11 Aug

Do We Really Want To Redefine Marriage? [Reader Post]

                                       

States across the country are in the midst of debating the idea of changing the definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Five states have legalized the practice through legislative or judicial action, but despite thirty-one attempts, not a single time has a majority of citizens of a state approved such a change. Not that this is an argument for majority rule. It’s not. Every state has a republican form of government and should be governed by the rule of law rather than man. Nonetheless, at some point government is accountable to the people and constitutional change is often how citizens make their feelings felt. Thirty states, including California, have amended their constitutions to explicitly state that marriage is to be considered between one man and one woman. This week a federal judge in San Francisco threw much of that into the air. Ted Olson argued that the court is merely protecting the right to marriage, a right the court has addressed 14 times since 1888. I have to disagree with Mr. Olson and Judge Walker. This is not just like Loving v. Virginia, which did away with barriers to interracial marriage. Race is not sex. This is not opening up marriage to just another group who had been arbitrarily excluded. Men and woman are fundamentally different and marriage has always been understood to be a union between a man and a woman, not just two people.

If we step away from thousands of years of western tradition, if we take that first step in changing the definition from one man and one woman, where does that road lead? Where do we stop? It’s the slippery slope problem. Sure, today we are arguing about two people of the same sex, but why could we not just as easily argue for one man and two women or three men or three women? Could we not use the same rationale to allow a salesman who lives in Miami but works in Charlotte to have a wife and children in Florida and another family in North Carolina? And what if his Charlotte wife wanted to have a second husband from across town for the weekends when her salesman husband is down in Florida? Who says a person can’t be committed to two different people simultaneously? In 1887 Utah was forced to outlaw polygamy as the price of admission into the United States because it was understood that marriage was between one man and one woman. Will the state now have the opportunity to amend its constitution to bring back the practice? Once we change the definition the permutations could be endless. What about children? It was not so long ago that the marriage of children for political or dowry reasons was not uncommon. Do we want to go back there and allow 12 & 13 year old children to be married and traded for family favors or for “love”? Is not the age of consent arbitrary?

One might argue that much of the history of marriage had to do with the biological necessity of a heterosexual union for procreation purposes. Because science has now made an actual heterosexual union unnecessary for procreation is that sufficient grounds to abandon the principal in the first place? Scientists have been telling us for years that at some point computers will be smarter than humans. Today there is even a report about a robot that expresses and detects emotions. Make that into an anatomically correct robot and we could have relationships without human partners, male or female. Should those unions then be granted marriage status as well?

For 2,500 years western civilization has been anchored around the notion that marriage was understood to be between one man and one woman. While the form of government may have varied from democracy to republic to empire to monarchy to constitutional democracy to our own constitutional republic, marriage between one man and one woman has always been understood to be at the core of that society. The legitimacy of the government itself was sometimes explicitly based upon blood and marriage, and in all cases the institution of marriage and family was understood to be at the foundation of the society. The Catholic church lost England over marriage it was so important. Although mistresses, prostitutes and divorces have often betrayed the failure of the institution on an individual level, marriage nonetheless always remained the cultural norm and ideal.

We’re often told that there was a great homosexual tradition in ancient Rome and Greece. Pederasty may have been common in Greece and homosexuality an open secret in Rome, but in both the traditional understanding of a one man one woman marriage held sway. When Christianity induced Roman Emperors Constantius II and Constans to ban homosexual marriage, they were simply codifying what had largely existed in practice since the beginning of Rome. (Although Nero is said to have married both men and women, for the marriages where Nero played the woman, he was mocked… to the extent one could mock the Emperor in Rome. On the occasion that Nero was the bridegroom he had his slave Sporos castrated so that he could play the role of bride.) In no western country had homosexual marriage ever enjoyed countenance on equal footing with heterosexual marriage until the Netherlands legalized gay marriage in 2000.

Opposition to gay marriage should not be construed to suggest that homosexual couples should be second class citizens. On the contrary. They should have the same freedom to share in the blessings of liberty as any other citizens. Many states have approved civil unions that provide same sex couples with the same benefits and opportunities that married couples enjoy. As for the federal government and the marriage penalty, they should get out of the income tax business and implement the FairTax. For years the notion of same sex partners not being allowed into hospital rooms or not being allowed to be on one another’s insurance policy were the issues at the vanguard of the gay rights movement. Typically civil union legislation has wiped away such concerns and in many cases legislation has turned civil unions into marriage in everything but name only.

Fundamentally once you get past the issue of financial benefits and contracts, you’re left with the sheen of language. The simple question is, does the idea of, the ideal of marriage have any value to the culture as a whole? Does our government have a vested interest in promoting the ideal of the traditional nuclear family? Europe provides a stunning example of what happens when marriage ceases to be a central focus of the society. For forty years, from Italy to the UK to Portugal to Germany the experience has been very much the same. As marriage and family became less important, less of a priority, one by one the countries have become basket cases. Marriage rates are down by half across the continent. (Even amongst that greatly reduced number, a UK study recently found that in places 3 out of 4 marriages were shams for the specific purpose of staying in the country.) Divorce rates are up. Birth rates amongst native Europeans has fallen far below the replacement rate. What births they are experiencing are increasingly being had out of wedlock and more and more frequently the state is responsible for providing the basic support for those children. More and more the family is becoming irrelevant as everybody becomes a ward of the state.

Across the continent countries are losing their identities as the only growth they are experiencing comes from immigrants largely from countries that do not share the same core, fundamental, traditional western values. As a result Europe is facing tremendous challenges. Greece is burning as the socialist state can not support itself. France faces constant uprisings from youths who have spent their lives in France but feel no loyalty to the country or its culture. England is seeing growing pockets of immigrants demanding that they no longer be subject to British law but instead to Sharia. These problems start with the divorce of the state from its culture, and marriage between a man and a woman has been one of the core elements of western culture for more than two millennia.

As has so often happened over the last 200 years, the United States is where the west’s future is written… twice America was the last man standing who helped pull it back from the brink of hell. The question is, are we going to be pulled further into the European morass of cultural ambiguity where all ideals are equal, where no institutions survive an aggrieved minority and the state has no role in maintaining the nation? Or are we going to recognize that the ideal of marriage between a man and a woman, while imperfect in execution, is one of those fundamental ideas that ties us to our history, our culture and has helped shape the world we live in? If the answer is the latter, is it not worth preserving?

About Vince

The product of a military family, growing up in Naples, Italy and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and being stationed in Germany for two years while in the Army, Vince spent half of his first quarter century seeing the US from outside of its own borders. That perspective, along with a French wife and two decades as a struggling entrepreneur have only fueled an appreciation for freedom and the fundamental greatness of the gifts our forefathers left us.
This entry was posted in Constitution and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Wednesday, August 11th, 2010 at 6:00 am
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49 Responses to Do We Really Want To Redefine Marriage? [Reader Post]

  1. Jae says: 1

    Vince, Your argument misses the point. Marriage is not just an intellectual idea. It is a legal contract that binds the two parties in matters relating to inheritence, survivorship, property ownership, medical decision-making, etc.

    Marriage as a legal institution gives legal rights to one set of Americans and excludes another set of Americans. That is unconstitutional.

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  2. savage24 says: 2

    I say let the “gays” marry, in two or three generations there will not be a democrat left in the country.

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  3. kcanova says: 3

    @Jae

    No where in the Constitution is there a statement or law about marriage. It does not fall under any of the Numerated Powers of Congress so they can’t pass any laws on the matter. Laws of Marriage are left to the states based on the Numerated Powers of Congress, and the 10th Amendment.

    So again with the “Civil Union” laws (which provide the rights of your argument) nobody is being discriminated against, so your argument is invalid.

    Sorry but you brought up the Constitution, and it does not list marriage in any way.

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  4. Kevin says: 4

    My stance on the matter may or may not resonate with the conservative mentality (it hits the small government “note”, but the reduction of scope involves reducing the power of the government to normalize our society to Judeo-Christian standards).

    In my opinion, the US government should be in the business of civil unions, as described by Jae: contracts legally binding consenting adults “in matters relating to inheritence, survivorship, property ownership, medical decision-making, etc.”. It shouldn’t matter one iota if these unions are between a man and a woman, two men, two women, syblings, parent-[adult]child, 5 elderly friends in a nursing home, whatever; so long as two main stipulations are met:

    1: All rules of contracts apply: parties must be of legal age, capable of informed consent, and not under the influence of mind-altering substances, coersion, etc. Any after-the-fact demonstration of said influences would, of course, nullify the contract. The contracts may or may not involve stipulations of monogamy, exclusiveness, etc., along with standard modern-day-pre-nuptial clauses pertaining to asset distribution, parent rights, etc, upon disolution of said contract.

    2: There should be no government favoratism, such as tax incentives, bestowed upon people for entering into such a contract (in fact, there should be a slight disincentive in terms of legal fees). If you want to legally share everything, from finances to medical decisions, with anyone else in the world for the rest of your lives, then so be it. Frankly, I think government-sponsored incentives toward modern-day marriages simply lead to an increase in failed marriages – people getting married for the “right” reasons (reasons compatible with a heartfelt desire to maintain a lifelong commitment to one another) would presumably get married without these incentives, so it stands to reason that incentives only lead to unions being entered into for the “wrong” reasons.

    Compatibly with the above idea, the business of “marriage” should be relegated to the realm of religions and religious communities – they alone should decide if a mormon man can “marry” 5 brides; a man his male life-partner; a woman her first-cousin; a muslim an atheist; etc. In this vein, they can choose to offer official recognition, financial support, and marital services for what they consider “real marriages”, and rightfully wield their collective resources (but not the powers of a secular US government) to influence marriage in our society to their heart’s content.

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  5. Oil Guy from Alberta says: 6

    Just some thoughts:

    A 55 year old pedophile has a prearranged marriage with an 11 year old. Islam has more than 1.5 billion followers today. Allah Akbar!

    Rosie Odonnell maries her lover to spite Bush.

    A gay married couple moves to a non gay marriage state- asking for a divorce. What happens in Frisco stays in Frisco?

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  6. John ryan says: 7

    “and marriage has always been understood to be a union between a man and a woman, not just two people.”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levirate_marriage
    Well except for in the Bible where plural marriage was sometimes mandatory. And Mormonism. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plural_marriage#Plural_marriages_of_early_church_leaders
    And in the early Christian church, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polygamy_in_Christianity#19th_Century_views

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  7. John ryan says: 8

    We need BIG GOVERNMENT to determine who can marry whom. Genitalia should be be examined by a government inspector and them certified male/female and then and ony then should a marriage ceremony be allowed.

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  9. Dc says: 9

    Some thoughts…in no particular order or argument:
    The State has long intervened in issues (marriage) related to moral constructs. Incest, for instance. One could make the exact same argument for incest marriages. As long as the 2 persons contemplating marriage are consenting adults…where is the harm? Oh..they should not have children who might be at higher risk of health issues, birth defects, etc? But, they can adopt…just as gays can. So, where is the harm….according to this argument? And exactly how are “gays” harmed if they have the same rights as any married couple? Where is the harm there? That it’s “called” something else? Maybe the gays should take a clue and start “there”…so that everybody can support them…ie., where they don’t have equal rights. Marriage, has never been a “right”. And the fact that a lot of hetero marriages suck…is NOT an argument “for” marriage of any kind.

    The state “does” in fact define the constructs of certain laws along a societal/moral ground, which has basis in deeply held, historical, religious views. What about blue-laws? No alc sales on sunday? Where did they come from? Where is the harm. Who is harmed if I need to replenish my liquor cabinet on a Sunday? (the “what harm” argument can be used for anything). And given the state does not follow any religious/morally directed views, why are we not drinking on Sunday? Or does the state contend there is no moral/religious/societal view that dictates this law?…ie., it just happened to be a good day to pick for drunks to take a break?

    To go even further then….if the views of morality/church, etc., are not to be imposed or endorsed in anyway via gov….would not that then corrupt the entire concept of marriage in the first place? Who can even be “married” in that case? ( clergy/church as agent authorized to “marry” people by the state). What about sodomy and other “deviant” and “moral depravity” offenses defining laws…still on the books in many states? Where did those come from? The societal norm that we have been following for the last (forever) that a “man” and a “woman” get married and form the basis of a family…is not something the “state” created…but something the state adopted from religious/cultural/societal norms of it’s people. Further, this is the same religious, cultural/societal “norm” of the entire world we currently live in — meaning the bond between “man” and a “woman”. And there have always been “gay” people that lived among us…this is not somehow “new” or some new development that changes things. Passing a law to say it’s all different is not going to be taken lightly, nor will it magically make us all different people.

    That doesn’t mean society won’t/can’t change in the future. Lots of things have changed in the world we live in over time as to what society accepts, or doesn’t. But, at least for me…I would have to say it’s too late — this is not something I can change my mind on. It’s a deeply held belief that I was raised with…that I can no more change than they can change who “they” are….it’s how “I” was born and lived my entire life. But, I WILL fight and support any effort to make sure that gay civil unions have the same “rights”, legally, and otherwise, that “married” couples have. THAT..is where we have common ground…that for whatever reason…gays have chosen to ignore and focus instead on the institution of…”marriage”…. to fight their fight. I dont’ think at this point…even if they won…it would really change things. I still would feel the same way as I do now….and they still have to live with and accept “me” for who I am too. If what they are looking for is societal recognition of their union…that can be done without changing the historical meaning of marriage. Just my thoughts.

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  10. tadcf says: 10

    Through most of Western civilization, marriage has been more a matter of money, power and survival than of delicate sentiments. http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200505/marriage-history
    For the most part, marriage has been used to fulfill these purposes. If we’re going to rely on ‘tradition’ as an argument for marriage to remain as it has over the eons of history, why not argue that it should be based on money and power, as it always has been, instead of the romanticism of the past two centuries. The purpose of marriage has long been, and continues to be in many cases to exert ownership over the woman in order to insure the reproduction of the male’s heirs, to not be intermixed with any others. Why shouldn’t this purpose be the primary objective of marriage?

    That’s the case in many civilizations, but in America, and much of what may be called Western Civilization, women have been given the opportunity to remove themselves from this situation. We have a developing society which does not content itself with tradition as the main indicator of present practices—the conservative ideal. Maybe there do need to be a lot of mores re-evaluated in the future; but should we not change one standard just because it may suggest the revision of others in the future?

    Civil unions in this country do not provide the same legal rights as marriage. In order to provide equality in all aspects would require enormous volumes of legalities in the federal, state, and local government. Instead of creating and maintaining the huge ‘shadow’ bureaucracy, why not just let gays marry. I keep hearing how allowing gays to marry will somehow destroy the institution of marriage, but no body can ever describe the mechanism by which it will reek this destruction—in as actual cause and effect relationship.

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  11. Greg says: 11

    @tadcf: You may be trying to convince people who automatically assume that the Creator of the Universe is the Supreme Republican alpha-Male.

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  12. Dc says: 12

    Historically, marriage has been between a “man” and a “woman” regardless of their reasons for marrying. It also involved the possibility of blood-line heirs….which again…only possible with opposite sex.

    Civil unions under law would not require and more extensive rewriting of volumes of federal law than adding gays to marriage would, nor would it then be a “shadow”. And further…the point…they’d have a LOT more support for that. Why not start there? Not just for gays either…but any persons who have a civil union.

    Nobody has actually described to me how gays not being “married” (but with equal rights otherwise) is going to reek destruction on the earth either.

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  13. Dc says: 13

    And the person trying to destroy the Universe being the Supreme Beta Liberal

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  14. Dr.D says: 14

    When society was more sane, it was understood that one of the most important aspects of marriage was the begetting of children. Obviously, those who necessarily had no possibility of begetting children (gays, etc) were a priori excluded and there was not a second thought given to the matter. There were no rights being violated; they simply had self-excluded, and that was that.

    It was for similar purposes that consanguinity rules, the rules prohibiting the marriage of those closely related were established. This came because it was known that intermarriage within small groups led to propagation of negative traits such as poor eyesight, etc.

    Now that children are no longer viewed as the purpose of marriage, but instead as a penalty to be avoided, and the purpose has become sexual hedonism, marriage has become meaningless for most. So rather than redefine it, the more pertinent seems to be simply, “why bother?” Why not settle for the civil partnerships and be done with it? Leave marriage, for those few are still interested in the classical sacramental marriage, based on procreation at it center. This would simplify things for everybody.

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  15. Gordy says: 15

    What did the judge actually say in his ruling?

    If marriage is an inalienable right, then why is there fee paid and the license issued by the state?

    If one “constitutional right” requires a license to exercise, then all of our inalienable rights are subject to licensing to exercise. Like political speech.

    Don’t believe me?

    Wisconsin now has a law requiring you to pay a $100 “fee” to exercise your right of free speech during the sixty days before the election. The fine (?) is $500 and has jail time to boot.

    The first oil painting was a marriage license. It wasn’t set in a church or at city hall. It was set inside the newlyweds humble abode, where bed and living room shared space. the painting is full of symbols not understood in modern times without a rosetta stone of sorts. At that time, back in 1500 something, neither state nor church had a thing to do with marriage. Well, unless the marriage involved the high and mighty. Because money and power was involved both church and state had a stake in the matter.

    If the judge isn’t over ruled we will lose all of our inalienable rights, even the right to get married.

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  16. Donald Bly says: 16

    When judges start redefining words our entire judicial system becomes imperiled. Don’t like the meaning of a law… just find a judge that will agree to the idea that black really means white, in means out, up means down and no law is above change via redefinition of words.

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  17. GaffaUK says: 17

    @Kevin

    Compatibly with the above idea, the business of “marriage” should be relegated to the realm of religions and religious communities.

    This is ridiculous – does that mean all those who are atheist or agnostic have their marriages nullified or reduced to a second-class status of a ‘civil union’? Marriage has not soley been the business of just religion. Also try reversing the weak slipperly slope argument and see what that does. Because people of different colour can get married when before they couldn’t – surely this has opened up the demand for gays to marry! Maybe we should keep going back in time until you get to a point to where you have excluded all those you don’t like?

    Finally people can no longer choose to be gay, bi or straight as they with their colour of their skin. Or did you try homosexuality and heterosexuality and decided you prefered to be straight? lol

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  18. Donald Bly says: 18

    If “gayness” is biological/genetic then with the advances in gene therapy it shouldn’t be too long before we have a cure and the whole gay marriage issue will be moot.

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  19. Bly You’re joking right?

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  20. Donald Bly says: 20

    @Rich Wheeler… not at all. IF… gayness is genetic and can be cured through gene therapy, wouldn’t it be irresponsible/child abuse if parents of gay children didn’t get them treatment. I’d think you’d be all on board for ensuring that every child has the right to a normal life…. do it for the children… roflmao.

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  21. Kevin says: 21

    @GaffaUK

    “This is ridiculous – does that mean all those who are atheist or agnostic have their marriages nullified or reduced to a second-class status of a ‘civil union’? Marriage has not soley been the business of just religion. Also try reversing the weak slipperly slope argument and see what that does. Because people of different colour can get married when before they couldn’t – surely this has opened up the demand for gays to marry! Maybe we should keep going back in time until you get to a point to where you have excluded all those you don’t like? ”

    I think you’re missing the deeper idea: From the perspective of secular society, civil unions become the first-class status and marriage becomes 2nd class. Put another way, marital status would carry as much weight as one’s baptismal status: perhaps massively important within a given religious community; but not worth half a shrug within the larger secular community. To address your first question directly, having my marriage “nullified” would be the equivalent of my childhood Presbyterian pastor called me today and said, “Kevin, we’re going to have to revoke your baptism status” (for the record, words couldn’t possibly express how little I would care). Conversely, “civil union” status would become the norm for describing modern day marriages in secular contexts, perhaps becoming common enough for verbing into forms like “We got unioned yesterday”; “I see you aren’t wearing a wedding ring, are you unioned?”; or “So you were married at a Unitarian church – that’s nice, but did you enter a civil union?” To address your second question: “Because people of different colour can get married when before they couldn’t – surely this has opened up the demand for gays to marry! Maybe we should keep going back in time until you get to a point to where you have excluded all those you don’t like? ” Do you care, at all, in the least, whatsoever, whether the church of the Ku Klux Klan bestows priesthood upon non-white people? Do people of other colours care? See the point I’m going for?

    Now, even the eternally optimistic part of me recognizes that this proposal could never, ever come to be – at least not in the US. However, the engineering part of me can’t help but propose out-of-the-box ideas to address what seem to be systemic issues with existing configurations. I put it out there to expose it to critical analysis, even while realizing that implementation costs far exceed the costs of working around all the problems with the existing configuration.

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  22. tadcf says: 22

    Greg #11:

    I, as you, understand the problem, but I keep hoping some may recognized the truth a we tell it.

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  23. Don Bly Gene therapy can be used on all genetically pre disposed lefties; physically and politically eh?

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  24. Dc says: 24

    Greg and tadcf,
    The “truth” is marriage has always, up and to this point, been between persons of the opposite sex (man/woman). Your post did nothing to refute that fact. . Greg#11 offered nothing to this discussion but a juvenile attempt at an insult. Your agreement with Greg then is puzzling…unless that is the purpose/goal of your points…to insult?

    The question before us is should the long accepted, practiced, sexual orientation of marriage participants change..and why? To this point in time, the fact that women/mens roles have changed over time, societal etc., changes over time, have not altered the fact that marriage has always been between them as a couple. The fact that the reasons people marry, or how those roles are interpreted today has evolved over time, doesn’t change the fact that marriage has evolved in the context of a relationship between a man and a woman.

    Could our society eventually change to the point that no one even cares what the sexual orientation of those who get married is? Sure it could. But, that is not going to happen in our lifetime…obviously. Again I will say, if they would just focus on the legal areas where they are having problems…they would certainly find a LOT more support that they could build on and develop dialog. Somehow…I don’t really see that as being the issue they are concerned about.

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  25. Donald Bly says: 25

    Rich… is being a progressive/libtard a genetic malfunction? I’d always thought of it as a perfect storm of indoctrination, and several dozen bounces on the old noggin in early childhood!

    Don’t you like to play the game of paradox? Mind Candy, Mind Candy… either it is or it isn’t… all decisions are binary. Even shades of gray are binary… either it is this shade of gray or it isn’t.

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  26. dscott says: 27

    Well it seems the liberals have finally destroyed the concept of marriage and to boot the whole concept of Democracy. Some have made the remark that “marriage” is not mentioned in the Constitution. It is implied under the 10th Amendment:

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html

    The States have the right under the Constitution to regulate, i.e. license the activities of it’s citizenry. The Federal Government has no right to infringe upon these rights as this judge has done in error.

    Folks, many IMO are missing the real issue here, gay marriage imposed via the courts is a RED HERRING. The real issue is the Court’s invalidating the guarantee of the US Constitution that every State is to have a “Republican Form of government”.

    Section. 4.

    The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened), against domestic Violence.

    http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html

    What this judge did was to deny the voters of California their participation in their government under the Laws of California, sovereign State. In other words, the only choices offered to them are not choices at all but preapproved inane sanctimony to give the appearance of a democratic process. This is exactly what occured in the Soviet Union, a show election. What we have witnessed here is the Court literally engaging in a Coup de etat against the People of California to deny them a Republican form of governance. Whenever a minority imposes it’s will on the majority, that is called a dictatorship.

    This judge also violated the Court’s own rules, i.e. Stare Decisis. The law on marriage was settled for over 200+ years, the judge had no right to unsettle it. The matter of gay marriage is the sole provence of the People’s elected representatives or in CA’s case also a direct vote of the People via the State Constitution, not the Judiciary. The governor is very foolish not to challenge the judge since in essence he literally is giving up State Sovereignty to the whims of a judge who can pull a specious argument out of the air.

    Where in the Constitution does it say the Courts can over rule the wishes of the People? It doesn’t. We have now started down a very dangerous path that leads only to dictatorship. What’s next? The elites don’t like how much gas you use and then decide it’s illegal for you to drive your car? Don’t laugh since if you bothered actually listening to the insanity coming from the mouths of Obama’s appointed officials you know that’s their goal. If this ruling is allowed to stand, none of us is free never mind safe since now if you object to gay marriage you will be accused and convicted of HATE SPEECH. Political dissent on this issue will now be a criminal offense. Some of you haven’t been listening to what the late Senator Kennedy said and now you will pay the price.

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  27. tadcf says: 28

    Dc #12:

    Maybe they don’t care for your support. They’ve been fighting this battle for 40 years. Just like blacks didn’t have your support during the civil rights battle.

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  28. tadcf says: 29

    Dc #24:

    The modern world just goes to show that what always was doesn’t have to be what is presently.

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  29. @tadcf:

    Just like blacks didn’t have your support during the civil rights battle.

    So, you’re saying that Dc was a Dimocrat during the civil rights battle?

    Hmmmm….Interesting.

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  30. GaffaUK says: 31

    @Kevin

    Now, even the eternally optimistic part of me recognizes that this proposal could never, ever come to be – at least not in the US.

    Exactly – that would be like those who want to ‘rebadge’ Christmas as ‘Wintermas’ or another such names. I’m pretty sure the majority of those who are married (religious or otherwise) don’t want such silly and ugly names as being ‘unionised’ forced upon them. Marriage is a legal status recognised by the state – and that ceremony don’t have to happen in a religious context. Fortunately I’m sure that non-religious people within decent Western nations will never have their marriages degraded in such a way.

    Here’s an out of the box idea. If people who are married are so offended by having the status of marriage shared by gay people – then why don’t they rebadge their status to ‘civil union’? Hmmm does that work for ya?

    Basically I think people who don’t like gays want to keep the status of marriage to themselves and are trying to make out that marriage is somehow only to do with religion. It’s not. Nor is it only to do with reproducing children in a stable legal relationship. Otherwise why would people past their childbearing years or childless couples be able to marry? Although gay people have been around since people have been around – only now (with some exceptions) in history has western tolerance extended them rights from persecution. So it’s hard for people to envisgae seeing two guys or two women getting married. I guess it frightens some people. Shame – because it’s doesn’t degrade marriage at all. It’s called progress.

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  31. Dc says: 32

    I’m perfectly ok with having all “unions” defined the same way with respect to the law and having that law applied equally across the board — without the term “marriage” in it. Then relegate “marriage” to the state and religious institutions as a separate entity that decide who and how they want to marry people — beyond the legal definition that is same for everyone, and that protects everyone in terms of law. This would solve both sides issues. People who want equal rights would have it in terms of law. Same as everybody else. And people who want to continue marriage as a religious/state/societal institution are free to do so.

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  32. Kevin says: 33

    GaffaUK:

    Exactly – that would be like those who want to ‘rebadge’ Christmas as ‘Wintermas’ or another such names. I’m pretty sure the majority of those who are married (religious or otherwise) don’t want such silly and ugly names as being ‘unionised’ forced upon them. Marriage is a legal status recognised by the state – and that ceremony don’t have to happen in a religious context. Fortunately I’m sure that non-religious people within decent Western nations will never have their marriages degraded in such a way.

    Yeah, language is both an arbitrary and powerful thing; the combination of which, in this case, seems to be the source of tremendous division within Western society. It seems to me that you’d completely support my idea, just as long as we were able to switch the wording around: calling “marriage” in my idea, “civil union”; and “civil union”, “marriage”. Or is there more that you object to, than words alone? For the record, I’ll be happily married 10 years this September; and if it would mean never having to see another prop-8 debacle for the rest of my life, I’d gladly start calling myself and any so-qualified fellow gay citizens “unioned”.

    Side comment: Can we all at least agree that the issue itself, often flaring up to occupy weeks of media space, decade after decade, is just plain getting old? Relative to our floundering education, public infrastructure, economy, health care systems, national security, etc., how much should it really matter to our society if a gay man can or can’t be married to the person he calls his soulmate? I mean, if SCOTUS forbids gay marriage bans once and for all (and a subsequent best-effort to get a US constitutional heter-only-marriage ammendment passed FAILS by a landslide), are there any conservatives out there who will at least be a little relieved to see the whole thing laid to rest? Are any of you just getting a little sick and tired of it all? How bad do you think it would be – do you conservatives really think that with gay marriages allowed, with a few hundred thousand wedded gay couples roaming our country of 300,000,000, that your life will really change (i.e. that you’ll really wake up feeling less love and devotion to your spouse)?

    DC:

    I’m perfectly ok with having all “unions” defined the same way with respect to the law and having that law applied equally across the board — without the term “marriage” in it. They relegate “marriage” to the state and religious institutions as a separate entity that decide who and how they want to marry people — beyond the legal definition that is same for everyone, and that protects everyone in terms of law. This would solve both sides issues. People who want equal rights would have it in terms of law. Same as everybody else. And people who want to continue marriage as a religious/state/societal institution are free to do so.

    If you’d agree with my slight edits, then it would appear that you and I see completely eye-to-eye on the issue. Essentially, I feel “marriage” should be to “civil unions” what “christening” is to “assigning a legal name”. Unfortunately, I think the words and politics involved will forever be in the way of a solution that simply defines the problem out of existence.

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  33. Missy says: 34

    @dscott:

    Folks, many IMO are missing the real issue here, gay marriage imposed via the courts is a RED HERRING. The real issue is the Court’s invalidating the guarantee of the US Constitution that every State is to have a “Republican Form of government

    ”.

    You are right! Pay attention people. As for California, no more propositions their Governor or Attorney General aren’t in agreement with, no power to the people. Hello Governor Meg Whitman.

    The defendants in that case were Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown, but they declined to defend the law. As the losing parties, they have authority to appeal Walker’s ruling. But both Brown and Schwarzenegger hailed Walker’s decision and said they would not appeal.

    “The governor supports the judge’s ruling,” spokesman Aaron McLear said Thursday.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0813-gay-marriage-california-20100813,0,5087660.story

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  34. Donald Bly says: 35

    My core objection to gays being “married” is the re-defining of words. Our laws are constructed with words. Without words having definite meaning our laws have no definite meaning. If our laws have no definite meaning then our rights as guaranteed via that Constitution which is comprised of words has no stability. Without stability, there is chaos.

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  35. I wonder if the words “homosexual” and “heterosexual” will soon be redefined to both mean the same thing, you know, in the interest of equality and inclusion.

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  36. Donald Bly says: 37

    The judge is using the equal protections clause to justify overturning Prop 8. Just out of curiosity wouldn’t taxing one individual at 50% of their income and another at 10% of their income therefore be a violation of that same clause?

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  37. Dc says: 38

    Yes….and we must remove the gender “bias” in pageants, etc., so that they are all inclusive. No more “Miss America” or Miss Universe. That’s “discriminatory gender bias. We are all free to choose our gender. Women who look like men. Men who look like women. Great…we’ll get to see some harry Scot playing flute dancing around in a kilt to club music for talent. Or have some tranny with a nut bulge wearing a bikini explain in her deep, adams apple voice that God gave him/her but massive doses of female hormones could not hide…how all she wants to do is help save the little stupid children, etc.?

    Should there even “be” Mr. or Mrs, or Miss..given our gender neutral laws? Where is the harm? We are all just “persons”….its just…some of us have different parts for no good reason other than to rub up against each other with?

    I’m glad I’ll be dead and gone before we get there.

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  38. Cary says: 39

    @Aye Chihuahua:

    Actually, Aye, that isn’t a bad idea. Then we could completley do away with defining people by their sexual and romantic preferences. Once we’re all equal in the eyes of the law, we can start seeing the differences that truly matter – the ones that make us each unique and special.

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  39. @Cary:

    Once we’re all equal in the eyes of the law, we can start seeing the differences that truly matter – the ones that make us each unique and special.

    Yes, we’ll be able to see the differences but will not be able to speak or write of them because descriptive terms will have been redefined so that they all mean the same thing.

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  40. Cary says: 41

    @Aye Chihuahua:


    Jack was a self confident, if not cocky, red haired stocky man of a young-looking mid-30’s. He had been the star quarterback of his high school football team, of which he holds fond memories. After closing up his successful tudor period faux antique shop early in the evening, he walked briskly through the barren streets as a light mist fell from the darkening skies. He liked the feeling on his face, so chose not to use the umbrella he kept folded in his briefcase. He could hear the thunder in the distance drawing closer and closer, as well as flashes of lighting growing more frequent. He quickened his pace until he got to his apartment building, where as soon as he went through the steel plated revolving doors, the faithful doorman, Pat O’Grady, greeted him with a warm smile, saying, “Looks like ye made it just in time, mate!”

    Jack nodded with a chuckle as he entered the elevator to the 10th floor, in which he liked to dance as soon as the doors closed, not knowing that there were cameras on inside, and that Mr. O’Grady found it the most entertaining moment of his night as he watched on the monitors.

    Before Jack even opened the door to his apartment, he could smell the scent of rosemary and basil filling the hallway. He walked in to find Andrew, his high school sweetheart and the love of his life, in an apron, standing over the stove, making Rosemary Veal Chops, with Cous cous mixed in basil and olive oil, with a side of mozzarella and tomato, his favorite. He knew that Andrew was kissing up to him because he wanted to watch the series finale of American Idol on the large screen television instead of basketball on ESPN. Jack smiled, and decided to give in, so long as they could open the bottle of 1974 Reserve Barbera Andrew had been saving for a special occasion. When the power suddenly went out, they lit a candle and laughed.

    How’s that, bud? I know it needs work, I was thinking it up as I went along!

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  41. Cary says: 42

    Funny, now that I’ve put down that much, I’ve a whole back story developing in my head of how Jack and Andrew met! LMAO!!

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  42. tadcf says: 43

    Donald Blye #35:

    The one characteristic common to words is that they change their meaning over time.

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  43. tadcf says: 44

    Aye Chihuahua #30:

    I don’t believe I’m saying whatever you’re saying.

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  44. @tadcf:

    Well, what are you saying then?

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  45. tadcf says: 46

    Aye Chihuahua:

    The question is: What are you saying I said and when and where?

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  46. @tadcf:

    Scroll up on the page.

    I quoted your post.

    I’ve told you already that I have neither the time nor the patience to spoon feed you.

    Please try to keep up.

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  47. Patvann says: 48

    Really Mr. Wedding Bands? Even though we used Klingon to write it, and we hate the thought of material representations of man’s overbearing history over women? (Not to mention being alergic to anything less than 18 carats.)

    Please say hello to your wife and daughter, and can I ask how much you want for them, please?

    Come back soon, I’m in a hurry. :mrgreen:

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