Massachusettes Gay Marriage Decision Finally In...Sorta

I'm betting on civil unions sometime around May...

Surprised nobody posted on this yet. Here ya go with the link, though maybe someday one of you all can instruct me on how to make other text appear instead of the link...i just...don't know.

http://www.cnn.com/2003/LAW/11/18/sa...

So, basically they said, yes, gay people should be allowed to marry BUT, the legislature now has to figure out what to do about giving out licenses. Looks like there is still an out (no pun intended) for lawmakers to remove the word ""marriage"" from the discussion.

I agree with Roo though. ""civil unions"" like VT''s are on their way.

Alot of these articles site statistics about 60% of people not wanting gay marriages. But when asked about the specific rights granted by civil marriages, one right at a time the statistics usually go something like: 70% support some of the rights, 60% support most of the rights, 50% support all of the rights.

So the sticking point doesn''t seem to be the rights, just the label ""marriage."" So...civil unions it is. Hopefully they won''t mess up civil divorce like VT (you have to live in VT for six months to get a divorce unless you can find a sympathetic judge who''ll just quietly divorce you in another state anyway.)

Roo, it goes like this:
*insert text here*

Great news! What next? I''m betting anti-bigamy laws will be struck down. It''s not as if the state has a compelling interest which overrides the privacy of consenting adult Mormons...

It seems like a pretty good arrangement to me to just call it civil unions, most of the people against it would be satisfied and all the people for it could have everything but the label ""marriage"". The label isn''t that important unless you''re trying to seek acceptance from society on some level, which you can''t legislate anyway. If people don''t like it they just don''t, you''ll have to educate and promote social reform to get something like that.

Of course I seriously doubt I''ll see anything like that down here so I don''t guess I''ll have to worry about it anytime soon

Best solution would probably be to legally only acknowledge ''civil unions'', whether between hetero or homosexual couples, and leave all that marriage business up to the churches.

The vocabulary of this is a matter of semantics and right wing tightasses getting their delicate sensibilities all in a jumble. Always funny to me that two people dedicating their lives to one another in a union of love is immoral just because their bodies are too much alike. Yeah, with all the hate and war in the world, the big moral problem is that the wrong two people fell in love. Christ, talk about some people having their head up their ass - which is illegal in many states still, I''d imagine.

Call it whatever you want, just give these people the priviledges afforded to everyone else, and let them be bound to one another in a legally respected way.

"Elysium" wrote:

Yeah, with all the hate and war in the world, the big moral problem is that the wrong two people fell in love.

Yes, but enough about David and Liza.

People seem to be addressing this issue as if it were a matter of public opinion (i.e. 60% of people oppose gay marriages). When, in fact, it has nothing to do with how Joe Schmo feels about it. Denying marriage rights violates the spirit of the constitution. Period. The Massachussets decision was not an election, it was an intelligent and long-overdue analysis of their constitution.

Denying marriage rights violates the spirit of the constitution.

There''s no such thing as the ""spirit"" of the Constitution.

Yes, but enough about David and Liza.

Ben and Jennifer?

There''s no such thing as the ""spirit"" of the Constitution.

Good, then we''re agreed that since the Constitution doesn''t specifically indicate that marriage is a union between man and woman, then gay marriage is not only obvious, but any law against it is indefensible.

You can''t have it both ways.

Good, then we''re agreed that since the Constitution doesn''t specifically indicate that marriage is a union between man and woman, then gay marriage is not only obvious, but any law against it is indefensible.

No, since the Constitution doesn''t explicitly indicate a right to marriage (privacy, sodomy, abortion, etc) it is perfectly allowable for the states to make any of those things illegal.

Hitler didnt allow gay marraiges so anyone against gay marraiges sides with the Nazi party, the founding member of the axis of evil =P

Expanding & seriously thinking on Ral''s comment about polygamy, I am beginning to see no difference in these issues. Everything Elysium said, as well, could be applied to polygamy.

I remember watching an A&E show (I believe) about Tom Green, the Utah resident who has openly come out about being a polygimist. I remember this vividly because at the time it was aired, this gay marriage case in VT was getting alot of press. I remember being oddly stricken by the similarity of the language and arguments from Green defending his lifestyle choice, etc, when comparing it to the argument for gay marriage. I don''t think I have anything particularly insightful to say beyond this, but I think it''s an interesting predicament we could put ourselves in.

And, I don''t think the semantics of this issue are limited to the ""rightwing tightasses"" (said in the most tolerant and non-hateful manner, I''m sure ). I don''t think denegrating someone because their morals differ from yours, and they are willing to defend them, is necessarilly in the best tact here. I get an unsettling feeling that some part of the pro gay marriage crowd really has something against religion and really gets off on the idea using the law to try to force religions or religious folks to recognize and condone something that they find distasteful. Sadly, it''s come to mind that this is why getting unions called marriage is so important. Keep in mind, I live in Berkely North, OR (Eugene), and our student population is by and large very left, very vocal, and very... mean.

Sadly, it''s come to mind that this is why getting unions called marriage is so important. Keep in mind, I live in Berkely North, OR (Eugene), and our student population is by and large very left, very vocal, and very... mean.

There is no group more spiteful and angry than young leftists.

There is no group more sinister, sneaky and condeming than young conservatives.

No, since the Constitution doesn''t explicitly indicate a right to marriage (privacy, sodomy, abortion, etc) it is perfectly allowable for the states to make any of those things illegal.

Yep, and the states are also free to make any of those things perfectly legal. This ruling was based on compliance with the Massachussetts Constitution, but many conservatives only favor states rights and local control when it''s used to legislate a particular flavor of Judeo-Christian morality.

I won''t yet lump Bush in this category though. He has specifically stated before that he thinks states should do what they want when it comes to same sex marriage, and he''s been consistent with his local control stance on controversial issues before IIRC. But based on the quotes I''ve read from him so far, he sounds like he''s *this* close to flip flopping.

I get an unsettling feeling that some part of the pro gay marriage crowd really has something against religion and really gets off on the idea using the law to try to force religions or religious folks to recognize and condone something that they find distasteful. Sadly, it''s come to mind that this is why getting unions called marriage is so important.

Yeah, that one word does cause an awful lot of trouble. And in a way I really can''t fault the various churches for objecting. ''Marriage'' has a lot of spiritual connotations, and it''s well within their rights to say who can get married in their church. But then again, marriage is no longer the exclusive domain of the churches. Which is where the problems start.

So, like I said, the sensible thing would be to throw that nasty ''marriage'' word out of the legalese, make it a ''civil union'' instead for everyone and have people bitch at their churches for not letting them get ''married''. It''s the rights that should be important after all, not the semantics.

Pity it''ll never happen.

When thinking about this issue, I try to keep in mind that we''re talking about civil marriages. If two heterosexual eighteen year old vegan pagans who met each other last week can getting married in Vegas is your baseline test for ""civil marriage"", I think that put''s thing in their proper light. You can argue about the morality and religious context as much as you want, but our laws support the *civil* marriage of two heterosexual, eighteen year old satanists who want to dedicate themselves and their offspring to perverting society.

Godforbid two gay fifty year old women who''ve already raised several children together, have built a business together, etc., should have rights even vaguely similar to two heterosexual kids who just met Tuesday at the Agnostic Love and Perpetual Doubt Fest.

So when people say that letting gay people marry will destroy the sanctity of marriage...I simply don''t get it. Any two heterosexual, sinful, evil, unprepared for parenthood dorks can get married in front of a judge.

Oh hey, I just got this awesome quote in the mail, vaguely and yet directly related:

> From a recent letter to the editor in Tennessee:
>
> ""The actions taken by the New Hampshire Episcopalians (INDUCTING A GAY
> BISHOP) are an affront to Christians everywhere. I am just thankful
> that the church''s founder, Henry VIII, and his wife Catherine of
> Aragon, and his wife Anne Boleyn, and his wife Jane Seymour, and his
> wife Anne of Cleves, and his wife Katherine Howard, and his wife
> Catherine Parr are no longer here to suffer through this assault on
> traditional Christian marriages.""

I agree with ALG on this, the state really should just declare civil unions and let that be that, let the church do marriages. It''s just a matter of semantics sure, but it keeps people from getting confused and angry for no reason. For example

Mass: ""We''re letting homosexual couples marry""
Church: ""Marry? That''s a sin before God, our religon explicitly forbits our condoning this""
vs.
Mass: ""We''re letting homosexual couples become a civil union""
Church: ""Ok, but we won''t marry them""

That''s the heart of the problem, the government looks at marriage different than a Christian, Muslim or Jew. Roo is right, as far as the government is concerned a marriage is something you can get at a drive-thru. The various churches look at it as something else. It''s basically semantics, because they''re just talking about two different things using the same word, but the churches can''t change thier words. The government should just call it a civil union to make sure everyone knows the score. Legally you are a union, anything else is your problem.

IMO, the legal battle is just a semantics problem caused by an antiquated choice of words.