Good News/Bad News for Virginia’s Gays and Lesbians

Last week was a good news/bad news week for Virginia’s gay,lesbian,bisexual and transgender citizens.

The good news was that Governor Kaine continued the ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation in his Executive Order 1 setting equal employment opportunity policy for the Commonwealth’s workforce. [He also added protections for veterans to the policy.]

The bad news was that the House of Delegates passed the 2nd resolution on the so-called marriage amendment and the bill setting the ballot question, moving us one step closer to a statewide referendum.

The proposed amendment to the Constitution would define marriage as between one man and one woman and bar creation or recognition of civil unions, domestic partnerships or other legal status for all unmarried relationships (gay or straight).

The language of the proposal now wending its way to the voters is so broad and so vague it threatens continued prosecution of domestic violence cases involving unmarried couples. See this discussion of what’s happening in Ohio which has identical language in its amendment. And, this on other issues.

Why are we rushing to amend our constitution with language no one understands?

Beats me. It’s not like there’s an emergency. We’ve had a ban on gay marriage in Virginia since 1975 (more than three decades!) without a single legal challenge. We’ve had a ban on recognizing gay marriages from other states since 1997. And, we’ve banned civil unions, domestic partnerships and other legal agreements for gay couples since 2004. There’s been no direct legal challenge to any of these laws, and only one case in which the civil unions law has been raised…by a judge (activist?) who reached out to cite it in refusing to recognize a custody order from another state’s courts.

Read traditionalist arguments for marriage equality for gays and lesbians on the Volkh Conspiracy

And for arguments against the proposed amendment now working its way through the Virginia legislature look here and here

As we remember Martin Luther King today and pray for his widow’s recovery from her stroke, we should reflect on what Coretta Scott King has said about issues of equality for gays and lesbians:

“I still hear people say that I should not be talking about the rights of lesbian and gay people and I should stick to the issue of racial justice,” she said. “But I hasten to remind them that Martin Luther King Jr. said, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’” “I appeal to everyone who believes in Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream to make room at the table of brother- and sisterhood for lesbian and gay people,” she said. – Reuters, March 31, 1998.

“We have a lot more work to do in our common struggle against bigotry and discrimination. I say “common struggle” because I believe very strongly that all forms of bigotry and discrimination are equally wrong and should be opposed by right-thinking Americans everywhere. Freedom from discrimination based on sexual orientation is surely a fundamental human right in any great democracy, as much as freedom from racial, religious, gender, or ethnic discrimination.” – Coretta Scott King, remarks, Opening Plenary Session, 13th annual Creating Change conference of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Atlanta, Georgia, November 9, 2000.

Ironic that the House will take a formal vote on enshrining discrimination against gays and lesbians in the Virginia constitution on Martin Luther King Day, isn’t it?

Disclosure: As indicated in my profile, I lobby for Equality Virginia, the Commonwealth’s leading advocacy group for Virginia’s GLBT citizens.


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45 responses to “Good News/Bad News for Virginia’s Gays and Lesbians”

  1. And I thought Virginia was for lovers.

  2. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    The amendment in Virginia is a little more legal concrete around the protection of marriage. What is really needed is the amendment to the U.S. Constitution. I wrote these 10 reasons in 2003. They’re still good reasons to defend traditional marriage.

    1. Defend Traditional Marriage. The U.S. Supreme Court destroyed state laws governing sexual behavior and imagined a right to sodomy in the Constitution. Now, there is no legal standing for traditional marriage. The Massachusetts Supreme Court will create a ‘right’ for homosexual marriage. Already, a Mormon has brought suit to make his fourteen ‘wives’ his legal spouses. There is no reason a Muslim can’t have four wives, or anyone can’t have a group marriage. Homosexual ‘marriage’ makes any kind of marriage legal. Yet, marriage between one man and woman to create a family is a two thousand year old tradition.

    2. Defend Free Speech. Legalizing homosexual marriage will lead to criminalizing Judeo-Christian speech. If you say the homosexual behavior is immoral and sinful – even to quote the Holy Bible – it will be a criminal offense as it is in Canada today. The suppression of free speech is next on the homosexual agenda.

    3. Defend American Civilization. The family – based on a mother and father married – is a pillar of our civilization. No civilization – ever – has defined marriage other than a man and a woman. Even civilizations in decline with rampant homosexuality never pretended that homosexual relationships were the basis for the family. It’s biologically impossible for homosexuals to create a family naturally – which speaks to the abnormal nature of their sexual perversion.

    4. Defend American Values. Since 1607 marriage and the family were defined in laws based on our Judeo-Christian values. The sanctity of marriage was supported by laws – until now. Homosexual marriage destroys our Judeo-Christian value system. Read the Bible. Our values will become the vapor of situational ethics in making-it-up-as-you-go Liberalism. For example, where is it written that incest, bestiality, and adultery are wrong sexual behaviors and homosexuality is right? Only the sissy Christians and modern, barbarian Pagans who reject the Bible, history, and tradition and hate our values create such folly as same-sex marriage.

    5. Defend the Constitution. There is no right to sodomy under a privilege of privacy in the Constitution. Read it. All powers not expressly enumerated belong to the states and the People – including the power to establish which sexual behaviors are illegal. The state legislatures have the duty to legislate on sexual behaviors – like rape, adultery, incest, homosexuality, bestiality, etc. Likewise, the state legislatures make the rules for marriage. The Marriage Amendment will set the powers right.

    6. Restore Moral Authority. Destroying the Judeo-Christian American values as the basis of law means there is no legal defense against obscenity, divorce penalties for adultery, etc. No law against incest or bestiality can stand if homosexuality is legal. Restore the moral-ethical basis for all laws.

    7. Stop Judicial Tyranny. The rule of law is in dire jeopardy as the judges write laws from the bench, make up what the Constitution says and impose their will on all Americans. The courts are supposed to be the weakest of the three branches of government. The system of checks and balances is broken because the Courts know no restraint. Your liberty is at risk. Judges are not kings or priests to rule.

    8. Protect Your Children. Homosexuality as a protected minority group will be forced on your children in government schools far beyond today’s propaganda. Children who express an opinion that homosexuality is a moral wrong will be re-educated, ostracized and punished. The Boy Scouts will be forced to accept homosexual leaders and subject children to more sexual abuse – it will be worse than what Catholic priests did. One per cent of the population, homosexuals, commits over thirty per cent of the sex crimes against children.

    9. Protect Our Troops. Sooner or later, a judge will overturn the Military Code of Justice – which declares homosexual behavior is unfit for military service. Open, predatory homosexuality will be forced on the Armed Forces. The sex scandals of heterosexual abuse in the close proximity of the military will be nothing compared to the abuse a practicing homosexual can create in that environment.

    10. Prevent More Evil. What caused the increase in social ills – the dramatic jump from the 1960s on – more divorce, illegitimacy, sexual diseases, abortion, AIDs, murder, rape, robbery, pornography, sexual abuse, child abuse, suicide, drugs, alcoholism, educational failure, etc.? Why did only few indices, like murder, decrease briefly in the 90s – when more criminals were in jail? Most likely, the cumulative effect of court-supported assaults on the family and all Judeo-Christian values is an open Pandora’s box of social pathologies. How much pain, death, and destruction have we suffered for forty years? Stop the growth of evil. Protect the sanctity of marriage and the family – the foundation of our America.

  3. kingfish Avatar

    JAB- I continue to admire your writing skills. You make your arguments in a clear, well ordered manner. Regrettably, I believe that you overstate the case for this Amendment. Maybe you and those who agree with you feel like you need to ratchet up the rhetoric so that you can cloak what is basically a homophobic screed as an effort to save the Republic. From where I sit, the Republic seems safe from overthrow by rampant homosexuality. Miscegenation laws were once an embarrasment to the Commonwealth, and future generations will look back on this offensive legislation with similar shame.
    Discrimination, by any other name, still smells as foul.

  4. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    Kingfish: Doesn’t homophobic mean ‘fear of’? If so, you are way off. Traditional Judeo-Christian values aren’t a screed not do they smell foul. Future generations will laugh at the folly of ‘making it up as you go along’ moralists.

    Keeping marriage between a man and a woman is not discrimination. Saying traditional marriage is discriminatory is a Liberal screed. Words have meaning. Which is why Liberals need to change the meaning, like Marcuse taught them. Sexual behavior isn’t race.

  5. kingfish Avatar

    JAB- Traditional Judeo-Christian values are ” Love your neighbor”; ” Treat others as you would have them treat you” and “Judge not, lest ye be judged”. Yet, segregationists mananged a biblical basis for their hateful philosophy, too.
    I have read many of your posts and believe that you are deeply commited to the Constitution. I do not understand why someone like yourself would diminish that great document with an Amendment like this.

  6. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    Kingfish: Actually, I regret having to go the Constitutional route with a statement of the obvious – marriage is between one man and one woman in American Civlization and the United States of America as a Nation.

    But, as George Orwell said, “We have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.”

    The second greatest commandment (according to Jesus) and a caution to hypocrites (in the same Chapter where Jesus called some men ‘pigs, dogs, evil and evildoers’ are wonderful scripture. Christians are called to love their neighbors who commit adultery, incest, homosexuality, bestiality, etc, but not to honor their sin.

    Evil people, like Cults – Jim Jones, etc – using the Bible for evil purposes (mentioned in the same chapter as the hypocrite thing you note) doesn’t diminish the arguments, assuming one wants to keep Judeo-Christian morality and ethics as the foundational worldview of the US and Virginia. It’s an ad hominem argument and fails to answer the fundamental problem – homosexual marriage isn’t marriage.

  7. kingfish Avatar

    JAB- I follow your argument, but fail to see the crisis in American civilization which would lead us to enshrine a particular religios belief as a part of our great, non-denominational national charter.

  8. Sam Spade Avatar

    I am hard-pressed to recall any instance in which I have seen so many words deployed to convey so little rational thought as Mr. Bowden’s initial comment. where to begin?

    Let’s start with “Defense of Marriage.” Although I am but one heterosexual, married Christian, I doubt that my views are atypical of most in my situation. I cannot begin to fathom that recognition of binding legal commitments between non-heterosexual partners would cause me or others in my situation to throw over my marriage, desert my children and leap into the embrace of same-sex intimacy. How can that possibly happen? Is there one marriage in the United States (or anywhere else) that is truly at risk because the law might recognize binding legal commitments between homosexual partners? This simply cannot be true. What the devil is Mr. Bowden talking about?

    In my faith, marriage is a sacrament, a religious institution. It would be thus with or without intervention by the state. In no instance of recognized homosexual legal partnership arrangements (e.g. Massachusetts or San Francisco) has anyone purported to require churches to open these sacraments to persons who would not qualify under the teachings of the church. Nor should any Christian or any conservative who gives a damn about keeping the government away from exercise of religion want the government to be calling balls and strikes about what is esentially a religious institution.

    Absent radical alteration of the First Amendment, an alteration which could only take place under force of arms, I have absolutely no fear of being stifled in my ability to unburden myself of my religious views on the moral and theological implications of homosexual relationships. Mr. Bowden should stop losing sleep over his Point 2.

    I have no fear that we will run out of re-producing committed heterosexual breeding pairs. It’s a condition that offers many trials and many rewards, but it’s bound to retain its popularity. Indeed, sexual reproduction in a family setting seems to be a hardy perennial over the past several millennia. It seems a bit of a hysterical notion that this lifestle would be endangered by legal recognition of commitments between non-breeding stock.

    Re Point 4: see my comment on point 1,supra. The committed Judeo-Christian community does not require state assistance in maintaining its doctrine of what is appropriate under God’s Law, thank you.

    Point 5: While the individual states have a societal interest in some aspects of marriage (particularly the welfare of offspring of these unions), this authority should be exercised with a very keen sense of the division between the interest of the state and the interest of the church. The state is not an enforcement arm of the church in ensuring religious orthodoxy. the state, rather is a party to the civil marriage contract as a means of ensuring the proper treatment of children and divorced partners. the proposed Virginia marriage amendment is an atrocious piece of drafting that goes far beyond these conservative state functions. “Defending the Constitution” has nothing to do with any of this. there’s no serious question abroad in the Republic that states have considerable reserved authority with regard to marriage relationships within the states. It is also commonly understood, except when radicals like Mr. Bowden run rampant in the federal sphere, that the constitutional structure gives the federal government very little control over marriage issues. So what’s the big constitutional problem?

    Point 6: Bestiality and incest can be well-regulated within the state’s police powers over health and welfare. Do you really think that the absence of the Virginia marriage amendment (or whatever the hell they call this piece of radical junk) stands in the way of laws against bestiality or close consanguinity unions? What are the data on this? People who hook-up with barnyard animals or their sisters will do this with little refernece to the overall consitutional structure of any polity.

    Point 7: while I have my own reasons to be leary of courts, on balnace, the federal courts at least seem to do a pretty good job of protecting the liberties of the people as granted by the constitution. No one will be forced into man-love bondage by the courts, Mr. Bowden. We can, and should, however, expect the courts to protect fundamental liberties of all citizens. Is it your view that something like this Virginia proposal would exempt Virginia from Supreme Court rulings like the Lawrence decision? I do’t think so and I doubt you do either.

    Point 8: I have no doubt that the full force of the law should be applied to any hetero or homo sexual who molests children. I have no doubt that the full force of the law exists now and will not be enhanced or increased by this silliness you’re promoting. If I were a Commonwealth’s Attorney I’d have any priest or boyscout leader who crossed the line up for a long term in the slammer. I wouldn’t need this other stuff. To imply that there’s a linkage is either pure polemics or pure ignorance. I don’t think you’re ignorant. I think you know what you’re doing. that almost makes it worse.

    Point 9: I’m a combat veteran. I can’t begin to imagine what you’re talking about. The big problems the modern Army has is with heterosexual conduct in the military. The image you paint is so lurid as to make me wonder about where you get your ideas. Frankly, if a homosexual who is qualified at his MOS wants to serve beside me in a moment of the Nation’s peril, I’m very glad to have him at my side – as long as keeps his mitts off my personal belongings. Not everything in the world is about sex, Bowden. You almost have to be Bob Marshall to think otherwise.

    Point 10: A lot of factors conspire tomake modern society a troublesome arena for those of us trying to live moral lives. What certain citizens do in the privacy of their homes is not high on that list.

    The Virginia “Marriage” Amendment is a complete dishonoring of all that is noble about Virginia’s role in forming a national government of limits. It actually purports to deny others of the functional equivalence of the benefits of marriage, including, presumably, profound friendship, loyalty, comfort, care, and support. If “marriage” is the hot-button word, I’d compromise the purity of my principles by saying we’ll give that word to the man-woman relationships. But there’s absolutely no compelling reason to prohibit others from agreeing by contract to the kinds of lifelong commitments that ensure stability of society and that enshrine our ideas of how humans should treat one another. This “amendment” is aggressively malevolent. If its sponsors have no better justifications than Mr. Bowden, then the malevolence has no purpose other than to favor one group of citizens over another.

    It’s easy to bamboozle voters when you wave certain vague, seeming axioms in front of the (Marriage is a state that contemplates the union of one man and one woman). I hope that there are enough Virginians who find time to think this through to put paid to the kind of low political instinct that spawned this useless piece of drek.

  9. Anonymous Avatar

    Shouldn’t these be broken down into three seperate amendments as opposed to one big amendment?

    It would seem a person could support one part of the amendment but not the other part.

  10. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    Kingfish: No sectarian religious belief is being enshrined in our great non-denominational, Judeo-Christian-based charter. Marriage between one man and one woman doesn’t have a sectarian label. Name the sect if you think so. Review what the good people of Utah had to put into the state constitution in order to get admitted into the Union. That marriage would be between ONE man and ONE woman. That is one of the precedents this amendment is following.

    Sam Spade: Loved your movies. Your wonderful, Ozzie and Harriet marriage isn’t threatened by homosexual marriage or no fault divorce or polygamy or polyandry. No one is making that argument except you. I didn’t say it. The issue is that the family is an institution that predates governments and predates the Commonwealth and the USA. Anything which diminishes marriage hurts the family and hurts society which hurts the Commonwealth and the Nation.

    The state has compelling interests in defining marriage and family because of property rights and personal responsibility to raise citizens in the social contract – unless the State, it takes a village, assumes responsibility for raising children. Obviously, churches can set whatever standards the want for marriage. It isn’t the church definition but the legal definition of marriage in issue – which has existed since colonial times. Now Liberals want the Courts to change it.

    A Virginia homosexual activist (U VA law grad) told me that saying,” The Bible says homosexual behavior is sinful” is hate speech and should be criminalized. Sorry you didn’t get the memo.

    Fear of running out of heterosexual pairs is your fantasy. Not in my words.

    I love being called names like Radical by Liberals. Please continue.

    The Constitution says nothing about abortion or sodomy. Read it for yourself. Yet, SCOTUS has struck down Constitutionally correct state laws on both issues. The Massachusetts Supreme Court did the same for homosexual marriage. The Constitutional problem is Judicial Tryanny.

    When you reject the standard of one man and one woman for marriage you open the pandora’s box to marriage for consenting incest (case in OK or KY?), bestiality, polygamy, polyandry etc. You have no rationale for saying no, other than the Liberal mantra – we made it up. Where is it written that there is a moral-ethical code, part of the cultural foundation for a nation-state legal code, that says marriage is between only one man and one woman and one man and one man and one woman and one woman and NO others? Name that book.

    If sodomy is a right, according to SCOTUS, then at what age does consensual sodomy become illegal? Why? What is the justification for denying a right?

    If you are a combat veteran you must understand why heterosexual men don’t want to share a buddy roll with homosexuals and relish the thought of doing the same with women. GEN (RET) Colin Powell and all the leaders of all the services understood it when they opposed Bill Clinton’s opening military service to open homosexuals. Sorry you don’t. Heterosexual conduct is a problem in the military that doesn’t need to be compounded with homosexual conduct.

    So, any sexual behavior done in the privacy of the home is okay, really? – incest, bestiality, adultery, rape, group marriage, polygamy?

    If homosexuals want profound friendship, loyalty, comfort, care, support, then they can have that without the state saying they are married. You can will your belongings to anyone. You can enter into contracts for property as you like. It isn’t marriage.

    The ‘seeming axiom’ marriage is between one man and one woman is historical truth in Virginia and 2000 years of Judeo-Christian culture. From the tiniest tribe to the greatest civilization the societies which practices polygamy and polyandry and/or encouraged homosexual behavior never, ever mistook homosexual behavior and relationships for marriage.

    Malevolence? Useless piece of drek? Hmm, someone suffers from their own bile. Hope you feel better soon.

  11. NoVa Scout Avatar
    NoVa Scout

    JAB: The Sam Spade post was a bit overwrought in tone (at least to my e-ears), but he raised some points you didn’t answer, except by essentially repeating your earlier assertions.

    A lot of us even on the conservative side (Mr. Spade didn’t say he was a liberal – you may be assuming too much) have trouble understanding how this amendment helps fortify existing (or future) heterosexual marriages. Stated from the other direction, how do legally recognized homosexual relationships “diminish” marriage and family? It just seems to me that they are something quite different, but not things that detract from or threaten existing relationships. In my church those (i.e., homosexual) types of relationships are morally wrong, but so are a lot of heterosexual relationships and behaviors inside and outside marriage. We’re all a bunch of sinners. Where does the Government come in on this? Is the igniter on this issue the word “marriage”? That seems easily enough addressed by terminology. Mr. Spade said he could live with that. Could you?

    Re your concerns about SCOTUS – I thought the Supreme Court was striking down constitutionally “incorrect” state laws. What would the authority be to overrule constitutionally “correct” state laws, as you contend they did? Where do you get that? Or is that just your way of saying you didn’t agree with the decision? And what’s this “right” to sodomy thing you’re talking about? I don’t think the Court ever said any such thing. they weren’t either approving or trying to create an affirmative “right” to engage in particular behaviors, but were rather limiting an asserted right of Texas to criminalize certain activities.

    Mr. Spade seemed to be saying that rape, incest, child molestation, bestiality are all subject to regulation under state police powers. Why is that not so? He certainly didn’t say, as you accuse him, that these behaviors are “Okay.” Why are age of consent issues not controllable under current law?

    Is it your view that this amendment would have any effect on the U.S. military policy concerning enlistments by homosexuals? I don’t share Spade”s combat experience, but your question of whether a male heterosexual soldier would prefer to share a buddy roll with a woman or a homosexual male strikes me as somewhat beside the point (whatever the point is). I guess his point was, if a homosexual soldier is ready to die for his country alongside a heterosexual soldier, isn’t that something we can accept? Given most men’s aversion to physical intimacy with other men, isn’t homosexual participation in the military less threatening to general order and discipline than posting women with men?

    On a political note, how do you think that the presence of this issue on the ballot in a congressional election year will affect the voting patterns? I can see it driving out voters on both sides who might otherwise stay home. Do you think it will be a wash? Or do you think that, at least in some districts (I’m thinking places like the 10th and 11th) Republicans might face more perilous demographics than usual as liberal or conservative civil libertarian voters who normally stay at home react to the puzzling breadth of this amendment?

    Why IS the amendment drafted the way it is? It seems far more intrusive and sweeping than it had to be. What do you think? Is it incompetence or design (intelligent or otherwise)?

    While I agree with you on the underlying theological negatives of all sexual relations outside of male/female marriages (that’s doctrine, folks and I’m sticking with it), I’m not sure why the GA is sending us down this road on a constitutional amendment. Best I can figure out so far, it’s ome sort of political rain dance to get the warriors up and moving around. I have a certain confidence that the churches can work this out without government intervention (Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Judaeo-Christian Culture, We’re from the government and we’re here to help you). If the government wants to tidy up its nomenclature, I wouldn’t mind, but doubt we need a state or federal constitutional amendment to do that.

    My mind’s not closed on this, so if there’s something I’m missing (other than that we’ll be more inclined to marry barnyard animals, molest children, etc. if given the slightest opportunity) let me know. You sometimes convince me of your positions (although they are often a bit “left” for my tastes), but your comments here are thus far not among your better outings.

  12. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    NoVa Scout: Assumption is the Mother of all screw ups. I assumed Sam Spade was a Lib because I heard the blather of Lib arguments and saw the usual technique of attack the messenger when you can’t beat the message.

    I never made the argument that the amendment strengthens heterosexual marriage. When you destroy the foundation of marriage to mean anything – like homosexual marriage – you end up with marriage being nothing. Look at the rates of heterosexual marriage in Nordic countries that have homosexual marriage/arrangements/whatever. As an analyst I am leery of any bifurcate distribution – and any assumption of causal analysis, so I am not saying thus and because. But, just look at what is going on there. There may be many social pathologies, unintended consequences, beyond our cognition today. Did you know Roe v Wade would mean 40 million dead American babies in 32 years? Did you know it would mean the barbaric infanticide of partial birth abortion? Did you know how it would promote a culture of death?

    Keep the Church out of this. The issue is the compelling interests of the State to define and regulate marriage for the Commonwealth. That has been the case since we got our own legislature in 1619.

    Yes, I disagree with SCOTUS decisions – like Dred Scott, Plessy v Ferguson, Roe v Wade, Kelo v Conn. etc –
    so I say they overrulled Constitutionally ‘correct’ laws. Read the actual judge’s opinions themselves. You’ll find a right to sodomy – in different words. They wouldn’t use that language.

    Spade said that anything sexual done at home was okay. I think that is blather and listed behaviors that can be done consensually and not at home which the majority of Virginians agree should be illegal.

    When you throw out the cultural consensus that Judeo-Christian moral-ethics establish in the parameters for the legal code, as many courts have -including SCOTUS – and you refute the idea of Natural Law, then law is what a judge says it means. The seeds of tyranny are sown. The harvest is when they, unbound by Judeo-Christian convention, can argue (like Ruth Bader Ginsburg) that the age of consent should be 12. If you say no, you have no standing. Precedent, tradition, and the moral principles in the Bible are meaningless. So, Judge Greer can order Terry Schiavo to die, because he can and because no one will stop him. Chat with Gary Amos – law prof – on that one. Current law is crap when you let judges rule.

    The VA amendment doesn’t effect the military but the US one does. The essence of combat units is small unit cohesion. The cancers that kill that cohesion are drugs (and alcohol), racism, and favoritism – whether it is heterosexual competition for sex or homosexual competition or some other privileges that make duty arbitrary and unfair because leaders, being human, play favorites. Additionally, the long, close proximity of soldiers and other military make that forced sharing of all things divisive if the heterosexual soldiers know there is someone looking at them as an unwelcomed and repugnant sex object. Open homosexuality makes one unfit for military service in our society with our norms for heterosexuality.

    Which gets to the real bottom line. In anthropology and history – for every culture, and its society – whether it is a tiny tribe or great civilization – there are 3 kinds of sexual behavior. Honored/encouraged, tolerated and prohibited. Clearly, within the past 40 years of Culture War, a significant portion of the US has moved adultery, pre-maritial sex, co-habitation, and homosexuality into the tolerated cateqory. Now one group of sexual sinners – homosexuals and lesbians (and to a lesser degree the pedophiles and polygamists, transgendered ‘its’,and cross-dressers) want their sexual behavior to be honored and legal. Just because. Yet they exclude other sexual behaviors – such bigotry.

    Frankly, I haven’t thought about the issue in regard to our VA congressional seats since they are safely D or R for the most part. Even in Godless NoVa the majority of citizens are against homosexual marriage – even as they are against the perception of homosexual ‘bashing’.

    I think, but don’t know, that the amendment is trying to preclude the marriage-lite alternatives.

    The marriage amendment is to provide some legal concrete to protect marriage in Virginia from judges.

    If homosexual marriage is legal, what will Virginia government schools teach as family life curriculum? What about a Christian teacher who believes, despite the legality, that homosexual marriage isn’t marriage and is sinful? Will she be forced to teach about happy homosexual marriages are equal to normal, traditional marriage?

    If homosexual marriage is legal, doesn’t that give the weight of law to make homosexuals become another permanent class of protected persons as opposed to simply a sexual behavior that you may or may not engage in prison?

    The next step is to make Biblical speech equal hate speech and a hate crime. Look at Canada, the EU and Australia. Look at arrests in Philly last year. Look at some recent firings from corporations in the US.

    Will a military chaplain be allowed to preach that homosexuality is immoral when it is honored in the military?

    It is unfortunate to gum up any Constitution with what should be a ‘first things’ kind of consensus understanding – immutable and irrefutable, but since we are in a Kulturkampf where the consensus is broken and Judges seek to rule witht the powers of Priest-Kings, such amendments are needed.

    Hope that clarifies and doesn’t cloud issues.

  13. kingfish Avatar

    JAB- The Judges I know are honorable and decent men and women who love their country and are well grounded in the Constitution and the Law. The Republic has more to fear from culture warriors than it does from the Bench.

  14. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    Kingfish: Meet more judges.

  15. NoVA Scout Avatar
    NoVA Scout

    thanks, JAB, as always. A lot of your concern sounds almost anthropological to me, not so much legal or political. I’ll spot you your views, but still am having trouble getting my mind around what appears to me to be a hopelessly careless piece of legislative (or constitutional) drafting. Again, although you disclaim any argument that heterosexual marriages are at risk, you seem to talk about “protecting” them. I also don’t see as much of the horribles in these court decisions (excepting Scott and Plessy) as you do. Again, is this amendment in all its breadth an effective bulwark against your concern? I would think the “threat”, if there is one, would come under EP issues in the federal constitution, something that state constitutions could not provide much shelter from.

    Let’s see how things play out. If I were making choices, this is not the issue I would spend a lot of political energy on, given my current understanding of existing law. I’m a bit concerned that it will be a huge hoot&holler come September-November, and a lot of good candidates will bite the dust in some parts of Virginia because voters will see this as a cockamamie, unnecessary idea from those silly Republicans down in Richmond. As I said earlier, it may have the opposite effect by pumping up the vote from a lot of folks who see it your way. But they tend to vote pretty determinedly in any circumstance.

  16. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    NoVa Scout: Untroubled by Rowe? Consider what the courts did to strike down 50 state laws and make up science, medicine and morality -like it was actually an appropriate judicial case. It was a miscarriage (pun intended) of justice of the partial birth order.

    The Marriage Amendment worked well in Ohio in 04. Also in some western states too. It polled ahead of George W if I remember correctly. It won’t kill a candidate unless it is done very poorly and the candidate sucks anyway.

    The other worldly church conservatives sat on their hands in 92, 96, and with mixed results in 00 but came out in 94 and 04. Mark Earley who thought he owned them didn’t see them show up in 01 and they stayed home in 05 when Jerry ran. I am sure someone else has better numbers for VA on how many stayed home and how many voted D in 01 and 05.

    The Federal Amendment will mean more than the state one. What enumerated powers place this VA amendment at risk? I don’t see it-unless it is controversies between two states or citizen and another state.

    I don’t think it is the top issue for 06.

  17. Terry M. Avatar

    JAB – Once again you have brought up the Philly arrests. In doing so you weaken your overall arguments by demonstrating that you have not actually read the facts of the case: the bulk of the charges brought involved inciting to riot – the hate crimes charges were add-ons that were quickly tossed out by a democratic judge. In fact, all charges were eventually dropped.

  18. kingfish Avatar

    JAB- I’ll wager I know a great many more Judges than do you. I respect and trust them all to their duty, even when they rule against my client.

  19. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    Terry: The point of the Philly case for this argument is that overzealous PC Philly prosecutors CHARGED people exercising their First Amendment rights with a hate crime. The fact that they were dropped is nice, but misses the point. The law shouldn’t exist and it shouldn’t be used against Christian free speech. Hate speech and other hate crimes in the legal codes are part of the homosexual poltical agenda and a threat to liberty. Homosexual marriage would provide better legal standing.

    Kingfish: If you live in Virginia you probably know many fine judges. I know several here in Tidewater who are magnificent public servants. Do you know the judge in Hampton where DUIs go to make sure they get off? Are you buds with the judge in Vermont who gave a rapist and molester 60 days? Do you admire the 9th Circus? Judicial tyranny remains, despite your anecdotal evidence, one of the greatest threats to the Republic – starting with SCOTUS.

  20. kingfish Avatar

    JAB- I have had the pleasure of appearing before most of the Judges in Southside Hampton Roads and would endorse the integrity of all of them. In my experience, newspaper accounts of the results of trials are frequently grossly incomplete and I would caution against rash generalizations such as the one you made concerning a certain Peninsula Judge. Unless you were there, heard what he heard and knew all the Judge knew, how can you be sure he made a bad decision? You are a fine writer, but you paint with a mighty broad brush.

  21. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    Kingfish: On one particular judge I am going with bad stats. I believe they are several standard deviations off – which doesn’t establish cause and effect, but suggests something is going on.

    Obviously the problem with Judicial Tyranny is bad judges. I have no idea what per cent at each level that is. I know that however many there are, the damage they do and the failure of the Executives and Legislatures at every level to assert their constitutional (US and states’) power is leading to tyranny. Good judges who exercise their duties with restraint and respect for the Rule of Law must know that I don’t paint them with my broad brush.

  22. daibheidh Avatar

    JAB:

    1) We can count, can you? 1+1+2.
    2) I was unaware that Canada is subject to our Bill of Rights.
    3) This is incorrect. You just illustrated the variability of family forms in 1) above.
    4) We do not live in a theocracy.
    5) The right to procreate is not enumerated in the Constitution, either. Read it.
    6) What on earth does any of this have to do with two people who love each other forming a family and taking care of each other?
    7) The job of the judiciary is to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority. You just don’t like it.
    8) Over 90% of child sexual abuse is perpetrated by married heterosexual men upon their own family members. Do the research before you slander an entire community.
    9) Funny – other developed nations don’t seem to have any difficulty with this. Oh, and don’t drop the soap (kidding, hon.)
    10) It must be nice to have an all-purpose scapegoat. Where can I get mine?

    Frankly, I would expect better from someone of your intellect.

  23. daibheidh Avatar

    I meant 1+1=2 of course.

  24. “Your wonderful, Ozzie and Harriet marriage isn’t threatened by homosexual marriage or no fault divorce or polygamy or polyandry. No one is making that argument except you. I didn’t say it. The issue is that the family is an institution that predates governments and predates the Commonwealth and the USA. Anything which diminishes marriage hurts the family and hurts society which hurts the Commonwealth and the Nation.”

    Unfortunately, I don’t see that gay families are substantively different than straight ones, and so I don’t see how gay marriages hurt families. In fact, conservative thinker John Rauch has presented a rather compelling argument that gay marriage would be a step in the opposite direction: in a world where marriage is fast becoming merely one of a smorgasboard of options, gay marriage returns the institution to a universal aspiration.

    In any case, gay families already exist. The question is simply whether the law will treat them as second-class families or equal.

    “So, Judge Greer can order Terry Schiavo to die, because he can and because no one will stop him.”

    That’s rather ironic given that Greer was applying a recently passed state law that itself clarified something already in the Florida constitution. Overturning that law was what would have required a radically new interpretation. And the appelate court, including conservative appointees like Justice Pryor, agreed.

    If you persist in seeing every issue through the lens of a culture war, you’ll never percieve anything other than your own blinding rage at suspected omnipresent enemies.

  25. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    Daibheidh: Is this the Celtic name for Liberal?

    Let’s assume you lined up your numbers with my ten reasons. Your word bites would be better if they expressed ideas in whole sentences. At least it would help me understand. A couple I did get deserve a comment.

    4) The old theocracy red herring. If you are aware of how laws have been made in Virginia since 1786, you would know how we aren’t a church state, but the Judeo-Christian consensus (formerly) culture helps shape the thinking on law making.

    8) 1-2% of the male population which is homosexual commit about 33% of the pediophilia and 98-99% of the male population which is heterosexual commits about 67% of the crimes. Child abuse could include battery which is not sexual. Check your facts.

    Plunge: A few weeks ago I read that the first homosexual civil union from Vermont is ending in divorce. Making marriage a sham with homosexual marriages won’t strengthen marriage.

    What if bigamous marriages exist, Muslim men with 4 women, incestous marriages, group marriages? – does the state have a compelling interest to recognize them and not keep them as second class families?

    Please post the link to the Florida law that said a county circuit judge could order a stop to feeding a patient. Not life support – feeding. Florida Law explicitly says judges can do no harm to incapacitated patients.

    Blinding rage at omniprescent enemies? I love that. Standard technique to try to denigrate the messenger instead of addressing the message.

    Liberals live to the low standard of ‘tolerance’ as they define it which is the Liberal Puritan PC intolerance of tolerance. Christians live to the standard of loving our neighbors and living to righteousness. Loving your adulterous, homosexual, incestous, bestial, transgendered neighbor doesn’t mean honoring their behavior, exalting it and calling their relationships – marriage and family. Best wishes.

  26. “Plunge: A few weeks ago I read that the first homosexual civil union from Vermont is ending in divorce. Making marriage a sham with homosexual marriages won’t strengthen marriage.”

    Calling gay marriages a sham won’t make them any less sincere either. I’m not sure what the fact that gay people might divorce is supposed to prove, but then again you are the guy who thinks that the 2nd law of thermodynamics prevents my refrigerator from working.

    “What if bigamous marriages exist, Muslim men with 4 women, incestous marriages, group marriages? – does the state have a compelling interest to recognize them and not keep them as second class families?”

    All of these are substantive changes in the legal function of marriage. The points are irrelevant.

    “Please post the link to the Florida law that said a county circuit judge could order a stop to feeding a patient. Not life support – feeding. Florida Law explicitly says judges can do no harm to incapacitated patients.”

    Feeding tubes are defined as a form of artificial life support in Florida law.
    Here’s the most current law on the books, which even Jeb Bush has yet to see fit to change:
    § 765.102(3) Life-saivng proceedure is then defined in § 765.101(10). It specifically mentions artificial substanance.

    Florida law, as the law is in all states, says that medical professionals cannot impose lifesaving care on someone that doesn’t want it to continue. The only relevant questions, the only questions that were ever legally relevant, were what Terri’s wishes were. All this bombast about doing harm and killing are hot air. Patients die every single day. In Texas, a hospital removed the life support of a terminal but conscious patient that then suffocated to death because she could not afford to pay for the treatment any further. This was all in according to a law signed by George Bush and raised not a peep from Tom Delay or any of the other key figures. Of course, Delay would know, since he removed his own father from life support in accordance with his father’s wishes.

    “Blinding rage at omniprescent enemies? I love that. Standard technique to try to denigrate the messenger instead of addressing the message.”

    This from a guy who screams “liberal!” at the drop of a hat? I offered you some facts and reason regarding evolution. You responded with a simple denial and stuck to unproven allegations of a conspiracy and dogmatism which is a direct slander on virtually every working biologist.

    “Loving your adulterous, homosexual, incestous, bestial, transgendered neighbor doesn’t mean honoring their behavior, exalting it and calling their relationships – marriage and family. Best wishes.”

    If cannot recognize a gay two parent household and their kids as a family unit, functioning in much the same way as every other, then that is your loss and lack of perception. The fact that you would conflate unconsensual, deceptive, and violent acts along with people’s normal sexuality and who their partners are speaks volumes about you and your beliefs.

  27. Here’s the sort of despicable situation that Virginia’s culture warriors want to enshrine in our state’s constitution:
    http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2005512310342

  28. Rtwng Extrmst Avatar
    Rtwng Extrmst

    Plunge,

    “All of these are substantive changes in the legal function of marriage. The points are irrelevant.”

    Sorry, you avoided the point altogether by just calling it “irrelevant” without any substantiation. The problem is that the cases James mentions all have the exact same standing as homosexual marriage would. If you accept the case for homosexual marriage, there is no rational reason to discriminate against these other cases.

  29. Rtwng Extrmst Avatar
    Rtwng Extrmst

    Also, as to your link above, I took a look at it. Had the deceased had a decent legal representative arranging his will there would have been no problem. Changing the definition of marriage in order to overcome incompetent lawyering is a bit extreme if you ask me.

  30. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    Righteous Wing made the key point for Plunge. If you change the definition of marriage then you have no legal, tradtional, politcal, moral, ethical standing to make any rules for it at all. Marriage means nothing when it means everything. You can’t discriminate against Muslims wanting 4 wives (pity them) if you have homosexuals marry. Because, ta da, marriage has been between men and women FOREVER – even in declining civilizations wallowing in homosexuality. Marriage has included polygamy and polyandy (still that male/female thing) in some societies but ONLY one man and one woman in Virginia since 1607.

  31. daibheidh Avatar

    Daibheidh: Is this the Celtic name for Liberal? No, it’s the Celtic name for time’s up for this lie.

    Is this really the best epithet you could come up with?

    You know perfectly well that there is no monolithic view among people of faith on this question, so how is it that enshrining the doctrine of a particular flavor of Christianity – one that I would term Constantinian – into our civil law is not theocratic?

    You seem to be using the same sources on pedophilia as the recently departed Dick Black, who was summarily dismissed from a Senate hearing of one of his bills for relying on the testimony of disgraced, fraudulent “researcher” Paul Cameron. BTW, the admonition “Your witness is not credible” came from a Republican colleague. Enough. You have a fundamental lack of knowledge about the difference between sexual orientation (hint: everybody has one) and paraphilia.

    The oft-repeated meme about “marriage defined as a man and a woman forever” isn’t based on scholarship, it’s based on wishful thinking. There are cultures where marriage doesn’t exist at all, cultures that recognize more than two genders, as well as homegrown cultures right here in the good old USA that practice non-consensual polygamy involving adult men and 12 year old girls. All seem able to carry on the task of procreation. Please expand the scope of your reading.

    The fact is that some subset of the people in any given time and place are what we call “gay.” In Virginia in 2006, these people fall in love, pair off, make commitments, and build lives together. That will continue to be the case no matter what actions might be taken by the Virginia General Assembly.

  32. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    Daibheidh: Liberal an epithet? It’s a political description.

    Preserving traditional marriage has nothing to do with theocracy. No priest will rule the people after the amendment is passed. The overwhelming majority of Virginians want to keep marriage between one man and one woman. That is why the Dems are voting for it – with some exceptions – in the GA. If you have a problem with the source of most Virginians’ world view, that is your problem. Idea discrimination based on the source is Liberal PC tolerance at work.

    Go visit Prof. Warren Throckmorton’s site and read more.

    I’ve written often that there is wide variety in sexual behaviors and marriages. But, no one has ever confused homosexual sex and marriage. Ever. And the Judeo-Christian standard for only one man and one woman is 2000 years and the Virginia standard is 400 years.

    The fact that there are, have been and will be homosexual, incest, bestiality, bigamous, polygamist, polyandry sexual behavior doesn’t mean it should be honored or confused with marriage.

    The good news is that the voters of Virginia get it.

  33. “Had the deceased had a decent legal representative arranging his will there would have been no problem. Changing the definition of marriage in order to overcome incompetent lawyering is a bit extreme if you ask me.”

    Then I suppose you oppose common law marriage too? No, I bet not. This is another empty argument. The whole point of the law is to prevent perversities like a family home being torn apart because of a minor legal technicality. I have no doubt that you’d find it unjust if it happened to a straight household, but change a gender and suddenly you’re chuckling. That’s exactly the sort of thing that the law isn’t supposed to be about (your third-party amusement or grudge settling). That’s why it should be substantively equal in its treatment of families, whatever your biases. The law isn’t about expressing things by people like you who aren’t even tangentially involved: it’s for allowing people to function in society.

    “If you change the definition of marriage then you have no legal, tradtional, politcal, moral, ethical standing to make any rules for it at all.”

    That’s utter nonsense. Laws can change to become more equitable without opening the door to the overturning of all laws. The same dumb argument was made about segregation, and it’s no less relevant here.

    “Marriage means nothing when it means everything.”

    Marriage means two people joining together legally to form a new family. Homosexuals don’t change this in any substantive way, and that’s what matters to the law.

  34. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    Plunge: You are a good rep for the Liberal line because your words illustrate the depth of Liberal thinking.

    Laws, let’s pick one – the EPA legislation – lead to decades of courts making up new laws. If you change the marriage law only for committed, lifetime (they promise), non-adulterous, etc homosexuals, then the Courts will change the law for Muslims who want 4 wives, etc….

    Homosexuals don’t change marriage in any substantive way? Uh-huh. That is why it has NEVER existed in the 5000 years of somewhat recorded history. Name one civilization where there was homosexual marriage – since it, of course, didn’t change anything in a substantive way.

    Some heterosexual couples can not have children because of health or age. All homosexual couples can never have children naturally. Ever.

  35. “You are a good rep for the Liberal line because your words illustrate the depth of Liberal thinking.”

    This is that same paranoia coming out again. All you seem to be able to deal with are prejorative classifications.

    “Laws, let’s pick one – the EPA legislation – lead to decades of courts making up new laws. If you change the marriage law only for committed, lifetime (they promise), non-adulterous, etc homosexuals, then the Courts will change the law for Muslims who want 4 wives, etc….”

    This argument is so vauge as to be near incoherent. Laws are passed all the time. Some expand rights to new groups. The question of whether this expansion is legitimate or not is a very real debate that cannot be swept under the rug simply because you think courts can abuse new laws. Courts can abuse EXISTING laws. Or they can fail to properly uphold existing laws. So?

    And hey: we don’t need to “pick one.” You already “picked one”: the Florida state law defining artifical sustenance as life support that patients can legitimately refuse. You made an accusation, and I refuted it with the actual law. But for some reason, that line of discussion simply vanished, now replaced by a completely new argument. Why is that?

    “Homosexuals don’t change marriage in any substantive way? Uh-huh. That is why it has NEVER existed in the 5000 years of somewhat recorded history. Name one civilization where there was homosexual marriage – since it, of course, didn’t change anything in a substantive way.”

    It seems that your understanding of the words “substantive” and “legal” run about as deep as your knowledge of thermodynamics.

    “Some heterosexual couples can not have children because of health or age. All homosexual couples can never have children naturally. Ever.”

    Which is, again, substantively irrelevant. Homosexual couples not only can have children, they DO (from previous marriages, adoptions, the same fertility donations that heterosexual couples use, etc.) So the point is moot. Homosexual families have children. It’s not a hypothetical, it’s just a reality.

  36. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    Plunge: Please write more.

    Homosexuals do not children from their sexual relationship. Biology 101.

    I have the references to the Fl Code Geo Greer violated. I’ll dig them out later.

  37. daibheidh Avatar

    Actually, the good news is that 60% of Virginians support civil unions and domestic partnerships for gay couples.

    The bad news is that people like you, who have an irrational prejudice and resist all information that threatens to invalidate it, are willing to lie to the voters about an amendment to our Constitution in order to trick them into voting for it.

    You (and Dr. Throckmorton, for that matter) can repeat silly nonsense equating sexual orientation with paraphilias until the cows come home, but that won’t change the fact that said nonsense directly contradicts the consensus of every legitimate medical and mental health professional association that exists in this country. And sorry, countering with the claims of tiny fake “think tanks” with sound-alike names that were set up by and for political interest groups won’t work, either. We’re on to that.

    You are unable to speak about this in anything but abstractions, while we are talking about real people, real families, real children who are entitled to security and a legal relationship with their parents. Ultimately, reality will trump your abstract ideological framework.

  38. daibheidh Avatar

    Actually, the good news is that 60% of Virginians support civil unions and domestic partnerships for gay couples.

    The bad news is that people like you, who have an irrational prejudice and resist all information that threatens to invalidate it, are willing to lie to the voters about an amendment to our Constitution in order to trick them into voting for it.

    You (and Dr. Throckmorton, for that matter) can repeat silly nonsense equating sexual orientation with paraphilias until the cows come home, but that won’t change the fact that said nonsense directly contradicts the consensus of every legitimate medical and mental health professional association that exists in this country. And sorry, countering with the claims of tiny fake “think tanks” with sound-alike names that were set up by and for political interest groups won’t work, either. We’re on to that.

    You are able to speak about this only in abstractions, while we are talking about real people, real families, and real children who are entitled to security and a legal relationship to their parents. Reality will ultimately trump your abstract ideological framework.

  39. “Plunge: Please write more.”

    All I ever seen to get in return is quickly changed subjects and entire paragraphs worth of evidence dismissed with “well, _I_ don’t think that’s true.”

    “Homosexuals do not children from their sexual relationship. Biology 101.”

    Case in point: did I say they did? Nope. So this is another dodged point. I said they can and DO have children. There are families that exist right now headed by homosexual couples that have children. So the point of about whether or not homosexuals can have children, regardless of in what manner, is moot.

    This is just ridiculous. Your claimed holes of evolution are nonsense that even you can’t defend. You are against judicial activism… except when you are for it. And here you can’t even face the actual points being raised without a “but wait, don’t listen to that: look over here!”

    “I have the references to the Fl Code Geo Greer violated. I’ll dig them out later.”

    That should be exciting. I mean, how could judge Pryor, a Bush apppointee who is about as solidly conservative and pro-life a judge as one can get, have said that Greer didn’t commit any substantive error or violation of the code without consulting you, the pre-eminent legal authority for Florida law? Oh, I guess, by your paranoid definition, he MUST be a Liberal then!

  40. Rtwng Extrmst Avatar
    Rtwng Extrmst

    You in favor of homosexual marriage continue to avoid the most basic issue at hand. The fact is that at its core, homosexuals want all of us to redefine marriage to include same-sex couples simply for one reason alone, they want to. There is no biological, cultural, or moral evidence to support defining marriage in such a way.

    The bottom line to me is if we can redefine marriage simply because of the desires of a few, it is completely unfair and discriminatory to not allow anyone to define marriage in any other way for that same reasoning. Therefore all of your protestations about marriage needing to be between two people or that “this is not the same as that” mean nothing. If marriage is redefined to include homoseaxuals, there is absolutely no standing to refuse any other definition at all. Therefore to define it as you would like, would in fact be unfair, unequal, exclusionary, and in light of the egalitarian nature of Amercian society, un-American.

  41. That’s simply not a sensible argument, sorry. Marriage as a legal construct can be applied to homosexuals without changing anything substantive about it in a legal sense. All your other examples do require changing the legal structure of marriage in substantive ways.

    But if you care so much about the definition of marriage (which is a bizarre way to frame the debate, since you are personally free to define it so as to exclude homosexual marriages if you please), then why not strongly support civil unions? That would give homosexual families all the legal protections they deserve without doing anything to the definition of marriage. And it would completely defuse the entire controversy.

  42. daibheidh Avatar

    If marriage is redefined to include homoseaxuals, there is absolutely no standing to refuse any other definition at all.

    Why? All of our civil marriage law is written specifically for two people, not more than two. That’s the core definition of marriage in our culture, 1+1=2.

    I think the real problem is a definition of marriage that is inherently not egalitarian. Marriages between two equal partners with no gender difference to explain or mask inequality do constitute a “redefinition of marriage” if the inherent inequality is what you are protecting.

  43. Rtwng Extrmst Avatar
    Rtwng Extrmst

    daibheidh,

    Math lesson aside, you avoid speaking to the argument. The definition of marriage we have today is based in biology and thousands of years of cultural evidence that this is the proper definition of a family unit to have a cohesive society. My main argument is that the reasoning the pro-homosexual marriage crowd uses is simply that homosexuals DESIRE to marry. Therefore if you use that as the basis, there is not reason not to make marriage also for multiple people. Your argument also does not refute the fact that close relatives or adults wanting to marry children. That fits your 1+1=2 definition. You still avoid the basic point that simply a desire to be married is not enough to justify, and if it were, it would be irrational not to allow that same state to others who desire it.

  44. “The definition of marriage we have today is based in biology and thousands of years of cultural evidence that this is the proper definition of a family unit to have a cohesive society.”

    Is ain’t ought, and past history is hardly evidence for your point that homosexuals marrying threatens the cohesiveness of society or other marriages. Marriage is certainly not based in “biology” at all.

    “My main argument is that the reasoning the pro-homosexual marriage crowd uses is simply that homosexuals DESIRE to marry.”

    But that is not the whole or their argument. The rest is that their ability to marry would not substantively affect the structure of marriage in any functional or legal way, and that it is not in fact harmful for any other reason. Ridiculous examples like incest or marrying your couch fail to have any relevance to any of that.

  45. Bill Garnett Avatar
    Bill Garnett

    Here is an argument that may sound odd at first, but the more I ponder it, the more intuitive it becomes.

    Years ago with some time on my hands, working in Riyadh, I began a genealogical hobby and was proud of the approximately 500 individuals, back to Jamestown and before, that I had discovered. I had seen how, not just arithmetically, or geometrically, but exponentially do the cousins and grandparents and branches and twigs grow into a tree, that were it to be taken back twenty or so generations would have encompassed most of the then population of the then Europe. This may be the core unconscious draw to genealogy.

    It is this realization of the connectedness we constantly deny. We stop at a traffic light and are indifferent to the “relatives” in the car next to us. Or we haven’t a clue as to our relative who lives a few inches away in the next-door apartment. Or the very distant cousin who is the annoying salesperson we dealt with recently. It is this realization on which I’d like to weave this rather odd but encompassing argument – the argument that, to have the civil right of civil marriage forever denied to homosexuals, is abhorrent to the reality that all gays are from families and that almost everyone has a homosexual in their family (in fact with the new UK government survey that showed six percent in their population, we can assume that there are tens of millions of homosexuals in our American population). And it is consistent, rather than inconsistent, with not just family values but with “Tradition American Family Values”, that we do not undervalue any American and certainly not any member of our family. As we are all family in the truest sense.

    Our founders used no word or phase more forcibly, more courageously, more passionately – then they did the word “we” and the phrase “we the people”. We are one large family – or should be. And a family would not act to deny the civil right of a relative they loved. They would want that person to have as full a citizenship as they have. And they would want the protections and rights and responsibilities to be equally assessable.

    Ergo, in the most fundamental of fundamental arguments, traditional family values should rule the day. Certainly it would not be family values that would lobby to amend a constitution in this land, the primary aim of which was to prevent two heterosexual lovers who wanted to get married from getting married – and to thus effectively promote sex outside of marriage.

    A note to the religious right. You have yet to provide one reasonable argument to describe in any believability how amending our constitutions will bring about a favorable change in your lives. And you have yet to acknowledge any damage this action may bring upon tens of millions of your blood relatives – if not in blood, certainly in the blood of Christ.

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