Reader Request – Friday Question of the Day

Don’t Like Gay Marriage? Don’t Get One!, originally uploaded by Tobias Higbie.

“Dear PoP,

I want to know what your readers feel on the gay marriage issues popping up in dc…could we do a poll on what level of recognition to give to gay couples? And also how does the community feel about the pro and anti sides of the argument (it seems like a lot of anti movement is coming from md and va)…”

For the record I think gay marriage should be legal in DC and the entire country for that matter. I am going to Toronto in September for a friend of mine who is getting married there because she couldn’t in DC. And I hate Toronto… Ed. Note: I don’t really hate Toronto.

76 Comment

  • My dream is to follow the MD and VA church groups that come into DC to boycot the gay marriage issue with my own boycot (including yelling, chants, signs and t-shirts) against people who boycot in state/districts to which they do not belong. I think it might confuse everyone so much that they’ll forget about the people boycotting gay marriages. It’ a big diversion!!

  • I think gay marriage should be legal in DC and everywhere. PoP: Best wishes to your friend who is getting married in Toronto. But you really were just kidding about hating Toronto, no? How could anyone hate Toronto? It’s a fabulous, civilized place.

  • How come this was pretty much a non-issue in Europe? Just about every Western European country allows gay civil unions, and they passed the necessary laws with little fuss several years ago.

    Meanwhile, here in the US, you’d think we were re-fighting the civil war.

    I think Michael Moore nailed it in “Bowling for Columbine”: fear utterly warps our society to a degree unheard of in the rest of the developed world. American media, politicians, and religious leaders teach us to perceive deadly threats to our way of life everywhere; “the gays want to destroy the institution of marriage” is seen as a laughably paranoid slogan in Europe, but it’s a rallying cry in America.

  • “For the record,” I find the idea of voting on someone else’s rights to be a fairly ridiculous concept.

  • from the yawn on that guy’s face on the right, it looks like he is already bored with his first husband.

  • Doesn’t seem to be too many Republicans on PoP

  • rd, not all republicans are anti gay rights!

  • A friend of mine summed it up best:

    “In 1953 the Supreme Court ruled that separate is “not ‘equal'” and cannot be made ‘equal’.”

    As far as the law is concerned, marriage is a contract, and adults should be able to sign contracts with whomever they please. How this is even a question is just mind-boggling.

  • I know that if the gay guys next door to me got married it would shake my marriage to the foundation and inspire my children to reject Christian marriage and embark on a life of sodomy, promiscuity and polygamy. Please don’t let this Godless legislation pass!

  • I agree. It’s a non-issue. If two people love each other, they should be able to get married. Period. The idea of it even being such a divisive question is just…silly.

    I do take comfort in the fact though, that for the most part, those opposed to gay marriage will be dead in the next 20 years or so.

    Equal marriage rights are inevitable.

  • why arent any of the people voting for an option other than ‘legalize gay marriage in dc’ commenting? come on!!!!

  • You know, I never thought having the right to marry meant that much until I met my partner. Now I realize how important it is. If one of us gets sick and wants the other to be the medical decision maker…if one loses a job and needs to be put on the other’s health insurance…the abilty to file taxes jointlyand get the financial benefit that straight married couples get… and just being able to share our commitment with friends and family.

  • …because no one wants to be the first one called a bigot before their morning coffee and beastiality fueled auto-erotic asphyxiation. Thats right, I called the Sanctity Soldiers hate mongering sheep diddlers.

  • Marriage is a religious ceremony so any action by the state to recognize or enforcing rights on a religion to recognize any marriage, much less a gay one, is theoritically banned by the constitution. though that is roundly ignored by all the states. What the states should have is some form of civil union that a person who wants to be married – straight or gay – in the eyes of the state should get one. Outside of that, it is a particular religion’s view on whether gay marriage is allowed or not and people can make their own decision on whether to support that view or not.

  • I have never understood why anyone cares who you marry. As long as it isn’t a child, who cares? To be perfectly honest, I think even polygamy should be allowed. Why is it the government’s business on who and how many you marry? Interestingly, it is the Republicans (small government ideals) and some Dems (Obama) that are wrong on this issue.

  • Marriage is not a religious ceremony. duh. I was married by a non-denominational guy with a mail order minister’s degree in a small cottage without a bible but just a large book. It LOOKED religious but that was just for show.

  • Shenanigans. Marriage is not a religious ceremony; it is a legal contract. People choose to veil it in religion. Religion doesn’t have to recognize anything. Many won’t recognize divorces, but that doesn’t mean that getting a divorce is not perfectly legal or acceptable. Atheists get married all the time! Again, Shenanigans.

  • Ms. Cartman has nailed the issue cold. While I am not, personally, religious at all, I do respect the religious beliefs of others and I can understand why this is a heated issue for some.

    I believe that the LGBT community made a strategic mistake in pushing the word “marriage”. That energized their opposition on an emotional/religious level that could have been avoided had the push been for civil unions and equal rights (property, insurance, etc.) under the law.

  • I have lived in the District since 1993, and have been a homeowner since 1995. For a while there, I was a pretty active participant on neighborhood listservs and contributed periodically to Gary Imhoff’s TheMail bi-weekly email newsletter ( Eventually, though, the newsletters grew painfully tedious as the same issues were chewed up over and over, seemingly by the same band of about 20 people. I have hit “delete” on most of these newsletters for more than five years now, including last week’s which was entitled “Questions About Marriage.”

    But for some reason, I decided to read Imhoff’s rant (he always opens the newsletter with his own commentary, then publishes letters from his readers) this morning; the newsletter had title, “More Questions About Marriage,” nothing particularly more interesting about it than last week’s title. However… I’m very glad I read it.

    Amazing contribution. Moved the debate for me. He makes it into a bigger question than you might think; certainly makes it into a bigger question than I ever would have thought to.

    Thank you Gary Imhoff. And thank you, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, and Vermont, and Maine, and Iowa, and New Hampshire. And thank you, District of Columbia, for putting the issue on the front burner.

    Worth the read:

  • Anon 10:19 and Ms. C miss the point. “Marriage” is exactly the issue. The union shouldn’t be any different than that enjoyed by straight couples, either in legal rights or terminology. Whatever is written at the top of the legal document when a man and a woman get married, whatever (civil) ceremony is performed, should be exactly the same when a same-sex couple get married. If DC wants all couples to have civil unions, and leave “marriage” to the churches, that’s fine. Otherwise, it’s not.

  • it is interesting to see the breakdown of political leanings on PoP… 90-10 is staggering!

    its kind of sad in a way… i feel like we are missing out on the opinions of basically half this country (i am aware that conservatives dont make up even close to half of our community… but still)

    That said, i am thinking that maybe most conservatives would be a little hesitant to make their opinions known on this board for fear of getting mercilessly ripped apart by the 90%.

  • Ms. Cartman, Flipflopirate, and Anon @ 10:19: Wrong. Marriage is not simply a religious ceremony in the eyes of the law. The law could not care less whether I was baptized, had my first comunion, or confirmation as a catholic (sacraments equally as important as marriage), and they couldn’t care less whether a priest “married” me or not. What they care about is a legal contract, CALLED MARRIAGE, that we sign.

    This is important: The written laws call it marriage. They do not call it a civil union. The laws are written with the word “spouse” and “married” and that is why homosexual marriage MUST be made legal in order for those couples to enjoy the same legal rights.

    IT WOULD BE NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE, and very much impractical, for the entire penal code of the U.S. to be re-written to include “civil unions” and “legal partners” along with the words “spouse” and “marriage”. So Civil Unions will never be the same – never be equal – to marriage. Besides, calling their relationships something different than everyone else’s marginalizes them unfairly. Semantics matter. Words matter.

    I consider myself catholic (even if I don’t agree with everything the Pope preaches; and don’t get on my case about this because where I’m from “catholic” is much more than a faith – it’s a culture – kind of like jewish people), and I wouldn’t want not would I expect a homosexual marriage be performed by a priest inside a church. I’m pretty sure most homosexuals wouldn’t want nor do they expect this either. Want they want is legal recognition, which I have no religious issues with, because in this great country the state and church are supposed to be separate. So we all agree! Hooray!!

    WHY can’t more people think like that??

  • I think instead of fighting to legalize gay marriage, we should all be fighting to make divorce illegal. That oughta shut up the anti-gay marriage people once and for all.

    If marriage is a such a sacred bond, it should not be legal to break it.

  • I’m a Republican.
    I’m all for gay marriage/civil unions/equal rights.

    You would all do well to not assume you know so much about what we gun-toting bible-thumpers think. The Republican party is in fact made up of free-thinking individuals, who don’t all subscribe to wingnut group think. Cheney just came out in favor of equality on this issue for f*ck’s sake.

    Side note: I would also like to see the tax benefit for marrieds (gay/straight/whatever) abolished. There is no reason for it. I know the arguments in favor of it, but they seem outdated at this point, and more than a little hollow. Of course it will never happen, but I can always dream.

  • I think in 30 years when gay marriage is legal throughout the country, people will look back at this issue like the civil rights debate, and just be appalled at the way Americans used to think. I am not even a huge advocate for gay marriage. i just see it so clearly as discrimination. In time, there is no way that the rest of the country won’t come around.

  • The way I read the prop 8 decision (well, the first few pages) it seemed to me that it left the door open to declare “marriage” unconstitutional (since it cannot be provided equally to all citizens) and replace it entirely with civil unions for both straight and gay partners (leaving “marriage” as a strictly religious concept). I’m assuming that’s why the Right has pushed for a federal anti-gay marriage amendment to the Constitution, because even they know that such discrimination is unconstitutional. Personally, I agree with Divine that opposition to gay marriage is tilted towards older generations and I think we’ll see equal rights for gay partners in our lifetime.

  • First Anon: Why only pick on MD and VA churches?

    DC has plenty of congregations of busy-bodies who have weighed in on this issue. One reason the DC council is taking baby steps with this is because they know that a referendum in this city might not pass do to the vocal opposition of some DC clergy and their flock.

    It’s pretty amazing that some of these chuches have the resources to ironically oppose the fundamental rights of a whole class of citizens and yet still have time to bilk their fellow residents by paying no taxes on thriving businesses (such as for-profit restaurants, thrift shops, and rental properties), create public nuisances with their abandoned, rat-infested buildings (hello Shiloh!), and fight against neighborhood improvement projects like the New Hampshire tree median just so their customers can park their cars (illegally) in the middle of the street. All for the glory of Jesus of course – and certainly not typical revival-tent pandering to a bigoted client base by opposing the godless hordes of “gentrifiers” and gays.

  • *high five* odentex!

  • I hate to say it anon 10:48, but you’re not a very good Republican. Opposing gay marriage is a central tenet of the Republican Party platform. You would do yourself more justice by calling yourself a libertarian, or something to that effect.

  • I concur with chkta and Odentax, well said.

    Civil unions and marriages are not the same. If folks want marriages reserved for religious ceremonies, I have no problem with that . . . as long as applicable government statutes, regulations and ordinances are rewritten to recognize only civil uinions (straight and gay) and marriages are a strictly religious ceremony without government recognition, oversight or privelege.

  • re: dcdude 12:12

    I applaud that republican poster for sticking with his party and at the same time expressing his own views that clash with the platform. There should be plenty of room in the GOP tent for a diversity of views. He’s the seed that’s going to make the 30-year view as expressed by “anonymous 11:20” possible.

    It’s the party platform that’s wrong, not the party and all of its members.

    You may be the more closed-minded one here with your stereotyping and rejection of the individual for his views.

    The republican wins the point on this one, IMHO. There should be more like him. The GOP would be better off for it.

  • I support gay marriage, but I think that people that frame the debate as purely an issue of civil rights miss the point. As others have stated here, marriage is a legal contract. The various religious trappings that different religions choose to attach to it are meaningless in the eyes of the state. That said, the state can place, and has placed, limitations on the kinds of legal arrangements that people can enter to. You cannot marry a close relative. You cannot marry multiple spouses. This is presumably because, regardless of whatever “right” you may possess to marry whomever you want, the state has a compelling interest in disallowing marriages that would have a detrimental effect on society. The question is: Does gay marriage have a detrimental effect on society? I answer with a wholehearted “No!” but many others in this country do not. The only solution is to bring everybody else along. To change hearts and minds so that people will come to realize that allowing gays to marry is actually good for the institution of marriage. It’s good for children. It’s good for society. This is not an easy sell, but it is the hurdle that gay marriage proponents have to overcome.

  • … regarding the “republican” poster, how do you separate the party from the platform? By definition, the party IS the platform. The paltform is a set of ideals that bind the party members together. You can oppose the paltform, and I applaud the poster for doing so. And I sincerely hope that people like him succeed in getting the party to change. But in the meantime, it is the Republican Party, not I, who has rejected this individual for his views.

  • saf

    “tax benefit for marrieds”
    You know, I have yet to experience these. Tax benefits if you’re married all assume you have children. We don’t. We pay more in taxes than we would if we were single. (So why are we married? For all those fabulous other benefits. I have been extremely ill at several points in our marriage. I want HIM to make the decisions, and HIM to get the inheritance, not my family of origin, much as I love them)

    And for those of you who don’t realize there are religious organizations on both sides:

  • dcdude @ 12:29 – good point. If only everyone could be so well articulated and rational in their arguments. Here’s to hoping that hurdle can be overcome within our lifetime 🙂

  • I’m not sure about this, but isn’t part of the reason this is a non-issue in Europe because they actually do differentiate between a wedding and a civil ceremony? Don’t couples in Europe who have a church wedding then also have to go to the court house for the legal ceremony? This it would seem, would make the church wedding and “marriage” solely a religious institution without any additional legal rights or protections.

    chkta: While I agree with the practicality of what you’re saying, and agree that allowing “gay marriage” is probably the more feasible than amending the entire legal system to replace “spouse” and “marriage” with “partner” and “union”, isn’t that exactly what should be happening according to the spirit of our constitution?

    Where else does the state give religious leaders authority to officiate legal contracts?

    In other words, I guess I need an additional option on the poll: I don’t think ANY marriages should be legal. Civil Unions for all, and marriages only for religious people who want to peruse the additional religious angle.

    A lady who got “married” at a courthouse.

  • To dcdude,

    I disagree with you. I think it is 100% civil rights. The question of if gay marriage would have a detrimental effect on society is exactly the same as questioning whether women or blacks should have the right to vote. There were (maybe still are) people who would have said yes to those questions as well. Looking back, don’t those questions seem pretty stupid.

  • Those questions are not stupid at all. Lots of groups are denied the right to vote (children, foreigners, felons, the insane…) The question back then became: Is there any overriding societal harm that is being prevented by including women and African-Americans among these groups? The courts correctly decided there was not, and thus the vote was granted.

  • While I recognize your right to wear underwear on your head or consume feces, I do not relinquish my right to NOT call your underwear a “hat” or your waste “lunch” or to teach my children the distinction. Forcing people to condone (not tolerate) behavior anathema to their religious beliefs is a violation of their conscience and their religious rights.

    While I understand the separation of church and state, I also recognize that the state did not establish marriage. Those choosing to redefine marriage to include homosexual pairings are no different from those in favor of redefining “sharing” to include the actions of kleptomaniacs…I mean, it’s not like they chose to be that way, so how can we discriminate against them with obsolete theft laws?

    If personal preference regarding marriage must be honored in the case of homosexuals, what is the rationale for restricting the presonal preferences of those that favor polyandry, polygamy, incest, or bestiality? Notice that I am not equating the former with the latter, only asking why the personal preferences of some human beings are sacrosant, while others can be casually dismissed.

    Pre-emptive disclaimer: While I find porcine intestines disgusting, I do not irrationally fear them…I just don’t eat them or try to force them on anyone else’s plate:)

  • Black, this is a dumb and easily deconstructed argument. What is my “personal preference” is that blacks should not marry whites? If I am personally offended by people with red hair and insist that they shave their heads? If I find it personally offensive to have gay people ride the bus with me? Are these views then legitimate? There has to be some TANGIBLE harm for a third party’s concern to be legitimized by state action, particularly state action which unequivocally denies fundamental rights to a whole class of people.

    I am not surprised by the results of this poll. This blog, I’d guess, had a fairly intelligent, educated readership. I have never seen any public policy issue that more closely correlates with intelligence and education than gay marriage. Not a single person I know (people all over the political spectrum on every other issue, abortion, gun rights, economic policy, torture, etc.) and am friends with is against gay marriage. It is just a totally untenable posititon that has no basis on logic whatsoever, unless your logic is, a majority should be able to dictate to a minority how to conduct their lives, even if the conduct of those lives in no way effects that majority in any tangible fashion.

  • saf

    “If personal preference regarding marriage must be honored in the case of homosexuals, what is the rationale for restricting the presonal preferences of those that favor polyandry, polygamy, incest, or bestiality?”

    Consent of the participants. As long as all participants are consenting adults, frankly, I see no problem with multiple marriage. Bestiality? Animals can’t consent. Incest – how are you defining that? Cousin marriage is legal in many places. Other than that, there’s no need, as there is already a family relationship established.

    Honestly, it’s back to the question of why one set of religious beliefs gets to establish civil law in a national without a nation religion.

  • Kleptomaniacs hurt others by stealing from them, byt the way. The analogy is in no way, shape, or form relevant. Some of the others are closer calls, but there is a legitimate public policy rationale for each: incest leads to children with genetic disorders and is often a product of coercion; beatiality is cruel to animals who are unabel to consent; polygamy is probably the toughest call (I might even be in favor of legalizing it) but again it is almost always a product of power structures whereby women are maltreated and often not truly consensual partners to the arrangement.

    Again, if mere “personal preference” was the standard for acceptable public policy, an enormously wide range of conduct that no one things should be prohibited could be by the state.

  • New2CH

    I don’t think you did a very good job deconstructing my argument:)

    “What is my

  • saf,

    I would be interested in your thoughts on the state recognizing BDSM “slave contracts” between consenting adults.

  • Black’s argument is poorly thought out, but sadly, it is typical of the stuff espoused by the anti-gay marriage crowd. Legalizing gay marriage in no way forces anyone to “condone” behavior anathema to their religious beliefs. If that were the case, we should make drinking coffee illegal, because it forces Mormons to “condone” drinking caffeine.

    And frankly, slippery slope arguments about opening the door to incest, polygamy, or bestiality are nothing but a tired distraction. Did legalizing marriage between blacks and whites open the door to bestiality? Of course not! If you want to argue the merits of allowing me to marry Fido, that’s fine, but I hope you will agree that that is completely separate from whether we should allow gays to marry.

  • DCDude: Actually, in legal terms marriage is absolutely a “civil right”. In Virginia v. Loving the Supreme Court stated that “marriage is one of the basic civil rights of man, fundamental to our very existence and survival.” Fundamental rights, such as marriage, cannot be taken away by fiat, legislation, or popular vote – that’s the point of a fundamental civil right. To quote Loving again: “to deny this fundamental freedom […] is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law.” This is why smarter proponents of the anti-gay agenda are pushing for a Constitutional amendment – they know if this goes to the SCOTUS that they’ll lose – despite what popularly elected hack judges on state courts might do.

    Black: Anti-gay arguments like yours based on spurious “religious belief” are as transparent today as “Southern Heritage” arguments were back when the national guard had to escort children to school. That horrible Congress with their federal voting laws, and that despicable Supreme Court with their meddling decisions against Jim Crow, didn’t they understand the delicate sensibilities of southern whites who shouldn’t have been “forced to condone (not tolerate) behaviors anathema to their beliefs?”

  • dcdude Says:

    June 5th, 2009 at 3:20 pm

  • saf

    Black – those confer no legal rights, and as such, are not the business of the state. Nor are they marriage, and as such, are not the business of this discussion.

  • Odentex,

    I’m not denying that marriage is a right. I’m only saying your right to marry, like all rights, is not absolute. Just as your right to free speech does not give you the right to yell “fire!” in a crowded building, so does your right to enter into a marriage not give you the right to marry whomever you like if doing so would cause tangible harm to either your spouse (as in the case of child brides) or to society at large. Note that this is different from rights being subject to the will of the people. A court has to find a specific tangible harm that the government has a compelling interest in trying to prevent in order to abridge someone’s rights. This is a higher benchmark than simply putting it up to a vote. But courts do this all the time.

  • Black — sorry for the typo on “is” vs. “if.” That seems to be your only “substantive” rebuttal.

    It is a question: notwithstanding constitutional issues, were it legal to do so, would you object to a law, as used to be commonplace, that allows only whites to marry other whites, and prohibits interracial marriage? If not, distinguish why that is in any way different from a law prohibiting gay marriage?

    As for the red hair, what you are saying makes no sense. The point is, it is YOUR personal preference that gay people not marry other gay people. It does not tangibly harm you in any way for them to get married. If someone says, hey, it is MY personal preference that redheads should not exist and must die their hair or shave their heads, how is that any different from YOUR personal preference that gay people shouldn’t get married? Again, you are trying to dictacte to people how they should live their lives when the choice you are trying to eliminate in no way affects you. You have yet to explain why that is an appropriate use of state power. Unless you think that majority rule can prohibit ANY activity that the majority happens to dislike. Including, for example, interracial marriage.

    Slave contracts are different because the law cannot allow contractual exemptions to otherwise illegal acts. If you can’t understand why slavery is distinguishable from gay marriage, you are beyond help in any event.

    And you ARE trying to dictate how people should live their lives. If I passed a law that prohibited you from getting married, or, say, having children, wouldn’t that be dictating how you live your life? So what are you even talking about?

  • Odentex Says:

    June 5th, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    Black: Anti-gay arguments like yours based on spurious

  • saf

    Black – so my childless marriage has no point? Wait, yes it does, establishing a family relationship for legal purposes. What is your objection to allowing the same to gay families?

    I know, it makes you uncomfortable. Tough.

  • Just saw your last post. For centuries, people thought blacks were inferior to whites, and that it violated moral codes for whites to marry blacks. Just because something is “traditional” doesn’t make it right.

    And to suggest that people have control over their sexual preferences is laughable. If they did, why would, despite every type of incentive to be straight, there consistently be a large number of people who are gay? I mean, someone who is black can control their skin color too — just look at Michael Jackson! Clearly, your true agenda comes out — you think being gay is a deviant lifestyle. Most people who read this board, fortunately, disagree, and believe that it is a perfectly natural form of human behavior that has been engaged in throughout human history, and will continue to be engaged in, by a substantial subset of the population.

    And your trying to draw an analogy to treatment of animals is just downright offensive. Again, the same types of disgusting statements once made about people of color.

  • black–

    as others have already referenced in discussing the Loving decision, your argument that “Forcing people to condone (not tolerate) behavior anathema to their religious beliefs is a violation of their conscience and their religious rights” is exactly the same one made by those who didn’t think people of different races should be able to marry.

    unless your philosophy about the state needing to uphold religious beliefs applies only to YOUR religious beliefs, the application of your standard would mean, for example, that states couldn’t issue drivers licenses or business licenses to women, because that is behavior anathema to some religious beliefs (see Wahabi Islam, for one). States couldn’t issue hunting or fishing licenses, because that is offensive to Jains. Restaurant licenses for pork barbeque pits? sorry, that’s offensive to Jews and Moslems. oh, and no business licenses for any establishment selling/serving alcohol, or open on friday, saturday or sunday (the three most common sabbath days).

    This is EXACTLY why our forefathers wanted to create a separation of church and state. You worship your way, i’ll worship my way. you find gay marriage anathema? then don’t enter into a gay marriage.

  • So when do we start picketing churches? Seriously – sign me up. These homophobic bigots need to be told straight-up that they’re just plain wrong.

  • I say we park our cars by the churches on Sunday and take their parking spots. You want to run the churches out of town. Take away their revenue source. Since most of their customers, er, members live in PG. We make it to uncomfortable to come and double park, they will start going to those mega churches in PGC. That way we effectively suffocate the churches that blatanly disregard the law in our hood.

  • New2CH Says:

    June 5th, 2009 at 3:58 pm

  • saf

    Ontarioroader and Nate – and the many others that I am sure agree;

    The problem is not that the churches exist. The problem is the churches that disregard the law. Two separate issues.

    There are many churches that believe that the separation of church and state is necessary for both the church AND the state.

    Count me as a Baptist, a regular churchgoer (who parks legally), and an advocate for civil and religious being two entirely different worlds.

    OK, also, my church would conduct gay weddings, but that has nothing to do with the question of CIVIL marriage for gay families, which is the only question the law has any power over.

  • New2CH Says:

    “And to suggest that people have control over their sexual preferences is laughable. ”

    I said behavior, not preferences…If you have a homosexual orientation but never act on it, are you a homosexual? Are people unable to control their behavior? Or do they choose to indulge in certain acts and then claim that those choices give them elevated status as victims of discrimination to rewrite the law to suit their preferences?

  • DCDude: I’m not following your logic. So, since moviegoers might shout “fire” we ban all speech during the 2:00PM showing of “Sisterhood of Traveling Pants IV: The Revenge of the Clamdiggers”? Of course not. The oft-quoted “we-gots-limits-on-rights” “fire it the theater” example is simply illustrating is the inability to use a fundamental right as a shield for liability for certain acts, not prior restraint. It doesn’t follow when discussing a ban on marriage a la Virginia v. Loving. PR in speech cases, BTW, is the last resort and has to be narrowly tailored – as do all remedies when one is dealing with a fundamental right. So just how would one narrowly tailor marriage for gays? “Sorta Marriage”? “Marriage Junior”? “Test Marriage”? It’s not possible. And just how can the court justify exclusion of a whole class of people in the recognized legal fiction of marriage between two people? There’s just no gradations here since it’s a simply either a ban or… er… not. Again, this is why the smart bigots are focusing on a Constitutional amendment – they know their argument is as doomed as Jim Crow should it reach the SCOTUS. Oh, where are you getting this “society at large” harm stuff? I know that “traditional family” advocates often repeat pablum like this, but that is simply not a legal ground to restrict a fundamental right no matter how much certain conservative activists would like it to be.

    Black: Marriage is not about “validating” anything since it’s a fundamental right – read the Loving Supreme Court decision. Marriage is a legally recognized status. The majority doesn’t get to decide who gets the benefit of fundamental rights, that’s what makes them fundamental rights. While marriage is actuality is a torture device meant to slowly break the will of all men (did I type that out loud?), when the state recognizes a special status there is simply no rational legal basis to deny it to any two adults who want to subject (I mean, er, “lovingly commit”) themselves to it.

    And, BTW, you and other anti-gay marriage advocates need to own your ideas and stop standing behind Jesus and “religion”. Ol’ Chirpy Christ had a lot to say about marriage, particularly divorce (which he was really against – I guess 50% of Xtians missed that memo), but he never uttered a negative word about homosexuality. Maybe this isn’t all that odd since he was suspiciously single, real close to his moms, and lived under the yoke of the rather ambitiously homosexual Romans during a time when homosexual conduct was not only tolerated but was part of the curricula for most well-bred patricians.

    You oughta be honest about your feelings – you just don’t like the idea of two hairy dudes in tight black leather tuxedos smooching all over each other in front of the alter at your Grammy’s church. Hey, that’s fine. But you need to realize, like most gay fantasies, that scenario is probably not going to happen in real life. After all, your Grammy’s church’s decor is probably not going to cut it with any gay couple’s wedding coordinator.

    And on the “choose to be gay” stuff (??): can I recommend that you read a book? Get out of the house? Stop depriving yourself of oxygen? You lament how people suggest you’re a Neanderthal and then promptly start fashioning rhetorical tools out of scrimshaw.

  • New2CH Says:

    June 5th, 2009 at 4:04 pm
    “Clearly, your true agenda comes out

  • @Black: First of all I did not have a choice as to whom I find myself sexually attracted to, let’s get that out of the way. You are right, you can’t hide the fact that you are white/black/yellow/red/etc from the world, and unfortunately you are right, one can hide their sexuality, but it is not a choice. Let me repeat, I was born this way. Trust me, if I could choose I would be straight, I’m really not that big of a martyr. If I got to choose I would be a straight fit white male, but guess what, the hand I was delt was chubby asian lesbian.

    Second, if you believe that the only purpose for marriage is for “….raising the next generation of humanity (the natural consequence of heterosexual sex) and establishes kinship which society is based on”, then you obviously feel that any heterosexual couple without children really shouldn’t nor really need to be married. I personally know many child-free couples who would disagree with you.

  • Black said:
    “I said behavior, not preferences

  • The human race would be a heck of a lot better off were there a higher percentage of homosexuals, considering how we are destroying the entire world via overpopulation, Black. Perhaps the laws we SHOULD be enacting, if you are really worried about the survival of the human race, would be to do like China does and discourage folks from having more than one kids — those laws make a heck of a lot more sense than law keeping gays from marrying one another, which, once again, hurts no one.

  • Woo-wee! Now we’ve swiftly hotfooted off the trampled carcass of Jesus Crispy to the rather dubious “science” of “if’n we were all homos (yuck) then there’d be no more babies!”

    What’s next? Gay marriage depletes the ozone?

    Black, I’m begging you. Let them have marriage. If they are busy picking out china patterns and fighting over whether Aunt Thema gets an invite then maybe they’ll be too preoccupied to implement a national dress code or get Celine Dion a prime time show. The consequences could be devastating.

  • I’m not so sure the GLTB community pushed this. I think the Conservative christian right picked this up in the late 90s as a way to rally the base and raise a ton of money. Funny though, the tables have turned and we are starting to win. It should be legal.

    As a GLTB person who got married in Portland OR years ago but then they returned our check one year later and said no thank you — I can tell you the humbling experience to have a real judge confirm your union. recently my partners family didn’t want me to attend a wedding because I’m pregnant. you can’t imagine the constant humiliation we face every day. We have to pay thousands of dollars to a lawyer in legal fees so that we can take care of each other in a hospital, etc, etc. I hope we win in DC. It’s time and we need this.

  • @Black. I wasn’t going to engage with you. New2CH and others have done a fine job blasting your every argument out of the park. But THIS forced me to comment:

    “I am not against homosexual men and women combining sperm and egg to have their own biological children

  • Well said LNic!!

  • Hold on now! This attack on the science of gay paedophillia is disturbing- next you crazy liberals will be saying that eugenics and creationism are bunkum too! Wackos.

  • I agree with the clergy of various denominations that marriage should be a union of a man and a woman.

  • Anon @ 5:47: Clergy of “various denominations” also say that women shouldn’t drive cars, that being raped is a stoning offense (for the victim), and that blood sacrifice is the only way to make it rain.

    Good that you value reason above petty, stone-age superstition and bigotry.

  • Wow, this board really tore up poor “Black.” I’m not going to participate, because so much of what he said and “defended” has been trampled upon here, and because a great many of his points are based in the irrational (faith,) versus the rational (reason.)

    Throughout history since the fall of the Roman Empire, the church has used the irrational fears of their masses to place individual groups in a less-than-stellar place. Gypsies, Jews, African-Americans, American Indians, Indian Indians, Hippies, Gays and beyond have been the result of this irrational fear (and entirely rational grip on the reins of power.)

    The rights of gays, lesbians and the transgendered are no different, except that our government, in the separation of church and state, has made “reason” the foundation for how we live. We, the people, tend to forget that, and when the zealots start going down the path of brimstone and fear mongering, we, the people tend to forget that they are a small part of the group known as Christians.

    Regarding the “reason” part of our government. If gays, lesbians and the transgendered pay taxes and don’t kill people, or engage in activities that harm people, they should be allotted the same rights as anyone else. They serve up their share of the responsibility portion, through taxes, through closeted services in the armed forces, through productive work in our society. How can a rational society deny them the rights their share of the responsibility has earned them? The answer, according to reason, is that we, the people can’t. And shouldn’t.

    However, there is a fairly large group of people who see marriage as the last straw, the last strand in a losing right that began to unravel with Brown vs. The Board of Education, and continues to unravel. Mind you, this is not a rational fight, which is why we hear fearmongering phrases that we need “to protect society,” or “there’s a slippery slope,” or “God doesn’t want it this way,” or “y’all are going to Hell.” Mind you, any of the aforementioned arguments has been used before: to keep African-Americans from full civil rights, to keep women from full civil rights, to keep gays from full legal rights, and to keep [insert next group to be demonized here] from full civil rights.

    That’s because there is no rational argument against granting full civil rights to people who pay taxs, don’t hurt people, or don’t kill people. None. Not liking what is perceived to be deviant behavior doesn’t count. I don’t particularly like religious people. They freak me out. I don’t “get” them, and find the pursuit of non-knowledge to be both a waste of time and a freakish, stupid group of behaviors that we define as “faith.”

    But, that doesn’t matter. Do those people pay taxes, not hurt people and not kill people? For the most part, yes. And that’s why they have full rights under the law. I don’t have to like them. They don’t have to like me. But we all have to pay taxes, not hurt people and not kill people. Once we’ve lived up to that responsibility, we all should get the rights afforded to us.

    Reason. It’s what for dinner.

  • Odentex,

    Just read your well-reasoned response to my arguments from last Friday. A few thoughts: I think you’re misconstruing my free speech analogy. The Supreme Court has recognized that the right to free speech does not cover all classes of speech. The “fire in the crowded theatre” is just one example. Violent threats, words that produce a clear and present danger to national security, and words that are meant to incite violence are others. These are classes of speech that do not enjoy constitutional protection, and can therefore be banned, even if no harm or violence actually occurs. This doesn’t mean that all speech is banned; only that the constitutional protection on free speech does not apply to all classes of speech. Likewise, marriage is a right that the government can (and has) legitimately put certain limits on (e.g., marriage between close relatives, children, etc.) That doesn’t mean that we have to ban all marriage; only that the right to marry does not apply to all classes of marriage. I agree with you that any limitations on these rights would have to be narrowly-tailored, and that is why I ultimately agree with you that gay marriage should not be among the classes of marriage that is not constitutionally protected, but to argue that no such limitations can exist flies in the face of decades of constitutional jurisprudence. Finally the issue of societal interests is one that courts taken into account all the time when considering limitations on rights. For example, the courts have found that the government can place limits on fundamental rights, if doing so would advance a compelling state interest. Also, one of the key factors in weighing anti-obscenity statutes is whether the material to be banned has absolutely no redeeming value when judged against contemporary community standards. These are considerations about what is good for society at large. While I would agree with you that a ban on gay marriage would not advance a compelling state interest, that does not mean that the question cannot even be asked. Thanks for indulging me.

  • LNic Says:

    June 5th, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    “You should be ashamed. Truly. Hang your head, and keep it there. You need to re-read and re-think. Have you any idea the numbers of adopted people in our American (and world-wide, for that matter) society? According to your logic, adoption itself is opening a door for abuse. Sue and Mark adopt a little girl, and this is bad because Mark might abuse the little girl (I mean, hey, he

Comments are closed.