NOM BLOG

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse on Why Being Pro-Marriage is Not Anti-Gay

 

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, President of the Ruth Institute, responds to the GLAAD's libel that to be pro-marriage makes one guilty of being anti-gay:

"Earlier this month the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation’s (GLAAD) “Commentator Accountability Project” included me on their list of people who deserve special scrutiny before they can be engaged as commentators on the marriage debate. But it is organizations like GLAAD that need to be held accountable for the impact of their rhetoric on the public debate.

According to the GLAAD website, I have held myself out as someone who purports to be an “expert on the lives of LGBT people.” Evidently (and unbeknownst to me) I have devoted my career “making life more difficult for LGBT people.” Although these extreme statements have since been scrubbed from the site, the organization continues to claim that “Bias is Not Balance.” The undeniable implication is that my views are baseless. GLAAD’s systematic policy of slapping negative labels on their opponents without actually engaging them in debate reduces the quality of discourse in the public square.

Out of the hundreds of thousands of words I have spoken or written, GLAAD found a grand total of four quotes as evidence of my supposed “extreme animus towards the entire LGBT community.” One of these is that I say redefining marriage will marginalize fathers from the family, because fathers will be considered inessential. GLAAD acts as if this were self-evident evidence of anti-gay bias. -- The Blaze

107 Comments

  1. Mike
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Slapping negative labels on people.... hmmm, where have I seen that before? Get off your proverbial high horse. They aren't doing anything but reporting YOUR truth in "love" to a larger number of people. You should be happy.

  2. JR
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Most every person I know is pro-marriage. Why does not assume those who believe strongly in marriage equality are somehow anti-marriage? Marriage is not a zero sum game where if too many people marry then all suffer. Let us welcome gay brothers and sisters into the happiness of matrimony.

  3. Zack
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    The problem with left-wing organizations like GLAAD is that it's not enough to just accept someone who fancies people of the same gender. You have to without question agree with their lifestyle and having so much as one dissenting view point makes you evil in their eyes. Another problem here is that it works...people don't want to be thought of as evil or hateful so they will "support" a cause even if they disagree with it. It's a shame that the left can't win on merit that they have to resort to demonizing to get their way.

    @

    "Why does not assume those who believe strongly in marriage equality are somehow anti-marriage"

    It's not. But I tend to believe that there is more to supporting same-sex marriage than just "equality". I see it as an outright war on religious liberty and free speech. "Religious protections" don't last long as we've seen in the contraception debate.

    "Let us welcome gay brothers and sisters into the happiness of matrimony."

    If they-by agreement of their partner-want to label their private union a marriage, then so be it. What I'm against is the legal redefinition of the word when they already get all the same marital rights.

  4. Nate
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Well put JR!!

  5. Zack
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    The problem with left-wing organizations like GLAAD is that it's not enough to just accept someone who fancies people of the same gender. You have to without question agree with their lifestyle and having so much as one dissenting view point makes you evil in their eyes. Another problem here is that it works...people don't want to be thought of as evil or hateful so they will "support" a cause even if they disagree with it. It's a shame that the left can't win on merit that they have to resort to demonizing to get their way.

  6. Randy E King
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Marriage is a construct of the church; not the government. When government intervenes to redefine an institution it had no hand in creating then government has crossed that imaginary line that is supposed to separate the state from the church.

    Government historically provided support to the institution of marriage because it recognized the value in it; not because government opposed the marriage construct as originally defined. If government can change the meaning and intent of marriage then what can stop it from changing the meaning and intent of all religious doctrines it had no hand in creating?

  7. Ollie Johnson
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    It's nice to see the folks at GLAAD are listening to Mrs. Morse.

    She complained about only having 4 entries in the CAP project, so to accommodate her, they doubled it to 8 quotes.

    Ask and you shall receive I guess.

  8. Terry Witt
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Why is it that all of a sudden these idiots are trying to force the issue of Gay marriage, is it because they think its gonna get them some great benefits. Shut up your wrong, your lifestyle is wrong and it needs to go back in the closet

  9. Posted March 26, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Our "gay brothers and sisters" already are eligible to marry in all 50 states if they choose to. There is no gay or straight litmus test for marriage. If they truly want to marry, they can.
    The so-called "marriage equality" movement is anti-marriage because it negates the importance of gender. And it is unequal because it segregates couples by gender.
    True marriage is pro-gender.

  10. Yamil
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    JR,
    First off, Marriage is not a right, it's a priviledge which is why you need a license. Secondly, the point of marriage is to lay down the roots for a new family or to branch out from one that's already established. Since homosexuals cannot share a bloodline they cannot be married by definition anymore than a dog can be a cat or a fist can be a bird. If you are gay and want to call yourself "married" that's your business but all this "gay marriage" nonsense is just that, NONSENSE. You can't make something out to be something just because you want it that way. That's what children do, not grown-ups. Which makes me wonder about people who are so for this nonsense.

  11. ResistSSA
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    @JR -

    If the people you knew were truly "pro-marriage," they would not want to change it. What those people have is marriage envy: that is, they resent that their choice of partner renders them incapable of being married by definition. So they seek to change marriage to be what they want it to be to accommodate them.

    A brother who wants to marry his sister could make the same argument, as could a man who wants to marry his cat and a dog owner who wants his poodles to be married to one another.

    If we welcome everyone into marriage, then marriage is nothing but a word that means whatever anyone wants it to mean. Which means that it has no purpose but a label randomly assigned to whomever wants the label, including single people. And if it has no purpose, then there is no longer any reason for anyone to participate in it. It is destroyed.

  12. ResistSSA
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    I should have ended my last post following "It is destroyed," with my belief that the destruction of marriage is exactly what the socialist forces desire.

    Destroying marriage destroys the independence from government and stability that the traditional family provides. We see this in the African American community where the culture of marriage has been destroyed, resulting in a 70% illegitimacy rate and unprecedented reliance on government support for kids and single moms.

  13. Mr. Incredible
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    "The Mission of Infidels" -- http://books.google.com/books?id=jrXRAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA96&lpg=PA96&dq=%22The+Mission+of+Infidels%22+%22Franklin%22&source=bl&ots=5RHJiTP1ES&sig=9-8SVMMcWAddpsoE3m3BxgOk9Hw&hl=en&ei=8rBrTOL3NpPQsAOcqNzYBw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBIQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false -- by Ben Franklin, explains why such an argument from negation doesn't work.

  14. JR
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    So I get the incest and bestiality argument and the argument that churches should define civil marriage - so no argument at all. In the first line of my post above, "not" should read "one". Keep trying guys.

  15. Katherine Harms
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    If marriage is redefined simply because somebody does not like the definition, what does any word mean? If I want to be a Hindu, but I feel better about things if I am called a Christian, should we redefine Christian so Hindus are not excluded? Where does it end?

  16. Zack
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    Dang double posts.

  17. ResistSSA
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    @JR -

    Wait, so you admit that the beastiality and incest scenarios are analogous to same-sex couples?

  18. David Argue
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    All I keep hearing from the SSM people is that it's about me, me me. How about some arguements about how society will benefit from SSM? And don't use the arguement that it will benefit the economy, because that's already been disproved in states that have SSM.

  19. JR
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Not at all Resist. The fact that those are the only argument those who oppose marriage equality can come up with shows who weak the arguments against equality are. What was presented in court in support of Prop 8. There was nothing to present.

  20. ResistSSA
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    @JR -

    RE: Prop 8. As a matter of law, the People of California's decision to amend their Constitution should have been upheld. The case was decided by rogue homosexual judge who considered a factual case that was, frankly, irrelevant (hence the Prop 8 lawyers didn't even try to make a factual case).

    Fret not, the Federal Constitutional Amendment will take care of all that nonsense.

  21. Albert
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    I think it's better to redefine marriage, if that's what you want to call including gay and lesbian couples, than to redefine equality. If we start redefining equality, then we move down a very slippery slope.

  22. Posted March 26, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    "'Homosexual' and 'heterosexual' can only make even a modicum of sense if 'sex' means nothing more than carnal coupling in its myriad ways and is no longer associated with the natural complementary relation of men and women. To have recourse to this definition is, however, to rely on the social-constructivist relativism that drives the sexual revolution, which is an absurd basis for the assertion that “homosexuality” is an innate condition.

    To deny that marriage is natural does not make the contrary alternatives “natural” in its stead (to assert thus is to commit the logical fallacy of affirming the consequent). If marriage is not natural, then nothing is, and the claim that a man is “homosexual” by nature undermines the very basis on which the term has been erected, because if “sex” is no more than erotic acts and urges, nothing permanent or intrinsic can be built on the shifting sands of “gender.”"

    Read more: http://touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=18-10-036-f#ixzz1qGJD89YB

  23. Travis
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    "Pro-marriage" is a euphemism for anti-gay.

  24. Reformed
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    It is. Your should focus your attention of the real issue that you feel is important. Evidently that is preventing lesbian couples from adopting. It isn't necessary to attack marriage because you do not want to tackle your true issue head on. It is your failure to be honest that leads to the charge of bias and animus. It isn't reasonable to deprive adults of marriage when your objective is anti lesbian adoption. You will notice I left out 2 male parent adoptions. I am just trying to address the issue in the context of your comments.

  25. Posted March 26, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    JR, as you wish to revise the law the onus is on you to provide the justification or your sought after revision.

    Your bombast is notable, of course, but can you back it up with the argument that has gifted you with such certitude?

    Your emphasis on gay this and that is irrelevant to the marriage issue but it is the epicenter of your favored identity group and your proposed (demanded) change to marriage law. So be it. We can take you at your word on that.

    There is a twofold challenge that you therefore need to meet successfully or, failing that, drop your pet project and either retreat to quiet or turn instead to favor the man-womanrequirement of the marriage status quo.

    The challenge is to the two basic moral assumptions of the SSM campaign. If you'd abandon these underlying assumptions then you'd be adrift and the thin skin of your bombast punctured and on its way to deflation and drowning in a sea of troubles. If you cling to them without supplying the moral argument to keep your bombast inflated you will have little worry about punctures and deflation and would be left standing at the water's edge with that limp rubber ducky flotation device draped about your ankles.

    The challenge entails your providing the moral argument in support of establishing and advancing the following thusfar unsuported proSSM moral assumptions.

    1. That same-sex sexual behavior is moral, ever.

    2. That same-sex sexual behavior is the moral equivalent of coital relations of husband and wife.

    To stand by either assertion you will need to answer, What is marriage? No arbitrary and glib answer can suffice. No bumpersticker slogan (such as marriage equality) will suffice. Your own bombast has raised expectations of you, JR.

    No SSMer has managed to do this basic work but much noise about gay this and that has been heard amongst the drum-banging. The SSM idea is a conceptual mess and it argumentation and rhetoric is incoherent and usually self-refuting.

    But you, JR, might do better. For more details on this challenge, see the blogpost at this link:

    http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/2012/03/is-same-sex-sexual-behavior-moral-ever.html

    It must be YOUR moral argument, JR, by which your pro-SSM opinion will either stand or fall as per your own promise strictly implied in your earlier comments. If you disown the moral assumptions, do say so without delay and let the chips fall where they may.

    -- Chairm

  26. Posted March 26, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    JR, as you wish to revise the law the onus is on you to provide the justification or your sought after revision.

    Your bombast is notable, of course, but can you back it up with the argument that has gifted you with such certitude?

    Your emphasis on gay this and that is irrelevant to the marriage issue but it is the epicenter of your favored identity group and your proposed (demanded) change to marriage law. So be it. We can take you at your word on that.

    There is a twofold challenge that you therefore need to meet successfully or, failing that, drop your pet project and either retreat to quiet or turn instead to favor the man-woman requirement of the marriage status quo.

    The challenge is to the two basic moral assumptions of the SSM campaign. If you'd abandon these underlying assumptions then you'd be adrift and the thin skin of your bombast punctured and on its way to deflation and drowning in a sea of troubles. If you cling to them without supplying the moral argument to keep your bombast inflated you will have little worry about punctures and deflation and would be left standing at the water's edge with that limp rubber ducky flotation device draped about your ankles.

    The challenge entails your providing the moral argument in support of establishing and advancing the following thusfar unsuported proSSM moral assumptions.

    1. That same-sex sexual behavior is moral, ever.

    2. That same-sex sexual behavior is the moral equivalent of coital relations of husband and wife.

    To stand by either assertion you will need to answer, What is marriage? No arbitrary and glib answer can suffice. No bumpersticker slogan (such as marriage equality) will suffice. Your own bombast has raised expectations of you, JR.

    No SSMer has managed to do this basic work but much noise about gay this and that has been heard amongst the drum-banging. The SSM idea is a conceptual mess and its argumentation and rhetoric is incoherent and usually self-refuting.

    But you, JR, might do better. For more details on this challenge, see the blogpost at this link:

    http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/2012/03/is-same-sex-sexual-behavior-moral-ever.html

    It must be YOUR moral argument, JR, by which your pro-SSM opinion will either stand or fall as per your own promise strictly implied in your earlier comments. If you disown the moral assumptions, do say so without delay and let the chips fall where they may.

    -- Chairm

  27. AM
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    Poor Reformed.
    He reads yet doesn't comprehend.
    Dr, Morse is speaking to the institution of marriage and it's cultural importance regarding the needs of children, not the desires of adults.
    When a man and woman marry, the children from this union have the duel kinship and care of the people who created them.
    Two women(or two men) cannot provide this to a child. So, if marriage is about attaching mothers and fathers to the children they create, then same sex marriage self evidently undermines this purpose.
    And, yes, that means ssm makes fathers (or mothers) irrelevant to the lives of children.

  28. Apollonia
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    Orphans have no right to be adopted because they would not have their natural father and mother?
    Children of abusive parents have to stay with them only because they were created by them?
    You people realy make no sense.
    Thanks to people like you man like Josef Fritzl can molest their children and given their own incestuous children by the adoption system.
    Of course he is a heterosexual catholic.

  29. TC Matthews
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    Apoll... What are you responding to? I don't see Dr. Morse saying anything like that. Try not to be so extreme, it dissuades people from taking you seriously.

  30. HorseKnuckle
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:16 am | Permalink

    You do not like gay people and want them to remain 2d class citizens. You want to punish them by denying them equal protection of the law in the hopes that they will conform to your religious and cultural ideals. Please stop the intellectual dishonesty and own up to your true agenda.

  31. Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    Jennifer Roback Morse *is* Anti-Gay! And NOM is a certified hate group who continues to say NO to Marriage while LGBT say YES!

  32. TC Matthews
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:19 am | Permalink

    HK, thanks for trying to put words in people's mouths, but honestly, it doesn't do much to promote understanding. People believe in marriage and families for a reason, like it or not, those reasons are valid. Does gender matter? Do kids need a mom and a dad? The questions are real, and the answers your side of the political persuasion give, are honestly, not that convincing.

  33. ResistSSA
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:26 am | Permalink

    Appolonia asks: "Children of abusive parents have to stay with them only because they were created by them?"

    Notice the words, "Only because they were created by them." This is a part of the homosexual mental syndrome: the belief that children have no connection to their parents; that parents don't matter. It goes hand-in-hand, not surprisingly, with their choice to form unions with non-procreative partners. It's bizarre.

  34. Ali Davis
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 2:03 am | Permalink

    Yup. You guys are so not anti-gay that you were willing to try to stir up racial hostility.

    What part of the Bible does Jesus talk about stirring up hostility about in again?

    bit.ly/GSQ7KG

  35. Mr. Incredible
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 2:14 am | Permalink

    @24 -- Those who claim to be homo already enjoy equal protection; they may do what the rest of us do, in the same way.

  36. Little man
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    JR: No. We don't agree that all friendships should be able to bring in an Alien into the US via the abuse of 'marriage'. You give that privilege to a few, and you have to give it to all friendships. Now, that's not only illogical. It is also unfeasible, financially. You guys-gals are going to raise everyone's taxes. Get real.

  37. Little man
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Zack. I beg to differ. The reasons for making civil unions exclusively for opposite-sex partnerships, are the same as for civil marriage. People tend to forget the sacrifice a woman makes to engender (not adopt) a newborn (human being). The government does not give single women who bear a child the status of marriage (to herself). There are many children born out of civil marriage. So that's obviously contributing to procreation, but it is the less than optimal situation for children to be born, as a rule. Laws are statistical. Laws are not about each individual, and i think this make some people irritated. But laws regulate, and good laws regulate statistically. So, even when single moms procreate, that's not enough to be labeled as marriage. The government has awarded privileges to single moms, and have made the problem worse. It is marriage (exclusively for opposite-sex partnerships, not all friendships, nor only bizarre 'gay' friendships) which should be supported by government, and nothing else. But government should do a good job at regulating marriage, or not regulate it at all. But then government will have an even greater problem. Government has been messing up royally (no pun intended).

  38. Little man
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Chairm: For your information, if you post comments with paragraphs separated by blank lines, your comment won't appear right away. It might take a day.

    HorseKnuckle: All people have the same rights. No one is a second class citizen, unless uneducated, illegal allien, etc. And there's no equality in the USA, in case you haven't realized it. For instance: Native Americans have more rights within their reservation. handicapped people have more rights. Veterans have more rights. Hawaiians, the more pure-blooded, have more rights. Get it? How can you call for equality, when equality is not even guaranteed? "All men were created equal" doesn't mean they all end up equal. For instance, i am not equal to you, because we are different. Due process - yes, you can marry a member of the opposite sex... Get it? Don't like it? But you said you wanted equality.

  39. Little man
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Apollonia: No one is claiming what you pose as a 'straw man'... i mean, a 'straw gay'.

  40. Thom
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    "The case was decided by rogue homosexual judge who considered a factual case that was, frankly, irrelevant (hence the Prop 8 lawyers didn't even try to make a factual case)."

    So you admit, Resist, that no facts were presented by the Prop 8 side. If no facts were presented, how else is this "rogue homosexual judge" supposed to rule??? And if he was deemed a "rogue homosexual judge" prior to the trial (so much to the extent that the Prop 8 lawyers "didn't even try"), why didn't they argue to have him recused???

  41. Ash
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Great post, Chairm. I'm always intrigued by how the marriage redefiners demand an argument from those who want to keep the status quo. What are their justifications, apart from the usually "equality" bromides (which male no sense, btw)?

    "The SSM idea is a conceptual mess and its argumentation and rhetoric is incoherent and usually self-refuting." -Chairm

    Great quote!

    Don't hold your breath waiting for any of our visiting SSMers to take you up on your challenge. Most of them are only smart enough to troll.

  42. Ash
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    A few typos in my post...oh well :)

  43. Elestethane
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    JR- Here is the argument:

    There is an inherent uniqueness in the indissoluble relationship between a man and a woman. First is the very essence of indissoluble - cannot be broken, separated, divided, what have you, and therefore stable. The second is the natural potential to have children (age and fertility issues are really non-issues because they don't eliminate the potential just the unfortunate reality in some cases but not all). It is these two qualities that make this type of relationship unique as compared to ANY OTHER relationship including gay relationships.

    That unique relationship is the very definition of marriage; claiming or redefining marriage to incorporate other relationships does NOT make those other relationships unique. It simply confuses and distills the meaning, And the original unique relationship (that indissoluble bond between 1 man and 1 woman) is still unique - we'd just have to find ANOTHER name to classify that type of relationship as unique, to recognize it as set-apart from ALL other relationships.

    Do I think homosexuality activity is sinful, yes, I do. Of course, my lack of patience with my children becomes sinful, more often than not. My inability to control my anger at times is sinful. The frustrated gossiping I catch myself doing from time to time, is sinful. Congratulations, we're all sinful, for one reason or another. The sinfulness of the act has nothing to do with the inability to get married.

    It's the fact that, happy romantical feelings are irrelevant in marriage (helpful yes, but irrelevant). Marriage is simply the word that defines the unique indissoluble relationship between 1 man and 1 woman which, because it is 1 man and 1 woman, is ordered to (has the potential of) procreation.

    Otherwise, what else will you call this particular relationship? Or are you of the belief that no one and nothing, no matter how unique and exceptional, should be singled out as such because it might make others feel bad about themselves?

  44. Ash
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Now, on the article by Dr. J...

    It was great! She shouldn't be shocked, as it is well known that SSMers accuse their opponents of hating gays, no matter what they say, and regardless of their arguments or evidence. If you don't acquiesce to their every demand, you're "anti-gay."

    Who cares about a baseless accusation meant to stifle debate? No one, really. But I'm assuming Dr. J was just taken aback that a high-profile organization like GLAAD is in the business of trying to blacklist marriage supporters from offering television commentary on marriage.

    It's understandable; when your position is: "We should redefine marriage because I want to really bad," of course you don't want anyone to challenge you in the public view.

  45. ResistSSA
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Thom -

    Yes, I agree the factual case brought for Prop 8 was weak; you need only read this blog to know that the Prop 8 lawyers didn't even try, and in their defense, they shouldn't have had to.

    The judge should not have even heard any facts/opinions about whether the definition of marriage should be changed; the case was a matter of law about the People's right to amend their Constitution. It's a purely legal question - quite common in litigation. But the judge with a homosexual agenda decided to use the court system as a political tool, even trying to get the irrelevant facts broadcast on the public airwaves.

    It was only learned after the trial that the judge was a homosexual with a boyfriend who was in the position to financially benefit from ruling against Prop 8.

  46. Thom
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    "the case was a matter of law about the People's right to amend their Constitution."

    Actually, that case was already decided a few years ago by the CA supremes. Yes, the people of CA have the right to amend their constitution. However, they cannot amend it to target a group of people to take away their right to due process.

    As for Walker, his orientation was known prior to the trial. His relationship status only became an issue once his decision was handed down. It is the only straw the Prop 8 supporters had left to grasp.

    He wanted "irrelevent facts" broadcasted? Prop 8 wanted no facts to be broadcasted because they know that their case was week. The reason their case was weak is because there is no good reason for not permitting gay marriage.

  47. ResistSSA
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Thom -

    Let's leave that up to the Supreme Court to decide. I think the Federal Constitutional Amendment will take care of this in the not-too-distant future.

    What is "gay marriage" anyway? Are you proposing a sexual orientation requirement for two people of the same sex wanting to be called "married?"

    Same-sex "marriage" is an oxymoron. There's reason enough for you. My "son-daughter" could have told you that. Now pass the jumbo shrimp.

  48. Chairm
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Thom, do you expect litigants to investigate the personal interests of judges?

    Perhaps you imagine some formal process whereby such investigations can be conducted routinely on the default that the litigants rather than the judge carries the primary responsibility for uncovering potential interests?

    If not, perhaps you would have litigants depend on gossip whether heard in tabloids or some other bulletin of hearsay, rumor, innuendo? If so, please cite the sources that you depended on prior to Walker's series of choices on this case.

    I ask because the way the official process works is that the litigants depend on the goodwill and the good judgement of the judge to do his utmost to ensure a fair hearing. That presupposes that judges conduct themselves impartially both in deed and in appearance.

    It was Walker's duty as judge -- and not as a 'gay judge' -- to put disclose his relationship or to simply recuse without disclosure. That relationship, it turns out, easily meets the definitive description of the relatonship at issue in the case. That description was documented in the legal briefs of the pro-SSM litigants and it was Walker'sduty to compare that with his own relationship.

    He could have done that without official disclosure and quietly recused himself if he had reason to keep the relationship off the record or otherwise left outside te judicial process. Or he could have disclosed officially and thus inform the litigants who would then be officially presented with choices of their own.

    Either side could have considered it a disadvantage; either side could have considered it an advantage; either side could have been indifferent. But this was not a choice that the judge could fairly make for the litigants. The decision, one way or the other, is not his decision. Hence his duty to conduct himself impartially rather than to pre-emptively withhold information that enables the litigants to weigh procedural decisions that they are obliged to make. Informed decisions, mind.

    Do you expect litigants t stand in a judge's courtroom and demand that judge give an involutary account of his interests? Based on gossip? Perhaps you have in mind a judge who'd respond with no comment.

    What, if anything, makes 'being gay' relevant to the type of relationships of the pro-SSM litigants in this case but irrelevant to the interests of the judge sitting as arbiter on a case that is fonded on that type of relationship?

    Remember, neither you nor Waler may rely on a prdrawn conclusion about the outcome of the case nor even about Walker's search of a facts in a trial he would later deem useful in deciding the case.

    Anyway, the topic of the blogpost by Dr J is quite different and the pro-SSM complaint (and proposed remedy) presupposes that those who disagree with GLAAD and the pro-SSM campaign must be dismissed based on allegations and smears that disregard the actual disagreement. As your interdiction in this comment section has exemplified.

    Beneath the pro-SSMbluster are moral assumptions not supported by sound mora arguments. Hence the tactics of the SSM campaign which would shield Walker's partiality while whining vehemently about the presence of advocates who stand in favor of the marriage idea and against the SSM idea.

    This is a conflict of ideas and need not be subsumed by the assertion of the supremacy of gay identity politicsover the good of public discourse in our society.

    The pro-SSM side presents a peculair sectarian view while besmirching the pluralism that features in civil society and in the process of deciding various facets of the public controversy initiated and advanced by the SSM campaign. Dr J has it right.

  49. Thom
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    LOL - So semantics are your "reason enough" for not permitting SSM, marriage equality, marriage corruption, gay marriage, or whatever you wish to call it? No wonder you lost in court and will continue to do so.

    And isn't it a sin for you to eat shrimp?!?!?! I mean really, it's right up there with all the rest of those abominations in Leviticus!!! Oh wait, we are not allowed to pick and choose what we want to believe in the bible (unless of course you are doing the picking and choosing). ;-)

  50. Mr. Incredible
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    @35

    No, it isn't a sin for those who are born again to eat shrimp. Acts 10 rescinded the Jewish dietary rules.
    Romans reiterates Leviticus, regarding what we now call "homosexuality.".

  51. DAVIDKCMO
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    I would LOOOOVE to spend 5 minutes alone in a room with a few of you Nombies. When I'm through with you, you won't be able to speak ill of homosexuals again in your lifetime.

  52. Thom
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Incredible, your response begs me to repeat exactly what I said... "Oh wait, we are not allowed to pick and choose what we want to believe in the bible (unless of course you are doing the picking and choosing)."

    You can twist and turn scripture into any way you want to spin it so long as it suits your own purposes and doesn't implicate you in your own sin.

  53. Mr. Incredible
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    @37

    Give us the line of consistent, scriptural authority and thought that proves that we are "twisting" Scripture. Where is this "twisting"?

    Show us that what we say is not what Scripture says.

  54. Chairm
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    JR try to make a moral argument that directly suports your moral assumptions about same-sex sexual behavior.

    If you answer Yes to the following two questions, it is up to you to provide the argument for the moral truth. Attacking others and attacking their remarks is one approach that does not make an argument in favor of your moral assumptions.

    Perhaps you deny these assumptions. Perhaps you disavow moral truth and have no means of supporting these moral assumptions that the SSM campaign depends on. Please say so.

    1. Is same-sex sexual behavior moral, ever?

    2. Is same-sex sexual behavior the moral eqivalent of coital relations of husband and wife?

    If you answer, No, then say so without further ado. If you say these moral assumptions are irrelevant to the SSM idea and that morality is irrelevant to your view of the SSM campaign and its SSM project, then just say so.

    If you answer is, Yes, to one or both of these moral assumptions, then do the honorable thing and make your moral argument and show your confidence in your pro-SSM view.

    Your certitude had promised much more than you have offered. Dr J's overall response to GLAAD is supported rather than negated by the example you have set here.

    In light of you opening comment, for example, readers on all sides can fairly expect you might do much better and I invite you to try do better.

  55. ResistSSA
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Uh, yes Thom, semantics. You know, the fact that words have meanings?

    I suppose we could just give homosexuals the word "marriage" and use a descriptive term like "potentially procreative unions" which is what the State/society is concerned with anyway. But then I'd imagine homosexual activists would seek to redefine "procreative," LOL.

  56. AM
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    Resist
    No need to imagine. It's already happening in some countries that have redefined marriage (such as Spain). Two women can be named on a child's birth certificate as the "progenitors". The activists believe they have a right to reproductive equality.

  57. John Noe
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    Poster #33 said the following:

    Actually, that case was already decided a few years ago by the CA supremes. Yes, the people of CA have the right to amend their constitution.

    This is very easy to understand. It is not unconsttutional to amend your own constitution. The voters of CA used their given rights to amend their own constituion to make marriage between one man and one woman.

    He also said:

    However, they cannot amend it to target a group of people to take away their right to due process.

    There is no constituional right to redefine marriage. The people of CA had every right to make marriage between one man and one woman as so defined. No group of people were targeted as the law applies equally to everybody.

  58. Posted March 28, 2012 at 12:31 am | Permalink

    “Homosexuality” is now used to suggest that numerous urges and actions that deviate from these norms hold equivalent status as an element of human nature, but the peculiar use of a natural organ or faculty does not change its nature. A man can walk around on his hands, but that does not turn hands into feet; and society ought not to be obliged to redesign sidewalks and staircases to accommodate compulsive “handwalkers” (manambulants?), even if they are born with the inclination." Read more: http://touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=18-10-036-f#ixzz1qNmu4JW1

  59. Mr. Incredible
    Posted March 28, 2012 at 3:16 am | Permalink

    @44 - Lotsa barkin', but the train rolls on.

  60. Chairm
    Posted March 28, 2012 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    DAVIDKCMO,

    I've seen your kind of threats before. Big voice and tiny mind.

    If you had the intellectual seriousness to match your physical threats you would scrounge up the moral courage to answer the query about your moral assumptions.

    Your silence on that matter does not match your thuggish bluster. The supremacy of identity politics was ever thus.

  61. Ash
    Posted March 28, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    Chairm, that guy has serious issues. Every post I see from him is hostile, racist, or threatening. I believe he's been banned numerous times, as evidenced by his evolving screen-name. But I'd agree that he doesn't have the fortitude to fight you intellectually (none of them do). ;)

  62. Daniel
    Posted March 28, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    No need to redefine marriage - the word as it exists is quite well suited to same sex couples. To be married is to be united. If you want to talk about the definition of the word "marriage", you must certainly acknowledge that it can apply even to inanimate objects or abstract concepts ... it is THE UNION of things. ANY close or intimate association or union, such as "the marriage of words and music in a hit song". Any limitations on which people may or may not enjoy the legal rights & responsibilities of this close or intimate association called MARRIAGE - present in culture and in law - are simply NOT inherently in the definition of the word.

  63. DavidKCMO
    Posted March 29, 2012 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Chairm,

    I have repeatedly responded to your wannabe intellectual legal dribble. Nom doesn't post my comments because they want to CODDLE YOU. Your perception of my "thuggish bluster" is nothing more than a projection of your insecure desired attempt to paint those who you think/believe are less than you as incapable of reaching your "heights" of moral superiority. Chairm, please don't make yourself out to be who you really are for those of us who are educated and trained to paint the correct picture of you through your own narrative via the information you provide. I apologize if that last sentence isn't in accordance with what you see in the mirror, internally and externally. But, you are what you are, Chairm, and yes, you are correct that I should let karma work it's magic on all that crippled energy your information exudes. But just as you think my legal and intimate relationship to my husband serves society no purpose whatsoever, I know for a fact that weeding saboteurs such as yourself from the planet is more than beneficial to human progress.

  64. Chairm
    Posted March 29, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    No, DavidKCMO, your thuggish bluster is right there in your remarks. You wrote the words and so it is your projection not anyone else's.

    All I asked is for your moral argument that would backup your moral assumptions. Indeed, I asked if you agreed with the moral assumptions that are basic to the SSM campaign itself.

    I did not say your friendship serves no societal purpose but you need to make the case that the type of relationship you have in mind (as a type of relationship rather than an instance of that type) does serve a societal purpose -- beginning with the moral assumptions that are asserted but not actually backed up with sound argument.

    If you submit a substantive argument on those moral assumptions, NOM moderators would surely let them stand. Just stop the thuggish stuff and stick with the argument. No weeding is necessary for you to do that. And no talk of physical violence would be necessary if you had more constructive things to say on the matter directly.

  65. Chairm
    Posted March 29, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Daniel, you remark is so vague as to be irrelevant. Marriage unites man and woman as husband and wife. Neither husband nor wife is a thing. They are persons. They are not disembodied personalities. The marriage status quo entails legal requirements for participation including the participation of both man and woman; including mutual consent to (and consent of society to implement lawful recognition of) the sexual basis for consummation which happens to be the same sexual basis as for grounds for adultery, annulment, and of course the marital presumption of paternity. These hold together coherently for the type of relationship that is orientated to responsible procreation and which integrates the sexes both on the most intimate level and the most public level. This is a social institution that is foundational to civil society.

    It unites the two halfs of humankinid whose nature is two-sexed not one-sexed. It unites the sexes in the basic organic community of family founded by the mother-father duo. It unites on the social, emotional, volitional, spirtual, and the bodily dimensions of the sexually embodied persons whose marital friendship is of great societal significance not just for the particular individuals in this or that marriage but for the generation they create and for future generations to whom they bequeath what past generations bequeathed to them. Marriage unites the generations in the most obvious ways.

    But this is not about mere things -- mere instruments of a force to connect objects that were disconnected. Your remarks would treat husband and wife as objects, as less than human, and would treat the social institution at issue as if it were far less than it actually is. Making marriage mean less and less is not a pro-marriage purpose, Daniel, and you ought to own up to that.

  66. DavidKCMO
    Posted March 29, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Chairm,

    To further my point, morals are judged on their morality-duh, whether or not the activity does or does not cause tangible/interruptive physical or excessive emotional harm/damage. I challenge you, Chairm, to logically prove that homosexuals:

    1.) engage in any sexual activity that heterosexuals have never or don't,

    2.) can contract any STD that heterosexuals have not or can't,

    3.) have never, do not, or can not provide or have not the knowledge of the parenting skills essay for providing emotional/social stability, consistent love, life lessons, etc. that heterosexuals do with the same proficiency,

    4.) are capable of harming 1 family unit in a way or ways that heterosexuals have never been, are not and/or never will be,

    5.) are less desirable/capable as parents, from the perspective of any infant, than heterosexuals,

    6.) as adoptive parents can not provide everything necessary to successfully raise the adopted infant that heterosexuals can,

    7.) are worth less to the human race in any way whatsoever than heterosexuals.

    See, Chairm, these are the questions to be asked and answered in the Prop 8 trial. Can you answer them?the ultimate test of the "moderator" is whether or not this comment is posted, as it contains all the information necessary to make or break this whole issue. I'll be very surprised to see it posted.

  67. Daniel
    Posted March 29, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Chairm,

    My comments had to do only with the definition of the word marriage, and the confusing insistence that contemplation of who may or may not marry constitutes a redefinition of that word. If I can offer an analogy, it reminds me of going roller skating as a kid ... sometimes it would be "open" skating, sometimes the DJ would annount "all reverse", or "adults only", or "couples" ... but all of those were still skating.

    Same thing with marriage. The definition of it ALREADY does not require the ability, willingness or intent to procreate. Whether the couple NOT PROCREATING is male-female, male-male, or female-female seems irrelevant, as each couple possess the exact same capacity to complement one another, to unite emotionally and spiritually, to create for future generations everything and more than past generations bequeathed to them!

    Contrary to your assertion, I would never deign to treat the espoused as sub-human objects. And I reject your assertion that a marriage bereft of biological progeny is inherently something "less than" any other kind of marriage - certainly ought not to be considered as such in the eyes of the law.

  68. Posted March 29, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    To ChairM for Post # 20:

    Here's the problem with your entire posting, in a nutshell.

    You ask if homosexual activity is ever moral. The problem with your question is that you don't say WHO precisedly gets to decide, and after that, who PRECISELY gets to impose that view on the rest of society.

    In a free society, you can have whatever moral compass you want on the issue of homosexual activity, based on your religious beliefs. The problem is that you don't get to impose those RELIGIOUS beliefs on the rest of society because they are just that -- religious beliefs.

    The second question you pose, whether or not same-sex sexual behavior is the moral equivalent of coital relations of husband and wife is equally dubious. Who, precisely, gets to decide, and who, precisely, gets to impose that on the rest of society.

    According to The Supreme Court of the United States.in 2003, the court held (6-3) that intimate, adult consensual conduct was part of the liberty protected by the substantive component of the Fourteenth Amendment's due process protections, and Sandra Day O'Connor took it a step further to say that it was an issue of equal protection.

    Your argument also seek an answer to "what is marriage?" In response, I will also quote the U.S. Supreme Court in a unanimous decision dating to 1967 which defined marriage very well, without being glib at all:

    "Marriage is one of the 'basic civil rights of man,' fundamental to our very existence and survival.... To deny this fundamental freedom....[is] so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted.... Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person... resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State."

    That's been the law of the land for 45 years, and I think it sums it up nicely.

  69. bman
    Posted March 29, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    MIke->That's been the law of the land for 45 years, and I think it sums it up nicely.

    It sums up monogamous bride-groom marriage, and that form of marriage only.

    No other form of marriage (polygamy etc.) was intended by the court when it used the word marriage.

    Besides, your same argument was essentially used by a gay couple in 1972 and rejected by the U.S. Supreme court in the case Baker v. Nelson.

  70. Chairm
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    Daniel, your previous comment you said:

    "If you want to talk about the definition of the word 'marriage', you must certainly acknowledge that it can apply even to inanimate objects or abstract concepts ... it is THE UNION of things."

    To which I responded:

    "Marriage unites man and woman as husband and wife. Neither husband nor wife is a thing. They are persons. They are not disembodied personalities."

    Then you replied:

    "Contrary to your assertion, I would never deign to treat the espoused as sub-human objects."

    The point, Daniel, is that you began with a vague definition that did just that. Human beings are sexually embodied beings. They are not disembodied personalities for whom the object of sexual desire is a mere instrument for sexual satisfactions. Hence the unity of husband and wife is not the unity of things.

    The nature of humankind is two-sexed, not one-sexed and not sex-neutral. The nature of human generativity is likewise opposite-sexed; and the nature of human community is both-sexed or complementarily-sexed. It is from these givens that marriage arises; and it is from the societal response to the significance of the core meaning of the social institution of marriage that the law regulating eligiblity to marry arises.

    The core meaning: 1) integration of the sexes; 2) provision for responsible procreation; and 3) these aspects combiend as a coherent whole. Coherency is what makes marriage a social institution which makes normative stuff like sexual consummation, sexual exclusivity, and the binding together of mother and father.

    The SSM idea is an outright rejection of that core meaning and, more, the SSM rhetoric and argumentation opposes the core meaning of marriage as somehow unjust and bigoted. As your own remarks suggest, the SSM idea is a legal construct that has no underpinnings except for the arbitrary use of governmental power to impose it in place of the marriage idea.

    The marriage law does not arise from the marriage law, obviously.

    But if that is your position, that marriage is wholly the creature of the law and exists only as a legal artifice, then, please plainly say that is your position.

    However, keep in mind that if that is the case then the law cannot be wrong, one way or the other, and you give up the basis for complaining that the required participation of man and woman in each marriage is somehow unjust, wrong, or otherwise mistaken. You cannot complain of arbitrariness if your position is that the law arbitrarily self-references and does not reflect marriage's reality independent of the law.

    The revision in law you seek would be arbitrary and without a justification that explained its moral power to bind all of society to its imposition and implementation.

    You also said:

    "And I reject your assertion that a marriage bereft of biological progeny is inherently something 'less than' any other kind of marriage - certainly ought not to be considered as such in the eyes of the law."

    You reject what I did not actually say. Read my earlier comment more closely and, if you see your error, recalibrate and respond on point.

    In the meanwhile I must note your use of "ought not" which speaks to a moral judgement on your part.

    Also, you drew attention to the moral assumption that the type of relationshlp you have in mind is a type of marriage that the status quo does not include but all of society must include in the law; and that you imply the law would thus teach this moral assumption to be universally correct for all who are within reach of the revision in the law you seek to impose on society.

    Now, if you would please address the lack of substantive support for the two moral assumptions I asked about earlier, you might begin to discuss the justification for the revision in the law you advocate.

    1. Is same-sex sexual behavior moral, ever? Explain.

    2. Is same-sex sexual behavior the moral equivalentn of coital relations of husband and wife? Explain.

    If neither moral assumption fits your view and poisition on SSM, then, please be explicit in rejecting those assumptions and confirming that you think these assumptions to be irrelevant to your reasoning in favor of the revision you advocate.

    Thanks.

  71. Chairm
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    DavidKCMO, the test for you is to comment civilly.

    Your comment appeared. You appear to have passed that test this time. That is commendable. Perhaps that surprises you.

    _ _ _

    You said:

    "To further my point, morals are judged on their morality-duh, whether or not the activity does or does not cause tangible/interruptive physical or excessive emotional harm/damage."

    Why do you emphasize physical and emotional harm but make no mention of moral harm even as you opened your sentence conceding that casting moral judgements is necessary?

    Would you agree that if a moral assumption is wrong then it would be a moral harm to impose it on society through force of law?

    I think your itemized list strongly suggests that you concede that the logic of law returns us to the logic of morality.

    _ _ _

    Your challenge appears to dance around the query I had put forth earlier. The moral assumptions that the SSM campaign depends on need to be backed-up with at least an attempt at moral argument. Lacking that, your items have no relevancy.

    #1. What has sexual activity got to do with SSM?

    #2. What has sexually transmitted diseases have to do with SSM?

    #3. What has same-sex sexual behavior to do with parental status, much less with parenting skills?

    #4. What has same-sex sexual behavior to do with preventing harm to families?

    #5 & #6. See questions #3 and #4.

    #7. What has same-sex sexual behavior to do with worth?

    #8. What did the Walker trial have to do with same-sex sexual behavior?

    I numbered these questions as responses to your itemized list. I do not think your list is relevant because you need to step back and address the underlying moral assumptions for which you have yet to provide a moral argument in favor.

    Please state if you think those moral assumptions are irrelevant to your being certain that the SSM campaign's goal of revising the marriage law is morally the right thing to do. If they are irrelevant, okay, but if that is your position and view, then, you need to show how your items in your list are somehow relevant to deciding the right thing to do.

  72. Chairm
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Mike,

    bman offered a concise rejoinder that is on point.

    _ _ _

    Mike,

    If you would assert that those two moral assumptions in my query are right and good assumptions, then, it is YOU who has decided.

    If you would use those assumptions to convince others, and they decided on that basis, then, THEY would decide.

    My query is about the moral argument that would have convinced YOU to decide that way. If you have confidence in the assumptions because of that argument, then, present it to convince others on that basis. At least clarify.

    _ _ _

    The law binds all of society, Mike, as you might understand. The moral rightness of the law is at issue. It is not difficult to discern the underlying moral assumptions of the SSM campaign's rhetoric and argumentation.

    If the marriage law is unjust, then, this assessment depends on a moral judgement about right and wrong. And if it is right to revise the law, then, justification must be found, not in the law, but in that which has an independent reality outside of the law.

    How else can you argue to incude in the law something that is currently unjustly outside the law?

    _ _ _

    Meanwhile you have tripped over a common error of the anti-religious subset of SSMers. It should not matter if religious beliefs correspond with the right moral judgement -- especially in a pluralistic society, surely.

    However imperfectly, society decides about moral truth; there is a plurality of belief systems (religious and irreligious) and a plurality of authorities on discerning moral truth, however, the law is binding because it moves away from statements of private preferences to public statements of what is more generally right, wrong, good, bad, just, unjust.

    Put aside your rhetoric about religious beliefs and focus on the moral assumptions that are the foundation of the SSM campaign's complaint and its proposed revision to marriage law.

    Your remarks strongly, very strongly, suggest that those moral assumptions I inquired about are irrelevant to whatever it was that convinced YOU that the imposition of SSM on society is the right thing to do. Please confirm, correct, or clarify.

    _ _ _

    Meanwhile I must point out that if same-sex sexual behavior is a private matter, as you proposed, then, it does not follow that marriage is a private matter nor that, in SSM argumentation, that same-sex sexual behavior would be a private matter with no bearing on the thinking behind imposing SSM in law.

    Can you try to square that circle?

    What has same-sex sexual behavior to do with equal protection? Please demonstrate the relevancy of that behavior to your assertions, if you can. Do so without imposing a moral judgement on anyone, if you can. And no leaps of faith, either, Mike, if you can help that.

    Likewise, please show the connection between the reasoning in the Loving decision and your reasoning on same-sex sexual behavior. That 1967 decision did not depend on a sex-neutral idea of marriage. But it did stand against the assertion of the supremacy of identity politics -- which is a stand contrary to the current assertions of the supremacy of gay identity politics upon which the SSM campaign has relied very heavily. Maybe for you gay identity supersedes the moral assumptions on same-sex sexual behavior that are asserted by SSMers.

    If that form of identity politics is independent of the moral assumptions regarding same-sex sexual behavior, as I inquired about earlier, then, it is up to you, Mike, to explain the relevancy of your citing a decision that pointed right at the core meaning of the social institution of marriage.

    See even the snippet you quoted: "fundamental to our very existence and survival".

    How is same-sex sexual behavior fundamental to our society's survival? Alternatively, how is gay identity politics fundamental to the existence of our society? You setup the comparison so you might as well make the effort to explain it.

    Mr Loving, if he was alive today, would be surprised to learn that his being presumed the father of his children born to his wife during their marriage was irrelevant to the marriage law and their marital status; and that the sexual basis for this was foreign to the sexual basis for consummation, annulment provisions, and grounds for adultery. Indeed, even those who criminalized all of that for Mr and Mrs Loving -- even the antimiscegenists -- might be surprised to hear that sort of nonsense could be found in the words and reasoning of the Loving decision.

    But you apparently found that there.

    The anti-miscegenists were madly concerned with the mixing of the races through the coital relations of husband and wife. They, like the Lovings, understood that marriage is a type of relationship that is orientated toward responsible procreation and toward sex integration. The racialist filter was used to selectively segregate the sexes and to greatly diminish responsible procreation; the gay identity filter is now proposed as a way to revive selective sex segregation and diminishment of responsible procreation under the auspices of the social institution that integrates the sexes and provides for responsible procreation. On that basis, alone, the imposition of SSM would be immoral because it would be unjust. It would be a misuse of marriage law for a nonmarriage purpose.

    Maybe you imagine a presumption of paternity that is based on same-sex sexual behavior? Maybe you imagine a common same-sex sexual behavior in the all-female and the all-male scenarios that would provide that sexual basis -- for paternity (and maternity) as well as consummation, adultery, annulment. Think of annulment: it is a provision that assists in determining that a marriage had not actually existed. So what is the same-sex sexual behavior that would do this? And provide the moral justification for the what and the how of it.

    You might hope to construct reasoning that provides coherency to the importance of same-sex sexual behavior that is asserted by the moral assumptions asserted beneath the rhetoric and the argumentation of the SSM campaign.

    Or, perhaps not, given your amgibuity regarding moral assumptions being imposed on all of society.

    Again, the challenge I put forth can be answered thusly: same-sex sexual behavior is irrelevant to the SSM idea; the morality of same-sex sexual behavior is irrelevant such that it might be immoral and still not have bearing on the justification to revise the law; SSM might not be a type of marriage but whether or not it is a type of marriage is irrrelevant to the rhetoric and argumentation of SSM that has convinced you, Mike, that revising the law is the right thing to do.

  73. Daniel
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    Chairm writes: The nature of human generativity is likewise opposite-sexed

    >> OK. Extending legal protections to same-sex couples and their families doesn't seek to change this ... that would be absurd! We can certainly agree that "human genrativity" requires male & female ... I'll even grant that the it is ideal for the male & female in question to be married. This makes the case for why marriage is "good" for those who will procreate, but fails to tell us anything about whether the institution is "good" for those who do not intend to procreate.

    Chairm writes: the nature of human community is both-sexed or complementarily-sexed. It is from these givens that marriage arises

    The fact that the human community is comprised mostly of people for whom a member of the opposite sex is their fitting complement is not particularly helpful when considering those for whom the complementary person is of the same gender. For some ... for many ... their appropriate compliment, by nature and nature's God, is a member of the same sex. Laws that work only for the majority are insufficient.

    and BTW: thanks so much for mentioning "the law regulating eligiblity {sic} to marry arises." maybe we can stop spinning wheels talking about "redefining marriage" when what we are really taking about is eligibility for entering into marriage.

    Now, as to whether "marriage" exists, or has a nature, which is outside the law? Sure it does. It has a (range of) sacramental meaning(s), which needn't change. It has a meaning in your mind, which nobody cares to change. AND it has a meaning in law, which the constitution dictates must apply equally to YOU and to ME.

    When you assert that "mother-father" = THE foundation of society, you are implicitly elevating those with progeny to a higher status. I believe that society is founded on more than a singular foundation.

    now, on to your questions:
    1. Is same-sex sexual behavior moral, ever? Explain.
    Yeah, I don't buy into the premise that the law ought to dictate morality ... I'm more of a "prevent harm" kind of guy ... so whilst I could answer, the answer would be irrelevant to the issue so I'll skip it.

    2. Is same-sex sexual behavior the moral equivalentn {sic} of coital relations of husband and wife? Explain.
    Same answer - you might as well ask if chicken is the equivalent of beef. Doesn't matter. We don't need to legally recognize one over the other just because they are two different things.

  74. bman
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    Chairm-> The nature of human generativity is likewise opposite-sexed

    Daniel->OK. Extending legal protections to same-sex couples and their families doesn't seek to change this ... that would be absurd!

    Your term, "extending legal protections" is vague.

    However, the legal endorsement of gay sexual relationships as "marriage" would cause future generations to reject the moral and religious authority that bride-groom marriage depends upon.

    We are talking, then, about the first ever American generation having no respect for moral and religious authority in the near future, with no way to restore that respect once its lost, and the harm and misery that would cause all children.

    For example, disregard for moral and religious authority in society would mean disregard for the importance of marriage held by earlier American generations.

    In turn, disregard for the importance of marriage means less marriage and less enduring marriages as well. That does not mean less procreation, however. Instead, it means more more unstable households for children than in any previous generation.

    It means an epidemic increase in unwed childbirths, single parent households, welfare costs, juvenile delinquency, drug and alcohol usage, underage pregnancies, abortions, sexual diseases, poverty, school drop outs, and domestic violence because public respect for moral authority was voted away by our generation, or ruled unconstitutional by our judges.

    Whoever votes to call gay sex relationships "marriage" effectively votes to give children a darker world to live in.

    How can we even measure the harm that would cause?

  75. bman
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 1:58 am | Permalink

    Mike->You ask if homosexual activity is ever moral. The problem with your question is that you don't say WHO precisedly gets to decide, and after that, who PRECISELY gets to impose that view on the rest of society.

    The community decides.

    For example, a polygamist might ask, "Who gets to decide monogamy is moral and to impose that view on the rest of society?"

    Or, a pornographer might ask, "Who gets to decide that pornography is immoral and to impsoe that view on society?"

    Or, an "artist" might ask, "Who gets to decide what is obscene and to impose that view on society?"

    However, should the polygamist be able to decide that the community can't uphold monogamy in its laws?

    Should the pornographer be able to prevent the community from treating porn as immoral?

    Should the "artist" obsessed with vulgar concepts be able to compel the community to declare his work not obscene?

    In other words, your question can be turned around against your own position just as in these cases.

    Should the gay be able to compel the community to declare that men having sex with men is moral?

  76. Chairm
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 4:14 am | Permalink

    Daniel,

    The law does not dictate morality. Morality provides the basis for just law.

    You would take an amoral approach to lawmaking. This is not by inadvertent omission but by a deliberate and explicit omission of a moral argument to support the moral assumptions of the SSM complaint and of the proposed SSM remedy.

    Taking that approach cuts you off from any legal argument for justice. You'd rely instead on an arbitrary exercise of governmental authority.

    But I will ask again just to make sure you have the opportunity to confirm, correct, or clariy:

    You reject the moral assumption that same-sex sexual behavior is moral, ever; and you reject the moral assumption that same-sex sexual behavior is the moral equivalent of coital relations of husband and wife. You do so because you do not wish for the law to dictate morality.

    What commands the law, Daniel?

  77. Chairm
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 5:21 am | Permalink

    When I said, you reject, I meant that you reject the relevancy of these pro-SSM moral assumptions.

    You did say you could answer (i.e. provide the moral argument to backup the moral assumptions) but chose not to because, according to you, your answer would be irrelevant to the issue.

    What issue is that?

    The query I put to you is directly on the moral argument that might back-up those moral assumptions. So your answer would be relevant.

    Your remark about the independent reality of marriage clearly makes relevant your (internalized) view of those assumptions which would be introduced into legal (externalized) regard.

    Your withheld answer is significant to the constitutional issue if you meant to make a claim for equal treatment on the basis of sexual attraction or somesuch. Fairness is an issue of morality and not merely an amoral matter for the law.

    However you also said: "[marriage] has a meaning in law, which the constitution dictates must apply equally to YOU and to ME."

    The constitution dictates what is right and wrong? You are making a moral claim there, Daniel, and so my query, and your answer to that query, is relevant to the issue.

    You are simply trying to dodge the relevancy of the law (via a supposedly morally indifferent interpretation of the constitution) dictating what you prefer (what you think to be morally right) to all of society. Including both YOU and Me.

    You said, "YOU and ME", and so I suppose you had some difference between us in mind that you think the law must be morally indifferent toward.

    The marriage law is indifferent to sexual orientation, by the way. You might choose to read sexual orientation into the marriage law, but that is your doing and not the law's doing.

    What is that difference between us that you had in mind? I expect you intended to refer to the very thing you claimed is irrelevant: you moral assumptions about same-sex sexual behavior.

    Indeed you conceded as much when you noted that same-sex sexual relations is different from coital relations of husband and wife.

    You said: "We don't need to legally recognize one over the other just because they are two different things."

    No, not just because they are different things. The relations of husband and wife are relevant to the marriage idea (and to marriage law) but not to the SSM idea (nor to SSM law).

    Same-sex sexual relations are irrelevant to marriage but apparently relevant to the SSM idea -- except you say that is not so. That is why you do not answer the query even though you could answer it (you say).

    Okay, you would rather talk about amoral law. You would opt out of a discussion of the moral assumptions of the SSM campaign rregarding same-sex sexual behavior. You count your own view of those assumptions as irrelevant to your own view imposing SSM in the law on all of society.

    I do not know if you detect the problems in that approach. But I thank you for stating it. I hope you will clarify, correct, or confirm.

  78. AlanR
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    "Whoever votes to call gay sex relationships "marriage" effectively votes to give children a darker world to live in."

    It's not darker for the children being raised by same-sex couples. These kids grow up thinking society dislikes their parents, or sees them as defective. That's a terrible trip to lay on a child. Giving their parents equal legal rights as straight people would be an emotional and psychological boost to the kids of same-sex couples.

  79. Daniel
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Chairm writes:
    1. Is same-sex sexual behavior moral, ever? Explain.

    There are three significant problems with this question. FIRST: it jumps right over the very significant question of privacy regarding intimate personal relationships. When the Supreme Court faced this question, they held that intimate consensual sexual conduct was part of the liberty protected by substantive due process under the Fourteenth Amendment. This is important, as it establishes that the consensual sex lives of others is none of our business.

    SECOND: it asks for an assessment of the morality of an act, as if there exists only one system of morality. In fact, the answer to your question would depend on the moral philosophy one seeks to apply. Consider the "virtue ethics" of Socrates and Aristotle, for example: nature does nothing in vain, it is therefore imperative for persons to act according to their nature ... a pretty clear moral endorsement of same-sex activity for homosexuals. For contrast, consider Stoicism, which holds that sex and sexual desire ought to be avoided altogether!

    THIRD: it supposes that the morality of human interactions depend on the body parts involved. Reminds me of that period in our recent past when left-handedness was considered immoral - or even demonic - by some.

    But with all that said, here's the answer to your question. Same-sex sexual behavior is moral when it is consistent with one's moral philosophy ... and almost certainly the morality of ANY sexual behavior depends mostly on factors other than the anatomical parts involved in the activity. (Factors such as mutual consent, honest, reciprocity, respect for human dignity ... regardless of whether the sexual activity is hetero or homo)

    Chairm writes:
    2. Is same-sex sexual behavior the moral equivalentn{sic} of coital relations of husband and wife? Explain.

    Short answer: yes it is. The morality of human interaction is not inherent to the anatomical parts involved in that interaction. Just as coital relations are consistent with the nature of heterosexuals, same-sex sexual activities are consistent with the nature of homosexuals.

    But lets suppose that you disagree. Lets image that you see some moral superiority in husband/wife coitus. Tell us, Chairm, what would proceed from such a conclusion? Shall we start ranking marriages based on the quantity & frequency of coital sex acts, with demerits for non-coital sex acts? Shall we fashion our laws to only allow for the "optimum moral choice" with no respect for individual liberty?

    Chairm writes:
    You reject the moral assumption that same-sex sexual behavior is moral, ever; and you reject the moral assumption that same-sex sexual behavior is the moral equivalent of coital relations of husband and wife. You do so because you do not wish for the law to dictate morality.

    No sir, I reject the assertion that the morality of an act is determined by the anatomical parts involved. Morality is a product of the conscience, not of the genetalia.

    Chairm writes: What commands the law, Daniel?

    I thought that was self evident ... that all are created equal, and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, and that among these are the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The stated purpose of our government is the protection of these rights. That said, why should we have any laws pertaining to activities that do not infringe on others' life, liberty or pursuit of happiness? Or laws that support the pursuit of happiness of some while capriciously excluding others whose pursuit of happiness would be advanced by inclusion?

  80. SearchCz
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Chairm writes:
    1. Is same-sex sexual behavior moral, ever? Explain.

    There are three significant problems with this question. FIRST: it jumps right over the very significant question of privacy regarding intimate personal relationships. When the Supreme Court faced this question, they held that intimate consensual sexual conduct was part of the liberty protected by substantive due process under the Fourteenth Amendment. This is important, as it establishes that the consensual sex lives of others is none of our business.

    SECOND: it asks for an assessment of the morality of an act, as if there exists only one system of morality. In fact, the answer to your question would depend on the moral philosophy one seeks to apply. Consider the "virtue ethics" of Socrates and Aristotle, for example: nature does nothing in vain, it is therefore imperative for persons to act according to their nature ... a pretty clear moral endorsement of same-sex activity for homosexuals. For contrast, consider Stoicism, which holds that sex and sexual desire ought to be avoided altogether!

    THIRD: it supposes that the morality of human interactions depend on the body parts involved. Reminds me of that period in our recent past when left-handedness was considered immoral - or even demonic - by some.

    But with all that said, here's the answer to your question. Same-sex sexual behavior is moral when it is consistent with one's moral philosophy ... and almost certainly the morality of ANY sexual behavior depends mostly on factors other than the anatomical parts involved in the activity. (Factors such as mutual consent, honest, reciprocity, respect for human dignity ... regardless of whether the sexual activity is hetero or homo)

    Chairm writes:
    2. Is same-sex sexual behavior the moral equivalentn{sic} of coital relations of husband and wife? Explain.

    Short answer: yes it is. The morality of human interaction is not inherent to the anatomical parts involved in that interaction. Just as coital relations are consistent with the nature of heterosexuals, same-sex sexual activities are consistent with the nature of homosexuals.

    But lets suppose that you disagree. Lets image that you see some moral superiority in husband/wife coitus. Tell us, Chairm, what would proceed from such a conclusion? Shall we start ranking marriages based on the quantity & frequency of coital sex acts, with demerits for non-coital sex acts? Shall we fashion our laws to only allow for the "optimum moral choice" with no respect for individual liberty?

    Chairm writes:
    You reject the moral assumption that same-sex sexual behavior is moral, ever; and you reject the moral assumption that same-sex sexual behavior is the moral equivalent of coital relations of husband and wife. You do so because you do not wish for the law to dictate morality.

    No sir, I reject the assertion that the morality of an act is determined by the anatomical parts involved. Morality is a product of the conscience, not of the genetalia.

    Chairm writes: What commands the law, Daniel?

    I thought that was self evident ... that all are created equal, and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, and that among these are the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The stated purpose of our government is the protection of these rights. That said, why should we have any laws pertaining to activities that do not infringe on others' life, liberty or pursuit of happiness? Or laws that support the pursuit of happiness of some while capriciously excluding others whose pursuit of happiness would be advanced by inclusion?

  81. Daniel
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    Chairm writes:
    1. Is same-sex sexual behavior moral, ever? Explain.

    There are three significant problems with this question. FIRST: it jumps right over the very significant question of privacy regarding intimate personal relationships. When the Supreme Court faced this question, they held that intimate consensual sexual conduct was part of the liberty protected by substantive due process under the Fourteenth Amendment. This is important, as it establishes that the consensual sex lives of others is none of our business.

    SECOND: it asks for an assessment of the morality of an act, as if there exists only one system of morality. In fact, the answer to your question would depend on the moral philosophy one seeks to apply. Consider the "virtue ethics" of Socrates and Aristotle, for example: nature does nothing in vain, it is therefore imperative for persons to act according to their nature ... a pretty clear moral endorsement of same-sex activity for homosexuals. For contrast, consider Stoicism, which holds that sex and sexual desire ought to be avoided altogether!

    THIRD: it supposes that the morality of human interactions depend on the body parts involved. Reminds me of that period in our recent past when left-handedness was considered immoral - or even demonic - by some.

    But with all that said, here's the answer to your question. Same-sex sexual behavior is moral when it is consistent with one's moral philosophy ... and almost certainly the morality of ANY sexual behavior depends mostly on factors other than the anatomical parts involved in the activity. (Factors such as mutual consent, honest, reciprocity, respect for human dignity ... regardless of whether the sexual activity is hetero or homo)

    Chairm writes:
    2. Is same-sex sexual behavior the moral equivalentn{sic} of coital relations of husband and wife? Explain.

    Short answer: yes it is. The morality of human interaction is not inherent to the anatomical parts involved in that interaction. Just as coital relations are consistent with the nature of heterosexuals, same-sex sexual activities are consistent with the nature of homosexuals.

    But lets suppose that you disagree. Lets image that you see some moral superiority in husband/wife coitus. Tell us, Chairm, what would proceed from such a conclusion? Shall we start ranking marriages based on the quantity & frequency of coital sex acts, with demerits for non-coital sex acts? Shall we fashion our laws to only allow for the "optimum moral choice" with no respect for individual liberty?

    Chairm writes:
    You reject the moral assumption that same-sex sexual behavior is moral, ever; and you reject the moral assumption that same-sex sexual behavior is the moral equivalent of coital relations of husband and wife. You do so because you do not wish for the law to dictate morality.

    No sir, I reject the assertion that the morality of an act is determined by the anatomical parts involved. Morality is a product of the conscience, not of the genetalia.

    Chairm writes: What commands the law, Daniel?

    I thought that was self evident ... that all are created equal, and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, and that among these are the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The stated purpose of our government is the protection of these rights. That said, why should we have any laws pertaining to activities that do not infringe on others' life, liberty or pursuit of happiness? Or laws that support the pursuit of happiness of some while capriciously excluding others whose pursuit of happiness would be advanced by inclusion?

  82. Chairm
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    Daniel, thank you for your response to my query.

    Before I reply further, please confirm, correct, or clarify:

    You say that these basic moral assumptions of the SSM campaign are irrelevant to the pro-SSM complaint against the marriage law and irrelevant to the pro-SSM revision.

    You say that the law is commanded by something outside of the law. That is, something that pre-exists man-made law.

    Further, you say that the morality, or imorality, of sexual behavior comes from something other than the sexual behavior itself. In effect, morality is disembodied as it comes from conscience and not from sexual embodiment.

  83. Daniel
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    Chairm writes: You say that these basic moral assumptions of the SSM campaign are irrelevant to the pro-SSM complaint against the marriage law and irrelevant to the pro-SSM revision.

    YOU see these questions as relevant to the question of who ought to be permitted and who ought to be barred from enjoying the legal rights and responsibilities of marriage. YOU call them "moral assumptions of the SSM campaign" ... perhaps YOU ought to demonstrate why they are relevant.

    While you are at it, perhaps you should also make the case for why YOUR system of morality, among the myriad available, is the one and only system of morality that deserves to be imposed upon others with the force of law, whether or not they share those beliefs?

    Chairm writes: You say that the law is commanded by something outside of the law. That is, something that pre-exists man-made law.

    Yes - our god-given, unalienable rights command the law. As recognized in the Declaration of Independence, and codifies in the Constitution.

    Chairm writes: Further, you say that the morality, or imorality{sic}, of sexual behavior comes from something other than the sexual behavior itself. In effect, morality is disembodied as it comes from conscience and not from sexual embodiment.

    No, I said the the morality of an act cannot be reduced to an equation of the anatomical parts involved. For example, you might note that the same anatomical parts are involved in marital coitus as are involved in rape ... if morality were nothing more than getting the "proper" parts involved we would be compelled to call these two different acts morally equivalent.

  84. bman
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    Daniel-> When the Supreme Court faced this question, they held that intimate consensual sexual conduct was part of the liberty protected by substantive due process under the Fourteenth Amendment. This is important, as it establishes that the consensual sex lives of others is none of our business.

    A key principle is that it has to remain private to be no one else's business.

    Gays have already crossed that line, though.

    They have been trying to force their private moral view into public law and to alter the precepts of public morality that guide child development for future society.

    The issue, then, is not about privacy, but its whether the gay viewpoint should be adopted as a PUBLIC moral compass to guide everyone's children.

    That is how voters and law makers should view it when casting their votes, as well.

    Its a moral compass issue that affects the future well being of all children and the community.

    Its not simply a private matter.

  85. Chairm
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Daniel you have confirmed:

    1. The morality or immorality of same-sex sexual behavior is irrelevant to the pro-SSM complaint and irrelevant to the proposed pro-SSM revision.

    2. That the asserted moral equivalence with coital relations of husband is also irrelevant.

    You also suggested that it is forbidden that any particular system of morality be forced on all of society. With the exception of your own, of course.

    The point of my query about these moral assumptions of the SSM campaign is that these are asserted without the back-up of sound moral argumentation. You have abdicated the need to make such argumentation and have abandoned these moral assumptions as irrelevant.

    So it remains an unfinished task by SSMers. You would rather proceed on another basis.

    You might well ask SSMers why those moral assusmptions are relevant to their rhetoric and argumentation even though you deem them irrelevant.

    These assumptions are relevant in discussion of SSM, because they are asserted by the SSM campaign. Your remarks do not change that.

  86. Chairm
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    I had asked for confirmation of Daniel: Further, you say that the morality, or immorality, of same-sex sexual behavior comes from something other than the sexual behavior itself. In effect, morality is disembodied as it comes from conscience and not from sexual embodiment.

    I said that in response to Daniel's having said that the morality of sexual behavior "depends mostly on factors [...] such as mutual consent, honest[y], reciprocity, respect for human dignity."

    Daniel has now clairfied: "[T]he morality of an act cannot be reduced to an equation of the anatomical parts involved."

    _ _ _ _

    Daniel, you have evaded the query about same-sex sexual behavior and have over-generalized to respond about any act (sexual or otherwise) for which moral assessment is dependant mostly on none bodily factors.

    Perhaps the evasion was inadvertent. Let me expand on the problem.

    You have confirmed that in your view the morality of an act (perhaps you would go so far as to say of same-sex sexual behavior) mostly depends not on "anatomical parts", but on other non-bodily factors such as consent, respect, reciprocity, and honesty.

    That to which consent is given is at issue here, Daniel, not consent itself. That to which respect is given is at issue; that to which one reciprocates is at issue; that about which one is honest is at issue.

    The "that" here is same-sex sexual behavior.

    For the sake of discussion, please assume these other factors are possible and are given.

    Now, please make the argument, if you can, that same-sex sexual behavior is moral, ever. You have thusfar merely asserted the assumption without providing a sound moral argument in its favor.

    The problem is that you assume, as a default, that same-sex sexual behavior is moral if these other non-bodily factors are also assumed. You have not gotten at the pith of the query, yet.

  87. Chairm
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Daniel, I submitted a previous comment that has not yet appeared. If you read this one as my second, please wait for the earlier comment for this is a third comment.

    _ _ _ _

    Daniel:

    "YOU see these questions as relevant to the question of who ought to be permitted and who ought to be barred from enjoying the legal rights and responsibilities of marriage."

    Actually, these questions arise from the moral assumptions of the proponents who are campaigning for the imposition of SSM. That is the relevance of the query about the moral argumentation that is remains lacking for these moral assumptions of SSMers.

    Their rhetoric and argumentation tell a different story than your remarks have told here.

    But there is still an outstanding question, what is marriage? If you are concerned about eligiblity then you need an answer for that question -- while refraining from trying to resurrect the moral assumptions you have deemed irrelevant.

    Before you can talk about drawing lines around something you must first identify what that something is. You have claimed that something outside of the law commands the law. Does that mean you acknowledge that marriage has a reality outside of the law, too?

    It appears to me that you might say that given that you proceed as if SSM is a type of marriage that is currently outside of the law but we are commanded to include it within the law. Or, rather, all of society is forbidden to exclude this type of marriage, as you might have it.

    Well, then, what does SSM have in common with the union of husband and wife but does not have in common with the spectrum of types of relationships that are not marriage. If you are concerned about eligiblity, as it appears you are, then, this should be rather a simple task for you.

    You said:

    "[P]erhaps you should also make the case for why YOUR system of morality, among the myriad available, is the one and only system of morality that deserves to be imposed upon others with the force of law, whether or not they share those beliefs?"

    Are you demanding that no system of morality (of right and wrong) command the law? That the law must somehow be made neutral and not favor this or that in the competition of moral claims?

    No, you do claim that there is a self-evident right to have SSM treated as marriage; a right that pre-exists and commands the law. Presumably you would claim this even if the Constitution had not been ratified. But would you claim it if there was no marriage law?

    Thus you do wish to have society -- all of society -- commanded by your moral assessment of right and wrong.

    But the morality or immorality of same-sex sexual behavior, you say, is irrelevant to your favoring a partricular assessment.

    Likewise the asserted moral equivalence with the coital relations of husband and wife.

    It seems to me that you would reduce SSM-as-marriage to friendship that is not comprehensive but which is based on consent, reciprocity, respect, and honesty. Sexual behavior or the lack of it would be irrrelevant to eligiblity. This is before the law even enters the picture.

  88. Chairm
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    bman, you are driving to the heart of the matter.

    In this discussion, Daniel has rejected the relevance of the moral assumptions regarding same-sex sexual behavior and so might hope to pre-emptively neutralize the moral issue regarding the coital relations of husband and wife -- and the rest that flows from it.

    You are right to note, bman, that if same-sex sexual behavior is not a government concern but a private concern, then, such behavior is no basis for establishing a public status.

    That contrasts with the societal significance of coital relations -- as is evident across the anthropological and historical records -- most of which is bereft of constitutions and the like.

    Marriage has a reality outside the law; societal regard for its moral significance commands the law -- not just in terms of establishing a public status based on public utility but also in terms of the lines of eligilbity that are drawn around it to protect its intrinsic value as a human good in itself.

    If society is made blind to the core meaning of marriage, as SSMers demand, then, that it would not see marriage but rather something else. To blind society in such a way does invoke some kind of moral assessment of right and wrong.

  89. Daniel
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Chairm writes: Thus you do wish to have society -- all of society -- commanded by your moral assessment of right and wrong.

    This statement reveals the entire problem with your endless discussion of morality. You seem to think that "morality" is something to be decided by some entity (the church? a majority? an individual?) and imposed on all. This is so ingrained in your beliefs that you accuse me of trying to do it. But Chairm, you continue to ignore that there are MANY systems of morality. And that these different systems produce different answers when we try to determine "right" from "wrong".

    You see, contrary to your claim. I don't try to impose my system of morality on anyone else. A system of morality is a great tool to help an individual choose between "right" and "wrong" ... but in generally not a justification to take away that freedom to choose. And this is a stark contrast between so-called "marriage protectors" and advocates for marriage equality.

    "Marriage protectors" (like you?) insist that THEIR system of morality is a proper basis for determining what OTHERS may or may not do. What you all ought to be doing instead - assuming you are opposed to same-sex marriage - would be to NOT MARRY SOMEBODY OF THE SAME SEX!

    Advocates for marriage equality, in contrast, believe they should have the same right to make moral choices as anyone else, and that their choices should not be dictated by somebody else's morality.

    The law needs to respect individual liberty ... like the Declaration of Independence says. And it needs to apply to everyone equally, like the Constitution says.

    Thomas Jefferson summed it up nicely. "But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."

    However, insisting that legal marriage rights and responsibilities be held only for opposite-sex couples and witheld from same-sex couples DOES pick a pocket.

  90. Daniel
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Chairm writes:

    You are right to note, bman, that if same-sex sexual behavior is not a government concern but a private concern, then, such behavior is no basis for establishing a public status.

    bman is almost right ... sexual behavior (between unrelated, consenting adults) is not a government concern. Applies whether the behavior is hetero or homo; its not the governments business. ANY legal recognition, ANY legal responsibilities, ANY legal benefits must therefore be based on something OTHER THAN the sexual behavior - actual or potential - of the people involved.

  91. bman
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    Daniel->Thomas Jefferson summed it up nicely. "But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."

    The Jefferson comment is actually off point since it only applies to individualistic expression.

    By analogy, NOM is not interfering with the right of that neighbor to believe in 20 gods.

    Rather, NOM is interfering with that neighbor's attempt to make government declare there are 20 gods.

    A gay marriage law would not be like a private opinion held by a neighbor. Rather, it would be like government training my children with a harmful moral view as a matter of law.

    I am fairly certain Jefferson would oppose that.

  92. bman
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    Daniel->bman is almost right ... sexual behavior (between unrelated, consenting adults) is not a government concern.

    The harms caused to society by pervasive irresponsible sex are a matter of legitimate concern to government.

    Pervasive irresponsible sex within society can be traced to a public morality problem.

    Therefore, government has a legitimate interest in promoting a public morality in order to deter irresponsible sex and its harms.

  93. Chairm
    Posted April 5, 2012 at 3:18 am | Permalink

    Daniel said:

    "You seem to think that "morality" is something to be decided by some entity (the church? a majority? an individual?) and imposed on all."

    You want to impose your absolutes because you consider that imposition to be a question of right and wrong.

    When you described your view -- your system of morality -- you clearly dictated what was commanded and what was forbidden and thus the sytem you wish to impose on all of society. It is not neutral, contrary to your pose.

  94. Chairm
    Posted April 5, 2012 at 3:26 am | Permalink

    Daniel, there is not a wide spectrum of new moralities. This is not about choosing among moral systems.

    It is about resolving the moral questions that pertain to societal regard for a social institution of civil society. It is about society, as society, determining the moral truth.

    Your formulation is profoundly flawed and even you appear to detect the flaws because although you want to pretend you would impose a neutral solution you are actually demanding that the law take sides on the moral questions here.

    When it comes to right and wrong we are commanded to be fair. That means not just treating people the same; it means not treating people the same arbitarily and it means not treating people differently arbitrarily. Your solution dodges the morality of fairness.

    Yet you have claimed to be concerned about drawing fair lines of eligiblilty but without first identifying the core of marriage around which such lines might be drawn in the first place. You have failed to identify the core of marriage such that it would merit a public status, anyway.

    Your solution, such as it is, would be to shrug so as to command of society that which you have not justified. That would be arbitrary and unfair treatment of different types of relationships and different kinds of living arrangements.

  95. Chairm
    Posted April 5, 2012 at 3:42 am | Permalink

    Daniel, you have resorted to soundbites such as "marriage equality" and the like so here is the soundbite answer to your line, "the law needs to respect individual liberty":

    The choice to enter a nonmarital relationship is a liberty exercised and not a right denied.

    _ _ _ _

    Daniel said:

    "sexual behavior (between unrelated, consenting adults) is not a government concern."

    Earlier you said the decisive factors were non-bodily but now you add something about being related. Why that addition given your rejection of the moral assumptions discussed earlier?

    Daniel said:

    "Applies whether the behavior is hetero or homo; it[']s not the governments business."

    There you have invoked a moral equivalence regarding same-sex sexual behavior; apparently you have not used that equivalence in terms of coital relations of husband and wife and so expand the equivalence outside of marriage also. Please clarify.

    Daniel said:

    "ANY legal recognition, ANY legal responsibilities, ANY legal benefits must therefore be based on something OTHER THAN the sexual behavior - actual or potential - of the people involved."

    Must? You would impose your judgement of right and wrong on all of society.

    The legal incidents of a public status flow from the core of the type of relationship. The "me-too" demand is not the default position for much else in law. You are advocating the arbitrary exercise of governmental power.

    Once again, you are sneaking in a switcharoo. You would swap the type of behavior with this or that particular instance of an activity or action of this or that particular participant.

    The issue here is the morality of same-sex sexual behavior such that it would merit the treatment you have demanded. If that treatment is, in effect, indifference, then, you will need to justify the legal incidents you would impose through the law based on something other than same-sex sexual behavior. You have just stated that as your standard.

    Go ahead. Justify the public status based on something other than the private choice and behavior of individuals. You do rely on hiding your moral assumptions but that does not mean those moral assumptions are not decisive even in your approach.

    Meanwhile, the SSM campaign tells a different story than you have here. Can your square that circle?

  96. Chairm
    Posted April 5, 2012 at 3:57 am | Permalink

    When Daniel refers to behavior it seems to me he is making a swap.

    He has swapped the type of behavior for this or that instance of an action. An action individualized to a particular participant of that action.

    The issue is the type of behavior. The law is reasonable and not totalitarian. It does not empower government to monitor the particular sex-related actions of married people; but the law arises from a type of behavior -- coital relations of husband and wife -- that is key to the comprehensive relationship known as marriage.

    People do not show-up ready to perform for the clerk at the counter. But they consent to the sexual basis for marriage: see the sexual basis for presumption of paternity, consummation, annulment provisions, and grounds for adultery. These hang together coherently because that sexual basis pertains to the core meaning of marriage most directly.

    But it is irrelevant to the one-sexed scenario -- whether or not that scenario is sexualized in terms of homosexuality or gay identity politics.

    The query about the moral assumptions of the SSM campaign is relevant because these assumptions are the basis for the comparison with the union of husband and wife. Most surely. The SSM campaign owns that, not me.

    On the other hand, if those moral assumptions are to be rejected, as Daniel proposes, then, we can readily acknowledge that there is no moral equivalence with coital relations of husband and wife and that there is no moral argument to back-up the assumption that same-sex sexual behavior is moral, ever. Since no such arguments have been put forth, it is senseless to claim that neutrality can be found between contested moral claims.

    The lack of a sound moral argument in favor of the moral assumptions of the SSM campaign does cede the ground.

  97. Daniel
    Posted April 5, 2012 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    bman writes: You are right to note, bman, that if same-sex sexual behavior is not a government concern but a private concern, then, such behavior is no basis for establishing a public status.

    Bman, the LEGALITY of something needn't influence what you believe, or what you teach your children, about the MORALITY of it. Some people find immorality in smoking, drinking alcohol, dancing, premarital sex, the use of contraception, eating pork, etc. etc. etc. The EXISTIENCE of those things, doesn't infer the MORALITY of them. Teach that.

  98. Daniel
    Posted April 5, 2012 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Chairm writes: On the other hand, if those moral assumptions are to be rejected, as Daniel proposes, then, we can readily acknowledge that there is no moral equivalence with coital relations of husband and wife and that there is no moral argument to back-up the assumption that same-sex sexual behavior is moral, ever.

    You seem to miss the point that your "moral arguments" are irrelevant to determination of legality. Among the long list of things that some consider immoral: smoking, drinking alcohol, dancing, premarital sex, contraception, ... the list goes on.

    Clearly, U.S. law does not seek to dictate morality. It protects liberty, and seeks to give all an equal opportunity to follow their own conscience, limiting that liberty only when its free exercise presents a tangible harm to others. This is not a statement about my system of morals, it is a statement about how the law functions. You continue to ignore this in your (now tiresome) insistence that YOUR assumptions are relevant.

    So how about you answer a question for a change, Chairm ... a question pertaining to legality. It is a question of harm. The court has already held that same-sex couples ARE harmed by being denied the legal rights, responsibilities and protections of marriage . . . and that straight couples ARE NOT harmed by providing equal rights & protections to same-sex couples. Have you a LEGAL justification for perpetuating a restriction that harms some, when lifting that restrition yeilds no demonstrable harm?

  99. Posted April 5, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    Daniel, in your remarks you have already stated the absolutes that you would impose on all of society. You cannot disguise that as neutral.

    For instance, you have limited the harm principle to "tangible harm" even though you clearly seek to impose your own moral claim as an imperative based on a false moral assumption. In fact, you do understand the profound problem in your jposition because you woul impose it while denying its relevance so that you can dodge being held accountable.

    You have confused how law functions after it is made and is being implemented for lawmaking itself and its moral basis.

    The last paragraph in your latest comment floats in the air. Come down to earth.

    State what marriage is and do not resort to relying on the moral assumptions you have claimed to be irrelevant to SSM.

    As I asked before, state the essentials of the type of relaitonship you have in mind (before affixing a label and status on it) such that it is distinguishable from the rest of the types of relationships and kinds of living arrangements you would deem to be not marriage.

    That is the ground upon which a pro-SSM law would function.

    Your latest claim is that the marriage law, by virtue of merely existing, causes harm to nonmarital relationships. That is an absurdity since you are insisting that SSM be included as a type of marriage merely by affixing the label, marriage, onto a nonmarital type of arrangement. That insistence would produce a harm to society by discarding the core meaning of marriage -- the core that justifies its public status and the lines of eligibility that delimit it.

    I see that you have returned to the gay-straight dichotomy as if the man-woman criterion was a form of discrimination on the basis of gay identity. You need to do better than mere assertion. According to your own remarks there is no sexual basis for the pro-SSM complaint nor for the pro-SSM remedy. Perhaps you can clarify what you have muddied.

  100. Daniel
    Posted April 5, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    Chairm,

    Can't answer one question, eh? Perhaps you missed it, so here it is again.

    The legal state of civil marriage confers myriad rights, responsibilities and protections.

    Affording same-sex couples with these rights, responsibilities and protections does not harm straight couples.

    Witholding these rights, responsibilities and protections from same-sex couples DOES harm those couples.

    (these are the findings of the prop-8 case)

    So, again: do you have a LEGAL justification for perpetuating a restriction that harms some, when lifting that restriction yields no demonstrable harm?

  101. bman
    Posted April 5, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    Daniel->.... the LEGALITY of something needn't influence what you believe, or what you teach your children, about the MORALITY of it.

    Instead of focusing on how it would affect what I teach and believe, you need to speak in terms of how legality affects what society believes and teaches.

    This excerpt from Law and Morality provides a good overview on that.

    Because every law springs from a system of values and beliefs, every law is an instance of legislating Morality. Further, because a nation’s laws always exercise a pedagogical or teaching influence, law inescapably exerts a shaping effect over the beliefs, character, and actions of the nation’s citizens, whether for good or ill. Those who seek to separate morality from law [like Daniel does], therefore, are in pursuit both of the impossible and the destructive. The question before us is never whether or not to legislate morality, but which moral system ought to be made legally binding.

    In sum, the moral nature of the society that surrounds our children is affected by the moral content of the law and public policy.

    If we want the society around our children to influence them toward what is moral, our laws need to uphold what is moral.

    If you need an example, just look at the epidemic increase in abortions and divorces that have come about.

    Stop to consider all the hurt caused in the past because of the morality changes that occurred in the law.

    But don't stop there. Then consider ll the pain still to come for generation upon generation because of the morality changes that occurred in the law.

    Bad morality in law will cause unending pain and hurt to a society unless the law is reversed.

  102. Daniel
    Posted April 6, 2012 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    bman,

    Thanks for sharing Michael Bauman's opinions on the matter. And thank you very much for this piece of advice:

    Stop to consider all the hurt caused in the past because of the morality changes that occurred in the law.

    This is exactly what I've been saying ... stop to consider the hurt. It is a moral principle, so I suppose that puts us all in agrement that the law is not separate from morality. And this country was founded on the concept of equal liberty. It is literally spelled out that way.

    And what is the principle of liberty? It is this: the state or any other social body has no right to coerce or restrict the individual unless the individual causes harm to others. And equal liberty: "each has freedom to do all that he wills provided that he infringes not the equal freedom of any other.? (herbert spencer)

    This is the underlying morality reflected in the Thomas Jefferson quote I posted earlier. Unless somebody's leg is getting broken, or their pocket is getting picked, it ought not concern their neighbors.

    And the courts have heard about the figurative picked pockets and broken legs in the matter of marriage equality. You can read the details in the court transcripts of you wish. It shows that same-sex couples ARE harmed by witholding from them the rights, responsibilities and protections afforded to other couples ... AND that other couples ARE NOT HARMED if the state offers the same rights, responsibilities, and protections to same-sex and opposite-sex couples.

    So yes, do stop to consider the hurt ... the harm ... to others. Witholding from same-sex couples harms them. Granting those rights, responsibilities and protections to same-sex couples harms no one.

    What moral code, exactly, justifies perpetuation of this inequity under the law? Please tell me it is something more admirable and defensible than the simple "tyranny of the masses" so often cited on this blog.

  103. Posted April 6, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    Daniel, I answered.

    You pose as if the existence of a marriage law itself causes harm because it creates a non-marriage category.

    If you want to borrow the credibility of Jefferson and the like to your complaint against the marriage law, you first need to establish the justification for the marriage law.

    You can't reasonably begin by assuming the law justifies itself by virtue of merely existing. Your own remarks forbid that you start there.

    If that law, and that special status, is unjustified, then, it ought to be abolished. Start by dealing with this basic of lawmaking. Then, perhaps, you might proceed to how the law would operate.

    And, no, the starting line is not found in your gay emphasis. You might start there and try to rationalize that bias, but that would harm your viewpoint far more than mine.

  104. Daniel
    Posted April 6, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    Chairm writes: If you want to borrow the credibility of Jefferson and the like to your complaint against the marriage law, you first need to establish the justification for the marriage law.

    You ask me to provide justification for the unjust exclusion of gay and lesbian couples from the enjoyment of the rights, responsibilities and protections freely available to straight couples? Um ... no. That would be the responsibility of those who wish to exclude gay and lesbian couples.

    And if you seek a starting line, I've been pointing to it repeatedly. It is the principle of liberty.

    So, sorry if I missed your answer. Could you tell me again? What is your justification for perpetuating a restriction that harms some, when lifting that restriction yields no demonstrable harm?

  105. Posted April 6, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    Daniel, you asked:

    "What is your justification for perpetuating a restriction that harms some, when lifting that restriction yields no demonstrable harm?"

    Hang on. I answered that.

    Marriage law recognizes marriage. Thus it also happens to create a nonmarriage category. You said that nonmarital relationships are harmed by marriage law. So it would follow that for your view to be just, within your application of the harm principle, the marriage law must be abolished.

    But you could escape the trap you set for yourself by clarifying what marriage is -- before the law enters the picture. As I said, you might find it easier to start with the same-sex scenario.

    Special status for the same-sex type of relationship you have in mind is justified by .... fill-in-the-blank.

  106. Daniel
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    Chairm writes: Marriage law recognizes marriage.

    Hey, didn't you also write: "You can't reasonably begin by assuming the law justifies itself by virtue of merely existing." ? Which is it?

    Marriage law confers rights & responsibilities to a couple. It allows two people who are not closely related to create the nearest kinship recognized by law. In some places, ALL adult couples who are not close relatives enjoy the option to marry.

    But in other places, only opposite-sex couples have this option - others are excluded. (Even though the Supreme Court found that sexual activity between unrelated, consenting adults is supposedly a private matter . . . ) This is the inequity that you have not justified.

    You said that nonmarital relationships are harmed by marriage law.

    Close. I pointed out THAT THE HIGH COURTS HAVE SAID that the denying the rights, privileges and protections of marriage to same-sex couples harms them.

    So it would follow that for your view to be just, within your application of the harm principle, the marriage law must be abolished.

    Abolished? That is some tortured logic there! Was "the marriage law" abolished when slaves and their descendants were finally allowed to marry in the US? Was it abolished when interracial couples were finally allowed to marry? Thats some ridiculously hyperbolic language loaded with propaganda value, Chairm.

    Inclusion of same-sex couples has not "abolished the marriage law" in any jurisdiction.

    Special status for the same-sex type of relationship you have in mind is justified by .... fill-in-the-blank.

    You pose the wrong question, because - to my knowledge - nobody seeks "special status". The status that marriage equality advocates seek is called "equal".

  107. bman
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Daniel->And what is the principle of liberty? It is this: the state or any other social body has no right to coerce or restrict the individual unless the individual causes harm to others. And equal liberty: "each has freedom to do all that he wills provided that he infringes not the equal freedom of any other.? (herbert spencer)

    The concept of preventing harm is not just a matter of preventing immediate or direct harm to an individual.

    Moral harm to a society is also a harm. That, too, needs to be restricted.

    You say, for example, "the state...has no right to coerce or restrict the individual unless the individual causes harm to others."

    However, by that formula the state can't coerce a woman who works at a topless bar to cover her breasts while waiting for a bus at a public bus stop.

    Do you think that woman has right to go topless while standing at a public bus stop?

    And what if the woman claims her civil rights have been violated because she is being forced to obtain property ( a top) against her will, and to wear a certain form of clothing (a top) against her will?

    She will no doubt call it sexual discrimination and a violation of sexual equality since a man can go topless at a public bus stop and she can't.

    Consider, too, that if you say the state must permit the woman to go topless at a public bus stop because it "harms no one," then you impose your morality on all of society.

    And why should you have the right to impose your morality on an entire society, but an entire society have no right to protect its morality from yours?