What… No Activist Court?

US and Rainbow FlagsIn a somewhat surprising ruling the California Supreme Court has upheld the people’s voice on Proposition 8. I say somewhat stunning because it is well documented the role of California’s 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in being an activist court. I have simply come to expect the California courts to ignore the law in favor of making an activist statement. And to see a California court not be activist is somewhat shocking. As many of you know I am one of those odd birds who falls in the realm of fiscally conservative and socially liberal. I want to explain that better below because someone stated that this was an impossibility, although I don’t remember who it was. But the point of this article is that the California Supreme Court last week gave its verdict on the legality of Proposition 8.

By County Results on Proposition 8

By County Results on Proposition 8

First my defense of my position as fiscally conservative and socially liberal. The claim was that a person cannot be a fiscal conservative while at the same time being a social liberal. I disagree. The mistake, in my opinion, was to assume that being socially liberal means that you support the programs like welfare and such that really mean increased federal spending. That is not where I stand. I consider myself socially liberal because I stand with the liberal position on two of the biggest issues in politics today. I support gay couples having the same rights and liberties as straight couples. I also don’t feel that the issue of abortion is one that we have the right to legislate. However, I do not agree with welfare as it has been instituted by the government expansion crowd. 

Now, saying that I support gay couples having the rights and liberties of straight couples, one might assume that I feel that the California Supreme Court got it wrong. Unfortunately for those that assumed so, I do not feel that way. The California decision was the correct one in my opinion. And I don’t think that the decision did anything to hurt the cause for gay rights or liberties. Here is how this issue has played out over the years in the California legal system. 

California, in their 2000 primary election, passed Proposition 22 by a vote of 61% to 38%. Proposition 22 explicitly defines the union of a man and a woman as the only valid or recognizable form of marriage in the State of California. There were several subsequent attempts by the legislature in California to pass legislation allowing same sex marriage in California. The key here is that the legislature was continually attempting to usurp the will of the people of California, who as was mentioned, voted 61%-38% to define marriage in this way. As a stand-alone bill, these measures ultimately failed, so in 2005, the California legislature did what any legislative body does when a bill fails to pass muster in debate on the floor….

Yes On Prop 8They tucked the bill into another bill so that it would be passed without people noticing it. The bill to legalize same sex marriage in California was tucked into a fisheries bill and was passed 21-15. The California State Assembly subsequently passed the measure with a vote of 41-35. The California legislature had effectively over-ruled the voice of the people of California. Governor “Terminator” vetoed the bill, stating that until Prop 22 was determined constitutionally sound or not, signing this bill wouldn’t happen because that ruling would render this bill either redundant or void, depending on the court’s ruling. 

Meanwhile, in 2004, Gavin Newsome, mayor in San Francisco, decided that the city would begin issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples, which was in direct opposition to the law in California, as noted above. About 4,000 licenses were issued in a one month period. Later that year, citing the mayor’s lack of authority to ignore state laws, the Supreme Court of California ruled that the marriages were void. Several lawsuits followed and they were combined into a single suit that was ruled on by San Francisco Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer. On March 14, 2005, Judge Kramer ruled that California statutes limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples were unconstitutional. The court held there was no connection between forbidding same-sex marriage and legitimate state interest and the opposite-sex requirements impermissibly discriminated based on gender.

No to Prop 8The First District Court of Appeals, in July, 2006, in a 2-to-1 decision, overturned the lower court. In offering their opinion, Justice William R. McGuiness stated, “The marriage statutes do not discriminate based on gender, and the state’s interests in “preserving the traditional definition of marriage” and “carrying out the expressed wishes of a majority of Californians” were sufficient to preserve the existing law. In December 2006, the Supreme Court voted unanimously to review all six cases, and in May, 2008, the Supreme Court struck down California’s existing statutes limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples in a 4-3 ruling, thus ruling Proposition 22 as unconstitutional. 

And hence, Proposition 8 was sought. Proposition 8 is an amendment to the California constitution that literally changed the state Constitution to restrict the definition of marriage to opposite-sex couples and eliminated same-sex couples’ right to marry, thereby overriding portions of the rulings in the above cases. On November 4, 2008, the citizens of California went to the polls and made their choice. By a vote of 52%-48%, Proposition 8 passed and gay marriage was banned in California through the addition of the constitutional amendment. 

The resulting lawsuits were a foregone conclusion and were immediately filed. The California Supreme Court agreed to hear the cases and did so earlier this year. Their decision was announced last week. By a vote of 6-1, the court upheld Proposition 8. The court’s opinion, written by Chief Justice Ronald M. George, noted that same-sex couples still had a right to civil unions. Such unions, the opinion said, gives those couples the ability to “choose one’s life partner and enter with that person into a committed, officially recognized and protected family relationship that enjoys all of the constitutionally based incidents of marriage.” In other words, the court held that not having the right to be “married” was not a violation of equal rights or the equal protection clause because the rights and protections currently given to gay couples are provided for by other equal means. 

Prop 8 DemonstrationI personally think that the court was correct in this decision. As I have said previously, I fully support gay couples having all the rights and protections that straight couples have. In this way, a civil union does the trick as best I can tell. The term marriage has no bearing on the rights or protections. It is merely a word, and one that the people of California have decided that they would like reserved for straight couples. I personally support the right of the people of any state to decide for themselves whether gay marriage is legal in their state. My biggest issue in all of this legal wrangling is that the legislative branch of California’s government and court activists have worked so hard to overturn the will of the people of the state, who have now twice spoken on this issue. 

As for the opposition to the ruling, the usual overly dramatic response from gay rights activists have immediately ensued. Claims that gays are now considered 2nd class citizens and that the bigotry of Californians is now ensconced in the state Constitution were ringing out everywhere as protests are erupting in several major cities. To these claims, I throw bullshit flag. And I do so as a supporter of gay rights. The majority of the state’s citizens simply not allowing you the right to call your union a “marriage” does not make you a second class citizen or make them a bigot. As the court pointed out, you are still given every single right afforded to every other person of the state. You just aren’t allowed to use this one word to define it. Amazing how the activists feel that the use or not of one word in the english language is sufficient to claim second class status. In my opinion, so long as the civil liberties are not usurped and you are afforded equal protection, you are just like every other citizen. Time for the activists to simply deal with it. But we all know that is not going to happen. 

So there is my opinion on the Court’s decision. But I open it for debate. Am I wrong on this issue. Does Proposition 8 somehow infringe on the civil rights of same sex couples? I understand that the majority does not have the right to infringe on the rights of the minority. The majority spoke. But did they infringe on the rights of the minority by passing this proposition?

I pulled pieces of information from roughly 16 different places in order to put together this brief history of the legal path of gay marriage in California. If anyone would like a properly formatted bibliography, I will put one together and send it to you. And not a single one of those sources was Fox News…. now am I objective? Or just a conservative mouthpiece with an agenda?

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Comments

  1. Alan F. says:

    Doesn’t this question boil down to one group believing its about life long commitment to family, children and kinship while the other equates it to one’s commitment to another? Therefore one would have to be the anthropological tradition of marriage while the other a relatively new social concept. That the majority do not accept “same sex unions” as identical to the traditional in using the term “marriage” as its descriptor should surprise no one given the millennia its been tied to religion.

    As I see it the “civil” side (joint claims on property and revenue streams) is already in place which only leaves the descriptor which like it or not is indeed a religious one. That a religion’s content or practices could be revised by a court of law to suit any lobby should be unthinkable. If you can mandate acceptance to one side, you can most certainly do so to the other. By trying to force the acceptance of their stance on the majority they too must accept its return from the majority which of course they have yet to do.

    I believe the supreme court of California saw all too clearly the dangers in coercion against both the majority and religion at this time.

    • Wow, you guys hit this one on the head. I couldn’t have said it better myself. Great article US and nice point Alan.

    • Black Flag says:

      Doesn’t this question boil down to one group believing its about life long commitment to family, children and kinship while the other equates it to one’s commitment to another?

      That position would mean you don’t believe gay couples can raise children? or have (or are) a family? That they don’t have kin?

      If so, then a heterosexual couple who adopts should not be legally married either, right? We must be consistent…..

      That the majority do not accept “same sex unions” as identical to the traditional in using the term “marriage” as its descriptor should surprise no one given the millennia its been tied to religion.

      A “majority” – which has never existed – does NOT determine a right.

      The machinations of evil (ie: government) determine really nothing for free people – so the whole debate from my POV is ridiculous.

      It is the choice between two adults to declare themselves married or not – not the right of the State or a Majority!

      Further, the necessity to get the State to recognize marriage is equally ridiculous – the only reason I can tell is to for the gay rights group to demand ‘legal marriage’ to seize government loot along with the rest of the ‘piggies’ at the trough.

      And since that is the only reason that makes sense, then the gay rights people deserve to suffer the pains of government ill-logic.

      If you believe you need to ask someone’s permission to do something, you must be equally ready to accept no as ‘yes’. To expect that the answer for all permission is a ‘yes’ is bizarre – if that is the belief, why ask in the first place?

      • JayDickB says:

        BF: “the only reason I can tell is to for the gay rights group to demand ‘legal marriage’ to seize government loot along with the rest of the ‘piggies’ at the trough.”

        I think there is another reason. For some time, homosexuals have wanted everyone to believe that homosexual relationships are no different than heterosexual relationships. The crown jewel in this quest is to have homosexual unions regarded as the same as heterosexual unions.

        The reason the homosexual rights groups are so adamant about recognizing homosexual “marriage” is that, deep down, they know that homosexual relationships are not the same as heterosexual relationships. A simple analysis of male and female physiology shows how nature intended sex to take place and its primary purpose (procreation, perpetuation of the species). This is not what occurs in a homosexual relationship.

        As long as the state is involved in people’s unions, hetero or homo, I agree with USW’s analysis, although I would have voted for prop 8 if I lived in California. If we get the state out of this business, people can do what they want and call it what they want. Just don’t insist that I regard homosexual unions the equivalent of heterosexual unions. I don’t think they are. But, if others think they are, that’s their business.

        • Excellent JayD

          I also vote for get the state out of the business all together. Perhaps the whole thing is eliminated if the laws stopped recognizing claims on property by those living together without some form of contract.

          • Bama dad says:

            JAC
            The only reason they are in the marriage business is to get into your wallet one more time.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        BF,

        Ok, so in order to be CONSISTENT, a single man or woman who adopts should be legally considered to be married to him or her self?

        The whole problem is that the government took a traditionally religious institution (marriage) and recognized it legally in the first place and gave such an arrangement “preferred status” in some ways.

        It would be a MUCH more effective argument to say that any government recognition of ANY marriage violates the so-called Separation of Church and State and the granting of any sort of preferred status to married couples violates equal protection.

        That way, we can just get legally recognized marriage abolished completely. People would then only be able to be married by religious institutions, and it would be up to the religious institution whether they allowed gay marriage or not. Regardless of married or single status, no one would receive any benefits or penalties from the government.

        They could still leave in deductions/credits for children, since, as BF clearly points out, having children has very little to do with “marital status” anymore.

        Of course, there would be a TREMEMDOUS uproar if the government decided not to recognize any marriages anymore, though strictly speaking it would be the logical thing to do.

        • Peter,

          Is it now not all about money where the government is concerned? Marriage license=tax, divorce means court fees.
          Tax deductions for children, spouse, etc—. Money and control. I think the IRS loves the complications.

          • I think Peter is correct in that there still is a heavy “religious” component to this. Look who lobbied so hard for the special marriage deductions in order to “stop penalizing married couples” and to “support marriage and the family”.

            When joint returns were taxed the same as two single folks then I would submit it was more fair although the couple benefited from economy of scale.

        • Black Flag says:

          BF,

          Ok, so in order to be CONSISTENT, a single man or woman who adopts should be legally considered to be married to him or her self?

          No. Not all solutions go backwards – order is important.

          Though 10+7 is the same as 7+10, 10-7 is not the same as 7-10.

          Marriage does not make a family, or else, single parent families do not exist. Yet, they do, – thus the definition of “family” has nothing to do with the size of cohabitants.

          Nor has it anything to do with who is cohabiting – my male roommate and I are not a ‘family’ – we are roommates.

          Children don’t make a cohabitation a family, or else a husband and wife wouldn’t be called a family.

          So, what definition – give all the above – defines a ‘family’?

          The ball is in your court….. :)

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            In theory, any group of people regardless of size, shape, make-up, etc. that chooses to live together in a loving, comitted relationship could be said to be a family.

            Good luck getting the majority of society to agree on that one though.

            Also, good luck in getting the geneologists interested in trying to make “Family Trees” for that sort of family… after enough generations it would be more like a spiderweb than a tree. This is more the “it takes a village” concept than a “family”

            Usually being a “family” does involve the care of offspring (whether biological or adopted).

            For example, in a so-called traditional marriage, the people involved are not referred to as a family until they have a child or adopt a child.

            Now, go back to my post and at least tell me that you realized that my query about single parents being married to themselves was both rhetorical and silly please :)

            • Black Flag says:

              I agree with your definition.

              I do not believe that a majority of society is required to agree.

              All that matters is what is mine. My family is not theirs – so their opinion on my matters actually matters not even a tiny bit to me.<

              Now, go back to my post and at least tell me that you realized that my query about single parents being married to themselves was both rhetorical and silly please

              Not by much – concepts of self-ownership play a key role in defining one’s freedom.

              If as you said, marriage and family are measures of commitment – what stretch is that to say self-commitment could be called “self-love”, and hence “self-marriage”?

              However, as I posted above – marriage was held to be a power transfer – a transfer of power from yourself to yourself is highly redundant, so self-marriage would be equally redundant.

      • Alan F. says:

        So you are saying the historical tradition of same sex union is/was survival of the unit (family), procreation (children) and to solidify relations within the clan (kinsmen)? You missed that an individual is able to have a child, that the two then form a family and through the sperm/egg donor blood relations for the child apart from the parent’s.

        “A “majority” – which has never existed – does NOT determine a right.” has what to do with one groups being pissed that they can’t use the name “marriage” while already having the civil rights? Is there some bonus they are missing out on within the United States of America that I’m unaware of? Up here dependents are dependents, common law still gets you the on the dental plan and half of everything should the couple become two singles.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Alan – you’re suggesting that a gay couple’s ‘civil union’ is centered more on a commitment to one another rather than children, family, cultural background etc.? I’m fairly certain you over-boiled this one. A gay couple that are friends of my family (oops – violated your kinship definition already) has been denied the opportunity to adopt because ‘civil union’ is not a check box on many adoption applications. If they were officially married it would ostensibly mean something different.

      • Black Flag says:

        Ray,

        If the adoption thing was true, I would revise my opinion.

        However, I do find that incredible that adoption would be blocked by such.

        Common Law does dictate that ‘common-law marriage’ is a right.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          Two orgs that they went through I think had tight religious ties that were not readily obvious from their marketing – that I think may have been the snag.

      • Alan F. says:

        Historically marriages have been as I have listed. You can try to tell me same sex union’s form with the exact same goals at heart but I disagree. I too have friends whom are attracted to their own sex but its not the huge deal here apparently it is in America. I guess with all those in my circle of friends I dwell on the edge but have been unaware of such.

        As for adoption, there are a great many single adoptive parents in America as has been stated.

  2. This one has never mattered much to me, I don’t care if they marry and don’t care if they don’t. I do see where they deserve the rights of married people if in a committed long term relationship, I suppose civil union answers that.

    I agree that Alan makes good points. I do wonder though about the argument some have made that if gay marriage is allowed then Mormons should be allowed multiple spouses. If we get into gay and multiple spouses, that opens another can of worms, no?

    Could then a man and woman with a step child of college age also marry the step child to get the child benefits, such as insurance coverage through work etc? It gets insane…I suppose the question is really about religion more than anything.

    I think Ca got it right, the people voted and the court left them with their choice.

    • wanted to add, if Mormons were allowed to marry multiple partners, wouldn’t that curb their abusing the gov’t for welfare? I’ve read that they use this to collect money off the gov’t. If I’m wrong in my understanding, I apologize, it’s just what I’ve read, I have no first hand knowledge of it.

      • Irenic

        I think you have been given some bad information. While I have some real problems with the Mormon religion’s effect on individual practitioners, based on personal experience, their religion emphasized family and self reliance. Those in need lean heavily on their church, not the govt if at all possible.

        I’m sure there are some scammers just as any other segment of our population.

        I may be one of the few here who has lived and worked around the “polygamist cults” in remote Utah. And I have to tell you they were among the most honest, hard working and upstanding folks I ever met. They just wanted to be left alone to live free and practice their religion. Sound familiar?

        When thinking about these groups everyone should remember where we get our information. The mainstream media grabs onto a true “cultish” type and its pounded night after night. That looney a few years back that was hiding from the law for marrying children was a case in mind. They are not all the same and the ones I was around took their committment to educate and protect their children very seriously.

        Good Morning and Best Wishes Today
        JAC

      • Bama dad says:

        Irenic
        The last place a devout Mormon would go for assistance is the government. They are taught to rely on family first, the church second and the government last. They have great programs that teach self reliance, food storage, food production, emergency preparedness and really anything you need to know about how to survive when things turn bad. :grin:

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Irenic – wow – sounds like the Rick Santorum argument from a few years ago. Maybe I can marry my cat or my dog or my pet rock also. Much of what I have heard, read or been exposed to is that the notion of gay marriage/unions has become more culturally/socially palatable & acceptable – sort of like women voting, or desegregation. Perhaps one day multiple partners does become socially acceptable and recognized. The argument against gay marriage sound all too often the argument against gun control – outlaw one type of gun and the liberals are sure to soon outlaw them all. Allow gays to marry and soon enough the liberals will think its ok for people and animals to marry.

    • Bama dad says:

      Irenic
      For the record the Mormon Church does not advocate or condone polygamy in any content. Any group or sect that practices polygamy is not associated with that church.

  3. Morning All, This is a very interesting subject, well written USW! This is the very subject I thought of when I was looking how our forefathers wanted Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, then crafted a government that relies on majority rule. Here is a case where a contradiction arises, Gays wanted the right to marry (I’m taking religion out of the picture for a moment) and the majority ruled against them, thus denying their Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness.

    Most religions are against homosexuality, and most religious people vote that way. Now we have an issue of forcing religious beliefs upon a minority group. While I agree with USW’s article, are we seeing the contradiction that has been discussed in many previous discussions?

    • This is a very important point. Voting for Prop 8 is most certainly NOT trying to force religion upon others. At most it is PRACTICING religion, which is a right upon which this country was founded. A Christian cannot and should not set his or her faith aside when deciding laws. Our faith tells us our morality and that is the foundation of law. Saying that Christians should not support things like Prop 8 because it is religious in some way is a violation of the first amendment!

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        “A Christian cannot and should not set his or her faith aside when deciding laws”.

        Hmmmm – faith = beliefs no? Isn’t this the stink with the current SCOTUS appointment? Conservatives want her to ensure she sets aside her beliefs? Now you’re telling me that Christians should interject their faith. I don’t get it.

        • Let me state it more plainly. As a Christian, I believe that homosexuality is wrong. When I go to the voting booth, are you saying I should say “what would a non-Christian say” and vote like that? My values system comes from my morality, that is where law is based. Saying I can’t vote one way because of my religion is a fundamental violation of the first amendment.

          The supreme court is an entirely different matter. The judiciary system does not create law, it upholds it. A supreme court judge will have opinions and feelings, but these should not mean anything to his or her deliberations on the law. The constitution is clear, they must uphold the law. Now, if there were a law saying gay marriage is allowed, a judge could not say “my religion says it is wrong so I will vote that way.” That is not a violation of the constitution since their power is strictly limited.

          Does that clear it up a bit?

          • Wow, not clear, “That is not a violation of the constitution since their power is strictly limited” meant saying a judge cannot reference their religion.

            Sorry

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            I’m with ya – makes sense

          • Black Flag says:

            JB,

            But by what right do you have to vote to prohibit another persons rights?

            It really doesn’t matter why causes you to say yea or nay … it could be your a Christian, or a Pagan … the question is – why do you have the right to determine another persons right in the first place.

            • Where is it stated that it is a persons right to be married?

              • We have all rights granted by our creator. That means any right I deem necessary to my existence and happiness.

                I have the right to live with and have children with the person of my choosing. By what right or power can the govt tell me I do or do not have a “marriage”?

                We elect to give up or take away certain rights for certain purposes. My right to marry a child for my happiness is removed by society through laws approved by that society. Although I contend that a moral ethic based on no coersive force would preclude me or others from such a thing anyway.

                If the majority has the power to take away a right then we had better be very damn restrictive in what that power is.

                If we apply that standard to the example above, we prevent marriage of children to protect the children, until they are mentally capable of making “adult” type decisions. Obviously age is an arbitray measure but lets go with it for now.

                So who are we protecting by preventing marriage between two adults who are not mentally incapacitated?

                Remember, Govts job should be to protect our rights not act as the arbiter between competing factions who wish to take rights from some but not others.

              • In my opinion, marriage is defined between a man and a woman. I also think that gays are simply trying to make themselves more acceptable (socially) by wanting that label. As long as civil unions provide all the same rights as marriage does, then that should be the end of it…also in my opinion.

              • Black Flag says:

                You define marriage on your own terms.

                So why can’t others define marriage on their own terms?

              • Fine by me, they can call Civil Unions marriage if they choose. That is really all I had…I was married by a Justice of the Peace. In reality what I had is only a civil union called a marriage.

              • Curious that you bring up the creator that gives everyone rights. If you are going to bring up the creator then at that point it stops being what you want your rights to be and becomes what the creator says your rights are, through their religious book, the koran, bible, ect. So I suggest starting the conversation from a different aspect and continueing from there.

              • Black Flag says:

                By what right do you have to deny it to me?

              • I am not denying you anything, it is simply my belief, you cannot deny me that either…

              • Black Flag says:

                Correct, but you can’t define marriage for another either.

              • I didn’t define it, but simply agree with the definition that CA has…

              • Amazed1 says:

                This is an argument that goes round and round….by what right do you have to force me to accept something I do not believe in? This issue in its self is based upon a belief…the one side believes they have a right to expect something and the other side says no you don’t.
                I am not sure there is a clear cut answer to this….I keep waiting to see it show up on in the posts here.

              • Alan F. says:

                There isn’t. Like all opposition, each side is the correct one to themselves.

          • Need some clarity JB

            “My values system comes from my morality, that is where law is based.” Are you saying that the “morality” of “your particular religion” is the basis of law or are you saying the accumulated “morality” of our citizens is the basis of law?

            Of course the latter allows for the majority morality to be based on other religions or no religion at all.

            “Saying I can’t vote one way because of my religion is a fundamental violation of the first amendment.” This is FALSE. Saying you shouldn’t or can’t is not the same as preventing you. Just as calling some hollywood type a Traitor for standing next to and supporting a Viet Cong leader is not a violation of their rights. It is in fact my right to express my opinion.

            I know you didn’t probably mean it this way but I noticed that the celebrities screaming against Bush would use this trick evertime they were criticized by other citizens or media. We all have the right to piss and moan about each other. But the Govt can’t interfere or use its power to favor one.

          • Wow, I guess I am making a controversial point?

            Black Flag, the supreme court said that a vote for prop 8 does not violate rights as US wrote. I’m not saying the freedom of religion allows Christians to limit the rights of others. That is a great point. I agree with you.

            Citizen, what I mean is that we make the law in this country by voting on it. We overturn laws we think are wrong and make laws that we think are right. This means we have to know what “right” and “wrong” are. For a majority of people in this country a lot of what we think of as right or wrong comes from religion. That was my point.

            You are right about saying “you shouldn’t vote” is not a violation of the first amendment, what I meant was like you said, barring me from making that vote would be. I was angered by demonstrators outside churches after prop 8 chanting “separate church and state.” I interpreted that as I should have no part in making laws if my morals come from my religion.

            This is a tough topic and I’m probably not portraying my thoughts as well as I could. This topic deserves being covered in an entire book!

            • Thank you for clarifying and I think you are doing fine. This is hard because your “faith in your religion” is being pushed a little. But as you have been on this site for some time you know it will come and most importantly it is good to be tested. You will either be able to support your position or have to revise to where you can defend it.

              I don’t think you have adequately thought out the response to BF’s question. We all know the STATE ruled it was OK. But by what RIGHT do we the majority decide to TAKE AWAY the RIGHTS of others. Quite frankly I think the courts got a free pass on the issue becasue of the civil union provision.

              Perhaps the real question now is whether anyone in CA has the “right” to be married? Because if someone does, then everyone should.

              And for the record, those groups screaming about separation of church and state are making the same false argument I was making about freedom of speech. It shows that either A) we have no idea what our laws really are, or B) we don’t care and have come to thrive only on cheap slogans and propoganda trick.

              My problem with B) is that our children get their govt education by watching the media.

            • JB: More at #11

        • Ray has been paying attention in class. Very Good

          When a political decesion is predicated on religious teachings JB, you are correct in that it does not force the religion on another. But it does force that particular religious belief.

          I certainly hope “our faith” is not dictating our morality. I am hopeful that our use of “reason” will do that for us instead.

          Best to you this AM
          JAC

        • Alan F. says:

          You would feel the same about a police officer being able to set aside “the law” for his beliefs when a judge can do such in your opinion?

    • GMan

      On your point of contradiction…YES….I see you have been thinking hard.

      I just wanted to point out that our Founders, at least most of them, really did believe they had limited the size and power of the Federal.

      They feared tyranny by both the minority and majority. My studies lead me to believe that is why they set a 2/3 majority rule on amending the constitution directly and a 3/4 state ratification requirement. In that way a simple majority can not run over the rest of us. The idea being that if 3/4 support it would be hard to deny. And it would take long enough for cooler and more reasoned heads to prevail.

      I am betting my bottom dollar that if the Founders had survived until today that every Supreme decision that opened a door to increased Federal poweres would have been followed by an Amendments slamming it back shut.

      The gay marriage issue raises many good “technical” or “mechanical” issues regarding how to construct a constitution (federal and state) that protects “all rights”. Remember the Fed stated that those powers and rights not vested in the Fed were retained by the states and the people. Thus the people can decide to give up more rights to the state. In order to prevent the states/people from giving up rights the fed document would have to list them all and declare them off limits. This would be a differenct legal concept than the one used by our founders.

      Part of the problem arises from the way most states amend their constitutions. The 66% + 1 requirement is not law in all cases, nor is 75% of counties adoption. It was the “liberals” who pushed for “democracy” rather than representative govt. That is why most, if not all states have “citizen initiatives” allowed. Once you open the door to amending your laws based on a 50% + 1 rule you get “simple majority” rule.

      The best to you this morning G
      JAC

  4. Ray Hawkins says:

    It would seem this topic needs more scrutiny. A recent employer I left, HQ’d in California, does not recognize civil unions and therefore extends the same into all its benefits plans and packages – health, life, stock, 401K, etc. If you are married that’s one thing, civil unions – no can do. I wonder if the law as of today prohibits that practice (I doubt it does).

    • If the civil union laws are properly constructed then all actions and contracts within the state would have to be consistent. I do not know the laws of CA so I can’t say yes or no.

    • Black Flag says:

      But I find it incredible that by legal contract cannot achieve all of the above, in some manner or by some way.

    • I could see how the health insurance may be an issue with regard to the union contract.

      The benefits are subject to the companies whim and thus contract. The health plan offered my not recognize anything other than a “spouse” or “child” as covered. The employee should be able to get another insurance company under the plan though by using a savings plan arrangement. The states control what the insurance companies must include. If the state law allows a civil union then the insurance commission just needs to tell insurance companies to include “legally designated others” as allowed for covereage.

      I agree with BF on the other Benefits. It seems they are tied to the employee who can then share the benefits via designated beneficiary or via other contract means.

      ON second thought, ignore that whole health insurance and the state thing I just mentioned.

      BF and others who get it: care to join me in a little Insurance Business Venture?

      God how I love the concept of free market capitalism!!

      • Black Flag says:

        I can insure, on my dime, another person’s life if for any reasonable cause.

        I do not have to marry my business partner to have a life insurance policy on him, with me as the sole beneficiary.

        But absolutely – this is a great opportunity for an entrepreneurial insurance company to offer such plans.

        I love discrimination – it makes a nice, addressable, untapped market!

      • I wonder on health, if they are trying to avoid higher costs associated with HIV? A gay couple would have to have a higher likely hood just as a smoker has a better chance of cancer.

        • Black Flag says:

          Perhaps, but futile.

          Insurance companies are far from stupid – they know all the scams, tricks, manipulations, and frauds to try to get money out an insurance scheme.

          If there is a higher risk, insurance companies WILL add higher costs to such a policy.

          I have found the concept of insurance is one of the most misunderstood financial tools by people.

          People seem to think its some sort of ‘rainy day piggie bank’.

          Insurance is meant to prevent a total financial collapse of a person due to a catastrophe. It is there to merely mitigate some of the consequences, not all, of such a catastrophe so to not devastate a person financially for the rest of their lives. It is there to allow a person to start over and re-earn back their lost wealth – not suddenly make them independently wealthy so they never have to effort again in their lives.

          So people way-over insure themselves, and way-abuse the insurance plans. Few benefit, and the rest have way-high costs.

        • Chris Devine says:

          Guess which group has the lowest risk for HIV/AIDS. Lesbians. Perhaps they should get cheaper insurance than non-monogamous heterosexuals.

    • Amazed1 says:

      Is this not back to where we began? What right does some one have to force me to accept something I do not believe in…..as an employer I should have the right to chose my employees and the benefits and the way they are designed. We are right back to square one….When does your right superceed mine? These issue are really tough.

      • Black Flag says:

        Never.

        No right supersedes another right.

        Your right to chose the people you wish to associate with is your right.

        Association is a ‘veto vote’ – that is, if you want to associate, and I do not – my veto wins. You do not have a right to force yourself upon me.

        Why these issues are tough is because the State embeds a contradiction – where on one hand it enforces rights and on the other it attacks them.

        It is the State that has no consistency (other than its hunger for power) – and of course, because the common view is from the eyes of the State, it makes the illusion that it is a conflict in rights when in fact, it is the contradiction of the State that exists.

        • Amazed1 says:

          Teehee….Teehhee I think I am turning into a BF

          • Black Flag says:

            An easy test for a “right”.

            If it requires an initiation of violence to achieve – it is not a right.

            Everything else is a right.

        • Black Flag says:

          An easy test for a “right”.

          If it requires an <b initiation of violence to achieve – it is not a right.

          Everything else is a right.

  5. JB, I respect your religious beliefs and your right to vote based on them. Many gay’s are also christians, and go to church. My main point was if we believe in “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” as our forefathers intended, the majority denied a minority group these basic rights.

    I’m not trying to question your beliefs or religion, but fostering discussion about our forefathers intentions.

    G!

    • Absolutely, G! I agree that this discussion is excellent and necessary for truth and justice to find its way into the country. Here’s my take on everything.

      The country has emphatically decided to uphold the definition of marriage as that between one man and one woman. Of the 30 states with a ballot like this, all 30 states have passed it. Other states have taken it upon themselves to decide for the public and so allow gay marriage.

      I do not deny that on the surface, this looks like a civil rights violation, but civil unions can and should afford all the rights of a marriage. If the laws do not support this, they should be changed. This is a very simple solution to a very charged topic.

      I will also say this. I have several very close friends who are gay. My best friend’s mother is gay and I love her like a second mom! I am not saying that they are second class citizens or anything like it. All I’m saying is that homosexuality is wrong, homosexual people are not bad, no more than I am bad for lying or cheating or such. Making this definition of marriage is a defining statement of this moral conclusion to which I have come. This is a tough topic and that only scratches the surface, but I think my point is clear.

      Thanks for the debate, G!

      • I don’t understand. How can an immoral person not be considered bad?

        • Is being Gay immoral? At least in some eyes?

        • Ahh, you touch on a very important point in Christianity. The truth is that we are all bad, so maybe my statement was misleading. We are “good” creatures that have been corrupted. The fact that it is impossible for us not to sin in some way or another makes us all “bad.” My point is that by committing a sin (homosexuality, lying, cheating, etc) a person is in no worse shape since they are already “bad.” I cannot say, “you are a bad person because you are homosexual” without saying that everyone is bad.

          Bottom line is that I don’t hate gay people or think that they are in some way worse than straight people. As the popular saying goes, hate the sin, not the sinner.

          • Black Flag says:

            I cannot accept the ‘original sin’ proposition.

            If God is perfect, it is illogical and a contradiction that He can create an imperfect, evil creation.

            Therefore, God’s creation – mankind – cannot be imperfect nor evil in God’s eyes.

            Any such definition about man being imperfect or evil therefore comes from Man himself applied to himself.

          • Wow, now we’re getting deep. You are right that if God is “good,” he cannot create something that is “bad.” The thing is that he gave us the freedom to do good or bad. I can’t say why He did this, but I can conjecture. I believe He did do because a mechanical world that only does good because that’s all it can do is not worth creating. God wants us to CHOOSE to do good, for us to make our wills conform to His. In order to do this we must by definition have the right to choose instead to do “bad.”

            The question of where good and bad come from is a topic for an entire discussion and so I won’t go into it here. I will say though, that I call something “bad” when it does not conform to the moral law that comes from the Bible and my reason. Since these come from God, it is not simply me applying some code that I have invented.

            I would refer you to C.S. Lewis’s book Mere Christianity. He states this much better than I do.

            • JB, You just helped make my point, your moral law, has been forced upon those that may not believe in your religion, thus, it is a contradiction to our founders intent.

              G!

            • Black Flag says:

              Wow, now we’re getting deep.

              :)

              You have no idea how deep the pool your walking into is going to get….. :lol:

              But I will try to keep this side in this sub-thread so not to pollute the real discussion.

              You are right that if God is “good,” he cannot create something that is “bad.” The thing is that he gave us the freedom to do good or bad.

              For us to do bad or good in God’s eye must mean God created bad (or else, how can we ‘use it’).

              So if he can create ‘bad’ – well, that contradicts his perfection of good.

              So, we are here:

              1) Either God is perfect good, and cannot create bad

              OR

              2) God is not perfect.

              But we have already defined God to be perfect, so #2 cannot be.

              Therefore #1.

              Thus, he did not give us the freedom to be ‘bad’ in His eyes, because there exists no such thing as a ‘bad’ in His eyes! We cannot be something that cannot exist!

              He gave us the freedom for humans to define their own good and bad for themselves!

              God has no need or desire to do that for us.

              God wants us to CHOOSE to do good, for us to make our wills conform to His.

              He wants us to chose, and every choice we make is “good” in His eyes, since that is all there is.

              Us conforming to His will is already done. We cannot confound gravity, for example.

              We step off a cliff, and we fall. His will be done! It is our decision to make that step, however. That is the choice He gives us.

              I will say though, that I call something “bad” when it does not conform to the moral law that comes from the Bible and my reason. Since these come from God, it is not simply me applying some code that I have invented.

              But in the Bible, it has some horrific crimes against man that are claimed to be ‘righteous’, such as stoning for adultery, etc.

              So how do you make the choice between what the Bible says (but is completely immoral) and what the Bible says (but maybe is moral)?

              I would refer you to C.S. Lewis’s book Mere Christianity. He states this much better than I do.

              How Lewis states it, makes a argument for Lewis.

              How you wish to state it would make your argument.

              It is the latter I’m interested in…. :)

              • Since we’re wading into deep water, I have to ask. Is there really such a thing as choice? Why do we do the things we do? Because of our genes? Because of our upbringing? Am I missing something? Aren’t we just acting out the script our genes and environment have written for us?

              • Black Flag says:

                We have thoughts – and our thoughts are greater than what we see with our eyes (or else progress and discovery wouldn’t happen).

                Thus, I offer that since our minds are capable of thinking greater than what we see – we have choice.

                How we make those decisions is quite dependent on education (ie: upbringing) and genes (ie: instinct). We can use drugs to disrupt both above.

                However, we educate our own selves.

                And we can choose to use what we learn or not and is ours alone to hold or not.

                That is the root of all our choices, IMO,

              • Yes, we have thoughts, but why do we have those thoughts? Let’s say I’m a worthless unproductive slob and one day I decide to change. Why did I do it? Because someone else inspired me to do so, because something in my makeup made me susceptible to that inspiration, or a combination of the two. Are any of those things my choice or just random chance I had no control over? Do we really have free will or are the causes of our actions just too hard to trace so we call it choice?

                I’m not trying to be a pain in the butt. I’ve come to my own conclusions on this, but I’m curios to hear the thoughts of others.

              • Black Flag says:

                You should bring this topic up again from this point – I believe in a day or so there will be a nice thread to throw this into.

              • Does that make my belief of CA’s definition of marriage good? (a bit of levity here…)

              • Black Flag says:

                Yes, because its your good.

                However, it may not be mine, but that is ok too as long as neither force our ‘good’ on to each other.

              • ABSOLUTELY!!!!!

              • Godzilla says:

                Has anyone ever read Conversations with God: an umcommon dialogue? I asked this in another post, it’s a compelling view of what God is and why we were created. As something dealing with faith, it’s an intruguing take.

      • JB, Your correct, I live in Ohio, and about 3 years ago the law was passed defining a marriage between a man and a woman. And, I voted for it. I’m not gay by any stretch, but the laws are , in my opinion, applying religion upon everyone.

        G!

  6. As I understand it, CA’s Constitution requires them to put out the vote on any new legislation for vote by the people. And it has been that way as long as I can remember. If so, how is it that this system works just fine when any other legislation is voted on, but not when it comes to this issue?

    I am not for or against gays being married. I simply do not care. As long as it’s 3,000 miles away in another state, it’s their business.

    As far as majority rule, whether you you are for, or against this typ of Governance, it is what they have. There has, as far as I know, never been a court challenge against their system of voting in legislation. So why bitch about it now? Because the vote didn’t go their way? I bet they fully expected it to!

    They whined about the Mormon church supporting and getting out the vote against it, but the Gay Rights Groups had the same oppportunity. And to say that things were stacked against them. Really? In California? I think the vote just showed that places like LA and San Fran really do not run CA politics like they thought they did.

    Sounds like sour grapes to me. Now that Obama is President, all I hear is that the majority has spoken, live with it! Well okey dokey then! Should not the same be said to California’s gays and lesbians? Is not what’s good for one, good also for the other? Sometimes the answer is NO.

    The Majority has spoken! Live with it!

    • ESOM,

      Good morn & agree. Think US said it well. I also like this being decided (if it must be) at the state level. Let people vote with their feet on issues. Our government is a living experiment, and if the states try different things, the others can look at what works, and what fails.

      Another thought, to some extent is this not aimed at reducing the role of religion in our society? Monday, June 01, 2009

      PHILADELPHIA — A U.S. court says a kindergartner’s mother cannot read Scripture during show and tell, even if the Bible is the boy’s favorite book.

      Monday’s ruling is a victory for the Marple Newtown School District in suburban Philadelphia.

      The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says the school’s decision does not violate First Amendment rights given the nonpublic nature of the classroom and the tender age of the children.

      Speech by Charlton Heston
      “Winning The Cultural War”
      Harvard Law School Forum
      February 16, 1999

      to re-connect you with your own sense of liberty … your own freedom of thought … your own compass for what is right. Dedicating the memorial at Gettysburg, Abraham Lincoln said of America, “We are now engaged in a great Civil War, testing whether this nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure.”

      Those words are true again. I believe that we are again engaged in a great civil war,

      a cultural war

      that’s about to hijack your birthright to think and say what resides in your heart. I fear you no longer trust the pulsing lifeblood of liberty inside you … the stuff that made this country rise from wilderness into the miracle that it is.

      http://www.theblessingsofliberty.com/articles/article9.html

      • esomhillgazette says:

        LOI, Notice that I am not saying that CA is right or wrong, just that the law was passed, so live with it. I see no difference between this law and others that were passed to our detriment.

        Had this been voted down, you most likely would see some folks pitching a hissy fit on the other side. The difference though would be that they would be accused of being whining little girls when the people have spoken. It would never have gone to the SC to begin with.

        In my personal opinion, The Government should not be in the issue to begin with. Who really gives a rat’s ass whether they are “married” or not. I don’t. Although, I am not Don Quixote, not Sir Gallahad, out chasing windmills or slaying dragons, like others! :-)

        Hope you are having a great day!

      • Killer article LOI. And to think that was 10 years ago! I always liked Charlton Heston. What an American! I wish more actors thought like him. Too bad they don’t.

  7. Naten53 says:

    As a fiscally conservative and socially liberal I also support the rights of same sex unions. I do not care what they call it. That is a issue in itself, if you call everything civil unions then religious people will go crazy and that would open another huge issue.

    Fiscally speaking this is a great idea. I don’t want to sound emotionless but with the average cost of a wedding at $25,000 think of all the money flying around. When you add on that there is sales tax on all of the services and income tax on all of the workers wouldn’t this be a big boom to the industry of weddings?

  8. Black Flag says:

    Aside:
    Gold making another run @ $1,000 – up $15 …

    • BF, I have some investments maturing in August. I’d like to use that money for precious metals. It’s 401k money, so I’ll take that hit anyway. The CD’s are earning a comparatively ‘good’ rate… I’ve been advised to wait til maturity, in your opinion, is that the wisest course?

      • Black Flag says:

        Yes – the penalty is too high for early withdrawal.

        Gold is purely a measure of the faith in government – a higher price = lower faith.

        Once your investments come due, at that time you’ll need to evaluate your circumstances.

  9. Doesn’t the court’s opinion basically state that “separate but equal” is Ok?
    If civil unions enjoy “all of the constitutionally based incidents of marriage,” why is it not called marriage?

    Haven’t we been down this “separate but equal” road before?

    Since my wife and I were not able to have children, should our marriage be voided?

    We tried adoption, but that became another emotional rollercoaster – sounded easy up front, than dragged out for years.
    The adoption agency was church based, received government funding, and Gay couples were NOT eligible to adopt thru the program.

    Marriage has religious but also social meaning, and it provides legal status in many parts of our lives . If the state issues marriage license, how can it discriminate because of some people’s religious beliefs?

    In yesterday’s article and comments, there was a lot of talk about freedom, liberty, and selfishness – doing what’s best for you while not infringing on others.

    Isn’t denying gays the right to marriage because of your religious beliefs a contradiction to that?

    • It seems to me that the only person who should decide who gets to adopt and who doesn’t is the mother of the baby being adopted, but I’m sure it’s not always that simple.

      I think the point of the philosophy articles was to point out the contradictions that we all hold. People on both sides of the aisle are trying to force their view of how the world should be on everyone else, and when the other side wins they cry out about freedom and liberty, and then go back to trying to force their ideals on others.

      • I agree in general on your first point, but sometimes a 16 year old girl who is pregnant needs a little guidance. The issue was who was doing the guiding…

        Yes, it’s interesting how the attitudes flip-flop as parties flip-flop from minority to majority and back. We’re all hypocrites at one time or another.

    • USWeapon says:

      Todd,

      You make a valid point here, with a caveat. We have been down the separate but equal road before, but comparing it to that is not quite a fair comparison as one would be led to believe because of similar wording.

      On the other side of this, I agree that if the rights and liberties are all the same, then why not call it marriage. So the question becomes whether or not marriage is a religious term or a governmental status term. It started as a religious term, hence why religious folks are so apt to argue against giving this status to same sex couples.

      Unfortunately for the religious folks, it has been allowed to be transitioned to a governmental status term. It is an interesting example of the unintended consequences. The folks who eons ago thought it was a great idea to involve government in the business of “marriage” because at that time 99% of people agreed with their position, never saw that in doing so they were setting themselves up to lose the right to regard marriage as exclusively religious later. And now they stand with the unintended consequences staring them directly in the face. And they are left with little argument outside of because God says so. And since the majority is not quite as overwhelming as it once was…. they are screwed.

      What would be the right move is to eliminate government’s involvement in marriage altogether and make everyone have civil unions. Marriage can then go back to a personal word choice issue and become a moot point in terms of politics.

      • I agree. I’m referring to marriage in the social/government sense, because having a status of “married” carries many positive benefits in our society. I don’t believe civil union would ever have the same status, even if all marriages were referred to in that way.

    • Alan F. says:

      I believe the “no” in this instance aims at keeping the notion of traditional marriage separate from same sex unions within the confines of religion. I doubt traditional marriage proponents are looking at keeping any “bonus” features they enjoy out of the reach of gays. I do believe they are keeping what they see as being “against their religious beliefs” out of what they also see as a religious institution and not a civil one.

      Dig deep enough and the very notion of marriage boils down to procreation. Marriage preserved bloodlines (new tribe members), prevented wars (retained tribe members) and improved family wealth (cattle, land and much more) all in one tidy package. “Ain’t love grand” came MUCH MUCH MUCH later.

      • I’m not saying a church should be forced to perform gay marriage, but if the state is going to issue marriage licenses, it should not discriminate. The marriage itself can be performed by a justice of the peace or a church that chooses to perform gay marriages.

        • Alan F. says:

          The state issues a license as a measure of control not validation. A driver’s license is not an affirmation of your “right” to drive but the state’s “allowing” you to. Any state or government issued license is them affording you their permission and nothing more… for a fee$$$.

          • A marriage has many legal advantages other than the state’s permission to marry.

            And there are states where gay marriage, and any union that is similar to marriage, is illegal.

      • Chris Devine says:

        Adoption and sperm banks make families possible for gay couples. Why should they be excluded from marriage if it is essentially about procreation as you suggest?

        • Alan F. says:

          Reread what I’ve posted. Should they develop a method for grafting functional female reproductive organs into a male or visa-versa with regards to a female, it changes one groups historical religious significance of marriage and its validity to them in what way?

  10. Mrs. Weapon says:

    Nice one my husband. The argument is spot on. I am glad that other people get to hear your ideas. Now they know how I feel……it is a lot to be challenged to think every single day!

    • Black Flag says:

      You might start a trend, Mrs. Weapon.

      Mrs. Flag may post one day. :lol:

    • Welcome! Believe me, I often think of both you and Mrs. Flag….

    • Good morning Mrs W. You must have a very interesting life. Your Hubby has a great site here, and does a great job at getting people to think.

      Have a great day!

      G!

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Spot on? If spot on means discriminatory business practices are ok then sure – he is spot on! This I highlighted in my previous post. The open end question here is to what extent the California definition of civil union provides the same ‘rights and protections’ as a man/woman married couple. That question can be very complicated whether you are looking at taxes, health insurance, survivor benefits, child custody preference, immigration status, military and vets benefits, child rearing (access to children’s education records / ‘parent/teacher conferences’), the list goes on………

      While not completely identical, when this issue was raised from a Federal perspective, it was identified by the GAO that there were over 1,100 laws pertaining to married couples (http://www.factcheck.org/what_is_a_civil_union.html & http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d04353r.pdf). I would suggest a similar effort be ascertained in California before we readily dismiss the activists as liberal whiners that “MAY” have the same rights and protections – there may not be 1,100 laws with a smidgen of marriage referenced in them – but safe to bet there are a few.

      • Ray: I think at least with respect to the state you may be getting your tail tied in a knot before its necessary. I already pointed out how your examples of access to 401K and life insurance were incorrect. Health insurance probably is right now. So are some of the other items you list.

        However, if the Supremes of CA have declared “same rights” status then some folks are going to be scrambling to change their policies, or they will find themselves in court. Maybe this will help the economy down there. More litigation.

        I didn’t see where USW was condoning descrimination and in fact he quite clearly stated he did not. The issue is whether the CA laws “really” do give equal status, with respect to rights and access to other things, and cookies. I still think the dual labeling is wrong but the Law is not always Just and sometimes Justice doesn’t seem fair.

        I think the federal issue needs to be tackled head on and the law repealed. Hows that for a radical right wing liberal rant?

        I would like to note that your one reference asserts that Civil Unions are not recognized by all states. That again opens up considerable litigation since the constitution requires the states to recognize the laws of others. Montana is not a “community property” state but Idaho is. Montana recognizes “community property” status for all property acquired by those who lived in Idaho and now live in Montana. I can’t see how a state could ignore the legal rights associated with the Civil Union.

        I’ll be seeing my California Lawyer sister-in-law this weekend. I’ll see if I can get some answers for everyone.

        Best Wishes
        JAC

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          Eager to hear what your relative has to share. My suggestion is that USW did not think this all the way through – care should be exercised in interpreting what constitutionally protected really means.

          Allowing the States to solely handle this does not solve the portability problem ;-)

      • USWeapon says:

        Ray,

        Exactly where did I say that discriminatory business practices are OK? Don’t try to make that connection when I said no such thing. It is akin to saying that since you don’t support gun legislation you think it should be OK for criminals to shoot people. What I said was that the court made the right ruling according to the law. That was the entire point of my article. I did not make, or not make, the argument that in practice civil unions are equal. I merely said that the court did and that based on their ruling the interpretation of the law was correct. The court made the determination and I reported such. I am not gay, don’t live in CA. Do not attempt to twist my positions to say something that I did not say.

        Are civil unions in CA equal in providing rights and liberties to gay couples? I don’t know. The court says yes. As someone who hasn’t had to deal with it, I assume that the courts have heard the arguments from the legal teams from both sides. I would assume that those legal teams put forth the argument that you are making. And the court rejected their claim, so I am left with no other recourse than to assume you have less information than they do, and therefore you are arguing from an emotional standpoint rather than one based on the facts in CA.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          Not so fast soldier – I was taking a read on how you interpret the ruling to be the right thing – you are making what I think is a huge leap in assuming that what is constitutionally protected addresses/covers ‘rights and protections’ – I think a hard delta would prove those are not one in the same, which in my mind results in you inherently being ok with practices that are in the delta and begging again why this may not have been a wise decision. As I stated previously I am aware of at least one gap in application – I think more ‘in practice’ needs to be shared before you dismiss this so easily.

          “I personally think that the court was correct in this decision. As I have said previously, I fully support gay couples having all the rights and protections that straight couples have. In this way, a civil union does the trick as best I can tell. The term marriage has no bearing on the rights or protections. It is merely a word, and one that the people of California have decided that they would like reserved for straight couples.”

          • USWeapon says:

            “I personally think that the court was correct in this decision. As I have said previously, I fully support gay couples having all the rights and protections that straight couples have. In this way, a civil union does the trick as best I can tell.”

            Was that not clear that I would not support any form of discriminatory practices against gay couples? Was it not made further clear that “as best I can tell” was based on the ruling of the presiding judge? According to the law, the court made the right decision. If the litigation would have done a good job showing where the rights are NOT the same, I imagine the ruling would have been different. I think you are assuming that your argument here was not made in court. Is that true? If it was made in court and rejected, then you are either wrong, or simply know California law better than the lawyers that passed their BAR and their judges.

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              I didn’t read the trial transcripts so I don’t pretend to know better than the lawyers and Judges involved in the case. I would doubt anyone looked for every constitutionally-impacted or practice-impacted potential application of the new ruling which is why I shared the example of what I referenced and know of first hand. You’re taking a black & white view of this and assuming what I refuse to:

              1. You believe the Court made the right decision based on the law;
              2. You must assume that the law/ruling would not discriminate b/n marriage and civil unions as you state “as best as I can tell” (I’m not what this litmus test is – it does not strike me as rational or logical and I am curious how that assessment works – in lieu of what I continue to offer as a dearth in an exhaustive assessment of the deltas b/n what is granted to married couples versus legal unions – and before you count this as unreasonable – it is doable and has been done on much larger scales as the example I provided)
              3. I have offered one concrete example of where I know the rights and protections are not the same.
              4. This entire argument is sure enough going to simply result in additional lawsuits because the Courts backed off and interpreted this as applied to Constitutional rights only. In lieu of offering that you support beyond that I side with the notion that you are reading their opinion strictly and assuming it applies beyond that scope.

  11. JB and others:

    Now I would like to address the bigger issue within the question of laws and morality, as explained by JB.

    Yes, our laws are based on majority views and those views are largely dictated by religious based moral principles. But should they be?? That is the question.

    Laws based on any majority of like minded people will impede on the rights of those who do not share that same morality.

    So, is it possible to find those moral principles shared by everyone or is “sharing the same values by everyone” simply an unreasonable expectation?

    If it is unresonable, then what is the threshold of acceptability for one group imposing its will on another? I submit that 50%+1 is not enough.

    What is the threshold of acceptability with regard to the rights we will or will not take from another? Are there some that are off limits?

    As you explore these question keep checking your list of contradictions.

    Good Thinking
    JAC

    • JAC,

      First, what “right” is being taken? You can start calling a pig a unicorn, but you are just changing the name. If they are given the same treatment but naming it a civil union, its not about rights, but something else.

      Yes, our laws are based on majority views and those views are largely dictated by religious based moral principles. But should they be?? That is the question.

      The answer is, yes. Until there is some system of morals that can take its place. Ann Coulter claims that 80% of our prison population come from homes with no father, a single mother home accounts for the a vast majority of societies worst. The liberal agenda of iconizing single mothers has had consequences. I do not equate that to reconizing gay marriage will lead to higher crime rates or such, just that there will be a further erosion of “western” values, which will likely have a cost.

    • Alan F. says:

      But the inverse holds true to. When do the wants of the few negate the wants of the many? When YOU tag it with the moniker “right”? Its easy to take this type of argument either way.

    • Alan F. says:

      But the inverse holds true too. When do the wants of the few negate the wants of the many? When YOU tag it with the moniker “right”? Its easy to take this type of argument either way.

  12. Danak13 says:

    BF and Chris or USW or Mrs USW or actually anyone….This is somewhat aside from the conversation however, I think pertinent for me (a little greed here )..however…one of you please describe what a liberal and conservative is, and please, not be dictionary definition. I used to think that I was conservative but reading a bunch of blogs lately ( most of them ), I do not see philosophical debate but just rhetoric and a lot of name calling. BF has ideas that are thought provoking as well as Chris and USW…

    I also thought that I was a liberal of sorts but, again, in reading the name calling and attitude recently, I am not sure of that leaning. This is the first site that actually has reasoned thought but I am curious. I thought all this time that I knew where I stood but now….who the hell knows.

    Being a 40 year military veteran, most would assume that I am far right ( conservative? ) but since I do not subscribe to some of the ideology, then I must be far left ( Liberal? ). Do I need to list stances and points and let some of you decide where I am??? Geez…all these years and I thought I had it figured out and then I find a site that is thought provoking, without name calling, and actually can keep on subject. Will someone tackle that question, please?

    • Danak; I will try to tackle but can’t make it as simple as you might hope.

      First Left vs Right. After the first wave of french revolution their parliament divided into two groups. Those who wanted reform and democracy and those who wanted to protect the monarchy in some way. As I recall they supported a constitutional monarchy. Those fighting for democracy sat on the Left side of the room (I assume when looking from the chairmans position) and the monarchists sat on the Right side.

      Thus the Left was democratic and the Right was statist.

      Now those who fought for liberty were called Liberals as this was change from the status quo and Conservatives were for maintaining the status quo, they were statist.

      Thus you have Left=Liberal and Right=Conservative. And that was the last time these words had definitive meanings that applied to the politics and philosophy of the times.

      My view of our current situation is this. The Progressive Movement and the Modern Liberal have staked out those terms as well as their view that they are on the Left of Left of Center.

      Unfortunately that leaves the rest of us with the choice of trying to explain to a TV stupified public that the definitions are corrupted or simply adopting the remaining names and then changing what they stand for. That is how the Conservatives have come to stand for Liberty and the Liberals for Statism. But then the Christian Coalition and others gained enough power in the “conservative” movement to start demanding laws that impose their values on others. Such as the gay marriage issue. So now we have Liberals who support statism and Conservatives who support statism

      And therein lies the division that is working its way through the Republican Party today. Which view of “conservative” is going to win the day?

      I have chosen a different tact: Radical Right Wing Liberal

      Try it on, you might like it.

      Wow, 40 years. Thank you and congratulations. It takes a special kind of person to do one thing that long. You must have enjoyed it.

      Best Wishes
      JAC

      • esomhillgazette says:

        JAC, I too, consider myself a Radical Right Wing Liberal. I still use the C word though as confusion is all that results when you state to another that you are a RRWL. From what D13 says, he sounds like a right leaning centrist.

      • Black Flag says:

        “Left Wing” got its name because in the French Congress, those that wanted more freedom sat on the left side of building.

        “Right Wing” got its name because in the same Congress, those that wanted more of the State sat on the right side of the building.

        It goes to show everyone, labels are not meaningful. Often they are used to confuse and deflect reason and argument.

    • USWeapon says:

      I don’t have time at the moment but I will address this later today. Off to work for me shortly.

    • Danak,

      I like to avoid the labels, as few fit me well. I am not a “true” conservative, but could rarely be considered liberal. Homeland security is seeking to define us as “single issue” radicals. I will have to be defined on multiple issues.

  13. JayDickB says:

    Something important seems to be getting lost in some of the above discussions, especially BF’s response to item 3.

    California law, as I understand it, gives all rights to homosexual couples as heterosexual couples have EXCEPT that the state does not call their union a marriage, rather a civil union. Does that involve a fundamental right? Does a homosexual couple have the RIGHT to have the state call their union a marriage? Seems to me a distinction without a difference.

    • JDB, When a man and women decide to marry it is a RIGHT to choose to do that, and they must then purchase a license from the state to do so. Denying a minority group from this is a contradiction of equality. Just my opinion!

      PEACE

      G!

      • JayDickB says:

        G, But in California, isn’t this basically what happens when a homosexual couple wants to enter a civil union? Exactly what is different about the civil union except the name?

        • The only thing different is the principle, equality should have some meaning, but religious moral law took over, and here we are, having a nice discussion about it.

          G!

  14. This is a hard topic for me. I am torn about the decision in California. I am a big supporter of upholding the votes of the people. But on the other hand, I should have the same rights as any other American in this country. I personally dont care what you call it. Has long as all the same rights apply. My issue with the Morman church is not that they are getting their beliefs out and making sure people are voting. That is their right. Its that they are raising and donating money (83million) to a this cause. Which is against the law. As a non profit church you have to have a different branch for donations relating to a political causes of any kind. Focus on Family is a good example of this. They a non profit group that follow certain beliefs, they set up a different branch that allows donations for political issues which they pay taxes on.
    I think California needs to approach this in a different light.
    It saddens me when I see a vote like this. No matter what I do for my country, no matter what kind of person I am. I am still a second class citizen. The majority will always have the vote agaisnt me. Sad but true.

    • Danak13 says:

      It saddens me when I see a vote like this. No matter what I do for my country, no matter what kind of person I am. I am still a second class citizen. The majority will always have the vote agaisnt me. Sad but true.
      ———————————————-

      Hmmm…thought provoking again. But, Ellen, I will have to agree with you on your statement above. As a military veteran, I have fought for individual rights….I have also fought for the “will of the people”…but, I have to be on your side here. You do have that right and I support it and to deny it is wrong but the Court could not decide along those lines. It had a matter of law to decide on and it did. Right or wrong..it was the proper decision. (This based on NOT researching the Ca. law but reading the various positions of judges throughout the country…on both sides of the fence.)

    • JayDickB says:

      Ellen – If civil unions provide all the rights and privileges as marriage except the name, what rights are being denied, other than state use of the word “marriage”? Even regarding the word, the individuals can say they are married if they like.

      I can’t see that homosexuals have been denied any rights in California. Am I missing something?

      • Danak13 says:

        Actually, I think you are correct, Jay. The rights of all are protected as I see it…bottom line.

      • Before we can make a conclusion here does anyone know what the wording is on the “license” issued by CA when you want to get “hitched”?

        I would submit that if it is called a “Marriage License” then there is a problem regarless of what the court said.

        If it says “Civil Union License” or some such thing then your position would be correct.

        Anybody got a copy of their latest?

        • JayDickB says:

          JAC – Even if one says “Marriage License” and the other says “Civil Union License”, but both provide the same rights and privileges, what’s the problem. Must they be identical to provide the same rights?

          • Richmond Spitfire says:

            Hi Jay,

            Maybe I’m being silly here, but to me, “marriage” denotes the ceremony, whereas, “civil union” denotes the state’s ability to get their dinero and recognition that two people have made a legal committment to each other….

            Heck, maybe they should be called “Committment” Papers….lol :twisted:

            Regards,
            RS

            • Not to be confused with “Committment Papers”, the kind that get you free hospital stay.

              Never mind, maybe there is no confusion between the two.

              Smiling Yet?

            • esomhillgazette says:

              Maybe they should just call a Marrige OR Civil Union License a “License to Steal”. :mrgreen:

            • Alan F. says:

              The “ceremony” is a part of the religious aspect or the legal one? There’s the rub. One side argues marriage as a religious ceremony the other as a social one. One side sees the institution as primarily being between him and her in the eyes of god while the other as one person and another in the eyes of society. Little wonder there is so much fodder for discourse.

          • YES.

            See comment on bus seats. Include water fountains and which door you can use to enter the hotel.

            Add a patch with a Star on it worn by some but not others. Yet all have the “same rights” but govt claims you are not a “second class” citizen.

            When it comes to govt involvement in our lives then YES titles on paper and words or any other types of labels matter.

        • It says “Marriage License”

      • If you see no difference, then why not let gay couples get married?

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        How are you determining that both have the same rights? Because USW said so?

        • USWeapon says:

          Ray,

          The courts said so, not me.

          I wrote, and I quote, “I fully support gay couples having all the rights and protections that straight couples have. In this way, a civil union does the trick as best I can tell.” That is as far as I am willing to go. I don’t know enough about Califronia law to say with certainty anything beyond what the court determined in their ruling which was “Such unions give those couples the ability to “choose one’s life partner and enter with that person into a committed, officially recognized and protected family relationship that enjoys all of the constitutionally based incidents of marriage”.

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            Got it – I think the nuance is what is in “constitutionally based incidents of marriage” and how they judicially determined this. IOW if isn’t based in the California constitution it likely does not apply here.

            • USWeapon says:

              Fair point. And in that way there is always much about the gay rights issue that is in dispute. I am not arguing in my articel that gays have equal rights in California. I am only arguing that from what I can tell, CA courts legally decided this case correctly. Most legal scholars seem to be in agreement that LEGALLY it is the right ruling. That does not mean that they agree that gay couple have equal rights.

              It should be noted that I didn’t like the ruling, but I thought it was correct. It is like watching a game with friends and a player on your team gets called for a foul. You hate it, but you watch the replay and see that the call was correct. You have to admit it even though it may have just lost the game for your team.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                USW – I keep coming back to this as well:

                “In other words, the court held that not having the right to be “married” was not a violation of equal rights or the equal protection clause because the rights and protections currently given to gay couples are provided for by other equal means.”

                So what does “equal means” mean? And again – what are the ‘rights and protections’ so afforded? My position is that unless you can answer those effectively then you cannot state that the law was applied properly.

                For example, if under CA law, in child custody battles if preference is given to a ‘married’ couple versus a single parent then is a ‘civilly unified’ couple seen in the same identical light? Is that what is meant by equal and equal means? This isn’t passing the sniff test as I doubt they were intending to answer these types of questions specifically.

              • USWeapon says:

                I believe that I can state that the law was properly applied. The court answered the question that way. Your argument is with the court, not my position. The fact that I restated the court’s opinion in order to make it clear for everyone in my own words, does not mean that I now own the court’s decision. The court heard your argument from lawyers and folks in the CA system, and the court determined that the protections and rights were equal. If you disagree, that is fine, but you are disagreeing with the court, not with me. My position is that if the court determined that equal protection and rights were afforded by other means, then the decision they rendered was correct legally.

                You keep arguing that I need to prove to you that equal is equal. That is not my conclusion to argue, it is the court’s. What makes you think that you are correct if the lawyers arguing the case, with all their facts, did not win your side of the argument in court? It seems the difference here is that I have accepted that the court did their due diligence and came to the correct conclusion. You are not accepting the court’s determination that equal protection and rights exist. That is fine, you are OK not to do so. However, the fact that you choose to ignore the court’s determination does not make my opinion that the court made the right ruling based on that determination incorrect.

      • Jay- Civil unions give state benefits but not federal. Marriage carries Federal protections that civil unions do not. Plus different states have the right to dimiss a civil unions rights, where they cant dispute a marriage.
        On a earlier comment it stated that the “trans dressing nuns” are killing our cause. I agree to a point. Yes that is what people remeber when voting. But on the other hand have you seen the crazy Jerry Springer type people. A group of really out there people should not determine on who gets equal rights.

        • JayDickB says:

          Ellen – First, I avoid Mr. Springer at all costs.

          As for federal benefits for civil unions, I’m ok with their being the same as for marriages.

          But I still think that, if the government is involved in any way in personal relationships, distinctions between different kinds of relationships by calling them different names are appropriate. In that regard, I firmly believe that a homosexual relationship is different from a heterosexual relationship.

          I also agree that the best “solution” would be to get the government out of the business of recognizing personal relationships except to enforce valid contracts freely entered by the parties.

    • So ladies and gentlemen

      Going forward, if we get the power to fix all that is wrong.

      Will the government, (fed,state, or otherwise) have the power to declare “marriage”?

      Will the government, (any level) have the power to deny the right of anyone to claim marriage or to prevent the same from sharing in all benefits therefrom?

      If we decide that govt should issue paper sanctioning marriage then would we deny that paper to any consenting adults who wish to enter into such arrangement, of their own free will?

      Before you answer the last, remember how you answered the discussion regarding “fairness” and “equity” of laws and taxes. “Liberty and Justice for All”. Justice requires equal and blind treatment.

      And again, if govt’ job is to protect our rights, who’s rights are we protecting by preventing homosexuals from getting that piece of paper?

      • JayDickB says:

        Seems to me it could be reduced to contracts and religion, neither of which requires any state intervention. Maybe the contracts should be filed with the state, but maybe not. Contracts and religious arrangements could be anything the individuals want.

        One man (or woman) could have three wives (husbands); just draw up a contract outlining the terms. If you want a religious ceremony, fine. The state’s only role would be to help enforce the contract if that becomes necessary.

        One complication might be incestual relationships. Does the state have a legitimate role here? If it’s rape, yes. Otherwise? Don’t know.

        • I would say the state has no compelling interest regarding incest unless 1) there is definitive effidence of increased handicapped children and 2) that the state has some obligation to care for such children.

          If we eliminate #2 then #1 is not relevant.

          Otherwise, I can see no state (aka Society) interest.

          I do think there is an age limit or a cognitive skill test needed to assure parties are trully acting of free will and capable of making those kinds of decisions.

        • Black Flag says:

          The “increase in handicapped children” is such a red herring regarding incest.

          We inbred other mammals perfectly – for some reason humans can’t???

          Bizarre biological misunderstanding of genetics.

          Anyway…. the real reason the State prohibits inbreeding is due to the legal quagmire it causes for inheritance rights. Wive/children/brother/uncle get different legal access to property inheritance – which becomes a total mishmash when they are the same people. The State simply found it easier to outlaw the breeding instead.

          As JAC said, get the State out, and the problem completely goes away.

          • Ugh BF! I am from Georgia. That being said the thought of having sex with my sister utterly repells me. With my Mama is beyond even thinking on. Dang BF! :-?

            • Black Flag says:

              I know – but remember that is a “learned” experience – we are taught that it is bad, so we impose that upon ourselves.

              Remember though, Royalty has used incest in the past to keep Royal blood pure.

              Pharaohs married their sisters or mothers to ensure pure blood lines. The Royal Courts of Europe use the same inbreeding techniques to keep out the ‘commoners’ – and is still enforced marginally today.

              • Learned experience or not. YUCK!!!!! :-?

              • Richmond Spitfire says:

                Hi BF…

                I saw a documentary once on Discovery regarding the intermarrying of Royalty.

                The documentary described a King who was mentally deficient and considered to be “freakish” in his appearance. It was attributed to the inbreeding.

                The King in question was Charles II of Spain and his parents were not only Husband and Wife, but Uncle and Niece.

                I have to go with Esom on this…makes me want to hurl…I love my brother, but eeeewwwwwww!

                Puts a new meaning to brotherly and sisterly love!
                8-O (wishing there was a hurling smiley face)

                Regards,
                RS

              • Black Flag says:

                Yet, non-incest coupling produce ‘freakish’ children too (no insult intended at all) yet we don’t give such couplings the stigma or the pseudo-science excuses.

                The assumption that wide-breeding increases survivability has not been proven at all.

                It has equal chance to degrade survivability as it merely adds a random component to the gene pool.

                All of this does not change the “yuck” factor at all :lol:

              • Not equal. Long term
                there is
                regression.

                Does inbreeding lead to genetic abnormalities? defects may be more common than I let on. The problem is “inbreeding depression,” the emergence of undesirable traits when closely related parents each contribute a normally dormant gene. According to one paper (Jaber et al, Community Genetics, 1998), congenital malformations are 2.5 times more common among offspring of inbred couples than of unrelated parents. A famous example is the “blue Fugates,” members of an inbred Kentucky hill clan who suffered from a rare genetic blood disorder that made their skin look blue.

                http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2621/are-there-inbred-families-in-the-ozarks-appalachians-like-in-em-deliverance

          • Alan F. says:

            Actually becomes a no-no in the Mosaic Covenant. Just say no to fixing traits is a fairly new position.

    • Richmond Spitfire says:

      Hello All,

      I’m just curious about something…What if all states changed the wording from “Marriage” License to “Civil Union” License; then, it is up to the two parties to determine if they wish to have a religious “marriage” ceremony (there are gay churches) or a “civil” ceremony before a magistrate? Would this satisfy everyone and create more balanced equality on this subject?

      I guess I’m just hung up on the words…When I went to the County to get my marriage licenses (yeap, three of them :roll: ) it was just to satisfy what the state required; my “marriages” really happened once in front of the magistrate and twice in ‘religious’ ceremonies with Reverends.

      Thanks and kind regards,

      RS

    • Bama dad says:

      Ellen
      The Mormon Church itself did not raise or contribute any money to the proposition 8 campaign. In the paperwork filed 30 January 2009 with the ProtectMarriage.com coalition the church list $189,903.58 in-kind donations. This contribution is less than one half of one percent of the total funds raised by all parties. It is true that members of that church raised or contributed money to yes on 8, but they did that as private citizens. Some news reports have a way of slanting a story.

      • Danak13 says:

        Now you have done it, Bama Dad, You REALLY think the news reports are slanted? I am disillusioned. Sigh..

  15. CWO2USNRet says:

    Many interesting points being raised here. How about this for a simple? solution.

    First acknowledge the need of the state to legally define a union pursuant to its proper role of ensuring a sound legal framework in which people conduct their business. Property rights, inheritance, life decisions when incapacitated all fall within this realm.

    Second acknowledge the need for some to have a religiously sanctified marriage.

    All people have a right to enter into a contract after the age of majority. The people, via the government, define the rights, responsibilities, and restrictions of the standard civil union contract and the government properly records its execution. No more, no less.

    Those who need to sanctify their ‘marriage’ in the eyes of their god do so in a private religious ceremony.

    No muss, no fuss. Everybody’s happy! or not?

    • JayDickB says:

      I think you’re on the right track. But, I don’t think the state needs to specify anything. Allow people to put in the contract anything they like. It would be OK to file the contract with the state if you want, but even this might not be required.

      Leave the religious part alone. Let people do what they want.

    • JayD is correct: In addition to the principle that the state just has not business in this business I offer this as well. A contact, to be enforcable, must be free from coersion when executed. If the state is involved in a unilateral position to dictate terms, the contract is not free from coersion.

      The contract needs to be recorded just as any other. Fees for filing should be paid to assure access to courts later should disagreements occur.

      • CWO2USNRet says:

        Get the gov’t out of the marriage/civil union business altogether is a strong argument. Much more in keeping with the VDLG principles. As it is now, all the legal benefits, save one, of marriages and civil unions can be constructed by other means; wills, powers of attorney, living wills, trusts, etc. The exception being preferential tax treatment. If the gov’t gets out of the marriage/union business then this would have to go away as well.

        A standard civil union contract would be for simplicity and convenience.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        I’m not following you here – you’re advocating that the State not be involved? Who defines then what a contract is and how it is enforced? Who sets and defines the laws by which “a Court” you reference will adjudicate whether one party or other has violated the terms of said contract? How do you handle portability issues? If I move from State A to State B what happens to my contract? If I move from San Francisco (liberal) to Wichita (conservative) may my contract be in jeopardy?

        • Ray: The courts have long held procedures for evaluating contracts and contract law. No further laws are needed and thus the Legislative and Executive branches are not required. Filing the contracts with a county recorder simply helps later as an acknowledgement that both parties have agreed at time of filing. Can’t claim coersion later. It also helps in collecting fees to assure access to courts later (hint, hint).

          Contracts are already honored across state lines although parties vie for one state over another depending on judge and some issues. But the contracts are transportable.

          By the way, some contracts specify a third party aribiter will be used instead of courts. So in that case the state is not involved at all.

          As I see it the Getting Married part is easily served by getting the state out of it and eliminating any advantages associated with being or not being.

          The real issues are all about Getting UNMarried. That age old fight for assets and income and retribution. Contracts will solve but how do we resolve if there is not contract. One party says Hey we were married, and the other says no way Jose! The courts can handle this currently but it is not as easy as contracts.

    • Richmond Spitfire says:

      Oops CWO…I didn’t read your post until after I made my post above…Sounds like we are thinking alike on this one…

      Regards,
      RS

      • Also check out Peter B’s response way up near top.

        Hows Spitfire today?

        • Richmond Spitfire says:

          Will do JAC…

          Thanks for asking…Have to get my Gall Bladder removed tomorrow and feeling just a little bit intimidated! ;?

          Best Regards and Hugs,
          RS

          • OUCH

            Hang tough baby, I’ll be thinkin of ya.

            Notice to all readers. We will no longer be able to use the term “Of all the gall” for RS.

            Maybe got a little smile there did we?

            Good luck RS and talk to you when your up to it.
            BIG HUG BACK
            JAC

            • Richmond Spitfire says:

              :lol:

              Yeap…you got a great big smile and giggle from me!

              Regards,
              RS

          • I'm learning! says:

            I’ve been in your shoes. I had my gallbladder out 15 years ago. Laparoscopic surgery. I don’t know if you suffered attacks, but the surgery is a breeze compared to living through those attacks. Good luck!

            • Richmond Spitfire says:

              Yeap, been having the attacks…the last one was for three weeks…thought I was having a heart attack…Maybe this is why I’ve been such a grumpy person!

              Anyway, thanks for the kind words…I’ll be missing everyone here and hope to be seeing you on-line real soon!

              Regards,
              RS

      • CWO2USNRet says:

        I didn’t see your either. Looks like we were writing at the same time.

        Enjoy your day!

  16. JayDickB says:

    JAC – I have the right to enter into any kind of relationship I want. I have the right to call a relationship a marriage. I have the right to decide what that marriage will involve, as long as I do not coerce or otherwise do violence to anyone else.

    The state has told me that, if I file papers with it and pay some money, it will recognize this relationship I and it call marriage.

    The state has also decided that it will not recognize homosexual relationships as being the same as my marriage, at least in name.

    If the state has a right to officially recognize my marriage (I don’t claim that it does), it also has the right to distinguish, at least in name, between my marriage and a homosexual union. I say this because homosexual and heterosexual unions are not identical.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Why are they not identical?

      • JayDickB says:

        Ray – One is homosexual, the other heterosexual. Do you believe homosexual sex and heterosexual sex are identical?

    • Do you have a “right” to file those papers and pay the money and get that license the state has told you it will give you, if you comply?

      • JayDickB says:

        JAC – That depends on whether the state has a right to recognize certain human relationships. If it does, then I have the right to file the papers, etc.

        In California, homosexual couples can also file papers and be recognized.

        But I think a distinction by the state between homosexual unions and heterosexual unions is warranted, at least in name. Homosexual sex and heterosexual sex are different. Heterosexual sex is nature’s way of perpetuating the species, a phenomenon common to most animals. The same cannot be said of homosexual sex. Therefor, heterosexual sex is natural (i.e., consistent with nature), homosexual sex is not. That’s a big difference.

        • Who gets to decide which “differences” matter and which don’t?

          Maybe we should set certain income & wealth guidelines for marriage, because obviously the wealthy have more resources to properly raise a child?

          • JayDickB says:

            To me, the fact that they are not identical justifies a different name. Don’t we usually use different names to describe things that are different? If you want to call an animal that most people call a horse a cow instead, that’s fine with me, but I suspect you might have some communication problems. What matters and how much is up to you. We’re just talking about language.

            • This is more than words. You can call something what you want.

              But the state cannot.

              If they are giving out different papers with different names then NOT EQUAL because the govt did not treat them the SAME.

              Like I said, justice is not always fair. The courts may have ruled correctly on legal matters. Doesn’t make it “right”.

    • Black Flag says:

      Gawd, this thread is moving faster than I can type!

      Jay,

      Why do you need the State to recognize your intimate union with another human being?

      What is your purpose to be ‘recognized’ by (evil rant about government for the next two pages here).

      Kidding aside, what is the purpose that you need to invite the State into your personal relationship with another person?

      For example, do you think we need a license to have the State recongnize a friend?

      • JayDickB says:

        BF – I don’t need the state to recognize any personal relationships. My comments are conditional to the state having the right to recognize.

        Above, I state that all sexual unions come down to contracts and religion, neither of which warrant any state intervention.

        I was responding to JAC’s questions, starting with #11. The whole discussion was prefaced on the current state laws.

        Boy, things can get hard to keep straight here:-)

        • Black Flag says:

          Gotcha, JB

          The State claims whatever it wishes. We cannot determine if it is correct or not in its claim by asking the State if it is right or not to do so.

          However, we give the right to the State the moment we ask its permission to act.

          So never ask the State’s permission least you wish to lose your rights.

      • USWeapon says:

        And on this you are dead on BF. There is no need for the state to recognize the relationship that I have with my wife, my friends, or my readers!

      • I have a new idea.

        Instead of everyone not paying taxes as expression of Revolution, how about if everyone stopped getting marriage licenses and simply started filing “marriage contracts” with county clerks?

        This would be a BF moment. Refuse to acknowledge the BEAST.

        …….

        • JAC,

          That sounds interesting. What are the differences between a marriage license and a marriage contract? Would the people with the contract not be benefiting from the government perks of marriage?

          • Those under contract only will not get the perks. The State will not recognize they are married. But thats the idea. Kick there ass out of our business. That also is the price for revolution. But I would say it is better than fines, penalties, interest charges and jail time for not paying taxes.

            And they will have eliminated the government from having anything to do with their self decreed status.

            They will have a contract dealing with assets, income and estate distribution and anything else they want. There will have to be some serious estate planning done as the large deductions for transfer of wealth upon the death of a “spouse” will not apply. I am guessing this can be structured other ways with good lawyers and accountants.

            We the undersigned, having agreed to live as a married couple (or (herd) if more than two)do hereby agree to the following terms of this contract regarding blah blah blah.

            • Black Flag says:

              I agree! That would devastate the government – the thing they hate the most over all things is being ignored!

            • Its a most excellent protest! However, it should be accompanied by a small spiteful action, so far as I’m concerned. You know how libs go on about ‘fairness’, right? So why not make a push to abolish legal marriage and all its perks because it discriminates against unmarried people? We’ll make it a case of ‘be careful what you wish for’. Fairness means we’re all the same, remember? We all have to be treated the same, in this case, treated like individuals who cannot find someone to marry. Another price of revolution, I guess. Does that makes sense? Yeah, I’m kind of a jerk at times…..
              :smile:

  17. I would like to throw a question out there. Christians believe homosexuality wrong and therefore a sin, correct me if i’m wrong. If homosexuality is a sin, then atheism is wrong and a sin as well, once again, correct me if I’m wrong. If both are true, then what?

    G!

    • Black Flag says:

      Then don’t follow ‘Christian’ morality, and choose one more suitable to your own life.

      Easy.

      • Flag, If both are sins, then why are atheists allowed to get a marriage license? In my state the consensus I understood was that homosexuality was a sin, and marriage should be defined between a man and women. If the “Christian” morality that led this effort here a few years ago is what led the vote in Cali, then shouldn’t all minority groups that the “Christian” morality deems to be sinfull, be denied a marriage license as well?

        • Black Flag says:

          Good argument – demonstrates the contradiction of the “morality” claim

        • I THINK because “marriage is defined as the union between a man and a woman” instead of “between a Christian and another Christian”. And Atheism is not a sin, just a mistake. One that they’ll realize when they see Jesus up close and personal.

          JDB said: “Heterosexual sex is nature’s way of perpetuating the species, a phenomenon common to most animals. The same cannot be said of homosexual sex. Therefore, heterosexual sex is natural (i.e., consistent with nature), homosexual sex is not.”

          In this he has a point. I already said that it doesn’t matter to me whether the State recognizes marriage between homosexuals or not, but I do wonder how much sex has to do with the marrige union in some opinions. Do you consider sex between unmarried heterosexuals to be fornication and a sin? If so, then what is sex between homosexuals? Is it simply sexual gratification? Is it a sin? Would marriage make this any less natural? Would it make it not a sin? Tough questions to answer. Especially for a Christian who believes in Liberty for ALL (me).

          • Black Flag says:

            Marriage has, traditionally, little to do with love, children etc.

            It had plenty to do with power. It was the primary tool to solve tribal conflicts – by marriage of each other tribe’s children, irreconcilable differences (which tend to be deadly to the tribes) could be resolved.

            I believe this is where the State began its claim of license. Since it was a legal issue – inheritance rights, power transfers, etc. the State was intimately involved in determining if the power transfer was legitimate or a fraud, since it changed the relationships within the State itself.

            I believe that humanity has outrun the State’s needs in this regard, and society finds itself trapped between an archaic view of marriage (power accumulation and transfer) and today’s view of love and commitment.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              Totally agree with you here BF… Marriage historically had ALMOST NOTHING to do with love and comitment. Usually it had to do with which Royal Family needed to marry into which other Royal Family in order to prevent open conflict or amass more power. Prior to this it was a similar issue with tribes as you mentioned.

              The whole “love and commitment” thing started before Shakespeare I suppose, but it didn’t become the “norm” until probably sometime in the 19th Century or perhaps even the 20th.

              • I’m not talking about love and commitment. I’m just talking about the sexual component. I fully agree with BF also. I also think the State should stay the hell out of a lot more things than just marriage.

            • I always figured marriage evolved to protect women and children from abandonment, so it just never seemed like a necessity for a homosexual couple, but I’m no historian.

              • Black Flag says:

                Women were mostly chattel for most of history – to be traded for influence and power.

                Male inheritance was important – but kinda hard to accomplish without a mother!

                So women became valuable – so prices were high for the more desirable (rich powerful family lines) – and importantly, the wife’s father found he could gain influence in the deal since it was his grandson who would achieve power eventually – and create an equal footing with the husband’s father. They became heritable equals.

                Power sharing, transfers and influence….= traditional marriage.

  18. As many of you know I’m in California. Personally I don’t have a problem with gay marriage. The primary reason Prop 8 won wasn’t because most here are against gay rights but because the overly extreme gays (such as the flamboyant Trans-Sexuals dressed as Nuns) that were on the TV constantly. People like this hurt the cause far more than helped it and completely freaked out a lot of people. I wouldn’t want my grand-daughter hanging out with these guys and I’m sure most wouldn’t either. These guys were ranting about how children needed to be taught at a young age that it was ok to be gay. Prop 8 opened the door for this and most parents didn’t like it.

    An Alameda County school now is fighting to have classes teaching gay tolerance and lifestyle to kids as young as 5. Parents there are taking the issue to the school board there since currently the school says it is mandatory for children to attend. Acceptance of others with different views, religions, colors, families, or ethnic backgrounds…fine, but not sexual orientation since you would have to go deeper in depth to define what that difference is to a 5 year old. This is not something that the schools should be teaching. It should be up to the parents to answer these questions how they see fit.

    As far as insurance, 401k’s, etc. every company I have worked for in the last 10 years here have extended the benefits to common law spouses, straight or not. Granted I’ve always worked for small, mom & pop glass companies, but I’m pretty sure it’s the same for the larger corps as well.

    • KYM, This issue has been voted on in many states (30 i think), and marriage was legally defined as between a man and a woman. While we may be talking about California, it is really a national issue. I agree that schools should stay out of that business, especailly at that young age, I think it would confuse them.

      PEACE!

      G!

    • Black Flag says:

      And that’s the rub, isn’t it.

      Because one group wants its Rights because they believe that will entitle them to force their opinions on others. (ie: “.. how children need..” implies “they MUST”) – they end up losing their other rights.

      (Shake head)

  19. Chris Devine says:

    Show me anywhere in the New Testament where the word ‘homosexual’ can be found. Show me where prohibitions against lesbians are found anywhere in the Bible. Point out where homosexuality is bad and I will show you prohibitions against shaving your beard and eating shellfish (with no more or less emphasis). Claims of homosexual immorality have nothing to do with Christianity.

    The way I see it anything that allows two consenting adults to practice their lifelong commitment to each other is nobody else’s business. Any rights conferred or denied based upon this relationship and how it is defined is nothing but a potential tool for discrimination. This has nothing to do with morality.

    • JayDickB says:

      Chris – I would not use subjective labels like good and bad. I do insist that homosexuality and heterosexuality are different and that homosexuality is unnatural, i.e., not consistent with nature. That is meant as a description, not as a value judgment. See my reply to JAC in #16, above.

      • Chris Devine says:

        Homosexuality is found in many other species including the higher primates. Satisfying a sexual urge without procreating isn’t unnatural. Masturbation, oral sex, hetero anal sex, sex between sterile partners, post-menopausal sex: all of these are natural sexual acts that have nothing to do with procreation. Besides you can’t rely on nature to teach you morality. Cannibalism and infanticide are common in nature. Natural doesn’t imply moral.

        • Black Flag says:

          This isn’t the same Chris! I’m agreeing too much with him today!

        • JayDickB says:

          Chris – I think a simple analysis of male and female physiology shows their primary purpose and method of use to achieve that purpose. The fact that sex organs can be used in other ways, sometimes directly frustrating their primary purpose, doesn’t change their primary purpose. The fact that something occurs in nature doesn’t necessarily make it consistent with nature if other evidence shows the inconsistencies.

          The fact that homosexuality occurs in other species doesn’t change the nature and purpose of the sex act. Mutations occur often in nature. The sexual urge is a means to an end, propagation, not an end in itself.

          I stand by my conclusion. But thanks for the interesting debate.

    • Black Flag says:

      Well, its a pleasure to stand in the same corner as Chris on some topics!
      :)

    • Chris, I’d say I’m on your side here as well. I have someone who is very bible smart looking into this, if your correct she will be a bit miffed and probably frustrated with me!

      G!

    • Amazed1 says:

      Chris please read Romans 1:18-32 may answer your questions

      • Chris Devine says:

        So a letter written to the Romans by a man who never even met Jesus that states, “wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves” is supposed to explain all the concern about supposed homosexual immorality among modern Christians?

        Sorry , I’m not buying it.

        • amazed1 says:

          Chris, Why? Because it disagrees with you? You asked a question….you got your answer…..you can chose to buy what ever you want…..I wasn’t selling. Do not ask questions you don’t want the answer to. I did not ask you to agree or disagree. If the Bible contradicts your position then do not ask that it be quoted.

          • Chris Devine says:

            I just don’t find your reason very convincing. Out of all the books in the New Testament the only mention you can find is in a letter written by Paul. Paul never even met Jesus.

            Why no mention in any of the four Gospels? I think it’s your position that the bible contradicts.

            • amazed1 says:

              A Christain does not choose to believe “part” of the Bible…it is all or nothing. Now if you had asked to show you where Jesus preached against homosexual acts that would have been different and probably alot harder to come up with. But the NT does teach against such acts per Romans.
              Thereby refuting your statement “Claims of homosexual immorality have nothing to do with Christianity.”

              • USWeapon says:

                Who says it is all or nothing? Did some priest say that if you choose not to believe a certain part of the bible that you were no longer a christian? Banished forever from the faith because of your decision to only believe 99%? Or were you told that not believing that last 1% meant you were not permitted to believe the other 99%?

                I would like to have a stern discussion with any Christian who tells me what I can and cannot believe. They have some learning of Christian values to do.

              • amazed1 says:

                Moved to 28

              • USWeapon says:

                And Amazed, does this mean that you are not a Christian. Because one part of the bible may say homosexuality is wrong, but there is clearly another part that states quite explicitly that man is not to judge man. I have yet to meet a Christian who meets that criteria. So is that to say that there are no christians since I cannot find any who 100% adhere to the bible?

              • USWeapon says:

                And Amazed… Please don’t think that I am attacking Christians. I do not mean to make it seem so. I am merely pointing out the hypocrisy of the argument, and trying to do so in a fun way.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      I believe that the Bible does have reference to it being immoral for man to waste his seed if I remember correctly. If I am remembering that correctly, then any PURPOSEFUL emission of seminal fluid without the express intent of at least attempting to produce progeny would indeed be seen as “bad”. Masturbation, homosexual acts, and many other things could be seen as sexual activity that obviously did not have the express intent of producing offspring, and therefore these would be considered against biblical teaching.

      Not saying that I necessarily agree with that point of view or not personally, but I am pretty sure that is where the biblical prohibition on homosexual sex comes from.

      Not quite sure how this would apply to lesbians, since in their case no “spilling of seed” is involved… so maybe THEY are ok! :)

      • I think there is also a reference to “man not laying with man” still nothing about woman with woman though. hmmmm You may be onto something here Peter!

        • Amazed1 says:

          KYM….I believe this to is addressed in Romans 1:18-32

        • chiefopiner says:

          This may be what you’re thinking of?:

          For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

          And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

          And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

          Romans 1:26-28 (King James Version)

        • Chris Devine says:

          The prohibition against men lying with other men as with women is in Leviticus. You can also find commands to not eat shellfish and other types of animals in addition to mandates to retain your beard and avoid wearing the color red.

          • esomhillgazette says:

            The commands not to eat certain foods pertains to the Jews alone. God was instructing his people in what they should do. Gentiles (us) were not included in that.

            • Chris Devine says:

              As you may recall Jesus was a Jew. Are you suggesting that everything in the Old Testament became irrelevant (as far as Christians are concerned) once the New Testament was written?

              Perhaps male homosexuality is only offensive to Judiaism and not Christianity since it’s prohibition is only stated in the OT.

      • Chris Devine says:

        You’re referring to Onan, who spilled his seed rather than impregnate his dead brother’s widow. Onanism is a synonym for masturbation.

    • chiefopiner says:

      Just a quick comment (great discussion by the way)

      The word ‘homosexual’ isn’t in the Bible, at least the King James version. Of course the word ‘heterosexual’ isn’t either. Does that mean the Bible doesn’t speak to sex between a man and a woman?

      • Chris Devine says:

        It says not to covet thy neighbor’s wife. It doesn’t say anything about your neighbor’s husband (whether straight or gay).

        • It does say not to covet thy neighbor’s ass. Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

          • Jennie has me on the floor laughing so hard my sides ar aching.

            Great Big Hug for that one
            JAC

            • I’m sure Chris will say that scripture has nothing to do with homosexuality, but he probably thinks those scriptures about clothing the naked don’t have anything to do with porn either, but hey, it doesn’t say they have to want to be clothed. It just says to clothe them!

    • Oh Chris but it does:

      “This has nothing to do with morality.”

      The ethic and morality of no use of coersive force by the govt is being violated. It may not be the biblical morality but this is a debate about morality.

      And how does it feel to have both BF and JAC in your corner?
      Feeling a little confused?

      Best Wishes

      • Chris Devine says:

        I don’t care what corner you’re in, as long as you keep your hands to yourselves.

  20. Richmond Spitfire says:

    Hi All,

    Have a question…

    Is anyone aware of any Sodomy Laws still being on any of the States’ Books? If so, could this be a “legal” reason that some states don’t address the same sex marriage issue…because, essentially it’s illegal based upon a Sodomy Law.

    Thanks for any responses…

    Kind regards,
    RS

    • HI RS! There are sodomy laws in Ohio, we also have a defined marriage law. I have never heard of legal action taken against anyone in a consensual relationship, gay or straight. It’s always been an additional charge added to a rape or sexual assault charge.

      Good Luck tommorrow!

      G!

      • Richmond Spitfire says:

        Hey G-Man!

        The Ohio define marriage law…basically, what does it state as a marriage?

        Thanks!
        RS

        • Marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman, as with most state laws.

    • Danak13 says:

      In Texas (where my family has resided for four generations now and I am TEXICAN), please note the following:

      Cousin Marriages:
      No. S.B. No. 6

      Same Sex Marriages:
      No.

      Sodomy Law….the Supreme court case of Lawrence v Texas, 2003, over-turned sodomy laws. Up until Texas tried to enforce its Sodomy law, there were only 11 States that had such. Now..none do.

  21. Amazed1 says:

    I sooooo wish I had the time to post to this today!!!! What an interest debate

  22. thedoyle says:

    Good article.

    Here was what I thought you nailed:

    “The term marriage has no bearing on the rights or protections. It is merely a word, and one that the people of California have decided that they would like reserved for straight couples.”

    I think that’s the crux that most people don’t get. This is about forcing other people to call couples married. They always were able to live together and unless I am mistaken, they had the rights under the civil unions laws. So it was about having other people call them married. There was no law before that prevented them at parties from calling themselves that. They could think it and live it and act it all the wanted but they couldn’t force others to call them that and that’s what this was about.

  23. Black Flag says:

    LOI Re: Inbreeding

    While I either can’t remember that study, or I haven’t read it – there are plenty of others that show no such thing.

    Consider this:

    Every dog in the world is the consequence of inbreeding by humans – starting with four wolves about 8,000 years ago.

    In fact, dogs are the most diverse mammal on earth with over 400 different breeds. Where is the ‘regression’ there? It doesn’t exist.

    Further, we know all humanity shares one female as all our great (to the power of …) grandmother.

    Where is the ‘regression’ there? It doesn’t exist.

    Do the math.

    You have two parents, four grandparents, 8 great’s, 16 great-great….

    Each parent-group is formed on an average of 21 years, and spans an average of 60 years.

    Go back a mere 33 Generations, and that means 6 BILLION grandparents. 33 Generations is only 700 years – which essentially means, every person on earth shares some relative, some where, within the last 700 years, or approximately 1400AD – Columbus finding America! But remember, most of the population increase has been very recent.

    It also means we must be highly interbreeding.

    As much as a regressive gene comes forth, so does superior genes.

    Further, there is no mathematical model that can demonstrate that interbreeding is any less or more successful than mere random choice because almost no one takes a gene test to see if they are compatible before they have children – it is a crap shoot.

    • I'm learning! says:

      Growing up in the church – it says in Genesis that in the beginning was Adam & Eve. It didn’t say there was anyone else. For all of us come from those 2, some inbreeding had to happen! I agree with the ewww factor of this, but this was one thing I used to wonder about when I was young but don’t remember actually asking the minister about it!

    • BF, gotta throw the OOMPAH flag on this one: “In fact, dogs are the most diverse mammal on earth with over 400 different breeds. Where is the ‘regression’ there? It doesn’t exist.”

      MY GOD MAN…..Haven’t you ever seen one of them wiener dogs or a hairless Chihuahua.

      Laughing all the way.

    • Most genetic diseases are recessive, so you have to have two copies to have any negative affects from the gene. Most people probably have a copy of some gene that would be bad news if you had two, but there are billions of different ones and they are each very rare, so they rarely get expressed. The problem with inbreeding is that your sibling is a lot more likely to have the same bad genes you do than someone you are less related to.

      I would guess there are many more undesirable genes in existence now than at the beginning of our species since we’ve had many years to accumulate new mutations, so perhaps inbreeding is more dangerous than it used to be.

      The recessive nature of most genetic diseases is also the reason men are inferior to women. We are less susceptible to diseases on the X chromosome since we have two copies. Men all suffer from X chromosome deficiency.

      • Black Flag says:

        However, what is not accounted for….

        … human genetic disorders are self-correcting. They die.

        …human genetic promotions are self-fulfilling. They prevail.

        As equally as regressive genes may appear, promotional genes are equally optioned to appear. The former suffer die off, the latter find genetic success. Animal husbandry complete depends on this fact.

        As far as X-deficiency – I’m kinda glad I have it – I like being a guy!

        It’s like drinking too much – sure you’re ruining your liver – but it’s fun sometimes too!

    • Danak13 says:

      BF….I have to know (inquiring minds and all that) What is it that you do? You are a very philosophical individual.

      • Black Flag says:

        A professional problem solver…..

        … my passion to solve problems usually finds expression in High Technology Consulting ….

        … and occasionally at Poker tables :)

  24. Howdy Everyone Got Another Once for You

    If we are going to have a VDLG Federal level how do we make sure all States protect all rights of its citizens? Or are we going to let the citizens of the states decide which rights they want to take away?

    As our rights are virtually infinite we surely can’t list them all.

  25. Hello All,

    I joined up late today. I see some very good points brought up here. I mentioned abolishing the legal entity of marriage on a different discussion a while back. After reading most of the posts here, I still feel that is the best option. I think Black Flag nailed it when he said something to the effect that ‘marriage’ just allows people to feed at the the federal trough. Personally, I think any recognition of civil unions or marriage, violates the rights of unmarried people (such as myself). Why should I have to be married just to get a tax break, survivors benefits, etc? If there are no financial or other tangible benefits to ‘marriage’, then it will pretty much return to the religeous sphere. Marriages would then be matter between the people involved and whatever/whomever they hold sacred. I’m very close to searching out a lawyer or group to put forth the abolition of marriage on a national level. Those who still believe in traditional marriage, don’t need the governemnt to sanction them.

    • amazed1 says:

      Use to be on the Federal level and in some states it is still true….you are punished for being married. Two single people living together paid less tax than a married. Not sure exactly the date of the Federal tax change but some states still give less tax breaks to married couples.

  26. amazed1 says:

    In a civil union do you get a piece of paper like a license that says you are in a civil union? How do you break a civil union? Realy need the answers to these if someone knows

    • USWeapon says:

      That is a great question that I do not have the answer to. I would be interested to know as well. My thought is that it is treated in the same way as a traditional contract is treated.

    • Black Flag says:

      In the matter of ‘common law’ marriage, the courts recognize these unions to be essentially no different that ‘legal’ marriages and dispenses property and children essentially the same way in a divorce.

      Further, the courts have viewed pre-nuptial agreements with great suspicion.

      They tend to look upon them as either a document signed either under coercion or while mentally incapacitated – unless lawyers were actively involved on both sides offering advise.

      Generally, if one party did not have legal representation, the pre-nup’s are typically ignored in the letter, though the intent may be recognized.

  27. amazed1 says:

    Under some state laws if a man and woman live together for several years…..even without a “marriage license” they are considered married. I believe this is probably a throw back from years ago when men and women chose a mate then when the traveling preacher came by got hitched. I know of a man and woman who lived together 30 years and for all purpose were considered married. They finally chose to get a piece of paper stating it, so that if something happened they could have legal claim to the other’s retirement benefits with out a court battle.

  28. amazed1 says:

    US,
    “who says it is all or nothing?” I said it and I have to admit it was probably a bad choice because it depends on how an individual looks at the Bible. I was thinking along the lines of people who believe that the Bible is the inerrant or infallible word of God. Along the lines of the same belief that says the Bible is 100% truth because if one part of it is a lie then the whole thing is a lie. Sorry I should have thought through what I was saying, my intent was not to offend.
    No, I do not believe, nor do I believe I said that if you did not believe a certain part of the Bile then you were no longer a christain and if it was taken that it is implied I was not impling it either.
    Who said I was judging? I try really hard to refrain from judging others. As far as I am concerned everyone is free to believe and act exactly the way they want…..no one has to answer to me for anything, unless their action affect me.
    No where did I say that Christains have to adhere 100% to the Bible I think that is the part where “for all have sinned” comes in.
    I believe in live and let live, I do not make choices for others. Nor do I condem or condone the choices some one else makes unless their choice affects me.
    Chris made a broad statement, in correcting that, I made the same mistake he did (to broad a statement)…..I had to go to the time out corner!!

    • USWeapon says:

      Oh my. Please don’t think that you have offended me. That is certainly not the case. When you read my article upcoming where I discuss a bit about my upbringing you will understand better why I question anything to do with religious absolutes. So there is absolutely no reason to apologize. I was merely doing a poor job of trying to be funny when I made the stern discussion comment.

      LOL… no need to go to a TO corner. You made a broad statement. I attempted to quickly point out that this would be a flawed position to take by going way past what you had actually said. You realized it was one before I even finished writing it. No harm no foul. One of our big goals here is to consistently question our arguments and refine our positions, I was hoping to help do so. I went about it in the wrong way.

    • Alan F. says:

      These differences in the ideals of marriage and civil unions extend well beyond “The Bible”.

  29. Joshua Israel says:

    Marriage is an infinite union of benefits between man and woman, this man and woman union has no limitation or boundary, and the depth of joy, satisfaction, and happiness that man and woman find within each other is an everlasting abyss of increasing fulfillment. This is what homosexuals envy, and seek to erode away and destroy, and perverting the identity of marriage is the first step in the process. Now, in contrast, SSM’s are limited, and the depth of their irrational relationship is shallow and weak, which causes them seek satisfaction through multiple partners. So, to make themselves feel as if they have value, homosexuals have attacked and have eroded away the monogamous loving relationship of heterosexuals, by introducing moral perversions, and this homosexual corruption has already brought us down to the level of dissatisfaction and unhappiness that gays experience on a daily basis. Heterosexuals do have the Liberty Right to pursue happiness in a monogamous traditional marriage, just as gays have the right to pursue happiness in a sodomite union. Therefore, the DOMA should remain unchallenged, if the USA is to have any last-straw of morality and human decency; otherwise, the USA will suffer the same fate as Sodom and Gomorrah. Why, because, a woman has value when she can give value to the love of a man, a man has value when he can give value to the love of GOD, and this is the natural order of godly human life. Moreover, never in history has any gay man been admired by the LORD GOD, never has any gay man been acknowledged by LORD GOD, never has a gay man prophesied the words of GOD to the people; and never has a lesbian been acknowledged by GOD. So, unless GOD does reverse and abandon his contempt for homosexuals, and does give value to the existence of gays and lesbians, the DOMA should remain in place. Everyone keeps saying, GOD bless the USA; however, these same people continually practice the very things that GOD kinds offensive. So, why would GOD bless the USA when the USA does present GOD with everything that GOD finds offensive?

    • Black Flag says:

      How can GOD find anything offensive from the things he creates – if He’s perfect and perfect good?

      Hmmm…. perhaps GOD has an infinitely more broader view of ALL THINGS, then mere mortal man?

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