October 13, 2004

Endorsement: No On Measure 36

Keep The Righteous Wing Out Of Oregon's Constitution

One of the many ironies in the fight over Measure 36 is that while the Special Rights for Heterosexuals Coalition made much hay over what they saw as an abuse of process by Multnomah County (a matter into which we'll delve more deeply later in this item), their preferred method of advancing their agenda is to abuse the Oregon Constitution.

Even if, for the sake of argument, we were to concede their point about the County (a point which readers know we do not, in fact, concede), we can't help but wonder if anyone notices that their "response" (which it isn't, since changing the Oregon Constitution was on their agenda prior to the events in Multnomah County) is an exponentially worse offense against democratic propriety.

While the anti-marriage crowd certainly is correct that a democratic system is about the voice of the people, they conveniently ignore that the other part of that system consists of constitutional structures intended to protect the minority from the tyrrany of majority opinion. Measure 36 up-ends this central principles by creating an implicit exception to the prohibition against discriminatory granting of privileges and immunities contained within Article I, Section 20, of the Oregon Constitution.

This disdain for the structures of constitutional government should come as a suprise to absolutely no one, of course. If you've been paying attention to the rhetoric oozing from the pores of the righteous wing, you've seen that it's simply part of who they are. It's a central aspect of how they operate.

It's revealed just as clearly in their criticisms of the role of the judicial branch, which they obsessively brand as some sort of usurpation of democratic rights, rather than recognizing it was one element of our tripartate separation of powers -- which itself exists in part to preserve the rights of the few against the self-interested passions of the many.

No matter what they may profess to the contrary, they aren't actually interested in democracy at all. What they seek is the imposition of a theocratic set of eternal moral principles into the realm of what is meant to be the civil and secular rule of law.

Mentioning the rule of law means that we must address the question of Multnomah County. In the end, we would be remiss if we didn't address this aspect of the same-sex marriage battle anyway, if for no other reason than to be honest about the fact that we disagree with just about everyone else when it comes to this question.

In the end, for us, the decision of Multnomah County to issue same-sex marriage licenses was an act of civil disobedience -- the only one possible given the law in question.

Normally, civil disobedience is an action take solely by citizens themselves in protest of an unjst law -- taking a seat at a whites-only lunch counter or in the "wrong" section of the bus. These actions are taken because they directly and literally violate an unjust law. When it comes to marriage equality, however, civil disobedience is impossible without the assistance of a state actor.

There is no lunch counter or seat on the bus for gays and lesbians to occupy. Instead, there is a license which the state and the state alone has exclusive authority to issue. In order to protest an unjust marriage law, a state actor -- in this case, Multnomah County -- had to directly and literally issue same-sex marriage licenses.

Readers will note that this is not the way the Commissioners in question discuss the County's decision. Rather, they abide by the position that once the County Attorney offered the legal opinion that Oregon's marriage statutes were unconstitutional, the County was obligated to issue marriage licenses without consideration of sexual orientation. Whether or not that position (that the County was obligated to ignore what its attorney said was an unconstitutional law) will ever be validated or invalidated by the courts remains to be seen.

But our position isn't based upon the County's legal justification for its actions. It's based upon the proposition that civil disobedience is a legitimate response to unjust laws, and that there could be no true civil disobedience -- meaning a direct and literal violation of Oregon's marriage statutes -- without state action. It is on these grounds (and we've argued this case before, although to little success) that we have always supported the County's decision.

We fully understand, and have always fully understood, that the methods behind the County's actions were seized upon by opponents of same-sex marriage. By joining the chorus of those focusing on what we've deemed (to much derision by others, we admit) the "process distraction" the forces of the righteous wing were able to capitalize on anti-County sentiment and funnel it into the momentum of their larger agenda against same-sex marriage itself.

In the end, we simply have a stark difference of opinion with those supporters of same-sex marriage who disliked the County's approach to the issue. They believe it was not worth the risk, while we believe it was a moral imperative to take that risk. While we've been accused of suffering from Last Word Syndrome on this aspect of the fight, the reality is that none of us will ever really have the last word on it.

We're simply going to have to live with the severely separate and distinct views of the County's actions. Some believe that the County should have taken a realpolitic approach, understood the potential backlash, and held off. We believe that once the action ocurred, supporters of same-sex marriage should have taken the realpolitic approach, understood that process criticism would only fuel the righteous wing, and held off. Neither side is ever going to gain any ground in convincing the other.

Regardless of one's views of the County's process, it is inescapable that the controversy which erupted provided the righteous wing with the political cover it needed. With the debate over the process distraction raging, they were able to disguise themselves as mainstream citizens simply concerned over democratic processes. So disguised, they were able to insinuate themselves into the good graces of many of those Oregonians who are conflicted over the issue of same-sex marriage in and of itself, and begin generating attention they could parlay into advancing their real aims and ambitions.

In no way do we suggest that it's true of all Oregonians who find themselves almost instinctively inclined to support Measure 36, but when it comes to those most directly responsible for the measure and its intentions, their motivation is disturbingly simple, no matter how much trouble we get into for bothering to call them on it.

They are bigots.

At stake in the battle over Measure 36 is not just the most obvious point -- the fundamental right of a minority to fully enjoy the exact same privileges and responsibilities afforded to the majority. Also on the line is whether Oregonians feel comfortable with providing a clear and concise victory to the forces of the righteous wing, who are motivated by bigotry and fueled by religious zealotry.

While many of those inclined to support Measure 36 may not themselves reach the level of being classified as bigots or religious zealots, their support for Measure 36 at the ballot box will lend credibility -- and more frighteningly, power -- to those who are bigots and religious zealots.

So our challenge to Oregonians simply is this:

Vote to support the democratic principles that our constitution is not intended to discriminate against the few in the name of the opinion of the many.

Whatever you may think of same-sex marriage (or any other social or cultural controversy), it is more important that we all stand united behind the fundamental tenet that Oregon's Constitution should be the place where we enshrine the edicts of equality. If we don't all hold fast to one of the most central ideals of our constitutional democracy, none of the other disputes we may have mean anything at all. A victory for Measure 36 would be a victory for forces in our society which in essence hold democratic principles in contempt.

Vote against the proposition that the separation of powers as exemplified by the judicial branch is a usurpation of democratic ideals.

Those who masterminded Measure 36 consistently proclaim the near-evils of the courts. While few of us, on any side of the traditional political spectrum, would claim that there haven't been any court decisions with which we've fundamentally disagreed, the righteous wing takes this inevitable and ocassional dissatisfaction to an extreme which actually poses as much of a danger to the ideals of constitutional democracy as does writing discrimination into the Oregon Constitution. A victory for Measure 36 would be a victory for those who have been waging a crusade against the role of the judicial branch -- and therefore against the rule of law -- for years.

Vote against lending credibility and power to bigots and religious zealots who will not stop with Measure 36.

At its core, Measure 36 is but a tool of a righteous wing which seeks to impose their own narrow conceptions of right and wrong upon everyone else. So blinded are they by their sense of higher purpose, they see the very notion of how a constitutional democracy functions as a threat to their worldview. Behind the rhetoric that Measure 36 merely is a chance for the people of Oregon to speak for themselves is the truth: That for their views of the world to win, the paired notions of constitutional equality and the separation of powers must lose. A victory for Measure 36 would be a victory for the bigots and zealots who proposed it, giving them political power they must not be allowed to have.

Vote no on Measure 36.

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Comments (137)

  1. m/a/z/e on 13 Oct 2004

    Amen.

  2. Referee on 13 Oct 2004

    Sorry to interrupt your little echo chamber, but you have managed to fill yet another posting with such glaring misinformation and seething bigotry and closed-mindedness that it simply had to be corrected. I'm sure you intended to be persuasive, but you have lived for so long in your little sycophant powered echo chamber that you have forgotten how to write persuasively to someone open minded and intelligent, presumably the type of individual you would like to attract to your blog.

    1) Don't invent boogeymen like a "righteous wing" and a "Special Rights for Heterosexuals Coalition". Running from specters makes you look ignorant and childish. It may incite approbatory grunts from partisan troglodytes, but there is little to be gained by "persuading" them.

    2) "...the role of the judicial branch, which they obsessively brand as some sort of usurpation of democratic rights, rather than recognizing it was one element of our tripartate separation of powers..." - "Separation of powers" refers to government itself, not to the people. The reason for a separation of powers is precisely to prevent a branch of government from ignoring the will of the governed, not to promote it. Our government derives its powers from the people. It therefore makes no sense to say that a branch of that government somehow has more power than the people from which its power is derived. Ammending the constitution is an ability expressly reserved to the people, not to the judiciary or any other branch of government. Were any government branch, or even a conglomeration of government branches able to change the constitution themselves, the Constitution would lose all purpose.

    3) "No matter what they may profess to the contrary, they aren't actually interested in democracy at all. What they seek is the imposition of a theocratic set of eternal moral principles " - Conspiracy theories are notoriously difficult to sell in a persuasive essay. Saying that the fact that there is no evidence is itself proof of a conspiracy makes one wholly incredible to all but the partisans already sold on your campaign. The problem with imputing motives is only those firmly in your camp already are sufficiently ignorant of the opposition to accept the proported motive. Someone who has questions about same-sex marriage reads you saying that their questions are motivated by their desire for a theocracy and they instantly recognize you as a fake. They know first hand that they do not want a theocracy, as you claim, and so they write you off as another partisan crack-pot. If anything this could decide the issue for them against you.

    4) "civil disobedience is an action take solely by citizens themselves" - You go on to argue that even though not private citizens, "civil disobedience" is exactly the cover you give the non-private government actors in Multnomah County. Pretending a contradiction doesn't exist helps those partisans who would also like to pretend the contradiction away, but it only weakens your position to those who didn't already drink that kool-aid. Violating the law may be "civil disobedience" by a private citizen, but by a government actor it becomes tyranny. Arguing that elected officials should consider themselves above those who elected them is not a strong platform from which to seek support. Again, assuming you are trying to be persuasive and not merely huddling your clique around you.

    5) "...once the County Attorney offered the legal opinion that Oregon's marriage statutes were unconstitutional, the County was obligated to issue marriage licenses without consideration of sexual orientation." - What this grab for cover ignores is the fact that the county had been meeting with Basic Rights Oregon months in advance of soliciting an opinion from Ms. Sowles. It is disingenuous to first tell an attorney to write up a particular opinion and then say one's actions are dictated by that opinion. Ms. Sowles's legal justification, that "men and women" might actually mean "men or women" and that the gender of "husband" or "wife" is unclear, was so far fetched as to be flatly rejected by a sympathetic Hardy Myers and all but laughed out of Judge Bearden's court. That nobody tries to use either point to justify same-sex "marriage" just shows how poor a job Ms. Sowles did in providing her bosses the legal cover they asked for. If your contention is allowed to stand, that a government official can tell an attorney to argue for something and then be bound by that argument then there is nothing stopping any government official from violating any law. A mid-level beurocrat could cut down an old-growth forest if he first gets an attorney to postulate some constitutional argument. The argument need have no legal merit whatsoever, as Ms. Sowles aptly demonstrated.

    6) "We believe that once the action ocurred, supporters of same-sex marriage should have taken the realpolitic approach, understood that process criticism would only fuel the righteous wing, and held off." - This smacks of justifying the means by the ends. If the process was flawed, and it was, then you should not discredit your cause by saying otherwise. Here you severely weaken your case by saying you are merely supporting the commissioners actions because you want the end result to succeed. So, if the commissioners had used these same tactics to, for example, log an old growth forest you would say the "process" was bad. The notion that you will say anything that it takes to win your case damages your credibility virtually beyond repair.

    7) "when it comes to those most directly responsible for the measure and its intentions...They are bigots." - Again, name calling works to rally the yes-men, but as I have said previously, there is little to be gained by motivating this bunch of un-thinkers. Those who are truly thoughtful will simply see this more as a sign of retreat than a reason to agree. Name-calling is an admission that one is too abused of torturing logic into somehow rationalizing one's gut reaction and is instead taking the easy road of declaring by edict that anyone who disagrees with you does so out of a character flaw that you do not possess. It is a flag of surrender that one can no longer refute the arguments being presented but want desperately to disagree anyway and so will disagree based on the arguer rather than the argument.

    8) "If we don't all hold fast to one of the most central ideals of our constitutional democracy, none of the other disputes we may have mean anything at all." - In a rare moment of high-mindedness you finally say something correct. But you are appealing to the wrong ideal. The ideal in question is the sole right of the electorate to ammend the constitution. If any branch of government succeeds to usurp that right then our constitution is completely undone.

    9)"A victory for Measure 36 would be a victory for forces in our society which in essence hold democratic principles in contempt." - This is too demonstrably false to even consider. The Measure 36 crowd is following the ammendment procedure encoded in the constitution itself, not inventing some judicial power over the constitution. They are appealing to the voters and not asking that the voters be ignored and they are not planning how to get the vote overturned even before it is taken. You would probably do best to simply ignore democracy in your arguments altogether and hope there is some other criterion to draw someone over to your side. The issue of supporting democracy is clearly against you. Saying otherwise may wash with the true believers, but not with anybody you seek to convert.

    10) "Measure 36 would be a victory for those who have been waging a crusade against the role of the judicial branch..." - Again, a topic you probably want to avoid. You definitely don't want to publish bumper stickers that say "Let the judges ammend the constitution for us." Most people are probably in favor of the constitution and the exclusive right of the people to ammend it.

    11) "At its core, Measure 36 is but a tool of a righteous wing which seeks to ... [fomenting diatribe where you exemplify all the problems pointed out above, deleted] ... bigots and zealots ... " - and on and on. I've already dealt with the problems with this hate-filled rhetoric and purely from the point of view of helping you make a persuasive case. I deliberately avoided any concept of "right" and "wrong" which you so vehemently eschew. Not that concepts of ad hominem and integrity are bad, but rather than risk some knee-jerk anti-morality response from you I have tried to maintain the perspective of mere effectiveness in writing. I will pause to pick out one last point, however.

    12) "That for their views of the world to win, the paired notions of constitutional equality and the separation of powers must lose." - Here I believe you summarize your two misconceptions. The second, your abuse of the term "separation of powers," I have dealt with above, but I believe you truly buy into your misconcieved view of the court's purpose. It is quite similar to how the peasants viewed the king as guarding their interests. The first, the idea that by not allowing a same-sex union to redefine marriage somehow creates a constitutional inequality is simply false. Constitutional protections are extended to ndividuals, not couples and whether an individual chooses not to marry because of sexual orientation or any other reason should be of no concern to the court.

    While you, not the Measure 36 supporters, wish to make this a referendum on homosexuality, it clearly is not. Homosexuality is in no way curtailed and no judgement is imposed on its applicability by Measure 36. Homosexuality is an individual choice or trait and we accept individuals as being equal. Organizations, be they hospitals, schools, sports teams, or marriages are not equal. They serve different purposes and so have different treatments under the law. Even taxation is handled differently between, for example, a hospital and a baseball team. This in no way violates the individual rights of a baseball player, or a hospital nurse, even though these are individual members of these organizations. Voting YES on Measure 36 does not say anything about homosexuality. It merely says that these two organizations, the same-sex union and the man-wife marriage, simply are different and each should be allowed to go its own way.

  3. The One True b!X on 13 Oct 2004

    "Separation of powers" refers to government itself, not to the people.

    Of course it does, and I didn't claim otherwise. The point is that the right wing (the origin, by the way, of "righteous wing" since much of the right wing is motivated by a religiously-based sense of self-righteous certainty) has a rather obvious contempt for the judicial branch. They hate that it exists because it normally refuses to endorse their overly-narrow view of the world. That's the point of my raising the separation of pwoers -- that the right(eous) wing would rather the courts not have the power they are properly given by constitutional governmental structure.

    Someone who has questions about same-sex marriage reads you saying that their questions are motivated by their desire for a theocracy and they instantly recognize you as a fake.

    Nice try, but I expressly indicated that I was referring to the masterminds of Measure 36 and not all Oregonians who might be instinctively inclined to support it.

    "civil disobedience is an action take solely by citizens themselves" - You go on to argue that even though not private citizens, "civil disobedience" is exactly the cover you give the non-private government actors in Multnomah County.

    Clever selective editing trick there. What I actually said was that normally that is how civil disobedience works. I then went on to explain how civil disobedience in this case could only involve state assistance. We can argue that point back and forth if you want, but let's at least not lie about what each other writes.

    "...once the County Attorney offered the legal opinion that Oregon's marriage statutes were unconstitutional, the County was obligated to issue marriage licenses without consideration of sexual orientation." - What this grab for cover ignores is the fact that the county had been meeting with Basic Rights Oregon months in advance of soliciting an opinion from Ms. Sowles. It is disingenuous to first tell an attorney to write up a particular opinion and then say one's actions are dictated by that opinion.

    Not what happened. While BRO did have conversations with Commissioners about the issue, no one instructed Sowles to draft any "particular opinion."

    Also, once again, nice selective editing trick. I didn't make that statement -- I pointed out that this is what the County argued.

    "We believe that once the action ocurred, supporters of same-sex marriage should have taken the realpolitic approach, understood that process criticism would only fuel the righteous wing, and held off." - This smacks of justifying the means by the ends. If the process was flawed, and it was, then you should not discredit your cause by saying otherwise.

    More selective editing! The section you pull this from is meant to illustrate to stark divide between two camps of supproters of same-sex marriage -- one which thinks the process was a mistake and one which does not. One of the reasons I've made thet above realpolitic remark was because I found it hypocritical of certain critics to assert that the County should have looked at their decision from the perspective of how their actions might be received, but were uninterested in looking at their criticisms from the perspective of how they would fuel the right-wing assault on same-sex marriage.

    Ultimately, the point of the full paragraph from which you once again selective edit, is that the realpolitic argument cuts boths ways, and so ultimately goes nowhere for either side.

    "when it comes to those most directly responsible for the measure and its intentions...They are bigots." - Again, name calling works to rally the yes-men, but as I have said previously, there is little to be gained by motivating this bunch of un-thinkers.

    That depends. The point of calling a bigot a bigot is to force the more mainstream voter to decide whether or not they want to associate themselves with bigots. You could argue that the most ferocious portion of opponents of same-sex marriage aren't bigots, but you'd be wrong. They are. And I think voters should be comfronted with that reality before they decide to ally themselves with them.

    In a rare moment of high-mindedness you finally say something correct. But you are appealing to the wrong ideal. The ideal in question is the sole right of the electorate to ammend the constitution.

    No, the ideal in questionn is whether or not the people should amend the constitution in a way which runs counter to the basic American principle of equality under the law. Can they? Barring a judgement against them under, say, the 14th Amendment to the federal constitution, yes. Should they abuse the constitution in a way that violates this fundamental ideal? No.

    Measure 36 would be a victory for those who have been waging a crusade against the role of the judicial branch..." - Again, a topic you probably want to avoid. You definitely don't want to publish bumper stickers that say "Let the judges ammend the constitution for us." Most people are probably in favor of the constitution and the exclusive right of the people to ammend it.

    Of course, and so am I. But that's not the point. The point is that the courts are not amending the constitution. If a court finds that Oregon's marriage statutes are unconstitutional, that's not amending the constitution, no matter how much the right wing wants everyone to believe it is. This is preciselt what I mean by the damage the right does with its war on the judicial branch. They want to convince people that what in reality is the courts doing their job under constitutional government is actually some sort of grab of pwoer away form the people. That's just flatly false.

    Constitutional protections are extended to ndividuals, not couples and whether an individual chooses not to marry because of sexual orientation or any other reason should be of no concern to the court.

    Combine this with the principle that discrimination against gays and lesbians should not be put into a constitutional document, and we have same-sex marriage. Works for me.

  4. m/a/z/e on 14 Oct 2004

    Wow. My first comment to b!X's site and I get called a grunting partisan troglodyte. Is there some kind of prize I can get for that? Perhaps an old bowling trophy or something or something like that?

    Grunting partisan troglodyte's aside (which by the way is a great name for a band), it's ludicrous to assume that a constitutional ammendment designed to discriminate against one group of people will somehow make life better for all Oregonians.

    I'm married and have been for five and a half years. Call me crazy but I don't percieve the concept of same-sex marriage as a threat to my marriage, I have better things to do with my time than to stand ever vigilant defending my marriage against phantom threats.

    If you're against gay marriage, don't marry someone who shares your gender. It's that simple. But don't try to force your fears and bigotry on the rest of us by tinkering with the constitution. I'll defend my own marriage thank you very much, just as homosexuals have every right to defend theirs.

    p.s. grunt.

  5. On Lawn on 14 Oct 2004

    "The point is that the right wing (the origin, by the way, of `righteous wing' since much of the right wing is motivated by a religiously-based sense of self-righteous certainty) has a rather obvious contempt for the judicial branch."

    Actually, "right wing" has its roots in European politics and litterally means the people on the right and the people on the left in the chamber where they sat in government.

    And you say "contempt for the judicial branch". I think you really see that and believe it. I think that it shows your elitist distaste for the populace making decisions, for as Referee is arguing that the populace should have the ultimate say you call it "contempt". But what is more interesting to me is the constitutional-ammendment-is-not-democracy angle you espouse is probably the tightest self-contradiction in your rhetoric. Entirely anti-Jeffersonian, and more like Orwellian.

    "I was referring to the masterminds of Measure 36"

    "Masterminds". Such aggrandizement is easy on the eyes, and makes me chuckle. Yes everyone line up and vote your consience, and be rid of these meddlesome priests. As this is a democracy you can appeal to whatever motivations you can cling to, and ascribe as evil a motivation to others as you wish, but that is only a fool's penance. At least it is in the context of the "judicial contempt" that a democratic vote might entail.

    "disobedience in this case could only involve state assistance"

    Tell me how this is different than the way it was rendered in the "selective editing"? And far be it from me to find editing that is not "selective". What is more important is if it reflects the writer's intent, which I cannot differentiate between your summary and Referee's.

    "no one instructed Sowles to draft any `particular opinion.'

    It was a very poor opinion for someone to just come up on their own. I man, it seems unlikely that such an opinion came from someone looking at the law, rather from someone looking for a law they wished was there. Whether that was explicitely commissioned or not is immaterial to me, considering that it came after the fact of the decision of the BRO meetings. Meetings and conclusions that were without public scrutiny and entirely below-bar (IMHO). Though I would chuckle if you now label me as having "contempt for the Multnomah county commissioners" in all their glory and administration. Dissagreement of such an underhanded process and its product --such contempt!

    "I found it hypocritical of certain critics to assert that the County should have looked at their decision from the perspective of how their actions might be received"

    Such contempt! I suppose this means I should be grateful that smarter people like you are around to point out just how wrong (and bigoted) we are ;)

    The point of calling a bigot a bigot is to force the more mainstream voter to decide whether or not they want to associate themselves with bigots.

    And how forceful it is! Yet such highschool cliquishness is hopefully grown out of by the age of 21. Sometime before then most people learns that calling people names is a cheap and easy way to slander and often untrue slander at that. Slander being something so terminal to a honest debate that it is avoided by the mature.

    which runs counter to the basic American principle of equality under the law.

    You have a vote with which to express your interpretatin of equality under the law. However, I (have and will continue) to express my vote in opposition to institutionalizing gender discrimination. Yes, that means a same-sex marriage which avoids the equal gender participation that marriage instills. Equal gender participation that is good for the participants, and good for the children. Why I would no sooner say an "all California Congress" is good for the USA as I'd elect an all male or all female partnership as good for starting a family.

    Yet to you, it is obvious that balming the persecution comples of a segment of society reeping the fair, lawful, and natural consequences of their actions is "equal and fair". I suppose under this logic that we are all equal, and some more equal than others.

    Now I feel for the plight of the homosexual. I would not oppose them having government recognized partnership. I'm with Camile Paglia (noted lesbian pundit from Salon.com) when she says, "Because of the sacred meaning of marriage in all major religions, it would have been better to avoid the hot-button term "marriage" and simply argue for equality of gay partnerships before the law. Furthermore, too many gay complaints are without merit, since inheritance of property or hospital visits and medical decision-making can be settled in advance through wills." In other places she decires gay-marriage as going beyond the mark in an attempt to slap religion in the face.

    Well, seeing your seething against a segment of society you call the "righteous wing" I would conclude that you are exemplifying that remark. But honestly I don't care if you hate religion. Your hatred of morality and priciples does not motivate me either way. What motivates me is that marriage is not an oppressive institution, it is the epitome of egality in its requirement for equal gender participation. It should not be dashed like a ming vase on the floor as people pull the table-cloth of "meaning" out from underneath the millenia of precident on the matter.

    We've come so far, women and men are more equal in marriage than they have ever been. Lets not spoil it with same-sex partnerships.

  6. On Lawn on 14 Oct 2004

    "My first comment to b!X's site and I get called a grunting partisan troglodyte. Is there some kind of prize I can get for that?"

    This was a race? Come on thats not fair. You got a head start.

    "it's ludicrous to assume that a constitutional ammendment designed to discriminate against one group of people will somehow make life better for all Oregonians."

    Hmmm, so a partnership that discriminates against an entire sex is not discrimination(tm) but a requirement for equal gender participation is. Talk about your Orwellian twist-and-shout.

    "I'll defend my own marriage thank you very much, just as homosexuals have every right to defend theirs."

    Defending gender discrimination? Aw... nevermind. I've already made that point.

  7. Referee on 14 Oct 2004

    Bix,

    1) Once again your penchant for name calling and mischaracterization has driven you to hunt for an easy reproach rather than substantiate your arguments. You spend nearly half of your response complaining that I didn't quote back your entire article to you. Re-quoting your entire article is neither practical nor useful, and you know it. Your entire article is available on the same page. Why should I quote it again? I quote enough to show the point you are making and to allow the reader to re-check the quote in context.

    2) "much of the right wing is motivated by a religiously-based sense of self-righteous certainty" - Your irresistable urge to portray your opponents as evil and motivated by base human frailties has exposed an amusing irony. Portraying one's opposition as motivated by evil is the epitome of self-righteousness! Your unsubstantiated attack on the "right wing" ends up looking more like transferrence than legitimate complaint. You are probably too close to the issue to be amused now, but trust me, once your emotions have tempered you will look back on this hypocrasy and chuckle.

    2) "Nice try, but I expressly indicated that I was referring to the masterminds of Measure 36 and not all Oregonians who might be instinctively inclined to support it." - So you respond to a hole in your conspiracy theory by simply modifying it so it is even less provable and therefore more true. Bix, you are not gaining credibility here. I am certainly in no position to state what motivates the "masterminds" of Measure 36, but as there are essentially no Oregonians who support a theocracy and yet a majority who support Measure 36 there are at least ample reasons other than your pretended nefariousness for the "masterminds" of Measure 36 to have put the measure on the ballot. You offer no evidence that these "masterminds" are in favor of a theocracy other than the fact that they oppose you and that there is no evidence. Your self-righteousness again comes out when you attempt to sweep all the concerns about redefining marriage under the "instinctive" carpet.

    3) "no one instructed Sowles to draft any 'particular opinion.'" - The facts speak for themselves. The Multnomah County commissioners, by their own admission, were planning issuing marriage licenses at least as far back as January. By the commissioners' own retelling, they did not even contact Ms. Sowles until they had reached this basic conclusion. Ms. Sowles admits to also being lobbied by BRO prior to writing her opinion. The unprecedented and tortured defense Ms. Sowles employed showed she was striving to reach a particular conclusion. Her opinion has since been so thoroughly discredited that nobody, not even the most rabid same-sex "marriage" proponent cites it for support.

    4) "Ultimately, the point of the full paragraph from which you once again selective edit, is that the realpolitic argument cuts boths ways, and so ultimately goes nowhere for either side." - Okay. I'm sure you meant that in defense, but it ends up not being one. Instead of saying you don't agree that the ends justify the means you say that you can use those ends to justify opposite means. If anything you are reinforcing the idea that anything goes if it gets you what you want.

    5) "The point of calling a bigot a bigot is to force the more mainstream voter to decide whether or not they want to associate themselves with bigots." - Again, I'm sure you meant this as some kind of defense, but instead you are merely reinforcing the idea that you can no longer justify your position and are simply left with name-calling. Considering "mainstream" voters left the playground years ago, name calling does little to influence them. Your name calling and tantruming may convince your audience of bigotry and intolerance, but probably not on the side of the debate you think it does. It is really much more persuasive to deal with the oppenents' argument, rather than the opponents themselves.

    6) "No, the ideal in questionn is whether or not the people should amend the constitution in a way which runs counter to the basic American principle of equality under the law." - The undefended notion here is that Measure 36 "runs counter to the basic American principle of equality under the law." That this is not the case was amply demonstrated in my previous post, and you refused to deal with that argument in your reply. Instead, you seek to simply reestablish the discredited notion by fiat. Again, ignoring the argument makes true believers more comfortable seeing you wearing the same blinders they are, but you are not, or should not, merely be trying to preach to the choir, as it were. Those honestly looking at the issue will simply wonder why you cling to a concept without defending it.

    7) "If a court finds that Oregon's marriage statutes are unconstitutional, that's not amending the constitution, no matter how much the right wing wants everyone to believe it is." - But that is where you are wrong, and most demonstrably so in this case. Putting a right into the Constitution that is not expressly there amends it, period. In this case, the abuse of power is even more evident because the right the court is being asked to insert is a right voters specifically rejected. The Equal Rights Amendment back in the 70s was touted as, among other things, granting a right to same-sex "marriage." That amendment was defeated. Now the courts are being asked to put the amendment in anyway, even though the people decided not to. A more clear example of usurping the right to amend the constitution could not be made.

    8) "Combine this with the principle that discrimination against gays and lesbians should not be put into a constitutional document, and we have same-sex marriage." - We have already discussed the problem of reintroducing refuted arguments, so no need to go into the "marriage discriminates against gays and lesbians" point again. In this case I'll simply point out that making fantastic leaps of logic may encourage your true believers to jump into the chasm, but not someone legitimately looking at an issue. For a thoughtful person, saying the courts don't care why you don't get married and so do care why you don't get married is so glaring and obvious as to be insurmountable.

  8. Referee on 14 Oct 2004

    "I don't percieve the concept of same-sex marriage as a threat to my marriage"

    There's a bumper sticker for you. Same-sex marriage, at least it won't hurt m/a/z/e's marriage. Such a ringing endorsement.

    Not to accuse you of flying off on a tangent, but I haven't seen anybody on either side of the debate talk about your marriage except you. I have seen people talk about the institution of marriage, it's purpose, and how removing that purpose will hurt future generations of Oregonians, but nobody has said anything about m/a/z/e's marriage. Is this simply "enough about everyone else, let's talk about ME?"

  9. hilsy on 14 Oct 2004

    Referee,

    Please state what the purpose of marriage. Should divorce be outlawed? Should marriage exist only for couples intending to have children?

    And one more question, should same-sex partners be able to adopt children?

    No gimmicks here. No editorializing. I'd just like to read your views on these questions since you brought up the subject of the institution of marriage.

  10. The One True b!X on 14 Oct 2004

    First, a forgotten response to Referee which only occurs to me because of what m/a/z/e said here today. Hopefully, readers will notice that while Referee made much hay out of my use of words like "bigot" and "religous zealot," he/she went on to call people "grunting partisan troglodytes." Whether this makes Referee a poor source for advice on namecalling as argument or an expert, I'll leave it for everyone else to decide. But it certainly makes he/she a hypocrite.

    I haven't yet gotten to the new items from Referee that I see are waiting for me to read, but here's a few responses to On Lawn. For the sake of everyone's sanity, I'm going to skip all of the go-nowhere back-and-forth based upon selective editing and get to the juicy and more important bits.

    First, my point about the right's contempt for the judicial branch has nothing to do with me arguing that the people don't have some sort of final say. My point is that the right only really uses the "people get to decide" argument when they realize that over-arching constitutional principles such as equality under the law are going to trump their narrow and parochial views on other subjects such as marriage. Then they foam at the mouth, accusing courts of amending the constitution when all they've been doing is interpreting the law based upon the constitution. The right calls this activism when they aren't getting their way. It's one thing to try to pass an amendment (whether I agree with it or not, they certainly have the right to try) -- but it's another thing altogether when, in the process of trying to pass an amendment, they lie about what the courts have been doing. It's another thing because those lies damage the public's acceptance of the legitimacy of the roles present under the separation of powers.

    But the real screamer in On Lawn's comment is this notion that legalizing same-sex marriage amounts to gender discrimination because it shuts out one gender or the other altogether.

    There are really only two things to say to this:

    (1) If the point were to force people to engage in same-sex marriage and only same-sex marriage this argument would stand a chance.

    (2) I trust readers will realize how ironic it is that a commenter who repeatedly accused me of being Orwellian in my arguments themselves used one of the single most twisted feats of Orwellian logic be making this SSM-as-gender-bias argument.

  11. The One True b!X on 14 Oct 2004

    Unto the Referee once more old friends.

    "No, the ideal in questionn is whether or not the people should amend the constitution in a way which runs counter to the basic American principle of equality under the law." - The undefended notion here is that Measure 36 "runs counter to the basic American principle of equality under the law." That this is not the case was amply demonstrated in my previous post, and you refused to deal with that argument in your reply.

    In fact, you demonstrated no such thing. More, the notion that enshrining special marriage rights for heterosexuals into the constitution runs counter to the basic American principle of equality under the law is nearly a given. It's practically a text-book definition case of rights for one group being expressly forbidden for another.

  12. Jesse on 14 Oct 2004

    I think we all can agree that "connections and alliances so unnatural that God and nature seem to forbid them, should be prohibited by positive law, and be subject to no evasion."

    Oh, no, wait. Interracial marriage is legal.

    A bit over 50 years ago my parents were forbidden to marry in this state using much of the language above. Why? Because it was the will of the people that, gosh darn it, interracial marriage was against god's will. It threatened families and children. And so on and so on.

    Thank God--and I hope you do--that in 1967 the Supreme Court interpretted the constitution with a new found respect for equality. Thank God we have a court system that recognizes the will of the PEOPLE is not the will of the majority. The will of the people is emobodied in its founding document. The will of the people is about freedom, justice and legal equality.

    My parents depended then, as I do now, on a legal system that protects the rights of everyone--regardless of fanatacism, regardless of race, regardless of "the majority." Because the majority has resisted change. The majority has stifled human lives. The majority is little more than (perhaps well-intended) folks telling the minority how they suck, shouldn't live, or don't deserve the rights of the majority.

    I'm so saddened by the majority. I'm so saddened to see us once again deluded by the idea that "traditions" are threatened. A history lesson should teach us all that there is no tradition we haven't broken a thousand times over. There is no such thing as tradition in a culture obsessed with remaking the past as it sees fit.

    Read up on the history of marriage. None of a "3000 year old tradition" is a tradition.

  13. The One True b!X on 14 Oct 2004

    One final thing: Is this endorsement politic or polite? No, it isn't. Those who have organized against this measure are making all of the politic and polite arguments against it. Why rehash what's already been done? My intent -- and people will either buy it or they won't -- was to call it like I saw it, in all the ways most people seem to shy away from. This endorsement was never about persuading anyone. It was about what I've experienced to be the case in the course of this fight. No more, no less.

  14. TomHiggins on 14 Oct 2004


    Referee actualy makes some very good points. The first of course being that given enough time and a venue even the sanest ideas can be attacked such as the simple idea that discrimination based on the Christian Bible made into the law of the land is a bad idea.

    And lets face it folks, this is what is being done here. This is the very problem we see at the top of this nations gov when a group of people try to force thier belife system of faith into law. This is about the moralistic bible thumpers forcing thier particular list of do and donts onto what they must see as the poor unconverted sinners.

    Thats the problem here, if your not one of the folks saying "Amen god dont want no fags to mary" then you are seen as some wretched unsaved castout who needs help, lots of help, help in the form of laws and a police state to enforce those laws such that you WILL become saved, saved in the rules and faith of Jebus C Inc complete with custom engraved bible and autotyhe debitcard with a hologram of GW shaking hands with Elvis and Jesus.

    Some folks here are still American enough to stand up to this sort of fascist action. Freedom is not free and folks like referee make sure the cost stays high.

    -tomhiggins

  15. Referee on 14 Oct 2004

    Hilsy-

    1) Please state what the purpose of marriage.

    To promote responsible procreation and child rearing.

    2) Should divorce be outlawed?

    No.

    3) Should marriage exist only for couples intending to have children?

    No.

    And one more question, should same-sex partners be able to adopt children?

    No.

  16. Referee on 14 Oct 2004

    "Hopefully, readers will notice that while Referee made much hay out of my use of words like 'bigot' and 'religous zealot,' he/she went on to call people 'grunting partisan troglodytes.'"

    Bix, ah yes, the old "but Jimmy did it, too," defense. I guess one can take the child out of the playground but not the playground out of the child. Forget the fact that you actually called someone a name and I did not.

    "They [those most directly responsible for the measure] are bigots" vs. "It [generating fictitious foes] may incite approbatory grunts from partisan troglodytes." The first quote refers to a specific group of people. The second does not. The second refers to the non-persuasive nature of the argument it attacks. The first makes no reference to any argument whatsoever, only to specific people. Hopefully you will find time in your next response to actually deal with the problems in your argument rather than trotting out playground defenses for your playground behaviors. Remember, shifting the argument elsewhere doesn't make the problems go away.

  17. snowball on 14 Oct 2004

    So if marriage is to promote responsible procreation and child rearing then you are in fact make a play at socializing the creation of life?

    I for one find this a curious point to defend Referee.

    Does this mean that those who can not procreate and who do not wish to raise children are not allowed to marry?

    Curious.

  18. Referee on 14 Oct 2004

    Jesse

    1) "A bit over 50 years ago my parents were forbidden to marry in this state...Thank God--and I hope you do--that in 1967 the Supreme Court interpretted the constitution with a new found respect for equality." - The problem with this juxtaposition is timeline. The US Supreme Court did not strike down anti-miscegenation laws in Oregon. The voters did 16 years earlier in 1951. This was no gift of a mercifully benevolent court, as your mixed up time-line suggests, but an example of how the populace itself is perfectly adequate to the task of safeguarding equality.

    2) "I'm so saddened by the majority." - Clearly you have a problem with our system of government. I agree that democracy is "the worst system of governance except all those other systems which have been tried from time to time. [-Winston Churchill]" You make my point, though, as if bix hadn't elsewhere already, that supporters of same-sex marriage will bowl over anything in their way, including our very system of government, to get what they want.

  19. On Lawn on 14 Oct 2004

    I'm going to skip all of the go-nowhere back-and-forth based upon selective editing and get to the juicy and more important bits.

    Quite right. You seem to attack some very petty stylistic differences and call it an argument. I'm glad you have moved on.

    First, my point about the right's contempt for the judicial branch has nothing to do with me arguing that the people don't have some sort of final say. [...] constitutional principles such as equality under the law are going to trump their narrow and parochial views on other subjects such as marriage.

    You spend to much time explaining away what others are doing. What this statement needs is more explanation. Specifically, just how the second part is not contradictory to the first. Then I'll await you to explain (asserting is not an explanation) just how marriage interferes with equality under the law.

    legalizing same-sex marriage amounts to gender discrimination because it shuts out one gender or the other altogether.

    A same-sex marriage locks out one gender or the other. Is this not sexual discrimination?

    If the point were to force people to engage in same-sex marriage and only same-sex marriage this argument would stand a chance.

    To put it bluntly, you've not proven yourself to be a good judge of what arguments stand a chance and which don't ;) In fact quite the opposite.

    But in there is a notion, undeveloped and orphaned. You argue that it is only sexual discrimination if everyone were required to same-sex marriage. That is an argument that, if you penetrate very far, does not stand.

    A night club only allows one gender in. Is it sexual discrimination? What if there are two night clubs, one for men and one for women? Is there still gender discrimination? What if there is a night club for each, one for men, one for women and one that requires one of each? Is there still gender discrimination going on? These are not rhetorical questions, I would be interested in hearing your answers to each question in this paragraph.

    Why? Not because I like seeing bloggers jump through hoops. I have an honest assesment of your argument. Apparently you suffer from using "discrimination" like any other ephithet you draw from, "righteous wing", "bigot", etc... It is simply a label to stick on people for your own reasons and for your own purposes to steer people who suffer from the same shallowness away from the arguments of others. No real probing into what it means, and why, it is only useful to try to shut down the discussion? Those questions will probe and your answers will help determine just what discrimination is to you.

    I trust readers will realize how ironic it is that a commenter who repeatedly accused me of being Orwellian in my arguments themselves used one of the single most twisted feats of Orwellian logic be making this SSM-as-gender-bias argument.

    So now you simply grep people's posts for more invectives and fire them off randomly too. No points for origionality, no points for comprehension.

    the notion that enshrining special marriage rights for heterosexuals into the constitution runs counter to the basic American principle of equality under the law is nearly a given.

    Again, unprobed shallowness. You apparently are right because it is obvious to you. I hope you aren't the one that dressed the Emperor...

    Alright, moving from b!x...

    "connections and alliances so unnatural that God and nature seem to forbid them, should be prohibited by positive law, and be subject to no evasion."

    Oh, no, wait. Interracial marriage is legal.

    Interracial marriage is unnatural and God and nature forbid them? I'm sorry, but that fiction was dispelled long ago. It wasn't even true when it was believed.

    in 1967 the Supreme Court interpretted the constitution with a new found respect for equality.

    Oregon had struck down interracial marriage by an act of legislation in 1951. Having lived in Texas and Louisianna I can tell you how much different it is where the Supreme Court dictated the "will of the people" than in Oregon where the will of the people spoke. A state trooper, Rodney, had an interracial marriage. He was threated on the phone repeatedly at home and at the police station. His father-in-law lost his job as a physician's assistant.

    Thank God we have a court system that recognizes the will of the PEOPLE is not the will of the majority.

    With such experience under my belt, having personally witnessed their wedding and persecutions, you will have a very hard time convincing me that the courts dictating the will of the people is better than the people dictating their will.

    The ban on interracial marriage is something that I'm glad we've put behind us here out west. But where the Supreme Court imposed its will, there is much resentment and distrust of the government. Not the paradise some imagion life under the care of the Courts, or ever watching Big Brother.

    So what you advocate are a set of elders who read and interpret verses from ancient parchment to solve todays problems. That is no where near what I expect to come from the Founding Fathers' strife in building this nation. It is more akin to Hobbes than Locke. More akin to the thinking of King George than Thomas Jefferson.

    But, while unexplained and unprobed you feel that some moral code empowers you to not educate the people, but to instruct them on what their will should be. I see protection for the people when their right to consensus is usurped by such self-righteous moralism. And I mean every word of that. Even though I presume b!x in particular, who seems to never raise his analysis above complaining "I would have gotten away with it too if it weren't for these meddlesome right-wingers", is so blinded by his self-righteousness and armed with such weaponry of psycological deflection will ever comprehend it.

    And moving on...

    This is about the moralistic bible thumpers forcing thier particular list of do and donts onto what they must see as the poor unconverted sinners.

    I used to be libertarian. Emphasis on "used to be". One of the things that killed the utopian dream for me was realizing that the very core of their belief system was that morality and law are seperate beasts. Now, don't get me wrong, not every moral should be a law. But you cannot find a law that is not based on a moral. So the argument that law must be seperated from morality becomes like arguing that brains need to be seperated from people's heads for the brain's sake.

    Furthermore, I've not yet seen an appeal to religion except in quoting Camile Paglia. That you assert such is just strawman-foolery.

    And, if I may take a crack at the questions also...

    Please state what the purpose of marriage.

    I can state the purpose of my marriage. I wanted to have a family. In all honesty, not only did I overlook many people of my own gender in finding a spouse, I overlooked many of the opposite gender because of various problems they would have in achieving what I felt I wanted most in a marriage. Now, this is not uncommon. In fact more relationships don't end in marriage than do. We are all rather particular about what we want in marriage and want to find someone who sees the same goal we do.

    Should divorce be outlawed?

    No. We have doctors who treat people who have been injured in accidents, sometimes amputating legs and arms. We have junkyards for cars. We have demolition crews for buildings. I won't advocate outlawing any of those, but nor will I expect it a good thing if a healthy person cuts off their leg, drives their Lexus from the showroom to the junkyard, or demolishes a new Library.

    In short, there should always be a way to clean up things that don't go the way they should.

    Should marriage exist only for couples intending to have children?

    Well, if couples didn't have unintended children then yes. But again, things don't always go the way they should and it is good to have marriage already in place for such an occurance.

    should same-sex partners be able to adopt children?

    I think when one looks at the meaning of "adopt" and "fostership" they will find that "fostership" better describes the role that a same sex couple plays with a child who was not parented by either partner.

  20. eerefeR on 14 Oct 2004

    Ok so what is a child is born of a man and a woman, the woman dies in the process of giving birth, and the child is raised by his father and uncle?

    What if a child is raised by two grandmothers, to some that is two women raisinga child and thus an unfit situation since only a man and a woman can properly raise a child?

    In closing, the fact the a man and a women raised Referee is a good arguement aginst the validity the very foundation of Referee's points.

  21. Referee on 14 Oct 2004

    "In fact, you demonstrated no such thing."

    For your convenience, since you seem to have trouble finding it, I am copying it here:

    12) "That for their views of the world to win, the paired notions of constitutional equality and the separation of powers must lose." - Here I believe you summarize your two misconceptions. The second, your abuse of the term "separation of powers," I have dealt with above, but I believe you truly buy into your misconcieved view of the court's purpose. It is quite similar to how the peasants viewed the king as guarding their interests. The first, the idea that by not allowing a same-sex union to redefine marriage somehow creates a constitutional inequality is simply false. Constitutional protections are extended to ndividuals, not couples and whether an individual chooses not to marry because of sexual orientation or any other reason should be of no concern to the court.

    While you, not the Measure 36 supporters, wish to make this a referendum on homosexuality, it clearly is not. Homosexuality is in no way curtailed and no judgement is imposed on its applicability by Measure 36. Homosexuality is an individual choice or trait and we accept individuals as being equal. Organizations, be they hospitals, schools, sports teams, or marriages are not equal. They serve different purposes and so have different treatments under the law. Even taxation is handled differently between, for example, a hospital and a baseball team. This in no way violates the individual rights of a baseball player, or a hospital nurse, even though these are individual members of these organizations. Voting YES on Measure 36 does not say anything about homosexuality. It merely says that these two organizations, the same-sex union and the man-wife marriage, simply are different and each should be allowed to go its own way.

    While not cited previously, here are some additional quotes that point to problems created by your inability to see the difference between the same-sex and opposite-sex unions. In case you want to lapse back into playground name-calling, both quotes are from staunchly homosexual men.

    "Gay activists will say that gay marriage is a fundamental right of equality and that being allowed to enter into the contract makes them full class citizens. Alright, but when they're asked about three people entering into marriage or a son and his daughter being permitted to marry, they come up with a convoluted excuse as to why they cannot. Surely gays don't want to deny this most fundamental of rights on other alternative lifestyles, but they do because they want to normalize the union of two gay people while pretending that the corruption of that marriage does nothing to harm the union of those who have entered into the institution for the last six thousand years." - Steve Yuhas

    "...the 'choice and
    diversity' crowd would do well to read the gay press, which normally tows the
    activist party-line, but which has long been replete with articles, editorials and
    letters lambasting and lampooning the whole idea of same-sex nuptials. Clearly,
    a substantial majority of us neither need nor want gay marriage. Lesbian authors,
    Jane Rule and Camille Paglia, drag queen, Sky Gilbert and the late pioneer activist,
    Harry Hay are among the numerous prominent opponents of this forced parity.

    "We neither need nor want the state in our bedrooms. We neither need nor want to
    be shackled by rules, regulations or paperwork. We've already won the same-sex
    benefits battle, so there's no longer concern over matters of pensions or estates.
    Let the straights keep marriage. We need to be liberated from the mainstream,
    homogeneous, egalitarian mindset that is destroying what is left of gay culture." - John McKellar

  22. Referee on 14 Oct 2004

    errefeR -

    1) "Ok so what is a child is born of a man and a woman, the woman dies in the process of giving birth, and the child is raised by his father and uncle?"

    So are you arguing that the death of the mother was not a tragedy? We all have to make due with what life hands us. That's no reason to wish misfortune on others.

    2) "What if a child is raised by two grandmothers, to some that is two women raisinga child and thus an unfit situation since only a man and a woman can properly raise a child?"

    Again, that the child was separated from his parents is a tragedy and the grandmothers are presumably doing the best they can. That is no reason to hope the same thing happens to other children.

    3) "In closing, the fact the a man and a women raised Referee is a good arguement aginst the validity the very foundation of Referee's points."

    Ah yes, the obligatory personal attack to hide your utter lack of argument. I trust you feel quite welcome in this journal.

  23. The One True b!X on 14 Oct 2004

    A same-sex marriage locks out one gender or the other. Is this not sexual discrimination?

    A different-sex marriage locks out one sexual orientation. Is this not discrimination against homosexuals?

    If the first argument is correct, then so is the second. You can't have it both ways.

  24. a user on 14 Oct 2004

    Ref,

    Your argument about amending is specious.

    Your reference to the national ERA is your own undoing. While the 50 states may have rejected the ERA, Oregon *does* have an equal rights clause in its Constitution.

    What the Courts are being asked to adjudicate is whether current marriage *statutes* violate the equal rights clause. This is no different than the federal Supreme Court being asked to adjudicate the applicability of the 14th Amendment. It is the essence of judicial review and is no way parallel to the process of amending.

    Does the Federal constitution provide the right to eat at a lunch counter? To drink from a water fountain? To otherwise enjoy equal public accomodations?

    When the Court decided that answer to be "yes", do you claim that this was tantamount to a new amendment?

    No Constitutional scholar would agree with you. Your argument, one that is commonly made by the "yes on 36" crowd, is false. Measure 36 amends the Constitution. "No" on 36 amends nothing; it leaves the words of the Constitution precisely the same as they were before.

  25. a user on 14 Oct 2004

    Ref:

    Two other points.

    1) Made most forcefully by a law professor at the Town Meeting. MEASURE 36 HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH CHILDREN.
    Measure 36 does NOTHING to change the laws regarding gay parenthood. It will not stop adoption. It will not stop artificial insemination.
    In fact, if you want to protect children, you should be IN FAVOR of gay marriage. Then, children of gay parents will be afforded the same legal protections (custody issues, child support after separation, etc) as heterosexual married couples.
    I welcome you, as an advocate of children, to the gay marriage side, Red.

    2) Your quotations of gay activists are out of context, and you know it. Those gay activists (McKellar most prominently) are opposed to gay marriage not because they believe it is somehow damaging or immoral, but because they believe that this is just "aping" heterosexual society. They want gays to have their own identity and self-worth.

  26. errefeR on 14 Oct 2004

    I think I have found where Referee is getting his slants....

    http://homepage.mac.com/howthedevil/.Music/themarriageunion.mp3

    Now back to the post, you are right wishing harm on those poor kids in my last post was cruel and unusual. I am rightfully chastised by your larger wisdom.

    Let me rephrase the question. Wht if a child is born of a man and a woman but the woman is called on by God to tend to half leper half bird flu victims in the nether reaches of Hoboken and the uncle is called in by Jesus to help the father raise the child?

    Is this ok? No one dies and everyone is somehow doing the Lord's(tm) work.

    Or what about... would it be ok for two Boston based Catholic priests to raise a child and latter bump into that same child in a low down and offer him a lovely fruit basket?

    Once again no one dies and everyone is doing the good works of the Lord(tm).

    Ok so thisone might involved death, but its the Lord's(tm) will so who am I to argue. What if a child is put on a rocket ship by his mother and father becuase thier planet is falling into thier sun and the child is raised by a group of Norwegian bachelor farmers? Is this covered by your Good Housekeeping Seal Of Approval ?

  27. On Lawn on 14 Oct 2004

    A different-sex marriage locks out one sexual orientation. Is this not discrimination against homosexuals?

    If the first argument is correct, then so is the second. You can't have it both ways.

    It would seem that you personally can't have it either way. There is a contradiction afoot that you either cannot see (as I predicted) or you see and cannot come to grips with.

    Observe how quickly that tolerance, without any grounding in morality, turns into permissiveness. The more permissive, the more moral which is a contradiction. The movement to turn same-gender partnerships into marriages are motived in the eyes of some to be more moral, because it makes marriage more permissive. More permissive to homosexuals.

    Expecting heterosexual intimacy could be disadvantageous to people that prefer homosexual intimacy, but there are no tests for homosexuality in marriage. How could there be, there is no genetic/physical marker that indicates sexual preference. Choice is the most important factor on sexual preference as one would expect the term `preference' to denote. My stand in this matter is that you can't get everything you want. No one can. You can't eat your cake and have it to, it is a contradiction. You are arguing that the state must change reality because you find the contradictions to be inconvenient.

    Preference denotes another aspect that is a very strong word to wield in this debate --discrimination. Marriage does not discriminate by gender, it requires both. That is equality. A same-sex partnership discriminates based on gender, only one preferential gender may participate.

    By expecting heterosexual intimacy (whose correlation to procreation is not coincedental) marriage asks is what is more important, their sexual preference or the desire to serve the future by raising really good kids? Or to put it another way:

    What is more important, a strong ideal of marriage that encourages equal gender participation, sacrifice and devotion; or spending the political capital invested in marriage to balm the persecution complex of a sector of society regretting the legal, fair, and natural consequences of their actions?

    This is not unequal, this is not unfair. This is a choice. This has much in common with the expectation that a marriage is monogomous demands us choose between following lusty attractions or commiting ourselves to the responsibilities to our spouses. And we all make that choice. Which, when you think about it, explains why so many successful marriages find the argument for permisiveness in marriage as far from compelling. They know that permisiveness never was happiness.

    I'm not going to hold you to answering the questions, you show that you rather not probe your own arguments. Such is your will and choice. Not a good choice, but one that I will only acknowledge and move on.

  28. The One True b!X on 14 Oct 2004

    Observe how quickly that tolerance, without any grounding in morality, turns into permissiveness.

    This is the other reason why we should both simply avoid any remainder of this argument we're having. You feel that equality for gays and lesbians is "permissiveness" while I feel it's simply equality.

    Neither one of us is going to convince the other.

  29. On Lawn on 14 Oct 2004

    User,

    Oregon *does* have an equal rights clause in its Constitution.

    Correction, Oregon has an "equal protection clause" much like that found in the federal constitution. The ERA went further, was struck down, yada yada... Referee's argument stands.

    What the Courts are being asked to adjudicate is whether current marriage *statutes* violate the equal rights clause.

    And prop 36 asks the populace to rule on that. As the populace should be the most authoritative say on the matter, there is no impropriety in it.

    "But the Chief Justice says, 'There must be an ultimate arbiter somewhere.' True, there must; but does that prove it is either party? The ultimate arbiter is the people of the Union, assembled by their deputies in convention, at the call of Congress or of two-thirds of the States. Let them decide to which they mean to give an authority claimed by two of their organs. And it has been the peculiar wisdom and felicity of our Constitution, to have provided this peaceable appeal, where that of other nations is at once to force." —Thomas Jefferson to William Johnson, 1823.

    Those gay activists [...] believe that this is just "aping" heterosexual society.

    As do I, and they also believe it is not needed. Civil Unions or (even more descriptive) Domestic Partnerships provide the framework for benefits that they want. That they want to conflate their relationships with marriage is (in their and my estimation) a calculated needling of a segment of society that they loath. Needling that b!x undoes himself in by joining in it so blatently.

    ereffeR,

    You won't make much headway. Each time you rephrase the question you will always wind up arguing that the perverbial flat tire proves that tires were not meant to be inflated.

  30. On Lawn on 14 Oct 2004

    You feel that equality for gays and lesbians is "permissiveness" while I feel it's simply equality.

    I think you too often mistake "homogenization" for equality.

    And permissiveness is not a bad thing, however it is contradictory as a moral code to write laws against. If permissiveness is all you can argue for as equality, then you fall far short of equality, indeed!

  31. hilsy on 14 Oct 2004

    Referee,

    First, thank you for answering my questions.

    Your answers provoke more simple questions that may or may not have simple answers but may help me better understand your analysis.

    1) If the purpose of marriage is to "to promote responsible procreation and child rearing," then why should a couple not intending to have or rear children, either through choice or infertility, be allowed to marry and enjoy the legal benefits of marriage?


    2) I believe the current state of Oregon law allows same sex couples, well at least one of the partners, to adopt children. Should this be unconstitutional? If so, is that unconstitutional under the current State Constitution? Or would the state constitution need to be amended to achieve this?

    3) Is same-sex marriage more, less or similarly damaging to the institution of marriage than the 48 hour quickie marriage-divorce of pop star Britney Spears?

    Again, thank you for your earlier answers. I know this thread is getting long and sometimes volatile (to say the least). I am interested in trying to understand and let you articulate your views on these questions that I think help to reveal the underpinnings of your reasoning, whether I agree with that reasoning or not. (And, for the sake of full disclosure, I do not agree with your views.)

  32. Referee on 14 Oct 2004

    User -

    1) "While the 50 states may have rejected the ERA, Oregon *does* have an equal rights clause in its Constitution." - Ah yes, if the facts don't back you up simply oversimplify to the point your misstatement is better hidden. Let's bring in the actual texts:

    ERA: Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.

    Oregon Constitution: No law shall be passed granting to any citizen or class of citizens privileges, or immunities, which, upon the same terms, shall not equally belong to all citizens.

    The two are not anywhere synonymous. The first says that laws shall not contain the word "male" or "female." The second says that privileges are available to all citizens "under the same terms." Only if one pulls away to quite a distance, defocuses and squints really hard by saying both deal with "rights" and "equality" can one delude oneself into thinking the two clauses are the same.

    Note that the "under the same terms" clause is completely debunks the homosexuality issue. Homosexuals are allowed to marry today in Oregon and nobody is proposing that change. What they are not allowed to do is to take some other relationship, in this case a same-sex union, and call it a marriage. You may not think it fair that same-sex unions are not equal in capability to male-female unions, but it is not some artifice of law that makes it so.

    2) "MEASURE 36 HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH CHILDREN. ... if you want to protect children, you should be IN FAVOR of gay marriage." - Argue one point or the other. You may see contradicting yourself as covering your bases, but to the rest of us it looks like you have no argument.

    3) "Your quotations of gay activists are out of context, and you know it." - What an inane statement. You are looking like bix trying to say the fact that I didn't quote his whole article multiple times proves some kind of conspiracy.

    4) "Those gay activists (McKellar most prominently) are opposed to gay marriage not because they believe it is somehow damaging or immoral, but because they believe that this is just 'aping' heterosexual society. They want gays to have their own identity and self-worth." - One need read no more of the quotations than what I provided to come to that conclusion, and that is precisely the point I was making. Here you have two homosexual men poking two glaring holes in the "equality" argument bix and company are trying to make. Mr. Yuhas points out its inate hypocracy and Mr. McKellar points out that it demeans gays. You may say neither sees these problems as "damaging or immoral," but they are problems, nonetheless. Both drive home the point I have made that same-sex unions are different than husband-wife unions and both should be allowed to go their separate ways. That neither they, nor I have appealed to morality or the "Christian bible" pokes such a hole in the basic belief of bix and cohorts that only you so far have noticed that fact. Not to poke fun at bix and company's self imposed blinders, but it is humorous.

  33. Referee on 14 Oct 2004

    Hilsy -

    1) "If the purpose of marriage is to 'to promote responsible procreation and child rearing,' then why should a couple not intending to have or rear children, either through choice or infertility, be allowed to marry and enjoy the legal benefits of marriage?"

    Multiple reasons, not the least of which is they still meet the criteria of promoting responsible procreation. For me the more compelling reason is the amount of government intrusiveness in verifying one's fertility or, even more onerous, one's intent.

    2) "I believe the current state of Oregon law allows same sex couples, well at least one of the partners, to adopt children. Should this be unconstitutional?"

    No.

    3) "Is same-sex marriage more, less or similarly damaging to the institution of marriage than the 48 hour quickie marriage-divorce of pop star Britney Spears?"

    More. Same-sex "marriage" redefines marriage entirely. Ms. Spears merely exploited a loophole in how marriage is administered. Ms. Spears likely did more damage to herself than she did the institution of marriage.

  34. hilsy on 14 Oct 2004

    Referee,

    Thank you again for answering my questions (though you did not fully answer my questions regarding your views on the constitutionality of same sex couples adopting children and I am interested in those answers).

    I guess my my basic disconnect with your views lies in our view of the purpose of marriage. I personally believe marriage has continued to be divorced (no pun intended) from your stated purpose over the previous number of centuries. A first step in that process was the step away from arranged marriages. Arranged marriages were all about procreating children and nothing about the two people involved since they had no choice in the matter.

    The liberalization of divorce is a more recent step that recognizes that marriage is a partnership of two people. In other words, marriage is modernly recognized by many people like myself and the law really as a relationship based on love and mutual support.

    This places me firmly in the camp that marriage is about the two people involved first and foremost.

    From another personal perspective, over the years I had personally become quite disillusioned with marriage as an institution seeing marriage after marriage end in bitter dispute and divorce. It was to the point that I quite going to weddings I was invited to. The nadir was a wedding I attended at an evangelical church in which the vow "the wife shall obey the man" was not only used but the preacher attempted to justify this arcane philosophy in a long sermon.

    Last spring, however, I was privileged to attend a wedding ceremony held for two close lesbian friends. The fact this opportunity, in a legal sense, was possibly temprorary added to the gravity and importance of the moment. And when I say importance, I meant the importance to the couple that they are that dedicated to each other make those vows. As tears ran down my face (not a common occurrence), I realized that marriage as an institution was not being attacked. Rather, the institution was being reinvigorated.

    I doubt I'll change your mind, Referee, but again I thank you for answering my questions and I hope you take my comments to heart.

  35. a user on 14 Oct 2004

    Lawn,

    Oregon *does* have an equal rights clause in its Constitution.

    Correction, Oregon has an "equal protection clause" much like that found in the federal constitution. The ERA went further, was struck down, yada yada... Referee's argument stands.

    The point Ref was falsely trying to make is that the Oregon court, by interpreting the equal protection clause a particular way, "amended" the Constitution. That is the core point that both you and Referee have ducked, twice.

    (By the way, the ERA was not "struck down," it failed to pass--quite closely I might add).

    Ref, this is just gibberish:
    2) "MEASURE 36 HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH CHILDREN. ... if you want to protect children, you should be IN FAVOR of gay marriage." - Argue one point or the other. You may see contradicting yourself as covering your bases, but to the rest of us it looks like you have no argument.

    I suppose resorting to the same ad hominem name calling that you accuse b!x of makes you feel superior, but I fear your hypocrisy is showing.

    Simply put: passage of measure 36 will have no impact on children of gay couples. Do you admit this or not? If yes, then please abandon all the arguments about protecting children since they are irrelevant to this debate.

    If you are such an advocte for children, then you should support gay marriage. Then children of gay couples are afforded the same legal protections as children of heterosexual married couples.

    So it seems simple to me: if you are so in favor of protecting children, you should be in favor of gay marriage.

    Unless you want to ban gay couples from raising children. And I haven't heard you say that. I suspect that is what is really going on. And it reveals the ugly truth about the Yes on 36 folks. They aren't pro-children or pro-marriage, they are anti-homosexual.

    Which brings us all the way around to b!x's point about bigotry. While there are good reasons that many may support Yes on 36, it is silly to deny that some supporters are motivated by good old bigotry. And if and until the Yes on 36 crowd distances themselves from the bigots, they can't complain when they are tarred by the same brush.

  36. doretta on 14 Oct 2004

    1. "A same-sex marriage locks out one gender or the other. Is this not sexual discrimination?"

    One man and one woman, that's not equality, it's an extremely rigid quota system. I'll bet you're against those when the issue is race and hiring. Every marriage on the planet locks out every other person who isn't a partner in that marriage. If I marry a Christian is that religious discrimination--after all I didn't marry a Buddhist? No. If one sort of people get to choose freely for themselves based on their own personal criteria and another group doesn't, that's discrimination.

    2. "Why I would no sooner say an "all California Congress" is good for the USA as I'd elect an all male or all female partnership as good for starting a family." Hmmm. The obvious parallel would be an "all-male Congress." I take it you don't find that notion objectionable?

    3. "Yet to you, it is obvious that balming the persecution comples of a segment of society reeping the fair, lawful, and natural consequences of their actions is 'equal and fair'".

    Everyone is subject to the "natural consequences" of their actions by definition. Just ask anyone who has discovered 32 ft/sec/sec the hard way. It's not a "natural consequence" if it requires legislation to enforce it.

    4. "It [marriage] should not be dashed like a ming vase on the floor as people pull the table-cloth of "meaning" out from underneath the millenia of precident on the matter. We've come so far, women and men are more equal in marriage than they have ever been. Lets not spoil it with same-sex partnerships."

    I believe the hackneyed metaphor you were going for there is "pulling the rug of meaning out from under..." "Pulling the tablecloth out from under" brings to mind the parlor trick where the tablecloth gets removed but everything else on the table remains perfectly in place. I'm pretty sure that's not the image you were going for. Then again, it is a bit difficult for any metaphor to rescue the concept "let's not ruin this millenias-old institution just when it has finally changed so much for the better."

    5. "Note that the "under the same terms" clause is completely debunks the homosexuality issue. Homosexuals are allowed to marry today in Oregon and nobody is proposing that change."

    Yes, just as anti-miscegenation laws did not prevent either black people or white people from marrying, only from marrying one another. If anti-miscegenation laws are discriminatory, which it seems we have already agreed they are, so is Measure 36.

    There is no reasonable argument that Measure 36 is not discriminatory. That's just sophistry intended to confuse people who prefer not to think too much about the subject.

    The only question open to debate is whether or not that discrimination is justified in support of a greater good. That is the assertion being made by Measure 36 supporters. To prove that requires more than just argument, it requires evidence. So far none has been presented.

  37. On Lawn on 15 Oct 2004

    User,

    That is the core point that both you and Referee have ducked, twice.

    To the contrary, it still stands. Your premise for disagreement stood on two principles; 1) there was an ERA in the Oregon constitution, 2) you don't see how redefining words is a cheap backdoor ammendment to the constitution. The first is shown to be false and the second is simply admitting ignorance. As disagreement by way of appeal to ignorance is neither compelling or interesting the argument still stands. And specifically I like how Referee accomplished that. By showing how people are "interpreting" the equal protection clause under the language of the ERA (which is widely observed and also demonstratably voted down) they are ammending the constitution in spite of the populace. He, specifically, presented your argument better than you did, and showed its flaws before you even brought it up. Ducked twice? The argument has stood twice.

    Note the other responses recognize this direct conflict before we even came along, and now that it is brought up they echo it. Prop 36 is "judicial contempt", the judges know "the will of the people is not the will of the majority" (both paraphrased). However, as Referee pointed out, you do a better job in realising that the merits and values most relevant to prop 36 presented in defending marriage are not religious.

    children [...] are irrelevant to this debate.

    So, in essence you are not for protecting the interests of the children. It appears that you simply take offence in being seen as such, not for actually having that point of view.

    if you are so in favor of protecting children, you should be in favor of gay marriage.

    Unless you want to ban gay couples from raising children.

    Non-Sequitor, un-Married same-sex couples raise children.

    it is silly to deny that some supporters are motivated by good old bigotry.

    You find me one and I'll talk to him/her about abandoning their bigotry, because it has no place in this debate. It is why I ask b!x to abandon his bigotry against religion. You need to learn to deal with specific problems, specifically.

    Doretta,

    One man and one woman, that's not equality, it's an extremely rigid quota system.

    It is both, these are not mutually exclusive concepts.

    I'll bet you're against those when the issue is race and hiring.

    No, I happen to not be against workplace quotas but that honestly isn't important now. What is interesting is that the "best qualified for the job" argument holds different weight in both circumstance. Time and time studies show that opposite sex partnerships have more capacity to help children and each other than same-sex partnerships. So "best qualified for the job" will in fact be along those lines -- if you are lead with the same goal for a successful marriage that a boss has in creating a successful company. If you are motivated by who attracts you the most (like a boss looking for a secretary that is easy on the eyes) then it is almost always to the detriment of the company or marriage. No one says you can't pick both beauty and talent, but the important goal is the success of the unit you both belong to, not fulfulling your hormonal desires.

    So what does that mean? Choosing the best qualified person for the role will be somoeone of the opposite sex, if your goal is a successful family that is well nourished both emotionally and physically. However, race is a poor indicator of success in a position of employment.

    Now I don't mean to come across dispassionate. I love my wife. I love her in all the ways that two lovers unite together. She is the most attractive woman I know and we have a deep and romantic relationship. But I did leave behind many very attractive woman because I knew that attraction was not the only qualification.

    If one sort of people get to choose freely for themselves based on their own personal criteria and another group doesn't, that's discrimination.

    Well, since everyone gets to choose under the same criteria then it is not discrimination. There is no different criteria for the homosexual, black, white, jew, protestant. buddist (etc...). Just one criteria, one man and one woman.

    The obvious parallel would be an "all-male Congress."

    If it suits you to say so, sure. I don't see a difference, really. So, do you find an all male congress to be sexual discrimination? How about one that was half male and half female?

    It's not a "natural consequence" if it requires legislation to enforce it.

    Yes that is true, which is why I also added that it was the "fair [and] lawful" consequence.

    I believe the hackneyed metaphor you were going for there is "pulling the rug of meaning out from under

    It was a toss up, and I think table works better. However, using terms like "hackneyed" only makes you come across as snobby.

    I'm pretty sure that's not the image you were going for.

    While I really have a distaste for arguing stylistic differences (especially when "snobby" people use them as proxy for an argument) I do have a point to make. Depends on which angle you wish to take. Do you consider people as purposefully trying to destroy marriage? If you do then you should choose the rug for the analogy as "pulling the rug out from under somebody" is meant to get them to fall over.

    But as I see the situation, b!x, and others (yourself I would assume is included) think they are going to perform this neat trick and nothing will happen. In their theory nothing will break. Much like the parlor magician. Yet they miscalculate in their attempt (should have known better really) and wind up breaking things. Oops!

    So you can say it your way, and until I'm convinced otherwise I will say it mine. But honestly I tend to believe in the best in people, and don't think they really just want to destroy marriage from the onset. It would take quite a bit to convince me otherwise, but thats just my nature.

    it is a bit difficult for any metaphor to rescue the concept

    Oh no, my concept needs resuing because the all wise Doretta says so. Heh. Watching people assume such authority and judgement on the internet is one of the great spectator sports there is. Are you an advocate or a judge? Oh, everyone wants to be the judge because its easy. You don't have to support anything. You just say it and it just is ;)

    Yes, I am chuckling as I write this.

    The concept stands. Or at least you won't think it unjust for me to require more than summary judgement from a pseudo-intellectual internet pundit. Like we've never seen one of those on the internet ;) I'm a pseudo-intellectual pundit, but not one that relies on my commentary to declare any such judgement.

    If anti-miscegenation laws are discriminatory, which it seems we have already agreed they are, so is Measure 36.

    Reading Loving v Virginia you find that the judges argue that the criteria is invalid and not because it is discriminatory (per se) but because it is a criteria based on lineage which people do not choose. They did find that the criteria was equal, that blacks could marry and that whites could marry still as the Virginia argued.

    Key to their findings was that lineage was also a benign trait, had no impact (in and of itself) in procreation, and that a majority of states, countries, provinces and regions accepted the practice (meaning that the criteria was artificial to the state and had no impact on the meaning of marriage). Same sex marriage does not withstand either test.

    Also, (this is a 'duh' kind of obvious too) it is endorsing gender discrimination in institutionalizing same-sex partnerships (which are, by nature discriminatory in the bad way as opposed to the diversity found in marriages today). It is in fact a step backwards, not forwards.

    So far none has been presented.

    It has, but you like many other pundits on the internet feel that blindness can be a powerfully compelling argument. Instead of "none has been presented" it is rather "none has been presented that I can see". What you didn't see can truely not exist for others either. Though it has some comic value to me, I don't find it compelling at all. Just confirms to me that I do see, and being able to see and understand more is the goal.

  38. The One True b!X on 15 Oct 2004

    Briefly, to set the record straight and then return everyone to the b!X-less reader debate: I never had anything bigoted to say about religion. I had harsh words for religious zealotry. Note, again, how the tagteam in this thread likes to lie about what I've said.

    Also briefly: "Prop 36"? You're revealing your Californian-ness, I guess. We don't have "propositions" in this state, we have ballot measures.

    Then again, I notice that onlawn.net is based on San Marcos, so perhaps you're arguing some sort of Californian perspective on an Oregon ballot measure?

  39. On Lawn on 15 Oct 2004

    I notice that onlawn.net is based on San Marcos

    I do own onlawn.net, you have reached the correct person. But I am not at that physical address. Not any more ;)

    I never had anything bigoted to say about religion. I had harsh words for religious zealotry.

    You tell me the difference that you see. From here you attack values because you percieve some religious tainting. Not that I see you appeal to secularism either, not that anyone here has appealed to religion either; simply because you associate the position with religion that you dismiss the values. That, to me, is bigotry. Prove me wrong.

    Now, I anticipate that you will counter by trying to help me understand that you don't object to religion, just when you feel it is forced on you. I can understand that, in fact I agree with it. However, as I have not quoted Bible, Koran, Tao, (etc...) I don't see where you object to the values except by association. And that to me is what makes it a red-herring. You seem to distract away from the arguments, and instead focus on that you *can* find them in the Bible, Koran, (etc..) And such loathing of religion that one would dismiss concepts because of percieved religious tainting is bigotry.

    And now (yes this makes me chuckle too) you say "don't look at the arguments, look at the whois database". Trading one red-herring for another? Indeed. I've never met anyone that has treated me as less than an individual because of my California origions.

    And thanks for reminding me to update my domain name.

  40. tom on 15 Oct 2004

    Its amazing how many words folks can sling around to try and defend institutionalizing Discrimination.

    36 calls for limiting a legal act to ONLY one man and one woman.

    Thus legal discrimination by sexual gender.

    You can write all the pst you want, bottom line its discrimination.

    Sadly folks like OnLawn and Referee seem able to live in a country like America and yet be so vehmently unAmerican.

    Meanwhile to those who want to promte equality and liberty for all and not the fascist regulations of OnLawn and Referee there is just one thing to do, keep on keeping on.

  41. The One True b!X on 15 Oct 2004

    You seem to distract away from the arguments, and instead focus on that you *can* find them in the Bible, Koran, (etc..) And such loathing of religion that one would dismiss concepts because of percieved religious tainting is bigotry.

    Try to remember that in the course of this endorsement, I kept my focus on the motivations of those who are most directly responsible for Measure 36. And the fundamental basis of their position is that God created marriage between one man and one woman. Everything else they argue is either an outgrowth of that, or a distraction from that. And those who seek to impose their allegedly God-given structures upon others through the force of law are religious zealots.

  42. On Lawn on 15 Oct 2004

    Everything else they argue is either an outgrowth of that, or a distraction from that.

    True to the faith, b!x. True to the faith. Stay your course and don't be distracted by reason and argument because all that matters is the religious tainting that you are so bigoted against.

    I only say this of course because you say it is your position too. Don't look at the arguments they just distract from the most salient point to you, the religios backing. ;)

    And those who seek to impose their allegedly God-given structures upon others through the force of law are religious zealots.

    Was I right or what! Already addressed the point, predicted the response and answered it already. Yet b!x must be true to the faith and stay the course.

    Okay, now to Tom,

    Higgins is it? Anyway,

    defend institutionalizing Discrimination.

    Parker asks his mom Rosie O'Donnel, "Why don't I have a Daddy". She replies, "because I'm the Mommy who wants another Mommy".

    Being fatherless is worse than having a father. Being in a underfunded elementery school is worse than being in a well funded elementary school. Sitting in the back of the bus is worse than sitting in the front (supposedly, but it was my favorite spot actually).

    When someone is probed as to why they have a poor education, have to sit on the back of the bus, or is fatherless there can be a number of reasons that do not make us cringe. However, one that makes me cringe every time is when this happens because of discrimination.

    Truely Rosie, who put her preference, her gender discrimination as the reason that her son is fatherless, makes me cringe. Am I saying that she can't make that choice? No. But to call it a marriage does no more or less than institutionalize her (and other same-sex partners) sexual discrimination.

    Now, Tom, feel free to answer the questions posed to b!x and others. I'm curious as this is so important to you, what your answers would be.

    A night club only allows in males, is that sexual discrimination? A night club allows in only males and is next door to a night club that allows only females. Are they still discriminating based on sex? Okay, three night clubs, one all male, one all female, and one that allows both. Is there still gender discrimination going on? You tell me.

    Because, coming in and re-hashing old worn out labels especially in this stage of the debate, is rather asinine. Everything old is new again eh? Or are you just wanting to wave your hand and imagion that a discussion hasn't just taken place and hope to take people back to square one?

  43. Referee on 15 Oct 2004

    User -

    1) "I suppose resorting to the same ad hominem name calling that you accuse b!x of makes you feel superior, but I fear your hypocrisy is showing."

    This is truly comical. When grepping through past arguments for mean things to say you might want to actually look the terms up before you mis-use them. Saying an argument is contradictory is not ad hominem. Further, how I feel has no bearing on the debate. You are running for the cover of red herrings. I notice you fully accept the point that saying children are irrelevant and therefore relevant is, indeed, contradictory.

    2) "..children of gay couples are afforded the same legal protections as children of heterosexual married couples."

    Oh, oops. Maybe you don't think it's contradictory, or maybe you still just seek to cover your bases. Your concept of a child created by a same-sex union is purely hypothetical at this point since, unless nature somehow has succumbed to the incredibly arrogant Mass. Supreme Court, same-sex unions don't produce children. (I'm actually waiting for the Mass. brain trust to hold Mother Nature in contempt.) As for children being raised by same-sex couples, this is handled entirely under adoption law, which is intended to deal with extant children in need of one or both parents.

    3) "I suspect that is what is really going on. And it reveals the ugly truth about the Yes on 36 folks. They aren't pro-children or pro-marriage, they are anti-homosexual."

    Once again we see a supporter of same-sex "marriage" substituting innuendo and personal attack for argument. Based on nothing but his own frantically propped up self-contradiction he has decided that those opposed to same-sex marriage are really just "anti-homosexuals." I am not. Steve Yuhas is not. John McKellar is not. Jane Rule, Camille Paglia, Sky Gilbert, and Harry Hay all are not. But forget all of that. Because we don't gulp down User's contradiction about children being irrelavent making them relevant we must all be anti-homosexual. Nice substitute for an argument, user.

    4) "...it is silly to deny that some supporters are motivated by good old bigotry. And if and until the Yes on 36 crowd distances themselves from the bigots, they can't complain when they are tarred by the same brush."

    Hmmmm. Let's run that statement under the bigotry microscope: "...it is silly to deny that some [Muslims] are [terrorists]. And if and until the [Muslim] crowd distances themselves from the [terrorists], they can't complain when they are tarred by the same brush." WOW! That came across as pretty bigotted! Let's try again. "...it is silly to deny that some [minority]s are [criminals]. And if and until the [minority] crowd distances themselves from the [criminals], they can't complain when they are tarred by the same brush." OUCH! That still comes across as bigotted!

    I'm sorry, tell me again. Who are you accusing of bigotry?

  44. Referee on 15 Oct 2004

    Doretta -

    1) "If one sort of people get to choose freely for themselves based on their own personal criteria and another group doesn't, that's discrimination."

    Actually, discrimination is pretty well defined as "people get to choose freely for themselves based on their own personal criteria." When one chooses based on some personal criteria one discriminates.


    2) "Hmmm. The obvious parallel would be an 'all-male Congress.' I take it you don't find that notion objectionable?"

    Arguing with yourself here? You are the one proposing an all-male marriage, that is the clear parallel to an "all-male Congress."

    3) "It's not a 'natural consequence' if it requires legislation to enforce it."

    Agreed. All we need do now is get those laws off the books that say that it takes a man and a woman to make a baby and then we can have same-sex "marriage." To whom do we submit that petition?

    4) I can't believe you think it is worth the time to argue substituting carpet for tablecloth. Then again, when you have no argument anything that fills space looks good. I'm going to play tangent cop here and reel you back in.

    5) "Yes, just as anti-miscegenation laws did not prevent either black people or white people from marrying, only from marrying one another. If anti-miscegenation laws are discriminatory, which it seems we have already agreed they are, so is Measure 36."

    Ah yes, we've seen this one before when user tried to say the ERA was already in the Oregon Constitution. If you pull way back, squint a lot, and delete all detail then you see Loving-v-Virginia deals with marriage and that is exactly what same-sex couples are dealing with. The fact that the Loving couple was man and woman and therefore capable of procreation, and the only reason the state would not recognize that fact had to do with the lineage of the participants, and that the courts find discrimination based on lineage repugnant adds up in doretta's deliberately out-of-focus and shuttered view to mean organizations that are not procreative should call themselves procreative. If your point is to demonstrate how harmful selective blindness can be to one's reasoning then you have succeeded.

    5.2) "There is no reasonable argument that Measure 36 is not discriminatory."

    That's just sophistry intended to confuse people who prefer not to think too much about the subject. You are using the standard dishonest tactic of substituting the shorthand "discrimination" for "racial discrimination." It was this deliberate shuttering at the root of declaring a disdain for "racial discrimination" in Loving-v-Virginia as somehow affecting same-sex "marriage."

    The point stands. Same-sex couples do not present under the same terms as male-female couples. They have neither the same capacity nor purpose to society. As such there is no equality argument to make. A homosexual individual who does present with an opposite sex partner is given the same treatment as a heterosexual under the same terms. A heterosexual individual who does not seek a marriage license, for whatever reason, also does not present under the same terms. That is why the "under the same terms" clause fully torpedoes bix's effort and yours to make this some sort of referendum on homosexuality. I'll say it again. Constitutional protections are extended to individuals, not couples and whether an individual chooses not to marry because of sexual orientation or any other reason should be of no concern to the court. Just like whatever your reason for not starting a hospital is of no concern to the court, you are not a hospital. Just like whatever your reason for not playing baseball, you are not a baseball player.

  45. Elaine of Kalilily on 15 Oct 2004

    How far the American right(eous) have wandered from the Constitutionally democratic fundamental value of separation of church and state!!!!

    It doesn't really matter what the bible or any other religious book says about same sex marriage (and it's all a matter of interpretation anyway). When it comes to equal rights under the law of this American land, religious doctrine is (or rather certainly should be) irrelevant. Kerry said it beautifully in the last debate.

    I also have to say that I believe that there should be no such thing a "marriage" anyway. There should only be renewable legal contracts between two people. (I remember that Margaret Meade had a great take on that idea.) If religions want to bless that contract, that's their business and is totally separate from what the law requires, enables, and protects.

    Throughout this whole argument, I've had the feeling that it's all a matter of semantics, anyway. What if everyone stopped using the word "marriage" and replaced it with "legal pairing" or some such thing? And, then, as I said, religions can then go ahead and use whatever ritual they want to bless (or not) each legal pairing -- and, of course, require from paired believers whatever the religion requires them to require -- totally separate from the fundamental requirements and protections of Consitutionally-based laws.

    The laws of America are supposed to protect the equal rights of all individuals, regardless of...etc. etc. Religions exist for totally different reasons, and each religion has different reasons from other religions anyway. What happened to that great Christian quote "render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar and to God the things that are God's." It's not just about taxes and tithing.

  46. doretta on 15 Oct 2004

    "Time and time studies show that opposite sex partnerships have more capacity to help children and each other than same-sex partnerships."

    Well, that's a start. If you could prove that, it would constitute evidence in favor of Measure 36. The problem is, it simply is not true. Supporters of Measure 36 will cite studies. However, those studies typically fall into two categories: 1) unscientific "results" from advocates who come to conclusions and then manipulate data to try and prove them and 2) real studies whose actual conclusions don't support this point--the authors of many of which have registered objections to the way in which their results are being reported and used. Cite some studies you feel support your position and we'll have grounds for a useful debate.

    I believe that if you look into it, you will find, not coincidentally, that people who promote Measure 36 and similar initiatives overlap remarkably with the set of people who are dead-set against including gay people in any kind of scientific study aimed at figuring out what matters most for kids--James Dobson of "Focus on the Family" is a prominent example.

    "No one says you can't pick both beauty and talent, but the important goal is the success of the unit you both belong to, not fulfulling your hormonal desires."

    So your bond with your wife would be equally strong if there were no sexual component to your marriage? You feel your marriage would work just as well if you were assigned any partner of the opposite sex by some random process as long as she was capable of having children? It appears to me that most Americans do not feel that way.

    Again, you assert that male-female units function better than all-female or all-male units. I assert that for *some* people, gay people, all-female or all-male units function better. That many, many people have developed lasting and functional same-sex partnerships in the face of considerable predjudice, including many responsible for raising "really good kids" is evidence for my assertion.

    "Reading Loving v Virginia..." Read away, just don't obfuscate the point with the legal niceties. I made no claim re: Loving v Virginia. Most people today would agree that anti-miscegenation laws are discriminatory and, in fact, existed only to perpetrate discrimination against people of color. Do you disagree? If so, what do you believe the purpose of such laws was?

    "Also, (this is a 'duh' kind of obvious too) it is endorsing gender discrimination in institutionalizing same-sex partnerships (which are, by nature discriminatory in the bad way as opposed to the diversity found in marriages today). It is in fact a step backwards, not forwards."

    Right. I'll tell you what, since gender balance for institutions is such a panacea, I'll drop my support for gay marriage in exchange for requiring strict gender balance in all other institutions officially recognized by the government.

    Discrimination, in the context b!X et al have been decrying it, is directed at people. The constitution provides protections for people's rights. Measure 36 discriminates against people. Institutions don't have rights and can't be discriminated against.

    Institutions exist or they don't exist, they change or they don't change based on our collective judgment about what works better AND based on whether or not they do harm to the basic rights of the people they affect.

    That misuse of the word "discrimination" to refer to the institution and not the people remains merely an obfuscating tactic designed to confuse people.

    "Are you an advocate or a judge? Oh, everyone wants to be the judge because its easy. You don't have to support anything..."

    Oh, I'm an advocate. I just happen to think it's an important enough subject to focus mostly on the substance of the issues. Just to clarify my position: if the government chooses to be in the marriage business, government sanctioned marriage should be open to same-sex couples as well as opposite sex ones. I have no objection to the government getting out of the marriage business and leaving marriage to religious organizations. In the latter case, government recognizing civil unions of both same-sex and opposite-sex couples so as to allow families to function more effectively in supporting one another and their children is also OK by me.

    I'm sorry you mistook my comparative civility for aloofness. You may be, as you've said, a "pseudo-intellectual internet pundit". I'm just a regular person who finds discussion of important subjects interesting and the internet a handy tool for engaging in that.

    Measure 36 is not an idle intellectual exercise for me. I know whether or not gay marriage is recognized by our government has real consequences for real people.

    From personal experience and talking to many gay people, it's clear to me that most gay people who
    get married want the same things from marriage that most straight people do.

  47. doretta on 15 Oct 2004

    "Being fatherless is worse than having a father."

    Tell that to the hundreds of kids beaten to death every year by their fathers. That is not a facetious comment. There is overwhelming evidence that children need loving, caring adults to take care of them. There is overwhelming evidence that there are many things much more important to children than living in a family headed by exactly one man and exactly one woman. Many "really good children" come from families who don't consist of exactly one man and one woman. Many not so good children come from families that do.

    The reality is, gay people are having and raising children. Marriage, by bringing a supportive structure to those relationships, benefits those children.

    I think Britney Spears does much more damage to marriage than the married gay couples I know. The married gay couples I know are committed to mutual love and support and to providing a loving, healthy environment for their children. So are the straight couples I know--I choose to hang out with that sort of people. Britney, on the other hand, sees marriage as a lark--something inconsequential you do for fun or publicity, like going to an opening or a night club. That's an attitude that would really destroy marriage as a useful institution were it to become popular and there is plenty of potential for it to become popular. Gay people are relatively small in number and are never going to dominate the institution of marriage. Only heterosexuals have that power and that is where the real threats to the institution come from.

  48. On Lawn on 15 Oct 2004

    Elaine,

    Kerry said it beautifully in the last debate.

    Kerry is against same-sex marriage.

    I also have to say that I believe that there should be no such thing a "marriage" anyway.

    Mmm-kay, you are simply against marriage.

    The laws of America are supposed to protect the equal rights of all individuals

    Where did you read that in the constitution?

    Doretta,

    Feel free to set up the criteria for "scientific results" and we will work from there.

    that people who promote Measure 36 and similar initiatives overlap remarkably with the set of people who are dead-set against including gay people

    You are simply restating what b!x said before, in that there are bigots among the proponents of 36. Not that you can point to anyone of them, nor establish what they have to do with myself and my arguments, but they must be there somewhere. This sounds more like a witch hunt or a red-scare than an enlightened attempt at discussion.

    So your bond with your wife would be equally strong if there were no sexual component to your marriage?

    Never tried it, can't say scientifically one way or the other ;)

    Of course if you are implying that sexual attraction is the dominant criteria for marriage, and we all have the right to marry who we are sexually attracted to the most, then I fear for the likes of Pierce Brosnan and Nikki Cox. You will scoff I know, but more than likely a few iterations down in the debate you will run into this very problem if you continue your course.

    You feel your marriage would work just as well if you were assigned any partner of the opposite sex by some random process as long as she was capable of having children?

    I can only quote statistics. It seems arranged marriages are more successful. However I apprecaited being able to choose for myself. But I didn't choose solely on sexual attraction either.

    I assert that for *some* people, gay people, all-female or all-male units function better.

    As everyone has different criteria (i.e. what "functions better means") that could be true. Which is why 36 is no threat to homosexual unions, because they should be able to decide on those "units" if they wish.

    Most people today would agree that anti-miscegenation laws are discriminatory

    Most people today would agree that handicapped parking is discriminatory ;)

    Most people today would agree that "preference" is discrimination.

    Most people today would agree that *racial* discrimination is bad.

    And, as 36 has such wide support and simular measures have been passed in 38 otherstates, I can say that most people do not see marriage as a heterosexual union is neither oppressive or bad.

    I'll drop my support for gay marriage in exchange for requiring strict gender balance in all other institutions officially recognized by the government.

    So you apprecaite (if not fully accept) the argument that marriage is not discriminatory? That is all you need to understand the argument, bartering your values is in poor taste IMHO.

    Measure 36 discriminates against people.

    No, it does not. And saying it over and over again won't change it. As I tire of "yes it is", "no it isn't" games and as you present no new argument I will let mine stand.

    That misuse of the word "discrimination" to refer to the institution and not the people remains merely an obfuscating tactic designed to confuse people.

    Apparently you are very confused, yet it is straight forward. I think you are confused because I can't parse that sentance at all. I can't figure out what it is supposed to mean. Either you are confused or you have a dizzying intellect I could only hope to comprehend someday. Perhaps I am to blame but understand, in the case that it is confusion I see, it is not my intention nor does it accomplish as much as you say it does for the debate.

    I know whether or not gay marriage is recognized by our government has real consequences for real people.

    Thank you. Not to patronize but I genuinely appreciate that.

    From personal experience and talking to many gay people, it's clear to me that most gay people who
    get married want the same things from marriage that most straight people do.

    Question for you then, what does marriage hold more that is not covered in say the solution in Vermont with same-sex unions. Prop 36 (sorry, Measure 36) would not allow such blanket synonymity written into the law, I realise. But I'm interested in just what you see in marriage that same-sex couples want that is not provided to them with civil unions in Vermont.

    There is a followup but it will come later.

  49. On Lawn on 15 Oct 2004

    Tell that to the hundreds of kids beaten to death every year by their fathers.

    Same-sex partnerships have a higher rate of partner abuse than marriage. Especially in all-male partnerships.

    There is overwhelming evidence that there are many things much more important to children than living in a family headed by exactly one man and exactly one woman.

    You are mis-interpreting. Those studies find there are many things above and beyond living in a family headed by exactly one man and one woman. There has been no substitute found that works as well as a child being raised by both of their parents. Gratefully there are success stories, I don't want to margionalize them. There are single moms who do a great job, orhpanages that many great people have come from, and adopted children who do many great things.

    But they are disadvantaged, meaning they have additional problems to work through. Not that they can't, not that they shouldn't. But to tell someone that you will purposefully disadvantage them because of your sexual preference is selfish and wrong.

    The reality is, gay people are having and raising children.

    And in each case there is someone who is either shunned from their parental rights, willingly giving them up, or removed by tragedy (as if shunning a mother or father isn't a tragedy in and of itself. As if a mother or father abandoning their responsibility is not a tragedy).

  50. doretta on 15 Oct 2004

    "Actually, discrimination is pretty well defined as "people get to choose freely for themselves based on their own personal criteria." When one chooses based on some personal criteria one discriminates."

    More word games. Yes, in fact the whole point of laws that forbid discrimination against *people* is to allow those *people* to discriminate with respect to their own choices and not have those choices abrogated by the discrimination of others. It isn't that complicated. 1) Good discrimination: I, having the right to choose what is best for me, get to discriminate for myself in the *personal* choices I make. 2) Bad discrimination: You, having not a clue what is right for me and not content to limit your discrimination to your personal choices, want to discriminate for me and limit my choices on that basis.

    As for the nightclub question, in fact, there is no bad discrimination involved in a same-sex nightclub if everyone inside is there because they want to be and everyone outside is outside because they don't want to be inside. That is all good discrimination, people making free choices for themselves. Bad discrimination occurs when the owner of the nightclub stands at the door and says to a person who wants to enter, "You are the wrong sex, you can't come in."

    When b!X et al use the word discrimination here they mean "bad discrimination." The relationship that has with "racial discrimination" is that those same people would indentify "racial discrimination" as one form of "bad discrimination."

  51. Referee on 15 Oct 2004

    Elaine -

    1) "How far the American right(eous) have wandered from the Constitutionally democratic fundamental value of separation of church and state!!!!"

    Thank you for demonstrating the self-imposed blindness that I poked fun at earlier. Notice how your whole system of belief in same-sex marriage is so thoroughly based on the singular belief that religion and religion alone argues against it that you haven't even realized that nobody in this forum has used religion to argue against it! Your whole system of thought is so based on believing religious intollerance is at the root of anyone disagreeing with you that you have created references to God and the Bible that do not exist! Go back and reread all of the comments and you will find the only references to righteousness, God, and the Bible are coming from the same-sex marriage supporters. If anyone they are the ones having difficulty separating church and state. Once you have gone back and realized the religious connection you attack is merely a trick played on you by your own mind I hope you get as big a laugh out of it as I do.

    2) "I also have to say that I believe that there should be no such thing a 'marriage' anyway."

    Tangent cop again. Claiming marriage is useless and should be abolished is an entirely different debate. At least I hope it is. You would not be the first same-sex "marriage" proponent that confessed to actually wanting the institution abolished. It's actually a pretty conflicted, dare I say disingenuous, position to argue from in favor of any kind of marriage.

    3) "What if everyone stopped using the word "marriage" and replaced it with "legal pairing" or some such thing?"

    It accomplishes nothing. Attempting to equate the purpose and capabilities of same-sex and husband-wife unions is still problematic. The two unions are not the same and each should be allowed to go their own way without having to carry the other along as baggage. Attempting to ignore the vastly different level of responsibility imposed on the male-female union by their potential to create a child is a recipe for disaster. We already have ample evidence of the burden placed on children when they are raised without their father or mother, why do we want to hide from that responsibility further?

  52. Lea on 15 Oct 2004

    I'm interested in just what you see in marriage that same-sex couples want that is not provided to them with civil unions in Vermont.

    Are you?

    I would hazard a guess that it would be some of the things that a married couple can take for granted. Federal law covers the bulk of the tax burden in this country, and it has benefits and exemptions which are extended to a 'married' couple but not members of a 'civil union', and that is a merely financial example.

    The Voters' Pamphlet has a list of 100 rights that are denied to unmarried partners. Look for "Constitutional Amendment 36: Not as simple as it seems" in the Arguements in Opposition section on this link:

    http://www.sos.state.or.us/elections/nov22004/guide/meas/m36_opp.html

  53. On Lawn on 15 Oct 2004

    The Voters' Pamphlet has a list of 100 rights that are denied to unmarried partners.

    Jello Biafra has a saying that to him, (and myself) sums up the American attitude best...

    Give me convenience or give me death

    It is a sad day when the government giving money away is deemed a "right".

    I'll save the followup question for when Doretta answers as she has declined to as yet.

    Doretta,

    First, your accusations of word games is coming across as complaining that words don't mean what you want them to. Consulting a dictionary before using them is useful. For instance, discrimination

    dis·crim·i·na·tion Audio pronunciation of "discrimination" ( P ) Pronunciation Key (d-skrm-nshn) n.

    1. The act of discriminating.
    2. The ability or power to see or make fine distinctions; discernment.
    3. Treatment or consideration based on class or category rather than individual merit; partiality or prejudice: racial discrimination; discrimination against foreigners.

    For the sake of this discussion, 1 and 2 are neutral usages of the word discrimination. The third has a positive and negative connotation. The positive being "individual merit" and the other being "based on class or category".

    So now, go ahead with what you were saying. What usage of discrimination is a same-sex partnership? What usage of discrminiation do you mean when you call marriage discriminating? How does personal or government (expressed by the will of the peole in this case) preference make them good or bad? How does it apply to handicapped parking?

    Remember to speak clearly and use words the way everyone will understand them. Thus we will avoid cat and mouse "word games" that you seem to think you are immune to in your writing.

  54. doretta on 15 Oct 2004

    "Same-sex partnerships have a higher rate of partner abuse than marriage. Especially in all-male partnerships."

    You can no doubt establish that most physical abuse of any sort is perpetrated by men. The data are pretty clear on that. So a two-male partnership may well be more prone to physical abuse. I challenge you to come up with credible evidence that there is more abuse in two-female relationships than in male-female relationships.

    But when did the subject become partner abuse? The assertion was that all children are better off with a father than fatherless. Most children who die due to physical abuse by a parent are killed by their fathers. Surely at least some of those children would have been better off without their particular fathers in their lives.

    "But they are disadvantaged, meaning they have additional problems to work through."

    You have not established that children of gay parents are disadvantaged even on average, let alone established that if they are it is the lack of a parent of a particular sex that disadvantages them. What studies do you believe prove they are disadvantaged? If they are disadvantaged how have you determined that the disadvantage isn't simply a result of the fact that the people raising them aren't receiving the benefits of a marriage legally recognized by our government?

    There many things in life that do demonstrably disadvantage children.

    Poverty comes to mind. The negative effects of poverty on children are well-recognized. Should people below some income level be forbidden to get married? What income level would that be?

    It can be difficult for a child to grow up in a biracial household--should we go back to those anti-miscegenation laws?

    "And in each case there is someone who is either shunned from their parental rights, willingly giving them up, or removed by tragedy..."

    Is it a bad thing when a sperm donor forgoes having parental rights so a heterosexual couple with an infertile male partner can have a child? I doubt that any of the people involved in such a situation would think so. Do you berate the new non-biological father for not acquiescing to the "natural consequences" of his infertility?

    Anyone's choice to have a child is ultimately a selfish one. It's not like the world is desperately in need of more humans.

  55. tomwsmf on 15 Oct 2004

    "Anyone's choice to have a child is ultimately a selfish one. It's not like the world is desperately in need of more humans."

    Its not the number, its the quality.

    Just from this one thread there is a crying need for more folks to breed who are able to raise thier offspring to not be mindless sheeple who bleet some zombie catechism of hate and intolerance.

    36 has become a neat sort of litmus test. It certianly shows up the problem children .

    So if you want to solve the probelm please breed intelligent thought based children who can kick the buts of the sheeple in the generatiosn to come. Elsewise this planet is going to be owned and operated by the likes of Referee and the franchise tenticles of Jebus Inc.

  56. Referee on 15 Oct 2004

    Doretta -

    1) "More word games."

    You are the one playing word games, so I assume that is not your complaint. Instead, it appears to be having been called on it that bothers you.

    2) " Yes, in fact the whole point of laws that forbid discrimination against *people* is to allow those *people* to discriminate with respect to their own choices and not have those choices abrogated by the discrimination of others."

    Interesting legal theory. Completely without precedent, but interesting in a trainwreck kind of way. *People* are discriminated against all the time. Even if I thought grabbing a scalpel and carving on someone was a good choice, the hospital probably wouldn't let me do it. Wow. Just because I don't have a medical degree or even just a license to practice medicine. Those self-righteous nags!

    3) "1) Good discrimination: I, having the right to choose what is best for me, get to discriminate for myself in the *personal* choices I make. 2) Bad discrimination: You, having not a clue what is right for me and not content to limit your discrimination to your personal choices, want to discriminate for me and limit my choices on that basis."

    I see. Good vs. bad. Look who's getting all moralistic on me. So basically, when someone tells you no, that's bad. When someone doesn't tell you no, that's good. With this toddler argument are you simply showing we should be greatful bix didn't regress even further in making his case?

    The law all the time makes choices for you. Deal with it. You may feel driving on the left "is best for" you and may want "to discriminate for [your]self in the *personal* choices [you] make." Those buttinsky legislators, though, "having not a clue what is right for [you] and not content to limit [their] discrimination to [their] personal choices, want to discriminate for [you] and limit [your] choices on that basis." Therefore, rules of the road are "bad" for limiting your choices. Clearly your idea of "bad" vs. "good" is of no use in a legal or societal context.

    4) "When b!X et al use the word discrimination here they mean 'bad discrimination.'"

    Actually, the word has been used in every possible context in this debate, and well before your invented "bad discrimination" definition. In most cases, like in yours where you tried to use Loving-v-Virginia, the writer leaves the context deliberately ambiguous so they can make fantastic claims like yours in pronouncing marriage to be "bad discrimination" because racial discrimination is "bad discrimination."

  57. Elaine of Kalilily on 15 Oct 2004

    I just have to point readers here to this absolutely great article in Rolling Stone written by an anarchist who infiltrated the GOP as a volunteer: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/_/id/6539082?

    And in case you haven't the interest in going there, here's the best part, except for the end, which is hilarious.

    One of the great cliches of liberal criticism of the Christian right is the idea that these people are wrongheaded because they profess to know the will of God. H.L. Mencken put that one best, and perhaps first: "It is only the savage, whether of the African bush or the American gospel tent, who pretends to know the will and intent of God exactly and completely."

    These criticisms sound like they make sense. But I think they are a little off-base. The problem not only with fundamentalist Christians but with Republicans in general is not that they act on blind faith, without thinking. The problem is that they are incorrigible doubters with an insatiable appetite for Evidence. What they get off on is not Believing, but in having their beliefs tested. That's why their conversations and their media are so completely dominated by implacable bogeymen: marrying gays, liberals, the ACLU, Sean Penn, Europeans and so on. Their faith both in God and in their political convictions is too weak to survive without an unceasing string of real and imaginary confrontations with those people -- and for those confrontations, they are constantly assembling evidence and facts to make their case.

    But here's the twist. They are not looking for facts with which to defeat opponents. They are looking for facts that ensure them an ever-expanding roster of opponents. They can be correct facts, incorrect facts, irrelevant facts, it doesn't matter. The point is not to win the argument, the point is to make sure the argument never stops. Permanent war isn't a policy imposed from above; it's an emotional imperative that rises from the bottom. In a way, it actually helps if the fact is dubious or untrue (like the Swift-boat business), because that guarantees an argument. You're arguing the particulars, where you're right, while they're arguing the underlying generalities, where they are.

    Once you grasp this fact, you're a long way to understanding what the Hannitys and Limbaughs figured out long ago: These people will swallow anything you feed them, so long as it leaves them with a demon to wrestle with in their dreams.

    AAHHHHMMMMENNNNNN!!!

    (Ah, women, too!)

  58. On Lawn on 15 Oct 2004

    The assertion was that all children are better off with a father than fatherless.

    Perhaps that is why you have a problem with being scientific. You tend to take things to comical extremes (lesser people would simply call it a "strawmwan" but I think it is genuine lack of comprehension skills).

    The assertion is that children seem to do better with a father and mother. Fatherless children have higher rates of prison time, welfare, spouse abuse and other maladies.

    You have not established that children of gay parents are disadvantaged even on average

    Lets catch up, you said that you've seen studies that show this but are unscientific. In order to shortcut that sand-pit you were invited to specify your own criteria for what makes something scientific. Then we can proceed with establishing that point. I think letting you set the criteria is rather generous of me.

    You've let much drop on the floor.

    Anyone's choice to have a child is ultimately a selfish one. It's not like the world is desperately in need of more humans.

    Wow! There is the zinger. So a person who donates a sperm and walks away is (bad? good? you didn't say) but having a child is selfish.

    There is a moment in debates like this. Where libertarians wind up endorsing child slave labor or soemthing likethat, abortionists start equating humans to pigs (a recent example not typical of all abortionists as this person also noted that we kill pigs to eat every day in the same paragraph as the equation), and same-sex marriage activists call having children "selfish".

    I can only pity you, honestly. I have two children of my own and I can say that they have demanded so much of me and my wife that I selfishness just can't exist. We cook, clean, change diapers, drive, spend a large portion of my income to keep them alive, and you will call that selfish. Its simply so recognisably far from reality that it is clear that no appeal to reality will reach you (well thats been demonstrated already).

    Anyone else that thinks marriage should be removed entirely, and having kids is selfish has a perfectly logical basis to vote No on 36. But don't go crying ignorance as to why we feel we are "defending marriage".

    And speaking of Strawmen...

    Elaine,

    It looks like he found just what he was looking for. Good for him. What that has to do in this debate is beyond me. Wait, no I see one reason. I suppose you feel the need to head for the sidelines of the debate and start inculcating a bigoted mantra against a class in society you obviously feel superior to. Much like the person who withdraws to the corner, closes their eyes and puts their fingers in their ears and starts chanting to themselves.

  59. On Lawn on 15 Oct 2004

    Elaine,

    Ahh look, Tom is there in the corner too, suggesting ways to help breed his aryan race. You have good company.

  60. Referee on 15 Oct 2004

    Elaine -

    I take it when you didn't find your religious bogeyman by perusing this thread you decided to braoden your search rather than accept the fact. That's kind of funny, too, you have to admit.

  61. doretta on 15 Oct 2004

    "Feel free to set up the criteria for "scientific results" and we will work from there."

    That's a solved problem. You post the studies and we can all critique them based on sound scientific principles or our own predjudices as we choose. Readers will then be free to decide for themselves which is which.

    "You are simply restating what b!x said before, in that there are bigots among the proponents of 36. Not that you can point to anyone of them, nor establish what they have to do with myself and my arguments, but they must be there somewhere."

    I merely find it interesting that many of the people who use the same arguments you do (for example, James Dobson, did you miss that reference when I gave it above?) are adamantly against anyone doing any kind of scientific research on the subject. How do you feel about scientific research on what's good for kids including gay people?

    "But I didn't choose solely on sexual attraction either."

    Gay people don't tend to choose their spouses based solely on sexual attraction either. I find it somewhat perplexing when people don't get that. All my friends, whether gay or straight, seem to want to marry someone they find sexually attractive and most married people who feel their marriage is a success would credit that part of their relationship as a factor in its success. I personally can't imagine marrying someone whose only attraction is sexual, I think you'd be hard pressed to find any woman who would. I hear from my guy friends and Dave Barry that sex is considerably more in the forefront of the minds of most men, but even so it's my experience that most of you have still noticed that there is more to life than sex.

    "And, as 36 has such wide support and simular measures have been passed in 38 otherstates, I can say that most people do not see marriage as a heterosexual union is neither oppressive or bad."

    Not nearly as much popular support as anti-miscegenation laws had in states where they were overturned. People have many reasons for the things they support and the things they believe. Sometimes they even change their minds.

    "So you apprecaite (if not fully accept) the argument that marriage is not discriminatory? That is all you need to understand the argument, bartering your values is in poor taste IMHO."

    No, allowing some people to marry the person they choose and not allowing others to do so is discriminatory. I expressed a willingness to barter legislation not values. That's how legislation works. There are always compromises. Anyway, that was a facetious offer intended to make a serious point. If gender balance is so critical for marriage (and raising children), why isn't it important for all the other institutions recognized by the government?

    "Question for you then, what does marriage hold more that is not covered in say the solution in Vermont with same-sex unions. Prop 36 (sorry, Measure 36) would not allow such blanket synonymity written into the law, I realise."

    I personally don't care what you call it legally as long as it provides that blanket synonymity that you just stated Measure 36 would preclude. Whether or not you can actually accomplish that synonymity with two different words is an open question. I believe that marriage is something that happens between people and, if they choose, the religious institution of their choice. What the government is good for in this context is providing a legal structure within which people can more effectively care for their families. I think it is wrong to provide that structure for straight couples/families and not gay ones. I'm content to let couples define the spiritual meaning of their relationships for themselves.

    "I'll save the followup question for when Doretta answers as she has declined to as yet."

    I can only type so fast. Which question is it that you want me to answer?

  62. Referee on 15 Oct 2004

    And speaking of comic relief, here's Tom again.

    Tom, I'm sure you meant to post your standard announcement of how mean you are in place of an argument. Normally that doesn't merit a response, but this one was just too funny.

    Frankly I'm flattered that reading the flailing responses to my arguments in "this one thread" you feel there is a "crying need" for someone to take me on who is intelligent and rather than the "mindless sheeple who bleet some zombie catechism of hate and intolerance." I realize you probably meant to be hateful and intolerant of me and not the "sheeple," but it's funny to see you trip over yourself in your blind rage. It's also a good example of what can happen to you if you post when you have nothing to say.

  63. doretta on 15 Oct 2004

    "and same-sex marriage activists call having children "selfish"."

    Let's be clear here shall we, I'm an advocate but not a "same-sex marriage activist." To call me that denigrates all the hard work real activists are doing. I am, however, a wife and a mother.

    I never said that parenting children, if done even moderately well, does not require a lot of hard work and sacrifice. And yet raising a child has easily been the most rewarding experience of my life. I'm sorry if you don't find it so. Why did you have children? I (and you) could have put that time, money and emotional energy into providing food for hungry orphans or building houses for homeless ones or....

  64. On Lawn on 15 Oct 2004

    You post the studies and we can all critique them based on sound scientific principles or our own predjudices as we choose. Readers will then be free to decide for themselves which is which.

    So you just don't know scientific principles?

    How do you feel about scientific research on what's good for kids including gay people?

    I have no problem with that.

    Gay people don't tend to choose their spouses based solely on sexual attraction either.

    Good, and if they want a marriage they will do more of the same. I'm glad to see acording to you that it will not put them out too badly. Truth be told, I already knew this but since you felt it important to say I will echo it.

    Not nearly as much popular support as anti-miscegenation laws had in states where they were overturned.

    Once again you must be simply ignorant of the facts. So lets make this fun for me.

    1) How many states of the union have passed laws and/or constitutional ammendments defining marriage as between a man and a woman?

    2) How many states voted down their anti-miscegenation laws on their own?

    3) How many states were forced by the SCoTUS to end their anti-miscegenation laws?

    My experiences in states that voted them down on their own vs. states that were "forced" by the SCoTUS is already noted. But as you equate the popularity of marriage vs the popularity of anti-miscengeation laws I think this will be fun to watch.

    No, allowing some people to marry the person they choose and not allowing others to do so is discriminatory.

    Again, if you are going to use that word please look it up in the dictionary first, and explain from those definitions what you are saying. You were invited to do this previously and ignored it. You have ignored many invitations.

    I expressed a willingness to barter legislation not values.

    If the two weren't so inter-twined I could let you get away with that back-track. However it was poorly concieved and even more poorly attempted.

    You oppose 36 based on your values of discrimination. Either you have abandoned those values to support it (in bartering) or you have not. Really, I'm not very impressed with your problematic grasp of reality.

    I believe that marriage is something that happens between people

    Why yes, like getting hit with a meteorite or falling off a log it just happened to me too ;)

    Seriously, marriage is something that you choose to make and work at for the rest of your life. It involves commitment not only to your spouse (first and formost in my marriage) but commitment to the progeny produced between you two. I marry because I realize I have responsibility for others. As far as I can tell from your arguments same-sex couples only want marriage to realize responsibilities they feel are owed to them.

    A same sex couple combines together and says, "I love you so much that I'm willing to get the state to fund our impersonation of marriage". Touching indeed. Perhaps that is why the more thoughtful members of the GLBC see the attempt at same-sex marriage as out of touch and cruel.

    When I see it, I am offended, personally. And this isn't the offence of someone who says "there goes the neighborhood" when someone moves in next door. It is the offence of a man painting himself in shoe polish and saying "Mammie, Mammie" to a crowd of laughing white-folk. Its the offence of having something I hold dear, something that is my heritage and culture, mocked and impersonated much like the bigotry that I've had to wade through on this presumably enlightened 21st century blog.

    Now for the follow up question...

    Do you think that "they have it so we should too" is a good definition of the goal of same-sex marriage? Can you think of no other reason or purpose for it to exist?

  65. Referee on 15 Oct 2004

    Doretta -

    1) "You post the studies and we can all critique them based on sound scientific principles or our own predjudices as we choose."

    While you're warming up to ignore OnLawn's studies, perhaps you can answer me this question. Which is unimportant, the mother or the father, and why? Answers will be judged on accuracy.

    2) "(for example, James Dobson, did you miss that reference when I gave it above?) are adamantly against anyone doing any kind of scientific research on the subject."

    No, I didn't miss the reference. I simply thought that since you didn't provide any actual quotes or other evidence that you realized how totally irrelevant and off topic you were in bringing it up. You can't expect me to do all the tangent policing!

    3) "Not nearly as much popular support as anti-miscegenation laws had in states where they were overturned."

    OK. Off on another tangent. I'll take time out from playing tangent cop to point out that only 11 states still had anti-miscegination laws on the books when the Supreme Court struck them down. OK, I'll take the additional time to remind you that 11 is less than 38. Now, please discuss same-sex marriage.

    4) "No, allowing some people to marry the person they choose and not allowing others to do so is discriminatory."

    Ah. You run right into Mr. Yuhas's argument here. Since you seem to have missed it the first time I will recite it here.

    Gay activists will say that gay marriage is a fundamental right of equality and that being allowed to enter into the contract makes them full class citizens. Alright, but when they're asked about three people entering into marriage or a son and his daughter being permitted to marry, they come up with a convoluted excuse as to why they cannot. Surely gays don't want to deny this most fundamental of rights on other alternative lifestyles, but they do because they want to normalize the union of two gay people while pretending that the corruption of that marriage does nothing to harm the union of those who have entered into the institution for the last six thousand years.

    5) "I personally don't care what you call it legally as long as it provides that blanket synonymity that you just stated Measure 36 would preclude."

    Ah, yes. Aping after heterosexuals. I believe this runs into Mr. McKellar's argument. You seemed to have missed it also. I include it here for your convenience.

    ...the 'choice and diversity' crowd would do well to read the gay press, which normally tows the activist party-line, but which has long been replete with articles, editorials and letters lambasting and lampooning the whole idea of same-sex nuptials. Clearly, a substantial majority of us neither need nor want gay marriage. Lesbian authors, Jane Rule and Camille Paglia, drag queen, Sky Gilbert and the late pioneer activist, Harry Hay are among the numerous prominent opponents of this forced parity.

    We neither need nor want the state in our bedrooms. We neither need nor want to be shackled by rules, regulations or paperwork. We've already won the same-sex
    benefits battle, so there's no longer concern over matters of pensions or estates. Let the straights keep marriage. We need to be liberated from the mainstream,
    homogeneous, egalitarian mindset that is destroying what is left of gay culture.

    6) "I can only type so fast."

    I don't believe typing is what you need so much as actually saying something. The only two times you attempted to deal with the topic rather then flying off onto a tangent you tried to revive arguments thoroughly discredited back in reply 21. Simply restating something that was already dealt with without even acknowledging the problems pointed out doesn't say anything at all.

  66. On Lawn on 15 Oct 2004

    And yet raising a child has easily been the most rewarding experience of my life.

    I do too, but calling it selfish is being overly churlish. Having children is not "ultimately selfish".

    To me I simply marvel at what you step into, wipe your feet on, and generally trash in your efforts of egalitarianism. You really need to check yourself before saying things like that.

  67. hilsy on 15 Oct 2004

    I've been utterly fascinated by the back-and-forth of this thread with both sides exuding egotistical righteousness masked ever so transparently by attempts at intelligent debate.

    Bottom line folks:
    Referee and OnLawn think the purpose fo marriage based solely on bearing, rearing, etc. children.

    The other side (including myself): marraige is based on the free-will choice of the love of two people.

    The rest is just either side trying to hide behind some pseudo-intellectual or pseudo-legalistic argument or attacking the other side for doing the exact same thing.

  68. doretta on 15 Oct 2004

    "So you just don't know scientific principles?"

    I have a degree in physics, I don't, however, see the usefulness of providing a tutorial on the scientific method just because you demand it. There are many other places where you can get that information. Someone claimed studies, I asked for a reference, none was provided.

    I said: Gay people don't tend to choose their spouses based solely on sexual attraction either.

    You said: Good, and if they want a marriage they will do more of the same. I'm glad to see acording to you that it will not put them out too badly.

    So if something isn't the only thing then it can't be an important thing?

    I think that about does it for me. No having a reasonable discussion with people who will argue in that way. Debates that are all about "who won" don't interest me. I've been the only one dumb enough to think there might be interest in a real discussion for some time.

    Gay people will persevere. Gay people will continue to get married whether or not those marriages are considered legitimate by On Lawn and gay people will continue to have children despite the disadvantages those children and relationships will suffer due to lack of governmental support.

    That will happen because contrary to some people's opinion, families and children are part of the heritage and culture of human beings and gay people are human beings.

    Have at it guys, I think everyone else stopped listening a long time ago.

  69. theresa paskowski on 16 Oct 2004

    This has been a most fascinating discussion. I am glad to have found such an ardent dabate on a topic that I had not completely made my mind up on. People on both sides have so masterfully delinated the opposing viewpoints, that I now feel that I can come to a informed conclusion regarding measure 36.

    This is a simple case of apples and oranges, no matter how much an orange wants to be called an apple, it simply is not. This isn't bigotry, discrimination or otherwise. That orange is better served by embracing it's own definition rather than being miserable with it's self-imposed malcontent.

    It is a travesty to say that the only way to achieve equality is to make everything the same. (Where would cultural diversity be, if we truly belived that equality was "sameness"?)

    It is clear that the only way to true equality, is to let the apple be an apple, and let the orange be an orange. We need to recognize a same-sex union differently than we do a heterosexual union (marriage). This and ONLY this conclusion allows every invididual the right to live thier own belief system, thus allowing us to embrace our own life choices, while respecting the life choices of others.

    Partnership rights can still be afforded to gay-unions without having to borrow a definition from anybody else. Voting yes on measure 34 preserves an age old institution, while opening the way for gay partners to define thier unions in thier own unique way.

  70. The One True b!X on 16 Oct 2004

    Voting yes on measure 34 preserves an age old institution, while opening the way for gay partners to define thier unions in thier own unique way.

    What do forests have to do with same-sex marriage.

  71. Referee on 16 Oct 2004

    Hilsy -

    Good to hear from you again.

    1) "Referee and OnLawn think the purpose fo marriage based solely on bearing, rearing, etc. children."

    Not sure that's true. People have different reasons for getting married, as you have pointed out. Society's primary interest in marriage is responsible procreation, i.e., "bearing, rearing, etc. children."

    Two quick questions for you:

    Does society have an interest in how children are born, reared, etc?

    Once you define those capabilities out of marriage with the below redefinition, what institution will address this important interest?

    2) "The other side (including myself): marraige is based on the free-will choice of the love of two people."

    More questions:

    Why two and not three or four? If you accept procreation is a fundamental element in marriage then it is easy to understand the number two, but without it what is your justification? Are you choosing to discriminate against alternative lifestyles of three or more? Is "two" important merely because it is important to procreation and the more homosexuals act like heterosexuals the happier they will be? Isn't that kind of intollerant and arrogant?

    How does your redefinition preclude close relations, like mother and son, from marrying, as they are barred currently? Perhaps you argue to allow such marriages. Are there any other current limitations on marriage that you think should be lifted from your "free-will choice of the love of two people?"

    While two people have an interest in expressing their love for each other, what interest does society have in blessing that expression? Indeed, what happens to the couple's love with or without that societal blessing? Does their love for each other diminish? What types of love should society so bless, and why? What particular societal interest merits this government oversight?

    These are all questions that are raised by eliminating procreation from the definition of marriage and replacing it with "love." The parties involved may have an interest in love, but we are talking about society's interest.

  72. Referee on 16 Oct 2004

    Theresa -

    Glad you found the discussion useful, and glad you are "listening." Please disregard bix's rudeness. As nearly as I can tell he attacks all newcomers to his forum. It doesn't seem to be personal. If you hark back to the trepidation playground children feel around new students in their midst I think you'll understand where bix is coming from.

    In any case, if you found the discussion useful, please point others to this thread. I think if nothing else it exposes the forces behind the opposing views, if not the arguments themselves. Especially since you appreciate diversity you can understand the potential damage to homosexual and heterosexual communities by those trying to homogenize same-sex couples with man-woman unions. The stakes are high. Your YES vote on measure 36 will preserve the diversity in our society we all value.

  73. Referee on 16 Oct 2004

    Doretta -

    OK, lots of tangents I could reel you in on here, like using your physics degree as qualification to comment on sociology studies. But since you clearly grow weary of typing I'll just hit the one flagrant problem in your post:

    1) "Debates that are all about "who won" don't interest me. I've been the only one dumb enough to think there might be interest in a real discussion for some time."

    This is one of the most tasteless exits to an argument I have seen. Some people agree to disagree, some, like bix, admit their forte is in forming the opinions and they leave the heavy lifting of defending them to others. All of those are actually pretty graceful exits. Complaining that since you didn't "win" (whatever that means) the game was rigged so you're taking the ball and going home is totally classless. That kind of behavior belongs more in an Aesop's Fable than in any legitimate debate.

    While I am not one to argue with anyone's self-assessment of their mental facility, don't give me this garbage about your "interest in a real discussion." All you have done since the beginning is to try and divert the debate onto tangents rather than dealing with the topic, same-sex marriage. You've discussed mixed-race marriage, homosexual lifestyle, homosexual adoption, male vs. female stereotypes...Anything that showed more promise of "victory" than the same-sex "marriage" topic intended. The fact that you repeatedly diverted off the topic of same-sex marriage shows you had no "interest in a real discussion" on the topic.

    The handful of times you were reeled back into the discussion on same-sex marriage you simply regurgitated the same arguments repeatedly, ignoring the problems pointed out in what you said. As another reader pointed out this is more mantra than "interest in a real discussion."

    In short, bail out for whatever reason you wish, but you're simply reaching for the victim card if you try to say your inability to discuss the topic at hand is anyone's fault but your own. And for your information, you "win" an argument by coming away with a better understanding of the opposing view, not by displaying how closed-minded and obnoxious you can be. Chanting mantra and changing the topic may accomplish the latter, but never the former.

  74. Elaine of Kalilily on 16 Oct 2004

    Nope, I didn't retreat to the sidelines to chant. I took my 88 year old mom, for whom I am caregiver, to a "welcome home from Iraq" party for my cousin's soldier daughter and her soldier husband.

    And now I have to admit that I do sit here smiling at the "projection" so evident in the accusations that the supporters of this measure hurl at the opponents' reasons for their positions.

    There is no winning an argument against a view of the world circumscribed by the view through two inch pipe. That's why I no longer argue with my 88 year old mother.

    Namaste.

  75. Referee on 16 Oct 2004

    Elaine -

    1) "There is no winning an argument against a view of the world circumscribed by the view through two inch pipe. That's why I no longer argue with my 88 year old mother."

    Wow. Apropos of nothing you throw in this gratuitous diss of your 88 year old mother? That's a new low, even in this debate. Looks like you need a little time out while you work through some issues.

  76. Elaine of Kalilily on 17 Oct 2004

    I wasn't dissing my mom; she is who she is. I was simply using Synecdoche (when one uses a part to represent the whole). She is representative of a whole slew of people who look at the world through a two-inch pipe. And lots of them are a lot younger than she is. No issues left with my mom. I worked them out long ago. If there were major ones left, I wouldn't be giving up much of my active life to take care of her. And it is appopos of a lot, actually, because how we live our lives --our most personal expriences -- affect our politics and vice versa. If compassion for the soul-deep needs of others is a dynamic force in our personal lives, it necessarily (or at least it should) influence our political stands. Unless, of course, one is afflicted with an unfortunate disconnect between mind and heart.

  77. On Lawn on 18 Oct 2004

    b!x,

    Wow, the tea-in-china-defense. Next...

    Hilsy,

    Fear mongering? Referee and On Lawn want to take love out of marriage! Its contrived political misunderstanding like that that turns people off to politics. And rightly so. I really don't think people have really walked away from the discussion believing that trying to preserve family responsibility in marriage it an affront to the love people share in marriage. These aren't mutually exclusive concepts, unless you have a view of love that is carefree, selfish, and promiscious.

    Theresa,

    Well said.

    Doretta,

    I claimed studies, and you pointed to Dr Dobson and said "these aren't scientific". That was your reference and you had some definite conclusions. Now you are back-peddling away claiming that you don't want to talk about what makes a study unscientific. I'm perplexed, bemused, and all around bored. You have the demands on the studies, you have examples to express those demands with, feel free to do so.

    Also, there are many examples of perseverance. Racism perseviers, sexism perseviers, totalitarian governments persevier. What is important is what they disregard, trample under, and generally work against in their determination.

    In this case, families lose. Children lose. Sexual preference is put above children (wow, in six words I explained the situation better than paragraphs of wondering how important sexual preference is).

    But that is not all, homosexuals throw civil rights under the plow as they consider their lack of government money to be tantamount to slavary (give me convenience or give me death!). You describe discrimination in terms that would invalidate handicapped parking (discriminatory! why can't I park there too?), social security (I want a SS check too!), and are nothing less than abject homogenization of the most stalinistic communism (yes I don't use those words lightly).

    So you persevier, ready to plow under children, minorities, and the handicapped because you need a definition of discrimination that can be used to conflate a homosexual partnership with marriage. Maybe you don't do it intentionally, maybe you simply close your eyes hoping that these are not in your way. Maybe you really wish they weren't. Maybe constructive discussion to you is measured by your ability to shut other's eyes to the dangers of your plow. I don't know. I just know that real discussion happened, you simply must not like the conclusion.

    Elaine,

    In my part of the world, what you claim is simply a synecdoche looks from here to be a fallacy of composition. Whatever issues you have with your mother should not be projected onto others. And for heavan's sake I hope you are not as rude to her as you have been to us.

  78. LC on 18 Oct 2004

    This has been a most amusing thread. Referee and OnLawn have been poking holes in most of the anti-36 arguments with entertaining flair.

    They can do this because many of the SSM supporters see nothing wrong with using government force to further their social agenda and therefore find themselves mired in a debate over the social utility of their vote.

    Liberals are wedded (sorry, couldn't resist) to the social utility argument because it is their primary rationale for using government force in other arenas (property rights, political speech, tax policy, affirmative action, minimum wage, monetary policy, collective bargaining regulations, pick any issue).

    Recognizing the problems inherent in debating the social utility of SSM, several anti-36 posters in this thread opted for the tactic of labelling 36 supporters as bigots - thereby handing Referree and OnLawn the fodder to humiliate them rhetorically (and make no mistake, they did).

    Nevertheless, I'm still voting "no" on 36, but for reasons undiscussed in this thread.

    I don't think government should be in the business of defining marriage for anyone. Leave that to churches (or private secular organizations for the atheists among us). The state's role should be limited to enforcing contracts between people (civil unions if you like) who should be able to define their own terms of commitment.

    Unlike most of the folks posting this thread, I don't have a passionate position on 36 (voting no, figure it will pass, not losing sleep).

    I'm voting "no" only because I don't want any definition of marriage (whether politically correct or "discriminatory") in the Oregon Constitution.

    Although the more I wade through the anti-36 arguments, the closer I get to just leaving my vote on this measure blank (I don't want my vote associated with either side in this fight).

  79. JS on 18 Oct 2004

    Referee and On Lawn:

    Where do your definitions of “marriage” or “the institution of marriage” come from?

    I could be wrong, but my sense is that your definition is, primarily, Christianity based(regardless, it cannot be seriously argued that religion, specifically Christian fundamentalism, has not played a major role in this debate). However, other religions may come up with a different definition of marriage. This is one of the many reasons why government at any level, should not be in the business of endorsing one particular religion's or belief's definition of “marriage”. In fact, I see little reason why government should involve itself in endorsing or promoting anything marriage-related. One of the “traditions” I see regarding "marriage", is that it's primarily a religious, and therefore extra-governmental, issue.

    If the government wants to promote families by recognizing and rewarding committed and loving partnerships, then it should do so with as little discrimination as is realistically possible. My position, as things currently stand, is that the government should give out “civil unions” to both heterosexual and homosexual couples.

    As James Madison wrote in Federalist 51, “It is of great importance in a republic not only to guard the society against the oppression of its rulers, but to guard one part of the society against the injustice of the other part.” If M36 has the support to pass, it doesn’t necessarily make it fair or morally correct. The people responsible for pushing M36 onto the ballot are obviously ignorant or irreverent of the social and political lessons in the history of our country, irrationally threatened by homosexuality, and many are probably bigots. They dress up their ignorance, fear, and bigotry in much of the same language as those who opposed interracial marriage at a time when much of the country was beginning to realize the inequality and immorality of restricting marriage “homoracially”.

    Although I disagree with your opinions on gay marriage (and probably, therefore, many of your opinions on marriage in general), I recognize your Church’s prerogative to grant “marriages” to whomever it sees fit. As Madison writes, again, in Federalist 51, “In a free government the security for civil rights must be the same as that for religious rights.” I object to those advocating that government should adopt the myopic views that certain religious individuals have been free to pursue within their Church.

    There are real problems with the laws surrounding marriage and civil unions in this state and country, but M36 makes things worse rather than making them better.

    (You can read all the Federalist Papers at http://www.constitution.org/fed/)

  80. On Lawn on 18 Oct 2004

    LC,

    Thanks! Very refreshing commentary indeed. You are right in your assessment of the argument for the most part, at least as far as I can tell.

    But there is one thing that I haven't discussed either (hmmm, this reminds me of the sword fight scene in Princess Bride), and that is good governance.

    You see I'm a free-land Democrat of the Frederick Jackson Turner variety. Turner was a grand proponent of "free land" which on his socio-political views meant a place where people can practice their own governance. I think, as Turner did, that such practice in governance is crucial to democracy where we need to hold our governance accountable. If we are going to judge if our elected officials are doing a good job, we need to be well versed with experience in the matter.

    To me the family unit is this basic political unit where everyone (yes everyone) practices governance for a family. It is a basic political unit right after the individual, and probably the culmination of an individual pursuit of happiness.

    Other political units are defined. We know what makes up a state, it is defined in the constitution. We know what makes up a parish or county, city, its in the state constitutions. Just as the 9th ammendment to the federal constitution reminds us that just because it isn't there doesn't mean that it isn't understood to be there, the definition of family (which marriage is a way to make families) is there.

    Preserving families by defining them preserves the governance that we practice in marriage. To remove that preservation from government would do the same thing that removing the preservation of "individual", county, or state would do, encourage abuse and remove responsibility.

  81. On Lawn on 18 Oct 2004

    JS,

    Federalist #51 is great, one of my favorites. Madison stated that preserving distinction protects rights and is far more powerful an argument than equalization. In protecting the distinction of minority interests, everyones minority interests were protected. Homoginization, as one might achieve by arguing "they have it so we should to", was precarious and would wind up oppressing minorities.

    It is of great importance in a republic not only to guard the society against the oppression of its rulers, but to guard one part of the society against the injustice of the other part. Different interests necessarily exist in different classes of citizens.

    If a majority be united by a common interest, the rights of the minority will be insecure. There are but two methods of providing against this evil: the one by creating a will in the community independent of the majority -- that is, of the society itself; the other, by comprehending in the society so many separate descriptions of citizens as will render an unjust combination of a majority of the whole very improbable, if not impracticable.

    The first method prevails in all governments possessing an hereditary or self-appointed authority. This, at best, is but a precarious security; because a power independent of the society may as well espouse the unjust views of the major, as the rightful interests of the minor party, and may possibly be turned against both parties. The second method will be exemplified in the federal republic of the United States.

    Whilst all authority in it will be derived from and dependent on the society, the society itself will be broken into so many parts, interests, and classes of citizens, that the rights of individuals, or of the minority, will be in little danger from interested combinations of the majority. In a free government the security for civil rights must be the same as that for religious rights.

    As I understand ol' James, it is in the protection and distinction of peculiar interests of each minority that give the republic the drive to protect minorities. And collective cobbling of interests for "of the society itself;" (e.g. the push to do away with distinction mearly for the sake of equality through homoginization) "...is but a precarious security; because a power independent of the society may as well espouse the unjust views of the major, as the rightful interests of the minor party, and may possibly be turned against both parties."

    So by preserving distinction we are preserving the rights of the minorities. But if one can show independant claim, then they can show that the distinction itself is "of the society itself;" and should be done away by. That, my friends, is just what the civil rights activists of the '60s did, and what the same-sex marriage advocates should be doing.

    Let me state this in sound-bite form --preserving distinction protects the minority, enforcing equality through homoginization threatens it.

    Come to think of it, this is a predominant theme in George Orwell's "1984" but I won't belabor the point any further.

    Most specifically though, conflating both marriage and a homosexual partnership under the same term removes distinction. Much like the apple and oranges argument discussed before. The conflation, homogenization, consensus that you seek is the potential for injustice that Madison was trying to avoid.

    If you look at the civil rights movement, you'll notice that its leaders went to great lengths to do more than simply argue "they have it so we should too." They and the people they were looking to persuade knew distinctions are not always bad, they can be very beneficial. Common examples of good distinctions are: I'm not allowed to park in handicap parking spots without being handicapped, and I'm not allowed to drive a car until I'm 16, and so forth.

    Civil Rights leaders strategically targeted their arguments to show that skin color was a benign trait and therefore was a baselss criteria for distinction. They argued that they were inherently entitled privileges and rights that society robbed them of becuase of that benign trait. They convinced a nation --that which society robbed them of, nature had entitled them to.

    It may have been humiliating, but they are to be held in honor and respect for their efforts. They argued from the standpoint that they had written languages before the white man came and told them they couldn't. They argued that they drank water from the same sources as white people before the white man came and said they couldn't. And most importantly they argued how they had freedom and opportunity before the white man came and tried to take it away from them.

    It is their faith in their independant entitlement that won the day. And not coincidentally that goal mirrors what James Madison also argued in Federalist Papers #51.

    As far as where did I get my definition of marriage, the same place everyone else did I guess. Marriage existed before Christianity, Judaism, and many of the favorite kicking-puppies of the self-titled intellectual elite. It existed through Greece and Sparta where homosexuality was all but mandated by the government. Actually I think it was in Sparta, but don't hold me to that. No single religion, state, or any other institution can be credited with its meaning and practice though each culture has different protocols surrouding its ceremony and husband-wife interaction.

    I can't say for sure where we all got this notion from. But its there, and it is probably the most universal constant in humanity.

  82. Anne Dufay on 18 Oct 2004

    Marriage has not, historically, been about "one man and one woman." It has been about one man, any number of women, any number of their shared progeny, and which of them would inherit the man's estate. "Carry on the family line, what ho?"

    It was also, remember those 'ol wedding morning bedsheet rituals, and that ‘ol chastity-belt thing - about other men. And, about securing the family line and a man’s property...

    Yes, property. The woman and children were the man's property. It's been about the law, and civil society attempts to adjudicate property/inheritance disputes, since it was invented.

    "Marriage" was never, until very recent times "for the children". It was for SOME of the children."

    Tribes (and villages :-)), like elephants, were for the children. But, that’s another argument.

    Those born on the wrong side of the sheet, or female, or second or later son, well, tough on them. They were the dross.

    "Marriage" didn't give a rip about them.

    All the sentimentalist’s arguments for marriages’ historical sanctity are sweet, but they lack critical substance. Just like the story of Adam and Eve. IMO.

    Civil unions exist, we need no new structure for same. And, if one so chooses, one can have a party at a church to celebrate, but if that church never existed, or if it disapears in a scandal over the minister impregnating his sister – your marriage will still be legal. It is a civil union, whether you choose to celebrate it by climbing a mountain, reciting your vows in a church or holding hands in a judges' chamber with a few good friends and family.

    And, guess what? It’s still about property. (Only today we have expanded our definition of who has a right to own the property, not be the property.) Still about inheritance rights and tax rights and the right to make decisions for a comatose spouse.

    So, if you vote for 36, you’re voting to disenfranchise a certain group (once it was women and slaves, then inter-racial couples, now we’re down to the most shyly defended class of all) of hundreds of the property rights you claim for yourself.

    Any pretty solipsism (and I use that term advisedly) you may choose to hide behind cannot change that fact.

  83. JS on 18 Oct 2004

    On Lawn,

    Thanks for the response. I guess I have two points to make.

    1) Madison is referring to ways in which society can protect the rights of the minority, in this case, committed gay and lesbian couples. M36, whether you’re for it or against it, limits the rights of committed gay and lesbian couples, I would argue arbitrarily and immorally. It seems bizarre and disingenuous that you would twist Madison’s words to actually justify M36 as beneficial to the minority. Do you actually think that "preserving distinction protects the minority, enforcing equality through homogenization threatens it"? You think M36 is good for the minority? This is not what Madison is saying. You cannot assert truth. I suppose this is one of the many fallacies of ideological thinking.

    2) “As far as where did I get my definition of marriage, the same place everyone else did I guess…No single religion, state, or any other institution can be credited with its meaning and practice though each culture has different protocols surrounding its ceremony and husband-wife interaction.” Exactly. Marriage is a relatively fluid thing. What makes you so sure that your idea or definition of marriage is the same as everyone else’s? I think marriage can be healthy and beneficial, both to the couple and society, even when it moves beyond a white man and a white woman.

    “I can't say for sure where we all got this notion from. But its there, and it is probably the most universal constant in humanity.” Here, I think you are dead wrong. I believe the most universal constant in humanity is the family, of which marriage is only one element. Family is a broad and beautiful thing, and I think it’s much more powerful, much more basic, and of greater value than anyone’s definition of marriage. And there is no doubt that M36 seeks to define marriage in a way that is arbitrarily hurtful to many Oregon families.

    I appreciate you taking the time to respond to my post, but I find your arguement stretched, desperate, and entirely unpersuasive.

  84. Anne Dufay on 18 Oct 2004

    Dear Lawn>>>"It existed through Greece and Sparta where homosexuality was all but mandated by the government. Actually I think it was in Sparta, but don't hold me to that."

    Gad. I pity the poor people who ever tried to teach you history. To them, may I say, sorry, don't feel too badly -- you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

    To you, may I say (and here I simply reiterate what I tell my 17 year-old on a regular basis. "There are the reference books. Look it up and make sure you know what you're talking about before you put pen to paper."

    (Lately I have felt rather superior, my eldest child has stolen my dictionary and when I want it I have to go dig it out of his hideous teenage bedroom...)

    Of course, perhaps you have no reference books? And, neither does your mother? You are a starving poor person, without a library card but with plenty of ignorant opinions. How very unusual...

    But! Hey! The magic of our times! You have the internet. So, if you had any interest in the truth, at all, you could have had the info at your fingertips in an instant. But, yeah, I know, how boring, Sparta? Greece? Yah, who cares, they're all OLD! And, there was no difference between them, right?????

    Gack. Gack. Gack. And, you talk Democracy???? (test - where does this word come from -- Greece, or Sparta? And, why?)

    Jesus. And, I mean that most respectfully.

    Sorry. I know we're all supposed to be very nice, while arguing the niceties of whether to share "our" property rights with "sinful outsiders" -- oooh -- don't you just understand why George and Georgia went to Portland after Georgia's brother died -- well, they never spent a day or night or even a phone call on him while he was dying, served him right, wages of sin and all that, but, he had some very valuable art, not to mention a garage-full of great and expensive tools ---
    "hey George, don't forget to grab the extendable ladder -- there's still a little room left in the truck!!!”

    -- but I had a call tonight from the slimiest, pro-36 propaganda-spewer- masquerading-as-a-poll -- Ick. Ick. Ick. I felt like I needed to wash my hands after talking to that creepy machine-pollster/propagandist. Yeah, Leni Riefenstahl lives!

    It reminded me of what all is at stake here, and, of the importance of fighting who, and what, you are fighting for.

  85. Referee on 18 Oct 2004

    Anne,

    You are clearly very earnest to make some point, but are not familiar with the concept of providing supporting evidence.

    1) "Marriage has not, historically, been about "one man and one woman." It has been about one man, any number of women, any number of their shared progeny, and which of them would inherit the man's estate."

    This is a pretty fantastic claim. You should follow with evidence of marriages that did not involve man-woman relationships.

    2) "It was also, remember those 'ol wedding morning bedsheet rituals, and that ‘ol chastity-belt thing...The woman and children were the man's property..."

    Ummmm. Those are all man-woman marriages. That's probably not the "proof" you were going for.

    3) "'Marriage' was never, until very recent times 'for the children'."

    OK. Now you are spouting more extraordinary claims. Surely what is to follow is an example of a societal interest in marriage not related to children.

    4) "It was for SOME of the children.'"

    Guess not. Once again, your only evidence goes more to refute your claim than support it.

    Consider how you would view someone who burst into a discussion making outlandish claims and offering no affirmative proof than an exasperated allusion to some hidden yet obvious knowledge. At best you would dismiss them as a crackpot, their little tirade convincing you only of their own lack of understanding. Unless that is the image you were hoping to present, I suggest you actually form your debate next time. Certainly if you are going to make extraordinary claims, bring extraordinary proof to support them.

  86. Referee on 18 Oct 2004

    Anne,

    1) "Gad. I pity the poor people who ever tried to teach you history...Lately I have felt rather superior..."

    Allow me to interrupt your little ego-stroking party to remind you we are discussing same-sex marriage, not your superiority complex or what low esteem you have for your 17 year old. You have devoted an entire post to complaining about the fact that differentiating between Greece and Sparta in no way impacts the discussion about same-sex "marriage." To top it off you use it as a springboard to launch an attack on your own child. This is identical behavior to doretta veering off of the same-sex "marriage" topic at any available exit hoping for some chance at a victory, and at who's expense you care not.

  87. On Lawn on 18 Oct 2004

    It has been about one man, any number of women

    I will guess you are referring to polygamy here since that was much more prevelant than marriages that consisted of more than two people. In the case of polygamy there were multiple marriages, one marriage per spouse.

    And you consider yourself a student of history. Tch tch.

    remember those 'ol wedding morning bedsheet rituals, and that ‘ol chastity-belt thing

    *Yawn* Marriage rituals were already noted as different from culture to culture. Read first, then write *after* you understand what was written.

    "Marriage" was never, until very recent times "for the children". It was for SOME of the children."

    Your game of semantics is uninteresting. Forgive me if I just let it get dropped. I'm interested in marriage as an institution. That you cite that some children were more priviledged than others does not negate the argument, or even address it very intelligently.

    All the sentimentalist’s arguments for marriages’ historical sanctity are sweet, but they lack critical substance.

    Wow, we have another person who sets themseves up as a judge of the arguments while showing little (if any) ability to do so. How unique.

    *Yawn*

    Sorry, that one snuck up on me.

    Also, your "woman as property" thing is incorrect. For much of mesopotamia marriage came as a business contract between husband and wife. In Egypt, there was even a matriarchal order. That you conflate concubine with wives again is just, *yaaaawn* (oops, sorry) uninteresting.

    It must be getting late.

    JS,

    Allright, here we go...

    Madison is referring to ways in which society can protect the rights of the minority, in this case, committed gay and lesbian couples.

    You and I are the ones that apply the priciples to gay and lesbian couples. I wouldn't assume that Madison had any opinion on measure 36.

    M36, whether you’re for it or against it, limits the rights of committed gay and lesbian couples, I would argue arbitrarily and immorally.

    When you get around to arguing its arbirary and immoral nature, wake me up.

    It seems bizarre and disingenuous that you would twist Madison’s words to actually justify M36 as beneficial to the minority.

    There are two different people in this debate. Those that have read Federalist #51, and those that have read what other people say it is about. I'll leave it as an excercise for the reader to determine which is which.

    Do you actually think that "preserving distinction protects the minority, enforcing equality through homogenization threatens it"?

    The question should really be, did Madison think so? Again, an exercise for the reader.

    You think M36 is good for the minority?

    Prove me wrong.

    Marriage is a relatively fluid thing. What makes you so sure that your idea or definition of marriage is the same as everyone else’s?

    Not everyone elses. There are always far outliers when you deal with absolutes in humanity. You tell me something that is more universally understood than marriage being between a man and a woman. I've found it to be the most universal concept I've studied.

    And while (I really get bored of repeating myself, couldn't y'all just start reading more carefully?) Marriage protocols and rituals have been very fluid its coupling of a man and female has been a near universal feature.

    Family is a broad and beautiful thing, and I think it’s much more powerful, much more basic, and of greater value than anyone’s definition of marriage.

    Oh no, you are waxing Nician on me. Could you get more ambigious and bland? I mean if you really tried could would you even be able to get more vaporous in your description?

    Marriage is the only familial bond where the two people chose each other and form a new family. Every other familial bond is either automatic or in place of something automatic (i.e. adoption).

    Do you really need an ammendment describing what a mother daughter, father son (and vice versa) relationship is too?

    You post has no merit. Honestly it comes across as, "I never thought of it that way" but in a spirit of complaint and disdain. No reasoning is provided that I am our even could be wrong. You simply "never heard of it" and that is that.

    Like so many others it is the narrowness of your blinders and the conditioning of your educators that provides the balking. *Yawn*, boy sorry it really is getting late.

    Anne,

    Wow two posts!

    I pity the poor people who ever tried to teach you history.

    I pity the people that have to wade through paragraphs upon paragraphs of feigned indignant commentary to get to the meat of your complaint. Its like a dish piled with garnish and one escargo in the middle. And by the time you get around to it, its wandered off the plate.

    So I'll give you a mulligan. Come again and say distinctly what your complaint is. You can take as many words as you wish, as long as you actually get around to expressing it.

    You don't even do that very well, it came across as "snobbier than thou". Like a person trying to be witty at a party who finds his/her audience dissipating yet keeps speaking because they love the sound of their own voice.

  88. Referee on 18 Oct 2004

    1) "Do you actually think that 'preserving distinction protects the minority, enforcing equality through homogenization threatens it'?"

    Clearly. Let's try a little thought experiment. Pretend you are a non-Muslim in a Muslim majority. If the majority redefines you to be Muslim, do you feel protected or threatened? Now consider what would have become of the civil rights movement if blacks had tried to define themselves as "whites" rather than maintaining their distinction. Madison's point is not so unobvious as you would have us believe.

    2) "You think M36 is good for the minority?"

    Obviously. And good for the majority, too. Same-sex couples are different in capacity and capability from male-female unions and each should be allowed to go its own way without carrying or being confined by the other. Need I remind anybody that homosexuals themselves say same-sex marriage would damage their community? Oh, sure, who cares what they think. They would just be soooo much happier if they imitated us heterosexuals. Don't worry, JS, I'm sure they'll thank you for it later.

    3) "I find your arguement stretched, desperate, and entirely unpersuasive."

    Oooooo, big surprise.

  89. Elaine of Kalilily on 19 Oct 2004

    Anne, thank you, thank you. thank you. My six decades of standing up to those who are totally unaware of the patriarchal pragmatism that forced how and why certain human connections (and missed connections) developed have exhausted me. I'm so glad that there are women like you in your generation who continue to have the energy and courage to put the facts out there. It's obvious that they don't want to be bothered by the facts; they know what they believe. Maybe they need to be provided with an historically accurate reading list. Hmmppff.

  90. JS on 19 Oct 2004

    Lawn and Referee,

    "Pretend you are a non-Muslim in a Muslim majority. If the majority redefines you to be Muslim, do you feel protected or threatened? Now consider what would have become of the civil rights movement if blacks had tried to define themselves as "whites" rather than maintaining their distinction."

    This anaolgy is so backward and convoluted. What are you saying? Is it morally permissible for the Muslim majority to prevent the non-Muslim minority from marrying each other? If non-Muslims are allowed the same government sanctioned rights as the Muslim majority they lose that which makes them non-Muslim? It's a particular set of practices or beliefs that make them a minority, not their ability to get married. They're not "selling out" their minority credentials by attempting to access the same civil rights as the majority.

    Niether of you have argued why the government should be in the marriage-granting racket. Why should we institutionalize discrimination through government?

    You try to dress up your bigoted backwards beliefs in fancy rhetoric, but it doesn't change the fact that you're bigoted and backwards. You're on the losing side of the battle against modernity and progress, and it's a shame you're willing to hurt Oregon families in order to demonstrate you've still got some fight in you.

    might work if, in your scenario, the Muslim majority was

  91. JS on 19 Oct 2004

    Regarding the ridiculousness of Referee and Lawn invoking the civil rights movement in their arguments supporting M36...

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2004-03-24-king-marriage_x.htm
    "The widow of Martin Luther King Jr. called gay marriage a civil rights issue, denouncing a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban it.

    "Constitutional amendments should be used to expand freedom, not restrict it, Coretta Scott King said Tuesday.

    "'Gay and lesbian people have families, and their families should have legal protection, whether by marriage or civil union,' she said. 'A constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages is a form of gay bashing and it would do nothing at all to protect traditional marriages.'"

    Sorry guys, but Coretta Scott King is more credible on the civil rights issue than you are. Seems like the widow of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would be AGAINST M36.

  92. On Lawn on 19 Oct 2004

    Niether of you have argued why the government should be in the marriage-granting racket.

    Your resolute blindness neither compells me to repeat myself nor puts you in a favorable light. If you wish, re-read this thread referencing parental responsibility and good governance. Then when you see it you can make an informed response.

    your bigoted backwards beliefs ... you're bigoted and backwards ... You're on the losing side of the battle against modernity and progress ... you're willing to hurt Oregon families

    You just keep telling yourself that, if it makes you feel any better. Why I would have expected you to have met me on the battleground of Federalist #51, or otherwise taken on the issues of this debate that you were invited to participate in with my last post. Instead softly inculcating mantra to yourself seems to be your response.

    And, you just keep telling yourself that.

    Elaine,

    I'm sure Anne will appreciate that you see the Emperor's clothes also.

  93. On Lawn on 19 Oct 2004

    Wow, you raised the "I'm quoting someone who married a civil rights leader" flat. A flag used to sluff a very gross misunderstanding of equal rights.

    Nowadays when I hear people talk about the Equal Protection Clause in the constitution, it sounds more like they are talking about another constitutional ammendment, the ERA. It didn't pass. But out there in my minds eye I see someone saying "hey, I don't worry about ERA, we'll just act as if its passed and if anyone questions us we'll point them to Warren's interpretation of the 14th ammendment".

    "Gays" are equally protected under the law. If a "gay" is accused of a crime he/she has the same access to a jury and an attorney that anyone does. If a "gay" is beat up by a cop, he/she has legal recourse. If a "Gay" wants to get married he/she has the exact same opportunity to do so as I do.

    The 14th ammendment fixes exactly what Jesse Jackson states does not apply to Homosexuals.

    "The comparison with slavery is a stretch in that some slave masters were gay, in that gays were never called three-fifths human in the Constitution and in that they did not require the Voting Rights Act to have the right to vote," Jackson remarked in an address at Harvard Law School.

    Another scarey trend that is forthcoming in the debate is the forgetting of the word "race" in Justice Warren's decision. No longer do we hear debate along the lines of "racial discrimintation" but we just hear "discrimination" is wrong under Warren's pretext. George Orwell describes a society where any type of discrimination is wrong when he penned "1984". And the use of Big Brother Judge to get this unity is a big no-no in my book.

    Marriage does not discriminate on race or gender, becuase both men and women of all races are allowed to get married! So why in all blue blazes is marriage all of a sudden labeled as violating equal protection? It doesn't.

    The real issue here for gays is that gays don't have children. Thus, as long as raising one's offspring is the norm, children will be "assaulted" by the idea of heterosexual normalcy. Government isn't the applicator of this phenomenon, that heterosexual unions produce children. Yet government is being condemned by this minorty for it? This just does not make sence.

    I'm always a proponent that education will always triumph. And the people braking the law should be thrown in jail. The Judges wishing to legislate from the bench should be corrected with constitutional action. And let the chips of democracy fall where they may.

    Mine falls in endorsing measure 36.

  94. JS on 19 Oct 2004

    I only bring up Coretta Scott King's comments because of your repeated references to the civil rights movement. As I was not a participant in said movement, or even alive at the time, I thought it was of value to look to someone who was alive and very involved at that time.

    How is your perspective on the civil rights movement as it relates to equal legal protection of committed gay couples better than Martin Luther King Jr.'s widow?

    How does Constitutional Amendment 36 expand rights or make things more equitable?

  95. On Lawn on 19 Oct 2004

    How is your perspective on the civil rights movement as it relates to equal legal protection of committed gay couples better than Martin Luther King Jr.'s widow?

    You can decide that for yourself, I figure your powers of comprehension work deeper than naming the person who wrote it. Well, I haven't seen such comprehension yet but I hold out faith that it is there.

  96. JS on 19 Oct 2004

    Well, you can call me stupid or you can answer the question I posed.

    Your previous statements implied you had some greater understanding of the civil rights movement's relation to equal legal protection of committed gay couples than. Greater than, say, someone whose civil rights were being violated, and who was one of the activists fighting against discriminatory institutions perpetuated by the government. I was just giving you another opportunity to elaborate on your superior understanding.

    An opportunity you've evidently declined to seize.

  97. JS on 19 Oct 2004

    Ref and Lawn, I'm just wondering why you've decided to post so much on this particular blog. And how you find the time. Do you do this professionally? Are you hired trolls? Your posts sound very professional.

    How long have you been studying court cases and rhetoric? Have you used random insult generators to provide any content for your posts?

    I know you don't like it when people go on "tangents" but I'm feeling a little loopy from the communication breakdown that's occured on this thread.

    I'm amazed at how efficiently people can talk right past each other.

    What is it that you think is driving the people that have objected to most of your arguements, those who object to M36? Do you think they hate marriage? Are they simply not as intelligent as you? Do you think they want to hurt you and your families?

    These are sincere questions. I'm just curious.

  98. Anne Dufay on 19 Oct 2004

    >>>Niether (sic) of you have argued why the government should be in the marriage-granting racket.

    Ok, once again, small words. Marriage is a civil contract - it's roots are in the eternal human struggle -- who gets the damn donkey when daddy dies.

    Got it? Besides that basic function it varies remarkably across cultures. But, that's its basis, that's why it is a civil contract. That's why it is so pervasive.

    In other words -- the development of contract law preceded romantic love or Biblical proscription. So we came up with the concept of marriage.

  99. Anne Dufay on 19 Oct 2004

    >>>>I will guess you are referring to polygamy here since that was much more prevelant (sic) than marriages that consisted of more than two people. In the case of polygamy there were multiple marriages, one marriage per spouse.

    Hum, I thought I was being clear, but I guess I should have spoken more slowly. Marriage is about a man, who may perhaps have children by one or more women. Sorry – I don’t mean to shock you, but it was a problem from time to time...

    He will be married to only one of those (at a time and given we’re not talking polygamy, which certainly is a common marriage structure in many parts of the world – but that was NOT my point.) – oh dear – is this getting too difficult to follow?

    My point was that marriage was conceived around lineage and inheritance rights. (Didn’t I go over that at one point? Huh. Must not of, you wouldn’t have been so confused if I had) Anyway, one of those woman’s child(ren) (depending on primogeniture laws and other such cultural differences) will get his hut, his castle, his cow and his name. That because **** drum roll, here’s the point **** she’s married to him, and the other woman are not.

    So, the others’ kids can howl in the wilderness for all anyone cares.

    I hope I made myself clear now, but if not, let me know, I’ll be happy to go over it some more. I know you don’t have access to a proper library or a good mother to help you understand stuff...

    >>>And you consider yourself a student of history. Tch tch.

    Uh. What? You don’t understand the meaning of inheritance rights? Was I that hard to understand? Or, was it the dictionary thing again you poor dear boy?

    >>>*Yawn* Marriage rituals were already noted as different from culture to culture. Read first, then write *after* you understand what was written.

    Clarification – I am not talking rituals for curiosity’s sake or cultural distinction - - I am talking about how they are, across all variations, all about the same thing -- about securing lineage and property rights. Why is this such a hard concept for you to grasp?

    >>>Your game of semantics is uninteresting. Forgive me if I just let it get dropped. I'm interested in marriage as an institution. That you cite that some children were more priviledged (sic) than others does not negate the argument, or even address it very intelligently.

    I too, am talking marriage as an institution. I am arguing that marriage, an institution, was not developed to protect children, but to protect a man’s property and lineage rights. Again, using small words, NOT designed to protect children. Just, as I mentioned, and purely by virtue of the accident of birth - some of them.

    Property and inheritance rights. Now augmented by a slew of tax rights. That’s what you want to steal.

  100. Referee on 19 Oct 2004

    JS -

    Coming in late to the discussion carries with it the burden of keeping up. Read what has been written. Asking questions that show you haven't doesn't make you credible. More, it brings to mind "don't confuse me with the facts."

    1) "Niether of you have argued why the government should be in the marriage-granting racket."

    Actually, we both have. But I'll add you to the list of those who think marriage should be abolished. If you had read this thread instead of just regurgitating on it you would realize that is a tangential discussion and a weak position from which to argue for anyone to be married.

    2) "Why should we institutionalize discrimination through government?"

    You would also know that your deliberately imprecise use of the word "discrimination" has already been tried, and a mite more cleverly, at that.

    3) "your bigoted backwards beliefs...you're bigoted and backwards..."

    You would also know your self-righteous "you disagree with me because you're a sinner" retort has already been tried, and with no more success. You are merely capitulating the logical argument and hoping you can win the name-calling one instead.

    4) "Well, you can call me stupid or you can answer the question I posed."

    Wise words coming from someone who just got done calling his opponents backward and bigoted and after declining to comment or even minorly fill in the holes punched in your spurious argument by such renowned "backward bigots" as Messrs. Yuhas and McKellar way back in post 21.

    5) "Greater than, say, someone whose civil rights were being violated, and who was one of the activists fighting against discriminatory institutions perpetuated by the government."

    Jesse Jackson would object to your reach for the race card here. Noted, though, that by your way of thinking, marriage is a "discrimintary institution perpetuated by the government."

    6) "Do you do this professionally?...Your posts sound very professional."

    Why, thank you. I know that must have been a very difficult compliment to make. No, I am not a professional writer or blogger. I program computers for a living. This is simply an important topic.

    7) "I'm amazed at how efficiently people can talk right past each other."

    I'm getting used to it. The actual issue is marriage, and its impact on society. I have pointed out it has the most profound of impacts on society, but you and others don't want to acknowledge that impact. Instead you try to turn this into a homosexual rights issue (over the objections of homosexuals, objections you also fail to address), or a constitutional rights issue, which is also debunked (see hospitals and baseball teams, above). Rhetorical diversions, smoke-screens, and finally name-calling are employed to attempt to shout down dissenting views for fear of understanding them, all in place of actually dealing with marriage as an institution. When the mask does slip and people do talk about marriage instead of these other topics they say marriage should be abolished.

    8) "What is it that you think is driving the people that have objected to most of your arguements, those who object to M36?"

    It matters not to me what their motives are, and I am in no position to judge them. As someone who objects strenuously to marriage, and who has deployed all of the improper tactics I refer to, above, you are in a much better position to comment on motives. What motivates you?

    9) "Do you think they hate marriage?"

    Many, including yourself, claim to.

    10) "Are they simply not as intelligent as you?"

    Intelligence has nothing to do with winning or losing a debate. I think some of the people, particularly those who try to start side arguments, fear they look less intelligent because they can't make their point in the face of opposition, but that is their own imagination. There are many examples of geniuses throughout history who have been wrong on some point or another.

    11) "Do you think they want to hurt you and your families?"

    Some, yes. Most have argued that they simply don't see the consequences of what they propose and I take them at their word. Others, however, have used the discussion as a springboard to attack others around them, from their mother to their son, to men in general. Camille Paglia, herself an atheist, says her experience is that many same-sex marriage proponents see this as a stick-in-the=eye to Christians.

  101. Referee on 19 Oct 2004

    Anne -

    I'm glad you think your argument that marriage is not about children, but about lineage is clear. Someone has to. Those of us not possessed of your dizzying intellect would see your argument that marriage is not about children because it is about children as being contradictory, not "clear."

    Further, your attempt to turn this into a "we hate men" topic, which is an absurdly off-topic point, falls to the fact that matriarchal societies also practiced marriage and to the fact that children all have mothers as well as fathers.

    Finally, your idea that marriage is only about property rights is disproven simply by showing cases of inheritance outside of marriage, and cases of marriage inside communal or other systems without inheritance.

  102. On Lawn on 19 Oct 2004

    Your previous statements implied you had some greater understanding [...]

    Your posts sound very professional. [...]

    Are they simply not as intelligent as you? [...]

    Flattery will get you nowhere ;)

    Well, you can call me stupid or you can answer the question I posed.

    I can do both and neither also. I chose to do both. The answer to your question lies in that I expect what my arguments are to win the day, not who I am. I believe my post communicated that well enough already.

    I was just giving you another opportunity to elaborate on your superior understanding.

    Well well! Please accept a compilation of my greatest hits in leiu of me figuring out yet another way to get my point across ;)

    Are you hired trolls?

    I am neither hired nor solicited, nor am I troll.

    How long have you been studying court cases and rhetoric?

    Boy, its hard to pick a starting date. Rhetoric hmmmm? Does playground banter count? What am I saying, this is Communique! A long, long time.

    Have you used random insult generators to provide any content for your posts?

    Man, what a jip! It said "guaranteed to fool JS" on the cover of the software box... Sorry, its hard to take a question like that seriously. But seriously, I write without the aid of a computer for insult writing or spell checking (as noted by others).

    And why do people say "no" on measure 36? Simply put, they don't appreciate marriage to its fullest. Instead they concentrate on the "whats in it for me" and miss the real treasure.

  103. LC on 20 Oct 2004

    To Referree and OnLawn,

    Referree from post #100:

    Suggested that questioning whether the "government should be in the marriage-granting racket" is tantamount to arguing "marriage should be abolished."

    This seems odd. Do you have such little faith in the influence of the religous institutions of this country that without "government sanctioned marriage licenses" marriage would essentially be "abolished"?

    Didn't peg you as the big government type.

    Do you think we need government to enforce charitable giving as well?

    OnLawn mentioned that he used to be a libertarian in post #19:

    I understand that there are a lot of former libertarians who find that ideology politically impractical, however, how does one make the philosophic 180 from libertarianism to ideological communitarianism? (Assuming that label fits).

    You are obviously both rhetorically skilled, but I'm having trouble figuring out how your M-36 postion fits into your overall political philosophy. How do you view the proper role of government in society when you aren't arguing for it to regulate marriage?


  104. On Lawn on 20 Oct 2004

    How do you view the proper role of government in society when you aren't arguing for it to regulate marriage?

    First, a moment on marriage in the government. I argue that the definition and protection of marriage is important in order to protect family governance. It is my right of self-governance that I am fighting for when I demand government to respect it for what it is.

    As has been noted, having any contract based on a romantic relationship be called a marriage specifically dilutes (if not completely abolishes) the recognition of the political family unit. It dilutes to the point that it is difficult to hang on to self-governance in marriage because of the baggage of considering it just a love-contract. Really should the government be interested in the love-business? No. Should it be interested in the political unit where children are placed in the immediate governance of parents?

    Whats ironic about that argument is the dillema of my former libertarians between governance and parenting when they should be asking what the difference is between good governance (or parenting) and abusive governance.

    For me, I have an answer. Lets take drugs for instance. I remember about four years ago I wrote up an honest proposal to legalize drugs. It placed much of the power of policing to professional drug dealers. Pharmasists, bar owners, etc... And it was up to them to decide to sell or not based on the condition of the person they were selling to. Much like doctors do today. These people were then mostly self-regulated by guilds that they were free to form or disolve on their own. The guilds would be held responsible for the pharmasists under it, kicking out bad doctors and such.

    Another attempt so honest and meticulous I have not ever seen. But the key issue that it addressed turned out exposing the agenda of my fellow (at that time) libertarians.

    You see it was built on accountability. And even though the guilds and other associations were free to form as they wished, and be regulated only by lawsuit according to people who feel themselves harmed by the user's abuse or pharmasists neglect or guild stupidity, my fellow libertarians did not like it. They simply wanted to smoke their weed in peace, no accountability.

    Well there is only one problem with that. Such a concept does not exist. Nature is a harsh judge, and will always hold people accountable. Vigilantes will raise up and hold accountable crimes that they feel have been brought on them by the actions of others. And then we have children who for the neglect of parents making selfish decisions are harmed the most.

    There is a payment, an economy all around us. And every action comes at a price. You can even draw up good and evil on this axis. Evil (to me) is when you make others pay the price for your actions. Good is when you get what you want at the price you want, paying for it yourself. Good and evil are more than this, but it is sufficient to show that this is a proper moral axis.

    When I say price, I should say that I mean exclusively just the consequences of the actions. Not the monitary cost in doing something. Nature is a harsh extractor of consequences. Often would sooner kill someone than teach them.

    What government does is step in with a proposal. I call this the doctrine of replaced consequences. Government can see someone heading to certain natural death by the actions they are leading. Or the deaths of others. Now government can't raise the dead, but it can try to intervene. When it intervenes it exacts its own contrived set of consequences, a replacement for the ultimate price that is far to late for intervention. So you get a speeding ticket, a drunk driving ticket, or any other number of citations instead of dying.

    Now the reason the libertarians try to distinguish between parenting and government is because they hold to a fantasy that establishing these replacement consequences is removing their choice in the matter. They can't do drugs because there is a law against it.

    Well, fundamental to anyone observing society is the understanding that laws do not make decisions for you. The large number of drug users that manage to accomplish their desires inspite of the law is just one of many examples that show this. People still speed, people still drive drunk, etc...

    But what it does do is give cause for pause. It makes sure that people who really want to run off the cliff, really-really wanted to run off the cliff. Because there is not turning back and saying "oops I made a mistake".

    And brings us to the importance that the family unit has in governance. It adds the first, most compassionate, most attentive step in that plan of governance. And it allows everyone who wants to the capacity to practice and learn governance for themselves. A time out is easier than prison time. A grounding at a young age is more instructive than unemployment later.

    Not only do the children benefit from instruction from people who understand them best (part of sharing genetic code) they get representation by both women and men in that governance! A boy learns about women from his mom, and a girl is understood and needs represented by someone who went through the unique experiences of being a girl herself. And vice versa.

    Its not the way it always happens, but its such a great way to do things that it must be preserved. All my arguments boil down to the belief that only such equal participation in family governance has the credibility to demand recognition from the state.

    Many disagree pointing to the number of families already that do not live in this system. Well we know that the children are disadvantaged in those situations, yet there are those that do pretty well in any case. To bring in an analogy, do you change the requirement for tires to be inflated because not all tires can inflate? How about road debris that flattens tires? What do people do then if its against the law to drive on flat tires?

    Well the law is there for everyones protection, the consequences are too great to turn a blind eye. Yet practicality demands an exception in the matter. But writing the exception into the law as equal does nothing but encourage danger.

    Well, I hope that answered your question. Oh and I'm not big government. I think a streamlined government means putting more on the states, and the states putting more on the cities, and returning more governance to the families. And that won't happen while people think marriage is just a romantic contract.

  105. Mark on 20 Oct 2004

    I guess the one thing that makes the "yes on 36" faction's position seem disingenuous to me is that, for all their "we don't hate gays and this isn't discrimination" talk, there's very little attempt to enter into a dialogue about what they WOULD find acceptable. I suppose this goes for the "No on 36" faction, too, who likely believe that they should be aiming for the stars of govenrnment-sanctioned same-sex marriage, because in all liklihood they may end up with civil unions.

    Anyway, my point is this. With marriage, or without it, same-sex couples will continue to get involved in long-term relationships. In many of these, children will be involved. In many, many of these, common property will be held. If we DON'T allow same-sex couples marriage or something with the same governmental "regulation," what alternative to we offer? Is the thought that making life difficult for gay people will be some sort of deterrent to their "deviant" behavior?

    I'm curious for you "No on 36" people to start talking about what you think SHOULD be done for same-sex couples who have joint or separate custody of children, and who own joint property.

    If you think you have already answered, maybe you could just be sort of succinct so people of my limited intellect can understand your plan.

  106. On Lawn on 21 Oct 2004

    I'm curious for you "No on 36" people to start talking about what you think SHOULD be done for same-sex couples who have joint or separate custody of children, and who own joint property.

    As a person who endorses 36, I point that marriage is an institution that has withstood millenia of use, and has a large variety of culture it has existed in. Because, it is useful. Because it is useful the state recognizes it.

    My simple proposal is to let same-sex couples evolve their own relationship, and not hijack another. Then as the states give and take responsibilities (in a power from and to the people kind of way) it will find what is useful in same-sex couples.

    Its not so much "discrimination" as preserving distinction and diversity (reference: Federalist #51). But if you must provide such a broad definition of "discrimination" to the table in order to use that label you will find that you cannot avoid discrimination because as thinking human beings we all have our own preferences.

  107. Referee on 21 Oct 2004

    1) "Do you have such little faith in the influence of the religous institutions of this country that without 'government sanctioned marriage licenses' marriage would essentially be 'abolished'?"

    Clever attempt to shift context. The discussion is about whether the government should recognize same-sex marriages. Your response is that government should not recognize any marriage. Shifting context to all of marriage allows you to raise the specter of jack-booted government thugs breaking into churches to stop weddings, a more winnable tangent. The topic is government recognition of marriage and you already weighed in on the side of none whatsoever. As an aside, Measure 36 does not require government to recognize marriage.

    You had plenty of earlier opportunities to play this shifting context game. Saying same-sex couples can't marry is absolutely false in your context of a purely religious or private marriage. Many churches throughout the Portland area have been performing same-sex weddings for years. What is at question currently is whether these religions should dictate what the state recognizes as a marriage.

    2) "Didn't peg you as the big government type."

    I understand that you would like to divert onto a Libertarian tangent here. Saying government should conciously avoid infringing on families in no way invites "big government."

    3) "Do you think we need government to enforce charitable giving as well?"

    While you meant this as an absurd strawman, it actually exposes your contradiction. A few years ago a baseball fan caught Sammy Sosa's record breaking home-run baseball. The fan graciously gave the ball back to Mr. Sosa and immediately their were questions about tax implications. Many suggested the charitable act was taxable to the tune of $2M. Such government intrusion would have prevented this simple act of human kindness. Again, asking government to stay out of the way in no way invites "big government."

  108. Mark on 21 Oct 2004

    My simple proposal is to let same-sex couples evolve their own relationship, and not hijack another. Then as the states give and take responsibilities (in a power from and to the people kind of way) it will find what is useful in same-sex couples.

    So this would be invented from scratch, rather than starting with some existing institution as a template? Are civil unions acceptable to the majority of "Yes on 36"? In some states (Utah, for example) their amendments aim not only to define marriage as between a man and woman, but also to outlaw any sort of contract resembling marriage between same-sex persons. Is this sort of approach also acceptable to you as someone who is so strongly opposed to same-sex marriage?

    In other words, do you think Measure 36 goes far enough? Why do you think this needs to be solved through a constitutional amendment vs. legislation?

    I'm also curious to know whether you subscribe to the whole "activist judges" view of the world. Having recently read the opinion from the recent Washington State ruling, I'd have a hard time calling that judicial activism, but once again, it might just be my limited intellect not seeing something that is, in fact, there.

  109. JS on 21 Oct 2004

    In 1896, the Supreme Court of the United States heard the case Plessy vs. Ferguson, and endorsed the idea of “separate but equal” in deciding against Mr. Plessy. It seems that, today, many legal experts consider it one of the most shameful decisions ever issued by the United States Supreme Court. Speaking for a seven-person majority, Justice Henry Brown wrote:

    "A statute which implies merely a legal distinction between the white and colored races -- a distinction which is founded in the color of the two races, and which must always exist so long as white men are distinguished from the other race by color -- has no tendency to destroy the legal equality of the two races...The object of the [Fourteenth] Amendment was undoubtedly to enforce the absolute equality of the two races before the law, but in the nature of things it could not have been intended to abolish distinctions based upon color, or to enforce social, as distinguished from political equality, or a commingling of the two races upon terms unsatisfactory to either."

    The lone dissenter, Justice John Harlan, showed incredible foresight when he wrote:

    "Our Constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens. In respect of civil rights, all citizens are equal before the law...In my opinion, the judgment this day rendered will, in time, prove to be quite as pernicious as the decision made by this tribunal in the Dred Scott case...The present decision, it may well be apprehended, will not only stimulate aggressions, more or less brutal and irritating, upon the admitted rights of colored citizens, but will encourage the belief that it is possible, by means of state enactments, to defeat the beneficient purposes which the people of the United States had in view when they adopted the recent amendments of the Constitution."

    As Ref and Lawn are fond of doing, substitute “sexual-orientation” for “race”, “gay” or “lesbian” for “black” and see how the above opinions read. To me, it seems just as shameful. All their fancy rhetoric and talk of "preserving distinction" (M36 is GOOD for the gay and lesbian community) rings hollow.

    As I posted earlier: the people pushing M36 (just like the people who pushed "separate but equal") are on the losing side of the battle against modernity and progress, and it's a shame they're willing to hurt Oregon families in order to demonstrate they've still got some fight left.

  110. Referee on 21 Oct 2004

    JS,

    Not that you're having trouble keeping up or anything, but this is from way back in post 2:


    Constitutional protections are extended to individuals, not couples and whether an individual chooses not to marry because of sexual orientation or any other reason should be of no concern to the court.

    Not only is your diversion handled way back at the beginning of this thread, but both your majority and dissenting opinion quotes reinforce the notion of constitutional protections applying to individuals. You merely strawman when you suggest supporters of Measure 36 would want it any other way.

    As for our "fancy rhetoric," about preserving distinction, you'll notice the civil rights movement wasn't won by blacks saying they were whites. You'll notice they had no trouble preserving their distinction. As for preserving distinction, please address your comments to Messrs. Yuhas and McKellar as they are equally convinced that same-sex couples are not marriages. This is what, your 8th attempt to avoid their arguments? All this avoidance just reinforces the idea that they are correct and you are wrong.

  111. LC on 21 Oct 2004

    Referree from 107:

    "You had plenty of earlier opportunities to play this shifting context game. Saying same-sex couples can't marry is absolutely false in your context of a purely religious or private marriage. Many churches throughout the Portland area have been performing same-sex weddings for years. What is at question currently is whether these religions should dictate what the state recognizes as a marriage."


    I never said same-sex couples couldn't marry in a purely religious or private marriage. My question for you is whether you believe the government should be in the licensing game at all, and if so, why it should favor one religion's definition of marriage over another?

    Undoubtedly you realize that the government sanctioned marital status creates benefits and burdens based upon that classification. Benefits for those who are married and burdens for others who are taxed more or are required to treat them differently to enable those benefits.

    I'd like to see the burdens eliminated as much as possible. One way to do that is to expand the benefits to everyone so that eventually the burden is spread evenly and distinction becomes meaningless.

    Take Affirmative Action as an example. I'd rather do away with it, but if that isn't feasible I'd rather see so many categories added to it that eventually everyone qualifies for it and it becomes meaningless.

    Same with hate crimes. Vandalizing a political office is as much a hate crime in my book as vandalizing a church. If every act of criminal intimidation is also a hate crime, the distinction eventually disappears.

    If 36 passes, I hope to eventually see close relatives, polygamists, college roommates and all manner of consenting adults jumping on the marriage benefits gravy train.

    The reason I bring it up is because, deep down, I think you probably agree with me on this. I think you post these arguments for sport, just to confuse and piss off all the Rosa Parks wanna-be's on this list.

    Am I right?

    Also, your baseball analogy was a dodge. I expected better from you. Even so, let me make my point clearer:

    I gather that you approve using government force to sanction the traditional definition of marriage for the purpose of maintaining social cohesion. Therefore, beyond the protection of individual rights, maintaining social cohesion is a worthy role for government in your book.

    Am I reading your position correctly?

    Ok. Then, assuming that traditional charitable giving (the from the rich to the poor variety, not involving millionaire baseball player beneficiaries) is also an institution leading to greater social cohesion, is it appropriate for the government use its power to support this institution as well?


  112. Referee on 22 Oct 2004

    1) "I never said same-sex couples couldn't marry in a purely religious or private marriage."

    Never said you did, only that you know you are attempting to change context. You have seen statements to this effect throughout this thread and never objected. If you had been operating under the pretext you are attempting to shift to you would have objected to these false statements. I'll take this evasion as a non-denial denial with respect to the shifting context charge.

    2) "My question for you is whether you believe the government should be in the licensing game at all..."

    Clearly, and do keep up. I don't think I could have been clearer.

    3) "...why it should favor one religion's definition of marriage over another?"

    It should not. You know religion should not be dictating to government yet you raise this question? Government should establish its own definition based on its own needs, and that is what it does. Catholic marriage, for example, requires a Catholic priest to perform it. Government makes no such requirement. In fact, government allows non-religious officials to perform weddings.

    4) "Undoubtedly you realize that the government sanctioned marital status creates benefits and burdens based upon that classification. Benefits for those who are married and burdens for others who are taxed more..."

    You attempt to portray marriage as weighing down the rest of society. Government recognition brings burden as well as benefit to married couples. Likewise it brings benefit and burden to society. Any two-way agreement does this.

    5) "I'd like to see the burdens eliminated as much as possible."

    Name them and we can discuss.

    6) "One way to do that is to expand the benefits to everyone so that eventually the burden is spread evenly and distinction becomes meaningless."

    Now who's arguing for big government? By eliminating distinction, government becomes even more intrusive and the intrusion becomes more arbitrary.

    7) "If 36 passes, I hope to eventually see close relatives, polygamists, college roommates and all manner of consenting adults jumping on the marriage benefits gravy train."

    Well, now we know where you are coming from, and this goes even further than simply abolishing government distinction. Interesting, too, that you don't see marriage as having anything to do with children, merely as an arbitrary "benefits gravy train."

    8) "The reason I bring it up is because, deep down, I think you probably agree with me on this."

    No, I'm afraid you're quite alone on this one.

    9) "I think you post these arguments for sport, just to confuse and piss off all the Rosa Parks wanna-be's on this list."

    I post when something is important, not for "sport," and not to "piss off" anybody. I'm really not even posting to any of the "Rosa Parks wanna-be's" at all.

    10) "Also, your baseball analogy was a dodge. I expected better from you."

    Sorry to disappoint, but I'll add this to your list of non-denial denials. The baseball example (where did you come up with analogy?) shows how government action can prevent something important. The example stands.

    11) "I gather that you approve using government force to sanction the traditional definition of marriage for the purpose of maintaining social cohesion."

    Nothing could be further from the truth. Government should not be in the business of forcing anyone to marry. Every child created obligates society and society has every right to mitigate that obligation by requiring the mating couple to shoulder the bulk of that burden. In return, society agrees to stay out of the way of the married couple in the discharge of their responsibility. In order to stay out of the couple's way, society must recognize them.

    12) "I gather that you approve using government force to sanction the traditional definition of marriage for the purpose of maintaining social cohesion."

    Actually, I have no idea what you mean by "social cohesion." My ability to drive to work relatively safe in the assumption that the other drivers will be on the right side of the road and that the guy who wants my job isn't going to knife me promotes "social cohesion." Enforcing private contracts allows me to safely assume that giving the bank my money I will be able to get it back, or giving a store my money I will be able to take home merchandise. Government enforcement of these standards of conduct bring us together as a society and so clearly promote "social cohesion." You have some other definition in mind, however, as you seem to say government should not be involved in it.

    13) "Ok. Then, assuming that traditional charitable giving (the from the rich to the poor variety, not involving millionaire baseball player beneficiaries) is also an institution leading to greater social cohesion, is it appropriate for the government use its power to support this institution as well?"

    You're simply going around in circles again. Government should not force anyone to give charitably any more than it should force people to marry. Government should only stay out of the way. When a soup kitchen hands out meals to the homeless the government should not be collecting sales tax. When an anonymous donor gave a winning McDonald's monopoly game piece to a local charity the government should not have tracked the donor down and demanded taxes for the gain. That is not the government using "its power to support" charitable giving. Quite the contrary, that is government keeping its power at bay.

  113. JS on 22 Oct 2004

    "Constitutional protections are extended to ndividuals, not couples and whether an individual chooses not to marry because of sexual orientation or any other reason should be of no concern to the court."

    I'm keeping up, but as I said before, you can't assert truth. If you provided some sort of citation or quote establishing this as something more than the opinion of "Referee," it would be helpful, as I don't believe Referee holds any judicial authority (I'm sure you'll let me know if Referee's judicial authority was discussed in Post #27).

    Regardless, aren't you in fact attempting to "protect" a certain set of "couples" through amending the Oregon Constitution? Confused arguments? Hypocrisy? As you're fond of saying, you can't have it both ways. You're either for protecting a certain set of couples, or you're against it. Which is it?

    "As for our 'fancy rhetoric,' about preserving distinction, you'll notice the civil rights movement wasn't won by blacks saying they were whites."

    I don't understand your implication that gay and lesbians are "saying" they're straight? In fact the implication is laughable. Ha. Same sex couple aren’t “saying” they’re heterosexual couples, they’re simply “saying” that they’re entitled to the same civil rights as heterosexual couples.

    Marriage is a civil right by each and every definition of the term "civil right". Aren’t civil rights universal?

    It's interesting to see you pick and choose your semantic arguments throughout this thread. As I believe you've noted before, there are a couple of different meanings (ranging from neutral to negative) of discrimination.

    The definition, which seems to apply here, offered by Cambridge is: to treat a person or particular group of people differently, especially in a worse way from the way in which you treat other people, because of their skin color, religion, sex, etc.

    You're disingenuous when you justify "discrimination" by saying "you cannot avoid discrimination because as thinking human beings we all have our own preferences". It’s a diversion from the serious discrimination that’s occurring here. M36 is not about the “preference” type of discrimination. It’s about the “treating a group of people worse based on sexual orientation” type of discrimination.

  114. On Lawn on 22 Oct 2004

    LC,

    Hey, so how did you like my answer? I spent a lot of time on it.

    I'd rather do away with it, but if that isn't feasible I'd rather see so many categories added to it that eventually everyone qualifies for it and it becomes meaningless.

    Reminds me of my friend who always put "North Atlantic Islander" on such forms. I think your latter idea is most in line with James Madison's Federalist #51. When we look at the society only the very simply minded generalize. And these generalizations tend to make people misunderstand each other.

    As we grow in understanding we learn distinction, difference, and a whole new depth of decision.

    I think you post these arguments for sport, just to confuse and piss off all the Rosa Parks wanna-be's on this list.

    Am I right?

    I am not sure if that was intended for someone else or not (you seem to be responding mainly to Referee). But as for myself, no there is no sport in it. There may be a bit of a Bruce Lee complex in it for me though, now that you mention it. I'll have to get centered, and probe my inner self sometime to find out. But hey, enough of this psychiatrist psyco-babble. Back to the importance of marriage.

    To me this debate is overly obscured by religion. Even you consider the man-woman definition of marriage to be purely religios. I see it is inherently political representation, and the most naturally existing political body there is.

    Sure religions see this, and who blames them? Its just *that* obvious. That there are people that hate religion so much that they find it a south-pointer. And they will go the opposite direction every time. And yeah, that these people imagion themselves to be Rosa Parks is funny, but more than that it is a dessecration of true valor.

    So as a political body, lets liken this to some other political body, shall we? Look at cities, the powers they are given. Lets say that Corporations are jealous of cities, and want to be called cities also. (I think that this analogy is detected instinctively by libertarians who would want this kind of conflation, and that is why they might like same-sex partnerships being confalted as marriages!) No its best to keep distinction, seperation of powers and all that.

    How about Referee's description of having Muslims gain converts and political power by simply re-defining "infidels" to be "muslims". That would put us all under shar'ia law, chop our hands off and do away with out democracy. (Sure but you can practice the religion you want to still, they who redefine you as muslim counter).

    JS,

    If you provided some sort of citation or quote establishing this as something more than the opinion of "Referee," it would be helpful

    Ahhh you have him there. Powers are granted to states, federal branches, and they are not individuals. How ever the bill of rights applies to every individual because it specifies individual rights. From the constitutional pre-amble...

    We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    Not to our marriages, not to our cities, not even to our corporations. But to our individual selves. Still don't believe me, look at what the "blessings of liberty" are defined in the Declaration of Independance...

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,

    Again, plurality is invoked on individuals, not families, cities, corporations, states, etc, but lets continue...

    that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    Each person is endowed by their Creator with life, liberty, etc...

    Fundamental to the legal representation in the constitution and declaration of independance is that we are talking about individuals.

    This isn't to say that rights, powers, and priveledges are not given to associations of individuals (families, cities, counties, states, corporations, et al) but those inalianable rights are for individuals so that it can (and later did) apply to every individual.

    aren't you in fact attempting to "protect" a certain set of "couples" through amending the Oregon Constitution?

    in·sti·tu·tion Audio pronunciation of "institution" ( P ) Pronunciation Key (nst-tshn, -ty-) n.

    1. The act of instituting.
    2.
    1. A custom, practice, relationship, or behavioral pattern of importance in the life of a community or society: the institutions of marriage and the family.
    2. Informal. One long associated with a specified place, position, or function.
    3.
    1. An established organization or foundation, especially one dedicated to education, public service, or culture.
    2. The building or buildings housing such an organization.
    3. A place for the care of persons who are destitute, disabled, or mentally ill.

    [source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition]

    A set of couples are protected by protecting the institution, but that does not replace the concern for the institution itself. (I give you a gold star for effort, even if tripping up the argument is not a good thing).

    they’re simply “saying” that they’re entitled to the same civil rights as heterosexual couples.

    By defining themselves as married, just as Referee said. His argument still stands.

    Marriage is a civil right by each and every definition of the term "civil right". Aren’t civil rights universal?

    Homosexuals already have the right to marry the same way everyone else does. What is to be understood is that they seek the additional right to homosexual marriage (And though they wish everyone to join them in homosexual marriage that is poor pitance for what they demolish in the conflation).

    M36 is not about the “preference” type of discrimination. It’s about the “treating a group of people worse based on sexual orientation” type of discrimination.

    False dillema, these are the same thing.

  115. JS on 22 Oct 2004

    Are there other social "institutions" similar to marriage that are explicitly "protected" in the U.S. or Oregon constitutions? Honest question. I can't think of any off the top of my head, but that obviously doesn't mean much.

    "Homosexuals already have the right to marry the same way everyone else does."

    You've framed this argument in a very interesting way. I know it's been covered previously, but this argument holds only if the most fundamental part of marriage is one man, one woman. This argument doesn't hold if the most important part of marriage is about finding someone who you love, and/or want to start a family with, and/or want to be with for the rest of your life, etc.

    By saying that marriage is, primarily, one man and one woman, you're discounting the rest of these values. It would seem, from one perspective (perhaps mine), that you're devaluing marriage by eliminating the love and commitment parts of it. Can you really have it both ways? If so, why isn't that written into M36?

    "What is to be understood is that they seek the additional right to homosexual marriage (And though they wish everyone to join them in homosexual marriage that is poor pittance for what they demolish in the conflation)."

    No, they don't seek the additional right of "homosexual marriage," they seek the equal right of "marriage".

    Marriage. Pronunciation: 'mer-ij, 'ma-rij
    Etymology: Middle English mariage, from Anglo-French, from marier to marry

    (1) : the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law
    (2) : the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage
    [source: Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary 10/22/2004]

    I think we've overlooked the most critical issue in this debate: Will M36 force a new edition of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary?

    Seriously. Your parenthetical comment is nonsense, utter "pittance" and "conflation" nonsense. Though your apparent paranoia and fear are revealed somewhat. “They wish everyone to join them”? Isn’t this kind of like the gay teachers and scout leaders will “convert” your children thing. I think you’re most effective when you’re being cold, rational and mean. Don’t let emotions run you off course.

  116. On Lawn on 22 Oct 2004

    Are there other social "institutions" similar to marriage that are explicitly "protected" in the U.S. or Oregon constitutions?

    State, city, county, corporation, religion, to name a few.

    By saying that marriage is, primarily, one man and one woman, you're discounting the rest of these values.

    Because heterosexuals cannot love each other as romantically and deeply homosexuals can? Hmmm? What are you saying here?

    No, they don't seek the additional right of "homosexual marriage,"

    Then yes on 36.

    Yes, I think you've walked onto the gangplank so far that you don't quite have a grasp of what you are saying anymore. That is clearly an endorsement of 36 as it removes the very thing that they feel 36 will harm.

    However I know you don't speak for them, they are against 36 and it is because they want the additional right of homosexual marriage.

    Will M36 force a new edition of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary?

    *Ahem*

    Bet you didn't know that anyone can produce a dictionary under the name "webster" did you.

    Your parenthetical comment is nonsense, utter "pittance" and "conflation" nonsense.

    Oh no! Say it ain't so!

    Heh, sorry. Honestly I've not been amply impressed with your reasoning skills to take a statement like that seriously.

    I think you’re most effective when you’re being cold, rational and mean.

    Not sure what that means but it sure sounds good ;)

    I think you’re most effective when you’re being cold, rational and mean. Don’t let emotions run you off course.

    Again with the judgements. There is no more or less emotion in that post as the others. Just an acknowledgement that re-defining marriage re-definines it for everyone. Now *everyone* even non-homosexuals can get homosexual marriage because of their hard work. Does that frighten you? Then I ask who's getting emotional, hmmm? To me its a cold hard cruel mean fact (well as far as you consider facts to be cold, hard, cruel and mean ;).

  117. Referee on 22 Oct 2004

    JS -

    1) "I'm keeping up, but as I said before, you can't assert truth. If you provided some sort of citation or quote establishing this as something more than the opinion of "Referee," it would be helpful, as I don't believe Referee holds any judicial authority"

    You tell me exactly what kind of judicial citation would establish the truth of that statement and I'll see what I can do. Considering you reject the almost unanimous opinion of the Supreme Court in the case you cite, I wonder exactly what judicial authority would convince you. Nevermind that your own US Supreme Court quotes, majority and dissenting, also back the notion of individual, not "couple" rights. In all your "keeping up" you must have missed that. And while you're "keeping up" you might want to look back at the discussion of hospitals and baseball teams.

    2) "You're either for protecting a certain set of couples, or you're against it. Which is it?"

    You can't seriously be that confused to think I have stated anything about any couple. I have made many statements about the institution of marriage, which you claim to be "keeping up" with, but nothing about couples' rights. All individuals have the same capacity in society, but not all organizations do. Legally, you would be laughed out of court if your baseball team walked into a court and claimed you had the right to call yourself a hospital since hospitals get better tax privileges.

    3) "Marriage is a civil right by each and every definition of the term 'civil right'."

    Marriage is a civil right, but redefining it is not. Just because you are disinterested in it does not mean you can redefine it to make it more palatable.

    4) "The definition, which seems to apply here, offered by Cambridge is: to treat a person or particular group of people differently, especially in a worse way from the way in which you treat other people, because of their skin color, religion, sex, etc...it’s about the 'treating a group of people worse based on sexual orientation' type of discrimination."

    Even though you put your statement in quotes, it is not in the Cambridge definition you are relying upon. In any case, nobody is treating anyone different because of their "sexual orientation" as you claim. Homosexuals are allowed to get married just like anybody else. Unmarried homosexuals are treated the same as unmarried heterosexuals. There is no discrimination, good, bad, or indifferent involved. If Oregon law said something about proving yourself not to be homosexual in order to marry, you'd have something. But it doesn't, so you're merely trying to turn same-sex marriage into some referendum on homosexuality because you know same-sex "marriage" itself, whatever the rationale of the participants, is unjustifiable.

  118. JS on 22 Oct 2004

    Lawn:
    "State, city, county, corporation, religion, to name a few."

    States, cities, and counties are political institutions, not social ones, and I don't think any Constitution anywhere says "It is the policy of the United States, and it's political subdivisions, that only a city with 1.3 million inhabitants shall be valid or legally recognized as a city." As a matter of fact, that sounds pretty ridiculous. In fact, I don't know of any Constitution that defines "religion" either.

    "Heterosexuals cannot love each other as romantically and deeply [as] homosexuals can"

    What? Change of heart? Ok, I'll stop selectively quoting you, if you'll give me the same courtesy.

    I'll rephrase my argument in the hopes that you weren't avoiding it and really just didn't understand it.

    Your framing of the issue is interesting. I don't think you "misspoke" when you said:

    "Homosexuals already have the right to marry the same way everyone else does."

    You've written this repeatedly, in one way or another. However, this argument holds only if one views the most fundamental element of marriage as one man and one woman.

    On the other hand, if you think marriage is about finding someone who you love, and/or want to start a family with, and/or want to spend the rest of your life with, then gays and lesbians, in fact, would not have the same access to marriage as everyone else under M36. As you would write the law, gays and lesbians would not be able to marry the person they fall in love with, want to start a family with, and want to spend the rest of their life with.

    When you say, as M36 does, that the most fundamental part of marriage, that which you use to define it, is one man and one woman, you're relegating love and commitment to a lesser status. I would say that stripping away love and commitment as the essential nature of marriage, as M36 does by "defining" marriage so narrowly, in fact, devalues marriage.

    In the way you've repeatedly tried to frame this issue, one man and one woman, you've (inadvertently, I believe, but I'll leave it to you to correct me) devalued the institution of marriage. Vote no on Constitutional Amendment 36. Because marriage is about love and commitment, not rigid gender quotas.

    Ref:
    "Considering you reject the almost unanimous opinion of the Supreme Court in the case you cite, I wonder exactly what judicial authority would convince you."

    Well, yes, I was pointing out the fact that many legal scholars consider Plessy vs. Ferguson to be one of the most shameful Supreme Court decisions in US history, and the idea of "separate but equal" has since been deemed morally reprehensible. So, I guess if you could point to some decision other than the most shameful one in history it would be a positive step in convincing me that you're not simply trying to assert truth.

    "Legally, you would be laughed out of court if your baseball team walked into a court and claimed you had the right to call yourself a hospital since hospitals get better tax privileges."

    Completely irrelevant analogy, but GO BOSTON! (Get it? That's irrelevant too. I think you call it a "strawman" argument)

    "Marriage is a civil right, but redefining it is not."

    So civil rights are only for certain people? You are the only people that keep talking about "redefining" marriage. I think many people voting NO on 36 are resisting a "redefinition" of marriage, a redefinition that devalues it. Marriage is the union of two loving, committed people.

  119. On Lawn on 22 Oct 2004

    JS,

    Yes you did it! But you didn't expect that I would see it. I not only saw it, I saw it coming.

    Lets look at the question...

    Are there other social "institutions" similar to marriage that are explicitly "protected" in the U.S. or Oregon constitutions?

    Then (and this is the real treat) you pull the bait and switch...

    States, cities, and counties are political institutions, not social ones

    So its not just an institution like marriage you are after just a purely social institution. That is what they call the bait and switch.

    Only you don't even do it very well. You basically just said that marriage was just a social institution, and the cities/states etc... were not.

    What this really does is further illustrate the difference between marriage that is being defended and the marriage it is being replaced by. And it shows that people simply see the political protocols and privileges of marriage as a social privileges to be raided like a next door neighbor's fridge.

    When you look at the privileges extended to marriages you see a pattern develop.

    For instance my children have immunity. Yes, if they do something wrong the state can hold me accountable instead of them. The only other institution granted such immunity is in the protocol of dealing with foreign diplomats. So, is a foreign nation a political or social institution to you? Hmmm.

    Lets take another, an automatic inheritance. Much like a new mayor, governor, or president inherits the charges and responsibilities (and even a house to go with it). Now are cities, states, and nations a political or social institution? Hmmm.

    Okay, lets look at another. The privileged communication between my and my spouse. This is most like executive privilege. Again is a nation a political or social entity.

    That you wish to see marriage turned into a social entity with these same political perks shows that you have no concern for the process or product. In such ignorance you condescend to others, with so little understanding you seek to advise and counsel others on this matter.

    I don't think any Constitution anywhere says "It is the policy of the United States, and it's political subdivisions, that only a city with 1.3 million inhabitants shall be valid or legally recognized as a city." As a matter of fact, that sounds pretty ridiculous.

    Nor does it require how many people must be in a family. But it requires two senators a state, and at least one representative a state (more depending on population). It requires the governments of states to have legislative and executive branches. So also is it natural constitution material to requires one man and one woman to form a family in marriage.

    Well, seeing your attempt in ignorance to call yet another thing ridiculous has further displayed the justness of the constitutional amendment, lets move on... Ah yes you tried to resurrect an argument, and wound up casting it more of the same faulty logic.

    if you think marriage is about finding someone who you love, and/or want to start a family with, and/or want to spend the rest of your life with, then gays and lesbians, in fact, would not have the same access to marriage as everyone else under M36.

    What you are saying is that if that is *all* you think marriage to be. If you only think it is a social romantic commitment between two people to do whatever they think romance is, then under that most ambiguous and unwieldy definition they are the same.

    And that you put it in opposition (as in, are you saying I didn't marry my wife because I found marriage to be "about finding someone who you love, and/or want to start a family with, and/or want to spend the rest of your life with". Yes, in fact you are. These are two separate things to you.

    The truth of the matter is that marriage is all of the above. You take a very narrow and selfish slice of the pie (what romance is in it for me?) and draw a common denominator. And what you throw under the bus to do so is exactly the point that you've ignored time and time again. And continue to ignore. Closing your ears and humming mantra to yourself hoping it goes away. Kind of the opposite of clapping your hands for tinker bell, you are more like hoping that if no one claps their hands for marriage that the responsibility in it will go away.

    the most fundamental part of marriage, that which you use to define it, is one man and one woman

    Let me just return to this briefly to explain one crucial point. it is not "the" most fundamental part. It is simply a fundamental part of unlocking the capacities of two different genders, and requiring their diversity to come to the table for the benefit of the household. And that is what marriage is meant to encompass, and that is what marriage is -- one man, one woman doing together what cannot be done otherwise.

    So, buy your casting the argument as it being "the most fundamental" aspect of marriage you build the straw man you then attack...

    In the way you've repeatedly tried to frame this issue, one man and one woman, you've (inadvertently, I believe, but I'll leave it to you to correct me) devalued the institution of marriage. Vote no on Constitutional Amendment 36. Because marriage is about love and commitment, not rigid gender quotas.

    So, as I was saying that is simply a misunderstanding of your own making. you are putting the two concepts against each other *as if* marriage puts the two concepts against each other. Those of us that are married know they are both fundamental parts of marriage. Which is why you come off as just plain silly sometimes ;)

    So civil rights are only for certain people?

    You've jumped off the gangplank again. While I can't bother to imagine what you are assuming is a civil right in this case, my money is that you are selfishly grabbing for some entitlement, desecrating the name if civil rights as nothing more than a foot stool to help you reach it with.

  120. Referee on 23 Oct 2004

    JS -

    Despite saying you have been keeping up you are actually repeating your same, discredited arguments. While going down with your ship is an admirable sentiment, it does not make for a very convincing argument.

    1) "...it would be a positive step in convincing me that you're not simply trying to assert truth."

    I did not assert truth, I defended the position rationally and pointed to lots of organizations that are treated differently by government due to their different purpose in society. Your assertion that "couples" or other organizations have constitutional equality rights is the one wholly undefended, even discredited by your own examples.

    You also have displayed your own dishonesty in requesting I cite a judicial authority without committing to what level of judicial citation would force you to believe what I have said. Since you will not commit, any citation I give will be superfluous and I was correct to omit it.

    2) "Get it? That's irrelevant too. I think you call it a "strawman" argument"

    Irrelevancies are called red herrings, not strawmen. Wearing your ignorance like a badge of honor as your ship sinks is not making you more convincing.

    And for the record, pointing out how courts allow dissimilar treatment of organizations goes right to the heart of your topic. Even you, through your constant efforts to discount procreation, concede that same-sex unions are different than marriage.

    3) "So civil rights are only for certain people?"

    Ah, yes. You just got done acknowledging that homosexuals have the same "right" to marry "under the same terms" as heterosexuals but you just cannot resist the urge to chant this mantra you, yourself, discredit. Oh, yeah, and since you have been keeping up you will no doubt remember this statement that also thoroughly debunks your appeal to individuals rights:


    Constitutional protections are extended to individuals, not couples and whether an individual chooses not to marry because of sexual orientation or any other reason should be of no concern to the court.

    Since you are such a firm believer in "you cannot assert truth," I'm sure you will do more than simply assert the above is not true.

    3) "You are the only people that keep talking about "redefining" marriage....Marriage is the union of two loving, committed people."

    That is clearly a redefinition. Here you are in your 10th post running from Mr. Yuhas and now you have run smack into him.


    Gay activists will say that gay marriage is a fundamental right of equality and that being allowed to enter into the contract makes them full class citizens. Alright, but when they're asked about three people entering into marriage or a son and his daughter being permitted to marry, they come up with a convoluted excuse as to why they cannot. Surely gays don't want to deny this most fundamental of rights on other alternative lifestyles, but they do because they want to normalize the union of two gay people while pretending that the corruption of that marriage does nothing to harm the union of those who have entered into the institution for the last six thousand years.

    As I have said before, working as hard as you do to avoid Mr. Yuhas merely proves that he has thoroughly destroyed what you hoped to pawn off as reason. You really would have been better off once Mr. Yuhas brought up a point that destroyed your argument fading off into the woodwork and pretending the dog ate your keyboard. Every time you post without dealing with Mr. Yuhas you simply say "Yuhas has a point." You also avoid the embarrasment of running smack dab into him all over again.

    Since you have demonstrated a flagrant weakness at making rational connections, allow me to do it for you. Since you are so convinced your "Marriage is the union of two loving, committed people" definition is the current, legal opinion on the matter I'm sure you will have no trouble finding evidence of that in the law. For example, since siblings can love and commit to each other you will be able to show that siblings are allowed to marry. And since groups larger than two can also "commit" and "love" each other you will be able to justify where you got the number two. Or you will be able to give examples of pop stars like Britney Spears whom government prevented to marry because she did not "love" or "commit" to her partner. Failing any of those, I'm sure you'll at least be able to find the word "love" in marriage or divorce law.

    Love and commitment are important to marriage because they foster the environment every child they create deserves. However by trying to substitute them for the purpose they support you are asking government to take on the grossly intrusive role of thought police, delving into our psyche to determine if our "love" or "commitment" are deserving of its good-housekeeping-seal-of-approval. It is clearly you who seeks to redefine marriage, and I have made all of these arguments previously in this thread. I suppose repeatedly running back into them is your idea of "keeping up."

  121. JS on 24 Oct 2004

    Ref:

    I can’t (won’t/shouldn’t?) spend much time on your diatribe. You've spent many more post than I "running" from conservative Andrew Sullivan who says:

    “Legalizing gay marriage would offer homosexuals the same deal society now offers heterosexuals: general social approval and specific legal advantages in exchange for a deeper and harder-to-extract-yourself-from commitment to another human being. Like straight marriage, it would foster social cohesion, emotional security, and economic prudence. Since there's no reason gays should not be allowed to adopt or be foster parents, it could also help nurture children. And its introduction would not be some sort of radical break with social custom. As it has become more acceptable for gay people to acknowledge their loves publicly, more and more have committed themselves to one another for life in full view of their families and their friends. A law institutionalizing gay marriage would merely reinforce a healthy social trend.”

    As you have said before, working as hard as you do to avoid Mr. Sullivan merely proves that he has thoroughly destroyed what you hoped to pawn off as reason. You really would have been better off once Mr. Sullivan brought up a point that destroyed your argument fading off into the woodwork and pretending the dog ate your keyboard. Dumbass.

    Lawn:

    "So it’s not just an institution like marriage you are after just a purely social institution. That is what they call the bait and switch."

    I asked about social institutions similar to marriage. I don't think states, cities, counties, corporations, or religions are very similar to marriage. What does "immunity" have to do with whether something's a social or political institution? You're grasping for something (additionally, many of the “examples” you provided aren’t constitutionally protected), but I'm not sure what. It's really not that important a point, I was asking about other constitutionally protected social institutions simply out of curiosity, so we can move on unless you want to continue fixating on it.

    I said: “When you say, as M36 does, that the most fundamental part of marriage, that which you use to define it, is one man and one woman, you're relegating love and commitment to a lesser status. I would say that stripping away love and commitment as the essential nature of marriage, as M36 does by "defining" marriage so narrowly, in fact, devalues marriage.”

    You responded: “Let me just return to this briefly to explain one crucial point. It is not "the" most fundamental part. It is simply a fundamental part of unlocking the capacities of two different genders, and requiring their diversity to come to the table for the benefit of the household. And that is what marriage is meant to encompass, and that is what marriage is -- one man, one woman doing together what cannot be done otherwise.”

    If one man and one woman is only one important element, among many, of marriage, why is it the only definition of marriage offered by M36? You anti-gay marriage folks have a constitutional amendment on the ballot because you claim to value marriage so deeply. You have the opportunity to tell Oregon and the world exactly what marriage is. Why it’s the most important institution in society. And all you can come up with is:

    “It is the policy of Oregon, and it’s political subdivisions, that only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or legally recognized as a marriage”?

    This apparent disconnect makes it look, to many people, that contempt for gays and lesbians more than a profound appreciation of marriage is what’s driving M36.

    “you are putting the two concepts [love and commitment “vs.” one man and one woman] against each other *as if* marriage puts the two concepts against each other.”

    No. I am simply posing a question about the essential element of marriage. Yes, I also believe that marriage is a summation of many important elements, but then again I’m not trying to define it in the Oregon Constitution by narrowly referencing only one of them. Which element of marriage one is the most essential? This would seem to be a rather straightforward question for someone, like you, who has obviously thought and written so much on the topic, someone who is actually married.

  122. On Lawn on 25 Oct 2004


    Js,

    Andrew Sullivan being conservative or not is neither important or interesting. It does not excuse the problematic logic exemplified in this snipette, nor should it. There is nothing magical or redeeming about having people consider you to be a conservative.

    general social approval and specific legal advantages in exchange for a deeper and harder-to-extract-yourself-from commitment to another human being. Like straight marriage

    Referee didn't run into this argument, he steam-rolled it a long time ago. But I'll take it in specifically, and if I sound redundant its probably because it is.

    As contends that it is like straight marriage because it is a "a deeper and harder-to-extract-yourself-from commitment to another human being". Honestly the government has no business in such "love-committment" authorization as so many people have mentioned already. Even most same-sex marriage advocates will conseed that the "love-committment" is no business of the states. Its a violation of privacy for the government to probe the lives of people and authorize only certain love-commitments as marriage. Its also absurd (Referee points this out with his base-ball team example).

    Technically what AS is doing is a fallacy of construction. He's taking one element that is simular to marriage and claiming that the rest is the same because of it. And the *best* he can come up with is really a violation of privacy under the constitution. And this is what he considers "the same deal" that government offers heterosexuals.

    So what about that is redeemed by him saying it? Nothing, as far as I can tell. Again from AS:

    Since there's no reason gays should not be allowed to adopt or be foster parents, it could also help nurture children.

    No reason that he seems capable of fathoming that is. Fostership, well thats something that everyone from corporations to same-sex couples can already do. Adoption has additional ramifications that are not appropriate for same-sex couples. Look up the two words in the dictionary to see what I'm talking about. Then you will know more than Andrew Sullivan ;) Well at least just in this matter.

    So what is AS's main thrust? Why does he want same-sex marriage? He just spent the whole paragraph you quoted discussing just how much he doesn't see any difference or reason for the distinction (an appeal to his own ignorance). And then he says why it should happen:

    As it has become more acceptable for gay people to acknowledge their loves publicly, more and more have committed themselves to one another for life in full view of their families and their friends. A law institutionalizing gay marriage would merely reinforce a healthy social trend.

    Aww, he just wants more acceptance. How cuddly is that? Well the problems with making 36 into a referendum on homosexuality (i.e. "You don't love and accept us if you vote yes on 36") has been treated by not only myself and Referee, but homosexuals like Steve Yuhas, Camile Paglia and others. Treatments you seem to turn a blind eye to, in order to perpetuate the ignorace appealed to by Andrew Sullivan.

    Now, on to your comments more specifically...

    I asked about social institutions similar to marriage.

    And the fallacy of that question was already dealt with. Your ability to persevier in ignorance is no reason for me to say it over and over ;) Its not that you didn't ask for social institutions, (as one can hardly find an institution without a social aspect) but you wanted marriage to be compared to purely social institutions. If you can find any, please feel free to talk about them. But to complain that I didn't answer the question because the institutions weren't social enough for you is entirely bait and switch.

    additionally, many of the “examples” you provided aren’t constitutionally protected

    And again with more bait and switch! You asked for institutions that were protected in the constitution, and now you complain that *some* of the protections afforded to those institutions are not recognized by the constitution.

    Talk about grasping at straws. Are there any more hidden requirements in the question you have yet to divulge? Each so much more desperately fallacious than the last, I can hardly wait with what you will come up with next.

    Is the executive branch recognized in the constitution? Check. Foreign governments? Check. States? Check. Cities? Check (in the state constitution). Are these social or political institutions? You have no answer...

    But you do continue to complain that you wish to talk about social institutions. Sure, go ahead then, talk about bridge clubs, model train clubs, swim teams, knitting circles, and people that get together to go on hikes regularly. How about Tropical Fish keeper associations? How about amateur baseball teams? And same-sex partnerships. Talk about these "social institutions" all you want. But then notice that these institutions are not in the constitution.

    So don't put marriage into that mix, because marriage will not meet your qualifications of a purely social institution. No more than a city, state, or nation does at least. Marriage has a rightful place in the constitution.

    If one man and one woman is only one important element, among many, of marriage, why is it the only definition of marriage offered by M36?

    Because the other components "love and commitment" are left to the couple to judge and honor for themselves. As it should be. Asking the state to give some authorization on what is and what isn't a love-commitment relationship is something the state should have no interest in. Again, this does not bode well for your assertion you've been keeping up as this was discussed previously (and on many occasions).

  123. JS on 25 Oct 2004

    "Is the executive branch recognized in the constitution? Check. Foreign governments? Check. States? Check. Cities? Check (in the state constitution). Are these social or political institutions? You have no answer..."

    Your desire to fixate on this point is apparently stronger than my desire not to. All of the things you mention may be "recognized" in various constitutions, but in no constitution are they "defined" like you seek to explicitly and narrowly define marriage through M36. That is my answer.

    As you've spent so much time responding to this and other points I stated earlier were largely irrelevant or the product of honest curiousity, I'd appreciate if you'd tackle the core of my recent post. I'll repost below to avoid any further confusion on your part. Here we go...

    If one man and one woman is only one important element, among many, of marriage, why is it the only definition of marriage offered by M36? You anti-gay marriage folks have a constitutional amendment on the ballot because you claim to value marriage so deeply. You have the opportunity to tell Oregon and the world exactly what marriage is. Why it’s the most important institution in society. And all you can come up with is:

    “It is the policy of Oregon, and it’s political subdivisions, that only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or legally recognized as a marriage”?

    This apparent disconnect makes it look, to many people, that contempt for gays and lesbians more than a profound appreciation of marriage is what’s driving M36.

    “you are putting the two concepts [love and commitment “vs.” one man and one woman] against each other *as if* marriage puts the two concepts against each other.”

    No. I am simply posing a question about the essential element of marriage. Yes, I also believe that marriage is a summation of many important elements, but then again I’m not trying to define it in the Oregon Constitution by narrowly referencing only one of them. Which element of marriage one is the most essential? This would seem to be a rather straightforward question for someone, like you, who has obviously thought and written so much on the topic, someone who is actually married.

  124. On Lawn on 25 Oct 2004

    in no constitution are they "defined"

    Oh man, are you *still* grasping for straws? Okay, lets play it this way. You complained that Referee was asserting something as true and not backing it up. Well, go ahead, back that up. I've read the constitution, I'm anxious to see you try.

    I see the congress numbered in representation (both senate and house), the President defined and regulated, and the states defined and regulated (something you scoffed at as a ridiculous thing to find in the constitution earlier). The question becomes, just under what criteria do you even make such a claim that excludes the definitions presented in the constitution? Like I said, it will be entertaining to see you try.

    Its like watching someone play twister, only your contortions are getting to be inhuman.

    Oh and since you repost something claiming I didn't respond to it, I'll just repost the response also. Seriously, are you getting that desperate that you have to resort to recycling points so quickly? To me, it seems that it is what you ignore that says more about you than what you presume to see. Now for the repost...

    If one man and one woman is only one important element, among many, of marriage, why is it the only definition of marriage offered by M36?

    Because the other components "love and commitment" are left to the couple to judge and honor for themselves. As it should be. Asking the state to give some authorization on what is and what isn't a love-commitment relationship is something the state should have no interest in. Again, this does not bode well for your assertion you've been keeping up as this was discussed previously (and on many occasions).

    Honestly, as Referee has pointed out on numerous occasions you are having real trouble keeping up.

  125. JS on 25 Oct 2004

    Your repeated insinuation that anyone disagreeing with you is either stupid or dishonest is getting old. Especially when you're not willing to engage in honest discussion.

    I'll try, once more, to ask what is perhaps the most straightforward question posted on this thread:

    I also believe that marriage is a summation of many important elements, but then again I’m not trying to define it in the Oregon Constitution by narrowly referencing only one of them. Which element of marriage is the most essential? This would seem to be a rather straightforward question for someone, like you, who has obviously thought and written so much on the topic, someone who is married.

    I now leave you two to the mutual masturbation that I'm sure will result from your fisking of my simple question. Good day. Enjoy yourselves.

  126. On Lawn on 25 Oct 2004

    Your repeated insinuation that anyone disagreeing with you is either stupid or dishonest is getting old.

    Oh, what an accusation! JS, you do much better when you don't let your emotions argue for you. Try to stay more calm and intellectual.

    I now leave you two

    Well, if you are that sure of your questions failure then that is where I'll leave it also.

  127. JS on 25 Oct 2004

    It's a tough question, huh? Your refusal or inability to answer such a simple question is further indication of how much your argument relies on acrobatic rhetoric and condescending tone.

  128. Referee on 25 Oct 2004

    JS,

    1) "You've spent many more post than I "running" from conservative Andrew Sullivan who says..."

    The only thing true in the above statement is your admission to running from Messrs. Yuhas and McKellar.

    As for Mr. Sullivan,

    2) "As it has become more acceptable for gay people to acknowledge their loves publicly, more and more have committed themselves to one another for life in full view of their families and their friends. A law institutionalizing gay marriage would merely reinforce a healthy social trend."

    Nowhere does Mr. Sullivan discuss the purpose of marriage or even purport that same-sex couples fulfill that purpose. I have. I have stated it many times over. If Mr. Sullivan would like to propose that the government get into the "your love is good enough" business, he may make a proposal. But "your love is good enough" is different than society's interest in marriage and so Mr. Sullivan's comments are irrelevant.

    3) "As you have said before, working as hard as you do to avoid Mr. Sullivan merely proves that he has thoroughly destroyed what you hoped to pawn off as reason."

    Considering Mr. Sullivan's name hasn't even been raised in this thread until you did just now you are clearly out on a limb in reaching any conclusion from my not responding to him earlier. On the other hand, you are now up to post 14 without a response to Messrs. Yuhas or McKellar despite repeated invitations from me, and despite the fact I have drawn the rational connections to their arguments for you.

    As I have said, you would have been better off pretending the dog ate your keyboard. Your tortured reasoning in an effort to trot out the "Jimmy did it, too" defense just makes you look desperate as well as guilty.

    4) "Which element of marriage is the most essential?"

    How does one judge which essential component is "most" essential? If your car engine won't start, which is "most" essential, fuel, air, or spark? It seems to me removing any essential element from marriage makes it no longer a marriage.

    Finally, not only is your crudeness and vulgarity a completely classless exit from a conversation, it is one demanding of an apology. You clearly feel anyone disagreeing with you isn't deserving of simple human courtesy, but to subject all readers of this forum to your tasteless display is inexcusable. Apologize.

  129. JS on 26 Oct 2004

    I asked, "Which element of marriage is the most essential?"

    You responded, "How does one judge which essential component is 'most' essential? If your car engine won't start, which is 'most' essential, fuel, air, or spark?"

    An expert on engines, a mechanic, could tell you which was most essential. That's why I'm wondering why you and Lawn, who claim to know the *true* nature of marriage, have no answer to my question.

    It's not surprising really.

    Oh, and I was hoping you would apologize to everyone for advocating a backwards position that seeks to narrowly and arbitrarily define marriage.

    You're desperately clinging to the status quo. You offer no alternative for couples who don't fall under *your* definition of marriage. You had the opportunity to do much more with this than a one sentence constitutional amendment:

    "It is the policy of Oregon, and it’s political subdivisions, that only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or legally recognized as a marriage"

    But you're reactionary. And you have no actual interest in making good public policy. So, by all means, apologize.

  130. Referee on 26 Oct 2004

    JS -

    1) "An expert on engines, a mechanic, could tell you which was most essential."

    What an odd and faltering response. The only relevant information to be gleaned from this is that you are not an expert and so are not to be relied upon for what opinion an expert might provide. You are only embarrassing yourself further.

    2) "That's why I'm wondering why you and Lawn, who claim to know the *true* nature of marriage, have no answer to my question."

    I precisely answered your question. I'll quote it for you again, since you seem to be having trouble keeping up:

    It seems to me removing any essential element from marriage makes it no longer a marriage.

    3) "Oh, and I was hoping you would apologize to everyone for advocating a backwards position that seeks to narrowly and arbitrarily define marriage."

    My advocacy is neither narrow nor arbitrary. Unless you refer to nature itself as being "narrow" and "arbitrary" in establishing the man-woman requirement for human reproduction to begin with. In which case you vastly overestimate in thinking I am the creator of that policy. I may articulate well, but I am still only human.

    As for apologies, simply grepping out criticisms from my posts and spitting them back randomly doesn't do anything for your credibility, especially when so misused as in this case. As OnLawn would say, 0 for originality, 0 for comprehension. In fact it does a lot to further the view that you are desperate and guilty, as I have said before. You need to apologize for your behavior, not for your argument itself. Though unfounded, you need not apologize for holding to it, only for the way in which you defend it. Common courtesy is what you claim you are after in advocating same-sex marriage, therefore you impeach your entire argument by denying courtesy to those who think differently than you and more importantly to all the readers of this forum with your tasteless, vulgar, and clearly frustrated behavior. Refusing to apologize, as you have done, only further discredits you as uncivil and unthoughtful.

    4) "You're desperately clinging to the status quo."

    No, I am clinging to rational thought. I have explained why marriage is important the way it is defined today. I have explained why the redefinition you propose is bad. The quotes from Messrs. Yuhas and McKellar also point out problems in your redefinition. You simply appeal to novelty here, rather than confronting any of the problems pointed out. For those keeping track this is post 15 in which you have failed to plug the holes in your position. 15 times in which you have grudgingly admitted that Messrs. Yuhas and McKellar are right.

    5) "You offer no alternative for couples who don't fall under *your* definition of marriage."

    You tell me what problem "couples who don't fall under [the existing] definition of marriage" need solved and we can discuss.

    6) "You had the opportunity to do much more with this than a one sentence constitutional amendment:"

    You had the opportunity to put your own measure on the ballot but chose not to. Don't complain to me about your choice.

    7) "But you're reactionary. And you have no actual interest in making good public policy."

    Reactionary, perhaps. The amendment is clearly a reaction to the illegal, backroom dealings between Basic Rights Oregon (who, despite the name, is actually populated almost entirely by out-of-state lobbyists) and corrupt public officials in Multnomah County. It is, however, "good public policy." Marriage has a purpose and Measure 36 defends that purpose. Ensuring public needs are met is "good public policy."

  131. JS on 29 Oct 2004

    From http://www.andrewsullivan.com/

    In Georgia, the head of the Christian Coalition is Sadie Fields, the major proponent of a state amendment that would deny gay couples any legal protections for their relationships. No big surprise that her daughter is gay, like so many offspring of the religious right. Until now, the daughter has kept silent:

    "I was 24 years old when my mother, through a series of mishaps, found out I was gay. My mother came over to where I worked, screaming, and told me I was "dead" to the family. She called me "sick," "crazy" and "of the devil." She said that I would never see my family again.

    "For more than five years after that day, I heard nothing from my family. No birthday cards, no invitations to Christmas or Thanksgiving events. It wasn't just the loss of my immediate family that was difficult, but the loss of my extended family as well. Since my mother refused to be in the same room with me, it forced my aunts and uncles to choose sides. I have not been to a family reunion in more than a decade."

    There you have the anti-family agenda of the religious right. By next week, they will have passed bans on any protections for gay couples in eight states.

    "Luckily" Oregon is not included in those eight states, since the "family values" folks only want to ban gay couples from getting "married".

  132. Referee on 30 Oct 2004

    JS,

    1) "In Georgia, the head of the Christian Coalition is Sadie Fields"

    If you think it would be easier to address Ms. Fields than Messrs. Yuhas and McKellar, you are welcome to contact her. Parents everywhere have to deal with the decisions their children make and you are below contempt trying to make political hay out of the family problems faced by Ms. Fields and her daughter. For those keeping track, this is your 16th post agreeing that same-sex "marriage" is wrong, as per Messrs. Yuhas and McKellar.

    2) "the 'family values' folks only want to ban gay couples from getting 'married'."

    Nobody wants to prevent "gay" couples from getting married. There is no test for sexual preference in marriage law and we have been over this again and again. Thanks for "keeping up," which by now I am convinved you think means repeating the same discredited arguments over and over again.

    Measure 36 is not about homosexuals or homosexuality. It does not ban or limit any homosexual behavior or lifestyle choice. It only recognizes the unique capacity of procreation inherent in male-female relationships. Whatever purpose same-sex couples serve in society, it is different than marriage, as Messrs. Yuhas and McKellar pointed out over a hundred posts ago, and which you still have not addressed. Instead, you now wish to pick a fight with Ms. Fields because you think you are a better parent and you wish to turn Measure 36 into some kind of referendum on homosexuality, which it is not. Even if you were to make it such, unless you want to argue that homosexuals would be happier if they acted more like heterosexuals, you should vote YES on Measure 36.

  133. JS on 01 Nov 2004

    Lawn says:

    "Not only do the children benefit from instruction from people who understand them best (part of sharing genetic code) they get representation by both women and men in that governance! A boy learns about women from his mom, and a girl is understood and needs represented by someone who went through the unique experiences of being a girl herself. And vice versa.

    "Its not the way it always happens, but its such a great way to do things that it must be preserved. ALL MY ARGUMENTS BOIL DOWN TO THE BELIEF THAT ONLY SUCH EQUAL PARTICIPATION IN FAMILY GOVERNANCE HAS THE CREDIBILITY TO DEMAND RECOGNITION FROM THE STATE."

    The EXPERTS disagree:

    "The American Academy of Pediatrics recognizes that a considerable body of professional literature provides evidence that children with parents who are homosexual can have the same advantages and the same expectations for health, adjustment, and development as can children whose parents are heterosexual." - The American Academy of Pediatrics

    "I was quite surprised, even dumbfounded, to see my name listed as if it were a scientific support or consultant to this amendment. It couldn't be further than either my personal or professional position. It is a significant, irresponsible distortion of the evidence on fathering and mothering to date. There is no credible research that says children raised by gay and lesbian couples are at risk. I am numbed by the narrow-minded arrogance of the entire argument." - Dr. Kyle Pruett, Yale Professor of Child Psychiatry.

    "Not a single study has found children of lesbian and gay parents to be disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents. Indeed, the evidence to date suggests that home environments provided by lesbian and gay parents are as likely as those provided by heterosexual parents to support and enable children's psychosocial growth." – Charlotte J. Patterson, professor of developmental psychology at the University of Virginia as reported by The Oregonian, October 22, 2004

    Lawn appears to have no desire to protect Oregon families that are different than his. In fact, he's going out of his way to ensure that those families are DISADVANTAGED.

    "Same-sex couples have no constitutional right to marriage or the discreet benefits of marriage which might be provided by a civil union or domestic partnership." --Defense of Marriage Coalition Supreme Court Opening Brief, September 20, 2004

    "Placing unequal treatment of gays and lesbians into our Constitution sets a precedent that it's okay to deny them equal rights. This legal precedent could have broad legal consequences, and could be interpreted to not only erode current rights and protections but to preclude future rights and protections —including civil unions." - Dr. Stephen Green, Willamette University Professor of Constitutional Law

    Your acrobatic rhetoric doesn't make bigotry morally permissable.

  134. On Lawn on 02 Nov 2004

    Your acrobatic rhetoric doesn't make bigotry morally permissable.

    More accurately, it isn't bigotry in the first place.

    In fact, he's going out of his way to ensure that those families are DISADVANTAGED.

    And that statement is simply dishonest. Voting yes on 36 is not a vote against homosexual couple priveledges, this has been discussed plenty already. It is a vote of distinction, diversity, children's rights, and egality.

    And calling it bigoted is never going to change that. It hasn't the thirty times you tried previously, and it isn't going to now.

    The EXPERTS disagree

    The "experts" continue to dissagree...

    Are children reared by two individuals of the same gender as well adjusted as children reared in families with a mother and a father? Until recently the unequivocal answer to this question was "no." Policymakers, social scientists, the media, and even physician organizations1, however, are now asserting that prohibitions on parenting by homosexual couples should be lifted. In making such far-reaching, generation-changing assertions, any responsible advocate would rely upon supporting evidence that is comprehensive and conclusive. Not only is this not the situation, but also there is sound evidence that children exposed to the homosexual lifestyle may be at increased risk for emotional, mental, and even physical harm.

    Research data

    Heterosexual parenting is the normative model upon which most comprehensive longitudinal research on childrearing has been based. Data on long-term outcomes for children placed in homosexual households are very limited and the available evidence reveals grave concerns. Those current studies that appear to indicate neutral to favorable results from homosexual parenting have critical flaws such as non-longitudinal design, inadequate sample size, biased sample selection, lack of proper controls, and failure to account for confounding variables.2,3,4 Childrearing studies have consistently indicated that children are more likely to thrive emotionally, mentally, and physically in a home with two heterosexual parents versus a home with a single parent. 5,6,7,8,9 Therefore, the burden is on the proponents of homosexual parenting to prove that moving further away from the heterosexual parenting model is appropriate and safe for children.

    Risks of Homosexual Lifestyle to Children

    Violence among homosexual partners is two to three times more common than among married heterosexual couples. 10,11,12,13,14 Homosexual partnerships are significantly more prone to dissolution than heterosexual marriages with the average homosexual relationship lasting only two to three years. 15,16,17 Homosexual men and women are reported to be inordinately promiscuous involving serial sex partners, even within what are loosely-termed "committed relationships." 18,19,20,21,22 Individuals who practice a homosexual lifestyle are more likely than heterosexuals to experience mental illness,23,24,25 substance abuse,26 suicidal tendencies,27,28 and shortened life spans.29 Although some would claim that these dysfunctions are a result of societal pressures in America, the same dysfunctions exist at inordinately high levels among homosexuals in cultures were the practice is more widely accepted.30 Children reared in homosexual households are more likely to experience sexual confusion, practice homosexual behavior, and engage in sexual experimentation. 31,32,33,34,35 Adolescents and young adults who adopt the homosexual lifestyle, like their adult counterparts, are at increased risk of mental health problems, including major depression, anxiety disorder, conduct disorder, substance dependence, and especially suicidal ideation and suicide attempts.36

    Conclusion

    The research literature on childrearing by homosexual parents is limited. The environment in which children are reared is absolutely critical to their development. Given the current body of research, the American College of Pediatricians believes it is inappropriate, potentially hazardous to children, and dangerously irresponsible to change the age-old prohibition on homosexual parenting, whether by adoption, foster care, or by reproductive manipulation. This position is rooted in the best available science.

    Follow to the page for the references cited in this quote.

    A PDF available on the subject is also very informative on the matter.

    Who is the American College of Pediatrics?

    They are a group (many of which were on the board of the APA) that formed a dissenting opinion on this very matter. While citing that the APA is capitulating to political pressure (which even pro-homosexual members will cite) they provide the evidence and facts to help people make informed decisions.

    As an aside, I think you are relying too much on this "bigotry" label as you didn't even point out what was bigoted when you tried to apply it.

    And next time, if you are going to rip content from a page, at least have the courtesy to link to it.

  135. JS on 02 Nov 2004

    I said, "In fact, he's going out of his way to ensure that those families are DISADVANTAGED."

    Lawn said, "And that statement is simply dishonest. Voting yes on 36 is not a vote against homosexual couple priveledges, this has been discussed plenty already. It is a vote of distinction, diversity, children's rights, and egality."

    I didn't say "couples," I said "families." Thus, YOUR statement is dishonest and misleading. There exists many families in Oregon that are led by a same sex couple. Constitutional Amendment 36 prevents them from accessing the same benefits and protections as Lawn's family without providing any alternative.

    In fact, according to Constitutional scholars who know far more than Lawn and I on the subject:

    "Placing unequal treatment of gays and lesbians into our Constitution sets a precedent that it's okay to deny them equal rights. This legal precedent could have broad legal consequences, and could be interpreted to not only erode current rights and protections but to preclude future rights and protections —including civil unions." - Dr. Stephen Green, Willamette University Professor of Constitutional Law

    Lawn also disengenuously claims, "Voting yes on 36 is not a vote against homosexual couple priveledges, this has been discussed plenty already."

    According to one of the major sponsors of Constitional Amendment 36:

    "Same-sex couples have no constitutional right to marriage or the discreet benefits of marriage which might be provided by a civil union or domestic partnership." --Defense of Marriage Coalition Supreme Court Opening Brief, September 20, 2004

    It's not just about marriage. It's about bigotry. The backers of M36 don't believe same-sex couples are entitled to any government recognition, marriage or otherwise.

    Are they embarrassed to admit it?

  136. On Lawn on 03 Nov 2004

    I didn't say "couples," I said "families."

    Well if that is true then you don't see a homosexual couple as a family. I would agree.

    I want to thank b!x for providing the forum here.

    JS, and others have pushed a platform that M36 is bigoted (yada, yada). The court of public opinion sees what JS and others do not see. They see what Referee, Theresa, and myself have said about marriage. And b!x didn't stop that. I was worried there for a bit that he would, but he came through.

    B!x, a great many thanks. You are a good guy when it all comes down to it.

  137. JS on 16 Nov 2004

    http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=healthNews&storyID=6831319

    Teens with Same-Sex Parents as Normal as Peers
    Tue Nov 16, 2004 01:34 PM ET
    By Alison McCook

    NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Teenagers raised by two women appear to be as well adjusted as those who are raised by male-female couples, a new report indicates.

    "Their adjustment is pretty normal - that is, indistinguishable from a matched group of kids being raised by opposite-sex parents," said study author Dr. Charlotte J. Patterson of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

    Specifically, teens with same-sex parents appeared to be no more likely to have psychological problems, struggle at school, try intercourse, or have problems at home, the investigators found.

    Critics have argued that same-sex parents "may in some way harm the children that are raised in these households," Patterson told Reuters Health. "And I think that our results speak to that concern, to some degree."

    Previous research about children raised by same-sex parents has shown that by and large they tend to fare as well as their peers raised by a man and woman.

    One study of teenagers raised by divorced lesbians found they had similar self-esteem as teenagers of divorced heterosexual parents, and appeared to fare better if their mothers had a partner living at home, their fathers were supportive of the relationship, and they learned of their mothers' orientation when they were relatively young.

    To investigate further how teenagers fare with same-sex parents, Patterson and her colleagues reviewed information collected from a national sample of 44 12- to 18-year olds -- 23 girls and 21 boys -- living with mothers in same-sex partnerships.

    The researchers compared those adolescents to 44 teens with mothers in opposite-sex relationships.

    As reported in the journal Child Development, the investigators found that, overall, teens with parents in same-sex relationships appeared to have relatively high levels of self-esteem, little anxiety, few signs of depression, and to do well in school.

    They were no more likely than other teens to have symptoms of depression, problems with self-esteem, or anxiety. They also reported feeling equal levels of warmth from their parents, and caring from adults and their peers.

    Moreover, teens with mothers in same-sex unions appeared to get comparable grades, and be just as likely or unlikely to get in trouble in school. They were also no different in whether or not they had had sex, or been in a romantic relationship in the previous 18 months.

    Patterson noted that teens who appeared to be most well adjusted in school also tended to have a particularly warm and close relationship with their parents. Clearly, parental closeness is connected to teenage well-being, she added; whether one causes the other is still unclear.

    SOURCE: Child Development, November 2004.


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