Archive for Friday, March 23, 2007

Committee stands against partnership registry

March 23, 2007


— A House committee voted Thursday to prohibit domestic partnership registries in response to a move in Lawrence to establish one.

State Rep. Lance Kinzer, R-Olathe, said House Bill 2299 was needed to protect the state constitutional amendment that bans same-sex marriage.

"There is a real potential for setting up legal challenges to the marriage amendment" through domestic partnership registries, Kinzer said.

But several Democrats on the House Federal and State Affairs Committee said the measure was a slap at homosexuals and privacy rights.

"This is about as mean as it gets," said state Rep. Ann Mah, D-Topeka.

The committee recommended approval on a 10-6 vote, sending the bill to the full House for consideration.

It was the last bill on the committee's agenda for the 2007 session.

The proposal would prevent any city or county from establishing a registry that "recognizes any domestic partnership not recognized under state law."

Kinzer said the legislation would prevent a "hodgepodge" of laws on domestic relationships.

State Rep. Judith Loganbill, D-Wichita, proposed an amendment to set up a statewide domestic registry, which she said would address Kinzer's concern that Kansas law remain uniform.

But Republicans defeated that measure.

"From the anything that goes department, it discriminates against four or five people who want to have an officially recognized loving relationship," state Rep. Benjamin Hodge, R-Overland Park, said of Loganbill's amendment.

The city of Lawrence has been considering whether to approve a domestic partnership registry and has requested an attorney general's opinion on the legality of setting it up. That opinion is due in April.

Supporters of the registry say it would help gay couples receive health insurance coverage from companies that extend benefits to their employees' partners. Under the registry, same-sex and opposite-sex couples could register as domestic partners.

Some companies require a registry as proof of a domestic partnership, supporters of the registry say.

But Kinzer said he thought supporters of a domestic partnership registry were trying to attain legal marital rights, and then assert them in a challenge to the constitutional amendment that states marriage in Kansas can only be between one man and one woman.

Hodge also said that gay couples should lobby their employers, not government, for the extension of health insurance benefits to their partners.


preebo 11 years, 3 months ago


Come out of the closet. Lawrence's Partnership Registry proposal is not a contradiction to the Kansas ban on Same-Sex Marriages. They are not asking for Marriage, but for the right to viewed as a union for tax purposes and benefits.

How homophobic can you get?

George_Braziller 11 years, 3 months ago

"From the anything that goes department, it discriminates against four or five people who want to have an officially recognized loving relationship," state Rep. Benjamin Hodge, R-Overland Park, said of Loganbill's amendment.

Four or five people!!? According to the 2000 census there were 42,2998 unmarried partners counted.

Bradley Kemp 11 years, 3 months ago

I think that what Hodge meant is that the proposed domestic partnership registry discriminated against groups of four or five people who wanted to register their group as a domestic partnership.

I don't think the census counted such groups.

mom_of_three 11 years, 3 months ago

Does Hodge actually think there are only 4 or 5 people who want their relationship recognized? He is out of touch.

Mauidreaming 11 years, 3 months ago

Typical bigoted Republicans . . . always making fear-based decisions.

deec 11 years, 3 months ago

How? How, specifically, does recognition of civil partnerships, regardless of the gender of the 2 adult members, harm the family, and by extension, society? I've asked this repeatedly on numerous threads regarding gay issues, and NEVER gotten an answer.

jafs 11 years, 3 months ago

I'm not really sure I understand the opposition to gay marriage, or even polygamy.

If two (or more) people wish to form a committed loving partnership, who exactly does that hurt?

As a straight married male, my marriage is not threatened at all by alternative ones.

You'd think on some level that conservative folks would be glad to see gay and lesbian couples who want to form committed lasting relationships, since their previous opposition was that these folks engaged in irresponsible promiscuity.

bytheway 11 years, 3 months ago

What is the big deal? Wasn't the equal rights amendment added to prevent this type of discrimination? Hodge is an idiot by what I have read here. Why are people so threatened by other people's bedroom choices? I guess we should ban couples that like to watch porn and have sex. Isn't that immoral? Why is it that we have to have a Moral Majority? Why is everyone so concerned with everyone else when their own personal problems are tearing them apart? We should just go ahead and ban the entertainment industry in general since there is a lot of immoral programs and such that the writers of the bible would flip over in their graves. My argument is why are we so opposed to people who want to complete their union be abolished from it? I will never understand how we thrive off of ignorance. The world is full of ignorant, chavonistic people. Do we really need more?

shockchalk 11 years, 3 months ago

They need to talk to their employers, not the legislature, about their insurance problems. Get a clue, this IS about challenging the marriage ammendment and for those of you who don't remember. It passed with over 70% of Kansans voting FOR it.

Bradley Kemp 11 years, 3 months ago


That's a very open-minded view.

The real opposition on the part of conservative reactionaries isn't to same sex marriage. As you point out, that opposition doesn't add up logically.

What they're really opposed to is homosexuality and homosexuals, which they want to go away. They see awarding marriage rights to same sex couples as a step in making homosexuals' lives more comfortable.

Of course, then one must ask why they want homosexuality and homosexuals to go away. There are probably any number of reasons for that, but all with one thing in common: Fear.

shockchalk 11 years, 3 months ago

Souki........It's not homosexuality or homosexuals that they want to go away. That will always be part of society. They want protect the sanctity of the family unit as they see it. If you destroy the families, you can destroy the culture and ultimately the entire country. I'm sure you, and many others, don't agree with this at all but that doesn't mean it's not true. If you study the history of the world you can find evidence that the absence of a family structure leads to failure as a society.

Grundoon Luna 11 years, 3 months ago

You are complete full of $#!^ Shock Chalk.

jayhawk1234 11 years, 3 months ago

the city really needs to focus on other things a forget about this domestic partnership letting women vote

Bradley Kemp 11 years, 3 months ago


Please point out one single "society" that "failed" as a result of the destruction of the family. And bear in mind that the modern nuclear family is, well, just that. Modern. A recent invention.

shockchalk 11 years, 3 months ago

Nice sentence Azure Ineptitude..........How would you even know what I'm full of? Maybe you should try posting a thought instead of an insult!

Grundoon Luna 11 years, 3 months ago

Bytheway, I have another question:

Why does FAUX New and their pundits spout off about family values this and that, save society from those awful liberals, etc., when the Fox organization puts out the sleaziest, raunchiest programming and movies out there?
Because they are knee-jerk reactionary, hypocritical jag-offs, and Reality_Check so nicely pointed out. The Sheild, Nip/Tuck, not exactly family viewing is it? And most of their other programming borders on smut.


Which means I have to burn my Borat DVD. That is the rauchiest movie of the year. But you gotta love Sacha Baron Cohen.

I think lies, duplicity, and war for all the wrong reasons harm society and families more than homosexuality.

Grundoon Luna 11 years, 3 months ago

OK, Shock Chalk, here's a thought for you. I think you are completely full of $#!^

Your whole diatribe is an insult to intelligent persons everywhere.

And you can masticate my gluteous maximus.

shockchalk 11 years, 3 months ago


I appreciate your post. I would like to say that not everyone who voted for the marriage ammendment is a dangerous homophobe. There are many people who are accepting of homosexuals but felt the legislation was necessary for a number of reasons. These arguments always seem to be shaded as the "left" versus the "right" and that is unfortunate. There are certainly dangerous people, thoughts, opinions, agendas, etc. out there but they aren't all on one side of the aisle and they don't include everyone on that side.

shockchalk 11 years, 3 months ago


I like a lot of your posts. You are smart and funny!

Porter 11 years, 3 months ago

shockchalk, I've heard the argument about protecting the sanctity of marriage. We've all heard it. What we haven't heard, is an explanation on how civil unions threaten that sanctity. How does a committed homosexual couple cause any harm at all to a hetero couple?

shockchalk 11 years, 3 months ago

Scene, Dam,

I was just being nice. Do you want me to write something nice to you two as well? C'mon, can't a guy write a nice post without you giving him a hard time?? It's Friday and KU happy!!!

Tychoman 11 years, 3 months ago

It's hard to be happy with bigots like you stinking up these boards, shock.

Grundoon Luna 11 years, 3 months ago

There's gay people here in fear of straight people, Dummy? Can I call you Dummy? Kinda like Rumsfeld is Rummy . . .

yourworstnightmare 11 years, 3 months ago

"protecting the sanctity of..." has been a pathetic excuse for discrimination for generations.

protecting the sanctity of the white race...

protecting the sanctity of neighborhoods...

protecting the sanctity of religious superstition...

And now, "protecting the sanctity of the family".

This is just one more "protecting the sanctity of..." that will soon be washed away by the currents of democracy, liberty, and constitutional freedom. Fight all you want, but equal treatment of homosexuals under the law is going to happen.

yourworstnightmare 11 years, 3 months ago

"No one should be allowed to get married if the couples combined weight is over 400lbs."

Hah! Not to mention the fact that these 200+ pound people would need to resort to immoral sexual positions to procreate, the real point of marriage anyway, right?

ilovelucy 11 years, 3 months ago

Shock: something tells me that you also believe in the "rapture" and the second coming. Are you waiting for all of us "left/right believe in everyone's rights" to get swallowed up in the armageddon?

preebo 11 years, 3 months ago

Someone tell me how a domestic registry porposal translates legally, philosphically, or logistically to contradicting the Kansas Constitutional amendment banning Same-Sex Marriage.

Religion has nothing to do with it, it is outside the scope of the Church and is not required to be ordained by any church organization.

This is merely for health benefit coverage, retirement benefit application for spouses, and tax purposes. So again, someone show me the contradiction here. As an attorney I see no connection between domestic registry and civil unions or marriage.

preebo 11 years, 3 months ago

Sorry for the use of the word spouses, what I should have said was the word partners. Partners would be more appropriate in this argument. Again I apologize for the slip.

Kat Christian 11 years, 3 months ago

I didn't see where this is homophobic. It also included opposite sex partnerships too. So why have a marriage ceremony if this is approved no one will be required to be married except the really romantics partners who choose a traditional ceremony. I agree they should be protecting to corporations/companies/businesses to offer health insurance to partners.

Kat Christian 11 years, 3 months ago

it would be too easy for any couple to claim they are lovers and register and receive benefits. there are too many holes in this for it to come to law.

whistlestop75 11 years, 3 months ago

Has anyone looked at the number of people who work for the state of Kansas and the sheer number of dollars it would take to bring on partners to KPERS? Plus what it would cost the taxpayers to provide insurance for partners? I just wonder if everyone is over simplifying this issue by just using the homophobe title. I can't help but believe that some of those lawmakers were looking at Representative can't get it out of a committee takes a majority to get it to the floor, and a majority to get it passed. How many on this forum are willing to email the House to stress the importance of non-passage of this Bill? You can find their email addresses at , click on the Government link, scroll down to Legislative, click on it and you can find info on any Bill and how to get ahold of the House members...

Grundoon Luna 11 years, 3 months ago

Not at all, Dummy. My reading experience of most of the posters that are in support of the registry is that they are straight people, and lots of them married to opposite sex partners, supporting this for those that may benefit from the registry, gay or straight.

It seems you imply that the straight supporters are self loathing?

preebo 11 years, 3 months ago

You know what I find to be extremely humorous is we have employment law that protects people of varying races, sex, disabilities, and sexual orientations from descrimination in the workplace, while just outside those same doors the community within which the said complany operates is free to descriminate against people with unorthadox sexual orientations. With all the advancement in civil liberties we still have yet to accept this particular one. I find it disheartening, particularly, but unfortunately others do not.

I urge you all to read the 14th Amendment, particularly the Equal Protection Clause, probably the most important addition to the United States Constitution, save the 1st and perhaps the 9th.

While I know that historically, the Supreme Court has not viewed Sexual Orientation as a "suspect class" and has avoided placing certain protections on it, but there comes a time where every civilization must protect its people, all its people, from the opressive weight of the majority, or the simple but profound message read in the Declaration of Independence, and in the Preamble of the Constitution will be destroyed by those it was meant to protect -- You.

notsobright 11 years, 3 months ago

Registry for what?? Why not three men, two women, a dog, and a horse? Don't oppress these men, women and animals- they have rights you know? Ridiculous!

Reality, nature, the history of mankind, the people of KS, ethics, and the law have all spoken. Can we quit revivsiting this non-sensical discussion?

Thanks to Kinzer for willing to be a leader who is upholding his obligation to that which is clearly rational.

Tychoman 11 years, 3 months ago

And thanks to notsobright for proving that he IS not so bright.

prioress 11 years, 3 months ago

I've heard the argument about protecting the sanctity of marriage.

If they believed this, they would outlaw divorce, unless it were forced upon a couple by the state after 5-6 years if they will not or can not have children.

Grundoon Luna 11 years, 3 months ago

Are you saying that what I wrote is in support of your "heterophobe" reference. If so, I can't imagine how one could extraplate that into a phobia and there is no irrational fear at all.

preebo 11 years, 3 months ago


You have truly lived up to your name. With all due respect, your statement was not only completely offbase, but it also lacked any real logical reason. Man+Man and Women+Women does not equate to polygamy nor beastiality, just as Man+Women and the like, but nice try.

mick 11 years, 3 months ago

A rare victory for Democracy and majority rule.

BigDog 11 years, 3 months ago

Why is it if someone opposes an idea like this the first thing out of some peoples mouths is someone is homophobic? I have friends that are gay and lesbian, some don't support a registry or gay marriage. Some of them support one but not the other.

Are they homophobic also if they are not supportive of this idea?

EXks 11 years, 3 months ago

I understand for the current generation, (the 50 + crowd), ideas of equality for same sex couples is a bit to sophisticated and complex for them to digest. They were brought up with preconceived ideas regarding sexuality and equality that were wrapped in biblical babble, hoisted on them by the previous generation

As the current generation of political hacks dies off, a younger generation will soon inherit the reigns of political power and they share a different view on same sex issues and marriage.

Enlightened countries such as Canada, Spain, The Netherlands, Belgium, even South Africa have LEGALIZED same sex marriage.....and in a few years the United States will follow, it is just a matter of time and patience.

Grundoon Luna 11 years, 3 months ago

What are their reasons for not supporting it, Big Dog? That is really what will determine if it's homophobia.

People asserting stupidity such as gay marriage or even registries will effectively be licenseing polygamy, incest and cross species relations, or that society and the institution of marriage will be ruined if gay marriage or even registies are allowed, well, that ridiculousness wreaks of homophobia.

Dummy, were you asking moi if I was a heterophobe? I'm into woman + man which makes me hetero and I have no feelings of self loathing whatsoever. That's how I roll. Woman + woman? I just don't get down like that though I have nothing against women that do, nor men than want to be with other men.

shockchalk 11 years, 3 months ago

parkay.....get ready for the onslaught of insults from the enlightened, lucy, and preebo. They are only tolerant of the ideas, agendas, and bs that lines up with their own way of thinking. Hang in there though, the truth will set us all free.

deec 11 years, 3 months ago

Unfortunately,you may very well be right, legally. I would just like the neocons to just once actually think out their position on gay rights (or anything else), and actually explain it. Citing the Bible or Faux news doesn't count.

Bradley Kemp 11 years, 3 months ago


Maybe parkay will get insults. His insulting tone would attract them.

But really all that needs to be said is that he is wrong. He's wrong about what sodomy is. He's wrong about the fundamental nature of the United States being changed by extending civil rights to everyone. His slippery-slope argument is misguided -- and even if it weren't, he misidentifies the starting point of the slope. (It's civil marriage, period, not same-sex marriage.)

And he's wrong in saying that same-sex marriage won't happen.

It will. Although it may not happen until he and his ilk have all died off.

Michael Capra 11 years, 3 months ago

they spoke and everyone shall listen steak and potatos

Porter 11 years, 3 months ago

75- The benefit is to the employers that want to attract the best employees by offering first-class benefits. If I owned a company, I would offer spousal benefits to same-sex couples. Having a registry would make it easier to prevent moochers. Another benefit is to reinforce the idea of home rule. Why is Rep. Kinzer so insistent on promoting big government?

Shockchalk- You still haven't answered my question about the dangers that this would pose to the sanctity of marriage. How would this harm those of us that are married to someone of the opposite sex?

Grundoon Luna 11 years, 3 months ago

You make me laugh, Parkay. You are such an extremist.

These folks don't choose thier orientation, and all over the place the right wing is beginning to acknowledge that. So, they are born that way and as such by your logic are made from God, who is infallible. If what you believe is true and being gay is so wrong then you have to admit 1 of 2 things: 1. God is fallable; or 2. You are wrong because God doesn't make mistakes meaning being gay actually is OK.

Kinzer is an oppressor. Stop the discrimination.

Tychoman 11 years, 3 months ago

Parkay, shockchalk: ARE YOU SERIOUS?!

EXks 11 years, 3 months ago

parkay....America heard the same rhetorical garbage you spew back in the 50's & 60's when hordes of hate mongering mobs of apoplectic whites attacked African American school children, forbade eating at lunch counters or drink water from a fountain, and yet African Americans were told they had equal rights.

as for "the truth will set us all free"....hmmm, Germany heard that motto back in the 1930's

Grundoon Luna 11 years, 3 months ago

Shock, you are so misguided that you wouldn't know what tolerance is if it landed in your lap. You are a hypocryt.

I'm a married, straight woman so I would hardly be in need of such a registry, but I would never think to deny - thus I am tolerant of others, unlike you - any other adults in a consenting relationship the benefits I enjoy. It is discrimination pure and simple. And being so simple one would think you could understand. It's a shame you don't.

promitida 11 years, 3 months ago

One day Americans are going to look back at this, like they did on slavery and women's rights. I just wish that I could live to see it, but I probably won't.

james bush 11 years, 3 months ago

Women and goats as opposed to man and man or whatever other deviant behavior would be as bad! Let's just have a regisistry of deviants and leave it at that!

EXks 11 years, 3 months ago

Women and goats as opposed to man and man or whatever other deviant behavior would be as bad! Let's just have a regisistry of deviants and leave it at that!

jimmycrackcorn, is this what they taught you at Dumb A** High School??

Oops, now I'm stooping to your level

james bush 11 years, 3 months ago

Only aclu supporters should be allowed to sleep with the same sex!

jafs 11 years, 3 months ago

Can't the state amendment be declared unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court?

If one reads the Loving vs. Virginia decision, it would seem there is not only a constitutional issue, but also some precedent there.

How does same-sex marriage/union or even polygamy damage anything? It seems to me that it just extends the concept of committed loving partnerships, which are held to be good things.

Also, it's obvious that us straight folks aren't doing such a great job with marriage, if you look at the statistics of infidelity and divorce.

Employers are not required to offer any benefits, and if they choose to do so and require some evidence of an actual union, this registry might help those employees gain benefits to which they're entitled.

notsobright 11 years, 3 months ago

couranna1- It is ironic that the "bigoted as you think" slogan is so bigoted. If I hold to the majority rational view held for the entire history of man, my view is now bigoted. So the only view that is not bigoted is yours?? Interesting. . . sounds like propaganda and oppression to me.

Further, because people who are hetersexual support it still gives no basis for the argument.

Would someone please explain "Why a registry?" And, PLEASE don't use a moral opinion argument, as most of these threads continue to appeal for a moral basis while at the same time suggest that there is no standard for morality; except of course, where it is convenient.

notsobright 11 years, 3 months ago

couranna1- You don't know me and I can assure you I am not some ill-advised basher. I host temendously diverse groups of folks in my circles. Give a sound argument. I am listening.

Reality!!?? That is what I am appealing to. Nature is obvious. Law which is based on ethics and morality has already spoken.

So some here appeal to a "moral standard" that they "should" be given special rights for a relationship "they" have defined. On the other hand, if I appeal to a moral standard I apparently am a "bigot."

What would happen if my "morality" appealed to more than two people? Animals?? etc. etc. Why should this not be allowed?? Would I still be a bigot?

The point is: civil society can only operate on a moral base. That base, while given in natural law, can be questioned and discussed. But, name calling and this propagandish junk doesn't solve anything. Kinzer is doing his job to uphold the law. If some want this changed- it will be up to them to have the law changed by giving a credible argument as to why natural law and morality suggest other that what has already been spoken.

Feel free to convince me- but can we stop the childish name calling which typically only reveals the lack of depth of an argument.

jafs 11 years, 3 months ago

not-so-bright, why that name?

Ok, here goes.

One, the Constitution grants all citizens the right to "pursuit of happiness". To allow a certain group (ie. heterosexual couples) to marry and receive a variety of social and personal benefits while denying that right to another group is discrimination, pure and simple.

Two, in Loving vs. Virginia, the Supreme Court held that marriage is a "fundamental right" and cannot be denied without extremely compelling reasons. The individuals involved were an interracial couple who had been denied the right to marry.

Historically, one can find many examples of polygamy, including some from the Bible - the ancient Jewish patriarchs all had multiple wives.

And, as I mentioned above, the registry would allow couples whose employers would offer benefits to partners to have documentation of their relationship for those employers.

I think the fear of human/other species coupling is unfounded - any marriage laws would of necessity involve consenting adults - one can't judge consent with an animal.

The history of our country shows the increasing granting of rights to an expanding group of people - these anti-gay marriage amendments are the first amendments to prohibit rights.

If the Supreme Court had the guts to hear a case involving these amendments, I am pretty confident that they would be overturned based on Constitutional principles and precedent.

If our society is to offer civil benefits to coupling, it should offer them to all consenting adult couples. And, personally, I have no objection to polygamy.

notsobright 11 years, 3 months ago

anna- Now you are getting somewhere. Appreciate your thoughts and effort. There are a number of holes in the argument to which I would disagree, but at minimum you have moved past the ridiculous posts and comments I see often.

Amongst other things, one point that I still find conflicting is the notion of a couple or marriage. Why? Why do you leave it at two? Why not numerous men, women, children, or animals? It is not a "fear" for me as you suggest. Rather, why not? Who is to say? Where does the limit stop? Don't laws "discriminate" good behavior from bad behavior? How is that to be determined?

Because we are in a real world with real purpose and real standards- you will have to appeal to some standard of morality for your position. I am doing the same thing- that is, appealing to a standard of morality. That does not make me a bigot.

I would suggest that my standard is based in a real world with obvious natural revelation. (And yes, special revelation too-which by the way-did reject polygamy)

We won't agree here I am sure. But, at least you gave me some interesting points to consider. In the end, I think you will find that human beings and marriage holds much higher value than just determined machinery. You personally are far more than a hunk of cells. Thus, whatever your view on this issue, as a human being you deserve great dignity and respect. The good news is any decision made by a group of people at some round table can't change the facts of reality. 2 + 2 will always equal 4. And you, as a human being will always have moral freedom. One can not get around the truth-which if true, fits reality.

jafs 11 years, 3 months ago


I'm not anna, if you're responding to my post.

The basis for legislation in this country is the Constitution, and precedents said to represent "settled law".

You are free, based on that Constitution, to determine your own feelings about religion/morality, but not to impose them on others.

The natural world shows a variety of relationship structures among animals, certainly not primarily our modern "nuclear family".

As mentioned above, studying history and other cultures shows examples of polygamy as well.

The reason that laws involve "consenting adults" is that we feel it's necessary to protect children and others who may not be able to consent from being abused by more powerful citizens. This principle would certainly suffice to prevent human-animal coupling, or adult-child marriages.

If consenting adults wish to enter into committed loving relationships, who is being hurt?

If no one is being hurt, what is the justification for preventing them?

And, especially if certain forms are given civil benefits, it is discriminatory to so so.

notsobright 11 years, 3 months ago

Sorry jafs- I noted that after I posted-

The problem that you are caught in, is ALL law is based on morality, not the Constitution.

The Constitution simply agrees to the obvious reality. Human beings, because of their origin have inalienable rights. It is not the Constitution that gives those rights but the fact that I am a free moral personal being created with purpose. What the Constitution does create is a public civil table of discourse where people like yourself-because you are a free human being- have the opportunity to question and even change the law.

Your post suggests numerous moral standards. Why choose those? For example, why should we protect children? Says who? Who says discrimination against human beings that are different is wrong?

I would also disagree that any human behavior that is tolerated is justified or acceptable. Because a particular culture wants to rid itself of certain persons, whether ethnic goups, handicapped, or homosexual; does not make it morally right. Nazi Germany thought it was. In the end, the WORLD disagreed! There are cultures that believe it is okay to rape their own children and other young girls- is this okay? I say it is not. There are cultures that kill homosexuals. Is this okay? I say it is not. The list goes on. . .

Why are we involved in human rights if we really do not believe their are obivous moral standards that are true for all.

You ask "Who is being hurt?" An entire culture! And deeply sad is the very individuals who give themselves over to a lie that they are mere determined machinery with no moral freedom.

And I may know more about personal various lifestyles than you think. The consequences for immorality are far greater than most will admit.

Just my 2c :)

Porter 11 years, 3 months ago

notsobright- Thanks for (at the least) a reasoned argument. Haven't heard much of that on this topic. I have to disagree, though. I don't believe that laws (in our country) are based on morality at all. In fact, the whole idea of freedom in the U.S. is that you can go your own way - as long as it doesn't harm anyone else. These anti-homosexual laws are a direct affront to my philosophy that the legislature has no business making laws based on morals.

To say that an entire culture is being hurt is nothing but self-righteous hyperbole. Only in religious texts does it claim that homosexual behavior is a danger. Can you show any other evidence to the contrary?

Porter 11 years, 3 months ago

I should clarify that poorly-worded paragraph.

Can you show any evidence, other then religious texts, that claims homosexuality is a danger to our culture?

jafs 11 years, 3 months ago


Our country was founded on the principles in the Constitution, not your version of some sort of absolute morality.

It is not at all "obvious" that any of us have any rights at all - in fact, if you look at the animal kingdom, you will see a certain brutality and survival of the fittest.

The reason that discrimination should not be allowed in this country is that it violates the basic principles of our society.

Similarly, the reason we protect children, etc. is the same - we are attempting to ensure "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" of all citizens.

My point about other cultures/nature was that you claim some sort of obvious natural revelation and historical evidence that shows that heterosexual coupling is the right way to be. As far as I can tell, that is not borne out by the facts.

I think our culture is being hurt by discrimination, failure to live up our own basic principles, hatred of minority groups, and the insidious infiltration of right-wing Christian beliefs into our government. Living up to our own standards can only help this country.

None of the examples you mentioned seem relevant to the question of whether consenting adults in this country have the right to engage in loving committed partnerships that are recognized by the state.

notsobright 11 years, 3 months ago

jafs- Every appeal you made thus far is based in morality. Why should we live up to "our own standards?" Whose standards? What is wrong with discrimination? On what basis? You say the Consitution. . . but is that the final authority? Is law the final authority? If so, that means who ever has the power is right. Slavery was right? Executions under Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, etc are all right because the law says so. I disagree- there is a higher law than what man puts on paper.

This whole notion that autonomous man decides his own morality and his own definition of transcendent realites is quite frightening. History shows the deadly result.

This discussion tends to digress because many of the conclusions are born not by reason. It is obvious that a male was made for a female. An organ of death was not made for an organ of life. The statistics bare the truth that there is no virtue or health in recognizing immoral behavior.

Porter- I appealed to natural law. But, what is wrong with divine revelation? The Scriptures tell us many things including that all men were created equal-which has given you the freedom to voice your opinion here. Man did not come up with that idea. This past century alone reveals the death of millions as a result of autonomus man operating on his own self determined moral system. In that kind of system, sooner or later, "might means right." So, "Yes" I do beleive there are standards that are far beyond man and his decisions. And the natural consequences for violation of such standards is clear.

For those that disagree with me. You have the right. Not becuse the law says so but because you are a free moral being. I will stand to protect you from any who try to take away that right. At the same time, I would hope you would stand behind my right to hold to my moral conclusions as well. The question will be: Which one fits reality and offers the most virtue for a society? They both can not be right!

Though it seems to me the answer has already been given, time in a real world will yield the truth one way or the other.

notsobright 11 years, 3 months ago

Porter- I failed to mention. Law is based on morality! Why should there be a law to not run a stop light? Because it protects lives. That is morality! The entire pro-choice/pro-life debate is one of morality. . .that is, should one be allowed to make take the life of their own baby or not? That is morality!

I hear people say it all the time, but truly friend, to say that a government does not legislate morality really makes no sense. The very fact we have a government is to recognize and implement morality for a civilized society.

Further- this notion that it "doesn't hurt anybody" is an empty argument as well. We have laws against a "peeping tom," "pornography" etc, etc. Why? Because it is immoral! And frankly, in the end, ANY immoral activity affects others. No one lives in a vacuum.

Porter 11 years, 3 months ago

notsobright- You're confusing morality with safety, and I think they can easily be separated. To say that stop lights are installed by the govt to prevent the immoral action of murder is a HUGE stretch. In fact, traffic laws are a perfect example of laws that are created solely for the purpose of protecting its citizens.

I never said there was anything wrong with divine revelation. But why should non-believers be forced to accept laws that you're God has put forth?

Legislating morality is VERY dangerous, simply because morality is subjective. Scenebooster has a good point. The Nazis thought they were moral. Those laws did nothing to protect its citizens (quite the opposite, in fact).

notsobright 11 years, 3 months ago


Why should we care about safety? Why protect people? What is wrong with "might means right"? If I can get through a corner and only hurt a couple of people why shouold any one care? Those are ALL moral issues. Not a HUGE stretch. . . we value human life. That is moral.

Porter says, "Legislating morality is very dangerous."

What do you mean "dangerous"? Isn't this very statement a moral statement? One thing "ought" not be done. "Ought" or "should" makes it a moral statement. You are saying something is not "good" for the people. It is dangerous.

Nazis- BINGO! They passed laws that they "THOUGHT" were moral, right, and best for somebody?? It was "their" moral truth. Why can we say they were wrong? Why shouldn't they be allowed to do what they want? They believed that handicapped children, homosexuals, and finally Jews and Christians were the problem for a prosperous society. They even appealed for this personal morality in their criminal trials.

This is exactly my entire point on all my posts. There has to be something above man's law, as man's law is subjective. The final authority is not law. Therefore, GOOD law will be BASED on the higher absolute morality- not man's power, opinion, or subjectivity.

I appeal to natural law and revelation. I say good government seeks that which is moral then legislates to implement that for the people. That which is "moral" must come from something "outside" of a society or group of people.

Though he may not have known all its implications, Sartre understood the problem: "A finite point has no meaning apart from an infinite reference point."

jafs 11 years, 3 months ago


The appeal to an absolute morality does nothing to protect humanity from destructiveness.

The Crusades were undertaken with an appeal to that, as well as the Inquisition and, in our day, the jihadists.

I think you're mistaken if you believe that appealing to an "outside" authority is going to prevent mistakes and negative behavior.

One problem is that even if there is such a thing, our understanding of it would be limited and partial at best.

Different societies organize in different ways, based on different principles - ours is based on the Constitution. When discussing questions such as gay marriage, that is the foundation of our country.

You are of course free to believe whatever you wish about gay people, but if we are discussing public policy and the anti gay marriage amendments, we are discussing legal matters.

Why should we "live up to our own standards"? Because to do otherwise is to act against the principles our nation was founded upon.

Are these principles good ones? I think they're pretty good, not necessarily absolutely best, and certainly flawed in some ways. For example, the notion that the majority should prevail may be problematic.

I'm sure that it's true when founding a nation, those involved try to create a structure which reflects their understanding of what would be good for people. The outcomes are not the same from country to country though.

For example, those who are aware of the negative aspects of capitalism see socialism or communism as a more equitable structure.

Kodiac 11 years, 3 months ago

"I appeal to natural law and revelation. I say good government seeks that which is moral then legislates to implement that for the people. That which is "moral" must come from something "outside" of a society or group of people." -- Notsobright

To add to what others have already said Bright, the largest problem with what you are saying is that you have no basis for an "absolute morality". You have no way of knowing what is natural and what is being "revealed". You appeal to something that is "outside" of humans which is nonsensiscal or meaningless. How can we know something that is "outside" of ourselves.

You are merely assigning a transcendental property to good and bad and that is fine with me. I don't agree with it but I respect your right to believe in it. There are other possibilities. There is a genetic basis for our emotions including empathy, which in turn could explain where our concept of morality comes from. While I do recognize that I do have empathy for others and thus form some personal level of morality from it, I do not necessarily have to believe in some external standard to live by such a code or believe in some personal version of right or wrong.

The earlier statement you made about "the very individuals who give themselves over to a lie that they are mere determined machinery with no moral freedom." is an extreme statement that does not apply to most of us Bright. Most of us do act morally and take responsibility and have a sense of right or wrong. I think the key here is that those who claim to have knowledge of transendetal moral facts invariably believe that they have some direct and immediate connection to those facts. But adding a god to show what this connection is, does not explain our sense of right or wrong any more than positing that such connections are part of the natural order of things through evolutionary processes.

We all still have a sense of right or wrong but none of us really can say with absolute certainty why that is. No matter how hard you try Bright, it still comes down to YOUR personal judgement of what is right and what is wrong. You are still making a choice just like any of us would be making a choice. I personally feel that an atheist is in a stronger position with respect to morality than those who believe in transcendent facts and introduce a god to reveal those facts. I do acknowledge both the existence/nonexistence of transcendental moral facts and the human sense of right or wrong will to some degree remain mysterious for anyone who believes in them and/or feels this sense.

Linda Endicott 11 years, 3 months ago

Homosexuality and homosexuals ARE the reason they are against domestic partner registries. Not once has anybody mentioned heterosexual couples that are not married being allowed to receive the same benefits as a reason for their not being a registry. The naysayers have focused only on homosexual relationships.

And society is only civil and moral on the surface, notsobright. As my psychology prof said in class, you'd be mightily surprised at what goes on behind closed doors in the homes of a lot of those people that you consider fine, upstanding, conservative, moral pillars of the community.

If all those fine, upstanding, important and influential heterosexuals in this country were really so damned moral, Heidi Fleiss wouldn't have been so popular, would she? And what do you supposed fuels the sex trade, torture and exploitation of hundreds of thousands of women and children around the world? The "moral" practices of all those visiting business people, a good lot of them from the U.S.

So Newt Gingerich is moral? Yeah...he's had...what...three wives, has cheated on all of them so far, but just because the people he married were all women, and not men, that makes him moral?

Ronald Regan was involved in the Iran-Contra scandal, but since he married a woman, that made him supremely moral?

Oliver North, who was also involved in the Iran-Contra scandal, and who single-handedly did more than any other American to promote the sale of paper shredders, is moral simply because he decided to marry a woman, and not another man?

O.J. Simpson, who, regardless of your views on his guilt or innocence related to murder, was documented as a wife beater. But, according to your standards, he apparently was "moral" because at least the wife he was beating was female?

You tell me exactly what is so damned moral about people who decide to push back, ignore, or totally abandon some of the most vulnerable citizens of this country (the poor, the homeless, the mentally ill).

According to your standards, the only people who are eligible for the rights set forth in the Constitution are the ones that believe in the same things that you do, and for the same reasons.

Silly me. I thought that the Constitution applied to all citizens of this country, not just the ones you approve of.

Go ahead and believe devoutly in your thin veneer of respectability and morality. Which means that by default, you consider the loving, homosexual couple down the street, who has been together for 10 years or more and never had a cross word with each other as immoral.

Yet you apparently consider the guy who lives down the street, is mean to his wife, and has molested his own daughter as being more moral. Just because he married a person of the opposite sex.

I don't understand you, nor people like you.

notsobright 11 years, 2 months ago

Interesting- "you have no basis for absolute morality" Is that an absolute statement?

To many posts: Law (i.e. Constitution) is the final authority. Okay- the law has spoken. Marriage, a moral realtionship defined by the law, is one man and one woman. Final authority! No more debate.

Crazy- is that a script from somewhere? I communicated virtually nothing you have referred to. . . what's up with that? Good grief. . . I won't even comment about the example of the abusive husband! You are right, you don't understand because you are confused.

It sure seems that if I disagree with many posting here that I am seen as wrong and immoral. To what standard do you appeal that I am wrong? Your problem is you are caught in a real world where morality and personality are not just obvious but inescaple. If I do not agree with your view then I am oppressing you. I am "imposing" my view on you. But, aren't you oppressing me- apparently I am now the problem because I believe in the very reality you must use in attempt to discredit me.

Take away the fact of the transcendence of man and morality and you are left with determined machinery, a bundle of accidental chemicals, with no basis that it can know anything accurately, born with no moral freedom, nothing more than a resource, to be thrown away when unwanted, might means right. . . welcome to Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, and yes- modern America- where we kill thousands of children and elderly for convenience sake; meanwhile people cry "foul" "immoral" "bigot" if some of us happen to think that there really are things that are right and wrong.

As one philosopher said, "You have both feet planted firmly in mid-air."

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