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Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 12:24amSanction this postReply
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I don't support gay marriage for the same reason I don't support the welfare state and its expansion. The inclusion of gays to marriage is not about Civil Liberties...gays can still find ways to enter into contracts that allow for almost all of the facets of straight marriage to apply. no, gay marriage is about the inclusion of another class of protecteds to victimize singles in the term of tax breaks and other parasitical tendencies. I don't support gay marriage for the same reason I do not support straight marriage: when it pertains to the government, all forms of marriage is theft against singles.



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Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 4:19amSanction this postReply
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Steven,
That you gain advantages in a society because you choose to marry i don't see as totally ridiculous, you create a legal entity based on mutual consent, granting certain rights in relation to children and property - by marriage you choose to share your rights with someone else.

Habemus Papam Stupidus that is anti-anything, and free to be so, he is free to be against gay-marriage,cocker spaniels and bigamy... they can go on his seemingly endless list of things to be against, in his quest against other religions one could even wonder if he might be anti-christ - but it is still for the members of that club to decide if they will subscribe to those views. The problem arises when the values of that club, automatically becomes the values of the government.

I find it problematic when our religion-infested government, applies theocratic values to "Civil unions", "domestic partnerships", "civil partnerships", "registered partnerships", "Common-law marriage" or whatever we might call legally sanctioned marriages outside the church. Giving same-sex marriages different spousal rights, compared to heterosexual marriages, is against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Human Rights abuse is common in theocracies like that of the Vatican City State and other dictatorships, but should have no place in democracies.

Giving people less privileges based on their sexual preferences - preference of gender - is a form of illegal discrimination belonging in the dark ages, and i see it as no different than discriminating against jews, women or people of a darker complexion than Michael Jackson.




Post 2

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 5:37amSanction this postReply
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I agree with Steven.  There is no such thing as "group" rights, even if it is a group of only two people.  Straight or gay, the government has no business sanctioning relationships and then treating two people differently than it treats individuals.  If people wish to enter into private unions, and other parties(i.e. insurance companies etc.) wish to honor that union through their own choice then so be it.  That would be ideal, and that is what I will always fight for. 

James, I do understand that for you these issues go to the very recognition of an individuals right to his/her life, and I'm behind you 100% on that.




Post 3

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 6:46amSanction this postReply
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Jody,

Not allowing for groups to be granted different rights, ie making no distinctions between companies and individuals, would make it possible for me to donate my child to coca cola corporation at the time of my death, and if coca cola should choose to refuse, my child would be left in the gutter.

I think it right for the government to hold the exclusive power to enforce certain rules of social conduct, and when disputes, like those involving children, ultimately will have to be resolved by that government (not just its executive branch) the natural consequence must be that only government can sanction anything influencing the right to those children. Making the agreement through an insurance agent would only add a level of administration, not remove the governments power.



Post 4

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 6:56amSanction this postReply
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"Not allowing for groups to be granted different rights, ie making no distinctions between companies and individuals, would make it possible for me to donate my child to coca cola corporation at the time of my death, and if coca cola should choose to refuse, my child would be left in the gutter."

How is this different from you choosing to 'donate' your child to your great uncle Bob if you die, where Bob doesn't want the child?




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Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 7:02amSanction this postReply
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"Bush had resisted coming out directly against gay marriage, but his political base became so alarmed at the methods used in San Francisco and Massachusetts that they began to speak up."

Hmm, I don't remember that. Each issue was solved in state and without federal interference. Take California for instance, an activist judge and mayor said gay marriage was legal for some reason. It took the California state Supreme Court to finally say it wasn't. And, right or wrong, it wasn't constitutional. Mass took a similar route but their constitution was silent on the issue so its legal.



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Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 7:31amSanction this postReply
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How is this different from you choosing to 'donate' your child to your great uncle Bob if you die, where Bob doesn't want the child?

Uncle Bob is family, if we accept special rights for groups, he would have a right, since he would be part of the family group, with special rights to my child - if uncle Bill should want half the kid, the matter would still need to be decided in court, but special rights nonetheless.

If we have no group rights Bob would be no different than coca cola, it would just serve as a less extreme example.




Post 7

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 8:37amSanction this postReply
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Only individuals have rights, and they deal with each other on mutually agreed upon terms.  The roll of government is to protect individual rights.  Anything beyond that would be superfluous or in direct violation of individual rights.  I'm not sure I'm following the argument about "group" rights, Uncle Bob and Coca-Cola.  A corporation exists as an abstract concept.  To discuss willing your child to an abstract concept seems more than farcical.



Post 8

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 8:54amSanction this postReply
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Indeed - it seems absolutely obscene...



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Post 9

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 9:34amSanction this postReply
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Jody et al,

 

To accept gay marriage is to promote individual rights. In the eyes of the law, marriage is a contract. The government exists at least in part to protect contractual relationships among individuals. Why would the government protect straight marriage and not gay marriage? Under traditional Objectivism, I can see no reason for it.

 

Next, I respect James’ view, but I’m not nor was in favor of moving toward civil unions. They are akin to the 1960’s water fountain for blacks: separate but not equal. Civil Unions do not give couples the same rights as marriage, not anywhere close. Our nation has a long legal history in commonlaw and statutory law that uses marriage as an important factor in determining myriad legal rights. Civil Unions will not bear the same weight. Then again, promulgating civil unions might get us one step closer to accepting gay marriages. It might prove a good strategic step, a temporary loss for long term gain. I’m just not comfortable with that risk.  

 

Last, I’m sympathetic to Steven’s view that it’s wrong for the government to give hand-outs to married couples. After all, under Objectivism, the government shouldn’t be giving hand-outs to anybody, right? But I disagree that under this view we should then resist the current advocacy for gay marriage.

 

If the government is going to give hand-outs for marriage, it should do so evenhandedly. It should treat similar individuals similarly. This is Aristotle’s first principle of justice, and it is codified in the equal protection clause of our Constitution. In my view, all law – even laws that we think are bad – should be applied evenhandedly. Without such a principle, we risk having the good laws applied haphazardly.

 

Therefore, if a government hand-out to married individuals makes for bad law, I would not only advocate for its repeal, but I would also advocate for its evenhanded application: allow any mutually consenting couples to marry.

 

Jordan




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Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 10:18amSanction this postReply
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Gay couples and straight couples both should have the right to marry if they so choose.  Anything that is open to straight couples, in all fairness, should apply to gay couples.  I would like to see gay marriages completely open and legal. 

Marriage is a legally recognized union.  The church wedding is just a ceremonial exercise.  If churches don't want to recognize gay marriage, that is their option.  Churches don't make the laws, no matter how much they want to.  If the government says a couple cannot marry and are treated any differently from straight couples, it is discriminatory.  Those types of laws will change, hopefully soon. 





Post 11

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 10:27amSanction this postReply
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Jordan_
In the eyes of the law a contract should be a contract.  The government exists to protect contractual obligation, not create it(along with its own arbitrary terms) and administer it.  If two(or more) individuals wish to take it upon themselves to draw up a contract stating the terms of their relationship, then so be it.  If one breaks the contract then let it be settled in a civil court.  Why do you single out romantic contracts between individuals as a special case for the government to over-involve itself in?  Why not advocate the creation of more government departments(funded by tax payers) to create and administer all contracts?  Why do you see marriage as a special case?
Also you seem to agree that hand-outs are wrong, but advocate that since a wrong is already being committed it should be all-inclusive.  Fight against the wrong, not for it's equal application.




Post 12

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 12:29pmSanction this postReply
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Gays and straights both have the natural right to form contracts based on their mutual consent. The issue of allowing gay marriage today revolves around the unannounced issue of gays seeking what almost everyone else also tries to get from government: something for nothing in the form of special privileges. Government ought to stop sanctioning and regulating the terms of marriage, just as it ought to stay clear of regulating the terms of any other voluntary contractual agreement.

I respect Mr. Kilbourne's willingness to accept and integrate the reality of his inner experience into his life, despite the sometimes hateful reactions of frightened and insecure people. However, I have difficulty accepting the idea that homosexuality is natural.

First, the argument that homosexuality occurs among other species of animals is, I suspect, false. An unbred cow will "ride" another cow when she is in heat, if there is no bull in her proximity. If there is a bull in her proximity, he breeds the cow and that's the end of it. Cows never prefer sexual union with other cows to sexual union with a bull.  They experience a drive to breed, and in their dimly lit consciousness of percepts, try to fullfill the drive.

Second, the argument that homosexuality may be nature's way of limiting overpopulation or otherwise regulating "problems" within the human species is weak. On the contrary, it would appear that natural selection would work to elimminate a "homosexual gene" over the course of several thousand years, since homosexuals would be less efficient at reproduction.

Third, I don't understand the supposed biology-based "proof" of physiological causes of homosexuality because I have never studied the subject. However, while I am willing to be proven wrong, I doubt the validity of studies whose authors claim to have proven that homosexuality is natural to man. One source of my skepticism is the fact that this idea is much in vogue among anti-intellectuals today, and my observation has been that such crusaders often distort facts to suit their objectives. Another source of my doubt is published commentary to the effect that despite the hoopla about "proof" that homosexuality is natural, those much-publicized studies fall short of demonstrating the conclusions their authors want fervently to believe.

Finally, the idea that homosexuality is natural can be seen as a product of the intellectual philosophical fashion that holds that man lacks a definitive nature; that he is plastic, evolving, and constitutes many different things to different people. In fact, the anti-philosophical outlook that dominates our era makes it difficult for many to understand man's nature. On one hand, (anti-)philosophers argue that man lacks any definitive nature, which is thought to accord with complexity. But on the other hand, because these thinkers cannot identify what makes man the creature that he is, they are precluded from developing a complete understanding of man in all his complexity. Instead, they fall back on slogans and cliches, on self-contradictory notions of man as unconscious passive responder to external or genetic triggers. By way of illustration, compare the profound insights of Nathaniel Branden concerning the nature of human consciousness, of self-esteem, of sexual visibility and romantic love, with the current primitive ideas about the nature of man so in vogue among the "intelligentsia".  (I write this with the awareness that Nathaniel Branden has stated that he believes homosexuality to be natural. So perhaps I'll learn later that I am wrong about all of this.)




Post 13

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 12:30pmSanction this postReply
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Hi Jody,

 

I guess I should clarify that I’m focusing on marriage contracts here because (1) that’s what this thread is about, (2) they are highly important to people, and (3) their current legal status to me clearly violates a principle of consistency.

 

Next, I don’t think of legal marriage as a “romantic contract,” whatever that means. I think of legal marriage like any other contract – as an agreement that distributes a bundle of legal rights and legal obligations among the parties subject to the agreement.

 

Also, marriage contracts are fairly standardized. The government doesn’t “create” them. It just recognizes and enforces them. I think the government should enforce marriage contracts no more or less than it enforces any other contract. Of course, the government not only enforces marriage contracts, it also provides tax benefits and what not for parties subject to such contracts. These benefits are to what Objectivists often object.

 

Jordan




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Post 14

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 1:12pmSanction this postReply
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Mark,

Regarding the naturalness of homosexuality:

Your first point: "During one season in which 58 bonobo females [apes] were observed, 45 "engaged in homosexual activity" and some were exclusively homosexual" source

Second point: Homosexuality needn't be gene based, although it can be gene influenced. Recessive genes, for example, would be one way a "gay gene" would be passed on without reproduction among homosexuals. Also, there is evidence that hormone levels in the womb have an influence on sexual preferences and behavior through their influence on different brain structures.

Third: You won't find "proof" from science, but you don't gain much credibility in attacking a biological basis for homosexuality by saying that you've never studied it.

Fourth:
the idea that homosexuality is natural can be seen as a product of the intellectual philosophical fashion that holds that man lacks a definitive nature

This statement completely contradicts itself. A philosophical system that denies man's nature would not say that homosexuality is natural; it would say that it is "nurture"-based since humans have no core nature.

Sarah

(Edited by Sarah House
on 7/19, 1:14pm)




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Post 15

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 1:41pmSanction this postReply
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"I don't support gay marriage for the same reason I do not support straight marriage: when it pertains to the government, all forms of marriage is theft against singles."

Perhaps everyone here could agree that we should privatize marriage, right?



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Post 16

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 1:44pmSanction this postReply
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Jordan-
Go into a lawyers office and have a marriage contract drawn up based upon the terms that the individuals involved wish to have and then take it and see if your state recognizes it as a legal marriage.  The state creates(stipulates, mandates...use whatever term you wish) the requirements for this contract and also stipulates what has to happen in order for the state to allow the individuals involved to get out of the contract.  In most states there is a "cooling off period" of up to six months, and the state, especially those still without "no-fault" laws, can refuse to grant a divorce at the whim of the judge.  Does the state merely "recognize and enforce" these contracts?  No.  They set the terms that the individuals involved must abide by.  This is just another area where the state thinks individuals are incapable of taking care of themselves and setting their own terms for the contracts they wish to enter into.  If it's just like any other contract, then why do I not have to get the states permission to terminate a lease?

(Edited by Jody Allen Gomez on 7/19, 1:52pm)




Post 17

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 1:49pmSanction this postReply
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Excellent article Gregory.



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Post 18

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 2:07pmSanction this postReply
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Thanks for this finely written article, James.

Isn't it great how the fundamentalists immediately use the same argument for everything? "If we have 'A,' then before you know it people will be fucking donkeys. Then, we'll have a whole generation of donkey-centaurs running around expecting to collect welfare." 

If I follow their logic correctly, I think they're also saying that people who smoke pot will go on to crack, then the crack makes them fuck donkeys. Either way, we've got a major donkey fucking problem looming on the horizon here, folks.
 
They just can't stand the thought of gay people getting any kind of tax advantage, is what I think it is.

What I like most about these people is they produce material for me. Here's a recent reply from Falwell after an organization I work with hit his radar screen- check it out, it be major yucks: http://www.falwell.com/?a=p&content=1103229198

I really want to write him... "Dear Mr. Falwell, I have been reading your materials, and have reason for great alarm. Unfortunately, one of my daughters is gay, and not only wants to get married, but they're going to artificially inseminate and have a kid someday. Now, I know that's bad, real bad. But, my greater concern is for myself- does this mean I am a raiser of donkey-fuckers?"

Rich Engle
Married, but files separately.




Post 19

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 2:24pmSanction this postReply
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Jody,

 

Again, a marriage contract is a bundle of legal rights and obligations. It’s true that the state identifies the boundaries of what constitutes a marriage contract. It identifies the boundaries of what constitutes any type of contract. You can’t make a contract for, say, someone to mow your lawn and have that be treated as a marriage contract. The circumstances and consequences of that contract are far too different from what we normally consider marriage. The state needs to draw a line somewhere. If you want to say that this drawing of a line is actually the “creating” of a marriage contract, then okay. I won’t quibble with your terminology.  What’s wrong with this process? In my view, this process is wrong if it draws the line inconsistently.

 

And as for state requirements for divorce and what not, it sounds like you’re objecting to the state imputing implicit or default terms into contracts. The state imputes terms into all kinds of contracts, not just marriage contracts, so there’s no need to single out marriage contracts here.

 

Or maybe you’re objecting to how the government restricts contract terms, like a termination clause. Again, the government restricts all kinds of contract terms, not just terms in marriage contracts, so again, there’s no need to single out marriage contracts here. Using your example, just check any apartment lease. Your state probably restricts the lessor from at-will termination. The lessor probably must give at least a month’s notice, probably more.   

 

Jordan




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