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SSM bill dead in NY for 2009:

The warring factions of New York Democrats have finally struck a deal to allow them to gain control of the state senate. According to the Daily News, one casualty of the deal is same-sex marriage, which has already passed the state assembly, but which will not get a senate floor vote next year after all:

A bill to legalize same-sex marriage will not be brought to the floor of the Senate for a vote this year. [Senate Minority Leader Malcolm] Smith will announce that he does not believe the measure has sufficient votes to pass - a statement that is at this point undoubtedly true, although it's unclear how long that will last if, as Democrats are hoping, the prospect of being in the minority leads to mass GOP retirements.

This means that, at least for another year, and possibly for the entire session or even until such time as more Republicans are defeated in the state senate, New York will continue to permit its same-sex couples to cross the border into Massachusetts, Connecticut, or Canada to get full official marital recognition at home -- but will not allow them to get married in their own state.

Syd Henderson (mail):
I thought you had to be actually a citizen of Massachusetts to get married there.
12.5.2008 11:21am
Jamie (mail):
This after they campaigned on the issue, promising they'd push the issue if they won control of the state senate.

Once again, Democrats pay lip service to gays without doing much of anything for them.
12.5.2008 11:40am
John425:
Hey, let's do it all in one fell swoop. Make it OK for a mother to marry her son, let's bring back plural marriages, and by all means, reduce the age of consent and let that 49 year old man fulfill his wishes on a 9 year old girl.
12.5.2008 11:45am
MCM (mail):

Hey, let's do it all in one fell swoop. Make it OK for a mother to marry her son, let's bring back plural marriages, and by all means, reduce the age of consent and let that 49 year old man fulfill his wishes on a 9 year old girl.


After that, we can make men out of straw and talk about what bad people they are!
12.5.2008 11:48am
alkali (mail):
@Syd Henderson: Actually, the law was that out-of-state persons could get married in Mass. unless the marriage wouldn't be valid in their home state. That law was repealed this summer.
12.5.2008 11:52am
AnotherMike:

Once again, Democrats pay lip service to gays without doing much of anything for them.


Kind of reminds you of the way Republicans deal with social conservatives.
12.5.2008 12:03pm
Adam J:
AnotherMike- Do they? Republicans managed to pass DOMA (with Clinton signing the bill no less) while twelve states ban any recognition of any form of same-sex unions including civil union, twenty-eight states have adopted amendments to their state constitution prohibiting same sex marriage, and another twenty states have enacted statutory DOMAs. That doesn't seem like lip service to social conservativism to me.
12.5.2008 12:09pm
richard cabeza:
AnotherMike, surely you meant "fiscal" instead of "social."
12.5.2008 12:15pm
Steve:
I don't know how much money marriage tourism really accounts for, but in this economy, New York State needs all the help it can get.
12.5.2008 12:19pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Homosexuals are about 3% of the population. I don't know how many want to marry, but let's say 1/3. Why should NY, or any legislature for that matter, tie itself up on an issue that affects about 1% of the population? Particularly when SSM has not been the norm for pretty much all of civilized history. Of course we should be concerned if even tiny minority are suffering. But I'm sorry-- not being able to marry someone of the same sex is not suffering, particularly when you can cohabit, and form legal partnerships. What's really at stake is the desire of homosexuals to have their lifestyle officially recognized. If a clear majority of citizens want that, fine. But this endless haggling over an issue that affects so few people has become both tiresome and a distraction from the more important business of government. Enough already.
12.5.2008 12:21pm
Former New Yorker (mail):
If I were a Republican state senator, I would hold tight. Midterm elections, especially where one party controls both Congress and Presidency, are generally quite bad for that party. Republicans may regain the state senate in 2010, and hold it for a few years.

If I were a prospective Republican candidate for governor, I would adopt a pro-civil-unions position, but opposed to any redefinition of marriage--and hope this issue stays on the table. The remaining social conservatives in New York would be thrilled, and the issue, if mildly prominent, would prove a net benefit at the polls.

And as a social-conservative refugee from New York, I would be pleasantly surprised.

And John, you way overstate your strawman argument. But if and when marriage shall be successfully redefined as "gender-neutral," the movement to abolish some remaining discriminations--i.e., on the basis of number (why two and not three??) and, later, consanguinity (if "marriage" is just about sterline "coupling,"--why discriminate against incestuous unions??) are as sure to come as the sun setting, or as Democrats raising taxes.
12.5.2008 12:51pm
Real American (mail):
wow. liberal politicians worried about what their constituents might think of them bending over to a powerful special interest group with a radical agenda is something you don't see everyday.
12.5.2008 12:51pm
jrose:
What's really at stake is the desire of homosexuals to have their lifestyle officially recognized.

Apart from the legal benefits, more like the desire to view same-sex relationships as equally deserving of marriage as opposite-sex ones.

If a clear majority of citizens want that, fine. But this endless haggling over an issue that affects so few people has become both tiresome and a distraction from the more important business of government.

First, you complained (independent of the merits) about courts mandating SSM. Now you complain (independent of the merits) about elected representatives providing SSM. Come on, stop the charade. You oppose SSM on the merits.
12.5.2008 12:58pm
jrose:
But if and when marriage shall be successfully redefined as "gender-neutral," the movement to abolish some remaining discriminations--i.e., on the basis of number (why two and not three??) and, later, consanguinity (if "marriage" is just about sterline "coupling,"--why discriminate against incestuous unions??)

If a court mandated SSM, I find it unpersuasive that such precedent would require plural or incestuous marriage. But even if you disagree, that's not the issue here. If a legislature chooses to provide SSM, it's free to stop and draw the line right there (as it does today, short of SSM).
12.5.2008 1:03pm
man from mars:
Zarkov,

What you fail to appreciate is that the by not having the ability to marry, same-sex partners do not retain the spousal privilege protecting them from having to testify against their partners.

This is tantamount to a legal lynching. Imagine not having the right to choose a person against whom you cannot be compelled to testify in a court of law.

Fortunately, forward-thinking courts in California and Massachusetts have tried to prevent this civil rights abomination, and brave demonstrators across the land have continued to persuade bigoted opponents of the importance of respecting constitutional liberties.
12.5.2008 1:03pm
Aultimer:
man from mars -

Well played, sir.

While I am horrified that the government gets a monopoly on establishing religious unions, it clear that SSM as an issue is a net win for the far right, and net loss for those who want one. Two more years of NY squabbling are now guaranteed.
12.5.2008 1:26pm
cmr:
Apart from the legal benefits, more like the desire to view same-sex relationships as equally deserving of marriage as opposite-sex ones.


I really wish pro-SSM proponents would choose which side they want to come down on with this debate. Because people on both sides, including President Bush, have shown massive support for civil unions that grant most, if not all, the same rights of marriage...and when people say it's probably a more politically advantageous campaign to go after the rights because of the deep-seated beliefs about "marriage" in this country, proponents shoo those ideas away for the more ambitious and dicier premise of also getting marriage (in name and legal recognition).

This would be why a lot of social moderates are against SSM, because it seems like they enjoy the battling (and ensuing put-upon flouncing when they lose) and theater of complaining about gay marriage.
12.5.2008 1:52pm
nicehonesty:
Oh my God, they killed Kenny the SSM bill! You bastards!
12.5.2008 2:05pm
Coldwarkid (mail):
I'm inclined to think that, as many same sex marriage proponents point out, given the posture of separation of church and state, that that argument itself should be turned the other way around. Since there is separation of church and state, allow the state to declare civil unions, and the church (read whatever religious body you'd like there) should declare marriage. Straight and homosexual couples could be eligible for civil unions, while the church retains the right to perform the religious ritual of marriage. The leftist illuminati seem to die on every hill, as the saying goes, instead of picking their battles. I think a better strategy would be to fight for civil unions.
12.5.2008 2:11pm
Putting Two and Two...:

This would be why a lot of social moderates are against SSM, because it seems like they enjoy the battling (and ensuing put-upon flouncing when they lose) and theater of complaining about gay marriage.


No doubt you can back up that observation with instances of "flouncing" in places where SSM is the law, like Massachusetts or Canada.

I hear that Boston gays are now demanding businessmen stop wearing those tacky colored shirts with the white collars.
12.5.2008 2:14pm
cmr:
I'm inclined to think that, as many same sex marriage proponents point out, given the posture of separation of church and state, that that argument itself should be turned the other way around. Since there is separation of church and state, allow the state to declare civil unions, and the church (read whatever religious body you'd like there) should declare marriage. Straight and homosexual couples could be eligible for civil unions, while the church retains the right to perform the religious ritual of marriage. The leftist illuminati seem to die on every hill, as the saying goes, instead of picking their battles. I think a better strategy would be to fight for civil unions.


I'm curious to know if people who make this argument really believe it will ever happen, or are they fallaciously appealing to moderation to avoid saying they either (1) disagree with SSM and feel they should settle for civil unions, or (2) agree with SSM mostly based on their low opinion of the institution of marriage.


No doubt you can back up that observation with instances of "flouncing" in places where SSM is the law, like Massachusetts or Canada.

I hear that Boston gays are now demanding businessmen stop wearing those tacky colored shirts with the white collars.


Read what I said again. When those who support SSM lose, they flounce, as evidenced by the massive rallying, the ACLU and Lambda Legal taking this issue back to the CA Supremes, the vandalism, the in-church protesting, the Bible burning, etc.
12.5.2008 2:25pm
Pragmatist:

Why should NY, or any legislature for that matter, tie itself up on an issue that affects about 1% of the population?

Sure, and less than 0.1% of the population is murdered each year, so why do we waste time making all those laws about that?

Just because very few people want to enter a homosexual marriage doesn't mean it doesn't affect many more people, just like others being murdered affects us.
12.5.2008 2:40pm
Norman Bates (mail):
Those poo-pooing the slippery slope argument that allowing homosexuals to marry one another will inevitably lead to demands for incestuous, polygamous, and minor-partner marriages (child abuse) undoubtedly include the same people who pointed out how absurd it was to argue that Sullivan v. Texas would lead to demands that homosexuals be allowed to marry one another.
12.5.2008 2:47pm
Pragmatist:

This is tantamount to a legal lynching. Imagine not having the right to choose a person against whom you cannot be compelled to testify in a court of law.

Even if the government completely removed your right to spousal privilege (which they haven't, they only restrict it to someone of the opposite sex), I don't see how that is any form of "legal lynching". If it really that important to you that you not be compelled to testify against others (and I doubt that's a major reason anyone decides to get married) you can always make yourself a doctor, psychiatrist, spiritual adviser, etc.
12.5.2008 3:08pm
Elliot123 (mail):
"I'm curious to know if people who make this argument really believe it will ever happen, or are they fallaciously appealing to moderation to avoid saying they either (1) disagree with SSM and feel they should settle for civil unions, or (2) agree with SSM mostly based on their low opinion of the institution of marriage."

Civil marriage requires $25, unmarried opposite sex partners of legal age, and two witnesses. It's harder to register a used car. How much lower can the standard get?

I'm amazed anyone fights for or against it. There's nothing there.
12.5.2008 3:10pm
Steve:
Those poo-pooing the slippery slope argument that allowing homosexuals to marry one another will inevitably lead to demands for incestuous, polygamous, and minor-partner marriages (child abuse) undoubtedly include the same people who pointed out how absurd it was to argue that Sullivan v. Texas would lead to demands that homosexuals be allowed to marry one another.

If I had ever, in my life, heard the Sullivan decision urged as a reason why gay marriage should be permitted, this would be a powerful argument indeed.
12.5.2008 3:22pm
Ben P:

Even if the government completely removed your right to spousal privilege (which they haven't, they only restrict it to someone of the opposite sex), I don't see how that is any form of "legal lynching". If it really that important to you that you not be compelled to testify against others (and I doubt that's a major reason anyone decides to get married) you can always make yourself a doctor, psychiatrist, spiritual adviser, etc.


I'm sure you would applaud a court finding doctor-patient or clerical privilege on the thinnest of factual grounds when it was claimed in such a situation then?

No judge, this man is his therapist, and anything the told him while they were living together was privileged.

I'm suprised you can assert that with a straight face.
12.5.2008 3:42pm
Yankev (mail):

If I had ever, in my life, heard the Sullivan decision urged as a reason why gay marriage should be permitted, this would be a powerful argument indeed.

If I had known that, I would have invited you to an ADL meeting in Columbus some years back where exactly that argument was advanced.
12.5.2008 3:44pm
Yankev (mail):
A Zarkov, according to the Crystal Dixon thread at VC you have now epxressed bigoted opinions that justify banning you from any public employment, lest your views endanger the freedom of us all. Big Sibling is watching you.
12.5.2008 3:46pm
Thomas_Holsinger:
IMO this is just normal New York politics, and you guys are stretching to find greater meanings in it. In particular you assume that SSM is important to New York Democratic elected officials or, for that matter, most any elected official.

Power and money are important to them. The public interest is secondary. The interests of groups with little money or votes are way, way, low on the list. Right now New York politicians seem to be treating SSM as a distraction, or at least a matter of no special importance.

I realize it is just tragic that your hot button issue is not given the priority you want, but suck it up. This is democracy. You guys need to make alliances.

And the post-Prop. 8 antics of gay lunatics in California are burying those alliances here in the dead cold ground. Some maturity would help a whole lot.

And if grown-up behavior is too much to ask, expect politicians to treat you with the respect you deserve.
12.5.2008 3:56pm
Pragmatist:

I'm sure you would applaud a court finding doctor-patient or clerical privilege on the thinnest of factual grounds when it was claimed in such a situation then?

No, I never suggested anyone claim such privilege fraudulently, nor did I assume man from mars was advocating marrying someone after being asked to testify just to assert privilege.

If privilege is of such utmost importance to someone that they would enlist the state to create new laws in order to have that privilege with one person, I'd expect a choice of profession or level of religious participation that grants privilege to many more people would be even more desirable and easier to attain. It's not a legal arguement for or against SSM, I'm just saying there's no reason to dig a well next to a stream in this situation.
12.5.2008 4:15pm
James Gibson (mail):
Thomas Holsinger makes the point, this is just New York Politics. Issues are brought forth by money and political connections. Politicians latch on to these issues to attack the opposition party, or to increase their own power and or wealth. Once there is no money in continuing the issue, or the promoters are in power and no longer need the issue, continuing to promote something that could be used by your opponents is usually suicidal.

The Dems in New York want to retain/increase their power in the State Senate. They have not had a majority in this body since 1965 and they only have a one vote majority as it is. To believe the GOP will suddenly roll-over and die (retire) is hardly likely, regardless of what ultra-liberals want to believe.

Further, please note that it appears the new majority only was possible by the election of some "Blue Dogs". Conservative, probably more religious (It seems a number are Hispanic) moderate Dems who will not automatically follow the dictates of the Ultra-left. Blue dogs are becoming an issue within the Democratic party as their numbers increase and they begin flexing their muscle in shaping Democratic policy.
12.5.2008 4:48pm
John Howard (eggandsperm.org) (mail) (www):
It is very good news because it's time to address this issue nationally, and NY may as well wait a bit to see what Obama brings to the equation.

I think Congress will need to make a compromise, they won't be able to fully repeal DOMA if it means recognizing same-sex marriage, clearly that is not going to pass. And they won't be able to simply recognize state Civil Unions without defining the minimum standards, as well as specifying a distinction to make them constitutional and acceptable to the majority of people that want to protect marriage.

Congress should repeal DOMA with a law that recognizes Civil Unions that are defined as "marriage minus conception rights" in other words, all the rights of marriage except the right to attempt to conceive children together. So California and New York should enact that sort of Civil Union legislation so that it can be recognized right away.
12.5.2008 4:57pm
John Howard (eggandsperm.org) (mail) (www):
(of course, Massachusetts, Connecticut and the other states that give all of the rights of marriage in civil unions are all going to have to do some work to change same-sex couples over to Civil Unions that are defined the was Congress says they have to be defined in order for them to be recognized as if marriages. So my point is that New York may as well wait a little bit rather than go through everything twice.)
12.5.2008 5:30pm
Big Bill (mail):

"Why should NY, or any legislature for that matter, tie itself up on an issue that affects about 1% of the population?"

For its symbolism, obviously. The same reason that racial and ethnic minorities hammer Christmas trees, the Pledge of Allegiance, prayer is school, and Congressional declarations of undying love for Israel's latest hobby-horse.

The point is to destroy the "hegemony" of the dominant ethny. For example, there are those within Israel who would force Israel to remove the star of David from its flag "to reflect its multicultural heritage". There are those who are busy changing the names of all the South Africa cities to honor black terrorists.

None of it really "matters", of course, unless your tradition is being squeezed out.
12.5.2008 5:32pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Yankev:

"A Zarkov, according to the Crystal Dixon thread at VC you have now epxressed bigoted opinions that justify banning you from any public employment, lest your views endanger the freedom of us all."

I'm fireproof. Moreover my work has saved the government lots of money. They would be the loser in such a circumstance.
12.5.2008 9:34pm
jab:
You would never know from reading the comments on every blog post dealing with gays that this was a LIBERTARIAN blog and not a blog associated with Focus on the Family.
12.5.2008 9:34pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Man from Mars:

"What you fail to appreciate is that the by not having the ability to marry, same-sex partners do not retain the spousal privilege protecting them from having to testify against their partners."


Perhaps that's a big problem on Mars. But here on earth it's a small problem. I should think that sort of problem would come up no more than 5% of the time. So .01 x .05= 0.0005= .05%. Hardly a pressing social problem. More I think that doctrine has largely eroded anyway. Not only that, blood relatives don't enjoy that kind of immunity either. Blood is thicker than water.
12.5.2008 9:40pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
jrose:

"Apart from the legal benefits, more like the desire to view same-sex relationships as equally deserving of marriage as opposite-sex ones."


I don't see why they are equally deserving.
12.5.2008 9:42pm
trad and anon (mail):
What's really at stake is the desire of homosexuals to have their lifestyle officially recognized.
The legal benefits are the most important thing, but the symbolism is also important. If symbolism didn't matter, we wouldn't have these culture-war fights over flag-burning, Ten Commandments monuments, and the decision of certain states to fly the Confederate Battle Flag over the statehouse. When people want those policies changed, supporters of the status quo don't say, "let's just give in on this one; those things aren't important enough to spend time and energy defending." That's because symbolism matters.
But this endless haggling over an issue that affects so few people has become both tiresome and a distraction from the more important business of government.
You may find it tiresome, which is your right. But it affects some of us personally, and obviously we care. It affects more people indirectly when their friends, family, parents, etc. cannot marry, and they care too. But I agree that it is far from the most important issue facing this country today, especially when you consider that the world economy is collapsing into little tiny pieces.
12.6.2008 2:28am
A. Zarkov (mail):
"But I agree that it is far from the most important issue facing this country today, especially when you consider that the world economy is collapsing into little tiny pieces."

Exactly my point. The current economic situation is extremely serious. In my opinion Depression II could be far worse, than the original Great Depression. The legislatures need to go beyond these symbolic cultural fights that affect tiny minorities.
12.6.2008 2:46am
Elais:
A. Zarkov,

I would hardly call the gay/lesbian community a 'tiny minority'. That just shows your clear bias against gays/lesbians by reducing them to little more than ants to be stepped on.

I am straight and I see little legal and social difference between same-sex and opposite sex couples and I am always baffled by attitudes like yours and others like you.

You should take off your homophobic-colored glasses once in a while.

Too bad NY gays/lesbians are being thrown under the bus and run over by Democrats in their bid to retain power.

Normal Bates

People are poo-pooing slipperly slope arguements because that is the right attitude to take. I am puzzled by those claiming that a man marrying another man suddenly means that a man will soon be allowed to marry his 10 year old neice. Most proponents of this 'slippery slope' find same-sex 'icky' and compare it to the ickiest rother elationships they can think of.

Sort of like claiming that if a woman is allowed to marry her poodle, that women will soon be allowed to marry the grass on her lawn. The equality of the two is ridiculous to the extreme and so is the 'slippery slope' argument.
12.6.2008 10:22am
A. Zarkov (mail):
Elais:


"I would hardly call the gay/lesbian community a 'tiny minority'."


I explained why I said that. Several years ago we had a VC thread on what fraction of the population were homosexual. As I recall, the best authorities on this subject said 4% for men and 2% for women. That makes 3% of the population. Now not every homosexual wants to marry, and I think a reason upper bound is 1/3. Thus we are talking about 1% of the population. Don't you think that's a tiny minority? Do you have better data? If so, then share it with us.

"I am straight and I see little legal and social difference between same-sex and opposite sex couples..."


That's your problem.

"I am always baffled by attitudes like yours and others like you."

Similarly I'm baffled by your attitude.

"You should take off your homophobic-colored glasses once in a while."

You should stop the name calling. I was an advocate for homosexuals long ago-- way way before it was fashionable to do so. And I got called names then too.
12.6.2008 11:03am
Lymis (mail):
Your logic is flawed.

If gay people are such a tiny minority, then why is granting us equality such a huge threat? What effect is such a tiny minority going to have on the way that the majority understands and experiences marriage?

No law has been proposed that in any way changes the eligibility of straight people to marry each other, the rights and obligations that arise out of it, or the means for straight people to enter and (if chosen) leave a marriage. (With the possible exception of minor modifications to the application paperwork, and if that is going to bring society crashing down, we have a problem.)

There is always a huge amount of discussion about why same-sex marriage is or isn't the same as opposite-sex marriage, but there is never any discussion of what all the dangerous effects that this is supposed to have on the existing of future opposite-sex marriages.

The answer to your objection that same-sex couples wishing to marry are statistically insignificant is to allow it and move on, rather than to keep fighting against it with such vigor. At the very least, there is no basis for claiming that dropping the issue is the reasonable and obvious solution.

If it doesn't matter in the slightest with regards allowing the majority to live their lives, and only benefits the minority, what is the possible justification for denying it, beyond mere privilege and prejudice?

It's pretty obvious why we care so much. Why do you?
12.6.2008 11:21am
A. Zarkov (mail):
Lymis:

"If gay people are such a tiny minority, then why is granting us equality such a huge threat?"

It's probably not a huge threat. Nevertheless I don't see any compelling reason why the other 99% of society should bend to the demands of a tiny minority. If in the future a majority wants SSM then grant it. In the meantime, there are much more important things to be concerned about, and I don't think our legislatures and courts should devote their valuable time to a peripheral issue.
12.6.2008 1:15pm
jrose:
If in the future a majority wants SSM then grant it. In the meantime, there are much more important things to be concerned about, and I don't think our legislatures and courts should devote their valuable time to a peripheral issue.

Stop being disingenuous. It's not going to be fine with you if the majority grants SSM. Your opposition has nothing to do with legislative priority. You will still oppose it when the more pressing matters are dealt with.
12.6.2008 1:28pm
John Howard (eggandsperm.org) (mail) (www):
I will continue to fight against same-sex marriage and genetic engineering after we settle on Civil Unions defined as "marriage minus conception rights", but only because undoubtedly there will be people fighting for genetic engineering and same-sex conception and same-sex marriage after we enact the Compromise.

The public hasn't had much of a chance to consider the pros and cons of banning genetic engineering and same-sex conception yet, but certainly it should be banned first, and then we should debate whether to unban it or not. It shouldn't continue to be allowed while it is so unsafe and we are so unsure about whether it is a good idea or not.

But in the meantime, we should have uniform civil union laws in every state, with federal recognition as if they were marriages. I'll argue that it should be like that forever, as we won't realize all the benefits to society of stopping Transhumanism and genetic engineering unless they are stopped permanently and all the research diverted to useful medicine.
12.6.2008 2:05pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
"Stop being disingenuous. It's not going to be fine with you if the majority grants SSM."

We will just have to wait and see on that.
12.6.2008 2:39pm
jrose:
Zarkov,

You haven't made up your mind on the merits of SSM? What's holding you up?
12.6.2008 2:48pm
trad and anon (mail):
A. Zarkov--I don't know where you got your 1/3 figure from. Certainly the fraction of heterosexuals who want to marry is much higher than what; what's your basis for thinking gays are so different than everyone else? In any case, a tiny minority is still millions of people, and even tinier minorities still deserve to have their rights protected.

Accepting your figures, then gay people who want to marry at some point vastly outnumber straight Wyomingers who want to marry at some point. I don't think you'd be fine with it if Americans followed California and passed a federal Constitutional amendment that barred straight Wyomingers from marrying, no matter how strong the popular support.
12.6.2008 3:44pm
Elliot123 (mail):
Is anyone here capable of defining marriage? If not, why continue to fight? It appears you are all fughting over SSX.
12.6.2008 3:45pm
John Howard (eggandsperm.org) (mail) (www):
Sure, I can define marriage, Elliot123: it is the official approval and consent to conceive children together.
12.6.2008 4:03pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
"I don't think you'd be fine with it if Americans followed California and passed a federal Constitutional amendment that barred straight Wyomingers from marrying, no matter how strong the popular support."

I'd be ok if the amendment applied to all the states. Why grant only Wyoming relief?
12.6.2008 5:37pm
Elliot123 (mail):
"Sure, I can define marriage, Elliot123: it is the official approval and consent to conceive children together."

Does state law say that? Which state?
12.6.2008 8:25pm
Kevin P. (mail):

Once again, Democrats pay lip service to gays without doing much of anything for them.


Heh heh. He said lip service. Heh heh.

Just kidding :-)
12.6.2008 9:52pm
Thomas_Holsinger:
New York legislators have little interest in gay marriage because it is only a symbolic issue. It does not involve money and power, particularly money and power for New York legislators.

Gays should be more generous with deserving New York legislators if they really want SSM.

Or start making alliances with non-gay groups. This would, however, require responsible political behavior by gay groups. And that is a real problem.

As ye sow, so shall ye reap.

It is starting to look like gay rights, like feminism, has jumped the shark.
12.6.2008 11:45pm
Randy R. (mail):
"Or start making alliances with non-gay groups. This would, however, require responsible political behavior by gay groups. And that is a real problem. "

Considering the fact that even in California, the prop 8 passed only by a 4 point margin, I'd say we are doing a pretty darn good job on reaching out to non-gay people to support our rights. Since we are a tiny minority, according to Zarkov, how else would we come so close to getting gay marriage?

And when it comes to other gay rights issues, such as lifting the ban on gays serving openly in the military, support is at about 70%.

Funny, though. A clear majority of Americans support civil unions for gays, and just about 10 years ago, that was considered quite radical. Remember Vermont? Today, that's the *conservative* position! Heck, even Tony Perkins is in favor of civil unions.
12.7.2008 12:04am
Elliot123 (mail):
"Or start making alliances with non-gay groups. This would, however, require responsible political behavior by gay groups. And that is a real problem."

Gays can be very responsible in political behavior. I observe an unfortunate tendency to make things harder for themselves, but that's the path they have chosen. It doesn't make it irresponsible.
12.7.2008 12:29am
Thomas_Holsinger:
Randy,

The California Teachers Association has reassessed its relationship with gays into the cold dead ground due to the childish and counter-productive reaction to Proposition 8 passing. And the CTA plus other non-gay groups opposing Prop. 8 were the reason why it passed by a smaller margin than Prop. 22.

The CTA and non-gay groups opposing Prop. 8. overtly excluded gay groups and leaders from major roles in that campaign due to a well-justified belief that the latter were irresponsible. Which belief was proven correct by what happened after the election.

Failure to note the major differences between the relative power and effectiveness of the No On Prop. 22 and No On Prop. 8 campaigns is self-delusion. The latter was much mroe effective because the non-gay groups took over and poured much of their money and effort into it.

Gays are real good at self-delusion.

As for UCMJ reform, I worked with Robert Harmon, then chairman of the Marin County, California, ACLU on a complete rewrite of the UCMJ provisions on sexual offenses back in 1994-95. Which Bob published in some law journal - I think it was the City Law Journal, but don't recall for sure at this point.

Bob was then the highest-ranking Army Reserve officer who was out of the closet and still in the service. They riffed him when he was done writing FEMA's communications plan for inter-operability of San Francisco Bay Area local government emergency management agency C3I and that of military/federal emergency management agencies.
12.7.2008 12:46am
Randy R. (mail):
Thomas: "The California Teachers Association has reassessed its relationship with gays into the cold dead ground due to the childish and counter-productive reaction to Proposition 8 passing."

Really? I searched all over for information about this supposed reassesement, even their own website, and I've turned up nothing. They did give about $1.25 mill to the No on Prop 8 campaign.

"due to the childish and counter-productive reaction."

You mean that peaceful protests and marches are childish and counter-productive? So far, the only people that I have seen that find it so are 1) people who are against SSM in the first place, and 2) Mormons who don't like the fact that their opposition was made part of the news cycle.

Yes, there were reports of some minor incidents of violence. I understand one temple had graffiti sprayed on it. No, I don't condone that, and I find it not helpful in our fight. However, the few incidents are really pretty tame when you consider how violent other civil rights protests fared in this country.

And let's not forget, there was violence by your side against us gays. For instance, on election night, two men carrying a rainbow flag walking down the street in Washington were attacked and beaten by a republican operative. He turned himself into police once a warrant for his arrest was issued.

I guess that means that you republicans are engaging in childish and counter-productive violence, and you can be assured that any allies you have had are now reassising their allegiance to the Republican Party because of this, right?
12.7.2008 2:10am
John Howard (eggandsperm.org) (mail) (www):
Elliot, which state law defines Murder as ending a person's life? Which state defines every single word that means something in their laws?

If you want to start somewhere, start with Kennedy's opinion in LAwrence v TExas, where he says "To say that the issue in Bowers was simply the right to engage in certain sexual conduct demeans the claim the individual put forward, just as it would demean a married couple were it said that marriage is just about the right to have sexual intercourse."

Notice the "just" there: it would demean a married couple if it were said that marriage is just about the right to have sexual intercourse. Yes, it is about more than that (it is about their commitment, their love, etc) but at minimum, it is about their right to have sexual intercourse. What state law says that? Not Massachusetts, though it does say that sexual intercourse between unmarried people is fornication, and is punishable, up to a maximum sentence (the law really just sets the maximum sentence for what it takes for granted is a crime).

The right to have sexual intercourse is the right to conceive children together. When it was written, that was the only way to conceive children, and prohibiting sexual intercourse was the only way to prohibit conceiving children. There are other ways to conceive now, but still, marriage continues to allow sex, and therefore conception, because allowing sexual intercourse always means allowing conception of children.

Can you name any marriages that are not allowed to attempt to conceive children together? Even those few states that allow first cousin marriages only for older/infertile couples do not prohibit them attempting to conceive together.

And when you look at couples that are not allowed to marry, like siblings and people already married, and note that they would surely be convicted of incest or adultery or statutory rape if they conceived together, we come full circle to marriage being the right to conceive together, approval and consent of both parties and the state to conceiving children.
12.7.2008 3:16am