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Gay marriage in Connecticut:

The Connecticut Supreme Court has just ruled that the state must recognize gay marriages, making it the third state (all by court decision) to do so. The Connecticut legislature had already created civil unions for same-sex couples, so the question in the case was whether there was any basis in the state constitution to refuse to call these legally equivalent relationships "marriages." It was very much the same issue in the California marriage decision from last May. I have not yet seen the Connecticut decision, and will have more to say later if it seems worthwhile.

Needless to say, the timing of the decision is awkward for gay-marriage supporters trying to fend off SSM bans on the November 4 ballot in Arizona, California, and Florida. Stoking resentment of judicial activism, the Connecticut Supreme Court has at the very least probably increased the likelihood that Prop 8 will pass in California.

UPDATE: Orin has a link to the opinions below. The basis for the decision -- that some heightened scrutiny (here, intermediate) applies to classifications based on sexual orientation, and that the limitation of marriage to opposite-sex couples can't meet the heightened standard -- is similar to part of the California court's rationale. Connecticut becomes the second state to apply heightened scrutiny to discrimination against gays, a significant development independent of the gay-marriage ruling.

Sk (mail):
So what? If the courts are willing to overrule the legislature's creation of the marriage/civil union structure, why wouldn't they similarly overrule the popular vote creation of a constitutional amendment?

Sk
10.10.2008 2:08pm
J. Aldridge:
So much a representative people under a republican government.
10.10.2008 2:09pm
Observer:
This should provide a tremendous opportunity for McCain-Palin to revive their dying campaign. Will they take it?
10.10.2008 2:11pm
anoNY:
Sk, the theory goes that while a court may review legislative statutes and determine whether they are constitutional, the court cannot review a constitutional amendment, because the amendment is officially part of the constitution and therefore constitutional by definition.

I have not studied the CT constitution, but reviewing legislation for constitutionality is probably the court's job.
10.10.2008 2:17pm
Roger Schlafly (www):
This decision does not give same-sex couples any new rights with respect to taxes or hospital visits or anything like that. Its only purpose is to use the courts to force people to accept using the word "marriage" to describe certain homosexual relationships.
10.10.2008 2:21pm
RJones157:
Another bunch of black robed tyrants running roughshod over the people.

I hate to break it to these wannabe Hitlers, but they no more have the power to redefine marriage than they have the power to create "fantastical magical pink unicorns."

Just because they say that two people of the same-sex can "marry" doesn't make it so. Just if the Court proclaimed that the State must issue "magical unicorn licenses" wouldn't make such unicorns exist.

I will tell you this, any attempt to force me to recognize your perversion and idiocy will result in serious consequences. After all, that is what this battle is all about. The homosexualists want to force acceptance and embrace of a perverted behavior. If one refuses to comply they will attempt to use government force to obtain compliance.

Any attempt to use such force on me or my family will result in the exercise of my natural right to self defense.

The decrees of leftist activists have no power over me. I refuse to grant my consent to be ruled by tyrants.
10.10.2008 2:21pm
RJones157:
This decision does not give same-sex couples any new rights with respect to taxes or hospital visits or anything like that. Its only purpose is to use the courts to force people to accept using the word "marriage" to describe certain homosexual relationships.

BINGO! And that's why this battle is being waged. The homosexualists want to FORCE people to accept their behavior and relationships.

I won't do it.

The Homosexualists and their allies can go jump in a lake.
10.10.2008 2:23pm
newly-minted 2L (mail):
I wonder if CT has a law similar to MA, whereby you have to be a state resident to get married. If not, somebody should start a same-sex wedding chapel right across the state line from NY, so same-sex couples can get married in CT and have those marriages recognized in NY.

I smell an opportunity for an entrepreneuer from Pigeon Forge, or Las Vegas. They've got the cheesey wedding chapel artform refined to perfection. The only other question, besides the CT laws on residency, is, do same-sex couples want the same thing in a wedding that rednecks in Vegas and Appalachia seem to love so much?
10.10.2008 2:28pm
J. Rose:
RJones157:

How, exactly, does allowing 2 people you don't know, and probably wouldn't associate with anyway, to marry constitute an initiation of force agaisnt you?

I'm really curious on this one.
10.10.2008 2:28pm
anoNY:
What exactly are homosexuals "FORCE[ing]" you to do here, RJones? You do not have to refer to their union as a "marriage." You don't have to do anything at all. In fact, I bet that every homosexual in CT would rather you ignore them than spout the kind of drivel you have so far spouted.

What this decision does is to strike down certain words in a statute to the effect that a state-recognized marriage is only for a man and a woman.
10.10.2008 2:32pm
anoNY:
J. Rose beat me to it!!1!
10.10.2008 2:33pm
J. Rose:
RJones157:

"The homosexualists want to FORCE people to accept their behavior and relationships.

I won't do it."

Good thing you don't have to. You don't have to like what gay people do, or "accept" it. All you have to do is get out of the way and let individuals live their lives, as long as they aren't initiating force agaisnt you. In a free society, that's all anybody is obligated to do.
10.10.2008 2:34pm
A.W. (mail):
Its insanity. If a civil union is a marriage in all but name, then the only argument is that it stigmatized gay relationships...

But, um, isn't that the legislature's right? Can't the legislature say, "you know what? All things being equal being in a straight relationship is better." We're not talking about jailing people, or even giving otherwise different benefits, all we are saying is a homosexual relationship is inferior.

The people of CT can and should have the right to say that.
10.10.2008 2:35pm
Nunzio:
Although I wish legislatures would modify the laws to permit same-sex marriage instead of the courts opposing them, I think this is a good thing and not a signal to the end of civilization as we know it.

A lot of kids are born to unmarried parents, especially blacks, so gay marriage and adoption, which is legal in every state regardless of gay marriage (except for Florida maybe) is a good thing because marriage and parenting are a good thing.

It think it's a shame that Obama and McCain have publicly opposed gay marriage (although privately I wonder if they do; say what you will about McCain, the guy's not a bigot.)
10.10.2008 2:36pm
NickW:
Newly-minted: Massachusetts no longer has that law.
10.10.2008 2:37pm
Tomm:
I doubt a court could strike down a constitutional amendment based on the content, but obviously they would have to hear claims of improper ratification.
10.10.2008 2:38pm
anoNY:
2L: According to usmarriagelaws.com, CT has no residency requirement.
10.10.2008 2:38pm
Dave N (mail):
Newly Minted,

If you look at the caselaw, you will discover that the full-faith-and-credit clause has a major exception for issues of marriage and divorce. In addition, with DOMA, I strongly doubt a state would be required to recognize a marriage it did not want to recognize.
10.10.2008 2:39pm
anoNY:
But A.W., what if the legislature were to say that being a white person was better than being black. Or perhaps being Christian is more valuable then being Muslim.

Regardless of constitutional permissibility, wouldn't it just be wrong for a government, which represents ALL of its citizens, to say stuff like that?
10.10.2008 2:49pm
Hoosier:
All you have to do is get out of the way and let individuals live their lives, as long as they aren't initiating force agaisnt you. In a free society, that's all anybody is obligated to do.

But that's not all anybody is obligated to do. I am obligated to do a very large number of things that I'd rather not do.

Yet another example of what I've mentioned before re: capital punishment. The way things are done in a republic matters. Or at least ought to. And I'm very disturbed to see policies that I support enacted by fiat from the bench. This is an invented right; invented by a very small number of people.

But as long as you get the result that you want that's ok. Right?
10.10.2008 2:49pm
J. Rose:
"But that's not all anybody is obligated to do. I am obligated to do a very large number of things that I'd rather not do."

I'll grant that we don't live in an entirely free society. However, to say that gay marriage per se is a form of tyranny, or even a slight erosion of anybody's personal freedom is absurd. Now, this is not to say that gay marriage might not carry with some erostions of personal freedom: some proponents of gay marriage might argue that churches should be forced to perform them, or that employers should be forced to provide benefits to same-sex couples.

I disagree with those assertions, but they're a separate issue.
10.10.2008 2:57pm
RJones157:

How, exactly, does allowing 2 people you don't know, and probably wouldn't associate with anyway, to marry constitute an initiation of force agaisnt you?

I'm really curious on this one.


So if I run a wedding photography business and I refuse to take the business those in these sham "marriages" there is no problem with that?

What if I refuse to rent my facilities for same-sex "marriage" ceremonies?

You know as well as I do that the issuance of these bogus "licenses" will inevitably result in the use of government force to mandate acceptance of this perversion.
10.10.2008 2:58pm
RJones157:
Good thing you don't have to. You don't have to like what gay people do, or "accept" it. All you have to do is get out of the way and let individuals live their lives, as long as they aren't initiating force agaisnt you. In a free society, that's all anybody is obligated to do.

So if I am hauled before a human rights commission for refusing to photography a same-sex wedding, that isn't the initiation of force?

What should one do in response to such force?

I have my own ideas, but I curious to hear yours.
10.10.2008 3:00pm
Jay Myers:
anoNY:

I have not studied the CT constitution, but reviewing legislation for constitutionality is probably the court's job.

Only in so far as it is necessary for the court to honor its oath to support and defend both the state and federal constitutions.

When a court decides that a law is unconstitutional that law isn't stricken from the books. All that has happened is that the court has announced that there is a conflict between the law and a constitution and so the court's obligation to adhere to that constitution prevents it from enforcing the law. So in theory 'judicial review' should only be able to have negative effects and not positive effects such as ordering a state to enact SSM.

A positive effect would be the result of an equity court decision, but the rulings of equity courts only deal with the instant case and set no precedent. So a supreme court acting as a equity court can decide that a same sex couple should be allowed to marry but they would have to make that decision seperately for each and every couple that wants to get married.

In theory, there could also be a conflict between a constitutional amendment and the constitution that it is intended to amend. For example, a constitutional amendment that gave states unequal representation in the Senate would itself be unconstitutional since the constitution says that the equal suffrage provision cannot be amended.
10.10.2008 3:04pm
J. Rose:
RJones157: I agree that nobody should be forced to participate in a gay marriage ceremony (or a heterosexual marriage ceremony, for that matter) if they don't want to, and that private entities should be allowed to choose their employees and clients on any grounds they wish.

However, the core benefits of marriage do not affect the rights of anyone else. Are you harmed when a gay couple files a joint tax return, when the property of one spouse is allowed to pass to the other by intestacy, or when someone doesn't have to jump through hoops to visit his or her spouse in the hospital? It may offend your sensibilities (which is just too bad for you), but does it violate your rights?
10.10.2008 3:06pm
Tatil:

So if I am hauled before a human rights commission for refusing to photography a same-sex wedding, that isn't the initiation of force?

What should one do in response to such force?

Respond in the exact same way a restaurant that refuse to serve blacks would.
10.10.2008 3:17pm
Jay Myers:
anoNY:

But A.W., what if the legislature were to say that being a white person was better than being black. Or perhaps being Christian is more valuable then being Muslim.

Regardless of constitutional permissibility, wouldn't it just be wrong for a government, which represents ALL of its citizens, to say stuff like that?

I'll concede that it would be wrong if you'll concede that the courts don't have the authority to make the legislature adhere to the courts' standards of wrong and right. But the opposite is not true. If a legislature encodes its opinion of right and wrong in a law then the courts must not replace that opinion with its own. To do so is to set men above the law.
10.10.2008 3:18pm
Roger Schlafly (www):
Are you harmed when a gay couple files a joint tax return, when the property of one spouse is allowed to pass to the other by intestacy, ...?
Yes. When others get a tax break, then I have to pay (relatively) more taxes.

But the Calif and Conn court decisions had no effect on such matters. Same-sex couples could become domestic partners or civil unions and file joint state tax returns. The court decision exists only to force the public to accept calling it marriage.

Yes, I mean "force". That is what a binding court decision does. If you really don't understand how the court decision forces anything, then I suggest rereading the decision. The whole purpose is to overrule the wishes of the people and the legislature.
10.10.2008 3:22pm
RJones157:

However, the core benefits of marriage do not affect the rights of anyone else. Are you harmed when a gay couple files a joint tax return, when the property of one spouse is allowed to pass to the other by intestacy, or when someone doesn't have to jump through hoops to visit his or her spouse in the hospital? It may offend your sensibilities (which is just too bad for you), but does it violate your rights?


Didn't the homosexualists in CT have that already with the "civil union" setup?

Yes, they did. So that is a red herring. This is about gaining access to the word "marriage" to use that as a vehicle to initiate force against those who don't comply with the agenda.
10.10.2008 3:29pm
anoNY:
Jay,

"So a supreme court acting as a equity court can decide that a same sex couple should be allowed to marry but they would have to make that decision seperately for each and every couple that wants to get married."

This would only be the case if the government denied licenses to all homosexual comers regardless of the court's past rulings. In this case, the government will hopefully recognize that repeated litigation is costly and will thus decide not to deny these licenses. The court will waste little time in these matters, as it will just expect its trial courts to grant summary judgments.

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

"In theory, there could also be a conflict between a constitutional amendment and the constitution that it is intended to amend. For example, a constitutional amendment that gave states unequal representation in the Senate would itself be unconstitutional since the constitution says that the equal suffrage provision cannot be amended."

Unless the CT constitution says something about not allowing changes to its provisions, this is just plain wrong. To take the Federal Constitution as an example, you would read the 17th Amendment as being unconstitutional?
10.10.2008 3:30pm
A.W. (mail):
Anon

> But A.W., what if the legislature were to say that being a white person was better than being black.

Well, there is no difference between white people and black people. Are you going to say there is none between straight couples and gay ones?

> Or perhaps being Christian is more valuable then being Muslim.

There are specific clauses in the federal constitution to prevent that.

> Regardless of constitutional permissibility, wouldn't it just be wrong for a government, which represents ALL of its citizens, to say stuff like that?

To merely express an opinion on the subject of straight v. gay? Um, no.
10.10.2008 3:31pm
Pender:
A court "overrules the wishes of the people and the legislature" whenever it finds something unconstitutional. Do you anti-gay folks now inherently oppose judicial review?
10.10.2008 3:36pm
anoNY:
"Yes, I mean "force". That is what a binding court decision does. If you really don't understand how the court decision forces anything, then I suggest rereading the decision. The whole purpose is to overrule the wishes of the people and the legislature."

It is true that the government may have to change the terms it uses on documents, this does fit into the definition of "force." However, this is a case of the government (through the constitutional mandate of equal protection) forcing itself to make a change. If the people of the state do not like this, they are free to amend the constitution.

"If a legislature encodes its opinion of right and wrong in a law then the courts must not replace that opinion with its own. To do so is to set men above the law."

Unless, of course, the people had already encoded their vision of right and wrong in a constitution. In that case, it is appropriate for the court to substitute the people's opinion for the legislature's.
10.10.2008 3:40pm
Jimmy S.:
"Homosexualists"? That's a new one to me.
10.10.2008 3:48pm
A.W. (mail):
Pender,

What a stupid straw man. Just because many of us think the judicial review should be based on an honest attempt to actually read the constitution, doesn't mean that we oppose all judicial review. Judicial review is not an excuse to rule by fiat.

I am constantly staggered that the left wants to tear down our constitution all the time. And that is what you do when you encourage the courts to rule by fiat. For instance i would bet around 90% of the people celebrating this decision denounced Bush v. Gore as the court throwing the election to its preferred candidate. But pretending for a moment it could be proven that Bush v. Gore was an activist decision, how is that different than this kind of thing in Connecticut? How can you say, "the courts can 'discover' gay rights where they don't exist, but they suddenly have to rule based on original intent in Bush v. Gore?"
10.10.2008 3:48pm
Michael B (mail):
"... reviewing legislation for constitutionality is probably the court's job."

Deadpanning in response, "probably is." Via such bland, surface level descriptions, we could say things such as,

"Managing accounting practices at Fannie Mae was probably Franklin Raines' job." (Franklin Raines is a grad, btw, of Harvard Law, so he must be smart and trustworthy ...)

Or, "Helping people to register to vote is probably ACORN's job." Here, here, here, reflecting a total of at least nine or ten states now, or the Obama campaign's $800,000 payment to ACORN in support of "voter registration" activities. It's known as activism, doncha know.

Other examples come to mind, reflecting usurpations, arrogations or in general terms, human pride and hubris wherein accountability is non-existent or very nearly so. Then again, "as we all know," "you can't legislate morality," which likewise reflects a banal and literally mindless euphemism - since morality is the only thing that is legislated.
10.10.2008 3:54pm
Vanceone (mail):
Up above there are plenty of people asking "How does this hurt you straight people? What harm can it do to you? How is your marriage and family affected?"

Here is a list of limited ways:

1) Now, in order to talk about marriage at all in school, Gay marriage has to be discussed as equal and normal. I now have to deprogram my children when they come home and tell me about how they learned about how wonderful life is with Bill and Steve as parents.

2) The further erosion of permissible places to hold to old fashioned values. For Example the Boy Scouts will, once more, be driven out of cities and funding will be cut because they hold to a view of morality that now contradicts our great SSM overlords. That loss of funding and meeting space (It's discrimiatory to let the boy scouts meet in the park--cuz that's governmental property and they discriminate so they can't meet!) is already happening. Access to governmental services will be limited unless you promote a SSM lifestyle.

3) Hate speech. How long until it's hate speech for me to go to church and hear about God's plan for mankind involves a loving mother and father? That's a political message of hate speech now, and my church is engaged in politics and should lose 1) it's tax exemption and 2) any other benefits, and 3) eventually, preaching hate speech will become a criminal offense. Bam. My preacher in jail, or me in jail for offending against that 'Heightened class that needs protecting, or married gays." If you don't think this will happen, it's already happening in Canada. A Catholic bishop and also a priest were ordered by governmental agencies that they had to pay fines and be silenced for reading from the Bible.

And we already have human rights commissions here in the USA doing the same thing. Witness the New Mexico case with the photographer, and the Boy Scouts in Philly. Ten years from now, will I be jail because I dared speak the phrase that marriage should be between a man and a woman?

SSM is the new "orthodoxy." And remember, they jailed thousands of Mormons in the 1800's because they didn't conform to existing marriage orthodoxy. Looks like they are trying to do it again! In a few years, of course.... not quite yet. It's preposterous now, absolutely! Ten years from now? Likely not. Ten years ago, it was absolutely preposterous we'd have legal gay marriage in any state either.....
10.10.2008 3:59pm
William D. Tanksley, Jr:
However, the core benefits of marriage do not affect the rights of anyone else.


I'd like to see some debate and discussion on the "core benefits" of marriage, their purpose, and their cost to others (if any). The implication of the pro-gay-marriage contingent has been that they have no purpose except to favor certain people, and no cost to others.

I don't get that.

If they are so favorable and so without cost, why not extend them to everyone, without exception? If they're not contingent on gender, why should they be contingent on sex (that is, the presence of a sexual relationship)?

I think there's a lot missing in the arguments I've seen presented.

Those are honest questions ... I don't have prethought answers to them. To be honest, I'm sure my inherently conservative personality type shows; I'd rather not change ancient ways of doing things without a really good reason... But answering these things might help me see what the really good reason IS.

-Wm
10.10.2008 4:17pm
Patrick22 (mail):
It is funny to read Brooks' op-ed today and then read about half the comments above.

It is very simple, if being gay is biologically determined, then you can't discriminate against them. Separate but equal has been found across the USA as a form of discrimination. If you think that being gay is a "perversion", and it is not biologically determined, then you can argue that it is not discrimination. But the science is pretty much against that position.
10.10.2008 4:20pm
anoNY:
A.W.,

In the eyes of the state, there should be no difference between gay and straight couples or individuals. The state should not be exalting one type of relationship over another. Legal marriage is a contract between two people, nothing more. It is an efficient way to allocate property rights between those people, why should its use be denied to a couple because they are gay?

In my opinion, the term "marriage" is being polluted by the government, and should be used only in the religious context to denote a loving, life-long relationship.

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

Vanceone,

I agree that the things you mention are problems. Perhaps there should be no government schools, or perhaps the teachers should just tell the child to ask his or her parents about issues like gay marriage. #s 2 and 3 are easier, though. The government already should not be funding the Boy Scouts, as they are a Christian organization that discriminates. Once free from the government dole, they should be free to discriminate as they please. Also, I agree with you on hate speech; it is a violation of a person's First Amendment rights to be prosecuted for saying something offensive. Your church should not have a tax break, as I should not be responsible for subsidizing your religion.
10.10.2008 4:20pm
rickster:
While I can't say I agree with the tone of RJones157's comments, you really can't say that the gay marriage movement isn't resulting in people being forced into things. Case in point, California's Unruh Civil Rights Act, Civ. C § 51, prohibits denial of equal acces to "business establishments of every kind whatsoever" on the basis of sexual orientation, among the usual suspect classifications (race, gender, etc). In August, the Cal. Supreme Court essentially held that this anti-discrimination law trumps federal and state constitutional protections for religious freedom. In North Coast Women's Care Medical Group, Inc. v. Superior Court (2008) 44 Cal.4th 1145, a lesbian couple sued their doctor at a woman's clinic for refusing to perform an intrauterine insemination procedure (inserting sperm directly into the uterus) to impregnate one of the women. The court said that if the doctor provides fertility treatments to others, she has to provide it to lesbians as well, regardless of religious objection. You might read the opinion as recognizing an exception to liability where the desired service can easily and without additional cost be obtained from someone else, but the fact of the matter is that people are in fact being forced to recognize the legitimacy of these relationships, or face sure liability, regardless of their own moral or religious objections.

Regardless of how you feel about gay marriage or homosexuality, that has scary implications for freedom of religion and speach. Point is, RJones157's comments aren't far off base at all.
10.10.2008 4:24pm
Bob Van Burkleo (mail):
Well, there is no difference between white people and black people. Are you going to say there is none between straight couples and gay ones?

Nothing intrinsic.

As to the complaints about religious intrusion the best example that won't happen is the Roman Catholic Church. They don't recognized secularly divorced people, they won't remarry them, and never have. Have they been forced to perform the religious rite of marriage for anyone that didn't fit their selection criteria but did the secular? Nope. When they tell these people they aren't qualified to be married by their church have they been charged with 'hate speech'? Nope.

Strawman.

As to the Boy Scouts, they are a private religious organization that used to be considered a public accommodation in many places. They went before the SCOTUS and declared they did NOT want to be considered a public accommodation. So yes, there are some adjustments because hopefully we can agree a private religious organization that specifically does NOT want to be considered a public accommodation shouldn't be getting special considerations from the secular government. Do you see the Baptist Youth Fellowship asking for secular government handouts? Demoley? Any at all?

An ethical BSA wouldn't even want these special perks and considerations as a number of BSA pundits have pointed out. Fighting for special rights just makes the BSA look petty and hypocritical.

And of course gay people marry all the time - a number of churches perform such ceremonies all the time - this idea that somehow they are redefining marriage is a joke. Gay people already marry, naturally, secularly, and religiously. In a nation of equal rights under the law why should they only qualify for 2 out of 3?
10.10.2008 4:30pm
Bob Van Burkleo (mail):
Regardless of how you feel about gay marriage or homosexuality, that has scary implications for freedom of religion and speach.

Oh please - saying she won't do business with lesbians is no different than saying she won't do business with blacks, or latinos, or any other artificial criteria.

She has a right to her religion, she doesn't have a right to treat her customers as if they share her religion.
10.10.2008 4:33pm
anoNY:
"Regardless of how you feel about gay marriage or homosexuality, that has scary implications for freedom of religion and speach."

I agree that there are threats to freedom of speech and religion. However, I disagree that the source of these threats is gay marriage or homosexuality. I think that the threat is more from laws banning private discrimination of any kind.
10.10.2008 4:35pm
Pender:
But pretending for a moment it could be proven that Bush v. Gore was an activist decision, how is that different than this kind of thing in Connecticut?

The problem with Bush v. Gore was not activism but hypocrisy. The former is a substance-free slur that has come to mean any decision with which you disagree. The latter is rooted in the substantial and rigorous concept of logical consistency.
10.10.2008 5:00pm
Perseus (mail):
It is very simple, if being gay is biologically determined, then you can't discriminate against them. Separate but equal has been found across the USA as a form of discrimination. If you think that being gay is a "perversion", and it is not biologically determined, then you can argue that it is not discrimination. But the science is pretty much against that position.


Just because something is biologically determined doesn't automatically mean that discrimination is prohibited (the list of legally allowable discrimination in such instances is endless). And modern science qua science does not support any normative policy view on the matter. Talk about "anti-intellectual" simplistic thinking.
10.10.2008 5:18pm
rickster:
Bob Van Burkleo - great point. Because declining, on the basis of religious objections, to physically impregnate a lesbian is the same as, say, refusing to serve a latte because the customer is gay.

anoNY - I agree. I wasn't saying that gay marriage or homosexuality in and of themselves threaten freedoms. The result of the gay rights/marriage movement is to force others to accept this lifestyle, despite moral or religious objections. And as you said, that forced acceptance is being carried out through anti-discriminationw laws. For the record, I don't have a problem with gay people. I have worked well with many, and have a good friend who is gay. But we have other rights in this country too, like freedom of religion, speech and association, which are being threatened in respects.
10.10.2008 5:18pm
Michael B (mail):
"It is funny to read Brooks' op-ed today and then read about half the comments above.

"... But the science ..." Patrick22

What science do you have in mind? Here's the science I have in mind:

"Perhaps the most controversial application of [the allele-sharing method] has been to a type of male homosexual orientation. The original study reported that brothers who both exhibited such an orientation showed excess allele-sharing (thirty-three out of forty pairs) at the locus Xq28 (on the X chromosome). A follow-up study reported the same result, but with only twenty-two of thirty-two pairs now showing allele sharing. It also reported no such linkage for female homosexuality. However, in both cases there was an important caveat: while each pair of brothers was shown to share the same DNA sequence at the Xq38 location, different pairs did not necessarily have the same sequence. Attempts to reproduce this result have so far not been uniformly successful. As noted, the follow-up study provided confirmation, but with a lower degree of statistical significance. Another group failed to reproduce the result altogether. Moreover, methodological problems, possibly, the biased reporting of the data - have been alleged in the work of the original group." S. Sarkar, Genetics and Reductionism

As to the latter allegations, they were originally advanced by E. Marshall ("NIH's 'Gay Gene' Study Questioned," Science) and C. Holden ("More on Genes and Homosexuality," Science), each in 1995 and each fellow researchers and scientists, not advocates. Also, see J.M. Bailey in Nature Genetics, "Sexual Orientation Revolution" where he indicates the data do not allow definitive conclusions to be drawn.

So again, what science are you claiming?
10.10.2008 5:34pm
Dan Hamilton:
Pender

The former is a substance-free slur that has come to mean any decision with which you disagree.


That is the definition that the Libs started and continue to use. As always they try to change things by redefin9ing words.

An Activist Decision is simply one where there is no reasonable law on the books to back up the decision. Roe vs Wade is the best example. It was made up bases only on the courts decision that it was going to support abortion.

The problem with the "marriage" court decisions is that "WHAT THE COURT GIVES THE COURT CAN TAKE AWAY". You that are for this are impowering the court to be able to do ANYTHING. That is the fear. You are riding high now but what happens when the wind changes. And the courts start saying that NO gay aren't married. Abortion is murder. ect. ect. Thewn WHAT will you say!!!

Live by the COURT and you will die by the COURT.
10.10.2008 5:42pm
Patrick Meighan (mail):
"you really can't say that the gay marriage movement isn't resulting in people being forced into things. Case in point, California's Unruh Civil Rights Act, Civ. C § 51, prohibits denial of equal acces to "business establishments of every kind whatsoever" on the basis of sexual orientation, among the usual suspect classifications (race, gender, etc)."

This has nothing do to with gay marriage. These portions of the Unruh Civil Rights Act were passed years ago, when it was still illegal for same-sex couples to marry in California.

"In August, the Cal. Supreme Court essentially held that this anti-discrimination law trumps federal and state constitutional protections for religious freedom."

Yes, with regard to places of business and commercial service providers. Not with regard to churches, which continue to be free to discriminate against all manner of human beings in their respective religious sanctuaries, with impunity. There are still American churches that refuse to conduct interracial marriages. Those churches haven't been sanctioned, any more than churches that refuse to conduct same-sex marriage have been sanctioned in states where same-sex marriage is legal. But it's different for businesses, for better or for worse.

And, again, anti-discrimination statutes applied to businesses have nothing to do with the debate over gay marriage.

Same-sex marriage hasn't forced any private citizen or organization to do anything that he, she or they hasn't wanted to do.

Patrick Meighan
Culver City, CA
10.10.2008 5:53pm
Patrick Meighan (mail):
"great point. Because declining, on the basis of religious objections, to physically impregnate a lesbian is the same as, say, refusing to serve a latte because the customer is gay."

In the state's eyes, fertility clinics and coffeehouses are both commercial service providers, with a legal responsibility to adhere to the non-discrimination statutes which apply to commercial service providers.

Patrick Meighan
Culver City, CA
10.10.2008 5:58pm
Angus:

BINGO! And that's why this battle is being waged. The homosexualists Negroes want to FORCE people to accept their behavior and relationships.

I won't do it.

The Homosexualists Negroes and their allies can go jump in a lake.
Fixed, and welcome to 1954!
10.10.2008 6:39pm
Russ (mail):
Way to let the people in the Republic decide. But then, our black robed masters are so much smarter than we are.

It's time to start impeaching and removing judges who foist this stuff down our throats. It's the legislature's job to make laws, not the courts.
10.10.2008 6:57pm
Russ (mail):
Way to go Angus. Yup, anyone who disagrees and sees potential problems is a racist and bigot! There is no other explanation!
10.10.2008 6:58pm
pluribus:
RJones157:

I will tell you this, any attempt to force me to recognize your perversion and idiocy will result in serious consequences. . . . Any attempt to use such force on me or my family will result in the exercise of my natural right to self defense.

It's curious how many members of the privileged class squeal when the privileges they enjoy are extended to others. They seem to feel the privileges are their private property, not to be shared with anybody. And equally curious that opponents of same sex marriage claim they are being "forced" to do something they find objectionable. What "force" is being used against them? And what are they being "forced" to do--other than accept the fact that some people they despise are citizens, too? But they hint not so subtly that they will use "force" (their "natural right to self defense") to resist this sharing.
10.10.2008 6:58pm
Patrick Meighan (mail):
"It's the legislature's job to make laws, not the courts."

Yup, but when the legislature makes a law that violates the constitution (in this case, the Connecticut state constitution), is the court's job to rule as such.

Patrick Meighan
Culver City, CA
10.10.2008 7:11pm
John A. Fleming (mail):
anonNY

"the Boy Scounts ... are a Christian organization that discrimminates ..."

Bob van Burkleo

"... As to the Boy Scouts, they are a private religious organization ..."

I can't tell if that's willful or accidental misstatement of the facts, but either way it dulls your argument.

A better set of facts.
1. Every boy is welcome in Scouting. A boy who wants to participate in Scouting has to commit to trying to live his life by the Scout Oath and Law. If a boy wants the benefits of camping and climbing and performing public service, in the company of and leading other boys, all that is required is his promise and effort to abide by the Scout Oath and Law.
Conversely, if a boy joins a Troop and then is unable or unwilling to live by the Scouting ideals, and takes the additional step of acting perversely to them, he is asked to leave the Troop. That is not discrimmination.

2. Boy Scouting is not a religous organization. But Boy Scouts work to accomodate all religions. A Boy Scout troop is chartered by a private community organization, and the charter organization makes a promise to the Boy Scouts of America to oversee the conduct of the Troop, that the Troop will adhere to the BSA rules of conduct.
There are Troops that are deliberately non-demoninational, and other that are exclusively one denomination. For example, I have seen Orthodox Jewish troops that carefully follow their religous observances, even during summer camps. That Troop, by National's rules, is not allowed to refuse membership of Gentile boys. If a boy wants to join an Orthodox Troop (usually because that where his friends joined), the Troop must accept him, but the Troop is not required to modify its religious observances to accommodate the non-Orthodox Scout. And the Troop would certainly be within its right make it clear to the boy and his parents that the boy would be expected to participate, at some level, in the Troop's observances.

Each Scout promises to "do my ... duty to God", and observe the 12th point of the Scout Law, "A Scout is reverent". What that duty is, and how to be reverent, is up the Scout (and his family). Boy Scout Troops are organized, in lesser or greater priority, to encourage the Scout to be reverent. There are Orthodox and LDS Troops that explicitly incorporate duty to God, and there are Troops that barely rise above being able to say a quick non-demoninational Grace at meals.

If you were to become a Scoutmaster (by being selected and approved by the Troop Committee), one of the things that you promise to the parents of those boys is that you will encourage them to follow their religion, whatever it is. And if the Scout is not religious? There are other means of encouraging reverence. For example, you can couple it with a "Scout is kind", and ask the Scout to not willfully kill or torture any animal, even the smallest, since each is a marvel of Creation.

3. Boy Scout Troops are chartered by a private community organization, and they are run by a Troop Committee, of interested parents of the boys of the Troop. Within the limits of Scouting by-laws, the parents decide how the Troop is to be organized, and what traditions and ceremonies and priorities are to be observed. Scouting is therefore, you and your neighbors associating together, to provide your all's best guess at how to provide an environment and activities and examples of living that help your boys become moral young men. Young men who will observe the responsibilies of citizenship and work to make their communities, nation and world a better place.
You and your neighbors have one set of priorities and guesses. The Latter-Day Saints down at the local Stake have another. The members of the local Lions Club have a third. Boy Scouting accommodates all these.

That Boy Scouting is a discrimminatory organization is an uncalled-for slander.

Ahh, you say, it discrimminates against gay men, it won't let them be Scoutmasters. Here's my two rejoinders.

1. Exploring human sexuality is not part of the Scout Oath and Law, and not part of the Scouting program. That is left to families to provide for their children. Scouting is not going to change its values to fit the fashions of the day. The BSA believes the Scouting values are timeless, that they are applicable to all boys at all times, as a model of how to live a moral life. That's a choice that free people make, unencumbered by government tyranny, that only history will be able to evaluate.

2. By way of example, you're a 22 year old man, and you show up unannounced at a Scout Troop and ask to be a Scoutmaster. The Troop Committee parents will say, uhh no, we don't know you, we don't think you'd be a good fit for our Troop and our boys. Try the Troop down the street.

Or you're a 40 year old gay man, and with your partner Steve, you approach the Troop and ask if your 11-year old son can join, and you and Steve can participate as adult leaders in the Troop outings. Since these are your friends and neighbors, and your son goes to school with their sons (who are all friends), the Troop committee will probably say, sure, please, we'd love to have you. Your son, like all other Scouts, will have to promise to try and live by the Scout Oath and Law. You and Steve would have to agree to follow the Scouting by-laws for adult leadership. As all other adult leaders have already agreed. Of course, if you tried this at an LDS Troop, they'd say, uhh no, we'd love to have you, but we don't think you'd be a good fit for our Troop. Try the Troop down the street.

See the difference? It's not discrimmination, it's Ecclesiastes: to each thing, there is a season.
10.10.2008 7:41pm
John A. Fleming (mail):
Bob van Burkleo

Boy Scouts...used to be considered a public accommodation.

Ooh, let's explore that. In frontier towns all across America, the arrival of the first Church was a joyful public event. It was a matter of civic pride when the churches outnumbered the saloons and bawdy houses. And the town fathers were elected by the citizens to use the powers of government to make sure this happened. Wild west towns were hellholes. Peaceful frontier towns were a treasure.

Remember George Washington's letter to the first synagogue in America? Notice that Mayor Sarah Palin showed up to welcome the opening of a synagogue in Wasilla?

Likewise, it was a joyful civic event for boys and their parents when the first Boy Scout troop was organized in the town.

Rather than the Boy Scouts seeking accommodations, it was the towns and cities offering accommodations to encourage the formation of Boy Scout troops. It was a deliberate civics choice, to which the good townspeople heartily agreed.

Fast forward to today. We have new, modern civics. We must aggressively tolerate, encourage, and be not judgemental towards all personal moralities. Not only must we not encourage and support churches, we must restrict their influence and practices to be consistent with our new modern civics. And so these public accommodations that our ancestors created to encourage the spread of civilization, must now be swept away. Since the Boy Scouts have made a choice and taken a stand, they too must be driven from the public space, lest they call into question the correctness of our new civics.

And actually, this is good, because now the Scouts as a fully private organization, are beyond the control of the dead hand of government. Scouting will now have to compete, unencumbered by government restrictions, in the market place of ideas, and for the hearts and minds of young men and their parents. And history alone will decide which survives.
10.10.2008 8:22pm
Patrick22 (mail):

So again, what science are you claiming?


Twin studies have shown that an identical twin has a much greater chance of being gay if his twin is gay. The relationship does not hold for adoptive brothers and is less expressed in fraternal twins. This is proof of a genetic component.

Another study showed one's chance of being gay increases as to how many older brothers one has. This leads one to conclude a further teratogenic component.



It is probably an interaction of many factors, but there is no evidence people, "choose to be gay."
10.10.2008 9:06pm
Roger Schlafly (www):
It is probably an interaction of many factors, but there is no evidence people, "choose to be gay."
Straw man. No one here said that. Your argument was based on supposing that "being gay is biologically determined". The science is against that.
10.10.2008 9:31pm
Patrick Meighan (mail):
Patrick22: "It is probably an interaction of many factors, but there is no evidence people, "choose to be gay."

Roger Schlafly: "Straw man. No one here said that. Your argument was based on supposing that "being gay is biologically determined". The science is against that."

So if sexual identity is not biologically determined, and it's not a willful choice, then what determines sexual identity?

Patrick Meighan
Culver City, CA
10.10.2008 9:46pm
Patrick22 (mail):
It is not a straw man, it is the opposite of my position. If it is not biologically determined, then it is a free choice.

For some reason, this site didn't post a link:

http://news-service.stanford.edu/pr/95/950310Arc5328.html

The science is pretty obviously behind the idea that there is a genetic/teratogenic cause to homosexuality.
10.10.2008 9:49pm
Bob Van Burkleo (mail):
1. Every boy is welcome in Scouting…

And then you go on to clarify that only certain boys are welcome in scouting, those who are of certain religion, and yes, of a certain sexual orientation.

2. Boy Scouting is not a religious organization…

One of the supporting documents submitted to the court in the SCOTUS case specifically said it was. They have a religious litmus test so regardless of any claims they are a religious organization.

3. Boy Scout Troops are chartered by a private community organization… …Boy Scouting accommodates all these.

Wrong. Several troops have said they would not discriminate according to religion and sexual orientation and they were 'corrected' by the national organization. It most certainly does NOT accommodate the sponsoring organization's ideologies.

That Boy Scouting is a discrimminatory organization is an uncalled-for slander.

No its a statement of fact, and they discriminate using criteria that are in violation federal and many local civic statutes. As a private organization they can, but they can't qualify for public money if they are.

Ahh, you say, it discrimminates against gay men, it won't let them be Scoutmasters.

Actually I never mentioned that. Boys that are atheists are not allowed participate. Boys that are gay are not allowed to participate. Their right as a private religious organization but that means they can't be on the public dole at the same time.

Scouting will now have to compete, unencumbered by government restrictions, in the market place of ideas, and for the hearts and minds of young men and their parents. And history alone will decide which survives.

Yep, and I for one recommend the Campfire Kids as a nonsectarian alternative that does accept kids of all genders, sexual orientations and religious views.

Oh and of course the international Scouting movement is far more open in many other countries.
10.10.2008 11:49pm
Randy R. (mail):
Patrick: " If it is not biologically determined, then it is a free choice. "

No, it is not. Ask any gay person if being gay is a 'free choice' and they will tell you it is not. Ask the 'ex-gay' organizations if being gay is a free choice, and they will tell you it is not.

Exodus, the leading 'ex-gay' organization ( I put it in quotes because no one outside of the religious right wing believes you can change your sexuality) states that only a small percentage of gay people can actually change their sexuality, and then only after a great deal of struggle. They admit that most men cannot change, even with extensive treatments, like going to football games, learning how to change the oil in the car and so on. (You think I'm kidding, but ex-gay groups think that these are the ways to make a gay men be more 'manly', and therefore become striaght.). Exodus admits that the most you can reasonably hope for is to become not gay, in other words, just celebate.

If being gay is a free choice, then why do you think anyone would choose to be gay? So that they can be beat up in high school, left out of all the reindeer games? Denied basic rights like marriage? Denied the chance to become a boy scout? What benefits are there to being gay?

Now, don't get me wrong -- I'm out and proud, and wouldn't want to be anything other than gay. But I didn't choose it -- it is just me. And I want to be me in full flower, not a shrinking violet trying to be a jackhammer instead of the rose that I am.

Furthermore, there is no evidence that homosexuality is a choice. If you have any, please come forward with it. Otherwise, admit that it is just something that you believe in because you want to believe in it.
10.11.2008 12:11am
Randy R. (mail):
Roger: "Your argument was based on supposing that "being gay is biologically determined". The science is against that."

I'm all ears. where is this science?
10.11.2008 12:14am
Randy R. (mail):
Dan Hamilton: " That is the fear. You are riding high now but what happens when the wind changes. And the courts start saying that NO gay aren't married. "

Are you saying this in the hopes that we will be afraid of the court decisions? Or that we will stop seeking our rights in the courts?

I have news for you. Quite a few courts have already ruled that gays have no right to marry. See Iowa, Maryland, and a few others. We live by that. But the funny thing is that we didn't ever have the right to marry in these states anyway. So we are no worse off.

We now have the right to marry from the courts in Connecticut, Mass, and CA. That's more than what we have ever had in the past. I suppose it's possible in teh future that these courts might rule that there is no gay marriage in those states, in which it just throws us back to where we have always been. IN the meantime, we've had the rights for a while where we wouldn't have had them otherwise.

Either way, we still end up with more.
10.11.2008 12:18am
Randy R. (mail):
In the meantime, when we have the right to marry, people will realize that all the lies of the religious right haven't come true. Marriage hasn't collapsed. Society still moves on. people are still have babies. And so even if a court reverses itself, the people may very well realize that there is no harm to gay marriage, and will vote to extend the right into the state constitution, perhaps even the US.

Again, that's more than if we never have the right from the courts. So no matter how you slice it, getting our rights from the courts is still a valid means to the end.
10.11.2008 12:20am
Randy R. (mail):
"Conversely, if a boy joins a Troop and then is unable or unwilling to live by the Scouting ideals, and takes the additional step of acting perversely to them, he is asked to leave the Troop."

Suppose a boy scout announces that he is attracted to other boys instead of girls. He hasn't acted upon it, and is still a virgin. In other other respects, he lives up to BSA ideals. Would you argue it's okay to discriminate against this boy and remove him from the troop?

Or suppose a boy scout is straight, but he likes to kiss other boys merely as a sign of affection, as is customary is some groups. Would you throw him out?
10.11.2008 12:23am
Russ (mail):
Patrick Meighan,

Please show me where in the CT Constitution where the words "homosexual" and marriage appear anywhere.

If these things go through our elected representatives, then that's fine. That's the way it's supposed to work, since the representatives are accountable to the people, and unelected are not.

Judges are inventing rights that are not expressed and would have the Founding Fathers rolling in their graves. It is time to seriously reform the judicial system and remove judges that abuse their power in order to create laws that could never make it through an elected assembly.

Too many here try to compare gay rights to the civil rights won by African Americans, a view that I assure you most African Americans don't share. Something that too many of those who compare don't bring up is that the amendments to the constitution pertaining to civil rights, as well as the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, were all passed by our elected representatives, not by the courts. If you're so certain of the righteousness of your cause, convince enough people you're right, and get the legislature to pass it into law.

If not, well, I guess you can continue to rely on unelected judges to do so. At least until enough people get fed up and pass a constitutional amendment as pushback. And that's not something subject to judicial review...
10.11.2008 1:58am
Randy R. (mail):
"Please show me where in the CT Constitution where the words "homosexual" and marriage appear anywhere. "

you are right. Nowhere to be found. In fact, upon a close reading of the CT constitution, I can't anywhere where "heterosexual" and marriage appear. Heck, I can't even find where marriage appears at all! Therefore, hetersexual marriage can't be legal in CT.

"something that too many of those who compare don't bring up is that the amendments to the constitution pertaining to civil rights, as well as the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, were all passed by our elected representatives, not by the courts."

Did you forget about Brown v Board of Education? Or do you not consider that good law either?

"Too many here try to compare gay rights to the civil rights won by African Americans, a view that I assure you most African Americans don't share."

Thought many do, such as Coretta Scott King, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Obama, Bishop Desmond Tutu, and many others. In fact, the entire civil rights movement owes a huge debt to Bayard Rustin, a black man and close friend of MLK's, who helped devise the entire plan of non-violence and greatly advanced the cause of civil rights. He was gay.

"At least until enough people get fed up and pass a constitutional amendment as pushback."

Nothing like putting those uppity gays back in the place. "We'll stop beating you, but if you ask for actual rights, we'll make sure you are stipped of them forever."
10.11.2008 2:32am
A.W. (mail):
> In the eyes of the state, there should be no difference between gay and straight couples or individuals.

Well, that is an arguable policy, but that has nothing to do with what the CT Constitution says.

But really no difference? Why don’t you read, of instance, “America Alone” by Mark Steyn which talks about the problems created by demographic decline and then tell me there is no reason at all to prefer a relationship where actual reproduction is at least theoretically possible. Not to mention that heterosexual marriage is the relationship that is tried and tested, and gay marriage is the innovation. Not to mention the moral judgment, which was shared by those who framed CT's Equal Protection Clause. Indeed, Connecticutters were to the right of me on even birth control; they had banned all birth control, which is why the decision declaring a constitutional right to birth control is called Griwsold v. Connecticut. Really, are you going to argue that the state was catholic enough to ban birth control, but on the other hand they intended for gay marriage?

We are not fools. This is judicial activism.

> Legal marriage is a contract between two people, nothing more.

Well, what could be better evidence that this very debate is degrading to marriage. That is not all it is nor has it ever been “nothing more” than that.

Bob

No difference between gay and straight? Well, see above.

> As to the complaints about religious intrusion the best example that won't happen is the Roman Catholic Church. They don't recognized secularly divorced people, they won't remarry them, and never have.

The difference is that no one has announced that divorced people are a special protected category. We have already seen preachers in Canaduh prosecuted for hate crimes for quoting the anti-gay parts of the bible. We can hope it won’t happen here in America, but we have moved a step closer to this, when the courts have declared unilaterally the exact quality of heterosexual and homosexual relationships. I suppose next they will declare that dogs and cats are equal, too.

> Oh please - saying she won't do business with lesbians is no different than saying she won't do business with blacks, or latinos, or any other artificial criteria.

Ah, so you feel that we are so certain of the equality of homosexuality to heterosexuality, that discrimination based on that is exactly equal to discrimination based on race.

Let’s explore that. Do you believe it is a choice? Let me know.

Pender

> The problem with Bush v. Gore was not activism but hypocrisy.

Oh really. So if they were openly and consistently using the constitution as toilet paper, you would be cool with that? Give me a break. The hypocrisy is on all of you, because you screech like howler monkeys that the court was activist when your real objection is to the result.

> The former is a substance-free slur that has come to mean any decision with which you disagree.

Ah, so 100% of the people who object to judicial activism is full of it. No one is sincere. No one really honestly looks at the constitution as written and wants judges to do the same. Not exceptions to that rule.

Whatever.

Dan Hamilton

Thank you! That was better than most of my railings against activism in a while.

Angus

If you keep asserting that homosexuality is equal enough times, it becomes true.

Patrick

> Yup, but when the legislature makes a law that violates the constitution (in this case, the Connecticut state constitution), is the court's job to rule as such.

Are you really under the impression that the same people who banned birth control on the other hand wanted to legalize gay marriage?

Patrick22

> Twin studies have shown that an identical twin has a much greater chance of being gay if his twin is gay.

I’ve seen those studies. The correlation is pathetic compared to other traits that are truly genetic in nature.

> It is probably an interaction of many factors, but there is no evidence people, "choose to be gay."

Ah, besides the fact that some people suddenly discover they are gay in the 40’s, or choose to be gay, and then choose to be straight, the fact that a very high percentage of twins choose to be a different sexual orientation. Or even just the fact there are so darn many of you. For a trait that takes you almost completely out of the gene pool, there are an awful lot of you around. Its not terribly consistent with the idea that something is tripped off in your mind that creates an irresistible desire to get with someone of the same sex, you know?

Randy R.

> Did you forget about Brown v Board of Education? Or do you not consider that good law either?

What about brown? The Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause doesn’t allow for racial segregation as a matter of original intent. Of course, the Brown Court didn’t look at original intent, at least not overtly, but that is the fact of the situation. If Brown did something not intended by the framers I would be denouncing that, too.

But again, I suppose then if there is a case in 2009, called McCain v. Obama, much like Bush v. Gore, and the Supreme Court said, “Because we like McCain better, he is hereby declared president” you will get behind that, too? In for a penny, in for a pound, right?

Even as I plan to vote for McCain, I would never want to win that way.

> [someone else] "Too many here try to compare gay rights to the civil rights won by African Americans, a view that I assure you most African Americans don't share."

> [you] Though[] many do, such as Coretta Scott King, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Obama, Bishop Desmond Tutu, and many others.

Desmond Tutu is an African AMERICAN?

By the way, Randy, do you think this is even good strategy? Two states now have used civil union laws as an excuse to create gay marriage. So what do you think is going to happen in the next state the considers civil union laws? They will point at CT and California and say, “if we do this, then we will be creating gay marriage.”
10.11.2008 6:33am
Joel Rosenberg (mail) (www):
Homosexualist apparently is "somebody who believes that legal distinctions between same sex and different sex couples and individuals are bad for society."

Count me -- straight guy, married to the same woman for thirty years, this month -- in. I'm not utterly comfortable with the means of erasing the legal distinctions, and I'm no more in favor of forcing churches or individuals to recognize same sex unions as legitimate marriages than I am of forcing, say, the Catholic church to recognize my civil (or Jewish religious) ceremony as a Catholic sacrament, but, sure count me in.
10.11.2008 8:43am
plaudit:
I find it distressing (though perhaps not surprising) that few discussing the case seem to have even read the opinions. It's far easier, of course, to throw your hands in the air and scream about judicial activism, but it's frankly a worthless argument unless you can point to the portion of the majority that you think is not logically sound or applies equal protection principles improperly. If you reject out of hand the test SCOTUS has used to identify suspect and quasi-suspect classifications, then that's fine, but I don't think you're going to find too many who will agree with you on that point. But if you accept it, explain how the court misapplies it here.

Also, as I read the opinion, the absence of the civil union statute would do nothing to alter the analysis and would do nothing to alter the result, so the concern about states considering civil union statutes is a red herring.
10.11.2008 11:55am
Minotauro (mail):
Good thing you don't have to. You don't have to like what gay people do, or "accept" it. All you have to do is get out of the way and let individuals live their lives, as long as they aren't initiating force agaisnt you. In a free society, that's all anybody is obligated to do.



Well, I hate to tell you but in California I do get to decide whether I like and I've decided I don't and I'll be voting for prop 8. When you're trying to get people on your side for things like domestic partnership, it's all wine and roses. Let's have tolerence and fairness. But when you can get your way though a court it becomes F' YOU. We'll do what we like and you have nothing to say about it.

Vote yes on 8 in California.
10.11.2008 12:22pm
Randy R. (mail):
AW:" Ah, besides the fact that some people suddenly discover they are gay in the 40’s, or choose to be gay, and then choose to be straight, the fact that a very high percentage of twins choose to be a different sexual orientation. Or even just the fact there are so darn many of you. For a trait that takes you almost completely out of the gene pool, there are an awful lot of you around. Its not terribly consistent with the idea that something is tripped off in your mind that creates an irresistible desire to get with someone of the same sex, you know? "


If I want to know something about being black in America, I would ask a black person. If I want to know something about being handicapped in America, I would ask a handicapped person. Makes sense, no? But for you anti-gay people, whatever we gays have to say about being gay you just dismiss out of hand, and yet you believe people who are NOT gay, so long as they are anti-gay. Makes no sense.

People don't suddenly discover the fact that they are gay in their 40s. If you ever asked any of these people why they didn't realize they were gay until their 40s, they will tell you that in fact they had many same sex attractions throughout their life. But instead of accepting it, they merely remained closeted and pretended to themselves, their family and their friends that they are straight. Many even get married. That doesn't mean that there were completely straight and then one day decided to be gay. I've never heard of an instance, and I've never even seen a gay person claim that.

Futhermore, if being gay is a choice, then please identify any gay person who just decided -- over night - that he or she isn't going to be gay anymore.

It all comes down to what makes you hard. Literally. Some guys get hard for blondes, some for brunettes and some for guys. Your dick never lies to you, and you can't get hard for someone you are not attracted to, and you certainly do get hard for people you do get attracted to.

And thanks for ignoring all the other arguments.
10.11.2008 12:35pm
Randy R. (mail):
"Desmond Tutu is an African AMERICAN? "

Nope. But he and Nelson Mandela both fought for civil rights in their own country for equality of all people of color, AND they deteremined that rights for gays are also civil rights matters.

And it's interesting as to why.

When Mandela was wanted by the police for many years, he was in hiding, but he still got around to secretly organizing the black populace. They way he managed to get around the country undetected was by posing as a chauffer to a rich white man.

The rich white man happened to be gay. And so on their long journeys around the country, they would talk about many things, including homosexuality. Because of these long talks, Mandela learned that homosexuality isn't a choice, it isn't evil, but that it's just another orientation.

As a result of those long drives, Mandela insisted on complete equality of all gay people in the S. African constitution, where it is permanently enshrined. Imagine -- S. Africa is more progressive than the US!

So it just goes to show you -- when you actually talk to a gay person as a human being, you can learn a lot.
10.11.2008 2:10pm
Randy R. (mail):
Minotauro: " But when you can get your way though a court it becomes F' YOU."

I'm so sorry that we gay people have hurt your feelings. I apologize for not asking your permission first in deciding whether to go to the courts to secure our rights. If we had only known that you would have been more than willing to grant us marriage rights just by asking you, instead of going to court, we would have done that.

We just didn't know how much we hurt your feelings. If I know anyone getting married in CA, I will ask them to personally invite you so that we can begin the healing process, okay? I'm sure a little wine, a little music, a little dancing, and you soon let bygones be bygones.
10.11.2008 2:15pm
A.W. (mail):
Randy R.

> But for you anti-gay people, whatever we gays have to say about being gay you just dismiss out of hand, and yet you believe people who are NOT gay, so long as they are anti-gay. Makes no sense.

In other words, who are you going to believe? Me, or the lying facts?

> If you ever asked any of these people why they didn't realize they were gay until their 40s, they will tell you that in fact they had many same sex attractions throughout their life.

And yet somehow they chose not to obey those impulses.

> Futhermore, if being gay is a choice, then please identify any gay person who just decided -- over night - that he or she isn't going to be gay anymore.

Overnight? I am sure a decision like that is never made overnight. But there are plenty of people who have gone back.

> It all comes down to what makes you

That’s randy, keeping it classy.

By the way, for your crude argument, then how do you integrate people who claim to be bi? And if you are bi, is it wrong for the state to treat YOU like you have a choice, and to gently urge you to make the right choice?

> Mandela learned that homosexuality isn't a choice, it isn't evil, but that it's just another orientation.

Ah, well, I have met lots of gay people and talked to them. They are all psychologically screwed up, to a one. So I guess I will generalize based on that experience.
10.11.2008 2:27pm
Michael B (mail):
"So again, what science are you claiming?"
"Twin studies have shown that an identical twin has a much greater chance of being gay if his twin is gay. The relationship does not hold for adoptive brothers and is less expressed in fraternal twins. This is proof of a genetic component.

"Another study showed one's chance of being gay increases as to how many older brothers one has. This leads one to conclude a further teratogenic component.

"It is probably an interaction of many factors, but there is no evidence people, "choose to be gay."" Patrick22

You failed to respond to the excerpt provided from Sohotra Sarkar's study in Genetics and Reductionism (herein, directly upthread). That excerpt alone comments upon identical twin studies. Science ≠ Opinion. That's so even when the opinion is plied with quasi-scientific casuistries.

Apparently your view of science involves critical reasoning skills only when that critical thinking serves to support your desired ends. The link you provided is conspicuous in the same vein. For example, it begins with the statement that the science "presents a clear double message. Yes, genetics plays a part. No, it is not all genetics ..." One doesn't need to be a logician on the order of an Aristotle or a Boole to appreciate the gaping hole in that initial statement alone.

Science is not opinion. David Brooks' middle-brow sophistries aside, genuine science involves a far more disciplined and a far more rigorous application of critical thinking, not a selective application of critical thinking geared toward a predetermined end.
10.11.2008 3:01pm
Randy R. (mail):
AW: "In other words, who are you going to believe? Me, or the lying facts? "

Well, if you can provide any facts at all that being gay is a choice, I'd love to hear about it. Neither you nor Michael B have been able to show any where any time that being gay is a choice. ARe you calling all Exodus liars? Apparently, even that isn't good enough for you.

". They are all psychologically screwed up, to a one. "

Really? how many? And in what way are they screwed up? And is it in a greater proportion to who you straights are screwed up? I know lots of straights, and many of them are in therapy or otherwise screwed up.

"And yet somehow they chose not to obey those impulses. "

Okay, so at least you agree that sexual orientation involves impulses that we cannot control, ie, we cannot control to whom we are attracted. But yes, anyone can remain celebate, with enough work. That's called being closeted. And yes, when you are closeted for a long time in your life, you DO get screwed up. Imagine if you had to pretend you were gay, and you really weren't, and you entered into all sorts of gay relationships, even getting married to a man, just to please society, family, friends, hoping it will 'cure' you of your heterosexual impulses, and controlled to such a degree that you never have sex with a woman, I'd say there is a high chance that you will be screwed up. that's why we are always encouraging people to come out of the closet because it is so psychologically damaging.

Controlling ones sexual urges and denying ones true identity are not good things, contrary to what you may believe.

"But there are plenty of people who have gone back."

How many? Ever met any? Even Exodus doesn't claim that you wil become a heterosexual. They just claim that they will help you control your homosexuality. Or are they just liars like everyone else you disagree with?
10.11.2008 3:15pm
Randy R. (mail):
AW: "By the way, for your crude argument, then how do you integrate people who claim to be bi? And if you are bi, is it wrong for the state to treat YOU like you have a choice, and to gently urge you to make the right choice? "

There are of course bi-sexual people. That means that they are attracted to people of either sex. That doesn't mean that they are attracted to every single person on the planet, any more than being gay means you are attracted to every man.

Usually, most bisexuals are attracted more to one sex than the other. I know no idea what you mean by integrating bisexuals.

State shouldn't treat anyone like it's a choice or not. The state's responsibility is to treat all it's citizens equally. Why should the state be concerned with whom a bisexual person is attracted to? The state has no business deciding for me or for anyone else what is the right choice. Only I can decide that for myself, not you or any one else.

Why are you so concerned with how other people live their lives? Why do you even care if it's a choice? Religion is a choice, yet we let people choose their religions, and we don't have the state gently urging anyone to make the right choice regarding religions, so why do you have such a problem with it?
10.11.2008 3:20pm
Randy R. (mail):
Michael B: "Science is not opinion. David Brooks' middle-brow sophistries aside, genuine science involves a far more disciplined and a far more rigorous application of critical thinking, not a selective application of critical thinking geared toward a predetermined end."

Hurray for that. So if you really agree with that, then why the resistence to concluding that sexual orientation is not choice? If you are going to argue that, then you need at least some real scientific evidence to back it up. You have none.

On our side, we have plenty of studies which show that sexual orientation is usually set very early in life, usually at least by the age of seven. (Now, if you are actually going to argue that 7 year olds make a choice about whom they attracted to and stick with it for the rest of their lives, you had better come up with something other than your opinion. Agreed?)

The American Psychiatric Assoc, and the AMA, and the American Psychological ASsociation, all of whom have extensive experience in dealing with actual gay people, and have done peer reviewed studies, have all concluded that sexual orientation is not a choice. All leading researchers have agreed. The evidence is pretty conclusive.

As to what actually triggers one sexual orientation or another is open to debate. Whether it is genetic or environment (meaning such things as hormones in the womb) is open to debate.

There is a very simple test, and one that many researchers have done. Show test subjects porn -- gay porn, lesbian porn and straight porn. Attached electrodes to their penis. Measure the length and time of the erection. If you obtain an erection during gay porn, you are gay. If during straight porn, you are straight. And if you really think you can choose which porn you get an erection out of, then you are the one who is screwed up.

As for myself, I find straight porn pretty darn disgusting and I can't even look at it. The sight of a woman's vagina almost sickens me. You think that is a choice? But don't believe me -- what do I know? You know everything about sexuality.
10.11.2008 3:29pm
Helen2 (mail):

Professor Carpenter commented:

Needless to say, the timing of the decision is awkward for gay-marriage supporters trying to fend off SSM bans on the November 4 ballot in Arizona, California, and Florida. Stoking resentment of judicial activism, the Connecticut Supreme Court has at the very least probably increased the likelihood that Prop 8 will pass in California.

Unfortunately, this is likely to introduce chaos into Connecticut voting next month as well. Our state constitution requires that the question of whether or not to convene a state constitutional convention be put to the voters every 20 years, and, as bad luck would have it, this November it's on the ballot. A group advocating the introduction of initiative and referendum had been pushing for a "yes" vote, but they hadn't gotten far. As of yesterday, though, the Catholic bishops here are advocating a "yes" vote for the purpose of writing in a same-sex marriage ban. But a convention would obviously open up our entire State Constitution to mischief. This question has the potential to overwhelm the Presidential contest, which is widely considered to be a foregone conclusion here.

The timing of this decision simply could not have been worse.
10.11.2008 3:30pm
A.W. (mail):
Randy R.

> Well, if you can provide any facts at all that being gay is a choice

Already did.

> ARe you calling all Exodus liars? Apparently, even that isn't good enough for you.

No apparently your position is that they are liars, because they are not really straight now, according to you.

> Really? how many? And in what way are they screwed up? And is it in a greater proportion to who you straights are screwed up?

Each question:

Yes really. 5 I know of. Psychologically. Yes, because less than 100% of the straight people I know are screwed up.

> Okay, so at least you agree

No, its call conceding for the sake of argument.

> But yes, anyone can remain celebate, with enough work.

More than that, but also go around having children even with women and raising them.

> Controlling ones sexual urges and denying ones true identity are not good things, contrary to what you may believe.

Ah, so if a man has an urge to rape, have sex with animals, have sex with children, or with a dead corpse, more power to him, right?

> How many?

Do you deny that there are any?

> There are of course bi-sexual people. That means that they are attracted to people of either sex.

Good, then the state can say to them, “choose the opposite sex.”

> I know no idea what you mean by integrating bisexuals.

Sorry was I talking to fast. You spoke above like as if you are either gay or straight, 100% no choice in the matter. Now you are forced to admit that you DO have a choice.

> The state's responsibility is to treat all it's citizens equally. Why should the state be concerned with whom a bisexual person is attracted to?

I gave you several reasons above.

> The state has no business deciding for me or for anyone else what is the right choice.

This isn’t about deciding. This is about the state expressing a preference. I haven’t proposed to outlaw homosexuality, only to say the state can discourage it.

> Why are you so concerned with how other people live their lives?

You are confusing policy with constitutional law. What the courts are doing is running the lives of the legislature and with no legal justification.

> Religion is a choice, yet we

Again, special clause on the subject.
10.11.2008 3:43pm
Michael B (mail):
Randy R.,

You're confused, appeals to putative "authorities" does not constitute science and it does not constitute critical thinking in general. Your cheapjack "reasoning" skills and puffery notwithstanding.

If you or Patrick or anyone else is going to invoke science, then don't veer off that course.

But of course you're invoking "science" as a slogan in order to arrogate its authority to your cause, rather than invoking it in a more substantive sense. Science ≠ Opinion. Science ≠ Bullshit.

Likewise, I'm not the one who is indicating I know all about sexuality, you're the one who is doing that, at least so for purposes of this exchange. That too is telling.
10.11.2008 3:43pm
Michael B (mail):
Btw, my own collection of material is relatively small though other material from bona fide scientists and experts in the field can be supplied. But for re-emphasis, I'll provide the excerpt from Genetics and Reductionism again, as follows with emphases:

"Perhaps the most controversial application of [the allele-sharing method] has been to a type of male homosexual orientation. The original study reported that brothers who both exhibited such an orientation showed excess allele-sharing (thirty-three out of forty pairs) at the locus Xq28 (on the X chromosome). A follow-up study reported the same result, but with only twenty-two of thirty-two pairs now showing allele sharing. It also reported no such linkage for female homosexuality. However, in both cases there was an important caveat: while each pair of brothers was shown to share the same DNA sequence at the Xq38 location, different pairs did not necessarily have the same sequence. Attempts to reproduce this result have so far not been uniformly successful. As noted, the follow-up study provided confirmation, but with a lower degree of statistical significance. Another group failed to reproduce the result altogether. Moreover, methodological problems, possibly, the biased reporting of the data - have been alleged in the work of the original group." Sahotra Sarkar, Genetics and Reductionism (And the allegations of biased reporting were not uninformed or "mere" allegations, they were substantiated allegations published in scientific journals.)

The challenge is to keep to science as such, science qua science.

Likewise, the challenge is to avoid pseudo-scientific (e.g., what causes Randy R. to have an erection) and quasi-scientific sophistries that effectively reduce to "I know what I know, so go away if you disagree; harrumph, harrumph."

Btw, the idea there is no evidence that choice is one of the things involved in sexuality is patently absurd. Or to paraphrase and use the same formulation offered in a link Patrick22 had previously supplied, science "presents a clear double message. Yes, choice plays a part. No, it is not all choice ..."

Again, one doesn't need to be an Aristotle or a Boole to see the gaping hole in that type of "logic," that type of "scientific reasoning." (Which is essentially a neutral observation since it can be used by both sides in the debate.)
10.11.2008 4:18pm
trad and anon:
So if I am hauled before a human rights commission for refusing to photography a same-sex wedding, that isn't the initiation of force?
You are of course free to oppose nondiscrimination laws. Sadly, this blog's comment policy forbids me to accurately describe my opinion of people who want to repeal the '64 Act and bring back those oh-so-free-and-wonderful days when white people were free to refuse to hire black people or accept them as patrons of their business for no reason.
10.11.2008 4:36pm
trad and anon:
Okay, so at least you agree that sexual orientation involves impulses that we cannot control, ie, we cannot control to whom we are attracted. But yes, anyone can remain celebate, with enough work. That's called being closeted.
As pathetic as it sounds, I'm still a virgin, because have a really low libido due to some prescription meds I'm on, so I don't feel like there's some important need in my life that isn't being met. (I can still get it up, but sex just isn't very important to me.) The major motivation I have to have sex is social status, and that hasn't been enough to motivate me. But I am definitely gay, and I am not closeted.
10.11.2008 4:53pm
Bob Van Burkleo (mail):
No difference between gay and straight? Well, see above.

Come one - 14% of heterosexually married couples for one reason or another never pass on their genes and yet they can marry. The ability to breed is NOT a reason for marriage, shoot in some states some people are only allowed to marry if the can show they CAN'T procreate with each other.

This is a beaten dead horse. Marriage is not about procreation - people manage to do that just fine with or without a civil contract.
10.11.2008 4:58pm
Bob Van Burkleo (mail):
Correction heterosexually married PEOPLE, not couples.
10.11.2008 4:59pm
trad and anon:
Connecticut Supreme Court applies COnnecticut Constitution correctly using well-established principles of Connecticut constitutional law. No nesw here.
10.11.2008 4:59pm
Michael B (mail):
It was a 4-3 decision, one that did in fact usurp a proper democratic role, voted upon and ratified by the demos, the voters of Connecticut.

So what is being exhibited in this thread is the invocation of "science" as a slogan, rather than in a more substantive sense, also the invocation of judicial review in a manner that is disdainful of the voting public. Similar forms of pseudo-arguments as well.

Those are demonstrable facts.
10.11.2008 6:18pm
Aleks:
Re: Now, in order to talk about marriage at all in school, Gay marriage has to be discussed as equal and normal.

I don't recall marriage being much discussed in school at all. The word came up many times in passing, but my high school never had a class titled "Marriage 101".

Re: How long until it's hate speech for me to go to church and hear about God's plan for mankind involves a loving mother and father?

Since it is quite legal for churches in this country to preach outright racism (and some few actually do) I suspect that your church will be able to rant and rave all it wants on the gay issue.

Re: preaching hate speech will become a criminal offense.

As long as the 1st Amendment reamins in the Constitution that will not happen. Remember, the KKK, the American Nazi Party and assorted Islamic radicals are all protected in their vicious rants as long as they don't cross the line into inciting actual violence. If the Nazis can march in Skokie and the KKK in downtown Cleveland your fear is groundless.

Re: they jailed thousands of Mormons in the 1800's because they didn't conform to existing marriage orthodoxy.

Polygamists are still jailed occasionally. Are you arguing for the legalization of plual marriages?

Re: don’t you read, of instance, “America Alone” by Mark Steyn which talks about the problems created by demographic decline and then tell me there is no reason at all to prefer a relationship where actual reproduction is at least theoretically possible.

Two responses: whether or not gays have children is unlikely to depend on whether or not they can marry, so this argument is irrelevant. Secondly, Steyn's whole argument is hysterical overkill. Even if today's fertility rates remain unchanged (about as likely as my living forever) there will still be far more Europeans in Europe a century from now than were living there when Victoria and Napoleon ruled and the continent controlled most of the known world.

re: Not to mention that heterosexual marriage is the relationship that is tried and tested

Heterosexual marriage has not been outlawed, or altered in any way. It will remain exactly as it has been.

Re: The difference is that no one has announced that divorced people are a special protected category.

Race and religion are explicitly protected categories. There are churches which will not marry interacial couples. And very many churches, (including the RCC, including my own) which will not marry non-Christians. Where are the court cases challenging those rules? For that matter, where are the court cases challenging the RCC's refusal to ordain women? Or challenging the Baptists for refusing to baptize infants? Or challenging my church for refusing to commune those who are not members?
10.11.2008 7:24pm
A.W. (mail):
Bob

> Come on[] - 14% of heterosexually married couples for one reason or another never pass on their genes and yet they can marry. The ability to breed is NOT a reason for marriage, shoot in some states some people are only allowed to marry if the can show they CAN'T procreate with each other.

And I never said breeding was the only issue involved.

And just out of curiosity, in what states are they required to do prove they can’t procreate?

The fact is this is about the state’s right to morally disapprove of perverse relationships. Not even to discriminate, just to express disapproval.

Aleks

> Two responses: whether or not gays have children is unlikely to depend on whether or not they can marry, so this argument is irrelevant.

I tend to think a gay man married to another man is a little less likely to have kids.

Second, Steyn’s argument is more than that.

> Heterosexual marriage has not been outlawed, or altered in any way. It will remain exactly as it has been.

Didn’t say it would be banned, only that it has been tested. Homosexual marriage is the innovation.

As for the issue of the religion clauses protecting against civil right suits, I say this. Look what has happened in Canada. Or for that matter, look at what has happened in our workplaces. I don’t mind banning quid pro quo sexual harassment, but when they claim that a pig’s words and deeds have created a “hostile environment” I say too bad, that is the first amendment. But the law doesn’t say that. A company can be hauled into court because a guy quoted an episode of sienfeld, and they refused to fire him for that sin; we can show it on TV, but not discuss it around the water cooler. And I say this as a person protected by civil rights laws, but you would be a fool to say that in our zeal to protect from discrimination, we have not trampled on far more important rights.
10.11.2008 8:39pm
jrose:
The fact is this is about the state’s right to morally disapprove of perverse relationships. Not even to discriminate, just to express disapproval.

The law plainly discriminates against gays. Moral disapprobation as a rational basis for discrimination is on shaky ground thanks to Lawrence, let alone this case decided based on intermeidate scrutiny.
10.11.2008 10:53pm
A.W. (mail):
jrose

The only discrimination is it stigmatizes gay relationships, which the legislature had the right to do.
10.12.2008 12:27am
Soji Brown:

Its insanity. If a civil union is a marriage in all but name, then the only argument is that it stigmatized gay relationships...

But, um, isn't that the legislature's right? Can't the legislature say, "you know what? All things being equal being in a straight relationship is better." We're not talking about jailing people, or even giving otherwise different benefits, all we are saying is a homosexual relationship is inferior.

The people of CT can and should have the right to say that.



Why are laws right only from a heterosexual view? When you state all things being equal in a straight relationship is better, then you have discriminated against those that are not heterosexual. Laws were created during slavery from a white person point of view, and see where that got us. This is the same logic here if you believe everything should be from the heterosexual point of view.

As stated in the 14th amendment:
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Marriage as defined between one man and one woman has deprived homosexuals of liberty, and thus needs due process of law.

Due process of law has now stated that equality was not granted, and thus same sex marriages are legal.

So actually, the people of CT don't have a right to say that a homosexual relationship is inferiior.
10.12.2008 3:53am
John D (mail):
A.W.

A company can be hauled into court because a guy quoted an episode of sienfeld, and they refused to fire him for that sin; we can show it on TV, but not discuss it around the water cooler.


I think it's been well established here and elsewhere that people can press suit for all sorts of reasons. Some are even good and worthy. Further, for every case where someone wins, someone else loses. That's the nature of the thing.

So, okay, a woman overheard a water cooler discussion that was actually unobjectionable. She complained and her company rightly did nothing. She sue them. She lost.

Where is the pertinence to the claim that same-sex marriage will lead to a loss of religious liberty? Are you suggesting that those who would refuse to solemnize a same-sex marriage are in the legal wrong and would lose such a case?

Just for the record, although I am a supporter of same-sex marriage, I agree that it is a vital aspect of our religious and intellectual freedoms that other than persons paid by the state to perform marriages as a typical job function, anyone should be able to decline to officiate at a wedding for whatever reason.

Let's take the clergy out of this for a moment. Elected officials in most states can officiate. The mayor is free to say, "I won't, because I just don't want to."

The priest, the minister, the iman, the rabbi all have this same right. I have heard of Catholic priests who turn away couples they think will not have good marriages. That's their right.

The town or county clerk whose job description includes performing marriages is a another matter.

Of these, only a county clerk can be sued for failing to perform his or her duties in this matter. The others are entitled, but not required, to officiate.

How is your example germane?
10.12.2008 4:39am
jrose:
The only discrimination is it stigmatizes gay relationships, which the legislature had the right to do.

You see, we agree there is discrimination against gays.

What is the legislature's justification for stigmatizing gay relationships? You previously said it was moral disapproval, but didn't comment on my claim that Lawrence puts that reason on shaky ground even if this were a case decided on rational basis review.
10.12.2008 10:00am
Bob Van Burkleo (mail):
And I never said breeding was the only issue involved.

Then what issue is different if I marry a man or a woman? Other that potential in-couple procreation happening what is the difference?

And just out of curiosity, in what states are they required to do prove they can’t procreate?

Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Utah and Wisconsin.

The fact is this is about the state’s right to morally disapprove of perverse relationships. Not even to discriminate, just to express disapproval.

And since there is nothing perverse or immoral about gay relationships your argument falls apart. And of course the state's right is to disapprove of illegal behavior since morality and perverse is totally subjective qualities depending on a particular citizen's point of view and the state is required to treat all its citizens legally equally.
10.12.2008 1:39pm