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New York in Context

Five years ago, when the highest court in New York State refused to mandate state recognition of same-sex marriage, I disagreed with gay activists who criticized the decision, writing, “It is the job of courts to interpret the law, not set social policy“, adding

Despite the unfortunate rhetoric of the releases of HRC and NGLTF, I am delighted to see that their leaders are now looking to these legislators to make that case. Let’s hope this defeat convinces them to spend more time promoting gay marriage in legislatures and other popular fora rather than in courts of law.

Now that they have done so; they have finally achieved the result they wanted.  Elected state legislatures, I have always contended, are the appropriate fora to decide such issues.

The process was often messy, the rhetoric regularly exaggerated, the understanding of marriage generally at odds with the history of the institution, but at least those who made the final decision were elected by the people of the various jurisdictions of the Empire State and thus answerable to them at the ballot box.

We may not have had (and indeed did not have) the type of civil discussion of the importance and meaning of marriage that would have helped strengthen the institution (and not just in New York), but the branch of government responsible for deciding whether the state should privilege same-sex unions as it has long privileged different-sex monogamous unions resolved the issue.

It’s amazing the speed with which our elected legislatures have moved to consider state recognition of our (gay) relationships.  Just six years ago, the Connecticut legislature voted to recognize civil unions, without a court mandating it to do so.  I blogged on the significance of that vote here.

With the success in New York, it’s time (well, it’s long past time) to move the debate from the courts to the legislatures, as has happened in that state.  And once it’s gone through the legislatures, indeed, even as it’s going through the messy process of law-making in other jurisdictions, it’s important we consider state-recognized marriage as more than just personal validation, more than a trophy in the culture wars, but also as an ancient and honorable institution which imposes duties on those who seek its protections and gain privileges from the state.

In sum, we need to talk not just about why the state should recognize our unions, but why same-sex monogamous unions are good in and of themselves.

B. Daniel Blatt



  1. Uh, lots.

    There’s an intelligent answer.

    Of course, Levi will ignore the hundreds of millions killed by his belief system in the last 100 years in the name of Progress.

    Then again, Levi believes brain volume directly connects to intelligence, I’m sure he’d want that taught in public schools, despite it not being true. it’s not even a theory yet Levi’s stated it as fact. That’s the kind of ‘science’ Levi wants to teach.

    Just like Levi’s belief of global warming, despite evidence to the contrary.

    Note how Levi never jumps on President Obama’s gaffes, or VP Biden’s. Can we add mysoginist to his growing list of beliefs?

    Levi’s a coward, never answering questions where he knows he’s outclassed. The only reason he sputters out a reply to Heliotrope is that Heliotrope is so far above Levi, that he doesn’t realize he’s outclassed.

    Comment by The_Livewire — June 29, 2011 @ 7:47 am - June 29, 2011

  2. Levi, I do believe you’ve been asked some rather pointed questions about your odd notion of free speech.

    Two long posts rehashing your disdain really don’t count as answers.

    Comment by Eric in Chicago — June 29, 2011 @ 7:47 am - June 29, 2011

  3. This is funny.

    If we’re going to start wasting time in science classes talking about what can’t be disproven, well then I insist that my crackpot theories for human origins be presented! I believe that the real world is a computer simulation! I believe that we live in the Matrix! Or on the back of a giant turtle!

    I say go ahead. The more exposure children receive to alternate viewpoints in education, the more experience they receive in learning to weigh and review evidence and make decisions.

    Levi wants to intellectually retard children by burning any books and blocking anything other than that which he believes. Levi actually supports purging and burning books from libraries that discuss any alternate viewpoints and blocking children from accessing anything other than sources that promote and preach only liberal doctrine. Levi also wants to create guilt and fear in children by telling them that, if they disagree with liberal dogma, they are racist, homophobic, and awful people.

    Which is what makes this particularly funny:

    What bothers me is kids being indoctrinated into their parents’ religion. A kid reading a Bible at school probably started getting trained in his or her parents’ religion from the age of 2 or 3, which I simply think is a terrible thing to do to a human being.

    This is, of course, after Levi insists that children be indoctrinated into “approved” liberal dogma and never be taught or exposed to anything else. This is also after Levi supports and endorses children who propose or hold different viewpoints being shamed and ridiculed by their classmates and teachers.

    And this was particularly hilarious:

    If you hadn’t noticed, the American education system is the laughingstock of the developed world. We should be teaching science in science classes.

    What a surprise. Levi and his liberal ilk have banned any alternative theories, banned any alternative viewpoints, banned any sort of actual knowledge-based testing, and have created a world in which grades and performance are assessed solely based on self-esteem and ability to repeat liberal talking points — and as a result, our schools are the laughingstock of the world.

    Especially when you consider they turn out moronic idiots like Levi who claims that brain size equates to intelligence, or that islands tip over when there are too many people on them, or that Neil Armstrong landed on Mars and that South Vietnam still exists.

    The last is particularly hilarious when you consider that Sheila Jackson-Lee is an Ivy League graduate, which according to the idiot boy Levi, makes her smarter than anyone else who didn’t graduate from an Ivy League university.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — June 29, 2011 @ 12:07 pm - June 29, 2011

  4. Religion and kids involves a lot of fear and guilt, and I wish people had better sense than to put their own offspring through that kind of psychological torture.

    But of course, when you look at how Barack Obama, Levi, and their supporters torture children who disagree with them, what you realize is that they’re just disgusting hypocrites.

    Watch as the little coward runs away and refuses to answer. He knows damn well that “teachers” like this Barack Obama shill in the classroom are abusing children, yet he supports and endorses it. That shows you what a piece of leftist filth Levi is — he supports teachers who lie to children in order to punish them for expressing different views.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — June 29, 2011 @ 12:15 pm - June 29, 2011

  5. “I don’t know who the hell you think you are, but you’re nobody to me.”

    Then why do you keep responding to me, Lori? Huh?

    Comment by Seana-Anna — June 30, 2011 @ 12:28 am - June 30, 2011

  6. “Then why do you keep responding to me, Lori? Huh?”

    Because it’s the closest I can get to kicking the living crap out of you. The latter would be much more fun, but since you won’t dare show your face in Phoenix it does provide some amusement. And it is amusing to watch you sputter and cry and throw tantrums like a four-year-old every time somebody refuses to bow to the Royal Me, Myself and I that is Seane-Anna.

    Just reading you is like reading President The One. “I” this, “me” that, “me, me, me, me, me.”

    Now, back to telling us all the conditions under which you’ll continue to allow the rest of the world to exist. I suppose it’s more fun than thinking you’re a grasshopper or a potato, but why don’t you try being Cleopatra for a while? I’ll bet that’s really interesting.

    Comment by Lori Heine — June 30, 2011 @ 2:05 pm - June 30, 2011

  7. I don’t see the non activist younger generations nearly as motivated to poke social conservatives eyes out.

    This is true.

    I often read that future generations would be ashamed of us, and past generations, for defining marriage as between one man and one woman. But even assuming arguendo that future generations will have a different social understanding of marriage, it does not follow that they would consider previous generations to be bigots and haters merely because their social understanding of marriage was different.

    Baker v. Nelson. Your precious courts have ruled. They ruled 9-0 The Constitution is silent, so the definition of marriage falls to the legislatures.

    409 U.S. 810, 34 L.E.2D 65, 93 S Ct. 37 (1972)

    Of course, you should check out Davis v. Beason , 133 U.S. 333 at 344, 345 (1890)

    Comment by Michael Ejercito — July 4, 2011 @ 10:09 pm - July 4, 2011

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