The Federal Prop. 8 Trial / Gay Marriage Catch-All

Nevin73 wrote:

I can not think of single place in Wyoming aside from Jackson Hole and Devil's Tower. Are there actually any cities there?

Well, there's Laramie and it's wonderful reputation for being gay friendly.

Jackson Hole isn't a city, it's a vast collection of art galleries at the base of several ski slopes.

Good grief, what a douche. He can't give a straight answer to save his career, apparently.

You have to feel sad for Maryland Delegate Sam Arora.

Despite running on a pro-marriage equality platform, accepting money from marriage equality groups and co-sponsoring a marriage equality bill in the Maryland Assembly, he turned around at the last minute and voted against his own bill and never once gave a reason for his sudden about face.

Now that Maryland has marriage equality, one would think that Arora would finally come clean on the issue of why he sold out those who put him in office and took their money.

One would think.

Alas, Arora still can't bring himself to provide an explanation. Instead, he thinks that since gays can now marry in Maryland, it's time to move on and forget his turncoat ways.

See it for yourself:

No, Sam. People aren't going to forget and you aren't getting any money for your re-election campaign from those who supported you in the past.

But perhaps Maggie Gallagher can come to the rescue for you.

I am sure the two of you will have plenty to talk about.

If I recall, much of Wyoming politics is that old school conservatism of hard work mixed with staying the hell out of others' private lives. Seems marriage equality is a pretty natural ft there.

Today, the Rhode Island House Judiciary Committee unanimously voted to send a marriage equality bill to the House floor. Prospects are very good for full passage in the House, but a bit more problematic in the RI Senate.

Still, a very good sign.

The Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG), which is representing the US House of Representatives in the Prop. 8 trial, filed its opening brief with the SCOTUS.

I don't know whether to laugh or to cry. Probably a little of both.

Two of the notable takeaways are that 1) Congress meant no animus toward gay people by passing DOMA, and 2) it's all about procreation, deary.

As for #1, it is laughable on its face. DOMA is filled to the brim with animus. It says that gay people are not worthy of federal recognition of their marriages that are legal in one or more of the states. Only a dishonest hack would believe otherwise.

For #2, here is the part of the brief that should be insulting to everyone:

Congress recognized the basic biological fact that only a man and a woman can beget a child together without advance planning, which means that opposite-sex couples have a unique tendency to produce unplanned and unintended offspring. Congress sought to encourage the raising of such children by both their biological parents in a stable family structure.

Isn't that lovely? Human biology does what human biology is supposed to do, but let's punish the gays because straight people are shacking up and having babies outside of wedlock.

And this is what the taxpayers have spent $3 million (and growing) on in defense of keeping the filthy gays away from marriage.

Ah, so that's why they're anti-Planned Parenthood. They prefer unplanned pregnancies!

Phoenix Rev wrote:
Congress recognized the basic biological fact that only a man and a woman can beget a child together without advance planning, which means that opposite-sex couples have a unique tendency to produce unplanned and unintended offspring. Congress sought to encourage the raising of such children by both their biological parents in a stable family structure.

Isn't that lovely? Human biology does what human biology is supposed to do, but let's punish the gays because straight people are shacking up and having babies outside of wedlock.

And this is what the taxpayers have spent $3 million (and growing) on in defense of keeping the filthy gays away from marriage.

This is perfect! Now that birth control is free to all women we can dismantle the entire institution of marriage!

Yonder wrote:
Phoenix Rev wrote:
Congress recognized the basic biological fact that only a man and a woman can beget a child together without advance planning, which means that opposite-sex couples have a unique tendency to produce unplanned and unintended offspring. Congress sought to encourage the raising of such children by both their biological parents in a stable family structure.

Isn't that lovely? Human biology does what human biology is supposed to do, but let's punish the gays because straight people are shacking up and having babies outside of wedlock.

And this is what the taxpayers have spent $3 million (and growing) on in defense of keeping the filthy gays away from marriage.

This is perfect! Now that birth control is free to all women we can dismantle the entire institution of marriage!

I am totally OK with (A) birth control being free to all women and (B) totally dismantling the entire institution of "marriage" as we know it. They're all civil unions, and if you want to call it a fancy-pants "marriage", get yourself to a church and do your little ceremony.

MilkmanDanimal wrote:

I am totally OK with (A) birth control being free to all women and (B) totally dismantling the entire institution of "marriage" as we know it. They're all civil unions, and if you want to call it a fancy-pants "marriage", get yourself to a church and do your little ceremony.

In my experience, most of them aren't all that civil, either.

BA-DUMP TISH!

/me will be here all week.

Hell, for 7 figures, I will take up Hitler's appeal, and try to get him an early release.

He is basically being paid for the fact that his "client" is pitting him up against 2 of the most learned and accomplished lawyers living in the US today. I would not be surprised if congress looked into resurrecting Daniel Webster, John Adams, and Patrick Henry to take up the case.

And ultimately, it is 3 million dollars of tax payer money, to get the case before the Supreme Court. Without a court win, do you think congress is going to do anything about DOMA or gay rights? Present and past track records indicate no.

NOM Lobbyists have "had it up to here" with the heavily lobbied politicians... that they heavily lobby...

I think you mean in New England, not the Union, unless there has been some major news I missed.

The Rhode Island House easily passed the marriage equality bill, but the Democrat who heads the RI Senate Committee that will hear the bill says he won't do anything about it until the spring, if then. The President of the Senate, also a Democrat, is lobbying against the bill.

Rhode Island is the only state in New England that does not have full marriage equality, although if a same-sex RI couple drives 45 minutes to an adjacent state and gets marriage, RI will recognize their marriage.

In London, the bill to bring marriage equality to England and Wales was formally introduced into Parliament with debate and a vote slated for February 5. Scotland will take up its marriage equality bill later this year.

NSMike wrote:

I think you mean in New England, not the Union, unless there has been some major news I missed.

Indeed. I updated my post.

The idea that marriage is supposed to be about procreation just got skewered and sliced to bits... from an anti-gay marriage group.

Really. And in the confines of an amicus brief filed with the SCOTUS in the Prop. 8 trial.

The Family Research Council filed its brief and included this bit of argument that just cut the legs out from under the "marriage is for procreation" crowd:

In his concurring opinion in Andersen v. King County, Justice J. M. Johnson noted that the state DOMA “does not distinguish between persons of heterosexual orientation and homosexual orientation,” and identified a recent case in which a man and a woman, both identified as “gay,” entered into a valid opposite-sex marriage. It is apparent, therefore, that the right to enter into a marriage that would be recognized under § 3 of DOMA “is not restricted to (self-identified) heterosexual couples,” but extends to all adults without regard to “their sexual orientation.” Contrary to the understanding of the California Supreme Court, a law that restricts marriage (or the benefits thereof) to opposite-sex couples does not, on its face, discriminate between heterosexuals and homosexuals. The classification in the statute is not between men and women, or between heterosexuals and homosexuals, but between opposite-sex (married) couples and same-sex (married) couples.

So, because gay men and lesbian women have the right to enter into marriages with those of the opposite sex, DOMA and Prop. 8 should be upheld.

An evocative argument, to be sure, but it pretty much put a bullet in the head of the argument that one of the main tenets of marriage is procreation. Since gays and lesbians can marry opposite sex persons, one has to wonder how, then, marriage could be about reproduction.

So, now we are back to:

1. God says gay marriage is bad.
2. Gay sex, particularly between two men, is icky.

I think that the understanding there, Phoenix Rev, is that the gay people in the opposite sex marriage would then also be eligible or open to having children at some point within those marriages. I wouldn't presume to speak for DOMA, but I didn't get the same vibe from that passage that you did.

Marriage is not some magic procreation pill. Homosexual men and homosexual women are no more likely to reproduce whether under marriage contract or not.

Why am I responding to you? You'd think I'd learn.

LarryC wrote:

I think that the understanding there, Phoenix Rev, is that the gay people in the opposite sex marriage would then also be eligible or open to having children at some point within those marriages. I wouldn't presume to speak for DOMA, but I didn't get the same vibe from that passage that you did.

Are they not "eligible or open to having children at some point" even if they are not married? If so, then what difference does marriage make? Procreation does indeed happen in marriage, but modern marriage is not the only vehicle for procreation, nor is the fundamental tenet of marriage that children should be created from that union.

The other problem is what do you do with people who cannot procreate but who still get married? There is no availability or eligibility to procreate if the couple is infertile or even unable to consummate the marriage.

But, it is correct that gay people do have the right to marry people of the opposite sex. In fact, I know of two couples (gay men who married lesbians) who did so for one reason and one reason only: health insurance coverage. All perfectly legal, and the couples did not share a residence, much less a bed, together.

I am fairly certain that garnering health insurance is not a major tenet of marriage either. How odd that we have no laws preventing that (or any other marriage of convenience other than for immigration reasons), but two gay people who love each other and want to solemnize their relationship through government sanction are prevented from doing so in most states.

LarryC wrote:

I think that the understanding there, Phoenix Rev, is that the gay people in the opposite sex marriage would then also be eligible or open to having children at some point within those marriages. I wouldn't presume to speak for DOMA, but I didn't get the same vibe from that passage that you did.

Larry, seriously? Gay people in a marriage may be eligible from a purely biological perspective, but do you really think they're even going to come CLOSE to having sex with one another?

Phoenix Rev and I both have female friends we love dearly, and in both our cases they're straight women. I can pretty safely say that, for both of us, there's not a chance in hell we'd sleep with them. I don't even think I could do it.

So, no. Gay people married to someone of the opposite sex? The odds of them getting physical with one another is low, to put it mildly.

I believe your point, Phoenix Rev, was that DOMA saying that gay people can marry people of the opposite sex is a direct contradiction of their point that marriage is meant for procreation? This presupposes that gay people are opposed to heterosexual activity, not for pleasure, but purely for the purpose of procreation. DOMA advocates do not admit to this presupposition, which means that their statement does not imply what you say it does.

If you want to make the point that they've contradicted themselves, you have to assume their assumptions, however distasteful they may be to you. Otherwise, you're just saying that you don't agree with them, which is a different statement.

LarryC wrote:

I believe your point, Phoenix Rev, was that DOMA saying that gay people can marry people of the opposite sex is a direct contradiction of their point that marriage is meant for procreation? This presupposes that gay people are opposed to heterosexual activity, not for pleasure, but purely for the purpose of procreation. DOMA advocates do not admit to this presupposition, which means that their statement does not imply what you say it does.

I am not sure where you drew that presupposition. I don't know of any gay people that are "opposed" to heterosexual activity. They simply have no desire to participate in it since they are not heterosexual.

Let's amend it to that, then. That is a factor that you are using in your reasoning - that marrying gay people to people of the opposite sex necessarily means a marriage with no children with the married couple. It is not a factor in theirs, I deem.

LarryC wrote:

Let's amend it to that, then. That is a factor that you are using in your reasoning - that marrying gay people to people of the opposite sex necessarily means a marriage with no children with the married couple. It is not a factor in theirs, I deem.

But they are trying to sell their position to not only the SCOTUS, but to the American public. They have put forth this:

1. The main tenet of marriage is procreation.
2. The miniscule possibility of a gay person marrying a person of the opposite sex and having children with that person is reason enough to prohibit same-sex marriage.

Whether they meant it or not, #2 undercuts #1. No rational person would ever want their daughter to marry a gay man based on the hope that maybe - just maybe - he might come around and impregnate her.

Phoenix Rev:

Based on their prior reasoning about gay being a choice, I think they believe that marriage might be one of those things that "turns a guy around." Wouldn't be the most outrageous thing they've believed in.

EDIT: That's just my opinion. I don't know that they really think that. What's clear to me is that the instance of a gay or straight man marrying a gay or straight woman in anything but a straight-straight configuration does not, to them, signify a contradiction with the position that marriage is for procreation. There are any number of possibilities for this to be true, only some of which is directly contradictory with what they've said so far (you've named two, I believe).

And you believe that is a valid legal basis upon which to deny same-sex marriage as a human right, Larry?

I've never maintained that position, NSMike.

LarryC wrote:

I've never maintained that position, NSMike.

You are currently arguing for it in defense of those that do maintain that position (and you've argued for it in other threads too).

Then what is your point? Their arguments are absurd, if that is what they actually are. If your goal is to point out what they're thinking, I'm not interested. The existence of an argument does not make it worthy of consideration. It is a means to an end of denial of rights without a basis in reality. It is not deserving of respect or consideration for that reason alone.

Are you arguing just to be contrarian and get attention? Because we've heard these arguments for years and at length. We're not unfamiliar with the ideas. We don’t need them pointed out.