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Back in the service they marched us through a building called 'Military Issue.' We came out...scratch that...exited with two pairs of fatigues, boots, field jacket, dress greens & a duffel bag.
If I go for the Gay Marriage Issue, can I at least keep the field jacket?
The Tenth Amendment does not allow states to discriminate against U.S. citizens.
Alyosha, I agree that the government, whether local, state or federal should treat all individuals equally including in the area of marriage. I must, however, point out that same sex marriage is not the only area government discriminates. A few that come to mind are the draft - women are exempt. Affirmative action and minority owned business contracts- any action based on race or gender is discriminatory. Bans agaisnt topless women - partly tongue in cheek, but partly not in that why should one gender be allowed freedoms that are a crime for another.
My point is while I support same sex unions and getting the government out of marriage period, let's purge our government of all discrimination while we are at it.
Personally, I don't think anybody should be allowed topless in public. Not that I have any moral problems with it, but really, some things you just don't want to see! In fact, you've brought up some long submerged memories and now I'm going to have to wipe the brain again---shutter :-/
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"The Tenth Amendment does not allow states to discriminate against U.S. citizens."
What part of "all persons may marry a person of opposite gender" is discriminatory? The law treats every person the same, so it isn't discriminatory.
That argument was tried and rejected regarding interracial marriage.
All persons may marry someone of the same race.
Seems like this is an issue where having different laws in different states could cause all sorts of problems.
I advocate for civil/contractual unions--- keep the government out of the marriage business.
states have different laws related to marriage today.
I do agree with the civil unions for all marriages. Let religious organizations marry and let states bundle contracts together under civil unions.
Yes, laws are different, but all states recognize hetero marriage. A marriage in one state is recognized in all states, whereas, if I'm not mistaken, under current laws a gay couple could be married in one state and that marriage not be recognized when they cross a state line.
That's my understanding as well.
For some reason, the full faith and credit clause isn't used to ensure that gay marriages are recognized in other states.
If they're not "legal" issues, then there shouldn't be laws about them, right?
How are they not legal issues?
Marriage is not simply a religious observance.
It confers a number of civil legal rights and benefits.
Since marriage is both a civil and religious term, how would you do that?
And, what if some churches want to marry gay folks in a religious sense?
If you don't mind them having all of the same legal rights and benefits, why do you care if they are "married" or some other term, especially since plenty of non religious couples are married?
translation: don't bother me with logic.
There's no hypocrisy, since marriage is a secular as well as religious term. The fact that you have to "change" the language proves that.
I have no problem with that suggestion, as long as it's applied to any and all couples that marry without a religious ceremony, including straight and gay couples. But, it is a bit cumbersome in practice, I think.
Would only religious couples be able to speak of "spouses", "husband", "wife", etc.?
And, if churches marry gay couples, then they can use the terms?
It's just a word - I don't really understand the problem.
"If you don't like it, leave." Said every person who's ever been against equality, ever.
Oh - well that's a bit different from your original statement.
"Let...have all the same civil rights as straight couples".
Which do you actually believe?
Marriage is so darn sacred that something like half of them end in divorce. If marriage is sacred, where is the hue and cry to outlaw adultery, which actually does destroy marriages? Legally, it is a civil contract. It is no more sacred than a lease or mortgage.
"Adultery, in many states, is still a crime
Across the country, some social conservatives are fighting for what they view as a critical article of faith: criminal adultery laws. In the U.S., in the year 2010, people can still be prosecuted for breaching their marital vows. The laws are some of the last remnants of our Puritanical past, where infidelity was treated as not only a marital but also as a criminal matter. While the laws have been challenged as unconstitutional, many people are resistant to the idea of removing such "morality crimes" from our books.
In New Hampshire, for instance, legislators are trying to repeal a 200-year-old adultery law that is widely viewed as unconstitutional. Social conservatives, however, insist that such laws are needed to back up moral dictates with criminal sanctions. A 1997 poll showed that 35% of Americans believe adultery should be a crime, and similar efforts to decriminalize adultery have met with opposition in states such as Illinois and Minnesota."
Fair enough. But if anti-gay folks were truly worried about the state of matrimony, they would be throwing their considerable weight and vociferousness behind enforcement of existing statutes.
so who gets to decide, one religion decides the issue for all ? or can different religions have a sacred ceremony that includes gays/lesbians? in that case, you can't contain marriage (which confers certain legal rights) to just one religion that YOU happen to agree with. if a gay/lesbian has a spiritual life, who are you do deny the marriage in that setting?
The [churches] shouldn't stick [their] big shnozz['s] in matters [of personal liberty]. Ever heard of the separation of church and state, [equal rights deniers?]
That's a two way street there, bub.
Yes, this issue needs to be settled. States should not be allowed to discriminate against individuals, even if a majority think they should.
If you believe this is a states issue, then I ask: Should states be allowed to outlaw marriages between different races?
Until the late 60s they did. Unfortunately, I believe that is exactly what they want.
Which brings up a question I have wondered about ever since the gay marriage question came up. I may be sorry for throwing this into the ring, but if we no longer define marriage as one woman and one man, then how can we deny a number of people entering into a marriage? Can we define it as two people? Isn't that just as discriminatory?
Which seems to me to be another argument for civil unions. People of legal age can enter into a legal contract---possibly better than some of the "extra-legal" situations happening now.
Not that I advocate polygamy (which contrary to what seems to be common perception is a marriage in which a spouse of either sex may have more than one mate at the same time). While this may work in some situations and in some cultures, personally I think it's asking for trouble.
frankly, i don't think it "works" in any culture. people end up getting exploited, even if they like being exploited.
how about all the left over males in the polygamous mormon fundamentalist groups? since male/female birth rates are pretty much 50/50, and if some men have multiple wives, what are the rest of the males in the culture left with? do they just banish them? sorry guys you're out of luck.
plural marriage is just asking for trouble.
I'm not arguing for or against polygamy, just wanting to know people's opinions on whether it is discriminatory to outlaw it. I don't want even one husband so I've got no dog in the fight.
Because of various factors, populations aren't always evenly balanced. WWI killed off most of a generation of men in some countries. China currently has 119 male births for every 100 females. In provinces where couples are allowed to have a second child if the first is s girl, the ratio is 143 to 100. Abortion for sex selection is banned but widely practiced. This has resulted in a widely skewed sex ratio. Interpersonal relationships/exploitation/jealousy, etc., aside, there might be a practical reason for it at times.
Yes, of course it is.
Any form that consenting adults wish to enter into should be legal, in my view.
Is it more complicated? Sure. But there might be some advantages as well.
Look at fundamentalist Islamic countries to see worst case scenario of polygamy. The wealthy men take several wives, leaving out lots of sexually frustrated young men of lesser means. These youth are even further stymied and repressed by a religious culture condemning extra-marital sexual gratification, and so they take refuge in perverted jihadist thinking. I think there was even an article by the Freakonomics authors suggesting that this is likely the primary underlying reason for such violent extremism.
Also, I think the government can make a sound argument for limiting such contracts to 2 people. Humans are naturally possessive -- even the "free love" communes of the 60's could not survive the innate human tendency to reserve another person exclusively or otherwise become intensely jealous. Plus, as much as I hate slippery-slope arguments, allowing 3 or even more would then beg how many spouses is too many? 10? 50?
When you think about how challenging a marriage ultimately is, willingly incarcerating yourself with another person till death do you part, it makes sense to only confer the legal/taxation rewards upon those who make such a singular pledge, and not to those who would escape a spat with one spouse by hopping in bed with the other...
It's not up to the government to decide these sorts of things. If people want to experiment with polygamy or group marriage, fine.
Some of the challenges of marriage may be that it's not completely natural for humans to couple exclusively with one other person for life.
Given the high infidelity and divorce rates, it seems that marriage as currently practiced isn't very successful.
I can understand your thinking, and unfortunately my arguments will in some ways seem superficially similar to what a gay marriage opponent would currently say. Nonetheless:
I'm not saying that polygamist behaviors, such as openly taking mistresses/houseboys, should be outlawed. However, the government's main interest is to incentivize stable family units, with 2-spouses as the obvious model. While 2-person marriages certainly aren't surviving particularly well, does the government really want to encourage making mistresses and other extra-marital sexual partners into equal spouses? If someone dies, just imagine the potential property disputes...so why would they take such a risk? Have there been any recent examples of truly successful and equitable polygamous systems, where spouses of the more numerous gender aren't reduced to domestic and sexual subservience? And at what number of spouses would the government recognize that stability is so unlikely as to make conferring legal benefits absurd?
I'm not saying it can't work, but I'd sooner expect a European country to create a functional legal model before expecting even a sliver of the American populace to become open to such an idea...in fact, I'd sooner see us electing an Agnostic or Atheist president...
Well, one way to solve that would be to reduce the "benefits" of marriage, legally speaking.
I agree that stable family units are a good thing, if they're functional and happy ones. But, I don't see how limiting marriage to 2 people is incentivizing that, given the statistics.
It doesn't have to "encourage" it, it can simply "allow" it.
I don't know about examples - perhaps somebody else knows about that. But, given about 70% infidelity rates and about 50% divorce rates, I can't imagine that multiple partner marriages would fare any worse, and perhaps better.
Either way, I think it's not the government's job to decide who gets married, or how many people do, as long as consenting adults are involved.
It would seem that neither one of us is very familiar with the history or practical aspects of polygamist systems. When in doubt, I more often tend towards pessimism, whereas you seem to be more optimistic about potential for greater stability and happiness...
I should add that simply because polygamy can accommodate higher sex drives doesn't make me think that such arrangements would offer longevity. Indeed, Occam's razor would suggest to me that the relationship problems that can develop between 2 people would just become exponentially messier, both emotionally and litigation-wise, between 3 or more.
As far as "allowing" rather than "encouraging," government getting out of the business of offering benefits to couples is a pretty tall order; I'd imagine such incentives are about as old as the tax code itself. In short, I can't see America shifting either its laws or its mindset towards allowing this concept any time soon, and only in the distant future if other 1st-world countries have already demonstrated no major downsides to condoning and codifying such lifestyles.
Sex drives aren't the only reason for multiple partner marriages, of course. Emotional needs, help with children, etc. are obvious other ones.
Perhaps it would increase them, but not necessarily. If some of the problems are due to having to look to one other person to meet one's needs, then having other people in the marriage could mitigate some of those problems.
So, you think America is not a leader, but a follower then, I guess :-)
Interesting views on both sides and thanks for discussing.
I agree that polygamy as a cultural norm can and often does lead to some bad situations and I agree that close interpersonal relationships are hard to manage under the best of situations. And, yes, the communal free love of the sixties/seventies usually didn't work out that well. My own gut reaction is against polygamy, but that also was my first reaction to gay marriage. Then I realized that is exactly what it was---a gut reaction because of what I was used to.
But the fact that it often doesn't work well doesn't mean that it doesn't work for some people or in some situations, such as the one currently in China which is leaving men in rural areas with no one to marry. (Young women can move to the city and "marry up," urban women aren't normally going to "marry down" into rural areas.) If I recall correctly from an article I read years ago, it was that kind of situation that led to polyandry in the Himalayan region, sometimes with one woman marrying several brothers.
As far as potential legal disputes, I would think that having a legal contract would make that less likely. That is one of the arguments for gay marriage. We all know there are polygamous relationships going on around us, sometimes with the knowledge/consent of a spouse, sometimes in secret. Might an open, legal relationship be better?
I'm certainly not advocating for encouraging polygamy, but I can't see a reason for outlawing it either, if we are going to be consistent. Which once again argues for civil contracts and not marriage by government.
"Then I realized that is exactly what it was---a gut reaction because of what I was used to." As much as I love Colbert, I'd say it's not really my gut but a combination of socio-historical overviews and general pessimism about the fickleness of the human heart.
Historically, it's hard to look past the reactionary sexism inherent to how polygamy was practiced by previous cultures and continues to be practiced with disadvantaged women treated as chattle in the Middle East. There are usually dubious power imbalances esp. with only one male/female spouse and the remaining spouses of the other gender. Even if it's just 3, like a man and 2 women (who aren't bisexual), you naturally have the problem of the man using sex as leverage -- a reward for a wife who agrees with him and denial as punishment for the wife who differs with him. Spats and differences that could be more easily addressed and resolved thereby become much more poisonously tangled...
On the other hand, you can imagine educated, independent, un-repressed people entering into "group marriages" (let's say, just for example, 2 male bisexuals and 2 female bisexuals). However, like the hippie communes, I imagine that over time, the swapping of partners will simply atrophy with only certain couplings surviving. Again, I'd like to see an example where these relationships survive equitably and stably into old age.
"As far as potential legal disputes, I would think that having a legal contract would make that less likely."
I'm talking about dividing property and custody in cases of divorce, so unless the people in my previous examples had signed prenuptial agreements, I'm just saying that their divorce disputes could be that much uglier.
Yes, I don't doubt that there is more potential for abuse/manipulation as more people are involved, but I see abuse in any kind of relationship, romantic/marital, boss/employee, etc.
So I see our disagreement as being that you think polygamy should not be legal/institutionalized because of the problems it causes, while I think that to be consistent we have to allow it and that in some cases it may even be a good thing.
And we didn't even have to call each other names :-)
Indeed, it is nice having civil debates...
You could fairly summarize my objection as arguing that the risks outweigh potential benefits; it's not hard at all to imagine skeevey middle-aged lotharios running out and building harems of barely-legal teenage wives. Would state-sanctioned polygamy help accommodate and satiate these sexual appetites and lead to durable communal living? On the contrary, I just think it would lead sociopaths and predators to be more openly lascivious in their continual collection of "spouses," leaving mostly psychological turmoil in their wakes...
Thus, I make my judgment based on the ostensible lack of modern models or historical examples of truly equitable and durable polygamous relationships. To achieve those qualities, I could most easily imagine the bisexual quartet scenario outlined above, in which all spouses desire to keep both homo- and heterosexual partners. I find polygamous groupings with gender imbalances inherently unequitable and power-abuse prone in their dynamics. I don't think this behavior should be outlawed, but I've yet to see the need to codify it. If there really are marital trios and quartets surviving to old age and facing estate issues like Edie Windsor's, then fine. But it sounds more like a hypothetical demographic than a real one at least for now.
I also still don't see how it's a logical jump, that if we legalize gay marriage, then polygamy must also be codified "to be consistent." Yes, all these relationships involve consenting adults. But we also don't legally condone consentual prostitution given the power dynamics and abuse that is more inherent to it, and most forms of polygamy seem comparable to that in their pitfalls. Our government has a long history of such indirect social control, and this is one area where I simply fail to see the major injustice in not recognizing more expansive marital unions, but I do see a plethora of advantages.
Sexual frustration as a cause for violent extremism is an interesting theory.
My argument about tax benefits bestowed on married people is that there should be none, so it wouldn't matter how many people are involved.
(This is in reply to fiddleback's first post.)
Where to carry the concealed weapon in a nudist colony...now there's an uncomfortable thought...
You just had to bring that up. From photos I saw once of a nudist Halloween Party, one could hide a machine gun under flaps of skin and other floppy bits.
Nightmares tonight . . . .
I like watching a couple of really hot women getting it on, but that as far as I'll go. The Supreme Court should stay out of it. There are too many women on the Supreme Court. That never should have happened.
It's a simple constitutional issue. There are many laws surrounding marriage and they need to be applied fairly to everyone. DOMA is not constitutional nor are any of the state laws banning marriage between gays. Religion has no place at all in this. It's going to happen (Yaaay) and the right needs to get a grip.
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Great article---thanks for posting!
The Catholic church is taking the wrong stance. Instead of claiming the word 'marriage' is religious, then they should copyright it and patent the process of marriage.
No, there is never any sarcasm in my posts.
This is a real mess. Actually, there is nothing to decide since "gay marriage" isn't really marriage at all, just a perversion of the most basic unit of human society. Woe to America if this becomes the law of the land.
This is Washington's first legally gay couple. They sure look threatening to me.
Pierce county's first gay couple, also not threatening:
"After being a couple for nearly 54 years, McCluskey and Henry will get married Dec. 15 at First United Methodist Church in Tacoma."
Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2012/12/07/2393980/after-54-years-together-couple.html#storylink=cpy
America is doomed!!
I suppose the court could get around public opinion (which is mostly doesn't care anyway) by making it a 14th amendment argument. A good defense is that all persons are treated with equality as each can marry a person of a different gender.
Is there any part of the constitution that guarantees a person's right to marry who they wish?
That tells us we have a SCOTUS, but they still need some legal footing to ensure the right of gay marriage. At best, the only thing I see now is states issuing marriage licenses to homosexuals and using the constitution to make all states recognize the paper.
Courts might be a good place to make noise, but homosexuals deserve a law that protects the choice they have made regarding their sexuality. The legislature is responsible for that.
I completely support gay marriage (and polygamy), but I don't see that the courts have any means of ensuring the rights of gays to marry. They don't even seem to be enforcing the full-faith clause between states regarding marriage certificates. That's cut-and-dry and nobody seems to want that angle pushed. The only person here that's suggested it was verity.
In Loving vs. Virginia, marriage was declared a "fundamental" right. And the attempt to continue disallowing interracial marriage by claiming that everybody could marry someone of the same race was rejected.
I'd say it's a "pursuit of happiness" issue, actually.
If that was a suitable precedent, it probably would have already been used.
Also, you need to remember that "race" doesn't really exist while physical gender is an absolute in 99.9999% of humans.
"pursuit of happiness"
That's too vague to have any real meaning.
Not necessarily. I agree that the Full Faith and Credit Clause should mean that states must recognize marriages from other states, but it's not being used that way.
That wasn't why the Court disallowed the practice of banning interracial marriage - it found that marriage was a fundamental right, and that the argument that everybody could marry somebody of the same race was flawed.
Oh well, it's fundamental to our system, being one of the inalienable rights we're all supposed to be entitled to. It's clear to me that marriage is a clear example of that pursuit - of course it doesn't always work out that way :-)
But some people just keep on pursuing anyway :-/
Race doesn't exist. Gender exists.
I'm fully on board with allowing any consenting adults to marry, but I don't see it happening without federal legislation or a constitutional amendment.
Romans 6:11-16 Likewise consider you also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Let not sin for this reason, reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in the lusts thereof.
Neither yield you your bodies as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your bodies as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin will not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under the grace of God.
What then, should we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid!
Know you not, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
Now should we promote sin with gay marriage in our country? How can this be righteousness to God? Need more convincing, read Romans Chapter 1 and 2.
And the government of the United States of America is a theocracy how, genius?
Your argument is invalid since the matter of marriage equality is a legal matter and not a religious one. Religion belongs in church.
"The Catcher in the Rye"; Chapter 12: "People are always ruining things for you."
If our country were a theocracy, this would be a valid argument. This particular passage was written to Roman believers in Jesus and is generally considered to apply to all Christians. I am a Christian and do not anticipate changing my stance on the moral rightness of the issue.
However, because of the privileges that marriage now brings in our society, we are effectively discriminating against gays because they disagree with us and this is not right. We are saying you cannot have the same benefits, tax breaks, and other governmental recognition that we do because you do not follow God's teaching. What a sad situation.
I hope you'll go and read the description of God in 1 John.
Follow that with some critical thought on what could happen to this country if we continue to condone religious rule. What happens when, at some point, Christians aren't in the majority?
"How can this be righteousness to God?"
I never made an oath with a god, and if one existed he and I would get along badly. I swore an oath to protect the constitution. Even the concept of god is irrelevant.
PRG. John 19:7 -12 The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.
When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid;
And went again into the judgment hall, and said unto Jesus, Who are you? But Jesus gave him no answer.
Then says Pilate unto him, You won't speak to me? Know you not that I have power to crucify you, and have power to release you?
Jesus answered, You could have no power at all against me, except it were given you from above: therefore he that delivered me unto you has the greater sin.
And from that time forth, Pilate sought to release him...
Jesus Christ Superstar was much more entertaining than your dry sermons. How about you go find a way to talk to a guest of the Spanish Inquisition and find out just how much equality, protection under the law and freedom existed under that particular theocratic establishment.
No theocracy, in the history of the world, has started well, been managed properly, or ended gracefully. There is a reason they don't work, but the fanatically devoted will not stop until they get what they want. What they want is a mass grave, because that is exactly what every theocracy in the history of Mankind has ever left as a legacy.
Exactly. Mixing any religion and politics never begins or ends well.
It seems many of the people who deride the situation in Muslim countries are the same ones who advocate for Christian theocracy in the United States. History and the current trend towards rolling back women's rights give us a good idea of what we will end up with here.
It's all about power, never equality.
It'll end up being a 14th Amendment ruling (I hope).
I could go along with all State-sanctioned pair bonding being civil unions and leaving "marriage" to religious institutions. I'm guessing a lot of the folks on the other side of the argument aren't willing to take that road.
Poly-marriage isn't an issue here, because no groups are currently permitted to practice it. It's universally prohibited in the U.S. If only Mormons or Muslims were legally permitted poly-marriage, then there would be reason for the issue to be visited by the courts.
When one of the existing judges dies or retires.
In my opinion 'Marriage' is a practice of religion and should be subject to whatever rules the individuals' religion is subject to.
The key to the tenth amendment is 'citizen' - it IS discriminatory to re-define or sub-define the citizen by apply race, color or creed.
Under law 'Marriage' is a partnership and or contract. It should be no different than a business contract or partnership under the law.
To say that same sex marriage is or should be illegal is to say that same sex partnerships of all kinds are or should be illegal and most businesses are in violation of the law.
It's really not about being married - it's the misconception that prohibition and/or social out-casting will prevent and/or end the behavior. (Look how well prohibition worked for alcohol - such a fabulous success)
I'm not gay and I've been married for almost 20 years. I'm also a business partner and have been for nearly 15 of those years. Both partnerships have had good times and bad - sometimes at the same time.
My contract with my wife is to share the benefits and liabilities of a household:
Feeding and clothing our children
My contract with my business partners isn't significantly different:
Take care of customers
Maintain an office location
Keep employees busy
The ONE thing that is really different is that my wife and I also agree not to have sex with anybody else. (And that's just our agreement)
Frankly I don't care what anybody does in the privacy of their own home with whoever they want to do it with as long as all parties are consenting adults.
I also don't want a team of judges coming into my home to evaluate my 'performance'.
Also - for those of you that think that gender identity is a choice:
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