April 3, 2013

"I mean, what would prohibit you from saying that you’re gay, and y’all get married and still live as separate, but you get all the benefits?"

"I just see so much abuse in this it’s unreal. I believe a husband and a wife should be a man and a woman, the benefits should be for a man and a woman. There is no way that this is about equality. To me, it’s all about a free ride."

Why is that problem any different from a man and a woman getting married when they're not actually interested in sleeping together in the same bed? Once government benefits are tied to marriage, benefits become part of the calculation when people decide to get married, and whether anyone actually feels like having sex is none of the government's business.

138 comments:

MayBee said...

The government is very interested if people sleep in the same bed if they suspect someone got married for the benefit of a green card.

Bender said...

Once government benefits are tied to marriage, benefits become part of the calculation when people decide to get married, and whether anyone actually feels like having sex is none of the government's business.

Thanks for making the argument of why children should be allowed to marry their parents and gain the unlimited marital estate/gift tax deduction.

X said...

polygamous gay incestuous marriage is the estate planning of the future. the rich will have no qualms about using it.

whoresoftheinternet said...

@Maybee:

That's a nice semit- fiction you've got going there.

Once it was true, but now, the government deports absolutely no one except white people.

So it only applies if the people are white. Otherwise, marrying for a green card not only isn't investigated or punished, but not necessary, given the shamnesty about to occur by governmental fiat.

And to think that Cesar Chavez actually was firmly anti-illegal immigrant and pro-closed borders.

Enjoy the decline, amigos!

SteveR said...

Actually there are married couples who get benefits by getting divorced. Mom becomes eligible for all sorts of free stuff while Dad still hangs around.

The point being, in any scenario that involves "benefits" there will be those who take advantage of them perhaps illegally. So we should go the other direction not create more.

X said...

don't be prejudiced against "gay" people.

n.n said...

The real problem, and tragedy, is that after dispensing with objective standards of biological imperatives, and evolutionary fitness, homosexual activists and their heterosexual patrons continue to discriminate against the rights and benefits of other unions. There is no longer a credible reason to discriminate between unions based on sexual or platonic relationships, kinds and forms, numbers and combinations.

Why does there remain a unique prejudice on the Left?

Sure they sacrifice human lives for profit and convenience, but how do they justify arbitrary discrimination and deprive individuals of equal protection, and equal rights and benefits?

All decent men and women will reject progressive, incremental discrimination.

All decent men and women will reject arbitrary and capricious acts of premeditated murder.

All decent men and women will support equal civil and human rights, irrespective of age and other features.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Here is one possible angle.

Marriage can be whatever any of the 50 States says it is.

But tax benefits are only earned by: 1. Being married and 2. having (a) child(ren) - your own or legally adopted.

This gets back to the original intent of giving help to those who 'sacrifice' to bring along the next generation of homo sapiens.

And it doesn't reward those who don't.

There is no reason that two people who get married with no intention of bring along the next generation, should have a tax break. None at all.

X said...

when everyone is special, no one is.

Smilin' Jack said...

""I mean, what would prohibit you from saying that you’re gay, and y’all get married and still live as separate, but you get all the benefits?""

It works the other way too. A lot of gay couples are pissed off that now they have to get officially married in order to keep their "domestic partner" benefits.

gregq said...

Gee, maybe because men and women are different? So living with a member of the opposite sex is a bigger deal than living with a member of the same sex.

Or, you know, maybe because people have a lot more respect for real marriage than they would have for same sex "marriage", so while pretending to be married to a woman strikes a guy as wrong, whereas pretending to be married to another guy is just a big joke.

Inga said...

Take away Meade and Althouse's tax break!

If they adopt a dog, does that count?

Bender said...

That's just it, X, why bother having a will or convoluted trust when you can just marry the beneficiary or beneficiaries instead?

Especially in the DOMA case, since their main claim of injury is not gaining a tax advantage, how can this not open the door to marriage as a purely estate planning tool?

Bob Ellison said...
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Bob Ellison said...
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Bender said...

When government marriage becomes a complete farce, as it is quickly becoming, why not use it for tax avoidance purposes?

X said...

I don't want you bigots getting bigotty about Warren Buffett marrying his grandchildren. a billionaire's love is different than that of a square.

bgates said...

Why is that problem any different from a man and a woman getting married when they're not actually interested in sleeping together in the same bed?

Women are less willing than men to make ethical compromises.

Sofa King said...

But tax benefits are only earned by: 1. Being married and 2. having (a) child(ren) - your own or legally adopted.

As a single person I support this.

Bob Ellison said...

HELLO!

I am thanking you for receiving this message. It is with utmost importance that I communicate to you that the death of my father has left me with TWO HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS and I need your help to secure it.

If you will marry me in a state where that sort of thing goes down, I will remit to your bank account ten percent, or TWENTY MILLION DOLLARS, of my inheritance. Please respond immediately with your account details.

Hagar said...

Althouse is being wilfully obtuse.

There has been instances of people getting married and not living together, or divorced and living together, for tax reasons, but they have been rare.

With the institution of marriage being increasingly depreciated, these instances will increase.

And if SSM is "legalized" on the grounds presented, I do not see how other claimed persuasions can be denied the benefits of "marriage," which will turn the whole situation into a general farce, not respected by anyone.

MayBee said...

The government is asking all of us to be financially interested in making sure women, if they are sleeping with anyone, get their birth control needs met. For no additional charge.
So it's not like the government stays out of our sex lives.

EMD said...

Here's a crazy concept: No tax benefits for anyone!

Flat tax rate. It is what it is. No deductions. No loopholes. Post card tax form.

Put a lot of accountants and lawyers out of work, but hey, share the wealth of pain!

Drago said...

Ann: "Why is that problem any different from a man and a woman getting married when they're not actually interested in sleeping together in the same bed?"

How often does this really occur I wonder (apart from retirees)?

Drago said...

Inga: "If they adopt a dog, does that count?"

Count towards what?

n.n said...

SomeoneHasToSayIt:

That was indeed the original intent.

We the People of the United States ... secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity

So, the issue is not whether a relationship is sexual or platonic, but whether it is formed for purposes of procreation or guardianship.

Either way, the homosexual activists and their heterosexual patrons distort and confuse the issue. Since they are acting out of personal interest, and do not seek equal rights for all procreative relationships and guardianships, we can only conclude that they discriminate with arbitrary and dubious reasoning.

That said, there remains an open question of basic human rights. Decent men and women cannot discriminate against another man or woman based on their age or stage of development. They certainly cannot terminate another human life in order to preserve their wealth and welfare. At least not without cause and following due process. This means that decent men and women cannot be pro-abortion/choice.

I wonder how decent men and women reconcile abortion/choice and their concern for human life. After all, these decent men and women are willing to sacrifice human life for money and other "benefits." They must have an ulterior motive.

edutcher said...

That redneck broad is gonna get the Full Court Alinsky for saying that.

She can't go around telling the truth like she's Sarah Palin or somebody.

Ann Althouse said...

Why is that problem any different from a man and a woman getting married when they're not actually interested in sleeping together in the same bed?

You mean like Willie and Hillary!, or the Edwardses, or the Os?

Renee said...

But being married, I'm denied all sort of benefits as a mother with four children because the state of Massachusetts considers my husband's income. If I had sex with four different guys and the Department of Revenue couldn't chase them down for child support, I would need government subsidies from healthcare to daycare. Housing, food, utilities as well.

My congresswoman should thank me, my uterus saved her district from being cut up when Massachusetts lost a seat due to population loss.

X said...

here's a crazier idea EMD: equal tax breaks for everyone AKA lower taxes. it has a very judoish feel too.

Susan Stewart Rich said...

"a man and a woman getting married when they're not actually interested in sleeping together"

Does spooning every night count as "sleeping together".

Inga said...

Drago, count towards having children.

X said...

wife: I have a headache tonight

husband: it's less than 2 weeks until April 15th and the regulations clearly state...

bagoh20 said...

Regardless of gender, how does the government separate marriages entered just for tax reason from those for other reasons, and why are those reasons more legitimate?

Dante said...

Why is that problem any different from a man and a woman getting married when they're not actually interested in sleeping together in the same bed?

First, you have it backwards. The STATE has an interest in promoting heterosexual unions for the purpose of procreation.

Second, heterosexuals by in large are into the procreation thing.

I'm so sick of the idea you can make "perfect" law. Like OSHA, with it's floor to ceiling rules that no one can fully understand, less comply with. The result is enforcement becomes arbitrary.

Renee said...

If the dog is from a shelter or if you neuter your cat, that should be a tax break.

Sigivald said...

Once government benefits are tied to marriage, benefits become part of the calculation when people decide to get married, and whether anyone actually feels like having sex is none of the government's business.

So why tie benefits to "marriage" if not to encourage the sort of family pattern that "marriage" represented when that process started?

(I'd be happy to see the State stop caring if anyone's married.

Slightly less so to see them hand out benefits to anyone who registers some Notional Pair Bond*.

This hybrid system where we call it marriage, pretend it's The Thing Marriage Was, and then also say it's Not That Thing, is just incoherent.)

(* Of course, it won't stop at that. I have already heard people saying, in complete sincerity and as advocates of such a change, "Poly Marriage Is Next".

Which is the great part of "getting the State out of Marriage" - it stops mattering to everyone!)

BDNYC said...
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Renee said...

Dante, not really. Most people do not equate sex and babies. Just odd religious people. I forget that a lot.

BDNYC said...

Pretty simple: because the nature of the relationship being sanctioned and encouraged by the state actually matters. Fraudulent marriages are fraudulent.

It will be easier for buddies, whether male or female, to shamelessly game the system now that another impediment to fraud has been eliminated. The pool of possible co-conspirators has doubled.

bagoh20 said...

What Althouse is doing here is that rapid running in place thing that you do right before you fall on your face on the slippery slope. It involves a lot of "why would that change anything?" and "what difference does it make?", and "do you think people would really do that, just because they could?", and "why would men act any different than women?"

It's a learning process without the learning.

Bender said...

To be sure, any estate planning lawyer who does not now advise parents to marry their children, brothers to marry their brothers, and grandparents to marry all 12 of their grandchildren (not to mention, wasn't there a story here a few months ago about someone in France that wanted to get married to someone who had died?), any lawyer who doesn't advise that will be guilty of malpractice.

Bender said...

A man murdered by the Toulouse gunman will be able to marry his fiancée.

X said...

Elizabeth Warren was willing to put up with all the overt racism, oppression, and prejudice of being an Indian on an Ivy League campus for a few hundred grand a year, so I can see the rich going "gay" to save millions.

Quayle said...

Ann, you've finally arrived at the central point.

What is marriage if it isn't the only relationship in which sex is not only socially permitted, but is expected?

To call it something else destroys every law ever put forth that triggers different handling based upon marriage.

Annulment laws? Meaningless.

Probate laws? Materially altered.

Tax laws? A fascist sham if they dare question the validity of a marriage to overrule a filer's claim of benefits based on marriage.

Immigration laws? Also a fascist sham in so far as they claim the right to delineate benefits that depend on what they deem to be a valid marriage.

how ironic it will be that churches will likely be pressured into accommodation of the many-carried facets of this new marriage thing, but the IRS won't.

Need I go on?

This isn't a redefinition of the word marriage. Everyone well knows what a marriage is.

This is a direct and willful strike at the axiom that society is nothing more than rules by which we all live.

You argue for maximum freedom for others. How will more stringent immigration, tax, probate, and other laws to plug the holes mean maximum freedom?

We'll all be forced to shoulder the added burden which restricts our freedom. Just as we do and and have been so restricted by all the fatherless children for whom we all INEFFECTIVELY pay.

It has never been wrong and shall never be wrong for a society to state what is allowed and what isn't.

To say otherwise is to pretend something comes from nothing, order from chaos, happiness from division.

Susan Stewart Rich said...

Focusing on sex as the most important element of any type of marriage makes sex in any type of marriage very unsexy. It also makes any type of marraige very undesirable.

Quayle said...

So, I guess we'll trade a orderly and well functioning society for sexy sex.

That about sums up last bunch of years, doesn't it.

n.n said...

Renee:

PETA may support that. However, you would have to include ethical acts of euthanasia.

They would probably also demand a tax break for their effort to establish equivalence between humans and cows through the exploitation of women.

Never mind. They are already a for-profit "non-profit", tax exempt business. Perhaps another activist business would support your proposal.

David said...

Althouse, your point that heterosexual couples have the same opportunity to marry for government "benefits" is correct. Certainly there are some heterosexuals who marry to get social security, pensions, estate tax benefits or for other financial reasons that emanate from government policies.

However, since a much larger percentage of gay married couples will not have children, gays may have less constraint in gaming the system for tax and other benefits. There are no children to piss off or disappoint, and there's no tradition of a homemaker who is entitled to divorce payments at a high level because of this contribution. I suspect that it will be much easier to uphold prenups for childless gays than for heterosexuals, and heavy duty support may be more rare.

So gays may game the system with benefit driven marriages more than heterosexuals because they are in a better position to do so.

The question then becomes, so what? While the gay percentage doing this may be higher, the absolute number will likely be lower. Is the government really going to get into the business of whether marriages of two legal residents are shams for benefit purposes? I doubt it, even in this intrusive era.

The real marriage problem in this country is heterosexual couples who reproduce but do not marry. The ability to do so is a nice progressive idea until the bleak reality of underfathered and fatherless children, black and white, becomes clear. Then it's obvious what a massive mistake we have made in coming to a society where it's not clear that marriage is designed primarily for the nurturing and protection of children.

n.n said...

X:

That wouldn't work. The Left gains power through symbolic gestures and promises to fulfill dreams of material (e.g. money), physical (e.g. abortion), and ego (e.g. self-esteem) instant gratification. They cannot reasonably lower taxes without imperiling their bottom-line.

Think of the votes, real and manufactured.

Susan Stewart Rich said...

@Quayle - people love sex, especially when it's sexy. Always have, always will. That well-functioning society you speak of was based on the rules created by a sexy sex-driven society. The rules don't change, just the fashion trends. What was once the sexiest sex is now stale and mainstream.

jimbino said...

Marriage may, or may not, involve ceremony, love, sex, cohabitation, or breeding. You can have a legitimate marriage in Amerika without ANY of those.

Not, however, if you want to be joined by your new foreign wife. If you can't explain to the migra which side of which bed the two of you sleep in, you will not live together in Amerika.

And forget it if you're gay and want to be joined by your foreign partner. In spite of the fact that you do all the "marriage" things, you will not live together in Amerika.

The migra sucks bigtime.

chickelit said...

Why is that problem any different from a man and a woman getting married when they're not actually interested in sleeping together in the same bed?

One answer is in the title of your previous post.

chickelit said...

The migra sucks bigtime.

Is migra the sound Ross Perot was warning us about a generation ago?

Susan Stewart Rich said...

"You can have a legitimate marriage in Amerika without ANY [sex]."

@jimbino: but you have "grounds" for divorce if your spouse doesn't have sex with you.

Nathan Alexander said...

So...when homosexuals have sexual intercourse that ends up in pregnancy (because very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very few homosexuals are 100% exclusively homosexual their entire life...which is one of the way "gay" "genes" get passed on), and the homosexuals are already in a marriage with someone else, what are the possible unintended consequences arising from this all-too-real hypothetical?

Susan Stewart Rich said...

by the way, it's the internet's fault for making good old-fashioned sexy-sex so unsexy so quickly. Thanks Al Gore.

Barry Dauphin said...

Once government benefits are tied to marriage, benefits become part of the calculation when people decide to get married, and whether anyone actually feels like having sex is none of the government's business.

Aren't alienation of affection and adultery potential grounds for divorce, thus making whether anyone has sex or whom they have it with potentially the government's business in granting a divorce?

creeley23 said...

Aside from immigration advantages, what sort of benefits are there for two people, whatever sexes might be involved, to setup a sham marriage to game the system?

Quayle said...

Yeah, it is a curious thing that once-sexy sex becomes boring and stale and new kinds of sex are needed to keep the jolt in.

it almost seems like unbounded sex is......dare I say it in such a hip and sexy generation?......degenerative.

As in abusing the ability to feel actually diminishes and eventually robs people of the ability to feel.

except the girls in college now can verify this fact - as the more their peer boys look at porn, the less passionate their sex with those boys.

the women can feel it, even of they don't want to openly admit it.

Renee said...

When we bought our home from a couple going through a divorce, no one could take the dog. The dog was surrendered.

Pets needs stability too and someone to get home in the middle of the day, so they can go pee outside.

jr565 said...

Quayle wrote:
It has never been wrong and shall never be wrong for a society to state what is allowed and what isn't.

even worse, althouse seems to think this is true for things like polygamy but not true for gay marriage. So she's not even consistent about her absolutism.

SGT Ted said...

Tax fraud IS our business, Althouse.

Synova said...

You get the benefits, but when the other guy divorces you, you get screwed just as if you were married for real.

Why shouldn't two random people (or anyone else) get the benefits of being married? Sharing living expenses... that seems like a public good. Having someone with legal authority and obligation to take care of you if you get sick or screw up financially... that seems like a public good.

What significant benefits are there for "married" people who have separate homes? Or even separate incomes? I thought that the deal was, basically, we tax a person supporting other adults at a lower rate than we tax a person who is only supporting herself. Does it matter if the other adult is a sex partner, or wouldn't supporting another adult who is some other relative be just as socially desirable? Your aged mother... your disabled sibling... all SORTS of people that would be better off (or at least society would be better off) if they were supported by family instead of the state.

Susan Stewart Rich said...

"Pets needs stability too and someone to get home in the middle of the day, so they can go pee outside."

@Renee: Pets don't need to go pee outside, humans need them to go pee outside.

Synova said...

It can't be automatically better with massive benefits to being married if people sometimes find it better in their own lives to take the "married, filing separately" option.

Susan Stewart Rich said...

the 'married, filing separately' option."

Now that makes for some steamy foreplay. Seriously.

jr565 said...

Synova wrote;
Does it matter if the other adult is a sex partner, or wouldn't supporting another adult who is some other relative be just as socially desirable? Your aged mother... your disabled sibling

Agreed, If marriage is not even about sex, then what really would the problem be in marrying your mom? If you were simply marrying her to stay on her health plan for example. You wouldn't even have to worry about the incestual aspect of it, ti would simply be two people having a financial involvement using the vehicle of marriage to get their benefits.
We could change the name of "Marriage" to "Benefits" and then let any two people (but only two people, still are sticklers for the concept of a couple for some reason)contracxt with one another.



Baron Zemo said...

"Pets needs stability too and someone to get home in the middle of the day, so they can go pee outside."

"Pets don't need to go pee outside, humans need them to go pee outside."

Or you could just borrow pets so you can have a pretend pet.

Just like you can have a pretend marriage.

Marshal said...

Synova said...
It can't be automatically better with massive benefits to being married if people sometimes find it better in their own lives to take the "married, filing separately" option.


The MFS filing status is never financially beneficial; it's draconian. Its only purpose is to allow an out for splitting couples who cannot deal with each other.

jr565 said...

Maybee wrote:
The government is very interested if people sleep in the same bed if they suspect someone got married for the benefit of a green card.

Very good point. What of it Althouse?

But then again, the associated press just banned the words illegal alien from their vocabulary. Who's to now argue that those trying to get in the country through marriage is doing so illegally.

Gerard Depardieu wouldnt even have to answer any questions and coordinate the charade with Any McDowell to get his green card. THey could just say they are married and that's that.

How many hoops are we supposed to jump through just so that gays can have a right that doesnt exist. And how much redefining must we do to the institution but also to all laws tied to marriage just to accomodate gayS in an institution that was never created for them?

furious_a said...

...why bother having a will or convoluted trust when you can just marry the beneficiary or beneficiaries instead?

Woody Allen and Morgan Freeman are way ahead of the curve here...

Shanna said...

I think if we're going to do this thing, you might as well allow everyone who wants to couple up (in a non romantic way) with friends, siblings etc to share benefits. I've long been thinking this should be true for health benefits at work.

Susan Stewart Rich said...

@Shanna: so what would that be called? No-sex marriage? Asex marriage?

chickelit said...

I've long been thinking this should be true for health benefits at work.

Why not just offload everybody's subsidized healthcare onto businesses and see what happens to hiring?

Marshal said...

Shanna said...
I think if we're going to do this thing, you might as well allow everyone who wants to couple up (in a non romantic way) with friends, siblings etc to share benefits. I've long been thinking this should be true for health benefits at work.


It's awfully nice of you to volunteer them for this liability.

Bob Ellison said...

I'd like to couple up with the population of China.

Erika said...

@Shanna: so what would that be called? No-sex marriage? Asex marriage?

Now Susan, don't be daft: you can't risk stigmatizing people and their marriages by adding a modifier to create two classes of people and their pairings. All decent people know this. A marriage is whatever its members want it to be, and only vile bigots would be gauche enough to suggest that there's such a thing as, you know, marraige-marriage.

chickelit said...

I'd like to couple up with the population of China.

Everybody, couple up for safety!

Couple up for safety, couple up!
Couple up for safety, always couple up!
Show the world you care by the ring you wear,
Couple up for safety, everybody, couple up!

Shouting Thomas said...

Just getting through all of the issues surrounding gay marriage is absolutely exhausting.

I think this issue could probably swallow up 50% of our GDP and keep us occupied for 50 years.

Big Mike said...

Today there are bad, sometimes very bad heterosexual marriages, and sham heterosexual marriages for financial purposes are scarcely unknown. That there may be bad homosexual marriages or homosexual marriages strictly for financial purposes scarcely is a reason to rule them out.

Susan Stewart Rich said...

"Now Susan, don't be daft: you can't risk stigmatizing people and their marriages by adding a modifier to create two classes of people and their pairings. All decent people know this. A marriage is whatever its members want it to be, and only vile bigots would be gauche enough to suggest that there's such a thing as, you know, marraige-marriage."

Daft? Wow - who uses that word? Bigot? Really? That's creative. All you have to do these days to win an argument is put it in a sentence, aim and fire.

I'm simply riffing - playing the devil's advocate, the gadfly, the philosophical imp. These aint fightin words.

Erika said...

Susan--whoosh!



CWJ said...

On this tiresome topic, best comment thread Evah!

All law, all regulation distorts behaviour! You can use "influences" if distorts is too strong for you. And yes the distortion is initially socially positive.

But like nearly all law, the goal is to preserve the law (in this case benefits) not the societal reason that engendered the law in the first place.

So we add epicycles to the planets' orbits to preserve the Ptolomaic system.

Frankly, I welcome the state's concept of marriage descending into farce. If only the religious institutions can hold out against the power of the state, it will only serve to emphasize the contrast between the one versus the others.

Susan Stewart Rich said...

"I welcome the state's concept of marriage descending into farce"

You shouldn't.

tim in vermont said...

"polygamous gay incestuous marriage is the estate planning of the future. the rich will have no qualms about using it." - X


The adoption was nullified, but the rich guy did try it:

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57370615/fla-man-adopts-his-42-year-old-girlfriend/

Vermin McCann said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jimbino said...

Creely asks:

"Aside from immigration advantages, what sort of benefits are there for two people, whatever sexes might be involved, to setup a sham marriage to game the system?"

There are lots, but here's a big one:

A high-earning man marries 5 indolent, but ever-so-grateful, women, then divorcing each after 10 years, in sequence. At age 62, each of the 5 women, citizen or alien, is entitled to part or all of his social-security benefits, whether he's dead or alive, amounting to a burden to society of between $60,000 and $150,000. and if each lives to 92, the cost to society to support 5 women who never worked, might exceed some $4,500,000.

The return to the single or gay person's companions and caregivers: exactly $000,000,000.

Big Mike said...

Every lesbian partnership I know of, or even suspect, has all the trappings of a marriage except for having someone in the house who pees standing up. I have no trouble with the concept of a marriage between lesbians.

My big concern is with the other gender. Andrew Sullivan, a self-appointed spokesman for male homosexual marriages, used to make the case that there are lots of pathological heterosexual marriages so adding homosexual male marriages to the list makes no difference.

That's not much of a case.

I see a wild ride ahead.

creeley23 said...

jimbino: Thanks. I've lived with women but never married, so I've never thought about it.

That is a serious benefit.

madAsHell said...

Some woman in Seattle married a building. She thought there might be some benefit to it.

Titus said...

I am fag married to a foreigner and we don't get any of these benefits. We file separate taxes. I am not a fucking sucker of the tit of the government.. And we make shit loads of money so we don't give a flying fuck about other fucking breaks that straighty takers get.

Mass does give a fair share of their wealth to taker states though....in the south, natch.

tits.

Carl said...

Why is that problem any different from a man and a woman getting married when they're not actually interested in sleeping together in the same bed?

It's different because it's new. Just because we already have a problem with x% free-riders in the system does not mean we should be utterly indifferent to whether x rises or falls.

I am not saying I agree this is a major problem with SSM. I am just saying that your question is a little silly because it has at least one obvious answer.

Reminds me of Elena Kagan's remarkably silly question at the SCOTUS hearings: Why would we allow old infertile people to marry if marriage is all about encouraging sound child-rearing (i.e. within families)?

The obvious answer is "grandparents," of course. Anyone who can overlook that is someone with a curious lack of appreciation for the importance of the prior generation, doesn't think the example they set matters, or is too blinded by ideology and confirmation bias to think straight. I don't think Kagan is merely an idiot, although the Harvard degree is not what it used to be.

Incidentally, the importance of grandparents should be even more obvious to women: it's a good bet that it explains menopause, that is, why female capacity to be a mother is programmed to terminate well before her life expectancy, and in fact just about the time when she can be expected to be most useful as a grandmother.

Fascinating that the "wise old Latina" and her wise old honky friend -- more or less playing the nation's Heap Big Grandmothers -- completely miss the irony here.

jimbino said...

Creely.

And the trick of marrying 5 women and divorcing each, in series, every 10 years seems tailor-made for the Mormon man at 18, who starts right in fathering children with 5 live-in women, each of which will be his wife for 10 years.

Did I mention that all of 40 kids are also eligible for SS benefits in the case of his death or disability, or simply by his turning 66?

They are so right that the rest of us are idiots.

Inga said...

Carl, what if the elderly couple that marries are both childless? What grandchildren would they be having?

Dante said...

It's a learning process without the learning.

And once in place no matter how bad the idea, it is there forever, and becomes more drag on the economy.

I'd like the crap that has been proven not to work to get fixed first.

chickelit said...

Inga said...
Carl, what if the elderly couple that marries are both childless? What grandchildren would they be having?

How very, very sad for them to have gone through life without life having gone through them, especially if intentional. I feel sorry for them. Do you actually know people like that?

Dante said...

Every lesbian partnership I know of, or even suspect, has all the trappings of a marriage except for having someone in the house who pees standing up. I have no trouble with the concept of a marriage between lesbians.

Even the early favorable studies of children in lesbian households (mostly doctoral types) shows there are significant differences in the children's behavior compared to the norm.

I'd like to see real longitudinal studies of a representative group of lesbian households before the state sanctions that (for instance, allowing adoptions).

I don't care if it isn't fair to the lesbians or the male gays. The children are innocent.

chickelit said...

@Inga: I'm picturing an enormously rich tree of life, ages old, branching and branching and then finally ending at their terminus. The leaf dies and falls off without renewal. Except through others.

Inga said...

Chickelit, yes indeed it is sad. I do know a couple who don't have children, don't you?

chickelit said...

@Inga: One uncle and his wife. But he was embittered from childhood. He's dead now, too.

Thinking back to childhood, no I didn't. I knew of many old couples who lived alone but had had kids. The younger couples I know out here either adopted, foster, or are in a death spiral.

chickelit said...

@Inga: The singletons--bachelors and divorcees are actually very good with our kids.

CWJ said...

Susan Stewart Rich @6:51.

Noted and please don't think that I approve. If we don't descend into the absurd, I don't see any way to effectively defend against the incrementalism that will assault the moral institutions to conform to the secular institutions.

I approve of civil unions. Render unto Caesar etc. Just please leave the other institutions alone. Tax law should not drive this subject.

chickelit said...

@Inga: I just thought of one woman I used to work with. She made a great deal of being without kids. She fostered dogs instead.

Pets and pet culture has subsumed what used to be kids and grandkids. I don't see this trend letting up. My daughter wants to be a veterinarian.

Renee said...

@ CWJ

But tax law drives our behavior, we use it penalize or promote citizens' actions.

Titus said...

Chicklit, persuade your daughter not to be a Vet.

Haven't you read the news lately?

There is a glut of vets and recent grads have no chance of finding a job and have huge student loans.

Tell your daughter, computers, science, math and top tier college (I know liberal and commie)=job.

Titus said...

And chick, us pet freaks agree with you.

The ASPCA gets me to call and donate.

I fucking love dogs. I could live on a farm with tons of dogs and care for them and feed them and walk them.

The farm could not be in Wisconsin though. It would need to be near a fab city with an abundance of brownie hog.

tits.

Inga said...

Chickelit, I'd rather have grandkids than a pet, mine dont shed much, my grandchildren, that is. My daughter's cat is back in Oceanside with her and her boyfriend and his four chihuahuas. They have no children and probably won't, both are 40, divorced and no children from previous marriages.

But one never knows. Should they be allowed to marry, knowing most likely no children will ensue? They would marry for love, BTW.

chickelit said...

Titus said: The farm could not be in Wisconsin though. It would need to be near a fab city with an abundance of brownie hog.

Suppose the demographics of Madison changed? You could inherit and develop "Clumberland" and have sleepovers with other people's pets.

Aridog said...

Titus said...

I am fag married to a foreigner and we don't get any of these benefits. We file separate taxes.

Good for you. If you were married in IRS terms, you would have your joint or single Adjusted Gross Income marginal tax threshold lowered by roughly 50%...e.g., you'd both pay more in taxes, given you both make shit piles of money.

CWJ said...

Renee@8:22.

Exactly. Please read my original comment@6:48.


Petunia said...

Titus, are you aware that the ASPCA is not an animal shelter, but rather an animal advocacy group, so the money you donate will go to those efforts and not to direct care of an animal? If you already know that and are fine with it, great. But a lot of people don't know.

Chickelit, as a veterinarian myself, I would STRONGLY urge your daughter to think things through VERY thoroughly before she makes that choice. HUGE costs, most students graduate with ENORMOUS amounts of debt, and have a hard time finding a job that will pay well enough to pay off those debts in anything approaching a timely manner.

Also, vet med is becoming very corporate; the days of the stand-alone small-animal private practice with a small number of vets are numbered, and there are pluses and minuses to working for the corporate practices. Some vets thrive there. Others do not. Vet schools are NOT known for preparing their grads for the business aspects of practice. That's improving, however.

There ARE opportunities in research and working for pharmaceutical and food companies. There are also shortages of large-animal vets in some areas, but those jobs tend not to pay so well, at least not right away.

It can still be a good career. BUT there are a lot of aspects to the choice that aren't immediately obvious, so I would encourage her to do a LOT of research before applying.

Just my two cents' worth.

chickelit said...

Thanks for the thoughts, Petunia and Titus. She's not even in high school yet so has plenty of time to change her mind. She's wanted to be one though since she was 2 or 3, so it's ingrained. I wouldn't dream of discouraging her dream, if that's what she really wants when it's time.

Henry said...

Maybe everybody should be married to everyone. Let's just do it all in big swoop. Then everyone gets all the benefits.

Roux said...

IMO there are 3 reasons for the push on SSM.

1. Some gay people really really want to normalize their relationships and get "married".

2. It's a tool to destroy the family and society in general.

3. It's a way to make conservatives and Christians look like bigots.

Roux said...

IMO there are 3 reasons for the push on SSM.

1. Some gay people really really want to normalize their relationships and get "married".

2. It's a tool to destroy the family and society in general.

3. It's a way to make conservatives and Christians look like bigots.

Dante said...

My wife, who has rarely worked in our 23 years of marriage, has made the argument it doesn't much help for her to work on account of the tax consequences.

So there is a proof the tax laws do influence individual behavior, and in this case provided incentive for her to be the full time care-taker.

No such incentive exists for gays. They simply won't marry.

Real American said...

since straight men and women (the vast majority of folks) are most likely to naturally produce children together, the state has an interest in promoting those stable relationships and benefiting them. That is a legitimate state interest. That doesn't mean the state has to interrogate every couple seeking a marriage license about their procreative tendencies or intent. A general policy will do.

That doesn't mean everyone must be in that type of relationship - they can be in other types or none. Since these other relationships are different, however, and do not necessarily implicate the same state interest, and the state does not have to promote or benefit them. That may be discriminatory to some, but it's completely legal and constitutional.

wyo sis said...

Renee said...

"Dante, not really. Most people do not equate sex and babies. Just odd religious people. I forget that a lot. "

There is deep sarcasm here. I just can't quite figure out who is perpetrating it.

Shouting Thomas said...

It's amazing... observing this squirrelly attempt to rethink something that never seemed to need rethinking before...

How did we get so stupid?

It takes real effort.

kentuckyliz said...

I think I should get a Social Security death benefit (a whopping $255) when my cat dies. I think I should be able to deduct my cat as a dependent. It's all about the money.

Dante said...

wyo sis:

Before my wife had my first, I didn't understand what it was all about. But once she did, I knew exactly what was going on.

I think a lot of gay people simply don't understand, and will never understand.

phx said...

I think a lot of gay people simply don't understand, and will never understand.

Some people get to experience enlightenment, some people get to wield ultimate power, some people get to be John Keats or Bob Dylan, some people get to experience - maybe die for - the love of their life.

But noted. Gays can't fully experience what your idea of being fully alive is. They aren't you. I guess that must mean you're better.

Dante said...

fucks:

I guess that must mean you're better.

You are missing the point. It's a matter of ones perspective. Gays by and large don't have the perspective, and so can't understand. Anymore than a kid can understand adulthood before going through puberty.

Lem said...

You know what?

The smoking lady, that called Althouse an intellectual, got me thinking… which is not good, considering how the few alcohol survived neurons I have left, could be better put to use. And also considering that, right now, and that is all that matters these days, SSM bears little in the way of cost/benefit for me, to put it mildly. I will admit to not having watched the entire video, when it first went up, but, what little I did watch, stayed with me, enough to go back and watch it in its entirety.

Which, when cobbled together with bits and pieces from here and there, brings me to my own conclusion on SSM.

In short … Same Sex Marriage has the potential of becoming the biggest transfer of bargaining power away from the have-not to the have-mores… sinse, I don’t know, we first discovered that we could get more from cooperation than confrontation?

The following is my attempt at a long-headed version of the conclusion I just mentioned.

I’m not a lawyer, so I’m not going to get into a yin yang about what a contract is… All’s I know is what I remember from the time I was making decent money, and I learned that government contracts had something called “set asides” for women and minorities. Something about leveling the playing field.

And then, I was thinking about how that ties somewhere in my head to a wonderful post titled "The dynamics of the common law and the development of one of the most important technical rules of baseball (the infield fly rule) … although on the surface almost completely different in outlook and philosophy, share significant elements."

From the just linked tread above…

The much-misunderstood infield fly rule was adopted in the 1890s to prevent fielders from taking advantage of a force-out situation at third base. It states that when there are fewer than two outs, and there are men on first and second base, or the bases are loaded, any fly ball in fair territory that, in the judgment of the umpire, is catchable by an infielder “with ordinary effort” is automatically deemed an out, even if the fielder drops the ball. The rule prevents a fielder from intentionally misplaying a fly and then turning a double play by throwing out the runners anticipating a caught fly ball....

And then I remembered something about common law marriages and how these are recognized in some jurisdictions. “Common-law marriage is different from non-marital relationship contracts, which involve two people living together without considering themselves each other's spouses or without legal recognition as spouses in the jurisdiction where the contract was formed. Non-marital relationship contracts are not necessarily recognized from one jurisdiction to another, whereas common-law marriages are legally valid marriages worldwide (if the parties complied with the requirements to form a valid marriage while living in a jurisdiction that allows this form of marriage to be contracted), as was historically the case under the common law of England (hence the name, "common-law marriage").

Lem said...

It seems to me, that, if we are going to revise the, until recently, common understanding of marriage, it begs the question as to just how are we going to do that and not alter/lessen do away with all the niceties of fairness and attempts at a leveled playing field, the now suffering institution, has managed to gain overtime. For more of that niceties stuff, that has only immensely? helped build our civilization, go here and (I was going to say paw trough, but this in the Internet) read again that stuff that Brooks wrote that gave Matt Taibbi the vapors ;)

Now, let’s consider the possibility that Marriage, as we’ve known it, is lost, (to use Rush’s language) and let’s also consider the very strong possibly that I’m no Nostradamus. No, really, I’m not. But, despite or in spite of that, let’s just say, for the sake of Argument, that only some, if not all men of means, will choose NOT to avail themselves of the possibility that legalizing something which if it were NOT for all those things Brooks wrote/quoted… like “Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites...” the men of means would most surely have – at least legally – availed themselves.

Say, the disposition of a Michael Bloomberg, where his appetites lead him to collect women instead of regulations.

And that’s my point, the legal point; the only legal playing field is our attempt at a leveled one… the same that is legally binding for the poor men, it is for the rich man…. One woman at a time… it’s not perfect but… are we sure it’s not worth preserving?

Once marriage as we’ve known it, is no longer the norm, marriage in its new forms, will be that much harder to reach/obtain for a guy of meager means, considering that it may be easier for a woman to just marry one of those rich guys with multiple wives… McWeddings, (McMansions) will be legally sanctioned. For more on what is likely to happen, once we remove the restriction of one man and one woman, please watch the video of the smoking woman that looks like an older Rachel Maddow btw. Something about how the extreme side of assertiveness in men (now, more or less placated) may have to reemerge in its purest form – violence – once the civilizing morays of marriage are removed. Yes… sex is that important.
That’s more or less my own interpretation of what she was getting at btw.

You don't like players,
That's what you say-a,
But you really wouldn't mind a millionaire.
You don't like ballers,
They don't do nothing for ya,
But you'd love a rich man six foot two or taller.


Amy Whinehouse – F*** me Pumps (2003)

I find it so ironic, that, it is the party that Francis* itself, as the party of the little guy, that is pushing to pull the only rug the little guy has from under him.

As for what gays want? What about them?
What can I say about a restaurant order argument – why can’t I order what that table is having?

Lame.

With so much at stake, if that’s the best argument they can muster, I for one say NO; at least until they can come up with better reasons as why we should risk so much for the hope of so little.

*Francis pope – fancies

Palladian said...

I think a lot of gay people simply don't understand, and will never understand.

LOL. Some of you people are such silly twats.

Palladian said...

2. It's a tool to destroy the family and society in general.

Yes! That's what we want! To destroy society, whatever that means! Because we're eeeeevil!

3. It's a way to make conservatives and Christians look like bigots.

Y'all are doing a pretty good job of that yourselves.

Actually, I take that back. Most of you are neither real conservatives nor real Christians. You're just sanctimonious, dogmatic statists who require big government support for your regulatory morality, and hateful bigots who think that wearing the mantle of Christ hides the blackness of your hearts.

Henry said...

Real American wrote: since straight men and women (the vast majority of folks) are most likely to naturally produce children together, the state has an interest in promoting those stable relationships and benefiting them

One thing the SSM debate has made clear is that conservatives have a very bizarre idea of what the State thinks is in its own best interest (as do liberals, but you knew that already).

What the state wants is tax revenues. In order to generate tax revenues efficiently, the state wants conformity. Census categories. Contracts. Tax status. See where this goes?

In the light of what the State actually wants, SSM is inevitable. The State wants conformity.

Stop expecting the State to do your dirty work. The State don't care.

Recommended: Seeing Like a State by James Scott.

Aridog said...

Palladian sez ...

Actually ... Most of you are neither real conservatives nor real Christians. You're just sanctimonious, dogmatic statists who require big government support for your regulatory morality, and hateful bigots who think that wearing the mantle of Christ hides the blackness of your hearts.

After that pronouncement, what the flip is there left to say. "Most of" us are "hateful bigots"...huh? My dinner companions tomorrow include a gay couple, of long standing and affection, and close friends of my daughter,...maybe I'll quote you and ask them what they think...and if they can "translate" it all for me.

Nah, I'll skip it...would be bad manners to toss that inanity out there. All I can say is that you have or are losing track of just who your friends are, who will listen and who won't...never mind your own ability to listen. You're intelligent and talented, but you'll burn through that sooner than later if you can't get a grip.

Aridog said...

Henry said...

What the state wants is tax revenues. In order to generate tax revenues efficiently, the state wants conformity ... In the light of what the State actually wants, SSM is inevitable. The State wants conformity.

Pretty good simplified analysis actually. So long as "marrieds" represented a unique interest group with political influence (DOMA), the class is protected to satisfy the interest groups.

However, you are dead on correct when you note that this condition is NOT what is in the government's interest...conformity is in the government's interest, plain and simple...no wishful thinking can change that. In short they give exception to interest groups only so long as said groups hold political advantage.

When there is a new consensus that everyone is entitled to the benefits, and costs, such as they are for married status ... then government will determine that no one has protected status. Pedantic "equality" defines itself.

Everyone will be treated equally...translation, you will all pay transfer taxes, gift taxes, et al, and you ALL, single or married or whatever, will see your tax bracket adjusted to be equivalent to that of married filing separately ... e.g., 50% less AGI to hit the next highest threshold.

I am confounded that so many seem to not grasp this simple future condition. Government is not going to voluntarily reduce it's revenues for "equality" ... it is going to take their revenues equally from everyone, no exceptions.

Enjoy.

PS: Titus was right...even if he didn't know why.

Marshal said...

Palladian said...
Actually, I take that back. Most of you are neither real conservatives nor real Christians.


On the bright side since Inga's work here is done maybe she'll leave.

Renee said...

@wyo sis,


Three years ago, a poll was released that 40% of people think marriage is obsolete. So right there we have 40% in favor of gay marriage, because they really don't care even if marriage exists.

People do not care or want to care about marriage. The decline of marriage is exponential. Children raised without a father have a 92% more likely to divorce as adult!

Many people, including myself, well almost anyone knows someone personally who is gay. We do not wish harm or hate on them. We love them, gay marriage is just a nice way for a good amount of people to say yeah we accept you. It doesn't matter if our gay friends even want or need marriage, but rather it an offering of more subjective expression over objective public policy.


Now there are objective ideas I believe adults should have, easier ways to handle property or to legally expression companionship in times of legal concerns. I'm very sympathetic and I believe the law should address these concerns, they should be done independently with new legal terms and understanding.

So here I am awkwardly still defending marriage, as something to promote an individual's right to be raised by both their mother and father in a stable environment. It's a word, just a word. But words should have meaning.

It's awkward. Even though it feels a bit lonely to be 'on the wrong side of history' according to my Facebook news feed, I know that the idea behind what marriage was actually holds some really important truths about humanity, that it isn't about the now and what people want now, but needs to be preserved that whenever society is ready to bring back marriage, someone still held onto that idea.

So here I am, even it is just me.

carrie said...
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carrie said...
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carrie said...

I think that this goes to the monogamy issue. If monogamy is not part of gay marriage, then they are just good friends or room mates IMO.

jr565 said...

Inga brings up the why are we allowing old people to marry if its all about the kids argument AGAIN.
Look, if you want to say we should restrict the marriage to people of a certain age petition your legislature.
But we don't sdiscriminate based on age, except when the people involved are kids.

Adults over the age of our voting age can vote. It doesn't say they can only vote unto they are 70 as they might have dementia. Society doesn't actually have a clause in the rules restricting your right to vote based on illness. S, similarly id you are old enough and meet all the requirements you can marry.
Just because marriage is setup as a structure to care for the kids couples produce doesn't mean that all couples will produce kids, or that the state is in the business of proving they are capable of having kids or are serious about having kids.
Ok? So please stop arguing this stupid point.

Inga said...
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Inga said...

Jr. Yet you argue the same stupid thing ad nauseum, it OK to discriminate based on sexuality?

Don't you see how that makes you look like a fucking hypocrite?

4/4/13, 6:52 PM