Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A bit more on same sex marriage

I am a huge fan of the Catholic legal theory blog, Mirror of Justice. On that blog, Rob Vischer of St. Thomas tries to tease out the Catholic objection to same sex marriage if the consequentialist objections to it were to be disproved. In posing the question, he does a nice job of summarizing those objections. He imagines it is 2038, same sex marriage is widely adopted and the following has not come to pass:

-children raised in households headed by same-sex couples are indistinguishable from children raised in traditional households in terms of emotional and intellectual development, rates of physical and sexual abuse, self-esteem, and other measures of well-being;

-children raised in households headed by same-sex couples are no more likely to exhibit same-gender attraction than the general population is, and that the overall percentage of gays and lesbians in society has remained fairly constant;

-rates of sexual promiscuity among gays and lesbians have been reduced in states legalizing same-sex marriage, and rates of committed, monogamous relationships have correspondingly increased in the GLBT community;

-marriage and divorce rates in the general population have not been impacted by the legalization of same-sex marriage;

-state legislatures and courts legalizing same-sex marriage have uniformly rejected calls to extend the concept of marriage to encompass multiple partners.

It is, of course, precisely the possibility that these things may come to pass that consequentialist opponents of same-sex marriage (like me) worry about. I can't guarantee that they will come to pass, but the risk of them - particularly given the existence of alternative solutions to most of the practical problems for same sex couples - and the essential nature of marriage, along with its somewhat embattled state, cause me to oppose redefining it to include same sex relationships.

Would there still be, for Catholics at least, a reason to oppose same sex marriage if we could know that these things we worry about won't happen?

Rob (who I do not know to be an opponent of same sex marriage) excerpts a passage from Princeton legal scholar Robbie George in which George, borrowing on Catholic theology, argues that the union of a man and woman in a potentially procreative relationship is an intrinsic good and that - not its instrumental benefits - is the rationale for legal protection of marriage.

49 comments:

Anonymous said...

If there was any historical accounts to supports this, it may be a valid argument. But it is a Cathoilic one and it appears that he left out the historical account of Sodom. (There are others but this is widely known)

The story clearly demonstrates that Sodom was over ran by it and that there was no turning back.

gnarlytrombone said...

-marriage and divorce rates in the general population have not been impacted by the legalization of same-sex marriage

I'm not grasping the precise mechanism through which gays will infect and destroy marriage.

It is because gays will make a mockery of a sacred institution with all their high-pitched caterwauling, causing the mystical scales to suddenly fall from hetero eyes (sort of like bizarro-world Saul)?

Does it diminish the Church's authority over the institution and thereby authority to instruct the faithful to get hitched?

Help a brother out here.

Dad29 said...

that the union of a man and woman in a potentially procreative relationship is an intrinsic good

Which is why matrimony is a sacrament, not a ceremony, in the Church.

The StT. prof alludes to 'polygamy,' and let us assume that he refers to that polygamy allowed by Judaism.

It's not entirely evident from Scripture that such practices were specifically "authorized" by God.

And Genesis is clear, as was Christ. It is not accidental that the physiology is in accord with what is taught by the Church, is it?

Nature is clear, as is the Gospel.

Pretty much makes a de fide case, even without the teaching of John Paul II or Pius XII--about which the good St T lawprof SHOULD know.

Rick Esenberg said...

Gnarly

Assuming that folks who disagree with you are bigots or irrational is not becoming. The argument is that, if you expand marriage to relationships that have different characteristics and, consequently different needs for rules or mores about monogamy, dependence, etc., you risk changing marriage itself.

If you set about to create families that raise children without a mother and a father, you change perceptions about the necessity for mothers and fathers.

If that doesn't help a brother, then he doesn't want help.

PaulNoonan said...

Assuming that folks who disagree with you are bigots or irrational is not becoming. The argument is that, if you expand marriage to relationships that have different characteristics and, consequently different needs for rules or mores about monogamy, dependence, etc., you risk changing marriage itself.

But certainly not all changes would be so drastic, or even bad. It is hard for me to imagine how instroducing the stabilizing force of marriage into the gay community would damage marriage for heterosexuals. The best case I could see would be no change to heterosexual marriages and an increase in stability in among homosexuals. (I also find this scenario to be the most likely, but that is just an opinion.)

As a worst case scenario, I still do not see marriage changing much if at all for heterosexuals. How could it? The culture already has plenty of people who decide not to get married and go about philandering for long periods of time, both straight and gay. I guess it's hard for me to imagine marriage becoming disposable, because at that point it would be more trouble than it was worth anyway. No one would seek out watered down marriage, and so marriage will not be watered down.

I would also add that those of the religious persuasion will likely do a fine job defending private sector (religious) marriage no matter what the government decides to do. (And I salute you for it. Seriously, I'm not being sarcastic. These types of culture battles should take place outside of the sphere of government.)

If you set about to create families that raise children without a mother and a father, you change perceptions about the necessity for mothers and fathers.

Perhaps this is true, I just think it skirts reality a bit. The fact is that there are homosexual people. A second fact is that even if gay adoption makes you uneasy, that technology will, in all likelylihood, allow gay couples to have biological children of their own in short order (and of course, this is possible to some extent now). I would rather encourage two-parent families than single families.

The message I get from gay parents isn't that you do not need a male or a female, it's that it is better to have two people in a stable family relationship than one person. Keeping gay people effectively single may send a worse message than allowing them to get married.

Dad29 said...

"How does it damage...." was answered by John Donne:

"We are all a piece of the main, a part of the soil/Therefore do not ask for whom the bell tolls/It tolls for thee."

Some would like that 'damage' to be evident, empirically demonstrated, and immediately visible, which may reflect a "CSI" mentality.

It ain't that easy, and as Rick points out, the predicates aren't even predictable--insofar as the SCOCA's ruling (and those of Lawrence and Casey) could also "constitutionalize" polyandry, polygamy, and marrying one's cat.

Anonymous said...

Anytime goverment does something with the social structure it effects the family, negatively. The divorce rate, teen pregnancy, abortion, stds, aids, 1% of our population now in prison and on and on and on. This just since the sixties.

The liberal experiment is devasting to our country and people wonder why we are trying to protect our customs even if they originated from religion? They worked and we should stopped them from tearing them apart.

Our families do not need the additional problems that will come from homosexual marriage being legalized. Undoubedly, it will be taught in the schools and cause great conflicts in the home.

How many people want their children and grandchildren taught these things?

PaulNoonan said...

Some would like that 'damage' to be evident, empirically demonstrated, and immediately visible, which may reflect a "CSI" mentality.

Or, it may reflect a desire to make decisions based on evidence rather than based on nothing.

Anonymous said...

So if Robbie George from Princeton (whoop dee doo) gets married for the purpose of procreation and he or his wife are found later to be sterile... I guess then the STATE and CHURCH should revoke his marriage license by his own rational.
What a typical white conservative is this 4th tier law school professor... If a practice like marriage or anything else doesn't fit into the mores and values of the "values-voter" block of the Republican party in the suburbs of Mequon then it just isn't acceptable in their anglo-saxon country. If it isn't white, it isn't right? This is a fool who definitely voted for Bush twice and still is in the 22% that still supports him.
Finally and most laughable is the position of the Catholic Church on gay marriage after their concealment of the countless cases of child sex crimes committed by its clergy, hypocrites same as Mr. Esenberg, assuredly a catholic who had no problem with the Iraq war or our response to Hurricane Katrina or Abu Ghraib, etc. etc. etc...

Anonymous said...

paulnoonan said: I guess it's hard for me to imagine marriage becoming disposable, because at that point it would be more trouble than it was worth anyway. No one would seek out watered down marriage, and so marriage will not be watered down.


I think your statement answers the question implicit in it. Marriage would indeed become disposable if there were no distinguishing features that made two (or more . . . but I won't hunt that rabbit down the trail at this moment) people "marriageable." Thus, it would be, as you say "more trouble than it's worth," and THAT is one of the ways that extending "marriage" to same-sex couples harms heterosexual marriage.

Anonymous said...

The thing that often goes missing in this debate is why a community that KNOWS how sensitive this issue is to people of faith would insist not only on having equal legal rights, but instead INSIST on co-opting the term and form of "marriage." Instead of working for laws that would allow them to visit their homosexual partner in the hospitals and other laws to give them all they claim to want out of a law legalizing gay "marriage," they seek to undermine the very institution they are trying to enter.

Marriage is a covenant (not a contract); an institution created by Almighty God to mirror the relationship between Christ (the role played by the husband) and His Church (the role played by the wife).

The reason the homosexual community eschews the option of seeking the legal benefits, rather than co-opting the term and form of "marriage," is precisely the same reason underlying atheistic evolution - an attempt to undermine God in the eye of His creation. This allows those who love sin (whatever that sin may be - lying, stealing, idolotry, murder, drug use, sexual sin) without a recogntition that they are accountable to anyone, much less the Creator. It may be enjoyable for a season . . . but will ultimately damn them because they have rejected the Truth in unrighteousness. And that sincerely breaks my heart for them.

We know there is a Creator because we see his intricate and amazing creation (just as looking at any paiting tells us there is a painter; likewise, building/builder). Our conscience tells us we have violated that Creator's laws by lying, stealing, blaspheming, etc., and that we are not "right" with Him. Thus sprang up so many world religions trying to work their way back into His good graces. But He is too good to be bribed and too just NOT to punish law breakers (i.e., liars, thiefs, blasphemers, idoloters, etc.).

However, God is not only holy and just (meaning He WILL punish wrong-doers), but he is also good and loving, so gave us a Way to reconciliation with Him. 2000 years ago, a legal transaction occurred wherein God took the form of a man, Jesus Christ, took the punishment we deserve for breaking God's laws, thereby commuting our death sentence (hell) and granting us everlasting life IF we humble ourselves enough to recognize that He is God and we are not, then repent and put our trust in Jesus Christ for our forgiveness.

Pride was Satan's downfall. I find it sad that the homosexual community has chosen that particular sin by which to define itself. It really is their (and anyone's) pride, more so than their homosexual behavior, that will keep them from receiving salvation. It sincerely makes me sad.

PaulNoonan said...

I think your statement answers the question implicit in it. Marriage would indeed become disposable if there were no distinguishing features that made two (or more . . . but I won't hunt that rabbit down the trail at this moment) people "marriageable." Thus, it would be, as you say "more trouble than it's worth," and THAT is one of the ways that extending "marriage" to same-sex couples harms heterosexual marriage.

But remember, we're talking about government marriage, and government marriage has costs. The biggest cost is the joining of property. Once two people are joined by the state, backing out is an expensive proposition. This does not stop some people from divorce, of course, but it does prevent people from entering into marriage lightly.

One concern of conservatives about the possibility of gay marriage is that it will lead to anything and everythin being called marraige. I would assert that this is morel ikely in private sector marriage, where contracts can be arranged in any way that people wish. With legal marriage, you have to be willing to give up half of your assets. This is a huge deterrent on people taking maariage lightly.

It is precisely these rights that advocates of gay marriage wish to possess, and so it is unlikely that they will water down the institution once they have them.

To the last anonymous guy, I'm all for God and the church not allowing gays to marry under their auspices. But we're talking about legal marriage and legal benefits. Perhaps homosexuals are making a huge mistake by being homosexuals, and perhaps not, however, that is for the individual to decide for him/herself.

Anonymous said...

Paul -

Homosexuals are not the same as hetrosexuals and do not fit the difinition of marriage.

You say there is no moral distinction (leaving out the obvious physical distinction)that should be made by the state and then you say that recognition of other relationship will be more likely in the private sector rather then by the state.

Do you think about what you're saying before you write it?

If the state must accept homosexual relationships without distinction as marriage, they then must accept all relationships without distinction as marriage. (Are their any type of relationships that you would not want included by the state?)

That's the equality that you're trying to sell and we're not buying it.

PaulNoonan said...

Paul -

Yes?

Homosexuals are not the same as hetrosexuals and do not fit the difinition of marriage.

Yes, this is what we are arguing about. Stating your conclusion is not evidence.

You say there is no moral distinction (leaving out the obvious physical distinction)that should be made by the state and then you say that recognition of other relationship will be more likely in the private sector rather then by the state.

That is because the private sector has no coercive enforcement mechanism. If two people want to claim to be married, there is nothing you can do about it. The state, on the other hand, requires certain things of those who wish to be married.

I don't think there is a moral distinction, but for the purposes of this argument I also don't care. The state is not a moral arbiter.

Do you think about what you're saying before you write it?

Yes.

If the state must accept homosexual relationships without distinction as marriage, they then must accept all relationships without distinction as marriage.

This is like arguing that if you can buy hand guns that you can also buy atomic weapons. Or that if you can by Nyquil you can also buy heroin.

The fact is that a stable homosexual marriage looks very much like a stable heterosexual marriage.

(Are their any type of relationships that you would not want included by the state?)

Sure. Quantum entanglements, relationships between pressure and heat (too directly proportional for my taste), etc.

I suspect that most of your examples of other relationships would involve one member who cannot consent. Homosexual marriages of the type we are discussing involve consenting adults.

That's the equality that you're trying to sell and we're not buying it.

Then you are a tyrant.

Anonymous said...

Paul -

The one thing that always comes out from those advocating for this is the anger and hostility towards anyone that doesn't agree with them and I find you to be no different.

Are you already involved in the type of relationship you're advocating? Try to see that it doesn't look the same to me or many others.

We saw the real tyrants at work in California. As for me I'll stay with what the people of this country had consented to from it's beginning regarding marriage.

PaulNoonan said...

The one thing that always comes out from those advocating for this is the anger and hostility towards anyone that doesn't agree with them and I find you to be no different.

I'm not angry, I just don't agree with you.

Are you already involved in the type of relationship you're advocating?

Yes, I am married. My wife and I will celebrate our 5th anniversary on June 7th. I'm a huge advocate of marriage.

Try to see that it doesn't look the same to me or many others.

Oh, you meant to ask if I'm gay. No, I'm not. I don't care what it looks like to you. Racists feel the same way about interracial marriage. It's not any of their business either.

We saw the real tyrants at work in California.

The California decision is not without its problems, I would agree, however, a court overruling a majority does not make that court a tyrant. The court's job is to protect individual rights from the will of the majority.

As for me I'll stay with what the people of this country had consented to from it's beginning regarding marriage.

Tradition is a silly argument. We've changed many policies for good and ill in America. Status Quo Bias can be dangerous too.

Anonymous said...

Paul said -

"Yes, I am married. My wife and I will celebrate our 5th anniversary on June 7th. I'm a huge advocate of marriage."

If you have or do have children, will you raise them as hetrosexuals or homosexual or let them make their own decision. (I will mention that my former boss called his gay partner his wife, so excuse me if I am wrong that your marriage is that of one woman and one man.)

By the way, you sound like a little kid with your name calling. You have no idea if I'm married and to whom. I can tell you that I don't believe there are five races of people as evolution teaches, I believe there is only one.

AnotherTosaVoter said...

"Catholic theology, argues that the union of a man and woman in a potentially procreative relationship is an intrinsic good and that - not its instrumental benefits - is the rationale for legal protection of marriage."

Allowing gay marriage does not pose a threat to this intrinsic good.

People who want to get married and have children are not going to suddenly decide against it once marriage is extended to gays.

Such an argument makes no sense.

Not only is that intrinsic good not damaged, but another intrinsic good, reducing promiscuity among gays, would be improved.

Someone explain the downside here.

illusory tenant said...

I don't believe there are five races of people as evolution teaches ...

What in the world are you talking about.

PaulNoonan said...

IT is right. This entire comment makes no sense:

If you have or do have children, will you raise them as hetrosexuals or homosexual or let them make their own decision.

I don't even know where to begin. Who raises their kid as a certain sexual preference? That's just weird. I think I'll raise them to be able to fly. Hey, it's just as realistic.

(I will mention that my former boss called his gay partner his wife, so excuse me if I am wrong that your marriage is that of one woman and one man.)

I think I clarified above that I am in fact straight. I'm not sure why you're confused.

By the way, you sound like a little kid with your name calling.

I don't think I actually called you a name. The one thing that always comes out from those opposing this is the anger and hostility towards anyone that doesn't agree with them and I find you to be no different.

You have no idea if I'm married and to whom. I can tell you that I don't believe there are five races of people as evolution teaches, I believe there is only one.

Annnnnnd now you're insane. Which will put an end to further comment by me.

Anonymous said...

Come to San Francisco....spend some time here with gay couples who want to get married.....spend time in a small city densely populated with many diverse cultures, ethnicities and races...You may come away to find that we gat along here due to tolerance and compassion....come back to Milwaukee and wonder why you live in such a racially segegated city....I left Milwaukee in 1981 and made SF my home.....it saddens me to see how Milwaukee is but a hollow shell....meanwhile continue your theological debates on gay marriage whilst you live in a city of intolerancs and segregation

Dad29 said...

Once two people are joined by the state, backing out is an expensive proposition. This does not stop some people from divorce, of course, but it does prevent people from entering into marriage lightly.

...speaking of a "lack of evidence," Paul...

What's the current US divorce rate? 50% or so?

Dad29 said...

This is like arguing that if you can buy hand guns that you can also buy atomic weapons. Or that if you can by Nyquil you can also buy heroin.

Actually, Paul, it's like repeating the well-informed and acute observations made by Justice Scalia (Lawrence) or the observations made in the dissent on the SCOCA case.

You ought to try reading stuff.

Dad29 said...

Allowing gay marriage does not pose a threat to this intrinsic good.

..that you know of.

But, pace Rick, you posit a red herring. The question is not "allowing" gay marriage.

The question is whether such a thing can exist in reality, and the answer is no, outside of the realm of legal positivism. Which is precisely the reason that the SCOCA decision is controversial.

IOW, "the law" as constructed by SCOCA is surreal (or un-real) because it does not conform with nature.

"Harming" others is foofoodust and does not persuade. It is, as Rick mentioned in another post, "thin" morality.

The "harm" argument supposes that "no harm" is the fundamental moral law. That cannot be reconciled with the moral conduct of a war. It also cannot be reconciled with speeding laws under certain circumstances.

In other words, the supposition is bogus, as is your argument based thereon.

Rick Esenberg said...

What a typical white conservative is this 4th tier law school professor... If a practice like marriage or anything else doesn't fit into the mores and values of the "values-voter" block of the Republican party in the suburbs of Mequon then it just isn't acceptable in their anglo-saxon country. If it isn't white, it isn't right? This is a fool who definitely voted for Bush twice and still is in the 22% that still supports him.
Finally and most laughable is the position of the Catholic Church on gay marriage after their concealment of the countless cases of child sex crimes committed by its clergy, hypocrites same as Mr. Esenberg, assuredly a catholic who had no problem with the Iraq war or our response to Hurricane Katrina or Abu Ghraib, etc. etc. etc...


What a profoundly prejudiced comment. For the record, I am currently an Anglican. Marquette is not a fourth tier law school or even close to that. I was not enthusiastic about the invasion of Iraq (although I oppose a withdrawal that will make matters worse), do not think that the actions of some of the cretins at Abu Graib were OK and wish that all levels of government had responded more effectively to the unprecedented natural disaster that was Katrina. As far as opposition to same sex marriage being "white," go look up cross tabs showing the overwhelming opposition to SSM in the African American community.

Anonymous said...

Paul -

Here you call me a racist -

"Oh, you meant to ask if I'm gay. No, I'm not. I don't care what it looks like to you. Racists feel the same way about interracial marriage. It's not any of their business either. "

After I tried to make it clear that I'm not a racist, you said say this...

"I don't think I actually called you a name."

Figures.

I asked you a simple question as to how you'll raise kids and you replied -

"I don't even know where to begin. Who raises their kid as a certain sexual preference? That's just weird. I think I'll raise them to be able to fly. Hey, it's just as realistic."

Obviously, the only thing you could think of doing was to be sarcastic rather then give a mature reply. Every parent that I've known has thought of this.


It said -

"I don't believe there are five races of people as evolution teaches ...

What in the world are you talking about."

Then you said -

"IT is right. This entire comment makes no sense:"


I must admit that I do not agree with IT very often but at least you get a mature argument from him and I cannot recall him ever playing these stupid little games that you're trying to play.

I'll try to make this simple for you that I believe there is only one race of people and therefore I cannot be a racist.

Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (“PFOX”) is one organisation that has and is helping many people that want to come out of the gay life stlye. I read that organisations like this have problems helping these people because the people trying to come out are treated with terrible hostility from the gay community.

I do not understand why the gay community would be doing that to these people. Maybe you could help me to understand?

PaulNoonan said...

I did not call you a racist. You might be a bigot, but not a racist(or at least, there is no way to tell if you are a racist from your comment).

You will get a mature reply when you make a mature argument.

On Lawn said...

I'll admit. I went pretty long into my life without knowing what a mountain was. Oh, I had geological features which were called mountains nearby. I thought they were mountains. But when I stood gazing at the granite peaks of something jutting thousands of feet from where I stood, I realized I had no idea what a mountain was.

Then I went to a region where the tallest structure for miles were the freeway overpasses. Something that normally would just be uneven ground were called hills. But what I called a "river" they only called a stream. Then I saw just what a river to these people was, and realized I was the one mistaken by a localized colloquial misuse of the term. In fact, I've been to areas where rivers were clearly marked, but there was no water at all. Nor was there water a vast majority of the year.

Now there is no harm in calling a creek or stream a river. I do not complain that people call hills, mountains. Its a certain relativism that makes sense if you remain solidly fixed in that locality, and do not try to brag about climbing mountains in a single day to people outside that community.

Much of this debate is mired in the fact that two people are using the same word to mean something that the other person wouldn't use that word to describe. Y'all are talking right angles, passing close by but not really getting the same bearings.

So lets have everyone just fess up here.

What is your definition of "marriage". What makes your idea of "marriage" something different than what someone else might call a marriage?

* Is there any relationship between two people that cannot/should not be recognized in your definition as a marriage? *

On Lawn said...

One more thing, lets all also take a moment and recognize...

Disagreeing with a person who thinks their own particular circumstance deserves the title "marriage" does not mean you can't or won't help them get support and recognition for what they do need.

Those that demands government adopt their own personal view of marriage needs to argue two things, a) how society is being harmed without that definition in real ways, and b) how that harm cannot be served with any other solution.

Agreed?

Anonymous said...

On Lawn -

You have a good style but I don't know how you can spend so much time with the likes of fannie or noonan and any others you encounter.

Anytime you try to get to the bottom of things they start calling you names. Even the harsh insults on the host of this blog are certainly unwarranted even if they disagree with him.

A good friend of mine went home early from work and found her husband in bed with another man, she was devastated. These relational things are not just politics but concern very deep feelings. Her husband admitted that he was always bi-sexual and had those affairs during their marriage.

We could use the same sex argument that bi-sexuals should be able to marry both a woman and a man and that "2" is just an arbitrary figure. I do not see this fitting the difinition of marriage but it's really no different then what they're arguing.

When I was younger, I also knew a manager (I think he was about 30) that later was found out that he was engaged with a fifteen year old boy. They claimed they were in love but when found out he left town never to be heard from again. Is age just an arbitrary number?

There are other examples but I think you get the point. Somethings should not be changed.

Wish you the best.

PaulNoonan said...

Anytime you try to get to the bottom of things they start calling you names. Even the harsh insults on the host of this blog are certainly unwarranted even if they disagree with him.


I'm not going to argue with you on substantive points because it is pointless, but don't just lie about me. I'm fairly certain I haven't called you any names. I did label you a tyrant, but really, the dictionary called you a tyrant, I just pointed it out.

I certainly have not said anything rude about Rick.

Don't trun your opponents into bogeymen. As I said before, I'm not angry, I just disagree with you.

On Lawn said...

Paul,

I asked some substantive questions above (I hope).

Your opinion was one I was particularly interested in getting.

Fannie said...

Anonymous,

It is unfortunate when people are called names and ridiculed, isn't it?

PaulNoonan said...

Those that demands government adopt their own personal view of marriage needs to argue two things, a) how society is being harmed without that definition in real ways, and b) how that harm cannot be served with any other solution.

Agreed?


Actually, no. Marriage is, at it's heart, a private matter as it is contractual. The government has decided to subsidize marriage, but it is not the cause of marriage. It's just gravy.

Because marriage is a private contractual matter, the burden falls on those who prevent two people entering into a marriage contract to show harm.

This would be an opportune tiem to point out that many gay marriage bans also prohibit arrangements that too closely resemble marriage.

Anyway, if the government is going to offer benefits to these arrangements, it should not discriminate without a very good reason, and it should not use a religious reason for that reason (thanks to the good ol' First Amendment).

On Lawn said...

Paul,

I think that you actually did answer the questions. For instance the following seem in reply to point (a)...

if the government is going to offer benefits to these arrangements, it should not discriminate without a very good reason

Which is a statement I agree with. Because I believe both you and I understand unfair discrimination as having ill effects on people and societies.

But note that discrimination, in and of itself, does not prove there is harm. There is discrimination in who gets tp practice law or medicine, who gets to park in handicapped parking, and who gets to work at Hooters (which I include because discrimination on the criteria of physical beauty was upheld by the court, IIRC).

And that is why (b) is such an important point. You noted that the gravy was the issue. The fact that one gets benefits through marriage invites the question of if those benefits are denied without marriage.

If one does not get a job at Hooters, do they not get a job? If someone does not get a handicapped parking spot, do they not get to park?

To sum up, is there something about "marriage" that makes it more than just gravy or subsidy? Because those are available through many other means.

Dad29 said...

Marriage is, at it's heart, a private matter as it is contractual.

Really?

Then why the public records, witnesses, etc.?

It is, in fact, BOTH a 'private' AND a 'public' matter. And it was both (and sacramental, to boot) when the Catholic, (later, all other Catholic-derived) church(es) were, for practical purposes, the recognizing authorities during the period c. 33-1800 AD.

It was only in the 1800's that governments took on recordkeeping and licensure.

On Lawn said...

Fannie,

Unfortunately you know I'm going to have to call you on that remark.

Anon said, "Anytime you [On Lawn] try to get to the bottom of things they start calling you names."

Anon noted that you were calling people names, and do you deny this? To note the post your link was in reply to...

"Fannie to Anon: It's cute that you think you are relevant to this discussion in any way. [...]

"[...] his [On Lawn's] usual pettiness.

"I can only express my pity of you by re-iterating how sad it is that you believe yourself to be a competent judge of intellectual vigor.

"I do realize that you, being the pesty little type that you are, [...]

"You, however, will still be a coward. And a not very bright one at that."


And in the comment you linked to you claimed the following phrases are calling you names?

"almost as if she were writing a parody of herself..."

"...your mind numbing attempts at dishonest discourse."

"a highly dismissive and arrogant stance to be sure."

The first quote discusses your writing, not you. In fact it holds your writing as less than what I would expect from you.

The second marks what was demonstrated as dishonest accusations about others (see above set of quotes). The arguments and behavior was dishonest, and again beneath what I would expect from you. And that was given with evidence, which you replied that showed how meaningless you find proof and consequently the evidence that builds a proof.

In a common theme, I could say the same thing about the final quote that I said about the previous two.

Please explain how that was (as you said in the text with the link) being called names and ridiculed, especially in light of the quoted commentary from yourself above...

One statement did pin a label on you, noting how you are stalking me. The fact that you replied to Rick's post on this topic after I posted link to it on Opine is curious. That you commented in a different thread only after I posted there, and the only to discuss myself rather than the topic is even more suspect. That you choose to continue the pattern here is also noted.

Anon's judgments about you have had a very active beneficiary helping to prove them -- and that is none other than yourself.

I do not see why you find myself more interesting to talk about rather than talk about how what you did might not be accurately represented by Anon. And I definitely don't see why I'm more interesting a subject than the discussion going on with Paul at the moment.

Trust me, you have better things to do than to constantly try to re-fight old and gone battles.

On Lawn said...

Dad,

In fairness to Paul, he's saying the core of marriage is the private commitment. Which does not mean it is only a private commitment, just that is the heart of the matter.

People do get married for a variety of reasons, and some are defiantly better than others. To further speak to Paul's point, since the government recognizes their private commitment it needs to explain (if not just to ally fears of unjust discrimination) the basis of that recognition of the otherwise private matter.

Paul, am I stating that more or less accurately?

On Lawn said...

defiantly better than others

Classic. That should read "definitely better than others".

JesusIsJustAlrightWithMe said...

What a strange thread. The "he hit my first" vibe is awesome.

Anonymous dude,

"I don't believe there are five races of people as evolution teaches ..."

Holy shit, really?! Where did you hear that? Wow. *shaking head*

Seriously though...

On Lawn,

"But note that discrimination, in and of itself, does not prove there is harm."

No, it doesn't. I'm not sure harm is the most important distinction here though. It's more about who's doing the discriminat'n.

"There is discrimination in who gets tp [sic] practice law or medicine,"

Should there be? A lot of problems of access to legal services, and even medical services, coule be reduced if we got rid of licensing requirements. Personally, I wouldn't go to a doctor that didn't have solid credentials, but I might have a "lawyer" with no law degree handle a divorce or something if the price was right and the law would allow it. You don't need tons of classes in tax law or con law for that.

And there's no rule that we must cure all discriminatory practices or none at all.

"who gets to park in handicapped parking, and who gets to work at Hooters (which I include because discrimination on the criteria of physical beauty was upheld by the court, IIRC).

To me, a private entity, like the Catholic Church or Hooters, should be able to make whatever rules they want regarding marriage or cup size. They should also be able to decide whether or not to have handicapped parking spaces in their lots. The government shouldn't be able to decide that. But again, I see no reason why you think we need to cure access to legal services and lack of private parking lot control before we cure marriage discrimination.

"And that is why (b) is such an important point. You noted that the gravy was the issue. The fact that one gets benefits through marriage invites the question of if those benefits are denied without marriage.

The gravy is the issue. Regardless of what you guys think the history of the term "marriage" is, we're talking about the government version. Personally, I think the government should be out of the marriage business completely. But if government is going to attach any gravy to the word, it has to do so on a non-discriminatory basis.

Anonymous said...

Jesus said -

Anonymous dude,

"I don't believe there are five races of people as evolution teaches ..."

Holy shit, really?! Where did you hear that? Wow. *shaking head*

Seriously though..."

and earlier it said -

"I don't believe there are five races of people as evolution teaches ...

What in the world are you talking about."


When I read these responses I thought maybe something had changed in evolutionary teaching that I had missed. (It's been a long time since I went to school)

I did a quick search and as far as I can find, evolution still teaches that there are different races of people.

You can go to this link and read some for yourself and there is plenty more out there for you to read.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_evolution

It amazes me that you didn't check it out before making your comments.

illusory tenant said...

As far as I can find, evolution still teaches that there are different races of people.

You can go to
[Wikipedia] and read some [sic] for yourself ...

"Lieberman and Jackson ... conclude that [anthropologists and sociologists] would be better off avoiding the word race, and instead describe genetic differences in terms of populations and clinal gradations."

Like biologists do, evolution being the central organizing concept in biology.

It amazes me that you didn't check it out before making your comments.

It doesn't amaze me at all, since strawmen and flat-out mischaracterizations are a hallmark of anti-evolution blather.

Anonymous said...

It -

I never said that evolution teaches that there is more than one spieces of man, I said more than one race.

I thought it was common knowledge that evolution taught that modern humans appeared some 200,000 years ago in Africa and that one group stayed and one group left that "evolved" into the other "races" in this world.

That isn't a current teaching of evolution when you consider that Hitler believed that his "master race" was more highly "evolved" than any others.

I know that you (and your buddies) have fun with trying to discredit people you disagree with, but you shouldn't jump so quickly. It looks like the egg is on your face. Maybe next time.

illusory tenant said...

Anon, I think you should have quit while you were behind. Now it looks as if you didn't read either the relevant portion of your own Wikipedia article or my last post.

The paper it cites (Lieberman and Jackson) is an admonition for sociologists to get with the program and stop referring to "races" of homo sapiens, because it's hopelessly superficial and furthermore not supported by genetic or molecular data.

I never said that evolution teaches that there is more than one species of man, I said more than one race.

Ya, I got dat dere hey. There have been and are, however, more than one species of hominid.

Modern humans appeared some 200,000 years ago in Africa ...

Yes, it certainly looks that way.

and one group stayed and one group left that "evolved" into the other "races" in this world.

Eh, no. This is not what "evolution teaches." Go get yourself a dictionary of biology and look up "infraspecific variation." Better yet, an introductory biology textbook. Even better, What Evolution Is, by Ernst Mayr.

That isn't a current teaching of evolution when you consider that Hitler believed that his "master race" was more highly "evolved" than any others.

This Godwinesque claim reminds me of the modern synthesis. Unfortunately, yours is a synthesis of incoherence and irrelevance.

Seriously, read a book for crying out loud. There's really no excuse for your continuing to propagate these 19th century caricatures.

Anonymous said...

it -

we're not going to agree so there is little benefit to keep beating each other over the head.

Some people believe in different races of people and I don't. No one is more evolved then another, we're all the same.

The statment I made was that simple.

illusory tenant said...

Anon 7:23 AM:

"I said that evolution teaches that there is more than one race."

:facepalm:

:headdesk:

JesusIsJustAlrightWithMe said...

"I said that evolution teaches that there is more than one race."

No it doesn't. "Race" isn't really a term that biologists use. It is not a classification term. Members of different races as we know them are biologically the same genus and species (homo sapien). "Race" is usually associated with more superficial things than evolutionary biology.

Fannie said...

On Lawn makes me chuckle. If he devoted a fraction of the time he devotes to "meta-commentary," he could perhaps improve his simple-minded, tired, and circular argument against marriage equality.

But yes, Lawn, keep on taking offense where none was intended, pretending as though the internet is super-duper serious business where people only leave conversations because they are scared of your ginormous intellect, and "enlightening" us as to your latest "proof" about me.

LOL. Get over yourself.

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