North Carolina Amendment One "1 Man, 1 Woman"

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Pluvia:

Seekster:

DrVornoff:

Why wouldn't you call it one? You've asserted that you want civil unions to have same benefits and protections as a marriage, but don't call it marriage because it's gay and therefore sufficiently different that it needs to be called something else. Why? How is it so different that you can't give it the same name?

I'm sorry but I just can't bring myself to see a gay marriage as an actual marriage. That is my own personal view and its not even close to the strongest view I hold but you are asking me to do something I just can't bring myself to do. Its fine that you see things differently, I disagree with you but I can respect our different points of view.

And for the record if it were two straight guys entering a marriage say for some kind of tax dodge I would feel the same way about it not being a marriage for the same reasons, I just see marriage as being the union of the two halves of the human species, male and female.

That all pretty much boils down to giving black people Civil Unions as you don't think it's the same as 2 white people.

But that's completely and uttery irrelevant, as people don't care if X random person thinks their marraige counts, people just care what the government allows. Having civil unions are nice, but they're still seperate, which is why over here you can (or will be able to really soon at least) get married and have civil unions, regardless of what gender the person you're with is.

How does it even come anywhere close to that? No seriously I want to hear this.

You do know a civil union isnt just for same-sex couples right? I am given to understand that in France civil unions are becoming popular with opposite-sex couples as well.

Seekster:
I am done responding to anyone who calls me a bigot, if you arent willing to think for yourself I won't waste my time with you.

I have yet to call you a bigot.

I still haven't gotten a straight response on how you find the amendment to be ambiguous nor any elaboration on why you think the data from PPP is funny.

For the former I suspect it's because admitting that it isn't ambiguous would make its passing much less of a 'win' from your perspective. Though, it could simply be with most threads you're too busy responding to the hordes of those that disagree with you.

Seekster:
None at all, each state has the right to legally define marriage and the definition, whatever it is should be respected even if you personally disagree with it.

How far does this defense in favor of states rights extend for you personally? Could a state define marriage somewhere along the lines as between 1 white man and one white woman over the age of 26 where the white woman is unemployed and the man makes over 120k in yearly income?

How much liberty is a particular state granted in defining its own particular definition of marriage; in your own opinion?

Seekster:

Pluvia:

Seekster:

I'm sorry but I just can't bring myself to see a gay marriage as an actual marriage. That is my own personal view and its not even close to the strongest view I hold but you are asking me to do something I just can't bring myself to do. Its fine that you see things differently, I disagree with you but I can respect our different points of view.

And for the record if it were two straight guys entering a marriage say for some kind of tax dodge I would feel the same way about it not being a marriage for the same reasons, I just see marriage as being the union of the two halves of the human species, male and female.

That all pretty much boils down to giving black people Civil Unions as you don't think it's the same as 2 white people.

But that's completely and uttery irrelevant, as people don't care if X random person thinks their marraige counts, people just care what the government allows. Having civil unions are nice, but they're still seperate, which is why over here you can (or will be able to really soon at least) get married and have civil unions, regardless of what gender the person you're with is.

How does it even come anywhere close to that? No seriously I want to hear this.

You do know a civil union isnt just for same-sex couples right? I am given to understand that in France civil unions are becoming popular with opposite-sex couples as well.

It is close because it is an arbitrary line that has no reason to exist other than the fact that it exists.

The contract that we call marriage has evolved over time to what it is now and it will continue to evolve. To place an arbitrary restriction on it and refuse further evolution on what defines marriage is no different to denying marriage to anyone that is not white.

When evolving the definition of marriage you make a judgement on the merits of the argument being made. Currently marriage is a contract of commitment to someone you love of no close blood relation and of the opposite sex. The argument is opposite sex is restrictive because it has no bearing on the ability of someone to love another. The counter argument is that it has always been people of opposite sex, therefore it should remain that way. The counter argument fails to actually justify why two people of the same sex should not marry, therefore it should be allowed.

Bohemian Waltz:

Seekster:
I am done responding to anyone who calls me a bigot, if you arent willing to think for yourself I won't waste my time with you.

I have yet to call you a bigot.

I still haven't gotten a straight response on how you find the amendment to be ambiguous nor any elaboration on why you think the data from PPP is funny.

For the former I suspect it's because admitting that it isn't ambiguous would make its passing much less of a 'win' from your perspective. Though, it could simply be with most threads you're too busy responding to the hordes of those that disagree with you.

Seekster:
None at all, each state has the right to legally define marriage and the definition, whatever it is should be respected even if you personally disagree with it.

How far does this defense in favor of states rights extend for you personally? Could a state define marriage somewhere along the lines as between 1 white man and one white woman over the age of 26 where the white woman is unemployed and the man makes over 120k in yearly income?

How much liberty is the state granted in defining it's particular definition of marriage; in your own opinion?

How far the rights of the States stretch is actually a good topic. I am not 100% sure, but I think it would be possible for the Federal Government to introduce legislation that prevents government from discrimination based on sexual orientation, which in effect would at least force States to make civil unions legal, essentially a Civil Rights Act for homosexuals.

Bohemian Waltz:

Seekster:
I am done responding to anyone who calls me a bigot, if you arent willing to think for yourself I won't waste my time with you.

I have yet to call you a bigot.

I still haven't gotten a straight response on how you find the amendment to be ambiguous nor any elaboration on why you think the data from PPP is funny.

For the former I suspect it's because admitting that it isn't ambiguous would make its passing much less of a 'win' from your perspective. Though, it could simply be with most threads you're too busy responding to the hordes of those that disagree with you.

Seekster:
None at all, each state has the right to legally define marriage and the definition, whatever it is should be respected even if you personally disagree with it.

How far does this defense in favor of states rights extend for you personally? Could a state define marriage somewhere along the lines as between 1 white man and one white woman over the age of 26 where the white woman is unemployed and the man makes over 120k in yearly income?

How much liberty is a particular state granted in defining its own particular definition of marriage; in your own opinion?

"I have yet to call you a bigot."

I didn't say you did, I was speaking in general to everyone.

The data from PPP?

The amendment is ambiguous because its called a marriage amendment. North Carolina currently has no provisions for civil unions as I understand it so there would be no reason for them to mention an institution that doesnt exist in their state. I think there will be a legal argument to be had on whether or not this amendment is relevant should North Carolina one day decide to establish civil unions.

If it does turn out that this DOES prevent civil unions then yes my views on this amendment would change. Really though it doesnt affect me any either way, my state already settled the matter at least for now.

Hmm well a state can't pass legislation or an amendment that has no other purpose than to discriminate against certain peoples. This is actually another thing that is different between this debate over same-sex marriage and interracial marriage If you look at what the Court did with Loving you can see that they looked at Virginia's Racial Integrity Act of 1924 and concluded that the law's intended purpose was to discriminate against minorities and perpetuate white supremacy. In contrast multiple court cases including Hernandez v Robles (2006) have acknowledged that the debate over same-sex marriage is a different debate altogether. In fact in Robles the court held that:

"The historical background of Loving is different from the history underlying this case. [...] But the traditional definition of marriage is not merely a by-product of historical injustice. Its history is of a different kind. The idea that same-sex marriage is even possible is a relatively new one. Until a few decades ago, it was an accepted truth for almost everyone who ever lived, in any society in which marriage existed, that there could be marriages only between participants of different sex. A court should not lightly conclude that everyone who held this belief was irrational, ignorant or bigoted. We do not so conclude."

In other words to simply define marriage as one man and one woman cannot reasonably be called a definition based on ignorance or bigotry. Yes I am well aware of the few exceptions but throughout human history or at the very least throughout western history over the past thousand years, tradition has held that marriage is between a man and a woman. In fact so ingrained and unquestioned was this that it is only recently that it was even necessary for states to define marriage legally. Yes tradition can be changes but it does not have to be. The point is that one cannot reasonably claim that traditional marriage is a bigoted concept, history says otherwise.

pyrate:

Seekster:

Pluvia:

That all pretty much boils down to giving black people Civil Unions as you don't think it's the same as 2 white people.

But that's completely and uttery irrelevant, as people don't care if X random person thinks their marraige counts, people just care what the government allows. Having civil unions are nice, but they're still seperate, which is why over here you can (or will be able to really soon at least) get married and have civil unions, regardless of what gender the person you're with is.

How does it even come anywhere close to that? No seriously I want to hear this.

You do know a civil union isnt just for same-sex couples right? I am given to understand that in France civil unions are becoming popular with opposite-sex couples as well.

It is close because it is an arbitrary line that has no reason to exist other than the fact that it exists.

The contract that we call marriage has evolved over time to what it is now and it will continue to evolve. To place an arbitrary restriction on it and refuse further evolution on what defines marriage is no different to denying marriage to anyone that is not white.

When evolving the definition of marriage you make a judgement on the merits of the argument being made. Currently marriage is a contract of commitment to someone you love of no close blood relation and of the opposite sex. The argument is opposite sex is restrictive because it has no bearing on the ability of someone to love another. The counter argument is that it has always been people of opposite sex, therefore it should remain that way. The counter argument fails to actually justify why two people of the same sex should not marry, therefore it should be allowed.

Bohemian Waltz:

Seekster:
I am done responding to anyone who calls me a bigot, if you arent willing to think for yourself I won't waste my time with you.

I have yet to call you a bigot.

I still haven't gotten a straight response on how you find the amendment to be ambiguous nor any elaboration on why you think the data from PPP is funny.

For the former I suspect it's because admitting that it isn't ambiguous would make its passing much less of a 'win' from your perspective. Though, it could simply be with most threads you're too busy responding to the hordes of those that disagree with you.

Seekster:
None at all, each state has the right to legally define marriage and the definition, whatever it is should be respected even if you personally disagree with it.

How far does this defense in favor of states rights extend for you personally? Could a state define marriage somewhere along the lines as between 1 white man and one white woman over the age of 26 where the white woman is unemployed and the man makes over 120k in yearly income?

How much liberty is the state granted in defining it's particular definition of marriage; in your own opinion?

How far the rights of the States stretch is actually a good topic. I am not 100% sure, but I think it would be possible for the Federal Government to introduce legislation that prevents government from discrimination based on sexual orientation, which in effect would at least force States to make civil unions legal, essentially a Civil Rights Act for homosexuals.

I am one of the many who believes that sex is not an arbitrary factor in marriage, but rather a core factor.

Marriage has evolved over time yes but with few exceptions it has always been between men and women. Tradition can be changed yes but we are talking about thousands of years (at least...recorded history only goes back so far) of tradition here. Marriage between man and a woman was not simply something that someone concocted just to oppress homosexuals after all.

Your personal views clearly differ from mine and thats fine, we can agree to disagree while still respecting our own individual rights to our own points of view. There is a debate to be had over different points of view. What I firmly reject though is the attempt by one side to try and marginalize the opposing point of view rather than have that debate.

Hmm well off the top of my head I cannot recall a case where the 10th Amendment was cited by the Supreme Court as the primary reason for overturning a Federal Law but a Federal Law requiring states to legally recognize same-sex marriage would have a good chance to being one of, if not the first to be overturned primarily on that basis. In practice, marriage has long been held to be something regulated by the states and the language for such a federal law would have to be VERY carefully crafted to avoid being slaughtered in court.

As for benefits, the Federal government can decide what it does with its own money just as the State governments can. For example because of DOMA (which I believe to be unconstitutional for a multitude of reasons) you have cases where two men might get married in say Massachusetts and they will get whatever rights and benefits the state grants to all those with a state marriage license. However the Federal Government does not grant that couple the federal rights and benefits that are its to grant because DOMA defines marriage as between one man and one woman for the purposes of determining who gets federal marriage benefits. Now I could be wrong but I do not think the federal government is allowed to tell states that they must provide the same benefits that they give to marriages to civil unions, unless the Federal government was willing to pay for the costs of doing so. The short reason I do not think they can do that is because essentially they would be telling the state how to spend the state's money. When the federal government gives the state money it can dictate how that money is spent if it wishes but the state's money is the state's money and can be spent however the state wishes to spend it.

Seekster:
It is close because it is an arbitrary line that has no reason to exist other than the fact that it exists.

The contract that we call marriage has evolved over time to what it is now and it will continue to evolve. To place an arbitrary restriction on it and refuse further evolution on what defines marriage is no different to denying marriage to anyone that is not white.

When evolving the definition of marriage you make a judgement on the merits of the argument being made. Currently marriage is a contract of commitment to someone you love of no close blood relation and of the opposite sex. The argument is opposite sex is restrictive because it has no bearing on the ability of someone to love another. The counter argument is that it has always been people of opposite sex, therefore it should remain that way. The counter argument fails to actually justify why two people of the same sex should not marry, therefore it should be allowed.

And yet when the 10 commandments were first written, the Jewish tradition of marriage was polygamy. Even King Solomon was the man with 1000 wives.

The tradition of marriage has changed as culture has changed. First polygamy, then monogamy (then polygamy again with the Mormons, but they decided God changed his mind later), then only between those of your religious creed (even now you must be or become a Catholic to be wed in a Catholic ceremony), then only between those of your own race, and now we've hit the sex barrier. Same reasons as always for trying to keep it the same--"traditions," "that's how it's always been," "it's unnatural," all that good stuff. So tell me, Seekster, what makes you think you're right this time? After all these changes which now we see as common sense, what makes you think we won't look back on this in a generation and say wow, why was this such a big deal?

Also, again for the record, you can hold whatever values you want. It doesn't matter what you think marriage is and isn't. It is your right to do so. But when you start imposing your values on others, that is where your rights end. You have no right to define what marriage is to them, and you have no right to limit their practices based solely on your subjective views of what is tasteful or right.

Lilani:

Seekster:
It is close because it is an arbitrary line that has no reason to exist other than the fact that it exists.

The contract that we call marriage has evolved over time to what it is now and it will continue to evolve. To place an arbitrary restriction on it and refuse further evolution on what defines marriage is no different to denying marriage to anyone that is not white.

When evolving the definition of marriage you make a judgement on the merits of the argument being made. Currently marriage is a contract of commitment to someone you love of no close blood relation and of the opposite sex. The argument is opposite sex is restrictive because it has no bearing on the ability of someone to love another. The counter argument is that it has always been people of opposite sex, therefore it should remain that way. The counter argument fails to actually justify why two people of the same sex should not marry, therefore it should be allowed.

And yet when the 10 commandments were first written, the Jewish tradition of marriage was polygamy. Even King Solomon was the man with 1000 wives.

The tradition of marriage has changed as culture has changed. First polygamy, then monogamy (then polygamy again with the Mormons, but they decided God changed his mind later), then only between those of your religious creed (even now you must be or become a Catholic to be wed in a Catholic ceremony), then only between those of your own race, and now we've hit the sex barrier. Same reasons as always for trying to keep it the same--"traditions," "that's how it's always been," "it's unnatural," all that good stuff. So tell me, Seekster, what makes you think you're right this time? After all these changes which now we see as common sense, what makes you think we won't look back on this in a generation and say wow, why was this such a big deal?

Also, again for the record, you can hold whatever values you want. It doesn't matter what you think marriage is and isn't. It is your right to do so. But when you start imposing your values on others, that is where your rights end. You have no right to define what marriage is to them, and you have no right to limit their practices based solely on your subjective views of what is tasteful or right.

"And yet when the 10 commandments were first written, the Jewish tradition of marriage was polygamy. Even King Solomon was the man with 1000 wives."

True but even then the marriage was between men and women.

Yes marriage has changed with culture over time but throughout this time it was still almost entirely a union between men and women. Definitions in the past ADDED further superfluous requirements on top of that like the participants having to be of the same race, etc. However the core was still a union between a man and a woman. What your side of this argument is advocating is to REMOVE the single consistent aspect of marriage in human history, that of marriage being the union between a man and a woman. I am not saying that you could not remove this but I am saying that you probably should not, and most certainly should not attempt to do so without recognizing the magnitude of that change.

Oh all generations look on their parent's generation with the humor the retrospect brings. I sometimes ask my parents if they really thought duck and cover was going to work with a knowing grin. If future generations feel the need to change things that is for them to decide and likely will hold little consequence to me for by that time I will not have long to stay in this world most likely.

"Also, again for the record, you can hold whatever values you want. It doesn't matter what you think marriage is and isn't. It is your right to do so. But when you start imposing your values on others, that is where your rights end. You have no right to define what marriage is to them, and you have no right to limit their practices based solely on your subjective views of what is tasteful or right."

Let me ask you something, when the majority of Americans in 2008 voted for Obama over McCain were they not in a way imposing their values on others? Of course they were. I know there is an overemphasis of individuality (and being an American I am well aware of the irony in me saying that) in our culture but the fact is that we do not live our lives alone in our own private storybook world (at least not until Blizzard can find a way to give everyone their own private server). In order to get along we have to accept that not everyone is going to agree. In short, I have as much right to vote based on my values as you do.

Seekster:
Let me ask you something, when the majority of Americans in 2008 voted for Obama over McCain were they not in a way imposing their values on others? Of course they were. I know there is an overemphasis of individuality (and being an American I am well aware of the irony in me saying that) in our culture but the fact is that we do not live our lives alone in our own private storybook world (at least not until Blizzard can find a way to give everyone their own private server). In order to get along we have to accept that not everyone is going to agree. In short, I have as much right to vote based on my values as you do.

Just because people do it doesn't make it right, and the law should never bend to impose subjective values upon others just because people vote for it to be that way. The law must always be fair and objective, no matter what the people want. Because if even the law will not hold firm on what is absolutely right and fair, how can any of its institutions or traditions be called universally right or fair? When the Jim Crow laws were abolished in the South, it was not a popular opinion there. Had the states been allowed to vote for themselves, there is no doubt they would have kept them. Does that make those laws right? Because the people wanted it to be that way? Because their values demanded they be that way? That is why the south has always been keen on state's rights. They knew they couldn't control the whole country, but they knew if they could hold together as the "Solid South" they could keep it within their own.

The reason those laws allowed slavery and segregation in the first place is because they hadn't realized it was wrong yet. And when people saw how horrible it was, the conservatives wanted to keep it, because they prioritized their desire to keep things the way they've always been over the rights and the dignities of other people they could not speak for. Because that's exactly what this is--this isn't about the sacred institution of marriage. The way marriage has changed over the years nothing about "the way it's always been" is sacred, and with the divorce rate and rate of adultery (which, believe it or not, the highest rates of which both occur in the Bible Belt) I don't think sacred is a word that should be placed within miles of the word marriage, if you wish to address it in general terms. You can't preserve the sanctity of something that means so little to those who claim to be the authorities on sanctity and of what is right.

No, what this is really about is a bunch of people trying to keep things the same for the sake of keeping things the same, when it really has nothing to do with them and will not affect them one bit. It's the definition of arrogance, and of fear.

Seekster:

However the core was still a union between a man and a woman. What your side of this argument is advocating is to REMOVE the single consistent aspect of marriage in human history, that of marriage being the union between a man and a woman.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_same-sex_unions

"A same-sex union was a socially recognized institution at times in Ancient Greece and Rome, some regions of China, such as Fujian province, and at certain times in ancient European history. These gay unions continued until Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire."

Amnestic:

Seekster:

However the core was still a union between a man and a woman. What your side of this argument is advocating is to REMOVE the single consistent aspect of marriage in human history, that of marriage being the union between a man and a woman.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_same-sex_unions

"A same-sex union was a socially recognized institution at times in Ancient Greece and Rome, some regions of China, such as Fujian province, and at certain times in ancient European history. These gay unions continued until Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire."

Yes as I said, there are exceptions but these ARE exceptions to the rule. Besides the Greco-Roman approach to sexual activities is probably not something you want to hold up on a pedestal to emulate. Put another way, you aren't doing yourself a favor when you hold up the likes of Emperor Nero as an example. Its also worth pointing out that the very wiki article you posted says that the same-sex unions mentioned in Greek society are never mentioned along with the Greek word for "marriage" which would imply that even the Greeks looked upon such relationships as different.

I have looked into the examples given before and there is a lot of revisionist history going on and often same-sex relationships are stretched to try and argue that these were tantamount to marriage. In fact this is seldom the case though even in Hellenistic societies where homosexual relations were relatively common.

So in short, yes actual gay marriages HAVE happened in the ancient past but my original point remains, these are exceptions.

Lilani:

Seekster:
Let me ask you something, when the majority of Americans in 2008 voted for Obama over McCain were they not in a way imposing their values on others? Of course they were. I know there is an overemphasis of individuality (and being an American I am well aware of the irony in me saying that) in our culture but the fact is that we do not live our lives alone in our own private storybook world (at least not until Blizzard can find a way to give everyone their own private server). In order to get along we have to accept that not everyone is going to agree. In short, I have as much right to vote based on my values as you do.

Just because people do it doesn't make it right, and the law should never bend to impose subjective values upon others just because people vote for it to be that way. The law must always be fair and objective, no matter what the people want. Because if even the law will not hold firm on what is absolutely right and fair, how can any of its institutions or traditions be called universally right or fair? When the Jim Crow laws were abolished in the South, it was not a popular opinion there. Had the states been allowed to vote for themselves, there is no doubt they would have kept them. Does that make those laws right? Because the people wanted it to be that way? Because their values demanded they be that way? That is why the south has always been keen on state's rights. They knew they couldn't control the whole country, but they knew if they could hold together as the "Solid South" they could keep it within their own.

The reason those laws allowed slavery and segregation in the first place is because they hadn't realized it was wrong yet. And when people saw how horrible it was, the conservatives wanted to keep it, because they prioritized their desire to keep things the way they've always been over the rights and the dignities of other people they could not speak for. Because that's exactly what this is--this isn't about the sacred institution of marriage. The way marriage has changed over the years nothing about "the way it's always been" is sacred, and with the divorce rate and rate of adultery (which, believe it or not, the highest rates of which both occur in the Bible Belt) I don't think sacred is a word that should be placed within miles of the word marriage, if you wish to address it in general terms. You can't preserve the sanctity of something that means so little to those who claim to be the authorities on sanctity and of what is right.

No, what this is really about is a bunch of people trying to keep things the same for the sake of keeping things the same, when it really has nothing to do with them and will not affect them one bit. It's the definition of arrogance, and of fear.

The law must be fair and objective you say? Who exactly decides what is fair? In a Democratic society that would be either the people, their elective representatives, or judges either elected by the people or approved of by the elective representatives of the people.

Do not confuse law with ethics or morality (contrary to popular belief you can actually legislate morality but its exceedingly difficult and often not worth it as the law is often a poor judge of morality). The law is what we must do, ethics is what we should do.

You have a very interesting and unsupported theory there. If you want to doubt people mean what they say go right ahead but that is a slippery slope on the way down to outright conspiracy.

Now are you talking about this issue from a legal standpoint or from that of your own personal views?

Seekster:
Besides the Greco-Roman approach to sexual activities is probably not something you want to hold up on a pedestal to emulate.

I dunno, I'd say as Americans we really took to their ideas regarding government and its relationship to the people. The word democracy comes from the Greeks because they were the first major civilization to give the power of government to the people (which is exactly what the word means), and the Romans gave us the both the idea of the senate and the word itself. And with all those new and wonderful ideas we emulated, they seemed to have no problem balancing homosexuals in there, too (and please don't try to argue that homosexuals caused their eventual demise, because homosexuals have existed in every civilization since the beginning of human history and if that's your argument, then you're going to have to argue that it was ALL of their downfalls).

The law must be fair and objective you say? Who exactly decides what is fair? In a Democratic society that would be either the people, their elective representatives, or judges either elected by the people or approved of by the elective representatives of the people.

Do not confuse law with ethics or morality (contrary to popular belief you can actually legislate morality but its exceedingly difficult and often not worth it as the law is often a poor judge of morality). The law is what we must do, ethics is what we should do.

You have a very interesting and unsupported theory there. If you want to doubt people mean what they say go right ahead but that is a slippery slope on the way down to outright conspiracy.

Now are you talking about this issue from a legal standpoint or from that of your own personal views?

Again, rights should never be decided by a majority. Those are absolute, and should never be based on popular opinion of the time. They should be based on strict concepts of universal fairness based not in any particular subjective creed, viewpoint, moral, or value. The only value that matters is equality for all.

This "morality" argument is exactly what the opponents of same-sex marriage are posing. It's wrong, it's immoral, it's disgusting, it's objectionable, it's unnatural. Those are all subjective. They cannot separate the objective concept of what is truly fair from the subjective concept of what is right for them. That is the one downfall of democracy, I think, that keeps it from totally being fair. As long as you can get a majority to vote for it, it passes. No matter what. It is subjective to the values of the people of the time. That is why the nation we had at the beginning tolerated slavery, and that is why now the South is wanting to vote in an effective theocracy. They've got a majority in their area, they think they are right, so they want it done.

But now that we know more about people, can't we break this cycle of having to basically break apart the country to give more rights when clearly there is a divide which is 1. totally subjective, 2. serves no purpose but to discriminate against consenting adults in a committed relationship (which as you have said yourself you cannot say has any less personal or romantic significance to them than that of a straight couple), and 3. does nothing to honor this country's most touted values of justice and equality for all, and for the pursuit of happiness?

Lilani:

Seekster:
Besides the Greco-Roman approach to sexual activities is probably not something you want to hold up on a pedestal to emulate.

I dunno, I'd say as Americans we really took to their ideas regarding government and its relationship to the people. The word democracy comes from the Greeks because they were the first major civilization to give the power of government to the people (which is exactly what the word means), and the Romans gave us the both the idea of the senate and the word itself. And with all those new and wonderful ideas we emulated, they seemed to have no problem balancing homosexuals in there, too (and please don't try to argue that homosexuals caused their eventual demise, because homosexuals have existed in every civilization since the beginning of human history and if that's your argument, then you're going to have to argue that it was ALL of their downfalls).

The law must be fair and objective you say? Who exactly decides what is fair? In a Democratic society that would be either the people, their elective representatives, or judges either elected by the people or approved of by the elective representatives of the people.

Do not confuse law with ethics or morality (contrary to popular belief you can actually legislate morality but its exceedingly difficult and often not worth it as the law is often a poor judge of morality). The law is what we must do, ethics is what we should do.

You have a very interesting and unsupported theory there. If you want to doubt people mean what they say go right ahead but that is a slippery slope on the way down to outright conspiracy.

Now are you talking about this issue from a legal standpoint or from that of your own personal views?

Again, rights should never be decided by a majority. Those are absolute, and should never be based on popular opinion of the time. They should be based on strict concepts of universal fairness based not in any particular subjective creed, viewpoint, moral, or value. The only value that matters is equality for all.

This "morality" argument is exactly what the opponents of same-sex marriage are posing. It's wrong, it's immoral, it's disgusting, it's objectionable, it's unnatural. Those are all subjective. They cannot separate the objective concept of what is truly fair from the subjective concept of what is right for them. That is the one downfall of democracy, I think, that keeps it from totally being fair. As long as you can get a majority to vote for it, it passes. No matter what. It is subjective to the values of the people of the time. That is why the nation we had at the beginning tolerated slavery, and that is why now the South is wanting to vote in an effective theocracy. They've got a majority in their area, they think they are right, so they want it done.

But now that we know more about people, can't we break this cycle of having to basically break apart the country to give more rights when clearly there is a divide which is 1. totally subjective, 2. serves no purpose but to discriminate against consenting adults in a committed relationship (which as you have said yourself you cannot say has any less personal or romantic significance to them than that of a straight couple), and 3. does nothing to honor this country's most touted values of justice and equality for all, and for the pursuit of happiness?

Well yes the Greeks are more or less the founders of Western Civilization, that isnt to say we took EVERYTHING from them mind you. Also the Founding Fathers were inspired more by enlightenment ideas than by the Greeks though the Greeks were part of it as well the Dutch who also had a working Republic at the time.

The Romans also gave us gladiatorial games so you cant just go around saying that if the Romans did something it must be ok.

Who would argue that homosexuals caused the downfall of Rome or any civilization for that matter? The very idea is absurd given how insignificant the homosexual population even in the world today is in terms of numbers (well relatively speaking of course). Now personally I don't think our society would benefit from changing the definition of marriage to accommodate homosexuals but I do not think it would be the end of the world. Any negative side effects would take place over a long-term period I think and may not be noticeable except in retrospect.

There exists no right to have the government recognize your union as a marriage if it does not fit the legal definition of a marriage.

Are you debating me or some generic stereotype of a anti-gay marriage argument that you have concocted? If its the second one then I do not mean to interrupt, ill just let you to have at it.

Seekster:
There exists no right to have the government recognize your union as a marriage if it does not fit the legal definition of a marriage.

And around and around we go ...

So, if the "legal definition" is itself exclusionary and wrong, that means that the "right" doesn't exist?

Seekster:

Amnestic:

Seekster:

However the core was still a union between a man and a woman. What your side of this argument is advocating is to REMOVE the single consistent aspect of marriage in human history, that of marriage being the union between a man and a woman.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_same-sex_unions

"A same-sex union was a socially recognized institution at times in Ancient Greece and Rome, some regions of China, such as Fujian province, and at certain times in ancient European history. These gay unions continued until Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire."

Yes as I said, there are exceptions but these ARE exceptions to the rule. Besides the Greco-Roman approach to sexual activities is probably not something you want to hold up on a pedestal to emulate. Put another way, you aren't doing yourself a favor when you hold up the likes of Emperor Nero as an example. Its also worth pointing out that the very wiki article you posted says that the same-sex unions mentioned in Greek society are never mentioned along with the Greek word for "marriage" which would imply that even the Greeks looked upon such relationships as different.

I have looked into the examples given before and there is a lot of revisionist history going on and often same-sex relationships are stretched to try and argue that these were tantamount to marriage. In fact this is seldom the case though even in Hellenistic societies where homosexual relations were relatively common.

So in short, yes actual gay marriages HAVE happened in the ancient past but my original point remains, these are exceptions.

Am I misreading your original argument? Because what I see is:
S: "Marriage has always been between a man and a woman."
A: "No."
S: "Those aren't the same."

That article said that Greeks didn't call them marriages, but Romans did, and it cited a source. I can't attest to the reliability, since I haven't read it, but there it is.

So my question, I guess, is at what point does this become a "no true scotsman"?

Seekster:
There exists no right to have the government recognize your union as a marriage if it does not fit the legal definition of a marriage.

So if there's no right to having marriages recognized, should we also allow states to decide not recognize interracial marriages? There was a time when the majority of the south would have voted for this, and I believe a good many would still vote this way. Does that make it right? Who exactly are we going to say has a legal marriage if everybody is possibly on the chopping block?

The government gives exclusive benefits to married couples, such as tax benefits, direct inheritance, hospital visitation, and funeral arrangements. Your eligibility for adoption, insurance, leases, and loans is severely altered by what type of a legally recognized relationship you are in. When both society and the government are skewed toward married couples, we need to be very aware of what we do and don't recognize as a married couple and have some damn good reasons when we refuse to extend those benefits to some. And so far, you have given no reason that is not subjective. Tell me why a straight couple deserves a shared health or life insurance plan more than a gay couple. Tell me why a straight couple should have an easier time adopting than a gay couple because they have paperwork proving they have a state-recognized marriage. Tell me why a gay couple must be relegated to their own category of "union" which makes them jump through more legal hoops to enjoy and live their life as they wish, when life for a straight couple would be so much simpler in so many regards.

And perhaps I did put a few words in your mouth there, but that's because I'm not so convinced you aren't one of those people out to fight to the death for something that will not negatively affect your daily life whatsoever. A few more people can call themselves married couples, it might be hard for other couples to book weddings and receptions for a while. A few more people can more easily adopt children and more easily have and hand down insurance. A few more people can visit their other half in the hospital, in spite of the objections their family might have to their union. Oh the humanity, what will the world come to?

@Tyler

What makes you think the current legal definition is wrong? As for it being exclusionary, in order for a word to have meaning it must be defined and and to define a word is to differentiate it from other words. In other words, any definition of marriage is going to exclude someone. So saying that the traditional definition of marriage is exclusionary is not really a point against it.

Zaleznikel:

Am I misreading your original argument? Because what I see is:
S: "Marriage has always been between a man and a woman."
A: "No."
S: "Those aren't the same."

That article said that Greeks didn't call them marriages, but Romans did, and it cited a source. I can't attest to the reliability, since I haven't read it, but there it is.

So my question, I guess, is at what point does this become a "no true scotsman"?

There are a few records of Roman gay marriages yes, most notably for Emperors like Nero, but this relative handful of exceptions to the rule hardly negates it. Again my point is that the tradition of marriage as a union between men and women almost certainly predates recorded history and absolutely predates the concept of sexual orientation as we understand it today. Therefore it is impossible to argue that the traditional definition of marriage is invidious, that it was concocted for the purposes of discriminating against homosexuals or anyone for that matter.

Lilani:

Seekster:
There exists no right to have the government recognize your union as a marriage if it does not fit the legal definition of a marriage.

So if there's no right to having marriages recognized, should we also allow states to decide not recognize interracial marriages? There was a time when the majority of the south would have voted for this, and I believe a good many would still vote this way. Does that make it right? Who exactly are we going to say has a legal marriage if everybody is possibly on the chopping block?

The government gives exclusive benefits to married couples, such as tax benefits, direct inheritance, hospital visitation, and funeral arrangements. Your eligibility for adoption, insurance, leases, and loans is severely altered by what type of a legally recognized relationship you are in. When both society and the government are skewed toward married couples, we need to be very aware of what we do and don't recognize as a married couple and have some damn good reasons when we refuse to extend those benefits to some. And so far, you have given no reason that is not subjective. Tell me why a straight couple deserves a shared health or life insurance plan more than a gay couple. Tell me why a straight couple should have an easier time adopting than a gay couple because they have paperwork proving they have a state-recognized marriage. Tell me why a gay couple must be relegated to their own category of "union" which makes them jump through more legal hoops to enjoy and live their life as they wish, when life for a straight couple would be so much simpler in so many regards.

And perhaps I did put a few words in your mouth there, but that's because I'm not so convinced you aren't one of those people out to fight to the death for something that will not negatively affect your daily life whatsoever. A few more people can call themselves married couples, it might be hard for other couples to book weddings and receptions for a while. A few more people can more easily adopt children and more easily have and hand down insurance. A few more people can visit their other half in the hospital, in spite of the objections their family might have to their union. Oh the humanity, what will the world come to?

Ah I wondered when we would get to this part. The Constitution requires due process and a sound reason in order to remove rights that people have. For example health concerns are debatably a sound reason to limit where one may smoke.

How does this apply to same-sex marriage? Well the Prop 8 case in California is a fine example of this principle. California attempted to pass a state law defining marriage as the union between one man and one woman. They succeed until UH OH someone forgot to check the California Constitution because that law apparently violated the Constitution of the State of California. Once that law was invalidated by a state judge then same-sex couples in California obtained the right to have the state of California legally recognize their union as a marriage, a right they did not have previously.

So after that California tried to remedy their mistake by passing an amendment to the California State Constitution since by definition an amendment to a constitution does not violate that constitution because it is part of it. However since same-sex couples now had the right to have their union recognized legally as a marriage by California and since Prop 8 would have removed this right without due process or a sound reason for doing so, this amendment was a violation of the US Constitution. Had California simply passed a State Constitutional Amendment first and not bothered with the state law then Prop 8 would be constitutional under the US Constitution. The fact that the final Prop 8 ruling only applied to California is evidence of this.

So to answer your question no, the states Constitutionally cannot define marriage based on anti-misegenation laws. Once a right is extended it is very difficult to take away legally. No state is required under the US Constitution to recognize same-sex unions as a marriage but once a state does so it would need to find a sound reason to take away that right legally.

We are in agreement on one thing here, there is no reason why the government should only gives special rights and benefits to marriages but not to other similar types of unions that form the basis for a family. After all the entire reason that the government provides these benefits and rights is to make it easier to live as a family and encourage the formation of families. And yet there is no reason why say a same-sex couple would need to have a state marriage license to form a family. Fiddling around with the definition of marriage will not solve the problem, at least not in the long-term and may not solve anything in the short term. Instead we need to work to make sure that marriage or not families are encouraged by way of proper rights and benefits being extended to a family unit in addition to ending discrimination when it comes to adoptions.

If my state decided to legally recognize same-sex marriage I would express my disappointment and then go about my life as per normal. I know I talk about this issue alot but truth be told its not an issue I have very strong views on. If you want to see me debate on an issue that I have strong views on wait till the next debate on abortion. I often say politics is not worth fighting over (a historical joke if ever there was one) and I believe it.

Seekster:
What makes you think the current legal definition is wrong?

Because it excludes non-heteronormativity.

Seekster:
As for it being exclusionary, in order for a word to have meaning it must be defined and and to define a word is to differentiate it from other words. In other words, any definition of marriage is going to exclude someone.

True; however, should it exclude ANY consenting adults? What makes straight couples special that THEIR union is recognized by the government and others are not? "That's the way it's always been" is not an acceptable answer.

Seekster:
So saying that the traditional definition of marriage is exclusionary is not really a point against it.

I'd say it's the main point against it.

Seekster:
And yet there is no reason why say a same-sex couple would need to have a state marriage license to form a family. Fiddling around with the definition of marriage will not solve the problem, at least not in the long-term and may not solve anything in the short term. Instead we need to work to make sure that marriage or not families are encouraged by way of proper rights and benefits being extended to a family unit in addition to ending discrimination when it comes to adoptions.

I highly doubt continuing to deny the title of marriage to same-sex couples is going to change how banks feel about lending to legally unmarried couples. I agree that a few of them are silly, like adoption, but the reason banks, real estate brokers, and insurance companies treat married couples differently is because how connected the couple is significantly impacts the chance of them getting a return on their investment. And I don't think any amount of talking will convince them to risk losing even more money to higher-risk couples, especially the way the economy is now.

So why not both? Let gay couples marry now so they can adopt kids, get insurance, get loans, and get that little bit of more money moving through the economy and then using the influx in business as an example go after those establishments which don't really need marriage barriers. And not only that, but the gay couples are happier in general because they know the government recognizes them as people. Because believe it or not, that sort of thing matters to people.

If my state decided to legally recognize same-sex marriage I would express my disappointment and then go about my life as per normal. I know I talk about this issue alot but truth be told its not an issue I have very strong views on. If you want to see me debate on an issue that I have strong views on wait till the next debate on abortion. I often say politics is not worth fighting over (a historical joke if ever there was one) and I believe it.

I think I have become more political and more religious in the last few years, and I think it's because I have a great amount of empathy for people who are treated differently for no good reasons. And my views have changed a lot recently. A year ago I would have told you I would like to buy a gun as soon as I live in a place where I can keep one (because college dorms don't really look kindly upon them). But now I have changed, and I don't feel like it's my place to threaten the life of another child of God, even in the defense of my own life, as Jesus didn't didn't feel the need to do so during his life. And it's not that I don't think there isn't anything worth fighting for, it's just that I don't think violence is something I want to use in my fight.

But at the same time, I firmly believe that everybody should have the choice to live how they want. Those are MY beliefs, and mine alone. I would like it if others thought a bit more like me, but I know there is no law in the world that can change someone's core values or beliefs. That is something a law is simply incapable of. A law doesn't affect people's hearts, and that is where values and beliefs reside. So when I see people trying to force a change in other's hearts through the law, I am not only infuriated by their ignorance and selfishness, but am also disgusted and a bit frightened by their total disregard of that other person's humanity. It's a cycle that's repeated again and again throughout history, and it is so clearly there, but the people who engaged in that hate are so caught up in the present they don't realize what they've done until generations have passed and it's too late to apologize to the victims. It's so avoidable and unnecessary, but we let it happen every single time. We make the oppressed fight so hard for what they should have always had in the first place. I guess I just don't want to see it happen anymore.

As no-one else has picked up on these little gems (but have been dealing with other points raised, hence the major snipping of the post), I'd like to pose a few questions:

Seekster:
Now personally I don't think our society would benefit from changing the definition of marriage to accommodate homosexuals

Why not? Is not increasing the stability of a family unit (particularly one that can adopt children from the overly-burdened welfare system) a positive thing for society?

This leads into my next set of questions:

Any negative side effects would take place over a long-term period I think and may not be noticeable except in retrospect.

Ok, you say they may not be noticeable except in retrospect, which I am supposing is to grant yourself a get-out clause of this type of question, but:

What negative side effects? Could you provide what you feel could be the possible negative side-effects to legalising gay marriage that are causing you this concern (after all, though they may only be noticeable in retrospect, but you must have something to be basing this on, as you are not a bigot)?

Seekster:

pyrate:

Seekster:

How does it even come anywhere close to that? No seriously I want to hear this.

You do know a civil union isnt just for same-sex couples right? I am given to understand that in France civil unions are becoming popular with opposite-sex couples as well.

It is close because it is an arbitrary line that has no reason to exist other than the fact that it exists.

The contract that we call marriage has evolved over time to what it is now and it will continue to evolve. To place an arbitrary restriction on it and refuse further evolution on what defines marriage is no different to denying marriage to anyone that is not white.

When evolving the definition of marriage you make a judgement on the merits of the argument being made. Currently marriage is a contract of commitment to someone you love of no close blood relation and of the opposite sex. The argument is opposite sex is restrictive because it has no bearing on the ability of someone to love another. The counter argument is that it has always been people of opposite sex, therefore it should remain that way. The counter argument fails to actually justify why two people of the same sex should not marry, therefore it should be allowed.

Bohemian Waltz:

I have yet to call you a bigot.

I still haven't gotten a straight response on how you find the amendment to be ambiguous nor any elaboration on why you think the data from PPP is funny.

For the former I suspect it's because admitting that it isn't ambiguous would make its passing much less of a 'win' from your perspective. Though, it could simply be with most threads you're too busy responding to the hordes of those that disagree with you.

How far does this defense in favor of states rights extend for you personally? Could a state define marriage somewhere along the lines as between 1 white man and one white woman over the age of 26 where the white woman is unemployed and the man makes over 120k in yearly income?

How much liberty is the state granted in defining it's particular definition of marriage; in your own opinion?

How far the rights of the States stretch is actually a good topic. I am not 100% sure, but I think it would be possible for the Federal Government to introduce legislation that prevents government from discrimination based on sexual orientation, which in effect would at least force States to make civil unions legal, essentially a Civil Rights Act for homosexuals.

I am one of the many who believes that sex is not an arbitrary factor in marriage, but rather a core factor.

Marriage has evolved over time yes but with few exceptions it has always been between men and women.

It's only been what? Less than a century that marriage counted between a man and a woman of different races, a few decades before that it was illegal for blacks to get married period, a few centuries before that and marriage existed entirely to treat the woman as the man's property. And you yourself just admitted that in the past marriage has included same-sex couples. Today in several US states and several other countries marriage is defined as being between two adults, removing gender from the equation.

So you say it's evoled, try to downplay the times it had "evoled" to include gay marriage, and ignore the fact that there is gay marriage in the world today and *GASP* nothing happened! Hell in every place that legalised gay marriage divorce rates plummeted.

So basically you pull your same word-smith games you've always played; you say that gays should be able to form family units but shouldn't use the word marriage, you say that allowing gays to marry will have negative long-term effects that wont be noticable (just like the people who said allowing interacial marriae would have negative long-term effects that wouldn't be noticible; you might deny there's a link between gay marriage and interracial marriage, but EVERYTHING you've said and continue to say, they said back then), and you ignore the evidence that there is in fact POSITIVE effects to gay marriage (increased profit from the weddings, divorce rates dropping in states and countries that allowgay marriage).

Damn what a long thread. I live in NYC so this whole issue is a bloody non-issues since we've already legalized it.

I personally don't care, I'm quite a-political unless something threatens my livelihood, hobbies, and increases my cost of living.

I mean yeah...I'd rather the economy get fixed than see the gay marriage issue get resolved. But anyways. Y'all guys should come to NY. Boost our economy and get married.

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