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one word, a million denials (Updated)

How fitting that the issue of Time I was reading in the doctor's waiting room today was the issue in which Andrew Sullivan's essay about marriage appeared. I'm disappointed in President Bush's decision today. Not that I expected him to do anything else other than support a ban, but it still angers me. What I don't understand is this: why is marriage a religious issue? Isn't that expecting everyone to follow a certain religious standard? Then wouldn't it follow that making the law fit a religious definition of marriage denying us our freedom from religion? I got home from the doctor and immediately went to the computer and hit The Corner. I guess I like to get aggravated. I knew what I would find there. Good old Derbyshire - well, he's so predictable.
I am totally at a loss with this "gay marriage" business. Can someone please tell me (A) Which civil right homosexuals citizens currently do not have, and (B) Which civil right they currently have, that they will no longer have if the President's FMA proposal is enacted? Thank you. Brief answers only, please.
It's not about a specific civil right, you simpleton. That's my brief answer. The long answer is this - It's about humanity. That sounds short, but it's not. It involves so many things, including compassion, love, fairness, empathy and dignity. It's about treating every man and woman as equal, as members of the human race, not members of some sideshow in the circus. If the constitution is amended, it should be done in plain, truthful language: All man are created equal but are not treated as such. We hereby deny gay people the right to have a legal union of love, care and respect. We, the people, hereby decree that gay people should be stigmatized and treated as a lower form of humanity; a lower form that will not be granted the right to legally come together as one in matrimony. Your religion despises homosexuality? Great. Make an amendment to your church's constitution that your clergy won't marry gays. But where do you come off asking that all of America should act in the same accordance with your church? Oh yes, marriage is a sacrament that stems from religions. Fine. Then let the church keep the word marriage and let there be a secular term - say, union. Ah, but that wouldn't matter. Because there would be some other grounds on which you would find the idea of two men who you don't even know joining together in a legal ceremony. Don't tell me it's about religion. Because deep down, it's about intolerance and bigotry. Those who wish to deny gay people their right to happiness - and for some, happiness will come with marriage and the sense of completion that marriage brings - are small minded. The proposed amendment is about a word. A single word. The result is as devastating as if it were a hundred words painted on someone's heart with a twisting knife. Update: Like Alex Knapp, I'm wondering if Bush doesn't have better things to do than mess with the constitution. We're at war with Iraq, Iran is a bomb waiting to explode, and al Qaeda is still making threats. If Bush thinks that gay marriage is an issue which will bring his voters together, he's dead wrong. He forgot about the thousands of September 11th voters out there who think the number one priority in this country is winning the war on terror, not amending an historical document to fit the wants of the president's conservative base.

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» UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES from DiscountBlogger
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I have already had my say on gay marriage, and it is safe to say I am agnostic. I would [Read More]

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» http://www.allahpundit.com/archives/000336.html from Allah Is In The House
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Comments

"Your religion despises homosexuality? Great. Make an amendment to your church's constitution that your clergy won't marry gays. But where do you come off asking that all of America should act in the same accordance with your church?"

Since when did religious people forfeit the right to be heard or to express their dislike for a law or practice?

"Since when did religious people forfeit the right to be heard or to express their dislike for a law or practice?"

They shouldn't but imposing a law that is there preference is not quite the same thing.

My feeling on gay marriage is simple, you can't force churches to perform cermonies but what is the big deal about letting committed couples get licensed by the state? State support of homosexuality by finally stopping the active discrimnation against it? The likeyhood that some gay people may divorce after getting married(Gest I'm looking at you pal!)?

I support the amendment. I know this isnt the popular answer but marriage has always been a union of a man and woman.

When "being heard" involves attempting to impose your religious beliefs on everyone else by force of law, as is frequently the case, that "equal rights" plea rings very hollow.

I haven't commented here in a while, Michele, so forgive me if this qualifies as a flame. You have admitted before that you're a "one-issue voter" in this election (and that issue is national security), but can you still in good conscience vote for George Bush after today's announcement, if your feelings on this issue are so strong?

To me, this appears to be in direct violation of separation of church and state, because when you boil it all down, this is essentially an issue of the government being used as a tool to further religion's moral doctrines- and that's just NOT right.

Chris, I'm at a loss here. I really don't know what I'll do come November.

I might point out that ratifying an amendment takes a positive vote from the state legislatures of 3/4ths of the states, or else positive popular referendums from 3/4ths of the states.

In our representative republic, anything that can get that kind of a super-majority of legislators to vote for it might not be the will of 100.0000000% of the people, but it darn sure isn't the fiat of a crackpot minority, either.

If the will of the people truly does not want this amendment, then the people won't get this amendment.

AAMOF, I think you should be happy that President Bush called for an amendment -- instead of an executive order, or a Supreme Court fiat, or some other non-representative way to lock down this issue. He might not agree with you guys about gay marriage, but he is at least agreeing with you about democracy.

Chuck, I should be happy?!?

There's a time to look at the glass as half full and this is not one of them.

"He might not agree with you guys about gay marriage, but he is at least agreeing with you about democracy."

A good point if I didn't question Bush's motives. This stinks of 'shoring up the base" in an election year. The fact that Bush hasn't made this law by fiat is not a credit to him.

Good lord, is that what the Bush admin has come down to..."well at least he didn't declare martial law!"....and that;s an argument in his favor?!?

He is being challenged judicially(bear with me on this as I am assuming the Supremes will eventually have to sort out state vs fed and the constitutionality of Fed marriage act) in regards to prior legislative attempts. And because the judicial branch possibly stands in the way because of the probable unconstitutional nature of the legislature he is attempting to remove their authority before they have even decided the case. I'm not too crazy about that.

The ONE thing I don't get:

If it's about a WORD, why is it such a big deal if gays call it marriage? If Homosexual Unions (civil unions) afford them all of the same rights as a married couple, why do THEY need the word?

Just wondering. I honestly don't have much of an opinion on this issue...dont care either way really...but in reading your post and most other supporters, this question always comes to mind.

Don't they just want rights? Aren't civil unions a win-win for everyone?

Sorry, but we can't have amendments being passed when we are in an environment where four years later, a new government can come into power and have exactly the other beliefs and opinion and make a change accordingly.

I think we need to act wisely when considering amending the freaking Constitution, don't you all? I hardly believe that adding a "ban" on gay marriage is in its right place in the Constitution.

It's not about opinions and feelings and your religious beliefs - it's the "good of the people" that is at stake.

No offense, but if people are going to base their one vote this November on this one issue, that is being VERY short-sighted.

You don't have to call yourself a Republican or Conservative anymore. Or you can just go independent...but for love of Brett, do not let these pecksniffian Democrats get control of the military again...especially Kerry. That's where all this trouble we're dealing with now came from.

"If it's about a WORD, why is it such a big deal if gays call it marriage? If Homosexual Unions (civil unions) afford them all of the same rights as a married couple, why do THEY need the word?"

I don't know...why do we have to create a whole new word to desribe the same thing with different actors? Now, I understand your thinking on this(I felt it was a politically expedient way to go as well) but trust me after many discussions with various gay and lesbian neighbors, it's about basic decency and treating people equally. They want to say "we are married", not "we are Civil Unioned, a special classification created solely for us".

It is about equality in the eyes of the law(key phrase). Of course they desire more acceptance from society at large, but for the most part they are willing to wait for that as long as the government treats them equally. Right now the government is going out of their way to impose unequal treatment.

For love of me? I don't get it.

Michele, I'm with you on Derbyshire and some of those other assheads at the Corner. I read it to get aggravated too. I wish they would kick that ass to the curb.

And to Chris - I'm pretty much a one-issue voter too, but crap like today's announcement makes it very hard for me to think about voting for Bush. He's really doing his best to piss off the center.

You can call it intolerance, bigotry, and small-mindedness but this amendment should and will be easily enacted. The tyranny of the west coast and the northeast will be defeated by "flyover country". New York can be canceled out by Oklahoma.

I have not been happy with Bush this past year. His stands on immigration, spending, and appeasement of democrats have disappointed me - this will bring me back into the fold.

I have a little bit of a background in law (American, not Islamic) and I can't deny that as squeamish as I am about gay marriage, I think state laws that prohibit it are a pretty clear violation of the Equal Protection Clause. That being so, it's hard for me in good conscience to support an amendment: You can make discrimination constitutional but that doesn't mean it's not discrimination.

What makes me a lot more squeamish than gay marriage is the idea that gay marriage is going to affect how people vote in November. I understand the depth of feeling about the issue, I understand how disheartening it is to see Bush support something that's discriminatory, and if the state of the world were a little different--and the Democrats' attitude toward the state of the world were a little different--I'd be perfectly happy to punish him by voting for his opponent. But it isn't, and they aren't, so I'm not. Sad.

I suppose I can vote to keep Kerry's paws off the military and lobby my legislators to vote against the ammendment at the same time.

I don't believe that it will pass (it has less support that that stupid flag-burning ammendment) but it still galls me to no end.

I've had plenty of differences with Bush before, but this is particularly fucking awful. DUMB.

Like Charles Austin said on that Vodka guy's blog....what is the big suprise here?

If everyone agrees that this issue was probably inevitable, which side did you think Bush would fall on?

"I have not been happy with Bush this past year. His stands on immigration, spending, and appeasement of democrats have disappointed me - this will bring me back into the fold."

I too was unhappy with his spending & immigration. But showing what a baddass conservative he is on gay marriage isn't quite a "rally round the President" moment.

I also agree with Allah that basing your vote on this decision may not be the wisest but the President has got give me something to vote FOR him not just because he's facing the Kerry Kameleon....oh John McCain our lonely eyes turn to you.

When my President talks about preserving the "sanctity of marriage", he is taking the role of a religious leader. Sanctity -- holiness, being sacred, saintliness. That's the language of religion, not politics.

How many people who voted for Bush felt that they were electing a religious leader? I sure didn't. If he'd spoken those words during the 2000 election he would have certainly lost.

I don't want my President to preach the Gospel. He's not what I'm looking for in a religious leader. If I wanted religion in the White House, I'd rather have the Pope calling the shots than a "born again" protestant from Texas.

Prohibition was added to the Constitution as the result of the religious Temperance movement. We all know what a disaster that turned out to be.

FMA is a similar mistake. Marriage is an evolving institution. What we consider marriage today is nothing like marriage less than a century ago.

George W. Bush has proclaimed that we should rely on "two centuries of American jurisprudence and millennia of human experience" to determine how our marriage laws should be written. If this is the case, we should do our best to get it right -- back to basics. We should return to the traditional rules of marriage that were followed by our ancestors for thousands of years and brought to America as early as the 17th Century.

These rules include the following:

1) Marriages will be arranged by parents or family elders.
2) Divorce will be illegal.
3) The family of the bride will be required to pay a reasonable dowry to the family of the groom.
4) Unmarried women will be supported by their families and not permitted to live alone in society.
5) Unmarried men must marry within a reasonable period of time or forfeit their property.
6) Widows will surrender their property to their oldest adult male relative.

This is the way it was done for thousands of years in Christian societies. If time and history are the measures by which we justify our laws, then we must return to the most traditional rules. That seems only fair.

I support gay marriage and live somewhere that it actally is legal, Ontario. Guess what? The world didn't end.

On the other hand, I've been writing about gay marriage for almost a year on my dopey blog since the Ontario Court of Appeal made it's ruling. What's been happening over the last three months is different. This is no longer a moral or religious issue, it's a political one. Driven by politics on every side.

The courts are engaging in social engineering, as courts do, The president is running against the courts and the Democrats are running against the president-albeit with a virtually incomprehensible position. Oh, and Gavin Newsom...he's running for re-election.

I think blame for this needs to be place exactly where it is deserved: Mayor Gavin Newsom of San Francisco. In his selfish and probably successful bid to become "Mayor For Life" in SF he has pushed not only Bush but a lot of other politicians off the fence.
You don't think Bush would have rather let this one lie? Damn right he would.
Let the country absorb civil unions for gays, then try for marriage. This was too much, too fast, and too soon for flyover country and the backlash has set the clock back 10 years.
A damn shame, but again...don't blame Bush.

Allah, I don't think this issue is going to have that kind of steam.

> ..."well at least he didn't declare martial
> law!"

Wrong phrasing. Try something like "He's leaving it up to the will of the people." Or "Bush believes that it's up to us to decide."

Sure, he's got his own private opinion on the issue -- as do we all. But he's not forcing that opinion on us against our will. He's leaving it to our vote. In 50 separate venues.

Folks, whether or not you think gay marriage is a good idea, you /have/ to admit the fact that by calling for a Constitutional amendment, President Bush has put the terms of the debate on the conditions which make it the /hardest/ for the anti-gay marriage people to have their will expressed. The requirements for ratification are so high that they will only be able to do so if they truly do have the will of the people with them.

And if they truly do have the will of the people with them, then...?

What are you people /really/ afraid of -- that the will of the people will be somehow trampled... or that when the will of the people is truly expressed, it won't be in your favor?

Okay, is this about the money, then?

I mean is it just about pensions and health insurance and social security payments and idiots who forget to provide for their loved ones with wills?

Oh, I guess I get it. It's about another person standing in my face and telling me I have to like them no matter what they do; no matter who they are.

I'm not intolerant. But nobody has ever been able to convince me that this is just about tolerance but instead is another example of where I now must be forced to approve (perhaps) of things I (perhaps) do not approve of. That irks me.

Damn I hate being incoherent.

"You don't think Bush would have rather let this one lie? Damn right he would."

Mayor Newsom gets a lot more than Mayor For Life out of this. He's forced Bush to make the first move out of the 2 presidential candidates, thereby making him the aggressor. Newsom gets off scott free, democrats get a major wedge/propaganda coup. Bush could not have done them a bigger favor, imho.

One other thing...

> And because the judicial branch possibly stands
> in the way because of the probable
> unconstitutional nature of the legislature he
> is attempting to remove their authority before
> they have even decided the case.

blink blink

Amendments are unconstitutional now?

Remember, Prohibition was deemed constitutional. The people didn't like it. They had another amendment passed to repeal it.

If the people are really with you re: gay marriage, then this amendment will never pass. And if they're not really with you, then you're the one trying to impose a minority view on an unwilling populace.

"Wrong phrasing. Try something like "He's leaving it up to the will of the people." Or "Bush believes that it's up to us to decide.""

LOL....actually that was just hyperbole to illustrate the unintentional backhanded compliment you gave him.

"Sure, he's got his own private opinion on the issue -- as do we all. But he's not forcing that opinion on us against our will. He's leaving it to our vote. In 50 separate venues."

Sorry, I can't be as magnanimous to someone I know is doing this for political gain while intentionally preemting the Courts.

"Folks, whether or not you think gay marriage is a good idea, you /have/ to admit the fact that by calling for a Constitutional amendment, President Bush has put the terms of the debate on the conditions which make it the /hardest/ for the anti-gay marriage people to have their will expressed. The requirements for ratification are so high that they will only be able to do so if they truly do have the will of the people with them."

Excellent point. I agree here in terms of actual possiblity of this being implemented.

"And if they truly do have the will of the people with them, then...?

What are you people /really/ afraid of -- that the will of the people will be somehow trampled... or that when the will of the people is truly expressed, it won't be in your favor?"

It doesn't have to with fear of results for me. It is the changing of the foundation of our government and country to be intentionally discriminatory. It is something you do not take on lightly or for short political gain.

I'd also like to note that if the amendment doesn't pass, it really doesn't matter what the states do. Any number of American gay couples have been visiting Toronto to get married lately. And unlike your draft dodgers, they all went home, too.

Now this may not seem like a big deal yet, but bear with me. All 50 states and the U.S federal government recognize Canadian marriages. Within the year one of those couples will sue for martial benefits on 14th amendment grounds. A government can't recognize some Canadian marriages and not others. That leaves the only question really at issue legally, will a federal court disallow recognition of all Canadian marriages? I'd be very surprised if they did. There are a million Canadians in California alone.

Once, the issue of one state or the federal government recognizing a gay marriage performed in Canada (probably in the affirmative)on 14th amendment grounds, the good faith and credit clause of the consititution takes care of the rest.Besides, the odds of any FMA passing before we're all dead and gone is slim to none.

Does everyone feel better now?

> Excellent point. I agree here in terms of
> actual possiblity of this being implemented.

[snip]
> It doesn't have to with fear of results for me.
> It is the changing of the foundation of our
> government and country to be intentionally
> discriminatory.

Could we have a little logical consistency here, please?

If you think that the odds of this amendment being ratified are that nonexistent, /then there is no change/.

Proposing an amendment does precisely two things -- jack and squat. It has no force until it's ratified, and it has no chance of being ratified unless a /large/ majority of the population takes the viewpoint opposing yours.

If you don't think that's true re: the population, then you have no worries. And if you do think that's true re: the population, then you have no mandate.

Allah, I don't think this issue is going to have that kind of steam.

Dave in Texas--Hopefully not, but if someone who supports the war as strongly as Michele isn't sure yet how she's voting in November--and Bush's position on this issue obviously is part of the reason why--then it's something to worry about.

"Amendments are unconstitutional now?"

No by definition an amendment cannot be unconsitutional. Granted that was tortured phrasing, but what I was trying to say is that Bush is trying to prempt the Supremes probable ruling on gay marriage. The legislature I am referring to is the Defense of Marriage act being ruled unconstitutional. Since this is a likelyhood both in possibility of cases making it to the Supremes & their finding similar to Vermont & Mass, Bush is prempting that with an amendment.

"If the people are really with you re: gay marriage, then this amendment will never pass.
And if they're not really with you, then you're the one trying to impose a minority view on an unwilling populace."

This is where we differ. I consider this an equal rights thing therefore I could care less what the majority thinks.

I really don't care how one feels about homesexuality. Love. Hate. Ambivalence. I don't care. What I care about is how our most sacred document is being perverted for political gain.

There have been twenty-eight amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The first ten, several of which the Bushies like to pretend donít exist and are tirelessly working to subvert, were ratified at one time and are collectively known as the Bill of Rights. Of the remaining eighteen, two (the establishment of Prohibition and the repeal of the same) cancel each other out. Of the sixteen left, every single one of them, without exception, was crafted to enhance freedom, civil liberties and equality.

This one, if passed, would be the first intended to limit a particular groups equal protection under the law.

"Equal rights?" If I room with my brother or my best friend, we can't get spousal benefits no matter how much of a household we share, finances we share, or emotional bond we share. One of us could even adopt a kid as a single parent, and we'd still legally and financially be two single guys.

Yet the instant one of us commits a sex act with the other one, that's supposed to magically change?

It's not 'equal rights'. It's special privilege.

"It doesn't have to with fear of results for me. It is the changing of the foundation of our government and country to be intentionally discriminatory. It is something you do not take on lightly or for short political gain."

And for this reason, whether you approve of gay marriages or not, you should vote any amendment like this down. What's that quote? "First they came for the Jews and I said nothing because I was not Jewish..."

If the government wants to protect the sanctity of marriage, they should make couples go to pre-marital counseling, and outlaw divorce. If you knew that "til death do us part" was for real, it might have a bit more impact on you.

The really maddening thing is that this whole debate is over the definition of one single friggin word: marriage. I've seen polls report that a majority of the population believes that the rights conferred to a married hetero couple should also go to a "committed" gay couple.

The gov't should stop issuing marriage licenses, and begin registering "Domestic Partnerships" and assign some letters to the entity like LLP or INC.

"Could we have a little logical consistency here, please?"

Sure, except logic doesn;t exist in a vacuum.

"If you think that the odds of this amendment being ratified are that nonexistent, /then there is no change/."

The fact that I think it is unlikely for the amendment to pass does not preclude my disdain at it being introduced in the first place.

"If you don't think that's true re: the population, then you have no worries. And if you do think that's true re: the population, then you have no mandate."

Mandate shamdate.....equal rights are equal rights. I don't care what the majority believes, votes, etc. This is my opinion. The only mandate I have is my vote.....which someone may be losing.

"Equal rights?" If I room with my brother or my best friend, we can't get spousal benefits no matter how much of a household we share, finances we share, or emotional bond we share. One of us could even adopt a kid as a single parent, and we'd still legally and financially be two single guys.

Yet the instant one of us commits a sex act with the other one, that's supposed to magically change?

It's not 'equal rights'. It's special privilege.

That is the most inane comment I have ever read. Marriage is about two people committed to a parternship based on love - not brotherly love, not family love, but the kind where you are in love and want to share your lives together.

Sex does not make a relationship and I'm sorry for you that you think it does.

1) As I said before, IMO it's not 'equal rights', it's 'special privilege'

2) If you don't think it's going to pass, then it's introduction is the best possible thing for you -- because once it fails, nobody's going to be trying it again for quite a while.

And an amendment is the hardest thing of all to get passed. President Bush has laid out the termsn of engagement on the ground /that is most favorable to you/.

The issue was going to come up for a vote sometime. It's now come up under the terms which you have the highest odds, by far, of winning the vote.

And you're complaining?

Sheesh.

What would make you happy -- total capitulation to your POV at the outset, with no debate and no votes at all? Asking for /that/ is a bit much, I think.

What would make you happy -- total capitulation to your POV at the outset, with no debate and no votes at all? Asking for /that/ is a bit much, I think.

It is absurd to me that two human beings would need debate and votes at all to enter into a legal, committed relationship.

Did anyone vote on whether straights could get married or not? No. Then why should gay people have to undergo that scrutiny? Are not all men created equal?

> It is absurd to me that two human beings would
> need debate and votes at all to enter into a
> legal, committed relationship.

If you personally already hold the relationship to be a sacred commitment, then you don't need a law to make you stick to it. If you didn't already hold it to be such, then no law can change what's in your heart.

It /can/ change your financial and custody status, though. That's why I am quite unsympathetic to emotional appeals on this issue -- the emotions are outside the realm of the law to order around. The practical aspects, OTOH, are not.

> Did anyone vote on whether straights could get
> married or not?

No... but they /did/ vote on whether or not married couples got tax breaks and family benefits and credits.

"As I said before, IMO it's not 'equal rights', it's 'special privilege'."

No, Chuck, it's not.

It is simply asking for the same recognition and rights that other couples (couple defined as two adults in a commited relationship) recieve.

If you think a particular sexual act is the defining event in these peoples relationships, you would be mistaken.

""Equal rights?" If I room with my brother or my best friend, we can't get spousal benefits no matter how much of a household we share, finances we share, or emotional bond we share. One of us could even adopt a kid as a single parent, and we'd still legally and financially be two single guys."

Here come the hypotheticals! Are you making an argument against the government providing incentives for married couples (ie taxes)?

"Yet the instant one of us commits a sex act with the other one, that's supposed to magically change?"

A sex act doesn't make a marriage. Though who knows, it could lead to one.

"It's not 'equal rights'. It's special privilege."

Okay, I'lll play. Marriage isn't really a "right". Marriage is a special privledge granted by the state. The advantages to the state for encouraging marriage are legion. But here we get into the prickly part because the special privledge is being granted to some and denied to others. Why?

> It is simply asking for the same recognition
> and rights that other couples (couple defined
> as two adults in a commited relationship)
> receive.

IOW, your assertion that it's an equal rights issue relies upon the definition of marriage being what you say it is.

But wait... you're asking for the authority to define what marriage means on the grounds that it's an equal rights issue.

Don't they call this 'circular logic'?

[Ryan sez]
> The advantages to the state for encouraging
> marriage are legion. But here we get into the
> prickly part because the special privledge is
> being granted to some and denied to others.
> Why?

What prickly part?

If you take the position that it's a privilege and not a right, and that the state can rightfully grant special privileges to selected segments of the population for its own advantage, then you can't turn around and go 'equal rights', as you've already yielded that it's neither equal nor a right.

Again, logical consistency please. Your own postulates just ate your argument alive.

So, we're mindinng our own business and out of the blue a court in Mass , on a five to four margin, orders the elected legislature to change the laws. On the other side of the country a mayor, in contravention of the state law starts issuing marriage licenses. Now Bush is pushing the issue? Bush?
Call it what you like but Bush didn't start this.
I wish I were more computer literate, I'd like to go back a few years and see what everyone was saying when Clinton supported and signed the Defense of Marriage Act.

Difficult to pass??? Name me 13 states that will not ratify. I'll give you NY, CA, MA, VT, RI, HI, and possibly WA and OR. The upper-midwest "blue" states of MN, IA, WI, IL, and MI and heavily catholic NM will almost certainly ratify.

Chuck, I'm not really sure what your point is. If your contention is that I have a set definition of marriage you would be wrong. I'm far from convinced that the governement has any business defining it and I'm quite certain that I do not.

What I find myself asking is why we are playing semantic games. I'm not clear on why there has to be an attempt to define a word (marriage) in the U.S. Constitution. This is a sacred document, maybe we'd all be better off reserving it for issues that are actually important rather than bastardizing it with agenda driven party politics.

Maybe I'm missing something, but it seems to me that if your against same sex marriage your best recourse is not to marry another man.

Anyway, I thought the Republicans were the states rights party?

"If you take the position that it's a privilege and not a right, and that the state can rightfully grant special privileges to selected segments of the population for its own advantage, then you can't turn around and go 'equal rights', as you've already yielded that it's neither equal nor a right."

Touche....I was remiss in calling it a right. Even making an argument about a "natural" right here would be difficult. I would settle for equal before the eyes of the law. Perhaps in a time before non-discriminatory laws, the above argument would be the end all be all. But for the most part the State is not allowed to discriminate because of race, ethnicity, creed, gender, sexual orientation by law. That is the difference here in regards to privledges....we have already established by law that the state while granting privledges may not do so in a discriminatory fashion based on race, etc. etc..

"Again, logical consistency please. Your own postulates just ate your argument alive."

Chuck debate "rules" are best left to the high school team. When I see someone dive for a "logic" argument it is usually a sign they are losing. I thought you were doing fine...don't throw in the towel yet with Spock talk.

[Al sez]
> Chuck, I'm not really sure what your point is.
> If your contention is that I have a set
> definition of marriage you would be wrong. I'm
> far from convinced that the governement has any
> business defining it and I'm quite certain that
> I do not.

If the government is going to pass any laws whatsoever about marriage-- which they obviously are, and have been since the founding of this republic (property laws, if nothing else) -- then somebody has to define marriage. You can't have a law granting X to status Y if the requirements for status Y are left totally in the air.

So, granting that a legal definition of marriage is necessary -- perhaps a necessary evil, but still necessary -- then it all comes down to 'Who picks the definition'?

With a call for a constitutional amendment, President Bush has said 'The people will pick. Not me, not five judges, not 218 Congressman and 51 senators, but at least 3/4ths of state legislatures, any one of which can be overriden by a popular referendum.'

That might not be the answer of a perfect world, but it's the most favorable answer you're ever likely to see in this one.

It is a right. At least according to SCOTUS:

"Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival."

LOVING v. VIRGINIA, 388 U.S. 1 (1967)

The U.S. Constitution may also have something relevant to say:

"...nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

14TH Amendment, Sec. 1

Then there is that whole thorny, life liberty and pursuit of happiness business.

The proposed amendment is no more than a political move to formally define marriage in an attempt to disqualify same sex couple from the above guarantees. It is exclusionary and, in fact, does seek to limit constituitional protections based upon sexual orientation.

Play your word games and call it a priviledge or a franchise, but we may as well be discussing the meaning of the word 'imminent'or 'is' -- it would be no less political than discussing the word 'marriage' in the context of a constitutional amendment.

Ryan -- re: your comment of "When I see someone dive for a 'logic' argument it is usually a sign they are losing."

Really? When I see somebody start taking the tack that logical consistency is irrelevant, I generally consider /that/ a sign that they're losing. And are massively desperate besides.

If you start from the premise that marriage is a state-granted privilege, and a privilege that the state may encourage for its own benefit -- which, unless I massively misunderstood you, you did -- then you can't make it an "equal rights" issue. A privilege can't be a "right", and something selectively encouraged by the state for the benefit of the state can't be "equal". To say otherwise would be going black-is-white, day-is-night, or Michael-Moore-is-a-skinny-neocon, if you know what I mean.

You want to have civil unions? That's a matter between you and your state legislature and your state courts. But you want to have one state and one city try to ram acceptance of gay marriage down the throats of the other 49 states without bothering to give them a vote first? Then prepare for an amendment ratification battle.

[Al]
> Play your word games and call it a priviledge
> or a franchise, [snip]

Al, I didn't call heterosexual marriage a special privilege -- /Ryan/ did. Take this argument to his address.

My problem is in the stretching of the definition of minority. Bigamists are a minority. Incestuous couples are a minority. Child molestors are a minority (If a child molestor can provide expert evidence that his or her consenting child is unusually mature, there is no difference between this and a gay marriage). Group marriages are a minority. So how do you use judicial activism to protect same-sex marriages without ultimately removing the ability of a state to regulate these activities?

My problem is in the stretching of the definition of minority. Bigamists are a minority. Incestuous couples are a minority. Child molestors are a minority (If a child molestor can provide expert evidence that his or her consenting child is unusually mature, there is no difference between this and a gay marriage). Group marriages are a minority. So how do you use judicial activism to protect same-sex marriages without ultimately removing the ability of a state to regulate these activities?

As to the rest of your argument, Al...

> The proposed amendment is no more than a
> political move to formally define marriage in
> an attempt to disqualify same sex couple from
> the above guarantees.

There's just one slight problem -- and that is, what is the legal definition of the word 'marriage'?

That's what the amendment is about -- defining marriage. If the amendment passes, marriage is defined as 'one man, one woman'. If the amendment fails, then marriage can be redefined however the heck the courts, or the legislature, see fit.

But you can't just start off by giving yourself the most favorable interpretation of the word for free and then demanding the sun, the moon, and the stars because of it. Neither can you have 5 judges in Massachusetts or one mayor in San Fran make the decision for everybody in the whole damn country.

If you want to do this /democratically/, then stop complaining that somebody called for an amendment, and start lobbying for your state legislature to not ratify.

"With a call for a constitutional amendment, President Bush has said 'The people will pick. Not me, not five judges, not 218 Congressman and 51 senators, but at least 3/4ths of state legislatures, any one of which can be overriden by a popular referendum.'"

Bzzt. Wrong answer.

When it comes to human rights the majority does not make the rules, if they did we would still have laws barring mixed race marriages, slavery would be legal and women wouldn't have the vote.

Thank God for the activist judiciary.

LOVING v. VIRGINIA is relevant as it addresses marriage as a right. In this case it deals with mixed race marriage. Unless one accepts homosexuality as a conscious choice rather than an inherent trait, the principles are the same. If one insists that homosexuality is a choice and/or an aberration than the only rational remaining for opposition is homophobia -- in which case he/she is just a bigoted asshat.

"If it's about a WORD, why is it such a big deal if gays call it marriage? If Homosexual Unions (civil unions) afford them all of the same rights as a married couple, why do THEY need the word?"

"Separate But Equal" ain't. "Separate But Equal" is an oxymoron. "THEY" are US. WE are citizens - equal before the Law. If the government is allowed to give half-measure to "THEM," what is to stop it giving half-measure to "YOU" next?

"THEY" need the word for the same purpose "YOU" need the word. The word describes the thing.

[Go Fritz!]

Michele makes the best point of the whole thread - if you think this is about sex, you're wrong. Everyone turns it that way, but it's not all about "sex". Sure, someone who is with another guy or girl might be having an intimate relationship with the other person, but that's not the whole point.

Have ONE conversation with someone who is gay, and it's not like they're going to sit there talking about what kind of sex acts they performed the night before the whole time. You have relationships, gay individuals have relationships. That's the issue. To debase the whole situation by heading straight to the "sex" issue is making light of it, IMHO.

My final statement on this issue:

If the side I favor wins the vote(s), then we win.

If we lose the vote(s), then we lose.

Either way, the decision's the law of the land and I'll live under it.

But what I'm not going to do is pitch a fit at the idea that a judgement on the issue has to come up for a vote at all, instead of being yielded free unto me at the outset.

Marriage was only very recently about 'love', Michele. Arranged marriages and dowries are still kicking around, even within the United States. Even if you changed the sample to only natural-born Americans, I'd bet my bottom dollar I could still find plenty of couples who wouldn't list 'love' in their 'top 5 reasons for getting married'. Then again, I live in a yuppie-heavy area.

But once you take 'love' out of the definition, what you're left with is: a committed partnership between two people who want to share their lives with each other. Which is what ChuckG described. So why shouldn't such a couple also have the same benefits?

Dammit, this went up while I was still typing, so...

> When it comes to human rights [anip]

This is only a human rights issue if the word "marriage" means what you want it to mean. So before you can wave the equal rights banner, get the word 'marriage' legally defined to mean two men or two women first.

And /that/ means 'win the vote'.

The words 'black', 'white', 'woman', 'man', etc. were already defined in law before any vote needed to be taken. OTOH, the word 'marriage' /does/ need such defining.

Before you can go around that marriage is your right, you first have to get nailed down what marriage is.

Researcher: All strawmen. There are existing laws prohibiting incest, bigamy and child abuse. These laws all exist for sound reasons and have nothing to do with marriage.

No rational person is suggesting that you should be able to marry your daughter or dog -- like any other contract, marriage cannot be entered into without the participation adults of sound mind.

I don't see why the sex of those adults is relevant.

"If you start from the premise that marriage is a state-granted privilege, and a privilege that the state may encourage for its own benefit -- which, unless I massively misunderstood you, you did -- then you can't make it an "equal rights" issue."

The advantages comment was a throwaway line. The historical basis of the state encouraging marriage had mostly to do with children. But I don't start from that premise...I was playing your game. And since the state is NOT able to selectively encourage privledges based on several categories, it is a moot point.

"A privilege can't be a "right", and something selectively encouraged by the state for the benefit of the state can't be "equal". To say otherwise would be going black-is-white, day-is-night, or Michael-Moore-is-a-skinny-neocon, if you know what I mean."

You are arguing the meaning of words....and the "privledge" we are discussing is actually a "right" (see Al & Loving v Virginia).

"You want to have civil unions? That's a matter between you and your state legislature and your state courts."

Fine with me....when the Defense of Marriage act is repealed and this amendment is dropped because until then this a Fed matter.

"But you want to have one state and one city try to ram acceptance of gay marriage down the throats of the other 49 states without bothering to give them a vote first?"

Sorry I would comment but I am laughing too hard at your unfortunate turn of phrase here.

"Then prepare for an amendment ratification battle."

Game On!

My problem is in the stretching of the definition of minority. Bigamists are a minority. Incestuous couples are a minority. Child molestors are a minority (If a child molestor can provide expert evidence that his or her consenting child is unusually mature, there is no difference between this and a gay marriage). Group marriages are a minority. So how do you use judicial activism to protect same-sex marriages without ultimately removing the ability of a state to regulate these activities?

Left handed people are a minority. Polish Ukranian Americans are a minority. But no one is denying them the right to marry, so you can hardly base anything on the minority issue.

Child molestors are a minority (If a child molestor can provide expert evidence that his or her consenting child is unusually mature, there is no difference between this and a gay marriage).

If the person is a molestor then the child in this scenario is hardly consenting.

OK, the /last/ last word -- please, God, don't let me yield to temptation and hit 'Post' again after I promised not to...

All of you gay marriage advocates -- propose an amendment of your own. An amendment that explicitly defines "marriage" to include the union of a man and a man, or a woman and a woman, in addition to the union of a woman and a man.

Then step back and see which one the people want.

Unless, of course, what you want is to get your own way and to hell with what anyone else wants.

Chuck, the fundamental issue your missing is that in a republic we rely on the judiciary to protect the rights of minorities.

Admittedly, the question of whether marriage is a right or a franchise (priviledge) is a somewhat grey area, however that is all the more reason to tread gently rather than passing a sweeping amendment that will forever resolve the issue in favor of the prevailing social climate. In 1942 the majority of Americans would have voted for the execution of all japanese immigrants, in 2003 for the execution of all Muslim immigrants.

Forcing this issue to a public referendum subverts that process and enables the powerful (for now) to impose political agendas on the disenfranchised.

Since it's last word time... why don't you expalin to me how same sex marriage will harm you or anyone else?

"Al, I didn't call heterosexual marriage a special privilege -- /Ryan/ did. Take this argument to his address."

Chuck....don't lie. Your comment:

"It's not 'equal rights'. It's special privilege."

My comment to your comment:

"Okay, I'lll play. Marriage isn't really a "right". Marriage is a special privledge granted by the state. The advantages to the state for encouraging marriage are legion. But here we get into the prickly part because the special privledge is being granted to some and denied to others. Why? "

I was "playing" within your own definition Chuck.

I'm a conservative, Catholic, heterosexual Republican who is very angered by Bush's support of this odious amendment. Governments, especially this federal government should be concerned with preventing crime, not sin. Dealing with sin is the purview of the Church. By permitting civil unions or marriages among gays, the government would not be encouraging either sin or crime. Homosexuals, whether in a recognized union or not are going to have sex. It is the homosexual act that is the sin (and no longer a crime) -- homosexuality itself is not a sin, at least in the Catholic church.

"All of you gay marriage advocates -- propose an amendment of your own. An amendment that explicitly defines "marriage" to include the union of a man and a man, or a woman and a woman, in addition to the union of a woman and a man."

"Marriage shall be defined as a union between two human beings"

Dammit, if I'm being called a liar, I /have/ to respond...

Ryan, this comment of mine:

"It's not 'equal rights'. It's special privilege."

... was in reference to what my opinion of gay marriage was. Not what my opinion of all marriage was.

My reasoning for considering gay marriage to be not an equal right but a special privilege is outlined in a post I made shortly after that one.

So in short, I'm not a liar, and no thank you for calling me one. If you thought were 'playing within my own definition' of all marriage, then you thought wrong from the beginning, and it's no wonder we couldn't logically communicate.

> Chuck, the fundamental issue your missing is
> that in a republic we rely on the judiciary to
> protect the rights of minorities.

The fundamental issue you're missing is that gay marriage is not a right.

At least, not until /after/ you can constitutionally get marriage to be defined as the union of any two people regardless of gender.

Whether or not gay marriage is truly a right or a privilege depends on what the definition of marriage truly is... and you don't get that definition in your favor for free, you'll have to work for it.

"Unless, of course, what you want is to get your own way and to hell with what anyone else wants."

Ya can't fight human nature ;-)

Chuck you wield a mighty pen...it has been a honor crossing swords...

doh! unfortunate choice of phrases with the subject material.

"So in short, I'm not a liar, and no thank you for calling me one. If you thought were 'playing within my own definition' of all marriage, then you thought wrong from the beginning, and it's no wonder we couldn't logically communicate."

Well I'm sorry for calling you that Chuck. But the context you gave wasn't specific especially considering we went on at length arguing whether getting maried was a right. The fact that you throw in heterosexual later doesn't change that. But still I apologize.

Which brings me to a question, is heterosexual marriage a right or a privledge? Not that it really matters. If it is a privledge granted by state, then the state may not discriminate due to antidiscrimination laws(and some state Constitutions). If it is a right, the state may not discriminate due to the Constitution.

"..two human beings" is too vague - it allows for the marriage of children, relatives, wards of the state, etc. It can also be argued that its too specific - excludes any polygamous forms of marriage - something that is legal in other countries, and has historical precedent.

How about "Marriage is defined as a committment between consenting adults to provide for their mutual welfare and the welfare of any offspring arising from the committment."

I do not want to comment directly on the subject of the thread, but rather on some of the arguments, which I find disturbing. Some of you are attributing to your fellow Americans feelings of truly vile bigotry and ill-will, an attribution which is completely unjustified. The post by Al above is a particularly rancid example of this problem. Al, if you really feel that in 2003 the majority of Americans would be in favor of the execution of all Muslim immigrants, then either you are living in a very different community than I am, and in most of 2003 I was living in Texas and I knew many very conservative people, none of whom wanted any executions of innocent Muslims, or, much more likely, you need serious help. There have been other posts of the same nature. For example, there is one post that attributed womens suffrage and the end of slavery to an "enlightened" activist court. In fact, womens suffrage can about through a Consititutional Amendment(the 19th), and although the abolition of slavery was a long process, perhaps the critical moment, the point of no return, was the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860, in which the entire country participated. Personally, I think that there are valid and interesting points on BOTH sides of the gay marriage debate. ALL of these valid points can be made without the casual assumption that most Americans are a bunch of intolorant bigots. Such arguments reflect poorly on the reasoning and especially on the character of the poster.

If bigotry "wins" we all lose.

Al, this is ridiculous: "In 1942 the majority of Americans would have voted for the execution of all japanese immigrants, in 2003 for the execution of all Muslim immigrants" What a ghastly thing to say! Is this what you really think of your fellow Americans? You are coming off as unstable - you do your position no favors.

It always surprises me what an emotionally charged issue this is. Maybe I'm just cold and heartless, but I am still not feeling where all this wailing is coming from. When there's a war going on, I just don't find myself compelled on this issue. I feel like someone has shaken me awake in the middle of the night to tell me something that I don't care about.

How many people really care about this issue? I find myself bewildered that this is now such a front and center, do or die issue. When Michele says, "Chris, I'm at a loss here. I really don't know what I'll do come November" I just don't understand. There's no part of my being that can fathom how this issue in any way comes within .01% of the outcome of the war on terror.

Hell yeah. If two consenting adults who love each other want a piece of paper to legally bind them, how is it fair to say that they can't have it if they happen to be of the same sex? It's just not.

Your religion despises homosexuality? Great. Make an amendment to your church's constitution that your clergy won't marry gays.

Actually this does not need to be done - it's in the Bible. Unless your certain sects of the episcopalian church or a unitarian.

Don't tell me it's about religion. Because deep down, it's about intolerance and bigotry. Those who wish to deny gay people their right to happiness - and for some, happiness will come with marriage and the sense of completion that marriage brings - are small minded.

This is not just about an issue of religion. It's about what's right and wrong. Happiness does not come with any marriage. If people seek happiness in marriage, they will probably not find it.

Quite honestly, the comments I read here are nothing short of advocating social anarchy. Do whatever you want so long as it doesn't bother me. I believe the act of homosexuality is a sin, but I do believe homosexual marriages will become recognized by our gov't some day. For example, I think abortion is wrong, but hey, the murder is still practiced. I think capital punishment is wrong, but hey, it's still practiced, at least in some states. Apparently my oppressive religious beliefs are not affecting the gov't in these areas.

Why is it that when people assert their beliefs or refuse to accept something should be legalized, does that group all of a sudden become bigots and intolerant? I guess I should just let whatever happens in a person's home happen and never be troubled with anything. Do what thou wilt, right?

Drinkin' the Kool-aid.

Your religion despises homosexuality?

My religion says this is wrong, but we definitely do not hate homosexuals. My religion says love your neighbor.

I didn't see if anyone has brought this up yet, so I apologize if I'm restating someone else's point, but here goes: I don't see how it can be considered bigotry to deny state-sanctioned marriage to gay couples, as gay couples don't factor into why the modern state is involved in marriage in the first place. Marriage is in general a religious matter, and the only justification the state has in institutionalizing it is the fact that marriage provides a stable environment (ideally) for the conception and raising of children, and that helps to ensure the health of the state. Therefore to encourage marriage for this purpose the state makes it advantageous for a man and a woman to be married as opposed to not. The state doesn't give a rat's ass whether or not two people are committed or love each other. And getting on your "spouse's" health insurance or other legal documents is not a civil right. For the record, I have no issue whatsoever with the morality of homosexuality, and I'm not religious. If you're gay and wish to be "married", join a church that will perform a ceremony for you to show you're committment. But it's not right for gay people to insist that they get the same incentives from the state that people who might bear children get.

One thing I forgot to say: even though I think gays agitating for marriage is somewhat silly, I absolutely oppose a Constitutional Amendment about it. Why, you ask? Simply, because this issue is stupid, small and petty, and the Constitution is sacred and important. We shouldn't sully it by screwing around with it over something this irrelevent.

"I guess I should just let whatever happens in a person's home happen and never be troubled with anything. Do what thou wilt, right?"

In an ideal world, yeah, that'd be great, if the government would get out of my private life and let me do what I want, as long as I'm not hurting anyone.

"...this does not need to be done - it's in the Bible. Unless your certain sects of the episcopalian church or a unitarian."

Actually, things like this are a matter of church rules -- individual faiths have books of laws by which they operate, and it's up to each faith to decide what they allow or forbid.

There is a very logical answer to all of this. Get the state out of granting marriage. Allow the state to only grant civil unions. From civil unions would come all legal benefits. Then the state can decide whom they want to dole out civil unions to.

Marriage should be doled out by churches and have no legal advantages.

So to cover your bases, you'd get the civil union, then get married in a ceremony under the religion of your choice.

This keeps the chocolate out of the peanut butter.

Hi guys, dont know if anybody's still following.

I was just wondering, why dont you remove every advantage there is to being recognised by the state as being married and then allow gay marriage? I agree that gay marriage is in fact, a right (although I think its ridiculous to want it specifically as marriage when marriage has always been a religous thing and religion has never been kind to gays.)

I like whats Chuck's sayin, but I just thought that should be brought up. If marriage is a right (which I agree it is), then it shouldnt come with any privilieges granted by the state. Especially not when some of those privilieges are designed to assist procreation, or if the privilieges are relics of a past era, much like prohibition against gay marriage.

Just my AUS 2c (which is weaker than US 2c)

Well I made it all of 20% through the comments. What's the point ? My favorite comment has to be from RIGHTWINGTEXAS - his assertion that this will pass easily. Are you INSANE ??? This amenmdment hasn't a snowball's chance in hell. It requires a 2/3 majority in Congress to even GET to state ratification and in case you were wondering, that means a full 1/3 of the democratic senators would have to vote in favor.

DON'T.HOLD.YOUR.BREATH

THAT is the beauty of the Constitution in action.

" Marriage is about two people committed to a parternship based on love - not brotherly love, not family love, but the kind where you are in love and want to share your lives together."

But Michelle, why is ok for you to define marriage or union and draw a line like that but it's not ok for society at large? It's true your line is a little farther back, but you're still saying "beyond this point these relationships don't count". See what I'm saying? If this right is so fundamental to the human condition then how can you limit it at all? What if two family members prefer each other's company so much that they don't want to go out looking for the love you say marriage is based on? Or two cops who've been partners for years and can't find women who understand them as well as they do each other? Should they be denied the economic and social benefits of the institution?

And that's what this comes down to. Once the 5,000 year old definition of marriage is declared invalid, it becomes almost impossible to define it at all. And although philosophically I don't really care, as a practical matter I have to because there are a lot of consequences to this that the entire country will have to pay for.

For the record I'm not a big fan of amending the Constitution for something like this, but unfortunately an activist minority is leaving the rest of the country no choice but to consider it. When a chief executive breaks his oath and rampantly violates a properly enacted law, and then activist judges refuse to enforce that law, then what else can people do? I'd rather have a representative process decide this issue than let a dozen people in Boston and SF dictate to the other 280 million of us.

Sorry for the second post so close on the heels of my first, but there are a few things I think it's important to remember before anyone tries to blame Bush for "tampering with the Constitution for political gain".

1) Bush didn't start this fight. Elected officials who refuse to enforce the law have forced us to this juncture, and the blame for any resulting rancor falls squarely on them.

2) It is beyond the power of Bush or any other President to "tamper with the Constitution". An amendment cannot pass without overwhelming, bipartisan, popular support. In fact, if I recall my civics class correctly the President isn't even involved in the amendment process, it's strictly a legislative branch game. Bush announced his support for such an amendment but and isn't the President obligated to take a position on something like this?

3) I don't remember this kind of hyperbolic outrage and cries of homophobia when Clinton signed the defense of marriage act. I'm just saying.

To me, it's not about religion at all. It's about family and children. I think many things in today's society are anti-family - not just gay marriage. I think children deserve a man and a woman as a mother and a father. It's not about the gays entitlement. It's about what's best for children. And when you say it's all right for two people of the same sex to "marry", you denigrate the importance of a mother and a father's role in marriage and family. No matter what religion you are . . . .it's best for society that children be raised by commited, heterosexuals. Now don't say, I know a gay couple that are perfectly good parents . . .I do too. But it's still BEST for the the kid to have one mom, and one dad. No mom jane and mom alice, no nanny, no daycare provider, no step-dad, no dad's girlfriend, etc.

Oh and Allah - I disagree. It's not that clear that a ban on gay marriage is a violation on the equal protection clause . . .there is a rational basis behind the ban. Maybe there wasn't one for sodomy, but there is for marriage.

The funny thing is, this is all just a ploy.

Hear me out a moment.

Someone mentioned before that it isn't going to pass - only 54% or so of the people are against gay marriages, enough to pass laws against it but not enough to get a constitutional amendment passed. And George Bush knows this.

So why is he supporting it?

Well its pretty simple. The anti-gay people remember he was on their side, and it wasn't his fault that the amendment didn't get passed. The pro-gay people either vote democrat anyway, or, if they don't, are glad it didn't pass and figure "Who am I going to vote for? John-lets-bend-over-to-the-UN-Kerry?"

A sad thing that the president, of all people, did this, but its a political calculation to let him have his cake and eat it, too.

Bush doing this scares the hell out of me. Anyone wanting to change or add something to the amendment scares me...let alone someone trying to deny people basic human rights.

We can't get this guy out of office quick enough.

Rex, you miss the point. It is not at all clear that gay marriage is a "basic human right".

At the risk of sounding like a cliche, I have close friends who are gays in long relationships. And I have friends who feel very strongly that homosexuality is a chosen lifestyle that is abhorrent.

What I find interesting are the rationales being made for gay marriage. Not the "basic rights" argument, but two others that emerge regularly. First, a strong desire for social APPROVAL of open gay behavior. One of my friends calls it the "french kiss in public" test - he won't rest until the majority of people are comfortable being around gays making out in the park. (His words.)

And second, a desire for financial and legal benefits that come with being recognized as the legal spouse of another person.

Now, I don't have a lot of sympathy for motive #1. I consider it self-centered and arrogant.

I have a lot more sympathy with motive #2. But when I ask why we afford those benefits to heterosexual married couples, it's pretty clear to me that we do so because stable marriages are the basis for having and raising children.

The shortcomings of this or that marriage in this country, at this time, do not undercut that rationale IMO.

So ... I can live with civil unions, I find the arrogant activism of many gays obnoxious (a word I've chosen carefully), and I want my gay couple friends to have easier ways to share assets and to make medical decisions for each other if necessary.

I will also gladly join them in public - even religious, if their communities agree - occasions where they might choose to promise to stay with and support each other for life.

But the civil privileges given to marriage should not be extended to homosexual, polygamist or other arrangements IMO.

I'm pretty angry that those who feel as I do are being forced into defensive positions like a consitutional ammendment - I think that's a bad way to go and ultimately think it will fail. But my anger isn't at Bush and those who propose one. It's squarely on the activists who will never be content until they have socially engineered the attitudes and culture of the majority to suit themselves.

Marriage is not a basic human right. Gays are not being denied any basic human rights. They can get married if they want, just not to someone of the same sex. What they are asking for is MORE rights; unless same sex heteros can marry too?? Can I marry my best friend or my Grandma and combine our property?

They are in fact declaring intolerance for the priveleged status of married people.

Marriage is what it is and cannot be redefined. The concept of a monogamous hetero couple joined in law will never change, regardless of what we call it. One-woman, one-man marriage happens to be the basic unit of our civilization. It will always occupy a spot of privelege because it has a specific and beneficial purpose in human affairs. Calling a civil union a 'marriage' will never change that, and nobody will ever see them as being equal or the same.

I didn't see any need for an amendment to the constitution...until this band of arrogant, puffed-up twits in California decided to flip the rest of us the bird. I am still mulling it over.

I think it is incredibly unfair to the country that a tiny group of people can whine, "What about myyyy neeeeedssss???" and break the law, and expect us all to follow in line with them. Sometimes civil disobedience is just breaking the law.

I have a big problem with these selfish jerks who think the world should revolve around their needs. I can't be Chinese, and you can't be a marriage. A dog can't be a bird, even if you name it tweety. It won't do what a bird can do.

A lot of people are ticked off by this 'taking' of extra rights. Social change does not happen by simple declaration. Not to mention how many Californians are going to be ticked when they see how all the resulting lawsuits are bleeding an already struggling state.

I have a better idea. How about Government get out of the marriage business altogether? Why do we get tax breaks both for being married AND for having kids? Since we're advocating gay marriage, which precludes natural procreation, and still giving gay couples all the benefits of a hetero couple, why should the poor slobs that never marry, either by choice or not, have to suffer through life without all the 'rights' accorded to married people?

I have a better idea. How about Government get out of the marriage business altogether? Why do we get tax breaks both for being married AND for having kids? Since we're advocating gay marriage, which precludes natural procreation, and still giving gay couples all the benefits of a hetero couple, why should the poor slobs that never marry, either by choice or not, have to suffer through life without all the 'rights' accorded to married people?

I have a better idea. How about Government get out of the marriage business altogether? Why do we get tax breaks both for being married AND for having kids? Since we're advocating gay marriage, which precludes natural procreation, and still giving gay couples all the benefits of a hetero couple, why should the poor slobs that never marry, either by choice or not, have to suffer through life without all the 'rights' accorded to married people?

Holy crap, how did that happen? Sorry :P

"That is the most inane comment I have ever read. Marriage is about two people committed to a parternship based on love - not brotherly love, not family love, but the kind where you are in love and want to share your lives together."

THAT'S the most inane comment posted. Please explain marriages that are arranged. SOME couples are married for the convenience. I'm sure that might shatter your romance novel concept of marriage, but it's a fact. Just my 'inane' opinion.

Al,

"There have been twenty-eight amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The first ten, several of which the Bushies like to pretend donít exist and are tirelessly working to subvert, were ratified at one time and are collectively known as the Bill of Rights. Of the remaining eighteen, two (the establishment of Prohibition and the repeal of the same) cancel each other out. Of the sixteen left, every single one of them, without exception, was crafted to enhance freedom, civil liberties and equality"

Um, So the 16th ammendment passed to institute the income tax enhanced freedom, civil liberties, and equality in what ways??

When I read so many of these posts supporting 'gay' marriage I am deeply saddened that decades of gay propaganda have had there effect and incredibly so!!

First off folks.....Gays are not a minority.....homosexuality is a dysfunction as is proven over and over again.......

And for proof we have 10's of thousands of ex gays living healthy lives from the results of secular or sacred counseling!

Of course you gay supporters do not like to talk about that.....unlike being Black or Native, homosexuality is no more about being a viable minority then being a alcoholic is.....

I must say I am terrified for our Western Civilization when I see the amount of people who see nothing wrong in traveling down this hedonistic path.......the slippery slope is a bitch folks......

Already we have Professors from esteemed places like Harvard who are backing Pedophiles as being created that way.......they are using the same laughable pseudo sceince that the gay propagandists have used so effectively for the last 30 years......

I hope Michelle you are consistent.....when Musliims want too marry there child brides and extra wives and Pedophiles want too marry little children, I hope you will not be hypocritical in supporting there 'alternative' lifestyle.......of course, if you support the lies of the gay movement, you will have to support what comes after!!

My God.....have you people ever been duped!!!

Thanks

Hate to burst your idiotic bubble, Mr. Canadian, but marrying a kid is illegal, and with very good reason.

As for the rest of your arguments, I could spend ten hours debunking that stuff and you still woulnd't open your mind.

Enjoy your small minded, bigoted life up there in the Great White North.

Hey, has your country fallen apart since gay marriages have been made legal?

No?

Go figure.

With respect Michelle when you say marrying a kid is illegal, so was Gay marriage in my state until a few weeks ago.

When you have a social contract that you choose to live by the people should decide if it should be changed. For good or ill (I think for good) our culture and rules are primarily based on a Judeo Christian ethic.

If we choose to change it as a free people then fine, however if we choose to replace it with an ethic that is changeable election by election than any thing can be justified by majority vote or judicial fiat.

As far as the bigotry arguments, the very idea of gay marriage as a serious issue did not exist among people 15 years ago, let alone 50 or 100 years ago. My 80-year-old mother doesn't support it; I suspect your grandmother and or great grandmother if they are still alive and catholic don't either. I suspect most of our ancestors of the last 200 years would have opposed it. Were they all bigots, and right wing nuts? I suspect not.

Again if the people decide that this is a change they want then let it be voted on, but frankly if the argument that it should be ok to marry who we want is valid then no man or woman should ever feel cheated if their husband or wife chooses to dump them like a rock for someone else, after all they are following their feelings.

I think it all pure narcissism, and frankly moot, if we lose the war on terror the only question our Islamic friends will have will be do they kill Gays quickly or slowly. Lets will the war first and live to argue politely this another day.

I wish I had a spell checker that read my mind. I of course meant to say lets WIN the war first and then live to argue politely this another day.