Home > Prop 8 Trial > Ed Whelan’s Amicus Brief in the Prop 8 case

Ed Whelan’s Amicus Brief in the Prop 8 case

September 26th, 2010

Ed Whelan filed an amicus brief in the Prop 8 case, on behalf of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. RRR’s have seen some of his arguments already in this space. He explodes the contention that the Prop 8 defense team “didn’t provide any evidence.” And in fact shows pretty clearly that Judge Walker echoed the plaintiffs PR arguments. But let me cut directly to Whelan’s bottom line:

What can possibly account for the remarkable series of errors discussed in this brief? Simple incompetence is not a plausible explanation. For starters, the district judge is very experienced and generally well regarded. Further, the thoroughly one-sided nature of the errors is inconsistent with the random pattern that incompetence would generate.

We respectfully submit that the inescapable explanation for the district judge’s performance in this case is that he harbors a deep-seated animus against traditional marriage and that he has been unwilling or unable to contain his animus. That understanding ought to inform this Court’s entire review of the district judge’s ruling.

What leads up to this conclusion is his analysis the Judge’s distortion of the record, distortions that just happened to favor the plaintiffs. For example:

Among the district judge’s many baseless contentions is his claim that “the evidence shows beyond debate that allowing same-sex couples to marry has at least a neutral, if not a positive effect, on the institution of marriage.” ER160-161 (emphasis added). For starters, such an assertion is simply beyond the capacity of the social sciences to sustain….
Further, as proponents demonstrate, the district judge’s extravagant claim rests almost entirely on the testimony of a single expert witness for plaintiffs, Professor Letitia Peplau, who specifically disclaimed that her limited statistics on marriage and divorce rates in Massachusetts were “necessarily serious indicators of anything.” ER241:1-2. The district judge’s claim also simply ignores the admission by another of plaintiffs’ expert witnesses, Professor Nancy Cott, that it is “impossible” to know what the consequences of same-sex marriage would be because “no one predicts the future that accurately.” ER226:17-22. And the district judge’s claim also fails to acknowledge, much less address, evidence in the record about negative trends in the Netherlands — on marriage rates and nonmarital childrearing — that were exacerbated in the aftermath of that country’s adoption of same-sex marriage. See Proponents’ Brief at 101-102.

The district judge’s misplaced certitude about the long-term impact of same-sex marriage stands in sharp contrast to the modest acknowledgment by proponents’ counsel at the summary-judgment hearing in October 2009 that he didn’t “know” what the long-term impact of same-sex marriage would be. In his opinion, the district judge clips counsel’s comment out of context in a manner that distorts his message by falsely suggesting that counsel’s epistemological modesty amounted to some sort of concession that same-sex marriage did not pose any significant potential harmful effects:
At oral argument on proponents’ motion for summary judgment, the court posed to proponents’ counsel the assumption that “the state’s interest in marriage is procreative” and inquired how permitting same-sex marriage impairs or adversely affects that interest. Counsel replied that the inquiry was “not the legally relevant question,” but when pressed for an answer, counsel replied: Your honor, my answer is: I don’t know. I don’t know.

Despite this response, proponents in their trial brief promised to “demonstrate that redefining marriage to encompass same-sex relationships” would effect some twenty-three specific harmful consequences.

ER44 (emphasis added; citations omitted). Here again, the district judge’s distortion mirrors plaintiffs’ own distortion in their public-relations messaging.

Read it all.

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  1. Sean
    September 27th, 2010 at 08:41 | #1

    “We respectfully submit that the inescapable explanation for the district judge’s performance in this case is that he harbors a deep-seated animus against traditional marriage….”

    Or perhaps the judge harbors a deep-seated animus against legalized discrimination. That, in fact, may be his bias. It’s not like he’s the only judge who has reached this conclusion: the Iowa Supreme Court unanimously reached the same conclusion. It is unclear to me why this particular judge is being vilified, while other judges have also reached the same conclusion.

    Since “marriage” cannot be a litigant, its “defenders” need to demonstrate personal harm, if there is to be made a case against legalizing same-sex marriage. Like it or not, this is the burden “traditional marriage” supporters are facing: prove that your marriages are harmed if and when same-sex couples marry.

    Perhaps if Mr. Cooper and his defense team mounted a more vigorous defense of discriminatory marriage, the judge would have had more to work with in determining the fate of one-man, one-woman only marriage laws.

  2. Chairm
    September 28th, 2010 at 19:52 | #2

    Whelan did not villify. He described the bias in the behavior of the district Judge. Like it or not, this particular Judge’s performance on the bench is the subject: he dropped the ball in favor of carrying water for the SSM campaign.

  3. Sean
    September 28th, 2010 at 20:40 | #3

    Chairm, this amicus brief is so laughable it will backfire. Accusing a judge of willful wrong-doing is not something other judges take lightly: Walker is one of their own. I’m not sure it makes sense to repeat the arguments that didn’t work at trial, while saying an otherwise well-regarded judge is awful.

  4. Sean
    September 28th, 2010 at 21:01 | #4

    Couldn’t resist a little analysis of the amicus brief!

    “…the traditional definition of marriage reflects the elementary biological reality that only opposite-sex unions naturally generate children.”

    Except that many opposite-sex unions can’t create children or don’t want to create children. Oops.

    “….the essential reason for governmental recognition of marriage is to encourage the generation of children in the optimal context of marriage and to discourage their generation in socially harmful non-marital contexts.”

    Ah, so we recognize marriage because it’s good and it’s good because we recognize it. Kind of makes you long for Abbott and Costello. Who’s on first???

    “…district judge dismissively treated society’s procreative interest in marriage”

    Well if it accurately reflects society’s lack of association between marriage and procreation, then it’s not dismissive! No normal person thinks that marriage should be limited to couples who can and do procreate.

    “Proposition 8′s proponents offered no evidence or other authority in support of society’s procreative interest in marriage…”

    Well how could they? There isn’t any. And they certainly didn’t show why or how procreative abilities create a limitation against the non-procreative couples!

    “the “first purpose of matrimony by the laws of nature and society is procreation,””

    Ok, and what are the second, third and fourth purposes, and could those purposes possibly be useful to same-sex couples?!

    “”the evidence shows beyond debate that allowing same-sex couples to marry has at least a neutral, if not a positive effect, on the institution of marriage.””

    Well, duh. Same-sex couples are making marriage “cool” again. And the children of same-sex couples stand to gain a greater level of security, per Maggie Gallagher’s articles on the benefits of marriage to children.

    “…the people of the State of California were entitled to step back and watch this experiment unfold in Massachusetts and the other places where it’s unfolding…”

    Justice delayed is justice denied. No thanks.

    “We will not recount here the multiple legal errors contained in the district judge’s opinion.”

    Ironically, that’s exactly what you should do, if you want the Appellate Court to invalidate Judge Walker’s decision. Idiots.

    “…the sweeping judicial invasion of the core political speech rights and associational rights of Proposition 8 supporters had the added effect of intimidating opponents of same-sex marriage from ever daring to exercise those rights again.”

    If you’re ashamed of your position, change your position.

    “…centuries of understanding of what marriage is and what marriage is for…”

    Except that centuries of understanding of what marriage is doesn’t tell us why same-sex couples can’t get married!

  5. Leo
    September 28th, 2010 at 22:20 | #5

    This piece, http://www.ashbrook.org/publicat/onprin/v7n5/mayer.html, makes a reasonably strong case that progressive taxation violates equality under the law. All we need to do is find a very rich, very conservative judge (who would benefit or whose family would benefit from the ruling) and who would declare a number of very conservative experts to have the relevant “facts” correct and who would ignore federal precedent and find a very conservative Governor and AG who won’t appeal the ruling (Texas, Louisiana, or Alabama come to mind) and progressive taxation can be overthrown by judicial fiat by a single judge. The arguments Sean makes would almost all be applicable to such a strategy. A well-funded lobbying group could cheer on the judge the way Sean does. This is a winning strategy for the rich, is it not?

  6. Leo
    September 29th, 2010 at 05:42 | #6

    “Iowa Supreme Court unanimously reached the same conclusion.” Please explain why in a case in California, the Iowa Supreme Court is more relevant than the California Supreme Court. The latter specifically examined Proposition 8 and the heard the challenge that it violated inalienable rights both before and after the vote.

    “If you’re ashamed of your position, change your position.” This is the finest argument I have heard for suppressing free speech when the speaker is harassed and intimidated. No thanks.

  7. Sean
    September 29th, 2010 at 11:27 | #7

    “Please explain why in a case in California, the Iowa Supreme Court is more relevant than the California Supreme Court.”

    I didn’t say it was more relevant, I said it demonstrates that other judges have reached the same conclusion as Judge Walker. Judges Hawaii, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey and other states have found that marriage discrimination violates constitutional protections of equal treatment. My observation was that Judge Walker is being treated as if he’s some kind of renegade jurist. He’s not. He is very mainstream on this topic.

  8. Sean
    September 29th, 2010 at 13:59 | #8

    What astonishes me is Maggie Gallagher’s belief that only gays and lesbians provide less than optimal parenting capabilities. She is completely at ease, by extension, with child abusers, sexual predators, parents neglecting to provide child support, and violent felons as suitable parents. Beyond belief.

  9. September 30th, 2010 at 07:25 | #9

    Sean: She [Gallagher] is completely at ease, by extension, with child abusers, sexual predators, parents neglecting to provide child support, and violent felons as suitable parents.

    Obvious troll is obvious.

  10. September 30th, 2010 at 07:31 | #10

    Sean: Couldn’t resist a little analysis of the amicus brief!

    Actually, Sean did just fine “resist[ing] a little analysis.” Nothing analytic or thoughtful in anything he wrote. It’s clear Sean is merely trolling for attention, folks.

  11. Sean
    September 30th, 2010 at 12:56 | #11

    I think my thoughts on the topic, and specifically, the amicus brief, were thoughtful and insightful.

  12. September 30th, 2010 at 18:07 | #12

    Ed: >>> “…the traditional definition of marriage reflects the elementary biological reality that only opposite-sex unions naturally generate children.”

    Sean: > Except that many opposite-sex unions can’t create children or don’t want to create children. Oops.

    Well, that would be a good argument … if Whelan was arguing that all possible couples of men and women will procreate.

    Well, Ed 1: Sean 0.

    Ed: >> “….the essential reason for governmental recognition of marriage is to encourage the generation of children in the optimal context of marriage and to discourage their generation in socially harmful non-marital contexts.”

    Sean: > Ah, so we recognize marriage because it’s good and it’s good because we recognize it. Kind of makes you long for Abbott and Costello. Who’s on first???

    This is a good example of a reductionist, or nihilistic strawman. Ed notes that marriage is good as the context it creates for generating children (something we note as responsible procreation) as a step to preparing for optimal raising of a child.

    Sean just reduces that to “good” and then is bemused at the ambiguity.

    Ed 2: Sean 0

    Ed: >> “…district judge dismissively treated society’s procreative interest in marriage”

    Sean: > Well if it accurately reflects society’s lack of association between marriage and procreation, then it’s not dismissive! No normal person thinks that marriage should be limited to couples who can and do procreate.

    Sean’s argument relys on the accuracy of society having a procreative interest in marriage. Odd, in a case where the majority of voters showed up to the poll for just such an interest.

    Denying something exists, that clearly exists, is accurately described as “dismissive”.

    I suppose Sean’s dismissiveness is his only way to defend Walker’s dismissiveness. But in the end only supports Ed’s point by his own actions.

    Ed 3: Sean 0

    Ed: >> “Proposition 8′s proponents offered no evidence or other authority in support of society’s procreative interest in marriage…”
    Sean: > Well how could they? There isn’t any. And they certainly didn’t show why or how procreative abilities create a limitation against the non-procreative couples!

    Earlier Sean noted that the Prop 8 team talked about what marriage is — being about responsbile procreation. Now he claims Prop 8 team did not.

    Sean’s flailing on this issue shows his own lack of rigor or reality, not Ed’s.

    Ed 4: Sean 0

    Ed: >> “the ‘first purpose of matrimony by the laws of nature and society is procreation,’”

    Sean: > Ok, and what are the second, third and fourth purposes, and could those purposes possibly be useful to same-sex couples?!

    No “other” purpose justifies removing its primary and important purpose. Sean has argued that such a purpose is not removed, however for evidence on how Sean sees it as removed from the purpose from marriage, just reference the “dismissive” point above.

    Sean’s contradicting of his own points shows his own problems, not Ed’s.

    Ed 5: Sean 0

    Ed: >> “’the evidence shows beyond debate that allowing same-sex couples to marry has at least a neutral, if not a positive effect, on the institution of marriage.’”

    Sean: > Well, duh. Same-sex couples are making marriage “cool” again. And the children of same-sex couples stand to gain a greater level of security, per Maggie Gallagher’s articles on the benefits of marriage to children.

    The point that Ed was making was just how radical Walker went to justify his decision. Walker’s decision now relies on a finding of fact that he can predict the future with 100% certainty.

    Sean’s only support of that fact is that same-sex marriage is “cool”.

    Ed 6: Sean 0

    Ed: >> “…the people of the State of California were entitled to step back and watch this experiment unfold in Massachusetts and the other places where it’s unfolding…”

    Sean: Justice delayed is justice denied. No thanks.

    In this point, Sean argues that the previous point about certainty is irrelevant. No matter what happens in Massachusetts, action is required now. Walker’s point was that we don’t need to wait because the future is certain, Sean disagrees, we don’t even need to know the effect of the change.

    Ed scores a big point here, driving Sean to another contradiction.

    Ed 7: Sean 0

    Ed: >> “We will not recount here the multiple legal errors contained in the district judge’s opinion.”

    Sean: Ironically, that’s exactly what you should do, if you want the Appellate Court to invalidate Judge Walker’s decision. Idiots.

    I’ll give this to Sean. I think Ed should not have stopped where he did in noting the legal errors in the Judges decision. Clearly there were more that could have been mentioned.

    Ed 7: Sean 1

    (The first point Sean’s earned)

    Ed: >>“…the sweeping judicial invasion of the core political speech rights and associational rights of Proposition 8 supporters had the added effect of intimidating opponents of same-sex marriage from ever daring to exercise those rights again.”

    Sean: > If you’re ashamed of your position, change your position.

    This was already dealt with above. I’ll add to this that homosexuality is something people feel ashamed of quite often, and as a group suffer from higher suicide rates and mental issues.

    Perhaps they should take Sean’s advice and change their position?

    I doubt it. I do not think scorn is a reason to change your position. Just ask Ghandi.

    Ed 8: Sean 1

    Ed: >> “…centuries of understanding of what marriage is and what marriage is for…”

    Sean: > Except that centuries of understanding of what marriage is doesn’t tell us why same-sex couples can’t get married!

    Sean is just showing his dismissiveness and denial again. If he mentioned how same-sex couples could get “married” and still have marriage be defined as between a man and a woman (for the reason of explicit about the nature of responsible procreation for marriage) then he might have a standing with that argument. As it is, he’s in denial and wishful thinking without any basis in reality.

    Ed 9: Sean 1

  13. Sean
    October 1st, 2010 at 08:15 | #13

    “…if Whelan was arguing that all possible couples of men and women will procreate.”

    He isn’t? If he’s willing to let non-procreative straight couples marry, it’s impossible to argue against similarly non-procreative gay couples. I apologize for applying logic and common sense to this but seriously, at some point, one must use one’s God-given brain on this issue!

    “Ed notes that marriage is good as the context it creates for generating children (something we note as responsible procreation) as a step to preparing for optimal raising of a child.”

    But the status of being married doesn’t make one a good parent. If the goal is to limit parenting to “good parents,” limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples doesn’t achieve that end. Opposite-sex only marriage is both over-inclusive (bad opposite-sex parents) and under-inclusive (good same-sex parents).

    “Sean’s argument relys (sic) on the accuracy of society having a procreative interest in marriage. Odd, in a case where the majority of voters showed up to the poll for just such an interest.”

    We don’t know all the reasons why voters want marriage limited to opposite-sex couples. Some folks have religious reasons (which, of course, won’t withstand legal scrutiny). Others don’t like gay people and don’t want them to have equal rights under the law (already rejected by the US Supreme Court as a suitable reason). If voters wanted marriage limited to procreative couples, they would vote to limit marriage to procreative couples, excluding same-sex couples AND infertile opposite-sex couples. Again, OSM is over-inclusive (includes infertile couples) and under-inclusive (excludes closely related couples and underage couples).

    “Earlier Sean noted that the Prop 8 team talked about what marriage is — being about responsbile (sic) procreation. Now he claims Prop 8 team did not.”

    Yet again, talking about what one thinks marriage is or ought to be isn’t “evidence.” And it doesn’t explain the exclusivity requirement (that is, excluding same-sex couples). This is a fundamental roadblock for the anti-gay crowd: if procreation is the basis for marriage, why do so many infertile couples get married? Why are childless marriages not invalidated at some point?

    “No “other” purpose justifies removing its primary and important purpose.”

    No one is removing the perceived purpose of procreation. Society is merely acknowledging that couples have various reasons for getting married, and for not getting married. Society has an interest in creating stable families, including same-sex families.

    “Walker’s decision now relies on a finding of fact that he can predict the future with 100% certainty.”

    I also thought Walker’s observations about the possible downside of same-sex marriage was a little extreme. But the fear of future calamity cannot be the basis of a legal objection. If it were a legitimate legal objection, it would sink every possible legislative endeavor. Fixing a constitutional wrong outweighs the concerns of possible future negative consequences.

    “I’ll add to this that homosexuality is something people feel ashamed of quite often, and as a group suffer from higher suicide rates and mental issues.”

    You are pitiable. Homosexuals have been taught to feel ashamed of their longings by a homophobic society. That this disdain has resulted in higher suicides and mental health concerns is not exactly something to be proud of. You can’t impose suffering on a group and then condemn them for their suffering. You have revealed the animosity towards gay people that has so frequently been associated with this topic.

    Feel free to explain why marriage between a man and a woman creates a limitation against same-sex marriage. The courts don’t seem to be buying it anymore. American citizens, by a small majority, now favor same-sex marriage. You’re running out of time to make your reasoning clear.

  14. Mark
    October 1st, 2010 at 11:41 | #14

    On lawn: “Sean’s argument relys (sic) on the accuracy of society having a procreative interest in marriage. Odd, in a case where the majority of voters showed up to the poll for just such an interest. ”
    Really? So despite the commercials talking about gay lifestyle taught in public schools and children attending a wedding of two lesbians, the majority of voters were only thinking about procreation? I would LOVE to see THAT factual data. OOPS, or as usual, did you just make up a fact to support your claim?

  15. Chairm
    October 1st, 2010 at 12:50 | #15

    Ed Whelan did not recount the many errors in Walker’s writing because other briefs already had done so with devestating arguments.

    I’d not be so generous with Sean on that score.

  16. Sean
    October 1st, 2010 at 13:25 | #16

    Mark raises a good point: why did the Prop 8 supporters rely so strongly on last-minute appeals to fabricated negative effects of same-sex marriage, instead of their “genuine” belief that marriage must be limited to one man and one woman, for procreational reasons? Why the scare tactics, in other words?

  17. Leo
    October 1st, 2010 at 15:19 | #17

    “We don’t know all the reasons why voters want marriage limited to opposite-sex couples. Some folks have religious reasons (which, of course, won’t withstand legal scrutiny).”

    If a vote imposes something that is unconstitutional, that is one thing. That is what the case is about, and the final arbiter of that will be the Supreme Court. If, however, the courts get into divining why voters made their decisions and which political ads they like or don’t like, and decide that if the judgment of the populace is clouded in their opinion by religion then the popular vote can ipso facto be invalidated, then we are watching the beginning of judicial tyranny. Judges should rule on the law and not try to read the minds of millions of voters.

    As for the Judge’s “facts”, see this brief, http://www.scribd.com/doc/38105916/CA9Doc-62

    We don’t know all the reasons why Judge Walker acted as he did. The hypothesis of animus is not unreasonable, particularly given that the Judge, if his “facts” are to be believed and if his personal situation is as reported, would personally benefit from his own decision. Judges, unlike voters, are supposed to recuse themselves when they stand to personally benefit from the case.

  18. October 1st, 2010 at 15:49 | #18

    Me: >> “…if Whelan was arguing that all possible couples of men and women will procreate.”

    Sean : > He isn’t?

    Nope.

    Sean: > If he’s willing to let non-procreative straight couples marry, it’s impossible to argue against similarly non-procreative gay couples.

    Iff they were similarly non-pro-creative, but they are not. Because one is a type of pro-creative relationship which hasn’t procreated, and the other is not even expected to procreate.

    Sean: > I apologize for applying logic and common sense to this but seriously, at some point, one must use one’s God-given brain on this issue!

    Yes, Sean, that needs to happen at some point. If you applied logic and common sense, you wouldn’t have tried to equate homosexuality with a handicap (or in your words “similarly” situate an infertile couple with a homosexual couple. Let alone argue that it is “impossible” to distinguish between them.

    That is like arguing that a stone is similarly situated with people in a famine, since it isn’t eating along with the people.

    Or as was ruled in Arizona in Standhardt v Superior Court, AZ (and previously quoted here)

    For these reasons, the State’s decision to permit all qualified opposite-sex couples to marry does not defeat the reasonableness of the link between opposite-sex marriage, procreation, and child-rearing. See Adams, 486 F. Supp. at 1124-25 (rejecting challenge to same-sex marriage prohibition on basis that opposite-sex couples not required to prove or declare willingness to procreate in order to marry); Baker, 291 Minn. at 313-14, 191 N.W.2d at 187 (same).

    [...]

    Likewise, although some same-sex couples also raise children, exclusion of these couples from the marriage relationship does not defeat the reasonableness of the link between opposite-sex marriage, procreation, and child-rearing. Indisputably, the only sexual relationship capable of producing children is one between a man and a woman.

    [see paragraphs 35-38]

    Mark: > So despite the commercials talking about gay lifestyle taught in public schools and children attending a wedding of two lesbians, the majority of voters were only thinking about procreation?

    Sean: > why did the Prop 8 supporters rely so strongly on last-minute appeals to fabricated negative effects of same-sex marriage, instead of their “genuine” belief that marriage must be limited to one man and one woman, for procreational reasons?

    Because that teaches exactly what paragraph 38 describes [ibid]…

    Because same-sex couples cannot by themselves procreate, the State could also reasonably decide that sanctioning same-sex marriages would do little to advance the State’s interest in ensuring responsible procreation within committed, long-term relationships.

    It is more difficult to teach children that marriage is about responsible procreation when they learn in kindergarten that marriage is the same between people of the same genders as people of different genders. The tenets of neutered marriage (as Mark and Sean have stated here but is also evident in juxtaposition a “heather has two mommies” book with a kindergärtner) that any two people can raise a child, that procreation has nothing to do with marriage, and that marriage is to suite the love interest of the adults, would undermine the role of marriage in facilitating responsible procreation.

    Mark: > I would LOVE to see THAT factual data.

    Its as easy as looking in the mirror and asking yourself these questions…

    1) Do you support neutering the definition of marriage (i.e. removing the gender reference to “one man and one woman” to make it between any two people regardless of the gender constitution of the marriage)?
    2) Do you believe that marriage is for adults to love whomever they wish?
    3) Do you believe that any two people can raise a child as well as any other two people?
    4) Do you believe that a marriage means nothing more than what two people of the same sex can do?

    I say the commercials were brilliant in bringing such an important understanding in people in such a short time, and in such a simple manner.

    Sean: > But the status of being married doesn’t make one a good parent

    Kay Hymnowitz has my favorite commentary on this point.

    For one thing, women who grow up in a marriage-before-children culture organize their lives around a meaningful and beneficial life script. Traditional marriage gives young people a map of life that takes them step by step from childhood to adolescence to college or other work training—which might well include postgraduate education—to the workplace, to marriage, and only then to childbearing. A marriage orientation also requires a young woman to consider the question of what man will become her husband and the father of her children as a major, if not the major, decision of her life. In other words, a marriage orientation demands that a woman keep her eye on the future, that she go through life with deliberation, and that she use self-discipline—especially when it comes to sex: bourgeois women still consider premature pregnancy a disaster. In short, a marriage orientation—not just marriage itself—is part and parcel of her bourgeois ambition.

    When Americans announced that marriage before childbearing was optional, low-income women didn’t merely lose a steadfast partner, a second income, or a trusted babysitter, as the strength-in-numbers theory would have it. They lost a traditional arrangement that reinforced precisely the qualities that they-and their men; let’s not forget the men!—needed for upward mobility, qualities all the more important in a tough new knowledge economy. The timing could hardly have been worse. At a time when education was becoming crucial to middle-class status, the disadvantaged lost a reliable life script, a way of organizing their early lives that would prize education and culminate in childbearing only after job training and marriage. They lost one of their few institutional supports for planning ahead and taking control of their lives.

    Or to use an analogy to exemplify this more succinctly, a wrench doesn’t make someone a good mechanic, but it is the right tool for the job. Marriage may or may not make someone a good parent (it certainly helps them be a better parent), but if someone wants to be a good parent why would they avail themselves of the opportunity it provides?

    That is how marriage is a matter of encouragement, not enforcement. And that even teases a bit as to why that is the case.

    Lets keep it to those two points for now, and as we settle them we’ll move on to the others.

    But to keep it short, Sean keeps saying “If A, then B” in response to argument C. Well, try seeing what you can deduce from argument C, rather than substituting a strawman of his own if he wants to invalidate the reasoning in the arguments presented here.

  19. Sean
    October 1st, 2010 at 21:11 | #19

    “If a vote imposes something that is unconstitutional, that is one thing.”

    Yes, it is. That’s why we’re having this discussion.

    “….if the judgment of the populace is clouded in their opinion by religion then the popular vote can ipso facto be invalidated, then we are watching the beginning of judicial tyranny.”

    I don’t think so. For states that have citizen initiatives, there has to be a check and balance system on just the situation we’re witnessing: citizens voting to strip a minority of its rights. Who else but the judiciary to serve this function?

    “Judges should rule on the law and not try to read the minds of millions of voters.”

    That sounds nice but as the US Supreme Court has ruled, the intent of the voters DOES matter: animus toward a group cannot be the basis for a law, whether that law originates in the legislature or with the people.

    “We don’t know all the reasons why Judge Walker acted as he did.”

    Actually we do know: the facts of the trial he presided over showed that there is no state interest in limiting marriage to dual gender couples and that the people who supported Proposition 8 were motivated at least in part by religious reasons and animosity towards gays reasons. Neither is a permissible basis for law.

    “Judges, unlike voters, are supposed to recuse themselves when they stand to personally benefit from the case.”

    There’s no particular reason to believe Judge Walker stood to gain from his decision. We have no idea if he personally wants to marry someone of the same sex in California.

  20. Sean
    October 1st, 2010 at 21:28 | #20

    “Because one is a type of pro-creative relationship which hasn’t procreated, and the other is not even expected to procreate.”

    The outcome is the same: no kids produced by the union. Yet, inexplicably, one is allowed to marry and the other isn’t. Proving for the millionth time that existing marriage laws reward opposite-sexness, not procreativity.

    “If you applied logic and common sense, you wouldn’t have tried to equate homosexuality with a handicap (or in your words “similarly” situate an infertile couple with a homosexual couple. Let alone argue that it is “impossible” to distinguish between them.”

    Homosexuality, for the millionth time, is not a handicap. If you had a brain….oh nevermind.

    “….the State’s decision to permit all qualified opposite-sex couples to marry does not defeat the reasonableness of the link between opposite-sex marriage, procreation, and child-rearing.”

    No one is saying all qualified opposite-sex couples marrying defeats the link between opposite-sex marriage, procreation and child-rearing. But people with brains are arguing that nothing about opposite-sex couples and their talent for procreating in any way creates an exclusionary rule that limits marriage to them.

    “Indisputably, the only sexual relationship capable of producing children is one between a man and a woman.”

    So? How does this create a limitation against same-sex couples getting married?

    “Because same-sex couples cannot by themselves procreate, the State could also reasonably decide that sanctioning same-sex marriages would do little to advance the State’s interest in ensuring responsible procreation within committed, long-term relationships.”

    The state could, and has tried unsuccessfully. The state’s desire for responsible procreation is not undermined if same-sex couples get married. In other words, otherwise irresponsible straight people will not be less likely to marry if gay people marry, nor is the responsible procreativity of married straight people undermined if and when gay people marry.

    “It is more difficult to teach children that marriage is about responsible procreation when they learn in kindergarten that marriage is the same between people of the same genders as people of different genders.”

    Since the state doesn’t teach children about marriage, this is a moot point.

    “Or to use an analogy to exemplify this more succinctly, a wrench doesn’t make someone a good mechanic, but it is the right tool for the job. Marriage may or may not make someone a good parent (it certainly helps them be a better parent), but if someone wants to be a good parent why would they avail themselves of the opportunity it provides?”

    I think you’re finally catching on! Gay couples want to be good parents. So they want to marry. People like you are afraid that gay couples will be good parents and don’t want them to avail themselves of whatever tools (wrenches?) that might help in that regard. I wish, for once, you could consider the children of same-sex parents and think about what’s best for them. You say marriage is about kids but you must actually mean only the kids of opposite-sex parents. I don’t understand why the children of same-sex couples are second-class citizens to you. Please explain.

    ““If A, then B” in response to argument C. Well, try seeing what you can deduce from argument C, rather than substituting a strawman of his own if he wants to invalidate the reasoning in the arguments presented here.”

    I realize your “make it up as you go along” tendencies, but for Sean’s sake, you’ll have to explain what you mean here.

  21. Leo
    October 1st, 2010 at 23:37 | #21

    The Supreme Court case that is on point is Baker v. Nelson. The trial Judge Walker presided over decided to ignore that. See also http://www.scribd.com/doc/38105916/CA9Doc-62 for other “facts” the Judge chose to ignore. Animus is the most logical explanation for the Judge’s actions. It is true that the Judge has not been forthcoming about his personal situation. If you are ever called to jury duty, you will be asked to be forthcoming, and we should expect no less from our judges.

    There is hardly a campaign issue this year that is not somehow bound up in animus. Let’s take just one example. It would be easy to argue that progressive taxation is motivated by animus towards the rich, and that therefore it can have no basis in law. Advocates of a flat tax argue that progressive taxation is inequality under the law, and therefore Sean would argue is not a proper subject for legislation. This whole animus line of reasoning is quite dangerous and lays the foundations of tyranny, unless we want to be ruled by single federal judges deciding legislative facts.

  22. October 2nd, 2010 at 08:42 | #22

    Sean: > For states that have citizen initiatives, there has to be a check and balance system on just the situation we’re witnessing: citizens voting to strip a minority of its rights. Who else but the judiciary to serve this function?

    Sean posits a hypothetical situation where the people rule to remove the right of a minority. Whether or not that is this case (I would argue it clearly isn’t) lets take the hypothetical for its word. I would ask that we equally consider it with the hypothetical case, who provides the check on the Supreme Court decisions? This is a game of looking for the ultimate arbiter, for at some point you can climb the ladder no further in looking for someone to over-rule the last. Who has that final say?

    Do you trust a small group of individuals, or a much larger group? Do you trust a tiny minority, or the majority? Clearly the majority is the hardest to bring down unfair rulings, yet it can still happen. The lessons of self-rule and self-government that democracy is based on, is that if a bad decision is made, we have no one to blame but ourselves and we have to correct the decision ourselves. The buck stops with the people. And that is what it means to have a democracy.

    From Ken Starr’s brief on Prop 8 (which btw, won in the California Supreme Court case):

    The ultimate trust in this state is not placed in government – no matter how well-informed, learned or wise those who govern may be. This is, as Mr. Lincoln would put it, government ultimately not only for the people but by the people. Subject to the over-riding structures of our federal Constitution, the people of this state – under the organic document that binds us together as an organized polity – fashion and frame the contents of the state Constitution, save for the extreme instance of a constitutional revision.

    Here, we the people govern, and judges and Justices – even of the state’s highest Court – serve those to whom they are ultimately accountable. Any other result would signify a gravely destabilizing constitutional revolution. Stare decisis – and practical wisdom – counsel powerfully in favor of staying the constitutional course set by the many Justices who have gone before those now privileged to serve. Proposition 8 is a valid amendment adopted by the people. Under settled law and under first principles of governmental theory, Proposition 8 should stand.

    And since he referenced Abraham Lincoln, probably the most influential person to fight to abolish slavery against the will of the Supreme Court I might add…

    If the policy of the government upon vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court… the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their government into the hands of that eminent tribunal. Why should there not be a patient confidence in the ultimate justice of the people? Is there any better or equal hope in the world? In our present differences, is either party without faith of being in the right? If the Almighty Ruler of Nations, with His eternal truth and justice, be on your side…, that truth and that justice will surely prevail by the judgment of this great tribunal of the American people. My countrymen, one and all, think calmly and well upon this whole subject. Nothing valuable can be lost by taking time. If there be an object to hurry any of you in hot haste to a step which you would never take deliberately, that object will be frustrated by taking time; but no good object can be frustrated by it…. If it were admitted that you who are dissatisfied hold the right side in the dispute, there still is no single good reason for precipitate action. Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on Him who has never yet forsaken this favored land are still competent to adjust in the best way all our present difficulty. The Government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the Government, while I shall have the most solemn one to ‘preserve, protect, and defend it.’ — Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1861

  23. October 2nd, 2010 at 08:47 | #23

    Sean: > That sounds nice but as the US Supreme Court has ruled, the intent of the voters DOES matter: animus toward a group cannot be the basis for a law, whether that law originates in the legislature or with the people.

    Discerning animus is a highly suspect witch-hunt, one where judges try to bolster their weak legal position by identifying a “witch”, someone evil enough to deserve the punishment in the eyes of the people based purely on emotional reaction rather than reason. Leo is absolutely right to be wary of such a legal premise. For it is not legality which discerns animus, but politics, and our judiciary should try to be above politics.

    More on that here.

  24. October 2nd, 2010 at 08:52 | #24

    Sean: > There’s no particular reason to believe Judge Walker stood to gain from his decision. We have no idea if he personally wants to marry someone of the same sex in California.

    Any judge devoted to impartiality would have disclosed that he was gay and could benefit from the outcome before the case. That doesn’t mean he would have to recuse, but at least the appropriate people could decide that and give their reasons.

    And he needn’t be in a relationship at the time to assume he might later benefit from it.

  25. October 2nd, 2010 at 09:20 | #25

    Me: > “’If A, then B’ in response to argument C. Well, try seeing what you can deduce from argument C, rather than substituting a strawman of his own if he wants to invalidate the reasoning in the arguments presented here.”

    Sean: > I realize your “make it up as you go along” tendencies, but for Sean’s sake, you’ll have to explain what you mean here.

    Sean can’t produce one make it up as you go along instance :)

    Lets start with one of the current examples. Lets say that argument ‘C’ is that homosexuality is not a handicap and thus is not considered for any such similar benefit or exceptions made. Something Sean agrees with, at least in that homosexuality is not a handicap.

    But instead he of accepting the outcome he injects his own if statement that doesn’t even turn out to be true, that if homosexuals and infertile have the same outcome, they deserve the same exception.

    It continues like this…

    Me: >> “Because one is a type of pro-creative relationship which hasn’t procreated, and the other is not even expected to procreate.”

    Sean: > The outcome is the same: no kids produced by the union.

    Note Sean failed to address the argument provided. Similar outcomes do not in and of themselves similarly situations. Any number of similar outcomes can be shown to be from very different situations. I’ll repeat the argument he didn’t reply to here for convenience…

    If you [Sean] applied logic and common sense, you [Sean] wouldn’t have tried to equate homosexuality with a handicap (or in your words “similarly” situate an infertile couple with a homosexual couple. Let alone argue that it is “impossible” to distinguish between them.

    That is like arguing that a stone is similarly situated with people in a famine, since it isn’t eating along with the people.

    Or as was ruled in Arizona in Standhardt v Superior Court, AZ (and previously quoted here) [...] [see paragraphs 35-38]

    His “if A then B” clause is false, and doesn’t invalidate argument C. So in a feeble effort Sean continues to try to reconstruct his clause instead of continuing in the conversation.

    Another sub-topic emerges as I argue that Sean is making a false equivalence of gay couples with couples suffering from infertility. That would be argument ‘C’.

    Me: >> “If you applied logic and common sense, you wouldn’t have tried to equate homosexuality with a handicap (or in your words “similarly” situate an infertile couple with a homosexual couple. Let alone argue that it is “impossible” to distinguish between them.”

    Sean: > Homosexuality, for the millionth time, is not a handicap. If you had a brain….oh nevermind.

    So, to Sean, if homosexuality is not a handicap, then he is not equating them. That is his “If A then B”. However, logically what that C really means is they should not be equated and if Sean applied logic he would realize that saying homosexuality is not a handicap contradicts his claim that they are equatable just because they both do not have children between them.

    Again, Sean simply re-iterated his “If A then B” rather than deal with C.

    Again I’ll stick to those two points before continuing in the same manner on the rest of the points.

  26. Mark
    October 2nd, 2010 at 13:20 | #26

    On Lawn: “Because same-sex couples cannot by themselves procreate, the State could also reasonably decide that sanctioning same-sex marriages would do little to advance the State’s interest in ensuring responsible procreation within committed, long-term relationships.”
    Sigh, back to the ol’ “responsible procreation” argument again. But not all couples can procreate. OOPS! That’s right, this rule, although ESSENTIAL to the pro Prop 8 people, is not absolutely. Its like saying, the sky needs to blue. Except when it isn’t.

  27. October 2nd, 2010 at 13:30 | #27

    Sean: > I said it demonstrates that other judges have reached the same conclusion as Judge Walker.

    We’re discussing Walker’s methods, which were contrivances to come to his pre-determined conclusion. If others did the same, it is their shame also.

    However, one difference is that before Walker, no one tried to engage the discussion in federal law, only state law. As Justice Parrillo noted in New Jersey…

    Plaintiffs challenge New Jersey’s marriage laws, N.J.S.A. 37:1-1 to -27, solely on state constitutional grounds because they implicitly recognize there is no federally protected right of same-sex couples to marry. So limited, their argument posits a right that is really twofold: the right to marry and the rights of marriage. Plaintiffs want the former, in part, because it bestows the latter, and because if the latter are fundamental, the former must be as well. Although the rhetoric of justification tends to collapse the nature of the rights in question, they are, upon closer examination, quite separate and not at all the same.

    As a matter of the constitution of California, Prop 8 is in the constitution — where it should be to protect marriage equality within the type of relationship where children happen.

  28. October 2nd, 2010 at 15:19 | #28

    Mark: > Its like saying, the sky needs to blue. Except when it isn’t.

    Mark put it a bit more descriptively here where it was also replied to….

    Mark: > Yes, marriage is defined by procreation, except when it isn’t.

    Well, is it or isn’t it? As Mark continues…

    And thats why most of these references say “one of the important ends of matrimony”, “one of the great purposes of marriage”, “one of the primary purposes of marriage”, or “be considered one of the major purposes of marriage” but not THE only reason for marriage.

    Sure, marriage is more than procreation, not less than procreation. No reconstruction of purpose you might contrive justifies removing that purpose.

    There is no justification for you or Sean to say that marriage isn’t defined by procreation in marriage precedent. It is legally recognized time and time again.

  29. October 2nd, 2010 at 15:20 | #29

    Sorry the paragraph “And thats why…” in the above comment should be attributed to Mark also, refer to the original post for more clarity, Thanks.

  30. Sean
    October 2nd, 2010 at 16:42 | #30

    “Sean posits a hypothetical situation where the people rule to remove the right of a minority.”

    There’s no “hypothetical” about it: same-sex couples had the right to marry in California and a majority of voters voted to strip them of that right.

    “Who has that final say?”

    The US Supreme Court has the last say as to whether a law is constitutional or not.

    “Do you trust a small group of individuals, or a much larger group?”

    Would you rather have your cancer treated by nine oncologists or your friends and neighbors?

    “The lessons of self-rule and self-government that democracy is based on, is that if a bad decision is made, we have no one to blame but ourselves and we have to correct the decision ourselves. The buck stops with the people. And that is what it means to have a democracy.”

    In the United States, our system specifically prevents a majority from imposing its will on a minority. However it works in your country, our system may be different.

    “If the policy of the government upon vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court”

    Except that prohibiting same-sex marriage doesn’t affect the whole people, just gay people. If we were voting to outlaw marriage, that would be different because it would affect everybody. But we’re not talking about that, we’re talking about excluding a minority, based on religious or animus reasons.

    “Discerning animus is a highly suspect witch-hunt…”

    Possibly. But historical animosity towards gays and lesbians, ongoing social prejudice, hate crimes, etc. point to an animosity towards that minority that is palpable and tangible. Given the lack of rational reasons to bar gay people from marriage, the more it looks like animus or religious reasons (a disguise for animus) are driving marriage discrimination.

    “Any judge devoted to impartiality would have disclosed that he was gay and could benefit from the outcome before the case.”

    Maybe. But it is a big stretch to say that a gay judge automatically could be presumed to benefit from same-sex marriage. He could just as easily wish to avoid having to get married to his partner, if he has one. And a straight judge could stand to gain by satisfying his personal animus (such as Justice Scalia, who has already fretted over the possibility of legal same-sex marriage and I’m sure will not recuse himself if and when SCOTUS entertains a same-sex marriage case). A Christian judge might wish to impose his perceived faith beliefs and find same-sex marriage unconstitutional. A straight judge might wish to pander to a majority straight population. Ultimately, it’s hard to imagine what kind of person wouldn’t have some kind of theoretical bias in this kind of case.

    “Sean can’t produce one make it up as you go along instance”

    Most OpEd/OnLawn creations are, well, creative. They lack legal substance or support and gain nothing through persistent repetition.

    “Again I’ll stick to those two points before continuing in the same manner on the rest of the points.”

    Please do! And please promise that you’ll assist the lead counsel should the Prop 8 intervenors succeed in demonstrating standing. I would like to see Judge Walker’s ruling extend to the entire 9th Circuit!

  31. Sean
    October 2nd, 2010 at 16:54 | #31

    “We’re discussing Walker’s methods, which were contrivances to come to his pre-determined conclusion. If others did the same, it is their shame also.”

    How convenient for you: any judge who reaches the conclusion that marriage discrimination violates equal protection guarantees is conniving. A conspiracy against marriage, eh? Let me guess, “activist judges” right?

    “However, one difference is that before Walker, no one tried to engage the discussion in federal law, only state law.”

    The Prop 8 trial, in case you haven’t been paying attention, challenges the constitutionality of California’s law, based of FEDERAL guarantees of equal protection. That a New Jersey judge believes that equal protection guarantees are not violated, well, he or she is not the first. Other judges appear to find a violation. Like all seven of the Iowa Supreme Court judges.

    All you need to do is explain what the state’s rational interest is in preventing same-sex couples from marrying. Easier said than done, it seems.

    “There is no justification for you or Sean to say that marriage isn’t defined by procreation in marriage precedent.”

    It can be defined by procreation but evidently procreation doesn’t create an exclusion to couples who wish to marry, as infertile opposite-sex couples and now, same-sex couples in a number of states, can marry. In 44 states, marriage is limited to opposite-sex couples, with no apparent state interest. Weird, and not very much in keeping with constitutional guarantees of equal protection for all citizens.

  32. October 2nd, 2010 at 21:37 | #32

    Sean: > California and a majority of voters voted to strip them of that right.

    False. What they did was define marriage as between one man and one woman, to promote marriage equality — the equal recognition of rights and responsibilities of the man, woman and child they potentially have together in marriage.

    What gays do for themselves is not illegal. And their relationships can be recognized as DP’s or CU’s or RB’s.

    They might not have access to a license in the way they wish, but then no one does.

    Sean: > The US Supreme Court has the last say as to whether a law is constitutional or not.

    Well, they do have a say. But the ultimate arbiters are the people.

    Sean: > Would you rather have your cancer treated by nine oncologists or your friends and neighbors?

    I’d rather the people with the most experience for both. And I consider the more people involved in being the arbiter of rights, the more experience is brought in, since we all have daily experience with the complexities of our civil rights.

    Sean: > In the United States, our system specifically prevents a majority from imposing its will on a minority.

    Look up “democracy” or even “republic” sometime.

    Sean: > Except that prohibiting same-sex marriage doesn’t affect the whole people, just gay people.

    It does effect everyone. That is why marriage is categorized in government as a matter of family law, and public health.

    Marriages definition affects everyone. And that is why its definition should have reference to “one man and one woman” to avoid confusion and to protect the unique needs of how people are created.

    Everyone is created from a man and a woman, everyone is affected by people who are not well adjusted to society, etc…

    You even said that your version of marriage has “no rights” for children under it.

    Sean: > Given the lack of rational reasons to bar gay people from marriage

    You’ve never shown any of our reasons to be irrational :)

    So do be more honest about the discussion.

    Playing the part of a horse who is led to water but won’t drink is the only trick up your sleeve, it appears.

    But as I mentioned before, I have court cases aplenty, voting majorities in 35+ states, who see the rational reason. And the fact is you pretend there is animus where reason exists to explain their actions.

    And you’ve been shown that reason here many times, and have fallen far short of showing it as irrational for all of your feeble attempts to claim it. Your animus is writing checks your intellect hasn’t been able to cash.

    Sean: > Most OpEd/OnLawn creations are, well, creative. They lack legal substance or support and gain nothing through persistent repetition.

    Again Sean lies, just because at this point blatant dishonest denial is all he can try for, even when it is so easily disproven. The legal standing has been shown time and time again. And his attempts to pit his adolescent reasoning against it have only lead to his embarassment.

    Me: >> “We’re discussing Walker’s methods, which were contrivances to come to his pre-determined conclusion. If others did the same, it is their shame also.”

    Sean: > How convenient for you: any judge who reaches the conclusion [...]

    Your reading comprehension is lacking again. I clearly said it was Walker’s methods that were suspect, and anyone who did the same should be ashamed of themselves.

    We’ve documented those fallacious methods clearly in this thread as well as others.

    Sean: > but evidently procreation doesn’t create an exclusion to couples who wish to marry

    Not to couples who wish to marry, but for people who wish to re-define marriage into something that you claim has “no rights” for children under it.

    Just as the definition of fresh vegetables doesn’t preclude people from eating fresh vegetables, but does preclude a school district from categorizing ketchup to be a fresh vegetable … even if all they want to do is get more kids who eat ketchup to have the same benefits others have with fresh vegetables.

    Sean: > The Prop 8 trial, in case you haven’t been paying attention, challenges the constitutionality of California’s law, based of FEDERAL guarantees of equal protection.

    Correction, he who claims he was paying attention, but Prop 8 is a constitutional amendment. It is a challenge of the California constitution based on the federal constitution. And it is the first to make the case one of Federal law.

    And, as we’ve shown, equal protection protects the definition of marriage as “one man and one woman” since that is the kind of integration that the 14th amendment was meant to protect and even encourage through law.

    But Sean doesn’t see that. Which only reflects on Sean, not the law.

    Other judges appear to find a violation. Like all seven of the Iowa Supreme Court judges. Other judges appear to find a violation. Like all seven of the Iowa Supreme Court judges.

    Only it isn’t a case of federal law or federal constitution. And that is as evident as the name of the court you are referring to :)

    Seriously, it is funny that you think others are faltering by not paying attention :)

  33. Sean
    October 3rd, 2010 at 07:00 | #33

    “What they did was define marriage as between one man and one woman, to promote marriage equality — the equal recognition of rights and responsibilities of the man, woman and child they potentially have together in marriage.”

    I can see why you’d want to put a positive spin on it, since it will no doubt receive less glowing treatment with time! But no, California voters revoked the right to marry, granted by the state of California, to same-sex couples.

    “What gays do for themselves is not illegal. And their relationships can be recognized as DP’s or CU’s or RB’s.”

    That’s true. But since same-sex couples are as valuable to society as opposite-sex couples, both should enjoy the same rights and privileges of marriage. There’s no need for parallel structures and legally, it is unconstitutional to have parallel structures. The law disdains “separate but equal” legal shenanigans, without a valid public interest.

    “They might not have access to a license in the way they wish, but then no one does.”

    Straight people have the access they wish. Murderers have the access they wish. Drug dealers have the access they wish. Child molesters have the access they wish. Gay people, in 44 states still, don’t have the access they wish.

    “…the ultimate arbiters are the people.”

    Nope. Not even close. The US Constitution has the final say and if the US Supreme Court, which is charged with interpreting that document, says a law is unconstitutional, it doesn’t matter what the people want: the law goes away.

    “Look up “democracy” or even “republic” sometime.”

    I don’t need to. I know how ours works. You might want to visit a book or two on my country’s legal system.

    “Marriages definition affects everyone. And that is why its definition should have reference to “one man and one woman” to avoid confusion and to protect the unique needs of how people are created.”

    I’m not confused in the least when marriage equality prevails: it tells me the committed relationships of same-sex couples are as valuable as the committed relationships of opposite-sex couples. Couples that procreate are covered, as are couples who can’t. Simple, really!

    “You even said that your version of marriage has “no rights” for children under it.”

    Because they don’t.

    “You’ve never shown any of our reasons to be irrational”

    Yes I have, repeatedly. Here goes again:

    1. Stopping gay couples from marrying does nothing to ensure that children have a mommy and a daddy (as Maggie Gallagher likes to state it, for dramatic effect….you can just about hear the gurgling toddler in the background!). Gay couples can raise children legally in all 50 states, as can single people. Prohibiting same-sex marriage does not accomplish the purpose you ascribe to it.
    2. Marriage isn’t solely about procreation, since non-procreative couples are free to marry. To whatever degree marriage is about procreation, such a purpose in no ways limits participation by non-procreative couples, based on current experience (infertile couples marrying).
    3. Suggesting that same-sex marriage harms children is in fact the opposite of what is actually true. Children are statistically better off having married parents. There is no reason to believe that the commitment and stability that marriage imposes on opposite-sex couples wouldn’t similarly work for same-sex couples. Commitment and stability are good for kids!

    “So do be more honest about the discussion.”

    I don’t think you are in any position to be lecturing on honesty. And considering that your position harms children, I’m not sure you have much of a moral compass at all.

    “But as I mentioned before, I have court cases aplenty, voting majorities in 35+ states, who see the rational reason.”

    I think you have evidence that there is a social belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman, and/or gays shouldn’t be allowed to marry (for reasons that I’m sure don’t reflect any animosity towards gays LOL). I’m only interested in the legal issues, fundamentally, although I recognize that socially, the children of same-sex couples would be better off if their parents were married.

    “Your animus is writing checks your intellect hasn’t been able to cash.”

    The US Supreme Court agrees with me and Judge Walker that some citizens don’t like gays enough to stop them from having equal rights. Who you got?

    “Again Sean lies…”

    Good we get an example of a Sean lie please? I realize you’ve switched away from irrational arguments to ad hominems. It is polite when blogging to announce when one is abandoning the pretense of having a sound argument, in favor of merely attacking the other poster.

    “I clearly said it was Walker’s methods that were suspect, and anyone who did the same should be ashamed of themselves.”

    You said it, but as usual, offered no evidence. What a surprise.

    “…but for people who wish to re-define marriage into something that you claim has “no rights” for children under it.”

    I’m still waiting to learn what rights children acquire when their parents marry.

    “And, as we’ve shown, equal protection protects the definition of marriage as “one man and one woman” since that is the kind of integration that the 14th amendment was meant to protect and even encourage through law.”

    You’ve “shown” no such thing, but I certainly invite you to do so. And please, PLEASE be a part of any and all future same-sex marriage legal proceedings if you think the 14th Amendment was designed to “protect and encourage” opposite-sex marriage! Reality check: the 14th Amendment was designed to ensure that all citizens are treated equally under the law. That means laws can favor or disfavor one group, without a rational public interest. Your welcome!

    “Only it isn’t a case of federal law or federal constitution. And that is as evident as the name of the court you are referring to”

    I can tell you’re really smart but you missed the point: the Equal Protection clause of the Iowa constitution, which was modeled after the EP clause in the US Constitution, was found to protect gay couples in Iowa and their right to marry. A unanimous decision. If it works in Iowa, it has a pretty good shot at working elsewhere, including on a federal level.

  34. Mark
    October 3rd, 2010 at 13:32 | #34

    On lawn: “There is no justification for you or Sean to say that marriage isn’t defined by procreation in marriage precedent. It is legally recognized time and time again.”
    But it hasn’t been. There are no couples who were forced to divorce due to failure of procreation. There is nothing in the marriage certificate that states the couple must procreate. If you ask the average American couple getting married why the state allows them to get married, my guess is that they would answer “because we are in love” and “we want to create a life together” not “oh, its because now we can responsibly procreate.”

    “And their relationships can be recognized as DP’s or CU’s or RB’s.”
    But these do NOT have the same legal rights as marriage and some cost far more than a marriage certificate. Separate but equal did not work for race and separate but equal will not work for marriage.

  35. October 3rd, 2010 at 19:51 | #35

    On lawn: >> “There is no justification for you or Sean to say that marriage isn’t defined by procreation in marriage precedent. It is legally recognized time and time again.”

    Mark: > But it hasn’t been.

    Oh yes it has.

    Mark: > If you ask the average American couple getting married why the state allows them to get married, my guess is that they would answer “because we are in love” and “we want to create a life together”

    So you think love is a basis of marriage. Lets see if it passes the constraints you put on procreation. Allow me a little substitution exercise…

    But it hasn’t been. There are no couples who were forced to divorce due to failure [to love]. There is nothing in the marriage certificate that states the couple must [love]. If you ask the average American couple getting married why the state allows them to get married, my guess is that they would answer “because we want [to start a family together and have children]” [...] not “oh, its because now we can [engage in our sexual orientation].”

    With the substitution, what we have is just as valid a statement as the one Mark made. Neither love nor procreation can withstand Mark’s constraints on what a law must do, so we are left with two choices: Either Mark’s constraint is invalid, or we have to invalidate both love and procreation as purposes of marriage, and Mark is still wrong in his statement.

    Leave it to Mark to paint himself into a corner with logic. Anyone can see he’s wrong either way.

    But these do NOT have the same legal rights as marriage and some cost far more than a marriage certificate.

    People barely understand the nature of the same-sex comitted relationship, so you can expect things to not be right from the start. You even mentioned where marriage made some errant turns in the past. Give it time, anything that meets the needs of the same-sex comitted relationship can be extended through CU’s and DP’s.

    But some things that marriage has just doesn’t make sense for that relationship. Like, presumed paternity. What would two lesbian do with that? What would two gays do with that for that matter?

    But even more important, marriage gets re-defined into a lowest common denominator between the two, meaning that marriage only can protect and target what they have in common. So the nature of procreation gets set to pasture, unprotected and unrecognized by the government. Marriage equality — the equal recognition of the rights and responsibilities of the man, woman and the child they potentially have together — suffers from neglect. People become confused at the expectation of marriage equality. And women and children become the hardest hit.

    And as you mention, seperate but equal isn’t equal. When men and women are seperated, they are not equal. Only when they are integrated can we begin to work on fairly treating and supporting both with each other’s unique capacities. You can’t make a child without a man and a woman.

  36. Sean
    October 4th, 2010 at 06:52 | #36

    “When men and women are separated (sic), they are not equal. Only when they are integrated can we begin to work on fairly treating and supporting both with each other’s unique capacities. You can’t make a child without a man and a woman.”

    Really? Men and women are equals only when they marry? You really wanna go with that?

    It does take a female and a male to make a child. But there’s no law that says that couple has to be married to make a child, and no married couple is required to have a child in order to get or stay married.

  37. bman
    October 4th, 2010 at 07:54 | #37

    Sean :
    I think my thoughts on the topic, and specifically, the amicus brief, were thoughtful and insightful.

    —-
    The post you mention does not seem to adequately address point I of Whelan’s brief.

    It says, “I. THE DISTRICT JUDGE’S USE OF THE STATEMENT BY PROPONENTS’ COUNSEL THAT “YOU DON’T HAVE TO HAVE EVIDENCE” OF THE STATE’S PROCREATIVE INTEREST IN MARRIAGE IS DISTORTING AND MISLEADING.”

    When I first read Walker’s ruling it appeared the defense didn’t feel a need to offer evidence. “No need to present evidence? What a poor job by the defense,” I said to myself.

    But after I had read Whelan’s analysis, I saw they did an excellent job and that Walker’s ruling badly misrepresented them. I am convinced by this that Walker’s ruling was itself motivated by animus.

    In short, I did not find anything in your post that would explain away Walker’s misrepresentation of the defense.

    Here again is the key clause from Walker: “During closing arguments, proponents again focused on the contention that “responsible procreation is really at the heart of society’s interest in regulating marriage.” When asked to identify the evidence at trial that supported this contention, proponents’ counsel replied, “you don’t have to have evidence of this point.”

    Here is Whelan on that: “The…grossly misleading — implication of the italicized quotation in this passage is that Proposition 8′s proponents offered no evidence or other authority in support of society’s procreative interest in marriage. The effect of this implication was to create the false impression that the district judge had little or no choice but to rule as he did, for Proposition 8′s proponents supposedly failed to muster any real defense of Proposition 8….Let’s put the passage highlighted by the district judge in its proper context. At closing argument, counsel for proponents began by stating that “the historical record leaves no doubt … that the central purpose of marriage in virtually all societies and at all times has been to channel potentially procreative sexual relationships into enduring stable unions to increase the likelihood that any offspring will be raised by the man and woman who brought them into the world.” Trial Tr. 3028:13-19. Proponents’ counsel cited numerous Supreme Court (and other) cases that reflect this understanding. Trial Tr. 3027-3028. When proponents’ counsel stated that “the evidence shows overwhelmingly that … responsible procreation is really at the heart of society’s interest in regulating marriage,” ER349:5-8 (emphasis added), the district judge asked, “What was the witness who offered the testimony? What was it and so forth?” ER349:14-15. Counsel [Copper] began his response: The evidence before you shows that sociologist Kingsley Davis, in his words, has described the universal societal interest in marriage and definition as social recognition and approval of a couple engaging in sexual intercourse and marrying and rearing offspring. [Emphasis added.] Counsel then cited William Blackstone’s statements — which were also in evidence submitted at the trial — that the relation of husband and wife and the “natural impulse” of man to “continue and multiply his species” are “confined and regulated” by society’s interests; that the “principal end and design” of marriage is the relationship of “parent and child”; and that it is “by virtue of this relation that infants are protected, maintained, and educated.” ER349-350. As proponents’ counsel proceeded to work his way through “eminent authority after eminent authority” — all in evidence submitted at the trial — the district judge interrupted him to ask the peculiar question, “I don’t mean to be flip, but Blackstone didn’t testify. Kingsley Davis didn’t testify. What testimony in this case supports the proposition?” ER350:16-18 (emphasis added)…Counsel responded to the district judge’s question: Your Honor, these materials are before you. They are evidence before you…. But, your Honor, you don’t have to have evidence for this from these authorities. This is in the cases themselves. The cases recognize this one after another. [ER350:19-351:1 (emphasis added).] The district judge then said: “I don’t have to have evidence?” ER 351:2. Counsel’s response: “You don’t have to have evidence of this point if one court after another has recognized — let me turn to the California cases on this.” ER351:3-5 (emphasis added)..”

    Only the underlined portion of the passage is what the district judge quotes — utterly out of context — in his opinion. — end Whelan quote-

    So, how did/do you answer Whelan on that?

  38. Mark
    October 4th, 2010 at 08:07 | #38

    On Lawn:
    “So you think love is a basis of marriage.”
    It is one of the basis, yes. Is it absolute? Of course not. Now you’re just being ridiculous. And all those cases that refer to procreation as defining marriage? Most are at least 40 years old where the strongest ones coming over 100 years ago. But then we didn’t allow interracial marriage at those times either so marriage is not an unchanging condition.

    “People become confused at the expectation of marriage equality”
    Really? Studies of gays and lesbians show increased depression when their relationships are denied the legal recognition of marriage. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-hidden-brain/201003/the-mental-health-consequences-anti-gay-marriage-laws
    Do you have any proof to support your “claims”?

    “When men and women are seperated (sic), they are not equal. ”
    So a woman needs a man to be equal? Really? I have much more respect for women (and men) that they can get along on their own. So, you say that marriage is a co-dependent relationship? Where neither individual can survive on their own?

  39. Sean
    October 4th, 2010 at 12:24 | #39

    “responsible procreation is really at the heart of society’s interest in regulating marriage.”

    What Judge Walker told both sides at the trial was that he would require them to present evidence of their assertions: either that being prohibited from marrying caused gay couples harm (plaintiffs), or that letting gay couples marry caused the Prop 8 supporters harm (intervenors).

    The Cooper defense said it would offer 23 expert witnesses to offer evidence. It didn’t. It relied on statements from previous legal cases and historical figures about the purpose of marriage. That is not evidence that letting same-sex couples marry causes public or social harm. The judge laid out the ground rules unambiguously and both sides agreed to those rules. That President Obama says he is against same-sex marriage, for example, is not evidence that same-sex marriage harms the public or society. It is merely someone’s opinion.

    Opponents of same-sex marriage will continue to experience frustration on this topic if they keep insisting that marriage is about procreation, so long as infertile couples (as Judge Walker noted) are permitted to marry. If you want to outlaw same-sex marriage on that basis, you will also need to outlaw senior citizen marriage, infertile couple marriage and fertile-but-we-refuse-to-have-kids marriage. If marriage is solely about creating a legal contract between current and future parents, then it is legally irrational, to say the least, to include infertile opposite-sex couples but exclude same-sex couples.

    It is beyond ridiculous, at this point, to define marriage as limited to couples who are, or plan to be, parents, in order to get married. That is so obviously untrue that the person who makes such a claim can be considered mentally deficient, in my opinion.

    The current state of marriage in the remaining marriage discrimination states is this: we wish to reward opposite-sex couples for being opposite-sex couples. That is the standard, “be an opposite-sex couple” that qualifies a couple to marry. What many of us are asking is, “why are opposite-sex couples being rewarded for being opposite-sex couples?”

  40. October 4th, 2010 at 12:50 | #40

    Me: >>>> “There is no justification for you or Sean to say that marriage isn’t defined by procreation in marriage precedent. It is legally recognized time and time again.”

    Mark: >>> But it hasn’t been.

    Me: >> “So you think love is a basis of marriage. [...] Neither love nor procreation can withstand Mark’s constraints on what a law must do, so we are left with two choices: Either Mark’s constraint is invalid, or we have to invalidate both love and procreation as purposes of marriage, and Mark is still wrong in his statement.”

    Mark: > It is one of the basis, yes. Is it absolute? Of course not.

    Well, logic then brings us to the conclusion that Mark’s statement is not true about marriage and its founding in the biological reality of human procreation being between one man and one woman.

    Again, reference this list of quotes on the matter from US judges.

    It is by no means exhaustive.

    Mark: > But then we didn’t allow interracial marriage at those times either

    Also untrue. At the time of the Loving decision, almost 3/4 of the states did not ban any racial composition of marriage. And even in the states that did, they allowed most racial compositions and only outlawed a few.

    I can’t help that Mark’s inability to do basic research is bringing him to obviously bad conclusions.

    Me: >> “People become confused at the expectation of marriage equality”
    Mark: > Really? Studies of gays and lesbians show increased depression when their relationships are denied the legal recognition of marriage. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-hidden-brain/201003/the-mental-health-consequences-anti-gay-marriage-laws
    Do you have any proof to support your “claims”?

    One of the first things which tells me the person I’m dealing with is untutored is when they say “proof” where one would expect “evidence” in their sentence.

    But yes, and I thank you for providing part of the evidence that I would use to support that statement. Confusion appears to be evident and doing harm.

    If they only had something that treated their relationships with honor and benefits, too. Something that treats them specifically, rather than trying to treat them as if they are heterosexual relationships.

    Mark: > So a woman needs a man to be equal? Really?

    You can take that tangent if you want, and do your own investigation of that.

    For me, the context of marriage is the procreative unit. And yes, for equality to be fully realized, both the man and the woman need to be integrated so that they can fully support, love, honor and cherish each other to provide them for their own rights and responsibilities in raising the child they potentially have together.

    Men and women, outside of that unit, can be equal in many ways. But within that unit, only through their full support of each other can they find real equality between them.

    Just look at all the divorced people who claim they have been treated unfairly. A vast majority of them, both of them feel they have been served injustice in their seperation.

  41. Mark
    October 4th, 2010 at 16:03 | #41

    On Lawn:
    “Also untrue. At the time of the Loving decision, almost 3/4 of the states did not ban any racial composition of marriage. And even in the states that did, they allowed most racial compositions and only outlawed a few.”
    Actually, doing a little “research”, at the time of the Loving decision the percentage of states outlawing interracial marriage was actually closer to 34%, not 25%. The 25% you refer to (unless you have a real trouble with math) was actually the percentage of states with laws on the books into the 1970′s. As late as 1999, it was still on the books in Alabama.

    “Mark: > So a woman needs a man to be equal? Really?
    You can take that tangent if you want, and do your own investigation of that.”
    Actually, that is what you said, not me. But, to be fair, you try to justify, er, explain what you meant in the following:

    “Men and women, outside of that unit, can be equal in many ways. But within that unit, only through their full support of each other can they find real equality between them.”
    Nice way to talk out of both sides of your mouth. And, its funny that you say its only in marriage that a man and woman can truly be equal since prior to the 1880′s, a wife was essentially her husbands property and all her belongings (including her children) belonged to him.

    “One of the first things which tells me the person I’m dealing with is untutored is when they say “proof” where one would expect “evidence” in their sentence.”
    Oh, SNAP! Course, you realize, don’t you, that the definition of “proof” is “evidence sufficient to establish a thing as true” ?
    And yet, you provide neither evidence nor proof to justify your claims. Just another smoke screen to cover your inabilities and lack of any data to support your lies. Sad. But, if one has no truthful answers, the best defense is to change the subject and make their opposition look foolish. Course, that just results in themselves looking more ignorant.

  42. Sean
    October 4th, 2010 at 16:35 | #42

    “For me, the context of marriage is the procreative unit.”

    Then you advocate marriage only for fertile couples who reproduce. That’s fine but that’s not the case, still, in 44 states: the elderly, the infertile and those who don’t want children are allowed to marry.

  43. October 4th, 2010 at 17:47 | #43

    Mark: >>> But then we didn’t allow interracial marriage at those times either

    Me: >> Also untrue. At the time of the Loving decision, almost 3/4 of the states did not ban any racial composition of marriage. And even in the states that did, they allowed most racial compositions and only outlawed a few.

    Mark: > at the time of the Loving decision the percentage of states outlawing interracial marriage was actually closer to 34%

    Mark finally does research and finds out that essentially says I’m right :) I won’t quibble over a few states of difference.

    Mark: > And, its funny that you say its only in marriage that a man and woman can truly be equal since prior to the 1880′s, a wife was essentially her husbands property and all her belongings (including her children) belonged to him.

    And then he tries the same over-broad brush strokes about marriage. There are some cultures where women were not able to own property at all, and they even had marriage in them. There are some cultures that considered a marriage like a corporation and felt that everything they owned was between them (and officially responsibility went to the husband).

    But Mark is welcome to bring out as many points from the past as he can to show the importance of encouraging marriage equality — the equal recognition of the rights and responsibilities of the man, woman and child they potentially have together. That such integration has made marriage more equal over time supports the idea of how valuable such integration is.

    Thanks Mark.

    Oh, SNAP! Course, you realize, don’t you, that the definition of “proof” is “evidence sufficient to establish a thing as true” ?

    Which is exactly why we take one step at a time and provide evidence for evaluation first.

    Just another example where you come up with a gotcha but it turns out to be lack of reading comprehension on your part.

    Just another smoke screen to cover your inabilities and lack of any data to support your lies.

    Well, then the data I’ve produced must have supported the truths that I speak. You’ll have to show me where the lies are, because as I have spoken there haven’t been any.

  44. October 4th, 2010 at 17:59 | #44

    Me: > “For me, the context of marriage is the procreative unit.”

    Sean : > Then you advocate marriage only for fertile couples who reproduce.

    Sean’s lie has already been dealt with :)

    This is probably the most advanced stage of that discussion where Sean is trapped in a struggle of equating homosexuality with a disability while contradicting that claim by noting homosexuality is not a handicap.

    I don’t have to rehash Sean’s failings. Ever time he constructs his house of cards, I can show him where they crumbled and he was unable to save them. His argument has been shown to be illogical, and irrational. And even worse, he’s turning into a John Howard who, being discredited, is left to simply troll by accusing people of beliefs that they don’t have in a desperate appeal for attention.

    It is sad to point out, but every bit true, that if Sean were really concerned with the arguments, he would use logic and reason, not misrepresentation. I should also find the exchange where I caught Sean even trying to make up quotes that no had said.

  45. Sean
    October 4th, 2010 at 20:04 | #45

    “This is probably the most advanced stage of that discussion where Sean is trapped in a struggle of equating homosexuality with a disability while contradicting that claim by noting homosexuality is not a handicap.”

    Homosexuality is not a disability or a handicap. It is a normal variation of human sexuality, like heterosexuality.

    “I don’t have to rehash Sean’s failings.”

    Better to stick with your own, eh?

    “His argument has been shown to be illogical, and irrational.”

    Actually, his argument is very logical and rational. I’ll repeat it here:

    There is no legal connection between marriage and children. No one need produce children, in order to marry or to stay married, and no couple with children need marry. Procreational abilities can’t be used as a rationalization against letting same-sex couples marry, since infertile couples are free to marry. Prohibiting same-sex marriage does nothing to ensure that children get “a mommy and a daddy” since limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples does nothing to stop same-sex couples and single people from becoming parents. All 50 states protect the right of same-sex couples and single people to raise children, that is, be parents.

    Marriage experts, like Maggie Gallagher, argue that marriage is good for children. This makes sense, since marriage creates a more stable union between two people and that stability benefits children. If marriage provides stability to the children of opposite-sex children, it seems, well, unkind, to treat the children of same-sex couples as if they are undeserving of the same stability.

    Our nation’s constitution requires that all US citizens be treated equally under the law. The 14th Amendment guarantees “equal protection” for all US citizens. There appears to be no exception for homosexual citizens. Therefore, if the state is going to offer marriage licenses to straight Americans, it needs to offer marriage licenses to gay Americans, unless there is a compelling and rational state interest in distinguishing between the two groups.

    That’s about it I guess.

  46. October 4th, 2010 at 23:13 | #46

    Sean: > Homosexuality is not a disability or a handicap. It is a normal variation of human sexuality, like heterosexuality.

    Yep, just as I said, its left Sean, “trapped in a struggle of equating homosexuality with a disability while contradicting that claim by noting homosexuality is not a handicap”.

    Sean: > Actually, his argument is very logical and rational. I’ll repeat it here:

    And that is also as I said,

    I don’t have to rehash Sean’s failings. Ever time he constructs his house of cards, I can show him where they crumbled and he was unable to save them. His argument has been shown to be illogical, and irrational. And even worse, he’s turning into a John Howard who, being discredited, is left to simply troll by accusing people of beliefs that they don’t have in a desperate appeal for attention.

    It is sad to point out, but every bit true, that if Sean were really concerned with the arguments, he would use logic and reason, not misrepresentation. I should also find the exchange where I caught Sean even trying to make up quotes that no had said.

    For demonstration…

    There is no legal connection between marriage and children.

    Already shown to be false.

    No one need produce children, in order to marry or to stay married, and no couple with children need marry.

    Same argument refuted two comments ago

    Procreational abilities can’t be used as a rationalization against letting same-sex couples marry, since infertile couples are free to marry.

    Also refuted with a well versed judicial decision

    All 50 states protect the right of same-sex couples and single people to raise children, that is, be parents.

    But Sean is willing to call any same-sex couple who isn’t gay a second class citizen, because he is happy to let them be without the same access that gay couples may get.

    Marriage experts, like Maggie Gallagher, argue that marriage is good for children.

    Actually, Sean has no esteem for Maggie Gallagher, probably because he knows that when she means marriage she means it differently then him. In the end, he tries to blame the whole thing on Maggie.

    If marriage provides stability to the children of opposite-sex children, it seems, well, unkind, to treat the children of same-sex couples as if they are undeserving of the same stability.

    As noted in the link above, his grasp of post-hoc definition is suspect. here is another placen his obvious shell game was exposed as dishonest.

    Our nation’s constitution requires that all US citizens be treated equally under the law. The 14th Amendment guarantees “equal protection” for all US citizens. [...] Therefore, if the state is going to offer marriage licenses to straight Americans, it needs to offer marriage licenses to gay Americans, unless there is a compelling and rational state interest in distinguishing between the two groups.

    That is true. And equal protection is granted since gays can get married.

    But that is not what Sean means, he means that the 14th amendment would find marriage in violation. He quoted Lawrence even to that degree, only to find out that O’Connor’s concurrence says traditional marriage is just such an interest (As well as the controlling federal precedent including the Baker appeal to the Supreme Court on those grounds).

    So we find out that Sean has no rational arguments at all, just as I pointed out earlier. All he does is try to maintain an illusion of permanence by finding a new thread to repeat the same discredited claims.

  47. Mark
    October 5th, 2010 at 07:35 | #47

    On Lawn: “Mark finally does research and finds out that essentially says I’m right. I won’t quibble over a few states of difference.”
    Actually, you were wrong. You did not do the research and your math is off. Please try to be honest with your own failings. You just look more and more idiotic.

    “Which is exactly why we take one step at a time and provide evidence for evaluation first.”
    And yet you quibble about words and avoid showing any data or evidence to support your claims.

    “There are some cultures where women were not able to own property at all, and they even had marriage in them. There are some cultures that considered a marriage like a corporation and felt that everything they owned was between them (and officially responsibility went to the husband).”
    Thank you pointing out that marriage is not set in stone. That it changes, and is defined in different ways. That many relationships can be considered marriage. Thank you for proving my point.

    “But Mark is welcome to bring out as many points from the past as he can …….”
    Hmm, such as you with those archaic articles requiring procreation in defining marriage. I guess its OK for On Lawn to use info from our past but noone else can. Another example of his inability to allow people to be treated equally. Says more about him than the pages of the nonsense he spews.

    “Well, then the data I’ve produced must have supported the truths that I speak. You’ll have to show me where the lies are, because as I have spoken there haven’t been any.”
    The biggest lie, in this very sentence, is that you have produced no data. There is none. As far as lies are concerned, you won’t define any terms, you don’t show any evidence, you just make bold claims (i.e. lies) and then attempt to make others come up with some way to disprove them. While it continues to cause confusion, it merely shows that you have no evidence nor substance to even attempt to support your outlandish claims.

    “But Sean is willing to call any same-sex couple who isn’t gay a second class citizen, because he is happy to let them be without the same access that gay couples may get.”
    Please don’t make yourself more moronic by trying to defend rights for people. And, for the sake of the argument, use the terms properly. A “same sex couple” is not a mother and daughter raising a child, but two members of the same sex who wish to marry but are denied marriage equality or have entered into a DP or CU or even married in the 5 states where they can. Honestly, you just continue to look more ignorant with each posting.

  48. Sean
    October 5th, 2010 at 07:52 | #48

    “Sean, “trapped in a struggle of equating homosexuality with a disability while contradicting that claim by noting homosexuality is not a handicap”

    Sean is in no such trap. Homosexuality is not a disability, but rather a normal variation of human sexuality, like heterosexuality.

    There is still no connection, legally, between marriage and children. We know that to be true because infertile couples are free to marry, as are elderly couples and couples who have no desire or intention to have children. No marriage has ever been dissolved for lack of progeny. Procreative ability or intent has never been a hurdle to getting married. Perhaps at some point, society may redefine marriage as an institution for parents only but that time has not yet arrived. Currently, in states that deny marriage to same-sex couples, marriage is apparently a reward for opposite-sex couples, for being opposite-sexed. That appears to be the only consistent standard in determining who may marry and who may not.

    “But Sean is willing to call any same-sex couple who isn’t gay a second class citizen, because he is happy to let them be without the same access that gay couples may get.”

    Sean states no such thing. Sean rejects notions of “second-class citizenship.” No same-sex couple who wishes to marry need demonstrate a sexual orientation of any kind. If two straight men wish to marry, let them.

    “Actually, Sean has no esteem for Maggie Gallagher…”

    Absolutely correct. Gallagher earns a living hurting gay people and their children. She has specific knowledge about the benefits of marriage to couples and to their children, and yet actively works to keep those benefits away from same-sex couples and their children. Intentionally or not, Gallagher creates a rationale for homophobia and its manifestations, including bullying and ultimately, teenage suicide. Anyone who advocates a public policy that harms children is simply beyond redemption, like a doctor touting a miracle drug but insisting it not be made available to black people (or in Gallagher’s case, children).

    “And equal protection is granted since gays can get married.”

    Actually in 44 states, gay couples are not permitted to marry. Therefore, equal protection guarantees have been violated, since it advances no state interest in granting opposite-sex couples marriage licenses, while denying them to same-sex couples. Seriously, OnLawn, even the failed Cooper defense in the Prop 8 trial didn’t play the “but gays can marry, just so they marry someone of the opposite sex!” gambit. Why not follow their lead?

    You can continue to site court cases from previous centuries if you wish but they appear to be merely repeating social perceptions of what marriage is, not legal ones. Judge Walker bravely asked for evidence that marriage advances society’s interest in procreation and the Cooper defense could offer none. Combined with the fact that infertile couples, elderly couples and couples with no intention of procreating are permitted to marry, it becomes farcical to proclaim that marriage is about procreation. I applaud Walker for bring the farce to an end.

  49. Sean
    October 5th, 2010 at 08:38 | #49

    “The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychological Asociation and American Psychiatric Asociation have endorsed civil marriage for same-sex couples because marriage strengthens mental and physical health and longevity of couples, and provides greater legal and financial security for children, parents and seniors.”

    But, heck, if Maggie Gallagher says gay couples don’t deserve to have the mental and physical health benefits of marriage, that’s pathetic enough. But to deny children greater legal and financial security??? Beyond the pale.

    What a legacy to leave your own children: the woman who earned her living harming children. I hope they have a different last name!

  50. October 5th, 2010 at 13:56 | #50

    Folks, I want you to read the last three comments from Mark and Sean. Note that nothing they say is new. They can be categorized as…

    1) Baseless misrepresentations
    2) Silly contests of their own creation based on trivial and off-topic and fallacious reasoning
    3) Recitations of previously discredited arguments (its their way of making them look like they have standing, is to copy and paste :)

    So if anyone other than Sean and Mark feels that there is something Sean and Mark have said which does not fit those three categories and should be dealt with, just let me know. I’m happy to oblige.

    Otherwise, I’m happy to let Sean and Mark twist in the wind. Their opinions on marriage have been brought fully to light and shown for the lies they are (e.g. no rights for children, no link to procreation, infertile people must be forbidden marriage, anyone who can’t get marriage benefits is a second class citizen — unless they happen to be anyone but a homosexual). Their promised utopia has been revealed as a distopian world of romance regulation, and removing rights from others so gays can feel better about what they are missing out on. A tyranny that must remove our democracy, our right to vote on the most important matters of our society.

    Again, if anyone other than Sean and Mark feels they’ve said something I haven’t replied to, or feels their distopian view of marriage was unfairly dismissed by myself, just let me know.

    Sean and Mark, Feel free to twist in the wind at this point. Nothing they’ve said has changed what I said here.

  51. Betsy
    October 5th, 2010 at 15:21 | #51

    You guys are so entertaining. :)

  52. Sean
    October 5th, 2010 at 15:57 | #52

    Well I, for one, will miss you, OnLawn. I never got an explanation for why society is so fond of opposite-sex couples, and/or dislikes same-sex couples so much though. Maybe someone else will come along and address that issue.

    Just to correct a few things:

    1. The rights of children do not change with the marital status of their parents
    2. Marriage cannot be exclusively (if at all) about procreation, because infertile and elderly couples are permitted to marry, as are fertile couples who don’t want children
    3. I am happy to offer marriage benefits to infertile couples; it is the “marriage is about procreation!” crowd that wants to redefine marriage away from loving, committed couples to the exclusive domain of biological parents. I prefer to keep things the way they are, and let elderly couples, infertile couples and non-parenting couples marry. I don’t like radical social changes!
    4. I do not wish to see the government regulate romance any more than I wish to see the government regulate procreation, but if procreation becomes the aim of marriage, the government will have no choice but to snoop into people’s private lives in order to ferret out the non-procreators.
    5. In states with citizen initiatives, people will always be able to vote on those initiatives, but they can’t create unconstitutional laws with those initiatives.

  53. Mark
    October 5th, 2010 at 17:02 | #53

    On Lawn: Yes, it would have been nice to have gotten one solid answer from you but I realize that is beyond your abilities.

    However, since in another posting, I was lambasted by you for writing what I thought you had said, I’d like to add this statement by you:
    “Their opinions on marriage have been brought fully to light and shown for the lies they are (e.g. no rights for children, no link to procreation, infertile people must be forbidden marriage, anyone who can’t get marriage benefits is a second class citizen — unless they happen to be anyone but a homosexual).”
    1. Children have rights. But, unless you want children to marry, a marriage is between two consenting adults so your statement is meaningless.
    2. True, I do not feel procreation is necessary for marriage
    3. This is your argument not mine, i.e. procreation is necessary for marriage therefore someone who cannot procreate (gays and lesbians, infertile couples) cannot really be married. Since I do not feel procreation is a requirement to marry, I do not forbid infertile couples from marrying.
    4. The last line shows your obvious bigotry against homosexuals. Because you deny them their full rights as Americans (which includes the right to marry), you are relegating them to second class citizenship.

  54. October 5th, 2010 at 21:45 | #54

    No Problem Betsy,

    Sorry I have to let Mark and Sean twist in the wind. Seems they’ve really tried to turn up the volume of their misrepresentation.

    It was fun, great fun, to work with two such animated personalities.

    Look for the post on Opine detailing the two models of marriage, as told by the marriage defenders vs the ideal told by Mark and Sean — in their own words.

  55. Sean
    October 6th, 2010 at 17:55 | #55

    Post a link, OnLawn, so we can check it out!

  56. Mark
    October 6th, 2010 at 21:02 | #56

    On Lawn: Gonna put out some more lies and misrepresentation, are you? Just, please, at least use a dictionary and spell check. Otherwise you really come off as rather ignorant.

  57. October 7th, 2010 at 11:34 | #57

    Keep twisting in the wind there Mark. Flailing, venting your frustration, etc…

    The piece on your idea of marriage vs the one we are defending will come soon.

    I realize you have a great capacity to accuse and try to defame, and normally showing your folly in it is rather entertaining. But there are more important things to do…

  58. Mark
    October 7th, 2010 at 16:06 | #58

    On Lawn: “The piece on your idea of marriage vs the one we are defending will come soon.

    And same-sex marriage will be here soon, too. But keep “defending” what ever you like.

    But, congratulations. Not a single misspelled word. You are improving.

  59. October 7th, 2010 at 19:43 | #59

    Mark,

    Neutering marriage will be seen akin to slavery and abortion as some of the most cruel institutions that have ever been created at another’s expense. Even if it does come, so will the calamities it brings with it, and those who argued to institutionalize bigotry and intolerance (e.g. excluding a parent of a child from raising that child in marriage because of their gender) of (not against) homosexuality as equal to integration will be seen in the same derision and disappointment.

    Watch for the preview to that in the comparison of two models of marriage. Thanks for your interest, and no I’m still going to let you twist in the wind in your frustrated and impotent rage against who I am as a person :)

  60. Sean
    October 7th, 2010 at 20:48 | #60

    OnLawn, where on earth do you get this stuff? Is it that Opine website that you keep talking about?

    “Neutering marriage will be seen akin to slavery and abortion as some of the most cruel (sic) institutions that have ever been created at another’s expense.”

    Oh brother. Sounds dramatic but let’s look at the facts. Slavery forced fully-formed adults into uncompensated, involuntary servitude. Abortion destroys some reproductive materials in various stages of development. Those two are hardly comparable, on any level.

    Marriage creates a family and a secure environment for the raising of children (if the married couple so desires). Families are good things, OnLawn! Outlawing same-sex marriage is actually the cruel part: telling a child his parents aren’t “good enough,” while creating a less stable environment for him or her. And for gay people in general, the message is clear: we think murderers and drug dealers are better than you are (because we let them marry, but we sure aren’t going to let you marry!).

    And this newsflash: outlawing same-sex marriage doesn’t outlaw same-sex parenting, which is legal in all 50 states. So who’s being cruel here? The people who exercise their God-given right to reproduce, or the people who would deny a child the right to married parents???

    “institutionalize bigotry and intolerance (e.g. excluding a parent of a child from raising that child in marriage because of their gender”

    You must be an asexual person. You have my pity. Because if you were sexual, you would know that you aren’t attracted to someone because of anything remotely related to bigotry and intolerance. And once again, a newsflash: outlawing same-sex marriage DOES NOT fix the “bigotry and intolerance” problem you describe: same-sex couples can still form and raise children together. It just makes their kids illegitimate and vulnerable. Happy?

  61. October 8th, 2010 at 10:26 | #61

    Sorry Sean, but while marriage is not an institution which will be seen akin to slavery and abortion, neutered marriage is and will be seen as such if adopted as the new standard of marriage. Kind of the same way marriage that treats women as property is looked down on these days, so will neutered marriage that treats children as property and the other gender as a commidity to be traded and sold — much like the lives of the slaves.

    You also made a number of vain and worthless accusations about myself. I think that shows your desperation and dishonesty.

    But as I said before, I’m happy to let you twist in the wind on that. It doesn’t matter much to me who you think I am. But marriage is something much more universal, and even more obvious. When you try to misrepresent, or create a hyperbole from what I say, you are only showing your own weakness in reading comprehension :)

  62. Mark
    October 8th, 2010 at 10:39 | #62

    On Lawn: “Neutering marriage will be seen akin to slavery and abortion as some of the most cruel institutions that have ever been created at another’s expense. ”

    Your attempts to prohibit equal rights in marriage will be looked at in the future akin to maintaining slavery, not the other way around.

    And, no one is being affected by SSM. OSM is not affected, children are not affected, society is affected but positively.

    “Even if it does come, so will the calamities it brings with it, and those who argued to institutionalize bigotry and intolerance (e.g. excluding a parent of a child from raising that child in marriage because of their gender) of (not against) homosexuality as equal to integration will be seen in the same derision and disappointment.”

    It is you who are promoting the “institutionaliz(ing of) bigotry and intolerance” not those promoting SSM. No matter how hard you twist words, make up words and tell lies, that is a fact.

    “Thanks for your interest, and no I’m still going to let you twist in the wind in your frustrated and impotent rage against who I am as a person”

    I could care less who you are as a person, frankly. However, when you work to deny the rights of US citizens, I will intervene. Nothing you have said does anything but show your bigotry and hatred. You repeat the arguments from the Prop 8 case that were found to be weak, lacking and incorrect as if these somehow support your views. You are unable to provide proof in the form of studies or true experts (not the fake “experts” at such sites as NARTH).

    And as far as “twisting in the wind”, you are the one who said you were no longer going to respond ….. and yet you continue to respond. But, I am not surprised that you don’t keep to your word. You diatribes have made that very clear.

    As I have said before, same-sex marriage WILL be legalized in the US. And your hate-filled, outdated views will go the way of the dinosaur.

  63. Sean
    October 8th, 2010 at 13:42 | #63

    OnLawn, neutered marriage will result in giving the children of same-sex couples the enhanced status of having married parents. While the legal rights of a child don’t change whether his parents are married or not, we know from Maggie Gallagher’s research that children are much better off when their parents are married. It is beyond my comprehension why you persist in advocating a public policy that hurts children. Kind of gambling the dice on judgment day, aren’t you? I wouldn’t want to have to be explaining to God why I wanted to hurt children!

    But please, explain yourself on this issue. It will be good practice for you-know-who!

    “It doesn’t matter much to me who you think I am.”

    It doesn’t matter much to me either who I think you are.

    “But marriage is something much more universal, and even more obvious.”

    Clearly you have strong feelings about what marriage must be and who must be allowed to get married. But there are bigger issues here, like the welfare of children, our nation’s constitution, gay teenager suicide and feelings of low self-worth, and fairness to all Americans, even gay ones.

    I think if you could move beyond a selfish motive for seeing marriage conform to your personal or religious beliefs, you would be more supportive of marriage equality.

  64. October 8th, 2010 at 15:59 | #64

    Say what you will Mark and Sean, you know I’m right.

    I think the fact that you chose to plug your ears and continue chanting your beliefs to yourselves demonstrates that on the most basic level.

  65. Sean
    October 9th, 2010 at 10:39 | #65

    OnLawn, if you want to hurt children, then yes, you are doing so. If you want to hurt gay couples, yes, you are doing so. If you want to violate our nation’s constitution, then yes, you are right.

    Why do you want to hurt children? Why do you want to hurt gay couples? Why do you want to violate our nation’s constitution?

  66. Mark
    October 9th, 2010 at 12:52 | #66

    On Lawn: “Say what you will Mark and Sean, you know I’m right.”

    TRUST me, I would not be spending time trying to show you your errors if I thought you “were right”. Ever bit of proof, every study, every bit of financial discussion, and even discussions of child rearing say you are wrong. It is you who are choosing to” plug your ears and continue chanting your beliefs to yourselves”. While I could usually care less if some one continues to stick to a falsehood, you and your ilk want to pull the rest of society down with you. You continue to want to deny fellow citizens basic rights. And then feel no shame about it. Sad.

  67. October 9th, 2010 at 16:07 | #67

    Sean: > OnLawn, if you want to hurt children, then yes, you are doing so.

    Show me where I’ve wanted less than to encourage adults to treat their children with the best in life, and that means loving, cherishing, and supporting their other biological parent within a marriage.

    Show me where when that is impossible, I’ve wanted to leave any household out in the cold without recognition of their mutual trust and support.

    Only then would your words have any truth to them.

    Mark: > TRUST me, I would not be spending time trying to show you your errors if I thought you “were right”.

    You’ve told me what you think of me, but you haven’t shown the errors in my arguments.

    Mark: > Ever bit of proof, every study, every bit of financial discussion, and even discussions of child rearing say you are wrong.

    If that were so, you’d have been able to provide such proof. You haven’t, and are bluffing to make up for that deficiency.

    Mark: > While I could usually care less if some one continues to stick to a falsehood,

    Apparently. If you cared you would worry first about yourself…

    Mark: > You continue to want to deny fellow citizens basic rights.

    A license on your own terms is not a basic right.

    Marriage is a right, but only because marriage is between a man and a woman. And since that includes everyone, I’ve not denied anyone.

  68. Mark
    October 9th, 2010 at 20:16 | #68

    On Lawn: “You’ve told me what you think of me, but you haven’t shown the errors in my arguments.”

    But I have, over and over, you just don’t read. And when they are shown to be errors, you just change your view or the subject.

    “If that were so, you’d have been able to provide such proof. You haven’t, and are bluffing to make up for that deficiency.”

    Sigh, again with the denial. Post after post has provided proof. But, I am still waiting from you the definitions of words such as “responsible procreation” or the “procreative unit”. Time and again, no definitions. Hard to deny that people are proving you wrong when you can’t even define your own position.

    “Marriage is a right, but only because marriage is between a man and a woman. And since that includes everyone, I’ve not denied anyone.”

    Wow, wrong on both counts. You are either denying people the right to marry the person they love, or advocating that gays and lesbians marry straight men and women.

    But, don’t worry, same sex marriage will be legal in this country and, as I have said before, you will go down in history with the anti-equal rights bigots of the 1960′s.

  69. Mark
    October 12th, 2010 at 07:37 | #69

    On Lawn: “Apparently. If you cared you would worry first about yourself…”

    Wow, one could almost take that as a threat. Thanks. Nice to know you are spiraling down even further.

    “A license on your own terms is not a basic right.”

    And, what exactly, are “my own terms”?

    “Marriage is a right, but only because marriage is between a man and a woman. And since that includes everyone, I’ve not denied anyone.”

    And, in the past, when it was only between a white man and a white woman I guess society didn’t deny anyone’s rights either. As long as you were white.

  70. October 12th, 2010 at 16:15 | #70

    Mark: >>> While I could usually care less if some one continues to stick to a falsehood,

    Me: >> “Apparently. If you cared you would worry first about yourself…”

    Mark: > Wow, one could almost take that as a threat.

    I’m posting a more full part of the conversation to put it in context, just so you know who is really spiraling down into desperation :)

    Me: >> “A license on your own terms is not a basic right.”

    Mark: > And, what exactly, are “my own terms”?

    If you don’t know by now, don’t look to me to make sense of your design in all of this. But I do take that as a compliment that you look to me to do that for you :)

    The point remains that a license on your own terms is not a basic right.

    Me: >> “Marriage is a right, but only because marriage is between a man and a woman. And since that includes everyone, I’ve not denied anyone.”

    Mark: > And, in the past, when it was only between a white man and a white woman I guess society didn’t deny anyone’s rights either. As long as you were white.

    Mark’s knowledge of history is clearly on display. While white people marrying black people might have been illegal (note that is an example of true illegality, as opposed to Mark trying to argue that a same-sex couple having wedding and living together is somehow illegal) never has marriage only been between a white man and a white woman.

  71. October 12th, 2010 at 16:42 | #71

    Mark: > And when they are shown to be errors, you just change your view or the subject.

    Sure, and you can provide an example of this, I presume :D

    Mark: > But, I am still waiting from you the definitions of words such as “responsible procreation” or the “procreative unit”.

    Funny, a person named Mark recently told me,

    I do thank you for at least defining the term “procreational unit” (the man and woman engaging in sexual activity with the potential to create a new human life.).

    Also note that someone named Mark is also aware of the “definitions of words”…

    [Onlawn] ha[s] reminded me that “terms” are not in the dictionary, I did look up the individual words to attempt to determine what you mean by “procreative unit”.
    Procreate 1. to beget or generate (offspring). 2. to produce; bring into being.
    Unit 1.a single thing or person. 2. any group of things or persons regarded as an entity:
    Therefore, a “procreative unit” (in your marriage idea) is a “group of persons – a couple (I’ll give you this one) which generates / produces offspring”.

    Mark: > You are either denying people the right to marry the person they love, or advocating that gays and lesbians marry straight men and women.

    I’m only recognizing that there is no right to a license on your own terms. Marriage isn’t about marrying whomever you love, you can love more than one person, you can love your mother and father, you can love your children, you can love people that are already married, etc… It is about re-enforcing love where people deserve it most, in this case the spouse you created a child with and that child in lifelong commitments of support.

    Anyone who wants to take part in that institution, has to follow the laws of nature it is predicated on. :)

  72. Mark
    October 12th, 2010 at 16:45 | #72

    On Lawn : “If you don’t know by now, don’t look to me to make sense of your design in all of this. But I do take that as a compliment that you look to me to do that for you”

    Wrong again. You post as if you know exactly what people are saying and are so often wrong. When you tell me “license on your own terms is not a basic right.” then you must have an assumption (probably incorrect) regarding what my terms are.

    “Mark’s knowledge of history is clearly on display. While white people marrying black people might have been illegal (note that is an example of true illegality, as opposed to Mark trying to argue that a same-sex couple having wedding and living together is somehow illegal) never has marriage only been between a white man and a white woman.”

    Sigh, you keep trying to show that same sex marriage is not illegal when it clearly is (look at state laws, look up definitions). One does not have to be prosecuted for something to be illegal. If the Lovings had not been arrested, would you say miscegenation was not illegal?

  73. October 13th, 2010 at 12:26 | #73

    Mark: > Sigh, you keep trying to show that same sex marriage is not illegal when it clearly is (look at state laws, look up definitions).

    Poor Mark, he really wants to believe.

    The definition shows the bar of proof he has to meet in order to prove his point, and so far he’s not met that bar.

    Mark: > One does not have to be prosecuted for something to be illegal. If the Lovings had not been arrested, would you say miscegenation was not illegal?

    Yet the proof of the point is that they were prosecuted, and so were all the others that were caught doing it by law officials. Hence it was “illegal” for them to even live together as if they were married. (Note, they were legally married in another state).

    Again, the evidence is so overwhelming to Mark that he can’t help but bring it out against his claim.

  74. Mark
    October 13th, 2010 at 13:40 | #74

    On Lawn: You are correct for once. However, you have the order of those two comments reversed (the first one – your second on Mark is also aware of – was October 5th, 2010 at 18:10 and the second one – your first one Mark recently told me, -was from October 11th, 2010 at 22:09. Why is this remotely important? Because it was I who defined the word on Oct. 5th and you just parroted it back on Oct. 11th so I am still not clear if that was your definition all along. If it is, it certainly rules out infertile couples from marriage.

    If you notice, I have not seen a definition of “responsible procreation” yet.

  75. Mark
    October 13th, 2010 at 13:42 | #75

    Sorry, the links do not seem to be there but if there is any confusion, just read On Lawns comments October 12th, 2010 at 16:42.

  76. October 15th, 2010 at 09:44 | #76

    Mark: > so I am still not clear if that was your definition all along.

    Since your original source was the Dictionary, I doubt there is much reason to believe I’m operating with a different definition. You are grasping at straws again, and clearly the existence and acknowlegement of both show that you lied about not seeing a definition.

    Mark: > If it is, it certainly rules out infertile couples from marriage.

    Luckily you are in a slim minority for trying to enforce perfection on the disabled.

  77. Mark
    October 15th, 2010 at 16:31 | #77

    On Lawn: “Since your original source was the Dictionary, I doubt there is much reason to believe I’m operating with a different definition.”

    Well, since the term “procreative unit” does not appear in any dictionary, I went to the individual words in an attempt to determine the definition (since no one seemed able to define it). But the individual definitions do not always equal what the term means. For example, the term “toe jam”, means: “a nasty, smelly substance that collects between the toes of unwashed feet.” However, if we took the individual words and looked at their definitions (Toe: one of the terminal digits of the human foot. Jam: a preserve of whole fruit, slightly crushed, boiled with sugar) you could either say it meant “a preserve of toes, slightly crushed, boiled with sugar” or “a preserve of whole fruit on one of the terminal digits of the human foot”. The problem with slang (or even made up terms) is that they are not necessary the true combination of the individual definitions.

    “Luckily you are in a slim minority for trying to enforce perfection on the disabled.”

    I am not attempting to force perfection on the disabled. On the contrary, I acknowledge the marriage of people who are infertile without them having to prove it by reproducing, unlike some on this blog.

    And I am still waiting for a definition of “responsible procreation” yet.

  78. October 15th, 2010 at 18:31 | #78

    Me: >> “Since your original source was the Dictionary, I doubt there is much reason to believe I’m operating with a different definition.”

    Mark: > Well, since the term “procreative unit” does not appear in any dictionary, I went to the individual words in an attempt to determine the definition (since no one seemed able to define it).

    Just as I said.

    Mark: >>> If it is, it certainly rules out infertile couples from marriage.

    Me: >> “Luckily you are in a slim minority for trying to enforce perfection on the disabled.”

    Mark: > I am not attempting to force perfection on the disabled.

    Just another Mark self-contradiction. His commentary about himself simply doesn’t match what he actually says and does in this matter.

  79. October 15th, 2010 at 18:32 | #79

    Mark: > And I am still waiting for a definition of “responsible procreation” yet[sic].

    Just another of Mark’s growing list of lies.

  80. MarkOH
    October 17th, 2010 at 09:02 | #80

    On Lawn:
    “Mark: > And I am still waiting for a definition of “responsible procreation” yet[sic].

    Just another of Mark’s growing list of lies.”

    It’s not a lie. I haven’t seen it. But, if I missed it, please, humor me and define it (if you can) or show me where it was defined.

  81. MarkOH
    October 17th, 2010 at 09:14 | #81

    On Lawn: “Just as I said.”

    Meaningless response.

    “Just another Mark self-contradiction. His commentary about himself simply doesn’t match what he actually says and does in this matter.”

    Sigh, you continue to mis-represent what I say. Either this is due to ignorance or malice, I am not sure. But, please refrain for making such incorrect assumptions. My comments are based on those who insist that procreation be an essential part of the definition of marriage. I do not hold such views. However, for those who do hold them, they have failed to make a clear point why the exception should be made for those who are infertile. They didn’t chose to be infertile, only some can be treated (would like to see what those numbers actually are that can be treated), so why are they considered an exception?

  82. Mark
    October 17th, 2010 at 16:20 | #82

    OOPS. MarkOH is me, just on my laptop (need to try to change that)

  83. October 17th, 2010 at 23:26 | #83

    MarkOH :
    On Lawn: “Just as I said.”
    Meaningless response.

    Such is Mark’s rudeness and dismissiveness. When I’m right, and he can’t do anything about it, he just assuages himself by thinking it is meaningless.

    “Just another Mark self-contradiction. His commentary about himself simply doesn’t match what he actually says and does in this matter.”
    Sigh, you continue to mis-represent what I say. Either this is due to ignorance or malice, I am not sure. But, please refrain for making such incorrect assumptions. My comments are based on those who insist that procreation be an essential part of the definition of marriage. I do not hold such views. However, for those who do hold them, they have failed to make a clear point why the exception should be made for those who are infertile. They didn’t chose to be infertile, only some can be treated (would like to see what those numbers actually are that can be treated), so why are they considered an exception?

    And in that quote Mark is complaining that what I say about my own beliefs is only misrepresenting the distortions he wants to inject into them :)

    Sorry Mark, but I’ll leave you to twist in the wind on that one. Seems everyone here knows that we don’t exclude people because of their disabilities, even if you want them to out of a fit of tit-for-tat vindictiveness for excluding arrangements which aren’t even trying to meet the purpose.

    Mark’s comment is like claiming we should get rid of Social Security benefits, because they exclude people who simply don’t want to work.

  84. Mark
    October 19th, 2010 at 10:50 | #84

    On Lawn: “And in that quote Mark is complaining that what I say about my own beliefs is only misrepresenting the distortions he wants to inject into them”

    On Lawn attempts to justify a position that he is unable to support. On Lawn states I am “enforce perfection on the disabled.” which is a lie but one On Lawn needs to present to avoid dealing with his lack of ability to justify his bias.

    “Mark’s comment is like claiming we should get rid of Social Security benefits, because they exclude people who simply don’t want to work.”

    On Lawn must have seen an article somewhere comparing SS benefits to SSM – his needle seems to be stuck in a grove. First, the only thing I advocate eliminating is On Lawn’s narrow and bigoted definition of marriage. Second, On Lawn seems to feel that people should be paid SS benefits even if they chose not to work. Not an opinion I would assume the majority in this country would agree with.

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