Home > Marriage, Same Sex Marriage > An answer to my question

An answer to my question

October 8th, 2010

One brave soul on the Left has ventured an answer to my question.

I asked:

But this I wonder: Does the fact that our society is trying to turn marriage into a meaningless registry of friendships via redefinition have any effect on people’s attitude towards marriage? Any effect at all? Naaw. Impossible.

Mr. “Equality” Davis, who seems from his picture to be channeling the New Kids on the Block circa 1990, answered as follows:

Of course, their “Naaw. Impossible” was an attempt at sarcasm. I have to say though, the ignorance here is thick, and so is the bigotry.

First of all, my “Naaw. Impossible” was not just an attempt at sarcasm.  It was actual sarcasm.  The genuine article.  I do confess that my question bespeaks ignorance.  After all, if I ask a question, it means that I am curious to know something of which I’m ignorant.  His contention that my question is thick with bigotry, need not be dignified with a response.  That’s just standard Leftist name calling to shut down debate.  I will not be bullied by such cheap tactics.

One reason his gratuitous insults will not stop me from asking uncomfortable questions is because debate is worthy in this case.  You see, it is my contention that the definition of an institution has some effect on a person’s willingness to join that institution.  If nothing else, that contention is, at least, plausible.  One that should be discussed openly and not shouted down by insults.

But Ed Davis, I would guess, thinks that the definition of an institution has no bearing on a person’s willingness to enter into that institution.  None at all.  Not even the tiniest bit.

That line of thinking seems very strange to me indeed.  However, to Davis, this strange proposition is so obvious that only bigots would even dare to dispute it.

Ed continues (emphasis added):

You were given a statistic and a reason for that statistic. Now, you want to use that statistic as yet another attack on a group of people who want nothing more than to be treated as equals in our society. So, NOM, you can quit wondering. The answer is a resounding “no”. The fact that I want to marry the man that I love has nothing to do with the decline in marriages all together.

To Ed, it would seem, I should have read the article I linked, take for granted that the explanation it gives explains every single aspect of the phenomenon it discusses, and not bothered to ask any annoying questions.  Certainly not questions that are harmful to his pet cause.

But that’s not how I operate.  Personally, I wonder if anybody contemplating marriage ever asks himself what marriage actually means.  And I wonder to what extent the answer a person finally settles upon influences his decision to marry.

These questions are interesting to me.  The proposition that the definition of marriage affects a person’s decision to marry at least a little bit seems self evident.  Any contention to the contrary is indeed worthy of sarcasm.

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  1. Sean
    October 8th, 2010 at 14:10 | #1

    I think it’s instructive that there’s no evidence that marriage popularity declined once mixed-race couples were allowed to marry. I don’t know what the evidence shows in Massachusetts and other states where same-sex marriage is legal but I can’t find any articles online that show that opposite-sex marriage is in decline for reasons related to legal same-sex marriage. There appears to be no evidence that any OSM couples have turned in their marriage licenses or gotten divorced where same-sex marriage is legal.

    Instead of predicting disaster if same-sex marriage becomes legal, why not legalize it, and see what actually happens? Americans have proven that they’re willing to strip gays of the right to marry in Maine and California; they can do it again if same-sex marriage leads to some negative outcome.

    “One reason his gratuitous insults will not stop me from asking uncomfortable questions is because debate is worthy in this case.”

    You are what’s called a “petty victim”: someone with a petty grievance, while others are actually suffering. I’m sorry Edward called you a name. But he has a lot at stake here (you have nothing at stake, other than accepting a reality you don’t approve of).

    “The proposition that the definition of marriage affects a person’s decision to marry at least a little bit seems self-evident. Any contention to the contrary is indeed worthy of sarcasm.”

    Wow, this is heavy. Gee, I wonder if someone who gets a driver’s license understands the real metaphysical implications of what he’s getting into?! Let me help you out, based on personal experience and what I know of other peoples’ experiences with getting married:

    1. People get married because they fall in love with someone they want to be with for a long time and don’t want to “get away.”
    2. People get married so they don’t have to go through life alone
    3. People get married to demonstrate commitment to the person they love
    4. People get married to have the social recognition and legal benefits that marriage provides
    5. People get married because there’s a bun in the oven

    There are probably other reasons. Noticeably absent is “the desire to procreate responsibly”!

    I think you want to say that straight people won’t get married anymore if gay people are allowed to marry, but you didn’t have the guts to write something so off-color. If a couple chooses not to marry, or to dissolve a current marriage, so as not to be associated with an institution that includes gays and lesbians, that is definitely their problem. Given all the other reasons to avoid marriage, I think same-sex marriage is the least of marriage’s public relations problems.

  2. Arlemagne1
    October 8th, 2010 at 14:51 | #2

    Sean,
    You lost a lot of credibility when you wrote the following sentence:
    “Instead of predicting disaster if same-sex marriage becomes legal, why not legalize it, and see what actually happens?”

    I read no further.

    But do you apply that strange line of thinking in other areas of your life? “Instead of predicting disaster if I take up a crack cocaine habit, why not try some crack and see what actually happens?”

    “Instead of predicting disaster if I kick that 300 lb. tattooed bearded biker jimmies why not get kicking and see what actually happens?”

    Brilliant.

  3. Arlemagne1
    October 8th, 2010 at 14:53 | #3

    Typo there. I should have said “in the jimmies.”

  4. October 8th, 2010 at 15:34 | #4

    Wow, I don’t know whether to take the NKOTB comment as a compliment or a dis. Either way, it was actually very funny.

    You say in this post that you feel like the debate is important. I agree with you on that note but, at the end of the day, what you say in your posts isn’t about debate. It was a pure assertion.

    When they enacted DOMA did heterosexual couples all of the sudden start getting married more? No!
    When California passed Prop 8, was there a huge surge of heterosexual couples running to get married? No!

    You believe that people get married because of how it’s defined. You believe that I want to redefine marriage.

    What I am telling you is that, I simply just want a marriage and all of the 1,300 federal protections, benefits and penalties that go with it.

    I submitted a reply to your last post (but you didn’t not approve it) the following.

    When women gained the right to vote, did they redefine voting?
    When African-Amarericans gained the right to eat at the same table as white folks in a resturaunt did they redefine eating out?

    In both cases, the answer is “no”.

    Okay and now I’m the bully. You and your organization fight hard to keep me from having the same rights as you. But yes, I’m the bully.

    What you fail at understanding is that, we are the ones suffering for what you do. You will not be effected one single bit by me getting married, just as I have never been effected by anyone else’s marriage.

    For $75.00 heterosexual couples can go down to the court house and magically come out with a marriage. That marriage gives them over 1,300 protections for that relationship.

    I have spent over $2,500.00 so far in lawyer fees drawing up all of the documents for living wills, power of attorny and all of the other items that we have to do in order to protect our family and I still don’t have half of the protections that came automatic to Brittney spears and her husband for those 5 minutes she was married.

    How is that liberty, justice or freedom?
    Ed

    P.S the equality is just so that people who are fighting for the same thing can easily find me on facebook. But, you knew that already.

  5. Leo
    October 8th, 2010 at 16:07 | #5

    We do have a constitutional right to tinker with society’s bedrock institutions. It might be at our peril, but we have that right. We also have a constitutional right to resist tinkering with them. No one should deny us that right. We even have the right to return those institutions to an earlier understanding of them if necessary, if we proceed by constitutional means.

    We currently prosecute people who marry to obtain federal immigration benefits as marriage fraud. If such marriage fraud were made legal, the number of marriages would presumably increase, probably significantly, conferring the benefits of marriage frequently referred to. If marriage fraud were made legal, it would not directly affect my marriage. However, marriage fraud does subvert the clear intent of Congress as far as immigration goes. It could be argued that no person should be declared illegal and that there is a fundamental right to immigrate. The courts in California have ruled, for example, that certain benefits cannot be denied immigrants, even if they are illegal. However, the political branches should decide if such a right exists. The people have a right to determine their own governance using constitutional means, including if necessary a constitutional amendment. State DOMA amendments have been passed in response to judicial actions, some would say in response to judicial activism or legislating from the bench. I have come to the conclusion that time has come for a federal DOMA amendment. It would make judicial tinkering a lot more difficult.

  6. Arlemagne1
    October 8th, 2010 at 16:28 | #6

    Ed,
    Now we’re getting somewhere. You made some decent points and your response was mostly free of invective.

    I will address these points after the sabbath. Until such time, have a good weekend.

    Ari

    P.S. Glad you liked my NKOTB joke. Was not doing it to be mean. Your picture does resemble the picture I linked somewhat. At least I think so.

  7. Sean
    October 9th, 2010 at 06:11 | #7

    “But do you apply that strange line of thinking in other areas of your life?”

    What’s strange about taking risks? I have a highly successful business because I took risks. I weighed the risks and went ahead anyway, and have been rewarded for my risk-taking and hard work.

    Samuel Johnson observed, in this now famous quote:

    “Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome.”

    The thing that differs between same-sex marriage and forming a cocaine habit or kicking a burly biker is that there’s no evidence that same-sex marriage has any negatives. We know cocaine habits can be destructive and attacking people bigger than us is, too. And when you look at all the good things same-sex marriage brings to society, like giving children a more secure family, greatly reducing the costs of a committed relationship (as Mr. Davis noted), and honoring our nation’s constitution, the “risks” seem rather small in comparison. I can’t imagine compromising the welfare of children because of my personal prejudices.

    I realize homophobes, religionists and straight supremacists are struggling with giving gay people equal rights but I think our legal system demands it, as does our trademark American sense of fair play.

  8. Leo
    October 9th, 2010 at 14:19 | #8

    I realize gay activists are struggling with allowing the people to retain the right to vote, and even to amend their own constitutions, but I think our legal system demands it, as does our trademark American sense of fair play.

  9. Dave
    October 9th, 2010 at 15:15 | #9

    Leo says, “…allowing the people to retain the right to vote, and even to amend their own constitutions…”

    Leo, please let everyone know which of your inalienable you’d be willing to let us put up to a vote? Gosh, should we be voting on freedom of speech or perhaps the press? What about the right to bear arms?

    Why do you think it’s OK for the rights of a smaller group to be subject to the whims of a larger group’s popular vote?

  10. Mark
    October 9th, 2010 at 16:25 | #10

    Leo: “I realize gay activists are struggling with allowing the people to retain the right to vote, and even to amend their own constitutions, but I think our legal system demands it, as does our trademark American sense of fair play.”

    Why do you type such misleading statements? No one is struggling with anyone’s right to vote. The issue is simple: a majority (and in California, it barely was one) cannot vote away the rights of the minority. They tried it in the south prior to 1960s and the courts found in favor of the minority. That’s what this is all about.

  11. Viki
    October 9th, 2010 at 17:04 | #11

    Here is an interesting article on the effect of gay marriage on the health and welfare of children, and the relationship to the decline of heterosexual marriage : http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/homosexuality/ho0079.html
    The final sentence: “More than a decade into post-gay marriage Scandinavia, out-of-wedlock birthrates have passed 50 percent, and the effective end of marriage as a protective shield for children has become thinkable. Gay marriage hasn’t blocked the separation of marriage and parenthood; it has advanced it.”

  12. Sean
    October 9th, 2010 at 17:53 | #12

    “I realize gay activists are struggling with allowing the people to retain the right to vote, and even to amend their own constitutions, but I think our legal system demands it, as does our trademark American sense of fair play.”

    Voters cannot create laws that are unconstitutional. They are free to vote on any matter their state ballots permit, but they can’t create a law that violates the nation’s constitution, or a state’s constitution. You might want to take a course in the American legal system.

  13. Sean
    October 9th, 2010 at 17:59 | #13

    “Marriage is slowly dying in Scandinavia. A majority of children in Sweden and Norway are born out of wedlock. Sixty percent of first-born children in Denmark have unmarried parents. Not coincidentally, these countries have had something close to full gay marriage for a decade or more.”

    One need not read another word in an article that starts off with this drivel. If straight couples aren’t marrying, how is that phenomenon a result of legal gay marriage? Were all straight parents getting married before gay marriage became legal?

    When I was young, people of faith were considered paragons of honesty and truth. These days, Christians have become a reliable source of lies and misinformation and I don’t know why. Same-sex marriage is going to be the issue that puts the final nail in the cross of organized religion, especially Christianity: it shows the bigotry and hatred that organized religion has become.

  14. Leo
    October 9th, 2010 at 18:34 | #14

    Some of the very things the progressive movement established roughly a century ago, namely initiative, referendum, and recall, are now the target of well-funded, anti-democratic forces.

    Worse, the very right to have one’s vote counted is under assault. A single federal judge should not have the right to neuter either marriage or the votes of the majority in an election that the courts had ruled both before and after the election was a valid measure to be put before the people, as is was only about a word, not anything else. The right of the people to amend their own constitution is not granted to the people by the government or by the courts. It is reserved by the people. No right is more fundamental. Every right in the bill of rights has been subject to some restriction, and no right in the constitution or bill of rights was defined as beyond the power of amendment through the established process. Take away that right and the constitution is a dead letter or a dead hand.

    If you had asked the founding fathers if the right to sodomy or the right to degender marriage laws were fundamental, self-evident rights, they would have been astonished at the mere question. They would have understood, however, the right of the people to amend their constitution.

    To pretend that gays, especially gays in California, a prosperous and politically powerful group, are just like black slaves is more than a bit of a stretch, it is ludicrous. But even slavery was properly ended by constitutional means. Female suffrage was enacted by the constitutional process not judicial fiat. Everyone at the time understood that.

    Framing something as a fundamental right, does not make it so or properly put it beyond the constitutional process. Is there a right to grow and ingest (or inhale) any substance? Some would claim there is. Is there a right to the fruits of one’s labor without taxation? Some would say so. Is progressive taxation unequal treatment under the law? Some would argue that. Is there a right to travel without restriction? To immigrate? To emigrate? To leave one’s property to one’s heirs without taxation? The proponents of such rights are free to make their arguments. They should not be able to impose them via judicial tyranny or to shame or silence arguments to the contrary.

  15. Sean
    October 9th, 2010 at 20:02 | #15

    “the very right to have one’s vote counted is under assault”

    No it’s not, not in the least. But you can’t create a law that is unconstitutional, whether by legislative action or citizen initiative.

    “A single federal judge should not have the right to neuter either marriage or the votes of the majority in an election that the courts had ruled both before and after the election was a valid measure to be put before the people”

    Of course s/he should! That’s his or her job, to protect the integrity of America’s constitution! You can’t pass laws that are unconstitutional!

    “If you had asked the founding fathers….”

    I think it’s dangerous to speak for dead people, and quite presumptuous. While you’re talking to the found fathers, ask them how they feel about equal rights for black people, voting rights for women, mixed race marriages, and iPods.

    “But even slavery was properly ended by constitutional means”

    There’s nothing unconstitutional about seeking redress, including demanding your civil and fundamental rights, through the courts.

    “Framing something as a fundamental right, does not make it so or properly put it beyond the constitutional process.”

    Tell that to the US Supreme Court: they’ve declared marriage to be a fundamental right, a right so fundamental that convicted murderers can’t be denied the right to marry. Explain to me why you think it’s a good idea to let murderers marry, but not gay people.

  16. Mark
    October 9th, 2010 at 20:06 | #16

    Leo: “But even slavery was properly ended by constitutional means”
    You mean the Civil War?

    “The proponents of such rights are free to make their arguments.”
    You are absolutely right. However, would you be happy with the elimination of religious freedom if a 51% majority voted it so? Or, would you turn to “judicial tyranny” (i.e. a term people only use when the judiciary votes against them) to retain that basic free right? If a majority said you should be killed, would you go along with it because to do otherwise would be to deny them their right to vote?

    The powers are balanced to prevent such tyranny from robbing the rights of the minority by a (barely) majority.

  17. Edward Davis
    October 9th, 2010 at 20:19 | #17

    Viki,
    So, you mean to tell me that catholiceducation.org is an unbiased source? It’s a commentary. Marriage has been on the decline EVERYWHERE in the last 50 years, and the number of out of wedlock children and divorces have been on the increase EVERYWHERE in the last 50 years.

    But trust me, not everywhere has extended the right to marry to same-gendered couples.

    You know what else happened in the last 50 years since Scandinavia legalized same-gender marriage? Well, hm, the World Trade Center had a plane flown through it. Let me assure you that this did not happen because Scandinavia legalized same-gender marriage.

    Ed

  18. October 9th, 2010 at 21:32 | #18

    Dave: > Leo, please let everyone know which of your inalienable you’d be willing to let us put up to a vote? Gosh, should we be voting on freedom of speech or perhaps the press? What about the right to bear arms?

    All of them. I fear a majority far less than an self-important self-declared elite minority.

    Dave: > Why do you think it’s OK for the rights of a smaller group to be subject to the whims of a larger group’s popular vote?

    Because it is much safer than with a minority. You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool everyone all of the time.

    Democracies have produced the most free societies in earth. Its track record is far superior to any self-priveleged elite.

  19. October 9th, 2010 at 21:40 | #19

    Mark: > Why do you type such misleading statements? No one is struggling with anyone’s right to vote.

    Contradicts himself in 3 … 2 … 1 …

    The issue is simple: a majority (and in California, it barely was one) cannot vote away the rights of the minority.

    He then rewrites history…

    They tried it in the south prior to 1960s and the courts found in favor of the minority. That’s what this is all about.

    Actually, many states (perhaps a majority of them) didn’t use the courts to enact civil rights. And for those that didn’t, the Supreme Court hasn’t helped much. One of the reasons we have a democratic dialog is to educate people, so that their self-government can be for their own learning. When elites rule over them, even against them, they seem more entrenched than if they are allowed to talk it out through a democracy.

  20. October 9th, 2010 at 22:41 | #20

    Sean: > Voters cannot create laws that are unconstitutional.

    But they can create constitution, which is the case for Prop 8.

    Sean: > You might want to take a course in the American legal system.

    I really enjoy these episodes of Sean’s patronage and hubris :)

    The commenter is absolutely right, but Sean reaches for a pedastle to tutor them in any case…

  21. Leo
    October 9th, 2010 at 23:11 | #21

    The California Supreme Court, which favored SSM, ruled no inalienable right was at stake in Proposition 8. Read their decision and you will see why.

    Sodomy was illegal in very state in the Union at the time of its founding and in all thirteen colonies, and under English common law. To argue that the founders imagined sodomy as an inalienable right is not historically supportable.

    Slavery was upheld by the Supreme Court, but prohibited by the 13th amendment. The Emancipation Proclamation was a temporary war measure that did not apply to slaveholding states that remained within the Union.

    Freedom of religion is not an absolute right that trumps all others, unlike a supposed right to redefine marriage or a supposed right to sodomy. See Reynolds v. United States.

    Jefferson wrote extensively on the dangers of judicial tyranny.

    Scandinavians should write the laws for marriage in Scandinavia. Americans should write the laws for marriage in America.

    The overwhelming majority of states favor the traditional definition of marriage, enough for a federal DOMA amendment by constitutional convention.

  22. October 9th, 2010 at 23:13 | #22

    Sean: > . If straight couples aren’t marrying, how is that phenomenon a result of legal gay marriage?

    Read the paper you just said should not be read :)

    The definition of a bigot used to be someone who doesn’t want to listen to another’s viewpoint. Today it is used by people like Sean to mean someone who’s views should not be listened to.

    And he winds up all more ignorant for it.

    Mark: > However, would you be happy with the elimination of religious freedom if a 51% majority voted it so?

    That invitest the question, if your right was taken away, would it be better if it was done by a majority or a minority? Probably you’d feel more legitimacy from the majority, but that belies the point. The minority, historically, has been far more likely to emprivelege itself at the expense of others than the majority has. The track record of monarchies, fifedoms, etc… vs republics and democracies tells the whole tale.

    Ed: > Marriage has been on the decline EVERYWHERE in the last 50 years, and the number of out of wedlock children and divorces have been on the increase EVERYWHERE in the last 50 years.

    Actually, in that paper you’ll note that the Danish provide a most compelling case when looking at these trends. Go ahead and read it…

  23. Sean
    October 10th, 2010 at 11:13 | #23

    “But they can create constitution, which is the case for Prop 8.”

    But they can’t create a state constitution that violates a US Citizen’s rights, per the US Constitution. That’s what the US Constitution’s 14th Amendment says.

    “I really enjoy these episodes of Sean’s patronage and hubris”

    So much so that you couldn’t stay away, even though you announced you would. You enjoy making inane point; I enjoy pointing out the errors of your “thinking.” Works for me!

    “The definition of a bigot used to be someone who doesn’t want to listen to another’s viewpoint.”

    That was never the definition of a bigot. So now you want to redefine marriage AND bigotry? What is it with you??

  24. Mark
    October 10th, 2010 at 12:41 | #24

    On Lawn: “When elites rule over them, even against them, they seem more entrenched than if they are allowed to talk it out through a democracy.”

    And when a mob attempts to take away rights of citizens, the judiciary must step in. Why should the minority wait to exercise the rights guaranteed in the Constitution until the majority feels its the right time?

    “That invitest (sic) the question, if your right was taken away, would it be better if it was done by a majority or a minority? Probably you’d feel more legitimacy from the majority, but that belies the point. The minority, historically, has been far more likely to emprivelege (sic) itself at the expense of others than the majority has.”

    Not sure what ” invitest” means, but I feel when rights are unfairly removed, it doesn’t matter if its by a minority or a majority, it is wrong. I also have no idea what “emprivelege” means so its difficult to respond to this comment, but I would love you to provide even one example of how the minority has prospered at the expense of others and then contrast that with how this has happened more often than with the majority.

  25. Mark
    October 10th, 2010 at 12:51 | #25

    Leo: “The California Supreme Court, which favored SSM, ruled no inalienable right was at stake in Proposition 8″

    Interesting that when the courts agree with you, you use it to support your case. When the courts disagrees with your position, they become “activist judges”. But, if you read the decision, while the court didn’t think rights were at stake, it also goes on to say “an accurate assessment of the actual effect of Proposition 8 on the constitutional rights of same-sex couples is necessary to evaluate the constitutional challenges that are advanced in this case.” So the judges ruled they could see no violation but admitted that there could be and more investigation was needed.

    “Sodomy was illegal in very state in the Union at the time of its founding and in all thirteen colonies, and under English common law. To argue that the founders imagined sodomy as an inalienable right is not historically supportable. ”

    The right of women and blacks to vote was also illegal. I doubt that the founders would have seen these as inalienable rights either.

    “The overwhelming majority of states favor the traditional definition of marriage, enough for a federal DOMA amendment by constitutional convention.”

    And what a sad day for the US that would be. We would become a second rate nation in the world. And think of all the money and resources to pass such an amendment not to mention the legal fights afterward. Frankly, I think job creation, health care, reducing national debt are all a bit more important than prohibiting two consenting adults to marry.

  26. Sean
    October 10th, 2010 at 21:49 | #26

    The US Supreme Court struck down sodomy laws in 2003 and nobody seems to be fighting that move, one the founding fathers might also be surprised at. If no one seems to object to legalized homosexual sex, why is there so much push-back against formalizing the sexualized committed relationship that gays can now enjoy legally?

  27. Arlemagne1
    October 11th, 2010 at 09:38 | #27

    Ed davis wrote:

    “When they enacted DOMA did heterosexual couples all of the sudden start getting married more? No!
    When California passed Prop 8, was there a huge surge of heterosexual couples running to get married? No!”

    Let us consider these facts as a potential objection to my post.

    What changed when DOMA and Prop 8 passed? Nothing. These laws were to protect marriage the way marriage has always been since time immemorial. So. Nothing changed. Why would you expect people’s behavior to change in response to… um… nothing?

    Marriage has always been a mating institution. Men can only mate with women and vice versa (in the sense that mating is the way the animal kingdom makes the next generation). So, changing marriage from a mating institution for the protection of children to one in which the feelings of the involved adults has pride of place is a big change.

    So, why would you expect there to be a big change in behavior given NO change in the rules?

  28. Sean
    October 11th, 2010 at 10:24 | #28

    “So, changing marriage from a mating institution for the protection of children to one in which the feelings of the involved adults has pride of place is a big change.”

    Actually what’s going on is the reverse: some people want to change marriage from an institution for legalizing and making durable committed relationships to one where only couples who can procreate and want to do so are permitted to participate. That is a radical change and one unlikely to gain much traction from the American people, and certainly not from the legal community. Excluding senior citizens, infertile couples and couples who don’t want to have children from marriage would create social chaos, at massive expense. It’s not worth doing, from what I can tell.

  29. October 11th, 2010 at 10:25 | #29

    Mark: > And when a mob attempts to take away rights of citizens

    Note, Mark thinks that the voting public is simply a “mob”.

    Mark: > Why should the minority wait to exercise the rights guaranteed in the Constitution until the majority feels its the right time?

    Again, the same thing could be asked of the minority. Why should the majority wait to exercise rights guaranteed in the constitution (like the right to vote on their constitution) until the minority feels it is the right time?

    The problem with Mark’s reasoning is that it presumes that there is some perfect indicator fo what is a right and what isn’t, something so perfect that it can know when the majority or a minority is wrong. Perhaps Mark feels he is that perfect indicator, and of such we see the rise of the elitists. People who feel they know better than you do, and their judgements are perfect.

    Truth is no one is perfect, not even a majority. But a majority is more likely to know what rights are, and feel the need to protect them for minorities, than any other subgroup of imperfect people.

    Hence Mark’s assailing of one right that the revolutionary war was fought for, the right to determine our government (as was noted after the retrospection of the civil war) of the people, for the people, and by the people.

    I would love you to provide even one example of how the minority has prospered at the expense of others and then contrast that with how this has happened more often than with the majority.

    Look up, “Fiefdom” and “Surfdom” and “colonializm” etc… Such has been more often the rule of most of the globe, with democracies being only a recent invention that is still catching on. Well, not if Mark and Sean have their way…

  30. Mark
    October 11th, 2010 at 11:16 | #30

    On Lawn: “Note, Mark thinks that the voting public is simply a “mob”.”
    Merely as a counter to your “the judiciary is elitist” comment. Of course, mob can also be defined as the common people; the masses; populace or multitude.

    “Why should the majority wait to exercise rights guaranteed in the constitution (like the right to vote on their constitution) until the minority feels it is the right time?”

    The majority does not need to wait, they usually act, as they did in California. The problem, once again, is that the majority voted to eliminate the basic rights of the minority. Rights that do not harm the majority. That was the essence of the entire trial regarding Prop 8.

    “But a majority is more likely to know what rights are, and feel the need to protect them for minorities, than any other subgroup of imperfect people.”
    Just like whites in the south in 1950′s. What a wonderful image of equality and fairness you portray.

    “Hence Mark’s assailing of one right that the revolutionary war was fought for, the right to determine our government (as was noted after the retrospection of the civil war) of the people, for the people, and by the people.”

    Determine government, yes. To dictate personal behavior? No. As the Prop 8 trial showed, there is no detriment to society in allowing SSM. It was a law specifically design to remove the rights of a minority – rights to freedom that actually at the heart of our Constitution.

    “Look up, “Fiefdom” and “Surfdom” and “colonializm” etc… ”
    Silly me, I was thinking we were talking about this century.

    “Such has been more often the rule of most of the globe, with democracies being only a recent invention that is still catching on. ”
    Yes, so lets have democracies follow poorly run forms of government by preventing the extension of rights to all people.

  31. Sean
    October 11th, 2010 at 12:23 | #31

    OnLawn,

    Your right to vote on citizen initiatives, in states that permit it, is not in any way threatened. However, the US Constitution’s 14th Amendment guarantees that no state can create a law that denies equal treatment of all citizens under its laws. In California, for example, voters amended their state’s constitution to deny a segment of the population, gay people, the right to marry. This violates the US Constitution’s 14th Amendment.

    Try replacing “gay people” with “black people,” or “Christians” and see if your enthusiasm for barring a specific group from marriage continues to appeal to you. Any group could be the next victim of a majority vote, if not on marriage, then on something else. Be careful what you wish for, in other words.

    Ironically, Christians have already spend a great deal of capital, and gained much negative publicity, in opposing equal rights for gay Americans, and they will likely not succeed in obtaining civil rights prohibitions against that group.

  32. Frank Strong (fuerte)
    October 11th, 2010 at 15:56 | #32

    Viki and On Lawn:

    The 2009 marriage rate in Massachusetts was 5.6/1000, the same as it was in 2003, the year before the state legalized gay marriage.

    And the divorce rate–most years the nation’s lowest–is now lower there than it has been in a decade.

    (http://prop8trialtracker.com/2010/09/29/nomsense-plain-and-simple-minded/)

    And Stanley Kurtz’s Scandinavian scare has been taken down quite thoroughly by M.V. Lee Badgett.

    ( http://www.slate.com/id/2100884/ )

  33. October 11th, 2010 at 17:09 | #33

    Me: > “Note, Mark thinks that the voting public is simply a “mob”.”

    Mark: > Merely as a counter to your “the judiciary is elitist” comment. Of course, mob can also be defined as the common people; the masses; populace or multitude.

    You shouldn’t blame me for your poor arguments. And you shouldn’t put words in quotes that I never said :)

    Me: > “Why should the majority wait to exercise rights guaranteed in the constitution (like the right to vote on their constitution) until the minority feels it is the right time?”

    Mark: > The majority does not need to wait, they usually act, as they did in California.

    And they are being blocked by a minority of one Judge. For no good reason other than the Judge would have voted differently himself, and thinks he knows better than the millions who looked at both sides the the debate and voted according to that debate.

    Thanks again for supporting my point, albeit I doubt you intend to, just the facts tell the whole story. You can’t trip over the facts without telling the story :)

    Mark: > The problem, once again, is that the majority voted to eliminate the basic rights of the minority.

    That is your opinion. A discredited opinion based on nothing that passed our basic scrutiny so far. But as your opinion and belief you can keep saying it as much as you want — it simply won’t have the same force as the reason and facts we’ve brought up.

    Marriage is a right, but it is a right to enter into an institution where you attempt to engage in a human capacity which can bring about children.

    A marriage license is not a right (since when do you need a license for a right?). A license based on your own terms, contrary to the purpose of the institution, is not a right.

    You would do better to argue that we should give college degrees to everyone who wants one, so everyone’s income would raise. That would at least help everyone, right?

    Mark: > Rights that do not harm the majority.

    Except that it takes rights away from citizens…

    Sean argues that children have no rights under marriage, for instance. The decision also took away the right the people have to vote on their own constitution and governance.

    Walker’s arguments (which I seperate for now from his conclusions) note that he doesn’t care, not that he thinks the harm doesn’t exist. And, just like the dog that didn’t bark in the middle of the night, what Walker failed to even acknowledge shows what he cared about but did not want to obstruct him away from his pre-determined conclusion.

    Me: > “But a majority is more likely to know what rights are, and feel the need to protect them for minorities, than any other subgroup of imperfect people.”
    Mark: > Just like whites in the south in 1950′s. What a wonderful image of equality and fairness you portray.

    I think you support my point again by showing such a narrowed example. Where the rest of the USA (a majority both in states and population) saw those rights, you point to just the south, in the 1950′s.

    Me: > “Look up, “Fiefdom” and “Surfdom” and “colonializm” etc… ”

    Mark: > Silly me, I was thinking we were talking about this century.

    Appology accepted. I’m not sure where I mentioned “history” you thought of it so narrowly, however.

  34. October 11th, 2010 at 17:14 | #34

    Frank,

    I’ve taken down Badgett myself as well as Chairm also, and I’ve taken on Eskeridge too, as well as Chairm. In that battle, Kurtz is clearly the winner.

  35. October 11th, 2010 at 17:25 | #35

    Sean: > In California, for example, voters amended their state’s constitution to deny a segment of the population, gay people, the right to marry.

    Wrong, since gays already have the right to marry and have marriage equality — the equal recognition of rights and responsibilities of both the man and the woman and the child they potentially have together.

    And mind you, I’m ready in case you want to try to play your gay couples == gay individuals shell game. Just note here you only said gay people.

    Sean: > However, the US Constitution’s 14th Amendment guarantees that no state can create a law that denies equal treatment of all citizens under its laws.

    And the Supreme Court ruled there was no substantial question if the 14th Amendment was violated by the expectation of both genders in each marriage. And O’Connor also weighed in her opinion that protecting traditional marriage was a rational reason to keep that equal gender representation expectation.

    Walker ruled the way he did completely in ignorance of such precedent, without any treatment of the topic whatsoever. And that fact shows that Walker ignored what would have obstructed him (no matter how important discussing ruling precedent is to writing a judgement) from reaching his pre-derived conclusion.

    A conclusion that took away the voting rights of individuals, and enforces an idea of marriage which children have no rights under — as Sean puts it.

    Its simply hilarious you say how much you don’t want marriage to explicitely target the rights in the procreative unit, and then contradict that by claiming no one’s rights are taken away by neutering marriage into your ideal. As Ed noted, such contradictions as those simply highlight your bias for everyone to see.

    Sean: > Try replacing “gay people” with “black people,” or “Christians” and see if your enthusiasm for barring a specific group from marriage continues to appeal to you.

    I copied this here to show Sean’s GIGO theory. GIGO stands for Garbage In, Garbage Out. When you start with a wrong premise, like gays are denied the right to marry when government expects equal gender representation in each marriage, you wind up with wrong conclusions.

  36. Sean
    October 11th, 2010 at 18:29 | #36

    “Wrong, since gays already have the right to marry and have marriage equality”

    Nope, gay couples don’t have the right to marry in 44 states, for the time being.

    “And mind you, I’m ready in case you want to try to play your gay couples == gay individuals shell game. Just note here you only said gay people.”

    It’s not a shell game, idiot. The state grants licenses to COUPLES, not individuals. You don’t even know the basic requirements of marriage as a contract between two people! Why do you bother to comment on any other aspect of marriage?!

    The US Supreme Court said nothing of the kind. I’m not even bothering to reprint your trash at this point. You are a liar, probably a pathological one. In 1971, the US Supreme Court dismissed a court challenge for want of a substantial federal issue. They said nothing about “marriage equality” or any of your other drivel.

    “Walker ruled the way he did completely in ignorance of such precedent”

    Maybe in your shriveled brain, but not among normal people. Baker was a summary judgment issued when homosexual activity was illegal and homosexuality was thought to be a mental abnormality, and no state offered same-sex marriage. Homosexuality was seen as a behavior, not an identity. It is completely irrelevant to the Prop 8 trial.

    “A conclusion that took away the voting rights of individuals, and enforces an idea of marriage which children have no rights under — as Sean puts it.”

    You are a dream come true for marriage equality: the more you and people like you say idiotic things, the easier it is for normal people to embrace marriage equality! No voting rights were infringed upon when Prop 8 was struck down as unconstitutional. Rather, an constitutional amendment was found violate equal protection guarantees of the US Constitution.

    “Its simply hilarious you say how much you don’t want marriage to explicitely target the rights in the procreative unit, and then contradict that by claiming no one’s rights are taken away by neutering marriage into your ideal. As Ed noted, such contradictions as those simply highlight your bias for everyone to see.”

    It’s not half as hilarious to watch you flail about trying to find some tack that makes sense of prohibiting same-sex marriage. The “rights of the procreative unit” are not diminished when same-sex couples marry. I’ve tried, in vain, to help you see that however you envision marriage in your head, it is in no way threatened if and when same-sex couples marry. Until you can prove a harm, you can’t deny your fellow citizens their rights. Sorry for your loss!

  37. Mark
    October 11th, 2010 at 21:50 | #37

    On Lawn: “A discredited opinion based on nothing that passed our basic scrutiny so far.”

    Well, of course it doesn’t pass your basic scrutiny. From what you write, truth never does.

    “Marriage is a right, but it is a right to enter into an institution where you attempt to engage in a human capacity which can bring about children.”

    So you finally agree that infertile couples should not be allowed to marry. Thanks for finally admitting it.

    “But a majority is more likely to know what rights are, and feel the need to protect them for minorities,”

    And exactly how does denying rights to the minority protect their rights?

    “The decision also took away the right the people have to vote on their own constitution and governance. ”

    Sigh, the same old argument. But you fail to explain how the majority can vote away the rights of the minority. Again, as an example, if the majority of people voted to kill someone, you are saying its OK. Or, if the majority voted to do away with an African Americans ability to vote, it would be fine by you. The Constitution guarantees basic rights which the majority can not vote away.

    “Where the rest of the USA (a majority both in states and population) saw those rights, you point to just the south, in the 1950′s.”

    So glad you agree that the national opinion should trump the states laws. The latest poll information shows the majority of Americans support SSM so I guess you will too.

    http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/breaking-the-majority-of-americans-support-marriage-equality-again/legal-issues/2010/09/20/12951

    And the younger the age of the people asked, the more say they support SSM. So, you see, your narrow, bigoted views will go down in history along with those of George Wallace.

  38. October 12th, 2010 at 09:56 | #38

    Note that I predicted that Sean would equate same-sex couples as the same thing as gay individuals. Well, just as expected…

    Me: >> “Wrong, since gays already have the right to marry and have marriage equality”

    Sean: > Nope, gay couples don’t have the right to marry in 44 states, for the time being.

    What is even funnier, is that Sean argues that they are not the same either!

    Sean: > The state grants licenses to COUPLES, not individuals. You don’t even know the basic requirements of marriage as a contract between two people!

    So obviously even if a couple is not allowed, any individual in that couple would be allowed if they really wanted to get married, which requires equal gender representation as rooted in the biological meaning of human reproduction.

    Sean proved my point, and told me what he thinks of me in the meantime. Both misfires are the kind of entertainment I’ve come to expect from Sean.

    Oh, and speaking of proving my point…

    Sean : > The US Supreme Court said nothing of the kind. I’m not even bothering to reprint your trash at this point. You are a liar, probably a pathological one. In 1971, the US Supreme Court dismissed a court challenge for want of a substantial federal issue.

    Actually they said it was lacking any federal question. But either way the point is the same, there’s no issue, there’s no question to be investigated when considering the 14th amendment and the expectation of equal gender representation in marriage.

    Indeed, there isn’t a question as to expecting integration in public schools, either.

    Sean: > Baker was a summary judgment issued when homosexual activity was illegal and homosexuality was thought to be a mental abnormality, and no state offered same-sex marriage.

    Lets fact check this. Homosexuality was not illegal, at least not federally, and not in the state that brought up the issue. In fact, there is no reason to assume that the Supreme Court based its decision on the legal standing from a few states (nor should it).

    Also there was no law at the time that barred people with such a mental abnormality from marriage.

    Even so, as Chairm points out, that Sean treated the subject more than Walker did shows just how bigoted Walker’s decision was, specifically in how it ignored compelling evidence and interest. That Sean tried to come to the rescue with something that wouldn’t even be considered by the Supreme Court, shows he is at least trying.

    Sean: > Homosexuality was seen as a behavior, not an identity. It is completely irrelevant to the Prop 8 trial.

    Funny, Sean just supported Chairm’s main thesis on the topic about identity politics. He also supported my note that the Loving decision struck down the idea of using marriage to enforce pureness of identity (in both cases that identity required segregating people based on that identity; the white race for Loving, and the homosexuality, or same-sex, for Sean.)

    Sean: > You are a dream come true for marriage equality: the more you and people like you say idiotic things, the easier it is for normal people to embrace marriage equality!

    Marriage equality — the equal recognition of the rights and responsibilities of the man, woman, and child they potentially have together — is worth embracing :)

    Sean: > No voting rights were infringed upon when Prop 8 was struck down as unconstitutional. Rather, an constitutional amendment was found violate equal protection guarantees of the US Constitution.

    Seems Sean tried to construct his house of cards without one salient point, the constitutional amendment was lawfuly ratified by popular vote. Taking that amendment away takes away their right to vote on such important matters — even their own constitution.

    That Walker’s decision was so bad in doing so, shows the contempt that such elitists have for the voting public.

    Besides, if they thought that no vote should take place, they could have done that before the election. Oh wait, they did. And it was allowed.

    Sean: > The “rights of the procreative unit” are not diminished when same-sex couples marry. I’ve tried, in vain, to help you see that however you envision marriage in your head,

    Why I believe you were the one that said children have no rights under marriage, and that marriage has nothing to do with procreation.

    If anything you’ve substantiated my point, even if you try to contradict it later with your own assurances. What you’ve said point blank about the rights in marriage, undermines your grand and ethereal statements of wishful thinking.

    Sean: > Until you can prove a harm, you can’t deny your fellow citizens their rights. Sorry for your loss!

    Similarly, Sean is the one that noted taking away rights is a “tangible” harm. Now he claims it is not. Sean tries to have it both ways, but really it just shows the contradictions he holds onto rather than let go of his bias and prejudice.

  39. October 12th, 2010 at 10:07 | #39

    Me : >> “Marriage is a right, but it is a right to enter into an institution where you attempt to engage in a human capacity which can bring about children.”
    Sean: > So you finally agree that infertile couples should not be allowed to marry. Thanks for finally admitting it.

    Sadly, Sean is just making stuff up again. More wishful thinking. I’ll let Sean continue to twist in the wind on that one, infertile people can attenpt to engage in a human capacity which can bring about children. In fact, most don’t find out they are infertile until they try. Just like anyone else with a disability is still allowed to engage in the activities with the support and help of medicine and the government that nature made otherwise impossible for them.

    Me : >> “But a majority is more likely to know what rights are, and feel the need to protect them for minorities,”

    Sean : > And exactly how does denying rights to the minority protect their rights?

    Sean needs to re-read what I wrote :)

    Sean : > But you fail to explain how the majority can vote away the rights of the minority.

    Actually, that is your burden to bear since you are arguing that is what happened.

    For all of your petty insults, you seem to esteem my reasoning very much to try to prop up your arguments in such a way as to try to get me to support them :)

    Sean: > Again, as an example, if the majority of people voted to kill someone, you are saying its OK.

    Hopefully without making a tangent of this, I risk exposing Sean’s argument with a few examples where that happens. 1) War, 2) the death penalty, 3) the hiring and enlisting of risky and hazardous jobs (someone’s got to do them).

    Me: > “Where the rest of the USA (a majority both in states and population) saw those rights, you point to just the south, in the 1950′s.”

    Sean: > So glad you agree that the national opinion should trump the states laws.

    There you go folks, the zany comedic stylings of Sean :)

  40. October 12th, 2010 at 11:00 | #40

    My appologies Sean, some of the comments quoted in my last post should be attributed to Mark instead.

  41. Frank Strong (fuerte)
    October 12th, 2010 at 12:58 | #41

    On Lawn,

    “In that battle, Kurtz is clearly the winner.”

    No; nor is your blog post much of a take down. But I’m content to let the two arguments stand on their own merits without my comments.

    BTW, I haven’t seen any new writing on this topic from Kurtz since 2004/2005 (Not that I’ve been looking too hard, so feel free to point it out if I just missed it). And the data I’ve seen him use are mostly from the nineties or, at best, 2001 or maybe 2002. We should have nearly a decade more of statistics on marriage rates, etc. by now–if we really want to talk about the effects of same sex marriage, we ought to consider those.

    Also BTW, I notice you skipped my American example. That’s fair, since the data from Massachusetts is still scant, new, and incomplete. But do you feel secure enough in your convictions to make predictions? What do you foresee in marriage trends for Massachuesetts/Iowa over the next 5, 10, 15 years? How do you think those will compare to the trends in states like Alabama or Oklahoma, which will do everything in their power to avoid recognizing gay marriages? Where do you think marriage, families, and children will be healthier in 2015? 2025?

  42. Mark
    October 12th, 2010 at 13:53 | #42

    On Lawn: Was going to check your eye sight as you kept saying “Sean” but meant “Mark”. failure to do proper research?

    “infertile people can attenpt (sic) to engage in a human capacity which can bring about children. ”

    So can gays and lesbians. With about as much success as infertile couples.

    “Sean : > And exactly how does denying rights to the minority protect their rights?
    Sean needs to re-read what I wrote :)”

    Well, actually it was me. But you never answered the question.

    “Hopefully without making a tangent of this, I risk exposing Sean’s argument with a few examples where that happens. 1) War, 2) the death penalty, 3) the hiring and enlisting of risky and hazardous jobs (someone’s got to do them).”

    Actually, none of these examples address what I said. War isn’t always the majority of the population. The death penalty is used against someone with a presumed verdict of being guilty (who can marry, by the way.). And the last example does not even make sense. If the majority were to vote someone to do a hazardous job, they still wouldn’t have to do it. There is something known as the 13th amendment. Big fail on this one.

    “There you go folks, the zany comedic stylings (sic) of Sean :)”

    Avoidance of the issue. Nice attempt to dodge. Funny that the happy faces always seem to come out when you are the most clueless.

  43. Sean
    October 12th, 2010 at 14:13 | #43

    OnLawn, I invite you to persist in the “Baker is controlling precedent” line of thinking. If you that’s winner for you, go for it!

    “the constitutional amendment was lawfuly (sic) ratified by popular vote. Taking that amendment away takes away their right to vote on such important matters — even their own constitution.”

    No, the voters can NEVER create a state constitutional amendment that violates the rights of a US citizen. Never. Not even if they really hate a minority, or feel that minority is not worthy of equal treatment.

    “Besides, if they thought that no vote should take place, they could have done that before the election. Oh wait, they did. And it was allowed.”

    I wish I could offer explanations using only single syllable words, or in crayon, so you could better understand: the right to vote on an initiative was not infringed upon in California. But the result of a vote cannot violate the rights of a US citizen, as guaranteed in the US Constitution.

    “Why I believe you were the one that said children have no rights under marriage, and that marriage has nothing to do with procreation.”

    Children have no legal rights under marriage. Marriage and procreation are not in any way legally connected. It would be useful to your argument to the contrary if you provided some evidence. Just sayin’.

    “Sean is the one that noted taking away rights is a “tangible” harm. Now he claims it is not.”

    Taking away a constitutionally guaranteed right IS tangible harm, as Judge Walker (and any number of judges before him) has noted. Sean has remained consistent on this.

    “infertile people can attenpt (sic) to engage in a human capacity which can bring about children.”

    Does that mean infertile people can still have sex? I don’t think you’ll find much disagreement there. But what they can’t do is procreate and according to your definition of marriage, they should be excluded from marriage. No kids, no marriage.

    “Actually, that is your burden to bear since you are arguing that is what happened.”

    I’ve already explained the neither the state legislature nor a voting majority can strip away the rights of a US citizen. What you need to do is explain how that didn’t happen in California. Good luck with that!

    OnLawn, you are a useful idiot of first rank. Much appreciated!

  44. October 12th, 2010 at 15:59 | #44

    Frank: Also BTW, I notice you skipped my American example. That’s fair,

    You’ll note that the importance of data in Scandinavia hinges on how one country in particular seemed to buck the trend towards lower marriage rates — until it instituted neutered marriage of a type.

    Massachusetts already has a very low marriage rate, and as Badgett notes, can make any further decrease confused with current trends.

    Since Kurtz’s thesis is that neutering marriage is part of a trend, Badgett’s claim doesn’t have much weight. Kurtz notes that neutering marriage is part of a grander effort to create a welfare project out of marriage, and without marriage too. As Chairm puts it (though there are more dimensions than this), it is the merger of marriage and non-marriage.

  45. Mark
    October 12th, 2010 at 16:19 | #45

    On Lawn: “Their relationship is not illegal, not one bit forbidden by law.”

    To “ban” : to prohibit, forbid, or bar; interdict, the act of prohibiting by law; interdiction

    State laws (to name but a few):
    Arizona: Has law banning same-sex marriages.
    Colorado: Has law banning same-sex marriages.
    Delaware: Has law banning same-sex marriages.
    Nevada: Has constitutional law banning same-sex marriages.
    Ohio: Has law banning same-sex marriages, and and in November, 2004, passed a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
    West Virginia: Has law banning same-sex marriages.

    “Sean, do you remember where you said CU’s cannot have all the benefits of marriage? Apparently Mark thinks it can happen. ”

    What I said, On Lawn, was that IF a law was written which said CU have all the equivalent rights as marriage, it might work. But I am not an attorney and do not know if this would satisfy local, state, federal and international laws. The problem is, there a lot of laws that need to be re-written for this to happen and it does seem to be a waste of time and money.

    “You have seen it, but you mistakenly felt that a term cannot be defined by the words in it. Looking through the dictionary, I don’t even see that requirement for words, let alone terms.”

    Obviously, you have no clue what “responsible procreation” means or you would have answered. I have even given my definition of the term but no one has confirmed if it’s correct. Makes it really pointless to discuss if you cannot even define the terms you use.

  46. Mark
    October 12th, 2010 at 16:21 | #46

    OOPS. Already posted this in another segment, my apologies.

  47. October 15th, 2010 at 17:38 | #47

    Bonus question, who said “equal protection can only be defined by the standards of each generation”…?

  48. Sean
    October 16th, 2010 at 07:35 | #48

    That quote is from Varnum v. Brien, the Iowa Supreme Court ruling affirming the lower court finding that Iowa’s marriage statute discriminated unlawfully against gay Iowans.

    Another great quote from that decision:

    As Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes poignantly said, “It is revolting to have no better reason for a rule of law than that so it was laid down in the time of Henry IV. It is still more revolting if the grounds upon which it was laid down have vanished long since, and the rule simply persists from blind imitation of the past.”

    Doesn’t that sum up the marriage equality position nicely?! If you haven’t read “Varnum,” you owe it to yourself to read it, if you want to be fully informed on the same-sex marriage issue. The decision is easy to read, delightfully logical, and covers all the bases.

    Of course, Iowans are proud of their “equal protection” heritage: Iowa refused to treat a human being as property, even as the US Supreme Court ruled it was ok to do so:

    “From “Varnum”:

    In the first reported case of the Supreme Court of the Territory of Iowa, In re Ralph, 1 Morris 1 (Iowa 1839), we refused to treat a human being as property to enforce a contract for slavery and held our laws must extend equal protection to persons of all races and conditions. 1 Morris at 9. This decision was seventeen years before the United States Supreme Court infamously decided Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. (19 How.) 393, 15 L. Ed. 691 (1856), which upheld the rights of a slave owner to treat a person as property. Similarly, in Clark v. Board of Directors, 24 Iowa 266 (1868), and Coger v. North West. Union Packet Co., 37 Iowa 145 (1873), we struck blows to the concept of segregation long before the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483, 74 S. Ct. 686, 98 L. Ed. 873 (1954). Iowa was also the first state in the nation to admit a woman to the practice of law, doing so in 1869. Admission of Women to the Bar, 1 Chicago Law Times 76, 76 (1887). Her admission occurred three years before the United States Supreme Court affirmed the State of Illinois’ decision to deny women admission to the practice of law, see Bradwell v. 18 Illinois, 83 U.S. (16 Wall.) 130, 139, 21 L. Ed. 442, 445 (1873), and twenty-five years before the United States Supreme Court affirmed the refusal of the
    Commonwealth of Virginia to admit women into the practice of law, see Ex parte Lockwood, 154 U.S. 116, 118, 14 S. Ct. 1082, 1083, 38 L. Ed. 929, 930 (1894). In each of those instances, our state approached a fork in the road toward fulfillment of our constitution’s ideals and reaffirmed the “absolute equality of all” persons before the law as “the very foundation
    principle of our government.”4 See Coger, 37 Iowa at 153.

    You gotta love the jabs at the US Supreme Court for eventually seeing things the way Iowa did long before them!

  49. Mark
    October 16th, 2010 at 08:00 | #49

    On Lawn: “Bonus question, who said “equal protection can only be defined by the standards of each generation”…?”

    The Iowa Supreme Court.

  50. Sean
    October 16th, 2010 at 20:50 | #50

    The Iowa Supreme Court rules!

  51. October 17th, 2010 at 21:21 | #51

    Yep, the Iowa Supreme Court.

    Now, if they only followed that and let the generation vote! Rather than assuming they have the say of a generation.

  52. Mark
    October 18th, 2010 at 07:44 | #52

    On Lawn: “Now, if they only followed that and let the generation vote! Rather than assuming they have the say of a generation.”

    The populace cannot vote away the rights of the majority.

  53. October 18th, 2010 at 16:14 | #53

    Mark :
    The populace cannot vote away the rights of the majority.

    Yes, they can, as can the Supreme Court, etc…

    We only hope the majority values its rights enough to protect them. I for one trust the majority better than any other group of individuals when it comes to protecting rights, just because they are the ones who comprise the most real-world experience in what are rights and what are privileges at the expense of other’s rights.

  54. Sean
    October 18th, 2010 at 18:52 | #54

    “I for one trust the majority better than any other group of individuals when it comes to protecting rights”

    Not me, man! We’d still have slaves and non-voting women if it were left up to the people! We wouldn’t have mixed-race marriages across the country. We’d have different school houses and transportation systems for blacks and whites in the south. Women wouldn’t be able to get an abortion in all 50 states! Please, this country would be even more backward than it already is if the majority ruled unchecked!

  55. Mark
    October 19th, 2010 at 08:44 | #55

    On Lawn: ” Mark: The populace cannot vote away the rights of the majority.

    Yes, they can, as can the Supreme Court, etc…”

    On Lawn displays a lack of understanding how our democracy works. A simple majority cannot vote away basic rights. If they could, there would be no need to have a Constitution because it would continue to change based on the whim of the populace. The way to change the basic rights guaranteed in the Constitution requires a more complex procedure than simple majority vote. But, its a frightening thing On Lawn supports: that if a majority wants to vote away freedom of speech, it should be accepted and tolerated.

    ” … because they (the majority – sic) are the ones who comprise the most real-world experience in what are rights and what are privileges at the expense of other’s rights.”

    Do you have proof of this statement? From a historical perspective, it is usually the minority that has a better understanding of what rights are present as they are under the thumb of the majority. The minority must know their rights in order to defend themselves.

  56. October 19th, 2010 at 11:33 | #56

    Sean :
    “I for one trust the majority better than any other group of individuals when it comes to protecting rights”
    Not me, man! We’d still have slaves and non-voting women if it were left up to the people! [1] We wouldn’t have mixed-race marriages across the country [2]. We’d have different school houses and transportation systems for blacks and whites in the south [3]. Women wouldn’t be able to get an abortion in all 50 states [4]! Please, this country would be even more backward than it already is if the majority ruled unchecked!

    1) The Supreme Court upheld slavery, it took a war to stop it in the USA.
    2) Across the USA, mixed race marriages were already struck down by the time of Loving.
    2&3) The emnity which encouraged that segregation still exists where the Supremes ruled against it. The democratic dialog is clearly a better way to educate the masses and have them do the right thing then imposing on them via a ruling.
    4) The lack of democratic dialog on this subject has caused much suffering and animosity. Also since the advent of ultra-sound, people have been increasingly against having the government freely endorse taking the life they can clearly see on the tv screen.

    Sean appears to have no basis left for his comment, and even shows that the sitations he did mention even contradict his point.

  57. Sean
    October 19th, 2010 at 14:19 | #57

    OnLawn,

    Your pious adherence to the wants of the majority on social issues (at least this one) betrays a gross misunderstanding of our nation’s legal system. An American citizen’s rights don’t originate with the people but rather with the Constitution. Your rights as an American do not depend upon permission from me. Similarly, the rights of citizens who happen to form an identifiable minority do not depend on permission from an approving majority.

    “The lack of democratic dialog on this subject has caused much suffering and animosity.”

    Well, it seems to me that gay people have been pretty patient in trying to explain why they get to have the same rights as straight people. Their audience has not been, well, very understanding. You can’t keep pressing for dialog when you are talking to a brick wall. After all, what’s to discuss? At some point, equality is equality, whether your fellow citizens approve or not.

  58. October 19th, 2010 at 15:54 | #58

    Mark :
    On Lawn: ” Mark: The populace cannot vote away the rights of the majority.
    Yes, they can, as can the Supreme Court, etc…”
    On Lawn displays a lack of understanding how our democracy works. A simple majority cannot vote away basic rights. If they could, there would be no need to have a Constitution [1] because it would continue to change based on the whim of the populace. The way to change the basic rights guaranteed in the Constitution requires a more complex procedure than simple majority vote. But, its a frightening thing On Lawn supports: that if a majority wants to vote away freedom of speech, it should be accepted and tolerated.

    1) Since a majority can alter the constitution, it can add or take away recognized rights. Same with the Supreme Court, since its interpretation power is akin to re-writing (finding rights that weren’t written or limiting ones that are written like the 2nd amendment).

    It is always funny to me that the bluster that Mark adds to each comment (which I presume he thinks helps give it force) like saying I need to get a lesson in something, just winds up backfiring when he gets that point very wrong.

    The point remains, who do you trust more to accurately recognize your rights? I trust the majority more.

    ” … because they (the majority – sic) are the ones who comprise the most real-world experience in what are rights and what are privileges at the expense of other’s rights.”
    Do you have proof of this statement? From a historical perspective, it is usually the minority that has a better understanding of what rights are present as they are under the thumb of the majority. The minority must know their rights in order to defend themselves.

    Since a majority is simply the culmination of a number of minorities, Mark’s statement only proves my statement even more.

    But for a more intellectual view of this, read Federalist #51.

  59. October 19th, 2010 at 15:56 | #59

    Sean :
    An American citizen’s rights don’t originate with the people but rather with the Constitution.

    And the first three words in it are, “We the people”, noting where the constitution originates its authority from.

  60. October 19th, 2010 at 15:57 | #60

    Oops, the second paragraph in that is mine.

  61. Mark
    October 19th, 2010 at 18:14 | #61

    On Lawn: “Since a majority can alter the constitution, it can add or take away recognized rights. ”

    Actually, its not as easy as On Lawn implies (thank God). To alter the constitution, an amendment (for instance) must pass both houses of the legislature, by a two-thirds majority in each. Then it goes to the states where it must be ratified, or approved, by three-fourths of states. So, it takes more than a simple majority (such as 52%) to rob US citizens of their rights. This protects us all except On Lawn seems to want a simple majority to make these far reaching decisions.

    “Same with the Supreme Court, since its interpretation power is akin to re-writing (finding rights that weren’t written or limiting ones that are written like the 2nd amendment)”

    On Lawn attempts to inject the “activist judge” argument. Course, that argument seems only used when the judge goes against what the individual using the term believes.

    “Since a majority is simply the culmination of a number of minorities,”
    On Lawn once again does not understand the English language. A majority is defined as “the greater part or number; the number larger than half the total ( opposed to minority)”. It could be composed of some minorities but not always the case as On Lawn seems to assume.

  62. October 20th, 2010 at 10:15 | #62

    Mark :
    On Lawn: “Since a majority can alter the constitution, it can add or take away recognized rights. ”
    Actually, its not as easy as On Lawn implies (thank God). To alter the constitution[1], an amendment (for instance) must pass both houses of the legislature, by a two-thirds majority in each. Then it goes to the states where it must be ratified, or approved, by three-fourths of states. So, it takes more than a simple majority (such as 52%)[2] to rob US citizens of their rights. This protects us all except On Lawn seems to want a simple majority[3] to make these far reaching decisions.

    1) Here Sean means the federal constitution, however note that Prop 8 is a state constitution and is formally ratified by a majority of 1 more vote in affirmative than opposed.

    2) Technically it is possible to ratify a constitutional amendment with fewer than 50% of the US vote. If each state holds a constitutional convention by popular referendum, and only the bottom 3/4 of the states pass it, and it is the lowest 3/4 by population, and the rest of the states vote against it 100%, it still passes. This is the same kind of math which allows presidents to be elected even though they fail to get the most votes.

    3) While I trust a simple majority more than any minority, the more the majority the more I trust it. In fact, requiring even more of a majority than 51% only validates the premise that the more majority you have the safer your rights are.

    “Same with the Supreme Court, since its interpretation power is akin to re-writing (finding rights that weren’t written or limiting ones that are written like the 2nd amendment)”
    On Lawn attempts to inject the “activist judge” argument. Course, that argument seems only used when the judge goes against what the individual using the term believes.

    Sean is still just distorting my position. I prefer the term “legislating judge” to “activist judge” because I find that a judge that re-writes laws or strikes down laws based on things they write into the constitution, to be legislating from the bench. And that is a direct violation of the seperation of powers.

    It’s true an activist judge is more likely to step on the powers of the other branches, but their problem is simply when they try to legislate from the bench, not being activists. However, activism from the bench does violate the impartiality that we expect from judges…

    “Since a majority is simply the culmination of a number of minorities,”
    On Lawn once again does not understand the English language. A majority is defined as “the greater part or number; the number larger than half the total ( opposed to minority)”. It could be composed of some minorities but not always the case as On Lawn seems to assume.

    Sean’s just being silly again.

    Take an example of religion. There is no majority religion in the USA, everyone belongs to one of hundreds of religions that think they are the one true religion. One such minority religion is Islam, which has its own set of prescribed laws and penalties for governance. While they may wish to impose that law on the rest of the USA as a minority, they need a majority to do so. So as a group equal with a number of other minority religions they form a majority and comprimise, instead of imposing their law on everyone they instead focus on protecting religious freedom to worship as you wish.

    Every majority is made up of such minorities of interest, and in the end they wind up protecting their freedom to protect themselves rather than try to impose on others.

  63. October 20th, 2010 at 10:16 | #63

    Oops, that was Mark, not Sean that made those errant arguments. My appologies.

  64. Mark
    October 20th, 2010 at 16:46 | #64

    On Lawn: “Oops, that was Mark, not Sean that made those errant arguments. My appologies. (sic)”

    Once again, On Lawn fails to do his research and neglects details.

    “however note that Prop 8 is a state constitution and is formally ratified by a majority of 1 more vote in affirmative than opposed.”

    A state vote that violates the Federal constitution is not a legal vote no matter if the state has a simple majority rule.

    “Sean is still just distorting my position. I prefer the term “legislating judge” to “activist judge” because I find that a judge that re-writes laws or strikes down laws based on things they write into the constitution, to be legislating from the bench. And that is a direct violation of the seperation (sic) of powers.”

    Poor On Lawn really needs a basic HS government class. The very idea of the separation of powers is upheld if the judiciary strikes down a law written by the legislature, if that law is unconstitutional. In On Lawn’s example, the legislature is free to write any laws it wants to, unchecked. This would upset the balance of power.

    And On Lawn’s diatribe on religion trying to support his incorrect idea of the make up of a majority is just senseless. On Lawn’s lack of research (and even common sense) enters in with his statement “There is no majority religion in the USA”. Such a BIG, easily proven lie. A simple search (more research) shows the following numbers:
    * Christianity: (82.3%)
    * Unaffiliated, including atheist or agnostic (11.6%)
    * Judaism (1.2% to 2.2%)
    * Islam (0.6% to 1.6%)
    * Buddhism (0.5% to 0.9%)
    * Hinduism (0.4%)
    * other (1.4%)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_the_United_States

    Simple math shows that Christianity is not only in a HUGE majority but that, even if the other religious groups came together, they (combined) are STILL a minority. Which makes laughable On Lawn’s assertion “So as a group equal with a number of other minority religions they form a majority and comprimise (sic) …”

  65. October 21st, 2010 at 15:55 | #65

    Mark :
    On Lawn: “Oops, that was Mark, not Sean that made those errant arguments. My appologies. (sic)”
    Once again, On Lawn fails to do his research and neglects details.

    That is hilarious. To Mark, double checking my post and making corrections is “fail[ing] to do [...] research and neglect[ing] details.”

    Mark fails to do such, and refused to admit when he errs. I think he feels that his own self-image is the only thing he thinks can support his arguments at the end of the day :) But that is neither here nor there, the fact they are discredited over and over is in the comment trail, and even repeated here…

    “however note that Prop 8 is a state constitution and is formally ratified by a majority of 1 more vote in affirmative than opposed.”
    A state vote that violates the Federal constitution is not a legal vote no matter if the state has a simple majority rule.

    Yet it is a constitution, and a constitution that contradicts Sean’s assertion that constitutions are not upheld by a simple majority :)

    I’ve already covered the ground that the federal constitution may or may not wind up being supported by a majority, however the intent is to create as broad and varied a majority as it can. And it starts by citing its authority comes from “We the people…”.

    Whether or not the Federal Constitution trumps the state (and nothing I’ve said indicates otherwise) is immaterial to the nature of the constitution as a document written to establish government (as Abraham Lincoln said) of the people, for the people, by the people. Abraham Lincoln was an avid supporter of the majority (the democracy, the people) as the final arbiter of human rights, seeing how he fought against a Supreme Court which ruled in favor of slavery.

    “Sean is still just distorting my position. I prefer the term “legislating judge” to “activist judge” because I find that a judge that re-writes laws or strikes down laws based on things they write into the constitution, to be legislating from the bench. And that is a direct violation of the seperation (sic) of powers.”
    Poor On Lawn really needs a basic HS government class. The very idea of the separation of powers is upheld if the judiciary strikes down a law written by the legislature, if that law is unconstitutional. In On Lawn’s example, the legislature is free to write any laws it wants to, unchecked. This would upset the balance of power.

    Compare and contrast what I wrote with what Mark tried to do a sleight of hand substitution with. What I wrote was fair and accurate…

    Me : >> “I find that a judge that re-writes laws or strikes down laws based on things they write into the constitution, to be legislating from the bench.”
    Mark: > the judiciary strikes down a law written by the legislature, if that law is unconstitutional.

    Yep, if it is unconstitutional they are following the law. If they are making up what the constitution says, they are legislating from the bench.

    What I said was accurate :)

    [...] A simple search (more research) shows the following numbers:
    * Christianity: (82.3%)
    [....]
    Simple math shows that Christianity is not only in a HUGE majority but that, even if the other religious groups came together, they (combined) are STILL a minority. Which makes laughable On Lawn’s assertion “So as a group equal with a number of other minority religions they form a majority and comprimise (sic) …”

    Mark seems to be unfamiliar and untutored in history. He seems to be ignorant of the widely known fact that Christianity comprises a number of fighting religions. Consider the vast divide between the Catholics (who’s very name means the universal church), and the protestants (who’s very name means protesting that universal church). And the protestant churches include the Anglican (Henry’s church of England), Luthern (Luther’s church of Germany), Baptist, Methodist, etc….

    No single denomination comprises a majority in the USA.

    Hence Mark has once again validated my point that the majority is often just a compilation of seperate but cooperating minorities. Every election year politicians try to line up these minorities as best they can into a majority vote for themselves.

  66. Mark
    October 21st, 2010 at 17:08 | #66

    On Lawn: “Yet it is a constitution, and a constitution that contradicts Sean’s assertion that constitutions are not upheld by a simple majority”

    Did you mean Mark, again? You’re slipping, On Lawn, but keeping trying to prove me wrong. To criticize me for pointing out your errors, and, in the process, you err again is just ignorance and failing to pay attention to the details.

    “What I wrote was fair and accurate…”

    Neither fair nor accurate. On Lawn fails again.

    “No single denomination comprises a majority in the USA.”

    See how On Lawn, caught in his own lie, tries to weasel out of it. This comment is very different from his original: ““There is no majority religion in the USA”. On Lawn redirects when he is found to be lacking in a comment.

    How hypocritical of you, On Lawn, to start this posting with “Mark fails to do such, and refused to admit when he errs.” And then you try to lie your way out of a gross error. Shame on you.

  67. October 22nd, 2010 at 09:34 | #67

    Mark :
    On Lawn: “Yet it is a constitution, and a constitution that contradicts Sean’s assertion that constitutions are not upheld by a simple majority”
    Did you mean Mark, again? You’re slipping, On Lawn, but keeping trying to prove me wrong. To criticize me for pointing out your errors, and, in the process, you err again is just ignorance and failing to pay attention to the details.

    Yes, you are right. You were the one bringing up the simple majority, so it was your point I disproved :)

    “What I wrote was fair and accurate…”
    Neither fair nor accurate. On Lawn fails again.

    Aww, Mark’s prejudice and bias means he doesn’t like the fair and balanced, poor Mark. It isn’t the first time he’s supported his arguments with nothing more than his bias.

    “No single denomination comprises a majority in the USA.”
    See how On Lawn, caught in his own lie, tries to weasel out of it. This comment is very different from his original: ““There is no majority religion in the USA”. On Lawn redirects when he is found to be lacking in a comment.
    How hypocritical of you, On Lawn, to start this posting with “Mark fails to do such, and refused to admit when he errs.” And then you try to lie your way out of a gross error. Shame on you.

    Sorry Mark, but your conflation of different religions (Catholic, Protestant (Anglican, Luthern, Methodist, Baptist, etc…)) doesn’t mean there is a problem with what I wrote. Note the Wikipedia list of different religions even uses broad categorizations, but is more refined than the world branches that Mark is trying to conflate religions into :)

    And also note that Mark was once again degrading into just blustering with his own bias again. I can name many third party sources which note a finer granulation of what a religion is compared to what Mark is insisting has to be considered — not because he’s right but because he feels he has to be :)

  68. Mark
    October 22nd, 2010 at 15:41 | #68

    On Lawn: “Sorry Mark, but your conflation of different religions (Catholic, Protestant (Anglican, Luthern, Methodist, Baptist, etc…)) doesn’t mean there is a problem with what I wrote.”

    On Lawn, found to be wrong, attempts to change the subject once again. His statements were crystal clear (a rarity for him) and he was incorrect. No amount of dancing around facts will change that. On Lawn wrote: “There is no majority religion in the USA”, which is incorrect. Christianity is clearly the majority religion in the US. Now On Lawn would have everyone believe that Catholic, Protestant (Anglican, Luthern (sic), Methodist, Baptist,etc… are DIFFERENT religions, not just different denominations of the SAME religion (i.e. Christianity). Once again, On Lawn comes up short and attempts to justify his misuse of terms and phrases by abusing others. Shows how desperate On Lawn is becoming.

  69. October 22nd, 2010 at 19:17 | #69

    Funny, no one is arguing that Christianity is not a branch of the world religions, just that it isn’t itself a homogeneous entity of just one religion.

    Consider Princeton’s definition

    # S: (n) religion, faith, organized religion (an institution to express belief in a divine power) “he was raised in the Baptist religion”; “a member of his own faith contradicted him”

    Their example clearly labeled “Baptist” as a religion, not a denomination. Baptists will have their own denominations within that religion.

    The Wicktionary notes that a religion is, “A collection of practices, based on beliefs and teachings that are highly valued or sacred;”. I’ve only seen Catholic masses on TV, and been to one Methodist and one Baptist church, but even that is enough to see that they have a clear difference in collection of practices, beliefs and teachings.

    Once again, Mark is clearly wrong, and obviously so. But he has to be right in spite of that so he sinks further and further from reality in order to maintain only his own image of his own correctness :)

  70. Mark
    October 23rd, 2010 at 08:55 | #70

    LOL, On Lawn’s inability to use the English language correctly is laughable. Wonder how long On Lawn searched to find the one entry that he feels supports his incorrect view?

    In this dictionary definition (I go to this one because On Lawn has used it himself to support his claims):
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/religion

    This entry talks of religions as the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion. Notice, it does not break up Christianity into different “religions”. And why is that? Because it’s the SAME RELIGION, just different denominations.

    So, when On Lawn prattles on how Catholic, Protestant (Anglican, Luthern (sic), Methodist, Baptist, etc…) are different religions, he really means denominations.

    A religious denomination is a subgroup within a religion that operates under a common name, tradition, and identity. The term describes various Christian denominations (for example, Eastern Orthodox, Anglicanism, and the many varieties of Protestantism).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_denomination

    And under a definition of religion, Catholics and Protestants are listed under Christianity, not as separate religions.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion

    OMG, this the EXACT listing On Lawn uses to prove his point. Perhaps he should have read down just a bit further and he wouldn’t have looked so foolish.

    On Lawn is just wrong on this account and it’s sad that he cannot admit it. But I notice he ends with a smiley face (a sure sign that On Lawn is wrong, again).

  71. Sean
    October 23rd, 2010 at 13:43 | #71

    “note that Prop 8 is a state constitution and is formally ratified by a majority of 1 more vote in affirmative than opposed.”

    Note that no state may violate the constitutional rights of US citizens. The US Constitution guarantees all US citizens equal protection under the law. It is unfortunate to keep insisting that people can vote to take away rights form their fellow citizens, just because they don’t like them, or what their own identity group to have primacy.

    “While I trust a simple majority more than any minority, the more the majority the more I trust it.”

    You must be highly suspicious, then, of Prop 8’s slim 52% majority, considering the issue at stake was a minority’s rights, a right retained by the vast majority of Californians.

    “I find that a judge that re-writes laws or strikes down laws based on things they write into the constitution, to be legislating from the bench.”

    The 14th Amendment was added to the US Constitution in the last century. It is not possible that any judge “wrote it into the constitution,” since that was done a long time ago.

  72. October 25th, 2010 at 10:44 | #72

    @Mark

    Mark is just frustrated that I’m right. But just because he gets lost in a debate in forrest vs trees, I won’t get side-tracked. I’ve already shown my view of how religions are categorized is perfectly valid.

    But to show how universal the origional point is I’ll adapt it, not changing the point at all except to use the classification system that Mark expects…

    Take an example of religion. There is no majority denomination in the USA, everyone belongs to one of hundreds of [religious denominations] that think they are the one true religion. One such minority [...] is Islam, which has its own set of prescribed laws and penalties for governance. While they may wish to impose that law on the rest of the USA as a minority, they need a majority to do so. So as a group equal with a number of other minority religions they form a majority and comprimise, instead of imposing their law on everyone they instead focus on protecting religious freedom to worship as you wish.

    Every majority is made up of such minorities of interest, and in the end they wind up protecting their freedom to protect themselves rather than try to impose on others.

    Note that my example didn’t include Baptists, or any other Christian religion (or as Mark insists, denomination). That Muslims joined in to protect religious freedoms, and they are a minority, it goes to show my point is right.

    See, that shows just how much a side-show Mark’s points are. Even within his classification system, my point is easily mapped within it and still valid.

    Sean :

    Note that no state may violate the constitutional rights of US citizens. The US Constitution guarantees all US citizens equal protection under the law [1]. It is unfortunate to keep insisting that people can vote to take away rights form their fellow citizens [2], just because they don’t like them, or what their own identity group to have primacy.

    1) This tangent was taken by Mark, and already addressed

    “Take an example of religion. There is no majority religion in the USA, everyone belongs to one of hundreds of religions that think they are the one true religion. One such minority religion is Islam, which has its own set of prescribed laws and penalties for governance. While they may wish to impose that law on the rest of the USA as a minority, they need a majority to do so. So as a group equal with a number of other minority religions they form a majority and comprimise, instead of imposing their law on everyone they instead focus on protecting religious freedom to worship as you wish.

    “Every majority is made up of such minorities of interest, and in the end they wind up protecting their freedom to protect themselves rather than try to impose on others.”

    2) It isn’t a matter of taking a right away, unalienable rights cannot be taken away — they can only go unrecognized by the state. Also, in the matter of neutering marriage, the question is about addressing what is a right and what is a priveleged entitlement that they mistake as the same as a unanlienable right. You know, just incase they are simply trying to inflame their own rhetoric with emotional appeal rather than make a rational point :)

    3) Identity groups? When Sean hears words enough he tries to repeat them without knowing what they mean in the discussion :)

    You must be highly suspicious, then, of Prop 8’s slim 52% majority, considering the issue at stake was a minority’s rights, a right retained by the vast majority of Californians.

    The same “slim majority” that was Obama’s landslide :)?

    I feel more suspicious of the Judge Walker’s slim minority of one, or the slim minority of about a dozen judges that have ruled against the people than 52% of the population.

    The 14th Amendment was added to the US Constitution in the last century. It is not possible that any judge “wrote it into the constitution,” since that was done a long time ago.

    Yet the Supreme Court, numerous state supreme courts, and the ninth and the eigth circuit ruled that the 14th doesn’t have in it the right to neuter marriage.

    And they are right, I checked and the 14th says nothing about 1) Associations of couples, 2) Homosexual Identity, 3) Marriage’s purpose in explicitely targeting the procreative relationship to promote responsible procreation is irrational.

    Any Judge that says otherwise is clearly making stuff up.

  73. Mark
    October 25th, 2010 at 17:22 | #73

    On Lawn: “I’ve already shown my view of how religions are categorized is perfectly valid.”

    Except, it isn’t a valid comment.

    First, it’s really sad that On Lawn cannot admit his gross mistakes. But, even when On Lawn changes his sentence to at least attempt to repair his error he is STILL wrong.

    “There is no majority denomination in the USA, ”
    Actually, Protestants are by far the largest domination of Christianity – around 52% (with Catholics around 25% and other denominations smaller), and the Protestants can be broken down like this (based on 2002 polls):
    Baptists 16.3%
    Methodists 6.8%
    Lutherans 4.6%
    Presbyterians 2.7%
    Pentecostals 2.1%
    http://www.adherents.com/rel_USA.html#Pew_branches

    Poor On Lawn, he really should research his statements before spouting them out and having them shown as untrue.

    This all goes back to On Lawn’s statement: “Since a majority is simply the culmination of a number of minorities”. On Lawn gives one example, religion, and extrapolates it out to represent ALL majorities. But, as has clearly been shown, not ALL majorities are a “culmination of a number of minorities”. If Christians wanted to restrict the rights of other religions in the US, they have a majority unto themselves and could do it. Except for the fact that we have the first amendment so, the majority cannot deny the rights of the minority. So, a majority cannot deny rights guaranteed to citizens in the US Constitution.

    On Lawn then goes on to say this gem: “It isn’t a matter of taking a right away, unalienable rights cannot be taken away — they can only go unrecognized by the state.”

    Actually, not true. The south tried that by not recognizing the rights of African Americans to vote, and failed. Unalienable rights are just that, rights. A state cannot choose to not recognize rights. A right unrecognized, is no right.

  74. October 25th, 2010 at 22:12 | #74

    Mark, after losing a contest on how interchangeable religion and denomination are, wants to say that Protestants are a single denomination?

    Well, even Mark’s own words tell the tale…

    Protestants can be broken down like this (based on 2002 polls): [emphasis mine]

    Thanks for proving me right yet again Mark :)

    Also to quote the page that Mark referred to…

    Catholics, Latter-day Saints, and Orthodox Christians are all branches as well as denominational families, but the Protestant branch of Christianity comprises multiple denominational families. [emphasis mine]

    A denominational family means even more than one denomination grouped together. Mark is off by at least an order of magnitude — by the statement of the website he pointed to.

    On Lawn gives one example, religion, and extrapolates it out to represent ALL majorities.

    Mark is twisting in the wind again :)

    Clearly Mark’s example is only one of conflating what he doesn’t understand. The websites he points to don’t even support his claims :)

    they have a majority unto themselves and could do it. Except for the fact that we have the first amendment so,

    They created and ratified it,

    Lets see, that makes On Lawn 3, Mark 0 in this one comment alone.

    But I’ve show his own fallacies since I started here… All he’s shown is that I’m writing rough drafts as comments, and even those rough drafts are more accurate than his comments.

  75. Mark
    October 26th, 2010 at 07:38 | #75

    On Lawn: “Mark, after losing a contest on how interchangeable religion and denomination are, wants to say that Protestants are a single denomination?”

    On Lawn, it is so clear that you are a troll. You do not understand the English language, use terms incorrectly over and over, and then attempt to make others look foolish (and you fail every time).

    As has been shown over and over, “religion” and “denomination” are NOT interchangeable.

    Mark 1, On Lawn 0

    Protestant is a DENOMINATION of the Christian RELIGION

    Mark 2, On Lawn 0

    Protestants can be further broken down into other DENOMINATIONS, not RELIGIONS.

    Mark 3, On Lawn 0

    This all goes back to On Lawn’s incorrect statement, “There is no majority religion in the USA” which he then changed to “There is no majority denomination in the USA”. Both of these has been proven false.

    Mark 4, On Lawn 0

    But instead of admitting he made a mistake (as a reasonable adult would), On Lawn continues to dig himself in deeper. Pathetic, really, and it does interfere with rational discussion.

  76. October 26th, 2010 at 12:21 | #76

    Mark :
    As has been shown over and over, “religion” and “denomination” are NOT interchangeable.

    Oh, really? Then where?

    Mark [0], On Lawn 0

    Since Mark hasn’t shown where, his point is taken back.

    Protestant is a DENOMINATION of the Christian RELIGION

    Google search for “Protestant Denomination”, about 103,000 results.

    Google search for “Protestant Denominations”, About 398,000 results.

    Almost four times the results who recognize that there are denominations within protestantism than those that recognize it as a single denomination. And there are some sites which occur on both, like the wikipedia article on “Christian Denomination”…

    In the Wikipedia page for “Christian Denomination”….

    The Roman Catholic Church is the largest denomination with over 1.1 billion members, comprising over half of all Christians worldwide making it the largest denomination for any religion worldwide. Protestant denominations comprise roughly 38-39% of Christians worldwide, and together the Catholics, Protestants, Anglicans, and other closely related denominations comprise Western Christianity. Saint Thomas Churches (India) and the Assyrian Church of the East are considered Eastern Christian denominations. Western Christian denominations prevail in Europe and its former colonies. Eastern Christian denominations are represented mostly in the Near East, Northern Africa and the Middle East. [emphasis mine]

    Clearly it states that protestant contains denominations within it, like the other site I referenced above.

    Even Religious Tolerance, a site that Mark quoted earlier, states…

    This section describes how people have attempted to classify individual Protestant Christians and Protestant Christian denominations into liberal and conservative — or liberal, mainline and conservative — wings. It also describes some of the conflicts both within and among Protestant denominations. These divisions and conflicts are largely traceable to different methods of interpreting the Bible. Ranging from the most conservative to the most liberal Christians we see the following three belief systems: [emphasis mine]

    So Mark didn’t win a point on that, in fact its a point for me :)

    Mark [0], On Lawn [1]

    Next point…

    Protestants can be further broken down into other DENOMINATIONS, not RELIGIONS.

    No one is arguing they can’t be broken down into denominations, however I’ve already noted where Baptist, Anglican, Methodist, etc… are protestant, and considered religions. All it takes is one, but here we find a Google search on “Baptist Religion” shows about 22,900 results.

    The Wikipedia even shows that Baptist is a religion that has its own denominations.

    So, Mark loses that point, and I win yet again…

    Mark [0], On Lawn [2]

    Moving on…

    This all goes back to On Lawn’s incorrect statement, “There is no majority religion in the USA” which he then changed to “There is no majority denomination in the USA”. Both of these has been proven false.

    Yet as shown once again, both of them have been proven to be perfectly reasonable ways of describing religious categorization. So as the score goes…

    Mark [0], On Lawn [2]

    Note, I didn’t add a point because I already won that point again. Mark tried to double-dip to inflate his own ego :)

    But instead of admitting he made a mistake (as a reasonable adult would), On Lawn continues to dig himself in deeper. Pathetic, really, and it does interfere with rational discussion.

    If by digging deeper, I produce real third party verifiable and authoritative sources showing my usage is entirely acceptable to anyone who isn’t trying desperately avoid being wrong :)

  77. Mark
    October 26th, 2010 at 14:39 | #77

    LOL, On Lawn, you are a TRUE troll! No matter how much dancing On Lawn tries to do, he cannot change the fact that he does not understand the basic difference between “religion” and “denominations”. (remember, he says that Baptist is it’s own religion and is somehow different from other Christian religions).

    It reminds me of “A Fish Called Wanda”:
    “Otto West: Don’t call me stupid.
    Wanda: Oh, right! To call you stupid would be an insult to stupid people! I’ve known sheep that could outwit you. I’ve worn dresses with higher IQs. But you think you’re an intellectual, don’t you, ape?
    Otto West: Apes don’t read philosophy.
    Wanda: Yes they do, Otto. They just don’t understand it.”

    Kind of like On Lawn and his Google searches. You can search Google, On Lawn, you just don’t understand it.

    LOL, keep spewing all your nonsense, On Lawn. You only make yourself look more ridiculous.

  78. October 26th, 2010 at 22:14 | #78

    @Mark

    remember, he says that Baptist is it’s own religion and is somehow different from other Christian religions

    Funny how he says that, especially in this forum, expecting people to think that makes me look ignorant :)

    Kind of like On Lawn and his Google searches.

    Typical Mark, me mocks what he can’t argue against :)

  79. Mark
    October 27th, 2010 at 07:27 | #79

    On Lawn: A Baptist is a Christian. They are part of the Christian religion. Being a Baptist is not having a different religion from Christianity, it is a different denomination. Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism are examples of different religions. Presbyterian, Lutheran, Catholic, and Evangelical are examples of different denominations of Christianity.

    Insisting that Baptist is it’s own religion (and not a denomination of Christianity) is being ignorant.

  80. October 27th, 2010 at 14:10 | #80

    Funny, Mark forgets his argument that there is a majority denomination rests on Protestant being a denomination. Now he’s only defending that there is a Baptist denomination (which according to the figures he cited is only 16.3% of the US population, which is clearly not a majority.

    Give Mark enough rope, and he contradicts himself with it.

    So having disproved Mark on his origional argument, just for fun, I’ll also show whether or not there is a difference between Baptist Religion and other Christian religions, put “Baptist Religion” into Google and see if you get anything at all. Look at how many pages it shows answering the question of the difference between the Baptist religion and other Christian religions.

    It is fair to call them denominations, it is also fair to call them religions. Mark is driving for a distinction that is not commonly held, but he holds on to it desperately because he has to :)

  81. Mark
    October 27th, 2010 at 14:54 | #81

    On Lawn: “..put “Baptist Religion” into Google and see if you get anything at all. ”

    Yup, Yup, Yup, because that proves a point – a point that putting words into Google magically gives you the complete answer. No need to read, no need to comprehend, right On Lawn? Well, there is a need to read and comprehend for those of us who are looking for truth, not just attempting to support some incorrect assumption.

    “It is fair to call them denominations, it is also fair to call them religions.”

    Only if you want to come across as a completely ignorant individual, On Lawn. But, then On Lawn does insist that all “same-sex relations” are identical to “same-sex couples” so, I guess expecting him to be able to define religion correctly is asking a lot.

    Otto West: Apes don’t read philosophy.
    Wanda: Yes they do, Otto. They just don’t understand it.

  82. October 28th, 2010 at 08:08 | #82

    Mark: > No need to read, no need to comprehend, right On Lawn?

    Sure, read and comprehend what you see from the search, also :)

    No need to read, no need to comprehend, right On Lawn?

    No, the only ignorant person is the one who denies the evidence they don’t want to see. And in this case, that is only you.

    all “same-sex relations” are identical to “same-sex couples”

    Another example of Mark persisting in a straw-man, even though what I said shows a much more nuanced understanding :)

    As I said, Mark is the only one persisting in ignorance in this case.

  83. Mark
    October 28th, 2010 at 15:51 | #83

    On Lawn:”Another example of Mark persisting in a straw-man, even though what I said shows a much more nuanced understanding”

    Sigh, I am not the one using a straw-man argument. I am just attempting to get On Lawn to use terms properly to aid in the discussion of these issues.

    Examples of On Lawn’s ongoing misrepresentation:
    “same-sex relationships” are identical to “same-sex couples”
    “denominations” are identical to “religions”

    On Lawn’s continual misuse of these terms only interferes in the rational discussion of these complex issues. On Lawn is either unable, or unwilling, to recognize his error and therefore wastes time in dancing around these issues.

  84. October 29th, 2010 at 08:29 | #84

    @Mark

    Mark: > I am not the one using a straw-man argument.

    Mark is simply being dishonest since it is clear that my argument is much different than the one he attributes to me (he puts it in quotes even, but cannot find where I said such a thing at all). In short his “Examples of [...] ongoing misrepresentation” are his own misrepresentations of my position :)

    Mark’s dishonesty is something I never tire in pointing out, especially when his over-personalized rhetoric makes such grand accusations :)

    I am just attempting to get On Lawn to use terms properly to aid in the discussion of these issues.

    The proper use of “same-sex relationships” and “same-sex couples” as noted by third party authorities is to refer to non-romantic and romantic situations. Why should I accept Mark’s word over theirs?

  85. Mark
    October 29th, 2010 at 14:56 | #85

    On Lawn: “The proper use of “same-sex relationships” and “same-sex couples” as noted by third party authorities is to refer to non-romantic and romantic situations. Why should I accept Mark’s word over theirs?”

    Because, as was said before, On Lawn can read, he just doesn’t understand what it says. And On Lawn continues to twist his arguments. Here, On Lawn says that “same-sex relationships” and “same-sex couples” are identical but earlier he denies he ever does.

    Sad, On Lawn truly is a troll.

  86. November 1st, 2010 at 08:07 | #86

    @Mark

    Here, On Lawn says that “same-sex relationships” and “same-sex couples” are identical but earlier he denies he ever does.

    Lets look at that quote again…

    The proper use of “same-sex relationships” and “same-sex couples” as noted by third party authorities is to refer to non-romantic and romantic situations. Why should I accept Mark’s word over theirs?

    Now where in there did I say they were the exact same thing?

    Sounds like Mark is truly the troll, or maybe he just has bad reading comprehension :)

  87. Mark
    November 1st, 2010 at 10:49 | #87

    On Lawn: “Now where in there did I say they were the exact same thing?”

    On Lawn continues to state this in numerous posts through this blog section and other sections.

Comments are closed.