A Philosopher's Blog

Marriage Amendments

Posted in Ethics, Law, Philosophy, Politics, Relationships/Dating by Michael LaBossiere on May 9, 2012
Same Sex Marriage

Same Sex Marriage (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While some States in the United States have passed laws allowing same-sex marriage, other states have passed laws to ban it. Some states have even taken an extra step by amending the state constitutions to define marriage as being between one man and one woman. On May 8th, 2012 North Carolina voters went to the polls to decide whether or not their state constitution would be amended to “defend” marriage. While this matter is interesting from a legal perspective, my main interest is from a philosophical perspective, mainly regarding the quality of the arguments in favor of such restrictions on marriage as well as their ethics.

As I have done in other essays on the subject of same-sex marriage, I will quickly run through the stock fallacious arguments given for such laws. The first stock argument is that marriage between a single man and woman is a matter of tradition. This is, obviously enough, a fallacious appeal to tradition. The mere fact that something is a tradition hardly shows that it is right or correct. To use the usual counterexample, slavery was (and is in some places) a well-established tradition, yet this hardly serves to justify it.

A second fallacious argument is that marriage between a man and a women is what most people do, thus it is correct. In other words, it is a common practice and thus is right. Obviously enough, this is merely a fallacious appeal to common practice. There are, obviously enough, many bad practices that are quite common (like lying), but their being common does not make them good.

A third common fallacious argument is that most people believe that marriage should be between a man and woman. Even if it is assumed that this is true, this would still seem to be a fallacious appeal to belief. After all, the mere fact that most people believe something (like the earth being believed to be the center of the solar system) does not prove that it is true.

Now that the easy to dismiss fallacious arguments are out of the way,  I can look at some of the other arguments that have been presented in support of such laws.

One stock argument is essentially an appeal to religion, specifically Christianity (at least the versions that forbid polygamy). The argument typically goes that since God married Adam to Eve, this defines marriage in the biblical sense. Those with clever wits often put it more rhetorically by saying that it was “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.” Since marriage is defined by the Christian faith as between one man and one woman, that is what the law should be. As might be imagined, there are many problems with this.

One obvious legal problem is that to the degree the proponents of such laws claim that it is based on a specific faith, they are in danger of violating the first amendment of the United State constitution, namely the bit that “congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” While I am not a constitutional lawyer, I would suspect that a plausible case could be made that creating a law explicitly based on a religion does involve the establishment of a religion. In addition to the obvious legal problems, there is also the moral concern regarding the imposition of a specific faith’s values upon the population as a whole. This would seem to be a clear and direct violate of religious liberty and thus would seem to be morally unacceptable.

A second obvious problem is that basing the law on a religious view would seem to require that this view be established as correct. After all, if it is claimed that marriage is such that it can only between a man and a woman because of what God wants, then it needs to be established that God exists and that this is what God, in fact, wants. Otherwise, the law would have no established foundation and would be as sensible as basing a law on a myth or fictional tale. Naturally, if it can be shown that marriage is between one man and one woman as a matter of metaphysical necessity, then that would nicely establish the foundation of the law. In fact, it would show that no such law would really be needed since no one else could, in fact, be married. To use analogy, we do not need laws that ban people from driving their cars faster than the speed of light-they simply cannot do this because of the nature of reality.

There are, of course, non-religious arguments for these laws. A rather common argument is that the laws are needed to protect the sanctity of marriage. The idea seems to be that allowing same-sex marriage would be harmful to marriage (and presumably the married) and thus, on the principle of preventing harm, same-sex marriage should be outlawed by a constitutional amendment.

One obvious point of concern is whether or not allowing same sex-marriage harms marriage and heterosexual couples. While, of course, it might upset them that people are doing something they do not like (getting married), that is obviously not sufficient justification. What would be needed would be objective evidence that same sex-marriage would do enough harm to marriage and married couples to warrant forbidding same sex-marriage. The evidence for this seems to be, obviously enough, sorely lacking and the burden of proof rests on those who would make an imposition on the liberty of others to show that such an imposition is warranted.

Intuitively, same-sex marriage would not harm marriage or married couples. After all, it is difficult to imagine what sort of damage would be inflicted. Would married couples love each other less? Would there be more cases of domestic violence or adultery? Would married parents be suddenly more inclined to abuse their children? None of this seems even remotely likely.

But, suppose it is assumed that marriage must be protected. If this is taken seriously, then it would certainly seem to follow that it would need to be legally protected from whatever might damage its sanctity. To use an analogy, laws to protect people from murder are not just limited to, for example, making it illegal to murder someone with aluminum baseball bat. Rather, it is the murdering that matters. The same should apply to marriage: if marriage must be protected by making it between one man and one woman, then surely it must also be protected against whatever would damage its sanctity. As such, it would seem equally reasonable to ban marriages involving any sort of person whose actions or nature might do damage to the sanctity of a marriage.

Intuitively, allowing immoral people to marry would seem to damage its sanctity. As such, people would need to establish their moral goodness before marriage and presumably any straying from the path of virtue (such as by having an affair or otherwise failing in their vows) would result in the marriage being suspended or even nullified. Naturally enough, people who intend to get married in the hopes of financial gain, from lust, or for any reason that would sully the sanctity of marriage would need to be prevented from getting married. Given all these dire threats to the sanctity of marriage, it would seem that if the matter is serious enough to warrant a constitutional amendment it would also warrant the creation of a full government agency to regulate and protect the sanctity of marriage. After all, if the defenders of the sanctity of marriage were content to merely prevent same-sex marriage, one might suspect that they were acting from mere prejudice against same sex couples rather than by a sincere desire to protect marriage. While this might seem as big government violating liberty, those supporting such laws will surely see that there is little difference between same-sex couples that they cannot marry because marriage must be protected and telling anyone who would violate the sanctity of marriage that they cannot marry. As such, more general restrictions on who can get married (such as people who are not morally good or who are not marrying purely from love) would seem no more (or less) unjust that preventing same sex marriage.

Naturally, being a person with a social conscience and a professional ethicist, I would be willing to accept the position of Marriage Czar and head up the Sanctity Defense Agency to ensure that marriage remains eternally pure and unsullied. No doubt I would have to spend most of my time dissolving existing pseudo-marriages, but I am sure people will thank me for this in the end.

 

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  1. magus71 said, on May 9, 2012 at 9:09 am

    This law has essentially been a law for all of human history. Though you term it a fallacious appeal to tradition, I ask myself why this has been such a universal law.

    I also hold with Mark Steyn’s idea that cultures are not held together so much by their laws as by common beliefs and tenets that people hold, even when no law exists. It is not illegal to lie in most circumstances, and yet we all dislike liars and feel badly about ourselves when we lie (most do anyway). In any event, just because something is legal does not mean it is good for the individual or society as a whole.

    “Everything is legal to me, but not everything edifies.”~1 Corinthians 10:23; Paul

    • anon said, on May 9, 2012 at 10:04 am

      In any event, just because something is illegal does not mean it is bad for the individual or society as a whole.

    • urbannight said, on May 9, 2012 at 12:30 pm

      This is incorrect as there are places in this world where group marriage exist, the men who came of age are all married to the girls who came of age in that same year, mostly on the African continent. There is also the form of group marriages with one man and many women or just a few. This had occured in the Americas, Asia, the middle east, and the Indian subcontinent, as well as many island nations around the globe. There are places where same gender marriage have had a place in the society thorought history, athough men who prefered men were often viewed as more spiritual and had such a role in their societies.

      • magus71 said, on May 9, 2012 at 12:55 pm

        Yes. Wouldn’t you consider those cultures to be a massive minority by historical standards? With this argument, I could also speak of cultures that sacrifice their own children. They have existed. Are you saying that gay marriage is traditional? Then perhaps you are making a fallacious appeal to tradition. I feel safe in making the statement that gay marriage is not traditional.

        “There are places where same gender marriage have had a place in the society thorought history, athough men who prefered men were often viewed as more spiritual and had such a role in their societies.”

        No. In fact, even in societies which many assume accepted gay union, there was no formal marriage to my knowledge. Roman and Greek society come to mind. Accusations of homosexuality were commonly used against political foes in Rome, and Socrates met his end for the corruption of youth; he loved little boys. Of course there are instances in Greek society where homosexuality was accepted, particularly in the military. But even then, the rule was that after the boy became a man, it was improper. Similar rules are adhered to in Afghanistan. Google the “Dancing boys of Afghanistan.”

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on May 9, 2012 at 4:29 pm

          What is or has been done does not prove that it is right (or wrong). But, when people argue that “one man one woman” marriage is the standard or what has always been, then presenting counterexamples to that factual claim is quite legitimate. It is basically countering an argument by example by the legitimate means of presenting a counterexample (or examples).

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on May 9, 2012 at 4:20 pm

      A mere appeal to tradition is a fallacy. However, if there are good reasons supporting a law and these have held across the centuries, then that would be another matter. As such, people should (logically) present those reasons rather than fallaciously appealing to tradition.

      It actually hasn’t been a law for all of human history, although this is not relevant to whether the law is any good or not.

      True-what is legal is not equivalent to the good and what is illegal is not equivalent to the bad. Well, except for folks like Hobbes and the Chinese Legalists.

  2. ajmacdonaldjr said, on May 9, 2012 at 11:54 am

    You say:

    “Naturally, if it can be shown that marriage is between one man and one woman as a matter of metaphysical necessity, then that would nicely establish the foundation of the law. In fact, it would show that no such law would really be needed since no one else could, in fact, be married. To use analogy, we do not need laws that ban people from driving their cars faster than the speed of light-they simply cannot do this because of the nature of reality.”

    But why does marriage have to be a metaphysical necessity? Why can’t it just be the biological/sociological norm?

    One man one woman is the norm for our (and most) culture(s), and it seems something of a biological/emotional norm (i.e., pairing) in nature, too. The fruits of these relationships, by nature, is offspring. This will always be so

    People can call marriage whatever they want I suppose….we can have polygamy and polyandry as well, if we wish to recognize these forms of marriages too…these “experiments in living”, as Mill called them.

    But a society that will legalize baby killing (i.e., abortion on demand) doesn’t always care much about ethics, justice, and equality when it comes to the lives and worth of some human individuals…

    There is something very unique, awesome, and balancing about a good, healthy male/female relationship that one will never find within a same sex relationship, although I care not, legally, if same-sex couples seek to be married and gain legal protections. In some sense (civil unions?) I think they probably should, because these people, as a minority, will always need legal protection from the will of the majority.

    “And Pharisees came up to him [Jesus] and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so” (John 19:3-8).

    The question, as always, is which are the positions of the wise peoples and which are those of the fools?

    • anon said, on May 9, 2012 at 1:46 pm

      “But a society that will legalize baby killing (i.e., abortion on demand)”

      Congratulations on being ignorant. Women’s bodies already abort on demand naturally.

      • magus71 said, on May 10, 2012 at 8:14 am

        “Women’s bodies already abort on demand naturally.”

        Really? Well why pay to have it done, then?

        You’re a true genius, anon, a real gem.

    • dhammett said, on May 9, 2012 at 1:52 pm

      “There is something very unique, awesome, and balancing about a good, healthy male/female relationship that one will never find within a same sex relationship. . .”

      Is this a conclusion drawn from vast personal experience?

      Should unhealthy, unbalanced, dangerous male/female relationships–the abusers, the unfaithful, the unfruitful–be invalidated by the church and/or the government without the consent of the couple?
      Stated another way: Why should the choice be left up to a heterosexual couple to stay in a destructive relationship but denied homosexuals who wish to enter a “unique, awesome, and balancing” relationship?

      • Michael LaBossiere said, on May 9, 2012 at 4:32 pm

        Good point. If we are opposed to non awesome and non-healthy relationships, then we would need to apply this across the board.

        While I’m straight, I do know many people who are not. While some of them have been in crappy relationships, the same is true of me and most straight folks. Also, I know many homosexuals who have relationships that are awesome, healthy and all that.

        • magus71 said, on May 10, 2012 at 8:57 pm

          The stats say that for all the problems men and women have when together, same sex relationships are worse.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on May 9, 2012 at 4:28 pm

      “One man one woman is the norm for our (and most) culture(s), and it seems something of a biological/emotional norm (i.e., pairing) in nature, too.”

      It is the norm (mostly) in our culture, although other cultures have had and do have different norms regarding what functions as marriage. As far as the natural aspects in other species, that varies. Some other species mate for life, others have multiple partners each time they reproduce and so on.

      I’m straight and only attracted to women, so the “one man-one woman” deal is all that I am personally interested in. However, society is not for me alone and I am obligated to respect the legitimate rights of other folks.

      ” The fruits of these relationships, by nature, is offspring. This will always be so”

      What about married couples who chose not to have kids or cannot do so? Are their marriages less valid than those of people who have kids?

      “People can call marriage whatever they want I suppose….we can have polygamy and polyandry as well, if we wish to recognize these forms of marriages too…these “experiments in living”, as Mill called them.”

      My view, expressed in another post, is that we should have a variety of “marriages.” One would be a religious marriage which would be handled by the various faiths and another would be a civil merger-essentially a set of legal rights and relationships that allow people to designate such things as who can visit them in the hospital and so on.

      “But a society that will legalize baby killing (i.e., abortion on demand) doesn’t always care much about ethics, justice, and equality when it comes to the lives and worth of some human individuals…”

      I would not take it as baby killing-after all Augustine noted that humans go through stages as they gestate (a living thing, an animal and finally a man). But I do have a strong moral preference against killing.

      • FRE said, on May 9, 2012 at 4:42 pm

        “What about married couples who chose not to have kids or cannot do so? Are their marriages less valid than those of people who have kids?”

        Perhaps those who oppose same-sex marriage on the basis that the relationship cannot produce children would also oppose opposite-sex marriages of people who are beyond the child bearing age.

      • dhammett said, on May 9, 2012 at 5:07 pm

        “My view, expressed in another post, is that we should have a variety of ‘marriages.’ One would be a religious marriage which would be handled by the various faiths. . .”

        In this variety , would each religion’s genetic makeup determine the specific requirements of its marriage? If so, for a quick, painless solution, homosexuals could establish a legitimate church of their own. Having a church be declared legitimate in these United States doesn’t seem to be a difficult task. Wicca and Scientology qualify for tax purposes. Catholics and even Muslims (if some are to be believed) can be elected president. This fall we’ll find out if a Mormon can fulfill the American dream and become president.

        http://www.t-tlaw.com/cf-14.htm

        Once the Homosexual Church of North America is established, the marriage procedures can be established. The worst (or best) that could happen would be if some state(s) challenged the legitimacy of the church and the whole issue would reach the Supreme Court to be judged by the Great Five v Four.

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on May 10, 2012 at 11:48 am

          As you note, the bar for establishing a religion is rather low (as it must be-imagine if a faith had to provide a rational level of objective evidence for its claims and tenets). As such, I’m sure that the HCNA could be up and rolling quickly. They could even fire straight people legally because being straight would violate their tenets of faith.

        • FRE said, on May 10, 2012 at 6:18 pm

          dhammett, Apparently you are unaware of the Metropolitan Community Church, a church which has existed for several decades. Basically, it is a church for gay men and women. My knowledge of it is limited, but since you are interested, you can find more information via the Internet.

          • dhammett said, on May 10, 2012 at 6:33 pm

            FRE: I would not characterize my post as a demonstration of interest. I was merely suggesting a “solution” to the ongoing controversy over gay marriage based on the Dr’s suggestion (5/9 4:28pm) of a type of “religious marriage. . . handled by the various faiths.” If his suggestion could be implemented in a church/faith that already exists, say the Metropolitan Community Church, that would be fine.

            • FRE said, on May 10, 2012 at 7:46 pm

              Dhammett,

              As I stated in another post, governments should get completely out of the marriage business and provide only civil unions. Marriage should be treated as a religious rite and it would be the responsibility of individual religious organizations to establish their own criteria for the rite of marriage. That would solve the problem. However, it would be very difficult to get U.S. governments out of the marriage business.

              The MCC is not the only church which supports same-sex marriage; there are others and the number is growing. However, their support for same-sex marriage does not always mean that they perform them; some have yet to establish a liturgy or procedure for same-sex marriages, but that is a temporary problem.

              There are some opposite-sex couples who, as a demonstration of support for same-sex couples, have vowed to put off marriage until marriage is also available for same-sex couples.

              I find it extremely disturbing that so many black clergy are adamantly opposed to same-sex marriage. Apparently they do not want to acknowledge that many gay men and women marched in favor of equal rights for blacks. I would be less disturbed if they opposed same-sex marriages only within their religious organizations but supported making same-sex non-religious marriage available. As I see it, by opposing non-religious same-sex marriage, they are straying from the principal of separation of church and state. Some even oppose civil unions.

  3. urbannight said, on May 9, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Reblogged this on Urbannight's Blog and commented:
    Another MUST SHARE blog today.

  4. FRE said, on May 9, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    As usual, religious fundamentalists continue to make fabulous statements (using the original definition of fabulous). The fact is that throughout history, marriage has changed many times. The ancient Hebrews often had polygamous marriages, and there is no place where the Bible states that marriage must be between only two persons, yet the fabulous statements by fundamentalists assert otherwise.

    But why should governments have anything to do with marriage anyway? Religious organizations consider marriage to be a religious rite, and there is no need for governments to become involved. Governments can provide non-religious civil unions so religious people would then, if desired, have a religious marriage sanctioned by the religious organization of their choice and, to avail themselves of legal benefits, also have a civil union registered by the government. Non-religious people would simply have a civil union and forgo the religious rite. Religious organizations would have their own criteria for marriage. Actually, that is the present situation in a number of countries in which governments do not recognize religious marriages and religious organizations do not recognize unions performed by governments. But fundamentalists, without a shred of supporting evidence, insist that same-sex marriage would undermine “traditional” opposite sex marriage.

    In the Episcopal parish of which I am a member, there are a number of same-sex couples. The Episcopal Church is currently working on a liturgy to marry same-sex couples.

    At one time, the fulminating fundamentalists continually falsely asserted that same-sex relationships never lasted, then they diligently went about doing everything possible to undermine same-sex relationships. When cities began to enact laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, the opposition asserted that such legislation would cause gay men and women to migrate en mass to those cities. Of course, it never happened. These people have lied over and over again to support their condemnation of gay men and women. One of their most evil false assertions was, “They can’t reproduce, therefore they have to recruit.” To them, the Commandment against bearing false witness is not particularly important; they tend to be very Machiavellian and believe that where suppressing gay men and women is concerned, the end always justifies the means. Their unGodly behavior is such that they are causing even heterosexuals to turn away from organized religions and causing a growing number of people to see all organized religion as hypocritical, which is unfortunate, because while hypocrisy in organized religion is common, it is far from universal.

    • dhammett said, on May 9, 2012 at 5:42 pm

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/25/divorce-rates-by-state-ne_n_935868.html#s338931&title=Arkansas

      “There are 10.2 divorces per 1000 men in the South (defined by the Census as Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North and South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas) and 11.1 per 1000 women–above the national average of 9.2 for men and 9.7 for women in 2009. In the Northeast (defined as Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania) the rate is 7.2 per 1000 for men and 7.5 per 1,000 for women in 2009. Two notable exceptions are Alaska and Maine–two states where divorce rates for men and women rank in the top 10.
      “‘Divorce rates tend to be higher in the South because marriage rates are also higher in the South,’ Diana Elliott, a family demographer at the Census Bureau, said in a statement. ‘In contrast, in the Northeast, first marriages tend to be delayed and the marriage rates are lower, meaning there are also fewer divorces.’

      Gay migration. Does this huffpost article give us some hinthat gays have been flooding into the “top 10” states for a while now? Are Alaska and Maine noted for their many large cities? Has Texas’ state motto taken on a whole new meaning? I wonder if the population growth in the top 10 is grinding to a halt because so few couples are having sex for reproductive purposes? I doubt the fundamentalists you refer have considered the barest facts of the matter.

      • Michael LaBossiere said, on May 10, 2012 at 11:51 am

        Being from Maine, I can assure you that we don’t have many large cities. We do, however, have moose.

    • FRE said, on May 10, 2012 at 6:13 pm

      The writer of the linked-to article asserts that those supporting same-sex marriage should show respect for those opposing it. Should people opposed to slavery and all its horrors have shown respect for those who supported slavery?

      Contrary to what the writer states, those supporting same-sex marriage are not opposed to opposite-sex marriage and have no intention to do anything to undermine it.

      • magus71 said, on May 10, 2012 at 8:54 pm

        Not allowing gay marriage is akin to slavery? Some would say marriage is akin to slavery.

        • dhammett said, on May 10, 2012 at 10:30 pm

          “Some would say marriage is akin to slavery.”
          Apparently at least some of the “some” are not gay.

          “Should people opposed to slavery and all its horrors have shown respect for those who supported slavery?”
          How did you get “Not allowing gay marriage is akin to slavery?” from that statement?

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on May 11, 2012 at 9:51 am

          True-not allowing gay marriage is not morally equivalent to slavery. A closer analogy would be when mixed race marriage was illegal in the US.

      • Michael LaBossiere said, on May 11, 2012 at 9:49 am

        Some folks who are against same sex marriage do so on principled grounds-that is, they have engaged the issue, considered it and have come to a conclusion through a legitimate process of reasoning. While I think they are in error, I do believe that they should be afforded respect to the degree they extend respect to others. Naturally, folks who just oppose it irrationally have not earned respect for their position.

        • FRE said, on May 11, 2012 at 4:27 pm

          But is it even possible for them to extend respect to others when they deny others the right to same-sex marriage? It would seem that extending respect to others would require them to permit same-sex marriages while disagreeing that it is appropriate, which is not what they are doing.

          Perhaps you could start a blog on Romney’s gang-bullying a kid and lopping off his hair with scissors and question the likelihood that one could fail to remember doing it. Obviously that should be in a different thread.

          • Michael LaBossiere said, on May 12, 2012 at 3:00 pm

            Will do. There are some unsubstantiated rumors that Romney was practicing to be a hair dresser…but no one has confirmed that.

            • FRE said, on May 12, 2012 at 3:39 pm

              I wouldn’t care if a presidential candidate were practicing to be a hair dresser. There is nothing wrong with being a hair dresser, just as there is nothing wrong with being a barber or a movie actor. However, I doubt that that is intended to be taken seriously.

            • Anonymous said, on May 12, 2012 at 6:33 pm

              I think Mike may have been referring to Romney’s apparent obsession with gel. Even in a hurricane ,it seems, not a hair could be displaced.

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on May 14, 2012 at 3:30 pm

              Good hair is important for a CEO.

            • FRE said, on May 12, 2012 at 9:11 pm

              Perhaps he uses lacquer. That used to be popular in Japan.

  5. dhammett said, on May 10, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    “I think that the two sides in this debate, as in abortion, as in a lot of other unresolvable social issues deserve respect.”

    To put it bluntly: “No shit, Dick Tracy. ” The following spewed from the mouth of the man who may have become king of the republic and of the Republican party–if his opponent hadn’t outspent him. Rick S. He said gay sexuality was similar to “You know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be.” Now that, Mr. Krauthammer, is respect. . . 😦 To put that “respect” into perspective, Rush Limbaugh said, “Everybody is guilty of some transgression somewhere against conservatism,except Santorum.”
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/richard-schiffman/rick-santorum-statements_b_1293657.html

    “Whereas I think he ought to say to the country, a difficult decision, each side ought to respect the other and not demonize them.”

    The response he got when he took a position on the so-called”9/11 Mosque” was just another good example of where this “balanced” respectful approach would likely lead.
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38702141/ns/politics-white_house/t/obama-slammed-praised-backing-nyc-mosque/#.T6vzeVKQOfs

    • dhammett said, on May 10, 2012 at 1:11 pm

      Oh–That comment was directed at the Krauthammer article linked in magus’ 5/10 8:12am post.

    • magus71 said, on May 10, 2012 at 9:00 pm

      By the way Dick Tracy, I’ve never said gay marriage should be illegal and neither has Krauthammer. This is about the 20th article Mike’s written on the subject, and you won’t see any comment of mine saying it should be illegal.

      • dhammett said, on May 10, 2012 at 10:37 pm

        By the way. Who said you “said gay marriage should be illegal?” Cite the line where I said that please. If you can, I’ll apologize. Otherwise, you owe me one or two.

    • magus71 said, on May 10, 2012 at 9:02 pm

      You’re drifting off subject. Your Limbaugh obsession is getting the best of you.

      • dhammett said, on May 10, 2012 at 10:59 pm

        Who provided the original the Krauthammer reference? I merely responded to the article.

        Here the “drift” of the response:
        a/Limbaugh lauding Santorum for his pure conservatism.
        b/Santorum trashing gays. If we are to believe Rush, Santorum is merely following his pure conservative inclinations.
        c/Krauthammer, in the article you provided, calling for “respect” on both sides of the debate. Trash is not respect. Respect should travel both ways. Rush and Rick are merely minor examples of why Krauthammer’s call for respect is likely doomed to failure.

  6. T. J. Babson said, on May 10, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    If gays want to get married, let them. Common law marriages, custody battles, community property, divorces, the whole thing. Give them total equality, no more and no less.

    • dhammett said, on May 11, 2012 at 9:33 am

      You make it sound like marriage between two heterosexuals is a terrible undertaking (Psst! It’s not!), what with its “custody battles, community property, divorces, the whole thing.” Makes one wonder why homosexuals would want to participate in such folly—or, for that matter, why many heterosexuals have fought to keep it for themselves for lo these many centuries.

      I’m not sure I’ve heard reports of any homosexuals asking for “less” than “total equality”. Have you?

      • Michael LaBossiere said, on May 11, 2012 at 9:57 am

        Interestingly, straight marriage has been declining and I’ve seen an increase in articles contending that marriage is a bad idea for people.
        Marriage does have a lot of legal perks, but it also has some major downsides-mainly losing half your stuff when the divorce comes. That is one reason why I have argued for a different sort of legal union in which people specify rights and financial obligations before forming a union. True, people can do this now with a pre-nup, but my view is that people should be able to create those legal links with anyone they desire, just like people can form business agreements (which is what marriage is, at least legally).

        • FRE said, on May 11, 2012 at 4:37 pm

          The main threat to “traditional” marriage is not permitting same-sex marriage. Rather, it is the difficulty people have in making marriages work. Those who are (rightly) concerned with the failure of “traditional” marriage should work to establish better education about human relationships and money management. Encouraging pre-marital counseling and marriage counseling would also help. Having periodic marriage check-ups before problems become obvious would be a good idea.

          Here is a link to a program intended to help people improve their marriages:

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

          Although that program is intended for religious people, there should be similar programs for people who are not religious.


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