Polygamy/Same Sex Marriage Now Legal in Utah

By: Mormon Heretic
December 20, 2013

Breaking News from KSL.

A federal judge Friday struck down Utah’s voter-approved constitutional amendment — which defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman — finding that it violates rights to due process and equal protection as set forth in the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Within hours, Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill confirmed that, in light of the ruling, he saw no reason to prohibit Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and as many as 120 gay couples descended on the Salt Lake County Clerk’s Office to obtain licenses, with many staying to marry on the spot.

The Utah Attorney General’s Office said it would seek an “emergency stay pending the filing of an appeal.” The office filed a notice of appeal in U.S. District Court late Friday.
Read more at http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=28099570#f2mbRWbSeOQbBKsO.99

Earlier in the week, a federal judge overturned Utah’s co-habitation laws designed to criminalize polygamy.  This from the Salt Lake Tribune:

Judge Clark Waddoups’ 91-page ruling, issued Friday, sets a new legal precedent in Utah, effectively decriminalizing polygamy. It is the latest development in a lawsuit filed by the family of Kody Brown, who became famous while starring in cable TV channel TLC’s reality series “Sister Wives.” The show entered a fourth season at the end of the summer.

It was definitely a tough week for traditional marriage.  Comments?

 

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97 Responses to Polygamy/Same Sex Marriage Now Legal in Utah

  1. meekmildmagnificent on December 20, 2013 at 10:22 PM

    Tears yes, but not of joy. This is clearly an judicial activist opinion — and a strikingly
    strident one at that. The Court finds not only that there is no rational basis, but that the State demeans the rights of others by not performing same sex marriage. Not only does the opinion not allow forthe State to deny adoptions by gays, or even giving licenses to people
    who have a moral objection to promoting gay marriages, it does not allow for a religious exception. The rationale, that gay marriage is required by the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses virtually guarantees that any entity that will not agree to perform gay marriages cannot be authorized by the State to perform marriages. To allow a religious
    organization to perform marriages where it forecloses such marriage to gays is now held to demean the Constitutional rights of others. It is the most far-reaching opinion ever penned on gay marriage by an activist Obama appointee.

    Every person of faith ought to be very concerned about this development. Laws regarding polygamy that are clearly grounded in the economic burden of having more than one wife and the extent of State support are ignored by another Federal judge in Utah. Marriage now means any relationship of any sort between consenting adults of any number and any sex. In other words, it is virtually meaningless.

    Cases from California, New Mexico and Iowa refuse licenses to people and businesses who refuse to accommodate gay marriage that use the very same rationale as now used by this activist judge.

    The arrogance of this judge to not be aware that his position will be appealed and to agree either by motion or sua sponte to stay his decision is breath-taking. The position of Sim Gill and the mayor of SLC to rush to do marriages within 1 hour after the decision is also
    startling. In my view, they ought to be removed from office for their activist approach to such issues that have a single Federal judge overturning the Constitution of a State.

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  2. Douglas on December 20, 2013 at 10:54 PM

    Sad, but yet more reason to continue the good fight. “Rights” being used as rationale to lend Government sanction to perversion, even in the State where the then-prophet declared, “this is the place”. If this won’t wake up the Saints, I don’t know what will.

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  3. babaroni on December 20, 2013 at 11:11 PM

    Tears of happiness here, for all the loving couples who will be able to finally marry, at least in this little window of time before a stay is put in place pending appeal. So proud of the mayor who is staying at city hall performing marriages all night for any couple who wants to come down and wed. Beautiful. I’ve seen so many ecstatically happy couples today, who did not expect to have this opportunity so soon!

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  4. babaroni on December 20, 2013 at 11:13 PM

    Commenter #1 – the cases to which you refer have nothing to do with marriage equality and everything to do with anti-discrimination law. In many or most of the cases you are referring to, legal civil marriage was not even available to the couples in question. They were being discriminated against solely because they were gay.

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  5. howarddirkson on December 20, 2013 at 11:43 PM

    Gee, what a surprise.

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  6. IDIAT on December 21, 2013 at 9:11 AM

    I haven’t read the decision yet, but I don’t think it relates to private (religious) ceremonies. Only state marriages. In other words, I don’t think two gays can take a marriage license to the local bishop and demand he perform a marriage ceremony.

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  7. babaroni on December 21, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    IDIAT, you are correct, though not because of any specific wording in this ruling. You are correct because no couple in this country, gay or straight, of any skin tone or combination of skin tones, or of any religious belief or lack thereof, has the right to take a civil marriage license to any religious authority or organization and demand to have either their civil marriage formalized by that person or organization, or to demand that the religious leader or organization grant them any religious blessing, ordinance or sacrament of marriage.

    No one can do that now; no one has ever been able to do that; no one will be able to do that tomorrow, next week or next century (unless we decide as a nation to repeal the 1st Amendment, which I don’t see happening any time soon).

    You, a Mormon (I presume) cannot go to a Roman Catholic Priest and demand either that he solemnize your civil marriage when the state grants you a civil marriage license. Nor can you demand that he allow you to have a civil or religious marriage ceremony in his church. Nor can you demand that he perform a Roman Catholic sacramental blessing of marriage or a Nuptial Mass for you. You simply cannot.

    Nor could a black or interracial couple go to an LDS temple and present their civil marriage license and demand that a bishop formalize their civil marriage in their back yard, in a chapel or on the lawn of the temple. Nor could they demand that a sealer perform a sealing ordinance for them inside the temple (or outside of it). No one has that right. When Loving v. Virginia was handed down by SCOTUS in 1967, declaring that laws prohibiting marriage between persons of different races were unconstitutional, the LDS church did not have to start marrying interracial couples (or black couples of the same race, for that matter) in their temples, chapels, or privately in someone’s back yard.

    No religious authority or church has ever been forced to religiously marry *anyone* (or even forced to solemnize a civil marriage for *anyone*) it did not deem qualified, for whatever reason, to receive its religious blessing of marriage.

    The two things are separate and distinct, despite the fact that they often occur within the same ceremony, for the convenience of couples. No couple can force a minister, priest, preacher, sealer, bishop, or any other religious authority to either bless their marriage religiously, or to solemnize their civil marriage, if the religious authority chooses not to do so.

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  8. Amanda on December 21, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    Not sure how it was a tough week for “traditional marriage” since allowing other people to have equal rights doesn’t take anything away from anyone else’s male/female monogamous union.

    Personally, I’m ecstatic about this news and consider it a great day for the state of Utah.

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  9. Douglas on December 21, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    #8 – Ah, the “Don’t worry, be happy” variance of false assurance that First Amendment rights of the LDS (and similarly-minded) with respect to gay marriage wouldn’t be trampled upon in your political-correct, “gay friendly” version of “Amerika”.
    Already in several states, private businesses that engage in wedding-related business activity (flowers, wedding cakes) have been sued for “discrimination”, i.e., electing per their supposedly Constitutional right to privacy which the “gay-friendly” types so loudly trumpet for THEIR view ONLY (again, in babaroni’s idealized “Amerika”, we’re all “equal”, but gays and liberals are MORE equal…) to decline the business of those whose lifestyle choices they find offensive. Already in Louisiana a few years ago (though I disagree vehemently with his racial views), a justice of the peace was all but run out of office for his refusal to perform a wedding ceremony for a mixed-race couple. To the justice’s credit, he offered not only a referral to a justice that would be willing to perform said ceremony, he also offered to pay the fee for their trouble. The couple was more interested in publicity and the possible financial gain from this controversy rather than a peaceful resolution UNTIL they discovered that the justice’s office was similar to a notary public; that is, the man had a license from Louisiana and had no legal duty to take all comers (the Louisiana Governor was frustrated in his efforts to dismiss the man, which ultimately concluded when the justice resigned). It would NOT be a stretch for there to arise a scenario where an LDS bishop and the Church were to be sued by an activist gay couple, seeking his services in performance of a marriage. It should be obvious that the intent would NOT be sincere except to waste time, efforts, and intrude upon religious freedoms, but such is the case in “gay-friendly Amerika” where the LGBT folk are “more” equal than straights, especially those of a Judeo-Christian bent.

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  10. babaroni on December 21, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    Douglas, it has nothing to do with me or my politically-correct anything. It has to do with the law as it stands. If churches cannot be compelled to marry interracial couples (which they cannot), they cannot be compelled to marry gay couples, either. This is a function of that very same separation of church and state which many conservatives are so fond of disparaging and wish to tear down or deny the existence of.

    So, next time you complain about someone putting a Wiccan symbol up next to your statue of the baby Jesus on the courthouse steps, remember that because they can do this, it also means your church is free to treat gay people as crappily as it wishes. Bright solstice blessings!!!

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  11. babaroni on December 21, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    As for the Justice of the Peace who lost his job for not marrying an interracial couple, that’s because he was an employee of the state. Employees of the state, whose *job* it is to marry whomever the state deems qualified for *civil* marriage, are not granting religious marriages, are not acting in a capacity of minister, bishop, priest or other religious authority, and are not protected by the protections which prevent a *church* or church leader from being compelled to grant a religious blessing or ordinance of marriage. Two whole different things.

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  12. babaroni on December 21, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    Incidentally, Douglas, if you won’t believe me, perhaps you’ll believe Judge Shelby, who said in his ruling:

    If anything, the recognition of same-sex marriage expands religious freedom because some churches that have congregations in Utah desire to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies but are currently unable to do so. [...] By recognizing the right to marry a partner of the same sex, the State allows these groups the freedom to practice their religious beliefs without mandating that other groups must adopt similar practices.

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  13. Douglas on December 21, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    #13 – Not being familiar with UT’s constitution, I don’t know if the good voters of UT have the ability to override this activist judge overstepping his bounds via the initiative process. In CA, we can, and HAVE (and look what it took to circumvent THAT). At this point, it’s probably the only recourse left, and it might well prove futile anyway with the current crop of cretins in D.C.
    As for #12, do your homework. The LA JoP was NOT an EMPLOYEE of the State of Louisiana (else his dismissal would have been rather straightforward for insubordination), he was a licensee. He had the ability to accept and/or reject performing a marriage and did NOT owe the couple an explanation. IMO, he was a fool to make an issue of it unless he wanted out in the first place. His JoP license could NOT be pulled since there was no provision in LA law to compel him to perform a marriage, even if his reasons were capricious and/or contrary to public policy. At least this man had guts, just not common sense as to what battle to fight.
    #11 – if teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ to gays and straights alike is “treating gays like crap”, then let completely dump on them, else we fail in our duty and let them down. I don’t know what would satisfy a trolling spoil-sport like yourself and frankly I don’t care to meet your expectations, nor does, I suspect, anyone up the LDS food chain. We give you the Gospel, unadulterated and unfiltered, and if you reject it, good luck to you. Just let us be to practice our faith without being hassled by the almighty “Gubmint” for the sake of “equality” as your ilk would prefer to twist it.

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  14. Jon on December 21, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    Barbaroni there is no place for gay marriage in an ordered society

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  15. Sonia Kay on December 21, 2013 at 7:45 PM

    The harm to children will show up sooner or later. It’s inevitable.

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  16. IDIAT on December 21, 2013 at 8:17 PM

    Douglas – the LA JOP wasn’t an employee of the state. He was an elected official who took a sworn oath the sustain the LA Constitution and it’s laws. As the law allowed couples with a marriage license to marry, he, as an elected official of the state, had a duty to perform the ceremony. He couldn’t be fired but he could have been prosecuted for malfeasance. At least in Louisiana, no religious leader had been compelled to perform a marriage ceremony. Now, could it happen? That is the worry. I actually envision a day when the only people authorized to perform a marriage ceremony will be representatives of the state, and then people who want their marriage blessed by their church will then have to go to their church, much the way it is mostly done in Europe.

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  17. IDIAT on December 21, 2013 at 8:41 PM

    Also, the Trib blurb is not accurate. The other fed decision did not legalize polygamy.

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  18. Daniel on December 21, 2013 at 9:25 PM

    oh no! somehow my marriage to my wife is now in danger! quick, someone do something!

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  19. Daniel on December 21, 2013 at 9:28 PM

    out of curiosity, how exactly are children going to be “harmed?”

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  20. Douglas on December 21, 2013 at 9:41 PM

    #20 – I can only speculate now that “Heather”, having been raised by her two mommies, is likely old enough to be on her own with children of her own, as to how she and like children growing up with LGBT parents has turned out. But there’s plenty of dysfunction amongst your garden-variety heterosexual couples to go around, so it’s not a good line of reasoning…and I’ll leave the mantra “it’s for the children” for those village idiots that think it takes the whole national/global village to raise kids.

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  21. babaroni on December 22, 2013 at 12:05 AM

    Douglas #14 – The point is that the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause which are the church’s defense from being compelled to ever perform any sacrament or ordinance for anyone for whom it does not wish to do so, do not apply to a secular official who solemnizes civil marriages, such as the JP in your example. Employee, elected official, contractor — it doesn’t matter. He is not a minister, or, in his job as JP, is not acting in the capacity of a minister. His situation is irrelevant and cannot be used as “proof” of a “slippery slope” which could ever lead to churches being forced to solemnize marriages between same-sex couples.

    As for calling me a troll, you could not be further from the truth. Unfortunately, when I am logged into WordPress, my WordPress username defaults in on this site, but my name is Lorian Dunlop, and I am a perma at feminist Mormon housewives, and have been posting on various blogs around the bloggernacle for over 5 years. I’m well known around here, and hardly trollish in my behavior. I certainly don’t go around saying things like this to people:

    if teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ to gays and straights alike is “treating gays like crap”, then let completely dump on them, else we fail in our duty and let them down. I don’t know what would satisfy a trolling spoil-sport like yourself and frankly I don’t care to meet your expectations, nor does, I suspect, anyone up the LDS food chain. We give you the Gospel, unadulterated and unfiltered, and if you reject it, good luck to you. Just let us be to practice our faith without being hassled by the almighty “Gubmint” for the sake of “equality” as your ilk would prefer to twist it.

    I’ve never treated you with disrespect, and I expect the same in return.

    I have no problem with you “teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ” (by according to your own definition) to anyone, gay or straight, who is willing to give you the time of day to listen. But “teaching the Gospel of Christ” does not mean that you get to deny people civil rights as members of our secular society. Teach all you want. Just don’t try to interfere with my family’s rights and protections under the law. I’m a taxpaying citizen just like (I assume) you are. My family deserves the same rights and protections in society as your family enjoys.

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  22. Hedgehog on December 22, 2013 at 1:55 AM

    …and there, I’d read it as ‘trolling spoil-sport’ meant Douglas felt you’d been spoiling *his* trolling…
    Wasn’t quite so awake at the time.
    Just discovered today’s RS/Priesthood lesson will be Elder Oaks general conference address. I’m wondering how many ward members here are aware of these events. I can’t begin to guess.
    Anyway, I pretty much second RJH’s comments over on the BCC thread on the subject.

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  23. annegb on December 22, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    The older I get, the less I cling to absolutes. I’m finding life hilariously, joyously and sometimes heartbeakingly unpredictable. As long as nobody died in my world, I’m pretty much okay. Gays getting married hasn’t affected my life negatively and that guy with all the wives doesn’t impact me at all. These things are going to work out; God’s on the job. No need to fuss.

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  24. Geoff - A on December 22, 2013 at 5:19 PM

    It seems to me the practical application will very quickly become a problem for the church. I assume there is someone thinking about it constructively.

    There must be a number of obedient, single gay members, with temple recommends, who might now choose to marry. In the temple it defines chastity as only having sexual relations with the person to whom you are legally and lawfully married. They are now legally and lawfully married.

    It would be a brave Bishop who would take away their temple recommend, or otherwise punish them.

    If they are then still worthy to hold a TR, what is preventing them from being sealed. I would think the requirements are that you hold a TR and are legally married?

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  25. hawkgrrrl on December 22, 2013 at 6:50 PM

    Gay marriage HELPS children by giving stability to more adoptive homes. Marginalizing gay couples and preventing them from getting benefits when they are already free to adopt (as are singles) is what harms children.

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  26. IDIAT on December 23, 2013 at 5:49 AM

    Geoff – gay members already live in states that perform SSMs and the church doesn’t allow them to marry in the temple. Handbook is very clear that SSM, though legal, is not recognized by the church as valid in God’s eyes.

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  27. Douglas on December 23, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    #23 – Spoil? Au contraire, ma souer, grist for the mill….

    #22 – considering the incredulity that the best legal minds would likely express of, say, Oliver Wendell Holmes’ day that homosexual relations would even not be considered a criminal act (or at least cause to commit to a psychiatric facility or sanitarium as was actually more commonly practiced in the days of youre…), let alone the possibility of a homosexual union having the sanction of the state, concerns over the slippery slope of the Church (or others that find homosexuality repugnant and contrary to the will of God) are quite appropriate. Now, if you feel offended that I labelled you a ‘troll’, apologies, in fact, I welcome opposing views no matter how absurd I see them. In light of the historicity of gay marriage (e.g., it’s non-existence until very recently), I fail to see preciously how I am “denying” gays or anyone else their “rights” by opposing this legal and moral abomination in the marketplace of ideas and via the legal and political process. It’s my observation that if any “rights” are being abridged, it’s those of, for example, the voting public of the State of “Kalee-forn-ni-ya” (as then Gov. Schwarzenegger pronounced it), who competed in the initiative process per the CA Constitution and voted resoundingly that marriage is defined as the union of ONE man and ONE woman (which also coincidentally a ‘take that’ to the FLDS which was very much in the news at the time). It took the ability of the opponents of Prop 8 to judge shop in the Federal appellate court to find a homosexual activist who was willing to strike it down – can you say both ‘conflict of interest’ on the judge’s part and abridging the CA voters’ rights as spelled out in the Ninth and Tenth Amendments? Of course, with the election in 2010 of the third iteration of Gov. “Moonbeam”, it’s become a dead letter in CA. Babaroni, how have I INFRINGED upon YOUR rights or those of your political confederates? That shrill declaration of injury over my legitimate participation in the political process is what brings to mind the label of “troll”. It seems ridiculous and over-the-top.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQM9JSux3Ew

    BTW, at 0:31 in the clip, is Babra (or the actor portraying him) a relation? I tried for a moment to deduce the etymology of your ‘handle’ and this was the best I could come up with. Head full of useless trivia, especially for movies…comes from having a son who is a fledgling movie producer.

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  28. Karla R on December 23, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    I am glad that Phil Robertson is around for a time like this. He is someone who would care about the impressionable young minds of children, for he is very concerned with the values of his young Black grandson.

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  29. Jon on December 23, 2013 at 3:05 PM

    Hawkgrrl you need to read up on your research children raised in same-sex households are more than twice as likely to experiment sexually when you advocate gay marriage you advocating motherless or fatherless children

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  30. hawkgrrrl on December 23, 2013 at 3:20 PM

    Jon: 1) that’s got to be a very small data set, given the short time frame for legal gay marriage. If you are including cohabitating gay couples, I would say your data is flawed in the same way that data “proving” marijuana is a gateway drug is flawed. It being criminalized is the cause of further problems, and 2) whether or not gay couples can adopt is not in question. They already can and do, with or without gay marriage. Fighting gay marriage is a different battle, one that creates a real problem for children who are adopted by gay couples.

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  31. Karla R on December 23, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    And children from same-sex households are more likely to drop out of high school. But look on the bright side! I don’t believe in burning gays alive in ovens, as Ivan Okhlobystin does.

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  32. Douglas on December 23, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    #30 – I’m sticking my head out my garage every now and then (on holiday leave and puttering about) and checking for airborne swine b/c I agree practically in lockstep, both with evaluating the parenting efficacy of LGBT couples AND “Mary Jane” as the “EZ skank that leads you to her sisters Hannah Heroin and Carla Cocaine”. Regardless of what I think of gay couples adopting (ugh, but I see no reason to proscribe it IAW any state laws, only allow LDS Family Services to decline such adoption on policy basis), since a determined LGBT couple can bring a willing sperm donor OR willing female as needed to procreate; there’s no practical way to stop it even if there were a legal basis that justified overriding privacy rights. At least a gay (newscasting couple) can enlist the help of a MILF hottie as long as they keep her ding-a-ling CIA husband at arm’s length, which is better odds than a lesbian couple has in relying upon the services of a sperm bank that accepts “donations” (and employs lousy control procedures) from a working-class Irish boozehound. We’ve enough infant megalomaniacs with a football-shaped head. W/o the wit and wisdom of Seth MacFarlane, politics would be boring…

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  33. brjones on December 24, 2013 at 12:04 AM

    Good to see you, Daniel. It’s been a while.

    Douglas, I didn’t realize you were such a funny guy.

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  34. IDIAT on December 24, 2013 at 1:54 PM

    Bab #22 – whether the ability to marry is a “civil right” is the real question. I know the S.Ct. has used language in dicta but I’m not so sure something that requires state approval and which has conditions that vary from state to state is a civil right. I do think the right of unfettered association is a right. That is what allows people to cohabitate in any combination they see fit. But under state law, marriage is simply a contract. I believe we (mostly) enjoy a freedom of contract but every state restricts that freedom to some extent. Maybe it’s time to do away with the special contract of marriage and let people contract and specify the terms and conditions of their relationships. If you argue marriage is a civil right then there should be no logical argument against polygamous marriages.

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  35. babaroni on December 24, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    IDIAT, civil marriage *is* a civil right because (among other things) it has *other* civil rights attached to it and contingent upon it, many of which cannot be obtained by any other legal means, including private contract law.

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  36. babaroni on December 24, 2013 at 7:16 PM

    Douglas, maligning my family and how you assume I brought it into being does nothing to bolster your arguments. Your repetitive ad hominem just makes you look hateful.

    My username was given to me by my daughter who has autism, when she was four. I have no idea where she heard it, but she came up to me one day, threw her arms around me and said, “I’m so proud of you, Babaroni!” I looked it up on line in an attempt to identify its source, but it appears to be a rather obscure Italian surname which she would have had no reason or context to have ever encountered. Interesting, to me, anyway.

    And yes, Prop 8 was a violation of the civil rights of every gay and lesbian person in the state of California, and has now been recognized as such. You don’t have to like it. I don’t much care whether you do or do not.

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  37. Douglas on December 24, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    #33 – Some of we Paleo-Conservative-Libertarians DO have a sense of humor. But note that I quote or clip from the works of others rather than attempt to improvise my own jokes. As Inspector Harold Francis Callahan (aka “Dirty Harry”) said of his (late) boss that attempted to frame him for murder (falling afoul of his own explosive trap)..”Man’s gotta know his limitations.”

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  38. Douglas on December 24, 2013 at 8:43 PM

    #36 – ??? Just figuring out your handle…often reveals much about the poster. You’ve done more than asked for. BTW, your daughter’s nickname for you shows she’s pretty sharp, autism or not (you don’t need to qualify her abilities). As good as drawing upon a minor character from a 43 y.o. war movie that’s been replayed to death on TV. Yes, your story is actually interesting, I get anecdotes like that all the time from my grandkids (with only a 13 y.o. to raise and all the rest of the gang grown, have to grab every precious moment). The “Cos” is right…kids DO say the darndednest things.
    With the ridiculous hyper-sensitivity that you show over the non-existent “rights” of LGBT folk, and likewise the hullaballo over Phil Robertson’s GQ interview, perhaps the American public will wake up and figure out this sexual dysfunction has run its course and needs to be put back in the sanitarium where it belongs.

    A clip from the “Brady Bunch” ca. 1969 (Yes, the cultural stone age, when men were manly, women were ladies, and Robert Reed was a VERY good ACTOR, considering his private life)….note Mike Brady’s comments in his exchange about the clubhouse decorations about 13:00 to 13:15. BTW, in that time, we could enjoy the humor of Paul Lynde and Charles Nelson Reilly and NOT be “hateful” over these “festive” guys (I confess “Uncle Arthur” was my fave “Bewitched” character, even more so than Sam or her alter ego cousin Serena).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFnlrK0hoMI

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  39. babaroni on December 24, 2013 at 9:34 PM

    Jon & Karla R, the “studies” you are citing (well, actually, *failing* to cite, since you didn’t even bother linking them), are spurious (perhaps that is *why* you didn’t give the links? It would make it too easy for people to see the lengths to which conservatives are willing to bend the truth in an attempt to discredit gay people and gay parents?).

    In any case, the “studies” you mention are performed by anti-gay “researchers” whom no one with any standing takes seriously, and funded/disseminated by anti-gay hate groups. They do not constitute legitimate science and are *full* of gross flaws and misrepresentations.

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  40. Karla R on December 25, 2013 at 4:39 PM
  41. Lorian on December 26, 2013 at 1:18 AM

    Exactly, Karla R. You cited a grossly biased pseudo-study from a link to a rabidly right-wing evangelical blog. That’s hardly an unbiased news or science source. But thanks for linking up your “study,” so that people can realize what your angle is on this topic.

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  42. Lorian on December 26, 2013 at 1:24 AM

    #39 – Douglas – Not sure what’s your point, or if you actually had one. Maybe it was just the snipe about gay people belonging in “sanitariums”? I’m betting you don’t believe in state-funded mental health care, though, so…there’s a bit of a conflict, isn’t there? You’d like to set up some 5% of the population, most of whom are perfectly capable of not only taking care of themselves, but being highly productive and talented members of society (I note your hero worship for a number of gay actors), and simply make them all wards of the state for life? I hope you’re prepared for some tax increases to help support your gay and lesbian brothers and sisters in these lifetime institutional commitments. LOL.

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  43. New Iconoclast on December 26, 2013 at 9:42 AM

    I always thought it was great that Paul Lynde was a regular guest on “The Donny and Marie Show.” :)

    We have almost no long-term data to determine what the effect of raising children in households with same-sex couples will be like, and what little we have is skewed by the fact that those households were effectively undercover. It’s like trying to judge the effect on children of plural marriage when the Edmonds-Tucker Act had Daddy dodging from barn to barn living underground for years – not exactly possible to make a straight-up comparison with a standard control group. Several potential outcomes or trends have been cited here with little or no substantiation (or skewed/bogus substantiation, as the study Karla cites in #41; see this article). Apropos of that article, this summary is worth posting if you don’t want to read the whole thing:

    Regnerus’ study was not about parents who openly identify as gay or lesbian. It was not about same-sex couples in long-term relationships raising children together. Regnerus even admits “this is not about saying gay or lesbian parents are inherently bad,” because he knows [he]has no foundation on which to make such a claim. This was a study about unstable couples, possibly in sham marriages, who may have dabbled in same-sex relationships outside of their original marriage at a time when there was no recognition for same-sex couples anywhere in the country. In others [sic] words, the study’s results have zero implication for conversations in 2012 about out, committed same-sex couples who are already raising children.

    Hawkgrrl says in #31 “that’s got to be a very small data set, given the short time frame for legal gay marriage. . . I would say your data is flawed in the same way that data “proving” marijuana is a gateway drug is flawed. It being criminalized is the cause of further problems. (Emphasis added.) Well, I’m afraid we don’t have enough data to say, as Jon did in #30, that children of gay couples are more likely to experiment sexually, but we also don’t have enough data to say that criminalization causes further problems, although frankly I find that credible. The plural of “anecdote” is not “data.”

    Maybe this is what we should be asking ourselves, and this attitude is what probably makes me a cultural conservative: what are we changing, and what’s at risk? Douglas makes a good point in #28, amidst all the schreck (Doug, I served with libertarians, I’ve known libertarians, libertarians are friends of mine. Senator, you’re no libertarian): For centuries, we’ve had a male-female norm (numbers of which gender have been fluid). Like it or not, religious or atheist, creationist or evolutionist, biology is largely heteronormative. Recent social and medical developments have made it possible and conceivable for same-sex relationships to exist and be accepted (at least by many, if not most, Americans), but we really don’t know what we’re doing. Bullshit aside, we have no idea what the ling-term effects will be. And what we’re risking is kids, and their futures. And if we’re wrong, it’s almost impossible to undo the damage to the future generations. People are immensely complex things, as individuals or in the aggregate, and when you mess them up young, it’s really hard to help them get back on track.

    We should at least be willing to consider that. I don’t know what the answer is. I don’t necessarily have a conclusion. But I fear the thought itself has been lost in the politics.

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  44. Jon on December 26, 2013 at 10:02 AM

    Lorain is on here trying to make everyone believe that homosexuality is normal and wonderful.

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  45. Lorian on December 26, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    New Iconoclast, your analysis of Regnerus’ “study” is quite correct — it is completely irrelevant to the issue of whether or not same-sex couples raise healthy children. What you are incorrect about, however, is whether valid data exist which *do* support the idea that same-sex couples can and do raise healthy children. There are longitudinal studies which have been ongoing for decades, as well as many smaller short-term studies. When a study is well-designed, and compares apples to apples (i.e., examines children raised in stable homes, with two loving, nurturing parents in a committed relationship, where outside variables are controlled, such as socio-economic status), outcomes for children raised by same-sex parents are equally as good as those of their peers with opposite-sex parents.

    When you find a study, such as Regnerus, which purports to show that children raised by same-sex couples are significantly disadvantaged in some way, you will inevitably find that, not only was it often commissioned by or performed by groups or individuals with a strong anti-gay bias (like the “American Family Association” or the “Family Research Council”), but the study itself is deeply flawed in some way — such as Regnerus above, or because it compared children raised in stable, two-opposite-sex-parent homes to children raised by single mothers, or children of divorced parents, or children abandoned by one or both parents. If I compare children raised in stable, loving, two-parent homes where both parents are of the same sex, with children raised by heterosexual divorced and single parents of low socio-economic status, attending inner-city schools, with successions of (heterosexual) boyfriends moving in and out, I guarantee you that my study will “prove” that same-sex couples have *far better* parenting outcomes than do heterosexual parents. But that wouldn’t be a valid study, would it? Nope.

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  46. Lorian on December 26, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    Jon (or perhaps I should say, Jno? ;) ), homosexuality *is* normal. It is not average or typical, in that it represents a minority subset of the spectrum of human sexuality and sexual orientation, but that does not make it “abnormal,” any more than redheads or left-handed people are “abnormal.” As for “wonderful,” a same-sex relationship is no more or less “wonderful” than a heterosexual relationship. It is as healthy (or unhealthy) emotionally as the people who participate in it.

    A marriage is what one makes of it and brings to it. There are certainly some atrocious same-sex relationships and marriages, just as there are some absolutely atrocious opposite-sex relationships and marriages. On the other hand, there are many loving, supportive, happy, healthy same-sex relationships and marriages, just as there are many such opposite-sex relationships and marriages. Gay people are no different than straight people. We bring all the same baggage with us, and have all the same capabilities for good and bad, selfishness and unselfishness, as heterosexual people do.

    When you start trying to define someone as “other” or “less human than me,” you know you have an issue of your own to work on.

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  47. New Iconoclast on December 26, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    I suppose it depends on the definition of “normal.” I’m not trying to split hairs; I just tend to be (too) literal about it – whereas, for too many people, the opposite of “normal” is, as Lorian says, “other” or “less human than me” rather than “less than 1/2 standard deviation from the mean.”

    We have far too much trouble – “we” being “humans” – distinguishing between who people are and what they do. Heck, most of us don’t even do that very well for ourselves – “I suck,” vs. “what I just did sucks.” It probably shouldn’t be a surprise that we’re not good at it, but the first step to getting better is to recognize the issue. :)

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  48. Lorian on December 26, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    All true, certainly, New Iconoclast. But when it comes to discussing issues of social interaction, mental well-being, personality, learning ability, and similar, the word “normal” has been found to be less and less useful and far more likely to cloud issues than to clarify them. It is so likely to be heard as a pejorative that it has become inappropriate to use it in certain contexts.

    For instance, when discussing autistic persons versus non-autistic persons, referring to non-autistic people as “normal” implies that autistic people are “abnormal,” generally in the most negative and harmful sense of the term. Therefore, we in the autism community tend to describe non-autistic people as “neurotypical.” This term implies far less judgment of either group. Autistic people may be “abnormal” in the most strictly statistical sense of the term, but in ordinary conversation, describing them as “abnormal” is incredibly insulting and does not remotely contribute anything positive to a discussion of the needs or other aspects of being on the autism spectrum. It mostly marks the user as an “outsider,” who either lacks understanding of autism as simply being a different way of learning, sensing and perceiving the world, or, worse yet, as someone who is actively hostile towards autistic individuals.

    Same is true when discussing sexual orientation, gender identity and related issues. Can you call something “normal” and get away with it by justifying your terminology as being “statistically correct”? Sure you can. But you still mark yourself as being someone who is either thoughtless in relation to the people s/he is discussing, clueless in terms of the real-life implications of the terminology s/he has chosen, or overtly hostile towards the community of people to which s/he is referring.

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  49. Douglas on December 26, 2013 at 5:11 PM

    #43 – Five percent of the US population is gay? (seems to be what you’re saying). In a (gay) pig’s eye. Probably not even five percent of the city and county of San Francisco, CA is gay. Most reliable surveys indicate about 1.5% overall at most. Naturally, there are concentrated areas, like SF’s Castro District, Sacramento’s “Lavender Heights”, Fresno has the Tower district, and even SLC has it’s own local nest. Correct, I don’t believe generally in state-funded health care (there comes a point of caring for the indigent regardless of the malady), but all I’m saying is what the American Psychiatry Association said until 1974 – that it’s a mental issue. You can take whatever offense at that notion and frankly I don’t give a fat rat’s heinie about it. Treating homosexuality as a mental disorder allows it to be treated with compassion, as observation, both personal and clinical, indicates that at least the inclination is not necessarily “chosen”. I’m certain that at some point an LGBT person didn’t just wake up and say to themselves, “Gee, I’m gonna commit abominations in the face of God.” Rather, due to whatever is wrong with the internal wiring that gives fuel to this inclination, along with cultural influence (especially of older LGBT people that cruelly exploit this vulnerability in the youth) that gradually ensnares. Granted, my personal experience with associates that have struggled to leave their respective LGBT lifestyles behind cannot, by mere numbers alone, be considered representative, but I’ve seen the emotional and social wreckage that indulgence in the “gay” lifestyle results in. It’s part of the reason that I can’t fathom why in my youth my attitude towards dealing with gays was to beat the hell out of them. Though we can excoriate the lifestyle, the persons remain and need the Savior just the same – therefore, we must do our best to emulate what He’d likely do.
    As for “worship” (hardly) of gay celebrities, it’s simply acknowledgement of their worth in their fields. Would I turn off a stirring rendition of “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming” (Judas Priest) just b/c Rob Halford is gay? Do I never watch Tobruk (one of the greatest WWII movies ever) b/c of Rock Hudson’s homosexuality? Turn off “Bewitched” (c’mon, “Uncle Arthur” could have had his own spin-off but Paul Lynde could never make his own series work, not for lack of talent, though)? Not watch Lily Tomlin do her “Ernestine” bit? Likewise, there are many LGBT folks that contribute in spite of their sexual malady. No, I don’t want to throw them into the nuthouse merely on account of their inclination (When the UK put Alan Turing in the funny farm in the early 50′s, it set back their nuclear program by at least ten years), but I also don’t want this wretched inclination given the celebration that it does not deserve in our popular culture. The problem is that if you don’t see it in the “eternal” perspective (e.g., the worth of the souls of LGBT folk is great), then you don’t understand why the opposition that the LDS and like-minded have posed to the gay agenda.

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  50. Lorian on December 26, 2013 at 6:57 PM

    Yeah, your attitudes towards homosexuality are kinda poisonous, Doug. You are completely outside the realm of any valid science in your ideas that homosexuality should be treated as a “mental illness.” That’s pretty hateful stuff.

    As for gays and lesbians in popular culture, you are pretty hypocritical in wanting to benefit from their gifts and abilities but still despise them as people.

    As for the percentage of people who identify as something other than heterosexual, you again appear to be lacking in the science department. Surveys in this area are notorious for sampling and reporting bias. There are a few more recent surveys which base results not on self-reported identification with a “label” but based upon reported attractions, behaviors and relationships. Here’s a recent one which indicates that possibly *more* than 5% of the population is non-heterosexual:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14696706

    The sample includes around 20,000 people from all areas of Australia. The results are very interesting.

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  51. Jon on December 27, 2013 at 8:37 AM

    Lorain, can’t you see the writing on the wall? When you are ready to escape from lesbianism always remember there is a way out.

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  52. Jon on December 27, 2013 at 8:37 AM

    Lorian

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  53. Douglas on December 27, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    Quoth, the Apostle Paul: “Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?”. Oh that I were even a hundredth part the Priesthood holder he was to liken my position to his. My “attitude” will ALWAYS be ‘poisonous’ to that which is spiritual poison, even to the souls of those that you profess that I “despise”. For the record, I despise no one b/c of their particular spiritual malady, I despise the malady itself for whom it victimizes.
    BTW, you ought to have actually READ the survey that you cite. Of course, there’d have to be a commonly-accepted criteria, beyond self-identification w/o relation of sexual history, based upon sexual experience, as to what constitutes a homosexual. Note what it mentions as to having an experience in the previous year (probably as good a standard as any)…”1.9% of men and 1.5% of women reported homosexual experience in the past year.” Gee, in my line of work (Environmental Engineering), if I get one reading of 1.9 micro-grams/litre of Tricholoroethylene and another of 1.5; it’s considered for all practical purposes to be identical. Lorian, I suggest not taking me on in a discussion about science and/or statistics, unless you’re in a mood to be “taken to school”.
    Finally, there is no hypocrisy whatsoever in admiring the talents of LGBT people while despising their sexual proclivity. EVERYONE has something of worth…some, only target practice. At least in Messrs. Lynde and Nelson-Reilly’s respective heydays they kept their lifestyles to themselves (though even a naive pre-teen such as I was could easily figure it out). I never heard of them being bothered about being gay, which under typical circumstances is as it should be. But don’t dare call their gay lifestyle “normal”. Prophets of yore and today have decried it as an abomination before the Lord. I’ll leave it to the Lord as to whatever judgement He wishes to lay upon homosexuals (Romans 1:26-28) but not flinch in upholding His word. By having the fortitude to do so, I do my LGBT brothers and sisters the most loving and Christlike service possible..risk unpopularity to speak the truth. God bless Phil Robertson, his family, and his duck call business.

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  54. Lorian on December 27, 2013 at 5:10 PM

    LOL. Thanks for spelling my name right, Jon. The idea that I should *want* to “escape from” being the person God created me to be, or loving the woman who has been my life for the past 23 years, and the mother of my children, would be laughable if it weren’t so deeply and horribly misguided on your part. I cannot imagine anyone ever giving advice of that sort to any heterosexual person in a loving, non-abusive, long-term, committed relationship.

    The only “writing on the wall,” Jon, is the hateful graffiti scrawled there by those who have believed the fear-mongering, those who have sacrificed their own lives and happiness and companionship in exchange for the cold comfort of a religious leader telling them “God” demands it of them. Sad.

    Blessings to you, Jon. I pray you find happiness and peace.

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  55. Lorian on December 28, 2013 at 12:04 AM

    Douglas, just because you decide something is “sinful” and tell me it is “sinful,” does not make it “sinful.” Comparing yourself to the Apostle Paul and suggesting that whatever you decide to impart to me must be the “truth,” really just comes across sounding kind of egotistical, frankly. You are absolutely entitled to live by whatever ideas you think are best for you. But that doesn’t mean you get to inflict them on me.

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  56. Douglas on December 28, 2013 at 4:40 PM

    #56 – How can I possibly “inflict” ANY of my views upon you merely by expressing them in the free marketplace of ideas? As ridiculous as equating opposition to the LGBT agenda or lifestyle as “hate” (are you also a Betazed, capable of reading my emotions?).
    I don’t “decide” what is sinful, all I’ve done is reiterate the scriptures and what modern-day prophets have said. If you reject them, that’s perfectly your choice. I don’t consider myself to be in Paul’s league, I merely quote what scripture he was inspired to write. It’s this sort of hysteria that looks ridiculous. You would find it interesting that the former “partner” of a good lady friend of mine, though she is shacked up with another lesbian, still attends Church in her ward (as to her membership status, IDK, and I don’t consider it my business to ask) and would think the notion of being legally “married” to her partner as wrong. As she put it, “I was married…why would I do that to the one that I care about?” (wink). Unlike the image you put forth in this forum, she has a delightfully wicked sense of humor and is an utter riot to hang out with.

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  57. Jon on December 29, 2013 at 5:49 PM

    Lorian humans also have zero to waive penalties for sin. If something is a sin, it’s a sin. You can’t change that. Proceed at your own risk.

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  58. Jon on December 29, 2013 at 5:49 PM

    Zero power

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  59. Lorian on December 29, 2013 at 7:44 PM

    Yeah, but just because you decide something is a sin doesn’t make it so, Jon. Otherwise, I might decide it’s a sin for you to post things on your computer, and you’d have to go to hell for it. Or outer darkness. Proceed at your own risk, dude. ;)

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  60. Douglas on December 29, 2013 at 8:43 PM

    #60 – We don’t decide what is sin and what isn’t, that’s already been set forth via prior revelation (scriptures) and current revelation (First Presidency et. al). Do you accept them as authoritative? If not, do you consider another religious body or person as a comparable authority? If not, whether you’re an atheist, agnostic, don’t give a fat rodent’s heinie, then why, pray tell, are you even objecting to whether we LDS call LGBT PRACTICES (I’m being careful to not castigate homosexual inclinations which may or may not be acted upon). What purpose does trolling into a group frequented by LDS of varying viewpoints and politics (this forum is proof positive that faithful LDS can have honest differences of opinion on a variety of issues of the day) and baiting them serve? How would it look if I were to get onto an LGBT blog and behave likewise? Lorian, it seems that your tone and tendency to “rabble-rouse” indicates that it is YOU that is the intolerant one. I do wish you good luck but cannot in good conscience call your life choices as consistent with what the Prophets of old and recent have revealed on the Family, especially considering 1995′s “Proclamation on the Family”. If you don’t care for my observation or whatever authority your local Bishop/Stake President has, then again, good luck but bear in mind the eternal consequences, which are not mine to bestow or mitigate. We both ought to fear the One who will…but be assured that He (along with the She that undoubtedly He works with) simply await at the “door” (of our respective souls), He knocks, and we each in turn need but answer (Revelation 3:20)

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  61. Lorian on December 30, 2013 at 12:32 AM

    Douglas, no, I’m not LDS. And I never took any interest whatsoever in what the LDS Church taught about homosexuality *until* it decided to intrude upon *my* life by directing its membership to “do everything within their power” to make sure that a law was passed in my state depriving me and my spouse and our family of equality and civil rights. At that point, I made it my business to find out what the church was teaching its membership about me and to do everything in *my* power to make sure that every LDS person I meet knows exactly what their church helped to do to my family, my children, and why it is utterly wrong for them to attempt to force their religious beliefs on *me* by rule of law.

    I’m no “troll,” nor am I here to “bait” anyone. I am a perma at feministMormonhousewives.org and a respected member of the bloggernacle community, despite not being a member of the church, myself. I respect members rights to believe what they choose, for *themselves* and their families, and to live by the teachings of the church, so long as that is not used as an excuse to intrude into *my* life and attempt to harm *my* family.

    So, LDS or no, you bet I have a dog in this fight, skin in this game. For what it is worth, about 2/3 of my extended family is LDS, and they have never treated me or my spouse with anything but kindness and acceptance. Whatever their beliefs on their own behalf, they never attempted to force them on me. I expect nothing less from the rest of the church, and if I receive less, I’ll call it the way I see it.

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  62. Lorian on December 30, 2013 at 12:36 AM

    Incidentally, WRT your “friend” who is gay and who doesn’t want to get married — yeah, pretty much every person I’ve ever met who was rabidly anti equality for gay people has had such a “friend” who is “gay but doesn’t want to get married.” And yeah, most of them have a “much better sense of humor” than I do, too, at least by report of their anti-gay “friend.” Whatever. I’m not in this conversation to entertain you. I’m here because somebody invaded my home and my life and tried to take away my kids’ civil rights.

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  63. Douglas on December 30, 2013 at 1:42 AM

    #63 – Someone (meaning for purposes of this thread those that wish to uphold traditional marriage) INVADED your home and attempted to abridge or infringe (“take away”) your children(s)’ civil rights? Lorian, when that time comes for you to assume room temperature (may it be MANY moons from now, I want you to enjoy a long life and have more than ample opportunity to see the light), I’d like you to explain how in the world someone comes up with the screwy notion that opposition to a “right” (or set of rights) that has NEVER, to my best recollection, EVER been considered “common” not only in Western socieity, but in virtually any nation that ever amounted to anything, existed at all. It would be just as screwball for me to contend that your private existence with your partner (I’m only talking about the relationship itself, not whether you want the sanction of the state of it as ‘marriage’) or the ability to rear children in such an environment is invading MY home and infringing upon the rights of my children, simply due to offense. And I make no bones that homosexuality is royally offensive to me, hence why I don’t participate nor encourage same. Still, I leave it in the marketplace of ideas and would find it a worse thing to use the sovereign powers of the state to enforce my version of morality. So again, how, pray tell, by resisting the notion that your living situation deserves to be deemed a legal marriage, am I infringing upon your previously non-existent rights? (You do have the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney, if you can’t afford one..etc. etc. sorry I don’t recite as well as Jack Webb).

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  64. Lorian on December 30, 2013 at 9:33 AM

    First, Douglas, you mention that you have “chosen” not to “participate” in homosexuality (because it is “offensive” to you). How many men have you been deeply emotionally and physically attracted to in a way which would cause you to desire an intimate, loving relationship with them of the sort which presumably you have with your wife? (If you are not married, or attracted to women, then that’s quite a different question, of course.)

    Second, civil marriage, which is not, by the way, religious marriage — the two things being separate entities, in which civil marriage is the only one which I am discussing (please review my post #8, upthread, as this has already been thoroughly discussed) — IS a civil right. And for that discussion, please refer back to post #36, so I don’t have to keep repeating myself. Thanks.

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  65. Kullervo on December 30, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    IDIAT, civil marriage *is* a civil right because (among other things) it has *other* civil rights attached to it and contingent upon it, many of which cannot be obtained by any other legal means, including private contract law.

    That’s not what makes something a civil right.

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  66. Lorian on December 30, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    Kullervo, beyond the fact that SCOTUS agreed that marriage is a civil right in their unanimous decision in Loving v. Virginia, the fact that civil rights and protections are attached to civil marriage which cannot be obtained simply by drawing up a series of private contracts means that it triggers the equal protections clause. You simply cannot legally dictate that this right or that protection is only available to a given portion of citizens and not to the rest. You can’t tell people that they only qualify to have their families protected under the law if they are all of the same race, or if the parents look a certain way, or if they are a member of a particular faith. That’s not how our system of government works.

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  67. Kullervo on December 30, 2013 at 11:33 AM

    the fact that civil rights and protections are attached to civil marriage which cannot be obtained simply by drawing up a series of private contracts means that it triggers the equal protections clause.

    Absolute nonsense. The Equal Protection Clause is implicated any time the law treats two groups of people differently. It has nothing to do with “rights and protections are . . . which cannot be obtained simply by drawing up a series of private contracts”.

    You simply cannot legally dictate that this right or that protection is only available to a given portion of citizens and not to the rest.

    Also absolute nonsense. Nearly every law that exists treats groups of people differently and gives (or takes away) rights “a given portion of citizens and not to the rest” (21-year-olds can get driver’s licenses but 12-year-olds cannot, for example). The Equal Protection Clause has not been interpreted as a blanket prohibition on treating groups of people differently, ever.

    Here’s a reasonably good rundown of the issues: http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/epcscrutiny.htm

    Basically, in deciding whether a legislative classification is forbidden by the Equal Protection Clause or not, the court has formulated three different tests, depending on what kind of classification is involved. In most situations, the test is minimal scrutiny, meaning that, to pass muster, a classification has to be rationally related to a legitimate government purpose. In certain limited situations, the court applies intermediate scrutiny (sex classifications and legitimacy) or strict scrutiny (race, national origin, some specific fundamental rights).

    But the point is, even under strict scrutiny, a law that “legally dictate[s] that this right or that protection is only available to a given portion of citizens and not to the rest” can pass Constitutional muster, provided that it meets the (admittedly very demanding) requirements of strict scrutiny.

    I’m not saying anything about where gay marriage fits in this framework; I’m just saying that you are way wrong about what civil rights are, when they are implicated, and what the Constitutional analytical framework is.

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  68. Lorian on December 30, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    Kullervo, apparently there are many judges and justices who disagree with you, since courts all the way up to SCOTUS have been invoking the 14th Amendment right and left in re marriage equality cases over the past few years. Denying equal rights and protections to couples and children simply because of the respective sexes of their spouses/parents is clearly an Equal Protections issue. You can keep claiming it’s not as much as you wish, but the court cases are not going your way on that.

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  69. Kullervo on December 30, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    Did you not even read my comment?

    Of course it’s an Equal Protection Clause issue. Any law that treats different classes of people differently is an Equal Protection issue. It would be absurd to say that it was not an Equal Protection issue, and so I said no such thing.

    What I said was:

    1. It’s an Equal Protection issue because it treats classes of people differently, not because it has to do with “rights and protections are . . . which cannot be obtained simply by drawing up a series of private contracts.” So while you are right about it being an Equal Protection issue, you are wrong about why.

    2. However, the Equal Protection Clause is not a blanket prohibition on laws that treat classes of people diferently, and has never, ever been interpreted as such. Whether a law that treats different classes of people diferently is a violation of the Equal Protection Clause or not depends on (a) which of the three levels of scrutiny is applied and (b) whether the law meets the test for that level of scrutiny.

    So the issue is which level of scrutiny is the correct one to analyze same-sex marriage under, and whether laws against same-sex marriage pass that level of scrutiny. That’s what all of these “courts all the way up to SCOTUS [that] have been invoking the 14th Amendment right and left in re marriage equality cases over the past few years” have been doing this whole time.

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  70. Lorian on December 30, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    Incidentally, I realize that I was not precise enough in my statement regarding rights/protections being denied to classes of people (in my defense, I’m in the middle of a busy kitchen at my sister’s, stopping every few minutes to discuss a variety of non-related issues). The point being, though, that in order to legally deny a set of rights or protections to an entire class of people, there must be shown to be good cause why that set of rights or protections should be restricted, particularly where the class is a suspect class. Now, I realize that homosexuals persons have yet to be declared a suspect class at the federal level, but they have been so designated at the state level in a number of states, and I think the federal designation is only a matter of time.

    To take your example, denying drivers’ licenses to children under the age of 16 or 18 is based upon careful research demonstrating the necessity of reasoning, spatial, physical coordination and other skills which are important to safe driving, as well as a level of responsibility which can be expected of a particular age-group. There is good cause both from the perspective of protecting the individual child from his/her own actions, and protecting society from the actions of irresponsible drivers, to deny children, as a class, the ability to obtain a drivers’ license. Not to mention the fact that a drivers’ license and civil marriage rights are distinctly different categories, in that one is a privilege granted by society on a conditional basis, contingent upon demonstrating a level of skills and knowledge attained to make one a reasonably safe operator of motor vehicles, and the other being a set of rights and protections granted upon request and payment of fees (and declaration that no impediments exist) to all comers, regardless of race, ethnicity, etc. There is no test of skills or knowledge (beyond being of age to enter into such a binding contract and give consent to a sexual relationship). Public health concerns are sometimes addressed through testing for STDs or verifying lack of consanguinity.

    But there is no public health concern or age-related consent issue involved in denying equal access to the protections and rights of civil marriage to same-sex couples. The only concerns which are given as grounds for denial of such rights are specifically related to religious prohibitions as denoted by certain particular religious groups. And we do not, as a society, permit rights and protections granted to others in society to be denied to one group or class of people based upon the religious prohibitions or beliefs of another group. We don’t deny full citizenship or rights to Muslims or Jews or Mormons because someone else has a religious issue with them. We don’t deny full rights and citizenship to atheists because they do not conform to someone else’s religious beliefs. There is likewise no just cause to deny full citizenship and rights to homosexual people because they do not conform to other’s religious beliefs and expectations.

    This is very *much* a matter of Equal Protections in which an entire class of people is being denied a particular set of societal protections and rights based both upon religious beliefs and upon their sex (as well as their sexual orientation). That simply doesn’t fly under our constitutional protections.

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  71. Kullervo on December 30, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    Well, you’re on the right track now and you seem to be intuitively hitting on a lot of the important points and distinctions, but you’re still mixing some stuff up. Specifically, you are mixing up the analytical framework with the substantive analysis. I’ll say again: I am not even remotely interested in arguing the substance of this with you. But I do think you should be talking about the Constitutional analyais correctly, so that you do not sound like an idiot.

    As a matter of Constitutional law under the Equal Protection Clause, the analytical framework is pretty straightforward (and not entitely counterintuitive). The threshold question is, does the law in question categorize and treat people differently? If so, an Equal Protection analysis is necessary.

    If Equal Protection analysis is necessary, then the question is, what kind of categorization is the law making:

    - If it’s based on a suspect class (race, national origin, religion and alienage), then the law has to pass the strict scrutiny test, which means that it has to be narrowly tailored to serve a compelling government interest, and there must be no less restrictive alternative. In practice, very few laws that are subjected to strict scrutiny ever pass the test.

    - If it’s a quasi-suspect class (sex, legitimacy) it has to pass intermediate scrutiny, which means the law has to serve an important government interest in a way that is substantially related to that interest. Unlike strict scrutiny and minimal scrutiny, this is a very fuzzy and ill-defined test, but that’s a can of worms for a different day.

    - For everything else, then the law only has to pass rational basis review (also called “minimal scrutiny”), which means the law has to be rationally related to a legitimate governmental purpose. In practice, very few laws that are subjected to rational basis review ever fail the test (unless the law is motivated by group animus).

    The laws that say that a twelve-year old can’t drive are analyzed under rational basis review, because they discriminate based on age, and age is not a suspect or quasi-suspect class. So the question is whether the age distinction is rationally related to a legitimate governmental purpose. It doesn’t have to be a good fit, and it doesn’t have to be narrowly tailored. It doesn’t even matter what the legislature’s subjective intention is. As long as the law in question is at least rationally related to any legitimate governmental purpose, the law passes Constitutional muster. It is a very, very easy test to pass, and I think that something like only a half a dozen laws have ever been found to fail it.

    So first and most important argument to settle is which test to apply to a law that forbids same-sex marriage, because the answer to that (1) determines what the rest of the argument you need to make is and (2) largely determines the outcome.

    If sexual orientation is a suspect class, then you’re in strict scrutiny land, and you need to be asking what compelling governmental interest is being served, whether the laws are narrowly tailored to achieve that interest, and whether there’s a possible less restrictive alternative. The tough bit is that suspect classes pretty much have to be specifically announced by the court. So just because you think that sexual orientation should be a suspect class, doesn’t mean it is. It isn’t until the court says it is, and the court has been very slow to expand the list of suspect classes.

    If you’re in rational basis review (which is the default), then you need to be talking about whether forbidding same-sex marriage is rationally related to a legitimate governmental purpose. Most of the cases dealing with same-sex marriage have been in this area, arguing about whether or not there is a legitimate governmental purpose involved, whether outlawing same-sex marriage is rationally related to one, and/or whether outlawing same-sex marriage is really just moivated by animus against homosexuals.

    Do you see the difference?

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  72. Lorian on December 30, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    Kullervo, attempting to intimidate me by calling me an “idiot” will not work. I am well aware that my arguments are on solid ground, and I don’t go away just because someone attempts to back me down. But thanks for the thought.

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  73. Frank Pellett on December 30, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    Kullervo, thanks for the primer on what constitutes a suspect class.

    From what I understand, then, the Judge in this case determined that the State amendment does not pass rational basis review, as it does not have a legitimate governmental purpose and was motivated by animus against homosexuals. Right? I still don’t agree with his reasoning, but I can kinda see how it fits into the law and court system.

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  74. Frank Pellett on December 30, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    And, it seems part of the misunderstanding is the use of the word “class”. To the courts, sexual orientation is neither a “suspect class” nor a “quasi-suspect class” (at least not yet).

    Me, I dislike making anything a class that people enter into and opt out of at will (aside from religion, which is something unto itself). Almost all of the suspect classes appear to be immutable characteristics, with the quasi-suspect class of sex only recently somewhat mutable.

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  75. Kullervo on December 30, 2013 at 2:37 PM

    Kullervo, attempting to intimidate me by calling me an “idiot” will not work. I am well aware that my arguments are on solid ground, and I don’t go away just because someone attempts to back me down. But thanks for the thought.

    How did I try to make you go away or make you back down?

    For like the third time now, I’m not even commenting on the substance of your gay marriage argument. I’m telling you what the analytical framework is for deciding Equal Protection Clause cases in the courts. It’s not a matter of whether your argument is on “solid ground.” This is a framework that has been announced by the Supreme Court and consistently followed by the Supreme Court for like a hundred years. At this point, it is completely non-controversial.

    You only sound like an idiot if you try to make a legal argument without having the law straight. I’m trying to spell the law out for you so you can get it straight and make the right argument for the cause you want to advance. Otherwise, you are just making passionate noise.

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  76. Kullervo on December 30, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    From what I understand, then, the Judge in this case determined that the State amendment does not pass rational basis review, as it does not have a legitimate governmental purpose and was motivated by animus against homosexuals. Right?

    Presumably; I didn’t read the opinion. But it’s a lot safer for a judge to rule that way than to try to claim that sexual orientation is a suspect class.

    Me, I dislike making anything a class that people enter into and opt out of at will (aside from religion, which is something unto itself). Almost all of the suspect classes appear to be immutable characteristics, with the quasi-suspect class of sex only recently somewhat mutable.

    “Immutable” is one of the words that the courts have used in talking about suspect classes. Religion is not immutable, but it does also implicate the First Amendment, and strict scrutiny is also often applied to Bill of Rights civil liberties and other fundamental rights (of which the court has a short and apparently closed list).

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  77. Lorian on December 30, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    And yes, I am aware of the difference between strict scrutiny and rational basis, and I am also aware that several courts have found (including the Utah case last week) that anti-marriage-equality laws such as Utah’s amendment, do not even pass rational basis review.

    But going back to the issue of marriage as a civil right, I would like to quote the relevant passage from Warren’s decision:

    These statutes also deprive the Lovings of liberty without due process of law in violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.

    Marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man,”

    Emphasis mine.

    Seems pretty clear. Warren didn’t call it a “privilege” or a “liberty.” He referred to it as a “basic civil right.”

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  78. Kullervo on December 30, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    And yes, I am aware of the difference between strict scrutiny and rational basis, and I am also aware that several courts have found (including the Utah case last week) that anti-marriage-equality laws such as Utah’s amendment, do not even pass rational basis review.

    That’s awfully hard to tell from your jumbled comments above and from the fact that you have been arguing about it with me all day, given that I haven’t really said anything other than “here is the framework for deciding Equal Protection cases.”

    Seems pretty clear. Warren didn’t call it a “privilege” or a “liberty.” He referred to it as a “basic civil right.”

    So what? How does that change the court’s Equal Protection analysis that I have outlined above?

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  79. Lorian on December 30, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    Frank, again you presume that people “opt into” or out of their sexual orientation. While someone might choose their relationships based upon considerations beyond sexual orientation and whether or not they found their potential mate sexually or emotionally attractive and compatible, still, these are at least a part of the more typical considerations when choosing a marriage partner.

    Interracial marriage is really an excellent basis of comparison, because, while the choice of a mate of another race is not similar to sexual orientation, in that no one actually seems to be inherently oriented towards choosing a sexual partner with different or the same skin tone as their own, the court decided to protect the *right* to choose a partner of a different skin tone/race as part of the very basic right to marry the (consenting) person of one’s own choosing.

    Loving v. Virginia *is* about race, certainly, and granting equal protection on the basis of race, but it is also about granting equal protection of a *choice* to marry someone of a different race than one’s own — that *choice* being a crucial categorization into which one can “opt in” or “opt out.” So, the person who marries outside his/her race is not exercising an innate orientation, but rather, simply choosing the person with whom s/he feels most sexually and emotionally compatible. His/her own race is an innate, immutable characteristic, certainly, but the decision to marry someone of another race is a choice. A protected choice, according to SCOTUS.

    Likewise, sexual orientation is innate. We are attracted to the sex to which we are attracted. While some people might be attracted to individuals of both their own and the opposite sex, many are not. Most are attracted exclusively to the opposite sex, while a few are attracted exclusively to their own sex. This is their membership in a class based upon an immutable characteristic. It is not necessary for their choice of partner, based upon the court’s decision in Loving, to be, itself, immutable. Richard Loving *could* have chosen to marry a white woman. He had that right. It was open to him to do so. But he *chose* instead to marry Mildred Jeter because she was the person he found attractive, the person with whom he fell in love. Might he have had a loveless marriage with another woman whom he was *entitled* under Virginia’s laws to marry? Of course. Might a homosexually-oriented person have a loveless marriage with a person of the opposite sex whom they are *entitled* to marry under current laws? Sure. But should they *have* to do so in order to access the rights and protections of civil marriage? According to the Warren court, the answer would be *no*, because, in Chief Justice Warren’s own words, “The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness…”

    It’s not just about being able to marry somebody, anybody. It’s about being able to marry the person whom one loves, as part of one’s basic right to the “pursuit of happiness.”

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  80. Lorian on December 30, 2013 at 3:41 PM

    Kullervo, it was you who entered into my discussion with IDIAT over the question of whether or not civil marriage is a civil right. If you agree that civil marriage is a civil right, then please say so and be done with it. Otherwise your circuitous comments feel a bit like game-playing. You may have simply been disputing the *reasoning* behind *why* civil marriage is a civil right, and, if so, then I misunderstood your intent and will gladly admit it. I still maintain that it is impossible to attach civil rights and benefits to an institution as a type of conglomerate array, and to make those rights and benefits unobtainable through any other means than through access to that institution, and not then classify that institution as, itself, a civil right.

    If, for instance, in some Orwellian future, the right to fair employment became contingent upon membership in the Teamsters’ Union, but membership in the Teamsters’ Union was open only to persons of Asian heritage, then the right to fair employment would be available only to Asian people. This would be an example of a civil right (fair employment) which was being unfairly denied to particular classes of people (non-Asian people) on the basis of their inability to access membership in the group (Teamsters’) which had been granted exclusive access to that civil right. The argument would necessarily be that, having had the civil right to fair employment attached exclusively to membership in the Teamsters’ Union, then membership in the Teamsters’ Union would have become, itself, a civil right which was being unfairly denied to the class of people defined as non-Asian.

    While membership in the Teamsters’ might have previously been defined as a privilege or liberty based upon Free Association in a private organization (don’t know if this is actually true of unions, but for the sake of argument…), the moment the civil right to Fair Employment became exclusively attached to membership in the Teamsters’, this membership changed from being something optionally available to a group based upon the whims of another group, to being something which must be available to all on an equal basis.

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  81. Kullervo on December 30, 2013 at 4:12 PM

    If you agree that civil marriage is a civil right, then please say so and be done with it.

    It’s an irrelevant question, as a matter of Constitutional law. Say marriage is a “Civil right.” What does that mean, legally? By itself, nothing.

    And I resent you calling my comments “circuitous.” I’m spelling out the Constitutional law issues plainly and matter-of-factly. The fact that they do not easily fit into your schema is your problem, not mine. You may think I’m playing games because I’m not coming down one way or another on whether I think same-sex marriage should be protected under the Constitution, but to be frank, I am a lot more interested in the process than the outcome. I’m a lawyer; sue me.

    You may have simply been disputing the *reasoning* behind *why* civil marriage is a civil right, and, if so, then I misunderstood your intent and will gladly admit it.

    That’s exactly what I have been disputing, and I have been explicit about that from the beginning.

    I still maintain that it is impossible to attach civil rights and benefits to an institution as a type of conglomerate array, and to make those rights and benefits unobtainable through any other means than through access to that institution, and not then classify that institution as, itself, a civil right.

    Again, this makes no sense because that’s not how “Civil Rights” works.

    It sounds like you have the idea that “Civil Rights” are something like the rights in the Bill of Rights, where there’s a specific list of rights you have like the right of free speech, the right to bear arms, the right against unreasonable search and seizure. You are trying to think about Civil Rights using the same framework as civil liberties, but that’s not really what Civil Rights is or how Civil Rights works. Calling same-sex marriage a civil right or not doesn’t change anything. The phrase is not talismanic.

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  82. Jon on December 30, 2013 at 5:37 PM

    Sticking your body part or tongue in someone else’s orifice is not a civil right. Totally different from skin color. No gay gene has ever been found.

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  83. KullervoKullervo on December 30, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    Sticking your body part or tongue in someone else’s orifice is not a civil right.

    No, but laws that say you can stick your body part or tongue one kind of person’s orifice but not another kind of person’s orifice are subject to the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. It has nothing to do with skin color (only the 13th Amendment is limited to skin color), and it has nothing to do with genes.

    Sorry, try again.

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  84. Lorian on December 30, 2013 at 6:03 PM

    Jon, your understanding of genetics appears to be quite limited.

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  85. Lorian on December 30, 2013 at 6:15 PM

    No, Kullervo, I am not confused about the nature of civil rights. Human rights are rights which are generally accepted across many cultures as being intrinsic to the species — for instance, the right to life. Depriving human beings of such things is considered a “human rights violation,” as in the treatment of Jews, gays and others by Nazis up to and during WWII.

    Civil rights, on the other hand, are particular rights granted by the government of a particular society, such as the right to vote (which is not universal to all cultures, but exists only as granted by the government of a particular nation). While not “talismanic,” as you put it, still, basic civil rights are, in our society, considered to be things which are governed by Equal Protection and Due process, as in the right to fair employment and housing and the right to equal access to public accommodations. These rights, though granted by the government, rather than being basic “human rights,” still cannot be denied on the basis of race, ethnicity, sex, disability, and so forth. The fact that something, such as voting, is found to be a basic civil right, means that denying it to a class of people without justifiable cause or due process is not permitted by our constitution.

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  86. Frank Pellett on December 30, 2013 at 11:28 PM

    Thank you for the reasoning with the Loving case, Lorian. It gives me a better perspective on how the courts are working with this, and I’d not thought of it that wy before. Being an immutable characteristic isn’t really a factor here, no matter what anyone believes about it.
    (Please pardon my thinking out loud, I’ve been thinking a lot about this recently, and I’m still not settled on how I think this should work out.)

    Thing is, we do limit who you can be married to. No matter how much you want to be in a marriage with someone, we don’t allow marriage to someone already married or between close kin. Then I suppose it just comes down to where you put the line, and why.

    To me, it just comes down to what benefit does marriage serve the community(/state/country) that it is desired or limited in the first place? It is just for ease of paperwork in sharing property, laws, and visitations? Is it about creating stable homes? it’s not really the laws and such, since creating a duplicate of marriage (Civil Unions) isn’t really the best answer, as you’re just doubling the work over a name. I’ve not done research into the restrictions on Civil Unions, but is it just a way to go around marriage laws that restrict who you can marry, even those of polygamy and incest?

    So that just leaves children. I do believe the ideal is to have the biological mother and father be in a committed relationship raising their own children, but there are plenty of less than ideal family configurations, very few of which have a lot of data since they haven’t been extensively tried. And we can’t let the fear of failure be a determining factor in if something should be tried or not. For adoption, there doesn’t seem to be a shortage of children where anyone not in the (perceived) ideal would be taking away from those more toward the ideal.

    Anyway, there’s a lot to think about, and a lot to learn as things unfold in the coming years. Thanks again for the help (from both of you, Lorian and Kullervo) in learning more about these things. Better to know more (even if you still disagree) and continue to learn than to know less and be stuck with knee-jerk, misinformed non-arguments.

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  87. Lorian on December 30, 2013 at 11:43 PM

    All good thoughts, Frank. Thanks, as always, for listening with an open mind. I would say, regarding restrictions on consanguineous marriages, there are pretty clear, demonstrable harms which come of allowing truly incestuous marriages, though where that line of risk should cut off is not completely clear, and that’s why the degree of separation varies from state to state.

    With regards to polygamous marriages, while I can see some objective potential for harm in terms of imbalances in communities resulting in cast-off young men, and a tendency to exploit very young women in closed polygamous communities in an attempt by the more powerful older men to get around the inevitable shortages of marriage-age women, still, these issues are not universal to all polygamous marriages, and would not necessarily become so unless polygyny became the predominant form of marriage in a society. But I really do not see, under the conditions that marriage partners not be underage or treated coercively, any objective reason to define polygamy, itself, as “immoral” or “wrong.” I would tend to believe that it should be a choice left up to the individual participants, not a societal proscription.

    Just more musings… Thanks again for your thoughtful engagement.

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  88. New Iconoclast on December 31, 2013 at 8:27 AM

    Lorian, you’re kind of coming around. If you can manage to eliminate the appeal to emotion and the ad hominem attacks, you just might someday be able to conduct a rational argument.

    We have a legal system, not a justice system. It can be maddening and impersonal, but it’s supposed to help people be treated equally and not with prejudice and caprice as individuals.

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  89. Lorian on December 31, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    Hm…And you don’t consider that comment ad hominem? “…you might someday be able to conduct a rational argument…” Nice.

    If you see me as “coming around,” perhaps it is because you have not until this time listened carefully enough to my positions. I have not changed them in the slightest.

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  90. Jon on January 2, 2014 at 12:43 PM

    Lorian if you listen to the Spirit you will come to know for a certainty that sex between two men and two women is evil.

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  91. Lorian on January 2, 2014 at 1:20 PM

    Jon, I don’t know what spirit you are listening to, but that’s not what the Holy Spirit told me. Just because you think something about someone *else’s* life is true, does not make it so, nor does it make it *any* of your business. Get your own revelations for yourself, Jon, and stop projecting onto other people’s lives.

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  92. Kullervo on January 2, 2014 at 2:13 PM

    Civil rights, on the other hand, are particular rights granted by the government of a particular society, such as the right to vote (which is not universal to all cultures, but exists only as granted by the government of a particular nation).

    Perhaps in the general conversational sense that’s what “civil rights” means, but not as a matter of Constitutional law. Your problem is that you are using a legal term of art in its general conversational sense and thinking that the law will track with the general conversational sense. But that’s just not how it works.

    While not “talismanic,” as you put it, still, basic civil rights are, in our society, considered to be things which are governed by Equal Protection and Due process, as in the right to fair employment and housing and the right to equal access to public accommodations.

    Who told you that? Where did you read that? Where did you get that idea? Where did you get any of this?

    The Equal Protection and Due Process clauses govern everything. Every law, no matter what the subject matter, is governed by Equal Protection and Due Process clauses. The question is not what the subject matter of the law is*, but whether the law classifies people and treats them differently.

    The Equal Protection clause** has been interpreted to mean that laws–any laws–can’t discriminate between groups of people unless the appropriate test is met. As I spelled out above, the possible tests are the strict scrutiny test (used when a law discriminates based on race, national origin, religion or alienage, or when the law burdens a fundamental right***), the intermetiate scrutiny test (generally used for sex-based classifications and illegitimacy) and the rational basis test (for everything else).

    *Except to the extent that a law impacting a fundamental right is subject to a more rigorous test.

    **Against the states. Against the federal givernment, the court has said that the Due Process clause of the 5th Amendment does the same job.

    ***The courts have said that the following, and no more, are fundamental rights protected by Equal Protection and Due Process: (a) the rights articulated in the Bill of Rights, (b) the right to vote, (c) the right to travel and (d) the right to privacy (which is also a legal term of art that only means certain specific things that the court has articulated).

    These rights, though granted by the government, rather than being basic “human rights,” still cannot be denied on the basis of race, ethnicity, sex, disability, and so forth.

    None of that is true. As a matter of Constitutional law, fundamental rights can be denied if the strict scrutiny test is met. Laws that discriminate on the basis of race or ethnicity are permitted if they meet the strict scrutiny test. Laws that discriminate on the basis of sex are permitted if they meet the intermediate scrutiny test. Disability is not protected under the Constitution at all*, so laws that discriminate against the disabled only have to pass rational basis review.

    *Certain kinds of discrimination against the disabled are prohibited by statute, but that’s not the same thing as the Constitution.

    The fact that something, such as voting, is found to be a basic civil right, means that denying it to a class of people without justifiable cause or due process is not permitted by our constitution.

    You are mixing up your doctrines.

    Voting is a fundamental right, which means it can’t be denied to anybody, regardless of whether it’s an individual or a class of people, unless the strict scrutiny test is met. It has nothing to do with whether the right to vote is being denied to a class of people or not.

    No law can discriminate based on race, regardless of what the subject matter of the law is, unless the strict scrutiny test is met. It has nothing to do with whether the discriminatory law denies a “basic civil right” or not.

    The notion that there is some kind of nexus between these two ideas is unsupported by law.

    So now, tell me, given all of that, what difference does it make if same sex marriage is a “Civil Right” or not? How does that change how same sex marriage is treated under the Constitution?

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  93. Kullervo on January 2, 2014 at 2:20 PM

    Lorian, you do realize that I’m just trying to tell you how Constitutional law works, right? I’m not getting anywhere near to an argument about whether same sex marriage is protected by the Constitution or not.

    So frankly I’m kind of baffled about why you are arguing tooth and nail over this.

    This shouldn’t even be a controversial topic. The most liberal, progressive, social-justice-minded lawyers I know would spell out the Constitutional issues the same way. It’s all basic bar-exam stuff.

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  94. New Iconoclast on January 2, 2014 at 9:23 PM

    No, it wasn’t an ad hominem attack. It wasn’t an attack at all; it was a simple statement of fact. Allow me to clarify: when I say you may be coming around, I don’t mean that you’re necessarily changing your viewpoint. I simply mean that you may be able to conduct your discussion based on Constitutional law as it is, instead of what you wish it to be, and while using words in the English language according to their actual meaning, instead of to the political meaning you give them (while discounting and insulting anyone who doesn’t choose to use them in the same inaccurate way you do).

    Those are specific issues, not ad hominems. You show some signs of being educable. That doesn’t mean you’ll ever agree with your interlocutors, it simply means that, God willing, you’ll someday stop illegitimately stacking the deck in favor of your own arguments by attempting to co-opt the definitions and de-legitimize the discourse of the opposing viewpoint, and learn to discuss things based on the actual facts and issues.

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  95. Jon on January 7, 2014 at 4:37 PM

    Lorian God is not the one whispering to you that lesbian sex is fine

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  96. babaroni on January 7, 2014 at 5:04 PM

    Jon, why are you so deeply interested in what kind of sex I have? What’s it to you?

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