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Bloggers on politics of Gay Marriage and Illegal Aliens:

This week's National Journal poll of political bloggers asked: "Which statement comes closest to your political views on gay marriage?" On the Left, 89% said "My party should support it." On Right, there was a fairly close split between support, oppose, and "My party should avoid the issue," with the latter having a plurality.

It's not really possible for a party to "avoid" such a prominent issue, but I voted with the plurality anyway, since it comes closest to my view that both parties should not make support or opposition into a key issue of party loyalty. A "free vote," in parliamentary terms. There are good arguments on both sides of the issue.

I wrote: "The long-term trend is clearly in favor. Fair-minded supporters should ensure that gay marriage laws include strong protections for the rights of people who do not believe in gay marriage -- such as merchants or professionals who do not want to provide services to gay weddings because it would violate their conscience. Likewise, the U.S. should avoid the path of Europe and Canada, where speech critical of gay marriage can be prosecuted as illegal 'hate speech.'"

The second question was "Is it politically smart for President Obama to tackle immigration reform this year?" Seventy percent of the Left and 35% of the Right thought it was. I among those who voted Yes. I thought Micky Kaus's analysis was persausive, and wrote: "Simply by raising the issue, even if he doesn't get a bill passed, he sends a signal to aliens not to self-deport, and he encourages more illegal immigation, as persons contemplating immigrating illegally rush to get into the U.S. in time to get some form of amnesty. The result helps Democrats in the redistricting which will follow the 2010 Census."

Malthus:
Nonsense.

Professionals, licensed by the government, should be forced to take all comers, without discrimination, as in Public Accommodations laws.

In Texas, an atheist or agnostic can't find a judge, lawyer or juror who has not compromised his impartiality by swearing allegiance to the Texas Constitution, which requires that all of them "acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being, as Dr O'Hair found out.

Professionals be damned!
4.17.2009 7:33pm
ruuffles (mail) (www):

"Is it politically smart for President Obama to tackle immigration reform this year?"

It'll be hilarious to see how many more Hispanic votes Republicans manage to hemorrhage by 2010. Notice when news of Obama's illegal aunt leaked, not a whisper from Republicans or conservatives.
4.17.2009 7:37pm
Crunchy Frog:
Illigal immigration, at least here in SoCal, is yet another example of the disconnect between the powers that be and the great unwashed. Normal people hate it, while the entrenched politicians and interest groups (labor unions, chambers of commerce, ag lobby) all are in favor of it for their own reasons.

Then you have douchebags like Ahnold telling everyone that it's racist to want to enforce our counry's immigration laws... more fuel for the growing tea party crowd.

Personally, I hope Obama goes full bore for "comprehensive immigration reform". It'll be '94 all over again.
4.17.2009 7:48pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Yes, we need immigration reform. No, we shouldn't raise the issue of amnesty at this time. Yes, it would be politically smart to raise the issue intelligently. No it would not be smart to raise the issue in partisan politics.

IF we want to address amnesty, let us do so down the road. However, let's work on solving the problems rather than offering recurring amnesty arrangements.

The simple problem is that our immigration laws are broken and create huge demands for black market labor. We need to fix this. We need a guest worker program, and we need to bring enough guest workers in on visas to reduce the demand for illegal immigrants. That is the first thing that needs to happen. Then we can do better border enforcement. Then we can discuss if amnesty is a good idea or not.

However, the current system is insanely broken.....
4.17.2009 7:56pm
geokstr:

ruuffles:

Notice when news of Obama's illegal aunt leaked, not a whisper from Republicans or conservatives.

Perhaps you mean from David Gergen and David Brooks, the liberals' favorite faux Republicans. However, outrage about Auntie was all over the conservative blogosphere. I understand if you didn't see it because I doubt if it was mentioned on HuffPo/DU or the mainstream media (but I repeat myself.)
4.17.2009 8:29pm
TNeloms:

There are good arguments on both sides of the issue.

Are there good arguments that aren't based on the premise of homosexuality being wrong?


Likewise, the U.S. should avoid the path of Europe and Canada, where speech critical of gay marriage can be prosecuted as illegal 'hate speech.'


This a complete red herring. That has to do with free speech and has nothing to do with whether gay marriage is recognized by law. That kind of speech is considered illegal 'hate speech' regardless of the legal status of gay marriage, and that's wrong because of free speech issues and not because of anything having to do with marriage itself.
4.17.2009 8:39pm
Waldo (mail):
I would actually put immigration reform in the "My party should avoid the issue" category, and am somewhat surprised that wasn't an option for that question. From the President's perspective, immigration reform does have the potential to secure the support of Hispanic Americans, but has the risk of alienating unions and Blue Dogs. Given the President's other stated priorities, however, it doesn't seem to make sense to risk losing support due to immigration.
4.17.2009 8:59pm
Dan M.:
Of course there are arguments that aren't based on the premise of homosexuality being wrong.

Most arguments in favor of gay marriage are premised on the fact that most of the reasons that the government sanctioned marriage to begin with have become moot, so then we should completely redefine it. The more logical solution would be to simply stop official sanction of marriage altogether. But anyone who still believes that government subsidies should promote the natural family will certainly want to hold the line.
4.17.2009 9:20pm
Waldo (mail):
TNeloms:

Are there good arguments that aren't based on the premise of homosexuality being wrong?

Well, I've argued that marriage is about fatherhood and families, not just romantic relationships. While there are children adopted to gay and straight families, there are more in single parent households. And if we stop linking marriage and fatherhood, we'll only have more "unwed drudgery."

We've tried delinking marriage and fatherhood before, when we subsidized single mothers over intact families in the inner cities. The result has largely been that men give up on marriage.

While the current trend is in favor of gay marriage, I think once hetero women realize that gay marriage means they get to raise the kids on their own, that trend will reverse. After all, 75% of black women voted for Proposition 8.
4.17.2009 9:27pm
Ken at Popehat (mail) (www):
"The long-term trend is clearly in favor. Fair-minded supporters should ensure that gay marriage laws include strong protections for the rights of people who do not believe in gay marriage -- such as merchants or professionals who do not want to provide services to gay weddings because it would violate their conscience. Likewise, the U.S. should avoid the path of Europe and Canada, where speech critical of gay marriage can be prosecuted as illegal 'hate speech.'"



1. What justifies an exemption from generally applicable anti-discrimination laws for people who have issues with gays, but not for people who have issues with women, or Jews, or atheists, or black people, or etc.? In other words, I understand the libertarian argument against antidiscrimination laws -- but what exactly justifies a applying that argument only to give a carve-out for gay issues?

2. Canada also punishes people for "hate speech" directed against ethnic and religious minorities. Why are we more in danger of slipping towards Canada's embarrassing speech-suppressing society by legalizing gay marriage? We've already got racial and religious tension, and forces pushing to punish speech that offends religious and racial minorities. What does gay marriage add to that mix? Plus, Canada doesn't only sanction people for criticizing gay marriage. They sanction people for criticizing homosexuality in general. If we were to slip towards Canadian-style speech suppression, couldn't we do that whether or not gay marriage is legal? Wouldn't we slip by banning anti-gay "hate speech" in general?

Perhaps the free speech and free exercise rights of religious people are at risk. But if they are, gay marriage itself is a red herring. The quarrel is with anti-discrimination law in general.
4.17.2009 9:48pm
Constantin:
I'm against gay marriage, though it's way down on the list of things I care about. But if you're going to have it, have it all the way. There's no sense in sanctioning the practice and then saying it's not on the level. (I personally think any 'professional' should be able to pass on serving or doing work for whoever he wants, with the understanding that the market will punish racists. But that's not the way it works.)

And I don't believe for a second that it's smart for Obama to push amnesty. That's why I hope he does it.
4.17.2009 9:49pm
AccountingProf:
Wow, merchants need to be protected from maybe selling flowers in celebration of gay marriage? ZOMG!!! I know everyone writing on this blog is opposed to gun registration, but better make sure that everyone who buys flowers registers that they are not using them to celebrate something the professional florist disapproves of.
4.17.2009 9:49pm
Michael Ejercito (mail) (www):

It'll be hilarious to see how many more Hispanic votes Republicans manage to hemorrhage by 2010.

What about votes gained by opposing illegal immigration? If a vast majority of voters oppose illegal immigration, how does opposing illegal immigration hurt a political party nationwide?
4.17.2009 9:54pm
Dan M.:
The same way that opposition to state-sponsored affirmative action, support for welfare reform, opposition to an unlimited right to abortion, etc. hurts the party.

If you have those views, you're a bigot. So any black person, poor person, woman, or Latino who supports Republicans is self-loathing.
4.17.2009 10:09pm
jab:
Waldo said:

I think once hetero women realize that gay marriage means they get to raise the kids on their own, that trend will reverse.


Huuuuuuuh? Gay marriage means heterosexual woman will have to raise the kids by themselves? Really? So, what, straight men will say, "oh, damn, gays can get married, so I'm going to abandon my family." Really? Is that what straight men think?
4.17.2009 10:28pm
Andy Freeman (mail):
> Wow, merchants need to be protected from maybe selling flowers in celebration of gay marriage?

The question is whether they should be forced to sell flowers.

It's one thing to disagree with someone's position. It's quite another to intentionally misrepresent it.
4.17.2009 10:49pm
Waldo (mail):
jab:
Hey, a salute!

So, what, straight men will say, "oh, damn, gays can get married, so I'm going to abandon my family." Really? Is that what straight men think?

Not exactly. What straight men are saying is that "if marriage isn't about MY kids, why do I need to get married to have a family?" Read the links.
4.17.2009 11:01pm
24AheadDotCom (mail) (www):
geokstr correctly points out that there's been lots of chatter about BHO's aunt. What geokstr doesn't understand is that was counter-productive and illustrates yet again how easy a job those who support massive illegal activity have due to most of their opponents not having a clue.

Instead of doing the stupid thing by calling for BHO's aunt to be deported, what BHO's opponents should have done is used the opportunity to portray him as heartless for turning his back on his auntie at the same time as he wanted to legalize millions of people he's never met. Did those supposed opponents do that? No, they did not. My pre-election attempts to get them to do something that would have been effective failed. You try to explain that to them now, and they won't be able to get their minds around it.

As for einhverfr's statement, I can't tell whether he's being misleading or whether he actually thinks there's some difference between "reform" and amnesty. Pretending there's a difference is one of the oldest tricks in their book, and whatever euphemism they want to use, "reform" will be perceived as amnesty not just by U.S. voters but by millions upon millions of potential illegal aliens, many of whom will try to come here.

For more on the impacts of "reform" that others won't tell you about, see my summary. I've got thousands of posts about the wider issue going back to 2002 if you want to find out more.
4.17.2009 11:04pm
Waldo (mail):
Back to immigration:

I support reform if it means that more immigrants can come here to work legally. Let's have a guest worker progam. Actually, if we have NAFTA, then why can't Mexican citizens, and not OTMs, freely apply to work in the US?
4.17.2009 11:25pm
24AheadDotCom (mail) (www):
Waldo: what's your plan when those "guests" have U.S. citizen children? (I asked a supposed expert that question back in 2005 and she had no answer).

I'll tell you one thing that's going to happen: Pelosi et al are going to call those who support "separating families" names as they did recently. And, if they do that post-reform, they're going to do it with much more political power and their attempt to get a new "reform" will be much easier.
4.18.2009 12:00am
Loophole (mail):
Waldo,

Your theory about gay marriage being the end of straight marriage has more than a few holes, not the least of which is the fact that the poor helpless women who you seem to think will be stuck having kids out of wedlock because what "men" think about marriage also, believe it or not, may have minds of their own. It's true.

The women are free to decide not to have families out of wedlock, in which case the straight men who want kids will be forced to marry them.
4.18.2009 12:19am
einhverfr (mail) (www):

Are there good arguments that aren't based on the premise of homosexuality being wrong?


I acknowledge such good arguments even where I disagree with them. The arguments include:

1) SSM as a legally and socially binding relationship is a new thing. There are plenty of reasons to be skeptical of change and not always rush into things for fear of unintended consequences.

2) Traditionally (up until a few decades ago), marriage had a strong procreative impulse and the state was engaged in a multilayered strategy to increase our population. Other layers included, for example, encouraging immigration. These are still closely connected in popular thought-- i.e. the formula "get married and have kids."

Now.... I disagree with both arguments above. I think that on #1, we have to look at whether it is less disruptive to change or to stay the same. I think change is actually less disruptive and will have fewer unintended side effects. On #2, I think that we have shifted so far towards individualism in our society, that this isn't really a major objection. However, I do have to admit that these are reasonably good arguments.
4.18.2009 12:19am
Cornellian (mail):
"The long-term trend is clearly in favor. Fair-minded supporters should ensure that gay marriage laws include strong protections for the rights of people who do not believe in gay marriage -- such as merchants or professionals who do not want to provide services to gay weddings because it would violate their conscience. Likewise, the U.S. should avoid the path of Europe and Canada, where speech critical of gay marriage can be prosecuted as illegal 'hate speech.'"

It's an unfortunate aspect of the massive centralization of power that has occurred in this country since the 1930s that it is no longer possible for national parties to avoid any major issue. At one time, a national party could have avoided an issue by saying it's a state matter. The Republicans used to be able to rely on this when they said that they wanted to get rid of Roe v Wade only so that abortion rules could be set at the state level. Now everyone in Washington and 95% of the public accepts that federal jurisdiction extends to anything important enough to get reported on CNN or Fox News. So no one takes the "it's a state matter" position seriously anymore so the Republicans are stuck having to choose a nation wide position on the same sex marriage issue that will either freak out their evangelical base or alienate an electorally lethal percentage of the under 40 demographic.

The rules for who can marry are set at the state level, that should continue to be the case, and the feds should recognize any marriage that was lawfully entered into under the laws of the state in which it was created.

As for "strong protections for the rights of people" who don't like same-sex marriage, there are two aspects to that. First is free exercise and that must continue. No religious denomination is or should be required to perform or recognize same sex marriages in the same manner that the Catholic church is not required to perform divorce ceremonies or to recognize divorce or to ordain female priests. I would think that is obvious, but if it isn't I'm fine with a generalized exemption from race, gender, and all the other elements of civil rights legislation. Free exercise is either exempt from all of it or none of it.

With respect to businesses, there is no right to be exempt from legislation that prohibits discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, anymore than there's a right of a restaurant owner to serve an interracial couple, no matter how offensive interracial marriage might be to that restaurant owner.
4.18.2009 12:28am
Cornellian (mail):

1) SSM as a legally and socially binding relationship is a new thing. There are plenty of reasons to be skeptical of change and not always rush into things for fear of unintended consequences.

That's simply Burkean skepticism of change in general and there's nothing wrong with that. The problem with it on the same sex marriage issue though, is that the argument gets weaker and weaker over time as more states and more Western countries allow same sex marriage without civilization collapsing in any of them.
4.18.2009 12:30am
Thoughtful (mail):
Republicans are idiots when it comes to immigration, but Obama is either insufficiently skillful or too fearful to take advantage of it. If he got Congress to pass a law saying immediate immigration into the US and full citizenship in 5 years was available to any foreign family able to buy a house in the US and put 20% down, it would end the housing glut virtually overnight. Even the "don't let them foreigners compete for my job" types would be happy to meet foreigners willing to give them top dollar for their houses, and to increase the demand for housing thereby increasing the value of, and equity in, their homes.
4.18.2009 1:40am
Constantin:
Thoughtful, last year the GOP ran the most pro-immigrant major Republican politician in America. Look where that got them with the open borders-ers.

The suckers are the ones buying the "Hispanic immigrants are natural Republicans" line. It's laughable. Of all people, John Derbyshire at NRO has debunked this to the point I'm not sure it's bunkable.

The only think Pelosi wants to see less than Barack pushing amnesty is Barack pushing gun bans. It's probably close, though. I'm not sure anything can flip the House back to the GOP in two years, but either one of these things happening will make it a heck of a lot closer than it is now.
4.18.2009 1:49am
The Real Pink Pig (mail):
I'm pretty confident that I know hundreds, perhaps thousands, of immigrants. All, without exception, have a better work ethic than the Lazy American. All, without exception, are honest and decent people. All, without exception, are willing to work hard to gain the benefits of living in America. Yet, whenever I hear the issue of immigration debated, the subject of the discussion is some sort of creature that is totally unrecognizable to me. We should be proud, very proud, that so many people from elsewhere are willing to struggle so hard to help the common weal.
4.18.2009 2:55am
James Gibson (mail):
Another thread that convinces me the world will end in 2012. Gay Marriage and Illegal immigration in one thread, could one ask for more.

Fair-minded supporters should ensure that gay marriage laws include strong protections for the rights of people who do not believe in gay marriage

Kopel, get real, this bit will never happen since their is no intent to do that on the part of those pushing the agenda. I have been in fact waiting for the European/Canadian Hate Speech laws to implode when a Homosexual demands justice against a Moslem because of how both Islamic law and religion treats homosexuals while the same Hate Speech laws make it illegal for the Homosexual to criticize Islamic law and religion.

In addition, as the recent news from New York shows, the courting of the Hispanic vote to stack the Albany legislature with democrats just backfired when the new hispanic leader in Albany shot down Patterson's Gay Marriage proposal. Something about how the Hispanics were Catholic (as well as Blue Dog Democrats). They may vote with the rest of the Dems on immigration, but they hold conservative views on many others.
4.18.2009 3:49am
Cornellian (mail):
"Simply by raising the issue, even if he doesn't get a bill passed, he sends a signal to aliens not to self-deport, and he encourages more illegal immigation, as persons contemplating immigrating illegally rush to get into the U.S. in time to get some form of amnesty. The result helps Democrats in the redistricting which will follow the 2010 Census."

Interesting, I hadn't noticed that the 14th Amendment apportions the House according to the number of persons in each state, even though the proportional reduction penalty incurred for prohibiting people from voting applies only to citizens. So technically, if you had a state consisting of millions upon millions of illegal aliens and two male citizens over 21, the state might be entitled to some large number of house seats, say 24, and could lose 12 of those 24 just by prohibiting one of the two citizens from voting for a reason other than rebellion or commission of a crime. Remarkable.
4.18.2009 4:38am
Chris Roberts:

From the President's perspective, immigration reform does have the potential to secure the support of Hispanic Americans...


In 1986 a Republican president signed a Republican-written amnesty that was passed by a Republican-controlled Senate. Where'd that get the Republicans? Has the GOP, taken as a whole, ever once won the Hispanic vote? Ever? It's supposed to be a joke when a car salesman says that he's losing money on the sale but making up for it in volume - but Republican strategists say it with deadly earnestness.

Obama's supposed amnesty proposal is a political ploy. Note that he said now that he'll bring up the bill in the fall. Why give your opponents that much heads-up? Because of what comes between spring and fall: summer. Declines in the construction, travel and landscaping industries combined with a potential increase in teenagers looking for summer work (after years of not bothering), combined with the end of the school year could lead many illegal aliens to head home. Obama wants them to stay, mostly for the census.

But no, raising amnesty is not politically wise. It's one more issue that alienates moderate voters, alienates working class voters, makes Democrats look like out of touch hypocrites and, if an amnesty actually is proposed, gives congressional Republicans an issue to unify around.
4.18.2009 7:46am
Brett Bellmore:

What justifies an exemption from generally applicable anti-discrimination laws for people who have issues with gays, but not for people who have issues with women, or Jews, or atheists, or black people, or etc.?


I'm pretty sure this country doesn't have "generally applicable anti-discrimination laws" in the sense you seem to mean. Discrimination is presumptively legal with certain exceptions. The courts may be demonstrating a disturbing tendency to add exceptions without consulting the legislatures that wrote the laws, but they ARE exceptions to a general principle that you get to discriminate unless the legal system has decided that discrimination against X is particularly naughty.
4.18.2009 8:11am
1Ler:

I'm pretty sure this country doesn't have "generally applicable anti-discrimination laws" in the sense you seem to mean.


While you're certainly right in that there are no federal generally applicable anti-discrimination laws, I'm not so sure that's true on the state level. State legislatures like to get in the "you know what we mean" mode and pass sweeping do-good legislation, only to have it interpreted in ways that the majority probably wouldn't support. I think it's pretty likely that were same-sex marriage to be recognized, most business owners would not be able to discriminate in providing service to same-sex couples.
4.18.2009 8:30am
geokstr:

24AheadDotCom:
Instead of doing the stupid thing by calling for BHO's aunt to be deported, what BHO's opponents should have done is used the opportunity to portray him as heartless for turning his back on his auntie at the same time as he wanted to legalize millions of people he's never met. Did those supposed opponents do that? No, they did not.

Then you didn't really listen to the chatter, did you?

First of all, I don't recall a lot of "deportation" talk. But there was a lot of it linking Illegal Auntie living in section 8 housing with Kenyan Brother George Hussein Onyango Obama living in a hut on a buck a month, while Barack was making a couple mil a year and talking up his compassion for the "poor".

As far as I recall, you are correct in that no one linked those situations to Obama's position on illegal immigration. But if the average voter had a hard enough time linking Auntie and Bro to Obama's disregard for poverty in his own house, how would bringing the tenuous relationship to illegal immigration made it any easier?
4.18.2009 9:35am
Jr (mail):
I hope you also support the right of conscience of merchants who do not want to serve Jewish weddings or interracial marriages. If you do you have a principled opinion which I respect and perhaps shares. Anyway, it does not have much to do with gay marriage, it has got more to do with anti-disrimination law in general.

Also, I do not know about Canada but I am pretty sure you can still argue against gay marriage in Europe. Most countries do not have gay marriage after all and it is certainly legal to oppose it in say Sweden, one of the countries that recently legislated to introduce gay marriage.

Anyway, your concern, if it is indeed genuine and not just a political ploy, is unfounded. The US rightly respects free speech more than Europe and Canada. Gay marriage will do nothing to change that. The SC didn't need to say in Loving v Virginia that it was still legal to oppose miscegenation.

The fight to procect American free speech rights is noble and should not be demeaned by using it as an excuse to block unrelated reforms.
4.18.2009 10:09am
ruuffles (mail) (www):

What about votes gained by opposing illegal immigration? If a vast majority of voters oppose illegal immigration, how does opposing illegal immigration hurt a political party nationwide?

The McCain-Kennedy bill came up in 2007 yet Dems still gained in 2008. You might argue the increased black vote dulled some of the backlash so it may be more clear in 2010.
4.18.2009 10:14am
Cornellian (mail):
Also, I do not know about Canada but I am pretty sure you can still argue against gay marriage in Europe.

You are free to do so in Canada. Feel free to write a letter to the editor explaining why same sex marriage should not be permitted. It's perfectly legal.

There are hate speech laws in Canada, but they are narrower than critics on this side of the border often seem to believe, and they're not any more protective of sexual orientation than they are of race, religion or any other prohibited ground of discrimination.
4.18.2009 10:17am
Cornellian (mail):
I think once hetero women realize that gay marriage means they get to raise the kids on their own, that trend will reverse.

As opposed to now, where same sex marriage is largely still unrecognized and single motherhood is unheard of?
4.18.2009 10:20am
Angus:
The anti-immigration furor isn't stoked in significant part by racism? Could have fooled me. If the 10 million illegal immigrants were blonde, blue-eyed Scandinavians, would people be nearly as angry about the issue?
4.18.2009 10:46am
Michael Ejercito (mail):

If you have those views, you're a bigot. So any black person, poor person, woman, or Latino who supports Republicans is self-loathing.

And if bigots are the majority...

The anti-immigration furor isn't stoked in significant part by racism?

Why should that matter? Is racism worse than appeasement of illegal aliens?
4.18.2009 11:23am
Oren:

What about votes gained by opposing illegal immigration? If a vast majority of voters oppose illegal immigration, how does opposing illegal immigration hurt a political party nationwide?

Pretty simple -- those voters were going to vote GOP anyway. Illegal immigration will not come into play for their votes and therefore they are ignored. Elections aren't about who can get the populace most fervently behind them, it's about who can get most of the populace behind them just enough not to vote for the other guy.
4.18.2009 11:32am
Oren:

Is racism worse than appeasement of illegal aliens?

Why appeasement of illegals instead of appeasement of the vast majority of business that would like to hire them. You know, for regular non-suspect economic reasons?
4.18.2009 11:36am
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Cornellian:

That's simply Burkean skepticism of change in general and there's nothing wrong with that. The problem with it on the same sex marriage issue though, is that the argument gets weaker and weaker over time as more states and more Western countries allow same sex marriage without civilization collapsing in any of them.


Of course. This isn't an argument entirely against gay marriage as a concept so much as an argument against legally recognizing it at the present moment.
4.18.2009 1:06pm
24AheadDotCom (mail) (www):
Angus, like others, offers some pretty moldy talking points. The fact is that in the case he outlines would never be allowed to happen. In order to see that all you need to do is think about it, something that Angus clearly has not done.

The Real Pink Pig sounds like an ImmLawyer, and it's anti-American spiel is something we've come to expect from those on the other side. If they don't like their (presumed) fellow citizens, they should just leave.

Thoughtful's plan would be interesting, perhaps allowing China to send us hundreds of thousands of settlers... er, I mean immigrants. There's no way that any of them would be spies or partisans who'd help that country form a power base inside our country or anything. Instead, we should just allow ourselves to be easily bought off.

geokstr's complain is easily answered: get better leaders who can explain things to people in a non-Hannity way.

On a related note, what's hilarious/sad about the "tea parties" is that their powerful backers support something most of the "partiers" probably oppose.
4.18.2009 1:11pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):

Why should that matter? Is racism worse than appeasement of illegal aliens?


And I thought it was a matter of appeasing those who create a demand for black-market labor......

Really, Republicans as a whole should be falling over eachother for certain kinds of work permits, such as a 1-year visa for migrant farm labor subject to certain quotas, for example. This would make things far better for farmers in the Republican heartland.

Why is the only answer to the issue amnesty? Is it because the Know-Nothings make real reform impossible?
4.18.2009 1:15pm
geokstr:

Cornellian:
Also, I do not know about Canada but I am pretty sure you can still argue against gay marriage in Europe.

You are free to do so in Canada. Feel free to write a letter to the editor explaining why same sex marriage should not be permitted. It's perfectly legal.

Oh really?

I can see you haven't really followed the kangaroo commissions in Canada, have you?

Let's take the case of Rev. Stephen Boissoin, who, for a letter he wrote the editor criticizing gays based on his religious beliefs, was forced to pay a $5,000 fine to the complainant who was not even gay, but was "offended" by the letter, forced to issue an apology, and sentenced to a lifetime ban on uttering anything critical of gays ever again, in writing, verbally and even from the pulpit:
Stephen Boisson
4.18.2009 1:59pm
BGates:
If the 10 million illegal immigrants were blonde, blue-eyed Scandinavians, would people be nearly as angry about the issue?

You mean real Scandinavians, or white-skinned illiterates who tended to commit crimes at a higher rate than American citizens?

Republicans as a whole should be falling over each other for certain kinds of work permits, such as a 1-year visa for migrant farm labor
Who could be so heartless as to keep a working man apart from his family for a whole year? Wouldn't it be better for the family to stay together? At that point we get the anchor babies again, and then it's on to amnesty.
4.18.2009 2:07pm
Cornellian (mail):

I can see you haven't really followed the kangaroo commissions in Canada, have you?

No, I don't because they're insignificant, and hardly the death of free speech in Canada as is sometimes hysterically proclaimed on this side of the border.
In the case of Stephen Boisson in particular,

1) the law in question is an Alberta provincial law, thus applying only in a province with a small percentage of Canada's population

2) the law itself stated quite clearly that it wasn't intended to interfere with the free expression of opinion

3) if the bureaucrat who rendered the decision finding Mr. Boisson liable paid insufficient regard to #2, that's a bureaucrat making a bad call in interpreting the law, not a law that prohibits the free expression of opinion

4) that law also provides for an appeal to the Court of Queen's Bench (what would typically be called Superior Court in a U.S. state, or District Court in the federal system) and provides that the Court is free to substitute its own decision for that of the bureaucrat

5) Boisson's letter was hardly just "criticism," containing as it did such gems as "Our children are being victimized by repugnant and pre-mediated strategies, aimed at desensitizing and eventually recruiting our young children into their camps." To describe this merely as "criticism" is not summarizing what he said, it's disguising what he said

6) if you're inclined to bring up the financial burden Boisson presumably incurred in defending that proceeding, that doesn't begin to compare to the cost we incur on this side of the border every day living under our "sue anyone for anything" regime

So in summary, one obscure bureaucrat made a bad call interpreting a law that applies in one small province in Canada and held a Canadian version of Fred Phelps liable. That hardly strikes me as QED for the argument that free speech is dead in Canada. Heck, people up there seem to be publishing critical blog posts of the Boisson decision all over the place, hardly something you'd imagine to be possible if free speech were unlawful there.
4.18.2009 2:32pm
Cornellian (mail):
Or to put it another way, describing what Boisson wrote as mere "criticism" of gay people would be like describing the Protocols of the Elders of Zion as mere criticism of Jewish people.
4.18.2009 2:39pm
24AheadDotCom (mail) (www):
Lots of different kinds of stupid in einhverfr's last comment. Here are just two points, in picture form: link, link.
4.18.2009 2:47pm
geokstr:

James Gibson:
I have been in fact waiting for the European/Canadian Hate Speech laws to implode when a Homosexual demands justice against a Moslem because of how both Islamic law and religion treats homosexuals while the same Hate Speech laws make it illegal for the Homosexual to criticize Islamic law and religion.

It's already more or less happened, with predictable results:
CHRC: it's OK to say gays should be "beheaded", Jews "spread corruption", Hindus must "be killed"

From the new Muslim best-seller, "Islam or Fundamentalism":

"Homosexuals and lesbians should be "exterminated in this life"
"Homosexuals caught performing sodomy are beheaded"


"And, despite the fact that there do exist a number of radical Muslim inciters like Al-Hayiti in Canada, not a single radical Muslim (or radical Tamil, or radical Sikh) hate-monger has ever been prosecuted."

"Translation: when a radical Muslim says gays should be killed, Buddhists should be killed, women may be treated like slaves, etc., those victims are not legally considered to be "identifiable groups" -- they have no human rights."

It looks like when the rights of gays to live and the rights of Muslims to say they should be killed bump up against each other, sorry gays, but you lose, at least in Canada. Probably because you're not nearly as scary as the other guys. But hey, make sure you get after those evil Xtians.

Culture wars, much more so than politics, make for totally bizarre bedfellows.
4.18.2009 2:49pm
Vanhattan (mail):
" 'Likewise, the U.S. should avoid the path of Europe and Canada, where speech critical of gay marriage can be prosecuted as illegal 'hate speech.'"

Another untrue talking point of the religious right that seems to never have been fact checked.

In Canada, people are free to be publically critical of homosexuality and voice such views everyday without fear of prosecution.

What they are NOT allowed to do is to talk about killing or physically hurting GLBTQ people without monatary sanctions being imposed. While I fully support everyones right to free speech and I don't agree with hate speech laws I am sympathetic to the idea that it is not necessarily a bad thing to fine someone who yells "FIRE" in a crowded movie theater.
4.18.2009 3:02pm
Chris 24601 (mail) (www):
The politics of gay marriage and illegal aliens? Never thought about that--most of the rhetoric is about which citizens can marry each other.
4.18.2009 4:24pm
geokstr:

Vanhattan (mail):
" 'Likewise, the U.S. should avoid the path of Europe and Canada, where speech critical of gay marriage can be prosecuted as illegal 'hate speech.'"

Another untrue talking point of the religious right that seems to never have been fact checked.

In Canada, people are free to be publically critical of homosexuality and voice such views everyday without fear of prosecution.

What????

I just linked to a case in Canada where a pastor was sentenced to a lifetime ban on ever saying anything critical about gays, even from the pulpit. He didn't threaten anybody.

A stand-up comic in Canada is being persecuted by the Kangaroo Commission because he made some crude jokes in response to a couple lesbians who were heckling him. Policing stand-up comedy, for crying out loud...
Comic faces human rights hearing in B.C. after lesbian jokes


Did you mean legal prosecution in a real court, perhaps? That may be true, but to be persecuted by these kangaroos is probably much worse.

The "human rights commissions" are staffed with political hack appointees with no legal or judicial experience, and there ain't no right wingers on them either. They make up the process as they go along. They have no rules of evidence and admit only what they want to hear. There are no disclosure rules, no right to face your accuser, no presumption of innocence, no right to a speedy trial. Their investigators have been caught hijacking a private IP to post "hate messages" on a website they want to charge with "hate speech" and then using their own messages as proof against the website. The complainants' entire costs are paid by the state but the accused must get his own lawyer or face financial ruin.

There has never been a complaint allowed by an Xtian of any stripe.

This is all out in the open now. How can you say that this does not happen????
4.18.2009 5:36pm
trad and anon (mail):
There are good arguments on both sides of the issue [of gay marriage].


And the good arguments against are what? I suppose "the Bible says homosexuals should be put to death" is a good argument if you take what the Bible says about such things seriously but I'm guessing that is not the argument you have in mind. I've never seen even one good argument against before so if you've found two I'd be very interested in knowing what they are.

Fair-minded supporters should ensure that gay marriage laws include strong protections for the rights of people who do not believe in gay marriage -- such as merchants or professionals who do not want to provide services to gay weddings because it would violate their conscience.


I can't think of an appropriate response here that doesn't violate the comment policy. We have no such exceptions in the antidiscrimination laws for florists who don't want to prepare flower arrangements for different-race weddings, even if they have sincere religious objections to miscegenation. Unless you are going to call for repeal of all antidiscrimination laws based on a general objection to such laws carving out a special exception for anti-gay discrimination is demanding that we be relegated to a second-class status.
4.18.2009 6:28pm
gerard_CDN (mail):
geokstr, I'm happy that you chose to inform yourself about the Canadian justice system from Mark Steyn, but allow me to put some things in context for you.

1) In Canada we have something called the Human Rights Act; there is a federal one, and provincial ones; collectively, they ensure that citizens are protected from discrimination based on race, colour, faith, etc.

2) This act is administered by Human Rights Commissions; again there are federal and provincial ones; these are agencies whose job it is to ensure compliance with the Act.

3) The agencies have an attached tribunal; the tribunal adjudicates complaints regarding violations of the ACt brought before it. It was formed specifically to make the process public and avoid the appearance of complaints being addressed by anonymous bureaucrats without accountability to the public.

4) Contrary to popular impression, these Commissions don't go around abridging free speech. 9 out of 10 cases they deal with have to do with workplace or employment discrimination.

5) But even as to the ones that *do* deal with hate speech - believe it or not, there is no right to untrammelled free speech in the Canadian constitution. That means that we as a society decided that we prefer to have limits to what one can say. If you don't like it, fine - don't move here. They're quite reasonable limits - you really *can* say whatever you like, but we stop short of allowing someone to incite hatred against a group. If you construe Rev. Boisson's comments, especially taken against the background of his entire organization, as mere "criticism of same-sex marriage", allow me to suggest that you're failing the capture the severity of his comments.

6) Do I think the CHRC makes mistakes? Certainly. Courts of all kinds make mistakes all the time. Do I think that, because of that, courts shouldn't exist? Hardly.
4.18.2009 7:07pm
Terrorist Hunter:
I am curious. What would be a good argument for homosexual marriage? What is marriage for? To create familys. Now unless I am misinformed no amount of sodomy will create a child. Just because something may fit doesn't mean it was meant to go there. For a demonstration put your garden hose into your gas tank and turn it on.

I have known murderers, rapists, child molesters and child murderers. They were all very amiable. They could argue their points of view with the best of them. They could amost make you understand their reasoning. It's easy to see why many of these people have followers. I can honestly say I have nothing against them as people, but I despise their lifestyles and choices. I still treat them with respect, but there are boundaries. I feel the same way about homosexuals. Harsh? No, honest. No matter how much lipstick, makeup, and frilly clothes you put on the sow, in the end you are still left with a painted pig in a dress.
4.18.2009 7:14pm
Bob VB (mail):
geokstr, It was not Boissoin's religious opinions that got him in trouble:

"You have caused far too much damage."
"My banner has now been raised and war has been declared…"
"From kindergarten class on, our children, your grandchildren are being strategically targeted, psychologically abused and brainwashed by homosexual and pro-homosexual educators."
"Come on people, wake up! It's time to stand together and take whatever steps are necessary to reverse the wickedness that our lethargy has authorized to spawn."
"Homosexual rights activists and those that defend them, are just as immoral as the pedophiles, drug dealers and pimps that plague our communities."
"It's time to start taking back what the enemy has taken from you. The safety and future of our children is at stake."

Threats of violence, calls to arms, demonizing entire groups saying they personally threaten people's children like a laundry list of criminals.

Boissoin was not censured for his religious opinions, in fact 'God' is mentioned only once and there are no scriptural references at all.

Just sayin'
4.18.2009 7:22pm
Bob VB (mail):
What is marriage for? To create familys.

47% of married couples are raising children under 18 y/o, 33% of lesbian households, 20% of gay households (who have a higher % of stay at home parents of all the groups) Only about 50% of children are being raised by their 2 genetic contributors, and about 50% of opposite gender marriages do not produce children from the 2 parents.

And again, people have a right to their own religious beliefs they don't have a right to pretend that others share them especially in regards to Public Accommodation services.
4.18.2009 7:31pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
24ahead.com evidently doesn't live anywhere that requires manual harvesting of various crops, from asparagus to apples. Where I live it is STILL most cost effective to pick cherries by hand.

cereal grains are only a few crops. Many others are a lot less mechanized....
4.18.2009 7:33pm
geokstr:

gerard_CDN:
5) But even as to the ones that *do* deal with hate speech -believe it or not, there is no right to untrammelled free speech in the Canadian constitution. That means that we as a society decided that we prefer to have limits to what one can say. If you don't like it, fine - don't move here.

Thank you for the thoughtful comment. I understand that you don't have the same freedom of speech that we have here, in fact, the chief investigator for the CHRC said under oath:

MS KULASZKA: Mr. Steacy, you were talking before about context and how important it is when you do your investigation. What value do you give freedom of speech when you investigate one of these complaints?

MR. STEACY: Freedom of speech is an American concept, so I don't give it any value.


Does not Canada have any legal protections for the accused at all under the HRC's? From what I have learned, apparently not. Until Steyn and Levant finally prevailed because they had some deeper pockets and bigger mouths than the other poor shmucks caught up in the system, the HRC's had a 100% conviction rate.

For such a wonderful system as you describe, they certainly seem to be in a world of shit right now, coming under the gun from a lot of elected officials and news organizations up there, and not only right wing ones, either.

What about the stand up comic being persecuted for offensive jokes in response to lesbian hecklers? Is humor not a defense?

How about the refusal of the commissions to take up a complaint about a Muslim book written and published online by a Canadian imam named Abou Hammaad Sulaiman Al-Hayiti that comes right out and says all gays should be killed (among other like things about infidels, Jews and women and that slavery is OK)? Any complaint a Muslim brings is taken up pretty much without question.

Apparently even your non-freedom of speech isn't applied evenhandedly.
4.18.2009 9:07pm
Careless:
He didn't answer you the first time you wrote it, geokstr, he's not likely to come back and respond to the giant holes in his previous posts after you point them out.
4.19.2009 3:24am
trad and anon (mail):
I am curious. What would be a good argument for homosexual marriage? What is marriage for? To create familys [sic]. Now unless I am misinformed no amount of sodomy will create a child.


The problem with this theory is that it assumes marriage has one and only one purpose, "to create familys [sic]," by which you appear to mean "to create biological children." In fact marriage has many purposes, of which the creation of biological children is at most one. I'm unclear on why that would be even one purpose of marriage: the ability of straight people to produce children is in no way enhanced by marriage. (Arguably it is impeded, given what I am told happens to people's sex lives after they marry.)

Even if the promotion of procreation is a purpose of marriage, it is vastly less important than the purpose of providing a stable and socially supported environment for the raising of children. Same-sex couples are eminently capable of raising children, and in fact lots of them do. More would do so if they had the social and legal support provided by marriage. It's possible they're marginally worse than comparably situated opposite-sex parents, but any such difference are overwhelmed by the impact of other factors such as how much money the parents have and how much support they receive from their extended family.

And of course marriage serves many other purposes, of which the most important is the promotion of the happiness and well-being of the couple themselves. Those who have no children and intend never to acquire any are permitted to marry, and a failure to acquire children (via procreation, adoption, or otherwise) is never grounds for questioning the validity of a marriage.
4.19.2009 4:40am
trad and anon (mail):
I have known murderers, rapists, child molesters and child murderers. They were all very amiable. They could argue their points of view with the best of them. They could amost make you understand their reasoning. It's easy to see why many of these people have followers. I can honestly say I have nothing against them as people, but I despise their lifestyles and choices. I still treat them with respect, but there are boundaries. I feel the same way about homosexuals.


You despise my lifestyle and choices? I can see that if you have something against lawyers in general or biglaw associates in particular. Or perhaps you despise classical music fans? People who drink only in moderation? People who waste too much time writing blog comments? Who don't go to church as regularly as they should? That's what my lifestyle and choices are like.
4.19.2009 5:00am
pluribus:

I have known murderers, rapists, child molesters and child murderers. . . . I feel the same way about homosexuals.

What an ugly, hate-filled post. First, it raises the suspicion that the poster is a bald-faced liar: Who among us has actually known at least two murderers, two rapists, nd two child molesters (it takes at least two to make a plural) and come away with the impression that these monsters were "very amiable" people? Second, comparing two people who wish to make a legal commitment to each other through marriage to vicious, aggressive criminals who prey on helpless victims is insanely off base. I would ask the motivations for this kind of hate, but would frankly rather not know it.
4.19.2009 9:13am
Randy R. (mail):

"I have known murderers, rapists, child molesters and child murderers."

Well, I've known people like you, and they are NOT very amiable.

" I still treat them with respect, but there are boundaries. I feel the same way about homosexuals. Harsh? No, honest. No matter how much lipstick, makeup, and frilly clothes you put on the sow, in the end you are still left with a painted pig in a dress."

Well, no you don't feel the same way. In fact, you go out of your way to treat gays without any respect with your comments. Which of course proves my point -- you are actually proud to hate gays as a group. (I would love to introduce to you some Marines I know who are gay and could kick your ass. No, they don't wear make-up, so it would be fun to see the surprise on your face when you realize your stereotype it dead wrong).

And of course it's your right to hate gays, and I certainly don't want to you to change just because I ask you to. But calling yourself amiable? Sorry, but I would never invite you for cocktails and canapes to any event I hold -- I wouldn't want to subject anyone I know to someone like you.
4.19.2009 2:05pm
Randy R. (mail):
Back on topic: Malthus said" Professionals, licensed by the government, should be forced to take all comers, without discrimination, as in Public Accommodations laws."

I would disagree slightly. I would be happy for people of conscious to deny services to gay couples, *provided* they also deny services to all couples that offend them, such as divorced people getting remarried, anyone who had sex prior to the marriage ceremony or otherwise outside of marriage, and interfaith marriages.

As long as they require everyone to fill out an notarized affidavit attesting to their sexual histories and all that, and as long as they refuse services to all couples who violate any one of their religious objections, then I have no problem with them refusing services to gay couples.

In other words, prove that you aren't being a hypocrite and singling out gays based upon your precious conscience.
4.19.2009 2:09pm
Michael Ejercito (mail) (www):

Pretty simple -- those voters were going to vote GOP anyway

Only because the Democrats are portrayed as pandering to illegal aliens.

A Democratic candidate running on a platform of land-mining the southern border would be competitive for the anti-illegal-alien vote.
4.20.2009 1:16am
Michael Ejercito (mail) (www):

I can see you haven't really followed the kangaroo commissions in Canada, have you?

Let's take the case of Rev. Stephen Boissoin, who, for a letter he wrote the editor criticizing gays based on his religious beliefs, was forced to pay a $5,000 fine to the complainant who was not even gay, but was "offended" by the letter, forced to issue an apology, and sentenced to a lifetime ban on uttering anything critical of gays ever again, in writing, verbally and even from the pulpit:

He should not have done that.

Canada is not the United States. What he did was as foolish as writing a letter to the editor of a newspaper in Turkey claiming that there was a genocide of the Armenians.
4.20.2009 1:18am
cmr:


I acknowledge such good arguments even where I disagree with them. The arguments include:

1) SSM as a legally and socially binding relationship is a new thing. There are plenty of reasons to be skeptical of change and not always rush into things for fear of unintended consequences.

2) Traditionally (up until a few decades ago), marriage had a strong procreative impulse and the state was engaged in a multilayered strategy to increase our population. Other layers included, for example, encouraging immigration. These are still closely connected in popular thought-- i.e. the formula "get married and have kids."

Now.... I disagree with both arguments above. I think that on #1, we have to look at whether it is less disruptive to change or to stay the same. I think change is actually less disruptive and will have fewer unintended side effects. On #2, I think that we have shifted so far towards individualism in our society, that this isn't really a major objection. However, I do have to admit that these are reasonably good arguments.




It's funny how whenever someone who's for gay marriage attempts to objectively sum up the arguments against it, they never quite get it right. They always leave something out, or they just give very generalized summaries of the arguments.

I really wish people would stop saying they never hear any *good* arguments against gay marriage, that don't appeal to hatred for gays, or religion, or rely too heavily on appeals to tradition. Many of you know it doesn't matter how sane and lucid someone who disagrees with gay marriage, because if they're too much about the facts and cold hard logic, you'll just default to this peace-and-love, pie-in-the-sky "it's about letting people who love each other be together...how can you not support that?" stuff that doesn't address the issue of legalizing it, and if someone is a Christian fundamentalist/social conservative ideologue, you'll just default to saying personal ideology ought not dictate the law, and we should only deal in facts and logic and reason.

Most of you don't care anything about non-bigoted, earnest dissent. There's no difference between reasoned discourse about disapproval of gay marriage and somebody just shouting homophobic epithets at a funeral. Which is fine -- I'm really not surprised that so many leftists are hypocrites. But, it is a little annoying, and I don't think it would be to much to ask that you just cop to being so convinced of your own opinions that it's turned you into a reductionist.
4.20.2009 10:53pm
Randy R. (mail):
cmr:"Most of you don't care anything about non-bigoted, earnest dissent."

Of course we do. And when we actually hear one, we'll be happy to debate it. But we keep asking for any evidence of harm in the places where SSM actually exists, and we never get an answer. If you can find any, please present it, and we'll be happy to discuss it. Deal?
4.21.2009 1:09am
cmr:
Well, aside from that not being entirely true, it's also a weird and loaded question. Because this is about why we should legalize gay marriage, not talking those who believe in it out of their support of it. You're not going to convince very many people by trying to justify gay marriage on its null outcome and negative benefits. Saying "gay marriage is a good idea because bad stuff wont happen" doesn't really make a whole lot of sense.
4.22.2009 2:29am

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