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June 15, 2006

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Frederick Hamilton

Hinla,

Thank you for the reasoned response. Sadly, some of the responders articulate mean spirited statements such as "Frederick, I won't call you names, but I think you are full of sh*t when you say you don't have animus toward gays."

The subject of homosexual tolerance and same sex marriage does bring out the worst in people.

Americans have become quite tolerant of homosexual behavior. Remarkably so. Behavioral tolerance is one thing. Taking the behavior to the level of a civil right or constitutional right becomes an arguable situation indeed. A political one to be sure.

I don't necessarily have a problem with the federalist approach to defining marriage and leaving it up to the individual states. With the caveat that the Defense of Marriage Act is constitutional and Utah for instance does not have to recognize a same sex marriage from New York.

If the DOMA is challenged under the full faith clause etc and determined unconstitutional then indeed there would need to be a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage. If that is what the American people want. It is ultimately we the peoples call. If forced by courts and judges to act, the American people might just act. The beauty of our constitutional form or government. Judges don't have the last word. We do.

I was also asked "Can you justify your position without resorting to religion? Do you have a legitimate, non-religious basis for your view?" Well as a matter of fact I do have any number of non-religous reasons why same sex marriages should be proscribed. Many sociological reasons why same sex partners should not be raising children for instance. But the nature of the question does indicate a good reason why many Americans feel religion in general and Christianity in particular are under assault. Lest any forget, our nation was founded based on our inalienable rights. Rights derived not from government but from our creator. I know many would like to make seperation of church and state a true wall and not simply the forbidding of government from establishing a religion. Sorry. From a political standpoint do you think it even possible but for one or two congressional districts to elect anyone running for office if they were either atheists or openly antagonistic to religion? Let's get real here. You won't win any legal arguments by denigrating the vast majority of Americans who believe in a higher authority than our three branches of government.

Again, ultimately the American people will agree or not agree to sanction same sex marriage. Courts and judges are simply one step in the definitional process. If the courts and judges stray too far, bringing them into line may take amending the U.S. constitution. States have passed with over %70 approval amendments to their state constitutions by defining marriage as between one man and one woman only to see a misguided federal judge rule the state amendment "unconstitutional". If you disagreed with that federal judge, what would you do?


The Law Fairy

Frederick, the following quote from you leaves open some disturbing possibilities:

"If that is what the American people want. It is ultimately we the peoples call."

Do you mean to say that if "we" decide that discrimination based on race or ethnicity is something "we" want, it should be legal? That can't be right.

And you didn't answer Hinla's question, which was a valid one: what are these "non-religious" and "sociological" reasons for not allowing gay people to marry or raise children? There's an obvious reason that they should be allowed to: there are plenty of kids jumping from foster home to foster home, feeling like they don't belong anywhere and, sadly, like no one loves them enough to give them a real home. As a society, we can let these kids remain wards of the state (with the associated higher rates of delinquency and eventually criminality), or we can give them over to a loving, stable, moneyed couple -- both of whom happen to be of the same sex. The obvious answer is that it's better for the kids to have a stable home. Since there are so many good, non-religious, sociological reasons for disallowing this, how about you indulge us and name just one?

Your rhetoric about Christianity is similarly misplaced. Surely you don't mean to claim that you speak for all of Christendom. I and a large number of other Christians would beg to differ with you. I agree with you that our country was founded on religious principles -- but having laws rooted in largely Judeo-Christian ethics is a giant, moon-sized leap away from declaring the supremacy of fundamentalist dogma in the political arena. As you yourself must certainly know, there are hundreds of Christian denominations, most of which have views that differ in one or another important aspect from yours. So who should we, as a country, listen to? I would think that God would cause things to go his way in his own time, so really there's no reason to worry. I mean, hey, if the gays get marriage, Armageddon comes that much quicker, right? Then you can be in heaven and not have to worry about any of this -- so, really, you should be welcoming these changes.

hinla

Frederick, thanks again for your post. My thoughts:

- I'm glad we can agree on some points. For example, I'm glad we agree that marriage law should be left to the states. I also agree that, if DOMA were found to be unconstitutional, that would complicate the debate.

- I'm going to follow your lead and consider public opinion. You state that 70 percent of Americans oppose same-sex marriage. I'm not sure that statistic is correct. In the Gallup poll published on May 11, 2006, only 58 percent of Americans opposed same-sex marriage; only 50 percent supported the FMA. Within the 18-39 age group, 51 percent of respondents SUPPORTED same-sex marriage.

- When California legalized interracial marriage in 1948, 90 percent of Americans opposed interracial marriage. (See Gail Mathabane, "Gays Face Same Battle Interracial Couples Fought," USA Today, Jan. 25, 2004.) I'm glad that our country did not pass a federal amendment banning interracial marriage, despite the enormous opposition to interracial marriage at the time. Just as public opinion on interracial marriage changed, all polls show that public opinion on same-sex marriage is changing. Out of respect for the Constitution and its permanence, I don't think we should amend the Constitution when public opinion on the amendment's issue is still so volatile.

- I think it's important to point out that one does not need to be atheist, nor does one need to believe in a "true wall" between church and state, to support same-sex marriage. A significant and growing number of religious communities welcome same-sex couples qua same-sex couples. To many people, it is precisely religious principles that inspires them to support same-sex marriage.

- Finally, I think we've gotten a bit side-tracked from Prof. Stone's post, which was on employment discrimination. (I definitely don't object to the digression; I've very much enjoyed this dialog!) To tie Prof. Stone's topic back to our shared concern for "we the people," I think we should note that 89 percent of respondents to the May Gallup poll supported protection against sexual orientation discrimination in employment contexts.

Frederick Hamilton

Hinla,

My polling numbers are the polling numbers that are real. Numbers accumulated not with carefully worded questions over the phone but numbers arrived at with the only polling that counts. Percentages determined at the polling places where citizens deliver the true poll numbers. Of all ballot questions throughout the country, citizens have rejected same sex marriages by %71 on average. Even Gallup would acknowledge that all polls regarding the presidential or congressional elections become invalid once the real votes are counted. I am more than happy to put same sex state constitutional amendments up on all 50 state ballots and let the chips fall where they may.

Comparing inter-racial marriage with same sex marriage is not a fair comparison. Even though "polls" suggested %90 of Americans were against inter-racial marriage, it was not reality. (so much for polls except the polling booth) Different races can make wonderful beautiful babies. Same sex unions outside the plant world are not so fortunate. The hurdle of same sex marriage approval causes many in the country to seek a constitutional solution. I don't think any such thoughts regarding inter-racial marriage gained an inch of traction. Again, apples and oranges. Profound differences in the two situations.

I hope I didn't give the impression that all Christians are not comfortable with same sex marriages. And as per a response above, I don't claim to speak for Christiandom. I am simply making the point that to denigrate religous folks is wrong morally and a disaster politically. But if those of you out there want to do it, have at it. Most electoral groups will take you to task at the real polling events every two years.

The country hasn't gotten over Roe v. Wade (a decision that many legal scholars right and left think was a bad legal decision). Misguided judges thought they had the answer to a very contentious societal issue and they could decide it better than the people and the individual states. Wrong.

I see same sex marriage headed down the same judicial track to the same detriment to the country and with a similar horribly divisive effect on the nation. Time will tell.

Frederick Hamilton

Hinla,

I am sorry, I forgot to address Prof Stones point. Actually with my first post I did. I am not against any legislation proscribing discrimination against homosexuals or homosexual relationships as long as the legislation is explicit that it does not cover marriage and is not simply a back door attempt to legalize same sex marriage.

Louis Kessler

The only issue is this: if a same sex couple lives together and raises kids together and has a family unit togeher, should they enjoy equal protection of the law with respect to marriage rights? Sex acts and bizzare notions of order are irrelevant.

Both efficiency and justice say yes. Fearful, alienated, religious bigory say no. Polls simply do not matter. The opinion of the masses does not matter. This is a constitutional issue. This is not a issue to be left for states as a cop out, or the ignorant public. Get your religion out of the constitution an let people be free.You and I have no right to tell a functionally married couple they'll have to go to court to gain and enforce the same rights that hetero spouces enjoy. It makes no sense if you are willing to allow the existence of monogamous same sex couples who raise children together.

What profound alienation exists in the souls of so many U of C graduates. What hubris to impose their irrational relgious views on others without a blink. Depressing really.
The opiate of the masses indeed.

hinla

Frederick,

- I agree to disagree with you on the status of American public opinion. While I agree that a majority of Americans may currently oppose same-sex marriage, I don't think your figure is accurate because states that have had ballot measures are not representative of the rest of the country; there is sample bias.

- Please correct me if I am wrong -- you seem to suggest that, if courts write opinions that are unpopular, they are "misguided" and activist. That troubles me. Taking separation of powers serious, I think courts would be misguided precisely if they let public opinion cloud their judgment. The judiciary is not a political branch, no?

- With that said, can you offer a constitutional argument on why you think judges who legalize same-sex marriage would be misguided? As a legal matter, your point on procreation doesn't stick. Contemporary constitutional jurisprudence has entirely divorced (haha) marriage law from procreational requirements/interests. For background on this jurisprudence, I suggest Prof. Case's article in the Minnesota Law Review.

You may disagree with contemporary constitutional jurisprudence on marriage, but that does not mean that judges who apply that precedent to the same-sex marriage question are being misguided or activist.

- Finally, you distinguish between interracial couples and same-sex couples (not that the two categories are mutually exclusive) based on the fact that interracial couples can procreate. But why is this so? Why is the emphasis on procreation and not child-rearing? As Law Fairy pointed out, same-sex couples often successfully rear the beautiful children that opposite-sex couples fail to rear successfully. Again, I point you to Judith Stacey and Timothy Biblarz's literature review for a summary of the sociological studies that show just how loving and capable gay parents have been.

Louis Kessler

Frederick,
In case you thought your attempt to ground your bigotry in ethics rather than faith was a good one, let me point out to you that there are plenty of hetero couples who cannot procreate. Should we deny them the ability to marry (even should they be living together and raising adopted children together?)

And "sociological reasons?" Besides the glaring oversight of giving none, I promise you whaterver statistics you were to scrape together, I could find you far more damning ones for poor people or people with clinical depression or children of divorce. I promise you the children of the poor have it far, far worse than chidren of same sex couples from a sociological perspective. But if you want to go down that road, feel free. You will lose. (although as far as I can tell prohibiting poor people from marrying might be right up your alley)

But your poor attempt at actually basing law on reason aside, you seem to fail to recognize that monogamnous same sex couples raising children already exist in every state of the Union. The only issue here is whether we afford these families the same presumptive rights that hetero families get when they file papers with the state.

Your arguments tend to support why you think we should not allow same sex people to live together or share in child raising duties. It is way to late for that. The only issue is essentially of equal protection. Do you want to continue to require formal adoption proceedings when a same sex parent dies and the one without custody of children is left? Do you want social security benefits to end for a family whose custodial and working parent dies? Given that same sex families exist, would you prefer that insurance benefits still only go to hetero stay at home parents?

Marriage isn't that big a deal from a legal perspective, it just makes life easier and more efficient for all. Either you are against efficiency and minimizing legal transaction costs, or you are so shelterd that you have no idea that there are thousands and thousands of families out there with same sex parents.


Frederick Hamilton

Hinla and Louis,

Please. Can't one be against same sex marriage and not be a bigot? You tarnish your own cause with the epithets. I have stated I don't oppose legislation at the federal level that Prof Stone advocates as long as it is not a back door way into same sex marriage.

As to "unpopular" decisions of courts. Of course courts must make unpopular decisions based on the constitution at times. The misguided decision making I spoke of was specifically of Roe v. Wade. There are some bright talented well intentioned non bigoted law profs at the U of C and across this land that believe it was very wrong headed and misguided. We have been paying the "political" consequences of that decision now for 30 odd years. Painfully so.

Can I site constitutional law that makes my argument against same sex marriage. You bet. The same wrong headed constitutional reasoning that elevated abortion to a court problem and not a "people" problem. The pnumbra's aren't there either for same sex marriage. Actually, the 10th Amendment might be a good place to start..."The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

And I am sorry to so disappoint you about ultimate authority, but it resides with we the people. Unless of course Article V has suddenly vanished from the Constitution. If we ignorant rubes not wearing judicial robes decide in two thirds of the states we want to change the constitution, I believe we can. Am I wrong? I this a government of we the people or not? Why do you denigrate the collective will of the people.

Finally, it would be nice to respect what our founding fathers put together. My interpretation of the Constitution tells me it is the people with ultimate authority. Not any one of the three branches of government we have developed with our Constitution. So Louis, I find your comment "This is not a issue to be left for states as a cop out, or the ignorant public." offensive and completely off the Constitutional mark and an insult to the Constitution and a free Republic.

Louis Kessler

You didn't respond to anything Frederick.

"Can't one be against same sex marriage and not be a bigot?"

Sure if you can give me *any* foundation for your belief that doesn't derive its authority irrationally from religious doctrine. It is called ethical reasoning. Your attempts thus far have been, well, not up to U of C standards.

(Hell I'd love you to justify your abortion beliefs too without resorting to religion. Keep in mind Jews don't believe life starts till birth).

And if your argument has resorted to "well the masses can amend the constitution" or "well the whole privacy rights thing is wrong and that aspect of constitutional jurisprudence has gone to far" might I point out that the constitution does include privacy rights as of right now, and does include equal protection, whether you'd like to amend the constitution or ignore some not so recent decisions.

So basically what you are saying is that you only like the constitution when it supports your vision of what the constitution was and should be, not what it is, from an objective legal standpoint.

You argument now ths boils down to:

If I want to amend the constituion to scale back and or limit our civil rights for the first time in our history (save the prohibition amendment, which notably was later reversed) it is the people's perogative. True dat. We can amend the constitution to make the bible the supreme law of the land. I'm not sure where that leaves us in terms of ethical arguments, but it would sure solve all your deficiencies in your legal thinking.

Granted we can amend the constitution and granted you hate privacy rights and wish the constitution was something other than what it is today, what argunments are you left with? The same goes for slavery. We could also amend the constitution to allow slavery again. Maybe create second class citizenship for all muslims? I'll bet that would be popular right now.

Just admit you have no ethical arguments to advance on the subject. That you cannot justify your bigotry without resorting to the teachings of your cult. It is just that simple.


hinla

Frederick,

Just to be clear, I've never accused you of being a bigot =) In fact, I think our discussion has been productive because I see that I agree with you on several points!

For example, I agree that there are well-articulated critiques of Roe v. Wade coming from the left. To me, the most persuasive of those arguments is that reproductive rights should have been left to the states. Even though I am pro-choice, I can see how one can argue that Roe v. Wade compromised our constitutional commitment to federalism.

The way I see it, FMA would do the same thing that Roe v. Wade arguably did. It would trample on states' rights.

I understand how some argue that Roe v. Wade was too far removed from the Constitution's text. (I disagree on that point, but can see how it is reasoned.) However, to be consistent, I think we should recognize that the freedom to marry (same-sex or opposite-sex) is also far removed from the Constitution's text, no? So would you conclude that the Court has been wrong to suggest that there is a consitutional right to marry?

Once the government engages in the business of marriage, equal protection is implicated. Clearly, equal protection is part of the Constition.

Finally, I agree with you that if "ignorant rubes" in two-thirds of the states want to amend the constitution, they can. As noted above, I don't agree with you that there is enough public support for the FMA, though. (I think the Senate's recent vote on the FMA is telling.) Moreover, I disagree with the normative arguments that underpin the FMA.

Louis Kessler

So just to review:

We are trying to find a legitimate ETHICAL argument for prohibiting gay marriage. One that does not require you to establish your religious views as the law of the land.

So far we have been offered:

1. Anal sex is a "disordered urge"
response: Anal sex is legal and a matter of personal privacy and has nothing to do with the gay marriage issue.

2. Sociological factors
response: whatever sociological factors you find about the children of same sex couples, I can find far worse about the chidren of poor parents, and uless you are willing to prohibit the poor from amrrying and raising children this argument fails.

3. Procreation
response: we allow same sex couple well past the age of being able to reproduce to marry, adn we allow same sex couples who cannot reproduce biologically to marry.


Anything else? Anyone? Some kind of externalities you can point to to justify your position as something other than religious bigotry?

It is granted the people have the power to amend the constitution to allow the killing of gays if they so please. That is not much of an argument.

On the side of allowing gay marriage:

1. efficiency
same sex couples exists and they do raise children together already. Not allowing them marriage status results in unneeded legal costs and inefficiencies.

2. decency and equal protection
allowing same sex marriage would finally recognize that people of the same sex do fall in love and establish exculsive intimate relationships and raise children together whether we like it or not. Doing so would be consistent with the spirit of the equal protection clause. Doing so would be consistent with upholding decency, autonomy and indiciuald choice.


"there is nothing to fear but fear itself"

profound words.

God knows who feels frightened and in whose soul lives hatred for people who are different. being worthy of love, respect and mutual recognition are not functions race or sexual orientation, I can promise you that.

Frederick Hamilton

Hinla and Louis,

Agreed. You didn't. Now Louis, he is a different bloke.

Also agreed. Marriage is very far removed from the Constitution. I have read the Constitution probably every 6 months or so. Wonderful document. Can't find marriage or abortion anywhere in the document. In fact abortion and marriage are so far removed from the Constitution that for the Supremes to try societal engineering with their "misguided over-reaching" has caused untold pain and fury on both sides of the issue. Sadly.

Just as Roe v. Wade should have been left to the states, so should same sex marriage. I know I shouldn't quote Scalia to you (liberal? pro-choice you say) but he is totally correct when he states that the mores and values of judges should be kept at home and federal judges are no better at correct moral decision making and thinking than you or I.

Sure equal protection is in the Constitution. Marriage isn't. Governments are involved in marriage because laws are written with respect to marriage. However, that does not mean the federal government gets to define what a marriage is. Best to allow the states and the people to decide. Fine people can disagree on that. That's OK.

Now Louis, please stop the ad hominm attacks on religion. It makes you the bigot, not me. Whatever my religous beliefs my reasoning on abortion and same sex marriage really do relate to a more constrained interpretation of the Constitution than you hold. I don't think that makes me a religous zealot. If you want to argue homosexual relationships should include marriage and it is a matter of privacy rights or civil rights, go for it. If I disagree based on what I think the Constitution says about marriage (nothing really) and that it should be a state or indiviual issue, that is a fair position. Not a bigoted one. I always am amazed that the most truly vituperative and intolerant seem to spring from the "anti-religous zealots" i.e "That you cannot justify your bigotry without resorting to the teachings of your cult." or, "Sure if you can give me *any* foundation for your belief that doesn't derive its authority irrationally from religious doctrine." or, "Hell I'd love you to justify your abortion beliefs too without resorting to religion. Keep in mind Jews don't believe life starts till birth". Come on Louis. All your rants against religion and faith make you look a little addled. Let's see, such horrible people as Pope John Paul II, Mother Theresa among others were deeply worried and involved in the culture of life. I certainly am keeping some pretty sick company aren't I. Oh by the way, I am against the death penalty also. That must really make me a demented sicko. God's speed Louis and I hope and pray you'll someday find religion. It'll be good for your temperment.

Louis Kessler

Still you have not answered anything. Please do respond, or just admit you are trying to establish your religion as the law of the land if you cannot justify your beliefs ethically. You seem unable to do so.

It is not a ridiculous thing to ask someone in our country to be able to justify policy decisions based on ethical reasoning. If you don't get that, perhaps you should read the constitution a little closer? I'm just looking for non-religious based arguments for the policies you proffer. If you can't justify your position without resorting to a particular religious doctrine, then, well you lose the argument.

I admit I am a biogot. I look down upon people who would impose their irrational religious beliefs on others as a matter of law. Religion in the modern world is ruining the world and making it a dangerous place. People like you are ruining our country and undermining the secular nature of our legal sytem. It is downright scary. It is the sign of a poor and dangerous thinking.

I am someone who takes the enlightenment seriously. I believe in reason. I belive in higher unkown and unknowable powers, not instituionalized religious doctrine. I know you may find it hard to belive, but as a scientist, anyone who believes the Universe is only 6000 years old does not deserve my respect as a thinker, and certainly not as a giver of laws.

So I'll ask you again, either give me sound ethical reasoning or simply admit you are trying to impose your religion on others as a matter of law.

How many chances do you need? Or was your last post an admission you seek to establish your particular religious views a the law of the land?

P.S.

Knowing what the constitution says requires reading interpretations of the constitution in case law. Insofar that is true, the constitution has plenty to say about privacy and freedom from interference from the government regarding behaviors that do not affect others. It says *volumes* about whether a religious zealot can impose his morality on others.

The Law Fairy

Louis, I'm curious where you derive your ethics from if not from some religious authority. I understand and agree that people can be moral and ethical without being religious, I am just curious how you manage it. It is not fair of you at all to lump all religious people together. If you've paid attention to my posts here or if you've ever visited my blog you'll see an example of how enlightened many modern Christians are.

Further, Louis, being a bigot of any sort is far from admirable. Your absolutist reaction to Frederick is reminiscent of an evangelical fundamentalist's reaction to things like abortion and same-sex marriage. Blind judgmentalism of ANY sort will get us nowhere. I agree with you that Frederick does not have a strong argument, but that is no reason to be disrespectful. Frederick, though his logic is imperfect, has not made any ad hominem attacks. Sadly, I cannot say the same for you.

hinla

This was my first foray into blog-commenting. I really enjoyed myself! However, I'm gonna sign off for now since I'm swamped at work.

Before doing so, however, I want to express my concurrence with Law Fairy's last comment. Frederick, even though we seem to have very different worldviews, I'm glad that you and I were able to debate with civility. I'm also glad that we were able to reach some middle ground, e.g., a shared respect for states' rights. I also admire the fact that, although you disapprove of same-sex marriage, you would support anti-discrimination legislation.

I hope to blog some more with you all in the future!

Louis Kessler

Rawls or Kant or Hegel or even Nussbaum and Sen would be good starts to get an idea of from where I derive my secular sense of ethics.

Oh, I'm not being that disrespectful. I'm not even a bigot. I'm as judeochristian as secular people come. I believe in love, humility and monogamy and there is plenty of room for faith in my world. Lord knows Nietzche might be right and all this love stuff might be a joke. It is certainly hard to suport love and mutual respect, decency, and recognition as ethical ideals without a little faith in human goodness.

I'm actually quite critical of homosexuality in my personal philosophy (I think it is a symptom of gender alienation which itself is a subset of capitalist/class alienation in my worldview - but I'm not so disgusting as to impose my views on others as a legal matter)

And I'm only being harsh becasue it makes absolutely no sense to be against gay marriage but to allow for the freedom to live in mongamous homosexual relationships and even raise children, or even go so far and thoughtlessly say I'm for civil unions but not gay marrigae. You can say you are not a bigot and that you are not motivated by animus to want to ban gay marriage or allow some states to ban gay marriage, but it is simply not true. It is modern day discrimination, and as such should be eliminated from our legal system.

It may be true you are'nt motivated by animus if you have rational arguments for your positions, if you can justify your beliefs based on ethics and not religious morals. But that certainly does not seem to be the case here.

Don't be so shocked at outrage. Outrage is necessary to motivate poor thinkers and dark souls over to the side of decency all the time. People who live in irrational comfort zones and always engage others in quiet respectful way tend to be tools of the status quo, certainly that is the case with Christian fundamentalists who will smile and be polite as they secretly delight in the knowledge that others not like them will burn in eternal hellfire, and as they work to undermine the establishment clause and vilify the Judicial branch of the government for simply doing its job.

I have to be careful with my words and arguments in real life. You'll excuse me if I get upset when I see a self-righteous bigot claim he is not a bigot, even though his urge to discriminate can't be grounded in anything other than the irrational authority of organized religion.


The Law Fairy

Louis, you said in your previous post in response to Frederick that you are a bigot, and in your post just now that you are not, so I hope you'll forgive my confusion.

I, too, have a lot of anger, Louis -- mostly deriving from the unequal and disrespectful treatment to which I've been subjected in my life because of my sex (which is different, by the way, from gender). I've found that anger and outrage do very little to help me in my struggle to further my personal causes. Perhaps you have the benefit of being allowed to be angry because you are male -- but not all of us have that luxury and thus have found that the best way to mediate disputes is through courtesy and respect.

Anger tends to engender anger. And anger is not rational. So it seems to me that as someone who posits the supremacy of reason you would want to steer as far away from outrage as possible. But please, do point out to me how I am incorrect if you have found anger to be an effective debating strategy.

Louis Kessler

I'm quantum mechanical. I exist in states of pure potentiality until someone takes a measurement. I can be found in many various states at different times.

No I'm not a bigot. I treat everyone with respect and love in real life, and certainly with respect to my legal thinking and hope for freedom to actually mean something. I do have a special place in my scorn for religious zealots, as they are indeed ruining the world. I was just granting a counter-accusation of bigotry against religious people to dismiss the argument and move on to substance.

Indeed we still have yet to hear a legit argument as to why our governemnet should discriminate against same sex families and not uphold the equal protection of law by not allowing them to enjoy the rights and privileges of marreid couples.

A little emotion goes a long way in argument. It lets people know you are serious, it communicates things words and ideas can't. And when you are disgusted with obvious inconsistencies in thought that amounts to nothing but a call for discrimination against minority groups, a little anger and public shaming has on many occasions helped close-minded fearful people transcend their alienation a bit.

Showing honest emotion to people who have spent the vast majority of their lives psychologically protecting themseleves from sadness and mortality and the true human condition with promises of eternal life and love from ghosts, people who are removed from emotion, have overly developed egos, a worldview informed by what other people have told them, and who have not adequately examined their lives and the world around them using reason, showing emotions, even of disgust, is a effective way to reach someone who is so set in their irrational explanations for what the world is and how it should be. It shows that it is ok to be emotional, that there is nothing to be so scared of that you need to believe in far feteched stories to comfort you about your existential situation. This is especially true for the breed of alienated, overly- ambitious, sheltered, religious nerd that populated the U of C law school. If pychological protective structures need to come down, blasting them is often more effective than dismanteling them carefully. Some of these structures are seriously complex at this point.

I mean, if religion and a belief in God with intent and who meddles in human affairs would make my anger subside, I use that as evidence why religion is terrible. There is SO much to be angry about in this world. It is a profoundly unjust place full of discrimination and hatred of people who are different.

Bob

Louis,

Some of my thought about some of your statements...

"This isn't about the propriety of sex acts - that issue has already been decided as a constitutional matter"

This is my point; should it have had to have been decided as a constitutional matter? It's a private affair. And you are right, our laws are behind the times when it comes to same sex civil marriage.

"Wanting to breathe underwater is a disordered urge."
Is it? How so?

"Wanting to fly through the air at great speed is a disordered urge."
Is it? How so?

"Wanting to walk on the moon is a disordered urge.
Is it? How so?

"Wanting to breathe in smoke is a disordered urge."
Is it? How so?

"Cutting someone open to save their life is a disordered urge."
Is it? How so?

"Wanting a Louis Vuitton bag because every other bourgeois woman has one as a symbol of her wealth and status, that is a disordered urge."
Is it? How so?

Ordered urges it seems, as informed only by biological function, wouldn't leave much room for human flourishing (or bizzare consumption) now, would it?

You make my point better than I. You state that all of these examples are "disordered urges", as if everything and anything is a disordered urge, while at the same time implying that gay sex is normal. This is a fallacy. You define and use the phrase "disordered urge" in two different ways. Using this phrase, heterosexual sex is also disordered. Actually, there is nothing that is NOT disordered. You have made the phrase meaningless. This was my point.

"I'd hate to live in your world Bob with your poorly thought out notion of "order." As a physicist, Bob, I can reassure you that there is plenty of order and elegance in the Universe, but as an enlightened philosopher I regret to inform you that your sense of order is misinformed, small minded, and reeks of fearful submisson to the irational authority of overly-popular 2000-6000 year old religous cults."

Ah, I am sorry to have been so misinformed. Thank you, oh great god of wisdom, err, I mean, physicist for correcting my cultish thinking, the cult of science and philosophy, not withstanding.

"I do recommend trying to scuba dive one day; it is a profound and beautiful experience."

I’ve been scuba diving since 1984.

"Also Bob, while those who live in fear tend to have problems with love, should you ever get a girlfriend or wife, I also highly recommend anal sex. It can be great fun and most pleasurable for both you and her, disordered orafice and phallus alignement stipulated."

I have been married for 30 years and have raised three beautiful children. This bliss I live in did not require me to buttfuck my wife. I would invite you to do the same to a sheep, since you are an "anything goes kinda guy," but I think you probably already have. And again, this is the typical crap I hear from gays all the time...try it, you'll like it. I have another for you...try a woman, you'll like it.

"Man oh man, does the admissions department at my law school need to be fired. Whether because of Ashcroft or the staggering number of other fearful bigots I encountered there, it is hard sometimes to feel proud that I graduated from the U of C Law School."

Yes, people who can't deal with differing opinions often opt for censorship. I see where you are coming from now.

"The opinion of the masses does not matter."

The "masses," being the majority, doesn't matter? Ah yes, the elitist knows best for all of us. I am glad you are not the typical UoC grad.

"This is a constitutional issue."

Really? Where in the constitution does it make marriage of any kind fall under constitutional law? Stop ranting.

"This is not a issue to be left for states as a cop out, or the ignorant public."

LOL, how do you define the "ignorant public?" Perhaps, any person not in agreement with your own views, LOL? My, you're so wise. I bow before you.

"Get your religion out of the constitution an let people be free."

I am sorry to inform you that the constitution was written by religious people.

"Sure if you can give me *any* foundation for your belief that doesn't derive its authority irrationally from religious doctrine. It is called ethical reasoning."

So, ethical reasoning can only come from atheists? Or, all religious doctrine is irrational? Thou shalt not murder. Yeah, pretty stupid.

"Hell I'd love you to justify your abortion beliefs too without resorting to religion."

Hell, I'd love you to justify murder of the unborn. I realize that the unborn are defenseless, but if you want to argue for their murder, I'll gladly argue for their lives. Just for fun, eh?

Any argument against gay marriage is religious bigotry? You sound like the bigot now.

Although I am not against gay marriage, I (an atheist) do find some (not all) homosexual, and even some heterosexual, act disgusting. But this is neither an argument for or against gay marriage.

“If you can't justify your position without resorting to a particular religious doctrine, then, well you lose the argument.”

Huh? If you can’t make an argument without resorting to secular doctrines, then you lose the argument. Now, I am not religious, but even I don’t believe that arguments can’t be made from religious doctrine. That is very bigoted of you.

“I admit I am a bigot.”

I also believe that even bigots like you can make credible arguments. Now, make one. Of course, as you have admitted being a bigot, all of your arguments are automatically worthless.

“People like you are ruining our country and undermining the secular nature of our legal sytsem.”

Secular legal system? Where? In the USA? You’ve got to be joking. Are you a foreigner?

“I am someone who takes the enlightenment seriously.”

You mean that period back in the 1700’s? Are you still stuck back in that age?

“I belive in higher unkown and unknowable powers, not institutionalized religious doctrine.”

You believe in a higher unknown power? Why? Do you have any proof? Or is your belief in this higher unknown power just based on faith? You say you believe in reason, then you say you believe in an unknown. You just don’t know what the hell you believe in, do you?

Bob

Hinla,

You said, "Since marriage is traditionally a matter of state law, shouldn't it be "we the people" of a particular state that defines our particular marriage laws?"

I say, yes, this is the states jurisdiction, but you know how the federal government is...they want their say in everything. States rights are, for all practical purposes, gone. Good try, though.

"Do you aggree then that New York should legalize same-sex marriage?"

Sure, if they want to.

Quoting definitions out of politically correct dictionaries is pointless. Heck, look up fascism, communism, socialism, republic, and especially democracy. As far as I can tell by the dictionary definitions, every country in the world is a democracy today, LOL.

As for your polygamy point, the primary purpose of marraige is to raise children, to give them a stable home. It is a contract between two people for the purpose of providing for offspring. This contract binds both parties until the children are of age; that is what child support is all about. If children were not the issue, then people wouldn't need to get married, just live together. The marriage contract is to protect the children, not to accord rights to the married couple (this is a chink in the arguement for same sex marriage, although they do sometimes raise children). If polygamy suceeds in that, then it is fine. Women can't be exploited if they don't want to be. They can always leave. And for all of you that are about to jump on me for saying that, here is my response. Women have as much backbone as men. They CAN stand up for themselves. They are not stupid. If they know they should leave a bad situation, then they should do so. Anyone who says different is a sexist, LOL. That's for all you PCer's out there.

You say, "I agree that we have to look beyond religion to decide what is "disordered." Our Constitution protects religious freedom. In that spirit, I don't think others should impose their religious viewpoints on me and vice versa."

Good luck with that. When the majority is religious, we in the minority are going to have religious viewpoints imposed on us whether we like it or not.

You say: "I think it's worth noting that mainstream social and medical scientists agree that homosexuality is not a disorder."

I can find "mainstream social and medical scientists" that claim it is a disorder too.

Don't quote polling results. Remember: Dewey Wins!

Besides, For every poll that shows "for", there is a poll that shows "against". Forget the polls, let's just vote. Or is everybody too afraid?

As for protection against sexual orientation discrimination in employment contexts or any other discrimination protection, I find the "protections" already in place to be discriminatory in themselves. It should be up to the employer who they want to employ. If they choose to not employ huge segments of the population, their business will suffer from lack of diversity and all that it entails. As consumers, we can boycott those businesses that we find personally reprehensible. But the government "protections" just make it more difficult and more expensive to do business in this country. Maybe that is why many corporations are moving jobs offshore.

Bob

Fairy,

You are right, I inadvertently left our lesbians, didn't I? How non-PC of me. By all means, Fairy, strap on your dildo and go for it. It's not about the penis at all.

And if you really think that having pictures of loved ones is the same thing as shoving heterosexuality in peoples face, then you are probably too far gone down the "Gay Pride" hole. Gays have marches, gay pride day, etc. Straight people, a name given to us by gays, don't have anything of the sort. Why? Because we don't care. We're normal. Gays are abnormal and they know it. But they can't help it. So, they demand acceptance from the rest of us. But we don't have to accept their behavior if we don't want to. That is freedom of thought and choice. People are allowed to be unaccepting. Of course, gays counter with attacks of namecalling (like "you're a bigot), but that's just a typical juvenile reaction and it doesn't bother me.

Then you say: "But sexual orientation is about more than sex -- it's about basic human rights. If two women or two men love each other and want to have the same BASIC rights to jointly own property..."

No, sexual orientation is just about sex. Same sex marriage is about sharing property rights. But you see, if you had read my earlier posts, you would know that although I am tired of hearing about the whole sexual orientation issue, I am actually for same sex civil marriage. Civil marriage is merely a contract between two people. Now, here's the rub. Many people feel that if same sex civil marriages are legalized, then gays will next want government to force religions to allow same sex religious marriages. They don't want that. Myself, I am an atheist, but I would not want to see government interfere with religious doctrines. Besides, a civil marriage would give gays all the civil rights they are after. But many believe that they won't stop there. Whether that belief is right or wrong, I don't know.

As for your point about benefits to couple over singles, yes, the law should eliminate them. That includes the "marriage tax" and the deductions for children. As far as health benefits are concerned, that should be left up to the employer to decide. If you don't like it, work elsewhere. I never did agree with any government progrom forcing an employer to provide this benefit or that. Whose company is it anyway? See, that's the beauty of money...it's very democratic. It only goes where you spend it. Vote with your money.

"So which is it, Bob? Are you consistent?"
Yes, Fairy, I am very consistent.


You are so silly. You actually said, "Do you mean to say that if "we" decide that discrimination based on race or ethnicity is something "we" want, it should be legal? That can't be right."

It may not be "right," but it happened in the past and still happens today. Duh. We are a democracy. Majority rules; right or wrong. Do you get it?

Bob

Drew,

You list all of these "disorders" and then say: "A man sticking his penis in another man's anus, when consensual, is an urge sure (just like anything else), but disordered? I don't think so."

Is this a normal act? No, it is practiced by a very small percentage of the population.

Is this act morally reprehensible. The majority of the population think so, regardless of their backward and fundamentalist religious beliefs.

These two points alone qualify the act as a disorder, whether or not you agree. The majority decides what is ordered or what is disordered, not you and not me. Personally, I couldn't care less what people do in privacy, but my point was that I don't want something that should be private between two people to be paraded down Main Street. I don't see Heterosexual Pride Marches on Main Street. What is this urge that homosexuals have that makes them insist on Gay Pride Marches? Their need for acceptance from heterosexuals. Why? Really, we heterosexuals don't care. Go live your life and stop yapping about it.

Then you say: "In additon to that, when that sort of sexual activity is nothing more than the extension of a loving relationship between two people, I can't imagine what you would see wrong with it... but then I'm not you."

True, you are not me. I also find bestiality, sex with minors and a few other acts to be disorders, regardless of how consentual and loving. You probably don't, seeing as you are the open-minded one in our conversation.

Bob

Drew,

Just to clarify. I don't find the act morally reprehensible, just naturally reprehensible.

Also, to be open-minded does not mean accepting everything and anything. One may listen to all sides and still choose to reject the the fashionable politically correct positions. Open-mindedness does not mean to do away with the discriminating mind.

Louis Kessler

"'This isn't about the propriety of sex acts - that issue has already been decided as a constitutional matter'

This is my point; should it have had to have been decided as a constitutional matter? It's a private affair. And you are right, our laws are behind the times when it comes to same sex civil marriage."

Bob, this is the only one I'm going to respond to becasue it was your first comment and shows how ignorant you are.

I'm guessing you are not a U of C law graduate or else you would be familiar with the circumstances surrounding Bowers v. Hardwick, where a man was arrested for having consentual homosexual sex in his own bedroom. So the state of Georgia arrested someone after they barged into his home and witnessed him getting a BJ from another man in his own bedroom, becuae gay sex was ILLEGAL in Georgia. So much for "It's a private affair," huh? Apparently it is not. I might be with you if a majority of bigots hadn't gotten together to pass a law to demonize people who are drawn to the same romatically. But as soon as they did, it became a constitutional issue.

Does that change your mind about the necessity of deciding that people are entitled to privacy as a constitutional matter? Do you understand the necessity of the constitutioanl protection? Or is it ok to you for a state decide whether what you do with your genitals in your own bedroom is legal or illegal. If that is the case, then you don't believe it is a matter of privacy, counter to your argument that it is.

Bob, I like women. I'm not just so bigoted to tell people how to live their lives, and I'm not willing to tell a couple that has been together for 40 years that the law is going to treat them like people who don't know each other when it comes to the issues where marriage is relevant, like child custody, community property, taxation, power of attorney etc.

For the law to treat same sex couples who have children and live together as a family unit differently with respect to the rights they have in realtion to their family than the law treats hetero families is to deny those people equal protection of the law, which is a constituional issue.

Nobody is trying to redefine marriage outside of the way it is already defined as a matter of law, in terms of the rights and privileges and presumptions that being married affords each spouce with respect to the other spouce and children. I and others simply argue that given the fact that there are many same sex couples and families headed by same sex couples out there already, to deny them the benefits of marriage when they are functionally married already should be a violation of the equal protection clause. It is unfair to make a gay spouce of 40 years go to a court to get an order to have power of attorney over their loved one, when the law presumes as much for hetero couples.

It is inefficient and unjust. It has nothing to do with your disgust and fear of gay sex.

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