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Has the 'gay marriage' issue split the Democratic base(95 posts)

Has the 'gay marriage' issue split the Democratic base128
Nov 19, 2003 6:14 AM
and effectively handed another term to the Pres?
Sadly, I believe so. (Sadly b/c I think Reps or Dems could do waaaay better than the current admin)

Couldn't the platiffs have waited one year to bring this suit? Strategically speaking. Geesh.

FTR I support civil union as a meaningful compromise b/c I think 'grafting' this new marital configuration onto centuries of the old configuration is the square peg round whole thing, unfair to those offended byu the notion, that homosexuals should proudly embrace a new marital creature instead of the old, and to the extent that that children need women and men in their young lives same sex unions may be problematic.

It will be very interesting to see this play out. And how the 'gay commuynity' deals with the legal, socail, intimate, trevails of marriage.

The court in it's decision seems to have defined 'marriage' only in terms of physical intimacy and privacy when that may not capture the full spectrum of the institution of marriage.
Define "split"MR_GRUMPY
Nov 19, 2003 7:25 AM
Lots of people in the Dem party. Not all are in "lock step" with everybody else. Some far left, some mid right. Lots of room for everybody.
To divide via a political issue128
Nov 19, 2003 7:50 AM
To dissuade those who would otherwise vote Dem. but for the party's support of gay marriage.

I perceive the base to be more moderate than way Left. I'm guessing there are a lot of base Dems who are not comfortable with this decision.

The difference you point to is, I think, what I reference: not all Dems are so 'liberal' in regard to this issue. They will be alienated, vote Green and the Project for A new American CENTURY lock-steps on.....

I predict a hue and cry in response to this court decision the likes of which no American century has yet seen. And Liberals will mill about without clear party leadership.
I doubt these litigants care about the electionDougSloan
Nov 19, 2003 7:28 AM
To the litigants, their personal situation, and maybe that of their like minded community, is likely the priority well above national elections. They probably also know that as of these days, at least, including gay marriage as a national platform plank is probably not a positive thing for a candidate. Country's not ready for it, yet.

Nov 19, 2003 7:28 AM
Naw, not the base, the base is fine with it. Could make outreach (to guys with rebels flags in their etc etc) more difficult if it blows up into a huge national debate, but I'll choose to remain hopeful that since the COURTS are doing this, we may not get skewered too bad.

Still ...

There are some issues I wish would just go away. Here's the problem: As Dumocrats, we of COURSE support gay rights, just as we of course support abortion rights and reasonable gun control. The problem politically is, we're forced to say these things out loud all the time by the constituencies that promote them. That forces the issue out into the public debate, where we get flogged by the Republicans and whipped in the working class largely on these concerns. We can't stay focused on the economic issues that are winners for us when we're constantly having to talk about -- in this latest example -- freakin gay marriage.

'Gays in the military' almost derailed the Clinton presidency in it's first weeks. Jesus CHRIST.

Sometimes I wish our constituencies would take a page from the radical Christian right, which FINALLY seems to have learned that, sure, the Repubs are on our side, and they'll take care of us, but only if they get elected -- and they WON'T get elected if they look like captives of our agenda.

George Bush Rove's particular genius was to recognize that he couldn't LOOK like a nutty religious right winger and get elected president. But he sent signals to the nutty right that sure enough he IS a nutty religious right winger, and if they'd just simmer down and let him get in office, not nail him to the wall on all their issues, everything would be hunky dory for their agenda.

I (generic liberal Democrat in, say, South Carolina) support gay marriage. And if I could just get in office, I could maybe do something about it, certainly more than any Repub would. But I'll never get in office if I have to SAY it out loud all the time.
the courtsDougSloan
Nov 19, 2003 7:40 AM
I think what you are saying has been true for over 50 years. Liberals largely rely upon the courts for social change, rather than getting roasted in public elections. The courts may not do it all, but they usually lead the way.

I think that's why we'll see more and more attention on judicial appointments, down to every single Article III judge. One judge at the trial level backed up by a few more at the appellate level can effectively derail the national majority sentiment, at least as expressed in elections. Think about it. All it takes is 1 district judge, 2 court of appeals judges, and then 5 Supreme Court justices, assuming it makes it that far, to totally change or create a law that could not be changed in the legislature in decades.

Doug, how does the judicial create laws? Or ...Live Steam
Nov 19, 2003 7:45 AM
how are they allowed to create laws. That wasn't their intended purpose. They are there to interpret and enforce them. Isn't that the prupose of the "elected" legislature?
Ugh! JUDICIARY :O) More coffee please! nmLive Steam
Nov 19, 2003 7:50 AM
are you being facetious?DougSloan
Nov 19, 2003 7:52 AM
I think we all intellectually know that the courts cannot create law. But, they do it every day. The Supreme Court has created all sorts of law with huge impacts upon the country. They do it under the guise of "interpretation," but it's not. Roe v. Wade is a classic example. There is no "right to privacy" in the Constitution. They made it up. But, what do you do? Their only limitation is their credibility, via enforcement (they cannot directly enforce laws; that's the executive branch), or overruling via Constitutional amendment. But, they are respected enough, and would be such a dangerous precedent to ignore them, that they get away with it. That's just how our system works, right or wrong.

Sort of :O)Live Steam
Nov 19, 2003 7:59 AM
Why is it that we allow mostly non-elected officials to mess around with a system the is supposed to be of and by the people? The ruling in Mass. yesterday was really a back door method to change the laws. (no pun intended :O) They didn't create a law, but they pretty much mandated that one be created to accomodate their ideas about the issue.
I dunno.OldEdScott
Nov 19, 2003 8:10 AM
It's seems logical to me that SOMEONE has to be the final arbiter, to be able to say: No, this is illegal (unconstitutional).

But I do have a bit of a philosphical problem with courts going further than that. I'm not sure it's OK for the court to ORDER the Legislature specifically to do something about it in a certain time frame. That seems to violate separation of powers. Seems like the court saying: "Nope, bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzt, wrong-o, illegal" is sufficient.

Interestingly, Jefferson opposed the very notion of judicial review. He never thought the court should be a constitutional arbiter. He believed in a VERY strict separation of powers.
In this case, they struck down a law.OldEdScott
Nov 19, 2003 7:56 AM
They didn't 'create' one. Admittedly, they directed the Legislature to create one, or at least address the constitutional concerns. But the legislature will still write the law.
that's usually how it happensDougSloan
Nov 19, 2003 8:04 AM
Roe v. Wade struck down a law, a Texas ban on abortion. Happens all the time. However, they, in their written opinion, usually "announce" or "declare" some rule of law in doing so, thus "creating" law. If they strike down a law, not based upon some established and recognized rule of law, but upon a new concept, then they are creating law for all practical purposes. Now, they often go to great length to make it appear that their decision is based upon established precedent, but we know better.

Judges create common law, and interpret civil law. nm128
Nov 19, 2003 8:11 AM
Salient point, Doug.eyebob
Nov 20, 2003 2:18 PM
Which is why if you have any type of heart, you vote Bush out, let a Democrat put two moderate judges on the Bench so that they can decide cases mostly from the middle (if not slightly left of center). That way the country can gradually become progressive.


wowDuane Gran
Nov 19, 2003 7:54 AM
That was one of the most politically insightful things I've read on this board. I'm going to have to chew on that one for a while.
Nov 19, 2003 8:06 AM
But you try telling the Liberal activists to pipe down and form a line. Good Luck.

Although I do agree with the approach, it offends my liberal sensibilities. Must obfuscation in politics be tolerated...
Nope, it doesn't have to be tolerated.OldEdScott
Nov 19, 2003 8:16 AM
Unless you actually want to get elected to something.

It's a real dilemma. All us radicals left and right want to leap up and take the high moral ground, and preach the Gospel of Liberal Social Democracy. Or the Gospel of Nutty Right Wing Theocratic Ogliarchy. Whatever. But the American people are centrists, and simply won't elect extremist nuts if they know that's what they are.

We haven't been able to keep our nuttiness under wraps. The Repubs have hidden theirs very well. That's the difference in the country right now.
Thanks Ed, as I sit in the foggy haze of a no sleep night...PdxMark
Nov 19, 2003 8:30 AM
a sparkle of learning dawns on me as you explain yet another bit of politics in America. You make it a pleasure to learn about how our system works. Now, if I could learn to keep my sense of humor & temper under wraps, I'd be doing really well.
'Humor and temper.' LOL!OldEdScott
Nov 19, 2003 8:59 AM
Like when you called me an a-hole or a d!pshit (can't remember exactly, but it was HARSH) the time I was pretending to be Doug? HA HA HA HA HA! Oregon's in a hideous revenue crisis and I'm spouting Anti-Tax Know-Nothingism like a champ!
yes, best day in the history of this (NC) ForumDougSloan
Nov 19, 2003 9:26 AM
That was a wonderful day, the role reversal. We really should do it again. What's funny is that we were using our regular handles. ;-)

Everyone was 'jumping (my) ass for a change.' LOL LOL!OldEdScott
Nov 19, 2003 9:32 AM
The stars aligned...PdxMark
Nov 19, 2003 10:59 AM
I was a newbie on the NC forum with a big ol' anti-tax canker sore on my butt, and I stumble into OldEd out for a joy ride. You played me like a Martin gueetar on the main stage of the Grand Ol Opry. It still makes me laugh, while I wince with a bit out of residual of embarrassment.
Great to watch from the sidelines too. Bravo. nm128
Nov 19, 2003 11:02 AM
roles have reversedDougSloan
Nov 19, 2003 8:53 AM
For a long time, the Democrats hid their agendas (would Clinton have ever gotten elected the first time touting socialized medicine, tax increases, and gays in the military?) and , and got elected. The Republicans took the "high moral ground" and preached, literally, pro-life, aggressive foreign policy, trickle down, etc., and sometimes lost because of it. Then, during Clinton some time, I think the Republicans figured out that it's better to get elected, that you can't do anything being open and honest, but in the minority. Now, the roles have reversed, with Republicans largely in office, and Democrats tongue-tied because they can't get elected on platforms they really believe. I'm sure it will switch again, too.

Exactly. Just as it's unlikley GWB would have beenOldEdScott
Nov 19, 2003 9:02 AM
elected if he'd reared up on his little hind-tail and bellowed: "Listen up! I'm gonna get us bogged down in a 50-year occupation of Iraq on false pretenses and kill Medicare to boot!"

You just don't SAY those things if you want to successfully steal an election!
interesting tidbit I picked up on NPR (gasp!) this morning...shawndoggy
Nov 19, 2003 9:26 AM
6 of the 7 Mass. justices were appointed by REPUBLICAN governors. Damned left leaning media -- betcha FOX didn't report that sad fact (sarcasm intended).

We all say that what we really want is for politicians to be able to say what they want to say rather than what the pollsters tell them they have to say. Well they can't because they answer to the fickle public on a regular basis (i.e. retraction of confederate flag comment). But judges can -- they have the lifetime appointment (fed judges anyhow, not precisely sure about Mass's judicial appointment structure) and are therefore free from the impact of public whim (not counting people egging their homes and calling them a'holes at the grocery store). But I frequently hear on this board a cry that judges shouldn't make law and they don't answer to the people, blah blah blah.

Think about it, though -- the balance actually works pretty well: elected officials are TOO ANSWERABLE (is that a word?), while appointed judges AREN'T ANSWERABLE ENOUGH. Sounds like balance of powers to me.
History showsthat judges'partisan inclinations abate onthe bench128
Nov 19, 2003 9:58 AM
Well, at least at the Supreme Ct. level this has been shown to be true. And in fact go the complete opposite way than the appointer expected. So I don't get too amped up about which way a judge swings.


With the aformentioned 'stealth' approach of the successful party in this current administration, I am suspect of their clearly hyper-conservative selections. They could be automo-tools.
I'm happy the Dems are roughing them up a little.
Read recent article which suggests partisan affiliation...shawndoggy
Nov 19, 2003 10:38 AM
is important:


A September 2003 study of federal appeals courts, "Ideological Voting on Federal Courts of Appeals: A Preliminary Investigation," authored by Cass R. Sunstein of the University of Chicago Law School, demonstrates that a courtroom result often can be predicted just from knowledge of the political party of the president who nominated the judge. While some might find this information disappointing, a general understanding will help to explain why the current controversy suggests how a belief in the fairness of the federal courts can be preserved or lost.

There are a few kinds of cases where it doesn't seem to matter who selected the judge.

It doesn't matter in criminal cases. Most judges are tough on crime. Judges appointed by Democrats aren't any softer on crime than judges appointed by Republicans. Judges from both parties also tend to make decisions that are essentially alike on issues involving government taking of private property and in circumstances where the law is very clear.

There are a few other kinds of cases where the political party of the judge seems to make all the difference. These are cases that involve an issue, such as abortion or the death penalty, on which judges, like many people, have strong personal beliefs.

In the large portion of cases in which the law is subject to interpretation, the party of the president selecting the judge often determines the outcome. Federal appeals courts appoint panels of three judges to hear cases. The study shows that a woman with a sex discrimination case will win 75 percent of the time if the three judges are Democrat appointees and only 31 percent of the time if the three judges are Republican appointees.

A company contesting the lawfulness of an environmental regulation can expect to win 75 percent of the time if the panel is composed of Republican appointed judges and only 25 percent of the time if the judges were appointed by a Democrat. Similar percentages apply in cases involving contract law, campaign finance, affirmative action, sex discrimination, racial discrimination, corporation law, disability discrimination and environmental law.

Judges also are very influenced by the political beliefs of the other judges with whom they work. The woman with the sex discrimination case will win 49 percent of the time if the three judge panel has two Democrat appointees and only one Republican. If there are two Republicans and one Democrat, her chance of winning is reduced to 38 percent. A similar pattern exists for the corporation challenging an environmental rule before a politically divided panel of judges.

The study shows that when a panel of judges is made up of the appointees of only one party, the decisions can get extreme and can deviate significantly from the law. Panels made up of judges from both parties tend to show less extremism and more compromise. Those who want to know more about this study should search online at
Interesting. Thanks nm128
Nov 19, 2003 11:36 AM
Unfair to homophobes? Boo-freakin-hoo.czardonic
Nov 19, 2003 10:50 AM
Other than issues of "physical intimacy," name one aspect of marriage that would distinguish a gay one from a straight one. The "gay community" has already been dealing with the travails of marriage for generations, albeit without legal sanction.

Are you suggesting that there are Democrats that would overlook Bush's foreign and domestic policy nightmare simply to bash gays? God help them.
So what are you homo or homophobe?No_sprint
Nov 19, 2003 10:59 AM
Did it ever occur to you that people can fall in another category and still not support a ruling like this? Or if you don't support the ruling are you an automatic homophobe? That leaves only the other left for you.
No reason to be against gay marriage. . .czardonic
Nov 19, 2003 11:07 AM
. . .unless you have an irrational aversion to homosexuality. Is there?

I don't follow the reasoning behind your "homo or homophobe" dichotomy.
I figured you couldn't answer the questionNo_sprint
Nov 19, 2003 11:13 AM
did it ever occur to you that people could fall into another category and not support a ruling like this?

Your perspective doesn't matter though. Whether millions and millions of people on this planet are homophobes in your blinded perspective is irrelevant.
I certainly can answer the question.czardonic
Nov 19, 2003 11:18 AM
By your reasoning, as best as I can follow it, I am a "homo".

Now answer my question. Give me a reason to discriminate against gays that does not boil down to fear of homosexuality. Perhaps are you afraid of admitting you are afraid to boot?
Afraid? LOL Not me.No_sprint
Nov 19, 2003 11:34 AM
It is impossible to answer your silly question. I can't think of a reason to discriminate against homosexuals that has anything to do with fear of homosexuality.

I'm undecided on the ruling myself.

It is possible not to be a homophobe, not to be afraid of homosexuals and not support a ruling like this. Read the news and ask them if you're really interested. Go talk to all the people across the nation that are buzzing about how this issue could split the dumos even more than they are now.

According to your *lack of* reasoning millions and millions are homophobes. Who cares what you think? Nobody. Like I said, your blinded perspective is entirely irrelevant.

Discrimination is present all over the place, see affirmative action.
I figured you couldn't answer the question.czardonic
Nov 19, 2003 1:15 PM
You keep saying that there are plenty of reasons, but you can't seem to name one. The only basis for your position is that millions and millions of people just couldn't be gripped by an irrational emotion. If that isn't an appeal to popularity, I don't know what is.
It's impossible to, nothing to do with fear.No_sprint
Nov 19, 2003 1:34 PM
If you think millions are homophobes, so be it. It's completely insignificant what you think.
There are other reasonsLive Steam
Nov 19, 2003 11:55 AM
There are certainly religious reasons that would not allow for the acceptance of homosexuality. There are also moral issues that would cause one to condone homosexuality without being a homophobe. They believe that same sex relationships are just not "natural" and that homosexuality goes against nature and the natural order of life. People need to procreate in order to perpetuate the species. Then there are those that oppose because they believe it diminishes the sanctity of the institution of marriage. I don't believe opposing marriage between same sex partners, necessarily makes one a homophobe.
Meant "condemn" nmLive Steam
Nov 19, 2003 12:09 PM
None of these are rational.czardonic
Nov 19, 2003 1:00 PM
Most of them aren't even reasons so much as they are excuses for the absense of reason. Religion, personal morality, concepts of nature and traditional sentimentalities all boil down to "just because" type justifications. The sole reason that bothers to offer any actual rationale is procreation, and that is both a trivial concern (there is no population crisis on the horizon) and one that is applied selectively to homosexual marriage (heterosexuals are allowed to marry even if they don't plan to have biological children).

Absent a reasoned rationale for an objection to homosexual marriage, you are left with a unreasonable aversion to homosexuality, the technical term for said condition being homophobia.
Why are ...Live Steam
Nov 19, 2003 1:27 PM
religious objections irrational or frivolous? You don't respect religion or people who follow a religion?
Why? because he's a freak!No_sprint
Nov 19, 2003 1:37 PM
Anyone who doesn't think in the ridiculous manner he does, is wrong according to him. Must be a small world for him, the world of one, on the outside looking in.
I respect many practical aspects of religion. . .czardonic
Nov 19, 2003 1:47 PM
. . .but I am not typically impressed with relgious rationales. As I said, they ultimately boil down to "just because" caliber logic.
Why are ...baylor
Nov 19, 2003 7:52 PM
Differences of opinion are fine, but to me, they don't form the basis of sound social policy without MORE.

Justice O'Connor's concurrence in the Texas sodomy case noted that there's never been a time that moral disapproval standing alone was good enough to establish a "rational basis" for laws that distinguish between people.

Religious objections need to be combined with some public policy justification, or they need to remain within the religious community from which they come and not be foisted upon others.
Reason does not always follow opinion.128
Nov 19, 2003 1:41 PM
I have it in me to defer to the those who believe the homo-sex act wanders from tha natural order, I am just as deferential to those who say they were born in the wrong body. Are either of those opinions rational?

And by the way, thinking out loud here, what of those who say they're gay for political reasons not biological reasons. Is that rational?
I guess you're out nowMJ
Nov 20, 2003 1:05 AM
did you ever meet up with your pal?

still waiting on that airfare money so we can 'meet up'
Czar swoops in. I'll name one, but you give me the proof that128
Nov 19, 2003 11:27 AM
a person uncomfortable w/gay marriage necessarliy fears homosexuals.

1. Both genders represented in the domestic sphere of childhood development. Not that I like your stipulation of pushing intimacy aside- that's a huge issue for many people.

I believe I may have misled using the word 'offended'. My original post was meant to be a list

1.'grafting' this new marital configuration onto centuries of the old configuration (is a force play)
2. (grafting it on)is unfair to those offended by the notion (of intrusion into their established game and rules),
3.(I think) that homosexuals should proudly embrace a new marital creature instead of the old
4.children need women and men in their young lives same sex unions may be problematic.

2 and 3 got wrongly related as if 3 was the 'notion' 2 refered to.

In essence, my point of view at ground level is really a critique of the marriage institution in toto with all it's patriarchial, economic, (historically)opressive attributes. I wonder why would anyone prefer to seek out this legacy to make their own when they have a chance to start fresh and establish a new institution not yet conceived. I think that would be ballsy and far out.

This is a HUGE step for a culture. Don't be so cavelier that it should just be ok without some people thinking it's unfair to foist something on already established et freakin cetera.

Yes. I do think the common-denominator-man may very well vote not Dem. b/c of this, but your connection to gay bashing is irrelevant.

Czar swoops in. I'll name one, but you give me the proof that128
Nov 19, 2003 11:28 AM
a person uncomfortable w/gay marriage necessarliy fears homosexuals.

1. Both genders represented in the domestic sphere of childhood development. Not that I like your stipulation of pushing intimacy aside- that's a huge issue for many people.

I believe I may have misled using the word 'offended'. My original post was meant to be a list

1.'grafting' this new marital configuration onto centuries of the old configuration (is a force play)
2. (grafting it on)is unfair to those offended by the notion (of intrusion into their established game and rules),
3.(I think) that homosexuals should proudly embrace a new marital creature instead of the old
4.children need women and men in their young lives same sex unions may be problematic.

2 and 3 got wrongly related as if 3 was the 'notion' 2 refered to.

In essence, my point of view at ground level is really a critique of the marriage institution in toto with all it's patriarchial, economic, (historically)opressive attributes. I wonder why would anyone prefer to seek out this legacy to make their own when they have a chance to start fresh and establish a new institution not yet conceived. I think that would be ballsy and far out.

This is a HUGE step for a culture. Don't be so cavelier that it should just be ok without some people thinking it's unfair to foist something on already established et freakin cetera.

Yes. I do think the common-denominator-man may very well vote not Dem. b/c of this, but your connection to gay bashing is irrelevant.

I don't see how you can deny it.czardonic
Nov 19, 2003 12:44 PM
"Phobia" may involve irrational reactions ranging from fear to simple aversion. Whether you are scared of spread of what you see as sexual deviancy or are offended by the idea of equality for people who's expression of physical intimacy is distasteful to you, or even if you assume that gay couples will necessarily produce warped children, insofar as all of these concerns are unsupported by fact, they are indeed phobic at their core.

I think you are fooling yourself in assuming that homosexuals will proudly embrace a separate but equal alternative to marriage (much less one that is separate but not quite equal). I do not think that you are fooling anyone by dressing it up as a bold step into a brave new institution. At its heart, this campaign is about equality under the law.
Wrong. Distaste and fear have nothing ...Live Steam
Nov 19, 2003 12:57 PM
to do with one another. I also cited other reasons for opposing same sex marriages above. They have nothing to do with fear.

Let's face it, this issue is really about money and I won't deny it. Yes there are moral issues for many, but the bottom line is this will cost money for the government and employers.
Your missing the point.czardonic
Nov 19, 2003 1:08 PM
As I said, "phobia" can encompass anything from fear to mere dislike and aversion.

I don't buy your "(it) is really about money" attempt to whitewash the issue. If the "traditional values" crowd had their way, homosexuality would be universally disavowed and every person of marrying age would find a mate of the opposite sex and proceed to procreate. They don't seem too concerned about how much that will cost the government and employers.
No need to get catty Ranger128
Nov 19, 2003 1:24 PM
I can buy the fear analysis, no doubt. Try changing Mass from Latin to English. But were those opposed certified Anglophobes?

I believe it's consistent with the traditional Liberal critique of the marriage instituion to creatively think of alternatives. After decades of derision and criticism of the institution it is inconsistent to now adopt it part and parcel. Thereofore, in line with the progressive tradition, I propose creative alternatives. To think there is none is more foolish than a foolish consistency.

Furthermore, as much as I detest the dead weight of social traditions, I empathize with those chained to their traditions. Which you refuse to do apart from calling them homophobic. Isn't that a touch arrogant?
Was I catty?czardonic
Nov 19, 2003 2:10 PM
That wasn't my intent.

Are they Anglophobes? That is hard to say. If they have no justifiable basis in reason for their objections, then obviously some sort of phobia is at play.

Again, I think that separate by equal solutions are temporary solutions at best. As you are no doubt aware, there is no consensus on the issue even within the "gay community". Some want legal recognition of their relationships and might be mollified by a creative alternative. But sooner or later I believe that every American, regardless of their persuasion, discovers that full equality under the law is the only acceptable solution.

I don't empathize with those chained to their traditions. I don't think it is arrogant to hold people to a high standard of moral and ethical awareness. If that makes me only a "touch" arrogant. . . .well. . . .babysteps. (Frankly, I think the notion that there are some people who are incapable of transcending the "dead weight of social traditions" is itself fairly uncharitable.)
So opinion is always driven by fear? Hmm128
Nov 20, 2003 6:44 AM
Can't one not like chocolate simply because they prefer Rhino horn monkey toe crunch swirl?

Yes, I thought your final paragraph was sort of passive agressive. I'll get over it.

Your stuff sounds like naked opinion. Which is fine. But I don't see a rational basis for concluding for axample that anyone differing from your analysis is homofonebook.

Anyway, while I may be able to configure gay coupling and inter-racial child rearing (which I directly do, and we'll just see how Thanksgiving shapes up this year!) into some sort of rational place in the social scheme of things, I know that it takes time and effort to work with a new order, especially when those pushing it are still struggling figuring it out for themselves. To ask a church to welcome them into the fold and endorse this now is pre-mature and ridiculous. Lets start with the law (baby steps). I will only mention here the hypocracy and heterosexism I experience from the gay crowd. For example adoption of historically sexist gender roles, labor divisions, domestic abuse issues, bare assertions that one is GLBT without a rational basis for such assertions other than "That's my opinion of myself. Could change tomorrow though.", the struggle their either adopted or inseminated child has. Yes hetero's have all the same issues, point is there's not alot of space between the gay critique of hetero's, and gays themselves. and swaggering into ancient social institutions with that unpacked baggage, while foreshadowing a great journey, is asking for trouble.
Absolutely not.czardonic
Nov 20, 2003 10:35 AM
But, irrational aversion falls within the broader definition of "phobia". If you think that gay people are unfit parents or that allowing gay marriage will lead to the decline of Western Civilization, and don't consider that a phobia then I think that you are rationalizing. You fear the influence of gays on their children, and you fear the impact of gay marriage on society, whether you call it "fear" or not. And since nothing in this vein of beleif is based on fact, you are dealing with irrational fear.

I don't think that a Church should be forced to embrace homosexuality. That isn't the issue. The issue is whether the law should discriminate against individuals when there is no compelling State interest to do so, and the answer is no.
True but off point ,and we're back to square one128
Nov 20, 2003 11:22 AM
Thread topic: will this issue divide the D party, that was the issue. Don't know if you ever responded.

Me: unfair to some who don't want their institution changed. Lets just change the contract law.
You:they (to whom it's unfair) are homophobes
Me: not nec'ly
You:this fear is irrational
Me: there's more to it than fear and rational, opinion counts.
You:irrational fear is phobia. exempting church ok. Law shouldn't discriminate.
Me: I'll assume you use "you"in the general sense since I believe you realize I don't hold those truths or fears, these truisms are out of context here and made an issue tangentially by you for you. Otherwise, we're back at square one aren't we: Unfair to churchpeople and let's go with civil union. sounds like the point I started with. Nice doing laps with you though (really).

Btw, the *law* has been prepared to handle this issue for at least 200 years through the mechanism of contracts. The discrimination'equal rights argument is being used for more than just equal rights, it includes religious and social status. I would take the conversation in the direction alluded to by TJ and DS that we consider removing the State from marriage, I've always been more in line with that thinking annyway. Who is the State to validate my intimate commitments. (I feel the same way about religious validation as well.) But then, what is marriage w/o state and church, and we're back to a coercive, anachronistic institution.
Right on 128, and the issue is hardon's silly idea that millionsNo_sprint
Nov 20, 2003 11:47 AM
are homophobes and his contention that everyone who does not support this decision is a homophobe.

That is exactly where this began.

That is just f#$king ridiculous.

He is the pres. of the contrarian society of one, himself. He is on the outside lookin' in, king of the world of one, the lonely, and he will never stop spinning a stupid argument. He's a freak. His belief that every single of the millions in the world who don't support this decision is a homophobe is completely insignificant.
Nov 20, 2003 12:12 PM
I don't think anyone imagines that social and religious perceptions can be directly legislated. That said, I think that removing the legal fig leaf from this kind of discriminatory view will inspire people to recognize a distasteful similarity between anti-gay marriage laws and anti-miscegination laws and will thus decide that tolerating gay marriage is the right thing to do.

To further clarify my original post, I don't think that everyone who opposes homosexual marriage is homophobic. I think people who base this opposition on irrational fears about homosexuals, what they will do to their children and what they will do to society are phobic.

And no, I don't assume that you hold these beliefs. From what I can tell, you feel that a compromise that allows civil unions between homosexuals is preferable because marriage ain't that great anyway so why get the "traditional values" crowd all riled up over semantics? (A reasoned point of view.) I disagree with that view because I don't think that the sensibilities of the "traditional values" crowd represent a compelling State interest in denying the GLBT community full equality under the law.

I also think that removing the State from marriage altogether is an acceptable solution. I don't care either way, as long as whatever the State does is applied equally.
Holy smokes!!!! A change of tune from many posts! LOLOLOLNo_sprint
Nov 20, 2003 12:21 PM
Now not everyone in opposition is a homophobe. FINALLY!!!!!

No change.czardonic
Nov 20, 2003 12:40 PM
I allowed all along that a person with a rational, reasoned opposition to gay marriage was not, by definition, a homophobe.

But you said that it was impossible for you do meet that standard. The only rationale you could muster was that millions of people could not be wrong -- a contention that is both logically and demonstrably false.
Oh yeah! A huge change and more spin!!!! LOLOLOLNo_sprint
Nov 20, 2003 12:59 PM
and I said I was undecided on the ruling and that fear has nothing to do with my thoughts on the issue!

More spin, you're back to being hardonic.

That's ok, we expect ridiculous spin from you.
I asked you to demonstrate otherwise, and you refused.czardonic
Nov 20, 2003 1:19 PM
If you are undecided, why? What are the issues that you are pondering?

You can ridicule my opinion all you like, but at least I can provide some basis for it (other than "millions and millions of people don't have a problem with gay marriage, and that many people can't be wrong").
I haven't thought about it much at all. Not the issue either.No_sprint
Nov 20, 2003 1:39 PM
I can't speak for anyone else.

You stated there are no reasons other than being a homophobe to oppose the ruling.

You changed your tune.

It's ok to be wrong.

I'm okay. You're okay.czardonic
Nov 20, 2003 2:20 PM
I stated: "No reason to be against gay marriage. . .unless you have an irrational aversion to homosexuality. Is there?"

Note the clear implication that while I was not aware of any such reasons I was ready and willing to hear one.
LOLOL and 100% opposite of the following quote of yours!!!!No_sprint
Nov 20, 2003 2:29 PM
"I don't think that everyone who opposes homosexual marriage is homophobic."

It's okay to be wrong.

Move on.
Here's the thing, chuckles. . .czardonic
Nov 20, 2003 2:50 PM
. . .I posted that in response to someone who met my challenge and provided a reasoned opposition that was not based in some kind of phobia. In view of that exchange, I was obvious that I needed to "to further clarify my original post".
You improved your tune, now move on Mr. Lastworditis. nmNo_sprint
Nov 20, 2003 3:05 PM
[rolls eyes] (nm)czardonic
Nov 20, 2003 3:11 PM
Thanks! More balls than some...No_sprint
Nov 20, 2003 12:24 PM
Olded never stood by his absolutely ridiculous contention about the *sex* thing and that anything but intercourse is not *sex*.

He just ran.

It's ok to be wrong sometimes.
Three final points128
Nov 20, 2003 12:36 PM
We agree on the State involvement (equality under law)issue, but the real action is under cultural (familial) and religious (moral)tents, and exactly what is the *purpose* of the nuclear family as it's evolved in the Judeo-Christian Western world.

Civil unions better b/c it leaves the trad. values crowd out of it. Period, regardless of my opinion of that crowd. I wonder if marriage has evolved into such a non-trad. union that there is not much left to not like. I view the ancient trad of marriage as economic and oppressive which I hope is mostly no longer the case. What remains problematic in my view are the gendered laws (dom violence laws-parentalistic, alimony laws-sexist and weighted against men etc...)

Finally (latest, nascent rumination), is misegination argument/comparison off base. I'm not sure I view this issue as classic civil rights (it is at bottom I know), with clear right and wrong, black and white as it was/is with race. I think this is a much subtler issue and deserves different treatment. Briefly: race is an immutable charateristic (an important legal distinction with two divergent analytical paths.)
Race: this is who I am and you have to accept that, I'm not convinced seuxual orientation is an immutable charactertistic that either the individual claiming it or I or the Pope *must* therfore accept.
Race immutable?czardonic
Nov 20, 2003 12:48 PM
Absent some pretty sophisticated testing, it would be hard to prove that some people are one race or another. Many people could claim quite convincly to be any number of racial identities. Does the fact that a person could choose to "pass" as "White" or publicly affirm their "true" racial identiy mean that anti-miscegination is fair game? Obviously not. So while race may be more clear in many cases, it is rife with its own subtleties.

I don't see provability or mutability as the heart of the issue. I see it as straight equal protection.
And as to the original question. . .czardonic
Nov 20, 2003 12:30 PM
. . .I don't think that a significant portion of the Democratic party will vote Republican over this single issue. To those that do, I say good riddance (not simply because they oppose gay marriage for whatever reason, but because they would subvert so many other urgent issues to do so).

Anyway, what is the point of winning office if you do so bound to the opposition's agenda? Moreover, I think that taking the Constitutional (and I believe moral) high ground on this issue is likely to attract at least as many people to the Democratic party as it is to drive away. (More so on this issue than other progressive issues, mind you).
re: I think those swinging from center or moderately rightjrm
Nov 19, 2003 11:31 AM
towards the left or center are kinda struggling with it. The reason being that they buy into some policies of the center/left but not all. This is a substancial issue because it makes one return to their own belief system and how they feel about this issue depends on the contents of that persons belief system.
In reality, the issue is resolved.OldEdScott
Nov 19, 2003 11:41 AM
When big conservative corporations like IBM (and WalMart?)started giving spousal benefits to gay employees' partners, the verdict was in. It's just a matter of time before the rest of the country catches up.
Resolved as an employee benefit, sure, that was the easy case128
Nov 19, 2003 11:52 AM
but as a religious sacrement and cultural institution? IBM is leading the way? They're just keepning their employment lawyers busy pacifying the rabble.
Name a High Profile Dem that Favors Same-sex marriagejtolleson
Nov 19, 2003 12:35 PM
I can't think of one. The only person I've heard say it is Tipper Gore, and she isn't running for anything. Even Howard Dean, blasted for Vt's civil union compromise, does not favor extending traditional marriage to same-sex couples.

The party line by even liberal Dems is to resolve the discrimination but leave the institution in tact. I think that's consistent with a majority American view.

It was Bill Clinton who signed the Defense of Marriage Act into law, after all.
Dean on the actions-speak-louder-than-wordsTJeanloz
Nov 19, 2003 12:41 PM
Howard Dean did sign the Vermont civil union bill. Whether he was for it or against it, he did approve it, regardless of circumstance.

I think it's a pretty tough position to try to convince people that you were opposed to something, and yet still signed the first legislation allowing it.
I said marriage.jtolleson
Nov 19, 2003 1:14 PM
Lots of Dems favor a mechanism for certain amount of DP protections, but virtually all agree (including Dean) that the term and concept of "marriage" is off-limits to same-sex couples.

Vermont's civil unions structure may be more than conservatives want to give, but it is far from "marriage." Most importantly, it isn't portable. It confers no federal rights, no parenting assumptions, etc. etc.
Nice try,TJeanloz
Nov 19, 2003 1:18 PM
You're right, Dean is able to skirt the issue on technicalities. The face reality though, is that people will look at Howard Dean, regardless of the technical truth, and see that he signed a bill that allowed what amounted to gay marriage. Sure, call it a civil union if that makes you happy - but most of the U.S. can't tell the difference between the two.
There are some technicalities escaping you128
Nov 19, 2003 1:31 PM
Domestic Partner is a long way from Spouse (married) as a matter of law. Dean may be perceived as granting "marriage" but that would be dead wrong.
Civil union is a compromise between full religious recognition, sicial status and contract rights (essentially).

All he did was allow already existing, legal contractual devices to make people feel more happy.

As proof it's not a technicality, the gay folk will not accept civil union but seek full on marriage, legal and religious and socail status.
I disagreebaylor
Nov 19, 2003 7:47 PM
but it is in the eye of the beholder.

But polling of "beholders" indicates that while only a minority of Americans favor extending marriage licenses to same sex couples, a slim majority favor equalizing the legal benefits (and burdens) within a civil union structure.

It may be a "technicality" to you, but those obsessed with the "M" word (both on right and left) consider it a huge deal.
Huge differencejtolleson
Nov 20, 2003 8:05 AM
between the extension of certain rights to domestic partners, or even Vt. civil union mechanism, and marriage.

There is a growing consensus about certain DP issues, and none around marriage. I think that many of the Dems (who want to address underlying discrimination without conceding marriage) is indeed in step with a majority of the electorate.
Huge to you maybe,TJeanloz
Nov 20, 2003 8:37 AM
I don't really see the difference, but maybe that's a factor of my religion, or lack thereof. Is marriage [as far as the Government is concerned] more than a legal construct to mutually bestow rights on two people? If marriage has a definition beyond this (i.e. a religious connotation), what business does the Government have AT ALL in marriage. My solution would be for the Government to stop recognizing marriage at all.

I don't see why people should be granted special rights, just because they decided to go through a religious ceremony. But I think that's fodder for a whole new thread.
Boy Howdy! Smart point..eyebob
Nov 20, 2003 2:50 PM
and one that I hadn't thought of. Wouldn't it simply throw it back to whence it came? Let the various religions institute their various rules on what does and doesn't constitute a marriage so that a) those who choose to follow that religion (or cult, or sect) can and will have to play by those rules without asking others to accept or not, and b)we can get government out of the bedroom?

That's so smart an idea that I'm surprised that no candidate has ever advocated it. Or perhaps they have, can someone enlighten me?

Abolition of civil marriagejtolleson
Nov 20, 2003 2:56 PM
would certainly simplified the "who's married and who isn't" in the eyes of the government (since no one would be).

But it would complicate everything else... presumptions of inheritance, paternity, right to recover death benefits, being compelled to testify against your "spouse." 'Course then everyone would have a level playing field of legal family matters being such a pain in the patootie.
Nov 20, 2003 3:13 PM
I would say that it might simplify all of these. If everybody had to designate, legally, who their heirs were, who their children were, etc., wouldn't that clear up a lot of probate issues?

Maybe the Government should allow everybody to name one "special friend" who is granted the legal standing that a spouse has traditionally held. Look at it from the perspective of two people (man and woman) who have been in a relationship for 20 years, but are unmarried (I have an Aunt and psuedo Uncle in this scenario). Neither has the rights of marriage bestowed upon them, and why should the Government penalize them for not going to church? Maybe this "special friend" is your brother or sister (my sister is currently the beneficiary of my will, and thankfully, the estate taxes keep her from killing me).

If you're going to give certain people a free pass because they like each other, you should extend that right to everybody.
Barney Franks nm :O)Live Steam
Nov 19, 2003 12:43 PM
where does Hillary stand? nmDougSloan
Nov 19, 2003 2:29 PM
never mind, just found a quoteDougSloan
Nov 19, 2003 2:31 PM
"Marriage has got historic, religious and moral content that goes back to the beginning of time, and I think a marriage is as a marriage always has been, between a man and a woman." - Hillary Clinton, opposing same-sex marriages, quoted in The New York Daily News
A homophobe according to hardon. nmNo_sprint
Nov 19, 2003 2:37 PM
Oh, Hillary's a Methodist, Doug. What elseOldEdScott
Nov 20, 2003 6:02 AM
do you expect her to say? ;-)
Has a Libertarian opinion formed around this issue/decision? nm128
Nov 20, 2003 6:51 AM
don't know "officially"DougSloan
Nov 20, 2003 7:53 AM
I think it would be consistent with Libertarian philosophy to allow gay marriage. However, I seem to recall some Libertarians believing that the state should not even be in the business of sanctioning marriage, that it should be merely a religious or contractual matter. In any event, people would be allowed to do or live with whoever the heck they want.

Privately, all the candidates (likely exception: Joe L) wouldOldEdScott
Nov 20, 2003 5:58 AM
be OK with gay marriage. Publicly, as a matter of said-out-loud policy, it would be suicidal for a Dem to leap up and endorse the M word, and even these bonehead candidates understand that.

That's my point: You have to look past what's sayable out loud at a given point in history to logically infer what the candidate WOULD say or do if it were politically possible. Elect those candidates, and be patient enough to strike at the right moment, with the right people in office.

I believe most in the GLBT community DO that already. For the most part, gays have been politically very savvy. Some of the Act Ups and other vanguard activists may hurt the cause by inciting reactionary nuttiness, but 'tis always thus when a minoirity's in a liberation struggle.