Author Topic: Banning Gay Marriage in USA is Unconstitutional?  (Read 3146 times)

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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Banning Gay Marriage in USA is Unconstitutional?
« Reply #29 on: April 07, 2011, 02:27:49 PM »
Hey, we atheists don't want to miss a chance to rant into the empty air-- it's about the same as debating with most theists anyway.... ;)
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline valiant venus

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Re: Banning Gay Marriage in USA is Unconstitutional?
« Reply #30 on: May 09, 2011, 05:40:31 PM »
Actually, banning gay marriage is not unconstitutional.  Gay people have the same right to marry someone of the opposite sex as straight people.   Gay people are asking for a structural societal change to accommodate their feelings and attraction for those of the same sex.  What about the person who feels romantic feelings for relatives or more than one person?  Do you suggest that any number (or relationship) should not be an impediment to lawful marriage? (Note:  I have not made this a religious argument - - the pro-gay marriage arguments have too many constitutional holes in them.  Such arguments do not ask for equal rights - they ask for different rights.) 

Pro-gay marriage arguments really fall off the rails when they compare the ban on gay marriage to state bans on inter-racial marriage.  The bans on racially mixed marriages were unconstitutional because one group of people with "x" or "y" chromosomes were not treated equally to other people with "x" or "y" chromosomes.  Truly, such a ban was a clear case of discrimination and is a poor analogy when discussing gay marriage.

I understand people wanting to feel normal - but seeking a societal stamp of approval on one's relationship is nothing short of silly and frustrating.  Why do you care so much? 

Finally, those of you who consider yourselves anti-Constitution "constitutionalists" (due mostly to the fact that the founders were wealthy, dead white guys): again, you display little understanding of history.  For example - the 3/5 clause was intended to limit the number of representatives slave states could elect so as to not swamp the legislative boat - but that is another discussion.

Offline LadyLucy

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Re: Banning Gay Marriage in USA is Unconstitutional?
« Reply #31 on: May 09, 2011, 07:33:36 PM »
Actually, banning gay marriage is not unconstitutional. 

-Snipped

So, give me 10 good reasons as to why gay marriage should be banned and why/how does it not violate the constitution.

I'll say this: They are people like you or me, but with a different sexual orientation. Why ban them from marrying if they love each other so much? How is this allowing to do so bad?

Aww. Is it because of the children?


Offline Willie

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Re: Banning Gay Marriage in USA is Unconstitutional?
« Reply #32 on: May 09, 2011, 07:42:12 PM »
Gay people have the same right to marry someone of the opposite sex as straight people.

Then I'm sure you wouldn't consider it discriminatory to change the law to allow only homosexual marriage. After all, you'll have the same right as everyone else to marry someone of the same sex.

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Gay people are asking for a structural societal change to accommodate their feelings and attraction for those of the same sex.

Yeah, the special accommodation of not singling them out for different treatment from everyone else. Spin it however you want, but there's no getting around the fact that straight people are permitted to marry who they want, and gay people are not.

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What about the person who feels romantic feelings for relatives or more than one person?  Do you suggest that any number (or relationship) should not be an impediment to lawful marriage?

Terrible, ain't it? If we let the hispanics have equal rights, next thing we know, the negroes will want rights too. Then the midgets. Oh the horror! Where will it end?

Well, ok. In the case of incest, there's a practical objection. But polygamy? If it's between adults and all are in agreement, why the decision should belong to anyone other than those involved in the relationship? If they want to take a chance on such a complex and risky relationship, I say it's their business, not mine.

But, that aside, the "where does it end" objection is just stupid in this case anyway. A move to allow gay marriage ends with gays being allowed to marry. Polygamy and intra-family marriage are separate issues.

[Edit: Fixed mistake ("inter" to "intra")]

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Pro-gay marriage arguments really fall off the rails when they compare the ban on gay marriage to state bans on inter-racial marriage.  The bans on racially mixed marriages were unconstitutional because one group of people with "x" or "y" chromosomes were not treated equally to other people with "x" or "y" chromosomes.

That's odd. I've not seen that part of the constitution that only ensures equal rights for pairs of people equally endowed with x and y chromosomes.  Maybe I overlooked it somehow. Or maybe you're just full of shit.

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I understand people wanting to feel normal - but seeking a societal stamp of approval on one's relationship is nothing short of silly and frustrating.  Why do you care so much? 

Oh, let me see. How about:

Employer insurance benefits that are available for spouses and descendents.
Hospital visitation rights for family members, such as spouses.
Joint tax status.

All routinely available to straight couples, but usually denied to gay couples. But no, according to you, gay's are not being singled out and treated differently. According to you, they don't want equal rights, they want special rights. Ludicrous.

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Finally, those of you who consider yourselves anti-Constitution "constitutionalists" (due mostly to the fact that the founders were wealthy, dead white guys): again, you display little understanding of history.  For example - the 3/5 clause was intended to limit the number of representatives slave states could elect so as to not swamp the legislative boat - but that is another discussion.

Thanks for ASSuming that none of us were aware of that. I have to ask by what bizarre stretch of illogic you reached that brilliant conclusion.


[Edit: Toned it down just a little.]
« Last Edit: May 09, 2011, 08:25:44 PM by Willie »

Offline Hatter23

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Re: Banning Gay Marriage in USA is Unconstitutional?
« Reply #33 on: May 10, 2011, 07:19:12 AM »
Actually, banning interracial marriage is not unconstitutional.  Black people have the same right to marry someone of the same race as White people.

 Interracial Couples people are asking for a structural societal change to accommodate their feelings and attraction for those of another race.  What about the person who feels romantic feelings for relatives or more than one person?  Do you suggest that any number (or relationship) should not be an impediment to lawful marriage? (Note:  I have not made this a religious argument - - the pro-interracial marriage arguments have too many constitutional holes in them.  Such arguments do not ask for equal rights - they ask for different rights.) 


Every excuse I've ever heard for banning gay marriage was once used to ban interracial marriage.
Your state it "runs of the rails" but I see them following it, line for line.
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

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Offline Graybeard

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Re: Banning Gay Marriage in USA is Unconstitutional?
« Reply #34 on: May 10, 2011, 07:59:11 AM »
Each time I visit this thread, all I see is people arguing whether the wine and bread is Christ or whether it represents Christ, instead of mentioning that Christ never existed and it is all as pointless as fighting for the proposition that no more than 783 angels can dance on a pinhead.

Does anyone disagree that marriage is firmly grounded in religion? (If so, check out Genesis)
Does anyone here want to encourage people to go to church?
Does anyone here want to encourage people to believe that there is some mystical power watching over and approving of marriage?

What is it about gays that they want to get married? What is it about anyone who wants to get married? Is it the chance to dress up, have a shaman chant a few words over you in front of the god of your choice, and have a few drinks? You could arrange that any day of the week.

Or is it that there are tax and legal advantages? If that is all it is, equalising legislation is no great difficulty.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again – simply annul the institution of marriage and then gays get what straights have. Case closed.

But no – incomprehensibly, some people seem to be “wedded to marriage.” Why? Is it "Because everyone else does it"?
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline Alzael

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Re: Banning Gay Marriage in USA is Unconstitutional?
« Reply #35 on: May 10, 2011, 08:09:27 AM »
But no – incomprehensibly, some people seem to be “wedded to marriage.” Why? Is it "Because everyone else does it"?

You just answered your own question. Yes, because everyone else does it, and because kids are told from birth how important it is and how 'sacred' it is.
"I drank what?!"- Socrates

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Offline Graybeard

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Re: Banning Gay Marriage in USA is Unconstitutional?
« Reply #36 on: May 10, 2011, 08:12:25 AM »
And is that not the just as valid reason why people believe in gods?
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Banning Gay Marriage in USA is Unconstitutional?
« Reply #37 on: May 12, 2011, 04:14:08 PM »
Marriage is obviously a social and cultural construction, but so is the state, the nuclear family, the constitution, etc. Legal marriage is, like it or not, the fastest and easiest way for people to make themselves related to each other so that they are recognized as family by the larger society and the state.

Just like me, my mother, daughter and sister have family rights and obligations under the law (can visit each other in the hospital, etc.) my husband and I have family rights and obligations under the law. I do not have to go to court and have a lawyer draw up special documents for me and my sister to become related. Marriage does the same thing, allowing for two unrelated people to become legal kinfolks.

Religion should just butt out of the whole thing. It should be a simple  civil partnership agreement that makes two people related for whatever reason they want. If people want certain cultural traditions or a church to be involved or to wear fancy clothes and have a big party, or to go off to a hotel and have sex afterwards, that's a separate matter.

What kind of or whether they have sex is immaterial and NONE OF ANYONE'S BUSINESS. Whether they have matching or different chromosomes is a stupid way of deciding who gets to link up. I don't recall anyone doing any genetic testing on me or my husband when we went to get married.

We are of different "races" by the way. Our marriage was illegal in most of the US in 1960 when I was born.  So I am a bit sensitive to arguments as to why this or that kind of person should not get to legally become related to whoever they want.

Two old guys could decide to "marry" and become each other's non-sexual "brothers" to share a house and health insurance, etc. like on Boston Legal. Provide companionship, security and stability to each other. Can anyone give me a coherent argument why they should not be able to do that?
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline jtp56

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Re: Banning Gay Marriage in USA is Unconstitutional?
« Reply #38 on: May 12, 2011, 05:28:01 PM »
Its simple, words mean things.  Marriage is a civil (and sometimes religious) union between a man and a woman.  A rock has the right to be called a door knob, but it isn't.  If "Two old guys could decide ............... become each other's non-sexual "brothers" to share a house and health insurance, etc. like on Boston Legal. Provide companionship, security and stability to each other. Can anyone give me a coherent argument why they should not be able to do that?"  then why don't they adopt each other?  If we start calling every object a rock because we have the right too, then where does that get us as far as communicating ideas?  If we start calling every contact between two human beings, or animals, or plants, a marriage relationship.......  The logic you use lends credence to the argument that the homosexual agenda is really to destroy marriage.

We've had homosexuality since Nimrod (and before).  Their rights were never been trampled on until they told us they were.  No one shoved their morality in their face, they shoved theirs into ours. 

Were our ape ancestors homosexual?
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Offline Alzael

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Re: Banning Gay Marriage in USA is Unconstitutional?
« Reply #39 on: May 12, 2011, 06:18:06 PM »
^^^^ Ok, I'm certain that there's a semi-sensical response in there somewhere, but I'm having some trouble finding it.

This would really help if you would write like someone who has spoken the english before. Unless, of course, english isn't your first language. In which case it would help greatly if you could learn to write the english properly.
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Offline Persephone

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Re: Banning Gay Marriage in USA is Unconstitutional?
« Reply #40 on: May 12, 2011, 06:35:03 PM »
Were our ape ancestors homosexual?
I don't know about ape ancestors, but I do know this (from Wikipedia's article on homosexual behavior in animalsWiki 

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Approximately 8% of rams exhibit sexual preferences [that is, even when given a choice] for male partners

An estimated one-quarter of all black swans pairings are homosexual and they steal nests, or form temporary threesomes with females to obtain eggs, driving away the female after she lays the eggs.

About 60% of all sexual activity in [the Bonobo ape species] is between two or more females.
Sheldon: Ever since you started having regular intercourse your mind has lost its edge. You should reflect on that.
Leonard: Well, Einstein had a busy sex life.
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Offline Graybeard

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Re: Banning Gay Marriage in USA is Unconstitutional?
« Reply #41 on: May 12, 2011, 07:14:33 PM »
Marriage is obviously a social and cultural construction, but so is the state, the nuclear family, the constitution, etc. Legal marriage is, like it or not, the fastest and easiest way for people to make themselves related to each other so that they are recognized as family by the larger society and the state.
Have a look at the Wiki Article on MarriageWiki It is quite enlightening.

In fact the quickest and easiest way is
Quote
In Ancient Greece, no specific civil ceremony was required for the creation of a marriage – only mutual agreement and the fact that the couple must regard each other as husband and wife accordingly

and interestingly:
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From the early Christian era (30 to 325 CE), marriage was thought of as primarily a private matter, with no uniform religious or other ceremony being required. However, bishop Ignatius of Antioch writing around 110 to bishop Polycarp of Smyrna exhorts, "t becomes both men and women who marry, to form their union with the approval of the bishop, that their marriage may be according to God, and not after their own lust."
Stuff the Archbishop - we've moved on.

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Just like me, my mother, daughter and sister have family rights and obligations under the law (can visit each other in the hospital, etc.)
This seems peculiar to the US. Why is that law in existence? Did travelling circuses used to jam up hospital wards?

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my husband and I have family rights and obligations under the law.
How would those laws change if you simply declared yourself a partnership.

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I do not have to go to court and have a lawyer draw up special documents for me and my sister to become related.
I'm not sure I know what you are saying here; would you have to do that if your sister was born before your parents were married and you were born after the marriage?

Quote
Marriage does the same thing, allowing for two unrelated people to become legal kinfolks.
No, the church and the state have told you that this is what happens but they also say they (or at least one of them) must know about the ceremony and give their approval.

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Religion should just butt out of the whole thing.
And the State

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It should be a simple  civil partnership agreement that makes two people related for whatever reason they want.
Fixed
« Last Edit: May 12, 2011, 07:16:50 PM by Graybeard »
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

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Re: Banning Gay Marriage in USA is Unconstitutional?
« Reply #42 on: May 12, 2011, 07:20:38 PM »
We've had homosexuality since Nimrod (and before). Their rights were never been trampled on until they told us they were.  No one shoved their morality in their face, they shoved theirs into ours. 

Bolds mine. Wrong. Your ignorance is inexcusable for someone who can use the internet.

Discrimination against homosexuals has most likely existed as long as there have been people we would recognize as "human". Historically, there is evidence of this going back more than 2000 years. Here's what wikipedia had to say; not the most reliable source but it'll get you started, assuming you genuinely want to inform yourself...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discrimination_against_homosexuals#Anti-homosexual_attitudes

Grow up, jtp56.
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Offline Graybeard

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Re: Banning Gay Marriage in USA is Unconstitutional?
« Reply #43 on: May 12, 2011, 07:28:15 PM »
« Last Edit: May 12, 2011, 07:31:05 PM by Graybeard »
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline Jezebel

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Re: Banning Gay Marriage in USA is Unconstitutional?
« Reply #44 on: May 12, 2011, 07:40:35 PM »

We've had homosexuality atheism since Nimrod (and before).  Their rights were never been trampled on until they told us they were.  No one shoved their morality in their face, they shoved theirs into ours. 


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Re: Banning Gay Marriage in USA is Unconstitutional?
« Reply #45 on: May 12, 2011, 10:40:27 PM »
Quite true, Graybeard. Thanks for pointing that out. I was just irritated at jtp56's ignorance.
Live a good life... If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid.
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Offline Alzael

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Re: Banning Gay Marriage in USA is Unconstitutional?
« Reply #46 on: May 12, 2011, 10:43:36 PM »
I've got to give him credit though. I've made quite a few jokes in the past to some theists about them not even being able to string two coherent sentences together. Yet here's a guy who truly can't string two coherent sentences together.

You gotta give the guy props for that.
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Offline Bagheera

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Re: Banning Gay Marriage in USA is Unconstitutional?
« Reply #47 on: May 13, 2011, 03:24:08 AM »
It seems like many of the "anti gay marriage" argument that try to avoid overt religious reasons fall back on a number of talking points:

1. Marriage is for procreation. Of course,  marriage is not physically or legally required to procreate; nor is procreation required when married; no one using this argument (that I have encountered) is in favor of forbidding infertile couples from marrying.

2.  The "roommate" argument. Straight persons might fake marriages to "same sex partners" to get the financial benefits of marriage (tax breaks, medical benefits,etc), a type of fraud. This seems like a stupid argument to me only because there's nothing to stop gay OR straight people from doing this with like minded people of the opposite sex anyway.

3. Umm... I think most of the other reasons boil down to "gays gross me out". Some varieties dont want to see more gays in public acting like "real" couples; some equate gay with pedophile and feel banning gay marriage maintains a key obstacle to gays adopting kids.

Did I miss any of the  ostensibly non-religious arguments?

Offline frofrodajimmyboy

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Re: Banning Gay Marriage in USA is Unconstitutional?
« Reply #48 on: May 13, 2011, 06:56:57 AM »
Its simple, words mean things.  Marriage is a civil (and sometimes religious) union between a man and a woman.  A rock has the right to be called a door knob, but it isn't. 

Wrong. 

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/marriage

Congratulations on grasping the concept that "words mean things", but it seems that you missed out on the fact that many words have multiple and/or very broad meanings.  You also seemed to completely miss out on the fact that a word's meaning can evolve over time.  So yes, a rock COULD be called a door knob, and if everyone adopted that meaning for the word, rocks would indeed be door knobs.

But seriously, if we're going to discuss something, can you at least try a little honesty?  Drop this semantic bullshit.  You know very well that this has nothing to do with words; that's absolutely ridiculous.  Do you honestly believe an entire social issue regarding the rights of a vast group of people all comes down to one word?  If that were the case, tell me...  If we introduced a law to allow "Maraige" (pronounced Mare-ij), which was defined as "a civil (and sometimes religious) union between people of the same sex)" and offered all of the benefits of marriage, would you fully support it?  Of course not.  You're not a linguistics expert with OCD for definitions.  You're a homophobe. 

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then why don't they adopt each other? 

...  Why WOULD they?  How does that even make sense?

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  If we start calling every object a rock because we have the right too, then where does that get us as far as communicating ideas? 


Again, you're arguing semantics and looking retarded because the definition or marriage, for all intents and purposes, includes homosexuals. 

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If we start calling every contact between two human beings, or animals, or plants, a marriage relationship.......
 

Good thing no one's proposing that, nor does what is being proposed have any potential to lead down that slippery slope of yours. 

Quote
The logic you use lends credence to the argument that the homosexual agenda is really to destroy marriage.

How does the marriage of two people who will never have anything to do with you "destroy" marriage?  When gay marriage was made legal in some places, did your marriage suddenly take a turn for the worse?  Did you have sudden urges to beat your wife, or did she suddenly start sleeping with every man she saw?  Does the idea of gays getting married destroys marriage?  Note that I keep asking questions, but they're rhetorical.  The answer is "no" to all of them.  Any other answer woudl be retardeed

Offline Ivellios

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Re: Banning Gay Marriage in USA is Unconstitutional?
« Reply #49 on: May 13, 2011, 08:19:43 AM »
1. Marriage is for procreation. Of course,  marriage is not physically or legally required to procreate; nor is procreation required when married; no one using this argument (that I have encountered) is in favor of forbidding infertile couples from marrying.
Did I miss any of the  ostensibly non-religious arguments?


So, you're saying no woman over the age of 45, if not married for whatever reason like divorce, widow, never married, should never marry since it is basically a biological impossibility without medical intervention to have kids since "Marrigae is for Procreation."

Bolded: Why not, if "Marriage is for Procreation"? If you allow 2 people whom they will not have kids for whatever reason, knowingly before they marry, what difference does it make? That's right, there are many other reasons to marry besides procreation. Cheaper for 2 people to live in 1 house than 2 people living in 2 houses, is only one example. If you allow even 1 couple to marry, knowing full well that the main reason isn't to procreate, especially if procreation is an impossibility, then you should allow it for any coupling. What consenting adults do in the privacy of their own home is no one's business but thier own.

Live and let live. People need to stop being bigoted and get off thier **** high horse.

Offline velkyn

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Re: Banning Gay Marriage in USA is Unconstitutional?
« Reply #50 on: May 13, 2011, 09:51:05 AM »
Its simple, words mean things.  Marriage is a civil (and sometimes religious) union between a man and a woman.
  So why can't we have polygamy here in the US?  Oh that's right, because ignorant modern Christians wanted to redefine it so people couldn't per their particular interpretation of a collection of nonsense written by xenophobic sheep herders.   
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Offline Graybeard

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Re: Banning Gay Marriage in USA is Unconstitutional?
« Reply #51 on: May 13, 2011, 11:57:32 AM »
Marriage is not necessarily for procreation, as you point out, having a shaman break a plate over your head doesn’t instantly turn an infertile couple into a fertile one.

Marriage was originally for two purposes: (i) to insure inheritance within the family and (ii) to establish succession.

(i)   Can be seen when in the late 18th century English Law was changed to allow the marriage of cousins to keep the wealth within the family
(ii)   As a woman was property and her husband was entirely responsible for her, her crimes and debts, she was no more than the oven in which the male bun was produced, thus ensuring that the name and family line continued.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/Wproperty.htm Under the terms of The Married Women’s Property Act 1882, married women had the same rights over their property as unmarried women. This act therefore allowed a married woman to retain ownership of property which she might have received as a gift from a parent. Before the 1882 Act was passed this property would have automatically have become the property of the husband. The passing of the 1893 Married Women's Property Act completed this process. Married women now had full legal control of all the property of every kind which they owned at marriage or which they acquired after marriage either by inheritance or by their own earnings.

As late as the 1960s, a married woman could not sign a contract for the supply of goods, a bank loan or enter into a hire purchase agreement unless her husband (or other responsible male) stood guarantor. This was sensible as a married woman was unlikely to have sufficient income herself and there were many cases of husbands getting their wives to take out a loan and then default upon it.

You can thus see that marriage has changed over the years and whereas its purpose had earlier bee clear (whether or not you agree with it) it has now become an instrument of the state for convenient taxation and legal purposes whilst still concerning itself to a diminishing degree with the actual structure of the family, e.g. child support that otherwise would fall to the State.

So, if there are any here who are in a same-sex partnership, “Why would you want to marry?”
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Offline Bagheera

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Re: Banning Gay Marriage in USA is Unconstitutional?
« Reply #52 on: May 13, 2011, 12:58:52 PM »
1. Marriage is for procreation. Of course,  marriage is not physically or legally required to procreate; nor is procreation required when married; no one using this argument (that I have encountered) is in favor of forbidding infertile couples from marrying.
Did I miss any of the  ostensibly non-religious arguments?


So, you're saying no woman over the age of 45, if not married for whatever reason like divorce, widow, never married, should never marry since it is basically a biological impossibility without medical intervention to have kids since "Marrigae is for Procreation."

This is not what I'm saying. This is what opponents of gay marriage are saying when they want to avoid saying "god said so". I merely listed the arguments and either why I disagreed or noted what seemed odd about their position.

Offline Jezebel

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Re: Banning Gay Marriage in USA is Unconstitutional?
« Reply #53 on: May 13, 2011, 01:21:58 PM »

As late as the 1960s, a married woman could not sign a contract for the supply of goods...

...You can thus see that marriage has changed over the years


Thank you, Graybeard, for posting this. This is why I can never understand why people who have been discriminated against would want to perpetuate discrimination on others. How a woman can want to deny rights to someone homosexual or racially different, for example-- that's the height of hypocrisy to me (and it works in any combination). Then again, I have been called a "femnazi" for having the audacity to insist that women be treated as people, so maybe there's some derogatory term people could write me off with when I advocate that others be treated like people, too.

More to the point-- this is an excellent example of why marriage is not the static, unchanging institution some people would have us believe. I'd say unless they want to go back to a system where, for example, women couldn't own property[1], they don't have much of a leg to stand on regarding "traditional marriage."
 1. And some of them undoubtedly do
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Banning Gay Marriage in USA is Unconstitutional?
« Reply #54 on: May 13, 2011, 05:29:53 PM »
Graybeard, I don't know about you, but I find the details of what marriage has historically represented to be absolutely irrelevant to this argument.  Regardless of history, the fact remains that in many places, laws are on the books which enable heterosexual couples to do something while forbidding the analogous thing being done by same-sex couples.

It doesn't much matter how useless or applicable the thing is.  What matters is the implicit message, coded in law, that same-sex couples are a different social class.  "Separate but equal".  And the views of many who support this discrepancy in government-granted rights align with that sentiment.

Abolishing legal recognition of marriage would be one way to solve this (and IMO the better way).  Since that is unrealistic in today's world, the expansion of effective marriage rights to all segments of the population is the best available option.
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Offline Grogs

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Re: Banning Gay Marriage in USA is Unconstitutional?
« Reply #55 on: May 13, 2011, 09:26:39 PM »
Actually, banning gay marriage is not unconstitutional.  Gay people have the same right to marry someone of the opposite sex as straight people.

This cartoon was made just for you!



Anyway, our problem in the US isn't with gay marriage, it's with marriage in general. To the government, marriage is a very broad power-of-attorney between two people that grants a specific set of privileges and responsibilities. To the religious, marriage is a holy union between two people, blessed by God, Allah, Vishnu, or whoever. Many religious folk have conflated these two ideas to the point that they can't see the difference anymore. The problem (for them) is that, at the end of the day, the marriage is only valid if the proper forms are filed with the government. I can, for example, walk down to the courthouse, sign some papers in front of the county clerk, and become legally married with no religious ceremony whatsoever involved. On the other hand, if two people have a ceremony at their church and get their union blessed by every holy man they can think of, they're not "married" in the eyes of the government unless the proper paperwork is filed.

Because marriage grants certain rights from the government such as tax filing status and inheritance, the government has a vested interest in regulating marriage. Some churches say that only a man and a woman can ever marry. Others, like the Episcopal, Unitarian, and MCC say that it can be between same or opposite sex couples. Unless there is a good secular reason for doing so, the government is prohibited from taking one interpretation over the other by the First Amendment. The only fair way for the government to proceed is to allow any two (or 3, 4, etc) consenting adults who desire to do so to enter into the legally binding contract that we call marriage.

As for gay marriage being a state issue, sorry but no. That's absolutely wrong. Marriage crosses state lines. The commerce clause gives the federal government supremacy in these cases, and there's a very good reason for it. Let's say that a homosexual couple is married in Massachusetts. They go on vacation to Germany, one is struck by an automobile, and is lying brain-dead in a hospital. The spouse, seeing that his husband is already dead, asks the hospital to remove him from life support and let him die peacefully. The German government is going to contact the US State Department and ask them to confirm that these two are, in fact, married before they comply. This is not a state issue at this point. The US government has a compelling interest to have a single standard that says either yes, they are married or, no, they're not married.

Here's another example: Let's say that two men get married in Iowa(!) They take out a joint credit card and run up a balance of $20,000. With marriage in general, the laws are pretty clear on how this works - both parties are equally responsible for the debt, even if only one of them was doing the buying or even knew about the purchases. Here's the wrinkle, though. Let's say that they move to Kentucky. Kentucky, and most red states, don't recognize gay marriages, even if they were performed in a state where it was legal. So now, we have a problem. The financial laws are pretty clear with regard to married couples, but Kentucky says they're not married. By that standard, they shouldn't have even been able to open a joint credit card account in the first place. Are they off the hook for the debt? Again, this is a case where there is a compelling case for the federal government to have one single definition of marriage. Letting the states decide means that the rights and responsibilities of these people actually change as they change addresses unless there is a single federal definition.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Banning Gay Marriage in USA is Unconstitutional?
« Reply #56 on: May 13, 2011, 10:12:01 PM »
^^^The state by state approval of gay marriage is so absurd. You are married in Hawaii and Massachusetts but not in Arkansas or Indiana? WTF? So you can never leave the state where you first got married I guess. Are you married if you are on an airplane over Arkansas air space?

Different countries have to recognize one another's marriages. If you are married in England you are still married when you move to Canada or the US. Unless you are in a same sex marriage-- then all bets are off. It is so stupid it makes my head ache. Sometimes I despair of the human race.

Either we all can get "married" and have equal rights under the law or get rid of the whole damn thing and have "civil partnerships" for any adults who want to fill out the papers. No religion should be able to dictate what kind of relationships between human beings are lawful in a secular country. Or else the Scientologists, Sikhs and Buddhists should be allowed to approve or disapprove of Catholic, Baptist and Jewish marriages, according to their own rules.
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Offline Graybeard

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Re: Banning Gay Marriage in USA is Unconstitutional?
« Reply #57 on: May 14, 2011, 09:45:53 AM »
Graybeard, I don't know about you, but I find the details of what marriage has historically represented to be absolutely irrelevant to this argument.
I think it is absolutely essential to understand the history of any institution or thought in order to comprehend its nature and its changes.  It saves us repeating and/or perpetuating our mistakes. One mistake is the requirement to support the lower income partner at separation (This was, 99% of the time, the man supporting the woman thus perpetuating the superior/inferior myth.)

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What matters is the implicit message, coded in law, that same-sex couples are a different social class.
I am not sure what you mean by “social class.” Do you mean, “Not all rights and obligations apply to them.”?
What “rights” does a wedded couple have that a pair of singles does not have and what rights do singles have that the wedded do not? Why should there be a difference?

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Abolishing legal recognition of marriage would be one way to solve this (and IMO the better way).  Since that is unrealistic in today's world, the expansion of effective marriage rights to all segments of the population is the best available option.
I am disappointed with your feeling that an imperfect institution should continue because that is the way we have always done it. If it is of any help, Google “Marriage rates falling”; people are voting with their feet.

Next in granting “effective marriage rights” you deprive them of “effective single rights.” You will say that this is their choice, I will say that we have an artificially created situation and are walking deeper into the woods to find a large stick with which to beat ourselves.

The coming of the civil union has shown that it is not beyond the wit of the legislature to create equality, all that now need to be done is abolish the differences for married and single.
 
Anyway, our problem in the US isn't with gay marriage, it's with marriage in general. […]

Because marriage grants certain rights from the government such as tax filing status and inheritance, the government has a vested interest in regulating marriage. […]The only fair way for the government to proceed is to allow any two (or 3, 4, etc) consenting adults who desire to do so to enter into the legally binding contract that we call marriage.
At which point, in the extreme, marriage becomes pointless as everyone could marry everyone else and all would be equal.

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As for gay marriage […] vacation to Germany, […] The spouse, seeing that his husband is already dead, asks the hospital to remove him from life support […]. The German government is going to contact the US State Department and ask them to confirm that these two are, in fact, married before they comply. […]
So what would happen to a single person, an orphan, in that case? I have never quite understood why a spouse would have an absolute say in this unless the spouse was a qualified doctor and would not benefit by the other’s death. The practise is to ask the spouse, “as a courtesy” not as a legal requirement; see many court cases where the hospital goes to a judge to switch off the machine.

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Here's another example: Let's say that two men get married in Iowa(!) They take out a joint credit card and run up a balance of $20,000. […] Kentucky […] Are they off the hook for the debt?
No. The loan agreement to both will require joint and several liability.

OTOH, in UK, English and Scots law differ; in Scotland a verbal agreement for the sale of land is binding. In England, a verbal agreement is not binding, only a clear and unambiguously written contract is binding. So, if I verbally agree to buy a house in Scotland and then return to the UK, I can welsh on the deal and be untouchable except if I return to Scotland.

International Law is never satisfactory, I doubt Inter-State law is either – we must live with that.

The UK has also concerned itself with Polygamy. Many Muslim immigrants claimed to have more than one wife. They can only claim tax relief for one but otherwise, the obligations of marriage apply to all.

So by and large, as I have posted before, I agree with your premise, “Anyway, our problem in the US isn't with gay marriage, it's with marriage in general.” But apparently no one is going to do anything about it, as apparently you can’t question marriage. Instead government prefers rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic.
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”