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Got Bias? SF Chronicle Reports Prop 8 Judge Vaughn Walker is Gay

 

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Dear Friends of Marriage,

In a story this Sunday (Feb. 7), the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Prop 8 Judge Vaughn Walker is gay and called his orientation, "The biggest open secret in the landmark trial over same-sex marriage."

We have no idea whether the report is true or not. But we do know one really big important fact about Judge Walker: He's been an amazingly biased and one-sided force throughout this trial, far more akin to an activist than a neutral referee. That's no secret at all.

Protect Marriage, the defendants in this case are effectively being held hostage by Judge Walker and cannot really comment.

But Judge Walker's bias from the bench includes:

A series of rulings permitting deep and deeply irrelevant "fishing expeditions" into the private and personal motivations and secret campaign strategy of campaign proponents. It wasn't six guys at Protect Marriage that passed Prop 8 it was 7 million Californians. But Judge Walker went so far as to order the Prop 8 campaign to disclose private internal communications about messages that were considered for public use but never actually used. He even ordered the campaign to turn over copies of all internal records and e-mail messages relating to campaign strategy.

Even though the Prop 8 supporters were forced to turn over private, internal documents and emails, Walker has refused to demand the same from opponents of the measure. In fact, Walker has refused to even rule on a motion to compel the discovery of this information, even though he has already closed testimony in the case. That alone is an unbelievable tilting of the playing field.

Walker has presided over a show trial designed to generate sympathetic headlines and news coverage for gay marriage supporters. Witness after witness was allowed to testify about their "expert" opinion that homosexuals have been discriminated against, that they feel badly when society does not validate their relationships, and that the passage of Prop 8 was simply an echo of historic prejudice and bigotry foisted on society by religious zealots.

To show the lengths that Walker has gone to create a "record" favoring the plaintiffs, he even allowed one "expert" witness -- a gay man from Colorado who has never lived in California and was never exposed to any Prop 8 campaign messages -- to testify that his parents' efforts to change his sexual orientation failed.

But the most egregious, and damaging, of all of Judge Walker's rulings was his determination to violate federal rules to broadcast his show trial worldwide. The US Supreme Court eventually blocked Walker's efforts (and rapped his biased knuckles sharply!) finding that he improperly changed the rules "at the eleventh hour" in violation of federal law. (Unfortunately, however, but by the time the Supreme Court issued a permanent stay two days into trial, the supporters of Prop 8 had already lost two-thirds of their expert witnesses who feared retaliation from the publicity).

Judge Walker's bias has been so extreme, he's earned a rare judicial "twofer." Key elements of his "fishing expedition" rulings were already reversed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (notably one of the most liberal in the nation) and the Supreme Court had to step in to block his illegal attempt to broadcast the trial.

It is highly unusual for a higher court to have to intercede in a trial judge's handling of a trial while it is going on -- yet Walker has had that "distinction" twice in the same case -- and we're not yet even at closing arguments.

There's only one saving grace to Judge Walker's bias. It's so big, and so obvious, not only the American public but the Supreme Court itself is already aware we have bias in the trial judge presiding.

©2009 National Organization for Marriage.

405 Comments

  1. Kingstonian
    Posted February 8, 2010 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    Oh, Brian - please stop grasping at straws. Judge Walker's orientation was well known as were his rulings against the LGBT community in previous cases. Unlike the rabid and blinding mania demonstrated by NOM, his prior rulings have been fair and impartial and based on law, not religious creed or fear-mongering. The sooner it becomes clear that you and NOM are nothing but the paid shills for various religious entities to protect their tax exempt status, the better.

  2. Kingstonian
    Posted February 8, 2010 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    P.S. What the Prop 8 trial showed is that the Prop 8 movement was run by bigots that are too ashamed to show their faces after the fact. They fear that their crazy will be put on display - as it was - for the rational and thinking American to see.

    Take your hate somewhere else.

  3. pantherq
    Posted February 8, 2010 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    Using your logic male judges should not preside over rape cases and ethnic minority judges should not preside over cases where the defendant is also a minority. Expecting logic from your organization is too much of a stretch of the imagination though isn't it?

  4. Raynd
    Posted February 8, 2010 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    If the judge had been mormon instead of gay and pulled the same shenannigans, consistently breaking judicial rules for the pro marriage side..... it'd be bias too.

    As it is, it's somehow poetic that for all Judge Walker’s fishing around in the private files of marriage supporters for hints of nefarious motivations that he would actually be the one with skeletons in the closet.

    You can try to say being gay had nothing to do with it, but in light of how he's behaved, I'd wager just the opposite.

  5. Raynd
    Posted February 8, 2010 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    At least now we know why.

  6. Jose
    Posted February 8, 2010 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    So, Judge Walker's being gay makes him biased and thus likely to SUPPORT same-sex marriage? Hmmm, that's interesting. Using that "logic", then that must mean that heterosexual judges are biased and thus likely to be AGAINST same-sex marriage. Where exactly do you come up with this stuff? Is the level of desperation for supporters of Prop 8 such that you'll say whatever it takes to shift the attention away from the fact that the defense in the trial was so weak? I understand that you want to "protect" marriage, yet I see you doing so little to end HETEROSEXUAL divorce, infidelity, spousal abuse, child abuse, economic injustice and whatever else is a much greater "threat" to marriage. Clearly those issues must not be as important... God have mercy on you all.

  7. Lee
    Posted February 8, 2010 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    The NOM press release starts out with a bold and sinful lie:

    "We have no idea whether the report is true or not."

    Brian Brown and other NOM officials most certainly knew Judge Walker is a gay man a long time ago. They are lying in the face of Jesus himself. This is extraordinarily sinful. And no, I am not joking in the least - sin is sin.

  8. Raynd
    Posted February 8, 2010 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    " I understand that you want to “protect” marriage, yet I see you doing so little to end HETEROSEXUAL divorce, infidelity, spousal abuse, child abuse, economic injustice and whatever else is a much greater “threat” to marriage."

    Ever been to church friend?

  9. TC Matthews
    Posted February 8, 2010 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    "Brian Brown and other NOM officials most certainly knew Judge Walker is a gay man a long time ago."

    Even the San Francisco Chronicle said they couldn't confirm it. How would you propose they try? The reporter asked Judge Walker point blank and he had no response.

  10. Jose
    Posted February 8, 2010 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    "Ever been to church friend?"

    Not sure what that's supposed to mean...

  11. Marty
    Posted February 8, 2010 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    Yeah I don't really see the issue here. What -- if he was a married heterosexual christian he's be unbiased? God I hope not!

  12. Chairm
    Posted February 8, 2010 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    I asked the following in a previous thread, but maybe SSM supporters in this thread could try to provide their own answers based on their own viewpoint:

    Can you come up with a few good reasons that gay men might have voted Yes on Proposition 8?

    Would any educated gay man have good reason to vote Yes? Would any gay man who is a lawyer have good reason to vote Yes?

    What do you really think: does having a gay man sit as the sole judge in a bench trial give an advantage to the No side or does it give a disadvantage to the Yes side?

    * * *

    And I'll add another question:

    A US district judge, like Walker, is duty bound to adhere to federal precedents that control the question of law in a case that comes before him.

    He is not empowered to over-rule the US Supreme Court which has already dealt with an SSM case and the claims Olson has made on equal protection and due process grounds.

    So, do you, as a supporter of SSM, believe that a district judge may over-rule the US Supreme Court?

    Do you, as an SSMer, believe that a judge who happens to be gay is obligated to decide in favor of the anti-8 litigators and their charge of animus?

    Do you believe that a judge who happens to be gay decides in favor of the anti-8 litigators that this would be an untarnished judicial decision?

    Do you believe that a judge who does not openly divulge his gay identity, if that is his "true self", while sitting on an SSM case is being hypocritical when conducting a 'fact-finding' investigation into the personal motivations of trial participants?

    Can you conceive of a good reason for a judge, who happens to be gay, to decide against the anti-8 litigators and in favor of the CA marriage amendment?

    Perhaps there will be SSM supporters here who will have the courage to answer these questions sincerely, and to discuss their answers in light of the judicial priority of providing fair treatment of litigants. This goes to the significance of the judicial role in our form of governance.

  13. pope
    Posted February 8, 2010 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    Trusting homosexuals to guard and protect the sanctity of marriage along with the nations children, may be akin to trusting a fox to guard and protect a hen house...?

  14. Nates
    Posted February 8, 2010 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    Chairm,

    Your answer lies in the very question you ask.
    Just replace the words SSMer with "OSMer" and gay with "straight"

    Cheerio

  15. Raynd
    Posted February 8, 2010 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    "“Ever been to church friend?”

    Not sure what that’s supposed to mean…"

    You said we did nothing to decry divorce and all other world evils. I just wondered if you'd ever been to church. They teach a lot of those principles there. That's the correct place for moral behavior to be taught. This business of legislating equality between two behaviors is out of sync. All choices are not created equal. Never were.

  16. Chris Primeaux
    Posted February 8, 2010 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

    Bias in any courtroom is wrong, whether the judge is heterosexual or homosexual. Marriage is between a man and a woman. If you don't want religion then why are you trying to have a religious ceremony or union? After all, the idea of marriage comes from the Bible, does it not? Therefore, if you are going to try and incorporate a ceremony from the Bible then you have to recognize the Bible, and in the Bible it clearly states that marriage is between a man and a woman.

    Every thing that we refer to that is a law, in this nation, can be referenced to the Bible. They come from the greatest command which is to Love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself.

    No one should be discriminated against (love your neighbor) but it is not discrimination to say that marriage is between a man and a woman (love God) You can not continue society without the union of a man and a woman. No matter what your argument is, you can't have a child without the sperm and the egg, I believe that will hold true in nature as well.

    I am sure that someone can come along and nit pick what I am saying, but that will not change the fact that marriage is between a man and a woman. There are problems with relationships at every level of heterosexuality and homosexuality which as far as I am concerned are a result of the path of society to get away from the teachings of the Bible, which comes back to love God and love your neighbor as yourself.

    None of the problems with relationships at all levels of society can change the fact that marriage is between a man and a woman, period!

  17. Jessie Dark
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    That's.. not right. If there were a trial going on for murder, you don't appoint the victim's brother as the judge... If there was a trial against a major corporation for fraud, you don't hand the CEO the gavel... You find the most neutral judge possible and let him preside over the case.

    Even if the man is straight and has no bias whatsoever, a person not a citizen of California should have no business on the witness stand concerning matters of our own state law; if they believe the case is so strong as far as being unable to change your orientation through any sort of therapy or whatever method, grab a citizen of California, or at least someone who knows about the campaign. And the same amount of probing and in depth searches should be done to the 'No on 8' campaign if they're going to do it to the 'Yes on 8'. If there are skeletons in the closet on either side, I think it needs to be brought out for everyone to see, and us as California voters and citizens have a right to that sort of information.

    Though it's impossible to be completely unbiased in this sort of case, at least get the same amount of information from both sides and be as fair about it as possible...

  18. Adam
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 2:24 am | Permalink

    Some fairly defensive statements from the gay marriage side. however not really 1 piece of evidence that refutes the evidence presented in this article. Why would a judge not even rule on a motion before the trial was even started??? Thats just ridiculous and careless. None the less. The Scales of justice will be balanced in the end. The gay marriage side will have an absolute fit if the court overturns Walker. I can't image what they would do. but Olsen and Boise are well known fighters in the litigation ring. In all fairness, the judge leaned over backwards for the opponents of prop 8 I don't even see any grounds for an appeal Walker ruled against the gays.

  19. Adam
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 2:28 am | Permalink

    If Judge Walker was gay, why is the sfgate pretending it is the new revelation??? I gues it could be possibly to generate hits. But its wrong to say everyone knew this. I can understand everyone in San Fransico knowing this. They were the ones that appointed him no doubt. But the rest of us are just catching up.

  20. Chairm
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 2:57 am | Permalink

    Nate, it is not the same thing.

    Regarding voting Yes on Proposition 8, I can give many good reasons. The main reason to vote No is a gaycentric view of the marriage law and that is what the pro-SSM campaign insisted in its appeal to non-gay voters.

    Can you give good reasons for gay men to vote Yes? If not, why not?

    SSMers generally assume that no gay person would vote Yes and that no gay person would disagree with the charge that the CA amendment is anti-gay and based on animus toward the gay identity group.

    Do you assume otherwise? Do you disagree with the charge?

    * * *

    The gay press and gay blogosphere seems to believe it an advantage that Judge Walker is a gay man sitting in judgement of what the anti-8 litigators have called an anti-gay amendment.

    Can you give good reasons to believe it a disadvantage for anti-8 litigators to argue before such a gay judge during a bench trial in which 'fact-finding' is based on investigating personal motivations?

    * * *

    Remember, the context here is the paramount duty of the judiciary to ensure fair treatment of the litigants.

  21. pope
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Except Nates, that you have to be able to define a characteristic in law, in order to provide constitutional protections. A discrete and insular characteristic. What is gayness? What is sexual orientation? It appears to vary and change over time, for some as often as they buy a pair of shoes or get a new haircut to go with their orientation of the week. Is it behavior? Is it feelings of love and admiration? How you protect something in the constitution that cannot even be defined from the get-go?

  22. Nates
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Chairm, I could imagine a scenario where some gay and lesbians would vote in favor of Prop 8. Perhaps the same or similar reasons some heterosexuals don't like the term marriage. In other words, there are outliers in both groups. That argument however, is inconsequential to specific constitutional argumentation for "gayness" or sexual orientation as a class of folks for proposed heightened scrutiny analysis.

    I see no issue because of Judge Walkers alleged sexual orientation that precludes the judiciary from ensuring fair treatment of the litigants.. Do you?

    Same-sex couples seek the same right to marry that already exists. They do not seek the right to “gay marry” any more than a religious couple seeks the right to “church marry,” or an interracial couple seeks the right to “interracially marry,” or a prisoner seeks the right to “inmate marry.” This fundamental right applies to all of those classes of citizens. The law may not discriminate against same-sex couples, or against any of them, unless there is some compelling justification for it to do so. A same-sex couple who wants to preserve their loving relationship by marrying is indistinguishable from an opposite-sex couple who wants to do the same thing.

    Proposition 8 was part of a continuing practice that discriminates against gays and lesbians by making constitutional protections contingent upon a majority vote, not normally part of due process and equal protection guarantees in the 5th and 14th amendment.

    Whether society’s prejudices against homosexuals result from personal notions of tradition and
    morality, instead of malice, does not affect their lack of legal merit. A desire to harm a politically unpopular group is not usually a legitimate government interest.

    Moreover, prejudice and bigotry against a class do not become constitutionally ennobled by simply adding “immoral, channeled procreation or every child deserves this or that" to the list of contumelies used and directly targeted against them. Given that the Due Process Clause does not make any distinctions between how it treats the
    liberty interests of homosexuals and the liberty interests of heterosexuals with regard to sodomy, there is no discernable reason for the Due Process Clause to make distinctions between how it treats the liberty interests of same-sex couples and the liberty interests of opposite-sex couples with regard to the fundamental right to marry.

    Our history demonstrates that the definition of marriage is not a static thing, constrained by its
    historical antecedents. While marriage has always been a relationship between two committed people
    that is specially recognized by the law, its other characteristics have changed with time. “Traditional
    marriage” did not explicitly apply to people of different races, prison inmates, nor to men who had
    child support obligations for issue not in their custody.

  23. Adam
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Whatever the case, I wouldn't be surprised if this article was just written intentionally to get the pro tradition side possibly thinking of a retrial. Judge walker doesn't mention it. It wasn't a big deal before the trial and nobody seemed to bring it up. So now after the trial is over, why is it coming up??? Anyone have an idea why, if indeed everyone knew about Walker before the trial, why make the big deal now???

  24. Christie
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    Please get a reality check NOMers'
    There is no connection between the Judge's Orientation and any ruling...

    Lest there be any doubt, the fact that a judge shares a minoritarian status with the plaintiffs in a civil rights case is not a proper basis for recusing the judge. And there's a great 35-year-old decision on point, written by U.S. District Judge Constance Baker Motley, a former NAACP attorney and the first African-American woman federal judge. It emerged in a Title VII case brought by women challenging the sex discrimination then common at big law firms. The lawyers for Sullivan and Cromwell sought to disqualify Judge Motley from hearing the case. She wrote:

    "Defendant further seeks my disqualification on the ground that I “strongly identified with those who suffered discrimination in employment because of sex or race”, and offers as support for this “identification” an eloquent quote, attributed to me, on the crippling effects of discrimination. …

    It is beyond dispute that for much of my legal career I worked on behalf of blacks who suffered race discrimination. I am a woman, and before being elevated to the bench, was a woman lawyer. These obvious facts, however, clearly do not, ipso facto, indicate or even suggest the personal bias or prejudice required by [the recusal statute]. The assertion, without more, that a judge who engaged in civil rights litigation and who happens to be of the same sex as a plaintiff in a suit alleging sex discrimination on the part of a law firm, is, therefore, so biased that he or she could not hear the case, comes nowhere near the standards required for recusal. Indeed, if background or sex or race of each judge were, by definition, sufficient grounds for removal, no judge on this court could hear this case, or many others, by virtue of the fact that all of them were attorneys, of a sex…... See More

    Nowhere in their affidavits do defense counsel or defendant indicate that I have any relationship or personal association or interest in this litigation. They merely point to my general background and the obvious facts of my race and sex as evidence of extrajudicial prejudice. … [N]one of the facts included in the affidavits … are sufficient, under the statutes, for disqualification. Defendant's motion for disqualification is, therefore, denied."

    Blank v. Sullivan and Cromwell, 418 F. Supp. 1, 4-5 (S.D.N.Y. 1976)

  25. TC Matthews
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    Maybe the SF Chronicle is giving him cover for when he sides with Prop 8. I am looking at this case, the precedent etc, and I just don't see how he could credibly come up with a reason to invalidate it. He's going to have to side with Prop 8.

  26. Adam
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Isn't the Chronicle pro gays? Why would they bring it up. "Everyone" seemed not to care. Wouldn't the Chronicle risk infuriating their readers? I just don't see the logic.

  27. betty
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    kingstonian - back up those remarks! typical liberal spin (lies). sick of liberals having nothing to back up their lies. you state "judge" (he does not deserve this title) walker's rulings have been "fair and impartial" - LIE! this is like saying black is white and 2 plus 2 equals 7 - this man has an agenda and should be removed. you haters need to get use to the fact that we conservatives are sick of your lies and spin and we are not taking it anymore and we ain't going no where!!

  28. John
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Let us assume, for purposes of this discussion: (1) that Judge Walker in fact is gay, and (2) that that gives rise to at least some appearance of bias on his part.

    A federal statute, 28 United States Code § 144, provides:

    Whenever a party to any proceeding in a district court makes and files a timely and sufficient affidavit that the judge before whom the matter is pending has a personal bias or prejudice either against him or in favor of any adverse party, such judge shall proceed no further therein, but another judge shall be assigned to hear such proceeding.

    The affidavit shall state the facts and the reasons for the belief that bias or prejudice exists, and shall be filed not less than ten days before the beginning of the term at which the proceeding is to be heard, or good cause shall be shown for failure to file it within such time. A party may file only one such affidavit in any case. It shall be accompanied by a certificate of counsel of record stating that it is made in good faith.

    If the judge's orientation mattered to the parties to the Perry v. Schwarzenegger lawsuit, they had ample opportunity to raise the issue prior to trial. It is manifestly unfair for a party, who is aware of facts suggesting judicial bias or the appearance of bias, to sit back and remain silent until after the proof is concluded, in anticipation of playing the bias card as an "ace in the hole".

    This kerfluffle is far more about politics than about law.

  29. TC Matthews
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    John’s Crystal Ball Judicial Bias Detector ™ New from Gay Agenda! Now you don’t have to wonder about the bias of your judge, We Tell the Future For You!

    (This message is a registered trademark of Crystal Ball Judicial Bias Detector inc. Any forecasting, visions, deviations or soothsaying by anyone other than us etc is expressly prohibited. ®)

  30. David
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    besides all this bigotted hot air, two things remain:

    1.) the state of california must prove to itself or be shown by the defendents a state interest in preventing two women or two men marrying

    2.) 14th ammentment.

    As cloudily as the Bigotts in here have attempted to confuse the issue at every turn with bs and discrimination and prejudice, the fact remains, not one person has successfully in court proven a negative consequence to homosexuals marrying. Your full of crap churches will have their ability to continue to lie to the masses of stupid sheep remain intact as it is currently under the law without having to wed homos.

    The inflation of distorted and mangled reallity eminating from the pro H8 ingoramaces is astounding. Polygamy, marrying a st bernard, legalizing prostitution and sex with minors. If these actions are what you equate homosexuality with, then I really have no idea of how to get through to a truely cognizant portion of your limbic system as you have proven it is in a state of total disarray. We know you really aren't trying to instill fear into the simple minds of dumbasses accross america. No one really believes that these are a result of or analogus to homosexuality or gay marriage. They're just old tired out excuses of bigots resorting to fantastic and bs laiden feets. Just like the good old boys version of black men have no other motivation than to wreack society by raping whigte women. Get f-ing reall.

    This whole using children as an excuse to prevent homos from marrying is so laime. How about some reall facts:

    1) divorce is a THREAT to children

    2) HOMO couples have been successfully rasing kids for EVER

    3) the defense witnesses and the defense council have both said in court that they know of no negative but only positive consequences to allowing homos to marry, as in everyone wins-including the kids

    4) homophobia, prejudice and bigotry have been rampantly crusading against homosexuals in american history without any reason why this is in reality to any measureable extent beneficial to anyone, except for the ick factor of man on man action and the need to villify a group and the "other," which is a sign of serious immaturity.

    5) gay marriage only affects those diciding to have one. If still you don't "believe" in gay marriage, THEN DONN'T GET MARRIED TO A PERSON OF THE SAME SEX AS YOURSELF!

    6) stop displaying your stupidty with the procreation and adoption stuff. Str8 people do come in an infirtile model.

    7) being gay is not a choise. If it was, being str8 is a choise as well. When did YOU decide to become str8?

    Gay marriage will blow over and the remaining oppositon will so go down in history the same way recists and misogynists did. Bygoats, bygoats, bygoats. Good luck comming out on top of another equal rights fight in america with discrimination and biggotry winning. Biggotry sure makes a good showing of itself, yet never seams to take the cake.

  31. Daniel
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    So in order for a ruling to be "fair", they have to be straight christian? but wouldnt being christian not be fair? oh wait, its different right? NOM is no better the Nazi Germany. If we had it NOM's way, we would still be killing gays, and possibly all the other non redneck converatived people.

    Let me ask you something, in the bible, does it say, "if a gay couple gets married, then you are not going to heaven." does christians have a cap on how many gays get married before going to hell?

    your more worried about gay married then the fact that divorce rates r almost 60%. 2 out of 10 marriages will be successful. the bible does say that divorce is a sin. so how many straight christian families do you see geting divoriced? don't lie, its a sin.

    Prop 8, and anything of, is unconstiutional. its breaking the 1st and 14th amendments. the only thing you have is lies, closed-minded facts, and the bible. but like every other civil rights (african american and woman's) it takes time and an amendment.

    like it or not, NOM, this is not going to end. as hard as you are trying, so are we. face it or not, full gay marriage is going to happend if you like it or not. it may not be in our life time. but its going to come down to the point when it does.

  32. Adam
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    Hi Dave, I am gay and I voted for straight marriage, does that make me a bigot too?

  33. Adam
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    My name is John, I'm a bigot I voted for traditional marriage. Please help me.

  34. Adam
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    Can I vote again, I didn't know I was being a bigot, you mean to tell me all this time I was being a bigot? Shoot, if I had only seen the bigot commercial, that would have changed my mind before it was too late. I know an idea, gees, why didn't the courts get involved earlier before the elections so everyone could have voted the right way.

  35. Chairm
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    Nates,

    So that there is no misunderstanding, could you confirm, correct, or clarify that you think that the reason gay men might have voted Yes to the CA marriage amendemnt is that they "don’t like the term marriage"?

    Is that the best and only reason you can imagine?

    * * *

    What you said about the fundamental right to marry is incorrect because a fundamental right has deep roots and SSM has no such roots even within the GLB community.

    The marriage law legitimately discriminates between marriage and nonmarriage.

    Whatever SSM might be, and whatever its merits and demerits, it is a subset of the nonmarriage category. No SSMer has shown how the gaycentric subset is substantively different than the rest of nonmarriage's types of relationships and types of living arrangements.

    Again, note that you talked of gayness and sexual orientation and then made the switch to "same-sex couples". The same-sex combination is not definitively gaycentric, contrary to your assumption. In fact, there is no gayness criterion proposed for SSM.

    Meanwhile the marriage law has no gayness criterion for ineligibility and no straight criterion for eligiblity. There is the two-sexed combination criterion, yes, but that is not a sexual orientation requirement.

    One in four of the plaintiff's exemplifies this legal fact.

    You said: "A same-sex couple who wants to preserve their loving relationship by marrying is indistinguishable from an opposite-sex couple who wants to do the same thing."

    There is no legal requirement for "love", but even if there was why would you imagine that love is a governmental interest?

    Brothers love each other; as do very close friends whose relationships are not sexualized. Polygamists and polyamorists also profess loving relationships. There is no sexual basis, at law, for SSM.

    Marriage, on the other hand, entails the marital presumption of paternity. And its sexual basis is opposite-sexed, not sex neutral. Marriage also entails the man-woman criterion which stands for sex integration. Together these features -- universal across time and place -- are definitive of this social institution. And from that core there arises great societal significance. These deep roots and these societal interests are more than enough to justify discriminatting between marriage and otherstuff.

    But can you, as a supporter of SSM, justify treating the gay subset of the nonmarriage category as more special than the rest of that category?

    I doubt it. Even the anti-8 litigators failed to do that.

  36. Chairm
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    Nates you are profoundly mistaken when you asserted:

    "'Traditional marriage' did not explicitly apply to people of different races, prison inmates, nor to men who had child support obligations for issue not in their custody."

    Sure it did and does.

    The term, traditional marriage, does nto mean that the core meaningn of the social instituition of marriage is merely a tradition. The term is simply the way that defenders of marraige use when discussing the "gay marriage" idea. Marriage is marriage. Its core meaning is right there in our legal system -- our traditions, customs, and laws.

    The man-woman criterion stands for sex integration; the marital presumption of paternity provides the sexual basis for making the union of husband and wife a public and a sexual type of relationship, at law. These are very public and yet our legal tradition also protects the private aspect of the conjugal relationship type. This is exemplified in how our legal system navigates the sexual basis for the marital presumption of paternity.

    None of that applies to the one-sexed scenario -- whether or not the all-male or the all-female arrangement is sexualized or attached to an identity group. Gayness is irrelevant even to the SSM laws that exist elsewhere for there is no gayness requirement for those who'd show up for a license to SSM.

    If you are going to complain that prisoners can exercise the right to marry, you need to understand that the license to marry and the agreement to marry (agreement of the man, the woman, and the state on behalf of society) is merely a limited contract to enter the type of relationship. When people enter the social institution they say I do -- they give their consent -- to what marriage actually is. No one-sexed combination of persons -- no matter how law abiding -- are capable of giving consent to that.

    They might consent to something else. What is the SSM idea, in fact, such that it has a core meaning, deeply rooted, which can be described as a fundamental right? or that has such great societal significance that it merits a special status? You need to begin with the core of the type of relationship you have in mind and then show how it is different from the rest of nonmarriage -- before you pin a license and special status on it.

    So far, all the SSM campaign has come up with is gayness. And they don't even propose a legal requirement for that. Indeed, they tend to run away from plainly stating the core meaning of the type of relationship they have in mind. They end up acknowledging that SSM is not so special --- and so they insist that marriage is not so special either. The argumentation logically concludes with a shrug which says that the special status of marriage is expendable not because the social institution is harmful to society but because its core meaning is greater than the meaning of SSM. And gayness must trump the special reason for the spedcial status of marriage.

    So when you said earlier that gay people might vote Yes for the CA marriage amendment, because they don't like the marriage, you confessed more about SSM argumentation than perhaps you had imagined.

    Judge Walker insistently asked about the government getting out of the marriage business, if you recall.

  37. Jessie Dark
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    Guys, the issue here is not whether gay marriage should be legal or not. The issue is this; is Judge Walker making unbiased and fair decisions? The fact that he ordered a full search of the 'Yes on 8' campaign, and not on the 'No on 8' proves that he either has an agenda, is being paid off, or just feels like sticking it to someone. His sexual orientation has nothing to do with it either way. If he can make a fair decision based on facts, he can be gay, straight, or an intelligent monkey for all I care.

    I think he had every right to any and all documentation he felt was detrimental to the case, though I think probing witness's to assess their personal moral values went a tad over the edge, if he feels it will bring more facts to the case, I say let him do it. On -both- sides of the argument. But the bias way he seems to be going about it doesn't show that to be the case here at all.

    This article isn't saying 'zomg, stop they gayz!!!!' it's pointing out the possibility of a either a corrupt or a bias judge. If it was like that on either end, I would have something to say about it, regardless of my personal stand on the political issue.

  38. Chairm
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    To David only:

    What does the B mean in your phrase "the pro HB"?

  39. Chairm
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    Daniel, you said:

    "So in order for a ruling to be 'fair', they have to be straight christian?"

    No.

    To answer your underlying charge of hypocrisy, a judge can possess personal bias in terms of his political or social policy views that touch on a particular case. Gay or not.

    But he has a duty to ensure the fair treatment of the litigants. If his personal bias is too strong, he is duty bound to recuse himself -- even if only for the sake of appearances.

    However, in this instance, Judge Walker has shown bias against the defendants through his actions. He was rebuked already.

    It may be that his gay identity has cushioned him somewhat, given political correctness. He has the benefit of the doubt. But the litigants have a one bench trial and if they are unfairly treated then the judge has blown his paramount responsiblity. Already several witnesses for the defense opted not to testify due to the judge's determined efforts to broadcast. Already the judge has ordered intrusions on private material of the pro-amendment side but not of the anti-8 side. There does not appear to be a good judicial reason for this lop-sided approach by this judge on this particular case.

    However, a political or social policy bias in favor of the plaintiff's political goals may be the best extra-judicial explanation. Time will tell.

    The anti-8 litigators may have made a huge legal mistake when they did not themselves raise concerns about fairness. They went along; they pushed further than the judge was already leading them. The case is more political staging than legal wrangling, as seen already in the proceedings thusfar.

    We are not talking about treating the judge fairly, by the way, because, while a legitimate consideration, that must always be a secondary consideration to the fair treatment of litigants. This is about the principles of judicial review and standing against the abuse of judicial review.

  40. Nathaniel
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    Chairm wrote: "However, in this instance, Judge Walker has shown bias against the defendants through his actions. He was rebuked already."
    Of course this is the case, the appeals court said, "yep, no legal interpretation or issue at stake, judge is biased so rebuke thee" twice... No other interpretation.. must be cuz he might be gay?

  41. Chairm
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 2:46 am | Permalink

    Nathaniel, he was rebuked but not the way you mischaracterized it.

    * * *

    Do you think that gay men would have good reason to vote Yes for the CA marriage amendment?

    I suspect you do not.

    so, if not, then, do you believe that the typical gay man can reasonably be counted as against the marriage amendment and in favor of the anti-8 litigants?

    The behavior of a judge, gay or not, needs to be impartial. Judge Walker is failing that important judicial duty.

    Do you care whether or not the judge in a trial disadvantages one side or the other? Or are you really just happy to endgame?

  42. Chairm
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 2:53 am | Permalink

    To emphasize what I said in concluding a comment @February 9, 2010 at 8:30 pm in response to Nates:

    When you said earlier that gay people might vote Yes for the CA marriage amendment, because "they don’t like the term marriage," you confessed more about SSM argumentation than perhaps you had imagined.

    Judge Walker insistently asked about the government getting out of the marriage business, if you recall.

  43. Nathaniel
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    Chairm, there were a few homosexuals who voted for Prop 8. I don't know what their reasoning was, good, bad or indifferent. Does it matter? Were there a few heterosexuals who voted against Prop 8, and for marriage equality and were those "good" reasons? Does it matter? Do all heterosexuals think alike about marriage (sole purpose of procreation, unite the sexes, etc. etc.) If not, should the remaining be prohibited from marriage? How exactly does the fact that a few homosexuals voted for Prop 8 change the constitutional issues at play?

    Your side won on appeal for the evidentiary issue, and the you claim your disadvantaged? Did your side have to provide internal documentation and emails? NO.. Did you side have your testimony broadcast live on the internet? NO. And you claim you were disadvantaged? Should the government get out of the marriage business and turn it over to NOM? Good question I thought... you disagree I take it...

  44. Nathaniel
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    Chairm, anther claim that is made is about the person who was not from California to demonstrate the consequences and efficacy of so called "Repairative Therapy." I must admit, your side has a good point here. They should have selected someone from california, where the electricity used to shock the homosexual is different that it is in Colorado or where the Epicac used to induce vomiting is different than the brand used in Denver.
    Yes everything is indeed done differently in California.

  45. Posted February 10, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    As a Gay person I am utterly appalled at this judge's conduct. He should have either recused himself or else made his Gay orientation VERY public (which would have spared him some of his temptation to be biased....)

    This judge makes it more difficult for Gay people everywhere to be perceived as individuals from all over the political/religious spectrum rather than gay-activist stereotypes.

    By the way--- if I lived in California, I would have voted in favor of traditional marriage. There ARE Gay people that feel this way, it's just that certain people don't want our voices heard.

  46. Nathaniel
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    The "other" side did not request discovery of emails, or materials, perhaps if they did, then the judge would have something to rule on.. They didn't ask, the judge didn't rule.. seems pretty simple to me.

  47. Adam
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Nissa, you speak from experience, Can you tell us why some gays are in favor of traditional marriage? I for one am curious because it would be intersting to see the difference between the ideals within the gay community.

  48. John
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    I don't know all the particulars of Judge Walker's permitting discovery of documents and materials used by proponents of the amendment during the Proposition 8 campaign, but the motivation for passage of the amendment (and the tactics used in pursuance of that goal) was a disputed issue in the lawsuit, pursuant to Romer v. Evans. The motivation or tactics of opponents of the referendum were not similarly at issue. It is quite a stretch to suggest that treating things which are in fact dissimilar in a different manner, befitting the distinction, is an indicator of judicial bias.

    The San Francisco Chronicle article refers to Judge Walker's alleged orientation as "[t]he biggest open secret in the ... trial". The Defendant-Intervenors were represented by able counsel, including Charles Cooper, a former Solicitor General of the United States. Nevertheless, no party sought recusal, despite having ample opportunity to do so. It is unseemly to kvetch about this "issue" now.

  49. Eric
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    As a lawyer in San Francisco, I've known Judge Walker to be a principled and fair judge for as long as I've practiced law. Indeed, when Judge Walker was in private practice, he took much criticism from the gay community for representing the International Olympic Committee in a trademark case against organizers of the Gay Olympics. But let's examine Brian's allegations that Judge Walker is "biased":

    Brian says Judge Walker issued "[a] series of rulings permitting deep and deeply irrelevant “fishing expeditions” into the private and personal motivations and secret campaign strategy of campaign proponents."

    Brian intentionally misrepresents these rulings by leaving out the fact that these campaign documents are directly relevant to the factual issue of motive for Proposition 8 support, which goes to the legal issue of whether Prop. 8 meets the level of constitutional scrutiny applicable under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment, and other causes of action brought by the plaintiffs. So Brian is caught in his first lie.

    Brian says "Even though the Prop 8 supporters were forced to turn over private, internal documents and emails, Walker has refused to demand the same from opponents of the measure. . . . That alone is an unbelievable tilting of the playing field."

    Brian does not mention that the reason Walker denied the defendants' motions for this discovery is because the plaintiffs motives for challenging Prop. 8 are not relevant to the factual and legal issues of the case. Judge Walker denied these motions with written opinions, which the defendants could have appealed if they believed there was bias, and Brian knew or should have known the contents of Walker's written opinion because it is a public record. The only logical conclusion, therefore, is that Brian omitted these facts in order to mischaracterize Walker's rulings as being motivated by bias rather than a clear application of the Federal Rules of Evidence. So, we catch Brian in his second lie.

    Brian says "Witness after witness was allowed to testify about their “expert” opinion that homosexuals have been discriminated against..." Yes, this is called due process, as guaranteed by the Constitution. Each side is entitled to put on their case, which includes testimony from witnesses. Brian's language, of course, is intended to cue up his next assertion:

    "But the most egregious, and damaging, of all of Judge Walker’s rulings was his determination to violate federal rules to broadcast his show trial worldwide. . . . by the time the Supreme Court issued a permanent stay two days into trial, the supporters of Prop 8 had already lost two-thirds of their expert witnesses who feared retaliation from the publicity."

    Brian neglects to mention that these witnesses have engaged in multiple public appearances, many of which are already on YouTube, in support of Proposition 8, which reveals the falsity of the claim that they feared retaliation. Brian also fails to mention the testimony of the witnesses they did put on, and how the Prop. 8 supporters "expert" was completely destroyed on cross-examination -- which is the real reason the defense decided not to put on many of its witnesses. Brian is caught in lie number three.

    Brian's letter does not withstand careful examination, and reveals that the bias lies with Brian, not with Judge Walker. But if you doubt that, you need go no further than to read the transcripts from the trial and see for yourself.

  50. TC Matthews
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    So are you saying Eric, that it is not Judge Vaughn Walker who is biased, but the Ninth Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court who both overturned his wrong headed rulings? I'm not sure what kind of lawyer you are, but constitutional law and federal law don't seem to be your strong points.

  51. newgirl
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    The only bigotry I have seen is from the hateful comments made by the side that is for same sex marriage. I don't ever see Christians making personal attacks on the gays. The fact is is that "homosexuality" is not valid in the act of marriage. It was defined as between a man and a women in the bible. It makes no difference if it passes or not. It cannot change the truth in the word of God. In the end God will deal with those who are determined to distort the true word of God. Read the last page in Revelation. I really don't care what anyone else claims "marriage" is the only one that matters to me is the one God ordains and equals to his relationship with us. We are the church, we are referred to as the "bride" and Jesus is the bridegroom who will return the claim his bride. A man cannot be a bride. This is fight to protect what God considers sacred. We should not be vilified for doing that. Marriage between same sexes will never be recognized by God because he created two sexes to complete each other. Otherwise there would just be one sex and all would be interchangeable. Again it is what we believe and no one has a right to harass us for what we believe. You have a right to fight for what you believe too and no one is trying to take that right away from you nor are they making personal attacks on you. There is a lot of hate out there but it is not coming from the christian believers. You speak of us as being bigoted but it is you who want to change the law so that everyone will have to submit to what you believe is it not? Intolerance is not allowing anyone else to believe differently than you. That sounds like a dictatorship. If others don't agree with you you attack them the way you attacked the Mormon Church. Who is really the intolerant bigot here?

  52. Adam
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    Judge Walker can rule as he pleases. If anyone knows Judge walker, it would be those who work with him. I'm curious as to why it came out more now. Interestingly most people may have know in SF. I have watched the trial proceedings build up. To my knowledge there were no points brought up publicly that Walker might be gay. I didn't see anything even proposing such a thing. Why it wasn't a big deal before the trial and why SF chronicle would make somthing of it now is beyond me. I beleive he showed bias, if the prop 8 didn't appeal higher, then Walker's rulings would have been in effect. I think it shows his personal agenda at least what he intended, however he eventually got overuled. It shows what he wanted and shows what should have happened. Weather he is biased or not, I do feel comforatable knowing that the ultimate decision will be decided by multiple judges. Right now I think there are more conservative judges than left sided. Lets hope conservatives judges always are in the majority at the top. More republican presidents means more conservative judges appointed. More democrats means more progressive judgges will be appointed.

  53. Chairm
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    Eric, as a lawyer on the internet, you might know that the truth is the best defense.

    You've charged Brian with telling lies. The truth backs Brian and discredits you.

  54. Chairm
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    Nathaniel,

    If the reasons for voting Yes are irrelevant to you, then, you'd agree that Judge Walker's investigation into personal motivations is bogus.

    Thank you.

    * * *

    You asked: "How exactly does the fact that a few homosexuals voted for Prop 8 change the constitutional issues at play?"

    You assume that only a few voted Yes. You concede, then, that you believe that being part of the gay identity group is highly predictive of bias against the CA marriage amendment.

    That's the point.

    You also listed the ways that Judge Walker performed with bias.

    Thank you.

    You asked: "Did [defendants] have to provide internal documentation and emails?"

    The correct answer is, yes.

    You asked: "Did [the defendants] have [their] testimony broadcast live on the internet? NO. And you claim you were disadvantaged?

    The answer is, yes, witnessed withdrew themselves because the cameras are recording the trial and Judge Walker did not rule out public use of those videos. He made a point of dithering, actually, even after being rebuked by the higher court.

    You asked: "Should the government get out of the marriage business and turn it over to NOM?"

    Judge Walker's repeated queries on this point directly reflect your speculation that the gay people who voted Yes probably would give the answer, no.

    How would that reconcile with being in favor of the special status protected by the CA marriage amendment?

  55. Chairm
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    Heh, I did nto mean to leave in Nate's wierd "and turn it over to NOM?” Nate is such a joker.

  56. Chairm
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    Nathaniel, the defendants did ask and the judge has held it in limbo. Odd.

  57. Nathaniels
    Posted February 11, 2010 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    Chairm, certainly I concede that most minority groups are biased at amendments directed at them for the only purposes of sky will fall arguments, animus and moral disapproval.

    Did the defendants have to provide documentation and emails sent to outside organizations. Yes of course they did, as part of normal discovery. You think your side is exempt or above the law? Ghey did not have to comply with internal communications (See SCOTUS ruling).

    What is this about cameras? Did the judge comply with the SCOTUS order? Yes. Are the videos on the internet? NO, did the defendants know this before they testified? YES. Did he use cameras to broadcast to an adjacent overflow courtroom? YES, is this what your complaining about.. Gimmee a break, Charim. Your side refused to provide remaining witnesses because they could not make their case.

    Don’t make things up, what discovery did the plaintiffs, not provide to the defendants? What was held in “limbo?” Can you kindly back up your claims..
    Chairm wrote “…….witnessed withdrew themselves because the cameras are recording the trial and Judge Walker did not rule out public use of those videos.” If Judge Walker had a 30 day comment period the original outcome might have been different. But that aside, I say “SO WHAT” if at a later date, somehow this video (as important as the scopes trial) is made public? Your side is of course, going to win at the supreme court - right? You’ll be hero’s at that point, basking in the glory of saving America. The witnesses will then be enjoying ticker tape parades.. Sadly though, the video will most likely ONLY be used for review in Walkers decision making process.

  58. Troy R.
    Posted February 11, 2010 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    While Judge Walker did allow for an unusually short comment period, it is in no way egregious, nor damaging, for a federal court to revise its local rules. It happens all the time. I think the camera-shy SCOTUS is far more concerned about averting any trend in the federal courts to allow televised hearings, generally.

    Moreover, I am fairly confident that if the defendant-intervenors wanted to restore some witness testimony after the SCOTUS ruling, Judge Walker would have allowed them to do so. As it was not a jury trial, he was very liberal in allowing both sides to submit a lot of evidence, and if the defendant-intervenors' experts had a change of heart after the SCOTUS ruling, Walker surely would have allowed them to be added to the witness list. Presumably, the plaintiffs would have already prepared for them anyway, so it would have been an easy call.

    I would encourage everyone to actually read the trial transcripts, rather than depend on this blogger's "analysis" of the proceedings. While it is difficult to account for all the documentary evidence the parties submitted, if Judge Walker rules for the plaintiffs, it will not be because he is "radical." Rather, it will be because the plaintiffs merely presented a better case with better attorneys and better witnesses. Sometimes it's just that simple.

  59. pope
    Posted February 11, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Not again, New Hampshire legislation banning same same sex marriage law failed to make it out of committee. I feel so bad for the children..

  60. Anna
    Posted February 11, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    pope,
    As is the case with most trolls on the inter-net, your lack of subtlety gives you away.

  61. Emma
    Posted February 11, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    Brian also fails to mention that by broadcasting this "show trial worldwide," what he actually meant was streaming live video to FIVE OTHER COURT HOUSES.

  62. Moderator
    Posted February 11, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Anna you are right. Pope and Nates/Nathaniel are the same poster.

  63. Emma
    Posted February 11, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    I actually have a serious question for all you pro-8 folks: as it stands now, there are several different tiers of marriage hierarchy in California amongst homosexuals. There are those who have chosen to get civil unions (civil unionized? there's not even a way of using this term that's on par with getting married), there are those who get married elsewhere (Canada, Iowa, Mass., South Africa, Spain, etc.) and then move to California, and then there are those who got married in California before you guys put a stop to those shenanigans.

    How do you rationalize the fact that certain gay couples can be legally married and others cannot? It's a caste system of an entirely new level that has never existed in the United States before. Would you like the State to step in and forcibly divorce these couples? How does California deal with this inherent inequality that its voters have now created?

  64. MAC
    Posted February 11, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Emma,

    You pose several very good questions. I have related questions to add for the pro-8 folks. If you prevail:

    1.) What should be the societal answer to same-sex couples?

    2.) Should our society encourage, support and/or recognize these relationships in any way?

    3.) What should the societal attitude be towards children living in same-sex households?

  65. Marty
    Posted February 11, 2010 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    "Would you like the State to step in and forcibly divorce these couples?"

    Yes, because they aren't marriages. I'm not going to pretend they are.

  66. Emma
    Posted February 11, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    You may not accept them as such but the State does - I am talking government here, not church weddings or religious ceremonies.

    A serious answer would be appreciated, because honestly what they've got now just doesn't make any logical sense. And I doubt that any of us honestly want the State stepping in and forcing people to get divorced once the State has issued a marriage license.

  67. TC Matthews
    Posted February 11, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    if it's invalid, it's invalid. There's no forcing involved. Marriage is between a man and a woman. A piece of paper can't change that.

  68. Marty
    Posted February 11, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California"

    There's nothing ambiguous about that statement.

  69. Marty
    Posted February 11, 2010 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    "what they’ve got now just doesn’t make any logical sense."

    Agreed. But as we've seen, once you give gay activists an inch they'll demand a mile.

  70. Emma
    Posted February 11, 2010 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    I know it's easy to say that, but 48% of the citizens of California disagree with that. And the California Supreme Court disagrees with that. And the California legislature twice passed legislation allowing same-sex marriage, only to be vetoed by a governor who now supports same-sex marriage.

    So to frame it another way, do you want the State to just start invalidating licenses that were once deemed valid? Marriage licenses, hunting licenses, drivers licenses, etc? Or just the ones you don't like?

  71. TC Matthews
    Posted February 11, 2010 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    If the people of California decide hunting isn't kosher anymore, let them vote to invalidate those licenses. The time for disagreeing is during the election. Gay activists made their case to the people. The people didn't buy it. Marriage is between a man and a woman. Period.

  72. Adam
    Posted February 11, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    Emma , you bring up some points that really are complicated. I would look back to the original cause of the problem. The government screwed up because it couldn't wait till the election was over. They used bad judgment. The gay activists are the one that pushed the issue. They are the ones responsible for the current chaos. They set up the "second class" marriages.

  73. Chairm
    Posted February 11, 2010 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Nathaniels, you can continue to have a one-way conversation with yourself or you can read my response and we can have an actual exchange.

  74. Chairm
    Posted February 11, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Since SSM is not marriage, and there has been no good reason to treat SSM as marriage, the confusion, if any, has been caused by the SSM campaign.

    The CA high court made a series of errors, that too has caused its host of problems.

    Why, Emma, would you lay all of that at the feet of those who defend the core meaning of marriage?

  75. Emma
    Posted February 11, 2010 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Equally unambiguous:

    "All people are by nature free and independent and have inalienable rights. Among these are enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy."

    (the Constitution of the State of California)

  76. Emma
    Posted February 11, 2010 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    You guys keep saying things like "Since SSM is not marriage... " But that just does not make sense. Do you deny that it exists? Do you deny the reality of gay couples marrying in Iowa, in Mass., in South Africa? (And isn't it a sad day when South Africa outpaces America in the realm of human rights?)

    Gay rights groups aren't fighting for "SSM," they're fighting for marriage, just like you.

    But that aside, same-sex marriage is just marriage. The marriage licenses issued to gay couples in places that allow them to apply for marriage licenses are the same as marriage licenses issued to straight couples. They're just marriage licenses, not "same-sex marriage" licenses.

  77. TC Matthews
    Posted February 11, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    SSM exists, but that doesn't make it marriage. It is not marriage, and by definition, can't be.

  78. Curious
    Posted February 11, 2010 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    If Judge Walker''s Youtube ruling caused any "Yes on 8" expert witnesses to refuse to testify, why did Andy Pugno (General Counsel for Yes on 8) say this on his blog?:

    "On the issue of protecting our witnesses and our right to a fair trial by preventing the televising of the trial over YouTube – on which the United States Supreme Court sided with us yesterday – it has been suggested that we have made much ado about nothing since I am holding on-camera interviews and some of our witnesses took a public stand during the campaign. Let me provide an example that underscores our contention that there is a real concern for our witnesses’ safety: some of our selected witnesses would absolutely refuse to testify if the trial had been televised based on fears of reprisal. This punctuates our position that televising the trial would have prevented us from mounting the most vigorous defense possible. Thankfully, these witnesses have agreed to participate due to the high court’s decision in our favor."

    http://www.protectmarriage.com/blog/page/2/

    Given Pugno's blog statement, and the fact that absolutely zero legal briefs by "Yes on 8" have been filed by "Yes on 8" arguing that Judge Walker's temporary (and unenforced) ruling prejudiced "Yes on 8" by causing specific witnesses to withdraw, isn't it possible, and even likely, that the outcry about Judge Walker's Youtube is media-spin by "Yes on 8"-related organizations designed to discredit a trial outcome that is not favorable for "Yes on 8"?

  79. adam
    Posted February 11, 2010 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    Emma, if you all want marriage you want equality, then why don't you have sex the same equal way hetersexuals do? All heterosexuals can have natureal sex regardless, homosexuals cannot have sex. I guess you could re write all the laws of biolgy while your trying to change marriage. We can not give you what you want.. Unatural does not = Natural. DOMA lets the states decide. Marriage can exist in one state because thats what judges have defined, not the people . Let the people decide not just a handful of activists. No rights are taken away. You have every right to marry just as anyone else right now.

  80. Marty
    Posted February 11, 2010 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    I'll agree that these are complicated questions, and the political will to stand up and say "The Constitutional Amendment just passed by the people of California means EXACTLY what it says -- and faux marriages are invalid" may not be there today. Or tomorrow.

    But who dug this hole? Who exactly was it that forced the People of California to rise up en mass and say NO!? It wasn't the catholics, or the mormons, or the hispanics, or the bigots. It was the gay activists who refuse to accept compromise, who insisted on cramming their morality down the throats of their neighbors, who insisted that their way was the ONLY way -- ALL the way.

    Yeah, I'm not at all suprised that they got thier nose smacked with a rolled up newspaper. And whatever sympathy they might have earned by their inch-by-inch strategy went right out the window when they demanded another mile.

  81. Chairm
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 3:32 am | Permalink

    Emma,

    We are discussing marriage, and SSMers routinely fail to differentiate SSM from nonmarriage before they demand that government pin a license and a special status on SSM.

    They can't look at all the possible types of relationships and all the possible types of living arrangements and say, over there is what we mean by SSM. They can't do that for SSM and they can't do that for marriage.

    Yet they demand a license and special status. In effect, they destroy the special reason for that special status when merger the SSM idea with marriage.

    That means they can't say what SSM actually is -- without Government intrusion to declare that the core of marriage is irrelevant.

    But marriage is a social institution with a core meaning that society, through government, recognizes and accords special status. The special reason for that special status does not apply to any one-sexed arrangement -- and not to most two-sexed arrangements. It is not about sexual orientation. It is not about gay this or gay that.

    The point is not what a government might arbitrarily do. It is about justly discriminating between marriage and nonmarriage.

    Places that merger SSM with marriage have abolished from the law the core meaning of the social institution of marriage and have replaced it with a very vague and anemic SSM idea.

    That SSM idea is not marriage. And it cannot provide justification for discrimianting between SSM/marriage and nonmarriage.

    Or to put it more accurately: marriage is not SSM. Governments err profoundly when they declare the falsehood that the two different things are the same thing.

    I fight for marriage. SSMers fight for something else and wish to impose that upon marriage. Hence our response to their demand for unjust government intrusion.

  82. Chairm
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 4:30 am | Permalink

    Troy, with due respect, I think your spin is rather weak.

    You said: "if Judge Walker rules for the plaintiffs, it will not be because he is 'radical.'"

    There is controlling federal precedent that a district judge is not empowered to over-rule. If Judge Walker pretends that he is so empowered, then, his actions would be way out of line with the principles of judicial review to which he is duty-bound. That's radical.

    You said: "Rather, it will be because the plaintiffs merely presented a better case with better attorneys and better witnesses. Sometimes it’s just that simple."

    Actually, what you just described, in the context of this case, is convoluted and complicated and not so simple, really.

    For the sake of discussion, you could claim that the anti-8 side has "better attorneys", but their oral argument was ludicrously off-point and their strategy of asking witnesses to make political and social policy arguments was even farther off-point.

    So being a star litigator does not automatically mean the litigation is better.

    Or, for the sake of discussion, you could say that the anti-8 legal team put on a top-notch political show, but that too is irrelevant to the actual question of law. So their better presentation would be window-dressing for a poor case. Putting lipstick on a pig.

    Or, for the sake of discussion, you could say that the group of anti-8 witnesses were "better" than the one remaining witness for the defense, but what counts is their testimony's relevance of the question of law. Making political or social policy arguments is not the sort of plea that addresses the constitutional question.

    The plaintiff's legal team presented the odd case that a district judge must over-rule federal precedent and do so for the purpose of producing a legislative result rather than a judicial result.

    Sure, that might be "that simple" in the sense that it amounts to a plea for the abuse of judicial review. And, sure, that might not be considered radical if one assumes that the legislative outcome justifies the unjust means.

  83. Chairm
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    Curious et al,

    You quoted Pugno on 15 January 2010. Subsequently only two defense witnesses testified while four others dropped out. Their reasons are those cited by the Supreme Court.

    The future broadcast, televising, or dissemination of the video recording of this particular trial is still highly plausible given the circumstances.

    * * *

    Judge Walker's actions show that he was is very keen to play fast and fancy with existing procedural rules so that he could rush to broadcast and disseminate video recording of this particular bench trial. His procedural games have not engendered confidence that he has given up trying to find a way to do so at some point later on.

    Walker's rush was such that had the cameras ready to record on the first day of proceedings. In light of that, the Supreme Court acted quickly and issued an interim order against broadcasting. This was done to give the high court time to consider the matter fully before issuing a permanent order, one way or the other.

    At that time, the lawyers for the anti-8 side argued that Walker should allow the recording, anyway, because the high court's order was temporary; and so broadcasting and dissemination might be allowed later. Walker decided to record on the basis that the order might just be a delay rather than a full stop.

    That was done under the objections of the defense team.

    A few days later, the Supreme Court issued its permanent order against broadcasting of this particular trial. Walker's response, in court, did not put to rest the prospect of the recordings being disseminated or even broadcast at a later date.

    The defense team stood up and objected to the continued recording of the trial.

    Walker no longer had the excuse that he was operating under an interim order. But he ordered the recording to continue.

    His excuses?

    He said the rule (which he had run afoul of) was a bar on only public broadcasting and televising. And, from that day forward, the recording would serve as a new tool for his subsequent review of testimony.

    Experienced litigators ought to find that very odd and very suspect.

    * * *

    As other SSMers have already pointed out, daily transcripts are available.

    Besides the judge is not a potted plant. He is conducting this trial. He asks questions. He is engaged and attentive during the proceedings. And he sits in the best situated seat in the room. He needs no video to review the proceedings. He hasn't in the previous bench trials.

    His actions thusfar, and his odd decision to continue the recording during the interim and after the permanent order from the Supreme Court, makes it highly plausible that Judge Walker will seek to find some way to broadcast and to disseminate the trial, eventually.

    * * *

    He has issued yet another version of notice for comments on changing the district court's policy on this very matter. Given all that he has already done to push and rush for the broadcasting and televising and dissemination of this particular trial, it is again highly plausible that revision to the rules and policy may well include a sort of retroactive permission to release the video of trials recorded prior to changes in the court's future guidelines.

    * * *

    You and other SSMers may applaude such a possiblity but that means you'd expect the district court to operate as if Walker had not been rebuked by the Supreme Court on his attempt to broadcast this specific trial.

    This all goes back to the paramount judicial duty to ensure the fair treatment of litigants.

    From ProtectMarriage.com:

    A. "Judge Walker’s insistent efforts to broadcast the trial proceedings worldwide on the internet, in violation of federal laws, caused two-thirds of our expert witnesses to withdraw from the case just before the trial started."

    B. "The loss of four witnesses put tremendous added pressure on our team of defense attorneys to find other ways to get our critical evidence into the record."

    And from the President of NOM:

    "The price of participating in a trial should not be the willingness to tolerate even a minimum of reasonable threats to one’s livelihood or personal safety."

    "The Supreme Court stepped in to prevent the broadcast of these hearings [for now]. But it was too late. Expert witnesses had already dropped out. The trial had been changed, forever, by the mere prospect of television broadcast."

  84. Chairm
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    To be clear, I added the part in square brackets in the quote from Maggie Gallagher:

    “The Supreme Court stepped in to prevent the broadcast of these hearings [Chairm - for now]. But it was too late. Expert witnesses had already dropped out. The trial had been changed, forever, by the mere prospect of television broadcast.”

    It is enough to decided against video rrecording that even one witnessed had said they'd drop out if a video recording of the trial was going to be broadcast, televised, or disseminated. And more than enough that four did drop out as a result of Judge Walker's actions.

    Impartiality is more significant, and of greater importance to the judicial process, than a judge using a video recording as a clumbsy and redundant post-it note.

  85. Emma
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Chairm, our justice system should be transparent and accessible to the public. Giving witnesses the power to shut down public access by dint of threatening to drop out of the trial is wrongheaded and sets a bad precedent. I think the Cooper and the other prop-8 lawyers probably came to the conclusion that having witnesses like Katherine Young testify would do more to bolster the marriage-equality side's arguments and were handed the perfect excuse to get them out of the trial.

  86. Nathaniels
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Chairm, lets deconstruct your red herring argumentation.

    "That means they can’t say what SSM actually is — without Government intrusion to declare that the core of marriage is irrelevant."

    -Same sex couples seek the right to marry, not gay marry, anymore that inmates seek the right to marry, not inmate marry. Or infertile couples seek to marry, not sterile marry. Where is the special status to infertility in marriage?

    "But marriage is a social institution with a core meaning that society, through government, recognizes and accords special status. The special reason for that special status does not apply to any one-sexed arrangement — and not to most two-sexed arrangements. It is not about sexual orientation. It is not about gay this or gay that."

    -Its fundamentally and constitutionally about the right of same sex couples, to marry, period. Not about a special status being invented and ccorded to homosexual or heterosexual orientation. Who marries to have a special marriage status accorded to their heterosexual orientation, their infertility, or criminal status? Your argument is nonsense, two opposite sex child molesters don't seek special status for their proclivities, they are however, permitted the right to marry. Is child molestation a special requirement for marriage? Is alcoholism?
    No, drug users don't walk out of the justice of the peace saying how their addiction is afforded a special marriage status.

  87. Adam
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    Courts first priority is a fair trial. Transparency is something you have through transcripts. Courts weren't meant to be broadcast to the world on youtube, Especially high profile contentious cases.
    Its not the courts job to educate the public about some sob stories. Anyone can order a transcript or view it online.

  88. Chairm
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Hi Emma, what about Katherine Young gives you that idea?

  89. Chairm
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Nathaniels,

    You said: "Same sex couples seek the right to marry, not gay marry".

    Sure, they do seek to turn the right to marry into the right to SSM. And I think it is true that there is nothing gay about SSM since there is no proposed requirement for gayness when two people would show up for a license to "gay marry".

  90. Chairm
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Nathaniels,

    The special status is accorded the social institution of marriage, not to this or that particular relationship alone. And that special status is justified by the core meaning of marriage.

    Have you even bothered to justify SSM by the core meaning of SSM? Nope. Marriage is not as meaningless as SSM.

    Now, sure, each person will find special meaning in this or that friendship. But society is not required to license all kinds of friendships no matter how loving and consensual nonmarriage arrangements might be.

    The basic point, Nathaniels, is that the social policy argument of SSMers fails to show why gayness should be the special reason to treat a subset of nonmarriage as more worthy, as special, than the rest of nonmarriage.

    Whining about inmates doesn't fill the gaping hole in your arguments.

  91. Chairm
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Nathaniels, you, not I, keep emphasizing gayness. Without that emphasis of yours, you'd have no argument for SSM. So if gayness is not the special reason for pinning a license and according special status, what is, precisely?

    Before you pin SSM, identify it by what makes the type of relationship different, and therefore worthy of special treatment, from the rest of nonmarriage. This should be very simple for you. Usually SSMers rely on gayness alone. You seem to be abandoning that emphasis on gayness, now.

    By the way, marriage law does not have a gay criterion for ineligibility nor a straight criterin for eligiblity. Identity group does not enter into the CA marriage amendment either.

  92. Dexter
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Chairm,
    your rantings remind me of that answer given by Miss Teen South Carolina. Straight people are eligible to marry the people they're sexually attracted to; gay people are not.

  93. Nathaniels
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Chairm, two same sex couples that show up for a marriage license are not granted a "same sex marriage license" So there is NO same sex special status granted. Just the status of marriage.

    There is nothing yet in the US constitution called a core meaning of marriage requirement. Honestly, there isn't , so your "core marriage meaning" red herring argument is a moot point as far as the US constitution, 5th and 14th amendment is concerned.

    You describe accurately the problem with your argument:
    "By the way, marriage law does not have a gay criterion for ineligibility nor a straight criterin for eligiblity. Identity group does not enter into the CA marriage amendment either." As you fail to point out , the appropriate consideration in the law is due process and equal protection. There will be no test for gayness when two same sex couples show up for a civil marriage license, they could be straight, they could be felons, alcoholics or others similarly situated. They won't be gay married or straight married, or felony married either.
    There has never been a test and for or a license that says you are "heterosexually married".. Is this some new status you want to read into civil marriage law? So yes it is very simple, "JUST MARRIED!"

  94. Dexter
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    I believe it was Chairm who was asking for reasons why a gay person might have voted for Prop 8, somehow to demonstrate the bias of Judge Walker in this case. However, whether Judge Walker supported the passage of Prop 8 is irrelevant. Judge Walker could have opposed the passage of Prop 8 yet still conclude that Prop 8's passage was not barred by the federal constitution. Simply because Chairm confuses the two questions "what should be done?" and "what can be done?" is no reason to believe that Judge Walker will make the same mistake.

  95. Richard
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    I have one thing to say. If the NOMers state that he should be removed because of him being gay and that makes him biased, then no judge could be on the case as either they would be str8 or gay and have an ASSumed biased one way or the other. Isn't that what you idiots are saying. I think they should require you to graduate from grade school before commenting on this site or any other.

  96. Kevinn
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    SSM, like OSM, is different from non-marriage in that the couple that is married possesses a marriage license, issued by a state, and has specific rights and obligations under the marriage contract.

  97. sayadina
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    Chairm: I will do my best to try to answer the 12 questions of your post.
    I essentially see them boiling down to 2 questions.
    The first is a general question about can a judge be impartial? And, I think what you are insinuating is… Can a gay judge be impartial. Granted, this judge has not come out as gay to the public and I think this is much ado about nothing.
    Impartiallity: Judges are trained to look only at the law and are observed to ensure that they are using the rulings of law to make their decisions. This particular Judge has an outstanding record. He has even been part of a legal suit that very much angered the LGBT community. I do not think that anyone in the legal system is challenging his ability to judge without bias.
    So why do you think that a potentially gay judge would be any less impartial that a potentially heterosexual judge? What make one person more able than the other? I am confused. Both sides should in theory be equally biased. Why is it that you think that a homosexual is inferior in this respect to a heterosexual? Where is the evidence that this would play any part????
    As for your second question. You wrote>>> “He is not empowered to over-rule the US Supreme Court which has already dealt with an SSM case and the claims Olson has made on equal protection and due process grounds. “
    I am not aware that SCOTUS has ever heard arguments about SSM….. When did that happen? It would be a matter of public record. So where is it?

  98. sayadina
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    This Judge, who might or might not be gay, is only the first step in a long legal process. He has a long record of impartiality. What is going on with all of this judge bashing. If he were straight would there be so much uproar. I think not. I also think that there is not a single gay or lesbian judge on SCOTUS, where this is likely to be decided. Should the gay community be up in arms because for each step after this one there will most likely be only heterosexual people presiding. Can we just keep this to the facts of the case because that is where we all must want this trial to be ruled by?

  99. Chairm
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    Kevin, before you pin the license on it, and before you pin government benefits on it, plainly state the essentials of the type of relationship you have in mind.

    Repeating that you'd license something is not an actual answer, as you and I have discussed several times already.

  100. TC Matthews
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    sayadina, if you've read this thread, and the blog post above, you would know that Judge Walker is not being asked to recuse himself because of his sexual preferences, which he may or may not have. The issue is if he is or is not impartial. Those questions stood long before this supposed "open secret" came out.

  101. Dexter
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    TC Matthews,
    you write that "Judge Walker is not being asked to recuse himself because of his sexual preferences[.]" Are you saying that his recusal was being called for before his sexuality was made an issue? Some people were complaining about some of his decisions, but no one was talking about recusal before now. Am I wrong?

  102. TC Matthews
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    The question being asked is a fair one. If the judge simply made errors, he is entitled to make those errors. If he made them because of some personal bias, then the question must be asked, why didn't he recuse himself before the case even began? He has a responsibility to the parties in the case to be able to be impartial. If he can't, he should have recused himself. The issue is fairly simple.

  103. Nathaniels
    Posted February 13, 2010 at 4:30 am | Permalink

    Marriage provides “a critical form of social insurance,” in that it creates a duty of each married partner to care for the other when ill, which in turn lessens the duty of the State to do so.

    The argument that gays or lesbians can marry a person of the opposite sex affords them only
    the opportunity to form a sham marriage. This argument dishonors the institution of marriage itself
    and discredits the fundamental issue of choice. Anyone advancing that argument need only ask
    himself what it would feel like to be able to marry only someone he would never choose to marry.

    As shown above, marriage per se (as distinguished from the attendant legal rights and
    responsibilities or a relationship of some other name, such as domestic partnership) confers unique benefits. The ability to make the commitment of marriage, even when one or both of the spouses cannot consummate the marriage or otherwise live together as a married couple, is constitutionally protected. The fundamental component of choosing one’s marital partner is part of this constitutional protection.

    Marriage is a fundamental right that applies to same-sex couples equally as it applies to
    opposite-sex couples. The right to marry cannot be denied because, not only does the State lack any
    compelling interest that can be served by denying gays and lesbians this fundamental right, but there is not any rational reason to support this disparate treatment by the law.

  104. Chairm
    Posted February 14, 2010 at 3:34 am | Permalink

    SSMers confirm that their demand for special status for SSM is a demand for special status for gayness.

    Meanwhile, the special reason for the special status of marriage is not straightness.

    SSMers are very confused.

  105. Chairm
    Posted February 14, 2010 at 3:49 am | Permalink

    I've said, quite some time ago, that Walker has little choice but to adhere to federal precedent on the question of law. He is not empowered to over-rule the US Supreme Court.

    The way in which he has conducted this trial, and even the fact that he did not decide, one way or the other, on the question of law instead of conducting this farcical investigation of personal motivations, illustrates bias in favor of the anti-8 litigators.

    The sort of fact-finding that he is supposedly doing is of "legislative facts" and these the appellate judges will assess for themselves. And nothing has been supplied that is germane to the constitutional quesition. The package of stuff that Walker might put forth will be of no aid to the higher courts, but may be of political use for the SSM campaign in its legislative efforts and in future initiative efforts both in CA and elsewhere.

    So, if Walker dishes out a ruling that is anti-amendment, it would stand as the attempt of a district judge to over-rule the Supreme Court. Not a very good move. Not for the SSM campaign and not for Walker personally.

    A package of facts -- as shaped by Walker -- will have little, if any, impact on the appeals process.

    Walker, if impartial, has not interest in this supposed fact-finding investigation into personal motivations. So the question arises: what is he doing wasting the resources of the litgants -- on both sides?

    He is helping the political strategy in the legislative process, I think, rather than advancing an actual bonafide legal strategy in the judicial process. That does not depend on his being openly-secretly gay. But his being so disposed is in very close alignment with what SSMers say, far and wide: that being gay is the strongest indicator that someone is against the CA marriage amendment.

    And that, too, is a concession that gay identity politics trumps most other considerations -- in and outside of the courtroom.

  106. Chairm
    Posted February 14, 2010 at 3:54 am | Permalink

    sayadina, you misread what I said earlier, but thanks for trying to respond to the questions I asked. I think my comment @ February 14, 2010, which I wrote before reading your two comments, can stand as a reply to your response.

    Cheerio

  107. Chairm
    Posted February 14, 2010 at 3:58 am | Permalink

    You said: "This particular Judge has an outstanding record. He has even been part of a legal suit that very much angered the LGBT community."

    And he may be trying to make amends, if he has felt the strong pull of gay identity politics.

    His performance thusfar stands in sharp contrast with his previous conduct as a trial judge. And, given his conduct on this particular case, he clearly thinks this one -- and his own role in it -- is different somehow. All of that indicates, to me, that he may have a predrawn conclusion on the question of law and so is trying to help the SSM campaign in some other extra-judicial way.

  108. Chairm
    Posted February 14, 2010 at 4:03 am | Permalink

    TC Mathews your comments show a good grasp of the judicial responsiblity to ensure fairness for the litigants. No one epects perfection. Walker has made some oddball moves on this case and questions were raised before this report of his living an open-secret.

    It stands to reason that the pro-SSM side would have had this on their gaydar screen from the getgo and yet now they act surprised that it has come up at this point? Why did they not say something earlier here in the NOM comments sections, for example, and bring it up as showing how a district judge could act oh-so-impartially on a case supposedly featuring anti-gay animus?

    Because, if they knew the open-secret, they also knew it mattered.

  109. Chairm
    Posted February 14, 2010 at 4:13 am | Permalink

    When an SSMer declares that mixed orientation marriages are definitively "shams" and that the existence of such marriages "dishonors the institution of marriage itself
    and discredits the fundamental issue of choice", the SSMer echos the sentiments of the racialist kind of identity politics that opposed interracial marriages.

    The gay identity politics of the SSM campaign is no better than the racialist identity politics that has been long-repudiated. Yet some hardcore SSMers actually think that they can revive it today.

  110. Chairm
    Posted February 14, 2010 at 4:18 am | Permalink

    Sayadina,

    You said: "I am not aware that SCOTUS has ever heard arguments about SSM."

    It has. Read the following link where federal precedent is discussion.

    http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/2010/01/politics-and-judicial-mischief-making.html

  111. natenathaniels
    Posted February 14, 2010 at 4:36 am | Permalink

    Chairm, I'm so disappointed in your legal analysis.
    Baker v. Nelson was back in 1972 before Lawrence v. Texas established that homosexuals have constitutional protections - privacy rights. As you noted it was summary judgement, not fully litigated before the court, and what legal analysts consider at best a "soft ruling." Since then there have been a number of cases besides Lawrence. In Romer v. Evans, May 20, 1996, the court ruled 6-3 that Colorado's Amendment 2 was unconstitutional. In other words, animus is frowned upon by SCOTUS.

    Chairm wrote: "racialist identity politics that has been long-repudiated. Yet some hardcore SSMers actually think that they can revive it today." If it walks, like a duck, quacks, like a duck and looks like a duck.. its safe to say, its safe to say you have another discrimination case on your hands without any rational basis.

    OSM'ers like Charim, fail to provide any constitutional justification for their save marriage argumentation. If Baker v. Nelson is all you got.. you've already lost...

  112. Nathaniels
    Posted February 14, 2010 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Chairms justification for Prop 8 must explain why the CA amendment allows same-sex
    couples to get all of the substantive rights and benefits of marriage, but not its preferred status and
    designation.

    Chairm can only offer this possible explanation:A majority of voters did not want the relationships of same-sex couples to be considered the same as the relationships of different-sex couples. Why else create an “exception” to the state equal protection guarantee in order to withhold the designation that signified equality?

    The measure limited same-sex couples to the lesser status of domestic partnership rather than marriage in order to avoid creating the impression that same-sex relationships are “okay” and that there is “no difference” between the relationships of same-sex and different-sex relationships. ”This is nothing more than a “classification of persons undertaken for its own sake,” which is “something the Equal Protection Clause does NOT permit.” Under our system of government, laws cannot be adopted with the intent or effect of simply conveying that some people are not the equal of others.

  113. Kevinn
    Posted February 14, 2010 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    The Baker case is pretty worn out. At some point even Scalia and Alito are going to have to admit that the institution of marriage has evolved so much (divorce much?) that any connection to marriage as an “opposite sex only” institution vanished years ago. To suggest that marriage’s historical context of one man and one woman carries any legal weight is to disregard the modern world, and other social injustices that have been rectified.

    I think the Iowa Supreme Court’s unanimous Equal Protection ruling is more informative, now, than Baker. Judges will no longer be so afraid of imposing “radical” social changes as the price for honoring our nation’s constitution.

  114. Kevinn
    Posted February 14, 2010 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    I guess it all comes down to whether SCOTUS will finally consider gays and lesbians a suspect class. Now that the US Government has extended hate crimes coverage to gays and lesbians, that should help.

  115. Chairm
    Posted February 15, 2010 at 12:27 am | Permalink

    natenathaniels,

    1. Lawrence was about private behavior not public licensing and the special status of a social institution.

    2. Baker is controlling federal precedent that Judge Walker is not empowered to over-rule.

    3. Romer was about about the amendment, not the personal motivations of the defendants.

    Readers can read the analysis at the link provided earlier and decide for themselves. That analysis, by the way, is in line with the views of prominent SSM legal bloggers. If it dissappoints SSMers, blame that on Olson.

  116. Chairm
    Posted February 15, 2010 at 12:32 am | Permalink

    natenathaniels, the point of the Loving example is that the pro-SSM campaign and its argumentation relies on gay identity politics which is closely analogous with the racialist identity politics that our legal system has repudiated.

    Your argument is sounds like, walks, like, looks like, is that duck. You are on the wrong side of Loving.

  117. Chairm
    Posted February 15, 2010 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    Nathaniels,

    Actually, I bet you are as disadvantaged in explaining the domestic partnership law as you are in explaining your opposition to the CA marriage amendment.

    There is nothing about gayness that merits a special status in the law -- not in the law governing nonmarriage and not in the law governing marriage.

    Nothing.

    And I say that because no SSMer can justify his emphasis on gayness. It is your side that lacks justification for what you keep demanding.

  118. Chairm
    Posted February 15, 2010 at 12:38 am | Permalink

    Neither the man-woman basis of marriage, nor the CA marriage amendment, classifies people by identity group. SSMers read into the law what is simply not there. But that serves to show that they emphasize gayness without justification. Hence the close analogy between gaycentric and racialist identity politics.

  119. Chairm
    Posted February 15, 2010 at 12:48 am | Permalink

    With his repeated invocation of nonmarital trends, Kevin concedes, for the umpteenth time, that anything that might be used to make marriage mean less and less is indispensable to the SSM campaign's attack on the social institution of marriage.

    The hardcore SSMers believe that anything that might serve to make marriage mean less also helps them to claim that it is more plausible to use Government to abolish the core meaning of marriage. Indeed, they assume that it has already been abolished in our society. And they go further -- they insist that the core meaning of marriage must become marginalized and not tolerated in the public square.

    The effect, if not the intended goal, is to make marriage mean as little as SSM. That is, extinguish the special status of marriage by attacking the special reason for that special status in our laws, traditions, and customs.

    And for what possible justification except to impose upon society the gayness trump card which is to supersede all other considerations. The SSM campaign, for the hardcore SSMers, is not really about justice but only about "just us".

    The SSM idea is obviously a specious substitution for marriage. It cannot stand on its own two feet.

  120. Chairm
    Posted February 15, 2010 at 1:02 am | Permalink

    When SSMers argue that the fundamental right to marry must be severed from its deep roots in our society, they demand, in effect, that the right no longer be considered a fundamental right in our constitutional jurisprudence.

    In other words, they argue against marriage as a fundamental right. They argue against its deep roots. They argue instead for a right based on group identity. It is in their own words -- in courtrooms, legislators, election campaigns, and even in public forums like this comment section.

    There is no fundamental right to SSM in this country. None. So, again, SSMers insist that marriage must mean as little as SSM. Even within the "gay community" SSM does not have deep roots in any form whatsoever. It is not foundational to the gay identity group. In any form, it is barely a marginal practice among the adult homosexual population. SSM has no deep roots so, the idea is to attack the deep roots of marriage. The idea is to claim gayness as the basis for a "fundamental right" to SSM -- despite the lack of the features that make any constitutional right a fundamental right in our constitutional jurisprudence.

    SSM is not marriage. Marriage is not SSM. The weakness of their rhetoric reflects the profound flaws of their argumentation.

    Note that the Iowa Supreme Court's pro-SSM opinion lacks sound legal reasoning but it does rely heavily on identity politics of the gaycentric kind. It informs, indeed, that the SSM campaign's courtcentric efforts rely utterly on the abuse of judicial review.

    And that dishonors the Iowa Constitution. And it dishonors our form of government for which the US Constitution provides the framework and basic principles.

    SSMers really should stick with making social policy and legislative arguments instead of working so hard to undermine our society on so many levels.

  121. Chairm
    Posted February 15, 2010 at 1:04 am | Permalink

    The Iowa court does not provide controlling precedent for the federal judiciary. It does not provide even a sound legal argument to impose a merger of SSM with marriage -- not in Iowa nor across the country. But suffice it to say that it does exemplify the abuse of judicial review that the SSM campaign hopes will over-ride the rule of law.

  122. natenathaniels
    Posted February 15, 2010 at 4:47 am | Permalink

    Chairm wrote:

    "1. Lawrence was about private behavior not public licensing and the special status of a social institution. "

    =True, and what did Justice Scalia say in dissent, that this ruling could lead to gay marriage.

    "2. Baker is controlling federal precedent that Judge Walker is not empowered to over-rule." Chairm, SCOTUS will overrule that soft decision when they see Judge Walker has presented a sufficient constitutional question. You appear not understand the difference of an issue being vehemently argued before the court by both sides.
    Baker was a soft ruling. Your argumentation is hanging by a thread, just about to be snipped by 9th Circuit.

    3. "Romer was about about the amendment, not the personal motivations of the defendants. "

    Very wrong again Chairm, See the word "animus" below by Justice Kennedy. Akin to Prop 8:
    -Justice Kennedy wrote that the "Colorado amendment did not even meet the much lower requirement of having a rational relationship to a legitimate government purpose:
    Its sheer breadth is so discontinuous with the reasons offered for it that the amendment seems inexplicable by anything but animus toward the class that it affects; it lacks a rational relationship to legitimate state interests."

  123. natenathaniels
    Posted February 15, 2010 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    Chairm, I'm reading the constitution now, where is this "core meaning" specifically defined?

    "The hardcore SSMers believe that anything that might serve to make marriage mean less also helps them to claim that it is more plausible to use Government to abolish the core meaning of marriage."

    There is however, a fundamental right to marry, and that is what homosexual couples are seeking. Not felony marriage, not child molestation marriage, not, straight marriage, not gay marriage. But marriage. Note what it says on your marriage license. Do you see the word marriage? Gay couples are getting married, not SSM married. Just as you might be married, but not straight married.

    Chairm, there has been no evidence presented to support this claim. "By attacking the special reason for that special status in our laws, traditions, and customs."

    Homosexuals want to share in those customs and in the status of marriage. If you feel that "marriage" is under attack, because homosexuals are getting married, or that you have lost a tradition, perhaps a therapist can help provide a more rational view of the world. Blaming homosexuals for this kind of irrational thinking is not the solution. Healthy thinking is keeping the focus on your own meaning of marriage, not trying to define it for your neighbor.

  124. natenathaniels
    Posted February 15, 2010 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    Chairm, In your own words, can you describe sufficient constitutional justification for your reasons to deny homosexual couples the right to marriage?
    Lets focus on the constitution, on equal protection and due process. That is the governing issue here, where I think you agree.

    Your first reason is:
    1. Baker v. Nelson.
    That has been soundly debunked.

    2.??

    3.??

  125. TC Matthews
    Posted February 15, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    "can you describe sufficient constitutional justification for your reasons to deny homosexual couples the right to marriage?
    Lets focus on the constitution, on equal protection and due process. "

    Nowhere in the constitution is it written that all choices are created equal, nor does it say that marriage must be between any two entities as long as there is love present. You have every right that I have to marry. That is equal. There really isn't much more to be said.

  126. Emma
    Posted February 15, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    TCMatthews, if the government steps in and says you cannot marry your partner, but I can marry my partner, that is not equal

  127. TC Matthews
    Posted February 15, 2010 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    The government is not there to condone relationships between any two random entities. It supports marriage, as defined, and you have just the same access to it that I have. It is equal.

  128. Kevinn
    Posted February 15, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    TC,

    What ration state interest is there to license opposite-sex but not same-sex relationships? Ultimately, that’s the question. Since same-sex couples are asking for the right to marry, the government has to say “ok” or “no, you can’t, and here’s why: _____” So what’s the “here’s why”?

    Take the religion and politics out of the equation, insert legal issues, and it’s kind of hard for the government to say same-sex couples can’t marry. The only reason we’re even having this discussion is that a majority doesn’t wish to see a minority have a right it has, either for religious or animus-based reasons. Neither is sufficient to deny a right to a minority.

  129. Chairm
    Posted February 15, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    The point about controlling federal precedents is simply that the lower court may not over-rule it.

    Only the US Supreme Court may do so, or refine, its controlling precedents.

    If this particular case reaches the Supremes, there is no legitimate approach that can lead a Justice to decide one way or the other other on the basis of personal motivations. Not in favor of the amendment; not against it.

    The defense team dismantled the weak basis upon which the anti-8 litigators tried to build a demand for a new suspect classification.

    The anti-8 side's own expert witness reported that 1 in 5 of the homosexual people he surveyed had said they chose their sexual orientation. So it is not an immutable characteristic.

    The anti-8 side's own expert witnesses conceded that the openly homosexual adult population is not politically powerless.

    The anti-8 side's won expert witnesses, and its oral argument, conceded that getting the government out of the marriage business -- abolishing marital status -- would be constitutional. So they disavowed marriage as a fundamental right.

    Besides, as I pointed out earlier, the SSM argument severs marriage from its deep roots and so it disavows the deep roots that make marriage a fundamental right. SSM is attached to no such roots, anyway.

    There is no question of law that can overturn the CA marriage amendment. None.

    However, the anti-8 litigators have presented contentious social policy arguments and political arguments which no judiciary is competent or well-situated -- or empowered -- to decide. If SSMers are hoping that such endgaming can be accomplished in a courtroom, then, they openly rely on the abuse of judicial review and not on the rule of law.

  130. Chairm
    Posted February 15, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    natenathaniels, the bit you quoted from Romer indicates that you are misreading the legal reasoning.

    As I said: that case was about the amendment, not personal motivations of the defendants.

    * * *

    natenathaniels, I have not claimed that marriage is written into the text of the US Constitution. You are flogging a straw man.

    I did say that the marriage law shows that the deep roots of this fundamental right, as per the various US Supreme Court decisions that identified that right as fundamental, is not one-sexed.

    The law includes the man-woman criterion that SSMers seek to abolish. The law also includes the requirement that people who enter the social institution give their consent to all that marriage entails, including the marital presumption of paternity. The sexual basis for marriage is opposite-sexed, not sex-neutral. See also the sexual basis for consummation, annulment, adultery-divorce, and so forth.

    The deep roots of marriage are not applicable to the superficial basis for SSM.

  131. Chairm
    Posted February 15, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    Your attempts at insult discredit you. SSMers tend to resort to petty insults and namecalling waaaaay too often. It is a signal of the weakness in your thinking.

    That is unhealthy for participation in the public discourse on this serious issue.

    * * *

    But in your comments we have yet another example of an SSMer whose view is that marriage is privatized and not really a social institution with meaning.

    Here we have another SSMer disavowing the special status of marriage. And that is just another example of how SSM means less than marriage and, so, the SSMer must demand that marriage mean as little as SSM.

    Society issues marriage licenses and accords special status, via the governing authority, and that special status is based on what makes the social institution special.

    SSMers fail to provide the extraordinary reason to gut marriage of its core meaning. So, they can offer no special reason to treat gayness with a special status; and can provide no extraordinary reason to force government to take the extraordinary step of abolishing the core meaning of marriage from our laws, social policy, and culture.

    Gayness just does not provide the justification. Hence the SSMer attacks marriage instead of even trying to make the case for SSM itself, on its own terms.

  132. Chairm
    Posted February 15, 2010 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    Baker has not been addressed, much less debunked, and even less "soundly debunked". Baker applies to the equal protection and due process claims of the anti-8 litigators. It is controlling precedent, as already stated.

    * * *

    You asked for my "reasons to deny homosexual couples the right to marriage?"

    You are so confused that you don't even ask the right question.

    Two men show up for at the license office but are ineligible to marry each other. You assume they are a "homosexual couple".

    Both are heterosexual men. Their sexual orientation does not disqualify them. They are not ineligibility due to sexual orientation discrimination.

    Another all-male relationship shows up. One man is homosexual and the other man is heterosexual. Neither man is ineligible due to sexual orientation.

    Another pair show up. This one includes a man and a woman. Both of them are heterosexual persons. But they are ineligible to marry. They are ineligible but not due to sexual orientation.

    They are siblings. They are not sexually attracted to each other. They have no intention of engaging in sexual behavior together.

    The law bars siblings but not because of sexual orientation or private agreements.

    There is a public sexual basis for marriage and that basis is opposite-sexed. Marriage integrates the sexes and provides for responsible procreation; society draws the line based on that core meaning. This combination provides the social institutin its coherent whole: this is not a private type of relationship. Society is the third party to each marriage. It can draw lines around that core meaning.

    Another pair show-up. A man and a woman. They, too, are siblings. They are ineligible even though they are sexually attracted to each other; and even though they are compelled due to the phenomenon of Genetic Sexual Orientation. They plan to have children together. They want the protections of marriage.

    But they are ineligible because of the societal concern about the core meaning of marriage. This over-rides the private desires of the people who show up for the license.

    Anyway, there are plenty of other examples that cover a far greater portion of the population -- and of the nonmarriage category -- than what the SSM campaign has obsessively emphasized.

    Sexual orientation? Not the trump card that SSMers imagine it to be.

    When someone chooses to form a one-sexed arrangement -- homosexual or not -- that is a liberty exercised, not a right denied.

    The sibling example, however, shows that if an opposite-sexed couple got a license, somehow, and held themselves out to be married, and if they are closely related, then, their marriage is null and void. That is so even if they never touched each other sexually. That is because marriage is a presumptively sexualized relationship based on the opposite-sexed sexual basis for the marital presumption of paternity.

    That is why the marriage laws intersect with the laws on incestuous sexual behavior. Marriage is a public sexual relationship, by type. Private details are not decisive on this question of the marriage law.

    When an all-male or an all-female arrangement opts out of marriage, they deny themselves marriage. Society doesn't do that. Neither do I.

  133. natenathaniels
    Posted February 15, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    Chairm,

    Aren't you counting your chickens before they hatch? "The defense team dismantled the weak basis upon which the anti-8 litigators tried to build a demand for a new suspect classification."
    --
    How so? Seems like Olsen and Boies showed animus, and proved there was no rational basis or legitmate government interest. Where was the State Of California? They did not show up because they could not find any state interest or rational basis for Prop 8.
    ----------------------------------
    T"he anti-8 side’s own expert witness reported that 1 in 5 of the homosexual people he surveyed had said they chose their sexual orientation. So it is not an immutable characteristic." No question that some do, but what about the other 4? For the majority sexual orientation is immutable. Now who is flogging a straw man?
    -----
    "The anti-8 side’s own expert witnesses conceded that the openly homosexual adult population is not politically powerless." Charim, he talked about influence as opposed to having political power. The key measure or benchmark here, as courts have determined, is enough political power to consistently achieve equal rights. Look at the number of states with man woman only amendments. Clearly gays and lesbians have little political power, with little if any political influence.
    ---------------

    "The anti-8 side’s won expert witnesses, and its oral argument, conceded that getting the government out of the marriage business — abolishing marital status — would be constitutional. So they disavowed marriage as a fundamental right." Abolish marital status? Come-on Chairm, pay attention to the final arguments the end of Feb, and to Judge Walkers ruling.
    --------------
    "Besides, as I pointed out earlier, the SSM argument severs marriage from its deep roots and so it disavows the deep roots that make marriage a fundamental right. SSM is attached to no such roots, anyway." Which deep roots? Polygamy, concubines? Women as property of their husbands (Coverture)? Interracial discrimination "deeply rooted" in marriage is recent to the last century. Certainly recognizing and ending "deeply rooted" based discrimination is and has been a good thing.
    Your own expert witnesses testified that gay and lesbian marriages would be good for American and especially the children of these families.
    ---------
    "There is no question of law that can overturn the CA marriage amendment. None." Except this little constitutional thing call due process and equal protection.

    "However, the anti-8 litigators have presented contentious social policy arguments and political arguments which no judiciary is competent or well-situated — or empowered — to decide. If SSMers are hoping that such endgaming can be accomplished in a courtroom, then, they openly rely on the abuse of judicial review and not on the rule of law." That is why we have expert testimony, discovery and evidence. You must admit there is an overwhelming evidence and fact finding in this case. See the trial transcripts. So yes the judge is qualified to base his decision on expert testimony. And, there will be an appellate review for verification. The end resulting policy making will be based on findings of law, not Protect Marriage's opinion.

  134. natenathani
    Posted February 15, 2010 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    TC, In Lawrence v. Texas the United States Supreme Court determined that a very specific "random entity" group has a constitutional right to privacy. The fundamental right to marriage for this very specific 'random entity' was not addressed during this case. However, Justice Scalia recognized very well where this was going, by the granting constitutional protections to a certain random entity group. In dissenting opinion, almost prophetically, he wrote that "Lawrence could lead to gay marriage." Hmmm, there goes your argument..

    TC's statement that "The government is not there to condone relationships between any two random entities. It supports marriage, as defined, and you have just the same access to it that I have. It is equal." has already been debunked, by Justice Scalia on your side of the case, in the Supreme Court.

    Further, regarding this specific random entity that TC is referring to: Justice Kennedy wrote that the “Colorado amendment did not even meet the much lower requirement of having a rational relationship to a legitimate government purpose:
    Its sheer breadth is so discontinuous with the reasons offered for it that the amendment seems inexplicable by anything but animus toward the class that it affects; it lacks a rational relationship to legitimate state interests.”

    Not so random eh???

    And... TC, you must know about initial progress of a few states towards ultimate fundamental marriage rights for this specific "random entity."

  135. Chairm
    Posted February 15, 2010 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    The only reason we are having this discussion, Kevin, is that SSMers attack marriage and we are defending against that attack.

    You think that demanding a "right" pre-empts all other consideratons. That is simply false. The marriage law discriminates between marriage and nonmarriage.

    SSM argumentation? Not so much. Not at all, actually.

    * * *

    TC has got it right. If you don't want to form a union of husband and wife, then, don't do it.

    If you want to form a nonmarital arrangement, you have that liberty. No one has denied it to you on the basis of gayness. Not in CA where nonmarriage, or at least a subset of nonmarriage, is accorded generous treatment. Very generous, in fact, since no justification for Domestic Parntership has been provided.

    None that would not also apply to almost all of the nonmarriage category that is excluded.

    It would do us good to see DP made to jump through the hoops that SSMers have been setting up for marriage in the courts.

    Rational basis, please? Why discirminate against the rest of nonmarriage?

  136. TC Matthews
    Posted February 15, 2010 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    "Take the religion and politics out of the equation, insert legal issues, and it’s kind of hard for the government to say same-sex couples can’t marry."

    Did you mean to say "take every idea except mine off the table, then SSM makes sense"?

    The constitution, government and legal system stem from the beliefs of the people it serves--- not the other way around. Your argument is circular and makes no sense.

  137. natenathanielsss
    Posted February 15, 2010 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    Chairm wrote:

    "The law includes the man-woman criterion that SSMers seek to abolish." Where have men and women been unable to marry? Where has that been abolished for opposite sex couples?

    -----
    "The point about controlling federal precedents is simply that the lower court may not over-rule it."
    Chairm, I've already provided court cases as to why this will not be a controlling precedent. The states have shown there is indeed a constitutional question, let alone supported by more recent federal cases. Your argument is debunked from the get-go for these reasons.
    ----

    "Two men show up for at the license office but are ineligible to marry each other. You assume they are a “homosexual couple." No, Chairm, your confused, the law wont' do this, they will be able to marry. The same as two heterosexuals that show up and don't love each other, or intend to be felons, or abuse their children, or are inmates. They can marry, no test for heterosexuality or homosexuality.
    -------------
    "There is a public sexual basis for marriage and that basis is opposite-sexed. Marriage integrates the sexes and provides for responsible procreation; society draws the line based on that core meaning. This combination provides the social institution its coherent whole: this is not a private type of relationship. Society is the third party to each marriage. It can draw lines around that core meaning." The sexual basis does not change, for heterosexual/opposite sex couples. You already admitted your core meaning was not written into the constitution, so in terms of equal protection and due process, this has no basis in civil law.
    ------
    ".....But they are ineligible because of the societal concern about the core meaning of marriage. This over-rides the private desires of the people who show up for the license." No Chairm, wrong again, in terms of equal protection and due process. A majority does not have a say on minority rights as will be shown I believe in Judge Walkers constitutional ruling.
    -----------
    "Sexual orientation? Not the trump card that SSMers imagine it to be." We are slowly getting there Rome wasn't built in day.. African Americans are still struggling for equality. Patience, Chairm, patience.. Walkers ruling is just the beginning of the process, not the end trump card.
    ---
    "When someone chooses to form a one-sexed arrangement — homosexual or not — that is a liberty exercised, not a right denied." Courts have determined that the constitution provides the right to choose the one you marry and moreover, is a fundamental right. I expect Walker will confirm this, all the way up to the court of appeals and SCOTUS.
    ---
    "That is because marriage is a presumptively sexualized relationship based on the opposite-sexed sexual basis for the marital presumption of paternity." Your not claiming this is in the constitution are you? How have homosexual couples changed this for heterosexual couples?
    -----
    "That is why the marriage laws intersect with the laws on incestuous sexual behavior. Marriage is a public sexual relationship, by type. Private details are not decisive on this question of the marriage law." There is no relevance here to granting homosexuals the fundamental right to marriage.
    ----
    "When an all-male or an all-female arrangement opts out of marriage, they deny themselves marriage. Society doesn’t do that. Neither do I." Opts out of marriage? Are you aware of Prop 8? The remaining same sex couples in are opted out of marriage by 52% of the vote.. Does that meet your definition of society?
    --

  138. TC Matthews
    Posted February 15, 2010 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    Nate, you didn't answer the question. "Rational basis, please? Why discriminate against the rest of nonmarriage?"

    I'd love to hear the answer.

  139. Nathaniel
    Posted February 15, 2010 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    TC, define specifically your "non-marriage" that is being discriminated against. I'd prefer not to guess.

  140. TC Matthews
    Posted February 15, 2010 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    Nathaniel, It doesn't matter. Pick any. Choose all. It's the same. You'd prefer not to guess, why? Ick factor? Are you a bigot then? Why do you put down the true feelings of your fellow man? is it only because of your beliefs? Aren't they just as "entitled" to true happiness as you are?

  141. Chairm
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    For the record, natenathanielsss is another SSMer who has conceded here in on the NOM blog that the marriage law does not include a test for sexual orientation neither to determine eligiblity nor ineligiblity.

    Also confirmed: SSMers expect the judiciary to impose the supremacy of gaycentirc identity politics on all of society. This is "just the beginning".

    Meanwhile natenathanielsss has not responded directly to what I actually said in my previous remarks. He is flogging misrepresentations of his own making. He has not address the actual disagreement.

    * * *

    Now, back to TC and natenathanielsss and the question:

    "Rational basis, please? Why discriminate against the rest of nonmarriage?”

  142. natenathanielsss
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    TC, you may have got me here. I pick polygamy, YAY! And, like Protect Marriage expert Dr. Blankenhorn, I support traditional biblical plural marriage. Dr. Blakenhorn testified that he supports plural message as long as they are separate marriages. My own qualifier though is only among consenting adults. I believe they have every right to present their case for plural marriage in a court of law. Of course I come from strong Mormon stock and have relatives that were polygamists who believed in traditional biblical marriage.

    Ick factor? No absolutely not.. tired a lot factor yes..

  143. natenathanielsss
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Chairm, TC asked to "pick one" TC said it did not matter.. So I choose traditional biblical polygamy. I conceded that there is no rational basis to discriminate against plural marriage (as long as the parties are of legal age). I have no problem with NOM's sister organization view that these plural marriages must be separate marriages as testified Protect Marriage expert Blakenhorn.

    --

    Chairm, you admitted 4 out of 5 homosexuals don't choose their orientation, for them it is immutable. Your flawed logic shows its head again, just because one says they can choose, does not make it true for the other 4, the majority. Besides you have a choice in your religious view, is your view immutable? TC is your view immutable? Can it be changed? Will electro-shock "change and fix dysfunctional thinking" repairative therapy do the trick?

  144. natenathanielsss
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    TC, now its your turn... Where is the rational basis in this? Please, please tell me.... and if I may ask, how best to fix this by the courts.

    Proposition 8, California distinguishes its residents into 4 separate and unequal groups:

    1. Opposite-sex couples who have full marriage rights.

    2. Same-sex couples who have no marriage rights.

    3. Same-sex couples who were married between June and November 2008 whose marriages are recognized by the state; however, they have no right to remarry if divorced or widowed.

    4. Same-sex couples married in another state who may petition for state recognition of their marriage.

  145. natenathanielsss
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Chairm, as noted by family law experts: "Substantial research indicates that the status of being married is a universal concept that conveys multiple messages to the community prompting the community to support the marriage. Married couples are treated differently from single individuals or those cohabiting. Their relationships generally receive affirmation and support from extended family, employers, and the community-at-large.

    California permits same-sex couples to enter into registered domestic partnerships with many of the tangible rights and responsibilities that inhere in marriage does not eliminate the existing constitutional violation. While domestic partnerships provide many advantages to same-sex couples and their children, the two statuses are far from equal and cannot be equalized. By denying same-sex couples the opportunity to marry, the State devalues their unions both symbolically and practically. Even if all the economic and other legal benefits associated with marriage were provided to domestic partners, being married is a unique status, with attendant social and cultural meanings that provide considerable and irreplaceable advantages to married couples. By prohibiting individuals from marrying someone of the same sex, the California has effectively denied same-sex partners the opportunity to experience and benefit from the large array of intangible benefits enjoyed by married couples. No alternative to, or substitute for, marriage can be constitutionally adequate.

    The historic tradition of limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples cannot be a
    constitutionally sound justification for maintaining the exclusion of same-sex couples. The
    exclusion of these couples is irrational in light of the changes in the legally established elements of
    marriage overtime. In contrast, the historic social meaning associated with marriage, namely the
    societal recognition of the mutual commitment and interdependence of two consenting adults, is a
    tradition that remains critical to our contemporary and ongoing veneration of marriage. This social
    meaning is of great importance to the partners and their children. Being excluded from this
    tradition limits the ability of same-sex couples and their children to participate fully in the cultural
    fabric of our society."

  146. TC Matthews
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Polygamy, but not polyamory? Why?

  147. TC Matthews
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    "TC, now its your turn… Where is the rational basis in this? Please, please tell me…. and if I may ask, how best to fix this by the courts."

    1. 2. 3. 4. All couples, all people have the same rights, the same access to marriage as defined, equally. You haven't addressed the issue, you've only gone back to your comfy rhetoric.

    If a random court here or there wants to muck around in marriage, they are bound to make a mess of it. These so called inequalities of the law only reflect the larger inequality at hand--- SSM is not marriage, and by definition never can be.

  148. L. Marie
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    "Married couples are treated differently from single individuals or those cohabiting. Their relationships generally receive affirmation and support from extended family, employers, and the community-at-large."

    Nathaniel, if you're looking to force society to look on SSM the same way they revere and respect marriage, it will never happen. Unless you tear down everything that differentiates marriage from a simple sexual relationship, it will always have respect because it is unique among all other relationships. The creation of life is unique and beautiful, and children are the wonder of the world, and deserve the best we can give them.

    No amount of coercion can ever make apples into oranges. You can peel the skin and walk around in it, but how satisfying is that?

  149. Chairm
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    The anti-8 side's expert witness testified about choice, so don't pin his testimony on me.

    He did not say how to predict choice versus immutablity of this or that individual. So the 20% are in the mix and not seperable -- certainly not by objective means a court or a legisaltor could implement. It is a very weak basis for classification.

    In fact, prominent legal SSMer has conceded that immutability is a red herring.

    * * *

    Religious liberty is written in the text of the US Constitution.

    Gayness? Nope.

    * * *

    Religious liberty arises from conscience and free will with which each person is endowed. Freedom of conscience (for the religious and irreligious alike) is a birthright and is the source of our liberties. It is embedded in the framework of the US Constitution.

    The vague notion of sexual orientation? Nope.

    * * *

    You've still not provided a rational basis for Domestic Partnership in the first place, nor for use of DP to discriminate against the rest of nonmarriage.

    * * *

    TC I appreciate your tenacity.

  150. natenathanielsss
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Marie, An ability to procreate is not a factor that can rationally exclude same-sex couples from the
    fundamental right to marry because it is not a condition precedent for marriage between opposite-sex couples. Infertile couples, octogenarians, incarcerated prisoners, and people with an unwavering devotion to the use of contraceptives can all marry without distinction under the law.

    The ability of opposite-sex couples to procreate and establish parentage does not establish a justification for denying same-sex couples the fundamental right to marry because California does not rely upon biology to establish parentage.
    ----------

    TC wrote: "All couples, all people have the same rights, the same access to marriage as defined, equally. You haven’t addressed the issue, you’ve only gone back to your comfy rhetoric." The argument that gays or lesbians can marry a person of the opposite sex affords them only the opportunity to form a sham marriage. This argument dishonors the institution of marriage itself
    and discredits the fundamental issue of choice. Anyone advancing that argument need only ask:
    "TC what it would feel like to be able to marry only someone you would never choose to marry?"

    The ability to make the commitment of marriage, even when one or both of the spouses cannot
    consummate the marriage or otherwise live together as a married couple, is constitutionally protected. The fundamental component of choosing one’s marital partner is part of this same constitutional protection.

    Marriage is a fundamental right that applies to same-sex couples equally as it applies to
    opposite-sex couples. The right to marry cannot be denied because, not only does the State lack any
    compelling interest that can be served by denying gays and lesbians this fundamental right, but there is not any rational reason to support this disparate treatment by the law.

    --------
    Chairm, prejudice and bigotry against homosexuals do not become constitutionally ennobled by simply adding “This is Just the beginning” to the list of contumelies to be used against them.

  151. natenathanielsss
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    TC, you asked me to choose, and you said it did not matter. I selected polygamy. Since it "does not matter" in your own words. I consider your question answered.

    TC now asks "Polygamy, but not polyamory? Why?"

  152. Chairm
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    The judiciary is not qualified to make legislative decisions and social policy.

    That the SSMer actually believes that a district judge is empowered to turn his courtroom into a legislative hearing or a forum in which to restage a political debate, well, that shows the SSMer's utter dependance on *the abuse* of judicial review.

    SSMer: "That is why we have expert testimony, discovery and evidence."

    No, actually, it is not.

    SSMer: "there is an overwhelming evidence and fact finding in this case."

    No, there is not.

    I've been keeping up with the pro-SSM spin on this farcical trial and it suprises me, really it does, just how delusional SSMers have become.

    The abuse of judicial review has corrupted the public discourse on the marriage issue. The SSM side encourages intellectually dishonesty arguments at every opportunity.

  153. natenathanielsss
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Chairm, correct gayness is not in the constitution, and as you concede neither is "core marriage meaning". Fundamental right to marriage is.. Not fundamental right to opposite sex couples only..

    The Due Process Clause does not make any distinctions between how it treats the
    liberty interests of homosexuals and the liberty interests of heterosexuals with regard to sodomy, there is no discernable reason for the Due Process Clause to make distinctions between how it treats the liberty interests of same-sex couples and the liberty interests of opposite-sex couples with regard to the fundamental right to marry.

  154. Chairm
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    SSMer: wrote that “Lawrence could lead to gay marriage.” Hmmm, there goes your argument..

    Heh. That is grasping at straws. Lawrence is about a private sexual act beyond the reach of government.

    Marriage is a public type of relationship licensed by society through the government.

    The contrast is stark.

    Scalia was making remarks about the poor legal reasoning found in the majority opinion. He was not making a pro-SSM argument. Nothing that Scalia wrote in Lawrence actually undermines my argument -- nor that of the defendants in the CA marriage amendment case.

    That you misread -- probably deliberately misrepresent -- is an inadvertent confession on your part that you do not respect the judicial process. That makes all your rhetoric about due process just pure bunkum.

  155. natenathanielsss
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Chairm, please back up your not it is not claims..
    Or at least look at the evidence both sides have submitted. Have you seen any of it.. Please do tell what is missing.. You had plenty of time to make sure it was filed.. why complain now?
    -------
    Chairm wrote
    SSMer: “That is why we have expert testimony, discovery and evidence.”

    No, actually, it is not.

    SSMer: “there is an overwhelming evidence and fact finding in this case.”

    No, there is not.

  156. natenathanielsss
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Oh Chairm, your sadly mistaken here.. It did much more than than that, it affirmed homosexuals constitutional right to privacy. And left open the door for the marriage question. Is all there for you read, don't take my word for it. "J. Scalia, dissenting, noting that the majority opinion “leaves on pretty shaky grounds state laws limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples.”

    How you can misread and misinterpret that is beyond me...

  157. Chairm
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    natenathanielsss, I quoted you -- "this is just the beginning" -- so if it sounds like animus to you, it is your animus not mine.

  158. Chairm
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Criminal behavior, addictions, abuse all are grounds for annulment and divorce. The application process can and does bring this sort of stuff to light.

    I've discussed your rhetoric on this point before. You can stop trying to pretend you are introducing new ideas. It is very, very, very weak of you.

  159. natenathanielsss
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Chairm, in post 142 you stated

    Also confirmed: SSMers expect the judiciary to impose the supremacy of gaycentirc identity politics on all of society. "This is just the beginning".

    In this context of imposing gay centric identity politics, I state: "Prejudice and bigotry against homosexuals do not become constitutionally ennobled by simply adding “This is Just the beginning” to the list of contumelies to be used against them.

  160. L. Marie
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    "Marie, An ability to procreate is not a factor that can rationally exclude same-sex couples from the
    fundamental right to marry"

    Who said it was? As others on this board have repeatedly stated for you, you have the same access to marriage that everyone else has. Procreation is however the sole reason and interest for society in marriage. Society has an invested interest in sustaining itself, and marriage between a man and a woman is the best place for children to be born and raised.

  161. TC Matthews
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    “TC what it would feel like to be able to marry only someone you would never choose to marry?”

    If personal choice were all that mattered, pedophiles would marry the young and underaged (which is why they push for age of consent laws to be lowered), polyamorists would marry, and it just goes down from there. Do you discriminate against them? Choice is not the ruling factor in deciding who should marry. There are many disappointed people out there who no doubt wish their relationships were equal with marriage, but like SSM, they are not.

  162. L. Marie
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    It's amusing to me to see all the flips, twists and gymnastics necessary to make SSM palatable. The courts aren't buying it, the people of California aren't buying it and you know, I can see why.

  163. L. Marie
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Nate simply wants what he wants and he doesn't care what he has to do to the institution of marriage to get it. He can argue until he's blue in the face that marriage has nothing to do with families and kids, but that isn't how people think of it, and it's not how society thinks of it either.

    Marriage is unique among sexual relationships. Sure you can have kids outside of wedlock, but is that really what is best for them? Social science of the past 40 years has shown hands down that kids do best raised by their mom and dad. It isn't even a question.

    Where is the science showing that parents don't matter? It doesn't exist, so why would society even look twice at promoting any other kind of relationship? Why bother?

    Sure other kinds of relationships can be great. You know, I really have a valuable relationship with my grandma, she's a pillar of strength in my life, but that's not marriage either. It's not society's job to give me anything because I love my grandma. I have that relationship independent of any need for society's stamp of approval. Does the government discriminate against me because this valued relationship in my life is not recognized as much as the relationship my mom and dad have? It's ridiculous to even ask, because the two relationships are fundamentally different. My grandma and I may live together, we may even choose to raise any children I have out of wedlock if I chose to go down that road. I still wouldn't consider it marriage and neither would anyone else. Why? Because no one in their right mind would want to encourage that situation for raising kids. It's not what is best for them, regardless of how I may feel about it.

    Society has a duty to protect and encourage the well being of its children.

  164. natenathanielsss
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    L. Marie, Are you aware that any of this is not a constitutional requirement? Can you frame your argumentation in terms of due process and equal protection?

    "Procreation is however the sole reason and interest for society in marriage. Society has an invested interest in sustaining itself, and marriage between a man and a woman is the best place for children to be born and raised."

    And TC, pedophile or not, civil law prevents children marrying adults. Your argument, like the others is moot.

  165. L. Marie
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    "Can you frame your argumentation in terms of due process and equal protection?"

    Sure, but it would just be repeating myself.

  166. David
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    l.marie,

    you can't see two inches in front of your nose. wake up, the usa will be finished with homophobes soon.

    when it's legal for homos to get married, are you still going to saying the same things? seriously, gay marriage will be legal soon, would you rather be seen as a person who was trying to further discrimination or a person who was fighting for equality?

    not one person has contested your stance that it is good for a kid to have a mom and a dad. but what you're not getting is that, in agreeing with you, it's also good for a kid to have a mom and a mom as well as a dad and a dad. love is what matters, not gender.

    why are you clinging to this lie that homos pose some threat to kids oro family or the institution of marriage without saying why, without hyperbole and bs? to answer that question you have to start with, "I think," or "In my experience," or "I've noticed," or "I feel that," instead of repeating some study that means nothing, is easly refuteable or only tells half the story.

  167. natenathaneeellsnn
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Sorry Maire, but this is not a constitutional argument.. repeating it or not, won't cut it: Unless you can back up your claims in law, which I know you cant.

    "Procreation is however the sole reason and interest for society in marriage. Society has an invested interest in sustaining itself, and marriage between a man and a woman is the best place for children to be born and raised."

  168. L. Marie
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    "And TC, pedophile or not, civil law prevents children marrying adults. Your argument, like the others is moot."

    Actually it's very much at the center of what we're talking about. Age laws can be changed just like marriage laws can. If the crackpots at the APA suddenly decide that pedophilia is all the rage and take it off the abnormal behavior list (wait.....they did that already once, didn't they?) what is to stop 45 year old men from marrying 9 year old girls? What if they love each other? What is to stop a man from marrying any number of other men and women? What is to stop any woman from doing the same? At least those relationships would be procreative right?

    And I'm sure the adults would be having the time of their lives, all validated and glowing with their group weddings, but is it really best for the kids? What stake does society have in promoting it if it's not best for kids?

  169. MAC
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Chairm,

    I want to thank you for putting your arguments, your reasoning and your many subtexts up on the web for scrutiny.

    I have copied and pasted most of your main points and arguments and placed them in a folder for future reference. Since I've been reading you for a while, I am now familiar with much of your thinking with respect to marriage.

    I look forward to reading through this material as this national conversation unfolds, plays out and is brought to a final resolution.

    MAC

  170. TC Matthews
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    David, nothing is inevitable. You can't force people to give you special rights over everyone else. Unfortunately for you, we are all equal, and only equal.

  171. Chairm
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    natenathanielsss,

    You have told a falsehood about David Blankenhorn. Contrary to your repeated assertion, he did *not* say that he supports polygamy.

    On day 11 of the trial, David Blankenhorn testified as follows:

    "I think polygamist marriages are not in the interests of women especially and, also, not really in the interests of society."

    * * *

    natenathanielsss,

    Please acknowledge this and correct yourself. Thanks.

  172. L. Marie
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Everyone is equal. We all have the same rights. There is no litmus test for sexuality when you get your marriage license. As much as you hate marriage, you can't force it to change just so it suits you better.

  173. Jennifer
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Gay rights activists in other countries, such as the UK and Belgium are often the people fighting to lower the age of consent. Civil law only currently prevents children from marrying adults, natenathanielsss. I have no idea why you think this would be a far-fetched idea. Also, polygamy is not hard to fathom, either as more people accept "alternative" marriage arrangements that don't benefit children or society as a whole.

  174. Chairm
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Nate, wherever there is a law for the registration of same-sex union there is no legal requirement that the people who show up for registeration must engage in same-sex sexual behavior together.

    So, by your own stated standard, there is no sexual basis for same-sex union in the law. You cannot discriminate on a sexual basis.

    To justify age requirements, you need to first establish to what people would consent when they register same-sex union. It is not a public sexual relationship, as per the lack of a legal requirement for that.

    If you use age as proxy for maturity, then, you will run afoul of your own stated standard whereby the rule must apply to everyone or it must be abandoned completely. There are underaged people more mature than adults; and adults less mature than underaged people. Pointing at age alone is insufficient: you need to justify the requirement or give it up.

    You have already said you are okay with polygamy -- and support it -- if it is consensual. With that, your idea would also lend support for polyamory -- groups.

    * * *

    You still have not provided a rational basis for domestic partnership laws that discriminate against the rest of nonmarriage.

    There is none. It is arbitrary. Your silence makes that loud and clear.

  175. Chairm
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Thanks MAC. I hope you copy lots of the comments from other defenders of marriage who participate here, too.

    * * *

    L. Marie, isn't it pathetic that Nate waves his arms about and can't comprehend that you've provided a great answer that provides the gist of the various federal precedents -- including those that explain the deep roots that make marriage a fundamental right in constitutional jurisprudence? Pathetic and tiresome.

    I'm glad you are so clear and so tirelessly dedicated. It does not get said enough to marriage defenders: Thank You.

  176. Emma
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    I think you guys must not like the children of gay couples. Otherwise why would you forbid their parents from getting married? You are harming these children.

  177. L. Marie
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Chairm, it is astounding to me to see the truth bounce off their understanding so cleanly. You would think listening to Nate, that children were the last thing on the priority list, a mere afterthought to societal progression and evolution.

    How grateful am I that my parents didn't feel the same.

  178. Emma
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    L.Marie, you give a lot of talk to your concern about the well-being of children, and yet you must not care about the children of gay couples. Otherwise why would you forbid their parents from marrying?

    As everyone knows, the most stable households for children to be raised in are households in which the parents are married.

    Read Katherine Young's deposition transcripts, and keep in mind she was a witness for the anti-gay-marriage side in this trial:

    http://www.equalrightsfoundation.org/news/katherine-young-deposition-transcript/

  179. L. Marie
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Emma, would you say that my grandma and I raising my out of wedlock children would be as well off as a happily married couple if only our relationship were labeled "marriage"? Does the word “marriage” make all the difference, or is it something deeper? How would mislabeling my relationship help my kids have a dad?

  180. TC Matthews
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Emma, no one forbids anyone from entering into marriage. That point has been stated many times over this thread.

  181. natenathaneeellsnn
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Chairm, correct to day 11, but you need to see the cross on day 12, where Blakenhorn stated in regard to his "rule of two" that:

    Even in instances of a man engaging in polygamous marriage, each marriage is separate.

    He -- one man marries one woman. That's the way it works.

    Q. Now, it's your testimony that that man with five wives is consistent -- that marriage is consistent with what you say is your rule of two; is that correct? That is a yes or no answer.
    A. Based on the findings of the anthropologists who've actually studied this, yes, the answer to your question is yes.

    ----
    L. Marie two same sex couples cannot marry each other when you get your marriage license. I don't hate marriage. Moreover, NOTHING changes for you if two homosexuals couples get married. Do you see gays and lesbians running around saying the sky is falling because of heterosexuality? Again, nothing changes for you.. you'll be just fine, I promise.

  182. L. Marie
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    "I think you guys must not like the children of gay couples. Otherwise why would you forbid their parents from getting married? You are harming these children."

    If gays and lesbians truly cared for the welbeing of children, they would provide both a mom and a dad for them since that is what is proven to be the best situation for them to be raised in.

  183. L. Marie
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    "NOTHING changes for you if two homosexuals couples get married... you’ll be just fine, I promise."

    I read this great article on the rise of polyamory a few weeks ago. I think it was in the NY Times. Funny, the adults promoting that lifestyle said the same thing about their kids. Swinging, wife swapping parties don't matter a bit to kids.... They'll be just fine right? You sound like a bad salesman in a checked suit.

  184. Emma
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    "If gays and lesbians truly cared for the welbeing of children, they would provide both a mom and a dad for them since that is what is proven to be the best situation for them to be raised in."

    If society truly cared for the wellbeing of children, we would make everyone take classes and pass exams and apply for parenting licenses before being allowed to procreate. We would also forbid divorce. And punish adulturers (other than through public humiliation a la Mark Sanford, Ted Haggard, Bill Clinton, etc.)

    But we don't do those things. So why your obsession with gay marriage?

  185. Emma
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Divorce takes a lot more children out of your idealized biologically-born mother/father marriage paradigm than gay marriage ever would, just for the record.

  186. L. Marie
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    "Divorce takes a lot more children out of your idealized biologically-born mother/father marriage paradigm than gay marriage ever would, just for the record."

    Exactly, and you don't see us promoting divorce do you? Everyone knows it's a lose lose for kids.

  187. L. Marie
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    "If society truly cared for the wellbeing of children, we would make everyone take classes and pass exams and apply for parenting licenses before being allowed to procreate. We would also forbid divorce. And punish adulturers (other than through public humiliation a la Mark Sanford, Ted Haggard, Bill Clinton, etc.)

    But we don’t do those things. So why your obsession with gay marriage?"

    Actually, the obsession is yours. No one promotes adultery with kids' interests in mind. Why do you want to promote things that will not be best for kids?

  188. L. Marie
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    I don't believe society needs to have laws against every little thing, because I also believe in freedom. Life is a balance of freedoms and rights. Adults have a right to choose how they will live, and kids have a right to be raised responsibly by their mom and dad. How we balance those rights and freedoms currently is by encouraging what is best, making that the easiest, most desirable solution.

  189. natenathaneeellsnn
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Blankenhorn list his three “rules of the game” for essential structures of marriage: 1) rule of opposites, man and woman; 2) set of two; 3) sexual relationship.
    --
    Not only did Blakenhorn admit polygamy did not violate his essential structure of marriage, he had to admit he was wrong on number 3, "sexual relationship." The Supreme Court had already determined that incarcerated persons may marry without the presumption that they would ever have sex.
    When asked if there were exceptions to rule one prior to 50 years ago, he listed a tribe in Africa with possible man-boy marriages as part of a warrior caste.

  190. Chairm
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Nate,

    You should quit while you are ahead and simply correct yourself.

    I'll give you the benefit of the doubt a second time, and for the sake of readers here I will demonstrate the falsity of your comments.

    According to the scholars whom Blankenhorn referenced, polygamy is a series of marriages. He explained it very well.

    Blankenhorn on Day 12:

    "[O]ne of the reasons that it is prohibited is that it is considered less than ideal for children. And I believe the historical record, the discussion of that, I'm fairly confident would confirm that."

    Clearly he did not say he supports polygamy. Quite the opposite.

    He added:

    "Even in instances of a man engaging in polygamous marriage, each marriage is separate. [...] They do not marry as a group. It is not a group marriage. It permits certain men that have access to power to marry more than one woman. Each marriage is a separate marriage of one man and one woman."

    He was answering questions about the structure of the social institution of marriage.

    The 'rule of two' is an observation of the social institution's persistent structure. He also explained that this is directly connected with the 'rule of opposites' - of the two sexes, man and woman.

    And, as per his book about which he testified, the central thing that holds the institution together as a whole is the principle that each child has a birthright to the mom and dad that made her.

    Noting this scholarly observation and also adding his own view that polygamy is an inferior form of marriage, as Blankenhorn testified, does not amount to an endorsement of polygamy.

    Contrary to your assertions, David Blankenhorn did not say he supports polygamy. He said the opposite.

    Please acknowledge and correct yourself. Thanks.

  191. Raynd
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    Man boy marriages.... sounds a lot like what NAMBLA has in mind. Uh, not what I'd say was best for society, marriage or kids.

  192. Chairm
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    natenathaneeellsnn,

    Before you add more errors and falsehoods to mislead readers, correct the one about polygamy.

    Please acknowledge and correct yourself. Thanks.

  193. natenathaneeellsnn
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Chairm,
    Blakenhorn had to admit eventually under cross that polygamy did not violate his rule of two. Its there, I quoted it correctly from the transcripts.
    Not only did Blakenhorn admit polygamy did not violate his essential structure of marriage, the rule of two, he had to admit he was wrong on number 3, “sexual relationship.” The Supreme Court had already determined that incarcerated persons may marry without the presumption that they would ever have sex. When asked if there were exceptions to rule one prior to 50 years ago, he listed a tribe in Africa with possible man-boy marriages as part of a warrior caste.

  194. Chairm
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Emma,.

    I ask you the same thing: "So why your obsession with gay marriage?"

    The nonmarriage category includes more than the gay subset that you keep emphasizing.

    The children living in nonmarital scenarios are far more numerous than the relatively few you are so obsessed about.

    About 97% of the adult homosexual population does not reside in same-sex households with children. So you are blowing your viewpoint way out of proportion.

    Indeed, the vast majority of the children in such households have both mom and dad -- it is just that one or the other is nonresident. They have the protections of children of divorce or estranged parents. And they, like their mom-dad duos, are protected by the marital presumption of paternity -- a sexual basis that does not apply to any one-sexed arrangement.

    So, please explain your obsession.

  195. Emma
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    There's a world of difference between not promoting something (adultery) and amending a constitution to outlaw something (gay marriage), don't you think?

    Put your money where your mouth is -- convince NOM to take on the formidable task of amending the Constitution to outlaw divorce, and leave the poor gays alone.

    My obsession is equality.

  196. TC Matthews
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    I agree with Chairm, Blankenhorn did not promote polygamy in his position.

  197. TC Matthews
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    "My obsession is equality."

    Somehow I don't think so, since we already all have access to marriage, as it is. No one has the right to demand marriage change simply to suit them. That's not equality.

  198. L. Marie
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    It's interesting that all these adults are clamoring for "equality" for themselves, at the price of equality for children. Adult sexual preferences should never trump children's rights.

    Is SSM equal to marriage? It isn't for the children. It sounds to me like your obsession is inequality at the expense of others.

  199. TC Matthews
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    "There’s a world of difference between not promoting something (adultery) and amending a constitution to outlaw something (gay marriage), don’t you think?"

    Actually, a constitutional amendment would not outlaw anything, it would simply clarify the position it has always held, that marriage is between a man and a woman.

  200. TC Matthews
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    "leave the poor gays alone."

    Who brought up the assault on marriage? Who insists it be deconstructed, neutered, and made impotent against the express desire of the people? To the contrary of what you assert, "the poor gays" as you call these activists, have forced by judicial fiat, this national discussion.

    There are no armed armadas searching private bedrooms hunting out the sexually deviant among the population. There are no arrests, no hangings, no torture here. Just the opposite. Militant gay activists are forcing children to be taught about homosexuality in public schools, they are trampling the conscience laws of individuals who disagree that homosexuality should be promoted as normal. "leave the poor gays alone"? How about respect our rights and freedoms in this nation and leave marriage, children and families alone?

  201. Chairm
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    natenathaneeellsnn,

    You are now deliberately telling falsehoods and that is not due to your making an honest error.

    Blankenhorn twice indicated he did not support polygamy.

    He readily explained that polygamy is a series of marriage and that fits the bilinear structure of the social institution.

    Olson's confusion showed during cross examination. His questions strongly implied that he was asking about polyamory, not polygamy. Blankenhorn clarified the difference. Olson finally got it.

    Before you add yet more false assertions and misleading remarks, correct your error.

    I've now asked three times. Thanks.

  202. natenathaneeellsnn
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    Chairm, See day 12 transcripts, and search
    BLANKENHORN - CROSS EXAMINATION / BOIES
    --
    Now, what are the three main rules that you believe
    define marriage?
    A. Well, the first is what you might call the rule of
    opposites. That was the man -- what is the customary man/woman basis of marriage.
    Q. And second?
    A. Two, that is, marriage is two people.
    Q. Okay. And the third?
    A. It's a sexual relationship
    .....What I'm saying is that those are the three
    essential foundations of the marital institution or the three essential structures of the marital institution, and that's where we get into this concept of rules.

    He goes to say..

    Q. Yes. Is it your view that that man who has married onewife, and then another wife, and then another wife, and then another wife, and then another wife, and now has five wives,
    and they are all his wives at the same time, that that marriage is consistent with your rule of two?
    And that is a yes or no question.
    A. I concur with Bronislaw Malinowski, and others, who say that that is consistent with the two rule of marriage.
    --
    Sure sounds like the rule of 2 or more in polygamy to me Chairm..

  203. Chairm
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Emma,

    Equal protection of children in nonmarital arrangements? Okay, then why do your obsession with the gay subset of the nonmarriage category.

    Please be direct. SSMers evade on this point and that does not advance the discussion one iota.

    You brought this up. Please be forthright.

  204. L. Marie
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Nathaniel, you're just digging the hole deeper and deeper trying to twist Blankenhorn's words in imaginary circles. It's embarrassing. Why don't you just admit you got it wrong?

  205. Chairm
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    natenathaneeellsnn,

    You've been shown that your assertion is a falsehood. David Blankenhorn testified that he does not support polygamy.

    Before you add any more false assertions, please acknowledge and correct yourself.

    Your remarks are on the record. You can still pull back from showing yourself to be a blatantly dishonest participant in this discussion.

    You've now been asked a fourth time.

  206. Raynd
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    "How about respect our rights and freedoms in this nation and leave marriage, children and families alone?"

    Right on!

  207. Raynd
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    These are not "poor gays", they are people with ideas. Have some respect for them and treat them like you would any adult with ideas.

  208. Emma
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    Chairm, where does this statistic come from? It seems... unlikely, at best.

    "About 97% of the adult homosexual population does not reside in same-sex households with children. So you are blowing your viewpoint way out of proportion."

    I think you probably mean 97% of the adult population, and given that estimates put homosexuality at somewhere between 5-10% of the population, that would ALMOST make sense.

    But given that only about 5-10% of Americans are gay, why are you guys so obsessed with not allowing them to get married, when almost 50% of straight marriages end in divorce? You are the ones who are hellbent on changing various state constitutions, not to mention federal law, to forbid a small minority from having equal access to marriage.

  209. Raynd
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    You know what other interesting ideas they have? Open marriages!
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/29/us/29sfmetro.html

    "When Rio and Ray married in 2008, the Bay Area women omitted two words from their wedding vows: fidelity and monogamy.

    “I take it as a gift that someone will be that open and honest and sharing with me,” said Rio, using the word “open” to describe their marriage.

    Love brought the middle-age couple together — they wed during California’s brief legal window for same-sex marriage. But they knew from the beginning that their bond would be forged on their own terms, including what they call “play” with other women.

    As the trial phase of the constitutional battle to overturn the Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage concludes in federal court, gay nuptials are portrayed by opponents as an effort to rewrite the traditional rules of matrimony. Quietly, outside of the news media and courtroom spotlight, many gay couples are doing just that, according to groundbreaking new research. "

  210. Chairm
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    Emma,

    Where is the rest of K Young's deposition? why did you link that bit?

  211. Chairm
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Emma,

    You brought up the topic of obsession with gay marriage.

    While I have been defending and promoting the social institution of marriage for decades, you are here obsessing over just the gay subset of nonmarriage.

    Please explain your narrow viewpoint.

  212. Emma
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Chairm, how is it narrow of me to think that MORE couples should have equal access to civil marriage? You are the one narrowing it by preventing a certain subset of Americans from having it.

  213. Emma
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    Yes, Chairm, I find it odd that people get their panties all in a bunch over allowing gay couples to marry, when straight couples are doing so much to undermine marriage already all on their own.

    Straight couples get married and get divorced at the drop of a hat. Straight strangers can meet in a bar and go get married the next morning. They can bring shame upon the institution of marriage and wreak havoc along the way in the lives around them along the way.

    And here we've got this entire group of people, these gay men and lesbians, these Americans who deserve every right that you and I have, who would LOVE to get married! They are willing to protest, to fight, to argue, to demonstrate, just to partake in this ritual that you find so important! Because they love each other, because they love their children, because they want to be equal under the law.

    And you won't let them. And they're the ones that are undermining marriage??

    I'm sorry, I just don't get it.

  214. Chairm
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    As for the estimate that 97% of the adult homosexual population does not reside in same-sex households with children, that comes from the HRC's own analysis of the Census, the Census reports on children in same-sex households, and related evidence from adoption sources and the CDC's infor on third party procreation.

    The HRC estimated 5% of the general adult population is homosexual. Of that small segment of the general population, 90% do not reside in same-sex households.

    In other words, less than one-half of one-percent of the general adult population resides in same-sex households.

    But looking just at the small segment of the population that is openly homosexual, as per the HRC's 5% estimate, 97% do not reside in same-sex households with children.

    More than 93% of those children were not attained by adoption or third party procreation. They moved with one parent to a same-sex household from the previously opposiet-sex relationship of their mom-dad duo.

    In other words, you, Emma, are obsessed with a very, very, very tiny segment of the child population in this country. And you are obsessed with using gayness to differentiate children living in nonmarriage -- millions of them -- from those living in the gay subset of nonmarriage -- thousands.

    As I said, you are blowing your viewpoint waaaaay out of proportion. There is a legitimate question of proportiionality. Equal protection does not mean special treatment of the gay subset, surely.

  215. Emma
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    Chairm:

    How is it that pro-equality people are obsessed, when it is you guys who are out there amending constitutions to prevent gay couples from marrying? That just doesn't make sense.

  216. Chairm
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    No, Emma, you are narrowly obsessed. I am looking at the big picture and I see the social institution of marriage for what it actually is, while you are trying to reframe marriage through a gaycentric filter.

    Look, are you now claiming that only those same-sex scenarios that have children present would be eligible for protections?

    Because protections are available throughout the nonmarriage category on an equal basis today.

    Marriage has a special status for special reason. And that reason, contrary to the SSM campaign's overheated rhetoric, is not straightness. So asserting gayness as some special trump card does not really make the case for you. It certainly does not really show how the gay subset of nonmarriage is somehow more worthy than the rest -- or more equal than the rest of nonmarriage.

  217. Chairm
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Emma, please explain your narrow viewpoint. Why are you interested only in the gay subset of nonmarriage?

  218. Raynd
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    "They are willing to protest, to fight, to argue, to demonstrate, just to partake in this ritual that you find so important! Because they love each other, because they love their children, because they want to be equal under the law."

    Actually, I think it's just because they're tired of being told their lifestyle is wrong. They want wrong to be right and vice versa. Why should polyamory, polygamy, bestiality, pedophilia be wrong? Why should open marriages be wrong? Who cares right?

    Chairm cares. NOM cares. Kids care, and moms and dads care about their kids. There are a lot of viewpoints your narrowness conveniently excludes.

  219. Raynd
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    oh yeah, I forgot. It's all about "hate" right David?

  220. Emma
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    According to census statistics, as of 2005 there were over 700,000 same-sex households in the US. 20% of these households have children, which account for approximately 270,313 kids. Which is more than a couple thousand, and whom you are preventing from growing up in stable, married households.

    Also I'm not "only interested in the gay subset of nonmarriage." I'm just arguing gay marriage with you because that's what NOM's all about, right?

    I'm more than happy to argue other things with you, but that seems counterintuitive, given where we happen to be arguing.

  221. Raynd
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    "According to census statistics, as of 2005 there were over 700,000 same-sex households in the US. 20% of these households have children, which account for approximately 270,313 kids. Which is more than a couple thousand, and whom you are preventing from growing up in stable, married households."

    Who is preventing them from being raised with a mom and a dad? That's what makes them stable.

  222. Raynd
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    I had no idea Chairm was preventing lesbians from finding husbands and settling down.

  223. Dexter
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    not everyone who opposes gay marriage is filled with hate. but many of those posting on this site are. only hate could account for the behavior displayed here. or perhaps just immense stupidity.

  224. Raynd
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    Hate? I agree, but the question is, what is so appealing about the love of societal annihilation? Why else would there be this hate of the opposite gender? to the detriment of everyone else? If SSM is truly equal to marriage, then if everyone got one....

    there would be nobody left. Sounds like a good solution if you hate people.

  225. Dexter
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    You've uncovered our sinister plan, Raynd: force EVERYONE to marry someone of the same sex, then NO ONE will be able to procreate, and humanity will be destroyed!
    Your posts are patently stupid. Either you know it or you don't. If you don't, you're an idiot; and if you do, you must be filled with darkness inside.

  226. Emma
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    Raynd, no one is saying that same-sex marriage is a replacement for straight marriage. That's just silly.

  227. Raynd
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    Silly? I thought you said they were equal.

  228. Raynd
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    Dexter, either SSM and marriage are equal or they aren't. No need to shoot the messenger..... just sayin'.

  229. Dexter
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    Raynd, you are being deliberately obtuse--indicative of a juvenile mind.

  230. Raynd
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    Really? Because the way I see it, it's pretty simple. Even a child can understand that without a mommy and daddy, life ceases to exist.

    How then is SSM equal to marriage? You still haven't answered the question.

  231. Chairm
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Emma, the stats you describe fit what I said earlier. You are focussed on a tiny subset of nonmarriage.

    And you have emphasized gayness.

    So it is a gay subset of nonmarriage over which you have been obsessing (to use your own term).

    What about the rest of nonmarriage, including those scenarios with millions of children?

  232. Chairm
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Emma, you are misunderstanding the disagreement.

    You said: "no one is saying that same-sex marriage is a replacement for straight marriage"

    The SSM idea, whatever it is, is pushed by the SSM side as a replacement for the marriage idea.

    This is not about gay v. straight. You need to recalibrate your thinking on this important point.

    One way to help you do that is to ask you to consider the full range of types of relationshpsand kinds of living arrangements.

    Then, consider what makes conjugal type of relationship different from all the rest.

    The SSM idea is very vague and ambiguous.

    The marriage idea begins with the core meaning of a foundational social instituition.

    the SSM idea is specific in denying that core meaning, sure, but it does not offer a real alternative that would distinguish SSM from nonmarriage, much less marriage from nonmarriage.

    Based on SSM argumentation, the Government must act arbitrarily to merge SSM with marriage. But that contradicts the SSM side's central complaint that the marriage law -- and CA marriage amendment -- is arbitrary and thus unjust.

    Can you be more specific: what is the SSM idea -- what are the essentials of a one-sexed type of relationship which you would have society license and accord the special status of marriage?

    Before you pin the label on it, identify its essentials. Start there. But don't get bogged down with emphasis on gayness if that is not your "obsession", right?

  233. Chairm
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Emma, regarding the stats you used, not all same-sex households with children would convert to SSM if it was available. You should not assume too much, like that. Even pro-gay groups estimate only about 25% might convert. And they are estimating the same-sex households, not just those with children present. And, as explained upthread, most of the children in such households, by far, are from the previously procreative relationships (typically marriages) of the mom-dad duos. So you are only really looking at less than 10% of that already tiny segment of the larger child population. There are over 72 million children in this country; a tiny, tiny fraction of that population resides in same-sex households (of which maybe 25% would convert to SSM) and of those kids only an even tiny segment were attained by third party procreation or adoption.

    Hard cases do not make good law. Such cases are exceptions that can legitimatley be treated as exceptions rather than as the new general rule.

    Meanwhile millions more children reside in othter types of scenarios outside of marriage -- scenarios not defined by gayness. Equal protection applies to them. Why would you assume that gayness lifts some scenarios out of the ordinary? Why wouldyou advocate inequality in the name of equality?

  234. Dexter
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Chairm, you try to control the debate by defining all the terms. "Love and Marriage, Love and Marriage, go together like a horse and carriage; this i tell you, brother, you can't have one with out the other." This debate is entirely about denying gay people the right to marry those whom they love. You can try to dress your position up all you want--you're not fooling anybody except maybe yourself.

  235. Emma
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    So a group only deserves equality under the law if it is a big enough group? What kind of American ARE you?

  236. TC Matthews
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Emma, equality has nothing to do with it, and you know it, otherwise you wouldn't be dodging.

  237. TC Matthews
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Dexter, the same could be said for your side because the entire debate hinges on the definition of marriage. The thing is, gay activists have not made their case why the definitions should be changed. In fact some of them even claim that SSM has always been in the law, which is patently false. So Dexter, make your case, why should the definitions be changed?

  238. Dexter
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    TC,
    you're that worst brand of human--an idiot who thinks he's smart.

  239. Peter
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    TC, definitions don't change one iota. A fundamental right to marriage exists in the law, the questions are if gays and lesbians deserve equal application, of the law to choose the one they love. If there is a state interest to treat them as an exception. What in your view, is the state interest to treat them as an exception.
    If this changes the definition of your marriage.. well its your problem, don't pin it on gays and lesbians.

  240. TC Matthews
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    "A fundamental right to marriage exists in the law, the questions are if gays and lesbians deserve equal application"

    They already have equal application.

  241. TC Matthews
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    "If there is a state interest to treat them as an exception. What in your view, is the state interest to treat them as an exception."

    There is no state interest in treating them as an exception.

  242. TC Matthews
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    "If this changes the definition of your marriage.. well its your problem, don’t pin it on gays and lesbians."

    Peter, it seems that you are among the gay activists who believe that SSM has always been a part of society, history, and the law. This isn't so. You're requesting a change in the law, a change in the marriage institution to allow for your particular brand of exception. You want your particular favorite sexual deviation to be included in marriage law, but not any others. I should ask you, what is the state interest in treating gays and lesbians as an exception?

  243. Raynd
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Peter, how is SSM equal to marriage?

  244. Dexter
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Defining legal marriage as between one man and one woman is fine in a world in which gay people do not exist. For centuries, millennia even, gay people did not exist in the eyes of society--just wicked straight people who engaged in deviant sex with others of the same gender. As humankind has matured, though, it has become increasingly clear that gay people do exist. Society is coming to grips with this fact right now.
    People break down into 3 groups around the fact that gay people exist: some deny it; some believe it, and are afraid; and some believe it and accept it without fear.
    NOM supporters fall into the first two categories. People in the third category recognize that it is wrong for society to deny gay people full and equal access to the benefits of society and its institutions.

  245. TC Matthews
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    "it has become increasingly clear that gay people do exist."

    Dexter, was this ever a question? People have infinite varieties of ways to express themselves sexually. The problem with your theory that society is evolving away from families and children is that it's nihilistic, impractical and cruel.

  246. Richard
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    No one is asking for Gay Marriage, only equal marriage for same sex tax paying American partners. The only reason Chaim, that it is "a subset of non-marriage" (as you repeat over and over and over again as if that makes it more real) is because YOU NOMers push to make it non marriage. Where it is legal (so far) it is Marriage not same sex marriage, not gay marriage, not "a sub-set of non marriage". If the couple in this marriage chooses to raise or have children the childs parents are just plainly married. So you can drop the whole "sub set non marriage" rhetoric...it's boring and lame. and while you are at it "SSMers" doesnt make any sense either. I mean spell it out, "same sex mariagers"...it just sound stupid, is that how you want to be seen? Do you live in the hills of Alabama in a shack? I do know where you are going with it by the way, it is extremely transparent from all of you H8ers, it is a way to put us down, by calling us SSMers or a sub-set of "non Marriage", it's cheap and proves your discrimination towards a minority group, it's disgusting. Try growing up and using real arguments without putting not so hidden hate words in there. Thank you and God Bless.

  247. TC Matthews
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    "No one is asking for Gay Marriage, only equal marriage for same sex tax paying American partners."

    I'd like you to show Richard how you are excluded from marriage as it is. Marriage is between a man and a woman, regardless of sexual orientation. All are equal.

  248. Raynd
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    So Richard, people should vote for SSM because if you don't you are boring and lame, sound stupid, hail from Alabama and live in substandard housing?

    I think I see why your side isn't winning hearts here.

  249. Raynd
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    I'm still waiting to hear how SSM is equal to marriage. So far, no ideas have come forth, only insults. I must be hitting too close to home.

  250. Peter
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Raynd, there really is no such thing on a marriage certificate in any of the 5 states, permitting homosexual couples to marry, that state "same sex married" SSM. Does not state OSM "opposite sex married" either. Only marriage. So perhaps there is no such thing has OSM or SSM marriage ya think?

  251. Raynd
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    So you are arguing that a man and a woman are identical to a man and a man? Is there a biology class you missed?

  252. Peter
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    So Raynd, we agree that there is no such thing as OSM or SSM? Just a certificate of marriage? Lets go with what it actually says, not read things into it that are not there.
    --
    Are you arguing that gender is scientifically always binary?

  253. Raynd
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Marriage is between a man and a woman, and only a man and a woman. If you want to include other non marriage relationships in the marriage institution, you need to show why they should be included.

    I hear a lot about "equality" and how having everyone have the same equal access to marriage isn't really equality, but my question for you is, if your chosen preference is to be considered equal with marriage, and promoted as equal with marriage in the public schools, then please show how two men can equal a man and a woman.

    Is it sheer emotion that makes them equal? This pairing loves and cares as much as that pairing? What about other pairings? As TC said, there are infinite numbers of ways that people can choose to bond and act out sexually. Why should SSM be included in marriage, but none of the others? Do they not love and care enough?

    What about L. Marie and the care and admiration she has for her grandma? That kind of relationship is pure gold. Is it marriage too?

    Or is the truth that loving and caring has less to do with qualifying for marriage than you think?

  254. L. Marie
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    The thing that is amazing to me is the fact that gay unions are unique. Marriage is unique. Why not celebrate the uniqueness and variety? Everyone knows that the emporer has no clothes on this one Peter. Two men are not the same as a man and a woman.

  255. Peter
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Oh, and TC... your exact argument below, was used before and during the court case: Loving v. Virginia as I recall.... and some preceding state court cases too.

    "You’re requesting a change in the law, a change in the marriage institution to allow for your particular brand of exception."

    Your view, like the cases of bigotry and prejudice before, are being vigorously debated in our court systems today. Where is your federal man-woman only marriage constitutional amendment?
    Works for you at the state level, but without it, you will lose almost every time on due process and equal protection grounds. Seems like you do this if you were really serious about marriage, rather than playing politics and sky will fall arguments with the voters.

  256. TC Matthews
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Loving v. Virginia only reinforces the link between procreation, children, families and marriage. SSM, in order to be considered equal to marriage, has to divorce children, families and procreation from the idea of marriage. That's why we talk about it as neutering marriage.

  257. Andrew
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    You know, I get tired of the whole "gay is race" argument. Your orientation isn't your race, they are completely different. You don't wake up one day with the color of your skin different, not even Michael Jackson could pull that off.

  258. Andrew
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    And where do you people come off claiming discrimination? You think you suffer? Everybody suffers. You think life is hard? Well here' s news. It's hard for everybody. Don't blame your moral weakness on race. You have your choices, and you make them every day.

  259. Andrew
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    "People in the third category recognize that it is wrong for society to deny gay people full and equal access to the benefits of society and its institutions."

    Dexter, people in the third category got duped into thinking men and women don't matter, that's what they got duped into. Tell that to the kids of these families without a dad. Tell them it doesn't matter.

  260. Andrew
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    "Works for you at the state level, but without it, you will lose almost every time on due process and equal protection grounds."

    Peter, do you only read the two or three cases your side has won or what? Open your eyes, the truth is there.

  261. Peter
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Oh andrew, no one anywhere says "gay is race." But as Michael Jackson demonstrated, and you point out, race is not always an immutable characteristic. However, for the majority of homosexuals sexual orientation is an immutable characteristic.

  262. TC Matthews
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    "not even Michael Jackson could pull that off."

    True!

  263. Andrew
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    Exactly. For one hundred percent of black people, race is immutable. Your sexual proclivities aside, you have all the choice in the world my friend.

  264. Peter
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    Andrew, man-woman only marriage law won't change a thing to your argument below.. Gay and Lesbians will continue to have children, and people will continue to adopt.

    ".......Tell that to the kids of these families without a dad. Tell them it doesn’t matter."

    Now propose a law that removes children from single parent and homosexual households. Then your finally talking about a law that will pass at least a rational basis test.

  265. Peter
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Andrew, that your belief, certainly which was not testified to in the Prop 8 case. And not countered by any other argumentation from your side. Don't take my word for it, go look at Dr. Hereks testimony, and then read the Iowa supreme court decision for starters. Facts do matter in court. Show me just one court case anywhere that proves your view.

  266. Andrew
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Michael Jackson did not change into a white man. He posed as a white man. He had the appearance, but he was black. Don't spend your time wishing you were something else, trying to pretend your chosen life is the same as someone else's, and don't blame it on your heritage either. It's you. It's all you. You make your life, you live it, and you be proud if that's what you want to be.

    I like that emporer's clothes ! The man was naked! Who do you think you're fooling?

  267. two cents
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Right on.

  268. Peter
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Andrew, looks to me like MJ did a pretty good job, with the plastic surgery.. That is only my opinion. Like yours on sexual orientation.. READ the court cases, my friend.

    These views were not challenged in Prop 8 by your side... why is that do you suppose?

    because sexual orientation is central to personal identity and “ may be altered [if at all] only at the expense of significant damage to the individual’s sense of self,’ ” classifications based on sexual orientation “are
    no less entitled to consideration as a suspect or quasi-suspect class than any other group that has been deemed to exhibit an immutable characteristic.”

    A human trait that defines a group is “immutable” when the trait exists “solely by the accident of birth,” Immutability is a factor in determining the
    appropriate level of scrutiny because the inability of a person to change a characteristic that is used to justify different treatment makes the discrimination violative of the rather “ ‘basic concept of our system that legal burdens should bear some relationship to individual responsibility.’ ”

    “Because a person’s sexual orientation is
    so integral an aspect of one’s identity, it is not appropriate to require a person to repudiate or change his or her sexual orientation in order to avoid discriminatory treatment.”

  269. two cents
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    "There are no armed armadas searching private bedrooms hunting out the sexually deviant among the population. There are no arrests, no hangings, no torture here. Just the opposite. Militant gay activists are forcing children to be taught about homosexuality in public schools, they are trampling the conscience laws of individuals who disagree that homosexuality should be promoted as normal. “leave the poor gays alone”? How about respect our rights and freedoms in this nation and leave marriage, children and families alone?"

    @TC Exactly. Go NOM!

  270. L. Marie
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    Peter, why would you want to be like Michael Jackson?

  271. L. Marie
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    I guess I don't get the whole "me too" bit.

  272. Dexter
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    Andrew, I have a theory that I wonder if you might shed some light on. I've been trying to figure out why homosexuality is so especially stigmatized within the black community, and all I can come up with is this: that it must go back to slavery; that black male slaves were forcibly sodomized by their owners, as a systematic way of emasculating them; that this horrible experience was ingrained into the collective consciousness of the black community; and that the thought of any black man willingly engaging in anal sex pushes a whole bunch of buttons in the average black person's mind.
    What do you think? Is that plausible? Or is there some other reason you can think of why homophobia is as rampant as it is in the black community? The simple fact is, Prop. 8 would never have passed if the vote had been taken on a day Barack Obama's name wasn't on the ballot.

  273. Andrew
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    You'll never have the answers as long as you dismiss everyone's point of view as homophobia.

  274. Chairm
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 2:50 am | Permalink

    Dexter,

    Contrary to your complaint, I have asked SSMers to define the type of relationshp they have in mind. Its essentials. What it makes it differnt from other types of arrangments and other types of relationshps -- before you pin the label on it.

    You say SSM is marriage. Okay, then, what makes SSM/marriage different from other stuff that is NOT SSM/marriage? You know, before you pin the label on it?

    In other words, you've been asked to define your terms. No takers, so far, have been able to differentiate SSM/marriage from nonmarriage. That's a profound flaw in your thinking.

  275. Chairm
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 2:56 am | Permalink

    S.S.M. is the Specious Substitution of Marriage. Also known as "same-sex marriage", a political oxymoronic term.

    The SSMer is the supporter of SSM or the SSM[support]er.

    See "To er or not to er".
    http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/2008/11/to-er-or-not-to-er.html

    An SSMer is someone who advocates or supports the enactment or imposition of "same-sex marriage" (SSM) into the law of the land.

    The nickname, "SSMer" is derived from the popular acronymn used by both those who support and those who oppose the SSM project. Adding -er is as American as apple pie.

    In this instance SSMer is shortform for SSM[support]er.

    An SSMer may be gay or lesbian but most are not. This designation is not a synomyn for GLBTQ or other new fangled terms for socio-political identities based on sexual inclinations.

  276. Chairm
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 3:14 am | Permalink

    Emma, you continue to misread and to misunderstand what is actually written in my comments.

    You said: "So a group only deserves equality under the law if it is a big enough group?"

    I said that there are millions of children residing in arrangements and relatiionshps that are not marriage.

    I say provide protection equality to all of these children. You say something quite different.

    Of those living in the broad nonmarriage category, you would show favoritism for a subset that is identified by your own emphasis on gayness.

    The fundamental problem in your rhetoric, and thinking, is that you are looking at this or that subgroup and making a special please for that identity group.

    On the other hand, I am talking about what makes marriage, marriage; and I am talking about equal treatment of the people who are outside of marriage.

    Me: equal treatment.

    You: favoritism for the gay identity group.

  277. Chairm
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 3:31 am | Permalink

    Emma,

    There is marriage and there is nonmarriage. Even the common SSMer assertion that SSM is marriage is an admission that there is such a thing as nonmarriage. Your pleas exclude the rest of nonmarriage. Why is that?

    I asked earlier about domestic partnership. I asked for the rational basis for such a nonmarriage status. I asked why the rest of nonmarriage is not included in domestic partnership.

    No SSMer came forward with a rational basis for the status nor for excluding most of the nonmarriage category.

    Your attempted insult, "what kind of American are you?", adds zilch to the discussion of the actual disagreement.

    * * *

    I'll add another response to something you said.

    You said: “So a group only deserves equality under the law if it is a big enough group?”

    When I point out that SSM argumentation encloses the pro-polygmous argument, and the pro-polyamory argument, (as some SSMers are ready to admit with a shrug), the usual rejoinder is that there is no critical mass of people advocating for polygamy, yet.

    Likewise with incestuous marriage -- such as that hoped for but not yet fought for by people who experience Genetic Sexual Attraction.

    These groups are too small, I am told, and therefore SSMers are only fighting for the gay subset.

    Olson, in his Newsweek article, said that no one should have to wait. Do you agree that polygamists, polyamorists, and the GSA subgroups should be included in the SSM campaign's fight for "marriage equality"?

    As per Dexter's remarks above, these people exist and pay their taxes and are otherwise lawabiding citizens. They are a minority. They are in consensual loving relationshps. They raise children. They are being excluded by marriage laws.

    I don't support polygamy, polyamory, nor incestuous marriages. I can point to the core meaning of marriage as justification for the lines drawn for eligbility and ineligibility.

    The SSM idea, that SSMers seek to substitute for the marriage idea, has no justification for exlcuding any of nonmarriage. At least, SSMers have offered nothing that withstands the challenge posed by their own stated standards that they use when attcking the core meaning of marriage today.

    * * *

    My remarks, by the way, were not that some groups should be ineligible for marriage due to small numbers; the point is that there is a question of proportionality when it comes to your insistance that a subset of nonmarriage gain the advantages of your favoritism. I stand with marriage, not by the numbers but by its core meaning.

  278. Chairm
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 3:41 am | Permalink

    Peter,

    You said: "A fundamental right to marriage exists in the law, the questions are if gays and lesbians deserve equal application, of the law to choose the one they love. If there is a state interest to treat them as an exception."

    The right is fundamental, as per constitutional jurisprudence, because it has deep roots in our traditions and legal system.

    SSM would sever the social institution of marriage from its deep roots.

    This was explained earlier. You are advocating the abolition of the very thing that makes marriage a fundamental right: its core meaning.

    See here:
    http://nomblog.com/769/comment-page-5/#comment-13926

    SSM has no deep roots in the "gay community" much less in constitutional jurisprudence.

    And, no, there is no right "to marry the person you love" or "the person you choose". Some related people cannot use love and choice to over-ride the marriage law's regulation of the fundamental right to marry. The lines for eligiblity and ineligibility are drawn around the core meaning of marriage.

    What such lines could possibly be drawn around the SSM idea? There is no gayness requirement. No same-sex sexual attraction requirement. No same-sex sexual behavior requirement.

    SSM is not a fundamental right. It is absurd to attach SSM to the fundamental right to marry -- when the SSM idea would sever marriage from its deep roots.

  279. Dexter
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 3:45 am | Permalink

    Chairm, you have a logic to you that isn't wholly unimpressive. It reminds me of the movie "A Beautiful Mind," when Russell Crowe has snuck away to that cabin in the woods and covered the walls in news clippings and connected them all with string. It all made perfect sense to him.
    Frankly, I just don't see most Americans thinking about marriage in the way that you do. "People fall in love and get married"--that's how most people think about marriage nowadays. As more people accept that gay people are people, too, and equally capable of love, more people will support the rights of gay people to marry.
    Your position, even if correct, isn't as accessible as the popular view. That's why proponents of Prop 8 couldn't rely on your rationale to carry the day; instead, they had to get Bill Tam and so many others to distract voters with talk of pedophilia and indoctrination of school children and the erosion of religious liberty.
    I guess that's about all I have to say to you. If you can't figure out why L. Marie and her Grandmother shouldn't be able to move to Massachusetts and get married, well I'm sure I can't either. I wish the happy couple all the best!

  280. Chairm
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 3:53 am | Permalink

    Richard,

    Your attempted insults miss the target.

    Your own comment points to marriage and so you know there is such a thing as nonmarriage.

    Your own comment points to the desire of SSMers to merge marriage with a subset of nonmarriage -- something that SSMers themselves have openly called "gay marriage". You say there is no such thing, only marriage, but you haven't said what makes marriage, marriage.

    In sum, you agree there is a marriage category and a nonmarriage category; but you can't say what makes one marriage and the other not marriage.

    If you say, The Government Decides, and it does so arbitrarily, then, you have just knocked the knees out from under the pro-SSM side's central complaint about government arbitrariness.

    If you say, Love and Choice, then, you no longer actually make a distinction between marriage and nonmarriage for most of the relationships and arrangements outside of marriage are loving, consensual, and still not marriage.

    On your note about boredom, it is tiresome when SSMers repeatedly invoked certain standards of argumentation to attack marriage and then abandon those standards when it comes to defending the SSM idea.

    It is tiresome when SSMers use bumpersticker slogans instead of actual arguments -- such as the trite slogan "marriage equality".

    SSM argumentation has not advanced one iota since the late 1990s. It has always been a very weak form of complaint that amounts to the demand that society show great favoritism for the gay identity group.

    Indeed, it is simply another form of the racialist-kind of identity politics that has long been repudiated -- see Loving and see Perez. The pushing for the assertion of supremacy of gay identity poolitics is closely analogous with the racialist politics of white supremacy in the anti-miscegenation system.

    That's reminds of another tiresome SSM ploy: lobbing the racialist bomb even as SSMers depend on their version of the racialist kind of identity politics.

  281. Emma
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    So Andrew, you're saying that having two mothers is worse than having only one mother? We don't forbid having only one mother, so why forbid having two married mothers?

  282. Emma
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Chairm, you seem really caught up in this whole thing of nommarriage, and you keep writing things like "so you know there is such a thing as nonmarriage."

    Who is arguing that not 100% of adults in this country are married? No one, it's just you.

    And you are the one (I think -- it's hard to tell with you) saying that all non-married people are the same, and that therefore support same-sex couples' right to marry is discriminatory against... single people? siblings? L. Marie and her grandma? Again, I'm not sure what your point is. You say redundantly obvious things as if they were supportive of denying same-sex couples (couples, mind you -- not siblings, not grandmas & granddaughters, not anything but couples) the right to marry.

    But if you don't see a difference between a same-sex couple and siblings, or a same-sex couple and L Marie and her grandmother, then how do you see a difference between opposite-sex couples and siblings, or opposite-sex couples and L Marie and her grandfather?

    You are ignoring the inherent uniqueness of coupledom, or coupling, or whatever you want to call it. But it benefits society and it benefits children and it benefits the State to acknowledge and support committed, stable relationships. It also benefits a general and simple sense of fairness.

  283. Peters
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    There are some things that the Equal Protection Clause prohibits so absolutely that they can
    be considered per se violations of the clause’s guarantee. The government may not decide that two groups of people are similarly situated with regard to the purposes of a law, (think domestic partnership laws for homosexual couples) but nonetheless have that law treat them differently.

    The government may not treat some people differently than others merely to declare them unequal. And the government may not permanently forbid itself from protecting a group of people against unequal treatment.

    Unless there is a rational basis, for example a legally defined core marriage meaning that excludes homosexual couples from marriage defined in law. Traditions, cultural beliefs, past practices, newness of a group (forced african american introduction to the US), are not legally defined rational means for exclusion in the US constitution. Someone's core meaning is not a valid test according to or in current law. So this is what is know as a red herring or bogus legal argument. It is little more than bumper sticker slogan, when it comes to law.

    California's Prop 8 is a example, where after its passage, racial and ethnic minorities, religious minorities, the disabled, seniors, and even left-handed people remain protected under California’s equal protection clause against being denied equal access to the institution of marriage. Only gay people are denied that protection.

    The government must advance an important governmental interest, the intrusion must significantly further that interest, and the intrusion must be necessary to further that interest.” Core marriage meaning, or responsible procreation . There is no deep root separation argumentation, so far presented as a rational basis for this un-equal treatment in constitutional law either.

    So we must then focus on a constitutional set of justifications, and not flog red-herrings or beat dead horses in a court of law. Courts demand an intellectually respectable explanation of
    how the classification might be thought to advance its intended purposes. While they make look good on a bumper sticker, none of these arguments have provided one iota of evidence to meet, show or support any rational cause and effect analysis.

    There is no SSM or OSM so indicated or granted on a "Certificate of Marriage." We must get real with the words "Certificate Of Marriage" and not read SSM or OSM into something that is non-existent.

    LIkewise, claims that homosexuals must also address or explain polygamy, polyamory, or incestuous relationships, in order to obtain marriage equality, is not supported anywhere in law or the governing principles of due process and equal protection. Another flog of a straw man argument that has no bearing in a court of law or marriage equality for gays and lesbians.

    Marriage is among those fundamental rights that are protected for all people by the Due
    Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. There is no rational reason for an exception to be
    carved out for how this fundamental right applies to gays and lesbians (“gays”), just as there was no
    rational reason for an exception to be carved for how this fundamental right applies to interracial
    couples. When a class of citizens seeks to preserve its constitutionally guaranteed liberties, the only
    proper inquiry is whether the Constitution guarantees that liberty interest for all. We do not redefine the liberty interest by asking whether it should apply to a particular class.

    There is no rational reason that gays should be precluded from establishing enduring
    relationships that are ennobled by marriage’s obligations, protected by the law, and recognized by the State in the same manner as are the relationships between heterosexual couples. None, zip, nada.

  284. Andrew
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Emma, do we call single moms married? I don't see your point.

  285. Andrew
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Chairm right on. You're right on! These people want something, but they don't know what---- it looks like special rights, or favoritism. I notice no one can address it.

  286. Emma
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Andrew, huh? Why would you call a single woman married? Who is claiming that you should?

    My point is that a single individual (or "nonmarried," which apparently is Chairm's preferred term) is not the same as a couple. So this predilection for lumping all "nonmarried" people into one large category is disingenuous at best, but mostly just plain silly.

  287. Peter
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Same as those folks that wanted special rights to sit at the front of the bus, mix the gene pool through marriage, or drink out the same fountain.

    Why such favoritism? Like domestic partnerships, what's in a name? They can have most of the benefits, why give 'em marriage?

  288. David
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    andrew,
    are you black and a bigot?

    "These people want something, but they don’t know what—- it looks like special rights, or favoritism. I notice no one can address it."

    I"ll address it: what it "looks like" is a black man, as your pic implies, is agrueing agianst another minority recieveing equal rights. What it "looks like" is that you think heteros should have rights homose shouldn't, yet you state we're the ones who want somehting special or that garners favoritism. It can easily be pointed out to you that homosexuals are the ones being trampled on, not marriage, not kids, not religion. Homosexuals, actual people, are being denied the right to marry the consenting adult of their choice.

    So you think that Rosa Parks was asking for favoritism or special rights. Hell, they even let her on the bus at all, right? What about Matthew Shepherd? Or Jim Crow laws, were blacks asking for special rights?

    Yes, you can't choose the color of your skin, just as I can't choose which sex goves me a boner. If you guys in here don't believe me, try it yourselves. Why shouldn't you try to give your own words credence by hooking up with someone of the same sex if you think I, as a homosexual, was not born with a preprogrammed sexual attraction fo the same sex?

    The issue, again, isn't whether or not to call a single person married. A marriage takes
    2 adulst, not related, who consent to marrying one another. Problem one for the state of California, and eventually the nation, is to PROVE what its interest is in not letting to not related, consenting adults of the same sex marry.

    Both parties who were responsible in representing the state of California refused to represent the state as defendants. Arnold's str8, and so is Jerry Brown. Arnie is married and has kids. You don't either of them cutting down homosexuals in our desire and fight for equal rights. Don't you think that says something about what you're doing.

    Look, the year is 2010 and the arguements you guys have in here against gay marriage are antiquated, old, tired, tried, disproven, discriminatory in nature, representative of your own prejudice toward homosexuality. The list goes on and on. But, the main reason you have for not allowing homosexuals to marry is because kids need a mom and a dad. Who are you to think you have the right to set any standard for who should be able to parent with your "defense" of marriage. Nobody actually thinks you guys are trying to defend marriage, because if you were you'd on cap hill decrying the evils of divorce through legislation, introducing bills to stop songle parenthood, making adoption illegal, etc. Yet the only marriage you protect is hetero marriage only with lies and bigotry. And all you have to say is that "SSM" is "non-marriage." Tons of hetero marriages never intend to reproduce, some are infertile or occur post menapause, and again you seem to not attack those people, like you do homosexuals, for similar if not the exact same reasons.

    Andrew, you remind me of the black lady on Dr. Phill who screamed, "I don't have any choice in the color of my skin, and you chose to be gay!" What a dumba**.

    Homophobic black people crack me up.

  289. Anna
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    California’s Prop 8 is a example, where after its passage, racial and ethnic minorities, religious minorities, the disabled, seniors, and even left-handed people remain protected under California’s equal protection clause against being denied equal access to the institution of marriage. Only gay people are denied that protection.
    ***
    Peters,
    The groups of people you listed all have something in common. They all exist in the form of male or female. Marriage unites the male and female sex.
    So unless gays are a separate "sex", how arethey being treated differently from other individual men and women?

  290. TC Matthews
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Emma, so in your view, as long as you call yourself a couple, you should be included in the marriage category?

  291. TC Matthews
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Peter, people with same sex attraction can and do get married all the time to people of the opposite sex. There is no law barring people from marrying just because they experience gay attractions. No matter what your orientation, we all live under the same laws, which apply to all equally. No one is forcing you to use those options, yet they are equally available to you. That is the essence of equality. Everything above or beyond that is favoritism, special rights, etc, and you have given no reason why society should honor gay people above the rest of society.

  292. Andrew
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."

    There's some kind of gay supremacy group going on in here. That's not about equality.

  293. Andrew
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    David, what right do black people have that you don't? What right does anyone have that you don't? The right to marry whoever you want, whenever you want? Nobody has that right. Not me, not you, not the dog down the street.

  294. TC Matthews
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    "Problem one for the state of California, and eventually the nation, is to PROVE what its interest is in not letting to not related, consenting adults of the same sex marry."

    Why SHOULD the state of California or eventually the nation be forced to call non related consenting adults of the same sex married? As Raynd and Chairm say, what is the benefit? What is society's interest?

    You want SSM treated equally with marriage, but not polyamory, not polygamy, not polyandry, not bigamy, not pedophilia, not any other odd pairing of random entities, animals etc..... why you and not the ugly cousins? You've never answered.

  295. Chairm
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Emma,

    No, I have not argued "that not 100% of adults in this country are married".

    You misread yet again.

    1. There is a very wide range of relationship types out there; a very wide range of kinds of living arrangements out there. Fact.

    2. Marriage is different from the rest of those types.

    3. SSM is not different than the rest of those types.

    Your comments acknowledge that there is marriage and then there is all the rest which is not marriage. You just want to treat the one-sexed gaycentric version of "coupledom" as special among all the rest.

    And you have repeatedly talked of protections. Well, marital status is a preferential status based on what marriage actuall is -- what it is before the government issues licenses and accords special status. But protection equality is already available to people outside of nonmarriage.

    You now say that there is a difference between say, siblings, and gay "couples". Does it come down to your feeling that gay sex is a-okay but sibling sex, for example, is icky?

    When it comes to marriage, there is a sexual basis -- opposite-sexed -- for consummation, annulment, adultery-divorce, and the marital presumption of paternity. The core meaning of marriage is identifiable: sex integration combined with responsible procreation. We draw boundaries around that core meaning.

    But SSM? There is no sexual basis in the law. No legal requirement for same-sex sexual behavior, same-sex sexual attraction, same-sex sexual romance. None of that is definitive of SSM wherever it is imposed. And the SSM campaign does not propose making such requirements mandatory for all who'd show-up to license their same-sex arrangement. So you won't have justification for drawing boundaries around the nonexistent sexual basis of SSM.

    Now, you keep on about children. But you have lost a sense of proportion. Besides, you have said nothing about gayness that would make the one-sexed scenario superior, or more worthy, or "more equal" than the scenario where related people are also ineligible to marry but raise children together. Maybe they adopted. Maybe they used third party procreaton. Maybe they procreated together or seperately.

    There are millions of related people raising children outside of marriage -- they are ineligible to marry. Name the reasons you emphasize gayness -- which probably is not immutable -- but have not thought deeply about relatedness which is immutable.

    Start there.

  296. Chairm
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Typo correction:

    "And you have repeatedly talked of protections. Well, marital status is a preferential status based on what marriage actually is — what it is before the government issues licenses and accords special status. But protection equality is already available to people outside of marriage."

  297. Chairm
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    Peter,

    Marriage is not one-sexed nor is it sex-neutral. It is sex-integrative.

    So, outside of marriage, what makes the gay type of arrangement (you might want to spell-out what its definitive features are) differently situated from the rest of the broad category of nonmarriage?

    For that matter, what is the nonpolitical justification for domestic partnership?

  298. Chairm
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Peter,

    You said: "The government must advance an important governmental interest".

    Society justly discriminates between marriage and other stuff -- i.e. types of arrangements outside of marriage.

    Now, what is the important government interest in gayness such that the gay subset of nonmarriage merits special status among the rest of nonmarriage?

    No, you can not simply assert that marriage and SSM are one and the same thing. If you try that, you need to say what makes SSM different from nonmarriage; and what makes marriage different from nonmarriage. And you can't start with the Government; you need to start with the relationship type(s) you have in mind. You really do. Because your comments indicate that you are a-okay with society discriminating between SSM and nonmarriage; and between marriage and nonmarriage. If you didn't, then, there is no point to your entire comment.

  299. Peter
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    TC, You seem to think this is a fair and reasonable situation:

    "People with same sex attraction can and do get married all the time to people of the opposite sex."

    So TC you would have no problem with your heterosexual son or daughter marrying a gay man or lesbian? Sounds like a real equal and happy marriage to me. One every father and mother would be so happy to promote and encourage for their offspring. You must really love your kids.
    ------

    Andrew, take a look at the arguments presented in the Prop 8 case, Iowa and other jurisdictions.

    "The right to marry whoever you want, whenever you want?" argument is nothing but a straw man of your own making. You can argue that with yourself if you want, but you won't find it in any marriage equality court case.

    -------

  300. Chairm
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    The defendant's legal team during Judge Walker's bench trial put forth the case that SSM is not a deeply rooted right and that it does not share the deep roots that make marriage a fundamental right.

    The anti-8 litigators hve not shown otherwise.

    And SSMers here cannot show the deep roots that would make SSM a fundamental right. Indeed, like you, they deride tradition in the first place.

  301. TC Matthews
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Peter, I am not in the business of telling people who they should or shouldn't marry. Let that be up to them to decide. However, if they decide that they want to marry, and are willing to stick it out through thick and thin, I say who are you to judge?

    My point is, that marriage law has nothing to do with sexual orientation, which is what you claimed.

  302. Emma
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    "Peter, I am not in the business of telling people who they should or shouldn’t marry. Let that be up to them to decide. However, if they decide that they want to marry, and are willing to stick it out through thick and thin, I say who are you to judge?"

    Exactly, TC, exactly. Thank you for putting it so eloquently and succinctly. :)

  303. Peters1
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Chairm, says: "Now, what is the important government interest in gayness such that the gay subset of nonmarriage merits special status among the rest of non-marriage?"

    This is not an argument before any state or federal court. Why is that do you suppose? Its not a due process or equal protection argument. It's a red herring of your own making. Therefore, its irrelevant, since the governing issue is due process and equal protection. Try again,with a constitutional argument.

    Chairm then says:
    "No, you can not simply assert that marriage and SSM are one and the same thing. If you try that, you need to say what makes SSM different from nonmarriage; and what makes marriage different from nonmarriage."

    Further, there is no such thing as OSM or SSM marriage, another red herring, or rhetoric.

    No Chairm, you must show or demonstrate where "what makes SSM different from non-marriage" appears in any of the constitutional argumentation, or marriage equality court decision, and then we can discuss, because only then will it actually be relevant. Lets not chase or tails here, lets discuss the ONLY governing constitutional issues at play. Those issues will decide the outcome.

    Sorry but this one won't work either... not a constitutional question or issue:

    "Marriage is not one-sexed nor is it sex-neutral. It is sex-integrative." Its not a due process or equal protection issue. Show me where its been made so, and we can discuss.

  304. Chairm
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Andrew.

    I am sorry that some SSMers see your icon and immediately use racialist comments to denounce your views on marriage.

    It goes to show that SSMers do not rely on substance but on superficial appearances.

    Two men show up for a license to SSM and they are ineligible. SSMers assume the men are a homosexual 'couple'. But even homosexuality would not make such a pair different from the rest of nonmarriage.

    By the way, the example of those two men? Well, they are both heterosexual and still, as a couple, are ineligible to marry.

    But the man and woman behind them in the line-up? Well, they are related and as a couple they are also ineligible to marry.

    The second couple are related and they did not chose that. They were born that way.

    Another couple, who would like to enjoy government benefits, did not even show up at the license office because they are openly a dad-daughter pair and they don't like the taboo on their desire "to marry". They have no intention of incestous sexual relations; but there are advantages that they don't have right now but which they would like to enjoy with equal status. The man has even relinquished parental status -- went through the whole legal procedure completely. But for the purposes of inheritance, incest, and marriage he is still the woman's father. It clearly is not his choice. It is immutable and the law won't change that. So they are ineligible against their consent and against their love and against their mutual agreement that the benefits are what they are interested in.

    When we take the SSM idea seriously, there is no such thing as marriage, just an ambiguous and vague notion of entitlement. But somehow that is only okay with gayness and is not okay, not even thinkable, otherwise.

    SSM is a mess of an idea. But the corruptive influence of identity politics seeps into the law through attacks on the core meaning of marraige. And that's self-destructive, really, since the SSM idea is to destroy the special reason for the special status of marriage -- the very institution that SSM is supposed to attach itself to for elevation.

    It is like the scorpion riding on the back of the frog crossing the river.

  305. TC Matthews
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    Emma, glad you agree.

  306. Chairm
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    Peter, the lead lawyer on the anti-8 team wrote an article for Newsweek in which he said that the right to marry was the right to marry the person one loves.

    Is there a love legal requirement? Nope.

    But suppose there was such a requirement, are you deriding the love of related people?

    Just plainly say why some related people would be ineligible but other related people would be eligible -- within the context of the one-sexed arrangement. You can assume gayness if you want, but you don't have to. Maybe the related people are both non-gay.

    What is the rational basis for excluding some people? How are they differently situated, if at all?

    I am going to hold you to your own stated standards.

  307. Andrew
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    If a gay man wants to marry a woman, that's his choice, and if he's honest about it with the lady, all the better for them both.

    Life is full of hurdles, and if there's someone out there willing to live with you through all of yours, consider yourself lucky.

    Where then is the inequality?

  308. TC Matthews
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    exactly. Society has no litmus test for sexuality. No one is barred from marrying based on orientation.

  309. Chairm
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Peter it has been argued successfully. Why is it, do you suppose?

    The fundamental right to marry is not the same as the proposed new right to SSM. Deep roots and all that.

    So you will need to shift ground to something else.

    And you are dead wrong if you think adding the label "marriage" to a subset of nonmarriage is some sort of magic alchemy.

    Doesn't work for "incestuous marriage" nor for "polygamous marriage" nor for "underaged marriage" nor for "group marriage". Try again.

    Peters, show me the rational basis for discriminating between marriage and other stuff. If you can't do that much, then, you are not seriously discussing "the right to marry".

  310. Emma
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    TC, you should be included in the marriage category if you have a marriage license. That seems kind of obvious. And in some places, same-sex couples can get a marriage license. Therefore they are part of the marriage category, as you put it.

    Chairm, your three points above don't make sense.

    1. You say that there are myriads of different living arrangements. This I agree with.

    2. You say that marriage is different from other living arrangements. This I agree with.

    3. You say that same-sex marriage is just like all those other non-married types of living arrangements.

    So you are saying that a same-sex couple is the same as everything else except a married couple. Thus you are saying that, for example, L. Marie living with her grandmother would be the same as a same-sex couple. I hate to think what L. Marie and her grandmother are doing, in your world.

    This is also inaccurate because in some places same-sex couples can get the same exact marriage license that opposite-sex couples can get. Thus they are married, in the eyes of the law, all the same and all equally.

  311. Dexter
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    TCM/Andrew,
    if the shoe were on the other foot, you wouldn't be so smug. You are fine with inequality on this issue, because you happened to be born straight.

  312. Andrew
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    Dexter, how do you know what sexuality I am? You make assumptions, lots of them. Let's keep this relevant.

  313. Raynd
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Ditto on that Andrew. Well said.

  314. Dexter
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    "[I]f you don’t see a difference between a same-sex couple and siblings, or a same-sex couple and L Marie and her grandmother, then how do you see a difference between opposite-sex couples and siblings, or opposite-sex couples and L Marie and her grandfather?"

    Will Chairm ever answer this question posed by Emma?

  315. Chairm
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    Emma,

    Before the government, on behalf of society, starts issuing licenses for something, that something needs to be recognizable.

    What are the essential features of the one-sexed arrangement that you have in mind? Do these not apply to the rest of nonmarriage? Please explain.

    * * *

    What do you think the "same-sex couple" is doing, in your world? Again, I bet you will emphasize gayness even though you just compared with two women and your odd imagination about what they might be doing.

    * * *

    Wherever SSM is imposed, it is an unjust favoritism on the basis of gayness. Just saying that some places have made this error does not justify it.

    You haven't even tried to justify the favoritism. That suggests, strongly, that you can't justify it. Only assert it as some kind of entitlement.

  316. Peter
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    TC, we are getting somewhere.. you are correct here:

    "My point is, that marriage law has nothing to do with sexual orientation, which is what you claimed."

    There is nothing in marriage law that bars people from marriage in general, (legal age, genetic relationship, etc.) from marriage to the opposite sex.

    You can't take this law on face value, and call it a day. Otherwise, we would not have an issue before the courts today. You can look at any court case and see for yourself.

    The framers of the Constitution knew times can blind us to certain truths and later generations can see that laws once thought necessary and proper in fact serve only to oppress, and as our constitution endures, persons in every generation can invoke its principles in their own search for greater freedom” and equality.

    The process of defining equal protection, as shown by our history as captured and told in court decisions, begins by classifying people into groups. A classification persists until a new understanding of equal protection is achieved. The point in time when the standard of equal protection finally takes a new form is a product of the conviction of one, or many, individuals that a particular grouping results in inequality and the ability of the judicial system to perform its constitutional role free from the influences that tend to make society’s understanding of equal protection
    resistant to change. As Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes poignantly said, “It is revolting to have no better reason for a rule of law than that so it was laid down in the time of Henry IV. It is still more revolting if the grounds upon which it was laid down have vanished long since, and the rule simply persists from blind imitation of the past.”

    I would argue, and I believe the current cases before the court, demonstrate that we are on the cusp of a new understanding of homosexual couples and their families.

    The class of people known as homosexuals asks a simple and direct question: How can a state premised on the constitutional principle of equal protection justify exclusion of a class of Americans from civil marriage?

    In short, for purposes of marriage laws, which are designed to bring a sense of order to the legal relationships of committed couples and
    their families in myriad ways, homosexuals are similarly situated in every important respect, but for their sexual orientation.

  317. Raynd
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    "A" difference is not "the" difference being spoken of Dexter. Did you read the thread?

  318. TC Matthews
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    "The class of people known as homosexuals asks a simple and direct question: How can a state premised on the constitutional principle of equal protection justify exclusion of a class of Americans from civil marriage?"

    There is no justification necessary. There is no exclusion.

  319. TC Matthews
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    "I would argue, and I believe the current cases before the court, demonstrate that we are on the cusp of a new understanding of homosexual couples and their families."

    Why perch the future of society on the suppositions made on this "cusp of new understanding" when we don't yet have that full understanding?

  320. Chairm
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    Dexter,

    What difference do you see? Please answer Emma's question from your own viewpoint.

    Two women. Maybe for you the word, couple, is drenched with sexual innuendo or something.

    Two women. Mabye for you the all-female scenario is first and foremost a sexualized fantasy of some kind.

    I just see two women. Their relationship is loving and consensual.

    Do you see something else?

  321. Chairm
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    Ah, so Peter is all for classifying people by sexual orientation.

    Even when the law does not do so now.

    Brilliant new cuspy stuff, that is.

  322. TC Matthews
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    Peter, your entire theory, and the theory held by most gay activists as well as self centered liberalists, including polyamorists is that gender doesn't matter, parents don't matter, nature doesn't matter, morality is what you make it and children will just deal with it. Is that in fact the case and are you willing to bet society's future on it? You are. I am not.

    An environmentally active community wouldn't think of interfering in the propagation of any other species as dear to them as their own children, yet you would, and demand that it be so, without the science, experience or knowledge to back you up. It's all just a hope, a dogma, a religion of sorts that conveniently places you in the center of the universe. Consequences be damned.

  323. Peters1
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    Chairm says:

    "Peter, the lead lawyer on the anti-8 team wrote an article for Newsweek in which he said that the right to marry was the right to marry the person one loves."

    The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that the right to marry the person you love is so fundamental that states cannot abridge it. In 1978 (8 to 1, Zablocki v. Redhail).

    Another argument before the federal district court states: "Proposition 8 unconstitutionally denies same-sex couples the fundamental right to marry and unconstitutionally discriminates based on the suspect grounds of sexual orientation and sex."

  324. Chairm
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    Emma,

    I am saying, based on your not showing otherwise, that there is no difference.

    Show the difference.

    Then show how that difference merits special treatment. (Marital status is a special status and you assume this status applies to the type of relationship you have in mind.) Since we are talking about licenses and an accorded status, you need to show the societal significance of the difference, if such a difference exists.

    Of course, we can use your stated standards for challenging what you say, right? You would not abandon those standards, surely.

  325. Peters1
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    TC, good parents matter, and same sex couples have been shown as a matter of legal record (not my personal opinion) to show equal healthy outcomes as their heterosexual counterparts.

    I would argue, that if this really matters to you (below), why don't you support a law that will actually accomplish what your objective? Man-woman only laws don't stop gays and lesbians or single people from having children or adopting. Why support an irrational feel good bumper sticker law?

    Forget your man-woman law, implement a law that rips children from gay and lesbian couples, or single people and places them in opposite sex households. You think man-woman only marriage law is going to stop or prevent this? Is it going to make heterosexuals procreate "responsibly" more than they currently do now? You let inmates, felons, and child molesters marry, why not fix that first? Or target gay and lesbians just because its fun and their is absolutely no rational basis?

  326. Chairm
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Peters,

    What makes the gay type of arrangement (you might want to spell-out what its definitive features are) differently situated from the rest of the broad category of nonmarriage?

    For that matter, what is the nonpolitical justification for domestic partnership?

    Your stated standards apply to your own assertions. Fair is fair.

  327. Samantha
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    Poll: 78% of West Virginia Democrats Support Traditional Marriage

  328. Chairm
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    Peters,

    For the record, have you commented here under other monikers? Thanks.

  329. TC Matthews
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    "why don’t you support a law that will actually accomplish what your objective? Man-woman only laws don’t stop gays and lesbians or single people from having children or adopting."

    Don't you believe in freedom? There is a balance between freedom and rights. I would not support a law that ceded to government control to reproductive rights. That doesn't mean however, that I wouldn't support a law encouraging marriage between a man and a woman as the best place to raise and bear children.....which is of course what I am doing.

  330. Chairm
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    Peters1,

    Upthread the anti-8 litigators' arguments have been discussed. Please catch-up. Thanks.

  331. Dexter
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    So, for the record, Chairm is saying that there is no principled distinction between incestuous and non-incestuous opposite-sex relationships?

  332. Dexter
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    TCM asks Peters1, "Don't you believe in Freedom?"
    Hah! Forget freedom, TCM--what about the children? Don't you love the children? Why do you hate the children? God save the children!

  333. Chairm
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    Peters1,

    You said: "Man-woman only laws don’t stop gays and lesbians or single people from having children or adopting."

    The marriage law is about marriage. Like TC, I support the just discrimination between marriage and nonmarriage.

    I also support protective provisions for families made vulnerable because they are outside of marriage -- especially those with children. The vulnerabilities arise from the lack (or diminishment) of sex integration and the lack (or diminishment) of responsible procreation in their circumstances.

    Protection equality should not be allotted on the basis of sexual orientation. Nor should special status be allotted on the basis of gay identity politics. Similarily situated families are not made more special by gayness.

  334. Chairm
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Dexter,

    No, for the record, I am saying that you have not shown a difference, principled or otherwise, between one kind of same-sex loving and consensual relationshp and another kind.

    Do the work you set up for yourself, Dexter. Show the difference.

    And, no, calling related people's relationship "incestuous" does not do the work for you. Althought that goes some way to confirming what is in your mind when you think of the two women in the example. That's your problem, not theirs. Nor mine.

  335. Chairm
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Dexter, the example was same-sexed not opposite-sexed. For the record.

  336. Dexter
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    Your problem, Chairm, is that you think you get to pose questions all day without answering any yourself. Emma asked you
    "if you don’t see a difference between a same-sex couple and siblings, or a same-sex couple and L Marie and her grandmother, then how do you see a difference between opposite-sex couples and siblings, or opposite-sex couples and L Marie and her grandfather?"
    You keep refusing to answer this question. I'm not going to answer it for you.

  337. Chairm
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    Hi Samantha,

    Where is that poll published? Thanks.

  338. Samantha
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Chairm: http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2010/feb/10021714.html

  339. Samantha
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    And this: Homosexual Men Account for 65 Percent of Syphilis Cases, CDC Study Finds

    http://www.cnsnews.com/public/content/article.aspx?RsrcID=41975

    “One of the problems for men who have sex with men is that their sexual encounters are frequently anonymous,” Rose said. “The more partners you have, the higher the risk of transmission for any sexually transmitted infections.”

    Rose said the government has spent a lot of time and money promoting condoms among men who have sex with men."

  340. Chairm
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    Poor Dexter.

    I gave my answer. You and Emma haven't.

  341. Chairm
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    Dexter, have you commented here under different monikers? Just so you know, and can feel permitted to answer, I have not done so. You next, for the record.

  342. Dexter
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    Chairm, show me where you have answered this question posed by Emma:
    "[I]f you don’t see a difference between a same-sex couple and siblings, or a same-sex couple and L Marie and her grandmother, then how do you see a difference between opposite-sex couples and siblings, or opposite-sex couples and L Marie and her grandfather?"
    You can't, because you have yet to answer it. Poor Chairm.

  343. Dan
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    Samantha brings up the "majority rules" argument. Of course we all know that interracial marriage was greatly disapproved by the majority when the SCOTUS passed it nationally.

    It would be great to debate this but this is where Andrew and Marie start the diversionary tactic by making our defence about race and taking it off topic.

    Could you guys get together and decide if you think the "majority rules" to stick with that topic?

  344. Chairm
    Posted February 19, 2010 at 4:30 am | Permalink

    Dexter, read with your eyes open and your fingers off the keyboard.

    See:
    February 18, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    See:
    February 18, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    Also see:
    February 15, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    * * *

    The social institution of marriage has a core meaning. Each society, in its way, draws boundaries around that core meaning. These lines might shift a bit here and there, but they are justified by societal concerns for what marriage actually is.

    All of this has been discussed at length. Search the comment sections for the core meaning of marriage. Search for discriminating between marriage and nonmarriage. There is plenty already provide.

    But search for the core meaning of SSM and you'll find precious little upon which to justify boundaries.

  345. Chairm
    Posted February 19, 2010 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    Emma,

    You have not been clear on what you want to compare.

    Without plainly stating the difference(s) you have in mind, you question is just a request for a comparison of like and like.

    * * *

    Maybe you feel animus toward the class of relationship of grandmom and granddaughter and feel it to such a great extent that the very right you demand for some is a right you'd readily deny others.

    You keep emphasizing gayness, so you might think there is something very special about the group identity. And, given your concurrent emphasis on sexual orientation, you might think there is something very special about same-sex sexual behavior.

    Afterall, you are prepared to deny a license to SSM to people in same-sex relationships who do not engage in sexual behavior together and who do not identify with the group. They need not apply.

    But there is no legal requirement for same-sex sexual behvior and none for gay identity when people show up to SSM. Maybe you think that the grandmom-granddaughter would harm someone else's SSM.

    * * *

    It would be better if you just made your comparision more clear and upfront.

  346. Emma
    Posted February 19, 2010 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    TC Matthews, you are correct that there is nothing wrong with supporting a law that encourages marriage between a man and a woman. Sure, straight folks, go get married! All the more power to us.

    But what NOM is doing isn't "encouraging" straight people to get married, it's requiring only straight people to get married. It is not a positive, it is a negative. It does nothing for straight couples, and harms gay couples.

    Chairm, you seem really anxious to prove that all relationships between women are the same. Why are you so desperate to believe that a lesbian relationships is just the same as sisters, or grandmothers/daughters, etc? Do you also think that man/woman relationships are the same as grandmother/grandson relationships? This is my question to you.

    I know that there are many, many kinds of relationships between women. I have siblings, parents, grandparents, dear friends, a partner. What I share with my boyfriend is different from what I share with anyone else. You are saying that there is no difference.

    That is weird.

    "There is a balance between freedom and rights. I would not support a law that ceded to government control to reproductive rights. That doesn’t mean however, that I wouldn’t support a law encouraging marriage between a man and a woman as the best place to raise and bear children…..which is of course what I am doing."

    There is nothing wrong with supporting a law that encourages marriage between men and women. But there is something wrong with supporting a law that REQUIRES marriage between men and women, at the exclusion of others.

    Chairm, you have yet to answer my question: if two women in love and cohabiting is the same as a grandmother and grandaughter cohabiting, what is the difference between a man and a woman in love and cohabiting and a

  347. TC Matthews
    Posted February 19, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    "But there is something wrong with supporting a law that REQUIRES marriage between men and women"

    Emma, there is no requirement for men and women to marry. Anyone who chooses, can enter into marriage freely.

  348. Raynd
    Posted February 19, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    "But what NOM is doing isn’t “encouraging” straight people to get married, it’s requiring only straight people to get married. "

    How do you figure that? Is there a sexuality check there behind the licensing office? Do you fill out a questionaire? Does anyone ask you if you have any same sex attractions before allowing you to have a license to marry?

    Keep it real Emma.

  349. Emma
    Posted February 19, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    TC, perhaps I worded that poorly. I did not mean to say that all men and women are required to marry -- obviously that is not the case. What I meant was that Prop 8 does not merely "encourage" straight marriage, as you seemed to imply. It goes further and forbids other forms of marriage.

    You're an interesting study -- in some ways you seem way more progressive than I would expect. You say above, "I would not support a law that ceded to government control to reproductive rights," by which I can only assume that you are pro-choice. And I loved this statement from you, which in a nutshell is the marriage-equality argument: "Peter, I am not in the business of telling people who they should or shouldn’t marry. Let that be up to them to decide. However, if they decide that they want to marry, and are willing to stick it out through thick and thin, I say who are you to judge?”

    And yet you are not supportive of people's free choice to marry whom they love. You are conundrum, though an interesting one.

  350. TC Matthews
    Posted February 19, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    If the nation were to allow SSM, it would not just be "another option", it would be promoted, and homosexuality along with it. As Chai Feldblum said, Homosexuality is good and the government has a DUTY to promote it. Hand in hand with that comes the government backed persecution of anyone who disagrees that SSM and homosexuality are normal and ought to be promoted.

    It's not just about love and two people Emma. It's about society and morality and freedom, families and children. Gay isn't race, it's a lifestyle choice, one that is tolerated and permitted, but not promoted. Changing society's view as to promote this deviant, unproductive, and in many views destructive behavior changes everything for everyone. Just ask the parents of the kids who are now being taught that homosexuality is good in grades as young as kindergarten. Ask the teachers in the highschools, the school nurses who have to deal with rising promiscuity and sexual diseases that naturally flow from encouraging children to experiment sexually with these deviant lifestyles. It's simply one more step down a road we don't want to travel, one more step away from encouraging our youth to treat their sexual capabilities with respect and honor. The spark and fountain of life isn't something to treat like an amusement park.

  351. Chairm
    Posted February 19, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Emma,

    You have mischaracterized what I have actually said. You have not really asked for a comparison of differences. Stop being so vague.

    You asked another odd question: "Do you also think that man/woman relationships are the same as grandmother/grandson relationships?"

    Well, the grandson is a man and the grandmother is a woman and theirs a man-woman relationship. What actual difference do you have in mind? Just speak up instead of expecting me and readers to read your mind.

    Rather than discuss your personal details, maybe you could just identify the difference between the type of friendship you are talking about and all other types of friendships.

    You keep dancing around whatever it is you have in mind.

  352. TC Matthews
    Posted February 19, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Emma, I am pro choice, but anti abortion. I believe that abortion should be available as a last resort in extreme cases only. Barring those circumstances, the right of a child to live supersedes uncomfortable consequences to choices adults have made. I am pro-gay rights, but not pro-special rights. I believe everyone should be treated equally, and only equally.

    "And yet you are not supportive of people’s free choice to marry whom they love. "

    Exactly. There is no right to marry who you love. That is not a human right, it's not given to heterosexuals, it's not given to homosexuals, it's not given to polygamists, polyamorists, bigamists, polyandrists, or a whole host of other possible deviations. I fully support people's free choice to have sexual activity with whoever they love, as long as it is coherent with respecting the rights of others, if they want to engage, they can go for it. That is their choice and their freedom. No one has the right to force society to condone those choices though.

  353. Emma
    Posted February 19, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    TC, I think we're actually in agreement about quite a bit of this stuff. I, too, think that American culture hypersexualizes children at a young age (just look at pageantry culture, and Jon Benet Ramsey, and early Britney Spears videos wherein she prances around in a schoolgirl uniform), and that this is detrimental to healthy development. But I think that focusing on homosexuality is disingenuous, given that the majority of this unfortunate hypersexualization is hetero in nature. And I wonder at peoples' concern about "exposing" children to homosexaulity and this in turn "turning" them gay -- gay men and lesbians have, after all, spent entire lifetimes being exposed to heterosexuality, to no avail. Is heterosexuality really so weak as to be so easily undermined?

    As far as your last point, about the government not granting the right to marry whom we love -- you got me. The government has no vested interest in whether married couples actually like each other or not. But then what is the government's vested interest? Is it in procreation? If so, then the government should require that only procreative couples be allowed to marry -- no more geriatric weddings, no more birth control, etc -- this would be treating everyone equally. Is it just that the optimal household in which to raise children is with a mother and a father? Then it should be required that all married couples have children -- this would be a fair application of the government's interest in marriage.

    But if the government is not enforcing the actual reasons it might have in encouraging only marriage between a man and a woman, then that becomes a sort of hollow argument when it comes to not allowing other couples to marry. Does that make any sense?

  354. TC Matthews
    Posted February 19, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    "The government has no vested interest in whether married couples actually like each other or not. But then what is the government’s vested interest? Is it in procreation? If so, then the government should require that only procreative couples be allowed to marry"

    And would you also REQUIRE married couples to have a certain quota of children? No, the whole idea of the government controlling people is against freedom. The government has an interest in responsible procreation. The proper role in my view is for government to encourage, as society does, responsible procreation between a man and a woman.

  355. TC Matthews
    Posted February 19, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    "But if the government is not enforcing the actual reasons it might have in encouraging only marriage between a man and a woman, then that becomes a sort of hollow argument when it comes to not allowing other couples to marry."

    Enforcing? You sound so militant. Why enforce when encourage is enough?

    If you allow anyone who loves to marry whomever they love, then you must consider all these other types of relationships as equal to marriage, and you must also allow them to be promoted as marriage. Do you see that if everyone, everywhere, no matter who or what they love is included in the widened umbrella of marriage, it destroys the meaning, the encouragement is watered down to pointless, and humanity's baser instincts are left full sway?

  356. Emma
    Posted February 19, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    TC, of course not -- but I also would not have the government require that marriage be between a man and a woman. I would have less restrictions, not more.

    My question was serious -- what is the government's specific interest in marriage being between a man and a woman?

  357. TC Matthews
    Posted February 19, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Emma, I thought we covered that pretty well. Society, and government is simply an extension of society, has a vested interest in self preservation and the continuance of civilized society. Responsible procreation is that interest. Chairm may have others to add, but that's the one that looms large here in my view.

    "I think that focusing on homosexuality is disingenuous, given that the majority of this unfortunate hypersexualization is hetero in nature."

    My viewpoint has nothing against LGBT people that it doesn't also have against single mothers, polygamists, polyamorists etc. This forum focuses on the definition of marriage being between a man and a woman. If it were a forum speaking to the health of society, I you would hear me talk about the sanctity of marriage, and fidelity and the evils of divorce etc. I don't think support for one or the other is at all exclusive. Simply different sides of the same argument. Marriage is what is best for kids.

  358. TC Matthews
    Posted February 19, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    "And I wonder at peoples’ concern about “exposing” children to homosexaulity and this in turn “turning” them gay — gay men and lesbians have, after all, spent entire lifetimes being exposed to heterosexuality, to no avail. Is heterosexuality really so weak as to be so easily undermined?"

    I think the concern people have is about exposing their children to immorality and the idea that experimentation with different sexual behaviors is normal and good. If you truly believe that gay isn't race, then it is a behavior that can also be chosen. There are many people who have experimented with this or that and decided it wasn't for them. Should we encourage this experimentation? Whether it is homosexual experimentation or heterosexual experimentation, it doesn't matter. It undermines the development of healthy sexual relations which I believe are best kept between husband and wife in a loving, committed, safe relationship.

    Having good morals is not the natural state of men. It is something that has to be taught and encouraged. The civilization of humanity doesn't exist in a moral vacuum. The natural order is chaos and apathy.

  359. Emma
    Posted February 19, 2010 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    TC, thank you for having this conversation with me, without rhetoric or insult or condescension. We obviously have irreconcilable opinions about a lot of this (just for starters, I don't think that homosexual behavior is immoral), but I think we share a certain respect for "live and let live," self agency, etc.

    I like very much what you said about relationships being "loving, committed, and safe." This is an ideal to which we should all aspire.

    Have you heard or seen the video of a New Hampshire representative Nancy Elliott explaining why she opposes same-sex marriage? It seemed her two main reasons were 1) gay sex is icky and 2) they're making 5th graders in Nashua County learn about gay sex. But it turns out that she couldn't verify 2 and was likely just making it up as she went along. And I don't think that thinking gay sex is icky is a legal basis to not allow two men to get married. Non-gay sex can be kind of icky too, and in my opinion best kept behind closed doors.

    But that aside, Elliott was playing to these two base fears that many people have about same-sex marriage -- "Ew, gross!" and "Save the children!" (from this imaginary danger).

    The children in New Hampshire (and Iowa and Connecticut and Vermont and Massachusetts) have not become morally corrupt in the time since same-sex marriage went into affect. They're doing just fine.

  360. Emma
    Posted February 19, 2010 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    One other question: you say that "Society has a vested interest in self preservation and the continuance of civilized society," and that this is reason enough for government to restrict marriage to being between a man and a woman. Do you think that if gay couples are allowed to marry, that straight couples will stop doing so? Or stop procreating?

    That seems highly unlikely, so the argument that society must procreate, while true, isn't a reason to disallow same-sex marriage.

    Or maybe you're not talking about actual preservation as in procreation, but rather your belief that homosexuality is uncivilized?

  361. TC Matthews
    Posted February 19, 2010 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    "I don’t think that homosexual behavior is immoral"

    Then do you agree with Chai Feldblum that homosexuality is normal and the government has a duty to promote it?

  362. TC Matthews
    Posted February 19, 2010 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    "I don’t think that thinking gay sex is icky is a legal basis to not allow two men to get married."

    Luckily, the ground we've covered is far more extensive than the ick factor. Agreed?

  363. TC Matthews
    Posted February 19, 2010 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    "The children in New Hampshire (and Iowa and Connecticut and Vermont and Massachusetts) have not become morally corrupt in the time since same-sex marriage went into affect. They’re doing just fine."

    I would disagree with you there. You said earlier that you thought immorality, sexual experimentation outside of marriage etc was detrimental, yet you turn a blind eye to schools handing out fisting kits and little black book how-to kits complete with explicit pictures, acting out plays with blatant homosexual themes, and sexually oriented parades, all promoted by public schools under the guise of promoting homosexuality as normal. These changes are a direct result of the changes gay activists are pushing for in schools and society.

    You can't have it both ways.

  364. TC Matthews
    Posted February 19, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    "so the argument that society must procreate, while true, isn’t a reason to disallow same-sex marriage."

    Encouraging society to procreate is not the aim of promoting marriage. You can procreate just fine without marriage. It's responsible procreation that is the aim, and SSM does not promote responsible procreation. It encourages adult sexual preferences to be placed above the need for children to be raised by their mom and dad, which isn't much different than a single mom putting her selfish desires before the needs of her kids in denying them a home with a dad, or divorced parents, or polygamous parents, or polyamorous parents.... All other combinations are less when it comes to what is best for kids. That is why society, and government by extension, has a vested interest in promoting and encouraging the best we can give to our kids.

  365. Emma
    Posted February 19, 2010 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    I'm not sure what exactly Chai Feldblum said, so I can't really answer that specifically. I think she's an admirable advocate for equal rights, and I respect the work that she has done to try to eliminate job and housing discrimination for gay Americans, but that doesn't mean that she speaks for all gay rights advocates or all gay people.

    As far as your general question, though: I don't think that the government openly promotes everything that is normal or openly discourages everything that is abnormal (else how to explain the mess that is both our government and the politicians that run it?). So no, even though I think homosexuality is a normal part of the spectrum of human sexuality, I see no need for the government to promote it. There are many normal things that the government does not promote or encourage.

    And as far as your second point -- I think you and I are well beyond the ick factor, but I think that people like Nancy Elliott use it in ways that are hurtful to gays and lesbians in an effort to win over people who have not moved beyond the ick factor.

  366. Emma
    Posted February 19, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    First, I didn't say that sex outside of marriage was bad. I said that the hypersexualization of pop culture is detrimental to child development, but that's not the same thing at all.

    Do you have specific cases of "schools handing out fisting kits and little black book how-to kits complete with explicit pictures"? I know colleges provide all sorts of safe-sex stuff, and some high schools have condoms in nurse's offices, but this other stuff I haven't heard of.

  367. TC Matthews
    Posted February 19, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    "I respect the work that she has done to try to eliminate job and housing discrimination for gay Americans, but that doesn’t mean that she speaks for all gay rights advocates or all gay people."

    Do you need to speak for all gay advocates or people in order to formulate and promote public policy? My point is that she is one of the premiere voices of the gay community in power, and these are her views. I would even go as far as to say that she is not unique in those views, and that many if not most gay activists would agree with her and support her views. The logic is there. If you believe that homosexuality is good and right, then you have no leg to stand on when you want to oppose government entities such as public schools from pushing those ideas on children, as they have in Massachusetts and other states.

  368. Dexter
    Posted February 19, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Fisting kits are being handed out in schools, TCM? So we're back to lies and scare tactics, are we?

  369. TC Matthews
    Posted February 19, 2010 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    "I know colleges provide all sorts of safe-sex stuff, and some high schools have condoms in nurse’s offices, but this other stuff I haven’t heard of."

    Massresistance.org has documented many instances of these kits having been handed out at public school functions for high school and Junior high. While I can't recommend every opinion they have, you can't argue with the testimonies and pictures from kids who were there.

  370. Emma
    Posted February 19, 2010 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    I was just reading an article about Feldblum from the Traditional Values Coalition, and they deride her mercilessly, saying in part:

    "In her paper, “Moral Conflict and Liberty: Gay Rights and Religion,” Feldblum argues for legislative and judicial “outcomes that will allow LGBT people to live lives of honesty and safety in today’s society.”

    As if this were a bad thing! Whether one supports same-sex marriage or not, I would hope that we all like outcomes that allow all people to "live lives of honesty and safety in today's society."

    Of all her work, of all the controversy surrounding her work, this seems such an odd quote to hold up as an example of how evil they think she is...

    It also seems weird that they don't like the Americans With Disabilities Act, though maybe they're just worried that she'll be as successful with Employment Non-Discrimination Act as she was with the ADA.

    http://www.traditionalvalues.org/read/3752/if-you-hate-america-you-have-a-lawyer--chai-feldblum/

  371. TC Matthews
    Posted February 19, 2010 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Kevin Jennings is another gay rights activist in power right now, who also believes that homosexuality is normal and good and that the government has a duty to promote it. He is actually in power over public schools and has worked for years promoting homosexuality in the classroom.

    Either you buy the philosophy or you don't. You can't have it both ways.

  372. Dexter
    Posted February 19, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    TCM, you are a joke. A bad joke.

  373. TC Matthews
    Posted February 19, 2010 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    "I was just reading an article about Feldblum from the Traditional Values Coalition"

    Emma. I am not interested in explaining why other people say what they do, because honestly, I don't know what they think or believe. I am not them. I am one person, with a belief, talking to you, another person, about your belief. I am interested in our discussion only. You have become distracted with random senators from New Hampshire and other things that have nothing to do with what we are talking about.

  374. Emma
    Posted February 19, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    TC, you brought up Chai Feldblum, so I thought I would read up on her. This is how we learn things. Our discussion isn't diminished by bringing in outside information. You also brought up massresistance.org and the existence of fisting kits. I am now looking at massresistance.org to see this allegation for myself. This is how discussion works -- we don't exist in a vacuum.

  375. TC Matthews
    Posted February 19, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    "I don’t think that the government openly promotes everything that is normal or openly discourages everything that is abnormal "

    I agree with you here, but only as far as to note that there are two parties, two general sets of ideas which roughly coincide with your beliefs and mine. The laws we have reflect the values of the people in power. That is why it is relevant to look at leaders like Chai Feldblum, and Kevin Jennings because they are the incarnation of what gay advocates want. They are the end result of going down that road. It is much more than most people think when they hear the very emotional stories of people simply wanting to be with the ones they love.

  376. Emma
    Posted February 19, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Can't seem to find reference to fisting kits, however.

  377. Samantha
    Posted February 19, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    The information is out there, a google search turns up these stories:

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/12/14/obamas-safe-schools-czar-tied-lewd-readings/

    http://michellemalkin.com/2009/12/08/eastman-kodak-stands-by-glsen/

    http://biggovernment.com/jhoft/2009/12/08/fistgate-ii-high-school-students-given-fisting-kits-at-kevin-jennings-2001-glsen-conference/

  378. Samantha
    Posted February 19, 2010 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Oh, and then there's this one:

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/bizarre/2859895/Elton-John-claims-Jesus-was-gay.html

  379. Emma
    Posted February 19, 2010 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, that was unfortunate. I think teaching high school kids about safe sex practices is integral to healthy teenagers, but sometimes things go too far. My understanding though is that this was ten years ago -- is this the most recent offensive incident?

    Elton John in general is kind of unfortunate -- though Rocket Man was one of my favorite songs as a teenager, I wouldn't use him to advocate for or against anyone's rights.

    Hey Samantha, now that you're back, I was curious as to what your earlier post about syphilis had to do with marriage equality? Did you know Henry VIII, husband to not just one woman but to six, died of syphilis?

  380. Samantha
    Posted February 19, 2010 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    @Raynd

    They didn't answer did they? I've been looking through the posts and waiting. Still nothing.

    @emma; just sayin'.

  381. Samantha
    Posted February 19, 2010 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    is this the most recent offensive incident?

    did you want more?

  382. Emma
    Posted February 19, 2010 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Yes, please. An unfortunate incident that's a decade old isn't much of an argument. Nor is Elton John.

  383. Samantha
    Posted February 19, 2010 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Explicit school reading programs? Santa is gay plays:

    http://michellemalkin.com/2009/12/04/explosive-the-not-safe-for-school-reading-list-of-the-safe-schools-czar/

    Jennings' fistgate audio: http://gatewaypundit.firstthings.com/2009/12/fistgate-barack-obamas-safe-schools-czar-promoted-fisting-to-14-year-olds/

    Jennings promotes porn in the classroom: http://gatewaypundit.firstthings.com/2009/12/breaking-obama%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%9Csafe-schools-czar%E2%80%9D-is-promoting-porn-in-the-classroom%E2%80%93-kevin-jennings-and-the-glsen-reading-list-part-ii/

    Spit or swallow? http://gatewaypundit.firstthings.com/2009/12/breaking-obamas-safe-schools-czars-question-to-14-year-olds-spit-vs-swallow-is-it-rude-audio-video/

  384. Samantha
    Posted February 19, 2010 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    and of course, the little black book:

    Is this the future? This booklet was distributed to hundreds of kids (middle school age and up) at Brookline High School, Brookline, MA, on April 30, 2005. It was written by the Boston-based AIDS Action Committee, with help with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Boston Public Health Commission.

    The event that day was designed for children and their teachers across Massachusetts, organized by the "Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network" (GLSEN). This is the group that runs "Gay-Straight Alliance" clubs in public schools across the country.

    http://www.massresistance.org/docs/issues/black_book/black_book_inside.html

  385. Samantha
    Posted February 19, 2010 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    Obama's Safe Schools Czar Tied to Lewd Readings for 7th Graders

    Obama adviser Kevin Jennings is under fresh attack after it was revealed that the pro-gay group he formerly headed recommends books his critics say are pornographic.

    President Obama's "Safe Schools Czar," already a target of social conservatives for his past drug abuse and what they say is his promotion of homosexuality in schools, is under fresh attack after it was revealed that the pro-gay group he formerly headed recommends books his critics say are pornographic.

    The group under fire is the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), which Kevin Jennings, now the assistant deputy secretary for safe and drug-free schools in the Department of Education, founded and ran from 1990 to 2008.

    GLSEN says it works to create a welcoming atmosphere for homosexual students in schools, and that effort includes recommending books for students of all ages.

    But critics say many of the books, particularly some that are targeted for children between Grades 7 to 12, are inappropriately explicit. A full list is available at the blog Gateway Pundit, which has published dozens of controversial passages from the books.

    One recommended book is titled "Queer 13: Lesbian and Gay Writers Recall Seventh Grade." On pages 43 through 45, writer Justin Chin tells of how as a 13-year-old, he went along with "near-rapes" by older men, but "really did enjoy those sexual encounters." Chin also recounts each sexual action he performed with an "ugly f*** of a man" he met on a bus.

    In another book, "Passages of Pride," the author writes about a 15-year-old boy's relationship with a much older man.

    "Near the end of summer, just before starting his sophomore year in high school, Dan picked up a weekly Twin Cities newspaper. Scanning the classifieds, he came upon an ad for a "Man-2-Man" massage. Home alone one day, he called the telephone number listed in the ad and set up an appointment to meet a man named Tom.... Even though Tom was older, almost twice Dan's age, Dan felt unthreatened by him. Dan admits Tom was a 'troll' in every sense of the word -- an older closeted gay man seeking sex with a man much younger. But Dan says he was not intimidated by the discrepancy in their ages. 'He kind of had me in a corner in that he knew I didn't have access to anything I wanted.' says Dan. 'But everything was consensual.'"

    On Page 13 of a third book, "Reflections of a Rock Lobster," the author recounts his sexual encounters in first grade.

    "By first grade I was sexually active with many friends. In fact, a small group of us regularly met in the grammar school lavatory to perform fellatio on one another. A typical week's schedule would be Aaron and Michael on Monday during lunch; Michael and Johnny on Tuesday after school; Fred and Timmy at noon Wednesday; Aaron and Timmy after school on Thursday. None of us ever got caught, but we never worried about it anyway."

    "Reflections of a Rock Lobster" was recommended in 1995, the year Jennings became GLSEN's first executive director; "Passages of Pride" made the list in 1997 and "Queer 13" in 1999. Those are just three out of over 100 books that GLSEN has recommended for students in grades 7-12 since 1990, and all three remain on GLSEN's recommended reading list.

    Peter Sprigg, a senior fellow at the Family Research Council, says the content of the books is shocking, and it raises concerns about Jennings' judgment.

    "The graphic sexual content of these books is so extreme that I think any average parent or citizen, regardless of how they feel about homosexuality, would be shocked at these books being recommended to young people," Sprigg said.

    GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard defended her group's recommendations, telling FoxNews.com in a written statement:

    "Some of the books that might be used with young adult audiences contain mature content, as is true of many memoirs and works of literature. Because of the presence of mature content in some of the works, GLSEN provides very clear guidelines throughout, recommending that adults review each book to make sure the book is suitable."

    Those guidelines, listed on each book recommendation page, read: "All BookLink items are reviewed by GLSEN staff for quality and appropriateness of content. However, some titles for adolescent readers contain mature themes. We recommend that adults selecting books for youth review content for suitability."

    But critics say the guidelines themselves are damning, because they confirm that GLSEN staff have checked the books for appropriateness. And Jennings, they point out, was in charge at the time.

    "It's like Jennings just doesn't realize he's working with kids here.... You need a totally different set of rules when you're working with kids," said Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality.

    LaBarbera said the books should be seen in light of other recent controversies surrounding Jennings.

    In September it came out that, when he was a teacher in Massachusetts, Jennings did not report an incident in which a 16-year-old boy told him that he was having sexual relations with an older man he met in a bus station bathroom. After that, 53 Republican members of the House publicly called for Jennings to be dismissed.

    But Alvin McEwen, who runs a blog called "Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters" and has commented extensively on the Jennings case, said GLSEN's book recommendations should be seen in a different light.

    "GLSEN is saying that parents should decide. They are saying these books may be a good idea to read, but ultimately it is up to parents," he told FoxNews.com.

    McEwen said that even though Jennings was the director of GLSEN when the books were recommended, there was no evidence that he personally selected the books.

    "This is ridiculous guilt-by-association ... just another moral panic thought up by people who don't have any legitimate reason to oppose Jennings, so they've made a mountain out of molehill," he said.

    Department of Education spokesman Justin Hamilton declined to comment about Jennings' role in recommending the books.

    But critics say Jennings, as GLSEN's first full-time employee and first executive director, must be held responsible.

    "He was at GLSEN from the beginning and was in charge during the time when these books were approved," said Warren Throckmorton, a professor at Grove City College.

    The blogger at Gateway Pundit, Jim Hoft, wrote elsewhere concerning a "black book" that contains a gay bar guide and explicit sexual references that was handed out at a GLSEN event.

    But McEwen said it's not clear that Jennings -- or GLSEN -- knew about the guide, which was distributed by Fenway Community Health officials at a GLSEN event, which they later said had been a mistake.

    Hoft has also alleged that Jennings and GLSEN were involved in Planned Parenthood's purported distribution of "fisting kits" [fisting involves forcing one's hand into another person's rectum or vagina] at at least one GLSEN event. The kit was actually for making a "dental dam" -- designed to prevent STD transmission during oral sex.

    McEwen said that the attacks on Jennings and GLSEN were motivated largely by homophobia.

    "There are a lot of heterosexual books that are just as explicit. In the first page of 'The Color Purple' [a 1982 novel that has caused controversy when assigned in schools], the character talks about being raped in graphic terms... what's in [GLSEN's] books is no different from what's in The Color Purple."

    But Sprigg disagrees that books like "The Color Purple" are comparable to those recommended by GLSEN.

    "We are not talking about 'The Great Gatsby' or 'The Grapes of Wrath' here," he said. "A lot of people who have only read the news and opinion pieces on this story, without reading the actual excerpts, may think that we are talking about the kind of sexual content that might, in a film, earn a PG-13 or R rating. We are not.

    "This is material that, if portrayed visually, would be a triple-X hard-core porn film, and quite possibly meet the legal definition of obscenity. In fact, I think the homosexual content is the only thing preventing the outcry from being even greater, because some people fear being labeled as 'anti-gay.' If the content were heterosexual in nature, there would be no one defending it at all."

  386. Raynd
    Posted February 19, 2010 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    That is indefensible. Even you have to agree with that Emma if you have a shred of honesty in you.

  387. Chairm
    Posted February 20, 2010 at 4:55 am | Permalink

    Emma,

    You said: "I don’t think that thinking gay sex is icky is a legal basis to not allow two men to get married."

    Is that not your basis for opposing related people being eligible to marry?

    Without saying so explicitly, were your questions about sibling and grandmom-grandaughter relationships meant to invoke two base fears that many people have— “Ew, gross!” and “Save the children!” (from this imaginary danger)?

    It appears that you assume that marriage is a sexual type of relationship.

    You asked TC about requiring procreation, well, would registering a one-sexed relationship (i.e. SSM) require same-sex sexual behavior?

    If not, what is the sexual basis for SSM in the law, do you imagine? It can't be sexual orientation since there is no requirement, one way or the other, for that either -- anyplace that has imposed SSM.

    Unlike marriage, there is no sexual basis in the law.

    The nonmarriage category includes a broad range of types of relationships and types of living arrangements. Most of these -- especially those of related people -- are loving, consensual, safe, and not sexualized.

    Yet from the nonmarriage category you emphasize and show favoritism for the gaycentric subset.

    It now comes to the surface that you think there is something special about same-sex sexual behavior and, as per your remarks about procreation, you think the Government should require it and promote it.

    As if those inclined to engage in same-sex sexual behavior would not do so without a license. Oye.

  388. Chairm
    Posted February 21, 2010 at 3:39 am | Permalink

    Throughout this thread, covering various topics now, SSMers have pressed forward their stated standards of argumentation. Then, when their own SSM idea is challenged with those very same stated standards that the SSMers claimed were decisive, they abandoned those standards and went silent or dumbstruck.

    They don't know what SSM actually is. They don't know what marriage actually is. So they make a lot of noise about "the right to marry" even as they attack the deep roots of the social institution which makes for a fundamental right in our constitutional jurisprudence.

    Having done that, they uproot marriage, and its eligiblity rules, and cannot provide justification for any boundary around eligiblity to marry.

    Their central complaint is that the man-woman criterion of marriage is an exercise in arbitrariness. The government, they say, needs to provide a rational basis for having a marriage law in the first place. But they dodge when it is asked of SSMers -- wha tis the rational basis for domestic partnership status or for SSM or, if SSM is merged with marriage, for SSM/Marriage?

    They reveal that it is their thinking that would demand that government exercise its power arbitrarily -- as a show of favoritism for the gay subset of nonmarriage. They can offer no justification for the status they demand for SSM; they can offer no justification for excluding people based on eligiblity rules for SSM.

    They stress sexual orientation and identity group "rights", but that means reading that stuff into the existing law. When it comes to examining their proposed SSM merger with marraige, they flee in all directions and cannot show that a right to SSM is a right to marriage, in fact. Instead, they are demanding a right to special treatment for gayness.

    So when we look at the content of Judge Walker's performance, the SSMer will see favoritism that they imagine is justified.

    It is all of a single pattern. They depend on asserting the supremacy of gay identity politics; they would empty marriage of its core meaning and pour into the hollow shell their own favoritism and arbitrariness.

    Readers who haven't done so yet, would do well to start at the top of this thread and go through the discussion, patiently looking for this corruptive pattern in the pro-SSM comments. See for yourself what marriage -- and our form of government -- is up against.

  389. Kevinn
    Posted February 21, 2010 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    “Their central complaint is that the man-woman criterion of marriage is an exercise in arbitrariness.”

    Well, unless and until someone can explain that it’s NOT arbitrary, from a legal standpoint, it is arbitrary. That’s the entire point in a nutshell: the state needs to have a reason for granting marriage rights and obligations to some couples but not to other couples. Perpetuating dislike of homosexuals isn’t a valid state interest (and the US Supreme Court has already ruled that homosexual behavior is perfectly permissible). Religious beliefs aren’t a valid state interest (the US Constitution and case law prohibit enshrining religious beliefs into our laws). Perpetuating tradition isn’t a valid state interest, especially if the tradition was steeped in animosity in the first place.

    Again and again I’ve asked, what is the state’s interest in granting marriage licenses to opposite-sex couples but not to same-sex couples? This is really the crux of the argument and it goes unaddressed by the marriage discrimination crowd.

  390. Chairm
    Posted February 21, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Kevin,

    Plainly say "the reason for granting marriage rights and obligations to some couples but not to other couples".

    Provide the rational basis for 1) licensing marriage 2) according it a special status and 3) drawing eligiblity lines against some couples.

    Actually, the invitation to answer Kevin's own stated standards is now open to all SSM supporters who comment here.

    You can even assume that SSM is marriage. Answer Kevin's challenge to the SSM idea.

  391. Chairm
    Posted February 21, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    To all SSM supporters:

    If you truly believe that marriage is SSM, then, tell us "what is the state’s interest in granting marriage licenses".

  392. Chairm
    Posted February 21, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    If you are convinced that marriage is SSM, then tell us why society may justly discriminate between marriage and other types of relationships and other types of living arrangements.

  393. Chairm
    Posted February 21, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Prediction: SSMers will shrug and feign ignorance of the profound flaws in the SSM campaign's arguments.

    We've already seen that shrugmaticism throughout the discussion of Judge Walker's biased performance on the bench in this particular trial.

    So we can expect the pattern to continue to hold. But maybe an SSMer will surprise and actually attempt, at least, to do better.

  394. Chairm
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Have the commenters in favor of SSM fled from the challenge posed by Kevin's remarks?

  395. David
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    I noticed Andrew, again African-American, remarked:

    "If a gay man wants to marry a woman, that’s his choice, and if he’s honest about it with the lady, all the better for them both.

    Life is full of hurdles, and if there’s someone out there willing to live with you through all of yours, consider yourself lucky.

    Where then is the inequality?"

    Substitute black of white for gay in teh above statements and, again, we will see how black people can absolutely be bigots, regardless of the undeniable stain of racism in America.

  396. David
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Very sad how a member of an oppressed minority in America can so quickly paint himself with the exact same brush as the one he paints his oppressors. Very sad.

  397. David
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    chairm/tc,

    keep displaying your bigotry, clearly to your ignorance. but ask yourselves, however are you supposing you'll be even remotely affected by two people you don't know and will never meet ?

  398. Rogers
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    The states interest in granting marriage licenses might best be described as follows:

    As a legal matter, marriage is a status arising out of a contract between individuals, it is considerably more than a simple agreement to enter into a personal relationship. State public policy, has always regarded marriage as a distinctive and special social institution, warranting public acknowledgment, regulation, support, and encouragement. The purposes of civil marriage are to enable two individuals who choose to integrate their lives, legally and emotionally, and to express their commitment publicly, to do so. Marriage
    encourages stable family relationships, promotes economic interdependence and security, and
    enhances the physical and emotional well-being of both the partners and their children. Courts and
    commentators have long recognized that public policy toward marriage is based on the premise
    that civil marriage benefits all of society. The State accords marriage a special place because marriage is “the most socially productive and individually fulfilling relationship that one can enjoy in the course of a lifetime."

    States impose several limits on the right to marry. Traditional biblical bigamous and polygamous
    marriages are prohibited. These relationships are thought to be less susceptible to the emotional integration and stability that the State seeks to further. There also are a limited number of restrictions based on consanguinity. Finally, marriage must be entered into voluntarily and both participants must be capable of making that choice. Many States ensure that capability, each person must be at least 18 years old, or, if 16 or 17, must obtain parental consent or a court order allowing the marriage.

    The choice of a partner as a central element of marriage, essential both to the personal decision to marry and to the societal benefits that follow from marriage. The State assumes that the social benefits flowing from civil marriage depend on a cooperative integration of individual lives. Virtually all adults are able to marry the person of their choice, without regard to their race, national origin,
    religion, age, income, education, health, fertility, or other characteristics. The U.S. Supreme Court also has recognized the critical importance of choice of marital partners, elevating it to a constitutionally protected right. The Court first held that a state may not restrict an individual’s choice to marry someone of a different race. Subsequently, the Court has held that a state may not prevent other classes of people from marrying, including parents delinquent in their child-support payments, because those restrictions too substantially burdened an individual’s right of choice in marriage. In these cases, the Court found that the right to marry a person of one’s of choice overrides other important state interests, including child-support enforcement and prison regulations.

    Many are incorrect in asserting that there is single form or definition of “traditional” marriage. While only opposite-sex couples have been permitted to marry until the past decade, the legal meaning of marriage has evolved considerably since the beginning of the States, especially with respect to such basic elements as who may marry, the roles
    of the spouses, the management and control of marital assets, and the duration of the marital entity.
    These changes have been brought about both by shifts in the Legislature’s conception of the
    elements needed to achieve the goals of marriage and by court decisions requiring equal treatment
    of married spouses in their family status.

    While domestic partnerships provide some
    advantages to same-sex couples and their children, the two statuses are far from equal and cannot be equalized. By denying same-sex couples the opportunity to marry, States devalues their unions both symbolically and practically.

    Substantial research indicates that the status of being married is a universal concept that conveys multiple messages to the community prompting the community to support the marriage. Married couples are treated differently from single individuals or those cohabiting. The legislative structure implies that a domestic partnership is a less permanent, less committed relationship than is a marriage. These differences send a message–to the couple as well as to their relatives, friends,
    colleagues, and the general public–that domestic partnership is a less weighty, less substantial, and
    less esteemed institution than marriage.

    The fact that domestic partnerships are entitled to so many of the legal entitlements as marriage but denied the right to access the symbolic benefits of the status marriage highlights the devaluation of the relationships of same-sex couples, which in turn may undermine the benefits to relationships that the legal institution of marriage is meant to further. Their children may suffer from the perception that their parents are being singled out for a separate and lesser status. The exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage is all the more significant because, as a matter of family law policy, virtually everyone else is welcomed into the marital circle.

    The historic tradition of limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples cannot be a constitutionally sound justification for maintaining the exclusion of same-sex couples. The exclusion of these couples is irrational in light of the changes in the legally established elements of marriage overtime. In contrast, the historic social meaning associated with marriage, namely the societal recognition of the mutual commitment and interdependence of two consenting adults, is a tradition that remains critical to our contemporary and ongoing veneration of marriage. This social meaning is of great importance to the partners and their children. Being excluded from this tradition limits the ability of same-sex couples and their children to participate fully in the cultural fabric of our society.

  399. Chairm
    Posted February 23, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Rogers,

    Those are glowing sentiments, but you haven't said what makes marriage, marriage.

    We could walk through your descriptors and acknowledge that there are many nonmarital types of relationships that easily fit your comment's theme.

    Yes, including polygamous marriages. Yes, including consensual andn cooperative arrangements between related people and between underaged people.

    You said the State needs to further some stuff, but is that stuff legally compulsory? Does it also occur outside of marriage? If yes to either or both of those questions, then, you will run afoul of the pro-SSM rules which are strenuously invoked to attack the centrality of responsible procreation, for example.

    Your comment is at odds with their rules, I think, but that's not a bad thing. SSM supporters need to follow your example and articulate what they think SSM is (I know you think marriage is SSM) rather than hack away at what they insist marriage is not.

    * * *

    The US Supreme Court's precedents have noted the deep roots that make marriage a fundamental right in our constitutional jurisprudence. As a branch of government, the judiciary did not elevate what the government neither creates nor owns. It recognized a foundational social institution of civil society. It recognized what makes it foundational.

    I think you are mistaken about the Court's reasoning on the questions of child support and on prison regulations. More on that later, if it is a super decisive for your viewpoint.

    * * *

    Marriage can, and has, changed through millennia, however, its core has remained nonetheless. Just because there are variable features does not mean that its universal features are negated. Society responds to the core meaning of marriage but it could also throw that aside and embark on some novel innovation. But change for the sake of change is not reform; and gutting marriage of its core meaning is a radical step -- an extraordinary measure that calls for extraordinary reasons.

    I don't think the content of your comment rises to that standard when it comes to marriage.

    But maybe there is another more apt solution to what you think is the problem. However, the problem, as you might perceive it, needs to be given more clear shape so it can be objectively discussed in the public square. Emotionalism has its place but that does not make for good law.

    * * *

    Alternative statuses need their own justification. There does not appear to be good reason to merge nonmarriage with marriage -- under whatever name.

    Alterntative statuses, as innovations outside of marriage, need to stand on their own two feet without piggybacking on marriage and without competing with marital status.

    The independant claim for enactment becomes the benchmark for future decisions about modifying or repealing the experimental statuses.

    Provision for designated beneficiaries has long-existed without being parcelled into a new special status. That's because such provisions serve protective needs and are not designed as an imitation of the preferentail status of marriage.

    * * *

    Which leads to:

    What do you mean by the vague and ambiguous phrase, 'same-sex couple'? Please elaborate.

    Then we might together discuss and assess what symbolism is warranted.

    And, importantly, we might also have brought to the surface the principled basis for drawing a circle around it.

    * * *

    Rogers, marriage is constitutional. Society may justly discriminate between marriage and other stuff.

    If you have a particular type of relationship or arrangement in mind, when you say, 'same-sex couple', it is best to be explicit and open about what makes it particular -- what makes it distinctive from other stuff.

    It is that which can then provide the basis for discussing special interest from society. That interest may be aptly described as protective -- more than merely tolerative -- or, if merited, it may be preferential. But it depends on the substance of the thing you are talking about. And not on its imitation of something else it cannot actually be.

  400. Kevinn
    Posted February 24, 2010 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Rogers

    I thought your comments were among the most reasoned I’ve encountered regarding marriage and the right of same-sex couples to participate in it. I hope you post your thoughts on other websites. I hope you don’t mind if I copy and paste some of your thoughts, as I wander the internet and discuss this topic. Thank you in advance

  401. Len P
    Posted February 24, 2010 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    Raynd, I think you have a terribly one track mind here.

    Jose, obviously is referring to the attack on a legal proposition, what's known as a civil matter, or a matter of state.
    Remember that there is intended to be a division between matters of the church and matters of the state.

    No one has ever said that a legally recognized (Civil Union) marriage needs to be a religiously recognized (Christian/Muslim/Baha/Hindu/Judaism/etc. Union) marriage.

    Why it should bother anyone, what another person chooses to do with their life and lifestyle is incredulous, they're not asking to be religiously recognized, homosexual couples are merely asking for the same LEGAL and CIVIL rights afforded to any heterosexual couple.

    And Raynd, before you ask, yes I go to church regularly. However I have a hard time believing the same of you. After all, one of the first moral lessons taught in a church. Is of course, judge not, lest you be judged.

    Which is to say, if you, a good fearing Christian man take it upon yourself to judge the deeds, actions, and choices of others, that you are opening yourself to the storm, screaming, and shouting and damning and daring at God. JUDGE ME! However in the context of the quote, to be judged by God in this manner, is to be sentenced yourself to eternal damnation. Show some love and compassion for your fellow man, hope and pray for their happiness, however that may come to him or her.

    Honestly, I believe the issue extends back several hundred years. When marriages were decided to be a legally/civilly recognized act in the first place, as obviously the only rational explanation is the use of the term "marriage" itself. A term which has been religiously rooted for many millenia. A civil union, should have then, and always had a different word with separate meaning specifically for the civil purposes of being a couple.
    If you want to be married in the churches' eyes, then be married in the churches' eyes, that does not automatically enforce your marriage in the laws eyes. If you want to be married civilly be married civilly, but do not expect Rome to recognize your marriage if it was not performed in a church by an ordained minister.

    Remember there is a difference between a Civil Marriage and Religious Marriage, make sure you're fighting for the right reasons, and against the right causes. To me, you seem a lost sheep, and I will pray for you, that your Shepherd might locate you and bring you back into his fold.

    PS,

    I'm married and have two children. I only hope they grow up to be more liberal than your view allows.

  402. Eve
    Posted February 24, 2010 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    Interesting comment Len. Turn it around a bit. The division between church and state was not designed to eliminate one side of the argument from the national discussion as you claim. If the LGBTQTTSFM etc etc community wants to proclaim themselves married, let them do it. Just keep the gay religion out of our state.

    ---Eve

    -------
    In the darkness I found a rose,
    And it was my salvation.

    Torn from darkness lost that rose,
    Which now is my damnation.

  403. Chairm
    Posted February 25, 2010 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Len P,

    Your comment is full of contradictions.

    You concede that marriage is a public status. But you deride peope for having a say in that public status.

    You strike a phony pose: you say this is not about religious beliefs and then you say you expect people to change their religious beliefs.

    The marriage law does not have a homosexual criterion for ineligibility nor a heterosexual criterion for eligiblity. Yet you want to read both into the marriage law; and you do so for the purpose of imposing your personal view of a lifestyle (your word) on a public status for all of society.

    Your comment is thus hypocritical.

    Also untruthful. Two men show up at the license office. They are both heterosexual. They are a heterosexual couple. But ineligible to marry.

    By your misreading of the law, that would be a case of discrimination on the basis of heteroseuxal orientation.

    Meanwhile a man and a woman show up for a license. They are eligible even though they are both homosexual persons.

    These two sets of couples -- an opposite-sexed twosome and a same-sexed twosome -- demonstrate that your wistful reading of the law is wrong.

    That homosexual couple has a legal and civil right denied to the heterosexual couple.

    More: you said, "homosexual couples are merely asking for the same LEGAL and CIVIL rights afforded to any heterosexual couple."

    The heterosexual brother and sister are denied the license. The heterosexual aunte and nephew, too. The heterosexual married man is denied the license to marry an unmarried heterosexual woman. The heterosexual 15 year old is denied the license to marry her heterosexual 16 year old boyfriend. The heterosexual foreigner can be lawfully denied a license to marry his heterosexual fiancee who is a citizen and resident. And so forth.

    The law does not impose a sexual orientation test on individuals nor on couples.

    The law, not this or that religion, is what has been discussed here. You and other SSMers keep wanting to flog a strawman argument because, as your comment reveals, it is your way of imposing your own faithful allegance to gaycentric identity politics.

    Hypocritical, untruthful, and intellectually dishonest all round, is your comment.

  404. Emma
    Posted March 3, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Chairm, I think I have discovered the problem. You are mistaking a pair (two of anything) for a couple! These are not interchangeable words, you know. A pair consisting of two straight men are not a couple. A pair consisting of a gay man and a lesbian are not a couple.

    When you do not allow certain couples to marry but other couples can marry, this is discrimination. Not pairs, but couples.

  405. TC Matthews
    Posted March 3, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Yet a gay man and a lesbian woman may marry just fine. A man and a woman, regardless of orientation. Where is the discrimination? the litmus test? psychological evaluation? Oh, there isn't any.

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