all-encompassingly

we still remember mitch hedberg

A severed foot is the ultimate stocking stuffer.

Mar 19th 2004

on gay marriage ::: part VIII of VIII

this will be my last post on this topic. for a long time. i’m sort of sick of talking about it. kind of like when i used to drink a glass of carnation instant breakfast everyday before school in 6th through 8th grades. i started to get more and more of a gag reflex every time i drank it, until i realized, “hey, i gotta stop this. i can have something else for breakfast.”

catch up; read parts I-VII here: I II III IV V VI VII. note that in frustration i’ve posted the last three parts (VI, VII, and VIII) today.

my personal stance on gay marriage is that it is fine. let them get married and eat cake, whatever the hell. i don’t care. but i would just like the whiny homosexual activists to recognize that the conservative point is just as reasonable as theirs. since people have been requesting logically valid arguments, i’ve decided to give one for both sides. here’s one argument for the liberal side:

1. all things that are natural and reasonable should be protected by the same rights.
2. homosexuals engage in something that is natural and reasonable, just like heterosexuals.
3. heterosexuals have the right to marry
4. therefore, homosexuals should have the right to marry.

that’s pretty much the argument, right nick? connie? michael? notice it rests on premise 2: homosexuals engage in something that is natural and reasonable. all i want is for liberals to admit they understand how conservatives might disagree with that.

to the conclusion, homosexuals seem to subtly add with the arrogance of their position, “we can be better parents than most heterosexuals anyway! we’re lawyers and doctors and they’re white trash living in trailer parks, and they’re poorly dressed and they don’t have good hygiene, and we’d really love those kids that heterosexuals abandoned.”

i guess what i’m saying (and what i’ve tried to say in the previous posts) is that both sides have legitimate reasons for believing as they do. while i would like to see a little more charity shown to the conservative side, i’m believe that the liberal side will eventually triumph. i’d just like for liberals to go about it in the right way: through the democratic process. and stop being so whiny about it. especially dan. an argument for the conservative side:

1. legalizing something that is below the moral level of the majority of society will lower the level of morality in that society.
2. homosexual marriage is immoral to the majority of our society.
3. therefore, homosexual marriage will lower the level of morality in our society. (henceforth referred to as ” introduce moral relativism”)
4. anything that introduces moral relativism into our society will weaken our society’s ability to raise moral children generally.
5. one of the traditional purposes of heterosexual marriage has been to raise moral children.
6. therefore, legalizing homosexual marriage will weaken heterosexual marriage.

naturally, a hater might disagree with premise 4, saying that our society is already morally bankrupt. that is arguable–or at least the degree to which it is true may be arguable.

i’ll shoot off another argument for the conservative side later and add it to this post. while i shudder, i wonder what strange will say of all this.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

good stuff i would have added to/referenced in this discussion if i weren’t already sick of the topic:

http://www.everythingiknowiswrong.com/2004/03/in_defence_of_m.html

http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110004735

http://www.timesandseasons.org/archives/000462.html

http://www.timesandseasons.org/archives/000272.html

http://www.gopunk.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=10&t=000086

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=27431

President Calls for Constitutional Amendment Protecting Marriage
Remarks by the President
The Roosevelt Room

10:43 A.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. Eight years ago, Congress passed, and President Clinton signed, the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage for purposes of federal law as the legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife.

The Act passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 342 to 67, and the Senate by a vote of 85 to 14. Those congressional votes and the passage of similar defensive marriage laws in 38 states express an overwhelming consensus in our country for protecting the institution of marriage.

In recent months, however, some activist judges and local officials have made an aggressive attempt to redefine marriage. In Massachusetts, four judges on the highest court have indicated they will order the issuance of marriage licenses to applicants of the same gender in May of this year. In San Francisco, city officials have issued thousands of marriage licenses to people of the same gender, contrary to the California family code. That code, which clearly defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman, was approved overwhelmingly by the voters of California. A county in New Mexico has also issued marriage licenses to applicants of the same gender. And unless action is taken, we can expect more arbitrary court decisions, more litigation, more defiance of the law by local officials, all of which adds to uncertainty.

After more than two centuries of American jurisprudence, and millennia of human experience, a few judges and local authorities are presuming to change the most fundamental institution of civilization. Their actions have created confusion on an issue that requires clarity.

On a matter of such importance, the voice of the people must be heard. Activist courts have left the people with one recourse. If we are to prevent the meaning of marriage from being changed forever, our nation must enact a constitutional amendment to protect marriage in America. Decisive and democratic action is needed, because attempts to redefine marriage in a single state or city could have serious consequences throughout the country.

The Constitution says that full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts and records and judicial proceedings of every other state. Those who want to change the meaning of marriage will claim that this provision requires all states and cities to recognize same-sex marriages performed anywhere in America. Congress attempted to address this problem in the Defense of Marriage Act, by declaring that no state must accept another state’s definition of marriage. My administration will vigorously defend this act of Congress.

Yet there is no assurance that the Defense of Marriage Act will not, itself, be struck down by activist courts. In that event, every state would be forced to recognize any relationship that judges in Boston or officials in San Francisco choose to call a marriage. Furthermore, even if the Defense of Marriage Act is upheld, the law does not protect marriage within any state or city.

For all these reasons, the Defense of Marriage requires a constitutional amendment. An amendment to the Constitution is never to be undertaken lightly. The amendment process has addressed many serious matters of national concern. And the preservation of marriage rises to this level of national importance. The union of a man and woman is the most enduring human institution, honoring — honored and encouraged in all cultures and by every religious faith. Ages of experience have taught humanity that the commitment of a husband and wife to love and to serve one another promotes the welfare of children and the stability of society.

Marriage cannot be severed from its cultural, religious and natural roots without weakening the good influence of society. Government, by recognizing and protecting marriage, serves the interests of all. Today I call upon the Congress to promptly pass, and to send to the states for ratification, an amendment to our Constitution defining and protecting marriage as a union of man and woman as husband and wife. The amendment should fully protect marriage, while leaving the state legislatures free to make their own choices in defining legal arrangements other than marriage.

America is a free society, which limits the role of government in the lives of our citizens. This commitment of freedom, however, does not require the redefinition of one of our most basic social institutions. Our government should respect every person, and protect the institution of marriage. There is no contradiction between these responsibilities. We should also conduct this difficult debate in a manner worthy of our country, without bitterness or anger.

In all that lies ahead, let us match strong convictions with kindness and goodwill and decency.

Thank you very much.

END 10:48 A.M. EST

24 Responses to “on gay marriage ::: part VIII of VIII”

  1. put simply, the majority cannot decide who to discriminate against without rational justifications that amount to more than “we don’t like it.” think about interracial marriages, where many made the same argument you just gave against gay marriages. obviously, the majority couldn’t rule then, and it can’t rule now, in cases of discrimination without justification.

  2. Doug

    Strange. Your argument that is.

    “…the majority cannot decide who to discriminate against without rational justifications that amount to more than ‘we don’t like it.’ “

    So who gets to decide what is “appropriate” programming for primetime network television? Why can’t FOX broadcast porn instead of COPS re-runs?

    And if same-sex couples get married. Why shouldn’t polyamorous groups get married? Because you say so? But that is discrimination!

    The point is this: there are hundreds of laws based on morality. Whose morality? For better or worse, in a democracy, it is the majority’s morality. Hence, “we don’t like it” is not a logically obtuse rationalization, but a pretty reasonable one most of the time.

    Anyways…all of this goes to the heart of the same-sex marriage push: those behind it want same-sex marriage instituted by judicial fiat, not any semblance of actual democratic action.

  3. Though I’m a bit surprised to say it, I cautiosly agree with most of what you’ve said this time around.

    I, too, would prefer a civilized democratic process to receive these rights, but I’m afraid it would take way too many years for them to come that way, and I’m admittedly selfish in that I’d like them for myself.

    Unfortunately, the “democratic process” and “will of the majority” is not always the best way to solve things. Brown v. Board of Education was decided in opposition to the opinions of most of the citizens of the areas it affected. Same with Loving v. Virginia.

    As Dan Kennedy of the Boston Phoenix explains: “We don’t live in a pure democracy; we live in a republic, with constitutional rights for the minorty counterbalancing the will of the majority.” Among other things, that principle is what allowed African-Americans the right to vote in Southern states.

    I admit that the legislature is the body designed to protect the rights of the minority, not necessarily the judicial branch. John Adams himself decided that. The problem there is that modern legislators want to be re-elected. By the majority. So how can he or she be expected to offer that counterbalance if it would upset the majority charged with re-electing them? That’s why judges are more effective guardians of minority rights; they’re not subject to popular will.

    As for homosexuality being natural and reasonable, I can only speak to what is natural for me. If that naturality is rare in humans, it just makes me a minority. I do know that homosexuality is natural enough to also exist in nearly all animal species, though some – generally those closer to human genetics such as chimpanzees – much more frequently than others.(For source see Bruce Bahemihl, Ph.D., “Biological Exhuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity”, St. Martin’s Press, 2000, page 35)

    Also, for conservative point number 2, that homosexual marriage is immoral to the majority of our society, I’d like to point out that the morality driving this idea is most likely based on Christian religious teachings, and legislating based on anything that has a root within one group’s religious beliefs is a bit too close to a church/state conflict for me.

    I also have to say that I genuinely don’t understand how allowing people to marry weakens marriage. So often, conservatives whine about the supposed promiscuity of homosexuals. I think allowing legally-recognized monogamous relationships to a group would encourage monogamy within that group.

  4. Doug: look up the word “rational” in a legal dictionary, specifically with reference to court decisions on discrimination, and your objections will be met, and questions answered.

  5. Doug

    Strange: Look up “community standards”.

  6. You’ll quickly find that in cases of discrimination, community standards are irrelevant. Community standards would have justified all manners of racism, religious discrimination, etc., throughout the history of this nation. In fact, prior to some of the post-Civil War amendments, they did! But those amendments made it impossible for community standards alone to determine who we can and who we can’t discriminate against. We need some other standards. We need a “rational reason” that goes above and beyond community standards. Hence, I told you to look that up. Since you didn’t, I assume you just don’t want to know that you’re wrong.

  7. Doug

    “We need a ‘rational reason’ that goes above and beyond community standards. Hence, I told you to look that up. Since you didn’t, I assume you just don’t want to know that you’re wrong.”

    You know what happens when you assume…

    Community standards is perfectly rational, especially since refusal to adopt same-sex marriage is hardly discrimination.

  8. Community standards may or may not be rational. However, from a legal standpoint, they are not a rational reason for discrimination. If you want to simply remain ignorant of the legal issues, that’s fine. If not, I suggest you actually do some research.

  9. Doug

    And with all due respect Strange, I would ask that you get off your high-horse and actually read what I have been writing:

    “Community standards is perfectly rational, especially since refusal to adopt same-sex marriage is hardly discrimination.”

    I don’t think there is an equal protection issue. Hence, using rational-basis review doesn’t fit (btw: that is the correct legal term, not just the word “rational,” which can mean any number of things).

  10. I read it, but the very issue of whether it is discrimination rests on the the facts about which you are ignorant. Namely, the court must have a rational reason other than “we don’t want gay people to marry” to outlaw gay marriage. Otherwise, it is discrimination, by legal definition. And “this is how we’ve always defined marriage” simply won’t work. It didn’t work for arguments against interracial marriages, and it won’t work now. You’ll have to come up with something that shows it will be harmful to individuals, society, or both.

  11. Doug

    “Namely, the court must have a rational reason other than “we don’t want gay people to marry” to outlaw gay marriage. Otherwise, it is discrimination, by legal definition.”

    Marriage between a man and a woman is the bedrock of civilization. How’s that for a compelling reason?

    You obviously disagree. But its rationality is not diminished by your disagreement.

  12. Doug

    “Namely, the court must have a rational reason other than “we don’t want gay people to marry” to outlaw gay marriage.”

    Marriage has always been understood to be between a man and a woman, only recently (with the impetus provided by liberal activist judges) have jurisdictions passed anti-same-sex marriage laws. Marriage is not some club that for centuries gays have been excluded from. In fact, this whole gay marriage push represents a wholesale 180 degree course change for the gay movement.

    A couple decades ago gay activists scoffed at the prospect of same-sex marriage. Now they see it as the road to full social acceptance of their lifestyle, which is the real goal.

  13. Social acceptance of my “lifestyle?” My “lifestyle” is already socially accepted, thank you. I go to work. I clean my house. I hang out with friends. Sounds socially accepted to me.

    And if you’re ignorantly referencing the fact that I’m gay, I’ve always wanted to ask somebody who used the word “lifestyle”: “What the heck is a ‘gay lifestyle’ anyway?”

    Is it a life filled with brunch every Sunday? Interior design? Maybe floral arrangements or hair-dressing? Well, my “lifestyle” has nothing to do with any of that.

    What lifestyle is a married (to a woman) man who sleeps with men on the side living? What about a celibate person who identifies as gay? And, finally, what makes a lifestyle straight?

    Regardless, the use of the word “lifestyle” is a chicken-shit attempt to characterize gay people as living differently than straight people. I don’t live any differently than you, so don’t tell me I’m asking for my “lifestyle” to be socially accepted.

  14. In fact, this whole gay marriage push represents a wholesale 180 degree course change for the gay movement.

    Check your facts, or take an objective social history course before you try to pull this one out. The movement for gay marriage is NOT a new one.

    In 1971, Jack Baker and his partner, James McConnell, sued the state of Minnesota for a marriage license. In 1975 two men in Phoenix were granted a marriage license and wed. Their license was later revoked (Source: TIME, February 16, 2004). Also in 1975, two men in Boulder, CO were granted a marriage license and wed. Their marriage was voided nearly a year later when the state legislature added gender to the qualifiers necessary for a marriage license. (Source: Boulder Daily Camera, March 27, 1975)

    I can go on for quite a while with these, if you want, from 1971 – 2004.

    Yes, throughout modern history some visible gay activists have denounced marriage as a concept at all – both gay and straight. Just like everything else, there are always some dissenters, but that was always a controversial stance within gay activism and you certainly cannot say the whole “gay movement” has changed course because of “liberal activist judges.”

    By the way, as for “liberal activist judges,” at least consider what the University of Michigan law school journal has to say about that inaccurate phrase.

  15. Doug

    “What the heck is a ‘gay lifestyle’ anyway?”

    Your obsession with denying that the “gay lifestyle” exists makes me wonder if you are even gay.

    WARNING: These links go to sites that contain advertising that may be offensive and inappropriate.

    “South Africa’s most stylish gay lifestyle portal”

    Gay News Magazine – Gay Lifestyle section

    Gay Lifestyle and Culture Books

    These aren’t evangelical Christian sites about ex-gays leaving the “gay lifestyle”, they are sites designed for, and by, the homosexual community.

  16. Doug

    “Check your facts, or take an objective social history course before you try to pull this one out. The movement for gay marriage is NOT a new one.”

    A few people does not constitute a movement. For all I know there may have been same-sex couples trying to get married in 1850. My point was just that this has not been a thrust of the gay political movement until recently.

  17. My point was just that this has not been a thrust of the gay political movement until recently.

    Then why did you claim it was a 180° change in course rather than just a recent push?

    Though I question your knowledge of the gay political movement, I agree that the issue is more prevalent now than it has been in the past. My point was that it was NOT a 180° course change. The current push is just a culmination of many years of quieter, smaller work.

    I also think that, like any political movement, there would not be a “thrust” until it was a possibility, instead of a far-off hope. That possibility just exists now. I mean, African-Americans didn’t push strongly for desegregated public facilities just 5 years after the Civil War. Sure, there were activists at that time who were working for it, but the major “thrust” was many years later, when a victory was actually possible.

    Your obsession with denying that the “gay lifestyle” exists makes me wonder if you are even gay.

    Sorry, but that’s just stupid. I point out that you’re lumping all gay people into one “lifestyle,” like we gay people all live exactly the same – and it’s so different from straight people! – and instead of recognizing that it was an inaccurate generalization, you question whether I even belong in your misguided label?

    The almost-ironic thing is, my “lifestyle” is probably so much like yours (and every other mid-20-year old in Utah) that you wouldn’t know I was gay.

    Even though I am. I promise.

    As for the links you posted, they’re all just marketing tools to get gay people to spend money there instead of elsewhere. Yes, the term “gay lifestyle” exists, primarly for the same reasons we have things like “Administrative Assistants’ Day” – because big corporations create them to sell product. But beyond a demographic and marketing label, I was completely serious: What is a “gay lifestyle?” Or, I’d at least like to know what you seem to think a gay lifestyle is. I’d sincerely like to meet someone who has one. None of the gay people I know do.

    For that matter, I’d like to meet someone with a straight lifestyle, too, or anyone who actually lives a “lifestyle” that has a demographic adjective in front of it.

  18. lifestyle:

    a manner of living that reflects the values, attitudes, and opinions of a person or group.

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=define%3A+lifestyle

    Usage Note: When lifestyle became popular a generation ago, a number of critics objected to it as voguish and superficial, perhaps because it appeared to elevate habits of consumption, dress, and recreation to categories in a system of social classification. Nonetheless, the word has proved durable and useful, if only because such categories do in fact figure importantly in the schemes that Americans commonly invoke when explaining social values and behavior.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=lifestyle

    nick, whether one likes it or not, one’s opinions, values, attitudes, and forms of recreation define one’s lifestyle. for example, you are of the opinion that mormons are oppressing you.

    for another example, though many americans engage in sexual relations, few american males regularly participate in a recreational activity specific to gay men: sticking their doinker in another dude’s poop shute. according to the dictionary, that unique recreation is part of a lifestyle. now, i know you’re not real big on “listening to authority” but that’s what it says.

  19. Doug, it’s becoming more and more clear that you’re not terribly bright, so I’m going to try to lay this out for you in very, very simple terms:
    If one group is discriminated against (e.g., does not receive certain government, employee, or other benefits) for any reason that cannot be justified with something less nebulous than “marriage is the bedrock of our society” (I’d love to see the case for that, since it doesn’t really say anything), then it is unconstitutional. You will have to show that gay marriage will harm individuals or society, and how. Understand? Do I need to tell you what “harm” means, so you can think about your answer?

  20. All I’ll say is that the premises don’t lead to the conclusion. It’s invalid. That should do.

  21. Doug

    “Doug, it’s becoming more and more clear that you’re not terribly bright…”

    Perhaps this childish insult was meant to appeal to my simple-mindedness?

    Strange, look, you need to accept that we obviously disagree on what constitutes “a good reason” for not allowing same-sex marriages. Travis and I have provided many reasons, none of which YOU agree with. Fine.

    This past year, the Supreme Court provided some reasons for continuing affirmative action in Michigan’s undergrad admissions. Many scholars agreed with them, others lambasted them. So it goes with legal reasoning…

    On a broader note: It is difficult to have a dialogue with someone who repeatedly screeches “That answer isn’t good enough for me!!!” Judging from your blog, which is filled exclusively with liberal opinion, I doubt that any reasoning, however sound, is going to do anything other than incur your wrath.

  22. You’re right, that is difficult, which is why it’s annoying that you keep doing it. That, or you keep failing to understand what I’m saying. It’s not that your answer is not good enough for me. It’s that your answer doesn’t meet the legal standards. The legal standards have nothing to do with the majority’s morality or with your view of marriage as a bedrock of society. The legal standards require that you show that it is harmful in a tangible way that is not simply tied to the morality of the majority. Otherwise, any form of discrimination, including against any racial or religious group, is legally possible. When you get that through your thick skull, you’ll feel much better.

  23. nick, whether one likes it or not, one’s opinions, values, attitudes, and forms of recreation define one’s lifestyle. for example, you are of the opinion that mormons are oppressing you.

    You posted it yourself: the definition says “values, attitudes, and opinions.” NOT forms of recreation or sexual activity. A usage note in a dictionary references how the word is popularly used (or misused as the case may be – see “ignorant”). NOT what it means or how it is properly used. My values, attitudes, and opinions are generally of a more liberal slant. Fine, perhaps my lifestyle is that of a liberal. My values, attitudes, and opinions are not about my sexual desires, therefore according to the DEFINITION you posted, my “lifestyle” is not about my sexual desires, so I must not lead a “gay” lifestyle.

    Also, I’ve never said that Mormons are oppressing me. That’s way too much of a generalization. Plenty of Mormons are not oppressing me. Watch what you attribute to me, buddy, though I should have expected it, given how prone to generalization you are.

    for another example, though many americans engage in sexual relations, few american males regularly participate in a recreational activity specific to gay men: sticking their doinker in another dude’s poop shute.

    This statement shows your ignorance when it comes to sex and sexuality. First, not all gay men engage in anal intercourse. Some, particularly since the late ’90s increase in Hep B transmission across North America, engage only in oral sex or mutual masturbation.

    Second, plenty of heterosexuals practice anal intercourse. It is not an acticity exclusive to gay men. You say “few American males” participate in anal intercourse (at least with “another dude”). That may be true for the “another dude” part, but plenty of heterosexual males participate in anal intercourse with females, and, frankly, an asshole is an asshole; it’s all anal sex.

    A 1998 Massachusettes study of 2,231 women found that 27% had engaged in anal intercourse at some point (Source). If so “few” heterosexual men are engaging in anal intercourse, Travis, who was having it with those women? Must have been a confused homosexual who couldn’t tell they were women, right?

    Even in my personal experience as a sex educator (note “sex” educator not “homosexual” educator), I’ve counseled several hundred straight men who were regularly engaging in anal intercourse. My rough estimation would be about 25-30% of the straight men I saw, versus about 50% of the gay men. Sure, there were more gay men having anal sex than straight men, but it’s clearly not gay exclusive and it’s clearly not just a “few.”

    according to the dictionary, that unique recreation is part of a lifestyle.

    Well, it’s just not that unique. And, like I said above, your dictionary did not include recreation in its definition anyway.

    now, i know you’re not real big on “listening to authority” but that’s what it says.

    Now, stop making assumptions. You know about me only what I’ve posted here or on my own site, which is relatively little when it comes down to a whole personality. I don’t have a problem with authority. I do have a problem with people who apply authority incorrectly (e.g. a “usage note” as part of a definition).

    By the way, this whole inaccurate line of reasoning that there is a gay “lifestyle” because only “we” have anal sex makes me wonder: What about lesbians? Why is it you think they are living a “gay” lifestyle? It sure ain’t the anal sex . . .

  24. frankly, an a**hole is an a**hole; it’s all anal sex.

    and i suppose a hand’s a hand and a mouth’s a mouth? when i was 16 working at a restaurant after school i got a phone call one day. i had a bandage on one of my fingers as a result of a cut, and the caller (a man) asked me if i was the guy with the bandage on my finger. i said ‘yes’. he asked me if i’d do him a favor and he’d pay me $100. i thought it would be some drug deal or something. the guy asked if i’d accept $100 to let him suck my d*ck. as i hung up the phone, i heard him asking (to my silence) “would you be willing to do that?” to me, the proposition was disgusting. but maybe i should’ve accepted…i mean, an a**hole’s an a**hole…a mouth’s a mouth…right?

    I don’t have a problem with authority. I do have a problem with people who apply authority incorrectly

    like scripture?

    Adultery, fornication, committing homosexual acts, and other deviations approaching these in gravity are not acceptable alternate lifestyles. –Elder Richard G. Scott, “Finding Forgiveness,” Ensign, May 1995, 75