Archive for Saturday, March 11, 2006

Marriage sanctity

March 11, 2006

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To the editor:

The front page of Wednesday's Lawrence Journal-World reports that Martin Miller - a man who engaged in an adulterous relationship, murdered his wife and thereby left his children without a mother or father to raise them - is getting married.

My partner and I have been together nearly 18 years, law-abiding and taxpaying citizens all the while. Will the people of Kansas please stand up and explain to me how giving us the right to a civil marriage would "destroy the sanctity of marriage," while Martin Miller's impending nuptials apparently do not?

Kimberley Kreicker,

Lawrence

Comments

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 1 month ago

If structured correctly, a sales tax could be fair, but in addition to the income tax, would it also replace other taxes, such as those for social security and medicare? It would have to be somewhere upwards of 15-20% unless there were dramatic reductions in government spending.

kansaskev61 9 years, 1 month ago

Love is blind, the new bride is stupid and Miller got life in prison. It's a crazy world and we have to live in it!

Godot 9 years, 1 month ago

From www.fairtax.org:

"Simply put, the FairTax replaces the way we're currently taxed - based on our annual income - with a tax on goods and services. The FairTax is a voluntary "consumption" tax: the more you buy, the more you pay in taxes, the less you buy, the less you pay in taxes. It's simple.

Everyone pays their fair share of taxes, and with the FairTax rebate, spending up to the poverty level is tax free. The Federal government is fully funded, including Social Security and Medicare, and you don't need an expert to determine your Federal taxes. It's simple. "

Mark Stone 9 years, 1 month ago

conservativeman,

Your argument is the same that was used to maintain laws against inter-racial marriages until relatively recently. "You can marry anyone you want, as long as you are both of the same race", most people now easily recognize that as discrimination.

You beg the question when you say "everyone has the right to marry." When the real question is whether, everyone has the right to marry the person they want. Clearly the present law in Kansas does not allow this for gays and lesbians.

A heterosexual person has the right to marry the person they want. It is their nature and by definition that they would marry someone of the opposite sex. A homosexual person in Kansas, who is qualified in every other way to marry, is denied that same right to marry the person they want. It is no less their nature and thus by definition that they would marry someone of the same sex. It would be disingenuous to expect anything else.

I still do not understand your resistance to the idea of separating the civil aspects from the religious sacraments of marriage. If your intention is truly to protect the sanctity of the traditional marriage, I believe that separating the institutions of religious/marriage and secular/civil unions ultimately stands the best chance of achieving that goal.

An additional benefit is that it would allow a marriage/civil union law to be applied equally to all citizens.

Linda Endicott 9 years, 1 month ago

Are civil unions available for opposite sex couples? Can they decide to have a civil union instead of getting married? I don't think this is an option. If it is, however, then why don't more opposite sex couples use it? Perhaps because a civil union and marriage really aren't the same, they just give the appearance of it?

I will never understand why so many people think it's okay to deny rights to anyone. Gay people should be allowed to marry. They are citizens just like anyone else, and should have all the same rights.

Mark Stone 9 years, 1 month ago

badger,

Article IV of the Constitution states:

Full faith and credit shall be given in each State to the public acts, records and judicial proceedings of every other State.

So even though Kansas presently does not allow marriages or civil union between same-sex couples, Kansas would most likely recognize those judicial proceedings from another state.

Godot 9 years, 1 month ago

"I'm curious how would you structure that sales tax. If you have just a straight sales tax, the real effect would be to shift the tax burden even further away from the wealthy, and onto those much less able to pay. Would you put in any sort of progressivity, or is this just a "soak the poor and the middle class" scheme?"

Don't make the assumption that is a "soak the poor and middle class" scheme until you've explored the proposal. It is actually fair (imagine that) to the poor and middle class, with several thousand dollars credit per year for sales tax on "necessities." There is also no sales tax on used items. The first person who buys an item is the one who pays the sales tax.

Read "The FAIR Tax" The details are in there. Smarter people than yours truly thunk it up. Understanding the concept requirse more space than the "bytes" available here.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 1 month ago

Your last post has an autobiographical ring to it, billy.

Did someone get your goat?

badger 9 years, 1 month ago

twiley -

There is a problem with the notion that if one wishes to marry whomever one likes, one should move to a state that allows it.

If I marry someone in Michigan, and we move to Illinios, we are still married. We don't have to remarry every time we change states. If I marry someone of the same sex in Massachusetts and move to Kansas, we are no longer considered married. That's been considered and hashed out.

What's not workable? If I marry someone and we divorce, the divorce decree is a court document. If there are children or shared assets, the divorce decree lays out who will get what and go where. What has not been considered and hashed out is, if two people of the same sex marry and divorce in a state where that is legal, and one of them moves to Kansas, then is the divorce decree still valid? It's based on an event (marriage) which the state of Kansas doesn't recognize as having taken place. So, if a gay couple divorces and one is ordered to pay alimony, can he escape that order by moving to a state that doesn't recognize the marriage ever took place?

That worries me, because I think it hasn't been thought out very well at all.

Mark Stone 9 years, 1 month ago

anxiuosatheist,

It is only my opinion, but I think calling many of the people you are trying to convince with your arguments "dumb hillbillies" isn't going to win many converts. It has been mentioned before that name-calling and needlessly inflammatory language just weakens your argument. If you tick off some portion of the people you are trying to communicate with, they may stop listening to you, even if you have an otherwise good argument. In a real sense you have weakened your own argument.

I agreed with some of the points you made, I am just suggesting there may be a way other than name-calling to ":inject reason and understanding into the arguments:"

Godot 9 years, 1 month ago

Here's the solution: remove the word "marriage" from all laws (marriage would only be a religious thing), and repeal the income tax code and replace it with a national sales tax. That way every one is treated the same.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 1 month ago

Godot, I understand the attraction of a sales tax as somehow being "fair," but the fact is that our entire economic system is based on a principle of unfairness. Monetary rewards go to those who are best able to claim them. While there is certainly an advantage to those who are talented and/or work hard, the single biggest factors are luck and chutzpah, meaning that "fairness" is intentionally excluded from the economic equation.

That's one reason we have a "progressive" income tax, and although it has become a bit of a joke, it does retain that effect to at least some degree.

I'm curious how would you structure that sales tax. If you have just a straight sales tax, the real effect would be to shift the tax burden even further away from the wealthy, and onto those much less able to pay. Would you put in any sort of progressivity, or is this just a "soak the poor and the middle class" scheme?

Mark Stone 9 years, 1 month ago

twiley,

I agree with you that the definition of the word marriage is not necessarily discriminatory in and of itself, but I think you have to agree that denying a specific segment of society equal treatment under the law is discrimination.

Anyway the argument was not to redefine marriage, but rather just to separate the civil aspects from the religious sacraments of marriage. In that way protecting the traditional concept of marriage. I maintain that separating the institutions of religious/marriage from secular/civil unions ultimately will protect the sanctity of marriage better than depending on the prevailing political circumstances, because they may very well change.

Trey Wiley 9 years, 1 month ago

I can not understand how defining a term (like marriage) is considered discrimination. If you do not like the rules in Kansas then move to a state that allows you to marry any one you like.

This is my understanding of how the founders intended this country to be run. A person would decide where to live based on the laws that govern that state.

Remember that the vast majority of voters decided that we liked the definition of marriage that was passed. If you want to marry, then move to a state that has not passed a constitutional amendment and lobby to make sure that one does not get passed. You should probably hurry though because as I understand it another 10-15 states may have similar amendments on the books by the end of this year.

Godot 9 years, 1 month ago

Ragingbear, what is the "tax writeoff" for being married?

Jamesaust 9 years, 1 month ago

I am not certain that I agree with that marriage per se is the best solution for the author's situation, although I do agree that she has an excellant argument.

I do agree with none other than W's October 2004 statement that such persons have legitimate concerns that states should be free to address through civil unions (in contrast to the GOP's party platform that year opposing any such recognition).

As it stands, the author and her partner are "strangers before the law" and that is a wholly unfair and inconsistent approach for a government that exists to serve ALL of its citizens equitably.

yourworstnightmare 9 years, 1 month ago

I missed the story of Martin Miller remarrying. Hi-larious. I wonder if the services will be at Victory Bible Church, his sanctuary and conduit to God and salvation. The sign outside will say "Got murderers?".

Indeed, denying state-granted rights to individuals because of their sexual orientation or gender or biology is discrimination pure and simple. The Kansas "Defense of Marriage" ballot measure that was approved by Kansas voters last year goes even further and prohibits such individuals from entering into legal contracts that mirror marriage rights (e.g. power of attorney, heir status, and medical representation).

Ragingbear 9 years, 1 month ago

Defining a marriage as "One man and one woman" not only dictates that we follow the Christian ethos, but that we choose to disregard many people in our country as a lower class. I am not just talking about homosexuals. There are many people out there that are physically crossgender, intersex, hermaphrodites, nueter and all variety of non-vanilla gender identity. Not to mention that most religions with the exception of the mainstream Judeo-Christian religion do not see marriage as defined by one man, and one woman. Hindu's ritualistically marry people to everything from animals to trees. Muslims have many passages in the Koran that say that polygamy is fine(There are many in the Jewish and Christian books as well). Buddhist don't care, and for the most part do not get involved. Even old Native American religions commonly looked at marriage differently.

As for taxes. Well, there is a tax write off for being married. More write off's for kids. Now be a good little American, take off those annoying shoes and go and cook us some snacks while the rest of the menfolk talk about important things.

Mark Stone 9 years, 1 month ago

I agree with billyflay. Why marriage? Why would a civil union, which allows the author and her partner the same legal status that is afforded to heterosexual couples, not be enough?

A state licensed civil union that would be completely separate from the institution of marriage, as a religious sacrament. Then moral and spiritual questions involving sin and salvation would be decided by "marital status" and legal questions involving taxation, guardianship of minor children, inheritance, and so on would instead depend on civil union status.

I don't see this as much of a change from the current situation, in which almost all couples who marry obtain both a religious and a governmental license. My spouse and I got both when we were married. I expect that most couples would still want both. But separating the two institutions more cleanly would make it possible for couples who, for whatever reason, do not qualify for marriage to be recognized by civil authorities as joint householders, guardians of minor children, life insurance beneficiaries, and so on.

Cleanly separating religious/marriage from secular/civil unions would appear to be an effective and equitable way to both protect the sanctity of the traditional concept of marriage and provide equal treatment under the law for all citizens.

Ember 9 years, 1 month ago

We all agree that there should be a separation of church and state in this country, right?

crickets chirping

Alright, The Pat Robertson's of the universe not withstanding, there honestly should be some kind of a political gulf between religion and politics. Case in point, look at how well religious nations have been run by churches over the years.

THUNK rubbing top of head

Alright, God, I know yer supposed to be all knowing, but yer followers, by and large, are idiots. Face it, dude/dudette, they are.

If the theory of church/state separation is an actuality, then how can a state legislate what constitutes a marriage?

Marriage, last I knew, was a religious covenant between two human beings and God, regardless of the connotion of the worrd you use. The key (important for you less edumakated peeple) word there is 'RELIGIOUS", hense imply religion.

A state law based directly and soley on the interpretation of a religion should, thus, be illegal, but that assumes people are smart enough to realize that any fringe faction can gather enough political power to get what they want in terms of laws and what not.

Stop beating your bibles and look around you. Beating it is about as useful as it is with a dead horse. All you do is ... well... accomplish not a damned thing but annoy everyone around you, because none of you can hold a beat if it's on a cassette tape in yer back pockets.

I know we are all supposed to march to our own drummer, or beat our drummers, or something like that, but come on, if sycronized swimming can be an Olympic event, then so can sycronized bible beating. If nothing else, it would be amusing to watch a bunch of American religious "leaders" trying to outshout their bretheren in other nations. Personally, I think the Muslims will win that one every year just because they yell a lot. Then again, if we put some southern baptists in there, it might be a close call for the judges...

At any rate...

Homosexuals are just the current social minority to bash on. We'll pick a new one here in a couple of decades or so. We always do. First it was blacks, then women, alcoholics, so on and so forth. Society balked, hemmed and hawed over it for a while and eventually realized that they are human beings with certain and specific rights.

We'll do the same with homosexuals eventually. Just wish I could live long enough to see it, just to see how badly pissed off the religious folks get when another pillar of their political agendas gets knocked out from under then and get splinters from it when they fall down and go boom.

Mark Stone 9 years, 1 month ago

The majority of people have been mistaken before. Just in this country's not so distant past, people of different races were not allowed to marry and it was illegal for women to vote. These were always wrong, but it took time and education about the issues for the majority of people to come to recognize the flawed thinking behind those injustices. I maintain that similarly the present Kansas "marriage protection" law will also eventually be overturned.

I think that you are recognizing a difference between homosexual and heterosexual behavior based on your value system. However the constitutional concept of equal treatment under law for all citizens is not dependent on your value system or my value system for that matter.

Which brings me back to the original argument that if your intentions are to protect the sanctity of traditional marriage, and not just express your personal distaste for homosexuality, then separating the institutions of religious/marriage from secular/civil union is more likely to achieve that goal. Depending on the present prevailing political circumstances will most likely fail because if history is any indicator, those political circumstances will change.

Mark Stone 9 years, 1 month ago

conservativeman,

By your "NAMBLA" comment it appears that you may be mistakenly equating pederasty with homosexuality. An adult having sex with a child, whether it is homosexual or heterosexual sex, is illegal in every state and as well it should be. On the other hand it is not illegal to be homosexual.

That aside, your comment was completely off the subject under discussion. The argument is whether all consenting adults have the same right to marry the person they want.

You still have not commented on the suggestion to separate the institutions of religious/marriage from secular/civil unions. I maintain that this solution ultimately stands the best chance of achieving both the goal of protecting the sanctity of traditional marriage and providing equal treatment under the law for all citizens.

Ember 9 years, 1 month ago

I am so thrilled to have among us one such as Conservativeman, who is obviously the ultimate authority on who can and cannot feel human emotions.

Without him, I would have never known that a homosexual cannot feel a desire for commitment to a partner, or even a basic emotion such as love. Golly Gee Willikers, what else could this solid rock of morality and human design teach someone such as me, who is obviously lacking in knowledge?

pausing to dab at the sarcasm on my shirt

Sorry, but it splashed and it stains if you don't get it off quickly.

You are such an arrogant ass, Conservativeman. I admit to being arrogant most of the time, and frequently a bastard, both in birth and action, but you eclipse me in ways most never manage.

You are flat out stating that homosexuals have no right to have emotions or to feel anything beyond the carnal lust that is leading them down this hypothetical path of damnation.

You sound a lot like my grandfather used to before he died. At least he was set in a racial mindset for discrimination. You are not quite measuring up that high, since his was a societal upbringing back in the South before racial discrimination was made illegal. Your brand of discrimination is much more invasive and infinately more tasteless.

Linda Endicott 9 years, 1 month ago

Conservativeman,

At one point in time in this country, Martin Luther King would have been considered a liberal with disordered values. What did you think of him?

As for your value system?

No thanks.

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