67%; the aggregate yes vote was 68%. The 1993-2006 average was 69%; the aggregate yes vote was 67%.

    * * *

    Amendments, as you know, are state-by-state affairs which necessarily effect one state constitution (or one state’s statutory law) at-a-time. It is legitimate to compare the yes share on a state-by-state basis.

    http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/2008/01/yes-vote-by-state-1993-to-2006.html

    It is also valid to compare the aggregate yes vote from one period of time to another period of time.

    http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/2008/01/share-of-yes-vote-on-state-marriage.html

    However, none of these votes were a test of pro-SSM support since some significant portion of voters who voted No did so while also supporting the status quo in statutory law which affirms marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

    Ken said: “I stand by my original statement that polling and vote data indicate a trend towards greater support for same-sex marriage.”

    Pre-vote polling data has routinely underestimated the support for marriage measures. In other words, the trend you detect is misleading because it has already proven to have overestimated 1) opposition to marriage measurs, 2) opposition to the man-woman criterion of marraige, and 3) support for SSM.

    To back up your claim about the trend, you’d need to show me the data. I know that the SSM campaign routinely misrepresents survey opinon results, especially during amendmetn campaigns, but this is partly based on surveys of adults rather than of likely voters. The measure of pro-SSM support, such as it is, is often inflated by the way the question is asked. That’s why we hold campaigns and votes rather than decide through opinion surveys.

    * * *

    –> The AZ data shows that it decreased enough to cause the amendment to fail.

    The SSM campaign in Arizona did not highlight gay marriage. It did not build a consensus in favor of SSM. So your contention is undermined by the specific campaign that worked to defeat the amendment. There is super majority support for the man-woman criterion of marriage there. The No campaign misrepresented the amendment as taking away benefits to elderly couples who have formed nonmarital arrangements. That made the difference among the elderly segment of the electorate — a segment in Arizona which routinely responds to opinon surveys in favor of the man-woman criterion.

    * * *

    If readers would like to see the actual numbers upon which my charts are based, that’s okay. Check at Opine Editorials, if this thread is closed soon by Warren. You’ll find the data is accurately reported.

  • jayhuck

    RK – No problems with the name :)

    There were some arguments against Lerner and Nagai on the Equality Maryland page:

    Read the article here

  • Chairm

    Also, Ken, the opinion surveys in Arizona showed the No side lose ground by the time the votes were counted.

    In 2005 the point spread favor the No side by 26 points. In August 2006 that was cut to 13 points. The actual vote saw the point spread reduced to 4 points in favor of the No side.

    A statewide Cronkite-Eight Poll of 962 registered voters who indicated that they cast a ballot on the Arizona marriage measure suggested that only 8% of the No support was actually based on support for SSM.

    Of those surveyed, 60% said they voted against the amendment. The actual result in the vote count was about 52% against the amendment. That indicates, again, the overestimation of the anti-amendment side.

    However, let’s take it at face value. Of the 60% who said they voted No, 30% said they did so because they thought that the amendment would deny benefits to unmarried domestic partners.

    This illustrates the impact of the No campaign. The No side did not grow support for SSM but rather succeded by misleading about 15% of the people who voted. (i.e. 30% x 52% No share of votes actually cast = 15% of votes cast).

    Most of that 15% would have supported the marriage amendment based on support for the man-woman criterion. Add that 15% to the Yes vote share and you get almost 64% (i.e. 15% + 48% = 64%).

    That is pretty much were opinion surveys had put disagreement with SSM in February 2004 which found that 62% believed that “marriage should only be allowed between a man and a woman or should people of the same sex be allowed to marry.” Only 28% disagreed with that statement. And since actual votes on amendments do not include a “no opinion” option, the point spread in this survey was 38 points (i.e. 69% – 31% = 38%).

    So the post-vote survey suggested that a tiny share (8%) of the people who voted No on the amendment actually supported SSM.

    And, a comparison with the pre-vote survey conducted around the time that the amendment was introduced, suggests that the pro-SSM opinion was almost 5 times higher in 2004 than in the vote of 2006.

    Also, comparing the surveys pre and post vote, it does indeed appear that the consensus in favor of the man-woman criterion, and disagreement with SSM, has remained in the range of 62% to 69%.

    http://www.azpbs.org/horizon/poll/2006/11-21-06.htm

  • Chairm

    –> Wouldn’t you expect some of them, even if flawed, to have come to a different conclusion?

    Jayhuck, given the flaws in the studies, I think you question rather undermines your primary assertion about the evidence on “same-sex parenting”.

    Also, the issue is not one of sexual orientation but of integration of fatherhood and motherhood. That is central to the comparison of marital homes with the various nonmarital alternatives. It is central, also, in comparison of low and high conflict marital homes. It is a very big stretch to wipe that aside when comparing marital homes with scenarios in which either mom or dad is excluded in favor of segregating motherhood and fatherhood.

    Suppose we put aside all concern about empirical data and just say, for argument sake, that the evidence today is neutral, at best.

    When you are not making “obviously excellent” type claims here, you cutback to a claim of no significant difference for outcomes for children.

    So forget the empirical evidence. What is the core of the relationship type that you have in mind when you talk of SSM?

    I ask because it remains unclear how SSM could bestow parental status in the way that the nature of marriage does.

    I ask becaue if society must treat all one-sex arrangements as if they were both-sexed, and vice-versa, then, based on your assertions about children, we must treat all unions of husband and wife as if they lacked either husbands or wives.

    That tosses away the marriage presumption of paternity for all couples who would have marital status in an SSM-merger with marriage recognition.

    This means treating segregation of fatherhood and motherhood as superior to the integration of fatherhood and motherhood. Afterall, if you want to abolish something, and replace it with something else, the substitution is supposedly superior.

    So, what is that substitution and how is it superior vis-a-vis children?

  • R.K.

    Jayhuck,

    “Wouldn’t you expect some of them, even if flawed, to have come to a different conclusion?”

    Depends on whether or not that different conclusion was really an option at all for those who conducted the studies.

    Actually, if in reality there was no significant difference, I’d expect a lot more variance in the studies if a significant difference favorable to heterosexuals were really an option at all. Were this truly the case, I’d expect then, by the law of averages and by the variations in studies, to see some showing a significant difference in FAVOR of SS parenting as well as some showing a significant difference in favor of OS parenting. The huge number of studies merely saying “no significant difference” is itself suspicious. It hints that they are probably looking for the null hypothesis, which is a bad way to conduct studies.

    If you think there’s no politics in the psychiatric community, or that it does not affect studies (or that it only affects the other side), I think you have a lot to learn about the real world.

    And so far none of the links you have given have attacked Lerner and Negai on the details. (And none have refuted Nock). They have merely quoted very general statements of others or essentially argued that the studies are no worse than other studies in the discipline. Now, if attacked on the specific criticisms, then they’d have a better case.

  • http://www.myspace.com/jayhuck2point0 jayhuck

    RK -

    I think I’m pretty familiar with the “world” RK :) When it comes to science though, I’ll err on the non-religious side any day, even though I am a person of faith. Religion and science have never made good bedfellows, and history shows us that religion likes to meddle in science to suit its own ends.

    You still haven’t responded to the fact that since Lerner and Nagai’s book was published in 2001 (I think their review was done even earlier) there have been other same-sex parenting studies and I can find no criticism by the researcher’s of these.

    I think if you re-read some of the criticisms of Lerner and Nagai, you will see that, at the very least, they show inconsistencies with what these “researchers” say is bad and then do themselves. Criticizing their methods and even their alleged hypocrisy, to me, IS criticizing the details

    I think that abstract I quoted above is also very interesting

    Marty,

    We don’t know for certain if the “flaws” that have been mentioned are indeed fatal or if ALL the studies have really been flawed – All we know for certain is that some researchers were paid by a very conservative organization to find fault with certain studies.

  • Ann

    the issue is not one of sexual orientation but of integration of fatherhood and motherhood

    Chairm,

    This is so important – I have been inadequately trying to convey this in my posts and appreciate you saying it in such a simple and understandable way. Sometimes no matter what the topic is, the blog is used for advocacy instead of discussion even when there is no need to.

  • Chairm

    –> there have been other same-sex parenting studies

    Please list these and precisely connect them to the type of assertions you have made in your advocacy of “same sex parenting”.

  • Chairm

    Ann, thanks for that.

    The presence of children, including adopted children, does not bestow marital status. On the other hand, enactment of SSM, or of civil union, would not establish the legal child-parent relationship that adoption would establish.

    Likewise with married step-moms and step-dads. Unless adoption is brought up to support the establishment of more than two legal parents per child, the subtopic of adopted children does not really serve the SSM argument. Rather it points to how the core of marriage is extrinsic to the one-sexed arrangement, homosexual or not.

    Adoption depends on parental relinquishment or loss. It is not procreation so it is not at the core of the social institution of marriage. It is nonethless closely related to the raising and education of children which flows directly from responsible procreation. And this is combined with integration of the sexes to form the core of the social institution of marriage.

    Adoption, as a social institution, is not the optimal nor the ideal but it is “good enough”; and adoptive parents are often heroic. But unless there are dire circumstances, society does not intervene to create motherless or fatherless children. Adoption is the noble contingency for children in need.

    Third party procreation is not done to save children in need. It is done to create children. And where the goal is to create children for homes that segregate fatherhood from motherhood, the practice is clearly extrinsic to the nature of marriage.

    Sometimes advocates of such a practice will ask, rather belligerently and disingenously, “are these children better off never existing?” That is just an attempt to have the wants of the adults hide behind the children. While the practice of 3rd party procreation is perhaps more benign than rape, we do not ask the same question of children conceived through assault. We do not punish the child for the adult behavior of the assaulter. This comparison is not perfect, else it would not be an analogy, however the point is that the focus should remain on the adult decisions and actions prior to the conception of the children.

    That’s the context for Responsible Procreation which is not just a roll in the hay, sorta speak. It is a coherent set of principes and practices that are made normative through the social institution of marriage. SSM argumentation attempts to bust all of this into a list of optional items on a cafeteria menu. That approach destroys the coherency of marriage and as a result undermines the institution’s power and relatively non-coercive influence on society across generations.

    The children of adoption, too, are intrinsically of value for their ownsake and are also very often heroic in their experience with parental relinquishment or loss. As with children born of 3rd party procreation, their experience needs to be fully taken into account when the pendulum swings too far toward the adultcentric view of family formation.

    And while social scientific methodology may shed some light on experiences of children, we must remember that parenting is not like making widgits. We have principles gained from millennia of accumulated human wisdom that may not be so easily measured in some of these flash studies done on a very tiny portion of a very tiny segment of a tiny subset of the child population.

  • Chairm

    –> Enough to move the percentage of all people voting to support bans on same-sex marriage in 2006 from 64% (w/o AZ results) to 62% (with AZ results).

    That is incorrect.

    As I said earlier, because the result was very nearly a deadheat, the vote split in Arizona would add about one-half of 1 percentage point to the No votes cast against all state amendments.

    Total votes cast on state amendments: 46,813,263

    Share of No votes: 34%

    Share of Yes votes: 66%

    Total votes minus the Arizona outlier: 48,310,250

    Share of No votes: 33.4%

    Share of Yes votes: 66.6%

    Difference to the Yes share: 0.6%

    As the post-vote Arizona opinion survey suggests, only 8% of the No vote in 2006 was pro-SSM.

    On that basis, you appear to be quibbling over less than 5/100th of one percentage point in your original contention that the vote indicates an increase in pro-SSM sentiment.

  • ken

    Chairm said in post 79396:

    –> Enough to move the percentage of all people voting to support bans on same-sex marriage in 2006 from 64% (w/o AZ results) to 62% (with AZ results).

    That is incorrect.

    You still haven’t provided your data. Here is what I got for the 2006 election (from the individual state elections boards):

    Yes No total

    AZ 721,489 775,498 1,496,987

    ID 282,386 163,384 445,770

    CO 855,206 699,030 1,554,236

    SC 830,081 234,464 1,064,545

    SD 172,242 160,173 332,415

    TN 1,419,434 327,536 1,746,970

    VA 1,328,537 999,687 2,328,224

    WI 1,264,310 862,924 2,127,234

    The total number of yes votes (2nd column) in 2006 was 6,873,685 divided by the total votes (4th column) 11,096,381 gives 61.9% If you exclude the 1st row (AZ) you get a Yes count of 6,152,196 divided by a total vote of 9,599,394 gives 64.1% If you have different data, I have yet to see it. I haven’t a clue how you got 48,310,250 votes cast on gay marriage ballot measures in 2006. Which is why I’m very curious to see your data.

  • R.K.

    Jayhuck,

    “Religion and science have never made good bedfellows, and history shows us that religion likes to meddle in science to suit its own ends”.

    Oh, and ideology does not? Really, let’s stop pretending that ideology does not exert its influence within the scientific community, and that it does not affect the “mainstream” views as well as the dissenters. Or that ideology is that different from religion.

    By the way, you talk a lot about Lerner and Nagai, but not about Steven Nock’s study.

    And how unbiased are the authors of all the studies you cite? Charlotte Patterson, for instance. Not that this invalidates their conclusions, but using your argument it would.

    “We don’t know for certain if the “flaws” that have been mentioned are indeed fatal….”

    They do make the conclusions a lot less reliable.

    I think that before we put such blind faith in anything labeled as science, we should learn more about their methods, and whether or not these really produce reliabe conclusions.

  • R.K.

    Jayhuck,

    First, I want to say how much I respect your civility in discussing these issues (which is often sorely lacking on other blogs).

    My point here really is, just as it is wrong for people without scientific training to assume they know better than the scientists, it is also wrong for people without scientific training to simply assert that “science shows” something based on what they’ve heard in sound bites or summaries (and the popular press is good at providing those without real analysis). No study is beyond refutation, if one knows what they are refuting and on what basis.

    That being said, let me point out another thing which puzzles me about the “no significant difference” conclusion.

    We are often told that one reason why we must have same-sex marriage, or at least why we must have sensitivity training at all grades so that children see same-sex coupling as just as normal as opposite-sex coupling, is that the children who are raised by same-sex couples are being stigmatized (even harrassed) by their peers for it, and that this stigmatizing is emotionally or psychologically harmful.

    So, my question is, why does this emotional or psychological harm from social stigmatization not show up in the studies of same-sex parenting which claim to show “no significant difference”? Wouldn’t this itself produce a “significant difference”?

    Now I know that many will argue that the effects of being raised by same-sex parents are different from the effects of stigmatization and harrassment, and thus that they can be separated and factored out. But this is like saying that the researchers already know exactly what the manifestations of each are, and thus that they already know the answer to what they say they are trying to determine. I don’t doubt that social harrassment and stigmatization of children raised by SS couples is considerable, and that it may have severe emotional or psychological effects. But how can any of us be sure of just how these effects may manifest themselves? The manifestations of these effects, whatever they may really be, cannot all be simply assumed to be the effects of one source rather than another.

    My argument is thus: If, in reality (a reality beyond our imperfect ability to determine), social stigmatization produced harmful psychological or emotional effects, and if same-sex parenting in itself produced none, in a truly honest and objective study, there would be significant differences found, with the noting that for some of these significant differences it could not be stated with certainty whether they were an effect of the social stigmatization, or an effect of same-sex parenting itself.

    That the studies don’t even state this much I find at least highly suspicious.

  • ken

    R. K. said in post 79651:

    We are often told that one reason why we must have same-sex marriage, or at least why we must have sensitivity training at all grades so that children see same-sex coupling as just as normal as opposite-sex coupling, is that the children who are raised by same-sex couples are being stigmatized (even harrassed) by their peers for it, and that this stigmatizing is emotionally or psychologically harmful.

    Who says this? I don’t think I’ve heard anyone use this specific reasoning you describe. I have heard a lot of orgs (GLSEN, PFLAG, etc) talk about anti-gay bullying and the need to address it. And I imagine some of those groups may addressed children of gay parents as part of the broader anti-bullying message. However, I’d be curious to know who is arguing about children of same-sex parents alone.

    So, my question is, why does this emotional or psychological harm from social stigmatization not show up in the studies of same-sex parenting which claim to show “no significant difference”? Wouldn’t this itself produce a “significant difference”?

    I can think of a few possibilities why such stigmatization doesn’t show up in the studies:

    a) same-sex parents are much better at helping their children deal with such stigmatization.

    b) it doesn’t occur

    c) the effects of the stigmatization show up in ways that aren’t measured by the surveys (ex. children of same-sex parents gravitate towards social groups that are less biased against gays; same-sex parent households tend to live in less biased communities etc).

    But how can any of us be sure of just how these effects [emotional/physical effects due to harassment/stigmatization] may manifest themselves?

    Depends on what level of certainty you are asking for. You can look at other studies on the effects of harassment and stigmatization and interpolate from past results. If you find differences, you can dig a little deeper into the case histories to attempt to isolate causes of those differences.

    That the studies don’t even state this much I find at least highly suspicious.

    How many studies involving same-sex parents have you actually read? Note, not some else’s interpretation, but the actual study?

  • http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/ José Solano

    You are certainly right R.K. that a claim has been made that children living in homes with homosexuals suffer emotional pain and humiliation in schools and that is one reason to provide staff at all grades with sensitivity training that justifies and promotes homosexual conduct. I’ve been to those “sensitivity training workshops” which are essentially indoctrination and propaganda sessions extolling the normalcy of homosexual relationships and parenting. In one school district that I worked at hundreds of books were recommended to children of all ages and placed in school libraries. At the same time any works that countered this propaganda were systematically censored. Every publication from NARTH was prohibited, as was Dr. Jeffery Satinover’s work, Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth.

    Now, as to why such emotional stress is not reported in the studies I can’t say. I know that at one of those propaganda sessions I attended four students identified as homosexuals demonstrated some very significant problems to me. I don’t know if they were living with homosexuals or not. One non-homosexual parent I spoke with said that the parents of the children had not given permission to have their children exhibited to staff.

    The very raison d’être for even writing such books as Johnny or Heather has two Mommies is to reduce the stress and embarrassment that such kids might be having, in addition to desensitizing other children to seeing any problem in homosexual behavior.

    It is also true that the claim is made that kids identified as homosexual suffer harassment from other students, nevertheless, in the high school that I worked at it was the kids identified as homosexuals and their clique that did all of the harassing, especially of teachers they didn’t like. Claims of homosexual students being harassed are used as a pretext to carry out massive indoctrination campaigns in schools when there are already policies in place in every school to deal with any form of harassment. But of course, they know quite well that the future social acceptance and affirmation of homosexual practices lies in the indoctrination of today’s youth.

  • jayhuck

    Jose,

    What gay couples, gay kids, gay adults, etc.. have always been asking for is equal treatment, understanding and a place at the table.

    How do conservatives spin this for their own agenda – They describe these things as “massive indoctrination campaigns”

    Future social acceptance doesn’t lie in indoctrination, it lies in people seeing both sides of this issue and asking: who is indoctrinating who?

  • Chairm

    Ken, in comment 79296, I said:

    –> If readers would like to see the actual numbers upon which my charts are based, that’s okay. Check at Opine Editorials, if this thread is closed soon by Warren. You’ll find the data is accurately reported.

    Did you look there?

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    oh goodie, we’ve now devolved into a justification for stigmatization.

    sigh

  • Chairm

    Ken,

    At some point during our exchanges we have each misundertood the other. I’ve erred and you’ve erred.

    So I’ll clarify.

    When you asked me where I got the data from, I said the primary sources. You then asked for the data itself even as you also referred to the primary sources (i.e. the states official results). I said I’d post the data at The Opine Editorials but you have returned to say you are still awaiting the data.

    I hope this irons out that particular wrinkle.

    We appear to have used the primary sources and the same numbers. These are available at The Opine Editorials and elsewhere.

  • Chairm

    Ken,

    In my comments I compared given periods of time. The pre-2003 period includes 5 states which held votes on marriage measures in the years 1998, 2000, and 2002.

    The average Yes share during that period of time: 67%.

    The Yes share of the aggregate count of votes in all all of these states: 63%.

    There were 13 states in the year 2004.

    The average Yes share: 71%.

    The Yes share of the aggregate: 67%.

    In the period 2005-2006 there were 10 states.

    The average Yes share: 67%.

    The Yes share of the aggregate: 68%.

    The outlier Arizona vote was split 48% Yes to 52% No.

    The 4% point spread would change the average Yes share from 67% to 66%. The additional number of votes cast in Arizona would change the 2005-2006 Yes share of the aggregate from 67% to 66%.

    Include it or not. The result in Arizona remains an outlier.

  • Chairm

    Ken,

    When Jose pointed to votes that ratified state amendments, you (in 78455) orginally said opinion polls indicated that,

    –> “While the majority still favors blocking same-sex marriage the percentage has been getting smaller and smaller.”

    You refer to “the majority”.

    If a national majority, then, there are several problems with that. Here are three.

    First, a national majority would not decide a state marriage vote.

    Second, national surveys don’t measure local support for state amendments.

    Third, disagreement with the SSM-merger can take different forms.

    Without an amendment, a state may have its own DOMA. Or its marriage statutes may already affirm the man-woman criterion. The local judiciary may have shown restraint by not intruding to impose SSM.

    These successes could dampen surveyed support for a state amendment. It could even dampen the Yes vote on such an amendment. That’s part of the No side’s argument, afterall.

    Fourth, if you are pointing a national tend, then you need to take into account the success of these other means of opposing the SSM-merger locally.

    Ratification of state amendments might cause the surveyed support for a federal amendment to go up or down. It is clear that disagreement with a federal amendment does not equate to support for the SSM-merger at the state level.

    That is important because you said, in 78533, that the marriage votes show the same thing as the opinion surveys.

    –> the margins of those votes are indeed getting smaller. They are following the same trend that the polls are showing.

    I think you are mistaken on two levels. But maybe I have misunderstood due to your wording.

    As you know, national surveys cannot be matched with a national vote since no national SSM vote has taken place. And a national survey does not measure local trends.

    That may be obvious, but I wanted to get it out of the way for the sake of clarity. You must mean that the margin in local polls and in local votes has gotten smaller, right?

    Your contention requires evidence of a trend in surveyed opinon for this or that state — combined with a matching trend on that state’s marriage vote.

    But each marriage vote has been unique. No state has had more than one marriage vote. And one such vote is a single data point.

    You can’t plot a trend in which the margin in a unique marriage vote has shrunk. I can’t plot such a trend to show it has grown.

    Sure, you could place the different state votes on a chart, with the lower Yes votes on the righthand side to suggest a downward trend, but I could string them together in the opposite way to show an upward trend.

    I don’t think you actually meant to say such a thing but that’s what your contention strongly suggests.

    Also, we can’t point to Alabama’s margin and say it somehow shrank Colorado’s margin, right?

    Each vote is a within-the-state affair. And since no state vote has been repeated, the one and only margin has not gotten smaller — not in Alabama and not in Colorado.

    On the other hand, opinion surveys during campaigns have tended to underestimate the support for marriage amendments. So much so that both sides prudently discount the No results in surveys.

    Taken together, the majorities in the range of marriage votes and the survey indicators duirng the campaigns show that the consensus is holding.

  • Chairm

    Ken,

    In 79247 your reworked your contention:

    –> [T]he percentage of people voting to support same-sex marriage bans was decreasing.

    Again, without a previous marriage vote in a state, there is no basis for that claim. However, there may be three states where such a claim may be tested.

    In California the electorate may get the opportunity to revisit the issue, but this time with a constitutional amendment rather than a plebiscite.

    In Oregon the civil union legislation may be put to a referendum; the legislation amounts to a localized merger of SSM with marriage which was rejected by the amendment vote.

    And then there is Arizona.

    In 79247, you said that,

    –> The AZ data shows that it [support for the amendment] decreased enough to cause the amendment to fail. Of course it is relevant, and has a significant impact. Enough to move the percentage of all people voting to support bans on same-sex marriage in 2006 from 64% (w/o AZ results) to 62% (with AZ results).

    Earlier I explained that this was not correct.

    First, the opinion surveys during that campaign suggest that the polled support for the No side diminished significantly. The Yes side did not shrink, it grew and came close to winning.

    Second, public opinion after the vote was no more pro-SSM than it had been two years earlier. There remains a super-majority in favor of affirming the man-woman criterion in the state constitution. They just need clarity on the issue of existing domestic partnership benefits.

    Third, only 8% of the people who said they had voted No in Arizona also said that “people of the same sex [should] be allowed to marry.”

    If I get your intended meaning, you have said that disagreement with state amendments (and perhaps also with a federal amendment) is on a downard trend. And, the implication is, that the support for the SSM-merger is on a matching upward trend.

    However, the surveyed opinion and the marriage votes, taken together or apart, do not support that contention.

    Yes, you might project into the distant future and express a hoped-for trajectory, from your vantage point, however, that’s not the same as what you original contended, nor your amended contention, nor even the generous reading of your intended meaning that I have described in this comment.

    The youthful opinion is softer than you might imagine. It has proven to be so on a variety of other social issues, such as divorce, and so I wouldn’t count your chickens until they’ve hatched.

    When I look ahead, I don’t assume the nonmarital trends will abate all on their own. That’s why I support the affirmation of the nature of marriage and oppose the SSM-merger.

  • Chairm

    Correction.

    When I said you were mistaken I meant the part were you said support for the Arizona marriage amendment had decreased.

    You are correct where you said the Yes share of the aggregate of the various state votes in 2006 had shifted by a couple of points.

    To wit:

    –> move the percentage of all people voting to support bans on same-sex marriage in 2006 from 64% (w/o AZ results) to 62% (with AZ results).

    However, it is reasonable to include the two states that hed votes in 2005. We both did somethig like that for the pre-2003 period — pre-Goodridge.

    The 2004 period was a presidential election year right on the heels of Goodridge. The 2005 votes were during primaries to select candidates for the 2006 elections. These latter votes came at a time when all other state high courts disagreed with Goodridge.

    If you look at the composite picture, as per the aggregate of votes during a given period, I don’t think it makes much sense to isolate the two 2005 votes from the rest of the 1993-2006 votes. But maybe you have good reason to do so?

    * * *

    Also I should correct myself. I got my upwards and downards confused in my previous comment. Here is the correction:

    –> If I get your intended meaning, you have said that agreement with state amendments (and perhaps also with a federal amendment) is on an downard trend. And, your implication is that the support for the SSM-merger is on a matching upward trend.

    [That is, you perceive this in the available evidence that we have been discussing, right?]

  • Chairm

    Now, if we take all of the results from marriage votes from 1993 to 2006, the support for marriage amendments has held very well.

    Average Yes share:

    1993-2006 average Yes share: 68% with Arizona or 69% without. In pre-2003 the average Yes share was: 67%.

    Yes share of the aggregate (i.e. total votes cast):

    1993-2006 Yes share of the aggregate in all marraige votes: 66% with Arizona or 67% without. In pre-2003 the Yes share of the aggregate was: 63%.

    * * *

    1. The average Yes share has remained steady over the past decade-plus.

    2. The Yes share of the aggregate vote has actually gone up.

    3. The Arizona result is an outlier for nonstatistical reasons. Statistically, its impact on the composite picture is not significant.

    [But in the context of how amendment campaigns have evolved, it is highly relevant; perhaps I should not have added confusion with the term, outlier, and instead made it clear I was using its figurative sense of the Arizona result being an odd bird, but an interesting bird all the same.]

    * * *

    Ken,

    I think the root of the problem with your misinterpretation of the available data is that you may be thinking that because some marriage votes have been closer than others, that this indicates a trend.

    It does not. For example, the Colorado margin would have just as tight in 2000 as it was in 2006. The Texas margin would have been just as large in 2005 as in 2006 or earlier.

    As I said earlier, comparing the average Yes share in marriage votes, in a given period of time, is legitimate. But it doesn’t tell the whole story, either.

    Taking the aggregate of all votes cast in the participating states is another legitmate way to take a measure of overall support for the man-woman criterion. But that can’t tell the whole story.

    But grouping marriage votes together based on relevant events does help paint the composite picture. As I said, we can look at the first group of votes and compare it with the latest group of votes.

    I’ve used two comparisons: 1) average Yes share and 2) share of Yes aggregate. And I’ve overlayed 3) the surveyed opinion, at the local levels, as well.

    The consistency is marked. To see this you do need to discount the surveyed support for the No side; and to further discount the No side to get a more accurate measure of the minority support for the SSM-merger.

    But would that consistency hold during the next 4-6 years? I don’t see the signs of iminent erosion — not in the marriage vote picture and not with the overlay of local opinion surveys.

    In fact, there appears to be sufficient support for a federal marriage amendment, under the right conditions.

  • jayhuck

    oh goodie, we’ve now devolved into a justification for stigmatization.

    Yeah – I know – LOL – I thought Warren said he was going to shut this thread down??????

  • http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/ José Solano

    Thank you Chairm for the excellent work you’ve done presenting the state marriage amendment data at the Opine Editorials. It’s there clearly for anyone to reference and interpret.

    What’s most important to recognize is that though in some states the yes votes was greater than in others, the margin of victory for marriage has always been overwhelming. Remember that Arizona defends marriage in its laws already so that there we other issues with the marriage amendment in that state.

    The homosexualists must pin their hope for overturning the principals of marriage on a massive indoctrination of youth in the educational system. They are working very hard at this, spending enormous sums of money so that in 50 years some imagine they will have succeeded.

    We know that in ancient Greece the indoctrination was so intense that almost all males during a certain period were involved in homosexual relationships and many engaged in pedophilia. So, we do have historical precedent for how impressionable youth and society overall can be swayed to justify and engage in all sorts of sexual activities. The justification of homosexual practices goes hand in hand with the increase in promiscuity even if there is a claim that allowing homosexual to “marry” would reduce their particular promiscuity. This may be true for a few homosexuals but the undermining of marriage should not be rationalized by an interest in reducing homosexual promiscuity. That’s a problem for homosexuals to control without undermining marriage.

    Today there are counterbalances to homosexualist indoctrination efforts and what we have to mainly watch out for is activist judges and legislators that fall under the influence of the powerful homosexualist lobbyists.

    John McCain’s web page states: “As president, John McCain would nominate judges who understand that the role of the Court is not to subvert the rights of the people by legislating from the bench. Critical to Constitutional balance is ensuring that, where state and local governments do act to preserve the traditional family, the Courts must not overstep their authority and thwart the Constitutional right of the people to decide this question.”

    It also states: “The family represents the foundation of Western Civilization and civil society and John McCain believes the institution of marriage is a union between one man and one woman. It is only this definition that sufficiently recognizes the vital and unique role played by mothers and fathers in the raising of children, and the role of the family in shaping, stabilizing, and strengthening communities and our nation.”

    I would add that it is the foundation of all humanity, not just Western Civilization.

  • ken

    Chairm said in post 79739:

    We appear to have used the primary sources and the same numbers. These are available at The Opine Editorials and elsewhere.

    I’m assuming you mean this graph here:

    Yes Votes

    Part of the discrepancy is that you are using the primary votes as well, while I was only looking at the general elections (however, you did miss the Nevada 2000 vote, your data is only for the Nevada 2002 vote). For the 2004 this makes little difference. However, for the votes prior to 2004, it makes a huge difference in 2000 when CA passed proposition 22 in March 2000. CA’s 7 million votes surpass all of the other votes combine and significantly skews the results. However, the 2004 and 2006 votes had a significant number of states voting on the issue and I believe do show a decline in support for banning same-sex marriage (and an increase in support for same-sex marriage although not equivalent to the declining support). I also acknowledge there are many problems with just looking at vote data (the skew caused by CA, different wording on different amendments etc). These problems are why I prefer to rely more on polling data.

    I still stand by my original assertion that support for same-sex marriage is increasing and that within 50 years it will be viewed as normal as opposite-sex marriage. Further, in 50 years those arguing against same-sex marriage will be viewed in the same way we currently view those who argued against inter-racial marriage 40-50 years ago.

    Finally, I’m sure there are people who disagree with my arguments. However this is the last I intend to post on this issue.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    Well, the thread just keeps on going and I thought I would see how long it went if allowed to die a natural death. It is now the most commented on thread ever but does show some signs of fatigue.

    It has taken several twists and turns and probably is long enough to be a book.

  • jag

    Chairm, Jose -

    It is really quite irrelevant how many individuals support equal marriage, statewide or nationally. Justice should not be contingent on public opinion…just imagine, if we would have had a vote on interracial marriage in 1967 (or today)…it would likely still be illegal.

    The courts (and the government at large I would argue) have a duty to uphold justice and work against discrimination of its citizens…even when the majority supports that discrimination.

  • Ann

    but does show some signs of fatigue.

    hey, how about USC winning the Super Bowl – Go Trojans!

  • Ann

    oops – the Rose Bowl!

  • Chairm

    Ken,

    –> the Nevada 2000 vote, your data is only for the Nevada 2002 vote

    That’s correct. I took the second confirming vote only. I forgot about that. Nevada is the one state that had two marriage votes.

    The total votes cast for Yes: 749,885

    For No: 344,650

    The Yes share: 69%

    –> CA’s 7 million votes surpass all of the other votes combine and significantly skews the results [for the pre-2003 aggregate]

    Not really.

    First, the average Yes share is based on ratio of Yes to No so the larger absolute number of votes cast in California doesn’t skew that comparison.

    Second, the share of Yes in the aggregate is not “skewed” against your contention. The margin was closer in California than in the smaller states so California contributed more No votes to the aggregate.

    –> the 2004 and 2006 votes had a significant number of states voting on the issue and I believe do show a decline in support for banning same-sex marriage

    These amendments are not “bans” on SSM. They affirm the man-woman criterion of marital status. But forming a one-sex nonmarital arrangement is certainly not prohibited.

    The way you have framed this, through our exchange, is misleading. But this sort of bias does show up in the way questions are asked in opinion surveys.

    No decline is shown based on the aggregate of marriage votes. Here is are the cumulative Yes share of the aggregate.

    Pre-2003: 63%

    Pre-2005: 66%

    Pre-2007: 67%

    The rolling average Yes share has also been steady.

    Pre-2003: 68%

    Pre-2005: 70%

    Pre-2007: 68%

    –> there are many problems with just looking at vote data [...] I prefer to rely more on polling data

    We agree (and it appears for similar reasons). But we have both looked at the composite picture and overlayed opinion survey results on a state-by-state basis, right?

    Even the No side has acknowledged 1) that a large portion of the No votes come from people who disagree with the SSM-merger and that 2) surveys during campaigns have significantly over-estimated the strength of the No side.

    –> I still stand by my original assertion that support for same-sex marriage is increasing and that within 50 years it will be viewed as normal as opposite-sex marriage. Further, in 50 years those arguing against same-sex marriage will be viewed in the same way we currently view those who argued against inter-racial marriage 40-50 years ago.

    Yes, that is the SSM campaign’s argument, in a nutshell, that the SSM-merger is inevitable and to disagree amounts to an act of bigotry. They youth will march over the old foggies.

    Remember Nikita Khrushchev punding his shoe on the podium back in 1965? He had a similar theme: “Whether you like it or not, history is on our side. We will bury you” He later clarified that he had invoked the communist maxim: “The proletariat is the undertaker of capitalism.”

    Some believed him then; many did not and neither did the leadership of this country. Things turned out rather better than the old bear had promised.

    Your conention has varied but in each version it has been mistaken on both points, as already demonstrated in this discussion.

  • Chairm

    JAG,

    –> The courts (and the government at large I would argue) have a duty to uphold justice and work against discrimination of its citizens…even when the majority supports that discrimination.

    Yes, but if you believe there is some intrinsic problem with majorities, then, on what basis should a panel of judges decide their cases?

    The Goodridge 4-3 majority depended on a very poorly constructed opinion written by Justice Marshall. Upthread I point out the problem with the attempt to modify common-law marriage in a state that has never had common-law marriage.

    The SSM campaign in Massachusetts demonstrates that it undermines self-governance on multiple levels. And that rests with the profoundy flawed assumption that the government owns the foundational social institution of civil society.

    Tell me which you would prefer. A People who have a government. Or a government that has a people?

    I know it may be difficult to side with the principles of self-governance when one’s reform project is at stake, and when one views a particular issue through the lens of identity politics, however, the popular votes that affirm the man-woman criterion of marriage are correct both in subtance and in process.

    That affirmation merely discriminates, justly, between marriage and nonmarriage.

    And it is this that the SSMers oppose. They’d rather that a tiny subset of nonmarriage be treated with preference over the rest of nonmarriage. To get from A to B they’d rather than the nature of marriage be sidelined so that two unlike arrangements would be treated as the same thing. This merger would show preference where preference is not due; it would demote marriage from its preferential status to a merely protective — even a barey tolerated — status in the eyes of the government.

    And, again, to get from A to B, the SSMers would change the marriage culture to villify those who stand for preferential treatment based on the core, the nature, the essence of the social institution that is recognized by the government. The legal recognition is merely the legal shadow of the real thing. So the SSM campaign attacks the real thing and, in so doing, makes the special status of marriage all the less sustainable in our culture.

    That is not a call for justice.

  • Chairm

    José, thanks. There are many charts and tables available at The Opine Editorials.

    http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/

    * * *

    Warren, this discussion has covered a lot of ground. I think it reflects how the marriage issue has matured in our society. Unlike some other places, were imposition of SSM has occured in a hurry and the defence of marriage has been cut short, the US system has many avenues for affirming the nature of marriage and preventing its imposition.

    Discussions like this one make it possible to present the accumulated evidence and the clarified principles at stake.

    Or, in the case of ‘same-sex parenting’ the persistent (and understandable) lack of conclusive evidence and the undermining of the principles at stake.

    I don’t think that SSM and ‘same sex parenting’ can be decided on emprical evidence alone. The same is true of marital parenting — with or without an SSM-merger.

  • jayhuck

    Jag,

    The courts (and the government at large I would argue) have a duty to uphold justice and work against discrimination of its citizens…even when the majority supports that discrimination.

    ABSOLUTELY!!!! Well said!

    Chairm,

    Tell me which you would prefer. A People who have a government. Or a government that has a people?

    I’ll let Jag answer this as well, but I would prefer a government, elected by the people, that protects and upholds justice and equality of all its citizens – and one that protects all from the tyranny of the majority when it comes to discrimination.

  • jayhuck

    Chairm,

    I don’t think that SSM and ’same sex parenting’ can be decided on emprical evidence alone. The same is true of marital parenting — with or without an SSM-merger.

    The other issue that no one seems to want to address is the fact that gay couples and gay parents are not going to go away – whether their marriages are recognized by the state or not, and society is going to have to decide if its better NOT to give these relationships benefits, or if it is, in the long run. Will it be better for society to encourage promiscuity in its ranks, or will it benefit more from having stable and longer-lasting relationships – whether you want to call this recognition “marriage” or not!

  • Chairm

    JAG,

    –> I would prefer a government, elected by the people, that protects and upholds justice and equality of all its citizens – and one that protects all from the tyranny of the majority when it comes to discrimination

    Is there any form of discrimination that you would deem to be just?

    Do you think it is unjust to distinguish between marriage and nonmarriage?

    If you would treat marriage as distinct from nonmarriage, then, you would need to identify what marriage actually is, and draw lines around its core so that it can be protected and preferred.

    What is the core, the nature, of the relationship type that you have in mind? Please, don’t circle back to the legal incidents of marital status. Identify the relationship type instead doing the reverse engineering thing.

    –> if its better NOT to give these relationships benefits

    Sure, but the SSM campaign and its argumentation is more radical than a demand for benefits based on actual need.

    –> Will it be better for society to encourage promiscuity in its ranks, or will it benefit more from having stable and longer-lasting relationships – whether you want to call this recognition “marriage” or not!

    This hints that, for you, the core of the relationship type is same-sex sexual behavior.

    Will that become enshrined in a legal requirement? If yes, will it be enforced, absolutely, or not at all? (I’d expect you would say no requirement and no enforcement, at all.)

    If the behavior occurs outside of government registeration, then, by SSM argumentation, it is not central to the relationship type. Will the law outlaw the behavior outside of its registrated form? (I’d expect you would say no.)

    Surely, SSMers have been claiming that long-lasting relationships occur among gay people with or without government registration. Now, it seems, you would make it the reason to regulate such relationships. Do you want the government to make promiscuity against the law? (I’d expect you’d say no.) Or to make monogamy mandatory? Transgressions would mean revocation of the license? (I’d expect you’d say no.)

    These are the sort of totalitarian tests that SSMers use against the centrality of procreation in marriage. The anti-promiscuity thing is a very poor imitation of the centrality of Responsible Procreation.

    The upshot is that SSM argumentation actually takes the sex out of the relationship type that would result from the SSM-merger. That is, the status would have zilch to do with monogamy, promiscuity, procreation, and so forth. Yet somehow the gay identity filter must be retained?

    If the existence of families in need of benefits is crux of your call for the SSM-merger, JAG, then you do not need to touch marriage, at all.

    And you do not need to narrowly make such benefits available on the basis of gay identity politics. There is a very wide range of nonmarital arrangements that are currently tolerated and which can, and often do, gain benefits from society — through the government but also through nongovernmental players that exist in civil society.

  • Chairm

    Also, on what basis would society seek to endorse, much less to encourage or to promote, same sex sexual behavior?

    How does government registration discourage promiscuity? Is this sort of government intrusion into private behavior really what you want to impose on the gay population — and on all of society?

    Can you demonstrate with emprical evidence that registration schemes have succeeded to significantly reduced pomiscuity?

    Remember the SSM campaign’s cry that the sky hasn’t fallen? Well, now you make a promise that promiscuity will be greatly reduced, if not all but eliminated, among a certain segment of the population. What progress has been made thusfar in, say Massachusetts or Canada or Holland?

    I doubt that a relationship status will serve very well as a promiscuity control program but if this is what you propose, then, please elaborate on it.

  • Ann

    Will it be better for society to encourage promiscuity in its ranks, or will it benefit more from having stable and longer-lasting relationships – whether you want to call this recognition “marriage” or not!

    Jayhuck,

    Society is not responsible for personal responsibility and personal decisions – if one wants to be promiscuous, they will be, and if they don’t, then they won’t. It is a personal decision based on morals and character, nothing else, including marriage.

  • http://www.myspace.com/jayhuck2point0 jayhuck

    Ann,

    Society is not responsible for personal responsibility and personal decisions – if one wants to be promiscuous, they will be, and if they don’t, then they won’t. It is a personal decision based on morals and character, nothing else, including marriage.

    If this is true, why have marriage benefits at all? Why have benefits that encourage people to remain together if these sorts of things aren’t needed? Let’s just do away with them because they can cost a good deal of money!

  • Ann

    If this is true, why have marriage benefits at all? Why have benefits that encourage people to remain together if these sorts of things aren’t needed? Let’s just do away with them because they can cost a good deal of money!

    Jayhuck,

    Promiscuity has nothing to do with marriage – it has everything to do with character and morals – please do not confuse the two. It is not a good or valid argument for same gender marriage.

  • http://www.myspace.com/jayhuck2point0 jayhuck

    Ann,

    I was strictly speaking about benefits that are supposedly there to keep a couple together – either they work or they don’t. Which is it?

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    I was strictly speaking about benefits that are supposedly there to keep a couple together – either they work or they don’t. Which is it?

    Thank you, Jayhuck.

    This is at the heart of the debate… yet it is so seldom presented.

    Do we as a culture wish to encourage same-sex attracted individuals to be in stable relationships or not.

    Sadly, many anti-gays truly oppose stability in relationships because then they believe it harder to encourage “change” or conformity to their faith’s sexual standards. Those in a committed happy long-term stable relationship are less likely to seek reorientation or conversion or “change” in whatever form that takes.

    And those who believe that ALL same-sex behavior or even identity results in the eternal damnation of the soul would prefer instability and a hope for “redemption”. Often various ex-gay ministries will pray for the misery of gay individuals so that “they may be saved”.

    Thus there is a conflict between that which is immediately good of the individual and society and that which is believed by anti-gays to be in the long-term good of the soul.

  • Chairm

    Jayhuck said,

    –> Why have benefits that encourage people to remain together if these sorts of things aren’t needed?

    So for you, the government benefits are an anti-promiscuity program?

    This is the best you can come up with? Bennies for same-sexed sexual behavior.

    And Timothy said,

    –> This is at the heart of the debate [...] Do we as a culture wish to encourage same-sex attracted individuals to be in stable relationships or not.

    Okay, so for you the main thing is stable relationships for same-sex attracted individuals.

    Are these sexualized relationships or is that part not intrinsic to the relationship type you have in mind?

  • http://www.myspace.com/jayhuck2point0 jayhuck

    Chairm,

    Bennies for same-sexed sexual behavior.

    LOL – No, that has nothing to do with what I was trying to say!

  • Chairm

    And to both Jayhuck and Timothy, what are the particular government benefits that do what you say the government should do?

  • Chairm

    Jayhuck, if same-sex sexual behavior has nothing to do with an anti-promiscuity program, then, what were you trying to say about promiscuity?

  • jag

    Chairm -

    “Yes, but if you believe there is some intrinsic problem with majorities, then, on what basis should a panel of judges decide their cases?”

    According to the law.

    As of now, when we talk about the Equal Rights Ammendment, that allows for individuals, regardless of sex, to be treated equally…we have to take this into account. If two women/or two men apply for a marriage license in most states, they are denied only on the basis of their gender. According to the law, It is the responsibility of the commonwealth, when violating the equal rights ammendment, to show that giving equal treatment would do harm to the commonwealth….otherwise, the law indicates that they should be treated equally.

    Majority opinion shifts with the zeitgeist of the times, is vulnerable to groupthink, and all sorts of error. How someone “feels,” should not be the basis of the distribution of rights.

    …but maybe I’m just not all warm and fuzzy like that.

    I just know that if we went by how the majority “feels,” there are many people who wouldn’t have rights today. For example, many might just vote that we shouldn’t have any muslim individuals in the country, etc…

    Do you really want to go down the road of legislating by majority opinion rather than rule of law?

  • jag

    Chairm -

    Sorry for the dual post…however, I thought you might find this interesting, as you are asking questions to Jayhuck and timothy…

    Homosexual behavior is as varied as heterosexual behavior.

    I know, it may seem shocking…but both in variety of acts, amount of promiscuity, etc..they vary. I don’t judge all heterosexual men on the behavior of fraternity boys – and I hope that we don’t judge all homosexuals by the behavior of a group either.

    You ask:

    “Also, on what basis would society seek to endorse, much less to encourage or to promote, same sex sexual behavior?”

    I would say on a couple of things that you may find surprisingly well-grounded.

    One, is that in many places, we allow same-sex couples to jointly adopt children. It would seem logical that in any family structure where two parents are related to the child, we would also want them to be legally related to each other. For family security, medical benefits, social security (if one parent dies), etc..

    Can you argue this?

    Secondly, my other reason is because of equal rights under the law for both men and women as citizens. This view is elaborated in my previous post.

    By joining two people of the same-sex, I would argue it is not an “endorsement” of any particular behavior (since behavior varies, and are often the same acts that heterosexuals perform – to be frank). The sexual behavior itself is varied, and so I do not see it as an endorsement of any particular “sexual behavior.”

    No state says to it’s citizens who are heterosexual before marriage “what sex acts do you perform?” And if they answer they are into bondage, blade play, air restriction, fisting, etc… No state denies them a license.

    It isn’t based on endorsement of sexual behavior…let’s get serious.

  • concerned

    JAG,

    We still have rule by how the majority “feel” or should I say “how the majority has been convinced to feel” by an agenda driven media that has decided one thing is good and another is bad. As long as all sides are being given an equal opportunity to speak their views without being ridiculed or bullied then I would agree with you. The only problem I see today is that more and more people are listening to what this media is saying without questioning its validity. People are also willing to have blind faith in science as the new religion of our time that has all the answers, therefore, they do not have to search or try to understand things for themselves. They seem to be more interested in what is happening with Brittney Spears or Dr. Phil.

  • Ann

    I was strictly speaking about benefits that are supposedly there to keep a couple together

    Jayhuck,

    Ok, you lost me – I thought you were saying that same gender marriage would stop someone from being promiscuous. I said that was an individual choice and decision one makes based on character and morals and it has nothing to do with being married or not. As to the benefits of being married versus unmarried, that is a value choice that each person and couple would have to weigh – I know it does not have anything to do with our individual choices regarding being stabe in our sexual activity versus being promiscuous.

  • jag

    Concerned -

    “The only problem I see today is that more and more people are listening to what this media is saying without questioning its validity.”

    I completely agree with you. Whether people are listening to Paris Hilton, the nightly news, a television show, a religious organization, a progressive social organization or their mother – people seem to have, largely, lost the ability to search for truth and blindly follow the lead of others. Deep, rigorous search for the honest truth on an individual level seems more and more rare….

    Great point that you brought about.

  • http://www.myspace.com/jayhuck2point0 jayhuck

    Ann,

    What I was trying to say is that the state provides benefits to couples. These benefits serve to encourage two people to remain together, and to even be monogamous. I apologize for confusing you.

    YES, it is an individual’s decision about how promiscuous they will be, but to suggest that the benefits certain couples get doesn’t encourage certain behavior is to ignore the purpose for them to be in place.

  • ken

    Ann said in post 79962:

    Promiscuity has nothing to do with marriage – it has everything to do with character and morals – please do not confuse the two.

    I, for one, take exception to the implication that promiscuous people are somehow immoral or lacking in character. Simply because some people don’t believe in having casual sex, does not give them the right to judge others who do enjoy such activities.

  • ken

    Chairm asked in post 80014:

    So for you, the government benefits are an anti-promiscuity program?

    Jayhuck was giving ONE example of a benefit of gay marriage. Which by the was I personally don’t care about.

    Civil marriage allows 2 people who care about each other to receive 1000s of government benefits, which can help their relationship to prosper and grow. Helping them to maintain a long-term stable relationship. Such relationships are good for those involved and for society as a whole.

    Are these sexualized relationships or is that part not intrinsic to the relationship type you have in mind?

    Why does that matter?

  • jag

    Chairm -

    To follow up on Ken’s comments, which I tend to agree with, I think that civil marriage gives stability to families. How? Well, as I’ve stated (and will be quick with), civil marriage allows two parents who are already related to a child, to be legally related to each other…and therefore, provide better to their families upon their demise (inheritance rights, social security, etc..).

    Secondly, civil marriages offer the couples, not only increased benefits, but increased responsibility in their relationships. They automatically gain status as a family in their ability to make medical decisions for the other, visit them in the hospital, and have no difficulty even in small everyday things (gym memberships, etc..) which serve to reinforce the couple in the melding of their lives. In the worst case scenario…If you leave, you also would have increased responsibility…you don’t just walk out the door – you have spousal support to think of, rules for the distribution of common items, etc..

    You asked:

    “Are these sexualized relationships or is that part not intrinsic to the relationship type you have in mind?”

    I think we have to hold them to the same standards we hold heterosexual marriages. Do we ask if they are sexual? Must they be? I think your answers to those questions will guide you.

    Chairm, I think the thing that might benefit you, is thinking of this from the perspective of “any” couple. Many same-sex couples live lives virtually indistinguishable from your own. Some are young, childless and in love and want to get married…others have been together for years and want children (or adopt) and want to be married to create a family, some may want to marry late in life primarily for companionship, etc…

    Aside from the gender of the parties, what do you think the differences are between a same-sex couple who would like to be married, and an opposite-sexed one?

  • Chairm

    JAG,

    I asked about decision-making. You objected to majorities. And now you say that you object to “majority opinion”.

    But even on high courts, the majority opinion decides, right? I gave the example of the slim Goodridge opinion of 4 against 3.

    But you say you object to a show of hands as the basis for deciding.

    * * *

    Note that, since the Goodridge ipinion, not one state high court has agreed with your claim of sex inequality. There is a clear majority of high court opinions (each a majority opinion) that, taken together, stand against your biased view of sex equality.

    So it turns out that a show of hands is not the basis for deciding, according to you.

    What is the basis, then?

    Return to Goodridge and explain how sex equality was used in the majority opinion. If this is what you stand on, in principle, then, you ought to know what Marshall wrote in her opinion.

    * * *

    But go back to process, which I supsect is what you are really trying to highlight. Let’s talk about your principles and how that fits with the principles of republican government.

    Do you think it legitimate to subordinate statutory law to common law (i.e. judge-made law)?

    Do you disagree that each word and phrase of the constitution has meaning?

    Do you think it legitimate to declare that part of the state constitution renders another part “unconstitutional”?

    How is a constitution amended, JAG?

    If you claim it is accomplished by one kind of majority opinion but not another, then, would you be pointing to the majority in the amending process or to the majority in judge-made law?

    * * *

    By your reasoning, public opinion is irrelevant. So do you eschew the weight of majority opinion as expressed even in those surveys that Ken has promised will eventually show the SSM-merger to be popular?

  • Chairm

    JAG

    –>Majority opinion shifts with the zeitgeist of the times, is vulnerable to groupthink, and all sorts of error. How someone “feels,” should not be the basis of the distribution of rights. [...] Do you really want to go down the road of legislating by majority opinion rather than rule of law?

    I believe the People have a government, not the other way around.

    Do you believe the contrary?

    I think that you mistake majority opinion as standing against constitutional rights. This is a false dilemma. The ratification of constitutions, and of amendments, shows that republican government trusts the will of the People and requires that the consent of the governed be established — and maintained.

    You claim a right that does not exist while eliding the fact of a iberty that does exist without the SSM-merger.

    To form a nonmarital arrangement (homosexual or not, same-sexed or not) is a liberty exercised, not a right denied.

    As for groupthink, that is the blood and guts of identity politics. And gay identity politics happens to be the core of the proposed SSM-merger.

  • Chairm

    JAG

    –> we allow same-sex couples to jointly adopt children.

    Is this your claim that adoption is the core of the relationship type you have in mind? Not same-sex sexual behavior.

    Adoption does not bestow marital status to both-sexed combinations of people.

    According to SSM argumentation, marriage is adultcentric.

    Besides, as the step-family demonstrates, a woman’s second husband does not automatically become the adoptive father of her former husband’s children. For adoption the prequisite is parental relinquishment (or loss) followed by a government intervention to decree the parental status of the 2nd husband who steps-in as the step-father.

    Step-parent adoption is based on marital status. However, a single unmarried individual can adopt. And, in many places, the female partner of a mother, or the male partner of a father, may adopt via “second-parent adoption”. That does not depend on marital status. But it does depend on parental relinqusihment (or loss) and a subsequent government intervention.

    Unlike the conjugal relationship, whereby the husband is presumed to faher of his wife’s children, born during their union as husband and wife, the marriage presumption of paternity cannot apply to two men nor to two women.

    Some other presumption or doctrine of parentage might be concocted, but it woud not be based on same-sex sexual behavior.

    So, in sum, if you point to adoption to justify the SSM-merger, you point outside of the nature of marriage and towards something else. And that something else, at least in terms of adoption, is NOT gay identity and is NOT homosexual sexual behavior.

  • Chairm

    JAG

    –> No state says to it’s citizens who are heterosexual before marriage “what sex acts do you perform?” [...] It isn’t based on endorsement of sexual behavior…let’s get serious.

    I asked a serious question. You made an effort but I don’t think you quite reached that question. I’ll rephrase.

    The core of the relationship type you have in mind is not remotely based on sexual behavior. What is the core, then?

    Society — or our culture (as someone above put it) — needs to identify the thing that is being accorded legal incidents and government benefits.

    If not sexual behavior, then, what is the core of SSM? Draw the lines around it so that it can be identified for what it actually is, in your viewpoint.

  • jag

    Chairm -

    You make a number of errors here:

    You see the opinion of a “majority” of judges as being the same as the “majority” of citizens. Let’s talk about the differences, briefly.

    One, is that the group of judges is an appointed or elected group that is placed there because of their expertise in law – which the general population does not have.

    These individuals spend time deliberating, often, with other experts (often each other), doing independent research, and coming to conclusions based on that knowledge.

    Let’s look at the difference in outcomes that history would have offered if the people would have voted. If we would have taken a national vote on interracial marriage in 1967…we wouldn’t have it today. Because of judges, who understood that law is not bound to public opinion…we do. This is one example.

    Most of the major social issues in our time have been decided on by the courts, not the people. It was not the people who decided on Brown v. Board of Education, ( the end of segregation), interracial marriage, abortion, etc…like the outcomes or not, the biggest events in history, and in law, have largely had the courts or government decide them – not the general public.

    You would love to change this pattern because the statistics weigh in your favor…as they have with many other social issues in the past. History is not on your side with this one, and I know that must really be frightening.

    I understand your panic, but hang in there – SSM won’t be as bad as you imagine. Heck, I think you’ll actually be defending it in a decade or so.

  • jag

    Chairm -

    As I have said to you many times, the basis of SSM is in gender equality – not children, adoption, not anything else. We have taken a stand as a country, and particularly with states that have Equal Rights Ammendments, that women and men are to be treated equally…and if not, the law states that it is the burden of the commonwealth to prove how extending those rights would be detrimental.

    Given that the only legal reason that two women cannot marry is because one applicant is a woman, their equal rights are violated. They do not have equal access to this institution solely because of their gender.

    It’s an easy argument, and a clear one. How might you refute this legally?

  • Chairm

    Ken

    –> Civil marriage allows 2 people who care about each other to receive 1000s of government benefits, which can help their relationship to prosper and grow.

    The 1000s benefits thing is a myth. It arose from a word count by someone at the GAO. Not all mentions found refer to benefits much less to government benefits.

    But I get your point: legal incidents are attached to marital status.

    I asked about which benefits, in particular, keep people together. You backed off from Jayhuck’s remarks and said that benefits “encourage”.

    That woud not pass the test that SSM argumentation forces on the centrality of procreation in marriage recognition.

    –> Such relationships are good for those involved and for society as a whole.

    That depends. Would you include the relationships of those who partake of multi-marriage in its various forms?

    And how would the SSM-merger distinguish between other nonmarital relationships that are good for those involved and for society as a whole?

    There is a much broader range of nonmarital arrangements than the tiny subset of those you might be thinking of in terms of SSM.

    We draw lines based on the nature of marriage so I am requesting that you explore how lines would be drawn based on the relationship type you have in mind.

    Thusfar, it seems that sexual behavior is not intrinsic to the type, and is not part of the line-drawing, but keeping people together is the primary concern of government, according to your comments.

    I think that the SSM-merger is unnecessary to meet the purposes you hope for government to adopt. The provision for designated beneficiaries has long-existed and is well utilized. If access and/or affordability are problems, that can be addressed without touching marriage and without enacting a relationship status, at law, that is gaycentric.

    If the core of the relationship type you have in mind is to replace the nature of marriage (sex integration combined with Responsible Procreation) then it must somehow be shown to be superior. Otherwise, it makes little sense to abolish the man-woman criterion for the sake of a vague gaycentric view of keeping people together.

  • http://www.myspace.com/jayhuck2point0 jayhuck

    Chairm,

    There are over 1,000 benefits that are bestowed on people who get married. A gay person who cannot get married will never be able to access this number of benefits, and to get even a small fraction of them will have to seek costly legal help. A straight couple, however, can go to a Justice of the Peace and get a marriage license for about $20.

    The issue here is equal access to those benefits that will most help out couples. I know many gay couples who could not afford the costly legal help that would be required to get even a tiny amount of these.

    I’m fine with calling the benefits something besides marriage, as long as gay couples have access to the same basic benefits – I know others feel differently, but please do not use the old and rather tired reasoning that beneficiaries is the only problem, or that gay couples can just seek legal help.

  • jayhuck

    Chairm,

    “Otherwise, it makes little sense to abolish the man-woman criterion for the sake of a vague gaycentric view of keeping people together.”

    Just in case you aren’t aware of this, the institution is already changing. I’m personally ok with civil unions – that to me is a good compromise, but I know gay people who feel differently.

  • Chairm

    JAG

    –> their expertise in law – which the general population does not have.

    And according to the judicial role, as per republican government, each judge is to use restraint.

    In fact, the framework of our form of self-governance becomes inoperable should one branch or the other — or The Peope — fail to exercise restraint.

    With the seperation of power, each branch is co-equal with the other branches. When The People are consulted, in direct and indirect processes, the consent of the governed guides decision-making.

    And when The People act to ratify their constitution, or to enact statutory additions or changes, or to review legislative measures, The People act as lawmakers directly.

    The framework does not treat the consent of the governed as superfluous. It does not treat direct votes as “mob rule” as some SSMers might put it and as your comments strongly imply. Rather, The People are the source of legitimate decision-making and the government is the servant.

    Your analogy with racism is an appeal to emotion, despite your claim that decision-making should be above that sort of thing. Do you really want to make this discussion an argument about anti-miscegenation and the identity politics that it was based on? Really?

    –> Most of the major social issues in our time have been decided on by the courts, not the people.

    Exageration. Huge exageration.

    –> History is not on your side with this one, and I know that must really be frightening. I understand your panic, but hang in there – SSM won’t be as bad as you imagine.

    Are you pounding your shoe on the keyboard?

    Heh.

  • Chairm

    JAG

    –> Given that the only legal reason that two women cannot marry is because one applicant is a woman, their equal rights are violated. [...] It’s an easy argument, and a clear one. How might you refute this legally?

    I don’t need to since the majority of state high courts have dones so already. Some have explicitly dismissed what you say is the winning claim.

    Restate, in your own words, the argument on sex equality that you think Justice Marshall wrote into the SJC’s majority opinion.

  • Chairm

    Jayhuck

    –> please do not use the old and rather tired reasoning that beneficiaries is the only problem, or that gay couples can just seek legal help.

    Others in favor the SSM-merger have used that, not I. You point to benefits and say that benefits decide what marriage actually is.

    You depend on the gay/straight dichotomy that is nonexistent in the marriage law.

    It is also nonexistent in the provision for designated beneficiaires. In Hawai, to give one example, people can simply pay a nominal fee — $15 I think — and register for a buhdle of benefits.

    Nonmarriage is not confused with marriage. But that’s what you are doing, Jayhuck. I’ve asked for you to clarify the relationship type and you keep returning to benefits.

    You have planted one foot, then, shuffled your other foot to pivote in circles.

  • Chairm

    Jayhuck

    –> Just in case you aren’t aware of this, the institution is already changing. I’m personally ok with civil unions – that to me is a good compromise, but I know gay people who feel differently.

    Okay, please draw the line around the core of civil union, the relationship type you have in mind.

    If it is a merger in all but name, it would still be a merger of nonmarriage and marriage; and the argument in its favor would still be an attack on the nature of marriage.

    No new relationship status, at law, is required. It is up to the would-be reformer to justify the new thing being sought.

  • ken

    Chairm said in post 80139:

    The 1000s benefits thing is a myth. It arose from a word count by someone at the GAO. Not all mentions found refer to benefits much less to government benefits.

    This is not a myth. The references did refer to various laws/benefits/rights/etc for people who are married. And those don’t include the state level benefits. However, I did word my statement poorly. I didn’t mean to imply that every married couple would be entitled to all 1000+ of them. For example some deal with immigration benefits, that would only apply if one of the couple was a foreign national. I actually doubt any couple would qualify for all 1000+.

    I asked about which benefits, in particular, keep people together. You backed off from Jayhuck’s remarks and said that benefits “encourage”.

    I’m sure different benefits apply differently to different couples. However, it is irrelevant which ones keep them together. what is relevant is that these are tangible rights being unjustly denied to a class of citizens.

    That depends. Would you include the relationships of those who partake of multi-marriage in its various forms?

    No, I have already addressed the polygamy issue before in this topic.

    And how would the SSM-merger distinguish between other nonmarital relationships that are good for those involved and for society as a whole?

    What relationships are you talking about?

    We draw lines based on the nature of marriage so I am requesting that you explore how lines would be drawn based on the relationship type you have in mind.

    No, you are drawing lines based on prejudice and bigotry towards gays. Those lines are going to be erased, just as the lines against other minorities have been.

    The provision for designated beneficiaries has long-existed and is well utilized.

    While many of the benefits can be obtained through other means, not all of them can be. For example, getting a special visa for a foreign born spouse. Further, for those benefits that can be obtained through other means the legal costs can range from 100s to 1000s of dollars. While a straight couple can get them all and more for the cost of a single marriage license ($20-$80 depending on the state.)

    What is the compelling state interest in denying gays the right to marriage? I.e. what is the harm that can be shown to occur if gays are granted marriage rights?

  • ken

    Chairm said in post 80148:

    Your analogy with racism is an appeal to emotion, despite your claim that decision-making should be above that sort of thing. Do you really want to make this discussion an argument about anti-miscegenation and the identity politics that it was based on? Really?

    Why not? There are significant parallels between the 2 cases. In fact, most of the arguments I’ve seen used against gay marriage were used to argue against inter-racial marriage.

    –> Most of the major social issues in our time have been decided on by the courts, not the people.

    Exageration. Huge exageration.

    No, this is not an exaggeration. Many of the Jim Crow laws were overturned by the courts.

    Since the Jim Crow laws were in fact enacted by the majority will, do you believe they were correct? Do you believe the courts were wrong to go against the will of the people and overturn them?

  • ken

    Chairm said in post 80150:

    –> Given that the only legal reason that two women cannot marry is because one applicant is a woman, their equal rights are violated. […] It’s an easy argument, and a clear one. How might you refute this legally?

    I don’t need to since the majority of state high courts have dones so already. Some have explicitly dismissed what you say is the winning claim.

    Really, well then can you excerpt part of a ruling showing this? While I haven’t read ALL of the state rulings against gay marriage, I have yet to see one that actually ruled it wasn’t sex discrimination. Of the rulings I am familiar with that did rule on the sex discrimination issue, they ruled that it was sex discrimination (HI, VT, MA). Of the other rulings I’m familiar with, the courts either went with a variant of “don’t mess with tradition” or “its a matter for the legislature” arguments.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    I understand your panic, but hang in there – SSM won’t be as bad as you imagine. Heck, I think you’ll actually be defending it in a decade or so.

    I think that you are absolutely correct. In 20 years everyone here will be pretending that they had ALWAYS been in favor of equality. Ya know, back in the 60′s the majority of white folk favored segregation. Yet have you ever met anyone who admitted to supporting discrimination?

    Ultimately this decision will be decided on whether the courts recognize gay people as a distintly separate class of persons with an immutable characteristic. Once it is determined that gay people are actually that, the boundaries that are set up to separate them and treat them with distain will not withstand judicial review. Perhaps that’s why anti-gays try so very very hard to argue that “change is possible” and “no one is born gay”.

    Laws, such as those being considered in Tennessee to disallow gay people the rights to adoption, which identify gay people as a class and set out to deny this class of persons the same rights as other citizens will be the first to go. Then those that pretend to be about other things (protecting marriage or the fragile sensitivities of heterosexual servicemen) will soon follow.

    It will be determined, and within my lifetime, that just as laws cannot be estabished for the purpose of disadvantaging Jews or blacks or women, so too cannot laws disadvantage gays. This is a very old principle in American thinking.

    It took a long time to realize that “all men” who were created equal included black men, and Jewish men, and the female sex of the species of man. That we will come to realize that it includes gay men is only a matter of time.

  • Chairm

    Ken

    –> it is irrelevant which ones keep them together. what is relevant is that these are tangible rights being unjustly denied to a class of citizens.

    No, which benefits do what is highly relevant because that’s the claim yu made as the basis for the relationship status you have in mind.

    To which class of citizens are you referring? There is no prohibition same-sex attracted individuals.

    I think you meant a class (i.e. type) of relationship, which goes to the relationship type you have in mind and not the benefits that might be associated with the union of husband and wife.

    Multi-marriage is a class of relationship you would exclude. But if the purpose is to keep people together, or to meet the needs of families, why the exclusion? It is not I who links SSM to polygamy, but your own comments which raise the issue to the fore.

    –> drawing lines based on prejudice and bigotry towards gays

    Not so. The nature of marriage is extrinsic to all one-sexed arrangements, gay or not. And there are both-sexed combinatons of people which are excluded based on 1) sex integration, 2) Responsible Procreation, and 3) these combined as a coherent whole. Do you say the lines are bigoted because of those exclusions, too?

    I think it is rather poor form, and a show of ignorance, to accuse someone of bigotry because they disagree with you on the SSM-merger.

    Identity politics takes different forms. In this instance, gay identity politics corrupts the public discourse about marriage.

    –> While many of the benefits can be obtained through other means, not all of them can be.

    Irrelevant.

    You point to nonmarriage and then demand all the legal incidents associated with marriage.

    It is not unjust to distinguish between marriage and nonmarriage and to show preference for the former even while showing tolerance and according protections to the latter.

    You are also mistaken about provision for designated beneficiaries. It is not so expensive. And, even if it were, so what?

    If your reform is really about meeting the needs of nonmarital arrangements, as your comments clearly indicate even if your rhetoric conflates nonmarriage with marriage, then, based on the relationship type you have in mind society might make access to protections more affordable.

    Hawai did so without an SSM-merger. And their solution is far more inclusive of nonmarital families than even SSM in Massachusetts.

    –> What is the compelling state interest in denying gays the right to marriage? I.e. what is the harm that can be shown to occur if gays are granted marriage rights?

    You don’t get to demand a reform and then fold your arms and say, Why Not? You have the burden to justify the special status you seek for a tiny subset of the nonmarital arrangements.

    Also, no man can become a husband without uniting with the woman who becomes his wife. There is no such thing as “gay marriage” and no such right to marry a person of the same sex. Your claim is null and void.

    However, to form a nonmarital arrangement, registered or not, homosexual or not, gay-identified or not, is a liberty exercised, not a right denied. That’s the plain fact.

    –> most of the arguments I’ve seen used against gay marriage were used to argue against inter-racial marriage.

    So what? You are making an appeal to emotion. That is manipulative and not enlightening.

    If you really want to turn this discussion into a comparison of the racist identify filter and the gay identify filter, just say so. I’ll explain in depth.

    –> Since the Jim Crow laws were in fact enacted by the majority will, do you believe they were correct? Do you believe the courts were wrong to go against the will of the people and overturn them?

    Do you think the Supreme Court was correct in the Dred Scott case?

    Are you deliberately disregarding the state high court decisions that favored, and refined, the very laws you say the court alone overturned? Are you blind to the many acts of individuals, andn of legislatures, that did far more to overturn the caste system than any judicial decision?

    Surely you are not so courtcentic in your view of government that you would wide aside the institutions of civil society that stand apart from that one branch of government above which you would place a special halo of infallibality.

    The racist filter was unjust. The gay identify filter, no less unjust.

  • R.K.

    If it is merely a matter of “equality” that we redefine marriage so that it is no longer between a man and a woman, why is it NOT a matter of equality that it also no longer be limited to two people (at least when all three or more parties agree), or that it no longer be prohibited between close relatives, or that the age limit be lifted, or that it no longer involve any assumption of a sexual relationship of any kind?

    Also, your argument from inevitability (itself a fallacious argument) is based on an assumption of the linearity of progress. Human events have not been so linear. Ever heard of the function whose graph goes up and then abruptly shoots down again?

  • Chairm

    Ken

    –> I have yet to see one that actually ruled it wasn’t sex discrimination.

    Please restate, in your own words, what Justice Marshall wrote the SJC’s majority opinion regarding sex equality.

    It is good that you acknowledge you are only partially informed about the other high court decisions. Those which have not imposed SSM. Those other than Goodlridge. And even that opinion you seem rather hesitant to invoke.

    It is also good that you acknowledge that the other courts deferred to the legislative branch.

    As did the Goodridge majority. But in Massachusetts the legislature did not change the marriage statutes.

    So you must return to the absurdity of a high court, in a state with one of the oldest republican constitutions, opining that common-law marriage subordinates the marriage statutes — and the constitution.

    How do you propose to defend the seperation of powers (central to judicial review) when the only high court to have imposed SSM did so by usurping the legislative power? And did so be sleight-of-hand?

    Sorry, Ken, it is very hard to take seriously your meandering thoughts. You zig and zag and make it very clear that for you the battle cry is “SSM right or wrong”.

    And it is wrong both in substance and in process.

    If SSMers could supply a much more coherent and plausible argument while respecting self-governance and showing more respect for the nature of marriage, then, okay, I could recognize the good faith effort.

    And if my viewpoint did not prevail, and a good pro-SSM argument and campaign did prevail, I’d have the satisfaction of knowing society consented and did so well-informed.

    But that’s not what is going on. And your comments exemplifying the profound flaws in SSM argumentation — how it attacks the nature of marriage, makes the special status of marriage less sustainable, and undermines the principles and the practices of self-governance.

    That’s a witch’s brew.

    It is what identity politics puts on the boil. In this instance, the version of such politics is gaycentric.

  • Ann

    I think it is rather poor form, and a show of ignorance, to accuse someone of bigotry because they disagree with you on the SSM-merger.

    Chairm,

    I agree with you on this – it seems to be a tactic that is referred to often on this blog.

  • Ann

    Chairm,

    I should have used the word “resorted” to rather than “referred” to in #80196. Please stay encouraged. You have written a lot of good things that are thought provoking and I appreciate all of the time and intelligence you have put into each post. Thank you.

  • Ann

    why is it NOT a matter of equality that it also no longer be limited to two people (at least when all three or more parties agree), or that it no longer be prohibited between close relatives, or that the age limit be lifted, or that it no longer involve any assumption of a sexual relationship of any kind?>/i>

    R.K.,

    This has always been my concern – I think the equal rights argument has merit, however, where is the line drawn and how is it justified or limited for these other situations? Wouldn’t it also call into question the validity of laws regarding adultry, child rape, and incest? How does the law say no to these situations and yes to same gender couples without there being contention for those who will claim equal rights for all?

  • Ann

    oops – I see that I did not apply all of Timothy’s good teaching on how to italicize correctly in my last post. The first paragraph should have been italicized and not the second one, which was my response.

  • Mary

    Ann,

    Consenting adults is the key issue. I don’t know how that might apply to incest ( I suspect incestuous marriages have occurred and still does in FLDS and other populations)

  • Ann

    Consenting adults is the key issue

    Mary,

    Yes, but how is the law going to reconcile itself to this regarding the issues of incest, child rape, poligamy, etc.?

  • Chairm

    Thank you, Ann. I am encouraged both by comments like yours.

    And encouraged also by the overall civility and level of articulation in the comments of those who disagree with me.

  • Chairm

    The plaintiffs in the Hawaii case referred to sex discrimination only in a footnote in their brief. It was NOT at the heart of their actual argument.

    To the surprise of the plaintiffs and just about everybody elsae, the Hawaii supreme court decided that its analysis of the constitution’s ERA raised the level of scrutiny such that the state carried the burden to justify the man-woman criterion. The high court did not impose SSM. It did not rule that the man-woman criterion was unconstitutional.

    Instead, it remanded the case for trial. The trial court favored SSM but that was appealed by the state. Before the appeal was heard, the citizens of Hawaii clarified for the court by reaffirming the man-woman criterion with ratification of the marriage amendment. The supreme court ruled that the sex discrimination issue had become moot.

    Note the important principle that one part of the constitution does not render another part “unconstitutional”.

    The Vermont supreme court decided in favor of an SSM-merger (localized) but the justices were not of one voice on the question of sex discrimination. The legislature enacted Civil Union exclusively for the same-sex category. This has not been deemed unconstitutional on the basis of sex some inequality of the sexes.

    The Massachussetts high court decided in favor of an SSM-merger (also localized) but the justices were divided on the question of sex discrimination. The majority opinon was very ambiguous on that question. Despite its proposed change to common law marriage, the court deferred to the legislature because only statutory marriage exists in Massachusetts.

    In her related advisory opinion on Civil Unon, Justice Marshall did not mention sex discrimination.

  • Chairm

    According to the Goodridge 4-3 majority, what is the single trait by which the marriage laws made the the same sex combo ineligible to marry?

    1. See first paragraph on page 11: the answer, according to Justice Marshall, is sexual orientation.

    2. See second paragraph on page 13: the answer, according to Justice Marshall, is the capacity for Responsible Procreation, misrepresented in by her with the phrase, “marriage is procreation”.

    Note that Marshall switches back and forth between the individual and the relationship type and never seems to settle on what she is trying to classify. At one point she talks of a “class of parents”. Later, in the last paragraph on page 15, she mentions the basis of Responsible Procreation (being raised by one’s married biological parents) only to leave it hanging like a gym sock on a shower rod.

    3. See last sentence on page 14: the answer, according to Justice Marshall, is sexual orientation.

    4. See first sentence on page 15: the answer, according to Justice Marshall, is nonmarital dependancy. But note that immediately Marshall narrows the claim by excluding other nonmarital arrangements.

    5. See first paragraph on page 17: the answer, according to Justice Marshall, is “a very real segment of the community”. How that is a trait in the marriage law, I dunno, unless she was euphemistically describing the “gay community” or somesuch. But there is no mention of community segments in the marriage statutes.

    So to sum-up thusfar: the single trait that the majority of justices identified varied from sexual orientation, capacity for Responsible Procreation, nonmarital dependancy, and being a member of a very real segment of the community.

    It appears to be a multi-headed “single trait”.

  • ken

    Chairm said in post 80189;

    No, which benefits do what is highly relevant because that’s the claim yu made as the basis for the relationship status you have in mind.

    No it isn’t. You mis-read what I said. Promoting stable long term relationships is the reason government is involved with the business of marriage. It is not specific to gay marriage but ALL and why marriage should be extended to gay couples as well.

    To which class of citizens are you referring? There is no prohibition same-sex attracted individuals.

    I’m referring to gay citizens. Gays are unjustly denied the right to marriage (and the ensuing benefits, privileges and responsibilities it brings) that straight citizens enjoy.

    The nature of marriage is extrinsic to all one-sexed arrangements, gay or not.

    No it isn’t. The “nature” of the marriage I’m talking about is the one where 2 people go into a clerks office, fill out some paperwork, pay a fee and are issued a valid Marriage License. Which they later sign in the presence of a government representative who also signs it and files it with the appropriate government office. After which point the couple is legally married and entitled to all the rights, benefits, privileges and responsibilities thereof. Nothing about gay couples would prevent them from entering into this legal marriage.

    Further, I’m saying that the conditions (the couple must be opposite sex – except in MA) that deny gays from doing this are just as bigoted as the condition that said the couple must be of the same race.

    –> While many of the benefits can be obtained through other means, not all of them can be.

    Irrelevant.

    why is it irrelevant that gays are denied benefits?

    You point to nonmarriage .

    No I don’t. I don’t even no what “nonmarriage” means, it doesn’t appear in any dictionary I have access to. I suspect it is another nonsense word you made up.

    You are also mistaken about provision for designated beneficiaries. It is not so expensive. And, even if it were, so what?

    I didn’t say designated beneficiaries. I said that to obtain the many (but not ALL) of the same legal rights as married couples, a gay couple would have to pay 100s to 1000s of dollars in legal fees. Now those amounts will vary from state to state, but they will still be considerably more than the cost of a marriage license.

    Hawai did so without an SSM-merger. And their solution is far more inclusive of nonmarital families than even SSM in Massachusetts.

    really, what is Hawaii’s solution? does it allow a couple, where one partner is a non-US citizen, legal standing to challenge US immigration law? Or federal tax law? somehow I doubt Hawaii’s solution is anywhere near as comprehensive as you claim it is. I would imagine Civil Unions would be more inclusive than whatever the Hawaii solution is.

    –> What is the compelling state interest in denying gays the right to marriage? I.e. what is the harm that can be shown to occur if gays are granted marriage rights?

    You don’t get to demand a reform and then fold your arms and say, Why Not? You have the burden to justify the special status you seek for a tiny subset of the nonmarital arrangements.

    You don’t appear to understand the “compelling state interest” concept. The US Supreme Court has ruled (several times) that in order for the government to deny rights to its citizens, the government must show how allowing the right would do significant harm and that there was no other way to prevent the harm than denying the right (a compelling state interest, or in the Loving v. Virginia decision, the Court called it a “rationale basis”).

    Thus, I was asking what the governments compelling state interest in denying the right of marriage to gay couples.

    If you really want to turn this discussion into a comparison of the racist identify filter and the gay identify filter, just say so. I’ll explain in depth.

    Explain away.

    Do you think the Supreme Court was correct in the Dred Scott case?

    Nope, I think it was a terrible decision on the part of the Supreme Court. And a black mark (sadly one of many) in American history. I also think the same about the Bowers v. Hardwick and Niam v. Niam decisions.

    Are you deliberately disregarding the state high court decisions that favored, and refined, the very laws you say the court alone overturned?

    I said “the courts” which includes the state courts as well.

    And there were multiple court decisions that overturned the Jim Crow laws (of which there were many).

    Are you blind to the many acts of individuals, andn of legislatures, that did far more to overturn the caste system than any judicial decision?

    No, I’m familiar with acts by individuals, groups and the federal legislature that fought against Jim Crow as well. I stand by my agreement with Jag that the courts decided most of the major social issues. However, I have never said they were infallible.

  • Chairm

    Yet look at the marriage statutes and put your finger on the test for sexual orientation. It does not exist.

    Blink your eyes and shake your head, then, search the marriage statutes for provisons that depend on the marriage presumption of paternity. It is there if your head is clear and your eyes are not blinkered.

    Next, ask yourself if distinguishing between marital and nonmarital is significant to the marriage statutes. It is, but ask yourself and think it through carefully. Marshall says its significance is enormous.

    Then look through the marriage statutes and point to the part where marriageability is determined by subdividing society into segments of community. It is not there. But look for yourself.

    Besides, the man-woman criterion stands for the integration of the sexes rather than the oppression or exclusion of one sex by the other sex. Equality of the sexes, within marriage, requires, at minimum, the inclusion of both man and woman.

    That confuses some SSMers because integration of the sexes is irrelevant to the sex-segregative basis for SSM. Like Responsible Procreation, sex integration occurs inside and outside of marriage anyway, they say, so this stuff is irrelevant to the government encouraging stability and keeping people together. What really matters is … well, who knows? It is not in the Goodridge opinion but maybe it is in the related advisory opinion on Civil Union.

  • Chairm

    Right, so what was Justice Marshall trying to classify?

    She returned to the question when she wrote her advisory opinion on Civil Union.

    Marshall reminded the Senate that,

    “The very nature and purpose of civil marriage [...] renders unconstitutional any attempt to ban all same-sex couples, as same-sex couples, from entering into civil marriage.”

    In both Goodridge and in the advisory, Marshall failed to state the nature of marriage such that the man-woman criterion was, as she repeatedly asserted, a “marriage ban”. But in the advisory, that is her starting place.

    Note: “same-sex couples, as same-sex couples”.

    And from there she perceived that Civil Union would, “Segregat[e] same-sex unions from opposite-sex unions”, but failed to explain how that segregation would manifest when Civil Union was explicitly an SSM-merger. Also, Civil Union would be a creature of the government, just as Marshall had claimed, without cause, marraige was supposed to be.

    That was no impediment to her declaration that, “The holding in Goodridge, by which we are bound, is that group classifications based on unsupportable distinctions [..] are invalid under the Massachusetts Constitution.”

    Okay, now rewind the tape.

    The marriage law (and the proposed civil union law) did not group people by sexual orientation. So what classifications was she talking about?

    The answer is: the same-sex category and the both-sex category.

    But in the same breath she referred to “homosexual conduct” which, as SSMers in this discussion have clearly stated, is not the core of the relationship type they have in mind when they talk of SSM.

    Then she switched from relationship type back to the individual: the homosexual person. She did so for the sake of invoking the specter of “invidious discrimination”. So she must mean that the classification was based on sexual orientation rather than on the same-sex/both-sex categories.

    Right?

    Kinda but not exactly.

  • Chairm

    Afterall, the individual does not engage in “homosexual conduct” alone, right? Or maybe there is some nuance that has gone unstated when she referred to “same-sex couples, as same-sex couples”. We can assume, for now, that she must mean to there is a trait that classifies the individual who engages in such conduct in a union of some kind. Apparently this conduct of the individual merits special attention.

    She went on to clarify the group classified: same-sex, largely homosexual, couples.

    So she advances from her starting place to the following: “same-sex couples, as same-sex couples”, but mainly homosexual individuals in unions with other homosexual individuals.

    For her the same-sex category is at issue because it is “largely homosexual” and the marriageable category cannot exclude the relationship type that is based on “homosexual conduct”.

    But, again, the marriage law (and the proposed civil union law) did not classify by sexual orientation nor by sexual conduct. Yet Marshall claimed that there was a “defined class” being discriminated against. That this class was a “disadvantaged group”.

  • Chairm

    Justice Marshall tipped her hat to the marriage deconstructionists when she said that it was not “constitutional to create a separate class of citizens by status discrimination”.

    She veiled her meaning.

    To wit: treating the unmarriageable combinatoins, as as unmarriagable combinations, is status discrimination.

    The broad category of relationship types which are ineligible to marry is not Marshall’s concern, however, for she is concerned, exclusively, with a certain subset: “Maintaining a second-class citizen status for same-sex couples by excluding them from the institution of civil marriage is the constitutional infirmity at issue.”

    Upthread Ann has asked about line-drawing based on whatever it is that SSMers have in mind when they think of “marriage”.

    I’ve explained that the basis for excluding both-sexed combinations is the esteem for, and the societal interest in, the nature of marraige.

    To remind: the nature of marriage, its core or essence, is universally 1) integration of the sexes, 2) contingency for Responsible Procreation, and 3) these combined as coherent whole.

    Read Justice Marshall’s opinions, supported by slim 4-3 majority vote on the SJC, and you will see her slice and dice the coherent whole into a bunch of bits and pieces lacking coherency. She runs from Responsible Procreation. She assumes that marriage is NOT both sexed — despite the man-woman criterion which stands for integration of the sexes — and therefore mischaracterizes the man-woman criterion as a “marriage ban” of some sort.

    Remember that at the start of her Goodridge opinion Marshall had declared, absurdly, that the government owns the foundational social institution of civil society. Marraige, she said, is created by the government. It is, she said, the sum of its legal incidents. She renamed marriage, “civil marriage” but meant “civil union”; yet in her advisory she objected to the legislators putting a label on the civil relationship type she had in mind all along.

    Let’s return to the conclusion in her advisory opinion on Civil Union.

    Justice Marshall attempted to classify something and, in so doing, hoped to disguise her disparagement of the nature of marriage and the state’s recognition of that nature. She offered nothing to fill the void she meant to leave behind.

    In her conclusion her viewpoint becomes a little more clear. Well, maybe.

    The single trait that she has finally circled round and has landed upon is not merely homosexual orientation nor is it homosexual conduct; the trait is broader than the distinguishing feature of the same-sex category (i.e. the lack of the other sex).

    The single trait that is objectionable to Justice Marshall is unmarriageability itself because it excludes and creates a second class status for some people. The distinction is presumed to be unsupportable.

    But ask a reasonable person if marital status maintains “an unconstitutional, inferior, and discriminatory status” for some people whose choice of partner is ineligible?

    The answer to the question is “No.”

  • ken

    R.K. asked in post 80191:

    If it is merely a matter of “equality” that we redefine marriage so that it is no longer between a man and a woman, why is it NOT a matter of equality that it also no longer be limited to two people (at least when all three or more parties agree),or that it no longer be prohibited between close relatives, or that the age limit be lifted, or that it no longer involve any assumption of a sexual relationship of any kind?

    The compelling state interest in banning incest(and thus incestuous marriages) is because of the potential for severe birth defects in children of such relations, as well as the likely abusive situations such relationships would indicate. For not letting children marry is to protect them.

    With regards to polygamy (which I’m sure I posted before, but I’ll go into more detail). There are many problems with polygamy. There is a potential for social unrest from men not able to obtain wives (ex. the situation in Jeffs FLDS Church were younger men were ejected before they could cause problems). In addition to that, our current legal system isn’t designed to hand polygamy.

    Take an example of a man with 2 wives. what is the legal relationship between the wives? If one of the wives decides to divorce does the other wife have any legal standing to contest the divorce? How would the property be divided? does the divorcing wife get 1/4 ? 1/3? 1/2?

    What if the husband were critically injured, which wife would make medical decisions regarding his care? what if the wives disagreed, how is it determined which wife will make the decisions?

    these are just a few of the legal problems that would arise from polygamous marriages. As I said before, I do not believe there is any way a fair, equitable system for polygamy could work. However, if someone could design one, I would consider it.

  • Mary

    Child rape is not a consenting adult. Incest may have consenting adults and so far that is illegal and so is polygamy. I don’t see what the law really can do against those things.

  • ken

    –> I have yet to see one that actually ruled it wasn’t sex discrimination.

    Please restate, in your own words, what Justice Marshall wrote the SJC’s majority opinion regarding sex equality.

    Not until YOU provide the excerpts from the State supreme court cases that said the man/woman bias was NOT sex discrimination. You claimed they existed in post 80177. And if you can’t support that claim, then I expect you to actual answer Jag’s question in post 80137, that you avoided by making a claim you couldn’t support.

  • ken

    Chairm said in post 80224:

    It did not rule that the man-woman criterion was unconstitutional.

    Yes it did. See my excerpt from the Hawaii opinion in post 78525. It ruled that the man-woman criterion was sex discrimination. However, it allowed the state the opportunity to provide a compelling state interest that would allow such discrimination and denial of rights. the state never provided that compelling state interest. Instead, it got an amendment passed declaring marriage as only being between a man and a woman.

  • Chairm

    Sure, but it remanded to trial to determine if it was unjust discrimination. So the supreme court never did rule on the constitutionality of the man-woman criterion.

    Note, as I said, that the court did not rule that part of its constitution was “unconstitutional”. The Massachusetts high court forgot that principle.

  • http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com op-ed

    Ken: The compelling state interest in banning incest(and thus incestuous marriages) is because of the potential for severe birth defects in children of such relations,…

    Did Ken just say that marriage is fundamentally procreative?

    I do not believe there is any way a fair, equitable system for polygamy could work.

    How does Jeff’s and Suzie’s and Ann’s marriage affect your marriage, Ken? If they’re happy with their relationship who cares whether you are?

  • Chairm

    Ken

    –> the potential for severe birth defects in children

    See the concern about Responsible Procreation.

    –> potential for social unrest from men not able to obtain wives

    See the concern for sex integration.

    –> what is the legal relationship between the wives? If one of the wives decides to divorce does the other wife have any legal standing to contest the divorce?

    The man’s first wife does not marry the man’s second wife. The man may divorce either one; and either one may divorce him.

    Remember, multi-marriage has long-existed in the world. Your questions are good but no true hindrance to a legal system such as ours.

    I’ve already mentioned the case in which a court bestowed co-equal parental status on three adults for one child. The father was not part of the female same-sex union; his connection to the women was through his child. The father was married to a third woman, and they had children too, and both families were lawfully connected through 1) half-siblings and 2) common parents.

    This tripartite parental status was unprecedent, even though family courts have dealt with all kinds of both-sex parenting situations and step-families and so forth.

    No, the female same-sex union was at the center of the case. And the court did not even raise a sweat in trotting around the hurdles you think are in the way. Now, this is not precisely multi-marriage, but it certainly oves the board pieces much closer, very much closer. The case was in Ontario and the judge who imposed SSM there had his hand in this tripartite parenting decision, as well.

    A similiar case was decided in Pennsylvania. It too had a female same-sex union at its center.

  • http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com op-ed

    Chairm: It [the Hawaii Supreme Court] did not rule that the man-woman criterion was unconstitutional.

    Ken: Yes it did. See my excerpt from the Hawaii opinion in post 78525.

    Ken’s excerpt in post 78525 in fact states:

    “HRS §572-1 is presumed to be unconstitutional (2) unless… ” [emphasis added]

    Ken, there is a difference between a finding and a presumption, as the unless clause demonstrates. Here the Hawaii Supreme Court is merely applying the definition of strict scrutiny to marriage. Even Goodridge refused to do that.

  • Chairm

    Ken

    –> State supreme court cases that said the man/woman bias was NOT sex discrimination.

    I don’t even need to go that far afield. Your made the original assertion about sex discrimination and state high courts. I’ve answered that mistaken assertion, tonight, upthread.

    In summary (but look upthread):

    1. The Hawaii supreme court did not rule that the man-woman criterion was unconstitutional. The simple path of the Baehr decision should make that very clear to you.

    2. In Vermont the majority of justices did not decided on the basis of sex discrimination. The Chief Justice explained that “the marriage laws are facially neutral [...] there is no discrete class subject to differential treatment solely on the basis of sex. The Civil Union excludes on the basis of sex and it has not been deemed unconstitutional.

    3. In Massachusetts the high court was very vague on the question of sex discrimination. It pointed to sexual orientation, homosexual conduct, and so forth, but not what you think would be central to the issue.

    Now if you don’t know how other high courts have decided on the constitutionality of the man-woman criterion, that’s unfortunate since no other state in the union has seen its high court impose SSM. And, please, don’t say you didn’t know that.

  • Chairm

    As for JAG’s question,

    –> Given that the only legal reason that two women cannot marry is because one applicant is a woman, their equal rights are violated. [...] It’s an easy argument, and a clear one. How might you refute this legally?

    Your premise, and your question, swallows the disputed facts.

    Couples, not lone individuals, enter the social institution of marriage. The government recognizes the institution and protects it by regulating its parameters. Some couples are eligible and others are not.

    The man-woman criterion stands for the integration of the sexes. The couple must have the capacity to consent to the nature of marriage.

    This entails the marriage presumption of paternity, for instance. That stands for the integration of fatherhood and motherhood; it stands for the set the of principles entailed in Responsible Procreation.

    This foundational social institution, like all such social institutions, is a coherent whole and is not merely the sum of the legal incidents that a government might provide. (Not all such incidents are strictly confined to marriage and many could be made more broadly accessible.) So when a couple enters marriage they need to understand what they are getting into.

    They are forming a conjugal relationship which provides the contingency for Responsible Procreation. Such contingency does not empower the government to make baby-making compulsory. It is a contingency that applies only to the both-sexed combination. No one-sex-short arrangement can consent to it.

    So this is marraige. And our legal system recognizes it. The legal shadow is not the thing that casts that shadow.

    To qualify for marriage, to be in the marriageable category, will depend on the particular protocols of a given society or culture. In our customs, traditions, and legal systems, we show preference for the nature of marriage when we draw lines to prohibit people who are too-closely related, who are already married, and who possess the capacity to consent to what marriage entails.

    The one-sex combo cannot consent to the sex integration nor to the contingency for Responsible Procreation.

    Such an ineligible combo is not necessarily gay identified or same-sex attracted or homosexually orientated. But all such variations of this combo are ineligible. And for much the same reason that many both-sex combos are ineligible.

    To answer your question directly: there is no right to marry a person of the same sex. Marriage entails no such right, by its very nature, its core, by what society esteems and recognizes when it delegates to state authorities the power to regulate the paramaters of that core.

    You wish to substitute marriage recognition with rrecognition of something else. That may be the greates thing since the invention of the wheel. But it ain’t marriage even if you would like the government to mislabel it as such.

    Such an alternative is nonmarriage. It is not marriage. It is in the category known as nonmarital. That is the meaning of nonmarriage. It is other than marriage.

    Heh.

    I have a question for JAG: Why should society treat all unions of husband and wife as if they lacked either husband or wife?

  • Chairm

    Typo correction: “and who do not possess the capacity to consent to what marriage entails.”

  • ken

    You post 80254 was NOT an answer to my question. Cite me a court case were a state supreme court made a ruling (with appropriate argument) that said opposite gender marriage restrictions is not discrimination based on sex.

    Note, this is NOT the same a a court that didn’t rule on the issue.

    In fact, rather than do that why don’t you just answer Jag’s question? Give the legal argument that it isn’t sex discrimination.

  • Chairm

    If anyone still wonders what is the harm in discarding the nature of marriage, well, that’s something you will need to ask yourself when it comes to sustaining a special status that your argument would gut of its core.

    If you have an alternative that you think is superior, then, put it forth. Going in cricles with legal incidents will get you noplace, fast or slow.

    Ken,

    You asked about Hawaii’s Reciprocal Beneficiaries.

    I did not say it was “comprehensive”. You misread. Please take note of the clarification so you can avoid inadvertently misrepresenting what I have said in my comments.

    It is merely a convenient bundling of what is already available through the provision of designated beneficiaries. It is not marriage and is decidedly not meant to be a form of marriage-lite or some version of an SSM-merger.

    That’s the point. Marriage is treated differently from nonmarriage. It is not unjust to do so. Of course, you may disagree just as it seems Justice Marshall apparently disagreed, in her own vieled way. See my comments above about her attempts to classify … something, everything, nothing.

    You asked about immigration. Well, if there is a true problem with the immigration law, go to the immigration law to supply a solution. Maybe you can make a good case for privileging one type of nonmarital relationship over the other types.

    The starting place, if you really want to claim a relationship status, at law, rather than protections, is to identify the core, the essentials, of the relationship type that the law would recognize.

    Is it sex-segregative? Is it based on homosexual sexual relations? Is it something else? Maybe it is more broad than gay identity, which would be a good thing, but it still needs to be identified as something other than the byproducts you are currently focussed on.

  • ken

    Chairm said in post 80277:

    Yet look at the marriage statutes and put your finger on the test for sexual orientation. It does not exist.

    The criteria that says a couple applying for a marriage license must be a man and a woman. That is the test for sexual orientation. It denies gay couples the marriage rights that are granted to straight couples.

    It is, but ask yourself and think it through carefully. Marshall says its significance is enormous.

    And she is correct. The rights given to marriage couples are significantly more than given to unmarried couples.

    Then look through the marriage statutes and point to the part where marriageability is determined by subdividing society into segments of community. It is not there. But look for yourself.

    I agree with you, whatever, “subdividing society ….” means. It isn’t there in the statutes. However, that isn’t the issue. The issue is gay couples are unjustly being denied the rights of marriage.

  • Chairm

    Ken, I don’t feel compelled to do your legwork for you. You made a mistaken assertion. Even the bit you quoted from Baehr shows what I said and contradicts what you said about it.

    I’ll quote it back to you:

    –> [W]e hold that sex is a “suspect category” for purposes of equal protection analysis [that the marriage law] is subject to the “strict scrutiny” test. It therefore follows, and we so hold, that [the man-woman criterion] is presumed to be unconstitutional

    I think that is where you may have stopped reading.

    It continues:

    –> unless[...] the State of Hawaii, can show that (a) the statute’s sex-based classification is justified by compelling state interests and (b) the statute is narrowly drawn to avoid unnecessary abridgments of the applicant couples’ constitutional rights.

    The supreme court did NOT rule that the man-woman criterion was unconstitutional. It sent the case back to the trial court, with guidance, to determine if it was unjust discrimination.

    The high court made no ruling on the man-woman criterion.

    Now, you want to act as if you are the Hawaii supreme court and I am the defendant.

    The court got it wrong because marriage is both-sexed and there is no right to enter the social institution as man and man, or woman and woman, rather than husband and wife.

    No man becomes a husband unless he marries the woman who becomes his wife. And vice versa. It is not so complicated.

    Sure, you can make it complicated by deconstructing marriage and pretending the government reaches into the core of the social institution, wrips it out, and then leaves it hollow and unsustainable.

    But what is the point of that, really? You haven’t stated why your view of marriage is susperior to the societal recognition of the nature of marriage.

    Look, suppose we had no marriage. We would still need to encourage sex integratiin and responsible procreation. Surely we are not so devolved that these are sideline concerns for the well-being of children and the flourishing of society. I don’t agree that the gaycentric view of the world is superior nor that gay identity politics can be justly pressed into marriage recognition.

    But we do have marriage. And it is a social instituiton. It stands apart from civil lsociety. And that’s a wonderful thing. The government mucks up the basic stuff it is supposed to be limited to do, anyway. Keep its big hands out of the core of marriage, I say.

    Now, we don’t have a special one-sex relationship status. Some say we should. But to do that, we need to identify what the thing actually is. It may merit great privileges and benefits from the government, I dunno. Show me what the thing is and then justify the benefits based on THAT, rather than ride on the back of marriage.

  • Chairm

    Typo correction: It stands as part from civil society.

    I’ll add that such a social institutoin benefits all of society. It is a significant buffer between the individual and the power of government. I don’t agree with the basic premise of SSM that the government owns marriage. The history of marriage, and the facts of the nature of humankind, do not support such a power grab.

    I don’t agree that through marriage recogniiton the state is empowered (by what I don’t know) to strip civil society of its independance and to render the individual naked and vulnerable to the carprice of The State.

    Government has a role in protecting marriage, not assaulting its very core.

  • ken

    Chairm said in post 80250:

    Remember, multi-marriage has long-existed in the world.

    Yes and in all those cases the women were/are subservient to the husband. Unlike marriage in the US today where the marriage is based on an equal partnership. Hence, my comment about a “fair” system which you ignored. Likewise you ignored how I mentioned those questions where just an example of the problem. I notice you like to do that, focus on one small piece of the problem and hope nobody notices you ignoring the rest. However, if you want to champion polygamous marriage go ahead. As I said if you can present a fair, workable system for it I’ll consider it. Just remember those problems I mentioned were the tip of the ice-berg.

  • Chairm

    Ken

    Regarding 80264:

    Ken, there is no test for sexual orientation. You couldn’t put your finger on it.

    The homosexual person can indeed marry someone of the other sex. The non-homosexual person cannot marry someone of the same sex.

    If simply showing up and demanding a license is all it takes to test for sexual orientation, then, the search for a gay gene can be abanonded.

    Heh.

  • Chairm

    Ken

    –> the women were/are subservient to the husband

    See the concern for sex integration.

    You also must have misread, or failed to read, the comments I’ve made about how multi-marriage is an inferior form of sex integration.

    Look, if the flaw in polygamy, as per our observation, is tha the man makes the arrangement unequal, even though there are multiple woman involved, then, add more woman to right the imbalance until the man is sufficiently outnumbered.

    Or just remove the man and leave it all female.

    Now, one woman marries a series of woman. Each marriage is a two-adult union. So, what problems do you see with this, based on the relationship type you have in mind.

    And, no, it does not suffice that you would rather deal with it seperately from the same-sex issue. Marriage is marriage. Draw the lines based on the core of what you think it actually is.

  • Chairm

    Ken,

    In 80277 I compared the marriage statues, step by step, to the majority opinion in Goodridge and the advisory on Civil Union.

    To reply to your recent comment:

    No sexual orientation test, but Marshall tried to claim the law classified based on sexual orientation.

    Marital versus Nonmarital status, but Marshall eventually said this was unjust status discrimination.

    No segmenting community, but Marshall said this was the basis for classification.

    And throughout she focused on the subset of the nonmarriageable category as if its very existence demanded special treatment among all such nonmarital relationship types.

    She started with a predrawn conclusion, meandered in circles, then settled, eventually, on declaring that ineligibility itself was an unsupported distinction.

  • Chairm

    –> The issue is gay couples are unjustly being denied the rights of marriage.

    Just as you have done. You are stuck on denying the nature of marriage.

    To get off that, and to show you are not attacking marriage, please state the objelctive criteria by which society can identity the nature of the relationship type you have in mind.

    It is a simple first step to understanding what it is you actually want society to treat with special status. As you said, marriage is a special status, right? So let’s just go with special status, for now, and put marriage aside.

    Blank slate. What is it that society really recognizes when it grants a special status to this or that type of relationship? It surely is not just looking in the mirror and seeing government benefits, right?

  • Chairm

    Ken,

    –> I notice you like to do that, focus on one small piece of the problem and hope nobody notices you ignoring the rest.

    That’s very unfair of you to say.

    It is also untrue. I have asked you to explain the big picture. The nature of the thing you want recognized and the government’s role in benefiting it.

    I’ve also discussed the singificant process issues at stake with the way the SSM campaign has gone about its business.

    I don’t hope people will ignore the bigger picture. But I also see that SSM argumentation is a compilation of many falsehoods, small and large. You can’t expect others to just ignore that, right?

    To each his due. That’s justice. Now, what is due the relationship type you have in mind?

  • R.K.

    Ken says,

    “The compelling state interest in banning incest(and thus incestuous marriages) is because of the potential for severe birth defects in children of such relations, as well as the likely abusive situations such relationships would indicate. For not letting children marry is to protect them.”

    First, let’s limit the incest question to consenting adult incest.

    Then let’s apply your argument once SSM is legalized.

    Give me the reason why two same-gender consenting adults who are closely related should then be denied marriage.

    “these are just a few of the legal problems that would arise from polygamous marriages. As I said before, I do not believe there is any way a fair, equitable system for polygamy could work. However, if someone could design one, I would consider it.”

    My point is, don’t argue that the case for SSM is “simply a matter of equality” and then dismiss other arguments for equality in other situations on the grounds that they are not so simple. You can’t have it both ways. There is a big difference between marriage and “SSM”, and it is totally and qualitatively different from any argument against interracial marriage. (Do I have to spell it out?)

  • R.K.

    Also, with regard to incestuous opposite-sex marriages, do you not see why the “birth defects” argument against such marriage will no longer apply if SSM is legalized and marriage becomes neuterized? Think aBOUT IT FOR A BIT.

  • R.K.

    oops, didn’t notice that I hit caps lock by mistake in that last sentence.

  • Chairm

    Ken,

    You mistakenly claimed that a few state supreme courts had ruled that the man-woman criterion was unconstitutional because of unjust sex discrimination.

    They did not.

    Nonetheless you absurdly demand that I cite more than your zero.

    New York Supreme Court: “By limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples, New York is not engaging in sex discrimination.” [Majority opinion, Hernandez (2006)]

    Done.

  • Chairm

    Ken et al,

    Maybe, in light of the failure of the claim of sex based discrimination, you’d settle for a claim of unjust discrimination based on sexual orientation?

    The only place with court imposed SSM is Massachusetts. Maybe you will be in luck there.

    The majority opinion in Goodridge was written by Justice Marshall and its result was supported by a slim 4-3 majority on the court. However, on what basis was the man-woman criterion deemed to be unjust discrimination and therefore unconstitutional?

    Justice Marshall: “In this case [...] a statute deprives individuals of access to an institution of fundamental legal, personal, and social significance–the institution of marriage–because of a single trait: sexual orientation.”

    Ireland and Cowin concurred with Marshall.

    So that’s 3 to 0, favoring sexual orientation. You need just one more vote to make it a majority of 4.

  • Chairm

    Justice Greaney in her concurrence said, “Only their gender prevents Hillary and Gary from marrying their chosen partners under the present law. [...] constitutional protections extend to individuals and not to categories of people.”

    Greaney approvingly cited one of the opinions in Vermont’s supreme decision on Baker.

    Justice Johnson: “[A]n individual’s right to marry a person of the same sex is prohibited solely on the basis of sex, not on the basis of sexual orientation. Indeed, sexual orientation does not appear as a qualification for marriage under the marriage statutes. The State makes no inquiry into the sexual practices or identities of a couple seeking a license.”

    So that changes the score to 3 for sexual orientation and 1 against. Still need that 4th vote.

    On the bright side, from Ken’s viewpoint at least, the score also changes to 1 for sex discrimination. But 3 more votes are needed for that to prevail.

  • Chairm

    There were 3 more justices on the Goodridge court.

    Spina: “the court did not address the plaintiffs’ gender discrimination claim [...] [the man-woman criterion] does not unconstitutionally discriminate on the basis of gender. [...] the marriage statutes do not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.”

    So that’s a vote for neither, right?

    Cordy: “the statute limiting marriage to couples of the opposite sex does not violate the ERA’s prohibition of sex discrimination.”

    Cordy: “The classification is not drawn [...] between heterosexuals and homosexuals, any of whom can obtain a license to marry a member of the opposite sex”.

    Another vote for neither.

    Sosman: “there is no ground for applying strict scrutiny”.

    And another for neither.

    * * *

    So let’s tally that up.

    3 Votes in favor of unjust sexual orientation discrimination.

    3 Votes in favor of unjust sex discriminationn.

    So that makes the score as follows:

    4 to 3 against sexual orientation discrimination.

    And

    4 to 3 against sex discrimination.

    [blink]

    The majority vote on the Massachusetts top court goes against both claims of unjust discrimination.

  • Chairm

    Heh.

    Sorry about that. Hope I didn’t get some people’s hopes up too high.

    Typo correction:

    So let’s tally that up.

    4 votes against and 3 votes for the claim of unjust sexual orientation discrimination.

    6 votes against and 1 vote for the claim of unjust sex discrimination.

    [blink] [blink] [blink]

    The majority vote on the Massachusetts top court goes against BOTH claims of unjust discrimination.

  • Chairm

    So whether you are in favor of SSM or against it, whether you think there is unjust sex discrimination or not, whether you think there is unjust sexual orientation discrimination or not, you would be right to ask, “What’s goining on?”

    Justice Sosman described what is obvious to folks who disagree with the SSM-merger but which may be painfully hard to accept on the part of those who favor it.

    Sosman: “While avoiding any express conclusion as to any of the proffered routes by which that exclusion would be subjected to a test of strict scrutiny–infringement of a fundamental right, discrimination based on gender, or discrimination against gays and lesbians as a suspect classification–the opinion repeatedly alludes to those concepts in a prolonged and eloquent prelude before articulating its view that the exclusion lacks even a rational basis.”

    Sosman: “In short, while claiming to apply a mere rational basis test, the court’s opinion works up an enormous head of steam by repeated invocations of avenues by which to subject the statute to strict scrutiny, apparently hoping that that head of steam will generate momentum sufficient to propel the opinion across the yawning chasm of the very deferential rational basis test.”

    Sosman: “Where, as here, there is no ground for applying strict scrutiny, the emotionally compelling nature of the subject matter should not affect the manner in which we apply the rational basis test.”

    Sosman: “[Our] jurisprudence [...] makes the rational basis test an extremely deferential one that focuses on the rationality, not the persuasiveness, of the potential justifications for the classifications in the legislative scheme. [..] Applying that deferential test in the manner it is customarily applied, the exclusion of gay and lesbian couples from the institution of civil marriage passes constitutional muster.”

  • Chairm

    In other words, “SSM right or wrong”.

    * * *

    Ken et al,

    On this issue of SSM you expressed dislike for the majority opinion as expressed by your fellow citizens. You suggested that majority opinion as expressed by judges was more reliable or at least better suited to decided this issue.

    Well, the Goodridge opinion goes against the claim of discrimination — based on sex or sexual orientation.

    And Sosman revealed what was really going on with Justice Marshall’s elaborate meanderings.

    Do you now perceived some inkling of the problem that others see in the process undertaken to impose SSM — in Massachusetts?

    It ain’t all about the gay/straight dichotomy. Reasonable people disagree with you.

    That includes a slim majority of 4 justices on the Goodridge court who disagreed with the claim based on classification by sexual orientation.

    And it includes 6 justices on that same court who disagreed with you about sex discrimination.

    In fact, Ken, the one justice who did agree with you on that score also very clearly disagreed that with the contention that the man-woman criterion was a test for sexual orientation.

  • ken

    OP-ED said in post 80248:

    Did Ken just say that marriage is fundamentally procreative?

    No I did not. I said incest has a high potential to cause severe birth defects.

    How does Jeff’s and Suzie’s and Ann’s marriage affect your marriage, Ken?

    Since I’m not married it has no effect.

    If they’re happy with their relationship who cares whether you are?

    Apparently no one here. However, my personal happiness has nothing to do with polygamy.

    Post 80253:

    Ken’s excerpt in post 78525 in fact states:

    “HRS §572-1 is presumed to be unconstitutional (2) unless… ” [emphasis added]

    You left out the “unless” clause. Did the State of Hawaii satisfy the conditions of that clause? And if it did not, what does that mean about the presumption? Further, if any other court in Hawaii is presented with an argument that denying rights to same-sex couples but not opposite-sex couples is sex discrimination, what legal precedent will that court have to adhere to?

  • ken

    R.K. said in post 80304:

    Give me the reason why two same-gender consenting adults who are closely related should then be denied marriage.

    Because saying that same-sex incestuous marriages are okay, but opposite-sex incestuous marriages are not, is just the reverse of the discrimination that gays currently face. Also you apparently missed this part of my statement: “as well as the likely abusive situations such relationships (incestuous) would indicate.”

    My point is, don’t argue that the case for SSM is “simply a matter of equality” and then dismiss other arguments for equality in other situations on the grounds that they are not so simple.

    Marriage today has evolved into an equal partnership. Where there are no legal distinctions between husband and wife. Thus having marriage between 2 men or 2 woman, would create no significant legal distinctions. However, going from a partnership of 2 people to 3 or more does create significant legal distinctions, which marriage laws and case history are not equipped to handle. In addition I mentioned there are potentially significant negative social impacts due to some men hoarding all of the available wives (as has been noted in the FLDS).

  • ken

    One thing I want to clear up. I was mistaken about the sex-discrimination being part of the majority opinions in the VT and MA decisions. They were actually part of the concurring opinions of Justice Johnson in Baker v. State of Vermont and Justice Greaney in the Goodridge decision.

  • R.K.

    Ken says,

    “Because saying that same-sex incestuous marriages are okay, but opposite-sex incestuous marriages are not, is just the reverse of the discrimination that gays currently face. Also you apparently missed this part of my statement: “as well as the likely abusive situations such relationships (incestuous) would indicate.”

    And you apparently missed the part where I said “First, let’s limit the incest question to consenting adult incest.”.

    You make arguments against polygamy and incestuous marriage which are well noted. Others here make arguments against SSM which are well noted. To you, however, all arguments against SSM are swept aside because it is just a “basic matter of equality”. My argument, as stated above, is that you cannot pursue this “equality trumps all else” line unless you use it across the board and apply it to every other situation.

    You also failed to answer the question I posed to you, which in fact nullifies your argument about why banning incestuous marriages is still OK even if SSM is allowed:

    “Also, with regard to incestuous opposite-sex marriages, do you not see why the “birth defects” argument against such marriage will no longer apply if SSM is legalized and marriage becomes neuterized? Think about it for a bit.”

    Hint: What does SSM say about the relationship between marriage and procreation? And what would that imply in relation to the “birth defects” argument against incestuous marriages?

  • Chairm

    Ken,

    –> You left out the “unless” clause.

    In my comment, where I quoted the Hawaii court, I included the “unless” part. In fact I explicitly drew attention to that part.

    –> Did the State of Hawaii satisfy the conditions of that clause?

    Irrelevant.

    The supreme court did not rule that the man-woman criterion is unconstitutional. Neither the state nor the plaintiffs had the opportunity to make their argument before the supreme court justices.

    The man-woman criterion certianly could have passed that test, anyway, based on the nature of the social institution that is recognized by the law.

    The state was ill-prepared previously but had better arguments to make subsequently. No matter what the trial court decided, one side or the other was going to appeal the trial court’s decision.

    * * *

    Thanks for clearing up the sex discrimination question. That’s very good form, Ken. Much appreciated.

  • http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com op-ed

    me: Did Ken just say that marriage is fundamentally procreative?

    Ken: No I did not.

    Let’s see, R.K. asks about marriage, Ken answers with a statement about procreation. Ken was either not answering R.K.’s question or Ken thinks that marriage and procreation are linked. Readers may reach their own conclusions.

    You left out the “unless” clause.

    Because it doesn’t matter what the “unless” clause states. That there is an unless means that there is a difference between a finding and a presumption.

    However, my personal happiness has nothing to do with polygamy.

    Then we are back to the equality argument only this time, you are rejecting it instead of advancing it. That your reasoning does not persuade even you should explain why it is not compelling to the rest of us, either.

    And if it did not, what does that mean about the presumption?

    Because the lower court decided the case on a different basis, the question of whether or not the presumption had been countered was never answered.

    …what legal precedent will that court have to adhere to?

    That would depend, but the most liberal reading of the precedent would be to apply strict scrutiny, not a de facto finding that the statute in question was unconstitutional.

    In short, Ken is still wrong. The Hawaii Supreme Court did not find the man/woman criteria of marriage unconsitutional.

  • ken

    OP-ED said in post 80428:

    me: Did Ken just say that marriage is fundamentally procreative?

    Ken: No I did not.

    Let’s see, R.K. asks about marriage, Ken answers with a statement about procreation. Ken was either not answering R.K.’s question or Ken thinks that marriage and procreation are linked. Readers may reach their own conclusions.

    R. K. asked a question about incest and that is what I was talking about. Additionally, I never used the word “fundamental” in my response. you inappropriately added that word.

  • ken

    R.K. said in post 80381:

    And you apparently missed the part where I said “First, let’s limit the incest question to consenting adult incest.”

    No I didn’t it is irrelevant to my answer.

    My argument, as stated above, is that you cannot pursue this “equality trumps all else” line unless you use it across the board and apply it to every other situation.

    I have never said “equality trumps all else.” I have yet to see a valid reason to deny gay couples equality. I have yet to see anyone argue how they or society would be harmed by giving gays equal rights. All I’ve heard are a bunch of arguments about procreation, designed to mask the prejudice against gays of the one man one woman criteria. And offensive analogies equating gay relationships to incestuous ones.

    You also failed to answer the question I posed to you, which in fact nullifies your argument about why banning incestuous marriages is still OK even if SSM is allowed:

    “Also, with regard to incestuous opposite-sex marriages, do you not see why the “birth defects” argument against such marriage will no longer apply if SSM is legalized and marriage becomes neuterized? Think about it for a bit.”

    I did answer this in post 80355. It is the same as the response I gave to your question: “Give me the reason why two same-gender consenting adults who are closely related should then be denied marriage.”

    What does SSM say about the relationship between marriage and procreation?

    that procreation isn’t a requirement of marriage.

    And what would that imply in relation to the “birth defects” argument against incestuous marriages?

    no effect what so ever.

  • R.K.

    Ken,

    No I didn’t it is irrelevant to my answer.

    Talking about incestuous marriage as if it necessarily includes coerced marriages with underage relatives is like discussing SSM as if it necessarily includes coerced marriages with underage boys, and pointing to ancient Greece as an example. Again, what would be the argument against incestuous marriage if it were limited to concenting adults? Oh, yes, and without merely assuming that they intend on something which is no longer even related to marriage?

    I have never said “equality trumps all else.” I have yet to see a valid reason to deny gay couples equality. I have yet to see anyone argue how they or society would be harmed by giving gays equal rights.

    By not even considering that redefining marriage is not “equality”, you are basically saying that your definition of equality trumps all else. The limits of one’s imagination are not the limits of reality. Before just assuming that an institution that is universal in history must be redefined in a way that it historically never has (that is, as a cultural understanding that it is merely between two “persons” and has nothing to do with procreation whatsoever), we need to examine why it never has. The movement for SSM is a demand that we pretend there is no difference between two things which in fact have a very big difference.

    All I’ve heard are a bunch of arguments about procreation, designed to mask the prejudice against gays of the one man one woman criteria.

    The arguments are not just a mask. You obviously are just letting the arguments go in one ear and out the other because you don’t want to consider the possibility that society may need an institution specifically built around procreation, culturally understood, even if not officially stated, as society’s “blessing” to procreate children.

    “And offensive analogies equating gay relationships to incestuous ones.”

    The analogies are not meant to morally equate, and you know it. That “I’m offended” game won’t work. To say that A makes the argument for B easier is not a moral analogy.

    “I did answer this in post 80355. It is the same as the response I gave to your question: “Give me the reason why two same-gender consenting adults who are closely related should then be denied marriage”.

    Post 80355: ”Because saying that same-sex incestuous marriages are okay, but opposite-sex incestuous marriages are not, is just the reverse of the discrimination that gays currently face.”

    First of all, the big difference between SS couples and OS couples might well satisfy the “compelling governmental interest” for gender discrimination. But even if not,

    “that procreation isn’t a requirement of marriage”.

    And, apparently, is not even related to marriage. Or at least marriage is no longer society’s blessing of couples to procreate if they wish to.

    My question: What does SSM say about the relationship between marriage and procreation?

    “no effect what so ever”

    Wrong. Thus denial of a marriage license to an OS couple because they are related, on the grounds that they might have deformed kids, is now an unwarranted assumption that they intend something which is not even relevant to marriage anymore. Who are we to just assume that they won’t adopt, or for that matter have no kids at all? (Of course, I would argue that the case against incestuous marriage is about much more than the “birth defects” argument, but that’s a subject for a later post).

    In any case, once you break the link between marriage and procreation, you can’t just scream “I didn’t mean THAT!”

  • R.K.

    Typo:

    My fourth to last paragraph (before Ken’s “no effect whatsoever” quote) should have restated this question: And what would that imply in relation to the “birth defects” argument against incestuous marriages?

  • http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com op-ed

    Ken: I have never said “equality trumps all else.” I have yet to see a valid reason to deny gay couples equality.

    So Ken is only saying that “gay couples” merit equality, but nobody else does. Everybody else has “valid reason to deny [them] equality,” but gay couples don’t. Ken points to coercive relationships among the Jeffs clan of polygamists and disapproves, therefore all polygamists should be discriminated against even if the relationships are entirely consenting. Ken points to abusive sexual relationships involving children and disapproves therefore all consanguine relationships should be discriminated against even if the participants are adults. Ken believes spotlighting aberrent behavior is valid when applied to groups he disapproves of. Ken believes spotlighting aberrent behavior among groups he does approve of is not valid. It is clear that in Ken’s world, some groups are more equal than others.

    I have this set of questions I like to pose to those who selectively apply the term “equality.”

  • ken

    R. K. asked in post 80474:

    Again, what would be the argument against incestuous marriage if it were limited to concenting adults?

    Because of the potential for birth defects. That was my answer before and it hasn’t changed. And this is the last I’m going to say on about it. If you can’t understand the difference between incestuous relationships and gay relationships, then you are beyond my ability explain it.

    “that procreation isn’t a requirement of marriage”.

    And, apparently, is not even related to marriage.

    I never said procreation wasn’t related to marriage. I said it wasn’t a requirement. There is a difference. Simply because procreation isn’t required in marriage doesn’t mean it can’t happen.

  • ken

    Op-Ed said in post 80484:

    So Ken is only saying that “gay couples” merit equality, but nobody else does.

    I never said any such thing. This is the 2nd time you have claimed I made statements I never did. In fact this entire post is a misrepresentation of what I have said.

    I expect an apology.

  • chairm

    Ken,

    Are you in full agreement with what Justice Marshall said about procreation and marriage in her Goodridge opinion?

    Here are key points, in the words of Justice Marshall:

    –> The judge in the Superior Court endorsed the first rationale, holding that “the state’s interest in regulating marriage is based on the traditional concept that marriage’s primary purpose is procreation.” This is incorrect. Our laws of civil marriage do not privilege procreative heterosexual intercourse between married people above every other form of adult intimacy and every other means of creating a family.”

    I think you would agree on this. Do you?

    –> While it is certainly true that many, perhaps most, married couples have children together (assisted or unassisted), it is the exclusive and permanent commitment of the marriage partners to one another, not the begetting of children, that is the sine qua non of civil marriage.

    I think you would agree here, also. Do you?

    –> If procreation were a necessary component of civil marriage, our statutes would draw a tighter circle around the permissible bounds of nonmarital child bearing and the creation of families by noncoital means.

    Again, I’d expect your agreement, but would you agree or would you clarify, given your view of incestous combinations and marriage?

    –> The “marriage is procreation” argument singles out the one unbridgeable difference between same-sex and opposite-sex couples, and transforms that difference into the essence of legal marriage.

    Given what has been explained about the contingency for Responsible Procreation, and mine and others’ rejection of the misrepresentation of “marriage = procreation”, if this difference is important in line-drawing, as you’ve indicated it most certainly is in terms of closely related both-sexed combinations of people, then, does it apply to the same-sex combinations of people?

    That is, two men won’t create children together, right? That is true whether or not they are closey related, distantly related, or un-related. Within the category of all-male combinations, your justification for prohibition does not apply fairly — in the context of what Marshall has said on the subject.

    What’s more, supposed a both-sexed couple, closely related, such as twins, were to form a household to raise adopted children. Why would you even expect them to be sexually involved with each other such that there would be a risk, however remote, of their engaging in the sort of sexual behavior that would create children?

    That’s the first question, I guess, on incestuous combinations.

    The second question, suppose that the twins rendered their union as nonfertile as all same-sex types of unions. Suppose the woman suffered a disability such that she could not carry children to term. Or perhaps the man had suffered cancer and became disabled due to life-saving surgery. Even if they did engage in sexual relations (coital or not), the risk of creating children — healthy or otherwise — would be as nullified as it would be with two men or two women.

    The third question, suppose they chose to adopt or to use some other means of attaining children? They’d form a household, and a longterm commitment to raise these children, and thus their family would have need of protections such as those you seek for all same-sex couples.

    * * *

    I ask these questions to probe just how distant you think marriage is from Responsible Procreation.

    Also, consider that once the nature of marriage is sidelined, whether by your cultural argument or some courtcentric argument, it is no longer really marriage.

    That is to say, people will no longer treat marraige as if it was centered on sex integration and responsible procreation. They will act as if what Justice Marshall says is the way to view this type of relationship.

    Thus, closely related people would not be entering a relationship type that entailed sexual relations, much less the contingency for Responsible Procreaton, and the old lines won’t be sustainable.

  • http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/ José Solano

    So Ken, you are saying that adult, incestuous relationships and polygamous relationships merit equality and the “right” to marry? I do believe that they indeed have a legitimate claim to marriage privileges and benefits but I think our society has the right to deny them. On the other hand same-sex couples have no legitimate claim whatsoever because their relationship cannot possibly constitute a marriage. Same-sex “marriage” is less than an oxymoron, it makes no sense at all.

    Now, it is important to recognize that both incestuous marriages and polygamous marriages have existed in many different cultures throughout history. Their prohibition is strictly a social construct or God given edict and had nothing to do with a concern for deformities, the correlation to which was unknown until relatively recent times. It was prohibited because a natural aversion seems to generally develop to having sex with close relatives and because societies simply created rules against it. Animals do procreate through incestuous relationships all the time.

    Furthermore, deformities only occur through prolonged inbreeding and not through the occasional incestuous relationship. On the contrary, particular forms of inbreeding can actually improve the health qualities of the offspring and is a common practice in animal husbandry to bring out stronger more beneficial traits.

    In Western society incestuous relationships have been excluded from marriage privileges and benefits because of our society’s Judaeo-Christian foundation. The same chapter in Leviticus that condemns incest also condemns homosexuality. (Leviticus 20:11-17) There is no Old Testament condemnation of polygamy though a preference for monogamy is indicated. In pre-Mosaic times there are cases of incest that do not seem to cause much concern.

    The complementarity of the relationship coupled with its potential to procreate is what allows incestuous and polygamous relationships to form real marriages. Even heterosexual pedophilia has a case for marriage and societies have different ages of consent so that what is pedophilia for one society or state, may not be for another and “child” brides or grooms are well known in history. If they are so young that they cannot even procreate then they have no case whatsoever. There are some opinions that Mary, the mother of Jesus, may have been around 14 years old. But, our society has a right to establish age limits and Mary conceived out of wedlock anyway.

    What is thoroughly absent from the historical record, throughout the world—until the very recent confusions—is a same-sex “marriage.” All societies simply understood this to be simply nonsense. But enough carefully crafted propaganda can make even the absurd acceptable.

  • R.K.

    My question: Again, what would be the argument against incestuous marriage if it were limited to concenting adults?

    Ken’s answer:

    Because of the potential for birth defects. That was my answer before and it hasn’t changed. And this is the last I’m going to say on about it. If you can’t understand the difference between incestuous relationships and gay relationships, then you are beyond my ability explain it.

    I never said procreation wasn’t related to marriage. I said it wasn’t a requirement. There is a difference. Simply because procreation isn’t required in marriage doesn’t mean it can’t happen.

    While Chairm has pointed out the inadequacies in this very well, I’ll go a step beyond:

    Ken, what would be your reason for opposing a marriage between two siblings, or even a parent and child, who agreed only to adopt, or not to even have children…..and who voluntarily had themselves sterilized?

    I would still oppose such a marriage, for other reasons, but why would you?

    Also, may I ask why you would find such a marriage “offensive”, if you would….that is, so offensive that you find the “comparison” to a same-sex marriage offensive? Can you articulate why?

    I never said any such thing. This is the 2nd time you have claimed I made statements I never did. In fact this entire post is a misrepresentation of what I have said.

    I expect an apology

    Ken, you have essentially said this (that equality does not apply to other combinations still currently prohibited from marrying) without even realizing you were saying it.

    And my point, that once marriage is detached from procreation by SSM, the logic for denying it on the grounds that a couple might produce deformed children becomes an unwarranted assumption.

    Do you also oppose marriage for unrelated OS couples who, on genetic screening, were found to share a recessive gene which could produce a major birth defect?

    And would you still oppose marriage for them if they agreed to only adopt? Or to be sterilized?

    My answer to the last two questions is: definitely not, that is, I would not oppose their marriage. For the preceding question, I would require genetic counseling first.

    But can you tell me why YOU would treat them differently from the related couple, if you in fact would?

  • R.K.

    I said,

    While Chairm has pointed out the inadequacies in this very well

    should have also commended Jose there. Sorry.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Ken,

    Have you noticed that too often the reasons provided for banning gay persons from entering into marriage tend to be based on heterosexuals. You can’t have marriage because of incest. You can’t have marriage because of polygamists. You can’t have marriage because children raised by single heterosexuals are less advantaged than those raised by heterosexual couples.

    I think it is because when it comes right down to it, the only argument against marriage for gay people that actually talks about gay people is the bias argument: You can’t have marriage because I don’t like you (or you’re a sinner, etc.).

    There just doesn’t seem to be a complelling reason to disallow gay couples to enter marriage that is actually based on gay couples.

  • Mary

    Timothy,

    I can’t see a compelling reason. It’s just that some people really don’t want it – and it’s not their body or their kids!! Unbelievable. I think I’ll make up a bunch of rules for YOU to follow because it makes ME feel better (of course I have no reason and only belief)

  • Chairm

    Timothy,

    ]–> There just doesn’t seem to be a complelling reason to disallow gay couples to enter marriage that is actually based on gay couples.

    What is the compelling reason to gut marriage of its core? There is none.

    On the other hand, if there is compelling reason to enact a relationships status, based on gayness alone, then, you’d have stated it by now. You haven’t.

    The point of the questions on closely related union and multi-marriage is that the SSM argumentation in which you have invested so heavily, and in which you’d have the rest of society invest even more deeply, eraises lines that protect the core of marriage.

    Based on “gay couples”, what is the core of the relationship type you have in mind; it is around that core that lines would be drawn to 1) identify the thing being protected and 2) prohibit relationship types that do not share that core.

    This is very basic stuff. Neither you, Timothy, nor Ken et al have done the basics. You would rather make a big exemption for SSM and then close ranks against all other claims — claims that can stand very well within the new bounds brought via SSM argumentation.

    So, let’s go with your anti-procreation arguments, as per Justice Marshall’s Goodridge opinion, and proceed from there.

    We’ll wipe out all consideration for Responsible Procreation, because according to her and to you this is not at the center of marriage. Likewise, of course, forget any concerns about integration of the sexes.

    To do that much, we’d have to reject Ken’s proffered reasons for excluding closely related combinations and for exluding multi-marriage scenarios.

    So, for the sake of discussion, you have a blank page.

    Start with the guiding principles. Sex equality. Consent. Stability and duration. Societal interests in encouraging some relationship types and not others. Distinguish between types that, though not encouraged and not shown preference, are protected (i.e. merit a protective status rather than preferential or special status), are tolerated (i.e. not outlawed but left alone), and are not tolerated (i.e. outlawed and positively busted up by society due to harms).

    Maybe you take a purely utilitarian approach and would draw no lines except on a case-by-cases basis — everything is marriage unless some harm is shown. Or if one relationship type impinges on the purposes of another relationship type.

    Whatever. You have the blank page that you have been demanding through SSM argumentation. The same tests that you have imposed on the man-woman criterion you must now fairely apply to whatever you choose to draw on that blank page.

    Failing that, it would appear that you depend on identity politics, alone, to force your view on the rest of society.

    Maybe identity politics is well-embraced and you would not shy away from that as the fundamental purpose for advancing the SSM campaign. That, rather than justice. That is, special pleading rather than the principle of “to each his due”?

  • R.K.

    Right, just keep telling yourself that. Humanity has been just stupid and bigoted throughout history and just recently some have seen the light for the first time ever. What, we may ask, produced this change from darkness to light?

    This assumption is incredible in its naivete. And ultimately, also arrogant (“I’m so much smarter than all those stupid people before me!”)

    Sorry, I don’t mean to offend, but two things strike me as naive and arrogant…when people refuse to acknowledge what they don’t know (thus believing that the limits of their imagination are the limits of reality), and fail to see that experience teaches, and this especially includes the experiences of thousands of years of human society.

  • Chairm

    Timothy, I’d add that your objection is rather blind.

    You said, “There just doesn’t seem to be a complelling reason to disallow gay couples to enter marriage that is actually based on gay couples.”

    We have asked for the reasons against closely related couples and against multi-marriage “actually based on gay couples”.

    It is passing strange that you did not see what is plainly stated by others previously and, instead, voice such a complaint. It reflects very poorly on your certitude in advocating what you have here.

  • R.K.

    above was in reply to Timothy’s post

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    I love it when my statements are confirmed for me so very quickly :)

  • R.K.

    Tim,

    Should the government be able to identify who is homosexual?

  • ken

    Chairm said in post 80633:

    What is the compelling reason to gut marriage of its core? There is none.

    How does granting gays the right to marriage harm anyone?

    You keep making these ominous pronouncements “it will gut the core” which have no substance.

    Are you trying to say straight people will stop marrying if gays are allowed to? Are you trying to say straight people will stop procreating?

    And don’t bother trying to come back with “well what about case X, why can’t they get married?” Because to me all that is you admitting you don’t have any answers to my questions so you are hoping I could provide you with something you can use.

  • R.K.

    And don’t bother trying to come back with “well what about case X, why can’t they get married?” Because to me all that is you admitting you don’t have any answers to my questions so you are hoping I could provide you with something you can use.

    And to me this is you admitting that you don’t have any answers to the questions Chairm and I have raised.

    None of us have crystal balls.

    Neither did anyone have crystal balls when we started putting chemicals in the air without any knowledge of how they affected the ozone layer.

    The argument against SSM is a general one. You do not make radical changes to a highly complex system when you have no idea how those changes affect the system.

    Are you trying to say straight people will stop marrying if gays are allowed to? Are you trying to say straight people will stop procreating?

    Stop, as in ZERO!??? Great straw man.

    Social effects occur at the margins. It is that the next generation’s perception of marriage will be very different that is at the heart of the issue.

  • ken

    R.K. asked in post 80668:

    Are you trying to say straight people will stop marrying if gays are allowed to? Are you trying to say straight people will stop procreating?

    Stop, as in ZERO!??? Great straw man.

    No, not as in 0. However, to avoid the ambiguity you seem to be hiding behind, I’ll rephrase the questions:

    How do you believe granting gays the right to marry will cause anyone any harm?

    Are you trying to say a significant number of straight people will stop marrying if gays are allowed to? Are you trying to say a significant number of straight people will stop procreating if gays are allowed to marry?

  • R.K.

    The burden of proof is on you, not me.

    You are the one who is proposing a radical change to a complex system.

    Yes, SSM may cause a lot less people to marry. It may cause fewer to procreate in marriage. It also may do a lot of other things we don’t even realize. Like leading to pansexuality among the young, blurring the distinction between friendship and romantic attraction, and thus screwing up the latency period for them. Or increasing jealousy in marriage (toward a spouse’s same-sex friends). It may do these things. It may not. It may do other things. And yes, it may grease the skids for incestuous marriage, or polygamy.

    Do you really think that no previous culture anywhere, anytime, has at least thought of a neutered concept of marriage? It’s not that hard to come up with the idea, which makes the question of why it has never taken root long term all the more puzzling, and makes rapid failure the most likely explanation. (That some cultures have been documented to have tried some types of recognition for same-sex couples only reinforces this point).

    To which you will say something like “Prove it. Give me specifics as to exactly what it’s going to do and how”.

    No. Not unless you can tell me beforehand exactly how the introduction of an untried chemical into the atmosphere, or the water, is going to hurt the environment.

    And don’t try to argue that this is not analagous, or that the analogy is “insulting”. Many things were introduced into our atmosphere because it was thought they were helping us.

    SSM is a step in the dark. If you want to take the risk, that’s fine, but just be honest and admit that it is a risk.

  • R.K.
  • R.K.

    Ken (again),

    “And don’t bother trying to come back with “well what about case X, why can’t they get married?””.

    Of course, you know that what we are asking is why the argument for such a marriage won’t be far easier to make once SSM is legalized.

    And in the case I referred to in post 80559, you have not answered that question, and you know it. Nor have you made a case for its irrelevance.

  • Chairm

    Ken,

    You start with the axiom that to disagree with the SSM-merger is itself an act of bigotry. You have based this on your view that the man-woman criterion is unjust sex discrimination.

    In the course of our discussions here you have seen that even on the Goodridge court, that was the minority view. That is, a minority of one justice. And that pro-SSM justice also clearly stated that the man-woman criterion was NOT a test for sexual orientation.

    On the Goodridge court, the claim that the man-woman criterin was unjust discrimination on the basis of sexual orietnation was suggested but never actually shown and the court never did raise sexual orientation to a suspect class that would require some level of heightened scrutiny.

    Nonetheless a majority disagreed with the claim that the marriage laws produced unjust discrimination — neither on the basis of sex nor on the basis of sexual orientation.

    So, to get at the root of the problem, and at the reasons that you still carry the burden as the reformer, what was the actual basis for the Goodridge opinion?

    The lines drawn around the core of marriage, its very nature, must be based on something, since this is such a remarkablely significant status at law, right?

    Please simply state that basis.

    From that we can examine how prohibitions would stand-up to the tests that Justice Marshall, and you and others here, have applied to those aspects of marriage which are extrinsic to all one-sexed arrangements (homosexual or not).

    What is our starting place, for the relationship type that you have in mind? Set the stage for examination of what flows from such a relationship type’s special status.

    If you cannot do this, then, there is the harm. An arbitrary abolishment of the man-woman criterion that is unjustified. An unnecessary and radical change that would require the state, and all of society, to treat each and every union of husband and wife as if it had no husband or had no wife.

    That has reprecussions for the marriage presumption of paternity, at the very least. It would mean sidelining the prinicple that each of us, as part of a procreative duo, is responsible for the children we create. That fatherhood and motherhood is intrinsically integrated within the foundational social instiution of civil society.

    It also has adverse implications in terms of self-governance when the government takes ownership of civil society.

    But, hey, if you want to hide behind the mantra of “where’s the harm?” then you can shutdown discussion, fold your arms, and take absoluetely zero responsiblity for the reform you would impose on society. Doing that would count you out as a serious contributor to the discussion. It would announce to all who have engaged you in good faith — it would announce that you have been posing.

    I thought you would contribute more than mere SSM-vogue.

  • Chairm

    R.K., thanks for your kind words earlier.

    And thanks for linking to that article from the Duke Journal of Constitutional Law and Public Policy.

    The author of “Genderless Marriage” provides an extensive and substantial response to the sort of SSM argumentation that has been presented by pro-SSM commenters here.

    He specifically discusses how the Goodridge court chose “(consciously it appears) to elide rather than engage the argument.”

    To Ken et al,

    Your version of SSM argumentation appears to be stalled with stale misconstructions hastily assembled in 1993.

    And, given what occured with the Goodridge court in 2003, your approach appears to be teetering on the brink of backwards.

    SSM argumentation, in its popular form, has not advanced anything new to address the pro-marriage arguments with which some of us have responded.

    The debate has matured and you have not been keeping up with it. Unlike other places, such as Canada or Holland, where marriage continuse to decline, in the USA we have slowed down the reformers and challenged their basic premises. The things you have been saying here are old hat.

    To keep up, you need to engage the actual disagreement rather than the various misrepresentations of the pro-marriage argument.

    Indisputably, marriage is a vital social institution. It is not merely a legal status. It is far more than that. Thus, to gut it, as I have substantiated the SSM-merger would do, is undermine a great deal.

    Some pro-SSM advocates recognize the argument.

    If you read “Genderless Marraige” you would get a pretty good overview of how the debate has matured beyond the slogans of the SSM campaign.

    If you can get past those slogans, then, you will become ready to evaluation the pro-SSM “counter-arguments that engage to some extent the realities advanced by the social institutional argument.”

    Taking responsibility for the reform you so arduously push and have come to assume is inevitable is an important step in the debate. Working hard to understand the actual disagreement may, at times, feel tedious, but so is staring at a brick wall. You could continue to the latter. Or you could, instead, take on the mature challenge of the former.

  • Chairm

    Timothy,

    –> I love it when my statements are confirmed for me so very quickly.

    Confirmed?

    Okay, so you now claim absolutely no downside to the SSM-merger, is that correct? Pleas confirm as quickly as you may.

  • ken

    Chairm said in post 80686:

    Nonetheless a majority disagreed with the claim that the marriage laws produced unjust discrimination — neither on the basis of sex nor on the basis of sexual orientation.

    I’m not sure how you reached this conclusion, however this is from the majority opinion in Goodridge (pp 19-20):

    In this case as in Perez and Loving, a statue deprives individuals of access to an institution of fundamental legal, personal, and social significance — the institution of marriage — because of a single trait: skin color in Perez and Loving, sexual orientation here.

    Seems pretty clear to me that they are saying that it is discrimination based on sexual orientation.

  • http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com op-ed

    Ken: I never said any such thing.

    It’s not what you said, Ken. It’s what you did. Read the comment trail.

    I expect an apology.

    Well, it was only my assumption that you approved of your own actions. If you didn’t really, if you were simply using any means to justify your desired ends, and didn’t think about the validity of those means, just say so and I will apologize for assuming better of you.

  • Chairm

    Ken,

    Have you skipped over the comments about the votes of the 7 justices on the Goodridge court?

    On unjust sex discirmination:

    1 yes, 6 no.

    On unjust sexual orientation discrimination:

    3 yes, 4 no.

    All three dissents agreed that there was no unjust discirmination.

    Read the concurring opinion. That justice explicitly said that the marriage statutes were NOT sexual orientation discrimination.

    Read the Goodridge opinion and you will see that the 3 judges of the plurality opinion did NOT make sexual orientation a suspect class nor did they use heightened scrutiny.

    That’s the point of my quoting Sosman who explained what actually went on with Justice Marshall’s opinion.

    Look upthread. The answer is there. Look at the record that the SJC left. The answer is there.

    And it is not what you think it is.

  • Chairm

    Ken — see upthread in the vicinity of 80314 to 80323.

    Vermont and Hawaii supereme court decisions tell a very similair story.

    The only consistency among the pro-SSM justices (those who say yes, sex discrimination, and those who say, yes, sexual oreintation discrimination) is that they use predrawn conclusions to achieve a common result — AND they elide the actual and substantiated argument against the SSM-merger.

    That is where you are right now. You can’t make up your mind about the supposed kind of discrimination that would decide the matter. And you haven’t noticed the problems in the pro-SSM side even in the Goodridge case upon which SSM in Massachusetts depends.

    And you elide the actual disagreement here. That may be due to misreading the argument as “procreation = marriage”. If so, read the the three dissenting opinions in Goodridge (each dissenting justice joined with the other two); re-read what others here have said about the core of marriage; then try to represent, accurately, what the actual disagreement is. That way, with the corrections and the clarifications, you can move past the old SSM slogans and really engage in the marriage debate.

  • jayhuck

    R.K. -

    Of course, you know that what we are asking is why the argument for such a marriage won’t be far easier to make once SSM is legalized.

    And in the case I referred to in post 80559, you have not answered that question, and you know it. Nor have you made a case for its irrelevance.

    I am interested at these diversionary tactics. When gay couples are trying to argue for why they deserve a place at the table, their detractors are saying, but what about these other groups? – LOL

  • ken

    Chairm said in post 80784:

    On unjust sex discirmination:

    1 yes, 6 no.

    On unjust sexual orientation discrimination:

    3 yes, 4 no.

    Except these vote numbers are just plain wrong. NOTHING in the opinions supports them except YOUR biased interpretation. 1st Justice Greaney’s opinion was a “concurring” opinion, not a “concurring in part, dissenting in part” opinion. His concurring opinion was because he wanted to focus on the sex discrimination aspect of the case, while the majority opinion focused on the sexual orientation aspect. However, NOTHING in either opinion indicates that the 4 justices involved rejected either the sex discrimination argument or the sexual orientation discrimination argument. Only that that 3 wanted to focus on sexual orientation and 1 wanted to focus on sex discrimination. YOU are the one reading that rejection into the opinions because you want to play a numbers game. I challenge you to cite any part of Justice Greaney’s opinion where he states he disagrees with the notion that it is discrimination based on sexual orientation. I also note Greaney does cite Johnson (footnote starting on p. 38) and she said it was not sexual orientation discrimination, but Greaney himself does not say that.

  • Chairm

    The concurring opinion concurred with the result.

    Not with the claim of unjust discrimination based on sexual orientation.

    Greaney concisely stated the following (I’ll break it down in tiny steps for you):

    1. –> “That the classification is sex based is self- evident.”

    Plain meaning: The classification is not based on sexual orientation. It is sex based.

    2. –> “The marriage statutes prohibit some applicants, such as the plaintiffs, from obtaining a marriage license, and that prohibition is based solely on the applicants’ gender.”

    Soley based on gender. Soley. As in not both gender and orientation. Soley.

    3. –> As a factual matter, an individual’s choice of marital partner is constrained because of his or her own sex.

    Constrained because of sex. That’s the fact, according to Greaney.

    4. –> Only their gender prevents Hillary and Gary from marrying their chosen partners under the present law.

    Only gender. Under the law being interpreted. Only, as in, not “also” orientation.

    5. –> Precisely, the case requires that we confront ingrained assumptions with respect to historically accepted roles of men and women within the institution of marriage ….

    Gender roles. Not immutable traits. Not even a claim of an immutable trait. Rather sex classification; and assumptions about roles based on sex classification.

    * * *

    This is the pro-SSM argument that had gained the most popularity among pro-SSM legal scholars for at least a decade. Greaney merely repeated it unfiltered.

    Now, if the unjust discrimination is claimed *solely* on this basis, it is not claimed on the basis of sexual orientation.

    Not unless you mean to disingenuously conflate the two things as if there is no point in making the distinction that Greaney has clearly made.

    You misread, and then misunderstood, Ken.

    * * *

    Concurring with Marshall’s opinion is not the equivalent of endorsing that claim, by the way, especially when Greaney explicitly stated what he was concurring with –

    1. “the result”

    2. “the remedy”

    3. “much of the reasoning”

    Not all of the reasoning. And, as per Greaney’s own opinion, not the claim of unjust discrimination based on sexual orientation.

    Marshall’s “reasoning” only hinted at some basis for some unstated degree of heightened scrutiny. Marshall never did use the sex-based classification or else that would have been made explicit. And there is no way that she used sexual orientation because to do so she would have had to explicitly create a new suspect classification.

    She only hinted.

    Instead, Marshall explicitly claimed to use rational basis analysis.

    But read Sosman and you’ll see what may be very painful to accept. Goodridge stands on rhetorical flourishes and next to zero legitimate jurisprudence.

    * * *

    Also note that Greany approvingly cited Johnson of the Vermont supreme court’s Baker decision.

    Such citation is used to state, in a slightly different way, what Greany said in his own words in his own opinion.

    See Footnote 2 which applies to paragraphs 6 and 11 in Greaney’s opinon (detailed in points 1 through 5 at the top of this comment):

    ]–> In her separate opinion in Baker v. State, 170 Vt. 194, 253 (1999) (Johnson, J., concurring in part and dissenting in part), Justice Johnson described the equal protection defect in Vermont’s marriage statutes in a slightly different, but no less persuasive, fashion: “A woman is denied the right to marry another woman because her would-be partner is a woman, not because one or both are lesbians. Similarly, a man is denied the right to marry another man because his would-be partner is a man, not because one or both are gay. Thus, an individual’s right to marry a person of the same sex is prohibited solely on the basis of sex, not on the basis of sexual orientation. Indeed, sexual orientation does not appear as a qualification for marriage under the marriage statutes. The State makes no inquiry into the sexual practices or identities of a couple seeking a license.”

    For emphasis: “Johnson described the equal protection defect in Vermont’s marriage statutes”

    For emphasis: “in a slightly different, but no less persuasive, fashion”

    For emphasis: “not because one or both are lesbians”

    For emphasis: “not because one or both are gay”

    For emphasis: “prohibited solely on the basis of sex, not on the basis of sexual orientation”

    For emphasis: “sexual orientation does not appear as a qualification for marriage under the marriage statutes”

    For emphasis: “no inquiry into the sexual practices or identities”

    it could not be stated more plainly. It directly matches what Greaney wrote in his own words.

    * * *

    While I was generous to say that three justices voted yes to claim of unjust discrimination based on sexual orientation, the fact is that zero justices said as much.

    The score on that point is actually unamious: 7 against and 0 for. It is worse than the 6 to 1 score against the claim of sex discrimination.

    This doesn’t detract from the point I made earlier about the lack of a majority in favor of either claim, but I thought it might be slightly more palatable to SSMers here to contemplate a more generous count. Especially when that was the impression that Marshall had intended to leave.

    But I immediately pointed out the elision of the actual argument in favor of the man-woman criterion.

    Perhaps that was too subtle.

    I think it is is rather more obvious now.

  • Chairm

    Jayhuck

    –> When gay couples are trying to argue for why they deserve a place at the table, their detractors are saying, but what about these other groups?

    Bogus. The “gay” couple is a same-sex couple. Drop the gay/straight dichotomy and stop trying to distract from the lack of solid answers to the questions that have been asked of you, Jayhuck et al.

    Two men, under the SSM-merger, why would they be prohibited if they were closely related?

    Two women, under the SSM-merger, why would they be prohibited if they are already married?

    The answers that we got upthread showed concern, not for the category of “gay” but for the category of “both-sex”. So it is the SSMers, Jayhuck et al, who have pointed to people other than gay people.

    Now, before you state reasons for the line-drawing, please state plainly what the proposed lines would be drawn around. What is the core of the relationship type you have in mind?

    On that basis we can evaluate your reasons for the lines you’d draw.

    As it stands, you don’t offer much in the way of accepting the responsiblity of your reform. You are running away from that. Why?

  • R.K.

    I am interested at these diversionary tactics. When gay couples are trying to argue for why they deserve a place at the table, their detractors are saying, but what about these other groups? – LOL

    Just keep saying that to yourself, Jayhawk. A good diversionary tactic to avoid answering the questions.

    If you really think these arguments are irrelevant, then stop using, or tell others to stop using, the analogy with interracial marriage as a justification for SSM.

  • ken

    Chairm,

    Nowhere in Justice Greaney’s opinion did he ever say “I disagree with the argument that the statute is discriminatory based on sexual orientation.” And he had the opportunity to do just that. In fact, the footnote (from Justice Johnson’s opinion) to the Hillary and Gary example, said there was no discrimination based on sexual orientation, however, Greaney never said it in his argument. His argument was that you could make the case based solely on the sex discrimination argument, and you didn’t need to make the sexual orientation argument.

    And as to your contention that Marshall never claimed in her opinion that it was discrimination based on sexual orientation, I already cited where she said that. For you to now claim she didn’t just shows how you are willing to distort the facts in order to play your numbers game.

  • jayhuck

    RK -

    Just keep saying that to yourself, Jayhawk. A good diversionary tactic to avoid answering the questions.

    If you really think these arguments are irrelevant, then stop using, or tell others to stop using, the analogy with interracial marriage as a justification for SSM.

    First of all RK – I think we’ve answered all the questions about other groups.

    Second, gay people don’t have to defend a multitude of other groups as you seem to suggest they must in order for them to defend their own.

    Third, interracial marriage is a great example of past discrimination – sometimes by the majority. I see no reason not to use it.

  • R.K.

    First of all RK – I think we’ve answered all the questions about other groups.

    Uh, no. See, for example, my post 80559 above.

    Second, gay people don’t have to defend a multitude of other groups as you seem to suggest they must in order for them to defend their own.

    And none of us are asking them to defend any other group, merely to explain how they can logically claim their cause is mandated by “rights” but the others are not?

    Third, interracial marriage is a great example of past discrimination – sometimes by the majority. I see no reason not to use it.

    And most people thought that jumping from interracial marriage to same-sex marriage was just as illogical as you still believe it is to jump from same-sex marriage to those other things you don’t like us bringing up. Indeed, even more illogical.

    What do you think would have been the reaction from Richard Loving and his wife (or other interracial couples) back in 1960, if people had said to them then: “If we allow interracial marriages like yours, pretty soon people will be talking about same-sex marriages, and using your case to justify it?”

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    Dang it – I wanted make post 500.

    RE: What Loving would say? I doubt he would believe you; but I suspect it would not have mattered to him.

  • Chairm

    Jayhuck,

    Before you quoted Marlshall, I cited her and quoted her farther upthread. She did say that. I also followed up by pointing out how she claimed to use rational basis analysis and in her opinion she managed to elide the actual argument that favors the man-woman criterion.

    I said she made noises, waved her arms about, and hinted of the potential for classification based on heterosexual orientation.

    But she did not create a new suspect classification. If she did, please point out precisely where in her opinon she accomplished it. You can’t because she didn’t.

    Thems the facts, Jayhuck, and my stating them plainly is not a distortion of said facts.

    * * *

    –>Nowhere in Justice Greaney’s opinion did he ever say “I disagree with the argument that the statute is discriminatory based on sexual orientation.” And he had the opportunity to do just that.

    [blink]

    Greaney said, in multiple ways, the following: “Only their gender prevents Hillary and Gary from marrying their chosen partners under the present law.”

    Only gender. Solely gender.

    I don’t see why you would try to discount his opinion, given that he is the only justice on the Goodridge court to have agreed with your claim about sex discrimination.

    He had the opportunity to do say what he meant. He did so say. And he cited the justices in Baehr and Baker who also said that the constitutinal issue was hinged on sex discrimination, NOT sexual orientation.

    That’s enough of that. You were mistaken and the facts are now on the table. Further denial, on its own, does not buttress your misreading of what was actually written.

    ]–> His argument was that you could make the case based solely on the sex discrimination argument, and you didn’t need to make the sexual orientation argument.

    No, his argument was not as you imagine it to be.

    He concurred with Marshall’s so-called rational basis analysis. And in that he also elided the actual argument in favor of the man-woman criterion.

    Marshall had plenty of opportunity to directly address that argument. She did not.

    She had ample opportunity to propose, and garner judicial votes, on the basis of sexual orientation discrimination, but she did not because there was insufficient agreement in creating a new suspect classification. The lack of votes was such that not one justice stated support for such a move.

    That’s 0 in favor and 7 against.

    Not much better than the 1 in favor and 6 against on the question of sex discrimination.

    All you got, Jayhuck et al, with the Goodridge court is a flimsy claim that rational basis analysis had put aside an argument that the justices elided.

    I can see where this may be painful to accept, but it is nonetheless the truth laid bare in the words of the justices themselves.

    * * *

    Warren, congradulations on the 500-plus comments under your most popular blogpost to-date.

    I suspect that when Loving claimed the right to marry, he did not claim the right to segregate the sexes under the auspices of marital status. Sex integration is more in accord with race integration.

    On the other hand, there is one human race and its nature is two-sexed. The only way that Loving was considered a different “race” from his wife was through the identity filter that was pressed into marriage by a racist caste system.

    No such caste system arises from the man-woman criterion. The only way to see sex discrimination in that criterion is to peer through another identity filter, one which is gaycentric.

    There is no good reason to treat a union of husband and wife as if it lacked either husband or wife. So Loving would probably shake his head and wonder anyone could claim that that sex-segregative talk could follow his sex-integrative union.

    Remember, the racist system selectively segregated the sexes and also assaulted the legitimacy of children born of marriages, such as that of the Lovings. The caste system was based on ancestory. But it was also imploding, almost from its first appearance in marriage law, due to the profound flaws in the assumption that there are subspecies of humankind, based on the shape of noses, the size of lips, the tone of skin, the length of limbs, and the bumps on the head. The focus was on distinctions that did not exist.

    Loving would ask if people thought that there was no meaningful distinction between man and woman? Do we really think that sexual embodiment is as trivial as the shape of our noses and the tone of our skin?

  • ken

    Warren said in post 80953:

    RE: What Loving would say? I doubt he would believe you; but I suspect it would not have mattered to him.

    I don’t know about Richard Loving, but Mildred Loving said last June that she supports gay marriage.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Richard Loving has left this mortal coil. And as he is no longer here to defend himself, it’s easy to assume (and claim) that he would share the biases and opinions of those who oppose the claim that gay couples make on marriage.

    This is not an unusual tactic. Many black religous leaders sought to coopt Martin Luther King’s voice in their campaign against gay persons and couples. Fortunately, Coretta Scott King lived long enough to counter those claims by telling the story of the man she married and knew better than anyone else. And she provided her support for equality to all – including gay individuals and couples.

    And unfortunately for those who seek to coopt Richard Loving’s voice, his wife (and co-defendant) Mildred Loving is still with us. And we need not guess what she might think:

    When my late husband, Richard, and I got married in Washington, DC in 1958, it wasn’t to make a political statement or start a fight. We were in love, and we wanted to be married.

    We didn’t get married in Washington because we wanted to marry there. We did it there because the government wouldn’t allow us to marry back home in Virginia where we grew up, where we met, where we fell in love, and where we wanted to be together and build our family. You see, I am a woman of color and Richard was white, and at that time people believed it was okay to keep us from marrying because of their ideas of who should marry whom.

    When Richard and I came back to our home in Virginia, happily married, we had no intention of battling over the law. We made a commitment to each other in our love and lives, and now had the legal commitment, called marriage, to match. Isn’t that what marriage is?

    Not long after our wedding, we were awakened in the middle of the night in our own bedroom by deputy sheriffs and actually arrested for the “crime” of marrying the wrong kind of person. Our marriage certificate was hanging on the wall above the bed. The state prosecuted Richard and me, and after we were found guilty, the judge declared: “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.” He sentenced us to a year in prison, but offered to suspend the sentence if we left our home in Virginia for 25 years exile.

    We left, and got a lawyer. Richard and I had to fight, but still were not fighting for a cause. We were fighting for our love.

    Though it turned out we had to fight, happily Richard and I didn’t have to fight alone. Thanks to groups like the ACLU and the NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund, and so many good people around the country willing to speak up, we took our case for the freedom to marry all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. And on June 12, 1967, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that, “The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men,” a “basic civil right.”

    My generation was bitterly divided over something that should have been so clear and right. The majority believed that what the judge said, that it was God’s plan to keep people apart, and that government should discriminate against people in love. But I have lived long enough now to see big changes. The older generation’s fears and prejudices have given way, and today’s young people realize that if someone loves someone they have a right to marry.

    Surrounded as I am now by wonderful children and grandchildren, not a day goes by that I don’t think of Richard and our love, our right to marry, and how much it meant to me to have that freedom to marry the person precious to me, even if others thought he was the “wrong kind of person” for me to marry. I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people’s religious beliefs over others. Especially if it denies people’s civil rights.

    I am still not a political person, but I am proud that Richard’s and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That’s what Loving, and loving, are all about.

    You may think Mildred Loving a dotty old woman who knows nothing about marriage, or love, or discrimination, or civil rights. You may think she’s downright wrong. You may even think that she’s “being used by militant gay activists”. But you cannot claim that her and her husband shared your anti-gay views.

    Mildred Loving knows better than anyone how it feels to be denied the right to marry the person she loved. And it does not surprise me in the slightest that she falls on the side of those promoting freedom rather than on the side of those seeking to impose on gay people the same anti-love, anti-freedom, anti-marriage laws that were imposed on her.

  • http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/ Op Ed.

    Timothy: Richard Loving has left this mortal coil. … it’s easy to assume (and claim) that he would share the biases and opinions of those who…

    And then Timothy goes on to do just that.

    Inconsistency is the one thing we’ve learned we can count on from the proponents of neutering marriage.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    And then Timothy goes on to do just that.

    Kindly illustrate exactly where I assumed Richard Loving’s biases.

    Or apologize.

    Dishonesty is the one thing we’ve learned we can count on from the oponents of marriage equality… or at least many of the voices here.

  • http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/ Op Ed.

    Timothy: Kindly illustrate exactly where I assumed Richard Loving’s biases.

    “And unfortunately for those who seek to coopt Richard Loving’s voice, his wife (and co-defendant) Mildred Loving is still with us.”

    Dishonesty is the one thing we’ve learned we can count on from the oponents of marriage equality…

    Marriage is equal. You seek to make it unequal, therefore I will take you at your word as to your own dishonesty. Or were you simply arguing by euphamism, which is also dishonesty?

  • Chairm

    Timothy,

    Once again, you are mistaken to characterize the affirmation of the man-woman criterion, the preferential treatment of sex integration, and the vital interest in society’s contingency for Responsible Procreation as “anti-gay views”.

    And, Timonthy et al, no one-sexed combination — homosexual or otherwise — lives in fear of being “awakened in the middle of the night in our own bedroom by deputy sheriffs and actually arrested for the ‘crime’ of marrying the wrong kind of person. [...] [And then being" sentenced [...] to a year in prison, but offered to suspend the sentence if [they] left our home in Virginia for 25 years exile.”

    There is a true distinction here based on proportionality.

    The one-sexed arrangement is not outlawed and, although by its very nature it is nonmarital, the practice is not criminalized.

    Not for siblings. Not for parent-child scenarios. And not for people who claim gay identity. The law actually has long-accomodated such nonmarital arrangements through various means — including provision for designated beneficiaries which predates the Loving case and all the SSM cases.

    To form such a nonmarital arrangement remains a liberty exercised and not a right denied.

    On the other hand, it is the SSMers who press identity politics into marriage, the way the racist system had done, unjustly.

    It is the SSMers who claim that there the seperation of the sexes (for a certain class of people) that is a given and must be impsosed (on that class of people) and imposed on society’s recognition of marriage.

    Mrs. Loving, quoting a racist judge:

    ]–> “The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”

    There is one human race and there are no subspecies of human being. Men and women are not two different species either. Marriage is both-sexed and sex integrative.

    Why do SSMers insist on interfering with marriage for the purpose of dragging sex segregation into the preferential status that expliciting unites the sexes?

    Or, more precisely, why do SSMers insist on dragging the conjugal relationship away from its core and into an alternative, and much broader, status that is based on the limitations of the one-sexed arrangement?

    Not for the sake of equal treatment of the sexes, that’s certain. The man-woman criterion provides for gender complete arrangements and equality of man and woman.

    –> “Surrounded as I am now by wonderful children and grandchildren”

    See the concern for Responsible Procreation.

    –> “I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry.”

    And they do. But the one-sexed arrangement is extrinsic to marriage.

    –> Government has no business imposing some people’s religious beliefs over others. Especially if it denies people’s civil rights.

    And the man-woman criterion is not an imposition of religious beliefs.

    –> “I am proud that Richard’s and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight seek in life.”

    If she is proud of sex-segregative arrangements, then, she does not understand the nature of marriage. Her opinon is colored not by the principles of the Loving case but by the gay identity politics of the SSM campaign.

    –> “I support the freedom to marry for all. That’s what Loving, and loving, are all about.”

    On this her words are correct. But she can not get from A to B by invoking the case against the anti-miscegenation system.

  • Chairm

    Timothy, you mischaracterize and demonize those who disagree with you on the SSM-merger.

    SSMers are against marriage for they attack the nature of marriage. You here have runaway from stating the core of the relationship type you have in mind. All you offered, instead, was the government looking at its own reflection in the mirror. The sum of legal incidents do not amount to the core of marriage. So you are left holding some arbitrary imposition of the merger of nonmarriage with marriage.

    That’s anti-marriage.

    SSMers want to intrude on the marriage recognition. SSMers want to impose a reform that they have not justified. SSMERS are at fault for distorting the principles of self-government and of justice all for the sake of selective sex-segregation within a special status that has always stood for sex-integration.

    It boilsdown to a form of identity politics that, like the racist identity politics, pushes a nonmarriage purposes into marriage recognition. That is unjust and cannot be excused by quoting Mrs. Loving.

  • R.K.

    I am not shocked that Mildred Loving supports SSM now. Please note my question as I stated it:

    What do you think would have been the reaction from Richard Loving and his wife (or other interracial couples) back in 1960, if people had said to them then: “If we allow interracial marriages like yours, pretty soon people will be talking about same-sex marriages, and using your case to justify it?”

    Please note, in 1960! I specifically put that date in there because it’s not about what Mildred Loving may feel now, it’s what most who supported her and her husband then would have felt and said.

    Note my previous paragraph:

    “And most people thought that jumping from interracial marriage to same-sex marriage was just as illogical as you still believe it is to jump from same-sex marriage to those other things you don’t like us bringing up. Indeed, even more illogical.”

    When Loving was first decided, do you really disagree that those who supported it (as I always have, by the way) would have found the idea that it would be used to justify same-sex marriage absurd, or even insulting?

    Yet, 48 years later, we do just that.

    What’s my point?

    Simple. That the claims by SSM proponents, that bringing up the issue of other marriages currently not allowed in relation to it is “absurd” and “insulting”, is meaningless. It says nothing about how they, or others, may feel in the future.

    If SSM passes, who’s willing to state here and now that they will not be supporting the type of marriage I outlined in post 80559 48 years down the road?

    Timothy,

    Dishonesty is the one thing we’ve learned we can count on from the opponents of marriage equality… or at least many of the voices here.

    And evasion is the one thing we’ve learned we can count on from the proponents of disgendered marriage, or at least many of the voices here.

    Note that none of them have even attempted to answer this question I posed?

    “Ken, what would be your reason for opposing a marriage between two siblings, or even a parent and child, who agreed only to adopt, or not to even have children…..and who voluntarily had themselves sterilized?”

    “I would still oppose such a marriage, for other reasons, but why would you?”

    “Also, may I ask why you would find such a marriage “offensive”, if you would….that is, so offensive that you find the “comparison” to a same-sex marriage offensive? Can you articulate why?”

    “Do you also oppose marriage for unrelated OS couples who, on genetic screening, were found to share a recessive gene which could produce a major birth defect?”

    “And would you still oppose marriage for them if they agreed to only adopt? Or to be sterilized?”

    “…can you tell me why YOU would treat them differently from the related couple, if you in fact would?”

    Tim, Ken, Jayhuck, you have not made any attempt to answer these questions, nor have you demonstrated their irrelevance. Certainly not anymore than the irrelevance of using interracial marriage to argue for SSM.

    I will keep asking these questions until I get a sensible answer. Because they are relevant. Only those who don’t want to look far down the road, and to look at this whole issue from a much larger perspective, refuse to see how.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    RK – If you do not get an answer, I would be interested in your views about how the answers to those questions pertain to SSM.

  • R.K.

    RK – If you do not get an answer, I would be interested in your views about how the answers to those questions pertain to SSM.

    Of course, Warren, and I will elaborate more later. But for now….

    I apologize if my tone is getting intense. Be assured that it is not out of any personal animus toward any other posters, but about the arguments. I do frequently feel frustrated when people persist in thinking that highly flawed arguments are good ones, or in not seeing the points that I’m trying to make.

    “What do you think would have been the reaction from Richard Loving and his wife (or other interracial couples) back in 1960, if people had said to them then: “If we allow interracial marriages like yours, pretty soon people will be talking about same-sex marriages, and using your case to justify it?”

    Relates to the question Chairm has asked repeatedly about just what the core of marriage is under SSM. With Loving, there was still a core definition of marriage intact. With SSM, I’m not sure what that new core definition is, but a huge wall has been crossed between Loving and Goodridge, and in comparison, the walls separating what’s left from polygamy or marriage between close relatives seem awfully flimsy, and if it was this easy to jump from Loving to Goodridge, I just don’t see how those other walls can stand very long.

    Yes, it may be a “slippery slope” argument. I don’t know if you are familiar with what Eugene Volokh (who I believe supports SSM) has written about slippery-slope arguments, but he’s worth reading on that subject. There really is a rather blurred line between slippery-slope and cause-and-effect arguments, especially when the end of the slippery slope seems to be only the logical outcome of the current proposal, or when the arguments for that proposal seem to logically lead there.

    “…. what would be your reason for opposing a marriage between two siblings, or even a parent and child, who agreed only to adopt, or not to even have children…..and who voluntarily had themselves sterilized?”

    If love and commitment are all that’s important (which is the general argument for SSM), and we take out the possibility of birth defects…..

    “Also, may I ask why you would find such a marriage “offensive”, if you would….that is, so offensive that you find the “comparison” to a same-sex marriage offensive? Can you articulate why?”

    Well, here I’m hoping to get to a much more major reason for why human cultures have opposed marriages (and sexual relations) between close relatives, much greater than the “birth defects” argument. But this reason also relates to the reason for human society’s historical failure to allow SSM, and for its general discomfort with homosexuality (though many societies have demonstrated that this discomfort need not be as extreme as it has often been in the past).

    Similar with the answers to the next questions.

  • Chairm

    To Warren:

    I think that the problem with the Loving analogy, and hence with the questions asked of SSMers here, is that the racist prohibition has been acknowledged as unjust because of the core of marriage: integration of the sexes and contingency for Responsible Procreation.

    Even the anti-miscegenation system had to acknowledge this and did so by emphasizing ancestory (the “purity” of blood) by which lines could not be crossed. It was focussed on whites who’d marry outside of “their race”. A white man who married a nonwhite woman, and had children by her, would produce offspring the government would not consider legitimate. And those children, and their children, would never be eligible to marry “into the white race”. So the system pressed into marriage a nonmarriage purpose. It looked backward — through ancestory — and forward — through the procreative fundamental of marriage — and reinforced a caste system.

    SSM argumentation does something very similiar and discussing it in light of Loving does not support the notion that SSM is merely a subset of marriage and as such is currently unjustly excluded.

    Whether or not homosexuality is immutable is irrelevant because the dichotomy is not actually gay/straight but one-sexed/both-sexed. And in terms of the social institution’s core, its very nature, marital status is really about nonmarriage versus marriage.

    The anti-miscegenation system was not universal, not in civilizations that esteemed marriage throughout human history, nor in this country and culture. What’s more, the nature of humankind is two-sexed and, not inconsequentially, the nature of human generativity is both-sexed. In fact, human community, at its core, is both-sexed and the family, founded on the integration of fatherhood and motherhood, is the first community, the bedrock upon which civil society stands. The racist system undermined all of that by selectively segregating men and women — and the children as well.

    When SSMers bring Loving into the mix for the sake of comparing nonmarriage to marriage and claiming that there is a clear and useful analogy between racist segregation and so-called segregation of sexual orientations, they over-stretch and reveal the thinness of their case for merging SSM with marriage.

    The man-woman criterion is not bigoted. It is not anti-gay. It is not unjust sex-based discrimination. It is not discrimination based on sexual orientation. And it is not forced on people who’d choose, by the very form of their relationship type, nonmarital alternatives.

    The anti-miscegenation system ruled out interracial cohabitation — so forget domestic partnership or civil union or even common-law marriage. It ruled out casual dating between “white men” and “non-white women”. It added extra penalties to interracial prostitution.

    Racism certainly was the core of that system. But anti-gay bigotry is not at the core of marriage laws. Far from it. There is no bar on two men or two women forming a nonmarital alternative relationship. In most places it is tolerated and even given status both in the law and socially. And when I say most places, that includes where the SSM-merger has been rejected by direct votes of citizens.

    SSM proposes to redraw the lines — to push the core of marriage to sidelines to accoplish this redrawing — but depends on the residual esteem for the social institution itself. And the underlying purpose of this reform campaign?

    To promote the acceptance, nay the approval, of a certain kind of identity politics. Tolerance is one thing, as was described earlier upthread. Protection is another and in our very open and generous society it is given rather readily, even if in some cases it is given grudgingly. But preference? That is for the conjugal relationship which benefits society; society benefits the social institution via the individuals who enter it. But no one-sexed arrangement can be so preferrenced as “marriage” — the merger would deinstitutionalize marriage and thus weaken it such that its influence in shaping people and society would be diminished greatly.

    On the other hand, gay identity politics would be strengthened and given a special status — innoculated against criticism — in the public square, in courtrooms, and in the education of future generations.

    Gay identity politics is not one and the same as same-sex attraction, homosexuality, or the cause of civil rights. Quite the contrary.

  • ken

    Chairm,

    Timothy pointed out that you were using your own biases to represent the opinion of Loving, of which you didn’t really have any knowledge. Your response is to rehash old arguments and attack him. Which seems to me to be a diversionary tactic on your part.

  • ken

    R.K.

    I have said all I intend to about incest. If you can’t understand the difference between gay relationships and incestuous relationships, then there is nothing I can say to educate you. And I won’t waste anymore time trying.

  • R.K.

    Ken,

    I don’t think you really misunderstand me as much as you appear to.

  • R.K.

    Chairm,

    As you can see, the pro SSM side keeps discussing the issue as if it really were neatly encapsulated around the issue of gays and gay rights, while we keep trying to explain that it encompasses far more than that. How else can we put it? Is it that hard to understand?

  • http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/ José Solano

    R.K.

    It is important to bring up the “slippery slope” analogy but to also explain it more fully in relation to marriage. What has happened through the imposition of same-sex “marriage” is that such a conflation with marriage rationally opens the door for the acceptance of all forms of marriage. If you can merge nonmarriage with marriage how can you rationally not offer marriage privileges and benefits to true marriages? We may see sliding down a slippery slope of marriage from that of one man and one woman to that of polygamy to that of incestuous marriages, for all of which we have vast historical precedence, but with the fabrication of same-sex “marriage” we are really no longer on the slope at all. The homosexual relationship has never even been on the slope from which it might fall off or be in any way referred to as higher up the slope than incestuous and polygamous marriages which do fulfill the fundamental criteria for marriage, namely complementarity and the potential to procreate, that is, the core of marriage. I can add “responsible” procreation in agreement with Chairm because any old sexual/procreative activity does not constitute a marrital relationship.

    We can regulate the standards for the acceptance of marriage in our society and insist that they be only within a one man and one woman relationship of a given age and with a certain distance in consanguinity. This would be an effort to keep us from sliding down the slippery slope to inferior forms of marriages, which we as a society can so recognize and define. But once you offer marriage benefits and privileges to what is not marriage at all then you have no justification, no rationale to deny such benefits and privileges to what are real marriages. That’s bankrupt reasoning.

    As I know you very well understand and have been explaining R.K., this is the relevance of your referring to incest and polygamy in the context of this whole question of privileging same-sex “marriage.” And this is why I have been repeatedly bringing up that the homosexualists need to stop seeking societal approbation of homosexual conduct by usurping the institution of marriage. It is thoroughly disingenuous, deceptive, indeed conniving. Homosexualists must show transparency and integrity in their efforts to have society approve of homosexual behaviors. They must be straightforward and just call the same-sex relationship what it is: The Homosexual Relationship.

    They must let the public know that homosexuals just wish the dignity and respect that is offered to married people and that they understand that their relationship has nothing to do with the core of marriage and that furthermore, they have not even been able to identify the core of their relationship in such a way that they might differentiate it from all sorts of other relationships, sexual or platonic. Nevertheless, they can admit that they are not struggling to privilege those other relationship but only their own through whatever means they can.

    Tell society that homosexuals are loving and caring people and that the only real difference between them and other good people is that they prefer homosexual intercourse and for that reason they want society to honor them, especially if they commit to a lifelong homosexual relationship, which of course nobody can obligate them to do, and most people will not even want them to do this anyway, as they would prefer that homosexuals settle down with someone of the opposite sex and hopefully raise their own nice families.

    Peace.

  • Chairm

    –> If you can’t understand the difference between gay relationships and incestuous relationships …

    What is the difference between relationships of unrelated gay men and relationships of closely related gay men?

    Now, based on that difference, whatever you think it is, please explain the relevance to the type of relationship that you say marriage must be.

    You wanted to talk only of gay people. Okay. Go ahead. Compare gay people in the sort of relationship you say should qualify for marriage with gay people in the sort of relationship you say should be disqualified.

  • Chairm

    Ken,

    There was no personal attack on Timothy in my response to his comments.

    Why would you make such a baseless accusation, if not to divert attention?

    You’ve asserted (without apparent reason and without stated reason) that I “didn’t really have any knowledge” of the Loving opinion.

    Heh.

    Upthread in an earlier comment [80226] you said the following:

    –> The US Supreme Court has ruled (several times) that in order for the government to deny rights to its citizens, the government must show how allowing the right would do significant harm and that there was no other way to prevent the harm than denying the right (a compelling state interest, or in the Loving v. Virginia decision, the Court called it a “rationale basis”).

    Well, I’m impressed.

    1. In rational basis review the burden is not on the state to rebut a presumption of unconstitutionality.

    2. The Loving court did not call “a compelling state interest” a “rationale basis”.

    3. While there are different ways to categorize the Loving opinion, however, your comments do not display a firm grasp on the opinion, much less on how the case was decided.

    Small hints: solely on the basis of racial classifications, punishing interracial marriages, a felony, confinement in the penitentiary, automatically voids, certificates of racial composition, preserve racial integrity, corruption of blood, mongrel breed, White Supremacy, penal laws, rest solely upon distinctions drawn according to race, most rigid scrutiny, some permissible state objective, legitimate overriding purpose independent of invidious racial discrimination, must stand on their own justification, fundamental to our very existence and survival, the criminality of an act depend upon the race of the actor.

    Great big hint: In cases involving distinctions not drawn according to race, the Court has merely asked whether there is any rational foundation for the discriminations, and has deferred to the wisdom of the state legislatures.

    Another big hint: In the Loving case, however, the statutes contain racial classifications, and the fact of equal application does not immunize the statute from the very heavy burden of justification which the Fourteenth Amendment has traditionally required of state statutes drawn according to race.

    * * *

    Now I asked, upthread, if SSMers claim that sexual embodiment is as trivial as the superficial criteria for racist distinctions — size of nose, shape of lips, tone of skin?

    Surely you do not deny the two-sexed nature of the one human race; or the both-sexed nature of human generativity and of human community.

    What is so superior about sex-segregation that it must now become the model for the social institution which has always integrated the sexes and provided contingency for responsible procreation?

    What do you have against sex integration? Against responsible procreation? Against the core of marriage?

    You claim to have something superior and yet you seem incapable of articulating the core of the relationship type you would advance with your proposed reform.

    Failing such justification, it would be unjust to abolish the man-woman criterion of marriage.

    And, if the so-called justification amounts to pressing identity politics into marriage — in this case gay identity politics but in the Loving case it was racist identity politics — then, just admit it and we can proceed from there.

  • http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com op-ed

    R.K.: Yes, it may be a “slippery slope” argument.

    It is not a slippery-slope argument. A slippery-slope says one thing leads to another in an inevitable chain of events.

    It is, instead, a counter-argument by contradiction. Simply put, one cannot say that one supports redefining marriage for same-sex couples because “I support the freedom to marry for all,” and then turn around and oppose allowing polygamous, polyamorous, or consanguine marriages. The two statements flatly contradict. It is possible there is a different argument for neutering marriage that is not a contradiction, but it has not been advanced here.

    One also cannot say one supports neutering marriage because there are children living in same-sex households and then turn around and oppose polygamous, polyamorous, or consanguine marriages since children live in those households as well.

    The fundamental argument advanced here, that not neutering marriage opposes “equality” requires one to first accept marriage as an arbitrary vehicle for apportioning state resources. In other words, one must first espouse the idea that marriage is fundamentally unjust. Arguing to simply move the arbitrary lines about doesn’t change that.

    On the contrary, if one assumes that marriage has a purpose in society, and that its legal incidents flow from that purpose, then one starts from the position that marriage is a fundamentally just. One then argues for a change in the regulation of marriage to support that fundamental purpose, as in Loving.

    The problem for activists seeking to neuter marriage is that the purpose advanced by the Lovings, and the purpose acknowledged by the Supreme Court is procreation. Where a couple has the right to procreate together, they have the right to do so responsibly, which is what marriage provides for.

    So neutered marriage activists are left in a quandry. If they argue a new purpose, they are admitting the drastic change they seek. If they don’t argue a new purpose, they are mired in their own contradictions. The tactic used by neutered marriage activists to date is to simply stick with the latter in the hopes that some third option comes along because on the former, the question of purpose, they’ve got nothing.

  • J. James

    Is there anyone here who actually *IS* a gay parent? One who can actually speak to what it is like being a gay parent? It seems like the conversation has all been about outsiders looking in, and much more heat than light on top of that.

  • ken

    José Solano said in post 81064:

    It is important to bring up the “slippery slope” analogy but to also explain it more fully in relation to marriage. What has happened through the imposition of same-sex “marriage” is that such a conflation with marriage rationally opens the door for the acceptance of all forms of marriage.

    Except your “slippery slope” argument makes an assumption that may not (or may) be true for these other cases. You are assuming that there is no compelling state interest to deny the right to marriage in these other cases.

    For the record, if there are other groups that cannot currently marry and wish to petition for the right to do so, I think they should be allowed to argue their case. And the state should be held to the same standards of providing a compelling state interest in denying those marriages.

  • Chairm

    No, Ken, you are mistaken.

    There is no need for a “compelling state interest”. You did not reach Goodridge very well.

    Rational basis.

    Now, given what you say marriage is, please state why two related gay men would be ineligible.

    You are trying to reposition “marriage” by sidelining its core which you apparently find inferior to your idea of what the relationship status is, at its core.

    If you cannot point to the center of this relationship type, then, how do you know if you have drawn the boundaries correctly?

    Also, if you are now claiming that others must petition to gain what you say is a constitutional right, then, you are not making a genunine case for equality with your SSM argument.

    You wouldn’t want to be revealed as someone making comments as merely a poseur, would you?

  • Chairm

    Ken, you did read 81094, right?

    Where you showed you did not understand the basics of the Loving decision, right?

    Goodridge imposed SSM. Rational basis review. But check out their misuse of that standard.

    You seem to depend on that standard and on the elision of the actual argument in favor of the man-woman criterion.

    If you stand on Goodridge, then, you stand on the abuse of that same standard. That is evident in your mischaractization of the shift of the burden from plaintiffs to the state.

    Even though 6-1 of the justices were against the claim of unjust discrimination. Even though the court was unanimous in not deciding based on unjust sexual orientation discrimination.

    All you can muster is a speculative 3-3 tie on sexual orientation and a single vote in favor of sex discrimination.

    The upshot is that there was no majority of judicial votes in favor of the scrutiny you want to impose here.

    Since that is your starting place, as announced in your own words in your own comments, you are profoundly mistaken.

    The actual starting place is as Sosman, Cordy, and Spina stated in their dissents. While they were clearly united on the standard and on the result and remedy, while the others were not, you are left with contradictory judicial opinions on your side of the ledger.

    So much for your so-called faith in judicial opinions.

  • J. James

    All heat, no light.

    Chairm and Ken, your fighting is a useless tangent.

  • ken

    Chairm,

    to clarify, the US Supreme Court requires that in order for the government to deny a right (not simply marriage, but any right) to anyone, the government must show a compelling interest to do so. Do you agree or disagree with this statement ?(a simple “yes” or “no” will suffice, but feel free to expound on it).

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Op Ed,

    I’m still waiting for you to either back up your accusation or apologize for it.

  • http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/ Op Ed.

    Read back, Timothy.

  • http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/ Op Ed.

    Ken: …the US Supreme Court requires that in order for the government to deny a right (not simply marriage, but any right) to anyone, the government must show a compelling interest to do so.

    False.

    The U.S. Constitution restricts the government from denying anyone their rights, compelling interest or no. At fault is likely your definition of “rights.” The various standards of scrutiny, for example strict scrutiny to which you seem to be referring here, refer to laws (not rights) that discriminate based on certain classifications such as race or religion.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Op Ed,

    OK. I read back.

    You neither showed where I assumed Richard Loving’s biases nor did you apologize for the false accusation.

    It takes very little for someone to say, “Oh, I misread you. I’m sorry”. You choose not to take this step. You now have zero credibility.

  • jayhuck

    RK -

    As you can see, the pro SSM side keeps discussing the issue as if it really were neatly encapsulated around the issue of gays and gay rights, while we keep trying to explain that it encompasses far more than that. How else can we put it? Is it that hard to understand?

    Is it so hard to understand what we are trying to say RK? This doesn’t have to be about any other relationships if we don’t want it to be – although I personally feel that other relationships should also get the recognition of marriage.

    Gay people have NO obligation to ask for anything more than equal rights for their group – none! The fact that you and others try to bring other groups into the picture to me, seems much more like a diversionary and fear-mongering tactic. That is probably the effect, even if it is not necessarily the intent. When African Americans asked for equal rights or when people fought for interracial marriage, I believe their detractors used the same “slipper slope” or , what-about-all-these-other-group arguments that you and others are using. Its not really a surprise that these kinds of arguments are still around I suppose, but it is disheartening.

  • R.K.

    Jayhuck,

    This doesn’t have to be about any other relationships if we don’t want it to be

    And then, in the next paragraph:

    When African Americans asked for equal rights or when people fought for interracial marriage, I believe their detractors used the same “slipper slope” or , what-about-all-these-other-group arguments that you and others are using.

    You’re contradicting yourself there. You want it to be about other groups that have previously been denied marriage, but not about any that still are, post SSM.

    Again, I think the problem is not that you guys don’t understand what we’re trying to say, but that you do, though you may not want to admit it.

    By the way, the persistent refusal to answer the questions I posed in 80559 (and repeated in 80999) indicates a fear of engagement.

    To be fair, Jayhuck says “although I personally feel that other relationships should also get the recognition of marriage”. OK, although you don’t say which “other relationships” you are referring to.

    Gay people have NO obligation to ask for anything more than equal rights for their group – none!

    No, but SSM advocates (a group not exclusive to or including all gays; let’s quit confusing the terms) should not be refusing to face logical questions about what the change in the core definition of marriage which they are advocating implies. That is the question we’re asking, and that is the question which Jayhawk, Ken, Timothy, and J. James want to evade and evade.

    So, I must ask again the same questions I asked in 80559 and 80999. Either attempt an answer or explain the irrelevance. You have done neither.

    May I suggest, however, that the reason you don’t want to tackle the question about the sterilized siblings is that to most people, probably including Ken and some of the others here who are pro-SSM (perhaps not Jayhuck), it is not just about the possibility of deformed children, but merely about the fact that they are siblings, nothing else, case closed?

    The “ick factor”.

    See, what I’ve been trying to get at is that when confronted by questions of “why” all the time, instead of merely dismissing our instinctive reactions as mere ignorance, perhaps we should examine why we have them, and this may answer more questions about ourselves than we like, but it may be a worthwhile exercise nevertheless. Even if it leads us to conclusions we don’t like.

    Why do we have a reflexive recoil from the idea of sex/marriage between close relatives. (A recoil I share, and will defend, BTW).

    Is it similar to the recoil so many have toward SSM?

    One of the more articulate defenders of SSM that I have come across, Gabriel Rosenberg, came close, I think, to an answer on his blog a while back, though inadvertently.

    Really, guys, I’m just asking you all to dig deeper, and you clearly don’t want to do it.

    And posts like J. James’s say nothing. J., you assume you know where we all come from, but you don’t, anymore than we know where you all come from. I am not approaching this from a religious angle.

    Deductive reasoning is not so bad, guys. Try it more often. You can start by tackling the questions about what the new definition of marriage you propose implies. And if you reject some of those implications, ask why.

  • R.K.

    I asked,

    Why do we have a reflexive recoil from the idea of sex/marriage between close relatives. (A recoil I share, and will defend, BTW).

    Is it similar to the recoil so many have toward SSM?

    Do not try to run away from this by claiming that the comparison I’m making is a moral one and that you’re insulted. The similarity is in underlying social motives (or, perhaps I should say, similar human needs).

  • jayhuck

    Rk -

    I’m not making this about other relationships, you are! I’m fine with other groups having the state recognize them their relationships!

    No, but SSM advocates (a group not exclusive to or including all gays; let’s quit confusing the terms) should not be refusing to face logical questions about what the change in the core definition of marriage which they are advocating implies. That is the question we’re asking, and that is the question which Jayhawk, Ken, Timothy, and J. James want to evade and evade.

    We’ve answered the questions – ad nauseum RK!

    Is it similar to the recoil so many have toward SSM?

    I agree that there may be some “recoil” as you put it RK, but where does that recoil come from? Is is something innate in people, or do other groups try and paint scary and irrational thoughts about gay people in our society? Why is is that most people who really know other gay people support them and their search for a place at the marriage table? That seems to be worth exploring if you ask me. Why is it that our society, as it becomes more accepting of gay people and as more gay people become visible, also becomes more accepting of same-sex marriage?

  • jayhuck

    RK -

    Dig a little deeper indeed!

  • R.K.

    See, there again, you reduce the whole issue merely to questions about gay people, without tackling the questions we are asking: what are the implications of what you are proposing that go way beyond just gay people?

    We’ve answered the questions – ad nauseum RK!

    No you have not. Should we get a truly neutral observer and ask them?

    Is is something innate in people, or do other groups try and paint scary and irrational thoughts about gay people in our society?

    Probably culturally unavoidable, though that’s something to be discussed further.

    or do other groups try and paint scary and irrational thoughts about gay people in our society?

    Again, not digging deep enough. What causes them to have these thoughts?

    Why is is that most people who really know other gay people support them and their search for a place at the marriage table? That seems to be worth exploring if you ask me. Why is it that our society, as it becomes more accepting of gay people and as more gay people become visible, also becomes more accepting of same-sex marriage?

    Because sympathy is being confused with positions being advocated to “prove” that sympathy, not examining what the effect of the positions may be. What’s more, it takes generations to really gauge effects on a culture, not the results of a mere ten-to-fifteen-year campaign.

    But keep evading the questions. Hey, I guess you are all digging yourselves in a little deeper after all.

  • R.K.

    “Because sympathy is being confused with positions being advocated to “prove” that sympathy, not examining what the effect of the positions may be.”

    I might add, because personal effect is being confused with long-term cultural effect.

    Not that I am so sure the personal effect will be so great in the long run either, and yes, I mean for gays too.

    Timothy asked about an argument against SSM that was gay-centered (that is, why it may not be good for gays either). Well, I actually hinted at one big one a ways above.

    Believe it or not, I do not want the government to ever be able to identify who is gay, even if inexactly or only in part. Need I elaborate?

    The belief that “things can only get better” has not been borne out by human history.

  • http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/ José Solano

    “For the record, if there are other groups that cannot currently marry and wish to petition for the right to do so, I think they should be allowed to argue their case. And the state should be held to the same standards of providing a compelling state interest in denying those marriages.”

    81124

    There is no “right” to obtain privileges. A government determines if it wishes to provide privileges, but they must be provided equitably in a democracy. Government can get out of the marriage business altogether and there are some that would like to see this happen. They can get out of it because people have no inherent right to have a government recognize their relationship as a marriage and then provide it special distinctions and benefits. There is no right to obtain a driver’s license unless they have already been granted to a specific group and as a member of that group you are denied that license. A government may determine equitably not to place certain people into that group because of age, particular handicap, inability to drive, etc. The test for a driver’s license may even vary from state to state.

    Most societies bestow upon certain people benefits and privileges if they marry. They recognize what marriage means and then may place particular limitations on the type of marriages they will accept to provide benefits for it. Some do not privilege polygamous marriages or marriages below a certain age while others do. Some societies, such as the ancient Jews, have denied interracial marriages and/or marriages outside of their religion. Our government has wisely chosen not to do this but also wisely chosen to not privilege incestuous or polygamous relationships. Some churches will still not marry individuals of different religions. In the Catholic Church itself certain conditions must be met for individuals of different religions to be married.

    But the homosexual relationship simply defies the meaning of marriage altogether and even if the state should grant you a piece of paper saying you are married it’s simply a farce, a mock marriage. It’s like calling a mouse a lion so as to inflate the mouse. If society determines to denigrate marriage by making a farce out of it, in referring to nonmarriage as marriage, then I would say it is time for government to get out of the marriage licensing business. I already advocate that people who would like to retain the dignity of marriage not marry in Massachusetts where four judges have made a mockery of marriage. They should try a neighboring state or even Reno where the man and woman relationship as essential for marriage is still recognized.

    If the state needed to provide a “compelling reason” to not marry people of the same sex it would be a very simple matter rationally and objectively. It is far more difficult to provide this justification for not marrying those in polygamous and incestuous relationships but the former is simply not marriageable. And so humanity has always, in all cultures and all ages—except for our very confused times—not even imagined that anyone could marry someone of one’s own sex. Even the ancient Greek society, in which almost all men were engaging in homosexual activity, pedophilia, etc., never entertained such a ludicrous thought as marrying people of the same sex.

    So, “What is the compelling state interest in denying gays the right to marriage?” 80169

    What more compelling reason does anyone need than the fact that they are not marriageable?

  • Chairm

    Ken,

    Upthread in an earlier comment [80226] you said that the Loving court called “a compelling interest” a “rationale basis”

    In my response [81094] I noted that, as per the Loving opinion,

    In cases involving distinctions not drawn according to race, the Court has merely asked whether there is any rational foundation for the discriminations, and has deferred to the wisdom of the state legislatures.

    That’s the standard of review now known as “rational basis” in the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence. The burden is on the complaintants, not the state, because the law is presumed constitutional.

    Also, I noted that, in the Loving case the statutes contain racial classifications, which shifts to the state the very heavy burden of justification which the Fourteenth Amendment has traditionally required of state statutes drawn according to race.

    A classification based on race is suspect — the burden shifts to the state — but it can still be justified based on various criteria.

    No where in the Loving opinion is the phrase “a compelling interest” used, let alone used remotely as meaning “a rational basis”.

    In your recent comment [81174] you’d “clarify” that,

    –> the US Supreme Court requires that in order for the government to deny a right (not simply marriage, but any right) to anyone, the government must show a compelling interest to do so. Do you agree or disagree with this statement ?(a simple “yes” or “no” will suffice, but feel free to expound on it).

    No.

    But your question is incredibly simplistic and is actually not on-point, anyway.

    You were talking about Loving and you were trying to make a connection between that case and Goodridge.

    That is where a clarification would be more relevant and, frankly, more useful.

    But, if we want to try to apply your question to your viewpoint, Ken, and anyone else who’d agree with the SSM-merger, then, ask it of yourself.

    Given your comments, the presumption must be that anyone who wants to marry must be permitted.

    UNLESS — the government shows a compelling state interest in the prohibition.

    Please pick your best example of a prohibition, state the compelling state interest, and then explain the objective criteria by which you would support that existing prohibition.

    I’ve already suggested an all-gay example. I’ll restate that example.

    Harry wants to marry Dexter. But he is Dexter’s twin brother. Sexual relations is not a requirement. They may or may not be attracted to each other, but they are both openly gay.

    But there is a prohibition on closely related people. And, according to you, Ken, that prohibition is based on the hazards of procreation. Of course, neither Harry nor Dexter would marry to have children together. Adoption is an option, as is 3rd party procreation, but that’s not a requirement either.

    Frodel is also a gay man. Harry could marry Frodel because they are not related.

    1. Why the prohibition on one all-male combo but not the other?

    Frodel decides that he would marry Frodel, because he can and Frodel is also willing, and yet both of them would also like to marry Dexter.

    2. Why the prohibition on either man marrying two men?

    Earlier, Ken, you said expressed concern about not enough women for men who’d like to marry women, if multi-marriage was allowed. That’s not a problem in this scenario.

    So, minus concern for sex integration and responsible procreation, what is it at the core of the relationship type (what you’d call marriage) that could possibly produce a compelling state interest to prohibit the private arrangement of these men — either in closely related marriage or in multi-marriage?

    Make it all about your gaycentric view if you must. We can explore how that standard might apply beyond that view, later.

  • Chairm

    Heh, typo correction:

    Harry decides that he would marry Frodel, because he can (they are not closely related) and Frodel is also willing, and yet both of them would also like to marry Dexter.

  • Chairm

    Woa, Jayhuck.

    –> We’ve answered the questions – ad nauseum RK!

    Okay, I’ll restate what you seem to have answered and you can confirm, correct, or clarify.

    No boundaries.

    Yes?

  • Chairm

    Jayhuck,

    –> Why is is that most people who really know other gay people support them and their search for a place at the marriage table?

    I know plenty. And it is mistaken to assume that all openly gay people agree with the SSM-merger.

    And even more mistaken to assume that the way it has been imposed in Massachusetts is approved by people just because they identify as gay.

    And, yes, even more mistaken again to assume that either on substance or on process that friends of gay people must agree with the SSM-merger.

    See, this is what I mean when I talk of identity politics being pressed into the process, the discourse, and into marriage recognition.

    Put that nonesense aside and give people more credit than that. It ain’t all about The Gays, you know. Marriage is not about sexual orientation. It is about integration of the sexes and responsible procreation. And, gay or not, the one-sex-short arrangement is not marriage.

    If there is merit in a relationship status, at law, for a gaycentric type of relationship, then, just state it plainly. And then ask yourself if that merit, whatever you think it may be, can distinguish the relationship type you have in mind from nonmarital relationship types that are not gaycentric.

    When you reflect on that, and I hope you will “dig deeper” to at least give it more thought, consider the various tests that SSM arugmentation has imposed on the man-woman criterion. Ask yourself if “marriage equality” is more than a slogan for a bumpersticker.

    If you seek greater tolerance for gay identity, that’s a different cause than the SSM-merger.

    Look what identity politics is doing in the presidential campaign — the race and gender cards — the religion cards — and ask yourself if that is what you advocate when it comes to pressing gay identity politics into marriage laws.

  • Evan

    There are so many things in nature that are unfair for our order of rights. Maybe nature should be reverse-engineered to bring it in line with our claims to equality, such as we understand it. Then men would be able to become pregnant and women to impregnate other women. If you ask me, such a world would be a caricature by our own thinking, but to some ears I’m sure it sounds just perfect. So the question is: what’s wrong with nature?

  • ken

    José Solano said in post 81272:

    There is no “right” to obtain privileges. A government determines if it wishes to provide privileges, but they must be provided equitably in a democracy.

    Are you attempting to say that marriage is not a right. but a privilege?

    If the state needed to provide a “compelling reason” to not marry people of the same sex it would be a very simple matter rationally and objectively.

    And what would those interests be? Keep in mind even if you could show that the state interest in marriage was solely for procreation (a notion I disagree with), you would need to show that allowing gay marriage would interfere with the state goal of procreation, not simply that gay marriages wouldn’t contribute to the goal.

    So, “What is the compelling state interest in denying gays the right to marriage?” 80169

    What more compelling reason does anyone need than the fact that they are not marriageable?

    Same-sex couples are capable of marrying under the civil laws, except for the man/woman criteria. Remove that and they are capable of satisfying all the other requirements needed to enter into a civil marriage. As, MA (and a few countries) have shown.

  • ken

    Chairm said in post 81292:

    That’s the standard of review now known as “rational basis” in the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence. The burden is on the complaintants, not the state, because the law is presumed constitutional.

    Are you also familiar with the term “strict scrutiny”? If so, in what cases is that applied?

    In cases involving distinctions not drawn according to race, the Court has merely asked whether there is any rational foundation for the discriminations, and has deferred to the wisdom of the state legislatures.

    Do you have a source for this claim?

    Note in Lawrence v. Texas (which was not racially based) the court used the term “legitimate state interest” rather than compelling.

    No where in the Loving opinion is the phrase “a compelling interest” used, let alone used remotely as meaning “a rational basis”.

    That is correct they used the term “rational basis.” If something does not have a “rational basis”, could it have a “compelling state” interest?

    In your recent comment [81174] you’d “clarify” that,

    –> the US Supreme Court requires that in order for the government to deny a right (not simply marriage, but any right) to anyone, the government must show a compelling interest to do so. Do you agree or disagree with this statement ?(a simple “yes” or “no” will suffice, but feel free to expound on it).

    No.

    Then in your opinion, what is the criteria for the state to deny rights to people?

    You were talking about Loving and you were trying to make a connection between that case and Goodridge.

    No, I was talking about the rights and justifications for denying it to citizens.

    Please pick your best example of a prohibition, state the compelling state interest, and then explain the objective criteria by which you would support that existing prohibition.

    Children under a certain age (it varies from state to state), are not permitted to marry. The state has an interest in protecting children from making bad decisions which that are not yet mature enough to handle.

    But there is a prohibition on closely related people. And, according to you, Ken, that prohibition is based on the hazards of procreation.

    That one example of denying incestuous marriages. It is not the only one, nor do I know all the possible reasons (apparently I don’t have the same fascination with incest that you have). I do know that incestuous relationships (regardless of gender) are illegal in many states. I would say that whatever the rational for making the relationships illegal would also apply to marriages. Further, as I have stated, if there are those who wish to challenge the ban on incestuous relationships, that state would be required to provide sufficient reason, i.e. show that there would be harm to the individuals involved, other people, or society as a whole, in the normative case (i.e. not some unrealistic corner case that someone dreams up).

    2. Why the prohibition on either man marrying two men?

    Earlier, Ken, you said expressed concern about not enough women for men who’d like to marry women, if multi-marriage was allowed. That’s not a problem in this scenario.

    That also wasn’t the only argument I gave now was it. As I said before, polygamous marriages present a host of legal problems (irrespective of the genders involved). I do not believe there is a fair, workable system that would allow such marriages. However, it is possible someone may actually design one. If so I would consider it. Until then, however, I believe the legal problems to represent a compelling state interest in banning such marriages.

  • ken

    Chairm said in post 81296:

    I know plenty. And it is mistaken to assume that all openly gay people agree with the SSM-merger.

    I have met some gay men (all of whom were single) who opposed gay marriage. However, when the question of gay marriage was presented as: “just because you don’t believe in marriage, does that mean other gays should be denied the benefits of it?” they would generally answer “no.”

    I’m curious chairm, how may gay couples do you know personally?

    If you seek greater tolerance for gay identity, that’s a different cause than the SSM-merger.

    I believe it is a larger cause that include same-sex marriage.

  • J. James

    R.K.

    No, but SSM advocates (a group not exclusive to or including all gays; let’s quit confusing the terms) should not be refusing to face logical questions about what the change in the core definition of marriage which they are advocating implies. That is the question we’re asking, and that is the question which Jayhawk, Ken, Timothy, and J. James want to evade and evade.

    I have evaded nothing. What does the change in the “core definition of marriage” imply? I could not possibly care less what it implies. So what if a man wants to marry three women? It does not deprive me or anyone else of life, liberty, or property, so there’s nothing wrong with it, and that is that.

    I am, however, opposed to special rights, and marriage is nothing but a boatload of special rights conferred to a “magic” relationship (with a 50% failure rate, which is an F).

    None of that has *anything* to do with why Christians oppose gay marriage. They oppose gay marriage because they do NOT want the quality of life for gays to improve. Period.

    And posts like J. James’s say nothing. J., you assume you know where we all come from, but you don’t, anymore than we know where you all come from. I am not approaching this from a religious angle.

    You accuse me of assuming which I do not deny. What you do NOT accuse me of is being wrong. Telling, that.

    However, it looks like my post (that “said nothing” — yeah right) was deleted. Warren, did you delete it? If so, why? I’ll endeavor to make changes if I have done something wrong.

  • Ann

    Why is is that most people who really know other gay people support them and their search for a place at the marriage table?

    Jayhuck,

    Is this from a personal observation or is there any data to back this up on a more wide spread basis?

  • R.K.

    None of that has *anything* to do with why Christians oppose gay marriage.

    Not all Christians oppose gay marriage, not all who oppose gay marriage are Christians.

    If you were saying otherwise, then you are certainly wrong.

  • J. James

    R.K.,

    I am not saying otherwise.

    Outside of that, do you disagree with something I wrote? Apparently not. It seems like I’m firing on all cylinders and hitting every nail on the head.

  • R.K.

    J. James,

    I am not saying otherwise.

    Then you should state your terms differently. The way you’ve stated them up till now certainly makes it look like you are generalizing that all Christians, and only Christians, oppose gay marriage.

    They oppose gay marriage because they do NOT want the quality of life for gays to improve. Period.

    There have been plenty of SSM opponents, here and elsewhere, who have articulated their reasons, and it is not about animus. It is not necessary for me to review what every SSM opponent has argued. You can look them up for yourself if you wish. But of course you will simply let their arguments go in one ear and out the other, and insist that whatever they argue, animus is the real reason. So it really is useless for me to try to convince you otherwise.

    I have evaded nothing. What does the change in the “core definition of marriage” imply? I could not possibly care less what it implies. So what if a man wants to marry three women? It does not deprive me or anyone else of life, liberty, or property, so there’s nothing wrong with it, and that is that.

    I commend you for your honesty. Now, are you willing to state this publicly when you argue for SSM? (Like testifying before committees, or speaking before large groups, if you do that). Ken, Jayhuck, Tim, please note, J. James stated it plainly and simply.

    Outside of that, do you disagree with something I wrote? Apparently not. It seems like I’m firing on all cylinders and hitting every nail on the head.

    Flatter yourself all you want.

  • ken

    R.K. said in post 81369:

    Then you should state your terms differently. The way you’ve stated them up till now certainly makes it look like you are generalizing that all Christians, and only Christians, oppose gay marriage.

    Given the statement J. James made, it was pretty clear he was referring specifically to christians who opposed gay marriage. To be as explicit as you want, would lead to overly cumbersome statements. If you were uncertain as to what he was saying, why didn’t you just ask, rather than assume the worst intentions?

    However, I do not agree with his implication that all christians who oppose gay marriage do so for the same reason. I believe there are some christians who oppose it simply because they do not understand the distinction between civil and religious marriages and have been mislead into thinking if gay marriages are allowed their particular churches will be required to perform them.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Ann,

    Why is is that most people who really know other gay people support them and their search for a place at the marriage table?

    Jayhuck,

    Is this from a personal observation or is there any data to back this up on a more wide spread basis?

    Polls show pretty consistently that those persons who respond that they know a gay person (through family, work, etc.) are far more likely to support gay rights generally, and marriage rights specifically. This is the single largest identifiable determinant (moreso than religion) in position on the subject.

    For example of those who have a close gay friend or relative, 55% believe that gays should be able marry while only 25% of those without a close gay friend support marriage rights. (May 2007 Pew Research)

    http://pewresearch.org/pubs/485/friends-who-are-gay

    When you get to non-marriage issues, significantly larger degrees of support for gay issues is evident in those who know and love a gay person.

    It is far easier to be opposed to equality on a theoretical basis when you don’t know anyone who will be impacted by one’s decisions. It’s much more difficult to look someone you like in the face and say, “you, I don’t want YOU to have the same rights and treatment under law that I reserve for myself”. Most folks want to think of themselves as fair and decent people who are kind and generous and harm no one.

    Simon Cowell said something interesting on American Idol this week. He said that Americans are genuinely happy and excited when something good happens to someone they know. I think that is reflected in our political views as well.

  • http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/ José Solano

    Clearly what is “compelling” for one person may not be compelling for another. In Japan there was an elaborate ceremony in which a man married a Barbie Doll. It was not state sanctioned but with enough people understanding the reasoning behind marrying a doll they may convince the state to give a piece of paper to that man saying he is “civilly married” to that doll. We would see that as preposterous and ludicrous but they might not find a “compelling” reason to deny him that license. How would his “marriage” to the doll harm society or how would it harm my marriage?

    Throughout history and in all cultures there was never anything that compelled anyone to call nonmarriage “marriage” and to provide a homosexual relationship special societal honors, distinctions, privileges and benefits. What was compelling is that such a relationship is an absurdity, an abomination that has nothing to do with marriage. A massive, enormously well funded propaganda campaign has succeeded in confusing a minority of people into imagining that the state should alter the meaning of marriage and call “marriage” what cannot possibly be objectively a marriage.

    On the “right” to marry. Do the people through their democratic government have a right to stop issuing marriage licenses to anyone? Do they have the right to get government out of the marrying business? Can they say that the question of marriage will be left only to churches, organizations, etc. whom the individuals choose to solemnize their union? Yes, of course they can. Indeed, what is the history of civil marriage? Civil marriage has not always existed but marriage per se predates human history.

    I point this out to clarify that there is no inherent right to be granted a civil marriage license and that we can do away with such an institution. And when it becomes so corrupt and confused that it grants licenses to those that cannot possible objectively form a marriage then it is indeed time to do away with it.

    What would be a violation of an inherent human right would be to prevent a man and a woman from willfully marrying at all, that is, of conjugally joining so as to become husband and wife with the freedom to procreate responsibly. The state could demand that some formal process be enacted to recognize that union and to protect children from that union.

    The problem of homosexualists relentlessly seeking to redefine marriage and usurping the societal approbations, privileges and benefits specifically given to marriage can only be resolved politically through a direct vote of the people. Will the people allow homosexualists to hijack marriage by denying the people the right to vote on such an important social issue or will people vigorously pursue the defense of marriage? Will we allow marriage deconstructionists to win the day and further undermine an already very battered institution by gutting it at its core, or will we struggle to protect the once venerable marriage institution by passing every state and federal marriage protection amendment? Floridians, come out en masse and sign the petition to place your state marriage amendment on the ballot! Time is of the essence.

  • J. James

    R.K.,

    I will address this once. I ignore all “You’re generalizing!” arguments.

    There have been plenty of SSM opponents, here and elsewhere, who have articulated their reasons, and it is not about animus.

    Do you think homosexuality is equal to heterosexuality? (yes/no)

    It is not necessary for me to review what every SSM opponent has argued. You can look them up for yourself if you wish.

    There’s no need because I’ve heard them all and they are all bogus. I can explain why each and every one is bogus if you want to hear it (you don’t).

    I commend you for your honesty. Now, are you willing to state this publicly when you argue for SSM?

    Yes. I have absolutely no moral qualms about it. At the same time, I don’t argue for gay marriage. Instead, I argue against special rights. In its current form, marriage is special rights for straights (and a few gays in Massachusetts and other such places).

    Flatter yourself all you want.

    It’s not flattery if you can’t come up with counter-arguments and instead bring up distractions. You got somethin to say? Say it and stop beating around the bush.

  • ken

    José Solano asked in post 81390:

    How would his “marriage” to the doll harm society or how would it harm my marriage?

    Because it would remove the requirement that both parties have to be able to give consent to the marriage, which is necessary to protect people who are incapable of giving such consent (ex. children or the mentally ill). Note, I do try to respond to reasonable questions posed to me. However, you a clearly crossing that line. And I will no longer waste time addressing these sort of ridiculous extremes.

    What was compelling is that such a relationship is an absurdity, an abomination that has nothing to do with marriage.

    Are you saying that gay relationships are an abomination?

    A massive, enormously well funded propaganda campaign has succeeded in confusing a minority of people into imagining that the state should alter the meaning of marriage and call “marriage” what cannot possibly be objectively a marriage.

    Are you simply objecting to the use of the word ‘marriage’? I.e. do you not have a problem with the VT/CT civil unions? Or are you objecting to giving gay couples all the right, benefits and privileges of marriage regardless of what it is called? (or both)?

    I point this out to clarify that there is no inherent right to be granted a civil marriage license and that we can do away with such an institution.

    Not exactly, the US Supreme Court has ruled (and re-affirmed several times) that marriage is a right. Now, it is correct, that the government could do away with all recognition of marriage, however, until it does, it is required to open it to all citizens, except where it can show doing so would be detrimental.

    Will the people allow homosexualists to hijack marriage by denying the people the right to vote on such an important social issue or will people vigorously pursue the defense of marriage? Will we allow marriage deconstructionists to win the day and further undermine an already very battered institution by gutting it at its core, or will we struggle to protect the once venerable marriage institution by passing every state and federal marriage protection amendment?

    I imagine about 40 years ago there were people asking very similar questions about allowing inter-racial marriage. Do you think that issue should have been put to a vote as well, rather than be decided by “activist” judges?

  • http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/ Op Ed.

    Ken: Now, it is correct, that the government could do away with all recognition of marriage…

    Is that an acceptable solution? That is certainly what J.J is arguing for.

    J.J: I argue against special rights. In its current form, marriage is special rights for straights (and a few gays in Massachusetts and other such places).

    Extending marriage to some more “gays” would still make marriage a “special right” since there still would be many associations that would not participate, i.e., consanguine, polyamorous, corporate, etc.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    An interesting poll today out of Maryland:

    19% favor gay marriage

    39% favor civil unions instead of marriage

    31% oppose both

    11% really couldn’t give a darn

    Now I predict the anti-gays will claim “81% support a ban on gay marriage” because lies and deception are their specialty. But interestingly only about 15% of those polled were in favor of a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/bal-te.md.poll17jan17,0,6008644.story?coll=bal_tab01_layout

    I’m guessing that Maryland will “allow marriage deconstructionists to win the day and further undermine an already very battered institution by gutting it at its core” instead of “struggle to protect the once venerable marriage institution by passing a state marriage protection amendment”.

  • Chairm

    –> I don’t want YOU to have the same rights and treatment under law that I reserve for myself.

    But I do want all my fellow citizens to be equal under the rule of law. In fact, I’ve fought for that in two wars; I’ve marched peacefully for that; and when I argue against the SSM-merger I do so in the context of the principles of self-governance and liberty.

    Ppressing identity politics into marriage recognition does not, and cannot, advance this basic principle of justice. It was unjust when racists did it and it is unjust today when the SSM campaign does it in the name of that version of identity politics that is gaycentric.

    Forming a one-sexed alternative is to choose not marriage but nonmarriage. It is your choice to do that. In fact, you have that liberty today.

    The SSM argumentation is against preferential status. Fine, you want protective status. See the provision for designated beneficiaries, available for the wide spectrum of nonmarital arrangements — one-sexed, two-sexed, closely-related, unrelated, gay, straight, rich, poor, and on and on.

    You want a merger of SSM with marriage. This can do only two things, at base: 1) reduce the preference for marriage to mere protection, perhaps even mere tolerance; 2) elevate nonmarriage to a protective status that innoculates gay identity politics against crictism (and eventually will innoculate other forms of identity politics that will be pressed into the merger of marriage and nonmarriage). From what I’ve read here, both things are highly desired by the pro-SSM commenters.

    This merger, and its reprecussion, you have not justified.

  • R.K.

    Do you think homosexuality is equal to heterosexuality? (yes/no)

    No. Homosexuality does not equal heterosexuality for one quantitative reason. And that’s not any more animus than saying that an egg does not equal a sperm means some “animus” against eggs or sperms.

    There’s no need because I’ve heard them all and they are all bogus. I can explain why each and every one is bogus if you want to hear it (you don’t).

    Wrong. I want to hear you explain why each and every one of them is bogus. In detail.

    It’s not flattery if you can’t come up with counter-arguments and instead bring up distractions. You got somethin to say? Say it and stop beating around the bush.

    Counter-arguments require first an argument. Where are they?

  • R.K.

    I said, in response to J.J.

    I want to hear you explain why each and every one of them is bogus. In detail.

    May I further specify that I want to hear a specific separate explanation for why each argument is bogus. Not just one explanation that you think serves as an all-encompassing refutation for all.

  • Chairm

    Ken, are you the spokesperson for all gay people everywhere?

    I did not think so.

    Your question about “how many” gay people I know is pointless. Is there some quantity at which I get special badge or something?

    Suffice it to say that I know plenty. Our friendships, and our shared knowledge of one another’s lives, are not subject to your approval and not open for discussion here.

    Full stop.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Your question about “how many” gay people I know is pointless. Is there some quantity at which I get special badge or something?

    Suffice it to say that I know plenty. Our friendships, and our shared knowledge of one another’s lives, are not subject to your approval and not open for discussion here.

    As has been demonstrated time and again, those who have close friends and family support gay rights.

    I don’t doubt that you have acquaintances that are gay. Maybe even a relative that you are not close to.

    But frankly, I have difficulty believing that you have close loving and sharing relationships with gay couples or even many gay people. Because most self-respecting gay people back away from individuals who seek to do them harm. And most folks who truly get to know gay people don’t fight so hard to negatively impact their lives.

    So either you are a different person around the gay people you know, or you really don’t know them.

  • Chairm

    To readers who may be confused by Ken’s meanderings:

    The correct standard of review, in all SSM cases, is rational basis, which you have been saying all along.

    But that standard of review does not require a judicial finding of “a compelling state interest”.

    * * *

    To Ken:

    Despite your brado, your comments have shown a lack of knowledge and understanding of the Loving opinion.

    Your comments are hopelessly confused on the subject of judicial review of classifications.

    Given the SSM campaign’s spin on this stuff, and on Goodridge especially, your confusion is not unusual among SSMers. That can overflow to the rest of society, as well, including those who oppose the SSM-merger.

    So I can patiently explain your errors but I am not here to school you on things you may rather remain ignorant about.

    Also, I do not enjoy seeing someone humiliated in a public forum. But your comments, as things stand now, do invite such humilation.

    So I am going to pause and ask that you to re-read our discussion regarding Goodridge and Loving and then come back and list any corrections you’d like to make to your own comments.

    Let me know when you have finished that and we can proceed from there.

  • Chairm

    Timothy, you couldn’t be more wrong.

    You have stooped very, very, very low.

  • ken

    Chairm said in post

    Ken, are you the spokesperson for all gay people everywhere?

    I did not think so.

    And you are correct. However, I have never claimed to be. I am not a spokesperson for any group. I speak only for myself.

    Your question about “how many” gay people I know is pointless. Is there some quantity at which I get special badge or something?

    Actually, my question wasn’t how many gay people did you know, but how many gay couples you knew personally. The point of the question, was to gauge how much 1st hand knowledge you have about gay relationships.

    Also are you planning on answering my other questions, from post 81338 ?

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Chairm,

    With all due respect, I find it difficult to believe that you have close gay couple friends.

    If someone spent hours describing a giraffe as a grey large animal with no neck, a long trunk, and big floppy ears, I would doubt their claims about how many giraffes they had been exposed to.

  • Chairm

    Once again, Ken, the answer is plenty and the rest is not open for discussion here. To repeat: full stop.

    Timothy, your speculations are cheapshots are very far from showing due respect. Quite the contrary.

    To both of you:

    Your attempt to hyperpersonalize the discussion does not distract from the profound flaws in your comments on the subject of marriage and on the issues related to the proposed SSM-merger.

    The topic of Warren’s original post was what we know about SSM and parenting.

    Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse points to a fundamental of marriage that cannot apply to the all-male nor to the all-female arrangement (homosexual or not, gay identified or not, same-sex attracted or not):

    http://jennifer-roback-morse.blogspot.com/2008/01/why-gay-marriage-cant-work.html

    * * *

    –> describing a giraffe as a grey large animal with no neck, a long trunk, and big floppy ears, ….

    I haven’t done anything remotely analogous to that.

    In fact, I’ve asked for you and other SSMers to state, describe, explain the core of the relationship you have in mind. The ball remains in your court.

    However, your giraffe/elephant analogy fits very well with your offered descriptions of what you think marriage might be.

  • jayhuck

    Chairm,

    Just so you know – gay marriages are happening now, they will continue to happen, and gay parents are parenting. The best studies we have to date show that gay parents parent as well as straight parents. I’m not sure what you are trying to say – unless it is more of your “responsible procreation” speech.

  • jayhuck

    Chairm,

    Jennifer makes a whole lot of assumptions and uses only one example to try and make a great generalization about all same-sex parents. I see a huge problem with this.

  • Chairm

    Ken,

    Before responding to 81338 I have explicitly invited you to re-read our discussion of Goodridge and Loving and I suggested that you consider making your own corrections to your comments.

    So, for the record, your comments, uncorrected by yourself, display your knowledge and understanding of Goodridge and Loving.

    Ken, at the getgo you said (for no apparent reason and for no stated reason) that,

    –> [Chairm] “had no knowledge of the Loving opinion.”

    And, I suppose, you meant to say that your knowledge, and understanding, of the Loving opinion was more fulsome and more reliable.

    It turns out you have shown the opposite.

  • jayhuck

    Ooops – sorry, I meant “RESPONSIBLE procreation” – LOL :)

  • Chairm

    Jayhuck,

    Do you think society should abolish the marriage presumption of paternity?

    Dr. J. used that one example to highlight how such a presumption cannot apply to the all-male nor the all-female arrangement. That’s accurate.

    What problems do you see with that?

  • jayhuck

    Chairm,

    I think society is already beginning to embrace the idea of same-sex parents. I see no problem with this at all :)

  • Chairm

    Upthread, regarding the Loving opinion, I said:

    –> In cases involving distinctions not drawn according to race, the Court has merely asked whether there is any rational foundation for the discriminations, and has deferred to the wisdom of the state legislatures.

    And Ken asked “Do you have a source for this claim?”

    Heh, “this claim”.

    Sure I’ve got a “source” for you.

    I lifted most of it from the Loving opinion itself:

    –> In these cases, involving distinctions not drawn according to race, the Court has merely asked whether there is any rational foundation for the discriminations, and has deferred to the wisdom of the state legislatures.

  • Chairm

    Jayhuck, you may or may not be right, but do you advocate the abolishment of the marriage presumption of paternity?

    It can’t apply to ‘same-sex parenting’, as Dr. J. said.

    So, what problems do you see with her “assumptions” and “generalization”?

  • jayhuck

    Chairm,

    Society is going to have to change its understanding because gay marriages are already taking place. Its not a question of whether it should, its a question of when it will. And definitions were made to be changed.

  • http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/ José Solano

    It is clear that unable to maintain a rational discourse on their marriage reconstructions the homosexualists on this blog have stooped to making personal accusations and infantile buffoonery comments.

    “With all due respect, I find it difficult to believe that you have close gay couple friends.”

    How close is “close?” How many homosexuals does one need to jump in bed with to demonstrate how close one is to them? This is truly silly. For one thing most homosexuals today don’t want to associate with you if you don’t condone their lifestyle. What is important is that we love them and wish to help them overcome their attraction to their own sex. Though they shun us they need to understand that we may be their best friends.

    “And I will no longer waste time addressing these sort of ridiculous extremes.” But homosexual relationships are a ridiculous extreme, not to mention the thought of having a same-sex “marriage,” yet I will continue trying to reason with you.

    “Are you saying that gay relationships are an abomination?”

    Well, what I was saying is that what was compelling to all those cultures throughout history was “that such a [homosexual] relationship is an absurdity, an abomination that has nothing to do with marriage.” But I certainly do agree with them. For a short time the ancient Greeks did not see it as an abomination and actually extolled the relationship. Nevertheless, they in no way imagined it could be considered a marriage. It never passed through the minds of their great philosophers because the notion is simply absurd.

    Anything that condones, privileges and provides special benefits to people of the same sex having sex with each other is preposterous and wrong. If homosexuals wish to have such honors and distinctions they should try to convince the public to vote for a special Homosexual Relationship license that confers on them special privileges. By definition it is the homosexualist that campaigns for such special privileges and I’m not a homosexualist. I would not vote for blatantly discriminatory civil unions that single out for special honors those engaging in homosexual practices.

    “I imagine about 40 years ago there were people asking very similar questions about allowing inter-racial marriage.”

    Haven’t you learned yet how bogus the anti-miscegenation analogy is with the effort not to neuter marriage? It is actually the opposite of what you claim. With anti-miscegenation you have a separation of the races in marriage and with same-sex “marriage” you separate the sexes in “marriage.” A civil union enshrines this in law as only same-sex couples have access to it. Within civil same-sex “marriage” you only have a corruption of the meaning of marriage by merging it with nonmarriage.

    The racists creating anti-miscegenation laws were not defending marriage as we who are pursuing marriage protection amendments. There concern was not marriage at all but the separation of the races and the prevention of mix raced children. They understood perfectly well that a mixed race marriage was indeed a marriage. They just didn’t want it to happen. What we are saying is that to have a marriage there must be complementarity of the sexes. This has always been known. It’s the sine-qua-non of marriage. That’s the specific relationship that the civil institution of marriage has always striven to honor and benefit.

    ………

    “And definitions were made to be changed.” Now that’s classic deconstructionist nonsense.

  • Chairm

    Now, Ken, was drawing from the Loving opinion, and I corrected him, upthread, and explained the basis for the analysis the Court made in that opinion.

    The year was 1967, as you may (or may not) have known. That is relevant because, I suspect, Ken is retroactively injecting into Loving things that have come from the Court in the last decade or so.

    And, further, he appears to be injecting into Loving the confusions prodouced by the Goodridge court. The connection between Goodridge and Loving is tenuous.

    Whether Ken is knowingly (or unknowingly) doing this retroactive injection, is beside the point.

    I said:

    –> Nowhere in the Loving opinion is the phrase “a compelling interest” used, let alone used remotely as meaning “a rational basis”.

    I said that because Ken had asserted the contrary.

    In response, Ken hoped to agree with the correction even as he tried to hedge his bets:

    –> That is correct they used the term “rational basis.”

    The term “rational basis” appears once in the Loving opinion. It is used by the Court in its paraphrase of the State’s argument.

    The Court did NOT say that “a compelling state interest” is “a rational basis”. In fact, the Court rejected the State’s proposed use of that standard of anlysis.

  • http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/ José Solano

    Homosexual “marriages” are a current delusion. They are mock marriages and should be dissolved as quickly as possible so as to stop confusing the public and especially confusing children. The FMA should take care of that and it’s what millions of people are working towards, including President Bush, Romney and Huckabee. McCane also opposes homosexual “marriages” but seeks another route to support marriage. In fact, all of the major Democrats also oppose homosexual “marriages,” they just don’t seem to be proactive. But President Clinton gave us the DOMA.

    I suggest we continue passing State Constitutional Amendments.

  • Chairm

    The Court rejected the use of rational analysis in the Loving case.

    To quote directly from the Loving opinion:

    –> The [State argues] that, if the Equal Protection Clause does not outlaw miscegenation statutes because of their reliance on racial classifications, the question of constitutionality would thus become whether there was any rational basis for a State to treat interracial marriages differently from other marriages. On this question, the State argues [that] this Court should defer to the wisdom of the state legislature in adopting its policy of discouraging interracial marriages.

    End quote.

    * * *

    In other words, the State (and NOT the Court) reasoned that the anti-miscegenation penal law’s race classification did not punish one race more than another and so the classification was not suspect; as a consequence, the State (and not the Court) reasoned that the test of that law’s constitutionality was not heightened scrutiny but rather rational basis.

    The Loving opinion clearly rejected this proposed use of the rational basis standard. Instead, the Court used heightened scrutiny and found that the purpose was to protect “White Supremacy”. (More on that in a bit).

    To quote the Loving opinion itself:

    –> we do not accept the State’s contention that these statutes should be upheld if there is any possible basis for concluding that they serve a rational purpose.

    Clearly the Court did not equate “a rational purpose” with “a compelling state interest”.

    * * *

    Remember, the following appeared in my previous comment:

    –> Also, I noted that, in the Loving case the statutes contain racial classifications, which shifts to the state the very heavy burden of justification which the Fourteenth Amendment has traditionally required of state statutes drawn according to race.

    –> A classification based on race is suspect – the burden shifts to the state – but it can still be justified based on various criteria.

    And now, to quote the Loving opinion itself:

    –> In the case at bar, however, we deal with statutes containing racial classifications, and the fact of equal application does not immunize the statute from the very heavy burden of justification which the Fourteenth Amendment has traditionally required of state statutes drawn according to race.

    –> At the very least, the Equal Protection Clause demands that racial classifications, especially suspect in criminal statutes, be subjected to the “most rigid scrutiny,” Korematsu v. United States (1944), and, if they are ever to be upheld, they must be shown to be necessary to the accomplishment of some permissible state objective, independent of the racial discrimination which it was the object of the Fourteenth Amendment to eliminate.

    End quote.

    For emphasis: “some permissible state objective.”

    For emphasis: “independent of the racial discrimination”

    In the Court’s reasoning, the apt analysis started with the presumption that penal law in this case was unconstitutional because of the suspicious classification based on race.

    “Rigid scrutiny”, now commonly known as “strict scrutiny” was applicable, according to the Loving opinion.

    * * *

    In sum, the Court differentiated “a rational basis” from the heightened scrutiny it deemed applicable in analyzing the Loving case.

    That pretty much contradicts Ken’s assertions that conflate rational basis with compelling interest.

  • Chairm

    Okay, it is evident that in his comments Ken has confused rational basis with compelling state interest.

    Compelling state interest is a phrase peculair to the jurisprudence of constitutional law in this country.

    While, I suppose, a person might use the phrase with some other intended non-judicial meaning, that’s not the context here.

    We’ve been discussing court opinions (among other things) and Ken has referred, and cited, both Goodridge and Loving. So if the term is used, in error, correction should be made and welcomed.

    Ken had the opportunity to self-correct. He didn’t do so. I think he is blinded by the result rather than the process, the reasoning, and the standards at stake.

    Ken’s comments have attempted to connect the two cases and, given his conflation of rational basis and compelling state interest, that attempt can be attributed, charitably I think, to the fact that the Loving opinion was based on heightened scrutiny while the Goodridge opinion made noises about heightened scrutiny but, according to Justice Marshall, was based on the lower standard of rational basis.

    So if we give Ken the benefit of the doubt, we might say that he is understandably confused because of Justice Marshall’s Goodridge opinion teaches that confusion.

    Marshall reached a result that SSMers may be very happy about. But how she reached it should be cause for great concern.

    So, instead of demanding “a compelling state interest”, SSMers like Ken ought to do as the Goodridge court purportedly did and use the rational basis standard which is very deferrential to the legislature.

    That’s not to say that rational basis review is a rubber stamp. But it is does presume that the law is constitutional. The burden is not on the legislature but on the complaintants.

  • Chairm

    Sure, Ken tried to hedge his bets:

    –> If something does not have a “rational basis”, could it have a “compelling state” interest?

    At this point, I’d just ask Ken to unpack that question/statement.

  • Chairm

    Remember, the Goodridge plurality opinion elided the actual argument in favor of the man-woman criterion.

    When SSMers say they disagree with that argument, they typically do so pre-maturely because they haven’t grasped the actual argument and, hence, haven’t understood the actual disagreement with the SSM-merger.

    Jayhuck et al, please restate, in your own words, what the argument is in regards to Responsible Procreation, for example.

    I, for one, am prepared to read your attempt to restate, and, then, offer either confirmation, correction, or clarification.

    That way you can be more sure you have understood what has actually been said in favor of the man-woman criterion.

  • Chairm

    Jayhuck,

    –> definitions and understandings were made to be altered. They will have to be to deal with reality.

    Okay. If that is true, then, please define the relationship type you have in mind.

    Based on that definition, together we can evaluate whether or not the abolishment of the man-woman criterion can be justified.

    Make that relationship type stand on its own two feet.

  • Chairm

    Jayhuck,

    There you go again. Baning your shoe on the keyboard.

  • jayhuck

    Yes – I have a long history of shoe baning! :)

  • Chairm

    Jayhuck,

    I invited SSMers to restate — in your own words — the argument you say you disagree with.

    The purpose is to reach a common understanding of that argument.

    You may find it disagreeable. But it is premature to claim you disagree if you have yet to show that you can restate it accurately.

    This is basic stuff that I think we (who disagree with the SSM-merger) have tried to cover when we’ve sought clarifications for you (who advocate the SSM-merger).

    The first principle of Responsible Procreation has found its expression in laws and norms which say that each of us is responsble for the children we create.

    That goes back to Dr. J.’s remarks about the marraige presumption of paternity.

    I asked if you would abolish the marriage presumption. I also asked, waaaaaay uthread (and I think it was asked of you, Jayhuck) if you would abolishsh the first principle of Responsible Procreation.

    I don’t think any SSMer has deigned to respond to these basic questions.

  • Chairm

    Heh.

    I ban flip-flops.

  • Chairm

    Some people actually think that flip-flops are a kind of shoe. Even if they were a kind of shoe, they should be banned as things with which to bang on keyboards.

  • jayhuck

    I agree – shoes and keyboards rarely work well together :)

  • Chairm

    Jayhuck,

    Gay or not, the one-sex-short arrangement is not marriage.

    Whether the nonmarital alternative that is gaycentric has the big shiny future you see in your crystal ball, you still need to understand the argument against the merger of nonmarriage with marriage.

    When I say nonmarriage, I am not overly concerned with the gay type of relationship. The nonmarital category is much broader than that.

    As is the same-sex category.

    At issue is what an SSM-merger would abolish in marriage recognition.

    If you can’t address that, okay, but you have not progressed one baby step from just banging your shoe, or flip-flop, or snowboot, or whatever, on your keyboard.

  • Chairm

    To be clear: Justice Marshall possessed a predrawn conclusion; she did not genuinely use rational basis analysis in her Goodridge opinion.

    And I see that happening here where SSMers start with the premise that the one-sexed arrangement (which they assume must be gay) is a subset of marriage and as such the man-woman criterion is a marriage ban.

    There is no actual reasoning on display. The conclusion is posed as a foregone conclusion.

    Just as Jayhuck makes predictions and in so doing chooses not to engage the actual argument in favor of the man-woman criterion.

    That’s what the plurality of justices did in Goodridge.

    And, as Ken has appeared to do here, Marshall reached back to before Massachusetts was a state and she imperiously rewrote common-law marriage from which the marriage statues and the reference to marriage in the state constitution had been derived. It is retroactive judge-made law that, supposedly, amends the state constitution and, supposedly, amends the statutory laws in Massachusetts.

    The constitution agrees with the statutes: marriage is both-sexed.

    Marshall disagreed with the statutes and posed as if using rational basis analysis (which is supposed to be highly deferential to the legislature) to legislate on behalf of the elected lawmakers.

    She disagreed with the state constitution’s reference to marriage, and pretended to divine the shared public meaning of marriage and did so by amending the marriage reference in the state constitutin — which cannot be amended without the consent of the governed via a direct vote to ratify a proposed amendment.

    So when SSMers say this is all inevitable, they do not show they understand the Goodridge opinion.

  • R.K.

    Jayhuck,

    If, after a generation, same-sex marriage does turn out to be a disaster, would it be better if by then it were already established worldwide, or limited to the few places where it is now?

    Just answer the question; don’t merely insist that it won’t.

  • Ann

    Society is going to have to change its understanding because gay marriages are already taking place

    Jayhuck,

    This is the problem – saying what society has to do. When you say that, it is looked upon as you are trying to force others to believe as you do – that will never work. That marriages are taking place is not the issue, forcing others to accept it as right in their eyes is the issue that is being rejected. In time, people can very well accept same gender marriages as an equal to other gender marriage, however, it cannot be forced. That is why I think a law that protects the issues that any couple are concerned with is put into place instead of using the word or institution of marriage – it will eliminate the forcing of moral acceptance and more than likely protect more people sooner than later. The acceptance part will come or not come but at least the protection part that most same gendered couples are concerned with will be in place.

  • ken

    Chairm said in post 81525:

    Once again, Ken, the answer is plenty and the rest is not open for discussion here. To repeat: full stop.

    I would point out it was you who used the “I know gay people…” assertion to bolster your claims in post 81296. Since you are refusing to give any more details about your inter-actions with them, I am forced to conclude, as Timothy has, that you really don’t know them well enough to understand their relationships.

    Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse points to a fundamental of marriage that cannot apply to the all-male nor to the all-female arrangement (homosexual or not, gay identified or not, same-sex attracted or not):

    Unfortunately, her implication that such a situation could not arise in an opposite gendered couple is incorrect. The “presumption of paternity” is just that, a presumption. If the case had involved an opposite sex couple where the biological father was not the husband, then the father could prove the presumption is false and you have basically the same problem. Note, this does depend on the situation and the specific state. However, in states that do presume the married couple are the legal parents of the child, that same presumption could apply to same-gendered couples (and thereby remove the whole mess of 2nd parent adoptions). But 1st it requires same-sex couples to be allowed to be married.

  • ken

    Chairm sak in post 81525:

    In fact, I’ve asked for you and other SSMers to state, describe, explain the core of the relationship you have in mind. The ball remains in your court.

    There is no “core”, it is a relationship not an apple. I have already explained to you the issue is allowing gay couples to obtain civil marriage licenses and all of the ensuing rights, benefits, privileges and responsibilities that brings.

  • ken

    Chairm said in post 81532:

    Ken, at the getgo you said (for no apparent reason and for no stated reason) that,

    –> [Chairm] “had no knowledge of the Loving opinion.”

    I never said that. I suspect you are misreading what I said in post 81029. However, in that post I was talking about Richard Loving, the person, not the Loving v. Virginia opinion.

  • J. James

    R.K.,

    No. Homosexuality does not equal heterosexuality for one quantitative reason. And that’s not any more animus than saying that an egg does not equal a sperm means some “animus” against eggs or sperms.

    Do you think homosexuality is a moral lifestyle choice?

    Wrong. I want to hear you explain why each and every one of them is bogus. In detail.

    Suit yourself.

    The most commonly used argument against gay marriage is that “marriage is about producing children”. This is bogus because if the people who said that really meant it then they would have been arguing for the voiding of any and all marriages in which the couples were infertile including those of menopausal women, and they would have done so with the same vigor with which they are opposing gay marriage.

    Another less-frequently used argument is that a man-woman union is blessed by god and thus only a man-woman union should be sanctioned by the state. This is bogus because if people only thought that man-woman unions were blessed by god then they would have argued against atheist marriages with the same vigor with which they are opposing gay marriages. It is bogus to argue that straight marriage is “ordained by god” and then allow people who defecate on the very notion of a god to take part in it.

    Another frequently used argument is the “marriage has always been this way” argument, also known as the “traditional” argument. This is bogus because it is simply false. The marriage-based-on-love tradition that we currently follow is a fairly recent innovation in marriage. In the past, marriage was used to gain money, make alliances, and otherwise change social standings among families in society. And this goes without mentioning that polygyny (more than one wife simultaneously) was practiced in many, many cultures including Hebrew and Christian cultures (as they are supported by scripture). The “institution” of marriage has gone through many changes, both in purpose and in the numbers of members permitted.

    The last argument I hear is the “slippery slope” argument which states that if gay marriage is allowed, then any kind of union will be allowed. This argument is bogus because, honestly, who cares if more unions get allowed? No union of any sort would deprive any other individual of life, liberty, or property (unless it was a forced marriage, a type of marriage which used to be pretty common before the “definition” of marriage changed for the umpteenth time), and therefore no harm can be demonstrated.

    What’s left? Punishing gays, that’s what. And that’s what this is about. Just admit it. Thou shalt not bear false witness.

  • J. James

    R.K. asked Jay,

    If, after a generation, same-sex marriage does turn out to be a disaster, would it be better if by then it were already established worldwide, or limited to the few places where it is now?

    What kind of “disaster” did you have in mind? A 50% failure rate, perhaps?

    I think straight marriage is pretty much a disaster, especially for the children of those straights whose “till death do us part” proves to be a huge lie.

    Of course, this isn’t really about “preventing a disaster”, is it?

  • http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/ José Solano

    “I’d say things are finally looking up for gay couples who have struggled so long for recognition.”

    Homosexuals have always been recognized and as I’ve mentioned, in ancient Greece it was fashionable among almost all men to engage in homosexual practices, pederasty, etc. This demonstrates that with sufficient indoctrination these practices certainly do spread. The homosexualists are working hard at indoctrinating children from the earliest grades and as homosexualists are observing, “things are finally looking up.” Impressionable youth in particular are being swayed into affirming all sorts of sexual activities. If homosexual practices can be extolled then the door is wide open to affirm and condone all sexual practices, and as I hear the naïve youths saying, “Dah, what’s wrong wit dat?”

    But it is indeed very naïve to imagine that the naïve cannot wake up, cannot come to knew realizations of ancient truths. The ancient truths and the obvious do not simply evaporate. They are merely temporarily obfuscated by the intensity of the propaganda. As youth matures and in dispassionate times ponders what marriage must mean and how absurd it is to misuse sexuality to form aberrant sexual relationships, when they take account of how these practices undermine normal, wholesome family relationships, even as a few homosexuals will be sincerely striving to maintain a semblance of normalcy, youth will turn against the extollers of this confused lifestyle and wonder how they could have been so gullible to be so misled by the concupiscence of those attracted to their own sex.

    But there will always be youth for self-serving adults to mislead with their propaganda, and their will always be objective teachings, as old as history, to help youth through the maze of confounding claims.

    One last point for now. It is stated: “If marriage is truly a religious institution, there are already many churches that perform same-sex ceremonies. . . .”

    If marriage is a religious institution churches cannot perform mock marriages. Thoroughly apostate, heretical and irreligious congregations perform mock marriages. You are free to join them and go through their heretical ceremonies if you wish to make-believe you are married. I’ve even heard of a Church of Elvis where they perform all sorts of “marriages.”

    Peace.

  • http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/ José Solano

    “I am forced to conclude, as Timothy has, that you really don’t know them [homosexuals] well enough to understand their relationships.”

    Please reread 81547.

  • ken

    Chairm said in post 81538:

    Dr. J. used that one example to highlight how such a presumption cannot apply to the all-male nor the all-female arrangement. That’s accurate.

    Unless you alter the presumption from “paternity/maternity” to “parentage.” However, the entire argument is irrelevant since the case had to do with adoption not marriage.

    If the couple in the case had been legally married how would that have changed anything? How does denying them legal marriage change anything?

  • J. James

    Jose Solano wrote,

    The homosexualists are working hard at indoctrinating children

    Very Christian of you, Jose. Your entire post was very, very Christian. I say that with no amount of sarcasm. Christianity is *still* a religion in which vilifying and hurting gays is an important part of the faith. My question for you is, are you aware of the damage that your kind of propaganda is doing to Christians’ reputation?

    Perhaps a visit to barna.org might put some things into focus for you, Jose. I suggest you read this:

    http://www.barna.org/FlexPage.aspx?Page=BarnaUpdate&BarnaUpdateID=280

  • J. James

    I want to amend my last statement. Yes, there are many Christian churches which welcome gays. I was directing my comment toward Jose, who will undoubtedly see those churches as “apostate” because they do not uphold the apparent sacrament of hating gay people.

  • ken

    Chairm said in post 81557:

    The Court rejected the use of rational analysis in the Loving case.

    Upon re-reading Loving v. Virginia, I realize I was mistaken about that the court rejected the state’s argument on the rational basis claim and was in fact rejecting the argument that a rational basis test should be used (however, the part I mis-read was not the one Chairm as cited).

    Additionally to clear up some confusion, my equating of “rational basis” and “compelling state interest” was simply because anything that doesn’t pass a rational basis test cannot have a compelling state interest.

    For emphasis: “some permissible state objective.”

    The “permissible state objective” is essentially (although not identical to) the “compelling state interest” argument.

    Now, before you start making all sorts of tangential arguments about “permissible state objective” and “compelling state interest” I’d appreciate it if you’d answer my questions from post 81338, specifically:

    Are you also familiar with the term “strict scrutiny”? If so, in what cases (situations) is that applied?

    Then in your opinion, what is the criteria for the state to deny rights to people?

    (you can re-read 81338 for the context).

  • Ann

    J.James,

    You have singled out Christianity as the religion that, in your words – hates, hurts and villifies – do you know if there are other religions in America or around the world who do the same or even worse?

  • J. James

    Ann,

    You have singled out Christianity as the religion that, in your words – hates, hurts and villifies – do you know if there are other religions in America or around the world who do the same or even worse?

    Yes. Islam is worse.

    I dislike Christianity. It can be saved thanks to its interpretive tradition (which allows Christians to get as fat and as rich as they want, but does not yet permit them to love gays).

    I hate Islam. It is evil.

  • Chairm

    Ken you are wrong about the marriage presumption of paternity. It cannot apply to two men nor two women.

    When you point to third party procreation you point to extramarital procreation you point outside of marriage.

  • J. James

    Time to amend again: Christianity *does* permit Christians to love gays, but only provided that the Christians in question interpret the Bible in such a way. I was directing my “[Christianity] does not yet permit [Christians] to love gays” comment toward Ann who likely sees Christians who interpret the Bible in a gay-friendly as apostates.

  • Chairm

    Ken said that he is “forced to conclude” but that is false because you are are openly indulging in adverse speculation. And stereotyping. And identity politics. Andn in so doing you have mrely stooped to attack the person, not the substance of the comments.

  • Chairm

    Ken said “There is no “core” and I think we should take him at his word. From his viewpoint there is no core to the relationship type he has in mind. It is hollow, according to him.

  • Chairm

    –> Unless you alter the presumption from “paternity/maternity” to “parentage.”

    That stands as a vote to abolish the marriage presumption of paternity.

    And that’s why the SSM-merger is a direct attack on the nature of marriage and on the most pro-child social institution we have.

  • Chairm

    Ken,

    –> Are you also familiar with the term “strict scrutiny”? If so, in what cases (situations) is that applied? Then in your opinion, what is the criteria for the state to deny rights to people?

    As I demonstrated in my comments yesterday, yes I know the term and it does not apply to the rights-based claim that the man-woman criterion of marriage is unconstitutional.

    No rights are denied, contrary to your predrawn conclusion.

    To form a nonmarital alternative is a liberty exercised, not a right denied.

  • Chairm

    Ken,

    –> I realize I was mistaken

    That is good form, Ken. The self-correction is very much appreciated.

    * * *

    And, yes, it does appear that I misread one of your comments in which you referred to lack of knowledge of Richard Loving and NOT knowledge of the Loving opinion.

    My mistake — in the midst of discussing the Loving opinion, I clearly read “opinon of Loving” the wrong way.

    * * *

    I do think enough is known of Mr. Loving (ie he was the father of his wife’s children) that in his court case he was not preparing ground for a “right” to the sort of relationship in which he’d be denied the marriage presumption of paternity and in which segregation of fatherhood from motherhood would be the norm.

  • ken

    Chairm said in post 81582:

    At issue is what an SSM-merger would abolish in marriage recognition.

    And according to you, what specifically would it “abolish?”

    in post 81587:

    Justice Marshall possessed a predrawn conclusion;

    In your opinion (and probably several others). Do you have any actual evidence to prove this isn’t just your opinion?

    she did not genuinely use rational basis analysis in her Goodridge opinion.

    In her majority opinion, she gave the criteria for a rational basis test, in MA; she cited 3 reasons the state gave for denying gay marriage; and she showed why the reasons didn’t meet the criteria for a rational basis. Simply because you do not agree with her conclusions (as Spina et. al) doesn’t mean she didn’t use a rational basis analysis.

    You seem to make a lot of unsubstantiated claims about Marshall (and others who you disagree with), but not a whole lot of evidence.

  • Chairm

    Ken,

    –> Additionally to clear up some confusion, my equating of “rational basis” and “compelling state interest” was simply because anything that doesn’t pass a rational basis test cannot have a compelling state interest.

    Sure, but that reverses the means-ends test that these levels of scrutiny serve.

    I great part, these different levels of scrutiny are about where to place the burden — on the state or on the complaintant — in arguing for the constitutionality of a given use of a given classification.

    You’ve talked of sex discrimination, for example, but that classification gets an intermediate standard rather than the strict standard and rather than the rational basis standard.

    You’ve also talked of sexual orientation, but that gets rational basis, not strict scrutiny.

    In other words, you have been demanding “a compelling interest” becaus eyou have been mistakenly assuming that the man-woman criterion must be presumed unconstitutional and that the burden shifts to the defenders of that criterion.

    The burden remains on the would-be reformers to justify the reform.

    –> The “permissible state objective” is essentially (although not identical to) the “compelling state interest” argument.

    Again, you may consider this a mere quibble, however, along with low levels of scrutiny, there are lower levels of burden on the state to justify a given use of a classification. This is significant.

    Yes, I realize that the Supreme Courts jurisprudence has increasingly become a muddle. That is indicative, I think, of judges showing lack of restrain (as judges) and succumbing to the temptation to act as “super-legislators”.

    In fact, the Goodridge opinion is a clear example of that.

    Now, sure, the result may please some people, but look to the process and to the principles that bolster our form of self-governance and the rule of law. Judges should not be rewriting the common law as the way to legislate changes to the statutory law; and they should not be doing so to amend the state constitution.

    I said this earlier: when the Goodridge court looked, superficially, at the marriage statutes of Massachuetts, it claimed to have seen a “marriage ban” where none existed.

    A couple years later, when Justice Marshall considered whether or not Rhode Island also had such a “marriage ban” written in its laws, she suddenly became blind to very same sort of statutes that she had considered a “marriage ban” in Massachusetts.

    End-gaming is a very serious problem that should concern all citizens, regardless of viewpoint on SSM.

    This time at issue is SSM. But next time? It could be something that you might not want judges to act as if they, and not the rule of law, was supreme.

  • ken

    Chairm said post 81664:

    It is hollow, according to him.

    I said NO SUCH THING! And I do not appreciate you twisting my words in this manner. However, it does show the level of deceit to which you are willing to go to “prove” your arguments.

    I said there was no “core”, which YOU kept using to imply that all relationships must have a single basis. People (gay and straight) are involved in relationships for a variety of reasons.

  • Chairm

    Ken, Marshall shifted the burden to the state, as you briefly described. That is not rational basis review.

    Tell you what.

    Walk me through her rational basis analysis.

    Don’t get suckered by her hints of a higher standard of review. She did not create a new suspect classification based on sexual orientation. She did not invoke sex classification. She claimed to have used rational basis.

    I think what you will find is that her claim to have used such a standard served merely as bookends to her meanderings. She planted one foot, pivoted around it, and turned in circles.

    That indicates that she had a predrawn conclusion.

  • ken

    Chairm said in post 81673:

    –> Unless you alter the presumption from “paternity/maternity” to “parentage.”

    That stands as a vote to abolish the marriage presumption of paternity.

    And that’s why the SSM-merger is a direct attack on the nature of marriage and on the most pro-child social institution we have.

    Yet again you take my words out of context and misrepresent them. Changing the wording from “paternity/maternity” to “parentage” would have NO EFFECT on opposite-gender marriages, other than to remove the sex based word (“paternity”) and replace it with a sexless word (“parentage”). All it would do would be to make clear that same-sex marriages (where they exist) have the same rights as opposite-sex ones, and may have avoided the problems in the case Morse cited.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Ken,

    My friend, I do hope you realize that you are wasting your time. You are arguing from fact, logic, and objective reality. Those are never convincing arguments to someone who is arguing from ideology.

  • Chairm

    Ken, if it has no core, what it at is center? Nothing. That is the same as hollow. No deception there.

    Look, if we draw boundaries around something, as I think is necessary if marriage — as a relationship type — is to be distinguished from nonmarriage — all the other relationship types — we do need to identify what we are drawing the boundaries around.

    That’s just basic lawmaking and is not unique to marriage law.

    Put it another way: what are the common elements of the relationship type you have in mind?

    Not the various legal incidents that are associated with it, not the secondary or tertiary aspects that may be found outside of the bounds in bits and pieces, but rather the common elements which give coherence to the relationship type.

    It doesn’t have to be one thing.

    You disagree, but I’ve noted that at the core of marriage are three things: 1) sex integration, 2) contingency for Responsible Procreation, and 3) the combination of these aspects. I don’t see these as bits and pieces but as a coherent whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.

    Maybe you see bits and pieces, only, and no coherency? Please explain.

  • Chairm

    Ken

    –> Changing the wording from “paternity/maternity” to “parentage” would have NO EFFECT on opposite-gender marriages, other than to remove the sex based word (”paternity”) and replace it with a sexless word (”parentage”).

    First, the marriage presumption is a presumption of paternity.

    It is NOT a presumption of “paternity/maternity”.

    Second, paternity in this presumption is indeed sex-based. Human generaity is both-sexed. And marriage integrates fatherhood with motherhood. That does not need to be eliminated for the sake of sex equality within the conjugal relationship. Rather the opposite. It needs to be reinforced.

    Third, yes, parentage is a sexless word. And that’s the point. It neuters the meaning of the marriage presumption of paternity. As in gender-neutralizes was is cleary gendered.

    You proposed a substitution for the marriage presumption of paternity. That is a vote to abolish this presumption.

    And, sure, a presumption is rebuttable. I never said it was not rebuttable.

    However, since it can not apply to two men nor to two women, due to the both-sexed nature of human generativity, the presumption is not rebuttable for one-sex-short arrangements.

    That is, it is not rebuttable because there is nothing to rebut. The presumption does not exist in such an arrangement.

    An alternative basis might be created, sure, but, as in adoption, that would depend on parental relinquishment and on state intervention to decree an unrelated adult to be the child’s alternative parent.

    Adoption points outside of marriage. Marital status is not bestowed by adoption. SSM cannot bestow adoption — without the prerequisites.

    So, compare those prerequisites with the marriage presumption of paternity. If your proposed substitution becomes necessary, for the sake of treating all unions of husband and wife as if they lacked either husband or wife, then, your proposal entails the abolition of the marriage presumption of paternity.

    If something does not fit the one-sexed arrangement, then, according to SSM argumentation, it does not fit marriage and is not intrinsic to the conjugal relationship.

    If not, why not?

  • http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/ Op Ed.

    Ken: People (gay and straight) are involved in relationships for a variety of reasons.

    That is not the question. To use your own terms, what is the state’s compelling interest in recognizing marriage? This has been the ongoing question which you have not been able to answer.

  • Chairm

    Tomothy, by your comments you appear to be convinced by identity politics and not by reason nor by respect for human dignity. You may well use reason and show respect on some other issues, but on this one, in this discussion, such has been subordinated by you to claims that suspend disbelief.

  • http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/ José Solano

    It is indeed irrational that homosexualists would have us agree on the very foundational issues that we are contesting in order for them to see that we love them. Yes, one must agree that two men indulging in anal intercourse is not an aberrant sexual behavior and that nonmarriage, that is, same-sex “marriage” is really marriage and not a mockery of marriage. What nonsense.

  • Chairm

    J. James,

    –> they would have been arguing for the voiding of any and all marriages

    That shows a totalitarian streak in your view of governance and of social institutions of civil society.

    –> with the same vigor with which they are opposing gay marriage

    That vigor is in support of marriage and in opposition of its arbitrary replacement with recognition of something else.

    On the other hand, you seem to equate a disability (i.e. infertility) with homosexuality. Or something like that. You might want to clarify, but you have presented a straw man argument there.

    * * *

    –> they would have argued against atheist marriages

    [blink]

    So now society is condemned for being pluralistic. I suppose this means we are not living up to the charge of “Theocrats!”

    Heh.

    The nonreligous arugments in favor of the man-woman criterion curt across religious, and irreleigious, lines.

    Kicking religious beliefs does not advance the public discourse of the SSM-merger. But, sadly, it does feed the gay identity politics and religious identity politics, alike.

    * * *

    –> The “institution” of marriage has gone through many changes, both in purpose and in the numbers of members permitted.

    And yet, with all that, the man-woman criterion has remained essential.

    This is because the nature of marriage integrates man and woman. And that sex integration is combined with the contingency for Responsible Procreation. There are inferior forms of integration and procreation, within marriage, but the core has remained the same across time, geography, and cultures. The both-sexed basis distinguishes marriage from other forms of relationship types that may have been esteemed for other reasons than what stands at the core of marriage.

    * * *

    –> who cares if more unions get allowed?

    Right, the argument that you seem to have missed is the one that says that to identify marriage, and to draw its boundaries, society needs to decide what is inside, and what is outside, the lines being drawn.

    So if, as you say, there is no slippery slope, because there is no more slope, than, I guess SSM would be situated beyond the cliff’s edge.

    Sort of how Wild E. Coyote runs on air before he realizes that he will descend into yet another puff of dust down below.

    * * *

    –> What’s left? Punishing gays, that’s what.

    Yes, I suppose, in your mind, the affirmation of marriage is punishment for gays.

    But it is not. Marriage is not anti-gay.

    Sure, the way the SSM campaign has pushed SSM, to disagree in law or even in discussion is an act of bigotry. Circular thinking that.

    But that’s the power and the corruption of identity politics in its various forms. Gay identity politics is no exception.

    As I said upthread, in comparison with the Loving case there is no criminalization, no penalty, no true ban, on what some here have called “gay marriage”. The practice is tolerated. And is accorded protections. Those who practice it are not punished through penal laws like the Lovings and other interracial couples were punished.

    Not outlawed the way that polygamists and bigamists have been punished. Not banned the way closely related people are ruled-out and are even considered transgrressors of the incest laws just for holding themselves out to be the equivalent of common-law married.

    Playing the “gay victim” game just doesn’t plass muster when it comes to the special status of marriage in our society.

  • http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/ Op Ed.

    Jayhuck: Preventing gay people from being able to marry IS anti-gay.

    That may be, but nobody is arguing that here. “Gay people” currently marry and nobody is saying that should change.

  • http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/ Op Ed.

    Jayhuck,

    I’m just curious – if you wish to ban taxi drivers from being able to get sirens, then what options are there for taxi drivers to attain those rights that so many ambulance drivers enjoy? I’m just curious, if you wish to establish a group of second-class citizens, a group who would undoubtedly benefit from ambulance rights and privileges, and probably pass those benefits onto society, how do you suggest taxi drivers be afforded these benefits? Please don’t suggest seeing a lawyer, because that isn’t even a possibility for many, not to mention this wouldn’t give taxi drivers a fraction of the rights that ambulance drivers enjoy.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Chairm

    You may well use reason and show respect on some other issues, but on this one, in this discussion, such has been subordinated by you to claims that suspend disbelief.

    Kindly provide the claims that suspend disbelief or apologize for the accusation.

    Well, I’m kidding. I know that you won’t actually apologize nor show bizzare claims on my part.

    Frankly it makes little difference to me. You lost credibility with me when you claimed your opinions were based on observation of your close friends who are gay couples. At least Jose had the integrity to admit that his wildly homophobic rants drive self-respecting gay folks away from him.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Is everybody having fun?

    Lots of heat, but not much light as far as I can see. I am ok with letting this go on since everyone seems to be getting into it. But I wonder if we could try something.

    Everyone who is still commenting – offer your best argument for your position without attacking the opposition.

  • http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/ Op Ed.

    Same-sex couples and Married couples?????????????

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Warren – my position:

    What is the essence of marriage?

    We all know that marriage has mutated and morphed over the millennia to be something far different than when it started. The purpose and use of marriage today is much unlike that of 200 years ago, 2,000 years ago, or 4,000 years ago.

    Marriage has been used to acquire heirs, unite warring factions, establish ownership of women, provide for unsupported females, and even out of love. It has been polygamous, monogamous, consensual, contracted, based on devotion, between total strangers, arranged, mail-ordered, and even between two devoted persons who have fallen in love and become engaged. There is even some evidence to show that in some cultures it has been between persons of the same sex.

    Marriage has been recognized by vows before God and family and community, by secret contracts, by jumping over a broom, by living together for a long enough time, by contracts between nations, by rituals involving human sacrifice, underwater, in a sky dive harness, and even by Elvis is a Vegas drive up chapel.

    There have been so many reasons, so many purposes, so many methods of marriage that it can become confusing exactly what comprises marriage. But there is one thing that unites all the various marriages that have existed through history.

    Marriage is the creation of a family out of persons who would otherwise be unrelated.

    Some persons – including some here – will never be able to accept that gay couples are families. In fact, the language used by anti-gay activists to differentiate their position is “pro-family”, terminology that by definition decries gay couples as not being families.

    But I know that these families exist. Families are being created by gay couples and such marriages are being recognized by friends, family, community, church, and by God. And eventually our government – and most Americans – will come to recognize what is already occurring.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    I am deleting comments that attack other views now. Just state your position in the affirmative and leave the attacks or rebuttals out. I will delete those comments. Do not rebut any further and do not attack a poster’s comments any further. Just state your position in the affirmative.

  • http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/ José Solano

    Just reread 81739, 81706, 81632, 81555, 81547, etc. Also reread the excellent commentaries by Chairm, Fitz, R.K. and Op Ed. The case against same-sex “marriage,” same-sex relationships, and same-sex parenting has been laid out explicitly.

    Thank you Warren for putting up with much discourse that indeed strayed far from the thread. I think the objective reader who wishes to wade through this volume of comments will see that homosexualists cannot identify the core of marriage and are merely seeking to redefine it, that is, deconstruct its ancient and universally understood meaning. We are the defenders of marriage not its adulterators.

    To deliberately deny children the benefits of a mother and a father is a terrible form of child abuse. If we were in some desperate situation where we had no alternative I could understand how a homosexual couple might address some of the needs of a child in dire straits. We are not there nor should we proceed as if we are. Pour money into improving child care facilities if necessary but whatever we do let’s not subject the innocent and vulnerable to a fatherless or motherless upbringing with people that engage in aberrant sexual activities and corrupt the meaning of marriage.

    To end on a point of agreement I’ll say that I do agree with Jayhuck on only one thing at this time. And so I’ll offer him the last word if no one else intervenes. He has said,

    “I’m not really sure anything more can be said on this topic.”

    Thank you Warren for the forum you have provided.

    Peace.

  • Chairm

    The nature of marriage unites man and woman; it integrates the sexes most clearly when combined with Responsible Procreation; fatherhood and motherhood are brought together out of the two-sexed nature of humankind, the both-sexed nature of human generativity, and the both-sexed nature of human community.

    This has remained unchanged throughout recorded human history.

    Contrary to some viewpoints, even related people can and do marry; when some point to changes in the social institution they usually miss the fact that these are typical variations on a theme — the nature of marriage as I have just described it. History is not a road to somewhere but it does provide a wealth of accumulated human wisdom from experience across time, geography, and cultures. With all the variations in the protocols of marriage, the core of the conjugal relaitonship has remained constant.

    For a society, marriage is like a skill that a musician learns. Without the core disciplines, a musician cannot successfully improvise. One needs the basics, the essentials, from which to create variations and to test new ideas and to adapt to changing circumstances, much as a jazz quartet play off each other without losing their theme. Marriage is a skill that must be learned, and relearned, across generations. When the core of marriage is shown preference, each generation carries on the theme and sustains the most pro-child social institution that humankind has invented as the cultural adaptation to our physiology and biology and our highly social nature.

    While SSM might have merit, it must stand on its own two feet and not piggyback on the both-sexed institution of marriage. Whatever its merits and demerits, this nonmarital alternative can only be justified with its own independant claim for a relationship status, at law.

    Thusfar, SSMers have argued for tolerance and for protections — all of which are available through other means than denying, in marriage recognition, the core of the conjugal relationship.

    The nature of the one-sexed alternative (gay or not, same-sex attraction or not, related or not) is sex-segregative and, where parenting is included, points to outside of marriage to either adoption or 3rd party procreation. What we know, with certainty, about SSM and parenting is that all double-dad or double-mom scenarios entail parental relinquishment (or loss) and some form of government intervention to decree a child adopted by the unrelated prospective parent.

    Now, if such a relationship type merits tolerance, and I think it does, and if it merits protections, and I think it usually does, then it can be accorded a bundled of legal incidents based on the core of the trust relationship. And, as such, it requires no new relationship status, at law, to be created, although some lawmakers might choose to go that route.

    Where affordablity or accessiblity can be improved, that can follow the usual uniforming process by which states have treated like as like. That can be advanced today with the well-used provision for designated beneficiaries — available widely across the country. It might also be advanced with a new relationship status which would be eligible for only those people who are ineligible to marry each other. It would not be based on the gaycentric view of government regulation of romance. There would be no gay test and no presumption of sexual relations. But this nonmarital alternative is not a duplication of marriage for it does not share the core of marriage. So there would be no such thing as incestuous combinations. Indeed, related people, related closely or not, would be eligible on the basis of mutual caretaking, dependencies, and, as already noted, trust.

    For those who worry about costs, a nominal fee of about $15 is required for Reciprocal Beneficiaries in Hawaii. The model for this alternative is not really Hawaii’s statute on Reciprocal Beneficiaries, but rather the long-existing and well-used provision for designated beneficaries. And that, I am confident, would have very wide support across the country, across ideological lines, across religious lines, and across the political spectrum. It would also have the advantage of being far more inclusive than even SSM in Massachusetts or Civil Union in Vermont.

    The first thing is to protect the social institution’s core — the comment elements that give it the coherence worthy of the designation as a preferred social institution.

    That requires affirming its core. The man-woman criterin stands for sex integration. The marriage presumption of paternity is key to the set of principles entailed in Responsible Procreation. And when society affirms the core of the relationship type to which it grants special status, then, the protocols and the regulation of its boundaries follows in light of equal rights, justice for all, and the ruel of law.

    Besides marriage itself, which is the foundational social institution of civil society, the SSM campaign has raised the specter of our undermining our form of self-governance. The government does not own civil society — it does not own marraige — but laws can and do influence social institutions. Governments can push social institutions to the brink of collapse, sometimes over that brink, and so must be restrained from using the big hand of the state to intrude upon civil society.

    How does the SSM campaign undermine self-governance? By abusing the judicial branch’s role in reviewing marriage statutes. By decrying the consent of the governed as some sort of “mob rule”. By directly attacking the independence of civil society and the basics of responsible and accountable lawmaking. By pressing identity politics into social policy and into the foundational institution of marriage.

    The law teaches. And, as I’ve seen with SSMers far and near, the courtcentric arguments of the SSM campaign have taught many fallacies and have spurred the continuous manufacture of yet more items to add to the litany of falsehoods that accompanies the conflation of marriage with nonmarriage.

    Responsible procreation, not just any and all procreation and not compulsory procreation.

    Integration of the sexes, not segregation of fatherhood and motherhood, not exclusion of one sex.

    Marriage is a social institution and the legal aspects are merely the shadow of the thing that casts that shadow. Society ought not to confuse what flows from the core of marriage for the core of marriage itself.

  • Chairm

    Apologies for the various typos. I have a slight disability with my hands.

    Warren — thanks for keeping the comment section open. The civil tone has been very good even if things got a little bumpy now and again.

    Congradulations on more than 650 comments under a single blogpost.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    To those who I have deleted, please see comment 81759.

    Thanks for all the energy invested here…

  • R.K.

    Warren,

    I have a lot to say on this subject and do not have the time tonight, but I will be commenting extensively on it tomorrow, if that is alright.

    For now, though, let me ask people to really think whether or not these general types of arguments are really good ones.

    1. “You say you have a core definition/limit (to anything). But sometimes you go outside the definition. Therefore, why not go much further outside the definition, or abolish it altogether”.

    2. “We have already made a lot of changes. Therefore, it can’t possibly hurt if we make an even greater change yet, even one that is unheard of.”

    Again, these are general arguments, reduced to a general form. Do they hold up in a general sense, without resort to specific issues?

  • R.K.

    Another general argument:

    3. “This system (an system) is already severely damaged. Therefore, another extreme change could not possibly damage it any further.”

    In general, is this a good argument?

  • R.K.

    Typo: (an system) above should read (any system), of course.

  • R.K.

    http://crookedtimber.org/2006/08/25/against-gay-marriage/

    All the articles linked to should be read by anyone interested

  • R.K.

    Note the use of two common pro-SSM arguments.

    The “institution” of marriage has gone through many changes, both in purpose and in the numbers of members permitted. (The implication being that it has adapted to all of them fine).

    The other “argument”:

    What kind of “disaster” did you have in mind? A 50% failure rate, perhaps?

    I think straight marriage is pretty much a disaster, especially for the children of those straights whose “till death do us part” proves to be a huge lie. (The implication, of course, being that because marriage is already in bad shape, another redefinition couldn’t possibly hurt it).

    Note the total contradiction between these two lines of argument.

  • jayhuck

    RK -

    Perhaps I’ve already said this, but in case you hadn’t noticed, gay marriages are already taking place in this country and many others, and no real problems have been created by these marriages.

  • Evan

    Jayhuck, probably neither did polygamy create serious problems as yet, still we think it is not appropriate. What about group marriage? Should we open our minds to whatever possible type of marriage may be proposed that does not “create problems”? Is “not creating problems” a criterion? I think not.

    Seen in this light, I agree with the argument that marriage integrates reproduction or its possibility (by nature, not by state of health).

  • Nemario

    It’s because they’re allowed to mary that the MRSA report was able to be compiled by the zip codes. We’ll just continue to see what kinds of “problems” occur. Of course then it will be too late.


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