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N.H. governor will sign SSM bill if . . .

it includes broader religious exemptions. The statement Gov. John Lynch just released is available on his website. It will infuriate SSM opponents and puzzle many supporters. Lynch initially said he opposed same-sex marriage and thought the state's civil unions law passed two years ago was good enough for gay couples. Now he says he'll sign the same-sex marriage bill recently passed if the state legislature adopts additional protections for religious objectors. Otherwise, he'll veto it.

His proposal includes this key provision, borrowing partly from a religious-exemption proposal initially made a few weeks ago by several law professors and partly from language included in recently successful Maine and Vermont SSM laws:

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a religious organization, association, or society, or any individual who is managed, directed, or supervised by or in conjunction with a religious organization, association or society, or any nonprofit institution or organization operated, supervised or controlled by or in conjunction with a religious organization, association or society, shall not be required to provide services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods or privileges to an individual if such request for such services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods or privileges is related to the solemnization of a marriage, the celebration of a marriage, or the promotion of marriage through religious counseling, programs, courses, retreats, or housing designated for married individuals, and such solemnization, celebration, or promotion of marriage is in violation of their religious beliefs and faith. Any refusal to provide services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods or privileges in accordance with this section shall not create any civil claim or cause of action or result in any state action to penalize or withhold benefits from such religious organization, association or society, or any individual who is managed, directed, or supervised by or in conjunction with a religious organization, association or society, or any nonprofit institution or organization operated, supervised or controlled by or in conjunction with a religious organization, association or society.

On the whole, this would be the broadest religious exemption yet adopted as the price for allowing gay couples to marry. There is quite a bit to chew on, and I'm interested in reactions from those with expertise in antidiscrimination law.

Here are a couple of initial thoughts. First, as broad as it is, the governor's proposed language does not apply to state workers. Second, it does not apply to "any individual," but only to those individuals "managed, directed, or supervised by or in conjunction with" a covered religious entity. Both of those are commendable limitations on the reach of the exemption, for reasons I've discussed previously. But the "in conjunction with" phrase — covering individuals and nonprofits associated in some way with covered religious entities — is potentially quite broad. Unlike other exemptions, it's not clear to whom it's supposed to apply.

I've previously argued (see, for example, here) that the substantive legal case for religious exemptions in SSM legislation is not very compelling. But these exemptions, it seems to me, are primarily political in the sense that they allow legislators (and in this case, a governor) to tell both sides how much they've done to protect their interests. Governor Lynch could be expected to demand an especially high price since he must be given cover to explain his reversal.

If I were a state legislator, I'd be inclined to accept Lynch's proposal. Accepting the proposal means that gay couples can marry now and that New Hampshire will become the sixth state to authorize it. The actual imposition on same-sex couples will probably be small and largely symbolic, though I'd want to know more about its expected application. Rejecting the proposal may mean no SSM in New Hampshire for years, at least until this governor is gone or can be persuaded to relent.

With the passage of each new SSM bill, the pressure to adopt specific religious exemptions and to expand their coverage is growing. Make no mistake: a baseline is being established in New England.

UPDATE: It appears New Hampshire Freedom to Marry, the main pro-SSM group, supports the governor's proposal. They're indicating that a legislative hearing on the proposal will be held Tuesday.

Dufusoid:
"housing designated for married individuals"

OK. And I notice this would apply to any situation where the religious beliefs vis-a-vis the marriage apply. This would be an interracial or interfaith marriage... not just a SSM.

So a religiously affiliated facility that provides "housing designated for married individuals" can discriminate against not on SSM couples, but also interracial and interfaith married couples.

DC: That's right. The proposals and actual legislation so far have applied to religious objection to any mariage.
5.14.2009 9:49pm
Desiderius:
Why is the only conscience that matters the religious one? Other than, of course, pure logrolling?
5.14.2009 10:08pm
tommears (mail):
I think you need to parse the comas and phrases again...I think the housing portion is part of the solemizaion, celebration of promotion phrase.

I think the intention is to allow denial of housing as only part of marriage solemizaion, celebration or promotion, not denial of housing altogether.
5.14.2009 10:18pm
Dufusoid:
tommears:

That interpretation means the accommodations can be denied for a honeymoon, but not a vacation? Pretty absurd. And that comma interpretation doesn't matter since every night shared together is a celebration of marriage (according to legend).

And why does a religious organization get this right, but individuals do not?
5.14.2009 10:25pm
AFJ (www):

"And why does a religious organization get this right, but individuals do not?"


To give away the minimum in order to get the bill passed. Of course, the religious exemptions can be repealed later after the redefinition of marriage is established.
5.14.2009 11:01pm
IB Bill (mail) (www):
To give away the minimum in order to get the bill passed. Of course, the religious exemptions can be repealed later after the redefinition of marriage is established.

If you're familiar with the past 30 years in the Episcopal Church, that's exactly what will happen.
5.14.2009 11:05pm
Randy R. (mail):
AFJ: " Of course, the religious exemptions can be repealed later after the redefinition of marriage is established."

Or they can be repealed when everyone realizes that they were never needed in the first place,since, as Prof. Carpenter has found, so far no religious groups have ever been punished for their views on SSM.
5.14.2009 11:46pm
Putting Two and Two...:
I'm happy to see that there appear to be no exemptions based on the marriage status. The clauses about the "promotion of marriage" strike me as problematic. What do they mean?

Does a university provide married student housing to accommodate the marital status or to "promote" marriage? Spousal health insurance... is its availability a "promotion" of marriage covered by this law?
5.14.2009 11:48pm
Randy R. (mail):
Dufusoid: "That interpretation means the accommodations can be denied for a honeymoon, but not a vacation? Pretty absurd. "

So it appears. My guess is that a landlord that isn't a religious organization can't refuse to rent an apartment to a gay married couple. However, if the hotel is owned by religious organization, they can refuse to sell rooms if they are coming from their marriage ceremony, such as a honeymoon.

Goofy, I admit. But I'm willing to pay that price in exchange for SSM.

"or the promotion of marriage through religious counseling, programs, courses, retreats, or housing designated for married individuals." On the surface, this seems troublesome. Promotion of marriage by itself can be construed as very broad, but it is limited to religious counseling, and I would read 'programs,courses,retreats, etc' as having the 'religious' component as an integral part.

Which makes sense -- the purpose is to protect religious beliefs that object to SSM, but not general beliefs that object to it.
5.14.2009 11:58pm
Grumpy Old Man (mail) (www):
The whole notion of a civil right to homosexual marriage is bizarre and ridiculous.

I dissent.
5.15.2009 12:06am
Desiderius:
Grumpy,

"All truth passes through three stages: First, it is ridiculed; Second, it is violently opposed; and Third, it is accepted as self-evident."

- Schopenhauer

Shakespeare, concurring, though sharing your grumpiness:

"New customs, though they be never so ridiculous, nay, let 'em be unmanly, yet are follow'd."

Among the crowds with which I run, things seem rapidly to be headed toward the self-evident. Perhaps one day we'll see about the ridiculous part...
5.15.2009 12:28am
Oren:


To give away the minimum in order to get the bill passed. Of course, the religious exemptions can be repealed later after the redefinition of marriage is established.


Of course, the redefinition of marriage can also be repealed later. That's the problem with those damned legislatures -- they're always changing things!
5.15.2009 12:29am
U.Va. Grad:
The whole notion of a civil right to homosexual marriage is bizarre and ridiculous.

I dissent.


I'm not sure what there is to dissent from here, then, since NH will soon have a statutory right to gay marriage adopted by a duly elected legislature and governor, not a civil right under a constitution.
5.15.2009 12:29am
cmr:
I knew Lynch was a snake. There is no civil right to gay marriage and he knows it. The primary political argument against gay marriage is spearheaded by the Right, but that's hardly the only substantial argument. None of them gives a crap about religious freedoms or any threats to it. That's fine -- I'm honestly not surprised -- but don't try and pacify the large contingency who believe marriage is between a man and a woman by saying their religion wont be attacked. That's one argument from one side.

All this is saying is, we'll let you keep your religion, and ignore any relevance your opinions may have on public policy. Leave public policy to the secularists and Atheists, and you go back to singing and praying to the invisible man in the sky. That's not what neither the Establishment Clause nor Separation of church and state meant.

Lynch is a snake. I hope he gets voted out next year (if he's up for reelection).
5.15.2009 12:42am
LTEC (mail) (www):
I always thought SSM was about getting the relationship solemnized by the State, both for the symbolic value and for getting certain rights -- e.g. relating to health care decisions -- from the State. I now realize it's about much more than that. It's about forcing other citizens to regard these couples the way the couples wish to be regarded.
5.15.2009 12:57am
cmr:
Considering you don't need a marriage license to make "health care decisions", it wasn't about that to begin with.
5.15.2009 1:07am
eyesay:
(It is regrettable that this site does not allow <sub> tags, forcing me to use a crude workaround.)

cmr: there is a civil right to same-sex marriage wherever the governing authority has established or recognized it. If and when the state legislature of New Hampshire passes legislation that recognizes such a right, and the governor signs the bill, the civil right to same-sex marriage will be recognized in that state.

There is marriage as recognized by various religions, which could be denoted as marriage<sub>Jewish</sub>, marriage<sub>Catholic</sub>, marriage<sub>Hindu</sub>, etc. And there is marriage as recognized by the state, which could be denoted as marriage<sub>civil</sub>. It leads to confusion that we use the same word marriage for all of these distinct things. If a majority of the people of New Hampshire now believe that marriage<sub>civil</sub> should not exclude same-sex couples, but do not wish to force changes on religions’ definitions of marriage, what is the problem with reassuring the various religions that they don't have to redefine the word marriage in the contexts of their respective religions?
5.15.2009 1:20am
cmr:
cmr: there is a civil right to same-sex marriage wherever the governing authority has established or recognized it. If and when the state legislature of New Hampshire passes legislation that recognizes such a right, and the governor signs the bill, the civil right to same-sex marriage will be recognized in that state.


No really? Obviously I'm saying there's no existing civil right to same sex marriage, not that they can't make up one whole cloth.

If a majority of the people of New Hampshire now believe that marriage civil should not exclude same-sex couples, but do not wish to force changes on religions' definitions of marriage, what is the problem with reassuring the various religions that they don't have to redefine the word marriage in the contexts of their respective religions?


And how do we know what a majority of people in NH want?
5.15.2009 1:33am
U.Va. Grad:

And how do we know what a majority of people in NH want?


Umm...through the decisions of their elected legislators and governor, or, if those people don't agree with the public, through the legislators and governor the public replace them with?

We aren't talking about black-robed masters declaring gay marriage out of thin air here; we're talking about people elected by the public who are adopting laws pursuant to pretty much anyone's understanding of representative democracy.
5.15.2009 1:52am
DangerMouse:
If you're familiar with the past 30 years in the Episcopal Church, that's exactly what will happen.

Bingo. That's why he should veto the bill. The religious protections will be repealed at the first instance, by either the next legislature or the super-legislature (the Court).

What's more likely, that the legislature will repeal the protections, or repeal homosexual marriage? Yeah, I thought so. Veto it.
5.15.2009 2:08am
Cornellian (mail):
There is no civil right to gay marriage and he knows it.

Presumably there will be a civil right to gay marriage once the legislature enacts it. So what's your point?
5.15.2009 2:09am
Cornellian (mail):
Bingo. That's why he should veto the bill. The religious protections will be repealed at the first instance, by either the next legislature or the super-legislature (the Court).

If same sex marriage is so violently opposed by the people of New Hampshire, why do you think this is likely to happen? If the people of New Hampshire don't want to provide any more than First Amendment free exercise protection (whatever that consists of) why should they be required to?
5.15.2009 2:11am
trad and anon (mail):
Considering you don't need a marriage license to make "health care decisions", it wasn't about that to begin with.

A health care power of attorney is not an adequate substitute for a marriage license. In practice, if you tell the hospital you have a health care power of attorney, they will demand to see the document and refuse you decisionmaking power or access until their lawyer takes their sweet time examining it. If the document is in another state or your lawyer screwed it up, STBY. Meanwhile the clock is ticking.

But if you tell the hospital you're married, that's it, full stop. They don't demand to see your marriage license or examine it for legal adequacy. The only time you'd have a problem is if someone actually shows up with a lawyer claiming your marriage is invalid, which never happens.
5.15.2009 2:37am
cmr:
Umm...through the decisions of their elected legislators and governor, or, if those people don't agree with the public, through the legislators and governor the public replace them with?

We aren't talking about black-robed masters declaring gay marriage out of thin air here; we're talking about people elected by the public who are adopting laws pursuant to pretty much anyone's understanding of representative democracy.


It wasn't a general question. Elected officials tend to not get voted out unless they do something egregiously bad, not something people don't like but will likely just live with. How many of them campaigned on legalizing gay marriage if elected? And since Gov. Lynch ran on anti-gay-marriage, does that mean that the majority of people feel the same way? Did they foresee his contingency plan?
5.15.2009 2:57am
cmr:
Presumably there will be a civil right to gay marriage once the legislature enacts it. So what's your point?


It's the same point that I made to the last poster who mentioned this: I'm saying there isn't an existing civil right to gay marriage that needs to be recognized by the state. I fully understand they can make one up. They've done it five times already.

A health care power of attorney is not an adequate substitute for a marriage license. In practice, if you tell the hospital you have a health care power of attorney, they will demand to see the document and refuse you decisionmaking power or access until their lawyer takes their sweet time examining it. If the document is in another state or your lawyer screwed it up, STBY. Meanwhile the clock is ticking.


Well, yeah, marriage is the only option if you're going to come up with your own nightmare narrative to dismiss completely viable alternatives. I guess we can all do that and have laws passed to address our arguments to potential.

A medical proxy is an "adequate" substitute. If there is more paperwork and important documentation you need to keep up with, I'm so sorry. Bless your poor heart.

But if you tell the hospital you're married, that's it, full stop. They don't demand to see your marriage license or examine it for legal adequacy. The only time you'd have a problem is if someone actually shows up with a lawyer claiming your marriage is invalid, which never happens.


Because a hospital will just take your word for it if you say you're married. You wont have to show any proof.

I can tell you've been in this situation many times.
5.15.2009 3:10am
josil (mail):
As another commenter mentioned, why restrict servicing of SSM only on the basis of religious grounds? The ethical or moral objection may be as strong as any that inhere in religion. Similarly (although I'm not sure of its legal status), wasn't it possible to object to combat service during the draft as a conscientious objector without a religious reason?
5.15.2009 4:07am
Jiffy:

I'm saying there isn't an existing civil right to gay marriage that needs to be recognized by the state. I fully understand they can make one up.


Is there a civil right to heterosexual marriage that needs to be recognized by the state? No, but I guess 50 states have made one up. So, as Cornellian asked, what's your point?
5.15.2009 7:19am
A Berman (mail):
Here's why the whole SSM issue isn't one of rights:


Marriage is a lot of things all bundled up, but let's concentrate on the definition from the point of view of the State. The State gives a definition for marriage, requirements for becoming 'married,' and then grants benefits to--and makes requirements of--those who are married.

In other words, from the State's point of view, it's a program, just like Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, Head Start or any other program. Like those programs, their are goals for the program and a target population for the program. People don't consider Social Security or Head Start discriminatory in a 'civil rights' way just because you must be a certain age-- the age just is part of the target. The difference with Marriage is that the program has evolved in just about every successful civilization or culture throughout history.
5.15.2009 8:49am
fishbane (mail):
Because a hospital will just take your word for it if you say you're married. You wont have to show any proof.


Anecdote is not data, to be sure, but I can say for a fact that in the case of my partner (of the opposite gender) to whom I am not, in fact, married, they did take my word for it when I lied and said we were married.

It was an emergency situation and I did have to make some choices. They were what she wanted, as she later verified to me. Had I not lied, the medical outcome would have likely been different. When she was recovering, I mentioned to a nurse what had happened, and he confirmed my instincts - that a procedural lie there was the proper way to make sure her wishes were followed in that situation.

This is a long way of saying in my experience, you will not be asked for a marriage license (or even ID) in an ER situation when it is at least plausible that you're the spouse of someone of the opposite gender in need of care. While I have no first-hand experience with being a same-sex partner in that situation, I suspect the outcome would be very different.
5.15.2009 8:49am
Amiable Dorsai (mail):
cmr: "Because a hospital will just take your word for it if you say you're married. You wont have to show any proof."

Yep, pretty much. They took my (then) girlfriend's word for it a couple of years ago when I was pretty banged up--and we didn't even share last names.

That little scare was one of the reasons we decided to make it legal. Fortunately for us, our marriage is recognized in all 50 states without question.
5.15.2009 8:52am
mooglar (mail) (www):
I'm confused. It seems to me that when SSM was legalized in Massachusetts by the courts, people like cmr railed against it because it shouldn't be decided by "unelected judges" but by the people through their elected representatives (the legislature and executive). But then, when states legalize SSM through a bill in the legislature, they STILL grouse about how "SSM isn't a right" and "SSM is oxymoronic" and still claim that SSM is illegitimate.

It's almost as if they really don't care at all about whether policy is made by elected officials rather than "unelected judges" and were just pretending to have a principled objection so it wouldn't be obvious that they really just care about making sure icky gay people can't get married.
5.15.2009 9:14am
cmr:
Is there a civil right to heterosexual marriage that needs to be recognized by the state? No, but I guess 50 states have made one up. So, as Cornellian asked, what's your point?


This would be why people say marriage is defined as being heterosexual and not "heterosexual marriage".

Fishbane and Amiable Dorsai -- in both of your cases, well, you lied. Beyond that, it's not standard hospital procedure to just take someone's word for it, as it shouldn't be. Maybe they didn't care in your cases, but lying in situations like that isn't something we should promote.
5.15.2009 9:15am
cmr:
I'm confused. It seems to me that when SSM was legalized in Massachusetts by the courts, people like cmr railed against it because it shouldn't be decided by "unelected judges" but by the people through their elected representatives (the legislature and executive). But then, when states legalize SSM through a bill in the legislature, they STILL grouse about how "SSM isn't a right" and "SSM is oxymoronic" and still claim that SSM is illegitimate.


Well, I'm sorry, but "people like cmr" tend to not support gay marriage period. Instituting it by judicial fiat is just an egregious way to do it.

SSM is all those things, but I will say that I'd rather the legislature allow it than it be shoehorned through the courts. I said this when VT instituted it, and I'll say it now, too.

It's almost as if they really don't care at all about whether policy is made by elected officials rather than "unelected judges" and were just pretending to have a principled objection so it wouldn't be obvious that they really just care about making sure icky gay people can't get married.


Yeah, it's almost like we just really don't agree with gay marriage. And nobody's called gay people icky but you.
5.15.2009 9:24am
Smallholder (mail) (www):
cmr,

Thanks for taking the mask off. I have long suspected that the opposition to court defenses of minority rights was just a facade: the real issue was that people like you don't want gays to have the same rights as straights. Several months ago I posted a comment on Volokh about how complaining about judicial fiat was a bad tactic - 1) It puts the speaker in direct opposition to Brown v. Board (not a very comfortable position) 2) it ignored the historic role of the courts - to protect minority rights against majority/legislative usurpation and 3) The majority was changing - we would soon have legislative victories.

At least cmr has the cojones to admit that his side was using their anti-black-robed-tyrants rhetoric tactically.

It must be very frustrating to be anti gay marriage today. The bigots are losing the argument. It isn't me saying that the anti-equality arguments are bad - it is the public. The public is moving en masse at a rate of 2% per year towards supporting equality - a rate that will accelerate as people realize that the sky isn't falling.

In twenty years, our kids will view folks like cmr and Dangermouse as being equivalent to George Wallace, Orvil Faubus, Strom Thurmond, and Sheriff Clark.

There is no doubt that cmr and Dangermouse et al. are sincere in their belief that "teh gay" will bring about the end of society. The future as they see it: A fall of civilization or, failing that, their grandchildren being shamed by their elders.

No one likes being called a bigot. There will be some squawking regarding my use of the term. But history is going to make that judgment. No wonder the anti-equality folks are so angry.

I could almost muster some sympathy.

That is, if they weren't bigots.
5.15.2009 10:26am
JB:
Josil,
"As another commenter mentioned, why restrict servicing of SSM only on the basis of religious grounds?"

Are there any opponents of gay marriage not motivated by religion? If so, what is their reasoning?
5.15.2009 10:26am
Ken Arromdee:
This is a long way of saying in my experience, you will not be asked for a marriage license (or even ID) in an ER situation when it is at least plausible that you're the spouse of someone of the opposite gender in need of care. While I have no first-hand experience with being a same-sex partner in that situation, I suspect the outcome would be very different.

That doesn't seem to depend on whether it's a power of attorney contract or a marriage, though. A gay person who says "I have a power of attorney" may be questioned, but I'd think that once gay marriages are allowed, the gay person would similarly be questioned about claiming to be married. It's not clear that marriages would actually help.
5.15.2009 10:37am
Cornellian (mail):
The future as they see it: A fall of civilization or, failing that, their grandchildren being shamed by their elders.

I think a major part of it is the latter. They fear a world in which they have a choice between keeping their views to themselves or being shunned by much of society, much like a person could be an outright racist in 1940 without consequences, but not today. If you are such a person, you tend to fight any change that tends to remove some legal disability or stigma from same sex relationships because every such change brings that dreaded day just a little bit closer.
5.15.2009 10:39am
Amiable Dorsai (mail):
cmr: Fishbane and Amiable Dorsai -- in both of your cases, well, you lied. Beyond that, it's not standard hospital procedure to just take someone's word for it, as it shouldn't be. Maybe they didn't care in your cases, but lying in situations like that isn't something we should promote.

Technically, my (now) wife lied--saved me the use of my right hand in the process, most likely. I'm OK with that.

Since you have such a strong aversion to lies, wouldn't you find it better if fewer people had to lie in order to be able to support their loved ones?

While we're on the subject, how would you prove that the unconscious person lying on the gurney was your spouse, assuming said person has lost their ID in the accident that led to them being on the gurney in the first place?
5.15.2009 10:39am
Ken Arromdee:
Thanks for taking the mask off. I have long suspected that the opposition to court defenses of minority rights was just a facade: the real issue was that people like you don't want gays to have the same rights as straights.

I'm actually a supporter of gay marriage (and voted against a gay marriage ban in Georgia in 2004) but the current situation is like being opposed to pollution and watching an episode of Captain Planet. In other words, the cause is fine, but everything that's being done is total nonsense.

Or think of Abraham Lincoln suspending habeas corpus, or the civil rights era abusing the commerce clause (not that it was the first time).

It's obvious to me that most of these gay marriage laws are being pushed through against the wishes of the population.
5.15.2009 10:44am
Dave N (mail):
Smallholder,

Nice smear. Speaking for myself, I have stated that I oppose judicially-created SSM on THIS very site.

And Smallholder, in your liberal lack of tolerance, I am betting that you are less than thrilled when the judiciary issues an opinion with which you ideologically disagree.

The hypocrisy of some on the left is astounding.
5.15.2009 10:49am
Owen Hutchins (mail):

If you're familiar with the past 30 years in the Episcopal Church, that's exactly what will happen.

Bingo. That's why he should veto the bill. The religious protections will be repealed at the first instance, by either the next legislature or the super-legislature (the Court).

What's more likely, that the legislature will repeal the protections, or repeal homosexual marriage? Yeah, I thought so. Veto it.



So what you're saying is, you're afraid that if it's passed like this, people will eventually realize they had nothing to worry about to begin with, and you don't want to lose that scare tactic.
5.15.2009 10:55am
Randy R. (mail):
cornellian: "They fear a world in which they have a choice between keeping their views to themselves or being shunned by much of society, much like a person could be an outright racist in 1940 without consequences, but not today."

Exactly. Whenever I point out that a poll just after the decision in Loving v. Virginia showed that 80% of Americans were against interracial marriage, I logically conclude that most people were against interracial marriage. Darn if I can't find a single person who was alive back then who agreed! Nope--it seems that every single person today thinks interracial marriage is fine and dandy, and they of course were part of the 20% who always thought so.

So it will be a generation hence. We'll find within 30 years not a single person ever opposed SSM, and that it's so obvious that gays deserve the same rights as straights.

Ken: "It's obvious to me that most of these gay marriage laws are being pushed through against the wishes of the population."

And yet, two thirds of Americans believe gays should have either civil unions or SSM. And the percentage of those who believe gays should have SSM is in the upper 40 percentile. Perhaps that's not a majority, but just two years ago, only one-third thought gays should have marriage rights.

The "population" isn't monolithic or static. There are huge numbers of actual straight people who support the cause -- you just choose to dismiss them.

Cmr: Do you support ANY rights for gay people? Such as a right to be free of discrimination in housing or employment? To serve openly in the military? To serve at all in the military, even if closeted? Civil unions? Anything at all?
5.15.2009 11:37am
Randy R. (mail):
Dangermouse: "What's more likely, that the legislature will repeal the protections, or repeal homosexual marriage? Yeah, I thought so. Veto it."

And if you can provide a single instance in which the rights of gay people to marriage affected the rights of religious people in any way, you might have a point. But as Prof. Carpenter pointed out earlier, there are no actual cases of such.
5.15.2009 11:39am
SteveW:
I'm stumped trying to figure out the reason for Part IV of the governor's proposed language:


"V. Repeal. RSA 457-A, relative to civil unions, is repealed effective January 1, 2011, except that no new civil unions shall be established after January 1, 2010."

The bill passed by the legislature already repeals the civil union law on January 1, 2011, but the bill passed by the legislature does not prohibit new civil unions after January 1, 2010. Under the bill passed by the legislature, civil unions automatically convert to marriages on January 1, 2011.

What could be the governor's purpose for prohibiting civil unions after 2009? Perhaps it is to avoid confusion. But what if implementation of a portion of the new law is blocked by a court or by some popular initiative effort? In that event, could New Hampshire wind up lacking both marriage and civil unions?
5.15.2009 11:44am
Oren:

A new poll is showing New Hampshire residents are evenly split on the issue of same-sex marriage. 45 percent of those polled by Dartmouth College oppose legalizing gay marriage, and 41 percent support it. +/-5%

Link to poll.
5.15.2009 12:02pm
Oren:


What's more likely, that the legislature will repeal the protections, or repeal homosexual marriage?

That depends on the People of New Hampshire, as it should. They are competent to elect their own legislatures and make their own decisions.
5.15.2009 12:04pm
Smallholder (mail) (www):
Dave N wrote:


Smallholder,

Nice smear (See Note 1). Speaking for myself, I have stated that I oppose judicially-created SSM on THIS very site (See Note 2).

And Smallholder, in your liberal lack of tolerance (Note 3), I am betting that you are less than thrilled when the judiciary issues an opinion with which you ideologically disagree (Note 4).

The hypocrisy of some on the left is astounding.



Ah Dave, so many fallacies.

Note 1:

Yeah, the bigot line is a smear. But I think it is also accurate. After several years of debate and several years of logical argument refuting each and every anti-gay talking point, the only folks who oppose marriage are those who are doing so out of religious and/or gays are icky motives. The majority, as Randy eloquently points out, now support equal rights, though we are still quibbling over names (civil union/marriage). The tipping point has come and the time Cornellian described is upon us: The majority now recognize that the anti-equality side are bigots - and the majority grows.

I also not persuaded by the idea that if bigotry is inspired by the Bible it ought to get a free pass. Most of the people who opposed Loving, and before that Brown, did so for religious reasons. They were bigots in 1954, 1970, and it's the same set of people today. I bet if you drew a Venn diagram of

A = People older than sixty that oppose gay marriage

and

B = People who opposed interracial marriage in 1970,

The two circles would be 99% overlapped.

So the bigot line? A smear. Intentionally so.

Note 2:

I'm glad that you are now on-board for equality because it has been achieved democratically. At what point did you support the desegregation of schools or interracial marriage? When it became popular or back when it was an unpopular, judicially imposed mandate of government acceptance?

Although I think you misunderstand the role of courts in determining the limits of majority rule, I welcome you to the side of the angels.

Note 3:

Not a liberal. I'm a farmer, a hunter, and a married heterosexual (not that you can't find liberals who fit that description). But I am a moderate, sometimes libertarian voter roundly dismayed at the course of the Republican party. I'm the middle of the road kind of guy who ought to be determining elections if the Republican Party would stop pandering to its medieval base.

And I'm not intolerant. I'm not advocating denying rights to any group. I'm not advocating denying free speech to the bigots. The anti-dote to bad speech is better speech. Let the Klan march in Skokie and let DangerMouse and Grumpy "homosexual marriage is bizarre and ridiculous" Old Man foam at the mouth at Volokh. They are what they are - and I recognize it as such.

It is the anti-gay side that wants to deny rights to their opponents. Criticizing someone in the public sphere isn't discrimination; denying someone the thousand rights that come with marriage because your particular version of God says so, is discrimination.

My decision to begin calling bigotry, well, "bigotry" is recent. But I'm the tip of the iceberg. The younger kids will think the same way. This is part of the reason that the Republican Party is in such trouble in the long term. Just as people don't like to be called bigots, they don't want to be associated with bigots. Do you think that today's young adults will be willing to associate with the party that made its stand on bigotry?

Note 4:

Hey, I'm a gun owner and a hunter. I opposed restrictive gun laws on pragmatic not constitutional grounds - until Heller I didn't have an individual right to own a gun. Now I do. You are right - some liberals who love Brown, Loving, and (in a few years) Gil v. OPM, then complain about Heller overturning the majority-supported gun controls. But that ain't me.

I wish both sides would understand that our system works pretty well - when the courts rule against your pet issue, you ought to accept it because the overall system works for all of us.
5.15.2009 12:40pm
Putting Two and Two...:

Beyond that, it's not standard hospital procedure to just take someone's word for it, as it shouldn't be.


The thing I like most about cmr -- besides his sneering dismissal of any hardship caused by lack of marital status in emergency situations despite having been provided links to numerous cases -- is his earnestness. He's so set against proponents of SSM that he'll resort to saying absolutely ridiculous things that married heterosexuals know to be, well, absolutely ridiculous. Or do all of you carry around copies of your marriage licenses? Oh, almost forgot, how about the birth certificates of your offspring? Surely you must need those, too.

Keep at it, cmr, cuz nothing drives people to my side like dishonesty from your side.
5.15.2009 12:46pm
Tony Tutins (mail):
If the idea is to allow conscientious objection, why limit it to religious organizations and clergy? What happens when a gay couple wants to rent the Knights of Columbus hall for their reception? What if a Baptist baker doesn't want to put Adam and Steve figurines on top of a wedding cake? Will the Sybaris Inn have to start stocking gay porn DVDs with their heart-shaped hot tubs?
5.15.2009 1:02pm
Harold1995:
And if you can provide a single instance in which the rights of gay people to marriage affected the rights of religious people in any way, you might have a point. But as Prof. Carpenter pointed out earlier, there are no actual cases of such.


Except Prof. Carpenter wasn't being entirely honest with that claim. He purposely went out of his way to try to distinguish the various examples that have been raised.

The fact is, people of faith have had government force applied to them because they acted on their deeply held religious convictions. I'm sure that those who have suffered government persecution as a result of their beliefs on same-sex "marriage" are comforted to know that Professor Carpenter says that their abuse wasn't really the result of same-sex "marriage" legislation.

I would submit that if we already have concrete examples of religious persecution in states without same-sex "marriage", imagine what can happen in states that do enact such legislation.

One might also point out that it is hard to have many concrete examples of same-sex "marriage" legislation having such an effect, when same-sex "marriage" legislation hasn't been in effect anywhere for very long.

Why don't we cut to the heart of the matter. Should a private individual or a private business have the right to refuse services to anyone for any reason?

For instance, should an atheist business owner have government force applied against them if they refused to serve Christians?

I imagine that if we treated private property rights as sacrosanct, many people wouldn't be as concerned about this issue. However, we all know that homosexual activists would never be content with allowing the free market to punish or reward private business owners who took a particular moral stance with their business.

How about we shift the focus to removing government controls over private property? Once we achieve that result, you all can set up any counterfeit parallel institution that you desire. You just can't rely on the government to enforce your values onto others.
5.15.2009 1:04pm
Harold1995:
If the idea is to allow conscientious objection, why limit it to religious organizations and clergy? What happens when a gay couple wants to rent the Knights of Columbus hall for their reception? What if a Baptist baker doesn't want to put Adam and Steve figurines on top of a wedding cake? Will the Sybaris Inn have to start stocking gay porn DVDs with their heart-shaped hot tubs?


The short answer is that we shouldn't. If some inbred neo-nazi hillbilly doesn't want to rent his private property to blacks or jews, we should let the free market punish that rather foolish decision.

Likewise, if a black business owner decides that they are only going to cater to black patrons, they should have that unrestricted right.

Government should get its filthy mitts off of the private property of individuals.

Until we treat private property as sacrosanct, we are going to run into problems with individuals trying to use government to force others to conform to a specific worldview.
5.15.2009 1:08pm
Harold1995:
Yeah, the bigot line is a smear. But I think it is also accurate. After several years of debate and several years of logical argument refuting each and every anti-gay talking point, the only folks who oppose marriage are those who are doing so out of religious and/or gays are icky motives. The majority, as Randy eloquently points out, now support equal rights, though we are still quibbling over names (civil union/marriage). The tipping point has come and the time Cornellian described is upon us: The majority now recognize that the anti-equality side are bigots - and the majority grows. I also not persuaded by the idea that if bigotry is inspired by the Bible it ought to get a free pass. Most of the people who opposed Loving, and before that Brown, did so for religious reasons. They were bigots in 1954, 1970, and it's the same set of people today. I bet if you drew a Venn diagram of


Wow! You call other people "bigots", yet can't see past your own bigotry.

Apparently your narrow mind can't grasp the fact that many different people might have various motives for opposing same-sex "marriage."

You call others "bigot"... I'd suggest you take a long hard look in the mirror.
5.15.2009 1:13pm
Oren:



Beyond that, it's not standard hospital procedure to just take someone's word for it, as it shouldn't be.





The thing I like most about cmr -- besides his sneering dismissal of any hardship caused by lack of marital status in emergency situations despite having been provided links to numerous cases -- is his earnestness.

I was going to refute the factual claim as well -- everyone I know that works in a hospital (N=5 that I've asked so far) would not dare to ask about marital relations -- but I didn't want this to degenerate into an argument about a peripheral factual question. Too late, I suppose.
5.15.2009 1:22pm
cmr:
cmr,

Thanks for taking the mask off. I have long suspected that the opposition to court defenses of minority rights was just a facade: the real issue was that people like you don't want gays to have the same rights as straights. Several months ago I posted a comment on Volokh about how complaining about judicial fiat was a bad tactic - 1) It puts the speaker in direct opposition to Brown v. Board (not a very comfortable position) 2) it ignored the historic role of the courts - to protect minority rights against majority/legislative usurpation and 3) The majority was changing - we would soon have legislative victories.


First of all, this isn't an issue of "minority rights", it's an issue of public policy that most people do not agree with. Your appeal to that is there's some intrinsically good idea in the fact that a minority of a whole actually wants it. Or, you think because your ideas about marriage are in the minority, that you're some kind of underdog who is misunderstood.

At least cmr has the cojones to admit that his side was using their anti-black-robed-tyrants rhetoric tactically.


Um, no, we weren't. We don't agree with gay marriage. We really don't agree with it being issued through the courts.

It must be very frustrating to be anti gay marriage today. The bigots are losing the argument. It isn't me saying that the anti-equality arguments are bad - it is the public. The public is moving en masse at a rate of 2% per year towards supporting equality - a rate that will accelerate as people realize that the sky isn't falling.


Believe that if you want, but we "bigots" have handled the 4 gay marriage rulings in a month way better than you "tolerant progressives" did losing Prop 8 last November. And this 2% theory is funny.

In twenty years, our kids will view folks like cmr and Dangermouse as being equivalent to George Wallace, Orvil Faubus, Strom Thurmond, and Sheriff Clark.


Yeah, because people are going to keep going on TV talking about how important gay marriage is without actually talking about it. Oh, and does Obama go on that list, too? Because he's with me on the whole "man and woman" thing.

There is no doubt that cmr and Dangermouse et al. are sincere in their belief that "teh gay" will bring about the end of society. The future as they see it: A fall of civilization or, failing that, their grandchildren being shamed by their elders.


What is it with gay marriage supporters have to randomly misspell stuff and put down gay people with insults the person who opposes it never made? Is that supposed to be clever?

No one likes being called a bigot. There will be some squawking regarding my use of the term. But history is going to make that judgment. No wonder the anti-equality folks are so angry.

I could almost muster some sympathy.

That is, if they weren't bigots.


I'm a bigot because I think legal marriage should stay between a man and a woman...just like it always has been in this country, in most countries, in most civilizations, throughout all of human history, and you are, by comparison, tolerant, because you're willing to ignore all of that for a fairly recent innovation in marriage based solely on how you feel about gay people? Yeah OK.

It's like being called stupid by Paris Hilton.

Amiable Dorsai

Technically, my (now) wife lied--saved me the use of my right hand in the process, most likely. I'm OK with that.

Since you have such a strong aversion to lies, wouldn't you find it better if fewer people had to lie in order to be able to support their loved ones?

While we're on the subject, how would you prove that the unconscious person lying on the gurney was your spouse, assuming said person has lost their ID in the accident that led to them being on the gurney in the first place?


You don't *have* lie if you don't want. That's a crazy thing to say.

And I don't know how you'd prove that.

Randy R

Cmr: Do you support ANY rights for gay people? Such as a right to be free of discrimination in housing or employment? To serve openly in the military? To serve at all in the military, even if closeted? Civil unions? Anything at all?


Randy, don't ask me dumb questions now. I've said before that I think the gay community does themselves a disservice going after this one thing to the relative exclusion of other issues. I've said I support civil unions (though it is tenuous, considering it seems to mostly be a way to come back and legalize gay marriage).

That said, I'm ambivalent about DADT.

Putting two and two...

The thing I like most about cmr -- besides his sneering dismissal of any hardship caused by lack of marital status in emergency situations despite having been provided links to numerous cases -- is his earnestness. He's so set against proponents of SSM that he'll resort to saying absolutely ridiculous things that married heterosexuals know to be, well, absolutely ridiculous. Or do all of you carry around copies of your marriage licenses? Oh, almost forgot, how about the birth certificates of your offspring? Surely you must need those, too.


Yeah because the idea of providing documentation in serious circumstances -- yes, including health emergencies -- is a ridiculous idea that I'm using to oppose gay marriage. There's a reason living wills and medical proxies even exist. Your side's argument here is one of convenience, not necessity.

Keep at it, cmr, cuz nothing drives people to my side like dishonesty from your side.


Well, except the dishonesty from your side. That brings a lot of people over, too. Like claiming that a state that already grants gay couples all the benefits of marriage is still practicing inequality under the law, though they can't point to one non-nominal "right" (which, ironically, isn't a right at all) they don't receive.
5.15.2009 1:28pm
Alan K. Henderson (mail) (www):
What about conflicts with secular opposition to gay marriage? Most opposition to marriage - including that among the religious- - is based on secular assumptions regarding the relationship between human physiology and human physiology and common perceptions that gays are disproportionately prone to an assortment of psychological problems.

And what about people who don't really have a problem with homosexuality but who believe that marriage has a set definition that government has no authority to rewrite?

Will a Justice of the Peace with such views be granted a conscience clause? What about marriage counselors? And what about teachers? You think GLSEN won't be cranking the warp drive to eleven to worm SSM into school curricula?
5.15.2009 1:29pm
Ken A (mail):

If some inbred neo-nazi hillbilly doesn't want to rent his private property to blacks or jews, we should let the free market punish that rather foolish decision.

***

Government should get its filthy mitts off of the private property of individuals.


Would you have employed that tactic to combat slavery? That is, the "free market" should have boycotted cotton goods in order to force an end that peculiar institution?

Assuming your answer is "no", then I am really curious as to the distinction you make. Why is slavery something that warrents government intervention, but discrimination not?

Both slavery and discrimination impinge on liberties and freedoms. It seems to me that the role of government -- perhaps more than any other role -- is to ensure and protect those liberties. "Freedom and justice for all", right?

And please don't give me a "freedom to discriminate" answer. That makes about as much sense as "freedom to enslave".
5.15.2009 1:35pm
Joseph Slater (mail):
Alan K. Henderson:

I dunno, what about my secular and/or religious objections to a variety of laws I could list that were properly enacted and/or my objections to various Court rulings I don't approve of? What about my secular objections to anti-SSM marriage laws that have passed?

Harold1995:

If, as you say, you disapprove of all anti-discrimination laws -- Title VII, etc. -- then you are consistent in opposing anti-discrimination laws that apply to gays and lesbians. But you've clearly lost the debate on the principle of anti-discrimination laws in general, and you are increasingly losing it on the extension of the principle to gays and lesbians, so it's pretty academic argument.
5.15.2009 1:49pm
Amiable Dorsai (mail):
cmr:You don't *have* lie if you don't want. That's a crazy thing to say.

True, you could simply choose to allow an arbitrary policy to separate you from the person you love in their time of need. Seems like a cowardly thing to do, though.
5.15.2009 1:50pm
Ken A (mail):

Well, except the dishonesty from your side. That brings a lot of people over, too. Like claiming that a state that already grants gay couples all the benefits of marriage is still practicing inequality under the law, though they can't point to one non-nominal "right" (which, ironically, isn't a right at all) they don't receive.


Non-nominal rights are indeed rights, last time I checked the Ninth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (and similar amendments in almost every state)

That said, even if a state grants ALL the benefits of marriage to a gay "unionized" couple, there is still inequality because that couple lacks the benefits from the federal government, including veterans' discounts on medical care, education, and home loans; joint filing of tax returns; immigration and residency for partners from other countries; benefits such as annuities, pension plans, Social Security, and Medicare; judicial protections and evidentiary immunity, etc.

Moreover, they Privileges &Immunities Clause of the U.S. Constitution won't apply to them.
5.15.2009 1:53pm
Putting Two and Two...:

Like claiming that a state that already grants gay couples all the benefits of marriage is still practicing inequality under the law, though they can't point to one non-nominal "right" (which, ironically, isn't a right at all) they don't receive.


I think I've already pointed this out to you before, but it may have been someone else, so here we go: California's Domestic Partnerships require cohabitation. For several years, my partner of 28 years and I did not live together for work-related reasons. We did not qualify for a DP. We would, however, have qualified for a marriage license, as that does not require cohabitation. I realize it's not an impediment to many, but it is an (inexplicable) impediment. In most states, there are significant differences between civil unions and marriage. And even in NJ, where the law says there is no difference, gay couples are finding that, in practice, there are significant problems (many with insurance, mortgages, etc.).

There. I'm being honest. It's not a huge problem, but it was for several years.

Now, come on, tell the truth. Are you married or were you at some point? If so, do you carry around paperwork to prove it?
5.15.2009 1:55pm
cmr:
True, you could simply choose to allow an arbitrary policy to separate you from the person you love in their time of need. Seems like a cowardly thing to do, though.


Or, you know, you could get a medical proxy and not have to worry about trying to convince someone over the internet that dishonesty is an unavoidable yet altruistic trait to have in a medical situation.
5.15.2009 1:55pm
cmr:
I think I've already pointed this out to you before, but it may have been someone else, so here we go: California's Domestic Partnerships require cohabitation. For several years, my partner of 28 years and I did not live together for work-related reasons. We did not qualify for a DP. We would, however, have qualified for a marriage license, as that does not require cohabitation. I realize it's not an impediment to many, but it is an (inexplicable) impediment. In most states, there are significant differences between civil unions and marriage. And even in NJ, where the law says there is no difference, gay couples are finding that, in practice, there are significant problems (many with insurance, mortgages, etc.).


Wonderful. But I don't care if you don't want to live with your partner yet you feel entitled to benefits just because you've...taken one. Petitioning the legislature that's already in the tank for gay marriage to amend that one aspect of DPs would probably cost much less time and money than trying to redefine marriage for everyone.

There. I'm being honest. It's not a huge problem, but it was for several years.

Now, come on, tell the truth. Are you married or were you at some point? If so, do you carry around paperwork to prove it?


Your personal situation doesn't invalidate what I said. Sob story or not.
5.15.2009 1:59pm
cmr:
Non-nominal rights are indeed rights, last time I checked the Ninth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (and similar amendments in almost every state)


There is no right to have the government call your particular relationship a marriage.

That said, even if a state grants ALL the benefits of marriage to a gay "unionized" couple, there is still inequality because that couple lacks the benefits from the federal government, including veterans' discounts on medical care, education, and home loans; joint filing of tax returns; immigration and residency for partners from other countries; benefits such as annuities, pension plans, Social Security, and Medicare; judicial protections and evidentiary immunity, etc.


OK, but that's a separate issue. There's only so much the state can do irrespective of their position on marriage.

And I love the generalizations there.

Moreover, they Privileges &Immunities Clause of the U.S. Constitution won't apply to them.


That has absolutely nothing to do with gay marriage, and neither does any other clause in the 14th Amendment.
5.15.2009 2:02pm
Ken A (mail):

Most opposition to [gay] marriage - including that among the religious- - is based on secular assumptions regarding the relationship between human physiology and human physiology and common perceptions that gays are disproportionately prone to an assortment of psychological problems.


(1) I'd like to see some data to support your assertion that this is the rationale behind "most" of the opposition to gay marriage.

(2) Even if such data exists, it merely reflects the *belief* of SSM opponents. There's certainly no study to verify the belief that gays are *disproportionately* prone to psychological problems.

(3) And even on the off-chance that it can be shown that gays are "disproportionately" prone to psychological problems, so what? Is this something society has sought to address in the past? Do we have psychological screening for straight people intending to get married?
5.15.2009 2:07pm
shawn-non-anonymous:
Here is a link to a somewhat recent story where a lesbian couple on holiday in Florida needed their medical power of attorney. The hospital in Miami Florida required a copy, received it, and sat on it. The surviving partner and their children were not allowed visitation rights until after death and then only for five minutes.

[Link]

"To this day, I am unable to receive Lisa's death certificate directly from Miami or the State of Florid[a]....This may seem insignificant but without a death certificate, our children's social security and life insurance benefits were held up. In addition, I have been unable to receive her medical records from Miami though I have requested them numerous times."
5.15.2009 2:16pm
cmr:
Ken A, that's funny. You just showed exactly how reductionist people who believe in gay marriage are. Prove this, and even if you can prove it, prove this, and even if you can prove that, so what? What business is it of yours?!

Why not just skip one and two, and just get on to the dismissive part of the question. It will save us all a lot of time.
5.15.2009 2:16pm
Harold1995:
Would you have employed that tactic to combat slavery? That is, the "free market" should have boycotted cotton goods in order to force an end that peculiar institution? Assuming your answer is "no", then I am really curious as to the distinction you make. Why is slavery something that warrents[sic] government intervention, but discrimination not? Both slavery and discrimination impinge on liberties and freedoms. It seems to me that the role of government -- perhaps more than any other role -- is to ensure and protect those liberties. "Freedom and justice for all", right? And please don't give me a "freedom to discriminate" answer. That makes about as much sense as "freedom to enslave".


Are you serious? If you can't draw a distinction between owning an autonomous person and controlling inanimate property rights, then there is no need to even attempt to explain it to you. You are positively beyond reason.

At least you spell it out though. Although the fact that you try to mask your fascism behind "freedom and justice for all" doesn't make it any less orwellian.

However, I would suggest that you modify your smoke and mirrors to say: "Freedom and justice for all, except for those who refuse to think, feel and believe like we do."
5.15.2009 2:19pm
Bob VB (mail):
of course cmr because its a single issue, and that's how you deal with single issues: Is the claim accurate, and if it is, is it relevant?

Considering left-handed people have the same qualities and there is no clamoring for their marriages to be ignored by the state my guess would be just skip to 'no'.
5.15.2009 2:28pm
Randy R. (mail):
cmr: As you well know, even SSM as granted in the five states that allows it still does not grant any federal rights at all because of DOMA. Therefore, even where SSM is legalized, it is not the same as marriage for you straights. Furthermore, none of the legalized SSM are recognized in any other state (except now DC and NY), unlike straight marriage.

So, no, we are not being dishonest when we say that both civil unions and SSM still do not give us nearly the same rights as you get.
5.15.2009 2:28pm
Ken A (mail):

There is no right to have the government call your particular relationship a marriage.


Phrasing the issue in such a way is a tired and silly semantic tactic.

Every citizen has the right not to be the subject of discrimination on the part of the government (absent some overriding and compelling state interest). The very act of parsing couples into "gay civil unions" and "straight marriages" itself is discrimination, just as the segregation of water-drinking citizens to use "white only" or "black only" public fountains was discrimination.

It makes NO DIFFERENCE that that the benefits are the same (the water which came out of the fountains was the same too, by the way) -- it's still discrimination. You're merely employing the "separate but equal" argument which lost decades ago.
5.15.2009 2:28pm
Amiable Dorsai (mail):
cmr:Or, you know, you could get a medical proxy and not have to worry about trying to convince someone over the internet that dishonesty is an unavoidable yet altruistic trait to have in a medical situation.

Because, you know, that kind of paperwork is always going to be readily available after a catastrophic accident in a state not your own (my situation).
5.15.2009 2:38pm
trad and anon (mail):
And even on the off-chance that it can be shown that gays are "disproportionately" prone to psychological problems, so what? Is this something society has sought to address in the past? Do we have psychological screening for straight people intending to get married?

And it would be unconstitutional to do so. Marriage is a fundamental right under Turner v. Safley and Zablocki v. Redhail. You can't even deny marriage to convicted criminals who are currently in prison. There's no way you can deny marriage to the mentally ill. It would be even less constitutional to deny marriage to people merely because they belong to some group that is "disproportionately" more likely to be mentally ill.
5.15.2009 2:42pm
Ken A (mail):
cmr:


Ken A, that's funny. You just showed exactly how reductionist people who believe in gay marriage are. Prove this, and even if you can prove it, prove this, and even if you can prove that, so what? What business is it of yours?!

Why not just skip one and two, and just get on to the dismissive part of the question. It will save us all a lot of time.

Apparently, I don't have to, seeing as how you failed to address ANY of my points. I'll take that as a concession.

harold1995:

Are you serious? If you can't draw a distinction between owning an autonomous person and controlling inanimate property rights, then there is no need to even attempt to explain it to you. You are positively beyond reason.

So it's just a matter of -- what -- "animation"? The government should step in when the "property right" in question is animated (i.e., slavery), but sit on its hands when the "property right" in question is inanimate (i.e., providing business service to a minority)?

The point I'm trying to make is that you DO recognize that there ARE situations where the government can and rightfully should intercede on one's property rights (for example, when the "property" in question is an actual person), free market be damned.

So given that, please explain to me why our government and the people elected to serve in it shouldn't take steps to uphold their constitutional duties and protect citizens from discrimination, rather than leave it to the "free market". After all, both slavery and discrimination impinge on the liberty and freedom of the individual.


However, I would suggest that you modify your smoke and mirrors to say: "Freedom and justice for all, except for those who refuse to think, feel and believe like we do."

Actually, that's the mantra of those who oppose SSM.

I, on the other hand, favor marriage for ALL adults -- no exceptions.
5.15.2009 2:50pm
Oren:


First of all, this isn't an issue of "minority rights", it's an issue of public policy that most people do not agree with.

And those people are free to boot the government of NH and replace it.


Yeah because the idea of providing documentation in serious circumstances -- yes, including health emergencies -- is a ridiculous idea that I'm using to oppose gay marriage.

It's not ridiculous, it's just not the policy. I posed the question to buddy that works the ER at Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland OR and he wrote the following in response:

Proof of marriage breaks down into two categories:

First is visitation rights -- we are instructed never to ask for proof to grant visitation rights and only to investigate in case there are objective indica of misrepresentation.

Second is consent to operations not immediately required to stabilize the patient (which we can do on our own initiative). In those cases, we are instructed do a cursory investigation -- check the computer file for marital status and check for matching wedding band -- not pursue the matter further unless there are objective indica of misrepresentation.

I can only think of one instance (in 10 years of working here) in which someone falsely claimed to be married (they were engaged to be married shotrly). Most of the staff seem to think that depriving a patient the company of his or her spouse is a much worse evil that occasionally believing someone's lie about their marital status.

Hope that helps!
5.15.2009 3:22pm
Owen Hutchins (mail):

Or, you know, you could get a medical proxy and not have to worry about trying to convince someone over the internet that dishonesty is an unavoidable yet altruistic trait to have in a medical situation.

cmr- you're talking through your hat.
My wife and I had these for each other before our marriage, and it was our greatest fear that some idiot doctor would decide not to honor it until it had been vetted by their legal department. Hell, far too many conservatives want to be able to get in the way of medical decision they disagree with even if the couple is married; see the Schiavo fiasco.
5.15.2009 3:45pm
trad and anon (mail):
My wife and I had these for each other before our marriage, and it was our greatest fear that some idiot doctor would decide not to honor it until it had been vetted by their legal department. Hell, far too many conservatives want to be able to get in the way of medical decision they disagree with even if the couple is married; see the Schiavo fiasco.

Exactly. Imagine if people did this with marriages: they'd demand to see the license, check to see if the license was compliant with the relevant state statute, and do a public records search to see if there were any divorce judgments. Sure, you could sue, but having to wait until after your spouse is dead to visit them in the hospital is the ultimate in injuries for which money damages are not an adequate remedy.
5.15.2009 4:02pm
Ken Arromdee:
Would you have employed that tactic to combat slavery?

I must point out that this Ken A is not me.
5.15.2009 4:33pm
Harold1995:

So it's just a matter of -- what -- "animation"? The government should step in when the "property right" in question is animated (i.e., slavery), but sit on its hands when the "property right" in question is inanimate (i.e., providing business service to a minority)? The point I'm trying to make is that you DO recognize that there ARE situations where the government can and rightfully should intercede on one's property rights (for example, when the "property" in question is an actual person), free market be damned. So given that, please explain to me why our government and the people elected to serve in it shouldn't take steps to uphold their constitutional duties and protect citizens from discrimination, rather than leave it to the "free market". After all, both slavery and discrimination impinge on the liberty and freedom of the individual.


I never said that the government needed to step in to end slavery. In fact, it was a forgone conclusion that the free market and technology would have ended slavery anyway. If the government had not decided to meddle, perhaps hundreds of thousands of deaths wouldn't have occurred.

What I did say is that there is a distinction, one that you claimed did not exist. Anyone with common sense can see that a distinction can be drawn between owning another person, and dictating what is done with one's own property.

The fact that you want to dictate what private individuals do with their own belongings is pretty indicative of why this issue matters so much.

Perhaps if homosexual activists would step off that bandwagon, more people would be willing to entertain their idea of setting up a parallel counterfeit institution.

Actually, that's the mantra of those who oppose SSM. I, on the other hand, favor marriage for ALL adults -- no exceptions.


No, it's your mantra. You are in favor of totalitarian government intervention in the private property rights of individuals, even if that government intervention violates the deeply held religious or moral principles of those individuals. IOW, you think it is perfectly OK to use government force to make others conform to your world-view.

BTW: Why do you draw the line at "adults." (And how do you define "adults.) Further, do you draw the line at "two persons." If so, why?
5.15.2009 4:46pm
Randy R. (mail):
"Perhaps if homosexual activists would step off that bandwagon, more people would be willing to entertain their idea of setting up a parallel counterfeit institution.:

Ah yes, the old "if those people would just shut up about their rights, we might be inclined to give them some." But of course, you are not. When gay marriage was just a blip on the screen in the early 90s, I didn't see anyone saying that they would be happy to give us those rights.

"IOW, you think it is perfectly OK to use government force to make others conform to your world-view."

Oh Really? Unlike now, where religious people are not asking to use the force of government to conform to your world view? You are actually stating that religion and deeply held personal beliefs are enough to encode discrimination against an entire population. How exactly is that different from what you accuse gay people of?

"even if that government intervention violates the deeply held religious or moral principles of those individuals. "

Sorry, but any religion that promotes hatred, discrimination and bigotry towards an entire group of people is a pretty lousy religion. There are plenty of others that do not require this of their adherents -- you may wish to seek out those.
5.15.2009 5:00pm
Dave N (mail):
Marriage is a fundamental right under Turner v. Safley and Zablocki v. Redhail.
In that case, bring a lawsuit that SSM is a fundamental right. Push it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if possible.

I don't have to be the Amazing Kreskin to predict how such a lawsuit would play out.
5.15.2009 5:32pm
Down from the Ivory Tower:
I wish we could see more tea-leaf reading on the forthcoming Prop. 8 decision. Considering that there was already a majority (presumably to uphold Prop. 8) by the time of oral argument on March 5, why do the justices appear to be waiting to the last minute to release the decision? Could it be that minds have changed, perhaps toward the universal domestic partnership route? Might the great advances toward SSM in other states since the oral argument have given the justices pause? Wouldn't releasing the decision at the last legal moment be to the advantage of justices wishing to leave potential recall campaigns less time to organize? What do you all think?
5.15.2009 5:34pm
Down from the Ivory Tower:

In that case, bring a lawsuit that SSM is a fundamental right. Push it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if possible.

I don't have to be the Amazing Kreskin to predict how such a lawsuit would play out.


Just you wait five years or so.
5.15.2009 5:39pm
Dave N (mail):
I never said that the government needed to step in to end slavery. In fact, it was a forgone conclusion that the free market and technology would have ended slavery anyway. If the government had not decided to meddle, perhaps hundreds of thousands of deaths wouldn't have occurred.
Frankly, I think Lincoln was right--but remember, even he did not initially prosecute the Civil War over the issue of issue of slavery.

The first version of the Emancipation Proclamation was issued on September 22, 1862, with the more famous version issued on January 1, 1863, approximately 18 and 22 months after Lincoln became President, respectively.

I should also note that the other major slave country in the early 1860s was Brazil. Brazil abolished slavery without a Civil War in 1888.

I thought it worth mentioning because while everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion, no one is entitled to his or her own facts.
5.15.2009 5:44pm
Dave N (mail):
Just you wait five years or so.
Actually, I suspect five years from now (heck, I'll even spot you another five to make it 10 years), the result would be the same.
5.15.2009 5:46pm
Dave N (mail):
Oh, and since it takes most cases (even test ones) a minimum of 2-3 years to go through the lower courts, I say, bring your test case on. After all, you are even that much closer to the 5 year point that you think is dispositive.
5.15.2009 5:48pm
Rico (mail) (www):
In 5 or so, we are likely to have 3-4 Obama appointed supreme court justices. Admittedly, most of them will be replacing justices from the left, so there may not be a huge shift, but it only takes one justice to swing the court to the left of Kennedy.

5 years could make all the difference in enshrining that right.
5.15.2009 6:04pm
trad and anon (mail):
Marriage is a fundamental right under Turner v. Safley and Zablocki v. Redhail.


In that case, bring a lawsuit that SSM is a fundamental right. Push it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if possible.


That wasn't actually my point, [expletive deleted]. I was responding to Alan Henderson's claim that a ban on SSM is justifiable because gays and lesbians are supposedly disproportionately prone to psychological problems. I have friends and family with actual psychological problems and I find the idea that their marriages should be annulled or voided abhorrent, and it is contrary to our nation's Constitution, at least as interpreted by our courts.

I agree that as a matter of realpolitik a federal SSM lawsuit will not succeed until we've seen significant turnover on the right-wing side of the Supreme Court. That doesn't mean "gays and lesbians are disproportionately prone to psychological problems" is an argument that the court would accept. It's certainly not an argument the court should accept. There are better and worse arguments against a constitutional right to SSM and that's one of the worst I've ever seen.
5.15.2009 6:06pm
Down from the Ivory Tower:
Scalia and Thomas are both as big as a house and well into prime heart attack years. And don't forget Kennedy wrote some rather sweeping statements about the dignity of gay people in Lawrence. I think the money is on him coming around to equal marriage.
5.15.2009 6:08pm
Harold1995:
Ah yes, the old "if those people would just shut up about their rights, we might be inclined to give them some." But of course, you are not. When gay marriage was just a blip on the screen in the early 90s, I didn't see anyone saying that they would be happy to give us those rights.


Do you mean like the private property and freedom of association rights of individuals who disagree with your lifestyle choice?

Oh wait, you don't. Those rights don't count.

Oh Really? Unlike now, where religious people are not asking to use the force of government to conform to your world view? You are actually stating that religion and deeply held personal beliefs are enough to encode discrimination against an entire population. How exactly is that different from what you accuse gay people of?


Really? That's what I said? That's interesting. Too bad you are wrong.

What I said was that individuals should have to right to refuse to associate or provide service to ANYONE for ANY REASON.

If a homosexual business owner decided that they would only serve other homosexuals and that Fundamentalist Christians were forbidden from entering their property, I'd be fine with that.

You apparently want to tell other people what to do with their own private property. Then you want to try claim the high road and insist that you are doing no such thing. Sorry, your charade is transparent.

Sorry, but any religion that promotes hatred, discrimination and bigotry towards an entire group of people is a pretty lousy religion. There are plenty of others that do not require this of their adherents -- you may wish to seek out those.


Oh, I get it. If you don't like the tenets of a particular religion, then individuals don't get to exercise that religion. So you get to determine what is OK for other people to believe.

People who don't believe as you do are "hateful" and "bigoted."

How positively fascist of you.
5.15.2009 6:12pm
AFJ (www):

"The very act of parsing couples into "gay civil unions" and "straight marriages" itself is discrimination, just as the segregation of water-drinking citizens to use "white only" or "black only" public fountains was discrimination."


A completely ludicrous and thoughtless analogy. Unless you are absolutely horrified every time you walk into a public building and see the segregated bathrooms - i.e. "Men" and "Women".

Of course it's entirely appropriate to treat different relationships differently. And of course it doesn't necessarily discriminate against any individual to do so.

As for the equally ridiculous charge of bigotry coming from many of those who want the government to redefine marriage, opposition to redefining marriage is not bigotry or discrimination against gay individuals any more than it is bigotry or discrimination against single people, or against polygamists.
5.15.2009 6:19pm
Harold1995:
Scalia and Thomas are both as big as a house and well into prime heart attack years.


There we have it folks. "Compassionate" leftists openly wishing for the death of others who disagree with them.

And don't forget Kennedy wrote some rather sweeping statements about the dignity of gay people in Lawrence. I think the money is on him coming around to equal marriage.


No he didn't! He used rational basis review to overturn a sodomy law. In doing so, he went to a lot of trouble to exclude governmental recognition of relationships from the holding.

What are you people smoking?

Do you really think if you wish for something hard enough that it will come to pass? Is that why you are wishing for the death of Thomas and Scalia and attributing things to Kennedy that he never said?

Wait, you are the same people that believe the government has the power to change reality and make men and women exactly the same. Just like a governmental decree that the moon is made of cheese would make it so!
5.15.2009 6:26pm
Grumpy Old Man (mail) (www):

I'm not sure what there is to dissent from here, then, since NH will soon have a statutory right to gay marriage adopted by a duly elected legislature and governor, not a civil right under a constitution.

If we have to adopt this silliness, better to do so through a political process, imperfect though it is, than through judicial fiat. Better the views of media-soaked hoi polloi expressed by those they elect, than the views of the law school faculty lounge, expressed by unaccountable egos in black robes.
5.15.2009 6:30pm
trad and anon (mail):
What I said was that individuals should have to right to refuse to associate or provide service to ANYONE for ANY REASON.

If a homosexual business owner decided that they would only serve other homosexuals and that Fundamentalist Christians were forbidden from entering their property, I'd be fine with that.

You apparently want to tell other people what to do with their own private property. Then you want to try claim the high road and insist that you are doing no such thing. Sorry, your charade is transparent.

I wish you the best of luck in your quest to repeal the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and bring back the glorious days of freedom that existed before its passage.

Well, actually I don't.
5.15.2009 6:33pm
trad and anon (mail):
Wait, you are the same people that believe the government has the power to change reality and make men and women exactly the same.


Nothing like a god straw man to liven up a debate!
5.15.2009 6:34pm
Bob VB (mail):
There we have it folks. "Compassionate" leftists openly wishing for the death of others who disagree with them.
Death is a part of life, would it make you happier to wish them an 'early retirement' no matter what the reason?

Do you really think if you wish for something hard enough that it will come to pass?
Like your wishing for the end of civil rights legislation? It ain't gonna happen so why you've tried to make that case more than once in this threat is just reoccurring pipe dreams.

Wait, you are the same people that believe the government has the power to change reality and make men and women exactly the same.
And you think you can pretend that all citizens don't have the same right to marry and that some really do have spouses of the same gender. That's the reality and fortunately the majority of those below 50 years old know that (at least in my state)

Remember, the right to marry even someone you will never ever have an 'gender significant' contact with has been seen as fundamental, what then is the rationalization for abridging any citizens right to marry based solely on the gender of their spouse?
5.15.2009 6:36pm
Dave N (mail):
Trad and Anon,

I wasn't refering to your theory--and yes, I agree with you about marriage and mentally ill people. My point had to do with ANY kind of Constitutional challenge to SSM in the federal system.

I would note that test cases can boomerang. Plessy v. Ferguson was a test case; so was Brown v. Board of Education.
5.15.2009 6:39pm
Owen Hutchins (mail):


Your personal situation doesn't invalidate what I said. Sob story or not.


Actually, it does. In spades. You're wrong.
5.15.2009 6:41pm
Owen Hutchins (mail):

Why is the only conscience that matters the religious one? Other than, of course, pure logrolling?


I'd turn that around; why is it that SSM seems to be the only issue where "religious conscience" should allow you to violate anti-discrimination laws? Seriously, how many thought the Muslim cabbies that didn't want to carry passengers with alcohol were correct?
5.15.2009 6:42pm
trad and anon (mail):
Remember, the right to marry even someone you will never ever have an 'gender significant' contact with has been seen as fundamental, what then is the rationalization for abridging any citizens right to marry based solely on the gender of their spouse?


1) Buttsex is disgusting. At least buttsex between two men. Buttsex between a man and a woman is hot. There are no lesbians.

2) There's this stuff in Leviticus. Everything in Leviticus is extremely important, so this is extremely important too.

3) Marriage is defined as a man and a woman. Pay no attention to Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Massachussets, Vermont, Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Spain, or Sweden. Or Webster's. Their definitions are all wrong.

4) The purpose of marriage is procreation. It has no other purposes. Gays can't procreate, so they shouldn't be allowed to marry.
5.15.2009 6:50pm
Bob VB (mail):
@trad and anon - as convincing as any arguments I've seen.
5.15.2009 6:58pm
Oren:

Unless you are absolutely horrified every time you walk into a public building and see the segregated bathrooms - i.e. "Men" and "Women".

Funny, we have all unisex bathrooms here.
5.15.2009 7:45pm
Owen Hutchins (mail):


Unless you are absolutely horrified every time you walk into a public building and see the segregated bathrooms - i.e. "Men" and "Women".



Why do they keep falling back onto the bathroom argument? Is it some kind of fixation?
5.15.2009 8:14pm
Randy R. (mail):
Harold, it is clear that you have rather derogatory views of gays. Where that comes from, I don't know, but I suspect it comes from your religion. If your religion taught you that blacks are inferior people (as the Mormons did well into the 1960s), people would say you have a pretty strange religion. Any religion that teaches you to hate any group of people for no reason at all except for one or two sentences, while ignoring all the other sentences in the Bible, is a pretty strange religion. Which is why so several religions have realized it's wrong.

Now, you might have a stronger position if you want to discriminate against people who eat shellfish, or wear clothes of mixed fibers, or sit on a chair that a menstruating woman sat on, but clearly your religion isn't choosing to hate those people. Gays are singled out for particular hatred on your part. And now you are afraid that with anti-discriminnation laws and marriage laws, you won't be able to discriminate against gays like you used to. Hence your anger.

I don't particularly care whether my rights anger you. Nor do I particularly care that you can't discriminate against gays in most places anymore. What I do care about is that you continue to use your biases and religion to deny rights to a group of people you don't even know. God help you if you have a son or daughter who turns out to be gay, because I'm certain that you will be very angry at their 'lifestyle choice.'
5.15.2009 9:59pm
Randy R. (mail):
As for rights, no one is saying that you have to marry a person of the same sex. Yet for some reason, you want to prevent *other* people from marrying. So your belief is infringing upon my right to marry. But if I get the right to marry, it won't infringe upon your right to marry whom you choose.

So let's declare a truce: You allow us what we want to do, and we will allow you what you want to do. Fair enough? Or is that not good enough for you -- you simply *must* prevent us from doing what you disagree with?
5.15.2009 10:03pm
Desiderius:
Owen,

"I'd turn that around; why is it that SSM seems to be the only issue where "religious conscience" should allow you to violate anti-discrimination laws? Seriously, how many thought the Muslim cabbies that didn't want to carry passengers with alcohol were correct?"

I don't care if they're correct, only that they're free. I was unaware of the amendment that granted us all the right to a cab, as if there were a shortage. Care to enlighten me?

Does it really take that much imagination to conceive of a situation where you would not want your own freedom of association abridged? Or are the present anti-discrimination statutes to be consider holy in both letter and spirit?

I'm with the spirit, in case you're tempted to join Trad in his self-congratulatory fantasies.
5.15.2009 10:35pm
Owen Hutchins (mail):

The whole notion of a civil right to homosexual marriage is bizarre and ridiculous.


Don't be ridiculous, it's right there in the basic premise of a civil right to marriage. That's because a same-sex marriage is just like any other marriage. What confuses you is that you don't understand is that gays are regular people just like everyone else, and have the same rights.
5.15.2009 11:11pm
Owen Hutchins (mail):
Desiderius- it's clear you'd prefer we return to the days of Jim Crow and segregated lunch counters. After all, that was just about "freedom", right? Too bad, but this is the 21st century, not the 19th.

I am appalled by the number of people like you that justify denying others their freedom in the name of preserving their own. What is truly amazing is how quickly they then cry foul when they imagine some slight against themselves.
5.15.2009 11:18pm
David Schwartz (mail):
A completely ludicrous and thoughtless analogy. Unless you are absolutely horrified every time you walk into a public building and see the segregated bathrooms - i.e. "Men" and "Women".

Of course it's entirely appropriate to treat different relationships differently. And of course it doesn't necessarily discriminate against any individual to do so.
How is a civil union between two heterosexual men different from a civil union between two 90 year old heterosexuals of opposite genders in any way that justifies the disparate treatment?

Yes, if you could show a relevant difference, you could justify different treatment. But just saying "if there were a relevant difference, that would justify disparate treatment" and pointing to a cases where this is such a difference doesn't work.

And, by the way, it is not illegal to use a bathroom designated for the opposite gender in any jurisdiction I know of, and I checked in several.
5.15.2009 11:36pm
AFJ (www):

"...your belief is infringing upon my right to marry."


Untrue. You have the exact same right to marry as any other American, subject to the exact same set of limitations.

....


"That's because a same-sex marriage is just like any other marriage."


You can't really believe such a nonsensical statement.
5.15.2009 11:39pm
Owen Hutchins (mail):



Untrue. You have the exact same right to marry as any other American, subject to the exact same set of limitations.




Back in 1964, everyone in Virginia had the same right to marry someone of the same race as themselves.

I have the right to marry a woman in Pennsylvania. A woman does not have the right to marry a woman here. Is that equal protection?




You can't really believe such a nonsensical statement.



Actually, I do believe that. Can you explain what is different? Two people are married. Seems pretty simple to me.
5.15.2009 11:57pm
Bob VB (mail):
Untrue. You have the exact same right to marry as any other American, subject to the exact same set of limitations.
Which ignores that the contract is just in support of marriage - marriage is a natural biological phenomenon and some marry those of the same gender.

"That's because a same-sex marriage is just like any other marriage."
You can't really believe such a nonsensical statement.


And there is the difference: of course we do. Same biological mechanisms in play, same wants, same desires, same results. The right to marry is an individual right -if one citizen can marry their male spouse what difference does it make what gender the citizen is them self?

Seriously, what do you see is the difference that is so extreme not agreeing with you is 'nonsensical' to you?
5.16.2009 12:04am
Desiderius:
Owen,

"Desiderius- it's clear you'd prefer we return to the days of Jim Crow and segregated lunch counters."

Just curious: do you really believe that statement?
5.16.2009 12:37am
trad and anon (mail):
Back in 1964, everyone in Virginia had the same right to marry someone of the same race as themselves.


This isn't quite right, since as I understand it Virginia's law only prohibited white-nonwhite marriages, and marriages between nonwhites of different races were permitted. But this isn't really a legitimate grounds for distinction. It's not as though Virginia's antimiscegenation law would have been improved by expanding it to prohibit black-Asian marriages as well.

Which ignores that the contract is just in support of marriage - marriage is a natural biological phenomenon and some marry those of the same gender.

This one I have a hard time buying. Marriage is a social institution, not a matter of biology.
5.16.2009 4:11am
Vlad Tepes (mail):
Does cmr have an argument against SSM? Something other than that he does not agree with it or that it has not been recognized previously.

I agree that the onus is on those who wish to change the status quo to articulate compelling reasons to do so. Supporters of SSM have done so (promote stability in same-sex relationships, promote stability in families with children headed by same-sex couples, equal treatment under the law, etc.).

I really don't see any counter-arguments or constructive arguments coming from the other side. Why would SSM be bad? Why is the status quo better? I guess you don't have to answer these questions. But the fact is that you are losing the argument...
5.16.2009 6:54am
Owen Hutchins (mail):


Just curious: do you really believe that statement?



I hope not. But if you had your way, and there were no anti-discrimination laws regarding public accommodations, there would be nothing to prevent it. The thing is, your religious beliefs may be your own, but they do not allow you to violate the rights of others. You don't have to allow a gay couple to get married in your church if you don't want to, but you can't refuse to rent them a house.
5.16.2009 7:40am
Bob VB (mail):
This one I have a hard time buying. Marriage is a social institution, not a matter of biology.
Really? Listen to country music sometime - humans, male and female, pair bond with one another and have all those wonderful oxytocin-vasopressin mediated responses to make that bonding last for life with reinforcement.

The social institution grew out of the natural state - we marry because of our biology, not because someone licensed a contract in its support.
5.16.2009 11:09am
AFJ (www):
The comparison to inter-racial marriage is also ridiculous. There's no comparison, and those making the silly claim know it. Race has nothing to do with marriage, gender has everything to do with marriage. Almost no one believes otherwise.

I don't know anyone who considers the race of their significant other to be of much importance, if any. I don't know anyone who doesn't consider the gender of their significant other to be of vital importance. Anyone who compares the two is either being dishonest or is spouting off without thinking.
5.16.2009 11:33am
AFJ (www):
Owen,

If you really think the only issue of significance to marriage is the number "two", then you are unfortunately beyond help.


"You don't have to allow a gay couple to get married in your church if you don't want to, but you can't refuse to rent them a house."


If I own the church, and I own the house, then what's the difference?
5.16.2009 11:41am
Bob VB (mail):
Race has nothing to do with marriage, gender has everything to do with marriage. Almost no one believes otherwise.Race has nothing to do with marriage, gender has everything to do with marriage. Almost no one believes otherwise.
Except entire nations, states, churches and such, right?

Its a fundamental individual right - humans marry just like the ocean waves, and some people marry other people of the same gender. Was the day in American were many though race was of 'vital importance' too. What they have in common is that both are irrelevant when it comes down to the basics.
5.16.2009 11:44am
Desiderius:
Owen,

"I hope not. But if you had your way, and there were no anti-discrimination laws regarding public accommodations, there would be nothing to prevent it."

Glad to hear it. I believe that I distinguished above between letter and spirit, which suggests that I would not envision "no" anti-discrimination laws, just a measured consideration of the ones we have to make sure that public accommodations are, in fact, public, and that there is an actual burden imposed by someone's free choice before we merrily go infringing it.
5.16.2009 11:46am
jrose:
I don't know anyone who doesn't consider the gender of their significant other to be of vital importance.

True from the perspective of the individual, but not relevant to the debate over whether the state should treat the gender combination in the same manner it treats the racial combination. Thus, those who support (or oppose) the comparison are not being "ridiculous", "dishonest", or "spouting off without thinking".
5.16.2009 12:11pm
David Schwartz (mail):
I hope not. But if you had your way, and there were no anti-discrimination laws regarding public accommodations, there would be nothing to prevent it. The thing is, your religious beliefs may be your own, but they do not allow you to violate the rights of others. You don't have to allow a gay couple to get married in your church if you don't want to, but you can't refuse to rent them a house.
What is the substantive difference between my church and my house that justifies the disparate treatment?
5.16.2009 12:18pm
AFJ (www):
jrose,

What's true is irrelevant to what the law should be? Seriously?
5.16.2009 12:20pm
David Schwartz (mail):
I don't know anyone who considers the race of their significant other to be of much importance, if any. I don't know anyone who doesn't consider the gender of their significant other to be of vital importance. Anyone who compares the two is either being dishonest or is spouting off without thinking.
Umm, huh? Nobody compared the two in the way you are suggesting is dishonest or incorrect. They compared them in a completely and totally different way. You disagreed with that comparison and have yet to explain why.

I agree that I would consider my marriage to a man totally different from my marriage to a woman. That's because I'm attracted to women and not to men. But that is hardly a reason other people should consider my marriage to someone I am attracted to different based on the gender of the person I'm attracted to.

I agree, personal attraction is quirky. Gender matters to the vast majority of people.

But lack of physical deformity matters to the vast majority of people too. Surely that's not a rational reason for treating the marriages of amputees as different. The nature of the relationship is the same, right?
5.16.2009 12:21pm
trad and anon (mail):
I don't know anyone who considers the race of their significant other to be of much importance, if any.

More likely you don't know anyone who will admit to it. Americans are overwhelmingly likely to date and marry someone of the same race. How is this happening if people don't consider the race of their s.o. to be of much importance?
5.16.2009 12:23pm
Bob VB (mail):
What's true is irrelevant to what the law should be? Seriously?
Yes because citizens have different gendered spouses - it might be vitally important to an individual (just as the race might be) but to the state it is just determining if they are indeed a 'significant other' and are they treating all citizens and their right to have spouses equally.
5.16.2009 12:24pm
jrose:
What's true is irrelevant to what the law should be? Seriously?

I have no idea what the relevance of this statement is to this debate or my post.
5.16.2009 12:28pm
jrose:
What is the substantive difference between my church and my house that justifies the disparate treatment?

Having a place to live is considered a public accommodation, but having a place to worship is not?
5.16.2009 12:32pm
Owen Hutchins (mail):

What is the substantive difference between my church and my house that justifies the disparate treatment?



One is a church, one is a rental property, in other words, a business.
5.16.2009 12:35pm
Owen Hutchins (mail):


Glad to hear it. I believe that I distinguished above between letter and spirit, which suggests that I would not envision "no" anti-discrimination laws, just a measured consideration of the ones we have to make sure that public accommodations are, in fact, public, and that there is an actual burden imposed by someone's free choice before we merrily go infringing it.

Can you please point out an example of such an infringement in US law?
5.16.2009 12:36pm
Johnny H. (mail):
I'm all for these religious exceptions to SSM. Just please add that anyone wishing to avail themselves of them should be required to post in a conspicuous location of their business, organizational headquarters, church, etc., and on their websites and other advertising/informational materials disseminated to the public, a clear statement to that effect. The fact that they hold this position should just be made crystal clear and obvious to all.
5.16.2009 12:43pm
AFJ (www):
David,

I don't know what you tried to say there, sorry. The fact remains, there's no comparison between race and gender, in terms of their role in intimate human relationships.
5.16.2009 12:49pm
cmr:
Bob VB

<blockquote>of course cmr because its a single issue, and that's how you deal with single issues: Is the claim accurate, and if it is, is it relevant?

Considering left-handed people have the same qualities and there is no clamoring for their marriages to be ignored by the state my guess would be just skip to 'no'.</blockquote>

No, that's not how you deal with single issues. You don't dismiss the relevance of facts in the same brief that you request them. That's just self-contradictory.

Randy R.

<blockquote>cmr: As you well know, even SSM as granted in the five states that allows it still does not grant any federal rights at all because of DOMA. Therefore, even where SSM is legalized, it is not the same as marriage for you straights. Furthermore, none of the legalized SSM are recognized in any other state (except now DC and NY), unlike straight marriage.

So, no, we are not being dishonest when we say that both civil unions and SSM still do not give us nearly the same rights as you get.</blockquote>

But once again, when discussing moves by state government, what the federal government can do is irrelevant. I think comprehensive civil union legislation in the House and Senate would move along swimmingly if people didn't feel press-ganged into supporting gay marriage.

You are being dishonest when you suggest there's more a particular state can do, if they're already giving you all the rights they can in the first place.

Ken A

<blockquote>Phrasing the issue in such a way is a tired and silly semantic tactic.</blockquote>

No, it's a distinction that undercuts your argument, thus you're better off ignoring it.

<blockquote>Every citizen has the right not to be the subject of discrimination on the part of the government (absent some overriding and compelling state interest). The very act of parsing couples into "gay civil unions" and "straight marriages" itself is discrimination, just as the segregation of water-drinking citizens to use "white only" or "black only" public fountains was discrimination.</blockquote>

It's funny how so many on the left claim the right is so anti-intellectual, but then statements like this one are so common.

Similarly situated couples are situated similarly. Whereas race isn't a relevant distinction with the purposes of marriage, sex is. And do spare me the overuse of terms. A marriage is intrinsically heterosexual, according to most people. You all claim to want to be treated equally under the law, that doesn't have to include nomenclature. There is no right to that. Even if you go down to the courthouse and get marriage, they call it "civil marriage". A "civil union" isn't that much of a divergence.

<blockquote>It makes NO DIFFERENCE that that the benefits are the same (the water which came out of the fountains was the same too, by the way) — it's still discrimination. You're merely employing the "separate but equal" argument which lost decades ago.</blockquote>

And you're merely employing a bastardization of "separate but equal" that is both transparent and intellectually dishonest.

Amiable Dorsai

<blockquote>Because, you know, that kind of paperwork is always going to be readily available after a catastrophic accident in a state not your own (my situation).</blockquote>

One would think if you're in a serious relationship with someone, you would be able to put your hands on pertinent documents fairly easily.

But, according to your anecdote, I could be just as glib and say, "because, you know, they're going to <i>always</i> ask for it in the first place."

Ken A

<blockquote>
Apparently, I don't have to, seeing as how you failed to address ANY of my points. I'll take that as a concession. </blockquote>

I had no intentions on addressing them, since you didn't address it to me. I just thought what you said was funny, quite honestly. And, I've been exposed to people like you time and again. You wouldn't concede the point even if you were proven wrong, because you'd just default to #3. So why waste time trying to make a point you've already concluded to be irrelevant?

Oren

<blockquote>And those people are free to boot the government of NH and replace it. </blockquote>

Because it is really that simple.

<blockquote>It's not ridiculous, it's just not the policy. I posed the question to buddy that works the ER at Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland OR and he wrote the following in response: </blockquote>

It is the policy if you have to make serious medical decisions for someone, and you could potentially face legal prosecution for lying in that circumstance. Most of the time it is over the matter of visitation, which requires nothing.

Owen Hutchins

<blockquote>
cmr- you're talking through your hat.
My wife and I had these for each other before our marriage, and it was our greatest fear that some idiot doctor would decide not to honor it until it had been vetted by their legal department. Hell, far too many conservatives want to be able to get in the way of medical decision they disagree with even if the couple is married; see the Schiavo fiasco.</blockquote>

Why people keep giving me their sob stories like I 1) care or 2) am going to be swayed by individual stories of your fears or thoughts, is beyond me.

Randy R.

<blockquote>Ah yes, the old "if those people would just shut up about their rights, we might be inclined to give them some." But of course, you are not. When gay marriage was just a blip on the screen in the early 90s, I didn't see anyone saying that they would be happy to give us those rights. </blockquote>

Well, Randy? It's not that glib, but what people are saying is, you can't be all-too-willing to ignore what most of this country wants and then expect them to make a place for you. If you don't feel you have to have a compromising attitude, why should anyone else?

Dan N

<blockquote>In that case, bring a lawsuit that SSM is a fundamental right. Push it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if possible.

I don't have to be the Amazing Kreskin to predict how such a lawsuit would play out.</blockquote>

Thank you, Dan N, and this is why I find all this grandstanding on the basis of SCOTUS decisions so laughable. The gay attorneys who have shoehorned this through the courts are terrified of this going to the SCOTUS, because they know there's a good chance people wont agree with them. And no, it's not just political. They know the caselaw surrounding marriage has zero to do with finding a right to state-sanctioned marriage irrespective of the gender make-up of the couple. They know there's no constitutional provision for this. So they hope to institute it in a few more places and then appeal to an emerging trend, and hope everyone forgets about the thirty other states who have voted against it.

trad and anon

<blockquote>

1) Buttsex is disgusting. At least buttsex between two men. Buttsex between a man and a woman is hot. There are no lesbians. </blockquote>

Is there any reason in particular that you try to employ this kind of nasty language when people disagree with you? I mean, really. Most people who commonly dissent with gay marriage on these threads keep it civil. It's those of you who are so keen on tolerance and acceptance that can't go one thread without acting like middle-schoolers using bad words and being smart-alecks on the Internet.

Owen Hutchins

<blockquote>
Don't be ridiculous, it's right there in the basic premise of a civil right to marriage. That's because a same-sex marriage is just like any other marriage. What confuses you is that you don't understand is that gays are regular people just like everyone else, and have the same rights.</blockquote>

GAY marriage isn't the same issue as gay MARRIAGE. You're too wrapped up in making sure gay people know how little you care about how they live their lives that you overlook the importance of marriage being between a man and a woman.

David Schwartz

<blockquote>How is a civil union between two heterosexual men different from a civil union between two 90 year old heterosexuals of opposite genders in any way that justifies the disparate treatment? </blockquote>

Oh, pick me! It's different because your heterosexual couple had to be 90 in order to compare to the terminally barren homosexual couple.

Owen Hutchins

<blockquote>
Back in 1964, everyone in Virginia had the same right to marry someone of the same race as themselves.

I have the right to marry a woman in Pennsylvania. A woman does not have the right to marry a woman here. Is that equal protection?</blockquote>

Ugh. You know, this is really...
I'll refrain from insulting you.

In Virginia, in 1964, people were to be arrested for marrying someone of a different race. The function of legal marriage to keep racial purity (for white people) was determined to be a vestige of slavery and institutionalized bias against Blacks.

You have the right to marry a woman. A woman has the right to marry you. You cannot marry a man. A woman cannot marry a woman.

Everyone is allowed to do one thing, and is not allowed to do one thing. Yes, it is equal. There is no criminal statute in place; it is simply what the state will and wont recognize.
5.16.2009 12:56pm
Bob VB (mail):
Oh, pick me! It's different because your heterosexual couple had to be 90 in order to compare to the terminally barren homosexual couple.
Actually 17% of all heterosexually married couples are barren. That's why the procreation argument falls through - the risk is by allowing marriage equality it might go up to 18%. If procreation is the key then deal with the 17% before coming after the lone one.
5.16.2009 1:05pm
cmr:
So you're comparing 17% of all heterosexually married couples (which I'm not sure about, and would like proof) to 100% of homosexual couples being barren? Yeah, I totally see the comparison there.
5.16.2009 1:07pm
Bob VB (mail):
Glad you do - since they are all just married couples, if you are going to culling Its 100% for women who have had hysterectomies too (1/3 of US women will by the age of 60) so you could probably knock at far more non-procreative marriages by just disallowing all citizens who know they are infertile.

The issue that you can't see is you are treating married citizens differently because of the gender of their spouse - the citizens are all just married, equal under the law. Again, why go after a problem that eliminates only 1% of an 18% problem and not deal with the rest with a simple question?

Because procreation is not a requirement of marriage is the real answer.
5.16.2009 1:12pm
Bob VB (mail):
Oh and 1 out of six married couples is infertile: 40% due to the woman, 40% due to the men, 10% due to both, 10% they haven't a clue. Just google 'couples infertility statistics' and you will get multiple sites - seems to be pretty much 'the number'. And this doesn't even include the married couples that choose not to procreate.
5.16.2009 1:14pm
Owen Hutchins (mail):


GAY marriage isn't the same issue as gay MARRIAGE. You're too wrapped up in making sure gay people know how little you care about how they live their lives that you overlook the importance of marriage being between a man and a woman.



Ad again, you are quite simply wrong. Marriage is what is important. You are trying to make it different, as if a straight marriage is and should be more "special". A marriage is a marriage. Can you explain how a marriage between two people of the same gender is different from one between people of opposite genders? In a way that isn't like saying that a marriage between two people of the same religion, or hair color, etc., is different from one where they differ. In that case, every marriage, every single one, is different from every single other marriage.

And finally, why do you think that how a gay lives their lives isn't as important as how a straight couple does?
5.16.2009 1:14pm
Owen Hutchins (mail):

So you're comparing 17% of all heterosexually married couples (which I'm not sure about, and would like proof) to 100% of homosexual couples being barren? Yeah, I totally see the comparison there.



You are aware that there are a lot of gay couples with children, right?
5.16.2009 1:15pm
AFJ (www):
100% of opposite-sex couples can provide a child with a mother and a father. Zero percent of same-sex couples can provide a child with a mother and a father.


Owen,

Be honest - you don't believe that hair color (or race) is central to any intimate relationship, the way gender is central to every intimate relationship.
5.16.2009 1:29pm
cmr:
Because procreation is not a requirement of marriage is the real answer.


It's the real answer to a question no one has asked. The state conferring incentives to heterosexual couples is largely defined by that. It's not defined by contested social and cultural constructs about gay couples being the same as straight couples, and they being just as good of parents as straight couples (which isn't something I'm too sure about, but OK).

Oh and 1 out of six married couples is infertile: 40% due to the woman, 40% due to the men, 10% due to both, 10% they haven't a clue. Just google 'couples infertility statistics' and you will get multiple sites - seems to be pretty much 'the number'. And this doesn't even include the married couples that choose not to procreate.


...and 6 out of 6 gay couples cannot have children.

Ad again, you are quite simply wrong. Marriage is what is important. You are trying to make it different, as if a straight marriage is and should be more "special". A marriage is a marriage. Can you explain how a marriage between two people of the same gender is different from one between people of opposite genders? In a way that isn't like saying that a marriage between two people of the same religion, or hair color, etc., is different from one where they differ. In that case, every marriage, every single one, is different from every single other marriage.


Owen, that was a clumsy paragraph, and I think you know it. I think your support of gay marriage is built on analogies and lies you tell yourself. You're not interested in anything I have to say, and you don't care why marriage is different from same-sex relationships.

You might think this is a cop-out. I don't care. Asking a question like, "how do the different types of marriage differ?" is a very...telling and ignorant question.


And finally, why do you think that how a gay lives their lives isn't as important as how a straight couple does?


See what I mean? How did I know you'd ask that? Because you think this is about GAY marriage and not gay MARRIAGE.
5.16.2009 1:30pm
trad and anon (mail):
Is there any reason in particular that you try to employ this kind of nasty language when people disagree with you? I mean, really. Most people who commonly dissent with gay marriage on these threads keep it civil. It's those of you who are so keen on tolerance and acceptance that can't go one thread without acting like middle-schoolers using bad words and being smart-alecks on the Internet.


I wouldn't feel the need to engage in this sort of parody if it weren't for the fact that I see that exact argument so often. Would it be any better if I had said "anal intercourse" rather than "buttsex"?

The issue that you can't see is you are treating married citizens differently because of the gender of their spouse - the citizens are all just married, equal under the law. Again, why go after a problem that eliminates only 1% of an 18% problem and not deal with the rest with a simple question?

Because procreation is not a requirement of marriage is the real answer.

Exactly. Neither procreation nor fertility is a requirement of marriage. You cannot get an annulment for infertility; the IRS cannot go after you for tax evasion because you don't have kids; your marriage will not be judged a sham for immigration purposes merely on the basis of not having kids; third parties whose rights are adversely affected by your marriage cannot argue that your marriage is void because you don't have kids.
5.16.2009 1:32pm
cmr:
I wouldn't feel the need to engage in this sort of parody if it weren't for the fact that I see that exact argument so often. Would it be any better if I had said "anal intercourse" rather than "buttsex"?


You don't have to lie to me, trad and anon. You see the argument so often because you read what you yourself have written. Don't delude yourself into thinking the only people arguing against gay marriage are squares who need to unclench and stop pearl-clutching at the very notion of people of the same sex liking each other.

We get it: you're here, you're queer, we're over it. We're actually capable of judging you on the content of your character and not the color of your, well, you know.

Being an unpleasant person and not knowing how to handle dissent might be the source of some of the ire "people" have for you. Your incessant need to filter your personality through your sexual orientation can obfuscate that, though.
5.16.2009 1:37pm
Owen Hutchins (mail):

100% of opposite-sex couples can provide a child with a mother and a father. Zero percent of same-sex couples can provide a child with a mother and a father.


When did we decide that families that don't have a father, or a mother, should not exist?




Be honest - you don't believe that hair color (or race) is central to any intimate relationship, the way gender is central to every intimate relationship.


Gender, like everything else, is important to the couple; can you explain how it is important to the law?
5.16.2009 1:42pm
Owen Hutchins (mail):



...and 6 out of 6 gay couples cannot have children.



But they do have children. They have children from previous relationships, they have biological children during the same-sex relationship, and they adopt children.
5.16.2009 1:44pm
Owen Hutchins (mail):


See what I mean? How did I know you'd ask that? Because you think this is about GAY marriage and not gay MARRIAGE.



And you are wrong again. It is about marriage. And you still haven't answered the question.
5.16.2009 1:46pm
AFJ (www):

"When did we decide that families that don't have a father, or a mother, should not exist?"



No one said anything of the sort. What are you talking about? Do you think we should call single-parent households "marriages" because they exist?



"Gender, like everything else..."



But gender is not like anything else, in terms of its role in human relationships.

Society is under no obligation to pretend, through its laws, that two different things are the same.
5.16.2009 2:01pm
Owen Hutchins (mail):



No one said anything of the sort. What are you talking about? Do you think we should call single-parent households "marriages" because they exist?


You are using the fact that a same-sex couple won't have a father or a mother as an argument against them. A single-parent household isn't a marriage because there is only one person. A child of a same-sex marriage has two parents.




Society is under no obligation to pretend, through its laws, that two different things are the same.



You mean, like race? Or to use your own example, isn't the law supposed to treat men and women the same, even though they are of different genders?

It's very simple. A man has a right to marry a woman. A woman does not not. Is that equal protection?
5.16.2009 2:08pm
cmr:
You are using the fact that a same-sex couple won't have a father or a mother as an argument against them. A single-parent household isn't a marriage because there is only one person. A child of a same-sex marriage has two parents.


No, he was using that as an argument against your tacit implication that there is no difference between the two.

This is how you know when people are losing the debate: when they start just making up stuff, asking hypothetical questions, and then ignoring the fact that they asked them a second later.

Oh yeah, and it's equal protection if the man can't marry another man. That's why I always reject the idea that gay marriage not being legal is discriminatory towards gay people. It's as if they're saying straight people can enter into same-sex relationships but homosexuals cannot.
5.16.2009 2:16pm
trad and anon (mail):
100% of opposite-sex couples can provide a child with a mother and a father. Zero percent of same-sex couples can provide a child with a mother and a father.


So what? There's no evidence supporting the proposition that the sex of members of a couple creates a statistically significant difference in the well-being of the children. Even assuming, arguendo, that there's a difference the research just hasn't found and that it favors opposite-sex couples, there's no reason to think the difference is very large. On the contrary, the fact that the research hasn't found a statistically significant difference indicates that the difference, if any, is very small.

If "children raised by parents with X trait have worse outcomes" is a good argument against same-sex marriage, it's a much better argument against poor marriage or felon marriage. As a general matter, a child raised by a pair of rich lesbians is going to be way better off than a child raised by an opposite-sex couple in poverty. The lesbians can raise their child in a safe neighborhood, provide their the kid with high-quality healthcare, send the kid to fancy private schools, provide the kid with better contacts when it's time to look for a job, and so on. The poor straight couple is much more likely to have to live in a dangerous neighborhood, use the ER for primary care, send the kid to a crappy public school (not all public schools are crappy but the ones in poor neighborhoods are always the worst ones in the area), and have low-quality professional contacts for job-hunting. The same thing is true if the lesbians are merely middle-class, though the difference is obviously less stark.

But poor people aren't prohibited from marrying, and they shouldn't be. It would be demeaning and oppressive to prohibit the poor from marrying and would hurt their children for no reason. And in our constitutional tradition poor people have a constitutional right to marry; c.f. Turner v. Safley, Zablocki v. Redhail.
5.16.2009 2:18pm
Owen Hutchins (mail):

Oh yeah, and it's equal protection if the man can't marry another man.


So it was equal when VA said that whites had the right to marry other whites, and coloreds (that was the term actually used in the law) had the right to marry other coloreds? It was the same, right?
5.16.2009 2:22pm
AFJ (www):
"You mean, like race?"

No, not at all. Race has nothing to do with marriage.


"...isn't the law supposed to treat men and women the same..."

The law doesn't treat men and women the same. The law doesn't treat race and gender the same. You don't treat race and gender the same. Nobody treats race and gender the same. In the discussion of marriage, race is a red herring.
5.16.2009 2:31pm
trad and anon (mail):
But gender is not like anything else, in terms of its role in human relationships.


Agreed. Gender is by far the most pervasive social institution in our society (or any other society that I know of). It affects the rules of every social interaction in every situation: posture, tone of voice, body language, body space, word choice all depend on the sex of the people involved. People even treat babies differently depending on their sex, and not just by dressing them in pink or blue: for example, people bounce babies a lot more if they think the baby is a boy. This is why people get uncomfortable if they don't know a baby's sex: they don't know how to interact with the baby. That barely scratches the surface of the gender codes of our society.

And of course virtually everyone cares a vast amount about the sex of their sex partners.

Plus you have the actual biological differences between men and women.

Society is under no obligation to pretend, through its laws, that two different things are the same.

Well, the question is if the difference is relevant.
5.16.2009 2:32pm
AFJ (www):
Owen,

Virginia has gender-segregated facilities today. Do you react to gender-segregated facilities the exact same way you'd react to race-segregated facilities, or will you finally acknowledge that you, like most people, don't really consider race and gender differences to be at all analogous?
5.16.2009 2:43pm
trad and anon (mail):
You don't have to lie to me, trad and anon. You see the argument so often because you read what you yourself have written. Don't delude yourself into thinking the only people arguing against gay marriage are squares who need to unclench and stop pearl-clutching at the very notion of people of the same sex liking each other.

I can see you've never read Clayton Cramer's posts before. Sure, the buttsex argument is not the only argument people use, but it's definitely an argument I see frequently, including on this comment board. This is why I listed other arguments, such as the "procreation is the only purpose of marriage" argument, which you also see frequently, including in the comments to this post. They don't put it quite that way but I was trying to make it clear how absurd the arguments I was referring to are.
5.16.2009 2:43pm
AFJ (www):
trad,

I don't believe that socio-economic status is the only thing that matters to a child, or even the most important thing.
5.16.2009 2:50pm
trad and anon (mail):
I don't believe that socio-economic status is the only thing that matters to a child, or even the most important thing.

I agree, but parental SES is still an extremely important thing. It's vastly more important than whether the parents are same-sex or opposite-sex, and I know of no evidence indicating otherwise.
5.16.2009 3:06pm
AFJ (www):
No, it's vastly less important. Children at all economic levels need a mother and a father.
5.16.2009 3:17pm
Bob VB (mail):
The state conferring incentives to heterosexual couples is largely defined by that.
No its not, not by our state supreme court at any rate.

No, it's vastly less important. Children at all economic levels need a mother and a father.
Not in the readings I've read the order of qualities for successful child rearing:
- A stable home environment
- Economic status
- 2 parents
everything else is a distant runner up. To reach far down below these 3 and say that some lesser quality has to be regulated smacks of a rationalization.

If you have any studies that show a statistically significant difference between opposite and same gender parents I'd love to see it. All the ones I've seen and the experts say the results are basically the same.

The fact is some people marry those of the same gender by the same biological mechanisms that some marry opposite gender, there really is only attraction to men or women after all, not opposites. A licensing restriction that precludes any acceptable spouse would be like saying only right handed people are allowed to write.
5.16.2009 3:48pm
trad and anon (mail):
No, it's vastly less important. Children at all economic levels need a mother and a father.

So in what respect is the child of an impoverished straight couple going to be better off than the child of rich lesbians? Both are going to provide the kid with love and support; the lesbians will also provide the kid with better safety, education, healthcare, contacts, familiarity with the behavioral norms of rich people, and so on. The lesbians are also much better situated to get the kid second chances when they do something stupid like get arrested. I could go on and on like this.

There are a litany of specific ways in which the child of the rich lesbians is much better off than the child of the poor straight couple. On the other hand, the advantages the poor straight couple by virtue of being straight are what, and supported by what research?
5.16.2009 4:07pm
AFJ (www):
Of course, the appropriate apples to apples comparison would be between households of the same economic level. In any case, the lesbians will deny the child a father.
5.16.2009 4:27pm
cmr:
So it was equal when VA said that whites had the right to marry other whites, and coloreds (that was the term actually used in the law) had the right to marry other coloreds? It was the same, right?


I'm talking about sex (male, female), and you're talking about race. And saying it's the same thing.

Ugh.

I can see you've never read Clayton Cramer's posts before. Sure, the buttsex argument is not the only argument people use, but it's definitely an argument I see frequently, including on this comment board. This is why I listed other arguments, such as the "procreation is the only purpose of marriage" argument, which you also see frequently, including in the comments to this post. They don't put it quite that way but I was trying to make it clear how absurd the arguments I was referring to are.


Couple things. One, I've seen Clayton Cramer's posts, and he's usually correct, even if he is a bit brusque. Two, understand the difference between absurd arguments and arguments you just don't take seriously because they contradict you. No one has said procreation is the only purpose of marriage. Or at least, no one in this, or really any other thread, I've been in or seen about SSM. People are saying that while culturally marriage may have more than one function, the primary function of the state's interest in marriage is that men and women tend to have children (and conversely gay couples tend not to). It's not an absolute, exceptionless argument, but you're not doing yourself any favors by bastardizing it no matter how nuanced and lucid it is put forth. If anything, dismissing it so outright perpetuates the othering of even gay parents. Marriage and child-rearing is vital to the institution. No, public policy shouldn't live and die by it, but it deserves a more serious discussion than these very parsed, generalized statements.

And if they "don't put it that way", perhaps you don't need to try and heave your silly and arbitrary impression on them as if they did.

No its not, not by our state supreme court at any rate.


I'm pretty sure their belief isn't uncontested. But when I say state, I'm mostly talking about the federal government first, and the states second.
5.16.2009 4:29pm
Bob VB (mail):
Of course, the appropriate apples to apples comparison would be between households of the same economic level.

Oh testing for only the minor variable? if we don't control for the big 3 what rationale is there to control for lesser effectors?

In any case, the lesbians will deny the child a father.
And golly gee the experts say that doesn't really effect the child rearing result much.
5.16.2009 4:31pm
Bob VB (mail):
I'm pretty sure their belief isn't uncontested. But when I say state, I'm mostly talking about the federal government first, and the states second.

That's pretty much backwards as far as licensing the civil contract of marriage goes.

men and women tend to have children (and conversely gay couples tend not to).
Last % of married couples raising kids: 47%
% of lesbian households raising kids: 33%
(not marriages, that would be a subset of these)
% of gay households raising kids: 20% with a higher % of stay at home parent than

If marriage is about raising kids it seems the difference is incremental at best and if someone feels that same gender parented kids are disadvantaged because of that would seem they are the ones that need the legal tools provided by the civil contract of marriage most of all.
5.16.2009 4:37pm
AFJ (www):
Bob,

Well then, if "the experts" said so, then who can possibly disagree!

More seriously, a tiny fraction of all children in the US are raised by same-sex couples, less than one percent. It's very difficult to study or make conclusions about a very small population. So "the experts" haven't proved a thing, let alone contradicted thousands of years of human experience.
5.16.2009 4:48pm
trad and anon (mail):
Of course, the appropriate apples to apples comparison would be between households of the same economic level.

But this is not the point. You claim that same-sex couples should be prohibited from marrying because they are (supposedly) not as good as opposite-sex couples at raising children. My point is that any differences between same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples in this respect, if they exist at all, are overwhelmed by the importance of factors we do not use as a grounds for granting or denying marriage rights. If "same-sex parents are not quite as good for children as similarly situated opposite-sex parents" is a reason for prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying, then "poor parents are not nearly as good for children as similarly situated rich parents" is a much better reason. But poor people are not prohibited from marrying, and should not be. Basically the same point is true of convicted felons and deadbeat dads, both of whom actually have a constitutional right to marry despite their obvious inadequacies as parents.

In any case, the lesbians will deny the child a father.

A kid who's being raised by lesbian parents rather than languishing in foster care is not being "denied" a father: there's no father to deny. If the kid is from a previous relationship and Mom was granted custody, Dad doesn't get any more or less involved depending on whether Mom and her new partner have a marriage license.

In any case, the claim that male-female parents are significantly better for children than male-male or female-female parents is the thing that needs to be proven. Saying the lesbians will "deny the child a father" is more of a restatement of your conclusion than an argument for it. There's no research I know of finding a statistically significant difference between children raised by same-sex parents and children raised by similarly situated opposite-sex parents.
5.16.2009 4:51pm
trad and anon (mail):
More seriously, a tiny fraction of all children in the US are raised by same-sex couples, less than one percent. It's very difficult to study or make conclusions about a very small population. So "the experts" haven't proved a thing, let alone contradicted thousands of years of human experience.

"Thousands of years of human experience" says opposite-sex parents are better at raising children than same-sex parents? I'm not aware that people spent time comparing the two, and I'd love to know how you know what people thought of the subject thousands of years ago. How many cultures even had anything like our childrearing model (children raised almost exclusively by two opposite-sex parents who live in a detached residence away from more extended family) thousands of years ago?
5.16.2009 5:02pm
Bob VB (mail):
Well this has gone way off track - he has nothing other than fiats that just don't pan out.

And this isn't even the issue anymore - marriage equality is coming - in my state the majority of people younger than 56 support it and in a few years it will be the law of the land and everyone will be wondering how everyone could have been so silly about it.

Since we have a first amendment the religious exclusions for participating are ok, but I'm with the person suggesting they be required to post it up front - I know many straight couples would prefer to take their business elsewhere too from an establishment that discriminates (that whole 'goose gander' thing always gets them)
5.16.2009 5:26pm
Randy R. (mail):
AFJ:"More seriously, a tiny fraction of all children in the US are raised by same-sex couples, less than one percent. "

Well, then. If it's such a small number, then allowing SSMisn't going to change much, is it?

Or, on the other hand, let's assume you really DO care about these children. Shouldn't they have the benefit of married parents, rather than unmarried parents?

Either way, this is just an argument for why gay parents SHOULD get married, not why they should not.

Unless, of course, you don't really care about the children of gay parents....

cmr: " It's not that glib, but what people are saying is, you can't be all-too-willing to ignore what most of this country wants and then expect them to make a place for you. If you don't feel you have to have a compromising attitude, why should anyone else?"

We didn't. That's why we set out to change people's minds. And considering that very few people were in favor of SSMin the early 90s, and today we are at almost half the population, I'd say we are doing a pretty good job.
5.16.2009 5:42pm
AFJ (www):
"...the claim that male-female parents are significantly better for children than male-male or female-female parents is the thing that needs to be proven."

No, that's backwards. What needs to be shown is that changing the definition of marriage will do no harm to children or to society.

Opposite-sex relationships and same-sex relationships are different. There's been no demonstration that any harm will result by allowing our society's laws to continue to recognize that fact.
5.16.2009 5:43pm
AFJ (www):
Randy,

They should have the benefit of a mother and a father.
5.16.2009 5:45pm
trad and anon (mail):
No, that's backwards. What needs to be shown is that changing the definition of marriage will do no harm to children or to society.

How does one go about proving such a thing? Well, there's the research failing to find any statistically significant difference between children raised by same-sex parents and children of opposite-sex parents. There's the fact that the sky has yet to fall in the Netherlands (2001), Belgium (2003), Massachusetts (2004), Canada (2005), Spain (2005) and South Africa (2006). There are other SSM jurisdictions but they all enacted it within the past year so I'll leave them aside.

It's only reasonable to demand a further showing that no harm would result if you can first provide some reason to believe that harm is likely to result. What is that reason?
5.16.2009 6:01pm
trad and anon (mail):
They should have the benefit of a mother and a father.

Here's a typical scenario for how same-sex couples end up with kids: Mom and Dad get married and have a kid. Mom and Dad divorce, Mom gets custody. Mom acquires a new long-term partner and the two raise the kid. What should the state do here, take the kid away from its biological mother and put it in foster care? In what way does this improve anyone's life?

Another typical scenario: Mark and Matthew, an otherwise normal middle-class couple, decide to adopt. They find a child in foster care who they'd like to adopt and try to file the adoption paperwork. No other adoptive parents are forthcoming. What should the state do, allow the child to languish in foster care? In what way does this improve anyone's life?
5.16.2009 6:13pm
Bob VB (mail):
Opposite-sex relationships and same-sex relationships are different.
In what way? Studies have shown that married couples are the same in motivations, desires, heck even what they bicker about, regardless of their gender combination.

There's been no demonstration that any harm will result by allowing our society's laws to continue to recognize that fact.
Considering they've been living together since time began as married couples, just not licensed by the state, it would seem any major problems would be obvious by now.

And fortunately I live in America where equal treatment under the law is an assumption - it has to be shown why some married citizens can license their marriage with the state and some can't. That's the case that the special rights crowd just can win.
5.16.2009 6:21pm
AFJ (www):
Ah yes, again with the supposedly iron-clad "studies".

But certainly the state of European society, and of marriage specifically, is debatable. Interested readers could start with the work on marriage in the Scandinavia by Stanley Kurtz.


Equal treatment under the law for things that aren't equal should not be assumed. It's perfectly appropriate for laws to treat different behaviors differently, that's what laws do.
5.16.2009 6:42pm
Bob VB (mail):
But certainly the state of European society, and of marriage specifically, is debatable. Interested readers could start with the work on marriage in the Scandinavia by Stanley Kurtz.

Yes a good comedy piece - I love how he starts out saying that marriage and birth rates are UP in the countries that have marriage equality and desperately tries to spin it so that's really a bad thing!

Stanley is a laugh riot.

It's perfectly appropriate for laws to treat different behaviors differently
Ah but that's the problem - there is no different behavior. Citizens with male spouses want the same things out of their marriages as all the other citizens with male spouses, ditto with female ones. There is no different behavior.
5.16.2009 7:03pm
AFJ (www):
"Yes a good comedy piece..."

Those interested can read the evidence and draw their own conclusions, and ignore the spin.

"there is no different behavior"

That's just plain delusional.
5.16.2009 7:56pm

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