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Subject: The damage caused by same-sex marriage rss

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Chad Ellis
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In several threads I've asked anyone who opposes same-sex marriage to explain exactly how it harms the marriage of anyone else. This seems like a pretty obvious discussion point, because it would be the obvious core of an argument for a compelling state interest.

From another thread:

Me, speaking to Wrayman wrote:
There is nothing more important to me than my wife and daughters, and my marriage is central not merely to how I live but to who I am. That said, I simply cannot see any threat coming to my marriage from the lesbians down the street also having a legal marriage.

It does not affect my vows.
It does not affect my fidelity.
It does not affect my commitment.
It does not cause my toast to come out of the toaster too dry.

I find this truly maddening...you and others speak of "threats" to marriage, but what is the threat? What happened to your or any one else's marriage that made it weaker, more likely to fall apart, less intimate because any other couple has a civil marriage license?

My friends down the road are raising two children. They are married, which means their children are growing up in a home of married parents (which I think is in their interests). It means that they feel a full sense of citizenship in their state that they did not feel before marriage was allowed. (They were already living together before same-sex marriage became legal.) In other words, their family clearly benefits and as far as I can tell, no one else's family is harmed.


So I thought, why not go to the top? The "Yes on 8" website has a "Myths and Facts" section that addresses the issue head on.

ProtectMarriage.com wrote:
MYTH: Allowing gay couples to legally marry does not affect
anyone else.


FACT: The narrow decision of the State Supreme Court effectively renders all civil marriage
meaningless and will result in tremendous confusion for children. The state Education Code
(§51890) requires that teachers instruct children as young as kindergartners about marriage. If
the gay marriage ruling becomes permanent, teachers will have little choice but to teach young
children there is no difference between gay marriage and traditional marriage.

We should not accept a court decision that results in public school teachers teaching our kids
that gay marriage is acceptable. That is an issue for parents to discuss with their children
according to their own values and beliefs. It should not be forced on us against our will.


OK, so there are two areas of harm:

1. Allowing same-sex marriage would render all civil marriage meaningless.
2. When kindergartners are learning about families, schools will teach them about gay marriage.

Really? This is the compelling state interest?

On 1, they can't even say how civil marriage becomes meaningless. From all I can see, it simply doesn't. I'm still married and so are tons of other people here in MA. No one seems confused when I mention my wife ("what's a wife?"), I haven't found monogamy any more difficult than before, and my joint tax return didn't get sent back to me. I know I'm being flip here, but I hope those opposed to same-sex marriage (or who see it as an erosion of 'traditional' marriage) can understand my frustration.

It's a huge threat.
Why? What will it do?
It makes civil marriage meaningless.
Really? How?
Did I mention kindergarten? Think of the children!

OK, so on to 2. Really? Tremendous confusion? It's not like kindergartens spend a month indoctrinating kids. Even assuming that class materials are updated to show some families with same-sex parents, is this really going to damage any children? My oldest daughter is only four years old and already I've had to explain at least a half dozen things to her along the lines of, "Some people believe such-and-such. Your mother and I don't agree with them." She's managed to withstand the tremendous confusion so far.
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Think of the children.

Same-sex couple teaching their adopted kids to respect everyone and their differences = the decline of Western civilization

Hetero couple teaching their kids that niggers and queers deserve whatever untimely death comes their way = not that bad
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Matt Thrower
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Chad Ellis wrote:
The damage caused by same-sex marriage


Probably quite a number of anal tears.

(gets coat)
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Jeff
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Those are some pretty weak arguments, but I think they might be better than the "it's different from what we've got, and therefore threatening" arguments that get tossed around here.

There are very few mainstream issues where one side doesn't have an argument that makes any sense. This is one of them. I stopped participating in gay marriage threads because nobody was able to tell me how gay marriage (as opposed to man-animal marriage) harms our society in any meaningful way.
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The damage is that it changes the official and common definition of marriage, and that definition is too radically different from some religious definition of "one man, one woman". That's how I'll interpret the quotation from the Yes on Prop 8.

You already know my take on the subject. Don't flame the messenger.
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That's a beautifully circular argument.

Gay marriage is wrong BECAUSE

if is allowed then teachers will have to tell children that gay marriage is permitted AND

children knowing that is unacceptable BECAUSE

gay marriage is wrong.
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Latria wrote:
that definition is too radically different from some religious definition of "one man, one woman


But the legal definition of marriage is NOT any religion's definition of marriage, right? It can't be or else it would be unconstitutional, right?


That first point in that myth or fact quote is practically a tautology, isn't it? Gay marriage is bad because it is bad for marriage. It's bad because it is bad. Okay, but, uh, why. Where are the reasons and facts?
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Chad Ellis
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Latria wrote:
The damage is that it changes the official and common definition of marriage, and that definition is too radically different from some religious definition of "one man, one woman". That's how I'll interpret the quotation from the Yes on Prop 8.

You already know my take on the subject. Don't flame the messenger.


I hope this won't be taken as a flame, but what does that really mean and how does it rise to the level of a compelling state interest?

OK, let's assume for a moment that I think the word "marriage" means man-woman. Now the state says that it will apply the term to man-man and woman-woman. How does that change my marriage to my wife? How does it even change the meaning of the word as it applies to me and my wife?

Let me try an analogy: siblings. I suspect that most of us would agree with a definition like, "Two or more people who share at least one common parent, either genetically or through adoption."

Now, suppose that "or through adoption" had not been part of the traditional definition. That would be a pretty big change -- going from blood to law. Would it change my relationship with my brother? Would it even change the meaning of the term when I said, "He's my brother?" At most it might leave ambiguous whether we were blood relatives, but that doesn't even apply in the case of marriage since "My wife" already clarifies that I'm in an opposite-sex marriage.
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louiseh wrote:
That's a beautifully circular argument.

Gay marriage is wrong BECAUSE

if is allowed then teachers will have to tell children that gay marriage is permitted AND

children knowing that is unacceptable BECAUSE

gay marriage is wrong.

This is nonsense. The argument is not on whether gay marriage is wrong, but whether "nobody is affected".

Like it or not, some religious people are affected. The disagreement here is only whether it matters or not.
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Aaah, it's a Religion-thing. So now I can complain about all the things I don't like about other religions and it all just goes away? Because it's not my religion? Nice!
 
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Jeff
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Latria wrote:
Like it or not, some religious people are affected. The disagreement here is only whether it matters or not.


The question isn't whether peoples' delicate sensibilities are offended. It's whether that is a worthwhile basis for legislation.

I would submit that it is not.

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Chad_Ellis wrote:
[
I hope this won't be taken as a flame, but what does that really mean and how does it rise to the level of a compelling state interest?

OK, let's assume for a moment that I think the word "marriage" means man-woman. Now the state says that it will apply the term to man-man and woman-woman. How does that change my marriage to my wife? How does it even change the meaning of the word as it applies to me and my wife?

It doesn't rise to the level of compelling state interest for me. Your guess is as good as mine in that one.

On the matter of definitions, you are only thinking functionally. But for some people, it makes moral education an even more uphill task now. If the definition you want to propagate is different from the official definition, you have a much harder time, no?

If the state decides to include Ameritrash as part of the definition of Eurogames, I can imagine a large part of this community going crazy.
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ExcitingJeff wrote:
Latria wrote:
Like it or not, some religious people are affected. The disagreement here is only whether it matters or not.


The question isn't whether peoples' delicate sensibilities are offended. It's whether that is a worthwhile basis for legislation.

I would submit that it is not.


While I agree with you that it is not, you don't get to decide the question. The question is decided in the OP.

Religious people are offended and hence "damaged", but we decide it is insignificant compared to equal rights, so fu-k them. I can accept this, why can't you?
 
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Latria wrote:
If the state decides to include Ameritrash as part of the definition of Eurogames, I can imagine a large part of this community going crazy.


You mean like if Ameritrash games were defined as "games with the right to vote" and Eurogames were defined as "games wihtout the right to vote," and the state came along and said no both need to have the same definition? Because that's what we're talking about here-- definitions of groups' legal rights, not their definition in a dictionary.
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Chad Ellis
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Latria wrote:
Religious people are offended and hence "damaged", but we decide it is insignificant compared to equal rights, so fu-k them. I can accept this, why can't you?


I for one can accept it. I'm curious, though, why you felt the need to delete the 'n' in funk. Clearly, people opposed to gay marriage need more funk in their lives, so we should spell it proudly.
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At this point I feel it's well worth it to take a look at the original CA Supreme Court opinion opening up marriage rights to same-sex couples.
I highly recommend reading the whole thing.

Note a few things:

1) They'll likely strike down Prop 8 when the inevitable lawsuit gets to them. There's explicit language in the opinion:

In re MARRIAGE CASES wrote:
As discussed below, upon review of the numerous California decisions that have examined the underlying bases and significance of the constitutional right to marry (and that illuminate why this right has been recognized as one of the basic, inalienable civil rights guaranteed to an individual by the California Constitution), we conclude that, under this state’s Constitution, the constitutionally based right to marry properly must be understood to encompass the core set of basic substantive legal rights and attributes traditionally associated with marriage that are so integral to an individual’s liberty and personal autonomy that they may not be eliminated or abrogated by the Legislature or by the electorate through the statutory initiative process.

Bold mine.

2) They base their opinion on a very specific basis: whether same-sex marriage rights are necessarily in conflict with the California state constitution.

3) Within this, they base their opinion on an old, classic equal protection theory: gay people are a "suspect class" for the same reason African-Americans and women are "suspect classes": when enacting laws that are designed to deny or withhold rights to entire classes of people, a "strict scrutiny" standard has to be applied. In legal terms, that's a high hurdle: as others have said, you have to have a compelling state interest. Note also the analogous legal cases they bring up in the California context: the CA Perez case, for example, doing away with restrictions on interracial marriage as Loving did nationally.

4) From elsewhere in the opinion: being gay has nothing to do with being able to participate in society and be afforded the same rights and responsibilities as everybody else has; chief among these, for the purposes of this case, being the ability to form your own family unit.
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Chad_Ellis wrote:
Latria wrote:
Religious people are offended and hence "damaged", but we decide it is insignificant compared to equal rights, so fu-k them. I can accept this, why can't you?


I for one can accept it. I'm curious, though, why you felt the need to delete the 'n' in funk. Clearly, people opposed to gay marriage need more funk in their lives, so we should spell it proudly.


It's because I'm aware there are classical music practitioners in this place. Despite their snooty attitude and holier than thou mindset, I respect their level of comfort not to use the f-word so liberally.
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Jeff
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Latria wrote:
Religious people are offended and hence "damaged", but we decide it is insignificant compared to equal rights, so fu-k them. I can accept this, why can't you?


Because I don't think offensiveness should have a role in a legal debate, and I don't concede that taking offense constitutes societal damage.

I'm offended by reality television. I'm offended by people telling me I will go to hell if I don't agree with them. I'm offended by lies. I'm offended by a lot of things, but I'm not "damaged" by them. And even if I am, that's on me, not on the society I live in.
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Now I'm really confused.

Having pretty much stayed away from the whole gay marriage thing... mainly because I'm not gay nor do I much care what gays or hetereos think one way or the other about this mess... it dawned on me - this kinda does affect us all because laws are being passed.

So here's my confusion - I thought gays wanted "legal" marriages so they couldn't be denied insurance or, where it's an advantage, tax breaks or inheritance.

What other possible reason could there be?

Some of you say the state needs to stay out of the whole thing. Well, since marriage, in the traditional sense, is already legally binding and sanctioned by various governments why shouldn't the state be involved in this? If they need to stay out of gay marriage then all marriages need to not be overseen or sanctioned by government.

Secondly, since marriage has a centuries old tradition of man/woman, if gays want marriage solely for insurance and tax benefits, why call it marriage? Why not lobby and politick for states insuring couples with contracts, not marriages, be guaranteed the same benefits. Why does it have to be a marriage? Unless it's an ideological issue for gays?

Okay then, if it's an ideological issue then I can 100% see traditionalists being opposed not only to state sanctioned gay marriage but laws that demand children in schools be instructed as to the normalacy of such things. Is it that gays want to "bust" tradition? Or do they want the economic benefits? One makes sense, the other is spiteful and threatening to those whose ideology is opposed.

Where is it proven that tradition is always bad? Who has the right to determine what societal norm must be changed and then force parents to allow their children instruction in that non-normal norm?

That's where I get confused as to what the issues really, truly are here. Either gay people want benefits or they want to force traditionalists to accept them by deconstructing a societal contract which is clearly not designed to include their particular tastes in sexual partners.

Isn't marriage essentially a union that formulates a bond and emotional setting for the safe and secure creation of children and the sheparding of them into adulthood? Or variations on that theme? I don't even really have an issue with two gay people adopting a child... except to say I think that is much more likely to fuck up a kid than two parents taking a child to church every Sunday.

Can someone explain to me what these people actually want?

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Christ DW, stop reading my mind. I was talking to my friend last night about JUST that same thing-

Why not just change the laws about civil union, making all of them have the same benefits as marriage (taxes, health care benefits, access to adoption)? Wouldn't that be easier?

Then, marriage would just be a something for people who want to get married in a church. But in terms of legal status, it would be the same thing.

IE- To riff on Gen Witt- why does it have to be the same name? The same rights, I can understand. But why the same name?

Personally, I think this has more to do with 'acceptance'. The activists (and here I'm talking about the 5-10% who are REALLY active politically about this issue, and not the vast majority of Gay men and women who just want to live their lives)- for the activists, this is about changing the 'culture' so that they can have their lifestyle not merely 'tolerated', but sanctioned as 'normal' in the overall culture. They want the 'symbol' of marriage opened up and changed so they can fit inside it.

I understand the issue of the same access to health care, taxes, adoption, and all of that. What I DON'T understand is why they feel the need to tell religious groups that they HAVE to change what is considered to be a sacrament by many religions. If Civil Union had all the same advantages, why would that NOT be a solution?

Meh. I take 15 minutes away from packing my bags for my convention trip amd RSP is STILL obsessed about this issue. I'm going to go now and sell some stuff. Try to move on to a more interesting topic by the time I get back.

Darilian
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TheLightSarcastic wrote:
Quote:

But I think you're right- this has more to do with 'acceptance'. I'm more and more convinced that for the activists (and here I'm talking about the 5-10% who are REALLY active politically about this issue, and not the vast majority of Gay men and women who just want to live their lives)- for the activists, this is about changing the 'culture' so that they can have their lifestyle not merely 'tolerated', but sanctioned as 'normal' in the overall culture.

Meh. I take 15 minutes away from packing my bags for my convention trip amd RSP is STILL obsessed about this issue. I'm going to go now and sell some stuff. Try to move on to a more interesting topic by the time I get back.

Darilian


What, a more interesting one than the topic you've been posting incessantly about for days or weeks now? Nice try, my little chickadee, but I call shenanigans.

Heaven forfend that homosexuals wish to be 'accepted' or 'normal.'


Check up on my history of posts, Doll. The past day or two ain't NOTHING compared to a good Philosophy of Science argument. Plus, its the Free Speech that gets my dander up.

So be a dear and lets try and answer the question- DW Tripp and I aren't from fancy schmancy states, we're easily confused and frightened by new words and ideas.

IF Civil Unions were the exact same as Marriage in the legal code (which they aren't, I realize, but lets say we can change that today), IF they were identical, only one meant you got hitched by a pastor and the other meant you got hitched by a Judge, wouldn't that be a sufficient reform?

Darilian
(who only popped in because his snark alert went off, but now I HAVE to go. Try not to say anything interesting while I'm gone, or I'll never get packed)
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Chad Ellis
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DWTripp wrote:
So here's my confusion - I thought gays wanted "legal" marriages so they couldn't be denied insurance or, where it's an advantage, tax breaks or inheritance.

What other possible reason could there be?


I didn't get married for insurance or tax or inheritance. When women walk about "their day," how many of them say, "And then, after that expensive and wasteful ceremony, I'll finally have those tangible legal benefits I've been after?"

Quote:
Either gay people want benefits or they want to force traditionalists to accept them by deconstructing a societal contract which is clearly not designed to include their particular tastes in sexual partners.

Do you think the plaintiffs in Loving v. Virginia only wanted the tangible legal benefits? (I doubt they thought they were going to be accepted by traditionalists who wanted the centuries of anti-miscegenation to be respected.
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Chad Ellis
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Darilian wrote:
IF Civil Unions were the exact same as Marriage in the legal code (which they aren't, I realize, but lets say we can change that today), IF they were identical, only one meant you got hitched by a pastor and the other meant you got hitched by a Judge, wouldn't that be a sufficient reform?


No. Separate but equal is inherently unequal.
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All this is out the window. Teachers already affirm single parent homes and gay families as valid options. They could not do otherwise even if they wanted to. They can't say they gays are married I suppose, but they certainly DO say family means lots of different things to different people.

So, like I have said numerous times before: This is all mute. Gays are already married weather you like it or not. You can only try to deny their union legal recognition. You certainly can't change it, nor can you shield your children from the reality... well, unless your willing to move somewhere they kill gays I suppose. Iran comes to mind. Are you desperate enough to keep gays down to toss your religion and move away? If not, your wasting your time.
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Quote:
True. The gay people might expose the kids to reality, or exercise!


That's ridiculous Gen. The reality is Gay unions are not normal, nor are gay relationships. It's a fraction of the total... what 5%? Maybe a little less or little more?

Are things so isolated in NY that you folks really think outsiders don't openly discuss and cover this sort of ground with their children? I think part of the objective here is that gay activists and their hetereo allies want access to the minds of the children whose parents teach them that gay sex is not acceptable. That's a distraction because the subject is changing the actual laws... not whether laws should reach into families and legalize teaching children "realities" that their own parents disagree with.

What does exercise have to do with anything?

Quote:
They want to be married. Same name, same rights. They wish to express their monogamous love in the same way heterosexuals do, with all of the emotional and legal to-do.


Gays can get the same rights without marriage if they'd redirect their energy towards civil union legislation. So what it comes down to is breeching the tradition of marriage and legally teaching children ideas that parents don't want them to have.

Look, I have no issue with kids learning that gays exist and that they aren't monsters or whatever the activists think kids are being taught. The reality is it's not much of an issue in the vast majority of homes and families. Making gay marriage legal won't do dick to make internal family stress go away if a child discovers they are liking the same sex more than the opposite one. People's attitiudes and prejudices won't change except gradually. And even then, maybe not ever.

Some families deal easily with having a gay son or daughter and it has absolutely nothing to do with religion. Others have issues with it. It's the family dynamic that makes it smooth or tumultuous, not the political ideology. I know plenty of people that think gay sex is wrong... and a surprising (or not so surprising) number of them are decidely NOT religious.

So, why not one step at a time? Get civil union legislation enacted that treats all people fairly when it comes to taxes, insurance, inheritance, etc. Then, as time passes and if the public is willing, open the next Pandora's Box.
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