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California gay marriages begin today

at 5 p.m. Pacific time (8 p.m. Eastern). You can watch live coverage from around the state at this TV station's website.

The first same-sex marriage legally performed in San Francisco, at 5:01 p.m. Pacific, will join Phyllis Lyon, 87, and Del Martin, 84. They have been together for 55 years.

Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Curt Fischer:
I remember when Massachusetts had their first ceremonies the law specified the date, but not the time, after which SSM was permitted. Civil servants volunteered on their own to come in at midnight to take the first applications for marriage licenses.

It was pretty cool standing around Cambridge city hall at midnight, watching the supporters, the protesters, and the crowds. A similar sort of thing happening at 5:01pm just sounds way less interesting for some reason.

I wonder why the difference in time?
6.16.2008 4:38pm
Elliot Reed (mail):
Why 5:01?
6.16.2008 4:43pm
Bart (mail):
Curt Fischer:

I wonder why the difference in time?

It was staged by the City of San Francisco of that Mayor Newsome could get on the 6 PM news broadcast with a handpicked couple in an attempt to convince California voters not to reverse the redefinition of marriage by four members of the California Supremes.
6.16.2008 4:45pm
JosephSlater (mail):
Congrats to the newlyweds indeed. Astonishingly, I didn't find that the Mass. gay marriages undermined my (hetero) one, and I'm guessing these won't either.
6.16.2008 4:48pm
Vanceone:
Well, I suppose good for them. What's next, forcing my religion to marry them too? And throwing me in jail for saying they are committing a sin? That's the next step for the forcible introduction of gay marriage, correct?
6.16.2008 4:51pm
Ex-Fed (mail) (www):
So, from what I understand from the cultural Right, this means that I only have until 5:01 until my marriage is so undermined that I have to get a divorce and go marry a toaster or my dead mother or a springer spaniel or six guys from San Francisco, right? Because that's totally inconvenient today. It's burrito night at home. Would it be okay if just for tonight I pretend that my own marriage stands on its own and is not dependent on society-wide cultural orthodoxy, and then marry the toaster tomorrow?
6.16.2008 4:53pm
jrww (mail):

Why 5:01?

I believe it has something to do with the Supreme Court ruling either becoming final today or stating that the clerks were ordered to start processing licenses after today.

I think that the SF clerks decided that 5 p.m. was the end of the business day for today and that anything after that was "tomorrow".

Something like that.
6.16.2008 4:54pm
dd (mail):
sick distortion of both law and society
we will rue the day we ruined the moral fabric of our society
as well as distorted the law to fit the agenda of the homosexual mov't
6.16.2008 4:58pm
Oren:
Congrats to the newlyweds indeed. Astonishingly, I didn't find that the Mass. gay marriages undermined my (hetero) one, and I'm guessing these won't either.
And MA still has the lowest divorce rate in the country. Perhaps the gays can teach us heteros something after all (surely 50% divorce rates aren't anything to be proud of).

Vanceone, the only thing 'forcible' about any of this is state recognition. I will defend fully your right to condemn anything as a sin and preach whatever nonsense you want in your church.
6.16.2008 4:58pm
wm13:
Interesting article in the NYT today. I think if people had been aware that gay marriage would be (a) relatively rare and (b) primarily a lesbian thing, they wouldn't have been so concerned. I think the fear of the subversive effects of gay marriage comes from the spectacle of weddings as flamboyant, campy gay male spectacles (like a number of the parades in NYC and SF). Lesbians aren't threatening to most people (though many heterosexual women find them distasteful), and they don't have enough cultural influence to subvert anything.

Admittedly gay marriage as a rare, lesbian thing undermines most of Dale Carpenter's arguments in its favor, but so be it.
6.16.2008 5:01pm
Adam K:

Well, I suppose good for them. What's next, forcing my religion to marry them too? And throwing me in jail for saying they are committing a sin? That's the next step for the forcible introduction of gay marriage, correct?


Yes, that is a logical and not at all hysterical extension of this development. It reminds me of how you can go to jail for being a racist, notwithstanding Brown v. Board of Education.
6.16.2008 5:04pm
Adam K:
Er, as a result of Brown v. Board of Education, not "notwithstanding."
6.16.2008 5:04pm
AF:
Bart: Your complaint about "the redefinition of marriage by four members of the California Supremes" would be more convincing if a gay marriage bill hadn't twice passed the California State legislature, only to be vetoed by the governor, who explicitly invited the state Supreme Court to decide the issue.
6.16.2008 5:05pm
Ex parte McCardle:
As I was musing at my desk trying to gin up a snappy apothegm back to Vanceone, Adam K rings the bell.

By the way, dd, love that "rue the day" language. Been watching a lot of Scooby Doo recently?

Good for Phyllis and Del.
6.16.2008 5:08pm
Whadonna More:

Vanceone:

What's next, forcing my religion to marry them too? And throwing me in jail for saying they are committing a sin? That's the next step for the forcible introduction of gay marriage, correct?

I'm hoping for government to get OUT of the religious marriage business altogether, in favor of a more British parallel system. Problem is I can't find any evangelicals who aren't fixated on the government enforcing their view of the world. Gotta go home and see I can top Ex-Fed's wifes burrito recipe.
6.16.2008 5:10pm
Vanceone:
Look, for those who mock people who don't want this extension of gay rights, this is my reason to oppose it.

1) The Slippery slope. While this blog rails against the slippery slope, I invite you to ponder what is happening in Canada with respect to religion and gay rights. Several priests are in trouble and being fined (and publically ordered to recant their faith like Boissoin) because they are stating that homosexuality is a sin. This is active government coercion and discrimination in favor of the gay rights movement. This is being mandated for social services the churches provide as well, most notably for adoption, where church adoption services are being shut down if they refuse to adopt out to gay parents. Look at the Boy Scouts who are actively being hounded out of the public sphere because they say that boys should be morally straight. Why do gays care about the boy scouts--in particular, why do they care enough to be attempting to sue them into oblivion and deny them government access? If it can be that saying you have to be straight is enough of a reason to not be allowed to rent property as the Boy Scouts are finding out, that sure as heck can and will be applied to me.

2) The entire premise of gay marriage is built on the notion that homosexuality is "natural" and built in. That there is a "gay gene" or such. This strikes directly at the heart of the difference between men and animals: the ability to control your behavior. For if the gay rights militants are correct, then men are nothing more than animals and unable to control their actions. This has profound implications and is a radical philosophy. Not to mention legalizing the "if it feels good, do it." By legalizing gay marriage, we admit that there is no such thing as morality--only "lifestyle choices." And one lifestyle choice is no different than another.

3) From another point of view, the United States was founded on a moral basis--it is "under God." For those who do believe in the Bible, the lesson of Sodom and Gomorrah are clear: tolerating and encouraging immorality only leads to national destruction. I certainly don't want to meet my maker and have Him ask me "why did you not stand up and fight for a moral lifestyle? Why did you permit wickedness to flourish?" In short, this nation rests on the blessings of God, and deciding to destroy the institutions of morality and marriage will certainly lead to less of His blessings.

Now, lots will say that I'm a bigot. They should know, since the most bigoted people around tend to be those who are most permissive. Just so I'm clear, I am also in favor of repealing no fault divorce, and I decry the fundamental problem people have of "what's in it for me" that now pervades most relationships. Easy divorce is a cancer as well, just as much as gay marriage. But I can say all I want about the need for less divorce without being called a bigot.

So to answer the question "what does it matter if two gay people get married to you--you are happily married and it doesn't affect you"--my question is, where will this stop? Until it is illegal to say that homosexuality is a sin, like it is illegal in Canada now? Will I be reported when some friend of my children reports me to the gay tolerance police because I don't have a rainbow on my car? The gay agenda is to in the end criminalize Christianity--THAT is what we are fighting against, since everywhere homosexual agenda's have triumphed have seen the concurrent decline of Christian protections and some beginnings of persecutions of Christians. Ask Stephan Boissoin or Father de Vada from Canada, or those guys who were investigated and fined for quoting Bible verses. That is what this decision will lead to--as has been demonstrated in other countries. It may seem ridiculous now, but it seems ridiculous that people have to pay fines for quoting the Bible--but it happens in our "free" neighbor to the north. Or just try being a conservative at Berkeley, too.
6.16.2008 5:13pm
Bart (mail):
AF:

Bart: Your complaint about "the redefinition of marriage by four members of the California Supremes" would be more convincing if a gay marriage bill hadn't twice passed the California State legislature, only to be vetoed by the governor, who explicitly invited the state Supreme Court to decide the issue.

The People of California spoke on this issue just a few years ago. Apparently, some of their legislators and four on their Supreme Court were not listening. The People will speak again in November.

Gavin Newsome knows the probable result of that vote, thus the start of the propaganda campaign this afternoon in attempt to change that probable result.

If they allowed the People of the Bay State to vote to reverse the decree of their Four Supremes. This becomes a non issue.
6.16.2008 5:16pm
John425:
"legal", but still disgusting!
6.16.2008 5:16pm
PeterPumpkinhead:
Any kind of love is all all right.
6.16.2008 5:19pm
Randy R. (mail):
vanc:" The gay agenda is to in the end criminalize Christianity--THAT is what we are fighting against, since everywhere homosexual agenda's have triumphed have seen the concurrent decline of Christian protections and some beginnings of persecutions of Christians."

Well, seeing how it is the Chrisitianist Agenda to criminize homosexuality and fight against it where ever they see it, as well asw persecute gays (as they have for a long time) I guess what's good for the goose is good for the goose. So to speak.
6.16.2008 5:20pm
CDR D (mail):
>>>Perhaps the gays can teach us heteros something after all (surely 50% divorce rates aren't anything to be proud of).



<<<


Excuse me, but while it seems to be some kind of conventional wisdom that half of all marriages end in divorce (isn't that what the 50% figure is supposed to say?), aren't the marriages being being counted during a given year being compared to the divorces of that year which came from marriages which took place over many decades?

Similarly, if deaths occuring during a given year happen to number 50% of the births that year, can we correctly conclude that half the population died?

Help me out here.
6.16.2008 5:21pm
Vanceone:
Yes Randy, I'm well aware you want to use the force of the State to imprison and kill all Christians. It's people like you who I'm worried about. I've never called to kill anyone, nor to imprison people. But you want to throw me in jail because I say that there is a right and a wrong.

You also agree there is a right and a wrong--but in your case, it is the opposite of mine. For me, a man should leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife and they should be one flesh. They should raise a family and teach them that their actions can be good and bad.

For you, you say that people should only "do what feels good" and those who don't bow at the alter of the rainbow should be thrown into jail. Immorality at the point of a gun.
6.16.2008 5:24pm
Ex-Fed (mail) (www):
I invite you to ponder what is happening in Canada with respect to religion and gay rights. Several priests are in trouble and being fined (and publically ordered to recant their faith like Boissoin) because they are stating that homosexuality is a sin. This is active government coercion and discrimination in favor of the gay rights movement.


It's wildly inaccurate to attribute Canada's contemptible abandonment of free expression to the gay rights movement. Canada's inquisitors have been pursuing "hate speech" based on race and religion with at least equal fervor. Canada has sold its birthright, but this is not the particular mess of potage for which it has done so.


Look at the Boy Scouts who are actively being hounded out of the public sphere because they say that boys should be morally straight


If by "hounded" you mean "no longer allowed to freeload on my tax dollars in rent-free or rent-subsidized facilities," I'd agree with you. So? Wake me when they are being denied equal access to facilities.

This is being mandated for social services the churches provide as well, most notably for adoption, where church adoption services are being shut down if they refuse to adopt out to gay parents.


Well, sort of. Or more precisely, no. They're not being shut down. They are simply not being allowed to play both sides of the street. That is, if they want state contracts or to be treated like charitable organizations providing public accommodations, they are being held to the same standard everyone else is.

By legalizing gay marriage, we admit that there is no such thing as morality--only "lifestyle choices."


No. We admit that this is not a theocracy and I am not bound by your personal moral code any more than you are bound by mine.
6.16.2008 5:24pm
Zed:
CRD D, if the death rate is half the birth rate, we can correctly conclude that at least half of all births will eventually end in deaths. Similarly, if the divorce rate is half the marriage rate, we can guess that roughly half of all marriages eventually end in divorce. Nobody is saying that half of all existing current marriages have already divorced.

There is one small difference though, which is that there is no alternative to death and so the historical eventual death rate has been fairly close to 100%.
6.16.2008 5:27pm
Vanceone:
CDR D: The statistic just means that if you get married, it's about 50 50 whether you will still be married when you die to that person. This is an appalling statistic, worthy of great dismay.

Unfortunately, when a religious figure explains how to strengthen a marriage or decry this result, no one hears about it. It's only when they go on about homosexuality that they become bigots, bla bla bla. Adultery is also a choice; are religious figures bigots because we say adultery is a sin? I also say fornication is a sin--I'm bigoted against teenagers and unmarried folk!

In actuality, I hold one standard: chastity before marriage and total fidelity after marriage. Gay "marriage", sleeping around, adultery--all are bad. Homosexuality is addictive however, and apologists for it are saying it's totally ok. I don't condone sexual addictions at all. This is the one that happens to have the biggest lobby behind it, and the one that seeks to punish those who oppose it.
6.16.2008 5:29pm
AngelSong (mail):

For those who do believe in the Bible, the lesson of Sodom and Gomorrah are clear: tolerating and encouraging immorality only leads to national destruction.

Apparently not so clear, since you completely missed the point. The lesson in Sodom and Gomorrah is not about sexuality, but rather about greed, idolatry, and especially inhospitality. What makes the scene at Lot's house so horrible and shocking is that these visitors from out of town not only do not receive the appropriate welcome and care, but are subject to threats against their very lives. All told, the lesson of Sodom and Gomorrah is actually about people who are intolerant of and hostile toward outsiders, those who are different.


The gay agenda is to in the end criminalize Christianity

Ridiculous, there are plenty of gay people who are Christians.
6.16.2008 5:29pm
Rogi (mail):
Very nicely and concisely said, Ex-Fed. As for you Vanceone, hyperbole, false dichotomy's and self-victimization will get you nowhere in a structured debate on public policy.
6.16.2008 5:32pm
HoyaSaxa (mail):
Bart: Exactly right. When 60% or so of CA voters expressly defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman in 2000, that is the true expression of the electorate's position on the issue. A proposed law passing the legislature, but not being enacted as law, is not the same thing -- regardless of the Governor's motives in vetoing the bill. One way or the other, this November's vote will tell the story. Until then, the 4 Supremes' egregious display of judicial activism is just that, in my opinion.

Now I ask this question in all seriousness, and I would appreciate any answers from people on the pro-gay-marriage side that are serious and focus on the law: Why are we on the other side wrong (legally speaking) to be worried about the slippery slope of gay marriage? What legal and/or policy arguments made by proponents of gay marriage could not apply with similar force to arguments in favor of consensual adult incest or consensual adult polygamy?
6.16.2008 5:33pm
Rogi (mail):
But if it's of any consolation, some of the extreme left (especially in CA from what I hear) is often guilty of same logical fallacies in promoting their agenda.
6.16.2008 5:36pm
Zed:
Legal question: say that the legislature or a referendum invalidates gay marriages in November, and say that the new law states that it will apply retroactively to invalidate previously allowed gay marriages. Is this invalidation of a legal marriage allowed? Is this a taking of a vested property right? A violation of due process?

Just wondering.
6.16.2008 5:37pm
Vanceone:
Ex-Fed, I agree that it's not only gay activists who have taken advantage of the new Canadian Inquisition. But it still fits a pattern of active anti-Christian discrimination, regardless of the source. Gay activists and Islamic fundamentalists are both teaming up--why?

As for the Boy Scouts being denied access to facilities, I believe that has happened several places. The test is now: "We cannot permit any discriminatory organization to use this, unless you discriminate against Christians or Americans or Republicans.

You are misreading the adoption issue too. Remember the Catholic adoption service in Massachuessets? They were told they either had to adopt out to gays or they could not do adoptions at all--regardless of "state contracts." In reality, adoption agencies MUST be licensed by the state--you will be shut down if you run an unlicensed adoption agency. And the state will not give you a license if you "discriminate." Ergo, no more Christian adoption agencies, unless they compromise their standards.

This isn't a theocracy, but you are saying that the idea of marriage being one man, one woman is an exclusively theological view? That there is no empirical evidence it's bad? Homosexual behavior is inherently risky, and is unhealthy. You didn't discuss the profound implication that the gay activists have declared that we have no free will--our genes control our behavior. This has consequences in all sorts of areas of the law, including criminal law. If "my genes made me do it" then society pretty much collapses. I can oppose gay marriage just on those grounds alone without enforcing my theological view.
6.16.2008 5:40pm
Randy R. (mail):
vance: "Yes Randy, I'm well aware you want to use the force of the State to imprison and kill all Christians"

Really? I said that? Where?

Oh, I get it.
1. I am gay,
2. Some Christianists believe that all gays want to kill Christians, therefore,
3. I want to kill Christians.

With logic like that, you should be able to rule the world!
6.16.2008 5:45pm
HoyaSaxa:
Zed:

Since the CA Supremes found a constitutional right to gay marriage, neither an act of the legislature nor an initiave could affect the right of gays to marry.

You may be thinking about a future constitutional amendment. You likely know that one is on the ballot this November. It will be a VERY interesting and hotly debated question as to whether that amendment, if passed, nullifies any gay marriages that occur from today to whenever the amendment becomes law.
6.16.2008 5:45pm
Anonymous Law Student:
Talking about a slippery slope is an attempt, imho, to mask bigotry by attempting to say "Well, SSM might be ok, but we hate everything that comes after it!" - when you really dislike SSM in the first place.

Further, since you're the one advocating some sort of slippery slope, I think the burden is on you to explain the connection between SSM and incest/polygamy/bestiality. Until you do so, I don't know what to argue against.
6.16.2008 5:46pm
wm13:
Hoya Saxa, this sort of analysis makes Prof. Volokh unhappy, but the plain fact is, the courts do not make decisions according to some set of logical principles; they implement the policy preferences of the social class from which judges are drawn. These policy preferences are the same ones expressed in the salons of Park Avenue or Georgetown or Pacific Heights (thus a little to the right of the policy preferences expressed in the typical faculty lounge). No one at the average Park Avenue cocktail party is in favor of legalizing polygamy, so there is no danger that the courts will do that. Conversely, if sentiment among the cosmopolitan American elite shifts to favor legalizing polygamy, then the courts will implement that new preference.
6.16.2008 5:49pm
Vanceone:
For Anonymous law Student:

Here you go. SSM is, roughly, justified on the grounds that 1) the participants love each other and 2) homosexuality is normal, thus 3) Why not let them get married?

Incest has the same reasoning. With today's technology, you can prevent children (or have an abortion), so the traditional prohibition against incest--genetically damaged children--is inapplicable. Incestual couples can adopt children if they so choose, just as SSM couples either have to adopt or in the case of lesbians find a donor for fertilization. What's the difference between incest and SSM reasoning? Indeed, over on PrafsBlawg not too long ago they were making the exact same arguments: that incest should be allowed. Roughly, all laws regulating marriage and relationships should be destroyed, from what I remember reading.

For Bestiality, the same reasoning is somewhat applicable. While it's hard to claim the animal loves you, recall the current push to grant animals legal person status--in which case, the exact same reasoning applies. And bestiality is legal in the Netherlands, I believe--another bastion of gay activism.

Polygamy has the same reasoning: we love each other, so let's get married! Plus, this one actually has a historically acceptable pedigree!

The standard objections to these forms of relationships involve abuse or undue influence; though as I recall many homosexual relationships could be characterized as the same. I really see no reason why if two men should be able to get married I can't go marry my sister. Or, why not marry my brother for that matter and just do a same sex thing? What possible reasons are there to oppose that? If you support gay marriage, that is? We love each other after all....
6.16.2008 5:57pm
HoyaSaxa:
Anonymous:

Really? That's your response? First of all, the motives or hidden beliefs of someone asking for a law-based explanation of a legal question shouldn't matter, should it? I mean, deciding whether there is a LEGAL right to something shouldn't be affected by how the person asking the question wishes it would be answered if he were the decisionmaker. Regardless, to be clear, I am against a right to gay marriage for policy reasons, but I also feel that there is no constitutional right to gay marriage under either the CA or federal constitution.

To restate my question: Many on the pro-gay-marriage side argue, kind of like Kennedy did in Lawrence, that there is a constitutional right for consenting adults to decide who they love, who they marry, and who they want to have sex with. It seems like the CA Supremes are saying that the privacy clause of the state const. guarantees a right to marry, and that gay couples are no different than interracial couples -- being gay is something you're born with.

Gay organizations all the time promote the idea that certain people are wired to love persons of the same sex or of both sexes (bisexual). So, to the bisexual (who many would argue was born that way), what LEGAL justification is there to say that he/she should be precluded from marrying both the man and the woman he/she is deeply in love with? And what LEGAL reason would there be to preclude two adult brothers or sisters from marrying?

(I've never extended the slippery slope to besteality). A serious reply to these questions would be appreciated.
6.16.2008 5:59pm
Syd:
Vanceone:
Well, I suppose good for them. What's next, forcing my religion to marry them too? And throwing me in jail for saying they are committing a sin? That's the next step for the forcible introduction of gay marriage, correct?


What's next is that people come onto the Volokh Conspiracy and fill it with hysterical bullshit.
6.16.2008 6:03pm
HoyaSaxa:
wm13: I believe your belief in legal realism is not far from the truth. I've generally believed in some modified form of legal realism for an explanation of the judiciary's actions (at least most judges). That is, on non-controversial statutory questions (tax or ERISA law?), I think most judges usually try to interpret the statute fairly. But on constitutional questions, especially those that are politically charged, I think that judges often have a predetermined outcome (whether they admit it to themselves or not), and they can come up with any argument or legal precedent to support the policy outcome they are in agreement with.
6.16.2008 6:03pm
HoyaSaxa:
Syd: A more law-based response, please?
6.16.2008 6:05pm
Ex-Fed (mail) (www):
Gay activists and Islamic fundamentalists are both teaming up--why?


Cite? I assume you mean that both Islamists and gays are taking advantage of Canada's unprincipled HRC system. That doesn't mean they are "teaming up", any more than everyone who uses and abuses America's legal system is "teaming up."

As for the Boy Scouts being denied access to facilities, I believe that has happened several places.


Cite? Because the instances I have seen have involved cities deciding they don't want to give the scouts rent-free or nearly rent-free facilities any more. I don't know why taxpayers should pay for that in the first place, and I certainly don't see why the city shouldn't be able to say it doesn't want to give handouts to organizations that discriminate. Would it be your position that if I have a soup kitchen, but I won't serve Christians because I don't like them, that it would be invidious discrimination if my city refused to give me rent-free facilities?

Remember the Catholic adoption service in Massachuessets? They were told they either had to adopt out to gays or they could not do adoptions at all--regardless of "state contracts." In reality, adoption agencies MUST be licensed by the state--you will be shut down if you run an unlicensed adoption agency. And the state will not give you a license if you "discriminate." Ergo, no more Christian adoption agencies, unless they compromise their standards.



Yes -- the church is being held to the same standard as any other entity that wants a license to perform a public function. The church abandoned its program -- which focused on very hard-to-place disabled kids, and which had quietly placed 13 such kids with same-sex couples until someone chose to make an issue of it. But no doubt any kids still in foster care will be comforted knowing that they are helping enforce cultural orthodoxy.

This isn't a theocracy, but you are saying that the idea of marriage being one man, one woman is an exclusively theological view? That there is no empirical evidence it's bad? Homosexual behavior is inherently risky, and is unhealthy. You didn't discuss the profound implication that the gay activists have declared that we have no free will--our genes control our behavior. This has consequences in all sorts of areas of the law, including criminal law. If "my genes made me do it" then society pretty much collapses. I can oppose gay marriage just on those grounds alone without enforcing my theological view.



But you would like it to be a theocracy. You want your religious views -- not just about gay sex, but about divorce and premarital sex -- to be imposed upon everyone by the force of the state. And you are, apparently, arguing that it is necessary that the government enforce your vision of religious orthodoxy in order to protect the idea of free will, which I find extremely funny.
6.16.2008 6:06pm
Sarcastro (www):
I rue the day that we turned our sights from the morality of the 1950s. I also rue the current ending of our civilization at 5:05pm PT. Even writing this missive is kind of a hassle, though I don't know that I rued it per se.

Gay people don't deserve the holy sylables of "Marriage." Now we will have to work extra hard to get the word marriage ungay after all the gaying that will occur.

P.S. I just rued again.
6.16.2008 6:06pm
Curious Passerby (mail):
Just because people are born gay doesn't mean it is normal. Normal is creating the next generation, not being a biological dead end.

People are born blind and without legs. Obviously they are born deformed. We try to help them live as normally as possible.

Gays are also born deformed but we let them pretend to be normal. So as not to hurt their feelings. Soon we will be put in jail for hurting their feelings. Kumbaya!
6.16.2008 6:07pm
HoyaSaxa:
I guess what I'm asking for from the many bright legal minds that post on this site is this: If you are given two or three paragraphs to present your best legal argument why the predominant arguments in favor of a constitutional right to same-sex marriage CANNOT be similarly used in favor of a bisexual marrying a man and a woman, or two adult sisters marrying one another, what would your response be?
6.16.2008 6:08pm
Sarcastro (www):
Gender is exactly the same as number! Equal protection means you MUST view 2 people the same as one people! Elevators are doomed, as are fire codes!

What's next, marrying dogs?
6.16.2008 6:16pm
Randy R. (mail):
"Just because people are born gay doesn't mean it is normal."

it's interesting. I've been doing a little research on Kinsey, and part of what he was trying to find out is what is 'normal' sexual practice. Turns out that very few people actually get sexual stimulation only within monogamous marriage. Many more get their sexual release from masturbation (a sin, BTW, in some religions), before marriage, outside of marriage (adultery) and from homosexual relations, even if they aren't gay. The fact is, there is almost no definition of what is 'normal' sexual practice. And Kinsey's research was done in the 30, 40, and 50s, the supposed perfect time of morality!

However, that doesn't stop many people, including the religious righteous, from demanding that people fit into their small boxes of what is normal. People have been disregarding conventional morality since the dawn of time, and someone how civilization marches on. Amazing, isn't it?
6.16.2008 6:18pm
Randy R. (mail):
"What's next, marrying dogs?"

Thank you, Sarcastro and VAnceone. When you have nothing left to argue except baseless fear, it means you have nothing left to argue.
6.16.2008 6:19pm
Ex-Fed (mail) (www):
Normal is creating the next generation, not being a biological dead end.



Are we going to run out of people? (Other than, perhaps, "pure" white people, I mean -- I'm well aware of the sky-is-falling affluent-whites-are-not-reproducing-at-replacement-levels concerns.)

Are we governed, with respect to ordering our society, by the need to reproduce? I'm getting double-teamed here. One person seems to be telling me I'm terrible for suggesting biological determinism, another is saying I'm ignoring it.

People are born blind and without legs. Obviously they are born deformed. We try to help them live as normally as possible.



Is that normal? Does it happen in a "state of nature"? Or does it represent that we are governed by something other than reproductive imperatives?
6.16.2008 6:22pm
Vanceone:
Ex-Fed: under your interpretation of the Boy Scout cases, all those churches who receive tax breaks but still 'discriminate' should have those breaks revoked--after all, that's promoting 'discrimination!'

So there you go: do you believe churches should be allowed tax breaks if they take the stance that gay marriage is a sin?

If you say no, you are consistent with your views on the boy scouts. And I am also correct in fighting this, because if I lose my tax breaks because I'm not "ideologically pure" then I am darn well affected by Same sex marriage.

If you say that churches should continue to have their tax breaks, then why can't the boy scouts keep THEIR privilege's that have been around for a long time as well? After all, the Boy Scouts provide many benefits to society, but for the gay right activist, it is more important to be doctrinally pure and worship the rainbow than teach stuff like self-reliance and camping and life skills like the Boy Scouts do.

With your answer on the adoption issue, you are once again holding up an ideological litmus test: no matter what good a church or any other organization does, unless they worship the almighty gay rights, they must not be permitted to do good at all.

What you are saying is that you wish the church would have changed their doctrine to accommodate the gay activists in order to still do what they've done for millenia. If they can't do adoptions, what about other forms of charity? No? Are you seriously in favor of preventing all forms of charity because it doesn't meet the gay activist purity test? That's what is going on here. Gay activists are saying their behavior and tolerating it is of more importance than charity from churches and other organizations alike.

I ask you this: should the next time a hurricane comes, should the Mormon church be barred from helping out victims because they don't ordain gay priests? What's more important to you? The gay activists will say the gay rights are more important.

I find it vastly amusing that YOU think the views "adultery is bad and marriage should be promoted" is a theological view that has no impact on society. It's one that you don't agree with. Ergo, you believe marriage is evil, which begs the question why do you want SSM anyway, if it is such an evil institution?

Those views are part of good civics, not just pointless religious drabble. Strong families is not a religious view, though you disagree. They are the foundation of a strong society.
6.16.2008 6:24pm
Sarcastro (www):
See, if it isn't what Darwin would want, it isn't natural!

Just like altruism and lemmings!
6.16.2008 6:25pm
Randy R. (mail):
Curious passerby :"People are born blind and without legs. Obviously they are born deformed. We try to help them live as normally as possible. "

not exactly. What we do is TREAT them equally under the law as everyone else. And so although blind people and amputees are entitled to get married as much as everyone else. Or are you suggesting that abnormal people, like the blind and the paralyzed, shouldn't have the same rights as everyone else?

The fact is that in a country of 300 million people where each one is in individual, there is no 'normal.' Our laws make no attempt to define normal, and even if they did, these few so-called normal people would not enjoy any special rights against the abnormals. This is what makes our country great, and it separates us from countries run by the Taliban.

People such as Vanceon seek to oppress an entire group that they dislike. That's very unAmerican. Why shun the talents of gay people? Or blacks? Or the disabled? Or the non-Christian? Each person is a person of value, and nothing should hold them back from contributing to society. We all have a right to achieve the max of our potential. If a gay man discovers a cure for cancer, how is that bad? To some perhaps it is, but they belong somewhere else.
6.16.2008 6:26pm
Vanceone:
Randy R. I suggest you look at Kinsey a bit more carefully. The man was a pervert of the first class, and his research has been discredited in most particulars, especially since the guy actively had an objective to destroy morality.

It's like going to Stalin for the truth about America, or going to Obama for the truth about Rezko. As for civilization moving on, take a gander at Rome.
6.16.2008 6:27pm
Vanceone:
Randy R. : You aren't seriously arguing that the cure for cancer will depend on Same Sex Marriage are you? That just because a gay man gets to go home to Billy and everyone say he is encouraged and morally right in so doing means he will discover Cancer, while if he doesn't have state approval and mandated forcing of all Christians to be thrown in jail if they oppose it (like you apparently want) the cure for cancer will languish?
6.16.2008 6:29pm
Rogi (mail):
Or like going to Vanceone for truth about same-sex marriage.
6.16.2008 6:36pm
martinned (mail) (www):
@HoyaSaxa: The problem with this kind of slippery slope argument is that it doesn't explain how one step causes the next. While I ordinarily wouldn't dare to compare discrimination against gays with discrimination against blacks, maybe in this case it would be illuminating to consider Loving as one step further back in your alleged causal chain. How did the ruling in Loving cause this California ruling? The structure of the argument is the same, to be sure, and similar constitutional provisions are cited, but they are each based on some degree of balancing. (Rational basis, strict scrutiny, something inbetween. The exact standard is not important for my point.)

In each case, Loving, this California case, and each of the hypothetical future cases you posit, the court will examine the state's rationale for outlawing something. This analysis is inevitably connected to the standards of the time, so there's no telling what a future court may or may not consider an adequate rationale, but that's not what you're claiming, because that's not a causal link between one step on the slippery slope and the next.

At each step, someone has to explain what the point is. For example (and very briefly):
- Interracial marriage: No argument except racism.
- SSM: COULD SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN???
- "Two adult sisters": Not encouraging incest.
- "plural marriage": Concerns about voluntariness, and a whole heap of other issues which have been discussed in past threads.

What constitutes an adequate explanation depends on the standard of review that is applied, and on the opinions, standards and prejudices of society at the time. But there is no explanation in your argument why the decision on one issue has a causal effect on the decision on another.
6.16.2008 6:37pm
Sarcastro (www):
I nominate Vanceone for morality Czar! His dismissing Kinsey and all who agree with him as a 'pervo' was devistating! How can one argue with such a bare assertion?

Only Vanceone can tell me what is perverted and what is okay.

His grammar and clarity are just icing on the cake.
6.16.2008 6:38pm
Randy R. (mail):
Vanceone: "So there you go: do you believe churches should be allowed tax breaks if they take the stance that gay marriage is a sin?

Churches have the right of the first amendment to do or say as they wish. They get tax breaks because they are religions.

The Boy Scouts have the right of the first amenement to do or say as they wish. They get tax breaks because they are a nonprofit association.

However, the Boy Scouts are not a religion. As such, they are required to play by the same rules as any other non profit association. If a local ordinance states that no organization may discriminate against gays, then that applies to the Boy Scouts.

now the Boy Scouts can still discrminate against gays, and I would support that. But they cannot continue to receive any subsidies from the state of local jurisdiction. With regards to churches, every local ordinance I've seen exempts religious institutions from sexual orientation discrimination. So, in efffect, churches has a special right to discrinate against gays that other nonprofits don't have. I am fine with that.

"With your answer on the adoption issue, you are once again holding up an ideological litmus test: no matter what good a church or any other organization does, unless they worship the almighty gay rights, they must not be permitted to do good at all."

Nope, you've got it all wrong. The Cathlic Church in Boston has a adoption program. For several years, they had no problem placing children in homes for gays, straights, and single parents. In addition, the Church received several tax breaks and subsidies to continue it's valuable practice. Now, as you can imagine, all adoption agencies must adhere to stringent state laws in how they handle adoptions -- we can't just have any old company setting up shop unregulated.

The church suddenly decided it can't place adoptions in gay households. Fine. The state then stated that if you violate state law, then you can't get any more tax breaks or subsidies from the states. The church said fine, then we won't allow any adoptions at all.

So: The church could have chosen to continue to provide adoptions, but it would have to give up state tax breaks and subsidies. It chose to get out all together. That is a choice they made, and no one forced them into it, least of 'gay activists'

Now, suppose I started up an adoption agency, and I get state tax breaks and subsitdies, but I choose not to place any child in a Christian home. You would agree that I either must play by the same rules as everyone else, or choose another occupation, wouldn't you?

"should the next time a hurricane comes, should the Mormon church be barred from helping out victims because they don't ordain gay priests? No. It is irrelevant. The Mormoms should help out victims of a hurricane. Can you give an example of where they couldn't , or is this just a hypo?

"What's more important to you? The gay activists will say the gay rights are more important" I know of no gay activist who would say that. But if you can find a cite, please give one.
6.16.2008 6:38pm
AngelSong (mail):
Vance, you still seem to be laboring under the delusion that your interpretations of the Bible and for that matter of Christianity are shared by all Christians. They are not. In fact, there are plenty of gay Christians who have no interest in criminalizing Christianity.
6.16.2008 6:41pm
Randy R. (mail):
Vanceon: "andy R. : You aren't seriously arguing that the cure for cancer will depend on Same Sex Marriage are you?

My, you have a singular ability to twist what is really said, don't you?

I am arguing that if a gay man discovers the cure for cancer, would that be a bad thing? Would you deny treatment to cancer patients because it was invented by a gay man? If so, you really have gone over to the dark side!

(apologies to Sacrastro)
6.16.2008 6:41pm
Randy R. (mail):
Vaceone: " mandated forcing of all Christians to be thrown in jail if they oppose it (like you apparently want)"

In case it wasn't clear, I do not want to throw any Christians in jail, whatever their beliefs on gays is.

Do you, however, want to throw all gay people in jail?
6.16.2008 6:44pm
whit:

CDR D: The statistic just means that if you get married, it's about 50 50 whether you will still be married when you die to that person. This is an appalling statistic, worthy of great dismay.




this statistic is very misunderstood. the reality, which has been extensively commented on is that there are many people who are "serial divorcers" so to speak. the outliers need to be taken into account.

if one is getting married for the first time, for example, to another who is getting married for the first time and neither has any kids (which would necessarily be oowedlock), the chance of the marriage ending in divorce is about 35% iirc.

iow, it has about 65% chance of success.

otoh, there are tons of people with 2,3, 4 and more divorces. when those people get married, the chance it will end up in divorce is MUCH higher than 50%.

people who cohabitate beforehand are also much higher than those who don't, etc.

so, if you are joe blow, marrying sally blow, you haven't cohabitated, and this is your first marriage(s), the 50% stat is very misleading. your chances are MUCH better than 50%
6.16.2008 6:44pm
Ex-Fed (mail) (www):
Ex-Fed: under your interpretation of the Boy Scout cases, all those churches who receive tax breaks but still 'discriminate' should have those breaks revoked--after all, that's promoting 'discrimination!'

So there you go: do you believe churches should be allowed tax breaks if they take the stance that gay marriage is a sin?

If you say no, you are consistent with your views on the boy scouts. And I am also correct in fighting this, because if I lose my tax breaks because I'm not "ideologically pure" then I am darn well affected by Same sex marriage.

If you say that churches should continue to have their tax breaks, then why can't the boy scouts keep THEIR privilege's that have been around for a long time as well? After all, the Boy Scouts provide many benefits to society, but for the gay right activist, it is more important to be doctrinally pure and worship the rainbow than teach stuff like self-reliance and camping and life skills like the Boy Scouts do.



Tax breaks are a policy decision by the state. Churches have no constitutional right to them. I support tax breaks for churches -- at least under the current tax scheme. I wouldn't support revoking tax breaks for simple disfavored advocacy or preaching because, among other reasons, that would require excessive government entanglement in religion.

However, the government handing out free facilities to preferred charities on a case-by-case basis is not rationally comparable to tax breaks offered in a content-neutral fashion to all churches equally. The scouts in the article I linked were getting special treatment, a handout. The city wasn't obligated to give it to anyone, let alone them, and was well within its rights to decide that it only wanted to give it to groups that did not discriminate.

I notice you evaded my hypothetical. I'll ask it again: if I run a soup kitchen that excludes Christians, is it invidious discrimination or government interference if the city refuses to give me the facilities for free?

With your answer on the adoption issue, you are once again holding up an ideological litmus test: no matter what good a church or any other organization does, unless they worship the almighty gay rights, they must not be permitted to do good at all.

What you are saying is that you wish the church would have changed their doctrine to accommodate the gay activists in order to still do what they've done for millenia. If they can't do adoptions, what about other forms of charity? No? Are you seriously in favor of preventing all forms of charity because it doesn't meet the gay activist purity test? That's what is going on here. Gay activists are saying their behavior and tolerating it is of more importance than charity from churches and other organizations alike.



That's ridiculous and strawmanish. The church was not barred from raising money for the poor or doing other sorts of charity. The church wanted a license to care for children in a manner that is regulated no matter who performs it. But the church wanted special treatment, and wanted to be free of the rules that apply to everyone else. It's as if the church wanted to run a charitable restaurant but didn't want to abide by basic hygiene and health and safety rules for food storage because its doctrine prohibited it. The notion that the church can do "no good at all" is fatuous. If the church wanted to start doing charitable heart surgery tomorrow, and said that state regulations limiting surgery to actual doctors violated its beliefs, would you say that the state was saying the church could "do no good at all?" Utterly ridiculous.

I ask you this: should the next time a hurricane comes, should the Mormon church be barred from helping out victims because they don't ordain gay priests? What's more important to you? The gay activists will say the gay rights are more important.



It's a preposterous example. The state is not barring "helping out" in general. The state is not barring charity. The state is enforcing a rule of neutral applicability for everyone who wants to perform a particular public function. And please find a cite for the proposition that gay activists argue that a church that discriminates may not engage in any charitable activities. A cite.

I find it vastly amusing that YOU think the views "adultery is bad and marriage should be promoted" is a theological view that has no impact on society. It's one that you don't agree with. Ergo, you believe marriage is evil, which begs the question why do you want SSM anyway, if it is such an evil institution?


That is perhaps the most laughable attempt at a chain of logic I have ever read.
6.16.2008 6:45pm
HoyaSaxa:
Martinned: I'm really trying to understand your post. Really. But I just don't see you answering my question(s). (And I truly am curious about an answer from someone with an opposing point of view.)

Again: If you take the primary arguments that have been made in favor of a CONSTITUTIONAL right to SSM, what are the constitutionally-significant differences between (1) two men or women who say they love each other and thus should be allowed to be married, on the one hand, and (2) a bisexual wanting to marry one man and one woman who he/she deeply loves or two adult sisters who love each other and want to marry, on the other hand.

I've never received a cogent (IMO -- even if I disagree with it) response to that question. Usually, someone won't answer the question at all and will just say I'm a homophobe by even asking the question. Or others will be (IMO) intellectually honest and consistent and say that they do not believe there is a difference, and that they have no problem with marriage in the situations I describe.

BUT, for all those people in support of a CONSTITUTIONAL right to SSM who ask me to take their word that we need not fear polygamy or intra-family marriages, I never get a LEGAL/CONSTITUTIONAL argument why the legal and policy arguments in support of a constitutional right to SSM absolutely cannot apply with similar force to a bisexual marrying a man and a woman or two adult sisters marrying each other.

Will someone take the challenge and please help me understand the other side's legal arguments a bit better? Thanks.
6.16.2008 6:48pm
HoyaSaxa:
Whit: If Joe Blow marries Sally Blow, then you likely have an intra-family marriage. This is exactly the type of slipperly slope I fear!!
6.16.2008 6:52pm
Vanceone:
I know there are plenty of so-called gay Christians. But there are plenty of Christians who don't support homosexuality as being God's command.

I'm not prejudiced against gay people; I have a lot of sympathy for those who struggle against those addictions. If a gay person found a cure for cancer, I have no problem with that.

I have a problem with the idea that because I think morality is important I am inherently a bigot, however. I note the gay rights activists have not yet addressed why incest and beastiality and polygamy should not be legalized using the SSM logic.

And while Randy R. may graciously allow a religion the right to have their own doctrine, others will not. As I said, look at Boissoin and Catholic Insight magazine in Canada, who are not being allowed their doctrines any more. I've yet to see the gay rights activists tell me why that won't happen here. After all, Canada has protections of speech and religion embedded in their charters as well.... and it doesn't seem to have protected people.

In short, here is my question: why should same sex activists get "first among equals" privileges? Do you honestly believe that being Christian (of the 'morality is important kind') is not disfavored by the legal elites in this country? There is an active movement to discredit any sense of morality, and being moral is a disadvantage nowadays. I can speak out against it, and point out the truth: that gay activists have an agenda of discrediting morality, and they wish to make that the law of the land.
6.16.2008 6:52pm
Northeastern2L:
Vance, you still seem to be laboring under the delusion that your interpretations of the Bible and for that matter of Christianity are shared by all Christians. They are not. In fact, there are plenty of gay Christians who have no interest in criminalizing Christianity.

He's also laboring under the delusion that those of us who long ago abandoned Christianity give a rat's ass about his religious views or what the Bible says about anything. Thus, his rants are nothing more than sound and fury, signifying nothing.
6.16.2008 6:56pm
Sarcastro (www):
America is not about freedom of life, liberty and happiness. E pluribus unum is only there as a ruse.

Because if one thing is clear, it is that AMerica has ONLY about Christianity (of the 'morality is important kind')

And those morals are found in the Bible, as interpreted by the one and only Vanceone the Incorruptable.
6.16.2008 6:59pm
CDR D (mail):
WRT the CA SC deciding this issue, and setting all the religious and other smoke aside, my concern is simple.

The CA SC found something in the CA constitution that simply was not there when it was ratified (1879, I believe?)

Try as they might, if they objectively examined the words of the constitution against the backdrop of what those words were commonly understood to mean at the time of ratification, and if they further examined the body of laws in effect at that time for context, there is simply no way they could claim to have found an "imprimatur" of the people on the decision they made.

Whether one supports or opposes SSM is secondary to what this court did. This court redefined what was an instrument of the people, and they did it without any interference from the people.

To this observer, that is the most alarming issue.
6.16.2008 6:59pm
AngelSong (mail):

that gay activists have an agenda of discrediting morality, and they wish to make that the law of the land.

Or perhaps we believe that discrediting the full humanity and intrinsic worth of a person is far more immoral than silly games of which part goes where?
6.16.2008 7:00pm
Rogi (mail):
With respect to two adult sisters marrying, I'll bite. The legal argument against such a union would be public policy as consanguineous marriages (and incestuous sexual relations) increase the likelihood of genetic defects in th newborn. This results in very serous public health problem (prevalent in Arabic states which favor consanguineous marriage). As such the State has a compelling interest to regulate them (and it does to various degrees). With respect to bisexual marriage I am not familiar with any legal argument for or against a bisexual marrying someone. Of course in case of bisexuals it is important to distinguish between male bisexuals and female bisexuals.
6.16.2008 7:02pm
Ex-Fed (mail) (www):
HoyaSaxa:

Assuming for the moment you are speaking of an equal protection analysis and not a due process analysis, I think that the arguments against SSM have primarily focused on the notion that moral tradition is an adequate basis to allow some marriages but not others. To the extent that decisions like California's undermines that premise, it would also undermine opposition to plural marriage or incestuous marriage to the extent that opposition rested only on moral disapproval.

However, laws preventing plural marriage (as opposed to laws preventing plural relationships not recognized by the state) seem to be based on more than moral disapproval. 3+ =/= 2 in ways independent of morals. Allowing SSM does not require a sea change in property law or family law or trusts and estates, etc. Deciding whether a same-sex spouse can turn off life support for a spouse in a vegetative state is easy; just apply existing legal standards. But how do you decide which of three wives gets to decide? Or do they vote?

As for incest, the non-moral rational basis, at least in the case of close relationships, is probably that (1) we want to avoid birth defects and (2) we want to avoid encouragement of child abuse. There are counterarguments to both of those, of course.
6.16.2008 7:03pm
Vanceone:
*shrug* Mock all you want! I'm just a bitter, religion clinging person who is clearly a low-life, unprepared to worship at the altar of my betters.

I also have only one tooth, and I beat my wife back home in my trailer (only with the regulation one inch switch, of course--anything more would be inhumane), while I hunt raccoons too and eat armadillos.

I still note not a single person addressed my attack that gay rights activism theology makes man an animal, no better than a dog or a bear; incapable of overcoming their physical body.

I again ask what kind of morality gay rights activists believe in, aside from "if it feels good, do it?"
6.16.2008 7:04pm
martinned (mail) (www):
@HoyaSaxa: That wasn't the question I was trying to answer. I was discussing the slippery slope argument generally, without going into the details of the rational basis for bans of various kinds of marriage. I suppose the answer to this question is a longer version of my "brief" justifications in my previous comment:

- Plural marriage: There's no good way to be sure that these women, since they're virtually always women, are truly making a free and informed choice, or whether they've been brainwashed by some cult. What's more, there are issues with inheritance if the man dies intestate, with spousal privilige, and a series of other laws that refer to married couples that break down in the face of a three or more person marriage. (Contrary to what you're saying, this issue has been discussed in past threads.)

- Incestual marriages: Apart from the strong social taboo on incest, there's a legitimate interest in avoiding inbred progeny. Allowing marriage for sisters only, but not for other combinations of siblings would be discriminatory, as well as undermining the healthy taboo on incest.

People can't marry dogs or pieces of rock because marriage requires consent that chattels aren't able to provide, and that's just the most obvious reason for this category.

As I tried to explain in my previous comment, for all these hypotheticals the weight of the state's legitimate interest is much greater, so the ban stays. Same constitution, same balancing, different outcome.
6.16.2008 7:08pm
Vanceone:
Incest: Why not just require sterilization for them? Presto--they are the same as SSM--no possibility of children! That objection goes away if you say that if you want to marry your sister, one or the other has to undergo some sort of procedure to not have kids. Or, in this day and age, mandate an abortion? Marriage isn't about the kids anyway, right?
6.16.2008 7:11pm
martinned (mail) (www):
@CDR D: Did it occur to you that the people that drafted and/or voted for that original constitution meant for certain terms to be judged against the "evolving standards" of our time? What is cruel or unusual in the 8A meaning of the term is the classic example: What people consider cruel today would not be so considered 200 years ago, but when that provision was written it was intended to change from one generation to the next. (Just like the Founding Fathers realised that many things that were OK in the middle ages were considered cruel beyond belief in their time.)
6.16.2008 7:13pm
Ex-Fed (mail) (www):
Marriage isn't about the kids anyway, right?



Well, probably not for octogenarian lesbians, anyway.

Is marriage all about the kids, Vanceone?
6.16.2008 7:21pm
Alex C:
Vanceone, what leads you to think that there are lots and lots of siblings out there who can't wait to get it on if only if it wasn't for those pesky child abuse laws?
6.16.2008 7:23pm
whit:

With respect to two adult sisters marrying, I'll bite. The legal argument against such a union would be public policy as consanguineous marriages (and incestuous sexual relations) increase the likelihood of genetic defects in th newborn.


rubbish. there can be no issues of genetic defects of newborns between two women. here's a hint. you need boy-stuff (sperm) and girl stuff (egg) to make a baby.

hth
6.16.2008 7:24pm
Joshua:
Vanceone: I still note not a single person addressed my attack that gay rights activism theology makes man an animal, no better than a dog or a bear; incapable of overcoming their physical body.

Well, there is that little "inalienable rights [to] life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" thing that Thomas Jefferson once wrote about.

What you would have gay people do is basically live in a constant, lifelong state of war against their own bodies (actually their own minds, as the human sex drive originates in one's brain, not in one's genitals). That doesn't exactly strike me as conducive to one's long-term mental health, much less the pursuit of happiness. What's in it for gay people to make that kind of sacrifice, especially for those gay people who don't happen to believe in an afterlife?
6.16.2008 7:29pm
R Gould-Saltman (mail):
Sez Vanceone:

". . . gay rights activism theology makes man an animal, no better than a dog or a bear; incapable of overcoming their physical body. I again ask what kind of morality gay rights activists believe in, aside from "if it feels good, do it?""

Bears?!?


If that's what these "gay rights activism theologists" believe, why in the world would they want their uncontrollably lustful Gommorahist followers to be able to get married? Isn't the idea of marriage, a formal committment, recorded with the state, and (in the view of some of these folks) made in the presence of God, inconsistent with the view which you ascribe to them, unlike, for instance, the philosophy advocated by that other noted theologist, Hugh Hefner?
6.16.2008 7:31pm
Vanceone:
Ex-Fed: You still don't address the man=animal issue, and I have said very plainly that marriage is meant for a strong Family. That involves Mother, Father, and children. I have sympathy for those who can't have children for whatever reason, but the point remains that marriage is meant to promote families, not as an excuse to have lots of sex legally. I.E. a family is about teaching selflessness, and sacrifice for others, putting them first.

As for lots and lots of people out there who are just dying to have sex with a sibling, I don't know. But why should it be illegal? Just make sure they can't reproduce, and what objections are left? Strong taboos? Please--if that was the case, SSM would never have seen the light of day.

All you need is someone like Angelina Jolie to come out in favor of it, and the elites will fall all over themselves arguing for why we need to let the poor repressed siblings express their love for each other, etc. Oh, and the Bible supports it as well! Yay!

IS there a logical argument against sibling marriage if they can't have children, you advocates for SSM?
6.16.2008 7:36pm
ray_g:
I've always thought that the genetic defect argument against consanguineous marriages lead to yet another slippery slope: if one of a not-closely related couple has a genetic defect and a high probability of passing it to offspring, should the state prevent them from having a child? From the public policy view, how is that different?
(I'm specifically thinking of a recent (last 5-10 years) controversy about an LA news anchor with such a genetic defect.)
6.16.2008 7:40pm
CDR D (mail):
martinned sez:

@CDR D: Did it occur to you that the people that drafted and/or voted for that original constitution meant for certain terms to be judged against the "evolving standards" of our time? What is cruel or unusual in the 8A meaning of the term is the classic example: What people consider cruel today would not be so considered 200 years ago, but when that provision was written it was intended to change from one generation to the next. (Just like the Founding Fathers realised that many things that were OK in the middle ages were considered cruel beyond belief in their time.)


****


Sure. Your points are well taken. I just think that it is up to the people to determine the extent of any "evolving standards", not judges.

What guiding principle does some judge use to make such determinations? Radio Talk shows? Newspapers? Cocktail party discourse?

All very convenient. And it avoids any interference or input from those pesky "people".
6.16.2008 7:40pm
BABH (mail):
Vanceone: America's founders established a separation (or non-establishment) of religion from the state. They did this to try to avoid sectarian warfare - you remember, the kind that ravaged Europe in which one set of "christians" would merrily slaughter another group of "christians" because they couldn't agree on what kind of flowers to put out at Easter. You see, simply calling yourself "christian" does not give you any special access to morality.

AngelSong @6:00pm has it exactly right. It's not that the pro-marriage side is in some way immoral, or anti-morality. Some of us care deeply about morality: we think that people like you are evil, and must be defeated.

Lucky for you, most of us are good Americans, and believe in a rugged, pluralistic society. Thus, there is a point beyond which we will not go. Once we have won recognition of the rights granted to us by our common humanity, we will not seek to punish those who opposed us. Not so long ago, you could have put an American in jail for engaging in homosexual behavior. It's OK - we forgive the errors of the past. We will not try to put anyone in jail for celebrating Mass.

"But they do in Canada," you say. "Canard," says I. America and Canada are entirely different. Despite geographical proximity and [current] amicable diplomatic relations, they are historical and cultural enemies.
6.16.2008 7:41pm
Ex-Fed (mail) (www):
Ex-Fed: You still don't address the man=animal issue,



Because I don't think it's interesting or pertinent in a free society. I had the power to refrain from premarital sex. I didn't want to, and I don't think it is any of the state's business whether I did or not, because the state should not be in the business of enforcing your notions of religious orthodoxy upon me against my will. Does that make me more animal than animal? Perhaps. If you think it is the essential quality of a man to be servile to the presumptuous religious dictates of others. I'd rather be the animal.
6.16.2008 7:45pm
Vanceone:
Ok, some DID address it. Very well, I say nothing more than what I ask for straight people: no fooling around before marriage. If I were to never marry in this life, I'd expect myself to "live in a constant, lifelong state of war against their own bodies." Just as alcoholics who are genetically pre-disposed to alcoholism. Just as recovering tobacco addicts wage that war. If they can do it, I see no reason to believe people attracted to their own gender cannot.

What is in it for gay people who don't believe in the afterlife? I don't really know, since I expect they will be disappointed (or pleasantly urprised?)

Look: the gay rights activists have two agendas. one is the argument you folks are putting forth: What about the poor gay man? It's heart-tugging, etc. The other is what to do about it--which is to force everyone to change to accommodate the gay man. I have sympathy for the gay person. I am rejecting the idea that my beliefs and practices have to be changed to accommodate the plight of the gay person.

Why should I be a bigot for believing my teachings? Those here would say that because I believe homosexuality is a sin, I'm a bigot. I believe adultery is a sin; indeed they are about equal sins in my mind. But adulterers don't go around claiming they have the right to teach my children to commit adultery, that committing adultery is "normal, inbuilt" into the human condition, and that adulterers have the right to force others to change doctrines and practices.

Gay people will do what they want; I wish they didn't, but they can. What I object to is this constant redefinition of gay "rights" as being good, moral, and approved. If you want to go sleep with the bosses wife, go ahead. But don't then proclaim how it is such a wonderful, good thing to do and expect me to go along with that. Do what you want, but don't call evil good and good evil, and that's what the gay activists are doing. After all, until it was rammed through in the 1970's, homosexuality was a recognized psychological disorder--and now it is a choice that is privileged above regular married folks.
6.16.2008 7:47pm
Serendipity:
The whole debate about whether homosexuality is a choice seems failed from the start because it presupposes that were it a choice, it would be the wrong one. Honestly, this is irrelevant. People choose their religion. They choose whether or not they should own guns. They choose whether or not to have children. They even choose whether to get married! (Who knew?!??!) It seems to me that at the base of a functioning society is the ability to allow others to make choices (within reason) that you might well disagree with or even find utterly offensive.
6.16.2008 8:02pm
Joshua:
Vanceone: Ok, some DID address it. Very well, I say nothing more than what I ask for straight people: no fooling around before marriage. If I were to never marry in this life, I'd expect myself to "live in a constant, lifelong state of war against their own bodies." Just as alcoholics who are genetically pre-disposed to alcoholism. Just as recovering tobacco addicts wage that war. If they can do it, I see no reason to believe people attracted to their own gender cannot.

Apples vs. oranges. Alcoholics and tobacco/drug addicts have a strong incentive in this life to stay on the wagon - they get to stay alive and (relatively) healthy. Gay people have no strong incentive in this life to overcome their same-sex predisposition, short of a heavenly reward for doing so after they die, and even that's not much of an incentive if they don't believe that such a reward exists. That's what I was getting at with my "afterlife" comment.
6.16.2008 8:03pm
Vanceone:
In essence, you gay rights activists are claiming that opposing gay marriage is wrong, and evil. And those who oppose it are evil people.

No one else is evil, except those who oppose the gay rights. Just look at the language in this thread against me.

It's a clash of values: you call me wrong, close-minded, bigoted, etc. for opposing the celebration of hedonism, while I say that people should not celebrate immorality, or at least not call it good.

Homosexual activists want to make it so it's not a sin, plain and simple. And they will have that determined eventually, even if it is by the force of the state. After all, saying it's a sin is discrimination! I've seen enough attacks by the gay rights activists to know they will never rest until every church doctrine is changed. Why else would people in Canada be suing the Catholic church? It may be Canada, but you can't tell me the same impulses are not in the United States gay lobbies.
6.16.2008 8:04pm
Burt Likko (mail) (www):
I've skipped reading though some of the more recent comments so forgive me if I'm repeating that rather obvious point (I know martind said some of this already).

Marriage requires the free consent of both parties. Animals cannot consent to marriage. So there will be no bestial marriages. Same thing for proposed marriages involving toasters, bicycles, skip-loaders, backhoes, and automobiles.

We can legitimately query into the actual consent of someone attempting to initiate a polygamous marriage because the vast majority of such marriages are not the normal-seeming ones you see on HBO but rather situations where there is terrible abuse going on. But I'll allow that there might be some <b><i>truly</i></b> consensual polygamous relationships out there.

Even so, truly consensual plural marriages can be prohibited because they involve an extra expense and burden on the state. Indeed, they are often prosecuted precisely because they are used for criminal activities like welfare fraud. The government can legitimately limit the number of people entitled to the property-sharing benefits of marriage, because that tends to affect the government's obligation to dispense welfare, accomodate joint reporting of income and payment of taxes, and involvement in severing joint property in the event of a divorce. But the government <i><b>cannot</b></i> arbitrarily limit the quality of people to whom those benefits are given in the first place. It costs the government just as much to provide those benefits to gay people as to straight people.

I admit that ultimately, I can see no argument against truly consensual adult incest, either the sex act itself or permitting such a marriage. Big emphasis on "consensual" and "adult," though; in most cases the government would appropriately conduct a searching inquiry about actual consent as opposed to some kind of history of abuse, undue influence, or some kind of deep pscyhololgical disorder. But if it's real, true consent, then I can't think of a reason it should be criminalized. Just because <i><b>my</b></i> reaction to it is "Eww, yuk!" is an insufficient justification for using that behavior as the basis for discrimination.
6.16.2008 8:05pm
Noops (mail):

The other is what to do about it--which is to force everyone to change to accommodate the gay man.


So, how do I change? I'm still married. I still do everything I normally do. It's changed me not even a little bit. I lived in Massachusetts for most of my life, and it didn't change me at all. I live in Oregon now, and it hasn't changed me here that we DON'T have gay marriage. In no way has it effected me except maybe in that I'm now having this conversation. It seems to effect you, although that seems to be more apoplexy rather than actually infringing your rights.


Why should I be a bigot for believing my teachings?


Well, I guess I'll say it. If your religion teaches you that a class is inferior (say black people), then your teachings are bigoted, and you are a bigot. Fairly simple really. I don't happen to agree that the bible teaches that. In that case, I think you're a bigot because you're interpreting teachings in a bigoted manner. I also think it's fine that you're a bigot, because I also believe in free speech.

The bible also at some point endorses selling daughters into slavery and that eating lobster may be an abomination. I do think we should prevent the slavery thing, and I don't think we should prevent people from eating lobster. Is biblical law up to any interpretation?
6.16.2008 8:07pm
Vanceone:
Joshua, my last comment, as I have to run for the evening. I agree that on the surface it seems there is nothing there for the atheistic gay person.

I disagree that it is healthy or somehow natural. SS activity is not healthy, and many times leads to significant issues.

But more than that, I object to being forcibly dragged to say sexual sins are wrong; that there IS no such thing as a sexual sin. Gay activists want to force just that. I mean, who wants to admit they sin?

It is this gay activism that drives the anti-gay animus. I've seen it myself--if you deviate from the approved narrative of "gay sex is perfectly legal and morally approved" you are blackballed. It is like being a global warming skeptic--it is heresy to disbelieve.

Try it sometime--look at the global warming debate. Those who oppose it are cast out as skeptics, bigots, trying to kill everyone by greedy exploitation, etc. It's settled science! Everyone knows!

It's the gay rights doctrine and argument all over. How dare you dissent from the knowledge that SSM is right, true, and correct! You heretic! Burn him at the stake!
6.16.2008 8:11pm
Ex-Fed (mail) (www):

Why else would people in Canada be suing the Catholic church?


Cite?
6.16.2008 8:11pm
Ex-Fed (mail) (www):

It's the gay rights doctrine and argument all over. How dare you dissent from the knowledge that SSM is right, true, and correct! You heretic! Burn him at the stake!


How cruel and inhuman it is to be disagreed with.
6.16.2008 8:12pm
Vanceone:
Noops: that rather depends on gayness being a class, doesn't it? An innate attribute? But being Gay isn't like being black--it's a behavior, not a trait. I'm biased against adultery and stealing, too. Am I a bigot against adulterers and criminals too?

But that's heresy to the new gay overlords as well--everyone knows they can't help it! They have no control over what their genes force them to do!
6.16.2008 8:14pm
Vanceone:
Ex-Fed: I did cite, but here is an article detailing many of the lawsuits: http://www.catholicexchange.com/2008/06/04/112780/
6.16.2008 8:22pm
MPP (mail):
HoyaSaxa,

I think the problem is your question, not the answers you are getting. Slippery slope arguments are not as strong as people give them credit for. For instance, if California were to decide to lower the drinking age to 20 years old, then someone (inclined to slippery slope arguments) might say, we can't do that because then it will start a slippery slope...19 year olds, 18 year olds, maybe even 5 year olds!!!

The problem with this line of argumentation is that it ignores that courts and legislatures are always confronted with the task of drawing lines. It's what they do. For this reason, and for this reason alone, can they comfortably draw a line forbidding plural marriage and incestuous marriage if they so choose or if the constitution so demands. No more of an argument is needed.

The flaw in your reasoning -- and that of those who adopt reasoning like yours -- is that it doesn't answer the ultimate question. Should we continue to forbid same-sex marriage? The question is whether or not gay marriage should be allowed, not whether or not allowing gay marriage would set forth a parade of horribles. Let me explain why.

You might say that allowing interracial marriages was the slippery slope that led to many things, such as gay marriage today. Indeed, at one point in our nation's not-so-fond history blacks were considered chattel, just like animals. Indeed, someone from that time period would consider interracial marriage between a white and a black to be a form of bestiality!!!

Those days passed and anti-micegenation laws were struck down (first in California and later by the United States Supreme Court). Today, notably, the slippery slope of striking down anti-miscegenation laws did actually come true -- indeed, proponents of gay marriage relied on these decisions in arguing for gay marriage and the CA Supreme Court (and others) has accepted the analogy. Of course, this took almost a half of a century to happen (so the slope mustn't have been that slippery).

Now comes the important part. Given that interracial marriage created a "slippery slope" that in many ways "led to" same-sex marriage, do you maintain that interracial marriage should not have been allowed? That is, was allowing interracial marriage back then wrong because those cases were relied upon in justifying gay marriage today? If not (and I surely hope you would say not), then your slippery-slope argument against gay marriage fails as a matter of course.

I hope that answers your question.
6.16.2008 8:22pm
Ex-Fed (mail) (www):
Ex-Fed: I did cite, but here is an article detailing many of the lawsuits: http://www.catholicexchange.com/2008/06/04/112780/



I see several examples of Canada's indefensible and inquisitorial system going after individuals. But you said people were suing the Catholic church. Cite?
6.16.2008 8:27pm
MPP (mail):
Also, HoyaSaxa, your argument (as you must be aware)presumes that plural marriage and incestuous marriage are somehow wrong. I would point out that both of these phenomena are present in the Bible, with the former actually being treated as quite normal and never condemned.
6.16.2008 8:29pm
zerlesen (mail):
Randy: "Thank you, Sarcastro and VAnceone. When you have nothing left to argue except baseless fear, it means you have nothing left to argue."

I am 100% on Randy's side in this, but I have a feeling he might not be reading these comments too closely. (Good job, Sarcastro.)

Meanwhile: keep on rocking, Ex-Fed.
6.16.2008 8:50pm
gwinje:
I got my typing fingers out to have a little fun, but Ex-Fed et al. (and now MPP) made me stick with my scrolling and chuckling fingers.
6.16.2008 8:55pm
Ditto (mail):
I don't believe government has any business restricting people's religious beliefs one way or another, including who can marry whom. All I'd ask is that we don't send genuinely confusing messages to kids -- let them make up their own minds. I'm speaking of the cartoon movie "Barnyard" in which all male cows (bulls) have udders. Not the issue of the day, but certainly annoying.
6.16.2008 9:06pm
Ditto (mail):
P.S. to Vanceone:

In the Bible, Jesus never condemns anybody for owning slaves, either, but we still know better than that now. As a matter of fact, it's one of the things Christians are most proud about concerning America - we're unique in that we not only freed slaves, but also progressively and relentlessly brought former slaves and their decendents into the culture in which they'd formerly been enslaved. We're the only culture that made former slaves citizens instantaneously, even though imperfectly. People of the time thought that was against God's will. How about some true religious tolerance?

I choose for my life according to my beliefs and I try to live my life in such a way that I am a good example of my beliefs. I have no right to tell another how to live, or that another person is not precious in God's sight.

Just sayin.
6.16.2008 9:16pm
MPP (mail):
gwinje:

Is that supposed to pass for cogent argumentation?
6.16.2008 9:29pm
Syd:

Burt Likko (mail) (www):

We can legitimately query into the actual consent of someone attempting to initiate a polygamous marriage because the vast majority of such marriages are not the normal-seeming ones you see on HBO but rather situations where there is terrible abuse going on.


Is that actually true, or do we tend to hear about the cases involving abuse because those are the ones that make the news?
6.16.2008 9:37pm
Duncan Frissell (mail):
I'm still married. I still do everything I normally do. It's changed me not even a little bit.

Noops, it has affected you. You were demoted from Husband or Wife to Partner A or Partner B. If you are a parent, it's demoted you from Father or Mother to Parent A or Parent B. Quite a demotion.

Mother, Father, Husband, and Wife have millenia of tradition behind them. Partner A and Parent A simply don't cut it.
6.16.2008 9:40pm
JosephSlater (mail):
Duncan F.:

No. Noops is exactly right. I'm a happily married heterosexual, and gay marriage hasn't "demoted" me one little bit. I still love my wife and son just as I always did, and still value my marriage in exactly the same way. Oh, and I love my sister and her wife, who have been happily married in Mass. for several years. A lovely and touching wedding it was. So I've actually been promoted into having a truly wonderful sister-in-law.

You anti-gay marriage types can talk about how much you disapprove of gays/lesbians, and how you question the logic of some of the court decisions, but to say gay marriage somehow harms the marriages of us straight folk is pure nonsense, and we married straight folk know it.

Oh and Randy R., I'm on your side, but as Zelesen said, you misread Sarcastro, one of the best new posters on the VC in quite some time.
6.16.2008 9:59pm
Ken Arromdee:
So, in efffect, churches has a special right to discrinate against gays that other nonprofits don't have. I am fine with that.

Why are you fine with that?

I'm serious. Just about any argument you can make against any other nonprofit would apply to churches too. They're both covered by the First Amendment (through different clauses). Tax money is being taken by force to help both of them. I can understand a principle which says that special treatment can't be given to organizations which discriminate, but to say that special treatment can be given to some discriminatory organizations but not others?

About the only justification I can see is that you think religion is a special right (compared to freedom of assembly) and we need to give more deference to religions than to other groups. But this justification isn't supported by the Constitution
6.16.2008 10:02pm
MPP (mail):
Duncan,

Please point to where in either the Mass. or Cal. Supreme Court rulings it says that straight couples are "demoted," or that they are somehow forced to use the terms Partner A or Parent A to describe their relationships.

These arguments are scare tactics; they have no basis in law or logic.
6.16.2008 10:06pm
Oren:
Just about any argument you can make against any other nonprofit would apply to churches too. They're both covered by the First Amendment (through different clauses). Tax money is being taken by force to help both of them.
There is a huge difference between tax-exempt and tax-supported.
6.16.2008 10:40pm
Oren:
Noops, it has affected you. You were demoted from Husband or Wife to Partner A or Partner B. If you are a parent, it's demoted you from Father or Mother to Parent A or Parent B. Quite a demotion.
The police will be by shortly to enforce your demotion -- call your partner "wife" (shudder!) and we will send you to jail. Why, just the other day my nephew in California called his parent "dada" and was sent to the reeducation camp!

Quite a demotion indeed!
6.16.2008 10:42pm
Bob Van Burkleo (mail):
Vanceone says:
I have a problem with the idea that because I think morality is important I am inherently a bigot, however. I note the gay rights activists have not yet addressed why incest and beastiality and polygamy should not be legalized using the SSM logic.

Other than totally and completely in a previous thread. And that you think YOUR morality is important is great, but its not MY morality, I'm not superstitious, I can't sin, and your religion is great as long as you don't want to pretend its my religion.

On the better side it was great to see my friends Morgan and Tom on TV waiting in line for their chance to license their marriage of 14 years. About time guys!
6.16.2008 10:46pm
Waldensian (mail):
Vanceone says:

For me, a man should leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife and they should be one flesh.

The idea of "cleaving unto" and then being "one flesh" with my (ex)wife caused a wave of nausea to pass over me just now, as I read this gem. I threw up in the back of my mouth, a little.

Jeez Vanceone, give us some sort of warning before hurling a quote like that.
6.16.2008 11:32pm
Randy R. (mail):
I do realize I misread Sarcastro -- that' why I apologized in an earlier post.

VAnceone: " But being Gay isn't like being black--it's a behavior, not a trait."

I see. So you believe all gays are atheists, and gay Christians are dismissed. It's must be great to stack the deck.

But arguing with Vanceone is pointless. His obsession with gays is quite intriguing. Considering the fact that most anti-gay groups say that gays are less than 1% of the population, you would think this is a non-issue for those obsessed with gay behavior.

Although I should be happy that that Vanceone is a equal opportunity bigot -- he hates not only gays but anyone who has had sex outside of marriage. Considering that most people in the world have sex outside of marriage at some point in their lives, Vanceone must be pretty high up there on the righteousness table. I'm sure God has a special place for the fact that he has so sacrificed his urges while everyone else is out having good clean fun.

Perhaps there is a wee bit of resentment there?
6.17.2008 12:23am
Brian G (mail) (www):
Someone should start a gay divorce practice in California. With all these impending divorces in the wings, you could make a killing. Ah, the sweet taste of capitalism!
6.17.2008 12:53am
Teegraff (mail):
All the conversations here are delightful, but fact is, with gays able to get married now in America's biggest state, there's no going back. Culturally, at least.

Gay civil rights are here to stay. And if bigots don't like it, they can eat it.
6.17.2008 1:04am
Bob Van Burkleo (mail):
VAnceone: " But being Gay isn't like being black--it's a behavior, not a trait."

I see. So you believe all gays are atheists, and gay Christians are dismissed. It's must be great to stack the deck.


Randy my standard answer to that is sexual orientation is no more a 'behavior' than a religion is the drive to church on sunday. You do things because of the quality, they are not the quality themselves.

Ditto with racism - its not about skin color or any indelible trait. Racists don't like a race because their skin color clashes with their drapes - they rationalize their hatred by supposed behaviors the object of their hatred has, e.g. they are sullen, or thieves, or 'inferior', or whatever.

Vanceone is just doing the old switcheroo, using different standards and acting like they were the same. Sad thing is he probably doesn't see it.
6.17.2008 1:35am
Randy R. (mail):
You are so right, Bob. The thing is that he doesn't even KNOW what he's against, except that he's against just about everything. It's very difficult to have any sort of conservation with people like that because they minute you answer their argument, then come after you with a completely different one. It does like this:

Vanceone: I hate X
Me: There is no reason to hate X
Vanceone: You didn't answer me! I said I hate Y
Me; Well, that's different. Y can easily be explained.
Vanceone: Don't talk to me about Z! And you never addressed X! See how duplicitious you are!
Me: But I did address X, you just didn't like the answer. If you know want to address Z, let's do so, but don't conflate that with X or Y.
Vaceone: You people are all so A. All of you are, without exception. And you just said B.
Me: I'm not A. And I never said B.
Vanceone: But you are A, and that's why I hate X and you refuse to talk about Z. Because all you A's do that. Do you deny C?
Me: I give up.
Vanceone: I hate everyone who disagrees with me, and everyone wants to kill me.
6.17.2008 2:31am
guest890:
With all the posts extolling Constitutional originalism on this blog, where are the posts criticizing the CA court's ruling on originalism grounds? Or is the argument that, according to the plain meaning of the CA state constitution and laws as they were passed, "marriage" didn't imply anything about the sexes involved? I find the latter difficult to believe....
6.17.2008 2:32am
James Cloninger (mail):
(I'm specifically thinking of a recent (last 5-10 years) controversy about an LA news anchor with such a genetic defect.)

Bree Walker?
6.17.2008 2:46am
Some Guy II- This Time It's Personal (mail):
Wow. So are you happy that the California Supreme Court just guaranteed that no state that isn't named California will ever allow gay marriage? Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if California reversed course within a few months.

People have a funny way of getting hostile to something when it's crammed down their throats by the courts. This isn't like the 1960's, when most people approved of protecting basic civil rights for all races. Here, the majority of Californians voted against gay marriage. And now they're being told that it doesn't matter what they think because judges know best.

Good luck with that.
6.17.2008 8:30am
The Boss:
Marriage is between one man and one woman, husband (man) and wife (woman), groom (man) and bride (woman). This is best for our society and the raising of children. There is no other relationship that is the same. It should be left alone.
6.17.2008 9:11am
martinned (mail) (www):
...and who made you The Boss?
6.17.2008 9:13am
Elliot Reed (mail):
In essence, you gay rights activists are claiming that opposing gay marriage is wrong, and evil. And those who oppose it are evil people.

No one else is evil, except those who oppose the gay rights. Just look at the language in this thread against me.
I'd say that anti-gay bigotry is morally wrong. "Evil" is too strong though: not everything wrong is evil. Opposing gay marriage is a sign of anti-gay bigotry, though not universally so. But in your case "bigotry" hardly even seems strong enough.

Homosexual activists want to make it so it's not a sin, plain and simple. And they will have that determined eventually, even if it is by the force of the state. After all, saying it's a sin is discrimination! I've seen enough attacks by the gay rights activists to know they will never rest until every church doctrine is changed. Why else would people in Canada be suing the Catholic church? It may be Canada, but you can't tell me the same impulses are not in the United States gay lobbies.
Of course we want the church doctrines changed, just as anti-racist activists during the '50's and '60's wanted racist church doctrines changed then. Wanting them banned is quite another thing. Supposing you are correct about the pro-marriage and pro-family groups in the U.S., does this mean we can count on your becoming a marriage supporter if we GLBT people who believe in American free speech values can get those agendas changed?
6.17.2008 9:26am
Elliot Reed (mail):
With all the posts extolling Constitutional originalism on this blog, where are the posts criticizing the CA court's ruling on originalism grounds? Or is the argument that, according to the plain meaning of the CA state constitution and laws as they were passed, "marriage" didn't imply anything about the sexes involved? I find the latter difficult to believe....
How about criticizing the California court's decision on the basis of the actual cases interpreting California constitutional law? Is the objection to this decision really going to be that the court didn't, sua sponte, throw out everything it's ever written on California's equal protection clause?
6.17.2008 9:34am
Elliot Reed (mail):
Here, the majority of Californians voted against gay marriage. And now they're being told that it doesn't matter what they think because judges know best.
No, it doesn't matter what they think because an unconstitutional law is no less so because it was passed by the people rather than by the legislature, or by a large majority rather than a small one. If they wish to amend the Constitution, they are free to do so, but they have no power to violate it.
6.17.2008 9:37am
AnneS:

This isn't like the 1960's, when most people approved of protecting basic civil rights for all races.


Ha! (That was supposed to be sarcastic, wasn't it? Because it bears absolutely no resemblance to what actually happened during the civil rights movements of the 50s and 60s, or any of the civil rights movements that preceded them.)
6.17.2008 10:18am
nutbump (mail):

Elliot Reed: No, it doesn't matter what they think because an unconstitutional law is no less so because it was passed by the people rather than by the legislature, or by a large majority rather than a small one. If they wish to amend the Constitution, they are free to do so, but they have no power to violate it.

Constitution has not been violated because homosexual couples are fundamentally different from heterosexual couples, so equality cannot be applied. I am surprise that supreme court judges in california are absolutely ignorant and illiterate people.
Marriage is a license to procreate, e.g. due to the danger of procreation for the society many states prohibit marriages between close relatives. Why is an exception made for gays or gays above the law and they are allowed to procreate by cloning each other.
Very strange decision has been made by California's court.
6.17.2008 11:04am
The General:
millions of Cal voters have been disenfranchised. Californian's right to govern ourselves no longer exists.

The reason gay activists sued is because a majority of the public don't believe in their radical cause. They can't push through their social agenda democratically because they know they'll fail. They decided it is easier to convince 4 out of touch judicial activists and ask them to invent NEW rights for gay couples rather than convince a majority of their fellow citizens that they're right.

There is no more democracy in California, only rule by judicial fiat. If the Courts don't respect the law, why should anyone else?

These aren't marriages. They're illegitimate. They're jokes and people won't stand for the disregard of their right to govern themselves. There will be a backlash.
6.17.2008 11:14am
AngelSong (mail):

The reason gay activists sued is because a majority of the public don't believe in their radical cause.

Oh really? So why is it that the latest poll shows 42% of Californians opposed to same sex marriage? And the latest national poll shows only 36% opposed to any recognition of same sex relationships?
6.17.2008 11:19am
nutbump (mail):

Oh really? So why is it that the latest poll shows 42% of Californians opposed to same sex marriage? And the latest national poll shows only 36% opposed to any recognition of same sex relationships?

Right majority is opposed to the same sex marriage everwhere in the U.S. not only in California. Majority of people however do not oppose same-sex relationship. That is exactly why civil unions have been introduced in several states.
Equality can be applied only to something equal by nature, homosexual couples and heterosexual couples are not equal same as men are not equal to women.
Segregation between men and women is perfectly constitutional and legal (you know about separate bathrooms and women's clinics I gouess), so why heterosexual institution of marriage should be destroyed for the aumusement of gay couples?
6.17.2008 11:32am
Elliot Reed (mail):
Constitution has not been violated because homosexual couples are fundamentally different from heterosexual couples, so equality cannot be applied. I am surprise that supreme court judges in california are absolutely ignorant and illiterate people.
Marriage is a license to procreate, e.g. due to the danger of procreation for the society many states prohibit marriages between close relatives. Why is an exception made for gays or gays above the law and they are allowed to procreate by cloning each other.
Please cite some California statute regarding the issuance of procreation licenses, or a California court decision finding that marriage concerns the issuance of procreation licenses. In fact, a system of procreation licenses would be contrary to the federal and state constitutional decisions finding that procreation is a fundamental right.
6.17.2008 11:44am
Elliot Reed (mail):
The reason gay activists sued is because a majority of the public don't believe in their radical cause. They can't push through their social agenda democratically because they know they'll fail.
Irrelevant. The question posed to the court whether the gay marriage ban is constitutional, not whether it's popular.
6.17.2008 11:47am
Elliot Reed (mail):
Equality can be applied only to something equal by nature
Thank you for your thorough and insightful elaboration of California constitutional law.
6.17.2008 11:50am
Randy R. (mail):
The Boss: "This is best for our society and the raising of children. There is no other relationship that is the same. It should be left alone."

So only heterosexual couples should exist?

Well, there are thousands of gay couples that already exist. What's more, many of these couples currently have children.

I guess it's easier for you to just ignore them and pretend they don't exist, right?
6.17.2008 11:52am
scattergood:
Burt Likko
Even so, truly consensual plural marriages can be prohibited because they involve an extra expense and burden on the state.


This is an absurd argument to make. The very issues of 'extra expense and burden on the state' are EXACTLY the same issues that could be applied to SSM. If those issues weren't enough to restrict SSM, why on earth would they hold up polygamy?
6.17.2008 11:56am
MPP (mail):
Some Guy II- This Time It's Personal:

I find it utterly outrageous how so many people are quick to discredit and flagrantly disrespect judicial opinions with comments like "And now they're being told that it doesn't matter what they think because judges know best." The California Supreme Court was interpreting the Constitution, something about which they DO know best.

Also, I find it quite silly that SO many people are willing to say that the California Supreme Court "got it wrong" or "overstepped its bounds." How versed are ANY of you in California constitutional jurisprudence? How many Californai supreme court cases over the last century have you read? The argument may work for the SCOTUS, but for state supreme courts, you just seem silly arguing that, because there is NO way that you are actually familiar with the law in this area. You are simply assuming that the federal constitution and the state constitution are the same. News flash. They are not.

(sorry for the rant)
6.17.2008 12:04pm
IB Bill (mail) (www):
Just got here. Anything new said on this thread? Everyone getting along and happy? (LOL).
6.17.2008 1:16pm
nutbump (mail):

Please cite some California statute regarding the issuance of procreation licenses, or a California court decision finding that marriage concerns the issuance of procreation licenses. In fact, a system of procreation licenses would be contrary to the federal and state constitutional decisions finding that procreation is a fundamental right

Marriage itself is a license to procreate, there is no need for other licenses. You do not have to procreate though, no one is forcing you. But once married you have a right to procreate. Otherwise how come close relativese and incestous couples are not allowed to get married. They are not allowed to get married so because their offspring is going to carry unwanted genes and that is a danger for the whole society. Why dont't allow them to marry and put in jail for unprotected sex. Marriage grants a right to procreate, there is no doubt about that.
And how you explain then that some people in prison claim that they have procreation right so they are asking court to allow them to send a sperm in express mail for in vitro fertilization.
6.17.2008 1:24pm
Bob Van Burkleo (mail):
Marriage grants a right to procreate The citizen already had the right to procreate before they licensed the contract - you aren't making any sense.
6.17.2008 1:37pm
AngelSong (mail):

Right majority is opposed to the same sex marriage everwhere in the U.S. not only in California.

42% is a majority? That must be some kind of New Math that I haven't studied. I was referring to the old system where percent means out of 100.

The very issues of 'extra expense and burden on the state' are EXACTLY the same issues that could be applied to SSM.

Other people have quite skillfully addressed the numerous issues that would be created by a marriage contract of more than two parties, none of which occur or exist with same-sex marriage. Moreover, a recent study (I believe out of UCLA) predicts over $683 million INCOME for the state of California, so so much for this idea of "extra expense" from same-sex marriage.

Sucks when the facts contradict your argument, huh?
6.17.2008 1:43pm
John D (mail):
Nutbump asked:

And how you explain then that some people in prison claim that they have procreation right so they are asking court to allow them to send a sperm in express mail for in vitro fertilization.


Well, if merely asking a court to rule on a right grants it, then the advocates of same-sex marriage have it made.

If we are to assume that people have procreation rights because they've asked the courts to allow them to do something related to procreation, we must also assume that once a lawsuit is filed asking for same-sex marriage, such a right exists.

Now, if Nutbump can argue that a court granted the express shipment of semen because a marital right of procreation existed, then he might have something.

There is certainly a right to procreation, that is, the government cannot stop me from attempting to procreate (my husband might have a word or two on the subject), but that is separate from ones rights as a married person.
6.17.2008 2:27pm
Chairm (mail):
There is no such thing as a right to "same-sex marriage" in California.

* * *

Oren said:


And MA still has the lowest divorce rate in the country. Perhaps the gays can teach us heteros something after all.


SSMs had very little to do with the divorce rate in Massachusetts.

But since you brought up a non-California example under a blogpost about California ...

Demographics, a peer-review publication, reported on a study of dissolution of same-sex unions registered in Sweden and Norway.


We found that divorce risks are higher in same-sex partnerships than in opposite-sex marriages, and that unions of lesbians are considerably less stable, or more dynamic, than unions of gay men. In Norway as well as in Sweden, the divorce risk in female partnerships is practically double that of the risk in partnerships of men.


So the same-sex dissolution rate has been even higher than the already high rate of divorce. That does not bode well since these stats are from unions that were registered for 8 years or less.

iMAPP provide english translation and a summary of the recent study:


The study found that gay male couples were 1.5 times as likely (or 50 percent more likely) to divorce as married opposite-sex couples, while lesbian couples were 2.67 times as likely (167 percent more likely) to divorce as opposite-sex married couples over a similar period of time.2 Even after controlling for demographic characteristics associated with increased risk of divorce, male same-sex couples were 1.35 times as likely (35 percent more likely) to divorce, and lesbian couples were three times as likely (200 percent more likely) to divorce as opposite-sex married couples.


These stats are in-keeping with various surveys regarding relationship practices of the openly gay and lesbian population.

So what lesson is to be learned?

That a segment of the population which adheres to a strong marriage culture, such as the people who married and divorce less often, can buffer the statistically negative impact of other segments of the population which has a much weaker concept of marriage and which may indulge in nonmarital alternatives such as the gaycentric variety.

The marriage rate provides this lesson also. The marriage rate (i.e. the formation of man-woman unions) in Massachusetts has declined and has not risen; adding the stats from the nonmarital one-sexed alternative would only mask this. The rate of participation in one-sexed unions in Massachusetts remains very, very, very low compared with the marriage rate.

iMAPP provided a review of the available data:


National survey data suggest that between 2% and 2.5% of U.S. men and 1% to 1.4% of U.S. women are gay or lesbian. Many advocates believe these surveys are undercounts, with some scholars suggesting that 5% of the population may be a more reasonable estimate.

Same-sex couples have been able to marry in Massachusetts (the only U.S. jurisdiction that recognizes gay marriage) since May 17, 2004. State law specifies that only Massachusetts residents may enter into same-sex marriages, although press reports did note that some non-Massachusetts residents married during this period. In 2004, in the first 7½ months of legal gay marriage, 5,994 same-sex couples married in Massachusetts.

Recent data from the Massachusetts Registry of Vital Records and Statistics indicates that an additional 1,347 same-sex couples married in Massachusetts in 2005, bringing the total to 7,341 same-sex couples marrying in Massachusetts between May 2004 and December 2005.

We have been unable to locate good state-level estimates of gay and lesbian populations. Therefore, assuming the
proportion of gay and lesbian people in Massachusetts is the same as the national average (2.3% of men and 1.3% of women), and assuming all the marriages recorded in Massachusetts are Massachusetts citizens, 16.7% of gay and lesbian individuals had entered into same-sex marriages. Using the more generous 5% estimate of the
proportion of the adult population who are gay or lesbian, 5.9% had married through the end of 2005.


This fits the available data from Canada where the marriage rate has continued its decline and where the addition of "same-sex marriage" has masked that continued trend. Further, in that country, as would occur in California, people who are not residents may SSM and foreigners account for more than half of all SSMs performed. The participation rate of residents is very, very, very low.

There remains no justification, not in principle and not in practice, for treating all unions of husband and wife as if they lacked either husbands or wives.
6.17.2008 2:32pm
nutbump (mail):

Bob Van Burkleo (mail):
Marriage grants a right to procreate The citizen already had the right to procreate before they licensed the contract - you aren't making any sense.


Citizens yes, couples no. Close relative, teenage couples are not allowed to procreate by denying them a right to marry.
6.17.2008 2:48pm
nutbump (mail):

John D:
Well, if merely asking a court to rule on a right grants it, then the advocates of same-sex marriage have it made.


Procreation right does exist and recognized by the court, and that right is reserved for a married people.
e.g. http://writ.news.findlaw.com/grossman/20011120.html
6.17.2008 2:58pm
shawn-non-anonymous:
Scattergood says:

This is an absurd argument to make. The very issues of 'extra expense and burden on the state' are EXACTLY the same issues that could be applied to SSM. If those issues weren't enough to restrict SSM, why on earth would they hold up polygamy?



Can you list the ways in which a married couple in California costs the state more if their genders are the same vs opposite?

Other than a small typesetting bill and a few other label changes on forms and databases (which aren't necessary for function, only courtesy) I cannot imagine any significant differences.
6.17.2008 2:59pm
Chairm (mail):
Randy R. said:


The Cathlic Church in Boston has a adoption program. For several years, they had no problem placing children in homes for gays, straights, and single parents.


That bit about "gays" is clearly a falsehood.

1. Your remark flagrantly contradicts the teachings of the Catholic Church regarding which have been enunciated long before the 2005 controversy.

2. Of the four agencies involved in adoptions (among other charitable activities) three have categorically denied placing children with couples in same-sex relationships. That alone refutes your remark.

3. The fourth adoption agency, in Boston, responded to the coercion of the state agents. The entire charitable program was at risk, as was the the license to facilitate adoptions of children in need. They tried to rebalance but in so doing they clearly ran afoul of the teachings of their Church.

4. You falsely equated three scenarios. The Church's objections to the gaycentric claims of a "right to adopt" are not the same as objections to some both-sexed situations nor to some single individual situations.

If you were ill-informed before, now you might know better, Randy, and that ought to help you to refrain from repeating the false remark quoted above.

Randy R. Said:

Now, as you can imagine, all adoption agencies must adhere to stringent state laws in how they handle adoptions -- we can't just have any old company setting up shop unregulated.


Catholic Charities is not "any old company" and your remark presumes that the state agents may force anti-Catholic practices on Catholics serving the found mission of a Catholic organization. This reveals a totalitarian streak in the pro-SSM side in Massachusetts.

In this matter there is no justification for trampling religious freedom and freedom of conscience. The SSMers put their gay identity politics ahead of the children in Massachusetts.

Randy R. said:

The church suddenly decided it can't place adoptions in gay households. Fine. The state then stated that if you violate state law, then you can't get any more tax breaks or subsidies from the states. The church said fine, then we won't allow any adoptions at all.


What you misrepresent as "sudden" has been longheld. There was no violation of state law. You are confusing an undemocratic revision of state regulation rather than a legislative change to state law.


[T]o continue to provide adoptions [...] it would have to give up state tax breaks and subsidies. It chose to get out all together. That is a choice they made, and no one forced them into it, least of 'gay activists'.


The Catholic Church is not an adoption agency, as well you should know.

Catholic Charities is tasked with a Catholic purpose and its participation in adoption was its foundational mission. This controversy struck at the heart of Catholic Charities and it was the anti-Catholic strategy of gay actists to smear the Church and its religious teachings. This gay identity politics stuff did NOT benefit children in need.

The threat to Catholic Charities went beyond adoption but the point of the spear was a direct threat, not to "tax breaks or subsidies", but to the license to facillitate adoptions.

This was the threat to force Catholic Charities out of adoptions, one way or another. A court battle for a religious exemption would be costly and probably would jeopardize the full slate of charitgable programs -- including those in which Catholic Charities led such as the care of peope suffering from HIV/AIDs.

If not forced out, then Catholics serving a Catholic mission would be forced to comply with anti-Catholic policies and practices. Serving their community was not a profit-making exercise nor was it done for the sake of tax breaks or subsidies. Far more value was put into the adoption services via voluntary time, effort, expertise and, yes, fundraising.

That's a heap of difference which your remarks have glossed over rather too eagerly.

SSMers have shown themselves to be highly prejudiced against Catholics and their Church in Massachusetts.

Totalitarianism seems inseperable from the SSM campaign and that is due to the promotion of identity politics above all other concerns -- including the needs of children in fostercare. This controversy arose out of a false claim of benevolence on the part of the SSMers. Their goal was anti-Catholic and anti-liberty.

Even if one were to be of mind to consider the anti-Catholic policy as benign regarding orphaned children, it is very hard to square it with the fundamental liberties that the US Constitution, and the Massachusetts state constitution, purportedly protect from government encroachment.

Few, if any, SSMers even bother to try.

* * *

For more on the subject see:

Same-Sex Adoption in Massachusetts, the Catholic Church, and the Good of the Children [PDF]

Daniel Avila
Children’s Legal Rights Journal
Volume 27, Number 3 Fall 2007
6.17.2008 3:08pm
Chairm (mail):
martinned said:


The problem with this kind of slippery slope argument is that it doesn't explain how one step causes the next.


It is not on a slippery slope; it is over the edge of the cliff.

Related people can and do marry. So that kind of marriage has always been a subset of marriage.

Polygamy is a series of concurrent marriages. It is a form of marriage that has long-been a subset of marriage.

The lines against either are drawn from the core of the relationship type known as marriage. Some here, in putting forth arguments against these variations of marriage, have already cited concerns about procreation and equality of the sexes -- and these are the same people who say they are in favor of SSM!

What is the common core of SSM and marriage such that the merger would still provide the basis for refusing, even punishing as felony, either the related or the polygamous type of marriage?

Love? Hardly. Committed public relationship? Nope. You need something and it appears SSMers have reached for concerns about sex integration and responsible procreation. By doing so, they have argued against the merger of SSM and marriage.
6.17.2008 3:17pm
dejapooh (mail):
Rue....


RUE....


HA!
6.17.2008 3:23pm
Chairm (mail):
BABH said:


America's founders established a separation (or non-establishment) of religion from the state. They did this to try to avoid sectarian warfare


Well, the pressing of identity politics in marriage law, such as is the primary goal of the SSM campaign, is based on a psuedo-religous belief system that promotes sectarianism rather than pluralism.

The SSMers have declared a virtual war on our principles of self-governance -- and have done so for the sake of imposing on society axiomatic beliefs contrary to expressed will of the national consensus on marriage. If your axiomatic beliefs are at odds with the basis for marriage across history, geography, religions, and political philosophies, then, you ought to stop and ask why you would provoke a virutal war.

Disguising it, at least within your own mind, as a fight against absolutism is the common tactic of the seeker of sectrarian strife.
6.17.2008 3:25pm
Bob Van Burkleo (mail):
Procreation right does exist and recognized by the court, and that right is reserved for a married people.
e.g. http://writ.news.findlaw.com/grossman/20011120.html


Hmmmm, that article says everyone retains the right to procreate regardless of marital status. Again, you make no sense.
6.17.2008 3:25pm
Chairm (mail):
MPP said:


your argument (as you must be aware) presumes that plural marriage and incestuous marriage are somehow wrong. I would point out that both of these phenomena are present in the Bible, with the former actually being treated as quite normal and never condemned.


Present in the Bible, sure, but these examples help to illustrate how and why the practices are condemned.

But aside from the Bible and interpretations of religious beliefs regarding these forms of marriage, what is the basis for a purely nonreligious and amoral objection?

SSMers are too quick to kick religion and to claim that objections to the SSM-merger are purely religious and purely moral-based. So turn the tables and defend the lines drawn against related people (but not all related people) and against people who enter a series of marriages (but only the concurrent series) without transgressing your claims about family formation, love, freedom of choice, and the rest.

And please state the definitive legal requirements that identify the nature of the relationship type you have in mind when you talk of marriage and the lines that regulate its boundaries.
6.17.2008 3:32pm
Chairm (mail):
If you possess the right to procreate, as an individual, please explain how you might practice that right without the other sex.

* * *

The liberty to attempt to procreate together is entrenched in the conjugal relationship type. That's where it is best protected and where responsible procreation is best provided for.

Pointing outside of marriage to any and all kinds of procreative behavior does not help the pro-SSM side but rather reminds that SSM is nonmarital by its very nature.

Here is a limitation on the right to procreate. A wife must have the express agreementn of her husband if she is to use third party IVF -- and have the husband become the father of the intended child. Minus that agreement, the marriage presumption applies and is easily rebutted by the huband. The wife may proceed, independant of her huband, however, he is not obligated to raise the child as his own nor to remain married -- in fact her extramarital procreative behavior would provide grounds for divorce. And not of the no-fault variety.
6.17.2008 3:38pm
shawn-non-anonymous:
Chairm says:


3. The fourth adoption agency, in Boston, responded to the coercion of the state agents. The entire charitable program was at risk, as was the the license to facilitate adoptions of children in need. They tried to rebalance but in so doing they clearly ran afoul of the teachings of their Church.




""All of the homes were good and loving homes and now through the pressure of the bishops Catholic Charities is being forced to get out of the business," said Lee Swislow, executive director of Gay and Lesbian Advocates &Defenders. "There are no winners here. The children are the ones who suffer."

Eight members of Catholic Charities' board stepped down in protest of the bishops' stance. The 42-member board had voted unanimously in December to continue considering gay households for adoptions."
[Read full article]

The 42-member board votes unanimously to *continue* considering gay households. Further, 8 members resign in protest over the Bishop's decision to prohibit gay adoptions. This doesn't seem like a response to coercion to me. It seems like they felt the children could get good homes with gay families.

The Knights of Columbus (the primary Catholic fraternal organization) donated $250K to fight gay marriage in California. How many children could have been helped with that money?
6.17.2008 3:38pm
Pender:
HoyaSaxa said:

I guess what I'm asking for from the many bright legal minds that post on this site is this: If you are given two or three paragraphs to present your best legal argument why the predominant arguments in favor of a constitutional right to same-sex marriage CANNOT be similarly used in favor of a bisexual marrying a man and a woman, or two adult sisters marrying one another, what would your response be?

Sure, no problem. Gay people can't help falling in love with people of the same sex, and we are incapable of falling in love with people of the opposite sex. Telling us we cannot marry people of the same sex means we have no chance of having a happy marriage, ever. Allowing us to marry people of the same sex means we can have a happy marriage, and one that hurts or victimizes no one.

Regarding polygamists, there is no evidence that there is any class of people that is incapable of a happy monogamous marriage who could be happy in a stable polygamous marriage.

Regarding incest, there is no evidence that there is any class of people that is incapable of a happy non-incestuous marriage who could be happy in a stable incestuous marriage.

Regarding pedophilia, which you did not specifically mention but which I will respond to preemptively, pedophiliac relationships harm or victimize at least one of the two parties, so it is different in kind from same-sex marriage. There is no constitutional or moral right to a relationship that inevitably requires the victimization of a party to the relationship.

Regarding bisexuality, it's true that bisexuals are capable of happy opposite-sex marriages. I'm comfortable saying that if gay people didn't exist (but bisexuals did), the argument for same-sex marriage being a constitutional right would be undermined. But as long as gay people exist, you have to have same-sex marriage. And as long as you have same-sex marriage, you can't feasibly exclude bisexual people from it. At best, it would be an egregious invasion of privacy, and likely it would be completely impracticable to separate the true bisexuals (to the extent that they exist) from gay or straight people who were closeted or experimenting. So it's an inevitable consequence of gay marriage being a constitutional right that bisexual people will also be able to partake in them (monogamously, of course).

So here is the calculus in its most elementary form:

There is a moral and constitutional right for a person X to marry a class of people Y IF (though perhaps not only if):
(1) X is incapable of having a happy marriage if X is not permitted to marry people in class Y; AND
(2) X is capable of having a happy, stable marriage if X is permitted to marry people in class Y; AND
(3) A marriage between X and a person in class Y would not inevitably or without unacceptable probability victimize one or the other.

Gay people fit these criteria. Polygamy, incest, beastiality, and pedophilia do not. There need not be any slippery slope as a result of legalizing same-sex marriage.
6.17.2008 4:09pm