Monday, June 11, 2007

"Humor is reason gone mad"

The words "natural family," "marriage" and "union of a man and a woman" can be punished as "hate speech" in government workplaces, according to a lawsuit that is being appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, according to the Washington Times. Don Surber says "I have to wonder why I am supporting gay marriage when one group of gays and one federal circuit court contend that “marriage” is a profanity that should not be uttered at work."

It was Groucho Marx who once said "I don't care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members." That absurdity encapsulates the various attempts to appropriate the respectability of institutions like marriage or clerical ordination by redefining it to encompass almost anything. It's a form of status inflation, which like its academic counterpart, means you that you can get to style yourself as something definite by extending it to include the indefinite. And the ultimate outcome is that rather than becoming a mark of prestige it has become, as Don Surber notices, a form of hate speech.

28 Comments:

Blogger whiskey_199 said...

Wretchard, this is merely the extension of identity politics.

Gays want to express political power. They demanded Pace's head, with someone else reappointed, because Pace supported don't ask don't tell.

Gays are demanding political power through identity politics to punish those who are not gay. Demand obeisance. Ritual submission.

It's a very bad idea, on bunch of grounds. This is also the problem for Dems, they overreach. The SNL skit with "Nancy Pelosi" endorsing "San Francisco Values" showed that indeed.

Palomino!

6/11/2007 11:53:00 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

If you can't join them, beat them?

6/12/2007 05:53:00 AM  
Blogger VA Gamer said...

Whiskey_199...They demanded Pace's head, with someone else reappointed, because Pace supported don't ask don't tell.

Pace did not simply support the DADT policy. He called gays immoral, and that is unacceptable for someone in his position. I do not care what he believes on a personal level, but as a leader he must keep those views private. He knows this, and he knows he screwed the pooch. Let's say, for example, that he really disliked President Bush. As long as he kept his personal opinion private, it wouldn't matter. Once he voices it, however, Bush would have every right to replace him.

You are also incorrect on your second point, whiskey. Gays are not demanding political power to punish those who are not gay. That is like saying blacks were insisting on equal rights in the 1960s to punish white people. No, whiskey, gays are simply asking for the same rights that everyone else has vis a vis marriage. They would like the right to marry the spouse of their choice, just like straight people are able to do.

Clearly, I believe that gay people should be allowed to marry. Why should laws discriminate against a certain group of people? Keep in mind that civil marriage is NOT the same thing as religious marriage. Nobody is trying to legally force churches to change their position on gay marriage. So please do not use religious arguments to justify denying civil marriage to gay people.

6/12/2007 06:53:00 AM  
Blogger ricpic said...

Elevated insane freaks to the judiciary and this is the result.

6/12/2007 08:02:00 AM  
Blogger Tamquam Leo Rugiens said...

Whiskey_199, no it is not just about political power. It is part of an effort to elevate homosexual marriage to the level of an anthropological and cultural icon that allegedly supports and transmits civilization. Marriage has been the foundation of civilization since at least the end of the last ice age, and has always been contracted between men and women. The concept of homosexual marriage would have made as much sense to our ancestors as drinking air to assuage one's thirst. Homosexual unions are not generative outside of the sentiments of those therein engaged. If marriage were simply a sentimental contract to heighten the feelings of those involved, homosexual marriage would make absolute sense. Marriage is much more than a sentimental union, it is the universally sanctioned and only known means by which which a society can perpetuate itself across time. Homosexual practice has never been acknowledged as a means to this end. On the contrary, it is seen, rightly, in all cultures as existing outside the norms of generative culture and of being pernicious, destabilizing and detrimental to society.

Another facet of this problem is the tendency in Western culture at this time to claim victim status as a means to prestige. In today's world the victim is admired, celebrated, exonerated of all sin and, best of all, compensated. In no society (with the possible exception of ancient Greece) have homosexuals been seen as normal or celebrated on account of their homosexual practice. Rather they are condemned and ostracized. This has been codified in law both civil and religious precisely because homosexual practice is destabilizing to the primeval anthropological reality of marriage and the societies it supports.

As to va_gamer's assertion that nobody is trying to force churches to change their position on marriage, that too is false. Already where anti-discrimination and hate speech laws have gone into effect in Europe pastors are arrested, charged and jailed for preaching against homosexuality. The US is not far behind. Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007 (LLEHCPA) -- passed the House of Representatives on May 3rd. The bill affords "sexual orientation" -- homosexuality, bisexuality, transsexuality, cross-dressing, and so on -- special legal protection. It's sponsors argue as though, and the bill makes it seem as though, all that the bill will do is prevent unfair treatment.

In fact, however, the bill will silence those who object to homosexual acts or the moral and anthropological absurdities of transsexuality. It will criminalize the public expression of moral principles on which Christians and Jews and just about every other religion and every other culture in the history of the world have always agreed. (Hat tip to Gil Bailie at http://cornerstone-forum.blogspot.com

Homosexuals are human, with the same faults and failings as everybody else. Sometimes they get hurt, as does everybody else. When they do, they are entitled to the same protection under the law as everybody else. In specifying that homosexual orientation and related acts are specifically protected, it assumes that the law does not already protect them as ordinary citizens. No one has the right to launch an attack on another without suffering the consequences of law. No new law is needed to tell us that no one has a right to launch an attack on a homosexual person without suffering the consequences of the law. Homosexuals are already protected the same as any ordinary citizen. With the passage of this law we are again reminded that some animals are more equal than others.

6/12/2007 08:44:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

I don't see it as an extended defense of homosexuality, per se, as much as it is an extension of the over-arching concept of Political Correctness and equivalence. In our PC society, everyone is equal, every action is equal, and no one is allowed to comment on anything nor to to tell anyone else that whatever they are doing is unacceptable.

To me, this is more of a freedom of speech issue -- who can post flyers about what even if it does hurt someone's little feelings -- than it is a question of whether sodomy is legal.

In cases like this, we invariably see the tussle occurring in bastions of Political Correctness like university campuses, or (in this case) the city of Oakland, CA which is a suburb of San Francisco, the American capital of both PC-speech *and* Gayosity for Everyone! I guess if you choose to live in Oakland/SF you should know up-front that you're expected to be both homosexual and tongue-tied so if you object to either, it's your own damned fault.

6/12/2007 09:07:00 AM  
Blogger jane said...

Pat and Jordan sittin’ in a tree/
k-i-s-s-i-n-g/
first comes love/
then comes heteronormed throwback marriage, gay civil unions, multi-culti polygamy and then polymorphous ecstasy/
then comes Jamee-Ali-Shea in a gender-n-culture neutral baby carriage.

We need a little work on our specieism, though, to be more correct.

6/12/2007 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger Fitz said...

VA Gamer said...

"Clearly, I believe that gay people should be allowed to marry. Why should laws discriminate against a certain group of people? Keep in mind that civil marriage is NOT the same thing as religious marriage. Nobody is trying to legally force churches to change their position on gay marriage. So please do not use religious arguments to justify denying civil marriage to gay people."


The problem with the (horribly over used) Loving example is its power comes from mere analogy. The problem with analogy is it is exactly that: an analogy.

Its weight raises and falls on the strength of the analogy. Courts have been quick to dismiss this characterization of marriage law with racial segregation. The point of ant—miscegenation laws were to keep the races apart. No one would seriously argue that that is the point of marriage law. Quite the opposite, the intention of marriage law is to bring the two sexes together.

Note this quick rebuke of same-sex “marriage” offered by the plurality in Hernandez v. New York,

Justice Smith, when confronting the idea that marriage as historically defined was analogous to Loving.

“[T]he traditional definition of marriage is not merely a byproduct of historical injustice. Its history is of a different kind.”

The use of the term kind is telling. Not a matter of degree, mind you. Rather a different of qualitative substance…a difference of kind.

As dismissals of the Living v Virginia case goes, this is rather mild. However – I like it for precisely that reason. It dismisses casually an analogy that doesn’t hold up precisely because it is not the same kind of things being compared.

As the Washington decesion illustrates

"We vigorously reject any attempt to link the discriminatory Anti miscegenation laws in Loving with this State’s DOMA. The Washington Court of Appeals in Singer correctly noted:the Loving and Perez courts [Perez v. Sharp, 32 Cal. 2d 711, 198 P.2d 17 (1948)] did not change the basic definition of marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman; rather, they merely held that the race of the man or woman desiring to enter that relationship could not be considered by the state in granting a marriage license. 11 Wn. App. at 255 n.8. Numerous other courts have all rejected the claim that the decision in Loving somehow challenged state laws reaffirming marriage as the union of one man and one woman.25 Careful review of the historical context of Loving further undermines the
dissents’ disturbing attempt to link constitutionally void, racist laws with a historical definition of marriage as between a man and woman. Anti miscegenation laws were anathema to the “color-blind” constitution articulated in Justice John Marshall Harlan’s dissent in Plessy v. Ferguson.26 Anti miscegenation laws infringed upon the union of one man and one woman by injecting racial status as a qualification. Such laws contradicted the fact that a man and a woman of any race have the natural right to marry and have children. This right is protected by the United States and Washington State Constitutions. Racially discriminatory anti miscegenation laws also violate the right to marriage between a man and a woman. Here, in contrast, the State’s DOMA simply confirms the common law understanding of marriage as a union of a man and woman. It is the dissent that would abrogate the common law understanding through judicial fiat."


Every court has rejected the Loving v Virginia reasoning as inapplicable. Even the Goodridge (Mass) court refused to give homosexuals strict scrutiny protection as Loving accorded to race.

6/12/2007 10:55:00 AM  
Blogger Pascal Fervor said...

Wretchard,

Don't you sometimes feel a twinge of guilt over not automatically adding a link to the appendix to 1984 whenever you bring up stories like this?

For certainly you are aware that your words "appropriate the respectability of institutions," and "extending [the definite] to the indefinite" echo Orwell's. This story is another in a long string that chronicle the ongoing attempts to cripple men's minds through the exercise of raw power.

This particular story is the result of a relatively small institution being infested with anti-Western mentalities.

It's not your fault, I know. You are simply informing those of us who still care that we are staking this onslaught's outcome on a SCOTUS that could prove at any time to be overly infested with the same disease.

Surely someone is mounting a defense. But is the team good enough? You, nor the linked story, don't give a clue.

And even if they're good enough to preserve this particular rampart, what of the next to come under attack?

Defense is simply not enough. Where is the active COUNTER offensive?

Or are you simply chronicling what you consider to be our imminent descent into darkness?

Or do you enjoy telling it without passing along a glimmer of hope?

6/12/2007 11:48:00 AM  
Blogger Alexis said...

va gamer:

I think there are some states where they would rather abolish state sanction of marriage entirely than sanction homosexual marriage. Whether you like it or not, there are large swaths of territory where the vast majority of people find gay marriage repugnant.

As we speak, Mormon fundamentalists are trying to decriminalize polygamy on the basis of religious liberty. Are you prepared to advocate for them? How many gay rights activists advocate plural marriage?

The main reason I oppose gay marriage isn't because of hatred against homosexuals or a conservative advocacy of the status quo, but rather because I am worried about the can of worms it would open. Sexual orientation can apply to the number of people one can be in love with, not only the gender of one's beloved. Are we prepared for an honest discussion, or is this merely an opportunity to accuse any and all opponents of gay marriage of hating homosexuals?

From my point of view, civil marriage license is no more a right than a driver's license. Moreover, civil marriage is essentially the state sanction and registration of marriage, and this necessarily requires the approval of the majority of citizens.

If the majority of citizens in several interior states were forced to choose between abolishing state sanction of marriage and sanctioning homosexual marriage, I am inclined to think the result would be the abolition of civil marriage altogether. The principle is "Not In My Name". The "NIMN" principle can apply just as easily to abortion and gay marriage as it does to war; it is unwise for political progressives to assume they have a monopoly over a tactic or slogan.

One aspect of homosexual activism that rankles me is how it is little different from the proselytizing of the conservative religions it so utterly hates. In college, I distinctly remember seeing a homosexual activist banner stating, "Life is more than boy meets girl". If you don't like it when religious missionaries proselytize against your lifestyle, how do you think a heterosexual would feel the missionary effort goes in the opposite direction? I am well aware that religious institutions (especially LDS, which used electrical shock on homosexual Mormons in the 1970's) have been repressive against homosexuals. With a lawsuit in Oakland claiming that talking about "traditional marriage" is "hate speech", the message is going out that the homosexual lobby is no more tolerant of opposition than any other authoritarian regime.

In conservative parts of America, I think the most effective advocacy for the rights of homosexuals is to recognize a basic right to privacy, so homosexuals can go about their business as normal human beings and not be bothered with upholding a homosexual identity. Sometimes, the best place for deviant behavior is the closet.

Perhaps it is time to sing the praises of the closet.

6/12/2007 12:44:00 PM  
Blogger VA Gamer said...

Thank y'all for your valuable comments. Once again, allow me to disagree.

Tamquam...Marriage has been the foundation of civilization since at least the end of the last ice age, and has always been contracted between men and women. The concept of homosexual marriage would have made as much sense to our ancestors as drinking air to assuage one's thirst.

That's a rather bold statement, offered with no historical proof. The institution of marriage has changed continually throughout history. In ancient Crete, among other areas, tribes would raid other tribes to capture women. These captured women became "wives" and mothers of their children. In Greece, men married to produce children, but "true love" was only possible between men. In Rome, marriage was a simply a property contract. The early Christians did not spend much time worrying about marriage. Chastity was the ideal state in preparation for Christ's second coming. If one couldn't be chaste, then marriage was the next best thing. It is not until recently that marriage became primarily about love.

John Boswell made a good argument in his book, "Same Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe" that the early Church may even have recognized "marriage" between same-sex couples. Many have tried to refute his thesis, but nobody has yet succeeded.


Fitz...Every court has rejected the Loving v Virginia reasoning as inapplicable. Even the Goodridge (Mass) court refused to give homosexuals strict scrutiny protection as Loving accorded to race.

Though you have done a thorough job in showing why race and the Loving case should not apply to SSM, that does not refute my analogy nor does it explain why the state has an interest in denying SSM to gays. In my analogy, I was trying to show how silly whiskey's claim was that gays are not seeking equal rights but rather political power. Blacks sought rights equal to whites in the 1960s (e.g. voting rights). Gays are seeking equal rights to heterosexuals today (i.e. marriage). My analogy holds.

As for Loving v. Virginia, it does not matter if lawyers cannot use that precedent to argue for SSM. The fundamental question remains, by what right does the state continue to deny same-sex couples the legal rights afforded heterosexual couples in the civil institution of marriage?

I do not believe that states use the procreation issue any longer, since that is a non-starter. If states deny gays based upon inability to procreate, then they must deny post-menapausal women and infertile couples marriage as well. Furthermore, with the existance of sperm banks, or simply a willing donor, lesbians can certainly procreate.

The only argument left is that marriage has always been between a man and a woman. Tradition, however, is a poor reason. Can you imagine the poor lawyer trying to prevent passage of the 19th amendment (Women's Suffrage) in the 1920s. "Women have never been able to vote. That's the way it has always been..." Or perhaps the lawyer arguing in the 1860s that slavery has existed since the beginning of recorded history and should remain. "Why should we change what is clearly allowed in the Bible?"

6/12/2007 12:58:00 PM  
Blogger VA Gamer said...

Alexis...I think there are some states where they would rather abolish state sanction of marriage entirely than sanction homosexual marriage. Whether you like it or not, there are large swaths of territory where the vast majority of people find gay marriage repugnant.

I believe that you are right, and that is so sad. Can you not hear the echo of your four-year-old's tantrum in such childish actions?

I will assume that the main area of resistance to SSM is in the South. Isn't it ironic, however, that the South has the highest rate of divorce? Care to guess which area has the lowest? Yes, the Northeast. So much for trying to protect the institution of marriage.

Care to guess again which Christian denomination has the higher rates of divorce, the Southern Baptists, Catholics, or Episcopalians? Once again, those crying out loudest to "save" marriage are most likely to divorce. Baptists divorce at a rate of 34%, mainline Protestants at 25%, and Catholics at 21%. Hypocrisy, what hypocrisy?

If you want to read the article yourself, go to Divorce Rates in The U.S.. It's an interesting read.

6/12/2007 01:13:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

The underlying problem here has little to do with “gay marriage”. It is a token of deeper cultural resentments that will intensify unless a smug holier-than-thou attitude ends on both sides.

One essential problem is that media and cultural institutions, mostly from the northeastern United States, act as if they are God and treat all others as if they were four-year-old children. Think of the New York Times.

Over the past century, Northeasterners send out missionaries telling polygamous Lakota men to divorce all wives but one. Northeasterners tell Mormons that Utah can’t join the Union unless they forswear polygamy. Northeasterners tell African men they must convert to Christianity (or later, Marxism) and to stop polygamy. Northeasterners rant and rave about the barbarism of Muslim polygamy. Northeasterners tell the Chinese to stop polygamy. And now Northeasterners spread a new gospel, the gospel of same sex marriage! This is leading to schism within the Anglican Communion.

The problem is that, on a cultural level, the power class of the northeastern United States has become drunk on power. Since a class of Ivy Leaguers controls the levers of power and prestige, they think they can tell the rest of humanity what to do. And much of the time, they can get away with lecturing the rest of humanity and presuming to set the moral tone of human progress.

The problem of progress is – what direction? And who leads? I strongly suspect that a significant reason for a Northeastern embrace of gay marriage is because it gives people there an excuse to act as if they are better than the rest of humanity. It leads them to delude themselves into thinking they are the citadel of civilization against the barbarism of what they used to believe one generation ago. Yes, slavery was wrong. Yes, segregation was wrong. Yet, both slavery and Jim Crow became tokens of legitimacy for a smug air of Northeastern moral superiority. Now, the Northeast has a moral cause with which it can bash everybody else over the head with – gay marriage. If Utah Territory had legalized gay marriage one hundred twenty-five years ago, New England would have been aghast. Same if Dakota Territory had legalized gay marriage at the same time. Yet now, when Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire are promoting same sex marriages (or domestic partnerships), it’s a holy crusade and homosexual marriage is now the cause of the avante garde.

Opposition against homosexual marriage isn’t merely strong in the South, but also in the Midwest and in the Mountain West. The most howling opposition comes from the Mormon Church, and considering its history, one should not be surprised. Mormons in Utah establish cooperatives and communes, but they are forced to conform. Plains states start state-owned industries and are accused of being Bolshevist. The modern Left acts as if all those cooperative experiments never existed and focuses instead on the Northeast.

It’s like the old joke about Unitarianism, with the belief in the “Fatherhood of God, the Brotherhood of Man, in the Neighborhood of Boston”. Well, you know what? Some people have their own ideas about utopia that may or may not agree with the latest fads from the Ivy League.

It would be much easier to promote Evolution if there weren’t a sizable faction of Evolutionists who are more interested in belittling people from the Bible Belt than in winning them over. Indeed, Creationism can be seen to be an ethnic backlash against powerful scientists who have used Evolution to buttress their own power. As a thoughtful Evolutionist, I don’t find myself entirely disagreeing with the final argument of Williams Jennings Bryan (that he was not allowed to use during the Scopes Trial), especially concerning the misuse of evolutionary theory in the advocacy of militarism and genocide.

The burden of proof for advocating a reform rests upon the shoulders of the reformer. The status quo can always be defended upon the basis of the fear of jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Unless the advocates of homosexual marriage can conclusively show that a policy other than the status quo would be significantly better for the common good than keeping present policy, I am inclined to support the present regime of giving state sanction only to monogamous heterosexual couples, if only out of a disinclination to open that box Pandora is poking around at right now.

6/12/2007 03:00:00 PM  
Blogger VA Gamer said...

Alexis, once again I agree with you to a point. I hate the leftist elitism typified by the Ivy League schools and the New York Times with as much passion as I hate the bigoted fanaticism that spews from the mouths of the televangelists of the religious right. However, I believe that you, like many others, lump all gay people into one group that you view as forcing political correctness and a leftist agenda upon the American people.

That simply is not true. Gay people are as diverse a bunch as everyone else. There are leftist, Democrat gays and rightist, Republican gays, religious gays and non-religious gays, military veteran gays and anti-military gays, etc. etc. One thing that unites many (but not all) gays, though, is the desire to settle down and marry the person he or she loves. Is this not the basic desire of most people, gay or straight?

That is what this whole argument boils down to. To me, SSM is about basic fairness. Straight people have the right to marry the person they love. Gay people do not. That is why I support SSM. I realize that on this issue this puts me on the same side as some of those groups that really piss you off, and this makes me uneasy.

Does it make you uneasy to deny two people who love each other the right to marry? Surely you know someone who is gay. Do you feel comfortable looking them in the eye and telling them that their love means nothing to you?

Once again, I ask that you separate the religious notion of marriage from the civil. If your faith requires you to believe that this couple is sinning, that is fine, but do not deny civil marriage to them. Besides, whose job is it to judge that couple, yours or God's?

6/12/2007 03:32:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

Tolerance . . . acceptance . . . approval . . . endorsement . . . encouragement.

This is a continuum, not a list of synonyms. Tolerance is all that civilized society demands, although acceptance certainly helps maintain civility. Today, failure to approve is considered bigoted.

Will failure to celebrate be so tomorrow?

6/12/2007 03:42:00 PM  
Blogger Ed onWestSlope said...

Whoooeee
Wretchard, you have done it again. You have a knack for creating a post which is blessed with off-topic comments. Both whiskey_199 & VA Gamer would do well to deal with the posting and leave the ranting out. A lot of opinions, very little to support them.

6/12/2007 03:46:00 PM  
Blogger Fitz said...

VA Gamer said...

"I do not believe that states use the procreation issue any longer, since that is a non-starter. If states deny gays based upon inability to procreate, then they must deny post-menapausal women and infertile couples marriage as well. Furthermore, with the existance of sperm banks, or simply a willing donor, lesbians can certainly procreate."


"Constitutionally protected fundamental rights need not be defined so broadly that they will inevitably be exercised by everyone. For example, although the ability to make personal decisions regarding child rearing and education has been recognized as a fundamental right (see, e.g., Pierce v. Society of the Sisters (1925) 268 U.S. 510, 534- 535), this right is irrelevant to people who do not have children. Yet, everyone who has children enjoys this fundamental right to control their upbringing. A similar analogy applies in the case of marriage. Everyone has a fundamental right to “marriage,” but, because of how this institution has been defined, this means only that everyone has a fundamental right to enter a public union with an opposite-sex partner. That such a right is irrelevant to a lesbian or gay person does not mean the definition of the fundamental right can be expanded by the judicial branch beyond its traditional moorings." 1


1- In re Marriage Cases, Cal. App. 2006, McGuiness, P. J. (writing for the majority.)

6/12/2007 04:04:00 PM  
Blogger RDS said...

VA Gamer misses the point entirely about marriage. The slam-dunk arguments against gay marriage have nothing to do with religion.

VA Gamer's first mistake is to assert marriage is about choosing the person you love. If that's all it is, guess what, nobody's stopping any gay people from living with such a partner.

But if that's all it is, why would society choose to recognize it at all in any way? Who cares? If you find someone you want to live with, good for you, but what right do you have to force me to support or recognize that? What's in it for me? What social purpose does it serve, whether gay or straight?

That, by itself, serves no social purpose worth annointing with an institution.

And therefore marriage was not created to recognize two people who just love each other and live together.

It is about bonding a male to a female. And gays have EXACTLY the same right in that regard as straights do! A straight can't marry another straight of the same sex. And nobody is stopping a gay from marrying someone of the opposite sex.

Your fairness argument is specious.

Bonding a male to a female first serves the social purpose of "domesticating" the male and reducing the rogue violence-prone element in society.

Second, it serves the purpose of providing any children, whether naturally born or not, with BOTH a MALE FATHER and a FEMALE MOTHER as mutually important physical and psychological role models.

Two parents are better than one, but a mother AND a father beats two mommies or two daddies any day.

Anecdotal cases of successful gay parenting are not of interest; public policy should be driven by the expected average outcomes and not the exceptions.

It is disgusting to me how grown adults, to satisfy some immature demand for social acceptance, are willing to rob from any children in such "unions" the opportunity to grow up with both a mother and a father. It is an incredibly selfish desire.

Arguments of equal rights and fairness are purely spurious.

6/12/2007 04:29:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

va_gamer -- I think the argument stands.

Pace offered his opinion, well within the mainstream of military thought, and was gone -- a head demanded by Gays. Who form a very small minority of the population, but have outsized influence due to identity politics.

Given Pace's position as the "best man for the job" according to Gates, no other conclusion can be drawn than Dems appeasing Gays chose Gays over National Security. It's like firing Patton at the Bulge because he insulted gays. Winning the war was less important than Gay political power.

As for the suit, it also stands by itself. Gays demanded heads and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals gave them heads. For the thought crime of disagreeing with Gays political agenda regarding marriage.

It's a display of raw political power. And one that has serious consequences.

If the rules of the game demand Identity politics, then Identity politics for everyone will be the result. This is IP head-hunting and will be disastrous.

Leo I certainly can't argue against your points. I think they are quite accurate. But I do see tactically a large amount of power-display that will be ultimately self-defeating.

Gays have a path open to them, through the normal legislative and political persuasion avenues, that they deserve the right to formalize their unions. They have not chosen that path, but rather to criminalize and punish all opposition to their views as a thought crime. They very likely will be successful in the short run.

In the long run they create losers and winners, which is the heart of Identity politics, and will accordingly lose.

va_gamer: Marriage is indeed the heart of Western Civilization, i.e. the ability of the average man to marry a woman of his own choosing, and be confident that she will neither stray nor be abducted into a seraglio by a more powerful and wealthy man, while he is off working. This norm makes Western Civilization uniquely different and superior to all others, it is the heart of it's comparitive advantage. Women are not imprisoned in veils or harems, nor are there hordes of young men excluded by polygamy from love, marriage, and family as in Muslim societies.

This may shock you: most men are not gay. Very few are. Their interests: marrying a woman, supporting a family, are not the interests of gay men and to the degree that those fundamental interests are threatened gays will find considerable opposition. I would not find it wise politically to position gays opposite the fundamental interests of straight men, but Identity Politics demands it. [Devaluing marriage into a "gay thing" is guaranteed to generate straight male opposition.]

I'll cite as an example the Wyoming Territory. In 1869 they granted Women the right to vote. In the 1870's they had the first female judge, and in the 1920's the first female governor. When petitioning for admission into the Union in the 1890's they faced resistance due to allowing women to vote. They demanded to come into the Union with their women or not at all.

Why? Were the men of Wyoming feminists who read through a time machine "the Female Eunuch?" No. They had few women and would do almost anything to attract women there. Even grant them the right to vote far ahead of any other territory. These are the politics that win: enlightened self interest and coalition buidling.

Gays emulating Dolph Lundgren in Rocky IV "I must crush you" will only generate massive resistance.

6/12/2007 05:01:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

When I was a small boy we still had a one old man who lived openly with two wives. One day the missionaries went to him and said, “Chief, you are looked up to by the whole tribe, but having two wives is setting a bad example. You must tell one of your wives to go away.” The old man looked hard at the missionary and said, “You go tell her!” And that was the end of it.

-- Lame Deer

va gamer:

So far as I am concerned, you can marry your partner if you want to. That is your choice, and something the state ought not interfere with in any manner. However, am I to tell my fellow citizens to endorse something they regard as morally repugnant? That which is at stake is respect for majority rule.

I do not doubt that homosexuals love one another. Who am I to doubt the power of love? My problem is with imposing an endorsement of a form of marriage upon a citizenry that is flatly hostile to the idea. Why would a homosexual want state endorsement of his marriage anyway, especially if it is grudgingly given?

If the state of civil marriage were expanded to include homosexual marriage, polyandry, polygyny, group marriage, and perhaps even temporary marriage, I would be inclined to shrug. Extending state recognition to deviant forms of marriage would be more palatable if it were part of a major overhaul of marriage. My problem with limiting marriage reform to homosexuals is that it would disrupt our social fabric and constitute a gratuitous insult against other sexually deviant subcultures.

I am well aware there are many subcultures of homosexuals. I am also aware that homosexuals are divided about the wisdom of seeking state sanction for their marriages. In conservative societies, there is much to be said about singing the praises of the closet.

6/12/2007 05:16:00 PM  
Blogger VA Gamer said...

Fitz, I am not a lawyer and therefore cannot cite case precedent back at you. I also realize that even if I could, there is very little to support my position. We are treading upon new territory here. However, with the same certainty in the righteousness of my cause as the Suffragettes of the early 20th century and the Civil Rights leaders of the mid 20th century, I will continue to fight the battle that y'all must realize will be won by my side.

RDS, I cede the point that from the perspective of civil legislation, love is not part of the equation. I take issue, however, with the rest of your post. If we assume as true your argument that civil marriage is about bonding a woman to a man, that still represents history. Maybe it was true at one point, but times change. Is it still true? That is what we are debating.

You argue that bonding a woman to a man serves the social purpose of "domesticating" the male and reducing the rogue violence-prone element in society. For argument's sake, let's assume that is true. That would be a societal good. Would SSM not have the same domesticating effect on two men who enter into such a relationship? Therefore would society not be better off by promoting this domesticating institution for its gay members as well as its straight members?

Your second point argues that limiting marriage to heterosexual couples guarantees that any children will have both a male and female parent. In your very next paragraph, however, you state that two parents are better than one, but a mother AND a father beats two mommies or two daddies any day. Since gay couples would be prevented by you from marrying, are you not guaranteeing that any children of gays, whether naturally born or not, will by necessity have only one parent? Even if you are correct that male and female parents are better than gay parents, you seem to agree that two gay parents are better for a child than single parents.

The rest of your argument degrades into a personal opinion that gays are somehow selfish because they look to receive the same societal acceptance of their union that a straight couple seeks for their own. You apparently also believe that gays are somehow greedy because they intentionally rob children of the right to have both a male father and a female mother. It probably wouldn't matter to you if the male father is a convicted felon and the female mother is a crack whore, at least they would wouldn't be gay.

Finally, how could you possibly call arguments about equal rights spurious? Now you sound like the condescending, Northeastern, liberal elites that Alexis is so fond of. For most of the gays fighting for this issue, it comes down to exactly that. You can argue until you are blue in the face that gay men have the same exact right to marry a person of the opposite sex as the straight man, but that argument does not carry water for the average gay man. All he sees is that he is denied the hundreds of legal rights granted by the civil institution of marriage that his straight friends enjoy.

6/12/2007 05:56:00 PM  
Blogger VA Gamer said...

Whew, I am usually on the same side as y'all on Wretchard's great blog. One of the things I like best about The Belmont Club is that there are very few trolls lurking about in the comments section. I really appreciate your comments, but I must still respectfully disagree with y'all on this issue.

I doubt that I will persuade any of you to change your minds, but at least I hope to get you to think about things that might not have crossed your mind before. For most of you, this issue is unimportant. You can relegate gays to flower shops and theaters and not have to think about this issue. For me, it obviously is VERY important.

Alexis, your problem is with imposing an endorsement of a form of marriage upon a citizenry that is flatly hostile to the idea. Why would a homosexual want state endorsement of his marriage anyway, especially if it is grudgingly given? It is not the endorsement that gays want so much as the hundreds of legal benefits that accrue from marriage. For example, if your husband was in a horrible car accident and he was close to death, you can visit him in the hospital simply by telling the nurses that you are his wife. That is not true for a gay couple. His parter would have to produce the legal document that shows that he has the medical power of attorney in order to visit his beloved. God forbid he forget the document in his distraught state.

Whiskey, you believe that gays are trying to cram societal acceptance down your throat and punish dissent. I think that you are over-reacting a bit, but I understand your concern. The radicals make me uncomfortable as well. I usually feel more at home with my conservative brethren than with them. Once again, they do not represent most gays. Heck, I am not even sure they represent many gays.

Many of you make the argument that allowing gays to marry will devalue the institution of marriage. Really? Consider your own marriage. Will allowing a gay couple to marry make you any less interested in your spouse? Would you suddenly want to divorce him or her? Will you stop going to church? Would you advise your children not marry? Seriously, how does any other marriage effect your own? Are there only a limited number is marriage licenses available and once they are gone that is it?

6/12/2007 06:26:00 PM  
Blogger Tamquam Leo Rugiens said...

VA_Gamer, what gives the state the right to define and delimit marriage is that the state is an organ of the society which it represents, defends and promotes. It is not some uber entity with powers and duties unconnected to the people of a particular place and time. The agents of the state can be few or many, but the nature of man (understood here in the universal sense) demands leadership and specialization.

Whereas it is true that marriage has had and continues to be lived out in many different ways, yet three things at least persist: it is the union between male and female, it is the font from which new generations spring and are acculturated into society, and it is hedged about with rules as to who may marry whom, under what circumstances, when and how. Along with strong positive rules, it is also in like manner walled about with taboos.

Your easy dismissal of the past as mere *history* which can be dismissed in this enlightened age is pathetically naive. It partakes of the quintessential leftist notion that man is a construct molded by forces of which we were ignorant in former ages but which we now, in our wisdom, can understand, grasp and force to our wills, with no adverse consequences. I say naive because the events of the last century have certainly shown us the terrible effects of man seizing his destiny in his own hands and hammering his fellow man into the image of a new humanity by dint of fire, blood and a pure, transcendent and catastrophic ideology. Human nature will not be expunged by fiat. Not to say that human nature is immutable, but it is intrinsically conservative, containing within itself an inchoate wisdom distilled from the struggle of survival. The homosexual marriage movement is another in a series of moves which tend to erode and attenuate Western civilization. In thoughtlessly meddling with primordial anthropological mechanisms these anti-social fads destabilize the carefully balanced inner workings of civilization, and will inevitably produce the same kinds of cultural disasters with which recent history is littered.

That is why it is in society's best interest to strengthen rather than weaken marriage. Extending cultural approbation to homosexual marriage will have exactly that effect, a weakened marriage. And it will not stop there. Others in this discussion have pointed out that soon it will extend to multiple partners. Soon after that (you watch!) it will include non-humans. At that point it will have lost all meaning. Everything will have lost all meaning, for the very things that define us as persons, societies, civilizations, will have lost all meaning. We will have ceased to be human, devolved beyond all recognition into a masa damnata infesting the earth.

6/12/2007 07:52:00 PM  
Blogger RDS said...

VA Gamer, thanks for responding specifically to my points. Briefly,

civil marriage is about bonding a woman to a man, that still represents history. Maybe it was true at one point, but times change. Is it still true? That is what we are debating.

I have seen nothing to convince me the good will outweight the potential bad. What good will it serve for me and my society?

You argue that bonding a woman to a man serves the social purpose of "domesticating" the male and reducing the rogue violence-prone element in society. For argument's sake, let's assume that is true. That would be a societal good. Would SSM not have the same domesticating effect on two men who enter into such a relationship?

No. The sexes are different, and they bring different complementary benefits to the union that don't exist, by definition, in gay marriage.

Since gay couples would be prevented by you from marrying, are you not guaranteeing that any children of gays, whether naturally born or not, will by necessity have only one parent?

No, not at all. You can have two partners raise a child even if not sanctioned with marriage. I'd rather no single person, gay or straight, had kids.

It probably wouldn't matter to you if the male father is a convicted felon and the female mother is a crack whore, at least they would wouldn't be gay.

I'm not happy with that either. I already stated that anecdotal arguments about the wings of the distributions should not drive public policy.

Finally, how could you possibly call arguments about equal rights spurious?

Easy. Because it is. Gays have exactly the same rights and are demanding something new and special. Believe it or not, some gay people even exercise their real rights and marry the opposite sex.

Your position is just like that absurd scene in Monty Python's Life of Brian where one of the "revolutionaries" is demanding the hypothetical "right" of a man to give birth to babies be included in their manifesto, even though he lacks a womb.

6/12/2007 07:56:00 PM  
Blogger jafco said...

VA Gamer: "...Many of you make the argument that allowing gays to marry will devalue the institution of marriage. Really?..."

Yeah, really. You might check on the parlous state of marriage (the traditional kind) in countries like Sweden, Norway and The Netherlands since they ok'd gay marriage. It fell off a cliff (check National Review Online for reports).

I'm all for some formalization of gay relationships - civil unions - that gives the partners the legal status they need to represent one another, etc. But I won't cede marriage to them; go find another platform.

PS: Please give us a reference that shows that "true love" was only possible in homosexual unions in ancient Greece. Plato and Aristotle certainly never said any such thing. Alexander's gay unions, on my readings, seem to have been tolerated by the troops, who were overjoyed at their successes.

6/12/2007 08:08:00 PM  
Blogger VA Gamer said...

Since so many of you made comments disagreeing with my position, I could not go to bed without one parting shot. Some of you agreed with the notion of giving gays the rights of marriage without calling it marriage. Haven't we as a country been down that road before? Separate but equal is an idea whose time has past.

Nevertheless, I think gays would be happy with a "civil union" that granted all the legal rights of marriage IF you called everyone's union a "civil union." Since none of you can wrap your minds around the idea of SSM "marriage" then perhaps the state should get out of the business of marriage and leave it to the churches. The contract granted by the state for all couples could simply be called a "civil union." If you wish to marry, you can do that in a church. Would that be a compromise that you can live with?

Yeah, I didn't think so. Therefore I guess I will see y'all in the courtroom. Most of you have quite correctly pointed out that democracy means majority rules. What many of you forget, however, is the other half of the equation - minority rights. That is why courts exist, to ensure that the rights of the minority are not trampled on by the power of the majority.

I know that the first thing y'all will say is that judges are legislating from the bench, judicial overreach, etc. etc. But that is an argument for another day, and I am tired. Thank you again for this very interesting debate.

6/12/2007 09:15:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

VA -- Yes you nailed my concern.

I think the politics work out very badly if it's presented as another elite dictat.

A more gradual approach would be more effective, but not for the politics.

I detect the radical hand attempt to stir a culture war in the mistaken belief it will redound to the radical left's benefit. Probably a major mistake.

6/12/2007 10:31:00 PM  
Blogger RDS said...

VA Gamer makes a common mistake in discussing true inalienable rights, and confusing them with benefits:

What many of you forget, however, is the other half of the equation - minority rights. That is why courts exist, to ensure that the rights of the minority are not trampled on by the power of the majority.

Wrong!

True inalienable rights are things the government can't do to you, the individual (the smallest minority there is) -- and are adjudicated by the courts.

Therefore, it is a common misnomer to speak of things like a "right" to a job, healthcare, or any sort of marriage benefits or recognition -- those are things to be provided, not protections; and given finite resources and societal priorities cannot possibly be universal rights.

Dividing up the societal pie of benefits is properly the job of elected officials, not judges, as such priorities are supposed to change with the will of the majority. See us not in court, but at the ballot box. Make your case and convince us of its good. Otherwise, YOU are the tyrant.

Minorities can't claim special benefits just for being a minority!

6/13/2007 04:04:00 PM  

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