Opinion

Gay marriage should not be made legal

No interest is compelling enough to justify gay marriage

It is unfortunate that there is such a growing stigma attached to arguing against gay marriage — at least here in the liberal bastion that is Massachusetts. If one is opposed to legalizing gay marriage, it is automatically assumed that the opposition rests on a basis of hate, homophobia, or other such negative motivations. There are, in fact, legitimate, substantive reasons as to why gay marriage should not be legalized.

Opposition to gay marriage has such a negative connotation because advocates have successfully framed the issue as one of equal rights. By this logic, if you oppose gay marriage, you are opposed to equal rights for everyone. They claim that the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees them the right to marry whomever they desire, including members of the same sex. To forbid this would, in their minds, be discrimination. But do all people have the right to marry whomever they want already, with the exception of same-sex couples? No; states have laws regulating marriage, forbidding first cousins from marrying, brothers and sisters from marrying, parents and offspring from marrying, and people from marrying animals, inanimate objects, or multiple other individuals.

Why is marriage regulated by the government at all? In fact, not only are there restrictions on certain types of marriages, but there are incentives for heterosexuals (not falling into the categories above) to marry. Why should the government encourage — through tax breaks and other benefits — some types of marriages while banning others? The rationale is that males and females, when married, are more likely to procreate, thus ensuring the continuation of American society. It is certainly to America’s advantage to have citizens, so there exists a compelling state interest justifying government subsidization of heterosexual marriage. The banned types of marriage are similarly rationalized; offspring from family members who marry are significantly more likely to be sterile, thus unable to continue the proliferation of society, or otherwise impaired. It is therefore not in the interest of government to encourage these types of marriages.

It should be obvious, by this point, which category gay marriage falls into. Same-sex couples are unable to procreate, meaning that there is no compelling interest to subsidize their marriages. At this point, many would argue that the happiness of same-sex couples would be enhanced by gay marriage, thus providing a compelling interest. This, in fact, is not the case. The government has already shown through prohibiting certain types of marriage that it does not view enhanced happiness as a compelling enough interest to encourage marriage of any kind. After all, if “enhanced happiness” was a compelling interest, it could be used to justify government subsidization of chocolate, which is proven to increase happiness through the release of certain endorphins. In fact, one could argue that the government should subsidize anything and everything that makes someone happy. Thus, “enhanced happiness” can clearly not be considered a compelling enough interest to justify the recognition and, therefore, subsidization of gay marriage.

While same-sex couples certainly cannot reproduce themselves, artificial insemination for lesbians would be an option. Or it might be argued that the government should subsidize gay marriages to make it easier to adopt. Despite neither arguments of these being good enough reasons to justify legalizing any of the types of banned marriages discussed earlier, it bears discussing. Regarding families where the father is absent, research by University of Canterbury professor Bruce J. Ellis has shown that, “greater exposure to father absence was strongly associated with elevated risk for early sexual activity and adolescent pregnancy.” This is relevant to the debate around same-sex marriage because, in lesbian couples, any daughter would certainly be growing up apart from their biological father, thus increasing the risk of these unfortunate effects.

Further evidence on the importance of having both a mother and father is provided by Stanford psychologist Eleanor MacCoby, who points out that “mothers, on average, may have somewhat stronger parental ‘instincts’ when it comes to responding to young infants.” In male gay couples, this is by definition not the case. An increasing body of evidence shows that it is indeed more advantageous for children to grow up having both a mother and a father. Once again, we cannot put the “enhanced happiness” that same-sex couples would get from raising a child above the well-being of that child.

Gay marriage is not a civil rights issue; it is a question of whether or not there exists a compelling enough interest for the government to subsidize and encourage gay marriage. As same-sex couples cannot procreate and, in fact, have the potential to harm any children they might raise, it is certainly in the interest of the federal government to maintain the stance it presented in the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Section 2 states “the word ‘marriage’ means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word ‘spouse’ refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.”

412 Comments
1
Anonymous over 7 years ago

You are quite an outrage to scholarly writings. "As same-sex couples cannot procreate and, in fact, have the potential to harm any children they might raise". Excuse me, but it has been proven that it has no effect on the child. Get your facts right before you start spewing stupidity. And also, gay people may not be able to procreate, but they are able to take kids in that need a home. Besides, what about those who are infertile? Would you tell them that "Because you cannot procreate, you may not marry the person you love."? You are quite disgusting, and you're claims are childish.

2
Anonymous over 7 years ago

Given the amount of rhetoric lately spoke about this issue, it is almost better that some people try to "argue" from practical terns instead of emotional and religions arguments.

It is sad, however, that people like Normandin do so dishonestly, in a clear show of bias. It is even sadder that ha does so in a place like the MIT newspaper.

While he talks about a "growing body of evidence, he only mentions two authors, and not even the name of their works.

Had he done so, we would have known that EE MacCoby also says that not all women show stronger paternal instincts, and that this may be a cultural rather than a biological issue.

Even worse, the quote on BJ Ellis article is unashamedly out of context; the assumed consequences of a fatherless home on teen girls are in the context of SINGLE-MOTHER homes, citing divorce, economic problems and 'a dating mother' as drives for this issue; clearly nothing to do with marriages between two mothers.

Mr. Normandis, you are better off admitting your personal bias, or as you say, "negative motivations." There is nothing scholarly, legitimate, or substantive in the discourse in this post.

3
Anonymous over 7 years ago

By spewing the same old false arguments that have already been refuted many times, both in scholarly journals and in courts of law, you merely expose your own prejudice.

Marriage has has never been about procreation. Procreation has never been a requirement or condition of marriage. Marriage is about legal protections and rights of the parties.

The Supreme Court has said, in a number of cases, that the right to marry the person of ones choosing is a constitutional right. In doing so, they have cited the 1st, 5th, and 14th amendments.

4
Frank over 7 years ago

So, Ryan, you say: "No interest is compelling enough to justify gay marriage". So sorry to tell you this but the Supreme Court of the USA has said in 14 separate cases that marriage is a right. In other cases the Supreme Court of the USA says that the state must have a compelling reason to deny a person a right. So, it isn't "No interest is compelling enough to justify gay marriage" It's "No interest is compelling enough to DENY gays the RIGHT to marry". This is why a number of conservative legal eagles asked that the Prop 8 ruling not be appealed. These conservative eagle eagles understand just how well grounded the prop 8 ruling is in regards to constitutional law and Supreme Court precedent.

Society is changing, Ryan, a majority of people in the USA now supports gay marriage.

According to Gallop, 53 of Americans support gay marriage with 45 opposed. But that is not what is so impressive. What is impressive is that just 15 years ago the numbers were more than reversed, with 68 opposed and 27 favoring. That is impressive social change by any body's standards.

Demographics is against you. Young people overwhelmingly support gay marriage while older people do not. It is a demographic that insures that gay marriage will enjoy even greater support in the future.

Time to wake up and take a real look at the real issues, Ryan. Other people are taking a real look at the real issues and are rejecting your sort of fear mongering.

5
shaun over 7 years ago

Bigoted self-centred remarks under the guise of intellectualism. A real pity.

6
Matt over 7 years ago

This is nonsense.

At one time, blacks and whites were prohibited from marrying because official-sounding scientists said it would be bad for children to grow up in a mixed race atmosphere and it was simply selfish for adults of different races to seek marriage to advance their own personal happiness at the expense of children. That garbage argument, too, failed and the Equal Protection Clause put an end to those discriminatory laws.

Children are not the only reason to support marriage. Marriage keeps people together, and it benefits society for a person to be caring for their elderly spouse (rather than the government having to do so) and promotes social stability for a couple to have legal rights (medical, intestacy, etc.). Even if marriage were only about stable environments for children, hundreds of thousands of gay couples have children, and millions of straight couples don't.

It's peculiar to me that Ryan speaks of the government having to "subsidize" gay marriage, when in fact gays are, as we speak, subsidizing marriages that they cannot participate in through their hard earned tax dollars. When the government seeks to discriminate among classes of citizens with respect to a fundamental liberty like marriage, it is the government and not the negatively impacted citizen that must justify itself.

The only time "conservatives" wish to speak of the "sanctity" of marriage is when it suits their desire for gays not to be viewed as legitimate couples. But these same conservatives avail themselves of their right to divorce (50 choose to leave their "sanctified" marriages), and have participated in a society that allows straight people to get married as many times as they want (whether they want kids or can even have kids), allows no fault "convenience" divorce, and that allows Britney Spears to enter into a 24 hour marriage. If marriage really were about promoting the things Ryan says, then it wouldn't take a very creative group of legislators to create a laws more tailored to those supposed purposes of marriage. But, then, I suppose those more tailored laws would burden heterosexuals' liberty. Perhaps Ryan can lend his vast knowledge and verbosity to hapless legislators to help them revise marriage laws that omit straight couples that are not involved in the scenarios we wish to promote (and perhaps include the gay families raising the adopted cast-offs of knocked up straight people in the mix).

7
Carrie Stone over 7 years ago

In order to support only those couple who are able to "naturally" procreate, does he also support the denial of marriage licenses to to the elderly and infertile? In order to avoid "potential to harm" to future children, perhaps he believes all couples undergo psychological/genetic testing prior to getting married?

8
Carrie Stone over 7 years ago

In order to support only those couple who are able to "naturally" procreate, does he also support the denial of marriage licenses to to the elderly and infertile? In order to avoid "potential to harm" to future children, perhaps he believes all couples undergo psychological/genetic testing prior to getting married?

9
Dave over 7 years ago

The state has an interest in supporting marriage because the institution (in theory) promotes the development of healthy, productive families. That is true whether children are part of the picture or not; procreation is not a prerequisite to marriage in this country. It is also as true for families headed up by same-gender couples as for those headed up by straight couples. That is why the major mental-health organizations all support same-gender marriage ... it is good for the couples, for any children they are raising, and for society as a whole.

Mr. Normandin needs to gain a better understanding of the relevant scientific research, and in particular needs to learn the difference between correlation and causation. Statistical studies showing children don't fare as well when a father or mother is missing are dominated by children from broken homes. Studies that focus specifically on children raised by same-gender couples generally show that they do just as well as those raised by straight parents.

As for the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, sound-bite comments generally oversimplify its applicability to this situation, but mostly by leaving a number of VALID assumptions unspoken. Same-gender couples CAN and DO form the core of healthy, productive families. Denying them the rights and benefits of marriage DOES do damage to those families. Homosexuals CAN form the same kinds of healthy, deeply loving emotional bonds most people associate with marriage, but ONLY with people of the same gender. And so denying same-gender couples the right to marry is, for them, a de-facto prohibition of marriage and all rights, benefits, and protections that go with it. It denies them the right to EVER enter into a successful marriage with somebody they love. Those various factors -- innateness, societal costs/benefits, assessment of the tangible impact of discriminatory laws -- are all elements of how 14th Amendment cases are judged, and they form important distinctions between same-gender relationships and the other kinds of relationships cited by Mr. Normandin.

10
Laura over 7 years ago

Yeah, good thing the government subsidizes marriage, or people would stop getting knocked up. Close one!

11
Anonymous over 7 years ago

the reason for marriage is not to have children it is to show your love for one another and gay couples may be more likely to adopt if they are married which is needed and as someone else mentioned what about all the women and men that are unable to have children should they be banned from marriage simply because of their misfortune. Marriage is about love not about making babies to keep civilization going

for being so smart i am appalled at this article ryan

12
David in Houston over 7 years ago

"...forbidding first cousins from marrying"

In 17 states it is legal to marry your first cousin. So first cousins that could potentially create genetically malformed offspring have more of a right to marry than same-sex couples.

Some straight couples marry without ever having or wanting children. Should their marriages be annulled? What about senior citizens and infertile couples? They seem to be making a mockery out of the institution of marriage as well.

Speaking of mockeries... Do you approve of Rush Limbaugh's 4th Till-Death-Do-Us-Part marriage? How about Newt Gingrich's 3rd marriage? I bet the two wives that he cheated on don't approve of it.

13
Tedderic over 7 years ago

In the United States we have chosen to create a government system that encourages life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. None of these things are under the condition of being in the best interest of the government or longevity of America. In fact if we were concerned primarily of the continuation of Americans then the focus of government would be directly pointed at the environment, energy stability, legislating parenting. The "logic" used here sounds like the "logic" used to socially engineer the Third Reich. But as unfortunate as it may turn out, parents have the right to be bad parents, clean up the education system and continue services for underprivileged families-but as it has been proven, same-sex couples have perfect capability of raising (or not raising) perfectly productive children. Your bigotry is clearly defined and your argument is antiquated. I look forward to the day that you sere these points abd write a retraction. And god forbid you ever have gay children.

14
Jacob over 7 years ago

Your distinction of a common law marriage being based in "procreation" is utterly disgusting and blind sighted. (Hypothetically,) say a man and women marry and want to start a family,however the women is proven to be infertile. Your distinction would then make their common law marriage between a MAN and a WOMEN illegal. A better grasp on marital laws would be ideal when writing an article about it.

Your opening sentence out lining that the stigma to your homophobic views ( of your views being supposedly in the "basis of hate, homophobia, or other such negative motivations") has been proven throughout this article. your biased view has been smothered onto the general public through this online news paper. And that DISGUSTS me.

as a journalist it is your job to be as unbiased and professional as possible.Also taking quotes in context is a basic journalistic rule.

you can have any opinion in the world, but before you bring this article to print, justify your reasons

I don't like putting labels on people but you sir, are a neolithic waste of space that is sucking up my air. SIT DOWN

Kind regards

Jacob Watson (Mathematics Professor, that's right I teach your children)

15
TJ Barton over 7 years ago

Ryan Normandin and Keith Yost: the kings of white male privilege.

16
Red over 7 years ago

"There are, in fact, legitimate, substantive reasons as to why gay marriage should not be legalized."

And yet, you're unable to provide one. If the lawyers for Prop 8 couldn't come up with one, what makes you think you can?

"Why is marriage regulated by the government at all?"

Because marriage is a civil contract and it involves property rights and inheritance. If your spouse were to get sick, you would have say in their care. If they died, you are first in line to inherit their estate. There are some very heartbreaking stories about gay couples who, despite living together for decades and doing all the required paperwork and even a civil union, losing everything because relatives didn't approve of their relationship. A marriage cannot be contested in a court of law. The same cannot be said for civil unions.

17
Bridgett over 7 years ago

Shame on MIT for printing this...ignorance! You're argument is completely uneducated and based on ridiculous comparisons. Alumni should be appalled at this. Absolutely absurd!

18
Anonymous over 7 years ago

The prohibition against same sex marriage is not a secular one- it is a moral one.

All of you people disagreeing with Ryan's article, can one of you please give me a "secular" or "substantive" reason why the government should not allow two brothers to marry?

There is no risk of genetically deformed children... so is it wrong for two brothers to marry?

19
Anonymous over 7 years ago

"All of you people disagreeing with Ryan's article, can one of you please give me a "secular" or "substantive" reason why the government should not allow two brothers to marry? "

They are already family and enjoy the protections and rights conferred by the government for being direct relatives. If one of them winds up in the hospital, the other brother will be permitted visitation privileges. A gay couple does not have that - gay couples can and have been denied visitation rights with their partner by hospitals. They are not considered a family.

It is this that makes the argument for allowing gays to marry. Marriage is an act of creation, not procreation. The creation is the family that is formed by the couple. They agree to support each other, protect each other, and weather the storms of life together. The marriage symbolizes not only their commitment to each other, but also the government's promise to allow them to move through life together.

Who are you to deny them that?

20
Eric over 7 years ago

Is Eleanor Maccoby still alive? She must be almost a hundred by now. I think taking passages out of context from writing in the 1950s to prove a weak argument speaks for itself.Why not use passages from Adolph Hilters "Mein Kampt".

21
Peter over 7 years ago

The author gets the argument backwards. When the government places restrictions on a fundamental right such as marriage, the burden is on it to show that said restrictions are narrowly tailored to advance a compelling state interest.

This whole piece is poorly reasoned, as other commentators have already noted. Marriage equality has been the reality in MA for seven years and all the doom and gloom predictions of the anti-gay crowd has failed to materialize. It's time to quit flogging this dead horse.

As for the reason why close family members are prohibited from marrying each other, the protection of children from sexual exploitation is clearly a compelling state interest. The state is fully justified in preventing people from viewing their children or younger siblings in a sexualized manner.

By the way Ryan, if you take offence at being called a bigot, you should refrain from dehumanizing gay people by comparing them to dogs or pieces of furniture.

22
J. Jakobsen over 7 years ago

Are you sincerely concerned in ensuring the government only creates or modifies laws that are in its best interest? Heteros help ensure procreation, etc? You may be being accused of being a homophobe because I don't know how likely it is that a person cares so much about making sure the government incentivizes marriage.

But, if you are that concerned about making sure it's in the government's best interest, gay marriage should be legalized as a measure to stimulate our stuggling economy. The amount of money that would pour into the subsequent weddings--from florists to musicians to hotel/travel to tuxedo rental and wedding dress purchases...the revenue generated would be incredible. THAT is a great reason to legalize it.

23
Juliet over 7 years ago

Re: procreation argument:

Nevermind the fact that many gay men and women are raising children from previously heterosexual marriages, let's focus on the following:

Voluntarily childless couples can marry, unless they're a gay couple.

Post-hysterectomy women can marry, unless they marry women.

Post-vasectomy men can marry, unless they marry men.

Very elderly couples too old to have children can marry, unless they're gay couples.

Infertile couples can marry, unless they're gay couples.

Congenital or acquired sterility (result of birth defect, accident, disease, etc) people can marry, unless they marry someone of the same sex.

You see, no state has EVER required couples to have children to marry.

The government has NEVER compelled anyone to "further the American generation" as a prerequisite to marry.

To me, it sounds like the author of this article isn't singling out gay couples, his argument extends heterosexual couples who either can't or refuse to have children.

If childless heterosexual couples can marry, then gay couples should be afforded the same rights by application of the 14th amendment's Equal Protection Clause.

The only rationale to deny childless gay couples from marriage, yet allow childless heterosexual couples the same privilege, is due to animus toward the gays. If you understand this much, then you'll understand why opponents to gay marriage are always -- and correctly -- portrayed as homophobic and hateful.

Seriously, how does such a thoughtless argument end up on MIT.edu?

24
Anonymous over 7 years ago

This article sickens me down to the stomach. So hateful and ignorant.

This article is a shocking rejection of logic and of science, and more disturbingly, a profound lack of humanity.

I'm stunned MIT admits people who act as though science doesn't exist.

Yucks!

25
Anonymous over 7 years ago

Don't worry Ryan, there is a strong base at MIT who shares your view that gay marriage should by no means be legalized. Dont listen to these hateful comments, which are spoken by those parroting empty rhetoric and not grasping any thread of morality.

26
Harrison over 7 years ago

Does the "strong base at MIT" have any rationale for thinking that, besides their own moral opinions? Because I have a moral opposition to the rights people who don't think gay marriage should be allowed. What makes your moral opposition more important than mine?

27
Anonymous over 7 years ago

"There are, in fact, legitimate, substantive reasons as to why gay marriage should not be legalized."

Ryan Normadin would be wise to study Goodridge vs. Department of Public Health, where the MA court ruled that gay marriage failed rational basis review.

This opinion piece can be considered timely and relevant if it was written in 2003-2004, but unfortunately it's now 2011.

28
Anonymous over 7 years ago

From 27: Oops, I meant the MA court ruled that gay marriage ban failed rational basis review.

29
Robin over 7 years ago

I really wish those who oppose gay marriage would just admit that their views are solely based on religious beliefs. If you look at the scientific consensus, it is clear that homosexual couples are as capable of being good parents as heterosexual couples. The only real differences are that 1) children that are brought into gay/lesbian households are planned and wanted and 2) children raised by homosexual parents are more accepting of LGBTs and non-typical gender roles (like that's a surprise). And anyone who has actually talked to an LGBT person knows that they don't "choose" to be LGBT, just like you didn't "choose" to be straight.

Furthermore, as others have said, we don't require any heterosexual couple to state their intent to procreate when they get married. We don't even require that they get married in a religious ceremony. That's because the government only grants CIVIL marriages, i.e. ones that give couples rights and privileges within the legal and governmental systems. That's what gay/lesbian couples mean when they say they want marriage equality. Your church/synagogue/mosque/temple is still free to not allow gays to marry, just as many churches choose to allow ceremonies that bless LGBT couples. I totally support religious institutions putting whatever requirements they want. I'm not Mormon, so the LDS church is perfectly free to prevent me from getting married in a temple. But with regard to civil marriages, the current system is unequal and will eventually be overturned. Yes, you're going to lose this battle so you'd better learn to deal with it. There were many religious organizations who cited biblical verses to condemn interracial marriage, and I seriously doubt you have a problem with that. Similarly, there were articles published saying that kids with parents of two different races would suffer. The Supreme Court had to step in and put an end to bans on interracial marriage, and they will do the same for gay marriage.

We don't live in a country where religious views dictate the law of the land. We don't stone people who commit adultery or disobey their parents. We don't ban eating pork or shellfish. So why should we go by a book written over 2000 years ago to dictate our "morals"? LBGT couples don't hurt anyone. They don't infringe on your rights. So why can't they get married? Stop reading your Bible and start thinking critically.

30
Anonymous over 7 years ago

29: It's true that many opponents of gay marriage are motivated by religious beliefs, but it's also a fallacy to claim that all of them are. The Soviet Union didn't have gay marriage and criminalized homosexuality -- certainly not for religious reasons. It's quite possible to be a homophobic atheist, just like it's possible to be racist or sexist without religious justification.

31
Anonymous over 7 years ago

The responses to this article make me very proud to go to MIT -- I am glad that so many people have spoken out against this half-baked (and largely false) rationale used to mask prejudice. For a school that has been criticized here and there for being politically unaware (or too busy with p-sets to open up a news website), we've sure got it right on this one. Props to all of you for speaking up.

32
bman over 7 years ago

Reply to post #1

blockquoteYou are quite an outrage to scholarly writings./blockquote

You certainly didn't prove that with your "scholarly" comment!

As for "outrage," that's your bias showing, nothing more.

blockquote

Ryan: "....same-sex couples....have the potential to harm any children they might raise."

Post#1: Excuse me, but it has been proven that it has no effect on the child. /blockquote

Do you think the only research that exists favors your view? So much for your research skills!

".....existing research on children reared by homosexuals is not only scientifically flawed and extremely limited but some of it actually indicates that those children are at increased risk for a variety of negative outcomes...." from a "http://www.drtraycehansen.com/Pages/writings_notinthebest.html"Same-Sex Marriage: Not in the Best Interest of Children/a by Dr.Trayce Hansen

blockquoteGet your facts right before you start spewing stupidity./blockquote

You say "get the facts right" but offer no facts yourself!

You call the article stupid but did not show that anything stupid was said.

Now how smart was that?

Either you are some famous scholar that we should just trust iyour/i judgment, or a boisterous person who doesn't know what he's talking about.

blockquoteBesides, what about those who are infertile? Would you tell them that "Because you cannot procreate, you may not marry the person you love."?

/blockquote

Your lack of scholarly research is showing again.

a "http://www.nomblog.com/9837/comment-page-1/#comment-49365"The majority of courts/a have repeatedly said that marriage is about procreation and that allowing infertile men and women to marry is only an incidental imperfection and therefore allowable.

blockquote

You are quite disgusting, and you're claims are childish./blockquote

How delightful a person you are, and how scholarly your arguments!

(not!)

33
bman over 7 years ago

(Previous post did not accept html tags so here is a text only version)

Reply to Post #1

-------------------

Post#1: "You are quite an outrage to scholarly writings"

You certainly didn't prove that with your "scholarly" comment!

As for "outrage," that's your bias showing, nothing more.

Ryan: "....same-sex couples....have the potential to harm any children they might raise."

Post#1: Excuse me, but it has been proven that it has no effect on the child.

Do you think the only research that exists favors your view?

So much for your research skills!

".....existing research on children reared by homosexuals is not only scientifically flawed and extremely limited but some of it actually indicates that those children are at increased risk for a variety of negative outcomes...."

The above is from http://www.drtraycehansen.com/Pages/writings_notinthebest.html Same-Sex Marriage: Not in the Best Interest of Children by Dr.Trayce Hansen

Post#1: "Get your facts right before you start spewing stupidity."

You say "get the facts right" but offer no facts yourself!

You call the article stupid but did not show that anything stupid was said.

Now how smart was that?

Either you are some famous scholar that we should just trust your judgment, or a boisterous person who doesn't know what he's talking about.

Post#1: "Besides, what about those who are infertile? Would you tell them that "Because you cannot procreate, you may not marry the person you love."?"

Your lack of scholarly research is showing again.

The majority of courts have repeatedly said that marriage is about procreation and that allowing infertile men and women to marry is only an incidental imperfection and therefore allowable.

See http://www.nomblog.com/9837/comment-page-1/#comment-49365

Post#1: "You are quite disgusting, and you're claims are childish."

How delightful a person you are, and how scholarly your arguments!

(not!)

34
DN over 7 years ago

Heads-up, MIT folks - the National Organization for Marriage has linked this story to their blog. Expect more from bman and his friends.

NOM, being the intellectually honest lot they are, bans nearly every pro-gay equality commenter on their site.

Anyhow, post 27 is spot-on. This article may have been relevant in the early 2000s, but the fact (not speculation, Mr. Normandin - fact) is that MA has thousands of legally married gay couples and has had them for years.

When I lived in a conservative state, I was often told, "if you don't like the laws here, then move." I think that's a glib and childish assessment, so I won't say it to you flippantly. But really, sir - maybe a change of venue would do you some good.

35
Victor over 7 years ago

Normandin: you have attempted to use the logic of "compelling interest" to rationalise your personal bias against gays...and have failed. As it stands, your article reeks of prejudice, and its lack of neutrality renders it unpersuasive.

But just to counter your view with the same "compelling interest" economic logic that you use, I would argue that legalising gay marriage IS beneficial to the US economy because, simply put, weddings cost money, and so do divorces. And this is irrespective of whether the couple is gay, straight or siblings.

Normandin: a little more perspective from your part would have made you seem like less a bigot.

36
Victor over 7 years ago

I'm actually now wondering if this article was purposely made to be so obviously bias with the intention of causing controversy, knowing that a heated debate would ensue, and the page would get more visits. If so, it worked!

37
Clarknt67 over 7 years ago

I agree. The state should absolutely encourage as many people having as many babies as possible.I think we should

also pass laws barring infertile people from marrying. Infertile person they have taken a fertile person out of the gene pool, and we risk the marriage being fruitless.

All women over menopause should be barred from marrying. Men's fertility doesn't end, so the men should not be allowed to marry a barren women who cannot provide their seed with warm and inviting incubator.

Childless marriages are great danger, we risk underpopulation and going extinct as a species if we tolerate people marrying and not procreating. In fact, we should pass a law that anulls marriages if the couple does not bear sacred fruit within two years of wedding.

It's time we stopped this ridiculous liberal idea that marriage is anything other than a dedicated baby production endeavor. Liberals are so silly.

38
Ken over 7 years ago

"There are, in fact, legitimate, substantive reasons as to why gay marriage should not be legalized."

No, there are not. There are only attempts at such, made to justify anti-gay bias, prejudice and, yes, hate.

Chocolate? Seriously?

39
Mike over 7 years ago

I'm glad to see so many people speak up so quickly about this issue. If there is such a "strong base at MIT who shares your view that gay marriage should by no means be legalized," it's odd that almost none of them have spoken up.

40
Robin over 7 years ago

Re #30. Of course there are bigoted, sexist, homophobic atheists, just as there are deeply religious people who fully support marriage equality. My point is that aside from the religious "morality" argument there is no reason to ban gay marriage or say that homosexuality is wrong. The atheists who are opposed to gay marriage have no good arguments either. I was merely expressing my frustration that people who oppose gay marriage for religious reasons often try to hide behind non-religious reasons that are completely not supported by facts (I definitely could have worded my first post better).

As others have already pointed out, all of Mr. Normandin's non-religious arguments are easily refuted. The science says that homosexual parents are as good as heterosexual parents (and lesbians may actually be better). And saying that heterosexual marriage is "traditional" is irrelevant as well. As I already said, interracial marriage used to be "wrong" and "immoral", but as we came to accept that all races are equal (well, most of us), we realized there was no legitimate reason to ban interracial marriage. It also used to be the case that women and black people were viewed as property. Society evolves.

And using the Soviet Union is a pretty weak argument. Are you suggesting we should follow their lead?

I actually feel sorry for Mr. Normandin. This editorial is now on the web where everyone can see it - his future employers, coworkers, professors, friends, and family. I really hope none of them are LGBT.

41
Ken over 7 years ago

BMAN wrote: "Post#1: Excuse me, but it has been proven that it has no effect on the child.

Do you think the only research that exists favors your view?"

No BMAN, the only CREDIBLE research that exists favors that view. The studies NOM, Tony Perkins and their ilk like to cite come exclusively from anti-gay organizations and have been discredited by every major authority on the subject. For example, the position of the 60,000 member American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is that "Research comparing children raised by homosexual parents to children raised by heterosexual parents has found no developmental differences in intelligence, psychological adjustment, social adjustment, or peer popularity between them." However, you and your friends ignore that fact and instead prefer to cite the opposing view of the 200 member American College of Pediatricians which was created with an intentionally misleading and easily confused name by a group of anti-gay doctors. Their position is that that "research has demonstrated considerable risks to children exposed to the homosexual lifestyle."

So let's summarize: the sixty-thousand member organization founded in 1930 finds that same-sex parenting does not have negative consequences to children. The two-hundren member organization founded in 2002 to specifically reject any pro-LGBT position of the AAP supports your view.

Go away BMAN, you're out of your league here. Go back to NOM Blog where the moderators will censor anything that discredits your absurd attempts to justify your bigotry and ignorance.

42
Steve over 7 years ago

bman: Have you even read Dr. Trayce Hansen's article? It's quite humorous and anything but scholarly. She says this:

Moreover, existing research on children reared by homosexuals ... actually indicates that those children are at increased risk for a variety of negative outcomes.

And then follows it up with this:

To date, very little research exists that assesses long-term outcomes for homosexually parented children.

Which is it?

And may I point out, by Maggie Gallagher's own opinion only about .25 of gay couples actually have children. There are a great deal more single mothers out there. Shouldn't that be your main concern? Especially since Dr. Trayce Hansen states:

[Children] require the distinctive qualities and complementary natures of a male and female parent.

43
Burt over 7 years ago

I think it's relevant to the discussion that in 18 states, it's legal for first cousins to marry, and that in 5 of those states, first cousins can marry only if they can prove that they CAN'T procreate! (See here: http://wakingupnow.com/blog/a-good-man-tries-and-fails). There is already a precedent in this country for marriage without procreation.

44
Matt over 7 years ago

I can think of no more awareness-raising indictment of this article than to note that it is now featured on the National Organization for Marriage website, an organization that has been designated an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. MIT can do better than this, even on an opinions page.

45
Timothy Beauchamp over 7 years ago

This ridiculous rant is proof positive that some should stick to math rather than social issues... I'm saying this as someone who graduated from the Naval Nuclear Power School, but I knew plenty of classmates, like this one, who thought that because they were math geniuses they had all the answers. Face it. Some need to realize their math genius does not bleed over to social science and / or politics.

46
Ryan over 7 years ago

It's sad that this vitriol was allowed in the MIT paper. Use religion as a basis for your not believing that same-sex couples should be treated equally, but don't misconstrue and misuse information and evidence to support your point. Opinion article or not, you'd think that the MIT paper would have the journalistic integrity to make sure what they're publishing is not egregiously falsified information.

47
Sarav Chidambaram over 7 years ago

Idiots are entitled to their Idiotic argument and bigoted opinion. Let this half baked Idiot have his opinion as well. Perhaps he doesnt continue with his idiocy MIT and tarnish its reputation.

48
Katherine over 7 years ago

1. Marriage is not based off the ability to procreate.

2. maternal instinct is a tool for gender bias to justify the inequality of women in the workforce (by saying they should be home with the kids). It simply does not exist.

3. Children raised by gay parents not only show no ill effects, studies have show the children are more tolerant on others.

4. The argument that same sex marriage falls in the same category as incest, bestiality and the rest shows your complete lack of knowledge about the subject.

49
bman over 7 years ago

DN (post 34) "NOM, being the intellectually honest lot they are, bans nearly every pro-gay equality commenter on their site."

-----

Although they moderate comments, pro gay commenters post there often.

Theoretically, I imagine they would need to make sure the ratio of pro gay comments to opposing comments was not being dwarfed by pro gay commenters.

If a reasonable ratio was purposely maintained, I would find that acceptable.

But that is just me being theoretical.

The facts are that pro gay commenters regularly post there, and they do moderate comments.

50
Ken over 7 years ago

BMAN wrote: "Theoretically, I imagine they would need to make sure the ratio of pro gay comments to opposing comments was not being dwarfed by pro gay commenters."

Why? Shouldn't the "ratio" be allowed to occur naturally? You know that your statement is total B.S. NOM allows some pro-gay comments to appear but tends to censor those that contain too much factual evidence or logic to challenge their arguments. There are several blogs that put a spotlight on NOM's censoring practices that have screenshots to prove how biased it is. Meanwhile, comments that refer to gays and lesbians as perverts and sodomites or compare their relationships to bestiality and pedophilia routinely appear in the NOM Blog commentary. When's the last time NOM Blog censored one of your posts, BMAN?

51
paul b. over 7 years ago

Ignorance is bliss Ryan...you must be a very happy boy.

52
John Howard over 7 years ago

Marriage doesn't require procreation, it approves and allows it, it licenses it. That is why it isn't given to siblings, but it is given to infertile and elderly people. Infertile and elderly people aren't legally prohibited from attempting to procreate, but siblings are prohibited from procreating or having sex or marrying.

Marriage should always approve and allow the couple to use their own genes to attempt to create offspring, married couples should never feel they do not have a right to have their own biological offspring. But people should not be allowed to procreate offspring with someone of the same sex, using some sort of lab technique that would join their genes using stem cell derived artificial gametes or synthesized DNA or induced parthenogenisis. It's not just the biological risks of attempting same-sex procreation, but also the costs and burdens it places on society and how it would effect human rights and equality down the road. We need to preserve natural procreation and not allow labs to start making children using their own tweaked genomes, to preserve the basis of human rights and equality.

53
Pat over 7 years ago

"The facts are that pro gay commenters regularly post there, and they do moderate comments."

And by moderate, he means they remove the pro gay comments.

54
JohnAGJ over 7 years ago

Regarding first cousins marrying, the author forgets that these marriages are legal in all 50 states. Yes I'm aware that they are only legally performed in less than 20 states, but they are not invalidated when such married couples cross the border into another state nor does the US government refuse to recognize them. Yet the same isn't the case with same-sex marriages. I could get legally married to another man in New York but once I step out foot south of the border poof! my marriage certificate would disappear as a matter of law. Now if I married one of my female cousins in a state that allowed it and then moved to a state that doesn't, our marriage would still be recognized something I bet the author would agree with.

55
John Walsh over 7 years ago

"Gay couples have the potential to harm any children they might raise."

But straight couples are incapable of hurting children? It's really hard to pick the most asinine assertion in this silly screed, but I'll go with this one for now.

Man, I thought MIT kids were supposed to be smart.

56
John Howard over 7 years ago

Oh, and Civil Unions should be defined as "marriage minus conception rights", so that marriage can be preserved as affirming conception rights, and so that there is a substantial legal distinction between marriage and civil unions that would make them viable in every state and recognized by the federal government.

Those three laws together constitute The Egg and Sperm Civil Union Compromise, and it would help families all over the country much faster than insisting on equal conception rights for same-sex couples would.

57
John Howard over 7 years ago

Burt, those 5 states don't actually prohibit those first cousins from procreating, they are still allowed to procreate, but it is assumed that they won't. If they really want to prohibit them from procreating, then they should have Civil Unions that are defined as "marriage minus procreation rights", just like I propose for same-sex couples. Marriage should never be given to a couple that is prohibited from procreating offspring together.

58
bman over 7 years ago

bman: "The facts are that pro gay commenters regularly post there, and they do moderate comments."

Pat: "And by moderate, he means they remove the pro gay comments."

Since I said "pro gay commenters regularly post there" it means pro gay comments get regularly posted.

59
John over 7 years ago

Let's stick to the facts - 31 out of 31 states voted (not polled or push polled) to define marriage as man and women. That is already a majority of the states. With that said I propose sticking with the US Constitution and not judges or corruptible state legislatures. Let's have all the States vote on a Constitutional amendment once and for all. Thus the winners and losers will have had their say. This is too big of an issue to allow 1 or 2 judge(s) to let decide. A minority of the population (1.7 to 2.7) has its rights but so does the majority. An alternative lifestyle is just that - alternative to the majority. A 5000 year cultural norm cannot be erased without a good country wide debate; thus the 7 year amendment process would suffice. Enough already; have your representatives do the right thing once and for all.

60
bman over 7 years ago

Ken: Why? Shouldn't the "ratio" be allowed to occur naturally?

I do not know if there is a ratio. I simply imagined the possibility.

As for why occurring naturally might be a problem, there could be a higher level of activism in the gay population that is disproportionate to the general population.

NOM's website is intended for NOM to get its message out.

Any website would make sure its message remained heard above the din. A website owner might as well shut down if the site was only getting out the opponent's message.

And so, it just made sense to me that a better solution would be some kind of ratio policy for any website that has a specific message.

Ken: "You know that your statement is total B.S."

Your comment seems rather nearsighted.

What would you do if you had a pro-gay site overrun by the activism of your opponents?

Besides, even the FCC has floated the idea of a "fairness doctrine" which is a kind of ratio policy. So, make sure you let them know you think that is BS too!

(I oppose the FCC on that by the way because liberals have plenty of bandwidth to get out their message. The FCC does not need to make conservative stations give equal time to the liberal message or vice versa.)

Ken: "NOM allows some pro-gay comments to appear but tends to censor those that contain too much factual evidence or logic to challenge their arguments."

I don't know if that is the case or not.

I know the pro-gay marriage side is allowed to post arguments and they do so fairly often.

Did you have a particular argument in mind you think is being blocked?

61
Anonymous over 7 years ago

Honestly, the entire "pro-gay rights" movement is gaining so much momentum in our times because it meshes well with the prevalent outlook of hedonism, self-indulgence, self-gratification, and promiscuity. Today a large portion of people dismiss morals on the premise that they are based solely on religion and act as sexually devious as they please on the premise of "love".

I am not against gay marriage because of any procreation incentive argument. I am against gay marriage because it is an affront to the natural order, goes against how the rest of the world's species repopulates itself, and defies what "marriage," in its deepest and purest form, really means. Marriage is a special bond inherently characterized between one man and one women, and nothing else. You may argue it is based on love, or support, or family, and I disagree. It is a special intimate connection only possible between one man and women.

Hopefully, the next generation and beyond will come to their senses, and will realize that the family unit needs to be centered around a man and wife.

62
Shelly over 7 years ago

It is absurd to compare a person's skin color to being gay. I am personally offended that people who choose to be gay are compared to blacks much of the time. I did not choose my skin color but one can choose who they are with as a mate. These "feelings" that people think they have for the same sex can be magnified in a society that offers being gay as perfectly normal. For those of you that are straight and for gay marriage - would you really hope that your children would choose to be gay as an adult? It's doubtful. No, the question wasn't would you want them to be happy - would you want them to be gay? Now ask yourself why. Part of the reason - which seems to be offensive to many - is that it's not normal. It's not normal for 2 males in the wild to mate and it's not normal for 2 human males or females to "mate". You can try talking yourself into just about anything and intellectualizing it but the fact is that we would be doing our next generation a big disservice to deprive them of a mother and father's influence. Just look at the children who are raised by single parents - they are more likely to not do well in life and choose to be parents when they are teenagers and unable to really care for a child. No, it doesn't always happen that way but the statistics show that children are better adjusted with a mom and dad.

63
People- come to your senses over 7 years ago

Absolutely shelly- being black is NOT the same as being attracted to the same sex. You have a large degree of control over who you are attracted to, and how you choose to act on those impulses.

64
Sammy over 7 years ago

Shelly - But if your skin color was closer to that of a different race you could "choose" to identify with a race other than your own. The term for that was "passing". It's obvious that you've come here via NOM as you're hitting on all of their talking points. 1) Being gay is a choice. 2) Being gay is not normal 3) Marriage is all about children 4) Single parent households are equivilent to two-parent same sex households All of these have been debunked over and over. Speaking of similarities between gays and blacks. We need to look no further than the tactics used by those who oppose marriage equality (NOM) to see the similarities. Bigotry is bigotry.

65
bman over 7 years ago

Ken: "...the...CREDIBLE ... 60,000 member American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)...finds that same-sex parenting does not have negative consequences to children. The two-hundred member organization founded in 2002 to specifically reject any pro-LGBT position of the AAP supports your view."

I guess you never read the story, "The Emperor's New Clothes." The majority praised a naked Emperor for the nice clothes he was wearing.

In other words, the credibility you claim is not really there.

An internal email leaked from the AAP tells the story differently than you did. Its from

http://www.ankerberg.org/Articles/_PDFArchives/social-issues/2SI0804E.pdf

--begin quote--

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) announced in early February, 2002 "a growing body of scientific literature demonstrates that children who grow up with 1 or 2 gay or lesbian parents fare as well in emotional, cognitive, social, and sexual functioning as do children whose parents are heterosexual." Based on this, the AAP supports "legislative and legal efforts" to allow homosexuals to adopt their partners children.

However, the AAP received strong reaction from its membership. An email memo from the lead author of the AAPs Technical Report to select members of the Academy on the issue laments:

"the AAP has received more messagesalmost all of them CRITICALfrom members about the recent Policy Statement on coparent adoption than it has EVER received on any other topic This is a

serious problem, as it means that it will become harder to continue the work we have been doing to use the AAP as a vehicle for positive change. "

--end quote--

And so it appears the AAP leadership is activist compared to its membership, and that much of its membership does not concur with that activism. By the way, the American College of Pediatricians you mentioned represents former members of the AAP who the left it because of AAP's activist leadership was preventing good science.

66
bman over 7 years ago

Additionally, Ken, a book came out called "Destructive Trends in Mental Health: The well-intentioned path to harm."

It critiques the entire sociological profession for letting political activism trump good science.

One of its authors is former president of the APA, Dr. Nicholas Cummings. He certainly has the credentials to back up what he says in the book. A book review is at http://www.narth.com/docs/destructive.html

Here is an excerpt from an interview about the book:

Q: What is your basic premise of the book Destructive Trends in Mental Health?

Dr. C: The APA has permitted political correctness to triumph over science, clinical knowledge and professional integrity. The public can no longer trust organized psychology to speak from evidence rather than from what it regards to be politically correct.

Notice what the former president of the APA said about its credibility, "The public can no longer trust organized psychology to speak from evidence.."

Yes, many agree the Emperor's New Clothes look very good on him.

The only problem is, he is isn't wearing any clothes!

67
Shelly over 7 years ago

Bman et al,

Science, like law, has now become a species of public policy. Law has always considered public policy within its ambit particularily when setting aside established caselaw. HOwever it is patently absurd not to recognize a political agenda in any science. Believe it or not kids, many scientists do not believe in the big bang and macro evolution but they do believe in intelligent design. This does not mean that they accept the God of the bible but they reject the notion that the universe was created from nothing and that advanced life was the product of random events. The fact is science, like most disciplines including law, is driven by political motives and societal motives. Spare me the studies. Homosexuality is the fashionable civil rights crusade for this decade. Rest assured there will be another and another and another and they will all be supported by science. Give me a break , start questioning your college professors and do not lap up everything they say !!! They have their agendas as well.

68
Ryan Normandin over 7 years ago

Hi all! Just want to clarify some points.

First- many of you have extrapolated from my argument that I am opposed (or should be opposed, based on the logic I used) to infertile couples and similar groups marrying. This is not the case. I will quote from an article run in The Tech a few years back by Adam Kolasinski-

"Granted, these restrictions are not absolute. A small minority of married couples are infertile. However, excluding sterile couples from marriage, in all but the most obvious cases such as those of blood relatives, would be costly. Few people who are sterile know it, and fertility tests are too expensive and burdensome to mandate. One might argue that the exclusion of blood relatives from marriage is only necessary to prevent the conception of genetically defective children, but blood relatives cannot marry even if they undergo sterilization. Some couples who marry plan not to have children, but without mind-reading technology, excluding them is impossible. Elderly couples can marry, but such cases are so rare that it is simply not worth the effort to restrict them. The marriage laws, therefore, ensure, albeit imperfectly, that the vast majority of couples who do get the benefits of marriage are those who bear children.

Homosexual relationships do nothing to serve the state interest of propagating society, so there is no reason for the state to grant them the costly benefits of marriage, unless they serve some other state interest. The burden of proof, therefore, is on the advocates of gay marriage to show what state interest these marriages serve. Thus far, this burden has not been met."

69
Ryan Normandin over 7 years ago

Second- Do I think divorce should be more difficult to safeguard children? Yes.

Third- Homosexual relationships are distinct from interracial relationships for the reason that interracial marriages can result in offspring, thus justifying a government subsidy, while homosexual relationships do not.

Fourth- Although I have no doubt many will dismiss this, I harbor no hate, fear, or dislike of homosexuals. I have multiple friends who fall under the LGBT category. My issue is not with one's sexual orientation, it is with the government utilizing tax dollars to promote something that does not benefit society.

As a final note, I would like to discourage those leaving comments from launching personal attacks against either myself or each other. It is clear that the vast majority of you disagree with me, and that is fine. But let's be adults about it.

70
DN over 7 years ago

Yep, just as I predicted, the NOM people have taken over the discussion.

Bman, just so you know, I have never - not ONCE been uncivil, rude, or used foul language on the NOM board on facebook or on nomblog. Yet I have been banned. The only times they let my comments through are the times when the admins specifically refute them.

As for you, Shelly, please quit trying to win the Olympics of Tragedy. Nobody's suffering is comparable to anyone else's, but injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

71
DN over 7 years ago

Don't think I've ever seen a journalist respond to his or her own article in the comments section. Seemse like it'd be more seemly for the editorial board to address concerns in a follow-up op-ed.

That being said, Mr. Normandin, would you please address my question, which was first brought up in comment #27 - gay marriage is, and has been the law of the land in MA for several years. What relevance does this op-ed have in the year 2011? Are you speaking specifically of marriage at a federal level (and the 1,138 benefits -not- granted to legally married same-sex couples)?

What is your purpose with this?

As for your fourth argument that you don't want to see tax subsidies going to married gay people - shall we all take it that you don't want to see tax subsidies going to straight people, either? Because that's what the 14th amendment is about, sir.

Even Ken Blankenhorn admitted, in the Prop 8 trial, and remember - this was the pro Prop 8 side's star witness - that gay marriage would "make America more American."

72
DN over 7 years ago

And another point, Mr. Normandin.

For all I know, you are completely sincere in that you "harbor no hate, fear, or dislike of homosexuals."

However, based on the evidence you've presented, I would suggest that you think you are -better- than homosexuals.

In other words, I don't think you're a homophobe. I think you're a heterosupremacist.

I know that term will strike many as harsh, but I think it actually is apt. People who dislike black people aren't blackophobes - they're not afraid of them. They just think they're better than them. And they're commonly referred to as "white supremacists."

Going back to the first parapgraph of your original op-ed, and going back to Brian Brown and Maggie Gallaghers -tired- old argument that "people who support traditional marriage will be thought of us bigots."

Well to that I say, "so?"

Do you think you have some right to control what other people think of you? Do you think you have the right to force people to think good things about you? If so, I'm sorry to inform you that you do not. Nor do I. All you, or I, or anyone can do is to act in a manner that will -influence- people to think the way we want to about them. But you, sir, have absolutely no right to tell me or anyone else to think you're not a bigot. You don't even have the right to tell me to think you're not dressed up in a badger costume, huffing fire extinguisher exhaust. The only difference is, it's -extremely- unlikely you are the latter. As for the former... well, let's let your own words influence people and see what everyone decides.

73
Ryan Normandin over 7 years ago

#71- Responding to one's own article is actually quite common on sites (Huffington Post, for example), as long as it's in the Opinion section. Editorial Board deals with the official opinion of the paper, which is what an editorial is, and would therefore not comment on an Opinion article (typically.)

Re #27- Gay marriage has indeed been the law of the land in MA for several years, and I disagree with it. Roe v Wade happened years ago, and yet with the influx of Republican governors and state level congressmen, abortion restrictions are more evident today than ever before (post Roe). I do not believe that just because a law has been passed that an issue should stop being debated (just look at Prohibition-- and that was a Constitutional Amendment!)

But this article was not geared towards Massachusetts, it was indeed focused more on marriage at a federal level and other states debating same-sex marriage. My purpose with the article was to forward an argument against same-sex marriage based on what I believe one of the functions of government to be, in regards to regulating marriage.

Regarding the 14th Amendment, I believe that it is being misconstrued. Gays are not denied any rights that straight people are. Rather, a contract (marriage) that two people agree to make is being encouraged by the government through financial means because there is a compelling interest (propagation of society). The 14th amendment says nothing about contracts, it only discusses rights of people. Gays have every right to enter into a contract of marriage with someone of the opposite sex. They are not being denied this right. Of course, they would certainly not want to, but they have the right to. Just as I have the right to own a firearm and choose not to. The tax subsidy is determined based on whether or not a certain financial contract exists, not whether or not an individual is straight or gay.

74
Shelly over 7 years ago

To DN et al and Ryan - It's difficult for me to see how any of my comments can be construed as any sort of ad hominem. I am merely expressing my opinion that far too often in our society we truly fail to examine the ramifications of our policies. It's simply a case of who gets the most time on major networks or who constantly bangs the table will likely prevail. I was simply pointing out that I find it quite suspect that over the years I have noticed behaviors that were at one time considered abnormal or unacceptable to have become normalized. I submit that this normalization is not the direct result of some scientific epiphany but rather the further erosion of our societal fabric caused directly by political correctness and our penchant for claiming victimization.

75
Ryan Normandin over 7 years ago

In regards to your second point, I do not believe I am better, I believe that heterosexual marriages justify government incentivization by promoting a compelling interest while homosexual marriages do not.

76
bman over 7 years ago

Steve: "Have you even read Dr. Trayce Hansen's article? It's quite humorous and anything but scholarly."

I have read it. You did not quote her in the proper context, as shown below.

Steve: "She says this: Moreover, existing research on children reared by homosexuals ... actually indicates that those children are at increased risk for a variety of negative outcomes."

Actually, you left out the key phrase, "some of it". With that in its proper place you can't spin it the way you did.

As follows: "Moreover, existing research on children reared by homosexuals is not only scientifically flawed and extremely limited but SOME OF IT actually indicates that those children are at increased risk for a variety of negative outcomes.

from (http://www.drtraycehansen.com/Pages/writings_notinthebest.html)

Nothing "humorous" or unscholarly there.

You then compared her statement there to another to create the false appearance of a contradiction.

You quote her as saying this, "To date, very little research exists that assesses long-term outcomes for homosexually parented children."

And then you rhetorically asked, "Which is it" implying a contradiction between the first and second statements.

But there is no contradiction.

Here is the "second" statement in context:

--begin quote--

To date, very little research exists that assesses long-term outcomes for homosexually parented children. According to Charlotte Patterson, a self-proclaimed, pro-same-sex-marriage researcher, there are only two longitudinal studies of children raised by lesbians. And no long-term studies of children raised by homosexual men. A professional organization dedicated to the welfare of its patients cannot and should not support drastic change in social policy based on just two, small and non-representative longitudinal studies.

--end quote--

Both of her statements are compatible once you restore the word "Some" to her first statement.

It seems the example of "humor" and poor scholarship you mentioned points back at you. You mistook your poor scholarship for hers and found it humorous, not knowing it was your poor scholarship you were laughing at!

77
Shelly over 7 years ago

Under EP of the 14th amendment, sexual orientation has been classified as an intermediate suspect class; therefore the threshhold for prescribing particular rights to homosexuals is much easier met than Native Americans or blacks. Consequently, the contracts clause is not dispositive but rather the analysis will focus on the application of intermediate scrutiny and the constitutional right to marriage.

78
DN over 7 years ago

Actually, Mr. Normandin, you are absolutely wrong. In America, no gay person can legally marry anyone of either sex.

Let's start with Americans who love immigrants. All straight Americans have the right to marry any immigrant they choose, provided they are of the opposite sex. No gay American has the right to marry -any- immigrant, of either sex. Marrying an immigrant of the same sex is illegal on a federal level (where immigration resides - and I'm thankful for the recent apparent reversal on this position), and marrying an immigrant of the opposite sex is fraud, punishable by up to $250,000 fines and up to five years in prison for both parties.

But let's not even bother with immigrants (after all, one of 'em isn't American so they don't deserve rights... right?). What happens when gay people marry people of the opposite sex in order to obtain benefits they would otherwise be entitled to? They're following the letter of the law and yeah they're breaking the spirit of the law, but you just said that any adult in America can marry any other adult of the opposite sex.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gGQuHBm2oqbdAkko2Bcu5KELVFLg?docId1f726fefc5e7445989de14d6b3af9f10

"CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (AP) Three Southern California Marine corporals are facing charges of defrauding the government for entering into sham marriages for financial gain, the military said Saturday."

Well, which is it? Can they marry someone of the opposite sex or can't they?

If I may be so bold, sir, a little empathy on your part would get you a long way.

79
Shelly over 7 years ago

So sorry - been a few years since Constitutional law class - laws related to homosexuals are based upon rational basis review. However, since a fundamental right is implicated (marriage) homosexuals will argue for strict scrutiny. If the current Supreme Court hears the case, I believe they will do the intelligent thing and have the states decide - just like they should have done with Roe v Wade.

80
Ryan Normandin over 7 years ago

Marrying an immigrant of the opposite sex is not fraud, unless it is done for fraudulent reasons.

Regarding the more general version, ANY marriage can be entered into for fraudulent reasons, gay or straight. What it all comes back to is whether or not the government should be encouraging a contract that does not serve a compelling interest. And I believe that answer is no.

81
Anonymous over 7 years ago

Re #40. "And using the Soviet Union is a pretty weak argument. Are you suggesting we should follow their lead?"

No, I am suggesting it's a shining example of opposition to gay marriage without religious motivation. (And modern Russia is still more homophobic than the USA despite being less religious.) Never said it was a good thing.

82
DN over 7 years ago

"ANY marriage can be entered into for fraudulent reasons, gay or straight."

OK, you brought it up - please provide evidence that heterosexual marriages have been -successfully- challenged as fraudulent.

I'm sure you'll find cases of families upset that the young floozie married the wealthy old man and bilked them of their inheritence. But show us all where the courts have found their legal arrangements illegal.

83
Ryan Normandin over 7 years ago

When I said "Any marriage can be entered into for fraudulent reasons" that's what I meant. I did not say nor mean that one can be convicted of fraud in any relationship. Perhaps we view this differently, but I believe that whether or not you get convicted of fraud, it's wrong to enter into a relationship fraudulently, just as it is wrong to murder someone, whether or not you get convicted.

84
DN over 7 years ago

Then here's the difference:

-Some- straight marriages can be considered fraudulent, depending on intentions.

But

-Every- gay marriage can be considered fraudulent, -regardless- of intentions.

85
Anonymous over 7 years ago

DN, keep going, you're making excellent points.

Mr. Normandin, since you're so accepting of homosexuality, are you willing to look your LGBT friends in the face and say, I don't support you marrying the ones you love because I don't think it benefits society? I'm pretty sure they would argue that they would benefit. If a straight friend told you she wanted to get married to a man but they didn't want to have children would you protest?

86
bman over 7 years ago

DN: Yep, just as I predicted, the NOM people have taken over the discussion.

The placed needed to let some light in!

DN: "...just so you know, I have never - not ONCE been uncivil, rude, or used foul language on the NOM board on facebook or on nomblog. Yet I have been banned. The only times they let my comments through are the times when the admins specifically refute them. "

OK on that.

Still, there must have been some reason for not posting those while allowing other posts.

I know of one case where no rudeness was posted because a gay commenter asked me to reply to the dropped comment by going to his website.

On the website it was all about how he had romantic feeling for his partner and it was very subjective.There was nothing there in the way of an argument for me to reply to.

My guess is that NOM screened out his comment because it was about him personally and lacked a structured argument.

It appears they are screening out posts with some quality and quantity goals in mind similar to what a newspaper might do by selecting which letters to the editor it will print to best fit their readership.

87
DN over 7 years ago

bman, let me be perfectly clear on this - NOM has every right to filter their messages.

For all the bleating that conservatives do over their perceived oppression of free speech (again - "people like us will be thought of us as bigots!"), there is only one entity that can restrict free speech: the government.

NOM cannot censor anyone. They can, however, edit. And I (and many, many others) can track that editing. And expose it. And just like I said in #72, I (and many, many others) can air that editing to the public. And if the public decides that the editing is somehow beyond the pale, then that's a bed that NOM made and will have to lie in it.

I repeat - nobody can force anyone what to think of anyone else. All a person can do is act and speak in a way that will influence others to see them the way they want to be seen. If I look at the evidence (and NOM has a long paper trail) and decide a certain way... well, tough. That's life. And as more and more people come to the same conclusion... well, tough. That's life.

In other words, it's time that NOM, Mr. Normandin, and the rest of the heterosupremacists own up to their rhetoric and accept that a lot of people don't like what they have to say. And for all the bleating they do about how they have a -right- not to be thought of as bigots, there is no such right.

88
Ryan Normandin over 7 years ago

#84/DN- I can't keep up with all these different comments/arguments being put forth. My last comment for the night will be regarding your last claim, that nobody has no right not to be thought of as a bigot. In my view, you are justified in being frustrated when portrayed as or accused of being something you are not. A bigot is "a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance." At least with regards to myself, I have listened and considered the points intelligent individuals such as yourself have brought up. We disagree on an issue, neither of us is more of a bigot than the other. The second part of the definition, regarding intolerance and hate, I have consistently reiterated that I have no ill will towards homosexuals. In regards to #85, I would certainly be willing to present my argument to an LGBT friend. And if a female friend planned on entering into a marriage with the intention of not having children, I would not "protest," but I would certainly urge her to reconsider.

That is all for tonight, folks. Thanks for the debate, and please remain respectful. Perhaps I'll comment some more tomorrow.

89
DN over 7 years ago

"#84/DN- I can't keep up with all these different comments/arguments being put forth"

I'm tired, too, Mr. Normandin, and this will also be my last post for the night. But I take the above-quoted sentence as a bid for sympathy. And if this whole topic is exhausting for you... well... tough. You brought it up with your op-ed, and you chose to continue to engage with your readers in the comments section. So, no. I will feel no pity for you here.

As for your thinly-veiled accusation that I'm a bigot toward people who I feel are heterosupremacist... Go right ahead! Think I'm a bigot! I have no right to tell you what to think - I can only put my thoughts out there and you can react to them how you will.

You see, sir, I'm -not- upset that you're calling me a bigot. You can call me anything you want. Call me a five-drawer walnut desk with a nice set of computer speakers (from Cambridge, by the way) for all I care.

Everyone is free to read what I write and form their own opinion thereof. I'm not the one writing op-eds about how I should have the right to force people to think nicely of me, whether or not they find what I say to be odious.

90
Anonymous over 7 years ago

Mr. Normandin, your #68 only skirts the issues.

"Excluding sterile couples would be costly." Well, what if it became cheap? Would you be in favor of excluding them then? Why or why not?

"Excluding couples who plan not to have children is impossible without mind-reading technology." Suppose we develop mind-reading technology. Will it be right to exclude them then?

"Elderly couples are so rare that it is not worth the effort." Guess what, same-sex couples are also rare! Why is it worth the effort to exclude same-sex couples, but not worth the effort to exclude elderly couples?

Last but not least, riddle me this: what was the compelling state interest advanced by marriages at stake in TURNER v. SAFLEY, 482 U.S. 78 (1987)?

91
bman over 7 years ago

DN: "In other words, it's time that NOM, Mr. Normandin, and the rest of the heterosupremacists own up to their rhetoric and accept that a lot of people don't like what they have to say. And for all the bleating they do about how they have a -right- not to be thought of as bigots, there is no such right."

There have been a few times, not many, but a few, when homosexuals told me I offended them.

I was surprised by it because what I had stated seemed logical with no offense intended.

Their being offended seemed to come from their imagining me as being bigoted and hateful.

My guess is that some portion of gays have a prejudice they are not aware of, a prejudice that others are bigoted until proven innocent.

Your words seem to point that direction, "there is no such right" to not be thought of as bigots.

Your post also seems to fit the same pattern of the one I mentioned that NOM had screen out.

Its about feeling offended but there is no structured argument being made.

92
Patrick Hogan over 7 years ago

As to NOM removing comments:

Among others (these are just a few of the ones of which I have screenshots of the comment "Awaiting moderation"), I've had the following comments (verbatim) removed by NOM from their blog: (Internal quotes are designated by single quote marks; unless otherwise noted, they are taken from the referenced NOM blog post.)

nomblog.com/8653: "I'm with Robert -- where's the bullying? Writing a letter to a company and asking that it not advertise on a particular station is rather far short of serious pressure, much less bullying or coercion. Considering that NOM's good friend Sen. Ruben Diaz is currently leading a boycott against a Spanish newspaper for their perceived slant, one wonders what name NOM will give his actions...A boycott is surely more pressure than a simple letter."

nomblog.com/7165: "Ahem.

'NOM pledges to spend at least $1 million in Maryland to support Democratic State Legislators who cast their votes to defend the traditional marriage and oppose any Republican Legislators who vote to redefine marriage.' http://www.nationformarriage.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?comL2KeN0LzHb5075187ct9164839notoc1

Does that mean that NOM also is lacking in actual voters?

Also: When did Gill become a billionaire? You had him as a millionaire at the beginning of the article.

Last but not least: 'The gay billionaire prefers to sneak up on politicians quietly and behind the scenes.'

Oh, we sneaky gays. I think Sue Sylvester has a youtube video about it..."

There have been plenty of others, most of which were significantly longer and all of which were written politely, respectfully, and thoroughly. I've found that including any specific references to dispute an argument -- even a link back to NOM's own blog to point out hypocrisy -- pretty well guarantees that the comment will never be approved. Short comments with concise, self-standing arguments sometimes make it through, but any substantial argument against NOM's position is almost guaranteed to be axed.

93
bman over 7 years ago

"#90/Anon...well, what if it became cheap..Would you be in favor of excluding them then?"

The courts have said marriage is about procreation AND its an acceptable imperfection if the state allows infertile men and women, the elderly, to marry.

See: http://www.nomblog.com/9837/comment-page-1/#comment-49365

"Anon: Why is it worth the effort to exclude same-sex couples, but not worth the effort to exclude elderly couples?"

There are many reasons that can be offered.

Probably the main one is that society deems it a self evident moral and religious truth that marriage was meant by God for man and woman, not man and man.

"Anon:...what was the compelling state interest advanced by marriages at stake in TURNER v. SAFLEY, 482 U.S. 78 (1987)?"

A key statement in the Turner case says, "Prisoners have a constitutionally protected right to marry under Zablocki v. Redhail, 434 U. S. 374."

If you go to the Zablocki case you find a procreative interest:

--begin quote--

Surely, a decision to marry and raise the child in a traditional family setting must receive equivalent protection. And, if appellee's right to procreate means anything at all, it must imply some right to enter the only relationship in which the State of Wisconsin allows sexual relations legally to take place.

--end quote--

Zablocki presupposes a natural right to procreate which implies a fundamental right to marriage.

No one, however, has a natural right to procreate with the same sex, and so a fundamental right to same sex marriage would not apply.

Infertile men and women, or elderly men and women, despite their inability, retain the natural right to procreate, or to at least try, which translates into a fundamental right to marry for them.

94
Anonymous over 7 years ago

"I have consistently reiterated that I have no ill will towards homosexuals. In regards to #85, I would certainly be willing to present my argument to an LGBT friend. And if a female friend planned on entering into a marriage with the intention of not having children, I would not "protest," but I would certainly urge her to reconsider."

Mr. Normandin, how about your LGBT friend? Would you urge him/her to reconsider if he/she would like to be married in MA? Would you urge him/her to reconsider if he/she would like to adopt children in MA? I imagine you must given that you believe your friend's action would hurt the welfare of a poor child.

95
Patrick Hogan over 7 years ago

As to comments that NOM lets through:

http://www.nomblog.com/8198/comment-page-1/#comment-43643: "One very ugly side effect of SSM here is MA, is that it allows homosexuals to do what straights do. It was a known fact that straights prefered babies over grown children and healthy ones over sick ones when adopting.

When SSM became legal it allowed the homosexuals to compete on equal grounds with the straights. They also were not trying to adopt the foster children or sick children but the same healthy babies as the straight ones."

http://www.nomblog.com/8179/#comment-43523: "When you live in a state full of marriage hating, pot smoking, flag burning, anti American liberals you appreciate this cartoon.

The cartoon depicts a typical liberal. There is no logic to our position, just accept it because we said so...Here is another one for the bonehead liberal...You then say to the bimbo liberal..."

http://www.nomblog.com/8179/#comment-43546: "This cartoon was great. It proves that the SSM advocates have no good points to bring. It proves that liberalism is a disease."

http://www.nomblog.com/8719/#comment-44912: "I believe that the closet is the best place for homosexuals; it keeps them safe and keeps our kids safe.

I think a lot of guys will shun marriage once it becomes a gay thing; it also gives them an excuse to not get married."

http://www.nomblog.com/8719/#comment-45011: "If you read my other posts, when I talk about "in the closet," I mean that sodomy should be made illegal again so taht homosexuality is forced out of public view and into the bedroom where it belongs."

http://www.nomblog.com/11009/#comment-54317: "By definition, homosexuality is perversion..."

http://www.nomblog.com/10985/#comment-54099: "If Lynch vetoes repeal next year, then the next governor, a Republican governor will sign it. On that day, New Hampshire will cheer for its freedom from homosexual facisim."

http://www.nomblog.com/10973/#comment-54016: "I'd have thought Gill would have to spend much more to purchase human souls."

http://www.nomblog.com/10936/#comment-53739: "I must say that pic that you have on the video is pretty yucky."

http://www.nomblog.com/10936/#comment-53767: "Gag that's nasty."

Again, there are lots of other examples of inane, ad hominem, vitriolic and downright irrelevant comments that were not eliminated; these are just a few of the ones I could find off the top of my head.

96
Anonymous over 7 years ago

#93/bman: your argument about "natural rights" and "self-evident truths" is religious in nature. Unless you can (1) objectively prove that a god exists, (2) objectively prove that said god's intentions are what you say they are and not otherwise, and (3) objectively prove that we, humans, should obey said god's desires - until then, your line of argument is irrelevant.

97
Anonymous over 7 years ago

Umm, Ryan, you're spending and awful lot of time thinking about gays for someone who purports to be hetero. You're clearly scared, frustrated by something you don't understand, but it's time to realize that gays marrying isn't any of the problems you're grasping at here. It's time to realize that the gay you fear is in yourself. It's okay. Millions of us have been through the torture of realizing our identity is persecuted by those we might otherwise respect or look up to. Please find a constructive way to come out of the closet so you can start loving yourself and your community again. it really does get better.

98
Anonymous over 7 years ago

"And if a female friend planned on entering into a marriage with the intention of not having children, I would not "protest," but I would certainly urge her to reconsider."

Mr. Normandin, I'm not your friend, but I'm telling you here and now that my significant other and I plan to marry and not to have children. Go ahead, convince me why we should not marry. To save us both time, if you're going to claim that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts established the institution of marriage for the sole purpose of encouraging procreation, I will ask you to prove it.

99
Anonymous over 7 years ago

"I would certainly be willing to present my argument to an LGBT friend."

Has to be rather terrible to be Mr. Normandin's LGBT friend, knowing that Mr. Normandin feels your relationship with your same-sex partner deserves no recognition because it serves no compelling interest in his eyes, and that Mr. Normandin thinks you and your partner will be bad parents.

It really is such a shame that the Tech chose to write about this issue during summer, when most undergrads are out of town and may not be reading the newspaper. Mr. Normandin, have you forwarded this opinion piece to your LGBT friends? Love to hear what they have to say.

100
bman over 7 years ago

"#96/Anonymous ....your argument about "natural rights" and "self-evident truths" is religious in nature. Unless you can (1) objectively prove that a god exists, (2) objectively prove that said god's intentions are what you say they are and not otherwise, and (3) objectively prove that we, humans, should obey said god's desires - until then, your line of argument is irrelevant."

You seem to have confused the first part of my post with the second part.

The second part refers to a natural right for men and women to procreate that is evident from human biology. A religious argument is not necessary there.

The first part of my comment meant self evident moral and religious truth is probably the main reason people oppose same sex marriage.

What's irrelevant about that? Someone else might call it common sense. Is common sense "irrelevant" too?

The same can be said about public nudity, that people have laws against it for moral and religious reasons that are self evident, and/or intuitively perceived. Or, you can also say its matter of common sense.

Take your pick.

101
bman over 7 years ago

"#98/Anonymous... I'm telling you here and now that my significant other and I plan to marry and not to have children. Go ahead, convince me why we should not marry."

If you are an opposite sex couple, society encourages your sexual relationship be within marriage even if you don't plan to have children.

Its similar in a way to a fishing license. Even if you never catch fish, your fishing license still recognizes your right to fish.

Likewise, your marriage formally recognizes your right to procreate even if you don't intend to.

102
Peter over 7 years ago

Ryan, first let me say I have thoroughly enjoyed participating in this conversation sparked by your op-ed.

In Post 68, you wrote that you are not opposed to the marriage of heterosexuals who are unable or unwilling to have children, and quote another article for support.

But the logic used in that argument cannot withstand scrutiny. It claims that fertility tests are too costly and intrusive to administer to couples seeking to marry. But no expensive tests or embarrassing questions need be asked to determine that a 60 year old woman is unable to bear a child. Also, if marriage really is all about procreation, then there is no reason why such fertility tests or inquiries about the couple's intentions regarding children could not be made. After all, some states already require couples to undergo medical tests to check for various diseases prior to marriage and courts have not shied away from asking embarrassing questions during divorce proceedings, like the ability to perform sexually.

The article you quote also says marriages involving post-menopausal women are so rare that it is not worth the effort to restrict them. First, there are probably hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of such marriages, which hardly makes them rare. Second, legislators pass hundreds of bills every year. It would not take much effort to pass one that simply read "No marriage shall be recognized as valid in which one or both parties shall be past their childbearing years." The real difficulty is that there is no political will to embrace such a cruel policy.

Finally, there is absolutely no empirical evidence that the cost of medical tests or intrusiveness of questioning couples' plans for children are the real reasons why states allow infertile heterosexuals to marry. This whole argument has been pulled out of thin air to justify why infertile/childless heterosexuals can marry while gay couples cannot.

I already addressed the last quoted paragraph in my first post.

103
DN over 7 years ago

I think it's worth taking a stroll to NOM's post linking to this article. In it, three seperate NOM supporters are outright attacking a gay person who has twins.

http://www.nomblog.com/11025/#comments

But hey, I guess I have to give the NOM folks some credit for at least having the courage to attack someone and demean their children - all without ever meeting this person or their kids. Now that's bravery. Usually, in polite society, when one realizes one is insulting real people right in front of them, they stop. So I guess it's a form of courage.

In fact, it's the same kind of courage displayed by seven heroic kids who gang up on the weakest kid in the playground. Truly, these people are heroes.

104
Anonymous over 7 years ago

#101/bman: Here in Massachusetts, the society encourages marriage regardless of whether we're opposite sex or same sex, and regardless of whether our relationship is sexual or nonsexual. But that's not the point. My question was to Mr. Normandin, who said he would discourage a friend from marrying if she doesn't intend to have children.

105
Anonymous over 7 years ago

#100/bman I'm interested in objectively valid reasoning, not in subjective worldviews that lead people to oppose or support this or that. Yes, "common sense" is also irrelevant, because what seems "common sense" to you is not "common sense" to someone else. Prove it objectively instead of calling it common sense.

Regarding your second point, rights are not a biological concept. A couple has a natural ability (not "right") to procreate if it's opposite-sex and fertile. You've arbitrarily decided that a couple has a natural right to procreate even if it's infertile, but not unless it's opposite-sex. That's not evident from biology, it's a product of your bias.

106
Anonymous over 7 years ago

What infuriates me over this whole debate is this. Marriage equality does not negatively affect anyone. It does not negatively affect society, children, or straight marriages. That being said, there is no legal argument against marriage equality. It's why courts and legislatures all over the country are making the just decision and allowing everyone marriage equality. Finally in response to post number 59. You said, minorities have their rights but so do majorities. Exactly! But guess what genius, the majority are not having their rights infringed upon at all by allowing marriage equality. The minority however are everyday having their rights infringed upon. Mr. Normandin has no argument, anyone against marriage equality has no sound legal argument. It is just sad that he is allowed to write for The Tech.

107
Glen over 7 years ago

Well well well.. Ryan Normandin, MITs ignoramus extraordinaire. Look how desperately he tries to mask his bigotry (and probable fundamentalist religious delusions) in some of the worst attempts at a rational argument the anti marriage equality side has come up with.

The 14th Amendment DOES demand marriage equality for same-gender couples. It says that laws (laws which by our Constitution require a rational secular basis) must be applied equally to all citizens. Unless a rational basis can be had for why same-gender couples should not have the same access to marriage law as opposite gender couples, the State cannot discriminate. An increasing number of courts are finding that any such basis the anti equality side has put forward, either applies equally well to same-gender couples, or are not mandatory requirements for opposite-gender couples.

The State has a vested interest in marriage for BOTH opposite and same gender couples. Marriage has been shown in general to increase the well-being, stability, productivity, and security of those who are married, as well as making the individuals far less likely to ever become a burden to the State. It encourages monogamy, and legal responsibility toward one's intimate partner. Hence the State ENCOURAGES marriage through benefits, rights, and privileges, and strengthens it through protections, obligations, and responsibilities.

Procreation can, very frequently does, and will ALWAYS continue without State recognized marriage. There is hardly any low population crisis in this nation nor around the world. If there was we'd be allowing immigrants to pour into our nation as rapidly as possible.

Studies that show kids do better with a mother and father are comparing them to kids in SINGLE parent homes, not gay parented homes. The studies which have been done comparing opposite-gender vs. same-gender parents show that kids are JUST as well off, and develop just as healthy, capable, and balanced as those raised by opposite-gender parents. In a nation that has thousands upon thousands of kids in need of good, solid, legally married parents, we NEED gay coupes to marry and help fill that need.

Poor Ryan Normandin, you'd think he'd have done a little better research to understand the speciousness of the tired old talking points the anti-equality side tries to peddle. Perhaps MIT needs to reexamine their admittance criteria to exclude those who perform such shoddy work.

108
John Howard over 7 years ago

Did my comments even show up? bman - tell me if they did, please. I know bman agrees with me from the nom site - we should make a law about how we are allowed to reproduce, and it should only be as our natural born sex, with someone of the other natural born sex. We should have to partner, and partner with someone fundamentally unlike ourselves, as far as our reproductive capacity goes. We can partner with whoever we want in our rock bands and criminal syndicates go. But we should only be allowed to procreate as the sex we are most likely to successfully procreate as using our natural born gametes, our precious bodily fluids are male or female, and that's good. We don't need to overcome sex and bring about Post Genderism, where everyone can be either sex if they want to, there are far more important things we need to be using our remaining resources on.

109
bman over 7 years ago

"#108/John Howard "Did my comments even show up?"

Hi John. Post numbers 52,56,57,and 108 show up on my screen posted by you.

110
Peter over 7 years ago

bman, RE: post 93

Yes, courts have acknowledged that procreation is often a byproduct of marriage, but no court has ever held it to be essential to it, quite the opposite in fact.

It is also true that a number of courts, applying minimal "rational basis" scrutiny, have upheld anti-gay marriage laws. (Notably, many of the cases cited in the link were handed down when being gay was essentially a criminal offence. Lawrence v. Texas altered the legal landscape significantly.)

The problem with these cases is that courts have incorrectly used rational basis scrutiny when the correct standard should be strict scrutiny, because the right to marry has long been recognized as a fundamental right.

Incidentally, bans on interracial marriage would have been upheld, in fact, were upheld, when judged under rational basis scrutiny.

When someone brought up Turner v. Safley, you responded by quoting the earlier Zablocki case. However, you quote Zablocki out of context. Justice Marshall was simply noting how ironic it would be if the Court were to find that the Constitution protects someone's right to have children out of wedlock, or even to abort the child, but DID NOT ALSO protect the right of Mr. Zablocki, whose status as a deadbeat parent made him ineligible to remarry under Wisconsin law, to marry again and potentially have more children. Also, that quote come from a much larger section in which he describes why the right to marry is so important, and these factors are completely unrelated to procreation.

The Turner case removed all doubt that the right to marry is fundamental to all individuals.

As for your claim that "society deems it a self evident moral and religious truth that marriage was meant by God for man and woman, not man and man," it bears a striking similarity to the words of the Virginia judge that upheld that state's racist marriage laws: "Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents...The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix." As you can see, our intuition about what is natural can be very mistaken.

111
Harrison over 7 years ago

Can I just say... while a healthy debate is good, and everyone has the right to express an opinion, it just kills me that people spend SO. MUCH. TIME. (myself included) worrying about this issue. On the World's Biggest Priorities list, I feel like "two people in a relationship who want to make it official in the eyes of the law, and then go back to living their lives" should rank at about #2371920, behind hunger, homelessness, job creation, cleaning up the environment, do I need to go on? Not to be all "sunshine and puppies" here, but what could we all have done with the time that we spent quoting old court cases and discussing the differences in laws and contracts? And might I just say, I don't like that my tax dollars go toward funding the wars that our country is in right now, so I just pretend that my tax dollars are earmarked toward the issues that I actually care about. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that none of us in this comments section are wealthy enough that we are singlehandedly bankrolling any one particular issue, so it seems kind of silly to me to throw out the "My tax dollars shouldn't do this!!" argument.

112
bman over 7 years ago

"#110/Peter: Yes, courts have acknowledged that procreation is often a byproduct of marriage, but no court has ever held it to be essential to it, quite the opposite in fact."

You generalize the courts as saying, "procreation is often a by product of marriage."

Their position is much stronger than that, however.

If we are to generalize the courts, their view is (1) that procreation is a rational basis for limiting marriage to man and woman and (2) its an acceptable imperfection if the state allows infertile men and women to marry.

You also seem to mistake my view for, "procreation must occur."

My view is similar to a fishing license. Even if you never catch fish, or never even try, your fishing license still recognizes your right to fish.

Marriage formally recognizes your right to procreate with your opposite sex spouse even if you don't actually do so, or are infertile.

Its about "a right to procreate being formally recognized," and not "a requirement to procreate being enforced."

"Peter: It is also true that a number of courts, applying minimal "rational basis" scrutiny, have upheld anti-gay marriage laws.(Notably, many of the cases cited in the link were handed down when being gay was essentially a criminal offence. Lawrence v. Texas altered the legal landscape significantly.)"

The link below lists 9 high courts that have rejected a right to same-sex marriage since Lawrence. See: http://www.marriagedebate.com/pdf/iMAPP.Jan2011-2-american-courts.pdf

"Peter: The problem with these cases is that courts have incorrectly used rational basis scrutiny when the correct standard should be strict scrutiny, because the right to marry has long been recognized as a fundamental right."

The majority of courts have ruled that marriage is a fundamental right but that "same sex marriage" is not.

Besides, as stated, your argument would require "every form of marriage" to be a fundamental right, which we know is not true.

113
bman over 7 years ago

"Peter: Incidentally, bans on interracial marriage would have been upheld, in fact, were upheld, when judged under rational basis scrutiny."

Some times the courts can get it wrong. It doesn't mean they are wrong now as well.

I am reminded here of Abraham Lincoln's famous saying: You can fool some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time.

The reason rational basis was too weak for anti-racial marriage law is because those laws were created with the intent to discriminate.

Its obvious to the courts from history, however, that marriage between men and women was not intended to discriminate against gays.

Since (1) marriage law was not intended to discriminate and (2) no fundamental right is involved, it follows that rational basis is the proper standard.

"Peter: ...you quote Zablocki out of context....these factors are completely unrelated to procreation."

Here, I refer to a court's view of Zablocki: "As Skinner, Loving, and Zablocki indicate, marriage is traditionally linked to procreation and survival of the human race." (Andersen v. King County Wash. 2006). (from url above)

Have you ever tried to logically connect "same sex marriage" with "procreation and survival of the human race?"

"Peter: ...your claim that "society deems it a self evident moral and religious truth that marriage was meant by God for man and woman, not man and man,"....bears a striking similarity to the words of the Virginia judge that upheld that state's racist marriage laws..." As you can see, our intuition about what is natural can be very mistaken."

Some intuitions are regional, some temporary, some universal and constant.

Some are marginal, some are central.

The Declaration of Independence speaks of, "...the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God.."

And it says, "We hold these truths to be self-evident..."

The phrase, "self evident" refers to moral and religious truths being self evident, "..... that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights..."

Even the "certain inalienable rights" embodied in our laws are derived from self evident moral and religious truths.

114
DN over 7 years ago

"Have you ever tried to logically connect "same sex marriage" with "procreation and survival of the human race?""

Right. Because a bunch of gay guys and gay girls getting together -obviously- means that the vast majority of heterosexuals will stop having children.

A little intellectual honesty, please, bman?

115
bman over 7 years ago

"#114/DN: A little intellectual honesty, please..."

Your misinterpretation of the context is the problem.

116
John Howard over 7 years ago

bman: "Its about "a right to procreate being formally recognized," and not "a requirement to procreate being enforced." "

Yes indeed, bman. And that's why it isn't given to siblings, etc, because they don't have a right to procreate. But what about same-sex couples, do they have a right to procreate? I think courts would look at the absence of a law prohibiting same-sex couples from using stem cell derived modified gametes and interpret that absence as a green light to attempt it, and then apply that Zablocki same reasoning that it makes no sense to prohibit a couple from marrying if they are not prohibited from procreating.

But of course we should prohibit same-sex procreation, because it would be exceedingly bad policy to allow it. Not only by putting the children at extreme risk and violating their dignity, but it would cost us tons of money and resources and there is absolutely no need for it. There is certainly no right to procreate with someone of the same sex that would make prohibiting it unconstitutional, so we should simply prohibit same-sex procreation immediately, and also affirm with a federal law that marriage continues to mean "a right to procreate being formally recognized" so that it is not stripped of that right for everyone.

117
DN over 7 years ago

Mr, Howard,

Just to clarify, are you advocating to make it illegal for gay people to have children? Unconstitutional? Are we talking state law or federal law?

Furthermore, what of the existing children of gay people? Shall they be remanded to the state and put in foster care? Adoption? Halfway homes for kids with no "dignity?"

118
DN over 7 years ago

bman,

Come on, dude - you can't be serious. You make the claim that allowing same sex marriage will endanger the human species, and when I call you out on it, you give me a one-line, throw-away response?

That's not intellectual dishonesty - that's a complete lack of respect for the person you're talking to, and it's just outright lazy. Or is laziness the context that I don't understand?

119
Peter over 7 years ago

bman, response to post 112

My argument is that the courts that have upheld anti-gay marriage laws have misapplied the Supreme Court's precedent regarding marriage. Time and again, the Court has ruled that marriage is a fundamental right that applies to all. Your two-part generalization of the courts' views are true, insofar as the courts in question apply rational basis review. (Though Judge Walker struck down California's Prop. 8 using the lowest tier of scrutiny) But as I just argued, strict scrutiny is the appropriate test.

Your fishing licence analogy is interesting but doesn't work. A fishing licence serves but one purpose, allowing one to fish. The Court recognized that marriage serves a multitude of purposes, and is not solely concerned with children. While marriage is related to raising children, it is far more than a mere child-rearing arrangement. Marriages have an intrinsic value to each couple quite apart from whether that marriage results in biological children, remains childless, or incorporates adopted children. Moreover, it is more accurate to say that marriage legally creates a familial relationship between two people, rather than gives you a right to have children with another person, which obviously doesn't require government permission.

You note that courts recognize the right to marry as fundamental but argue that there is no fundamental right to same-sex marriage. The real question, properly phrased, should be, Why wouldn't the fundamental right to marry apply to everyone, gay or not? In a society where deadbeat parents, child molesters, rapists, and murders are allowed to marry, so long as they're heterosexual, the burden is on the government to justify why gays are prohibited from marrying.

The fundamental right to marry means this: every person is entitled to marry the person of his or her choice. This is not to say every marriage MUST be allowed. Rather, any infringement of this right by the government must be narrowly tailored towards furthering a compelling state interest. It is not enough to simply cite tradition or majority opinion. And yes, this means that Fundamentalist Mormons and incestuous couples have the right to go to court and demand the government justify its ban on polygamy or incestuous marriage. However, I have no doubt that the government could easily come up with very compelling reasons as to why these marriages should remain prohibited.

120
Peter over 7 years ago

bman, response to post 113

I agree that the courts have at times been mistaken, sometimes disastrously so. But in looking at the Court's precedents on marriage, among other factors, applying strict scrutiny to anti-gay marriage laws does not appear to be one of them.

No one can credibly argue that the so-called Defence of Marriage Act or any of the mini-DOMAs passed by the states were not intended to discriminate against gays. Their legislative history and language show beyond all doubt that they clearly and explicitly targeted gays for discriminatory treatment. According to your own logic, then, rational basis is an inappropriate standard to use.

As to your second point, I already explained in my previous post that fundamental rights apply to everyone, and therefore, strict scrutiny is applicable.

The Washington case you cite just shows how weak rational basis scrutiny is. Still, I am puzzled about the court's rationale. How exactly does prohibiting gays from marrying encourage heterosexuals to marry, or have more children? Surely it does not expect gays to enter happy, fruitful heterosexual marriages.

You also write, Have you ever tried to logically connect "same sex marriage" with "procreation and survival of the human race?" No, I havent. (Although youd be surprised by the number of gays who are raising children, biological or not). But earlier you conceded the fact that procreation was not a requirement for marriage. It makes no sense to argue that procreation is necessary for gays to marry but not necessary for heterosexuals to do so. I repeat, while rational basis might allow the state to get away with these over-inclusive and under-inclusive categories, strict scrutiny does not.

Your appeal to self-evident moral and religious truths sounds like an assertion that marriage is between a man and a woman because you believe God says so. Well, I see your Abe Lincoln quote and raise you one from John Stewart Mill: Was there ever any domination which did not appear natural to those who possessed it?

:-P

121
Steve over 7 years ago

bigot : noun bi-gt : a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance

John Culhane, Professor of Law at Widener U., recently published an article on the question of whether opponents of marriage equality are bigots. http://www.365gay.com/opinion/culhane-but-are-they-bigots/

His conclusion: people who continue pushing the same arguments against marriage equality that have been refuted many times already, are indeed "bigots".

122
John Howard over 7 years ago

DN, I'm saying we need a federal law that prohibits making a human being by any means other than joining the unmodified egg of a woman with the unmodified sperm of a man. It would prohibit cloning, human-animal hybrids, and same-sex conception using stem cells.

I'm also saying we need another federal law that establishes the effect of marriage as protecting and affirming the couple's right to conceive offspring together, with their own genes.

Finally, I am proposing federally recognizing state Civil Unions if they are defined as "marriage minus conception rights" for couples that want all the other rights of marriage but aren't allowed to procreate offspring. Those could be passed in all 50 states much faster than SSM. That would help the families raising children much more than the status quo.

123
Glen over 7 years ago

I guess you can't call the author an ignoramus. It's just a word meaning he doesn't know what he's talking about.

Mr. Normandin is masking bigotry (and probable fundamentalist religious delusions) in some of the worst attempts at a rational argument the anti marriage equality side has come up with.

The 14th Amendment DOES demand marriage equality for same-gender couples. It says that laws (laws which by our Constitution require a rational secular basis) must be applied equally to all citizens. Unless a rational basis can be had for why same-gender couples should not have the same access to marriage law as opposite gender couples, the State cannot discriminate. An increasing number of courts are finding that any such basis the anti equality side has put forward, either applies equally well to same-gender couples, or are not mandatory requirements for opposite-gender couples.

The State has a vested interest in marriage for BOTH opposite and same gender couples. Marriage has been shown in general to increase the well-being, stability, productivity, and security of those who are married, as well as making the individuals far less likely to ever become a burden to the State. It encourages monogamy, and legal responsibility toward one's intimate partner. Hence the State ENCOURAGES marriage through benefits, rights, and privileges, and strengthens it through protections, obligations, and responsibilities.

Procreation can, very frequently does, and will ALWAYS continue without State recognized marriage. There is hardly any low population crisis in this nation nor around the world. If there was we'd be allowing immigrants to pour into our nation as rapidly as possible.

Studies that show kids do better with a mother and father are comparing them to kids in SINGLE parent homes, not gay parented homes. The studies which have been done comparing opposite-gender vs. same-gender parents show that kids are JUST as well off, and develop just as healthy, capable, and balanced as those raised by opposite-gender parents. In a nation that has thousands upon thousands of kids in need of good, solid, legally married parents, we NEED gay coupes to marry and help fill that need.

You'd think Mr. Normandin would have done a little better research to understand the speciousness of the tired old talking points the anti-equality side tries to peddle. Perhaps MIT needs to reexamine their admittance criteria to exclude those who perform such shoddy work.

124
Glen over 7 years ago

Uh oh, bman isn't protected by NOM's protective shield of banning pro-marriage posters who make compelling rational arguments for equality. What were they thinking sending their supporters here?

bman, The Declaration of Independence is not one of our governing documents. As one of our founding documents it may be instructive, but it doesn't have any force of law.

Still, your presumption that the Declaration refers to your Judeo-Christian god, or any specific supernatural 'god' is just that, presumptuous. "Nature's God", is quite unspecific, and doesn't even necessarily mean something supernatural (in fact it specifies NATURE).

Furthermore, the 'laws of nature' show us quite clearly that homosexuality is a natural part of the animal kingdom. Evolution (or 'god' for those who believe in such) obviously incorporated homosexuality into animals (including humans) for good reason. It's survived billions of years of evolution. Why?

Any good MIT engineer knows that you need to design regulators or governors into a system in order to make the system stable. A hypothesis behind homosexuality (in the small percentages it is seen) is that it helps regulate population growth, such that you don't get rampant unsustainable population growth followed by massive die-offs.

So... why not simply have something that turns off the ability to procreate?

That's far too dangerous to a species. Homosexuality preserves the all-important procreative functionality and drive, but simply redirects it toward non-procreative outlets. And in great need, procreation is still possible.

Now, your statement that 'self-evident' truths can only refer to moral 'religious' truths is absurd. Things are self-evident by virtue of being a sentient social being, not by some commands cherry-picked and endlessly reinterpreted from one particular book of writings from ancient, ignorant, tribal barbarians who claim it is the word of a god.

'Endowed by their creator' doesn't even necessarily refer to some supernatural deity. You'll note Thomas Jefferson, did NOT state 'endowed by THE creator'. 'Creator' is purposely left subjective. One's creator, as a thinking sentient being, can simply be one's parents and ancestors.

Regardless bman, such assertions of our founders religious beliefs holds no sway over our secular Constitution, laws, and government.

125
DN over 7 years ago

Mr. Howard,

Thanks for laying out your position on where you think reproductive law should go. You have, unlike most of the NOM crowd, been clear in your position.

Now I wish you the absolute best of luck passing the laws you suggest. Better hop to!

And as for Glen.... "Uh oh, bman isn't protected by NOM's protective shield of banning pro-marriage posters who make compelling rational arguments for equality. What were they thinking sending their supporters here?"

Pure. Genius. I love it :)

126
John Howard over 7 years ago

Glen, what is more important: being allowed to try to create offspring with someone of the same-sex, or getting all the other protections in all fifty states and full federal recognition?

127
Peter over 7 years ago

Surely I can't be the only one struck by the extreme irony of someone quoting the Declaration of Independence's stirring proclamation that "all men are created equal" who possess "inalienable rights" to justify DENYING a group of people equal rights.

I sure hope MIT doesn't cut off this comment section. I'm having too much fun!

128
bman over 7 years ago

"#116/John Howard...we should prohibit same-sex procreation, because it would be exceedingly bad policy to allow it. Not only by putting the children at extreme risk and violating their dignity, but it would cost us tons of money and resources and there is absolutely no need for it. There is certainly no right to procreate with someone of the same sex that would make prohibiting it unconstitutional, so we should simply prohibit same-sex procreation immediately, and also affirm with a federal law that marriage continues to mean "a right to procreate being formally recognized" so that it is not stripped of that right for everyone."

Thanks John. You have made a very persuasive case against same sex marriage that people need should be aware of.

Marriage implies a right to pass on one's genes with their partner.

Same sex marriage would imply that same right for same sex couples.

As you noted elsewhere, scientists have been able to procreate a mouse in the lab from two same sex parents by modifying the gametes of the parents.

Whether or not the technology becomes available to humans, a vote for same sex marriage is a vote to codify the "principle" of transhuman procreation of children by same sex parents into law.

Imagine a law that says, "Its OK to create children in a lab without an egg from a woman or sperm from man."

Who in their right mind would vote for that? That's almost like saying its OK to clone people. The unintended affects on the human gene pool alone would be like radiation from Japan in the food supply.

Yet, a vote for same marriage is vote for that in principle.

An because one law polarizes another, and affects the meaning of other laws, a same sex marriage law would set a dangerous legal precedent to society if the technology actually becomes available.

129
DN over 7 years ago

Bman and Mr. Howard,

In the name of gay rights, I implore you: please keep talking. Keep up your rants about... well, everything! Please, please please do not ever shut up! The moveable middle needs to hear from you!

130
Anonymous over 7 years ago

For everyone who says "You shouldn't be posting an article strictly on opinion in the paper" Guess what guys, he's in the OPINION section. yeah, I know it hasn't been said in the more recent posts but you should realize this.

Two, I am not straight. And yes this article does infuriate me, but guess what, everyone is entitled to their opinions. He can say that he doesn't want me to be able to get married straight to my face, you think one person's gonna stop me? No, I personally have learned not to care what people say.

I have been raised by a single parent, and I have turned out great. I'm going somewhere in life. So as for the "you need two parents to be more successful" argument, I'm living proof against that right now.

Gay parents won't provide a good environment for kids to grow up in. Wrong. Gays love who they love for whatever reason, that doesn't change how they are as a parent. The parental instincts kick in when you're around kids, it is how it is. I have a few good friends who were raised by gay parents and they're the happiest kids I know and most successful. They don't care what people think.

As I said, I do disagree with this article, and I stated my opinions, but this is in the opinion section. Mr. Normandin is entitled to his opinion, even publicly, as is everyone else.

131
DN over 7 years ago

130

Sure he's entitled to his opinion (that's why I've been certain to only refer to this as an op-ed, and not as an article), but his opening premise is, just like NOM's, is "hey nobody can call us bigots for thinking XYZ."

My central point is that such a claim amounts to an attempt at thought control and is an attempt to restrict the rights of people who disagree with Mr. Normandin et al.

As I also said earlier, I think (based on what Mr. Normandin has presented) that this guy's a heterosupremacist. If he doesn't want me to think that, he can make persuasive arguments he isn't.

Mr. Normandin, bman, Mr. Howard, and others have done absolutely nothing to disabuse me of the notion that they're bigots, so I'll go ahead and think of them as such.

What they don't understand is that being thought of as a bigot isn't a crime. But that kind of ownership of their words deeds is severely lacking on their side.

I don't think anyone has said in any of these comments that Mr. Normandin should not be free to express his opinions. Many people have suggested The Tech should feel ashamed of publishing this, but that's their opinion, and they're entitled to it.

132
John Howard over 7 years ago

Thanks DN, but you should really join me getting those laws passed, because it would benefit gay people and their children all over the USA. They'd immediately get federal recognition for their legal unions (which would have to be changed from marriages to civil unions defined as "marriage minus conception rights") and there would be immediate action in lots of states that could now pass CU legislation, even if they had a constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage and CU's that were "substantially similar," because these CU's would not be substantially similar because they would lack the most essential universal right of marriage to conceive offspring together.

Please support the Egg and Sperm Civil Union Comprmomise, all of you. There are only three reasons not to support it, and they are all crazy: a) you think same-sex procreation rights are important to have right now, today, even though it can't be done, b) you think married couples should not have a right to procreate offspring using their own genes, c) you think same-sex couples should not have the security of Civil Unions even if they are not "marriage in all but name" or "stepping stones to marriage" which are the usual objections to CU's.

133
bman over 7 years ago

"#118/DN: You make the claim that allowing same sex marriage will endanger the human species, and when I call you out on it, you give me a one-line, throw-away response?"

My comment did not mean men and women would stop procreating.

You simply spun it that way.

The context in post 113 was this: Peter said I misapplied Zablocki. I then quoted from another court case to show it agreed with me on the meaning of marriage in Zablocki.

I quoted the other court saying this, "As Skinner, Loving, and Zablocki indicate, marriage is traditionally linked to procreation and survival of the human race." (Andersen v. King County Wash. 2006)."

Now, DN, ask yourself, what kind of marriage would the court have had in mind when it said, "marriage is traditionally linked to procreation and survival of the human race."

Does that describe "same sex marriage?"

Clearly not.

And that, quite simply, is what my comment meant that you misapplied.

I never meant procreation would stop.

I simply meant the court would not have referred to "same sex marriage" as, "traditionally linked to procreation and survival of the human race."

Bottom line: The text seemed intellectually dishonest to you because you misunderstood the context.

134
bman over 7 years ago

#132/John Howard...marriage minus conception rights"

John you know this already but just wanted to clarify for the group I favor restricting the word marriage to men and women only.

135
Anonymous over 7 years ago

John Howard: Can you explain how this "marriage minus conception rights" is different from "marriage?" In today's law, marriage doesn't confer any conception rights. Are you also proposing to outlaw conception without marriage? What specific "conception rights" do you want a married couple to have that they didn't have before marriage?

136
Robin over 7 years ago

Re: 134 by bman

I agree! Children should not be allowed to marry.

137
John Howard over 7 years ago

bman, can you clarify how that would need clarifying after what I said in 132? Did it seem like I don't favor restricting the word marriage to one man and one woman only? Is there some nuance I am not getting?

138
John Howard over 7 years ago

Anonymous135, CU's that are "marriage minus conception rights" are different from marriage because they can be given to couples that are prohibited from procreating offspring together, like siblings are and like same-sex couples should be.

Even in today's law, marriage confers the official right to have sex and conceive offspring together, and is never given to couples that we don't allow to conceive offspring. And even in today's law and culture, marriage expresses a social and legal approval that merely having sex without marriage does not express.

My point is not that unmarried sex should be prohibited, though I do think it could be and society is right to discourage it. My point, and the point you need to address, is that same-sex couples should be prohibited from conceiving offspring, and marriage should continue to protect and affirm the couple's right to conceive offspring together.

139
bman over 7 years ago

"#119/Peter: Time and again, the Court has ruled that marriage is a fundamental right...The fundamental right to marry means...every person is entitled to marry the person of his or her choice."

But the courts have examined your argument and rejected.

Here is a case dated Aug 31, 2010 from the Texas 5th District Court.

--begin quote--

"Strict scrutiny applies if...a law...interferes with a fundamental right....

...If a law [does not]...burden a fundamental right nor target a suspect class, we will uphold [it]....so long as it bears a rational relation to some legitimate end....

--end quote--

This is where you enter and say "Yes, but Marriage is fundamental right."

They reply to that as follows (with your name added in brackets to show correlation to your argument):

--begin quote--

[Peter]...points out that the Supreme Court has indicated that the right to marry is a fundamental right. See Loving v. Virginia...(describing marriage as a fundamental freedom that may not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations)...Glucksberg (citing Loving as establishing fundamental right to marry); Skinner..(Marriage and procreation are fundamental to the very existence and survival of the race.).

But Loving involved a marriage between a man and woman. The Loving opinion's discussion of the right to marry does not embrace the broad formulation proposed by [Peter]...See Evans v. Romer, 854 P.2d 1270, 1301 (Colo. 1993) (Erickson, J., dissenting) ([R]ather than expressing a willingness to extrapolate new fundamental rights based on selective language from prior Supreme Court decisions, we should exercise caution in identifying and embracing previously unrecognized fundamental rights.).

Many courts in other jurisdictions have confronted similar challenges to the federal DOMA and similar state laws, and they have generally concluded that the right being claimed should be defined and analyzed precisely as the right to marry a person of the same sex, not as [Peter calls it] the right to marry whomever one chooses....

The Conaway court's thorough discussion of the question demonstrates that the Supreme Court's right-to-marry jurisprudence has always involved opposite-sex couples and that the Court has always justified the fundamental nature of the right to marry, at least in part, by reference to procreation... We agree with that analysis...

from http://caselaw.findlaw.com/tx-court-of-appeals/1536784.htm

--end quote--

140
bman over 7 years ago

So, Peter, as recent as August 31, 2010 a court examined your argument and rejected it, in addition to other nine courts cited in http://www.marriagedebate.com/pdf/iMAPP.Jan2011-2-american-courts.pdf

I also argued that a "fundamental right to marry" would not have meant a fundamental right to bigamy or polygamy.

That point alone shows the phrase "fundamental right to marry" implicitly referred only to the form of marriage that was legal at the time, and not to other forms of marriage, such as same sex marriage would be.

And that brings me back to the claim I made before, that rational basis is the proper standard.

The Texas court said this, "...If a law [does not]...burden a fundamental right nor target a suspect class, we will uphold [it]....so long as it bears a rational relation to some legitimate end...."

Since same sex marriage is not a fundamental right, and since persons who want to marry the same sex are not a suspect class, and since the marriage between men and women bear a logical relationship to a legitimate end, it should be upheld.

Rational basis review is what the courts should use.

141
bman over 7 years ago

"#137/John Howard: Did it seem like I don't favor restricting the word marriage to one man and one woman only?"

You propose that same sex civil unions be called, "marriage minus procreation rights."

That would use the word "marriage" for same sex unions and require schools to tell children there are "two kinds of marriage."

142
Anonymous over 7 years ago

John Howard:

"Even in today's law, marriage confers the official right to have sex and conceive offspring together"

In Iran, Maldives, and a few other countries, but not in the United States of America. I don't believe you'll be able to cite a single statute that confers this right. (But go ahead and surprise me if you can.) You are contradicting yourself: if you can legally have sex without being married then, by definition, the legal right to have sex is NOT conferred by marriage.

143
bman over 7 years ago

"#119/Peter: Your fishing licence analogy is interesting but doesn't work. A fishing licence serves but one purpose, allowing one to fish. The Court recognized that marriage serves a multitude of purposes, and is not solely concerned with children."

I agree the fishing license is limited on that point.

A driver's license might be better on that since it can be used for driving and for identification.

If someone isn't qualified to drive then they are not qualified to have one issued so they can use it as an ID card.

Instead, they have to use alternative means, such as a State ID card.

In Lewis v. Harris, Judge Parillo makes a distinction between (1) the right to marry and (2) the rights and benefits that come with marriage.

--begin quote--

Plaintiffs want [the right to marry], in part, because it bestows [the rights of marriage], and because if the latter are fundamental, the former must be as well. Although the rhetoric of justification tends to collapse the nature of the rights in question, they are, upon closer examination, quite separate and not at all the same.

--end quote--

from from http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/2005/07/parrillo-concurrence.html

144
Anonymous over 7 years ago

Wow, the right-wing incoherent and absurd arguments in this thread have been smacked and demolished lock, stalk and barrel! So proud of be a part of MIT. :)

145
Anonymous over 7 years ago

I looked through the US Constitution, there's no law defining that only heterosexuals have "right to procreation" (bman) or "right to have sex and conceive offspring together" (John Howard).

As far as I can tell, the law does not care about which sperm and which egg get together, and how. Even in the case of incest, we do not force incestuous couples to abort their fetuses.

Moreover, I cannot think of a single state where lesbian couples are legally barred from receiving artificial insemination. John Howard is therefore maliciously proposing further stripping rights from gay people.

146
Peter over 7 years ago

bman, post 139

You wrote, But the courts have examined your argument and rejected [it]. Some courts have, but not all. Most prominently, former U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker agreed that the fundamental right to marry applies to gays.

The opinion in the Texas case you cite relies on analysis from a Maryland case, Conaway v. Deane, to explain why, in its opinion, the fundamental right to marry applies to heterosexuals but not gays. In Conaway, the Maryland Court of Appeals held that because the plaintiffs in the Supreme Court cases dealing with marriage were heterosexual, and because procreation and child-rearing were mentioned among the many reasons why the Supreme Court deemed marriage to be a fundamental right, the Supreme Court was contemplating only heterosexual marriage when it handed down its decisions.

This reasoning cannot be justified. The Supreme Court has explicitly declared that marriage is of fundamental importance to all individuals, and the Maryland court itself conceded that many of the reasons listed by the Court for guaranteeing the right to marry would apply to gays as well as heterosexuals. Amazingly, the lower court simply brushes all of these other reasons aside, deciding instead to cherry pick the one reason offered by the court that would lead them to their preferred outcome. The court in Conaway, then, has once again manufactured a double standard, saying that the ability or intention to procreate is not necessary for heterosexuals to marry, but the inability of gays to do so bars them from marriage. In any case the court is wrong when it suggest that gay are unable to procreate. They can and do have children (via surrogates and artificial insemination, as is the case with countless heterosexual couples), and they are raising them as a family. To suggest that only heterosexuals can marry because their relationships are male-female is a tautology.

147
Peter over 7 years ago

continued from above...

I agree that the fundamental right to marry would not protect polygamy, but that does not mean it applies only to marriages that were legal at the time. When courts articulate constitutional principles, they are obliged to apply them consistently to new cases, regardless of their personal views of the petitioners. Thus, when the Court ruled long ago that free speech may not be infringed absent a compelling interest, it had no choice but to allow even the most odious demonstrations, the most recent example being the hate group that celebrates at the funerals of U.S. Service members killed in action. The fundamental right to marry does indeed apply to polygamous couples, but it does not protect their right to multiple spouses.

148
John Howard over 7 years ago

bman: "You propose that same sex civil unions be called, "marriage minus procreation rights.""

Not quite "called" - I'm saying CU's should be legally defined to be "marriage minus procreation rights."

The equation "civil union is marriage minus the procreation rights" doesn't change marriage by defining something else as marriage minus conception rights. It's like math: c-ba, that doesn't change c into a or make a equal to c. The c (the "minuend") isn't changed, it remains c, and the "difference" a is different from it, by b, or the "subtrahend."

bman: "That would use the word "marriage" for same sex unions and require schools to tell children there are "two kinds of marriage."

Well, there would be two kinds of unions, marriage and civil unions. And we would teach kids that a man and a woman have the marriage kind, that can have children together, and same-sex couples have the civil union kind, and the difference is they can't have children, or aren't allowed to anyway. woman and approving of conception of offspring, and a completely different legal relationship called civil unions that would be available to couples that didn't have a right to procreate, or didn't desire a license to procreate

149
John Howard over 7 years ago

"As far as I can tell, the law does not care about which sperm and which egg get together, and how. Even in the case of incest, we do not force incestuous couples to abort their fetuses."

There are no forced abortions, but we do put incestuous couples in jail and usually take their child away. And we certainly don't let them marry, because we still don't let them make more children together. The law does care which egg and sperm get together, it is called marriage and we care who can marry who.

"Moreover, I cannot think of a single state where lesbian couples are legally barred from receiving artificial insemination. John Howard is therefore maliciously proposing further stripping rights from gay people."

My proposal wouldn't stop donor gametes, by lesbians or anyone. It would stop use of modified stem cell derived "female sperm" and other attempts at creating biological children together, which is the right of marriage that needs to be affirmed and protected.

150
Peter over 7 years ago

A driver's licence would indeed be more analogous to a marriage licence. But that actually further augments my own argument. As with marriage, the state has exclusive control over issuing driver's licences. When the state has a monopoly over the right in question, the Supreme Court has been more protective of the rights of individuals to exercise that right. For example, the Court has upheld a law that required police officers to retire at 50 (Massachusetts v. Murgia) but struck down a Georgia law that automatically revoked the driver's licences of uninsured motorists involved in accidents (Bell v. Burson). The Court ruled that possession of a driver's licence is generally essential for people to work. Forcibly retired officers, however, have a multitude of other career opportunities. Ira Lupu once wrote, Foreclosure of state-monopolized opportunities leaves the individual with absolutely no alternative source of redress.

The Court has acknowledged this principle with regard to marriage as well. In Boddie v. Connecticut, the Court held that divorce court filing fees must be waived for indigent parties. When a petitioner sought to have the filing fee in bankruptcy court waived, saying he could not afford it and was thus similarly situated to the petitioner in Boddie, the Court rejected his argument saying:

Nor is the Government's control over the establishment, enforcement, or dissolution of debts nearly so exclusive as Connecticut's control over the marriage relationship in Boddie. In contrast, with divorce, bankruptcy is not the only method available to a debtor for the adjustment of his legal relationship with his creditors. The utter exclusiveness of court access and court remedy, as has been noted, was a potent factor in Boddie. (U.S. v. Kras)

151
John Howard over 7 years ago

Sorry my comment 148 has lots of typos. The math analogy was supposed to use the equation "c-ba", to show that "c" remains "c" after "b" is subtracted from it to leave "a". Marriage remains Marriage after conception rights are subtracted from it to leave Civil Unions. They are thus very different things, and the difference is procreation rights. NOt only would it provide the solution to the marriage debate, but it would remind people that marriage means procreation rights and that would be a good thing to teach kids too.

152
John Howard over 7 years ago

I'll try to make my suggestion using the driver's license analogy. To make it more accurate, let's imagine that over the last thirty or forty years, the state has stopped punishing people for driving without a license, and people regularly drive without a license. People don't need a license to drive, and people even assert that driving without a license is a right. I know that's a stretch to imagine, but that was the case with needing a marriage license to have sex 50 years ago, people didn't imagine that we wouldn't care if a couple had a license or not. Maybe it got too expensive to administer the driving tests, so we said that people could drive without a license as long as they were good drivers, and getting the license was optional.

Now, in that imagined future where getting a license to drive is optional, does that mean a license doesn't license you to drive anymore? No. People would still need to be able to pass the tests and be able to pass the eye exam in order to get a license.

The analogy continues: so now suppose that blind people and incompetent drivers want to have driver's licenses to use for ID purposes, and they see that you don't need a driver's license to drive anymore, so they say that means that driver's licenses should be available to them too. Do you see the problem? We can't give them drivers licenses because they still need to mean that the bearer of the license is allowed to drive. If we give blind people licenses, it would mean the license didn't license driving anymore, and any bearer of a valid driver's license could be told they are not allowed to drive. (Remember that we suspend someone's driver's license if we want to not allow them to drive following a DUI or something like that.)

More analogy: we issue state ID's to people that are not allowed to drive which can be used for all the things a drivers license can be used for besides driving. An ID card is like a Driver's License minus driving rights. Civil Unions should be marriage like ID cards are to Driver's licenses.

153
PAthena over 7 years ago

Same sex marriage is ridiculous and is an attempt, to destroy marriage. Any adult can, live with any other adult or adults or without sexual relations, can give money to whomever he wants (if not otherwise illegal, such as bribery), so marriage is not necessary for these purposes. Not all such arrangements can be marriage, so there are laws regulating marriage - no polygamy, no incest. Society has no interest in promoting homosexual arrangements, unlike the interest it has in promoting real marriage - the raising of offspring. The doves nesting on my porch show that marriage - mating - is between male and female throughout the animal kingdom.

154
Anonymous over 7 years ago

John Howard:

"Now, in that imagined future where getting a license to drive is optional, does that mean a license doesn't license you to drive anymore?"

Yes, that's exactly what it means. A license is a permission to do something that's otherwise forbidden. A license to do something that's already permitted anyway is but a sham, a legal nullity. In your imagined future, the "license" would be on par with a safe driver course, which isn't required to drive legally, but can get you an insurance discount.

155
Harrison over 7 years ago

PAthena, were the doves married in a church or at City Hall?

156
bman over 7 years ago

"#127/Peter: Surely I can't be the only one struck by the extreme irony of someone quoting the Declaration of Independence's stirring proclamation that "all men are created equal" who possess "inalienable rights" to justify DENYING a group of people equal rights. I sure hope MIT doesn't cut off this comment section. I'm having too much fun."

Law is supposed to treat all "persons" as equal but not all "conduct" as equal.

Give special approval to a conduct based on "racial equality," for example, would reduce to favoritism, and undermine the

impartiality of the law when judging conduct.

There should be no special pass for one's conduct based on their race or "orientation," therefore.

Indeed, equality implies that conduct is to be judged objectively by its merits for all persons, regardless of race or orientation.

157
bman over 7 years ago

"#146/Peter: Some courts have [rejected SSM as a fudnamental right that merits strict scrutiny], but not all. Most prominently, former U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker agreed that the fundamental right to marry applies to gays."

Walker's ruling is under appeal so its not settled case law.

By contrast, the use of rational basis review in SSM cases is settled case law.

You said "some" courts have rejected your view. That should be stated as "most" high courts have rejected it, rather than "some."

The link I gave listed 9 high courts that opposed your view.

See http://www.marriagedebate.com/pdf/iMAPP.Jan2011-2-american-courts.pdf

If you mean that four courts in the link above approved ssm, I think only California applied strict scrutiny in Re: Marriage cases. And even then the California Supreme court effectively overrruled itself in Strauss when it upheld that Proposition 8 was constitutional.

Regarding the Massachusetts Goodridge case, which ruled in favor of SSM, a dissenting judge noted that the court did not follow the rules for applying strict scrutiny.

SPINA, J. (dissenting, with whom Sosman and Cordy, JJ., join) states, "....this court did not state that same-sex marriage is a fundamental right worthy of strict scrutiny protection, it nonetheless deemed it a constitutionally protected right by applying rational basis review."

The Varnum case (Iowa) did not have any dissenting judges, but Judge Spina's argument applies there too, I think.

Kerrigan (Connecticut) approved SSM but never addressed the question if SSM is a fundamental right, "...we do not reach the plaintiffs claims...that the states bar against same sex marriage infringes on a fundamental right..."

Did you have some other cases in mind besides these?

158
John Howard over 7 years ago

No, anonymous, it merely means that a license isn't required anymore, but it doesn't mean that the license doesn't license what it licenses. That's why in the analogy, the license would still not be given to blind people or people who are unfit to safely drive. If we gave it to them anyway, and merely prohibited blind people from driving even though they have a license, then that is when the license wouldn't license anything and would become a legal nullity, and any body with a driver's licenses could find themselves being forbidden from driving even though they have a valid license. But as long as people that are not allowed to drive are also not allowed to get a license, then the license still licenses something

To get back to marriage, it is super-important that a marriage continue to license having sex and conceiving offspring together using the couple's own genes. Just because people are able to do those things without a license, doesn't mean that a license doesn't license those things anymore. So we still need to prohibit people from marrying who are prohibited from having sex and/or procreating offspring, or else any marriage could be prohibited from procreating offspring. That would be bad, a true redefinition of marriage.

159
John Howard over 7 years ago

Btw, a marriage license is given to a couple, not to individuals. We prohibit marriage or sex or procreating to couples in certain relationship types, not to people individually.

160
bman over 7 years ago

"#154/Anonymous A license is a permission to do something that's otherwise forbidden. A license to do something that's already permitted anyway is but a sham, a legal nullity."

Not quite. A license can also be used as a method of soft enforcement.

By offering formal recognition of a couples' sexual relationship at law, it would encourage couples to marry rather than punish them for sex and procreation outside marriage.

The FCC no longer issues CB licenses, but I seem to recall a period when it was optional, though not sure on that.

But if we suppose for argument sake that such a license was optional, there would be benefits to having the license such as having a registered call sign number that formally recognized your station that you would not have otherwise.

The official license would provide formal recognition even if lack of a license had no penalty.

161
Anonymous over 7 years ago

John Howard: With due respect, I don't think you quite understand what a license means. Look it up - it's a permission. Permitting something that's already permitted is a legal nullity. The essence of a license isn't who can get it and how, but what new rights it gives you. It doesn't matter if to get a license you just have to sign on a dotted line, or if you have to be over 21, study for five years, pass three tests and pay $10K. In the end, if the license permits something that's already permitted without the license then it doesn't give you any new rights, i.e., has no legal effect.

Let me put it this way: show me a real-world example of a license that licenses something for which a license isn't required. And if you're going to claim that a marriage license licenses sex, please back that claim up with a citation from the relevant marriage statute.

162
bman over 7 years ago

#148/John Howard: The equation "civil union is marriage minus the procreation rights" doesn't change marriage by defining something else as marriage minus conception rights."

I understand the argument but I think its a categorical mistake to use the laws of "math" here instead of the laws of "language."

"John Howard: ...we would teach kids that a man and a woman have the marriage kind, that can have children together, and same-sex couples have the civil union kind, and the difference is they can't have children, or aren't allowed to anyway."

I feel it would be a very forced and unnatural result for schools to tell kids one union is the "marriage kind" if both unions were legally defined with the "noun" "marriage."

The more natural result would be for schools to tell kids one is "the kind of marriage that has children" and the other, "the kind of marriage that doesn't have children."

Furthermore the precise legal name you propose, "marriage minus procreation rights" might hold up to a legal challenge since it would legally be equivalent to "non-procreative marriage" making natural marriage the legal equivalent of "procreative marriage."

The only difference, then, would be which adjective was applied to the noun, but the noun would be the same in both cases.

That why I think is the law of language for adjectives and nouns would apply rather than the laws of math.

163
bman over 7 years ago

"#161/Anonymous: I don't think you quite understand what a license means. Look it up - it's a permission."

A marriage license would permit marriage, but I think once that has been permitted it turns into a marriage certificate, which is no longer "a marriage license."

As John noted, a marriage license is denied to first degree relatives because the state does not want them to procreate with each other.

But that implies marriage would formally recognize their right to procreate with each other, which is why the state withholds a marriage license from them.

Someone mentioned elsewhere that some states will give a marriage license to first degree relatives if they are medically certified to be incapable of having children.

That may appear as if marriage has nothing to do with procreation, but it actually proves that marriage is being withheld to prevent first decree couples from being authorized to procreate.

Once its medically certain they can't procreate its then safe to "officially" give them authority to procreate, i.e., its then safe to let them marry.

164
Peter over 7 years ago

bman, #157

You wrote: "Walker's ruling is under appeal so its not settled case law. By contrast, the use of rational basis review in SSM cases is settled case law."

I disagree. First, how can the use of rational basis be settled law if Walker's ruling is still under appeal? Second, the High Courts of MA, CT, and Iowa did NOT rule that strict scrutiny was an inappropriate standard to use. Rather, each of these courts ruled that because the anti-gay laws failed a lower level of scrutiny, it was unnecessary to judge them against strict scrutiny because the end result would be the same.

Furthermore, both the CT and Iowa Courts ruled that these laws were subject to heightened scrutiny which disproves your claim that "the use of rational basis review in SSM cases is settled case law."

You are correct when you noted that California's Supreme Court ruled that anti-gay marriage laws were subject to strict scrutiny. It did so for two independent reasons; it found sexual orientation to be a suspect class, and it held the law violated the fundamental right to marry. The California Court did overrule this decision, but not because it believed the case was wrongly decided given the facts at the time but rather because Prop. 8 subsequently altered the rules.

Moreover, the federal government itself has argued recently that anti-gay marriage laws are indeed subject to heightened scrutiny and that they fail that test. In its brief in Golinski v. OPM, the Justice Department also explains why court rulings that have held rational basis to be the appropriate standard of review are wrong. Different courts have come to differing conclusions on this and it won't become settled case law until the U.S. Supreme Court has its say.

I almost forgot. You also wrote: "Regarding the Massachusetts Goodridge case, which ruled in favor of SSM, a dissenting judge noted that the court did not follow the rules for applying strict scrutiny."

The MA court applied rational basis and found the state's law violated that standard. (Judge Walker did likewise in California.) It did not apply strict scrutiny. Are you saying that the dissenting judge claimed the court should have applied strict scrutiny rather than rational basis?

Post 156 was confusing so I have no comment at this time.

165
DN over 7 years ago

"Post 156 was confusing so I have no comment at this time."

Agreed, but here's the gist of it: "Law is supposed to treat all "persons" as equal but not all "conduct" as equal."

You see, gays aren't defined as people who are romantically attracted to people of the same sex. They're defined by a sexual behavior. Because god knows every single gay person (EVERY ONE) is out there trying to have anal sex every minute of every day.

That line from bman tells you all you need to know about how he perceives gay people. Not as taxpaying citizens who make grocery lists, pay utility bills, volunteer in the community, try to stay in shape, and would very-much like to have legal recognition of their love for another human being. No. Gay people are slathering, depraved, sex-crazed perverts.

"Conduct." Unbelievable.

Bman, if being gay is conduct, and you support the illegal marriage of gay people to people of the opposite sex, can I marry your daughter? Sister? Cousin? I promise not to engage in "conduct" with her.

166
bman over 7 years ago

"#165/DN ...if being gay is conduct, and you support the illegal marriage of gay people to people of the opposite sex.."

You are using a bait and switch tactic.

"Being" is one thing, "doing" is another.

Men having sex with men is a conduct regardless if the participants have a gay identity or not.

While equality extends to all "persons" it does not extend to all conduct.

As for your marriage question, it seems you meant the word "legal" there. Though legal, I would not support it due to the difference in morals. A verse in the Bible speaking about marriage cautions against being unequally yoked.

Also, no one is going to approve a marriage based on a lie. If a homosexual male lied to a woman about his homosexuality or hid it until after marriage, it would defraud her, and result in a lost opportunity to be happily married to someone compatible.

But perhaps you meant to use the word "illegal." Gays have often complained that if convicts have the legal to marry why can't gays also have that right. They do. Its legal for a gay man to marry a woman.

Marriage equality under the law is based on partners having complimentary biology and not on the "orientation" standard.

167
Glen over 7 years ago

bman, the fact of the matter is, the trend shows that courts are changing their rulings in regard to same-gender marriage equality as they become more and better informed about the nature of sexual orientation and who gay people are (which is exactly the same citizens as any other citizen - with every other diversity our citizens have).

Many decades of scientific, sociological, and psychological research now (and growing) are solidifying the knowledge and reality that homosexuality is perfectly natural(in nature and humanity), is an inherent non-chosen unchangeable characteristic of an individual, and is not harmful to individuals or society (when general human sexual precautions are observed in an accepting environment - undue mental distress is the result of societal bigotry - e.g. NOM).

As society and the courts have slowly (and more rapidly now) come to these understandings they ARE finding that not only are strict scrutiny standards unmet with excluding gay couples from marriage law, but so too is rational basis review. So bman, you are finding that the courts are shifting, and NOT in your favor. You can safely ignore earlier rulings of courts who weren't as well informed about gay people as they are now.

bman, we know who you are. You are a member of NOM, a group of fundamentalist Christians, who's expressed his own belief in such religious doctrines. Your likely ulterior motive is to see to it that your religious beliefs remain enshrined in our secular law, and that what you believe your 'god' has allegedly stated must, just MUST, have some rational basis grounded in some cosmic reality for good living and governance of humanity.

Though time-and-again your doctrine and beliefs have proven wrong over the centuries, there's still THIS (anti-gay animus) for your people to cling to. Hence the fundamentalists EXTREME focus on this one area of religious irrationality still enshrined in our laws.

There are NO secular groups who are advocating against marriage equality. Only religious ones. As are most of the individuals, and those dwindling non-religious anti-equality individuals are biased by former and remaining religiously-based societal denunciation of gay people.

But you're fighting a losing battle bman. As in every area where fundamentalist religious views have been overridden by knowledge and understanding, so too is it happening in the area of sexual orientation and gay people's rights to equality of rational secular law.

168
Anonymous over 7 years ago

"Marriage equality under the law is based on partners having complimentary biology and not on the "orientation" standard."

The scientific consensus is that sexual orientation is rooted in biology. Ask the gay penguins in Central Park.

So bman, if it's immoral for a gay man to marry a woman, and it's also immoral for a gay man to marry another man. Would it be fair to conclude that you believe a gay man should never marry anyone and has his own family?

169
Glen over 7 years ago

Right DN.

One wonders if bman would be okay with same-gender marriage equality so long as there is no sex between the couple. They could romantically love each other and share their lives together, just not have sexual relations (would kissing and cuddling on the sofa be okay).

Sex, sexuality, love, and romance is one of the most integral parts of the human experience. It can be, and often is, a transcendent experience.

Is it any wonder that religions have almost ALWAYS been in the business of trying to monopolize and control people's access to it as a means to control them?

Of course it's no wonder, you can't promise transcendent experiences through the church and not control individuals own inherent capacity for transcendent experiences of love and connection with another person (another soul).

That's why when it comes to fundamentalist religions it's ALL about sex.

Even marriage is not about two people who have an intimate love for one another who want to share and enjoy their lives together, to care for and protect one another, to be and become a family together. Marriage to these fundamentalists is about SEX: one penis, one vagina, and the control of who, when, where, and how they use them with each other.

They have a truly sad, pathetic, and wholly inhuman view of marriage that is genital and sex focused.

170
John Howard over 7 years ago

161, yes a marriage licenses sex and procreation of offspring, it makes it legal. In Massachusetts, we still have a fornication law here, which is unmarried sex. Even if we didn't have that law, a marriage is still understood to mean, at the very essence, that the couple is now allowed and approved to have sex and create offspring. Whether they were doing it already is irrelevant, they were doing it without official permission. Like bman said, giving official permission is one way of discouraging uncommitted sex and procreation, even if we decide to allow unmarried sex and procreation without any punishment.

And the real big point that you ignore is that in cases where the couple is not allowed to procreate, they are not allowed to marry. The real big point is that same-sex couples should not be allowed to procreate. If you agree to that, you could help thousands of families get protections in the form of Civil Unions that do not license procreation.

171
bman over 7 years ago

"#168/Anonymous: So bman, if it's immoral for a gay man to marry a woman...",

That is not what I said.

The sense point was (1) it would be immoral for gays to hide their orientation until after marriage and (2) I would not support the marriage of a gay man to woman where their morality (and religion) were incompatible with each other.

"Anon: Would it be fair to conclude that you believe a gay man should never marry anyone and has his own family?"

No.

Its fair to conclude that I want the meaning of the word marriage legally protected to mean what it has always meant in this country; the union of a man and woman.

172
bman over 7 years ago

Just noticed the "no" has some ambiguity,

The "no" means, "No, its not fair to conclude I believe a gay man should never marry a woman and have his own family."

173
bman over 7 years ago

"#168/Anonymous: The scientific consensus is that sexual orientation is rooted in biology."

The APA says: "There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles

See article: http://narth.com/2010/09/apas-new-pamphlet-on-homosexuality-de-emphasizes-the-biological-argument-supports-a-clients-right-to-self-determination-2/

174
John Howard over 7 years ago

168 "Would it be fair to conclude that you believe a gay man should never marry anyone and has his own family?"

He should definitely never marry someone of the same sex because we should not approve or allow creating babies from two men, but he should be allowed to enter into a Civil Union with another person he is not allowed to reproduce with, to get all the other benefits and protections and security of marriage.

All the Pro-SSM people here need to explain why they are insisting on equal procreation rights as a marriage, when it can't even be done and might never be possible. If you just accepted that same-sex couples should not have the same rights as marraige, we could enact CU's defined as "marriage minus conception rights" in all 50 states and give them federal recognition much easier, with more permenance and security. It would truly help people. Which is it? Are you for helping gay people and their families, or are you just interested in transhumanism and making human beings from genetically modified artificial gametes?

175
Anonymous over 7 years ago

"The sense point was (1) it would be immoral for gays to hide their orientation until after marriage and (2) I would not support the marriage of a gay man to woman where their morality (and religion) were incompatible with each other."

So even if a marriage is sexually incompatible, it would still win your endorsement?

bman, do you believe that there exists women who would knowingly, and happily, marry gay men? And that gay men ought to marry these willing women to start their families? Do you believe such family is suitable for child-rearing?

176
bman over 7 years ago

#167/Glen: ....the fact of the matter is, the trend shows that courts are changing their rulings in regard to same-gender marriage equality...."

Your point is marginally true but my point is that the central core consists of courts that have rejected SSM, as recently as Aug 2010.

177
bman over 7 years ago

"#175/Anonymous: So even if a marriage is sexually incompatible, it would still win your endorsement?"

Its up to the partners to decide if they are incompatible or not.

I would not recommend anyone enter a marriage where the partners are irreconcilable from the beginning, but the bottom line is that privacy is a protected right and its not the business of government to decide that for them.

178
John Howard over 7 years ago

bman: "I understand the argument but I think its a categorical mistake to use the laws of "math" here instead of the laws of "language.""

Well, how about the word "difference"? I'll define it with language: The difference between marriage and civil unions should be that marriage approves and allows the couple to have sex and procreate offspring, but Civil Unions do not.

bman: "I feel it would be a very forced and unnatural result for schools to tell kids one union is the "marriage kind" if both unions were legally defined with the "noun" "marriage."

It would be extremely easy and clear to teach kids: a man and a woman can get married and procreate offspring together, but a same-sex couple can only get a civil union and can not get official approval to have sex and procreate offspring, and indeed would be prohibited from creating offspring together.

bman: "The more natural result would be for schools to tell kids one is "the kind of marriage that has children" and the other, "the kind of marriage that doesn't have children.""

That'd be a mistake, and I don't think people would make it very often, because it would be HUGE news that same-sex marriage was stopped in every state and same-sex couples could only get CU's now. So no one would mistakenly say that a CU was a kind of marriage, rather, we'd perhaps say that marriage is a kind of legal union, the kind that is for a man and a woman who are allowed to have sex and procreate offspring, and Civil Unions are another kind of union, the kind for couples that aren't allowed to procreate, like siblings and same-sex couples.

bman: "Furthermore the precise legal name you propose, "marriage minus procreation rights" might hold up to a legal challenge since it would legally be equivalent to "non-procreative marriage" making natural marriage the legal equivalent of "procreative marriage.""

The "precise legal name" would be "Civil Union" and the precise legal definition would be "marriage minus conception rights" (I know that's a novel legalism, perhaps "minus" would be replaced by more words that express the difference and define CU's more formally).

And I think it would hold up, too. But "non-procreative marriage" should be an oxymoron, all marriages should be considered procreative and approving of procreation of offspring.

179
Peter over 7 years ago

bman #171 177,

You're twisting yourself into a pretzel trying to justify your earlier statement that gays have the same right to marry as heterosexuals. In essence, you are in favour of form over substance. So long as a marriage has the outward appearance of being heterosexual in nature, you approve. It matters not at all whether the marriage is a sham, as all marriages between a gay person and heterosexual person, or a gay man and a lesbian, necessarily are. If anyone cares to see what a true mockery of marriage looks like, well, there you have it.

By the way, I also believe the right to privacy, expression and association are constitutionally protected, which is exactly why it's not the government's business to decide whom may marry whom (absent a compelling interest, of course).

180
bman over 7 years ago

Lifesitenews.com just sent out an interesting email.

--begin quote--

Just a few days ago, we received a comment regarding one of our appeal letters:

this site is full of hate.

....The initial commenter then replied,

You know I may have jumped the gun, I redact my previous comment.

Hearts and minds are converting and comments such as these make all of our work worth it.

-- end quote--

I think if gays in this forum would reflect they they too would find they should stop making the hate comments.

There is another MIT discussion that illustrates the point at:

http://tech.mit.edu/V131/N29/dissent.html?comments#comment-804

181
bman over 7 years ago

"#171/Peter: You're twisting yourself into a pretzel trying to justify your earlier statement that gays have the same right to marry as heterosexuals. In essence, you are in favour of form over substance. So long as a marriage has the outward appearance of being heterosexual in nature, you approve. It matters not at all whether the marriage is a sham, as all marriages between a gay person and heterosexual person, or a gay man and a lesbian, necessarily are. If anyone cares to see what a true mockery of marriage looks like, well, there you have it."

Its about keeping the hierarchy of law, where higher law must be respected by all lower laws, principles, and forms.

182
bman over 7 years ago

"#164/Peter "You wrote: "Walker's ruling is under appeal so its not settled case law. By contrast, the use of rational basis review in SSM cases is settled case law. I disagree. First, how can the use of rational basis be settled law if Walker's ruling is still under appeal?"

Its settled in the sense its been and still is the default standard used at the core of the court system.

While under appeal, Walker's case does not change the default. And even if Walker's case wins at the 9th circuit, it would not obligate the other circuits to agree.

"Peter: Second, the High Courts of MA, CT, and Iowa did NOT rule that strict scrutiny was an inappropriate standard to use. Rather, each of these courts ruled that because the anti-gay laws failed a lower level of scrutiny, it was unnecessary to judge them against strict scrutiny because the end result would be the same."

I have no problem with that but thats a different point than I was driving at.

You claimed some courts found SSM to be a fundamental right that required strict scrutiny.

I simply wanted to know which courts you had in mind.

So, I wanted to know which courts you meant.

It seems you can't call upon Kerrigan since that ruling said, "...we do not reach the plaintiffs claims ... that ... same sex marriage infringes on a fundamental right..."

Nor did it seem that Goodridge was an example, "....this court did not state that same-sex marriage is a fundamental right worthy of strict scrutiny protection..."

So, did any court rule that SSM is a fundamental right that merits strict scrutiny?

183
bman over 7 years ago

"#164/Peter You are correct when you noted that California's Supreme Court ruled that anti-gay marriage laws were subject to strict scrutiny. It did so for two independent reasons; it found sexual orientation to be a suspect class, and it held the law violated the fundamental right to marry. The California Court did overrule this decision, but not because it believed the case was wrongly decided given the facts at the time but rather because Prop. 8 subsequently altered the rules."

But if they truly deemed SSM a fundamental right why didn't they over turn prop 8 on that basis even though "the rules were changed?"

184
DN over 7 years ago

bman,

Who, exactly, is making hateful remarks here? I see a lot of comments I agree with and some I disagree with. but I see absolutely zero hate.

So, please, copy paste some hateful quotes from the "gays in this forum." I'd like to see what you consider hate. Perhaps if you share what you consider hate, we can understand you better.

185
Peter over 7 years ago

bman, 182

If I understand you correctly, your use of the term "settled law" refers not to something that has been conclusively resolved but rather to what the current majority of courts have decided, even as there are ongoing legal challenges surrounding what you call "settled law." You go so far to imply that even if the 9th Circuit upholds Walker's ruling and declares anti-gay marriage laws to be subject to strict scrutiny, it is still "settled law" that rational basis is the appropriate test. That is a most peculiar definition of what it means for case law to be settled.

Of course the 9th Circuit's decision would be limited to only the states under its jurisdiction, but given the near certainty that other circuits will rule differently, the Supreme Court will have no choice but to step in and resolve the conflict between the circuit courts. Then, and only then, will the issue truly become settled law.

As to your inquiry regarding the courts that have ruled the fundamental right to marry applies to all, the California Supreme Court in re Marriage Cases said "...we conclude that strict scrutiny nonetheless is applicable here because (1) the statutes in question properly must be understood as classifying or discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation, a characteristic that we conclude represents -- like gender, race, and religion --a constitutionally suspect basis upon which to impose differential treatment, and (2) the differential treatment at issue impinges upon a same-sex couple's fundamental interest in having their family relationship accorded the same respect and dignity enjoyed by an opposite-sex couple," and Judge Walker, in Perry case wrote: "Plaintiffs do not seek recognition of a new right. To

characterize plaintiffs objective as "the right to same-sex marriage" would suggest that plaintiffs seek something different from what opposite-sex couples across the state enjoy namely, marriage. Rather, plaintiffs ask California to recognize their relationships for what they are: marriages."

The California Supreme Court, for reasons only its justices know, based its ruling on the state constitution, but of course, Prop 8 is now being challenged under the U.S. Constitution.

186
Anonymous over 7 years ago

Re. #174 "If you just accepted that same-sex couples should not have the same rights as marraige, we could enact CU's defined as "marriage minus conception rights" in all 50 states and give them federal recognition much easier, with more permenance and security."

How do you know? You're saying this as though people's main objection to legal recognition of same-sex unions is the fear of breeding babies using genetically modified gametes. It's not even on most people's radar, let alone their top concern.

How many people do you know that oppose civil unions today, but will support them if only the gays are barred from conceiving using technology that isn't even viable yet? How many people do you know that will even mention this as one of the reasons if you ask them why they oppose same-sex unions?

187
DN over 7 years ago

Hey bman, I don't know if you missed my question I posed to you in #184, so I'll repeat it:

"So, please, copy paste some hateful quotes from the "gays in this forum." I'd like to see what you consider hate. Perhaps if you share what you consider hate, we can understand you better."

188
John Howard over 7 years ago

Peter there are lots of compelling interests why it's the government's business whether we let people marry someone of the same sex. It would be bad for the public welfare and endanger everyone's natural procreation rights and equality to strip procreation rights from marriage or to allow people to procreate with someone of the same sex. Leaving it legal harms children and wastes resources, same-sex procreation should be prohibited ASAP and same-sex couples should be eligible for federally recognized state civil unions defined as being just like marriage but with a difference of not approving or allowing the couple to procreate offspring together.

189
Anonymous over 7 years ago

Youtube horror video for Normandin and bman.

Kid Meets First Gay Couple

http://youtu.be/SbBtNVFjeDA

190
John Howard over 7 years ago

bman: "The only difference, then, would be which adjective was applied to the noun, but the noun would be the same in both cases."

No no, different nouns! Marriage is one noun, and Civil Union is a different noun. They would be very different things, fundamentally different things. A marriage would be what it always has meant. CU's would be all the incidental rights and benefits of marriage but without marriage's essential right to procreate offspring.

191
Peter over 7 years ago

Howard, post 174

It may not have been your intent, but your tone in the last paragraph came across as astonishingly patronizing. Why don't gays just accept their inferior status, you ask. Why aren't they satisfied with civil unions? My response would be: What is the purpose of granting gays the rights that accompany marriage, but not marriage itself? The Supreme Court has declared marriage to be one of the basic civil rights of man. To deny marriage is to question the citizenship, perhaps even the humanity of gay Americans and is a form of government endorsed stigmatization.

Gays are demanding nothing more, and are entitled to nothing less, than equality under the law. So, no, gays are not satisfied and will not be satisfied with some half-baked consolation prize. The discredited Jim Crow principle of "Separate but Equal" has no place in the 21st century.

Furthermore, you speak of civil unions as though it were willingly offered by the heterosexual majority rather than something they fought tooth and nail against providing. And only the most totalitarian regime would presume the authority to grant its people "procreation rights." Marriage does not "permit" procreation to take place. Nor is it illegal now for gays to father, bear, and raise children.

Your assertion that gays want to develop babies by somehow combining the DNA of multiple men and woman a la the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie Twins is simply bizarre. Your suggestion that the reluctance of gays to accept their second-class status indicates that they may be more interested in such schemes than in gaining some legal protection for their families is downright offensive.

192
Glen over 7 years ago

Hehe. That's adorable Anonymous (189).

Young kids can be so non-judgmental.

bman knows though that all that kid REALLY needs is some good 'ole fundamentalist Christian indoctrination. So he can learn appropriate disgust of and bigotry toward gay people, and of course his own shame, fear, and wretched unworthiness without the cleansing blood of Jesus.

193
John Howard over 7 years ago

Peter, I am sure that most people who are in favor of same-sex marriage are only asking for all the other rights and benefits and are not even aware that same-sex conception of offspring is even a possibility. But we can't just ignore the possibility and not think about how it affects society right now and in the future.

And Anonymous 186 also hides in the ignorance, instead of seeing the potential good. The fact is, most Americans, and the President and most members of Congress, and even Maggie and Dr J, all support Civil Unions, but there is a big backlash because people know that CU's just get turned into same-sex marriage a year later, if they are "marriage in all but name" and "stepping stones to marriage" people don't support them. There needs to be a permanent difference built into the legislation, to preserve marriage as a man and a woman.

The only thing "second class" about a Civil Union is that they don't affirm and allow the couple to procreate offspring. So siblings could get them, as well as same-sex couples. Sorry to be patronizing, but same-sex couples shouldnt be allowed to procreate.

194
bman over 7 years ago

#3/Anonymous: Marriage has has never been about procreation."

The majority of high courts that have ruled on the issue since 2003 through August 31, 2010 regard procreation a substantive argument and they have rejected same sex marriage.

See http://www.marriagedebate.com/pdf/iMAPP.Jan2011-2-american-courts.pdf

"Anon: The Supreme Court has said, in a number of cases, that the right to marry the person of ones choosing is a constitutional right. In doing so, they have cited the 1st, 5th, and 14th amendments."

The Supreme Court ruled that same sex marriage is not a federal issue in Baker v. Nelson.

195
bman over 7 years ago

"#4/Frank: According to Gallop, 53 of Americans support gay marriage with 45 opposed."

A survey dated May 16-19, 2011 shows that 62 percent of Americans believe marriage should be defined only as a union between one man and one woman.

See: http://oldsite.alliancedefensefund.org/userdocs/ADF-POS_Survey_Results_Summary.pdf

196
bman over 7 years ago

"#16/Red..If the lawyers for Prop 8 couldn't come up with [a substantive argument], what makes you think you can?"

The stay was issued wasn't it? It took a substantive argument to accomplish that.

Anyway, they have many substantive arguments.

The are many in the briefs submitted by others as well.

Two briefs I recommend are linked below:

1. Proves that SSM interferes with parental and rights

http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/general/2010/10/25/amicus9.pdf

2. Refutes Walker's animus claim

http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/general/2010/10/25/amicus12.pdf

197
DN over 7 years ago

bman,

It's been about 48 hours, and I've asked you twice to substantiate your claim that gay people are making hateful claims here. You have failed to do so, so I and everyone else must assume you have no ability to substantiate your claim.

Congratulations on your overheated, hyperventilating rhetoric. Maggie and Brian would be proud!

198
bman over 7 years ago

"197/DN: It's been about 48 hours, and I've asked you twice to substantiate your claim that gay people are making hateful claims here. You have failed to do so, so I and everyone else must assume you have no ability to substantiate your claim."

If you go back to my post on that you will find a link that takes you to examples with discussion.

Your question was essentially answered before you asked it, therefore.

"DN: Congratulations on your overheated, hyperventilating rhetoric."

Once again you resort to a false characterization based on a false presumption.

I refer readers to where you made a similar charge that I answered in post 133.

199
bman over 7 years ago

"#45/Timothy: ...some should stick to math rather than social issues... I'm saying this as someone who graduated from the Naval Nuclear Power School...Face it. Some need to realize their math genius does not bleed over to social science and / or politics."

Looks like "some need to realize" their degree in nuclear technology does not bleed over to a degree in logic.

Have you ever heard of "ad hominem?"

That's a well known fallacy in logic that occurs when you attack the person rather than what he said.

Your post did not address a single point in the article.

Its a classic example of how not to argue.

200
Anonymous over 7 years ago

Re. #193: Skepticism is not ignorance. What I see is one person's fantasy that has no basis in political realities. If you expect me to believe otherwise, you can start by providing some evidence for your claims. Most people who support civil unions, including the President, do support "marriage in all but name." Maggie does not support civil unions.

I'll ask you again: How many people do you actually know who oppose civil unions that are "marriage in all but name" but support civil unions that are "marriage in all but name and right to joint procreation?"

By the way, there is no such as building a permanent difference into legislation. Any legislation that can be enacted can also be repealed, even a constitutional amendment. And that's how it should be: no generation deserves the right to bind all future generations to its will.

201
bman over 7 years ago

"#81 Anonymous: "Re #40. And using the Soviet Union is a pretty weak argument. Are you suggesting we should follow their lead?".... No, I am suggesting it's a shining example of opposition to gay marriage without religious motivation."

That was an interesting point.

202
bman over 7 years ago

"#200/Anon: How many people do you actually know who oppose civil unions that are "marriage in all but name" but support civil unions that are "marriage in all but name and right to joint procreation?"

John's goal is to create that awareness because its relatively unknown.

How many people do you suppose would vote for a law that said: "Two males have a fundamental right to produce offspring by combing their genes together in the lab."

Not very many, for sure.

An ssm law would mean that, however.

It would recognize same sex couples as having all the same legal rights that married opposite sex couples have, including the fundamental right for married partners to procreate by combing each others genes.

Is it safe to vote for something unethical (same sex procreation) just because the technology isn't yet available to carry it out?

Or is it wrong to vote for something unethical (same sex procreation) regardless of where the technology may go?

So, the question is not, "How many people does John know?"

The relevant question is how many need to know.

203
Peter over 7 years ago

bman and Howard, posts 193 202,

I must admit, the idea that marriage equality should be opposed because it may possibly lead to procreation by gay couples at some point in the indeterminate future is certainly a novel addition to the traditional "parade of horribles" that the anti-gay crowd has brandished about since the 1990s.

Then again, I suppose opponents of equality need to come up with a new rationale since their old ones that predicted the collapse of marriage and the family have proven unfounded since Massachusetts became the first state to extend equal rights more than seven years ago.

You know what's funny? First it was, gays can't marry because they can't procreate; now it's gays can't marry because they might procreate. Tell me, does cognitive dissonance hurt?

204
bman over 7 years ago

#105/Anon: "I'm interested in objectively valid reasoning, not in subjective worldviews that lead people to oppose or support this or that. Yes, "common sense" is also irrelevant, because what seems "common sense" to you is not "common sense" to someone else. Prove it objectively instead of calling it common sense."

Try this. If a medieval king decided the people have no rights except what he chooses to grant them, how would you "objectively" argue "all men are created equal" and have a right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?"

Since you will not appeal to your worldview, common sense, natural law, or religion what "objective" argument would you use?

The Declaration of Independence appealed to "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" when they confronted the king of England.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

205
bman over 7 years ago

"#203/Peter First it was, gays can't marry because they can't procreate; now it's gays can't marry because they might procreate. Tell me, does cognitive dissonance hurt?"

There is no dissonance because you left out the implied adjectives that show there are two kinds of procreation.

The first instance refers to ethical procreation by mating of sperm and egg.

The second instance refers to unethical procreation by genetic manipulation of gametes taken from two same sex partners.

Any "dissonance" traces back to the improper distribution of terms in your argument.

206
Anonymous over 7 years ago

Re. #202: John is free to build awareness as his heart desires, but the relevant question to assessing whether his proposal is any more than fantasy is how people respond to it, not how he thinks they will respond.

"An ssm law would mean that, however.

It would recognize same sex couples as having all the same legal rights that married opposite sex couples have, including the fundamental right for married partners to procreate by combing each others genes."

Have you run this interpretation by anyone with a legal degree? Do you also believe that a married same-sex couple (in jurisdictions where same-sex marriage already exists) can call themselves husband and wife in legal papers, since opposite-sex couples can do that?

"Is it safe to vote for something unethical (same sex procreation) just because the technology isn't yet available to carry it out?"

If it's not available then you aren't voting for it. Whether it's ethical isn't a settled question, and nothing good comes out of legislating against bogeymen anyway. If and when conception using artificial gametes becomes closer to reality, we can have a debate about whether it should be banned. If it ends up being banned, it can be banned regardless of marital status.

207
bman over 7 years ago

"#106/Anonymous What infuriates me over this whole debate is this. Marriage equality does not negatively affect anyone. It does not negatively affect society, children, or straight marriages."

You apparently have not read any of the Amicus briefs submitted to the 9th Circuit court on behalf of Prop 8 supporters.

Those briefs spell out in detail the problems a ssm law would cause to society. There are many strong arguments there.

You can find them listed at: http://www.prop8case.com/ee.php/primary/case_resources/

The Hausvater Brief, for example, explains how same sex marriage interferes with the fundamental right of parents to educate their children.

The brief by Robert P. George, Sherif Girgis, and Ryan T. Anderson refutes Walker's animus argument and shows how he substituted his morality for that of the people.

I also recommend the article by libertarian Jane Galt on unintended consequences. Though I do not support her libertarian view, her article on consequences is very persuasive. Its at http://www.janegalt.net/blog/archives/005244.html

"Anon: That being said, there is no legal argument against marriage equality."

The majority of high courts have found the procreation argument substantive.

See link: http://www.marriagedebate.com/pdf/iMAPP.Jan2011-2-american-courts.pdf

208
DN over 7 years ago

bman,

This is becoming tedious. Yes, I understood that you were talking about Lifesitenews and hate comments. At first.

Then, you followed it up with, "I think if gays in this forum would reflect they they too would find they should stop making the hate comments."

I asked for you to quote from "this forum" where "gays" where "making the hate comments."

I am not distorting a thing you say, and I am also going to challenge your claims.

So, for the fourth time: please cite, from this forum, examples of where gays are making "hate comments."

209
Glen over 7 years ago

John Howard, what exactly IS the ethical problem with technology that might one day permit the combining of the gametes of members of the same gender? Assuming such gametes would otherwise be identical to the results of natural male/female gametes.

By-the-way, should be also pass laws now that forbid two sentient robots from marrying? Technologists do believe there will come a time, in the not-to-distant future, where artificial intelligence will reach or exceed human intelligence and possibly become sentient.

What about robot/human marriage?

How about Female Alpha-Centauri Alien/Male Earth Human marriage? Male Alien/Human Male marriage? Hermaphroditic Alien/Human Male marriage?

We really ought to start considering these things, and getting our laws in order. Right?

210
bman over 7 years ago

"#208/DN: This is becoming tedious. Yes, I understood that you were talking about Lifesitenews and hate comments. At first. Then, you followed it up with, "I think if gays in this forum would reflect they they too would find they should stop making the hate comments. I asked for you to quote from "this forum" where "gays" where "making the hate comments. I am not distorting a thing you say, and I am also going to challenge your claims. So, for the fourth time: please cite, from this forum, examples of where gays are making hate comments."

Looks like you stopped reading my post before you reached the link at the bottom of that post.

http://tech.mit.edu/V131/N29/dissent.html?comments#comment-804

211
bman over 7 years ago

A Cisco Employee was fired for disagreeing with same sex marriage while off duty.

"...the homosexual manager called a human resources professional at Cisco with his complaint, after apparently searching Tureks name online [finding he wrote a book against same sex marriage]..though the HR professional had [not] read Tureks book or heard him speak on matters of same-sex marriage or homosexuality, Turek was fired within hours, and the HR professional commended the manager for outing Turek.

Cisco had a problem with my thoughts, he continued. Although I certainly accepted homosexuals, I committed the thought crime of disagreeing with homosexual behavior and homosexual political goals. So despite all their talk about inclusion and diversity, Cisco deemed my thoughts about something irrelevant to the workplace as grounds for immediate exclusion.

from: http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/top-cisco-employee-repotedly-fired-for-defending-marriage-family?utm_sourceLifeSiteNews.comDailyNewsletterutm_campaign5ff84b9f5a-LifeSiteNews_com_US_Headlines07_12_2011utm_mediumemail

212
Glen over 7 years ago

bman,

The procreation argument is a clear failure by virtue of the simple fact that procreation intent, capability, or success has never been a requirement for heterosexual marriage to begin with, and it isn't now.

The fact that any eligible opposite gender couple is allowed to marry regardless of their ability or intent to procreate negates that argument. If the State had, as a matter of course, taken any reasonable steps to ensure that only procreative couples were permitted to marry, then that argument might hold sway. But they don't. Even the simplest of observational tests isn't used, when an elderly couple applies for a marriage license.

The argument that it interferes with parental rights to educate their children is patently laughable. Any use of it needs to be met with outright derision. The ability to use such an argument would negate the enactment of ANY law, period. Parents want to be able to shield their children from social or legal realities? Then lock them in your home, never let them leave the property, eliminate TV or internet access, forbid most other children from visiting, and home school them.

Every social and legal reality is out there for them to discover or be taught. ANY law that is passed changes those realities. Children in NY now are going to be exposed to the legal reality of a Property Tax cap!! Maybe as a parent that HORRIFIES me! In our household we have a devout strongly-held belief against property tax caps! Passing such a law interferes with my parental right to educate my children, right?

Oh, but opposition to same-gender marriage really IS a matter of actual religious belief. Well it's ALSO a matter of actual religious belief that same-gender couples DO have the moral, spiritual, and legal right to be married. What of those parents rights, when their children learn or are taught that it's forbidden as a matter of law?

As for arguments made on hypothetical consequences that don't even have a basis in grounded reason, let alone actual experience, those arguments simply are not good enough to uphold discrimination against a suspect class. Work on passing a law restricting or forbidding same-gender marriage once you've proven actual causation of societal ills from it. "We believe this will be the result" is simply not good enough.

You try SO hard bman/NOM. It's good though, it opens the dialog for society to hear it, and as they do they are being swayed toward equality for gay couples.

213
Glen over 7 years ago

bman,

I suspect Cisco had other good reason to fire that employee. If he was fired merely on his advocacy of his beliefs outside of work then that's grounds for a law suit against Cisco.

IF it's in any way related to his anti-marriage beliefs then it's probably because he spent time expressing them at work where Cisco has defined corporate policies favoring non-discrimination. If an employee expresses his opposition to corporate policies AT work, even as it relates to things outside of work, that might be grounds for a dismissal.

So... I'm going to assume that Cisco's HR is smarter than the Lifesitenews article portrays and fired him for expressing his views AT work (perhaps even just e-mailing a link to his outside article to other employees) in violation of their corporate policies.

Cisco isn't going to set themselves up for an unnecessary lawsuit.

214
Peter over 7 years ago

bman #211,

Gays are ROUTINELY fired for being gay. Exhibit A: Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Though it looks like that policy is finally on its way out, its repeal is still being stubbornly opposed by Republicans and conservative groups.

No federal law protects gays against employment discrimination and many states don't either. In fact, when counties have tried to pass local anti-discrimination laws, their efforts have frequently been challenged, oftentimes successfully, e.g. Colorado's Amendment 2, and recently, in TN.

I'm sorry ex-Cisco employee, all my sympathy has been used on the tens of thousands of gays serving in the U.S. Armed forces, those who are risking their lives, and in some cases, have died while fighting, to protect the rights of others while being systematically denied those very rights.

215
John Howard over 7 years ago

Glen209 "John Howard, what exactly IS the ethical problem with technology that might one day permit the combining of the gametes of members of the same gender? Assuming such gametes would otherwise be identical to the results of natural male/female gametes."

Even in theory, as your assumption is asking, there are many ethical and practical problems with saying that people have a right to make offspring with someone of the same sex. And the things that I list might not be the same things that another person would list, but I'll list the medical costs that we'd all have to pay, and the energy consumption and the diverting of resources away from actual sick people in order to do something that is entirely unnecessary and involves experiments on non-consenting subjects. I think it is essential to our concept of equality and equal rights for everyone to be created equal, as the offspring of a man and a woman.

I think you should be asking yourself, "why the heck are we demanding a right to procreate with someone of the same sex, when it isn't even possible and might never be possible, instead of achieving equal protections through CU's that don't claim a right to procreate offspring?" Those CU's could be enacted immediately if people would give up demanding marriage for same-sex couples.

216
John Howard over 7 years ago

"What about robot/human marriage? How about Female Alpha-Centauri Alien/Male Earth Human marriage? Male Alien/Human Male marriage? Hermaphroditic Alien/Human Male marriage?"

Glen, all of those things would be prohibited by my proposal at the same time, because my proposal limits the creation of people to the union of a man and a woman using their unmodified gametes, and requires that all state marriages must approve and allow the couple to create offspring together.

So it would prohibit cloning and designer babies made from computer synthesized DNA, and alien-human procreation. (Of course, the aliens might have their own laws about mating with humans, but that's what the United Federation of Planets is for.)

And there might come a time when we decide to allow labs to create people with someone of the same sex from modified artificial gametes, in which case we'd repeal or change the Egg and Sperm law and then same-sex couples could change their CU's into marriages. But it is a little pre-mature to declare it legal right now, when it is so clearly unsafe and unethical to attempt.

217
John Howard over 7 years ago

"Whether it's ethical isn't a settled question"

There is not one person who thinks it is ethical, especially right now. There are transhumanist nerds who like to fantasize about things like this, but they aren't participating in reality.

"and nothing good comes out of legislating against bogeymen anyway."

On the contrary, such legislation would pave the way for acceptance of CU's and resolve the marriage debate and save tons of money. Nothing good comes from leaving same-sex procreation legal, it insults children of same-sex couples to be told that what same-sex couples really want is biologically related children. It confuses children and cruelly makes them think it might be possible someday, when the fact is it probably never will be, even if we keep it legal and keep funding the research.

"If and when conception using artificial gametes becomes closer to reality, we can have a debate about whether it should be banned."

OK, but shouldn't it be banned first, while it is so clearly unsafe (Kaguya required 451 embryos, 371 implanted, and ten pups born alive, for just one mouse to reach adulthood), and then we can debate unbanning it. Meanwhile, same-sex couples will have had equal protections and federal recognition via the CU's that are defined as "marriage minus conception rights."

"If it ends up being banned, it can be banned regardless of marital status."

It could, but doing that would strip procreation rights from all marriages, and for the first time in history there would be married couples that are publicly prohibited from conceiving offspring together. Then any married could be prohibited from conceiving offspring together, and couldn't claim that their marriage protected their right to conceive offspring together using their own genes. That's ugly eugenics, and it would be very bad for equality and human dignity.

218
bman over 7 years ago

"#206/Anonymous ...the relevant question to assessing whether his proposal is any more than fantasy is how people respond to it, not how he thinks they will respond."

If that is the question relevant to your analysis, no problem. I am sure John will answer your question next time around.

My post appealed to the undecided voters in the audience.

If the voter views same sex procreation unethical in principle (and most would supposing the technology was available) then they should not vote in favor of that principle regardless if the technology was available or not.

In short, do they want to vote in favor of an unethical principle even in abstract form?

That is what they would do if they voted for SSM.

As for your claim its "a fantasy," that is overly dismissive since its been done in the lab with two same sex mice.

"Anon: Have you run this interpretation by anyone with a legal degree?

John might know to what extent the legal community has addressed this. I am addressing it solely on the merits of the logic.

Besides, even if we supposed 99 of lawyers disagreed, that would be like asking lawyers about same sex marriage 20 years ago.

Your question about lawyers also seems moot given your earlier statement, "....Any legislation that can be enacted can also be repealed, even a constitutional amendment."

If the "laws" can change so can the consensus of legal opinion.

My goal is to show the logic is there.

"Anon: Do you also believe that a married same-sex couple (in jurisdictions where same-sex marriage already exists) can call themselves husband and wife in legal papers, since opposite-sex couples can do that?"

The legal papers would say party one and party 2 instead of husband and wife, forcing "equality" that way.

If same sex marriage became law, we can be virtually certain gays would demand equal recognition of their procreation rights at law that married men and women have, if the technology became available.

"Anon: If it's not available then you aren't voting for it."

A vote to extend marriage rights to same sex couples would confer all the rights of marriage as a matter of law, and that would include procreation rights.

The means to exercise those rights need not exist for the rights to exist at law.

219
bman over 7 years ago

"Anon: Whether it's ethical isn't a settled question..."

Each voter would decide if its ethical or not while in the voting booth.

"Anon: .....and nothing good comes out of legislating against bogeymen anyway."

Even if we suppose the technology would never exist, they would still be voting "in principle" to make same sex procreation a fundamental right.

"Anon: If and when conception using artificial gametes becomes closer to reality, we can have a debate about whether it should be banned. If it ends up being banned, it can be banned regardless of marital status."

No doubt that is true. A fundamental right can be interfered with if there is a compelling reason.

But it does not change the fact the "right" to same sex procreation would be voted on in principle here and now, anytime ssm came to a vote.

220
Glen over 7 years ago

By-the-way John bman, these are absurd anti-liberty concerns you have.

Putting aside your weird lab created children scenario... Procreative rights are inalienable. By virtue of one's humanity (being human) we each have an inherent right to procreate. It's part of the biology of being human. (Of course we also have the right to refuse to procreate - so one must have a willing partner to do so).

In America where liberty is supposed to reign (more-so than other places), we don't need the State's permission to procreate with a consenting adult (though we can as a society define who is legally capable of providing consent).

Hence, marriage is NOT permission to procreate. At its most fundamental, the legal State contract of marriage is simply the legal binding of two individuals making them each others immediate next-of-kin (spouse) with all the state issued or recognized rights, privileges, responsibilities and obligations to one another.

These laws say NOTHING about the right to procreate with one another to the exclusion of the right to procreate with anyone else.

If that's what you wanted, perhaps you ought to have been seeking that change a LONG time ago, making it illegal to procreate outside of the State's explicit marital permission. There's never been an organization like NOM that pushed SO hard to make that a reality. WHY then do you think NOM formed and puts so much time, effort, and multi-millions of dollars into prohibiting same-gender marriage equality?

The answer is none of the one's they give. It's born of religiously motivated anti-gay animus, and a deep desire to ensure that they have some area of strictly religious based rules enshrined into our law. Ultimately, as far as NOM and every other religious organization that fights marriage equality is concerned, this truly IS about the State endorsing and showing itself to be complicit to THEIR religious doctrine. Period. (Though I suspect there are many even within these organizations who don't even comprehend or recognize that.)

221
John Howard over 7 years ago

"Each voter would decide if its ethical or not while in the voting booth. "

I think that's a bad idea, people generally don't like to vote for laws that prohibit something, even if they don't think it should be legal. They'd rather have the legislature do their job, and be responsible. It's too great a possibility that more than half of voters would vote for "freedom" and "science" and whatever other manipulative buzz words the corporate media capitalist system drums into their brains.

But I think we have a chance at getting the law passed by Congress if we structure it as a compromise resolution and we here in the blogosphere agree to the Compromise and get the agreement to the attention of Congress.

I don't see why anyone prefers the status quo to what the new status quo would be after the Compromise. It would improve the lives of gay people in every state, it would preserve equality and conception rights and marriage...what is not to like about it, unless you only care about trying to make children with someone of the same sex?

222
Peter over 7 years ago

Howard, #217: "There are transhumanist nerds who like to fantasize about things like this, but they aren't participating in reality."

Apparently they're not the only ones. lol

"On the contrary, such legislation would pave the way for acceptance of CU's and resolve the marriage debate and save tons of money."

It is simply dishonest to suggest that the fear of gay couples somehow combining their DNA to produce biological children is the real reason why marriage equality is opposed by so many people.

I would love to see a judge's reaction if someone were to argue in court that gays should be denied the fundamental right to marry, and their children should be denied the protections and security of having married parents, because marriage equality would imply support for the principle that gay couples have the theoretical right to have biological children.

This whole argument is nothing more than a distraction from the real issues, but I guess since all of their previous arguments have failed to stand up to scrutiny, speculative fear mongering is all bman and Howard have left.

223
Anonymous over 7 years ago

Well clearly, John, it is because all of the lesbians are waiting to get married so they can amass an army of genetically enhanced gay babies ("gaybies") which will swarm our public schools and teach evolution.

Are you for real? No one is supporting your proposal because it is built around an issue that virtually no one cares about, an issue that won't even exist for several decades. if ever.

224
John Howard over 7 years ago

So Glen, you are confirming my point. You are saying your real demand is to have the "liberty" to procreate offspring with someone of the same sex, and, you also don't think that marriage is permission to procreate offspring with the couple's own genes. Those are both extremely radical dangerous beliefs that would harm society and people's rights and dignity and destroy liberty. You are throwing all the same-sex couples and their children under the bus, refusing CU's that would give them security and equal federal recognition because they don't allow same-sex procreation, which isn't even possible. It's a ludicrous position, extremely harmful to actual people and costly to society.

225
Glen over 7 years ago

John, I have difficulty believing you are for real.

Are you saying that the State not controlling who and who can't procreate with one another is a radical idea? In other words it's the State's responsibility to dictate who is, and is not, allowed to procreate.

I can assure you that MOST Americans would consider your idea that the State should dictate who can or can't procreate together as radical.

By-the-way, I'd never even considered a same gender couple procreating (using some advanced future technology). But apparently it's something you would like to see outlawed, and apparently fear that if gay couples can marry then society would not be able to outlaw it.

I couldn't care less frankly if it's not outlawed. Assuming they could show that it's no different than combining the genetic code from an opposite gender couple, then I'm not particularly concerned about it. Though I'd think it might result in more children born who will be homosexual - assuming there is a genetic component - although it might be a good idea now to have such control over our population growth. Fewer people inclined toward procreative activity could be just the thing our planet needs for the survival of our ecosystem and the human race.

Do you really think the planet NEEDS 7 billion human beings, let alone the 9 to 14 billion projected by 2100, even as our demands on our planet's resources and ecosystem grows.

Maybe you'd like to see the collapse of our ecosystem and the end of the human race who are unable to survive that collapse, but I'd rather see humanity continue.

If you want to talk of future possibilities.

226
Anonymous over 7 years ago

John Howard:

Seriously, where in the world are you getting these ideas?

"Procreation rights" as you seem to be defining them don't exist in this country. You don't need any license or permission from the government to have a kid. You don't have to be married. You don't even have to be 18. Our society, however, does have laws that prohibit certain sexual ACTS, i.e. ones that involve people that do not or cannot consent. Marriage does not grant "procreation rights." Let me say that again because you don't seem to be getting it: Marriage does not grant "procreation rights" in the US.

When gay-rights activists speak of "gay marriage," what they are seeking is not some new institution called "gay marriage," they are seeking the same legal rights and privileges that our government currently gives to married heterosexual couples. Again, "procreation rights" is currently not one of those rights granted by marriage in the US. It's really not. Some people may think it's immoral to have children out of wedlock, but it's certainly not against the law. And just because you get married that doesn't mean you have the "right" to have a biological child under any circumstance. If you're sterile or too old or the in vitro fails... well, that sucks, but that's life.

Furthermore, even if the technology of producing a child from two parents of the same sex becomes available, what does marriage have to do with it? Single people can undergo in vitro fertilization. Non-married couples can use any available technology we currently have to produce a baby. Gays are already using donor eggs and surrogate mothers to have children. If the technology you describe is possible and deemed ethical, theoretically two non-married gays/lesbians could do it too. So if your entire argument against same-sex marriage is this hypothetical technology, then you really be focusing your energy on raising the ethical concerns of this technology instead of on banning gay marriage. Because if the technology becomes available (and that's a completely separate issue), marriage won't matter.

227
DN over 7 years ago

bman,

Yeah, um the link you provided was to your own comment and I don't see anything about gays spewing hate at you or anyone else. I see someone asking a legitimate question, but I don't see an accusation. If you're so thin-skinned, you really do belong on NOM's site.

You are tedious, sir.

228
John Howard over 7 years ago

"Are you saying that the State not controlling who and who can't procreate with one another is a radical idea? In other words it's the State's responsibility to dictate who is, and is not, allowed to procreate."

Same-sex conception is a radical idea. Stripping procreation rights from marriage is a radical idea. Allowing a father to marry his daughter is a radical idea. Prohibiting incest and cloning and same-sex babies from artificial gametes is not a radical idea at all.

"I can assure you that MOST Americans would consider your idea that the State should dictate who can or can't procreate together as radical."

Ha, like most Americans think a guy should be allowed to have sex with his sister? Most Americans think we should let same-sex couples make babies with artificial gametes? I don't think so.

And you are right that we've already got 7Billion people and scarce resources, so it's ridiculous to think people should be allowed to play around manufacturing more people on purpose, in a hugely resource intensive and expensive way. There is no need for babies to be created for same-sex couples, it's stupid and foolish.

229
John Howard over 7 years ago

""Procreation rights" as you seem to be defining them don't exist in this country."

They are under siege and need to be protected, we need to affirm that everyone has a right to marry and all marriages have a right to procreate with their own genes. That is a fundamental right, don't go saying it doesn't exist.

"You don't need any license or permission from the government to have a kid."

True, but you can get a license and permission from the government to have a kid, if you want it, if you are eligible. There are some relationships that are prohibited.

"You don't have to be married."

No, but it's nice to be, it's better for society and the kid and the parents and grandparents and everyone.

"You don't even have to be 18."

Well, the state certainly doesn't condone children having kids, even if it tries to support teen mothers rather than punish them.

Marriage must continue to approve and allow the couple to procreate offspring using their own genes. Those are the procreation rights of marriage, they point out to society and the state that the couple has every right to have sex and procreate offspring. Not all couples can get that approval, for example siblings. Couples that are eligible don't need to get the official approval, but they should be able to if they want it, and it should be true approval like it always has been.

"And just because you get married that doesn't mean you have the "right" to have a biological child under any circumstance. If you're sterile or too old or the in vitro fails... well, that sucks, but that's life. "

Well, you aren't guaranteed success, but you do have a right to try. Same-sex couples shouldn't have a right to try. If they try to conceive offspring, making a real attempt that could conceivably result in a child, they should go to jail.

230
John Howard over 7 years ago

"If the technology you describe is possible and deemed ethical, theoretically two non-married gays/lesbians could do it too."

Not if it is prohibited. See? The point is that it should be prohibited, and people should only be allowed to try to procreate with someone of the other sex. I should have a right with a woman that I should not have with a man, namely, to procreate offspring together. Same-sex couples should not have the same rights as a man and woman. And yeah, that is regardless of marriage. But marriage should continue to approve and affirm the right of the couple to procreate offspring together, and should never be given to couples that are prohibited from offspring

231
bman over 7 years ago

"#212/Glen: The procreation argument is a clear failure by virtue of the simple fact that procreation intent, capability, or success has never been a requirement for heterosexual marriage to begin with, and it isn't now. The fact that any eligible opposite gender couple is allowed to marry regardless of their ability or intent to procreate negates that argument."

It does not negate the argument.

The majority of high courts that have ruled on the issue since 2003 through August 31, 2010 rejected same sex marriage because they regarded procreation a substantive argument.

They also say its only a minor imperfection if infertile couples are allowed to marry. See http://www.marriagedebate.com/pdf/iMAPP.Jan2011-2-american-courts.pdf

and

http://www.nomblog.com/9837/comment-page-1/#comment-49365 (post #15 there)

I explained in an earlier post that marriage is similar to a fishing license. Whether or not you catch fish it formally recognizes your right to catch fish. Marriage formally recognizes the right of a couple to have sex and procreate with each other whether they procreate or not. Just as a fishing license is about fishing even if one does not catch fish, marriage is about sex and procreation whether one actually procreates or not.

You can also see this from American legal history. Fornication laws, some of which are still on the books, were laws that punished sex outside of marriage. Marriage protected a couple from the negative penalty of the fornication laws. However, marriage also conferred a positive benefit, formal recognition and government approval of their right to have sex and procreate with each other.

Though the fornication penalty is virtually a dead issue, the positive aspect remains. Marriage still confers formal recognition of the right to have sex and procreate with one's partner.

The positive side remains intact even if the negative penalty side for sex outside of marriage is virtually gone.

232
bman over 7 years ago

"#227/DN I don't see an accusation. If you're so thin-skinned, you really do belong on NOM's site. You are tedious, sir."

Once again you seem to have stopped reading before you reached the information.

The link only took you to the end of the discussion. You needed to read the upper thread to see the context.

As for my being "tedious," I think that impression comes from your having to keep going back to my post. But its not because the information wasn't there; its because you stop reading too soon or you misread the context (see posts 133 and 210).

233
Anonymous over 7 years ago

Re. #217:

"There are transhumanist nerds who like to fantasize about things like this, but they aren't participating in reality."

Funny, I thought you were doing that. Anyhow, saying "those who disagree with me don't count" isn't a valid form of argument.

"On the contrary, such legislation would pave the way for acceptance of CU's and resolve the marriage debate and save tons of money."

You keep saying that as though it will become true if you repeat it enough times. So far you haven't shown that it's anything other than wishful thinking on your part, especially since you ignore requests to provide even anecdotal, let alone statistically valid, evidence of its acceptance.

"for the first time in history there would be married couples that are publicly prohibited from conceiving offspring together. [Slippery slope fallacy]"

If you apply your principles consistently, you'll see that this doesn't depend on same-sex marriage. What will you do when a married opposite-sex couple who cannot procreate using their natural gametes, want to create gametes in a lab from stem cells? If it's so dangerous as you say, surely they shouldn't be allowed.

Re. #218:

"Besides, even if we supposed 99 of lawyers disagreed, that would be like asking lawyers about same sex marriage 20 years ago."

To clarify, I meant whether your logic is consistent with principles of legal construction, not about the current state of law. 99 of lawyers may turn out to be wrong in the long run, but it's far less likely than you turning out to be wrong.

234
Peter over 7 years ago

bman,

This is your original post:

"I think if gays in this forum would reflect they they too would find they should stop making the hate comments.

There is another MIT discussion that illustrates the point at:

http://tech.mit.edu/V131/N29/dissent.html?comments#comment-804"

DN then asked you, repeatedly, to identify the specific comments posted on this thread you considered hateful.

You responded by again providing the url for a separate thread, and even then, you failed to cite exactly which comments you considered hateful.

When DN again challenged you to cite which specific comments in this thread you considered hateful, you again pointed to an entirely different thread and refused to cite any specific comments.

Perhaps you got the two threads confused and mistakenly said that gays in THIS thread were making hateful comments. But the wording in your original post definitely referred to THIS thread, and not the other one when you claimed that gays were making hateful comments.

Having said that, this would be a pretty minor mistake. Nonetheless, you have yet to cit ANY specific comment on either thread that you consider hateful. It's hardly reasonable to expect us to guess which comments you consider hateful.

But since I have no choice...

There are comments that charge you with being bigoted, and I suspect it is these comments that you are referring to; but saying someone is prejudiced is not the same as making hateful comments towards them.

For example, a historian could say of Alabama's Eugene "Bull" Connor that he was a bigot, but that historian is not making hateful comments towards Mr. Connor, just stating a simple fact. Please understand I am not comparing you to Bull Connor, I'm just using him as an example to demonstrate that saying someone is a bigot is not equivalent to making hateful statements toward that person.

There's no shame in admitting that you could have probably worded something better.

235
DN over 7 years ago

Oh thank goodness - someone else understands what I'm saying. I was starting to wonder where I was being unclear in my exceedingly clear requests for clarification.

I'm also glad I was clear on the part about "being called a bigot isn't a hateful statement." On that topic, I'm going to copy a paragraph from way up in the thread...

"Do you think you have some right to control what other people think of you? Do you think you have the right to force people to think good things about you? If so, I'm sorry to inform you that you do not. Nor do I. All you, or I, or anyone can do is to act in a manner that will -influence- people to think the way we want to about them. But you, sir, have absolutely no right to tell me or anyone else to think you're not a bigot. You don't even have the right to tell me to think you're not dressed up in a badger costume, huffing fire extinguisher exhaust. The only difference is, it's -extremely- unlikely you are the latter. As for the former... well, let's let your own words influence people and see what everyone decides."

Maybe this is one of the allegedly hateful comments bman is referring to? I know that I hate people in badger costumes. I hate them so much.

236
Anonymous over 7 years ago

John Howard:

I did a little digging (not much -- took me less than 5 minutes), and assuming that you are the same John Howard that posted on NOM's blog about this editorial, I went to your website eggandsperm.blogspot.com. On Dec 10, 2004 you wrote:

"And, though adultery needn't be prosecuted in order for marriage to grant procreation rights, I do think it should be, along with fornication, because it makes it clearer what marriage licenses. It seems we have forgotten. There is no right for single people to have children, no court case or law says that there is. Marriage is, and should be respected as, the only legal place to procreate. This is important to ensure equal reproductive rights for men and women. It is important for establishing the preference that people be responsible to their offspring and to the co-parent of their offspring."

When you say things like this, it is clear that your positions are based on your own view of morality that is likely based in religion. If you feel this way, fine, that's your right. I agree that in most cases it's ideal for children to be conceived after a commitment ceremony like marriage. But the FACT of the matter is that right now, in the US, single people can and do have kids. It is not illegal here, right now in the US.

I refer other people to John Howard's website to see where he's coming from. I won't be responding to him anymore because it's clear his mind won't be changed.

237
Anonymous over 7 years ago

#204/bman And the king obviously said, "You're totally right, kthbye?" Or did they have to go to war instead?

I don't believe that morality can be argued objectively. It can only be based on shared assumptions, such as, for example, the golden rule. My comment was in the context of questions addressed to the author of the article, who was not making a moral argument.

238
Glen over 7 years ago

bman, courts are moving away from the procreation argument holding any weight.

For a number of reasons, not the least of which is the court's own societally-religiously-traditionally indoctrinated anti-gay bias; which no doubt has obscured their judgement on what strained arguments to accept from the anti-marriage side in order to rule in their favor (and in favor of what majority societal opinion 'has been' -- we know courts, to a degree, are influenced by this).

It's become increasingly clear to the courts that the primary objectors (indeed the only objectors) to marriage equality are coming to their opposition exclusively from religious grounds, with politicians and administrations that are inclined to heed their demands, regardless of Constitutional violations (that is for the courts to determine after all).

There is plenty of precedent wherein a law is found to be impermissible even while a seemingly valid rational basis is presented for it, but where that rational basis is NEVER applied unless it involves the targeted class.

That's exactly what makes the procreation argument a failure, and what the courts are increasingly finding.

As there are PLENTY of non-procreative heterosexual couples who are freely permitted to marry, and plenty more who have no intention of procreating who marry as well, and as the State does NOTHING to stop it (even using simple observations or assuming honest answers to a series of eligibility questions), then trying to claim the State's procreation interests for marriage but only applying it to the observed fact that the two people wanting to marry are the same gender, is NOT permissible.

Furthermore, the state has numerous other interests in the legal recognition and contracting of marriage between two people that have nothing to do with that particular couple's capacity or intent to procreate. ALL of those interests apply equally well to same gender couples.

So given the above, and given that the procreation argument is not something that ever precludes any heterosexual couple from marrying (despite obvious incapacity for it), the exceedingly strained argument for it is showing its weakness and is failing.

As to fishing licenses... one does not seek such a license if they have no intention of fishing or if they are physically incapable of fishing, and yet heterosexuals who have no intention of procreating or are unable to can still get a marriage license. The analogy doesn't work.

239
John Howard over 7 years ago

"Funny, I thought you were doing that. Anyhow, saying "those who disagree with me don't count" isn't a valid form of argument."

No, I am not fantasizing about the future, I am proposing three laws to be enacted right now that would have immediate practical benefits. People who disagree that we should prohibit manufacturing human beings from genetically modified gametes are called transhumanists and eugencists and they are shallow immature nerds who need to be gently brought back to earth. We can't afford that stuff, and it would harm human dignity and equality and isn't at all necessary. Rent a movie if you want to see that future.

My claim that prohibiting non male-female conception would pave the way for acceptance of CU's defined as "marriage minus conception rights" is based on years of experience in this debate. I am the expert making that prediction. It's based on the valid objection people to CU's that are seen as slippery slopes to marriage and stepping stones, and the continued existence of same-sex marriage in six states. Many people are too invested in the debate (literally making careers out of it) to accept a compromise that would resolve it. They like the status quo. I am trying to reach people like you at the grassroots level to forge a compromise, run it up high enough to force leaders to take note, and see that we've made a good compromise. A key reason that these CU's would be accepted is that the compromise actually ends same-sex marriage in every state and makes a permanent distinction in the rights of married couples that preserves marriage as a man and a woman. So I think it is worth running up the flag pole, as they say. Why are you afraid to support it? It would give immediate federal recognition to same-sex couples and lead to uniform CU's in a lot more states than now, and all you'd give up is something that might never be possible anyhow.

240
Peter over 7 years ago

bman, you brought up the fishing licence analogy before (101 112) and I explained why it didn't work in 119.

In 143, you admitted your own analogy was "limited" in its effectiveness but then you bring it up again in 231.

Your analogy was ably refuted by Glen in the above post. How many times do we have to explain why your analogy is flawed? Or did you think we forgot that you already tried that link of argument?

241
John Howard over 7 years ago

"But the FACT of the matter is that right now, in the US, single people can and do have kids. It is not illegal here, right now in the US. "

How does that counter my argument that we shouldn't let same-sex couples conceive offspring, and that marriage should always approve and affirm the couple's right to conceive offspring?

Thanks for checking out my blog.

242
bman over 7 years ago

"#234/Peter: Perhaps you got the two threads confused and mistakenly said that gays in THIS thread were making hateful comments. But the wording in your original post definitely referred to THIS thread, and not the other one when you claimed that gays were making hateful comments.."

First, you are presenting my claim as "gays making hateful comments" but my claim was that gays should stop presuming their opponents are guilty of hate. In post #180 I quoted someone who said, "this site [Lifesitenews.com] is full of hate" but who reversed that later.

Second, I introduced the other thread with these words, "There is another MIT discussion that illustrates the point..." And so, I knew I was referring to "another" discussion.

Third, I didn't "confuse" the two threads but I viewed the other thread as "a proxy" for gay commenters generally.

Fourth, I did not use the phrase "this thread" I used the phrase "this forum." The word "forum" has a larger capacity than does the word "thread."

Fifth, the other "Tech" discussion had a clearer example than this thread which is why I referred to it.

"Peter: Nonetheless, you have yet to cite ANY specific comment on either thread that you consider hateful. It's hardly reasonable to expect us to guess which comments you consider hateful.

The url went to a specific post where I had been accused of hate and answered the accusation.

Anyway, here are some excerpts from the previous context that you apparently "missed."

#23 "...your bias against homosexuals stems from an inherent prejudice and hatred...stop hiding your hatred behind the garb of such absurd arguments"

#28 "...thank you for spelling out in some detail your outright hatred of homosexuality"

#29 "...your opposition to gay marriage stems from an inherent bias and hatred towards gays..your hatred of LGBT folks"

#37 Hate and prejudice must be called what they are.

In one post Anonymous claimed s/he did not need to "presume" hate because ruined LGBT lives prove its hate. I replied, "...so you don't [need to know] if the person has a non-hate reason or not. You already have a "license" to accuse them of hate even if that is not their intent."

In #40 Anonymous accused me of hate because I did not answer a hostile question. I explained its not hate simply because I deferred my answer until later, at the proper turn.

The point is that gays need to stop presuming hate just because someone does not agree with same sex marriage.

243
bman over 7 years ago

"#240/Peter: ...you brought up the fishing license analogy before (101 112) and I explained why it didn't work in 119. In 143, you admitted your own analogy was "limited" in its effectiveness but then you bring it up again in 231."

All that is true as far as it goes.

Its still a very good analogy to show the difference between a license that "requires" something versus a license that "recognizes a right to do something" and which does not require something to be done.

The fishing license analogy is limited because it can't be used for all aspects of marriage.

Glen made the argument to which the fishing license analogy applied, which is why I used the analogy.

"Peter: How many times do we have to explain why your analogy is flawed? Or did you think we forgot that you already tried that link of argument?"

The analogy is not meant to be comprehensive.

Marriage is more like a melting pot of ideas and so no single analogy fits all aspects of marriage, but each aspect can have its own analogy.

244
John Howard over 7 years ago

"...given that the procreation argument is not something that ever precludes any heterosexual couple from marrying (despite obvious incapacity for it), the exceedingly strained argument for it is showing its weakness and is failing."

Wrong, the procreation argument precludes siblings from marrying. It isn't about their capacity or ability, but their right to try. Relationships that society forbids from procreating are never allowed to marry. This is why siblings can't marry. Granted it is not usually stated correctly, so you are forgiven this time.

"As to fishing licenses... one does not seek such a license if they have no intention of fishing or if they are physically incapable of fishing, and yet heterosexuals who have no intention of procreating or are unable to can still get a marriage license."

Someone that wanted to impress their friends or join a fishing club might get a fishing license even if they cannot fish or don't want to fish. But if they were not allowed to fish by the licensing authority (perhaps they were caught breaking the rules last season and were banned from fishing) then they will not be issued a license, even if they say they have no intention of fishing. Again, a license approves or allows something, even if getting a license isn't required to do it, and even if it is never used.

Glen and Peter, why not move to a new status quo, where same-sex couples have the protections and recognition they need, instead of demanding that they be given the same right to procreate that a man and a woman have?

245
DN over 7 years ago

bman,

Well it only took, what, six times, but you cited posts where gay people were hating on you. Good for you! I agree with Peter that there's no hatred in the things you cited, just character assessment. Perhaps they're wrong, but they're basing their assessment on the evidence that -you- have provided.

Can I ask you something else, though? Where has anyone here revealed their sexuality? On either side. Nobody's said they're gay or not. If people are guilty of presuming that you're motivated by hatred, then you're equally guilty of presuming that those people must be gay.

And as I repeated earlier this morning, you have no right whatsoever to tell peole they can't assume you're motivated by hatred. That kind of thought policing is what your side accuses gays of doing all the time.

Allow me to paraphrase Brian Brown, Maggie Gallagher, and Ryan Normandin again: "if gay marriage is allowed to happen, people who believe that marriage is an institution for one man and one woman will be thought of as bigots."

And again, the answer is "so?"

I'm fond of computer games. Do I get upset when someone thinks I'm a nerd for liking computer games? Well to be honest it irks me a little, but that's their opinion and they are entitled to it. So yeah, people are thinking of you as a bigot, bman. Suck it up. Seriously, the whining is getting a bit much. Marriage equality hurts you in no way at all, but you won't stop whining about it.

246
bman over 7 years ago

"#245/DN: So yeah, people are thinking of you as a bigot, bman. Suck it up. Seriously, the whining is getting a bit much."

I was simply making a rational argument.

You are the one who demanded examples.

The rational argument is simply this. Its morally wrong to accuse someone of hate just because they do not agree with same sex marriage.

247
Anonymous over 7 years ago

Re. #239: I don't credit your self-proclaimed expert status and am not going to accept any prediction solely on the basis of your opinion. If you really want to reach people like me, try bringing some evidence to the table.

I'm not "afraid" to support your proposal. I don't support it because I think it's misguided. First, I consider what you are proposing a bad idea in itself (and I'll be happy to explain why I consider it a bad idea if you're interested). Second, I consider it a waste of time because I estimate the probability of your proposal gaining wide acceptance at 0. I am also making an adverse inference from your persistent refusal to answer how many people you know who would flip from opposing to supporting civil unions if procreation using artificial gametes were banned.

248
Peter over 7 years ago

DN and bman,

Okay, I think I've finally sorted out the confusion we've been having over the hate comments.

bman wrote: "I think if gays in this forum would reflect they they too would find they should stop making the hate comments."

That wording led DN and I to think you were saying gays were making hateful comments. When BN asked you to cite specific posts that you considered hateful, you posted the url of the other thread, citing no specific comments.

Back and forth it went, with BN and I repeatedly asking you to cite where, specifically, were gays making hateful comments and you always simply said, just look at the url.

Finally, in post 242, you said "The point is that gays need to stop presuming hate just because someone does not agree with same sex marriage."

Only then did I see what you were talking about, bman. It would have been much clearer had you originally said something like, "gays should stop accusing people who oppose marriage equality of being haters," rather than "gays should stop making the hate comments."

It also didn't help that when DN asked you who was making hateful remarks, you didn't correct the misinterpretation and just said, look at this url.

I hope that clears things up a bit.

249
bman over 7 years ago

"#238/Glen: courts are moving away from the procreation argument holding any weight...the court's own societally-religiously-traditionally indoctrinated anti-gay bias; which no doubt has obscured their judgement...(and in favor of what majority societal opinion 'has been' -- we know courts, to a degree, are influenced by this)."

The above "explains" your subjective opinion, but it does not disprove any comment I have made.

It appears you now accept the claim that (1) the majority of high courts regard procreation a substantive argument (but you blame it on bias) and (2) that marriage has historically recognized the right of an opposite sex couple to have sex and procreate together (since you did not object to my argument on that).

"Glen: As there are PLENTY of non-procreative heterosexual couples who are freely permitted to marry, and plenty more who have no intention of procreating who marry as well, and as the State does NOTHING to stop it (even using simple observations or assuming honest answers to a series of eligibility questions), then trying to claim the State's procreation interests for marriage but only applying it to the observed fact that the two people wanting to marry are the same gender, is NOT permissible."

As noted before, the majority of courts have ruled its both rational and permissible.

The reason is because they recognize that uncommitted sex between men and women causes many problems for the state and for children.

Rates for unwed childbirths, single parent households, welfare costs, juvenile delinquency, poverty, school dropouts, all tend to improve when marriage between men and women is a healthy norm.

Likewise, all those things tend to get worse when marriage between men and women declines.

Its better for the state to over include infertile men and women rather than exclude them. That way, the norm is upheld consistently that ALL men and women should marry, which helps keep marriage strong.

The state can't afford to send a message that marriage is only for "some" men and women.

It gains nothing by excluding infertile men and women, but it gains much by including them, namely, a consistent, effective, and very beneficial public policy.

250
bman over 7 years ago

Ex-gay Supports Michele Bachmann and her husband

Greg Quinlan, an ex-gay, wrote, "We did not choose our homosexual feelings, but we did exercise our right to seek help to change those feelings."

from: http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/i-am-an-ex-gay-and-i-support-michele-bachmann-and-her-husband?utm_sourceLifeSiteNews.comDailyNewsletterutm_campaignb01312d7ea-LifeSiteNews_com_US_Headlines07_14_2011utm_mediumemail

251
Peter over 7 years ago

bman,

First, it doesn't matter how many courts have upheld anti-gay marriage laws in the past if those decisions are poorly reasoned.

Second, does your posting of an article from a so-called "ex-gay" imply support for that discredited and harmful practice, or is it merely an attempt to change the subject?

252
DN over 7 years ago

"Second, does your posting of an article from a so-called "ex-gay" imply support for that discredited and harmful practice, or is it merely an attempt to change the subject?"

I can tell you exactly why he brings it up: it's just the last thing NOM posted. Sure, it has nothing at all to do with the original article or the subsequent discussion, but in the anti-gay crowd, ex-gays are worth their weight in gold.

And yes, I stand by my assertion that NOM is an anti-gay group. They may have started out as a group to protect heterosexual-only marriage, but what on Earth Greg Quinlan's opinion of the Bachmanns, it has nothing to do with marriage equality.

Or NOM's post last week about genital mutilation in India... nothing to do with marriage equality, but it sure does a great job of frightening the base into sending Maggie Brian more money.

http://www.nomblog.com/11127/

253
John Howard over 7 years ago

"I'm not "afraid" to support your proposal. I don't support it because I think it's misguided. First, I consider what you are proposing a bad idea in itself (and I'll be happy to explain why I consider it a bad idea if you're interested)."

Please, of course I want to know if it is a bad idea for some reason I haven't considered before.

"Second, I consider it a waste of time because I estimate the probability of your proposal gaining wide acceptance at 0."

Think of the potential to help the same-sex families that don't have any recognition or security. It's a way to improve life for them, without giving up anything but something that can't be done. Why would that be a waste of time? It's their lives, right now, that are suffering and harmed every day.

"I am also making an adverse inference from your persistent refusal to answer how many people you know who would flip from opposing to supporting civil unions if procreation using artificial gametes were banned."

I know of no one who supports the Compromise, and no one who would flip, but I know that the most common popular objection to CU's would go away because these wouldn't be marriage in all but name or stepping stones to marriage. Also, it's not because we'd ban artificial gametes, but because we'd stop SSM and preserve marriage. The legal mechanism of doing that doesn't matter to people that only want to be assured it's a solid permanent reason.

Now, why is it a bad idea?

254
bman over 7 years ago

"#251/Peter "...it doesn't matter how many courts have upheld anti-gay marriage laws in the past if those decisions are poorly reasoned."

You posted a "truism" that can be applied to anything, and so it proves nothing.

One can say "any" court decision doesn't matter "if its poorly reasoned," for example.

255
bman over 7 years ago

"#251/Peter: ....does your posting of an article from a so-called "ex-gay" imply support for that discredited and harmful practice, or is it merely an attempt to change the subject?"

Glen's post on the courts presumed a favorable political climate for ssm.

Since the Nov 2010 election, however, the political climate has swung toward conservatism. The momentum is increasing as we move toward 2012. Ex-gays in the presidential campaign is an example of that momentum.

On re-orientation being discredited, here, are excerpts from an interview with Dr. Nicolas Cummings, former APA president, that addresses this:

Q: You have been critical of the psychological community for its part in distorting research on sexual orientation. Can you describe why you are critical of the APA?

Dr. C: First, let me say that I have been a lifelong champion of civil rights, including lesbian and gay rights. I appointed as president (1979) the APAs first Task Force on Lesbian and Gay Issues, which eventually became an APA division. In that era the issue was a persons right to choose a gay life style, whereas now an individuals choice not to be gay is called into question because the leadership of the APA seems to have concluded that all homosexuality is hard-wired and same-sex attraction is unchangeable.

My experience has demonstrated that there are as many different kinds of homosexuals as there are heterosexuals. Relegating all same sex-attraction as an unchangeablean oppressed group akin to African-Americans and other minoritiesdistorts reality. And past attempts to make sexual reorientation therapy unethical violates patient choice and makes the APA the de facto determiner of therapeutic goals.

-

Q: What is your basic premise of the book Destructive Trends in Mental Health?

Dr. C: The APA has permitted political correctness to triumph over science, clinical knowledge and professional integrity. The public can no longer trust organized psychology to speak from evidence rather than from what it regards to be politically correct.

-

Q: What must be done to correct the situation?

Dr. C: At the present time the governance of the APA is vested in an elitist group of 200 psychologists who rotate themselves in a kind of musical chairs throughout all the various offices, boards, committees, and the Council of Representatives. The vast majority of the 100,000 members are essentially disenfranchised...

from http://www.narth.com/docs/cummings.html

256
Peter over 7 years ago

bman wrote:

"Its better for the state to over include infertile men and women rather than exclude them. That way, the norm is upheld consistently that ALL men and women should marry, which helps keep marriage strong.

The state can't afford to send a message that marriage is only for "some" men and women."

Your statement falsely implies that the state has the choice of whether or not to allow infertile people to marry. It does not.

The Supreme Court has repeatedly affirmed that the right to marry is fundamental to all individuals.

I'll give you an example of the poor reasoning the courts have relied upon in deciding marriage equality cases. In Morrison v. Sadler, an Indiana court conceded that gays are capable of being excellent parents but suggested that because heterosexuals frequently engage in irresponsible behaviour that can result in unplanned and unwanted pregnancies, they need marriage to help them form stable relationships. In contrast, gay couples who have children only do so with meticulous planning and foresight. Gay couples, then, are so stable and mature that they do not need the protections of marriage in order to provide a stable and loving home for their children. New York's high court relied on identical reasoning in Hernandez v. Robles.

In both cases, these courts simply disregarded all of the other benefits that marriage provides, such as the right to make medical decisions on behalf of one's spouse, or allowing a spouse to add the other and their children to a health insurance plan, in order to draw this very legalistic distinction between gay and heterosexual couples.

The argument that gays don't need marriage because their relationships are superior in their stability compared to heterosexuals bears no relationship to the real reasons why legislators and voters refuse to allow gays to marry. It just shows the desperation of the anti-gay side if it is forced to use arguments that have no connection to the real public debate on the issue.

257
bman over 7 years ago

"#256/Peter Your statement falsely implies that the state has the choice of whether or not to allow infertile people to marry. It does not. The Supreme Court has repeatedly affirmed that the right to marry is fundamental to all individuals."

As you well noted, my previous post falsely implies the state can deny marriage to infertile couples.

That is because my argument took for granted the presumption that the state needed to provide a rational policy argument to the court for allowing infertile couples to marry while also excluding same sex couples.

As you noted, though, the state does not really have a choice about to allow infertile couples to marry.

The argument you made is actually one I have often made. The state can't deny marriage to infertile OS couples because its a fundamental right that is not lost due to disability.

The "real" point is that the state is not the true source of the right to marry.

The state, the court, and the Constitution all protect the rights of the people. The "source" of those rights, however, is higher than government, higher than the court, and even higher than the people. I am referring here to the source of rights identified in the Declaration of Independence, the self evident truth that certain rights are endowed by the Creator.

The state is merely a "management agency" that works for the people to protect their rights.

By default, the state and or the court exceeds its authority when it interferes with the rights of the people to have laws that honor God and morality.

Anyway, you are correct that infertile couples have a fundamental right to marry that the state does not have authority to deny. Arguments which imply otherwise can be traced to a false premise some where in the logic chain.

258
bman over 7 years ago

"#256/Peter: I'll give you an example of the poor reasoning the courts have relied upon in deciding marriage equality cases. In Morrison v. Sadler, an Indiana court conceded that gays are capable of being excellent parents but suggested that because heterosexuals frequently engage in irresponsible behaviour that can result in unplanned and unwanted pregnancies, they need marriage to help them form stable relationships. In contrast, gay couples who have children only do so with meticulous planning and foresight. Gay couples, then, are so stable and mature that they do not need the protections of marriage in order to provide a stable and loving home for their children. New York's high court relied on identical reasoning in Hernandez v. Robles."

You claim the court, "...conceded that gays are capable of being excellent parents."

Here is a key statement by the court on that: "....although we accept that there are a growing number of studies indicating that same-sex couples are at least as successful at raising children as opposite-sex couples, such studies are irrelevant to the question of whether the Indiana Constitution requires that same-sex couples be allowed to marry. Additionally, it is quintessentially a task for the legislature to consider the weight to be assigned to these various studies, especially in light of the existence of some criticism of them and the relative novelty of the same-sex family structure."

The court's view, in effect, is that the court's job is only to decide if the current marriage law is constitutional.

Whether research shows the law can be improved is for the legislature to decide.

That is exactly how the court is supposed to act. Once you have courts making laws that should be left to the legislature, those courts act like the legislature and overstep their authority.

But especially notice the words, "...in light of the existence of some criticism of [those reports].."

The court had reservations about the reports, it seems.

As a side note, I seem to recall reports that dealt with lesbians. I do not recall studies on the effects of two gay men raising children.

259
Anonymous over 7 years ago

"By default, the state and or the court exceeds its authority when it interferes with the rights of the people to have laws that honor God and morality."

That's an interesting theory. So if you and I have a dispute about which laws "honor God and morality," what kind of court do we go to?

260
John Howard over 7 years ago

259, there are disputes everyday about things. Just accept that.

261
bman over 7 years ago

#259/Anonymous from bman. By default, the state and or the court exceeds its authority when it interferes with the rights of the people to have laws that honor God and morality. Anon: That's an interesting theory. So if you and I have a dispute about which laws "honor God and morality," what kind of court do we go to?"

Your question already sees practical application in obscenity cases. In such cases the courts look to the moral community to identify obscenity. One reason is because obscenity can be recognized better than it can be legally defined. A famous comment by a judge says, "I know it when I see it."

If an unprincipled man says a piece of art or TV ad is not obscene but the community deems it obscene, does he get to speak for community?

Clearly not.

But if not, then who does?

You might say "the court."

But what if that same unprincipled man is the judge?

What then?

Then, its time for the people to reform the court so that the unprincipled man does not speak for the community.

And so, you would go to a "regular" court where the judges understood and upheld the moral values of the people "by default."

The phrase "by default" does not mean "by necessity." It only means the morality of the community has a strong presumption of validity, and those who oppose the moral community have the burden to prove their case.

Your question suggests the moral community must meet the burden of proof or the obscenity gets displayed.

I am saying it should be the other way around.

The TV ad is presumed obscene by the court if the community deems it obscene and the burden of proof is on those who want to display the ad, or who want to place a book in the school library, or teach children that men having sex with men is morally acceptable, and such.

A community needs public morality to maintain ordered liberty. It can't maintain it if it has to meet the burden of proof because morality is recognized but not easily defined.

262
Peter over 7 years ago

bman, #257 said:

"The "real" point is that the state is not the true source of the right to marry.

The state, the court, and the Constitution all protect the rights of the people. The "source" of those rights, however, is higher than government, higher than the court, and even higher than the people. I am referring here to the source of rights identified in the Declaration of Independence, the self evident truth that certain rights are endowed by the Creator."

If you maintain that marriage is only between one man and one woman because you believe God has so ordained it, then no amount of reason or logic will convince you otherwise.

263
John Howard over 7 years ago

Yeah, what the heck happened here, bman? You got right up the crux and then swerved away into irrational mushiness. All you had to say was that the right to marry is not contingent on ability to procreate, but on the right to procreate with each other. And the state can have a rational interest in prohibiting certain relationships from procreating together, if it is deemed unethical for some reason.

264
John Howard over 7 years ago

And I should mention that the state has to treat everyone equally and respect everyone's right to marry and procreate with the person of their choice, unless there is a supportable basis to prevent that TYPE of relationship, that applies equally to all couples based on public facts about their relationship (ie, they are siblings, or mother and daughter, or already married, or children, or, now we need to add, both the same legal sex).

265
bman over 7 years ago

#263/John Howard: ...the right to marry is not contingent on ability to procreate, but on the right to procreate with each other. And the state can have a rational interest in prohibiting certain relationships from procreating together, if it is deemed unethical for some reason."

That is very clear and to the point.

266
John Howard over 7 years ago

furthermore, we can't prohibit an individual or a couple from marrying for genetic reasons, and once married, we can't prohibit a marriage from procreating with their own genes.

Of course, sex is primarily genetic, but not fully genetic, and we go by legal sex anyway. If a person's legal sex doesn't match their biological sex, then they could marry as their legal sex, but they'd be privately infertile and a lab (which would know the private facts about their biological sex) would not be allowed to try to make offspring for them, even though they would publicly have the right to conceive offspring, because the public would think they were a man and a woman. Get's complicated, but not really. Changing legal sex can't be an end run around the egg and sperm law.

267
Glen over 7 years ago

bman,

That there is anti-gay bias in the courts, being made up of mostly older adults who'd grown up in a society indoctrinated to believe various things about gay people and homosexuality, is NOT simply my subjective opinion, it's a statement of objective reality.

Though judges are supposed to set aside such biases when making rulings, as well as general public opinion, there is no doubt that they are to one degree or another influenced by both. And in regard to marriage equality, this is evidenced by the VERY strained reasoning used to uphold discrimination against same-gender couples.

Regardless of what a majority of courts may have ruled in the past (and most of those are stretching back further in years), a NEW majority of courts is developing, having a greater understanding, with much better refined arguments, and more evidence and study, who are ruling in favor of marriage equality. Old biases are also evaporating.

The old arguments simply are not holding as much sway as they used to, and were quite shallow to begin with and in the end they are specious arguments; being that they are NOT the truthful justification for permitting any opposite-gender couples to marry while excluding same-gender couples.

As previously stated, there are MANY State justifications for the legal contracting of and recognition of a couple's marriage commitment. Each of those justifications is not only applicable to same-gender couples, but they are also of demonstrable benefit to the State and our society, and such inclusion does nothing to harm the notion that intimate couples should marry each other, particularly when there are children involved.

The State CAN afford, in fact it can't afford not to, send the message that couples who are involved with each other intimately, and who have an intimate bond with one another, should get married. Gay and straight.

And of course, Constitutionally gay couples are entitled to the SAME level of protection and benefit of marriage for themselves and their families as any straight couples and their families.

268
Glen over 7 years ago

Please bman,

Do NOT pretend that the 2010 elections had anything to do with Social Conservatism. They did not. The candidates didn't campaign on such issues, and the supposedly 'grass roots' activism to elect right-wing politicians into office did not champion such issues.

The fact that these politicians are now pursuing with great vigor their socially conservative agendas (instead of what they actually campaigned on) is NOT playing well with the majority of Americans. Their victory will be short lived. You are absolutely 100 kidding yourself if you think the progress toward gay rights, including marriage equality will be going anywhere but forward.

One day you WILL look back and realize how much of your time you wasted fighting it, and history (though it may not know your specific name) will not judge you well, as a member of those who fought against the full equal rights of our gay friends, family members, co-workers, associates, heroes, role-models, teachers/mentors, and fellow countrymen. That shame will forever stain your personal legacy.

As to so-called 'reparative therapy', it's been widely discredited as largely ineffective and often dangerous. Can it work for some probably bisexual persons who have a passionate desire to focus only on their opposite-sex attractions. Maybe.

The question is why do they have such a negative aversion to their same-sex attractions, and is THAT the actual problem. Possibly if its simply to satisfy some religious or societal pressure. Or possibly not, if the person is bisexual and made a monogamous commitment to a spouse of the opposite sex, then yeah they may have good reason to want to repress and control their same-sex desires.

But by-FAR the best way for gay people (particularly those who are exclusively gay) to deal with their sexual orientation is to fully accept who they are, and rid themselves of any societally imposed shame or fear. They will lead happier, healthier, normal and productive lives by being who they are, than if they try to reject who they are and live a lie.

And there is simply NO reason our society needs to shun gay people nor limit their full incorporation and inclusion into the normative institutions and functions of our society, ESPECIALLY not to cow-tow to some uninformed unsubstantiated religious doctrine.

269
John Howard over 7 years ago

Glen, why are you asserting that "the procreation argument" is a failure when you also think that same-sex couples should be allowed to procreate anyhow?

Let me ask you if you think the legal situation changes it same-sex couples were prohibited by a law from procreating.

And I'm hoping anonymous comes back to say why he doesn't think the egg and sperm law would be a good idea.

That's what the entire argument comes down to.

270
Glen over 7 years ago

John Howard wrote ["Let me ask you if you think the legal situation changes it same-sex couples were prohibited by a law from procreating. "]

The answer is NO. Even if there was some law prohibiting the artificial combining of the gametes from two same-gender people in a lab, that does NOT change the calculus as to whether same-gender couples should be entitled to the equal right to inclusion of existing marriage law.

As marriage is NOT a license to our inalienable right to naturally procreate with whomever is a willing partner to do so (and who is able to provide what society considers informed consent).

Your bizarre notions are not even on the radar John. We don't debate or discuss in our courts whether or not marriage provides some right or license to procreate, because most everyone realizes that's NOT what marriage does, and that people need no license or permission from the State to do what is biologically natural to humanity and is an inalienable right.

271
John Howard over 7 years ago

#265 bman: "That is very clear and to the point."

Cool I'm glad you agree.J

272
John Howard over 7 years ago

Glen, there have never been marriages that were prohibited from procreating before. Even Justice Kennedy wrote in Lawrence that marriage is 'about the right to have sexual intercourse' and that means it is about the right to procreate offspring together. (Yes, he said it was more than that, and his point was that it is demeaning to say that is ALL marriage is about, and I don't disagree. But he leaves no doubt that marriage is, at base, about the right to procreate. If a couple is prohibited from procreating, they are never allowed to marry, that would be a huge destruction of marriage rights.

And Skinner and Loving and Zablocki all confirm that our right to procreate is WITH OUR SPOUSE.

Marriage is official permission and official informed consent to have sex and procreate with each other. It is bizarre to think that marriage doesn't mean the couple is allowed to have sex and procreate.

273
Glen over 7 years ago

John,

The State no more needs to issue people licenses (permission) to have sex or to procreate than they need issue people licenses to breath, take in nourishment, think, talk, or write comments on the internet.

These are fundamental inherent rights that are guaranteed to all free Americans. Marriage is no license, or official permission, to have sex or create children by doing so.

In FACT, if you want to say that marriage IS an official license to procreate, then YOU are going to open the doors for gay people demanding the right to artificially combine their gametes to procreate children together, since by the time such technology were to ever be viable, marriage equality for gay couples is sure to be the law of the land across America.

If you're really concerned about such rights then I would suggest you change your position that marriage is NOT tied to any right to naturally procreate, nor is it tied to the right to artificially procreate.

In fact, my brother and his girlfriend (who are and have always been unmarried) used artificial insemination, with his sperm and another woman's donor egg, to have children together. It's been several years since, and they are STILL unmarried. They've concluded that it was more financially beneficial for them to not marry. It would seem the State should do MORE in that regard to encourage marriage.

How John, do you explain their legal right to have children in this way without even being married, IF marriage is about a 'right to procreate'?

274
Anonymous over 7 years ago

Re. #253:

"Think of the potential to help the same-sex families that don't have any recognition or security."

The potential benefit has to be multiplied by the probability of success. Like I said, I estimate the probability at 0, hence no benefit to anyone.

"I know of no one who supports the Compromise, and no one who would flip, but I know that the most common popular objection to CU's would go away"

Thank you for providing a straight answer. How do you reconcile the two, then? If this is the most common objection then people having this objection are easy to find and you must have encountered many of them in all these years. What do they say when you explain your Compromise to them? Do they say it doesn't in fact solve their objection, or that it does, but they still have other objections?

"Now, why is it a bad idea?"

More specifically, why I consider it a bad idea (my values are probably different than yours).

First, your idea involves, as you say yourself, legislating a permanent barrier (or moat, whichever you prefer) between same-sex couples and marriage. I consider this both unworkable and objectionable. It's unworkable because there's simply no way to legislate anything permanent within our legal framework. It's objectionable because no generation deserves the right to bind all future generations to its will. It's also objectionable because in my view, there shouldn't be any such barrier.

275
Anonymous over 7 years ago

Re. #253 (continued):

Second, the issue of genetically engineered gametes is a red herring. You all but admit that it's pretextual when you say that people won't care what precise barrier/moat is used as long as it's solid and permanent. But it's neither solid (see below) nor permanent (see above and below). I believe the legality of combining genetically engineered gametes should be decided on its own merits. If it merits prohibition due to safety concerns, it should be prohibited for everyone, including opposite-sex couples who can't conceive using their natural gametes. And such concerns would be temporary, not permanent. Additionally, you fail to account for transgendered individuals who retain enough of their native biology to make conception possible without genetic engineering. There have been actual cases of M FtM couples where the FtM, who is legally a man, gets pregnant and bears children.

Third, your premise that by accepting civil unions, gays wouldn't be giving up anything besides the hypothetical right to procreate together, doesn't withstand scrutiny. California, for one, already has "marriage in all but name" domestic partnerships. The evidence in the Prop 8 case shows the harms inflicted by not having access to "marriage in all including name." You can't seriously contend that Kris Perry and Sandy Stier (plaintiffs in that case, who are already in a domestic partnership) want to marry because they surreptitiously desire to combine their eggs in a lab.

276
John Howard over 7 years ago

"If you're really concerned about such rights then I would suggest you change your position that marriage is NOT tied to any right to naturally procreate, nor is it tied to the right to artificially procreate."

I do think that lots of people reject my argument because they are thinking "well I'm pretty sure gay marriage is a good thing and it's inevitable and permanent, but umm, I'm not sure that same-sex procreation is a good thing, so let's just treat them as separate issues. But

But see, if that happens then marriage changes for everybody, and any marriage can be prohibited from procreating, not just same sex marriages. I think it is far more important to preserve marriage's right to procreate offspring using the couple's own genes, than it is to stop same-sex procreation, because same-sex procreation probably won't happen much, if ever, and yet people being pressured into using substitute genes and choosing genetically superior gametes instead of their own or their spouse is happening right now, and we need to affirm that spouses have a right to use their own. It's very important.

I think that using donor gametes should be prohibited, but my proposal doesn't depend on that or demand that. All it demands is that we affirm the right of a married couple to use their own genes to procreate offspring together. Same-sex couples shouldn't have that right, we should rule that out right now so we don't confuse children.

277
Anonymous over 7 years ago

bman(#261), my question doesn't concern the burden of proof at all, it merely asks who gets to adjudicate. Best I can parse your answer, the bottom line is that it's the collective judgment of the people (given effect though appointment of judges). Let me ask you this, then: how is your system functionally different from one where the collective judgment of the people IS the ultimate source of rights, rather than a proxy for divine morality?

278
Peter over 7 years ago

bman,

Glen wrote: "That there is anti-gay bias in the courts...is NOT simply my subjective opinion, it's a statement of objective reality.

Though judges are supposed to set aside such biases when making rulings, as well as general public opinion, there is no doubt that they are to one degree or another influenced by both. And in regard to marriage equality, this is evidenced by the VERY strained reasoning used to uphold discrimination against same-gender couples."

As an example, I refer again to the Indiana and New York cases.

The courts ruled that gay families are so much more stable than heterosexual ones, that they don't need the protections that marriage provides. As I said earlier, this argument bears no relationship to the real reasons why legislators and voters refuse to allow gays to marry. I can't imagine any anti-gay group actually agreeing with the courts on this point. (I am curious whether you agree with the courts on the superiority of gay families in this regard.)

Contrast this with the court's attitude toward a subject that really does have a connection to the public debate on this issue, the well-being of children.

No one can honestly deny the fact that concerns over the welfare of children being raised by gay couples have played a prominent role in the debate over marriage equality. Anti-gay groups have always claimed that children do best when brought up by their married biological parents. They have argued this in court, in legislatures and in the arena of public opinion. I don't think there is a single case where the subject was not mentioned.

When the Indiana court was confronted with studies demonstrating that gays can and do make excellent parents, however, it deemed this issue to be "irrelevant."

Irrelevant?? Given the lengths to which this court was prepared to go to uphold the marriage ban, it is inconceivable that it would have ruled that these studies were "irrelevant" had they shown gay parenting skills suffered from considerable shortcomings.

The weight of scientific evidence in favour of the proposition that sexual orientation plays no role in one's parenting abilities has only grown since these cases were decided, but of course, there will always be those who dispute the validity of these studies. A court looking for an excuse to downplay these studies will always be able to point to the existence of these doubters.

279
John Howard over 7 years ago

"The potential benefit has to be multiplied by the probability of success. Like I said, I estimate the probability at 0, hence no benefit to anyone."

If it's zero, then why not endorse it right now? Why make any effort to argue against it? And the immediate benefit to all those thousands of families outweighs your obviously biased estimate. There are families that need recognition now, and you are saying it's not worth accepting a compromise that would help them, because you don't want to give up conception rights. That's inexcusable, there are tons of actual families with no recognition at all, and even married same sex couples don't have federal recognition or true security.

280
John Howard over 7 years ago

"How do you reconcile the two, then?"

Behind the scenes manipulation by the Koch brothers?

"What do they say when you explain your Compromise to them? Do they say it doesn't in fact solve their objection, or that it does, but they still have other objections?"

They say pretty much the same thing you say: that it won't work. The commenters say "homophiles" only want to destroy the family and aren't interested in a compromise. They just want to oppose homosexuality and not have the state give any recognition to any gay couples. And the big names seem to want to draw it out for as long as possible to bring in more donations, They just ignore me, they don't actually want to end SSM apparently. But neither of those positions is credible, they're just like you.

On the other hand, polls have been consistently pro-CU, andi-SSM, and wary of CU's that are marriage in all but name.

281
bman over 7 years ago

"#277 Anonymous: my question doesn't concern the burden of proof at all, it merely asks who gets to adjudicate. Best I can parse your answer, the bottom line is that it's the collective judgment of the people (given effect though appointment of judges)."

Yes, and I also gave an example. Obscenity cases are decided based on the moral community.

"Anon: Let me ask you this, then: how is your system functionally different from one where the collective judgment of the people IS the ultimate source of rights, rather than a proxy for divine morality?"

It would not be that different "functionally" unless the people collectively became morally corrupted.

Benjamin Franklin wrote: [I] believe farther that this [Constitutional government] is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in Despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic Government, being incapable of any other.

John Adams: Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

The founding fathers recognized that a relationship exists between a free society and the morality-religion of that society.

An attack on public morality or Christianity is effectively an attack on the Constitution itself because the Constitution depends on the people it serves being compliant to divine morality.

If same sex marriage won at the Supreme Court, I believe it would erode sexual morality and religion over the course of a generation, and bring America to the point Benjamin Franklin predicted.

Thus, in the long run, I believe a vote for same sex marriage is also a vote against Constitutional government.

282
Anonymous over 7 years ago

bman(#281) "It would not be that different "functionally" unless the people collectively became morally corrupted."

Would it be only slightly different? What would be the difference?

P.S. The constitutions of Sweden and other countries have proven wholly adequate for governing a moral, but secular, people. Probably not because they are inherently better than ours, but because John Adams was mistaken. (But even if it's the former, ours can be amended to deal.)

283
John Howard over 7 years ago

"Second, the issue of genetically engineered gametes is a red herring."

No, it is vitally important to stop genetically engineered gametes and preserve natural reproduction to preserve equality and human dignity and stop a hugely expensive entitlement race for designer babies. Designer babies just aren't sustainable, they'll bankrupt us if we let people start doing that.

"You all but admit that it's pretextual when you say that people won't care what precise barrier/moat is used as long as it's solid and permanent."

Well, I care about stopping genetically engineered babies. The people who want to preserve marriage and stop SSM only want to be assured that it will be a lasting permanent resolution. So even if they don't care or know anything about same-sex procreation now, they'll understand when we stop SSM that stopping same-sex procreation was the key to stopping SSM and will work to make it permanent.

"But it's neither solid (see below) nor permanent (see above and below)."

It'd be as solid as we believe it to be, like incest laws and laws against murder and extortion.

"I believe the legality of combining genetically engineered gametes should be decided on its own merits."

But nothing can be isolated from everything else and studied for it's own merits. Things affect other things, and if prohibiting genetically engineered gametes opens the door to a solution on preserving marriage and getting federal recognition for same-sex couples in CU's, then that is worth taking into account. Especially when genetically engineered gametes are not even a practical possibility right now.

"If it merits prohibition due to safety concerns, it should be prohibited for everyone, including opposite-sex couples who can't conceive using their natural gametes."

Sure, and it does raise safety concerns, (and other concerns like cost and how it would affect equality and dignity) and it should be prohibited for everyone including opposite sex couples.

"And such concerns would be temporary, not permanent."

No, it'll always be unsustainable and costly and destroy human equality and dignity. Maybe you are confusing future reality with a science fiction book.

284
John Howard over 7 years ago

"Additionally, you fail to account for transgendered individuals who retain enough of their native biology to make conception possible without genetic engineering."

No I have accounted for them fairly. They would be publicly allowed to marry as their new sex, but privately infertile as their new sex. If they still procreate as their own sex, it would have to be using their natural gametes. And I guess it would be no different from someone who changes sex after having a kid.

285
John Howard over 7 years ago

"Third, your premise that by accepting civil unions, gays wouldn't be giving up anything besides the hypothetical right to procreate together, doesn't withstand scrutiny. California, for one, already has "marriage in all but name" domestic partnerships. The evidence in the Prop 8 case shows the harms inflicted by not having access to "marriage in all including name." You can't seriously contend that Kris Perry and Sandy Stier (plaintiffs in that case, who are already in a domestic partnership) want to marry because they surreptitiously desire to combine their eggs in a lab."

No, I don't contend that Perry and Stier desired to combine their eggs in a lab (though who knows, we haven't asked them). The thing is, they ARE ALREADY ALLOWED TO. There is no law against it. So they were harmed by the name being different, because the only reason to have a different name given they had all the same rights, was that it was an expression of animus. So that stung and harmed their family. But if there was a law against them conceiving offspring because they are the same sex, then they wouldn't feel the difference had to be animus. They would understand there is a good reason, to preserve the rights of married couples to use their own genes, and stop unethical and unsustainable and expensive manufacturing of human beings, and it isn't animus against them for being gay.

286
John Howard over 7 years ago

I might have left out a point from my last comment, that the law against creating human beings by any method other than joining a man's sperm and a woman's egg would be as permanent as people want it to be, going forward. And hopefully they will understand the value of it being considered permanent. It's just like incest laws: they are as permanent as we want them to be. At any point, future people could say that having sex with your dad or sister is legal and marrying your mother is legal, but it's better to think of them as permanent laws, so that people aren't thinking they might be able to do those things in the future. Even though the fact is, they aren't permanent laws, and we could repeal them and legalize incest any time we want.

287
John Howard over 7 years ago

"First, your idea involves, as you say yourself, legislating a permanent barrier (or moat, whichever you prefer) between same-sex couples and marriage. I consider this both unworkable and objectionable. It's unworkable because there's simply no way to legislate anything permanent within our legal framework. It's objectionable because no generation deserves the right to bind all future generations to its will. It's also objectionable because in my view, there shouldn't be any such barrier."

It would only be a federal law, not a Constitutional Amendment, so in the future, Congress could decide to repeal or modify the Egg and Soerm law to allow same-sex procreation, if things change and it becomes safe. At that point, we would allow same-sex couples to marry, and they'd probably all change their CU's to marriages. We wouldn't be binding the future generations to our will, they'd be able to decide they like the idea of genetic engineering children for same-sex couples and legalize it (which would truly be binding future generations to their decision, because actual future generations would be being created from their experimental gametes. But even then the people would be able to rethink it and prohibit it again. It should always be the same as marriage though, there should never be a time when a married couple is publicly prohibited from reproducing.

So seeing as the law won't be permanent and can always be changed, why not move to a new status quo right now? Prohibit it for now while it is clearly unethical and not even close to being offered by any laws, so that same-sex couples can get federal recognition and recognition in most states right away?

288
Anonymous over 7 years ago

Re. #280: Credible or not, aren't those the people you want to participate in the compromise? You've been pitching your idea for, what, five years? Nobody buys it, apparently. Your reaction seems to be, "Well, they're all wrong. They SHOULD be buying it. I'll keep pitching it to more people." Have you considered that you're doing something wrong? It's not like it will help you even if you eventually find a dozen of people who do agree with you. If the vast majority rejects the compromise then there can be no compromise.

Re. #279,283,287: We're going in circles here. Do you understand that I don't accept your claim that prohibiting same-sex procreation will lead to "federal recognition and recognition in most states right away" for same-sex couples? It's your opinion. You believe it, I don't. I think you're completely wrong. Asking me why I won't endorse your proposal so same-sex couples can get benefits is like asking me why I won't forward a chain letter to all of my friends, so we can all get big bucks. It's not because I don't want the big bucks, but because I don't believe there are big bucks to be gotten.

Re. #284: You're talking about the opposite case: a transsexual who marries opposite legal sex and cannot procreate with them. I'm talking about a trans man who marries a man (legally a same-sex couple) and CAN procreate with him.

Re. #285: "But if there was a law against them conceiving offspring because they are the same sex, then they wouldn't feel the difference had to be animus. They would understand there is a good reason, to preserve the rights of married couples to use their own genes, and stop unethical and unsustainable and expensive manufacturing of human beings, and it isn't animus against them for being gay."

This seems to be another case where you decide for yourself how other people should think and proceed on that assumption without testing it against reality. Have you even bothered asking any gays or lesbians if they would feel that way? What did they say?

289
Anonymous over 7 years ago

Re. #287: Also, you keep talking about a federal law, but I have to wonder if you've consulted anyone versed in constitutional law as to whether this is even a proper area for Congress to legislate, or something that can only be done by States.

290
John Howard over 7 years ago

286 was supposed to appear after 287, but I clicked the links in the confirmation emails in the wrong order. Sorry for any confusion.

291
John Howard over 7 years ago

"Re. #280: Credible or not, aren't those the people you want to participate in the compromise?"

I'm still hoping that they will, but I'm not counting on them, I think that they may be Koch employee.

"You've been pitching your idea for, what, five years?"

Six years of the Egg and Sperm Civil Union Compromise to resolve the marriage debate, but I've been active against designer babies since the 80's.

"Nobody buys it, apparently."

No, they all are shitting bricks about it.

"Your reaction seems to be, "Well, they're all wrong. They SHOULD be buying it. I'll keep pitching it to more people."

Right.

"Have you considered that you're doing something wrong?"

Yes. But everything else I've thought to try is illegal.

"It's not like it will help you even if you eventually find a dozen of people who do agree with you."

No, that would help tremendously. Just one person explaining the Compromise to more people would help, it'd start to snowball after that.

"If the vast majority rejects the compromise then there can be no compromise."

The vast majority has not rejected the compromise, only a few biased conflicted extremists on line have rejected the compromise. The vast majority of the public agrees with the compromise. VEry few people think that we should allow same-sex couples to try to procreate together with experimental artificial gametes, very few people think that marriages should not protect the right to procreate, and a minority of people think that same-sex couples should not have civil unions.

292
bman over 7 years ago

#278/Peter "Glen wrote: "That there is anti-gay bias in the courts...."

Glen asserted a claim without providing adequate factual support.

Since the court is supposed to show "deference" ("bias") toward the legislature by default by using rational basis, Glen needs to show some other bias exists than that.

"Peter: ...judges are supposed to set aside such biases when making rulings, as well as general public opinion..."

You are "presuming" the biases Glen mentioned. Proof is needed.

Besides, since when is "general public opinion" necessarily an unacceptable "bias"?

The Iowa Supreme Court supported its ruling for SSM by appealing to "the standards of [this] generation." There is only a fine line between that and a "public opinion bias."

Judge Walker argued based on gender roles having changed in society, which again comes very close to a "public opinion bias."

So, you need to show when an appeal to public opinion is acceptable and when its not, rather than presume its never acceptable.

"Peter: As an example [of bias], I refer again to the Indiana and New York cases. ...When the Indiana court was confronted with studies demonstrating that gays can and do make excellent parents, however, it deemed this issue to be "irrelevant." Irrelevant?? Given the lengths to which this court was prepared to go to uphold the marriage ban, it is inconceivable that it would have ruled that these studies were "irrelevant" had they shown gay parenting skills suffered from considerable shortcomings."

I think you are missing the larger context.

The Indiana court found that disputed reports on homosexual parenting skills are not an adequate basis for declaring a law unconstitutional.

That is why they said its "irrelevant" and deferred to the legislature.

You also did not actually quote from the court but relied solely on your own generalization of what they said.

I recall something similar to what you say being in those cases but I think your generalization doesn't do justice to the context. You need to provide specific quotations to support your claim.

293
bman over 7 years ago

"#278/Peter: The weight of scientific evidence in favour of the proposition that sexual orientation plays no role in one's parenting abilities has only grown since these cases were decided, but of course, there will always be those who dispute the validity of these studies. A court looking for an excuse to downplay these studies will always be able to point to the existence of these doubters."

You need to cite the studies. You also did not mention whether any studies exist for two male homosexuals as parents.

Additionally, I previously addressed the parenting claim in comment #76 with this:

"....existing research on children reared by homosexuals is not only scientifically flawed and extremely limited but SOME OF IT actually indicates that those children are at increased risk for a variety of negative outcomes...To date, very little research exists that assesses long-term outcomes for homosexually parented children. According to Charlotte Patterson, a self-proclaimed, pro-same-sex-marriage researcher, there are only two longitudinal studies of children raised by lesbians. And no long-term studies of children raised by homosexual men. A professional organization dedicated to the welfare of its patients cannot and should not support drastic change in social policy based on just two, small and non-representative longitudinal studies." from (http://www.drtraycehansen.com/Pages/writings_notinthebest.html)

294
John Howard over 7 years ago

re289, yes it is a proper area for federal laws. States can make their own laws (like Missouri did with their Egg and Sperm law in 2006 and Massachusetts in 2005 (but MA doesn't define "egg" or "sperm") but those laws are useless in California and NJ where the labs are. Also a federal law would be needed to extend federal recognition to the CU's, and to establish that the effect of state marriages is to affirm the right to conceive offspring.

And I remind you that the Compromise is a package deal, so you don't need to worry that we'd enact the Egg and Sperm law without also extending the federal recognition to CU's defined as "marriage minus conception rights." The states will have to act on their own to enact those CU's but I think they will, after they see SSM end in Massachusetts and the compromise work out, they'll happily take the federal gov't up on the offer.

295
bman over 7 years ago

Here are some excerpts on Swedish morality standards that speak for themselves.

(from http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1581330/posts)

-----

(1) "...about 14 years ago... i stopped off in Gotteborg for a night, and late that evening turned on the regular TV channels to see what programs there were. as you might expect, there was a lot of sex on the channels (NOT cable, these were the regular TV channels!!!) ... every single one of the sex programs was gay or lesbian, or sado-masochist, or violent or something. there were NO depictions i could tell of normal heterosexual sex... my lasting impression of sweden is one of degeneracy... i really feel sorry for the swedes."

"(2) impression of Sweden" I thought something had really gone bad in Sweden when a few years ago I saw a photo in a foreign newspaper of some Swedish parents presenting their teenage daughter and her boyfriend flowers in bed after the kids had just slept together for the first time. There was the accompanying story about how great the whole thing was. I just felt sad for the Swedes."

(3)Swedish churches are a sea of grey heads. Once they die, most of the churches will probably close....[reply]: Actually, the state Church doesn't even have many grey heads.

(4) "Swedish health authorities have ruled that it is not illegal to kill [abort] a healthy unborn child based simply on its gender, according to Swedish news service The Local." http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/archive/ldn/2009/may/09051201

(5) A Swedish district court has sentenced a couple to nine months each in prison and fined them the equivalent of US $10,650 after they admitted to spanking three of their four children as a normal part of their parenting methods. Corporal punishment of children by parents was made illegal in Sweden in 1979, an early step in what a U.S. parental rights lawyer called the nearly total take-over of parenting by the state in Sweden. http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/swedish-parents-jailed-for-spanking-children-seized

-.. it is routine in Sweden when parents object to state interference with their children ... [for the parents] to be ordered to undergo psychiatric evaluation and diagnosis.."

296
bman over 7 years ago

"#282/Anon: Would it be only slightly different? What would be the difference?"

Actually there is a major difference.

If the people or the government are the source of rights then the concept of inalienable rights would be replaced by one where the people or the government can take rights away with no higher appeal to God, justice, or morality being possible.

297
Anonymous over 7 years ago

bman(#296), You're saying that the public discourse would be different: in one case people would be saying "this is how we think it should be" and in the other they would be saying "this is how God wants it." Okay, let's examine two possibilities:

Case A: The population actually worships a false deity. They also believe that rights come from the divine and make appeals to the deity when they argue about laws. But in fact, they made up both the deity and the rights on their own. In this case, what would be the difference?

Case B: The population is secular. In this case, as you rightly point out, the public discourse would be different. But what would be the difference in the actual laws and judicial decisions? As you probably know, people have throughout history justified anything they wanted by appeal to God.

P.S. Your use of (3) in #295 implies that you think only Christians can be moral. I think that's a reprehensible notion. That said, if you think Swedes, Danes, Norwegians, etc. are amoral or even immoral, that only makes them a stronger counterexample.

298
Glen over 7 years ago

RE: #281

Man, bman YOU are ardently dedicated to your losing cause here. A cause more and more people are coming to realize is just another part of the SAME old ignorant regressive religious that has haunted and harmed humanity for millennia.

Here's the thing bman, you are completely blinded by your desperate religious fervor, and don't even realize just how VERY wrong you are.

Morality doesn't come from some divine authority. Nor is it some "divine morality" that our nation's Constitution is founded on. The evidence is clear that our nation was founded to have a secular form of government, detached from religious entanglements or appeals to any 'higher power'.

Morality has nothing to do with your www.EvilBible.com (Read it an weep).

Morality isn't what YOU want it to be, based on your particular religious notions, or what just so happens to work for you (assuming you are a heterosexual and not just some angry closeted self-loathing homosexual who's lived the lie, and now wants to make sure others are forced to live that lie too).

Our morality is defined based on aspiring to our ideal values of living in a happy, healthy, free and open society where people work together for the common good, and the good of ourselves and our families, along with people's individual rights to pursue happiness as they choose, in so far as it does not impinge on anyone elses rights nor cause undue harm to our society.

That requires absolutely NO divine appeal, particularly one defined by the writings of ancient ignorant tribal desert barbarians, whose rantings have been endlessly interpreted and reinterpreted among thousands of various Christian denominations all who believe their own interpretations, and each of whom actually has the CORRECT interpretation.

Our Constitution is no more reliant on Christianity or what one or more particular denominations claim their 'god' says is moral, than it is on the Queen of England's opinion.

Our inherent inalienable rights come from the fact that we are thinking sentient intelligent beings with the inborn self-understood motivations for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That notion doesn't come from your Bible, that comes from our very humanity. We have human empathy and the capacity to understand other minds. Everybody knows that every other human wants these things by virtue of being human and wanting it themselves. They ARE self-evident truths.

299
Glen over 7 years ago

bman wrote ["Besides, since when is "general public opinion" necessarily an unacceptable "bias"? "]

Well bman, you tell me. How about when the VAST majority of Americans were against interracial marriage and yet the courts overcame their own personal biases to vote against overwhelming public opinion. There are a few such examples, yet many more where they waited for public opinion to catch up before ruling in ways we all now consider appropriate, correct, and obvious.

Public opinion isn't always the best measure of who should or should not be entitled to their Constitutional rights, or whose morality should be imposed upon whom in violation of those rights.

As to judge personal bias. Who can deny that judges (human beings) who've grown up and been indoctrinated in a society rife with anti-gay prejudice and bigotry for most of their lives can harbor those prejudices and bigotries? Granted many judges are professional enough to do their best to set aside such prejudices, but not all are, and even those who do their best don't always succeed (particularly where it may conflict with their own religious indoctrination as well).

Such bias has been rapidly falling away in recent years, as evidenced by many conservative judges joining the ranks of their more liberal counterparts.

By-the-way, that's spreading. The public and even right-leaning legislators are coming around toward seeing gay people as equal citizens entitled to full equality of law. You know bman that you are frantically trying to bail water on your sinking ship of religious based anti-gay bigotry. The problem for you is, that every time you bend down to scoop up another pail of water, you help push your ship further beneath the waves.

In other words, people like you (and NOM) by your very own efforts are bringing focus and attention to this debate, and even while you are having a few minor successes (bailing some water), you are actually INCREASING the rate at which the public is coming to an understanding of who gay people are and why they are entitled to full equal rights and marriage equality. You bring out ALL the arguments and reservations that people may be harboring so that the pro-equality side can aptly address and refute them. And that is actually accelerating how quickly gay rights are being won.

300
Glen over 7 years ago

So.... bman re #295, I won't comment on the veracity of that poster's facts on Sweden, but it would seem he is bemoaning Sweden's embracing of human love and the expression of it among people, while simultaneously bemoaning Sweden's laws against violence toward children.

How interesting.

And by interesting I mean, rather typical of the fundamentalist Christian right-wing American where violence is celebrated and human love is scorned.

301
Anonymous over 7 years ago

Re. #291: You've now said, on the one hand, "I know of no one who supports the Compromise" and, on the other hand, "The vast majority of the public agrees with the compromise." Do you see the disconnect between these two statements? Where is this vast majority hiding that in six years you weren't able to find even one member of it? Are you under house arrest and can't meet people? Does your ISP prevent you from talking to anyone online besides "conflicted extremists?"

Re. #294: "yes it is a proper area for federal laws." Obviously you think so, but that wasn't my question.

"The states will have to act on their own to enact those CU's but I think they will, after they see SSM end in Massachusetts and the compromise work out, they'll happily take the federal gov't up on the offer."

Yes, you've made it abundantly clear that you think that, but here's the thing: I don't trust your opinion. And you're dreaming if you think an act of Congress can end SSM in Massachusetts.

302
bman over 7 years ago

"#299/Glen: ....the courts overcame their own personal biases to vote against overwhelming public opinion...."

The flaw in your argument is that you presume its "impossible" to disagree with you for good reasons.

You haven't proved its the case. You have only presumed it, and acted as if it was true.

You have not done the work of proving anything, though.

By default, the presumption is that good reasons would exist for the courts to reject SSM since the majority of judges independently agreed with each other in different locations and across different years as well.

The burden of proof is on you to show otherwise, therefore, and you have done nothing to meet that burden.

At the very least, you need to show some flaw in the court's actual reasoning that can't be defended.

Until you do at least that you are simply asserting your opinion and your own bias.

303
bman over 7 years ago

"#297/Anonymous: You're saying that the public discourse would be different: in one case people would be saying "this is how we think it should be" and in the other they would be saying "this is how God wants it."

It affects more than just "public discourse."

In your presentation you presume two population groups are isolated from each other.

I think we are more likely to find functional differences if we suppose a dispute between them.

The Nuremberg trials seem to offer a close parallel.

If the laws of Nazi Germany are simply equal to the laws of other nations, how can they be found guilty for obeying their own laws?

If, however, the Nazis are found guilty, what laws did they violate?

So, its more than just "public discourse."

The practical implications for world peace are huge if each nation is the ultimate source of its own laws.

"Anon: Okay, let's examine two possibilities:..."

Your two hypotheticals seem inadequate.

You did not include the option where the Creator, as true deity, has placed laws in the hearts of all men in every nation.

Thus, the secular nation and the one with a false deity would both have a "natural morality" in common, but which might not be followed by one culture as well as by the other.

"For when the Gentiles [non Jews with no written Bible at the time], which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: [self evident moral law of God derived from nature]

Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another..." (Romans 2:14,15)

I think this option is the only option that can say Nazi Germany did something intrinsically evil.

Your two options seem to reduce to Moral nihilism, where nothing is really good or evil but only perceived as such, being nothing more than different evolutionary paths.

304
Glen over 7 years ago

But bman, you're dismissing all the courts now which have found that discrimination against same gender couples in marriage law is an impermissible violation of the State or Federal Constitutions. A trend which is favoring the pro-equality side. Are they, the ones with an ever increasing amount of knowledge understanding, and waning societal bias, the ones who are wrong?

It may be difficult to prove bias, but it's not all that hard to infer it. People using a bias aren't exactly going to advertise that fact, they will do their best to mask it in some reasonable sounding justification, and in many cases they may not even be aware that they are doing it.

In 1900 how many Supreme Court justices do you think would have found that a black and white couple have the Constitutionally protected right to be legally married to one another? What changed between them and the justices in 1967?

How many courts do you think would have found that same-gender couples are entitled to equal treatment/access/protection of marriage law in 1950?

Not only do judges come from the general population who carry the same prejudices and biases, but the difference between past and present judges is not only less bias and prejudice, but greater knowledge and information.

We now have decades of scientific, sociological, and psychological research (not to mention our own personal evidence given more out gay people) that who one is physically and emotionally attracted to is not just some chosen behavior, nor is it abnormal, unnatural, disordered, intrinsically harmful, or something that can be ,let alone should be, changed (not withstanding bman's god who has fewer if any more important things on his mind).

Peter has highlighted areas where rulings that, if not outright obviously biased, are strongly indicative of it. Courts which have completely obliterated the specious arguments put forth by the anti marriage-equality side, are the same strained arguments that pro-discrimination courts have used to justify their rulings completely ignoring or dismissing the clearly valid refutations of such arguments that the pro-marriage courts found compelling.

Can you deny bman, that there's been historic anti-gay bias in society? Can you deny that our knowledge and information on homosexuality and these related issues has dramatically improved in recent decades? Can you then deny that this societal bias and lack of information has influenced court rulings?

305
Glen over 7 years ago

Well now isn't that awfully convenient bman, that your Bible itself suggests that...

"Well OF COURSE other peoples in other lands and other cultures around the world, who've never even heard of the Bible (and its predecessors), appear to have many of the same rules of good governance of society and personal interactions. GOD, our god of course, has 'written' it into their hearts, so they don't really need the print version of those rules, except that our book just so happens to come laden with heaps of other baggage that our GOD mandates and explains how he's the one true god whom everyone should be worshiping and following according to our book and its representatives."

The Bible also says that "The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God".

What more PROOF do you need that not only IS there a god, but only foolish people doubt its existence. It's right there in The Bible, the undisputed, scientifically verified, word of God himself.

The fact of the matter is bman, that MANY of the social behaviors humans exhibit between one another are COMMON among social species. Our species has survived and thrived by working cooperatively and having innate, often instinctual, social rules that allow us to excel as a group. These behaviors and rules then (according to your Bible) are apparently written in the hearts of MANY social species, particularly our closest relatives, the other Great Apes. Why do you think 'God' did that?

Human social behavior is a bit more refined than say Chimpanzees and we also seem to have a much more advanced capacity for understanding not only 'mind', but the 'minds' of others. We think about what others are thinking about, and make predictions about their behavior based on that. This, while not entirely absent in other apes, is not nearly as prevalent or advanced as humans.

It's little wonder we've contemplated (if not invented) the ultimate 'mind'; God.

The point is bman, you're trying to justify your supposed 'morals' in regard to homosexuality and same-gender marriage equality, by proving some veracity to the book where you are getting those 'morals'. Except your book is NOT a source of our morals, nor is your idea of God. And if there IS a god, why would he have ancient ignorant tribal desert barbarians write down his rules to be followed by every person, in every place, in every time? Don't you think God speaks TO the individual FOR the individual in their own heart and soul?

306
bman over 7 years ago

#304/Glen: ...can you deny...that there's been historic anti-gay bias in society?"

I note first that you are not starting at the proper point.

Your job is to prove an improper bias was "used."

The mere fact anyone can have a bias does not prove it was used. And that is what you need to show.

When a majority of judges agree on some point across the years and in different states and even nations, judges trained to set aside personal bias, we are to presume by default they had valid logical reasons for ruling as they did.

You are doing it all backwards. You are presuming bias was "used" because the majority of courts have disagreed with you.

"Glen: ...can you deny...that there's been historic anti-gay bias in society?"

I am speaking for myself here and not the courts.

What you call "anti-gay bias in society" I call, "moral disapproval of men having sex with men."

Is disapproval of vulgarity or pornography merely a "bias"?

In my view, disapproval of a behavior based on the merits of that behavior is not the same thing as "a bias."

307
John Howard over 7 years ago

"You've now said, on the one hand, "I know of no one who supports the Compromise" and, on the other hand, "The vast majority of the public agrees with the compromise." Do you see the disconnect between these two statements?"

I mean, the vast majority of the public thinks we should resolve the marriage debate with Civil Unions, they think we should ban cloning and other forms of genetic engineering and surely same-sex conception, and they think married couples should have a right to procreate offspring naturally. That's a fact, there are polls on the first two, and the third is never polled but would be obviously true, only some eugenicists would disagree.

Meanwhile, the people who participate in the debates on line and the politicians I have contacted want to keep the controversy going forever, and they want to argue about things that really have no resolution, like what the Bible says about homosexuality or whether it is bigotry and hatred, etc. And the NOM-type groups that are supposedly trying to stop SSM are Koch funded libertarian groups that are trying to censor the discussion because they want libertarian Transhumanism, they are the few people who would disagree with the first two laws of the Compromise. So are the gay groups groups who ought to be trying to help familiesn get protections but instead are just fronts for more libertarian lawyers who also oppose the three laws. Those three laws are the worst nightmare of Libertarian Transhumanists and Eugencists who are in control of both sides of the debate.

"Where is this vast majority hiding that in six years you weren't able to find even one member of it?"

They are the normal people who are turned off by the debate. They don't want to be associated with anti-gay anything or accused of bigotry or hatred, they don't want to hear any of the stupid things people say, they don't want to talk to strangers on the street

308
John Howard over 7 years ago

"Are you under house arrest and can't meet people? Does your ISP prevent you from talking to anyone online besides "conflicted extremists?""

I don't like bringing it up with people because it's a toxic subject, and when I do bring it up with people I think would be willing to listen and understand, they do agree with me but are justifiably wary of telling any of their friends, and advise me to give up, even though I'm right. It is a source of conflict with some of my friends and family, maybe someday one will go public with their support for the compromise, but they would rather not get involved. My ISP lets me reach out to people who might be tired of the debate and ready to compromise in a way that actually makes sense and helps people. That's my plan, to prove I have a winning argument that helps people and accomplishes the goals of the American people that Congress could support, and get some people to start talking about it and break through the wall and get past the libertarian frauds and naysayers like you.

"Re. #294: "yes it is a proper area for federal laws." Obviously you think so, but that wasn't my question."

You're asking if I consulted a lawyer? No, but don't they work for the client? They'd tell me whatever I paid them to tell me, they're scum. But I saw Senator Schumer ask Roberts about whether he thought cloning was a proper area for federal law during his confirmation hearings, and he said that yes it was. Is that good enough?

309
John Howard over 7 years ago

iMe: "The states will have to act on their own to enact those CU's but I think they will, after they see SSM end in Massachusetts and the compromise work out, they'll happily take the federal gov't up on the offer."/i

"Yes, you've made it abundantly clear that you think that, but here's the thing: I don't trust your opinion. And you're dreaming if you think an act of Congress can end SSM in Massachusetts."

There are plenty of states that are on the fence and debating CU's and SSM and bans on them, and a federal Compromise that forbade SSM but gave recognition to CU's would make it easy for them to decide. And it's a fact that by defining them as "marriage minus conception rights" there would be a substantial difference, because conception rights are substantial, they are the essential meaning of marriage, and they would be the difference. So it's a fact that they could be enacted even in states that have constitutional amendments against same-sex marriage and CU's that are identical to marriage.

And it certainly would end SSM in Massachusetts, that's the whole point of the Compromise, Massachusetts couples would have their marriages changed to CU's so that they can get the federal recognition.

The Full Faith And Credit clause says that Congress should by legislation set the effect and proof of state acts and proceedings such as marriage, so that states don't have any conflicts where they don't recognize each others acts and legal proceedings.

310
Peter over 7 years ago

From post #292

Bman: "Glen asserted a claim without providing adequate factual support." - And I provided evidence for his point. When a court is forced to create a justification for a law that bears no connection to any of the real reasons it was passed, or for which it is maintained, one wonders whether the decision was based more on the judge's opinion of what is the desirable outcome, rather than adhering to consistent constitutional principles.

Bman: "Since the court is supposed to show 'deference' ('bias') toward the legislature by default by using rational basis, Glen needs to show some other bias exists than that." - The level of scrutiny depends on the right in question. I have consistently argued 1) that marriage is a fundamental right, and 2) fundamental rights inherently apply to all the people, not just some of the people. As such, regulations that substantially interfere with the right to enter into the marriage relationship are subject to strict scrutiny.

Bman: "'Peter: ...judges are supposed to set aside such biases when making rulings, as well as general public opinion...' You are "presuming" the biases Glen mentioned. Proof is needed." - You misread my post. That was a continuation of Glen's original post.

Bman: "Besides, since when is "general public opinion" necessarily an unacceptable 'bias'?" - Public opinion is unacceptable bias when it leads to the violation of citizens' constitutional rights. It doesn't matter that most people abhor neo-Nazis; they still get to march in public. It doesn't matter that most people abhor flag burning; others can still burn flags. It didn't matter if three-fourths of the population opposed interracial marriage, interracial couples can still get married. It didn't even matter if Colorado's voters thought gays should not be protected from discrimination, gays could appeal to their local governments to pass anti-discrimination ordinances. And it didn't matter if states thought gays should be branded as criminals, the police could not break down people's doors looking for criminal sexual activity between two consenting adults.

I noticed that you did not answer my question regarding whether you agreed with the Indiana and New York courts that gay families are so much more stable than heterosexual ones, that they have little to gain from marriage. So I'll ask you again, do you agree or disagree with the courts' rationale?

311
bman over 7 years ago

"#310/Peter: from bman, "Glen asserted a claim without providing adequate factual support. Peter: And I provided evidence for his point."

You also made a claim without providing evidence. There was no link to the decisions and no quotations from the court. Hence, no evidence was provided.

"Peter: When a court is forced to create a justification for a law that bears no connection to any of the real reasons it was passed, or for which it is maintained, one wonders whether the decision was based more on the judge's opinion of what is the desirable outcome, rather than adhering to consistent constitutional principles."

You are merely asserting your claim. That is not the same as providing evidence.

"Peter: The level of scrutiny depends on the right in question. I have consistently argued 1) that marriage is a fundamental right, and 2) fundamental rights inherently apply to all the people, not just some of the people. As such, regulations that substantially interfere with the right to enter into the marriage relationship are subject to strict scrutiny."

While you have argued that, you are also repeating an argument already answered many times by many courts.

Marriage between one man and one woman is the fundamental right.

Alien forms of marriage (polygamy, same sex marriage) are not legally considered to be marriage.

"Peter: You misread my post. That was a continuation of Glen's original post."

I simply don't regard a "claim" as "proof." He made a claim without providing specific evidence and so did you.

"Peter: Public opinion is unacceptable bias when it leads to the violation of citizens' constitutional rights."

And the majority of courts have ruled there is no Constitutional right to same sex marriage. See Baker v. Nelson.

"Peter: I noticed that you did not answer my question regarding whether you agreed with the Indiana and New York courts that gay families are so much more stable than heterosexual ones, that they have little to gain from marriage. So I'll ask you again..."

As before, you didn't quote the actual court statement.

I think its your job to link to the decision and quote the statement(s).

Anyway, I implicitly answered you in post 293 where I quoted Dr. Trayce Hansen on why the research is not adequate.

312
Anonymous over 7 years ago

bman(#303), I am actually assuming that they are the same population, in different versions of the universe. The range of possibilities is infinite, and I chose the ones I wanted to ask about, but I'l happily add yours to the mix. With that in mind, let me rephrase them as follows:

(A) People's sense of morality is divinely inspired, and the people attribute it to the true deity.

(B) People's sense of morality is divinely inspired, but the people attribute it to a false deity.

(C) People's sense of morality is divinely inspired, but the people attribute it to no deity.

(D) People's sense of morality does not come from a deity, but the people attribute it to a false deity.

(E) People's sense of morality does not come from a deity, and the people attribute it to no deity.

Now, can you describe how each of B,C,D,E is functionally different from A?

313
Glen over 7 years ago

What sort of evidence of judge bias are you looking for bman? Places in their ruling where they say "based off my religious indoctrination and based on the societal atmosphere that I grew up in and have been surrounded by most of my life in regard to gay people and homosexuality, I therefore rule that...". Does a judge have to be a member of NOM before you can show bias influenced his or her decision?

Often bias has to be inferred based on the strength of the rationale given for a ruling in light of the testimony and evidence of the case, and in light of other courts which have found differently and went to lengths to shoot down the weak and faulty rationales given by those judges. And just how obvious where those faults and weaknesses, such that a reasonable unbiased judge should have recognized them as such?

You conveniently ignore the other courts which have ruled in favor of marriage equality. Oh how you would LOVE to say that all courts have ruled against same-gender marriage equality. But you can't. You can't even say rulings against it are trending in your favor. They aren't. NOR that only very liberal courts have ruled in your favor. And WHAT then when the majority of courts HAVE ruled in favor of same-gender marriage equality, bman? What argument will you fall back to then?

As to marriage between one man and one woman being a fundamental right... Show me bman where you find that in the U.S. Constitution.

People have the fundamental right to be privately married, and married to the consenting person they choose without it being made illegal and prosecutable (as the couple was in Loving).

However, NOBODY has any fundamental right to have their marriage recognized by the State and given a whole host of legal benefits, privileges, protections, obligations, and responsibilities.

Gay couples are perfectly capable in ANY State, of having weddings in their churches, and be recognized by their friends, family, and colleges as married. There is no law against it, and nobody is going to prosecute them. They simply can't make any legal claim or be officially recognized by the State as married.

What gay (and interracial) couples DO have though, is the fundamental right to Equal Protection of the Laws. As there ARE laws granting legal State recognition and contracting of marriage, they are entitled to equality under those laws to legally marry who they desire. Unless GOOD cause can be shown otherwise.

314
Anonymous over 7 years ago

Re. #309: "And it certainly would end SSM in Massachusetts, that's the whole point of the Compromise, Massachusetts couples would have their marriages changed to CU's so that they can get the federal recognition."

Then it's yet another reason why your plan is unrealistic. Congress has no authority to override state marriage law. If Congress could have prohibited SSM, it would have already done so in 1996. That's why SSM opponents have instead advocated for a constitutional amendment.

Look, I'm going to make an assumption that you are not so arrogant as to consider yourself inerrant, and that you allow for at least some possibility that the conclusions you made on your own, presumably without any legal education, about what Congress can constitutionally do, are, in fact, wrong. Given that you won't talk to lawyers, what's your plan for finding out about it - when and how?

315
bman over 7 years ago

#312/Anon

bman: "In your presentation you presume two population groups are isolated from each other."

Anon: "I am actually assuming that they are the same population, in different versions of the universe...."

It seems you still have two abstract groups isolated from contact with each other.

Whether its the "same population" in different universes that do not interact or two "different populations" that do not interact in the same universe, the difference seems moot.

"Anon: The range of possibilities is infinite, and I chose the ones I wanted to ask about, but I'll happily add yours to the mix. With that in mind, let me rephrase them as follows:

Your list of options seems overly abstract.

In which option, for example, would you place the two opposing sides of the civil war?

Both sides held to a theistic morality that was virtually identical except one side viewed slavery as illegal and the other as legal.

This difference seems significant enough to warrant different sub-categories of some kind.

So where do you classify them?

316
bman over 7 years ago

#313/Glen: "Often bias has to be inferred based on the strength of the rationale given for a ruling in light of the testimony and evidence of the case, and in light of other courts which have found differently..."

That sounds like a good place for you start.

And that is the point.

You just keep asserting your view without providing any proof.

Despite repeated posts you still haven't provided any quotations from the court with analysis.

317
John Howard over 7 years ago

The plan is to get Congress to enact the three laws, all together, ASAP, which would prove that they can make laws and improve the general welfare. The FFC clause instructs Congress to make laws that resolve disputes between states about what an act does or how it is proved, so that states can honor each others acts. They aren't doing what they are called on to do by the Constitution, there are states that won't honor other states acts and records, which they "ought" to do, so Congress needs to resolve it.

They should make a law that sets the effect of marriage as approving of conception of offspring of the couple, with the couple's genes. So that no state can say a couple is married that is prohibited from procreating together.

318
Peter over 7 years ago

bman, #311

As per your demand:

"Those persons who have invested the significant time, effort, and expense associated with assisted reproduction or adoption may be seen as very likely to be able to provide such [a stable] environment, with our without the "protections" of marriage, because of the high level of financial and emotional commitment exerted in conceiving or adopting a child or children in the first place. By contrast, procreation by "natural" reproduction may occur without any thought for the future." - Morrison v. Sadler

Same-sex couples "do not become parents as a result of accident or impulse. The legislature could find that unstable relationships between people of the opposite sex present a greater danger that children will be born into or grow up in unstable homes than is the case with same-sex couples, and thus that promoting stability in opposite sex relationships will help children more." - Hernandez v. Robles

On a related note, I actually agree that the question of whether or not gays are better than or equal to heterosexuals as parents is irrelevant because the fundamental right to marry is not dependent on one's parenting skills.

"Marriage between one man and one woman is the fundamental right."

Unless you can point to a principle that explains the court's prior holdings on marriage that does not also extend to gays and lesbians, then the Court must protect the fundamental right of gays to marry.

319
Peter over 7 years ago

Bman, #311

"And the majority of courts have ruled there is no Constitutional right to same sex marriage."

I see you dredged up the forty year old case, Baker v. Nelson. The idea that this case, which the Court dismissed in a single sentence without hearing oral argument, remains convincing to the current justices is highly questionable.

The Supreme Court has identified several reasons why it may overrule prior decisions, among them, "We may ask...whether related principles of law have so far developed as to have left the old rule no more than a remnant of abandoned doctrine or whether facts have so changed, or come to be seen so differently, as to have robbed the old rule of significant application or justification." (Planned Parenthood v. Casey)

When the Court dismissed Baker "for want of a substantial federal question," not a single state recognized the right of gays to marry. In fact, nearly every state criminalized gay relationships. Those statutes have since been repealed or struck down.

Today, over 35 million Americans live in states that recognize marriage equality, and another 72 million live in states with "civil unions." The so-called "Defence of Marriage Act" actually injected the federal government into the marriage issue when it declared that that the federal government would not recognize as valid the marriages of gay couples legally wedded under the laws of the state in which they reside.

Federal courts are now grappling with the fact that legally married gay couples are now a reality. In Gill v. OPM, the court ruled that DOMA's refusal to recognize these marriages is based on irrational prejudice and is unconstitutional.

http://docfiles.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/massachusetts/madce/1:2009cv10309/120672/70/0.pdf

The court in Perry v. Schwarzenegger also ruled that Prop. 8 violated the fundamental right to marry and was likewise motivated by prejudice. More recently, TWENTY federal judges in California signed onto a ruling that held DOMA fails even under rational basis scrutiny.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/57794777/DOMA-Memorandum-of-Decision

And the Justice Department filed a brief in the Golinski case that argues DOMA is subject to heightened scrutiny and that it fails that standard.

http://metroweekly.com/poliglot/DOJ-OppToBLAGMtD.pdf

320
Peter over 7 years ago

Bman, #311

"I simply don't regard a 'claim' as 'proof.'"

Really? Because it sounds like your argument essentially boils down to: Because my god says so.

From post #257: "The 'real' point is that the state is not the true source of the right to marry.

The state, the court, and the Constitution all protect the rights of the people. The 'source' of those rights, however, is higher than government, higher than the court, and even higher than the people. I am referring here to the source of rights identified in the Declaration of Independence, the self evident truth that certain rights are endowed by the Creator."

From #281: "An attack on public morality or Christianity is effectively an attack on the Constitution itself because the Constitution depends on the people it serves being compliant to divine morality.

If same sex marriage won at the Supreme Court, I believe it would erode sexual morality and religion over the course of a generation, and bring America to the point [of despotism] Benjamin Franklin predicted.

Thus, in the long run, I believe a vote for same sex marriage is also a vote against Constitutional government."

You're simply making assertions based on your sectarian views. As for your prediction that the Court's support for equal rights will lead to despotism, I think you've been watching too much Glen Beck.

As I said before in #262, if you maintain that marriage is only between one man and one woman because you believe God has so ordained it, then no amount of reason or logic will convince you otherwise. It is clear that you are not open to rational discussion.

321
bman over 7 years ago

#320/Peter:

bman: "I simply don't regard a 'claim' as 'proof.'"

Peter: "Really? Because it sounds like your argument essentially boils down to: Because my god says so."

While I try to include proof when I can, I also make claims based on self evident truth that appeal to human intuition and common sense, rather than to "proof."

There are some things that can't be proved yet people can recognize them as true "intuitively" because of how it harmonizes with the world around us and within us.

A judge once said, for example, "I know it when I see it." That came from a case that meant its easier to recognize obscenity intuitively than it is to define it legally.

Einstein had a desk plaque that said the things in life that count can't be counted.

The sign also said the things that can be counted are not necessarily the ones that count.

I think most would accept the saying on the desktop as self evidently true without "proof."

When I appeal to God or natural law its similar to quoting a wise saying and expecting people to recognize the truth in it.

Its an appeal to the natural constitution of man rather than to proof.

322
Anonymous over 7 years ago

bman(#315), yes, my question is about a standalone population without any interaction with aliens.

"Your list of options seems overly abstract."

They are meant to be abstract. That shouldn't prevent you from answering the question. What would you expect to find in the legal systems of one population, but not the other? So far you've identified one difference: people's arguments about laws could invoke the deity in A, B and D, but not in C or E.

Regarding your civil war example, you can create subcategories all you want. I don't see what the problem is. In general, the existence of two theistic sub-populations that follow the same deity but disagree on a major issue is entirely compatible with options A, B and D. It is incompatible with a narrower hypothesis where God is the ONLY source of people's moral sense and imprints everyone with the same moral values. But it is compatible, for example, with a world where the moral sense of each individual owes partially to God and partially to other factors.

323
bman over 7 years ago

#318/Peter: "Same-sex couples "do not become parents as a result of accident or impulse. The legislature could find that unstable relationships between people of the opposite sex present a greater danger that children will be born into or grow up in unstable homes than is the case with same-sex couples, and thus that promoting stability in opposite sex relationships will help children more." - Hernandez v. Robles

OK, lets examine your prior claim as to what this means.

You said,

1. "The courts ruled that gay families are so much more stable than heterosexual ones, that they don't need the protections that marriage provides." (#278)

I think you over-generalized here.

I recognize that the words from Hernandez cited above give that impression. However, the court is comparing two processes by which a couple can have children: (1) natural sex or (2) Adoption/Artificial Insemination which is used by same sex couples.

It sees (1) as unpredictable or difficult to control and as affecting a virtual sea of children while it sees (2) as well ordered, regulated, and predictable and as affecting relatively few children by comparison.

Since infertile OS couples could also use option (2) the court never meant "gays" per-se had more stable households, but only that option 2 implied a more stable environment had been prepared for the needs of the child for whoever uses option (2).

324
Anonymous over 7 years ago

Re #317: This plan doesn't seem to have any contingency for you being mistaken, so maybe my previous assumption was too generous.

"They should make a law that sets the effect of marriage as approving of conception of offspring of the couple, with the couple's genes. So that no state can say a couple is married that is prohibited from procreating together."

They can't make a law that limits whom Massachusetts can marry, no matter how it's framed. Come on, you think you've found a loophole in the US Constitution whereby Congress can exceed its constitutional mandate by passing two laws instead of one? And you want people to take you seriously? If Congress passes two laws that are in conflict with each other because SSM exists then it's a problem of Congress' own making. It's not the job of Massachusetts to fix it, and it doesn't magically change Massachusetts family law and state constitution. (And I highly doubt that Congress could even constitutionally pass either of those two laws in the first place.)

325
John Howard over 7 years ago

Massachusetts isn't about to secede in order to assert its right to prohibit people from procreating or to harbor labs that manufacture people from artificial modified genomes. It isn't a libertarian slave state, and it will change its law to get federal recognition for samesex couples.

326
John Howard over 7 years ago

And Congress is constitutionally mandated to set the proof and effect of state acts and legal proceedings so that they are honored by all of the states. States presumably have to then comply with legislation passed by Congress, right? If the Constitution says that Congress should make laws so that states can honor each others acts and records, then isn't that what it should do?

327
Glen over 7 years ago

Technically bman, we are not supposed to be legislating morality in this nation (certainly not religious based or influenced morality). Because who's morality do you place into law then?

Ideally (and its not always the case) our laws are supposed to be based on sound secular rational reasoning that involves a compelling state interest.

Perhaps it won't surprise you to learn that what YOU consider intuitively obvious, I and many others, do not. We consider it intuitively obvious that not only is marriage about WAY more than sex and procreation, but also that the State interests served by married straight couples are also served by married gay couples.

You think homosexuality is intuitively wrong. Well YEAH to someone who is straight it is! For them. That's not the case for someone who is gay. To a gay person, homosexuality is intuitively right! For them.

Nature thinks so to. We are finding that homosexuality IS a part of nature. And there is good reason for it. As I'd explained earlier, population growth needs controls; mechanisms which moderate the rate at which it occurs in order to stabilize the system. Engineers understand this. Nature is like an engineer. These controls are built into the complex system that are animals and the ecosystems in which they live.

There are a variety of ways to control population, some far riskier than others. You can tinker with the ability or the drive/motivation to procreate (have sex), OR you can protect the VERY important ability and drive but simply redirect it toward non procreative outlets (Homosexuality). Nature figured out which is safer for a species. And the beauty of the latter solution is that if the need ever arises, a homosexual could STILL procreate with a member of the opposite gender.

Of course with human beings (as a social species) its a little more complicated, as we also have evolved for sex to be MORE than about the simple act of procreation. We use it to bond. We have love and affection toward our mates. That's something you see in various other social species as well. Though of course humans with our superior intellects have A LOT more wrapped up between love and sex. Our intimate love is something we experience above and beyond sex.

So what does this have to do with the argument at hand. Clearly you are coming from some position of "not only does my HOLY book say homosexuality is wrong, but it's intuitively wrong". My point is, that's simply not correct.

328
bman over 7 years ago

#327/Glen "....what YOU consider intuitively obvious, I and many others, do not."

I think that is where slavery took its stand as well.

329
bman over 7 years ago

#328/Glen: Technically...we are not supposed to be legislating morality in this nation

Only some private behavior is protected from morality laws.

Law can and does enforce public morality.

This is obvious from laws against public obscenity, or public nudity, or moral content allowed on TV, and such.

Glen: "Because who's morality do you place into law then?"

It has to be somebody's morality.

The morality of the people should be the morality at law by default.

If someone such as yourself disagrees with that morality, then you have the burden of proof to overcome it in court.

330
bman over 7 years ago

Here are some interesting moral points from the recent article by Chuck Colson, "Embracing the Moral Order.

Its not about homosexuality but its about why people should not let themselves be governed by their feelings.

from: http://www.breakpoint.org/bpcommentaries/entry/13/17502

"...the question is not what feelings we happen to have, but what feelings we should have...We must educate ourselves to train our thoughts and feelings to correctly reflect the actual moral order...."

Marianne saw no need to do this which is why, in time, her heart was broken by the worthless young man she'd so quickly and imprudently fallen in love with.

Unfortunately, our culture has taken Marianne's attitude to its logical and tragic conclusion...Like the Romantics, modern liberalism celebrates the victory of sensibility over sense, the passions over reason, self-absorption over moral duty, romantic anarchy over tradition.

"How much happier we would be if both men and women took the time to learn good moral judgment, and retrain their more impulsive feelings to reflect the moral order."

331
Robert E. Malchman over 7 years ago

Ah, bman, I see your problem now. You're taking moral instruction from a convicted felon who participated in the Nixon Administration's efforts to subvert the U.S. Constitution.

332
bman over 7 years ago

People change, and he changed.

Your post also reduces to scorn and mockery and reflects back on your credibility.

333
Anonymous over 7 years ago

"It has to be somebody's morality.

The morality of the people should be the morality at law by default.

If someone such as yourself disagrees with that morality, then you have the burden of proof to overcome it in court."

In that case, Massachusetts law reflects the morality of the people. If someone such as yourself disagrees, you have the burden of proof to overcome it in court.

334
bman over 7 years ago

#333/Anon: "In that case, Massachusetts law reflects the morality of the people. If someone such as yourself disagrees, you have the burden of proof to overcome it in court."

Your argument does not follow logically from my post.

I said the morality of the people "should" be the morality at law by default.

While its the law in Massachusetts I think its because the court dismissed the morality of the people.

335
Anonymous over 7 years ago

bman, you're probably going to think that whoever disagrees with you doesn't represent the morality of the people no matter what. Your thinking doesn't make it true.

336
Anonymous over 7 years ago

"While its the law in Massachusetts I think its because the court dismissed the morality of the people."

Gay marriage opponents in MA had a chance to get the issue on ballot as a constitutional amendment, and they failed in the MA legislature 45-151. In other words, over 75 of MA legislators voted to preserve gay marriage. Sorry bman, can't blame the court on this one.

It's past midnight, so the NY gay marriage law is now in effect. It's also worth noting that this law was enacted by an act of legislature that represents the people of NY.

337
bman over 7 years ago

"#335/Anon:...you're probably going to think that whoever disagrees with you doesn't represent the morality of the people no matter what. Your thinking doesn't make it true."

And, your thinking doesn't make it false.

"#336/Anon: ...they failed in the MA legislature 45-151. In other words, over 75 of MA legislators voted to preserve gay marriage. Sorry bman, can't blame the court on this one."

I'd blame left wingers having control of the legislature on that one.

"Anon:... the NY gay marriage law is now in effect. It's also worth noting that this law was enacted by an act of legislature that represents the people of NY."

The legislature and governor of Maine enacted a same sex marriage law that did not represent the people of Maine. We know this because the people vetoed it in a referendum.

There has been a trend for left wing politicians to vote for SSM on their own agenda instead of representing the people as they were elected to do.

Key Republicans in the NY vote, for example, had campaigned against SSM and were elected based on that. That shows the true sentiment of their people. Yet when the time came to vote they ditched the people and voted for SSM.

NY does not have a people's veto so the people are stuck until next election cycle with the fact their agents misrepresented them.

338
Peter over 7 years ago

bman, #321

There's nothing wrong with appealing to "natural law" or religion, or quoting a saying like, Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, if you're trying to convince a friend, colleague, or classmate of the correctness of your opinion, but none of these will cut it in a court of law. The difference between claims made in a political campaign and claims made in court is that the latter must be backed up by solid evidence and reasoning. Otherwise, you end up looking like Charles Cooper, lead attorney for Proposition 8, who, when asked by the presiding judge, "What is the harm to the procreation purpose you outlined of allowing same-sex couples to get married?" answered, "My answer is, I don't know. I don't know."

You wrote: "There are some things that can't be proved yet people can recognize them as true 'intuitively' because of how it harmonizes with the world around us and within us." -- This reminds me of how people "intuitively" knew the sun revolved around the Earth until Galileo figured out a way to prove this "truth" was actually false, and even that it took many years for his view to be accepted.

Our intuitions are not only extremely seductive, but can also be disastrously misleading, as I pointed out earlier in #110 by quoting the Virginia judge who upheld that state's anti-miscegenation law. The idea that God placed the different races on separate continents so that they would not mix made logical sense to many people.

continued below...

339
Peter over 7 years ago

bman, #321

Perhaps it is true that most people would accept the wisdom found on Einstein's plaque, just as they would probably agree that "no one should needlessly inflict suffering." The problem is that these proverbs are so vague as to render them useless in adjudicating cases. Justice Potter Stewart's famous observation on obscenity, that he knows it when he sees it, illustrates the point. The Court gave no guidance to lower courts, lawmakers, and the general public as to what constituted obscenity. No one would know where the line was between protected free speech and unprotected obscenity until after they had crossed it and faced legal sanctions. The Court recognized that this was simply untenable and later articulated a test for determining obscenity that could be applied by the lower courts in deciding cases and lawmakers in fashioning legislation.

As another example in the "too vague to be useful" category, I have no idea what you mean when you refer to the "natural constitution of man." Judges have enough trouble interpreting the actual written constitution we have. They are certainly ill-equipped to resolve cases based on what each individual judge imagines a "natural constitution" to consist of.

340
Anonymous over 7 years ago

bman: According to Wikipedia, "Same-sex marriage enjoys high public support in Massachusetts. A June 2011 Public Policy Polling survey found that 59 percent of Massachusetts voters thought same-sex marriage should be legal, while only 33 percent thought it should be illegal and 8 percent were not sure." Go ahead and fix it if you have evidence to the contrary. Good luck.

341
bman over 7 years ago

"#338/Peter: ...you end up looking like Charles Cooper.....when asked by the presiding judge, "What is the harm to the procreation purpose you outlined of allowing same-sex couples to get married?" answered, "My answer is, I don't know. I don't know."

That simply shows you can't trust gay propaganda.

Cooper was arguing that unintended consequences can't be known in advance.

His point was that the court would reckless if it presumed to know ahead that there cannot be unintended consequences.

Here is more from that exchange:

"Well, your Honor, it depends on things we cant know...thats my point. ...the people of the State of California were entitled to step back and watch this experiment unfold in Massachusetts and the other places where its unfolding, and to assess whether...concerns.. about this new and and heretofore unknown marital union have either been confirmed by whats happening in marriage in Massachusetts, or perhaps theyve been completely allayed; but my point is: California was entitled not to follow those examples, and to wait and see. Thats the whole purpose of federalism."

From: "Walker's Phony Finding of Fact"

at:

http://www.nationalreview.com/bench-memos/243159/judge-walkers-phony-finding-versus-defendants-modesty-about-predicting-future-ed-

I am not a libertarian but Jane Galt also has an insightful article about the unintended consequences of same sex marriage.

I think most people would find it persuasive.

Her basic point is that liberals have typically dismissed the possibility of unintended consequences to push through changes in the past.

When the time came, however, the consequences actually happened even worse than had been predicted.

Its at: http://www.janegalt.net/blog/archives/005244.html

342
bman over 7 years ago

"340/Anon: A June 2011 Public Policy Polling survey found that 59 percent of Massachusetts voters thought same-sex marriage should be legal, while only 33 percent thought it should be illegal and 8 percent were not sure."

That poll asked the question if it should be "legal or illegal."

Per an article posted with the Massachusetts Family Institute that wording skews results.

"The media had been giving much airtime to a poll by the Washington Post/ABC that found 44 percent believing gay marriage should be 'illegal' while 53 percent said it should legal. NOM President Brian Brown disputed these results, pointing out that it used the word 'illegal' and implied that same-sex couples would be arrested for entering into a gay marriage. I wonder if the media will report these newer results? I wouldnt hold my breath."

The "newer results" refers to a poll the Alliance Defense Fund sponsored that was conducted by the independent agency Public Opinion Strategies.

The newer poll did not use the "legal/illegal" wording. It got an opposite result compared to the ABC poll.

It found 62 percent of Americans agreed with the statement, "I believe marriage should be defined only as the union of one man and one woman."

For details see the article at:

http://www.mafamily.org/federal-legislation/doma/media-misleads-on-new-polling-on-same-sex-marriage/978/

Since the poll you cite used the "legal/illegal" phrase that ABC used and since a more recent poll virtually reversed the ABC finding when different wording was used, it seems the "legal/illegal" phrase could have skewed the result for the Massachusetts poll.

Also, if we go back to Massachusetts of 2004 we find strong opposition to SSM:

"According to the Zogby poll [2004], 69 percent of respondents wanted to vote on an amendment to keep Massachusetts a traditional marriage state. Also, 52 percent vs. 42 percent agreed only marriage between one man and one woman should be legal and binding in America."

from: http://www.wnd.com/?pageId22672

So, at the every least, my claim was strongly supported close to the time the Goodridge ruling came out.

Another Mass poll in 2007 showed 56 opposed to SSM. The article there said: "It is difficult to know how support for same-sex marriage has changed since legalization because polls taken before and after have asked different questions."

from: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/15/us/15gay.html

343
Anonymous over 7 years ago

bman: So, when are you going to fix Wikipedia?

344
Anonymous over 7 years ago

bman: It sounds like you won't take any poll seriously unless it's taken by anti gay marriage group. While there are differences in wording and exact numbers, a wide variety of polls from Quinnipiac, Gallup, CNN, ABC, and Pew all show that support for gay marriage is growing. You could choose to ignore all these polls, but that doesn't reflect reality. (Source: http://www.pollingreport.com/civil.htm).

Furthermore, you misinterpreted the NYT article. It was 56 percent opposed to the AMENDMENT that would have banned gay marriage, implying that a majority of Massachusetts voters support gay marriage. And that was in 2007. Again, polls have consistently shown an increase in support for gay marriage, so it would be even harder for such a referendum to pass now.

bman, I live in Massachusetts. And I'm straight. And I can tell you that gay marriage has not caused the end of the world here. Most people are way more concerned with the economy than whether the gay couple who lives down the street is married or not.

345
bman over 7 years ago

#344/Anon: Furthermore, you misinterpreted the NYT article. It was 56 percent opposed to the AMENDMENT that would have banned gay marriage, implying that a majority of Massachusetts voters support gay marriage."

Correction noted.

346
Peter over 7 years ago

bman, #323

You wrote: "I think you over-generalized here...Since infertile OS couples could also use option 2 [Adoption/Artificial Insemination] the court never meant "gays" per-se had more stable households, but only that option 2 implied a more stable environment had been prepared for the needs of the child for whoever uses option (2)."

Although the court's argument could be applied to all couples who adopt or conceive children using assistance, the court made it clear that the distinction it was drawing was between gay couples and heterosexual couples, not between couples who have children through sexual activity and those who adopt or use third party assistance:

"Likewise, the plaintiffs essentially contend, it actually would further the State's interests in marriage and the strengthening of families to allow same-sex couples to raise families within the institution of marriage. This argument does not recognize the key difference between how most opposite-sex couples become parents, through sexual intercourse, and how all same-sex couples must become parents, through adoption or assisted reproduction."

So my original characterization of the court's decision is a fair one.

347
bman over 7 years ago

"#344/Anon: I live in Massachusetts. And I'm straight. ...gay marriage has not caused the end of the world here. Most people are way more concerned with the economy than whether the gay couple who lives down the street is married or not."

Your reason to support same sex marriage could be used to justify almost anything, so its not a very good reason.

One could say city hall should issue polygamy licenses because it would not end the world and because the economy is of more concern.

Or, one could say they support more porn shops because it won't end the world and the economy is of more concern.

The list is endless, which shows why the reasoning is inadequate.

And even if it has not affected your world, what about others? The article at this website differs with you significantly on how its affected Massachuesetts. http://www.massresistance.org/docs/marriage/effects_of_ssm.html

If one supports a public law one should agree with its internal principles and the logical application of those principles.

You do not look merely at how it will affect your world or the economy, but how the principles affect the public at large.

For example, do you agree it should be a public principle that "men having sex with men is morally acceptable behavior" and should be sanctioned by law?

If you do, you should also agree to the logical application of that, which is you want your children and everyone's else's to believe its morally acceptable for them to adopt the behavior.

There are more examples but the point is no one should support same sex marriage if they disagree with the internal principles of it, or if they disagree with the logical application of those principles to their own children.

The idea that "if it doesn't hurt you vote for it" is naive. A public law that sanctions men having sex with men affects the moral values of the world around your children, and the moral values they will hold.

Its the same as if you voted to legalize polygamy. To vote for it is to say its OK if your great grand child is born to wife number 10 in a polygamous family, or that you approve of your children practicing polygamy themselves.

Also, it took about 40 years to understand what no fault divorce really meant to society. Its really too soon to declare the effects for Massachusetts.

We can say, however,that disturbing trends have appeared in Mass at the margins (see the article) and it would not be good if that became the norm.

348
bman over 7 years ago

"#346/Peter: So my original characterization of the court's decision is a fair one."

There is at least some facial or superficial agreement to your claim, as I noted previously.

I am not calling your view an "unfair" interpretation, therefore.

Rather, I am saying its not the "correct" interpretation.

Your new post takes two sentences from different paragraphs and puts them into a single paragraph, which blurs the sense.

The first sentence says, "Likewise, the plaintiffs essentially contend, it actually would further the State's interests in marriage and the strengthening of families to allow same-sex couples to raise families within the institution of marriage."

That sentence, however, is at the very end of a paragraph that had summarized what the plaintiffs had claimed.

Its not what "the court" said, but its what "the plaintiffs" said as the court had summarized it.

The court then started a new paragraph that answered that claim. The new sentence is what "the court" is now saying.

It said, "This argument [the one by the plaintiffs just mentioned]does not recognize the key difference between how most opposite-sex couples become parents, through sexual intercourse, and how all same-sex couples must become parents, through adoption or assisted reproduction."

When the court says "this argument does not recognize" the two processes, it means plaintiffs failed to recognize the two processes in their argument.

It does not mean, "the court's argument does not involve the two processes."

If we keep reading that same paragraph its very obvious.

"Becoming a parent by using artificial reproduction methods is frequently costly and time-consuming. Adopting children is much the same. Those persons wanting to have children by assisted reproduction or adoption are, by necessity, heavily invested, financially and emotionally, in those processes. Those processes also require a great deal of foresight and planning. Natural procreation, on the other hand, may occur only between opposite-sex couples and with no foresight or planning. All that is required is one instance of sexual intercourse with a man for a woman to become pregnant."

The point is that the artificial process requires preparation and planning for a child to become part of a family, but that natural sex needs to be channeled into an orderly environment for the sake of children, which is what marriage does.

349
Anonymous over 7 years ago

bman, in response to post #347

First of all, I never said "if it doesn't hurt you vote for it." I have, however, heard many gay marriage opponents say that society will fall apart if gay marriage is legalized, and I was stating that hasn't happened in Massachusetts. That website you sent me to was obviously an anti-gay website, and if you seriously think that tolerance of homosexuality is going to bring down society, then you and I just have different views on what's good for society. I personally welcome tolerance and acceptance of LGBT people (again, I'm a heterosexual). Freedom of speech and religion will remain. You're still free to say that homosexuals are going to hell and that gay sex is immoral, just like you're free to say that I'm going to hell because I'm an atheist. But I'm also free to say that there's nothing wrong with homosexuality and that gays and lesbians should be allowed to marry.

Yes, I think men having sex with men is morally acceptable. I know you disagree, and that's your right, but as a secular humanist I really have no reason to say that it's immoral. Two consenting adults should be allowed to do whatever they want in a bedroom, and the courts agree with me (Lawrence v. Texas). I have no problem with homosexuality because I accept the science that says that its a normal innate variation in human sexuality. I also trust the science that says that gay parents are just as good at raising kids; therefore I see no acceptable reason to prevent them from getting married and having kids. I know you dismiss these studies, but I actually am a scientist, so Im going to trust that I can discern whats good science and whats propaganda.

You condemn polygamy, and since you've already made it clear that your views on morality are based on the Bible, how do you feel about King David? Solomon? Abraham? Polygamy was common in the Old Testament. Where exactly does the Bible explicitly condemn polygamy? (Hint, I've read the Bible, it doesn't). While secular law and biblical law agree in many ways (i.e. murder and stealing are wrong), they also disagree. The Bible is perfectly ok with slavery (Lev 25: 44-46), but I seriously doubt that you think slavery is ok. Or that stoning your children to death for disobeying you is ok (Deut 21:18-21). And you probably have no problem with wearing two types of fabric (Deut 22:11). You're picking and choosing what to condemn.

350
Anonymous over 7 years ago

Cont

That means that you're able to form opinions of morality that are separate from the Bible, which is exactly what Im doing. I just throw out more of what the Bible says than you do.

With regard to polygamy, I think it's really a non-issue with respect to the gay marriage debate. The law currently allows only two people to enter into a marriage contract, and allowing gay marriage would not change that. In fact, aside from a few word changes there really would be not much to change. Polygamy would be a separate institution altogether and would require drastic changes to current marriage laws. For example, if a man had three wives and he died, would the household then dissolve? Would the wives be married to each other?

Would the wives be able to make medical decisions for each other or only their husband? If the wives disagree about a medical decision for their husband do you go by a majority vote? Does the first wife get more say than a second or third wife? What if a small business owner decided that he could save on health insurance by marrying all his employees? I realize fraud can occur in current heterosexual marriages, but at least there youre only limited to one person. Would there have to be a cap on the number of people one could marry? I could go on all day, but the point is that a government sanctioning of polygamy would be a very different legal institution than marriage.

I personally dont have a theoretical problem with polygamy, but in practice I believe that issues of jealousy and fairness (especially regarding treatment of women) would inevitably arise.

351
bman over 7 years ago

"#349/Anon: "That website you sent me to was obviously an anti-gay website..."

Since everyone can be said to have a bias we get around that by checking the facts offered.

Thus if all you can say about the site is that it had "bias," and can say nothing wrong about its "facts," that speaks in its favor.

To dismiss a site that offers facts simply because it has "bias" is to ignore facts based on one's own bias.

352
bman over 7 years ago

"#349/Anon: Two consenting adults should be allowed to do whatever they want in a bedroom, and the courts agree with me (Lawrence v. Texas)."

That is essentially correct but its also moot because the issue is not about whether, "two consenting adults should be allowed to do whatever they want in a bedroom."

Lawrence found that consensual sexual conduct between two gay adults should not be treated as a criminal violation.

It did not require equal treatment by the state or formal government recognition of homosexual relationships.

"The present case...does not involve whether the government must give formal recognition to any relationship that homosexual persons seek to enter."

In other words, Lawrence allows the state to have a public policy that formally recognizes and prefers opposite sex relationships, but it forbids the state to criminalize private homosexual relationships.

I think most Christians would find that acceptable as well, which is why your point about the right to privacy seems moot.

353
bman over 7 years ago

"#349/Anon: I know you dismiss these studies, but I actually am a scientist, so Im going to trust that I can discern whats good science and whats propaganda."

I asked this of Peter before but maybe you can answer it.

Which studies look at long term effects on children who have two gay male parents?

354
bman over 7 years ago

From: http://www.nycf.info/position-papers/same-sex-marriage/409-nycf-files-suit-against-state-senate

New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms Files Lawsuit to Overturn NY SSM

The plaintiffs, represented by the Liberty Counsel, contend that same-sex marriage legislation was only able to pass the State Legislature through:

- meetings that violated New York State Open Meetings Laws.

- the suspension of normal Senate voting procedures to prevent Senators who opposed the bill from speaking.

- failure to follow Senate procedures that require that a bill must be sent to appropriate committees prior to being placed before the full Senate for a vote.

- unprecedented Senate lock-outs by which lobbyists and the public were denied access to elected representatives.

- the Governors violation of the constitutionally mandated three-day review period before the Legislature votes on a bill by unjustifiably issuing a message of necessity.

- promises (which were fulfilled) by high-profile elected officials and Wall Street financiers to make large campaign contributions to Republican senators who switched their vote from opposing to supporting the Marriage Equality Act.

...New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, said, Constitutional liberties were violated. Today we are asking the court to intervene in its rightful role as the check and balance on an out-of-control State Legislature.

355
Anonymous over 7 years ago

"And even if it has not affected your world, what about others? The article at this website differs with you significantly on how its affected Massachuesetts. http://www.massresistance.org/docs/marriage/effects_of_ssm.html "

bman's hero, Brian Camenker, on the Daily Show.

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-november-3-2005/mass--hysteria

356
Peter over 7 years ago

bman, #348

I thought my previous posts were fairly clear but let me try explaining it this way instead.

The court said:

1) There are two processes through which couples can have children: A) through sexual activity, and B) through adoption or 3rd party assistance.

2) Couples who use Option B are more likely to be able to provide a stable environment for children, with or without marriage.

3) Essentially all gay couples use Option B, whereas the vast majority of heterosexual couples use Option A.

Whether or not the court intended to say so, the inescapable conclusion of their logic is that families headed by gay couples are generally more stable than those headed by heterosexual couples.

It is true that gay couples cannot have unwanted pregnancies, as heterosexuals all too often do. The court seized upon this one difference to justify denying gay couples and their children all of the immeasurable benefits provided by marriage.

357
Peter over 7 years ago

bman, #352

"In other words, Lawrence allows the state to have a public policy that formally recognizes and prefers opposite sex relationships, but it forbids the state to criminalize private homosexual relationships."

If one were to consider Lawrence in isolation then I agree your statement would be true. But the case for marriage equality does not rest on Lawrence alone. (Although even Scalia conceded that Lawrence left anti-gay marriage laws on shaky ground.)

The fundamental right to marry has been articulated in numerous cases over many decades and the courts have never provided a principle that explains the Court's prior holdings on marriage that does not also extend to gays and lesbians.

358
Anonymous over 7 years ago

In reply to bman #353. What study would be acceptable to you? How long would it have to last? And how would you perform such a study if you're against gays being parents at all? Would we have to follow these kids through adulthood to make sure that having gay parents doesn't affect their kids' child-raising capabilities? What about their skills as grandparents? Would this have to be a 50 year study to be acceptable to you? I imagine that even if such a study were performed and showed no detriment you would still be against gay marriage, so this really isn't relevant anyway.

The fact of the matter is that gays and lesbians are going to parent no matter what happens with gay marriage. So far the vast majority of studies show that children of LGBT parents do as well in school and a variety of social measures, and if anything they are more tolerant and accepting of others. It's true that they are more likely to consider a same-sex relationship, but they are no more likely to be gay themselves. And it's a bit unfair to compare the results of gay couples with married heterosexual couples with regard to parenting skills, because most gay couples can't get married at all (and none get federal recognition). You'd have to pair committed, non-married heterosexual couples with committed, non-married gay couples to get the proper assessment. Plus you'd have to account for all the anti-gay rhetoric that children of gay and lesbian parents experience from people like you, bman. They are growing up hearing that their parents are living in sin and that their family is immoral and unnatural. And yet they still are turning out fine! Just imagine how they'd do if they were openly accepted!

I also like how you ignored all the stuff I said about the Bible. I read the website you sent me to, and I fail to see how any of that is really harming people. Yes, I'm biased, but I'm biased because I don't think homosexuality is evil. Therefore I don't see how more gay pride parades is harmful, or that teaching kids tolerance is harmful. You're still allowed to bash gays all you want and teach your kids whatever you want, just like young earth creationists can tell their kids that evolution is evil. Or members of the KKK can teach their kids to hate black people. You just can't do teach those things in a public school.

359
bman over 7 years ago

"#358/Anon: I read the website you sent me to, and I fail to see how any of that is really harming people. .."

Did you also think the Little Black Book was not harmful?

Governor Mitt Romney of Massachusetts said at the time, "...this particular publication is grossly inappropriate and should never find its way into the hands of school-aged children."

http://www.massresistance.org/docs/issues/black_book/reaction.html

360
bman over 7 years ago

"#358/Anon: What study would be acceptable to you? How long would it have to last?"

Is that your best answer to my question, "Which studies look at long term effects on children who have two gay male parents?"

You claimed to have read the science, and said you can tell propaganda from science.

Yet, when asked to identify research that would be necessary for claims about homosexual parenting to be scientific, you didn't list any!

Furthermore, the response you actually gave was itself propaganda and not science.

So, where is the science dealing with the long term effects of two gay males as parents?

Its not just me who is watching your answer so don't trivialize over what I would accept.

Just provide research you think unbiased people would accept.

361
bman over 7 years ago

"#357/Peter: The fundamental right to marry has been articulated in numerous cases over many decades and the courts have never provided a principle that explains the Court's prior holdings on marriage that does not also extend to gays and lesbians."

Once again you dismiss Baker v, Nelson as if it didn't exist.

The case Jones v. Hallinan also contains arguments that refute your point.

"The sections of Kentucky statutes relating to marriage do not include a definition of that term. It must therefore be defined according to common usage."

"Kentucky statutes do not specifically prohibit marriage between persons of the same sex nor do they authorize the issuance of a marriage license to such persons."

"It appears to us that appellants are prevented from marrying, not by the statutes of Kentucky or the refusal of the County Court Clerk of Jefferson County to issue them a license, but rather by their own incapability of entering into a marriage as that term is defined."

"A license to enter into a status or a relationship which the parties are incapable of achieving is a nullity."

"If the appellants had concealed from the clerk the fact that they were of the same sex and he had issued a license to them and a ceremony had been performed, the resulting relationship would not constitute a marriage."

"We find no constitutional sanction or protection of the right of marriage between persons of the same sex."

"The claim of religious freedom cannot be extended to make the professed doctrines superior to the law of the land and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself. "

"We do not consider the refusal to issue the license a punishment."

"In substance, the relationship proposed by the appellants does not authorize the issuance of a marriage license because what they propose is not a marriage."

From:

http://ky.findacase.com/research/wfrmDocViewer.aspx/xq/fac.19731109_0040029.KY.htm/qx

362
Peter over 7 years ago

bman, #361

"Once again you dismiss Baker v, Nelson as if it didn't exist."

I did not simply dismiss or ignore Baker. Either you missed or chose to ignore post 319 where I addressed it. Whatever the case, allow me to quote from it again:

"I see you dredged up the forty year old case, Baker v. Nelson. The idea that this case, which the Court dismissed in a single sentence without hearing oral argument, remains convincing to the current justices is highly questionable.

The Supreme Court has identified several reasons why it may overrule prior decisions, among them, "We may ask...whether related principles of law have so far developed as to have left the old rule no more than a remnant of abandoned doctrine or whether facts have so changed, or come to be seen so differently, as to have robbed the old rule of significant application or justification." (Planned Parenthood v. Casey)

When the Court dismissed Baker "for want of a substantial federal question," not a single state recognized the right of gays to marry. In fact, nearly every state criminalized gay relationships. Those statutes have since been repealed or struck down.

[I should also add the American Psychiatric Association officially recognized that being gay is not a mental illness in 1973, the year after the Court declined to hear Baker.]

Today, over 35 million Americans live in states that recognize marriage equality, and another 72 million live in states with "civil unions." The so-called "Defence of Marriage Act" actually injected the federal government into the marriage issue when it declared that that the federal government would not recognize as valid the marriages of gay couples legally wedded under the laws of the state in which they reside.

Federal courts are now grappling with the fact that legally married gay couples are now a reality. In Gill v. OPM, the court ruled that DOMA's refusal to recognize these marriages is based on irrational prejudice and is unconstitutional.

The court in Perry v. Schwarzenegger also ruled that Prop. 8 violated the fundamental right to marry and was likewise motivated by prejudice. More recently, TWENTY federal judges in California signed onto a ruling that held DOMA fails even under rational basis scrutiny.

And the Justice Department filed a brief in the Golinski case that argues DOMA is subject to heightened scrutiny and that it fails that standard.

URLs for cases in original post.

363
Peter over 7 years ago

bman, #361

"The case Jones v. Hallinan also contains arguments that refute your point."

No, it doesn't. I believe it is called "begging the question" when the court essentially says, "Marriage is the union of a man and a woman because marriage is the union of a man and a woman."

The court tries to support its ruling by quoting from three different dictionaries but this approach suffers from several fatal problems.

First of all, today's dictionaries define marriage as the union of one man and one woman, as well as of two men, or of two women.

More importantly, definitions, whether devised by the legislature or a dictionary, are not immune to judicial review. Even if dictionaries of the 1950's and 60's had defined marriage as the union of a man and woman of the same race, that fact would not have saved the South's racist marriage laws in Loving.

Also, the Court has ignored dictionaries when defining constitutional rights. The 1st amendment protects speech. Merriam Webster defines speech as:

1 a : the communication or expression of thoughts in spoken words b : exchange of spoken words : conversation

2 a : something that is spoken : utterance b : a usually public discourse : address

3 a : language, dialect b : an individual manner or style of speaking

4: the power of expressing or communicating thoughts by speaking

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/speech

Speech, according to this dictionary then, is something that is SPOKEN. However, under the Constitution, burning flags, wearing black armbands, donating money to political campaigns, and printing pornographic cartoons are all considered "speech".

Defending anti-gay marriage laws by simply quoting from a dictionary does nothing to support its constitutionality.

364
Anonymous over 7 years ago

bman in #360:

"Its not just me who is watching your answer so don't trivialize over what I would accept."

I am one of those watching, and I am specifically interested in your answer as to what you would accept, bman.

365
bman over 7 years ago

"#362/Peter: ...Baker v. Nelson. The idea that this case, which the Court dismissed in a single sentence without hearing oral argument, remains convincing to the current justices is highly questionable."

Here is the Wikipedia on that

--begin quote--

In most cases presented to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Court's refusal to hear the case is not an endorsement of the decision below. However, since this case came to the Court through mandatory appellate review, the summary dismissal is a decision on the merits of the case.

-- end quote--

Since Baker. V. Nelson is considered to be "a decision on the merits," it means your previous claim was incorrect where you said, "...the courts have never provided a principle that explains the Court's prior holdings on marriage that does not also extend to gays and lesbians."

You are dismissing Baker v. Nelson, therefore.

The merits of that case were also explained by the Minnesota Supreme Court prior to the case reaching the US Supreme Court for those who wish to read them.

http://www.cas.umt.edu/phil/faculty/Walton/bakrvnel.htm

366
bman over 7 years ago

#363/Peter: I believe it is called "begging the question" when the court essentially says, "Marriage is the union of a man and a woman because marriage is the union of a man and a woman."

That looks more like a circular argument to me.

Its a fact of life, however, that some things "are what they are" which may be circular but its often true.

In any event, I don't see the court as using a circular argument.

The court recognizes it needs to define the meaning of the word "marriage" and it looked to recognized authorities for the definition.

Nothing circular about that.

"Peter: ...today's dictionaries define marriage as the union of one man and one woman, as well as of two men, or of two women."

That should not affect the court because those dictionaries are not referring to the nationally accepted usage or to standard legal usage

The ultimate definition would come from nationally accepted usage.

Other forms, even though they are called "marriage" by alien cultures, or minority groups, would not be marriage for purposes of American law. And that is where same sex marriage should be classified, a form of marriage that is alien to American law and culture.

The Minnesota Supreme Court addressed that point in Baker v. Nelson also:

"Petitioners [a same sex couple] contend, first, that the absence of an express statutory prohibition against same-sex marriages evinces a legislative intent to authorize such marriages. We think, however, that a sensible reading of the statute discloses a contrary intent.

Minn.St. c. 517, which governs "marriage," employs that term as one of common usage, meaning the state of union between persons of the opposite sex. It is unrealistic to think that the original drafts-men of our marriage statutes, which date from territorial days, would have used the term in any different sense. The term is of contemporary significance as well, for the present statute is replete with words of heterosexual import such as "husband and wife" and "bride and groom" (the latter words inserted by L.1969, C. 1145, 3, subd.3).

We hold, therefore, that Minn.St. c. 517 does not authorize marriage between persons of the same sex and that such marriages are accordingly prohibited."

In short, marriage has alway meant "one bride and one groom" in American law and culture.

Thus, where the court said "marriage is fundamental right," it meant the kind that has one bride and one groom, and no other.

367
bman over 7 years ago

#364/Anonymous" ...I am specifically interested in your answer as to what you would accept, bman."

Since when did you need to know my opinion before you could list research in your favor?

Looks like a stall tactic from here.

368
Anonymous over 7 years ago

"Since when did you need to know my opinion before you could list research in your favor?"

Huh? I never said anything about listing research, before or after. I'm not the same "Anonymous" who asked the question, but I am interested in your answer to it.

369
bman over 7 years ago

"#368/I'm not the same "Anonymous" who asked the question, but I am interested in your answer to it."

I feel that would be a rabbit trail that leads to many more rabbit trails.

I prefer to stick to points already on the table rather than add more.

370
Anonymous over 7 years ago

"I feel that would be a rabbit trail that leads to many more rabbit trails."

And I feel that you are making up excuses not to answer and that the real reason is that you won't accept any evidence that contradicts your preconceived beliefs.

371
bman over 7 years ago

"#370/Anon: And I feel that you are making up excuses not to answer and that the real reason is that you won't accept any evidence that contradicts your preconceived beliefs."

Its a debate tactic to ask me a question that supposes the evidence exists for the opposing side.

The proper response to such a tactic is to redirect the opponent to provide the evidence, which places the burden of proof where it belongs.

When you suppose I am making up excuses to not answer, that simply begs the question of whether such evidence actually exists.

First show the evidence exists and then you can expect me to answer it.

372
Anonymous over 7 years ago

"Its a debate tactic to ask me a question that supposes the evidence exists for the opposing side. ... First show the evidence exists and then you can expect me to answer it."

That's just more excuses. I haven't made any claims about the existence of evidence. Maybe it exists, maybe it doesn't, maybe it will exist tomorrow. I just want to know what evidence you would accept.

373
DN over 7 years ago

I can't believe this discussion is still going. bman is off in his own world, presumably happy in it, and no amount of bashing our heads against a brick wall will make him come to our side.

bman, I know you're going to nail yourself to a cross over me "insulting" you, but the fact is you're being left behind by society, and honestly, I'm happy to leave you back there. Same to you, Mr. Normandin. A village cannot reorganize life to suit the village idiot.

The time has passed for progressives to work with conservatives on the issue of marriage equality. Now is the time to ignore you. Which is why I'm stunned that anyone is still engaging you in this 371 comment-long discussion where I can barely mustering the will to -skim- your posts.

Seeya later, bman and Mr. Normandin. You wanna come join us at the party later, that's fine.

374
Glen over 7 years ago

Let me explain about bman...

The truth of the matter is there is NO evidence that would sway his opinions toward supporting marriage equality, same-gender relationships, or child rearing.

You see bman is a very VERY desperate person (as are most who are fighting marriage equality tooth-and-nail). bman lives a life of profound deep seated, and possibly subconscious, fear. No not fear of homosexuals. Fear that his god and his religious beliefs are not real. Fear that he's not going to exist forever. Fear that he WON'T get to see Mommy and Daddy again when he dies. He needs to find something, ANYthing, to help solidify, endorse, and support his beliefs.

His book, his religion, his god over the millenia has been proven wrong, immoral, and unreal time, and time, and time, and time again. So now he and his ilk CLING for dear life onto the scraps that are left over in the http://www.EvilBible.com that they think can give their god validity.

And where they've interpreted their 'god' casting blanket condemnation of homosexuality, they MUST find the rational real-world basis for it that says their god is RIGHT. He's not some false god made up by ancient ignorant tribal desert barbarians, who may have simply been trying to ensure growth of their population to be bigger than the next tribe.

Absent such rational basis, they at least want an official societal endorsement of their religious views. In fact, they'd be perfectly happy to leave a completely irrational law in place based solely on their Biblical interpretations, as that shows proper societal deference to their religion and their god. (And that's a good first step for the rest of it to be imposed on society - which is what they truly desire).

So, you see, bman's religion is being undermined by reality yet again, and THAT is what this fight is REALLY all about for them. So... those he gives authority to tell him the mind of 'god' would have to change their views FIRST, before bman ever could change his view on same-gender parenting, marriage equality, or relationships in general.

(P.S. This post is not intended to specifically read bman's mind, but uses him as a generalized stand-in for those who are largely behind the anti marriage equality push - religious fundamentalists).

P.P.S. Kind of pathetic that their religious views are so tenuous that they need to be endorsed by the State. Do they start their sermons by saying "According to NY State law..."

375
bman over 7 years ago

#372/Anonymous: That's just more excuses. I haven't made any claims about the existence of evidence. Maybe it exists, maybe it doesn't, maybe it will exist tomorrow. I just want to know what evidence you would accept."

I'd have to presume the evidence existed to answer the question. Its a common debate tactic.

If you or someone else has evidence to present I will be glad to address it.

376
bman over 7 years ago

"#374/Glen: Let me explain about bman..."

Attacking a person is often a sign the attacker has no substantial argument to offer.

377
Glen over 7 years ago

Oh I'm not attacking YOU bman. I'm making astute observations about, and making an educated hypothesis about, the REAL underlying motivations behind the anti-marriage crowd's unprecedented efforts to fight marriage equality for same-gender couples (like they've fought for nothing before).

A crowd which you are almost assuredly a part of, having admitted to having deeply held religious views surround homosexuality and by extension marriage between same-gender couples.

You CLAIM it's not about anti-gay animus, that it's only about what you perceive to be preserving marriage, and yet look at the REAL threats to marriage; falling incentives to marry, high divorce rates, etc... There aren't ANY religious groups (least of all NOM) who are spending even 1/100th the amount of time, money, or effort trying to address those issues, legislatively or otherwise.

No bman, it's you who don't have any substantial arguments to offer. And that's why you ARE and will ultimately lose your battle against marriage. --- Oh yeah, your crowd is starting to be called anti-marriage. Which could not be more true, since you've thrown EVERYTHING that marriage is out the door, everything that it represents to individuals, to couples, and to our society and denigrated it, boiled it down to being EXCLUSIVELY about what genitals are between people's legs, and nothing else matters.

When everything else that marriage is, which applies equally well to same-gender couples, is dismissed SOLELY on the basis of what genitals are involved, then you've made marriage ABOUT that.

If you doubt you are wasting your time and ARE going to lose in the end, perhaps you ought to read this Politico article published today: http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0711/Bush_Obama_pollsters_.html?showall

You SHOULD see the writing on the wall, and god isn't going to step in to help you.

Tell me bman, how many MILLIONS in NY and across the nation, were praying a month ago that NY State's Senate would vote down marriage equality? That 'god' would work in the hearts of those Senators and have them vote against marriage equality? And yet... it passed. Did you get your answer?

Now how many of those people were praying "God, have the NY State Senate vote your will", and who now FULLY accept the outcome?

You could stop wasting your time bman,OR you could continue to give the pro-equality crowd a good foil with which to counter the specious arguments against equality.

378
Anonymous over 7 years ago

bman in #375: "I'd have to presume the evidence existed to answer the question."

Oh, look, another excuse. What a surprise!

Your last one is a complete non sequitur. You don't have to presume the evidence exists in order to say what it would have to be.

If someone asked me, for example, what I would accept as evidence that I am not my mother's biological child, I could say I would accept the results of a DNA test, without presuming that such results exist, and indeed while being reasonably certain that they don't exist. Scientists routinely make falsifiable claims and describe what evidence, if found, would refute those claims, also without presuming that such evidence exists. If everyone reasoned the way you do, the scientific method wouldn't exist.

Any more excuses?

379
bman over 7 years ago

"#378/Anon: I would accept the results of a DNA test, without presuming that such results exist, and indeed while being reasonably certain that they don't exist... Any more excuses?"

Your illustration is not parallel because it deals with known science.

Let's suppose instead that you started a rumor about someone and I asked you in front of many people for proof.

Instead of giving proof you said, "What proof would you accept?"

Since I believe its propaganda I purposely intend to not lend any credence to it.

Therefore, I insist on proof in front of many witnesses. If you don't have it, and others see that, it will kill the propaganda.

And that is where we are at now.

My "excuse" is that I refuse to lend credence to what I think is false propaganda. Therefore, I have asked the claimant to provide scientific evidence that shows the long term effects on children with two gay male parents.

Either the science exists or it doesn't.

Turning the question back at me is just more propaganda.

380
Anonymous over 7 years ago

"Since I believe its propaganda I purposely intend to not lend any credence to it."

First it was "I'd have to presume the evidence exists" and that's completely false. Now it's "I'd be lending credence to the claim" and that's still completely false.

"What proof would you accept" is a perfectly legitimate question. Depending on the nature of the rumor, the answer could be photographs, court records, what have you. It doesn't lend any credence to the rumor. I could say what evidence I would accept from the 9/11 conspiracy theorists, and it wouldn't lend any credence to the conspiracy theory. I could say what evidence I would accept for Scientology, and it wouldn't lend any credence to Scientology.

"Therefore, I have asked the claimant to provide scientific evidence that shows the long term effects on children with two gay male parents."

That is between you and the claimant. As I said, I am not the claimant and wanted to know your answer in order to test my hypothesis, which is that you are not prepared to accept any evidence that contradicts your preconceived beliefs on this subject. Your mental gymnastics in lieu of an answer tell me that my hypothesis is likely correct.

381
Anonymous over 7 years ago

bman likes wikipedia, so he can starts with this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_parenting

"Scientific research has been generally consistent in showing that gay and lesbian parents are as fit and capable as heterosexual parents, and their children are as psychologically healthy and well-adjusted as children reared by heterosexual parents.[3][4][5] Major associations of mental health professionals in the U.S., Canada, and Australia have not identified credible empirical research that suggests otherwise.[5][6][7][8][9] Based on the robust nature of the evidence available in the field, Third District Court of Appeal State of Florida was satisfied in 2010 that the issue is so far beyond dispute that it would be irrational to hold otherwise; the best interests of children are not preserved by prohibiting homosexual adoption.[10]"

382
bman over 7 years ago

"#380/Anon: As I said, I am not the claimant and wanted to know your answer in order to test my hypothesis, which is that you are not prepared to accept any evidence that contradicts your preconceived beliefs on this subject."

While you are not the claimant your question is the same as that of claimant, and occurs as a response to my comment to the claimant, and stands in the context of my discussion with the claimant, and acts as a proxy for the claimant.

"Anon: Your mental gymnastics in lieu of an answer tell me that my hypothesis is likely correct.Your mental gymnastics in lieu of an answer tell me that my hypothesis is likely correct."

And so, without any evidence supplied you are able to conclude I would not accept "any" evidence if it was supplied?

You are creating "facts" out of thin air.

My refusal to answer your question only proves that I refused to answer your question.

Your rejection of my reasons, only proves that you rejected my reasons.

Also, what you call gymnastics or excuses I view as different corollaries of the same reason.

Thus, the conclusion you should have made is simply that I will not comment on evidence that doesn't exist for reasons you do not accept.

That is it.

And that conclusion does not establish your hypothesis.

383
Peter over 7 years ago

bman, #365

Nothing in the Wikipedia quote you provided refutes my contention that the value of Baker as precedent is highly questionable for the reasons I've already provided.

Bman: "Since Baker. V. Nelson is considered to be 'a decision on the merits,' it means your previous claim was incorrect where you said, '...the courts have never provided a principle that explains the Court's prior holdings on marriage that does not also extend to gays and lesbians.'"

Here is the text of the Court's "decision", if you can call it that.

"No. 71-1027. Richard John Baker et. al., appellants, v. Gerald R. Nelson

409 US 810, 34 L Ed 2d 65, 93 S Ct. 37.

October 10, 1972. Appeal from the Supreme Court of Minnesota. The appeal is dismissed for want of a substantial federal question..

Same Case below, 291 Minn 310, 191 NW 2d 185."

http://www.scribd.com/doc/21017674/Baker-v-Nelson-409-U-S-810-1972

Please identify the said principle contained therein.

If you insist you were referring to the Minnesota Court's decision, then please identify the principle from that ruling that explains why the fundamental right to marry does not apply to gay couples. All I see is the court pointing to a dictionary definition and simply asserting that "There is no irrational or invidious discrimination."

Incidentally, the Minnesota Court was wrong when it says that interracial marriage bans were invalidated solely on the grounds of its patent racial discrimination. As the U.S. Supreme Court made crystal clear in Zablocki:

"The Court's opinion [in Loving] could have rested solely on the ground that the statutes discriminated on the basis of race in violation of the Equal Protection Clause. But the Court went on to hold that the laws arbitrarily deprived the couple of a fundamental liberty protected by the Due Process Clause, the freedom to marry...Although Loving arose in the context of racial discrimination, prior and subsequent decisions of this Court confirm that the right to marry is of fundamental importance for all individuals."

384
Peter over 7 years ago

bman, #366

"Its a fact of life, however, that some things 'are what they are' which may be circular but its often true."

There you go again, offering another empty platitude.

"The court recognizes it needs to define the meaning of the word 'marriage' and it looked to recognized authorities for the definition."

Dictionary definitions are arbitrary and simply reflect society. They do not possess any inherent truth. They can and do change over time. In 1911, a dictionary could correctly define marriage as the legal union of a man and a woman. In 2011, dictionaries correctly define marriage as the legal union of a man and a woman OR two men OR two women.

As another example, Pluto was once defined as a planet. This is no longer the case.

In #363, I showed why dictionary definitions cannot disqualify gays couples from the fundamental right to marry.

"That should not affect the court because those dictionaries are not referring to the nationally accepted usage or to standard legal usage. The ultimate definition would come from nationally accepted usage."

It is intellectually dishonest to cite dictionary definitions when it suits your purposes but ignore them when they do not, or claim they do not reflect a word's "true meaning".

According to your logic, the "ultimate definition" of marriage through the first two-thirds of the 20th century would have been the legal union of one man and one woman of the same race, as that was the "nationally accepted usage".

In any case, it is NOT "nationally accepted" that marriage means ONLY one man and one woman. Furthermore, there are many variations in the marriage laws among the states, e.g. Some recognize common law marriage while others don't, some allow 15 year-old's to marry while others don't, some allow first cousins to marry while others do not.

Your opinion that courts and dictionaries should recognize as valid only those marriages that happen to be "nationally accepted" is just that, opinion.

"In short, marriage has alway meant 'one bride and one groom' in American law and culture. Thus, where the court said 'marriage is fundamental right,' it meant the kind that has one bride and one groom, and no other."

This statement has been irrefutably false for the last seven years and counting. You can not get around this fact by declaring MA, CT, IO, VT, NH, NY, and DC "alien cultures" or that the legally recognized marriages of gay couples are not "real" marriages.

385
bman over 7 years ago

"#381/Anonymous: bman likes wikipedia, so he can starts with this:"

The specific question I asked was, "Which studies look at long term effects on children who have two gay male parents?"

Was the Wiki article supposed to be the answer to that?

Earlier in this thread I quoted Dr. Trayce Hansen as saying:

"....To date, very little research exists that assesses long-term outcomes for homosexually parented children. According to Charlotte Patterson, a self-proclaimed, pro-same-sex-marriage researcher, there are only two longitudinal studies of children raised by lesbians. And no long-term studies of children raised by homosexual men. A professional organization dedicated to the welfare of its patients cannot and should not support drastic change in social policy based on just two, small and non-representative longitudinal studies."

from (http://www.drtraycehansen.com/Pages/writings_notinthebest.html)

So, if there are "no long-term studies of children raised by homosexual men" then it must be propaganda to conclude "homosexual parenting is equal."

How can it be anything but propaganda if half of the research (the male half) hasn't even been done?

Its like someone cooked a pancake only on the bottom and called it done before the other side was cooked.

And that brings us to Dr. Trayce Hansen's argument: "A professional organization dedicated to the welfare of its patients cannot and should not support drastic change in social policy..." without adequate representative longitudinal studies.

386
bman over 7 years ago

#383/Peter: Here is the text of the Court's "decision", if you can call it that...'The appeal is dismissed for want of a substantial federal question..' Please identify the said principle contained therein."

It means the denial of same sex marriage by Minnesota is not contradicted by any clause in the US Constitution.

387
Anonymous over 7 years ago

"The specific question I asked was, "Which studies look at long term effects on children who have two gay male parents?""

This question is a red herring, as the society does not make good parental skills a prerequisite for marriage. The government takes children away from bad parents, but it does not annul the marriage of said bad parents. The question of good parenting is relevant if the discussion is about gay adoption, or gay foster parents, but that's not what the topic of debate is.

That said:

"So, if there are "no long-term studies of children raised by homosexual men" then it must be propaganda to conclude "homosexual parenting is equal.""

"Homosexual parenting is equal" is a finding of fact in the court ruling In re: Gill, which stuck down Florida's gay adoption ban:

"Reports and studies find that there are no differences in the parenting of homosexuals or the adjustment of their children. These conclusions have been accepted, adopted and ratified by the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatry Association, the American Pediatric Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Child Welfare League of America and the National Association of Social Workers. As a result, based on the robust nature of the evidence available in the field, this Court is satisfied that the issue is so far beyond dispute that it would be irrational to hold otherwise; the best interests of children are not preserved by prohibiting homosexual adoption."

The court ruled that gay parents are just as good as straight parents.

388
Peter over 7 years ago

bman, #386

"It means the denial of same sex marriage by Minnesota is not contradicted by any clause in the US Constitution."

LOL

That is nothing more than a claim. You failed to identify where a court has articulated a PRINCIPLE that EXPLAINS why the fundamental right does not apply to gay couples.

389
bman over 7 years ago

#387/Anonymous: This question is a red herring, as the society does not make good parental skills a prerequisite for marriage."

Since that was not the reason for my asking the question, your reply is a red herring!

The context comes from post 349 where Anonymous said, "I actually am a scientist, so Im going to trust that I can discern whats good science and whats propaganda."

Since he claimed to know the "science" I asked, "Which studies look at long term effects on children who have two gay male parents?"

My point is to show the science is not all there.

Yes, the 3rd Circuit Court of Florida found the research acceptable.

But that does not stop the question from being asked if the court had long term studies on gay male parenting when it made that ruling.

390
bman over 7 years ago

"#388/Peter That is nothing more than a claim."

Its more than a claim. Its a conclusion derived from fact.

"When the Court feels that the decision below is correct and that no substantial question on the merits has been raised...[it] will dismiss an appeal from a state court 'for want of a substantial federal question'...the reason for the summary disposition is that the decision below is correct.' http://supreme.court.com/USSup/428/428.US.913.75-999.html

So, its a fact the US Supreme court considered the merits of the case and agreed with the ruling of the Minnesota Supreme Court.

It could not have done that if it regarded same sex marriage a fundamental right under the Constitution.

By agreeing with the Minnesota court it effectively ruled "there is no fundamental right to same sex marriage under the Constitution."

Its OK if you question the "principle" behind the decision but that question is not first in line.

First in line is what the Supreme Court ruling meant in Baker v. Nelson.

I am saying it meant, "there is no fundamental right to same sex marriage under the Constitution."

391
Anonymous over 7 years ago

"Since he claimed to know the "science" I asked, "Which studies look at long term effects on children who have two gay male parents?""

The premise of your question itself is hardly scientific. Consider a sweeping question asking what is the long term effects on children of heterosexual couples. Sure, some sort of "average" may be reached, but that is hardly useful since we know there exists good heterosexual parents, and terrible heterosexual parents. The "average" obtained is therefore meaningless.

"My point is to show the science is not all there."

Science is not what you're seeking to begin with.

392
Peter over 7 years ago

bman, 390

I said that "the courts have never provided a principle that explains the Court's prior holdings on marriage that does not also extend to gays and lesbians." You said I was wrong and cited Baker. I responded by asking you where in Baker the court identified such a principle.

Instead of pointing to a principle, you provide what you admit is a conclusion, i.e. "there is no fundamental right to same sex marriage under the Constitution." But that is not what we were discussing.

You are simply presuming the existence of a principle because otherwise the Court "could not have [refused to hear Baker] if it regarded same sex marriage a fundamental right under the Constitution."

You can still save some face by admitting that my original statement was correct.

Furthermore, the link you provided merely highlights why cases in which the Court denies a hearing, like Baker, have far less authority as precedent than those the Court hears and issues a full opinion. See paragraph 6, which concludes, "Thus, the nature of materials before us when we vote summarily to dispose of a case rarely sufficies as a basis for regarding the summary disposition as a conclusive resolution of an important constitutional question, and we therefore do not treat it as such. For the same reason we should not require that the district courts, courts of appeals, and state courts do so."

Also, because the Court provides no reason for its action:

"there is a significant risk that some courts may try to resolve the ambiguity inherent in summary dispositions by attaching too much weight to dicta or overbroad language contained in opinions from which appeals were taken and resolved summarily in this Court. THE CHIEF JUSTICE has noted that '[w]hen we summarily affirm, without opinion, the judgment of a three-judge District Court we affirm the judgment but not necessarily the reasoning by which it was reached.'...The same principle obviously applies to dismissals for want of a substantial federal question. Moreover, it ought to be clear to state and lower federal courts that principles set forth in full opinions cannot be limited merely by a summary disposition; a summary disposition 'settles the issues for the parties, and is not to be read as a renunciation by this Court of doctrines previously announced in our opinions after full argument.'"

In sum, you have ignored or misrepresented much of what your own link says.

393
bman over 7 years ago

"#391/Anon: The premise of your question itself is hardly scientific."

My premise is that a scientific claim about "gay male parenting" cannot be based on "Lesbian parenting" research.

Longitudinal Research on lesbian parenting applies to lesbians only.

"Anon: Consider a sweeping question asking what is the long term effects on children of heterosexual couples. Sure, some sort of "average" may be reached, but that is hardly useful since we know there exists good heterosexual parents, and terrible heterosexual parents. The "average" obtained is therefore meaningless."

So, how would you apply your "sweeping question" to parenting research that has already been done by qualified scientists on that issue?

Are you telling them their research is meaningless?

The APA often cites Lesbian parenting research as scientific evidence in court briefs. Are you saying that its meaningless?

Or, what about studies that show children in single parents homes do not fare as well as children with a mother and father?

After all, "since we know there exists good single parents and terrible single parents" any research on that must be meaningless, right?

It seems to me its not my work you are dismissing but that of untold numbers of scientists and researchers.

394
Anonymous over 7 years ago

"So, how would you apply your "sweeping question" to parenting research that has already been done by qualified scientists on that issue?"

"The APA often cites Lesbian parenting research as scientific evidence in court briefs. Are you saying that its meaningless?"

The APA does not make sweeping statements such as "gay parents are good" or "gay parents are bad". Instead, research compares a set of children raised by heterosexual couples vs. a set of children raised by homosexual couples, and the result obtained indicates that the 2 set of children are equal in various developmental benchmarks. Therefore, APA makes the statement "homosexual parents are just as good as heterosexual parents". Note that the APA does not say whether gay parents are good or bad (which is the answer you seek in your sweeping question), it only says gay parents are as good as straight parents. Therefore, it recognizes that there will be excellent gay parents, and terrible gay parents. Just like their straight counterparts.

This is partially why in the Florida case, the NARTH testimony was thrown out by the court. APA, based on available research, reaches the limited conclusion that gay parents are as good as straight parents. NARTH, on the other hand, insisted that gay parents are bad for children, a claim that does not hold upon scientific scrutiny.

395
bman over 7 years ago

"#392/Peter: In sum, you have ignored or misrepresented much of what your own link says."

In paragraph 1 we read,

"I would not require district courts, courts of appeals, and state courts to ascribe any greater precedential weight to summary dispositions than this Court does. Accordingly, I did not join the holding in Hicks...(1975) that 'the lower courts are bound by summary decisions by this Court...."

A similar statement appears at the end of paragraph 6, "...we should not require that the district courts, courts of appeals, and state courts do so."

The phrase "should not" is key.

I take this to mean that Justice Brennan is dissenting with how the Hick's rule applies to the lower courts. He thinks it "should" be different.

He says, "...Hicks does not prevent this Court [the Supreme Court] from disregarding its [own] summary dispositions, [but it does impose a] binding effect of such dispositions on state and lower federal courts..."

In other words, the Supreme Court has more leeway on how it handles its own summary dismissals than do the lower courts. He thinks the lower courts "should" be allowed similar leeway.

But instead of that, the real case is, "Where a state supreme court rejects a novel federal constitutional challenge, and simultaneously rejects a similar state law challenge, a dismissal for want of a substantial federal question will definitely resolve that issue of federal law for all courts in this country..."

The point, then, is that he views the lower courts as "bound by summary decisions by this Court" but he also thinks the lower courts "should" be allowed leeway similar what the Supreme Court itself has.

Since he is "dissenting" about the Hick's rule, it also means his opinion does not represent the court per se. And that's why he says, "....if the Court rejects my view that Hicks should be modified.." showing he did not know if the court would agree with him or not.

In sum, the Supreme Court can disregard the Hicks rule but the lower courts cannot.

396
bman over 7 years ago

"#394/Anonymous: Instead, research compares a set of children raised by heterosexual couples vs. a set of children raised by homosexual couples, and the result obtained indicates that the 2 set of children are equal in various developmental benchmarks."

It seems you answered your own "sweeping question" argument.

If scientific studies can be rightly used to compare for equality, as you say, it seems they could also be rightly used to compare for inequality.

Are there not studies that scientifically show children raised by single parents do not fare as well as children raised by married parents?

So why would it be "hardly unscientific" if a study compared the long term effects of children raised by two gay male parents to children raised by a mother and father?

Since you accept that science can show equality, you should allow that science can show inequality as well.

397
bman over 7 years ago

Correction: The line above should read:

So why would it be "hardly scientific" or unscientific if a study compared the long term effects of children raised by two gay male parents to children raised by a mother and father?

398
Glen over 7 years ago

I'm curious bman, since you seem quite concerned about it, WHAT sort of outcome would you, as a matter of your common sense, expect of the children raised by two gay male parents?

How do YOU think such children might be harmed or disadvantaged? (Other than the SEVERE disadvantage it puts your fundamentalist Christianity's capacity to demonize gay people to those kids).

If lesbian raised children do just as fine as, and in some studies better than, children raised by heterosexual parents, it would stand to reason that they would do just as well in gay male parented households. (Unless you're assuming the absence of a man is what makes Lesbian households sometimes better than straight ones - and therefore two men could only be worse).

And since we are talking about civil marriage here, would there be any advantage to those two gay male parents in raising children if they have a legally recognized marriage to one another?

Of course how well gay men raise children is a moot point to begin with, since civil marriage is NOT simply for or about raising children.

Though their parents being married IS a major advantage to children, marriage is also advantageous to the couple (gay or straight) and to our society. Encouraging two people who love each other to make that legal commitment to one another, and legally supporting and protecting that union, strengthens and betters those individuals (our citizens) and ultimately our society.

Now if you want to have a discussion on whether or not two gay males should be permitted to adopt children, then that would be best had in a separate forum.

However since you asked here's a GREAT article about two gay Arizona dads who've adopted TWELVE children! Much to your church's horror and the endless tears of Jesus: http://www.azcentral.com/news/azliving/articles/2011/05/02/20110502gay-dads-ham-family-12-adopted-kids.html (6 pages of pretty happy normal looking kids - bet you didn't expect Jesus's tears to be tears of happiness).

Seems to me, if God does exist, and he made some people gay, then THIS is exactly what he had in mind for them.

Whose work are you REALLY doing bman?

399
Anonymous over 7 years ago

"So why would it be "hardly unscientific" if a study compared the long term effects of children raised by two gay male parents to children raised by a mother and father?"

It wouldn't, but that's not what you were asking. The specific question you asked was "Which studies look at long term effects on children who have two gay male parents?" Therefore, you were not asking for a comparison between gay and straight parents, but seeking a "gay parents are bad" statement.

"Are there not studies that scientifically show children raised by single parents do not fare as well as children raised by married parents?"

Sure, but none of these studies advocates a blanket statement that "single parents are bad for kids". In fact, it is common for these studies to throw in the statement "most children not living with married, biological parents grow up without serious problems" so the research would not be interpreted as an indictment against single parenthood.

As a chemist/physicist, I do find such studies moot and rather meaningless if "most children not living with married, biological parents grow up without serious problems." A sociologist is free to disagree with me on my opinion.

Example review: http://www.clasp.org/admin/site/publications_states/files/0086.pdf

"Since you accept that science can show equality, you should allow that science can show inequality as well."

Certainly, except I'm not aware of any credible research showing that gay parents (male of female) are worse than straight parents. Neither did the court in Florida. An argument you made is that such study has not been done, that is fair, but you should know that a scientific research will not pass scrutiny if it overreaches and issues a blanket indictment against gay parenthood (as NARTH and other anti-gay groups often do).

400
Glen over 7 years ago

[Michael was living in a group home, one of 20 children in a five-bedroom house. When their caseworker sent Steven and Roger to meet the boy to decide whether to adopt him, Michael sat on the end of his bed and told them in a whisper that he got beat up by the other kids because he was the smallest.

"We didn't know anything about him, but we knew he deserved more," Steven says.

He and Roger explained that they were two dads instead of a mom and dad. Michael didn't care. He stood up, and said, "I'll go get my stuff." Michael moved in a week later. ]

Michael didn't care. Michael DIDN'T care that a couple of gay guys might want to adopt him.

But you know who DOES care Michael??

bman cares, and bman says "NO! You sit right back down Michael, because YOU are going nowhere, least of all with a couple of fags, I mean unrepentant sinners! I'd rather you rot in foster care JUST so long as you can one day maybe harbor my one and only TRUE religion's deep-seated animosity against homosexuality. Now I hope you understand that Michael, because God talked to me and he told me this is what needs to be done. You trust me, God's mouthpiece, to do what's best for you, right?"

Did I properly capture your dialog there bman? Please let us know. What parts of it might you change?

401
Peter over 7 years ago

bman, 395

The lower courts are, no doubt, bound by the rulings of the Supreme Court. A difficulty emerges, however, when the Court's precedent is unclear or if the Court in subsequent cases undermines the authority of a previous precedent such that there are now conflicting precedents. In this case, lower courts must weigh the value of the opposing precedents and decide which one is controlling.

Let us assume, for the sake of argument, that Baker has authority as precedent and that it binds the lower courts (though only in cases where the facts are substantially the same). Since opinions issued by the Supreme Court after a full hearing obviously are more authoritative than cases where the Court has simply dismissed a case without hearing or explanation, a strong case can be made that the court should go with the former.

On one side, you have cases like Loving v. Virginia, Boddie v. Connecticut, Zablocki v. Redhail, Moore v. East Cleveland, and Turner v. Safley, all of which elucidated important constitutional principles. On the other side you have Baker, which the court refused to hear. Given the lack of any explanation from the Court on the meaning of its dismissal, and the fact that no court has articulated a principle that explains the holdings in the above cases that would not also apply to gay couples, it is not persuasive to argue that the lower courts should likewise dismiss such without hearing, especially given the changes in law and facts since 1972.

In any case, I've argued since post 185 that ultimately the Supreme Court will need to settle this issue.

402
bman over 7 years ago

"#392/Peter: I said that "the courts have never provided a principle that explains the Court's prior holdings on marriage that does not also extend to gays and lesbians." You said I was wrong and cited Baker. I responded by asking you where in Baker the court identified such a principle. Instead of pointing to a principle, you provide what you admit is a conclusion, i.e. "there is no fundamental right to same sex marriage under the Constitution." But that is not what we were discussing."

There was some miscommunication on that it appears.

When you asked for the principle behind, "dismissed for want of substantial federal question" I replied the "principle" was that no Constitutional right to same sex marriage exists.

When you replied with LOL it seemed you were dismissing the obvious.

Anyway, I didn't quite get what you were saying until the post where I said, "Its OK if you question the "principle" behind the decision but that question is not first in line. First in line is what the Supreme Court ruling meant in Baker v. Nelson."

I said that as a preparatory statement that meant, "if we are not disputing what Bakers means then I am ready to discuss your question."

"Peter: You can still save some face by admitting that my original statement was correct."

Your statement says, "...the courts have never provided a principle that explains the Court's prior holdings on marriage that does not also extend to gays and lesbians."

The majority of courts would hold that prior rulings extend to "gays and lesbians" since they have the same right to marry that everyone else has, the right to marry a partner of the opposite sex.

What I think you should be asking is whether the courts have explained why they regard marriage as a fundamental right but not same sex marriage.

If you change your question I think we can find explanations given by the court on that.

403
bman over 7 years ago

"401/Peter: On one side, you have cases like Loving v. Virginia, Boddie v. Connecticut, Zablocki v. Redhail, Moore v. East Cleveland, and Turner v. Safley, all of which elucidated important constitutional principles."

Since you do not state specifically how those cases apply, I presume you mean marriage was shown to be a fundamental right in those cases.

If that is your argument, Baker was dated after Loving declared marriage a fundamental right. Thus, the argument from Loving was known to the Baker court.

The Minnesota case also addressed the Loving rationale in is ruling, which also means the Supreme Court had to visit Loving in its decision on the merits.

The other cases do not seem to affect Baker any more than Loving, and since it did not they would not.

404
bman over 7 years ago

#401/Anon: ...you were not asking for a comparison between gay and straight parents, but seeking a "gay parents are bad" statement."

Although I didn't specifically mention a comparison it did not mean I intended to exclude the idea.

Besides, my premise was that a scientific claim about gay male parenting being "equal" should not be based on "lesbian" research but on longitudinal gay male research.

The stuff you added regarding my premise was simply an unnecessary presumption on your part.

405
bman over 7 years ago

"#400/Glen: bman says..."

Your post reduces to false accusation.

If its not something I said, you shouldn't quote me as saying it.

406
Glen over 7 years ago

Really bman, what parts are wrong with your hypothetical conversation with Michael there?

Do you NOT consider openly gay people 'unrepentant sinners'? Does your god NOT tell you to abhor homosexuality? Do you NOT hope that all children will come to that same Biblical understanding that YOU have? Do you NOT think a gay couple should be forbidden from adopting? Do you NOT think it would be better for Michael to stick it out as many years as necessary in foster care in the hopes that a straight (preferably fundamentalist Christian) couple will adopt him and his siblings, and teach them how terrible and wrong homosexuality is?

Of COURSE you do (in my estimation). That's essentially what you've been arguing all along. I'm just wondering if now you will admit it. Or are you well aware of how it completely undermines your position? Funny how you can't talk about those timeless Biblical truths that should be obvious to everybody, lest rational, reasoned, thinking people blow you off as a kook.

You want to talk about 40 year old court cases when our society was MUCH less informed about gay people and homosexuality. Namely that it's been found to be a naturally occurring variation in human sexuality that is neither chosen nor changeable, nor inherently detrimental to individuals or society. And that gay people are JUST like everyone else in society in every possible way except for who they fall in love with and are physically attracted to, through no fault of their own.

The truth of the matter is the known facts HAVE substantially changed since Baker. Where before homosexuality was regarded as some chosen behavior or mental disorder, that is no longer what we understand to be true. And where Loving found that in matters of the human heart in regard to marriage and liberty there is a fundamental right to it, so too does that apply to gay couples.

By-the-way, I've LONG had my IP address blocked from posting in NOMs blog (for posting too many facts there), but I still read it. Someone there claimed gay people DO have the same right to marry someone of the opposite gender that straight people do, and that what they want is a SPECIAL right. Two points, it's NOT a special right if straight people are ALSO permitted to marry someone of the same-gender. It IS however a special right if only straight people EXCLUSIVELY can marry the person they have a deep intimate love for.

407
Peter over 7 years ago

bman, #402

"The majority of courts would hold that prior rulings extend to "gays and lesbians" since they have the same right to marry that everyone else has, the right to marry a partner of the opposite sex.

What I think you should be asking is whether the courts have explained why they regard marriage as a fundamental right but not same sex marriage."

I'm not sure where your confusion came from since it is obvious that no one challenges the ability of gays to enter into sham marriages by marrying someone of the opposite sex.

#403

"The Minnesota case also addressed the Loving rationale in is ruling, which also means the Supreme Court had to visit Loving in its decision on the merits.

The other cases do not seem to affect Baker any more than Loving, and since it did not they would not."

At the end of post 383, I showed that "the Minnesota Court was wrong when it says that interracial marriage bans were invalidated solely on the grounds of its patent racial discrimination. As the U.S. Supreme Court made crystal clear in Zablocki:

'The Court's opinion [in Loving] could have rested solely on the ground that the statutes discriminated on the basis of race in violation of the Equal Protection Clause. But the Court went on to hold that the laws arbitrarily deprived the couple of a fundamental liberty protected by the Due Process Clause, the freedom to marry...Although Loving arose in the context of racial discrimination, prior and subsequent decisions of this Court confirm that the right to marry is of fundamental importance for all individuals.'"

Also, as Justice Brennan made clear, when the Justices meet to decide whether or not to hear a case, their reviews are necessarily cursory in nature compared to those in which it grants full hearings.

Your assertion that the post-Baker cases Zablocki and Turner would not have affected the decision in Baker is, of course, speculative.

408
Chairman, The Tech over 7 years ago

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409
John Howard over 7 years ago

Thanks to the Tech for hosting this discussion.

I hope Ryan Normandin or another writer takes up my proposed Egg And Sperm Civil Union Compromise in another column, as no one here was able to successfully rebut it. In the end they claimed a right to attempt to make children from stem cells, and that is a very different thing from being allowed to visit each other in the hospital.

Incidentally, it seems the blog software has trouble with equations. I twice attempted to write the equation "B minus C equals A" using the symbols for "minus" and "equals" and it strips out the minus sign. I'll try it again here:

B - C A

B-CA (without spaces)

That refers to how Civil Unions should be defined:

Marriage minus Conception Rights Civil Unions

410
John Howard over 7 years ago

Ah yeah, see that? It strips out the equals sign (not the minus sign, doh). Probably a regular expression that needs tweaking. That goes to show how computers and technology are hard to get to work right. Even in 2011 we still see all those strange slashes and symbols when there should be a quotation mark or an equals sign. And they want to make babies this way! Sorry, we should stick with whatever magic goes on in a woman's body.

411
Peter over 7 years ago

So it doesn't look like bman was able to come up with a principle that would explain the Court's prior holdings on marriage that would not also protect the right of gay couples to marry.

No surprise there since no court has been able to come up with one either.

The difference, of course, between a court of law and an online forum such as this is that judges can't get away with saying, "I know it is right that the Constitution protects only heterosexual marriage, but I don't know why."

All of the other reasons offered, e.g. marriage is between a man and a woman

because marriage is between a man and a woman, gays can't marry because my god says so, and gay couples can't marry because they can't produce biological children together fail to withstand scrutiny.

Glen, Anonymous, DN: it's been a pleasure reading your thoughts and

analysis.

bman: I think deep down you know you've already lost this fight. The demographics make it inevitable, although I'd be surprised if the Supreme Court doesn't settle this within the next two or three years.

John, you are a strange, strange man living in your own universe. Numerous people have tried to explain to you why your idea is DOA. Instead of taking a step back and reflecting on why no one takes your "egg and sperm compromise" seriously, you simply double your efforts.

By the way, I think your next campaign for U.S. Senator would fare better if you were known for more than a bizarre obsession with sperm and eggs.

Well, I guess this is the end. Nothing left to do now except declare victory and head home.

Goodnight, everybody!

412
KYLE NORMANDIN over 7 years ago

all gay people should be banned from the united states because theyre all gay. lesbians and gays make me sick because its so messed up and youll fuck up the kids life if you have 2 moms or 2 dads and none of the other. Any of you who commented above me that supported gay marriage are all clinically insane by my standards.