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4/18/2009
THE CONSERVATIVE CASE FOR GAY MARRIAGE
CATEGORY: Ethics, Politics

I don’t care about gay marriage as a political issue. If I had my druthers, it would have the same importance as one’s position on whether to make tomorrow “National Convenience Store Clerk Day.” No doubt Hallmark will have a card for it if it comes to pass.

It may have been efficacious to defend “traditional marriage” 40 years ago but I don’t see the point today. You see, I live in sin with my Zsu-Zsu and neither one of us cares who knows it or what they think about it. Cohabitation destroyed “traditional marriage” long before gay marriage even became an issue. There is no stigma attached to living together in an unmarried state. Indeed, very few people care — and if you do, go to hell. To make it your business — to judge me on how I live my life is about as intrusive as anyone can get. Needless to say, the thought of government having a say in whether we can cohabitate should be as abhorrent to a conservative as any other government intervention in our private lives.

Given that my lover and I have been together longer than many marriages last, one is tempted to ask if marriage as the “foundation of community and society” can even claim that mantle any longer. And don’t talk to me about “the children.” The number of divorces every year of marriages with children (more than a million kids a year) speaks to the seriousness American adults take the important task of raising children in a stable, loving home. “Blended families” are the norm not the exception. More than half the kids born today will grow up in a home where the parents get at least one divorce.

Of course, there are legal issues regarding marriage vs. cohabitation but even those are fast disappearing. Partner rights have been granted for everything from hospital visits to legal wills in most states. Many states extend those legal benefits to gay couples. American society is changing and the question confronting conservatives is do we live in the past, hoping that the Ozzie and Harriet marriage template makes a comeback or do we face the future and try and “conserve” the good that comes from the traditional family structure while trying to protect children from the often deleterious effects of marital strife and break ups?

A tall order, that. But first things first and that means accepting the fact that American society has moved on — culturally as well as legally — from traditionally defined “marriage” and has embraced different ways people choose to live and love. If you choose marriage as a life long commitment, more power to you. That is your choice and in all sincerity, I wish you the best of luck and a long, loving partnership. I, and most others, envy you your commitment and desire to beat the odds.

That’s because at bottom, when you take away all the legalisms, the moral quotient, the religious implications, and the needs of society, what we are left with is nothing more than how people choose to define their relationships where they feel love for another human being. To many, it is important to them in a religious sense that this relationship be a lifelong marriage/partnership with children as a symbol of their love and commitment to one another. This is one legitimate choice. It will always be a choice and it is hard to see how anything - even allowing gay marriage - will take that choice away from you or even invalidate that choice in the eyes of society.

I have heard no argument compelling enough or logical enough that would cause me to fear for the future of “traditional marriage” if that is what people choose as a way to express their love and commitment to one another. The secular conservative case against gay marriage is sometimes based on the notion that marriage as a civil compact is an expression of the importance that society places on the nuclear family and as a practical matter, encourages procreation so that society can survive. Introducing gay marriage undermines this goal and places society’s imprimatur on unions that have no hope of conception and therefore, can actually be considered a threat.

This case is buttressed by statistics that show that children who grow up in a family with two parents - male and female - are better adjusted, are better able to form stable relationships, and are less likely to get divorced as adults among other findings. No one can ever make the argument that children are not better off living in stable, loving families.

A hundred years ago when traditional marriage and child bearing was vital to the continuation of society due to shorter life spans and much higher rates of infant mortality, such an argument made sense. But since this is no longer the case, most objections to gay marriage today center on religious strictures against it - and gays as human beings. Without seeking to alter anyone’s religious beliefs, it needs to be said that the noxious, unconservative idea that religion should be a determining factor in whether American society accepts gay marriage must be abandoned while, at the same time, recognizing that traditional marriage be celebrated and even promoted as the best option. The two goals are not at all incompatible if you believe the only important thing is that two people love each other.

There is no delegitimizing love be it between a man and a woman or two members of the same sex. The same electro-chemical reactions in the brain that cause sparks to fly between a man and a woman also affect same sex couples. The same stages of love experienced by heterosexual couples are also felt by gay partners. Love is love in any context and only man in his ignorance defines the emotion felt by gay couples as “illegitimate.” Why that has been accepted by conservatives as a reason to oppose the idea that two members of the same sex who love each other should be legally kept apart is beyond me. You can disapprove of gays and gay marriage out of religious conviction or personal prejudice but it is decidedly unconservative to force the rest of us to agree with you by preventing the union of gay couples.

Approving gay marriage will not mean that evangelical ministers will be forced to perform gay weddings. Nor will it mean that government will “promote” gay marriage any more than it “promotes” something by allowing it. Many Christian denominations as well as most other creeds will most likely not change their views on marrying gays. Some will, but then, that would be their choice, wouldn’t it?

And that’s what this debate is all about — and why conservatives should continue to fight liberal efforts to short circuit the legislative process and win the gay marriage fight in the courts. If ever there was an issue to be decided by the people, a fundamental change in society like allowing gay marriage is it. If the people choose to allow gay marriage or gay civil unions, they can speak through their elected state representatives. This is an issue that all of us - gay and straight - should have a voice in deciding.

I haven’t mentioned the political aspects of gay marriage and how it has somehow been tied to conservative attitudes toward gays in general. I know many conservatives who could care less about the personal life choices of someone else but are strongly opposed to gay marriage for religious reasons. Is there a way to separate the idea that one can be tolerant of another’s lifestyle while opposing what I admit is a radical change in the concept of marriage? Not as long as it is politically convenient for the opposition to paint gay marriage opponents as anti-gay bigots. As Marc Ambinder reminds us, this is a huge problem for Republicans despite a growing intraparty split on the issue:

I don’t think the modern Republican Party, which relies heavily on the foundational force of Christian conservatism, can shift its position on gay rights without severe penalties. I know that there are many Republicans who support gay rights, and that most members of the Republican elite are pro-gay, and that the business wing of the party could care less about the issue. I know that suburbanites are turned off by conservative intolerance of homosexuality and gay rights. I know that younger Republicans tend to be pro-gay and are alienated from the rest of the party. But I also know that the possibility that the Republican coalition will find some way to organize itself without social conservatives is a ways of a way off.

I am not recommending that social cons be drummed out of the party nor am I saying that the GOP should change its position on the issue. I don’t see the harm in de-emphasizing all social issues and bringing to the fore economic and foreign policy issues where our differrences with Obama and the Democrats are just as broad and just as deep. But opposing gay marriage on religious grounds is a loser both philosophically in that it is a non-conservative position to hold and politically. Believing that you are defending “traditional marriage” doesn’t pass muster either — not when half the country ends up in non-traditional relationships which, by definition, normalizes those practices. In effect, by arguing that it is “saving” traditional marriage by railing against alternative lifestyles, you are only marginalizing yourself, isolating the movement and the party from the rest of the country.

Gay unions will eventually be established as legal in most of America — hopefully by state legislatures and not the courts. I believe conservatives can embrace this change as part of the natural evolution in society and the simple recognition that denying two people in love the legal and cultural benefits that come with being married simply because they are of the same sex is wrong.

By: Rick Moran at 9:16 am
80 Responses to “THE CONSERVATIVE CASE FOR GAY MARRIAGE”
  1. 1
    Stogie Said:
    10:30 am 

    You make good points. My own opposition to gay marriage is pretty weak, for the same reasons you state. It is a freedom issue; gay marriage doesn’t harm me or cost me any money; and most of all, WHO CARES?

    I am not a social conservative and I do agree with you that social issues should be deemphasized in favor of more important ones: saving free markets; keeping our military strong and ready; beating back Obama’s insane spending spree; keeping taxes low.

  2. 2
    grognard Said:
    10:37 am 

    If Conservatism is to be intellectually consistent this is the correct view. You can’t call for less governmental interference in business but turn around and call for more of it in peoples personal lives. But this applies to more than marriage. If someone wants to use drugs that is their choice also. Not a good choice, but having more freedom does not necessarily mean that you use it wisely. Ultimately the choice of how you use your freedom is up to you and should not be mandated by government. I think that this idea would resonate well and Conservatism could offer an appealing counter position to the Liberal idea of mandated governmental solutions for everything. With creationism being taught in schools and gay marriage it is time to dump the social “conservatives” and start new. You might not win the next election but long term the idea of more freedom of choice for every everyone is a powerful idea.

  3. 3
    busboy33 Said:
    10:45 am 

    I thought after a “conservative soul-searching” post, you’re supposed to follow it up with an “Obama and Congressional Dems are goofballs” post. Back to the playbook, man!
    Joking aside, a deep and profound post. Possibly the best argument for keeping the issue away from the courts I have ever heard. You’ve added another wrinkle to my thinking about this issue, and for that an honest thank you.

    BTW, I’m a pretty liberal person on most topics who has been pursuaded to the anti-gay-marriage side of the issue (legally equivilant recognition? Yes absolutely. “Capital M” marriage? No). If a conservative’s arguments end up swinging me back to the other side, I may be forced to acknowledge that rational discourse and the reasoned exchange of ideas and opinions still exists in America. You’re going to shtter my entire pessimistic world view!

  4. 4
    Don C. Said:
    10:50 am 

    REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER
    August 1, 2003

    [Excerpt]

    BILL MAHER: Okay, let me ask you this Congressman [Barney Frank (D-MA)], if gay people were allowed all the rights and privileges that anybody else could have, in other words, they could get the insurance and they could get everything else, but you couldn’t get the name “marriage,” would you go for that?

    BARNEY FRANK: Oh, I would, yeah. If there were all the legal rights – remember, gay and lesbian people pay taxes and what we’re saying is, we should be eligible for all the benefits that are supported by the taxes we pay. If people want to create a situation which there is the full legal rights that go with being married, and the price of that was to call it something else, I’m not big on what you call things. And so that would not concern me at all.

    What I’m looking for is the right, as I said, two people in love who want to join to their emotional commitment a legal and moral financial responsibility for each other, and if you wanted to call it something else, we can even have a contest.

    http://www.safesearching.com/billmaher/print/t_hbo_realtime_080103.htm (expired link)

    **

    “The burden of proof, therefore, is on the advocates of gay marriage to show what state interest these marriages serve. Thus far, this burden has not been met.”

    http://tech.mit.edu/V124/N5/kolasinski.5c.html

    **

    Rick wrote:

    “Gay unions will eventually be established as legal in most of America — hopefully by state legislatures and not the courts. I believe conservatives can embrace this change as part of the natural evolution in society and the simple recognition that denying two people in love the legal and cultural benefits that come with being married simply because they are of the same sex is wrong.”

    California has already done so (just can’t use the word ‘marriage’):

    297.5. (a) Registered domestic partners shall have the same rights, protections, and benefits, and shall be subject to the same responsibilities, obligations, and duties under law, whether they derive from statutes, administrative regulations, court rules, government policies, common law, or any other provisions or sources of law, as are granted to and imposed upon spouses.

    http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=fam&group=00001-01000&file=297-297.5

    **

    My question is why do homosexual “marriage” advocates insist on subverting the definition of the word?

  5. 5
    Don C. Said:
    10:57 am 

    “… by arguing that it is ’saving’ traditional marriage by railing against alternative lifestyles, you are only marginalizing yourself, isolating the movement and the party from the rest of the country.”

    If that were true, then liberal Oregon & California would have had very different outcomes when “same-sex marriage” measures were put to their respective voters.

    Sorry Rick, the only state that I’d agree has acted appropriately in all this is Vermont. Hardly America’s forefront of moral virtue.

  6. 6
    Russell Miller Said:
    11:17 am 

    Don C:

    You missed Rick’s entire point, which is:

    What business is it of yours what they want to call themselves?

  7. 7
    Russell Miller Said:
    11:26 am 

    Don C:

    It is a myth that California is “liberal”. Yes, the metropolitan areas do indeed skew liberal, but the rural areas (yes, California does have rural areas) are quite conservative. It is the same for Oregon. The Willamette Valley is liberal, but you cross the cascades and it’s as conservative as you get.

    I think it bosters Rick’s theory that given these facts, it still managed to skew as far left as it did. If this is put on the ballot in four or eight years in California, likely gay marriage would be legalized. It’s only a matter of time.

    Don’t forget that the really hard core older conservatives are dying off, and the young kids are coming of voting age. And while I’m not going to pretend at all that they are all conservative, I think it’s pretty obvious that most don’t give a whit about gay marriage, and once enough of there are enough of them - it’s going to change.

    The era of the social conservative is ending. Hopefully to be replaced with an era that leans more libertarian.

  8. 8
    Junk Science Skeptic Said:
    11:51 am 

    A few thoughts:

    Apart from the potential for a few arcane issues that will be used by discrimination hustling lawyers, I’ve no interest in getting worked up over the semantics involved, marriage, civil union, domestic partnership, heck, call it scrambled eggs if you want.

    Government interference, pro or con, in people’s relationships will always create unintended consequences.

    When the tax code sought to resolve inequity between (truly) single filers and married DINK couples with regard to the exemption/standard deduction structure, they created what some erroneously refer to as the marriage penalty, but is more accurately defined as the unmarried cohabitant’s loophole (in short - basic living costs for 2 are less than 2x the costs for 1, cohabs get the 2x exemption/deduction). So there’s no surprise that the tax-advantaged cohabitation is popular. Granted, when you actually run the numbers both ways, the penalty/loophole isn’t nearly as onerous/generous as most imagine, but the actual numbers rarely enter into the consideration.

    Of course there are those who argue that the tax code gives undue preference to a married couple with children compared to a gay unmarried couple with children, but here again, the actual bottom-line difference doesn’t support all of the indignation. Last I checked, married vs. unmarried, median household income, 1 child, difference in tax owed was less than $50.

    However, leaving the tax frivolity aside, the real issue where government has a place in relationships, for better or worse, is in the area of partner rights.

    In many areas, the government has extended “special” rights to a (straight) married couple. Rather than seeking equal rights for all, gay activists want these special rights extended to themselves as well. Two wrongs won’t make a right. Limiting partner rights solely to those who share a bed is just as discriminatory as limiting those rights solely to straight married couples.

    Think for a moment about the single offspring who devotes 20 years of their life to caring for a widowed/widower parent. Is this person somehow less deserving of survivor benefits from social security than a spouse?

    Think about a similar situation where no familial connection exists. In addition to the issue of SSI survivor benefits, now there are many legal issues added to the mix.

    Given enough time, hundreds of real everyday scenarios could be shown to illustrate the need for equal partnership rights for all, instead of just extending special rights to another preferenced group.

    If the religious community wants to keep the term “marriage” to itself, and thereby control the definition, fine, it’s just a word. But if “marriage” is under their sole jurisdiction, then the federal government, including the tax code, social security, etc, cannot recognize or grant preference to it. Married couples would also need to file the same civil partnership documents as a gay couple, or non-couple partners would need to file to gain partner rights and benefits.

    If the gay activist community wants any credibility on the equal rights front, then they need to advocate equal partner rights for all, not just special rights for themselves.

  9. 9
    Russell Miller Said:
    12:00 pm 

    That should read “I’m not going to pretend at all that they are all liberal”. Oops.

  10. 10
    Holy Mighty Atheist » A Conservative who doesn’t care about gay marriage Pinged With:
    12:15 pm 

    [...] I was not overly shocked, but still pleasantly surprised, when I read this post, entitled “The Conservative Case for Gay Marriage”: A hundred years ago when [...]

  11. 11
    michael reynolds Said:
    12:36 pm 

    Don:

    Rick is right: it’s marginalizing. Not today, but going forward. Like when in 1968 Nixon courted white southerners with the southern strategy. The GOP categorically lost the African-American vote. I’d argue that the GOP’s subsequent alienation of the Hispanic vote flowed from that same strategy and from the constituencies it attracted.

    Short-term gain in solidifying the south for the GOP morphed into a long-term liability.

    Read the polls now and what you see on gay marriage is very stark: the dividing line is age. Old people against it, young people for it. It’s one of the reasons you lost ground among the young and will no more easily get it back than you’ll get back the black vote.

    The GOP is down to 25%. An old, white, rural 25%. You’re ceding young, black, Hispanic and increasingly, the well-educated. Old, white and rural is not a growing demographic group: it’s a sinking ship.

  12. 12
    Michael Said:
    3:02 pm 

    Conservatives believe in an enduring moral order, adherence to custom and convention and continuity, and believe in prudent restraint.

    Society is in social upheaval. Everyone is a moral authority unto himself. I am good. The things I do are good. I do what I want to do and it is all right. You do what you want and that is all right too. Everyone is all right.

    What affect will this social upheaval have in the long run? That remains to be seen. We are overturning norms that endured for perhaps a thousand years. We say the traditional marriage old-timers were ignorant. Suddenly we have figured that out. Modernity has arrived. Finally, finally we are free of all moral restraint. Free at last.

    I am a Conservative. I believe in an enduring moral order. I believe in a natural order. I am sticking with custom and tradition. I believe in slow change based on prudent restraint. I do not charge headlong into social upheaval only to be blindsided in the future.

    There is a new of moral order headed our way that allows no homosexuals and offers only submission for women. What it demands is an enduring moral order not of our liking. It is unyielding.

  13. 13
    bsjones Said:
    3:59 pm 

    Don C. Said:
    My question is why do homosexual “marriage” advocates insist on subverting the definition of the word?

    Answer: It’s for religious reasons. Many homosexuals believe that marriage is about having your relationship recognized “before God”. Some churches recognize homosexual relationships “before God”. Having the State attempt to negate that with defense of marriage amendments is offensive to them.

  14. 14
    Anon Said:
    4:24 pm 

    It seems to me if Conservatives jumped on board the “civil unions” bandwagon, or some other such thing that allows gay couples all of the legal rights of married couples, the “gay marriage” issue would be blunted. It is a conundrum, though, isn’t it? It’ll certainly alienate the socials cons. Can their numbers be made up via young voters? Who knows.

  15. 15
    funny man Said:
    5:11 pm 

    I have to agree a little with Micheal here (to many Michaels here; last post). Not necessarily for reasons of ‘enduring moral order’ (kind of squishy term) but looking ahead to the vitality of our society. I have no problems defending ones individual right to choose whoever we want to be with and homosexual unions should also have some degree of legal protection. I’m more worried about the fragmentation of our society; what is it we would rally around if need be.

  16. 16
    Don C. Said:
    5:12 pm 

    My point is that state by state homosexual “marriage” is rejected by a decisive majority of voters because it is not marriage as traditionally and legally defined.

    At the same time, most voters agree that there should be legislated, *state by state*, individual state rights such as were codified in California’s Domestic Partner law.

    Tangentially, but not unworthy of note: until there are certain restrictions guaranteed that will prevent discrimination lawsuits filed on behalf of homosexual “marriage” advocates against churches that refuse to perform marriage ceremonies in the event of the passage f these “marriage” laws, I see no reason for traditionalists to presume a defensive posture.

    Homosexual “marriage” advocates behave with thuggishness ebven though they have all the same rights as actual spouses in California.

    Who here believes they wouldn’t demand Amendment XIV be subverted to continue their thuggery ex post facto?

  17. 17
    Don C. Said:
    5:18 pm 

    Russell Miller Said:

    “What business is it of yours what they want to call themselves?”

    It is my business in as much as I care by what process legal terminology is redefined in our country.

    And I agree entirely with Rick that this should be done “by state legislatures and not the courts.”

  18. 18
    Neoavatara Said:
    7:32 pm 

    I agree with you completely. Society will change, for good or ill. It is not for government to decide. Government can ‘nudge’ people into certain decisions, but ultimately individuals will decide their own fate. As long as it is done by the legislative process and not judicial fiat, I think as conservatives we have to accept the result…whether we are personally happy with it or not. That is the American way…ultimately live and let live.

  19. 19
    Kelly Said:
    7:49 pm 

    I found Camille Paglia’s take on gay marriage very thought provoking:
    “My position has always been …. that government should get out of the marriage business. Marriage is a religious concept that should be defined and administered only by churches. The government, a secular entity, must institute and guarantee civil unions, open to both straight and gay couples and conferring full legal rights and benefits. Liberal heterosexuals who profess support for gay rights should be urged to publicly shun marriage and join gays in the civil union movement.”

    This seems a common sense approach to me!

  20. 20
    Clemenza Said:
    9:06 pm 

    This link below clearly illustrates why we can never and I mean never classify the relationships of sodomites as marriage.

    Monogamy is behavior completely foreign to the “Gay” mindset.

    http://www.zombietime.com/up_your_alley_2008/part_1_full/index.php

  21. 21
    david Said:
    9:50 pm 

    The entire and only reason that gay’s want to be allowed to marry is to make this form of association into a normal form of life. Marriage is normally defined as a lifelong commitment between a man and woman that is open to the procreation of human life. While it is true that some married couples don’t want or have children it is not impossible for them to do so. There has never been children produced by two men, they are just not made that way, if two women who are gay want to have children one or both can but not as a result of their any sex act they have performed with each other. A man or his sperm has to be introduced. My point is that marriage was established by our Creator and is the first element of society. Granting a marriage to gays is just another step in societies slide to the bottom of the cess pool. The judges and law makers who approve this action have already reached that cess pool.

  22. 22
    Russell Miller Said:
    10:03 pm 

    Don C:

    I am perfectly fine with the courts deciding this, because once it gets to that point it means the legislators have abrogated their responsibility to follow the constitution.

    It should have never gotten to the point where the courts had to decide in the first place.

  23. 23
    TomT Said:
    10:52 pm 

    “There is no stigma attached to living together in an unmarried state. Indeed, very few people care — and if you do, go to hell. To make it your business — to judge me on how I live my life is about as intrusive as anyone can get. Needless to say, the thought of government having a say in whether we can cohabitate should be as abhorrent to a conservative as any other government intervention in our private lives.”

    I don’t care about your business as long as you don’t care about mine, but you don’t. Government is constantly intruding on my right to associate freely. That means I can rent, hire, or serve anybody I choose and for any reason. Sure it is your business until you shove it down my throat. That is the whole problem with the gay marriage debate. No one wants to respect the other side of the coin. The freedom to associate with whoever you wish and for any reason. This is one of our most basic of freedoms. I don’t have a problem with people judging me, I just don’t think they have a right to impose their judgements through the government. I am all for private judgement. I think it was good when people were ostracized from society for their actions.

    On another note, did you guys see the report about people who are sexually attracted to objects. I am torn. On what principle do I make a moral judgement? Will we grant rights to a bridge? Who are we to judge.

  24. 24
    TomT Said:
    11:47 pm 

    I used to think the same way about women in combat positions in the military. I thought conservatives were just being hysterical until Abu Ghraib. At the center of the controversy were 2 women. The commander who was probably promoted because of her sex and a pregnant girl who appeared to be the ring leader of this controversy. Considering that there were probably a small percentage of women in the fire zone, it is pretty damning that 2 of them were at the center of this controversy. I am intellectual honest enough to admit when I could be wrong. I think conservatives concerns over gay marriage are legitimate and should be heeded. The people who truly have the open minds are the ones who listen to the conservative concerns and just don’t blow them off as some right wing bigots. If you listen to them, most of them speak based on a concern for their country and culture and not from a hatred for gays. Gay marriage opens up allot of other issues that you might not be considering.

    In the end I wouldn’t mind trying some of these policies if there could be some honest evaluation of the policies and their effect on society. But the problem I have is like the example above, no matter how disasterous their policies are, liberals never admit when they are wrong. Look at most of the inner city school systems, in Detorit 60-70% of the students who start do not graduate. Where are the calls for change? When do they admit the system doesn’t work and actually consider other solutions like vouchers? Would this be tolerated if it was privately run?

    This is what worries me most about National Health Care. Once it is implemented, it will never go back no matter how big of a disaster it is. I think that is why Christianity has been such a successful philoshophy over the centuries. It was not as dogmatic as other religions and economic philosophhies and has adapted to better ideas.

  25. 25
    bsjones Said:
    12:53 am 

    Don C.,

    It makes perfect sense for a Catholic priest to put quotes around the word marriage when it follows the word homosexual because the Church does not sanctify homosexual unions. It would be perfectly silly for a Unity minister to do the same thing because they perform marriage ceremonies with homosexuals all the time. They do sanctify homosexual marriages.

    In America we tolerate most but not all religious expressions. Personally, I like it that way. Of course they do things differently in Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Afghanistan. Where would you rather live?

    I know, I know…. In an America that prohibits homosexual marriage.

  26. 26
    Mike Said:
    6:51 am 

    I’m waiting for one of the various LDS splinter groups to join in a coalition with the homosexual movement to not just support marriage between members of the same sex, but polygamist marriage between differing sexes.

    This could get very interesting.

  27. 27
    UNRR Said:
    7:51 am 

    This post has been linked for the HOT5 Daily 4/19/2009, at The Unreligious Right

  28. 28
    Locomotive Breath Said:
    8:36 am 

    Follow the money. It’s all about the benefits conferred by society on people who are married and are presumably doing the hard work of raising the next generation of citizens

    http://gaylife.about.com/od/samesexmarriage/a/benefits.htm

    Opposite sex couples “shacking up” do not claim the benefits. As I look at it, opposite sex couples who choose to get married but also choose to not have kids are freeloaders on these benefits. Gays and lesbians are free to “live together” right now without any change to the law. What they want are the benefits. If it were up to me, no one would get those benefits unless they were actually raising kids.

    And no, I don’t think gay and lesbian couples should be raising kids nor do I think _on-purpose_ single parenthood is a good idea either. A properly socialized child requires the full time presence of a man and a woman.

  29. 29
    Joe Said:
    8:59 am 

    But Rick, thats the thing, hardcore conservatives don’t want to change. Society changes, old school conservatives want to stick to Ozzie and Harriet norms. Thats why the gop got killed with the 18-29 year old demographic in the 2008 election. I respect people who cling to their “values”, but the thing is, they’ll end up in the political wilderness. My 26 year old daughter, and 24 year old son, both told me their peers don’t care if gays get married. Let the evangelicals rail against it, no one is listening.

  30. 30
    cdor Said:
    9:12 am 

    If, and only if, individual states vote to change the definition of marriage than change it. I see no Constitutional “right” to homosexual marriage. Anyone can claim that anything abridges their “right” to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happines. Claiming so doesn’t make it so. Attack the tax code, if you like, for being unfair. One would , of course, be at the end of a long line in choosing that course, but have at it.

    Marriage has had a very specific definition in western civilization for thousands of years. It has been the foundation of the common family and the bedrock of our society. Change it, not by judges, but by popular vote state by state, if we dare. But I say go very slowly with this. It must not be done as a matter of constitutional rights or we will be opening the door for any number of perverse relationships for which we did not bargain.

    Beware of the boogaboo of unforseen consequences.

    I, as a conservative, will continue to treat gays with respect in my personal relationships as I always have. Their lifestyle and sexual preference, as long as it does no harm, is their choice. I expect to get the same respect in return.

  31. 31
    cdor Said:
    9:27 am 

    Michael Reynolds, when your young people “grow up” they can change their society however they would like. I either won’t be around or I’ll be too old to care. Until then, they will live in the society that us old folks created for them…and the old folks before us.

    To me, not everything is about votes or political advantage. If this shocks you, please forgive me.

  32. 32
    c3 Said:
    9:33 am 

    Rick;
    You wrote “what we are left with is nothing more than how people choose to define their relationships where they feel love for another human being.” Similar to several comments above, I would ask what is the state’s interest in sanctioning any relationship two people would choose to have, loving or otherwise?

  33. 33
    Russell Miller Said:
    10:12 am 

    cdor: It doesn’t shock me, for sure. It just strikes me as spectacularly closed-minded.

  34. 34
    michael reynolds Said:
    10:31 am 

    CDOR:

    Not for long they won’t. The tipping point on gay marriage is not far in the future.

    Your central premise is wrong: the old don’t dictate terms to the young. Note Google, stem cells, Twitter, fashion and entertainment and the election of Barack Obama. It’s a two-way street.

    You, my friend, will live in a world where a man can marry a man. Unless you’re planning on checking out really soon. In the meantime, you might want to stay out of Massachusetts, Vermont, Iowa . . . and more to come.

  35. 35
    Don C. Said:
    11:06 am 

    Russell Miller Said:

    “I am perfectly fine with the courts deciding this, because once it gets to that point it means the legislators have abrogated their responsibility to follow the constitution.”

    Being “perfectly fine” with decisions from tiny cadres of black-robed “master minds” is a dangerous business.

    Infinitely preferable are the imperfect deliberations and policies of/by/for the People via their elected/accountable representatives.

    In any case, if Barney Frank doesn’t care if it’s called ‘marriage’ or not, why should anyone else?

  36. 36
    Russell Miller Said:
    12:14 pm 

    Don C: Why do you have such disrespect for the judicial system? Because they are obligated to follow the constitution rather than the will of the people?

    Sorry, this is exactly what the founding fathers had in mind for the judiciary.

    And Barney Frank does not determine what I think. I do.

  37. 37
    Don C. Said:
    3:26 pm 

    Mischaracterizing my words only reveals your own weakness.

    You can do better… but, apparently not better than Barney Frank.

  38. 38
    Russell Miller Said:
    4:47 pm 

    I did not mischaracterize your words. There’s really no other way to take “tiny cadres of black-robed “master minds””.

    However, I’m not going to argue further. You just started with the ad hominems, and I’m not going there.

  39. 39
    cdor Said:
    4:56 pm 

    I am afraid it is you, Russell Miller who is spectacularly closed minded. If you can’t get your way immediately, you will run to the ubers crying, “change the rules, change the rules”. Well in this day and age, with the courts imposing themselves as some sort of tribal chieftains, it may happen. If the courts step in and make this decision against the will of the large majority of people, however, huge resentment very likely will occur. It is possible that court ordered gay marriage would actually reverse trends towards acceptance of the gay lifestyle. Did you even read my post? This needs to happen, if it needs to happen at all, by the will of society in general…not by the courts.

    Vermont recently became the first state to legalize gay marriage democratically through their legislature. Although this was not a popular vote, these folks were at least elected officials. As I originally stated, that is the way it should be done. That is exactly the principal of Federalism in action. Those that are utterly offended can leave the state, others can move there if they so relish Vermont’s progressivism.

    As opposed to you, I am not proposing the courts should overrule the legislatures decision. I would leave that up to the people of Vermont.

    Now please explain what is close minded about my position.

    Michael Reynolds your first post threatened that Republicans won’t get elected if they don’t support gay marriage. That the youth will not vote for them because they supposedly want gay marriage. Well, maybe they do. The youth of society have always tended to be more liberal. I am not scared about that. One doesn’t get to be old without having been young first and, yes, I was very liberal in my 20’s. The opposite is equally true. Those youth will get old too. And they will become more conservative as they do.

    So there…now we have both stated the obvious.

  40. 40
    Russell Miller Said:
    7:00 pm 

    cdor:

    Civil rights. 1960s. Enough said.

  41. 41
    cdor Said:
    7:55 pm 

    The only civil rights trespassers in this area would be the IRS.

    enough said, Miller

  42. 42
    TTT Said:
    8:46 pm 

    cdor: Today’s young people will never grow up to be conservative enough to discriminate against gay people, as you seem to believe. That’s a mindset that will simply die off, not to be missed.

    Young people today grew up with gay friends, classmates, and public figures. They will always remember that. It is utterly not an issue to them. When they get old enough to start making car payments, that will not erase their entire life experience and make them start hating gays for no reason.

    Conservatives should have the class to not truculently try to block it until they all die. If they won’t lead, just get out of the way.

  43. 43
    bsjones Said:
    8:48 pm 

    cdor,

    The Supreme Court has a very special and potentially undemocratic role in our system of government. SCOTUS not only has the power to interpret the laws created by Congress and signed by the President, they have the power to to evaluate the laws for constitutionality.

    This means that the SCOTUS can nullify not just federal laws but state laws also. They potentially have the power to nullify laws passed by referendum as well. Powerful stuff.

    Like it or not, each branch of government has the ability to limit the powers of the other two branches. Our government works this way by DESIGN.

    Is the power to nullify and interpret laws inherently undemocratic?

    I think so. Any careful reading of James Madison points to the reason for such an undemocratic structure. The people who created the U.S. Constitution were comprised of a largely privileged and powerful class. They were afraid of something they referred to as the “tyranny of the majority”. They had no intention of letting “the rabble” interfere with the wonderful thing that they had just created.

    Barriers to voting and an appointed Senate are just two aspects of the originally ratified Constitution that point to how afraid the Founders were of the majority and majority rule.

    It may sound strange, but it is (oh so) true.

  44. 44
    busboy33 Said:
    9:02 pm 

    Are the Supremes undemocratic (in the sense you’re using it)? Absolutely. Just remember the check on their almost unlimited power — they can’t actually DO anything. They can answer the questions asked, but not pose any of their own.

  45. 45
    mannning Said:
    9:17 pm 

    …not when half the country ends up in non-traditional relationships which, by definition, normalizes those practices.

    This strikes me as wrong. If half the nation was addicted to cocaine, would that normalize it? Breaking the law, or breaking a taboo by the majority doesn’t make it right.

  46. 46
    bsjones Said:
    9:35 pm 

    busboy33,

    In truly undemocratic fashion they also have the power to not hear cases. For example, a person may want to question the constitutionality of being held with no habeas corpus rights but the SCOTUS is not obliged to hear it. Extremely powerful.

    Think about Japanese Internment. In 1944, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the exclusion orders of President Roosevelt, while noting that the provisions that singled out people of Japanese ancestry were a separate issue outside the scope of the proceedings. In essence they skirted the issue.

  47. 47
    bsjones Said:
    1:57 am 

    It seems our rights are guaranteed unless we really really need them. Everyone knows the wheels of justice are exceedingly slow, but did the SCOTUS do anything at all to protect these American citizens during a time of war when the citizens really needed protection?

  48. 48
    cdor Said:
    6:35 am 

    TTT, I have never advocated for discrimination against Gays. You make up points out of whole cloth, attribute those things to me, and then argue against them. Enjoy yourself.

    Let’s see, Truculent: aggresively hostile, belligerent, vitriolically scathing…where on this thread have I exhibited this behavior? It is a nice word, though, when used appropriately.

    Perhaps you are feeling a bit truculent yourself, Mr ttt

  49. 49
    cdor Said:
    7:03 am 

    bsjones, I believe you are correct when stating that the founders did have a concern for the tyranny of the majority. That is why our country is a democratically elected representative republic and not a pure democracy.
    The original reason for having senators appointed by the states, rather than elected was to maintain the states soverignty against the federal governement (which they feared more than anything else). The people changed that by means set forth for change in the constitution itself. It is another subject whether or not that was a wise change indeed.

    You seem to have disdain for out constitution. I hope I have misinterpretted your language.

    In any event, disdain or not, it is the supreme law of the land. Please where in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights does it say Gays have a right to get married?

    I stated previously, if the courts determine this issue, it will necessarily open up the proverbial can of worms for all sorts of groups of people and things to “marry”.

    Extreme caution is warranted. Gays are not suffering, in the way of Negroes during slavery, or females not having suffrage. There is no need to rush. Let society adapt gracefully, give the change time, avoid the unwanted and unforseen consequences.

  50. 50
    mannning Said:
    11:34 am 

    More on normalization:

    This idea that a majority “normalizes” a given behavior seems to me to be pure moral relativity, where the crowd’s behavior defines the good and the bad. This is as opposed to moral absolutes, where either a religion or a government, or even an atheist group, defines for all a moral code to be followed, and sets forth clear rules for social behaviors. Many aspects of the moral code are thus found to be incorporated into the laws of the land.

    If moral degeneration takes place in a society and the established moral code or the laws are flouted by the majority of citizens, what is the proper response? Should the code or laws be changed to reflect the changing behavior of the crowd, or should they be more strongly enforced for the greater good?

    Not reinforcing the existing codes and laws opens the door for flouting other rules of behavior as well in order to let the code or law follow the preferences of the citizens.

    The fear this creates is one of supporting nihilism and hedonism, eventually evolving a society with few rules and few unacceptable behaviors.

    The syndrome of: “well, just one more little change” to the code and all will be well, is an exceedingly slippery slope. To me a moral code that has been fashioned by both wise souls and by experience over centuries is an organic whole, such that little modifications here and there may well unravel that wholeness, and hence unravel significant behaviors of the society.

    For those that believe in God-given moral strictures, tinkering with the moral code to please the crowd is a flat out sin.

  51. 51
    geeyore Said:
    4:20 pm 

    Rick (or whoever wrote the lead article) - One issue this does raise is a true and proper taxonomy for regular Joe conservatives versus alleged and self-professed “social conservatives”.

    When “social conservatives” protest gay marriage on religious grounds (e.g. “God hates it”) then that is “religious conservatism” and not “social conservatism.”

    The true “social conservative” (aka Joe normal unhyphenated conservative) has a radically different problem, which is simply that no society in recorded human history has ever sanctioned homosexual marriage. Not last year, not last century, not last millenia, and not in Rome or Angkor Wat or Thebes or the Zulu Nation. Never. Ever.

    So by what authority (the true and not the fake social conservative asks) does some petty nitwit judge in the Commonwealth Of Massachusetts (and now other misguided states) have to initiate this bizarre aberration in human civilization? By what right or precedent?

    Note that this question hasn’t the slightest speck of religionism in it. It’s a true social conservative issue, and the only one that should be used (unless one happens to be of the Religionist Party).

  52. 52
    bsjones Said:
    5:30 pm 

    cdor,

    1. What/where is the disdain for the Constitution of the U.S. you speak of?

    2.Where in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights does it say Gays have do not have a right to get married?

    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government.

    If I am homosexual and I want to be married to someone of the same sex and my church wants to sanctify the marriage in front of God, why shouldn’t I get married? I would be pursuing my unalienable rights to Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness that were bestowed upon me by my creator. Do I not have an explicit right to equal treatment under the law?

    3. The horse has already left the barn. Homosexuals live together openly. Homosexuals adopt children and raise them. Homosexuals split up and have to divide their property and have custody battles. Having government sanctify homosexual marriage would allow homosexuals to do this things under the law.

  53. 53
    cdor Said:
    5:52 pm 

    You are correct, manning, it is moral relativity when the majority of society determines what is right and wrong. But then, what determines right and wrong if not the majority of society? Is it the King? Or is it God? Rick doesn’t believe in god, he believes in Atheism. What determines his moral compass? What about those that believe in God and that belief tells them that they should use women as breeding mares? Or so many other examples that need not be mentioned? And who or what determines the punishment for those that break the moral code? Isn’t it society? For some it will be eventually another Sodom and Gamorah. Maybe that is what has to happen, again.

    For me, the absolute is try to do no harm. Isn’t even The Golden Rule relative? “Do unto others as one would have others do unto you.” Where is the absolute in that?

    My experience tells me that gays are as wonderful and as evil as any other human being. I suspect that homosexuality has existed as long as heterosexuality.

    I also believe in respecting the collective historical wisdom of society. That collective wisdom accumulates and grows. When society has determined that there is no longer a reason to differentiate between marriage, a long and loving relationship between Rick and his mate, or the same between a homosexual couple, I have no objection. That would be the evolution of the collective wisdom.

    I do, however, object to imposing by judges, in this instance, of re-defining marriage. Gays are not subjected to pain and suffering or the forced labor of slavery. Rick, for example, is in a long and loving heterosexual relationship. He is not impaired by not being able to marry.

    Out of respect for those who as a majority of society believe otherwise, we need to wait. Let this move through the states slowly and see how it developes. Let the unforseen consequences be exposed. Then, if it is determined by society to be accepted…let it be.

  54. 54
    cdor Said:
    6:56 pm 

    If I, a father of three, want to marry my daughters, and I can find a church to sanctify this marriage in front of god, why shouldn’t I be married?

    Tell me bs, why shouldn’t I?

  55. 55
    cdor Said:
    7:00 pm 

    You said it yourself bs, it’s in the constitution:

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    THAT is exactly what I am saying.

    Thank you

  56. 56
    mannning Said:
    8:09 pm 

    Well, the God-fearing and God-worshiping are declining, but it is still about 80% Christian in the US. That speaks of a Christian morality for by far the majority of US citizens.

    The Christian morality evolved from over 4,000 years of trial and acceptance by many people, and by the efforts of many in the clergy that were charged with interpreting the Bible–even structuring the Bible itself.

    If you have a different faith, or no faith at all, you are obliged to invent one or adopt one in order to live in harmony in this or any society. Even the atheist must invent a morality to live by, or find one that is satisfactory. (That is not an easy task.)

    I would take the Ten Commandments as the beginning strictures, and they are absolute, and the Golden Rule as a well-proven guide to rewarding relations with other human beings.
    It is, as Kant stated, a Categorical Imperative, and hence quite authoritarian.

  57. 57
    cdor Said:
    8:58 pm 

    Thanks manning, I agree that the Ten Commandments could be viewed as Absolute. I would.

    And I see no mention of homosexuality or gay marriage there. Perhaps I am missing something.

  58. 58
    mannning Said:
    9:02 pm 

    Well, there is a problem in the Bible about homosexuality. At least four passages condemn it, one in Romans, and three in Liviticus. This puts the test to Christians as to what they believe about the Bible. Taken literally, there is no doubt that the Bible condemns it.

    No one said that faith was easy…

  59. 59
    cdor Said:
    9:20 pm 

    No one said that faith was easy…

    Now THERE is an absolute truth.

  60. 60
    bsjones Said:
    10:17 pm 

    Manning,
    Many believe the stories in the bible are fairy tales at best and an oppressive attempt at control over individuals at worst. While acknowledging Christianity and Judaism as profoundly influential in Western Societies, I see no reason that what the Bible says about homosexuals or homosexuality being the deciding factor in how the United States writes its laws regarding marriage. Homosexuality is a problem for very many Christians. It need not be for the State. Perhaps homosexual Christians should refrain from marrying.

  61. 61
    busboy33 Said:
    10:35 pm 

    @bsjones:
    No dispute from me. Its an unfortunate reality of the nature of a “referee”. Does it create problems? Inherently yes. But if they could be forced to answer all questions posed to them, they’d never get anything done — they get thousands of cert petitions every year and there would be no possibility of hearing them all. There would have to multiple Supreme Courts, which defeats the entire purpose.

    @TomT:
    “a pregnant girl who appeared to be the ring leader of this controversy.”
    Are you refering to Lindsey England? If so, you might want to look a little deeper into what happened and who was involved.

  62. 62
    Clyde Said:
    11:25 pm 

    I have read all the rants defending the same sex marriage issue. Lots of condemnation toward Conservatives, Republicans and Christians, but don’t hear much about the moral aspect.

    I don’t have a problem with the homosexual individual in that sense, however, I have a big problem with the concept as it’s beeing played out in our society today.

    In the first place the homosexual act is amoral, it’s indecent, repulsive, and a death-ridden society. That is proven medically. HIV, AIDS.

    From a Christian point of view, you have to believe the Creator, and He has given us a very clear understanding of the subject. If you think He may somehow agree that it is okay as Gays claim, you just need to read His urban renewal plan for Sodom and Gomorrah. It’s a zero tolerance plan. Why, you may ask. Well, for several reasons, but all for our own good just like all the other rules and commandments. Disease is a good one, procreation which worked pretty well, family structure and cohesion and much more.

    Why do most conservatives take a strong stand against legalizing gay marriage? Mostly becase of the reasons stated above, also because those who chose to practice it seem to think that they for some reason need to force everybody to accept their view and share the sexual/social diseases and imoral culture with all of society and we have to accept it. Why can’t they just kind of keep it as a subculture, and let others live the way they choose?

  63. 63
    Al Said:
    11:33 pm 

    cdor,

    You say you can’t find anything in the ten commandments about homosexualty? Try Romans chapter 1. It’s pretty clear there.

  64. 64
    mannning Said:
    11:54 pm 

    bsjones:
    Yes, you are basically speaking for the 20% non-Christians in the nation.

    The other 80% is a significant majority that is capable of very strong influence on any legislation that affects their moral stands.

    I cannot recall offhand how many states have passed social legislation against abortion and same-sex marriage with majorities of 70-80%, but it is at least 11. That is strong enough to make my point.

    As to why they vote for such legislation I would speculate that it is almost completely a heartfelt religious and moral objection to those acts. Whether that is a satisfactory reason for voting that way, as you suggest it is not, is quite another matter. It is their reason, their faith, their votes count, and there are lots of them.

    Perhaps that is one reason we see more and more thrusts by minority groups to marginalize Christianity in the US, and to further secularize the government.

    This is no small conflict within the nation, and it is my belief that these two issues will not be solved satisfactorially in my lifetime. Laws and court decisions may be handed down from on high to ensure those acts can take place, but laws and decisions will not change the inner hearts and beliefs of the majority very easily, if at all.

  65. 65
    Dave Carl Said:
    9:19 am 

    Very thought provoking post, Rick. First of all, traditional marriage in America has been blown to bit by straight people long before gay folks wanted to get in the act. Between the divorce rate and couples choosing to live together in a common law situation show that many taboos have been broken. The ideal of a marriage between a husband & wife with children living in a permanent committed relationship is not the reality in much of America today. I believe one of the duties of government is to assess the reality of what is happening on the ground when considering legislation. Today, gay folks are living out in the open, working in the same jobs and are not like the crazy uncle that the family hides in the attic because they’re too embarrassed. That is the reality. The taboo has largely been broken although many of us may not want to ride on the float at the Gay Pride Parade. These are our fellow citizens and a serious discussion needs to take place in a logical, open manner. First of all, it has to come through the legislative branch, not through the courts–especially it needs to stay far away from the Supreme Court. I confess though that the arguments (like many social arguments in this nation) seems to be dominated by radicals. There are folks with a radical gay agenda as well as an organized Christian right who seem to be doing all the talking on this matter. The majority is somewhere in the middle.

  66. 66
    bsjones Said:
    2:57 pm 

    I have a few Christian friends (Catholics mostly) who believe that the historical role of the Church has been to control people.

    Unitarian Universalist and Unity Churches are two christian groups that believe that homosexuality is A O.K.

    Perhaps given the diverse opinion of Christian Churches themselves and the even more diverse opinions of the congregants in those churches, the number of people who I am speaking for is more than 20%.

    I think there are many people like myself. I do not attend church regularly. I think the Bible is mostly historical fiction (no 7 days creation, talking snakes, removed ribs, trees of knowledge, virgin births, resurrection, etc…). Yet, I was raised by christian parents. I am familiar with the stories. So, I would self describe as a christian who believes the Bible has nothing important to say about homosexuals or homosexuality.

    There are another group of people who ATTEND CHURCH, but still think it is nonsense. Many of them do not want America to be ruled by “Christian Law”

    My point is that even if only 20% of Americans identify as atheists, it does not mean the remaining 80% of Christians believe that homosexuality is wrong.

    I would guess only about 50% of the nation is interested in making homosexual marriage illegal with save marriage amendments. I would imagine that 50% to be skewed towards an aging demographic.

  67. 67
    cdor Said:
    7:53 pm 

    bs, instead of talking about your couple of christian friends, how about documenting all of the states that have passed a popular vote supporting gay marriage?

    I’ll come back in a couple of days very interested in seeing your evidence.

  68. 68
    bsjones Said:
    9:44 pm 

    cdor,
    The point of post #66 was:

    first, that being a self described christian does not necessarily mean you believe that homosexuals or homosexuality or homosexuals getting married is wrong or bad.

    and

    second, that only about half of Americans are interested in making homosexual marriage illegal.

    It is possible for both of these things to be true and at the same time popular votes making homosexual marriage illegal in most states. There are many reasons that this could be true, but I’ll give you just one. (This is based on anecdotal evidence.)

    Most of the people who oppose homosexuality and homosexual marriage are vehemently opposed. The issue usually makes their top three list of things that they find the most vile. Most heterosexuals who I know that “support” homosexual marriage are mostly indifferent. When guy I know said ,”Yeah, I guess. Whatever…” I would say his conviction on the issue is weak.

    The few homosexuals that I know have strong opinions about “gay marriage”, just like those in opposition do.
    Considerably less than ten percent of people identify as homosexual.

    Given all this it is easy to see why save marriage amendments could pass with large numbers even if only 50% of the population supports them.

  69. 69
    bsjones Said:
    10:10 pm 

    cdor,

    Opposition to gay marriage runs from 51% to 55% according to Pew. A majority of Americans support civil unions. A majority of Americans oppose a federal ban on homosexual marriage according to Pew.
    http://pewforum.org/docs/index.php?DocID=290

    About half of North Carolina adults oppose a constitutional amendment that would prohibit same-sex marriage, according to a poll released Monday that suggests state voters may be unwilling to follow their Southern peers in approving such a ban.
    http://hamptonroads.com/2009/03/poll-half-nc-adults-oppose-marriage-amendment

    A majority of Americans oppose a Federal ban on homosexual marriage, preferring it be decided at the state level. For example, a Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll conducted June 13-14 found that a plurality of respondents believe that states should decide “whether gays and lesbians can legally marry”
    http://mediamatters.org/items/200607200001

    A constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, backed by President Bush and conservative groups, was soundly defeated in the Senate yesterday after proponents failed to persuade a bare majority of all senators to support the measure.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/07/AR2006060700830.html

    Americans are torn about recognizing same-sex couples, said Scott Keeter of the Pew Research Center. A Pew survey in July showed 56% of respondents opposed gay marriage, but 54% favored civil unions.
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-10-12-gay-marriage_x.htm

  70. 70
    bsjones Said:
    10:18 pm 

    Now you see it, now you don’t

  71. 71
    cdor Said:
    1:12 pm 

    I could concur with any supposition you would like to make, bs, but it stiil wouldn’t make it fact. The fact is that every state that has either had a pro gay marriage or anti gay marriage popular vote has voted, mostly overwhelmingly, against gay marriage. Unless I am missing something very obvious, in my case, or, oh so subtle, in your case, society is not ready to amend the collective wisdom.

    The louder and meaner Perez Hilton screams, the less support he and his compatriots will receive. If judges make it so…we are really going to have a problem.

  72. 72
    bsjones Said:
    4:15 pm 

    cdor,
    I posted the pew research poll that shows the amount of public support for gay marriage and it went into the ether… I’ll post it again in abbreviated form. It has some interesting data.

    53% to 55% of American people oppose gay marriage.

    54% of American people support civil unions.

    59% oppose a Federal ban on gay marriage.

    http://pewforum.org/docs/?DocID=290

  73. 73
    bsjones Said:
    4:16 pm 

    cdor,
    I posted the pew research poll that shows the amount of public support for gay marriage and it went into the ether… I’ll post it again in abbreviated form. It has some interesting data.

    53% to 55% of American people oppose gay marriage.

    54% of American people support civil unions.

    59% oppose a Federal ban on gay marriage.

    http://pewforum.org/docs/?DocID=290

    Is this going into the ether too?

  74. 74
    bsjones Said:
    4:48 pm 

    Oh, you elusive ghost in the machine…

  75. 75
    bsjones Said:
    4:57 pm 

    cdor,
    This will be my third and last attempt to link to the PEW data on gay marriage.

    oppose legalizing gay marriage 53% to 55%

    support civil unions 54%

    oppose federal ban on gay marriage 59%

    http://pewforum.org/docs/?DocID=290

  76. 76
    bsjones Said:
    4:59 pm 

    I find it inexplicable that after posting the pew data on public perception of homosexual marriage three times the comments never get posted.

    Incredible.

    Incredible alright. They were all captured by the spam filter. As were some others. Not quite sure exactly how it works but if you post more than a certain amount in a certain period of time, it goes to my spam filter for approval or deletion.

    As you can see, they are all there safe and sound - 4 times worth.

    ed.

  77. 77
    bsjones Said:
    5:01 pm 

    http://pewforum.org/docs/?DocID=290

  78. 78
    bsjones Said:
    5:03 pm 

    Whew!!!

  79. 79
    bsjones Said:
    8:03 pm 

    As you can see, they are all there safe and sound - 4 times worth.

    ed.

    thanks

  80. 80
    cdor Said:
    6:49 am 

    bs, I clicked on your link three times…amazingly it said the same thing every time I clicked. There is a 19 point spread against gay marriage. That is pretty strong. As far as a Constitutional ammendment against it, well I think it is futile and silly. If Republicans get on that horse, they deserve rebuke.

    But here I am knee deep in the obvious again, while you are subtlely exposing the ethereal.

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