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Old 03-06-2008, 11:39 PM   #106
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Please let it be understood-I'm with Finance Guy on this one:

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Old 03-06-2008, 11:47 PM   #107
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Actually diamond, you're just lazy.
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Old 03-06-2008, 11:49 PM   #108
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actually,
my therapist friend tells me I have mild o.c.d. tendencies.

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Old 03-07-2008, 12:41 AM   #109
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Please let it be understood-I'm with Finance Guy on this one:

I can see why this guy didn't make into the Supreme Court. The last thing we needed was another overt demagogue like Scalia. You can guess which way he'll vote in a case before it has even started!
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Old 03-07-2008, 12:53 AM   #110
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I have two things to add to the conversation:

1.I am in favor of marital equality for gays, so I disagree with any argument against it, but in particular, I disagree very much with any argument based on the idea that letting gays get married somehow threatens the fabric of one of society's oldest establishments. Even if that were true, wouldn't a significant percentage of marriages have to be gay marriages for that threat to be real at all? Personally, I don't think it would matter even if the majority of marriages were gay marriages, but it just seems especially silly to me to be worrying about how it could be such a threat to the fabric of society and all of that when gay marriages will, when(not if) they are allowed, almost certainly always be the vast, VAST minority of marriages.

2.I question the idea that marriage somehow makes the kids' lives so much more stable. To me, what makes a kid's life and home environment stable is having two parents that love and care for him/her, are always there to listen, and who can provide him/her with everything he/she needs emotionally and materially. I think that two parents can meet all of the above criteria regardless of whether they stood before all their friends and family (what would seem to the kid to be) a million years ago at a glorified party and now wear rings on their fingers. To me, being married doesn't guarantee any stability at all for a kid. There are plenty of marriages that are disfunctional, where the parents don't get along, where they don't understand or act on their responsibilities as parents appropriately, etc, and there are plenty of unmarried but commited couples who are able to give their children a childhood that is as stable and loving and safe as any couple could, married or not.
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Old 03-07-2008, 01:03 AM   #111
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On July 20, 2005, Canada became the fourth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide with the approval of the Civil Marriage Act. Court decisions, starting in 2003, each already legalized same-sex marriage in eight out of ten provinces and one of three territories, whose residents comprised about 90% of Canada's population. Before passage of the Act, more than 3,000 same-sex couples had already married in these areas. [1] Most legal benefits commonly associated with marriage had been extended to cohabiting same-sex couples since 1999.

The Civil Marriage Act was introduced by Paul Martin's Liberal government in the Canadian House of Commons on February 1, 2005 as Bill C-38. It was passed by the House of Commons on June 28, 2005, by the Senate on July 19, 2005, and it received Royal Assent the following day. On December 7, 2006, the House of Commons effectively reaffirmed the legislation by a vote of 175 to 123, defeating a Conservative motion to examine the matter again. This was the third vote supporting same-sex marriage taken by three Parliaments under three Prime Ministers in three different years.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-se...iage_in_Canada

We're doing just fine up here. Several years later, the country hasn't fallen apart, and to the best of my knowledge, no heterosexual marriages have been harmed by the passing of this law.
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Old 03-07-2008, 01:22 AM   #112
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-se...iage_in_Canada

We're doing just fine up here. Several years later, the country hasn't fallen apart, and to the best of my knowledge, no heterosexual marriages have been harmed by the passing of this law.
We're more delicate down here.
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Old 03-07-2008, 01:36 AM   #113
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We're doing just fine up here.
yeah
what about the polar bears
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Old 03-07-2008, 02:36 AM   #114
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yeah
what about the polar bears
They tend to dismiss the antiquated notion of marriage and shack up, the heathens.
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Old 03-07-2008, 08:24 AM   #115
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marriage is really about ideals now, about aiming to be something greater as a couple than you could be as an individual
I think the fact that you believe that means you should definitely have the right, privilege, whatever you want to call it, to be married-in addition to the other reasons, and if for no other reason. That is such a beautiful and simple(but grand and morally ideal) statement at the same time. How many straight people believe in that statement without reservation? I wonder. How many have thought about marriage seriously enough that they have reached that same conclusion? How many act in accordance with such a belief vs focusing on their own selfish wants?
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Old 03-07-2008, 08:34 AM   #116
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I read this a few days ago


guardian.co.uk

Is it the beginning of the end for marriage?
Hannah Betts
Sunday March 2, 2008

The bouquet curves towards me in a hideous slow-motion arc. I back away from the throng of scrambling womanhood, but, nightmarishly, the more I endeavour to elude this marital missile the closer it looms, until it hits me square on the head, sliding down my body to rest at my feet. Appalled, I shudder backwards, arms planted at my sides. A stunned silence prevails as the entire wedding party regards me with clinical fascination. Finally the chief bridesmaid tuts, bends forward, scoops up and dusts down the bouquet, before brandishing it half-heartedly in the air.

Platitude has it that it is every little girl's dream to be metamorphosed into a billowing white cloud. I was no exception, only mine was a recurrent, Angela Carter-esque nightmare: my dress a shroud, the groom a vampire, my train snaked around my throat removing first speech then vital signs.

In adult life the dreams prove still more tormenting. My refusal to marry has been the cause of painful separations (I now no longer sleep with advocates of the institution, although nothing propels a chap to seek to knot-tie more than a partner disinclined). My refusenik stance is the cause of baffled offence from friends, followed by aggressively emotional attempts at conversion. It is a constant provocation to colleagues, with the result that I find myself editing wedding sections (the ignominy!), or being dispatched to road-test designer wedding dresses (my body rebelled, generating my first freak period in 25 years, an occurrence that did not sit happily amid £12,000 of tulle). When my sister announced her engagement I was appalled that someone I thought I knew could do something so alien, psychologically dubious, banal. While she, quite rightly, felt that a simple 'Congratulations' would have sufficed.

Gamophobia - fear of marriage - is a little-used term to mark a still less acknowledged concept. I hold my hands up to it, not waving but drowning under the rampant gamomania of society at large, where £20,000 is the average nuptial spend and nothing blinds like the glare of a white frock. I am wedding-phobic, but no less averse to the institution itself. According to my own peculiarly fundamentalist secular beliefs marriage is lazy, anachronistic, morally bankrupt. Moreover, in the same way that if there were a God, He is not one I'd wish to have any truck with, so if marriage were the only thing holding a union of mine together, then I'd rather let it pass. (Hence the bumper-sticker axiom that abstainers 'get to choose their partner every day'.)

There are many things that my objection does not entail: fear of commitment (nope); a reflection on my parents' relationship (they are still together); a judgment as to whether or not I want children (neither here nor there); and that great patronising lie that I am yet to meet 'the right man'. Nor am I some joyless ideologue - I'm rather in favour of a good knees up, and have no objection whatsoever to being presented with jewellery.

Forced to unpack my antipathy, I would cite four po-faced motives: atheism; feminism; a loathing of state and/or public intervention in matters I deem private; and something more oddball regarding the close-down of narrative possibility. One reason would be enough to quash any Doris Day ambition; the four together topple into each other like spinsterish dominos.

My stance may be at the more neurotic, proposing-as-a-dumping-offence extreme, but I am by no means alone in my disinclination towards getting hitched. Rates of marriage in Britain - 283,730 in 2005 - are at their lowest since 1896. Given the ebb and flow of population, this is the most paltry scoring since records began almost 150 years ago. Divorce statistics may have fallen (there being fewer candidates), yet, still, 40 per cent of first marriages and 70 per cent of second shots end in divorce.

The attitudes reflected in these statistics suggest that love and marriage do indeed go together like a horse and carriage in the sense that both are quaint anachronisms. According to this year's British Social Attitudes (BSA) Survey, published in January, two-thirds of people see little difference between marriage and cohabitation (a mere one-fifth taking issue). Even regarding children, where more traditional views tend to apply, only one in four people believes that married couples make better parents. Meanwhile, over half declare weddings to be more about celebration than lifelong commitment, with two-thirds endorsing the truism that divorce can be 'a positive step towards a new life'. As Professor Simon Duncan, co-author of the marriage chapter, decreed: 'The heterosexual married couple is no longer central as a social norm.'

Indeed, the heterosexual married couple shows every sign of taking its role model from Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? In a survey released in the wake of the annual post-Christmas divorce rush, over half of 2,000 adults confessed to being unhappy in their marriage. A staggering two-thirds of wives revealed that they would divorce immediately were their economic security assured. A plaintive half of husbands considered their marriages loveless, while 30 per cent of those questioned were lingering in doomed marriages 'to avoid upheaval'.

Experts recommend caution in regarding the British public as increasingly wedlock-averse. According to Penny Mansfield, director of the relationship research organisation One Plus One, 'There is very little indication that people are opposed to marriage; simply evidence that people are not getting married. In the main, people don't see any difference between the institution and long-term cohabitation. Those in relationships who are not married simply see themselves as being just like people who are. People don't really think about it.'

The effect is a massive backing away from what, even in the reputedly swinging Sixties and Seventies, was a fundamental rite of passage for the vast majority. Whether its abstainers are actively resistant or merely nonchalant, what we are seeing is, if not the end of marriage, then quite possibly the beginning of the end. So who are these conjugal avoiders?

For some, refusal to marry is a God thing. Ryan Thompson, 28, a journalist for Men's Health, is adamant: 'I don't believe in marriage because I don't believe in God.' Like me, as a teenager, Thompson taunted his married parents for their ideological weakness; his views have also been the cause of relationship meltdown. 'If I were not so fundamentally against it, I'd probably have a nice legal bill now, less hair, and would never have met my current partner. Marriage has long been a publicly acknowledged contract of convenience. My life with my partner is a private seal of my commitment to her. We don't need our status authenticated by institutions outside our own personal one.'

The feminist thing is no less compelling. Hailing from multicultural Birmingham, I did not attend a traditional Christian wedding until my mid-twenties. Words cannot express my head-spinning, Carrie-style horror at the revelation that my friend, a lawyer, was being walked down the aisle by one man to be handed over to another, a (rather less distinguished) lawyer whom she promised to obey, the whole thing rounded off by a series of male speeches while she remained silent in her faux virgin's white. Ten years on, another friend, the breadwinner in her relationship, was instructed by the officiating cleric to submit to her husband in all matters, to thunderous masculine applause.

Of course, a good many feminists put a less Stepford stamp on their ceremonies, and go on to draw great strength from their marriages, considering themselves to have reinvented its limits. Personally, I find this as impossible a notion as the idea that one could somehow reinvent slavery. Marriage is the sum of its history; a history that encompasses subordination, drudgery, property theft, and, well within my lifetime, the legal impossibility of rape. In this context, not only would I be mortified to participate in such a structure myself, I would be ashamed to bring up children in such a shoddy and despicable arrangement.

Elizabeth Enright, 30, an Edinburgh psychologist, concurs: 'I certainly have feminist issues around the history of marriage as a tradition of buying and selling women. I can't believe other women are so unselfconscious about it, and surprised that I have a desire to be neither princess nor chattel.' Younger women are no less open to these qualms. Susie Corbett, a 21-year-old customer services employee from Sheffield, rejects the term feminist - 'as I think it connotes a scary, angry woman' - but her suspicion of marriage reveals no little feminist content. 'It's a dated concept. I don't believe that a wife should stay at home while the husband goes out to work. The roles of men and women have become more equal.'

Nadia Idle, 27, an anti-poverty campaigner from London, prefers to consider herself as 'radical independent left-wing' rather than feminist. 'My position on marriage stems from my political beliefs and my lack of religious affiliation. I don't need or want the approval of the state or any religious authority to enter into a relationship. I don't need an artificial contract to make me feel secure. Anthropologically, marriage fulfilled an important social function in organising society which I just don't think emancipated individuals need to adhere to.'

Underlying many such statements is a disapproval of state or even community investment in what is a private relationship. For many refuseniks, the very thing that draws others to marry - a declaration before family and friends - proves repellent. (I recall having to explain to a former partner that a party with speeches and fancy outfits in the orangery at Blenheim Palace would not really cut it as far as non-marriage went.)

The very notion still causes Caitlyn Jones, a 35-year-old charity worker from Bristol, discomfort. 'When I was about eight, one of the things I feared most about adulthood was marriage. I would lie in bed and worry about having to walk down an aisle and kiss a man in front of loads of people while wearing some hideous dress. The embarrassment factor was a huge turn-off, but the name-change even more so. I really couldn't get my head around the idea that a woman had to take a man's surname. As I got older it turned out that my suspicions were not unfounded. I've never been proposed to and I hope I never will.'

A few of us also wrestle with what might be categorised as marriage's shutdown of narrative possibility - not the possibility of further erotic adventure per se, but the possibility of adventure at large. Marriage is the end not the beginning of most women's stories; there will not be much to say after 'Reader, I married him.' As an adolescent, I was powerfully moved by the opening of DH Lawrence's Women in Love, with its heroines' assertion of their modernity by renouncing connubial ambition.

The writer and broadcaster Nadine Baggott, 45, expresses similar feelings: 'I have never wanted to get married, not for one second. I think it's because I watched too many Bette Davis and Joan Crawford films and identified with those wisecracking, fast-talking dames. If it were a case of choosing between being Doris Day and Joan Crawford, I would always choose to be the mistress, never the wife. The bride's story ended with marriage, because after the wedding there was never anything interesting worth filming. And so today, in essence, after years of living with my partner, I am a "wife" and we are "married",' she says, 'but I stick to the fact that I am still the girlfriend and we live together because for me being married means being boring and predictable and conforming to what is expected.'

For many, hostility to the state of wedlock will be the price of already having conformed. Richard Quick, 35, a London publisher, married at 26 and separated at 29, when his second child was two, the age he was when his own parents parted. 'I thought my parents' experience meant I was well-armed for marriage,' Quick says. 'In fact, I was just well-prepared for divorce.' Would he remarry? 'No, I just don't see any need. It's an outmoded institution. Children would be better served by broader, more open family units. In our modern consumer society we pick what we want from any situation, but marriage is still one-size-fits-all. We need to unbundle those vows, to cherry-pick the bits we want. That way there'd be a lot less disappointment.'

Quick leaves potential partners in no doubt regarding his position. 'I've found it actually helps narrow the field. There was a time when saying that marriage was off the cards was as bad as saying you didn't want kids, but that's changed once women have got past their Barbie doll stage.'

Indeed, Dr Jane Lewis, Professor of Social Policy at the London School of Economics, argues that these days marriage involves no small degree of risk for women. 'At the beginning of the 20th century marriage offered protection of a sort. If the marriage worked, it was probably the best way of coping economically. Today, the costs of marriage in terms of childbearing are front-loaded for women. What if one marries, gives up work while the children are young, sacrificing pension contributions, earnings, promotion prospects - and then the husband leaves? Marriage has become a risk,' says Lewis. 'The more economic independence one has, the more one can protect against that risk.'

Professor Lewis agrees with Penny Mansfield that Britons are not necessarily turning away from wedlock so much as deferring it. 'It's just that people no longer operate according to the old rules ordering sex, children and marriage,' Lewis says.

Relate changed its name from the National Marriage Guidance Council 20 years ago to reflect this shifting demographic. Jenny North, Relate's head of public policy, has also observed a sea change whereby couples have come to regard marriage as the pinnacle not the premise of their relationship. 'In the past, marriage was something one did en route to adulthood. These days it often comes after one's got the house and the car, when the job is going well, when you've had the baby, as the sign to those around you that you've made it. People aspire to and idealise marriage, only wanting to do it when all the pieces have fallen into place and everything's perfect - and because of this, marriage has become identified with the wedding.'

Perfection being the impossible dream it is, this results in couples indefinitely postponing their weddings. Lucy Wigmore, 32, lives in the Midlands and has two children. 'I strongly want my children to have married parents, but we just haven't got round to it. We're too busy to plan something and can't afford a big party right now. Plus I'd like to get my figure back. So we're looking at the end of 2009, later perhaps.'

There's no business like nuptial show business. As Penny Mansfield remarks: 'In Alan Bennett's Untold Stories, he recalls his parents getting married at 8am because they wanted to avoid the spotlight. But in our celebrity culture, everyone wants to show off.' This exhibitionism is one of the many aspects of knot-tying that repulses 36-year-old Southampton researcher Tom Richards. 'The spectacle involved in modern marriage is in inverse proportion to its meaning. The more devoid of content the institution becomes, the more a grotesquely postmodern, style-over-substance principle applies. The entire event becomes a swaggering parody of some bygone society wedding.'

John Amery, who is in his early forties, lays the blame for such orgiastic consumption squarely with the bride. 'I gaze with horror at the way women hold out their hands screeching with excitement about the engagement while everyone gawks at the rock and judges the absent man by the size of the ring, and thus his salary and, by extension, his penis. The three months' salary thing, women selling themselves as chattels... it's all so base.'

Other men express shock at the lemming-like frenzy that may take hold of a social group. Guy Amis, a 29-year-old IT worker from east London, recalls: 'At university I felt confident that my friends would pursue all manner of romantic arrangements. Within three years I had been to seven weddings. It seemed overly hasty and shockingly middle-of-the-road. Ours was meant to be the generation that chose. But here we were, just finishing our degrees, and suddenly somehow married. I would have marriage overhauled, shed the pretence. To have and to hold? Cool. In sickness and in health? Lovely. Till death us do part? Forget about it.'

Women may be no less realistic, but their attitude is often also tempered by a sense of the potential sacrifice of self. Julia Wright, 42, is a commissioning editor living in Brighton: 'Marriage is an act of faith, and one that belongs to the young. I am not so young any more. I've lost the faith. It means something to stand up and declare your union. And for me, now, that's exactly why I doubt I could do it. I know love is fallible, that it fades, that some relationships have a shelf life. I trust my judgment enough to say no to someone; I don't trust it enough to say yes.

'Besides, at this age,' Wright says, 'marriage would seem inappropriate, silly, self-indulgent. My sense of identity is stronger than ever, and marriage would dilute my sense of self: the view from my window, the books on my shelves, the people I'd see. I guess it comes back to Virginia Woolf's idea of a room of one's own. My own space, to be me, to engage in the things that make life important.' Her partner wants 'the marriage, the house, the kids, the shared life', a circumstance Wright fears will prove the relationship's end. 'I don't disapprove of marriage; I like displays of bravado and daring. Unfortunately, I fear the fallout, the unhappy ending, the sense of being trapped.'

When I read Wright's words I forget for a moment that marriage is anathema to me, and see it in its place: a small, spent thing, still panting for the attention of the conformist and the reckless. And, yet, at the thought of its infringing upon my own existence, the suffocating white pall descends. Perhaps, as God has been imagined to prefer the engagement of the atheist to the believer's unthinking compliance, so marriage will retain its power only among its abstainers.
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Old 05-15-2008, 01:37 PM   #117
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[q]California Supreme Court overturns gay marriage ban

19 minutes ago

SAN FRANCISCO - The California Supreme Court has overturned a gay marriage ban in a ruling that would make the nation's largest state the second one to allow gay and lesbian weddings.
ADVERTISEMENT

The justices' 4-3 decision Thursday says domestic partnerships are not a good enough substitute for marriage. Chief Justice Ron George wrote the opinion.

The city of San Francisco, two dozen gay and lesbian couples and gay rights groups sued in March 2004 after the court halted San Francisco's monthlong same-sex wedding march.

The case before the court involved a series of lawsuits seeking to overturn a voter-approved law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

With the ruling, California could become the second state after Massachusetts where gay and lesbian residents can marry.

"What happens in California, either way, will have a huge impact around the nation. It will set the tone," said Geoffrey Kors, executive director of the gay rights group Equality California.

California already offers same-sex couples who register as domestic partners the same legal rights and responsibilities as married spouses, including the right to divorce and to sue for child support. It's therefore unclear what additional relief state lawmakers could offer short of marriage if the court renders the existing ban unconstitutional.

A coalition of religious and social conservative groups is attempting to put a measure on the November ballot that would enshrine California's current laws banning gay marriage in the state constitution.

The Secretary of State is expected to rule by the end of June whether the sponsors gathered enough signature to qualify the marriage amendment, similar to ones enacted in 26 other states.

The cases before the California court were brought by the city of San Francisco, two dozen gay and lesbian couples, Equality California and another gay rights group in March 2004 after the court halted San Francisco's monthlong same-sex wedding march that took place at Mayor Gavin Newsom's direction[/q]
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Old 05-15-2008, 01:38 PM   #118
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[q]The conclusion:

In the present case, it is readily apparent that extending the designation of marriage to same-sex couples clearly is more consistent with the probable legislative intent than withholding that designation from both opposite-sex couples and same-sex couples in favor of some other, uniform designation. In view of the lengthy history of the use of the term "marriage" to describe the family relationship here at issue, and the importance that both the supporters of the 1977 amendment to the marriage statutes and the electors who voted in favor of Proposition 22 unquestionably attached to the designation of marriage, there can be no doubt that extending the designation of marriage to same-sex couples, rather than denying it to all couples, is the equal protection remedy that is most consistent with our state's general legislative policy and preference.

Accordingly, in light of the conclusions we reach concerning the constitutional questions brought to us for resolution, we determine that the language of section 300 limiting the designation of marriage to a union "between a man and a woman" is unconstitutional and must be stricken from the statute, and that the remaining statutory language must be understood as making the designation of marriage available both to opposite-sex and same-sex couples. In addition, because the limitation of marriage to opposite-sex couples imposed by section 308.5 can have no constitutionally permissible effect in light of the constitutional conclusions set forth in this opinion, that provision cannot stand.

Plaintiffs are entitled to the issuance of a writ of mandate directing the appropriate state officials to take all actions necessary to effectuate our ruling in this case so as to ensure that county clerks and other local officials throughout the state, in performing their duty to enforce the marriage statutes in their jurisdictions, apply those provisions in a manner consistent with the decision of this court. Further, as the prevailing parties, plaintiffs are entitled to their costs.

The judgment of the Court of Appeal is reversed, and the matter is remanded to that court for further action consistent with this opinion.

GEORGE, C. J.

WE CONCUR:

KENNARD, J.

WERDEGAR, J.

MORENO, J.[/q]
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Old 05-15-2008, 02:09 PM   #119
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I saw this this morning. It made me happy.
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Old 05-15-2008, 02:19 PM   #120
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It made me so happy when I heard the news this morning. Unfortunately it looks like we will be voting on a definition of marriage amendment in November, so it's not over yet.
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