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Old 04-23-2008, 12:37 AM   #331
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Originally posted by nathan1977

Because if we are going to give marriage civil right status, then, legally speaking, there are a host of alternative lifestyles that might clamor for the same opportunity....as this thread has proven.


how is being gay an alternative "lifestyle"? or how is it comparable to what might be deemed alternative "lifestyles"?

but, regardless, the above is, i think, a misformulation. it's not that marriage is a civil right, it's that there are 1049 rights that are conferred when one gets married, and the institution itself is discriminatory towards gays in the way that it was once discriminatory towards interracial couples. thus, there are certain rights that no gay person can have access to, unless they were to marry a person of the opposite sex -- which, obviously, happens -- and it seems that such a relationship could be deemed fraudulent.
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Old 04-23-2008, 01:04 PM   #332
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it's not that marriage is a civil right
but we're sure treating it like it is, with the shouts about separate but equal -- which is a misnomer, since separate but equal referred to access. If we're talking about access to those fabled 1049 benefits, that's fine -- but that's a different conversation than making marriage a fundamental civil right.

And it's probably wise to talk about those 1049 tax benefits. As I've said before, it's incorrect to argue that marriage brings with it tax benefits, since married people automatically pay higher taxes due to a different tax bracket. As I've said time and again, tax benefits really kick in with acquisition of property -- which can happen whether you're single or married, gay or straight. And in any case, when we're talking about tax issues, we're talking about benefits, not rights.

There are other legitimate issues about hospital visitations between partners, as well as estate taxes and leaving property to next of kin, but many of these issues are resolved by a good will -- which both straight and gay people should have regardless, since battles over estate issues rage as much in families where people are straight as they can in families where people are gay. (The Anna Nicole Smith or Britney Spears debacles, anyone?)

And as near as I could tell, of the 4 benefits that you posted in another thread (as I recall, two had to do with visitation rights and estate issues -- pardon if I'm misremembering), two were matters for private institutions as opposed to government-sponsored discrimination -- and more and more corporations are adding "sexual orientation" to their non-discrimination policies, which is a good thing. People shouldn't be fired from their job because of their sexual orientation.

So again, can marriage legitimately be ruled a civil right?
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Old 04-23-2008, 03:45 PM   #333
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The U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled that it is; that was part of their reasoning in Loving v. Virginia, the case which affirmed the legality of interracial marriage.
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The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men. Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival.
And perhaps relevant, a personal statement from the surviving plaintiff, Mildred Loving, prepared for a press conference commemorating the 40th anniversary of the decision (June 12, 2007):
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My generation was bitterly divided over something that should have been so clear and right. The majority believed that what the judge said, that it was God's plan to keep people apart, and that government should discriminate against people in love. But I have lived long enough now to see big changes. The older generation's fears and prejudices have given way, and today's young people realize that if someone loves someone they have a right to marry.

Surrounded as I am now by wonderful children and grandchildren, not a day goes by that I don't think of Richard and our love, our right to marry, and how much it meant to me to have that freedom to marry the person precious to me, even if others thought he was the "wrong kind of person" for me to marry. I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people’s religious beliefs over others. Especially if it denies people’s civil rights.

I am still not a political person, but I am proud that Richard's and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That's what Loving, and loving, are all about.
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Old 04-23-2008, 03:50 PM   #334
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Old 04-23-2008, 03:54 PM   #335
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Quote:
Originally posted by nathan1977


but we're sure treating it like it is, with the shouts about separate but equal -- which is a misnomer, since separate but equal referred to access. If we're talking about access to those fabled 1049 benefits, that's fine -- but that's a different conversation than making marriage a fundamental civil right.

And it's probably wise to talk about those 1049 tax benefits. As I've said before, it's incorrect to argue that marriage brings with it tax benefits, since married people automatically pay higher taxes due to a different tax bracket. As I've said time and again, tax benefits really kick in with acquisition of property -- which can happen whether you're single or married, gay or straight. And in any case, when we're talking about tax issues, we're talking about benefits, not rights.

There are other legitimate issues about hospital visitations between partners, as well as estate taxes and leaving property to next of kin, but many of these issues are resolved by a good will -- which both straight and gay people should have regardless, since battles over estate issues rage as much in families where people are straight as they can in families where people are gay. (The Anna Nicole Smith or Britney Spears debacles, anyone?)

And as near as I could tell, of the 4 benefits that you posted in another thread (as I recall, two had to do with visitation rights and estate issues -- pardon if I'm misremembering), two were matters for private institutions as opposed to government-sponsored discrimination -- and more and more corporations are adding "sexual orientation" to their non-discrimination policies, which is a good thing. People shouldn't be fired from their job because of their sexual orientation.

So again, can marriage legitimately be ruled a civil right?
This kind of thinking, "the laws are already there" kind of thinking, is used almost exclusively to support the denial of the rights in question non-members of the group. Rarely is it used to extend rights to a group.
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Old 04-23-2008, 05:06 PM   #336
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Originally posted by yolland
The U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled that it is; that was part of their reasoning in Loving v. Virginia, the case which affirmed the legality of interracial marriage.
Yes, I've read various commentators believing that Loving applies to same-sex couples. This is problematic, given other rulings of SCOTUS. Reynolds v. United States, for example, was a ruling that emerged out of opposition to state laws on bigamy (the law was upheld), and in 2006 the UT State Supreme Court ruled the state ban on polygamy constitutional. (It was appealed to the SCOTUS, who sent it back to the state.) So while it seems that Loving applies to male/female marriages, there's no legal ruling yet that indicates that it applies to same-sex ones -- perhaps because it opens the door to other definitions of marriage.

Mildred Loving may wish that her ruling applied to same-sex marriages, but Norma McCorvey wishes that Roe v. Wade would be repealed, so I'm not sure what to say about that.
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Old 04-23-2008, 05:10 PM   #337
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Originally posted by martha


This kind of thinking, "the laws are already there" kind of thinking, is used almost exclusively to support the denial of the rights in question non-members of the group. Rarely is it used to extend rights to a group.
I'm not sure what rights we're talking about. The fundamental issue seems to be about benefits, but the benefits seem already to be there, which kind of moots the "rights" argument. (Which seems kind of thin on the ground.)
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Old 04-23-2008, 05:53 PM   #338
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Originally posted by nathan1977
The fundamental issue seems to be about benefits, but the benefits seem already to be there,
You did it again.
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Old 04-23-2008, 06:04 PM   #339
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Originally posted by nathan1977
Yes, I've read various commentators believing that Loving applies to same-sex couples. This is problematic, given other rulings of SCOTUS, which hasn't yet granted that it is a civil right that anyone can marry anyone they choose. Reynolds v. United States, for example, was a ruling that emerged out of opposition to state laws on bigamy (the law was upheld), and in 2006 the UT State Supreme Court ruled the state ban on polygamy constitutional. (It was appealed to the SCOTUS, who sent it back to the state.) So while it seems that Loving applies to male/female marriages, there's no legal ruling yet that indicates that it applies to same-sex ones -- perhaps because it opens the door to other questions.
Reynolds v. United States was about whether a religious belief defense justifies breaking the law of the land, not about whether it's "a civil right that anyone can marry anyone they choose." No one is going to take an argument that broad to the Supreme Court. And Utah v. Holm, which I assume is the other case you're referring to, dealt with the related argument of whether it violates freedom of religion to criminalize bigamy (though personally, I'm inclined to agree with the dissenting justices in that case, who protested that the defendant hadn't attempted to secure legal recognition for any 'marriages' beyond his first to begin with, and that whether the relevant law applied to such situations was doubtful).

If another SCOTUS case concerning polygamy should arise in the future, using the line of argument that a person should be allowed to take multiple legally recognized spouses (a case you wouldn't need legalized gay marriage to make--it could just as easily involve plural heterosexual marriages only), then I think most likely the flashpoint issue there would be meaningful consent, not the nature of the parties to polygamous marriages as such.
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Old 04-23-2008, 06:14 PM   #340
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Originally posted by nathan1977

So again, can marriage legitimately be ruled a civil right?
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"Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man"
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Old 04-23-2008, 06:17 PM   #341
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but the benefits seem already to be there, which kind of moots the "rights" argument. (Which seems kind of thin on the ground.)
How are the benefits already there?
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Old 04-23-2008, 06:23 PM   #342
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And what if two men or women want to marry each other just because they love each other?
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Old 04-23-2008, 06:24 PM   #343
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


How are the benefits already there?
See earlier posts...
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Old 04-23-2008, 06:25 PM   #344
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If we're talking about access to those fabled 1049 benefits, that's fine -- but that's a different conversation than making marriage a fundamental civil right.
So easy to say when it isn't you.
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Old 04-23-2008, 06:30 PM   #345
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See earlier posts...
Yes, you've tried to use the will and tax benefits argument before but you were shown it's wrong and doesn't cover everything.
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