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Guideline for Gay Marriage Debate

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 12:40 pm - June 15, 2009.
Filed under: Civil Discourse,Gay Marriage

Make the case for gay marriage, not against social conservatives.

UPDATE from Bruce:  Conservative Brawler has a related perspective on this topic

When looking at the gay marriage issue, one has to ponder… what is this really all about? Gays can already have any relationship they wish, what they’re fighting for here is state-recognized status. Why? They can call themselves “married” until they’re blue in the face, why do they need to the state to recognize their union? Because with state-recognition comes state benefits. And here we find the crux of the issue for the intellectual conservative – the reason the intellectual conservative wants gay marriage to be decided state-by-state isn’t because he has some vehement hatred for gays, but because he believes that a state’s citizens should have the autonomy to decide what they will and will not subsidize.

It is such a fine posting that I could have chosen any paragraph of it to highlight.  So please, read the whole thing!

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108 Comments

  1. There is no case for gay marriage. If legal rights are equal with civil unions, then adding the word “marriage” doesn’t add anything. In fact, the word “marriage” diminishes homosexual experience. Marriage is an institution designed for heterosexuals. It can’t simply be co-opted by homosexuals who have a completely different history. In fact, wanting to co-opt marriage suggests that what homosexuals have created for themselves throughout history isn’t good enough.

    I’m not sure why gays are afraid of embracing their own heritage and creating a new kind of relationship which honors gay couples throughout history. These gay marriage protests are truly self-loathing. They tell the world that there is something deficient about gay relationships which can only be cured by mimicking straight relationships.

    I want legal recognition for same-sex covenants which are rooted in the gay experience, not a pale imitation of heterosexuality. There is no case for gay “marriage” which is not rooted in self-loathing and shame. If gays were truly proud of their heritage, they would see civil unions as a way to create a new form of legal relationship rooted in gay experience which is separate but better.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — June 15, 2009 @ 3:05 pm - June 15, 2009

  2. Thank you!!! I have been helping with this debate. My brother is gay and I have always been passionate about Human Rights. He is now a Democrat which I have no problem with, however, I am neither R or D. I think the focus on the Republicans being against gay rights is not the correct focus. I think it alienates a lot of support that otherwise would is there and could be stronger. The anger gets in the way of the focus. Democrats are using this anger to keep as many people on their side, mostly for other reasons than the gay issue. I do not think Democrats are going to do much good for this issue. I hope the gay organizations will wake up and get centered, otherwise it will look a lot like the women’s movement, fighting amongst themselves for a party, not for women. Thank you for your site.

    Comment by Kt — June 15, 2009 @ 3:11 pm - June 15, 2009

  3. GPW, exactly. As a longtime gay marriage supporter in CA, I was ashamed last year to be handed it on a technicality (so to speak) and more ashamed of wholly negative, hide-the-gay campaign that the “No on 8” campaigners ran subsequently. State-license marriage is not a fundamental right, it’s a privilege that rests on a social consensus. The silver lining in Prop 8’s passage is that now the pro-gay-marriage side have to step up to the plate and become a positive part of that consensus. That’s how it should be.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 15, 2009 @ 3:40 pm - June 15, 2009

  4. ILC, somehow, I knew you’d turn out to be one of those self-loathing types. 🙂

    Comment by Ashpenaz — June 15, 2009 @ 4:02 pm - June 15, 2009

  5. (yawn)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 15, 2009 @ 4:12 pm - June 15, 2009

  6. Not gay here but if gays want me to even listen to their arguements, they better be the louder public voice and speak out against the prop 8 thuggery and their tactics.

    The Prop 8 holligans and subsequent silence by all gays when it was happening, turned my open mind into a closed one. You lost my support and won’t get it back until you take a public vocal stand against this kind of badgering, harrassment, thuggery and violence. Gays let the thugs and their own silence define them. You want my support, your going to have to earn it back

    I could care less whether anyone agrees or disagrees with my reasons. Your the one that wants something from me, not the other way around.

    Comment by tidy 88 — June 15, 2009 @ 4:33 pm - June 15, 2009

  7. Stop talking about marriage. I am not a social conservatives, but I believe they are not bad people. They don’t want to deny people the right to be together on their death bed, to inheritance rights etc. They are simply attached to the concept of marriage as it stands. Start talking about having equal legal rights for all sorts of relationships and call it whatever it takes. Ashpenaz is right. The obsession with “marriage” is harmful.

    Comment by Lisette — June 15, 2009 @ 5:18 pm - June 15, 2009

  8. Ashpenaz writes: “If legal rights are equal with civil unions, then adding the word “marriage” doesn’t add anything.”

    If the above is true, then I think your post is spot on. But do civil unions provide the same legal rights as marriage. Is there a source that in no uncertain terms spells this out? Thanks.

    Comment by Naill — June 15, 2009 @ 5:47 pm - June 15, 2009

  9. Can someone direct me to a source that in no uncertain terms spells out legal rights in civil unions are equal to those granted by marriage?

    Comment by Naill — June 15, 2009 @ 5:52 pm - June 15, 2009

  10. Naill, it varies by State. In CA, civil unions and marriage are equivalent, although I don’t have a specific reference for you.

    In all my thinking and comments, I use “gay marriage” and “gay civil unions” equivalently. I call it “gay marriage” because that’s what it is; I’m not going to hide the word, or the seriousness of the commitment. If socially conservative heterosexuals are uncomfortable with that and want to call it “civil unions”, fine. As in my earlier comment, I believe in achieving it democratically, and in the democratic process, compromises are sometimes necessary. Call it Fred, as The_Livewire (one of our regular commentors) does. It is the substance of marriage that I’m after (for gays).

    The argument you’re quoting cuts both ways. “If legal rights are equal with civil unions, then adding the word “marriage” doesn’t add anything” – Well then, by definition of the issue, neither does the word detract anything. So, I will continue calling gay marriage what it is: GAY MARRIAGE 🙂 But, again, if we have to call it civil unions in the democratic, evolutionary process of making it happen, let’s do that.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 15, 2009 @ 6:39 pm - June 15, 2009

  11. (or rather: I won’t, but I can certainly live with the law doing that)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 15, 2009 @ 6:40 pm - June 15, 2009

  12. You lost my support and won’t get it back until you take a public vocal stand against this kind of badgering, harrassment, thuggery and violence.

    The Gay Patriot blog has already done that, tidy 88.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 15, 2009 @ 7:02 pm - June 15, 2009

  13. Here’s what you don’t have under civil unions that you have under marriage: any and all Federal spousal benefits. This includes: the right to joint filing of Federal tax returns, deducting your partner’s children as dependents, the right to spousal Social Security benefits, the right to get legal residence in the US for a foreign-born spouse, the right to serve openly in the US military (yes, if you’re in a civil union, that is not exactly keeping silent as per Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell). There are hundreds of other missing benefits/rights.

    Suggestion: Before you decide to bash the concept of extending the rights of marriage equality to all adults, reach out to you gay and lesbian co-workers, neighbors, relatives, and friends and ask them what they think is right and just.

    Sincerely,
    Mike

    Comment by Mike Heart — June 15, 2009 @ 7:12 pm - June 15, 2009

  14. ILC, I second your comment 10. I have good friends who have been a couple for 12 years now, and got the domestic partner deal taken care of a few years ago. They didn’t get married last summer, but as far as they, I and all of their friends are concerned, they are married.

    Mike, at the moment, the whole gay marriage issue is only being dealt with on a state by state level. Please talk to Obama, the Democratic congress and senate if you would like to see those federal benefits accorded to gay couples.

    I have been told for years that the Democrats are the party that favors and respects gays. Now that they have all the power, I’d like to see that in action, not just words.

    Comment by Leah — June 15, 2009 @ 7:50 pm - June 15, 2009

  15. ILC, i’m not talking about the Gay Patriot, it was directed to gays everywhere. I said as much in another post that GP and Hillbuzz where the only ones speaking out. All other gays everywhere either kept silent or only talked amonst themselves.

    Comment by tidy 88 — June 15, 2009 @ 8:11 pm - June 15, 2009

  16. The word “marriage” does detract. It dismisses the whole of gay history and gay relationships. It makes heterosexuality normative and homosexuality deficient. I don’t want to play husband and wife–I want to be man-to-man. I want legal recognition for same-sex covenants. I don’t want to play house.

    If straightacting is self-loathing, as the left constantly reminds us it is, how is gay marriage–the most straightacting of all–not self-loathing to the extreme?

    Comment by Ashpenaz — June 15, 2009 @ 9:28 pm - June 15, 2009

  17. The word “marriage” does detract. It dismisses the whole of gay history and gay relationships. It makes heterosexuality normative, yadda yadda

    …Except, of course, it doesn’t.

    And in terms of the legal and cultural substance: I think that what we (the WHOLE society) really need is a ready-made path whereby 2 gays or lesbians, who are competent adults and unrelated by blood and otherwise unattached, can make themselves a family unit in society’s eyes. Something where young gays can look at it and go “Yeah, I’ll do that” or “I’ll aspire to that.” Kind of like, oh I don’t know, the gay analog to marriage. The equivalent-for-gays of marriage. You could call it, oh I don’t know, GAY MARRIAGE. Or not. If that bothers you, then call it “Fred”. Or call it “civil unions”. Let’s just get it passed, democratically in as many states as possible…OK?

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 15, 2009 @ 10:05 pm - June 15, 2009

  18. You secretly want to be straight, don’t you ICW? And since that’s not possible, you want to legally play house with your “husband” (I’m just guessing you’d be the “wife”). You want to live somewhere that’s green. That’s not what being a homosexual is about, and it is an insult to those gays who throughout history have defined their social roles in counterbalance to a heterosexist society. I don’t want to mimic the oppressor in order to gain the oppressor’s approval. I want homosexual relationships to be recognized for the unique and wonderful things they are. In my area, you’d be like those Native Americans who like being called Sioux because that’s the name the white man gave them. I’d rather be like the Lakota who go by the name they gave themselves.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — June 15, 2009 @ 10:36 pm - June 15, 2009

  19. You secretly want to be straight, don’t you ICW?

    You’re really swinging for the stands to get attention from me, aren’t you Ash? Now you’re a mind-reader – ROTFL 🙂 Crawl back under your rock.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 15, 2009 @ 10:44 pm - June 15, 2009

  20. ILC, i’m not talking about the Gay Patriot

    Thanks for the clarification, tidy 88.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 15, 2009 @ 11:00 pm - June 15, 2009

  21. That’s not what being a homosexual is about,

    What the hell does that even mean?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — June 15, 2009 @ 11:50 pm - June 15, 2009

  22. And, TGC, who even wants to be “a homosexual” OR “a heterosexual”? What kind of person gets up in the morning thinking about how they’ll fulfill someone else’s obsessive sexological definitions today?

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 16, 2009 @ 2:06 am - June 16, 2009

  23. In my area, you’d be like those Native Americans who like being called Sioux because that’s the name the white man gave them. I’d rather be like the Lakota who go by the name they gave themselves.

    Since a woman I know is a strong first peoples advocate, and who spent years being a pain in the ass of the state of Califonia, goes by ‘Sassy Sioux’ I think you’re mistaken, Ashpenaz.

    Comment by The Livewire — June 16, 2009 @ 6:39 am - June 16, 2009

  24. Make the case for gay marriage

    Without falliing into the “marriage as some kind of contract or rights” fiasco. Those who think of marriage as nothing more than a contract demonstrate that they should never be allowed to get married.

    Comment by rightwingprof — June 16, 2009 @ 8:20 am - June 16, 2009

  25. Gosh, it’s so good to see the nasty tone of this blog once again. We’ve really missed it. *rolleyes*

    Comment by Ignatius — June 16, 2009 @ 10:55 am - June 16, 2009

  26. (yaawn)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 16, 2009 @ 11:07 am - June 16, 2009

  27. Without falliing into the “marriage as some kind of contract or rights” fiasco.

    And without falling into the “marriage is a right” fiasco. RWP, fair point.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 16, 2009 @ 11:30 am - June 16, 2009

  28. Those who think of marriage as nothing more than a contract demonstrate that they should never be allowed to get married.

    Well, that would be one way to eliminate the majority of marriages today.

    That’s not what being a homosexual is about

    Ashpenaz, I think we all have our own ideas of what being a homosexual is all about, when we do think about being a homosexual. You apparently draw on your (IMO inaccurate) beliefs about gay history to define what it means for you. We’re not all going to look at things the same way.

    I don’t want to mimic the oppressor in order to gain the oppressor’s approval.

    I’m not sure what you mean by “oppressor” here, but I have no problem copying what works. In fact, if I understand you correctly, doesn’t gay covenant assume that the couple will be faithful to each other, just as we expect from married couples? Or is this oppression something that shouldn’t be mimicked?

    In my area, you’d be like those Native Americans who like being called Sioux because that’s the name the white man gave them.

    I’ll leave it to the Sioux/Lakota as to what their preference is. I’m guessing there are many that would prefer to be called Lakota, but not worried about labels. If same sex unions are legally called civil unions, one is free to call it marriage. Similarly, if same sex unions are legally called marriage, you are free to call it a gay covenant, civil union, Fred, or whatever you want. And you and your partner could make your union as unique as you want. You know, just like a married couple.

    You secretly want to be straight

    As someone who also supports same sex marriage, I don’t secretly, or otherwise, want to be straight. That train left over 15 years ago, and it’s not coming back.

    And since that’s not possible, you want to legally play house with your “husband” (I’m just guessing you’d be the “wife”).

    Is calling someone a “wife” supposed to be an insult? Anyway, thankfully, that is one tradition of marriage that has gone by the wayside, where the husband had a certain fixed, defined role, and the wife had a different fixed, defined role. Now most of us view marriage partners are equal. Roles aren’t fixed anymore. In fact, while most wives tend to be the primary care takers, there are husbands that are stay-at-home while the wife works.

    Comment by Pat — June 16, 2009 @ 12:07 pm - June 16, 2009

  29. Ok, wow, here it goes. (I’m taking your post as a challenge)

    A Conservative argument for Gay Marriage:

    Marriage has (traditionally) been the joining of one man and one woman in a sacred bond that the government has seen fit to recognize. Western Society confirms that such recognition is a way to promote this stability, as it serves the raising of children and propogation of the society best.

    Part of the strength of the American Republic is its ability to adapt and change through the legislative and refferendum process. With the rise of, and growing acceptance of, homosexuality, it is time to address through these means of change, the need to create a same sex partnership that’s recognized by the government.

    By creating recognition of such a union, the government will be able to promote a similar stability for same sex couples, both for health reasons (decreasing promiscuity and thus STD risk) and for social reasons (helping to recognize and increase behaviours that bring stability). The creation of these Same Sex Civil Contracts (SSCC) would be achieved on a state by state basis, as the Federal Constitution is silent on the subject, and as such the power is reserved to the states. The push would be in the states, with an eventual goal not of having the Federal Government ‘recognize’ the creation of SSCC, rather it would be to have the SSCC being recognized by other states under Full Faith and Credit clause, so that if a state has its own SSCC, it would recognize and extend benefits inherent to that state to a couple who gained an SSCC in their home state. There would be precident. A couple married in Ohio, for example, who moves to California benefits from all California’s laws, including California’s diviorce laws, which differ from Ohio’s. By this method, the concept of Federalism, and the seperation of powers as enumerated in the 10th ammendment may be maintained.

    Comment by The Livewire — June 16, 2009 @ 12:25 pm - June 16, 2009

  30. Pat,

    Some of us like that old fahsioned division of roles. In D/s it’s even called ‘1950’s household’ 😛

    As to your first point, I agree that it should not be seen as that. I’ve commented elsewhere about not marrying my (opposite sex) roommate for just that reason. It’s not something to marry over.

    Hmm, anyone else now hearing Ash going “Oh! Come and see the violence inherent in the system! Help, help, I’m being repressed!”

    Comment by The Livewire — June 16, 2009 @ 12:33 pm - June 16, 2009

  31. I don’t buy the “Save us from ourselves!” argument; somehow the explanation “Well, we’re a bunch of sex-crazed, disease-ridden perverts who frequent bathhouses and public parks and since some of us think that’s bad (but not all of us, *wink, wink* — not to be judgmental, after all), we need to redefine traditional marriage in order for us to reform our community’s behavior” just doesn’t quite convince me that gay men in particular are serious about relationships. Some who advocate same-sex marriage don’t quite understand that asking those who uphold traditional marriage to subsume a community known for values diametrically opposed to the ideals of marriage because of those values is unacceptable. Commitment is not about state validation and same-sex marriage is not about love.

    Comment by Ignatius — June 16, 2009 @ 12:43 pm - June 16, 2009

  32. Is calling someone a “wife” supposed to be an insult?

    Pat, as always, I admire your patience 🙂

    TL – Nice job. Here’s my version. It doesn’t conflict with yours; it’s just my own spin. We know that State-recognized marriage is an institution that benefits the whole of society. For a host of reasons, society benefits when lots of people pair off (voluntarily) into ordered and stable family units, putting each other’s welfare first, and kids *if* they plan to have kids. On average (or with some notable exceptions), it tends to improve the people, their health, their behavior and decisions, their productivity, their families, their kids’ education if they have any, and the whole quality of society. Therefore, the State recognizes civil marriage and provides it as a ready-made path for willing couples. The point is to privilege well-ordered couplings and make them into recognized family units. Society will benefit that much more when it provides a similar path for gays and lesbians, whether it calls that path SSCC, civil unions, marriage or whatever. Willing gay and lesbian participants will also benefit directly, which is part of why they would want to do it; but in terms of making the conservative argument, my main point here is society’s benefit.

    Note that (or, I admit that) I have yet not made an argument for why the gay version should be called “marriage”. My argument for calling it “marriage” or “gay marriage” is simply that that’s what it is: the gay equivalent of marriage, or the thing that, for gays, takes the place of straight marriage. I call it “marriage”, then, on the basis of truth-in-advertising. I don’t know if that’s particularly conservative or not; in any case, it’s a secondary issue for me.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 16, 2009 @ 12:49 pm - June 16, 2009

  33. I don’t buy the “Save us from ourselves!” argument

    Fortunate, then, that no one’s making it.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 16, 2009 @ 12:55 pm - June 16, 2009

  34. #29, third paragraph:

    …both for health reasons (decreasing promiscuity and thus STD risk)…

    #32, second paragraph (not including quotation):

    TL – Nice job. Here’s my version. It doesn’t conflict with yours; it’s just my own spin.

    Yep. So far, two people are making the “Save us from ourselves” argument.

    Comment by Ignatius — June 16, 2009 @ 1:18 pm - June 16, 2009

  35. Yep. So far, two people are making the “Save us from ourselves” argument arguments that I, Iggy, in my silly game-playing, choose to misinterpret and misrepresent as the “Save us from ourselves” argument.

    Fixed it for ya.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 16, 2009 @ 2:18 pm - June 16, 2009

  36. One makes the argument explicitly, the other implicitly and unwittingly.

    Comment by Ignatius — June 16, 2009 @ 2:24 pm - June 16, 2009

  37. P.S. I have seen other threads on Gay Patriot where some gay-marriage-lefties did try to make a “Save us from ourselves” argument. It looks more like the following: a claim that if they are sluts with street-trash morals, it’s because society was mean to them, including that society denied them marriage. I’ve pointed out to them how absurd that is. A slut is a slut, because they want to be a slut. Heterosexuals prove that all the time. Heterosexuals have marriage, and yet some of them still prefer sluthood. State-licensed marriage doesn’t operate to save anybody from themselves, whether heterosexual or homosexual. What it does do, is “save society” (so to speak), encouraging a type of relationship that is better for society, for a whole plethora of reasons.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 16, 2009 @ 2:24 pm - June 16, 2009

  38. One makes the argument explicitly, the other implicitly and unwittingly doesn’t, except that I (Iggy) need to play my games and pretend/misrepresent that it does.

    Again, fixed.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 16, 2009 @ 2:25 pm - June 16, 2009

  39. [Brawler, from Bruce’s update:] the reason the intellectual conservative wants gay marriage to be decided state-by-state isn’t because he has some vehement hatred for gays, but because he believes that a state’s citizens should have the autonomy to decide what they will and will not subsidize

    A point I basically agree with.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 16, 2009 @ 2:31 pm - June 16, 2009

  40. The Prop 8 controversy is about the word “marriage.” It’s not about equal legal rights since they already have that in California. The Gays there want to call their relationships “marriage” in order to have the same social status as straights. Or, my theory is, they want to undermine straight marriage by using the “gay marriage” issue to force states to include open relationships, multiple partners, and serial monogamy under the name “marriage.” “Gay marriage” is about either mimicking straight marriage or undermining straight marriage–it’s not about affirming homosexual relationships.

    I welcome you to go to the Rosebud Reservation in SD and ask about the Sioux. Please. Let me know when you’ll be there so I can watch the fun.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — June 16, 2009 @ 2:31 pm - June 16, 2009

  41. So Ignatius,

    Are you saying that traditional marriage does not discourage promiscuity? Or that it doesn’t promote stability?

    Because that’s the only way to get ‘save us from ourselves’ from either ILC or myself.

    Better still, why don’t you take up the challenge? Make a case for gay marriage.

    Unless you want to save us from yourself?

    Comment by The Livewire — June 16, 2009 @ 2:34 pm - June 16, 2009

  42. #33:

    Fortunate, then, that no one’s making it.

    #38:

    One makes the argument explicitly, the other implicitly and unwittingly doesn’t…

    At least he now admits he was wrong in (#33), even if he can’t seem to remember #32:

    TL – Nice job. Here’s my version. It doesn’t conflict with yours; it’s just my own spin.

    That’s something. (Emphasis added for reading comprehension.)

    Comment by Ignatius — June 16, 2009 @ 2:37 pm - June 16, 2009

  43. #42 – Sorry, I have to correct my previous correction.

    One makes the argument explicitly not at all, the other implicitly and unwittingly also not at all, except that I (Iggy) need to play my games and pretend/misrepresent that it does.

    NOW it’s fixed.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 16, 2009 @ 2:40 pm - June 16, 2009

  44. #41: Livewire, you admit that is one of the arguments you are making and one of the arguments ILC agreed with when he claimed earlier that his ‘version’ doesn’t conflict with yours, despite his earlier claim that no one made such an argument. Thanks.

    No, it isn’t an argument for same-sex marriage. People choose to behave in a moral fashion and do not need state recognition of a relationship in order to do so. Basing the alteration of an ancient, traditional institution for the reason that there exists a community unworthy of it is not convincing. At least, not to me.

    Comment by Ignatius — June 16, 2009 @ 2:42 pm - June 16, 2009

  45. Livewire, you admit don’t admit that is one of the arguments you are making, but I (Iggy) need to pretend you do.

    Again fixed.

    Let’s review what TL said. Iggy likes to quote tiny bits out-of-context and keep re-quoting them until reality is changed (if only in Iggy’s mind), but here is what TL really said:

    By creating recognition of such a union, the government will be able to promote a similar stability for same sex couples, both for health reasons (decreasing promiscuity and thus STD risk) and for social reasons (helping to recognize and increase behaviours that bring stability).

    As phrased by TL, government’s concern would be with saving *society* from high STD rates, not with saving gays per se from the consequences of their own slutty behavior. As I suggested earlier, no amount of State-licensed marriage will save a determined slut from himself, be he heterosexual or homosexual, and no one in this thread has yet tried to argue otherwise.

    Having said that, it is true that State-licensed marriage (the privileging of stable relationships) slightly or somewhat lowers STD rates overall for *society*, and that is one of the *many* reasons why marriage is *good for society*. The benefit to society is the conservative argument to be made in marriage’s favor. If marriage doesn’t benefit society, then we shouldn’t do it. But I believe it does. By simple extension, society would achieve some degree of additional benefit, over time, by providing a marriage-like institution for gays also.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 16, 2009 @ 2:57 pm - June 16, 2009

  46. (P.S. “marriage” meaning “State-licensed marriage”, in the above)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 16, 2009 @ 3:02 pm - June 16, 2009

  47. Basing the alteration of an ancient, traditional institution for the reason that there exists a community unworthy of it is not convincing. At least, not to me.

    Ignatius, marriage exists for all communities (for their straight ones only, that is) regardless of whether that community deserves it or not. I live a couple of miles from a community that is overridden with promiscuity, unwed parents, child protective issues, drug abuse, afraid of work issues, etc. But we don’t shut out all in the community who do want to get married.

    I agree with ILC that we should encourage opposite sex and same sex couples to pair off as a benefit to society. The rest is my reasoning, which may or may not be the same as ILC or anyone else. I personally do believe that having same sex marriage or civil unions will decrease promiscuity in the future. When gay children can look to a goal, the same that their straight siblings and friends have, that could alter their outlook as to what is possible for them when it comes to relationships and settling down. No, I don’t see the creation of marriage as stopping a gay person who is promiscuous now to stop (and if it actually did in a case or two, I’d be fine with that, just not holding my breath). I see it more as preventing future gay persons from becoming promiscuous and never settle down.

    No, it’s not all about having state recognition. As others have noted, there are straight persons who are promiscuous despite having marriage. And I gave my own example above. There has to be more. There also has to be positive encouragement by parents, friends, family, and other role models as well (something that is apparently lacking in the community that I mentioned). But state recognition is a start. It’s shaping attitudes of younger gay persons now, as well as parents who now see that their gay children can grow up and get married (or get a civil union) like their straight children.

    If state recognition is meaningless, then why not just get rid of it. Or better yet, why don’t straight people just blow it off, and get “married” without state recognition. Can you imagine a father telling his daughter saying, “gee, you don’t need to have a state recognized wedding ceremony. Just shack up with your boyfriend and say your married. That will be just dandy for your mother and me.” Yeah, right.

    Comment by Pat — June 16, 2009 @ 3:04 pm - June 16, 2009

  48. If one wants to see my argument as “save us from ourselves” argument, then fine. I obviously can’t stop it. I would just say that is also true for straight persons as well. Whether or not same sex marriage or civil unions happens or not, I still want it for straight persons. Because I still believe that it encourages opposite sex couples to form stable relationships, prevents STDS, promotes health of the couple, etc., than if there wasn’t marriage.

    Comment by Pat — June 16, 2009 @ 3:08 pm - June 16, 2009

  49. Pat, I fundamentally disagree with that argument and the state recognition I mentioned is in the context of changing behavior, something that I believe requires an internal decision. We’ll just have to agree to disagree.

    Comment by Ignatius — June 16, 2009 @ 3:30 pm - June 16, 2009

  50. Pat,

    If one wants to see my argument as “save us from ourselves” argument, then fine.

    It’s the argument that I disagree with, not you generally. Livewire made the argument that one of the benefits of same-sex marriage is that it will reform a community prone to low morals (promiscuity and the associated diseases), what I call the “Save us from ourselves” argument. One might argue that two people who wish to commit through marriage would likely not represent that segment of the gay community, that only undermines the argument. Would some reform their behavior? I don’t think such a change would be a deterrent, at least in the sense that laws are deterrents to any kind of behavior.

    Comment by Ignatius — June 16, 2009 @ 3:42 pm - June 16, 2009

  51. Livewire made the argument that one of the benefits of same-sex marriage is that it will reform a community prone to low morals

    …Except, of course, he didn’t. (ILC yawns again)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 16, 2009 @ 4:02 pm - June 16, 2009

  52. What Livewire wrote back up at #29:

    By creating recognition of such a union, the government will be able to promote a similar stability for same sex couples, both for health reasons (decreasing promiscuity and thus STD risk) and for social reasons (helping to recognize and increase behaviours that bring stability).

    This is the “Save us from ourselves” argument. Livewire hasn’t retracted his statements; rather, he has asked me in #41:

    Are you saying that traditional marriage does not discourage promiscuity? Or that it doesn’t promote stability?

    I disagree with the argument he makes, the “Save us from ourselves” argument.

    Comment by Ignatius — June 16, 2009 @ 4:21 pm - June 16, 2009

  53. “promote stability” != “reform a community prone to low morals”; not for straights and not for gays either.

    I’m going by TL’s construction and TL, if I misunderstood your point, please do correct me.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 16, 2009 @ 4:50 pm - June 16, 2009

  54. “I cannot save you.
    I can’t even save myself.” -Stabbing Westward

    Iggy, you’re doing a wonderful job of proving you can’t make a case for ‘gay marriage’. I’ve pointed out the social benefits of SSCC, and that a positive pattern of behaviour should be rewarded (just as it currently is for marriage). You on the other hand can only attack an arguement, unable to make one of your own.

    And you can’t even attack it on the merits, just make a specious “There go those SoCons, trying to save me from myself” arguement.

    Fail.

    Comment by The_Livewire — June 16, 2009 @ 4:53 pm - June 16, 2009

  55. You’re in the black, ILC.

    “Saving the community” Ignatius style is to go in and force my morals on someone. Do I look like a liberal to you?

    Comment by The_Livewire — June 16, 2009 @ 4:55 pm - June 16, 2009

  56. P.S. Further to my point, Pat has correctly brought out that there are **straight** communities which are prone to low morals, that marriage hasn’t reformed! I would never in a million years claim that marriage will do for gays, what it has failed to do for straights. And yet, it does still “promote stability”. (Or to say it another way, the lack of it would clearly be a further factor promoting instability, in those communities.) Imagine that.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 16, 2009 @ 4:55 pm - June 16, 2009

  57. Thanks, TL. (I wrote my above comment before I saw your next)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 16, 2009 @ 4:56 pm - June 16, 2009

  58. long before gay marriage was set in Mass, Conn, and Iowa and even after Vermont, Maine and NH hopefully allow SSM later this year, gays and lesbians held committment ceremonies, some in front of family and friends, some in front of clergy or ordained marriage ministers. . . and legal papers were often signed.

    and vows like these were possibly exchanged

    like an alternative wedding vow:
    I am proud to marry you this day.
    I promise to wipe away your tears with my laughter,
    and your pain with my caring and my compassion.
    We will wipe out the old canvases of our lives and let God,
    with His amazing artistic talent, fill them with new color, harmony and beauty.
    I give myself to you completely, and I promise to love you always,
    from this day forth.

    or something more conventional like:

    Catholic Wedding Vow Sample 1

    “I, _______, take you, ________, for my lawful (PARTNER)wife/husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part.”

    but will those vows include ‘a committment to reduce STI infections and help reduce promiscuity along with helping to recognize and increase behaviours that bring stability to society.

    It seems unfair that the burden of proof has fallen onto Gays and Lesians who are seeking the privileges and benefits of marriage. Will it take a set of arguments to muster support for SSM? or will there always be those who will object to such ‘committments’ But that is the what appears to be needed. It is what it is.

    Comment by rusty — June 16, 2009 @ 5:16 pm - June 16, 2009

  59. Iggy, TL has now made his intent unmistakable. How about at least telling him “OK, I stand corrected”? (Note: I won’t expect you to apologize for misrepresenting his meaning, because that would put me firmly in the right as well, and I know you can’t ever do that.)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 16, 2009 @ 5:30 pm - June 16, 2009

  60. Pat, I fundamentally disagree with that argument and the state recognition I mentioned is in the context of changing behavior, something that I believe requires an internal decision. We’ll just have to agree to disagree.

    That’s fine, Ignatius, and I’m fine with agreeing to disagree. But I’m not even sure what we are disagreeing on. Is it

    1) That you don’t believe that the state should encourage an activity that would benefit society, e.g., any state/federal recognition of any marriage.

    2) That you don’t believe that having marriage stops promiscuous people from their behavior.

    3) That having marriage doesn’t encourage people to form stable relationships, lessen STDs, etc.

    If it’s 1), I’m with you on agreeing to disagree.

    If it’s 2), I’m pretty much agree with you, but I could see the possibility of some people changing their behavior.

    If it’s 3), then again, we can agree to disagree again. The thing is, neither of us know for sure if same sex marriage will or will not provide the benefits to society as I believe it would. And frankly, we won’t know for a long time, not until we have a culture in which same sex marriage or civil unions existing. We’re getting there, but we’re not there yet.

    I get your point about changing behavior requiring an internal decision. So I’ll agree there. But there is a lot of things that influence an internal decision. A culture in which much of society has disdain for homosexuals and homosexuality is not going to be a positive environment for a young gay person when he grows up. Add in the fact that, even today, gay children are not supported in the same way that their straight siblings are. And in some cases, some are still excoriated.

    Do you really think that none of these things lead to one’s internal decisions? If not, why do we bother to nurture children? Why don’t we just treat all children just like too many gay children are treated?

    Comment by Pat — June 16, 2009 @ 5:44 pm - June 16, 2009

  61. Livewire,

    Iggy, you’re doing a wonderful job of proving you can’t make a case for ‘gay marriage’.

    I’m against same-sex marriage. I have no intention of making a case for it.

    Once again, here is what you wrote way back at #29:

    By creating recognition of such a union, the government will be able to promote a similar stability for same sex couples, both for health reasons (decreasing promiscuity and thus STD risk) and for social reasons (helping to recognize and increase behaviours that bring stability).

    Here is how I read this:

    By government recognition of their marriages, homosexuals will be less inclined to promiscuity and related STDs and will have “greater stability”. This is the “Save us from ourselves argument” (or “Save them from themselves”), meaning marriage should be extended in order to reform a community prone to promiscuity and related STDs, instability, etc.

    I’ve pointed out the social benefits of SSCC, and that a positive pattern of behaviour should be rewarded (just as it currently is for marriage).

    You made an argument for same-sex marriage based upon the logic that it (marriage) will decrease promiscuity and STDs and encourage stability. It is a cause-effect argument with which I strongly disagree. Additionally, your statement “…a positive pattern of behaviour should be rewarded…” is a contradiction to your previous comments. Earlier, you argued that bad behavior will be reformed and now you’re saying that good behavior should be rewarded.

    Once again, you did not claim that I misrepresented your argument or misread it; in fact you asked why I do not agree with it and I explained why in (#44).

    You on the other hand can only attack an arguement, unable to make one of your own.

    And you can’t even attack it on the merits, just make a specious “There go those SoCons, trying to save me from myself” arguement.

    Again, I’m against same-sex marriage and think your logic is poor. Disagreeing with an argument doesn’t require me to counter with another, particularly when I think the basis of the initial argument isn’t logically sound. And again, I explained why I disagree with you.

    Comment by Ignatius — June 16, 2009 @ 5:56 pm - June 16, 2009

  62. Pat,

    Selection (2) is the correct one, mostly. So it appears we agree, at least in part.

    I also agree with you that external factors influence our internal decisions, but to base legislation (particularly re. this kind of issue) on the hope that a few people might change their behavior and become less promiscuous is, I believe, a fool’s errand. A relationship isn’t a piece of paper, as you know. Homosexuals can get married. They can have a ceremony, a reception, and all the trimmings of a traditional, committed relationship, but none of that matters if the intent to commit hasn’t been decided. I don’t think saying “Gay men tend to be promiscuous, so let’s take an ancient, revered institution and extend it to them so that their promiscuity and instances of STDs will be decreased through better decision-making…” is an argument for causality that doesn’t make sense to me.

    Comment by Ignatius — June 16, 2009 @ 6:04 pm - June 16, 2009

  63. Here is how I read this:

    Well, that’s a tiny advance. Iggy now quotes you in full sentences, TL, rather than misleading half-sentences.

    And he admits that his terrific leap from your saying “The government will be able to promote stability [among gays]”, to his mis-reading that you think SSCC will “reform a community prone to low morals”, is only his ‘reading’. I try to be grateful for the tiny things. Very, very tiny.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 16, 2009 @ 6:13 pm - June 16, 2009

  64. Once again, you did not claim that I misrepresented your argument or misread it

    On the contrary, Iggy. I had claimed it, and TL at #55 endorsed my view. Using a type of logic of which *you* are particularly fond, that means TL claimed it.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 16, 2009 @ 6:18 pm - June 16, 2009

  65. (TL – Not meaning to put words in your mouth here; just hoisting Iggy by his own tactics 😉 )

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 16, 2009 @ 6:21 pm - June 16, 2009

  66. Livewire,

    At #55 you write:

    “Saving the community” Ignatius style is to go in and force my morals on someone. Do I look like a liberal to you?

    No, I don’t advocate forcing morals on anyone and I haven’t stated anywhere that you advocate doing the same, through marriage or any other means.

    Comment by Ignatius — June 16, 2009 @ 6:27 pm - June 16, 2009

  67. Livewire,

    Do you now retract what you wrote, stand by it and defend it, or hide with evasions and strawmen (i.e. stating I advocate forcing morals on others)?

    Comment by Ignatius — June 16, 2009 @ 6:36 pm - June 16, 2009

  68. … said the thread’s top user of evasions and straw men, as he stubbornly refuses to retract accusations about someone else’s intent/meaning that he jolly well ought to retract.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 16, 2009 @ 6:51 pm - June 16, 2009

  69. Well, Ignatius still can’t construct an arguement either way.

    The very definition of saving someone from themselves is to go enforce your morals on them. This is what you keep (mis-)stating my arguement to be. Since you can’t admit you’re choosing to read my words incorrectly, I shouldn’t be surprised that you think I’m on the defensive.

    It doesn’t change that any society uses laws to restrict bad behaviours and reward good behaviours. These can vary from good methods (your insurance rates drop because you buy an alarm for your home) to negative ones (you get a wall dropped on you because of your choice of bedmates) The key is to encourage stability without discouraging freedoms. SSCC does that, without forcing someone to comply, as you seem to cling to the mistaken belief my argument does.

    Comment by The_Livewire — June 16, 2009 @ 9:47 pm - June 16, 2009

  70. rusty,

    Is that your arguement for SSCC? ‘it’s not fair’?

    Well at least it’s straightforward.

    Comment by The_Livewire — June 16, 2009 @ 9:53 pm - June 16, 2009

  71. Livewire,

    If “Save them from themselves” or “Save us from ourselves” is what’s hanging you up, ignore it and focus on how I’ve explained what that phrase means. Not once have I advocated forcing marriage on anyone nor have I claimed that that is your position. That is what is known as a straw man: claiming victory regarding a position an opponent has not argued.

    As I’ve stated repeatedly (and as you’ve stated once), you have argued that same-sex marriage will reduce promiscuity and instances of STDs. You haven’t defended your argument, but merely asserted that I’ve misread it (I’ve spelled it out multiple times) and misrepresented it by using a label you don’t like (I’ve spelled it out multiple times) and “can’t construct an argument either way” without stating the ‘ways’ to which you refer (Against same-sex marriage? Against your position? For…?). In fact, I’ve explained multiple times why I disagree with you.

    No, I don’t cling to some mistaken belief that you’re arguing for forced marriage. You haven’t made that argument and nor have I.

    Once again (from above):

    You made an argument for same-sex marriage based upon the logic that it (marriage) will decrease promiscuity and STDs and encourage stability. It is a cause-effect argument with which I strongly disagree. Additionally, your statement “…a positive pattern of behaviour should be rewarded…” is a contradiction to your previous comments. Earlier, you argued that bad behavior will be reformed and now you’re saying that good behavior should be rewarded.

    You can make any argument you wish. Do you deny that you’ve made such an argument?

    Comment by Ignatius — June 16, 2009 @ 11:41 pm - June 16, 2009

  72. That is what is known as a straw man: claiming victory regarding a position an opponent has not argued.

    Something you’ve been doing most of this thread, Iggy.

    Let’s go way, way back to #33. You said:

    I don’t buy the “Save us from ourselves!” argument

    I said, correctly:

    Fortunate, then, that no one’s making it.

    It should have ended there. But, you can never let go of your straw men, and you’ve been evading various points ever since, to try to dig yourself out of that hole. (First rule: Stop digging.)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 17, 2009 @ 12:16 am - June 17, 2009

  73. As for how exactly your #33 had misrepresented my intent and TL’s: see #37, 45, 53.

    As for TL telling you plainly that you had misunderstood / misrepresented his intent: see #41, 54, 55. Ages ago. Why won’t you believe him?

    I repeat my call to you, from #59:

    TL has now made his intent unmistakable. How about at least telling him “OK, I stand corrected”?

    Now take the log out of your eye. Then your demands for TL to take the (possible / alleged) mote out of his will make more sense.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 17, 2009 @ 12:23 am - June 17, 2009

  74. [TL has] argued that same-sex marriage will reduce promiscuity and instances of STDs

    Bzzzzzzzzzzt. Wrong again, Iggy. Here is what TL really said:

    By creating recognition of such a union, the government will be able to *promote a similar stability* for same sex couples, both for health reasons (decreasing promiscuity and thus STD risk) and for social reasons (helping to recognize and increase behaviours that bring stability).

    Emphasis added. What contorted leaps, Iggy, get you from there to believing that “same-sex marriage will reduce promiscuity and instances of STDs”? Who believes that marriage, gay or straight, directly reduces STDs in any community? What they really do is, *promote stability*. STD reductions then may-or-may-not flow. TL argued that. Not that they “will” flow.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 17, 2009 @ 12:33 am - June 17, 2009

  75. It is the difference between saying “This will tend to encourage X / promote X / make X more possible / reward X / incent X”, on the one hand …and “This *will* produce X” on the other. The_Livewire never claimed the latter. He never claimed that kind of causation. Rewarding / encouraging / promoting is not causation. So who’s really been using straw men, Iggy? Why do you not understand the difference between causing behavior and merely incentiving it, and why do you keep trying to stuff words in TL’s mouth?

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 17, 2009 @ 12:50 am - June 17, 2009

  76. (sorry, ‘incentivizing’)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 17, 2009 @ 12:51 am - June 17, 2009

  77. Iggy,

    ILC’s summed up the flaws Huge Gaping Holes in your ‘arguement’.

    To recap:

    Society has a need for stability
    SSCC would reward same sex couples by society recognizing and encouraging this union.
    Side effects include
    a) a decrease in promescuity, as most people do honour commitments made.
    b) a decrease in rate and transmission of STDs since ‘you know where he’s been’.

    Somehow, in Iggy’s view, this rewarding of behaviour is ‘saving people from themselves’ Since that requires intervention against the person’s will (you pull the suicidal person off the bridge, you take the alcohol away from the alcoholic) and SSCC is voluntary, much like marriage, (barring relatives and shotguns of course) this is a ‘strawman’ arguement by Iggy’s definition.

    Now, if you want to address the actual text of the arguement , as opposed to your strawmen, please, feel free.

    Comment by The Livewire — June 17, 2009 @ 7:10 am - June 17, 2009

  78. Livewire,

    As I’ve explained above, you’re hung up on “Save them from themselves”, which is how I label your argument. I would never suggest anything so absurd as forcing people into marriage against their will. I have not made the suggestion and nor have I claimed that you’re making the suggestion.

    But since you don’t want to admit that I’ve characterized your argument correctly with the following, way back in the thread, you cling to the “forcing someone into marriage against their will” meme:

    You made an argument for same-sex marriage based upon the logic that it (marriage) will decrease promiscuity and STDs and encourage stability. It is a cause-effect argument with which I strongly disagree.

    The straw man in your argument is that you claim I’m characterizing your argument as forcing people into marriage, something I haven’t done. If you want a categorical statement against anything so stupid, you’ve got it now. Now, once again: How does the following statement mis-state your argument?

    You made an argument for same-sex marriage based upon the logic that it (marriage) will decrease promiscuity and STDs and encourage stability. It is a cause-effect argument with which I strongly disagree.

    Comment by Ignatius — June 17, 2009 @ 8:05 am - June 17, 2009

  79. Selection (2) is the correct one, mostly. So it appears we agree, at least in part.

    Ignatius, that’s great. My argument has been that having same sex marriage will help in forming more stable relationships in the future, and would have very little impact, if any, on the behavior of gay persons now.

    A relationship isn’t a piece of paper, as you know. Homosexuals can get married. They can have a ceremony, a reception, and all the trimmings of a traditional, committed relationship, but none of that matters if the intent to commit hasn’t been decided.

    You’re right in that a relationship is more than a piece of paper. It’s not going to make a person commit, stop a person from being promiscuous, or from spreading an STD. Yet, 99.9% of people who get married opt for that piece of paper. So there is something to that piece of paper. Something more important than stopping one person from being irresponsible sexually. It helps in encouraging stable relationships for generations to come.

    So I have two more questions.

    1) Do you believe that same sex marriage will or will not have a positive benefit to society by reducing sexual irrepsonsibility of gay persons and increasing the number of committed, stable relationships after a few generations?

    2) For sake of argument, suppose it can be proved that same sex marriage would have the positive benefits that I stated, would you still be against same sex marriage?

    Comment by Pat — June 17, 2009 @ 8:11 am - June 17, 2009

  80. Pat,

    1) Perhaps in a few cases, but likely not generally and not nearly enough to warrant changing the definition of traditional marriage. I don’t buy the argument that gay men will benefit from same-sex marriage because they want to lessen their promiscuity; those who are promiscuous are so because they choose to be. Instead of arguing that homosexuals should be given the marriage privilege because they are worthy of it, the argument is that homosexuals should be given the marriage privilege precisely because they aren’t, but that we hope they’ll change. I don’t accept that argument.

    2) Yes, I would still be against it because I believe heterosexual relationships provide a unique function and deserve a unique status. I’m not against civil unions, though — and a homosexual couple can get married and be as committed as they want to be without government sanction because commitment (and fidelity and lack of promiscuity/STDs) is a choice.

    Comment by Ignatius — June 17, 2009 @ 8:27 am - June 17, 2009

  81. Maybe this will make it clear to Iggy (although I know it won’t).

    – TL says basically that same-sex marriage will “reward” (TL’s word) people who voluntarily reduce their promiscuity.
    – Iggy hears an altogether different proposition, a claim that same-sex marriage “will reduce”.
    – Hilarity ensues, as Iggy absolutely refuses to admit his error for the next 50 comments and beyond.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 17, 2009 @ 9:10 am - June 17, 2009

  82. (sorry – Same-Sex Civil Commitments – “marriage” was my word)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 17, 2009 @ 9:11 am - June 17, 2009

  83. I’m not against civil unions, though

    Then what’s all this ruckus about?

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 17, 2009 @ 9:15 am - June 17, 2009

  84. Again, Iggy can’t argue against me. So he goes to plan b, make go-se up.

    Comment by The Livewire — June 17, 2009 @ 9:17 am - June 17, 2009

  85. I don’t buy the argument that gay men will benefit from same-sex marriage because they want to lessen their promiscuity; those who are promiscuous are so because they choose to be.

    Ignatius, again, I agree with that.

    the argument is that homosexuals should be given the marriage privilege precisely because they aren’t, but that we hope they’ll change. I don’t accept that argument.

    That’s not quite the argument that I was making. Again, I’m looking at future generations. I’m looking at gay teens growing up knowing that they also can have the same goals as their straight siblings. So I’m not saying that a sexually irresponsible person is going to change because of a piece of paper. I’m saying this piece of paper will lessen the number of sexually irresponsible people to begin with. If you don’t believe that to be the case, then we can agree to disagree on this point.

    I’m not against civil unions, though — and a homosexual couple can get married and be as committed as they want to be without government sanction because commitment (and fidelity and lack of promiscuity/STDs) is a choice.

    I may be somewhat in agreement here with your first point, if you are saying that you support federally recognized civil unions with the same rights, privileges, and benefits as marriage, but don’t want the government to call it marriage, I’m fine with that.

    As for your second point, it is true that one can commit, etc., without government sanction. But we do it for straight couples, and they always opt for that piece of paper. Like I said, there is some meaning to that piece of paper.

    Yes, I would still be against it because I believe heterosexual relationships provide a unique function and deserve a unique status.

    Unique in what way? If it’s the fact that many straight couples for a period of time can procreate, while same sex couples cannot, that’s fine. But the thing is, we still encourage the 70 year old couple to marry (and get that piece of paper) as well as the infertile younger couple, or a couple that has no intention of having children. I’m not advocating changing the law. I’m saying that almost all of us encourage such weddings, attend them, wish them the best, don’t want to deny them the government restriction simply because their relationship is not “unique.”

    I simply want to extend this same encouragement to same sex couples.

    Now I have two more questions.

    1) Do you support federally recognized civil unions with the same rights, privileges, and benefits as marriage?

    2) Why do you support any form of civil unions for same sex couples.

    3) If I’m correct about what you mean by unique (the ability to procreate), should couples who do not intend to or unable to procreate be encouraged to not marry, but instead have a civil union similar to what you would advocate for same sex couples. Note: I’m not asking if you believe the laws should change, since it would be impractical.

    Comment by Pat — June 17, 2009 @ 9:17 am - June 17, 2009

  86. [Pat to Iggy:] That’s not quite the argument that I was making… I’m not saying that a sexually irresponsible person is going to change because of a piece of paper…

    Heh. 🙂

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 17, 2009 @ 9:28 am - June 17, 2009

  87. Livewire refuses to answer my question. He merely obfuscates with “Iggy can’t argue against me…” etc. Fine.

    Comment by Ignatius — June 17, 2009 @ 9:42 am - June 17, 2009

  88. Ah, if only there was a question, and not straw…

    Comment by The Livewire — June 17, 2009 @ 9:55 am - June 17, 2009

  89. Pat,

    We’re going to have to agree to disagree. Again, a person chooses his morals (or by proxy makes a choice by not making a conscious choice). You state that you’re not making the argument that a piece of paper (state-sanctioned marriage) doesn’t change a person’s promiscuity, meaning lead a person to make better (less promiscuous) choices, yet at the same time you’re arguing that a piece of paper (state-sanctioned marriage) will prevent a person’s promiscuity, meaning lead a person to make better (less promiscuous) choices. Either way, my argument remains the same because either way, your argument is basically the same.

    To answer your questions:

    1) No, I believe this is for each state to decide.

    2) I support them because it does not change the definition of marriage and depending upon the definition of civil unions, allows for certain benefits that I support such as inheritance, hospital visitation, etc. My support is general, but again it depends upon how the civil union is defined so I cannot say my support is unqualified.

    3) I have no problem with heterosexual couples seeking civil unions, whatever their reason. Should non-reproductive heterosexual couples be “encouraged” to seek them? If what you mean is “compelled”, then no. If you simply mean that that would be an option, then yes. (Usually when the government ‘encourages’, it’s from the business end of a gun.) Should the presence of children determine how the state treats the relationship, i.e. what is demanded of it? Yes, but such responsibilities should supersede our definitions and categorizations of parent relationships, possibly with ad hoc legislation.

    Comment by Ignatius — June 17, 2009 @ 10:01 am - June 17, 2009

  90. Livewire,

    One more time (copy/paste from previous comments):

    Now, once again: How does the following statement mis-state your argument?

    You made an argument for same-sex marriage based upon the logic that it (marriage) will decrease promiscuity and STDs and encourage stability. It is a cause-effect argument with which I strongly disagree.

    Is that not the argument you’ve made?

    Comment by Ignatius — June 17, 2009 @ 10:04 am - June 17, 2009

  91. And Livewire, if you’re now going to be hung up on civil unions vs. marriage, I’ll beat you to the punch: I disagree in either case. Can you answer the question in (#90 and elsewhere)?

    Comment by Ignatius — June 17, 2009 @ 10:18 am - June 17, 2009

  92. Ignatius, perhaps I wasn’t clear enough. I agreed with you that I don’t believe a person will stop being promiscuous because of a piece of paper. What I have been arguing is that this piece of paper will help lessen the chances in future generations that a gay person will become promiscuous to begin with. I never argued that things will magically change overnight, or even in one generation.

    Similarly, I don’t agree that a piece of paper changes promisuity for straight people. There are obviously straight people that are promiscuous. It is my belief that there are less sexually irresponsible straight people because there is state recognized marriage.

    Either way, my argument remains the same because either way, your argument is basically the same.

    I don’t know if the above argument clarifies my position. But it looks like we’ll have to agree to disagree on whether those two arguments are basically the same, because I don’t believe they are.

    No, I believe this is for each state to decide.

    That’s fine, but I suppose we disagree on federally recognized civil unions.

    I support them because it does not change the definition of marriage and depending upon the definition of civil unions, allows for certain benefits that I support such as inheritance, hospital visitation, etc. My support is general, but again it depends upon how the civil union is defined so I cannot say my support is unqualified.

    Understood. But what benefits should a same sex couple not have that an opposite sex couple that doesn’t procreate have?

    I have no problem with heterosexual couples seeking civil unions, whatever their reason. Should non-reproductive heterosexual couples be “encouraged” to seek them? If what you mean is “compelled”, then no. If you simply mean that that would be an option, then yes. (Usually when the government ‘encourages’, it’s from the business end of a gun.)

    I certainly don’t mean compelled. And I don’t want to restrict marriage to only those couples seeking to procreate for reasons of practicality (actually, I don’t want to restrict it at all). But you are saying that gay couples shouldn’t get married, because of the uniqueness that opposite sex couples can provide (i.e., procreation), shouldn’t the prevailing attitude be, “You know, I don’t want to change the laws, but this 70 year old couple should not marry. Marriage really is intended for those who will procreate, and help in the state’s interest in promoting family stability. They are trying to change what marriage is all about, and people should police themselves and stop it.”

    But that’s not the attitude. In fact, we encourage opposite sex couples to marry, even if they cannot and/or have no intention of procreating. How is this relationship more unique than a homosexual relationship? Or if you still find it unique, how is it so more unique that we limit marriage based on the genders of the couple?

    Comment by Pat — June 17, 2009 @ 10:31 am - June 17, 2009

  93. Maybe the following will make it clear to Iggy (although I know it won’t).

    1) TL says that his SSCC idea will “promote” stability and “reward” people who voluntarily reduce their promiscuity. (TL’s words)

    2) Iggy hears an altogether different argument, a claim that same-sex marriage “WILL [emphasis added] reduce” promiscuity and thus “Save us from ourselves”.

    3) Hilarity ensues, as Iggy absolutely refuses to admit to his error, for the next 60 comments and beyond.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 17, 2009 @ 10:54 am - June 17, 2009

  94. Pat,

    Here’s what you wrote:

    …perhaps I wasn’t clear enough. I agreed with you that I don’t believe a person will stop being promiscuous because of a piece of paper.

    OK, you’ve stated my position correctly and I’ve stated yours correctly so far. We both agree on this point.

    Here’s where you claim I’m not understanding:

    What I have been arguing is that this piece of paper will help lessen the chances in future generations that a gay person will become promiscuous to begin with. I never argued that things will magically change overnight, or even in one generation.

    Here’s what I wrote that prompted your above statement:

    …yet at the same time you’re arguing that a piece of paper (state-sanctioned marriage) will prevent a person’s promiscuity, meaning lead a person to make better (less promiscuous) choices..

    You’re arguing that the availability of marriage will encourage better behavior, meaning that state-sanctioned marriage will prevent someone from choosing a more promiscuous lifestyle (or if you prefer, encourage someone to make the less-promiscuous choice). Do we agree that you are making such an argument?

    You then go on:

    I never argued that things will magically change overnight, or even in one generation.

    I never claimed you did. Pat, individuals make choices; the choice to live a sexually moral life (committed, monogamous, etc.) is not made collectively and so when we look at aggregate data or project our hopes for a community, we ought to be very careful in how we form our cause-effect logical relationships. You’re being careful to state that such choices will not necessarily be made immediately, meaning that the availability of marriage will not change the community’s “promiscuity profile” overnight. But communities don’t make moral choices, individuals do. At some point, your argument (eventual reduction in promiscuity) concerns choices that individuals make, whether the day same-sex marriage is legalized or 10 years after.

    I hope the above makes clear why I consider the two following arguments basically the same:

    1) By offering an alternative, same-sex marriage will reform individuals who engage in promiscuous behavior;

    2) By offering an alternative, same-sex marriage will prevent individuals from engaging in promiscuous behavior

    Again, promiscuity is a choice that individuals make, either to continue/cease promiscuity after they’ve decided to begin engaging in it or to begin engaging in it. I hope I’ve made clear why my answer is the same in both cases — because the two cases are extremely similar.

    I’m glad you didn’t mean “compelled” — I didn’t think you did. However, I’m still not quite sure what you mean by “encouraged” vis-a-vis civil unions vs. marriage.

    I’ll address the rest later. (I have work to do.) The short answer is that laws cannot reasonably address every single exception to the satisfaction of all. For example, most states have a drinking age. It can be logically argued that there are kids at age 16 that are far more responsible and better able to handle the responsibilities of alcohol than many of their 18 year-old counterparts. But as a society, we have to draw the line somewhere. I recognize that there are relationships and family situations our laws don’t specifically address, but rare cases should not frame the arguments that concern the vast majority. (And reproduction is not my only argument in favor of retaining traditional marriage, just to put that out there.) More later.

    Comment by Ignatius — June 17, 2009 @ 11:20 am - June 17, 2009

  95. Pat, Here’s what you wrote:

    Ruh-roh! The snake’s rattle! LOL 🙂

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 17, 2009 @ 11:39 am - June 17, 2009

  96. By the way Pat – Great comments!

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 17, 2009 @ 11:50 am - June 17, 2009

  97. Thank you for your input Pat.

    As an aside on my original essay, SSCC through the states and the legislatures would result in a net increase of freedom, both in giving a route for states to approve polygamy in the same way, and in shutting down the “If you allow gay marriage you allow x” arguments by pointing out it is passed in a method that strikes to the heart of the conservative arguement. It’s a limited (less prone to judicial meddling) legislative (again through the correct two branches for such a thing, not the courts) federalist measure, able to be addressed by the people.

    Comment by The Livewire — June 17, 2009 @ 11:59 am - June 17, 2009

  98. I hope the above makes clear why I consider the two following arguments basically the same:

    It does, Ignatius. I just disagree with your argument that the two lines of reasoning are basically the same.

    I do agree that a person’s choice to be sexually irresponsible is an individual choice, not a community choice. No problem there. Perhaps the following will explain my point.

    We value the importance of nurturing our children so that they grow up to be responsible citizens. I think we both agree that emotionally and physically abusing children is not only wrong, but will too often lead these children growing up and not being responsible adults. Now handing any of these persons now as an adult a piece of paper saying that child abuse is wrong is not going to change their behavior. On the other hand, if we find ways to limit the amount of child abuse in the future, we will have more responsible adults.

    I realize there are exceptions to the rule here. I’m sure we all know people who had rough childhoods, and are thriving as adults, and those who had excellent childhoods, and are irresponsible adults. I’m looking at the big picture here.

    Again, promiscuity is a choice that individuals make, either to continue/cease promiscuity after they’ve decided to begin engaging in it or to begin engaging in it. I hope I’ve made clear why my answer is the same in both cases — because the two cases are extremely similar.

    Not quite, and perhaps this is where we disagree. The reason why I believe it is different is because the external influences are different, and as such may lead to a different choice by the individual.

    The short answer is that laws cannot reasonably address every single exception to the satisfaction of all.

    Agreed. That’s why even if I believed marriage was solely for procreation, I wouldn’t advocate changing the laws. But that wasn’t my point. My point was that we not only tolerate these marriages, we encourage them.

    Comment by Pat — June 17, 2009 @ 12:52 pm - June 17, 2009

  99. We value the importance of nurturing our children so that they grow up to be responsible citizens. I think we both agree that emotionally and physically abusing children is not only wrong, but will too often lead these children growing up and not being responsible adults. Now handing any of these persons now as an adult a piece of paper saying that child abuse is wrong is not going to change their behavior. On the other hand, if we find ways to limit the amount of child abuse in the future, we will have more responsible adults.

    Pat, I think that all along we’ve really been talking about the difference between micro (the individual) and macro (the society).

    At the micro level, each individual is 100% responsible for their choices. No amount of State-licensed marriage will stop a determined slut from being a slut, whether that person is straight or gay. No State pronouncements will make an irresponsible person responsible. Etc.

    At the macro level, the *rates* of individuals adopting one course over another are influenced, at the margins, by the incentives society presents to them. If State marriage is available to a community with low morals – such as, for example, the straight communities that you alluded to earlier – then the community might achieve 25% stable couples, where without it, it would be only 22%. New STD rates might be 1.8% instead of 2.3%. And so on.

    There is no conflict between the two perspectives. It is Economics 101. At the individual level, people have free will and should be held responsible for their actions. At the public-policy level, the incentives and options presented to individuals have some influence on how many individuals (rates) voluntarily choose one course or another. It isn’t rocket science… unless you’re Iggy, in which case, you are unable to recognize when ILC and The_Livewire are talking about voluntary system incentives influencing the macro rates of things, and (after repeated explanations) are unable to admit your mistake.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 17, 2009 @ 2:33 pm - June 17, 2009

  100. ILC, that’s pretty much in a nutshell the point I was trying to make. So it seems like we are more on the same page than I originally thought.

    Comment by Pat — June 17, 2009 @ 3:11 pm - June 17, 2009

  101. Pat, I’ve commented very little on your comments here – except “Great” and the like – because I have been 70-80% in agreement, and therefore had little to add. 😉

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 17, 2009 @ 3:13 pm - June 17, 2009

  102. Pat,

    It seems we disagree only on (relatively) minor points such as the extent to which marriage influences an individual’s decision whether to be promiscuous. I disagree that your position is an argument for the sanction of same-sex marriages, so I’ll let it go at that.

    It’s good to have a reasonable debate with a reasonable person. Thanks.

    Comment by Ignatius — June 17, 2009 @ 3:23 pm - June 17, 2009

  103. Livewire,

    You still won’t answer the question?

    Comment by Ignatius — June 17, 2009 @ 3:24 pm - June 17, 2009

  104. P.S. We’re also really talking about culture here. If the aim is to have a culture of responsibility and commitment, it will be a bit more likely of achievement after establishing institutions that support / privilege / encode responsibility and commitment. Not to “save people from themselves”, an absurd straw man… nor to deny anyone’s responsibility or freedom… but to give a bit of encouragement toward the desired thing, influencing masses of individuals on the edge of deciding one way or the other.

    To make the “culture” angle even more concrete, let’s talk about bacterial culture. In any given culture, each bacterium has a pseudo “choice” in moving towards the food or not (please bear with the analogy here) and is “responsible” for that choice, for sensing the food correctly, etc. The ones who don’t do it, don’t do it. That’s the micro level. But the “government” (the researcher) has an influence on the culture – that is, where the bacteria mostly swim to, which ones make it, etc. – by altering the incentives and the range of possibilities, like the type of food, amount of food, its placement, etc. Again, no contradiction.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 17, 2009 @ 3:27 pm - June 17, 2009

  105. Iggy,

    You still won’t that you were wrong (mistaken) in how you represented TL’s comments?

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 17, 2009 @ 3:28 pm - June 17, 2009

  106. it’s OK ILC, he can’t admit that the words he uses “I do not think it mean what you think it mean.”

    Comment by The_Livewire — June 17, 2009 @ 4:19 pm - June 17, 2009

  107. TL. we both garbled our syntaxes there a little… heh.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 17, 2009 @ 4:37 pm - June 17, 2009

  108. […] Fist, their guiding principle should not be protecting Maine Equality (whatever that means), but making the case for gay marriage–and not demonizing those who oppose it. […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » How to Make the Case for Gay Marriage in Maine — August 14, 2009 @ 2:18 am - August 14, 2009

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