Box Turtle Bulletin

Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
This article can be found at:
Latest Posts

The Time Has Come for All Good People to Come to the Aid of What Is Right

Rob Tisinai

March 18th, 2013

We’ve had some big marriage wins lately in the conservative camp. First that pro-equality Supreme Court brief from a long list of prominent Republicans, then a sitting Republican senator, and now an endorsement from conservative pillar Charles Murray — given at the CPAC conference, no less! That’s just a sampling. The list is long and getting longer. But why? And more to the point, why now?

I think it’s because they know it could be their last chance.

For many of them,it might work like this:

  • They think same-sex marriage, whether they like it or not, is inevitable.
  • They know the Supreme Court might settle the question in a few months.
  • They fear this is their last chance to be on the right side of history.

I have no respect for that. Believe what you believe, regardless of the political wind. Realizing your conviction is unpopular is no reason to change it.

But I think something else is going on, too. Imagine you’re a conservative. And you support marriage equality. And you’ve been silent. But now you realize this may be your last chance to say you supported same-sex marriage before it becomes the law of the land.

How mortifying must it be to know you sided with the angels in the great civil rights struggle of our day, but no one will ever believe you?

To know you’re on the right side of moral history, but might be seen for the rest of your life as one of its opponents?

To know you believe in the American ideals of freedom and human dignity, but sat out this historic struggle to turn America into a more perfect union?

How mortifying must it be to know you are right, but your silence now could brand you forever as having been deeply and morally wrong?

We don’t know what the Supreme Court will do. Things could go entirely for us, against us, or any one of a myriad ways in between. But no matter what the decision, we’re ramping up to an historical landmark. And this time, because of the Internet, no one will ever doubt twenty years from now where you stood today. So this may be everyone’s last chance. The message is growing loud and it’s frightening — to Republicans, Democrats, Independents, and the whole gamut of the political spectrum:

There is no more safety in silence. Declare yourself. Declare yourself now, before it’s too late.

Comments

POST COMMENT | COMMENT RSS 2.0

Mark F.
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Well said. Who wants to be George Wallace, coming out for civil rights long after it really would have done any good? (And unlike Barry Goldwater, who opposed some civil rights laws for libertarian reasons, Wallace was really a racist. )

Timothy Kincaid
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Rob

I have an entirely different take on this. If I EVER get a chance to finish my commentary while it is still relevant, I’ll share my thoughts.

Ben in Oakland
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Rob, someone’s going to all you cynical. Just not me.

Rob Tisinai
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Sorry, Tim, I got my post up first, and since all gays must ascribe to the same agenda and messaging, it’s too late for you to post an alternative view.

Hunter
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

I think it’s a lot simpler: the issue really has reached a tipping point, and not all Republicans are crazy. It’s just that the crazy ones vote in primaries. The sane ones (who aren’t facing re-election next year) are jumping ship rather than going down with it. (It occurs to me that anyone who expects an office-holder to actually lead on any issue is living in — well, maybe the 1960s.)

Robert
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Timothy-

If we are of the same mind regarding shell shock PTSD stuff like I mentioned the other day, I think it would still be a relevant conversation. As we gain more equality that issue is going to be of great importance. HOW, as a community, do we deal with the issue of actually winning? Some of us have been fighting this battle our entire lives, what will it mean, and how will we deal with it when we finally win? Because we will win, and the discussion seems more important now, while the shift is happening, than it will after we win.

Timothy Kincaid
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Rob,

damn damn damn damn damn!!

If only I’d got my views up first

Timothy Kincaid
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

” HOW, as a community, do we deal with the issue of actually winning? Some of us have been fighting this battle our entire lives, what will it mean, and how will we deal with it when we finally win?”

That is exactly the issue we are going to face.

gsingjane
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Latest ABC News/WaPo poll… 58% of those surveyed responded that it should be legal for gay and lesbian couples to wed. 62% of those surveyed believe that homosexuality is “just the way [gay people] are” versus 24% believing it is something people can change.

58%. And here I could hardly wrap my head around going over half.

Ben In Oakland
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

You know how we’ll deal with it?

First thing, we’ll stop worrying so much about gay rights and put our attention on things that might save the country and or the world from going down the tubes.

My second thing? I want to go up to Brian fischer gallagher perkins roberston and say

Nananana boo-boo
stick your head in doo-doo.

Then Paul and i will open up a nice bottle of wine.

JohnAGJ
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

That is exactly the issue we are going to face.

Or to quote from Star Trek VI:

(Klingon Chancellor Gorkon to Captain Kirk) “You don’t trust me, do you? I don’t blame you. If there is to be a brave new world, our generation is going to have the hardest time living in it.”

I am very pleased for the next generation especially with all the changes that have occurred, as well as those I anticipate coming soon, but it IS difficult to let go of the past. Might be corny quoting Star Trek but having grown up in the Cold War (which this movie was really about) I always found a lot of truth in this line.

Darina
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

I don’t expect the world to run short of causes to fight for in our lifetime. :)

Zeldamina
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

I remember in 1996 or thereabouts, when I was in college, hearing from older activists who were more experienced than me that marriage equality was “at least fifty years away.” I understand where their pessimism was coming from, and I see myself as part of a transitional generation of LGBTs, because I have some sense of how bad it was (not the same as older folk, but some), but also saw this future coming from a few decades away.

I hang out a bit with the queer student union at my local university, where the younguns are. Where I’m at they are so. over. the whole marriage equality thing. Most get how important it is. But I think many see it as so immensely inevitable, have seen it that way for so many years, that they are already moving ahead and looking at other issues.

They are interested in issues like addressing sexual assault and domestic violence in our communities. So things like the domestic violence protections in the new VAWA are up their ally, activism-wise. Greater access to social service resources for same-sex couples, that kind of thing.

This is not to say that others from previous generations have not paved the way on these issues too, just that this seems to be where I see energy coalescing among the next generation of LGBT activists, at least in my area.

Zeldamina
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Oh, and immigration issues. That’s a huge one among that cohort too. Anything intersectional.

StraightGrandmother
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

Before we all start glad handing Charles Murray better read Philip Cohen’s Blog FamilyInequality. + he has a couple of Regnerus articles, scroll down for those.
http://familyinequality.wordpress.com/

StraightGrandmother
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

“HOW, as a community, do we deal with the issue of actually winning?”

We fight like HELL for the children of sexual minorities and their right to be parents. We might get that IF we get Civil Marriage because in I think it is 27 States there can be no second parent adoption because the same gender couple is NOT Married.

Over at David Blankenhorn’s Institute for American Values they want to eliminate sperm donation and surrogacy. Elizabeth Marquardt flys all over and testifies. You really should participat at their blog http://www.FamilyScholars.org

David Blankenhorn may be for Civil Marriage for Sexual Minorities but he does not approve of gays being parents.
Here read him in his own words. Read both of these

http://familyscholars.org/2013/03/01/american-sociological-association-on-same-sex-parenting-and-child-outcomes/

http://familyscholars.org/2013/03/12/do-words-like-mother-and-father-matter-2/

Zeldamina
March 18th, 2013 | LINK

There is also the global fight, of course. Probably moreso than anything else (as evidenced by all of the reporting on Uganda done here, for example).

Also, I feel like an idiot for having to come back here to say what I intended to say when I went to the comment section in the first place (and then got distracted by the super interesting conversation), but this piece was lovely and I really enjoyed it.

Ben in Oakland
March 19th, 2013 | LINK

All of those important things that the rest if you mentioned, too.

But I still want to thumb my nose at them.

MattNYC
March 19th, 2013 | LINK

I do have a personal “Happy Dance” I will do. Plus Wayne and I will have a glass (each) of wine (we’re too light-weight to handle an entire bottle at once ;)

Richard Rush
March 19th, 2013 | LINK

“All of those important things that the rest if you mentioned, too.

But I still want to thumb my nose at them.

Me too, Ben.

StraightGrandmother
March 19th, 2013 | LINK

MattNYC, “I do have a personal “Happy Dance” I will do. ”

It is funny you should mention “Happy Dance” Because when Elizabeth Marquardt from the Institute for American Values (Blankenhorn) wrote her article saying she “accepts” same gender civil marriage she also wrote in a comment, “Well let me put it this way, I won’t do a Happy Dance when it happens” This is NOT support folks.

dn
March 19th, 2013 | LINK

In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

If these guys are now our friends, I sure do remember their silence, lo these many years.

jpeckjr
March 19th, 2013 | LINK

I came out in 1976, when I was 18. I have not spent a day of my adult life in the closet, sometimes more open than other times, but never in the closet.

When we win on marriage equality, I’ll sit down and cry, because I never would have imagined it.

Could we then turn our attention and energy to getting the federal Employment Nondiscrimination Act passed?

Robert
March 19th, 2013 | LINK

Tim(othy) Kincaid-

It’s Robert….LOL

I still look forward to an in depth, and it’s funny JohnAGJ mentioned The Undiscoverd Country Star Trek movie. I mentioned it in post yesterday on the thread by Jim.

I think when we do finally win this fight, and the subsequent fights that it will be a great day, but like jpeckjr, I think I’ll probably sit down and cry, from BOTH exhaustion and joy. Then action wise move on to the next concern. But emotionally I am not sure how many of us will cope with a changed world that so long ago seemed an impossibility. It WILL be hard to move past the anger and the struggle itself.

I also believe that the Marriage Equality fight was the most important fight for our times. As a result of this battle, we won many others that wouldn’t have been as viable. I beleieve that many of the remaining issues will be resolved fairly quickly once the biggest brick is removed from the wall. I don’t expect roses and clover, but I do think it will be a brave new world.

Timothy Kincaid
March 19th, 2013 | LINK

Ahem… let’s perhaps avoid referencing post-marriage success as a ‘brave new world’. I don’t think that we really want to suggest Huxley’s contrautopia. That didn’t end so very well.

I know what you mean, but, well…

Ben In Oakland
March 19th, 2013 | LINK

“It WILL be hard to move past the anger and the struggle itself.”

I’m 62 now. I’ve been fighting the gay rights battle for easily 40 years or more. I can’t wait to move past both anger and struggle.

The antigays and the religious right are a mere distraction. I’ve been arguing ever since Harvey milk said it in 1977 that the enemy is the closet. Which is just another way of saying the enemy has always been ourselves, our fears, our negative self image. always.

The religious Reich has never understood, in their pride for being proxies for god and his BFF, that they aren’t the enemy, but the closet is. They’ve refused to shut up about the issue, but instead, keep insisting that it be brought to the front. Let’s keep talking about “the crime against nature, not to be named among Christians.”

That’ll show ‘em.

Not only do they not stop talking about it, but they have forced US to talk about it– to ourselves, with our friends, families, neighbors, and colleagues. And that has forced them to think and talk talk about it as well.

And thus the closet is slowly but surely going to be demolished for a lot of gay people, probably the majority who haven’t been too carefully taught to hate themselves.

Andrew
March 19th, 2013 | LINK

The simple answer is: when we win, I’m getting married.

Seriously, though, it’s the question all movements face after they win… what next?

Robert
March 19th, 2013 | LINK

Timothy-

Huxley wasn’t the first to use the phrase. I stidied theatre so this is the quote that came to MY mind….

O wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in’t.
—William Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act V, Scene I, ll. 203–206

And as things change for us, this quote is more and more relevant.

Robert
March 19th, 2013 | LINK

I do understand that in The Tempest it is the same type of irony used in Huxley’s book, but the words, they are so beautiful, irony aside.

MattNYC
March 19th, 2013 | LINK

Also, we will get married and not have to deal with the mess that stands currently (we have different state residencies due to property ownership).

Timothy Kincaid
March 19th, 2013 | LINK

Andrew,

Obviously we have further work to do (for example: the AIDS issue isn’t over, much as we’d like it to be).

But sadly, much of what our leaders will do will be be contrived and unnecessary. I imagine there’ll be some drive for a national Harvey Milk Day or some such pointless endeavor designed solely to continue the Culture War.

But there was something so very beautiful and classy about that marriage group in (I forget which state now, Connecticut?) that simply folded up the tables, thanked everyone for their help, closed up shop, and went back to their regular lives.

Hyhybt
March 19th, 2013 | LINK

As for the politicians… could it not be much simpler, at least for some of them, that they’re realizing it’s now relatively safe to admit?

homer
March 19th, 2013 | LINK

What will I do after same sex marriage is legalized in the entire US? I will be hounding politicians to get anti-discrimination laws passed.

And maybe I will get married.

BobN
March 19th, 2013 | LINK

Going by the standard of “prominent” applied to some recent converts on the subject, there are tens of thousands of “prominent Republicans” in this country. Fewer than 200 have publicly stood up.

There are upwards of 100,000,000 Republican adults in the country.

We are utterly fooling ourselves to believe that a significant number of either group is on our side or will be anytime soon.

What they are hoping for is a SCOTUS win on our side… because they want to retake the House and Senate in 2014.

David Stotts
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

Do members of romantic triads deserve marriage equality?

Rob Tisinai
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

Well, Dave, how would such marriages work?

Marcus
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

David, I hope you aren’t suggesting that if everyone can’t achieve equality at once, no one should achieve it. By that logic, interracial marriage bans shouldn’t have been struck down as long as same-sex marriage bans were still in place.

gsingjane
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

@ Timothy – yes, the marriage equality group that decided to shut down after marriage was achieved WAS in Connecticut, it was “Love Makes a Family,” led by the unbelievably wonderful, gracious and effective Anne Stanback. They were all about building coalitions, making connections, slowly but surely making the case… civil union and then marriage equality came to Connecticut in a remarkably civilized way. (Not that the entire process went smoothly, but CT could be a model for how change can happen without undue bloodshed.)

Another thing about that history that a lot of people don’t know is that the evil Brian Brown, now of NOM, was then the leader of the “Connecticut Family Institute.” I well remember encountering him at the Legislative Office Building on lobby day, surrounded by monks in robes and throwing out ugly quotes right and left. He was not terribly effective against LMF, and I always thought it was sort of funny and ironic that he got “kicked upstairs” to lead a national movement, when he didn’t do all that well just in Connecticut.

David Stotts
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

Rob – why wouldn’t they work? If marriage is an emotional bond between consenting adults, what’s the problem? Why do you assume they can’t work?

David Stotts
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

Marcus – I thought this was about ‘marriage equality for all’. Interracial marriages ≠ same sex marriages.

Jay
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

I think all this euphoria is premature. Whether we win the marriage equality battle soon will depend on the terms in which the Supreme Court rules. If they make a tepid ruling, even in our favor, the battle must continue.

It is all well and good to read that 58% of Americans don’t believe that same-sex marriage should be against the law. But I’m not sure that that really means that they believe that same-sex marriage should be embraced in their jurisdiction.

More significant, that 58% support is not evenly distributed. There are 31 states that have constitutional bans against same-sex marriage. In many of those states, there are long and tedious processes involved in getting rid of those bans. Moreover, in many states overwhelming majorities oppose same-sex marriage.

Unless, the Supreme Court does the right thing and issues a strong and sweeping ruling about same-sex marriage being a fundamental right, the battle for marriage equality will continue for a long time.

Rob Tisinai
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

David, there was a time when same-sex marriage couldn’t have worked in our legal system — back in the days of coverture, when a woman, from a legal point of view was merely an extension of her husband and could not, for example, own property.

Straight people, however, have long ago altered these government enforced gender roles and made both partners of a marriage legal equals.

This paved the way for same sex marriage, because to enact same-sex marriage all one need do is issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The legal structure — the institution that is already in place — is perfectly suited to same-sex partners.

But this is not the case for groups. If A marries B and B marries C, is A married to C? And what if C marries D?

Also, if A marries B and C then who is the decision maker for A if A is incapacitated?

These are just a couple ways in which it’s not at all clear how group marriage would “work,” indicating that it is a separate legal institution.

So, while there are many ways to address group marriage, first I need to know what you mean by it. So I repeat: How would such marriages work?

David
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

Rob, your rationale for excluding polyamorous people from marriage is interesting. You presume to know what can and cannot work for those people. Finding a legal structure to solve the issues (for which you’d presume to exclude them) would not be difficult. Far more complicated issues are legally resolved all the time. And what kind of “separate legal institution” would you propose? Something separate but equal? What if a romantic triad rejects that kind of status and wants nothing more than just to be given State recognition like other marriages. And what about bi-sexuals? How does a traditional 2 person marriage “work” for them? Seems to me it wouldn’t – at least no marriage that is sexually exclusive or permanent. If those features (exclusivity, monogamy, permanence) are to be retained, bi-sexuals are left out.

I’ll show my cards. I do not believe polyamorous marriage would work with any recognizable marriage structure. But the logic used to justify same-sex marriage has no rational or moral basis to exclude polyamorous people. One is left with the rather arbitrary and facile (some might even say discriminatory) judgments such as “they just won’t work.”

Tell that to loving, committed, honest polyamorous people who simply are taking you at your word when you say “marriage equality for all.”

Rob Tisinai
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

David, I actually haven’t yet offered a rationale for excluding polyamorous marriage. I suspect you want to jump ahead to that point rather than deal with what I’ve written because that would better suit your rhetorical gotcha, but I’m not working in gotchas here.

Rather, you’ve asked about equality for polyamorous marriage and I’ve made the quite reasonable request to have you explain how such a marriage would work — and let me clarify: I want to know how the laws would be set up. You have thus far declined.

I don’t know how you expect me to respond to a question about a policy that you have not defined.

David
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

But Rob, you did provide a reason why polyamorous marriages wouldn’t work – by laying out a few potential legal conundrums, thereby making the case that they should have (your words) a separate legal institution. I.e. “excluding” them. I didn’t jump ahead to anything.

There are civil and legal arrangements with 3 or more people all around us every day. Why does the element of romance and love suddenly make a similar arrangement unworkable? The burden of proof is on you to show how civil marriage is only possible or workable with 2 and only 2.

Ben in Oakland
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

Polyamorous marriages.

To the two David’s, who are probably the same David.

“I’ll show my cards. I do not believe polyamorous marriage would work with any recognizable marriage structure. But the logic used to justify same-sex marriage has no rational or moral basis to exclude polyamorous people.”

No honey, you’ve just shown your intellectual and moral bankruptcy. First you say it’s resolvable and there’s no good reason blah blah, and then you admit it isn’t. Which is it?

First, if a man can marry a woman, why can’t he marry three? The answers to the have nothing to do with same sex marriage. Please don’t try and link the two in your effort to discredit us, especially since that is your actual goal, given your admission that you don’t actually care. It’s a very common tactic of the right, and it’s boring in its pseudo intellectual and fake moral vacuity

Second, if you think poly amorous weddings should be legal, come out to your families, raise money, contact your legislators, make your case, start political and PR campaigns, raise awareness, show some reasonable public interest in it, and do all of the things that we have done. I have no moral or religious objections to poly marriage, but neither am I for it. I frankly have no interest in it whatsoever, NOR AM I REQUIRED TO BY ANY KIND OF IMAGINARY PHILOSOPHICAL CONSISTENCY. Because, until you address the first point, YOU’RE NOT BEING PHILOSOPHICALLY CONSISTENT. in any case…

third, rob’s argument IS the thing you will have to address–a wholesale rewrite of family law, contract law, child welfare law, marriage law, and a host of others.

Polyamory in the west is not the same thing as polygamy in the east– or southern Utah. In the east, it’s serial marriage without divorce. The man runs the show and is the boss. The women aren’t married to each other, they are married to HIM.

Our egalitarian in theory society is vastly different. In the west, if Bob marries Sally, and Sally marries John, is Bob now married to John? What if he hates John? If bob and Sally have kids, is John responsible for them? If john’s ex-wife Sue’s kids are john’s alimony nightmare, are they now bob’s? I could spin these scenarios all day.

These are very real issues that affect many people, especially children, especially given heterosexual propensities for irresponsible reproduction, near majority illegitimacy, and rampant divorce. They are not easily resolvable, and certainly not with the mere claim that they are. Which you admit they are not.

Again this bogus tying together of polyamorous marriage with gay marriage is pathetic. Come up with a real argument, one where you actually have some skin in the game. Because you don’t. My sample is very small, but the few polyamorous families I’ve known have expressed no desire for group marriage, and have always had no children to consider.

Next, perhaps you can argue that I oughtta be able to marry my iPad. I seem to spend more time with it than I do with my husband.

Priya Lynn
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

David said “And what about bi-sexuals? How does a traditional 2 person marriage “work” for them? Seems to me it wouldn’t – at least no marriage that is sexually exclusive or permanent. If those features (exclusivity, monogamy, permanence) are to be retained, bi-sexuals are left out.”.

Don’t you presume to speak for me – you don’t. Just because we’re bisexual doesn’t mean we seek or desire to have a marriage with two other people. Unisexual people are often attracted to more than one person but you rarely see them claiming they need a marriage to multiple partners.

Marriage to one partner works just fine for this bisexual so don’t you run around claiming to speak for us and falsely saying marriage to one person doesn’t work for us.

Sandhorse
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

And David, before you jump into Rob’s request, you may want to do some homework. Your comment regarding bi-sexual individuals shows a cursory understanding.

You presume that because an individual is attracted to both genders, that individual is incapable of being, or lacks the desire to be, monogamous. In actuality, such an individual is faced with the same challenges as any other. The one dissimilarity is the potential for additional temptation to ‘stray’, but that, by no means, should be taken as an indication that they cannot be faithful.

While your ignorance of the above concept for bisexuals is not necessarily a fault; we all start with preconceived notions of a subject before we learn the truth. This is kinda ‘Orientation 101’. So it appears you may have a lot of catching up to do.

Ben in Oakland
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

“There are civil and legal arrangements with 3 or more people all around us every day. Why does the element of romance and love suddenly make a similar arrangement unworkable? The burden of proof is on you to show how civil marriage is only possible or workable with 2 and only 2.”

More fakery. Those arrangements are civil contracts that all agree to. ALL. They don’t involve the legal creation of family, they don’t usually involve legal responsibility for children, they are not marriage.

the burden if proof is not on us. we’re not advancing a fake cause. you are. The burden of proof is on you. It’s what we have done with the general public.

MAKE YOUR CASE. just as we do. If you’re not goingto engage in actual debate, don’t expect us to.

Sandhorse
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

Priya,

Seems we were shooting at the same target.

Sandhorse
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

“Next, perhaps you can argue that I oughtta be able to marry my iPad. I seem to spend more time with it than I do with my husband.”

LOL Ben…

Give ya one guess what I bought my hubby for his b-day. (partly out of guilt, lol)

Does that make it an arranged marriage?

David
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

Relax Ben, there’s not need to be angry at me. Like Rob, you are free to show me how all those potential issues are legally unresolvable with 3 people. I know you don’t like being saddled with the polyamorous issue, but the connection isn’t irrational. It’s simply exploring the implications of the logic of eliminating current marriage boundaries in favor of new ones. How are those new boundaries not arbitrary or wanton discrimination.

You’ve misunderstood my posts. I’m not making the case for polyamorous marriage. I personally do not think it should be legal. I am showing that there is no rational, moral or legal basis to exclude them using the logic of same-sex marriage.

Forget polyamory for a moment. Let’s consider marital norms such as sexual exclusivity and permanence. I doubt you are in favor of eliminating those features of marriage. But when marriage is conceived of as merely an emotional bond, one wonders why the State regulates those norms.

Opposition to recognizing same-sex unions as marriages is not about homosexuality or religion or even equality under the law (as no one, gay or straight, is allowed to marry anyone they please even when mutual love may exist). It has everything to do with “WHAT MARRIAGE IS.” Is it simply an emotional bond? Or is it something more?

Priya Lynn
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

David, LGBT people don’t have any moral or legal obligation to make a case against polygamy in order to justify being allowed to marry a same sex partner ourselves. If polygamists wish to make a case for multi-party marriages and if you wish to make the case for banning those marriages then the obligation is on you and polygamists to argue it out, not LGBT people.

Bigots like you insist the indispensable feature of marriage is heterosexuality so based on your own logic one man marrying five women is no problem. All you’ve done here is admit you don’t have a reason to oppose multi-party marriages. If you were honest you’d admit you couldn’t care less about multi-party marriages one way or the other, you only bring up that red herring as a cynical ploy to pretend you have a justification for denying LGBT people same sex marriages – you don’t.”Because we don’t let gays marry.” is not and has never been a justification for denying people the right to multi-party marriages. I have a list of reasons why I oppose multi-partner marriages but before I tell you them how about in the spirit of honest debate you tell us your justification for banning multi-party marriages? Because apparently you’ve never had one.

David
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

Sandhorse, I never said bi-sexuals aren’t able to commit to monogamy. But that many bi-sexuals, in order to fully pursue their sexual identity, may not want to. Suppose they are utterly satisfied committing to a man and a woman (simultaneously) as the fullest expression of who they are. Are we to exclude them from marriage? Why?

Priya Lynn
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

David said “Like Rob, you are free to show me how all those potential issues are legally unresolvable with 3 people.”.

Oh, please. Any beginner student of logic knows you can’t prove a negative. I can’t prove there isn’t a giant teapot orbiting the sun any more than I can prove a legal issue is unresolveable. The onus is on the person claiming the teapot exists or that the legal issue is resolvable to make the case that their claim is true, not the other way around.

YOU have to make the claim the legal issue is resolvable before anyone is obligated to assume it is.

Priya Lynn
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

David said “But that many bi-sexuals, in order to fully pursue their sexual identity, may not want to. Suppose they are utterly satisfied committing to a man and a woman (simultaneously) as the fullest expression of who they are. Are we to exclude them from marriage? Why?”.

Many heterosexuals in order to fully pursue their sexual identity may not want to committ to one person. Suppose a man is utterly satisfied committing to five women (simultaneously) as the fullest expression of who they are. Are we to exclude them from marriage? Why?

Priya Lynn
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

Whether or not polygamists should be allowed to marry is irrelevant to the question of whether or not LGBT people should be allowed same sex marriages.

If David wishes to ban polygamist marriages the onus is on him to provide a reason to do so and “Because we don’t allow gays to marry.” has never been and never will be a justification for banning polygamist marriages.

David, what is your justification for banning polygamist marriages?

Priya Lynn
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

Notice how dishonestly David argues. First he claims two person marriage can’t work for bisexuals, that “if exclusivity, monogamy, permanence are to be retained, bi-sexuals are left out.” then when confronted with the reality that bisexuals can be perfectly happy in a monogamous marriage he admits this is true – he lied when he made that first statement for the sake of winning the argument regardless of the truth.

Priya Lynn
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

I guarantee you that the next time David goes to an LGBT blog to argue in favour of polygamy he’ll once again claim one person marriage doesn’t work for bisexuals and that “if (exclusivity, monogamy, permanence) are to be retained, bi-sexuals are left out.” even though he’s admitted here that isn’t true.

Sandhorse
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

David said:

“…many bi-sexuals, in order to fully pursue their sexual identity, may not want to [marry only one person]”

Again, you’re speaking out of ignorance, and it is quickly becoming apparent that yours is a willed ignorance. It’s immune to all data because you’re not interested in the truth. You want the world to remain fitted to your view of it, not reality.

I doubt you know ‘many’ bisexuals to be able to confirm your theory; your assumption that bisexuals need multiple partners to ‘pursue their identity’ proves that fact.

But go ahead keep commenting, it’s the best way to prove our point.

Sandhorse
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

In short David, ones orientation (or sexual identity as you put it) is who one are attracted to, not who one sleeps with.

I suppose because I am Italian, I have to eat Italian food to express that identity.

Rob Tisinai
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

No, David, I didn’t make a case for why polyamorous marriage wouldn’t work. That’s merely what you wanted me to say so that you could leap to your rhetorical point.

Rather, I asked you to explain the sort of marriage laws you had in mind that could surmount these difficulties so that I could understand the kind of institution you have in mind when you ask me questions.

Ben In Oakland
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

David, don’t talk down to me. i am totally relaxed. Just as relaxed as you are about not answering the questions, but creating straw men. I’m not angry with you, I’m bored.

I’m also smarter than you.

“I am showing that there is no rational, moral or legal basis to exclude them using the logic of same-sex marriage.”

and my point was, there is no such basis using the logic of hetero only marriage. As Priya said (Thanks, Priya)– All you’ve done here is admit you don’t have a reason to oppose multi-party marriages. If you want one, find one.But as Priya also said, you don’t care. You just oppose our marriages.

“Let’s consider marital norms such as sexual exclusivity and permanence. I doubt you are in favor of eliminating those features of marriage.” These are desirable features of marriage, not a prerequisite. In any case, with a 25-33% adultery rate and a 40-50% divorce rate, you should be talking to hetrerosexuals about that. They have nothing to do with same-sex marriage, and more than they apparently have with hetero marriage.

“It has everything to do with “WHAT MARRIAGE IS.” Is it simply an emotional bond? Or is it something more?”

Thanks for revealing your catholic roots. Legal Marriage is a legal contract between two unrelated, consenting adults. What they do with it is up to them. Whatever you or your church thinks about it, it’s still UP TO THEM. Marriage has a greta many functions, not just yours, not just the church’s, not just the state’s.

As sandhorse so aptly put it: “you’re speaking out of ignorance, and it is quickly becoming apparent that yours is a willed ignorance. It’s immune to all data because you’re not interested in the truth. You want the world to remain fitted to your view of it, not reality.”

Peddle your dishonesty somewhere else. You’re boring.

Rob Tisinai
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

Folks, what’s frustrating about David is that he refuses to explain what he’s talking about. His point seems to be (and I quote):

“I’m not making the case for polyamorous marriage. I personally do not think it should be legal. I am showing that there is no rational, moral or legal basis to exclude them using the logic of same-sex marriage.”

As we’ve seen, he refuses to explain for us what sort of polyamorous legal arrangement he’s talking about, so that’s one problem.

But there’s a bigger one!

He also fails to explain what he means by “the logic of same-sex marriage.” Does he mean the logic presented by Olson and Boies in the Prop 8 trial? If so, it’s easy to show David is wrong. Does he mean some other logic? Or does he even have a clear conception of same-sex logic in his mind?

Let me push the conversation forward by recapping Olson and Boies “same-sex logic”:

1. Marriage is a vitally important good.

2. Excluding same-sex couples from marriage excludes them from that good, and in fact does them harm.

3.Proposition 8 perpetrates this harm for no good reason.

All 3 of these points are essential to the reasoning, like a three-legged stool. Take any one away and the whole thing collapses. So let’s see how polyamorous marriage fares:

First, we can’t say whether #1 stands, because David has repeatedly refused to define the legal arrangement he means when he says “polyamorous marriage.”

Second, #2 does not stand until David demonstrates the existence of people who could not have a meaningful marriage unless more than 2 people were involved. He attempted to do so by invoking bisexuality, but you guys shut him down pretty fast.

Finally #3 does not stand because we DO have experience with polyamorous marriage, in our history and also currently around the world, and what we see is a consistent pattern of abuse. Perhaps David has a different legal arrangement in mind, but we can’t know that until he explains how his legal arrangement works.

So, David, that’s my answer to your challenge. Except not really, because you didn’t articulate a challenge. I was forced to do that for you because you kept refusing to do it yourself.

David
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

Priya – how have I exhibited bigotry? I’m sure you wouldn’t just throw that word around for a cheap shot. Bigotry is a pretty big deal.

Would you not agree that society depends on well-adjusted children raised to maturity in stable homes?

The intact family with biological mother and father provides a vastly superior environment for children than any other.  There is no shortage of social science to confirm this. Mothers and fathers make unique parenting contributions that create the conditions most suitable for raising healthy kids. That is why there is a vital public interest in promoting and regulating the union of a man and a woman and the environment they create for the children they produce. That is why the State (conferring rights and demanding obligations) got involved in regulating marriage to begin with. And it makes sense of enforced marital norms such as permanence, monogamy and sexual exclusivity.

When marriage is defined only by “love” or simply an emotional bond (the operative definition of those arguing for same-sex marriage), it begins to get confusing why the State should regulate such relationships let alone legally require they be monogamous – or require a pledge of permanence. If marriage is based on emotion (and not something oriented to procreation and child rearing), then why does it need to last one second longer than the emotions do? And if 3 people find emotional fulfillment in their relationship, why exclude them? Is it not worth solving a few legal hurdles to accommodate those roughly 500,000 polyamorous households (according to Newsweek) – in the name of fairness and equality?

When you begin to explore the reasons the State regulates marriage at all, you begin to see the faulty assumptions about marriage itself by marriage revisionists.

This is not about homosexuality or religion. The exclusion of other types of unions by the State is not bigotry and need not diminish the dignity of gay individuals in any way. Nevertheless, I’ve likely kicked a hornets nest with what I’ve written and being called a “bigot” is just the beginning. I’ll be curious to see just how tolerant people on this blog are to views contrary to their own.

Priya Lynn
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

Rob David’s entire argument against marriage equality starts out with the “begging the question” logical fallacy.

David starts out arguing by talking as though its unquestionably true that banning same sex marriages is necessary to justify banning polygamous marriages. He assumes that to be true but hasn’t made the case that it is, hence the logical fallacy that underpins his entire argument.

The fact is banning same sex marriages in no way justifies banning polygamous marriages – the two are entirely seperate issues.

Whether or not polygamy is justiable is irrelevent to whether or not same sex marriage is justifiable – one has no bearing on the other.

LGBTS aren’t making a case either for or against polygamous marriage, we’re strictly making the case for same sex marriages.

If David wants to justify either banning or allowing polygamous marriages the onus is on him to do so, not us. We have no obligation to make the case for or against polygamous marriages.

Hyhybt
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

Would someone claiming polygamy and gay marriage are tied together please explain why that’s not logically equivalent to saying we cannot change the speed limit while still requiring drivers to stay to the right side of the road?

In the meantime… personally, if you want a marriage with more than two people in it, I say go right ahead. So long as all parties agree and all are equally married to one another so far as the law is concerned, and so long as you get the legal complications which don’t fit into our current system, designed as it is for two-party marriages only, and which do not arise in the case of a gay couple, worked out in law first.

Ben In Oakland
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

David, you simply cannot argue with logic, truth or precision. Please stop. It’s boring. Just one example, and then I have to do something more valuable than educate you.

“The intact family with biological mother and father provides a vastly superior environment for children than any other. There is no shortage of social science to confirm this.” The first statement isn’t true. There’s on shortage of intact biofamilies where the kids are total messes. Likewise, there’s no shortage of data to show that gay peopel make as good parents as heterosexuals.

You’re confusing bigotry with reasoned debate, and intolerance of stupidity with intolerance of contrary views. Let me do a little defining for you.

You can believe whatever you wish for your religion. That’s freedom. I’m entitled to believe its stupid, wrong headed, a misapplication and mistranslation of very vague scripture. But it’s your belief. I wouldn’t trespass on that. But i will object if you try to trespass on mine.

When you believe stories you tell yourself about gay people, stories that simply aren’t true, that have no basis in fact, logic, experience, or compassion, vicious lies completely divorced from the reality, that makes you prejudiced. You’ve demonstrated that.

When you prefer your stories and refuse any challenge to them, when you prefer those vicious lies to an actual reality that’s clearly available to everyone, when you reject factual information or logic because you prefer your beliefs, that makes you a bigot. you’ve also demonstrated that.

When you use your refusal to justify harming people you don’t know and know nothing about, and use the law to harm them and disadvantage them, AND THEIR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES,especially with no benefit to yourself…

That makes you a…. well, I’m sure you wouldn’t like to apply those words to yourself.

Do you think you’re presenting new arguments, irrefutable ones? They’re not. Each and every one has been refuted. When those very same arguments have been presented in court, they have lost.

If you can’t present some actual arguments, instead of the well chewed cud of NOM, then please go away.

Priya Lynn
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

David said “Priya – how have I exhibited bigotry? I’m sure you wouldn’t just throw that word around for a cheap shot. Bigotry is a pretty big deal. “.

You are a bigot because you oppose giving the same rights you have to others without reason.

David said “Would you not agree that society depends on well-adjusted children raised to maturity in stable homes?”.

Of course, but allowing gays and lesbians to marry in no way whatsoever interferes with heterosexuals raising children to maturity in stable homes. And if you think marriage is about raising well-adjusted children to maturity in stable homes you should be DEMANDING that the 30% or so of same sex couples that have children be allowed to give their children the benefit of marriage that you so strongly insist is important for children.

David said “The intact family with biological mother and father provides a vastly superior environment for children than any other. There is no shortage of social science to confirm this. Mothers and fathers make unique parenting contributions that create the conditions most suitable for raising healthy kids.”.

You’re repeating stale religious right lies. The only social science research they quote to support this false claim is research that compares two parent heterosexual families with single parent families and they then misleadingly claim “[such]Research shows children do best with a mom and dad.”. NOT when compared to two parent same sex families. Decades and Decades of research overwhelmingly shows children of same sex parents do just as well, if not better than children of heterosexual parents. You’re also a bigot for repeating this stale lie about social science research which I’m sure you know is a lie.

David said “That is why there is a vital public interest in promoting and regulating the union of a man and a woman and the environment they create for the children they produce. That is why the State (conferring rights and demanding obligations) got involved in regulating marriage to begin with. And it makes sense of enforced marital norms such as permanence, monogamy and sexual exclusivity.”.

And allowing same sex couples to marry in no way whatsoever interferes with those goals and the children of same sex parents need married parents as much as the children of heterosexuals do. The truth of the matter is you don’t give a flying f*ck about the effect of marriage equality on children, if you did you’d be DEMANDING that same sex couples be allowed to marry.

David said “When marriage is defined only by “love” or simply an emotional bond (the operative definition of those arguing for same-sex marriage), it begins to get confusing why the State should regulate such relationships let alone legally require they be monogamous – or require a pledge of permanence.”.

Listen blowhard you don’t get to define what anyone’s marriage is about other than your own. You haven’t got the slightest clue how most people define their marriages and it is none of your business and its obscene and bigotted for you to attempt to trivialize the marriages of same sex couples.

David said “And if 3 people find emotional fulfillment in their relationship, why exclude them? Is it not worth solving a few legal hurdles to accommodate those roughly 500,000 polyamorous households (according to Newsweek) – in the name of fairness and equality? “.

As I said before I have a list of reasons why those should not be marriages but whether or not they should be is irrelevant to whether or not gays and lesbians should be allowed to marry. If you want to make a case for or against polygamous marriages the onus is on you to do so, not us, we don’t have a horse in that race. You keep ranting and ranting about polygamy but “because we don’t allow gays to marry” has never been and will never be a justification for banning polygamous marriages. If you truly oppose those marriages then on what basis do you make that case?

David said “The exclusion of other types of unions by the State is not bigotry and need not diminish the dignity of gay individuals in any way.”.

Oh puhleeeze! You’re not fooling anyone. For people like you excluding same sex unions is ENTIRELY about diminshing the dignity of gay individuals. If it were about raising well adjusted children to maturity in stable homes you’d be DEMANDING that same sex couples be allowed to marry.

David said “I’ll be curious to see just how tolerant people on this blog are to views contrary to their own.”.

Just as we’re under no moral obligation to tolerate some people’s desire to murder, we’re under no moral obligation to tolerate other wrong-doings such as denying other’s the same rights you have. The moral obligation is entirely on you to tolerate us, not vice versa.

David
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

Ben, if this is so boring, why take the time to comment? Twice?

I do appreciate you providing some clarity. You said marriage is simply a “legal contract between two unrelated, consenting adults”.

Why 2?

I could point to any number of legal relationships involving 3 or more participants – many with quite complicated arrangements. What is it about adding the element of romance or love that requires the State to restrict marriage to 2?

No one in this echo chamber has demonstrated why that is not a legitimate question. According to you, you are very smart. Then why not deign to answer a troglodyte like me.

Priya Lynn
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

And David, you still have dishonestly avoided Rob’s questions:

“This paved the way for same sex marriage, because to enact same-sex marriage all one need do is issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The legal structure — the institution that is already in place — is perfectly suited to same-sex partners.

But this is not the case for groups. If A marries B and B marries C, is A married to C? And what if C marries D?

Also, if A marries B and C then who is the decision maker for A if A is incapacitated?

These are just a couple ways in which it’s not at all clear how group marriage would “work,” indicating that it is a separate legal institution.

So, while there are many ways to address group marriage, first I need to know what you mean by it. So I repeat: How would such marriages work?”.

Now you’ve tried to illogically shift the burden of proof, nonsensically asking us to prove these problems can’t be resolved. But that is no different than me saying “Some crows are pink” and when you say you don’t believe it me saying “prove there are no pink crows”. Logic and rational argument demands that I prove pink crows exist and you prove those issues Rob raised are resolvable.

So, if you’re an honest person then show how the issues Rob raised are resolvable or admit you have no idea how to resolve them.

Priya Lynn
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

David said “You said marriage is simply a “legal contract between two unrelated, consenting adults”.

Why 2?

I could point to any number of legal relationships involving 3 or more participants – many with quite complicated arrangements. What is it about adding the element of romance or love that requires the State to restrict marriage to 2?

No one in this echo chamber has demonstrated why that is not a legitimate question. According to you, you are very smart. Then why not deign to answer a troglodyte like me.”.

Why should we answer a question that is irrelevant to the change we seek? We are neither trying to justify or ban marriages with more than two people, we don’t have a horse in that race.

If that is important to you then what is your justication for banning marriages of more than two people? Remember “Because we don’t allow gays to marry.” is not, has never been, and never will be a justication to ban polygamous marriages.

Priya Lynn
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

In the meantime why haven’t you answered Hyhybt’s question?:

“Would someone claiming polygamy and gay marriage are tied together please explain why that’s not logically equivalent to saying we cannot change the speed limit while still requiring drivers to stay to the right side of the road?”.

In all your rants from the echo chamber in your mind you haven’t answered why that is not a legitimate question.

Rob Tisinai
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

David, perhaps you missed my comment here: http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2013/03/18/54668#comment-259410

Rob Tisinai
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

Also, this: “The intact family with biological mother and father provides a vastly superior environment for children than any other. There is no shortage of social science to confirm this.”

In that case it should be easy for you to supply us with many references demonstrating the inferiority of same-sex parenting.

Rob Tisinai
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

Finally, this: “When you begin to explore the reasons the State regulates marriage at all, you begin to see the faulty assumptions about marriage itself by marriage revisionists.”

Your language is reminiscent of Robert George’s “What Is Marriage?” which we’ve dealt with in great detail here. But whether you had Robert George in mind or not, you can find a thorough response to comment right here on this blog:
http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2011/04/19/31929

David
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

Rob – I reject your premise that I must produce an exhaustive legal arrangement for polyamorous marriage. You said yourself, it’s nothing new. It’s not as if it has to be created in a laboratory. The State simply needs to adjust the rules for property rights and child custody (if there’s a child involved). Surely you would think it’s worth it to solve these issues (far less complex than in countless other legal arrangements) in order to accomplish “marriage equality for all”.

My previous post should clarify what I meant by “the logic of same-sex marriage”. That is – it’s an emotional union.

But if that is what it is, then it cannot justify the State’s involvement in regulating it.

But I hold to a fundamentally different view of marriage so not only can I easily account for other features of marriage that your side is unwilling to give up (yet). But I can provide solid reasons for rejecting polyamorous marriages. You cannot. In fact, you’re unable (or unwilling) to provide arguments for strictly 2 person marriages. For you side it is “just so”. That is simply begging the question.

You mentioned “consistent patterns” of abuse in polyamorous marriages.. I think you’re basing that on data from polygamy which is different.

All I’ve done (and have yet to see honestly engaged) is explore the implications of defining marriage as simply an emotional bond. Not unlike testing a theory. I believe it fails for many reasons – but the most obvious is because the same argument for reforming marriage policy undercuts the point of legally regulating marriage at all. Therefore it is self-defeating.

Priya Lynn
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

David said “Rob – I reject your premise that I must produce an exhaustive legal arrangement for polyamorous marriage.”.

He never asked you to produce an exhaustive legal arrangment for polygamous marriage. He asked you to answer a few simple questions which should be no problem for you if you’d have us believe such problems are resolvable. Once again:

“This paved the way for same sex marriage, because to enact same-sex marriage all one need do is issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The legal structure — the institution that is already in place — is perfectly suited to same-sex partners.

But this is not the case for groups. If A marries B and B marries C, is A married to C? And what if C marries D?

Also, if A marries B and C then who is the decision maker for A if A is incapacitated?

These are just a couple ways in which it’s not at all clear how group marriage would “work,” indicating that it is a separate legal institution.

So, while there are many ways to address group marriage, first I need to know what you mean by it. So I repeat: How would such marriages work?”.

Rob Tisinai
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

Well, you’re in a bit of a bind here. First you say that polyamorous marriage is nothing new, but then you say our experience with it (the experience that I pointed out) is about polygamy, which apparently is not what you have in mind.

That’s a mass of contradiction. And I can’t deal with your questions until you get clear about what they mean.

Meanwhile, you claim that your version of marriage supports the norms of permanence and monogamy. But you never explain how. There’s no reason a childless marriage should be permanent according to your view, nor is there any reason for a marriage to continue once children have been raised.

As for monogamy, you haven’t even attempted to give us your own reasons why marriage should be limited to two people. You simply keep asking us for ours, without explaining why it’s relevant to the issues focused on by this blog.

Priya Lynn
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

David said “My previous post should clarify what I meant by “the logic of same-sex marriage”. That is – it’s an emotional union.

But if that is what it is, then it cannot justify the State’s involvement in regulating it.”.

Listen bigot, you’ve got no right to define anyone’s marriage other than your own. Your transparent attempts to trivialize same sex marriage aren’t going to score you any points. Many, perhaps most same sex couples define their marriages in the exact same way opposite sex couples do.

David said “I can provide solid reasons for rejecting polyamorous marriages. You cannot. In fact, you’re unable (or unwilling) to provide arguments for strictly 2 person marriages. For you side it is “just so”. That is simply begging the question.”.

No, it is you who’s begging the question, not us. Your entire argument is underpinned by the unproven assumption that banning same sex marriages is necessary to justify banning polygamous marriages. You haven’t proven that, you’ve just argued as though its true – that’s the “begging the question” logical fallacy.

As I said, I have reasons for banning polygamous marriages but given that you keep trying to justify that with the banning of same sex marriages clearly you do not have reasons for banning polygamy.

We are not seeking a change to the number of partners to a marriage so whether or not polygamous marriages should be allowed is irrelevant to our cause. If you wish to argue for or against polygamous marriages the onus is on you to make the case, not us.

So, once again, given that “Because we don’t let gays marry.” is not, has never been, and never will be a justification for banning polygamous marriages on what basis do you justify doing so?

Priya Lynn
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

David said “the most obvious is because the same argument for reforming marriage policy undercuts the point of legally regulating marriage at all. Therefore it is self-defeating.”.

Nonsense. You’ve established that for you marriage is about raising well-adjusted children to maturity. Allowing same sex couples to do so in no way interferes with heterosexual couples doing this. And if that’s what you’re really about you should be DEMANDING that the children of same sex coules have the right to married parents. WHY AREN’T YOU?!

Because you really don’t give a flying F*ck about the effect of marriage equality on children – admit it.

Rob Tisinai
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

David, I do have a job, so I’m going to short-circuit this a bit. You’re obviously heavily influenced by Robert George. I have a 14-part series on his work that you can find indexed here.
http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/reply-to-george

If you don’t want to read all 14 parts, you can find group marriage addressed here, along with George’s failure to exclude it:
http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2011/03/11/31272

You might also profit from reading this:
http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2013/02/01/53423

You’ll note that I’m only referring you to posts from this blog. We’ve been exploring these issues for quite some time, so if you wish to engage us, it’s only fair that you catch yourself up with what where we are now.

Ben In Oakland
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

David, i answered for the benefit of other people, and as an exercise for myself.

You’re questions were answered, you provided no cogent response. you just asked the same questions again.

The only echo chamber here is the one you have inside your head.

I don’t have more time for you.

Sandhorse
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

David,

Another reason you’re unlikely to see us jump through your hoops to present reasonable views against multi-partnered marriages is that you really aren’t interested in our views. Rob already demonstrated the tip of the iceberg and you ‘pish poshed’ and fiddly deed’ it; dismissing it as simply irrelevant. You do this because the only reply you’re interested in seeing is ‘Golly! We never thought of that, your right. Call off the hearings! Disband the crusade!”

Unfortunately, as Ben has stated, this is well treaded territory for us. The fact that you personally are now addressing it does not make it a revelation from our standpoint.

But you may be interested to know that in one way I do somewhat agree with you. Simple ‘romance’ and ‘love’ are never good reasons to enter into marriage. Although any ‘complete’ marriage tends to suffer without them. Incidentally, it isn’t the GLBT community that invented ‘marrying for love’.

But yet again, your ignorance is showing. You seem to think we need our marriages recognized by the state for our emotional well being. While emotional well being is a byproduct of state recognition, (proof of concept being your adamancy that the state NOT do so), our main point is the protections it offers peripheral to marriage itself. That being, the protections of our jointly own property and the well being of OUR children, not just those of heterosexuals.

But again, keep commenting; continue to show us how disinterested you are in reality.

Ben In Oakland
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

bang on, sand horse.

An exra comment, anent yours. “Simple ‘romance’ and ‘love’ are never good reasons to enter into marriage.

Theose are excellent reasons to think about marriage, but not very good reasons to enter an allegedly life-long commitment to another person, or create a family.

As a wedding photographer, I went to perhaps 1000 weddings. For maybe half of them, I absolutely got why they were getting married, though that was no guarantor of their success. For perhaps 1/3 of them, I had absolutely no idea why they were getting married. It doesn’t mean it was a bad idea, only that I couldn’t see anything there.

and for the remaining 1/6, even I, a complete stranger, could see that this was a really bad idea. There were even couples whose weddings I refused to do, becuase the idea of those two getting married was so obviously bad, and I wanted no part of it.

I still remember one of my early weddings. The groom told me I had a cute butt. (He was right about that). He invited me to go hot-tubbing with the wedding party. (Really bad idea). I did the bride’s sister’s wedding a few years later, and saw the bride of cutebutt. I asked her how she and cutebutt were doing.

“Oh, we’re not married any more. But we’re still really good friends.”

I said to partner, then my assistant. “I’ll just bet you are.”

Rob Tisinai
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

Simple romance and love are excellent reasons to vacation together…

…which may lead to the conclusion that marriage would not be a good decision.

Sandhorse
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

Rob,

Excellent point.

Ben,

I don’t envy you the number of ‘accidents’ you’ve had to witness.

StraightGrandmother
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

I will respond to David’s caim of if you legalize same gender civil marriage then you have no bases to deny polygamas marriages.

Let’s start immediately by what IS the States interest in regulating Marriage.

Conveniently the United States Government just filed an Amicus Brief on Hollingsworth v Perry and the government tells the Supreme Court what that State Interest is,(sorry for the caps that is the way it pasted)

“THE DISTRICT COURT IN THIS CASE ACCORDINGLY FOUND THAT CIVIL MARRIAGE, INTER ALIA, ENHANCES PUBLIC ORDER BY ORGANIZING INDIVIDUALS INTO STABLE AND COHESIVE HOUSEHOLDS; ASSIGNS INDIVIDUALS TO CARE FOR ONE ANOTHER AND THEREBY LIMITS THE PUBLIC’S LIABILITY TO CARE FOR THE VULNERABLE; FACILITATES THE ACCUMULATION, MANAGEMENT, AND TRANSMISSION OF PROPERTY; AND ENABLES INDIVIDUALS TO INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY THROUGH THE DIVISION OF HOUSEHOLD AND OTHER LABOR”

Stable 2 couple homes make it easier for the Government to Govern.

Now 3 people or 6 people getting married makes it *harder* for the State to govern. Just one example, I will take a heterosexual example.

Joe marries 6 women, none of whom work outside the home and on Joe’s salary as a landscaper their family receives government support.

Joe dies when a lawn mower runs over him. Every spouse is entitled to collect on their spouses Social Security benefits when the spouse dies IF the deceased spouse’s Social Security benefits is greater than the surviving spouses Social Security benefits. Since none of Joe’s wives ever worked the government would have to pay out 6 widows an amount equivalent to Joe’s Social Security benefits. One spouce pays in 6 spouses take out. See how this makes it *harder* for the State to govern?

The government would have to completely redesign and change all our Marriage Licenses. If Joe and his first wife Married in Nevada then moved to Texas, where joe married a secodn wife how would the States record this Marriage? Are there 6 individual Marriages, with 6 individual marriage licenses or is there jsut one marriage license that another wife jsut signs on to?

Plural Civil Marriages make it *harder* to govern (creates disorder) and does not meet the States interest in recognizing that Marriage.

Furthermore Joe marrying 6 women denies 5 men the chance they would have had to marry one of those women, it disrupts the law of supply and demand when one person can hog a lot of spouses and so then there are not enough to go around leading to a lot more single person households that they State has to then support, especially when people get old and need caretakers. Leading to *disorder* which the government doesn’t want *disorder*.

Now I could have gone to Pro-Creation and explained how Joe having 6 wives of 5 children each, one man fathering 30 children which is then a burden to the State on Joe’s landscaper salary. If Joe was married to one woman, one women will not produce 30 children.

BUT I did not want to bring pro-creation into the argument because the 6 person lesbian plural marriages would say, “marriage is NOT about pro-creation” so I didn’t go there.

Whatever you want to call it plural marriages or polygamist marriages make it *harder* for the State to govern so they will not license those marriages.

Rob Tisinai
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

SG, I am clearly behind in my reading, so I have to thank you for that input on what the government considers to be the State’s interest in marriage. Excellent.

Also, what do you have against lawn mowers?

StraightGrandmother
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

Rob,it is almost word for word the testimony of Dr. Nancy Cott from the District Trial with Judge Walker.

I have always thought that the testimony of Dr. Cott was the MOST important testimony in the trial. I am not surprised she was called as the first witness.
Her testimony in full can be found here.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/116836110/History-of-Marriage-Discrimination-in-the-USA-told-in-Dr-Cott-s-Testimony-in-the-Prop-8-Trial

Ben In Oakland
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

AS always, Grandma, you rock!

And david apparently rocked right out of here.

Rob Tisinai
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

Be fair, Ben, it’s possible David just has a life to attend to.

Though I have to say it wouldn’t be the first time someone came here confident he can talk down to us because he’s read Robert George’s, “What is Marriage?” only to skedaddle when we reply, “Robert George? That guy? Here’s couple hours of reading for you.”

StraightGrandmother
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

Ben, I developed my response to, if same sex civil marriage why not plural civil marraige? Over time I have read a LOT of smart commentors (you included)and over time I reasoned out my response. I used to rely on Dr. Cott’s testmony but now that the United States Government filed their brief it is definitive to take the State’s Interest in Marriage right from their filing to the Supreme Court.

So far I have never had anyone *out argue* my reasoning. And it took me a while to put this reasoning together, but it makes sense doesn’t it? I was once pushed back on Joe + his 30 children and I realized that the person WAS right, if I am going to claim that the State’s Primary interest for same gender couples is NOT pro-creation, then I can’t very well turn around and use pro-creation (excessive) to deny plural marriages. Like I say it took me time to noodle this position out.

Ben in Oakland
March 20th, 2013 | LINK

Rob, I suppose I’m being childish, but I don’t want to be fair. I want to slap them the same way I want to slap a child who keeps whining why why why why why?

Except that I would never slap a child for being a child, or probably ever for any reason.

And grandma, I will remember your idea as to why the state might wish to discourage plural marriage. It’s a good thought. I worked for social security 35 years ago, and I was appalled. An 18 year old man could have a decently paying job, get married and have a child at 19, die at age 20. If the child were disabled and mom never remarried, the boys $500 contribution to social security would pay out to the child and mother $600 per month, increasing5% per year for the rest of the child’s life. This was when $600 was actually some money instead of a dinner out.

The figures aren’t the real ones, but they are close enough.

Zeldamina
March 21st, 2013 | LINK

I’m kinda sad that a thread about taking stock of where our movement for liberation goes from here has become so embroiled in responding to one of the classic anti-marriage-equality arguments.

Which is not to be unappreciative of all of the wonderful arguments put forth here, just, what a beautiful piece we are responding to, what a wonderful moment in our history to be experiencing, and what a sad thing that even here we have to defend this. I say that as someone who has strong political commitment to supporting poly people in their own struggles for recognition. Theirs is its own movement, for which LGBT people do not have to be held accountable.

I came back to this thread to say that what Jay points out is probably very true, that the battle for marriage equality will not be won this summer, not only if SCOTUS rules tepidly, but even if they rule unequivocally in our favor. Brown v Board of Education did not immediately end segregation in every school in the US. It took a further decade to fight that battle, and some would argue that it has not really been won even today. So in many parts of this country marriage equality will not be real even after the best possible ruling. Though that does in no way diminish the spirit of the original post, since we have reached a tipping point of inevitability. Just because we can see the lighthouse doesn’t mean we’ve made it to shore.

While I understand the spirit of Connecticut’s marriage equality org closing its doors once the battle was won in their state, I also have to ask, what about their brothers and sisters in other states? If Prop 8 is overturned and I thereby regain my own civil rights in my home state of CA, should I stop working to liberate my brothers and sisters in Mississippi, Texas, Tennessee?

Ben in Oakland
March 21st, 2013 | LINK

Zeldamina, no you shouldn’t. Of course there is still work to do. And we’ll do it.

gsingjane
March 21st, 2013 | LINK

Zelda, the reason LMF closed down was because (not to put words in their mouth but) they felt that their expertise was centered primarily around Connecticut and the connections and allegiances they’d built here. They held brainstorming sessions for their active volunteers (I attended one) where they kicked around various alternative missions, but ultimately decided that there were plenty of worthy and competent groups that were working on LGBT issues in other states and on the federal level. Their feeling was that staying in business, for them, would be taking funding and members and volunteer energy away from other groups that might have more expertise and be better-positioned to deal with the situations in their own states. It’s like, I’m sure you wouldn’t appreciate me coming in and telling you what to do in California; you know your own situation the best and my contribution probably wouldn’t be all that helpful.

As I recall it, LMF kept a lobbying-only “wing” open for a while, but I think that part of the group eventually closed also. Connecticut isn’t heaven on earth, but it’s true that a lot of the battles have already been won.

And, I actually thought the decision to close down, rather than to find some reason (any reason) to keep “in business,” was pretty noble!

Ben in Oakland
March 21st, 2013 | LINK

David has had a whole day to respond. I suspect his “life” involves trolling ofthe Internet, and there was no fertile ground here.

Robert
March 21st, 2013 | LINK

Straight FrandMother-

I liked the long post about Government and marriage, bnut personally, I don’t think the portion about 5 men being denied a “right” to marry 5 of those six wives would be a gvernment interest.

The government should not have any interest in how many people are availble for someone to marry or date. I know you said that someone else said that on the stand, but I have to say that is’t a valid argument on behalf of the government having a valid interest.

There is a right to marry, but there is no “right” to finding and having a spouse, that’s the luck of the draw, and it is a slippery argument to use the availability of partners as a state interest. For example, if Montana has less women than men, does that then mean women should be disallowed same sex marriages but men should be allowed? I mean, after all, if the number of available possible mates is in the governments best interest, and all that kind of stuff…

And Ben in Oakland-

Wouldn’t that 19 year old father who paid so little into the kitty be offset by the multitudes of unmarried childless individuals who die before they are able to collect? Just curious, because yes, we end up paying a lot for some who put in little, but we also put in a lot from people who don’t use it at all, I would think those numbers would balance out.

Aren’t those types of situations far more common than young people dying and their survivors getting excess of what was paid in? It might just be me, but I know a lot of single unmarried childless people, straight and gay whose benefits never will be used by survivors, or all of their contributions used by even them alone.

Ben In Oakland
March 21st, 2013 | LINK

Robert, what you’re saying is of course true. It’s the nature of insurance. Scial security still has a lot of issues, probably as bad as it was 35 years ago. The biggest problem is that they turned a retirement system into a welfare system. I have no objection to either, of course.But it’s hard to fund retirment out ofthe saem oney you use to pay for welfare.

Robert
March 21st, 2013 | LINK

BenInOAkland-

I was thinking that was the case. Also, where in the world did you get a 5 percent increase? I don’t remember there ever being a five percent increase per annum to Social Security benefits, the highest I have ever recieved is 2 percent and it doesn’t rise every year, but you did say the numbers were not 100 percent accurate…

Interesting take that it’s welfare. I always thought the survivor benefits were good for people. I had a friend, Steve growwing up who was almost the exact situation you suggest (his dad was a couple of years older and worked a few years more, but not much different, and these benefits were the only real money his mother could count on. But that’s a different topic than the one at hand. Just was curious about the numbers and how they do actually offset each other, in many ways.

Ben In Oakland
March 21st, 2013 | LINK

This was some 35 years ago. The numbers arent entrely accurate, but i remember it was something close to that.

StraightGrandmother
March 21st, 2013 | LINK

Robert,
You can agree or disagree with any parts of my argument. My MAIN argument is that plural Marriage makes it harder for the State to govern, which has been shown to be correct Historically and via the Government’s brief even today, the Primary Interest in the State regulating Civil Marriage.

My MAIN argument was not about Supply and Demand, or 30 children, those were just interesting sideline observations. I am not really interested in arguing a subsidiary point. I’ll let my main argument stand, thanks.

Sandhorse
March 21st, 2013 | LINK

Not to worry SGM,

I think the majority of posters got your point.

And I dare say there was no breach in your argument. If some people take more then one support structure (i.e. marriage partner) which naturally limits the odds of others finding even one; thus requiring the state to offer/supply ‘artificial’ support, then the state has no interest in sustaining such an institute (poly-marriage).

This isn’t the state playing ‘Cupid’ and making sure everyone gets a romantic life partner; this is insuring everyone has a level playing field to find their support structure.

The state isn’t (and shouldn’t be) interested in our ‘marital bliss’, but it has every interest in maintaining a structured and ‘even keeled’ society.

Robert
March 21st, 2013 | LINK

SGM,

Im not for plural marriage, I just thought that it was an interesting point in one of the arguments put forward. Sorry if that offended or bothered you in some way.

I figured if it was a point worth originally posting that it might also be worthy of discussion.

David
March 21st, 2013 | LINK

Sorry I had to disappear, I did have life to attend to.

My response is to StraightGrandmother. Your citation of the amicus brief is very interesting, mostly for what the district court left out in describing the State interest in marriage. There is no mention of procreation. I find this astonishing. It’s as if babies grow on trees and society can survive by simply plucking the ones we need.

Why would procreation and child rearing be ignored this opinion about the public good of marriage? I think we all know why.

None of those features (cohesive households, people caring for each other, property rights, sharing domestic life) rise to the level of compelling State interest. Especially to warrant radically reforming marriage policy that we’ve inherited from virtually every human civilization throughout world history. There is simply no distinctive societal benefit of state recognition and regulation of the sexual relationships of same-sex couples.

SG, your scenario of a man married to 6 wives. I can see why you’d minimize the task you have by hypothesizing a more complicated scenario in order to show that it makes it “harder” for the State to govern. But I thought this was about “equality” and equal protection under the 14th amendment. Since when is the bar of “equality” met by what the State finds easier to manage? You’ve moved the goalposts. How are Poly people (to say nothing of other relationships and arrangements that members sincerely find emotionally fulfilling) supposed to build cohesive households and care for one another, divide property they sincerely want to distribute, etc? There still remains no logical or moral reason to exclude them – and no legal reason that isn’t trumped by “equality”.

What about non-sexual couples? If 2 bachelor brothers want a cohesive household, share property rights, want the productivity thru shared domestic life, etc… if they ask for their relationship to be accorded the rights and benefits of “marriage” is the State to deny them simply because they’re not having sex?

Don’t get me wrong – I agree plural marriages make governing more complicated. But that’s not why I oppose them. I oppose them because I believe a healthier society results from healthy people and healthy well-adjusted people are created and most effectively raised by a biological mother and a father. This rises to the level of compelling State interest better than anything in your citation of the amicus brief. One need look no further than the devastating economic effects in countries with increasingly low birth rates. That in itself says nothing about gay marriage. It simply highlights the single greatest compelling reason for the State to regulate the sexual relationships of private citizens.

Rob Tisinai
March 21st, 2013 | LINK

Actually, David, wanting to promote the raising of children by their biological parents does not preclude polyamorous marriage in any way.

In fact, given that people do have children with different partners, your position actually mandates polyamorous marriage — it’s the only way for these children to grow up with both their biological parents.

Rob Tisinai
March 21st, 2013 | LINK

David, you’ve said that your purpose here is: “I am showing that there is no rational, moral or legal basis to exclude them using the logic of same-sex marriage.”

Obviously, you haven’t done this, given that you’ve never even explained what you’re referring to when you say “the logic of same-sex marriage” — much less demonstrating that this (as yet unspecified) logic means there’s no basis to exclude polyamorous marriage.

You have to understand that our legal case for same-sex marriage is more than just saying the one word “equality.” And I’ve shown you Olson and Boies argument. So please make show how this argument leads to a case for polyamorous marriage.

Then we’ll have something to talk about.

David
March 21st, 2013 | LINK

Rob – the problem you’ve described doesn’t mandate poly marriages. Exceptions are unfortunately made because of the prevalence of divorce. No-fault divorce have devastated our marriage culture and hurt untold numbers of kids. I’ll freely admit, heterosexuals destroyed marriage a long time ago. That’s why the law proposed in Iowa last week (to make it more difficult to get a divorce) is a wonderful thing. I hope it’s a trend.

Sandhorse
March 21st, 2013 | LINK

“Why would procreation and child rearing be ignored [in] this opinion about the public good of marriage?”

As my father says, ‘diarrhea of the mouth, constipation of the brain’.

David, here is some more reality for you to ignore:

“Procreation” has been happening for years; 6000 at minimum if you adhere to biblical time frames literally. And that procreation did not require ‘state interest’ to happen.

If young, healthy sexually active couples need the state to bribe or otherwise convince them to have babies then we have bigger problems than even gay marriage.

The ONLY state interest the state has in procreation is that those ‘procreated’ have the best opportunity for a stable family.

And, here’s the part you really aren’t gonna like: Gay couples can and do have babies. Yes! Yes! Gay couples procreate!

Here’s the next thing your not gonna like, and likely ignore: Gay Marriage offers a strong, legal and best of all, well established support structure for the children born (and even adopted) into them.

Yes we know, children of gay parents aren’t as important as children of heterosexual parents in you eyes. But fortunately, the state doesn’t agree with you.

So, you may think you ‘know why’ procreation was left off the amicus brief. And of course, you’d be wrong.

This was just addressing your first point. I’m afraid you won’t wanna see what we’ll do to the rest of your latest post.

Then again, you’ve thoroughly insulated yourself from reality, I’m sure you’ll be fine.

Rob Tisinai
March 21st, 2013 | LINK

“None of those features (cohesive households, people caring for each other, property rights, sharing domestic life) rise to the level of compelling State interest.”

That is an assertion, not an argument. But I do look forward to your explanation of how property rights do not constitute a compelling State interest.

Rob Tisinai
March 21st, 2013 | LINK

David, divorce is not the only reason people have kids with multiple partners, trust me. And it would continue happening even if divorce were abolished.

So if you believe that the goal of marriage is to ensure that children are raised by their biological parents, then how does this not mandate polyamorous marriage? You ought to be arguing that it’s WRONG for the State to forbid people from marrying all of the people they’ve made babies with!

David
March 21st, 2013 | LINK

Rob – please read my posts. I clearly said the “logic of same-sex marriage” is that the operative definition of marriage is that it is an emotional union – effectively decoupling it from procreation and child rearing. Childless marriages are exceptions representing a private purpose of marriage (not the legislature’s business) while we’re talking about the public purposes of the institution (which are the legislature’s business).

SG’s post is revealing. While the excerpt is an opinion about the State’s interest, it nevertheless describes “what marriage is” for the revisionist side. Nothing about the procreative function of marriage – which for any honest person clearly shows the chief reason why the State should “be in the marriage business” to begin with.

To put a fine point in it, conceiving of marriage as an emotional union (not oriented to procreation as an institution) cannot justify why the State has an interest in monogamy, pledges of permanence or sexual exclusivity. All features of marriage that are generally accepted by all.

Rob Tisinai
March 21st, 2013 | LINK

Whups, David, my apologies. You did clarify what you mean by “the logic of same-sex marriage”: it’s an emotional union.

But you’re setting up a very easy straw man if you think that is the entire logic. You have to deal with the whole argument — which, of course, requires you to deal with Olson and Boies.

Rob Tisinai
March 21st, 2013 | LINK

David, I say it again: Since you’re using Robert George’s terminology and arguments, please acquaint yourself with the extensive discussions we’ve already had about his work.

Otherwise you’re just spinning your wheels. For instance, you keep talking about why the government regulates marriage. And in response I gave you a link where we deal with that in depth. Unfortunately, you’re just repeating yourself now. Instead of doing that over and over, check out this Box Turtle link and then get back to us:
http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2011/04/19/31929

David
March 21st, 2013 | LINK

Rob – I’ve seen research to show the ill effects on children raised in polygamous households. That alone compels the State to reject poly marriage – and undercuts some imaginary double standard you think I’ve shown. The State privileging one man/one woman is the very thing to disincentivize the kind of promiscuity and multiple partner encounters that result in children not living with their biological parents.

Rob Tisinai
March 21st, 2013 | LINK

“Rob – I’ve seen research to show the ill effects on children raised in polygamous households.”

Excellent! Thank you! This evidence means that the Olson-Boies argument for same sex marriage provides a rationale for banning polyamorous marriage.

Which is what you asked us about in the first place.

David
March 21st, 2013 | LINK

After skimming through some of your links I quickly saw they were laced with ad hominem and snark. They didn’t appear serious enough to really delve into. And I don’t have the time.

My arguments are not overly verbose. Surely you could engage them directly.

What societal contribution to gay couples make that compels the State to promote and regulate them? And how does any other feature we take for granted about marriage become anything other than confusing and arbitrary?

Sorry I’m repeating myself. But it’s the key to learning. ;) Seriously tough.. we’re both repeating ourselves. I’m giving arguments (influenced by R. George among others) but you’re giving me links.

Rob Tisinai
March 21st, 2013 | LINK

David, if you don’t have the time to read the articles then you won’t have the time to read them after I cut and paste them into a comment.

If I had to give a short answer to your question, I suppose I’d refer to the compelling state interests enumerated by StraightGrandmother. And I’ll offer the core of the snarky piece you’d rather not read:

I’d like to start with the ugliness of the question itself — ugly, because it relies on the (understandably) unstated assumption that the state should only do those things which benefit the state.

That may be the guiding principle in a totalitarian country. In a free land, though, we have to remember this: The individual does not exist to serve the State.

For instance, freedom of speech is vital to good governance and is thus in the interests of the state — but that’s not the only reason we allow individuals the right to speak freely. The same is true of freedom of religion. And assembly. And a multitude of other rights guaranteed to citizens.

It’s un-American to imply the government should secure a citizen’s rights only if they are in the interests of the state. And it’s profoundly un-American to deny the citizens are endowed with:

“certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”

Worth repeating: to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men. It is not the duty of the citizen to justify his or her rights to the state.

David
March 21st, 2013 | LINK

But Rob you want same-sex marriage on the basis of equality, not that it’s better for children. ON THAT BASIS you have no standing to deny poly groups from marriage.

You can only deny poly marriage by applying an inconsistent criteria.

You and I agree on opposition to poly marriage – but for totally different reasons. I oppose it because it is achieved only by legally enshrining an unsound view of marriage – one that will hurt society in the long run. You – because poly marriage threatens to add baggage to the same-sex marriage agenda.

Rob Tisinai
March 21st, 2013 | LINK

Also, David, where you say you’re offering me arguments and I’m offering you links, I’d say you’re offering me unsupported assertions and I’m referring you to fleshed out arguments.

And it’s just a bit ironic to say you don’t have the time to read them when you’re asking me to rewrite for your benefit material that I’ve already written and is easily available to you. Because that takes up a whole lot more time.

Sandhorse
March 21st, 2013 | LINK

Rob,

As always, you eloquence, transcends even a ‘direct answer’.

David
March 21st, 2013 | LINK

Gotta run Rob. I appreciate being dealt with directly. I’ll deal more with it later this evening if I have time. For the record though, your point about the unfairness of laws only serving the State’s interest completely contradicts StraightGrandmother’s rationale for excluding poly marriages.

Rob Tisinai
March 21st, 2013 | LINK

Okay, David, now I’m going to repeat myself. Our argument is not merely saying “Equality!” over and over. The logic of same-sex marriage currently being offered to the Supreme Court is this:

1. Marriage is a vitally important good.

2. Excluding same-sex couples from marriage excludes them from that good, and in fact does them harm.

3.Proposition 8 perpetrates this harm for no good reason.

All 3 of these points are essential to the reasoning, like a three-legged stool. Take any one away and the whole thing collapses.

When it comes to polyamorous marriage, the harm done to children knocks out leg number 3, so if you apply our logic with complete consistency, you end up with a a justification for banning poly marriage.

David
March 21st, 2013 | LINK

To clarify – her reasoning (that she seemed so impressed with) was that governing would be “harder” for the State if poly marriages were legal. In other words, inequality is OK so long as it makes things easier for the State.

Rob Tisinai
March 21st, 2013 | LINK

David, I appreciate your contributions as well. And yes, I do have a weakness for the snark. :)

Rob Tisinai
March 21st, 2013 | LINK

I think StraightGrandmother’s point was to show that same-sex marriage and poly marriage were fundamentally different, so that the logic for one does not lead inexorably to the other. But I’ll let SG speak for herself, as she so ably does.

Priya Lynn
March 21st, 2013 | LINK

Oh, jeez, that evasive non-responsive loser is back.

chiMaxx
March 21st, 2013 | LINK

And David, even if we were to grant for the sake of argument your assertion that “The intact family with biological mother and father provides a vastly superior environment for children than any other” (which clearly we are not: You can’t just wave your hands and pretend there’s evidence without digging into the details), where would that get you? So let’s say you’re right: How does that help your argument about same-sex marriage?

First let’s be clear what we’re not talking about. This isn’t like the plot of “Raising Arizona,” with gay couples breaking into the homes of happy married couples and stealing their biological children to raise as their own. We’d all be outraged by that. But we’re not talking Elizabeth Smart/Isabella Miller-Jenkins here (only, you know, reversed with gay people rather than religious fanatics doing the kidnapping).

The reality is very different. There are a lot of children growing up in less-than-ideal circumstances–with one or both parents absent or dead. To such children what you proclaim the best option–being raised by their biological parents–is simply unavailable. Isn’t it better that they be raised by two loving parents than left in an institution or left to wander the streets? And isn’t it better that the couples raising such children have the legal protections of marriage–for the sake of each other and the children–whether the couple is two men, two women, or one of each?

Ben In Oakland
March 22nd, 2013 | LINK

I started this yesterday, but I couldn’t finish then. It’s probably too late now, but the thoughts are worth finishing for my own exercise.

David, equality is one of the many things we’re saying. Its not the only thing, though it is extremely important. As I’ve said before, marriage serves many functions, for the state, for the individual, for religion, for the law.

Not just yours, not just your church’s, not just those imagined by less-than-ingenuous George. But equality, and your emphasis on it, are both important, and I believe reveal far more than you intended.

For example, you talk about the purpose of marriage, and claim that marriage for emotional reasons decouples it from procreation and child rearing. Says who? Only you. Not reality, for certain. Even the Catholic Church, in the nuptial mass, doesn’t believe that–when its gods will, children arrive.

This is an assertion, not a fact, but you treat it as the definition of marriage. Its not. It’s a normative statement, not an empirical one. Very few men and women look at each and say “Hmm. Good breeding stock! Wide child-bearing hips. Procreation! I’ll marry him/her!”

The reality is, they look at each other, they fall in love or need or addiction or lust, then men and women get married. I’ve been to over a thousand weddings, and I can assure you, an emotional union IS the fact, not the stuff lti-George made up from Catholic doctrine. Marriage remains decoupled from procreation until such time–IF EVER– they decide to procreate. Without actual studies showing that it’s procreation first, any such an assertion is just your belief, one decoupled from fact.

To claim it’s the “purpose” of marriage is similarly decoupled from fact.

Infertile people, people who hate children, people who murdered their own, old people, missing parts people, people who never have sex, people who don’t want children, people who use birth control– all of those people can get married for the emotional union, and you don’t care, not one bit.

Quite apart from the absurdity of the assertion about heterosexuals and what marriage is for them, you make an equally absurd assertion about gay people. Plenty of gay people have and do procreate, either as formerly heterosexual people, or as gay people. There is functionally no difference between a divorced woman with children who seeks to marry a man or a woman. There is no functional difference between a man who has procreated out of wedlock and seeks to marry a man or a woman. In all cases, a child is provided with a set of married parents.

And it’s all about the children, isn’t it? Of course it is, until it isn’t because it’s no longer convenient.

We are also similarly situated to heterosexuals when we’re busy adopting the rejected products of irresponsible heterosexual reproduction, which reproduction just so happens to decouple procreation and child rearing from marriage FOR THESE VERY SAME HETEROSEXUALS. We gay people are seeking to recouple them, because it’s all about the children, isn’t it?

As always, homobigots apply to gay people a standard they would never dream of applying to themselves. The procreation and childbearing arguments only apply to gay people, not heterosexuals, which is very convenient. Even the idea that emotional unions justify polyamorous marriage, or whatever claptrap you’re selling, is ludicrous. Because it’s not us that is making that argument, it’s your side. If it’s ever allowed, it’s because the heterosexual majority will allow it, not because we’re pushing it, or for that matter, anyone else is. What’s interesting to me is how you then draw a set of very convenient lines around divorced or fornicating heterosexuals, lines which include all heterosexuals in marriage, while simultaneously excluding all gay people from marriage, when those gay people and their children that you excluding are situated exactly the same as the heterosexuals that you manage to include.

Funny that– in a betraying the true agenda kind of a way.

The kinds of arguments your making are normative, filled with straw men, hidden assumptions, real hypocrisy (not the made-in-china kind you’ve manufactured for us), sleight of hand change of subjects, and a very effectively hidden agenda.

And what is that agenda? You and lti-George have said it many times. The real problem for you is not child rearing, procreation, the true meaning of marriage or any of it. The real problem for you is in one word:

EQUALITY.

Imagine: treating gay people exactly the same as straight people, which means ending this 2000 year old, vicious, baseless prejudice– at least in law– in favor of truth, justice, logic, fact, experience, and compassion. It also means upending a great deal of conservative Christian theology, which damages the brand.

Imagine having to give up the idea that being heterosexual makes you a fit parent, in some mythical never never land of Oz. It’s not Oz, it’s Ozzie and Harriet. Of course, it’s not that at all. It’s having to give up the idea that gay people are BY NATURE inferior to heterosexuals and to conservative Christians, as both humans beings, capable human beings, and moral human beings– when for 2000 years you’ve gotten away with claiming otherwise.

You give it all away right here: “What societal contribution to gay couples make that compels the State to promote and regulate them? And how does any other feature we take for granted about marriage become anything other than confusing and arbitrary?”

One could equally well ask the same question about heterosexuals. Here’s your answer: I’m a tax payer, I’m a citizen, I’m a law abiding, respected, contributing member of my society. One could also add that my family, my children, my faith, my religious freedom, my assets are every bit as important as yours. Marriage, among many factors the existence of which you ignore, creates legal family and legal kinship where none existed before, with all of the rights, responsibilities, benefits, and obligations attached thereto.

And as Rob has so eloquently pointed out before, we’ve already accepted the responsibilities and obligations, as my many friends who have been together 40-plus years will attest. Now we want the rights and the benefits. And you want to deny them, not for the reasons—and I use that word loosely—you state, but because it ends one more support for a baseless, vicious, stupid prejudice.

“”What societal contribution to gay couples make that compels the State to promote and regulate them?” One could equally well ask the same question about the bulk of heterosexual marriages, marriages which don’t last 40% of the time, despite the vast number of social forces, including promises to God himself, arrayed to keep them together. Every single thing that marriage accomplishes for heterosexuals and their children, and thus for society, it also accomplishes for homosexuals, and thus for society. You have yet to show the slightest shred of evidence or logic that says anything different.

As for THIS: “And how does any other feature we take for granted about marriage become anything other than confusing and arbitrary?” This is not our problem, this is YOUR problem. You’re easily confused by things you and lti-George have designated as arbitrary, and the confusion only arises because you believe your own claptrap. They’re not arbitrary– you only designate them so because it helps your argument. As I said, we’re not making the claim for poly-marriage, YOU ARE. They’re not confusing to anyone who can apply fact, logic, and experience to the gay marriage question.

To claim that only some people contribute because they are heterosexual, and that gay people don’t, because they are homosexual, is the rankest kind of prejudice. To make that claim as a justification for treating identically situated gay and straight people differently under law– and their children and families and faith– has crossed the line from prejudice to bigotry.

As always, the issue isn’t gay people. It’s what some heterosexuals, and a whole bunch of wanna-be-straight-but-ain’t people, think about gay people.

Priya Lynn
March 22nd, 2013 | LINK

Way to go Ben. ; )

Ben In Oakland
March 22nd, 2013 | LINK

Thanks.

StraightGrandmother
March 22nd, 2013 | LINK

Son of a B, BEN! A MASTERPIECE. I have bookmarked it for future use.

“I think StraightGrandmother’s point was to show that same-sex marriage and poly marriage were fundamentally different, so that the logic for one does not lead inexorably to the other.”

Yes Rob that is right, I was answering the question put to me which was, “If same gender Civil Marriage, on what basis do you then reject poly marriage”

I knocked out this argument, I say why the State will not permit poly marriage. Then we can focus back to the real discussion which Rob & Ben + others masterfully argued which is, “If Opposite Sex Civil Marriage why not Same Sex Civil Marriage?”

Ben in Oakland
March 23rd, 2013 | LINK

Thanks, grandma. I’m hoping I can get a little intelligent criticism of it as well, though I have no objection to heaps of praise, either. :)

chiMaxx
March 23rd, 2013 | LINK

Love it, Ben. And the NYT interview with Brian Brown that Ron Tsinai points to today underlines your point:

“If same-sex marriage becomes a cultural norm, Mr. Brown warns, heterosexual couples will no longer have preference over gay men and lesbians in adoptions, schoolchildren will be taught that same-sex parenting is normal, and those who oppose it will be labeled bigots….

“’Children are taught in kindergarten, first grade, that it’s the same thing to grow up and marry a boy as to marry a girl,’ he said in a recent interview on C-Span.”

I’m sorry that they are afraid that we will treat them as badly as they have treated us for decades. I have no intention of doing so or of trying to peer into the hearts of people to see what they think of my marriage.

But the rest…it’s the very equality we are fighting for: Recognition of the reality that same-sex parenting is normal, that same-sex couples should be evaluated with the same criteria as heterosexual couples when it comes to adoption, and that gay children grow up knowing that they can grow up to marry the man or woman they love just like their straight classmates. Just like.

Ben In Oakland
March 23rd, 2013 | LINK

Thanks, Chimaxx.

“I’m sorry that they are afraid that we will treat them as badly as they have treated us for decades.”

Millennia. or at least millenium plus centuries.

David Stotts
March 27th, 2013 | LINK

StraightGrandmother – you keep moving the goal posts. You’ve argued against poly unions on a different basis (difficulty to govern) than you’re arguing for same-sex marriage (equality).

None of the State’s interests you cited are inhibited when 3 men marry as opposed to 2. So when you’re honest enough to argue BY THE SAME TOKEN (equality) how can you oppose 3?

Ben in Oakland
March 27th, 2013 | LINK

Oh, my, yet another David. These woods seem to be full of them.

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required)
(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.