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Old 08-02-2008, 06:44 PM   #316
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Yet, that is what the people of California may well do this Fall. Their voice should count for something, no?

The people of Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama all agree with you.
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Old 08-02-2008, 07:13 PM   #317
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Exactly. Loving vs. Virginia and Brown vs. Topeka Board of Ed were complete bullshit.
No, those weren't "bullshit" cases of "newly discovered" rights being found by activist judges, they were restorations of rights once enjoyed and then lost due to judicial activism. The 1883 Supreme Court ruling declaring the Civil Rights Act of 1875 unconstitutional as well as 1896's Plessy v. Ferguson ruling.
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Old 08-02-2008, 07:18 PM   #318
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No, those weren't "bullshit" cases of "newly discovered" rights being found by activist judges,

You're right. The Fourteenth Amendment wasn't newly discovered, and it still isn't newly discovered.
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Old 08-02-2008, 07:24 PM   #319
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My wife and I have been on Venice Beach for the day. Can I just say, I am in love with this place. There were people of all shapes, sizes, races, genders just enjoying life. And the best part was, people were able to be who the hell they are without anyone batting an eye.

I love this place. WE just got in to our hotel after driving through the topenga canyon. WOW!!!!!

Anyways - my point - is that people were able to be who and what they and I was able to be who I am, and I think to myself - what a wonderful world.
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Old 08-02-2008, 07:34 PM   #320
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You're right. The Fourteenth Amendment was newly discovered, and it still isn't newly discovered.
Again, the California court said in it's own ruling that under the state's domestic-partnerships laws gay couples enjoyed "virtually all of the legal rights and responsibilities accorded married couples under California law." So sounds like equal protection has been met.
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Old 08-02-2008, 08:06 PM   #321
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"virtually

This is the word that hangs that up.

Because there are still rights denied, especially on the federal level.

What about those? How do you reconcile denying federal rights to "virtual" marriages?
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Old 08-02-2008, 10:49 PM   #322
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If expanding the definition of marriage is all about inclusiveness, then why arbitrarily limit it to TWO?
No-one's arguing that it should be limited to two. I suggested earlier that if you don't restrict polygamy/polyamoury, it's much harder for neglected or partners (who, then, wouldn't be 'partners' anymore since partner implies equity) to get out when they're overwhelmed by numbers -- to the point, it can be a much more dangerous and volatile arrangement, especially if wealth/health/safety are not taken into consideration. That's a diversionary discussion though, and has limited use here except as justification to deny rights to some because they're denied to others, and using it doesn't say 'I'm for being inclusive' it says 'I support being exclusive, because we already do exclude, and we should make no more effort than we already are to accommodate people of different beliefs'.

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But if you are correct that "religous beliefs should have no part in the legislation of state laws," does that mean that anti-discrimination laws should be used against religious institutions which discriminate on whom they would marry or that fail to recognize same-sex marriages? Remember, we have people here arguing that opposition to gay marriage is no different than opposition to interracial marriage.
For the final argument to be valid, I would suppose there are religions that refuse to marry people because they are of different races. In Canada, I don't know about the states, you can't discriminate based on race, religion, colour, creed, nationality, etc, etc, etc. The Catholic church refuses (or did, until recently) to marry two people of different faiths, which is just as immaterial to the notion of two people forming a union as the colour of their skin -- so should the anti-discrimination laws come to bear in those cases? Not necessarily if there are alternatives, and there are. The state doesn't refuse to marry the individuals, but the church does, which only means that you can't have the ceremony in the church. The marriage itself is equally valid under the eyes of the law in spite of this, and that's the crucial point. The catholic ceremony is just that: a ceremony, and a ceremony only. If you throw religion out of the picture and leave the only remaining alternative -- marriage by the state -- it is wholly absurd to say that two people cannot marry because they are of different faiths, different religions, or different orientations. Are they not equally human under the eyes of the law? They are. Therefore they are equally entitled to the same treatment, privileges, etc as other individuals under the eyes of the law. That should be the end of discussion, and yet we keep discussing it.

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In the California decision the court itself noted that the state's domestic-partnership law already gave gay couples "virtually all of the legal rights and responsibilities accorded married couples under California law." So we really aren't talking about equal protection especially since gay men and lesbians in California already enjoy the right to marry; the same right, no more no less, as any other adult in that state. What they demand, and what the California supreme court has now "discovered" is a new right. A right not enumerated in either the California or U.S. constitution. The right to marry someone of your sex. A right to define marriage as the individual parties see fit.
We have procedures to amend constitutions if marriage must be a right and we also have elected bodies to write new laws defining marriage, but we do live in a democracy so what we don't need is courts making up stuff.
Semantics aside, where qualifiers like 'virtually' do not equal 'equal', I have to wonder if at the end of the day something must be ennumerated explicitly in the law by proper channels, ie starting top-down by amending constitutions, to be valid. I mean, how else should some people be prompted to recognize that one course of action is better than another? Maybe because an equally valid method of legislation known as precedent, should not just be thrown out as non-democratic. The law relies primarily on precedent. To say precedent is invalid just because you don't like one decision is ridiculous. Courts make up stuff all the time. As I'm sure you're aware, just because you don't like it, it is a democracy, and there are also proper channels to shoot down precedent just as there are ones to amend constitutions.
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Old 08-02-2008, 11:27 PM   #323
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This is the word that hangs that up.

Because there are still rights denied, especially on the federal level.

What about those? How do you reconcile denying federal rights to "virtual" marriages?
I don't think anyone's rights are being denied because the constitution says nothing about what is and isn't a marriage. Marriage just isn't a right as enumerated in the U.S. constitution. Which makes it a matter for the people and their elected officials to decide.

Now, we all have individual rights that must be protected which is why laws banning interracial marriages were clearly unconstitutional. The same would be the case if a gay man was not allowed to marry a woman simply because he was a homosexual. That would be discrimination. But that isn't the case, there are gay men and women legally married, for various reasons, to members of the opposite sex. So again, I think equal protection has been met.

The debate now is whether or not to allow members of the same sex to marry. A privilege or "right" no one has previously enjoyed. I personally, at this time, would be against that but I'm just one voice giving my opinion.

So debate me, maybe it is time, but to declare same-sex marriage a "right" where none existed before or to imply that my opposition is based solely on bigotry on a level of segregationists 50 years ago is simply a way, isn't it, to cut off debate without having one.

Freedom of speech, ummm, now I wonder if that's in the constitution?
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Old 08-02-2008, 11:36 PM   #324
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If expanding the definition of marriage is all about inclusiveness, then why arbitrarily limit it to TWO?
I'm sure Jacob and his two wives, Leah and Rachel, might ask this same question in Genesis. Here we have a "Biblical family," but it is "one man, two women," right?

However, if you remember how the story went, Jacob wanted to marry Rachel, but, due to the prevailing mores of the day, was forced to marry Leah first, since she was the oldest daughter, and then finally was able to marry Rachel later. By all accounts, Rachel and their children together were whom Jacob loved the most.

So let's correct your first fallacy here. "Expanding" the definition of marriage is not about "inclusiveness"; it is about the evolution of liberty and equality, which has grown exponentially since the 18th century and culminated in "expanding" the definition of marriage away from loveless, arranged marriages to loving and equal marriages.

Why polygamy does not work in the modern era has everything to do with these ideals of liberty and equality, rather than the notion of one's spouse as property, as it was with Leah. As it stands, in spite of all the rhetoric, there is no serious interest in polygamy in America, either socially or economically. However, if things were to change in 200 or 300 years, where polygamous relationships could exist in the spirit of liberty and equality, you can bet that someone would push for it, and they'd have plenty of Bible quotes to choose from in their arguments for it.
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Old 08-02-2008, 11:37 PM   #325
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Freedom of speech, ummm, now I wonder if that's in the constitution?

No one here has ever said you do not have the right to say what you want. NO ONE AT ANY TIME. If I want to equate what I feel is one form of bigotry with another, I have that right as well. You can defend it all you want.
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Old 08-02-2008, 11:42 PM   #326
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IWhich makes it a matter for the people and their elected officials to decide.
So when the people and their elected officials outlawed Chinese marriage in California, that was cool with you?


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Now, we all have individual rights that must be protected

Except if you're gay, apparently.
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Old 08-02-2008, 11:44 PM   #327
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I don't think anyone's rights are being denied because the constitution says nothing about what is and isn't a marriage. Marriage just isn't a right as enumerated in the U.S. constitution. Which makes it a matter for the people and their elected officials to decide.
Supreme Court precedent would beg to differ.

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Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival.... To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discrimination. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State. - Loving v. Virginia - 1967
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Now, we all have individual rights that must be protected which is why laws banning interracial marriages were clearly unconstitutional. The same would be the case if a gay man was not allowed to marry a woman simply because he was a homosexual. That would be discrimination. But that isn't the case, there are gay men and women legally married, for various reasons, to members of the opposite sex. So again, I think equal protection has been met.
Silly logic. One could have argued that banning interracial marriages also upheld equal protection, because nothing said that a black man couldn't marry a black woman or a white man couldn't marry a white woman. In other words, they all had the "equal right" to marry...but within societal-prescribed social mores.

Isn't that, after all, the argument being leveled against same-sex marriage here? That gays have the "equal right" to marry...but within societal-prescribed social mores?

Frankly, it's as much of a nonsense argument today as anti-miscegenation laws were 50 years ago.

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Freedom of speech, ummm, now I wonder if that's in the constitution?
Freedom of speech permits you to shoot your mouth off any way you wish, and equally permits anyone else to shoot their mouths off right back at you. There is no constitutional right to have your views left alone and unchallenged.
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Old 08-03-2008, 12:39 AM   #328
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No-one's arguing that it should be limited to two. I suggested earlier that if you don't restrict polygamy/polyamoury, it's much harder for neglected or partners (who, then, wouldn't be 'partners' anymore since partner implies equity) to get out when they're overwhelmed by numbers -- to the point, it can be a much more dangerous and volatile arrangement, especially if wealth/health/safety are not taken into consideration.
That is a good argument against polygamy. There are many more. There also what I consider to be valid arguments against no-fault divorce, the proliferation of single parent families as well as same-sex marriage. Now, some people argue that all marriage is bad and only provide refuges for misogynistic males to rule over mini patriarchies. So I don't know, maybe instead of allowing more marriages we should actually be outlawing the entire institution.
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In Canada, I don't know about the states, you can't discriminate based on race, religion, colour, creed, nationality, etc, etc, etc. The Catholic church refuses (or did, until recently) to marry two people of different faiths, which is just as immaterial to the notion of two people forming a union as the colour of their skin -- so should the anti-discrimination laws come to bear in those cases? Not necessarily if there are alternatives, and there are. The state doesn't refuse to marry the individuals, but the church does, which only means that you can't have the ceremony in the church. The marriage itself is equally valid under the eyes of the law in spite of this, and that's the crucial point. The catholic ceremony is just that: a ceremony, and a ceremony only.
Ok, that's an interesting point about alternatives. But again, I entered this debate because opposition to same-sex marriage was seen as the 21st Century version of racial discrimination. We have laws against racial discrimination so if they are equal then why not take away the tax-exempt status of religious organizations that refuse to recognize same-sex marriage. Catholic charities in Massachusetts got out of child adoption services because that state held their beliefs against gay adoption to be discriminatory, so they just got out of the business rather than face lawsuits. Someone, somewhere, would challenge the First Amendment rights of a church to refuse to marry people of the same-sex.
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Therefore they are equally entitled to the same treatment, privileges, etc as other individuals under the eyes of the law. That should be the end of discussion, and yet we keep discussing it.
One has to show that they are in fact not being treated equally.

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Semantics aside, where qualifiers like 'virtually' do not equal 'equal',
Define equal. Certainly Jefferson's phrase "all men are created equal" is only "virtually" true. In the eyes of the law and God, but in reality, of coarse not. All of us are born with all sorts of advantages and disadvantages.



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I have to wonder if at the end of the day something must be ennumerated explicitly in the law by proper channels, ie starting top-down by amending constitutions, to be valid. I mean, how else should some people be prompted to recognize that one course of action is better than another?
The U.S. Constitution anyway, is meant to be a rigid document listing what the federal government can and cannot do, leaving the rest up to the populace.
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The law relies primarily on precedent. To say precedent is invalid just because you don't like one decision is ridiculous. Courts make up stuff all the time.
That's one of my points actually. There is no, not any, precedent for same-sex marriage. Not in the law, not in tradition, not in any religious or secular moral system, not even in a previous state wide vote in California. None. That in itself doesn't mean that same-sex marriage shouldn't be recognized in the year 2008, but it does mean that perhaps it's way too big of a change to be decided by 7 or 9 people alone.
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Old 08-03-2008, 12:46 AM   #329
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If expanding the definition of marriage is all about inclusiveness, then why arbitrarily limit it to TWO?


Well of coarse that's not true, I know plenty of Californians that were married in a church during a religious ceremony. But if you are correct that "religous beliefs should have no part in the legislation of state laws," does that mean that anti-discrimination laws should be used against religious institutions which discriminate on whom they would marry or that fail to recognize same-sex marriages? Remember, we have people here arguing that opposition to gay marriage is no different than opposition to interracial marriage.

Based on which part of the California constitution?

Yet, that is what the people of California may well do this Fall. Their voice should count for something, no?

So there are "religious" marriages in CA. Someone will sue churches sooner or later and you know it. It's what Americans do.


In the California decision the court itself noted that the state's domestic-partnership law already gave gay couples "virtually all of the legal rights and responsibilities accorded married couples under California law." So we really aren't talking about equal protection especially since gay men and lesbians in California already enjoy the right to marry; the same right, no more no less, as any other adult in that state. What they demand, and what the California supreme court has now "discovered" is a new right. A right not enumerated in either the California or U.S. constitution. The right to marry someone of your sex. A right to define marriage as the individual parties see fit.
We have procedures to amend constitutions if marriage must be a right and we also have elected bodies to write new laws defining marriage, but we do live in a democracy so what we don't need is courts making up stuff.
First, the whole polygamy thing is one of the things conservatives consistently love to throw into this debate, yet that is NOT what the decision in California was about. The Supreme Court's take on it was in a nutshell, "Is it Constitutional that Domestic Partnerships, which offer all of the same legal benefits of marriage should exist for Gays and Lesbians, yet Marriage should only be reserved for heterosexual unions". It was their decision that it is not. the state Constitution protects a fundamental "right to marry" that extends equally to same-sex couples. They declared that the state Constitution protects a fundamental "right to marry" that extends equally to same-sex couples. And they went on to say any law that discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation (including the right to marry) will from this point on be constitutionally suspect in California in the same way as laws that discriminate by race or gender.

So really, the argument as it pertains to California has nothing to do with Polygamy...if you want to debate polygamy, that's a separate issue. What this is about is the (former) 2nd class citizenry of Gays and Lesbians as far as the right to marriage in the State of California. PERIOD.

Yes, you can have a religous marriage in California. And you can have a court-style marriage in California (I can perform both), but they are both bound by the legal contract that is called a MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE, which is NOT a religous document. It's a LEGAL document, and the right to marry in California is a matter of LAW, not RELIGION.

Furthermore, the Court did NOT make stuff up. What it found is that those that attempted to prohbit same sex couples from marriage were doing so against the State Constitution. You can AMEND the state constitution if you get enough votes to do so, but the way the Supreme Court has ruled, if it looks like your trying to discriminate against Gays and Lesbians (Marriage for hetero couples, Domestic Partnership for homos), then you will be found in violation of the state's constitution.

I implore you to read the ruling, in it's entirety, which can be found here:
http://www.law.berkeley.edu/library/S147999.pdf

No one is going to sue a church. They do not need to abide by those laws. What happens is people end up going into churches and shooting up the ones that believe gays should be treated equally. That is what people do after all. It's what they did in Tennessee.

Now, should the people's voice count? If Atheists became the majority in California, and they wanted to outlaw Christianity, and they got a prop on the state ballot and it passed, well, should the people's voice count?

If the Latinos, who I think already DO make up the majority of the State of California, wanted to make Spanish the official language, and by some miracle of God (or the Devil depending on your beliefs), got it passed and everyone had to learn Spanish, well, the people spoke right?

The people once spoke saying women should not vote.

The people once spoke saying colored should not sit with whites.

The people once spoke saying many many things.

The People are quite often wrong.
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Old 08-03-2008, 01:05 AM   #330
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We have laws against racial discrimination so if they are equal then why not take away the tax-exempt status of religious organizations that refuse to recognize same-sex marriage.
Legitimate question (for real): Have religious organizations who refuse to recognize mixed marriages (Catholic churches for example) lost their tax-exempt status? Have churches who refuse to recognize racially mixed marriages lost theirs as well?


Your arguments are always based on a fear of what may happen. Living in fear is no way to live.
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