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Civil Disobedience and Same-Sex Marriage

sever oon
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Joined: Feb 08, 2004
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I've heard the same-sex marriage that's been going on in SF and all over the US referred to as "civil disobedience"...but is it? What's your opinion?
In my mind, two things have to happen for something to rise to the level of civil disobedience.
1. The act must be undertaken with the expectation that one will be punished.
2. All reasonable legal means of achieving the desired outcome must have been pursued to a final and unsatisfying conclusion.
Does same-sex marriage fall into this category of "civil disobedience" under these criteria? It doesn't meet the first requirement because the marrying couples know they will not be punished. In my way of thinking, even the first same-sex couples to marry did not have a "strong" expectation they would be punished because it was an open question at that point to which no answer had previously been provided.
Contrast this with Rosa Parks' action during the civil rights movement. Blacks had most definitely been punished for violating all kinds of designated "white" spaces up to that point: restrooms, drinking fountains, restaurants, etc.
The second requirement is also not met in the case of same-sex marriage. No one contested the laws of the land in California, which are very clear. Many have tried to make the argument that the Equal Protection Clause makes things like California Proposition 22 (a referendum passed by voters explicitly defining marriage as between a man and a woman) unconstitutional, and the law therefore ambiguous. However, the Equal Protection Clause only applies to Constitutionally granted rights. Marriage is not a Constitutionally granted right. It is a privilege extended to citizens by states, like driving. Imagine what would happen if such privileges one and all fell under the Equal Protection Clause. The blind would legally have the "right" to drive.
I believe those who advocate the Equal Protection Clause as justification for the legality of these same-sex marriages are either ignorant of the law or intellectually dishonest. Marriage is not a Constitutionally granted right, it's a privilege. If you think this is not the way things should be, you have a legal avenue open to you to remedy the problem--amend the US Constitution or amend the Constitution of the state in which you live to change the definition of marriage. If you want the EPC to apply to marriage, it must first become a Constitutionally protected right. If you want to call same-sex marriage civil disobedience, then follow this legal avenue to its conclusion first.
Rights are accorded US citizens for a very specific purpose. The Founding Fathers decided that certain rights were so fundamental that no government at any level should be able to make any law that infringes on those rights. This is set up primarily to provide a limited shield of the minority from the tyranny of the majority with respect to protected rights and those rights alone. In other words, for anything that doesn't rise to the level of a Constitutionally protected right, the minority is completely controlled by the majority's whims insofar as it doesn't violate their other rights. This is by design, and exactly how things are supposed to work. This is to protect the majority from the tyranny of the minority (which was a concern at the founding of our country--keep in mind, England was most definitely ruled by a tyrannical minority or wealthy land owners and royalty).
Because marriage is not defined as a Constitutionally protected right, same-sex couples are legally at the mercy of the majority. And this is doubly true, because in order to legally change the definition of marriage to encompass same-sex couples, or to place it under the umbrella of rights, the will of the majority must be swayed. It is for this reason that I think the same-sex marriage advocates are completely fumbling the ball. By openly and proudly flouting the law and forcing this issue into the public forum, they are showing their contempt for the majority of Americans (as proved by Prop 22, in California, at least). They have forming the impression of a tyrannical minority indeed. And the fact that they claim victim status in this fight makes them no less tyrannical. This stems from the same sense of entitlement that English royalty felt over the colonies so many years ago.
So when same-sex couples marry each other, I would not call it "civil disobedience"...it's simply "breaking the law". When a government official endorses the flouting of the law, indeed makes it possible, that's "malfeasance of office", a violation of the public trust. When the attorney general does not move to stop the government official, that's "anarchy".
sev
jason adam
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In terms of punishment, you're thinking too much in the... well, literal sense, for lack of a better term. Punishment comes in all shapes and sizes, not just jail time, physical abuse, etc. By not recognizing a homosexual partnership in the same context as a heterosexual couple, even if the majority of society deems it so, you are definitely punishing those people. Basically it's saying, "We don't think you're good enough". Again, isn't the direct punishment that blacks may have had to deal with, but it is punishment all the same. It would be like a company saying that because you're a Unix user you don't get the same benefits as the PC users because the majority of the desktops are Windows. The Unix users are being punished. Sure they could switch over to PC's, but we all know how impossible that would be for Unix users. (just had to throw in a geek analogy )
Don't really know all the legal issues and what has been tried throughout the courts, but social change has often not followed what the laws dictated you should do. The very foundation of change is based on defying the laws that are currently in place. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Just because it is a law doesn't mean you should blindly follow it. Imagine what our world would be like if people didn't challenge things. Yes, California law states that marriage is between a man and a woman, but I'm sure there were laws in California's past that stated things that just weren't right. A group of people believe this law is not right and are challenging it. What better way to challenge a law that says you can't get married than to get married?
Now does that mean that just because you think a law isn't right you have the right to challenge it in whatever way you know how? I say yes, as long as it doesn't hurt anyone. Just because you think there should be no speed limits doesn't give you the right to fly down the highway at 150 MPH. That would obviously have the very possible outcome of hurting someone, the driver included. And I'd like to see real factual data that proves just because two gay people decided to get married that we are unraveling the fabric of society as we know it. There were plenty of people that believed that once schools were intergrated, the whole morality of America would swiftly decline. If you still believe that letting blacks and whites intermingle is a bad thing, please speak up. *listens to the crickets* Thought so.
Personally I think the concept of marriage is purely a religious one, and therefore should be left solely to the various churches to decide how to handle it and not have any impact whatsoever on benefits, taxes, etc. But since the whole concept of separation of church and state is a huge sham, that isn't the case.
Agreed, the explosion is liable to cause more of a backlash than is intended, but for many people on both sides of the issue, at least it is being acknowledged and addressed. The outcome may not be the way either group intended, but that will probably change at some point later down the road.
Ain't society grand!
[ March 08, 2004: Message edited by: jason adam ]
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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I've heard the same-sex marriage that's been going on in SF and all over the US referred to as "civil disobedience"...but is it? What's your opinion?
It is civil disobedience in the sense of the person who is performing the ceremony. Here in NY state the mayor of one upstate town was slapped with more than 20 summonses for breaking NY state law. The people who are "getting married" risk nothing so they are not engaging in civil disobedience.


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Michael Morris
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... risk nothing so they are not engaging in civil disobedience.
Nice pun TP.


Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage - to move in the opposite direction. - Ernst F. Schumacher
Richard Hawkes
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Joined: Jan 28, 2003
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Originally posted by jason adam:
I'd like to see real factual data that proves just because two gay people decided to get married that we are unraveling the fabric of society as we know it.
That's the argument that really boggles my mind. I just don't see the threat (unless Sever Oon is correct and anarchy will reign!). How would heterosexual marriage be undermined? Nothing is being taken away from traditional marriage and it wouldn't make a mockery of my parents' marriage
The only "threat" is that it normalises homosexual partnerships, and I don't see that as a problem. Maybe some opponents are scared that society will reach the point where people don't notice homosexuals anymore.
John Smith
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That's the argument that really boggles my mind. I just don't see the threat
As Jason Adam pointed out, this entire debate has very pronounced religious overtones. Although marriage is a state-sponsored institution, the "homosexuality provision" is defined in the Bible in no uncertain terms and was clearly adapted by the government in its making of the marriage policies (divorce and adultery are another examples). And while it's not neccessarily a bad thing, it does explain where the perceived threat comes from, -- it's the fear of God that makes people tremble and shake uncontrollably, and in their minds, it's their after life existance that is threatened if they endorse the ungodly unions. Not convinced? Think about the history of the woman's right to vote in America.
Mike Firkser
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The thing about this same-sex marriage controversy is how the democratic process is totally ignored. In Mass. (I'm not going to try to spell it) the Supreme Court had the gall to tell the legislature to make same-sex marriage legal. That is going far beyond the power of the judiciary. They could not find existing law to allow same-sex marriage. If the four judges feel so strongly about the issue, they should step down from the bench and run for the state legislature.
California voters with a 58% majority, defined marriage as a union of a man and a woman. But that doesn't concern the SF mayor or the judge that refused to stop his illegal activity. They feel are morally superior and no bettter than the common dirt.
What is next. I don't think it will be long until somebody is suing a state to allow poligamy (sp?). Why restrict marriage to ONE man and ONE woman? While there is no historical basis for same-sex marriage, poligamy has been around for centuries, and still exists in some cultures. (NOTE: I don't agree with poligamy in our society, but I forsee it coming if same-sex marriage is allowed, especially if forced on this country by an end-run of the democratic process).


Mike Firkser
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Vinod John
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I would be interesting to see how big this issue would be in the Presidential election. Now that both the "leading" candidates have started brushing this issue a bit, the media has started creating a "hype".Bush has made his point clear but Kerry dosen't seem liberal enough (or may be bold) as I thought he would be or he is trying to down play this issue which could be a smart approach.I would be interesting to sees who's appraoch work's well with the public.
jason adam
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Originally posted by Richard Hawkes:
Maybe some opponents are scared that society will reach the point where people don't notice homosexuals anymore.

And some of the proponents should be scared of this, too. Just think what would happen to the ratings for "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" if being homosexual became passe'!
And yes, the actions of the judges, mayors, etc. are heavy-handed and seem to be sticking the middle finger to democracy (though I disagree with that interpretation), but let's remember that this nation was founded by a bunch of rebels, and throughout our many young years that rebellious nature has always been there. In fact, it is this very nature that has caused our nation to get to where it is today.
Of course, whether that is a good thing or a bad thing depends on your perspective. Just realize that that is exactly what it is, your perspective.
Jason Menard
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It would seem to me that allowing the definition of marriage to include same-sex partners must necessarily broaden the definition of marriage to include other types of partnerships. If marriage is to be made into some inalienable right then we can't really be all that limiting with it can we? Why not allow marriage between two people who are related, such as cousins or siblings? Why not a man and more than one woman - polygamy? Is there something exceptional about same-sex marriages compared to the above examples? I'm not trolling, I'm just trying to look at it from a different point-of-view. Can't the exact same arguments used to justify the recognition of same sex marriages apply to the above examples?
jason adam
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You're exactly right Jason, which is why I think that marriage should be strictly left to religions and have no impact upon social, political or work life. If a religion deems that a woman can have multiple husbands because that is what their god(s) or goddess(es) deem, then fine by me. Neither her nor her husbands should receive any special status or benefits over anyone else because of their arrangement. Nor should they have any sort of stigma or be hindered in status or benefits, either.
But since that is not the case, isn't it "fair" that if you are giving rights to one group, that all groups get those rights? If you don't, then it's discrimination. Now if you want to discriminate, then fine, discriminate away. Just label it as such and not hide behind some sense of social morality. If you say you don't discriminate against gays, you just don't think they should marry, you're being hypocritical.
So let's just all be good boys and girls and agree to be disobedient in the most civil manner possible, ok?
[ March 09, 2004: Message edited by: jason adam ]
Terimaki Tojay
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I think the whole problem has arisen because marriage is a religious concept but is governed by law and has blessing of the law (spouse abuse, alimony, tax benefits etc.) While these laws should be there, I think these laws should be for something like "legal parterners" or "legal companions" and not for "married" people. Let the religion decide what a marriage is and let the law decide whether you are "legal partner" or not.
Thus, gays can still get "legal companion" status (which some states already do) with the same benefits(something that no state does) as regular "legal companions" (married) people.
I believe this will solve all the problems that people have with gay marriage, polygamy, polyandy etc.
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by jason adam:
If you say you don't discriminate against gays, you just don't think they should marry, you're being hypocritical.

Not at all. As I see it, the public purpose of marriage is to bring together men and women with the purpose of reproducing and raising to maturity the children they produce. It is in the best interest of society to reproduce and have children raised in the most stable manner possible, and therefore marriage is fostered as a public institution. To exclude childless couples (rather from choice or infertility) from the institution of marriage would require an invasion of privacy greater than the government is prepared to take, or would require the drawing of inexact or arbitrary lines (a couple must reproduce by the time they are a certain age or have the marriage disolved would be one example). I would agree that public interest in childless marriages is not as great as the public interest in marriages that produce children.
So given that the public purpose of marriage is to continue the society through producing new taxpayers and having enough people to take care of the old taxpayers, how should this be extended to marriages where children may not be produced, such as same sex marriages or incest?
That's the public reason. However our nation is one that is founded on the Christian faith so it's impossible not to acknowledge the religious purpose of marriage and the influence it may have on public policy. Basically the purpose of marriage as far as the Church is concerned is pretty much the same as the public purpose, although the motivations are slightly different. The purpose of marriage in the eyes of the Church is to reproduce and nurture offspring. Whereas the society is generally only concerned with its own growth and existance, here we are talking about the growth and continued existance of the species.
jason adam
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Originally posted by Jason Menard:

Not at all. As I see it, the public purpose of marriage is to bring together men and women with the purpose of reproducing and raising to maturity the children they produce. It is in the best interest of society to reproduce and have children raised in the most stable manner possible, and therefore marriage is fostered as a public institution.
That term "stable" is a very subjective word. I don't know many "traditional" families that I would call stable by any means. That's my version of stable, of course.
Hate to break it to the family values fundamentalists, but the problems with the youth of today aren't caused by the overwhelming number of gay couples running rampant and spreading chaos, it's because of *gasp* bad parenting by all the "traditional" families that are out there having kids.
To exclude childless couples (rather from choice or infertility) from the institution of marriage would require an invasion of privacy greater than the government is prepared to take, or would require the drawing of inexact or arbitrary lines (a couple must reproduce by the time they are a certain age or have the marriage disolved would be one example). I would agree that public interest in childless marriages is not as great as the public interest in marriages that produce children.
So given that the public purpose of marriage is to continue the society through producing new taxpayers and having enough people to take care of the old taxpayers, how should this be extended to marriages where children may not be produced, such as same sex marriages or incest?
Seems to me like the government is more than willing to invade into people's privacy by recommending a change to our constitution at the highest level. And what, a lesbian couple can't have a child through IVF? A gay male couple can't adopt a child from the many that heterosexuals have to give up for whatever reason there may be? The whole "homosexual couples can't have children" is based on A) ignorance and B) belief that homosexual couples will raise children that turn out to be homosexuals (see A).
Again, I'd like to see where it is proven that these families can't be as stable or as nurturing as the "traditional" family? I used to be a teacher, and during my relatively short 3 years as such I had 3 different students that came from homes with a homosexual partnership (2 lesbians, and 1 gay male couple). All three were more "stable" than many of the students that came from homes with a mother and a father (which were few and far between... how's that for stable).
I grew up with only a father, no mother. And while I may be a bit off the wall at times, I've got a masters degree, a good job, I don't lie, steal or cheat, I drive friendly and say howdy to strangers because it's the nice thing to do. I open doors for anyone, I say thank you, and I tip more than 10%. Didn't grow up in a traditional household by any means, yet I turned out ok.
Seems to me like some people are just REALLY scared of change.
That's the public reason. However our nation is one that is founded on the Christian faith so it's impossible not to acknowledge the religious purpose of marriage and the influence it may have on public policy. Basically the purpose of marriage as far as the Church is concerned is pretty much the same as the public purpose, although the motivations are slightly different. The purpose of marriage in the eyes of the Church is to reproduce and nurture offspring. Whereas the society is generally only concerned with its own growth and existance, here we are talking about the growth and continued existance of the species.
You're right, the two are intertwined, and therefore since some Christians believe that birth control is acceptable, then the government should have the right to force certain religious institutions to offer birth control as an option, despite if that specific branch is firmly against it. Since society should not only be concerned with propogating the species, it should also be concerned with overpopulation, this would be the most logical thing to do, right? Seems to me like if you want to regulate one thing for religious/social reasons, you should be willing to agree to regulate all things. Again, if you don't, it's called being hypocritical. That's fine if you are, just as long as you acknowledge that fact.
Mapraputa Is
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JA: Yes, California law states that marriage is between a man and a woman
Apparently Oregon law doesn't.
Recently Multnomah County started granting marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.
Oregon law defines marriage as "a civil contract entered into in person by males at least 17 years of age and females at least 17 years of age, who are otherwise capable, and solemnized in accordance with ORS 106.150." However, ORS 106.150 states, "In the solemnization of a marriage no particular form is required except that ... they take each other to be husband and wife."
http://www.dailyemerald.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2004/03/09/404df3b026fac


To put things in context,
In 2000, Oregon voters defeated a measure that would have barred schools from promoting homosexuality. Two other failed measures, which appeared on ballots in 1992 and 1996, said homosexuality is wrong and the government can't promote it.
http://www.theolympian.com/home/news/20040303/topstories/6635.shtml


Uncontrolled vocabularies
"I try my best to make *all* my posts nice, even when I feel upset" -- Philippe Maquet
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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But since that is not the case, isn't it "fair" that if you are giving rights to one group, that all groups get those rights?
Everyone has exactly the same right. A straight man cannot marry another man. If the law said that a gay man can't marry a woman but a straight man can then that would be unfair.
jason adam
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I think in the Oregon case, with the wording as open-ended as it is, those homosexuals getting married are legally doing so. So one person arbitrarily decides to be the husband, the other wife, and presto! you have a marriage. Of course you then get into the formal definition of "husband" and "wife", then things start to get all mucky again! Damn you semantics *shakes a fist at the linguistics of it all*
People that want to pass laws saying that homosexuality is wrong are funny. I find it pretty egotistical that someone would think they really know what God intends. I don't know many gay people that chose to be gay, or can choose to be straight. Who in their right mind would choose to be part of a group that is discriminated against, not just by society, but their own family? It's who they are, and if they weren't meant to be that way that means God made a mistake in making them, and then the whole concept of God making a mistake just blows things out of the water.
And the anti-sodomy laws are a riot. Who here has watched straight porn lately?
Of course, homosexuality may in fact be "wrong", who knows. But I sure don't want to be the person thinking that I am so righteous that I can pass that judgement. And I'll avoid getting into the whole philosophical discussion on the fundamental relativeness of right and wrong
[ March 09, 2004: Message edited by: jason adam ]
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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That's the argument that really boggles my mind. I just don't see the threat (unless Sever Oon is correct and anarchy will reign!). How would heterosexual marriage be undermined?
Take a look at the Scandinavian countries where they have had a form of gay marriage for years. More than half of all children in those countries are born out of wedlock. Whether there is a direct relationship or not is a question I don't have the answer to be clearly marriage is under seige.
jason adam
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
But since that is not the case, isn't it "fair" that if you are giving rights to one group, that all groups get those rights?
Everyone has exactly the same right. A straight man cannot marry another man. If the law said that a gay man can't marry a woman but a straight man can then that would be unfair.


Oooooh, good point Mr. Paul (don't you love two first names?)!
Jason Menard
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JM: Not at all. As I see it, the public purpose of marriage is to bring together men and women with the purpose of reproducing and raising to maturity the children they produce. It is in the best interest of society to reproduce and have children raised in the most stable manner possible, and therefore marriage is fostered as a public institution.[/qb]
JA: That term "stable" is a very subjective word. I don't know many "traditional" families that I would call stable by any means. That's my version of stable, of course.

Regardless of our particular definitions of the word stable, the idea was that the generally most desirable state for a child's nurturing is in the direct care of the mother and father of the child. While we can all readily point to cases where this isn't the case, I don't think we'll get much argument that it takes a man and a woman to produce a child, and that ideally the child is reared by both of their parents. The public institute of marriage helps facilitate this.
JA: Hate to break it to the family values fundamentalists, but the problems with the youth of today aren't caused by the overwhelming number of gay couples running rampant and spreading chaos, it's because of *gasp* bad parenting by all the "traditional" families that are out there having kids.
Bad parenting is a separate issue. I would personally argue that a large part of the problem that is perceived with kids today isn't bad parenting, but rather lack of parenting, absent parents, and the breakdown of the traditional family unit. I don't think people are blaming gay people for bad kids. There is no reason to believe that a gay parent is any better or worse a parent than a straight parent.
JA: Seems to me like the government is more than willing to invade into people's privacy by recommending a change to our constitution at the highest level.
I believe the small movement afoot to amend the Constitution is a direct result of activist judges effectively making their own law. The citizens feel they need a recourse to counteract such judges, and this is one of them.
JA: And what, a lesbian couple can't have a child through IVF? A gay male couple can't adopt a child from the many that heterosexuals have to give up for whatever reason there may be?
No, a lesbian couple cannot have a child. A lesbian woman can however, in the same way that any other women can, including single straight women. Single straight women with children do not get marriage benefits, nor do single straight men with children, regardless of their living situation.
JA: The whole "homosexual couples can't have children" is based on A) ignorance and B) belief that homosexual couples will raise children that turn out to be homosexuals (see A).
I think you're injecting something into the argument that isn't there. Nobody here has said or implied anything like that. I'm certain there are those people who hold such beliefs, but that hasn't been made part of this argument. As I said before, I don't think a parent's sexual orientation has much bearing on their ability to parent.
But where society is concerned, we are not talking about simply parenting. Remember the whole purpose is to reproduce as well as nurture. I'm sorry, but it takes two people of the opposite sex for this part. On top of that, society has determined that the generally the preferable environment for the child is with the child's parents. Marriage facilitates this societal desire, and really exists for no other purpose.
JA: Again, I'd like to see where it is proven that these families can't be as stable or as nurturing as the "traditional" family? I used to be a teacher, and during my relatively short 3 years as such I had 3 different students that came from homes with a homosexual partnership (2 lesbians, and 1 gay male couple). All three were more "stable" than many of the students that came from homes with a mother [b]and a father (which were few and far between... how's that for stable).[/b]
I don't dispute this in the least.
I grew up with only a father, no mother. And while I may be a bit off the wall at times, I've got a masters degree, a good job, I don't lie, steal or cheat, I drive friendly and say howdy to strangers because it's the nice thing to do. I open doors for anyone, I say thank you, and I tip more than 10%. Didn't grow up in a traditional household by any means, yet I turned out ok.
The point isn't what you or I think, but what society thinks. Society is of the mindset that the best environment for a child is with his or her natural parents. It's as simple as that. Now that doesn't mean that's always the case by any means, rather it only explains why the law is what it is.
JA: Seems to me like some people are just REALLY scared of change.
That's one interpretation. Another is that some people continue to believe that the state should encourage children to be raised by their natural parents. The state's means of encouraging this is the public institution of marriage.
JA: You're right, the two are intertwined, and therefore since some Christians believe that birth control is acceptable, then the government should have the right to force certain religious institutions to offer birth control as an option, despite if that specific branch is firmly against it.
I believe you are talking about what health benefits will be covered by employers who are religiously affiliated. This has been in the news lately. And I agree, all employers should cover such things, regardless of the employer's personal tenets. Labor law has to apply to all employers.
Since society should not only be concerned with propogating the species, it should also be concerned with overpopulation, this would be the most logical thing to do, right?
Overpopulation is not even remotely a problem in this country, so there's no reason to be concerned. What other societies choose to do is outside the scope of this discussion.
JA: Seems to me like if you want to regulate one thing for religious/social reasons, you should be willing to agree to regulate all things. Again, if you don't, it's called being hypocritical. That's fine if you are, just as long as you acknowledge that fact.
I do not believe in regulating anything for religious reasons. Society however has the right to collectively decide what it feels is in its best interest.
As for where I personally stand, I'm not really sure. I understand the reason for the public institution of marriage and don't disagree with it. On the other hand, I am very good friends with a girl who is in a committed lesbian relationship. Her and her partner are great friends and I wish nothing but happiness for them. I trust her with my life and come New Years we'll all be sharing a hotel room in Vegas. But my personal feelings for them hasn't yet overcome my belief that kids should be raised by their natural parents, and that the public institution of marriage encourages this. I believe that parents who raise their children living together deserve certain perks from society to encourage this. I'm not able to take advantage of these benefits for myself, although I know what I need to do if that becomes important to me. But as I said, I have not decided for myself yet exactly where I stand on this issue.
Now I have heard of something called a "civil union", which has been proposed as something similar to marriage, but I'm not sure how this would legally be different from marriage. Does anyone have any info on this?
[ March 09, 2004: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
Mike Firkser
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Is same-sex marriage and gay-marriage the same thing? Can two straight men get married? Should marriage be restricted just to those who want a sexual relationship?
For instance, if somebody is out of work, they can marry somebody of the same sex, and they now have medical benefits!!! When they get a job with benefits, they can get a divorce.
Why should marriage be restricted to two people. If a married couple has a friend lose their job, well, see previous example.
And if no sex is involved, why not brothers marrying brothers or sisters or their parents? The possibilities are endless!!!
jason adam
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Too much stuff to do the reply function, so I'll just nix that idea.
First, let me make sure that people know the "you" I often use is the plural form, never directed toward any one individual.
Excellent points Jason, as usual. I definitely agree that the amendment is a direct reaction to recent events. Causality at its finest. This is along the lines to the backlash I mentioned way up there.
I've just always had an issue with the definition of what a parent is, and the blind belief that just because you can have a child means that you can be a parent. Those couples that I mentioned earlier when I was teaching were the ideal parents, in my opinion. Both took active roles in their child's education, both attending parent-teacher conferences, PTA meetings, etc. One of the dads even spoke at our school's "Dads' Breakfast" on how to be more a dad. Surprisingly we had quite a turn out, and it weny very nicely. Didn't see many parents that had such involvement.
And I don't believe that the absence of parents, or one type of parent, is causing the breakdown of society. Laziness, greed, disregard for others, etc. are more prevalent issues. A general lack of the "Be Nice" rule. Parents who aren't nice are going to teach their children not to be nice, no matter if it is a mother-father, father-father, or mother-mother. Hey, maybe Paul should run for President!!
My slight loss of self-control there in talking about the homosexual couples and child raising was from arguments from people that fear having a child raised in a "gay household". Those fears are usually along the lines of child molestation, or brain washing the kids into being gay, or that because the child is being raised by gay parents the child is going to want to be gay. Then we'd get a huge explosion of gay people wandering around and well there goes society. Completely unfounded and illogical arguments, but ones that I've beared witness to. I was not meaning to equate you with them at all, I was mainly unloading the brain. It came to mind, so I typed it. The bell rang, I salivated.
While we may have more than enough land for everyone in this country to live on, do we have enough jobs to support all those people? Is the economy doing well enough that all those people can live safely and in healthy environments? Many people would say no. Overpopulation isn't limited strictly to consumption of natural resources, some would argue it is related to quality of living, also. Go forth and populate the earth may sound grand, but if those people are living in poor conditions, the prospect becomes less attractive. But that's a totally different discussion
From what I've heard/read of the civil union distinction, some of the gay-marriage movement have stated that, in their eyes, they would still feel like second-class citizens. It doesn't hold the same prestige (and I use that term loosely) in society that marriage does, despite giving basically all the same benefits. At that point, it's purely a status issue, and I begin to question the motives. In my opinion, if you truly love someone it shouldn't matter what label, if any, you put on your union. If you and your spouse are treated the same as other couples, who cares what society calls it? It honestly shouldn't matter that much to you.
Personally, I don't like the concept of marriage from the start (duh). I don't think I need any institution telling me that my love for someone is now officially recognized. But since humans are... well, human... we love the whole ceremony and affirmation thing, and we like to distinguish ourselves from others of the animal kingdom, so we have marriage. I find it odd that society believes for two people to adequately raise their offspring that they need to be married before that can happen.
But then, I am wearing a shirt with a tentacled, extra-dimensional demon waving the American flag on it, so my notion of "odd" may be slightly skewed
jason adam
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Originally posted by Mike Rutgers:
Is same-sex marriage and gay-marriage the same thing? Can two straight men get married? Should marriage be restricted just to those who want a sexual relationship?
For instance, if somebody is out of work, they can marry somebody of the same sex, and they now have medical benefits!!! When they get a job with benefits, they can get a divorce.
Why should marriage be restricted to two people. If a married couple has a friend lose their job, well, see previous example.
And if no sex is involved, why not brothers marrying brothers or sisters or their parents? The possibilities are endless!!!


Well at least you didn't throw barn yard animals into the equation, because then I'd have to smack you silly
Ernest Friedman-Hill
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  34

Originally posted by Thomas Paul:

Everyone has exactly the same right. A straight man cannot marry another man. If the law said that a gay man can't marry a woman but a straight man can then that would be unfair.

So a straight man or a gay man can marry a woman, but a gay woman cannot. That's gender-based discrimination. Women are denied a right that all men have. Last time I checked, that sort of discrimination is against the law.


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jason adam
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Ooooooh, better point Sir Hill!
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I'm for registrations of Co-Dependence. Any people are free to register. It carries with it rights, and responsibilities. People would be free to call it what they want, so a Marriage, a Partnership or whatever. A religion would be free to impose whatever type of restrictions they want on registrations that are performed by them. The law would not recognise any particular type of registration as different from any of the others.


Kim Jong II (North Korea's Dear Leader) said:Nuclear weapons don't kill people, people kill people.
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Ernest Friedman-Hill:
So a straight man or a gay man can marry a woman, but a gay woman cannot. That's gender-based discrimination

No, it's not. Both men and women are able to obtain marriage licenses. However licenses will generally only be issued if the spouse is of the opposite sex. There is no gender discrimination since the civil institution of marriage is (by definition) available to both sexes. The law in many places however defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman, therefore if that condition (and others of course) are not met, then no marriage license will be issued. Nowhere is there a gender-based discrimination.
Joe Pluta
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I'll admit I have't followed this too closely. Can someone please tell me what the purpose of same-sex marriage is? I'm not being flippant, I'm just wondering what the real, legal benefits are to the couple.
I know couples who for ages have "lived in sin" purposelly AVOIDING all the wrappings of "traditional marriage". These folks think I'm a little nutty for actually embracing wedlock, based on things like the marriage tax on income. They find it absolutely hilarious that gay couples are fighting so hard to be "legally" married.
So what are the legal ramifications of a gay marriage? Is this about wanting to file joint tax returns? Survivor benefits? Somebody please iterate the exact goals of the same-sex marriage movement. If you're asking for an amendment, you want some sort of legal benefits. What are they?
Joe
jason adam
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The main reasons I've heard are spousal benefits extended at places of employment, visitation rights at hospitals (though I know of no hospital that would honestly deny a same-sex partner from visiting their partner if they were sick or wounded, but that's my experience), survivor benefits as mentioned, and of course the status of being able to say they are legitimately married.
All of these benefits I believe are available by other legal means than "officially" being married, but since I've never really been in the position to seek them out, I can't say for sure. Being able to be married would make them easier to obtain possibly(?). I think the biggest factor for many of the people is the ability to say they are married, which is I think is just silly, but that's my view point.
Tim Baker
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Why is it silly?
When you say your are married to someone it says a lot about your relationship, if you can only say you live together or are partners, it doesn't imply the same permanence.
One of the main benefits here in the UK is exemption from inheritence tax, and this is a BIG thing. You canNOT get this by other legal means. Basically if you have a partner but your not married and you die, if you owned the house the partner will have to sell it to pay the inheritence tax.
The other big thing is the rights of the partner to make medical decisions when the patient is not able to. This can be granted legally through other means, but it's so much easier when two people are married. A spouse would not have to present paperwork to the hopsital at the time, let alone go through the process to set it up.
Joe Pluta
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One of the main benefits here in the UK is exemption from inheritence tax, and this is a BIG thing.
Alright, let's take just this one thing.
We have traditionally held that when a man and woman marry, they are now granted a benefit of being able to inherit from one another upon death. Gay couples want that right as well. Why should a gay couple be granted that right and not, say, two unmarried sisters who have decided to live out their lives together? Or, as Jason has brought up, how about a polygamous family unit of several men and women who wish to co-survive each other?
The question to me is not one of raising gay couples to the status of married couples, but instead of raising gay relationships above other social relationships.
What is the specific criteria that makes a union qualify for "marriage" status? The fact that there are only two people, and that they are not closely related? That's seems discriminatory against any other social grouping.
Or what about other two-person relationships? Since gay marriages are not about childbearing, it seems particularly discriminatory against couples that are more closely related than society aloows to marry. For example, cousins are typically discouraged from marriage because of genetic issues. If childbearing is no longer in the picture, then shouldn't cousins be allowed to "marry" if they're truly in love?
Or even brother and sister? Cringe if you must, but remember that some people cringe at the thought of two men or two women marrying. Now that we've thrown out tradition as a measuring stick, we must review all our old thought processes.
If we're willing to remove one societal taboo in the name of equality, shouldn't we be willing to remove related ones?
I'm just thinking out loud here...
Joe
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TB: Why is it silly? When you say your are married to someone it says a lot about your relationship, if you can only say you live together or are partners, it doesn't imply the same permanence.
What are you saying, -- that the purpose of marriage is to communicate clearly the nature of your relationship with your partner to the outside world? That is, indeed, silly, as much as proposing in a public place, and playing it publicly. Every time I see it, I doubt the fellow's intentions, -- why not express their feelings in private? Why do I have to know that he loves her, when I am working on my steak in a restaurant?
jason adam
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Ok, saying it is silly probably seems like I'm demeaning these couples reasons for doing what they are doing, so I apologize for that statement, was not anywhere near my intent. What I meant to say was:
Personally, meaning for myself, my belief, the way I would do things, etc. I find it silly for me. I don't care one way or the other what someone or society in general thinks of myself or any partnership I get into. It's for me and my partner, and that's it. Again, my viewpoint for myself. But like I've pointed out, I can be a bit odd at times
I don't think that just because I and my partner (hypothetical partner I should say ) aren't married that that means we can't be in just as much a committed relationship as some couple that is married. I try as hard as I possibly can NOT to buy into social stereotypes, whatever they may be. Not always successful, but it's a goal I strive for. For me, the term marriage doesn't imply "permanence" whatsoever, quite the opposite. Purely based on my experiences. Does it mean I think we should do away with marriage all together? Not at all. But I don't need it to prove anything or to feel validated.
If that is what these couples need to feel like their relationship is "real", more power to them. It would be nice if the way society viewed you didn't mean so much, but that's not reality.
Just like even though personally I don't belong to any one religion, I don't think it silly that the majority of my friends do subscribe to a particular belief; Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Paganism, whatever. It gives them reason for being, direction, etc. Good for them! Just haven't found one that works for me personally.
So again, sorry to any that felt offense for me saying it was "silly".
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Ernest Friedman-Hill:
That's gender-based discrimination. Women are denied a right that all men have. Last time I checked, that sort of discrimination is against the law.

Wrong. Gender based discrimination is legal. Don't believe me? Try to use the women's room next time you have to go.
Another example... the NYC fire department has two different tests that they use for applicants based on the sex of the applicant. The test for women is markedly easier than the men's test.
Since the ERA was never passed, the laws of the land can discriminate based on gender if our law makers choose to do so.
Joe Pluta
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Why do I have to know that he loves her, when I am working on my steak in a restaurant?
Hey, Eugene, I proposed to my wife on bended knee in the poshest steakhouse in the area and I didn't care who watched or didn't watch. It wasn't about anyone else, it was about me and my wife-to-be .
Joe
Richard Hawkes
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Originally posted by Eugene Kononov:
What are you saying, -- that the purpose of marriage is to communicate clearly the nature of your relationship with your partner to the outside world? That is, indeed, silly
Its not the only purpose, but alot of people are proud of the fact that they're married or have a "life partner". However, saying you have a "life partner" or are in a "union" is bound to raise eyebrows. If you say you're married (straight or gay) people will just think "great, this guy/woman's married" without trying to read between the lines. Some people just don't like the extra attention.
I think its about acceptance by society and not feeling that you're a special case because you happen to be gay. For God-fearing homosexual couples out there, being accepted as married may be very important to them. It validates their relationship i the same way it does for straight couples. Of course this only applies if you believe its important your partnership should be blessed, and plenty of people don't.
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Joe: Hey, Eugene, I proposed to my wife on bended knee in the poshest steakhouse in the area and I didn't care who watched or didn't watch.
Ok, so what's your take on Leviticus 20:13, to get back on topic?
Richard: Its not the only purpose, but alot of people are proud of the fact that they're married or have a "life partner".
I don't understand this, -- "proud to be married"? I can see how one can be proud of his/her wife/husband/partner, -- yes, but "proud to be married", what's that?
Richard Hawkes
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Originally posted by Eugene Kononov:
I don't understand this, -- "proud to be married"? I can see how one can be proud of his/her wife/husband/partner, -- yes, but "proud to be married", what's that?
Well, I'm not married, but I know some people are very pleased with themselves for being in a successful marriage. If I was going to get married to the girl of my dreams, I'd be pretty proud too and would be telling any idiot that listened
Joe Pluta
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Ok, so what's your take on Leviticus 20:13, to get back on topic?
I don't get my ethics from a book, even The Book.
Joe
John Smith
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Joe: I don't get my ethics from a book, even The Book.
Hey Joe, have you read "The Da Vinci Code" yet? I would love to engage in a 100+ post discussion with you and to gracefully terminate it on a Nazi argument.
 
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subject: Civil Disobedience and Same-Sex Marriage