Our New Conspirator:

I'm delighted to welcome Dale Carpenter, who teaches law at the University of Minnesota, as a new member of the Volokh Conspiracy. (Many of you may remember him from his guest-blogging early last November.)

Dale graduated from the University of Chicago School of Law, where he was one of the founders of the law school's conservative debating group, the Edmund Burke Society. He clerked for Judge Edith Jones on the Fifth Circuit, practiced for several years, and in 2000 started at Minnesota, where he teaches and writes on Constitutional Law, the First Amendment, and Sexual Orientation and the Law. He also writes a regular column called OutRight for several gay newspapers around the country; many of these columns can be accessed here.

Welcome, Prof. Carpenter. Really enjoyed your posts last year.
2.7.2006 10:33pm
A2 Reader:
2.7.2006 10:43pm
Kovarsky (mail):
shout out to 515 rusk. too many cameras out there nowadays.
2.7.2006 10:44pm
Great addition! Welcome.
2.7.2006 10:51pm
JR (mail) (www):
I agree that Prof. Carpenter is a nice addition to this site. Like Steve, I enjoyed his earlier guest posts. As a person who has moral objections to homosexual acts, I found his approach to gay marriage to be reasonable. His posts gave me something to think about. Also, I found him to be a very nice person when I e-mailed him privately. Welcome Professor Carpenter!
2.7.2006 10:53pm
Great addition! I really enjoyed Professor Carpenter's blogging last year and bought the book Gay Marriage : Why It Is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America (which I enjoyed) on his recomendation.
2.7.2006 10:55pm
Wow! Great news -- Professor Carpenter is an excellent addition. (And, by alphabetical coincidence, he now gets top billing on the list of conspirators...)
2.7.2006 10:58pm
Justin (mail):
Much better choice than Maggie Gallegher. Though I'm somewhat disappointed you didn't go with Clayton Cramer ;)
2.7.2006 11:01pm

That was welcoming! :-P
2.7.2006 11:16pm
Welcome, Dale! Now maybe I can get to ask a question about which I have always wondered and get an answer from someone knowledgable.

Why aren't gays in favor of a "civil union" contract that would give them each and every benefit that married people have?

I ask because just as the offensive cartoons are legal but upset a lot of religious people, "gay marriage" is always going to upset a lot of religious people, and will always be a divisive issue.

If I were gay, I would be absolutely incensed that I couldn't participate in the benefits that married people enjoy, but I would be totally assuaged if I got all those benefits through a civil union contract.

Is insisting on "gay marriage" a political tactic, rather than a practical proposal?
2.7.2006 11:21pm
CaDan (mail):
Minnesota, hats off to thee!
2.7.2006 11:24pm
Marcus1 (mail) (www):
Too cool! This place is becoming like the Google of blogs...
2.8.2006 12:12am
Anthony Sanders (mail):
As a a former student of Dale's it's wonderful news to see he's joined the VC. Another reason I will accomplish nothing in my free time other than read this blog. Welcome!
2.8.2006 12:36am
Welcome! If the gay marriage posts were any indication, we're all in for some insightful, lucid, and compelling posts! I look forward to it.
2.8.2006 12:44am
Another reason I will accomplish nothing in my free time other than read this blog.

We should take out a class action against the moderators :)

But at least you, Anthony, are only addicted in your free time!
2.8.2006 12:45am
James Lindgren (mail):

Jim Lindgren
2.8.2006 1:05am
Pooh (www):
Professor C,

As another former student, let me say welcome! I enjoyed your posting in the fall and look forward to more of the same.
2.8.2006 1:31am
Wintermute (www):
I guess my days of gay-bashing on the VC are over. JK ;-)

Maybe I could get the new guy to edit my old post on Gay Marriage.

I'm gonna start using the nick Rodney Dangerfield. This is a conspiracy; but since it crosses state lines, it carries the same penalty as the substantive offense. So watch it. :P
2.8.2006 2:42am
Kieran Jadiker-Smith (mail):
What a terrific choice. I appreciated his stint as a guest-blogger here and I'm very pleased we'll be reading more from him.
2.8.2006 2:55am
Hugh59 (mail) (www):
He is Volokh. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.
2.8.2006 6:38am
Welcome Dale! Wonderful news, last year you were brilliant, and provided a wonderfully clearminded perspective on gay marriage.

minnie - I can't speak for Dale but I for one would be skeptical of civil unions as full marriage rights for the following reason. In the gay marriage debates on here for example that scenario was brought up. "why not support civil unions where all the rights of marriage could be had?" or some other similar alternative. The operative word unfortunately is "could". Such a program doesn't automatically give the rights of marriage, it merely "could" do what marriage "does" do. Simplicity is usually preferable to complexity.

Although I wouldn't object certainly and would feel that equality was reached if the law gave equivalent status to married couples and Unioned couples.
2.8.2006 1:16pm
Thank you Kendall. If simplicity is a virtue, couldn't the law simply say that each and every legal right that is granted to married couples shall also be granted to Unioned couples?

Wintermute: I read your article on gay marriage. I agree with the position that these economic subsidies are a bad thing, for both married couples and unioned couples. Of course, the economic subsidies are distinct from some of the most important rights of married couples, e.g., the right to not have joint assets taxed at death, and the right to continue living in a home or apartment.

What I didn't understand from that article is whether you were for or against gay marriage, if one subtracts the economic subsidies to which you object.
2.8.2006 3:00pm
lucia (mail) (www):
Great choice!
2.8.2006 3:58pm
Gene Vilensky (mail) (www):
Is Dale Carpenter Juan Non-Volokh? Like Juan, he did undergrad in History at Yale. Hmmm...
2.8.2006 4:50pm
Juan Non-Volokh (mail) (www):
Welcome Dale. It's a pleasure to have you on board.

2.8.2006 5:05pm