March 26, 2013

Theodore Olson and David Boies in the WSJ: "... Gays Deserve Equal Rights."

An op-ed on the day of the big oral argument:
[O]ur opponents argue that the growing support for marriage equality means that the courts should leave to the states whether to permit marriage equality sometime in the indefinite future.

But as we proved during a 12-day trial that we won in a California federal district court in 2010, laws like Proposition 8 cause devastating harm to gay and lesbian couples and their children. Exclusion from the institution of marriage marks those couples and their children with a badge of inferiority. The damage this does to their hearts and minds is immeasurable—and the damage it does to all of us and our belief in the nation's ideal of equality is incalculable.

For one to say that the Supreme Court should leave the question of marriage equality to the political processes of the states is to say that states should remain free to discriminate—to impose this pain and humiliation on gay men and lesbians and their children—for as long as they wish, without justification. The Constitution forbids such an indecent result. It did not tolerate it in separate schools and drinking fountains, it did not tolerate it with respect to bans on interracial marriage, and it does not tolerate it here.

146 comments:

Farmer said...

It does damage to their hearts and minds!

In other words it hurts their feelings.

So what about the feelings of the polyamorous? Don't their feelings count? What about their families?

What about the incestuous?

Man, those gay rights supporters sure are bigots!

Farmer said...

The pain. The humiliation. Why can't a fella fuck his mom in peace, and have the state approve their relationship, and shower them with benefits?

damikesc said...

For one to say that the Supreme Court should leave the question of marriage equality to the political processes of the states is to say that states should remain free to discriminate—to impose this pain and humiliation on gay men and lesbians and their children—for as long as they wish, without justification.

Basically, yes. "Not nice" isn't the same thing as "Not Constitutional". It's time to stop using courts to handle 100% political problems.

I totally support gay marriage --- when passed legislatively or via ballot initiative. If done by judicial fiat, I cannot and will not ever support it.

Jay said...

The damage this does to their hearts and minds is immeasurable

Awwwwwwww!
Can we get them a baby bottle & binky while we pretend these people are totally normal?!

It did not tolerate it in separate schools and drinking fountains, it did not tolerate it with respect to bans on interracial marriage

Except being gay isn't like being black. You're born black or asian or "latino"

Engaging in gay sex is a choice.

This piece of emoting is a pathetic embarrassment and I can't believe anyone with a modicum of self-respect would sign their name to it.

Farmer said...

This is just like the civil rights movement of the 60s.

Farmer said...

Attica! Attica!

Jay said...

is to say that states should remain free to discriminate

The states & federal government discriminate all day, every day of the year.

When you have to shout "discrimination" (or bigot!) you have no argument.

All SSM proponents do is shout "discrimination" (and bigot!).

Shouting Thomas said...

"Equal rights" and "marriage equality."

The continuing stupid, manipulative, dishonest attempt to equate every political issue with blacks and Jim Crow.

These lies began with the feminists. The lies have only been hyped up with the gay activists.

Phony oppression. Phony equivalence. Underhanded, stupid attempts to manipulate us.

What a crock!

No, making every issue the equivalent of blacks versus Bull Connor doesn't convince me of anything except that you're an asshole.

Jay said...

Basically, yes. "Not nice" isn't the same thing as "Not Constitutional".

Shut up you wing-nut meanie!

Anything liberals like is constitutional and a right!

If you disagree, you're a silly wingnut, rube hater!

Shouting Thomas said...

This is just like the civil rights movement of the 60s.

Exactly what the assholes are trying to con us with,

Lyssa said...

I'm a full supporter of SSM, but I really don't see the lack thereof as "discrimination." It's bad policy, certainly, for a lot of reasons including some mentioned in the article.

But discrimination, in the Constitutionally prohibited sense, is against individuals, not against couples or types of relationships. As multiple people have pointed out, any system of laws that recognizes certain relationships but not others is fundementally discriminatory, and you can't claim that some discrimination in that sense is horrific, but other discrimination, such as against poly or incestuous ones, is A-OK.

Therefore, all said, this should go through the political process, not the courts.

I don't like the use of "the children", either. I'm supportive of gay marriage, but still quite skeptical of gay parenting. It's probably better (by far) than single parenting, but I definitely have reservations as to whether it's a good thing overall.

MadisonMan said...

The damage this does to their hearts and minds is immeasurable

This is why you should live your life not caring what other people think of you. I can understand the itch to want the same benefits as are given to married heterosexuals -- that is a fairness issue that, I think, needs to be addressed (IMO by having the Govt getting OUT of the marriage-sanctioning business) -- but to feel that your union is somehow diminished because Uncle Sam doesn't recognize it? And you're gonna give an interview with a local paper and show a big sad face because of it?

Not persuasive.

Chad said...

Fifty years ago fags were locked up if they were found engaging in perverted sex. Now we are celebrating their sickness.

How this nation has fallen.

DADvocate said...

"devastating harm"
"badge of inferiority"
"immeasurable"
"damage it does ... is incalculable."

Talk about over stating your case. Try being a white, heterosexual male seeking admission to college, applying for a government job, or seeking equal treatment in divorce court or under EEOC law.

Nathan Alexander said...

Marriage laws are designed to prevent both men and women (but mostly men) from using their gender strengths to exploit their spouse's gender weaknesses, with the ultimate benefit being to their children, in helping ensure that the child has a mother AND a father (with the complementary differences being necessary for a child's emotional maturation).

If homosexuals want to stay together forever, they don't need marriage to do it.

If they want to celebrate their intent to stay together forever, they don't need marriage to do it.

If they want some government benefits to formalize their contract, they don't marriage to do it.

There is no complementary nature in a SSM.

The strengths and weaknesses of one gender is matched by their partner, rather than complemented.

Two women are going to lose their looks in concert; one is unlikely to dump the other for a "trophy wife" or start banging the secretary.

Two men are unlikely to have one "drop out" of the workforce for a decade or forever to raise children and have his earning power reduced.

If SSM marriage doesn't allow changes to a birth certificate (bio mother and bio father), then it still really isn't a marriage.

If SSM marriage allows changes to a birth certificate (leaving off the bio mother or bio father to substitute a non-genetic parent), it is a sham, and robs the child of their heritage and rights.

This whole SSM thing is truly stupid. Anyone arguing for SSM is deliberately ignoring all sorts of "Emperor's New Clothes" truths.

I grieve for those who will be damaged as we act out this sham for a generation.

Here's hoping it will only take a generation for this insanity to run its course.

The Great Society stupidity has lasted longer than that, despite the obvious damage to black society. Despite starting to lose steam, abortion looks to last more than a generation, despite the obvious damage to women and children.

No one ever lost money underestimating the intelligence of the human race. SSM fits right in with that.

Shouting Thomas said...

Fifty years ago fags were locked up if they were found engaging in perverted sex.

You're buying here, in part, into the "oppression" myth.

Read Titus' posts for perspective.

Gays were locked up for having sex in public places, something that they like to do. This would get heteros locked up too.

Nathan Alexander said...

Oh, and Ted's argument that Prop 8 hurt gay/lesbian families?

That was only because CA courts imposed gay marriage in the first place.

Had homosexuals stuck with democracy, they wouldn't have been in that position.

Ted's argument is the SSM equivalent of someone who murdered their parents asking for clemency due to being an orphan.

Ann Althouse said...

"So what about the feelings of the polyamorous? Don't their feelings count? What about their families?"

If the only purpose of a law is to stamp a badge of inferiority on some people, it lacks a legitimate interest. All laws must have a legitimate interest.

The laws against incest and polygamy and so forth can be supported by other articulable interests.

Once you understand that legal concept, you should see that your argument is sophistry.

You've put it amusingly, but it's not really amusing to mock decent people who are doing nothing abusive, nothing harmful. Increasingly, people who do what you are doing there are going to look like clods to most Americans.

I'm trying to help you stop that.

I have close friends who are telling me that I am being too nice, giving you any air at all with what they call bigotry.

I am attempting to mediate, to bring you over to the right side on this social issue. You're getting stranded on the wrong side of a bridge, making bad, stale jokes at the people who've already crossed.

Shouting Thomas said...

I have close friends who are telling me that I am being too nice, giving you any air at all with what they call bigotry.

You should consider getting rid of those "friends."

Ann Althouse said...

By "a legitimate interest," I mean a legitimate governmental interest — that is, an end that government may properly pursue.

This is one of the big general concepts in constitutional law, and conservatives should care very much about limiting government to the proper purposes of government.

Shouting Thomas said...

OK, Althouse, all opposition to things you want is "bigotry."

What's the point of even considering you a sensible person? Or even a decent person?

You're just playing games, conning us, because you want something.

The "bigotry" bullshit seems unanswerable. I'll give you that. Don't understand why, but there you go.

Andy Krause said...

Is there no justification for favoring male/female marriage unions over any others?

Lyssa said...

Nathan Alexander: There is no complementary nature in a SSM.

The strengths and weaknesses of one gender is matched by their partner, rather than complemented.


That may have been true 50 years ago, and it may be true in some families, but on the whole, what you wrote is based on outdated sex stereotypes. In case you haven't heard, women are considered equals these days.

Two men are unlikely to have one "drop out" of the workforce for a decade or forever to raise children and have his earning power reduced.

Unlikely, perhaps, but they still can. My certainly all man husband has.

MayBee said...

The laws against incest and polygamy and so forth can be supported by other articulable interests.

They certainly can be, but they aren't really any more persuasive than the interests against gay people marrying.

Ther's a lot of porn involving twin females having sexual contact. It obviously isn't so completely taboo a thought in our society. I don't see how a law against them having a right to marry is all that supportable.

It will be interesting to see what happens. There are obviously a lot of people outside the courtroom hoping to sway the justices.

chickelit said...

Althouse said: I have close friends who are telling me that I am being too nice, giving you any air at all with what they call bigotry

Let all hope that Althouse reminds her close friends about the benefits of free and open discussion and how different that makes a blog. That must chafe them.

Shouting Thomas said...

Oh, well, there you go...

As Althouse has said, what could possibly go wrong? The world isn't going to go to hell because gays marry.

Amusingly, I heard the same exact words from people in San Francisco back in the early 70s just as gays were coming out of the closets in droves.

What can possibly go wrong? The world isn't going to go to hell! The only people who think so are stupid prudes!

In fact, I believe that I said those words myself.

And, yet everything did go to hell. The AIDS epidemic quickly followed.

Lyssa said...

I agree with MayBee. This is why using the rhetoric of "discrimination", when considered long-term and to it's logical conclusions, is inappropriate.

But most people (on both sides of this issue) can't seem to think about more than what's right in front of them.

Aridog said...

... to impose this pain and humiliation on gay men and lesbians ...

That's what this is about? Embarrassment because the word "marriage" is already taken and defined? A different term, defined as having all the tax and other benefits of "marriage" isn't good enough? We are in front of SCOTUS, to redefine a term, because somebody is/could be/has been frigging humiliated?

We truly are at a level of stupidity from which there may be no recovery.

Lyssa said...

ShoutingT And, yet everything did go to hell. The AIDS epidemic quickly followed.

AIDS was never really an "epidemic" in the US, and now it's basically over and has been for years. Everything did not go to hell.

Farmer said...

If the only purpose of a law is to stamp a badge of inferiority on some people, it lacks a legitimate interest. All laws must have a legitimate interest.

Well, I'm no big shot northern law professor - I'm just a small town, hayseed country lawyer, but it seems to me that defining heterosexual marriage as an institution that inherently benefits society is a legitimate interest.

Farmer said...

Thanks for looking out for me though. You're a nice lady.

Farmer said...

But your friends who called me a bigot aren't nice at all.

Hmmph!

Nathan Alexander said...

@Lyssa,
That may have been true 50 years ago, and it may be true in some families, but on the whole, what you wrote is based on outdated sex stereotypes. In case you haven't heard, women are considered equals these days.

This is ridiculous.

In case you hadn't heard, men don't have periods, and women don't have testicles. Men and women have different approaches to marriage, work, love, child-rearing, etc.

They are not rigid polar opposites, but you don't have to look any farther than frequency of sexual activity of lesbian, heterosexual, and gay relationships to see that there is a significant difference between men and women and the way they approach fundamental aspects of relationships differently. And that is just the tip of the iceberg.

Now, if you were trying to be ironic, facetious, or sarcastic, standing in for the liberal/feminist argument, you really didn't succeed.

Because modern society clearly claims that men and women are exactly the same, except for the hundreds of ways that women are better than men, including the fact that all men are (potential? ...depends on the vehemence of the feminist at the time) rapists.

Shouting Thomas said...

AIDS was never really an "epidemic" in the US, and now it's basically over and has been for years. Everything did not go to hell.

I was associated with several arts and theater companies that were literally exterminated by the AIDS epidemic.

Yes, everything did go to hell.

Lyssa said...

AA said: If the only purpose of a law is to stamp a badge of inferiority on some people, it lacks a legitimate interest.

"If" is the key word there. I see little to no evidence that that was the purpose, much less the *only* purpose, of Prop 8. I don't agree with Prop 8, but I see no reason to beleive that it's main supporters did not see legitimate interests in it.

Professor, I understand and sympathize with your frustration on this issue, and your frustration with the commenters here who will not truly consider their prejudices, but I think that you are approaching it wrong here. Your argument is just as closed-minded.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Has anyone else here noticed the full-court press by NPR for redefining marriage during the past week or two?

I realize NPR has been on board for a long time; but lately, no effort has been spared. Not just stories directly on the cases before the Supreme Court, but also every attempt to highlight the cause in other stories. Example: a story this morning on how inconvenient TV remotes are provided an opportunity to talk to a little girl who needed help from her "dads" to use the remote.

Just a coincidence, no doubt!

DADvocate said...

I have close friends who are telling me that I am being too nice, giving you any air at all with what they call bigotry.

Do your friends souond like the caring, compassionate jim Carrey does on the gun control issue? "[Anyone] who would run out to buy an assault rifle after the Newtown massacre has very little left in their body or soul worth protecting," "Hey, here’s a song for ‘heartless motherf*ckers unwilling to bend for the safety of our kids"

Tell you friends if they want support, it's better to follow your footsteps than be assholes. If you want someone to care about you and your rights, care about theirs. I've yet to see a lefty stick up for the rights of white males. Rather, they support legislation making it legal to discriminate against them and actively discriminate against them in collge admissions and hiring in government jobs and elsewhere.

MayBee said...

Yeah, Lyssa, I'm pro-gay marriage, as you are. I just wish people on our side were more willing to consider the ends justifying the means thinking they have here.

And are liberals sure this is what they want? How can a court that sees laws about what groups can marry to be unconstitutionally discriminatory uphold affirmative action?

Jay said...

Ann Althouse said...

If the only purpose of a law is to stamp a badge of inferiority on some people, it lacks a legitimate interest. All laws must have a legitimate interest.


I think you should go on pretending that the state has no legitimate interest in preventing gays from marrying.

Given the fact that gays have higher incidences of HIV, STDs, drug & alcohol abuse, and eating disorders, why should the state encourage such behavior?

Why should we encourage people who have these health issue to raise children?

You can't answer these questions, you've never bothered to think about them.

Fritz said...

"ShoutingT And, yet everything did go to hell. The AIDS epidemic quickly followed.

AIDS was never really an "epidemic" in the US, and now it's basically over and has been for years. Everything did not go to hell. "

I beg to differ. 21,000 deaths in 2007 alone?

http://www.indexmundi.com/g/g.aspx?c=us&v=37

Nathan Alexander said...


Unlikely, perhaps, but they still can. My certainly all man husband has.


Are you in a SSM?

No?

Then you are proving my point in attempting to dispel it.

I'm not saying that "men work and women stay home".

I'm saying that men and women are fundamentally different, and that is what makes a marriage.

Bringing two men together or two women together cannot have the same result.

When we use the word "marriage" in other concepts, we always mean bringing together different and complementary concepts/objects, just like "wedding/wedded" and "mate".

Go try to mate up two female hose ends, and see how well it works to transfer water without leaks.

Here's a title:
"Apple's Lion: A marriage of iOS and OS X - Computerworld"

Now talk about "A marriage of iOS and iOS". That doesn't make any sense. When we talk of a marriage of two things, it is always two different things.

Always.

Jay said...

Ann Althouse said...

This is one of the big general concepts in constitutional law, and conservatives should care very much about limiting government to the proper purposes of government.


Ensuring that a future generation of stable, productive Americans is reared & raised is a legitimate governmental interest.

Do you and your caring friends not know this?

Aridog said...

Shouting Thomas ... don't you know that anecdotal experience is never enough. The people you saw die were exceptions, it never happened anywhere else unless documented by John Hopkins or the CDC and published in a peer reviewed piece like People Magazine.

How can you possibly trust your own lying eyes, eh?

MayBee said...

Between the obvious influence the media had on Roberts in deciding Obamacare, and the NYT article indicating the DOJ read law blogs about the drone case, everyone is jockeying to be the secret sauce to make the court rule the "right" way.

Jay said...

I have close friends who are telling me that I am being too nice, giving you any air at all with what they call bigotry.


You or your friends can not articulate, factually (or persuaviely), why the state should subsidize gay sex.

People who can't articulate anything factually worry me zero when they start shouting "bigot"

Nathan Alexander said...

@Ann Althouse,
If the only purpose of a law is to stamp a badge of inferiority on some people, it lacks a legitimate interest.

The entire SSM movement has entirely failed to even begin to demonstrate this assertion.

Are you really trying to insist that marriage's only purpose is to make gays feel bad for not being "normal"?

Lyssa said...

Nathan Alexander: In case you hadn't heard, men don't have periods, and women don't have testicles. Men and women have different approaches to marriage, work, love, child-rearing, etc.

They are not rigid polar opposites, but you don't have to look any farther than frequency of sexual activity of lesbian, heterosexual, and gay relationships to see that there is a significant difference between men and women and the way they approach fundamental aspects of relationships differently. And that is just the tip of the iceberg.


Absurd. Your argument that I responded to was based on the laws and how they protect married people based on the inherent gender disparities. What protection is given or needed in our marriage laws based on women having periods or lesbians having less sex?

The protections are based on earnings abilities. Money and property. Not sexual organs. Marital dissolution agreements don't include provisions that involve testicles or ovaries.

And they're gender neutral, because, while men may earn more in the majority of cases, there are many relationships where women are the breadwinners, and the men need and deserve the financial protections.

Tank said...

There's a constructive expression of some of the religious opponents at NRO quoting an inteview with Archbishop Cordileone (in several parts).


To the first question: “What is the greatest threat posed by allowing gays and lesbians to marry?,” He replies:


The better question is: What is the great good in protecting the public understanding that to make a marriage you need a husband and a wife?

I can illustrate my point with a personal example. When I was Bishop of Oakland, I lived at a residence at the Cathedral, overlooking Lake Merritt. It’s very beautiful. But across the lake, as the streets go from 1st Avenue to the city limits at 100th Avenue, those 100 blocks consist entirely of inner city neighborhoods plagued by fatherlessness and all the suffering it produces: youth violence, poverty, drugs, crime, gangs, school dropouts, and incredibly high murder rates. Walk those blocks and you can see with your own eyes: A society that is careless about getting fathers and mothers together to raise their children in one loving family is causing enormous heartache.

To legalize marriage between two people of the same sex would enshrine in the law the principle that mothers and fathers are interchangeable or irrelevant, and that marriage is essentially an institution about adults, not children; marriage would mean nothing more than giving adults recognition and benefits in their most significant relationship.

How can we do this to our children?

Jay said...

If the only purpose of a law is to stamp a badge of inferiority on some people, it lacks a legitimate interest.


That is silly and pathetic.

I guess any law, any single one, which prevents someone from doing something stamps a badge of inferiority on said persons.

The laws against incest and polygamy and so forth can be supported by other The laws against incest and polygamy and so forth can be supported by other articulable interests

Name two "articulable interests " against polygamy.

Tank said...

Part 2

And he takes a countercultural view of the discrimination happening, as one who has watched it unfold:
Q: How would the allegation that opponents are bigoted lead to their rights being abridged?
A: Notice the first right being taken away: the right of 7 million Californians who devoted time and treasure to the democratic process, to vote for our shared vision of marriage. Taking away people’s right to vote on marriage is not in itself a small thing.
But the larger picture that’s becoming increasingly clear is that this is not just a debate about what two people do in their private life, it’s a debate about a new public norm: Either you support redefining marriage to include two people of the same sex or you stand accused by law and culture of bigotry and discrimination.
If you want to know what this new public legal and social norm stigmatizing traditional believers will mean for real people, ask David and Tanya Parker, who objected to their kindergarten son being taught about same sex marriage after the Massachusetts Supreme Court legalized it in that state and wanted to pull him out of class for that lesson. He was arrested and handcuffed for trying to protect his son’s education, and they were told they had no right to do so.
Ask the good people of Ocean Grove Methodist camp in New Jersey that had part of its tax-exempt status rescinded because they don’t allow same-sex civil union ceremonies on their grounds. Ask Tammy Schulz of Illinois, who adopted four children (including a sibling group) through Evangelical Child Family Services — which was shut down because it refuses to place children with same-sex couples. (The same thing has happened in Illinois, Boston and Washington, D.C., to Catholic Charities adoption services). … Ask the doctor in San Diego County who did not want to personally create a fatherless child through artificial insemination, and was punished by the courts…. Ask Amy Rudnicki who testified in the Colorado Legislature recently that if Catholic Charities is shut out of the adoption business by new legislation, her family will lose the child they expected to adopt this year. … Nobody is better off if religious adoption agencies are excluded from helping find good homes for abused and neglected children, but governments are doing this because the principle of “anti-discrimination” is trumping liberty and compassion. …
When people say that opposition to gay marriage is discriminatory, like opposition to interracial marriage, they cannot also say their views won’t hurt anybody else. They seek to create and enforce a new moral and legal norm that stigmatizes those who view marriage as the union of husband and wife. … It’s not kind, and it doesn’t seem to lead to a “live and let live” pluralism.

Tank said...

Part 3

Asked if the “tide is turning against” those “oppos[ing] gay marriage,” Archbishop Cordileone seeks to define terms better:
there are really two different ideas of marriage being debated in our society right now, and they cannot coexist: Marriage is either a conjugal union of a man and a woman designed to unite husband and wife to each other and to any children who may come from their union, or it is a relationship for the mutual benefit of adults which the state recognizes and to which it grants certain benefits. Whoever is for one, is opposed to the other. …
Those of us who favor preserving the traditional understanding of marriage do not do so because we want people who experience attraction to their same sex to suffer. We recognize and respect the equal human dignity of everyone. Everyone should be treated equally, but it is not discrimination to treat differently things that are different. Marriage really is unique for a reason.


I think that this kind of argument is much more civil and thoughtful, and not bigoted or sophistry or wrongful discrimination.

Shouting Thomas said...

I hope Indian men are watching closely what's happening in the West. The current rape hysteria being generated in the Western leftist press is just the first stage in the attack on traditional Indian society.

This what happens when you surrender the authority and wisdom of the patriarchy.

Don't be as stupid as Western men have been. That would be my advice to Indian men.

Rex said...

If there isn't a (Federal) constitutional right to heterosexual marriage, why should there be a right to homosexual marriage?

rcommal said...

So, arguments are being heard this, but the decision will be handed down...when? Bet it will seem like a long time.

Jay said...

AIDS was never really an "epidemic" in the US

By any rational definition of "epidimic" it was not.

It certainly has been an epidemic for gay males, however.

Patrick said...

The laws against incest and polygamy and so forth can be supported by other articulable interests.

I would like to see your list of what those interests are. I can understand that incestuous reproduction should be discouraged based on the apparent tendency toward birth defects.

But what is the government interest in restricting how people organize their family lives?

I ask this in all seriousness, perhaps outing myself as ignorant, but I don't understand.

Nathan Alexander said...

I am attempting to mediate, to bring you over to the right side on this social issue

Who says pro-SSM is the right side?

That hasn't been proved at all.

Here's a hint: if it really is the right side, the movement would be able to use honorable, reasonable, staid methods to enact SSM through popular, democratic means.

The actions of the pro-SSM related to Prop 8 disqualify it from being the "right" side right there. Much less the knee-jerk reaction to call anyone who disagrees "a bigot" or the inane attempts to compare SSM to interracial marriage and gay rights' to the Civil Rights movement.

Jay said...

am attempting to mediate, to bring you over to the right side on this social issue

You see that you silly rubes?

Shut up and let the good, caring smart people tell you what you should think.

Mitchell the Bat said...

I'm still trying to figure out what's wrong with incest.

Seriously.

Is it the genetic disease thing?

Golly, it's as if you can't separate marriage from reproduction.

* scratches noggin *

Writ Small said...

Aids ravaged the homosexual male community. If SSM had been in place and lots of gay men were in exclusive relationships, the spread of disease would have been significantly contained. That is a strong societal benefit - a governmental interest, if you will - to SSM.

Shouting Thomas said...

To show you just how nuts this "bigotry" thing has gotten...

In Woodstock, the anti-fracking zealots are gearing up for a big rally at one of the local theaters.

The theme: "We Shall Overcome!"

It will be night devoted to civil rights anthems from the 60s.

Every issue is now a "bigot" issue and opposition to anything on the leftist wish list is "bigotry."

Even opposition to fracking is now "bigotry."

Lyssa said...

Nathan AlexanderWhen we use the word "marriage" in other concepts, we always mean bringing together different and complementary concepts/objects, just like "wedding/wedded" and "mate".

I guess you've never heard of the merger of two businesses being referred to as a "marriage." Or ever worked in restaurant, where you marry ketchups. The dictionary definition of marry involves combining and uniting in a permanant fashion. (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/marry; http://www.thefreedictionary.com/marry; http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/marry). Nothing about opposites.

This idea that marriage (in the other than couple sense) has always been about opposites is a myth that started appearing in just the last few months, gobbled and repeated by those who want an easy justification for their prejudices without putting any thought into it.

I'm saying that men and women are fundamentally different

The sexes do have fundamental differences. But none that are relevant to the modern legal scheme that is marriage.

Shouting Thomas said...

Aids ravaged the homosexual male community. If SSM had been in place and lots of gay men were in exclusive relationships, the spread of disease would have been significantly contained. That is a strong societal benefit - a governmental interest, if you will - to SSM.

Yes, this is what this is all really about.

Keep wishing. Conferring some "right" on gay men will stop them from blowing guys in public restrooms. Certainly worked with Titus, didn't it?

It really is this silly. Can't believe it, but a woman who's normally sensible and witty, i.e., Althouse, has bought into this absurdity. Absurd wishful thinking.

Susan Stewart Rich said...

I am a proponenent of same-sex marriage because our constitution provides ample room for the rights being sought and the discrimination is clear. I want my friends and neighbors to have the solemnity and sancitity that our society bestows on married copules. But a few questions: What is same-sex marriage? I am female. Can I marry my friend, also female, even if we do not want to engage in sexual relations? What is gay? Can a man be married to a woman and be gay without cheating on his wife?

MayBee said...

If this really is the right side of history, and people against it are going to soon look like clods, isn't it better to not have the court open the Pandora's box of creating a Constitutional right to marry?

Aridog said...

Nathan Alexander ... Professor S I Hayakawa would have been proud of your analysis. You cut to the chase that "marriage" is actually the joining of two dissimilar but complimentary entities, however the word is used.

However logically sound your point is, it is not politically correct, therefore you/me/we are to be ignored due to the volume of over-chatter.

Worse, the weeping advocates think, and sometimes say, you/we/me are bigots who do not want equal treatment under the law for gay couples. Never mind I've never said that and don't believe it.

Fact is, speaking for myself, I think the precise same tax and fiscal benefits provided for married couples should be accorded to all affectionately cohabiting couples, regardless of sex or age, providing they are living in a bonafide household.

That's not going to happen, however...we must continue the discrimination between hetero and homo pussy or butthole surfers and the rest of us who have fewer rights and pay more in taxes. Shit, that isn't "humiliating" it is just expensive.

I'm speaking as a man who has been in love with the same woman for 30+ years and lived togehter unmarried. For 25 of thouse years there were reasons makin mariage impossible (plain stupid really) that is no one's business but ours.

So y'all weepy advocate spare me your dismissive "just get married" crap...there really are times when you cannot. You just get to pay up and shut up.

And I am supposed to feeling sympathy for gay or lesbian "humiliation" when in mor and more states it is possible for them to acquire the rights I could not? I don't think so.

Jay said...

Since gays want to re-define marriage to be "monogimish", why should the state subsidize their behavior?

Note:
None of this is news in the gay community, but few will speak publicly about it. Of the dozen people in open relationships contacted for this column, no one would agree to use his or her full name, citing privacy concerns. They also worried that discussing the subject could undermine the legal fight for same-sex marriage.

Don't worry Ann, you and your friends just sit there being "right" that the state has no interest here.

None at all.

We don't discuss such messy things, after all...

Nathan Alexander said...

Absurd. Your argument that I responded to was based on the laws and how they protect married people based on the inherent gender disparities. What protection is given or needed in our marriage laws based on women having periods or lesbians having less sex?

The protections are based on earnings abilities. Money and property. Not sexual organs. Marital dissolution agreements don't include provisions that involve testicles or ovaries.

And they're gender neutral, because, while men may earn more in the majority of cases, there are many relationships where women are the breadwinners, and the men need and deserve the financial protections.


Wrong.

If you get divorced right now, you will still get the children.

If I lose my job right now, I will still be responsible for the same amount of child support until/unless I can convince the court to reduce it.

If I decide to work less and earn less money, most courts will not reduce my child support because I could be earning more money.

My ex-wife remarried. Her husband's earnings do not count as part of her "contribution" to the children's welfare. But my wife's earnings do.

Every Court in the US will give custody to the mother unless it can be proven beyond reasonable doubt that she is a danger to the children...sometimes she will still get custody of the children.

In many states, if there is a domestic dispute and the police are called, the man will be arrested...even if the only physical evidence is that the woman assaulted him.

What court would seriously entertain a man's claim that he was raped because he had sex after two beers and didn't give clear, unambiguous consent?

Why do many states have programs to try to encourage divorced biological fathers to be more active in their children's lives?


So how does the Violence Against Women Act get applied in a lesbian dispute?

Who gets the child when two men divorce? What is the standard applied?

Why does a woman's chances of marriage rude 30% for every 15 points of IQ above 100?

Why do women who are highly educated and earning good salary think there are no good men available? Why don't more women look for less-educated men who don't earn much?

Men and women are different. What they want is different, and the strategies they use to secure happiness in a relationship is significantly different. Humans are flexible enough to fill different roles, and I applaud you and your husband for being willing and able to step outside the box to make your marriage work.

But I guarantee you that he is not being a house husband the way you would be a house wife.

Shouting Thomas said...

So, to solve a behavior problem common to gay men...

Althouse has joined in the chorus blaming straight men for the problem that is actually caused by gay male behavior...

And declared that all you have to do is fix the law so that gay men can get married.

And that will fix this age old problem of gay male behavior.

Jay said...

Writ Small said...
Aids ravaged the homosexual male community. If SSM had been in place and lots of gay men were in exclusive relationships, the spread of disease would have been significantly contained. That is a strong societal benefit - a governmental interest, if you will


At the aggregate, gay males have no interest, none, in being exclusive.

Every study ever conducted on gay promiscuity (50+ years of research) has confirmed this.

Nathan Alexander said...

That is a strong societal benefit - a governmental interest, if you will - to SSM.

"Heteronormative" is a dirty word in homosexual society.

What evidence do you have that SSM will encourage monogamy?

Patrick said...

Further to my question from 9:27, I'm looking for a reason that SSM differs from plural marriage other than "you must be a bigot," which I've yet to hear.

how dare you even ask..

Lem said...

Exclusion from the institution of education marks those peoples and their children with a badge of inferiority. The damage this does to their hearts and minds is immeasurable—and the damage it does to all of us and our belief in the nation's ideal of equality is incalculable.

Lyssa said...

ShoutingT: Conferring some "right" on gay men will stop them from blowing guys in public restrooms.

Conferring such a right, in and of itself, does nothing, of course. However, a cultural shift, as we have been experiencing, towards gay relationships being more permanant and dedicated to the other, more about partnership in the same way hetrosexual marriage is, and something valued and celebrated by society, is likely to reduce (not eliminate, as it is certainly not unheard of in hetros, either) that sort of behavior, and, indeed, almost certainly has already.

You ever notice that all of your examples are from the 70's?

chickelit said...

Susan Stewart Rich said: I want my friends and neighbors to have the solemnity and sancitity that our society bestows on married copules.

"Solemnity" and "sanctity" are inappropriate words to mix with government function are they not?

Jay said...

See:

STUDY: “Monogamish” Gay Couples Happier Than Single Or Monogamous Guys

Jay Retread said...

Nice collection of bigots you have cultivated here Ann.

Nathan Alexander said...

@Lyssa,
I worked in a restaurant for many years.

We never called it "marrying" the ketchup.

We called it consolidating.

In any case, you are absolutely wrong that modern marriage laws have zero relationship to the fundamental differences between men and women.

5 minutes in divorce court will make anyone see how your argument is completely baseless.

The Violence Against Women Act just buttresses that.

MayBee said...

Women with hot boxes are allowed to marry, no? So why not gay men who want to blow other men?

Jay said...

Lyssa,

Despite 30+ years of outreach and education on "safe sex" and HIV, the HIV rate for gay males is increasing.

That is from 2010.

Not the 1970's

Nathan Alexander said...

However, a cultural shift, as we have been experiencing, towards gay relationships being more permanant and dedicated to the other, more about partnership in the same way hetrosexual marriage is, and something valued and celebrated by society, is likely to reduce (not eliminate, as it is certainly not unheard of in hetros, either) that sort of behavior, and, indeed, almost certainly has already.

That begs the question.

Your hedging in the bolded section indicates that you have zero evidence to cite.

So we have to submit to SSM's Ends Justifies the Means tactics on nothing better than some notion you would like to believe is true, but have no evidence for?

Susan Stewart Rich said...

That solemnity and sanctity is something society gives to those who are married. It is an intangible. Being able to say "we've been married 10/20/30/40/50 years" is what creates it.

The question is, who should get it? One person marrying one person. One person who marries many people? One person who prefers sex with animals but marries a human. Two people who love another two people? Two people who have sex with another two people. These are the questions that people will not answer.

President-Mom-Jeans said...

"I am attempting to mediate, to bring you over to the right side on this social issue. You're getting stranded on the wrong side of a bridge, making bad, stale jokes at the people who've already crossed."

What a load of sanctimonious condescending crap. You are veering into Andy R. territory here, alienating even those who would support SSM.

You are totally going to win a lot of hearts and minds with bull shit like this.

Ugly.

Douglas said...

In order to give women the vote, the Constitution had to be amended. The 19th Amendment was necessary because the Court held that the 14th Amendment could not be stretched to include a right for women to vote. If the language of the 14th Amendment doesn't cover the right of half the population to vote, how can it be interpreted to create a right for men to marry men or women to marry women? The answer is that it can't, and the Court should decline the invitation to create a brand new, super-duper, Constitutional right out of whole cloth, and instead it should defer to the political process.

Aridog said...

Lyssa ...let me quote one of your citations (Merriam-Webster) that you assert says nothing about "opposites."

Definition of MARRIAGE

1a (1): the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law

1a (2): the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage

...[snip]...


Note which definition is cited first, as primary. It is disingenuous of you to say "opposites' are not mentioned and included.

Lyssa said...

Nathan, you have a lot to say about things you know little about.

If you get divorced right now, you will still get the children.

Extraordinarily unlikely. My husband has taken care of our child far more than I have and has fewer work demands. While the goal is to get as close to 50/50 as possible, he would certainly get more time and primary custody, barring some bad action on his part (which, of course, would be what it would take to get me to divorce him).

If I lose my job right now, I will still be responsible for the same amount of child support until/unless I can convince the court to reduce it.

Yes, as would a woman. As a family law attorney, I've seen it in court many times.

If I decide to work less and earn less money, most courts will not reduce my child support because I could be earning more money.

Same for a woman.

My ex-wife remarried. Her husband's earnings do not count as part of her "contribution" to the children's welfare. But my wife's earnings do.

I've never seen a set of laws that would allow that disparity. I'm guessing that you two might live in different states, and have two separate sets of laws applying, or there's some other reason for such a disparity. If you're trying to have me beleive that the same set of laws says that remarriage for a man is different from remarriage for a woman, I am going to need a citation.

Every Court in the US will give custody to the mother unless it can be proven beyond reasonable doubt that she is a danger to the children...sometimes she will still get custody of the children.

There are certainly biased judges out there, but your broad assertion is just plain not true.

Who gets the child when two men divorce? What is the standard applied?

Same standard that is applied to hetrosexual unions - best interests of the child, based on a number of factors such as the parent's ability to care for the child, time spent with the child, stability of home, etc.

Why does a woman's chances of marriage rude 30% for every 15 points of IQ above 100?

I have no idea what that means.

Why do women who are highly educated and earning good salary think there are no good men available? Why don't more women look for less-educated men who don't earn much?

Not "women", but "some women". And it's because many smart and educated women are idiots with foolish standards. Much like many smart and educated men (see, i.e., Barack Obama).

Look, I'm not saying that the family laws are universally applied in a fair way, particularly to men. The MRA have a lot of points. But the laws are written to be applied in a gender neutral way and can be applied that way.

rhhardin said...

They already have equal rights.

Writ Small said...

If SSM leads to the gay population increasing the degree of one-to-one stable relationships, that is a good thing overall. However, if it also leads to heterosexual couples getting married less or weakening those marriages, then it could be a far worse thing on balance given the relative size of the two groups. Since we're tampering with an institution thousands of years old, the do-nothing option requires a compelling argument to overturn.

The case hasn't been made to satisfy me, but the reality is SSM is going to happen. The demographics and polls are clear. Conservatives should make the best of the situation and emphasize to the gay community that once SSM is enshrined, their families will start to pressure them to settle down with a single partner, and they will have handed their families those societal-pressure tools. If this side of the argument were being made more strongly, the advocates of SSM would lose a little of their intensity. As long as the argument is "gay relationships are the same as incest," the traditional marriage side will lose.

Peter said...

Re: HIV- the term "epidemic" implies an exponential growth, and clearly that is no longer happening.

But I can't see HIV incidence as an argument against "gay marriage." After all, it's quite rare among lesbians.

The argument IMHO is that homosexual relationships are inherently different than heterosexual ones because heterosexuality is inherently tied to procreation.

And no, it's not necessary to note that not all heterosexual relationships produce children to note that enough do so that the state might recognize these because of their procreative potential.

Marriage exists everywhere because all cultures recognize that heterosexual relationships often produce children, and children have an extended period of dependency.

It's because of this that marriage is seen as including sexual relationships and excluding non-sexual ones.

But since same-sex relationships do not ever produce children, why would the state care whether or not such relationships are sexual (let alone exclusive)?

Why shouldn't any couple who wish to join themselves in a durable relationship for mutual comfort and support be able to obtain state recognition of their relationship- even if the relationship is not and never has been sexual?

I think they should. But such relationships are not "marriage."

Lyssa said...

In any case, you are absolutely wrong that modern marriage laws have zero relationship to the fundamental differences between men and women.

5 minutes in divorce court will make anyone see how your argument is completely baseless.


I'm a divorce lawyer. I've had far more than 5 minutes. I am sorry, however, that you had a bad time at it in your first marriage. It's a terrible system, regardless of the gender issues.

Lyssa said...

that sort of behavior, and, indeed, almost certainly has already.

That begs the question.

Your hedging in the bolded section indicates that you have zero evidence to cite.


Yes, I have exactly as much evidence as you do.

Fritz said...

"Re: HIV- the term "epidemic" implies an exponential growth, and clearly that is no longer happening."

At which point the word pandemic becomes the appropriate term:

http://www.diffen.com/difference/Epidemic_vs_Pandemic

Fr Martin Fox said...

Althouse:

If the only purpose of a law is to stamp a badge of inferiority on some people, it lacks a legitimate interest.

Curious sentiment, considering that one clear intention of the advocates of redefining marriage is to stamp the badge of bigotry on some people--namely those who oppose the government redefining marriage.

How is stamping the word "bigot" on people not stamping "the bade of inferiority" on them?

Aridog said...

Lyssa said ...

I'm a divorce lawyer.

Where's "nomennovum" when he's needed? :-)

edutcher said...

I'll say it again - it's not a right.

It was never a right and those two should damned well know it.

Ann Althouse said...

So what about the feelings of the polyamorous? Don't their feelings count? What about their families?

If the only purpose of a law is to stamp a badge of inferiority on some people, it lacks a legitimate interest. All laws must have a legitimate interest.

The laws against incest and polygamy and so forth can be supported by other articulable interests.



Until Adam and Steve want to hitch up with Dave and Bartsheba and then want some of the cute 16 year old stuff.

Damn it, Ann, people like Dan Savage have already said this is the next step.

You've put it amusingly, but it's not really amusing to mock decent people who are doing nothing abusive, nothing harmful. Increasingly, people who do what you are doing there are going to look like clods to most Americans.

How dast we! Now we need the approval of our social betters?

The Hell with that.

I have close friends who are telling me that I am being too nice, giving you any air at all with what they call bigotry.

Well, that's the Lefty way, isn't it?

Free speech is too important to allow just everybody to have it.

Orwell is nodding.

I am attempting to mediate, to bring you over to the right side on this social issue. You're getting stranded on the wrong side of a bridge, making bad, stale jokes at the people who've already crossed.

The right side?

And all those people who believe in God aren't?

Ann, do you have any idea how you sound?

Mitchell the Bat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lyssa said...

Aridog, I'm impressed that you managed to put multiple dishonest assertions in the same comment.

First, you completely ignored the part of my comment that indicated that we were discussing marriage in the non-couples sense - discussions of hoses and ketchups.

Second, you went to a different word than the one that I cited (marry verses marriage).

Third, you, without including the link, BTW, selectively edited the quote you did use to exclude the part that completely contradicted your argument. Let me finish it: " 2): the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/marriage)

You know, I often don't get too caught up in my SSM support because the nastiness and dishonesty of the pro-SSM side makes me feel like rooting against them, despite my agreement with their goal. I'm starting to wonder whether the anti-SSM side is any better, though.

Stephen A. Meigs said...

There are many legitimate reasons for the government to ban sodomy or even prevent gays for marrying (public health consequences of sodomy, that sodomy be an addiction, etc.), but even if you don't believe this, I still don't buy your argument. With any law whatsoever there are multitudes of silly ways the law could be extended notwithstanding there is no legitimate reason to not extend it. Suppose I wanted to marry my elbow? That seems a much safer, less possibly perverse thing for the government to allow than for me to marry someone provided one of us wants to sodomize the other. What is the government's legitimate interest in preventing me from marrying my elbow? The government shouldn't be required to redefine marriage so I might marry my elbow. Laws should be simple with straightforward commonsense definitions so that citizens and legislators may fully understand what is passed and so that people need fewer lawyers.

One could argue that whether sodomy be an evil addiction, etc., be a religious question not akin to (say) whether opium be an addiction that the government has a legitimate interest to outlaw. I don't agree, but let's just assume that one believes this. Then if marriage be a stamp of approval, Why does the government have more of a legitimate interest to stamp sodomy "approved" than to stamp it "abomination"? I admit that if one (somewhat stupidly, imo) views the question of whether sodomy be evil as merely a religious question, government has no legitimate business getting involved one way more than the other. But government has no more legitimate business giving a stamp of approval than a stamp of disapproval, especially by undemocratic means.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Lyssa:

Seriously, you're going to use various metaphoric or analogous uses of the term "marry" to "prove" that the notion of marriage being essentially heterosexual is an invention "that started appearing in just the last few months"?

I wonder what other metaphors and analogies can be cited to show that words don't actually mean what everyone seems to suppose they mean?

This could be fun.

Mitchell the Bat said...

Why can't I marry my brother?

I love him and he's got a tough bod that gives me a rock hard boner!

He loves me, too. We make out and stuff -- a little bit of petting, now and then -- but we were raised in a strict religious household and we can't have sweaty anal sex until we're lawfully married.

WHY WON'T SOMEBODY HELP US!!!1!!!1!

Aridog said...

Farmer was correct at 8:37 AM...hell there's even a movie or cable show out right now about mother-fucking. Everything that goes around does come around apparently.

Lyssa said...

Jay said: Lyssa,

Despite 30+ years of outreach and education on "safe sex" and HIV, the HIV rate for gay males is increasing.


Actually, your link says that the rate of infections is stable in recent years, not increasing. It's the rate of people living with it that has increased, because people live with it for much longer now.

It doesn't qualify what "recent years" means or whether it is down from the "epidemic" levels. HIV is no longer a major consideration in most people's lives, though. That is my point.

Jay said...

Lyssa said...


Actually, your link says that the rate of infections is stable in recent years, not increasing


No it doesn't.

It says this:

In 2010, the estimated number of new HIV infections among MSM was 29,800, a significant 12% increase from the 26,700 new infections among MSM in 2008

Shouting Thomas said...

You're kinda evading the "point," Lyssa...

Which is...

I'm old enough to remember the chorus of sophisticates who insisted that there would be no serious harm if gays all came out of the closet.

I, in fact, was one of them.

All hell did break loose, namely the AIDS epidemic.

The issue isn't whether the AIDS epidemic is at its height. The issue is whether the past evidence that the sophisticates were completely wrong in their assurance might indicate that they could be wrong again in their assurance that gay marriage won't cause any serious harm.

Lyssa said...

Fr Fox said: Seriously, you're going to use various metaphoric or analogous uses of the term "marry" to "prove" that the notion of marriage being essentially heterosexual is an invention "that started appearing in just the last few months"?

I was refuting Nathan's use of the metaphoric useage. Nathan is the one attempting to rely on that useage to prove his point. My reliance is only to show that his is incorrect.

And I specifically said that the assertion that Nathan was making, that marriage in the "non-couples" sense is always about opposites, was an invention. I certainly did not say that marriage in the couple sense as being hetrosexual is a recent invention.

Please read and understand the context before you spount off like that. ("Seriously")

Shouting Thomas said...

It's called, Lyssa, "learning from experience," something that we're currently forbidden to do since that would be "bigotry."

Jay said...

Oh and the CDC also gives us this:

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) have been increasing among gay and bisexual men. Recent increases in syphilis cases have been documented across the country

Increasing.

Not stable.

Not decreasing.

Jay said...

And one of the reasons why HIV is increasing among gay men is that the evil drug companies developed treatments which governments now give away for "free" (I get to pay for this, yeah!)

Oso Negro said...

Lyssa, there exist the following rough camps of people on gay marriage:

Group A - supports gay marriage, wants it to come about, believes homosexuality is a valid lifestyle alternative

Group B - Tolerates homosexuality, prefers to not mainstream its lifestyle using the brute force of the state. Concerned about unintended consequences.

Group C - Hates them some faggots, wants Yahweh to burn them in the everlasting fires of hell.

What we have is the following problem. Group A believes that Group B equals Group C, wants to force everyone to kiss the Rainbow Flag. Group B wants to slow the "progress" train down before heteronormative language is banned from public space and the mandatory teaching of homosexual studies to elementary school children is imposed by law. Group C just hates them faggots.

Oh, and yes, there is the problem of utterly dishonest social science. There are reasons homosexuality was considered a pathology before it wasn't. As observed, the attendant health issues alone might be thought to constitute a legitimate legislative interest.

MayBee said...

Writ Small- there is no argument that gay relationships are the same as incest. The argument is that a *right* to marry, if one is found by the court, must apply to both different kinds of relationships.

People who want this issue solved now, by this court, want to pretend that isn't so, or it doesn't matter. I think they do so at their own peril. At the peril of all of us.

Shouting Thomas said...

So, Lyssa, despite the assurance from liberals (including me) that absolutely no harm would ensure from gays coming out of the closet, huge harm actually occurred.

"Learning by experience," I have concluded that all these assurances that no great social harm might come from gay marriage might be wrong.

edutcher said...

Lyssa said...

Please read and understand the context before you spount off like that. ("Seriously")

Lyssa, do yourself a favor and never think a Catholic priest didn't read and understand the context before you spounted off like that. ("Seriously")

They are a lot better trained in logic and rhetoric than you ever were.

Lyssa said...

Jay, we were looking at two different things - the rates overall verses the rates of gay males. But I apologize for not reading more clearly.

Either way, though, I'm not sure what this has to do with gay marriage. Risky behavior, such as promiscuous sex, certainly has risks; we all know that. Best to discourage that risky behavior, such as by encouraging stablizing institutions such as marriage. I probably shouldn't have allowed myself to get sidetracked by ShoutingT's "I've seen it all" rhetoric.

Shouting Thomas said...

I probably shouldn't have allowed myself to get sidetracked by ShoutingT's "I've seen it all" rhetoric.

Yes, one should avoid "learning from experience" at all costs.

Because that would make you a "bigot."

Jay said...

Ann Althouse said...


I have close friends who are telling me that I am being too nice, giving you any air at all with what they call bigotry.


Funny.

a. Given your rhetoric about the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy—you called it “a profound wrong—a moral injustice of the first order”—let me ask this basic question: Do you believe that there is a federal constitutional right to samesex marriage?

Answer: There is no federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage.


--Elena Kagan, Feb 10, 2009

Jay said...

Lyssa,

gay males have no interest in monogamy.

That is confirmed by every study ever conducted on gay promiscuity.

Such studies go back 50 years.

That is what is has to do with gay marriage, they want to redefine marriage to not include monogamy.

Chuck said...

It is a surprisingly banal Op-Ed by Olson and Boies. Just the usual claptrap about polls, and "loving couples who are devoted to each other," blah blah blather.

The core paragraph was this one:

"For one to say that the Supreme Court should leave the question of marriage equality to the political processes of the states is to say that states should remain free to discriminate—to impose this pain and humiliation on gay men and lesbians and their children—for as long as they wish, without justification. The Constitution forbids such an indecent result. It did not tolerate it in separate schools and drinking fountains, it did not tolerate it with respect to bans on interracial marriage, and it does not tolerate it here."

And of course, the reason that the Constitution forbids such things is because the Constitution actually identifies racial discrimination as a national problem, and because subsequent national laws have specifically forbidden racial discrimination.

Boies and Olson both know very well that constitutional lawyers, legal academia and -- most importantly -- the courts, have all viewed racial discrimination as a suspect classification, and demanding of the highest constitutional scrutiny.

Boies and Olson have deliberately fudged on the issue as to whether gay marriage, which is a brand new trend, in a minority of states, and opposed in a majority of the states, is really a fundamental liberty right. They cannot claim with stright faces that gays are a suspect classification. No case has ever held that, and we know damn well that there aren't five votes to support such a classification. Kennedy tipped his hand on that, in Lawrence v. Texas.

Boies and Olson are free to argue what they think is right. But the real question is what legal historical basis they have for their argument, and the answer is largely "none." Gay rights are not mentioned in the constitution. Gay rights have never been a "suspect classification." Under ordinary rules of constitutional interpretation, gays are not a suspect class, and the state should need only a rational basis for any discrimination in their affairs. And, states can articulate such a rational basis in the interest of promoting the understanding, borne of several centuries of human experience, that families consisting of mothers and fathers together are one of the central foundations of our society.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Lyssa:

I see that you have some justice on your side in your dealing with metaphoric use of "marriage." I retract my "Seriously...."

n.n said...

The purpose of discriminating between various forms and kinds of relationships, whether sexual or platonic, is because a society has an interest in remaining biologically viable. A society, and humanity, really, has an interest in promoting productive relationships, beginning with biological productivity. A homosexual union offers no greater value to a society or humanity than a platonic relationship. It has less value than a corporate relationship where individuals form a productive union for economic production.

It's noteworthy that advocates for homosexual marriage demonstrate a unique prejudice in their pursuit of selective rights and benefits. This is a prejudice which is not often exhibited, has been mostly overcome in America, but is still common throughout most of the world, especially Third World nations.

Inga said...

Lyssa, brava!

Marshal said...

Exclusion from the institution of marriage marks those couples and their children with a badge of inferiority. The damage this does to their hearts and minds is immeasurable—and the damage it does to all of us and our belief in the nation's ideal of equality is incalculable.

Total bullshit. Are kids of single parents inferior?

Nathan Alexander said...

@Lyssa,
Nathan, you have a lot to say about things you know little about.

This is a losing argument.

You don't know what I know.

I am not going to take the time to provide exhaustive lists of source material for everything I know.

This is a blog.

However, I can (and do) back up everything I say.

For you to resort to "you don't know anything" rather than address the actual points I have brought up is pretty much substituting personal attack for discussion based on logic and evidence.

Based on your comments, it is obvious and undeniable have vastly more experience in marriage, divorce, and child custody than you do.

It is also obvious that you choose to ignore or otherwise fail to remember easily available information about the facts of marriage, divorce, and law.

Men and women are not treated the same by law.

Our entire marriage and divorce system is based on addressing inequalities, imbalances, differences and disparities between men women.

These inequalities, imbalances, differences, and disparities don't exist in same-sex relationships.

Some people in heterosexual relationships address those inequalities, imbalances, differences, and disparities without having to resort to legal redress.

But the system is going to choke and collapse on same-sex marriage.

If you cannot even imagine some possibilities of how this will harm children and society, then you are incapable of performing even basic risk analysis.

Sofa King said...

The "no legitimate interest" argument seems like a terrible one to me, because it is, in sense, arguing from ignorance, a clear logical fallacy. It immediately calls to mind the Koan of Chesterton's Gate:

"In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, "I don't see the use of this; let us clear it away." To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: "If you don't see the use of it, I certainly won't let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it."

This paradox rests on the most elementary common sense. The gate or fence did not grow there. It was not set up by somnambulists who built it in their sleep. It is highly improbable that it was put there by escaped lunatics who were for some reason loose in the street. Some person had some reason for thinking it would be a good thing for somebody. And until we know what the reason was, we really cannot judge whether the reason was reasonable. It is extremely probable that we have overlooked some whole aspect of the question, if something set up by human beings like ourselves seems to be entirely meaningless and mysterious. There are reformers who get over this difficulty by assuming that all their fathers were fools; but if that be so, we can only say that folly appears to be a hereditary disease. But the truth is that nobody has any business to destroy a social institution until he has really seen it as an historical institution. If he knows how it arose, and what purposes it was supposed to serve, he may really be able to say that they were bad purposes, that they have since become bad purposes, or that they are purposes which are no longer served. But if he simply stares at the thing as a senseless monstrosity that has somehow sprung up in his path, it is he and not the traditionalist who is suffering from an illusion.


In other words, if you can't event understand why people think the current constitution of marriage is sound policy, you are not qualified to have an informed opinion on the subject.

Nathan Alexander said...

@Lyssa,
I'm a divorce lawyer. I've had far more than 5 minutes. I am sorry, however, that you had a bad time at it in your first marriage. It's a terrible system, regardless of the gender issues

How can you be a divorce lawyer and not see/understand how the law is written to be applied differently to men and women?

Are you the only divorce lawyer in the entire US who doesn't see the system is geared toward women?

Why are you so strongly invested in refusing to see reality?

Multiple lawyers, multiple states: the mother gets custody of the kids unless she can be proven to be incompetent, and sometimes not even then.

I like to take people at face value and I generally don't like to doubt what people say about themselves, but if you really claim that divorce/family court treats men and women the same, that the law is written and applied equally, then there is no reason to believe are divorce lawyer.

edutcher said...

Inga said...

Lyssa, brava!

When the She Devil of the SS has nothing to say, she always finds a way to say it

MayBee said...

Good point, Marshal.

Methadras said...

Homosexuals have equal rights for fucks sake. Can we stop this verbal canard once and for all? Besides, simply saying gays, is discriminatory to lesbians. However, I wonder why any leftist is loath to use the word homosexual to describe both male and female of that sexual orientation.

Fr Martin Fox said...

A Catholic writer, Mark Shea, makes the point that marriage has already been almost entirely ruined by our culture, and it's practically a corpse; the fight over redefining marriage amounts to slicing up the corpse and re-assembling it in new ways unrelated to what the corpse looked like while animated.

That argument has a lot of merit, including making clear the the ruination of marriage is not something to blame on gays--which is one of the arguments some make.

Easy divorce laws were and are a deeply damaging redefinition of marriage, as a matter of law; and the society's embrace of contraception and fornication are a cultural redefinition of marriage as no longer essentially being about family, but about the satisfaction of the needs of the two who give consent.

Not that any of this justifies mutilating the corpse, because the corpse of marriage can be reanimated; and rearranging the corpse's parts doesn't help toward that.

Chuck said...

Fr Martin Fox said...
Has anyone else here noticed the full-court press by NPR for redefining marriage during the past week or two?

I realize NPR has been on board for a long time; but lately, no effort has been spared. Not just stories directly on the cases before the Supreme Court, but also every attempt to highlight the cause in other stories. Example: a story this morning on how inconvenient TV remotes are provided an opportunity to talk to a little girl who needed help from her "dads" to use the remote.

Just a coincidence, no doubt!


Yes, Father Martin, I noticed it and I sent an email to the Ombudsman, having counted 20 major NPR stories or NPR.org headlines in the space of just 10 days. All BEFORE the day of the Hollingsworth oral argument. And that is an undercount for most public radio stations, where there are a variety of shows, both local and syndicated, that are not featured in searches of NPR.org. As of Monday this week, the stroy count went up even further, of course. But I wanted to stop my count before the news cycle in which the story was part of the daily news.

I expect that the Ombudsman will be posting something about the subject. Watch the Ombudsman's blog for more on the subject:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/ombudsman/

In 30 years of NPR-listening, I can't recall a similar campaign.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Chuck:

I predict the ombuds-scient being (meant in a non-speciesist way) will explain it away. Just a remarkable coincidence!

Fr Martin Fox said...

That should have been ombuds-sentient being...ruined whatever hope that joke had.

Real American said...

sorry, but feeling bad about yourself is not legal damage.

Brew Master said...

Ann Althouse said...

If the only purpose of a law is to stamp a badge of inferiority on some people, it lacks a legitimate interest. All laws must have a legitimate interest.


What is the legitimate interest of the state sanctioning marriage? Why are single people being 'stamped with a badge of inferiority'? There must be a legitimate interest in doing so.

The laws against incest and polygamy and so forth can be supported by other articulable interests.

Same question, what is the legitimate interest in the state banning incest and polygamy?

I am attempting to mediate, to bring you over to the right side on this social issue.

This is an awfully arrogant statement, that you are 'right'. You may think you are right, but opponents think you are wrong.

Why do you not say "I am attempting to mediate, to bring you over to MY side of this social issue?

And, I can't ask this strongly enough, what are the state interests in sanctioning marriage?

ALP said...

"Exclusion from the institution of marriage marks those couples and their children with a badge of inferiority."

"...this pain and humiliation on gay men and lesbians and their children.."
*************************
Fucking A. I am so sick of articles like this that liken not being able to marry to a disfiguring disease like a humpback.

And when was the last time children suffered terrible humiliation at having unmarried parents? 1975? Its the kids from intact families that seem to be in the minority.

This campaign has produced some of the worst, over the top, dramatic dreck I have ever read. Just when I think I've seen the worst example of overly dramatic writing, something like this tops it. Its as if writing like a teenage girl was a requirement for writing any article about SSM.

EMD said...

he Hollingsworth oral argument

Shouldn't it be an anal argument?

Just sayin'.

EMD said...

I have close friends who are telling me that I am being too nice, giving you any air at all with what they call bigotry.


And anyone here gives a shit about what your friends might think ... why?

Don't get me wrong ... I love your attitude toward free speech. Really, I do. You are a bastion of liberty in a sea of PC bullshit.

Marshal said...

The laws against incest and polygamy and so forth can be supported by other articulable interests.

I'd like to know what these are supposed to be. The articulable interests between marriage and SSM result in accusations of bigotry. Further the existence of "articulable interests" is being proven irrelevant before our eyes and with the full support of the person making this claim.

In fact the only difference between SSM and poly-marriage is the size of the group pushing for it, which is an invalid distinction in a "rights" analysis.

DADvocate said...

marriage has already been almost entirely ruined by our culture, and it's practically a corpse

Quite true. I'm essentially anti-marriage. Any man who gets married is a fool risking his life (how many women get away with murder by claiming they were abused?), fortune and future. Any gay person who gets married is equally foolish or worse as most won't have the benefit of children. Fighting for the "right" of SSM is akin to fighting for the right to sit in the worst corner of hell.

jr565 said...

Gays have equal rights. They can marry members of the opposite sex. Marriage is defined for them the same way its defined for everyone else.

jr565 said...

Althouse wrote:
If the only purpose of a law is to stamp a badge of inferiority on some people, it lacks a legitimate interest. All laws must have a legitimate interest.

The laws against incest and polygamy and so forth can be supported by other articulable interests.

utter bullshit. That's the PURPOSE of traditional marriage? To stamp a badge of inferiority on some people? I don't think you know what purpose means.
I thought the purpose of marriage was to promote the family structure of people who have kids and who are biologically responsible for them, so that the state doesn't raise them.

How about if I argue that the PURPOSE of gay marriage is to deprive kids of mommies or daddies?

jr565 said...

If the only purpose of a law is to stamp a badge of inferiority on some people, it lacks a legitimate interest. All laws must have a legitimate interest.

The laws against incest and polygamy and so forth can be supported by other articulable interests.

Once you understand that legal concept, you should see that your argument is sophistry.

your argument is sophistry. The articulable interest supporting traditional marriage is biological. Unless you want to argue that society shouldn't promote the relationship that produces children above all others, or suggest that somehow this isn't THE articulable interest that would cause society to promote a marriage at all, then you don't know what the words mean.

And at any rate, who is defining articulable interests? The people restricting the practice? How convenient for you. Only, isn't that the same argument for restricting gay marriage?

jr565 said...

Lyssa wrote:
That may have been true 50 years ago, and it may be true in some families, but on the whole, what you wrote is based on outdated sex stereotypes. In case you haven't heard, women are considered equals these days.

in terms of getting jobs! And earning pay for work. But not biologically. Is the mommy the same as the daddy?
In terms of socialization, having a mother and father in the household socialized a child to fundamental relationships that they most likely will be in themselves, since the majority of them will be heterosexual. And while a single parent raising a kid is not the end of the world, having a dad there gives boys ideas on how to become men (and similarly for mommies and girls). That is the IDEAL framework and why its promoted over all other relationships, not only in the US but throughout. History.

To argue, as many gay marriage advocates do that there is no logical reason to promote traditional marriage assumes that biology and sociology doesn't matter at all.
And that is complete bullshit.

So yeah, if we're talking about employment opportunities, women should have the same opportunities. But that doesn't mean that women are the same as men physically or biologically. And to assume that there is no difference or the two are interchangeable is a dangerous fallacy.

Erika said...

I have close friends who are telling me that I am being too nice, giving you any air at all with what they call bigotry.

I am attempting to mediate, to bring you over to the right side on this social issue. You're getting stranded on the wrong side of a bridge, making bad, stale jokes at the people who've already crossed.


Ha ha ha!

A. it is impossible to overstate the irrelevance of what your friends think of me and my fellow readers, and

B. do you often find that a pitiable degree of unjustifiable condescension coupled with total lack of understanding of sincere and well-thought out arguments helps you to win friends and influence people?

Aridog said...

Lyssa...

First, I cited your authority source, and the difference between marry and marriage is irrelevant, and for this thread, certainly is not really about ketchup or hose couplings. I presumed you didn't need a link to find Merriam Webster. Then you accuse me of excluding something I absolutely did NOT exclude...

... you, without including the link, BTW, selectively edited the quote you did use to exclude the part that completely contradicted your argument. Let me finish it: " 2): the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/marriage)

I said at 9:55 AM :

"Lyssa ...let me quote one of your citations (Merriam-Webster) that you assert says nothing about "opposites."

Definition of MARRIAGE

1a (1): the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law

1a (2): the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage

...[snip]...

Note which definition is cited first, as primary. It is disingenuous of you to say "opposites' are not mentioned and included."


In fact I emphasized the "like that of" aspect of the secondary definition.

I take back that you are disingenuous...you are merely a liar with reading comprehension difficulties.

With this I again quit the discussion, because it is going no where, and because I really and truly do not give a shit.

Aridog said...

Before I go, I need to point out that there were two editorials in the Wall Street Journal today on SSM, published on the same Opinion Page one after the other. The un-cited editorial calls for a democratic process not a judicial process. The Marriage Debate: Let Democracy Work...

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