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Author Topic: Same-Sex Marriage  (Read 8180 times)

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Offline Talia

Re: Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #50 on: January 15, 2010, 09:20:21 AM »
The only thing I do get a chuckle out of... is the fact that the ignorant pay out of their pockets either directly or indirectly at fighting this bill, but it does bother me as always the people with little money always pay the most.

http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/pi/rs/rep-rap/jr/jr13/fig4l.html




« Last Edit: January 15, 2010, 09:42:41 AM by Laurrel »

Offline consortium11

Re: Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #51 on: January 15, 2010, 10:33:01 AM »
Population has nothing to do with evoking change as a country or nation. It's about accepting that others have the freedom to live and have the same rights as everyone else  period.

That's exactly my point no amount of giving people time to think things over is going to change the ignorant. They are just to closed minded to weigh it properly and see the points of others.......

You should have properly stopped here (before the edit) as this could be a valid point; while framing this as a rights issue has its own problems even the ardent democracy lovers accept that their are certain things that the majority should not rule on... a tyranny of the majority is still a tyranny.

Jude..I wish I had your phone number because I hate debating in text and even more so to type it!

So when we make laws we should do with population in mind...what next class, economic,....race  seriously.

I don't want to speak for Jude but I believe what he's saying is that if you legislate (judicially especially) against the wishes of the majority then it causes a great deal of unrest and ill will... ill will that can cause issues down the line. When people feel their views are being ignored they're less likely to act favourably towards those changes then they would if it had come about due to a change in public opinion (which we can see happening as we speak). It's also worth noting that if Prop 8 would have almost certainly failed if not for the Obama factor, so at a second go round it may get repealed on a popular vote.

I'd go a it further. We live in a democracy and while not every decision should be entirely down to what the majority think, every decision should keep it in mind. The government is meant to serve the people and when it goes against their wishes it should be able to justify it strongly. I believe in democracy even when I disagree with the results... I think Switzerland has one of the greatest systems of government in the world even when that system leads to decision like the anning of minarets... which I find patently wrong. You cannot have your cake and eat it... if you want a deomcracy you have to accept that it will not always give you the decision you want.

Then for abortion men should have no say at all as a population. We don't need their input ...after all the change doesn't occur to their bodies??

I don't think this is is a great extension of the point. What Jude (Or I) am suggesting doesn't appear to be that people not directly physically involved shouldn't have their opinions canvased or taken account of.

Offline Talia

Re: Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #52 on: January 15, 2010, 11:00:50 AM »
I should have known myself well enough not to have not to have commented at all actually:) So this is my last post ever on politics or in this section. I make a better reader.

All good points... But change and to make change in a country's law or reform has nothing to do with population when passing bill or evoking change and new laws. It should definitely not be based on how people are going to react either. Change happens out of need or it's warranted on some level.

 As for people getting used to change and digesting the new...they need to step it up and except the fact that others different from them, are allowed the same freedoms and no matter the amount of small incremental steps that are taken people apposed will always be apposed.

If we took small incremental steps to every law past in the world ...nothing would be resolved or put into place because we would be worried about how everyone was going to react. Counties go to war quicker than that and I don't remember anyone asking my opinion on the matter or if it was going to cause me any unrest or how much time I needed to digest it and get used to the idea.

Then for abortion men should have no say at all as a population. We don't need their input ...after all the change doesn't occur to their bodies?? That was me just being a smart ass about how we should take into consideration the population vote on that topic in the future.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2010, 11:14:47 AM by Laurrel »

Offline JudeTopic starter

Re: Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #53 on: January 15, 2010, 11:13:47 AM »
The United States of America isn't just a Democracy, it is a Democratic Republic.

The difference between a Democracy and a Democratic Republic is that in a Democratic Republic we live by the rule of law and then the will of the majority.  This means that our laws exist to control the actions of both the people and the actions which the government takes on behalf of the people.  We have a very clear hierarchy which establishes the Constitution as the highest legal authority, then Federal Laws, then the Federal Government, then State Laws, then the State Governments; and so on and so forth (with a few notable exceptions that are delegated by the constitution in certain areas).

To have a court overturn laws against gay marriage, would require Judges to find that some provision of the Constitution that guarantees or implies that homosexuals have the right to marry, then that lower law can be struck down.  However, there's one big roadblock against using the equal protection clause, which essentially guarantees the human rights you're referring to, in order to declare these laws unconstitutional.  And that's this:
Quote from: Wikipedia
Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, is the short title of a federal law of the United States passed on September 21, 1996 as Public Law No. 104-199, 110 Stat. 2419. Its provisions are codified at 1 U.S.C. § 7 and 28 U.S.C. § 1738C. The law has two effects:

   1. No state (or other political subdivision within the United States) needs to treat a relationship between persons of the same sex as a marriage, even if the relationship is considered a marriage in another state.
   2. The federal government defines marriage as a legal union exclusively between one man and one woman.

The bill was passed by Congress by a vote of 85-14 in the Senate[1] and a vote of 342-67 in the House of Representatives,[2] and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on September 21, 1996.
The first part is simply a matter of establishing a state to state basis for determining the legality of same-sex marriage, but it's the second portion that really causes problems for Gay Marriage.  Because if you're claiming that homosexuals are being denied the right to marriage because they cannot marry their partner, well, that's not true because of this law.  If marriage is in fact defined as a union between a man and a woman, then then homosexuals being unable to enter this union with their partner isn't a denial of human rights, it's simply a consequence of the definition.  That's precisely why Congress passed it in 1996.

Agree or disagree that it's a good law, if you want to strike down bans on gay marriage, you first have to kill that law.  Congress isn't going to do it, because that move would be seen as support for gay marriage, and elected officials are supposed to represent the will of the people.  The only other way to get around that hurdle, would be to declare that law unconstitutional, which is essentially what you're advocating.  It may eventually happen, but it's not as black and white as you think or previous attempts to repeal DOMA would've succeeded (and they have obviously not).

A lot of it comes down to opinion.  Life is not as black and white as people would like it to be.  Semantics play an important role of the interpretation of law and determining the Constitutionality of particular laws.  There are ways to frame the debate so that none of these laws are in defiance of human rights, because the concept of human rights is murky to begin with.  In the Declaration of Independence it says:
Quote from: Thomas Jefferson
    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.
This implies that the source of our human rights, is none other than our creator.  Given that the majority of Americans believe in the Christian God, why would they possibly think that homosexuals being unable to marry (something they believe their god disapproves of) is a right which god bestowed upon them?  I sincerely doubt that the opponents of gay marriage actually believe they're denying people fundamental human rights, they simply disagree with you on whether or not it is a human right.

I ultimately agree with you.  I do think homosexuals should have the same legal rights of a married couple.  But I recognize that the issue isn't nearly as black and white as you make it out to be and that the will of the majority is against us.  Forcing the country to agree with your interpretations and opinions will not change the way people feel, it will only harden their hearts against it.

You like to paint a picture where if we don't repeal this act and we do respect the will of the majority that the majority will begin to abuse other minorities, et cetera.  That's a slippery slope argument, but a possibility none the less.  I personally doubt America is going to go back in time if our culture and society are allowed to evolve naturally (which is what I'm arguing for).  And I think more than anything else you could do, the minority forcing the hand of the majority would only encourage a backlash and for those abuses to become more egregious.

Political affiliation in the USA is very comparable to the way a Pendulum works.  When you swing very hard one way, that force is going to eventually come back at you.  But when you're on the right side of history and the wrecking ball comes back, it doesn't hurt as much.  I do think that same-sex marriage is on the right side of history, but lined up along the rest of the liberal initiatives that are being worked out, now is just not the right time.  Supporters of Gay Marriage should wait til they won't have to shove quite as hard to get it through, because if not the backlash could be something very bad.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2010, 11:15:57 AM by Jude »

Offline kylie

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Re: Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #54 on: January 15, 2010, 02:51:27 PM »
          As represented in those pretty boxes, the Gallup polls don't show what the margin of error, sample size, or sampling method was.  I have seen similar numbers from the Pew Research Center.  However, this made me curious about that...  (I'm still not 100% certain these are two different surveys, and not Pew paying Gallup?)  I went looking up the Pew Research Center.  (How many times do you have to Google to find something but their own pages!)  Resorting to Wikipedia, I found that Pew is funded by some rather conservative people.  That doesn't necessarily mean they skewed the data, but it makes it more likely they might have at least chosen a method that favors their initial beliefs.  I don't know about Gallup's backing, but that still leaves the question of their methods and level of precision.  So...  I'm a little curious whether there are other surveys or more information that might be relevant on the opinion side.

          Also, these age brackets they have set up are huge.  30 to 49 ??  What about 30 to 35?  35 to 40?  According the Census subset American Community Survey (I think collected around 2006), the median US age was a bit below 37.  You also might or might not consider it relevant that the people who are most restricted by the current state of law, would-be marriage partners, are generally younger.  The median age of first marriage then or slightly later was about 28.  Okay, in fairness, that's not mentioning the divorce rates and later remarriage -- feel free to pick at that.
     http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/ACSSAFFFacts
     http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/GRTTable?_bm=y&-_box_head_nbr=R1204&-ds_name=ACS_2008_1YR_G00_&-format=US-30

Of course, it's possible to argue that effect across the whole population society is all that the voting system is concerned about.  However, in law I believe we also have guidelines that demand undue discrimination be avoided in distribution of opportunities.  Although American society is awfully willing to accept many forms of discrimination by age (while blithely insisting so many policies are being made on behalf of future generations), it's also possible to argue this is a particularly glaring case of ageism. 

         DOMA is an established roadblock, yes, but Obama has pledged to confront that.  (Slowpoke though that agenda can seem to be.)     As we have seen with some of the presidential election statistics and the debate on healthcare, whether something changes may not be determined so much by national figures on opinion.  It's more a problem of political districting and then Washington figures working through or around legislative process.  Hmm, thread on whether we should toss the filibuster, anyone?
« Last Edit: January 15, 2010, 02:56:12 PM by kylie »

Offline JudeTopic starter

Re: Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #55 on: January 15, 2010, 03:32:53 PM »
          As represented in those pretty boxes, the Gallup polls don't show what the margin of error, sample size, or sampling method was.  I have seen similar numbers from the Pew Research Center.  However, this made me curious about that...  (I'm still not 100% certain these are two different surveys, and not Pew paying Gallup?)  I went looking up the Pew Research Center.  (How many times do you have to Google to find something but their own pages!)  Resorting to Wikipedia, I found that Pew is funded by some rather conservative people.  That doesn't necessarily mean they skewed the data, but it makes it more likely they might have at least chosen a method that favors their initial beliefs.  I don't know about Gallup's backing, but that still leaves the question of their methods and level of precision.  So...  I'm a little curious whether there are other surveys or more information that might be relevant on the opinion side.

          Also, these age brackets they have set up are huge.  30 to 49 ??  What about 30 to 35?  35 to 40?  According the Census subset American Community Survey (I think collected around 2006), the median US age was a bit below 37.  You also might or might not consider it relevant that the people who are most restricted by the current state of law, would-be marriage partners, are generally younger.  The median age of first marriage then or slightly later was about 28.  Okay, in fairness, that's not mentioning the divorce rates and later remarriage -- feel free to pick at that.
     http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/ACSSAFFFacts
     http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/GRTTable?_bm=y&-_box_head_nbr=R1204&-ds_name=ACS_2008_1YR_G00_&-format=US-30
I'm confused about the relevance of some of the points you were making, but here's a bunch of data on the issue:  http://www.pollingreport.com/civil.htm.  I scanned about a fourth of the data, and in every instance the majority of Americans were not for gay marriage.  However, in a 3 way break down it was split about 1/3 1/3 1/3 in terms of for, civil unions, against all recognition.  The polling reflects that the majority of America is ready for civil unions.  i.e. the incremental change I was referring to would be going for that position via a ballot initiative.

Interestingly enough there's also a poll about whether or not people wanted their state courts or legislatures to take up the issue, about twice as many people favor the issue being resolved Legislatively.
Of course, it's possible to argue that effect across the whole population society is all that the voting system is concerned about.  However, in law I believe we also have guidelines that demand undue discrimination be avoided in distribution of opportunities.  Although American society is awfully willing to accept many forms of discrimination by age (while blithely insisting so many policies are being made on behalf of future generations), it's also possible to argue this is a particularly glaring case of ageism. 

         DOMA is an established roadblock, yes, but Obama has pledged to confront that.  (Slowpoke though that agenda can seem to be.)     As we have seen with some of the presidential election statistics and the debate on healthcare, whether something changes may not be determined so much by national figures on opinion.  It's more a problem of political districting and then Washington figures working through or around legislative process.  Hmm, thread on whether we should toss the filibuster, anyone?
I've never heard Obama mentioning doing anything about DOMA, in fact the only gay rights issue he's mentioned is don't ask don't tell.  Even if he pledged to do something I'm not sure what he could do.  The President obviously doesn't have the power to repeal law and the Supreme Court decides whether it's constitutional or not.  The only thing he could do is appoint people to the Supreme Court who are against DOMA.

Given the fact that the Democrats are probably going to lose big time in the Midterm elections and might not even get Health Care passed if Scott Brown wins in Massachusetts, I wouldn't consider anything they're doing right now to be indicative of something that a political party that wishes to remain relevant wants to do.  They're realizing the effects of going against the will of the people firsthand right now, if anything that should be a cautionary tale of why this is a bad idea.

Conservatives already routinely discuss the supposed invisible, ninja activist judges which legislate political agenda from the bench that runs contrary to the will of the people.  Many laws have been proposed which create more accountability for judges and limit their power so they can't overturn laws like this.  If they were to do something this contentious, I can't even imagine what the political fallout would be like.

Although around 40% of the country supports Gay Marriage when the question is phrased as Gay Marriage or nothing, less than 15% of Americans actually believe that the legalization of Gay Marriage would actually be good for the country.  The political will simply is not there.  And at a time where political capital is so scarce, it really makes no sense to push an popular issue that effects so few people.

Offline Serephino

Re: Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #56 on: January 15, 2010, 08:22:09 PM »
If you're going to use that the Government represents the will of the people, then there are some major holes in that.  What I find funny is that excuse is used a lot, but it's only true as long as it isn't inconvenient.  What about the war in Iraq?  I don't recall anyone asking me how I felt about that.  I, along with many other Americans, don't like it one fricken bit.  Or those bailouts...  Nobody liked that very much, yet it was still done.

Let's go a bit further with this.  Freeing the slaves wasn't the will of the majority.  A civil war was fought because the South was unhappy about what the North was doing.  They lost the war, so they had two choices; like it, or sit on a stick and rotate.

Women's Rights;  Women certainly wanted it, but it was the men's opinions that counted at the time.  Probably a few men were for it, but most were not. 

Segregation Laws, and Black Voting rights;  Once again, at the time 'the people' were the white people, and giving black people rights wasn't very popular.  White people liked the way things were, at least most did. 

I know some people don't think gay marriage rights should be thrown into the same category, but the argument used is the majority are against it.  Well, the majority were also against the things I listed above, but the laws were still changed thanks to those who fought for it.  It was the right thing to do.  So why is the fact that the majority are against it suddenly a valid reason now?

Offline JudeTopic starter

Re: Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #57 on: January 15, 2010, 09:06:50 PM »
Actually, most of those things you listed, if not all, were in fact probably majority decisions.

Women's suffrage should be a no-brainer considering half of the population is female.

If you're going to make the claim that they weren't, lets see some evidence.

Offline kylie

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Re: Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #58 on: January 15, 2010, 10:41:35 PM »
Quote from: Jude
The polling reflects that the majority of America is ready for civil unions [and not for gay marriage].
          As far as I know, that's accurate in the few polls I have seen.  I brought up things like sample size and especially, method because it's quite possible to run surveys in ways that bring out some politics more than others.  For instance, only people with numbers on certain lists answer phone surveys.  Some demographics are more likely to answer phone surveys than others.  On an issue like gay marriage, some people will also be answering via phone (or face to face, if that) in circumstances where there is pressure for them not to give an honest answer.       

          Either way...  I'm not sure if I buy the incrementalism argument as such.  Some things don't seem to have obvious incremental ways to achieve them.  It's possible to argue the grievance is too large for an incremental approach to be ethical.  Incrementalism doesn't necessarily stave off backlash; it may simply disperse it.  It's also common for opposed groups to use the very marginal gains of policies pursued incrementally to attempt to cut them off partway along their course -- including when incrementalism itself may have produced odd situations.  I don't assume that an incremental approach never works; I'm just a little leery here.

Quote
I've never heard Obama mentioning doing anything about DOMA, in fact the only gay rights issue he's mentioned is don't ask don't tell.
          Obama suggested it should be repealed during the campaign.  After election, the situation got messy because the Justice Department feels it's stuck with defending whatever is on the books at the moment.  Some journalists reported that the focus was on the budget and then healthcare -- rather suggesting that it's impossible to work more than one issue through Congress at once.  Last fall, Obama pledged again to repeal DOMA in a speech to the Human Rights Campaign. 

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Remarks-by-the-President-at-human-rights-campaign-dinner
Quote from: Obama
I believe strongly in stopping laws designed to take rights away and passing laws that extend equal rights to gay couples. I've required all agencies in the federal government to extend as many federal benefits as possible to LGBT families as the current law allows. And I've called on Congress to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and to pass the Domestic Partners Benefits and Obligations Act.
Quote from: Jude
The President obviously doesn't have the power to repeal law and the Supreme Court decides whether it's constitutional or not.
          Yes, but that doesn't mean the White House can't horse trade too.  Partly, it depends how the Democratic Party plays the issue, and exactly how and when individual Congresspeople turn out to weigh in...  Also, maybe upon whether some legislative procedures are revised following the byzantine struggle over health policy.  I don't know if Obama will win that one, but I wouldn't presume from the get-go that he can't.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2010, 10:49:53 PM by kylie »

Offline Trieste

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Re: Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #59 on: January 15, 2010, 10:42:26 PM »
Actually, most of those things you listed, if not all, were in fact probably majority decisions.

Women's suffrage should be a no-brainer considering half of the population is female.

If you're going to make the claim that they weren't, lets see some evidence.

Ahm, if you're going to claim that they were, you need evidence, too.

Offline kylie

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Re: Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #60 on: January 15, 2010, 10:44:51 PM »
Quote from: Jude
Given the fact that the Democrats are probably going to lose big time in the Midterm elections...  They're realizing the effects of going against the will of the people firsthand right now...
          Even if you were right...  There was plenty of dissent about the Iraq War, capital gains tax cuts, Republican policy on welfare going back to Reagan...   We can find any number of controversial things that have been pushed through Washington by a party with a slim hold on Congress. 

          However, I don't see real evidence to show that there is such a huge public resistance to this administration's keystone policies.  I do notice that some people are upset (sometimes including myself) because they haven't been more liberal or gone farther.  If everything about this administration is against the will of the people...  Then, please show me the mass protests over Obama finally working to get our money back from the banks, and to make them pay a bit for playing themselves against consumers in the financial crisis?  Show me the ranks of newly under-employed urban dwellers who are clamoring for less federal money for infrastructure and job creation.  I wouldn't mistake all that for a mandate for the Republicans to take over again.  Now perhaps if there was a still more progressive choice available, we might have more of those people shouting for a different party in power.

          A little hiccup in popularity around midterm elections is more a cyclical event in US politics than something specific to Obama.  Or else, if you are correct, then most administrations have gone against the will of the people.  I expect it has more to do with the fact that everyone promises more on the campaign trail than they can actually deliver in the first 1-2 years.  Plus, everyone does a  few things that they didn't magnify on the campaign trail.  Sometimes rash things.  Sometimes things that are unpopular but the leadership feels needed to be done.  Then, it's a Congressional election not a presidential one.  Some of the votes have to do with what individual legislators did more than what the president chose per se.  There's some argument in this article that the Democrats may do worse than usual in this mid-term, simply because expectations were raised extra-high during the presidential election year with Obama's charisma.  Still, the mid-term hiccup itself is cyclical, not new:

http://www.esquire.com/features/data/obama-mid-terms-033009#ixzz0ckLbawAm
Quote
While a popular president can help his party to stem its losses, his party nearly always loses at least some seats at the midterms. Since World War II, the president’s party has lost an average of twenty-four House seats in the interim elections, gaining ground on just two of sixteen occasions.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2010, 12:15:15 AM by kylie »

Offline JudeTopic starter

Re: Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #61 on: January 16, 2010, 02:30:24 AM »
Ahm, if you're going to claim that they were, you need evidence, too.
Uh, that's not at all how arguing and evidence works.  Asserting a fact in support of your argument gives you the burden of proof.  He asserted a bunch of facts in support of his argument, I'm only calling into question the fact that he did so baselessly.  That's a challenge and a claim of skepticism which requires no evidence on my behalf because I have no stake in his claim being true.

You can't just throw black and white facts out there and expect people to accept them, or provide counterpoints, because I'm not sure the information even exists about public opinion before many of those events.  The absence of evidence is not evidence, that's not logical.

Kylie, there's majority opposition to many of President Obama's policies.  Moving the detainees from Guantanamo Bay, the current Health Care Bill, etc.  And the latest reelect poll puts him at 39% right now, on track to losing his second term.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2010, 02:51:27 AM by Jude »

Offline Kip

Re: Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #62 on: January 16, 2010, 02:52:35 AM »
Uh, no, that's not how it works.  The person asserting a fact is the one who needs evidence, not the skeptic questioning the baseless assertion.

"Not the skeptic questioning the assertion." would be a better way of putting it.  Assuming something is baseless is not particularly sound. 

If you are going to say something is baseless, that "women's suffrage should be a no-brainer"  based on a simple population statistic or that things listed were probably majority decisions then you need to back that up otherwise all it comes down to is 'You're wrong." and that doesn't make a debate.

Now, I went and looked up the suffrage issue to figure out which side I agreed with.

Women's Suffrage in the US.  Based on this timeline which is, admittedly, on a National American Woman Suffrage Association Collection, it appears that in 1878 a Woman Suffrage Amendment was introduced to Congress and it was the same one that finally passed in 1919.  This is backed up by this page.  I'm not an expert on US politics but 41 years is a substantial amount of time for something considered a fait accompli as a result of purely majority numbers in the general population.

Of course - that assumes that there were more women than men at that time in US history.  I didn't follow the argument that far but... there is a weakness.  Perhaps there were more men at that time, making it a majority.

*shrug*

;D



Offline JudeTopic starter

Re: Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #63 on: January 16, 2010, 02:58:31 AM »
How am I assuming it's baseless?  It isn't an assumption.  He provided no justification and simply stated those bits of information as facts without support.  i.e. baselessly.

My point was, more or less, than if I had to guess whether Women's suffrage was a majority movement or not, the fact that women comprise roughly half of the population probably makes it a majority movement.  I don't see how that's not completely sound, but I'm not using that as an ironclad fact either, just a point of possible logic in order to cast doubt on the claim.

As to your particular argument, just because it took 41 years to pass doesn't mean it didn't have a majority appeal when it finally did.  I'm not sure how you're equating the two.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2010, 03:01:51 AM by Jude »

Offline Kip

Re: Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #64 on: January 16, 2010, 03:18:09 AM »
How am I assuming it's baseless?  It isn't an assumption.  He provided no justification and simply stated those bits of information as facts without support.  i.e. baselessly.


If you turn around and say an assertion is baseless without backing yourself up then your assertion is baseless - his just had no supporting evidence.  Having no supporting evidence doesn't actually make it baseless, thus you are assuming it to be so.

My point was, more or less, than if I had to guess whether Women's suffrage was a majority movement or not, the fact that women comprise roughly half of the population probably makes it a majority movement.  I don't see how that's not completely sound, but I'm not using that as an ironclad fact either, just a point of possible logic in order to cast doubt on the claim.

As to your particular argument, just because it took 41 years to pass doesn't mean it didn't have a majority appeal when it finally did.  I'm not sure how you're equating the two.

There is a difference between a majority movement and a majority decision.  I'm basically saying that a majority movement (assuming it based on a gender ratio) with that many years of history obviously did not make the decision a no-brainer.  When you actually look at the voting records on the amendment in the year, it was anything but majority until the last vote. 

Sparkling Angel was saying that the government doesn't always represent the will of the people.  I would think that if the gender ratio issue holds true (and I suspect it does), then the government didn't represent the will of the majority for 40 years before passing the amendment.  Of course, that then assumes that all women agreed with the amendment.  That's a loaded issue in itself.

This risks derailing the issue from same-sex marriage which I don't want to really do.  All I wanted to say was that, in all honesty, dismissing an argument based on a possible or potential flaw without researching it doesn't work. 

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #65 on: January 16, 2010, 03:36:49 AM »
Just curious, what social reform of sweeping proportions was implemented slowly?

Offline JudeTopic starter

Re: Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #66 on: January 16, 2010, 04:06:41 AM »
If you turn around and say an assertion is baseless without backing yourself up then your assertion is baseless - his just had no supporting evidence.  Having no supporting evidence doesn't actually make it baseless, thus you are assuming it to be so.
By baseless, I mean it's unsupported.  I'm not saying he's wrong, I just see reason to doubt it and no reason to accept his assertion.  I'm not saying he's factually incorrect, perhaps baseless was an improper term to use, but I was trying to imply his conclusion were "without base" i.e. without the evidence to back them up.
There is a difference between a majority movement and a majority decision.  I'm basically saying that a majority movement (assuming it based on a gender ratio) with that many years of history obviously did not make the decision a no-brainer.  When you actually look at the voting records on the amendment in the year, it was anything but majority until the last vote. 

Sparkling Angel was saying that the government doesn't always represent the will of the people.  I would think that if the gender ratio issue holds true (and I suspect it does), then the government didn't represent the will of the majority for 40 years before passing the amendment.  Of course, that then assumes that all women agreed with the amendment.  That's a loaded issue in itself.
I'm confused, I was essentially arguing that decisions shouldn't be made that go against the will of the people.  It seems you've presented a situation in which the will of the majority was not respected--in what way does this conflict with my point?
This risks derailing the issue from same-sex marriage which I don't want to really do.  All I wanted to say was that, in all honesty, dismissing an argument based on a possible or potential flaw without researching it doesn't work.
I did plenty of research to show how unpopular gay marriage is, did you not read the numerous statistics I provided?  It's not a potential flaw, it's an actual flaw.  Going against the will of the majority in the current climate of populism is political suicide and stupid to boot when we have so much division and political ill-will.

Sparkling Angel tried to present previous cases in which Civil Rights Advancements were done against the will of the majority, yet they were well-received in the long run.  I called into question the facts on which he based his assertion is what it comes down to.  But realistically, even if he is right, that doesn't necessarily mean it's a good idea in the current political climate.
Quote from: Pumpkin Seeds
Just curious, what social reform of sweeping proportions was implemented slowly?
Civil Rights Legislation?  I gave the example earlier in the thread.  The Emancipation Proclamation was the first legal wide-sweeping civil rights legislation for blacks in the U.S. but the Civil Rights Movement was still in full swing 100 years later.  If that isn't slow, what is?

Kip gave an example of it take 40ish years to pass an amendment for Women's Suffrage.

A better question would be, what widely accepted Civil Rights Legislation was passed over night, in direct conflict to the opinion of the majority, that was actually accepted in practice by the general populace without a backlash?  If there's an example other than Abortion where the pendulum is swinging the other way, I'd love to hear it.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2010, 04:13:05 AM by Jude »

Offline kylie

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Re: Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #67 on: January 16, 2010, 04:25:35 AM »
Quote from: Jude
Kylie, there's majority opposition to many of President Obama's policies.  Moving the detainees from Guantanamo Bay, the current Health Care Bill, etc.  And the latest reelect poll puts him at 39% right now, on track to losing his second term.
          I don't know which poll(s) you're reading and whether they are showing all the goods.  (Election process could really be another thread.)  From this site -- a mix of January polls -- there has been a decline in overall ratings, but the overall job approval is about even.  Margin of error is not clear, but it also seems explicit disapproval is still less than 50% in this.  http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/president_obama_job_approval-1044.html

          You also haven't mentioned the quality of likely alternatives.  If you must continue with the curious presumption that all trends remain constant years into the future...  Then, the rise of the Tea Party sounds to me like another ticket of McCain-Palin qualities.  Or perhaps something even more desperately radical.  There's also a little matter of betting that everyone would forget in a mere 4 years that many of the massive issues Obama faces were cultivated under a largely Republican watch.  The notion that gay marriage as an issue must always overshadow all of that in determining how people vote, seems kind of iffy to me.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2010, 04:26:48 AM by kylie »

Offline JudeTopic starter

Re: Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #68 on: January 16, 2010, 04:39:48 AM »
          I don't know which poll(s) you're reading and whether they are showing all the goods.  (Election process could really be another thread.)  From this site -- a mix of January polls -- there has been a decline in overall ratings, but the overall job approval is about even.  Margin of error is not clear, but the it seems explicit disapproval is still less than 50% in this.  http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/president_obama_job_approval-1044.html
I absolutely agree with everything you said there.  It's also undeniable that Obama's job approval rating has been dropping with everyone since his election, and that on many issues he's going against the will of the majority.  Is this solely for that reason?  No, you're also right about well-established trends.  Everyone loses approval ratings over time as they stop campaigning and begin to govern.  Perhaps it was a bit sense of me (and difficult to predict) whether or not his going against the majority in various issues is hurting his approval rating; it's certainly serving as a boon to his opposition.  For the first time in a long time, it's possible that Massachusetts might elect a Republican into a traditionally Democratic seat just for the sake of stopping the Health Care Bill.

I see that as plenty of evidence that going against the will of the majority has far-reaching consequences, but I also realize it's hard to prove this.  I sort of assumed that it wouldn't be necessary to defend that the will of the majority should be respected in a Democratic system, which is one of the things that is absolutely flooring in the latest stages of this debate here.  I'm curious, are the people who are arguing against me at this point are actually advocating going against the will of the majority, or are we just caught up in minutia?
          You also haven't mentioned the quality of likely alternatives.  If you must continue with the curious presumption that all trends remain constant years into the future...  Then, the rise of the Tea Party sounds to me like another ticket of McCain-Palin qualities.  Or perhaps something even more desperately radical.  There's also a little matter of betting that everyone would forget in a mere 4 years that many of the massive issues Obama faces were cultivated under a largely Republican watch.  The notion that gay marriage as an issue must always overshadow all of that in determining how people vote, seems kind of iffy to me.
I don't understand why the politics of the election have become an issue.  I was merely stating that there are political consequences to dismissing the will of the majority, and that it's a bad tactic to employ if you want to remain politically relevant.  I don't see how the quality of Obama's competition is at all relevant to that discussion.  Nor do I recall saying that the gay marriage issue 'must always overshadow all of that in determining how people vote.'  I don't think it will.  But I do think that if he somehow spearheads an initiative against DOMA and sees the legalization of Gay Marriage it will be very bad for him politically, because it's yet another example of him refusing to respect the will of the majority in his actions.

As far as the statistics I've claimed about him being against the majority, here's a summation of the various poll results issue by issue for him:  http://www.gallup.com/poll/125033/Obama-Approval-Terrorism-Up-49.aspx

There's a counter-argument that can be made as well, in opposition to what I've been saying, by asking me do I always think that the government should reflect the will of the majority?  No, I don't.  If you respect the will of the majority on every single issue then nothing will ever get done.  Using the analogy of a ship at sea, if you always listen to the majority, you will forever go back and forth between the various ports and never dock to pick up supplies.  When it comes to making issues in the execution of government especially, I think you have to trust the opinion of experts and insiders in the various fields.

You can't govern my popular opinion and still do a good job of enacting an agenda.  I just think that as contentious as this issue is and given its similarity to abortion when it comes to religious versus secular positions, it's something best decided on a state by state basis or with the better-supported alternative of civil unions until there's the political will backing it.

And, in an attempt to steer this back onto the main subject, what exactly is the objection that people have with civil unions, so long as they have the same legal rights within that government supported institution?  Isn't that what this is all about?  There seems to be popular support for the idea, so why isn't that a decent compromise?
« Last Edit: January 16, 2010, 04:42:10 AM by Jude »

Offline Mnemaxa

Re: Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #69 on: January 16, 2010, 04:57:47 AM »
Because Civil Unions do not have the same rights as a married couple.  They have SOME rights, but not those of a spouse.

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Re: Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #70 on: January 16, 2010, 05:06:35 AM »
Because Civil Unions do not have the same rights as a married couple.  They have SOME rights, but not those of a spouse.
My words exactly.

Offline JudeTopic starter

Re: Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #71 on: January 16, 2010, 05:23:55 AM »
Assuming they do have the same rights though?  There's no reason why they couldn't, that would be why I wrote "so long as they have the same rights" within the premise which was, for some reason, conveniently ignored.

EDIT:  Furthermore, the position that civil unions do not encompass all of the same benefits, responsibilities, and protections as marriage isn't true in all cases.  There are states in the union which have Civil Unions that are identical to Marriage in all ways but the name (such as New Jersey).  So it isn't fair to unequivocally say that.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2010, 05:36:04 AM by Jude »

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #72 on: January 16, 2010, 05:56:35 AM »
Well if you're going to make those references, than gay marriage has likewise been slow.  I can remember this topic being argued when I was little and from the best I can tell was argued even a decade or so before then.  Also the Civil Rights Movement is a poor example of a slow moving social reform.

Offline kylie

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Re: Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #73 on: January 16, 2010, 06:47:50 AM »
          I think, if one chooses to argue Obama shouldn't lead on gay marriage out of political risk, then -- from that perspective -- there may be quite similar reasons that he also shouldn't lead on civil unions.  The risk may appear to be less now, but I'm not clear on how many polls have asked about a national law authorizing civil unions.  I have the impression that so far, most of the actual campaigns have been state level, so that may be the level that people less focused on the issue think of in some of the polls.  The positions could actually be more broadly divided when it comes to a national policy.  IF that is actually the case, then the "incremental" proposal to push for civil unions could be almost as difficult.  Which could lead back to the situation of either pushing hard -- perhaps more through procedural change in the legislature or something in the range of a constitutional convention -- or waiting for a few more years for opinion to shift.  No one knows with certainty, though, what a busy national debate might actually lead to.  It just might serve to reframe the issue dramatically one way or another. 

Quote
As far as the statistics I've claimed about him being against the majority, here's a summation of the various poll results issue by issue for him:  http://www.gallup.com/poll/125033/Obama-Approval-Terrorism-Up-49.aspx
          They are indeed calling partly with a focus on land line phones.  At least slightly conservative bias there in who could answer, I suspect.  It also isn't clear what precisely people are upset with on some of these questions.  So I tend to think that concluding just from them that the administration must be clearly against "the will of the people" is stretching a bit.  Particularly when the disapproval rate for Obama per se has not hit a strong majority.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2010, 06:49:18 AM by kylie »

Offline Talia

Re: Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #74 on: January 16, 2010, 09:56:59 AM »
Well if you're going to make those references, than gay marriage has likewise been slow.  I can remember this topic being argued when I was little and from the best I can tell was argued even a decade or so before then.  Also the Civil Rights Movement is a poor example of a slow moving social reform.

*Laughs* Were just trying to do it small incremental steps so everyone has time to process it, digest it and accept all the changes. That way everyone doesn't get there nickers in a bunch. We  wouldn't want everyone having equal rights and freedoms at the same time because it could cause a big uprising, not to mention offend the population.  *Laughing Again*

I guess I lied....I am going to post! :)
« Last Edit: January 16, 2010, 10:04:23 AM by Laurrel »