Prominent Republicans Ask the Supreme Court to Support Gay Marriage

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Ryotknife:
(also the bill is trying to ban 157 weapons, not exemption on 157 weapons. A minor note really, but just thought I should clarify)

My error. However, it should be noted that the bill, as with most, does contain exceptions for certain firearms that are particularly popular.

when Obama was up for his first term, a few media outlets would "accidently" keep calling him Osama over and over again. Yes, how you phrase something can paint a person's perspective. In this case, the Dems and media are associating "assault weapons" with military grade hardware, which is something that most people will agree that civilians shouldnt have. They are being purposely misleading. That poll that you showed proves my point. They even admitted that how the question was phrased influenced the results. It is just like the thread awhile ago that said most high schoolers think rape is okay.

There's a difference between what you're describing and what you were complaining about. You were complaining about Assault Rifles versus Assault Weapons (mode more difficult because the AR-15 is not technically an assault rifle despite its moniker being AR), which is like the fight over "magazine" versus "clip" we had a few weeks ago: a minor term difference that, while technically accurate, was a fight over wording rather than the obvious meaning.

Yes, words are important, but if you're fighting over terminology because of a hyper-technicality, you're missing (or sometimes ceding) the merits of your side. It sometimes even makes your side look weak because you're fighting over rhetoric rather than the substance of the issue.

The remainder is largely unproductive because it continues the "my perception is more valid than your perception because I'm 'local'" close-mindedness you Americans really need to shake because it prevents you from considering alternatives that have worked well elsewhere, but there's one line that I would like to single out as a warning.

I get crap because i dont immediately postrate myself to the liberals on this site as moral gods.

There are several phrases I have pegged as "not going to be in R&P three months from now" phrases and this is one of them. It shows a disrespect and hostility towards those with other opinions. We may have passionate discussions here, but that's not a reason to engage in the demeaning, arrogant, and hostile behavior you have demonstrated as of late.

We're not asking you to prostrate, we're asking you to not be a jerk, and that shit will get you on the receiving end of mod wrath faster than you would expect.

The Gentleman:

The remainder is largely unproductive because it continues the "my perception is more valid than your perception because I'm 'local'" close-mindedness you Americans really need to shake because it prevents you from considering alternatives that have worked well elsewhere, but there's one line that I would like to single out as a warning.

I get crap because i dont immediately postrate myself to the liberals on this site as moral gods.

There are several phrases I have pegged as "not going to be in R&P three months from now" phrases and this is one of them. It shows a disrespect and hostility towards those with other opinions. We may have passionate discussions here, but that's not a reason to engage in the demeaning, arrogant, and hostile behavior you have demonstrated as of late.

We're not asking you to prostrate, we're asking you to not be a jerk, and that shit will get you on the receiving end of mod wrath faster than you would expect.

really? you call americans closed minded then talk about respect for others? WOW.

And if i was being disrespectful and hostile towards you, I would have used the whole 157 issue as an excuse to ream you out. Since we are talking about guns now (apparently), I KNOW there are a few posters on here that would use it to ream you out. Although it seems like half of them are banned now.

And no, republicans on this site are harassed on a DAILY basis by many liberal posters, and im not even a republican. In fact they are my least favorite party of the two, not that it means much. It is not "passionate" when republican posters are equated to racists, sexists, homophobics, and every other evil sounding word not for their individual stance on a topic but merely because of their party affiliation. You are sugarcoating things.

Ryotknife:
Also, im not the one who is deciding that Obamacare is considered liberal, but rather the American populace. It is painted by the general media (not just Fox news) as a liberal leaning policy.

Demonstrating how much the spectrum shifted in the last few years, so yes.

...but there is still an american perspective. It is not entirely accurate, no, but anything involving americans as a whole is in general never accurate.

Well! And how do all those people who don't view Obamacare as particularly Liberal fit into that? Or are they No True Americans or something because they don't share your perspective?
You can't just discount its history as a recent Republican mandate and simply redraw the lines every time the Conservative media machine decides that something isn't far-right fringe enough to be considered "Centrist" anymore.

Skeleon:

Ryotknife:
Also, im not the one who is deciding that Obamacare is considered liberal, but rather the American populace. It is painted by the general media (not just Fox news) as a liberal leaning policy.

Demonstrating how much the spectrum shifted in the last few years, so yes.

...but there is still an american perspective. It is not entirely accurate, no, but anything involving americans as a whole is in general never accurate.

Well! And how do all those people who don't view Obamacare as particularly Liberal fit into that? Or are they No True Americans or something because they don't share your perspective?
You can't really discount its history as a Republican mandate completely and simply redraw the lines every time the Conservative media machine decides that something isn't far-right fringe enough to be considered "Centrist" anymore.

true the spectrum does change. what was considered liberal 40 years ago is now more in the middle today.

Most americans agree that murder is wrong, but there are those out there who dont believe that. Can i not say that Americans believe that murder is wrong then? If so, then you can not make any kind of statement about americans other than they are americans. If so, then it is impossible to discuss about Americans in any meaningful context other than they exist.

Also, i never claimed to be a "true" american, my statement is merely that of an impartial observor. I have no bias to either party or either wing. Even if Obamacare was fascist, communist, or centralist, i still would not like it. I am not loyal to a party, im loyal to my ideals.

Ryotknife:
Most americans agree that murder is wrong, but there are those out there who dont believe that. Can i not say that Americans believe that murder is wrong then? If so, then you can not make any kind of statement about americans other than they are americans. If so, then it is impossible to discuss about Americans in any meaningful context other than they exist.

What I'm primarily arguing against is creating this false image of an American perspective. You can say "Americans tend to be more Conservative than Europeans" or something, but I'm generally wary of people claiming to portray the specific perspective of any group, never mind a group as huge and diverse as the USA's populace.

Also, i never claimed to be a "true" american, my statement is merely that of an impartial observor.

Meh, for humorous effect I'll turn your "I'm an American, therefore my view of the American perspective is more valid" right around on you. No, you're not impartial. You have a particular political view that affects how you think the American perspective is/should be. To be fair, I'm not impartial, either, but then I never claimed to be.

Even if Obamacare was fascist, communist, or centralist, i still would not like it. I am not loyal to a party, im loyal to my ideals.

Okay then, what did you think about Romneycare before it moved into the spotlight due to Obamacare? And what do you think of the actual Liberal proposals such as the Public Option which got torpedoed by Lieberman (and ultimately the Obama-administration wanting to compromise)?

Skeleon:

Ryotknife:
Most americans agree that murder is wrong, but there are those out there who dont believe that. Can i not say that Americans believe that murder is wrong then? If so, then you can not make any kind of statement about americans other than they are americans. If so, then it is impossible to discuss about Americans in any meaningful context other than they exist.

What I'm primarily arguing against is creating this false image of an American perspective. You can say "Americans tend to be more Conservative than Europeans" or something, but I'm generally wary of people claiming to portray the specific perspective of any group, never mind a group as huge and diverse as the USA's populace.

Also, i never claimed to be a "true" american, my statement is merely that of an impartial observor.

Meh, for humorous effect I'll turn your "I'm an American, therefore my view of the American perspective is more valid" right around on you. No, you're not impartial. You have a particular political view that affects how you think the American perspective is/should be. To be fair, I'm not impartial, either, but then I never claimed to be.

Even if Obamacare was fascist, communist, or centralist, i still would not like it. I am not loyal to a party, im loyal to my ideals.

Okay then, what did you think about Romneycare before it moved into the spotlight due to Obamacare? And what do you think of the actual Liberal proposals such as the Public Option which got torpedoed by Lieberman (and ultimately the Obama-administration wanting to compromise)?

against both. I am actually...open minded to universal healthcare as a concept, but i think it would be disasterous if the US did it. Why? because ive worked with a few government departments. While the government is great at security and workplace safety, efficiency is another matter.

So there is strike one.

Strike two is the fact that the government can barely keep up with the jobs it is currently tasked with. The education system is in a nosedive, law enforcement is problematic, economy sucks, etc etc. Giving the government more tasks, especially one as important as this, is foolish in my eyes until they can prove that they are capable of actually performing the jobs they have.

Now onto strike three. 40% of my money currently goes to the government in some way or another as it is (and im in a fairly low tax bracket). If i owned a home that figure would rise to about 60%. With universal healthcare, I would expect that number to rise to at least 70%, and im lowballing to hell here. And that still does not include car, gas, car insurance, food, utilities, or mortgage. Overall, im not exactly liking my return on my investment, especially since it is likely i will never see any of the money that i spent on social security when i retire.

as for Romney/Obamacare, it is a bandaid, and a bad one at that. Other than the HMO problem, our current system can easily work. A big problem with our medical system is one that is actually causing problems in many other public sector areas as well. Our sue happy culture, particularly people who see it as a get rich quick scheme. Nearly everytime someone sues for millions of dollars, it is usually the common person who pays the bill in the end.

And no, universal healthcare or public option healthcare would not be immune to being sued, ask the police or educational system as they both are common targets. Worse, government run agencies who get sued are more likely to roll over at the first sign, making the problems caused by a sue happy culture even worse.

@ryotknife , I'm not going to go on a quoting war with you, but I will point out that your personal representation of "what is liberal/conservative" is American first, narrow second, and wrong third. Conservative has traditionally meant to maintain the status quo regardless of new information in it's simplest terms and liberal means to apply the law fairly and equally without preference, using new information to determine action even if it doesn't align with what is already believed.

Bertrand Russel:

The essence of the Liberal outlook lies not in what opinions are held, but in how they are held: instead of being held dogmatically, they are held tentatively, and with a consciousness that new evidence may at any moment lead to their abandonment.

It's not about interpreting your own definition as you see fit, which is exactly what you admitted to doing citing "American Liberalism/Conservatism" as somehow justification to change the entire definition. This isn't just about policy but also the underlining philosophies of being a liberal or conservative. Please stop trying to skew the definition to suit your own interpretation.

Health care: Upwards of 70%+ (used median) of the population of Massachusetts thinks the universal health care system of their state is working and working well at that point. Most of the misinformation about MA vs Fed. health care is deliberate and comes from the most "fair and balanced" news source in the US....
https://www.mahealthconnector.org/portal/binary/com.epicentric.contentmanagement.servlet.ContentDeliveryServlet/About%2520Us/News%2520and%2520Updates/2011/Week%20Beginning%20March%2006/10%20FACTS%20POSTER.pdf

Also, if our healthcare system before the implementation of the AHCA worked then why did we change it? Because it didn't work and didn't provide care for a huge number of Americans - That huge number was mostly the WORKING CLASS; the class that needed the coverage. In any pay-to-win system the person with the most money always wins, universal health care was/is supposed to level the playing field, regardless of income level. That seems to be what is consistently missed by people who tout conservatism.

Another nugget of truth is the huge surplus Germany has for their healthcare system, but conservatives REFUSE to acknowledge this because it deflates most of their arguments, then they go on to quote some other, more conservative, German policy... At the end of 2012 they were estimated to have a nearly (US) $30 BILLION surplus.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-07-05/german-health-care-system-s-surplus-is-rising-die-welt-reports.html

l0ckd0wn:
@ryotknife , I'm not going to go on a quoting war with you, but I will point out that your personal representation of "what is liberal/conservative" is American first, narrow second, and wrong third. Conservative has traditionally meant to maintain the status quo regardless of new information in it's simplest terms and liberal means to apply the law fairly and equally without preference, using new information to determine action even if it doesn't align with what is already believed.

Bertrand Russel:

The essence of the Liberal outlook lies not in what opinions are held, but in how they are held: instead of being held dogmatically, they are held tentatively, and with a consciousness that new evidence may at any moment lead to their abandonment.

It's not about interpreting your own definition as you see fit, which is exactly what you admitted to doing citing "American Liberalism/Conservatism" as somehow justification to change the entire definition. This isn't just about policy but also the underlining philosophies of being a liberal or conservative. Please stop trying to skew the definition to suit your own interpretation.

Health care: Upwards of 70%+ (used median) of the population of Massachusetts thinks the universal health care system of their state is working and working well at that point. Most of the misinformation about MA vs Fed. health care is deliberate and comes from the most "fair and balanced" news source in the US....
https://www.mahealthconnector.org/portal/binary/com.epicentric.contentmanagement.servlet.ContentDeliveryServlet/About%2520Us/News%2520and%2520Updates/2011/Week%20Beginning%20March%2006/10%20FACTS%20POSTER.pdf

Also, if our healthcare system before the implementation of the AHCA worked then why did we change it? Because it didn't work and didn't provide care for a huge number of Americans - That huge number was mostly the WORKING CLASS; the class that needed the coverage. In any pay-to-win system the person with the most money always wins, universal health care was/is supposed to level the playing field, regardless of income level. That seems to be what is consistently missed by people who tout conservatism.

Another nugget of truth is the huge surplus Germany has for their healthcare system, but conservatives REFUSE to acknowledge this because it deflates most of their arguments, then they go on to quote some other, more conservative, German policy... At the end of 2012 they were estimated to have a nearly (US) $30 BILLION surplus.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-07-05/german-health-care-system-s-surplus-is-rising-die-welt-reports.html

1. Ive already said that if a different country's views on what is liberal or conservative doesnt match up with ours that is perfectly fine. I have enough respect for other countries to let them determine what is or is not liberal or conversative in their own country, but they have no right to dictate to us what is liberal or conversative in issues inside of our own country. But you are right that my views on liberal/conservative is American only, and should not be applied outside of my country.

2. im not conservative. Im not even close to conservative, I voted for Obama twice. Im closer to a moderate Democrat than a moderate Republican. Unfortunately, this means that im often attacked by both the far right and the far left for my views as I try to find solutions to satisfy the majority of the country, rather than favor at most 50% of amercians. I prefer to compromise, which is why I dont mind Obama all that much as a president as he does try to compromise more than most of the politicians. On every major issue other than gun control and unions, i tend to be on the moderate left.

3. what works in another country does not translate into that it will work in the US, only that it CAN work. However, looking at other government departments it is doubtful that a government run healthcare would be anything close to efficient as it does not play to our governments strengths, which is security and workplace safety. What cures cancer in a dog does not neccessarily mean it will cure cancer in a shark.

also, isnt your definition of what is conversative and liberal a bit biased? It paints liberal as a force of good and conservative as backwards and stagnant. Yea, you brought a quote from a staunch liberal to define his movement. Should we ask Hitler to define what it means to be a Nazi (GODWIN)? Personally, i only SLIGHTLY disagree with your definition so it does not really affect me just in case.

Ryotknife:
While the government is great at security and workplace safety, efficiency is another matter.

I think that's actually the worst view one can have of government because it lends itself so well to a police state-accepting, basic services-denying mentality. Considering how incompetent the government is, how is it in any way justifiable to give them the sort of power they have (or have given themselves) in the USA regarding civil liberties infractions etc.? Anyway, I'd argue that fixing the problems is more sensible than just abandoning any hope for a sustainable healthcare system. If your country didn't waste so much money on security and military, maybe you could afford to actually spend some on your own citizens.

The education system is in a nosedive, law enforcement is problematic, economy sucks, etc etc. Giving the government more tasks, especially one as important as this, is foolish in my eyes until they can prove that they are capable of actually performing the jobs they have.

That's a load of self-fulfilling prophecies. Republicans in particular rage against public education and defund it, lower science standards etc. and then they act surprised when education fails. Honestly, I don't buy that act. This has an agenda behind it.

40% of my money currently goes to the government in some way or another as it is (and im in a fairly low tax bracket).

Lucky bastard, it's more than 45% for me.
On the other hand I get a lot better services and infrastructure, so maybe I'm the lucky bastard after all. It doesn't really matter how much money you have in the bank account if you save money in the end.

With universal healthcare, I would expect that number to rise to at least 70%, and im lowballing to hell here.

If properly implented, you would actually save money. Remember that the USA has some of the highest per capita healthcare costs yet really bad coverage. If you can afford it, you can get some of the very best healthcare in the whole world. But so few can without going bankrupt or at least severely diminishing their standing. A proper healthcare system would help with that and effectively save you money.

as for Romney/Obamacare, it is a bandaid, and a bad one at that.

I can certainly agree with you there. While even the Public Option would've only been a compromise, at least it would've provided some form of competition and baseline insurance so private insurers can't just do whatever the hell they want without risking losing paying customers. Obamacare on the other hand is way too weak. It has some nice little tweaks in there, but that's about it. But that's Obama for you.

Our sue happy culture, particularly people who see it as a get rich quick scheme. Nearly everytime someone sues for millions of dollars, it is usually the common person who pays the bill in the end.

True, the USA's tendency for outrageous suits (for burning yourself because you drink your coffee too hot for instance) is widely known, but IIRC the numbers correctly this is actually a very minor part of the issue. Reform in that regard would help a bit, no question about it, but it's neither the main problem nor would it be a big fix. Frankly, the heavy emphasis that some politicians put on it seems more like a distraction to me.

Interesting to see the party going back from their 'jumping the shark' few years. Perhaps the heated discussion will be found elsewhere for the coming decade.

Glasgow:
Interesting to see the party going back from their 'jumping the shark' few years. Perhaps the heated discussion will be found elsewhere for the coming decade.

We're not out of the woods yet. The actual number of current Republican members of congress who signed onto the brief was two, which is also the same amount of Republicans who support repealing the federal ban on gay marriage, DOMA. The Republican House of Representatives leadership is also still spending millions of taypayer dollars on defending DOMA in different court cases.

It is significant that so many Republicans signed onto the brief, but with the exception of Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Richard Hanna, every one of them is out of office and was either against or silent on same-sex marriage while in office or are failed candidates or unelected staffers and so on.

It's going to be a long, long time before the Republican Party as a whole comes around to allowing and/or recognising same-sex marriages or even civil unions/domestic partnerships.

Change or die.
They are changing.

As feckless some politicians can be in supporting things that they not just don't personally agree with, but outright don't support it unless forced by party (George W Bush was ok with Homosexual couples, and by the sounds of it would have theoritically gone along with gay marriage), this is a sign that no longer do many Republicans believe its either possible, or more importantly a vote winning method to be opposing gay marriage.

The current Republican voting base consists of White, older men. This will result in their destruction if they don't change.

Firstly they need to open up the party to ethnic minorities. Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, would be people, who if they got the Republican ticket would do a great deal to break the Republican party, in order to fix it.

Its not going to last in its current form for more than another 3 or 4 election cycles. However its better if they were to change before that. However appauling an uncheckable Two party system is... an uncheckable One party system due to opposition incompetenecy is worse.

This is very interesting news indeed, however I don't think this is going to become common trend in the Republican party. The country(as a whole)doesn't seem to support same-sex marriage in general, despite a few states allowing it. Me personally, I believe all people should be treated the same regardless of their sexual preferences. However I do not support same-sex marriage, this is due to my personal values.

Please keep in mind that by no means do I hate gay people, I respect them just like I do anyone else, and I have no problem with civil unions and want them to offer ALL the rights that marriage provides. I just believe marriage it's self is an important value and should remain between a man and a woman. However I did vote for Obama knowing that he did support gay marriage, overall this is an issue that I believe each individual state should decide for themselves.

Also I'm brand new to this site, so sorry if my post offends someone or I'm not posting in the right manner.

Comando96:
Change or die.
They are changing.

Bleh, too bad. I was hoping they would stay stubborn and disappear into obscurity rather than slowly and painfully change as little as possible to remain relevant.

TheLycanKing144:

Please keep in mind that by no means do I hate gay people, I respect them just like I do anyone else, and I have no problem with civil unions and want them to offer ALL the rights that marriage provides. I just believe marriage it's self is an important value and should remain between a man and a woman.

If we have civil unions that offer all the rights that marriage does, they are quite literally the same thing. Now, if you're talking about religious marriage, that are not legally binding anyway, have nothing to do with legal marriage and are simply done because of one's religious affiliation, those are in no threat of being changed by shifting legal marriage, nor do I hear any arguments to force those to change.

LetalisK:

Comando96:
Change or die.
They are changing.

Bleh, too bad. I was hoping they would stay stubborn and disappear into obscurity rather than slowly and painfully change as little as possible to remain relevant.

TheLycanKing144:

Please keep in mind that by no means do I hate gay people, I respect them just like I do anyone else, and I have no problem with civil unions and want them to offer ALL the rights that marriage provides. I just believe marriage it's self is an important value and should remain between a man and a woman.

If we have civil unions that offer all the rights that marriage does, they are quite literally the same thing. Now, if you're talking about religious marriage, that are not legally binding anyway, have nothing to do with legal marriage and are simply done because of one's religious affiliation, those are in no threat of being changed by shifting legal marriage, nor do I hear any arguments to force those to change.

Yes I want them to have all the same rights as straight couples do, however I am not in favor of changing the definition of marriage to allow gay couples, much like how I don't believe we should allow polygamy marriages or incest marriages. Please keep in mind I am NOT saying homosexuals are the same as those two other groups, just that we shouldn't change what marriage is. In my opinion it should remain between a man and a woman.

TheLycanKing144:
Yes I want them to have all the same rights as straight couples do, however I am not in favor of changing the definition of marriage to allow gay couples, much like how I don't believe we should allow polygamy marriages or incest marriages. Please keep in mind I am NOT saying homosexuals are the same as those two other groups, just that we shouldn't change what marriage is. In my opinion it should remain between a man and a woman.

But what about historically when, as an example, the Pharaoh of Egypt could end up marrying both his mother and his sister? Or is that not marriage anymore? If it isn't, what is it?

I understand you feel that marriage is a religious institution. But why is that? The word is of Latin origin, and the Romans certainly didn't have anything to do with your religion when they came up with the word, unless you feel that "marriage" should only be performed by a priestess of Venus. Everyone else gets married. Buddhists, Pagans, Hindus, atheists, they all get married. So how can you argue that "marriage" needs to conform to your religion's thoughts on the subject after so many people who aren't of your religion have already gotten married?

TheLycanKing144:

however I am not in favor of changing the definition of marriage to allow gay couples,

Whether you realize it or not, you are. By allowing them civil unions and giving them the same legal benefits as a marriage, you are giving them marriage. Switching out the arbitrary label doesn't make this less true. A rose by any other name...

That's why I also pointed out the difference between the legal institution of marriage and the religious institution of marriage. Two different animals.

TheLycanKing144:
Yes I want them to have all the same rights as straight couples do, however I am not in favor of changing the definition of marriage to allow gay couples, much like how I don't believe we should allow polygamy marriages or incest marriages. Please keep in mind I am NOT saying homosexuals are the same as those two other groups, just that we shouldn't change what marriage is. In my opinion it should remain between a man and a woman.

I'm not trying to jump down your throat about this but allowing civil unions in the US is not a very workable solution, for several reasons.

- 20+ states have constitutional bans on civil unions.
- More states have same-sex marriage (nine plus DC) than civil unions (eight).
- There is no universally understood concept of a civil union, from the name, to the rights that they grant, to how to enter into one and how to dissolve one, to interstate recognition, like there is for marriage.
- Same-sex marriages are already performed in the US and have been for almost a decade and the US federal government has a duty to recognise as valid marriages performed in its states, there has never been an obligation for the US federal government to recognise civil unions and an entirely new framework would have to be created to do so which would be particularly difficult considering how civil unions vary from state to state.

I'm not sure what your religious beliefs are, but there is also a difference between civil marriage and religious marriage. Marriage doesn't require you to be of a particular religion (even atheists can marry), nor is a marriage required to be solemnised by a minister of religion. Judges, justices of the peace, certain public servants, civil celebrants, etc. etc. can marry couples without any religious involvement whatsoever. Gay couples have no interest in intruding into your church and forcing your minister to marry us, we just want the government to allow us to formalise our relationships the same way that straight couples have been able to do since marriage recognition moved from the common law to civil law.

ten.to.ten:

- 20+ states have constitutional bans on civil unions.

And those constitutional bans would be irrelevant if the Supreme Court or Congress decided such. Just like with same-sex marriage.

- More states have same-sex marriage (nine plus DC) than civil unions (eight).

Not quite sure what this has to do with civil unions being an unworkable solution. Who has what is irrelevant when the Supreme Court or Congress decides states must account for something, same-sex marriage or civil unions.

- There is no universally understood concept of a civil union, from the name, to the rights that they grant, to how to enter into one and how to dissolve one, to interstate recognition, like there is for marriage.
- Same-sex marriages are already performed in the US and have been for almost a decade and the US federal government has a duty to recognise as valid marriages performed in its states, there has never been an obligation for the US federal government to recognise civil unions and an entirely new framework would have to be created to do so which would be particularly difficult considering how civil unions vary from state to state.

As you point out in your post above, there are already criteria for the legal handling of civil unions in some places of the country. And nothing is stopping the federal government from creating new ones from scratch or or utilizing those that already exist as a model. And it's really not as difficult as you make it sound, especially if the solution is "Slap a different label on the header", as seems to be a common suggestion.

Civil unions, specifically of the "just like marriage without the name brand", are a workable solution. So workable that they strangely mirror same-sex marriage bar one tiny detail.

While I don't like the idea of civil unions, I think it's far from an unworkable solution. In fact, it's just as workable as same-sex marriage...hence my opposition to civil unions, as it seems pointless to create a false barrier between the two.

Edit: And you didn't sound like you were jumping down his throat. You always sound quite pleasant, actually.

LetalisK:
And those constitutional bans would be irrelevant if the Supreme Court or Congress decided such. Just like with same-sex marriage.

The federal congress cannot override a clause of a state constitution regarding family law. Civil unions would have to be found a constitutional right by the Supreme Court for this to happen, which is inexplicable considering that they are a brand new invention from merely 13 years ago. They are not part of American history, they have not found widespread acceptance in the states, have not ever before been found a fundamental right under the US constitution (marriage on the other hand has been found to be a fundamental right around 14 times) and could very well be in and of themselves fundamentally unconstitutional on "separate but equal" equal protection and due process grounds.

LetalisK:
Not quite sure what this has to do with civil unions being an unworkable solution. Who has what is irrelevant when the Supreme Court or Congress decides states must account for something, same-sex marriage or civil unions.

Like I said above, the federal congress can't dictate state marriage and family law, that is outside the authority of the federal congress, and it's why the federal Defense of Marriage Act will almost certainly be ruled unconstitutional. Now, "unworkable" might not be the entirely appropriate word to use in this context, but more states are choosing to recognise same-sex relationships through the already existing marriage framework rather than through creating a new framework, and more and more states that have had civil unions are choosing to repeal them in favour of same-sex marriage.

There aren't many states left that can legislate for civil unions without violating their constitutions, and most of them will probably change their constitutions again to allow gay marriage before their legislatures approve civil unions anyway.

Federal recognition of civil unions will not happen because Democrats, on the whole, have moved onto same-sex marriage, and it is a hell of a lot easier to just repeal the Defense of Marriage Act than create and try to pass an entirely new law to recognise a handful of state civil unions, and Republicans, on the whole, still fundamentally object to same-sex relationships in general and do not support any recognition of them at all. The congress has never, not even once, proposed a bill that would recognise civil unions federally, later this year, assuming the Supreme Court invalidates DOMA, civil unions will seem even more useless.

LetalisK:
As you point out in your post above, there are already criteria for the legal handling of civil unions in some places of the country. And nothing is stopping the federal government from creating new ones from scratch or or utilizing those that already exist as a model. And it's really not as difficult as you make it sound, especially if the solution is "Slap a different label on the header", as seems to be a common suggestion.

You really don't know how the US federal system works, do you? The most the federal government could probably do is create a framework for granting domestic partner benefits to gay couples, whether married/unioned or not, but anything like this has been voted down.

The federal government generally does not have the power under the constitution to broadly create new family law applicable under the states and territories, it must recognise the families that the states and territories create through their own laws and can merely decide what benefits to grant to families that have been classified a certain way by a state.

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/argument-against-gay-marriage-california-hinges-accidental-pregnancies-095158941--election.html

Apparently the vote in California on Prop 8 and on DOMA hinges on "Accidental pregnancy". Since gay couples cannot get pregnant naturally, they are arguing marriage should be exclusive because straight couples might accidentally get pregnant, and marriage encourages them (somehow) to form a stable family unit. Because that's always how that works in the real world...

Not the dumbest argument against gay marriage, but definitely in the Top 6.

It is funny to watch them scramble for any kind of defensible argument. Not that they can win with this. But that this is the best attempt they can make is hilarious on its own. Grab those straws, Republicans.

It'd be great if someone asked them if that meant that they opposed marriage for sterile individuals. Or those who chose not to have sex at all. Then watch them try to twist their pathetic logic around long enough to form a noose and hang themselves with it.

NameIsRobertPaulson:
Apparently the vote in California on Prop 8 and on DOMA hinges on "Accidental pregnancy". Since gay couples cannot get pregnant naturally, they are arguing marriage should be exclusive because straight couples might accidentally get pregnant, and marriage encourages them (somehow) to form a stable family unit. Because that's always how that works in the real world...

Not the dumbest argument against gay marriage, but definitely in the Top 6.

It's also complete bullshit and should be inadmissible in court because it's just something they made up after the fact to try to claim there was actually anything that even seemed like a legitimate reason to ban gay marriage that wasn't just based in prejudice.

The great thing about Proposition 8 in particular is that the actual justifications for it at the time it was being prepared to be voted on are very clearly recorded. They were (paraphrasing):

1) Restoring the traditional definition of marriage.
2) Overturning the "outrageous decision of four activists judges".
3) Protecting children from being taught in school that same-sex marriage is okay.

If you think the idea of granting special status and benefits to straight marriages based on the fact that some straight couples are capable of producing accidental pregnancies sounded flimsy, whoa boy...

Aris Khandr:
It is funny to watch them scramble for any kind of defensible argument. Not that they can win with this. But that this is the best attempt they can make is hilarious on its own. Grab those straws, Republicans.

It'd be great if someone asked them if that meant that they opposed marriage for sterile individuals. Or those who chose not to have sex at all. Then watch them try to twist their pathetic logic around long enough to form a noose and hang themselves with it.

Their answer is that it would be an unfair invasion of privacy for straight couples to have to prove they're fertile before they're allowed to get married (never mind that in some states if you want to marry your cousin you have to prove you're not fertile) and that even if a man-woman couple is infertile they still fit the "biological reality" of having the potential to be parents through conception (wtf no they bloody well don't).

ten.to.ten:

LetalisK:
And those constitutional bans would be irrelevant if the Supreme Court or Congress decided such. Just like with same-sex marriage.

The federal congress cannot override a clause of a state constitution regarding family law.

....

Like I said above, the federal congress can't dictate state marriage and family law, that is outside the authority of the federal congress, and it's why the federal Defense of Marriage Act will almost certainly be ruled unconstitutional.

Federal statutory law(Congress) and Supreme Court judicial decisions preempt state constitutional law and it's been like this for a long time. We're supposed to have a give and take of power between the federal government and state governments, but the Supreme Court has ruled fairly consistently in favor of the supremacy clause and against nullification/10th Amendment establishing dominion of federal power over state power, even in areas where states are supposed to have most of the power(even if it is a slow process sometimes). In addition, there is precedent for the federal government defining marriage for states(see: Utah and polygamy, which the federal government outright told Utah they could not allow polygamous marriages and they had to recognize inter-religion marriages)[1].

Now, the Supreme Court could take on a federal statutory law vs state constitutional law case about gay marriage and would theoretically have a legitimate constitutional argument for either side. However, there is no reason to believe they'd break precedent like this, especially when they could evoke the 14th Amendment on the side with the supremacy clause. This isn't even taking into account the other less...official methods the federal government can enforce its will on the states(like cutting funding to the states). Don't confuse the lack of will with the lack of power.

LetalisK:

You really don't know how the US federal system works, do you?

What's with this comment? And after I praised you for being friendly(I wasn't being sarcastic with that comment, btw).

The most the federal government could probably do is create a framework for granting domestic partner benefits to gay couples, whether married/unioned or not, but anything like this has been voted down.

You're right, they could. That was my point. You marginalize it as "the most the federal government could probably do", but you're effectively saying what I did. Also, measures like this being voted down is irrelevant to whether or not they actually have the power to do it. It'd actually imply that they do or are just really ballsy.

The federal government generally does not have the power under the constitution to broadly create new family law applicable under the states and territories,

When it comes to civil rights, again, not true, particularly for the Supreme Court for obvious reasons. Congress can pass non-discrimination laws, requiring states to extend civil rights, including marriage, to certain groups. Now, there is no practical reason they couldn't call it "civil union" instead of "marriage"[2], but I would hope they wouldn't create that type of false dichotomy.

it must recognise the families that the states and territories create through their own laws and can merely decide what benefits to grant to families that have been classified a certain way by a state.

No, it doesn't. Even if no supremacy clause existed, the full faith and credit clause applies to states in relation to other states and has nothing to do with the federal government, e.g. DOMA, which when/if deemed unconstitutional will be so under the 14th Amendment, not the full faith and credit clause.

[1] Not saying I agree or disagree with this use of federal power, merely pointing out that it's not unheard of
[2] ie phrasing the law as something like "States must provide civil unions to all citizens regardless of sexual orientation that come with the same benefits as legally recognized marriage" as opposed to simply telling states they can no longer discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.

ten.to.ten:

Aris Khandr:
It is funny to watch them scramble for any kind of defensible argument. Not that they can win with this. But that this is the best attempt they can make is hilarious on its own. Grab those straws, Republicans.

It'd be great if someone asked them if that meant that they opposed marriage for sterile individuals. Or those who chose not to have sex at all. Then watch them try to twist their pathetic logic around long enough to form a noose and hang themselves with it.

Their answer is that it would be an unfair invasion of privacy for straight couples to have to prove they're fertile before they're allowed to get married (never mind that in some states if you want to marry your cousin you have to prove you're not fertile) and that even if a man-woman couple is infertile they still fit the "biological reality" of having the potential to be parents through conception (wtf no they bloody well don't).

I really hope this does come up in the DOMA proceedings, because it looks like their arguments are headed that way. The Republicans only want small government when it suits them best. EPA regulations and regulations to prevent companies from taking advantage of their labor force or safeguards to prevent self-destructive schemes to get fast money in the short-term? Bah! We don't need those, corporations are our friends! They would never do something that could damage the entire economy![1]

Women wanting the option to have an abortion? NO, YOU DON'T GET TO DO THAT. THE GOVERNMENT PUTS ITS FOOT DOWN ON THIS MATTER.

Gays wanting to get married and file taxes together, inherit child custody, and inherit estates without estate taxes just like straight couples? NO, THE GOVERNMENT SAYS YOU CAN'T DO THAT BECAUSE THOSE THINGS WOULD BE BAD. BAD, BAD, BAD.

[1] Don'tmentionthehousingbubble. Don'tmentionthehousingbubble. Don'tmentionthehousingbubble.

LetalisK:
What's with this comment? And after I praised you for being friendly(I wasn't being sarcastic with that comment, btw).

I'm sorry. I've been on the Escapist too long when I start to automatically assume that people are being sarcastic when they're not and you didn't deserve me acting like a jerk like that. I was also tired and not concentrating well when I wrote that reply and reading over it now I can see bits of it where I was pretty obviously wrong and I really should have known better. Next time I'll take longer to reply if it means that I won't screw it up.

I still think civil unions are politically infeasible if not constitutionally infeasible. The RFMA DOMA repeal bill is probably only one good election away from having enough sponsors to get passed through congress but as far as I know there has never been a bill in congress either creating a national civil union system or recognising state civil unions for federal purposes similarly to marriages, and I don't see a big push for civil unions anymore, with the exception of the small handful of states that have constitutional bans on gay marriage but not on civil unions.

ten.to.ten:

I still think civil unions are politically infeasible

This we can agree on. Civil unions would still be seen as an attack on marriage by the evangelical right and a slap in the face to leftists like myself.

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