Home > Judicial Activism > Iowans Dismiss Judges who redefined marriage

Iowans Dismiss Judges who redefined marriage

November 3rd, 2010

From USA Today:

Three Iowa Supreme Court justices lost their seats Tuesday in a historic upset fueled by their 2009 decision that allowed same-sex couples to marry. Vote totals from 96% of Iowa’s 1,774 precincts showed Chief Justice Marsha Ternus and Justices David Baker and Michael Streit with less than the simple majority needed to stay on the bench. Their removal marked the first time an Iowa Supreme Court justice has not been retained since 1962, when the merit selection and retention system for judges was adopted.

People don’t appreciate judges legislating from the bench.

In a statement issued early Wednesday, the three justices said: “We hope Iowans will continue to support Iowa’s merit selection system for appointing judges. This system helps ensure that judges base their decisions on the law and the Constitution and nothing else. Ultimately, however, the preservation of our state’s fair and impartial courts will require more than the integrity and fortitude of individual judges, it will require the steadfast support of the people.”

It depends on your definition of “merit.” Other courts, state and federal, have failed to discover a right to same sex marriage. It is disingenous for these justices’ to try to brazen it out by claiming that they based “their decisions on the law and the Constitution and nothing else.” They are assuming the very thing that needs to be proven, and which Iowa voters believe cannot be proven, namely that there is an open and shut case for same sex marriage to be found in the Iowa Constitution.

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  1. Sean
    November 3rd, 2010 at 11:02 | #1

    “People don’t appreciate judges legislating from the bench.”

    They didn’t legislate from the bench, they determined Iowa’s marriage statute was not in conformance with Iowa’s constitution, in a UNANIMOUS decision I might add.

    “Other courts, state and federal, have failed to discover a right to same sex marriage. It is disingenous (sic) for these justices’ to try to brazen it out by claiming that they based “their decisions on the law and the Constitution and nothing else.” They are assuming the very thing that needs to be proven, and which Iowa voters believe cannot be proven, namely that there is an open and shut case for same sex marriage to be found in the Iowa Constitution.”

    Well, what Iowa judges do doesn’t depend on what happens in other states: Iowa’s constitution is unique to Iowa, isn’t it? I find it interesting that ALL SEVEN judges got this issue “wrong,” and “legislated from the bench.” Does anyone else find it odd the ALL SEVEN judges could be so misinformed about Iowa’s constitution?

    NOM has done an enormous disservice to American jurisprudence. To be telling people that it’s ok to seek revenge against judges whose decisions you don’t approve of is just democracy in action is absolute falsehood. Judges are not appointed or elected to figure out what the people want but rather what the law requires. That’s we like to think of ourselves as a nation of laws not men. That’s where that sentiment comes from.

    Hmm, I wonder how much deference NOM and the other religious interlopers into America’s legal system will receive when their own court cases are heard. So far, NOM ain’t doing too good in its attempts to skirt finance law. It probably isn’t going to get any better for them now that they’ve skewered three judges in Iowa!

    Some hate groups just don’t know how to pick and choose their battles!

  2. Mark
    November 3rd, 2010 at 11:41 | #2

    I wonder if NOM will finally be honest and comply with state financial laws. Sad, with all the suffering in the world (poverty, hunger, disease, war) that NOM seems to feel the main thing to spend money on is to deny two loving consenting adults the right to marriage.

  3. Marty
    November 3rd, 2010 at 11:42 | #3

    Sean, Iowa’s Constitution — every word of it — was voted on and ratified by Iowans. When exactly did they ratify a right to same-sex marriage?

  4. Greg
    November 3rd, 2010 at 11:54 | #4

    “In a statement issued early Wednesday, the three justices said: ‘We hope Iowans will continue to support Iowa’s merit selection system for appointing judges. This system helps ensure that judges base their decisions on the law and the Constitution and nothing else. Ultimately, however, the preservation of our state’s fair and impartial courts will require more than the integrity and fortitude of individual judges, it will require the steadfast support of the people.’”

    In other words, this system was designed to be a rubber stamp and the vote a farcical formality. When the people actually utilize it as a vote is normally intended, then that calls into question whether the people should be allowed to continue to vote on this issue. That’s liberalism’s credo in a nutshell.

  5. Sean
    November 3rd, 2010 at 11:58 | #5

    I don’t know when Iowa adopted its version of the US Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection. You can probably find out if you try hard enough. But here is the wording from the Iowa constitution. It says, if there’s a law, it has to be applied equally to all citizens [even gay ones!]. That’s why it is unconstitutional in Iowa to hand out marriage licenses to straight people but not to gay people. You can’t do it with fishing licenses, you can do it with medical licenses, you can’t do it with driver’s licenses and you can’t do it with marriage licenses.

    “Laws uniform. SEC. 6. All laws of a general nature shall have a uniform operation; the general assembly shall not grant to any citizen, or class of citizens, privileges or immunities, which, upon the same terms shall not equally belong to all citizens.”

    I wonder how many Iowa voters bothered to read and understand their state’s constitution before voting to fire the three judges. Or maybe they just preferred to listen to the outside groups like NOM. Maybe someone will take a poll!

  6. Greg
    November 3rd, 2010 at 12:00 | #6

    Iowa’s constitution no more mandated same-sex marriage than did Massachusetts’. These cases ALL represent judges making up new rights as they go along. Judges who do this and those who support their doing so call it a “living constitution.” In reality, they are killing the constitutions as they are and putting in their places new ones of their own making. The usurpation of the legislative powers by the courts is one of the greatest threats to our republic and to the concept that the people, not the elites, rule themselves.

  7. Marty
    November 3rd, 2010 at 12:02 | #7

    The answer is, never. It didn’t happen, and it couldn’t have happened. Ever.

    So where do 7 judges get off saying that something is IN the constitution, but was never ratified? Do they honestly think Iowans would have ratified anything in the constitution that created a right to SSM — even if the vote were held today???

    Elitist Oligarchs is what they are. And they know better than we do — so we should sit down shut up and forget this whole “Of the people, by the people, for the people” business. Abe Lincoln obviously didn’t know what he was talking about.

  8. Mark
    November 3rd, 2010 at 12:49 | #8

    When the US Supreme Court approved interracial marriage, there was nothing specific in the US constitution that allowed interracial marriage. But, as in the Iowan, the US Constitution guarantees equal rights for all of it’s citizens. In the area of religion, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus – all have the same right to practice their religions. The Constitution does not specify each religion – they are all included in the language.

    The same goes for same-sex marriage. And, to vote those rights away, at least in Iowa, is unconstitutional. That’s why it was an unanimous decision.

    And Marty, it’s all very well and good when someone is in the majority and having their way to say let the people vote on it and abide by the decision. The judiciary is there to protect the rights of ALL citizens.

  9. November 3rd, 2010 at 15:02 | #9

    Mark :
    I wonder if NOM will finally be honest and comply with state financial laws. Sad, with all the suffering in the world (poverty, hunger, disease, war) that NOM seems to feel the main thing to spend money on is to deny two loving consenting adults the right to marriage.

    Are you sure?

    Can you show me where NOM has been against any kind of same-sex marriage? Be it Civil Unions, Domestic Partnerships, or Reciprocal Beneficiaries?

  10. Sean
    November 3rd, 2010 at 15:17 | #10

    It’s a shame NOM convinced so many Iowans that these three judges were bad. I didn’t think Iowans were so easily victimized by fear-mongering. I hope these three judges get reappointed by the governor. They certainly deserve to be.

    “So where do 7 judges get off saying that something is IN the constitution, but was never ratified?” AND “These cases ALL represent judges making up new rights as they go along.”

    From the Iowa Constitution:

    “Laws uniform. SEC. 6. All laws of a general nature shall have a uniform operation; the general assembly shall not grant to any citizen, or class of citizens, privileges or immunities, which, upon the same terms shall not equally belong to all citizens.”

    The preceding language from the Iowa constitution is why the judges, ALL SEVEN OF THEM, ruled the way they did. Even gay Iowans, evidently, get to have the same rights as everyone else. If you don’t like gay people, work to get the constitution of your state amended to exclude them, if your constitution has an equal protection clause. Otherwise, go back to high school, take a class in American government, and be amazed at what “equal protection” means!

  11. Sean
    November 3rd, 2010 at 15:26 | #11

    It will be interesting to see what the judicial backlash nationwide is against NOM and other religio-political organizations, like the catholic and mormon churches. I’ll bet some judges are taking notice of this decision, and plotting their own revenge, should a religious case come before their court!

  12. Leland
    November 3rd, 2010 at 16:19 | #12

    @Mark
    “When the US Supreme Court approved interracial marriage, there was nothing specific in the US constitution that allowed interracial marriage. “

    Mark, you could not have started with a more faulty premise. The Supreme Court did not approve or disapprove of interracial marriage; they declared all laws that prohibit it to be unconstitutional.

    If you think the distinction is not significant, consider the fact that interracial marriage was perfectly legal until laws were enacted to prohibit it. There was nothing in common law against it. Marriage was (and is) the legal union of a man and a woman – period. Race was irrelevant until some folks decided to interfere with the natural form of marriage and force a completely contrived definition of marriage on everyone else to accomplish their own political objectives.

    Oh, wait a minute! That is exactly what is going on with same-sex so-called ‘marriage’: Some folks are attempting to interfere with the natural form of marriage and force a completely contrived definition of marriage on everyone else to accomplish their own political objectives. And, as there is absolutely nothing in common law (or human tradition, for that matter) to support same-sex ‘marriage’, laws will have to be enacted to make that happen.

    The difference this time is that, since neither the electorate nor their representatives wish to enact such laws, same-sex ‘marriage’ advocates have turned to some utterly unscrupulous judges who are more than willing to ignore the separation of powers established by the Constitution and usurp the authority to (unconstitutionally) enact the required laws from the bench.

    Demolishing the separation of powers in this way is a severe threat to liberty, it’s been going on for far too long already, we who love freedom have had enough, and the people of Iowa have decided to employ their constitutional authority to reign in the judiciary when necessary and put a stop to judicial tyranny while it’s still possible.

    God bless them for that.

  13. Leland
    November 3rd, 2010 at 16:27 | #13

    @Sean
    “It will be interesting to see what the judicial backlash nationwide is against NOM and other religio-political organizations, like the catholic and mormon churches. I’ll bet some judges are taking notice of this decision, and plotting their own revenge, should a religious case come before their court!”

    Yeah, like I said a minute ago: “…utterly unscrupulous judges…”

  14. Leo
    November 3rd, 2010 at 16:36 | #14

    A candidate that always loses an election would not be considered a very good candidate. Whenever the people have been given a chance to vote on the issue they have declared for the traditional definition of marriage. Black voters have rejected the attempt to equate SSM with racial discrimination, so have Iowans.

    Why are the views of Sean and Mark so unconvincing to the citizens of Iowa? NOM here is just a scapegoat. The Mormons were the designated scapegoat in California. But in state after state when the people are consulted, the result is the same. Why?

    Iowa is a bell weather state. So was Maine. As Maine goes, so goes the nation. Iowa is not Mississippi and never was. There are Catholics in Iowa, but they are not a majority. There are relatively few Mormons. Not a lot of minorities in Iowa and not much of a history of racial discrimination. Just common sense Iowans.

    If the votes of the people only count when you like it or when they act as a rubber stamp, the franchise wouldn’t mean very much.

  15. Sean
    November 3rd, 2010 at 16:47 | #15

    Leland, I’m just saying, what if judges are just as vengeful as NOM and other homophobes are? This is something that hate groups and bigots often forget: other people might be just as unethical as they are!

    Since NOM is willing to spend money to smear and seek revenge against governors, legislatures and courts who grant equal marriage rights, I wonder what their plan of revenge is in cases where the people vote to extend marriage rights to gay citizens! Can you imagine NOM putting contracts on voters who voted for marriage equality?!

  16. Sean
    November 3rd, 2010 at 16:50 | #16

    “…utterly unscrupulous judges…”

    Leland, what do you make of the fact that the Supreme Court ruled UNANIMOUSLY, that is, all seven judges said the Iowa constitution requires that gay Iowans get equal rights to marry as straight Iowans?! Doesn’t that make you think, gee, maybe these people know what they’re talking about!

    Of course, you’ve read the Iowa constitution and the court’s decision in Varnum. That goes without saying, because, obviously, no one would consider these judges incompetent without knowing the Iowa constitution and the actual decision they rendered.

    Right?!

  17. Sean
    November 3rd, 2010 at 17:00 | #17

    “Why are the views of Sean and Mark so unconvincing to the citizens of Iowa?”

    Because:

    a, Iowans haven’t read their own state’s constitution,

    b, they haven’t read the court’s decision in Varnum, and

    c, Sean and Mark didn’t run $600,000 in advertisements stating such falsehoods as, “if the courts can redefine marriage, they can take your guns away!” and other such bizarre assertions that serve more to frighten people than to inform them. Never credit NOM with informing people with the truth, that’s for sure! Most Americans aren’t very bright, are they? If you use fear-mongering, charged language like “activist judges!” and smear tactics (“they’ll take away your guns, too!”), the actual issue itself becomes irrelevant: people can’t get to the polls fast enough to protect their right to own a gun!

    “But in state after state when the people are consulted, the result is the same. Why?”

    Because the people have no idea what Equal Protection means, and why it is in their state and national constitutions. I know you desperately want “the will of the people” to be the last stop in democracy but it’s not: the people CANNOT create laws that deny constitutionally guaranteed rights to anyone, gay, black, Muslim, Jew, anyone, without a rational public interest.

    “If the votes of the people only count when you like it or when they act as a rubber stamp, the franchise wouldn’t mean very much.”

    You’re scaring me. Do you really believe what you’re writing or are you a paid shill for NOM or the KKK??? It doesn’t matter who does it, you CAN’T CREATE LAWS THAT VIOLATE A STATE OR NATIONAL CONSTITUTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t believe this is news to you.

  18. Mark
    November 3rd, 2010 at 17:00 | #18

    Leland: “If you think the distinction is not significant, consider the fact that interracial marriage was perfectly legal until laws were enacted to prohibit it. There was nothing in common law against it.”

    And same-sex marriage was legal in California, until laws were enacted to prohibit it. Wow, I guess it IS the same thing.

  19. Mark
    November 3rd, 2010 at 17:02 | #19

    On Lawn: “Can you show me where NOM has been against any kind of same-sex marriage?”

    Besides all of the anti-SSM rallies, the bus trips (against SSM) and the funding of anti-same sex marriage candidates, I guess not.

  20. Sean
    November 3rd, 2010 at 17:05 | #20

    “NOM here is just a scapegoat”

    Absolutely false. They spend over $600,000 to convince voters to expel these judges, who were only doing their jobs. NOM ads lied (so what’s new?) and preyed on other voter fears, like the freedom to own guns.

    NOM has not frightened other judges into supporting marriage discrimination. On the contrary, many judges will be only to happy to change their vote to the same-sex marriage side! You think the voters don’t like it when judges legislate? Well, judges don’t like it when they lose their jobs for accurately interpreting the constitution! I think we’ll see more than a little backlash on this one. But hey, if NOM wants to speed the process of marriage equality along, that just means the hate-gay-for-pay gravy train is going to end that much sooner!

  21. Mark
    November 3rd, 2010 at 17:05 | #21

    Leland: “Demolishing the separation of powers in this way is a severe threat to liberty, it’s been going on for far too long already, we who love freedom have had enough,”

    Did you not take even a BASIC HS government class? This is EXACTLY how the separation of powers works. The legislative branch writes the laws, the executive branch enforces them and the judiciary interprets them. That is JUST how it went. SO, I am not sure who “we who love freedom” are but they sound pretty UN American to me!

  22. Leland
    November 3rd, 2010 at 17:45 | #22

    Sean, mind if I add a few highlights to your comment to make a point?

    “…what if judges are just as vengeful as NOM and other homophobes are? This is something that hate groups and bigots often forget…”

    So Sean, can we spell ad hominem?

    You’re just calling people names. Don’t you think name-calling is kind of a hateful thing to do, Sean? Do you not consider putting dismissive (and demeaning) labels on people you disagree with to be sort of bigoted behavior? Why does it never occur to same-sex ‘marriage’ supporters that when you start hurling slurs at people, you are actually doing what you are (falsely) accusing your ‘targets’ of being???

    “Can you imagine NOM putting contracts on voters who voted for marriage equality?!”

    No. But I can imagine same-sex so-called ‘marriage’ supporters publishing a Goolge maps mash-up online that locates the businesses and homes of anyone who contributed to the Proposition 8 campaign so that they can be harassed and intimidated… not to mention trying (often successfully) to get anyone who said or did anything to support Prop 8 fired from their job… not to mention besieging and vandalizing Mormon, Catholic, and Evangelical churches after Prop 8 passed (Did you say something about being “vengeful”, Sean?) …not to mention interfering with the democratic process by vandalizing Mormon, Catholic, and Evangelical churches during the Prop 8 election… or stealing people’s yard signs during the election… or vandalizing people’s homes that have a Yes-on-8 sign in their yard… or even picketing a family in their own home and shouting epitaphs and obscenities at anyone coming in or out of the driveway for several days straight if their Yes-on-8 sign is posted out of reach of anyone who wants to steal it… or vandalizing people’s cars that have Yes-on-8 bumper stickers…

    Oh, wait a minute! They already did all of those things…

  23. Leland
    November 3rd, 2010 at 18:05 | #23

    @Leland
    EDIT: epitaphs should be epithets. (Stupid automatic spell checkers…)

  24. Jamie
    November 3rd, 2010 at 18:06 | #24

    The difference this time is that, since neither the electorate nor their representatives wish to enact such laws, same-sex ‘marriage’ advocates have turned to some utterly unscrupulous judges who are more than willing to ignore the separation of powers established by the Constitution and usurp the authority to (unconstitutionally) enact the required laws from the bench.

    First off, it is called litigation. It is a totally acceptable method of changing public policy. It has been done for a very long time, and was the primary method of attaining rights for ethnic minorities. Secondly, they did not WRITE or ENACT laws, merely state that it was unconstitutional for Iowa to discriminate against same sex couples, as it violated the part of the constitution already quoted in this post.

    Oh, wait a minute! That is exactly what is going on with same-sex so-called ‘marriage’: Some folks are attempting to interfere with the natural form of marriage and force a completely contrived definition of marriage on everyone else to accomplish their own political objectives. And, as there is absolutely nothing in common law (or human tradition, for that matter) to support same-sex ‘marriage’, laws will have to be enacted to make that happen.

    Well, ACTUALLY, plenty of cultures have done it before. Several cultures actually. I think you mean “anglo-saxon” laws and traditions. In addition, its not unnatural, actually. People have been aware for a while that animals have been know to form same sex relationships. Lastly, FORCED? Excuse me, gays are not forcing ANYONE to have a same sex marriage, only to tolerate its existence. . . . It is those who enact laws barring gay marriage that are forcing their ideas upon others.

    It can be argued that the constitution was not intended to allow a LOT of things to happen. The constitution actually intended to limit democracy as much as decentralize power. The founders feared democracy, because they knew that the majority would oppress the minority for its own gain. The reason we can expand the constitution to include such things is because we live in a country where rights are protected. The constitution also intended to exclude women, blacks, and various other persons from the governing process. They are no longer excluded because of an expansion of the meaning of the constitution. In addition, more perhaps than anything else they believed in what John Locke taught: Governments exist only to protect the rights of the people. You have the right to write an unconstitutional law. But the courts have the duty and obligation to strike down that law for being unconstitutional.

    Unfortunately, the socio-political majority will never really be able to understand what it is to be a minority, nor what it means to be discriminated against.

    To Leland and to all, I would like to pose a simple question:
    Why deny same sex marriage?

  25. Sean
    November 3rd, 2010 at 18:32 | #25

    “So where do 7 judges get off saying that something is IN the constitution….”

    Marty, it was 8 judges who ruled that Iowa’s constitutional equal protection guarantee gave gays equal rights with straights. Iowa’s Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling. So there were EIGHT judges who said that gay people get to marry, too. Eight. And I guess, somehow, even though they’re all lawyers, trained as judges, all married and presumably straight, they all didn’t see what NOM, of New Jersey, devoted to stopping same-sex marriage, could plainly see: that the Iowa constitution doesn’t guarantee its citizens equal rights.

    All eight of these judges got it wrong. All eight are less familiar with the Iowa constitution, and Iowa case law, than the National Organization Against Same-Sex Marriage (NOM), which was so sure that all eight of the Iowa judges are incompetent that it just had to step in and educate the people of Iowa how incompetent ALL SEVEN of their supreme court judges, as well as one lower court judge, are. Because I mean, how could you just stand by and watch the people of Iowa hoodwinked by these incompetent judges who know nothing of the Iowa constitution, or Iowa case law, or Iowa’s judicial history!

    You people are shameful. There is seriously something wrong with you.

  26. Sean
    November 3rd, 2010 at 18:33 | #26

    I love Better White even more:

    “I don’t care who anybody sleeps with. If a couple has been together all that time—and there are gay relationships that are more solid than some heterosexual ones—I think it’s fine if they want to get married. I don’t know how people can get so anti-something. Mind your own business, take care of your affairs, and don’t worry about other people so much.”

    Betty White, in Parade magazine

  27. Sean
    November 3rd, 2010 at 18:43 | #27

    Leland,

    As usual here in bigot-land, the point is lost. The point was, what if these judges across the land that NOM thinks it has kowtowed into obedience are in fact as malicious and vengeful as the people at NOM? Did anyone ever think of that? NOM is waging a war against America’s independent judicial system. Somehow, and I’m guessing here, a lot of judges who take pride in their unbiased independence, aren’t going to take it lightly that their colleagues are losing their jobs, for doing exactly what they’re supposed to do: interpret the constitution of the jurisdiction that they preside over!

    I can only imagine that the judges of some states may be anticipating with delight opportunity to rule on same-sex marriage. Or perhaps a case involving religious liberty? How about NOM’s pet court problem, skirting campaign finance law??

    NOM is a textbook example of winning the battle and losing the war. They alienate anybody and everybody they come into contact with, except their fellow homophobes. I’d compare them to the KKK but who wants to smear the KKK?

  28. Jamie
    November 3rd, 2010 at 18:51 | #28

    By the way, I am tolerant. I think what those people did to prop-8 supporters was wrong, and I in know way condone their actions, nor would I consider performing them myself.

    Its actually NOT ad hominum to accuse some one of being something BASED ON WHAT THEY ARE SAYING DURING THE ARGUMENT IN WHICH IT WAS RAISED. For instance, a white man beats a black man. During his trial, he is accused of being a racist. Is this ad hominum? No, as it is an observation of his character based upon the actions being committed. Ad hominum would be saying “You can’t believe what this man says, he is bigot” as you cannot justify that him being a bigot has anything to do with the honesty of his statements. They are classified by many (moderate) organisations as a hate group, the things they are bigoted in character, and they display homophobic behavior, as outlined by the psychological profession.

    Please, try to teach yourself logos. Wikipedia is your friend

  29. November 3rd, 2010 at 21:43 | #29

    Mark :
    Leland: “If you think the distinction is not significant, consider the fact that interracial marriage was perfectly legal until laws were enacted to prohibit it. There was nothing in common law against it.”
    And same-sex marriage was legal in California, until laws were enacted to prohibit it. Wow, I guess it IS the same thing.

    They stopped the Domestic Partners in California?

  30. November 3rd, 2010 at 21:44 | #30

    Mark :
    On Lawn: “Can you show me where NOM has been against any kind of same-sex marriage?”
    Besides all of the anti-SSM rallies, the bus trips (against SSM) and the funding of anti-same sex marriage candidates, I guess not.

    But they didn’t get rid of same-sex marriage as CU’s, DP’s and RB’s, hence same-sex marriage lives on. Celebrate with us.

  31. Chairm
    November 3rd, 2010 at 23:12 | #31

    Whether it was one judge or a roomful of judges, the offerred reasoning was shoddy and exemplified abuse of judicial review. It is about time that judges who engaged in such nonsense learned that it is out of bounds and unconstitutional.

    Judges are citizens who peform a judicial role for society. They are not empowered to legislate social policy preferences; nor are they empowered to rewrite constitutions from the bench.

    Marriage law is specific to marriage. It is not a vague catchall for “committed relationships”. Societyu may discriminate between marriage and other stuff. The SSM idea provides no basis for discriminating between it and other stuff. It provides on basis for equating it with marriage nor for according it with special status. It is, however, a conceptual mess. And that a judge or a roomful of judges might place gay identity politics over and above the judicial role is cause enough to not retain.

    These judges were unanimously wrong to endorse such profoundly flawed legal reasoning. They did not get away with it this time. Good for Iowans. Good for marriage. Good for the constitutional form of republican government in this country.

    Congradulations to NOM and associates for another victory for the principles of good governance, the social institution of marriage, and common sense.

  32. Leland
    November 4th, 2010 at 01:32 | #32

    @Jamie

    So Jamie, I don’t think I’ve seen you post on this blog until recently, have I? If you’re new here, then even though I’m not an admin on this forum or anything (I’m just a guest blogger, and one of the least prolific, as you probably noticed.) still I’m sure the hosts of Ruth Institute blog would agree that it’s always encouraging to see another person who takes issues of marriage and family seriously and is willing to engage in civil and thoughtful discourse on the subject. So welcome aboard! I look forward to arguing (as in debating, not quarreling) with you, against you, or for you – as the case may be.

    So, in response to your last post:

    “By the way, I am tolerant. I think what those people did to prop-8 supporters was wrong, and I in know way condone their actions, nor would I consider performing them myself.”

    Thank you! It’s refreshing to see an advocate of same-sex ‘marriage’ forthrightly acknowledge how wrong what “those people did” was.

    And while, on the one hand, I do think most same-sex ‘marriage’ supporters would probably not be inclined to deny us marriage defenders our right to freely participate in our own democracy (at least I would hope not) on the other hand, I do also find that most folks on your side of this debate tend to defend – rather than condemn – the actions of those who do behave that way, or at least make excuse for them. Apparently not everyone in your camp is as tolerant as you are, Jamie.

    “Its actually NOT ad hominum to accuse some one of being something BASED ON WHAT THEY ARE SAYING DURING THE ARGUMENT IN WHICH IT WAS RAISED.”

    Well Jamie, with all due respect, you should look more closely at the definition of ad hominem. (You’ll get a lot more hits on Google if you spell it with an “e” instead of a “u”.) The Wikipedia listing is fine. And you’ll notice that it says the only time an ad hominem is not a logical fallacy is when “…questions of personal conduct, character, motives, etc., are legitimate and relevant to the issue”. (But not when you “…accuse some one of being something BASED ON WHAT THEY ARE SAYING DURING THE ARGUMENT IN WHICH IT WAS RAISED.”) And I think I can show you why the Wikipedia definition works a lot better.

    For the sake of argument only, why don’t I stipulate (just for the moment) to Sean’s assertion that I (among others) am a thoroughly bigoted, hate-mongering, homophobe? What if I responded to that accusation by saying “Yeah, so what’s your point?” That would indeed be a rather reprehensible attitude on my part. But it would be a valid response, nevertheless. What does my attitude or what kind of person I am have to do whether same-sex so-called ‘marriage’ makes any sense, or whether it was appropriate for the people of Iowa to remove those three judges from their state’s Supreme court? (Nothing, if you ask me.)

    On the other hand, what if I could somehow convince Sean that I am in fact the most open-minded, people-loving, non-homophobic person in the whole wide world and that I am wise beyond measure to boot? (It’s just a hypothetical illustration, Sean…) Do you really thing he would then say to himself “Well shucks, a swell human being like Leland could not possibly be wrong about something like this. I guess they should have gotten rid of those judges after all!”

    Trust me on this Jamie, he wouldn’t. He would at most respond by saying that even the wisest among us is capable of error and that regardless of how virtuous and well intentioned Leland may be, he is still just plain mistaken on this issue. (Sean would be wrong about that, of course. He is the one who is mistaken about this. But anyway…) My point is that this is not one of those cases where “…questions of personal conduct, character, motives, etc., are legitimate and relevant to the issue”.

    Same-sex so-called ‘marriage’ either would or would not be a disaster for society regardless of what the attitudes, character, lack of character, feelings, or beliefs are of any of us involved this discussion. Our parents taught us well when they pointed out that the world does not revolve around any of us. The reality of the situation is what it is apart from what kind of person any of us happens to be.

    That’s why slapping a derisive label on people you disagree with about this – or assailing them as a person – never serves any purpose other than to give yourself permission to despise them and think of them as something other than a fellow human being who actually has sincere thoughts about this subject. That way you can feel comfortable with yourself while you dismiss their arguments out of hand and even deny them the right to participate in this debate on an equal level as you.

    And I do most definitely stand by my charge that it is all too common (usually standard operating procedure from what I’ve seen, in fact) for pro same-sex ‘marriage’ folks to routinely hurl ad hominem at anyone who will not kowtow to their dogma, and that when they engage in that kind of behavior, they are doing exactly what they are accusing us of being. So, come to think of it, one would have to add hypocrisy to the charge as well…

  33. Sean
    November 4th, 2010 at 05:42 | #33

    Hey, what do you think of my news story?!

    “Iowans Fire Judges for Doing Their Job!”

    Des Moines – A majority of Iowans took to the polls on Tuesday and soundly fired three of seven Supreme Court judges for doing their jobs. Iowans, known nationally for their moderate viewpoints and generally pleasant personalities, leave no room for doubt when it comes to serious issues like work competence: “Enough is enough!” proclaimed Cedar Falls resident Joan Smith. “These judges thought they could sit around and determine whether a state law is constitutional or not?! Not if I have anything to say about it!”

    Iowans generally feel strongly that you are not supposed to follow your job description when on the job. Earlier in the year, an Ames physician was fined for healing sick people; a corn farmer near Dubuque is facing imprisonment for successfully growing corn. He faced an angry mob at his farm, complete with torches and pitchforks, that set his crop ablaze in an attempt to enforce Iowa’s rigorous “don’t do your job!” culture.

    Residents of other states appeared somewhat perplexed with the Iowa vote on judges. “Isn’t that what they’re supposed to do, interpret the laws, according to what the state constitution says?” inquired Virginia resident Jeff Davis. “Isn’t that the point, to have an independent judicial branch, insulated from public opinion?” mused Texan Anne Knott, “How else do you protect the rights of minorities?!”

  34. Mark
    November 4th, 2010 at 05:43 | #34

    On Lawn: “They stopped the Domestic Partners in California?”

    Sad you do not know the history of the topic you attempt to address. In California, from June 16 through November 5, 2008, same sex marriage was legal with thousands of people getting married. Prop 8 made it illegal.

    “But they didn’t get rid of same-sex marriage as CU’s, DP’s and RB’s, hence same-sex marriage lives on.”

    On Lawn, these moronic comments really show you complete lack of understanding of the issue. CU’s, DP’s are not identical to same-sex marriage.

  35. Mark
    November 4th, 2010 at 05:56 | #35

    Leland: “But I can imagine same-sex so-called ‘marriage’ supporters publishing a Goolge maps mash-up online that locates the businesses and homes of anyone who contributed to the Proposition 8 campaign so that they can be harassed and intimidated…”

    So you advocate anonymous donations to campaigns. Allowing any corporation, business, church, etc to donate large amounts of money to a campaign (perhaps one you do not like) and preventing any honest, open disclosure. Remember, this is all suppose to be public record, like signing a petition. Hmm, I have always felt the more open and honest a campaign is, the better. Guess you disagree, Leland.

    “not to mention trying (often successfully) to get anyone who said or did anything to support Prop 8 fired from their job… ”

    Didn’t happen. Urban rumor and lie – next.

    “not to mention besieging and vandalizing Mormon, Catholic, and Evangelical churches after Prop 8 passed ”

    Even though churches are prohibited by FEDERAL LAW (via their tax exempt status) from engaging in political activities. But, no proof that any one specific did the vandalizing (what little there was). Wouldn’t be surprised if church members did it themselves to gain sympathy.

    “not to mention interfering with the democratic process by vandalizing Mormon, Catholic, and Evangelical churches during the Prop 8 election…”

    Sort of a repeat of the above, but incorrect none the less.

    ” or stealing people’s yard signs during the election… or vandalizing people’s homes that have a Yes-on-8 sign in their yard… or even picketing a family in their own home and shouting epitaphs and obscenities at anyone coming in or out of the driveway for several days straight if their Yes-on-8 sign is posted out of reach of anyone who wants to steal it… or vandalizing people’s cars that have Yes-on-8 bumper stickers…”

    Actually happened on both sides so everything you say here was also done by the Yes-on-8 group to people who were against Prop 8.

    And the Yes-on-8 people weren’t having their legal Constitutional rights removed by a popular vote. They were merely trying to deny the rights of others. So, for the Yes-on-8 people to lie, steal and vandalize is even worse as they weren’t fighting for their freedom.

  36. bman
    November 4th, 2010 at 08:14 | #36

    @Leland

    interracial marriage was perfectly legal until laws were enacted to prohibit it. There was nothing in common law against it. Marriage was (and is) the legal union of a man and a woman – period. Race was irrelevant until some folks decided to interfere with the natural form of marriage and force a completely contrived definition of marriage on everyone else to accomplish their own political objectives. Oh, wait a minute! That is exactly what is going on with same-sex so-called ‘marriage’: Some folks are attempting to interfere with the natural form of marriage and force a completely contrived definition of marriage on everyone else to accomplish their own political objectives. And, as there is absolutely nothing in common law (or human tradition, for that matter) to support same-sex ‘marriage’, laws will have to be enacted to make that happen.

    Excellent point. The Loving case on interracial marriage did not not change marriage from what it had been, but it overruled laws that tried to change it from what it had been.

  37. bman
    November 4th, 2010 at 10:24 | #37

    Sean: They didn’t legislate from the bench, they determined Iowa’s marriage statute was not in conformance with Iowa’s constitution, in a UNANIMOUS decision I might add.

    According to Alexander Hamilton in Federalist Paper 78, “If there should happen to be an irreconcilable variance between [the Constitution and a statute], that which has the superior obligation and validity ought, of course, to be preferred; or, in other words, the Constitution ought to be preferred to the statute, the intention of the people to the intention of their agents.”

    He says the Constitution overrules a statute if the two are irreconcilable, and he also regarded the “Constitution” and “intention of the people” as the same thing.

    We have already seen from other courts that limiting marriage between one man and one woman is not irreconcilable with the Constitution.

    This can be seen from the most recent ruling on same sex marriage (Aug 31, 2010) by the Texas 5th District Court (see link).

    It carefully explained why “same sex marriage” is not a fundamental right. By doing so, it also demonstrated that marrige between a man and women can be reconciled with the Constitution, contra the Iowa court.

    The other part of Alexander Hamilton’s comment also applies here. The court is supposed to use the Constitution as the means to protect the intent of the people.

    Whatever logic the Iowa judges used, it resulted in the intent of the people being overruled instead of protecting it. The ruling violated the higher principle which the Constitution is itself based upon.

    It’s often asked, “What about inter-racial marriage” didn’t that go against the will of the people?”

    I am not sure if it overruled the actually majority intent of the people or if it overruled the intent of their agents.

    But if it did overrule the intent of the people, one thing is certain, preserving moral justice should be higher in principle than preserving the intent of the people if the two cannot be reconciled.

    For those who argue that applies to same sex marriage, their argument is not based on moral justice. Its based on an abstract concept of “equality” that would give carnal behavior the same rights as rational behavior, and that is not something moral justice approves or requires.

    Authority flows from highest to lowest. Moral justice (which is from God by the way) is higher than the intent of the people. The intent of the people is higher than the Constitution. The Constitution is higher than the three branches of government and whatever laws, rulings, and regulations they put forth.

    In the Iowa case, this order was not upheld. They interpreted the Constitution in a way that actually overruled the intent of the people, and it was not required by moral justice or that they do so.

    So, let us ask these questions:

    “Was the existing marriage law genuinely irreconcilable with the Constitution?”

    Answer: No.

    “Did the court genuinely protect the intent of the people when it redefined marriage?”

    Answer: “No.”

    “Was their ruling required by moral justice?”

    Answer: No.

    And suddenly its clear the Iowa case did not satisfy the meaning of “constitutional” in its genuine sense.

    Lastly, Hamilton felt the judiciary should be protected from the temporary whims and ill humors of the majority and from popular opinion. Maybe that is why some mistakenly say the court is not supposed to defend the intent of the people.

    Marriage between a man and woman, however, is not a temporary whim. Natural marriage is fundamental to the identity of this people and always has been. Any judge who can’t discern between the fundamental identity of the people (which is higher in authority to the Constitution) and a whim of the people, should not be on the bench, and that is what happened in Iowa.

  38. bman
    November 4th, 2010 at 10:27 | #38

    Correction the above should read, “between a man and woman,” rather than “man and women.”

  39. Sean
    November 4th, 2010 at 10:35 | #39

    “The court is supposed to use the Constitution as the means to protect the intent of the people.”

    Oh, I thought the court was supposed to protect the intent of the constitution! Why do you feel Hamilton is a constitutional authority, by the way?

    “Whatever logic the Iowa judges used, it resulted in the intent of the people being overruled instead of protecting it.”

    You’re saying that the people of Iowa want some groups to have rights but not other groups? If so, why did they incorporate an equal protection clause in their constitution?

    “The intent of the people is higher than the Constitution.”

    No, the constitution always supercedes any popular desires. Where did you study American government? If Americans want to outlaw the Muslim religion, which they surely would if they could vote on it, do you think they could, given the US Constitution’s First Amendment? You would do well to apply a test case or two to your thoughts before you post them.

    “They interpreted the Constitution in a way that actually overruled the intent of the people”

    Because the constitution always supersedes any personal wishes of the people. Yikes.

    I just don’t understand how so many Americans are so ignorant of how our legal system and our three branches of government work. It’s really troubling, to be honest.

  40. November 4th, 2010 at 10:59 | #40

    @Sean

    What I think is even funnier is that, lets say the Judiciary does turn that vindictive — would it really look any different than it did in the Iowa courtroom? I can’t see how.

  41. Heidi
    November 4th, 2010 at 11:55 | #41

    Oh my heavens, the lack of understanding of how our government is supposed to function–ESPECIALLY the judiciary–is almost more than this lawyer can bear. Can everyone please, please, please take a class in constitutional law before they start talking about judges “legislating from the bench?” Argh. A nice long term paper on the concepts of substantive due process, liberty, equal protection, and separation of powers would also be quite fantastic. Bonus points: explain the American system of checks and balances and why the courts are the defenders of individual liberty.

  42. Heidi
    November 4th, 2010 at 12:06 | #42

    “Other courts, state and federal, have failed to discover a right to same sex marriage.”

    There is NO right to “same-sex marriage!” The rights at stake are: a) the right to liberty (5th and 14th Amendments); b) the right to the equal protection of the laws (same); and c) the right to marry generally. Look in the Constitution and you’ll “fail to discover” a right to marry at all. And yet, the SCOTUS in Loving v. VA called the right to marry “fundamental.” If a right is FUNDAMENTAL, the government cannot deny it to a particular class of persons unless there is a substantial government interest and the law creating the differential treatment is narrowly tailored to effectuate that substantial interest. This is where the anti-equality folks will ultimately lose, because there is not even a legitimate basis upon which to treat LGBT people as second-class citizens. So, keep feeding the fires of anti-gay hatred for now. One of these days, the SCOTUS will set it right and quash your anti-freedom movement.

  43. Sean
    November 4th, 2010 at 12:41 | #43

    “What I think is even funnier is that, lets say the Judiciary does turn that vindictive — would it really look any different than it did in the Iowa courtroom? I can’t see how.”

    Let me explain it to you. The judges in Iowa, experts, presumably, on Iowa’s constitution, read the Iowa marriage statute and realized that it violated Iowa’s equal protection clause. So they struck it down.

    NOM steps in and instructs Iowa voters to oust the three judges because NOM doesn’t like the ruling, and the precedent it sets for other states. NOM tells Iowa voters that these judges are “activist” judges, they’ll take your guns away, you know, the usual fear-mongering. NOM feels very vengeful that the courts aren’t going along with its anti-gay marriage plan. It thinks that if it can get these judges fired, it will send a signal to other state judges across the country not to grant equal marriage rights to gay citizens.

    But what if judges across the country are just as hate-filled and vengeful as NOM? In Iowa, the judges, all seven of them, found an equal protection violation. They followed the constitution of their state. What if judges, angry at the thought of being fired, seek vengeance against NOM specifically, and conservatives/religionists generally? What if they suddenly don’t see constitutional rights to religious expression, or political speech, when NOM or religious groups appear in their courts?

    My point is, NOM is trying so hard to control the same-sex marriage debate (with help from the mormon and catholic churches), that it has misread the outcome of this firing. It won’t make judges fearful to adhere to constitutional obligations, but rather, resentful of religious groups. Those groups might not find a very accommodating court system.

  44. November 4th, 2010 at 15:02 | #44

    @Sean

    Note in that comment Sean questions whether or not Alexander Hamilton is an authority on the system of government set up by the constitution… but then takes what he thinks he learned from some high school teacher as indisputible :)

  45. November 4th, 2010 at 15:07 | #45

    Sean :
    “What I think is even funnier is that, lets say the Judiciary does turn that vindictive — would it really look any different than it did in the Iowa courtroom? I can’t see how.”
    Let me explain it to you. The judges in Iowa, experts, presumably, on Iowa’s constitution, read the Iowa marriage statute and realized that it violated Iowa’s equal protection clause. So they struck it down.

    A far too gracious re-telling, to be sure.

    As Dr J noted above, “It depends on your definition of “merit.” Other courts, state and federal, have failed to discover a right to same sex marriage. It is disingenous for these justices’ to try to brazen it out by claiming that they based “their decisions on the law and the Constitution and nothing else.” They are assuming the very thing that needs to be proven, and which Iowa voters believe cannot be proven, namely that there is an open and shut case for same sex marriage to be found in the Iowa Constitution.”

    So if the Iowa courts were to turn vindictive (assuming they weren’t already), how would we know the difference?

  46. Jamie
    November 4th, 2010 at 16:46 | #46

    @Leland

    Not for the sake of political correctness (I was raised Australian, and on that matter we don’t really give a darn) but rather for a modicum of civility, please do not place marriage in quotes. I understand you do not agree that it is a form of marriage, but the aforementioned action serves only to add a strong un-empathetic and un-compassionate overtone to a reasonable argument. I would also like to apologize for misspelling ad hominem (I meant to change it, but I accidentally changed them all to ad hominum) and for using a less than perfectly formed definition of the word. I think we can both agree that a legitimate argument can be raised without using accusatory language such as bigot, and that the Bible, regardless of whatever import you believe it holds, does not serve as a valid source of evidence when discussing the American judiciary.

    Thank you for actually leveling a logical and thought out response. Most of the people on the blog have either ignored me or (in ari’s case) refused to level a proper counter argument. Odd that neither Sean nor Mark would defend me, but oh well. Newfag is new.

    Side note, I am arguing for the sake of building a stronger base of logic and evidence for my belief (thats not the right word, but oh well) that (derpy phrasing follows) gay marriage is deserving of federal recognition and tolerance.

    That being said, I don’t think that gay marriage has anything to do with the Iowa Judges; their’s is a case of misunderstanding of our judiciary. The Judiciary is there, as presidents, congressmen, Judges, textbooks and lawyers have affirmed, to limit the other branches of government, to insure that the constitution is not violated, and to the rights of all. Granted, you have a right to vote. So does your congressmen. Neither of you may violate the constitution (well, you can, but the supreme court has the obligation to strike down your law). They must do so based on their understanding of the constitution; not the moral convictions of the people, nor their own beliefs on what should or should not be (though that is arguable in some cases)

    Political arguments do NOT belong in Judicial elections. They are issues of competence and honesty.

  47. Jamie
    November 4th, 2010 at 16:52 | #47

    Its been kinda nice having On lawn ignore me I must be honest. . . .

  48. Sean
    November 4th, 2010 at 18:12 | #48

    “Other courts, state and federal, have failed to discover a right to same sex marriage.”

    Other states don’t have Iowa’s constitution.

    “It is disingenous for these justices’ to try to brazen it out by claiming that they based “their decisions on the law and the Constitution and nothing else.””

    Yes, of course, all seven judges failed to adequately understand their own state’s constitution, as did the lower court judge whose ruling they affirmed. Eight Iowa judges, some Democrats, some Republicans, one woman, seven men, all defied their state’s constitution, and found a right that didn’t exist. All eight, knowing it was a highly public case, and that any ruling would be scrutinized with a fine-tooth comb, all eight made up a right, legislated from the bench, are activist judges, etc. ALL EIGHT.

    Yeah, that happens every day.

    You guys need your heads examined. Seriously.

    “So if the Iowa courts were to turn vindictive (assuming they weren’t already), how would we know the difference?”

    You’ll see rulings that don’t comport with the state’s constitution.

  49. Leo
    November 4th, 2010 at 21:11 | #49

    Sean writes: “Most Americans aren’t very bright, are they?”

    Then why let them vote on anything?

  50. bman
    November 4th, 2010 at 21:11 | #50

    FDR on the Supreme court:

    “We have, therefore, reached the point as a nation where we must take action to save the Constitution from the Court and the Court from itself. We must find a way to take an appeal from the Supreme Court to the Constitution itself. We want a Supreme Court which will do justice under the Constitution and not over it. In our courts we want a government of laws and not of men.

    I want – as all Americans want – an independent judiciary as proposed by the framers of the Constitution. That means a Supreme Court that will enforce the Constitution as written, that will refuse to amend the Constitution by the arbitrary exercise of judicial power – in other words by judicial say-so. It does not mean a judiciary so independent that it can deny the existence of facts which are universally recognized…..”

    [And then, as in Iowa, the solution he thought best was to replace the judges]

    “When I commenced to review the situation with the problem squarely before me, I came by a process of elimination to the conclusion that, short of amendments, the only method which was clearly constitutional, and would at the same time carry out other much needed reforms, was to infuse new blood into all our Courts. We must have men worthy and equipped to carry out impartial justice….”

  51. bman
    November 4th, 2010 at 23:22 | #51

    Heidi :
    There is NO right to “same-sex marriage!”

    If you meant there is an implied right, you should not have said there is “no right.”

    If a right is FUNDAMENTAL, the government cannot deny it to a particular class of persons unless there is a substantial government interest and the law creating the differential treatment is narrowly tailored to effectuate that substantial interest.

    Yes, but the issue is not whether “marriage” is a fundamental right but if “same sex marriage” a fundamental right.

    In its ruling on Aug 31, 2010, the Texas 5th District Court ruled “same sex marriage” is not a fundamental right.

    This is where the anti-equality folks will ultimately lose, because there is not even a legitimate basis upon which to treat LGBT people as second-class citizens.

    Marriage is not based on “sexual orientation” but its equally available to all based on their reproductive biology (one male one female).

  52. bman
    November 4th, 2010 at 23:25 | #52
  53. bman
    November 5th, 2010 at 06:55 | #53

    Sean :
    I don’t know when Iowa adopted its version of the US Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection. You can probably find out if you try hard enough. But here is the wording from the Iowa constitution. It says, if there’s a law, it has to be applied equally to all citizens [even gay ones!]. That’s why it is unconstitutional in Iowa to hand out marriage licenses to straight people but not to gay people. You can’t do it with fishing licenses, you can do it with medical licenses, you can’t do it with driver’s licenses and you can’t do it with marriage licenses.
    “Laws uniform. SEC. 6. All laws of a general nature shall have a uniform operation; the general assembly shall not grant to any citizen, or class of citizens, privileges or immunities, which, upon the same terms shall not equally belong to all citizens.”
    I wonder how many Iowa voters bothered to read and understand their state’s constitution before voting to fire the three judges. Or maybe they just preferred to listen to the outside groups like NOM. Maybe someone will take a poll!

    The clause “upon the same terms” means that homosexuals can marry “on the same terms” as every one else. The terms were not based on sexual orientation for anyone, but they were based on biology for everyone!

  54. bman
    November 5th, 2010 at 07:16 | #54

    Sean :
    I don’t know when Iowa adopted its version of the US Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection. You can probably find out if you try hard enough. But here is the wording from the Iowa constitution. It says, if there’s a law, it has to be applied equally to all citizens [even gay ones!]. That’s why it is unconstitutional in Iowa to hand out marriage licenses to straight people but not to gay people. You can’t do it with fishing licenses, you can do it with medical licenses, you can’t do it with driver’s licenses and you can’t do it with marriage licenses.
    “Laws uniform. SEC. 6. All laws of a general nature shall have a uniform operation; the general assembly shall not grant to any citizen, or class of citizens, privileges or immunities, which, upon the same terms shall not equally belong to all citizens.”
    I wonder how many Iowa voters bothered to read and understand their state’s constitution before voting to fire the three judges. Or maybe they just preferred to listen to the outside groups like NOM. Maybe someone will take a poll!

    The clause “upon the same terms” means that homosexuals can marry “on the same terms” as every one else. The terms were not based on sexual orientation for anyone, but they were based on biology for everyone!

    Marty :
    The answer is, never. It didn’t happen, and it couldn’t have happened. Ever.
    So where do 7 judges get off saying that something is IN the constitution, but was never ratified? Do they honestly think Iowans would have ratified anything in the constitution that created a right to SSM — even if the vote were held today???
    Elitist Oligarchs is what they are. And they know better than we do — so we should sit down shut up and forget this whole “Of the people, by the people, for the people” business. Abe Lincoln obviously didn’t know what he was talking about.

    For decades American society has lamented elitist judges who rule independent of the people they serve.

    I am for a solution where bad rulings can be vetoed by the people.

  55. Leo
    November 5th, 2010 at 07:34 | #55

    Sean writes:

    “are you a paid shill for NOM or the KKK??”

    The accusation is false, absurd, and vicious. No one has ever paid me to blog or to comment on a blog, and to bring up the KKK is a despicable insult, not only towards me but to millions of common sense Iowans and millions of voters (always, it seems, the majority) wherever similar issues have come up.

  56. Sean
    November 5th, 2010 at 07:52 | #56

    “I want – as all Americans want – an independent judiciary as proposed by the framers of the Constitution.”

    Evidently the people of Iowa don’t want an independent judiciary. They want a judiciary that is politicized and rubber stamps their wishes.

  57. November 5th, 2010 at 08:03 | #57

    @Jamie

    Anything in particular you feel left out of?

  58. bman
    November 5th, 2010 at 08:16 | #58

    Mark :
    Leland: “If you think the distinction is not significant, consider the fact that interracial marriage was perfectly legal until laws were enacted to prohibit it. There was nothing in common law against it.”
    And same-sex marriage was legal in California, until laws were enacted to prohibit it. Wow, I guess it IS the same thing.

    Here is how it goes

    1. Common law is first
    2. Law later added to change marriage (same sex or race based marriage laws)
    3. Added law removed. (same sex marriage or race marriage laws)

    So, same sex marriage is like raced based marriage laws on points #2 and #3.

    I think the two are also similar in “principle,” as well.

    Same sex marriage supporters often argue that homosexuality is like “race” and they use that as a reason they should have a same sex marriage law.

    Marriage is currently based on reproductive biology. To shift the basis to sexual orientation, however, is to presume humanity is divided into two separate “races,” heterosexual and homosexual, and so same sex marriage actual presumes a “racial” motivation.

    I think it reduces to reversed discrimination as well. If a private unfit behavior was unfit for public approval based on its merits, yet it was approved by the government based on “race,” that would reduce to reversed discrimination, or to special privileges based on race.

    Homosex (the behavior not the orientation) is carnal and unfit for public approval on its own merits. Yet, if government approved homosex based on “race” it would be granting special privilege based on “race.”

    And so, it appears a raced based marriage law is not all that different in principle from a same sex marriage law. The former leads to discrimination, and the latter to reversed discrimination, both on the basis of “race.”

  59. bman
    November 5th, 2010 at 08:34 | #59

    On Lawn :
    @Sean
    Note in that comment Sean questions whether or not Alexander Hamilton is an authority on the system of government set up by the constitution… but then takes what he thinks he learned from some high school teacher as indisputible

    Lol! ;-)

  60. Mark
    November 5th, 2010 at 11:43 | #60

    bman: “Marriage is currently based on reproductive biology.”

    That is your opinion but I think the majority of people marrying today say it is because they love each other.

    “Homosex (the behavior not the orientation) is carnal and unfit for public approval on its own merits.”

    A very judgmental statement, bman. I would not begin to judge what you do in the privacy of your home as carnal or good. How can you say the populace has a right to say what consenting adults do in the privacy of their own homes? Talk about government intrusion.

    “Yet, if government approved homosex based on “race” it would be granting special privilege based on “race.””

    But it HAS approved “homosex” – see Lawrence v Texas “The majority held that intimate consensual sexual conduct was part of the liberty protected by substantive due process under the Fourteenth Amendment.” Why? Because people no more choose to be gay than then choose to be black, white or any other race. So, discriminating against gays and lesbians is equivalent to discriminating due to race.

  61. bman
    November 5th, 2010 at 12:48 | #61

    Sean :
    You’re saying that the people of Iowa want some groups to have rights but not other groups? If so, why did they incorporate an equal protection clause in their constitution?

    There a couple of problems with this.

    First, homosexuals can marry “on the same terms” as every one else in Iowa. The terms were never based on “sexual orientation” for anyone, but they have always been based on reproductive biology. So, there is a natural and equal basis for all persons to marry.

    Second, its not proper to merely base rights on grouping or classification. For example, what’s to stop the Supreme Court from saying public decency laws are unconstitutional because they are based on “religion,” “private morality,” and “animus” toward the nudist group, which by its very definition does not wear clothing?

    Or what if members of the pornography group claim they have a “natural” and “compelling” orientation to view pornography and they feel like “second class citizens” because society imposes morality restrictions on prime time TV shows? “Our shows are just as good!” they say.

    So, the idea that a group is entitled to rights based on compulsive “feelings” as compared to the majority, is actually a case for destroying the identity and the norms of society itself. Something more is needed to protect social norms and society from being “overwritten” by subjective identity politics.

    Third, its essentially correct to say the people want some groups to have rights but not other groups. The people want Family Values groups to broadcast during prime time but not the Nudist or the Pornography groups. The people want to formally recognize marriage between a man and woman so they can mate their complimentary reproductive systems and complete each other, but they do not want to mate the reproductive systems of two men in marriage.

    So, yes, the people want to give rights to some groups and not others based on who they are as a people, their values, culture, tradition, history, and hopes for their children’s future.

    Fourth, when a statute is stricken as unconstitutional its supposed to mean the will of the “agents” (the statue) was irreconcilable with the will of the people (the Constitution). In that case, the court did its job because it protected the will of the people (the Constitution).

    (The Constitution is to be viewed as being the will of the people. Its opening statement We the people implies that as well. It establishes the principle that the will of the people is higher than the Constitution since the people created it and gave it limited authority. This would differ of course from the popular will of the people since that has a tendency to fluctuate.)

    When a statute is stricken, however, that truly reflected the permanent and genuine intent of the people (not just popular will or personal wishes or that of their agents but their obvious fundamental and genuine intent) the court failed to do its job properly.

    I quoted from FDR earlier that we do not want, “a judiciary so independent that it can deny the existence of facts which are universally recognized…..”

    When the courts overrule marriage between a man and woman they “deny the existence of facts which are universally recognized.” They are not just overruling a statute but they are altering the very moral fabric of society itself, and they know it.

    Bottom line is the people have the moral, legal, and Constitutional right to fix government when its broken, and the people of Iowa did that.

  62. November 5th, 2010 at 13:21 | #62

    Sean :
    “I want – as all Americans want – an independent judiciary as proposed by the framers of the Constitution.”
    Evidently the people of Iowa don’t want an independent judiciary. They want a judiciary that is politicized and rubber stamps their wishes.

    The full quote indicates FDR didn’t find ousting bad judges to violate “an independant judiciary”.

  63. bman
    November 5th, 2010 at 15:11 | #63

    Mark :
    bman: “Marriage is currently based on reproductive biology.”

    mark: That is your opinion but I think the majority of people marrying today say it is because they love each other.

    My comment was not referring to why people marry, but it meant homosexuals are not denied equality because they can marry “on the same terms” every one else does.

    bman: Homosex (the behavior not the orientation) is carnal and unfit for public approval on its own merits.

    Mark: A very judgmental statement, bman. I would not begin to judge what you do in the privacy of your home as carnal or good. How can you say the populace has a right to say what consenting adults do in the privacy of their own homes? Talk about government intrusion.

    My statement describes the behavior in an abstract sense, without reference to particular persons.

    Its much the same as if a public representative said, “pornography is carnal and unfit for public approval.” By your logic they cannot say that or they will be judging someone’s private behavior!

    Must society publically approve behaviors like pornography just so they won’t be “judgmental?” That does not sound realistic at all.

    In my view, abstract statements about behavior is an effective way to avoid being judgmental.

    Mark: But it HAS approved “homosex” – see Lawrence v Texas “The majority held that intimate consensual sexual conduct was part of the liberty protected by substantive due process under the Fourteenth Amendment.” Why? Because people no more choose to be gay than then choose to be black, white or any other race. So, discriminating against gays and lesbians is equivalent to discriminating due to race.

    The Lawrence case (2003) was based on the principle of privacy protection. It removed homosex from criminal law which permitted homosex as a private behavior, but it did mean the court approved what was being done in private, or that it recommended the behavior.

    The government allows smoking but it does not approve it.

    Also, an excerpt from the opinion states, “The present case does…not involve whether the government must give formal recognition to any relationship that homosexual persons seek to enter.”

    That is the issue we are debating, namely, whether the government must grant formal recognition to homosexual relationships.

    Lawrence v. Texas said it did not involve that question.

  64. Sean
    November 5th, 2010 at 16:34 | #64

    “The clause “upon the same terms” means that homosexuals can marry “on the same terms” as every one else.”

    No they can’t. They can’t marry the consenting adult of their choice. Straight people can.

    “The terms were not based on sexual orientation for anyone, but they were based on biology for everyone!”

    But discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation is unconstitutional in Iowa! That’s the problem!

    “Marriage is currently based on reproductive biology.”

    No, it is based, in 44 states still, in Straight Supremacy, the only consistent principle separating the right to marry for opposite-sex couples and same-sex couples.

    “Homosex (the behavior not the orientation) is carnal and unfit for public approval on its own merits.”

    Too late! The US Supreme Court has already approved it.

    “but then takes what he thinks he learned from some high school teacher as indisputable”

    You guys have severe reading comprehension issues if that’s what you took away from my comment. I said most Americans (at least the educated ones!) learned in high school that the role of the judicial branch is to, in part, determine whether a law is constitutional or not. That’s exactly what the Iowa Supreme Court did. There is no basis in law for citizens angry with a decision to get revenge against a judge for doing his or her job. With help from NOM, that redefinition of our legal system is catching on. But let’s not redefine words!!!

    “First, homosexuals can marry “on the same terms” as everyone else in Iowa.”

    No they can’t. They can’t marry the consenting adult of their choice, as straight people can.

    “Second, its not proper to merely base rights on grouping or classification.”

    That’s exactly right! That’s why it’s unconstitutional to grant marriage licenses to straight couples but not to gay couples! “Public nudity” has not been termed a fundamental right, as has marriage. And being naked in public is a condition or activity, not an identity. No one is deprived of basic identity by being told to wear clothes in public. Plus, there is a public purpose in prohibiting nudity, and there is no public purpose in promoting it.

    “So, the idea that a group is entitled to rights based on compulsive “feelings” as compared to the majority, is actually a case for destroying the identity and the norms of society itself. Something more is needed to protect social norms and society from being “overwritten” by subjective identity politics.”

    Well, tell that to straight people! They evidently feel that their identity is deserving of public legal recognition, as well as 1,500 state and federal benefits. Why is straight identity important, but gay identity isn’t? Can you say, “Straight Supremacy”?? I thought that you could.

    “Third, its essentially correct to say the people want some groups to have rights but not other groups.”

    And there’s no problem with limiting behaviors, so long as no one’s constitutionally protected rights are not infringed.

    “When a statute is stricken, however, that truly reflected the permanent and genuine intent of the people (not just popular will or personal wishes or that of their agents but their obvious fundamental and genuine intent) the court failed to do its job properly.”

    You failed basic high school government class, eh? You have mistaken the will of the people for majority vote, first of all. And you seem to think the a majority popular vote is enough to change the constitution. It’s not. If Iowans adopted an equal protection clause 100 years ago, today’s Iowans are not free to ignore that clause unless they change or delete it.

    I would LOVE to get your opinion on how all seven Iowa Supreme Court judges failed in their oath to uphold the Iowa Constitution, as well as the lower court judge who also ruled as they did. What explanation do you offer for how all seven judges and a lower court judge, whose very job it is to interpret the constitution of Iowa, got it wrong??? Eight judges got it wrong, in your mind. Not one got it right. Doesn’t that give you pause at all as to your opinion of their behavior in this matter?

  65. Sean
    November 5th, 2010 at 16:35 | #65

    “The full quote indicates FDR didn’t find ousting bad judges to violate “an independant judiciary””

    In what way were Iowa’s judges “bad”? Because they rendered a decision you didn’t like?

  66. Chairm
    November 5th, 2010 at 17:04 | #66

    Heidi, Argh right back at ya for your support of the abuse of judicial review.

  67. bman
    November 5th, 2010 at 17:10 | #67

    Correction: change “but it did mean” to “but it did not mean” as follows:

    ….but it did not mean the court approved what was being done in private, or that it recommended the behavior.

  68. Chairm
    November 5th, 2010 at 17:12 | #68

    Heidi said:

    “Look in the Constitution and you’ll ‘fail to discover’ a right to marry at all. And yet, the SCOTUS in Loving v. VA called the right to marry ‘fundamental.’”

    They did not merely call it fundamental, Heidi, they looked outside of the Constitution and outside of themselves to regard what made marriage fundamental. Contrary to your sloppy language and sloppy thinking, Heidi, no judge made marriage fundamental and no judge made marriage a fundamental right.

    Marriage was recognized and the liberty to form a union of husband and wife was deemed fundamental to our history, customs, and traditions.

    The SSM idea is in conflict with the marriage idea. Two different things. You would conflate them due to an unconstitutional desire to press identity politics into the law. That is your problem with Loving. Loving repudiated the supremacy of white identity politics and yet the SSM campaign dmeands the supremacy of gay identity politics.

  69. November 5th, 2010 at 21:38 | #69

    Sean :
    “The full quote indicates FDR didn’t find ousting bad judges to violate “an independant judiciary””
    In what way were Iowa’s judges “bad”? Because they rendered a decision you didn’t like?

    My disagreements with them are sometimes petty, sometimes substantial. I personally don’t think they could find equality in the dark with a flashlight if they consider the expectation of integration to be a burden for sex-segregation that requires (and even didn’t pass their version of) rational basis.

    But the point here is that we all have the change to judge the judges, the people do interpret the constitution at the ballot box, and they decided the judges erred. And they are right. You can say that 8 judges voted in agreement, well millions in Iowa did too. As is their full right to do so.

  70. Sean
    November 6th, 2010 at 05:02 | #70

    ‘The SSM idea is in conflict with the marriage idea.’

    Well, it depends on how you want to perceive marriage. There’s no hard-and-fast rule of what marriage is or isn’t. For some people, it’s the chance to commit to another human being. For other, it’s the public pronouncement of commitment. For others still, it’s about forming a family, in anticipation of making babies.

    Marriage used to be a lifetime commitment. That’s no longer the case. That’s a huge change, a redefinition if you will. That and many other changes to marriage have made it viable to extend marriage to same-sex couples.

  71. Mark
    November 6th, 2010 at 06:27 | #71

    bman: “My statement describes the behavior in an abstract sense, without reference to particular persons.”

    Since it relates to people and not some abstract sense, it is judgmental.

    “Its much the same as if a public representative said, “pornography is carnal and unfit for public approval.” By your logic they cannot say that or they will be judging someone’s private behavior! ”

    If you can describe to me what pornography is, we could discuss this point. But since, as even the courts have had a hard time defining pornography, it comes down to someone’s personal judgment. Many in society would find that heterosex is also “carnal and unfit for public approval”.

    “It removed homosex from criminal law which permitted homosex as a private behavior, but it did mean the court approved what was being done in private, or that it recommended the behavior.
    The government allows smoking but it does not approve it. ”

    Nice try but, can you find something that says the government DOESN’T approve of homosex? If you can’t, then this court case as much as amounts to an approval.

    Since you personally do not approve, I would suggest you not engage in any homosex, bman.

  72. bman
    November 6th, 2010 at 10:17 | #72

    Sean :
    bman: “The clause “upon the same terms” means that homosexuals can marry “on the same terms” as every one else.”

    Sean:No they can’t. They can’t marry the consenting adult of their choice. Straight people can.

    The reason they can’t marry a same sex partner is because the same terms are applied to them that are applied to everyone, namely, marriage partners must have a complimentary reproductive biology to each other.

    Also your argument incorrectly states the issue.

    The recent Texas case (Aug 31, 2010) ruled the issue is not, “the right to marry the person of your choice” but its, “the right to marry a member of the same sex.”

    With the issue correctly stated, the court then ruled there is no fundamental right to same sex marriage. (See link above.)

    bman: Homosex (the behavior not the orientation) is carnal and unfit for public approval on its own merits.

    Sean: Too late! The US Supreme Court has already approved it.

    The Lawrence case specifically states, “The present case does…not involve whether the government must give formal recognition to any relationship that homosexual persons seek to enter.”

    So, the very case you had in mind did not grant the right to formal recognition of homosexual relationships.

    Besides, you did not maintain a proper distinction between something “permitted” and something “approved.”

    The Lawrence case made homosex no longer a crime, but that only “permitted” it. It did not “approve” it. The same idea can be applied to smoking, which is permitted but not approved.

  73. bman
    November 6th, 2010 at 11:09 | #73

    Sean ….”but then takes what he thinks he learned from some high school teacher as indisputable” You guys have severe reading comprehension issues if that’s what you took away from my comment….

    Why didn’t you mention Alexander Hamilton? After all, that was essential to the meaning.

    Here is the context.

    Sean: Why do you feel Hamilton is a constitutional authority, by the way?

    Onlawn: Sean questions whether or not Alexander Hamilton is an authority on the system of government set up by the constitution… but then takes what he thinks he learned from some high school teacher as indisputible

    The point is that you dismissed Alexander Hamilton and made yourself the higher authority.

  74. bman
    November 6th, 2010 at 11:21 | #74

    Sean :
    “The full quote indicates FDR didn’t find ousting bad judges to violate “an independant judiciary””
    In what way were Iowa’s judges “bad”? Because they rendered a decision you didn’t like?

    If you want to portray matters of principle as matters of preference, that would apply to your own position and to the judges as well.

    If we apply it to Iowa, we get this, “Since the judges ruled the way “they liked” instead of the way “the people liked” they were not retained.

  75. bman
    November 6th, 2010 at 11:41 | #75

    bman:Third, its essentially correct to say the people want some groups to have rights but not other groups.”

    Sean: And there’s no problem with limiting behaviors, so long as no one’s constitutionally protected rights are not infringed.

    Ok, but you just agreed with me (and society) in principle.

    Since the Texas court ruled same sex marriage is not a constitutional right, and since homosex is unfit for public approval based on its merits, there’s no problem with limiting marriage to a man and woman.

  76. Mark
    November 6th, 2010 at 13:10 | #76

    bman: “Since the Texas court ruled same sex marriage is not a constitutional right, and since homosex is unfit for public approval based on its merits, there’s no problem with limiting marriage to a man and woman.”

    First, the Texas case was about granting a divorce of a same-sex marriage in a state where SSM is illegal. Therefore the court ruled in the way it did because Texas does not recognize marriage except between one man and one woman therefore, for the court, the marriage doesn’t exist and therefore they cannot grant a divorce. A good example of the idiocy of making SSM illegal. If it was legal, this would be a mute case and a simple divorce.

    Second, whether homosex is “unfit” is really not up to society to determine since Texas ruled that the laws against homosex were unconstitutional. So your argument fails. And you still have not proved why it’s OK to deny gays and lesbians their right to marriage.

  77. bman
    November 6th, 2010 at 13:43 | #77

    @Mark

    bman: “My statement describes the behavior in an abstract sense, without reference to particular persons.”

    mark: Since it relates to people and not some abstract sense, it is judgmental.

    Your comment reduces to the impractical absurdity that disapproval of any behavior makes one judgmental since all behaviors are done by people.

    In my view, when a behavior is disapproved in an abstract sense, it views the behavior as a definition. And though a behavior implies people, the “definition of a behavior” implies “the definition” of people, and so it remains abstract.

    Do you approve of greed, jealousy, or envy? If you say no, you did so in the abstract sense only.

    If you say, “that would be judgmental” then you confine yourself and any offspring to a world where greed, jealously, and envy can not be discouraged or restricted.

    Parents need to judge which peers are a bad moral influence on their children. If they refused to do so because it would make them “judgmental,” they would not be doing their job.

    If a teen is experiencing peer pressure at school to perform homosex is that a good moral influence? Parents in general would want a better world for their children. Yet, many parents do not realize that a vote for same sex marriage is a vote to increase that kind of peer pressure in the schools.

    Its a matter of common sense really. We saw it in divorce and in abortion laws. Same sex marriage is based on the principle of moral equivalence. If our laws teach moral equivalence, it will influence society to practice moral equivalence.

    Morality, however, protects ordered liberty. When people stop being sexually moral because they were taught its all in your head, ordered liberty must collapse soon after.

    When unwed childbirths, welfare costs, lawlessness, disease, anarchy, exist on such scale it can not be managed, only then we will understand the true cost of “moral equivalence.”

    If, on the other hand, we vote for the same moral standards we want to influence our children, we create a better world.

    We need “judgmental” parents who will not only protect children at home but at the ballot box as well.

  78. Mark
    November 6th, 2010 at 14:38 | #78

    bman: “Do you approve of greed, jealousy, or envy? ”
    I always love how, when comparing homosexuality to anything, people who are anti-gay will always use negative emotions, actions, etc.

    When you say: “Homosex (the behavior not the orientation) is carnal and unfit for public approval on its own merits.” that is you, judging someone else’s behavior. It is not “describing the behavior in an abstract sense”, using those words (“carnal” and “unfit”) indicates you are judging the behavior, not just describing.

    “Parents need to judge which peers are a bad moral influence on their children.”

    So now you are saying gays and lesbians are a bad moral influence on children? What a hateful, uneducated thing to say!

    “Yet, many parents do not realize that a vote for same sex marriage is a vote to increase that kind of peer pressure in the schools. ”

    Now you are just spouting nonsense.

    “Same sex marriage is based on the principle of moral equivalence.”

    Because, to someone who is gay, they are just as equally moral as someone who is straight. The kind of crap you are spouting here is the reason kids are killing themselves. And THAT is what I call immoral.

    “We need “judgmental” parents who will not only protect children at home but at the ballot box as well.”

    So you are advocating denying fellow citizens rights because it is the “moral” thing to do? What a great lesson for kids – you must be just like everyone else, dress alike, love alike, act alike. Otherwise, we will remove your rights and you will be second class citizens. To me, that kind of thought is the ultimate in immorality.

  79. Sean
    November 6th, 2010 at 17:13 | #79

    @bman

    “The reason they can’t marry a same sex partner is because the same terms are applied to them that are applied to everyone, namely, marriage partners must have a complimentary reproductive biology to each other.”

    Nope, straight people also get to choose whom to marry, which is as much a part of getting married as the supposed opposite-sex requirement you choose to revere so much. If choice is a part of selecting a marriage partner, then it has to be applied equally to all. Remember, opposite-sex couples are only the result of straight people pairing off with someone of the sex they prefer for romance and sex. It’s not like straight people are marrying someone of the opposite sex in order to please the state. They’re just doing what comes naturally, like right-handed people writing with their right hands. Why should they get special rights that go with marriage, just for doing what comes naturally? And what’s the value to society to encourage gay people to pair up with a straight opposite-sex person, or even another gay but opposite-sex person, in order to conform to what straight people do? Isn’t that just Straight Supremacy in action?

    “The recent Texas case (Aug 31, 2010) ruled the issue is not, “the right to marry the person of your choice” but its, “the right to marry a member of the same sex.” With the issue correctly stated, the court then ruled there is no fundamental right to same sex marriage.”

    But as the Iowa Supreme Court noted, the “right to marry an opposite-sex person” is a right appealing only to straight people, and designed with their needs in mind, like giving the right to write novels to anyone, so long as they use their right hand: that’s great for right-handed people, but what about the needs of left-handed people? What is the state’s interest in letting only right-handed people write novels, but not left-handed people?

    Why not outlaw religious worship and religious services on any day but Sunday? After all, everyone has Sunday on their calendars, so everyone has the opportunity to use Sunday for worship, right? Well, observant Jews traditionally worship and hold services on Saturday and it would violate their religious need to worship on Saturday. And without a rational public interest in prohibiting non-Sunday worship, what’s the state’s interest in prohibiting Saturday worship?

    “The Lawrence case specifically states, “The present case does…not involve whether the government must give formal recognition to any relationship that homosexual persons seek to enter.”
    So, the very case you had in mind did not grant the right to formal recognition of homosexual relationships. “

    You said the homosexual sex was unfit for public approval. I responded that the US Supreme Court already has said that homosexual sex is perfectly fine and legal. I did not say that the Court referred to same-sex marriage. I was rejecting your personal belief that homosexuality is unfit for the public to engage in: it doesn’t matter what you think in this regard, the US Supreme Court has already made homosexuality perfectly legal.

    “The Lawrence case made homosex no longer a crime, but that only “permitted” it. It did not “approve” it. The same idea can be applied to smoking, which is permitted but not approved.”

    Well if something is legal, it becomes the personal choice of the individual to engage in it, not the public’s. There are few things, even marriage, that the government endorses. In the US, most laws boil down to “am I allowed to do it or not.” The government doesn’t endorse pre-marital sex, adultery or divorce, but they’re all legal. If you think same-sex couples want something to be legal, but also “heartily endorsed” by the US government, you’re kidding yourself. Oh, and they don’t care about your approval, either. They want legal recognition not necessarily social approval.

    “If you want to portray matters of principle as matters of preference, that would apply to your own position and to the judges as well.”

    I don’t think it’s merely a “preference” to insist the people be granted their constitutionally guaranteed civil rights, you are strange indeed. If the constitution says things have to be a certain way, it doesn’t matter what you or I want.

    “Since the Texas court ruled same sex marriage is not a constitutional right, and since homosex is unfit for public approval based on its merits, there’s no problem with limiting marriage to a man and woman.”

    Other courts have ruled that marriage discrimination IS a violation of a constitutional right and I, for one, am not willing to take the chance of violating someone else’s constitutional rights. If courts disagree on the matter, why not play it safe and not violate someone’s constitutional rights? Wouldn’t that comport with our national belief that someone is innocent until proven guilty?

  80. Ruth
    November 6th, 2010 at 18:24 | #80

    “When unwed childbirths, welfare costs, lawlessness, disease, anarchy, exist on such scale it can not be managed, only then we will understand the true cost of “moral equivalence.”

    If, on the other hand, we vote for the same moral standards we want to influence our children, we create a better world.

    We need “judgmental” parents who will not only protect children at home but at the ballot box as well.”

    Well said, bman!

  81. bman
    November 6th, 2010 at 19:56 | #81

    Mark :
    bman: “Do you approve of greed, jealousy, or envy? ”

    Mark: I always love how, when comparing homosexuality to anything, people who are anti-gay will always use negative emotions, actions, etc.

    I cited those examples to show that disapproval of an abstract behavior does not imply judgmentalism.

    If you had answered the question I posed, you might have seen the point I was making.

    When you say: “Homosex (the behavior not the orientation) is carnal and unfit for public approval on its own merits.” that is you, judging someone else’s behavior. It is not “describing the behavior in an abstract sense”, using those words (“carnal” and “unfit”) indicates you are judging the behavior, not just describing.

    When I say homosex is a carnal and unfit behavior, I am judging it from its definition. No particular person is being referenced. The same can be said of adultery or pornography.

    bman: “Parents need to judge which peers are a bad moral influence on their children.”

    mark: So now you are saying gays and lesbians are a bad moral influence on children?What a hateful, uneducated thing to say!

    I am responsible for what I said, but not for how you exaggerate it.

    I had a real world case in mind where a 13 year old girl was depressed because she felt pressured by peers at school to have homosex with another girl to be accepted.

    Must the parents view that as a good moral influence or you’ll call them judgmental?

    “Yet, many parents do not realize that a vote for same sex marriage is a vote to increase that kind of peer pressure in the schools. ”

    Now you are just spouting nonsense.

    No one can predict the future. But we can look at principles that are true now and make an intuitive forecast based on that.

    I am referring to an observable and common sense principle, that law shapes morality. When law permitted divorce and abortion, we saw widespread divorce and widespread abortion. Norms that once protected society were greatly diminished. By the same token, a same sex marriage law would most likely promote widespread disregard for sexual morality norms because same sex marriage is itself opposed to such norms.

    Mark: Because, to someone who is gay, they are just as equally moral as someone who is straight. The kind of crap you are spouting here is the reason kids are killing themselves. And THAT is what I call immoral.

    In another discussion, Tar cited a report (comment #12) by the American College of Pediatricians (ACPEDS) that said, “…more than 85 percent of those who are attracted initially to the same sex will ‘ultimately adopt a heterosexual orientation if not otherwise encouraged.”

    Common sense says, as well, that promoting youth toward homosex could harm more youth.

    Is it moral to encourage a behavior known to accompany high rates of suicide?

    Bullying and ridicule have been catalysts to gay teen suicides and must be opposed.

    But false propaganda that says sodomy is a healthy sexual lifestyle can harm many, and should also be opposed.

    I think your side is immorally spreading hurt by encouraging heterosexual youth to believe experimentation with homosex will not hurt them mentally, emotionally, psychologically or spiritually.

    Also, your side encourages youth with same sex attractions to identify as gay when they are still at a stage of uncertainty, which they might otherwise have come out of.

    So you are advocating denying fellow citizens rights because it is the “moral” thing to do? What a great lesson for kids – you must be just like everyone else, dress alike, love alike, act alike. Otherwise, we will remove your rights and you will be second class citizens. To me, that kind of thought is the ultimate in immorality.

    I am advocating that public approval should be given to rational and moral behavior, and it should be withheld from carnal behaviors that are known to be harmful.

  82. Sean
    November 7th, 2010 at 05:50 | #82

    “When I say homosex is a carnal and unfit behavior”

    There’s nothing unfit about homosexual behavior. Much of it is the same as heterosexual behavior. It is unclear how the same behavior is fine for an opposite-sex couple but “unfit” when performed by a same-sex couple. Can you supply any kind of rational explanation? I’m afraid to ask what your feelings are about old people or fat people having sex.

    “a same sex marriage law would most likely promote widespread disregard for sexual morality norms because same sex marriage is itself opposed to such norms.”

    This is hogwash, which you already know. And why not give gay couples credit for wanting to engage in a committed relationship, one that is hopefully faithful? You seem only to process your perceived negatives. Marriage makes a relationship more secure, and that’s good for families and their children.

    “Common sense says, as well, that promoting youth toward homosex could harm more youth. Is it moral to encourage a behavior known to accompany high rates of suicide?”

    Is it moral to perpetuate the myth that there’s something wrong with being gay, which leads to teenage suicide?

    “But false propaganda that says sodomy is a healthy sexual lifestyle can harm many, and should also be opposed.”

    Why limit your concern to gay sodomy? Shouldn’t we discourage straight sodomy, too, if it’s so dangerous?

    “I think your side is immorally spreading hurt by encouraging heterosexual youth to believe experimentation with homosex will not hurt them mentally, emotionally, psychologically or spiritually.”

    What could be more immoral than encouraging anyone who is gay to act as if they’re straight? They end up marrying a straight person, who probably doesn’t know they have married a gay person. The marriage is unsatisfying and ends in divorce. Who wins in this situation? Certainly not the children of divorced parents.

  83. Mark
    November 7th, 2010 at 06:03 | #83

    bman: “When I say homosex is a carnal and unfit behavior, I am judging it from its definition. ”

    No, you are judging it, period. Have you ever had homosex? Have you ever known anyone who had homosex? It is no more “carnal and unfit behaviour” then heterosex. THAT’S why it is judgmental and not descriptive.

    “I had a real world case in mind where a 13 year old girl was depressed because she felt pressured by peers at school to have homosex with another girl to be accepted.
    Must the parents view that as a good moral influence or you’ll call them judgmental?”

    One anecdotal story should not cause one to make an overall generalized statement. If the 13 year old girl was not gay, the parents should treat it as any other kind of peer pressure. Not judge it but deal with it.

    “When law permitted divorce and abortion, we saw widespread divorce and widespread abortion.”

    Prior to those laws being passed, for divorce: people who abandon each other, spouses beaten, have a facade of a family where none really existed. And for abortion: it WAS taken place. We just had hundreds of women who were rendered infertile or died due to shady back door abortionists. Again, that’s what I would call immoral.

    “In another discussion, Tar cited a report (comment #12) by the American College of Pediatricians (ACPEDS) that said, “…more than 85 percent of those who are attracted initially to the same sex will ‘ultimately adopt a heterosexual orientation if not otherwise encouraged.” ”

    SIgh, I won’t go into how biased ACPEDS is or the fact that is was formed as an anti-gay organization. Literature has long said that the vast majority of those with same sex attraction will adopt a heterosexual orientation. But, this has never been proven. Nor has exposure to homosexuality shown to increase those who are gay. Being gay or straight is an inborn trait, as much as hair color. Can hair color be changed? It’s appearance can but the underlying color is the same.

    As far as ACPEDS claims of more drug use, risky behavior in teens identifying as homosexual, has more to do with the ridicule, hatred (including self hatred, not at the behavior but because these kids are TOLD to hate what they are) and organizations like ACPEDs and NARTH then being homosexual.

    “Bullying and ridicule have been catalysts to gay teen suicides and must be opposed. ”

    Then you better change your tone because that is EXACTLY what you are doing. Deny it all you want, it won’t change the fact.

    “I think your side is immorally spreading hurt by encouraging heterosexual youth to believe experimentation with homosex will not hurt them mentally, emotionally, psychologically or spiritually.
    Also, your side encourages youth with same sex attractions to identify as gay when they are still at a stage of uncertainty, which they might otherwise have come out of.”

    My side? Really? You now take sides? My God man, open your eyes and read. This is all around us. PEOPLE DO NOT CHOOSE TO BE GAY. PEOPLE CANNOT BE CONVINCED TO BE GAY IF THEY ARE STRAIGHT. NOONE IS TRICKING KIDS OR ANYONE ELSE INTO BEING SOMETHING THEY AREN’T.

  84. Mark
    November 7th, 2010 at 06:15 | #84

    bman: “I am advocating that public approval should be given to rational and moral behavior, and it should be withheld from carnal behaviors that are known to be harmful.”

    Thank God you are not in charge. I do not approve of your so called “morality”. If more people like you speak out, we will have more and more kids killing themselves. That is a fact. Your hatred for gays and lesbians is apparent. Your ignorance regarding sexual orientation is immense.

    One more thing: “But false propaganda that says sodomy is a healthy sexual lifestyle can harm many, and should also be opposed. ”

    You better get out and start educating then because the vast majority of people who participate in sodomy (which, I assume you mean anal sex as you have failed to define this term) is being done by heterosexuals.

    When education deals with a sexual act, it can be done in a health, safe way. It is only when education/information is suppressed that it becomes unhealthy.

  85. bman
    November 7th, 2010 at 19:55 | #85

    Sean :
    bman: “The reason they can’t marry a same sex partner is because the same terms are applied to them that are applied to everyone, namely, marriage partners must have a complimentary reproductive biology to each other.”

    Sean: Nope, straight people also get to choose whom to marry, which is as much a part of getting married as the supposed opposite-sex requirement you choose to revere so much. If choice is a part of selecting a marriage partner, then it has to be applied equally to all.

    Per Justice Spina, who dissented in the Goodridge case, “choice is not the essential element” in the institution of marriage.

    I view it like an “if then” clause in a computer program.

    If x is true [society's purpose and conditions are met] then y [chosen partners may marry].

    In other words, the choice element is subordinate to society’s purpose for marriage. Choice is not the primary element.

    Remember, opposite-sex couples are only the result of straight people pairing off with someone of the sex they prefer for romance and sex. It’s not like straight people are marrying someone of the opposite sex in order to please the state.

    This seems to describe the “theory” of marriage you hold, upon which you also base other claims. It views marriage from an individualistic perspective, as if thats all there is to it.

    The New Funk and Wagnalls Encylopedia (1955 edition) gives a more complete picture, however.

    It says, “Marriage is essentially a social practice, entered into through a public act, and reflecting the purposes and the character of the society in which it is found.”

    So, when people enter marriage they do so as (1) a social practice rather than a mere contract between two individuals (2) a public act rather than a private act and (3) as reflecting the purposes and character of the society in which they live in contrast to the purposes and character of the two individuals (and so the choice of the couple is subordinate to society’s purpose for marriage).

    This is verified further by the fact first degree relatives are not free to choose the partner they want and polygamists can not choose the number of partners they want.

    In both cases, and in the case of same sex couples, the choice of the individual is subordinate to society’s purpose for marriage.

    The social model of marriage also provides the basis for denying same sex marriage.

    Society defines marriage to meet its purposes; its not couples that define marriage for society.

    They’re just doing what comes naturally, like right-handed people writing with their right hands. Why should they get special rights that go with marriage, just for doing what comes naturally?

    Special rights go with marriage because society wants to promote its purposes through marriage.

    Society wants a man and woman to have sex within marriage in obedience to God, morality, and to provide the practical means for ordered liberty.

    You may object that “obedience to God” violates separation of church and state, but I did not use the word “society” in the sense of “government” but in the sense of who the people are, which is distinct from their government.

    Government is not the society, its only the agent of the society.

    In my view same sex couples are not permitted to marry because (1) that goes against the spiritual and moral norms of the society (2) if the spiritual and moral norms of society that protect society are undermined the well being of the society is undermined (3) its not society’s purpose to mate the reproductive systems of same sex partners

    Ironically, it may also be in the best interest of the homosexual to support traditional marriage. If a same sex marriage law undermined the spiritual and moral norms of society, it could also remove the foundation for civil rights. It would be like a foolish man in a tree who sawed off the very branch he was sitting on and so he fell.

  86. Jamie
    November 7th, 2010 at 23:34 | #86

    Special rights go with marriage because society wants to promote its purposes through marriage.

    Society wants a man and woman to have sex within marriage in obedience to God, morality, and to provide the practical means for ordered liberty.

    Okay so, uh, why does barring same sex marriage change that? Just cause you give a kid a tetanus shot, they’re not going to walk on rusty nails. . . . Seriously, do you think this is going to turn people gay? Yes, there will probably be more openly gay people but those who are straight aren’t going to magically become gay.

  87. Sean
    November 8th, 2010 at 04:23 | #87

    “Per Justice Spina, who dissented in the Goodridge case, “choice is not the essential element” in the institution of marriage.”

    Well, it may not be the “essential element,” but it is certainly an essential element. We don’t have arranged marriages in this country. And who wouldn’t be sad to learn of someone who was forced (however that might happen) to marry someone he or she didn’t want to marry? It is silly and unrealistic to imply that it’s not important to have a choice in whom you’re marrying.

    “In other words, the choice element is subordinate to society’s purpose for marriage. Choice is not the primary element.”

    Well, then let straight couples know, too, that they are no longer guaranteed the right to marry the consenting adult of their choice. Removing choice from marriage seems like a radical redefinition to me though. And I know all too well that we don’t want to redefine marriage!

    ““Marriage is essentially a social practice, entered into through a public act, and reflecting the purposes and the character of the society in which it is found.””

    How does this definition imply that same-sex couples may not marry, if that is what you are arguing?

    “Society defines marriage to meet its purposes; it’s not couples that define marriage for society.”

    What purpose for marriage requires that same-sex couples not be permitted to marry, if that is what you are arguing?

    Apart from whatever you think about marriage that precludes same-sex couples from marrying, what about the legal requirement to treat all citizens equally? What weight, if any, does that carry? What about the welfare of children, who would be better off if their same-sex couple parents could marry (and create a more secure and stable family)? What about reducing the homophobia in society, which leads to violence against gay people, including young gay people, and sometimes despair so great gay people kill themselves?

    Doesn’t society have an interest in:

    1. Obeying its own laws
    2. Creating stable families
    3. Addressing violence against gay people
    ???

    I’m amazed at the collateral damage OSMers are willing to tolerate in order to keep marriage way from gay people. I think you need to really examine your values if you are willing to promote a public policy that hurts children.

  88. Chairm
    November 8th, 2010 at 05:06 | #88

    Pro-SSM thinking here is demonstrably stuck on stupid:

    Exhibit A: “There’s no hard-and-fast rule of what marriage is or isn’t.”

    And that is immediately contradicted by a declaration of what marriage isn’t.

    Exhibit B: “Marriage used to be a lifetime commitment. That’s no longer the case. That’s a huge change, a redefinition if you will.”

    Also note that in the SSM idea the private perception of marriage — the variable versions of “commitment” — are given higher standing than the societal significance of the social instution and hence the special reason for the special status of marriage.

    Private perception does not define the public meaning nor does it justify public status.

    For example: “Marriage used to be a lifetime commitment. That’s no longer the case.”

    On what basis is marriage no longer a lifetime commitment — if it depends on how the individual perceives marriage? Obvious contradiction right there. Supposedly the law changed and how the public meaning of marriage changed and that led directly to the widespread “huge change” in how individuals perceived marriage.

    So it is clear that the SSMer has some notion that the public significance of marriage, and how the public meaning can impact the private, individualized, perception of the social institution, is really at issue in the conflict between the marriage idea and the SSM iodea.

    When marriage means less, society pays a price.

    The SSM idea is thus defended in this way: “That and many other changes to marriage have made it viable to extend marriage to same-sex couples.”

    Once again, “same-sex couples” is a vague term and indicates that the SSMer cannot even bother to give much meaning to the SSM idea itself. Attaching SSM to the public status of the marriage idea necessarily requires that marriage mean less – to society and to the individual.

    Committment, for the SSM idea, excludes lifetime commitment, as per the thinking on display.

  89. Chairm
    November 8th, 2010 at 05:48 | #89

    Mark said: “Many in society would find that heterosex is also ‘carnal and unfit for public approval’.”

    You’ll need to unpack that statement for it does not stand as a mirror image of what bman has been discussing.

    1. Homosexed sexual behavior is not defined by the sexual orientation of the individual(s) engaged in that behavior; it is defined, and limited, by the lack of the other sex.

    2. Likewise, heterosexed sexual behavior is not defined by the sexual orientation of the indivudal(s) engaged in that behavior; it is defined, and expressed, by complementary sexual behavior.

    3. Not all man-woman sex is complementary nor conjugal.

    Just because a person identifies as hetersexual does not make non-carnal all sexual behavior performed by that individual.

    * * *

    SSMers typically do not make a moral argument in favor of same-sexed sexual behavior nor for the limited behavior (the lowest common denominator) that would be possible by all three scenarios: all-male, all-female, and male-female. Instead they retreat to neutral ground and declare moral arguments out of bounds.

    However, is there a moral argument in favor of same-sexed sexual behavior? If so, then, it should be voiced and tested on its merits and demerits.

    As for the case for the morality of conjugal relations, well, that is not the same as a moral argument for sexual behavior — any and all — performed together by persons of the opposite-sex. The sexual basis for marriage is opposite-sexed and the moral case for marriage is not based on the lowest common denominator of all-male, all-female, male-female sexual behaviors.

    When an SSMer shoots back that marriage defenders should not think so much about sex, well, we don’t really, but SSMers make their argumentation depend on a gay emphasis and, given their conflation of gay identity and same-sex sexual behavior, they ought to be prepared to make the case for the societal signifiance of sexual behavior — behavior that would be identical in the all-male, all-female, and male-female scenarios.

    But they are ill-prepared and so runaway from a forthright discussion of the moral basis for the societal preference for the marriage idea versus the SSM idea.

  90. Mark
    November 8th, 2010 at 08:48 | #90

    bman: “If a same sex marriage law undermined the spiritual and moral norms of society, it could also remove the foundation for civil rights”

    But SSM WON’T undermine society, in ANY way so your fear tactics are insulting.

  91. Heidi
    November 8th, 2010 at 11:59 | #91

    “Marriage is not based on ‘sexual orientation’ but its equally available to all based on their reproductive biology (one male one female).”

    If marriage were based on reproductive biology, then those who cannot reproduce should not be allowed to marry. Otherwise, they are defeating the alleged purpose of marriage, which apparently is only to reproduce. And yet, people reproduce without marriage every day in this country. And people marry without reproducing. Hmmm…what should we do about this? Shall we outlaw out-of-wedlock reproduction (more shotgun weddings, anyone?)? Shall we forbid infertile or elderly folks from getting married? Your definition of marriage is both overbroad and underinclusive. Oops. Still no good reason to prevent same-sex couples from exercising their fundamental right to marry one another.

  92. Greg
    November 8th, 2010 at 15:14 | #92

    Heidi :
    “Marriage is not based on ‘sexual orientation’ but its equally available to all based on their reproductive biology (one male one female).”
    If marriage were based on reproductive biology, then those who cannot reproduce should not be allowed to marry. Otherwise, they are defeating the alleged purpose of marriage, which apparently is only to reproduce. And yet, people reproduce without marriage every day in this country. And people marry without reproducing. Hmmm…what should we do about this? Shall we outlaw out-of-wedlock reproduction (more shotgun weddings, anyone?)? Shall we forbid infertile or elderly folks from getting married? Your definition of marriage is both overbroad and underinclusive. Oops. Still no good reason to prevent same-sex couples from exercising their fundamental right to marry one another.

    Your definition of marriage is a whim with no basis in prior human history nor in nature. On the other hand, for millennia, marriage has been understood in law, language and culture as a union between one man and one woman who perform coitus. Procreation (which may or may not result from coitus) has never been required for there to be a valid marriage, but coitus has for millennia been required. Only a man and a woman can perform coitus. Thus anyone who was infertile (whether elderly or not) could still marry so long as they performed coitus to consummate the marriage. An otherwise valid marriage could be annulled upon a showing that coitus had not occurred, which is a declaration that, in fact, the failure to perform coitus meant that no marriage had taken place.

    And, yes, a procreation can take place without a marriage, though until quite recently, if a man made a woman pregnant, he was often forced to marry her. This community expectation — with which you apparently have problems — had the very salutary effect of causing a couple to think very hard about the consequences of having sex before marriage, because it might well result in having to marry someone you didn’t want to marry. But our ancestors wisely understood that sex, marriage and children are all part of a package deal. It is only because we have separated the three that the notion of same-sex marriage is even possible. Yet the separation of the three has had disastrous consequences for society, most especially children.

  93. Jamie
    November 8th, 2010 at 15:23 | #93

    @Chairm

    However, is there a moral argument in favor of same-sexed sexual behavior? If so, then, it should be voiced and tested on its merits and demerits.

    Okay, I will. BUT FIRST! Homosexual attraction goes beyond physically and sexual attraction. It is just as much emotional and romantic as heterosexual attraction. It can not be changed by sheer will (except, /perhaps/ in extreme situations- I will not speak for everyone) nor is it a choice. It is largo decided in the womb and by other factors beyond the person’s control. To suggest that, just because someone was born one way, their love is inferior to those born another way, is quite close minded, unempathetic, and subjective. It is simply not a valid argument.

    Now, a moral argument for same sex marriage would go something like

    It has been demonstrated that romantic attraction is not dependent upon gender, and that physical attraction, though perhaps subjective to physical sex, are not consciously (or unconsciously) formed by the person of their own will. Therefore, to deny them rights just because it does nothing good for you is quite a selfish move. In fact, deny homosexual marriage legal recognition, along with various other false, slanderous, or hateful messages, is psychologically damaging to those who do not fit the gender norm. This matters because not only are you harming human’s, you are spreading falsehoods.

    There, pretty rough but eh.

  94. Jamie
    November 8th, 2010 at 15:43 | #94

    Your definition of marriage is a whim with no basis in prior human history nor in nature. On the other hand, for millennia, marriage has been understood in law, language and culture as a union between one man and one woman who perform coitus. Procreation (which may or may not result from coitus) has never been required for there to be a valid marriage, but coitus has for millennia been required. Only a man and a woman can perform coitus. Thus anyone who was infertile (whether elderly or not) could still marry so long as they performed coitus to consummate the marriage. An otherwise valid marriage could be annulled upon a showing that coitus had not occurred, which is a declaration that, in fact, the failure to perform coitus meant that no marriage had taken place.

    Uh. . . from every source I’ve read on this, thats not true. . . . Where did you hear that?

  95. Chairm
    November 8th, 2010 at 18:34 | #95

    Heidi you invoked rules of argumentation:

    1. “people reproduce without marriage” invoked the rule that if it something can occur outside of marriage, then, it is not a legitimate basis for eligbility to marry.

    2. “people marry without reproducing” invoked the rule that if something does not occur in each and every instance, then, it is not a legitimate basis for eligiblity to marry.

    Now, if these are your preferred rules for arguing against the core meaning of marriage, then, you will no doubt be very willing to apply those rules to challenge the SSM idea. Right?

    Same-sex sexual attraction, same-sex sexual behavior, and same-sex sexual romance all can and do occur outside of SSM wherever SSM has been enacted or imposed in law. Likewise, none of this is mandatory for those who’d SSM in such jurisdictions.

    So, what is the basis for SSM if not same-sex sexual attraction, same-sex sexual behavior, and same-sex sexual romance?

    The same-sex category includes the lone individual. So even the notion of two does not fit the SSM idea as neatly as your invoked rules might demand. You can’t even defend the limit of “two persons” against your invoked rules.

    Meanwhile, when people enter the social institution of marriage, they consent to all that marriage entails. They don’t consent to a little or a lot. Marital status is unconditional. The bride and groom consent to the sexual basis for consummation, annulment, adultery-divorce, and the presumption of paternity. The consent to integrate as man and woman. Their marriage entails the provision that each — husband and wife — is responsible for children born to their conjugal relationship and to each other as well. All of that kicks-in with their freely given consent to marry. None of that is applicable to the one-sexed scenario. This is the sexual basis for the special status of marriage in our customs, traditions, and laws.

    So, we have the man-woman criterion, enforced very well; and we have the marital presumption of paternity, also vigorously enforced. These provisions stand-up far better against your invoked rules than anything you might attribute to SSM. But if you expect a 100% guarantee, then, you are being highly unrealistic.

    There is no such guarantee for SSM; and certainly nothing at the core of the SSM idea that would differentiate it from nonmarriage, at law.

    SSMers like to say that SSM would use ineligiblity criteria based on age (yet some underaged people can and do marry while some age-eligible people do not marry), based on relatedness (yet some related people can and do marry while some related people do not marry even when they act on genetic sexual attraction), based on marital status (yet some previously married people can and do marry while polygamous and poylandrous people cannot marry even though they live as married). No 100% guarantee in those boundaries; and nothing within the SSM idea justifies drawing lines based on such criteria. There is no sexual basis for SSM, at law, so drawing lines based on some weak presumption of same-sex sexual behavior would be unjust, according to your invoked rules.

    In other words, Heidi, either you need to drop those rules as destructive of the SSM complaint, or stick to those rules and admit that your SSM complaint cannot be remedied without shifting to double-standards in favor of gayness. Maybe you have an alternative option?

  96. Sean
    November 9th, 2010 at 06:03 | #96

    “When marriage means less, society pays a price.”

    How is extending marriage rights to a group anxious to embrace it devaluing marriage, while legal and common divorce doesn’t?

    “The SSM idea is thus defended in this way: “That and many other changes to marriage have made it viable to extend marriage to same-sex couples.””

    Well, yeah. Now that marriage is about couples freely marrying for love in an arrangement based on equals, it’s perfect for same-sex couples! Oh, and the nation’s constitution requires treating all citizens equally: there’s not an exception for gay citizens that I can find in my copy of that important document.

    “Once again, “same-sex couples” is a vague term”

    Not really. It just means “a couple of the same gender” just as opposite-sex couple means “a couple of the opposite gender”.

    “Committment, for the SSM idea, excludes lifetime commitment, as per the thinking on display.”

    The OSM idea doesn’t have a lifetime commitment either: divorce is legal in all 50 states. Some people have the idea to commit for a lifetime, and are surprised to learn how easily that commitment dissolves during an unhappy marriage!

    “Your definition of marriage is a whim with no basis in prior human history nor in nature.”

    There’s nothing unprecedented in history or nature about a same-sex couple.

    “Only a man and a woman can perform coitus. Thus anyone who was infertile (whether elderly or not) could still marry so long as they performed coitus to consummate the marriage.”

    What value is there to society (other than the appeal to the Straight Supremacy Campaign) to reward coitus, whether procreative or not? Most straight people I know don’t need much incentive to have sex. So why reward that particular act? What’s the value to society to give special benefits to couples who can have straight sex, even if they can’t produce a baby?

    A fondness for sexual intercourse is a defining characteristic of straight people. So promoting sexual intercourse certainly appeals to Straight Supremacists but how is it valuable to society generally?

  97. Mark
    November 9th, 2010 at 06:45 | #97

    Greg: “Your definition of marriage is a whim with no basis in prior human history nor in nature.”

    Not true. In some societies, same-sex marriage has been allowed and has taken place. Homosexuality is also present in nature

    “On the other hand, for millennia, marriage has been understood in law, language and culture as a union between one man and one woman who perform coitus. Procreation (which may or may not result from coitus) has never been required for there to be a valid marriage, but coitus has for millennia been required.”

    I love how the definition is no longer procreation, but coitus. Interesting to see how the anti-SSM people continue to change their strongly held (“for a millennium”) ideas when they can’t defend the gaping holes in them.

    “Only a man and a woman can perform coitus.”

    Not true. The definition of coitus is sexual intercourse. It is often defined by penile-vaginal insertion but that is not it’s only definition. It’s originally meant “coming together”.

  98. bman
    November 9th, 2010 at 10:32 | #98

    Sean :
    Sean: There’s nothing unfit about homosexual behavior.

    Here’s a look at some statistics from data presented at CDC’s 2010 National STD Prevention Conference:

    “MSM [men who have sex with men] are the only risk group in the U.S. in which new HIV infections are increasing. While new infections have declined among both heterosexuals and injection drug users, the annual number of new HIV infections among MSM has been steadily increasing since the early 1990s.”

    The CDC also reported the rate of infection among MSMs is more than 44 times that of other men.

    Those statistics alone show MSM behavior is objectively more unfit than heterosexual behavior in terms of public and personal health risks.

    Although the CDC statistics deal directly with HIV infections, they indirectly show valuative problems among MSMs such as less moral restraint (possibly 44 times less) than that of the heterosexual population.

    Moral restraint of sexual behavior is, of course, essential to ordered liberty and of great value to the public.

    Thus, by direct statistics and the indirect implications of those statistics, MSM behavior is not similarly situated to heterosexual behavior and the public can not approve it on the basis of merit.

  99. bman
    November 9th, 2010 at 10:54 | #99

    Mark :
    Not true. In some societies, same-sex marriage has been allowed and has taken place. Homosexuality is also present in nature

    There is a declining tradition in a region of Sudan where an elderly woman who passed childbearing age could have children by mating her male relatives with multiple young women whom she marries.

    Its still based on heterosex and the society there is very much against homosex.

    Did you have another example in mind?

  100. bman
    November 9th, 2010 at 11:36 | #100

    Mark :
    Greg:“Only a man and a woman can perform coitus.”

    mark: Not true. The definition of coitus is sexual intercourse. It is often defined by penile-vaginal insertion but that is not it’s only definition. It’s originally meant “coming together”.

    Even if the word coitus derives from “coming together ” consummation of marriage requires “natural” intercourse and not unnatural or abnormal intercourse.

    The word consummate means to perfect or to complete. The reproductive system of a man and a woman are each incomplete when viewed separately, but they are viewed as complete when united.

    An act of sodomy between a man and woman would not picture them completing or perfecting each other.

    Since the body’s waste disposal system is already complete in itself without adding intercourse, and since using it for sex damages it, it does not picture intercourse but only pictures unnatural behavior.

    Thus, two men cannot consummate a marriage, nor can two women.

  101. bman
    November 9th, 2010 at 11:41 | #101

    Correction:

    Change “… it does not picture intercourse but only pictures unnatural behavior”

    to

    “…it does not picture a completion or perfecting of each other but only pictures unnatural behavior.”

  102. November 9th, 2010 at 11:52 | #102

    Mark :
    [...] In some societies, same-sex marriage has been allowed and has taken place.

    Examples, please? Specific examples, not just you pointing to a book that might discuss something somewhere in its pages.

    I love how the definition is no longer procreation, but coitus.

    Something unique about that you wish to share, or is it that Mark, who claims to be in the medical field, is unaware of the biology of our human reproductive organs and their sexual use to that end?

    Coitus is just the behavior that we observe that can eventually lead to children (hence it is a natural part of procreation).

    The definition of coitus is sexual intercourse. It is often defined by penile-vaginal insertion but that is not it’s only definition. It’s originally meant “coming together”.

    Context indicates that is how it is being used in this discussion. And it is only possible between a man and a woman, as defined medically and biologically.

  103. Mark
    November 9th, 2010 at 12:08 | #103

    bman: “Did you have another example in mind?”

    I’m sorry but the example you provide does not relate to the discussion nor does your question. What exactly are you asking?

  104. Mark
    November 9th, 2010 at 12:11 | #104

    bman: “Even if the word coitus derives from “coming together ” consummation of marriage requires “natural” intercourse and not unnatural or abnormal intercourse. ”

    Your bias against homosexuality is showing again. Homosex IS natural intercourse.

    “Since the body’s waste disposal system is already complete in itself without adding intercourse, and since using it for sex damages it, it does not picture intercourse but only pictures unnatural behavior.”

    WOW, I guess it’s just missionary for you! You are aware that the penis is also a “waste disposal system” ?

  105. bman
    November 9th, 2010 at 13:33 | #105

    Mark :
    bman: “Did you have another example in mind?”

    Mark: I’m sorry but the example you provide does not relate to the discussion nor does your question. What exactly are you asking?

    Since instructions on reading comprehension are beyond the scope of this blog, you may ignore that post.

  106. bman
    November 9th, 2010 at 13:39 | #106

    Mark :
    bman: “Even if the word coitus derives from “coming together ” consummation of marriage requires “natural” intercourse and not unnatural or abnormal intercourse. ”

    mark: Your bias against homosexuality is showing again. Homosex IS natural intercourse.

    Rather, your animus against the natural design of the body is showing.

  107. bman
    November 9th, 2010 at 15:52 | #107

    Mark :
    bman: “Did you have another example in mind?”

    mark: I’m sorry but the example you provide does not relate to the discussion nor does your question. What exactly are you asking?

    You said you knew of same sex marriage from other cultures.

    I described the example I knew about from Sudan. There, an elderly woman can marry multiple younger women so she can mate them with her male relatives to have children by them. Although its “a same sex marriage,” the only sex permitted is heterosex between the younger women and the male relatives of elder woman.

    I then asked if you had another examples of society-approved same sex marriage other than from Sudan.

    Its the same question On Lawn asked, when he said, ” Examples, please? Specific examples, not just you pointing to a book that might discuss something somewhere in its pages.”

  108. Mark
    November 9th, 2010 at 16:50 | #108

    On Lawn: “Examples, please? Specific examples, not just you pointing to a book that might discuss something somewhere in its pages.”

    Of course, On Lawn, books can be so cumbersome.

    “In the southern Chinese province of Fujian, through the Ming dynasty period, females would bind themselves in contracts to younger females in elaborate ceremonies.[51] Males also entered similar arrangements. This type of arrangement was also similar in ancient European history.[52]

    The first recorded mention of the performance of same-sex marriages occurred during the early Roman Empire.[53] These same-sex marriages were solemnized with the same ceremonies and customs which were used for heterosexual marriages.[54] Cicero mentions the marriage (using the Latin verb for “to marry”, i.e. nubere) of the son of Curio the Elder in a casual manner as if it was commonplace. Cicero states that the younger Curio was “united in a stable and permanent marriage” to Antonius.[55] Martial also mentions a number of gay marriages.[56] By Juvenal’s time, gay marriages seem to have become commonplace as he mentions attending gay marriages as if there were “nothing special.”.[57] These gay marriages continued until Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire. A law in the Theodosian Code (C. Th. 9.7.3) was issued in 342 AD by the Christian emperors Constantius II and Constans. This law prohibited same-sex marriage in ancient Rome and ordered that those who were so married were to be executed.[58][59]”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_same-sex_marriage#cite_note-54

    “Coitus is just the behavior that we observe that can eventually lead to children (hence it is a natural part of procreation).
    Context indicates that is how it is being used in this discussion. And it is only possible between a man and a woman, as defined medically and biologically.”

    So On Lawn defines a term and states that it MUST mean that because that’s how it’s being used in this context. However, it is not always defined in that matter, neither “medically” or “biologically”.

    From his other postings and his attempts to define words, I find On Lawn rather lacking in basic dictionary use and understanding.

  109. Mark
    November 9th, 2010 at 16:52 | #109

    bman: “Rather, your animus against the natural design of the body is showing.”

    And the “natural design of the body” shows us, what, exactly?

  110. Mark
    November 9th, 2010 at 17:12 | #110

    bman: Can you show any reference for your claims regarding the marriage arrangement in the Sudan? I am not able to find any sources to support these claims.

    As for examples of society-approved same sex, please see my post: November 9th, 2010 at 16:50 | #8

    And I noticed, bman, that you didn’t respond to my statement: “You are aware that the penis is also a “waste disposal system” ?”

  111. bman
    November 9th, 2010 at 20:00 | #111

    I responded three times but the system did not post any of them. Not sure why.

  112. Chairm
    November 9th, 2010 at 20:06 | #112

    Oye, Mark, your account of SSM is ahistorical. Surely you don’t depend on that speculative stuff when imagining SSM to be a good thing for the society in which you live.

  113. Chairm
    November 9th, 2010 at 20:13 | #113

    Jamie you changed the request for “a moral argument in favor of same-sexed sexual behavior” to your attempt at a moral argument in favor of SSM.

    Please note that an argument for moral neutrality is not a moral argument in favor of something.

  114. Chairm
    November 9th, 2010 at 20:17 | #114

    Those who’d form a one-sexed relationship would not enter marriage but some one-sexed alternative arrangement. Their choice to exclude the other sex is a liberty exercised, not a right denied; and that choice is for nonmarriage.

    Extending marriage? No, the SSM idea is a rejection of the marriage idea and not an extension of that which is directly rejected.

  115. bman
    November 9th, 2010 at 20:18 | #115

    Mark :
    Can you show any reference for your claims regarding the marriage arrangement in the Sudan? I am not able to find any sources to support these claims.

    There is a blog discussion located at:

    http://dyuol.websitetoolbox.com/post?id=1523160

    The post dated Jul 29, 2004 is representative:

    “One other thing, woman might be the one that arrange the marriage and pay the drollery, but from that point, she is out of it, her male relative would take over from here on simple as that. This culture does not relate to homosexual… if you twisted my words go back and reread my comment above; I said “homosexual is a “NO-NO in our culture” you heard!…”

  116. Chairm
    November 9th, 2010 at 20:21 | #116

    The special status of marriage is not “a reward” for coitus. But the SSMer has now revealed that the reflexive attempt to bookend or to mirror means that special status for SSM is openly promoted as a reward for same-sexed sexual behavior.

    And the pro-SSM arguments in courts and in other public forums clearly imagine that to be the purpose of the proposed merger of SSM and marriage. Yet there is no legal requirement for same-sexed sexual behavior where SSM has been imposed or enacted in law. The contradictions pile up when SSMers do the bookend or mirror thing in their rhetoric. That belies superificial thinking about law, justice, and marriage.

  117. Chairm
    November 9th, 2010 at 20:28 | #117

    The sexual basis for consummation is opposite-sexed and the SSM campaign does not propose a same-sexed criterion for consummating SSM that would be identical for the all-male and the all-female scenarios, much less for the husband-wife union.

    The sexual basis for consummation is the same as the sexual basis for the marital presumptoin of paternity, grounds for annulment, grounds for adultery, and the like. However, there is no sexual basis for SSM, at law.

    So sexual stuff does not distinguish SSM from the rest of nonmarriage. Besides, according to SSM argumentation, since same-sexed sexual behavior is not mandatory and not forced by Government authorities on each and every instance of SSM, where it has been imposed or enacted, that must mean that same-sexed sexual behavior is NOT the basis for SSM, at law.

    That is the corner that the SSMers have painted for themselves. And they want all of society to join them there. Heh.

  118. bman
    November 9th, 2010 at 20:51 | #118

    A brief research I just did seems to say the elder woman in Sudan only arranges for her male relative to mate with one” younger woman, so my previous statement about “multiple” young women may have been incorrect.

  119. November 9th, 2010 at 20:58 | #119

    Mark :
    On Lawn: “Examples, please? Specific examples, not just you pointing to a book that might discuss something somewhere in its pages.”
    Of course, On Lawn, books can be so cumbersome.
    “In the southern Chinese province of Fujian, through the Ming dynasty period, females would bind themselves in contracts to younger females in elaborate ceremonies.[51] Males also entered similar arrangements. This type of arrangement was also similar in ancient European history.[52]
    The first recorded mention of the performance of same-sex marriages occurred during the early Roman Empire.[53] These same-sex marriages were solemnized with the same ceremonies and customs which were used for heterosexual marriages.[54] Cicero mentions the marriage (using the Latin verb for “to marry”, i.e. nubere) of the son of Curio the Elder in a casual manner as if it was commonplace. Cicero states that the younger Curio was “united in a stable and permanent marriage” to Antonius.[55] Martial also mentions a number of gay marriages.[56] By Juvenal’s time, gay marriages seem to have become commonplace as he mentions attending gay marriages as if there were “nothing special.”.[57] These gay marriages continued until Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire. A law in the Theodosian Code (C. Th. 9.7.3) was issued in 342 AD by the Christian emperors Constantius II and Constans. This law prohibited same-sex marriage in ancient Rome and ordered that those who were so married were to be executed.[58][59]”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_same-sex_marriage#cite_note-54

    51, 52, are civil union type marriages.

    54, from the references I’ve read about Marc Antony, were referring to political banter, the equivalent of calling Marn Antony, Cicero’s b**ch, or just saying as the euphamism in politics goes, they were in bed together.

    56, 57, (and other Roman examples) were the equivalent of private contracts that they called marriages between themselves. But that is, admittedly, probably well enough said of procreational marriage at the time. While that might show parity, it really shows the poor state of marriage that it was nothing more than a private contract (meaning it doesn’t show parity to what traditional marriage means today either). None of this, mind you, is considered a part of a healthy society with a healthy view of marriage. That Rome fell considerably during these decades is a direct lesson of this time.

    58,59, now that is an example of same-sex marriage being illegal, unlike today.

    “Coitus is just the behavior that we observe that can eventually lead to children (hence it is a natural part of procreation).
    Context indicates that is how it is being used in this discussion. And it is only possible between a man and a woman, as defined medically and biologically.”
    So On Lawn defines a term and states that it MUST mean that because that’s how it’s being used in this context. However, it is not always defined in that matter, neither “medically” or “biologically”.

    Alright, where is an example of coitus not meaning that in a clinical or formaly medical setting? Both of the medical dictionaries I pointed to (as well as many of the common dictionaries) mentioned specifically that it involved the interactions of a male organ and a female organ.

    And that is what context is for, to establish based on how something is being used, what it must mean. I remember you calling the technical medical definition out-of-context where I was showing it had a technical medical meaning, and I’m still not sure how you came up with that conclusion.

    [... Schoolyard antics removed ...]

    Enough said.

  120. Mark
    November 9th, 2010 at 21:02 | #120

    Chairm: “Surely you don’t depend on that speculative stuff when imagining SSM to be a good thing for the society in which you live.”

    I have always been a fan of history. It tells us where we have come from. Surely you don’t depend on myth and fairy tales when imagining SSM to be a harmful thing for society?

  121. Mark
    November 9th, 2010 at 21:06 | #121

    bman: Ah, you base your argument on a 5 year old blog entry with no data to support it, no way to check up on it and no way to verify it. Interesting. Course, nothing in this blog entry says that it is same-sex marriage.

    In any case, I am sure I can find a blog that says same-sex marriage has been present in the US since it’s beginning and I guess you will just have to accept.

  122. Mark
    November 9th, 2010 at 21:10 | #122

    Chairm: “The special status of marriage is not “a reward” for coitus. But the SSMer has now revealed that the reflexive attempt to bookend or to mirror means that special status for SSM is openly promoted as a reward for same-sexed sexual behavior.”

    So, Chairm, why SHOULD marriage be considered a reward? Under what precise terms SHOULD a relationship be considered marriage. You spew a lot against SSMers but give no support to your ideas.

    “Yet there is no legal requirement for same-sexed sexual behavior where SSM has been imposed or enacted in law.”

    The same can be said for OSM.

    Sad, when one such as Chairm spends so much time attempting to discredit the “other side”, it’s because they have no evidence / data to support their own ideas.

  123. Sean
    November 10th, 2010 at 05:28 | #123

    This excerpt from Time magazine is informative:

    “The Iowa vote is just the latest evidence that elections are a terrible way of choosing judges — whether the decision is putting them in office or removing them. The Constitution’s framers, who were brilliant in their sense of how government power should be allocated, had a very different idea about judicial selection. They decided federal judges should be appointed by the President and confirmed by Congress — with the people getting no say of any kind. Federal judges would then have lifetime tenure, insulating the third and equal branch of government from the pressures of the political majority.

    If it sounds undemocratic, that’s because it is — and intentionally so. Judges decide what people’s fundamental rights are, and the founders understood that fundamental rights must not be put up for a popular vote. Judges are also responsible for protecting minority groups, which they might not be able to do if they had to answer to the will of the majority.”

    After the abuse of power in Iowa, all judges should have lifetime or long-term appointments!

  124. Mark
    November 10th, 2010 at 07:42 | #124

    On Lawn: “51, 52, are civil union type marriages.”

    And how do you come up with this “fact”?

    “While that might show parity, it really shows the poor state of marriage that it was nothing more than a private contract (meaning it doesn’t show parity to what traditional marriage means today either). ”

    You asked for examples, I provide them. If On Lawn chooses not to accept them, that’s his issue. But it also shows that marriage has not been the steadfast definition for millennium as people on this site seem to claim.

    “That Rome fell considerably during these decades is a direct lesson of this time.”

    Only after it converted to Christianity, On Lawn

    “58,59, now that is an example of same-sex marriage being illegal, unlike today.”

    LOL, no matter what denial land you live in On Lawn, same-sex marriage is just as illegal today in most states. Sad that the only way On Lawn would accept that FACT is if we were killing people. Rather a dramatic way to prove the fact.

    “I remember you calling the technical medical definition out-of-context where I was showing it had a technical medical meaning, and I’m still not sure how you came up with that conclusion.”

    To remind On Lawn, he removed definitions that did not meet up with his expectations. He only used those definitions that support his claim. Coitus is sexual intercourse. In many dictionaries (medical and other) they often give an example or refer to the heterosexual mode but this is not the only example. However, On Lawn has shown he gets confused when an example is given as if this is the only way the word can be defined.

  125. bman
    November 10th, 2010 at 08:12 | #125

    Mark :
    bman: Ah, you base your argument on a 5 year old blog entry with no data to support it, no way to check up on it and no way to verify it. Interesting. Course, nothing in this blog entry says that it is same-sex marriage.

    Mark: In any case, I am sure I can find a blog that says same-sex marriage has been present in the US since it’s beginning and I guess you will just have to accept.

    The link was FYI. Since you are not claiming it supports your view there is no need to argue that point.

  126. bman
    November 10th, 2010 at 11:33 | #126

    mark: And the “natural design of the body” shows us, what, exactly?

    In brief, the intestinal walls only have a thin layer of tissue that covers highly vascular (blood) tissue underneath.

    The thin layer is easily torn or ruptured by MSM intercourse and poses a high risk of HIV infection, in addition to other diseases.

    Your comment on urethral waste seems moot since the urethra is designed to pass sterile fluid from the kidney or reproductive fluids. There is no comparison to the intestinal waste system because its a contaminated environment easily damaged by intercourse.

  127. November 10th, 2010 at 11:46 | #127

    Sean :
    This excerpt from Time magazine is informative:
    [....]

    Yeah it informs me that the Time writer has delusions of taking away the American Democracy. On the other hand, I found this opinion to be much better informed and insightful…

    I believe judges should realize the people are watching. They should rule based on the Constitution, not based on their personal bias of what is socially acceptable today. When the judiciary feels totally unaccountable, it is easier for them to wander from the Constitution and develop an attitude that their duty is to shape society.

  128. November 10th, 2010 at 12:13 | #128

    Mark :
    [...]
    You asked for examples, I provide them. If On Lawn chooses not to accept them, that’s his issue.[...]

    Who says I didn’t accept them? I accept them all as forms of same-sex marriage, just like those that can be recognized with CU’s, DP’s RB’s and many types of private contracts.

    “58,59, now that is an example of same-sex marriage being illegal, unlike today.”
    [... antics removed ...] same-sex marriage is just as illegal today in most states. [...]

    There you have it, Mark is claiming same-sex marriages are being prosecuted with death by the government as in historic times.

    Either that or he considers the death penalty, and supporting something with a government program, to be equally prohibiting or forbidding of that action!

    Which is it Mark?

    “I remember you calling the technical medical definition out-of-context where I was showing it had a technical medical meaning, and I’m still not sure how you came up with that conclusion.”
    [... playground behavior removed ...] Coitus is sexual intercourse. In many dictionaries (medical and other) they often give an example or refer to the heterosexual mode but this is not the only example. [... juvinile baiting removed ...]

    Actually, make that no examples. Mark provided no medical dictionary that supports his claim, while all of the medical dictionaries I referenced supported that claim.

    Also lets work on the ambiguity of “sexual intercourse” which like marriage can refer to the man-woman version, and mean only the man-woman version. Rarely, if ever, especially in clinical use, is “sexual intercourse” used by itself without the qualifier “homosexual” to every mean homosexual intercourse.

    So a definition that says just “sexual intercourse” is not neccissarily supporting Mark’s claim. It likely doesn’t feel the audience would presume anything else than biological reproductive sexual intercourse (the one where sexes are combined, quite litterally and natrually how reproductive gametes come into contact with each other and combine together).

    Also, it is true Mark called those medical definitions I provided “out of context“, even though it was clearly unwarranted.

  129. Mark
    November 10th, 2010 at 12:15 | #129

    bman: “The link was FYI. Since you are not claiming it supports your view there is no need to argue that point.”

    That’s a real problem with the discussion regarding SSM. Someone will throw out a completely ridiculous claim, pontificate how it somehow discredits the SSM supporters and then, when told it is unsupportable, say it really isn’t that important. Yet, bman uses it as an example of societal approved same-sex marriage that is heterosex based. In the future, it would help the discussion to not use made up data to attempt to support your ideas.

  130. Sean
    November 10th, 2010 at 14:00 | #130

    “I believe judges should realize the people are watching.”

    That’s unfortunate, because that’s not how the American system works. That’s why federal judges are appointed for life, and hopefully, state judges will be, too. When the people think they are better at judging the constitutionality of laws than judges, you down the US is headed downhill fast!

    “They should rule based on the Constitution, not based on their personal bias of what is socially acceptable today.”

    It would be nice to learn of an example where a judge ruled based on what is socially acceptable, rather than what the Constitution requires. Does anyone have any examples?

    “When the judiciary feels totally unaccountable, it is easier for them to wander from the Constitution”

    Really? How? Why? If you’re hired to interpret the constitution, rather than the desires of the people, why would you wander from the constitution? It is a sad society indeed that punishes people for doing their jobs.

  131. Mark
    November 10th, 2010 at 14:58 | #131

    bman: “The thin layer is easily torn or ruptured by MSM intercourse and poses a high risk of HIV infection, in addition to other diseases.”

    Not to get too graphic here but have you ever defecated? The lining is not like tissue paper that bleeds with a little pressure.

    “There is no comparison to the intestinal waste system because its a contaminated environment easily damaged by intercourse.”

    That was not your point, bman. You used the term “waste disposal system” which is exactly what the urinary system is. (and, actually, “the urethra is designed to pass sterile fluid from the BLADDER or reproductive fluids.” it is the ureter that passes fluids from the kidney.)

  132. Mark
    November 10th, 2010 at 15:22 | #132

    On Lawn: “There you have it, Mark is claiming same-sex marriages are being prosecuted with death by the government as in historic times.”

    Wow, time for your meds, On Lawn. I never said anything of the sort. perhaps you need glasses?

    “Which is it Mark?”

    On Lawn, same-sex marriages are illegal – that is a FACT. I realize you can’t wrap your little brain around such a big concept, but it’s true none the less. Sad that you feel it’s necessary to equate illegal with deadly force. I just hope you don’t get caught speeding anytime in the future.

    “Mark provided no medical dictionary that supports his claim, while all of the medical dictionaries I referenced supported that claim.”

    Sigh, On Lawn again plays games and seems to forget previous discussions.
    This is but one site which defines “coitus”:
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/coitus

    On Lawn would have one ignore any definition which does not expressively mention male-female intercourse which, of course, is only part of the definition.

    “Also lets work on the ambiguity of “sexual intercourse” which like marriage can refer to the man-woman version, and mean only the man-woman version.
    Rarely, if ever, especially in clinical use, is “sexual intercourse” used by itself without the qualifier “homosexual” to every mean homosexual intercourse.”

    LOL, perhaps in clinical articles written prior to the last 50 years, “sexual intercourse” was used primarily to refer to male-female intercourse but not recently.

    However, let’s look at the term, shall we? Intercourse means communication between individuals; mutual dealings. That’s why in literature (such as Jane Austen) you will read about characters having social intercourse. Adding the word “sexual” before it, indicates one special type of intercourse. But, it is not gender specific.

    “It likely doesn’t feel the audience would presume anything else than biological reproductive sexual intercourse.”

    LOL, so men and women only have “sexual intercourse” with penile vaginal penetration? On Lawn, that is the most ridiculous thing you’ve claimed yet!

    sexual intercourse definition
    Function: n
    1 : heterosexual intercourse involving penetration of the vagina by the penis : COITUS
    2 : intercourse (as anal or oral intercourse) that does not involve penetration of the vagina by the penis
    Merriam-Webster’s Medical Dictionary, © 2007 Merriam-Webster, Inc.

    sexual intercourse n.
    1. Coitus between humans.
    2. Sexual union between humans involving genital contact other than vaginal penetration by the penis.

    The American Heritage® Stedman’s Medical Dictionary
    Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

    Just to cite a few.

  133. Jamie
    November 10th, 2010 at 17:09 | #133

    @Chairm

    . . . . If you can prove that heterosexual sex is moral, than I will concede that point.

    If something has no negative effects, and is no morally different than something which is considered normal, that there isn’t really a reason to deny it.

    And before you mention STD’s, lesbians are the least at risk for these.

  134. bman
    November 10th, 2010 at 19:19 | #134

    Mark :
    bman: “The link was FYI. Since you are not claiming it supports your view there is no need to argue that point.”

    Mark: That’s a real problem with the discussion regarding SSM. Someone will throw out a completely ridiculous claim, pontificate how it somehow discredits the SSM supporters and then, when told it is unsupportable, say it really isn’t that important. Yet, bman uses it as an example of societal approved same-sex marriage that is heterosex based. In the future, it would help the discussion to not use made up data to attempt to support your ideas.

    But it is an example of a society approved same-sex marriage based on heterosex.

    The “real problem” (referring to your words above) is you didn’t understand the context of the blog entires. And now you are “pontificating” and fault finding based on your misreading of the context!

    Misreading the context, by the way, seems to occur frequently in your replies. This would be another example of that.

    To establish, conclusively, that you misread the context, let us reference a third party by doing a search on the terms “Nuer” and “same sex marriage.”

    If you recall from the blog entries, they were discussing the marriage culture of the Nuer in Sudan.

    Here is an excerpt from a third party link:

    Traditional Same Sex Marriage in Africa: Woman-woman marriage has been documented in more than 30 African populations, including…. the Nuer of Sudan….Typically, such arrangements involved two women undergoing formal marriage rites…The woman who pays the bride price for the other woman becomes the sociological ‘husband’. The couple may have children with the help of a ‘sperm donor’, who is a male kinsman or friend of the female husband, or a man of the wife’s own choosing, depending on the customs of the community. The female husband is the sociological father of any resulting offspring…”

    There you have it in a nutshell. The Nuer have a same sex marriage tradition based on heterosex.

    And since this came from a simple web search based on words from the blog, it refutes your prior claim that, “…no way to check up on it and no way to verify it.”

    You also claimed, “…..Course, nothing in this blog entry says that it is same-sex marriage.”

    Let’s go to the blog itself then and see if that is true or false. The blog entries that you claimed said no such thing are linked here for reference.

    Title bar: When the page loads, the title bar at the top of the page says, “A woman marriage another woman in South Sudan. Will it not be considered a gay or lesbain.”

    Its broken English, mind you, but its clearly about woman-woman marriage in South Sudan and whether its gay or lesbian in nature.

    Let us move now to the first blog entry.

    1st blog entry: “According to our culture, a woman marry with another woman as her wife. …One man criticize this as a gay marriage, but according to our culture, although it may sound lesbainism in sense of two sex marrying each other, …. this woman marriage a woman because she has got no son or relative that can marry a girl…

    You say “nothing in this blog entry says that it is same-sex marriage.” Yet its in the title bar and in the very first blog entry.

    The blogger is speaking of his culture in Sudan regarding woman to woman marriage and says its not lesbian.

    2nd blog entry: “For long time women can married girl but not this time,nowaday if there is a woman who need girl for married, girl will be refused that marriege not anymore now ..”

    You missed this too. Its again describes “woman can married girl” but this blogger says its an old tradition.

    3rd blog entry:“I think this culture still exist, bringing a girl home to produce children for another woman does not necessarily mean homosexual….,I think we all know our culture very well, homosexual is NO-NO…”

    This blogger says the culture still exists, that he knows their culture very well, and that it does not approve of homosexuality

    And that should be enough to refute your claim that “nothing in this blog entry says that it is same-sex marriage.”

  135. bman
    November 10th, 2010 at 19:44 | #135

    I just found a reference that says the elder woman of the Nuer in Sudan can marry multiple wives:

    “An example of same sex marriages in another culture is woman marriage among the Nuer in Sudan…. If wealthy enough, the pater [elder woman] is able to marry as many women as she likes….”

    A few posts earlier, I did not find that so I was not sure if it was correct or not.

    Again this refers to an elder woman mating her male relative with her wife/wives so she can have children by them. Its not based on lesbianism.

  136. bman
    November 10th, 2010 at 19:52 | #136

    BTW I first encountered the Nuer marriage culture because a lesbian blogger used it as an example of lesbian marriage.

    Since that claim could occur again in other blogs, I thought it may help our side to know its based on heterosex and not lesbianism.

  137. bman
    November 10th, 2010 at 20:54 | #137

    Sean :
    It would be nice to learn of an example where a judge ruled based on what is socially acceptable, rather than what the Constitution requires. Does anyone have any examples?

    The FDR quoted before already confirmed its a general problem.

    We have, therefore, reached the point as a nation where we must take action to save the Constitution from the Court and the Court from itself. We must find a way to take an appeal from the Supreme Court to the Constitution itself. We want a Supreme Court which will do justice under the Constitution and not over it. In our courts we want a government of laws and not of men.

    I want – as all Americans want – an independent judiciary as proposed by the framers of the Constitution. That means a Supreme Court that will enforce the Constitution as written, that will refuse to amend the Constitution by the arbitrary exercise of judicial power – in other words by judicial say-so. It does not mean a judiciary so independent that it can deny the existence of facts which are universally recognized…..”

    The judges who dissented in the Goodridge case also said the court overreached its authority.

    Justice Spina:
    “What is at stake in this case is not the unequal treatment of individuals or whether individual rights have been impermissibly burdened, but the power of the Legislature to effectuate social change without interference from the courts…Today, the court has transformed its role as protector of individual rights into the role of creator of rights, and I respectfully dissent….

    “… today the court does not fashion a remedy that affords greater protection of a right. Instead, using the rubric of due process it has redefined marriage…..”

    “There is no basis for the court to recognize same-sex marriage as a constitutionally protected right.”

    “The court has extruded a new right from principles of substantive due process, and in doing so it has distorted the meaning and purpose of due process…”

    Justice Sosman:
    “…As a matter of constitutional jurisprudence, however, the case stands as an aberration. To reach the result it does, the court has tortured the rational basis test beyond recognition.”

    Justice Cody:
    “Because I find these conclusions to be unsupportable…..I respectfully dissent.

    “Because the rights and interests discussed above do not afford the plaintiffs any fundamental right that would be impaired by a statute limiting marriage to members of the opposite sex, they have no fundamental right to be declared “married” by the State.”

    “While the court, in interpreting a constitutional amendment, is not bound to accept either the views of a legislative commission studying and reporting on the amendment’s likely effects, or of public commentary and debate contemporaneous with its passage, it ought to be wary of completely disregarding what appears to be the clear intent of the people recently recorded in our constitutional history.”

    “The court recognizes this concern, but brushes it aside with the assumption that permitting same-sex couples to marry “will not diminish the validity or dignity of opposite-sex marriage,” and that “we have no doubt that marriage will continue to be a vibrant and revered institution.” Whether the court is correct in its assumption is irrelevant. What is relevant is that such predicting is not the business of the courts.”

  138. bman
    November 10th, 2010 at 22:15 | #138

    Mark :
    bman: “The thin layer is easily torn or ruptured by MSM intercourse and poses a high risk of HIV infection, in addition to other diseases.”

    mark: Not to get too graphic here but have you ever defecated? The lining is not like tissue paper that bleeds with a little pressure.

    A main reason HIV is 44 times higher among MSMs is because the intestinal wall is susceptible to tearing from the mechanical friction of MSM intercourse which results in bleeding from the vascular tissue underneath.

    Sodomy is so obviously different from a bowel movement in its mechanical thrusting motions and the stresses caused to the intestinal wall, its not even a reasonable comparison.

    You used a natural purpose for the intestinal system (elimination) to justify misuse of it (mechanical thrusting motion).

    bman: “There is no comparison to the intestinal waste system because its a contaminated environment easily damaged by intercourse.”

    Mark: That was not your point, bman. You used the term “waste disposal system” which is exactly what the urinary system is.

    This appears to be another example of you misreading the context.

    It is “the point” because we got into this discussion when I said this, “An act of sodomy between a man and woman would not picture them completing or perfecting each other. Since the body’s waste disposal system is already complete in itself without adding intercourse, and since using it for sex damages it, it does not picture intercourse but only pictures unnatural behavior.”

    Notice, “sodomy” was mentioned first followed by “the body’s waste disposal system” followed by “sex damages it.”

    All three clauses refer to the same thing. And since the male organ is not “damaged by sex,” only the intestinal system could fit all three clauses.

    Instead of answering me in the context of my argument, you went “around” it to discuss the “other” waste system.

    I simply redirected the discussion back to the intestinal system being damaged by sex.

    Mark:…and, actually, “the urethra is designed to pass sterile fluid from the BLADDER or reproductive fluids.” it is the ureter that passes fluids from the kidney.)

    Yes, the urethra passes urine “directly” from the bladder. I debated whether or not to say it that way but decided it was more important to identify the ultimate source for the sterility of the urine.

    Its like saying tap water comes “from” the nearby lake without mentioning all the other stages it passes “through.”

  139. Ruth
    November 10th, 2010 at 23:41 | #139

    Good work, bman.

  140. bman
    November 11th, 2010 at 03:54 | #140

    bman: Society wants a man and woman to have sex within marriage in obedience to God, morality, and to provide the practical means for ordered liberty.

    Jamie: Okay so, uh, why does barring same sex marriage change that? Just cause you give a kid a tetanus shot, they’re not going to walk on rusty nails. Seriously, do you think this is going to turn people gay? Yes, there will probably be more openly gay people but those who are straight aren’t going to magically become gay.

    Just like any individual, society wants to be who it is, preserve its spiritual identity, its tradition, its heritage, and the norms that benefit it.

    It should go without saying that a same sex marriage law is antithetical to society’s identity on those things.

    A same sex marriage law is not like a tetanus shot. Its more like injecting a virus (moral equivalence toward sex) into the legal system that will spread beyond the law to undermine morally superior norms that have protected this people.

    One morally superior norm would be “moral restraint of sexual behavior.” It needs to be a protected norm for the sake of ordered liberty.

    Another superior norm says, “marriage between a man and a woman is a matter of spiritual, moral, and social responsibility.” According to that norm, marriage is much more than “a private contract” between two individuals for their own reasons. Its a matter of what’s right before God, the community, and one’s own conscience. It, too, protects the society and so it, too, needs protection. Same sex marrige is antithetical to that as well, however.

    If these norms are collectively dismissed or forgotten, there is a national security risk from unwed childbirths, increased welfare costs, lawlessness, and drug use on a scale government cannot manage.

    And since government has no way to just restore these norms again, it cannot afford to take that risk. The generation raised on moral equivalence towards sex would emerge as a carnal society that required an Orwellian government.

    Lastly, you asked if it would turn people gay. It can’t be ruled out. A general theory of psychology says children in their development years are molded by peer pressure, their environment, and their experiences. There is no compelling research that says sexual orientation must be an exception to that rule. There is also research that seems to show children raised by lesbian mothers tend to be more inclined toward homosexuality.

  141. bman
    November 11th, 2010 at 04:23 | #141

    Addendum to the above:

    In 1998 the APA published a brochure “Answers to Your Questions about Sexual Orientation and Homosexuality” that said, “There is considerable recent evidence to suggest that biology, including genetic or inborn hormonal factors, play a significant role in a person’s sexuality.”

    However, in 2008, a new pamphlet “Answers to Your Questions for a Better Understanding of Sexual Orientation & Homosexuality”was issued.

    It said, “There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles…”

    Thus the claim of being “born that way” does not represent a consensus view.

  142. Sean
    November 11th, 2010 at 05:25 | #142

    “In our courts we want a government of laws and not of men.”

    Exactly. That’s why the vote in Iowa is so troubling. The judges there, all seven of them, judged the constitutionality of a law based on the state’s constitution. That was their job and even if you don’t like the outcome, they did their job correctly. There is no logic in saying you don’t like the decision they rendered therefore they didn’t do their job properly. And I hope you are not insinuating that it is proper to fire judges for rendering decisions that are unpopular.

    “That means a Supreme Court that will enforce the Constitution as written”

    Exactly. The Iowa Constitution says that all citizens must be treated equally under the law. Because of this, ALL SEVEN judges on the Supreme Court, as well as a lower court judge, all found Iowa’s marriage statute in violation of the state’s constitution.

    So eight Iowa judges all misunderstood what their state’s constitution said. And they all overstepped their authority, and “found a new right” or “legislated from the bench,” or whatever other nonsense catch phrases the right wing is using these days?

    Have you read the Iowa constitution and the Varnum decision? Where do you disagree with their legal reasoning, and why do you think that merits getting fired?

  143. Mark
    November 11th, 2010 at 06:15 | #143

    bman: Thank you for providing a link or source to attempt to support your claim. But, according to the reference you provide, it sounds like a typical lesbian relationship in the states. I see nothing that it is based on heterosex. It sounds like two women who make a committed relationship to each other. If they have children, they get a donor but the woman who is the designated husband becomes the father and the sperm donor has no claim to the child.

    Actually, this provides support for SSM more than your point.

    And, for all the other posters saying it has nothing to do with a lesbian relationship, that is still what it appears to be. Now, if a culture says that homosexuality is illegal, can even be severely punished, no one would admit that that is what the relationship is but will come up with another way to define it. It is still two women, married, with no reference of to heterosex.

    “And that should be enough to refute your claim that “nothing in this blog entry says that it is same-sex marriage.”

    You do realize, don’t you, that the paragraph you posted comes from this source (according to the site you reference): Carrier and Murray, “Woman-woman marriage in Africa”, Boy-wives and Female Husbands: Studies of African Homosexualities, ed. Stephen O. Murray and Will Roscoe, p256-257 ?

    Clearly, they are referring to homosexual relationships regardless of what the posters say.

  144. Mark
    November 11th, 2010 at 06:28 | #144

    bman: “Again this refers to an elder woman mating her male relative with her wife/wives so she can have children by them. Its not based on lesbianism.”

    I have gone to this site as well. This woman-woman marriage (or multiple women marriage) says nothing about heterosex other than if the couple wants to have children, they use a male. It also does not mention that one is an elderly woman. You can attempt to look at these relationships as not being based on lesbianism but you would have to use some rosy colored glasses. There is no mention of heterosex (other than to produce children), no mention that it is done in a heterosexual way and has everything to do with a lesbian relationship.

    Please show where you claim it is based on heterosex because nothing in either site indicates that.

  145. November 11th, 2010 at 09:49 | #145

    Sean :
    “I believe judges should realize the people are watching.”
    That’s unfortunate[1], because that’s not how the American system works[2]. That’s why federal judges are appointed for life, and hopefully, state judges will be, too[3]. When the people think they are better at judging the constitutionality of laws than judges, you down the US is headed downhill fast[4]!

    1) Funny that Sean considers accountability to the people to be “unfortunate”. It is unfortunate for many situations, but they all involve imposing the rule onto the people, rather than letting the government be of the people, for the people, and by the people.

    2) Also interesting conjecture. Is Sean saying that the vote was illegal? Was it unconsitutional? Or is Sean simply stating that voting is okay, but voting no is unconstitutional/illegal?

    3) Good point, we should be able to repeal bad federal judges too.

    4) Anytime you consolidate such power to the group of a few, absolute power corrupts… I trust the people more, I trust dispersing power to as many people as possible. Our nation is one of democracy, after all. If you don’t trust democracy, go ahead and move to some feudal, aristocratic, or despotic where you can safely feel protected by your rulers. From what I see, our system of democracy works far better than those examples of elites who know better than their people.

    “They should rule based on the Constitution, not based on their personal bias of what is socially acceptable today.”
    It would be nice to learn of an example where a judge ruled based on what is socially acceptable, rather than what the Constitution requires. Does anyone have any examples?

    Iowa, in striking down marriage equality — the equal recognition of the rights and responsibilities of the man, woman, and child they potentially have together. Their constitution, is similarly worded in California where they found that Prop 8 didn’t violate the equal protection clause. They even changed their minds, after striking down Prop 22 only to see it elevated to the constitution as Prop 8 by the people.

    The people taught the judges a lesson, they do not conflict, and then they saw the light. We can all hope that is the end we have in store in Iowa also.

    “When the judiciary feels totally unaccountable, it is easier for them to wander from the Constitution”
    Really? How? Why? If you’re hired to interpret the constitution, rather than the desires of the people, why would you wander from the constitution? It is a sad society indeed that punishes people for doing their jobs.

    Unaccountability means people don’t have to do their jobs :) That is why we need to hold them accountable! Iowa is a great success story of judges feeling the corruption of absolute power, and the people rising up to remind them they are still accountable to the constitution, not their own political ideologies.

  146. November 11th, 2010 at 10:10 | #146

    Mark :
    On Lawn: “There you have it, Mark is claiming same-sex marriages are being prosecuted with death by the government as in historic times.”
    [... playground banter removed ...] I never said anything of the sort. [... also removed for being childish ...]

    Nothing of the sort? Here’s the conversation and context…

    [Wikipedia: >>>] A law in the Theodosian Code (C. Th. 9.7.3) was issued in 342 AD by the Christian emperors Constantius II and Constans. This law prohibited same-sex marriage in ancient Rome and ordered that those who were so married were to be executed.
    [On Lawn: >>] “now that is an example of same-sex marriage being illegal, unlike today.”
    Mark: > same-sex marriage is just as illegal today in most states.

    Enough said.

    “Which is it Mark?”
    On Lawn, same-sex marriages are illegal – that is a FACT. [... playground tirade removed ...]

    Not just illegal, you said “just as illegal”. So where we have CU’s, DP’s and other forms of same-sex marriage as full government institutions, you are the one that said it is “just as illegal” as when they were executed. Either you “[are] claiming same-sex marriages are being prosecuted with death by the government as in historic times.” Or you “consider[] the death penalty, and supporting something with a government program, to be equally prohibiting or forbidding of that action!”

    Which is it?

    “Mark provided no medical dictionary that supports his claim, while all of the medical dictionaries I referenced supported that claim.”
    [... more schoolyard invectives removed ...]This is but one site which defines “coitus”:
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/coitus

    That is a site with many dictionaries, a great one to reference! And as already noted in previous converrsations, every medical dictionary in that reference agrees with me on what the technical medical defintion involves a male and a female organ. When will Mark provide a medical dictionary that shows contrary? (The reader can verify this for themselves, just be reading the link)…

    [... more play-yard inflammatory comments removed ...] male-female intercourse [...] is only part of the definition.

    Actually this is also wrong. It is a complete definition, one of a few distinct definitions offered.
    And the only technical and medical definition offered, which is important in establishing the medical understanding of what infertility is.

    “Also lets work on the ambiguity of “sexual intercourse” which like marriage can refer to the man-woman version, and mean only the man-woman version.
    Rarely, if ever, especially in clinical use, is “sexual intercourse” used by itself without the qualifier “homosexual” to every mean homosexual intercourse.”
    [... banter removed ...] clinical articles written prior to the last 50 years, “sexual intercourse” was used primarily to refer to male-female intercourse but not recently.

    Just as I said. Actually even recently I’ve not seen an example of “sexual intercourse” to mean any type of sexual gratification, and if they do mean anything other than specific intercourse between specific organs of a man and a woman, they qualify it with a term like “homosexual” or mentioning other organs involved at least somewhere in the paper.

    Now, I haven’t read all clinical studies, so if Mark is aware of a contrary example he should feel free to share.

    However, let’s look at the term, shall we? Intercourse means communication between individuals; mutual dealings. That’s why in literature (such as Jane Austen) you will read about characters having social intercourse. Adding the word “sexual” before it, indicates one special type of intercourse. But, it is not gender specific.

    Evidence to the contrary provided by Mark above, since his reference Jane Austen is older than the last 50 years.

    “It likely doesn’t feel the audience would presume anything else than biological reproductive sexual intercourse.”
    [ ... childish banter removed...]
    sexual intercourse definition
    Function: n
    1 : heterosexual intercourse involving penetration of the vagina by the penis : COITUS
    2 : intercourse (as anal or oral intercourse) that does not involve penetration of the vagina by the penis
    Merriam-Webster’s Medical Dictionary, © 2007 Merriam-Webster, Inc.
    sexual intercourse n.
    1. Coitus between humans.
    2. Sexual union between humans involving genital contact other than vaginal penetration by the penis.
    The American Heritage® Stedman’s Medical Dictionary
    Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
    Just to cite a few.

    Thanks for proving my point! Mark, do a bit of research on how defintions are ordered in a dictionary :)

  147. Sean
    November 11th, 2010 at 11:14 | #147

    “Funny that Sean considers accountability to the people to be “unfortunate”.”

    Sad that OnLawn prefers mob rule to the rule of law.

    “Is Sean saying that the vote was illegal?”

    No, but reasons for voting matter. When someone votes for a misguided or uninformed reason, that’s a problem. What we learned is that Iowa voters can be persuaded to ignore the workings of the American system of government if there’s an issue that’s near and dear to their hearts. Yet no constitution creates an exception to the rule of law “if you feel really strongly about an issue”!

    “Good point, we should be able to repeal bad federal judges too”

    Yikes, you can’t possibly be an American to so badly misunderstand our system of government! I recommend going to a library in whatever country you live and get a book about the American system of government, maybe compare it to the government of the country you’re from.

    “Anytime you consolidate such power to the group of a few, absolute power corrupts”

    Well, then change the American system of government. I wonder why the founders created the system of government they did, where judge’s rule on the constitutionality of laws, or a president or governor can veto a law as he pleases? Didn’t they worry about “absolute power’s” corruptive power?

    “I trust the people more, I trust dispersing power to as many people as possible.”

    Translation: “I like mob rule on some things!”

    “The people taught the judges a lesson, they do not conflict, and then they saw the light. We can all hope that is the end we have in store in Iowa also.”

    Mob rule may not have “taught” the judges anything, as future judges may actually be kinder to same-sex rulings in order to exact their own revenge against people interfering with them doing their jobs. Talk about the law of unintended consequences!

    “Iowa is a great success story of judges feeling the corruption of absolute power, and the people rising up to remind them they are still accountable to the constitution, not their own political ideologies.”

    Naw, Iowa just made the people of Iowa look ignorant of America’s system of government, makes people like you look stupid about America’s system of government, lets people like me further damage the credibility of people like you, who are ignorant of America’s system of government, and further advance the cause of marriage equality!

    Iowan’s did nothing to get rid of marriage equality; it’s still legal. They did, however, let themselves be used by outside forces to “make a point” to judges in other states about ruling on equal rights for gay citizens. It will be interesting to see if judges feel the need to kowtow to the ignorant masses!

  148. Mark
    November 11th, 2010 at 11:31 | #148

    For the record, the following are facts that On Lawn refuses to accept:
    1). same-sex marriage is illegal (he justifies this by saying it isn’t illegal if people aren’t killed)

    2). Sexual intercourse is sexual contact between two people, gay or straight. (Not ONLY between a man and a woman – despite countless examples to the contrary, as is shown above. And clinical studies do not ALWAYS qualify sexual intercourse between members of the same sex with the term “homosexual intercourse”. Notices he fails to provide even one example of a clinical study to support this “fact”)

    3). CUs, DPs, RBs are NOT the same as same-sex marriage. (despite this fact being proven: http://www.hrc.org/issues/5517.htm)

    The rest is all wasted commentary.

  149. November 11th, 2010 at 14:17 | #149

    Sean :
    “Funny that Sean considers accountability to the people to be “unfortunate”.”
    Sad that OnLawn prefers mob rule to the rule of law.

    Sadly Sean considers democracy “mob rule”. Democracy is not a source of lynching and intimidation, it is a place for dialog and discourse, self rule and self-accountability.

    “Is Sean saying that the vote was illegal?”
    No, but reasons for voting matter[1]. When someone votes for a misguided or uninformed reason[2], that’s a problem. What we learned is that Iowa voters can be persuaded to ignore the workings of the American system of government if there’s an issue that’s near and dear to their hearts[3]. Yet no constitution creates an exception to the rule of law “if you feel really strongly about an issue”[1]!

    1) One of the problems of the Walker court decision. It tries to invalidate votes based on the motivations of the voter, which invites (as Walker used it) guilty-until-proven-innocent harranging of voter intent in a kangaroo court. The voters don’t have the animus ascribed to them, but if the Judge suspects it anyway due to the unverifiable nature of our thoughts and feelings, they can ram the decision they want through in any case.

    All the more reasons to question just what they are up to.

    2) Well, then the discussion is moot since the Iowa people didn’t suffer from being misinformed, or having illegal motives.

    3) The same system that provided the names on the ballot for them to vote for or not?

    “Good point, we should be able to repeal bad federal judges too”
    [... school yard insults removed ...]

    Well, without any credible or verifiable argument to the contrary, my point stands. We should be able to repeal bad federal judges too.

    “Anytime you consolidate such power to the group of a few, absolute power corrupts”
    Well, then change the American system of government[1]. I wonder why the founders created the system of government they did[2], where judge’s rule on the constitutionality of laws[3], or a president or governor can veto a law as he pleases[4]? Didn’t they worry about “absolute power’s” corruptive power[5]?

    1) What suggestions do you offer?

    2) To create a government that was small enough to make quick executive decisions, representative enough to make good legislation that reflects the will of the people, and legitimate enough to resolve disputes. It was primarily set up to promote a government accountable ultimately to the people.

    3) And the people want them to do that, and vote them out when they don’t.

    4) And the people vote them out when they do that in a way that they don’t agree with.

    5) Not when they can hold them accountable to the people.

    “I trust the people more, I trust dispersing power to as many people as possible.”
    Translation: “I like mob rule on some things!”

    Mob rule isn’t about dispersing power, it is about thuggery and intimidation to rule over others. Democracy is about dispersing power to everyone, equally, with one vote each.

    “The people taught the judges a lesson, they do not conflict, and then they saw the light. We can all hope that is the end we have in store in Iowa also.”
    Mob rule may not have “taught” the judges anything, as future judges may actually be kinder to same-sex rulings in order to exact their own revenge against people interfering with them doing their jobs. Talk about the law of unintended consequences!

    Wow, Sean just described the judiciary acting like a mob of black robed avengers getting back at the people for thinking they have a say. The question is, if they did do that, how would that look any differently than it did in the Iowa court room?

    “Iowa is a great success story of judges feeling the corruption of absolute power, and the people rising up to remind them they are still accountable to the constitution, not their own political ideologies.”
    [... various name calling removed, but the point was Sean thinks they don't understand Iowa government ...][1] and further advance the cause of marriage equality[2]!

    1) Actually, I applaud them for knowing they live in the USA, rather than Soviet Russia, where they are given a vote because we do care what they have to say, rather than giving them a vote but making certain votes illegal.

    2) Yes, further marriage equality — the equal recognition of the rights and responsibilities of the man, woman, and chilren they potentially have together!

    Iowan’s did nothing to get rid of marriage equality[1]; it’s still legal[2]. They did, however, let themselves be used by outside forces[3] to “make a point” to judges in other states about ruling on equal rights for gay citizens[4]. It will be interesting to see if judges feel the need to kowtow to the ignorant masses[5]!

    1) Yep, it was the judges that got rid of marriage equality by removing it away from its recognition of the value of the unique relationship men and women have, and the children they potentially have together. That is why they were removed, that was out of line with what the constitution said.

    2) Marriage equality is still legal, people are free to join into households where they do recognize the equal rights and responsibilities of the man, woman, and child they potentially have together. It just isn’t recognized anymore by the government who is not blind to see anything unique about that relationship, because marriage is now modeled after what same-sex couples can do — and that is the new norm.

    3) Used by outside forces? Sounds like the red-scare all over again.

    4) Yep, and that point is gays equal rights are not in conflict with marriage expecting equal gender representation, one man and one woman.

    5) You should look up the history of the word kowtow, and who the black-robed wearing people were in that story.

  150. November 11th, 2010 at 15:00 | #150

    Mark tried to reset the conversation back to square one. Let me bring us back up to speed.

    Mark :
    For the record, the following are facts [... antics removed to get at the facts ...]
    1). same-sex marriage is illegal [...]
    2). Sexual intercourse is sexual contact between two people, gay or straight. [...]
    3). CUs, DPs, RBs are NOT the same as same-sex marriage.[...]
    [...]

    1) Facts:
    a) There is no law forbidding a same-sex couple from having a wedding ceremony and living their lives together, and considering it a marriage.
    b) CU’s, DP’s, RB’s and many private contracts are all types of same-sex marriage. Many same-sex couples in those relationships call themselves “married”, have had weddings to commemorate their CU’s etc…, and they were even pushed by the ACLU as same-sex marriage. News reports have headlined where CU’s etc… have been enacted as a form of marriage.

    The lack of any law forbidding same-sex marriages, and the presence of laws that recognize same-sex marriages, prove that same-sex marriage is legal.

    2) Fact:
    a) Mark above noted that, ‘clinical articles written prior to the last 50 years, “sexual intercourse” was used primarily to refer to male-female intercourse’
    b) Dictionaries that Mark provided above note that sexual intercourse has been (and still can be) considered to mean specifically between specific male and female organs.
    c) Dictionaries provide many definitions for a word, because in different contexts they can mean different things. The presence of a dictionary definition means that a word can and is used to mean that, and only that, definition. Other instances might use other definitions.
    d) Clinical studies are done by professionals who are trained to apply rigor to their methodologies and definitions to remove any ambiguity where it might be present. It would be considered sloppy for them to use a phrase like “sexual intercourse” ambiguously if it was important to the methodology or interpretation of the study.
    e) I have not contested Mark’s claim that studies exist which use unqualified forms of “Sexual intercourse” to mean a specific interaction between specific organs of a man and a woman. I accept them without having to provide any examples to their existance.
    f) I have contested Mark’s unsupported claim that unqualified “sexual intercourse” has been used ambiguously to mean something that could be between any combination sexual organs. It is true, I’ve not found any that fit that criteria, and Mark is free to show examples to support his claim.

    Since “sexual intercourse” is explicitly defined in each of Mark’s provided dictionary entries as being between specific organs of a man and a woman, it is correct to state that when it is used alone it can be a valid interpretations of that word. Hence “sexual intercourse” on its own in a study or other dictionary reference is not enough to say it had to mean between any combination of sexual organs.

    3) Facts:
    a) CU’s DP’s etc.. are forms of same-sex marriage (see #1, also note the definition below of that same-sex marriage is simply a form of marriage where the people are of the same gender).

    a similar institution involving partners of the same gender: gay marriage.

    CU’s, etc… are all similar institutions involving partners of the same gender.

    b) They are not marriage, however, which is rooted in human biology — specifically mating — which requires the integration of a man and a woman.
    c) They are not marriage equality, because that is only possible between a man and a woman in a marriage where they equally recognize each other rights and responsibilites, as well as the child they potentially have together.

    Since CU’s etc… meet the definition of gay or same-sex marriage, and they are recognized as such by participants and organizations who promoted them, it is reasonable to call them forms of same-sex marriage.

  151. Sean
    November 11th, 2010 at 15:13 | #151

    “Sadly Sean considers democracy “mob rule”.”

    Sadly, OnLawn doesn’t know the difference between democracy and mob rule.

    “it is a place for dialog and discourse, self rule and self-accountability.”

    And, evidently in OnLawn’s mind, if you don’t agree with me, you lose your job!

    “It tries to invalidate votes based on the motivations of the voter”

    It did no such thing. It used the evidence presented by the lame Prop 8 defense, including William Tam’s notorious “because it’s on the Internet!” rant to invalidate a state constitution amendment. No votes were invalidated. Walker followed the US Supreme Court’s lead when they invalidated a Colorado amendment based on voter animus, remember???

    “since the Iowa people didn’t suffer from being misinformed”

    Yes, they were misinformed: they believed, either though ignorance or advertising by outside groups like NOM, that judges who hand down rulings don’t like should be fired.

    “What suggestions do you offer?”

    None. I think the system works just fine, mostly. The problem is, many American voters don’t know how the system works, and are easily influenced by hate groups, like NOM.

    “It was primarily set up to promote a government accountable ultimately to the people.”

    You are an idiot! Why do you say this stuff?! Have you ever taken an American government course? The American system of government was designed to protect citizens from an over powerful government: to limit the power of government. So now that the judges have been fired, is gay marriage illegal in Iowa? Well? So if accountability is what you seek, did you get it?

    “Mob rule isn’t about dispersing power, it is about thuggery and intimidation to rule over others.”

    You mean like when straight people insist that they are allowed to marry, but gay people aren’t?

    “Wow, Sean just described the judiciary acting like a mob of black robed avengers getting back at the people for thinking they have a say.”

    Would you blame them? Three of their colleagues got fired for doing what they were appointed to do: interpret the constitution of the jurisdiction they preside over. Judges are human, too. Don’t expect proper behavior from them when the people themselves act improperly.

    “The question is, if they did do that, how would that look any differently than it did in the Iowa court room?”

    It would be different in that in Iowa, the judges were using the state’s constitution to determine if a law was constitutional or not. All seven judges, ALL SEVEN, plus a lower court judge, found that Iowa’s constitution would not permit marriage discrimination.

    Now, however, some judges might just err on the side of same-sex marriage, even if their own state constitutions are not phrased as the Iowa one is. Or they might find against a religious group. Call it payback.

    Keep in mind the old axiom, “You get the government you deserve.” After Iowa, don’t be so sure judges are necessarily looking out to protect YOUR rights!

    “it was the judges that got rid of marriage equality by removing it away from its recognition of the value of the unique relationship men and women have, and the children they potentially have together.”

    While I applaud your creativity, you do not understand what the term “marriage equality” means.

    “It just isn’t recognized anymore by the government who is not blind to see anything unique about that relationship, because marriage is now modeled after what same-sex couples can do — and that is the new norm.”

    English, please.

    “Used by outside forces? Sounds like the red-scare all over again.”

    I know! I thought the same thing, some New Jersey-based hate group coming into Iowa and running ads pertaining to Iowa political issues. And look at the mess it caused! What a tough lesson for the good people of Iowa.

    “gays equal rights are not in conflict with marriage expecting equal gender representation, one man and one woman.”

    Exactly: straight people can still get married when same-sex marriage is legal. People like you, who thing that marriage equality means opposite-sexness, can still marry someone of the opposite-sex, so you can feel equal to someone of the opposite-sex (did I get that right?).

  152. Chairm
    November 11th, 2010 at 16:12 | #152

    Mark said: “why SHOULD marriage be considered a reward? Under what precise terms SHOULD a relationship be considered marriage.”

    You tell me.

    Marriage is a social institution, first and foremost, and it merits its special status due to its core meaning. That core is what differentiates marriage from other types of relationships and other types of living arrangements.

    When people enter that social institution the consent that matters includes that of the participants and that of society. Societal regard for the core meaning of marriage is at stake. Hence the conflict between the marriage idea and the SSM idea.

    * * *

    Okay, so now Mark concedes that according to his own rules of argumentation the SSM idea lacks a sexual basis.

    Meanwhile the sexual basis for marriage is well-expressed in our laws.

  153. Chairm
    November 11th, 2010 at 16:16 | #153

    The core of marriage: 1) sex integration, 2) provision for responsible procreation, and 3) these combined as a coherent whole (i.e. as a foundational social institution).

    The SSM idea lacks coherency as per the rampant transgression of the rules of argumentation that SSMers use to demand the merger of marriage with SSM (which is evidently a subset of nonmarriage). The SSM idea is not foundational to civil society. It is sex-segregative rather than integrative; it cannot provide for responsible procreation and the unity of fatherhood and motherhood.

    The SSM idea stands outside of, and against, the marriage idea. The conflict is between these different ideas.

  154. Chairm
    November 11th, 2010 at 16:30 | #154

    Jamie, said: “If you can prove that heterosexual sex is moral, than I will concede that point.”

    I did not use the hetero-homo dichotomy. I was explicit about that.

    However, could you be more clear: what is the point you would concede?

    * * *

    Jamie, you said that “If something has no negative effects, and is no morally different than something which is considered normal, that there isn’t really a reason to deny it.”

    No negative effects? None? Is that a realistic standard, Jamie? Surely no sexual behavior would meet it — including same-sex sexual behavior.

    That does not sound like a moral argument in favor of same-sex sexual behavior. Is this the point you are conceding, perhaps?

  155. Chairm
    November 11th, 2010 at 17:06 | #155

    Precise terms?

    Society responds to the core of marriage. It draws boundaries around that core. It is the core of marriage which justifies the boundaries even thought these boundaries will vary somewhat from society to society.

    The SSM idea has no sexual basis in the law. So you can’t justify the lines drawn against some related people.

    Marriage has a sexual basis in the law — see the sexual basis for the marital presumption of paternity for an obvious example (and it does not fit the same-sex relationship, sexualized or not); and so boundaries are drawn in good part based on the conjugal relationship being a public sexual type of relationship. The sexual basis is both deeply private and societally significant. This is exemplified in laws regarding sexual consummation and annulment provisions. The bride or the groom are not forced to engage in coital relations but either one could bring to public light grounds for claiming lack of consummation and so forth. Society does not peer into the marital bedroom unless invited to do so by an injured party (injured is the legal term and not my term). That is why we have void and voidable marriages. Similair principles apply to the marital presumption of paternity and grounds for adultery.

    So, marriage, as a social institution, is acknowledged by society and boundaries are drawn based on the difference between marriage and other stuff — before the law’s use of the term, marriage, and before the special status is pinned on the social institution. The essence of the social institution is what society protects and shows preference for with special status and boundaries.

    In a given society, there are eligiblity criteria that flow from that which distinguishes marriage from nonmarriage. Some types of marriages are out of bounds precisely because of societal response to the integration of the sexes (not always approved of in each and every instance, such as in polygamous marriage) and societal response to responsible procreation (there are inferior forms of this — incestuous marriages and underaged marriages are examples). The number two is intrinsic to the opposite-sexed type of relationship; but not all opposite-sexed types of relationship are preferred by society as highly as the union of husband and wife. So just being a man and a woman with a wish to marry is insufficient — some pairs are out of bounds because of the significance to society of the normative influence of marriage: integration as man and woman goes much deeper than jumping in the marital bed, for instance, but when a husband and wife join their lives in sexual intimacy it is the marriage idea that they do so for better or for worse — so infertility and old age are not impediments but fit very well.

    Anyway, pick an eligiblity criterion and you’ll discover a strong connection with the core of marriage. The man-woman criterion is no different.

  156. Mark
    November 11th, 2010 at 17:19 | #156

    On Lawn: “and they were even pushed by the ACLU as same-sex marriage.”

    And yet On Lawn cannot produce where, precisely, the ACLU states that DPs are same-sex marriage as he claims. No where, especially not on the link On Lawn continues to put forward as proof.

    “Since CU’s etc… meet the definition of gay or same-sex marriage, and they are recognized as such by participants and organizations who promoted them, it is reasonable to call them forms of same-sex marriage.”

    And On Lawn does the BIG hedge and admits he has been lying all along: CU’s can REASONABLY be called FORMS of same-sex marriage. Since On Lawn has been insisting all along that they ARE same-sex marriage (even though they do not have all the rights of SSM which would suggests it is not reasonable to equate CU’s and DP’s with SSM), this is an admission that he has been promoting a falsehood.

  157. Mark
    November 11th, 2010 at 17:30 | #157

    Chairm: “Mark said: “why SHOULD marriage be considered a reward? Under what precise terms SHOULD a relationship be considered marriage.”

    You tell me.”

    You poised the question, you should be able to answer it.

    “Marriage is a social institution, first and foremost, and it merits its special status due to its core meaning. That core is what differentiates marriage from other types of relationships and other types of living arrangements.

    When people enter that social institution the consent that matters includes that of the participants and that of society.”

    And I agree with all of this, Chairm. but then you go and spoil it with these sentences: “Societal regard for the core meaning of marriage is at stake. Hence the conflict between the marriage idea and the SSM idea.”

    “Okay, so now Mark concedes that according to his own rules of argumentation the SSM idea lacks a sexual basis.”

    Uh, no. I did not concede nor even say any thing close to this statement because it actually makes no sense at all. Can you define what you mean by “a sexual basis”?

    “Meanwhile the sexual basis for marriage is well-expressed in our laws.”

    Explain.

  158. Sean
    November 11th, 2010 at 18:27 | #158

    Ultimately, the vote against the three judges in Iowa was a gross and indecent act of revenge by an ignorant mob. These judges did exactly what they were appointed to do: determine if a law met Iowa’s constitutional requirements and standards.

    It didn’t change anything: marriage equality is still the law in Iowa. And there’s nothing to stop future judges there or anywhere else from making a similar ruling. This debate has become ugly and sad. So long as religionists and homophobes obsess about this, it will continue to expose the sordid undercurrent of American society.

  159. bman
    November 11th, 2010 at 18:56 | #159

    Mark :
    I see nothing that it is based on heterosex…. Now, if a culture says that homosexuality is illegal, can even be severely punished, no one would admit that that is what the relationship is but will come up with another way to define it. It is still two women, married, with no reference of to heterosex.

    You are ignoring the bloggers from that society who described it as based on heterosex.

    Also, where did any article say it was a lesbian marriage? You seem to be caught up in your own speculations.

    If you are keen enough to recognize that no one would admit to lesbianism in a culture that opposes homosexuality, you should also recognize its not a lesbian marriage because that same culture approves it.

    Lastly, listen again to what the blogger from Sudan said to people who express your view, “This culture does not relate to homosexual… if you twisted my words go back and reread my comment above; I said “homosexual is a “NO-NO in our culture” you heard!”

  160. November 11th, 2010 at 20:13 | #160

    Sean :
    “Sadly Sean considers democracy “mob rule”.”
    Sadly, OnLawn doesn’t know the difference between democracy and mob rule.

    So what is the difference between democracy and mob rule, Sean?

    “it is a place for dialog and discourse, self rule and self-accountability.”
    And, evidently in OnLawn’s mind, if you don’t agree with me, you lose your job!

    No, you can keep your job if you don’t agree with Sean.

    “It tries to invalidate votes based on the motivations of the voter”
    It did no such thing. It used the evidence presented by the lame Prop 8 defense, including William Tam’s notorious “because it’s on the Internet!” rant to invalidate a state constitution amendment. No votes were invalidated. Walker followed the US Supreme Court’s lead when they invalidated a Colorado amendment based on voter animus, remember???

    Wow, I’ll just let that stand as it is.

    “since the Iowa people didn’t suffer from being misinformed”
    Yes, they were misinformed: they believed, either though ignorance or advertising by outside groups like NOM, that judges who hand down rulings don’t like should be fired.

    Their reason was that they didn’t like the decision was because the judges didn’t follow the constitution, and instead started extending the current one in ways that didn’t make sense.

    “What suggestions do you offer?”
    None. I think the system works just fine, mostly. The problem is, many American voters don’t know how the system works, and are easily influenced by hate groups, like NOM.

    Sounds like the Scooby Doo defense, you would have gotten away with it too if it weren’t for those meddling people who dared to have their own opinion!

    “It was primarily set up to promote a government accountable ultimately to the people.”
    You are an idiot! Why do you say this stuff?! Have you ever taken an American government course? The American system of government was designed to protect citizens from an over powerful government: to limit the power of government. So now that the judges have been fired, is gay marriage illegal in Iowa? Well? So if accountability is what you seek, did you get it?

    I’ll let that rant speak for itself too.

    “Mob rule isn’t about dispersing power, it is about thuggery and intimidation to rule over others.”
    You mean like when straight people insist that they are allowed to marry, but gay people aren’t?

    Yeah, just like that, which is why I don’t like it when people say gay people can’t get married because marriage expects equality — one man and one woman.

    “Wow, Sean just described the judiciary acting like a mob of black robed avengers getting back at the people for thinking they have a say.”
    Would you blame them? Three of their colleagues got fired for doing what they were appointed to do: interpret the constitution of the jurisdiction they preside over. Judges are human, too. Don’t expect proper behavior from them when the people themselves act improperly.

    Fired for doing what they wanted to, the power had gone to their head after seeing Mass. judges get away with misinterpreting the constitution for their own agendas.

    “The question is, if they did do that, how would that look any differently than it did in the Iowa court room?”
    It would be different in that in Iowa, the judges were using the state’s constitution to determine if a law was constitutional or not. All seven judges, ALL SEVEN, plus a lower court judge, found that Iowa’s constitution would not permit marriage discrimination.

    And the difference would be?

    Now, however, some judges might just err on the side of same-sex marriage, even if their own state constitutions are not phrased as the Iowa one is. Or they might find against a religious group. Call it payback.
    Keep in mind the old axiom, “You get the government you deserve.” After Iowa, don’t be so sure judges are necessarily looking out to protect YOUR rights!

    Sounds like no difference at all.

    “it was the judges that got rid of marriage equality by removing it away from its recognition of the value of the unique relationship men and women have, and the children they potentially have together.”
    While I applaud your creativity, you do not understand what the term “marriage equality” means.

    Yes I do, it means equal recognition of the rights and responsibilities of the man, woman, and child they potentially have together. Now that’s marriage equality!

    “It just isn’t recognized anymore by the government who is not blind to see anything unique about that relationship, because marriage is now modeled after what same-sex couples can do — and that is the new norm.”
    English, please.

    Yes it is!

    “Used by outside forces? Sounds like the red-scare all over again.”
    I know! I thought the same thing, some New Jersey-based hate group coming into Iowa and running ads pertaining to Iowa political issues. And look at the mess it caused! What a tough lesson for the good people of Iowa.

    Call Senator McCarthy!

    “gays equal rights are not in conflict with marriage expecting equal gender representation, one man and one woman.”
    Exactly: straight people can still get married when same-sex marriage is legal. People like you, who thing that marriage equality means opposite-sexness, can still marry someone of the opposite-sex, so you can feel equal to someone of the opposite-sex (did I get that right?).

    Exactly! Because CU’s and DP’s are legal. And marriage still looks after marriage equality.

  161. bman
    November 11th, 2010 at 22:47 | #161

    Iowa Constitution:

    Political power. SEC. 2. All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for the protection, security, and benefit of the people, and they have the right, at all times,
    to alter or reform the same, whenever the public good may require it.

    Terms–judicial elections. SEC. 17. Members of all courts shall have such tenure in office as may be fixed by law, but terms of supreme court judges shall be not less than eight years and terms of district court judges shall be not less than six years. Judges shall serve for one year after appointment and until the first day of January following the next judicial election after the expiration of such year. They shall at such judicial election stand for retention in office on a separate ballot which shall submit the question of whether such judge shall be retained in office for the tenure prescribed for such office and when such tenure is a term of years, on their request, they shall, at the judicial election next before the end of each term, stand again for retention on such ballot. Present supreme court and district court judges, at the expiration of their respective terms, may be retained in office in like manner for the tenure prescribed for such office. The general assembly shall prescribe the time for holding judicial elections.

  162. bman
    November 11th, 2010 at 23:04 | #162

    Per the above excerpts, Iowa voters have (1) Constitutional power to alter or reform government, and (2) their Constitution authorizes a retention vote on judges, which they duly exercised.

    The argument that “checks and balances” mean judges must be isolated from the will of the people is moot, since the Iowa Constitution itself gives the people the power and the means to replace judges.

  163. Mark
    November 12th, 2010 at 05:33 | #163

    bman: “You are ignoring the bloggers from that society who described it as based on heterosex.
    Also, where did any article say it was a lesbian marriage? You seem to be caught up in your own speculations.”

    No, actually, you seem to be caught up in some strange idea that two women getting married is actually about heterosexuality and not homosexuality.

    Again, I base my opinion on what the facts are, not what some anonymous blogger says the facts are. Do you really believe that homosexuals have not been making lives with each other since time began? During the Holocaust, some Jews converted and / or pretended to be Christian. People will lie to live the way they were created despite what society says. In your example, every bit of verifiable data points to two women making a marriage together which resembles a lesbian relationship. There is no factual evidence it was for “heterosex”. There is not even any evidence that one was elderly.

    In every society there are people who refuse to see the truth around them. They would rather construct some facade so they don’t have to look at the truth. If you wish to place your trust in an anonymous blogger who may be unwilling to see the realities in his society, so be it. I will place my trust in information I can verify.

  164. Sean
    November 12th, 2010 at 06:08 | #164

    “So what is the difference between democracy and mob rule, Sean?”

    Well, first of all, it’s sad you don’t know the difference. But here goes: in a democracy, power if bestowed on the people instead of on a sovereign. Theoretically, the people control their own fate and are insulated from the mistreatment of a sovereign. In our democracy, we achieve (or try to achieve) this through our nation’s constitution, designed to limit the power of the government. Notably, that document also constrains government from favoring or disfavoring one group without a rational public purpose.

    In mob rule, people take it upon themselves to form a posse or posse-like presence, grab their pitchforks and torches, and driven by emotional frenzy (flamed by $800,000 in advertising by hate groups), exact revenge upon someone for some perceived injustice. Often, the accused is innocent of any wrong-doing but the mob is so inflamed by their small-minded notions of “the way things ought to be,” that they can’t think straight. Revenge is what they want, and it’s hard talking sense to them.

    “you can keep your job if you don’t agree with Sean.”

    But if Sean where a judge, hired to interpret the constitution, that’s another matter….

    “Wow, I’ll just let that stand as it is.”

    Translation: yeah, that’s right, the US Supreme Court has already ruled that a state’s constitutional amendment cannot stand if it was driven by animosity on the part of the voters.

    “Their reason was that they didn’t like the decision was because the judges didn’t follow the constitution, and instead started extending the current one in ways that didn’t make sense.”

    This is false. Iowa’s constitution plainly states that all Iowa citizens are to be treated equally under the law. The state had the opportunity to explain why gay couples were to be treated differently than straight couples, and it didn’t. Get mad at the state’s defense team if you want, why not punish them for putting on a lousy defense of the marriage statute? Why punish the judges (all seven of them ruled the same way!)? Revenge, revenge, revenge. Very, very sad.

    “you would have gotten away with it too if it weren’t for those meddling people who dared to have their own opinion!”

    See, only in ignorant “I want my way!” land was anything “gotten away with.” And yes, outsiders came into Iowa and spent $800,000 misinforming Iowans.

    “I’ll let that rant speak for itself too.”

    Translation: yeah, we kind of got caught up in our childish selfish egotistical revenge scheme and behaved badly. It’s kind of embarrassing but we’re too small to admit what we did was wrong. And ironically, it didn’t change anything, and might actually make other judges even more likely to rule in favor of marriage equality, even if their state constitutions don’t require it.
    But we sure were mad about not getting our way and lost our heads.

    “which is why I don’t like it when people say gay people can’t get married because marriage expects equality — one man and one woman.”

    Well, your definition of marriage can still be true for you, just like each couple’s definition of marriage true to them. You can still ask someone to marry you so that you can become equals. Other couples already feel they are each other’s equal, so marriage can mean something else to them.

    “Fired for doing what they wanted to, the power had gone to their head after seeing Mass. judges get away with misinterpreting the constitution for their own agendas.”

    Yes, all seven judges, plus a lower court judge, all let the power of the judiciary get to their head, which automatically means they ruled in favor of equal rights for all citizens, instead of against it. You’re so obsessed with stopping same-sex marriage that you don’t even know why the judges ruled as they did: in support of Iowa’s guarantee of equal treatment for all citizens, not in support of same-sex marriage.

    Have you read Iowa’s constitution and the Varnum decision yet?????

    “Yes I do, it means equal recognition of the rights and responsibilities of the man, woman, and child they potentially have together. Now that’s marriage equality!”

    Redefining marriage equality for yourself is creative but not very persuasive. Men and women don’t have to get married to be equal to each other.

    “Call Senator McCarthy!”

    Why?

    “Because CU’s and DP’s are legal”

    For the time being. When marriage equality becomes more widely accepted, courts will strike down substitute forms as “separate but equal” accommodations.

  165. Sean
    November 12th, 2010 at 07:35 | #165

    “You can’t put people’s civil rights to a vote. As displayed in the wiki of the Loving v. Virginia case:

    “Nonetheless, it took South Carolina until 1998 and Alabama until 2000 to officially amend their states’ constitutions to remove language prohibiting miscegenation. In the respective referendums, 62% of voters in South Carolina and 59% of voters in Alabama voted to remove these laws.” ”

    And this is why you don’t put minority civil rights to a vote.

  166. November 12th, 2010 at 08:29 | #166

    Mark :
    On Lawn: “and they were even pushed by the ACLU as same-sex marriage.”
    And yet On Lawn cannot produce where, precisely, the ACLU states that DPs are same-sex marriage as he claims. No where, especially not on the link On Lawn continues to put forward as proof.

    It is one of many proofs cited of people referring to their DP’s or CU’s etc… as marriages, formalized with weddings, etc…

    And, I would like to show Mark where the specific evidence on that page is, and I can show where I’ve pointed to it in comments in the past here on this site if he hasn’t seen it already. But I don’t see the need to do so until he acknowledges that specific quotes are the bar for referencing evidence in this discussion, and formally apologizes for what I’ve noted as “vague handwaving” to websites.

    It wouldn’t be so important, except it is a matter of common decency and respect, seeing how Mark responds with such incredulity when I ask for specifics (often I even remove the rants when I quote them back for being nothing more than rude insults, unwarranted in a discussion like this). Its just all in fairness.

    “Since CU’s etc… meet the definition of gay or same-sex marriage, and they are recognized as such by participants and organizations who promoted them, it is reasonable to call them forms of same-sex marriage.”
    [... childish rant removed where Mark basically says he can't believe ...] CU’s can REASONABLY be called FORMS of same-sex marriage. Since On Lawn has been insisting all along that they ARE same-sex marriage (even though they do not have all the rights of SSM which would suggests it is not reasonable to equate CU’s and DP’s with SSM), this is an admission that he has been promoting a falsehood.

    Correction, I’ve said all along that they “ARE [a type] of same-sex marriage”, and all that to be respectful and have deference that you claim same-sex marriage to be something very specific. You and Sean both have the bad habit of trying to change what people say, and sometimes even try to put these misquotes in quotes, but I am still being respectful to your opinions.

    But even still, noting a dictionary definition isn’t even hedging bets. It is saying that after noting all these sources which call these programs marriage, you don’t even have a leg to stand on since CU’s etc… are perfectly inline with the definition of the word “gay marriage” or its equivalent that removes the language they think is unseemly to just “same-sex marriage”.

    This is common in legal practice to include many arguments that eventually knock all the legs out from under the opponent, or another way of putting it is closing all the exits. It in no way conceeds that is one’s only argument or even a last resort kind of argument. Although when you look at it, it certainly is sufficient on its own to justify calling CU’s etc… same-sex marriage. But still it is only one of many angles noted to support not just my use of the term, but all of the times I noted it being used in journalism, and position papers of the ACLU.

  167. November 12th, 2010 at 08:49 | #167

    Sean :
    Ultimately, the vote against the three judges in Iowa was a gross and indecent act of revenge by an ignorant mob[1]. These judges did exactly what they were appointed to do: determine if a law met Iowa’s constitutional requirements and standards[2].

    We all are well aware of Sean’s low and debased opinion on this matter.

    It is unlikely that any time in the foreseeable future that Sean will show any respect, or civility, towards those he disagrees with. He hasn’t even have the civility to acknolwedge or repeate respectfully their arguments.

    All that is important to note here is Seans disdain for the common people, calling the very fact that they disagree with his (as opposed to the judges, which he can’t seem to quote to any effect) interpretation of the constitution “gross and indecent”.

    The people found their conduct to be outside of the realm of reasonable execution of there tasks, and it is the American way to let the people have the last word — the most often quoted part of the US Constitution, for instance, is “We the people…”

    Sean’s sour grapes are unfortunate, his lack of common respect for his fellow humans in our democracy is evident.

    It didn’t change anything: marriage equality is still the law in Iowa[1]. And there’s nothing to stop future judges there or anywhere else from making a similar ruling[2]. This debate has become ugly and sad[3]. So long as religionists and homophobes obsess about this, it will continue to expose the sordid undercurrent of American society[4].

    1) Marriage equality — the equal recognition of the rights and responsibilities of the man, woman and children they potentially have together — hasn’t been the law since the Supreme Court there misconstrued plain language in the constitution to neuter marriage for the sake of homosexuality.

    2) A good constitutional ammendment should make it more prohibitive, but to be honest the constitution and reconciliation of the laws already exist. If they ignored those, you are right, they could probably ignore them again. After all, even when the California Court called Prop 8 valid for a equal rights provision just as stringent if not moreso, they still accepted the non-marriages that got a marriage license. Their ability to ignore the constitution is getting unbearable.

    3) Agreed, see my commentary on the paragraph Sean wrote previous to this one.

    4) More examples of Sean’s lack of common respect.

  168. Mark
    November 12th, 2010 at 13:11 | #168

    On Lawn: “And, I would like to show Mark where the specific evidence on that page is, and I can show where I’ve pointed to it in comments in the past here on this site if he hasn’t seen it already. But I don’t see the need to do so until he acknowledges that specific quotes are the bar for referencing evidence in this discussion, and formally apologizes for what I’ve noted as “vague handwaving” to websites.”

    LOL, because the “facts” on Lawn claims is on the ACLU page, do not exist. Put up or be quiet, On Lawn.

    “Correction, I’ve said all along that they “ARE [a type] of same-sex marriage”, and all that to be respectful and have deference that you claim same-sex marriage to be something very specific. You and Sean both have the bad habit of trying to change what people say, and sometimes even try to put these misquotes in quotes, ”

    Actually, On Lawn lies again. He has insisted that CU’s and DP’s ARE same-sex marriage. And, interesting, that TWO people can point to quotes from on Lawn. Not really a bias or misunderstanding on Sean and my part.

    “Although when you look at it, it certainly is sufficient on its own to justify calling CU’s etc… same-sex marriage.”

    LOL, and On Lawn continues to say that they ARE SSM even while he is saying he doesn’t say that. Pathetic.

  169. bman
    November 12th, 2010 at 14:09 | #169

    Sean :
    FDR: In our courts we want a government of laws and not of men.

    Sean: Exactly. That’s why the vote in Iowa is so troubling…

    That’s not what FDR was troubled about. FDR referred there to the court, having become “a government of men,” and meant it was time to replace them.

    The judges there, all seven of them, judged the constitutionality of a law based on the state’s constitution.

    Their ruling was not based merely on the constitution.

    The Varnum ruling says it, “…recognizes the changing nature of society…” as a basis for its ruling and, “….equal protection can only be defined by the standards of each generation….”

    That sounds very similar to interpreting the constitution based on contemporary politics.

    In any case, they were mistaken about the “nature of society” in Iowa as well as “the standards” of the current generation of Iowans, as the vote in Iowa showed.

    And so, along with some other things not mentioned here, their ruling was based on a faulty premise.

    That was their job and even if you don’t like the outcome, they did their job correctly. There is no logic in saying you don’t like the decision they rendered therefore they didn’t do their job properly. And I hope you are not insinuating that it is proper to fire judges for rendering decisions that are unpopular.

    You could say the same thing about the FDR quote, that there was “no logic” in his claim; that judges were just doing their job, and he didn’t like the outcome.

    Clearly, FDR felt something more was involved. Apparently there is a line between judges “doing their job” and acting as “a government of men.” And whatever defines that line is where the “logic” resides.

    As you may recall from the prior quotation of Alexander Hamilton, the court system was designed so the will of the Legislature (in a statute) would not be substituted for the will of the people (in the Constitution).

    But we also need protection so the will of the court (in a ruling) is not substituted for the will of the people (in the Constitution).

    The vote in Iowa was not “mob rule.” Their constitution provided for retention votes, and they exercised a constitutional right.

    Retention votes are not concerned simply with whether judges did their job, but with how the people judge the job they did.

    Their Constitution says, “All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for the protection, security, and benefit of the people, and they have the right, at all times, to alter or reform the same, whenever the public good may require it.”

    Even if its just about “preference” as you so often claim, that alone would justify the Iowa vote since the “preference” of the people ultimately has higher authority than the “preference” of the court.

    Of course, I hold that moral justice is higher than the people, but the next thing higher than the constitution is the people, and so their judgment of the judges is ultimately a matter for their discretion.

    My guess is the fundamental spiritual and moral norms of the people had been subverted by the judges and so they were not retained.

    FDR: “That means a Supreme Court that will enforce the Constitution as written”

    Sean: Exactly. The Iowa Constitution says that all citizens must be treated equally under the law…

    I already answered the equality argument in page 2 of this topic, comments 3,11,22,35 of this topic.

    The clause “upon the same terms” simply means that homosexuals can marry “on the same terms” as every one else.

    Those “terms” were never based on sexual orientation for anyone, but they were always based on “reproductive biology” for everyone.

    That is just another way the court imposed its will on the Constitution. It was never written with the intent to base marriage on “sexual orientation,” yet the judges essentially made it say that.

    So eight Iowa judges all misunderstood what their state’s constitution said. And they all overstepped their authority, and “found a new right” or “legislated from the bench,” or whatever other nonsense catch phrases the right wing is using these days?

    Your argument presumes the ruling must not be flawed since eight judges agreed with it. But it can also mean the eight judges used flawed reasoning.

    After all, lower courts make rulings all the time that are later overruled by higher courts. Is every unanimous ruling based on correct analysis?

    While I do not have a number for this, its possible if we added up all the judges in the U.S., to include the dissenting opinions, the majority of them ruled against same sex marriage.

    If that would not persuade you, even if its true, then why should your claim to a majority in Iowa be all that persuasive?

    Where do you disagree with their [Varnum's] legal reasoning, and why do you think that merits getting fired?

    In addition to the ruling having subverted the spiritual and moral norms of the people, I disagree with the Varnum “reasoning” on the same basis other judges already have. The Texas 5th District ruling Aug 31,2010 is the most recent example.

    Here, too, is an excellent article by Tim Kowal that explains one of the reasons quite well, No Animus, No Scrutiny—Or, Another Reason Why Iowa’s High Court Was Wrong

  170. November 12th, 2010 at 14:58 | #170

    On Lawn: “:1) Facts:
    a) There is no law forbidding a same-sex couple from having a wedding ceremony and living their lives together, and considering it a marriage.

    It’s interesting to consider this as it applies to siblings, because there certainly is a law against siblings doing this, right? Because “considering it a marriage” means feeling it is OK to have sexual intercourse together and procreate children together and actually going ahead and doing those things together. There is certainly a law against that, not just against them getting legally married. And there should be a law against same-sex couples conceiving children together too, and that is something that people who consider themselves to be “married” should consider themselves allowed to do, and all their acquaintances and family and the public too. Couples who aren’t allowed to procreate offspring together can’t consider themselves married, it’s a contradiction.

    b) CU’s, DP’s, RB’s and many private contracts are all types of same-sex marriage. Many same-sex couples in those relationships call themselves “married”, have had weddings to commemorate their CU’s etc…, and they were even pushed by the ACLU as same-sex marriage. News reports have headlined where CU’s etc… have been enacted as a form of marriage.

    If they are types of marriage, it is only because same-sex procreation is currently legal, and marriage is not sufficiently protective of the couple’s right to procreate together. I don’t get the purpose of saying CU’s are a form of marriage. And I didn’t see where the ACLU said DP’s were marriages in that archive. They don’t have the same divorce laws, for just one example of how they are different. And they make no mention of the procreation rights of the couple, because they assume that same-sex couples have procreation rights together using whatever technology they feel like, whether they have DP’s or not. That there is an equal right to procreate with someone of either sex is the assumption of all same-sex marriage activists I encounter when I pin them down. They all say that same-sex procreation should be allowed and not prohibited. I can’t understand why you let Mark and Sean persist in holding that assumption, it is that assumption that is incorrect and dangerous and needs to be corrected.

  171. November 12th, 2010 at 15:00 | #171

    Sean :
    “So what is the difference between democracy and mob rule, Sean?”
    [...] in a democracy, power if [sic] bestowed on the people instead of on a sovereign. [...]

    Enough said.

    In mob rule, people take it upon themselves to [...] exact revenge upon someone for some perceived injustice. [...]

    So the difference seems to be that in the former example, people are given the power and a means to exercise that power, especially in putting down the power of supposed soveriegns. In the latter example, they assume authority that isn’t theirs and threaten physical harm.

    From that it is clear that the first example describes what happened in Iowa, people exercised their democratic right, and followed the constitution in doing so.

    “you can keep your job if you don’t agree with Sean.”
    But if Sean where a judge, hired to interpret the constitution, that’s another matter….
    “Wow, I’ll just let that stand as it is.”
    Translation: [...]

    The accurate translation is that I’m happy to let you express anti-democratic rhetoric, and red-scare like witch-hunts going after citizens, without any need to further comment on my end.

    “Their reason was that they didn’t like the decision was because the judges didn’t follow the constitution, and instead started extending the current one in ways that didn’t make sense.”
    This is false. Iowa’s constitution plainly states that all Iowa citizens are to be treated equally under the law[1]. The state had the opportunity to explain why gay couples were to be treated differently than straight couples[2], and it didn’t[3]. [...]

    1) And obviously they are equal, and the people (who the judges presumed to defer to in their decision by stating the current generation gets to define that equality) said so.

    2) Actually, they weren’t given that opportunity because of the malpractice of the lower judge. A sure sign of a kangaroo court, and the people recognized it as such.

    Most citizens do not realize that this mismatch of legal resources is typical for advocacy cases. So, advocacy organizations on the side of natural, man-woman marriage came into the case as friends of the court, trying to help defend the law of the state of Iowa. Most notably, a group of scholars presented briefs and affidavits on various aspects of the social significance of marriage. But the trial court refused to admit five out of the eight expert witnesses presented to them.

    These experts covered a wide range of issues, including the ethics of artificial reproductive technologies, the rights of children to be raised by their parents, the procreative purpose of marriage, the history and meaning of marriage, and the significance of gender differences in parenting. The trial court refused to hear the testimony of Allan Carlson, author of five books on the history of marriage, Margaret Somerville, founding director of the McGill University Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law, and Stephen Rhodes, political science professor at the University of Virginia. This is the very sort of evidence that courts in other states, such as New York, have found persuasive.

    After refusing to hear their testimony, the court had the nerve to declare a whole list of facts were “undisputed.” Instead of listening to both sides and deciding impartially, the court lifted the “facts” directly from the brief of the same-sex “marriage” advocates.

    More in the full article.

    “you would have gotten away with it too if it weren’t for those meddling people who dared to have their own opinion!”
    See, only in ignorant “I want my way!” land was anything “gotten away with.” And yes, outsiders came into Iowa and spent $800,000 misinforming Iowans.

    I’ll let that stand there also.

    “I’ll let that rant speak for itself too.”
    Translation:[....]

    The accurate translation is that I’m happy to let what you say be treated for what it is. You could do well to do the same. Its funny that when I already give you the last word (honestly because I feel it is either too immature to reply to, or otherwise discredits itself) that you feel the need to take that silence and add your own sock-puppetry. That speaks of Sean’s lack of confidence in his own opinion.

    “which is why I don’t like it when people say gay people can’t get married because marriage expects equality — one man and one woman.”
    Well, your definition of marriage can still be true for you, just like each couple’s definition of marriage true to them. You can still ask someone to marry you so that you can become equals. Other couples already feel they are each other’s equal, so marriage can mean something else to them.

    Exactly, let marriage treat equality with the definition “one man and one woman” referencing their procreative type of relationship, and let each couple choose a defnition for them whether it be the mutual trust and dependancy of the CU’s, DP’s etc.. or the freeform of the private contracts.

    “Fired for doing what they wanted to, the power had gone to their head after seeing Mass. judges get away with misinterpreting the constitution for their own agendas.”
    Yes, all seven judges, plus a lower court judge, all let the power of the judiciary get to their head[1], which automatically means they ruled in favor of equal rights for all citizens[2], instead of against it[2]. You’re so obsessed with stopping same-sex marriage[3] that you don’t even know why the judges ruled as they did[4]: in support of Iowa’s guarantee of equal treatment for all citizens[5], not in support of same-sex marriage[6].
    [...]

    1) Correct.
    2) Actually that means the opposite is true, they ruled against what was already equal treatment of all citizens.
    3) No, I’m in favor of CU’s, DP’s and many private contract possibilities which are all types of same-sex marriage.
    4) Sure I do, see #1
    5) Yes, equality in marriage means equal treatment of men and women by expecting one of each in each marriage.
    6) I can’t help it if same-sex marriage is “Seperate but equal” but not really equal segregation fo all-male and all-female marriages.

    “Yes I do, it means equal recognition of the rights and responsibilities of the man, woman, and child they potentially have together. Now that’s marriage equality!”
    [...] Men and women don’t have to get married to be equal to each other.[...]

    It is also a good thing that when they join together to create life, that we have marriage equality — the equal recognition fo the rights and responsibilities of the man, woman, and children they potentially have together — to help promote their success.

    “Because CU’s and DP’s are legal”
    For the time being. When marriage equality becomes more widely accepted, courts will strike down substitute forms as “separate but equal” accommodations.

    True, same-sex marriage is “seperate but equal”, but who can help that? The name litterally means segregating these marriages into all-male and all-female arrangements which are seperate with the hopes of being equal, but aren’t really equal at all.

    If courts strike down same-sex marriage for being seperate but equal, we’ll figure out what to do then. My suggestion is to, instead of focusing on hits seperate but equal status (all-male and all-female) we instead focus CU’s, DP’s etc… on being recogntion of adult mutual trust and domestic dependancy. Then the whole seperate-but-equal homosexual segregation is no longer a concern since it isn’t the major thrust of the CU’s and DP’s etc…

  172. November 12th, 2010 at 15:02 | #172

    whoops meant to post that in the 77 reasons thread…

  173. November 12th, 2010 at 15:08 | #173

    Mark :
    On Lawn: “And, I would like to show Mark where the specific evidence on that page is, and I can show where I’ve pointed to it in comments in the past here on this site if he hasn’t seen it already. But I don’t see the need to do so until he acknowledges that specific quotes are the bar for referencing evidence in this discussion, and formally apologizes for what I’ve noted as “vague handwaving” to websites.”
    LOL, because the “facts” on Lawn claims is on the ACLU page, do not exist. Put up or be quiet, On Lawn.

    Still waiting. I know others see the reference even if Mark doesn’t, and if he didn’t have a problem with the terms, he’d readily accept them :) I mean is it really that hard to direct quote what you are referring to?

    “Correction, I’ve said all along that they “ARE [a type] of same-sex marriage”, and all that to be respectful and have deference that you claim same-sex marriage to be something very specific. You and Sean both have the bad habit of trying to change what people say, and sometimes even try to put these misquotes in quotes, ”
    [...] TWO people can point to quotes from on Lawn[...]

    They perhaps can, but they don’t and haven’t. I suppose it is pretty hard for Mark to agree to presenting direct evidence mutually.

    “Although when you look at it, it certainly is sufficient on its own to justify calling CU’s etc… same-sex marriage.”
    [... Juvinile baiting removed ...]

    Once again folks, the facts.

    On Lawn :
    Mark tried to reset the conversation back to square one. Let me bring us back up to speed.

    Mark :
    For the record, the following are facts [... antics removed to get at the facts ...]
    1). same-sex marriage is illegal [...]
    2). Sexual intercourse is sexual contact between two people, gay or straight. [...]
    3). CUs, DPs, RBs are NOT the same as same-sex marriage.[...]
    [...]

    1) Facts:
    a) There is no law forbidding a same-sex couple from having a wedding ceremony and living their lives together, and considering it a marriage.
    b) CU’s, DP’s, RB’s and many private contracts are all types of same-sex marriage. Many same-sex couples in those relationships call themselves “married”, have had weddings to commemorate their CU’s etc…, and they were even pushed by the ACLU as same-sex marriage. News reports have headlined where CU’s etc… have been enacted as a form of marriage.
    The lack of any law forbidding same-sex marriages, and the presence of laws that recognize same-sex marriages, prove that same-sex marriage is legal.
    2) Fact:
    a) Mark above noted that, ‘clinical articles written prior to the last 50 years, “sexual intercourse” was used primarily to refer to male-female intercourse’
    b) Dictionaries that Mark provided above note that sexual intercourse has been (and still can be) considered to mean specifically between specific male and female organs.
    c) Dictionaries provide many definitions for a word, because in different contexts they can mean different things. The presence of a dictionary definition means that a word can and is used to mean that, and only that, definition. Other instances might use other definitions.
    d) Clinical studies are done by professionals who are trained to apply rigor to their methodologies and definitions to remove any ambiguity where it might be present. It would be considered sloppy for them to use a phrase like “sexual intercourse” ambiguously if it was important to the methodology or interpretation of the study.
    e) I have not contested Mark’s claim that studies exist which use unqualified forms of “Sexual intercourse” to mean a specific interaction between specific organs of a man and a woman. I accept them without having to provide any examples to their existance.
    f) I have contested Mark’s unsupported claim that unqualified “sexual intercourse” has been used ambiguously to mean something that could be between any combination sexual organs. It is true, I’ve not found any that fit that criteria, and Mark is free to show examples to support his claim.
    Since “sexual intercourse” is explicitly defined in each of Mark’s provided dictionary entries as being between specific organs of a man and a woman, it is correct to state that when it is used alone it can be a valid interpretations of that word. Hence “sexual intercourse” on its own in a study or other dictionary reference is not enough to say it had to mean between any combination of sexual organs.
    3) Facts:
    a) CU’s DP’s etc.. are forms of same-sex marriage (see #1, also note the definition below of that same-sex marriage is simply a form of marriage where the people are of the same gender).

    a similar institution involving partners of the same gender: gay marriage.

    CU’s, etc… are all similar institutions involving partners of the same gender.
    b) They are not marriage, however, which is rooted in human biology — specifically mating — which requires the integration of a man and a woman.
    c) They are not marriage equality, because that is only possible between a man and a woman in a marriage where they equally recognize each other rights and responsibilites, as well as the child they potentially have together.
    Since CU’s etc… meet the definition of gay or same-sex marriage, and they are recognized as such by participants and organizations who promoted them, it is reasonable to call them forms of same-sex marriage.

  174. bman
    November 12th, 2010 at 15:33 | #174

    Mark :
    bman: “You are ignoring the bloggers from that society who described it as based on heterosex….Also, where did any article say it was a lesbian marriage? You seem to be caught up in your own speculations.”

    Mark: No, actually, you seem to be caught up in some strange idea that two women getting married is actually about heterosexuality and not homosexuality. Again, I base my opinion on what the facts are, not what some anonymous blogger says the facts are. Do you really believe that homosexuals have not been making lives with each other since time began?

    The bloggers are from that culture and so they would have a high level of credibility.

    Besides, none of the articles I cited expressly said it was lesbian marriage. So, you have yet to present adequate “facts” to show that.

    Common sense also opposes your view. If a society is against homosexuality would it openly approve lesbian marriages?

    Maybe lesbians have hid their true intent by entering such a marriage, but the very reason they could hide is because the culture viewed the marriage as non-lesbian in nature!

    The issues rests on what the Nuer culture believes about it.

    Its not decided by whether lesbians could use the tradition to hide in.

  175. Sean
    November 12th, 2010 at 18:41 | #175

    “It is unlikely that any time in the foreseeable future that Sean will show any respect, or civility, towards those he disagrees with.”

    My lack of respect is directed at those ignorant of the law, willing to hurt children and gay people and who refuse, once their falsehoods are exposed, to stop repeating them. Disagree with me all you want but use facts and logic, not religious faith or hatred. Make sense. Drop the smiley faces. Act like a grownup. All parts of a earning my respect.

    “Seans disdain for the common people, calling the very fact that they disagree with his (as opposed to the judges, which he can’t seem to quote to any effect) interpretation of the constitution “gross and indecent”.

    Once again OnLawn demonstrates her inability to read plain English. Sean condemns the voters who ousted the Iowa judges for seeking revenge, not for disagreeing with him or the ruling of the judges. They were incited to act vengefully, by an outsider hate-group supported by Christians. How’s that?! That’s what we’ve come to: Christians exacting revenge on those who dare thwart their attempts to impose their religious myths on the rest of us. This is a shameful episode in Iowa politics and will be recorded as such historically.

    “The people found their conduct to be outside of the realm of reasonable execution of there tasks”

    No they didn’t, they wanted revenge for a ruling they didn’t care for, and allowed themselves to be manipulated by an outside hate group from New Jersey, NOM.

    “it is the American way to let the people have the last word — the most often quoted part of the US Constitution, for instance, is “We the people…””

    If you are an American, you should be ashamed of your ignorance and how you revel in it.
    “Sean’s sour grapes are unfortunate”

    What does Sean have to bitter about? He didn’t lose his job, and marriage equality is still the law of the land in Iowa. Sean is none the worse off for this; he lost nothing. The people of Iowa has lost my respect but I’m sure they’ll carry on as best they can.

    “his lack of common respect for his fellow humans in our democracy is evident.”

    Sean has no respect for ignorance (hint, hint). If you don’t know what you’re doing or talking about, don’t do it or talk about it. I strongly suspect the voters of Iowa have never read their state’s constitution, nor have they read the Varnum decision. Yet they have strong opinions about a ruling, a unanimous ruling from all seven of their Supreme Court judges This is very strange indeed. But OnLawn probably hasn’t read either of those documents either yet fights to the death to defend the people’s right to interpret the constitution as they see fit.

    “Marriage equality — the equal recognition of the rights and responsibilities of the man, woman and children they potentially have together”

    Ah yes, the Planet OnLawn definition strikes again LOL.

    “since the Supreme Court there misconstrued plain language in the constitution to neuter marriage for the sake of homosexuality.”

    You’re so stupid it must hurt.

    From the Iowa Constitution:

    “Laws uniform. SEC. 6. All laws of a general nature shall have a uniform operation; the general assembly shall not grant to any citizen, or class of citizens, privileges or immunities, which, upon the same terms shall not equally belong to all citizens.”

    The preceding language from the Iowa constitution is why the judges, ALL SEVEN OF THEM, ruled the way they did. Even gay Iowans, evidently, get to have the same rights as everyone else. If you don’t like gay people, work to get the constitution of your state amended to exclude them, if your constitution has an equal protection clause. Otherwise, go back to high school, take a class in American government, and be amazed at what “equal protection” means!

    Yes, so long as religionists and homophobes obsess about this, it will continue to expose their sordid underbellies. At least this debate as exposed the hateful nature of America’s “Christians,” working in concert as they are with America’s homophobes and Straight Supremacists. I am not displeased to see American-style Christianity exposed for the sham that it is.

  176. Sean
    November 12th, 2010 at 19:15 | #176

    “Their ruling was not based merely on the constitution.”

    That is an unsupportable opinion.

    [“….equal protection can only be defined by the standards of each generation….” That sounds very similar to interpreting the constitution based on contemporary politics.]

    Why do you think that? All sorts of US Supreme Court rulings have recognized not politics but changing standards and norms in society. After the Lawrence v. Texas ruling, where previously criminalized gay sex was ruled protected behavior, as well as other social recognition of the rights of homosexuals, and the normality of homosexuality, the Iowa decision is reflecting those changes. This is hardly a new phenomenon. Do you think Lawrence v. Texas would have been decided the way it was in 1903 instead of 2003?

    Even if you think the Iowa Supreme Court ruled incorrectly (all seven of them?!), how is firing them for their decision a practical or fair response? It was revenge, plain and simple, egged on by an outside hate group, NOM.

    Politicized rulings would be the problem if average citizens were charged with interpreting the constitutionality of laws.

    “their ruling was based on a faulty premise.”

    Another completely unsupported opinion. Are you a lawyer? Have you read Iowa’s constitution? The Varnum decision?

    All seven of these judges, plus a lower court judge, all eight misread Iowa’s constitution?? Talk about a faulty premise!

    “But we also need protection so the will of the court (in a ruling) is not substituted for the will of the people (in the Constitution).”

    You and OnLawn should form a club for people who like to talk about our nation’s legal system but don’t know how it works.

    “Retention votes are not concerned simply with whether judges did their job, but with how the people judge the job they did.”

    Since the retention vote was based on a single court ruling, you seem to think the people have better insight into what the constitution says and intends than the judges. Well, why have judges at all then? Why not let average ordinary citizens serve terms as judges, since they evidently are as qualified as trained judges? I would not want to live under the system you think we have in the US, and you probably wouldn’t either.

    [“All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for the protection, security, and benefit of the people, and they have the right, at all times, to alter or reform the same, whenever the public good may require it.”]

    Yes and the people of Iowa ratified a constitution, which includes a demand to the government to treat all citizens equally under the law. The people have spoken: hey government, don’t treat some of us better than others, we don’t want that. So why are you second-guessing the will of the people?

    “My guess is the fundamental spiritual and moral norms of the people had been subverted by the judges and so they were not retained.”

    Oh really? Is that your best guess? Well here’s my guess: a bunch of bigoted Iowans said we don’t want gay people to be able to get married and create stable, secure families. And anybody that says otherwise is gonna pay! We’ve got pitchforks and torches! So an outside hate group, NOM, of New Jersey, spends $800,000 to incite the people of Iowa to be their worst “angry mob” selves, and fire three judges (can you imagine if all seven judges were up for a retention vote?!) for let them gays get married.

    I’m astonished, and not really sure that you believe it genuinely, that you think that “the people” get to second guess a judicial constitutional interpretation. That kind of blows me away. Especially on an issue of a minority’s civil rights and equal protection. Yet you’re probably not alone in thinking that the people have this right, like voting for a legislator.

    “The clause “upon the same terms” simply means that homosexuals can marry “on the same terms” as everyone else.”

    Exactly. In Iowa, gay couples couldn’t get married, while straight couples could. Therefore, gays were not being treated equally. I don’t see how you can understand the precise issue, and then support firing three judges, who participated in a UNANIMOUS ruling the concept of which you understand and agree with.

    “Those “terms” were never based on sexual orientation for anyone, but they were always based on “reproductive biology” for everyone.”

    They are based on who wanted to marry whom, to the exclusion of a disliked minority, gays and lesbians. The court asked the state to support why it wanted to discriminate against same-sex couples and the state couldn’t come up with a rational public interest for doing so. The court didn’t have much choice here. That’s why the decision was UNANIMOUS. If you want revenge, go after the state’s weak defense of marriage discrimination, not the judges who were just doing their job.
    “Your argument presumes the ruling must not be flawed since eight judges agreed with it. But it can also mean the eight judges used flawed reasoning. After all, lower courts make rulings all the time that are later overruled by higher courts. Is every unanimous ruling based on correct analysis?”
    Well if eight doctors told you you had cancer, would you insist that you didn’t? Do you know how rare a unanimous ruling is at the supreme court level? How flawed is YOUR reasoning to say the people are better at interpreting their state’s constitution than trained judges? Have you always been this vengeful???

    “In addition to the ruling having subverted the spiritual and moral norms of the people,”

    The spiritual and moral norms of the people are not the concern of judges.

    I am not in the least bit interested in any religion-based legal argument. It is an oxymoron. No need to post links to religion-based websites. What a waste of time. What does a Texas gay divorce case have to do with the Iowa constitution?

  177. Sean
    November 12th, 2010 at 19:42 | #177

    “in Iowa, people exercised their democratic right”

    We get it, OnLawn, the people had a legal right to vote. You are so smart! But the thing is, a very bad thing happened because of that vote:

    1. Three fine judges lost their jobs for….doing their jobs!!!!!
    2. The people now think that they can do a better job interpreting a constitution they’ve never read than the trained judges who actually HAVE read it and know both it and state case law
    3. There may be a backlash: judges issuing rulings the people like, in order to keep their jobs, and/or, judges issuing rulings for or against groups in order to exact their own revenge against religionists and other homophobes. The system, in other words, just got knocked out of kilter, so to speak.

    “I’m happy to let you express anti-democratic rhetoric, and red-scare like witch-hunts going after citizens, without any need to further comment on my end.”

    It is you who has become the anti-democrat and witch-hunter. What happened in Iowa was exactly a witch hunt: find someone to blame for an outcome some people didn’t like. Helpless to manage their own feelings and ignorant of their state’s constitution and the role of the judicial branch, many Iowa voters succumbed to the machinations of an outside hate group from New Jersey, NOM. Very sad.

    Have you read Varnum yet, or are you still cut-and-pasting talking points from Americaisachristiannation.org?!

    “in their decision by stating the current generation gets to define that equality”

    Really? Is that what they said? Because bman quoted them earlier in the thread:

    “….equal protection can only be defined by the standards of each generation….”

    Well, do you think today’s Iowans want gays to be treated less favorably than straights? Because I don’t think they do, and inasmuch as their opinion directly counts in any particular case, I think the judges correctly believed that Iowans generally don’t want gay people fired from their jobs for being gay, harassed or assaulted for being gay, kicked out of their apartments for being gay, denied service at restaurants or other businesses for being gay, etc.

    “Actually, they weren’t given that opportunity because of the malpractice of the lower judge.”

    You are truly sad, and again alone in a bizarre fringe opinion. What malpractice are you talking about, oh learned legal scholar? Oh I see, the Ruth Institute, that highly impartial group dedicated to being an honest broker in the discussion of marriage rights and equality, said that the Iowa Supreme Court “cheated.” Uh, ok. That’s believable! Try citing a credible source and no, not the Alliance Defense League. A reputable, honest source, not a religious-based one. Pathetic.

    “I’ll let that stand there also.”

    Translation: I can’t deny that NOM, a New Jersey-based hate group, used $800,000 or so to mislead the good citizens of Iowa into thinking that their judges pulled the wool over their eyes, when in fact, they were just doing their jobs.

    “That speaks of Sean’s lack of confidence in his own opinion.”

    You’re such a joke.

    “let marriage treat equality with the definition “one man and one woman” referencing their procreative type of relationship, and let each couple choose a defnition for them whether it be the mutual trust and dependancy of the CU’s, DP’s etc.. or the freeform of the private contracts.”

    Marvelous and sensible idea. Too bad about the civil unions, and other substitutes for marriage: their lives will be short-lived, since courts and legislatures will dump them once marriage equality becomes the norm. Connecticut and Vermont already have. Some states, like Massachusetts and Iowa, just skipped them altogether.

    Anyone so arrogant to know so little about our nation’s legal system and yet insist that eight Iowa judges don’t know their own state’s constitution fascinates me. Could I interview you for my book? You would be a fascinating example of the mentality of people obsessed with stopping gays from marrying, and the many myths they use to try to derail marriage equality.

    “equality in marriage means equal treatment of men and women by expecting one of each in each marriage.”

    Do you think this becomes meaningful with repetition?

    “I can’t help it if same-sex marriage is “Seperate but equal” but not really equal segregation fo all-male and all-female marriages.”

    Do you make this stuff up yourself or are you pulling it from an online resource? I would appreciate a link to the resource if possible. It could be useful to me.

    “If courts strike down same-sex marriage for being seperate but equal, we’ll figure out what to do then.”

    Do you make this stuff up yourself or are you pulling it from an online resource? I would appreciate a link to the resource if possible. It could be useful to me. Is this “same-sex marriage is segregation!” thing, is this yours or is this a new tack for the marriage discrimination crowd? Again, a link would be very helpful for me to flesh out the argument.

  178. Chairm
    November 12th, 2010 at 20:50 | #178

    Hey, Mark, I’ve explained the sexual basis for marriage. Now, slowly read the following: sex integration, provision for responsible procreation, these combined as a coherent whole. The sexual basis is clearly expressed in our legal system. I have listed examples.

    Also, I was explicit: marital status is not reward for coitus. It is not a reward. Yet it is a special status for the reaons I have explained and which you have acknowledged, even if you disagreed. So your asking is looking an awful lot like dodging on your part.

    You asked the questions of me and so you concedes the questions are valid even if you don’t like my answers.

    Your turn.

    SSMers are often shy to admit it, but given your attempts to mirror it would come as no surprise that you imagine that special status for SSM is actually a reward for same-sex sexual behavior. And yet such behavior is not even a legal requirement as per your own demands for lawmaking.

    Nor is same-sex sexual attraction. Nor romance. Nor gay identity. Yet you demand special status for SSM without offering a sexual basis that would meet your own stated standards. Perhaps you will propose a sexual basis — identical for the all-male and the all-female scenarios — that rises to the societal significance of sex integration, responsible procreation, and these combined as a coherent whole.

    Indeed, it would be an interesting turn in the discussion if you could take a stab at make the SSM idea coherent while differentiating it from the rest of nonmarriage.

    And, no, a license is hardly sufficient since the license is for a particular type of relationship or type of arrangement. It is not self-justifying, as per the SSM complaint. You need to explain better, Mark. You really can’t dodge your own rules of argumentation.

  179. Chairm
    November 12th, 2010 at 21:02 | #179

    Mark, you said that you agree with the following and so I will follow-up with requests for greater specificity.

    1. “Marriage is a social institution, first and foremost, and it merits its special status due to its core meaning.”

    What is the core meaning, in your view? How does that justify special status? I ask “how” as in please justify treating that core meaning as preferred by society. Note — I am not asking what the status entails; I am not asking about “equality”; those may enter into it later but the question is about the core meaning itself from which the special status flows. Not the other way around.

    2. “That core is what differentiates marriage from other types of relationships and other types of living arrangements.”

    Please show how the core meaning, as you propose it, is unique and does not also apply to the types of relationships and the types of arrangements that can and do exist outside of marriage.

    3. “When people enter that social institution the consent that matters includes that of the participants and that of society.”

    A social institution, by definition, has coherency. Its essentials, its core, the stuff that make it different from other things, this forms a coherent whole on the societal leve. Do you have a different understanding of social institutions?

    Do you acknowledge that the law recongizes the social institution rather than the Government creating and owning marriage? If you do acknowledge this, then, the core meaning carries great weight when drawing boundaries of eligilbity and ineligibility. Indeed, one would expect that the legal recognition of the social institution would have boundaries that flow from that all-important core meaning and the societal response to it. However, is your understanding of the law and the institution different from this? Why?

  180. Chairm
    November 12th, 2010 at 21:24 | #180

    Mark, if there is a sexual basis for SSM, please cite the legal requirement that demonstrates it actually exists in the law’s recogniton of SSM where it has been enacted or imposed.

    When a court imposes SSM it does not make same-sex sexual behavior mandatory — not even same-sex sexual attraction, nor romance, nor gay identity. Yet pro-SSM court opinions dwell on such things as if these carried tremendous weight in lawmaking.

    The reason for nailing down the sexual basis (for a law that would govern SSM) is twofold:

    1. How well can it stand up against rules of argumentation that you have invoked? If not, then, there is no sexual basis for SSM law — according to SSM argumentation. SSMers tend to concede this eventually. Perhaps you will surprise and successfully nail down the sexual basis and show it directly expressed in SSM law — someplace — with the strength that you demand of the marriage law. If not, then, your concession will be obvious even if you do not frnakly state it.

    2. If the rules you’ve invoked don’t really apply to SSM, at law, in your own view of SSM and lawmaking, then, the rules can be fairly discarded and more reasonable terms for lawmaking can be discussed in terms of marriage, SSM, and the nonmarriage category.

    The way I see, and have explained, the man-woman basis for the special status of marriage stands up far better against those rules than the SSM idea. So I am not objecting to the rules since those rules you’ve invoked knock the legs out from under the pro-SSM complaint and demand for the special treatment of SSM vis-a-vis marriage. But I don’t think the rules are reasonable when seeking protections (which is what SSMers repeatedly insist upon) for nonmarital types of relationships (i.e. nonmarriage) which may merit protections (even a protective status) in light of certain vulnerabilities. I think it is reasonable that if SSM cannot be distinguished from nonmarriage (before you try to put the label marriage and pin special status on it), then, it ought to be treated on par with those forms of nonmarriage which also merit protections. I also agree with the pro-SSM complaint that gayness is not a legitimate basis for lawmaking; not in favor of SSM nor against the SSM idea. Not that I think society ought to approve of same-sex sexual behavior, but then SSMers are fond of saying that “extending marriage” to “same-sex couples” is not about societal approval for same-sex sexual behavior, so there ought to be common ground on lawmaking, right there.

    Frankly, there is very little of merit to the SSM idea when compared with the societal significance of the marriage idea. That you refuse to acknowledge the conflict of ideas — SSM vs Marriage — must mean that you believe that the SSM idea is one and the same as the marriage idea. Yet you object to the core meaning that differentiates marriage from nonmarriage; and you have already strongly suggested that you believe that special status for SSM would be a reward for same-sex sexual behavior or somesuch. Repeatedly I have requested from you the societal significance of the core of SSM. You have not differentiated SSM from nonmarriage in the responses you have given to that request.

    Marital status is a special status — you have agreed this is true; yet when asked for the special reason for that special status you have bolted from your own terms of argumentation. Now, we can keep going around and around in circles on this hole in your comments, or you can address it, one way or the other, in a forthright and direct manner that deals with the substantive issue rather than the boilerplate SSM talking points.

  181. Chairm
    November 12th, 2010 at 22:00 | #181

    FWIW: It is a hunch but after reading Sean’s remarks I do not give much credit to his claim to be a “straight” married man. He may well be some of what he has claimed, but in my reading his remarks take the form of someone who has previously commented here and at the NOM blog as someone who openly self-identified as “gay” and unmarried.

  182. Chairm
    November 12th, 2010 at 22:02 | #182

    By what objective criteria does Sean or Mark label someone as “bigoted”?

    What are their criteria for assessing bigotry such that readers might also assess the comments of Sean and Mark and other SSMers with the same criteria?

  183. Sean
    November 13th, 2010 at 04:48 | #183

    “marital status is not reward for coitus”

    But it does appear to reward “being an opposite-sex couple,” for reasons that are not entirely clear. So long as the participants aren’t too young or too closely related, and not already married, the state’s only requirement is to be of the opposite sex (where marriage discrimination is still the law). So one wonders, what is the state after, with its desire to give so many rights and privileges to opposite-sex couples? What’s the public purpose?

    It can’t be about procreation, because many opposite-sex couples can’t or won’t reproduce. It can’t be about raising children, because same-sex couples can raise children, too. Surely there has to be some sense in why the state values opposite-sex couples and not same-sex couples.

    “Yet you demand special status for SSM without offering a sexual basis that would meet your own stated standards.”

    The state makes no requirements to have sex, so opposite-sex couple marriage and same-sex couple marriage are free of any sexual behavior requirements.

    “the societal significance of sex integration, responsible procreation, and these combined as a coherent whole.”

    I don’t think society has to worry about citizens forming couples: they do it anyway, and do so before they get married. I don’t think two people form a couple in order to get married; they get married in order to legalize the couple.

    “Indeed, it would be an interesting turn in the discussion if you could take a stab at make the SSM idea coherent while differentiating it from the rest of nonmarriage.”

    Would such a turn fall on deaf ears though? Same-sex couples wish to marry for the same reasons opposite-sex couples wish to marry: security, public expression of commitment to their partner, create a more secure environment for any children they might be raising, etc.

    Same-sex marriage is different from non-marriage in that a couple possesses a marriage license. Non-married couples do not.

    “And, no, a license is hardly sufficient since the license is for a particular type of relationship or type of arrangement.”

    If a couple meets the standards to get married, they get to have their own purpose or reason for marrying. For example, when Britney Spears got married the first time in Las Vegas, she was drunk and probably thought it would be fun. And that was perfectly legal and acceptable: you can be drunk and disorderly and muddle-headed and still get married. I would question her motivations but she certainly broke no laws.

    So “possessing license” is really all that’s required to separate marriage from non-marriage.

    “It is not self-justifying”

    Actually, it is. Just ask Britney Spears.

    I think the core meaning of marriage is evidenced by the practice of marriage: why people get married, and why they get divorced. They get married in order to build a more secure relationships, to publicly express their commitment to their partner, to create a more stable environment for raising children, to be happy, etc. They get divorced because they no longer want to be married to someone. It’s all really about personal choice.

    “The way I see, and have explained, the man-woman basis for the special status of marriage stands up far better against those rules than the SSM idea.”

    I don’t think anyone is advocating that man-woman marriage go away; it will still be legal when same-sex marriage becomes legal. Because there is no lack of marriage licenses, and no need to limit access to marriage, it’s a good idea to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples because of the benefits to society and to the same-sex couple.

    “Frankly, there is very little of merit to the SSM idea when compared with the societal significance of the marriage idea.”

    Well, only if you don’t like gay people or children. Same-sex couples, that is, gay people, would be better off if they can marry: married people live longer, have better health and greater wealth than unmarried people. And the children of married couples do much better in life, according to marriage expert Maggie Gallagher.

    These are pretty significant benefits to individuals and therefore to society.

    “It is a hunch but after reading Sean’s remarks I do not give much credit to his claim to be a “straight” married man.”

    Well, I guess it shall remain a mystery!

    “By what objective criteria does Sean or Mark label someone as “bigoted”?”

    For me, when someone wants one group to have the right to do something but wants to deny that right to another group, with no rational reason, I call that bigotry.

    “What are their criteria for assessing bigotry such that readers might also assess the comments of Sean and Mark and other SSMers with the same criteria?”

    My criteria include too great a concern about what another group is getting or doing. There is way too much effort and too many resources going into stopping legalized same-sex marriage, without a corresponding rational reason for doing so. That gap, if you will, is likely just homophobia, or bigotry.

    While it is perfectly understandable if, on a personal level, someone wants to marry someone of the opposite-sex for religious reasons or just personal preference, it is something else altogether to insist that others be denied their own personal decision-making process. If someone chooses to partner with a same-sex person, why is it anyone else’s business?

  184. Mark
    November 13th, 2010 at 07:57 | #184

    On Lawn: “Still waiting. I know others see the reference even if Mark doesn’t, and if he didn’t have a problem with the terms, he’d readily accept them :) I mean is it really that hard to direct quote what you are referring to?”

    Translated: there isn’t a single reference that states what On Lawn claims so he attempts to change the discussion. Pathetic.

    As for the rest of On Lawn’s diatribe: blah, blah, blah. No facts, no ability to use language correctly and continuous denial of truth.

  185. Mark
    November 13th, 2010 at 08:06 | #185

    bman: “The bloggers are from that culture and so they would have a high level of credibility.”

    And yet, there is no way to verify the bloggers are actually from the culture so there is no credibility.

    “Besides, none of the articles I cited expressly said it was lesbian marriage. So, you have yet to present adequate “facts” to show that.”

    Two women getting married. Raising children as the mother and father without a man involved. Sounds like a lesbian relationship to me. And, considering the article you site is a discussion about homosexuality, it would indicate that they are referring to a lesbian relationship.

    “Common sense also opposes your view. If a society is against homosexuality would it openly approve lesbian marriages?”

    If you would name it something difference, yes. If you tell people it has to do with something then what it is, it’s possible to get people to believe a lot.

    “Maybe lesbians have hid their true intent by entering such a marriage, but the very reason they could hide is because the culture viewed the marriage as non-lesbian in nature!”

    Perhaps their culture views homosexuality differently, such as only between two men. But nice to see you can admit that it is possible this is a homosexual marriage in disguise.

    “The issues rests on what the Nuer culture believes about it.”

    Then please provide some data that specifically says that the Nuer culture sees this as a heterosex relationship because all the info you have provided so far does not support that view.

    You presented this form of relationship to support your point that not all same-sex marriage is based on homosexuality and yet, all evidence points to the exact opposite.

  186. Mark
    November 13th, 2010 at 08:21 | #186

    Chairm: “Sexual basis: sex integration, provision for responsible procreation, these combined as a coherent whole. ”

    So, again, if procreation is such an inherent part of the definition, why does not society INSIST on procreation? And why is it OK to reward those couples who do not procreate either due to infertility or due to choice? As for sexual integration, if you mean Tab A into slot B, that works too for gay couples so there is sexual integration present.

    “that special status for SSM is actually a reward for same-sex sexual behavior.”

    Same sex attraction is an inborn quality of who a person is – it is not chosen. SSM is NOT reward for same-sex behavior any more than marriage is a reward for opposite-sex behavior.

    “Yet you demand special status for SSM without offering a sexual basis that would meet your own stated standards.”

    Once again, nice a slow, my definition of marriage is much as what Ruth had said: Living, two in number, unmarried, humans, consenting adults, who are not closely related. The only portion of her definition I disagree with is about opposite sex.

    “Indeed, it would be an interesting turn in the discussion if you could take a stab at make the SSM idea coherent while differentiating it from the rest of nonmarriage. ”

    As I have said before, SSM is as different from nonmarriage as OSM, I am just sorry you cannot pay attention to details.
    I can ask you the same thing about OSM. The ONLY difference you can produce is “responsible procreation”, which can still occur in nonmarriage (some OSM, like Goldie Hawn and Russell for example) and in “sex integration” which occurs frequently outside of marriage. And you still cannot adequate defend this reasoning in OSM when the couples are either incapable or unwilling to engage in “responsible procreation”.

  187. Mark
    November 13th, 2010 at 08:31 | #187

    Chairm: “What is the core meaning, in your view?”

    The core meaning for SSM is the same as for OSM: two consenting, non-related adults who wish to form a life together in a mutually support relationship.

    Marriage differentiates itself from nonmarriage by the commitment of it’s participants to form a legal entity.

    “Do you have a different understanding of social institutions? ”

    I believe that social institutions do change over time. At one time, and still in Europe, a person was to remain in their class. In the US, racial separation was a strongly held social institution. but the problem is, does the social institution go against a core value of society? In those two cases and the case of SSM it’s the core concept (in this country at least) of equality.

    “Do you acknowledge that the law recongizes (sic) the social institution rather than the Government creating and owning marriage?”

    I am not clear on what you mean in this sentence. What “law” are you referring to?

  188. Mark
    November 13th, 2010 at 08:41 | #188

    Chairm: “When a court imposes SSM it does not make same-sex sexual behavior mandatory — not even same-sex sexual attraction, nor romance, nor gay identity. ”

    First off no one is “imposing” anything, but you use of language exposes your bigotry.

    But I can say the same thing: When a court allows OSM it does not make opposite-sex sexual behavior mandatory — not even opposite-sex sexual attraction, nor romance, nor straight identity.

    See? It’s exactly the same.

    “The way I see, and have explained, the man-woman basis for the special status of marriage stands up far better against those rules than the SSM idea. ”

    LOL, of COURSE you would! But, you are wrong.

    “nonmarital types of relationships (i.e. nonmarriage) / SSM cannot be distinguished from nonmarriage ”
    You must mean “being single”. It really is an ignorant thing to continue to refer to same-sex marriage as nonmarriage.

    “Marital status is a special status — you have agreed this is true; yet when asked for the special reason for that special status you have bolted from your own terms of argumentation”

    That is simply not true. Like so many haters of SSM, you will only hear the arguments you think are worthwhile and completely ignore the rest. Even where there are more holes poked in your arguments than swish cheese, you will continue to hold on to them.

    Which, is an example of bigotry (“stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own”).

  189. Chairm
    November 13th, 2010 at 22:28 | #189

    Marital status is not a reward for “being an opposite-sex couple”.

  190. Chairm
    November 13th, 2010 at 22:40 | #190

    Mark, responsible procreation is at the core of the social institution. It is combined with integration of the sexes.

    Now, if you do not recognize that marriage is first and foremost a social institution, fine, we can proceed with your viewpoint being about something else.

    If, however, you acknowledge that it is a foundational social institution of civil society, good, we can proceed from there.

    Marital status is not a reward.

    Mark said: “As for sexual integration, if you mean Tab A into slot B, that works too for gay couples so there is sexual integration present.”

    I have referred to sex integration; I have also referred to integration of the sexes. I have noted that this is combined with the provision for responsible procreation as a coherent whole (i.e. a social institution). Dividing these essentials does not preserve the whole but rather dismantles it.

    In contrast, your rejoinder features ‘sexual integration’ which for you means ‘Tab A into slot B’.

    Does the all-female and the all-male scenarios have the identical Tab A and slot B? No matter, neither is identical to the husband-wife union, even in terms of your notion of ‘sexual integration’. Indeed, the two one-sexed scenarios are not identical — neither in function nor in form nor in societal significance — and ‘sexual integration’ as you described is not integration of the sexes.

    By the by, the Tab A and Tab B thing can and does occur outside of marriage, right? So according to your own rules of argumentation your notion of ‘sexual integration’ cannot be definitive of marriage nor of SSM.

  191. Chairm
    November 13th, 2010 at 22:52 | #191

    Mark, you concede that, at law, there is no sexual basis for SSM, according to your thinking on the justification for special status for SSM (marital status is a special status you seek for SSM).

    You said: “The state makes no requirements to have sex, so opposite-sex couple marriage and same-sex couple marriage are free of any sexual behavior requirements.”

    Right, in the sense that the marriage idea does not require premarital sexual relations between the man and the woman — this is not a qualification for eligibility to marry.

    Marital status is unconditional. A husband and wife are not just a little married nor a whole lot married nor tentatively married. So they enter the social institution, gain the special status that is conferred on those who do enter it, and the sexual requirements are expressed in other ways that clearly invoke coital relations: see consummation, annulment, adultery, and marital presumption of paternity.

    The way marriage law works is that there are reasonable legal presumptions that follow entry into marriage. Unless either husband or wife bring forth an objection that their union was not sexually consummated, that sexual aspect remains protected as private; we don’t presume the opposite and rely on Govenrment agents peering into the bridal bedroom to do random spot checks. Likewise later in marriage we do not send Government in to enforce as mandatory sexual relations between husband and wife; it is presumed that this is a sexual type of relationship because there is societal significance in that type of relationship. I think the sexual basis for the marital presumption of paternity makes this crystal clear and also illustrates the centrality of responsible procreation and sex integration. Fatherhood and motherhood are united; that unity has societal preference.

    Now, if your stand by your concession that there is no sexual basis for SSM, nor for marriage, in your viewpoint of lawmaking, that’s fine. But you cannot rely on a legal presumption of sexual behavior when attempting to justify the lines of eligiblity to marry. Right? Not without making such line-drawing an exercise in arbitrariness.

  192. Chairm
    November 13th, 2010 at 22:59 | #192

    Sean, in your attempt to show the difference between marriage and nonmarriage (prior to pinning the label on marriage and prior to according it special status) you have been very short on details and very long on ambiguity.

    The example of a sexual basis for SSM is a big example of that very thing. It turns out, as I had anticipated, you agree that there is no sexual basis for SSM, at law, because you mistakenly believe there to be no sexual basis for the union of husband and wife, at law. So what you called ‘sexual integration’ does not distinguish SSM from the rest of nonmarriage, in your viewpoint.

    So if your earlier comment really does indicate that you think that special status for SSM would be reward for the tab A into slot B thing, then, you’d transgress your own stated standards of argumentation.

  193. Chairm
    November 13th, 2010 at 23:20 | #193

    Mark,

    The combination of sex integration and responsible procreation does distinguish marriage from nonmarriage. The preference for the union of husband and wife flows from the societal response to that combination.

    Yes, of course, there is procreation outside of marriage; but it is preferred that the mom-dad duo pre-commit to the responsiblity of procreation and that they stick around to raise their children together.

    That socital preference exists; you may disagree with it and protest that it is wrong for society to treat the unity of fatherhood and motherhood as normative via the social institution of marriage. You might continue to demand 100% guarantees and invoke those other rules of argumentation that you set against the marriage idea. But that does not really undermine marriage’s special reason for special status; it only diminishes your own SSM idea since it cannot withstand, for a moment’s glance, the scrutiny that you insist on in your own stated standards.

    On the other hand, the marital presumption of paternity is vigorously enforced; its sexual basis exists in the law governing marriage; and that sexual basis is expressed in other aspects of the marriage law. It depends on the complementarity of two sexes and is neither one-sexed nor sex-neutral. The reliablity of this presumption is very high in practice — almost all challenges to the presumption turn out to be mistaken; yes, there is an overflow effect whereby some places now have unwed presumption of paternity, also based on the same sexual complementarity of human procreativity, but that has proven to be less reliable and brings forth hamfisted government intrusions that exceed the interventions courts normally permit under the marital presumption.

    As for the husband-wife duos who experience infertility, which is a disability, well, I don’t think that they disqualify themselves since they can still fulfill the core meaning of marriage. We don’t force married people to procreate but to demand otherwise is to discredit your own concept of consent, surely. And we don’t have Government fertilty squads roaming the countryside investigating each and every marriage to ensure that the infertile duos are weeded out and their marital status revoked unilaterally by Government order. Again, to invite such intrusions would be anti-marriage for a host of reaons; plus such intrusions would be totalitarian and unjust for reasons beyond the marriage idea itself.

    A husband and wife share their fertility. No one-sexed arrangement is infertile since it is never fertile in the first place. So such an arrangement is nonfertile and does not experience the disablity of infertile couples. Fertility and fecundity is intrinsically opposite-sexed and is not sex-neutral. So it is a false equivalence, both functionally and morally, that you propose. On the other hand, the marriage idea includes in sickness and in health; so infertility does not transgress that idea; it also includes sex integration and the infnertile husband and wife can and do fullfill that central aspect of the marriage idea even if they suffer the pains and stresses of such a disablity.

    Now some perspective: we can agree that 100% of one-sexed scenarios are nonfertile — the lack of the other sex is not infertility. Also, we can agree that same-sex sexual attraction is not a disability in terms of your notion of sexual integration. However, the societal significance, if any, of same-sex sexual behavior could not rise to the heights of the societal significance of responsible procreation and sex integration. Maybe you can offer a societal signficance for the all-male tab A into slot B thing; or for the corresponding female scenario.

    But even at that, you have conceded that there is no sexual basis, at law, for SSM. Yet that is not true for fertility nor for responsible procreation nor for sex integration nor for marriage, at law.

  194. Chairm
    November 13th, 2010 at 23:30 | #194

    Mark, thank you for digging deeper on distinguishing marriage from nonmarriage.

    You said: “Marriage differentiates itself from nonmarriage by the commitment of it’s participants to form a legal entity.”

    Nomarriage is well-populated by formed legal entities (legal relationships or legal lving arrangements). And other entities which, though lawful, are not accorded legal status. Commitment is insufficient to distinguish nonmarriage from marriage; commitment of the participants to form an entity, lawful or legal, does not do the trick, either.

    Marriage is a particular type of relationship. It is such before the law gets involved; the license and the special status that shape the legal entity, to use your term, recognize the social institution of marriage into which individuals enter. Begin with the type of relationship before moving on to the notion of commitment and the notion of legal entity.

    The law does not create marriage; the government does not own the foundational social institutions of civil society. The legal shadow, and the governmental shadow, depends on the social institution — the edifice — that casts the shadows. Use the light of reason to illuminate marriage; the law merely reflects it.

  195. Chairm
    November 13th, 2010 at 23:40 | #195

    Mark said: “The core meaning for SSM is the same as for OSM: two consenting, non-related adults who wish to form a life together in a mutually support relationship.”

    You cited limits: the number two, consenting, non-related, and adults. These are not the core but boundaries around the core.

    Two is intrinsic to the two-sexed nature of humankind; it is not intrinsic to the one-sexed category. That to which consent is given is what matters; otherwise consent is a limit without a purpose. Related people can and do marry; some are ineligible; so this limit needs to be justified based on the core of marriage — or of SSM. Likewise, non-adults may marry; some may not marry; age limits vary depending on the thing to which consent is given and the core for which societal consent is given.

    Likewise, the wish to marry is not a trump card; that is illustrated by the consent requirement which even if fullfilled would not include societal consent for siblings, for example, or for other mutally supportive relationships.

    Again, the nonmarriage category is well-populated with mutually supportive relationships, longterm and otherwise, lawful, legal, committed, and so forth.

    You need to step back further and get at the type of relationship you have in mind before this other stuff — legal incidents and limitations and the like — are assembled with societal consent in the regulation of that type of relationship. The implementation of such regulation and protocols is on the surface; the type of relationship, its essentials or core meaning, that is far deeper and if it is not sound, then, the rest is unsustainable.

  196. Chairm
    November 13th, 2010 at 23:44 | #196

    Mark, when a court imposes SSM, it is usually because the legislature or the people did not enact it. If you don’t like the word, impose, then, perhaps you can suggest a more accurate term.

    You like to charge me with bigotry but I have asked for your objective criteria for assessing bigotry in comments. If use of the word, impose, is a criterion, then, is the use of “ban” by SSMers a similair criterion of bigotry? If not, why not?

  197. Chairm
    November 13th, 2010 at 23:47 | #197

    Mark said:

    “But I can say the same thing: When a court allows OSM it does not make opposite-sex sexual behavior mandatory — not even opposite-sex sexual attraction, nor romance, nor straight identity.”

    And yet the sexual basis for the union of husband and wife is embedded in the marriage law. And there is no sexual basis for SSM where it has been imposed or enacted. Your attempt to mirror has led you to deny the sexual basis for marriage.

    That means your gay emphasis, also based on attempts to mirror, is insincere at worst and entirely arbitrary at best.

  198. Chairm
    November 13th, 2010 at 23:50 | #198

    The man-woman basis for the special status of marriage stands up far better against your own rules of argumentation than does the SSM idea.

    There are legal requirements; you object to these. There is a sexual basis; you object to that. There is justification for boundaries around the core of marriage; you reject that core and arbitrarily copy-paste the boundaries that are justified by that core.

    The marriage idea comes out the winner; the SSM idea is defeated by your own rules of argumentation.

  199. Chairm
    November 13th, 2010 at 23:57 | #199

    Mark said: “You must mean ‘being single’. It really is an ignorant thing to continue to refer to same-sex marriage as nonmarriage.”

    Nope, bug singledom is certainly a subset of nonmarriage. There is a large world out there and nonmarriage comprises the largest portion of types of relationships and types of arrangements. And that includes two-sexed and one-sexed scenarios.

    Note: the one-sexed category is not definitively ‘gay’ nor homosexual. Nor is the two-sexed category definitively ‘straight’ or heterosexual. Gay identity politics places the gay-straight dichotomy at the fore while the rest of marriage is largely indifferent to that socio-political construct favored by SSMers.

    Since, you Mark, as an SSM advocate in our discussions, have failed to distinguish SSM from nonmarriage, it is fair to continue to make the observation that even within your own terms of argumentation SSM is a subset of nonmarriage. You might take rhetorical liberties, of course, but you have offered nothing substantial to back that up. If you don’t know how to back it up, then, it is your ignorance, not mine, that belies a strong and unreasoned prejudice.

  200. Chairm
    November 14th, 2010 at 00:04 | #200

    The SSM idea is tolerated but not preferred. That is not bigotry, Mark, but quite the opposite.

    I have followed your reasoning as you have described the SSM idea (i.e. your idea of marriage) and I have accurately represented it in our discussions. Your concessions have been made with mutual understanding. So the charge of ignorance is invalid; and the charge of stubborn intolerance is also invalid since I have discussed with you the merits of the SSM idea shorn of the emphasis on gay identity politics.

    Sure, I stubbornly oppose a bad idea and resolutely support a very good idea. I know where I stand in the conflict between the SSM idea and the marriage idea. You pose as one ignorant of that conflict; and you stubbornly refer to those who disagree with you as bigots and haters. That belies bigotry on your part, Mark, by your own criteria.

    Maybe you imagine your bigotry to be more benign than other kinds of bigotry, but bigotry it is nonetheless.

  201. Chairm
    November 14th, 2010 at 00:13 | #201

    Sean said: “there is no lack of marriage licenses, and no need to limit access to marriage”.

    That puts all the limits on the table. The SSM idea can not do otherwise. And since SSM lacks a core meaning, and is really only about ‘personal choice’, it has no claim to being a foundational social institution of civil society.

    Hence, SSM argumentation cuts SSM off from the justification, in constitutional jurisprudence, for describing a fundamental right to marry.

    * * *

    There is no lack of licenses for other stuff; and yet one does not attain a fishing license and pretend it is a license to marry. But according to the rationale of Sean, we might as well extend fishing licenses to nonfishing as well.

  202. Chairm
    November 14th, 2010 at 00:17 | #202

    Sean asked: “If someone chooses to partner with a same-sex person, why is it anyone else’s business?”

    Good question. If it is not the business of society, then, it does not merit a license, much less a special status on par with marital status.

    Your gay emphasis is all about group identity rather than marriage. Your remarks lack a rational basis for special status based on gayness and so meet your own criteria for bigotry. The gap in SSM argumentation exists, Sean, and your comments here have outlined that gap for the readership.

  203. Chairm
    November 14th, 2010 at 00:48 | #203

    Sean you do advocate that society blind itself to marriage such that all unions of husband and wife would be treated as if they lacked either husbands or wives. You do argue against boundaries. You do not justify your gay emphasis in lawmaking even as you demand that gayness be the basis for merging SSM with marriage.

    * * *

    Here is what you offered by way of trying to make the SSM idea coherent:

    “Same-sex couples wish to marry for the same reasons opposite-sex couples wish to marry: security, public expression of commitment to their partner, create a more secure environment for any children they might be raising, etc.”

    Your use of the phrase, ‘same-sex couples’, remains unjustified.

    Given your explicit gay emphasis, that phrase is merely a deliberately vague stand-in for a type of ‘gay relationship’, and you have yet to justify the gay emphasis, much less the deliberate vagueness of your rhetoric. The number two is hardly intrinsic to gayness. It has no societal significance in that context anyway. If it had, you’d have proposed that to be mandatory for all who’d SSM.

    Meanwhile, the part of your reply that follows the colon mark does not distinguish SSM from the rest of nonmarriage. And so instead you would use a license to do what your reasoning cannot.

    Sean said: “Same-sex marriage is different from non-marriage in that a couple possesses a marriage license. Non-married couples do not.”

    Every couple who marries will, for a time, possess a license while still unmarried. And some who posses a license will not actually marry. I think you misunderstand the role of licenses. The permit office does not issue status but licenses.

    A license signifies societal consent; but that to which consent is given is at issue here, Sean. Step back and consider the type of relationship that is being licensed; justify the license and the special status based on the essential(s) of that type of relationship.

    Sean said:

    “If a couple meets the standards to get married, they get to have their own purpose or reason for marrying.”

    And yet private motivations can not justify special status. Again, you have failed to distinguish SSM from nonmarriage.

    As I said, the licensing scheme is not self-justifying.

    Sean said: “Actually, it is. Just ask Britney Spears.”

    Britney Spears got an annulment.

    You still have not justified the licensing scheme for the union of husband and wife. Nor have you justified the special status to which society consents — that consent signified by the issuance of a license. This merely clarifies the boundaries for eligilbity. And you have yet to justify boundaries you keep copy-pasting.

    Again and again you say stuff that does not distinguish SSM from nonmarriage.

    You said: “to build a more secure relationships, to publicly express their commitment to their partner, to create a more stable environment for raising children, to be happy, etc. [...] It’s all really about personal choice.”

    That applies quite readily to the vast majority of the types of relationships and the types of living arrangements that exist in the nonmarriage category.

    The gay-straight dichotomy is false in the context of marriage; the real dichotomy is marriage and nonmarriage. SSM is a subset of nonmarriage and no SSMer has managed to justify plucking the gay subset of nonmarriage out of that category and elevating it to special status on par with marital status.

    Sure, they have attacked the marriage idea but that is a direct attack on the special reason(s) for the special status of marriage. Hence the merger of SSM with marriage is actually a merger of nonmarriage with marriage. That means the demotion of marriage from its preferential status. The marriage idea is being disparaged as beneath even tolerative status — as bigoted and hateful. How odd that SSMers would attach SSM to a status that depends on all that they reject so insistently.

  204. Chairm
    November 14th, 2010 at 01:06 | #204

    Typpo correction: “Gay identity politics places the gay-straight dichotomy at the fore while the rest of non-marriage is largely indifferent to that socio-political construct favored by SSMers.”

  205. Mark
    November 14th, 2010 at 12:32 | #205

    Chairm: “Now, if you do not recognize that marriage is first and foremost a social institution”

    I do recognize it as a social institution, I just do not recognize that responsible procreation is at the core of this social institution.

    “I have referred to sex integration; I have also referred to integration of the sexes.”
    Chairm, you really can quit writing paragraphs when it simply comes down to nothing but one man and one woman equals marriage for you. The rest is wasted verbiage.

    “Right, in the sense that the marriage idea does not require premarital sexual relations between the man and the woman — this is not a qualification for eligibility to marry.”

    LOL, nice dodge. It doesn’t require these things AFTER marriage either, which blows apart completely your idea of a sexual basis.

    “if your stand by your concession that there is no sexual basis for SSM”

    Learn to read…..and comprehend. I have said there is no more a sexual basis for SSM than there is for OSM. In other words, there really is NO sexual basis for marriage, OSM, SSM or any other form. And you prove you understand this for OSM by your paragraph after paragraph attempt to defend it.

    “As for the husband-wife duos who experience infertility, which is a disability, well, I don’t think that they disqualify themselves since they can still fulfill the core meaning of marriage”

    But THEY CAN’T by YOUR DEFINITION. For GOD SAKES be consistent! They DO NOT PROCREATE so they DO NOT meet this essential portion of marriage you insist upon.

    “Two is intrinsic to the two-sexed nature of humankind; it is not intrinsic to the one-sexed category.”

    That is true. But marriage is a social institution, as you so frequently state. It does NOT have to follow any natural laws.

    “The implementation of such regulation and protocols is on the surface; the type of relationship, its essentials or core meaning, that is far deeper and if it is not sound, then, the rest is unsustainable.”

    Then, Chairm, lets do away with ALL benefits from the government regarding marriage and leave it at it’s core. That way, you can have it your way, and I can have it the way it should be. No laws regarding shared property, child raising, inheritance, health care, pensions – nothing. All these things can be obtained by paying huge sums of money to attorneys so then we can stop this bickering.

    “And yet the sexual basis for the union of husband and wife is embedded in the marriage law.”

    And yet, the case regarding Prop 8 blows a huge hole in this idea. That, the idea of marriage, is really a union of two consenting adults and gender is not relevant.

    “Since, you Mark, as an SSM advocate in our discussions, have failed to distinguish SSM from nonmarriage, it is fair to continue to make the observation that even within your own terms of argumentation SSM is a subset of nonmarriage.”

    Chairm, you cannot be so ignorant to say that same-sex marriage is really nonmarriage. But, if disregarding the relationship two people have committed to is your way, then so be it. I guess that makes all marriage, nonmarriage. It makes as much sense.

    “That is not bigotry, Mark, but quite the opposite.”
    Wrong again, Chairm. When you refer to same-sex marraige as nonmarriage, that the ONLY marriage is between a man and a woman yet can come up with no sound reason for it (as was proved in the Prop 8 trial), it is bigotry, pure and simple.

    “Maybe you imagine your bigotry to be more benign than other kinds of bigotry, but bigotry it is nonetheless.”

    It’s one of the big problems of the haters of SSM. The just don’t understand terms such as same-sex couples and bigotry. Sad. I support marriage for all, you deny it to some. I stand for rights for all, you deny rights for some you disagree with. Sorry, that’s bigotry in a big way.

  206. Sean
    November 14th, 2010 at 13:02 | #206

    “Sean, in your attempt to show the difference between marriage and nonmarriage (prior to pinning the label on marriage and prior to according it special status) you have been very short on details and very long on ambiguity.”

    I think you’ve been very long on rhetoric and short on substance.

    “you agree that there is no sexual basis for SSM”

    Nor is there one for OSM: no couple is required to have sex to get or stay married, or to get married if they are having sex.

    “you mistakenly believe there to be no sexual basis for the union of husband and wife, at law”

    Show me the wording from a marriage statute that says a husband and wife are required in any way to have or not have sex and then we can talk. But seriously, the idle proclamations remain unconvincing.

    “it is preferred that the mom-dad duo pre-commit to the responsiblity of procreation and that they stick around to raise their children together.”

    Do they have to get married for this to happen?

    “the marital presumption of paternity is vigorously enforced”

    And this doesn’t change when same-sex marriage is legal. Just look at places where same-sex marriage is legal if you have any doubts.

    “As for the husband-wife duos who experience infertility, which is a disability…”

    Not in all cases: the elderly are not disabled for losing their ability to procreate: it is a natural part of life. And couples who refuse to have children are not disabled. Just an FYI.

    “we don’t have Government fertilty squads roaming the countryside investigating each and every marriage to ensure that the infertile duos are weeded out and their marital status revoked unilaterally by Government order”

    But we do seem to have a lot of busy-body citizens who feel it is their responsibility to police who may or may not marry. Is this like a citizen’s arrest or something?!

    “such intrusions would be totalitarian and unjust for reasons beyond the marriage idea itself.”

    But intrude on gay people’s lives we shall!

    “No one-sexed arrangement is infertile since it is never fertile in the first place.”

    Tell me how the non-babies of the elderly couple are different from the non-babies of the same-sex couple. Do you ever worry about the well-being of children after they’re birthed? Would the children of same-sex couples not be better off if their parents married?

    “when a court imposes SSM”

    Wow, has someone forced you to marry a same-sex partner?! Where? I’d be interested in knowing. You must be a biracial person, since your white father was forced to marry a black woman back when the US Supreme Court “imposed” mixed-race marriage on the country!

    “The SSM idea is tolerated but not preferred.”

    That’s fine. Mixed-race marriage is evidently tolerated but not preferred by some people. Just so it’s legal.

    “That puts all the limits on the table.”

    I can live with that. Yes, I approve of a man marrying a table! You people are a joke.

    “one does not attain a fishing license and pretend it is a license to marry”

    Well unless you’re delusional. A marriage license is, well, a marriage license. Since five states, the District of Columbia and several countries let both same-sex and opposite-sex couples marry, what, substantively, is your objection? It’s happening, same-sex couples’ relationships are more secure, their children’s lives are more secure, homophobia is receding, it’s all good!

  207. bman
    November 14th, 2010 at 19:36 | #207

    Sean :
    bman: Their ruling was not based merely on the constitution.

    Sean: That is an unsupportable opinion.

    Its very supportable and its not just an “opinion.” Its a point of fact.

    They said, “…equal protection can only be defined by the standards of each generation….”

    That implies at least two different bases for the ruling. The term “equal protection” refers to the Constitution and “the standards” refers to cultural norms.

    This, in itself, does not prove something wrong with the ruling. But even if we presumed “the standards of this generation” were correctly applied by the court, it would still be a fact (not an opinion but a fact) their ruling was not based on the Constitution alone.

    This raises the question of whether the court correctly interpreted “the standards” of Iowans.

    If the court was not correct on “the standards” of Iowans, it would mean the ruling ultimately depended on a false premise.

    bman: [per the court] …equal protection can only be defined by the standards of each generation…. That sounds very similar to interpreting the constitution based on contemporary politics.

    Sean: Why do you think that? All sorts of US Supreme Court rulings have recognized not politics but changing standards and norms in society.

    I do not dispute your statement above. Nor do I think it makes all those rulings political, or that it necessarily makes the Varnum ruling political. Nor do I think the Iowa judges intended to be political.

    My comment that “it sounds very similar” was speculative. It seemed the court may have interpreted the din of political warfare for changed norms.

    From where else could the incorrect idea of changed “standards” in Iowa have likely come from?

    A different section of the ruling mentioned law changes in Iowa that prohibit SSO discrimination in areas such as housing. Maybe it came from that.

    However, such laws represent political victories by liberal law makers rather than a change in the norms of the people.

    In Maine, for example, their legislature and governor enacted a same sex marriage law. This was a political victory by liberal lawmakers, and not evidence of a norm, since later the people of Maine vetoed it.

    Many states do not have a veto option and so they would be essentially stuck with an SSO law change until a new political party came into power.

    In any event, the essential point is that the Varnum ruling was mistaken about the “nature of society” in Iowa as well as “the standards” of the current generation of Iowans, as the retention vote in Iowa showed.

    If a court’s ruling strikes down an old cultural norm based on a mistaken assessment of current cultural norms, it would subvert the actual norm of the culture in the guise of “the Constitution.”

    Even if you think the Iowa Supreme Court ruled incorrectly (all seven of them?!), how is firing them for their decision a practical or fair response? It was revenge, plain and simple, egged on by an outside hate group, NOM.

    Is “revenge” the only possible option, or are you just determined to paint it that way?

    Was the Boston Tea party “revenge?” The Declaration of Independence? The Civil Rights Movement?

    Here are just some of the possible reasons for the vote:

    (1) A no confidence vote. The people no longer had confidence in the judges and so they should not vote to retain them.

    (2) This was the first opportunity the people had to respond to the ruling, and they did it within the restraints permitted by the law.

    (3) The people judiciously voted against retention of the judges because it publically stated who Iowans are and what they stand for, and it was meant for their community and the nation as well.

    (4) Iowans believe they have the right to change the government as they see fit.

    There may be more than this, but its enough to show more reasons exist than what you proposed.

    Politicized rulings would be the problem if average citizens were charged with interpreting the constitutionality of laws.

    It would be a possibility, but the same can be said about giving “average citizens” the right to change the Constitution!

    Besides, your claim ignores FDR’s comment that judges have acted like “a government of men” in the past.

    Society needs an effective method to prevent the court from substituting its will for the will of the people.

    I favor something more than just a retention vote. I would like the people to issue a stay against a court ruling until a constitutional amendment process had been completed, or until a statute had the necessary time to change.

    This idea can work alongside keeping the judges for life, or it can work with retention voting.

    All seven of these judges, plus a lower court judge, all eight misread Iowa’s constitution?? Talk about a faulty premise!

    The “faulty premise” comment meant the judges misread Iowan “culture.”

    And in that case, its the view of eight judges on the culture against the thousands of Iowans who voted against them.

    I also think the majority of judges in the U.S. who dealt with SSM ruled against it. The judges from Iowa should be viewed merely as a local grouping of judges who were unanimous but who are ultimately in the minority compared to the national picture.

    bman: “But we also need protection so the will of the court (in a ruling) is not substituted for the will of the people (in the Constitution).”

    Sean: You and OnLawn should form a club for people who like to talk about our nation’s legal system but don’t know how it works.

    By your standards FDR doesn’t know how it works either!

    And lets not forget the “test score” you implicitly gave Alexander Hamilton where you said, “Why do you feel Hamilton is a constitutional authority, by the way?”

    bman: Those “terms” were never based on sexual orientation for anyone, but they were always based on “reproductive biology” for everyone.

    Sean: They are based on who wanted to marry whom, to the exclusion of a disliked minority, gays and lesbians.

    The choice of one’s partner, for everyone, is subordinate and conditional to society’s purpose for marriage being met.

    The court asked the state to support why it wanted to discriminate against same-sex couples and the state couldn’t come up with a rational public interest for doing so. The court didn’t have much choice here. That’s why the decision was UNANIMOUS.

    That is technically incorrect. The state would have won the case if the court had only tested for “rational basis” as other courts have done.

    The court, however, decided to use a stricter standard they called, “intermediate scrutiny.”

    The link from my previous reply argues why the Varnum ruling should not have used the stricter standard

    Its at No Animus, No Scrutiny—Or, Another Reason Why Iowa’s High Court Was Wrong

    bman: In addition to the ruling having subverted the spiritual and moral norms of the people,…”

    Sean: The spiritual and moral norms of the people are not the concern of judges.

    Yes, but its of great concern to the people, which is probably why the judges were not retained.

    Would a people intend their own constitution to make their spiritual and moral norms unconstitutional?

    Clearly not.

    So, if a judge ruled their spiritual and moral norms unconstitutional based on their own constitution, what does that say about the judge’s ability to interpret the constitution?

    What does a Texas gay divorce case have to do with the Iowa constitution?

    The plaintiff in the Texas case argued that equal protection and due process required Texas to recognize same sex marriages so he could get a divorce there.

    As a result, the Texas court explained why it rejected the various arguments for recognizing same sex marriage.

    Certainly, the Texas ruling does not have jurisdiction over Iowa, but it explains why restricting marriage to a man and a woman is compatible with, and not irreconcilable with, the US Constitution.

    Also, the Iowa court said, “Generally, we view the federal and state equal protection clauses as “identical in scope, import, and purpose.”

    The Texas case, therefore, is applicable to Iowa because it dealt with the US.Constitution on points which are “…identical in scope, import, and purpose..” as in Iowa.

    In its ruling on Aug 31, 2010, the Texas 5th District Court said same sex marriage is not a fundamental right, contra Varnum.

  208. Sean
    November 15th, 2010 at 07:54 | #208

    “They said, “…equal protection can only be defined by the standards of each generation….””

    Yes and most Americans believe that gay people have the same rights as straight people. That was not true, say, 50 or 100 years ago. Gay sex is decriminalized, homosexuality is no longer considered an illness, gay people are participating in all other walks of life. The standards of the generation embarking on marriage is quite supportive of same-sex marriage. And nearly all generations will answer “Yes!” to the question, “do gay Americans have the same rights as straight Americans?”

    “it would still be a fact (not an opinion but a fact) their ruling was not based on the Constitution alone.”

    Such a “fact” would call into question any equal protection ruling by any court anywhere. Somehow, I doubt that’s what you intend to do.

    “This raises the question of whether the court correctly interpreted “the standards” of Iowans.”

    Since Iowans appear not to want to discriminate against gay people in any other state matter, it is a reasonable belief to say that they believe gay people have the same rights as straight people. You either have the same rights or you don’t. Marriage discrimination doesn’t get to be a special little area of the law, reserved for straight people, lacking a rational public purpose for doing so.

    “However, such laws represent political victories by liberal law makers rather than a change in the norms of the people.”

    Yes, of course, it’s all the liberals’ fault.

    “In any event, the essential point is that the Varnum ruling was mistaken about the “nature of society” in Iowa as well as “the standards” of the current generation of Iowans, as the retention vote in Iowa showed.”

    Wrong, wrong, wrong. The retention vote reflects the will of a vengeful majority, not the will of the people. And the people are unqualified to determine the constitutionality of a law. Like it or not, they are stuck with the determination of the judges they have. Getting revenge on judges for rulings you don’t like could have consequences you might not like: future sympathy to gay people, for example.

    “If a court’s ruling strikes down an old cultural norm based on a mistaken assessment of current cultural norms, it would subvert the actual norm of the culture in the guise of “the Constitution.””

    Do gay people have the same constitutional rights as straight people? A simple yes or no will do. Most Americans answer “Yes!” to this question. If equal protection rules depend, in part, on current existing social norms, exactly how is denying gay people access to marriage not in conformance to cultural norms?

    “Is “revenge” the only possible option, or are you just determined to paint it that way?”

    Yes, it is. The people who voted to fire these judges were persuaded by an outside hate group, NOM, to fire them for “legislating from the bench,” or some other canned accusation. I strongly suspect the people who voted to oust these judges have not read the Iowa constitution, the Varnum decision and have no legal training. There were, however, angry about seeing gay people be allowed to marry and after also being convinced by outsiders that same-sex marriage was being “imposed” on them, thereby giving them the notion that their own freedoms were being curtailed, they jumped at the chance to exact revenge. The fact is, most Iowans don’t know enough about our legal system to know if these judges did something wrong or not. They just know how they feel, and that someone has given them a method to exact revenge: vote no on retention.

    Not one of your four possibilities withstands scrutiny.

    1. No confidence vote: A lack of confidence does not and should not emanate from one ruling you don’t like. And when the ruling is unanimous, a thoughtful citizen questions his own biases, admits his lack of understanding of his state’s legal system, and grows up. Ironically, since it was a unanimous ruling, all of these judges are defective, right? If they could have, would Iowans have wiped out the whole slate of judges? To be consistent, shouldn’t they have? And what would be the implications to the judicial system with all their supreme court judges fired?
    2. Responding to ruling: the response, if you don’t like a law, is to vote for legislators willing to get a constitutional amendment enacted allowing Iowa to discriminate against gay people. It would be sad, but that’s the proper avenue. Firing judges is merely an act of revenge, since it changed nothing, other than the employment status of the judges.
    3. “who Iowans are and what they stand for”. Unless Iowans meant to signal to an astonished nation how ignorant they are of America’s legal system, or how vengeful they are when crossed, or how easily manipulated they are by outsiders, I don’t think they sent the signal they intended. They certainly signaled to potential judges that you can get fired for doing your job. Many otherwise fine and highly qualified persons may decline to serve the public in this capacity, for fear of losing one’s job for doing it, or for a disdain for serving such an ignorant public.
    4. “right to change the government”. Except that they didn’t change the government. They just fired some players who will be replaced by other players, possibly less qualified players and/or possibly players just as committed to equal protection for all Iowa citizens. Since we are a nation of laws not men, merely changing the players doesn’t change the government.

    “the same can be said about giving “average citizens” the right to change the Constitution!”

    And that’s why we don’t let average citizens change the constitution. Did you have a point?

    “Society needs an effective method to prevent the court from substituting its will for the will of the people.”

    Your persistent ignorance of the American system of government is astounding. Courts are not in place to reflect the will of the people. Courts often make rulings that most people oppose. We do not vote on the constitutionality of laws. Why? Because the people are not knowledgeable about the constitution and preceding case law that binds courts to reach certain conclusions.

    “I would like the people to issue a stay against a court ruling until a constitutional amendment process had been completed, or until a statute had the necessary time to change.”

    Feel free to work to change the system of government in your state to enact the process you prefer. In Iowa, at least, the court is under no particular mandate or rule to issue stays on their rulings so that the people get a chance to do something about a ruling they don’t care for. You really need to get it out of your head that our judicial system is a “majority rules” system involving the people and their desires.

    “The “faulty premise” comment meant the judges misread Iowan “culture.””

    You honestly think most Iowans think gay people don’t deserve equal rights with straight people, and even if this mattered, that any citizen’s rights depend on permission from fellow citizens? You really shouldn’t have skipped high school government class!

    “By your standards FDR doesn’t know how it works either!”

    Maybe he didn’t. He wanted to pack the court to achieve a legislative outcome and, like NOM, wanted to convince people that the system that appeared to work in every other case, suddenly failed in this particular endeavor.

    “The choice of one’s partner, for everyone, is subordinate and conditional to society’s purpose for marriage being met.”

    Whatever purpose you think marriage has, how is that purpose compromised that same-sex couples marry?

    “The state would have won the case if the court had only tested for “rational basis” as other courts have done.”

    The statute failed even rational basis review. There was ample reason for the court and any court, to use heightened scrutiny. But the court gets to decide these things, doesn’t it? Since marriage is deemed a fundamental right, the court would have been completely within acceptable legal parameters to use STRICT scrutiny. The fact is, the court could have used all the same judicial rules and logic, and if it had ruled the Iowa marriage statute constitutional, you would have applauded their keen judicial abilities. Obviously, it’s the outcome you don’t like, not the judge’s abilities. Ergo, you want them fired for not pleasing you, not displeasing the judicial system.

    “The link from my previous reply argues why the Varnum ruling should not have used the stricter standard”

    But the court gets to use the level of scrutiny it believes is appropriate. It is just as strong an argument to say they should have used STRICT scrutiny, given the US Supreme Court’s statement that marriage is a fundamental right.

    The Texas court is free to find differently than the Iowa court. Why ignore the courts in Connecticut and Massachusetts who found similarly as the Iowa court? What about the district court in the 9th Circuit that found similarly? What about courts in Hawaii, Missouri and New Jersey who issued similar rulings as the Iowa court? My goodness, you’d think the Iowa court was the sole court to find that gay couples have the same right to marry as straight couples!

    These Iowa judges were fired because some Iowans didn’t like their ruling, for personal or religious rulings. They were not fired for any lack of judicial ability. You and others do not like the ruling, and have chosen to find improbable rationales for punishing these judges, even though that punishment does nothing to change Iowa’s marriage law. You’re so foolish and obsessed with this issue, you even have convinced yourself of your power to stop other judges from recognizing the civil rights of gay people! You are creating a lot of collateral damage in your insistence that gay couples not be allowed to wed, including the children of same-sex couples.

    It is all very astonishing.

  209. Ruth
    November 15th, 2010 at 09:16 | #209

    Sean,
    You arrogate to yourself the definition of good and evil, and claim to be more compassionate than God, who calls homosexual behavior “sin”.
    The Creator and Sustainer of the universe is good, and His love endures forever.
    His law is far above the courts of man, and our own courts are more or less just as they reflect His laws.

  210. Sean
    November 15th, 2010 at 12:01 | #210

    “claim to be more compassionate than God, who calls homosexual behavior “sin”.”

    No, some men who wrote about their perception of God called homosexuality a sin. God also says that pre-marital sex, adultery and divorce are “sins,” yet they are perfectly legal in America. Let’s accord same-sex marriage the same status, since homosexuality is also legal.

    “The Creator and Sustainer of the universe is good, and His love endures forever.”

    Sweet.

    “His law is far above the courts of man, and our own courts are more or less just as they reflect His laws.”

    Great. Follow his laws when you get to heaven. And no, our courts do not reflect his laws. See above note about pre-marital sex, adultery and divorce, for starters.

  211. bman
    November 15th, 2010 at 12:05 | #211

    Sean: I am not in the least bit interested in any religion-based legal argument. It is an oxymoron. No need to post links to religion-based websites. What a waste of time.

    You seem to forget that a “religion based legal argument” is where your rights came from in the first place, as found in the Declaration of Independence.

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    Your inability to distinguish between what is “waste” and what is “worthy” is the real problem here.

    Something wasteful occurs when HIV rates are 44 times higher among men who have sex with men and their life spans are reduced compared to other men.

    Something worthy occurs when moral restraint of sexual behavior protects a society from HIV, which it learned from the Christian religion.

    In general, those defending spiritual and moral norms are defending something statistically worthy. Those opposed are defending something that statistically tends to be wasteful.

  212. bman
    November 15th, 2010 at 12:27 | #212

    Sean: The spiritual and moral norms of the people are not the concern of judges.

    The Iowa Constitution also codifies a spiritual value held by the people in its preamble :

    WE THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF IOWA, grateful to the Supreme Being for the blessings hitherto enjoyed, and feeling our dependence on Him for a continuation of those blessings, do ordain and establish a free and independent government, by the name of the State of Iowa, the boundaries whereof shall be as follows:

    So, yes, spiritual values are of great concern to the people, great enough to mention in their Constitution.

    If the spiritual norms of the people are not the concern of judges, its time for new judges who will interpret Constitution in the reverent spirit the people intended their government to have.

  213. bman
    November 15th, 2010 at 12:46 | #213

    In general, judges today are secularist and they do not have a reverent spirit toward God like judges used to have.

    Secularist judges would not be spiritually fit to interpret the Constitution because its intended for a God fearing people, not a secular people.

  214. bman
    November 15th, 2010 at 12:53 | #214

    The Iowa Constitution also reveals a Christian basis.

    1. It refers to Jesus Christ as Lord, “…approved in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-one…”

    2. It treats Sunday as the day of rest, “If any bill shall not be returned within three days after it shall have been presented to him, Sunday excepted,….”

  215. Ruth
    November 15th, 2010 at 14:05 | #215

    Sean:
    “God also says that pre-marital sex, adultery and divorce are “sins,” yet they are perfectly legal in America. Let’s accord same-sex marriage the same status, since homosexuality is also legal.”
    We do accord it the same status.
    We call none of the others “marriage”, either.

  216. Sean
    November 15th, 2010 at 15:04 | #216

    “You seem to forget that a “religion based legal argument” is where your rights came from in the first place, as found in the Declaration of Independence.”

    My rights come from the US Constitution not the Declaration of Independence.

    “Your inability to distinguish between what is “waste” and what is “worthy” is the real problem here.”

    Your inability to understand our nation’s key documents and our legal system is troublesome. Hopefully not typical of most Americans.

    “Something wasteful occurs when HIV rates are 44 times higher among men who have sex with men and their life spans are reduced compared to other men.”

    Condemning gay men for being unusually frequent victims of a disease does not seem like a particularly Christian practice. Nor does it have anything to do with same-sex marriage. In your mind, how does outlawing same-sex marriage affect diseases? In fact, if gay men were allowed to marry, they might practice sexual fidelity, thus decreasing the spread of HIV.

    “In general, those defending spiritual and moral norms are defending something statistically worthy. Those opposed are defending something that statistically tends to be wasteful.”

    You religious kooks think up the strangest things. I guess that just comes with the territory when you become accustomed to accepting fiction as fact.

    “So, yes, spiritual values are of great concern to the people, great enough to mention in their Constitution.”

    What could be more moral than making children more secure by giving them married parents? I recall reading something about Christ saying what you do to the least among us, you do to him. You would think Christians could work past their hatred of gay people long enough to consider the welfare of children!

    They may be spiritual but we certainly don’t know what spirit is moving them, but Iowans have made a lot of things the Christian god doesn’t like legal: pre-marital sex, adultery, divorce, dishonoring one’s parents, working on the Sabbath, worshipping other gods, etc. I’m guessing that Iowans are mostly Wiccans, then.

    “If the spiritual norms of the people are not the concern of judges, its time for new judges who will interpret Constitution in the reverent spirit the people intended their government to have.”

    First you will need to amend the Iowa constitution to give the judges the responsibility to interpret Iowa’s constitution in “spiritual” terms. It does not tell them to do this currently.

    “The Iowa Constitution also reveals a Christian basis.”

    Hardly.

    Religion. Sec. 3. The General Assembly shall
    make no law respecting an establishment of
    religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;
    nor shall any person be compelled to attend any
    place of worship, pay tithes, taxes, or other rates
    for building or repairing places of worship, or
    the maintenance of any minister, or ministry.

    I don’t see a Christian basis in there, when the law specifically says you can worship any god you want, or no god at all. Is that your perception of the Christian religion, that you are free to worship any god you want or no god at all?

    Religious test – witnesses. Sec. 4. No religious
    test shall be required as a qualification for any
    office, or public trust, and no person shall be
    deprived of any of his rights, privileges, or
    capacities, or disqualified from the performance
    of any of his public or private duties, or rendered
    incompetent to give evidence in any court of law
    or equity, in consequence of his opinions on the
    subject of religion; and any party to any judicial
    proceeding shall have the right to use as a
    witness, or take the testimony of, any other
    person not disqualified on account of interest,
    who may be cognizant of any fact material to the
    case; and parties to suits may be witnesses, as
    provided by law.

    Yeah, not really very Christianly LOL

  217. Mark
    November 15th, 2010 at 15:07 | #217

    bman:”“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.””

    Notices it doesn’t say “God”, it says “Creator” – a huge distinction. This is not necessarily a “Christian” God. In the other examples, which Lord are the referring?
    An interesting take on the use of “in the year of our Lord” is found here: http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/04/25/the-year-of-our-lord-christian-phrase-still-used-on-state-docum/

    “Something wasteful occurs when HIV rates are 44 times higher among men who have sex with men and their life spans are reduced compared to other men. ”

    And unless you are out trying to help stem the spread of HIV, you have NO right to be speaking. If people, starting in the Reagan era, had even acknowledged HIV/AIDs and worked to control it, we would not have had the disaster we have now. How dare you blame the victims?

    “Something worthy occurs when moral restraint of sexual behavior protects a society from HIV, which it learned from the Christian religion.”

    And you do know that allowing SSM might just give the “moral restraint of the sexual” practices that spread HIV. So, by denying gays the right to marry, you are, in essence, contributing to the spread of HIV. Course, in a Christian nation like Africa it doesn’t seem to help the heterosexual population.

  218. Sean
    November 15th, 2010 at 15:13 | #218

    Jurisdiction of Supreme Court. Sec. 4. The
    Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction
    only in cases in chancery, and shall constitute a
    court for the correction of errors at law, under
    such restrictions as the General Assembly may,
    by law, prescribe; and shall have power to issue
    all writs and process necessary to secure justice
    to parties, and shall exercise a supervisory and
    administrative control over all inferior judicial
    tribunals throughout the state.

    Wow, it looks like the Iowa Supreme Court has the right to determine if a law is constitutional or not, and can prescribe the remedy to bring a law into conformance with Iowa’s constitution! It appears to be their job, in fact. I must have missed the wording that said “all rulings must be in accordance with the wishes of a majority of the citizens” LOL!

  219. bman
    November 15th, 2010 at 18:25 | #219

    Sean :
    bman [The court said], “…equal protection can only be defined by the standards of each generation….””

    Sean: Yes and most Americans believe that gay people have the same rights as straight people. That was not true, say, 50 or 100 years ago. Gay sex is decriminalized, homosexuality is no longer considered an illness, gay people are participating in all other walks of life. The standards of the generation embarking on marriage is quite supportive of same-sex marriage. And nearly all generations will answer “Yes!” to the question, “do gay Americans have the same rights as straight Americans?”

    In every state where the people voted on same sex marriage it was rejected.

    Obviously, the American majority does not think there should be a right to same sex marriage.

    However, in areas where homosexuality does not adversely affect a public moral purpose or a practical issue, Americans would “generally” agree that homosexuals have the same rights they do.

    bman: “….it would still be a fact (not an opinion but a fact) their ruling was not based on the Constitution alone.

    Sean: Such a “fact” would call into question any equal protection ruling by any court anywhere. Somehow, I doubt that’s what you intend to do.

    What I stated above is a point of fact.

    What you stated is a hypothesis.

    bman: “This raises the question of whether the court correctly interpreted “the standards” of Iowans.”

    Sean: Since Iowans appear not to want to discriminate against gay people in any other state matter, it is a reasonable belief to say that they believe gay people have the same rights as straight people. You either have the same rights or you don’t. Marriage discrimination doesn’t get to be a special little area of the law, reserved for straight people, lacking a rational public purpose for doing so.

    This only appears reasonable if its not already known that the people in every state (similarly situated to Iowa) rejected same sex marriage when it came to a vote.

    Once that is known, some other reason is needed for why Iowa would be different than those states.

    “In any event, the essential point is that the Varnum ruling was mistaken about the “nature of society” in Iowa as well as “the standards” of the current generation of Iowans, as the retention vote in Iowa showed.”

    Sean: Wrong, wrong, wrong. The retention vote reflects the will of a vengeful majority, not the will of the people. And the people are unqualified to determine the constitutionality of a law….

    This explains your view but does not prove it.

    As I noted above, however, once its known how all the other states voted, its more reasonable to presume Iowa’s majority was also opposed to same sex marriage unless there was some other reason to not think so.

  220. bman
    November 15th, 2010 at 20:34 | #220

    Sean :
    bman: You seem to forget that a “religion based legal argument” is where your rights came from in the first place, as found in the Declaration of Independence.

    Sean:My rights come from the US Constitution not the Declaration of Independence.

    That’s a bit like like saying water comes “from” the tap not the lake.

    The religion-based legal argument used in the Declaration is the argument upon which Constitutional rights are based.

    Notice, emphasis is on the argument itself rather than the legal status of the Declaration per se.

    Stay with the context!

    Sean: Your inability to understand our nation’s key documents and our legal system is troublesome. Hopefully not typical of most Americans.

    It wouldn’t be troublesome if you stayed with the context.

    Its not about the documents per se, but its about the argument upon which rights are based.

    But if it had been about the documents per se, you seem to think “saying” you are right is all you need to make it so. Can it be you don’t need evidence?

    (just some turn around from the prop 8 case there :-) )

  221. Sean
    November 16th, 2010 at 08:28 | #221

    “In every state where the people voted on same sex marriage it was rejected.”

    But in the US, we don’t vote on fundamental rights, per the US Supreme Court

    “fundamental rights may not be submitted to [a] vote; they depend on the outcome of no
    elections.” West Virginia State Board of Education v Barnette, US 624, 638 (1943)

    “the American majority does not think there should be a right to same sex marriage.”

    How the majority feels is of no consequence. What does the US and state constitutions have to say about it? My rights do not depend on permission from the people but rather the constitution.

    “However, in areas where homosexuality does not adversely affect a public moral purpose or a practical issue, Americans would “generally” agree that homosexuals have the same rights they do.”

    Maybe Americans are even stupider than I think they are: they legalize homosexual behavior, same-sex coupling, same-sex parenting but want to outlaw same-sex marriage? Does this make sense to you, if homosexuality is immoral (forgetting, for the moment, that religious and moral purposes alone are constitutionally impermissible)?

    You have staked your claim on a gross falsehood: that fundamental rights can be voted on. Now that you know that to be false, do you still believe the people can vote on whether some, but not other, citizens may marry?

    What other states do or don’t do is of no consequence to the Iowa Supreme Court. If Iowa’s constitution says that all citizens must have equal protection and benefit of the law, it is what it is.

    “This explains your view but does not prove it.”

    It does prove it. As I said, the objection was the outcome, not how it was reached. The court could have deliberated in exactly the same fashion, and reached a conclusion more acceptable to the bigoted majority, and they would have kept their jobs. Ergo, they were fired not for procedural misdoing but for the ruling itself. A ruling that an outside hate group, NOM, convinced Iowa voters was the “wrong” ruling. That’s why this was a revenge vote: a majority of Iowa voters were persuaded by an outside hate group, NOM, to believe that the judges did something wrong by reaching the conclusion they did. Cooler heads might wonder, “gee, all seven judges got this wrong?!” but when hatred is on full display, cooler heads rarely prevail.

    “The religion-based legal argument used in the Declaration is the argument upon which Constitutional rights are based.”

    What religion? Is it Islam? Buddhism? What religion is mentioned in either the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution? And what difference does it make? We don’t make laws based on any religion’s particular fairy tales, do we?

    “It wouldn’t be troublesome if you stayed with the context.”

    You’re the one who moved from same-sex marriage to religion. If your law-from-religion argument held any water, the US would be a theocracy, and so far as marriage was concerned, pre-marital sex, adultery and divorce would be illegal, as god intended. Yet somehow, all three are perfectly legal, and widely practiced by American Christians.

  222. Sean
    November 16th, 2010 at 10:06 | #222

    “But if it had been about the documents per se, you seem to think “saying” you are right is all you need to make it so. Can it be you don’t need evidence?”

    So what’s your “evidence” that prohibiting same-sex marriage is nothing more than a straight majority trying to impose its will against a gay minority? It’s not very convincing or virtuous when people claim a right for themselves but deny it to someone else.

    If we’re going to vote on marriage, let’s do it in such a way that affects all of us: let’s vote to either outlaw marriage for everyone, or legalize marriage for everyone. Put a little skin in the game, in other words.

    Is stopping gay people from getting married so important to you that you’re willing to deny it to yourself, too?

  223. bman
    November 16th, 2010 at 16:36 | #223

    @Sean

    bman: The religion-based legal argument used in the Declaration is the argument upon which Constitutional rights are based.

    Sean: What religion? Is it Islam? Buddhism? What religion is mentioned in either the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution? And what difference does it make? We don’t make laws based on any religion’s particular fairy tales, do we?

    You’re jumping to a different context again when you ask “which religion.”

    Whichever religion, its a point of fact the Declaration of Independence used a religion-based legal argument.

    As for making laws “based on any religion’s particular fairy tales,” sounds like you are saying the Declaration of Independence was based on fairy tale.

    Whether that was your intent or not, its still a point of fact the Declaration of Independence used a religion-based legal argument.

  224. Sean
    November 16th, 2010 at 18:33 | #224

    “Whichever religion, it’s a point of fact the Declaration of Independence used a religion-based legal argument.”

    It’s not a point of fact. God is not religion. Any references to god could be to Zeus, or Jupiter. Since humans have so many ways of defining god(s) and worshipping him/her/them, to in any way suggest that the founders were invoking religious beliefs is ludicrous.

    “As for making laws “based on any religion’s particular fairy tales,” sounds like you are saying the Declaration of Independence was based on fairy tale.”

    Well I don’t see any references to Lot’s wife turning into a pillar of salt, seas parting, water turned in to wine and other fairy tale references.

    “Whether that was your intent or not, its still a point of fact the Declaration of Independence used a religion-based legal argument.”

    Repeating this doesn’t make it true. And what relevance does it have, to the issue at hand?

  225. Mark
    November 16th, 2010 at 18:47 | #225

    bman: “Whichever religion, its a point of fact the Declaration of Independence used a religion-based legal argument.”

    Actually, the Founding Fathers were mainly deists who didn’t follow a specific religion.

  226. bman
    November 16th, 2010 at 21:59 | #226

    Mark :
    bman: “Whichever religion, its a point of fact the Declaration of Independence used a religion-based legal argument.”

    mark: Actually, the Founding Fathers were mainly deists who didn’t follow a specific religion.

    I do not agree with your “mainly deist” view of the Founding Fathers (see link), but setting that aside, your claim that deists did not follow “a specific religion” would not negate the fact the Declaration of Independence used a religion-based legal argument.

  227. bman
    November 16th, 2010 at 23:10 | #227

    Sean :
    bman: “Whichever religion, it’s a point of fact the Declaration of Independence used a religion-based legal argument.”

    Sean: It’s not a point of fact. God is not religion. Any references to god could be to Zeus, or Jupiter. Since humans have so many ways of defining god(s) and worshipping him/her/them, to in any way suggest that the founders were invoking religious beliefs is ludicrous.

    God is not religion but stating a belief in God is a religious statement.

    The Declaration made such a statement. Its ludicrous to claim it did not.

  228. bman
    November 17th, 2010 at 03:22 | #228

    In March 1776 the same Continental Congress that authorized the Declaration of Independence declared May 17,1776 as a day of humility, prayer, and fasting,

    “…to confess and bewail our manifold sins and transgressions, and by a sincere repentance and amendment of life, appease his [God's] righteous displeasure, and through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, obtain his pardon and forgiveness….”

    Notice the declaration mentions Jesus Christ.

    Seems odd they would have changed their religion by July!

    In December 1777 they mentioned God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost when they issued a Thanksgiving proclamation,

    “….that it may please God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of remembrance…to prosper the means of religion for the promotion and enlargement of that kingdom which consisteth in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost..”

    Are we to suppose the Congress was Christian in March 1776, had no specific religion by July 4th, and was Christian again by December 1777?

    References with photocopies linked here.

  229. Mark
    November 17th, 2010 at 05:25 | #229

    bman: Official documents tend to (rightly or wrongly) use religion-based language. I do not feel that it uses a religious based argument. If you see it as such, remember then, that most nations when rebelling or going to war will use a religious-based argument.

  230. Sean
    November 17th, 2010 at 09:16 | #230

    “God is not religion but stating a belief in God is a religious statement.”

    Again, which god? Zeus?

  231. Mark
    November 17th, 2010 at 10:03 | #231

    bman: “Are we to suppose the Congress was Christian in March 1776, had no specific religion by July 4th, and was Christian again by December 1777?”

    The one thing we can say is that they realized, even then, the danger of making Christianity the official religion of the US. They knew, from their own experience, the oppression that comes from zealots of any religion and the need to protect the freedoms of all people regardless of their religion.

  232. bman
    November 17th, 2010 at 21:00 | #232

    Sean :
    bman: God is not religion but stating a belief in God is a religious statement.”

    Again, which god? Zeus?

    I answered which God here.

    But since you already knew they intended God in the sense of the creator, you did not need to ask “which god” to determine they made a religious statement.

  233. bman
    November 17th, 2010 at 21:07 | #233

    Mark :
    Official documents tend to (rightly or wrongly) use religion-based language. I do not feel that it uses a religious based argument. If you see it as such, remember then, that most nations when rebelling or going to war will use a religious-based argument.

    Well, if you do not feel the Declaration used a religious argument, what kind of argument do you say is made when one appeals to God the creator to defend rights?

  234. Mark
    November 18th, 2010 at 06:04 | #234

    bman: “Well, if you do not feel the Declaration used a religious argument, what kind of argument do you say is made when one appeals to God the creator to defend rights?”

    I guess it would depend on how you define a religious argument.

  235. bman
    November 18th, 2010 at 14:11 | #235

    That still leaves the question, “What kind of argument do you say is made when one appeals to God the creator to defend rights?”

  236. Mark
    November 18th, 2010 at 15:17 | #236

    bman: “That still leaves the question, “What kind of argument do you say is made when one appeals to God the creator to defend rights?””

    One that appeals to the idea that we all come into this world as equals, that noone is born with more rights than another.

    But it could be, I suppose a Pastafarian argument.

  237. bman
    November 18th, 2010 at 16:22 | #237

    Mark :
    bman: “That still leaves the question, “What kind of argument do you say is made when one appeals to God the creator to defend rights?””

    Mark: One that appeals to the idea that we all come into this world as equals, that noone is born with more rights than another.

    Actually, you need to modify that a bit to this:

    “One that appeals to the idea [of God as creator for its proof] that we all come into this world as equals, that no one is born with more rights than another.

    Since it appeals to God as the creator for proof of rights, why isn’t that a religious argument?

    But it could be, I suppose a Pastafarian argument.

    Hmm. It looks like you can’t differentiate between a religious argument and a pastafarian argument.

  238. Mark
    November 18th, 2010 at 19:48 | #238

    bman: “Hmm. It looks like you can’t differentiate between a religious argument and a pastafarian argument.”

    No, actually, it’s you who can’t see that there is a difference between a religious argument and a Christian one. By the way, there is a HUGE difference.

  239. bman
    November 18th, 2010 at 20:23 | #239

    Mark :
    bman: “Hmm. It looks like you can’t differentiate between a religious argument and a pastafarian argument.”
    No, actually, it’s you who can’t see that there is a difference between a religious argument and a Christian one. By the way, there is a HUGE difference.

    Are you saying the argument used in the Declaration is not a religious argument but a Christian argument?

  240. Mark
    November 19th, 2010 at 05:36 | #240

    bman: “Are you saying the argument used in the Declaration is not a religious argument but a Christian argument?”

    Not at all. It is an example of a deist argument, which could just as easily be pastafarian.

  241. November 19th, 2010 at 12:09 | #241

    Sean :
    “It is unlikely that any time in the foreseeable future that Sean will show any respect, or civility, towards those he disagrees with.”
    My lack of respect[1] is directed at those ignorant of the law[2], willing to hurt children and gay people[3] and who refuse, once their falsehoods are exposed[4], to stop repeating them. Disagree with me all you want but use facts and logic[5], not religious faith or hatred[1]. Make sense. Drop the smiley faces[6]. Act like a grownup. All parts of a earning my respect[7].

    1) Sean continues to be the only one to express hatred on this board.
    2) No ignorance involved in removing the Judges from Ohio.
    3) Where is the harm? Another example of rhetoric gone overboard…
    4) Still waiting for any of them to be exposed…
    5) We have used facts and logic, its a wonder that Sean can’t see facts and logic when plainly given to him. Perhaps that open hatred is blocking his perspective?
    6) Wow, it is a sad, sad, life who takes well wishing smiling faces are taken with such offence.
    7) Sean, to be honest, in my estimation you are little less than a con-artist, hoping to cover up a number of dishonest sayings with poorly veiled incredulity and threats. I’m not seeking the respect of people like that.

    “Seans disdain for the common people, calling the very fact that they disagree with his (as opposed to the judges, which he can’t seem to quote to any effect) interpretation of the constitution “gross and indecent”.
    Once again OnLawn demonstrates her inability to read plain English[1]. Sean condemns the voters who ousted the Iowa judges for seeking revenge[2], not for disagreeing with him or the ruling of the judges[3]. They were incited to act vengefully, by an outsider hate-group supported by Christians[4]. How’s that?! That’s what we’ve come to: Christians exacting revenge on those who dare thwart their attempts to impose their religious myths on the rest of us[5]. This is a shameful episode in Iowa politics and will be recorded as such historically[6].

    1) No, but Sean’s dishonesty is such that he has to make such accusations anyway.
    2) That is Sean’s opinion of them. Again that hatred he has openly expressed might have some bearing on his judgement there. As for me, I take them for their word, they saw the judges did not do their jobs, they erred in judgement, and got rid of them like any other defrauding employee.
    3) Sean’s ability to see causality is on display in that comment. So if they disagreed he doesn’t mind, but why would they do what Sean churlishly calls revenge (is all justice revenge?) if they didn’t disagree? Then they are not seperate acts. Sean is mad that they did disagree, and they did it openly at the ballot box.
    4) Again, just because Sean is openly motivated by hatred might have something to do with how and why he is seeing other’s acts so similarly to his own.
    5) The people’s decision was based on their understanding of the constitution — as much as it was for the judges. It is also their constitutional right to express their views at the ballot box that way, as it was the judges to also. One wonders, if their opinion was as persuasive as Loving (et. all.) why were the people more angry after it than before it?
    6) The future holds many suprises for all of us, but for me it would be sad to see a future so biased towards despotism that expressions of ownership of government by the people would be considered as lowly as Sean wishes it would.

    “The people found their conduct to be outside of the realm of reasonable execution of there tasks”
    No they didn’t[1], they wanted revenge for a ruling they didn’t care for[2], and allowed themselves to be manipulated by an outside hate group from New Jersey, NOM[3].
    “it is the American way to let the people have the last word — the most often quoted part of the US Constitution, for instance, is “We the people…””
    If you are an American, you should be ashamed of your ignorance and how you revel in it[4].

    1) Who are they to disagree with Sean about their own understanding of their own actions? People, free people, who know themselves far better than Sean knows them.
    2) Sean, who’s openly advocated revenge against the people exercising their constitutional rights, is the only one here who sees those actions that way.
    3) I wonder what of NOM’s messages were so much more persuasive than Sean’s beloved judicial decision. My bet? All of them.
    4) See point #6 in the paragraph above.

    “Sean’s sour grapes are unfortunate”
    What does Sean have to bitter about? He didn’t lose his job, and marriage equality is still the law of the land in Iowa. Sean is none the worse off for this; he lost nothing. The people of Iowa has lost my respect but I’m sure they’ll carry on as best they can.

    Very unfortunate.

    “his lack of common respect for his fellow humans in our democracy is evident.”
    Sean has no respect for ignorance (hint, hint)[1]. If you don’t know what you’re doing or talking about, don’t do it or talk about it. I strongly suspect the voters of Iowa have never read their state’s constitution, nor have they read the Varnum decision[2]. Yet they have strong opinions about a ruling, a unanimous ruling from all seven of their Supreme Court judges This is very strange indeed[3]. But OnLawn probably hasn’t read either of those documents either yet fights to the death to defend the people’s right to interpret the constitution as they see fit[4].

    1) Oh, I get the hing. Then Sean wouldn’t be the first self-hating person acting out and projecting that on others.
    2) Oh I suspect many of them did, and I suspect those that did were even more persuaded to oust them.
    3) Nothing strange about it, they were simply all wrong. They all thought they could get away with it.
    4) If I haven’t then Sean is certainly capable of quoting their majestic persuasiveness to this audience to make me look foolish for my lack of consideration of their awesomeness. If I haven’t read them then I’ll just have to take my chances that Sean would do such a thing (even though he hasn’t yet).

    “Marriage equality — the equal recognition of the rights and responsibilities of the man, woman and children they potentially have together”
    Ah yes, the Planet OnLawn definition strikes again LOL.

    Still doesn’t change that marriage equality is the equal recognition of the rights and responsibilities of the man, woman and children they potentially have together.

    But just pause and note, you are not just dismissing its meaning but its value. You don’t want marriage equality to mean the equality of the man, woman and child they potentially have together in the context of how that child is created and raised. You actively fight against that humanitarian value of equality more than any other.

    “since the Supreme Court there misconstrued plain language in the constitution to neuter marriage for the sake of homosexuality.”
    You’re so stupid it must hurt[1].

    Actually, they say ignorance is bliss ;)

    But then you have to explain how someone as ignorant and stupid as you claim I am, has discredited you so easily, so often, and so effortlessly.

    From the Iowa Constitution:
    “Laws uniform. SEC. 6. All laws of a general nature shall have a uniform operation; the general assembly shall not grant to any citizen, or class of citizens, privileges or immunities, which, upon the same terms shall not equally belong to all citizens.”
    The preceding language from the Iowa constitution is why the judges, ALL SEVEN OF THEM, ruled the way they did[1]. Even gay Iowans, evidently, get to have the same rights as everyone else[2]. If you don’t like gay people, work to get the constitution of your state amended to exclude them[3], if your constitution has an equal protection clause. Otherwise, go back to high school, take a class in American government, and be amazed at what “equal protection” means[4]!

    1) Then they obviously erred since that doesn’t say anything about different relationships being treated differently.
    2) And they do, even when we recognize marriage equality as between a man and a woman in the context of a child they potentially have together that they should equally take responsibility for. See? Such plain language doesn’t amount to the conclusions you claim they made. There error is that simple.
    3) Marriage equality in expecting equal gender representation doesn’t exclude gay people — each gay person is still a man or woman. Another error quickly and easily showing just how misconstrued their ruling is.
    4) It obviously doesn’t mean what you think it means. Perhaps Sean’s reliance on High School teachers above the writers of the constitution is misplaced, or did he simply misunderstand them to begin with?

    Yes, so long as religionists and homophobes obsess about this[1], it will continue to expose their sordid underbellies[2]. At least this debate as exposed the hateful nature of America’s “Christians,” working in concert as they are with America’s homophobes and Straight Supremacists[1]. I am not displeased to see American-style Christianity exposed for the sham that it is.

    1) I’ve not met any homophobes or “straight supremacists” in this forum yet.
    2) Question is, when are you going to start? I don’t remember any argument Sean made that passed the most basic scrutiny. And vageuly infering that High School Teachers sometime, somewhere, said something that agreed with him (though he cannot say exactly what that was or even would be) is just one example.

  242. November 19th, 2010 at 12:29 | #242

    Sean :
    “in Iowa, people exercised their democratic right”
    We get it, OnLawn, the people had a legal right to vote. You are so smart! But the thing is, a very bad thing happened because of that vote:
    1.Three fine judges lost their jobs for….doing their jobs!!!!!
    2.The people now think that they can do a better job interpreting a constitution they’ve never read than the trained judges who actually HAVE read it and know both it and state case law
    3.There may be a backlash: judges issuing rulings the people like, in order to keep their jobs, and/or, judges issuing rulings for or against groups in order to exact their own revenge against religionists and other homophobes. The system, in other words, just got knocked out of kilter, so to speak.

    1) You must have a different understanding of what their job is, because even the ISC noted that every generation gets to decide equality — not the Supreme Court. And the decision had plenty of time to persuade people otherwise, but ultimately people found their misconstrueing of the constitution to be more than what they could tolerate from people in such an important position.
    2) The people did do a better job of interpreting the constitution.
    3) Wow, Sean openly advocates revenge, even while decrying it. Any other moments in history illustrate such hypocrisy in calling people to remove reason and go for the weapons of war? Seems they clung to their vain epithets as fastly as Sean is, too… Never the less, the people deliberated their decision, actively listened to and participated in debates about it, and came to a solidly democratic and informed decision — as constitutional matters should be decided.

    “I’m happy to let you express anti-democratic rhetoric, and red-scare like witch-hunts going after citizens, without any need to further comment on my end.”
    It is you who has become the anti-democrat and witch-hunter. What happened in Iowa was exactly a witch hunt: find someone to blame for an outcome some people didn’t like. Helpless to manage their own feelings and ignorant of their state’s constitution and the role of the judicial branch, many Iowa voters succumbed to the machinations of an outside hate group from New Jersey, NOM. Very sad.

    Um, no, that isn’t a witch hunt. A witch hunt is where people suspect (even when no actions clearly show) some element that they wish to perge from society — much like Sean wishes to purge true democratic self government and the belief we are entitled to it from society.

    Have you read Varnum yet, or are you still cut-and-pasting talking points from Americaisachristiannation.org?!

    Which point have I cut and pasted? And why are their points so much more persuasive than yours?

    “in their decision by stating the current generation gets to define that equality”
    Really? Is that what they said? Because bman quoted them earlier in the thread:
    “….equal protection can only be defined by the standards of each generation….”
    Well, do you think today’s Iowans want gays to be treated less favorably than straights[1]? Because I don’t think they do, and inasmuch as their opinion directly counts in any particular case, I think the judges correctly believed that Iowans generally don’t want gay people fired from their jobs for being gay[2], harassed or assaulted for being gay, kicked out of their apartments for being gay, denied service at restaurants or other businesses for being gay, etc.

    1) My guess? No they don’t — and they don’t see expressing marriage equality as being between a man and a woman as such.
    2) Marriage equality as beinb between a man and a woman gets gays fired [etc...]? Do you even try to keep coherency in your arguments anymore? All marriage equality does is say that people who might have kids should be prepared to take responsibility for them and be held equally responsible for that household. It doesn’t even say that anything about anything that isn’t marriage.

    “Actually, they weren’t given that opportunity because of the malpractice of the lower judge.”
    You are truly sad, and again alone in a bizarre fringe opinion. What malpractice are you talking about, oh learned legal scholar? Oh I see, the Ruth Institute, that highly impartial group dedicated to being an honest broker in the discussion of marriage rights and equality, said that the Iowa Supreme Court “cheated.” Uh, ok. That’s believable! Try citing a credible source and no, not the Alliance Defense League. A reputable, honest source, not a religious-based one. Pathetic.

    Actually what is pathetic is that Sean can’t refute it logically, so he complains about the people raising the points he can’t refute.

    “I’ll let that stand there also.”
    Translation: I can’t deny that NOM, a New Jersey-based hate group, used $800,000 or so to mislead the good citizens of Iowa into thinking that their judges pulled the wool over their eyes, when in fact, they were just doing their jobs.

    Note: “Translation” is not an invitation for you to sock-puppet what you wish people said rather than the arguments they are saying that you can’t refute :)

    “That speaks of Sean’s lack of confidence in his own opinion.”
    You’re such a joke.

    And his resorting to such winnin school-yard arguments in lieu of real arguments continues to show his lack of confidence in the cards he’s holding.

    “let marriage treat equality with the definition “one man and one woman” referencing their procreative type of relationship, and let each couple choose a defnition for them whether it be the mutual trust and dependancy of the CU’s, DP’s etc.. or the freeform of the private contracts.”
    Marvelous and sensible idea. Too bad about the civil unions, and other substitutes for marriage: their lives will be short-lived, since courts and legislatures will dump them once marriage equality becomes the norm. Connecticut and Vermont already have. Some states, like Massachusetts and Iowa, just skipped them altogether.

    Yes, they are sensible and they are even equal. Everyone is the same and has the same opportunity, Sean, but different relationships have different needs to be recognized.

    Anyone so arrogant to know so little about our nation’s legal system and yet insist that eight Iowa judges don’t know their own state’s constitution fascinates me. Could I interview you for my book? You would be a fascinating example of the mentality of people obsessed with stopping gays from marrying, and the many myths they use to try to derail marriage equality.

    Perhaps your problem, Sean, is that you are so bent on claiming that another’s disagreement is simply ignorance (even after you’ve repeated the same poor arguments over and over) that you simply don’t see what is really going on. You start with that expectation, and suddenly the ignorance you ascribe to others is your own set of blinders.

    “equality in marriage means equal treatment of men and women by expecting one of each in each marriage.”
    Do you think this becomes meaningful with repetition?

    Nope, it is already meaningful. It is the humanitarian cause that marriage seeks to create, love and tolerance by expecting equal treatment of the man and woman and their responsibility for the children they potentially have together.

    It is the reason marriage is different then same-sex marriage.

    “I can’t help it if same-sex marriage is “Seperate but equal” but not really equal segregation fo all-male and all-female marriages.”
    Do you make this stuff up yourself or are you pulling it from an online resource? I would appreciate a link to the resource if possible. It could be useful to me.

    Again, Sean’s accusations of ignorance are his own blinders, and cause him to miss the fact that all-male and all-female seperation and segregation is seperate but not equal, and both are seperate and different in their needs than the one choice that does show equality — one man and one woman.

    “If courts strike down same-sex marriage for being seperate but equal, we’ll figure out what to do then.”
    Do you make this stuff up yourself or are you pulling it from an online resource? I would appreciate a link to the resource if possible. It could be useful to me. Is this “same-sex marriage is segregation!” thing, is this yours or is this a new tack for the marriage discrimination crowd? Again, a link would be very helpful for me to flesh out the argument.

    Complaints are duly noted (and appropriately filed, I assure you).

  243. November 19th, 2010 at 13:19 | #243

    Mark :
    On Lawn: “Still waiting. I know others see the reference even if Mark doesn’t, and if he didn’t have a problem with the terms, he’d readily accept them I mean is it really that hard to direct quote what you are referring to?”
    Translated: there isn’t a single reference that states what On Lawn claims so he attempts to change the discussion. Pathetic.
    As for the rest of On Lawn’s diatribe: blah, blah, blah. No facts, no ability to use language correctly and continuous denial of truth.

    I’ll let Mark’s childish retorts stand on their own. What is funny, however, is how in Mark’s mind quoting the ACLU webpage, numerous dictionaries and news reports, is not “a single reference”.

  244. bman
    November 19th, 2010 at 13:32 | #244

    Even if we suppose the impractical notion that Congress went from Christianity in March 1776 to Deism in July and then back to Christianity in Dec 1977, Deism is also a subcategory of religion.

    The website deism.com defines deism thusly, “…Deism is therefore a natural religion and is not a “revealed” religion….”

    Th Merriam-Webster Dictionary says essentially the same thing, “…a movement or system of thought advocating natural religion…”

    So whether you say the Declaration used a Christian argument or a deist argument, either way its still a religious argument.

  245. November 19th, 2010 at 13:58 | #245

    Mark :
    bman: “Are you saying the argument used in the Declaration is not a religious argument but a Christian argument?”
    Not at all. It is an example of a deist argument, which could just as easily be pastafarian.

    Funny, the spaghetti monster and deism are both examples of religions (although the former is more of a mockery of religion).

    Bman’s point stands.

  246. Sean
    November 19th, 2010 at 15:06 | #246

    OnLawn, you continue to be the poster child for ignorance, at least on this topic. You remain a useful foil for people like me to correct you, and therefore further move the dialog toward marriage equality. For that, I thank you.

    Lack of respect is not hatred. Consult a dictionary if you are unsure what words mean. I have already assumed after many of your posts that English is not your first language. If this is the case, I applaud your command of English as a second language.

    “No ignorance involved in removing the Judges from Ohio.”

    No judges were removed from Ohio that I know of.

    “Where is the harm? Another example of rhetoric gone overboard…”

    Gay couples are harmed because they are denied an opportunity to legally cement their relationship, and publicly express society’s highest commitment: marriage. They are denied nearly 1,500 federal and state rights and benefits when they can’t get married. The ongoing crusade against same-sex marriage helps perpetuate as reasonable, homophobia and Straight Supremacy.

    The children of gay couples are rendered less secure in their lives because they are being raised by an unmarried couple. Research shows, according to NOM’s Maggie Gallagher, that children do better when raised by married parents. Common sense (if you have it) would suggest that children are better off when the two people raising them have to stay together.

    You repeat endlessly that civil unions are marriage, when they’re not. You keep insisting they are a reasonable alternative even after it has been pointed out a number of times that they are legally impermissible. You keep explaining what marriage is, in your mind, without explaining how your concept of marriage is compromised when same-sex couples marry. You are a sadly broken record.

    “We have used facts and logic”

    Where? When? I’d love to see them! You haven’t even addressed why same-sex must be prohibited, from what I’ve read, so any facts and logic you think you’ve used aren’t even in the ball park.

    The smiley faces make you look childish. Among other things. Feel free to keep using them.

    “Sean, to be honest, in my estimation you are little less than a con-artist, hoping to cover up a number of dishonest sayings with poorly veiled incredulity and threats.”

    I realize you are left to attack me, lacking a credible defense against my arguments. Call me a con-artist, if that helps you channel your frustration.

    “Sean’s dishonesty”

    Put up or shut up. Where have I been dishonest?

    The voters of Iowa who prevailed in the judges retention vote were motivated by revenge. They didn’t like the court decision rendered on same-sex marriage. They haven’t read Iowa’s constitution, nor case law regarding equal protection. They didn’t read the actual Varnum decision. Yet, like some biblical story of an angry mob spurred on by Satan (NOM?), they “stoned” three judges to vent their rage. Three fine judges fired, for doing their jobs.

    “As for me, I take them for their word”

    I do too: they said they didn’t like the court’s decision.

    “what Sean churlishly calls revenge (is all justice revenge?)”

    Small-minded people (anyone we know?) think revenge is justice. It isn’t.

    “Sean is mad that they did disagree, and they did it openly at the ballot box.”

    But mostly Sean is sad at the level of education in, at least, Iowa, where the citizens don’t even know their state’s constitution, yet insist on punishing those who do.

    “because Sean is openly motivated by hatred”

    Sean is neither openly nor secretly motivated by hatred. He admits to the occasional pleasure of reading ignorant people’s posts, though.

    “The people’s decision was based on their understanding of the constitution”

    A document they haven’t read. And a ruling, Varnum v. Brien, that they haven’t read. Pathetic.

  247. Sean
    November 19th, 2010 at 15:07 | #247

    “biased towards despotism”

    Uh, ok. But on this topic, the judges are appointed to interpret the constitutionality of laws. Which they did. The people approved the document, Iowa’s constitution, that tells them to do this. It’s hard to see despotism here.

    “Sean, who’s openly advocated revenge against the people exercising their constitutional rights”

    I invite you cite where Sean have advocated revenge against anyone. You really are over-the-top desperate on this topic. Why?!

    “I wonder what of NOM’s messages were so much more persuasive than Sean’s beloved judicial decision.”

    Although this sentence makes not sense, I will take the opportunity to say that when NOM’s messages implied that if these judges aren’t punished, they will take your liberties, including your guns (a completely false statement, but that’s NOM for you), that pushed a lot more Iowans to vote to oust these judges.

    “Sean wouldn’t be the first self-hating person acting out and projecting that on others.”

    Again, reliance on insulting Sean or attacking him do improve your arguments, or your reading comprehension.

    Not one commenter in the Des Moines Register said he or she read the decision and that drove them to vote as they did. You are foolish enough to believe they did read it. Have you read the Varnum decision???

    “Nothing strange about it, they were simply all wrong.”

    How convenient for you. All seven judges, plus a lower court judge, all got the Iowa constitution wrong on the issue of equal rights for all Iowans and marriage. Iowa’s got bigger problems than I thought!

    “Still doesn’t change that marriage equality is the equal recognition of the rights and responsibilities of the man, woman and children they potentially have together.”

    Still doesn’t change that this definition occurs only on Planet OnLawn!

    “Actually, they say ignorance is bliss”

    You must be on cloud 9!

    “But then you have to explain how someone as ignorant and stupid as you claim I am, has discredited you so easily, so often, and so effortlessly.”

    Not once have you “discredited” me, unless you think repeating endlessly your vision for marriage is somehow discrediting my vision of equal rights for all citizens. My wife and I both thank you for the laughs though.

    “they obviously erred”

    Yes, eight Iowa judges all erred in interpreting their state’s constitution, which is their job. But the people of Iowa, experienced jurists all of them (when they’re not picking corn), better understand Iowa’s constitution. Naturally. Makes perfect sense!

    “Such plain language doesn’t amount to the conclusions you claim they made. There error is that simple.”

    But remember, the rest of us don’t live on Planet OnLawn. In the real world, the plain language of Iowa’s constitution states that all citizens get the same rights.

    “Marriage equality in expecting equal gender representation doesn’t exclude gay people — each gay person is still a man or woman.”

    Again, let’s stick to the reality-based definition. Marriage equal means equal access to marriage for both straight and gay couples. Just an FYI for ya.

    “It obviously doesn’t mean what you think it means.”

    Actually it does. In the real world I mean, not on Planet OnLawn.

    “I’ve not met any homophobes or “straight supremacists” in this forum yet.”

    Wow, I have! Anyone who advocates limiting marriage to straight people is, in my estimation, an straight supremacist. The homophobes reveal themselves with ugly comments about gay people and AIDS.

  248. Sean
    November 19th, 2010 at 15:07 | #248

    “I don’t remember any argument Sean made that passed the most basic scrutiny.”

    Well maybe you need some memory assistance! Try taking notes. Or maybe you have a hard time comprehending Sean’s arguments. They’re not hard but Sean realizes everyone has his or her intellectual limitations. He will often rephrase an argument for readers with, um, limitations.

    “You must have a different understanding of what their job is, because even the ISC noted that every generation gets to decide equality — not the Supreme Court.”

    That’s not what they said. How do you get out of bed in the morning LOL? Here’s what they said, the line that seems to have the Straight Supremacists and homophobes all riled up:

    “…because it reveals equal protection can only be defined by the standards of each generation.”

    So the court is saying equal protection standards evolve. Which they do. The court said nothing about the people deciding anything: they did not redefine their role with this case. Because current generations believe that gay citizens should get equal rights as straight people, a relatively new phenomenon, the court that marriage need not be an exception.

    “ultimately people found their misconstrueing of the constitution to be more than what they could tolerate from people in such an important position.”

    And now the reality: the people sought revenge for a court decision they don’t like, assisted by external hate groups, like NOM.

    “The people did do a better job of interpreting the constitution.”

    In your dreams. The people haven’t even read the constitution, let alone cases related to equal protection. Only among conservatives is ignorance considered a plus!

  249. Mark
    November 19th, 2010 at 15:12 | #249

    On Lawn: “What is funny, however, is how in Mark’s mind quoting the ACLU webpage, numerous dictionaries and news reports, is not “a single reference”.”

    No, what is pathetic is that On Lawn can continue to distort truth and lie that something exists on a site when it doesn’t. On Lawn, on the ACLU aspect, show EXACTLY where the ACLU calls CUs or DPs are same sex marriage. It’s put up or shut up time. On Lawn, you’ve wasted enough time on this blog with your lies.

  250. Sean
    November 19th, 2010 at 15:23 | #250

    “much like Sean wishes to purge true democratic self government and the belief we are entitled to it from society.”

    True democracy means adhering to the constitution legally adopted by the people’s representatives. Mob rule is not democratic self-government!

    “Which point have I cut and pasted?”

    How would I know? You cutted and pasted them!

    “they don’t see expressing marriage equality as being between a man and a woman as such.”

    I don’t think they see expressing marriage equality as being between a man and a woman at all! Men and women don’t need to get married in order to be equal. In fact, until rather recently, women who married became LESS equal to men: they lost the right to own property, for instance.

    “Do you even try to keep coherency in your arguments anymore?”

    They’re always coherent! I realize, sometime it’s hard for you, as a non-native speaker of English, to understand some of my thoughts. Just ask for explanation when it’s unclear to you.

    “Marriage equality as beinb between a man and a woman gets gays fired [etc...]?”

    No, I think you misunderstood. Don’t feel bad. Let me try again: since the judges reasoned that Iowans want gay people treated equally as straight people, then equal treatment rules required that they extend marriage rights to gay people in Iowa. That’s interpreting equal protection according to the standards of the times.

    “Actually what is pathetic is that Sean can’t refute it logically, so he complains about the people raising the points he can’t refute.”

    That’s pretty much all I do is use logic and analysis to score points. Let’s review what we know:

    1. It is the job of Iowa’s supreme court judges to interpret Iowa’s constitution
    2. They issued a reasoned, logical ruling, based on Iowa’s guarantee of equal protection for all citizens
    3. The ruling was unanimous, and upheld an eighth judge from a lower court
    4. Objections to the ruling come from not from any concern about how the ruling was reached (process) but rather distaste for the ruling itself (outcome).

    Given these facts, there was no rational reason to oust the judges.

    “his resorting to such winnin school-yard arguments in lieu of real arguments continues to show his lack of confidence in the cards he’s holding.”

    Having found such a willing clown, Sean can’t resist the occasional jab.

  251. Sean
    November 19th, 2010 at 15:32 | #251

    “Everyone is the same and has the same opportunity, Sean, but different relationships have different needs to be recognized.”

    Well, OnLawn, how does extending the right to marry to same-sex couples in any way change what straight couples need marriage to be? Is straight marriage only fun and useful so long as gay couples can’t marry?

    If procreation is such a big part of marriage, as you seem to think it is, why not distinguish between fertile couples and infertile ones?

    “Perhaps your problem, Sean, is that you are so bent on claiming that another’s disagreement is simply ignorance”

    It’s not that you disagree, it’s that you are all but vacant in the facts. It’s that you’re willing to hurt children in your quest to stop gay people from marrying. It’s that you repeat again and again irrelevant bits and pieces about marriage, or totally ignorant observations about the Iowa decision. And worst of all is, there’s zillions of people in this country just like you! It is so important to them to stop gays from marrying that they run roughshod over the nation’s constitution, hurt gay people, promote homophobia, hurt the children of gay couples, insult infertile and elderly couples (who don’t have children), etc. It’s madness and you love every minute of you, don’t you, if you can at least slow down the march toward marriage equality.

    “the ignorance you ascribe to others is your own set of blinders.”

    Well, make the case for why same-sex couples must be prohibited from marrying. You keep avoiding it, by making lofty proclamations about straight couple marriage. Unless and until you and your kind can make a rational argument for why same-sex couples must be prohibited from marrying, marriage equality will become universal.

  252. bman
    November 19th, 2010 at 18:59 | #252

    Sean: My lack of respect[1] is directed at those ignorant of the law

    Does this explain why you gave Alexander Hamilton a low grade?

    It looks like you disrespect others because you don’t know they know more than you!

  253. bman
    November 19th, 2010 at 19:29 | #253

    Sean: …..are you still cut-and-pasting talking points from Americaisachristiannation.org?!

    OnLawn: Which point have I cut and pasted? And why are their points so much more persuasive than yours?

    Sean: How would I know? You cutted and pasted them!

    Sean asked if OnLawn was “still” cut and pasting, but now he admits he never had a reason to say it in the first place!

  254. bman
    November 19th, 2010 at 19:46 | #254

    OnLawn: much like Sean wishes to purge true democratic self government and the belief we are entitled to it from society.”

    Sean: True democracy means adhering to the constitution legally adopted by the people’s representatives. Mob rule is not democratic self-government!

    Sean admits it was true democracy when Iowans voted out the judges, since they adhered to the Iowan Constitution!

  255. bman
    November 19th, 2010 at 20:06 | #255

    Sean:

    1. It is the job of Iowa’s supreme court judges to interpret Iowa’s constitution
    2. They issued a reasoned, logical ruling, based on Iowa’s guarantee of equal protection for all citizens
    3. The ruling was unanimous, and upheld an eighth judge from a lower court
    4. Objections to the ruling come from not from any concern about how the ruling was reached (process) but rather distaste for the ruling itself (outcome).

    Given these facts, there was no rational reason to oust the judges.

    Point #1 is objectively correct.

    Point #2 is subjective and not objectively true. The judges’ handling of the equality clause represents a minority view compared nationwide to judges who have dealt with SSM cases.

    Point 3 is objectively true.

    Point #4 is presumptuous since it dismisses viable alternatives without sufficient reason.

    Would a people intend their own constitution to make their spiritual and moral norms unconstitutional?

    Clearly not.

    So, if a judge ruled their spiritual and moral norms unconstitutional based on their own constitution, what does that say about the judge’s ability to interpret the constitution?

    In turn, it shows the people had a rational basis to dismiss the judges.

  256. Chairm
    November 19th, 2010 at 20:49 | #256

    Mark you said:

    “I do recognize it as a social institution, I just do not recognize that responsible procreation is at the core of this social institution.”

    What is at the core of the social institution of marriage, in your view, Mark? Is that made mandatory in the marriage law? If not, why not?

    * * *

    Mark said:

    “it simply comes down to nothing but one man and one woman equals marriage for you”

    Wrong. There are man-woman realtionshp types and arrangements that are clearly in the nonmarriage category. And, no, I am not referring to the lines on related people, underaged people, previously married people. There are scenarios that are not marriage — not even thought of remotely as marriage — but which are comprised of “one man and one woman”.

    You need to start with marriage. Not with your feeble attempt to divide nonmarriage into gay and everything else.

  257. Chairm
    November 19th, 2010 at 20:56 | #257

    Mark, I cleary have referred to integration of the sexes; so I responded with a reiteration of that when you attempted to claim that the one-sexed scenario included sex integration. Of course, you meant of a different kind and so you were playing a shell game rather than dealing with the actual disagreement.

    No arrangement that lacks the other sex can be sex-integrative. You might as well acknowledge that the SSM scenario is sex-segregative.

    If you meant sex integration of another kind, as you clearly did, then, it is up to you to explain how an all-male scenario is the equivalent of an all-female scenario; and that both are identical (your word) to the union of husband and wife in terms of your version of sex integration.

    Really, all you did was try to play a game of capture the flag. Deal with the actual disagreement, Mark, rather than play silly games like that. I doubt you thought readers would be fooled by it, anyway.

  258. Chairm
    November 19th, 2010 at 21:29 | #258

    Mark said:

    “Chairm, you cannot be so ignorant to say that same-sex marriage is really nonmarriage. But, if disregarding the relationship two people have committed to is your way, then so be it. I guess that makes all marriage, nonmarriage. It makes as much sense.”

    You are as ignorant, it appears, since you have failed to explain how the type of relationship you have in mind is different from the rest of the nonmarriage category. You resort to namecalling because your gay emphasi remains unjustified, even within the terms of your own argumentation.

    Within the nonmarriage category there are loads of relationship types and loads of different kinds of arrangements in which committment is a defining feature.

    Yet you want to pluck the gay subset from nonmarriage and use gayness as the basis for special treatment. That is pro-gay bigotry, as per your own remarks about disregarding committed people.

    Since SSM is nonmarriage, even in your own terms of argumentation, sure, it would make as much sense to treat marriage as no more special than the rest of the nonmarriage category. That is the point I have made about this conflict between the marriage idea and the SSM idea.

    Mark said:

    “The[y] just don’t understand terms such as same-sex couples and bigotry.”

    Oh, I understand you intended meanings for those terms, Mark. However, as your own comments have amply shown, you have no good reason to limit the usage to your intended meanings.

    * * *

    Mark admitted:

    “I have said there is no more a sexual basis for SSM than there is for OSM. In other words, there really is NO sexual basis for marriage, OSM, SSM or any other form.”

    Yet there is the sexual basis for consummation, adultery-divorce, annulment, and the marital presumption of paternity. All of this is embedded in the law’s special treatment of the marital realtionship. It is opposite-sexed, not sex neutral nor one-sexed.

    You may fervently desire to belittle that. Well, this would be consistent with the SSM idea, afterall.

    And so you admit that your gay emphasis is an open and shut case of fraud. Gayness does not distinguish SSM from the rest of nonmarriage.

  259. Chairm
    November 19th, 2010 at 21:39 | #259

    Mark, I did not dodge when I responded to your crass Tab A into Slot B version of “sexual integration”. You offered that nonsense in reaction (I say reaction for it could not really be taken as a considered response) to the integration of the sexes.

    Since you could not deny that the all-male scenario (sexualized or not) is sex-segregative by virute of exluding the other sex, you dodged and substituted your crass version of what you called sexual integration.

    Once again, you have done precisely (dodged) what you accused others of doing.

    You defended the notion that special status for SSM would be reward for same-sex sexual attraction, behavior, romance, whatnot (see your attempt to limit the meaning of ‘same-sex couple’) because it is your misunderstanding that special status for the union of husband and wife is reward for what you imagine to be the mirror image.

    Yet you concede, emphatically, that in your view there is no sexual basis for SSM, at law.

    Again, you accuse others of what you have actually done yourself in your own words here.

  260. Chairm
    November 19th, 2010 at 21:46 | #260

    Sean said: “Show me the wording from a marriage statute that says a husband and wife are required in any way to have or not have sex and then we can talk.”

    Then?

    Heh, see the sexual basis for consummation, annulment, adultery-divorce, and the marital presumption of paternity.

    Nah, nevermind, you count yourself among the frauds who cling to a gay emphasis while admitting that there is no sexual basis for SSM at law.

    Sure, because there is no sexual basis for presuming that a man impregnated another man; nor that a woman was impreganted by another woman. There is no sexual basis for special status for SSM. That you cannot deny so you try to distance yourself from your own gay emphasis.

    Only the assertion of the supremacy of gay identity politics; and nothing more than that.

    The legal requirements that support the union of husband and wife exist in the laws and the culture; you reject them as this is a prequisite for buying (and selling) the SSM idea as superior to the marriage idea.

  261. Chairm
    November 19th, 2010 at 21:48 | #261

    I said: “Sean, in your attempt to show the difference between marriage and nonmarriage (prior to pinning the label on marriage and prior to according it special status) you have been very short on details and very long on ambiguity”

    This is a fact, not mere opinion, Sean. You can try to deflect but your ambiguity is on the record for all to see across your many comments. You flee from details and from legal requirements and all the rest. You are terrified of being anything but indiscriminate.

  262. Chairm
    November 19th, 2010 at 21:55 | #262

    Sean tied himself into knots:

    “Not in all cases [is infertilty a disablity]: the elderly are not disabled for losing their ability to procreate: it is a natural part of life. And couples who refuse to have children are not disabled. Just an FYI.”

    Heh. This was in response to my remarks regarding infertility as a disability.

    Elderly couples become infertile, sure. It is a disability, as you just conceded, and it is how human fertility is limited as human beings mature.

    Refusal to have children is not infertility. Unexpected pregnancies prove that every day.

    Meanwhile, FYI, the lack of the other sex is not infertility. The one-sexed scenario is nonfertile due to that lack. Lone individuals who partake of ‘donor’ procreation demonstrate that every day.

  263. Chairm
    November 19th, 2010 at 22:13 | #263

    SSMers have convinced themselves that they possess super solid arguments.

    But they are arguing against the marriage idea rather than for the SSM idea. Please note the open concession that there is no sexual basis, at law, for SSM. So they argue that there is no sexual basis for marriage — despite the fact that this sexual basis is embedded in the marriage law.

    Ask yourself how the SSM idea could possibly be promoted with the gay-straight dichotomy if there really is no sexual basis for SSM?

    What this shows is that the pro-SSM insistence on legal requirements is an attempt to hoodwink society. First, there are legal requirements that SSMers reject; there are legal presumptions that raise the privatre sexual aspect to societal regard even while protecting privacy and the integrity of the marital type of relationship.

    SSMers would throw that away with their bizarre insistence that the government force procreation (as if that would be a form of responsible procreation — it is not) or force sexual relations (as if that would be a form of sex integration — it is not) to show that the man-woman criterion (a legal requirement by the way) is justified.

    They would also throw away the sexual basis for SSM — and thus their gay emphasis — and yet they imagine this is not self-defeating. The demand for legal requirements destroys the pro-SSM complaint, obviously, and destroys the gay emphasis as well.

    Yet consider how SSMers use the compound phrase, same-sex couple, as code for a gay type of arrangement that, as even the Iowa pro-SSM court opinion insisted, means that the marriage law must now be forced to accomodate same-sex sexual attraction, same-sex sexual behavior, same-sex sexual romance, and gay identity.

    The talk of legal requirements on the part of SSMers is bogus and insincere. The SSM argumentation on display is incoherent. The lack of a strong argument in favor of the SSM idea — of plucking the gay subset out of the nonmarriage cagtegory — is not disguised by the irrational attacks on the laws governing marriage and its sexual basis.

    The SSM campaign has managed to make pro-SSM mean anti-marriage. Instead, they could have made the case for special status based on gayness; but they have eschewed such a basis for lawmaking even as they argue that basis for special status. Another alternative, they could have argued for protections that fit the rest of nonmarriage quite readily, but they choose instead to tear down the special reasons for the special status of marriage and to demand more than a protective status for SSM. And to do that they have been demanding that the marriage idea be henceforth treated as bigoted, unconstitutional, hateful and as such be relegated to a barely tolerative status in our laws and culture.

    The SSM idea is a conceptual mess and the muddled thinking of SSMers shows that the legal arguments made in courtrooms by SSM lawyers and pro-SSM judges has taught a good deal of nonsense to the public. The SSM idea is not really about SSM but it is about attacking the core meaning of the foundational social institution of marriage. It does not build SSM; it deconstructs marriage.

  264. Chairm
    November 19th, 2010 at 22:40 | #264

    I said: “As for the husband-wife duos who experience infertility, which is a disability, well, I don’t think that they disqualify themselves since they can still fulfill the core meaning of marriage.”

    Mark yelled: ”

    But THEY CAN’T by YOUR DEFINITION. For GOD SAKES be consistent! They DO NOT PROCREATE so they DO NOT meet this essential portion of marriage you insist upon.”

    False. You misrepresent what I have said. Your consistent strawman arguments do not help you to engage in the actual disagreement.

    For someone who likes to instruct others to read and comprehend, you could do a whole lot better at accurately representing what has been said about responsible procreation and sex integration. It is fine with me if you disagree, but to do that you need to first get right that with which you’d disagree.

    Apart from your misrepresentations …

    Most married couples who experience infertility can and do procreate. We’ve discussed this already. Unless you are going to enforce some 100% guarantee, you need to have some perspective.

    1. Maybe about 10% of married couples experience infertility.

    2. Most resolve this without resort to novel medical interventions; they change their behavior in one way or another.

    3. More than half already have children so they experience secondary infertility.

    4. Of those who do use medical interventions, most — by far (93% or better) — do not go outside of their relationship for gametes even if they undergo various forms of treatment that successfully enable them to procreate together.

    So it is simply false to declare that infertile couples do not procreate.

    If you are really intent on sorting out those who were rendered sterile by life-saving surgery (for cancern, for example) or who were born with an illness or deformative reproductive system, okay, but don’t pretend that these experiences of infertility place homosexuality or gay identity in the same category as a disability.

    Now, I do think that your stubborn rhetoric depends, utterly, on a supposed 100% guarantee enforced absolutely by the big hairy arm of Government. That belies a totalitarian impulse on your part. You would not be alone for this is a big part of SSM argumentation and the SSM campaign.

    You have offered zilch in the way of 100% guarantee when it comes to making law for SSM. So I take your talk about compulsory procreation to be insincere and unserious.

    Another crinkle in your yelled remark is that you assumed, mistakenly, that marriage is a conditional status. It is not. Government may not unilaterally revoke the status of husband and wife; people qualify for marriage before they marry — they do not enter a trial marriage conditional upon producing a child. That is not a point against the core meaning of marriage — responsible procreation combined with sex integration. If you want to make it a point against the marriage idea and against the special status of marriage, fine, but don’t pretend that this is a point in favor of the SSM idea. You’d need to offer a 100% guarantee for SSM, at law, but you have fled from the very thing you demand of the marriage idea.

    Yet, since the vast majority of people do marry and since almost all marriage do have children, the sexual basis for the marital presumption of paternity serves very well as that to which people consent when they say, I do. Society also clearly consents. The man-woman criterion is a legal requirement; the marriage law certainly does integrate the sexes by way of reflecting swhat the social institution makes normative in the culture.

    Now, you have abandoned your absolutism when it comes to entrenching SSM into law, right? You don’t insist that each and every same-sex couple by gay or same-sex attracted or engage in specific same-sex sexual behavior. You drop that demand for legal requirements tha twould make such things mandatory and enforced post-status by the Government’s all-seeing eye.

    Instead you say that ‘same-sex couple’ is a good enough proxy for ‘gay relationship’ or somesuch. Why then is the marital presumption of paternity (vigorously enforced) and the man-woman criterion (vigorously enforced) not good enough proxies for the combination of the provision for responsible procreation and sex integration? Howcome you stand against the sexual basis for consummation, adultery-divorce, and annulment and such? Is your absolutism getting in the way of the basic principles of good lawmaking?

    Yeap.

    Meanwhile, if there is great societal merit to the sexual basis for the gay relationship, as imagined by yourself, then, argue for that instead of against the marriage idea. Obviously the SSM idea is quite different. Why must you set it in conflict with the marriage idea the way that your argumentation has done?

    You surely are not enslaved to group identity, right?

  265. Sean
    November 20th, 2010 at 07:29 | #265

    @bman

    “It looks like you disrespect others because you don’t know they know more than you!”

    I haven’t encountered anyone in this forum who knows more than I do. I spend much of my time posting corrections to other people’s posts, in fact, or pointing out that the issue at hand, “must same-sex marriage be legalized?” isn’t being addressed by the comments. I understand that people here oppose same-sex marriage although their thinking isn’t very clear or consistent. I would like to hear arguments for why same-sex marriage must be outlawed at some point. Repeating endlessly what you perceive marriage to be doesn’t address the issue of why marriage can’t apply to same-sex couples, and why same-sex marriage must be outlawed.

    “Sean asked if OnLawn was “still” cut and pasting, but now he admits he never had a reason to say it in the first place!”

    It seems the tactic is to find fault with Sean, lacking the ability to counter his arguments in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage. Let me apologize in advance for any uncrossed “t’s” or undotted “i’s”!

    “Sean admits it was true democracy when Iowans voted out the judges, since they adhered to the Iowan Constitution!”

    Sean said the very opposite: an angry, vengeful mob fired three fine judges not for violating their constitutional responsibilities but for issuing a ruling unpalatable to the mob. It is counter-democratic for the mob to approve a constitution, including that constitution’s insistence that all Iowans be treated equally under the law, and then punish three judges for doing their job of making laws conform to the constitution.

    “is subjective and not objectively true.”

    Oh brother. Does stopping same-sex marriage really merit the collateral damage you people inflict on yourselves and others?! The Iowa ruling was completely logical and reasoned. It is the same judgment issued by other states, and it was a unanimous ruling. It is objectively a reasoned, logical ruling. Even if you don’t like it.

    “it dismisses viable alternatives without sufficient reason.”

    Ok, let’s try this: for prohibitions against same-sex marriage to constitutional, the state must have some kind of rational public interest purpose. Some courts give great deference to the state in this regard: if there’s any rational purpose given by the states, the law is constitutional. Now say we apply that “great deference” rule to the court: if their ruling is in any way logical and consistent with the constitution, their ruling is appropriate.

    So if I understand you properly, you want courts to grant great deference to state prohibitions against same-sex marriage but you are unwilling to grant courts the same leeway. Is that correct?

    “Would a people intend their own constitution to make their spiritual and moral norms unconstitutional?”

    Evidently they do. That’s why Iowa’s constitution has an “equal protection” clause in it. They may prefer Christianity but they insist that Jews and Muslims have equal rights to worship, for example. They may think being straight is better, but they insist that gay people be granted equal rights to housing, employment, freedom of speech, freedom of worship, etc. (as noted in Iowa’s statutory body):

    “More importantly, the Iowa legislature has recently declared as the public policy of this state that sexual orientation is not relevant to a person’s ability to contribute to a number of societal institutions other than civil marriage. See Iowa Code § 216.6 (employment); id. § 216.7 (public
    accommodations); id. § 216.8 (housing); id. § 216.9 (education); id. § 216.10 (credit practices).”

    “if a judge ruled their spiritual and moral norms unconstitutional based on their own constitution, what does that say about the judge’s ability to interpret the constitution?”

    They didn’t rule on the “spiritual or moral” norms, but rather on whether a marriage statute that limits marriage to dual gender couples only was constitutional.

    “In turn, it shows the people had a rational basis to dismiss the judges.”

    If they think like you do, it shows they have a gross misunderstanding of the role of their Supreme Court judges. The decision reached is not the basis for dismissal, whether you like it or not. If that were true, judges would not be the independent branch of government, de-politicized, that we idealize them to be. They are not there to fulfill the hopes and dreams of the people but rather enforce the constitutional rules the people have imposed upon the government.

    You hold some improper, if not flat-out wrong, perceptions of what courts do, and how to hold them accountable. Courts do NOT reach conclusions based on what the people want. They do not ask themselves, “will everybody think this decision is ok?” Or at least they shouldn’t. Judicial rulings are not driven by, nor subject to, popular approval. Even in a jury trial, a unanimous jury (that is, “the people”) verdict can be set aside by the judge! Did you know that? Do you approve or disapprove of this process?

    The whole point of an independent judiciary is to avoid exactly the kind of situation we’re seeing now: an angry mob trying to control the destiny of a minority, in violation of that minority’s constitutional rights.

  266. November 20th, 2010 at 07:33 | #266

    Sean :
    [...]
    “No ignorance involved in removing the Judges from Ohio.”
    No judges were removed from Ohio that I know of.

    Correction noted, it was Iowa :)

    No ignorance involved in removing the Judges from Iowa either.

    “Where is the harm? Another example of rhetoric gone overboard…”
    Gay couples[1] are harmed because they are denied an opportunity to legally cement their relationship[2], and publicly express society’s highest commitment: marriage[3]. They are denied nearly 1,500 federal and state rights and benefits when they can’t get married. The ongoing crusade against same-sex marriage helps perpetuate as reasonable, homophobia and Straight Supremacy.

    1) Note the exclusivity, and segregative nature of his subject.
    2) Obviously not true, there are CU’s, DP’s, RB’s and private contracts available to them.
    3) Public expression is not forbidden by the government, and a license is not required (and even if they want one, they can fully do that with any of the programs mentioned in #2 even if adjustments are needed in the CU (et. all.) programs to do so).

    The children of gay couples are rendered less secure in their lives because they are being raised by an unmarried couple[1]. Research shows, according to NOM’s Maggie Gallagher, that children do better when raised by married parents[2]. Common sense (if you have it) would suggest that children are better off when the two people raising them have to stay together[3].

    1) No research bears out the idea that same-sex couples are more or less secure when their relationships are regulated by law (CU’s DP’s etc… being clear examples).
    2) Actually the research says they do better when the parents who gave them life raise them in marriage. Same-sex couples are not capable of that stipulation, they instead hold prejudice against a whole gender and exclude them from a marriage even though they might create a child with someone of the other gender.
    3) Notice the sleight of hand where Sean moved from being married to staying together. Same-sex couples have every opportunity and assistance to stay together as any other couple. And even when same-sex couples neuter marriage their divorce rates can still remain significantly higher than both-gendered couples. One reason postulated for that difference is that same-sex couples don’t share a common kinship bond with a child. This puts the horse before the cart, in other words, in that it notes that couples stay around more because of their kinship with their children more strongly that Sean’s converse notion that marriage keeps them there when there is children.

    You repeat endlessly that civil unions are marriage, when they’re not[1]. You keep insisting they are a reasonable alternative even after it has been pointed out a number of times that they are legally impermissible[2]. You keep explaining what marriage is, in your mind, without explaining how your concept of marriage is compromised when same-sex couples marry[3]. You are a sadly broken record.

    1) Contrariety in itself is not an argument, it is just denial :)
    2) Contradicted by the nine states that currently recognize them as legal (California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Nevada, Maine, Maryland, Hawaii, Wisconsin).
    3) Sean’s inability to see is not my concern. He only holds one vote, and obviously a majority of people who also hold one vote do see the difference. Sean’s dishonesty is simply not as persuasive :)

    “We have used facts and logic”
    Where? When? I’d love to see them! [...]

    See point 3 above :)

    The smiley faces make you look childish. Among other things. Feel free to keep using them.

    Wow, Sean disdain is taken down a notch, but his hatred of happiness is still apparent.

    Cheer up Sean, smile :-D

    “Sean, to be honest, in my estimation you are little less than a con-artist, hoping to cover up a number of dishonest sayings with poorly veiled incredulity and threats.”
    I realize you are left to attack me, lacking a credible defense against my arguments. Call me a con-artist, if that helps you channel your frustration.

    No, that is the difference between you and me. I’ve shown your dishonesty, in other words the facts are presented where there is no other rational conclusion. Especially when you claim I’ve not used any facts to support my case, when the comment thread is full of third party and authoritatively validated facts. That is the exact opposite of Sean who’s left with no other credible response but to claim some insult or other to explain why he persists in his unreasonable misconstruing of reality.

    You can get away, maybe, with subjective truths, like what makes an compelling explanation. But your dishonesty in that tactic is manifest when you press that even further to pretend no explanation at all has been offered. It is further strained in dishonesty when you claim that objective truths like facts haven’t been presented.

    In other words, your intent is clear based on how willing you are to misuse your own cheap debate tactics.

    “Sean’s dishonesty”
    Put up or shut up. Where have I been dishonest?

    See the two points above for examples :)

    The voters of Iowa who prevailed in the judges retention vote were motivated by revenge[1]. They didn’t like the court decision rendered on same-sex marriage[2]. They haven’t read Iowa’s constitution[3], nor case law regarding equal protection[3]. They didn’t read the actual Varnum decision[3]. Yet, like some biblical story of an angry mob spurred on by Satan (NOM?), they “stoned” three judges to vent their rage. Three fine judges fired, for doing their jobs[1].

    1) Sean’s just projecting. Many articulated clear dissent on legal grounds with the Judges, and continue to do so. But Sean has stated that he is in the same-sex marriage fight because he wishes Christianity to suffer a silent death, his own animus is the reason he interprets others actions that way.
    2) This is a perfectly good reason to find that the court abused their power, misconstrued the constitution, and should be removed.
    3) Yes, many of them did and found it proved the judicial malfeasance that warranted their removal.

    “what Sean churlishly calls revenge (is all justice revenge?)”
    Small-minded people (anyone we know?) think revenge is justice. It isn’t.

    Okay, Sean, since you think I’m too “small-minded”, then don’t leave it to me to explain. Tell us, what is the difference between justice and revenge?

    “Sean is mad that they did disagree, and they did it openly at the ballot box.”
    But mostly Sean is sad at the level of education in, at least, Iowa, where the citizens don’t even know their state’s constitution, yet insist on punishing those who do.

    The democratic discourse gave both equal opportunity to make their cases. Perhaps Sean is admitting that the Judges had no constitutional case to make, so they didn’t publicly support their decision from the constitution?

    Because one would assume they would have, and thus the people would have understood the constitution better, if it indeed presented such a clear case in their favor as Sean pretends it does.

    “because Sean is openly motivated by hatred”
    Sean is neither openly nor secretly motivated by hatred. He admits to the occasional pleasure of reading ignorant people’s posts, though.

    Again, Sean has openly noted his own hatred, especially in wishing Christianity to die a silent death.

    “The people’s decision was based on their understanding of the constitution”
    A document they haven’t read. And a ruling, Varnum v. Brien, that they haven’t read. Pathetic.

    And what does Sean quote from those decisions that would have persuaded the people? Nothing. A tacit admission that undermines his claims to the contrary.

  267. Sean
    November 20th, 2010 at 07:41 | #267

    “Nah, nevermind, you count yourself among the frauds who cling to a gay emphasis while admitting that there is no sexual basis for SSM at law.”

    And I count you among the windbags who think that the more words used, the more likely people will believe you are correct. For the umpteenth time, the only reason the issue of sexual orientation, or straightness/gayness, are germane to the discussion is that the discrimination is sexual orientation-based, creating harm against gay people.

    “There is no sexual basis for special status for SSM.”

    It’s really irrelevant isn’t it? Legalizing same-sex marriage has no impact of whatever sexual basis you ascribe to OSM. I completely understand the nature of the argument: keep repeating what marriage is, in hopes that is persuades through implication what marriage isn’t and cannot be. It doesn’t seem to be working in legal settings though, the ultimate setting for the issue.

    “The legal requirements that support the union of husband and wife exist in the laws and the culture; you reject them as this is a prequisite for buying (and selling) the SSM idea as superior to the marriage idea.”

    Nope, I am completely on board with man/woman marriage. I’m in one. And my marriage is unaffected by same-sex couples also marrying.

    “You can try to deflect but your ambiguity is on the record for all to see across your many comments.”

    I can live with that. I’m still right and that’s all that matters.

    “You flee from details and from legal requirements and all the rest.”

    I’m not sure how to be more specific and detailed as to point out the equal protection guarantee of the nation’s constitution in treating all citizens, gay or straight, equally. Most Americans reject discrimination against gay people for any other purpose but marriage. Yet they can’t explain their exception on this particular issue. It is irrational, to be kind.

    “Sean tied himself into knots”

    Well, the wife tried tying Sean up once but we decided that was less exciting in practice than in theory LOL.

    “Elderly couples become infertile, sure. It is a disability, as you just conceded, and it is how human fertility is limited as human beings mature.”

    Then I guess crow’s feet are a disability. Good luck claiming social security disability on them or infertility, for that matter.

    “The one-sexed scenario is nonfertile due to that lack.”

    Well, explain to me how the “non-babies” of the elderly and the infertile are in any way different from the non-babies of same-sex couples. Maybe that’s how we’ll reach an understanding for why society makes a procreative exception for the elderly, the infertile and couples who refuse to have children, but not a procreative exception for same-sex couples.

  268. bman
    November 20th, 2010 at 18:00 | #268

    @Sean
    Sean: I haven’t encountered anyone in this forum who knows more than I do

    But you also didn’t know you encountered a religious argument in the Declaration of Independence.

  269. Chairm
    November 20th, 2010 at 20:45 | #269

    Sean asserted the following before undercutting it almost immediately in the same comment:

    “For the umpteenth time, the only reason the issue of sexual orientation, or straightness/gayness, are germane to the discussion is that the discrimination is sexual orientation-based, creating harm against gay people.”

    And then he responded to something I said.

    I said: “There is no sexual basis for special status for SSM.

    Sean said: “It’s really irrelevant isn’t it?”

    Heh. Okay, so the rhetorical sexual basis for special status for SSM (i.e. sexual orientation) is substantively irrelevant, according to Sean.

    And yet his gay emphasis is unmistakablely central to his pro-SSM complaint against society dislcriminating between marriage and nonmarriage.

  270. Chairm
    November 20th, 2010 at 20:47 | #270

    Marriage is not nonmarriage. Treating the two the same is unjust. And given SSM argumentation, that false equivalence would be used to demote the marriage idea from its preferential status to a barely tolerative status — as something hateful, bigoted, and unconstitutional.

    There is lots of harm promised by the SSM idea. The SSM campaign counts on it.

  271. Chairm
    November 20th, 2010 at 21:07 | #271

    Sean’s infertility strawman argument does him and his cause no favors.

    Sean: “Well, explain to me how the “non-babies” of the elderly and the infertile are in any way different from the non-babies of same-sex couples.”

    As already noted, infertile husband-wife duos can and do procreate. You admitted that infertility is a disablity and now you try to runaway from that obvious admission made just a couple of comments earlier when you expressly referred to the elderly.

    Sean said: “Maybe that’s how we’ll reach an understanding for why society makes a procreative exception for the elderly, the infertile and couples who refuse to have children, but not a procreative exception for same-sex couples.”

    Heh, there is no guarantee of procreation from which to carve out a procreative exception (your term, not mine). You are misrepresenting the core meaning of marriage.

    Until you stop hiding behind that strawman argument (a strawman of your own making), you won’t make the first step in engaging the actual disagreement here, Sean.

    It is your choice. Deal with the core meaning or play with your strawman. Find the intellectual and moral courage to squarely face the argument you have been evading.

    Perhaps you will find that by considering that there are apparent exceptions that challenge but do not negate the core meaning of marriage; but there is no actual exception.

    Note: responsible procreation does not mean government-forced procreation. It does not mean that the law relies on a 100% guarantee (indeed few things in law do rely on such a thing). It does not mean that old age is the equivalent of the lack of the other sex; it does not mean that infertility (a disability as you have already admitted) is a disqualifier; it does not mean that your mischaracterization of choice (i.e. “refuse”) is accurate much less apt.

    Fact: the lack of the other sex is not infertility.

    Fact: infertile married couples can and do procreate together.

    Fact: elderly married couples have children together.

    Same-sex facts: the one-sexed arrangement is nonfertile — and that arrangement could be a lone individual, a twosome, or a moresome. Adding more persons of the same sex does not change nonfertility into infertility even if all of the participants would be fertile with the other sex.

    So the 100% guarantee easily fits the same-sex scenario: it is nonfertile. But your strawman is an irrelevant search for the rarest of exceptions — and that is a serach for only apparent exceptions rather than actual exceptions to the core meaning of marriage besides. Meanwhile, the marital presumption of paternity and the man-woman criterion of marriage are legal requirements that are virtually 100% guarantees, but not designed to enforce such a totalitarian guarantee as imagined by yourself and your strawman dancing partner.

  272. Chairm
    November 20th, 2010 at 21:19 | #272

    There is a reasonable underlying idea that is tragically obscured by the pro-SSM emphasis on gayness. That idea is that society has a moral obligation to lend a hand to famlies in the nonmarriage category — especially those with children — where they exprience certain vulnerabilities due to the lack of (or diminishment of) sex integration and responsible procreation in their circumstances.

    The longterm solution to this problem is to promote the core meaning of marriage and to strengthen the normative influence of the social institution on all of society; that is, to encourage more and stronger and healthier unions of husband and wife.

    But, in the shorter term, marriage has suffered these past few decades and so the population of of vulnerable families has grown. Much of this can be placed at the feet of the so-called sexual revolution and on the divorce revolution. Both have discouraged marriage and have undermined the efforts of people to form strong and healthy unions of husband and wife. Indeed, the noisy background of increased sex segregation and irresponsile procreation is the context that the SSM campaign camoflauges its anti-marriage arguments. But these vulnerable families exist, increasingly so, and there is a moral basis for providing protections.

    Protections, or protective status, for the nonmarriage category does not supplant the need to affirm the special status of marriage in our society. These are connected but societal generousity toward nonmarriage cannot be transformed into societal rejection of the special status, and the special reason for special status, of the foundational social institution of marriage.

    The SSM idea, shorn of its gay emphasis, boilsdown to a call for protection equality within the nonmarriage category of families. The underlying idea is legitimate and has long been addressed through provisions for designated beneificiaries. No special status is needed for this. No twinning of nonmarriage, much less a gay specific subset of nonmarriage, and bonafide marriage is required. Quite the contrary, actually.

  273. Mark
    November 20th, 2010 at 22:44 | #273

    Chairm: “What is at the core of the social institution of marriage, in your view, Mark?”

    Again, for about the hundredth time (pay attention), the core of marriage is a relationship that two consenting adults enter into to make a life together.

    “Yet there is the sexual basis for consummation, adultery-divorce, annulment, and the marital presumption of paternity.”

    There isn’t. I have already addressed this IN LENGTH. Why can you not pay attention? Or perhaps it’s just your long winded responses that gets you lost. And, again, if paternity is SO important, why not prove it with DNA testing? FAR more accurate.

    “Gayness does not distinguish SSM from the rest of nonmarriage.”

    How thick are you? Same-sex marriage IS marriage.

    “Mark, I did not dodge when I responded to your crass Tab A into Slot B version of “sexual integration”. You offered that nonsense in reaction (I say reaction for it could not really be taken as a considered response) to the integration of the sexes. ”

    A dodge by any other name, Chairm. You just don;t see it because of your narrow view of sexual intercourse.

    And I did not dodge any question. This made up idea of “sexual integration” (which you really can’t define and therefore cannot be upset is someone else defines it for you) has nothing to do with marriage except to exclude same-sex couples. Nothing, Zilch. No proof that it offers ANY benefit over SSM.

    “Yet you concede, emphatically, that in your view there is no sexual basis for SSM, at law.”

    Just as there is none for OSM.

    “Unless you are going to enforce some 100% guarantee, you need to have some perspective.”

    I do have perspective, something you lack in abundance. I have never said procreation is necessary for marriage. YOU did. However, when it comes to SSM, you suddenly have a 100% guarantee requirement. That is why the idea of procreation as a basis of marriage is a bogus argument. And it is one of the reasons why Prop 8 will go down: there is no logical basis to insist on procreation as an essential part of marriage ONLY in the case of SSM. That is discrimination and is not right.

    And, I’d love to see where you got your “facts” about infertility. Per the CDC about 10% of women are infertile and less than 40% have success with ART (assisted reproductive technology).

    “people qualify for marriage before they marry — they do not enter a trial marriage conditional upon producing a child. ”

    So, thank you for admitting that procreation is not a necessary part of marriage.

    “Yet, since the vast majority of people do marry and since almost all marriage do have children”

    Any facts to back up these claims?

    It is late, and I am tired. I cannot plod through your repetitive, illogical nonsense any more tonight.

    Same-sex marriage will be legal in the US in the future. OSM will not be affected. The sky will not fall.

  274. November 21st, 2010 at 07:53 | #274

    Sean :
    [...]the judges are appointed to interpret the constitutionality of laws. Which they did[1]. The people approved the document, Iowa’s constitution, that tells them to do this. It’s hard to see despotism here[2].

    1) And the people are appointed by the constitution to decide if the judges did their jobs, or abused their power. They were within their rights, and acted appropriately with the errant judges who went beyond interpreting the constitution, they read between the lines to find it saying things it never actually said.

    2) Saying the people have a right to vote, but no right to vote in disagreement, and no grounds to disagree with their elite credentials, doesn’t look somewhat despotic to you, Sean?

    “Sean, who’s openly advocated revenge against the people exercising their constitutional rights”
    I invite you cite where Sean have advocated revenge against anyone. You really are over-the-top desperate on this topic. Why?!

    I’ll bet some judges are taking notice of this decision, and plotting their own revenge, should a religious case come before their court!

    “I wonder what of NOM’s messages were so much more persuasive than Sean’s beloved judicial decision.”
    Although this sentence makes not sense[1], I will take the opportunity to say that when NOM’s messages implied that if these judges aren’t punished, they will take your liberties, including your guns (a completely false statement, but that’s NOM for you), that pushed a lot more Iowans to vote to oust these judges[2].

    1) This reads like speaks Yoda?
    2) Proof?

    “Sean wouldn’t be the first self-hating person acting out and projecting that on others.”
    Again, reliance on insulting Sean or attacking him do improve your arguments, or your reading comprehension.

    Thats the worst non-denial I’ve read yet. Lets review the evidence again, instead of ignoring it as if the conclusion was standing alone?

    Sean has no respect for ignorance (hint, hint)[1]. If you don’t know what you’re doing or talking about, don’t do it or talk about it[2].

    Since Sean has shown himself to be the one who ignores the most critical evidence, and denies the most obvious facts, then he clearly has no respect for himself. He would normally be subject to his own advice to simply quite persisting in ignorance. But clearly just because Sean constantly acts in ignorance, it doesn’t mean the Iowa citizens did. Just because Sean’s ignorance about the constitution is clear, doesn’t mean it is fair for him to interpret their disagreement with Sean as ignorance.

    In short, just as I said… “Sean wouldn’t be the first self-hating person acting out and projecting that on others”.

    Not one commenter in the Des Moines Register said he or she read the decision and that drove them to vote as they did. You are foolish enough to believe they did read it. Have you read the Varnum decision???

    Poor sampling, and there is no reason to believe if they did read it they would need to say they read either to comment in that paper, or if the editors would consider it superfluous even if they did. Besides, your statement is also unverified at this point.

    “Nothing strange about it, they were simply all wrong.”
    How convenient for you. All seven judges, plus a lower court judge, all got the Iowa constitution wrong on the issue of equal rights for all Iowans and marriage. Iowa’s got bigger problems than I thought!

    Hence why they voted them out.

    “Still doesn’t change that marriage equality is the equal recognition of the rights and responsibilities of the man, woman and children they potentially have together.”
    Still doesn’t change that this definition occurs only on Planet OnLawn!

    Sure, since the planet I live on is Earth, marriage equality is the equal recognition of the rights and responsibilities of the man, woman and children they potentially have together.

    “Actually, they say ignorance is bliss”
    You must be on cloud 9!

    I’m a generally happy and optimistic person, to be sure. Thanks for asking!

    You don’t come across as the happy type, may you find happiness through understanding in the future, too!

    “But then you have to explain how someone as ignorant and stupid as you claim I am, has discredited you so easily, so often, and so effortlessly.”
    Not once have you “discredited” me, unless you think repeating endlessly your vision for marriage is somehow discrediting my vision of equal rights for all citizens. My wife and I both thank you for the laughs though.

    And that is why they say ignorance is bliss, Sean, because your mental state of denial is both an attempt to protect your ignorance and a cause of aggravation for you. True understanding would lead you to show more love towards others, and see this issue more circumspectly. Then you would feel more a part of a human race, with many types of relationships even though we are all basically the same.

    “they obviously erred”
    Yes, eight Iowa judges all erred in interpreting their state’s constitution, which is their job. But the people of Iowa, experienced jurists all of them (when they’re not picking corn), better understand Iowa’s constitution. Naturally. Makes perfect sense!

    See, its that kind of contempt for your fellow human beings that is so sad to read sometimes.

    “Such plain language doesn’t amount to the conclusions you claim they made. There error is that simple.”
    But remember, the rest of us don’t live on Planet OnLawn. In the real world, the plain language of Iowa’s constitution states that all citizens get the same rights.

    I live on Earth. Sean, I assume you live on the same planet. Am I wrong? :-D (some boards have an alien smiley, I wish this one did)

    “Marriage equality in expecting equal gender representation doesn’t exclude gay people — each gay person is still a man or woman.”
    Again, let’s stick to the reality-based definition. Marriage equal means equal access to marriage for both straight and gay couples. Just an FYI for ya.

    “Marriage equal means”? Come again?

    And no, I refuse to take a step backward in equality from meaning something that encourages love and tolerance for all of humanity (for we are all men, women, and at one time children), to something that divisively separates those mothers and fathers in promotion of gender segregation and gender prejudice/bias.

    Marriage equality — one man and one woman equally recognized for their rights and contributions to the formation of the children that make the family. You can’t get more equal then that, and it in no way excludes gay people.

    “It obviously doesn’t mean what you think it means.”
    Actually it does. In the real world I mean, not on Planet OnLawn.

    Earth :)

    “I’ve not met any homophobes or “straight supremacists” in this forum yet.”
    Wow, I have! Anyone who advocates limiting marriage to straight people is, in my estimation, an straight supremacist. The homophobes reveal themselves with ugly comments about gay people and AIDS.

    Sean, who advocates that if marriage is between a man and a woman, then it should be limited to straight people, falls perfectly in his own definition of “homophobe” and “straight supremacist”. I’ll note that for future reference that the only person who fits his own description is himself.

  275. November 21st, 2010 at 17:16 | #275

    Sean :
    “I don’t remember any argument Sean made that passed the most basic scrutiny.”
    Well maybe you need [...]

    You are trying to hard to explain through me why you haven’t made any arguments that have withstood even basic scrutiny. Its like saying your teacher ate your homework :)

    [quoting the Supreme Court]
    “…because it reveals equal protection can only be defined by the standards of each generation.”
    [...] The court said nothing about the people deciding anything:[...]

    False. The dictionary calls the a generation “a group of individuals born and living contemporaneously”. That would at least include the people of Iowa.

    “ultimately people found their misconstruing of the constitution to be more than what they could tolerate from people in such an important position.”
    And now the [Sean] reality: the people sought revenge for a court decision they don’t like, assisted by external hate groups, like NOM.

    Your reality is yours to enjoy. I find it to be overly churlish and disrespectful of the people of Iowa, who are much smarter and more informed then you seem to give them credit for. The judges had their time to plead their case, and they certainly had the bully pulpit to relay it to the people with.

    In the end their arguments simply weren’t persuasive, and the arguments against them were much more so to precipitate such a historic event.

    “The people did do a better job of interpreting the constitution.”
    In your dreams. The people haven’t even read the constitution, let alone cases related to equal protection. Only among conservatives is ignorance considered a plus!

    Are you saying conservatives value you? Because you are the only one here who’s persisted in any kind of ignorance.

  276. November 21st, 2010 at 17:20 | #276

    Mark :
    On Lawn: “What is funny, however, is how in Mark’s mind quoting the ACLU webpage, numerous dictionaries and news reports, is not “a single reference”.”
    [... ranting, ignorance and games removed ...]

    With nothing I’d call a credible counter argument from Mark, the point stands.

  277. November 21st, 2010 at 17:33 | #277

    bman :

    Sean: …..are you still cut-and-pasting talking points from Americaisachristiannation.org?!
    OnLawn: Which point have I cut and pasted? And why are their points so much more persuasive than yours?
    Sean: How would I know? You cutted and pasted them!

    Sean asked if OnLawn was “still” cut and pasting, but now he admits he never had a reason to say it in the first place!

    Exactly. Does anyone take Sean’s accusations seriously? There’s a saying, life’s too serious to take yourself too seriously. But Sean seems to be the only one taking himself seriously.

    bman :

    OnLawn: much like Sean wishes to purge true democratic self government and the belief we are entitled to it from society.”
    Sean: True democracy means adhering to the constitution legally adopted by the people’s representatives. Mob rule is not democratic self-government!

    Sean admits it was true democracy when Iowans voted out the judges, since they adhered to the Iowan Constitution!

    The only thing I’d add to that excellent point is that when Sean said, “Mob rule is not democratic self-government!” more to the point democratic self-government is not mob rule!

  278. Sean
    November 21st, 2010 at 20:00 | #278

    @bman

    “But you also didn’t know you encountered a religious argument in the Declaration of Independence.”

    I guess this is a big deal to you, enough to mention it in a post. Ok, you win: the Declaration of Independence refers to a supreme being. Big deal.

  279. Sean
    November 21st, 2010 at 20:22 | #279

    @Chairm

    “Okay, so the rhetorical sexual basis for special status for SSM (i.e. sexual orientation) is substantively irrelevant, according to Sean.nd yet his gay emphasis is unmistakablely central to his pro-SSM complaint against society dislcriminating between marriage and nonmarriage.”

    Sean is arguing AGAINST any sexual orientation basis for marriage. Sweet Jesus.. That’s the point, Chairm, there’s no public interest in rewarding straight people with 1,500 special rights and privileges, and not giving those same perks to gay people.

    For the 18 millionth time, the only reason for mentioning gayness is because that’s the group that’s being discriminated against: gay people. It’s not the basis for anything, other than identifying the harmed group.

    “Marriage is not nonmarriage.”

    It’s this kind of keen insight that keeps me coming back for more!

    “to demote the marriage idea from its preferential status to a barely tolerative status — as something hateful, bigoted, and unconstitutional.”

    I don’t think anyone wants to “demote” marriage. It still has preferential status, and both straight and gay couples deserve to have that status.

    “There is lots of harm promised by the SSM idea”

    I’ve only been able to find good stuff: more security for children, less homophobia, conformance to the nation’s constitution, etc. What’s the bad stuff you see?

    “Sean’s infertility strawman argument does him and his cause no favors.”

    Infertility isn’t a straw man. If you want to say marriage is for procreators only, you can’t have this huge population of non-procreators getting married and still insist same-sex couples not be allowed to marry because they can’t procreate! At some point, you have to stop being a raving lunatic!

    “As already noted, infertile husband-wife duos can and do procreate.”

    Then they aren’t infertile, or more precisely, incapable of reproducing.

    “You admitted that infertility is a disability”

    No, I said that a post-menopausal women is not disabled if she can’t reproduce, she is merely manifesting a natural reproductive progression.

    “there is no guarantee of procreation from which to carve out a procreative exception”

    There most certainly is: post-menopausal women cannot reproduce, nor can barren women and sterile men. Couples who use birth control, men who have had vasectomies, women who have had their “tubes” tied, and couples willing to abort short the unlikely happen, cannot or will not have children.

    “You are misrepresenting the core meaning of marriage.”

    No, I’m just rejecting your version of the core meaning of marriage.

    “Find the intellectual and moral courage to squarely face the argument you have been evading.”

    You’re a joke, in case you don’t know.

    “the one-sexed arrangement is nonfertile”

    Since the government doesn’t care if you have kids or not, it doesn’t really matter, does it?

    “Meanwhile, the marital presumption of paternity and the man-woman criterion of marriage are legal requirements that are virtually 100% guarantees”

    And both continue to happily exist even when same-sex couples marry.

    “That idea is that society has a moral obligation to lend a hand to famlies in the nonmarriage category — especially those with children”

    I’m sure this meant something to you when you wrote it, but it doesn’t make much sense to me. And that’s who counts. If society thinks that children are better off with married parents, and the research strongly supports that notion, then there’s no rational reason to distinguish between opposite-sex couples raising children, and same-sex couples raising children.

    “that is, to encourage more and stronger and healthier unions of husband and wife.”

    Or any couple raising children!

    “Indeed, the noisy background of increased sex segregation and irresponsile procreation is the context that the SSM campaign camoflauges its anti-marriage arguments.”

    If you’re saying that gay couples want to marry because straight people have kids out of wedlock and get divorced, that makes zero sense at all.

    “The SSM idea, shorn of its gay emphasis, boilsdown to a call for protection equality within the nonmarriage category of families.”

    Actually, I think the SSM idea is just the OSM idea for gay people.

  280. Sean
    November 21st, 2010 at 20:54 | #280

    “And the people are appointed by the constitution to decide if the judges did their jobs, or abused their power.”

    Really? Where does any constitution authorize the people to do this?

    “Saying the people have a right to vote, but no right to vote in disagreement, and no grounds to disagree with their elite credentials, doesn’t look somewhat despotic to you, Sean?”

    God, you’re stupid. How is it “despotic” when the judges do the job they were appointed (not elected!) to do? What is despotic about that, in your little brain? That Iowa constitution, as approved by the legislators elected by the people, says that all Iowans have to be treated equally. The Iowa judges issued a completely rational decision. All seven of them, plus a lower court judge. A decision also reached by judges in other states. And yet you think they crossed a line, because you don’t like the decision. The only thing more frightening than you is knowing that there are any number of other Americans who think just like you do.

    “I’ll bet some judges are taking notice of this decision, and plotting their own revenge, should a religious case come before their court!”

    You took this observation as advocacy? God, you’re stupid.

    “Since Sean has shown himself to be the one who ignores the most critical evidence, and denies the most obvious facts, then he clearly has no respect for himself.”

    No, Sean has no respect for you. Although he appreciates the outlandish observations you make, as they aid in diminishing the credibility of the anti-gay marriage arguments. Sean has expressed his gratitude for your role.

    “But clearly just because Sean constantly acts in ignorance, it doesn’t mean the Iowa citizens did.”

    Well, if they haven’t read the Iowa constitution, or the Varnum decision, then they acted in ignorance, at the goading of hate-based organizations like NOM.

    “Just because Sean’s ignorance about the constitution is clear”

    God, you’re stupid. I even posted the exact wording from Iowa’s constitution.

    Have you read Iowa’s constitution yet? Have you read the Varnum decision?

    “Hence why they voted them out.”

    They voted them out because all seven Supreme Court judges voted to treat all Iowa citizens equally, as did a lower court judge?! Really?

    “since the planet I live on is Earth, marriage equality is the equal recognition of the rights and responsibilities of the man, woman and children they potentially have together.”

    I invite you to find me anyone else who supports your belief that marriage makes men and women equal, or their rights equal or whatever it is you are trying to say with this statement.

    “I’m a generally happy and optimistic person, to be sure. Thanks for asking!”

    Thank you for confirming that ignorance is bliss.

    “You don’t come across as the happy type, may you find happiness through understanding in the future, too!”

    Just the kind of superficial statement the ignorant like to make. How on earth could you have any inkling about my happiness? Because I show disdain for your ignorance?

    “your mental state of denial is both an attempt to protect your ignorance and a cause of aggravation for you”

    But I’m the one with the rational, logical arguments! My aggravation is with people like you, who repeat endlessly irrational statements, and avoid addressing the inconsistencies in their cut-and-paste talking points. It’s depressing.

    “True understanding would lead you to show more love towards others, and see this issue more circumspectly.”

    This from a person who is happy to see innocent children raised out of wedlock, homophobia receive government support, and the nation’s constitutional guarantee of equal protection ignored. And there are more people just like you, I’m sure. Depressing.

    “Then you would feel more a part of a human race, with many types of relationships even though we are all basically the same.”

    Are you like some weird cult member or something? Are you a scientologist? I’m just curious.

    “See, its that kind of contempt for your fellow human beings that is so sad to read sometimes.”

    But that’s what you want to believe, isn’t it? That corn farmers are better situated to understand Iowa’s constitution and case law than experienced legal minds on Iowa’s Supreme Court.

    “I live on Earth. Sean, I assume you live on the same planet. Am I wrong?”

    Your ignorance of the earth-bound practice of marriage, as well as the American system of jurisprudence, lead me to believe you were from another planet. I was giving you the benefit of the doubt.

    “something that encourages love and tolerance for all of humanity”

    Married people love all humanity? This one’s a real keeper, OnLawn.

    “to something that divisively separates those mothers and fathers in promotion of gender segregation and gender prejudice/bias.”

    I think legalized same-sex parenting is your big concern, not same-sex marriage. Many same-sex couples don’t even have children. I suggest you start a movement to stop legal same-sex and single person parenting, so that children are always raised by a mommy and a daddy.

    “Sean, who advocates that if marriage is between a man and a woman, then it should be limited to straight people”

    Not once has Sean made this claim. Why you say he does is inexplicable. Sean doesn’t care what sexual orientation a person has. He does insist that all persons have equal access to marriage, so long as states are handing out marriage licenses.

    “I’ll note that for future reference that the only person who fits his own description is himself.”

    You sound remarkably lonely and anal. Making little notes to yourself, however inaccurate. But you earlier confessed to being a child, and we will all make allowances for you knowing that.

  281. November 21st, 2010 at 21:27 | #281

    Sean :
    “Everyone is the same and has the same opportunity, Sean, but different relationships have different needs to be recognized.”
    Well, OnLawn, how does extending the right to marry to same-sex couples in any way change what straight couples need marriage to be[1]? Is straight marriage only fun and useful so long as gay couples can’t marry[2]?

    1) More importantly, why would we need to neuter marriage when “everyone is the same and has the same opportunity [...] but different relationships have different needs to be recognized”?
    2) I don’t find the law concerned with making marriage more “fun”, do you? I see it as concerned with recognizing the equal rights of the man, woman, and the child they potentially have together — and that brings qualities much more enriching than entertainment and amusement.

    If procreation is such a big part of marriage, as you seem to think it is, why not distinguish between fertile couples and infertile ones?

    I don’t see why they need to. They are both procreative types of relationships. Why would someone disabled be distinguished between someone who isn’t in marriage?

    “Perhaps your problem, Sean, is that you are so bent on claiming that another’s disagreement is simply ignorance”
    It’s not that you disagree, it’s that you are all but vacant in the facts. It’s that you’re willing to hurt children in your quest to stop gay people from marrying[1]. It’s that you repeat again and again irrelevant bits and pieces about marriage, or totally ignorant observations about the Iowa decision[2]. And worst of all is, there’s zillions of people in this country just like you[3]! It is so important to them to stop gays from marrying[1] that they run roughshod over the nation’s constitution, hurt gay people, promote homophobia[1], hurt the children of gay couples[1], insult infertile and elderly couples (who don’t have children)[4], etc. It’s madness and you love every minute of you, don’t you[5], if you can at least slow down the march toward marriage equality[6].

    1) Why are you still lying about that? I don’t stop them from CU’s DP’s, etc… which are all types of same-sex marriage :)
    2) More invectives Sean uses because of a “disagreement”.
    3) A serious argument being made with the term “zillions” ;)
    4) Insult them by saying they are a marriage? Sean’s completely confused on that one.
    5) Honestly, dealing with ignorance and bigotry such as yours isn’t naturally fun, but still I find ways of making it so.
    6) Another Sean lie, I’m all for marriage equality — the equal recognition of the rights and responsibilities of the man, woman, and child they potentially have together!

    “the ignorance you ascribe to others is your own set of blinders.”
    Well, make the case for why same-sex couples must be prohibited from marrying[1]. You keep avoiding it, by making lofty proclamations about straight couple marriage[2]. Unless and until you and your kind can make a rational argument for why same-sex couples must be prohibited from marrying[1], marriage equality will become universal[2].

    1) Same as #1 above.
    2) Lofty? Sure, but more important they are based on human respect and dignity that is afforded in recognizing marriage equality — the equal recognition of the rights and responsibilities of the man, woman, and children they potentially have together.

  282. Sean
    November 22nd, 2010 at 06:55 | #282

    “why would we need to neuter marriage when “everyone is the same and has the same opportunity [...] but different relationships have different needs to be recognized”?”

    Because the distinction between straight and gay couples is superfluous, that’s why, and when it’s made, it is usually to diminish the status of gay couples.

    Marriage is a remarkably flexible institution, easy to get into, easy to get out of, and as several states have shown, fully capable of accommodating the legal recognition needs of both straight and gay couples.

    “I see it as concerned with recognizing the equal rights of the man, woman, and the child they potentially have together”

    And that’s a worthy goal of marriage, one that proudly lives on when marriage rights are extended to same-sex couples!

    “I don’t see why they need to.”

    Precisely! Why create distinctions, like between gay couples and straight couples, when there’s no need to do so?

    “They are both procreative types of relationships.”

    Not if the couple is infertile, can’t have children, refuses to have children, etc. These people aren’t procreative.

    “Why would someone disabled be distinguished between someone who isn’t in marriage?”

    Disabled? Are people who refuse to have children disabled? Are post-menopausal women disabled? I’d like to hear from the post-menopausal women out there: are you ladies disabled?

    “I don’t stop them from CU’s DP’s, etc… which are all types of same-sex marriage”

    Separate but equal, separate but equal, separate but equal. Funny how you never address this, you just repeat the same statement and smiley faces. Is this typical of marriage discrimination people?

    “Sean’s completely confused on that one.”

    Well if you say that marriage is about procreation, you are insulting couples who can’t have or don’t want children but who are married. Just more collateral damage in the vain attempt to keep gays away from marriage. All in a day’s work for the Straight Supremacy movement!

    “dealing with ignorance and bigotry such as yours isn’t naturally fun, but still I find ways of making it so.”

    See, it’s mostly fun for me, but even if it weren’t I’d stick to my purpose of keeping the discussion alive to expose the fraud behind marriage discrimination!

    “I’m all for marriage equality — the equal recognition of the rights and responsibilities of the man, woman, and child they potentially have together!”

    That’s great! And how is your version of marriage in any way impacted when same-sex couples get married? Well?

    “more important they are based on human respect and dignity that is afforded in recognizing marriage equality — the equal recognition of the rights and responsibilities of the man, woman, and children they potentially have together.”

    I totally agree. But I also would note that this important aspect of marriage is in no way compromised when same-sex couples get married! See, straight marriage isn’t dependent on gay couples not marrying. Just look at Massachusetts, Vermont, and the other places where marriage equality is the rule!

  283. Chairm
    November 22nd, 2010 at 11:49 | #283

    Sean, there is no group requirement in the marriage law, today, so why are you trying to read that into the law?

    You siad that you are “arguing AGAINST any sexual orientation basis for marriage” and, well, there is no sexual orientation basis if there is no sexual basis, as per your own view of things.

    Besides, there is no sexual orientation requirement in the marriage law, today, so why ar eyou trying to read that into the law?

    There is a sexual basis for marriage, sure, but you reject that basis. There is no sexual orientation requrement in the law, but you want to read one into the law so as to identify your favored group. But homosexual orientation and the gay socio-political identithy are not identical anyway.

    So, why your emphasis on the group identity, gay?

  284. Chairm
    November 22nd, 2010 at 11:51 | #284

    Sean, please refrain from use of profanity. This is a public and a civil discourse. Thanks.

  285. Chairm
    November 22nd, 2010 at 11:53 | #285

    Sean said:

    “I don’t think anyone wants to “demote” marriage. It still has preferential status, and both straight and gay couples deserve to have that status.”

    You obviously seek to demote the marriage idea in favor of the SSM idea.

    You admit that marital status is a preferential status. You mistakenly think that gayness justifies special status. It does not.

    No, I did not say that straightness merits special status; that is your false premise. The gay-straight dichotomy is irrelevant to the social institution of marriage’s core meaning; but it is of the utmost importance to the identity politics that your viewpoint would press into marriage law.

  286. Chairm
    November 22nd, 2010 at 12:17 | #286

    Sean, I see that you are stuck on your misrepresentations and cannot find the courage to engage the actual disagreement.

    You said: “If you want to say marriage is for procreators only, you can’t have this huge population of non-procreators getting married and still insist same-sex couples not be allowed to marry because they can’t procreate!”

    1. I haven’t said, nor do I want to say, that only procreators may marry. So your remark is a nonstarter, in fact.

    2. Responsible procreation does not require premarital coital relations (by which to establish that there are problems with fertility) nor premarital childbearing (by which to establish there are problem with fertility) contrary to your strawman argument.

    3. Government does not own each union of husband and wife and so cannot unilaterally dissolve the marital relationship; besides responsible procreation is not forced procreation, again, contrary to your strawman argument.

    4. Infertile couples have children far, far, far more often than a one-sexed scenario procreates without the other sex. It is something like 95% vs 0%.

    4. Infertility is a disability, as you conceded earlier in remarks about old age disabling a man-woman couple. The lack of the other sex is not infertility; but perhaps you would claim homosexuality, or gay identity, to be a disability.

    5. If you would recast your infertility strawman as an argument about “non-procreators”, you would still need to empower Government to retroactively dissolve unions of husband and wife based on some time-limit requirement — which would actually stand against, not in support of, responsible procreation.

    Your non-procreator argument is very likely a strawman argument, as well, but you could give it your best effort. What is the actual exception you would highlight? Exception to what general rule?

    Note: your quote above does not accurately represent the core meaning of marriage as per sex integration and provision for responsible procreation. If you are going to recast your argument as one about an exception you will need to accurately represent what I have actually said regarding procreation.

    * * *

    Huge population? I’m tempted to ask you to quantify that statement but I’m anticipating that if there was only one instance you’d say that was enough to breath new life into your strawman argument.

  287. Chairm
    November 22nd, 2010 at 12:36 | #287

    Sean said that if infertile couples can and do procreate then they aren’t infertile.

    This is obviously untrue of the married couples whose experience of infertility led them to use IVF/ARTs without use of ‘donor’ gametes. Their inferitlity persists after they’ve procreated.

    It is also untrue of couples who experience repeated miscarriages but who overcome their infertility problems even though those problems persist after childbirth.

    About half of married couples who experience infertility already have children; they experience secondary infertility. That clearly contradicts Sean’s statement.

    The most common way that couples resolve their problems with fertility is by changing behavior. Medical treatment for infertility is often, and for some forms usually, treatable and successfuly so. This includes cases of reversible vascectomies. This includes women who have experience early menopause but arrange to save gtheir ovaries. And so forth.

    Thus, contrary to Sean’s incomplete knowledge of inferitlity, infertile couples can and do procreate. He can’t really predict, with 100% certainty, that infertility means that the married couple have not or cannot procreate. But he would need that iron-clad certainty to give some rigid structure to his strawman argument. And he would need to empower government to intervene to dissolve marriages retroactively for the reason of infertility unsuccessfully treated. This shows his narrowed search to be unjust.

    Note that Sean has anticipated this problem in his argument so he has already tried to switch to ‘non-procreators’ which, in fact, is a different category with different criteria than infertile couples.

    None of this, of course, can remake the lack of the other sex into a form of infertility. All one-sexed scenarios are nonfertile.

    Sean concede the point and shrugged. That is par for the course.

  288. Chairm
    November 22nd, 2010 at 13:03 | #288

    Sean said that he rejects my version of the core meaning of marriage.

    1. He has misrepresented what I haved said regarding the core meaning of marriage. So he has rejected a misrepresentation or strawman argument.

    2. He has offered no core meaning of marriage to counter what I have described. He rejects the notion of a core meaning for marriage anyway. So he rejects the core meaning of marriage en toto, not merely what he perceives to be my version.

    3. Either way, Sean has yet to engage the actual disagreement.

    * * *

    I said: “there is no guarantee of procreation from which to carve out a procreative exception”

    Sean, misreading, said:

    “There most certainly is: post-menopausal women cannot reproduce, nor can barren women and sterile men. Couples who use birth control, men who have had vasectomies, women who have had their “tubes” tied, and couples willing to abort short the unlikely happen, cannot or will not have children.”

    There is no guarantee of procreation, Sean. So there is no such guarantee from which to carve an exception. Responsible procreation is not forced procreation. There, now, you have no excuse to misrepresent what I have said.

    * * *

    As for your list of ‘non-procreators’, well, please explain how the government would determine with 100% certainty that women are barren or men are sterile?

    Now, if you are going to point to disabilities, please keep in mind that you would thenbe attempting to equate such disabilities with homosexuality or with gay identity — or more precisely with the choice to excude either man or woman from a type of relationship.

    If, by birth-control, you meant contraceptive methods, well, again, there is the lack of 100% certainty in the use of such methods.

    Vascectomies and tubal ligations are reversible, in many instances, but the vast majority of married people who undergo these procedures already have had children. Maybe you include them here to propose that the government unilaterally dissolve their marriages as if they had never existed in the first place. That is the clear implication; if that is your idea, then, your talk of the best interest of children and of the benefits of children being raised by married parents is revealed to be bogus. So, perhaps you meant something else more plausible; if so, howso?

    These procedures are very rarely performed on men and women who have never married and never had children. The most common reason is not choice against procreating but life-saving measures such as treatment for cancer or some other illness or deformity. Are your really setting your sights on them?

    As for abortion, tragically, this birth-prevention procedure is infrequently but still too-frequently the resort of married people who already have children. Some married people use this procedure but subsequently have children. Some, tragically, use abortion to prevent the birth of a child who risks being born with a disability of some form; but the married couple either already has children or plans to have more children.

    Some married people who had no plans for children will not abort and will welcome their child into their marriages.

    So, again, Sean lacks the 100% certainty that his viewpoint would otherwise demand.

    The provision for responsible procreation is not negated. These manifest apparent, not actual, exceptions to the core meaning of the social institution of marriage.

    Sean is stuck on his misrepresentation, still, when he tries to carve out exceptions to some imagined government mandate to force married people to procreate. Such coercion would actually stand against, not in support of, the principles of responsible procreation and sex integration.

  289. bman
    November 22nd, 2010 at 13:13 | #289

    Sean :
    bman: But you also didn’t know you encountered a religious argument in the Declaration of Independence.

    Sean: I guess this is a big deal to you, enough to mention it in a post. Ok, you win: the Declaration of Independence refers to a supreme being. Big deal.

    If its not “a big deal” why do you still avoid saying its a religious argument?

    Your “admission” that it refers to a Supreme being is no admission at all, since you already granted as much when you said the issue was “which god.”

  290. Chairm
    November 22nd, 2010 at 13:13 | #290

    Sean said:

    “If society thinks that children are better off with married parents, and the research strongly supports that notion, then there’s no rational reason to distinguish between opposite-sex couples raising children, and same-sex couples raising children. ”

    Society shows prefernce for the unity of fatherhood and motherhood; the core meaning of marriage works to make this normative in society.

    The research is clear that the optimum family formation for children is the intact, low-conflict, marriage of their mom-dad duo. So, Sean, you can stop misrepresenting that research now.

    As for children raised in the nonmarriage category, there are millions and the vast majority — virtually all — are not raised by gay identified couples.

    If you think slapping the label, marirage, on nonmarriage is going to help children, then, what is the principled basis for not relabeling the rest of nonmarriage?

    Hence the redundant statement I made earlier: Marriage is nonmarriage.

    You confuse the two categories and whine that society is being unfair to the gay subset of nonmarriage which you favor, for some unstated reason, over and above the rest of nonmarriage.

    Besides, the presence of children does not bestow marital status when the household is comprised of both sexes. So why argue that it ought to bestow special status when the household is comprised of gay identified individuals? I anticipate you will shrug.

    The rational for SSM, as such, is profoundly stuck on falsehoods and false equivalencies.

  291. Chairm
    November 22nd, 2010 at 13:29 | #291

    Sean speculated: “If you’re saying that gay couples want to marry because straight people have kids out of wedlock and get divorced, that makes zero sense at all.”

    That is not what I said; the nonsense belongs to you alone.

    Meanwhile, your argument has been, in great part, that since nonmarital trends, such as increased unwed childbearing and increased divorce, has made imposition of SSM more plausible. Your argument builds on making marriage means less, not more.

    On the other hand, I’ve noted the same nonmarital trends and the growth in the nonmarriage category but have offered a different solution. Affirm the core meaning of marriage in the longterm while also assisting with protections for nonmarriage families, especially those with children, due to certain vulnerabilities. Those vulnerabilities, in no small part, are due to the lack of or the diminishment of sex integration and responsible procreation in their circumstances. That is, due to the battering that the socialo institution of marriage has undertaken in recent decades, society has created social ills with an expanding nonmarriage population. The solution is not to treat nonmarriage as marriage but to affirm the special reason for the special status of marriage.

    I have pointed out that provisions for designated beneficiaris has long-existed as a solution to this sort of thing. These provisions are available regardless of sexual orientation and regardless of socio-political identity. Equality exists, today, amidst the nonmarriage category. And society has a moral obligation, in my view, to upkeep these provisions while also affirming what distinguishes marriage from nonmarriage.

    See the essentials, or the core, of the social institution of marriage.

    Sean said: “Actually, I think the SSM idea is just the OSM idea for gay people.”

    The SSM idea is an overt rejection of the SSM idea so your thought makes no sense on that score.

    However, to be generous, your thought appears to be that married people ought to all think of themselves as one-sexed couples rather than as husband and wife. Therein would lie the fundamental problem of the SSM idea and its rejection of what makes marriage, marriage.

  292. Chairm
    November 22nd, 2010 at 13:32 | #292

    Typpo corekshun: “The SSM idea is an overt rejection of the marriage idea so your thought makes no sense on that score.”

    And, openly, I’d add that the marriage idea is an overt rejection of the conflation of nonmarriage with marriage. But the marriage idea is clearly compatable with the underlying idea — the SSM idea shorn of its gay identity politics — whereby equal treatment amidst the nonmarriage category is justified.

  293. Sean
    November 22nd, 2010 at 16:15 | #293

    “Sean, there is no group requirement in the marriage law, today, so why are you trying to read that into the law?”

    I have no idea what you’re talking about.

    “there is no sexual orientation basis if there is no sexual basis, as per your own view of things.”

    Yes, there is a sexual orientation basis, as the Iowa Supremes noted: limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples is a proxy for limiting marriage to straight people. But maybe if you keep denying it, somehow that fact will change.

    “There is no sexual orientation requrement in the law, but you want to read one into the law so as to identify your favored group.”

    Yes there is: straightness. Gays and lesbians are actually a disfavored group, not a favored group.

    “So, why your emphasis on the group identity, gay?”

    Because they’re the ones being discriminated against. If there were prohibitions against Jews marrying, I’d be emphasizing the Jewish group identity.

    “You obviously seek to demote the marriage idea in favor of the SSM idea.”

    No I like them both and treat them equally.

    “You mistakenly think that gayness justifies special status. It does not.”

    No, actually I advocate against any sexual orientation requirements for getting married.

    “Sean, I see that you are stuck on your misrepresentations and cannot find the courage to engage the actual disagreement.”

    I think you’re relying too much on your puffed up rhetoric, rather than facts and analysis. I knew my persistence would reveal the chinks in the Straight Supremacy armor but I didn’t expect it to be this bad.

    “Responsible procreation does not require premarital coital relations”

    Yeah, but it does require the ability to procreate. If you can’t make babies, you can’t procreate responsibly. By definition.

    “Government does not own each union of husband and wife and so cannot unilaterally dissolve the marital relationship”

    Straw man alert!

    “Infertile couples have children far, far, far more often than a one-sexed scenario procreates without the other sex. It is something like 95% vs 0%”

    How many post-menopausal women have children? Do you really want to stick with that 95% figure? How many barren women and sterile men create a baby with a spouse? How many couples who don’t want children actually have one? I’m going to guess that the figure is less than 95%. A quick look at the straight people’s fondness for abortion tells me all I need to know.

    What’s more interesting, though, is whether someone isn’t creating a child but RAISING one. That’s where marriage really becomes important, since having married parents is incredibly useful to a child.

    “Infertility is a disability”

    Only if you want a baby. If you don’t want one, it’s a relief. Many post-menopausal women report that once they know they can’t conceive, they enjoy sexual relations more than when they did worry about becoming pregnant.

    “you would still need to empower Government to retroactively dissolve unions of husband and wife based on some time-limit requirement”

    What’s wrong with that? If you don’t have a baby after a certain amount of time, you don’t need to be married. Because, you know, marriage is all about procreation and if people can’t respect that vital, and evidently exclusive, aspect of marriage, to heck with ‘em.

    “Your non-procreator argument is very likely a strawman argument”

    But it can’t hold a candle to the assertion that marriage is about procreation only, thus precluding same-sex couples from marrying, but somehow permitting elderly and infertile couples to marry!

    “Thus, contrary to Sean’s incomplete knowledge of inferitlity, infertile couples can and do procreate. He can’t really predict, with 100% certainty, that infertility means that the married couple have not or cannot procreate.”

    But he can predict, with near 100% certainty, that a women who is post-menopausal is not going to get pregnant; that a couple who don’t want children will not have them. And he can predict with 100% certainty that “responsible procreation” is unaffected by same-sex couples getting married.

    “He has offered no core meaning of marriage to counter what I have described.”

    What is your obsession with the notion of the core meaning of marriage? Doesn’t any particular couples get to decide what marriage means to them? I be most couples would not say they are getting married in order to “procreate responsibly.”

    And how does some notion of a core meaning of marriage create an exclusion for same-sex couples? I’m not seeing it.

    “There is no guarantee of procreation, Sean.”

    Thanks, Chairm. This insight alone is worth all the time I’ve wasted here today.

    “Responsible procreation is not forced procreation.”

    But if the logic: “you can’t procreate!” is the reason used against same-sex couples marrying, how is the same logic not used against couples who can’t have children? That would include couples where the woman has gone through menopause, couples where the male is sterile and/or the female is barren, couples who faithfully use birth control and will abort anything that resembles a fetus.

    “please explain how the government would determine with 100% certainty that women are barren or men are sterile?”

    By asking. And by informing the public to opt out if they can’t procreate. I recommend the following slogan be used in a national campaign: “No kids, no marriage!” Once marriage is associated with your redefinition, that is, procreation, a well-informed public will know not to get married if they can’t or won’t produce children.

    “So, again, Sean lacks the 100% certainty that his viewpoint would otherwise demand.”

    Not at all! I can with 100% certainty predict that couples who can’t have children and don’t want them won’t have them. And if they do, they can then make a beeline to the marriage license bureau. The exceptions would be so rare as to be insignificant.

  294. Sean
    November 22nd, 2010 at 16:40 | #294

    “Society shows prefernce for the unity of fatherhood and motherhood; the core meaning of marriage works to make this normative in society.”

    Society also shows a preference for the welfare of children. Children are better off when raised by married parents.

    “The research is clear that the optimum family formation for children is the intact, low-conflict, marriage of their mom-dad duo. So, Sean, you can stop misrepresenting that research now.”

    The research shows that children raised by married parents do better in life than the children raised by unmarried parents. I suggest you read marriage expert Maggie Gallagher’s articles.

    “If you think slapping the label, marirage, on nonmarriage is going to help children, then, what is the principled basis for not relabeling the rest of nonmarriage?”

    I’m sure you have an important point to make here….clue me in, will you? If a couple doesn’t want to be married, or can’t be married because they are too closely related or underage, what does that have to do with same-sex couples who DO want to marry, and provide their children with a more secure environment?

    “You confuse the two categories and whine that society is being unfair to the gay subset of nonmarriage which you favor, for some unstated reason, over and above the rest of nonmarriage.”

    I wish I could understand why you people are so intent on stopping same-sex couples from marrying. You’re willing to harm gay couples and children in the process. I just don’t get it. Why is this so important to you?

    “Besides, the presence of children does not bestow marital status when the household is comprised of both sexes.”

    This is sheer brilliance! You’re right, you’re not married just because you have kids! What an insight! But you are married if you go and get a marriage license, with or without kids.

    “The rational for SSM, as such, is profoundly stuck on falsehoods and false equivalencies.”

    Oh ok. Because I thought the constitution’s 14th Amendment was a truth. And that anyone with any common sense could see that a child is better off being raised by a married couple who have to stick together, rather than an unmarried couple, who can easily separate. I guess I’m unwilling to compromise the constitution and use children as pawns in the war against gay people.

    “That is not what I said; the nonsense belongs to you alone.”

    Well you can hardly blame me for misunderstanding what often appears to be randomly generated words.

    “your argument has been, in great part, that since nonmarital trends, such as increased unwed childbearing and increased divorce, has made imposition of SSM more plausible.”

    “Imposition”? Are you under the impression that you’ll be forced to marry someone of the same sex?! Not to worry! If you would actually read what I’ve written before you cut-and-paste, you’d see that I’m in favor of same-sex marriage because:

    1. Our nation’s constitution says that all citizens must be treated equally, even gay ones
    2. Children are better off when they’re raised by married parents. The research and common sense both support this notion. Since we know that same-sex couples can raise children in all 50 states, and are doing so, we should encourage them to get married, in order to create a more solid and secure world for their children.
    3. Legalizing same-sex marriage removes one more institutionalized stigma against gay people and their children, thus reducing homophobia in society. That leads to less violence against gays and lesbians, fewer gay teen suicides, and more social harmony.

  295. Jamie
    November 22nd, 2010 at 17:19 | #295

    This whole idea of marriage being about fertility and making babies is very. . . handmaidens tale. The idea that exists only to create kids, that other kinds of marriages should be discouraged, etc.

  296. bman
    November 22nd, 2010 at 17:42 | #296

    @Sean

    Sean: But I’m the one with the rational, logical arguments! My aggravation is with people like you, who…cut-and-paste talking points.

    Sean continues to make his favorite cut and paste accusation even though he admitted earlier he did not know of any examples!

    Earlier:

    OnLawn: “Which point have I cut and pasted?…”

    Sean: “How would I know? You cutted and pasted them!”

    What rational basis is there for Sean to say “you did x” when he just stated, “I don’t know of any x.”

    If we let this stand as an example of, “I’m the one with the rational, logical arguments” what does it say for the rest of his comments?

    Also, Sean said earlier, “I have already assumed after many of your posts that English is not your first language.”

    Yet, Sean used the word “cutted” which is not a proper English word!

    The following is from wikianswers.com

    Is cutted a word?

    A. No. Cut is the past tense for cut.

    Normally, I would not make an issue of this since the important thing is that the meaning was conveyed.

    But since Sean wants to major in minor issues, its fitting to point this out.

    Whatever “excuse” Sean has for using “cutted” he still thinks we should respect what he has to say about other things.

    But that goes two ways. It means he should allow others the same room to make minor mistakes without attributing ignorance to them.

    Turn around is fair play.

  297. Mark
    November 22nd, 2010 at 19:48 | #297

    On Lawn: “With nothing I’d call a credible counter argument from Mark, the point stands.”

    Of course you don’t. You are simply too ignorant to understand basic definitions. Ah, well, pearls before swine.

  298. bman
    November 22nd, 2010 at 22:05 | #298

    @Sean

    bman: “it [Sean's calling the vote revenge] dismisses viable alternatives without sufficient reason.”

    Sean: Ok, let’s try this: for prohibitions against same-sex marriage to constitutional, the state must have some kind of rational public interest purpose. Some courts give great deference to the state in this regard: if there’s any rational purpose given by the states, the law is constitutional. Now say we apply that “great deference” rule to the court: if their ruling is in any way logical and consistent with the constitution, their ruling is appropriate.

    So if I understand you properly, you want courts to grant great deference to state prohibitions against same-sex marriage but you are unwilling to grant courts the same leeway. Is that correct?

    This is a non-sequitur.

    First, some courts give deference to the state but this court did not. It chose a higher level of scrutiny which was virtually impossible for a moral purpose to withstand. So, the argument for deference is hardly fitting when the court itself did not use it.

    Second, if a court can choose when to show deference and when not to, so can the people. If you can allow the court to use a higher level of scrutiny, you can allow the people to do so as well.

    Third, the Iowa Constitution teaches the will of the people is ultimately higher than the will of government. Although the judges get to interpret the Constitution, the people of Iowa get to judge if their will was served by the judges. Its in their Constitution. Its like you keep ignoring that part of their Constitution.

    Fourth, you need to show the people had no rational basis to vote as they did, rather than argue they “could” have voted differently.

  299. Sean
    November 23rd, 2010 at 02:50 | #299

    “But since Sean wants to major in minor issues, its fitting to point this out.”

    These are minor issues?

    1. The US Constitution says that all citizens must be treated equally, lacking a rational public purpose to do otherwise. There is no rational public purpose to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Ergo.
    2. The children of same-sex couples are being raised outside of wedlock. That means their parents aren’t married, and that makes their lives less secure.
    3. Prohibiting same-sex marriage institutionalizes, with government approval, disdain for same-sex couples, and gay people generally. This supports existing homophobia, which leads to violence against gay teens and adults, up to and including murder and suicide.

    Again I ask, these are minor issues? Honoring our most important national document is a minor issue? You’ll fire three state judges for rendering a decision you don’t like but adhering to the nation’s constitution is a minor issue? Creating more stable families for children is a minor issue? Stopping violence against gays and lesbians is a minor issue?

  300. Ruth
    November 23rd, 2010 at 11:22 | #300

    You are selling the assertion that the US Constitution supports marriage between two men, or between two women.
    You are also selling the assertion that the overriding issue for children is stability, which will be created by marriage between two men, or between two women.
    You are also selling the assertion that someone here is for violence against men who like to have sex with each other, or women who like to have sex with each other.
    We aren’t buying your assertions.

  301. Sean
    November 23rd, 2010 at 13:36 | #301

    Ruth:

    1. The US Constitution guarantees all citizens equal protection under the law. That means if states are handing out marriage licenses, they have to do so on an even-handed basis. If they choose to deny licenses to some group, they have to have a rational public interest in doing so. So yes, so long as marriage is legal, the US Constitution does support same-sex marriage.
    2. I am pointing out that if a same-sex couple is raising children, there is no downside to that couple getting married, from their children’s perspective, and much upside. Increased stability is only one part of that equation.
    3. No one here need personally support violence against gays and lesbians. The point is, if there is an institutionalized discrimination against gay people, that is, prohibited same-sex marriage, then homophobic people will be further emboldened to mistreat gay people: “Even the government doesn’t like gay people!” could be their rallying cry.

  302. bman
    November 23rd, 2010 at 13:48 | #302

    Sean :
    bman: “But since Sean wants to major in minor issues, its fitting to point this out.”

    Sean: These are minor issues?

    As you typically do, you applied my words to a different context. Its a recurring problem with your posts.

    If you go back to my post you will see the things I listed were not even addressed in your reply.

    Your reply does not explain, “How would I know, you cut and pasted them” or, “English must be your second language.”

    Since you shifted the context to the different things you listed, its proper that I postpone a reply to those things since they are out of context at this point.

    You often claim I or others simply ignore your “logical and rational arguments” but I (and think others as well) try to hold the discussion at the original context you avoided.

    This also occurred when we discussed whether the Declaration used a religious argument.

    There, you shifted to “which god” even though any god would have made it a religious argument. I postponed answering your “which god” question for a couple of rounds because it was not relevant. But you persisted with it, so rather than waste even more time, I answered it and redirected the discussion back to the original question. In fact, I am still waiting for a straight forward explanation from you on that!

  303. bman
    November 23rd, 2010 at 17:13 | #303

    Sean :
    Ruth: You are selling the assertion that the US Constitution supports marriage between two men, or between two women.

    Sean: The US Constitution guarantees all citizens equal protection under the law. That means if states are handing out marriage licenses, they have to do so on an even-handed basis. If they choose to deny licenses to some group, they have to have a rational public interest in doing so. So yes, so long as marriage is legal, the US Constitution does support same-sex marriage.

    Since states have a rational basis to restrict marriage to one man and one woman, the last sentence does not follow.

    Many courts have recognized this as well.

    The Texas 5th District Court, for example, found a rational basis for man-woman marriage in its ruling on Aug 31, 2010. (see link)

    When courts rule against man-woman marriage they presume the long history of marriage being restricted to a man and woman is simply a long history of prejudice against gays, absurd as that is.

    They might as well say nature itself is based on prejudice because men and women are designed differently, but they can save face by blaming the marriage “statute” rather than the obvious design of nature.

  304. bman
    November 23rd, 2010 at 17:22 | #304

    The Texas ruling described the rational basis for restricting marriage to a man and woman as follows:

    ….rational-basis scrutiny is generally appropriate when the “individuals in the group affected by a law have distinguishing characteristics relevant to interests the State has the authority to implement.” Id. at 441. The persons singled out and favored by Texas’s marriage laws, namely opposite-sex couples, have such a distinguishing and relevant characteristic: the natural ability to procreate. The state’s interest in “fostering relationships that will serve children best” is a legitimate interest within the state’s authority to regulate. Hernandez, 855 N.E.2d at 11; see also Conaway, 932 A.2d at 630 (“[S]afeguarding an environment most conducive to the stable propagation and continuance of the human race is a legitimate government interest.”). Thus, although a person’s sexual orientation does not affect his or her ability to contribute to society in general, it does bear on whether he or she will enter a relationship that is naturally open to procreation and thus trigger the state’s legitimate interest in child-rearing. See Hernandez, 855 N.E.2d at 11 (concluding that rational-basis scrutiny was appropriate in part because same-sex relationships “cannot lead to the birth of children”).

  305. bman
    November 23rd, 2010 at 17:40 | #305

    More from the Texas case on rational basis:

    Application of Rational-Basis Standard

    As emphasized by the Supreme Court, “[i]n the ordinary case, a law will be sustained if it can be said to advance a legitimate government interest, even if the law seems unwise or works to the disadvantage of a particular group, or if the rationale for it seems tenuous.” Id. The link-or rational relationship-ensures that the classification is not drawn with the express purpose of disadvantaging any group burdened by the law. Id. at 633. In short, “a law must bear a rational relationship to a legitimate governmental purpose.” Id. at 635.
    Under the rational-basis test, a statute enjoys a strong presumption of validity, and the statute must be upheld if there is any reasonably conceivable state of facts that could provide a rational basis for the classification. Heller v. Doe ex rel. Doe, 509 U.S. 312, 319-20 (1993); In re G.C., 66 S.W.3d 517, 524 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth 2002, no pet.). “[T]he judiciary may not sit as a superlegislature to judge the wisdom or desirability of legislative policy determinations made in areas that neither affect fundamental rights nor proceed along suspect lines.” City of New Orleans v. Dukes, 427 U.S. 297, 303 (1976) (per curiam). The party attacking the rationality of the legislative classification bears the burden of negating every conceivable basis that might support it. Fed. Commc’ns Comm’n v. Beach Commc’ns, Inc., 508 U.S. 307, 314-15 (1993). Moreover, the classification adopted by the legislature need not be perfectly tailored to its purpose in order to pass constitutional muster:

    [A] State does not violate the Equal Protection Clause merely because the classifications made by its laws are imperfect. If the classification has some reasonable basis, it does not offend the Constitution simply because the classification is not made with mathematical nicety or because in practice it results in some inequality. The problems of government are practical ones and may justify, if they do not require, rough accommodations-illogical, it may be, and unscientific. A statutory discrimination will not be set aside if any state of facts reasonably may be conceived to justify it.

  306. bman
    November 23rd, 2010 at 20:39 | #306

    The Prop 8 defense team issued a reply brief on Nov 2, 2010, that also deals with the rational basis argument.

    They wrote:

    Plaintiffs [the SSM supporters] …now disavow, to their credit, the claim that all “voters who supported Proposition 8 were motivated by malice or hostility toward gay men and lesbians ….”

    Nonetheless, Plaintiffs [still] assert [its irrational to believe] the traditional opposite-sex definition of marriage meaningfully serves society’s interests..,and that professing such a belief must…either be a pretext to mask “[a] bare … desire to harm” gays and lesbians, Pl. Br. 97, or be the result of “simple [lack] of careful, rational reflection ….”

    In other words, opponents of same-sex marriage, Plaintiffs claim, are either bigoted or benighted.

    Under rational-basis review, this claim can admit of no exceptions—the traditional definition of marriage either has a conceivable rational justification or it does not. And so the falsity of Plaintiffs’ claim is patent as soon as it is uttered. For it cannot stand up to the fact that every appellate court, both state and federal, to address the validity of traditional opposite-sex marriage laws under the United States Constitution has upheld them as rationally related to the state’s interest in responsible procreation and child-rearing. These rulings certainly are not attributable to a bare desire to harm gays and lesbians or a lack of rational reflection by the judges who rendered them.

    Nor can Plaintiffs’ claim stand up to the fact that President Obama and a host of other well-known champions of equal rights for gays and lesbians nonetheless support the traditional definition of marriage.

    Nor, finally, can Plaintiffs’ claim stand up to this simple truth: Every one of us, including the Members of this Court, is close to someone who opposes redefining marriage to include same-sex couples—they are our family members, our friends, our colleagues, our co-workers, and for some of us, ourselves. Are they (we) all either bigoted or benighted?

  307. Mark
    November 23rd, 2010 at 21:37 | #307

    bman: “Since states have a rational basis to restrict marriage to one man and one woman, the last sentence does not follow. ”

    SO, if procreation is the only “rational basis to restrict marriage”, why do we continually allow the infertile and those too old to have children marry? Because it really isn’t a rational basis, it’s just discrimination to ban gays from marrying.

  308. Sean
    November 24th, 2010 at 07:37 | #308

    @bman

    Your argument fails to consider when states ask for evidence that the rational basis advanced by the state for prohibiting same-sex marriage achieves the purpose.

    The state can be quite interested in procreation, in whatever way you perceive its interest, and still permit same-sex marriage. Same-sex marriage does nothing to impede whatever procreational goals the state has, just as allowing elderly and infertile couples does nothing to impede these goals. If I were second-guess judges on this issue, it would be reserved to asking them how the state’s procreational beliefs are in any way impaired when same-sex couples marry. I think that has been an intellectual weak point, generally, for people arguing against same-sex marriage: that opposite-sex marriage is somehow impacted when same-sex couples marry.

    Even the deferential “rational basis” test requires some evidence of the state’s claim of a reason to be doing something. Otherwise, constitutional equal protection guarantees are meaningless: all the state would have to do is issue some reason, no matter how cockamamie, and the courts would have to accept it as rational. The court certainly has the right to examine the state’s claim of a connection between the law and its stated goal.

    I don’t disagree with state courts that have found marriage discrimination constitutional, using a rational scrutiny basis. They are being highly deferential to the state, and there is definitely virtue in that. If a state court has a history of being highly deferential to the legislature, it shouldn’t change course just because of this issue. But I think these courts have been overly deferential in not testing the state’s purpose with real world outcomes.

    I think the state courts that have tested the claims of the state, and found a lack of connection between the stated purpose and the actual outcome, are doing a better job, but again, it may depend on the nature of the court and its history of demanding evidence for state claims.

    To me, what’s amazing is why courts are using a rational scrutiny for same-sex marriage, since the US Supreme Court has called marriage a fundamental right, and gays and lesbians are certainly a suspect class, in practice and in theory, if not officially. Both of these circumstances should demand the use of heightened if not strict scrutiny.

  309. November 24th, 2010 at 09:46 | #309

    Mark :
    On Lawn: “With nothing I’d call a credible counter argument from Mark, the point stands.”
    Of course you don’t. You are simply too ignorant to understand basic definitions. Ah, well, pearls before swine.

    Actually, Mark, what you are exhibiting is typical denial. You’ve been shown you were wrong, and instead of learning from it you’ve created very grand but fragile schemes to protect your own pride and blame the other person.

    What I’ve written has been plain, simple, and based on verifiable sources. From the fact that Coitus is a technical term used in the medical field to describe the action of specific organs of a man and a woman, to the fact that same-sex couples are same-sex relationships, and same-sex relationships are both non-romantic and romantic.

    In fact the only person who’s position has had any room for such ample explanation and rich basis in verifiable sources, has been mine.

    End of story.

  310. November 24th, 2010 at 09:49 | #310

    Mark :
    bman: “Since states have a rational basis to restrict marriage to one man and one woman, the last sentence does not follow. ”
    SO, if procreation is the only “rational basis to restrict marriage”, why do we continually allow the infertile and those too old to have children marry? Because it really isn’t a rational basis, it’s just discrimination to ban gays from marrying.

    Correction, “[responsible] procreation is the [] rational basis to [explicitly target marriage at the procreational type of relationship, so we allow even impaired procreational type relationships such as the infertile and elderly.

    It is clean, and consistent, there is no exception to be drawn from that in purpose and implementation. And a number of reason to not create an exception for procreative relationships that are infertile or aged.

  311. Mark
    November 24th, 2010 at 10:14 | #311

    On Lawn: “From the fact that Coitus is a technical term used in the medical field to describe the action of specific organs of a man and a woman, to the fact that same-sex couples are same-sex relationships, and same-sex relationships are both non-romantic and romantic.”

    And yet, On Lawn, nothing of this is correct. You have been shown over and over your inability to understand basic English. But, it’s nice to see that you are back to saying that you believe “same-sex couple” is the exact same thing as “same-sex relationship”. Course, I will just have to wait until tomorrow when On Lawn denies he believes this although he continues to say it over, and over, and over ………..

    “In fact the only person who’s position has had any room for such ample explanation and rich basis in verifiable sources, has been mine.”

    On in your head, On Lawn.

  312. Mark
    November 24th, 2010 at 10:17 | #312

    On Lawn: “And a number of reason to not create an exception for procreative relationships that are infertile or aged.”

    So you are saying marriage should not be allowed for the infertile or aged. And all this time On Lawn has been arguing the exact opposite. Funny.

  313. bman
    November 24th, 2010 at 11:00 | #313

    Mark :
    bman: “Since states have a rational basis to restrict marriage to one man and one woman, the last sentence does not follow. ”

    Mark: SO, if procreation is the only “rational basis to restrict marriage”, why do we continually allow the infertile and those too old to have children marry? Because it really isn’t a rational basis, it’s just discrimination to ban gays from marrying.

    Your argument would be refuted if at least one rational basis exists to include non-fertile couples but to not include same sex couples. And since more than one rational basis exists, your argument is refuted.

    The link I gave above to the Prop 8 reply brief explains several of these with legal references as needed.

    One basis they mentioned is that non-fertile OS couples have a fundamental right to marry that is rooted in our nations history but there is no fundamental right to same sex marriage rooted in the nations history.

    A second basis is that same sex marriage would cause a fundamental change to the institution of marriage for all of society, but the marriage of infertile OS couples does not cause a fundamental change.

    A third basis, is that men and women are naturally procreative as a class while same same sex couples as a class are not procreative. And, its rational for Congress to write a statute based on the unique abilities of the class that advances its purpose. [but in reality its not Congress that created the standard, marriage statutes are merely a "picture" of the society]

    There are more reasons than this in their brief, but as noted, it takes only one rational basis to to refute your argument.

    Because it really isn’t a rational basis, it’s just discrimination to ban gays from marrying.

    This claim reduces to the absurdity addressed in post # 6 above.

    Its absurd because it presumes marriage has been based on invidious discrimination virtually throughout all its history, and its makes virtually the whole world, to include all the friends and relatives we each know who support traditional marriage, just out to discriminate against gays.

  314. bman
    November 24th, 2010 at 14:10 | #314

    Sean :
    The state can be quite interested in procreation, in whatever way you perceive its interest, and still permit same-sex marriage.

    The issue of whether the state “can” permit SSM, does not belong to “the court” but it belongs to the legislature.

    The proper perspective for the court to take is that the state has a rational, non-invidious, basis for the current policy and since same sex marriage is not a fundamental right rooted in this nations history, there is no constitutional basis for the court to overrule the current policy.

    If a different policy “can” exist, its not the court’s role to create it.

  315. bman
    November 24th, 2010 at 16:13 | #315

    @Sean

    Sean: I think that has been an intellectual weak point, generally, for people arguing against same-sex marriage: that opposite-sex marriage is somehow impacted when same-sex couples marry.

    Under rational basis review, the state would only need to show that SSM “can” negatively impact OSM or other aspects of society.

    If its “a weak point” its because humans cannot predict the future. Indeed, its irrational to require the state to “prove” the future in order to defend its interests.

    I also think its an even weaker argument to say SSM cannot negatively impact society or negatively impact marriage.

  316. bman
    November 24th, 2010 at 16:27 | #316

    Sean: To me, what’s amazing is why courts are using a rational scrutiny for same-sex marriage, since the US Supreme Court has called marriage a fundamental right, and gays and lesbians are certainly a suspect class, in practice and in theory, if not officially. Both of these circumstances should demand the use of heightened if not strict scrutiny.

    An explanation to that was offered In the New York Case, Hernandez v. Robles, July 2006.

    The court said:

    We resolve this question in this case on the basis of the Supreme Court’s observation that no more than rational basis scrutiny is generally appropriate “where individuals in the group affected by a law have distinguishing characteristics relevant to interests the State has the authority to implement” ( City of Cleburne v Cleburne Living Ctr., Inc., 473 US 432, 441 1985]).

    Perhaps that principle would lead us to apply heightened scrutiny to sexual preference discrimination in some cases, but not where we review legislation governing marriage and family relationships.

    A person’s preference for the sort of sexual activity that cannot lead to the birth of children is relevant to the State’s interest in fostering relationships that will serve children best.

    In this area, therefore, we conclude that rational basis scrutiny is appropriate.

  317. Sean
    November 24th, 2010 at 18:23 | #317

    “Under rational basis review, the state would only need to show that SSM “can” negatively impact OSM or other aspects of society.”

    Harms would have to be tangible, not theoretical. Uncertainty about the future is not a tangible harm, although I realize many people do not like change and something that changes things causes them distress. Distress isn’t harm. And “marriage” has no legal standing: “marriage” can’t sue or be sued and therefore can’t suffer harm. If “harm” to marriage were a legal possibility, it would be possible to sue the state for offering divorce, the ultimate harm to marriage. I wonder why no one has sued the state for legalizing divorce, given all the harms perpetrated on married people and their children!

    No being able to predict the future doesn’t mean that future will be bad.

  318. Sean
    November 24th, 2010 at 18:54 | #318

    “One basis they mentioned is that non-fertile OS couples have a fundamental right to marry that is rooted in our nations history but there is no fundamental right to same sex marriage rooted in the nations history.”

    What is the state’s interest in preserving the status quo, based on historical experience?

    “A second basis is that same sex marriage would cause a fundamental change to the institution of marriage for all of society, but the marriage of infertile OS couples does not cause a fundamental change.”

    What is the state’s interest in prohibiting change?

    “A third basis, is that men and women are naturally procreative as a class while same same sex couples as a class are not procreative. And, its rational for Congress to write a statute based on the unique abilities of the class that advances its purpose.”

    What is the state’s interest in creating a class designation, when marriage licenses are granted to couples? Why certify a class with a characteristic, procreative ability, which so many members of the class don’t have or won’t use?

    Basically, what is the state’s purpose in excluding same-sex couples from marrying?

    “The issue of whether the state “can” permit SSM, does not belong to “the court” but it belongs to the legislature.”

    It belongs in the court if someone’s civil rights, such as equal protection, are being violated and unaddressed by the legislature.

    “The proper perspective for the court to take is that the state has a rational, non-invidious, basis for the current policy”

    For the states that still have marriage discrimination, what is their rational public purpose in prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying?

    “since same sex marriage is not a fundamental right rooted in this nations history”

    But the US Supreme Court has ruled that marriage is a fundamental right.

    “If a different policy “can” exist, its not the court’s role to create it.”

    But it is the court’s role to make sure the constitution of the jurisdiction it presides over is obeyed.

  319. November 24th, 2010 at 21:05 | #319

    Mark :
    On Lawn: “From the fact that Coitus is a technical term used in the medical field to describe the action of specific organs of a man and a woman, to the fact that same-sex couples are same-sex relationships, and same-sex relationships are both non-romantic and romantic.”
    [...Everything not factual and not verified removed...]

    Any reason, Mark, that you couldn’t come up with a factual supported claim right there?

    Around in my parts we call that simply lying, or bearing false accusation. Does the same God who you claim calls parading two girls in leather collars at a San Fransisco Street S&M festival a “beautiful expression” validate you lying to try to trap your neighbor?

    There is no misunderstanding of English in calling coitus the exact thing that the medical dictionaries said it was. You are lying, baldly, and you even know it.

    And as someone who claims to be a physician, I know you should know better. In fact, it casts serious doubt on your credentials.

    Your misuse of genetics does too, but that is another story.

    “In fact the only person who’s position has had any room for such ample explanation and rich basis in verifiable sources, has been mine.”
    On in your head, On Lawn.

    My quoting of dictionaries, ACLU, news reports, Human Rights organizations, and other sources is open for people to review on this site. I doubt you can credibly claim it is in my head.

  320. November 24th, 2010 at 21:09 | #320

    Mark :
    On Lawn: “And a number of reason to not create an exception for procreative relationships that are infertile or aged.”
    So you are saying marriage should not be allowed for the infertile or aged. And all this time On Lawn has been arguing the exact opposite. Funny.

    Your poor reading comprehension strikes again.

    I’m saying no exception to eligibility to marry need be created for any procreative type of relationship based on the impairment of the individuals.

    Perhaps a full quote, rather than a selective quote, bears that out better?

    On Lawn :
    Correction, “[responsible] procreation is the [] rational basis to [explicitly target marriage at the procreational type of relationship, so we allow even impaired procreational type relationships such as the infertile and elderly.
    It is clean, and consistent, there is no exception to be drawn from that in purpose and implementation. And a number of reason to not create an exception for procreative relationships that are infertile or aged.

  321. bman
    November 25th, 2010 at 10:46 | #321

    Sean :
    bman: One basis they mentioned is that non-fertile OS couples have a fundamental right to marry that is rooted in our nations history but there is no fundamental right to same sex marriage rooted in the nations history.”

    Sean: What is the state’s interest in preserving the status quo, based on historical experience?

    Actually, this was already answered in the posts prior to this one, but I may need to clarify further.

    From the court’s perspective, the legislature has the role to create new policy and the court should not intrude on that role unless it finds the current policy contains (1) invidious discrimination or (2) violation of a fundamental right.

    If we restate your question to reflect that we get this, “What is the state’s [rational basis] in preserving the status quo [that would satisfy the court]?”

    And that question was already answered by the Texas court case and the Prop 8 reply brief, as mentioned in in the previous posts (4, 5, 6).

    bman: A second basis is that same sex marriage would cause a fundamental change to the institution of marriage for all of society, but the marriage of infertile OS couples does not cause a fundamental change.

    Sean: What is the state’s interest in prohibiting change?

    Again, from the perspective of the court, it only needs to determine if the current policy is based on invidious discrimination or violates a fundamental right.

    If the current policy doesn’t transgress those points, the court would leave the change question to the legislature.

    So, it appears your question should be modified to say this, “What is the [legislature's] interest in prohibiting change [in the event the court permits current policy to stand]?

    I am not trying to answer that question here since I am dealing with what should satisfy the court.

    If your question is not about the court or the legislature but simply a question of general logic, I think that ultimately boils down to what would persuade the people in a ballot initiative.

    bman: A third basis, is that men and women are naturally procreative as a class while same same sex couples as a class are not procreative. And, its rational for Congress to write a statute based on the unique abilities of the class that advances its purpose.

    Sean: What is the state’s interest in creating a class designation, when marriage licenses are granted to couples? Why certify a class with a characteristic, procreative ability, which so many members of the class don’t have or won’t use?

    Again, the question is whether the court can find a rational basis for doing so, which it already has (see posts 4,5,6).

    Sean: Basically, what is the state’s purpose in excluding same-sex couples from marrying?

    bman: The issue of whether the state “can” permit SSM, does not belong to “the court” but it belongs to the legislature.”/p>

    Sean: It belongs in the court if someone’s civil rights, such as equal protection, are being violated and unaddressed by the legislature.

    Yes, but as I explained, the court must leave the issue for the legislature if current policy is not based on invidious discrimination and does not violate a fundamental right.

    And since current policy doesn’t transgress those points, the court must leave the change question to the legislature.

    bman: The proper perspective for the court to take is that the state has a rational, non-invidious, basis for the current policy

    Sean: For the states that still have marriage discrimination, what is their rational public purpose in prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying?

    I think this was answered in posts 4,5,6.

    bman: since same sex marriage is not a fundamental right rooted in this nations history

    Sean: But the US Supreme Court has ruled that marriage is a fundamental right.

    Yes, but as the Texas ruling showed, that refers to OS marriage being deeply rooted in the nation’s history, and so it does not apply to same sex marriage.

    Thus, the legislature would have to change it and not the court.

  322. Sean
    November 25th, 2010 at 18:59 | #322

    ““From the court’s perspective, the legislature has the role to create new policy and the court should not intrude on that role unless it finds the current policy contains (1) invidious discrimination or (2) violation of a fundamental right.””

    Marriage is not a new policy in Iowa….couples have been marrying since Iowa was admitted into the union as a state. In fact, the US Supreme Court has ruled that marriage is a fundamental right, a right so important that convicted murderers may not be denied it.

    The Supreme Court of a state has ultimate authority to determine if a law comports with the state’s constitution or not. Based on heightened scrutiny yardstick, and given the state’s defense in the form of the assistant attorneys of Polk County, the Court found that Iowa’s marriage statute advanced no rational state interest, and therefore earned no deferential consideration by the court. It was a convincing unanimous decision, affirmed the decision of an eighth, lower court, judge and matched the findings of at least five other states.

    I find it interesting that you insist the court offer deference to the legislature but the people not offer similar deference to the findings of the court. The fault lies with the state in not explaining the rational basis for its marriage statute, if there is one, not in the court for not pinch-hitting for the state in divining such a basis. The same situation affects the Prop 8 trial and ruling: a judge can’t take a weak defense and fill in the missing pieces: he must use the facts he’s been handed. If limited judicial review means what you want it to mean, it must mean both deference to the legislature and to the executive (and a hesitance to do the executive’s job in defending state laws).

    “And that question was already answered by the Texas court case and the Prop 8 reply brief, as mentioned in in the previous posts”

    The question facing courts is not: “why should the status quo be maintained” but rather “can the state offer marriage to straight couples but not to same sex couples”? To say that the state has an interest in procreation does nothing to tell us why same-sex couples may not be permitted to marry. While some courts have accepted the mere suggestion of a rational basis for marriage discrimination, more demanding courts have actually asked for evidence of the state’s claim, and received none. I appreciate that some courts have a history of showing great deference to the legislature, and accepted as fact the state’s rationale for marriage discrimination. But they make equal protection guarantees toothless, by not demanding evidence that the law in question actually advances the state’s stated purpose. I admire courts which take a more suspicious role, and actually demand evidence that a law does what the legislature says it does. It’s the only way to keep the government from imposing its will unfairly on a minority, which is has been known to do from time to time.

    The question you want to answer may be asked and answered in marriage equality states by opposite-sex couples: “legal same-sex marriage is harming me, or my marriage, because……”

    “from the perspective of the court, it only needs to determine if the current policy is based on invidious discrimination or violates a fundamental right.”

    These two choices determine what level of scrutiny to use, not whether a law is constitutional or not.

    “If the current policy doesn’t transgress those points, the court would leave the change question to the legislature.”

    Then equal protection guarantees are meaningless, at the state level or federal level.

    “the question is whether the court can find a rational basis for doing so, which it already has”

    Because so many straight couples are unable or unwilling to have children, the procreation theory of marriage means they shouldn’t be extended marriage licenses. If the state is willing to go to the trouble to inquire as to the age of a marital applicant, the relatedness of the two applicants, and their current marital status, as well as the gender composition of the couple, it is hardly much effort to inquire about procreational intentions. In addition, it is easy enough to post a sign in the marriage license bureau to the effect: “Marriage licenses are available ONLY to couples who intend to have children! No exceptions!” This would easily spread the word among the population that marriage is for procreative couples only, all others need not apply. It is hardly burdensome for the state, or intrusive on couples. If people don’t know the purpose of marriage, you can hardly blame them, given the desirability of marriage, to try to get married.

    Still, we are left with the disconnect of how prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying in any way impedes the state’s purposes, whatever they might be, with marriage. What state purpose or goal is undermined if same-sex couples marry. To say what marriage is, or what it’s purpose is, if different from saying what marriage can’t be.

    “The issue of whether the state “can” permit SSM, does not belong to “the court” but it belongs to the legislature.”

    No, when a person claims he is being denied a civil right, the court has to take this claim seriously. It can’t willy-nilly say, oh, the state must know what it’s doing. The court ask the state if it has a reason for doing what it’s doing, what that reason or purpose it, and hopefully, analyzes the state’s reasons to see if the law advances the stated purpose. Anything less eviscerates constitutional equal protection laws.

    “the court must leave the issue for the legislature if current policy is not based on invidious discrimination and does not violate a fundamental right.”

    You’ve confused the filters used for level of scrutiny applied in equal protection cases, with something else.

    “I think this was answered in posts 4,5,6.”

    But you didn’t. You answered the question, “does the state offer a reason for why it prohibits same-sex couples from marrying?” without answering “and does prohibiting same-sex marriage advances the state’s interest or achieve its stated purpose?” That’s a gaping whole left unfilled.

    “as the Texas ruling showed, that refers to OS marriage being deeply rooted in the nation’s history, and so it does not apply to same sex marriage.”

    If “we’ve always don’t it this way” were an adequate reason for legislative intent, then equal protection guarantees are meaningless. As we’re witnessing today, a majority can reserve a right for itself and deny it to a minority, based on how long an injustice has been in place. This is legally and logically unsound.

    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.

  323. Sean
    November 25th, 2010 at 19:07 | #323

    @bman

    Try this: if legalizing same-sex marriage impeded a state’s purpose or goals, why would some states legalize it? It’s hard to imagine that states have different goals and purposes for marriage although I’m willing to leave some room for differences. Looking down the road, it’s going to be an even tougher sell for remaining marriage discrimination states to say that prohibiting same-sex marriages advances the state’s interests, or conversely, legalizing it harms the state or its citizens, when so many states have legalized it.

    I appreciate the state courts that show great deference to their state’s legislatures but at some point if you just rubber stamp whatever reason the state gives, you’re not doing your job. To ask the state to merely give a reason, rather than give a reason that makes sense, is lazy and doesn’t serve the people.

  324. Sean
    November 25th, 2010 at 19:17 | #324

    @bman

    I just pulled up my copy of Varnum and their discussion deference to the legislature, and what level of scrutiny to use in an equal protection case, starts on page 20, middle of the page, if you want to read their thoughts. It’s only a couple of pages.

    From that section of the decision:

    “To survive intermediate scrutiny, the law must not only further an important governmental interest and be substantially related to that interest, but the justification for the classification must be genuine and must not depend on broad generalizations.”

    How would you say that prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying furthers an important governmental interest? Needless to say, you can read Varnum, see what the state said were its interests, and the court’s analysis as to whether those interests were furthered by limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples.

  325. Sean
    November 25th, 2010 at 21:47 | #325

    I think the conclusion from Varnum reveals the state’s complicity in the Varnum (and other states’) decision:

    “Having examined each proffered governmental objective through the appropriate lens of intermediate scrutiny, we conclude the sexual-orientation-based classification under the marriage statute does not substantially further any of the objectives. While the objectives asserted may be important (and many undoubtedly are important), none are furthered in a substantial way by the exclusion of same-sex couples from civil marriage. Our equal protection clause requires more than has been offered to justify the continued existence of the same-sex marriage ban under the statute.”

    If the government doesn’t “proffer” good reasons for why it’s legislating as it is, you can’t blame the courts for striking down unsupported statutes. That’s why firing the Iowa judge was so ill-informed: it presumes the state did a good job in defending its statute. But I don’t see anyone here pointing to the “great” reasons the Polk County attorneys gave for denying civil marriage to gays and lesbians. Do any of you even know what the reasons were that were given in this case???

  326. bman
    November 26th, 2010 at 13:30 | #326

    @Sean

    bman: From the court’s perspective, the legislature has the role to create new policy and the court should not intrude on that role unless it finds the current policy contains (1) invidious discrimination or (2) violation of a fundamental right.

    Sean: Marriage is not a new policy in Iowa….couples have been marrying since Iowa was admitted into the union as a state. In fact, the US Supreme Court has ruled that marriage is a fundamental right…

    Whenever the US Supreme court ruled based on, “marriage is a fundamental right” it always meant marriage between one man one woman.

    The Supreme Court of a state has ultimate authority to determine if a law comports with the state’s constitution or not. Based on heightened scrutiny yardstick, and given the state’s defense in the form of the assistant attorneys of Polk County, the Court found that Iowa’s marriage statute advanced no rational state interest, and therefore earned no deferential consideration by the court. It was a convincing unanimous decision, affirmed the decision of an eighth, lower court, judge and matched the findings of at least five other states.

    Simply put, the Varnum case agrees with you.

    However, the Varnum decision ultimately reduces to an unreasonable presumption, namely, that marriage policy in Iowa has always been based on bigotry against homosexuals since Iowa was founded.

    That part of its ruling fails the hee haw test and most courts would not follow that path.

    See post 6 for further explanation of why a bigotry presumption is absurd.

    Once the false “bigotry presumption” is eliminated, rational basis review would be the appropriate standard for the courts to use, contra Varnum.

    And, as the Texas case shows, when rational basis review was used the state marriage policy was upheld.

    I find it interesting that you insist the court offer deference to the legislature but the people not offer similar deference to the findings of the court. The fault lies with the state in not explaining the rational basis for its marriage statute, if there is one, not in the court for not pinch-hitting for the state in divining such a basis. The same situation affects the Prop 8 trial and ruling: a judge can’t take a weak defense and fill in the missing pieces: he must use the facts he’s been handed. If limited judicial review means what you want it to mean, it must mean both deference to the legislature and to the executive (and a hesitance to do the executive’s job in defending state laws).

    The court is obligated to the legislature to show deference (with specific exceptions) so it does not act like the legislature.

    By contrast, the people act on their own behalf in a referendum.

  327. bman
    November 26th, 2010 at 14:23 | #327

    @Sean

    Sean: To say that the state has an interest in procreation does nothing to tell us why same-sex couples may not be permitted to marry.

    There are many possible answers to this. The court needs only one to rule in favor of the state.

    In post #4 above, the Texas court was satisfied with the following argument:

    “Safeguarding an environment most conducive to the stable propagation and continuance of the human race is a legitimate government interest. Thus, although a person’s sexual orientation does not affect his or her ability to contribute to society in general, it does bear on whether he or she will enter a relationship that is naturally open to procreation and thus trigger the state’s legitimate interest in child-rearing.

    Here, they ruled (1) the state has a legitimate interest in maintaining an environment most conducive to its interests and (2) that interest is not “triggered” by a group that is not naturally open to procreation.

    While you might object, the court must also defer to the legislature if the rationale is at least debatable.

    So, under rational basis review, your side needs to show no “debatable” options are available to the state.

    Otherwise, any changes in policy must come through the legislature.

  328. bman
    November 26th, 2010 at 16:42 | #328

    Sean :
    Sean: I just pulled up my copy of Varnum…From that section of the decision:
    “To survive intermediate scrutiny….”

    Their ruling used intermediate scrutiny based on a presumption of bigotry.

    My claim is that the presumption of bigotry is a false basis, and states should only have to satisfy rational basis review, which they can satisfy since they already have done so.

  329. Sean
    November 27th, 2010 at 04:48 | #329

    “Whenever the US Supreme court ruled based on, “marriage is a fundamental right” it always meant marriage between one man one woman.”

    But now that marriage can be between a single gender couple, as well as a dual gender couple, it is no less fundamental for gay people as for straight people.

    “Simply put, the Varnum case agrees with you.”

    But even in states that have reached other conclusions regarding marriage rights for gays, I agree that the decisions are sound and reasonable. I think they’re lazy and deferential to the point of making equal protection guarantees meaningless.

    “However, the Varnum decision ultimately reduces to an unreasonable presumption, namely, that marriage policy in Iowa has always been based on bigotry against homosexuals since Iowa was founded.”

    To achieve the heightened scrutiny designation, a history of discrimination was only one of four tests used. The court mentioned on particular animosity on the part of the state legislature. The Iowa court used the recommended scrutiny template of the US Supreme Court.

    “Once the false “bigotry presumption” is eliminated, rational basis review would be the appropriate standard for the courts to use, contra Varnum.”

    Denying marriage rights to gays and lesbians fails rational basis review, too.

    “And, as the Texas case shows, when rational basis review was used the state marriage policy was upheld.”

    Each jurisdiction must use its own constitution and case law to determine if a constitutional infirmity exists. That’s why some states have seen an infirmity, and some haven’t. The decisions of Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Jersey, Missouri, and Hawaii are no less important than decisions in other jurisdictions.

    “The court is obligated to the legislature to show deference (with specific exceptions) so it does not act like the legislature.”

    Deference can’t mean equal protection guarantees are meaningless. Deference doesn’t mean the legislature can merely name a reason for a statute: that reason has to have some connection to reality and the outcome of the legislation.

    “There are many possible answers to this. The court needs only one to rule in favor of the state.”

    Well, name one reason that the state must prohibit same-sex marriage in order to advance a public interest.

    “Here, they ruled (1) the state has a legitimate interest in maintaining an environment most conducive to its interests and (2) that interest is not “triggered” by a group that is not naturally open to procreation.”

    And as the Iowa Court found, whatever interest the state has in procreation is in no way compromised when same-sex couples marry. The state also has an interest in seeing children raised in stable households, and being legal bound makes a married couple more stable.

    See, when you start testing the reasons that states give for prohibiting same-sex marriage, you learn that they are neither hindered nor advanced by illegal same-sex marriage, and legitimate state interests in encouraging same-sex marriage are left unarticulated.

    “While you might object, the court must also defer to the legislature if the rationale is at least debatable.”

    A better rationale is if the stated purpose is actually advanced, not just “can we talk about this?” We can debate whether the state should use public money to support the KKK but it would be hard to find a rational public purpose for doing so.

    “Otherwise, any changes in policy must come through the legislature.”

    In Iowa, at least, this isn’t a policy issue: if anything, given all the Iowa statutes protecting gays and lesbians from other forms of discrimination, the state has a policy of NOT discriminating against gays and lesbians. What do you make of Iowa having this one exception to its prohibitions against discrimination against gays and lesbians?

    Whatever policies the state has with marriage, they must be constitutional, or else the court’s policy of judicial review will strike them down.

    “Their ruling used intermediate scrutiny based on a presumption of bigotry.”

    I don’t know where you got this from. Have you actually read the decision?

  330. bman
    November 28th, 2010 at 09:22 | #330

    @Sean

    bman: Whenever the US Supreme court ruled based on, “marriage is a fundamental right” it always meant marriage between one man one woman.

    Sean: But now that marriage can be between a single gender couple, as well as a dual gender couple, it is no less fundamental for gay people as for straight people.

    The definition of a fundamental right is one “deeply rooted” in the nation’s history. Same sex marriage is not deeply rooted in history or even now.

    Same sex marriage is still a novelty and its subject to being overturned even in the states where it now exists.

    Its not a fundamental right in the sense of being deeply rooted.

  331. Sean
    November 28th, 2010 at 09:51 | #331

    It’s interesting that in states where courts have found marriage discrimination constitutional, they have done so by relying on deference to state legislatures, a procedural approach. In states that have struck down discriminatory marriage statutes, the courts have relied on a substantive analysis of whether or not prohibiting same-sex marriage advances a rational public purpose.

    In reading court decisions from states like New York, Washington and Maryland, where courts have upheld legalized marriage discrimination, the courts have pointedly stated their dissatisfaction with the situation, but were willing to defer to state legislatures to fix the problem. This is not a very strong endorsement of marriage discrimination.

    Courts in states like Iowa, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Vermont, as well as Hawaii and Missouri (states where marriage discrimination statutes or amendments were eventually enacted), used a more aggressive analysis to determine if marriage discrimination actually advanced the public purpose their states claimed. Since there is no rational basis for outlawing same-sex marriage, these states struck down discriminatory marriage statutes.

  332. bman
    November 28th, 2010 at 20:59 | #332

    @Sean

    Sean: But even in states that have reached other conclusions regarding marriage rights for gays, I agree that the decisions are sound and reasonable. I think they’re lazy and deferential to the point of making equal protection guarantees meaningless.

    I think this is probably the most balanced statement of your view so far.

    Before this, you seemed to claim your view was the only reasonable option.

    Now, you seem to recognize an OSM-only-decision is a reasonable option, though you think its too deferential.

    Along that same line, I agree that Varnum used reasonable legal arguments on its face to support its decision. Indeed, for the most part, the arguments they used would be excellent if the case truly dealt with a racial issue.

    But that is essentially the heart of the problem. Varnum incorrectly used “racial equality” arguments to impose “behavioral equality.”

    Its like a court using racial equality arguments to stop “prejudice” against pornography. Its a categorical mistake, even if the arguments are otherwise reasonable.

    Skin color does nothing good or bad and so discrimination against it implies prejudice or bigotry.

    But men having sex with men is a behavior model. Discrimination against a behavior model does not imply prejudice but implies the behavior does not merit approval.

    It seems probable the people of Iowa disapproved the behavior model on its merits and felt the judges were unable to discern right from wrong.

  333. bman
    November 28th, 2010 at 21:42 | #333

    @Sean

    bman: However, the Varnum decision ultimately reduces to an unreasonable presumption, namely, that marriage policy in Iowa has always been based on bigotry against homosexuals since Iowa was founded.

    Sean: To achieve the heightened scrutiny designation, a history of discrimination was only one of four tests used. The court mentioned on particular animosity on the part of the state legislature. The Iowa court used the recommended scrutiny template of the US Supreme Court.

    The “template” they used was originally designed to thwart “prejudice against non-behavioral traits like skin color.

    Its a categorical mistake to apply that same template to thwart public disapproval of a behavior since behavior can merit disapproval, whereas skin color does nothing good or bad to merit it.

    Most likely, the wrong template was used because this is a new classification area for the court and it has not yet found the correct template.

  334. Sean
    November 29th, 2010 at 07:51 | #334

    “Same sex marriage is not deeply rooted in history or even now.”

    But marriage is. You present a catch-22: you want to call same-sex marriage a new right, and then want it excluded through lack of precedent. Using your logic, how was mixed-race marriage ever found to be a constitutional right?

    And why is Equal Protection (14th Amendment) not a constitutional right that requires treating gay citizens the same as straight citizens?

  335. bman
    November 29th, 2010 at 12:54 | #335

    Sean :
    bman: Same sex marriage is not deeply rooted in history or even now.

    Sean: But marriage is. You present a catch-22: you want to call same-sex marriage a new right, and then want it excluded through lack of precedent…And why is Equal Protection (14th Amendment) not a constitutional right that requires treating gay citizens the same as straight citizens?

    The logic comes from the courts that ruled against same sex marriage.

    The Texas 5th District Court ruling, for example, says:

    Having concluded that the claimed right in question is properly defined as the right to marry a person of the same sex, we consider whether that right is “’deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition.’” Glucksberg, 521 U.S. at 721 (quoting Moore v. E. Cleveland, 431 U.S. 494, 503 (1977) (plurality op.)).

    Plainly, it is not. Until 2003, no state recognized same-sex marriages. Smelt, 374 F. Supp. 2d at 878. Congress and most states have adopted legislation or constitutional amendments explicitly limiting the institution of marriage to opposite-sex unions. Conaway, 932 A.2d at 627.

    We agree with the numerous courts that have held that the right to legal recognition of a same-sex marriage is not a fundamental right for equal-protection purposes.

    So, its not merely, “my” logic but its the logic used by, “…the numerous courts that have held that the right to legal recognition of a same-sex marriage is not a fundamental right for equal-protection purposes”

    ….Using your logic, how was mixed-race marriage ever found to be a constitutional right?…

    At the time of the Loving Case (1967) which struck down mix-race marriage laws, 16 states had such laws.

    This shows that racial distinctions were not fundamental to the definition of marriage nationwide.

    Others have also noted that Loving restored the natural definition of marriage, it did not redefine marriage.

    Here is the logic used by the Loving Court:

    The statutes proscribe [forbid] generally accepted conduct if engaged in by members of different races. Over the years, this Court has consistently repudiated “[d]istinctions between citizens solely because of their ancestry” as being “odious to a free people whose institutions are founded upon the doctrine of equality.” Hirabayashi v. United States, 320 U.S. 81, 100 (1943). At the very least, the Equal Protection Clause demands that racial classifications, especially suspect in criminal statutes, be subjected to the “most rigid scrutiny,” Korematsu v. United States, 323 U.S. 214, 216 (1944), and, if they are ever to be upheld, they must be shown to be necessary to the accomplishment of some permissible state objective, independent of the racial discrimination which it was the object of the Fourteenth Amendment to eliminate. Indeed, two members of this Court have already stated that they “cannot conceive of a valid legislative purpose . . . which makes the color of a person’s skin the test of whether his conduct is a criminal offense.” McLaughlin v. Florida, supra, at 198 (STEWART, J., joined by DOUGLAS, J., concurring).

    The following except is from the Prop 8 brief submitted in Aug 2010:

    …with only a handful of very recent exceptions, the opposite-sex definition of marriage has for millennia been understood to be a defining characteristic of marriage in this Country and indeed in virtually every society.

    The same cannot be said for racial restrictions on marriage. Even in this Country, interracial marriages were legal at common law, in six of the thirteen original States at the time the Constitution was adopted, and in many States that at no point ever enacted antimiscegenation laws. See, e.g., Irving G. Tragen, Statutory Prohibitions Against Interracial Marriage, 32 Cal. L. Rev. 269, 269 & n.2 (1944) (“[A]t common law there was no ban on interracial marriage.”); Lynn Wardle and Lincoln C. Oliphant, In Praise of Loving: Reflections on the ‘Loving Analogy’ for Same-Sex Marriage, 51 How. L.J. 117, 180-81 (2007) (state-by-state description of historical antimiscegenation statutes); Peter Wallenstein, Tell the Court I Love My Wife: Race, Marriage, and Law—An American History 31, 253-54 (2002).

    And such laws have certainly never been universally understood to be a defining characteristic of marriage, throughout history and across civilizations.

    Furthermore, while the opposite-sex definition of marriage is inescapably connected with that institution’s central procreative purposes, antimiscegenation laws were affirmatively at war with those purposes, for by prohibiting interracial marriages, they substantially decreased the likelihood that children of mixed-race couples would be born to and raised by their parents in stable and enduring family units.

    It is thus not surprising either that the Supreme Court held that such laws violated the fundamental right to marry in Loving, 388 U.S. at 12, or that, a scant five years later, the Supreme Court in Baker unanimously and summarily rejected on the merits precisely the same constitutional claims asserted by Plaintiffs here.

  336. bman
    November 29th, 2010 at 13:37 | #336

    Mark :
    Mark: SO, if procreation is the only “rational basis to restrict marriage”, why do we continually allow the infertile and those too old to have children marry?

    The case Baker V. Nelson, Minnesota, 1971, gives the following explanation:

    The equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, like the due process clause, is not offended by the state’s classification of persons authorized to marry. There is no irrational or invidious discrimination.

    Petitioners note that the state does not impose upon heterosexual married couples a condition that they have a proved capacity or declared willingness to procreate, posing a rhetorical demand that this court must read such condition into the statute if same-sex marriages are to be prohibited.

    Even assuming that such a condition would be neither unrealistic nor offensive under the Griswold rationale, the classification is no more than theoretically imperfect. We are reminded, however, that “abstract symmetry” is not demanded by the Fourteenth Amendment

    Thus, marriage statutes indeed have a pro-creative purpose but practical limitations permit theoretical imperfections.

    And since men and women are designed to procreate as a class and infertile men and women are members of that class, but same couples as a class are not naturally procreative, its only an incidental imperfection that infertile men and women can marry, but its non-incidental if same couples were allowed to marry.

  337. Sean
    November 29th, 2010 at 17:31 | #337

    “We agree with the numerous courts that have held that the right to legal recognition of a same-sex marriage is not a fundamental right for equal-protection purposes.”

    But Equal Protection is a constitutional right. Lacking a rational public purpose for denying same-sex couples the right to marry, it is a violation of the equal protection guarantees of gay and lesbians couples to deny them the right to marry. If there’s no public purpose to exclude gay and lesbian couples, and many public purposes to let them marry, there is a constitutional violation. I think some courts have not yet comes to terms with this situation yet.

    “At the time of the Loving Case (1967) which struck down mix-race marriage laws, 16 states had such laws.”

    So when 16 states legalize same-sex marriage, then it will suddenly become a fundamental right?

    “This shows that racial distinctions were not fundamental to the definition of marriage nationwide.”

    And why is gender fundamental to the definition of marriage?

    “Others have also noted that Loving restored the natural definition of marriage, it did not redefine marriage.”

    No one’s redefining marriage. It has never been “defined” until recently, actually, and has never been defined until very, very recently as the union of only a man and a woman. To wit:

    “The three states that had statutory language defining marriage pre-dating DOMA are Wyoming (1957), Maryland (1973) and New Hampshire (1987)”

    Source: National Conference of State Legislatures

    Defining marriage in law as limited to man-woman couples is a fairly new concept.

    “the opposite-sex definition of marriage has for millennia been understood to be a defining characteristic of marriage in this Country and indeed in virtually every society.”

    Not in law. See above. It has been a practice, based on lack of acceptance of homosexuality and same-sex couples. Now that society accepts same-sex couples, same-sex parenting, homosexuality in general, it’s a different ballgame.

    “while the opposite-sex definition of marriage is inescapably connected with that institution’s central procreative purposes, antimiscegenation laws were affirmatively at war with those purposes, for by prohibiting interracial marriages, they substantially decreased the likelihood that children of mixed-race couples would be born to and raised by their parents in stable and enduring family units.”

    And anti-same-sex marriage statutes substantially reduce the likelihood that children of same-sex couples would be born to and raised by their parents in stable and enduring family units, too. Why are children being raised by same-sex couples less worthy of “stable and enduring family units” than the children of same-sex couples???

    “Thus, marriage statutes indeed have a pro-creative purpose but practical limitations permit theoretical imperfections.”

    Except that prohibiting same-sex marriage does nothing to increase or decrease procreation, within or without marriage. There’s no rational connection between marriage discrimination and the stated aims of marriage: encouraging procreation within marriage. Opposite-sex couples, many of whom are not procreative (by nature or by choice) are unaffected by legal or illegal same-sex marriage. That’s where previous courts have failed to go beyond mere rhetorical explanation, and tested with evidence the state’s asserted purpose.

    “And since men and women are designed to procreate as a class and infertile men and women are members of that class, but same couples as a class are not naturally procreative, its only an incidental imperfection that infertile men and women can marry, but its non-incidental if same couples were allowed to marry.”

    Marriage licenses are issued to couples not classes. Including non-procreative couples or couples who refuse to have children is over inclusive. Excluding same-sex couples is under inclusive: it excludes same-sex couples where one or both partners reproduces with the same kinds of reproductive assistance techniques opposite-sex couples use.

  338. bman
    November 29th, 2010 at 21:34 | #338

    @Sean

    Marriage licenses are issued to couples not classes

    Licenses are issued to couples as members of the OS class.

  339. bman
    November 29th, 2010 at 21:58 | #339

    @Sean
    Sean: Including non-procreative couples or couples who refuse to have children is over inclusive.

    Yes, but this was addressed already.

    Its OK to be over inclusive if its incidental due to practical expediency. As Baker v. Nelson stated, the court does not require abstract symmetry or theoretical perfection.

    Thus, men and women are viewed as members of the procreative class.

    Excluding same-sex couples is under inclusive: it excludes same-sex couples where one or both partners reproduces with the same kinds of reproductive assistance techniques opposite-sex couples use.

    Including same sex couples would imply formal recognition of men having sex with men, a behavior that does not merit public recognition.

  340. bman
    November 29th, 2010 at 22:19 | #340

    Sean: Defining marriage in law as limited to man-woman couples is a fairly new concept.

    That’s because the word marriage, as a matter of common usage, meant man-woman couples.

    Defining what it meant specifically was not needed until gays started their unrealistic questioning of the obvious.

    Baker V. Nelson also explains why man-woman marriage was the obvious meaning even though it was not specifically defined.

    [Minnesota law] which governs “marriage,” employs that term as one of common usage, meaning the state of union between persons of the opposite sex.

    It is unrealistic to think that the original drafts-men of our marriage statutes, which date from territorial days, would have used the term in any different sense.

    The term is of contemporary significance as well, for the present statute is replete with words of heterosexual import such as “husband and wife” and “bride and groom.”

  341. bman
    November 30th, 2010 at 10:04 | #341

    Sean: But Equal Protection is a constitutional right. Lacking a rational public purpose for denying same-sex couples the right to marry, it is a violation of the equal protection guarantees of gay and lesbians couples to deny them the right to marry. If there’s no public purpose to exclude gay and lesbian couples, and many public purposes to let them marry, there is a constitutional violation. I think some courts have not yet comes to terms with this situation yet.

    Here we are again back to what you said in post #1 except you have now added, “some courts have not yet come to terms with this situation.”

    The part you added states your opinion of those courts instead of stating the fact of the matter.

    If we take your statement and keep it factual we get this:

    “But Equal Protection is a constitutional right. Lacking a rational public purpose for denying same-sex couples the right to marry, it is a violation of the equal protection guarantees of gay and lesbians couples to deny them the right to marry. If there’s no public purpose to exclude gay and lesbian couples, and many public purposes to let them marry, there is a constitutional violation. And though some courts ruled it unconstitutional, some courts (to include the US Supreme Court) ruled there is no equal protection violation if same sex couples are denied marriage.”

    With regard to the US Supreme Court, its ruling in Baker V. Nelson (see link) set the precedent that same sex marriage is not an equal protection issue.

    The Wikipedia online encyclpedia says the following on this:

    [Baker v. Nelson] was a case in which the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that Minnesota law limited marriage to opposite-sex couples and that this limitation did not violate the United States Constitution.

    The plaintiffs appealed, and on October 10, 1972 the United States Supreme Court dismissed the appeal “for want of a substantial federal question.”

    Because the case came to the federal Supreme Court through mandatory appellate review (not certiorari), the summary dismissal constituted a decision on the merits and established Baker v. Nelson as a precedent, though the extent of its precedential effect has been subject to debate.

  342. Sean
    November 30th, 2010 at 12:22 | #342

    “Its OK to be over inclusive if its incidental due to practical expediency. As Baker v. Nelson stated, the court does not require abstract symmetry or theoretical perfection.”

    But it’s easy enough to spread the word that marriage is only for couples who can have, and intend to have, children. In light of those being harmed by “practical expediency,” that is, same-sex couples, the excuse that elderly and infertile couples, as well as couples who refuse to have children, can permissibly slip in around the stated standard, can no longer pass muster. More importantly, there is no evidence that if same-sex couples marry, the state’s interest in procreation is in any way harmed. Because of both these issues, discriminatory marriage statutes have little chance of surviving the next ten or so years.

    “Including same sex couples would imply formal recognition of men having sex with men, a behavior that does not merit public recognition.”

    Too late! The US Supreme Court has already approved of men having sex with men, in 2003, in Lawrence v. Texas.

    “That’s because the word marriage, as a matter of common usage, meant man-woman couples.”

    What’s common in practice, say, same-race marriage, cannot necessarily be enshrined in law.

    “The term is of contemporary significance as well, for the present statute is replete with words of heterosexual import such as “husband and wife” and “bride and groom.”

    Again, this just reflects common practice. Now that same-sex couples are demanding equal marriage rights, and states are beginning to change their statutes to offer equal marriage rights to gay couples, not just straight couples, the landscape has changed.

    “The part you added states your opinion of those courts instead of stating the fact of the matter.”

    Well, why don’t I get to have opinions? You and everybody else does. It’s my opinion that the only reason more courts haven’t overturned discriminatory marriage statutes is adherence to deference to the legislature, a procedural (but important) tactic. Substantively, there’s no rational reason for states to let straight, but not gay, couples marry.

    “though the extent of its precedential effect has been subject to debate.”

    Exactly.

  343. bman
    November 30th, 2010 at 12:40 | #343

    Sean :
    Sean: But it’s easy enough to spread the word that marriage is only for couples who can have, and intend to have, children.

    If government tried to exclude infertile OS couples, it would be ruled unconstitutional because their right to marry is deeply rooted in the nations’ history.

  344. bman
    November 30th, 2010 at 14:56 | #344

    With regard to the relationship between marriage and procreation, we all know there is one.

    In my view, marriage does not “require” people to naturally procreate but it “confers” a formal approval for them to do so.

    And based on the natural design of the body, its irrational to “confer approval to procreate” on same sex couples.

    This is not because procreation is a prerequisite to marriage that they can’t meet, but its larger than that.

    Not only can they not procreate, but they are not designed to procreate. Its an exclusion based on natural design, not an exclusion based on inability.

    Its not irrational to confer “approval to procreate” on a 100 year old man and woman. This is because the design of their bodies is still that of a man and woman, despite their inability to procreate. And since there is no requirement that married people actually procreate they can be married.

    Thus, if the intent of the law is to confer an approval to have sex and to procreate on those designed for procreation, its sufficient if the law says, “marriage is between one man and one woman.”

  345. bman
    November 30th, 2010 at 21:36 | #345

    @Sean

    Substantively, there’s no rational reason for states to let straight, but not gay, couples marry.

    There is a rational basis but you reject it.

    It serves a rational public purpose for marriage law to mate the reproductive system of a man with that of a woman, but its irrational for public purposes to mate the intestinal waste disposal system of a man with the reproductive system of another man.

    Additionally, same sex marriage is based on a lie that men having sex with men is rational, healthy behavior. No law should advance a lie.

    bman: Including same sex couples would imply formal recognition of men having sex with men, a behavior that does not merit public recognition.

    Sean: Too late! The US Supreme Court has already approved of men having sex with men, in 2003, in Lawrence v. Texas.

    As before, you again fail to distinguish what Lawrence v Texas was saying. It ruled that consensual homosex was no longer a matter of “criminal” law.

    There are many behaviors that are not considered a crime but which are unfit to be formally approved as role model behaviors for the public.

    Natural sex between a man and woman within marriage for life, however, is fit to be formally recognized as a role model behavior for the public, and its the only sexual relationship that is fit to be a public role model.

  346. Sean
    December 1st, 2010 at 06:14 | #346

    “If government tried to exclude infertile OS couples, it would be ruled unconstitutional because their right to marry is deeply rooted in the nations’ history.”

    The right to marry is deeply rooted in the nation’s history. Seriously, if the Supreme Court can rule that convicted murderers have the right to marry, it’s a hard sell to say that law-abiding same-sex couples don’t have the right to marry. Murderers do not have a deeply rooted right to marry in our country.

    “With regard to the relationship between marriage and procreation, we all know there is one. In my view, marriage does not “require” people to naturally procreate but it “confers” a formal approval for them to do so.”

    What do you mean by “relationship”? Lots of people get married with no capability or intention of procreating. Are they not really married? If you can’t have children, or don’t want them, why do you need permission to procreate?

    “It serves a rational public purpose for marriage law to mate the reproductive system of a man with that of a woman, but its irrational for public purposes to mate the intestinal waste disposal system of a man with the reproductive system of another man.”

    This is meaningless. What public benefit comes from pairing opposite-sex genitals, and prohibiting same-sex genitals? What public purpose is achieved by prohibiting same-sex couples from getting married? Explaining why you think opposite-sex couples should be allowed to marry doesn’t explain why same-sex couples should be excluded.

    “Additionally, same sex marriage is based on a lie that men having sex with men is rational, healthy behavior.”

    So I guess you think smoking, adultery and divorce are rational, healthy behaviors?

    “There are many behaviors that are not considered a crime but which are unfit to be formally approved as role model behaviors for the public.”

    And you think convicted murderers are role models for marriage and parenting? The US Supreme Court seems to think so.

    “Natural sex between a man and woman within marriage for life, however, is fit to be formally recognized as a role model behavior for the public, and its the only sexual relationship that is fit to be a public role model.”

    Hogwash. Way too over inclusive. Convicted murderers, drug dealers, prostitutes, pedophiles and any number of other straight people are not good role models and are specifically permitted to marry. Rush Limbaugh, with three divorces, is not a good role model for marriage. The woman in Indiana with 26 failed marriages is not a good role model for marriage. Therefore, opposite-sex couples only marriage fails to demonstrate a connection between marriage and good role modeling.

    And way to under inclusive: many same-sex couples have model relationships and are great parents.

  347. bman
    December 1st, 2010 at 18:31 | #347

    Sean :

    Sean: The right to marry is deeply rooted in the nation’s history. Seriously, if the Supreme Court can rule that convicted murderers have the right to marry, it’s a hard sell to say that law-abiding same-sex couples don’t have the right to marry. Murderers do not have a deeply rooted right to marry in our country.

    As members of the opposite sex class, convicts had the right to marry prior to conviction.

    So, the question there is whether a deeply rooted right was lost upon conviction, not whether a right was granted that was not deeply rooted.

    Homosexuals, when viewed as individuals, hold the same deeply rooted right to marry as everyone else. Indeed, if he or she announces homosexuality at the marriage office, its ignored, and the individual right to marry is not lost or denied.

    Its only when framed as a “same sex couple” they cannot marry.

    Yet, even that very same moment, viewed as two individuals, each still has the right to marry as defined by society.

  348. bman
    December 1st, 2010 at 20:52 | #348

    @Sean

    bman: With regard to the relationship between marriage and procreation, we all know there is one. In my view, marriage does not “require” people to naturally procreate but it “confers” a formal approval for them to do so.”

    Sean: What do you mean by “relationship”? Lots of people get married with no capability or intention of procreating. Are they not really married? If you can’t have children, or don’t want them, why do you need permission to procreate?

    By “relationship” I mean a correct definition of marriage will show a relationship exists between marriage and procreation. We know such a relationship exists, but the issue is how to define it.

    To answer your first question, men and women who marry without having children are really married, supposing the marriage has been consummated with sex.

    So far, then, we know a relationship exists between marriage and procreation that needs to be defined, but we also know married couples do not need to procreate to be truly married.

    This still looks good for my view that marriage formally recognizes a couple may procreate together within marriage (which includes the right to have sex with each other), but marriage does not require them to procreate.

    Moving to your next question: “If you can’t have children, or don’t want them, why do you need permission to procreate?”

    I think gerry’s analogy to a driver’s license and your response to it, that a driver’s license can be used for driving or for identification works well here.

    If you only want to use a driver’s license for identification, you must still qualify to drive, and you still obtain permission to drive when you get the license.

    The benefits (permission to drive and an ID card) have been bundled together. You do not have the option to get a drivers license that only acts as an id card.

    If, however, you only need an identification card, you can get a state ID card instead.

    Applying that analogy to marriage, a couple must be capable of natural sex to qualify for the sexual benefits, even if they only want the other benefits bundled with marriage.

    If the couple does not qualify or does not want the bundled package, they would need to use the “individually boxed” option as it were, or a different bundled package for which they can qualify (civil unions, general power of attorney, private contracts etc).

    In review, we know a relationship exists between marriage and procreation that needs to be defined. Tentatively, we know marriage confers formal recognition of sexual rights bundled with other benefits. We know OS couples are eligible for marriage whether they can procreate or not. And, we know same sex couples are not eligible for the sexual rights conferred in marriage.

    Together, this fits a model where marriage recognizes the right to have natural sex (which also recognizes the right to procreate), but marriage does not require procreation.

  349. Sean
    December 2nd, 2010 at 07:37 | #349

    “the question there is whether a deeply rooted right was lost upon conviction, not whether a right was granted that was not deeply rooted.”

    Yes, and if marriage is considered so important that someone who has committed murder must still have the right to do it, how can a case be made that someone who is gay CAN be prohibited from marrying? You can see where gay people get kind of tired of being treated like lower-class citizens, below convicted, but straight, murderers and pedophiles, on this issue. Lacking any rational reason for prohibiting same-sex marriage, how can marriage simultaneously be considered inviolable for some, but not other, citizens?

    “Homosexuals, when viewed as individuals, hold the same deeply rooted right to marry as everyone else.”

    That’s like saying Jews, as individuals, have as much right to worship and attend church services on Sunday as anyone else. It’s a true statement, but ignores the fact that Jews worship on Saturday, in Synagogues. Gays form same-sex couples, not opposite-sex couples, generally.

    “Its only when framed as a “same sex couple” they cannot marry.”

    Yes, and why? Why are same-sex couples prohibited from marrying, in some states, especially since other states permit it?

    “To answer your first question, men and women who marry without having children are really married, supposing the marriage has been consummated with sex.”

    This sounds like a religious definition of marriage. It is not a legal one: opposite-sex couples are under no constraints to have sex while married, either at least once, or at any time after the marriage license and ceremony are executed. Some opposite-sex couples are incapable of having sexual intercourse, due to medical ailments. They are not required to have sex to get, or stay, married.

    “This still looks good for my view that marriage formally recognizes a couple may procreate together within marriage”

    A couple can formally procreate outside of marriage, too. Getting married changes no status regarding procreation. And, as always, whatever you believe opposite-sex marriage does or doesn’t grant, this doesn’t change when same-sex couples marry. You continue to infer that because marriage is something, it can’t be something else. I want to know WHY it can’t be something else, regardless of how you define opposite-sex marriage.

    “Applying that analogy to marriage, a couple must be capable of natural sex to qualify for the sexual benefits, even if they only want the other benefits bundled with marriage.”

    Again, you don’t answer why “natural sex” as you call it is a requirement of marriage, especially when a couple need not have “natural sex” if they don’t want to, need not procreate, and need not even get married to have “natural sex” or procreate. If it’s ok to have sex and/or procreate with or without a marriage license, a marriage license must mean something other than the right to have sex and/or procreate.

    “Tentatively, we know marriage confers formal recognition of sexual rights bundled with other benefits.”

    That’s like saying you can operate a motor vehicle with or without a license, as you please. That makes the license meaningless.

    I applaud your effort to create a circumstance where a marriage license can meaningfully exclude same-sex couples. I don’t think you’ve succeeded. Nothing about marriage as you perceive it creates an exclusion for same-sex couples. Given the benefits to society of same-sex marriage, I don’t think a theoretical reason for opposite-sex only marriage will create a legal framework for denying same-sex couples the right to marry. Marriage substitutes, like civil unions, will be taken for what they are: separate but equal accommodations designed to keep gays and lesbians away from marriage (for what purpose, remains unknown).

  350. bman
    December 2nd, 2010 at 14:58 | #350

    @Sean

    bman: the question there is whether a deeply rooted right was lost upon conviction, not whether a right was granted that was not deeply rooted.

    Sean: Yes, and if marriage is considered so important that someone who has committed murder must still have the right to do it, how can a case be made that someone who is gay CAN be prohibited from marrying?

    You are overlapping two definitions of marriage.

    In your first mention it refers to marriage in the sense that is deeply rooted in the nations history.

    In your last mention it refers to SSM, which is foreign to the nations history, not deeply rooted.

    In a way, its like you were saying, “If convicts can have a pet cat why can’t gays have a pet cat too?”

    However, the first “cat” refers to a house cat and the other to a leopard!

    When a broad word like “cat” is used to compare kinds of cats, its proper to add an adjective to show which kind is meant.

    That applies to the word “marriage” as well. When comparing different kinds of marriage in the same statement, distinguishing adjectives should be added.

    Otherwise, if you use the general term “marriage,” for different kinds, it acts like the general term “cat,” where a pet house cat becomes a reason to allow a pet leopard, since both are cats.

    Below, the proper adjectives have been added to your arguments to show this:

    Yes, and if [domestic, deeply rooted] marriage is considered so important that someone who has committed murder must still have the right to do it, how can a case be made that someone who is gay CAN be prohibited from [foreign] marri[age]”
    —-
    Lacking any rational reason for prohibiting same-sex marriage, how can [natural] marriage simultaneously be considered inviolable for some, but not other, citizens?

    As you can see, once you add the distinguishing adjectives, your arguments become incoherent.

  351. bman
    December 2nd, 2010 at 16:32 | #351

    @Sean

    <blockquote<Sean: Lacking any rational reason for prohibiting same-sex marriage, how can [opposite sex] marriage simultaneously be considered inviolable for some, but [same sex marriage] not other, citizens?

    Here, I reply to your begging the question where you said, “lacking and rational reason for prohibiting same-sex marriage.’” [I added the material in brackets to remove the ambiguity from the original.]

    The fallacy of begging the question occurs when you presume a point that is in dispute, which still needs to be proved.

    Thus, you didn’t refute my post with your statement since you used a disputed premise.

    You are using frequent ambiguity and question begging in your replies, which suggests same sex marriage depends on fallacy for its support.

    Also, as I mentioned before, it only takes one rational argument to refute your claim that there is no rational basis.

    Since numerous courts have ruled against same sex marriage on a rational basis review, which you agreed were at least minimally sound and reasonable, you contradict yourself when you later say here is “no” rational basis.

  352. bman
    December 2nd, 2010 at 17:57 | #352

    @Sean

    <bman: Homosexuals, when viewed as individuals, hold the same deeply rooted right to marry as everyone else.”

    <Sean: That’s like saying Jews, as individuals, have as much right to worship and attend church services on Sunday as anyone else. It’s a true statement, but ignores the fact that Jews worship on Saturday, in Synagogues. Gays form same-sex couples, not opposite-sex couples, generally.

    Looks like your argument can be applied to most anything. For example, why can’t your argument be used for the number of marriages one may have?

    If, as you argue, marriage does not require sex or procreation, why restrict the number of spouses if they are all consenting adults? What number is too high?

    The answer is that, at some point, the public must make a value judgment regarding its own best interest over the short and long term, and some groups will not be equally benefited at the public level.

    Also, the courts have generally ruled that government may create policies which rationally discriminate between group interests. They do not permit “invidious” discrimination, but they do allow rational discrimination.

  353. Sean
    December 2nd, 2010 at 18:00 | #353

    “You are overlapping two definitions of marriage.”

    What I’m saying is, if marriage is so fundamental that even someone who is incarcerated, can’t have physical contact with a spouse, let alone sex, can’t have or raise children, is therefore married in name only, for no public purpose, then why deny marriage rights to someone who CAN have physical contact with a spouse, have sex, and raise children, with the public purpose of creating a stable family unit?

    The obsession with opposite-sexness is beyond surreal at this point. The notion that marriage can be participated in by murderers, thieves, prostitutes, as many times as they want, with as many divorces as they want, belies any possible rational notion that marriage is of any great importance to society beyond anything the individuals in the couple want it to be. Well, same-sex couples want it to be about love and commitment, just like opposite-sex couples.

    They want to go to Las Vegas and get married while drunk, by an Elvis impersonator. They want to get married jumping out of an airplane naked. They want to try it with four or five people. They want to end it, even if they are raising children, if someone better comes along. Straight people get to do all these crazy things with marriage.

    “different kinds of marriage”

    What different kinds? Isn’t every marriage a “different” kind?

    “once you add the distinguishing adjectives, your arguments become incoherent.”

    My arguments are incoherent?! What the heck is “natural” marriage and why can’t same-sex couples get “naturally” married?

    Why should states deny marriage rights to same-sex couples, while granting those rights to opposite-sex couples?

  354. bman
    December 2nd, 2010 at 22:23 | #354

    @Sean

    What I’m saying is, if marriage is so fundamental that even someone who is incarcerated,
    can’t have physical contact with a spouse, let alone sex, can’t have or raise children, is therefore married in name only, for no public purpose, then why deny marriage rights to someone who CAN have physical contact with a spouse, have sex, and raise children, with the public purpose of creating a stable family unit?

    Yes, but you are still trying to make one kind of marriage [the kind deeply rooted in law and American history] to justify a different kind of marriage [one not deeply rooted in American law and history].

    Of course, your statement would be coherent if you used the same definition in both places where you use the word marriage, but you intend different definitions, and so we are back to where “pet cat” means house cat in one place and leopard in another.

  355. bman
    December 2nd, 2010 at 22:27 | #355

    bman: To answer your first question, men and women who marry without having children are really married, supposing the marriage has been consummated with sex.

    Sean: This sounds like a religious definition of marriage. It is not a legal one: opposite-sex couples are under no constraints to have sex while married, either at least once, or at any time after the marriage license and ceremony are executed. Some opposite-sex couples are incapable of having sexual intercourse, due to medical ailments. They are not required to have sex to get, or stay, married.

    The idea of marriage annulment for non consummation exists in religion and in civil law.

    Here for example, is a news clipping on consummation in Alabama: “Alabama Appeals Court annuls couples marriage on failure to consummate grounds. The Alabama Appeals Court has basically ruled that to be legally married in Alabama, you must consummate that relationship, or your marriage is subject to annulment.”

    Federal Law: Whether a marriage is considered a sham(“fake”, i.e., entered into for immigration purposes only, not for love), can hinge on whether the marriage was consummated (the couple had sex). If the immigrant refuses to consummate the marriage, then it can imply that the marriage was a sham. If the US citizen refuses to consummate the marriage, then fraud on behalf of the immigrant is NOT implicated.

    Anti-fornication laws also, whether repealed or still on the books, point to marriage being viewed by government as an institution for an approved sexual relationship.

  356. Sean
    December 3rd, 2010 at 05:05 | #356

    “you are still trying to make one kind of marriage [the kind deeply rooted in law and American history] to justify a different kind of marriage [one not deeply rooted in American law and history].”

    Marriage for murderers is deeply rooted in American law and history? We have a strong history of letting murderers marry, even though they may be incarcerated, unable to consummate the marriage, are terrible role models for any children to whom they become a step-parent, etc.

    We also have a deeply rooted history of racial separation, yet the Supreme Court has struck down “separate but equal” accommodations and laws against mixed-race marriage. Marriage has a deeply rooted history of coverture, whereby women lose rights, as their legal status becomes subordinate to their husbands.

    Extending marriage rights is no more a “new right” than extending the right to vote to women was a new right.

    “The idea of marriage annulment for non consummation exists in religion and in civil law.”

    But there’s no requirement that a marriage be consummated in order to be or remain valid. There are many, many married couples out their not having sex. And the notion that the man must fracture a woman’s hymen, if only once, in order to “own” her doesn’t really fit well in today’s society.

    I don’t think whatever happens in Alabama is especially relevant. You’ll find a state that is overly religious, or says it is, but not particularly Christ-like. The state’s constitution continued to list its ban on mixed-race marriage until 2000, and when the vote to repeal the ban was tallied, over 30% of Alabamans wanted to retain the ban (even though the US Supreme Court struck down all such bans in 1967).

    “Whether a marriage is considered a sham(“fake”, i.e., entered into for immigration purposes only, not for love), can hinge on whether the marriage was consummated (the couple had sex).”

    Sure, if there’s suspicion of marriage fraud, lack of sex could support the state’s claim. But at least you’ve acknowledged that couples get married for love, a fact that applies to same-sex couples, too. Unless, of course, you’re going to start arguing that the word “love” is already taken by straight people, and gay people will have to find another word.

  357. bman
    December 3rd, 2010 at 15:37 | #357

    @Sean

    bman: You are still trying to make one kind of marriage [the kind deeply rooted in law and American history] to justify a different kind of marriage [one not deeply rooted in American law and history].”

    Sean: Marriage for murderers is deeply rooted in American law and history?

    You misunderstood my statement.

    There are many different marriage models in the world.

    One of those models is deeply rooted in American history and law, and all others are alien to American law and history.

    Except for the few states where it was recently legalized, same sex marriage is alien to American history and law.

    Thus, your argument was not coherent because it used the American model to justify rights to an alien model.

  358. bman
    December 3rd, 2010 at 15:56 | #358

    bman: The idea of marriage annulment for non consummation exists in religion and in civil law.

    Sean: But there’s no requirement that a marriage be consummated in order to be or remain valid. There are many, many married couples out their not having sex.

    Consummation (and anti-fornication law) shows sexual rights are conferred, or formally recognized, upon marriage.

    Even if we suppose marriages exist without sex, we can compare them to having a drivers license but not driving. The rights are still conferred or recognized even if not used.

    And that is what my model claims. Only OS couples are designed for the sexual and procreative rights conferred/recognized at marriage.

  359. Sean
    December 3rd, 2