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Author Topic: Prop 8 struck down.  (Read 18703 times)

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Offline schnookums

Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #225 on: August 15, 2010, 01:02:22 PM »
I'd be fine with the legal term being changed to civil union as well, but it's not likely to happen. Having said that, Proposition 8 is a prejudiced amendment. Maybe a person voting for it might not have been bigoted in thought, but they still were bigoted in deed. I'm not going to give a pass for good intentions, not in this case. If a person's definition of marriage is SO strong that they need to vote for a law to strip the equal rights from a minority group...well, sorry, they don't get bonus points for good intentions. Maybe this puts me as 'part of the problem', and I quite frankly don't care. I don't think equal rights should be held hostage to someone's "traditional" definition of marriage or any of that other rot. Results matter sometimes, we don't live in a hypothetical world. And no, gays aren't all bastions of egalitarian thought (not that it has any bearing on this argument, but it needs to be brought up.) That's because gays are human beings, just like the rest of us. To continue being blunt, allowing minutiae to derail thee rights is just...well, wrong. There are other thins that fall under this, but I've been using the marriage definition since it's been brought up. But I"m sorry, the definition of the word marriage just isn't something that's important enough to vote to take away rights that had already been granted, especially given that the definition of marriage itself has changed, in some ways drastically, over the centuries. It's a lot more complicated then just "the union of a man and a woman."

Offline fallen paradise

Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #226 on: August 15, 2010, 01:27:22 PM »
I'd be fine with the legal term being changed to civil union as well, but it's not likely to happen. Having said that, Proposition 8 is a prejudiced amendment. Maybe a person voting for it might not have been bigoted in thought, but they still were bigoted in deed. I'm not going to give a pass for good intentions, not in this case. If a person's definition of marriage is SO strong that they need to vote for a law to strip the equal rights from a minority group...well, sorry, they don't get bonus points for good intentions. Maybe this puts me as 'part of the problem', and I quite frankly don't care. I don't think equal rights should be held hostage to someone's "traditional" definition of marriage or any of that other rot. Results matter sometimes, we don't live in a hypothetical world. And no, gays aren't all bastions of egalitarian thought (not that it has any bearing on this argument, but it needs to be brought up.) That's because gays are human beings, just like the rest of us. To continue being blunt, allowing minutiae to derail thee rights is just...well, wrong. There are other thins that fall under this, but I've been using the marriage definition since it's been brought up. But I"m sorry, the definition of the word marriage just isn't something that's important enough to vote to take away rights that had already been granted, especially given that the definition of marriage itself has changed, in some ways drastically, over the centuries. It's a lot more complicated then just "the union of a man and a woman."
Again, Proposition 8 does not strip the rights if you put strong Civil Union laws in place. This is why I'm saying there is a massive disconnect in the public argument. Is it about "rights" or is it about access to a "term"? Because access to a "term" is not a right. I can't go around calling myself African-American and applying for grants available to only minority groups. And again, to describe people who voted for Proposition 8 "bigoted" is needlessly inflammatory and inaccurate. Honestly, it is almost as bad as the people who before the last election who were quoted as saying "If you don't vote for Obama then you are racist." There are plenty of reasons why someone might vote for or against Proposition 8 and their act does not in any way mean they are bigoted.

I'm also not sure I agree with your assertion that marriage has changes drastically over the centuries without further explanation of what you meant. Marriage within our country throughout the history of our country has been between men and women, age of consent and other things may have changed, but the basics of marriage haven't really changed. This, really, isn't central to the issue, but more I'm just curious as to what drastic changes in the course of American history you are talking about.

Offline schnookums

Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #227 on: August 15, 2010, 01:43:16 PM »
I'm sure these folks who don't want gay unions to be called marriage just lurve them some homosexuals, bot gosh darnit, their hands are tied! Marriage is between a man and a woman, and if these gays would just oh-so-kindly ask for civil unions, they'll have no problem voting yes to it!

Sorry, not going to happen. The vast majority of the folks who voted for Prop 8 because of the 'definition of marriage' would just find another excuse to vote away the gay's rights. It's all about keeping them out of the tribe, and quite frankly I'm not interested in the myriad of "non-bigoted" excuses as to why they have to keep the gays out.  Scratch the surface, and very few of the folks are all that accepting of gays. And I feel no need to coddle their beliefs. Yes, I guess this makes me prejudiced, and I'm okay with that. At least I've got the guts to admit to it.

Offline fallen paradise

Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #228 on: August 15, 2010, 02:19:26 PM »
I'm sure these folks who don't want gay unions to be called marriage just lurve them some homosexuals, bot gosh darnit, their hands are tied! Marriage is between a man and a woman, and if these gays would just oh-so-kindly ask for civil unions, they'll have no problem voting yes to it!

Sorry, not going to happen. The vast majority of the folks who voted for Prop 8 because of the 'definition of marriage' would just find another excuse to vote away the gay's rights. It's all about keeping them out of the tribe, and quite frankly I'm not interested in the myriad of "non-bigoted" excuses as to why they have to keep the gays out.  Scratch the surface, and very few of the folks are all that accepting of gays. And I feel no need to coddle their beliefs. Yes, I guess this makes me prejudiced, and I'm okay with that. At least I've got the guts to admit to it.
Well I'm glad you are willing to admit you are bigoted. But as someone who would have voted for Prop 8 had I lived in California on the basis of my arguments in this thread, and as someone who has voted for candidates who are favor of both civil unions and gay marriage, and as someone who would have no issue voting for either gay marriage or civil unions were to the topic to come up in a situation where I was voting for it I actively defy your claim that everyone who was for Proposition 8 must be a bigot.

Additionally, your argument doesn't really even hold water in California, why? Because under California law same sex couples have had Domestic Partnership rights since 2000 and in 2005 further laws were passed to provide even more parity between DP status and marriage. The issue came up 2008 when the courts noted that there were 9 differences between "marriage" and "domestic partnership" instead of turning it back to the legislation to correct the issue this is when the courts stepped in and said that the state had to provide "marriage."

Connecticut is another perfect example where the legislature passed a Civil Union law which passed with massive bipartisan support and was signed into law by a Republican Governor. In the case of Connecticut's law there were no legal differences between marriage and civil unions. In fact when it was brought to court the lower court agreed that because civil unions were equal to marriage there was no basis for a claim of unfair treatment under the Connecticut Constitution's equal protection clause. So you have many examples where States and legislative bodies and voters have no problem with legalizing civil unions between same sex couples, but they do have problems with the word marriage associated with those unions. How do you explain all of that if it is simply about stripping away gay rights?

Offline schnookums

Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #229 on: August 15, 2010, 02:29:46 PM »
Okay, fine. What, EXACTLY, is the problem with associating the term marriage with gay unions? Explain to me what the issue is.

Offline Jude

Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #230 on: August 15, 2010, 02:48:03 PM »
Because that's not what marriage means.  If it was we wouldn't have to call marriage between same sex couples gay marriage--everyone recognizes there's a fundamental difference of meaning.  People want to pretend there isn't because it lends credence to the claim, but in reality everyone knows that marriage is between a man and a woman or we wouldn't have to affix an adjective infront of it to make sense of what we're referring to.

Marriage's acceptance as a civil and religious entity at the same time is dubious, I don't disagree there, but that's how the majority of the country defines it, feels about it, and wants it to be.  Forcing the majority to change their definitions is not tolerance; it's intellectual, social, and cultural tyranny.

He's absolutely right:  if the issue is about rights, then it wouldn't really matter what we call it.  More people support Civil Unions by far, yet somehow gay activists are still targeting the farther goalpost.  There is a majority of Americans approaching 2/3 who support the establishment of Civil Unions.  If the more extremist elements in the gay community would actually aim for that, there are a lot of people who could get behind making them 100% equal, even on the federal level (Barack Obama supports that, for instance).  That's a much more accessible path to equality, but people are impatient.

This isn't just about legal equality, but social equality in their eyes.  It's true that it's a symbolic victory, a cultural and social one, if gays are allowed in under the umbrella of marriage (because that's another point of commonality between straights and gays for true social equality).  The problem is, you can't force social equality.  You can't change the culture without using heavy-handed methods that often backfire.  You can't mandate feelings; and even if you could, would you want to go to such lengths to do so?

The impatience makes sense, but that's not how the world works.  Social movements have to do their time, put in their dues, and work hard to make things happen.  The Civil Rights Movement started a long time ago with abolitionist movements, then post civil-war there was a push to hold office (which actually happened before the cultural backlash), followed by establishments of institutions of charity such as black churches that served as social centers, organized boycotts, peaceful demonstrations, and a whole lot of suffering.  Did you know that in fighting Jim Crow legislation Civil Rights Leaders set up an initiative to teach blacks how to read in order to pass literacy tests, which eventually echoed all throughout the country?  The amount of work they did was staggering.

I'm seeing a desire to shortcut the process in gay activists, which while is understandable (and in a perfect world would happen), is similarly not realistic.  It's really insulting to see all of these comparisons back to the fight for racial civil rights as well, I think, when what blacks suffered was far greater, their battle was much harder, and it took a long time.  I see a practically entitlement mindset, honestly, amongst the gay community when it comes to this sort of stuff.

If you want change, you have to work for it.  It's not easy, but I just don't see that work being done.

It's always possible I'm ignorant of it.  There are some attempts being made.  LGBT alliances and groups, but I don't think the activism is quite as earnest.  I wish there were boycotts and such going on (against target for example) so that I could join them.  I want to fight the cause too; I agree that it is righteous.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2010, 03:04:36 PM by Jude »

Offline Synecdoche17

Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #231 on: August 15, 2010, 03:53:52 PM »
As far as Brown vs. Board of Education - this was not judicial legislation but this was upholding existing Constitutional Law.
*pounce*
And that's exactly what this is - the upholding of the 14th Amendment's equal protection under the law. States passed laws saying blacks and whites had different rights; the Court struck them down. States have passed laws saying gays  and straights have different rights; the Court is striking them down.

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The statement that separate institutes are inherently unequal is flawed and has set a terrible precedent that has been the basis for other terrible decisions such as the Connecticut Sheff vs. O'Neil case which ignores the quality of schools and says that as long as you artificially integrate non-minority students into a failing minority school district it doesn't matter that the minority students there are getting a terrible education, it basically reduced "equality" to the game of bean counting, much like affirmative action does.
As a teacher myself, I'd argue that separate is unequal - for instance, I have a male coworker teaching next door. He's a very funny guy and builds great rapport with students; conversely, I tend to be a little more formal in the classroom but I have much greater expertise than he does. Being in my classroom or his classroom is a vastly different experience, and could impact a student's endeavors significantly. A difference in school funding, location, or student body composition will make a far more imposing impact than a mere switch-around of teachers.
Sure, current methods of fighting school segregation may not be terribly effective. However, instituting gay marriage doesn't present any such obstacle - you just let gay people use the current marriage forms, instead of creating a whole new bureaucracy to route them around.

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There is also a stark difference between Brown vs. BoE and the current cases of gay marriage being fought. In several States there were Civil Union laws that mirrored the benefits of marriage (at the State level). Since DOMA has not been overturned and is currently the law of the land, a Civil Union law can grant the exact same rights as marriage (since a same sex marriage will not be recognized federally or by other States. In effect the Civil Union is perfectly equal to to Marriage, and since the 14th Amendment states that you have to provide equal rights and protection and does not state that the vehicle by which those rights and protections are received must be the same the argument is moot.
Firstly, you're wrong about civil unions granting the same benefits as marriage - civil unions never grant federal benefits, for instance, including Social Security and Medicare, which are huge, and as the federal government doesn't issue marriage licenses, it's a states issue. Many states also limit the benefits of civil unions, and quite a number of states do not recognize civil unions at all, not even ones performed in other states, which is a direct violation of the "full faith and credit" clause of the Constitution.


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I am all for the gay movement seeking equal rights, what annoys me is that they don't seem to want equal rights - they want equal access to a term. The civil rights movement was not about equal access to terms, it was truly about equal rights. Facilities provided to blacks in the south were uniformly inferior to those provided to whites. Educational services, drinking fountains, seats within a facility, seats on a bus, were inferior. The reason for the Brown vs. BoE decision was not that separate but equal was inherently unconstitutional, but because separate but equal did not exist in the South, and in terms of physical facilities it is almost impossible to create separate but equal. This isn't the same when you are talking about a set of legal rights, you can easily establish marriage and civil unions to be legally equal.
Except it's not marriage. Marriage is a hugely significant term, especially for women. I struggle to come up with an appropriate analogy; as marriage is a religious term, perhaps religion draws the best comparison - being told you can't get married is like being told you can't refer to yourself as Catholic/Protestant/Jew/etc. any more. It's a loss of identity that stretches far beyond eight small letters. As white and black drinking fountains were often close to each other, I might apply your argument there too - it's not harmful to have to use that fountain instead of this one, right? Except it is, psychologically, and as a society we've long since acknowledged that harm does not need to be physical to be hurtful.

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The comparison between the gay movement and the civil rights movement is also particularly insulting. We don't have separate drinking fountains for gays, we don't force gays to stand or sit at the back of  buses, we don't deny gays the right to vote. Not to belittle the trials and issues that gays in our country have had to overcome, and they have had many to overcome, the blanket oppression, segregation, and abuse of homosexuals is not on par with with blacks had to face in our country.
Transgender individuals have often been barred from one public restroom or another; gay individuals have been thrown out of hotels or bed and breakfasts run by bigots. You're right that the LGBT community has escaped much of the institutionalized overt violence African-Americans experienced, but justice isn't a limited quantity to be awarded only to the most worthy. Everyone deserves equality.
Comparing the civil rights struggles of African-Americans and LGBT folks is not insulting, it's perfectly apt. The cases are practically identical, and they draw on each other for legal support, such as Loving v. Virginia.

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I would also ask that you perhaps attempt to tone down the vitriol of your responses. Much of your language use seemed inflammatory and needlessly condescending.
You say 'bitch' like it's a bad thing! ;D

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But as someone who would have voted for Prop 8 had I lived in California on the basis of my arguments in this thread, and as someone who has voted for candidates who are favor of both civil unions and gay marriage, and as someone who would have no issue voting for either gay marriage or civil unions were to the topic to come up in a situation where I was voting for it I actively defy your claim that everyone who was for Proposition 8 must be a bigot.
Okay, so - you will not vote for same-sex marriage, but you will vote for same-sex marriage? Pardon me if I have trouble following your logic here.




Quote from: Jude
Social movements have to do their time, put in their dues, and work hard to make things happen.

Your argument boils down to this: "I want you to have civil rights, but I don't want you to have them right now." That's a pretty horrid argument.

As for putting in dues, well, Galileo Galilei wrote in 1632 that there was evidence to support the theory that the Earth went around the Sun. In 1992, the Pope pardoned him for saying that. That's 370 years. It took the Catholic Church 370 years to admit that they made a mistake in censuring Galileo for demonstrating scientific fact. Frankly, as a Catholic, I'm pretty sure it's gonna take more than 370 years from now for the Catholic Church to admit that LGBT people aren't sinners. If I find a same-sex partner, I am not willing to wait nearly four centuries to get married.

Offline fallen paradise

Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #232 on: August 15, 2010, 04:48:59 PM »
Synedoche - according to DOMA which has not been struck down by the Supreme Court, even if a State calls same sex marriage marriage they still don't get federal rights of marriage, nor does any other State have to recognize that marriage as valid. So it's a moot point, it doesn't matter if you call it civil unions or marriage at the moment, because neither will grant you access to federal rights if you are a same sex couple.

Secondly - I agree that in the case of education you can make the statement that separate is not going to be equal, but mixed is also not going to be better. In fact you can find several studies that examine the benefits of gender segregated schools or classrooms. At the time of Brown vs. BoE the problem was that minority schools were given far less funding, far less access to resources, and far less support. It is a completely separate issue that is not relevant to the gay marriage debate.

Third - no one is telling a lesbian or gay person that they can or can't call their union marriage. Are you really telling me that having a piece of paper from the government saying married matters more than the rights you receive? That piece of paper is not going to keep people from calling you names if the are bigoted just like a piece calling it a Civil Union doesn't mean you can't call it marriage or that you can't call whatever ceremony you associate with it a wedding.

Fourth - your cases of restroom, beds and breakfasts, and such are the case of individual bigots, not institutionalized society oppression as what was suffered by blacks. I've been chased out of a neighborhood by Hispanics who didn't like a "white ass honkey" in their neighborhod. Does that mean that whites have been oppressed because of our race? There is a difference between isolated incidents and widespread bigotry. Like I said before, yes, the LGBT community has faced some opposition, but just not as much as the blacks, so the comparison is inaccurate and in some ways offensive.

Fifth - I'm sorry if you don't follow my logic, but feel free to read my previous posts. I don't like the court system overriding Proposition 22 when it could have been addressed in the legislature. That is why I would have supported Proposition 8. However, if the question was ever put to a legislative body or vote as to whether or not to allow marriage I would support it because of my personal beliefs. Actually, to rephrase, I probably wouldn't have voted for Proposition 8, not really sure, but I definitely think that when it passed it was a misinterpretation of the 14th Amendment to apply it to the decision as the judge did since A. overturning the proposition will not grant same sex marriage the same rights as inter-gender marriage since the federal DOMA is still upheld on the books, and B. the court could have directed the legislation to correct the small issues with the existing domestic partnership law as a way of upholding both the California constitution and Amendment 14 concerns.

Finally - attempting to boil my argument down into a pithy statement that really doesn't represent my argument at all is weak sauce.

Offline Synecdoche17

Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #233 on: August 15, 2010, 05:23:14 PM »
Synedoche - according to DOMA which has not been struck down by the Supreme Court, even if a State calls same sex marriage marriage they still don't get federal rights of marriage, nor does any other State have to recognize that marriage as valid. So it's a moot point, it doesn't matter if you call it civil unions or marriage at the moment, because neither will grant you access to federal rights if you are a same sex couple.
This is not an argument against granting marriage to same sex couples, it's an argument against DOMA. Your point was that civil unions are equal to marriages - they are not, even if the debate over the term marriage does nothing to resolve the conflict with DOMA.

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Secondly - I agree that in the case of education you can make the statement that separate is not going to be equal, but mixed is also not going to be better. In fact you can find several studies that examine the benefits of gender segregated schools or classrooms. At the time of Brown vs. BoE the problem was that minority schools were given far less funding, far less access to resources, and far less support. It is a completely separate issue that is not relevant to the gay marriage debate.
We're in danger of sidetracking onto a schools argument, so as much as I'd like to chat with you about that I'll try to stick just to gay marriage. Brown v. Board established that "separate but equal" is not valid in any circumstance, not just schools. Separate but equal does irreparable psychological harm and shields institutionalized bigotry; it should be done away with in all cases.

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Third - no one is telling a lesbian or gay person that they can or can't call their union marriage. Are you really telling me that having a piece of paper from the government saying married matters more than the rights you receive? That piece of paper is not going to keep people from calling you names if the are bigoted just like a piece calling it a Civil Union doesn't mean you can't call it marriage or that you can't call whatever ceremony you associate with it a wedding.
Yes, yes they are telling lesbians and gays that they can't call their union marriage. That's exactly what Prop 8 does - have you read the text of the amendment? It does just and only that. The entire point of Prop 8 is to tell lesbians, gays, and transgender people that society does not and will not acknowledge their marriages as equal.

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Fourth - your cases of restroom, beds and breakfasts, and such are the case of individual bigots, not institutionalized society oppression as what was suffered by blacks. I've been chased out of a neighborhood by Hispanics who didn't like a "white ass honkey" in their neighborhod. Does that mean that whites have been oppressed because of our race? There is a difference between isolated incidents and widespread bigotry. Like I said before, yes, the LGBT community has faced some opposition, but just not as much as the blacks, so the comparison is inaccurate and in some ways offensive.
Isn't DOMA institutionalized social oppression? Being unable to access Social Security or Medicare benefits can cost a couple upwards of $150,000 over a lifetime. Isn't "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" institutionalized social oppression? LGBT people have been repeatedly fired for no reason but their orientation, and you can bet it happens in the private sector as well (which is why the LGBT community keeps lobbying for ENDA).

Finally, as I said before, justice is not a finite quantity. This is not a misery contest. We can do right by both African-Americans and LGBT people. I feel that the comparison is perfectly accurate not because African-Americans and LGBT people have faced identical struggles but because they both encounter bigotry, and because the bigots' arguments in both cases were baseless fearmongering.

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Fifth - I'm sorry if you don't follow my logic, but feel free to read my previous posts. I don't like the court system overriding Proposition 22 when it could have been addressed in the legislature. That is why I would have supported Proposition 8. However, if the question was ever put to a legislative body or vote as to whether or not to allow marriage I would support it because of my personal beliefs. Actually, to rephrase, I probably wouldn't have voted for Proposition 8, not really sure, but I definitely think that when it passed it was a misinterpretation of the 14th Amendment to apply it to the decision as the judge did since A. overturning the proposition will not grant same sex marriage the same rights as inter-gender marriage since the federal DOMA is still upheld on the books, and B. the court could have directed the legislation to correct the small issues with the existing domestic partnership law as a way of upholding both the California constitution and Amendment 14 concerns.
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That overturning Prop 8 will not end DOMA is unfortunate, but judges can only deal with the cases they're given. Judge Walker did the right thing in fixing what he could.

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Finally - attempting to boil my argument down into a pithy statement that really doesn't represent my argument at all is weak sauce.
Are you referring to the part where I addressed Jude's post?

Offline Jude

Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #234 on: August 15, 2010, 06:50:02 PM »
I'm not sure what Galileo has to do with anything.  That's about as relevant to the argument as me citing my fictional neighbor, who also happens to be against gay marriage, who took 3 years to forgive me for calling City Hall on her over the poor upkeep of her yard.  The Vatican has nothing to do with this situation, as their opposition to something means very little.  They're against the use of contraceptives and people still use condoms.  They're against the molestation of little boys and their clergymen still... (I couldn't resist--consider this light-hearted humor and don't take it too seriously, please)

Anyway, yeah, it sucks that gays have to wait for marriage, but it isn't the end of the world.  There are people who are being hurt by this, namely those who would like to share their health insurance benefits with their loved ones who are currently not covered and ailing, and that is gravely unjust.  So start another charity today for men and women in that situation (there's a few I'm aware of, and one in California specifically that I donated to a few years back--hopefully it wasn't a scam, I'm always wary about that thing).  Applaud Google and draw attention to their attempts at providing their workers with equal benefits.

Gays in the military is a step forward, especially so given that the enlisted men largely support it (and most of the outcry and opposition is coming from the brass).  It's time for gays to step away from gay culture and instead cherish their unique identities; to stop being stereotypes and start being themselves:  human beings who happen to have a different sexual orientation than the norm, which in no way affects 99.9% of the people they will interact with.  We can win this battle, but it takes work.

Progress is being made, and it starts with private workarounds for public injustice.  Victims don't win political battles, fighters do.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2010, 06:52:46 PM by Jude »

Offline fallen paradise

Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #235 on: August 15, 2010, 08:01:55 PM »
Saying Brown vs. BoE established that separate is not equal in any circumstance is an extremely loose reading of the decision. Legal precedence is not about broad sweeping concepts but about nitpickingly small details. So drawing broad sweeping conclusions from a single decision like that is dangerous and a bad idea. Secondly, the decision in Brown vs. BoE was good, the logic behind it was not. Yes, separate is not always equal, but separate can be equitable. The problem with using the term equal is that you set a standard that is unobtainable, as you pointed out two classrooms will never be equal, does that mean that the minorities in one classroom are being oppressed? Or does it mean that if one classroom has more minorities than the other that the one classroom should be broken up? Again - yes, separate debate, if you want to take it up elsewhere let me know. I'm an educator as well so I'm sure we could butt heads on lots of issues and have tons of fun. ;)

Back to the issue at hand:
Proposition 8 does not say what you can choose to call your relationship. You can call it marriage, you can call it yellow banana squash, what it does is set a legal state definition for what the State recognizes as a marriage. Again, bestowing the State can bestow equal rights through other mechanisms.

Now, as far as whether or not it is equitable if you call it something other than marriage lets break it down by situation.

Same-Sex Marriage Legalized
Same sex couples receive State level rights equal to marriage. Other States have no obligation to recognize the marriage due to federal law, the Federal government has no obligation to recognize the marriage due to Federal law.

Civil-Unions with equal protection Legalized
Same sex couples receive State level rights equal to marriage. Other States have no obligation to recognize the union due to federal law, the Federal government has no obligation to recognize the union due to Federal law.

So, in the current legislative reality there is no 14th Amendment justification for eliminating a well structure set of Civil Union laws in favor of marriage because it does not create equality.

In your mentioning of DOMA and ENDA and such things you bring up an interesting issue and another reason why the current LGBT community's advocacy stances. If you could advocate for Civil Unions, which have a strong history of passing in State after State and pave the road to same sex marriages, or you had the choice to fight for Same Sex Marriage, a much harder fight with limited chances of passing without massive fights and contention which would you choose?

Again, my opposition is not to gay marriage, gay rights, etc. My opposition is to the courts doing the job of the legislature. I'm against stretching legal precedent far beyond the original scope to serve judiciary political agendas. Now, if you disagree with me on the extent to which the courts should act in cases like this that is fine, but it is my belief that a restrained judicial branch that acts with less advocacy and a tighter sense of interpretation is a good thing (even when I don't agree with the particular outcome.) To me this issue is far less about gay rights then about the vehicle through which those rights are obtained.

I also advocate for people trying to understand other peoples viewpoints. I understand yours, I don't agree, but people who simply say "if you oppose same sex marriage you are a homophobe" aren't even trying to understand the opposition, they are trying to vilify them.


Footnote: One point I didn't address, is DOMA institutionalized oppression? No, because there is still legislative room for the LGBT community to advocate for equal rights under a different term. Pass a Federal Civil Union act that says "The Federal Government recognizes all Civil Unions and conveys upon them the same rights and responsibilities as marriage under Federal Law." Honestly, such a law would have a decent chance of passing at the Federal level except for the fact that many LGBT groups would oppose it with the marriage or nothing mentality. It is actually part of the reason ENDA didn't pass in 1999 and again in 2007, rather than accept a partial solution that could later be amended or revises certain LGBT groups fought to kill ENDA because it didn't include transgendered issues.

ETA: We probably aren't going to agree on this issue and debating it back ad nausea probably serves little purpose. If you'd like to call it quits I'm fine with that.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2010, 08:19:11 PM by fallen paradise »

Offline Noelle

Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #236 on: August 15, 2010, 09:11:30 PM »
I'm just going to repeat myself because I feel it's relevant:

Colloquial (that is to say, COMMON) use of the term 'marriage' is loosely applied to legal marriages that would otherwise be called 'civil unions' under most traditional definitions. Atheists, divorcees, adulterers, deviants in general, etc., those who are 'soiling' the 'true' definition should all technically only be under a civil union. Even so, I'm almost 100% sure that even if you make the distinction between civil unions and marriage, colloquial use will not be changed and everyone will still say they're married except the snarkiest of hyper-religious bastards who are all LEMME SEE YO CHRISTIAN MEMBERSHIP CARD OR ELSE IT AIN'T LEGIT (this might be an exaggeration/paraphrase), but who cares about the extremists anyway?

I think that's what you mean to say, FP (look at me too cool to write out your whole name ABBREVIATION USE YEAAAH)? Mayyyybe?

Largely, what I see wrong with the "separate but equal" comparison is that the civil union distinction isn't one that only applies to gays -- I see it as a choice that straight people alike would join them in, and a significant number at that, which...doesn't really make it that segregated, in fact, it kind of only furthers the show that both groups are equal. Whites didn't typically use "negro" facilities because not only were they inferior, but because of the heavy social stigma and unjust belief that it was actually unclean from having blacks use it. That's...not the case with gays and civil unions. At all.

I agree with FP on a lot of things -- access to a term is not the same as access to basic human rights. If we decided to get super-neurotic and spell out rights for women and rights for men as separate documents with the exact same wording...I'm more apt to say 'well that was a waste of time', but if I'm getting the exact same rights and the exact same protection for those rights...who cares? The fight for social acceptance needs to be separated from the fight for rights. The fact is, as passionate as I am to see gays get the same rights, as much as I'd love for the US to realize how silly they're being RIGHT NOW, guess what? It's not happening. Which means, as unfair as it is, I and other gay rights advocates have to do a lot more work, and to take the progressive steps as they come instead of snubbing our noses at it as if to say "my way or no way". It's not saying "settle for the scraps", it's saying "you have to walk before you can run".

Offline Serephino

Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #237 on: August 15, 2010, 11:28:41 PM »
This isn't about access to a word.  It's about not having to be given a separate term.  It would be like if it was decided that everyone who lived in Texas couldn't call themselves Americans anymore.  They'd still have most of the rights of every other American, but they could only refer to themselves as Texans.  Sounds really stupid doesn't it?  But the term American is just a word!

What makes two people of the same gender entering into a union any different than a man and a woman doing the exact same thing?  Just the very concept of making it so that a different term must be applied does emotional and psychological damage.  It's saying that homosexuals aren't worthy of the same status.  That is why it is discrimination.

And no, Civil Unions aren't equal.  They may be close in some states, but even one difference is an insult.  And why the hell should we just roll over and ask for Civil Unions to just be made equal?  I'm sure there would still be some opposition to that anyway, but even still, that's giving in and giving the opposition what they want.  Maybe it's just me, but that still feels like losing.  I also seriously doubt that if Civil Unions were equal that straight couples would want that instead of marriage that they're entitled to, because as long as Civil Unions exist, I have a feeling that people will always see it as less than.

On the matter of having to wait; to quote the song 'Stand My Ground' by Within Temptation; "I can see when you stay low nothing happens."  This is true of every movement.  If we just quietly set up charities to help, and passively try to educate, if anything happens at all it will take decades.  If you want something you have to stand up and fight tooth and nail for it.

What do you think would've happened if our founding fathers had tried to calmly educate King Whoever (can't remember at the moment.. George?)  that what he was doing to the colonies was wrong?  What would've happened if when the South wanted to leave the union, President Lincoln had tried to calmly and logically negotiate?  What would've happened if the people of France would've politely invited King Louis XVI on a tour of the city to educate him on how bad the poor had it? 

There are many other examples I'm sure, but those are just the major ones I can think of at the moment.  The bottom line here is that a large group of people feel that there is a great injustice.  Therefore we have every right to kick, scream, and sue as long as no laws are broken. 

Not every colonist was for the Revolution.  There were loyalists.  I don't know the percentages, but I'm pretty sure England wasn't happy.  I think it's safe to say a majority of the South wasn't very happy about losing the Civil War.  Hell, in some states they teach that they didn't lose, though they're still part of the union, and slavery is illegal, which is the exact opposite of what they wanted....

I don't think there are any hard statistics to show that a majority of white people were against desegregation, but really, can you honestly say that if a majority was happy about it federal troops would have been needed?  Some things are common sense.  Equal rights for blacks was a hard fight, and it took people standing their ground to accomplish it.  Not all were violent protests, but those individuals dug their heels in and said 'that's it, I've had it with this shit!'  And even if those against it were a minority, they still got others' ideals shoved down their throats.     

Offline Jude

Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #238 on: August 15, 2010, 11:46:11 PM »
In every historical case you gave as an example, the events you discussed were the product of subtle societal shifts over a prolonged period of time.

The colonists didn't choose to revolt over night:  after a long period of benign neglect, they developed their own unique identities and became adjusted to a measure of independence.  That independence led to the French and Indian War which made Britain realize they needed to reign them in because they created an independent colony that was more trouble than it was worth without more control and taxation.  The Revolutionary War was the product of slowly changing societal values, it was really the coming-to-a-head of a much more gradual process.

And similarly, the Civil War was based on differences that slowly grew as America progressed.  The divisions between the North and the South didn't sprout up overnight, and the War was really a product of that, as as the South's attempt to secede from the union.  The North grew in a direction of Industrialization where the South's reliance on slave labor and agriculture presented a completely different way of life.  Add in splintering ideas about Federal Authority and State's Rights and what you have is a battle of ideas which was eventually personified after more than 80 years of figurative fighting.

The French revolution was exactly the same way, it developed as a result of longstanding issues between the Monarchs and the people as well as the broader conditions of the world (and hardly a model considering thousands of innocent people were murdered and it was basically open class warfare that resulted in the destruction and murder of a culture).

Societal change preempts the drastic action that you seem to prefer; which is exactly what I'm advocating.

Online Vekseid

Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #239 on: August 15, 2010, 11:49:45 PM »
The impatience makes sense, but that's not how the world works.

No. The world changes based on people who want it changed.

You reference polling,
http://www.gallup.com/poll/28417/most-americans-approve-interracial-marriages.aspx
Loving v. Virginia was in 1967. It was two decades before it even got to the same level of approval that gay marriage has now.

The court rightly realized that the bigots' argument was bullshit when three quarters of the nation disapproved.

Offline Noelle

Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #240 on: August 15, 2010, 11:59:50 PM »
No. The world changes based on people who want it changed.

Yes, and everybody wants the world changed according to them.


This isn't about access to a word.  It's about not having to be given a separate term.  It would be like if it was decided that everyone who lived in Texas couldn't call themselves Americans anymore.  They'd still have most of the rights of every other American, but they could only refer to themselves as Texans.  Sounds really stupid doesn't it?  But the term American is just a word!

Except that your example isn't really the same at all given that I would wager a great portion of straight people would happily and voluntarily enter into a civil union (presuming civil unions have the exact same rights as marriages) to avoid religious connotation or other various reasoning.

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What makes two people of the same gender entering into a union any different than a man and a woman doing the exact same thing?  Just the very concept of making it so that a different term must be applied does emotional and psychological damage.

I'm calling extreme exaggeration on this one ;P As much as people keep trying to liken this to civil rights-era "separate but equal" trauma, in this day and age, it is nowhere near the same. I wouldn't deny that there will still be ill feelings as a result, but I think this is seriously being overstated. To assume that gays would be any more "damaged" than they are now, even if the rights they are given aren't 100% equal yet is...kind of hard to believe. I would assume that being given more rights would be empowering and would push them to further lobby for complete equality, especially seeing themselves gain real legal ground.

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And why the hell should we just roll over and ask for Civil Unions to just be made equal?

Because being so narrow as to say "give me everything I want right now" hasn't been working for about sixty years and if you really wanted to be like all the other grandiose historical events including Civil Rights that you've been piggybacking on, you would do well to take note that they, too, took their rights in steps?

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I'm sure there would still be some opposition to that anyway, but even still, that's giving in and giving the opposition what they want.

This is missing the forest for the trees. I'm not suggesting that gays take their civil unions and shut up about it, I'm saying that you're not going to get everything you want all in one shot and instead of crying about not getting 100% the first time around, you get momentum from the smaller steps along the way. I don't understand the superiority complexes arising over this opportunity -- how could it possibly be "giving the opposition what they want" (which, frankly, sounds childish) when in most instances, people are claiming that the "opposition" doesn't want gays to have any rights at all? Giving gays more rights than they had before, even if it's not 100%, is a step in the right direction. I don't see how that could be "beneath" you.

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If you want something you have to stand up and fight tooth and nail for it.

And what is your contribution? It's not a question of sarcasm, I'm truly and genuinely curious to know what you (and other people on this thread, for that matter) have done to further the cause of gay rights advocacy.

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The bottom line here is that a large group of people feel that there is a great injustice.  Therefore we have every right to kick, scream, and sue as long as no laws are broken. 

And the people opposing gay marriage thinks it's also a great injustice, and they're kicking and screaming and suing just as much and it's been nothing but legal tug-of-war and a country that is not strongly for or against since. Don't you think that's a sign to move beyond pointless kicking and screaming? A child who throws a tantrum is largely ignored -- and even if they get their way, they're scorned for their inappropriate and frankly irrational, annoying behavior. If it's acceptance we're aiming for, then that's hardly the way you want to be viewed.

Offline Synecdoche17

Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #241 on: August 16, 2010, 02:31:28 AM »
Back to the issue at hand:
Proposition 8 does not say what you can choose to call your relationship. You can call it marriage, you can call it yellow banana squash, what it does is set a legal state definition for what the State recognizes as a marriage.
And that definition excludes same-sex marriages. Ergo, it does tell me what I can't call my same-sex marriage.

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Now, as far as whether or not it is equitable if you call it something other than marriage lets break it down by situation....So, in the current legislative reality there is no 14th Amendment justification for eliminating a well structure set of Civil Union laws in favor of marriage because it does not create equality.
Except you left out one situation: the situation in which someone gets a same-sex civil union in CA, and wants it to be called marriage. In that case, the 14th amendment eliminates the injustice of being forced into a second, 'special' class of marriage here in California. Additionally, it paves the way for a future ruling by a different court which will get rid of the injustices at the federal level and in other states.

You say Brown v. Board was very narrow, and I'm incorrectly extrapolating sweeping principles from it. It's interesting to look at the cases that Brown v. Board was based on, however. Sipuel v. Board of Regents and Sweatt v. Painter established that 'separate but equal' was unjust in law schools only. McLaurin v. Oklahoma School Regents outlawed 'separate but equal' at the collegiate level. Shelley v. Kramer eliminated racial covenants in real estate. Brown v. Board was the culmination of an avalanche of civil-rights cases; the overturning of Prop 8 is part of the avalanche of civil rights cases that will bring same-sex marriage to the United States. To say that this case is wrong because it doesn't eliminate all injustice is like saying the NAACP shouldn't have bothered with Sweatt v. Painter because it didn't get rid of all school segregation. It certainly didn't, but it paved the way for the case that would.

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In your mentioning of DOMA and ENDA and such things you bring up an interesting issue and another reason why the current LGBT community's advocacy stances. If you could advocate for Civil Unions, which have a strong history of passing in State after State and pave the road to same sex marriages, or you had the choice to fight for Same Sex Marriage, a much harder fight with limited chances of passing without massive fights and contention which would you choose?
Fortunately, I don't have to choose, as I can fight for civil unions where there are none and same-sex marriages where there are.

But if I did have to choose, I would fight for same-sex marriage all the way. I won't be satisfied with crumbs from someone else's banquet.

---------
Another lesson from the civil rights movement might be appropriate here; today, our history textbooks remember MLK as the milquetoast messiah whom everyone adored, and Malcolm X as the scary angry social renegade. Yet white political leaders flocked to MLK explicitly because of Malcolm X - MLK was the 'safe' alternative to Malcolm X. Likewise, much of the support for civil unions erupted when LGBT activists began pushing for same-sex marriage, because to socially conservative or indecisive voters civil unions seemed like the 'safe' alternative. Civil unions would not have nearly as much support in this country if LGBT activists had not begun pushing hard for same-sex marriage.

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Again, my opposition is not to gay marriage, gay rights, etc. My opposition is to the courts doing the job of the legislature. I'm against stretching legal precedent far beyond the original scope to serve judiciary political agendas. Now, if you disagree with me on the extent to which the courts should act in cases like this that is fine, but it is my belief that a restrained judicial branch that acts with less advocacy and a tighter sense of interpretation is a good thing (even when I don't agree with the particular outcome.) To me this issue is far less about gay rights then about the vehicle through which those rights are obtained.
The job of the legislature is to write laws. The job of the judiciary is to resolve conflicting laws in order of supremacy, from the Constitution down to city ordinances. Judge Walker did exactly that when he resolved a conflict between the supreme law of the land and a mere state law by overturning the latter.
To argue about an "activist judiciary" is to be fooled by decades of conservative talking points. The impression of an activist judiciary originates with the Warren court in the 1950s (Eisenhower famously remarked that his greatest regret regarding his term as President was nominating Warren to the bench), because the Warren court began the long process of incorporating the Bill of Rights via the 14th Amendment, a process that horrified social conservatives because it upended centuries of white, male, upper-class dominance. In a mere handful of years, the Warren court gave us Miranda rights, the right to counsel, freedom of religion, desegregation, free access to the voting booth, and proportional representation in state legislatures. I pray to God for an activist court like that to come again.

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I also advocate for people trying to understand other peoples viewpoints. I understand yours, I don't agree, but people who simply say "if you oppose same sex marriage you are a homophobe" aren't even trying to understand the opposition, they are trying to vilify them.
Luckily, I haven't called you a homophobe. <3


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Footnote: One point I didn't address, is DOMA institutionalized oppression? No, because there is still legislative room for the LGBT community to advocate for equal rights under a different term. Pass a Federal Civil Union act that says "The Federal Government recognizes all Civil Unions and conveys upon them the same rights and responsibilities as marriage under Federal Law."
Yes, and blacks weren't discriminated against because there was that water fountain right there for them. Further, I think you sincerely underestimate the strenuous opposition of Republican Senators to same-sex marriage issues, and the spinelessness of the Democratic majority.

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Honestly, such a law would have a decent chance of passing at the Federal level except for the fact that many LGBT groups would oppose it with the marriage or nothing mentality. It is actually part of the reason ENDA didn't pass in 1999 and again in 2007, rather than accept a partial solution that could later be amended or revises certain LGBT groups fought to kill ENDA because it didn't include transgendered issues.
Were I an LGBT Congressperson, I would vote to kill an ENDA that didn't include transgendered people too, for three reasons. The first is principle; 'no man or woman left behind' - everybody deserves to get civil rights, and they deserve them as quickly as possible. The second is that leaving transgendered people out is a very cynical ploy by bigots to isolate transgendered people; without other LGBT allies, transfolk are unlikely to have the political muscle to win legal protections on their own. Transfolk have fought just as hard for their civil rights as any other part of the acronym. Leaving them behind would be like getting rescued from a desert island, only the ship's captain says that your buddy has to remain behind and wait for the next ship. Finally, selling out transgendered people would incite enmity and political rifts between branches of the LGBT community. A house divided against itself cannot stand, in Lincoln's words, and that's exactly what would have happened had a merely LGB version of ENDA passed.

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ETA: We probably aren't going to agree on this issue and debating it back ad nausea probably serves little purpose. If you'd like to call it quits I'm fine with that.
It's an open thread; I certainly won't force you to keep posting.  :-)

Offline fallen paradise

Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #242 on: August 16, 2010, 04:00:45 PM »
Just replying to one part because I feel the rest we've gone over ad nausea.
Finally, selling out transgendered people would incite enmity and political rifts between branches of the LGBT community. A house divided against itself cannot stand, in Lincoln's words, and that's exactly what would have happened had a merely LGB version of ENDA passed.
Ironically what happened was that the house got divided and as a result no one took a step forward. Your analogy may be your interpretation, but to me it seemed more like some people holding every else on a sinking ship at gunpoint because there wasn't enough room on the lifeboat for everyone.

Offline Serephino

Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #243 on: August 16, 2010, 08:05:08 PM »
Except that your example isn't really the same at all given that I would wager a great portion of straight people would happily and voluntarily enter into a civil union (presuming civil unions have the exact same rights as marriages) to avoid religious connotation or other various reasoning.
You keep saying this, but what proof do you have?  Just because you, and maybe a few of your friends and people you know feel this way doesn't mean a majority of straight people agree.  You said you would wager, which is a personal opinion, and not a fact.  My personal opinion based on what I have seen is that most people would not be happy with a civil union.

 As for what I do for the cause...  I have signed online petitions.  If I find out that someone running for political office in my area is against homosexual marriage I don't vote for them, unless their other policies are better than the alternative, which hasn't happened yet.  I have also talked to people about it.

Seeing as it's not being considered in my state, that's about all I can do.  If it ever is I'll do what I can.  But my question is, you claim to be all for giving gays the right to marry, so why are you arguing so hard against it here?  What are you doing to help the cause?
« Last Edit: August 16, 2010, 08:19:20 PM by Serephino »

Offline Noelle

Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #244 on: August 16, 2010, 09:34:26 PM »
Have you read anything I've written? If you actually think I'm arguing against gay marriage, then there is a lot that has gone over your head in this discussion, especially given the multiple times I've claimed that it's never been about the ruling, that I was happy to see gays getting more rights, but rather that it's about the process leading up to, that it's hypocritical to not care about the judicial process so long as you get what you want. It's not really surprising, though. It seems a lot of 'advocates' are prone to using superlatives when it seems like someone doesn't agree with every single thing. If you're not with us, you're against us. I'm "with you" (sup guys i'm bisexual), and apparently I'm still being considered as "against you".

What have I done? I've done jack all for the gay rights movement and I really don't have a lot of issue in admitting it, mostly because I'm not 'kicking and screaming' over the issue to begin with. I support the cause when it's done properly, but I have no delusions about just how significant my actions are in regards to furthering the cause. I "talk to people" about it, too (after all, what are we doing here?), which is a funny thing to bring up given all the mention to how ineffective and worthless talking is during this whole debate.

But let's be honest, can you really count not voting for the opposition because they disapprove of gay marriage "unless their policies are better" as a strong statement in favor of your support for gay rights advocacy? What that tells me is that there are more pressing issues than a singular stance, after all, Obama "only" supports equal civil unions, and I'm positive he got a large portion of the typically-liberal gay population to vote for him.

Also, you might find this article from Snopes to be relevant. Online petitions, AKA "slacktivism" as well as a slew of Google search results.


But let's talk about my claim about civil unions.
Roughly less than ten percent of the population is gay.
There are roughly the same number, if not more atheists/agnostics in the US. (This is a rough estimate based on a few older Gallup polls from 2003/4)
According to similar Gallup polls, the number of believers is also dropping slightly from year to year. You'll also notice from this link that Those with no religious preference are likely to be liberal, Democrats, younger, and to live in the West. Young, liberal Democrats. People who are likely to support gay rights. People with no religious preference who are likely to prefer a civil union.

To write those populations off as insignificant is to say the same of homosexuals -- that their population, too, is insignificant and would be largely unaffected by the choice to obtain a civil union that is without religious subtext.

Hey, while we're talking about it, how affected are gays by marriage to begin with? If we use the research I provided earlier on the percentage of the gay population that actually gets married, let's break it down into numbers:

The population of the US (as of July 2009): 307,006,550
An optimistic estimate of the number of gays in the US, as found in the Gallup poll: 8%
Total estimated population of gays in the US: ~24,560,524
Estimate of the percentage of gays who get married in places where it is presently legal: 2%
Total estimated population of gays who would theoretically get married in the US: ~491,210

491,210...which is to say .16% of the total population of the US. You can adjust the percentages slightly, if you'd like, but the results will yield about the same.


It's all just speculation anyway, there are no actual numbers to say for sure, but I'd say I can make a pretty decent case for myself, especially being someone who...would get a civil union instead of a marriage :P
« Last Edit: August 16, 2010, 09:50:46 PM by Noelle »

Offline Serephino

Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #245 on: August 16, 2010, 11:51:59 PM »
Well, instead of being happy, not only are you criticizing the way it was done, but saying we should just try to get Civil Unions to be as equal as possible.

For one, you still don't have any proof that non religious straight couples would go for a civil union over marriage.  Your link only talks about how many people in the US aren't religious according to a survey.  That doesn't prove anything other than there are lots of non Christians out there.

Now if you were to completely separate it, and let Christians have marriage, and the non religious and homosexuals have civil unions, what happens if the non religious get upset?  I'm not saying it will happen.  And what about Christian homosexuals?  Yes, they do exist.  There's really no proof one way or the other, but not everything is about facts and figures on paper.  This issue is dealing with living emotional human beings. 

Saying that we have to have to be put in a separate group because we're different is insulting.  You may think it's silly, but you never did answer what is so different about two men or two women wanting to share their lives together.  You just brushed it off.  Why should we be separated from everyone else?  And the fact remains that civil unions are not equal.   

As it has been said many times by many people, challenging laws is the way things get done.  I don't know about you, but I paid attention in Civics class.  The courts exist to make sure that no law passed by any legislature violates any other laws that came before it.  It doesn't matter how many people like the law, if it violates another older law it doesn't fly:period, and the Constitution trumps all.  Whether or not Prop 8 violates the 14th Amendment is for the courts to decide, and the people who brought up this case had every right to do so. 

Prop 8 was shoving the opinion of 52% of the state down the throats of 48% of the people.  Do you have a problem with how Prop 8 was handled, or is it okay to force your opinion on others as long as that same opinion is held by a majority; a small majority at that.  I'm sorry, but that's not how this country works.  If you can't understand that, then you never will, and this conversation is pointless.  You'd rather nit-pick.   

Offline Noelle

Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #246 on: August 17, 2010, 12:31:54 AM »
I'm just going to gently point out that you're in Politics and Religion. This thread was not posted in Good and Cuddly, meaning it's up for political discussion, meaning I, as well as every other person, is open to criticize. If that bothers you, then you're in the wrong place. I have repeatedly stated that I am not displeased that Prop 8 was overturned. Please actually take the time to read what I've had to say before you take it all on at once and make assumptions that are blatantly untrue.

In fact, your assumption is so wrong that I'd like to point out that my arguing for civil unions has been more a thought exercise than an actual suggestion, to point out that there's more to the issue than most are willing to consider, but again, that doesn't seem to have been read. I have even stated that there are no facts to solidly prove my point or yours in terms of who would go for a civil union, but that there are trends and data that can indicate one direction or the other. I provided mine, where's yours?

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Saying that we have to have to be put in a separate group because we're different is insulting.  You may think it's silly, but you never did answer what is so different about two men or two women wanting to share their lives together.  You just brushed it off.  Why should we be separated from everyone else?  And the fact remains that civil unions are not equal.   

You brushed off posts that corrected your historical knowledge. You've also brushed off a plethora of other points made against your arguments. What's your point? And for the record, where have I ever stated that I didn't think they were equal? I feel like you're glossing over everything anyone else says just to get your own points out, and it's really frustrating because I feel like a broken record. I am not suggesting civil unions as the final settlement for gay rights. I am not suggesting that civil unions as they are as equal, all of my examples have been hypothetical. I am for gay marriage. I am for equality for gays.

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As it has been said many times by many people, challenging laws is the way things get done.  I don't know about you, but I paid attention in Civics class.  The courts exist to make sure that no law passed by any legislature violates any other laws that came before it.  It doesn't matter how many people like the law, if it violates another older law it doesn't fly:period, and the Constitution trumps all.  Whether or not Prop 8 violates the 14th Amendment is for the courts to decide, and the people who brought up this case had every right to do so. 

Broken record: I'm not contesting the ruling. I'm not contesting giving gays rights. I'm not contesting the equality of gays.

And actually, it does matter how many people like the ruling, especially on a subject like gay rights when the actual issues are often confused -- are you fighting for social acceptance or legal equality? Forcing a ruling "gets things done" on a legal level, but will often cause societal backlash for years to come. If you paid attention in your Civics course, you'd remember a little ruling called Roe v Wade that is still coming up today and is a political heavy-hitter because it, too, was shoved through the courts despite the country being split. If you paid attention in your Civics course, you would understand the importance of keeping the judicial system fair and in tact throughout the whole ruling -- besides, what do you have to be afraid of? If this was put through on a completely fair and level arena, with all steps taken and all things accounted for, if this is a true violation of civil rights (and I do think it is, before you skim and make yet another false assumption), what do you have to fear from the courts? Why is asking for a solid and level trial demanding too much if you're convinced you're actually in the right?

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Prop 8 was shoving the opinion of 52% of the state down the throats of 48% of the people.  Do you have a problem with how Prop 8 was handled, or is it okay to force your opinion on others as long as that same opinion is held by a majority; a small majority at that.  I'm sorry, but that's not how this country works.  If you can't understand that, then you never will, and this conversation is pointless.  You'd rather nit-pick.   

You've apparently forgotten "how this country works", yourself.
Prop 8 was upholding a tradition that has existed in the United States since its formation. I no longer think upholding "traditional" marriage is relevant, given our society has adjusted and morphed to the point it's not needed or fair. We really don't disagree on that part, I don't think. In terms of societal norms, I'm afraid majority does rule. That's how we even form a culture and learn how to behave -- and heterosexuality has been and will always be the norm. We can protect the minority (homosexual) by bringing this up in court, yes, and that's how it should be, because law is much more solid than culture. In terms of resistance to that change, well, it's not surprising, given that our cultural perceptions shift much slower than laws.

And if you can't stop making false choice fallacies, then this conversation really is pointless.

Offline Florence

Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #247 on: August 17, 2010, 09:38:08 AM »
Because that's not what marriage means.  If it was we wouldn't have to call marriage between same sex couples gay marriage--everyone recognizes there's a fundamental difference of meaning.  People want to pretend there isn't because it lends credence to the claim, but in reality everyone knows that marriage is between a man and a woman or we wouldn't have to affix an adjective infront of it to make sense of what we're referring to.

Um...  okay, I feel it necessary to ask, does this mean that "interracial marriage" isn't marriage, because we use the qualifier?

We only use the qualifier "gay" to specify the subset we are referring to, otherwise it's a general statement to all marriage. I don't know about you, but I don't use the word "gay" before "marriage" when I'm talking about a gay marriage unless the context requires the qualifier. For instance my aunt got married to another woman (not legally, sadly, as my state doesn't yet allow it, but it's a marriage as far as they're concerned) and as displayed by this very statement, I say she got "married", I don't say she got "gay married" or that she had a "gay marriage" or a "gay wedding", it was a marriage and a wedding, the qualifier that it was gay is not required.

"Ban gay marriage" requires the "gay" or else they're asking to "ban marriage". Likewise, it makes no sense to want to legalize marriage, as marriage already is legal, just not between certain pairings of individuals. Thus when trying to legalize said pairings ability to marry, you require a qualifier. If one were to refer specifically to heterosexual marriage, they would likely use the phrase "straight marriage", the term doesn't come up too often because people are generally talking about marriage in general, i.e. "the definition of marriage is..." or specifically about gay marriage.

You're basically suggesting that Mexican food isn't food, because if it was we wouldn't need to qualify it by stating the "Mexican" part. The qualifier doesn't mean that the subject in question is fundamentally different than the base, it means its a subset of it.

Offline Jude

Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #248 on: August 17, 2010, 12:50:45 PM »
Nope, you're absolutely right, that was a poor argument.  For some reason I did not see that until you pointed it out, hahaha.

Offline fallen paradise

Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #249 on: August 17, 2010, 03:18:01 PM »
Um...  okay, I feel it necessary to ask, does this mean that "interracial marriage" isn't marriage, because we use the qualifier?

We only use the qualifier "gay" to specify the subset we are referring to, otherwise it's a general statement to all marriage. I don't know about you, but I don't use the word "gay" before "marriage" when I'm talking about a gay marriage unless the context requires the qualifier. For instance my aunt got married to another woman (not legally, sadly, as my state doesn't yet allow it, but it's a marriage as far as they're concerned) and as displayed by this very statement, I say she got "married", I don't say she got "gay married" or that she had a "gay marriage" or a "gay wedding", it was a marriage and a wedding, the qualifier that it was gay is not required.

"Ban gay marriage" requires the "gay" or else they're asking to "ban marriage". Likewise, it makes no sense to want to legalize marriage, as marriage already is legal, just not between certain pairings of individuals. Thus when trying to legalize said pairings ability to marry, you require a qualifier. If one were to refer specifically to heterosexual marriage, they would likely use the phrase "straight marriage", the term doesn't come up too often because people are generally talking about marriage in general, i.e. "the definition of marriage is..." or specifically about gay marriage.

You're basically suggesting that Mexican food isn't food, because if it was we wouldn't need to qualify it by stating the "Mexican" part. The qualifier doesn't mean that the subject in question is fundamentally different than the base, it means its a subset of it.

Typically people don't talk about interracial couples or interracial marriage as much as a societal thing. When my sister dated minorities and eventually married a minority I don't think the interracial manner of their marriage even remotely entered into my thought process. At the time when it was a hot button social issue, yes interracial marriage was considered separate and different from traditional marriage. Typically as a society we use qualifiers to denote where something is different from the norm or non-traditional. We say "I ordered some Chinese food" because we want to be specific and typically "food" may not include "Chinese food". If you notice if you go order pizza typically you don't say "We ordered Italian food."

Now-a-days in most parts of the country inter-racial marriage is considered an acceptable norm, and only in social and cultural groups where it is taboo is it referred to as such. Perhaps over the next few decades the social societal views of our country will shift and the definition of marriage will expand to include same sex couples in the same manner interracial couples have included into the concept. Though it is fair to point out that at the time of Loving vs Virginia inter-racial marriage was already legal in several states through legislative means, not through court means.

The fact that we use the qualifier "same sex" really just points out that we compartmentalize same-sex marriage as a different entity or a variation of a societal norm. This in and of itself is not grounds to say whether or not it should be legalized, but as Noelle, Jude, and others have argued, it is indicative of the fact that there is a societal perception of marriage having a traditional definition into which same-sex marriage does not fit.