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The Libertarian Case for Gay Marriage
Posted by: Jon Henke on Saturday, June 10, 2006

On the heels of the recent Republican attempt to grandstand on the Constitution — i.e., the anti-gay marriage amendment — Rick Sincere notes that a couple libertarian Republican groups (the Republican Liberty Caucus and the Liberty Committee) have staunchly opposed such an amendment, and various other Republicans have spoken out against it, as well. Most people already agree that amending the Constitution to prohibit gay marriage is a thoroughly bad idea, but I want to explore the actual libertarian argument for gay marriage. It rests largely on the notions of equality, reciprocality and the separation of civil from religious law.

That distinction — the sometimes invisible line between civil and religious law — is the problem; especially when the two are conflated. There is certainly some correlation between legal and moral, but immoral is not equivalent to illegal, nor is moral necessarily equivalent to legal.

Consider: gambling, premarital sex, drunkeness and gossip are immoral in the judeo-christian moral system, yet no libertarian would criminalize them. On the other hand, there's nothing immoral about driving 45mph in a 35mph zone or crossing a national border without authorization. Yet only an anarchist would eliminate all traffic or immigration laws.

Clearly, there's no direct, inherent connection between legality and morality, and leaving aside outright anarchism, there ought not be.

This notion that the civil law ought to be distinguishable from moral law might be a bit disconcerting to people who consider their moral values inextricably linked with their political values, but it need not be. John Locke — perhaps the philosopher most responsible for the 'natural law' philosophy of our Founding Documents — explained that there were three kinds of "laws that men generally refer their actions to, to judge of their rectitude of obliquity".
  1. The divine law.

  2. The civil law.

  3. The law of opinion or reputation, if I may so call it.

Of Divine Law, Locke wrote, "men judge whether their actions are sins or duties"; of Civil Law, "whether they be criminal or innocent"; of the Law of Opinion, "whether they be virtues or vices."

If we assume — arguendo and in order to properly acknowledge the competing arguments — that homosexuality and gay marriage is contrary to God's Law, then we have a classic conflict of Divine Law, Civil Law and the Law of Opinion. Extending "marriage' to homosexual couples is against Divine Law; failure to do so violates our Civil Law of equal rights; meanwhile, public opinion is mixed.

So let's dig down a bit.

If we want to follow Locke's distinction between God's Law (Divine), Man's Law (Civil) and peer pressure (Public Opinion), we must distinguish between the partnership sanctified by a Church ("Religious Marriage") and the interpersonal contract recognized by the State. ("Civil Marriage") We might also call them "Holy Union" and "Civil Union".

They are not at all the same thing.

Religious Marriage carries with it certain specific moral duties and meanings. Civil Unions, defined by law and enacted by State institutions, carry very different meanings and obligations. Nowhere in the Bible can I find any reference to religious marriage requiring "status as next-of-kin for hospital visits and medical decisions", or "judicial protections and evidentiary immunity".

Without any religious basis at all, we've incorporated those benefits into civil marriage, and yet we still pretend that civil marriage is equivalent to religious marriage. We have conflated two separate modes of law, in the process introducing religious judgements into civil law. Therein lies the fault: as Locke had it, peers enforced the Law of Public Opinion, "politic societies" (i.e., properly enacted government) enforced the Civil Law (which consisted of protecting "life, liberty and estate"), and God enforced his own law.

But we've confused them, as if God somehow requires the assistance of politicians.

From a libertarian standpoint, the fact that civil and divine marriage share the same name is irrelevant. They are separate and distinguishable. No religious person is obligated to accept a Civil Union as a Holy Union, nor are the non-religious obligated to accept a strictly Holy Union as a Civil Union.

The ideal libertarian solution would be to have the government get out of the 'marriage' business altogether; to have government enforce civil contracts, and to have religions perform their religious ceremonies, if they choose to do so.

But since we don't live in Libertopia, we're left with a purely civil legal privilege available to one set of people, but not to another set simply because that civil legal privilege arose from a religious ceremony. (at least, within our cultural heritage; among others, it had little to do with religion) If those who object to gay marriage on religious grounds would be consistent, then let them also reject the civil privileges of marriage not contained in the Bible.

Until such a time as we could clearly distinguish the two in legal terms, the civil legal privileges of marriage should be extended to everybody.
 
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I agree with most everything you say. I have been with my partner (I am a gay man) for 32 years this year. We met when we were 19 years old. He has been my first and only love. We are both very lucky in that regard. We want nothing more than to get married and have the legal protections of marriage.

Most people don’t realize what they get from a legal point of view, when they get married. There are over 1500 legal rights afforded marriage at the Federal level of our government. Then, there are state rights afforded marriage. Although some states are starting to give gay couples marriage, good luck if getting the Federal Government to afford anything to gay couples - at least for 20-30 years. I honestly don’t expect to see marriage for me and my partner. We are in our early 50’s now.

Our lawyer tells us that although we have drawn up all the legal papers we can to provide protection to our home and what we have over the years, there really is nothing that will give us the protection of marriage. This is what people take for granted and never think about.
 
Written By: Bill
URL: http://billandkent.com
I consider myself a pretty staunch conservative and I really have only on thing to say. To be conservative means at our core we have to support Federalism. That means we have to let the States and local govs do what they think is best. The only Amendment I support where ’Gay Marriage’ is concerned, is to carve a barrier in the part of the Constitution that by theory would force one State to accept a marriage from another State that does not match it’s statues and accepted values. So if Mass or Cali like gay marriage, Utah and Alabama won’t have to accept it. Federalism rocks!
 
Written By: dawnsblood
URL: http://
Very interesting and well written, I really liked this piece.
The ideal libertarian solution would be to have the government get out of the ’marriage’ business altogether; to have government enforce civil contracts, and to have religions perform their religious ceremonies, if they choose to do so.
I don’t self-identify as a libertarian, but this has been my position throughout this debate. My preferred solution isn’t to grant civil marriage benefits to gays, it is to recognize that the civil marriage benefits created years ago were/are discriminatory and remove them. This also "solves" the wild, paranoid argument that granting benefits will condone pedophilia and bestiality.

Since civil marriage benefits could be replaced by boilerplate contracts in a fairly short time, there doesn’t seem to be a difficult logistical barrier to doing this. Of course, government has a hard time removing something once it’s in place. And, in a world where political discussion is mostly tossing barbed soundbites at each other, it would be a tough sell to voters.
 
Written By: Scout
URL: http://
I personally don’t care about the gay-marriage issue at all, except that I believe the voters should hash it out either way.

But I want to nit-pick this:
But since we don’t live in Libertopia, we’re left with a purely civil legal privilege available to one set of people, but not to another set
Two things here:

1) It seems to me that you’re sort of making an unwitting argument in favor of "group" weddings (3 or more people) also, since after all, marriage is a privilege available to one set of people (a couple) but to another set (more than 2 people). Given your argument, where do you draw the line if at all along the "slippery slope"

2) If you want to take a real broad view, marriage as we have it currently is absolutely equal for everyone: Any man may marry any willing woman of his choice (obvious exceptions apply) and any woman may marry any willing man of her choice.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
so, are you planning to marry McQ, or Dale Franks, or both?
 
Written By: kirk
URL: http://
Very good, thoughtful post.
 
Written By: Vivian J. Paige
URL: http://vivianpaige.wordpress.com
Jon, agreed. The state confers benefits and privileges on heterosexuals (whose objects of erotic affection are the opposite sex) who enter marriages recognized by the state. As a matter of equality before the law, the state should either withdraw those benefits and privileges from heterosexuals —in most part this will never realistically happen— or else the state should confer on those whose objects of erotic affection are of the same sex, and who enter state-registered unions, the identical benefits and privileges conferred on married heterosexuals.

States that abhor same-sex marriage, say Utah, would almost certainly not be required to recognize those same-sex marriages entered into in, say, CA, because constitutional doctrine pertaining to the Full Faith and Credit Clause (FFCL) has long recognized an exception in which some marriages in one state, and let’s stick w/ CA, violate the "public policy" of another state, let’s again say Utah, need not be recognized by Utah.

Of course, should the Supremes rule otherwise, then we can have an argument about a federal marriage amendment. But we sure don’t need that fight now (tho the GOP thinks it does to bring out the base in ’06), and I would oppose it now or later.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
Outstanding post, Jon, just like a ringing a bell.

And if I may say so, thoughtful, interesting comments as well. Even Mona nails it right between the eyes! =8^]

yours/
peter.
 
Written By: Peter Jackson
URL: http://www.liberalcapitalist.com
Inasmuch as the state isn’t going to get out of the marriage business, the question is whether or not liberty is served (or disserved) by giving the state’s blessing to homosexual marriage. You’ve addressed the issue only superficially, by adopting the "do your own thing" attitude that better becomes a hippie than a thoughtful libertarian. What you haven’t addressed is the long-run effect on liberty if the state recognizes homosexual marriage and, more generally, endorses homosexuality. For a deeper look at those aspects of the issue, read this, this, this, this, and this.
 
Written By: Tom Anger
URL: http://libertycorner.us
Not a single mention of children. I predicted as much before I even read the article since the typical libertarian rant that comes down to me, me, me and me.
 
Written By: whatever
URL: http://
Tom anger writes:
You’ve addressed the issue only superficially, by adopting the "do your own thing" attitude that better becomes a hippie than a thoughtful libertarian.
Codswallap. I’m a heterosexual grandmother and life-long, thinking libertarian.

To address merely your first link, the problem Boston Catholic Charities has vis-a-vis adoption and gay couples is not gay marriage per se; it is they have been advised their policy violates Massachusetts’ anti-discrimination laws, which apparently includes among it protected classes discrimination based upon sexual orientation. I don’t believe in any anti-discrimination laws save for those directed at the government and common carriers, but that is a separate issue from whether state-confered benefits ought to be doled out unequally, which they currently are wrt heterosexual v homosexual couples.

The actual vacuity of your objections is best demonstrated by your own words, again taken from your first link, (I did not read the others), in which I bold the silliest part:


The establishment of "gay rights" — especially same-sex marriage — is being used and will be used as an excuse to further diminish religious freedom, freedom of association, and freedom of speech. ... Moreover, the undermining of heterosexual marriage will cause the fertility rate (number of births per woman per year) to decline, The prospect of a "European" America should be frightening to every American outside academia, Hollywood, Manhattan, and other Leftist enclaves. The U.S. has to go a bit further (but not far) down the slippery slope to Europeanism. The proponents of "gay rights" — and especially of gay marriage — will push us down that slope if we let them.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
Jon, those who define marriage on religious grounds are only constrained to reject its civil benefits if they conflict with their religious interpretation.

If the problem with marriage is that from a civil standpoint its definition is unfairly restrictive based on an arbitrary dividing line, then in order to convince me of the worth of your solution, you will need to locate the new line in a place that is less arbitrary in nature, but that does not render the very idea of marriage so broad as to be meaningless. Should I be able to marry my brother? How about his entire family? What if I am divorced with children—can I marry one of them to strengthen visitation rights? If you remove marriage to its purely religious definition, you will surely balkanize it, as different religious interpretations diverge. If different religions can define marriage differently, saying "I’m married" means nothing without qualifiers. If states are allowed to diverge, how are you going to enforce the differences in whatever civil benefits are applied to marriage? Paperwork nightmares and regulations will proliferate.

None of this is to say that the current system is perfect, or even equitable, but we are messing with one of the persistent traditions of our culture here, and changes are bound to have consequences deep and subtle, some of which cannot manifest immediately, so let’s be careful! One last thing—marriage is not merely for the married, but also for the welfare of their children. Should we have two-tiered legal benefit system attached to marriage—one level for those who are partnered without descendants, and another for those with? Lots of complexity tied up in this issue...

For the record, I think the Constitutional Amendment approach is stupid.
 
Written By: piercello
URL: http://
piercello asks:
Should I be able to marry my brother? How about his entire family? What if I am divorced with children—can I marry one of them to strengthen visitation rights?
In the case of Loving v. Virginia the Supreme Court struck down anti-miscegenation laws, so whites and blacks have long been free to marry. It has not followed, however, that one may marry one’s half-black daughter to "strenghten visitation rights" in violation of a state’s laws on consanguinity. Neither may one marry the half-sister who is racially mixed — or her entire family — merely because the races are generally permitted to inter-marry.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
whatever amuses with:
Not a single mention of children. I predicted as much before I even read the article since the typical libertarian rant that comes down to me, me, me and me.
Pffft.

As anti-gay marriage proponent Stephen Baskerville is wrong about gay marriage, but right about much of this:
Because same-sex "marriage" is not only a threat to the marriage and the family. It may not even be the most serious. As Michael McManus of Marriage Savers points out, "Divorce is a far more grievous blow to marriage than today’s challenge by gays."
Indeed, it is very likely same-sex "marriage" would not even be an issue were it not for the severe weakening of marriage that has already occurred due to divorce and out-of-wedlock births. "Commentators miss the point when they oppose homosexual marriage on the grounds that it would undermine traditional understandings of marriage," writes Bryce Christensen of Southern Utah University. "It is only because traditional understandings of marriage have already been severely undermined that homosexuals are now laying claim to it."
And much of this anti-family havoc comes drom these me, me, me social and other conservatives.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
Not a single mention of children

If children are such an important part — or even requirement — how come none of the marriage law today talks about children? How come none of the proposed anti-gay amendments mandates children? How come childless coupled heterosexuals in a state-mandated marriage are A-OK under the law and not subject to ceaseless screaming about how selfish and immoral they are from the right wing?

Easy. Because it’s not about "having children" for those who are busy trying to socially engineer our relationships through the law — it’s about making sure they’re preferred groups get lots of special stuff and the groups they don’t like (gays) get punished and penalized.

the new line in a place that is less arbitrary in nature, but that does not render the very idea of marriage so broad as to be meaningless

Why should "marriage" have a "meaning" which matters to those outside of the marriage agreement itself?

Why should other people have to define their relationship in a way which has "meaning" to you when it’s none of your business in the first place?
 
Written By: Brian R. Miller
URL: http://
What I would like to see is someone who proposes "the civil legal privileges of marriage should be extended to everybody", to quote Jon, address the inevitable negative trade-offs that result from any major change in the law and social institutions in a thoughtful, non-dismissive manner.

It’s a nice dream that some day, someone loudly pro-gay-marriage will seek out realistic negative consequences, address their likelihood in a serious manner, and explain why either the sum of the negative consequences is less than the sum of the positive ones, or explain ways to mitigate the negative consequences.

And to follow up piencello, I too would like to know where, and how, Jon would logically draw a new bright line - for given his argument, I can see no logical place to draw one.





(Usually, when I ot others with qualms about changing the definition of marriage point out the part about there always being negative consequences to any major change, we are almost immediately confronted with generic accusations that we and our kind - does the irony not drip, nay, gush, from that? - are bigots, intolerant, "might as well be" racists, anti-rights, or anti-Christ-like. So far, this has not -explicitly- happened in this thread, but there has been quite a lot of airy dismissal and hinting that the only reason to oppose it is anti-gay attitudes. Apparently, if one does not support the idea of gay marriage right now, one is anti-gay in toto.)

 
Written By: Dave
URL: http://www.thepatriette.com/dangerous
Mr. Henke is absolutely right as to remove government out of the marriage business altogether. A “civil union” may merely be just a legal document defining the intricacies of living together and raising a family (or not). You could have a standardized document for the vanilla union of one man and one woman, or you could have a custom job by a “civil union” lawyer involving multiple partners or same sex couples or both.
And leave “marriage” to be defined by … well … whomever.
Should I be able to marry my brother?...
Go for it, piercello.
I don’t see why not. You could find some whacko to read passages out of a book and declare you and your brother “married”. But good luck getting the state and the populous to recognize a legal union between you and your brother. That is, of course, unless you wish to have a lawyer draw up legal documents defining what exactly your relationship to your brother is pertaining the law. In other words, could he make medical decisions for you and so forth…
And if you and your brother have sex, … well then you have bigger problems than society can cure.
What I would like to see is someone who proposes "the civil legal privileges of marriage should be extended to everybody", to quote Jon, address the inevitable negative trade-offs that result from any major change in the law and social institutions in a thoughtful, non-dismissive manner.
This seems to be the meme coming from the majority of the ever decreasing anti-gay marriage crowd. It’s that there will be major changes and negative consequences if and when same sex marriage becomes normalized. Yet these same people seem to have great difficulty explaining what these negative effects would be. They just can’t do it. WHAT WOULD HAPPEN???
There’s always the,
Regular marriage would suffer. How?
It would diminish family values. How, exactly?
Heterosexual marriage rates would plummet. Why?
People would stop raising children. Huh!?

They have no answers. And to the contrary, all of the evidence we have suggests otherwise. The Scandinavian countries that have included to the definition of marriage those among the same sex have shown that marriage, birth rates, and other “family values” statistics have either stayed constant or has IMPROVED.
In Massachusetts, the sky remains still.

You people should save yourself the hassle. Gay marriage is coming, it’s only a matter of time. You really should direct your ire elsewhere to more deserving injustices. Really, you’ll feel better.

Same sex marriage is just another step in the natural progression of the human condition. Just as Catholics were eventually allowed to marry Protestants, and blacks were eventually allowed to marry whites, so to will members of the same sex.
Deal with it.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
Same sex marriage is just another step in the natural progression of the human condition
Care to back that assertion up? It’s rather grand and sweeping and nonsensical
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Grand and sweeping, and realistic. Because human beings are hardwired to need intimate contact with another human being. Because human beings and other animals, for whatever reason, reflect a natural variability in sexual orientation. Because "natural progression of the human condition" means observing, learning, and adapting to new information. Because being human in human community means maximizing the potential of each of us to be whole and exactly who we are.
 
Written By: david
URL: http://equalityloudoun.org
Greetings all. A few comments from a Christian-consevative, with a strong Federalist bent:

My thanks to the many that contributed some very well thought-out comments. Others I have a hard time relating to. For instance, stating that "Same sex marriage is just another step in the natural progression" or that "Gay marriage is coming, it’s only a matter of time" don’t seem to add much to me. From an evolutionary standpoint, gay marriage would seem the end of progression since reproduction isn’t a natural part of the coupling. As for nature, there are many things that people feel compelled to do naturally, and I am very thankful that society restricts them. Seriously, unless we are talking about anarchy, there will be restrictions on all of us. It just comes down to deciding whose preferences will be restricted.

From the standpoint of a Federalist, I too would be very happy to leave the Constitutional option off of the table. If judges would not usurp the powers of the legislature, this whole discussion would be moot. They did, however, and we are. Now states are scrambling to cater to constituencies. What to do?

I’m a bit torn on the arguements relating rights or discrimination. Looking over the original posting, there seems to be the roundabout acceptance that marriage, as practiced in most societies, may or may have religious facets but is essentially society ratifying a civil contract. There is no "right" to marriage. Rather, states have set up guidelines under which they will approve the contract and provide certain benefits. Since society is accepting the contract and providing the benefits, then it seems to me that society, through the legislature, has the "right" to establish guidelines that at least are perceived to be a benefit to the society. That’s a debatable point. Saying that it’s nobody’s business is a much harder sell. To the best of my knowledge, no state is enforcing laws against cohabitation for same-sex partners (nor in my opinion should be). The battle is for recognition in the private square. That’s the same reason why, to the best of my knowledge, groups have rejected the formation of a differently named civil contract (civil union, etc.) The battle is for equivalent recognition in the public eye.

I am not precisely sure about what various studies in Europe show with regards to harm done to marriage. I have never heard of any studies that show much in the way of tangible benefits with the exception of it lets some people do what they what and get tax-payer subsidies. Not good enough for me. I think it’s a bit bogus to use Europe as an example in most comparisons. Their mindset is considerably different, and from what I understand their population is not maintaining a stable growth rate with or without same sex marriage. When the house is collapsing, it’s a bit difficult to tell whether it’s the walls, the foundation, or the earthquake down below.

I also don’t like it when people say there are worse problems with marriage, and to leave this alone on that basis. I’m a firm believer in the slippery slope, and when anything is on a down-slide, the slide has to stop before the course can be reversed. You may or may not disregard this comment, since it is coming from a strictly moral perspective. When I see part of the society that my kids will inherit, whether it’s the public schools or the national debt or same sex marriage, my instinct is to do something about it. If we accept the argument that things are getting worse and will continue to, or that we shouldn’t worry about small problems when there are so many large ones, then our society is lost.

Thank you for your attention. Any questions?
 
Written By: Gary Baker
URL: http://
Has everyone forgot to mention the thousands upon thousands of children of same-sex couples? What about them? No one can claim to be "pro-family" "pro-children" while denying the protections of marriage to all of these children. Anyone that seeks to deny these protections are just simply selfish.
 
Written By: Rob
URL: http://
Where to start? Where to start?

Without wading in too deep to this discussion and seriously stepping on the toes of many of the commenters here, let it be said that I am speaking from a social, religious conservative position (I’m sure you can probably infer that from my previous posts, but what the heck, I’m a sporting sort of chap and I like to give a fair warning).

I’m going to make an effort not to address individual posts here, but I will say that I think George Baker has done a good job of explaining the general religious conservative position on this issue. It becomes clearer and clearer to me everyday that those crying the loudest about same-sex marriage also, as a rule, cry the loudest about separation of church and state. I question, however, the overall goals of those advocating for same-sex marriage. In the short term, it seems that the idea of a civil contract formalizing the status of two romantically involved cohabitating members of the same sex is the goal of the pro-same-sex marriage alliance. The long-term goals, however, are a bit foggier at this point. Some have advocated that due to separation of church and state issues, civil unions should be the terminal goal, while others demand outright recognition of "marriage."

This worries me because it seems that the more intellectually honest same-sex marriage supporters realize that the majority of world religions do not and will not recognize same-sex unions. They understand this and are, therefore, content to force this issue into a legal fight over the legal definitions of marriage, civil rights, etc. with their definition of victory being the "civil union." The less intellectually honest on this side, however, stress that although they are for separation of church and state, full, sanctioned marriage is the only victory that they will accept. This leads to the inevitable conclusion that at some point (given Pogue’s contention that same-sex unions will triumph at a legal/political level) the official policy of the United States government will be directly overriding the stated principles and doctrines of the religions of 90% of the world’s population. I certainly can see this developing into nasty legal battles where individuals wishing to exercise their newly minted, patented, US made right to same-sex "marriage" sue religious authorities in order to force them to perform the required ceremony. The suits will be brought as civil rights cases and, of course, there will come a time when the government will have to take a formal position on it and enforce the law. In this case, does the Orthodox Union, the United Synogogue for Conservative Judaism, the Islamic Supreme Council of North America, and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops officially call for censure of the US government and a breaking of "diplomatic relations" such as they are?

Although this may sound like a doomsday scenario, I would suggest that a government intervening in the religious practices of its citizens in order to guarantee the "civil rights" of other citizens is a recipe for, if not perhaps outright civil war, then at least a serious polarization of our popuplation and some outright rebellion.

PS Jon, this issue reminds me very clearly of the limitations of libertarian ideology. In order to be a pure libertarian, rule of law (or contracts) is absolute. Each person should be guaranteed the right to do whatever he or she wants as long as it harms no one else, correct? In this case, to steal outright an argument from Dinesh D’Sousza, libertarians would have to support a society of pornographers, drug addicts, and abortionists because, in theory, all three are merely exercising their rights and are harming no one. Is this really your position?
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://
The libertarian position on the gay marriage issue is let gays marry. There should be no laws against gay marriage. What business is it of anyone else whether gay people get married.

As the "hardcore leftist" on this site, I once again note that the left is more liberatrian than the right on pratically every single issue. Medical marijuana? The left is more libertarian. Drug legalization? The left is more libertarian. Assisted suicide? The left is more libertarian. Laws against sodomy between consenting adults? The left is more libertarian. Free exercise of religion? The left is more libertarian. (See Oregon v. Smith.) The rights of the accused against the state? (Especially when it comes to the 4th, 5th and 6th Amendments. The left is more libertarian. Laws regulating abortion? The left is more libertarian.

Now, when it comes to gay marriage, is it the same da** situation. The right, the conservatives, want to take the right away from states to decide the issue. Even if the every single person in a particular state wanted to legalize gay marrage, they couldn’t, because the right doesn’t want them too.

Now, think about this. The right wants to leave the abortion issue to the states. Let them decide whether "murdering" babies is ok. But when it comes to gay marriage, it is important enough that the federal government must get involved?

Wow.

I like Q and O. It is fair. But it is so sad that this site has not called out James Inhofe on his comments about gays. A sitting Senator. He said he is proud, no "really proud," his family has not ever had any kind of "gay relationship." Imagine for a moment that some Democrat had said he is proud that he has never had a Jewish person or a black person in his family. Or a Christian. Or that his family had never let women work. Imagine that a Democrat said that he would never let his daughter date a black man. Just imagine that. What would be the response?

I have yet to hear the intellectual case against gay marriage that does not have anything to do with pure bigotry. I read Gary Baker’s post, supra., for instance. But as eloquent as it is, it is still bigoted. No doubt about it.

Until the political right quits trying to regulate the right of the people with respect to (1) medical marijuana; (2) assisted suicide: and (3) gay marriage, or a host of other issues, they have zero right to claim they are libertarian.





 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
For those who would like to see articles and studies on the negative effects of same-sex marriage, please check out here, here, and here.

For a 2004 article that denounces all social science evidence of anti-same-sex marriage and particularly of Kurtz’ arguments, see here.

I would appreciate some studies on the positive effects of same-sex marriage on society, children, etc. if any of you have such links.

A same-sex symposium was held at BYU in 2004. The link to the 12 or so articles can be found here.
 
Written By: Nuclear
URL: http://
Any questions?

After first thanking you for a thoughtful post, Gary, I do have a question. Would you say that, just as there’s no "right" to marriage, there’s no "right" to, say, sit at the front of a bus or drink from public water fountains?
 
Written By: Achillea
URL: http://quantum-sky.net
Mkultra,

The political right never claimed it was libertarian. That is why they are the political right.

The left is libertarian when it comes to social issues, the right is (more) libertarian when it comes to economic issues (except I think "pure" libertarians think everything comes down to economics, right Henke?).

I’m a bigot. I’m against gay marriage. However, I have a black friend, a Jewish friend, many Democrat friends, and a gay friend who has introduced me to his various gay friends. I guess you can say I’m a "dirty" bigot, or half-bigot.

Equal protection under the laws means that the same people should be treated the same. That is why convicted criminals do not have the same rights and privileges as law-abiding citizens; that is why children do not have the same right and privileges as adults; that is why seniors get certain right and privileges and non-seniors don’t. Homosexuality is not the same as being chinese or a male. It is defined by a person’s actions. One could argue that a homosexual couple is the same as a heterosexual couple. However, I view the differences as sufficiently different to treat them differently when it comes to marriage laws.

As far as the Marriage Amendment is concerned, it said nothing about civil unions, registered partnerships, etc. So creative people could craft legislation giving the same legal rights and responsibilities to same-sex couples as opposite sex couples currently enjoy (or avoid).

A pure feminist argument goes something like, Why would anyone want to adopt an institution defined, created, and dominated by men? Forget marriage! Women of the world unite!
 
Written By: Nuclear
URL: http://
Greetings all. A few comments from a Christian-consevative, with a strong Federalist bent:

My thanks to the many that contributed some very well thought-out comments. Others I have a hard time relating to.
Go figure.

For instance, stating that "Same sex marriage is just another step in the natural progression" or that "Gay marriage is coming, it’s only a matter of time" don’t seem to add much to me. From an evolutionary standpoint, gay marriage would seem the end of progression since reproduction isn’t a natural part of the coupling.
From an “evolutionary standpoint”!? What in the world does evolution have to do with the human condition??? Why we ask why has nothing to do with opposable thumbs. No, no,… I know what your getting at and your astronomically incorrect.
My wife and I are two of your average, everyday heterosexuals married under consent of the state. However, my wife and I do not intend to procreate. Even though our coupling, from an evolutionary standpoint, allows for and is the reasoning behind our coupled situation, we do not intend to follow your “nature”.

Using your logic, our heterosexual marriage should not be validated by society because we defy the natural part of the coupling and do not intend to fulfill our evolutionary obligations. Yet we have decided to pair for reasons other than procreation.
This is the “Human Condition”. The “why we ask why”. The “it’s nunyadam bidness, so go f*ck yourself”.
The human condition, and the natural progression therein, have little to do with evolution. Only insofar as to their physical contributions and limitations to the human condition. Love, anger, greed, envy, and so on, are the ever expanding emotional contribution to how we view ourselves and our society. And physical evolution has nothing to do with it.

In short. The, “gay marriage just isn’t natural” argument is seriously lacking. Using the same logic, my marriage isn’t natural. And btw, who are you to say what is natural?

I am not precisely sure about what various studies in Europe show with regards to harm done to marriage. I have never heard of any studies that show much in the way of tangible benefits with the exception of it lets some people do what they what and get tax-payer subsidies.
Here ya’ go.
Not good enough for me. I think it’s a bit bogus to use Europe as an example in most comparisons. Their mindset is considerably different, and from what I understand their population is not maintaining a stable growth rate with or without same sex marriage. When the house is collapsing, it’s a bit difficult to tell whether it’s the walls, the foundation, or the earthquake down below.
Well, that’s unfortunate. Because it’s the only data we have.
One cannot use Europe’s many other problems as a peripheral boundary to exclude evidence to the argument. Besides, what have you got? Do you have any other study that suggests that same-sex marriage is harmful? Anyone? Anyone? No? Just more of the, “It’s not natural and it gives me the willies” irrefutable concrete evidence that gay marriage is bad.
McQ uses Europe like a punching bag when arguing against multiculturalism. One wonders if he would agree with your, “can’t use Europe because it’s a mess” prerequisite. After all, one could easily argue to McQ,
Hey man, your evidence against multiculturalism is useless because certain European countries allow same-sex marriage.
So nyaa.

When I see part of the society that my kids will inherit, whether it’s the public schools or the national debt or same sex marriage, my instinct is to do something about it.
See, this is what I mean Gary. It’s that it’s all in your head. It’s all a gut feeling for you. You have no evidence to support that gay marriage would be detrimental to what your kids will inherit. None. Unlike the national debt, unlike the problems with public schools, unlike an abundant host of other problems that justify concern, you have no evidence against gay marriage. And that is why you have no justification to deny millions of law abiding, tax paying Americans whose only wish is to have the same rights and privileges that you and I enjoy.
Thank you for your attention. Any questions?
Yeah. How bout’cha’ answer the one’s I’ve already asked…
Regular marriage would suffer. How?
It would diminish family values. How, exactly?
Heterosexual marriage rates would plummet. Why?
People would stop raising children. Huh!?
‘Cause I’d love to know.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
The argument arising from the concept of "Libertopia" is often invoked to point out that we do not live in a perfect libertarian society, but one also needs to remember that not living in Libertopia is often as persuasive an argument NOT to do an ideologically pure libertarian thing. Take drugs - while in Libertopia, decriminalization of drugs would be the proper thing, in the real world it would be a disaster without also removing all the laws which grant the drug user the status of being a "victim" of a diease, rather than an autonomous agent who has chosen to continue to indulge a drug problem. In Libertopia, we would not have pleadings in court that a criminal "didn’t know what he was doing" because he was stoned out of his mind - in fact, it might be an aggravating factor. Employers would not be obliged to hire crackheads, and so on, and so forth.

Neolibertarians often argue against the tremoval of drug laws - at this point in time. Society is not otherwise properly prepared for the associated side-effects of decriminalization.

It is the fundamental dishonesty of the gay lobby which gives me pause in endorsing "gay marriage." Witness Canada, where it was long and piously proclaimed that that folks with a moral conviction, be it religiously derived or what, would not be forced to accept the morality of "gay marriage." Now we have religious ministers up on charges for preaching against homosexuality as sinful, rumbles of lawsuits to force churches to perform gay joinings, and so on, and so forth - all vociferously applauded by the selfsame gay lobby who is preaching the same pious "We don’t want to force anyone to have *our* morality shoved down their throats..."

While it is true that tolerance forces one to "live and let live" it is forgotten that it also does not oblige anyone to do anything more than "live and let die."

Remove first the obligations that a permissive nanny state has laid upon people who have a moral objection to things to do business with the practicioners and purveyors of such things. The government may not "discriminate," to be sure; as far as I am concerned a purely legal contract of domestic partnership need not involve a sexual relationship and should be able to be entered by anyone, ithout presenting reason or justification.

Problem is, that enacting "gay marriage" will force private citizens who have objections to this to do business in such a fashion as will support this, against their moral convictions. Protect the Baptist who does not wish to rent a house to those he deems living in sin. Protect the devout Muslim from having to extend benefits to gay couples whom he or she employs. Protect the preacher who reads from Leviticus on Sunday. Then you can say that gay marriage doesn’t harm or lay any affirmative obligations on anyone.
 
Written By: Pete Jensen
URL: http://
Peter Jensen writes:
Take drugs - while in Libertopia, decriminalization of drugs would be the proper thing, in the real world it would be a disaster without also removing all the laws which grant the drug user the status of being a "victim" of a disease, rather than an autonomous agent who has chosen to continue to indulge a drug problem. In Libertopia, we would not have pleadings in court that a criminal "didn’t know what he was doing" because he was stoned out of his mind - in fact, it might be an aggravating factor. Employers would not be obliged to hire crackheads, and so on, and so forth.
My, my how misinformed can just one person be? No laws "grant" the drug user the status of "victim." Rather, they make criminals of them all. So, the U.S. — land of the free — locks up more human beings per capita than any other in the entire world. And nobody gets exonerated from crimes for being stoned, any more than they do for being drunk. No employers are obliged to hire crachheads; on the contrary, vast numbers of employers conduct drug tests which disqualify a candidate if the MJ cigarette he toked 5 mos ago shows up in a hair test.

Witness Canada, where it was long and piously proclaimed that that folks with a moral conviction, be it religiously derived or what, would not be forced to accept the morality of "gay marriage." Now we have religious ministers up on charges for preaching against homosexuality as sinful, rumbles of lawsuits to force churches to perform gay joinings, and so on, and so forth - all vociferously applauded by the selfsame gay lobby who is preaching the same pious "We don’t want to force anyone to have *our* morality shoved down their throats..."
Not in Canada. Ministers have been prosecuted in Sweden and also I believe in Australia. But not because gay marriage is legal, but rather because Sweden and Australia, and many European nations, do not have the same speech protections Americans enjoy in their First amendment, and their citizens are subject to being prosecuted for a wide variety of "hate speech." So, a holocaust denier like David Irving can be convicted in Austria, while he never could (or should) be here in the U.S.

It is precisely because the United States is so libertarian in its protection of speech that no anti-gay minister preaching a sermon against homosexuality (or claiming blacks are god’s cursed and inferior people) could conceivably be successfully prosecuted here — both the free speech clause and the freedom of religion clause would preclude that. Gay marriage would not, and could not, change that.

America is in many ways more libertarian than other countries, and nowhere is this more true than in speech. But we need to catch up on the sickening issue of locking citizens in hellish prisons for the "crime" of using or selling substances the govt does not approve of.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
Nuclear:
For those who would like to see articles and studies on the negative effects of same-sex marriage, please check out here, here, and here.
Umm. These are not studies on the negative effects of same-sex marriage. At best, they are opinions advocating reasons why same-sex marriage isn’t necessary. To which one could easily reply, “Who are you to say why same-sex marriage isn’t necessary.” It is a decision that should rest only with those who wish to marry. Fisking…

First, let us completely destroy your sited crackpot and painfully obvious bigoted Mormon, Linda Nutbag … uh, I mean, … Linda Nuttall,
How do people in single-parent or co-habiting households fare? …
What about homosexual couples? Admittedly there are benefits to the individuals—social comfort and sexual pleasure. But for society, their statistics are devastating. Do they produce offspring? Never. …
Do their relationships lead to healthy people? No. …
One in almost every two gay men suffers domestic abuse that results in hospitalization. …
Irrelevant, irrelevant, irrelevant, irrelevant.
But social science has yet to produce evidence that there is such a thing as an exclusively faithful gay couple. Monogamy among gays is a myth.
Come on. Do we really need to go further? I mean, really. Even if one were to assume that her outrageous generalization is believable, one could easily turn that around and suggest that if gays were allowed to marry, it would ENCOURAGE monogamy among gays. Target destroyed.
Moving on…

The fundamental purpose of marriage is to encourage mothers and fathers to maintain stable families for the children they create. It would be a mistake to undercut that purpose by redefining marriage, whatever the take-up rate for same-sex unions.
Really, Mr. Kurtz? Is that the fundamental purpose of marriage? Well it’s not the fundamental purpose of MY marriage. And because it’s not the fundamental purpose of my marriage, would you consider my marriage to be without purpose? If not, then why would you consider any other marriage – same sex marriage for example – that does not produce “stable families for the children they create”? My guess is that Mr. Kurtz would have great difficulty looking me and my wife in the face and telling us that our marriage is “without purpose”. And if he were to do that, he would be wise to give my wife a wide berth.
And again, he offers no evidence to suggest that, “It would be a mistake to undercut that purpose by redefining marriage, whatever the take-up rate for same-sex unions.”

The rest of his “argument” is nothing more an opinion as to why same-sex marriage hasn’t lived up to the expectations of some proponents. Again, not an argument to deny same-sex unions.
We don’t have results for a comparable heterosexual population, yet it’s striking that so many Danish gays see partnership as chiefly a matter of legal benefits. It seems unlikely that half of heterosexuals would say that securing legal benefits was their “primary” reason for getting married. At any rate, that sort of response from heterosexuals would indicate a significant hollowing out of marriage.
It “seems unlikely”. Pure speculation. How would Mr. Kurtz begin to know why any particular heterosexual couples marry? And why would it be any of his business?
And AGAIN, “At any rate, that sort of response from heterosexuals would indicate a significant hollowing out of marriage.” No evidence, pure speculation.
In short, if registered partnerships were designed to bring a more stable and conservative family ethos to Scandinavia’s gays, far too few have married for this to have happened. And the actual attitudes of Scandinavian gays toward their marriages may be even less conservative than the numbers we’ve seen so far indicate.
According to Mr. Kurtz. Not according to the individual same sex couples.
Yet, for those receptive to arguments for same-sex marriage, the case for this reform would be greatly weakened if it turned out that only a few gays actually marry.

Yet a significant portion of newly registered partners look like former spouses from heterosexual marriages (with conservative backgrounds) who have since decided they are gay. If so, then Scandinavian same-sex unions are being sustained less by a growing marriage culture among gays, than by the remnants of a weakening traditionalist culture among straights.
If, if, if. And if a frog had wings…
Again and again, time after time, those who argue against same sex unions offer only speculation and opinion. There is NO evidence to suggest that same sex unions threaten traditional marriage and family values.
And contrarily, amidst his own arguments, Mr. Kurtz gives us…
True, the numbers of Scandinavian registered partners are slowly moving up right now, although the absolute levels are still spectacularly low.

TRUE. The only factual evidence one way or the other. And I love this, “moving up right now,…”
Well then, what a disaster. I mean for his argument. Mr. Kurtz sites no evidence that this “moving up” trend will end. This argument is just pathetic.
And concluding this silly argument that gay marriage hasn’t lived up to the favorable expectations of some,
After the iMAPP report on low gay-marriage rates in Europe appeared (see Part I), these advocates assured us that, given time, the marriage numbers would go up. Gay-marriage advocate Paul Varnell said it would take 15 to 20 years for generational change to work its magic. Well, we’ve had 15 to 20 years in Scandinavia, and the same-sex marriage numbers are still minuscule. Now we’re being asked for another 15 or 20 years, by which time of course it will be too late to undo the “experiment.”
Too late to undo the “experiment”!? Undo what, exactly? Which is exactly what I’m asking, and Mr. Kurtz fails to address.
Mr. Kurtz claims that “we” are being asked for another 15 or 20 years.
Well, Mr. Kurtz, it seems that the only thing “we” are being asked is to butt out of other people’s business.

 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
My, my how misinformed can just one person be? No laws "grant" the drug user the status of "victim."

Spend some time in a court then, and listen to lawyers spin sob stories of victimhood, and addle-headed judges replace jail time with "rehab."

No employers are obliged to hire crachheads; on the contrary, vast numbers of employers conduct drug tests which disqualify a candidate if the MJ cigarette he toked 5 mos ago shows up in a hair test.

And vast numbers of employers are sued for doing so, often successfully, with ACLU types arguing that drug use isn’t "relevant" to their employment.

Not in Canada.

Oh, really? How very droll.

I guess THIS is an illusion, then.

(Full Link Here: http://www.christianity.ca/news/social-issues/2005/04.000.html)

What was that about "how misinformed?"

Ministers have been prosecuted in Sweden and also I believe in Australia. But not because gay marriage is legal, but rather because Sweden and Australia, and many European nations, do not have the same speech protections Americans enjoy in their First amendment, and their citizens are subject to being prosecuted for a wide variety of "hate speech.". . . Gay marriage would not, and could not, change that.

Scott Brockie might argue with you, as would Catholic Charities here in California, USA, that one is free to do private business in accordance to their own religious convictions.
 
Written By: Pete Jensen
URL: http://
Any questions?

After first thanking you for a thoughtful post, Gary, I do have a question. Would you say that, just as there’s no "right" to marriage, there’s no "right" to, say, sit at the front of a bus or drink from public water fountains?

Written By: Achillea

Achillea,

A courteous question, and one well worth a reply. I have to deal with them separately as they touch on different things (at least to me).

For the bus: No, there is no right to sit at the front of a bus. If I get on a bus and there are no seats up front, then I look for one in the back or I stand. Not everyone can sit at the front of the bus. There isn’t room. Okay, a little tongue in cheek there. Your real question is about equal access to public services, yes?

I could fall back on the fact that separate but equal was declared to be perfectly valid, and a seat at the back was as good as a seat at the front, but that would be self-serving on my part. I never did think that was such a good decision. I believe that equal rights under law should be the ideal. Public services, bought and paid for by tax dollars should be equally available to all citizens. I would not object to a privately run bus company enforcing some odd rules on seating, but I think their customers and the media would punish them most severely. Ditto on water fountains.

So the question becomes: Is "marriage" a public service that demands equal treatment in all cases? Not to my thinking. In my earlier post, I believe I indicated that I considered it more as society accepting a contract between two people, and agreeing to provide benefits based on the perceived benefits that society gets from stable pairings and families (rather idealistic, I know, but go with it for now). Again, society imposes costs and restrictions on what types of pairing seeming beneficial and controls the rules under which the contract may be nullified. There is nothing so complex involved with getting on a bus or drinking at a water fountain. In most cases (assuming lawful use) using those types of services is pretty much a neutral as far as society is concerned. A more reasonable comparison might be military service. This is a contract between the individual to provide service and the government to provide benefits. There are enormous restrictions on who may and may not participate. Clearly, not a right. (Full disclosure: I was in the military for some time. They went to great pains to educate me as to just how restricted "rights" were.)

Now we are drifting into a different playing field, the question of bigotry. I have always defined bigotry as a prejudice against someone for a physical, inherited trait. The term "physical" there is used quite literally. It does not refer to an attitude. Differences in attitude are disagreements, and I have them all the time. I assume you do as well. And as for evaluating actions or activities as good or bad, we all do that each day. If the activity is bad, does it matter whether it is genetically directed or not? My opinion is no. Bad is bad. However, in saying that I am not saying the person is bad, or is any worse than anyone else. I am saying the action is bad. If the bad thing is illegal, then we call it a crime. If not, we call it a shame. If we can’t agree, we call it a debate.

Any more?
 
Written By: Gary Baker
URL: http://
Could someone please explain the difference between a civil union and a marriage? Can straights have a civil union?
 
Written By: Hairy Carrot
URL: http://www.hairycarrot.blogspot.com
First to Pogue, my dear friend, I usually spend a great deal of time reading your posts here at QandO because I think that they are some of the best written, well defended, and witty posts that I see here. I may disagree with you about half of the time, but I still enjoy reading your posts. On this topic, however, I feel that you have not lived up to your usual standards. You are demolishing the same straw man arguments in response to conservatives that you accuse them of using. Further, you have demanded that those in favor of keeping the laws as they are now (against the union of same sex couples) must produce evidence showing the harm that same-sex unions will cause. I believe that in this case the burden of proof is upon you. Those who wish to CHANGE the law must show evidence that it will benefit society and do no (or at least less than the current laws on the books do) harm. Those who simply wish to defend the existing laws have no such burden of proof.

To Pete Jensen and Gary Baker, my compliments again on well thought out posts and positions. There is very little that I could add except perhaps to point out that the general position of those on the left is to claim bigotry (or sexism, or racism, or speciesm (see McQ’s post on the rights of Apes) when conservatives oppose them on issues such as same-sex marriage. Also, I could open up a vast can of worms here in response to Malcontent’s post by delving into the destructive influence of radical feminism on today’s youth and culture, but alas, that has remarkably little to do with the actual topic of the original article.

To Mr. Hairy Carrot, although I lack my friend Mk’s training in law, I will theorize that the concept of heterosexual civil unions is nicely covered by most states’ common law marriage rules. A heterosexual couple which cohabitates for a certain period of time is eventually assumed to be married (under common law rules). I think that there are a few other stipulations in order for the common law rules to be invoked, but essentially long-term cohabitation is treated as common law marriage. Mk, please feel free to correct this, as I am certainly a layman as regards the law.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://
Malcontent,

A few "for the record" comments:

I am not a Republican (though they can’t seem to take me and my wife off of their mailing list). I am a conservative Christian mostly-federalist. I end up voting Republican most of the time, but as you I retain my independence. I am very upset about a lot of what is going on in the Republican agenda right now (or lack thereof), but I am still waiting for some decent options.

I consider polls a judge of nothing. They are a useful tool to measure opinions when properly employed. As for issues and non-issues, it has been my observation that kids care about the things that they are taught to care about. Schools and parents are the main teachers. I know what the schools teach. I will add a more scriptural perspective.

I honestly rejoice that you find yourself in a wonderful relationship. I don’t want people to be miserable. I am surprised that you say that it has been so greatly enhanced simply by legal recognition. As many marriage critiques point out, a ceremony and legal recognition are hardly guarantees of a good marriage, but I accept your testimony in your case. At the same time, I have to feel sorry for many in Massachusetts that had their will overturned by the judiciary. I am quite content to let them work it out. I would vigorously oppose such a change in my home state, especially if I perceived it being forced on me by an unelected body, but I respect the process. I merely have very strong feelings about what type of relationships and behaviors I subsidize. I think most people do.

Your study (as I’m sure you realize) is purely annecdotal, and worth little to nothing from a policy standpoint. That’s fine. As I said, I wish you all happiness. That doesn’t make your choice something that I would want to promote. As much as I believe in seperation of church and state to the degree mentioned in the Constitution (as opposed to certain court decisions) I still have a difficult time calling something fine when scripture says it is not. And please don’t go into a judgement tirade. I am not advocating stoning or shunning or any type of penalty at all. I am merely stating that I do not want to elevate your relationship to the traditional stature of marriage.

Good luck to you and your partner.
 
Written By: Gary Baker
URL: http://
A favorite line used by those opposed to gay marriage is, "Marriage is between a man and a woman." To this I say, if you are a married man, YOUR marriage is between you and YOUR wife. If you are a married woman, YOUR marriage is between you and YOUR husband. The marriage between two men or two women is between THEM, not YOU, not YOUR CHURCH (unless they are also a member of your church) and not the GOVERNMENT.

That is why I support abolishing legally recognized marriage in favor of, as was mentioned already, civil contracts which can be boilerplated or customized and which apply to people who ARE having sex or people who are NOT having sex as well as people who live together or do not.

What about the children? Where I live, there are lots of children who have a mom and dad in name only. They get shuttled back and forth from one divorced parent to another if they’re lucky. The less fortunate get to wonder if their absent parent(s) love them. As the book Freakonomics pointed out, the crime rate went way down about 16 years after Roe v. Wade was decided. The conclusion they drew was that fewer unwanted children were born due to womens’ ability to abort unwanted pregnancies. They systematically discounted all the other obvious possibilities. Given that same-sex couples have to take extraordinary steps like adoption or IVF, it stands to reason THEIR children would be wanted. In the case of children from a previous marriage, I don’t see how the situation would be any different than that with hetero couples.

While we’re talking about children, what happens when we try to force a heterosexual view on everyone. Many people try to go with the acceptable societal view, especially to appease parents, and marry the opposite sex and have children. It does not take a genius to recognize that we would be better off stopping population growth. If we don’t, we will eventually choke out the ability for our earth to regenerate; to complete the cycle of life and we will all die. It won’t happen this century or maybe even this millenium, but considering we have populations of fish dying of due to overfishing and other similar phenomenon, it would seem we have passed the point of critical mass already. For the most part, homosexual couples do not have children and thus, they contribute to the longevity of the species.

I do see the issue of persecuting the church officials for discrimination as being wrong. Unfortunately, I think those on the left tend to view equal rights as the situation where others can never discriminate. It is unpopular even with many conservatives, but if we are to be free, we must be free to discriminate just as we must be free to express ourselves, even when that expression is reprehensible, if we are to truly have free speech, or in the case of discrimination, freedom in general. The government should not be free to discriminate, but individuals should. The church should be free to hire anyone they want and point out Bible passages that say homosexuality is a sin and I should be free to picket the church or prohibit the wearing of crosses in my business.

As a libertarian, I don’t think the government should be involved in charity for the most part and they definitely should not be handing taxpayer money over to churches to be administered. Likewise, I don’t believe any organization should have non-profit status including religions, so there shouldn’t be any government involvement with churches and government money that would put the restrictions of government upon the churches when it comes to discrimination.

Finally, can someone point out exactly ONE way in which two men or two women living next door to you actively commits any negative consequences on anybody? Anything that is that is unique to their same-sex status.

[For the record I am not gay. I am also not a woman, black, a person who takes illegal drugs or a child, but I speak out on behalf of all of them in memory of Martin Niemoller, the German Pastor who did not speak out and for whom nobody was left to speak out when the Nazis came to take him away.)
 
Written By: Brian Jones
URL: http://
I would like to state that as the son of a homosexual female, I do not feel that I have been in any way burdened with a lesser quality of life, a reduced moral conscience, or any other poppycock that I hear comming out as excuses to ban gay marriage. Most people who are against gay marriage suffer no effects from it. They claim that gay marriages would put an unacceptable toll on benefits. What about all the people who are heterosexual who live of the system? Like the guy who we paid in tax dollars to put up in a hotel after he lost his home from Katrina, and instead of trying to rebuild his life, after 90 days he used squatter laws to loophole his expulsion from the hotel. Freeloaders are what burden our system.

Heterosexuals often get married to people for "convenience." They also often marry people they do not truly love, for whatever reasons. As a proud husband to a beautiful woman, and the son of a wonderful lesbian mother, I can say that I turned out ok. My mother is as happy with her partner as anyone could possibly be.

Oddly enough this all reminds me of the debates from the 60’s over interacial marriage. My Aunt was disowned by her father because she married a black man. It was a huge taboo, and everyone was up in arms over it. They were very happy though, and I have a wonderful cousin because of it.

People have become so quick to judge others and claim religion as their reason. They quote the bible effortlessly to support your judgements, but they forget that the bible tells them not to judge. Live your life the way you feel is neccessary to acheive inner peace, enlightenment, nirvana, or heaven. Allow your beliefs to govern your actions and your moral values. Id you are against gay marriage, then don’t have one. You aren’t being forced to marry someone of the same sex.

Judge others less, and allow them to live happily. I don’t think any religion tells you that you should go out of your way to crush the happieness of other people and make them conform to your beliefs.

I really just wish, that my mother was allowed to marry her partner. It would make her so very happy, and it’s such a trivial little thing. Just a piece of paper that so many men I’ve met would never have. They would rather just live with a woman and never have to legally bond themselves.

Think carefully about the people you hurt in the name of your faith. Decide if that is really what your faith stands for.
 
Written By: Zach
URL: http://www.myspace.com/highcane
I would like to insert here the comments I made over on Vivian Paiges web site..
Let’s get serious about the gay marriage issue. Why does the Guvmnet give tax breaks to married hetro couples??? Simple, they produce more tax payers!!! Homo sexual couples do not… (if you don’t believe me on this subject ask mom or dad). Look, let’s be candid, the homo sexual community has an emotional and financial issue in this subject.

However, they are choosing a “lifestyle” and that is fine, they are free to do so, and it is there choice. However, they do not need to have a tax break just for their convenience. Adoption of children is not the same (if you are going to make that argument), our nation needs an increasing birthrate…. Why do you think our borders are wide open??? We need the workers. (yeah abortion has played a role)

I do not mean to offend anyone, and boy do they get offended, but what part of this logic… is not getting through to those who advocate homosexual marriage??? They need to move beyond emotion, and see the practicality of the issue…. For goodness sakes folks, you came from parents!!!

Feel free to “bash me”,but please try to use some logic, beyond, you’re just a homophobe or the like…. please.

 
Written By: SpankThatDonkey
URL: http://www.spankthatdonkey.com
In response to SpankThatDonkey...

Using your logical statement.

"Why does the Guvmnet give tax breaks to married hetro couples??? Simple, they produce more tax payers!!! Homo sexual couples do not…"

So by this logic you are saying that a couple consisting of 2 males would not be eligable for a tax break. Solely because they do not produce offspring (new tax payers). Even if they adopt and choose to help raise new taxpayers they wouldn’t fit your argument. Fine..

So then using this logic, 2 women in a relationship who both choose to undergo fertilization in some manner should be eligable for double the tax break since they can produce twice as many "Tax payers"

Does that cover your argument well enough?

I gladly welcome any rebuttle to this. And while I’m not saying this logic isn’t flawed, it is logical based on YOUR statements.

Though to prove a point.

Logical Argument:

Love is Blind
God is Love
Ray Charles is Blind
Ray Charles is God.

Some things aren’t so black and white..
 
Written By: Zach
URL: http://www.myspace.com/highcane
Zach:
As I stated before, too many people have "emotion and finance" tied into their arguments...

What you are advocating is a "bold new social experiment" where gay couples, in the case of males adopt and form a family unit, or in the case of females, have them selves impregnated by artificial or natural method.

Bold Social experiment... Is it right for a homo sexual couple to adopt a heterosexual child, and encourage, and/or coerce that child to lead a homosexual lifestyle?

The answer is no, Conversely, If you are homosexual, and I am not saying you are, but let’s say that an individual is, and his family does everything in their power to "please act/be a heterosexual".....(knowing they are homosexual, but want to keep up appearances)

You wouldn’t think that would be fair would you? Then why force that situation upon a child, who quite frankly is not even of your blood lines? (males)

Back to government... We do not need bold social experiments, we are still trying to recover from the "Great Society program of LBJ (another Dem boondoggle)

Look, homo sexuality is a "lifestyle". How many people are going to start "scamming" the tax code... for instance, john, joe, jane, and joan go to college... all of a sudden they get married, and have no actual relationship at all except on their tax returns i.e. they share a two bedroom apartment, and have heterosexual lifestyles.... (claim homosexual marriages in name only, no actual love relationship)

There are people dead out there that have never been reported to the Social Security administration so the checks can keep coming!!!!

Come on, be practical....
 
Written By: SpankThatDonkey
URL: http://www.spankthatdonkey.com
As I stated before, too many people have "emotion and finance" tied into their arguments...
I have no vested emotional or financial interest in gay marriage, so these have no bearing on my posted analysis. I think the ’children’ angle is a dodge. Procreation is not a requirement of marriage, nor is it necessarily a rationale for marriage. It’s often connected to marriage, but that’s social convention and not a legal or moral requirement.

The tax benefits are relatively minor, if and when they exist at all. If you want to argue against them, do so...but do so on principle, not on the basis of sexual orientation.
Why does the Guvmnet give tax breaks to married hetro couples??? Simple, they produce more tax payers!!!
I must have missed that part of the tax code. Please provide a citation.
What you are advocating is a "bold new social experiment" where gay couples, in the case of males adopt and form a family unit, or in the case of females, have them selves impregnated by artificial or natural method.
I wrote nothing about child-rearing. It’s incidental to the argument for gay marriage.

Plus, this is hardly a ’bold new social experiment’. It’s been done for quite a long time. Your allusion to sex crimes is a red herring. No, it’s not ’ok’ for homosexuals to adopt and coerce children into sex acts. Nor is it ’ok’ for heterosexuals to adopt and coerce children into sex acts.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Jon:
I was having a conversation with zach over here, and I think he is coming at this from a different angle, and you may wish to re read his comments to me...

You are taking my comments and applying them to your original post, which mainly approaches the subject as it pertains to different theories of law.

In a nut shell my argument, has nothing to do with the law... it has to do with human beings and how they interact with government.

Do you not see and or forsee people using gay marriage to "scam" the system?

Do you not see that men and women brought together in marriage produce children, whereas only female partnership could possibly bear children?

and no you did not write anything about "child rearing, but should you not consider that, after your lenghty analysis? Many great ideas can be theorized, but when put into practice will be adject failures.

Communism comes to mind.....
 
Written By: SpankThatDonkey
URL: http://www.spankthatdonkey.com
Do you not see and or forsee people using gay marriage to "scam" the system?
No moreson than people use existing marriage laws to scam the system. In that case, though, the problem is the privileges bestowed, rather than the sex of the persons entering the marriage.
Do you not see that men and women brought together in marriage produce children, whereas only female partnership could possibly bear children?
I don’t have the slightest problem whatsoever with them not producing children. They’re not going to produce children with or without gay marriage. It’s not like they’d be having kids otherwise. Extending marriage to gay couples really has no bearing whatsoever on that.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Jon:
Nations encourage men and women to get married in the hopes of offspring, whereby we maintain a birthrate that offsets the mortality rate, and provides for domestic growth

i.e. That is why our borders are wide open, our birth rate (although rebounding lately) is not able to keep up with the needs of our economy.

Economics plays a large role in this because families are expensive, you may have noticed that married families have been given increased tax breaks for children... WE should double the tax break!
I know that you come from a Libertarian perspective and that is fine, but Libertarians need to realize that we need to set up our government to encourage a prosperous and growing nation, that does not strictly rely on immigration that can overwhelm our ability to assimilate the immigrants, as we have managed to do so far.

If our nation fails, Libertarians, Conservatives and left wing Liberals (all of us) will be put in chains by tyrants, communists or however puts us under their boot...

I am not trying to be alarmist, but that is the perspective I come from... What is in the long term best interest of this nation... and frankly one class of politically active people persuing a lifestyle, need to just afford their lifestyle with out asking the government for a subsidy.

I would hope that Libertarians (who are obviously closer to conservatives politically), would sympathize with the gay marriage movement, but not further their agenda by advocating the institution of same sex marriage. I would hope that the economics overall long term security of our nation would prevail in the matter.

Let Canada and old Europe conduct that social experiment, after after many generations, I think the Conservative philosphy of maintaining traditional one man, one woman, will bear itself out.

On another note, are you a regular Libertarian or of the Ann Ryand variety?
 
Written By: Spank That Donkey
URL: http://www.spankthatdonkey.com
Nations encourage men and women to get married in the hopes of offspring, whereby we maintain a birthrate that offsets the mortality rate, and provides for domestic growth
"Nations" don’t do any such thing; only individuals may do so. And individual motives vary. Again, if you can direct me to a citation for this claim that we encourage marriage in the hopes of offspring — to the exclusion of other rationales — I’d be obliged.

Of course, I know you can’t. That’s the point. We can infer any number of rationale’s for marriage, but there’s no empirical basis for a sole rationale.
i.e. That is why our borders are wide open, our birth rate (although rebounding lately) is not able to keep up with the needs of our economy.
There is no ’proper’ number of people. I agree that more people in a free society will lead to more economic progress, but there’s no causal mechanism for gay marriage to reduce that number. Do you think that, were gays not allowed to marry, they’d be off having kids?
On another note, are you a regular Libertarian or of the Ann Ryand variety?
I’m not sure how you define and/or distinguish the two. I’m a "small l" libertarian, and I’ve little patience for most of the Randian mysticism.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Jon:
Have you ever given any real thought as to "why the Catholic Church is against the use of contraceptives"? The more Catholics there are the greater the survivability and expandability of the Catholic Faith.

Nations operate on this sample principle, to grow and prosper. Finding this in the tax code may be problematic, but I think it is only "common sense" why else would a married couple get a tax break? (not because the guv. wants less revenue) I’ll look into finding you some reference on intent of gov. in tax break.

As for causal evidence of institutionalizing Same Sex marriage effecting the birth rate... Man and woman = 2.3 kids to be born or whatever the average is. Man and man marry = zero kids to be born. female and female = whatever.whatever kids i.e. 2.2 kids on average or something.

My understanding of the difference between regular libertarians and the Ann Ryand followers is the Ryand group are devout atheists (I was just curious)
 
Written By: Spank That Donkey
URL: http://www.spankthatdonkey.com
Have you ever given any real thought as to "why the Catholic Church is against the use of contraceptives"? The more Catholics there are the greater the survivability and expandability of the Catholic Faith.
I’m not catholic. Perhaps that explanation is correct and an executive decision was made to cloak the directive in religious rather than utilitarian terms, but I tend to doubt that. Unless you can show me some evidence for this, you’re just speculating.

In any event, as a libertarian, I’d oppose such social engineering in the first place.
As for causal evidence of institutionalizing Same Sex marriage effecting the birth rate... Man and woman = 2.3 kids to be born or whatever the average is. Man and man marry = zero kids to be born. female and female = whatever.whatever kids i.e. 2.2 kids on average or something.
This is absurd. Unless you think that, in the absence of gay marriage, homosexuals are somehow just giving up and ’going hetero’, they’re already not reproducing. The institution of gay marriage will not reduce the number of children at all.
My understanding of the difference between regular libertarians and the Ann Ryand followers is the Ryand group are devout atheists (I was just curious)
I’m aware that Objectivists are almost uniformly atheists, but I’m not an Objectivist.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.qando.net/
"This is absurd. Unless you think that, in the absence of gay marriage, homosexuals are somehow just giving up and ’going hetero’, they’re already not reproducing. The institution of gay marriage will not reduce the number of children at all."

Jon:

Tonight lets say 1 million married heterosexual couples "make Love" with the intention of producing children...

and at the same time 1 million homosexual men engage in sex...

Which group will produce off spring?

I am not saying at all that homosexuals are going hetro... (I could care less, Darwinian Theory is at work) They are free to lead their own lifestyles, I am fine with that, this is a free country, but I think you are missing my point altogether...

Homosexuals are engaged in a "lifestyle", period, that does not need to be "ingrained" in our tax code, or our national culture. It deserves no subsidy from our National, nor State Tax Govts.
 
Written By: SpankThatDonkey
URL: http://www.spankthatdonkey.com
Which group will produce off spring?
The same group that will produce offspring with or without gay marriage.
Homosexuals are engaged in a "lifestyle", period, that does not need to be "ingrained" in our tax code, or our national culture. It deserves no subsidy from our National, nor State Tax Govts.
From a principles standpoint, I think neither group deserves "subsidies". But since they DO have it, there’s no principled reason to say that one should only get a tax break if you’re capable of having children.

Would you remove that tax credit from barren couples? From childless couples? From elderly marriages? Apart from your naked assertion, there’s just no reason to believe that any ’tax incidences’ of marriage exist for the purpose of incentivizing more children.

And on another level, exactly how much of a "subsidy" are we really talking about, anyway? The Child Tax Credit is the tax mechanism that exists to help support children. And there’s a reason for the existence of the phrase "marriage penalty".
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
To Spankthatdonkey,

First, if you read, I stated I am heterosexual. I am happily married to a woman, and we plan on having children at a later date. I was however raised by Lesbians. Also most of the people I knew who were raised by gay or lesbian couples are breeders. (Breeders are HETEROSEXUAL, for those that don’t know)

I fail to see how I was subjected to anything growing up other than loving parents. No one forced me to be anything. I was supported on any decision I made in my life. No one cared if I was straight, gay, bi, or trysexual for that matter. I was taught the same "birds and bees" as everyone else.

I have yet to find a study that actually shows that homosexual couples who adopt or reproduce in some fashion, create homosexual children. In fact, in my experience it works quite the opposite. Most homosexuals had heterosexual parents. Should we throw that into your little equation and state that as a result of that, heterosexual couples have a higher chance of producing homosexual children and forcing them to live against their lifestyle?

I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but most homosexuals are FAR more accepting of a straight child than heterosexual couples are of homosexual children.

Now, as I believe your point deals more with the tax breaks etc that are involved, I will change tone slightly for your benefit.

It doesn’t really matter if they reproduce or not. If they adopt, then they are providing a home for a child who may not have had one otherwise. In this sense they are performing a public service. If they do not adopt or reproduce, then they are doing no diservice greater than any hetero couple that is not reproducing. They are living together, sharing bills, sharing a home, sharing a future. Their interaction with each other is no different than any hetero couple.

They aren’t asking for special treatment. They are simply asking for the same rights afforded a couple consisting of a man and woman. Mind you, that some man/woman couples will result in 0 children, and in some cases nothing benifited society other than the drain on our welfare system, or an excuse to keep an immigrant in the country. These are however, legal practices.

Gays and lesbians simply wish to be able to say "Hey, my partner and I are commited to a life together" and have it accepted in the same way. They want to be able to share insurance like a hetero couple, and to be able to visit each other in the hospitol as "family." A right currently NOT afforded to them. These are relatively simple requests in the grand scheme.


 
Written By: Zach
URL: http://www.myspace.com/highcane

 
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