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Why Last Year's California Pro-Gay Marriage Decision Remains a Net Positive for Gay Rights Even after Proposition 8:

Today's California supreme court decision upheld Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment that reversed that court's previous ruling holding that gay marriage was required by the state constitution. In previous posts (see here and here), I criticized the view that the success of Proposition 8 and similar initiatives in other states proves that pro-gay marriage court decisions set back the cause of gay rights more than they advance it.

It is now fairly clear that judicial rulings have helped the cause of gay marriage in the nation as a whole. But it's worth noting that the 2008 pro-gay marriage court decision was a net plus for gay rights even within California itself. After all, the court's decision upholding the validity of Proposition 8 also ruled that the 18,000 gay marriages that took place in California last year remain legally valid. That, of course, is 18,000 more gay marriages than would likely have occurred otherwise. Thirty-six thousand people who now can marry their partners of choice falls short of the ultimate objectives of the gay marriage movement. But it is nothing to sneeze at.

Even a pro-gay marriage decision that ultimately gets reversed can be a net benefit to the cause. That doesn't prove that the decision was legally correct. But it is a useful point to keep in mind in assessing the effectiveness of judicial power in promoting minority rights.

UPDATE: At Balkinization, Mary Dudziak and Andrew Koppelman also argue that the California struggle over same sex marriage remains a net plus for gay rights.

John Karbin (mail):

Even a pro-gay marriage decision that ultimately gets reversed can be a net benefit to the cause.


Isn't this just ideological refusal to admit when one is wrong? When judicial opinions produce good outcomes, it is proof of success; but when judicial opinions produce bad outcomes, it is proof of success; and when a moderately good outcome is left in the midst of failure, let's not consider that an alternative strategy would have yielded no failure and a better outcome than moderately good. One could very easily state that all these state DOMAs and state constitutional amendments and losing judicial opinions are the result of bad strategy (if not for the push, these anti-gay precedents wouldn't be on the books), and perhaps a much better outcome would have obtained in the present (in the form of more generous legislation in more states) and in the future (in the form of no state DOMAs and state constitutional amendments to overturn).
5.26.2009 10:53pm
Danny (mail):
Well none of this was a surprise to anyone
I am gay and obviously I would be thrilled if there was equal marriage everywhere, but unlike Republicans I believe in following the law all of the time not only when it suits me. They decided that a majority vote is not a revision except if it involves an extreme restructuring of the nuts and bolts of government, so that's the way it is, we can try to get a pro-equality majority vote in a few years.
In the mean time there are still domestic partnerships which the court took great pains to insist were legally equal to marriage. Most gay and lesbian couples have no access to any institution at all and would give anything just to have a domestic partnership.
They also let gays and lesbians down easily with a long opinion insisting that it was just about the name. Really they were very nice about it.
And they left the 18,000 marriages intact.
I was expecting much worse
5.26.2009 10:57pm
kimsch (mail) (www):
Any break-ups will also require the courts to dissolve the union, just like any other couple. With community property rights.
5.26.2009 11:15pm
Ilya Somin:
Isn't this just ideological refusal to admit when one is wrong? When judicial opinions produce good outcomes, it is proof of success; but when judicial opinions produce bad outcomes, it is proof of success; and when a moderately good outcome is left in the midst of failure, let's not consider that an alternative strategy would have yielded no failure and a better outcome than moderately good.

I covered most of these points in previous posts. There is simply no evidence that alternative strategies would have achieved better results at less cost, or even the same results anywhere near as quickly. There was no likelihood that there would be even 18,000 gay marriages in CA by 2009 were it not for the 2008 pro-gay marriage decision.

One could very easily state that all these state DOMAs and state constitutional amendments and losing judicial opinions are the result of bad strategy

As I noted in previous posts in this series, those amendments all occurred in states that did not have gay marriage anyway and were not likely to enact it anytime soon (except, of course for CA, where the enactment was itself a result of a judicial decision). When and if public opinion there shifts, most of these amendments will be relatively easy to reverse because those states have easy to amend constitutions (which is why the 30 anti-gay marriage constitutional amendments were enacted so quickly to begin with).
5.26.2009 11:16pm
John (mail):
We must not confuse the concepts of "promoting" minority rights with "making up" minority rights. I know it has been somewhat contentious whether judicial activism on this has helped or hurt proponents of SSM, but, to quote some guy, words are important.
5.26.2009 11:17pm
Ilya Somin:
We must not confuse the concepts of "promoting" minority rights with "making up" minority rights. I know it has been somewhat contentious whether judicial activism on this has helped or hurt proponents of SSM, but, to quote some guy, words are important.

The two are not mutually exclusive. A decision that creates a right also promotes it at the same time. In any event, the CA decision certainly didn't "make up" the idea of gay marriage, which existed for many years before it. Whether it was correct in claiming that the pre-Proposition 8 CA constitution protects gay marriage is a different question. But not one that I sought to address in this post.
5.26.2009 11:22pm
John Humboldt (mail):

There is simply no evidence that alternative strategies would have achieved better results at less cost, or even the same results anywhere near as quickly.



I reject this. Maine and New Hamphire and Connecticut were not pushed by courts. New York is not being pushed by courts. Perhaps more lobbying efforts in New England would have paid off without prompting any backlash, anywhere.
5.26.2009 11:32pm
NoahDavidSimon (mail) (www):
this is the first I have heard of the decision. I assure you when the public finds out the abuse of their voting will they will react again with a vote if they can't trust their judges.
5.26.2009 11:34pm
Doc Rampage (mail) (www):
The problem is that this isn't judicial activism to give minority rights. The minority in this case already have all of the rights that don't infringe on anyone else's rights. What this judicial activism is intended to achieve is government recognition that marriage is no more than warm fuzzy feelings and sex, and government support in persecuting anyone who disagrees with you on this.

Why do libertarians who promote gay-marriage not care about the rights of people who will be sued over this? What about the people who will lose their jobs, lose their businesses, be prevented from having a church wedding (because the churches who don't want to perform gay weddings will have to stop performing any weddings)? What is it about homosexuals that makes their desires so overwhelmingly important that the rights of people who will be hurt by this aren't even worth considering? It is just beyond the pale that someone who claims to be opposed to the abuse of state power wants the state to take actions that will greatly harm one group of people just so that another group doesn't have hurt feelings.

I asked this before, and no one answered me. What is the compelling government interest in recognizing gay marriage that justifies the use of force against people who who have different views on what marriage should be?
5.26.2009 11:38pm
pbf (mail) (www):
Churches will not be required to perform same sex weddings. Christ, neither a Catholic Church nor a Reform Jewish Temple would perform my marriage to a Catholic. That's no violation of equal protection. Why would the refusal to marry gays?

Who will lose jobs and businesses because gays can marry? How and why?

What use of force is being used against heterosexuals in allowing gays to marry?

Families with same sex parents have gone through hell and fortunes of money to protect interests the state confers through marriage. THAT is the use of force.

You want the compelling government interest in recognizing same sex marriage? How about this, from last year's California Supreme Court decision holding that the state's constitution required the recognition of same sex marriages:

"[T]he state interest in limiting the designation of marriage exclusively to opposite-sex couples, and in excluding same-sex couples from access to that designation, cannot properly be considered a compelling state interest for equal protection purposes. To begin with, the limitation clearly is not necessary to preserve the rights and benefits of marriage currently enjoyed by opposite-sex couples. Extending access to the designation of marriage to same sex couples will not deprive any opposite-sex couple or their children of any of the rights and benefits conferred by the marriage statutes, but simply will make the benefit of the marriage designation available to same-sex couples and their children. As Chief Judge Kaye of the New York Court of Appeals succinctly observed in her dissenting opinion in Hernandez v. Robles, supra, 855 N.E.2d 1, 30 (dis. opn. of Kaye, C.J.): “There are enough marriage licenses to go around for everyone.” Further, permitting same-sex couples access to the designation of marriage will not alter the substantive nature of the legal institution of marriage; same-sex couples who choose to enter into the relationship with that designation will be subject to the same duties and obligations to each other, to their children, and to third parties that the law currently imposes upon opposite-sex couples who marry. Finally, affording same-sex couples the opportunity to obtain the designation of marriage will not impinge upon the religious freedom of any religious organization, official, or any other person; no religion will be required to change its religious policies or practices with regard to same-sex couples, and no religious officiant will be required to solemnize a marriage in contravention of his or her religious beliefs. (Cal. Const., art. I, § 4.) (f00tnote omitted)

"While retention of the limitation of marriage to opposite-sex couples is not needed to preserve the rights and benefits of opposite-sex couples, the exclusion of same-sex couples from the designation of marriage works a real and appreciable harm upon same-sex couples and their children. As discussed above, because of the long and celebrated history of the term “marriage” and the widespread understanding that this word describes a family relationship unreservedly couples and same-sex couples and exclude the latter from access to the designation of marriage, we conclude these statutes are unconstitutional. sanctioned by the community, the statutory provisions that continue to limit access to this designation exclusively to opposite-sex couples - while providing only a novel, alternative institution for same-sex couples - likely will be viewed as an official statement that the family relationship of same-sex couples is not of comparable stature or equal dignity to the family relationship of opposite-sex couples. Furthermore, because of the historic disparagement of gay persons, the retention of a distinction in nomenclature by which the term “marriage” is withheld only from the family relationship of same-sex couples is all the more likely to cause the new parallel institution that has been established for same-sex couples to be considered a mark of second-class citizenship. Finally, in addition to the potential harm flowing from the lesser stature that is likely to be afforded to the family relationships of same-sex couples by designating them domestic partnerships, there exists a substantial risk that a judicial decision upholding the differential treatment of opposite-sex and same-sex couples would be understood as validating a more general proposition that our state by now has repudiated: that it is permissible, under the law, for society to treat gay individuals and same-sex couples differently from, and less favorably than, heterosexual individuals and opposite-sex couples.
5.27.2009 12:32am
cmr:
The two are not mutually exclusive. A decision that creates a right also promotes it at the same time. In any event, the CA decision certainly didn't "make up" the idea of gay marriage, which existed for many years before it. Whether it was correct in claiming that the pre-Proposition 8 CA constitution protects gay marriage is a different question. But not one that I sought to address in this post.


Isn't the purpose of the court to do one or the other, though?
5.27.2009 12:32am
Pender:

Maine and New Hamphire and Connecticut were not pushed by courts.

Connecticut actually did get marriage equality under a decision by its Supreme Court.

You are correct as to Maine and New Hampshire, but one has to wonder where this entire struggle would be today if not for the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in late 2003. Not as far along, I suspect.

There are too many theories about the right way to win, as though the movement should pick and choose from among its opportunities. Even if the struggle for equality were run by a central authority with the discretion to plan the grand strategy — which it's not — the perennial idea that you sometimes win by losing is almost always wrong. Politics is very much a system in which the winner gets the spoils and the losers talk among themselves about legitimacy and propriety. The electorate has very little patience for procedural arguments and all the interest in the world for substantive outcomes. Brown v. Board was as activist as judicial opinions come — but we are happy with the outcome, so it is a high point in the Supreme Court's legacy. Plessy v. Ferguson was correctly decided on procedural legal grounds — but we hated the outcome, so it is an enduring black eye for the Court. The Iraq War had a bad outcome, and the GOP has been banished to the wilderness. The Civil War was arguably entered on equally flimsy grounds, but it turned out well, so we celebrate Lincoln even as we despise Bush.

Equality for gay Americans is a policy on which history will smile. We should get there however we can, no matter the avenue; in retrospect, all approaches will seem equally legitimate and be celebrated in the textbooks for the laudable substantive achievement. As usual, in ten years, no one will care about the procedural route taken. Political legacy is ruled by a regime of outcome-driven strict liability.
5.27.2009 12:39am
kimsch (mail) (www):
New Hampshire's House did not pass the Senate's amended bill (which the Governor agreed with) that added protections for religious institutions or personnel that did not want to perform same sex marriages:


Via CNN:

The House and Senate have approved allowing gay couples to marry.

But Gov. John Lynch, a three-term Democrat, said last week he would sign a same-sex marriage bill only if it provides “the strongest and clearest protections for religious institutions and associations, and for the individuals working with such institutions.”

Lynch said any such measure needs to “make clear that [clergy and other religious officials] cannot be forced to act in ways that violate their deeply held religious principles.”

The House on Wednesday fell two votes short of approving Lynch’s language, 186-188.

The chamber then voted to send the legislation to a committee to be considered further.

The language would specify that religious organizations can decline to take part in any marriage ceremony without incurring fines or risking lawsuits.
5.27.2009 1:11am
G.R. Mead (mail):
pbf asked: What use of force is being used against heterosexuals in allowing gays to marry?

Have you READ the Unruh Act? The whole point of forcing legal recognition in any area is to gain legal ENFORCEMENT.

You know -- liberty -- at the point of a gun...

Q: What is the point of law in this (or any other) setting?

A: Law is the durable rule that I wish to be applied against myself and others if I am rational in seeking to avoid or minimizing likely harms to others or myself, and critically in this case, against my lineal descendants -- for whom I am making that law part of the social compact that they will inherit from me. Any thug with a gun can set one rule now and another tomorrow -- and justify every radical alteration as "progress." We have always been at war with EastAsia.

But the contrary idea of law has the natural and rational purpose of establishing law as a DURABLE institution -- which should explain the fundamental disconnect on this and related issues between those who have prospects of a natural posterity -- or respect for those who do have -- and those who do not ... or do not wish to have it. If you are paying attention this covers many more issues than changing the definition of marriage.

This is an argument about the nature of law that is opposed to BOTH democratic fecklessness and judicial fickleness. It is interested in survival of a humane society in timespans contemplating more than one generation, not in advancing theories of rights, ruat coelum -- nor any theory beyond fostering and maintaining a relatively minimal but predictable standard of natural, humane conduct -- instead of producing posses of aggressive young thugs to do what aggressive young thugs are wont to do.

Marriage toward such ends has accomplished these objectives for the duration of our present civilization. Law protecting mere affection (sexual or otherwise) as an end in itself is not among those things that has done so. Marriage is not even at the dignity of contract in law any more -- commercial contracts have more teeth in specific enforcement than no-fault divorce. We are losing it (those other issues, remember)-- and in the contemplation of which this issue is but a sideshow distraction. If marriage goes, all bets are off -- no matter who your decorator is.
5.27.2009 1:32am
Soronel Haetir (mail):
Uou know, it's scary that a state the size of New Hampshire feels a need to have over 370 House members. Seems like an incredibly high ratio of legislators to residents. With that many a few bad ideas are bound to get passed each year.
5.27.2009 2:17am
Doc Rampage (mail) (www):
pbf, I can't tell which position you are arguing. Are you arguing (1) that the common practice of gay-rights radicals of getting people fired and suing business people will not become easier and more common once gay marriage is legal or (2) that there is something in those paragraphs that points out a state interest so overwhelming that it makes the corresponding loss of liberty acceptable?

If (1), then could you explain what you think is going to happen to stop the radicals from using the courts against anyone who doesn't agree with them?

If (2), could you point out where you think the state interest is expressed? I see a lot of stuff about how it's mean to not recognize gay marriage, but nothing that looks to me like a compelling state interest.

I'll note that if it were just a matter of giving gays a piece of paper, then the points about "dignity" might have some force, but this is really about using the law against your political and moral opponents in a culture war. It is about creating legal obligations that are in opposition to some people's moral and/or religious beliefs. It would be, in a very real sense, religious persecution. You need something a lot more significant than hurt feelings to justify that. Or, at least, I should think that a libertarian needs something a lot more significant than hurt feelings --leftists obviously don't have scruples about such things.
5.27.2009 2:19am
John Humboldt (mail):

Connecticut actually did get marriage equality under a decision by its Supreme Court.



Wrong. CT had fully equal rights without a court opinion. Then the court stepped in to say, "You have to call it marriage."
5.27.2009 4:48am
IB Bill (mail) (www):
We are losing it (those other issues, remember)-- and in the contemplation of which this issue is but a sideshow distraction. If marriage goes, all bets are off -- no matter who your decorator is.

Yep. No-fault divorce and the decline of the marriage contract as a contract has already damaged marriage immeasurably. Throw in abortion on demand, then remove virginity, lifelong sexual exclusivity, children, and time, too, and you have an institution for uniting people for as long as they wish to be together, for whatever purposes they have. It's important to note that only after marriage went through these changes that homosexual activists expressed interest in it.

I believe the latest stats show 40% of children are born out of wedlock in the U.S. -- that's so high that we can safely say that marriage is on life support. No-fault divorce shot marriage in the head. Gay marriage, as another blogger put it, is merely kicking the corpse. Note that it really took another generation to see the full fruits -- and they're rotten.

There does seem to be a link between the increase in the size of the state and mass illegitimacy -- so libertarians, cultural conservatives and even liberals should oppose these changes. How to get the toothpaste back in the tube, though -- that's a good one. That will require a religious revival.
5.27.2009 6:44am
Smallholder (mail) (www):
Doc Rampage,

Take the meds, dude. The paranoia is flaring up.

the common practice of gay-rights radicals of getting people fired and suing business people will not become easier and more common once gay marriage is legal

If it's so common, name one other example other than that one photographer guy. Are you really saying that the much more common discrimination and hatred of gays is counterbalanced because one idjit sued one photographer?

And a war on religion? The decline of religion is the fault of your side. How many young people want to sit in the pews with bigots? How many young people want to sit in the pews with people who reject science? Fundamentalism is what is giving Christianity a black eye.

As Goldwater said, "Every good Christian should line up to kick Jerry Falwell's ass."

And Rampage, I imagine if the internet had existed in 1955, your rant could be transcribed verbatim from a post by a "Doc Klansman." Isn't it interesting that every single (dishonest) "legal" point against gay marriage was also made about ending segregation?

Tell the truth: You would have applauded Wallace's stand against the "Black-robed tyrants" and federal oppressors.
5.27.2009 8:15am
cmr:
There does seem to be a link between the increase in the size of the state and mass illegitimacy -- so libertarians, cultural conservatives and even liberals should oppose these changes. How to get the toothpaste back in the tube, though -- that's a good one. That will require a religious revival.


It is funny how the sexual revolution of the 70s, the mainlining of pornography, Roe v. Wade, birth control use, and rising divorce rates all came about around the same time.
5.27.2009 9:25am
rosetta's stones:
I wouldn't be so certain that those gay marriage amendments will be pulled out of those state constitutions as easily as all that. And those amendments came about because the courts got involved, and some will now be sitting on the books for decades, perhaps forever. To the degree that they are a distinction with a difference, gay marriage advocates are harmed to that degree, as a result.

I think advocacy groups have taken the wrong tack, in pushing for gay marriage. And in attempting to piggyback onto the civil rights movement, they've ignored a real case study of the actual civil rights movement, which achieved legitimacy mostly through executive action and legislation... they persuaded citizens and their elected officials, while this recent gay marriage push has been viewed as a court wielded bludgeon. Better to work with the military first, and evolve policy there as a catalyst. That's what a real case study tells us can work.
5.27.2009 9:39am
Putting Two and Two...:
I wish that discussion of the 30 some constitutional amendments would not refer to them as "banning same-sex marriage". Most of them do far more than that and ban any recognition of same-sex couples.

In most of America, it's not a fight over a word, it's still a fight about rights.
5.27.2009 12:04pm
cmr:
...because gay marriage supporters have made it about that. I bet even most red states would consider granting civil unions if they didn't worry about them being used to ratchet up EPC claims and have the judiciary shoehorn it in.

If the gay marriage lobby wasn't so opportunistic, we could settle this. But they want to bully people into tolerance. Thus the wholesale "denial" of "rights".
5.27.2009 12:18pm
pluribus:
Soronel Haetir:

Uou know, it's scary that a state the size of New Hampshire feels a need to have over 370 House members. Seems like an incredibly high ratio of legislators to residents. With that many a few bad ideas are bound to get passed each year.

So you believe that the more people who get to participate in a democracy, the worse the decisions will be? It was so much better when the king made his decisions alone, wasn't it? We know one person never has any bad ideas, but get a lot of people together and the good ideas fly out the door. Keep the club small and exclusive. This kind of thinking accords nicely with opposition to SSM.
5.27.2009 12:40pm
Soronel Haetir (mail):
pluribus,

Well, look at how well it works out when most of the population of CA gets to have a go at it. The smaller the club the easier it is to figure out who to blame. A king can be deposed, hard to do that to the entire polity.
5.27.2009 12:42pm
Dan Hamilton:
When the Gays use the law against their political opponents what will you do? Say "Oh I was wrong" then laugh. You don't know or care what happens as long as YOU get your way.

I am afraid that you believe that the courts and the laws only swing ONE way. You push and screem using anything and everything that gets you your way. Without thought of who you hurt or who you trample over. IT MUST BE YOUR WAY RIGHT NOW!!! Like a baby that wants what he wants right now.

You will win. The times are with you. But the times will change and what you have gained kicking people in the teeth they will reverse.

Instead of building consensus and passing legislation which would have taken a few more years but would have gotten everyone's final approval. You choose to shove it down everyone's throat. If you have the political and judical power you can do that. But please, when your opponents use their politcal and judical power to reverse your gains, don't act surprised.

Now go out and have fun with your temper tantrums like you did after the Prop 8 loss.

BTW - Please keep going after stuff like this while your fellow gays are killed when ever they are found in Muslim countries. That seems to be OK with you and your Lib friends. Yes, keep attacking Christains because they hurt your poor little feelings while ignoring Muslims who kill your people. You have your priorities straight. Attack the Mormans, ignore the Blacks. Attack the Christians ignore the Muslims.

One last thing. I fully support gays rights and what the gays SAID they wanted. No discrimination and tolerance. To bad the Gays LIED. Forced acceptance and rubbing everyone's nose in it, seems to be what you want now.
5.27.2009 12:51pm
pluribus:
Soronel Haetir:

Well, look at how well it works out when most of the population of CA gets to have a go at it. The smaller the club the easier it is to figure out who to blame. A king can be deposed, hard to do that to the entire polity.

Opponents of same sex marriage object when judges decide the issue (contrary to the way they want it decided). It's not democratic, they complain. The judges weren't elected, they say. Then when an elected legislature decides the issue (contrary to the way they want it decided), they complain. Too many elected representatives were involved in the decision, they say. Do you detect a certain pattern to these complaints? It's not about whether they decision is democratic or not, it's about the way the decision comes out. I would call it hypocrisy--but it's so obvious that I don't need to do that.
5.27.2009 1:25pm
Magic Dog (mail):
Prop 8 is a glass half full. Yup, gays lost, but if you stand back and take another look they made a lot of progress.

1. The margin of defeat fell from 24% in 2000 to 4% in 2008.

2. The Mormons were unmasked as the chief antagonists.

3. The pathway to ultimate victory was illuminated, which is the passage of time (younger voters are far more sympathetic) and efforts to improve the status of gays within the black community.

4. Hispanics were no more likely than whites to support Prop. 8.

The wingers will be on the wrong side of that one too.
5.27.2009 1:46pm
ohwilleke:
The most recent Prop 8 ruling also appears to have guaranteed civil union rights under the California Constitution and the litigation itself may have tipped the political balance, allowing a future anti-Prop 8 resolution to pass.

Those 18,000 gay marriages in place, will also require institutional accomodations by the state government that will show that gay marriage is feasible and has a modest effect on the general public, which will make the goal sought by Prop 8 supporters seem pointless.

The fact that California gay rights supporters have not achieved this goal also activates the time and money of many people in California who otherwise might be content to let the issue rest to focus on the issue at a national and state level.
5.27.2009 3:17pm
Randy R. (mail):
Doc: "I'll note that if it were just a matter of giving gays a piece of paper, then the points about "dignity" might have some force, but this is really about using the law against your political and moral opponents in a culture war. It is about creating legal obligations that are in opposition to some people's moral and/or religious beliefs. It would be, in a very real sense, religious persecution. You need something a lot more significant than hurt feelings to justify that. "

There is a simple solution: End your bigotry against gays. Then you won't have to worry about being prosecuted.

Hey, it isn't that difficult. As Ted Olsen has realized, gays are people too and have the same right to the rights you enjoy and the same amount of dignity. Ditto Dick Chenny , who actually has a lesbian daughter. I have a plenty of straight friends who don't view me as the enemy, and somehow still get married and have children.

It makes me shake my head in wonder why it's it so important to you people to hate gays so much that you must consider us in a "cultural war"

cmr;" I bet even most red states would consider granting civil unions if they didn't worry about them being used to ratchet up EPC claims and have the judiciary shoehorn it in."

Nope. Virginia voted to ban any recognition of gay unions, as did Michigan.

"If the gay marriage lobby wasn't so opportunistic, we could settle this. But they want to bully people into tolerance. Thus the wholesale "denial" of "rights"."

So, if we get civil unions that grant all the exact same benefits of marriage, that's fine. But if we get all that AND the word marriage, that's bad? Strange -- if the difference is that small, why bother fighting it? And considering how you consistently avoid any discussion of evidence of harm in those places where SSM is allowed, it makes me wonder about your reasoning abilities.

Dan:"I fully support gays rights and what the gays SAID they wanted. No discrimination and tolerance. To bad the Gays LIED. Forced acceptance and rubbing everyone's nose in it, seems to be what you want now."

Lied about what? Gays have consistently said that we what want is what Massachusetts and Canada offer -- full marriage rights. Was that not made clear to you? If not, it certainly wasn't our fault -- perhaps you should have actually talked to a real gay person about what he or she wants. And we have always said that if you don't want to accept our marriages, you are under no oblgation to attend our weddings or offer a gift. So what's the problem?
5.28.2009 2:10am
cmr:

cmr;" I bet even most red states would consider granting civil unions if they didn't worry about them being used to ratchet up EPC claims and have the judiciary shoehorn it in."

Nope. Virginia voted to ban any recognition of gay unions, as did Michigan.



Read what I wrote again.

So, if we get civil unions that grant all the exact same benefits of marriage, that's fine. But if we get all that AND the word marriage, that's bad? Strange -- if the difference is that small, why bother fighting it? And considering how you consistently avoid any discussion of evidence of harm in those places where SSM is allowed, it makes me wonder about your reasoning abilities.


It makes me wonder about your reasoning abilities if you keep asking for something I've never promised you, and in fact, a premise I've eschewed as being meaningless and not at all what people are referring to.

Harm? I don't see any harm in keeping things the way they are now.

And I can flip that question right around on you: if the difference is that small, why bother fighting for it. After all, you all are for equality under the law. Unless, of course, that's a boldfaced lie.

Lied about what? Gays have consistently said that we what want is what Massachusetts and Canada offer -- full marriage rights. Was that not made clear to you? If not, it certainly wasn't our fault -- perhaps you should have actually talked to a real gay person about what he or she wants. And we have always said that if you don't want to accept our marriages, you are under no oblgation to attend our weddings or offer a gift. So what's the problem?


The PEOPLE (those who have the ultimate sovereignty) don't believe in legal same-sex marriage, they don't think the law should be re-defined to reflect something they disagree with, and the fact that there isn't and never was a right to affix the word marriage onto your relationship, though many of you assert otherwise.

That's the problem.
5.28.2009 3:19am
Doc Rampage (mail) (www):
Smallholder:
If it's so common, name one other example other than that one photographer guy.
Well, in the US, I recall one case where someone was forced to rent a room in his house to an openly gay man, even though he would have been OK denying the room to almost anyone else if he didn't want them around his kids. Then there was the woman who was forced to share custody of her adopted daughter with the woman who she was living with at the time of the adoption --an unprecedented decision that could have been based on nothing more than the judges spite against conservative Christians. There are more in this country, and quite a few more in Canada and Europe.
And a war on religion? The decline of religion is the fault of your side.
You must have misread me --I said "culture war", not war on religion. You also must have misread whatever made you think that religion is declining. It's actually doing quite well.
As Goldwater said, "Every good Christian should line up to kick Jerry Falwell's ass."
I rather doubt that he any understanding of, or sympathy for, the purposes of the people who he was offering advice to.
And Rampage, I imagine if the internet had existed in 1955, your rant could be transcribed verbatim from a post by a "Doc Klansman." Isn't it interesting that every single (dishonest) "legal" point against gay marriage was also made about ending segregation?
The problem with arguments from analogy is that they are only as good as the analogy, and in this case the analogy isn't very good. The anti-miscegenation laws were intended to keep the races apart and to prevent mixed-race children. The laws that make marriage a union of man and woman are to create strong families and protect children. Your proposed analogy suggests that someone who believes in strong families and wants to protect children must be the kind of person who also wants to keep the races apart and prevent mixed-race children. I find the connection dubious.
5.29.2009 1:21am
Doc Rampage (mail) (www):
Randy:
Doc: "I'll note that if it were just a matter of giving gays a piece of paper, then the points about "dignity" might have some force, but this is really about using the law against your political and moral opponents in a culture war. It is about creating legal obligations that are in opposition to some people's moral and/or religious beliefs. It would be, in a very real sense, religious persecution. You need something a lot more significant than hurt feelings to justify that. "

There is a simple solution: End your bigotry against gays. Then you won't have to worry about being prosecuted.
Yes, well, that's always the simple solution, isn't it? Jews who are being persecuted can always convert to Christianity. Christians in Russia during the days of the Soviet Union could always have just dropped their religion and joined the Communist party. Muslims in the US who fear that everyone hates them for 9/11 can always become Unitarians.

But then you are obviously not a libertarian, and as I noted, you leftists have no scruples about using the law to persecute your political opponents. My question was addressed libertarians who claim to have such scruples.
5.29.2009 1:34am
Smallholder (mail) (www):
Doc Rampage said:


The anti-miscegenation laws were intended to keep the races apart and to prevent mixed-race children. The laws that make marriage a union of man and woman are to create strong families and protect children.


Not that pointing out your error will change your mind, but the miscegenation laws were designed to uphold Christian morality. Blacks and whites together violated God's law.

The initial trial judge wrote:

"Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages."

Damn.

There was concern about children, but because mongrel children would lead to the downfall of society - and next people would be marrying their dogs.

And you believe that gay people marrying will be the downfall of society and many people on your side predict bestiality and incest at the bottom of the slippery slope.

Methinks my analogy was dead on.

Kind of like your buddies who want to deny equality because God said it was wrong. I believe I noted the overlap between people who opposed Brown, Loving, and gay marriage. You are the same people.

Finally, to prove the "common tactic" you "recall" one case. Couldn't find it googling could you? You'd think if the persecution of straights was so prevalent, one would be able to actually find a cite to more that one or two cases.

For your grandkids' sake, I'm glad you are posting under an anonymous handle. They'd be embarrassed of their lineage in 2020. Luckily, you'll be able to lie about your 2009 bigotry - just like the older anti-gay people lie about their 1960s anti-black bigotry.
5.29.2009 2:37pm
Doc Rampage (mail) (www):
Smallholder, maybe the reason you suspect that pointing out my "error" would not change my mind is because you realize how weak an argument it is. In those days, debaters often appealed to God because it was considered persuasive at the time. It's like pro-abortionists appealing to the concept of human rights because people value that doctrine today. However, the fact that people appeal to a doctrine doesn't mean that the doctrine really supports their position (pro-abortion people never talk about the human rights of the child being aborted). So quoting rascals who have appealed to a doctrine is not evidence that the doctrine actually supports that position.

I recalled two cases directly related related to homosexuals persecuting Christians in the US. I forgot the Boy Scouts --a third case. All three were discussed on the Volokh Conspiracy. And then there are all the cases from like-minded leftists in other countries and other cases in the US where leftists use the courts to persecute people for their convictions on abortion. I don't see any point in doing your googling for you because you haven't shown any sign that you would be concerned about it anyway. If you can convince yourself that the other side is a bunch of evil bigots (as you obviously have) then you don't have to care what happens to them, do you?
5.30.2009 2:53pm

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