This one will probably get me hate mail from both sides, Gay Marriage

Because of the cases at the Supreme Court, lots people have asked me what I think of gay marriage. I suppose that’s what I get for being the politically outspoken writer guy.

Personally, I’m not offended by it. And what other people do is their own business. I don’t think marriage should be the federal government’s business at all. The governement doesn’t own the concept of marriage.

Two people want to enter a contractual partnership where they share assets, responsibilites, benefits, visitation rights, and tax burden. Awesome. Knock yourself out. Heck, if seven people want to marry each other and have a harem, great. Have fun. As long as they are consenting adults, I don’t care. If it wasn’t for the government screwing around in everything, this would be a really pointless question, because then some religions would have it and others wouldn’t, and people would be free to determine their beliefs for themselves.

HOWEVER… don’t make it my business, as in since it really shouldn’t be the government’s affair at all, don’t start bossing around religious institutions and telling them what to do. One of the big reasons many Christians are against the redefining of the term marriage is because they are worried that then their churches will somehow be persecuted for not performing gay marraige…

Presposterous you say? That could never happen here!

You want to know why most Mormons are worried about the government redefining marriage? It isn’t because they hate gay people. It is because the last time the government redefined the definition of marriage, Mormons got screwed over, imprisoned, invaded, and had their property confiscated for not following along with the federal government’s definition of marriage. The feds said you have to perform marriages like we tell you to, or you’re not a real religion, and we will throw you in prison. And for the people who say this could never happen, that’s super comforting, since it has before. So if you want to know why the Mormons in California voted against gay marriage, they weren’t scared of gay people. They were scared of the feds.

For as much as the left likes the paint the right as knuckle dragging hate mongers, you’ll note that the minute you call this contractual hook up between two individuals any word other than marriage most people, including most Christians, really don’t care what people do, and don’t really get worked up about it.  Christians are perfectly used to other people doing stuff that their God doesn’t approve of. Even if somebody thinks what you’re doing is a sin, that’s pretty much irrelevant, because they don’t have the power to come in and arrest you and seize your assets like the government does.

To most Christian denominations, which is still the predominant belief system in America, marriage is between a man and a woman. If you come along and tell them that their religion is wrong, and they are stupid hate mongers, why should it shock you when they get offended and they fight back?

Tell a Catholic or a Baptist that they are wrong and their God is wrong and the country they live in has redefined their religious beliefs of what something means and they’ll fight against it. You ask for all the rights and privledges and tax benefits and all that jazz that make up the legal side of the marriage partnership today, and most Christians in opposition will just shrug.

Sure, no matter what somebody will be all super offended and will protest and speak out and hold rallies and parades, but good for them, this is America where you have the right to free speech. Here’s the thing, lots of people do stuff that other people think are sins every minute, and somebody somewhere is offended by that. This shouldn’t really matter to either side, as both sides should be allowed to argue freely.

Newsflash left wing readers, regardless of what you read on HuffPo, the right wing despises the Westboro Baptist douchebags too.

Personally, homosexuality isn’t my thing. I don’t care if somebody else does it, but I can still teach my children that I think it is a bad life choice. Somebody else wants to do it, fine. Have fun. That said, I despise the bossy ass busy body nanny state federal government telling anybody what they can do, gay or straight, and people should have the free agency to choose whatever sin they want to participate in (and pay the repurcusions obviously if your sin is something really stupid like murder, theft, or playing chicken with trains).  I also don’t think premarital sex is a good idea, so you can see how completely irrelevant my bigoted hate mongery is in other people’s lives. I can think it is a mistake, but what you do is none of my business, and certainly not the business of federal regulators.

Here’s the real problem I see with all of this controversy, when you make an issue of civil rights and freedom into a battle of definitions and terms, then of course people who have strong moral and religious beliefs about redefining those terms are going to fight it.

Duh.

The fact that the media and activists care more about redefining the term “marriage” and telling Christians that they are backwoods klansmen, than assuring gay peoples’ civil liberties to enter into contractual agreements tells me that this controversy is mostly being used as a smoke screen. You’ll note that when you call it something other than marriage, and it does pretty much all the same things as marriage, even Utah and Alabama doesn’t get particularly spun up in opposition. If you’ve got a ballot initiative that says Gay Marriage, you’re shocked when Catholics vote no? Why not have a ballot initiatve that says consenting adults can form a civil partnership that allows visitation rights, joint filing of taxes, parental custody, and coequel property ownership? GASP! But where would be the controversy in that? Then we wouldn’t be able to scream about hatey hate mongers and stuff.

My sincere belief is that this wouldn’t even be any issue at this point if it didn’t benefit the democrats to have a controversy which takes attention away from fiscal matters. Sure, in a few years you’ll be able to marry a bucket of fried chicken if you want, but we’ll be too broke to buy the chicken… Don’t worry gay people, the minute you cease to be a useful diversion for the progressive movement they’ll drop you like a hot potato. Ask an illegal immigrant Mexican or a kid in the innercity. 🙂

223 Responses

  1. Larry,

    100% agreed. As a traditional Catholic, I agree with my church’s position. As a libertarian, I support my neighbor’s rights to make whatever contracts they want.

    Here in MA we’ve already seen how the legal bullying works – after MA got gay marriage Catholic Charities, which had done most of the adoptions in the state, was told that they must place kids into male/male and female/female homes. Catholic Charities protested that this was against their beliefs. They were told to stuff it.

    …so Catholic Charities stopped doing adoptions, and left parentless kids and childless families unserved.

    It CAN and it DOES happen.

    If gay marriage is just a few tweaks to the tax code, dandy…but if and when they start interfering with churches, I’ll be pissed.

    • This is what’s wrong with gay “marriage” rights.

    • The problem with this statement is that Catholic Charities wanted to choose who would and wouldn’t be the recipient of federally funded assistance. If it’s private money – do whatever you like. But if money comes with rules like “we the Gov’t don’t discriminate against same-sex couples, so neither than you”, well… you either stop taking the money or you use it appropriately.

      • No, they didn’t. They wanted to choose what work they would do. They had no stance on how other charities who were doing placements should go about their business.

        This “if you take even one drop of government money, you have to adopt the dominant ideology” stance means that the government can (and does) force every non-profit to toe the ideological line.

        If there are five soup kitchens, and the government has a 1:1 matching program, where “conforming” soup kitchens get free food…but to be “conforming” you have to allow activity X on your premises, or in your medical plan, or whatever, then you’ve created a situation where any charity that does not agree with X is crowded out by subsidized competition.

        Should we condition grants to museums on every museum having “Open Carry Fridays”, where admission is free for those open carrying ? Personally, even though I’d love more people to open carry, I don’t want institutions to be bullied into supporting things they don’t believe in.

        If the Federal government is going to take taxes from EVERYONE, then hand them back to charities IF AND ONLY IF they conform to a certain ideological stance, that’s wrong.

      • “If the Federal government is going to take taxes from EVERYONE, then hand them back to charities IF AND ONLY IF they conform to a certain ideological stance, that’s wrong”

        Right, unless of course that ideological stance is one you happen to agree with

      • Which ignores the question: What possible constitutional justification is there for paying for soup kitchens?

        Answer: None.

        The constitution does not even mention marriage, so why is the federal government trying to regulate it?

        As a libertarian, I would like to see the government get completely out of marriage at all levels, including state and local. Marriage should be a simple contract, and optionally, a private religious ceremony.

    • Umm, catholic charities was taking in non catholic babies and government funds, which means they were a defacto state agency not a private religious orginization. They could have just as easily refused to accept state funds and infants from non catholics and continued to adopt out kids.

    • I couldn’t reply directly to peavybob, so replying here.

      peavybob, on March 28, 2013 at 7:23 pm said:
      “Instincts are the result of genetics. homosexuality is a genetic dead end as from a natural selection standpoint, it has significantly lower chances of passing itself on to another generation. The steadily increasing numbers of homosexuals in our society would thus indicate it as a lifestyle choice rather than genetic interaction.
      I don’t care what they choose to do, but at least own up to the decision.”

      I think you don’t understand genetics or natural selection. Also, where’s your proof that there are steadily increasing numbers of homosexuals? Could it be that it is simply more socially acceptable to admit it publicly?

      Until you isolate the gene(s) and understand how it is expressed, you can’t comment on how frequently it is passed on. Is it dominant or co-dominant?

      As for natural selection, that really only comes into play when there is extinction pressure. Things like ice ages and other calamities that cause mass die-offs.

  2. Hoo boy.

    This one might get interesting.

  3. Larry, I am a pretty fundie fundamentalist. Which is shocking, I know, considering what I write.

    And I can’t see a thing to disagree with here. I’ve frequently said that if you don’t call it “marriage,” then I don’t care. And maybe it’s dumb to quibble about a word, when I make them up all the time, but they do mean things, dammit. Call it a civil union, call it life linking (my particular favorite), call it anything but “marriage,” and I’m cool with it.

    What I find amusing is that the “Marriage Equality” advocates get upset if you say “dudes, this will totally open the door to legalized polygamy.” But the argument is that a straight person can marry the person they love, right? Well… no, I can’t, if that guy is already married and doesn’t want a divorce. But if the other wife is cool with it, and wants to add me to the family, where’s the heartburn? I mean, as long as we’re redefining things, let’s redefine them all the way.

    • As a polyamorous person, I agree. Let’s open the door all the way.

      So, what do you think of my idea (mentioned below) of calling all governmentally solemnized unions “Civil Unions”, and leaving “Marriage” to churches?

      • Off the top of my head, I can’t think of why not. My main governing philosophical principle is that there isn’t anything the government can’t screw up.

      • I agree 100%. The government has no business in “marriage”. That should be a concept left to each of our philosophical and moral compasses. I have no concept with my marriage being a civil union.

      • I’m with Larry; I can’t think why this isn’t a good idea, at this point in history.

        My husband came up with the concept of “life linking” where any two (or more) people could enter into a legally binding contract that conveyed all the contractual and legal things that marriage does–but separates it from the bedroom. Therefore, if a pair of brothers wanted to take care of each other, or a grown child and parent, ANYONE, they could enter into this contract.

        I don’t see a downside to this.

      • I am in full agreement except I think it gets sticky where the sharing of benefits is concerned when you add in multiple spouses. As it stands, spouses can share benefits like health insurance, but it’s one to one. If you have one woman married to five men and she’s the one providing the benefits through her job, her company or the tax payers (if she works for the government) are going to be paying for five spouses instead of just one. And it opens the door to a lot of fraud as she could add another two or three spouses just to help friends out who don’t have insurance benefits.

        I guess that gets us close to single payer which Obamaniacs want anyway, but it’s the only downside to the polygamy part of it, and, unfortunately, I think it’s a significant downside.

      • Yeah, I expressed that opinion on Scalzi’s site and got loved and tolerated to death.

      • NKR, the solution to that problem is to go back to the old school method of charging per dependent instead the traditional 2 or 4 (Or 3 or 5) tier methods.

        So Suzy with 5 husbands plays for coverage for 6 people.

      • Woodman: No, the solution is to end the government subsidy of “benefits”.

        If a company wants to make you take part of your salary as health insurance, the IRS should still tax this.

        Once the government subsidy of such things ends, the cost of such things will drop to where people can afford to pay for it themselves again.

        Government tax subsidies are why health insurance costs skyrocketed … the cash was now there, so the insurers, and by extension, the medical industry hoovered it all up.

      • So because my wife and i are not affiliated with a church and had a non-religious wedding would we be rolled back into “Civil Union” status? would i have to change my tax form from “married filing jointly” to “Civilly Unionized filing jointly”? Marriage has been happening for longer than Christianity, so why is it only allowed by Christians? Its just a fricken word, get over it.

      • Marriage is older than Christianity and never included “same sex unions”. On the other hand, some people have been claiming “opposite sex unions” as marriage is Christians forcing their beliefs onto non-Christians.

    • I agree, from my standpoint, Larry has pretty much nailed it. And, personally, I agree that legalized polygamy should not be much trouble (once potential financial exploits are fixed).

      But I wonder about one thing you said: I understand you believe the word “marriage” belongs to a certain Christian version of “life linking”?
      This confuses me, since it is a wee bit older than that.

      I fondly remember learning “marito, maritavi, maritare = to marry” in school. That describes the “one man, one woman” life link that was so popular in ancient Rome that early Christianity adopted it. The Romans in turn took it from the Greek.

      Since I agree that words matter, I’d say a fair name could be “Christian marriage” for that particular version.

    • Agree completely.goverment should not bar ppl from forming unions(marriage)according to their culture/religion/race/gay or straight.but also no religion can be forced to go against their creed.my freedom stops at your nose,and reverse holds true too

  4. I agree with you, Larry.

    One point: In the past, when “domestic partnership,” which had all of the duties and privileges of marriage, was discussed, the LGBT community about had a come-apart. I worked with a few members of that community that were near apoplexy over it. To them, it didn’t matter if it was the same damn thing, it wasn’t called “marriage,” and so they were still being discriminated against.

    I believe, for many of them, it’s more than just wanting equal perks.

    • For a long time, it has been over the word “marriage” and nothing else.

    • But I think it changes things if the law reads that ALL unions must get a domestic partnership or civil union license if they are to share assets, benefits, joint file, co-parent, etc … That’s including heterosexual, two-partner unions, not just the non-traditional.

      Then the sanctification of the union is up to the participants and their church. No church is required to sanctify any union they choose not to.

  5. Hey Larry, big fan and I love your post, just simple sense like your gun control post. Thanks! In your post you talked about the beliefs of Christians and Mormons together. I was wondering can you sometime write a post about Mormonism, Christianity and how you see it as a practicing Mormon? I know I probably have a lot of misconceptions about Mormonism, I don’t know any practicing mormons but I am a practicing Lutheran and would like to be better informed. Can you help?

    • I could probably do that as soon as I get the chance. I did a little bit of one back during the election in reponse to some of the crazy Mormon stuff that was getting thrown around because of Mitt Romney.

      • That would be awesome, thank you!

      • Having served my mission with Larry I can tell you he is outstanding guy and sticks to his “guns.” I look forward to your response as well.

      • Excellent – not LDS, but they’re generally great folks to be around – and maybe you can tell folks that if they’re really nice, the church will let them stock up at the Cannery even if they aren’t LDS, so they’ll have something to eat when that bucket of chicken breaks $100. 😉 I love a religion that encourages members to have a year’s supply of neccessities on hand.

  6. Pretty much my feelings and I’ve argued that if that one word were not a part of the argument, it wouldn’t be the big deal that it is. Who want’s to use logic though, let’s just go with emotion.

  7. Amen! As an active Baptist (I am my church’s worship leader), I couldn’t agree more. Marriage should be a personal and church issue, and since America is supposed to have Freedom of Religion, then Americans should be able to practice freely! You can’t have it both ways – either your freedom of religion protects what you believe and what you don’t, or it doesn’t protect you at all. I think that’s what many of the “religious right” seem to forget.

    The best thing we could do is get the government (state and Federal) out of the marriage business and give it back to individuals and churches where it belongs.

  8. You nailed it, Larry.

  9. “Gay Divorce”

    With court and custody battles. I vote HELL YES!

    But yes, I agree with you. On the bright side, Muslim Polygamy will be legal immediately afterwards. Then Mormon Polygamy.

    Then I get to watch all the fun when LDS church leaders have to explain to congregations why they’re still not allowing it, even though it will then be legal.

    Fun times… I’ll bring the popcorn.

    • Active LDS all my life, with polygamous ancestors. And I can tell you – there’s pretty much nobody in the Church who wants polygamy back – unless they’re the sort to want to play around. The rest of us are quite happy to only have to deal with one spouse…

      • Most people don’t realize that polygamy in the early LDS days was something your local bishop came to to you and your wife and asked you to do, and told you who he wanted you to marry. Then both you AND your wife had to agree to it, as did the lady who “needed a husband” (often a young widow with no means of supporting herself). And if he was asked to marry a 3rd wife, the both the 1st and 2nd wives had to sign off on it, and so forth.

        Each wife got her own house and kept her own family separately. Sure, the houses might be right next door to each other and all the half-siblings would play together and whatnot, but it wasn’t some big communal thing. The male was also required to spend equal time with each wife. If he showed favoritism to the new young hot thing, then the objections of the 1st wife could (and did) bring him into a church court and could (and did) result in divorce from the newer wife and excommunication of the man.

        Sex was only allowed 1 on 1 as well. Group sex was considered a perversion and also would lead to church court and excommunication of all involved parties.

        It’s not like every Tom, Dick, and Harry went out and married himself a harem so they could have orgies. And it was in no way anything like what the FLDS practice in Colorado City and on their ranch in Texas either.

    • Hey pkudude99, do you have docs/historical sources on the specifics of signing off, spousal consent and 1on1 only rules? Not arguing, just interested. Something I’ve always wondered about.

    • Heck, “Gay Divorce Court” on TV. . . it would be a ratings-buster. . . . (evil grin)

  10. “Separate but equal isn’t.”

    Personally, I want to get the government out of the marriage business entirely. Leave the religious sacraments and ceremonies to the churches, and leave the civil contracts to the governments.

    But if what Adam and Eve walk into the County Clerks office and ask for is called a “Marriage License”, then what Joe and Mike ask for should be too, and likewise Sarah and Jennifer.

    Anything else is discrimination against citizens who are nominally equals before the civil law, and even if it’s just discrimination in the form of terminology it’s still unacceptable. Can you honestly tell me that you would find it acceptable to return to government enforced segregation, even if the facilities provided to both Coloreds and Whites were truly equivalent?

    I strongly suspect that you’ll answer “no” to that question.

    And please, no one try to use the “gays can marry someone of the same sex just like anyone else so it’s not discrimination” line, because it’s malarky. The Catholics in the audience wouldn’t find it non-discriminatory if Utah said “Everyone is equally free to attend LDS Sacrament Meetings on Sunday” and the Mormons in the audience would find the reverse utterance about Catholic Mass equally offensive from New Mexico.

    Honestly, given the FedGov’s heavy handed history regarding marriage with the LDS church is why I’m so surprised that y’all are so in favor of using governmental power to impose a given definition of “marriage” on others. I would have figured you might have a bit more sympathy than that. *shrug*

    But if you’d like to campaign for calling all civil contracts between romantic partners “Civil Unions”, I’d be happy to get behind that.

    (You knew I was going to weigh in on this one. 😉 )

    • Um…did you even read the blog post?

    • Ogre, I would’ve been shocked if you hadn’t weighed in on this one. 🙂

      I don’t know why the state should be issuing licenses to be married at all. Wouldn’t that be the definition of a civil union? It isn’t a religious ceremony. It is basically a glorified legal partnership agreement.

      And if every religion was free to define marriage according to their own doctrine and the dictates of their own conscience, then it would also be irrelevant, because they’d marry who they wanted, and people could attend the religion of their choice.

      So, government goes away, everybody is happy. 🙂

      Seperate but equel would be true in this case, but entirely irrelevant, as only Catholics would get married in the Catholic style, and Baptists would get married by Baptists, and people who didn’t give a crap about religion would go to the judge and finalze their civil union, and if there was the Gay Church of Whatever they could marry their own way, and the government could just butt out.

      Problem solved.

      The biggest advantage of the whole thing that can’t be handled through any other legally binding contract is Married Filing Jointly, and (ignoring the fact that all of our tax law is stupid anyway) change that to Filing Jointly. Boom done.

      • Keeping in mind that a license is permission from the government for something that otherwise wouldn’t be allowed, ‘marriage license’ is a concept that has annoyed me for years now.

      • I have been to several weddings that were officiated by a best friend, a mentor, even the groom’s high school English teacher and all of those officiants had to go online and get a certificate that said they were “ordained” as a minister of some phoney church. It’s clearly phoney, the government knows it’s bogus, but they have to do it because the government decides who can officiate at weddings and who can’t.

        Dems love to harp about “separation of church and state” but this is a blatant violation of that concept and they don’t mind it one bit.

      • Larry as usual you are a genius. I’m voting for you to be President in the next go round
        C Scout

      • Larry: I don’t know why the state should be issuing licenses to be married at all. Wouldn’t that be the definition of a civil union? It isn’t a religious ceremony. It is basically a glorified legal partnership agreement.

        I agree, of course. I mean, I ultimately want a sufficient portion of humanity to be adequately self-disciplined that the government can go away entirely, and people and groups can contract with each other however they see fit in every aspect, but, well, yeah this would be a good start. 😉

        When I used the phrase “separate but equal”, I was referring to the idea of leaving traditional civil “Straight Marriage” as it is today, but requiring a separate civil “Gay Civil Union” for homosexual couples. It’s the metaphysical equivalent of having separate water fountains. And while private entities should be free to practice any sort of discrimination they like (and deal with the [nonviolent!] social consequences thereof), that sort of segregated treatment of citizens isn’t something I can abide from the government.

        And yes, it would be awesome if the government would just butt out. The concept of being forced to ask permission from the government to perform a religious sacrament has always bothered me.

        NKR: Dems love to harp about “separation of church and state” but this is a blatant violation of that concept and they don’t mind it one bit.

        I don’t know about that. I mean, I’m certainly not a Democrat myself (*laughs!*) but I work at a University, so… I know quite a few. I’ve mentioned the “remove government from the equation entirely” idea every time the issue has come up of late, and pretty much everyone has thought it was a great idea. And, in fact, I’ve explicitly mentioned the “separation of church and state” in these discussions and gotten lots of head nodding.

      • NKR, Massachusetts has a provision for anyone to officiate at a wedding. You fill out a one page form and send it to the governor’s office with $25. You basically get designated as a justice of the peace for one day.

  11. I want to see my current partnership legally defined as a civil union.

    I was married by a justice of the peace. There was no religious leader present. I was not married in a church. The vows were not religious in nature, beyond phrasing chosen by the JotP.

    I want to see ALL couples (triads, harems, whatever) to have to file a civil union, if they want the legal rights of being in a civil union. I want religious marriage to have no legal standing. That’s not *terribly* far from what we have now – where the marriage is filed with the state, and the state charges a fee. I’d just like to see the two different processes separated a little further.

    If we take religious leaders entirely out of the process and enact that separation on both sides, then it won’t matter if Captain Cliche wants his Jedi Priest to marry him to his pet rock, because it will have no legal standing.

    Unless someone files a protection order to save the pet rock, on the grounds that it can’t give consent.

    I do not understand how this is difficult.

  12. No hate mail from me Larry, you summed up my feelings perfectly.

  13. Hmmm, interesting. So a rant about government (again) intruding in on one’s life. Not really about the argument about gay marriage. Here’s my issue with comparison to Mormon’s and other religious institutions; one chooses to be a part of that religion, and most evidence supports that homosexuality is not a choice but rather who you are. A better comparison would be early American law and Jim Crow laws which hindered people of color from marrying. It is not equitable to exclude one group of people from the same entitlements others enjoy. It is a shame that certain religious institutes do not adhere to the message of peace and agape love most put at the forefront of their teachings. Gays are members of the church, the synagog, temple whatever, and in accordance with that specific dogma feel it necessary to proclaim their love and vow to their God. Unfortunately, marriage has become entangled with government, and is no longer exclusionary to religious institutions and so as society evolves and changes so to does the definition of marriage.

    Excluding others because of who they are is wrong, and as we have grown as society we have begun to recognize this and tried to beige inclusive. What’s nex,t those of Portugese descent will not be allowed to marry?

    • Huh?

      Did you read my post? Because it certainly doesn’t seem like it.

    • Are you trying to argue that the church should be forced to perform nuptials for gay partners?

      • Hell if I know. I couldn’t really tell what he was trying to convey there, and I’m pretty good at all this “communicatin’ stuff”.

    • seriously? you really don’t comprehend what he’s saying? Historically[up until the never to be sufficiently damned goddamned government stuck it’s nose] marriage was a religious ceremony celebrating the uniting of two people. If you can FORCE a church, or an entire religion to have a ceremony for a union they don’t agree with then, WHERE THE FUCK IS THE FREEDOM OF RELIGION? You know…that pesky 1st amendment? All Larry is saying and those of us that agree with him is if you want a license or contract stating that you get all the benefits[tax breaks etc] and obligationsof a marriage then FINE lets take government out of marriage. everyone has Civil Unions which are recognized as contracts by the government. Then after that if you can find a church that will “marry” you. fine and dandy.

      • Civil unions were preformed by governments for thousands of years before the birth of Jesus. Sure, they’re nothing like we have now, but you just can’t claim that the Church suddenly came up with the idea of of creating a union between two people and sanctifying it. I’m not a religious person, and I don’t plan to get married, so take my opinion with a grain of salt, I agree that the churches can have their marriages, but that those marriages should be separate from civil unions. In other words; get the religion out of government and the government the hell out of religion.

      • Err…For the vast majority of history, marriage was primarily a civil institution. Even in Christiandom, there was no requirement for religious ceremony/oversight until the mid sixteenth century.

      • Jareth – not to be rude, but either you made that up completely from scratch, or someone else did. Seriously – marriage has had a big place in many religions for millenia (literally). Easiest example is the old testament, but there are plenty of others.

      • Deoxy,

        In the Old Testament, marriages are indeed very important…but they are primarily handled as civil contracts…Agreements made by the father of the bride. In ancient Jewish tradition, when the mohar was exchanged the couple was considered married without any interaction with a religious organization at all. No registration with the temple, no talk with a Rabbi, no ceremony at all save for a traditional toast with wine.

        In Europe, church officiation was not required for marriages until the Council of Trent decreed it so in the 16th century. Before that, it was common practice for marriage to be a private contractual issue between families. There were definitely church-run marriage ceremonies prior to the sixteenth century…but the ceremonies were not in any way required in order for the marriage to be considered binding/official.

  14. Pretty much hit the nail on the head.

    How can you be considered free if you have to ask the states permission to marry? People seem to miss that every time.

    • Historically, for reasons of social stability, sex outside of marriage was almost invariably seen as a crime. In muslim countries, they’ll still stone you to death for it.

      Many states still have “unlawful sexual intercourse” on the lawbooks as sex between unmarried people.

      The crime was generally perceived as a male stealing, by persuasion or force, the most valuable possession of a woman, which was her virginity. Her virginity was the only real assurance a man marrying her had of being sure that the children were actually his. The woman was literally the property of the husband.

      This all got burned into the social structure before reliable paternity testing came along. “Rape” originally meant to rob or seize goods by force. a “ruined” woman is one who had had sex outside of marriage. She wasn’t worth the risk afterwards. The central theme of “Much Ado About Nothing” is about this.

      A marriage license means society approves of your sexual happenings and you aren’t going to be boinking with anyone outside that license.

      Yeah, I’m ready for the state to give up on it too. It really has become obsoleted by technology.

      • The woman was literally the property of the husband.

        That’s a VERY selective view of history – true (for all practical purposes) in some places at some times, completely utterly ridiculously untrue at some places in some times, and usually somewhere in between.

        The “sex outside of marriage is a crime” bit is also quite overstated – prostitution is called “the world’s oldest profession” for a reason, eh? In fact, the closer women are to property, the less problem there is (legally) with sex outside of marriage, from what I can tell from history – when women are property and a man wants sex, he simply buys a woman or buys time with a woman.

        Check the history of age of consent laws in this country for an example of how “sex outside marriage is a crime” is actually something non-property women tend to drive and agitate for.

        So, your claims are not only much less than true, but, to the extent there is some truth in them, they are contradictory.

        But you got one thing right: “This all got burned into the social structure before reliable paternity testing came along.”

        This put pressure on both men AND women to keep sex in marriage, at the societal level. Women had a man that was the official father of their children, men had children they knew were theirs. Both sexes could (and did) get figuratively screwed by their spouses along the way (men leaving, women having other men’s kids), but on the whole, BOTH sexes benefitted.

  15. Yeah, I completely agree. I think it’s about time we started living in a libertarian country. But yeah, if we really did make everything legal and allow people to make their own decisions, where would the lovely controversy be, and how would activist groups drudge up funding? You can only legislate morality, and get funding to do so, if you can convince people the issue is life or death for the country as we know it.

    • more to the point how would the people that head those activist groups make their money?

    • Yes please. Move towards a libertarian country. Please get the government out of my bedroom and most definately out of my wallet.

      Unfortunately we have to get people to be responsible and self-reliant. Really difficult when people are being encouraged to believe that their failures belong to somebody else and schools spend all their time developing ego in the name of self-esteem.

  16. I am not for or against gay marriage until the “if you’re not with me, you’re against me” charge gets thrown out. Then I’m against it enough to vote, albeit not against it enough to campaign. That seems to be the most contentious point in this issue. I personally think that all religions except Missouri Synod Lutherans have their scriptures wrong or have the wrong religion. I’m sure others disagree with me. It is, or should be, understood that we are all allowed to have a difference of opinion on this. With gay marriage, only full acceptance seems to be permitted. It has to be accepted as correct instead of merely permitted.

    Also, polygamy seems to violate a fundamental view of equality. Like a marriage of an adult to a child, any legitimate partnerships would be greatly outnumbered by the perverse ones. A hard and fast NOT ALLOWED is probably best here.

    • How, precisely, does polygamy violate any sort of equality?

      For that matter, even under the current system where polygamy isn’t allowed in marriage, there (mostly) aren’t any laws about who can actually cohabit and regularly have sex. Which means the perverse partnerships you cite aren’t actually prohibited by law, they’re just unable to achieve a specific sort of legal recognition. Are they actually a problem to anyone right now, and if not, why would they become so if they could achieve that legal recognition?

      • Mathematical inequality to begin with. Everyone (assuming gay marriage or civil union) has an equal right to put one spouse on their insurance. Multiple spouses on insurance wouldn’t be a level field. If you go for multiple partners, more power to you. I don’t want that enshrined in law. Nor a Warren Jeffs style polygamy or a Koran blessed set of 4 wives. I don’t doubt that such relationships are workable and happy in some cases. Constitutionally, I don’t see where they are not allowed, unless you go with the “all created equal”…which seems iffy.

      • (Apparently you can’t reply more than three deep. Hopefully this gets displayed in an intelligent place.)

        How “marriage”, or whatever civil union is proposed, interacts with insurance should be a matter between the insurer and the people paying. If you want a policy that covers your (one) spouse, then negotiate with your insurance company. If you want one that covers N arbitrary adults, whether these be your partners in some polyamorous arrangement or roommates or siblings or whatever, you’ll probably have to pay more, but again, negotiate it with the insurer. That is essentially irrelevant to the actual interest of the government in the matter, which extends basically just to allowing certain usually-individual legal roles (taxpayer, legal guardian, etc.) to be assumed jointly. To the degree that the government has an interest in it, it must be entirely nondiscriminatory, to satisfy equal protection under law.

      • Jack Lovell: Why is the government subsidizing insurance?

        Where in the Constitution is this allowed?

        Answer: Nowhere.

        If non-traditional marriages cause problems with federally subsidized or federally required insurance, then the problem here is not the marriages.

        The federal government should not be requiring people to have insurance, and they should not be providing tax subsidies to employers that force employees to take part of their salary as insurance.

      • Well, look at that. Another area of life where the government has gotten involved and screwed stuff up. I demand that the government should get right on that and fix it. 🙂

  17. “Why not have a ballot initiatve that says consenting adults can form a civil partnership that allows visitation rights, joint filing of taxes, parental custody, and coequel property ownership?” Like any other thing, marriage involving the government, whether the county clerk making you buy a marriage license, or the federal government telling you who to marry, it’s a matter of control. El Paso had a huge brouhaha over this exact issue. City wanted to pay medical for domestic partners. A LOT of people got teed off they were including gay partners in it. I thought that the city shouldn’t be paying for partners of any persuasion because they were using our tax dollars again.

  18. “Two people want to enter a contractual partnership where they share assets, responsibilites, benefits, visitation rights, and tax burden. Awesome. Knock yourself out. Heck, if seven people want to marry each other and have a harem, great. Have fun. As long as they are consenting adults, I don’t care.”

    Sounds like you are a Libertarian. I agree with a fair amount of Libertarian ideas.

    However I think society has a right to define a relationship called “marriage” in order to define a particular relationship that has since the beginning of recorded history been a major benefit to all societies. It defines a relationship which sometimes is given special privileges (not rights) to encourage, for example; bearing and raising children.

    If anyone has a “right,” and maybe this concept doesn’t fit neatly in Libertarian thought about what a “right” is, it is the right of children to grow up in a two parent family with heterosexual parents to give them the optimum example. And yes, heterosexual parents – all other things being equal (which they rarely are) – do present a better and more healthy example.

    Heterosexuality is the example we should give to children. Then as they become adults they will make their own choices, whatever that is. But as far as possible give children the best possible start. No male heterosexual can possibly give an optimal model to a heterosexual child. Maybe many homosexuals are fine people, but that doesn’t give them some right to raise heterosexual children, at least lacking no other fit people to parent.

    Bottom line is, and to hell with the politically correct, homosexuality is an inferior choice. I fully support protecting the genuine rights of all people, regardless if they are queer, or not. But marriage is not a right. It is at best a privilege, and there are objective reasons for society limiting that privilege to one man and one woman as a couple.

    lwk
    free2beinamerica2.wordpress.com

    • Unfortunately for your ‘bottom line’, marriage was indeed recognized as a fundamental right by SCOTUS in the 60s ruling 9-0. See Loving vs. Virginia.

    • Wow, wrong on all accounts.

      Marriage, as an institution, was established before the idea of “one man & one woman” came along – I suppose you missed the whole Mormon reference up there? Well, they got that from Jews, who were around before you were. Yes, each women had her own marriage with a man, but said man could have other marriages with other women.

      The “privilege” to bear children? Unmarried people are doing that in greater numbers. probably because people like you are souring them on the concept of marriage with your narrow, elitist, selfish definition of it.

      Studies PROVE that same sex parents are SUPERIOR to straight parents in general, doubtless because ALL gay couples can ONLY get children they FIGHT for – not by accident, like so many straight people do (see: orphanages).

      And as for what orientation to model to the children? This betrays your ignorance of orientations. It doesn’t matter what you model, the child will be what the child is. We should model love & respect to our children & the rest will fall into place. Bottom line is that you already fail in that respect, and will make an inferior parent; I pity your children.

      • Kinda have a hard time accepting that they don’t have a choice. There’s that whole science and genetics thing that would indicate otherwise. I don’t care what they choose to do, but they should at least take responsibility for their decision.

      • Historically speaking, marriage has exactly two points, and the first I’ll mention is largely a subset of the second:
        1) who gets your stuff if you die
        2) children.

        Seriously, if you look at laws and traditions around marriage, the point was to keep it determined whose children were whose and to encourage and support family units.

        One man with multiple women still works for that (other way around is not – the number of societies that practiced that could probably be counted with one hand), but in actual practice, that’s something that a few rich men would do, and the rest didn’t. (Of course, in practice, that’s essentially what a few rich men do now, eh?)

        That’s what marriage was for, that was the benefit to society, and no other argument will stand up to strict scrutiny. Make that argument (as I do) or give it up. “Tradition”, though I think it a valuable source and a good default position, is not remotely infallible and certainly open to correction.

        If there is ANY benefit that the government can bestow only under conditions, benefits to support stable family units should be right at the top of the list…

        But then, exactly WHICH benefits it offers are certainly up for debate – or at least SHOULD be. Some of the benefits we currently give SHOULD be opened up to anybody (with no implicit sexual relationship required).

    • Muslims are practicing plural marriage right now and the UK is legally recognizing it. Not to mention all the formally Islamist countries.

      It happens in the US too. Polygamy is legal right here, right up until somebody says “married”. Until then, it’s unmarried adults having sex and kids, legal as church on Sunday.

  19. Hate mail? Not from me…SPOT ON!

  20. Another great column, Larry. You pretty much nailed my feelings 100%. Interestingly, Dr. Keith Ablow on Fox News posted a column that echoes your thoughts:

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/03/27/when-it-comes-to-marriage-government-should-divorce-itself/

    Maybe we’ve got the start of something here, if SCotUS doesn’t screw things up all over again.

  21. I agree with you entirely, and you put it well enough that I might even be able to point to this post to explain my viewpoint to my friends on both sides of the issue. 🙂

  22. My husband and I entered into the Covenant of Marriage with God 8 months before we got a certificate from the state and held a formal ceremony. We view the two events as completely separate, and only one of them will matter when we stand before God in judgment.

    We are Biblical Christians and agree fully with you, Larry. I was just now making these very same arguments in the comments on a Facebook post (by Dan Joseph, if you follow him) … and was called hateful, bigoted and various other insults before the gay atheist stomped off in a virtual huff. It was epic!

  23. Eh…I hate the fact that I wasnt born with the mental magnitude required to know and understand all of this political Crap that goes on, but I do understand simple ideas. Agreed, let people do what they want with religion and their own Matters involving marriage and so forth. The minute the government waves is brought red Cape inviting the bull that everyone is watching to charge through, there is always a sword hiding behind said cape that noone knew or had seen was waiting for it. Government lines to control everything through loop holes. Bah…

  24. Don’t disagree with anything above, but I would further add:

    The root of the problem here is that ‘marriage’ the way we’ve done it for years is actually a mix of two very different things: 1) a legal/civil/contractual arrangement between two people, and 2) God consecrating two people’s love relationship.

    These two things aren’t mixing nicely any more.

    I don’t think we can have a free society where two people’s preferred sexual arrangements make them ineligible for an important set of legal contractual benefits that other people with different sexual preferences do get to enjoy. Or, as in the SCOTUS DOMA case, where two people are legally married in their state but the Feds refuse to recognize it and charge them higher taxes. Don’t see how any of that can fly.

    Same, time, I don’t want the feds to say “Hey, church: you have to start believing that this other kind of relationship that doesn’t meet the standards of your belief is consecrated by God.”

    If I could wave a wand to fix this, I would get the government out of the marriage business entirely. The government would issue civil unions, whether you’re straight or gay or poly or whatever.

    Then you can go try to find a church that will consecrate you according to whatever standards they hold to, and they can call it “marriage” or “eternal union” or “soul fusion” or “gorgonzola” if they want to.

    Alath
    Carmel IN

  25. Let’s see…bonfire, scrap wood, alcohol. This should be fun to watch.

    Personally, I don’t care enough about this issue to say much. As long as the churches and businesses are free from legal hassles over this, I’m not very bothered.

    • The churches and businesses are right now being sized up for discrimination lawsuits. It’s already happened, in fact. A favorable supreme ruling will open floodgates.

      • But we’ve been told that gays don’t want to force churches to marry them. [Sarcasm]

  26. Larry, you are mistaken, albeit not terribly so. The problems, overlooked almost without fail by those coming from the libertarian perspective, are two fold.

    First, you disregard the role of government in “providing for the general welfare.” Leftists, of course, like to claim this justifies all sorts of welfare to individuals, a position with which you would no doubt disagree, as do I. What it does mean is to undertake activities/support institutions/etc that, broadly speaking, benefit ALL of society, aka those nebulous “public goods.” Thus, we can distinguish between public health activities such as epidemic contagious disease research (a public good) and gov’t provided individual welfare such as bunion surgery for Mrs. Kladiddlehopper. Having a legal definition of marriage that benefits society as a whole falls into the public good category. That traditional marriage DOES benefit society as a whole isn’t really up for much debate (outside of radical feminist circles at least), but nobody has yet made a case that gay marriage will benefit society.

    The second, and equally important problem, is that marriage, as a legal construct, binds THIRD parties as well as those standing up and saying “I do.” THIS is why it is a matter of government. When the government compels Party C to behave in a certain fashion based on a “contract” (anybody with familiarity of family law and contract law will laugh when modern marriage is referred to as a “contract”) between Party A & B, then that contract becomes important to Party C. We haven’t even begun to seriously consider the interests of Party K(id). Libertarians kinda/sorta halfway see this, but only in the religious dimension. The thing is, marriage affects a LOT of different interactions, interactions that are bounded by law, tradition, regulations, and social norms. To compel individuals to act other than they would choose (i.e., provide the benefits of “marriage”) requires a pretty high bar. The public good of traditional marriage has, over millennia of human history, met that bar. It is pure speculation whether or not gay marriage will do so, although given the dearth of historical examples, I’m leaning towards “no” on that question.

    • http://news.stanford.edu/news/2010/august/gay-study-083010.html
      http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/09/25/us-adoption-children-idUSTRE58O3MK20090925
      http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/children-of-gay-couples-academically-disadvantaged-studyhttp://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1994480,00.html

      In these studies only one shows that children raised by homosexual couples fare worse than those raised by heterosexual couples. That indicates that there is no strong case for denying homosexual couples the right to a contract identical in function to marriage. That heterosexual couples raise better children is in fact an assumption that lacks evidence to support it. And to deny somebody a right on the premise of public good, you better be able to prove that your stance is in fact undeniably for the public good. Not just maybe, or probably. Definitely. Kinda like a trial. Proof to infringe upon rights should every bit as demanding as a felony prosecution.
      As to your third party argument I admit that I haven’t heard that before. I don’t believe you are correct though. All contracts are relevant to the government, after all contract enforcement is one of the government’s primary roles. And third parties write their own contracts with people. If a third party does not want to accept certain combinations of signatures on the contract of marriage that is their prerogative, they merely have to word their contract as such. So, there may be some contracts that would be altered by this but new contracts would not be. And current contracts can go through a time period in which the contract does not apply to the new members, many laws have time before they go into effect. I suspect however that very few economic groups would want to revise their contract, this would be quite likely to lose that group customers. Not that, their desire is relevant to the debate of if the contract infringes upon prior contracts.

      • The third party being referred to here is not a third signatory on the marriage contract, but all of the agencies, employers, and organizations affected by, regulated by, and constrained to act in specific fashions through the over 1,100 federal and gods know how many state and local laws tied up with that marriage ‘contract’.

        Family and marriage law is an insanely complex thing that affects everything from your employment (FML) to schools to medical, taxes, habitation, insurance, inheritance, banks, etc.

        There is an entire body of law that specifies how an organization must act in relation to a married couple. That is the third party involved here.

        That being said, using that argument doesn’t work either. Those third parties are affected every time any of the countless family and marital laws and regulations change. That happens quarterly in some cases (taxes, banking, insurance, etc..) and fairly often in others.

        As for someone being forced to act in ways they don’t agree too, individuals would not be affected any more than they are now. Organizations would in the same way organizations were after the Loving vs. Virginia ruling in ’67 (think that was the year) and the earlier ruling regarding cohabitation of interracial couples and groups.

        Discrimination against a class of people who are members of that class through birth and genetics is abhorrent to the “common good” as you can get. It doesn’t matter if it’s based on skin color, nationality or sexual preference. It’s still abhorrent.

    • I’m going to just skip the rest of this entry and concentrate on this one part here: The public good of traditional marriage has, over millennia of human history, met that bar. It is pure speculation whether or not gay marriage will do so, although given the dearth of historical examples, I’m leaning towards “no” on that question.

      So, your argument is: “We can’t grant this particular group a set of legal benefits provided to other groups because there’s no evidence that this thing we don’t allow to happen has benefits for society, and we can’t possibly allow it until there’s some evidence.”

      And you’ve neatly glossed over the fact that there can never be evidence if it’s not allowed. What a fantastically convenient Catch 22 for you.

      • Actually, certain historical records would indicate that when homosexual activity reaches a certain concentration, fire falls from the heavens and obliterates the entire area. This would contraindicate gay marriage contributing to the public good.

        //sarcasm// (reference to sodom and Gomorrah from the biblical old testament)

      • Except it can be allowed. Any state can allow it. The CITIZENS of any state can choose to embark on the experiment. What has been happening is the citizens have been asked whether they want to do so, and have said “no” repeatedly. They did so in reaction to gay marriage advocates turning to the courts (Hawaii), and in response to the citizens saying “no”. Repeatedly, the advocates have:

        Turned ot the courts even more, using the votes of a few black robed high priests to overturn the votes of millions of citizens.

        In doing so, they have corrupted the judicial process. Take a look at the behavior of Justice Vaugh Walker in California. Consider the fact that an attorney is bound by legal ethics to defend his client to the best of his ability, then consider the disgraceful behavior of the California Attorney General’s refusal to defend Proposition 8 at the Supreme Court. Consider the similar Department of Justice’s refusal to defend DOMA.

        Their arguments, made as part of the larger gay rights activism, are corrupt as well. Most of their martyrs aren’t. Matthew Shepard wasn’t the victim of a hate crime, his murder was about drugs and money. (see Stephen Jimenez). The number of anti-gay hate crimes hoaxes on campus are legion.

        Finally, know that the corruption of their arguments meets the corruption of the legal system. Equating the resistance to gay marriage with Jim Crow, they totally gloss over a simple fact.

        Jim Crow was the government telling citizens with whom they could and could not associate (i.e. do business with), and how. It was NOT individuals deciding for themselves with whom they would or would not associate.

        The gay rights activists are calling for government to tell individuals with whom they must associate. Sounds like Jim Crow all over again.

        Now, an argument CAN be made that there is a compelling gov’t interest, one that could survive strict scrutiny, for doing so. No such argument is actually being made. Instead, we’re getting lies and corruption.

      • There is no compelling govt interest in banning gay marriage. You have the cart before the horse.

      • There is no compelling governmental interesting in rewarding or encouraging same-sex relationships. There IS such an interest in rewarding opposite-sex relationships, or more specifically, committed opposite-sex relationships that produce and socialize children. IE “marriage”.

        No one (serious) is arguing for a prohibition on same-sex relationships. Marriage though, that’s for producing new members of society. Otherwise it’s just room-mates who have sex, and why should the rest of us subsidize that?

  27. For now, the only “love that dare not speak its name” is Big Love. If Intrade was operational, this would be a good time to bet on “how long before polygamy/polyandry/Heinleinery is legal?”

  28. Separation of Church and State – not taught in schools anymore?

    @ lwk and BikerDad – nobody would care how people hold themselves out except for the preferential treatment provided by some elements of the tax code and for the HIPAA health care privacy acts barring non-family members from their loved ones’ bedside and for the insurance restrictions and rejection of benefit applications and all of the myriad other hurdles which interpose themselves between the married and unmarried folks.

    Children have a “right” to be raised by heterosexuals? What about orphans? What about the warriors of the Sacred Band?

    Really, aren’t you saying that children should be loved and nurtured and taught to think for themselves by good people? No? You think they should be molded to fit a particular mentality, then? You think that only certain people should be entitled to raise children?

    As a species, humans have shown a remarkable proclivity to choose irrational, illogical, unsupported and sometimes completely ridiculous positions regarding any number of topics. Are you sure you’re not doing that again?

    • Where does it say in the Constitution or Bill of Rights anything about the separation of Church and State? Now mind, I’m not a Christian. You have Freedom of Religion, not Freedom from Religion. We do not have a state religion obviously but there is nothing that says Separation of Church and State, unless of course you are referring to a letter that Thomas Jefferson wrote to some Baptists who were worried about the new country adapting a State Religion.

      • Beg pardon? You’re suggesting I cannot be free from religion if I want to? Are you claiming that the Ecclesiastical Courts or better yet, the Sharia courts ought to be re-established??? Because that’s the deal, if you allow one, you have to allow all. So – allow none?

      • First Amendment.

        “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”

        Right there dude. This says that Congress (later extended to the states via the 14th) can not impose a religion, or religious ideals, upon the people. Any law that can be seen as imposing a religion or religious ideal upon the people should be reviewed using the “Strict Scrutiny” standard of review (since the freedom of religion is considered a fundamental right). In order to pass strict scrutiny, the law must show a “compelling government interest”, it must be “narrowly tailored” to fulfill that interest, and it must be the “least restrictive means” with which to do so.

        To me, this means the DOMA is unconstitutional (marriage being a religious institution). I can’t tell you what the courts will come up with. I am NOT a lawyer or a judge. I’m just a nerd who reads a lot.

        I guess an argument can be made for the idea that, since atheists tend to get married as often as anyone else, maybe marriage isn’t such a religious institution after all.

        s

        * it does, but it isn’t a “recognized religion”. How the government gets to pick and choose which religions to recognize is a discussion for another day.

    • HIPAA does not bar non-family members from the hospital bedside. The patient can decide for him or herself who they wish to be allowed with them in the hospital. If one is concerned that in the situation they cannot speak for themselves, their family members would bar certain people, one can easily draw up legal papers that would supercede the family wishes, to allow non-family members. Or even bar family. I’ve worked in the healthcare field since the inception of HIPAA. We get to review it’s draconian policies each and every year. You should try it …

      And as for children, yes it is the parents’ responsibility and right to teach their children values in accordance with their own. Would you want to be told how to raise your children and what values you have to teach them?

      Please elaborate on just what Larry said that is ” irrational, illogical, unsupported and sometimes completely ridiculous” …

      • If you read carefully, you’ll note I asked a question. I didn’t accuse anyone of actually being irrational, illogical, unsupported or completely ridiculous. Guilty conscience?

      • Oh I read the implication alright … it was quite clear. So, you are implying that Larry is being “irrational, illogical, unsupported and sometimes completely ridiculous” … Care to explain that?

      • Lissa, he explicitly aimed his response at LKR and BikerDad, not Larry. Perhaps you should read the comments you’re going to respond to a bit slower, and not gloss details, if you’re going to end up missing things like that.

      • @Cadeyrn
        “As a species, humans have shown a remarkable proclivity to choose irrational, illogical, unsupported and sometimes completely ridiculous positions regarding any number of topics. Are you sure you’re not doing that again?”

        Yes a totally non-accusatory rhetorical question, yup.

  29. Excellent post – I share the same basic opinion on the issues involved here. I’ve been thinking a lot about this issue, since I am a Christian, a notary public and I live in a state where same-sex marriage is legal. Here, notaries can perform marriage ceremonies and I have performed two marriage ceremonies – one for a Christian couple and one for two atheists who were living together before they were married.

    Ultimately, the core of ANY wedding ceremony comes down to the simple question asked of the couple – “do you take this person to be your lawfully wedded…?” This is nothing more than a romantic way of asking the two lovebirds in front of you to agree that they wish to enter the “lawful” institution of marriage. All marriages, in this small way, are civil unions – the entering into a legally-defined relationship by giving your word in front of a state official. The vows, the prayers are all religious in nature and join the couple in a covenant relationship defined by the tenets of their religion.

    So in my perfect libertarian world, the state would get out of the marriage business, as marriage is a covenant relationship/promise made before God. A religious couple should have the freedom to enter into a marriage relationship in a ceremony where the priest/pastor/rabbi/imam is not compelled to invoke the laws of the state. If they then choose to take steps to enter into a legal contract that confers the legal privileges of what we now define as “marriage,” they should be free to do so. Or not. It should be up to them.

    • How about removing “Marriage” or “Married” from legal terminology. The Federal nor any state recognizes “marriage” as a legal term, nor does it have any legal standing. The Fed and all 50 states recognize “civil union” or “civil partnership” or whatever term is chosen. Civil Unions will have the exact same standing and rights currently given to marriage. Any two (or more) adults can enter into a civil union.

      Then the religious can keep their term, and everyone else can have the rights and privileges without hurting religious feelings by using their pet term.

      “Marriage” for man and woman, Civil union for everyone else doesn’t quite work. Separate but equal doesn’t work. Eventually there will be a difference and some group or government will decide to recognize one but not the other, or give one more rights or credence.

      I’m sorry, our organization does not recognize civil unions, only marriages.

      I’m sorry, we are a Catholic (or other faith based) hospital, and based on the beliefs of our faith, we do not recognize civil unions, only marriages. We don’t recognize your right to visit/make medical decisions for/etc your “Partner”.

  30. Grrrr…

    “giving your word in front of a state official” should be “giving your word in front of someone recognized by the state as having the power to solemnize that relationship.” I’m not saying pastors and such are state officials.

  31. You speak my mind. Thank you.

  32. I agree, but for this to work you need to separate the two ceremonies. Don’t let churches perform civil unions and don’t let government perform marriages. If you want the benefits of a civil union go to the courthouse. If you want God’s blessing go to your church. If you want both then you will have to go both places. Marriage can then be defined by God ( or religion) and civil unions can be defined by government. If your church doesn’t have a problem joining two people in a homosexual marriage that is fine with me, as long as my church doesn’t have to do it. It is a novel concept called separation of church and state.

  33. Although I disagree with much of what you say, I think a lot of people are more supportive of civil unions than marriages. Although not always, as in Florida which made same sex marriages AND civil unions are against the state constitution. The problem with having some people’s unions called something different than other people’s is that it still separates out people and is inherently unequal. That is why if they want to call any marriages, legally, cival unions then all marriages should legally be called civil unions and whether you call it a marriage is a personal/religious choice.

  34. Although a disagree with much of what you say, I agree that more people would be willing to support civil unions for same sex couples. Although that’s not always true, as Florida specifically bans civil unions as well as gay marriages. The problem with calling some people married and some in a civil union is that it singles out a group of people and is inherantly unequal. So if you want to call same sex unions civil unions legally, then ALL unions should be legally called civil unions and whether a couple uses the word marriage should be a personal/religious choice.

  35. The only reason the state cares about marriage is because it is a net good to society. It binds a man and woman together, and their children to them, particularly the father, since his is the more nebulous relationship. The stability provided to the children by that arrangement benefits society through defining the rights and responsibilities of the parents and the children to each other. Since women bear the all the physical burden of child bearing, and the majority of the care of the children, particularly when they are young, the tax code and various other benefits recognize this inequality, in such matters as social security, and support through tax credits and exemptions.

    We don’t impose special requirements of either fertility or intent to have or adopt children, because that would create a second class of people. But all traditional marriage supports the societal norm of creating the optimal environment for families, which is a heterosexual marriage, where children learn from parental example how to create their own future families. Because it is in the creation of the next generation that the state has its most important stake, and in ensuring that the next generation has the best chance of success. Societies which don’t successfully perpetuate themselves die.

    Gay marriage provides none of the above benefits to society, nor does it impose any particular burden on either partner, which would lead society to need to support it. Society has no stake in the outcome of the relationship, as it neither perpetuates society or provides any particular role model that benefits society. Yes, some gays have children. Which came from some sort of heterosexual union, either in a lab or otherwise. I want to protect the right of those children to both of their biological parents, not destroy it.

    I don’t care what other contracts people enter into. Personally, I think any two or more adults, sexually involved or not (and I have NO interest in knowing whether they are), ought to be able to enter into a contract to take care of each other, in whatever ways they want. I don’t want to know why they want to do so, I don’t want to know what goes on in their bedroom. What I don’t want from them is to be forced to acknowledge and approve of whatever they do in private. At that point, my “live and let live” just got trampled all over.

  36. My personal favorite is ‘domestic partnership.’ Two straight women with children could enter into it and one stays home with the kids while the other works and provides coverage until one meets Mr. Right.

    I sometimes think the insistence on calling it marriage is so polite society is forced to acknowledge that two people are having illicit sex. Consider a man’s mistress: she is not welcome at his daughter’s wedding while the lawful wife is. People may know about her but only similarly misbehaving sinners will allow her to openly join their social circle. If we don’t know you are gay how can we condemn you?

    If you simply HAVE to advertise that you are acting in a statistically-unusual manner, don’t cry if some people feel awkward when confronted with it. It’s called sticking to your principles, whatEVER they are.

    I color outside the lines quite often but I’m woman enough to deal with the stares and questions that arise from my choices. I get so tired of people acting in an obnoxious manner for whatever reason and then whining when someone asks them to behave in front of the children. The biggest problem is when the anomalies start dictating to the normals what the normals shall teach their children which explains the enormous surge in homeschooling..

    Keep it quiet and you can do anything you want. Put it out on the street and insist my kids see it and we’re gonna fight

    • You’ve every right in the world to feel awkward about it. What you’ve NO right to do is try and deny people their fundamental rights just because it makes you feel ooky. Part of being an adult is accepting that people are going to do things you don’t care for. “Me no likey” isn’t the same as “You’re harming me” and the last time I checked **that** was supposed to be the standard in a free society. Two gay people holding hands or kissing in public does nothing to harm you or your kids. A gay person trying to hold **your** hand or kiss you against your will does, same as a straight person . And while I may not be Christian I **have** read the Bible. Last I checked it was for God to judge and man to love is fellow man unconditionally.

  37. Here’s the problem. This issue isn’t being driven by libertarians. The force behind it is the politically correct crowd. The people behind it are the same people who’ve successfully sued bakers who refused to make cakes for same-sex ceremonies. People have told me that gays wouldn’t want to get married in churches where they weren’t wanted, but that’s pure b.s. Anyone who’s been involved in a church with a nice building will tell you that all sorts of non-members want to get married there all the time, and we’ve already seen gays complain that they can’t be wed in the cathedral of their choice. Churches that make up their budget shortfalls by holding ceremonies for non-members will have to restrict use of their buildings just to members out of sheer terror over litigation. And that’s without sexual preference yet officially being protected by the the Civil Rights Act.

    And let’s not deceive ourselves. The ultimate aim here is to have sexual orientation protected like religion, race and handicap. It wasn’t enough to simply allow for abortions, but if you wish to have employees then you must pay for your employees abortions, your own religious convictions be damned. Similarly, it won’t be enough to simply allow gay marriage. There’s a little thing called the Federal Fair Housing Act. It prohibits anyone from refusing to rent or sell houses to someone on the basis of race, religion, sex, national origin, familial status, or handicap. Religious organizations are exempt from the religion aspect if membership doesn’t discriminate in any of the other areas. If sexual preference is added as a protected class, any conservative fellowship that rents out houses to clergy, missionaries, or even just members will be in violation. And that’s just one aspect of the way civil rights come into play.

    If I thought that gay marriage or civil unions was the endgame, I’d say “Whatever,” but I can’t ignore that this is one battle in the campaign to criminalize disapproval. The left is pathologically unable to be content with toleration or even acceptance. They must have approval, and they will make you pay if you don’t give it to them.

  38. The problem I have is that while everyone is talking about SSM, they’re ignoring the real issue in this case: should a state judge (with a personal investment in the outcome of the case) be allowed to set aside his own state’s constitution -an act which usually involves cooperation by most of the state legislature?
    Don’t get distracted, folks. If the Supremes decide to be popular rather than abiding by their oaths, it basically eliminates the whole concept of a state constitution and gives any corrupt state appellate judge an override switch. SSM isn’t worth it.

  39. While I agree in theory, I have to admit that the idea of allowing religious institutions to steal ownership of a word rankles. The word ‘marriage’ does not now (and never has in the past) referred solely to unions solemnized by a religious authority. Civil marriages have existed alongside religious marriages for as long as this country has existed, and can be demonstrated throughout most of history. But, hey, if the religious folks want to redefine ‘marriage’ to mean something that it has never meant in the past…I suppose that I have no real objection (beyond the aforementioned rankle-ment) so long as the end result is equal treatment under the law.

  40. I have friends in England – Baptist like me – and they have cops sitting in their church services to make sure they don’t say anything “hateful”. That’s not freedom of religion. It is going to happen here if we don’t wake up.
    Thanks Larry!

  41. Mr. Correia, your use of the term, “stalking horse,” is apt in another controversy much closer to home with us.

    So it is likely that legislative demonization of street-legal almost-clones of modern military longarms, is a stalking horse for universal background checks and draconian penalties for transferring a firearm to a “prohibited person.”

    At the age of sixty-nine, having watched fifty-five years of social change, I seriously fear that the latter, universal background checks and consequent sub rosa registration database, will go through for two reasons:

    1. It will be sold to FFL holders as an additional source of incidental income, doing background checks incidental to a private sale. I think that individual gun dealers will hold out — but the wall of solidarity will be shattered by acquiescence of corporate dealers. Computer-driven corporate greed is one of the banes of modern existence: Can you think of any corporation that would turn down a new perfectly-lawful income-stream?

    2. Social character of this country is shifting toward the Dionysiac end of the Apollinian-Dionysiac continuum.

  42. Makes perfect sense to ME. The real problem out there, is all to many equate freedom OF religion with freedom FROM religion.

    • salgak,

      That’s because the people should have the freedom to be “free FROM religion” if that is their wish. Choosing NO, is still a valid choice. Do you really believe that a law requiring someone to have SOME KIND of religion would pass constitutional muster?

      s

      • So does somebody wanting to be free from religion mean that they can sue me if I have Christmas decorations on the front yard? Will a statue with religious meaning have to be removed from a public park? Will prayer in public schools need to be banned so that children who might have different beliefs don’t feel alienated?

        At what point does somebody wanting to be ‘free from religion’ infringe on my right to practice that religion or display items of my faith in public?

      • Adampm,

        No, YOUR decorations in YOUR front yard are part of YOUR freedom to practice YOUR religion. That was completely not what I was talking about (and i suspect you know that and are being a little dishonest with your argument). What I was talking about is the government legislating religion.

        So, that religious statue in the public (city/state owned) park? Sorry, I know you don’t like the idea, but it represents the government’s preference of one religion over another. If you want a public-accessible park with religious statuary, maybe your church should provide one that isn’t payed for out of the taxes of others who don’t share your religious beliefs. A statue of my goddess wouldn’t be allowed in a public (city/state owned) park, why should your statue be?

        Prayer in public schools follows a similar logic. Public schools are an extension of the government. Having institution-run prayer would be the school (government) pushing it’s religious preference. I do disagree with the no-school-prayer hardline though; it might surprise you to know that I believe that individual students should have the right to pray while at school. Just the institution itself cannot take part in requiring it.

        Just as with all rights, your religious rights end when they start infringing on someone else’s rights and vice-versa. That means that your neighbor can’t force you to take down your Christmas tree any more than you can force your neighbor to remove the pentagram from his front door.

        I have never heard of a case where someone sued in an attempt to force a neighbor to take down Christmas decorations. However, I have seen someone be forced by their local sheriff, at the request of her neighbor, to remove pagan religious symbols from her front door. Christians like to play the whole victim card on this one, but from what I’ve seen, their role is typically on the other side.

        s

      • Atheists play the “victim card” as well. Whining about how terrible us Christians are. When atheists claim that our current definition of marriage is “forcing Christianity” onto others, they show their stupidity.

      • The institution of marriage is older (and more universal) than Christianity, and hasn’t always been strictly defined as “one man, one woman” (I’ve even heard tales about a man who was married to his goat*). The American definition of marriage comes from the Judeo-Christian tradition. So, indeed our current marriage laws ARE legislating Christian morality. I can see where they are coming from.

        The argument against gay marriage generally boils down to two basic ideas. On one hand, you have “OMG, it’s a SIN!” On the other is “mumble mumble insurance mumble mumble money mumble mumble”.

        So, you have one group that is pushing their religious beliefs, and the other basically saying “It’s too hard to treat THEM equal”

        Neither, to me, offers a compelling argument to infringe upon the lives and rights of others.

        s

        * No, I am not advocating goat marriage. It was just an example of how marriage doesn’t always fit the Judeo-Christian mold.

      • Stuart,
        No, I wasn’t being dishonest. I was curious to what point you were getting at. I’ve seen quite a few people of the ‘freedom of religion’ people wanting to be free from religion, even at the expense of other people’s 1st amendment rights.

        I’m Pagan and there with you in most of your arguments. I also think that this is one of the many things that in another generation or 2 it will seem absurd that it was even generating controversy.

        I would love to see God/Goddess statues in a public park. Of course with pagans then you’ll get into an entirely new war on which pantheon is represented 🙂 At the same time I don’t really care if their is a statue of Christ or an angel or something. It doesn’t detract from my enjoyment of the park.

        Sorry, I believe the litigation I was thinking of focused more on cities and parks.

        I accept that my religion is a minority in this country and I don’t see the city putting up decorations to be an infringement on my rights (though I do think my tax money could be put to better use and with the state of the roads in this city the workers have much better uses for their time).

      • Stuart. . . .

        What do you have against Goats. Goats make many otherwise lonely Taliban LOVELY wives!!!

        My biggest gripe with the whole Gay Marriage movement is not the goal, but the tactics.

        Claiming opponents are haters. Trying their luck at the ballot, and when they lose, go to the courts to overturn the vote. Looking up opposition donors and destroying their careers,

        THAT is my issue: the means, not the end. . .

      • Adampm,

        Sorry if I misunderstood where you were coming from.

        And you are right, for the most part a lawsuit over something like a Jesus statue in a park is a little bit much. However, I see it as a symbol of a larger struggle of Americans who are outside the majority to be treated fairly by our own government. It’s a struggle that we pagans share with gays, and atheists, and many other small groups that are outside the “norm”.

        It is said that one man’s freedom stops at the end of another man’s nose. Freedom of religion, and freedom from religion, are not mutually exclusive ideas, they are opposite sides of the same coin. Just like your and my pagan beliefs should not infringe upon a Christians right to their religion, an atheist’s belief in no religion shouldn’t infringe upon the 1A rights of anyone.

        s

  43. Well said. If only political leaders thought this way we wouldn’t have that many problems.

  44. “I think it is a bad life choice”

    It is NOT a choice. Don’t know how you haven’t figured that out by now. So teaching your children this will only make them misinformed.

    • Nope. I don’t care if you are born with instincts and urges to do whatever, you are still a human being, so you’ve got free agency and a will. Human beings choose what they want to do with their lives. I don’t buy into predeterministic bullshit, whether it is about sex or that whole “I’m sooo helpless!” caste system thing some people cling to. Humans are complex organisms capable of reasoning and can choose what to do with their instincts and predilictions.

      For example, I like women. I’m attracted to them. However, I don’t have sex with every woman that I could. But I’ve got a genetic urge to do so, right? “That’s who I am!” Nope. I decided to be loyal to one woman. Why? A. I CHOOSE my relationships. B. I’m not a congressman. 🙂 The vast majority of heterosexual males are complete horndogs, especially in their youth, but many of those make a conscious choice not to have sex until they get married and then they stay in a monagamous relationship their entire life, because despite their predilictions and desires, they chose not to.

      So what your argument is that people who have feelings of attraction toward the same sex are mentally weaker than straights? And I’m the bigot? Nope.

      Or a more extreme example, I have an urge to kill anybody who messes with me. It is deeply ingrained in many men. Somebody crosses you, threatens your stuff, you kill them. However almost everybody resists this deeply ingrained biological urge and we choose not to do violence to people who piss us off. There is a tiny part of the population that can’t control this common urge. We call them prison inmates. 🙂

      So I don’t buy it. You are a guy that is sexually attracted to guys? Great. You’ll note that I already said that I don’t care what people choose to do, but they own their choices. It is still up to you how you act on your feelings. There are people who are sexually attracted to animals, cacti, and garden gnomes. What they do with these feelings is entirely up to them. A common defense of pedophiles (and I’m not equating pedophiles with homosexuals) is that “But your Honor, I was born this way!” Yeah… But you still shouldn’t have sex with kids, because that makes you evil, and now we’re going to throw you in prison.

      I really don’t see how me thinking that all human beings are capable of reasoning, free will, and self determination makes me a bigot, but if you think that people are weak and helpless before their urges and programming, you’re the champion of equlity. Go figure.

      • Larry,

        Homosexuals are, in fact, capable of reasoning, free-will and self determination. They are fully capable of resisting sexual urges, choosing what instincts they act upon, etc.

        However…with all due respect, you didn’t say that ‘gay sex’ wasn’t your thing and that you didn’t mind if other people did it but that you believed that having gay sex was a bad life choice. You said that HOMOSEXUALITY wasn’t your thing, and that you believed that it was a bad life choice, etc.

        A celibate homosexual is still homosexual. Homosexuality isn’t a life choice.

        Choosing to act upon one’s homosexuality is a life choice, yes, but I would argue that establishing healthy, meaningful and enriching relationships has a tremendously positive effect upon one’s long-term well-being and happiness; choosing NOT to act upon one’s homosexuality seems as though it would be a far worse life choice.

      • I think you’re cross wiring two different uses of the word “choice” here. The behaviour of humans is, of course, subject to their reason. The instincts of humans is not. So a homosexual can choose whether they will act on their homosexual feelings. They cannot choose to not have those feelings.

        Ok, so let’s say you fall through a dimensional portal into the far flung future of The Forever War, where homosexual relationships are as common as heterosexual ones are now, and, in fact, heterosexual relationships are rather looked down upon.

        You’re still het, so you’re attracted to girls, but none of the girls want anything to do with you. Do you really think you would have the choice to become homosexual, so that you could have a relationship with someone who would have you? Do you think you would be just as happy, in that relationship, or in no relationship at all, if that was the decision you made, as you are now in your committed relationship with your partner of your preferred gender?

        How can you reply to this (admittedly, somewhat screechy) comment with “For example, I like women” without considering that there are men out there who are just as instinctually inclined to say “For example, I like men”? Yes. Those fellows could choose to have heterosexual relationships, and in fact, many of them do, but do you imagine that they are truly as happy defying their own nature, any more than you would be in a society in which your only “acceptable” decision was to defy yours, and have a homosexual relationship?

        And Anonymous up there didn’t call you a bigot. They just said you were wrong about homosexuality being a choice.

      • Yeah, in this hypothetical time travel experiment where the human race has decided somehow not to pass their genetics on to offspring, sure. I still like girls. And I still have free agency. Even if my heterosexual preference is looked down on, I can choose whether I want to enter into that sort of relationship or not. That’s still my choice. I don’t really see how that changes anything.

        Heterosexuals choose to become homosexual all the time. Talk to anybody who has ever worked in the prison system. So I’m afraid your analogy sort of alls apart there. Are they less fulfilled? Heh… It is prison sex, so I’m guessing probably. 😀

        You even bring up people with homosexual feelings and desires who enter into heterosexual relationships. That is their choice. And honestly, after being married for fifteen years now, there’s a whole lot more complexity to a long term relationship than just where you decide to stick your genetalia. 🙂

        Yes. There is a difference between behavior and instinct. I choose my behavior. I control my instincts. Like I said before, I’ve got an extremely strong instinct to kill anybody who pisses me off, but I don’t. I have an instinct to bed as many women as possible to spread my genetics. But I don’t. Does it make me less happy to defy my own nature, as you put it? Possibly? There are plenty of people I’d love to kill. 🙂 But I’ve still made the choice to avoid these urges.

        Judging by my family history I’ve also got a predisposition toward alchoholism, substance abuse, and obesity, and not indulging in these things might make me sad, but if I choose to do so, then I’m going to get really fat, wasted, and then my heart’s going to explode. Becaue my choices have consequences. So if I have a predisposition toward homosexual attraction, but I also have the belief (whether it is religious, social, or whatever) that this would have negative consequences for my life, then I have the freedom to choose not to engage in this behavior.

        The more extreme examples are people who have really weird desires and urges who declare they are born that way, and how by not living that way, they are not truly happy or fulfilled. Except we both know there is some weird, freaky shit out there. We expect people with those sorts of urges to make choices to avoid them. Once again, not saying they are the same, but pointing out that this predeterministic argument isn’t used in any other cases.

        And no Anonymous didn’t call me a bigot in that post. But I’ve been called a bigot plenty of times for believing that homosexuality is a choice. Just like I’ve been called a bigot for believing racial minorities are capable of making their own life choices and that they aren’t trapped in a caste system. I don’t think there’s a gay gene any more than there is a criminal gene or a poor gene. (though judging by Facebook comments, there is probably a stupid gene 🙂 ) I think people are a sum of their experiences and their choices and the repurcussions of those choices far more than their DNA.

        Am I religiously biased in thinking this? I believe very strongly in mankind having free agency. So perhaps I am. But once again, it is my right to hold this belief, just as it is yours to believe differently.

      • Instincts are the result of genetics. homosexuality is a genetic dead end as from a natural selection standpoint, it has significantly lower chances of passing itself on to another generation. The steadily increasing numbers of homosexuals in our society would thus indicate it as a lifestyle choice rather than genetic interaction.
        I don’t care what they choose to do, but at least own up to the decision.

      • Ok, Larry, I don’t know if I can be friends with you any more. This is the first truly shocking thing you’ve ever said to me.

        Yeah, in this hypothetical time travel experiment where the human race has decided somehow not to pass their genetics on to offspring, sure. I still like girls.

        You mean to tell me you haven’t read The Forever War!?!?!?!?!

        I… I just don’t know what to say to that, man. *headshake*

        ——

        On a more serious note… 😉

        Heterosexuals choose to become homosexual all the time. Talk to anybody who has ever worked in the prison system.

        No. Heterosexuals choose to engage in homosexual behaviour in prison. They do not (for the vast majority) become homosexual. No more so than I “became Republican” when I voted for one for House of Reps in the last election. :p

        You even bring up people with homosexual feelings and desires who enter into heterosexual relationships. That is their choice. And honestly, after being married for fifteen years now, there’s a whole lot more complexity to a long term relationship than just where you decide to stick your genetalia.

        Well, yes. Being as I will celebrate my 17th anniversary with S. this year, I’m well aware of that. But that’s sort of my point. Just because they choose to engage in heterosexual behaviours, does not necessarily mean that they have chosen to become heterosexual.

        I have an instinct to bed as many women as possible to spread my genetics. But I don’t. Does it make me less happy to defy my own nature, as you put it? Possibly? […] But I’ve still made the choice to avoid these urges.

        Yes, but there’s a vast difference between defying your urges by restricting yourself to a single instinct fulfilling relationship, and defying your urges by denying yourself any fulfilling relationship.

        So if I have a predisposition toward homosexual attraction, but I also have the belief (whether it is religious, social, or whatever) that this would have negative consequences for my life, then I have the freedom to choose not to engage in this behavior.

        Well, of course. I don’t think even the most outspoken advocate of gay rights would deny that the behaviours are voluntary. But (and it is very likely unfair to tar you with this same brush, but that sort of thing is going to happen) when many people of a religious background say “homosexuality is a choice”, they aren’t talking about the behaviours that are an expression of homosexuality, they are talking about the underlying instinct itself.

        And for people who are as gay as the day is long, and have been for as long as they have had any thoughts about the subject at all, that’s just as ridiculous as telling black people that being black is a choice. And where acting like you live in a rap video and gang-banging certainly is a choice, no amount of “choosing otherwise” will reduce the natural melanin content of their skin in the slightest. (Michael Jackson jokes aside.)

        Am I religiously biased in thinking this? I believe very strongly in mankind having free agency. So perhaps I am. But once again, it is my right to hold this belief, just as it is yours to believe differently.

        I don’t believe differently. But just as my free agency would permit me to vote Democrat and support them with all my campaign contributions and bumper stickers and lawn signs and obnoxious “Yes We Did!” t-shirts, I’d never truly be happy doing it, and denying my inherent libertarian nature. 😉

      • I’ve never read the Forever War. That’s on the list of famous books I probably should have read but haven’t gotten around to.

        Ogre, you are one of my favorite people to disagree with, because first off we don’t do it that much, and when we do it tends to come down to hard core fundamental philosophical differences, which both of us are adamant about and willing to articulate clearly. In the ye olde tymes of our country we would have sat around a pub, arguing philosophy and complaining about the British crown. 🙂

      • King George III, what a dick, amirite?

        *drinks*

        ——

        I don’t know that we do particularly have a “hardcore philosophical difference”, unless (and I suppose you might) you hold it as a philosophical position that heterosexuals and homosexuals choose whom they are attracted to. That seems more of a “scientific fact” type point, though, rather than a philosophical one. (And I’m not claiming for certain which way it is, I don’t think there’s enough evidence, though I have an opinion on the subject based on experiential and anecdotal evidence.)

        I mean, honestly, if homosexual attraction were truly a choice, why on earth would anyone in this culture choose it? Given the conditions that exist in the world, where gay men are ostracisized in this country, and chemically altered in Britain 50 years ago, and flat out executed in the less enlightened parts of the world (*cough* Saudi Arabia!)… If one could simply decide to be heterosexual in attraction (mind you, attraction, not action), that would be a vastly more rational way to go.

        *shrug* Anyway, you should read The Forever War. It’s pretty good. Haldeman’s reaction to being in Vietnam, basically. I’d skip the sequels though. They’re pretty meh compared to the original work.

  45. I don’t see how you could get hate mail from this, Larry. It’s a rational and reasonable post… oh yeah, because the people who leave hate mail are neither rational nor reasonable. Thanks for the great post, though – and here’s hoping the irrational people go play amongst themselves.

  46. Good post. Bible believing Christian and I can’t find one thing to disagree with.

  47. Being someone who isn’t real religious (but a member of a Christian church), what Larry has posted here is exactly how I feel and view this whole issue. As I understand it historically, the original reason the government first got into the marriage business was to prevent inter-racial marriage, so I think it is time they got out of it.

  48. Larry – great post, just absolutely on point. We have allowed our government to intrude far too much into the social and religious fabric of our lives, and to my friends who don’t share my orientation I say this: A great wrong has been done to you, and it has been done to all of us. “Marriage” in the secular context should be a right and privilege of all people, and it should (like all rights) come with some degree of responsibility. As long as the Government isn’t forcing a church to change its statement of faith and doctrine, I have no issue with any couple being married regardless of plumbing compatibility or the chances of procreation. If you want a church wedding, join one that approves – there are plenty!. If you want survivorship and joint property benefits, I think you should have them, along with alimony or child support if that tragically becomes necessray.

    You know, the Inuit have forty-something words for “snow” because to them, the differences are really stark and important. The English language just isn’t like that, and the word “marriage” is a great example. To many it means that two people love each other, want to spend their lives together, may or may not want to procreate and/or raise children together, and want to share the legal rights and privileges that checking the “married” box affords. To many others it means a religious rite, whose purpose is defined by the doctrines and divine word that inspires, governs, and guides their chosen religious sect. I think that dichotomy is at the heart of the whole emotionalism of the issue.

  49. The most important thing from a workability standpoint has to do with employer supplied benefits. It has been mentioned above but the killer issue has not been touched. Let us say that the government does get out of the marriage business and everything becomes unions or contracts from a governmental standpoint. Where does that leave employers, especially religious employers, with their benefits? Lets say we have a gay or polygamous or whatever contract that a religious employer doesn’t want to recognize and pay for benefits for the partners? What if they only want to pay for benefits for traditional marriage partners? Does anyone really believe that the govt or the courts won’t try to force them to cover all legal “partnerships”? Anyone using contracts who works for them will scream. The employer will scream when someone tries to force them to cover contracts. You can see a similar issue right now with obamacare and birth control.

    What is the answer to that?

    • yes, that sure is a difficulty. One that will take some thought, but it’s not a problem that is insurmountable.

      Does it really make sense to restrict the liberty of an entire class of Americans just because giving them that liberty will be too hard?

      s

      • It does when you have to make a change that infringes on someone elses liberty to do it. The object is to extend more liberty to people not take liberty away from one class and give liberty to a more “protected” class.

        I am all in favor of the change but you have to minimize “unintended consequences” when you do it. Religious freedom is a founding principle of this nation enshrined in the Constitution. Marriage, civil unions, and what have you are never mentioned in the Constitution. Therefore, religious freedom trumps marriage freedom.

        My point was that you can’t constitutionally violate an employer’s religious freedom when you change the way government handles marriage or unions. It is not just a bump in the road but a major roadblock that must be addressed before it can be a viable option.

  50. Larry, another great post.

    I was attending St. Michael’s College in Vermont way back when the Burlington Episcopalian church wanted to consecrate Mary McLeod as their first female bishop, and wanted use of the chapel on campus as the largest church-venue in the area.

    The Edmundites and Biship Angell politely refused, saying that it is not something that the Catholic church agrees with, so no you cannot have use of their house. The furor and nonsense that erupted, and people calling on making it a legal case to force the Edmundites to allow use of the church for that purpose is exactly analagous. I’m glad that it did not come to pass in this instance.

    What bothers me the most is the insistence on the one hand that we respect one another’s rights and beliefs (which I agree with), it is not expected in particular cases to respect someone’s faith.

  51. This argument is so much bluster, and here’s why:

    The First Amendment protects your church’s right to determine whom they will marry in a religious ceremony. The case law concerning polygamy is over a century old, and would probably not withstand constitutional muster today. The justification for opposing gay marriage for the unfounded fear that your bishops will be forced to perform ceremonies for same sex couples reeks of desperation. Riddle me this–would you support a law that allowed such unions if it were coupled with a law stating that no church would be forced to perform the ceremony? I highly doubt it.

    In fact, I am certain that supporters of same sex unions would be eager to accept such a limitation if it meant they could gain the same rights you enjoy, and they could have the ceremony in the religion of their choice–perhaps one that is not so . . . limited . . . in their understanding of love. It is telling that your church, and all the other churches opposing this move, have not even asked for this protection. All their efforts have been toward denying the same legal rights you enjoy to other couples–not toward protecting their own religious freedoms. I ask you to show me a single statement from the Church, or legal movement from any other church, saying that it would not oppose granting the same legal rights as long as it is not forced to perform the actual ceremony.

    You can rail all you want about how the government should get out of the marriage business. It won’t mean jack until the government actually does, and all the tax benefits tied to marriage go away, and you are forced to pay an attorney, like your gay friends and relatives now must, to draft documents granting you the rights you now have just by signing a marriage certificate after standing in line at the courthouse for 10 minutes. Until those rights are equally accessible, regardless of the gender of those who seek them, regardless of whether it means granting homosexuals the right to marry or stripping away the rights you already enjoy, you don’t have a leg to stand on.

    • Huh? I missed the part where I wanted to ban homosexuals from enjoying the same rights. Especially since I specifically said I want them to have the same legal rights… And I even said that repeatedly. Go figure. And I even said that if a church wants to have gay marriage, that should be their right. But I’ve got a sneaky feeling you didn’t actually read my post.

      So then you complain about the government making things complicated, and then get mad at me for saying the government makes things complicated, and then you say how the government should get right on that and fix it to protect your personal rights. Well, okay then.

      Oh, and a guarentee from the government where they like totally promise to honor religious freedom in the future and not infringe on them later to make a point, generate a smoke screen controversy, or promote their progressive agenda? Why, you can take that to the bank! 😀 You know, freedom of churches to practice their own religion should totally be guarenteed in a law somewhere! If we made a list of these things, they’d maybe even put that first!

      So let me get this straight… Because the government has screwed one thing up for a hundred years, we should totally trust them, even though they are currently screwing up this other topic, to fix the other topic right away, and not rescrew up the original topic. Sure. That sounds reasonable.

      And I missed the part where I claimed to be a spokesman for 13,000,000 Mormons and 250,000,000 Catholics and I don’t know how many billion protestants. Sorry about that.

      As for your last paragraph… That’s utter bullshit… So, my opinion that marriage shouldn’t be the government’s business is stupid, because look how complicated the government now makes it for you to get a contract, and it is better to fuck around with the fabric of American society and get in the face of everybody that disagrees with you (not even those that agree, because apparently unless I’m dressed like Freddy Mercury and marching in a gay pride parade that’s not enough respecting of your rights) and that is soooooo much easier and more productive than the government butting out of marriage entirely, revamping contract law and insurance stuff, and letting people actually have religious freedom to practice according to the dictates of their own conscience? Yeah… That’s crazy.

      • I didn’t say it was crazy for the government to butt out, only that the suggestion for government to butt out without introducing a viable measure to bring it about is a cop out. So is suggesting “civil union” legislation. Both are de facto support for a currently discriminatory regime. As long as there are 1000+ rights on a federal level (which are not affected by civil union legislation) that are not extended to one segment of the population, there are only two options: (1) extend them to everyone, or (2) take them away from everyone. I haven’t seen a single organization opposed to gay “marriage”, Mormon, Catholic or other, propose the second solution. Either one, though, would address the consitutional equal protection issue.

        While I do think that protection for religious liberty could be strengthened in general (wrote an article on it in fact), raising the specter of the government forcing churches to perform gay ceremonies sounds paranoid to me–in a black helicopter kind of way. Regardless, perpetuating one injustice from the mere fear that another might result seems silly. Just my two cents.

      • Wait… so because in my brief blog post where I stated my opinion on a subject, I didn’t introduce viable legislation which solves every single issue relating to this subject, I’m de facto in favor of discrimination, even though my original post was pretty clear about how I thought people should have the same rights…

        Seriously, dude, what the hell are you talking about? How about you go bitch to all of the people on Facebook who changed their profile pictures to equal signs and post on their walls and tell them that they aren’t supporting you hard enough because their equal signs weren’t pink enough?

        As for the paranoia bit… We are talking about the same federal government that wants to control every single aspect of our lives, what we can eat, how we can live, how we can conduct our business, who we can associate with, what kind of property we can own, and is currently hung up on what constitutes hateful thinking, and you want me to trust them not to use this issue as an excuse to screw around with religious freedom, even though they’ve done it before?

        The same federal government, the left half of which is dominated by leftist academics and elitists who hate anything that is considered “traditional American values” and who think that half of America is a bunch of dupes clinging to their guns and their religion, and who absolutely love to tear down any institution which is standing in the way of their agenda, and we’re supposed to totally trust them on this, because they haven’t done the sort of thing I think they’re capable of RECENTLY.

        The same federal government, the right half of which is filled with far too many moral busy bodies who feel the need to have government be your father, and tell you how to live your lives, and who are currently butting into your religious freedom and ability to associate with who you choose, and we should like totally trust them too…

        And parts of both sides of this government think the answer to all the world’s problems is to make the government even bigger, until things like shipping guns to drug cartels in Mexico and covering it up or arguing that it is totally cool to just blow up US citizens with drone strikes, are considered perfectly legit subjects… That government.

        But if I imagine that this same government that brought us all this bullshit could use gay rights as an excuse to infringe on religious liberties in the future, then that’s just crazy black helicopter talk…

  52. In another post, Larry wrote:

    > Heterosexuals choose to become homosexual all the time.
    > Talk to anybody who has ever worked in the prison system.

    To which I reply: No they don’t. The prisoners are heterosexuals who choose to engage in same-gender sex acts for purposes of domination or for physical (or emotional) gratification.

    With whom an individual is copulating is COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT to that individual’s status as heterosexual or homosexual. Sexual orientation is about the individual’s inclinations, not that individual’s actions.

    > And honestly, after being married for fifteen years now, there’s a
    > whole lot more complexity to a long term relationship than just
    > where you decide to stick your genetalia. 🙂

    Agreed…but, here’s the important bit: being homosexual (or heterosexual) isn’t primarily about where one is inclined to stick one’s genitalia. Instead, sexual orientation is largely about the complex mix of physical and emotional patterns that one finds attractive in a potential mate. It’s about the gender of the person who is likely to complete you in an intellectual, emotional and spiritual partnership.

    After being in a committed, monogamous homosexual relationship for twenty-two years now, I can confirm that there’s a whole lot more complexity to a long term homosexual relationship than just where we stick our genitalia, too.

    • “With whom an individual is copulating is COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT to that individual’s status as heterosexual or homosexual.”

      That’s what the prisoners say after they get out. 😀

      This may sound crude, and it isn’t exaclty scientific, but if you engage in gay sex, and people know you engage in gay sex, then they will probalby call you gay. Even if you tell them you’re not.

      “Sexual orientation is about the individual’s inclinations, not that individual’s actions.”

      On what planet? I’m “inclined” to drive a Lamborghini. That doesn’t make me a Lamborghini driver. Lots of people tell me they are inclined to be novelists, but until they actually sit in front of the computer and type a novel, then they’re not novelists.

      If a dude has sex with another dude, that would be a homosexual act. If a person has a homosexual thought, but doesn’t engage in a homosexual act, then he hasn’t performed a homosexual act. Since the human brain zips through billions of thoughts which never materialize into actions, I have a hard time believing that thoughts=being, or else we’d all be astronauts who could dunk basketballs. I have murderous thoughts. (usually when watching the news) Doesn’t make me a murderer. There isn’t a married man alive that hasn’t had adulterous thoughts. Doesn’t make them adulterers. There are men out there who are truly, severely inclined to be serial adulterers, and yet many of those won’t ever cheat on their wives because they have made the choice not to.

      “Instead, sexual orientation is largely about the complex mix of physical and emotional patterns that one finds attractive in a potential mate.”

      And I believe people have the will to make these decisions for themselves. Speaking as a straight man, our physical and emotional attractions evolve and change based upon our evolving thoughts and beliefs. When I’m young and stupid I could want to date slutty, vapid, bimbos, and then I can change my belief system and reprogram my brain and then I want to date an intelligent, caring, ambitious woman.

      I believe that I program my brain. I make my decisions and I live with the consequences of my decisions.

      I don’t buy into predeterminism in any way. If I did, I would be a fat, lazy, sack of crap, sitting on a couch, cashing my welfare check, watching daytime TV in my trailer, and eating cake frosting directly from the can. But I’m not, even though I was born into a situation where that was my logical outcome in life.

      “After being in a committed, monogamous homosexual relationship for twenty-two years now, I can confirm that there’s a whole lot more complexity to a long term homosexual relationship than just where we stick our genitalia, too.”

      And once again, bully for you. I’m happy to hear that. Have a great time. Doesn’t change the fact that lifestyle was your CHOICE.

      My philosophy comes down to this. Human beings have free will. They are not programmed machines. I think to say that people have no choice in some matters is to denigrate them and make them less. That’s one step off of the eugenic’s movement stupidity, or the jackasses who say all blacks are lazy or all hispanics are thieves. That’s stupid bigotry. Human beings are complex organisms who choose what they want to do with their lives, and anybody who seeks to deprive that free agency from someone is a tool.

      • I believe strongly in free will. People have absolute control over and responsibility for their own actions. Free will does not, however, modify a person’s innate nature. I can’t choose to be taller and I can’t choose to be heterosexual. I could choose (and have chosen) to commit heterosexual acts, but I assure you that I was still short and homosexual the entire time.

        We control our actions, but we DON’T program our own brains’ innate nature. If we could, then you could program your brain to stop WANTING to drive Lamborghinis, or to stop having murderous and adulterous thoughts.

        If I told you that, because someone has committed an angry action, then that must mean that they are an angry person…then I expect that you’d think that I was being ridiculous. A person can commit an act in anger without being generally angry in nature. Likewise, a person can be angry without choosing to commit angry actions.

        Why, then, do you seem to conflate being homosexual with performing same-gender sexual acts?

      • First off, your tall analogy doesn’t work, just like some people try to use the skin color anaology, because those are physical traits determined by genetics. Homosexuality isn’t a physical trait.

        “We control our actions, but we DON’T program our own brains’ innate nature” Yes you do. Every day of your life.

        “If we could, then you could program your brain to stop WANTING to drive Lamborghinis, or to stop having murderous and adulterous thoughts.” Correct. And you’ll notice that most intelligent human beings are able to arrange their thoughts. Using the adultery example, one of the things which statistically tends to lead to infidelity is porn use. You are programming your brain to look/lust over women other than your wife.

        As for the Lambo, why would I want to stop, which is where you are with homosexuality, which is your choice. See? Good for you. Own it. 🙂

        “Why, then, do you seem to conflate being homosexual with performing same-gender sexual acts?” Already explained this one a couple of time.

        Look man, I’ve already said that I’ve got no problem with gay people getting married. However, you will never sway me into believing in predeterminism. Not all gay people believe in predeterminism! (as has been pointed out in these comments by gay activists, can’t remember who, might have been you, too many comments) there are people who experience homosexual urges and feelings who CHOOSE to enter into heterosexual relationships their whole lives, and like in my priosner example, there are heterosexuals who CHOOSE to enter into homosexual relationships.

        Using predeterminism as an excuse for ANY activity or behavior is an insult to that person’s intellect. You are declaring those people LESS. This is absolutely no different than the people who insist that racial minorities are utterly helpless without the assistance of the government. This philosophy originates from the same side of the political spectrum and even from the same exact elitist academic douchebags, and it is all about making individuals less important and less accountable, and therefore weaker and more controllable.

    • Then explain the concept of “latent homosexual” to me.

      Apparently homosexuals can be convinced to engage in heterosex, and even get married. They are just supposed to be desperately unhappy about it.

      Maybe people can decide to ignore genetic “destiny”?

      The human brain is your number one sex organ. It can convince you to consider all sorts of weird stuff to be “sex”.

      • “It can convince you to consider all sorts of weird stuff to be “sex”.”
        – remember everyone! More people die from autoerotic asphyxiation than are killed by rifles.” 😀

        “They are just supposed to be desperately unhappy about it.”
        – That’s how people are supposed to feel whenever they personally decide to deviate from proper groupthink!

  53. TBH, I haven’t read through all of the comments here (once it gets over 100 I usually just skim them), but I’ve seen a few people advocating that all “marriages” become civil unions and we leave the idea of holy matrimony to the churches. I’m completely fine with that, but unless and until all instances of the word “marriage” in the law, tax code, etc. are replaced with “civil union/partnership/whatever,” creating a separate class of unions for gay people is unconstitutional. Loving v. Virginia, back in 1967, ruled that anti-miscegenation laws were unconstitutional, because the legal rights and privileges afforded by marriage made it a civil institution, and denying that right to certain couples was a violation of the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

    So basically, our options are: Remain unconstitutional and discriminatory; get lawmakers and bureaucrats to find and replace every single instance of the term “marriage” everywhere it appears (which would also require the cases before SCOTUS to be declared moot); or allow gay people to get married. In terms of simplicity, it seems like legalizing gay marriage–if it makes religious folks feel better, add in a clause stating that no religious organization can be forced to perform any marriage ceremony of any kind–is the easiest way to go.

    • Nick, that’s not how legislation works at all. When congress changes the legal meaning of a term, they don’t bring up and debate and analyze every single law in the code that uses that term, because that is quite literally impossible. They pass a new law that says “As of date such and such the Term X means this and this, and now includes the Term Y, which includes this and this.”

  54. A remarkably sensible and well-balanced column on the matter. I’ve been saying something rather similar for some time: the gay marriage movement has never been about gay “rights”– it’s been about making it a federal crime to dissent with the gay activists.

    I do have to make a point, though: talking about how marriage isn’t the government’s business is… inobservant, I suppose is the correct word. The default necessity of human civilization, of the human species, is to recognize that the institution of marriage is different from any other human institution. Older than the state OR the church, and bearing unique rights, privileges, and responsibilities to be found nowhere else, and that for the sake of the society it must remain so.

    That is why marriage has special legal recognition in our society. Why “the gubmint” is involved in it, has passed laws related to it, and has an obligation to protect its definition (and why it has failed its responsibilities in that regard.)

    To the common refrain that “you cannot legislate morality,” I replay that this is a lie; All laws legislate morality. They declare “our society finds THIS behavior right and THIS behavior wrong, and THIS is what it shall do to encourage one and discourage the other.” Laws against theft, assault, rape, murder– are all legislation of morality. The only question remaining is WHOSE morality shall be legislated.

    What is being proposed here is something that no other civilization on earth has ever dared. Not even the greeks, who regarded pedarasty as a national pastime, dared try redifining marriage as anything but between a man and woman– or women, to be fair (yes, I’m taking polygamy into account, we’re not STUPID here.)

    What will be the fate of a culture that no longer recognizes the institution of marriage as separate and unique?

    For one the right of a parent to determine the upbringing and welfare of their child will be further undercut. Likewise the marital rights of a lawful husband or wife. Legislating gay marriage, or the inverse, removing all marriage-related legislation, would have the same effect— it would not equalize, save in the sense it would define every involved party’s legal rights downward. When a marriage equals a live-in partner equals a gay couple equals a merry divorcee, do you think it will be human nature, when they all go to court, to treat them all like the most sacred institution– or the least?

  55. Hi Larry. After having read your posts on gun control and now gay marrige I find myself disagreeing with you on almost everything. I thought I was Libertarian but you make me look like I am hard core Left Wing.

    Aren’t we a sophisticated enough society to tolerate mutiple definitions of the word marriage. The repression against the Mormons was over a hundred years ago. It seems to be a weak example of where tolerating gay marriage could lead. The modern US is a different place from way back then.

    I know you review all first time posts so I expect you are reading this, so I want you to know I love your books! Really, you are my new favourite author. I purchased Spellbound, loved it so much I rushed out and got everything else. I get them from Audible so they take longer to consume and am halfway through the Last Monster Hunter book.

    I know you believe there is a bias against you from the liberal publishing, and you may be correct. But speaking for myself, just because I don’t agree with your politics doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate you as a writer.

    I eagerly look forward to your next novels. and the RPG.

    Keep up the good work.

    • “The modern US is a different place from way back then.” Yes, our government is bigger, more intrusive, pushier, and more dangerous.

      Other than that, thank you. 🙂

    • Alright I could kind of understand where you might be in disagreement with Larry here. Saying you disagree with Larry on Gun Control while calling yourself a Libertarian does not compute. Could you please explain why in your opinion why Larry is wrong on gun control?

    • Sorry, Chris, but if you feel that victim-disarmament is somehow libertarian, you have been lied to about what libertarianism is.

      Owning a firearm without State permission is a victimless “crime”. In fact, it is not even a crime. Owning the means to self-defense is a basic human right.

      You might want to actually attend a local Libertarian Party meeting. I guarantee you that voicing any support for gun control will get you verbally bitch-slapped by everyone in the room.

      • Hi guys. I don’t want to derail Larry’s topic by talking about guns but you are reading the wrong things into my comment. I like guns. I just disagree with Larry’s arguments however well written.

        I can talk about it on the other thread if people are interested but my position is not very incendiary, if fact it is kind of bland.

        Chris

  56. All the bigots turn out to be such assholes, even — or especially — the smug ones who pretend to be “tolerant, but”.

    • So what was my bigoted part? The part where I said I think gay people should have the right to be married, just like everybody else? Or the part where I said religious institutions shouldn’t be bossed around by somebody else? (sensing a trend).

      You’ll note the Christians on here are all “pretty much, yep” and the homosexual marriage advocates on here are all “pretty much, yep,” (except for a couple people who don’t agree with my disbelief in predeterminism). So where exactly is this assholish bigotry?

      But then again, for some folks if you’re not in full on lockstep with the groupthink cause of the hour you are a hatey-hate monger just leaking discrimination. And I can’t even guess which groupthink you belong to, because your post lacked sufficient information to tell.

  57. A friend from twitter brought me here. From the title of your post I expected it to be a lot more….I don’t know. Something that I’d be offended by at any rate. Instead I found myself in complete agreement. Even though I have a lot of gay friends and relatives, and personally don’t think it’s wrong, I can’t find myself disagreeing with anything you’ve said.

    It’s good to see that reason and rationality hasn’t entirely abandoned human beings.

    Thanks for this post, I’ll be sharing it.

  58. You’re lying to yourself.

    You say that you “don’t have a problem with homosexuality” but in the same breath, talk about it as a “bad lifestyle choice.”

    I won’t even get into the whole “choice” thing (because your ears are quite closed on that point, as demonstrated by your own comments to others). But you are making a judgment when you call something “bad”, and that means that you DO, in fact, have a problem with it. A problem so large that you don’t want to be associated with it, have your children involved in it, or allow the law of a presumably secular country allow it.

    Little girls don’t grow up dreaming to be “civil unioned.”

    If marriage is just a word, then why do you insist on ownership of it?

    We do not deny marriage to Buddhists, atheists, pagans, or any other religion who chooses to get married. I don’t see any Christians shouting from the rooftops “stop letting those atheists get married, they’re making a mockery of my religious beliefs.”

    I guess the sin of hating God is less important these days than the sin of loving the wrong person.

    Then there’s the fact that there are plenty of Christian denominations who have no issue with homosexuality, and welcome homosexual marriages. Do their religious beliefs count for less than yours? I’m a Christian, and believe that we need to keep our religious noses out of other people’s weddings. When Adam and Steve get married, it has a whole lot of nothing to do with me and my marriage. My husband and I aren’t more likely to get divorced. It just means more cake. They’re not “threatening the institution of marriage.” We heterosexuals have done a pretty good job fucking that up all on our own. We’ve managed to maintain a 50% divorce rate without a single bit of help from the homosexuals on that one.

    Human rights should never be put up for popular vote. Period. This is a pretty simple issue. We’re not talking about donkeys and cats getting married here, we’re talking about committed, loving adults wanting to commit to monogamy here. You have the constitutionally protected RIGHT (and don’t pretend it’s anything else, thank you very much. What would be your response if I told you that you couldn’t marry who you choose? “It’s my right!”) to marry whomever you love. That your sexual preferences point you to someone with boobs and a vagina is irrelevant. You love her, she loves you, you want to spend the rest of your life together, and show it to the world with a ceremony, and get the legal protection to make life decisions for each other and even protection in divorce, should “death us do part” turn into “until he porks the neighbor’s wife.”

    You don’t get down on one knee with tears in your eyes and a ring in your hand, and say, “Honey, will you join with me in a legal contract?”

    You say “Honey, will you marry me?”

    Don’t tell me it’s just a word.

    And don’t you dare claim to have ownership of it.

    • Oh bull shit. Get off your high horse.

      1. If you read my initial post, you’ll see that I said I’m okay with gay MARRIAGE. Did you get that? I personally do not mind if gays get MARRIED. That’s in the opening paragraphs. It is kind of hard to miss unless you are trying.

      2. The terminology issue came up because I pointed out that this is manufactured outrage, and if people really cared about gays actually being able to enjoy all the same rights and privledges as straights, then that is achievable far more easily without picking a fight with the predominant belief system in the country, and then getting shocked when they accept the fight and say bring it.

      3. Yes. I said that I personally believed it was a poor life choice. Of course I make a personal judgement when I call something “bad”. All parents attempt to pass a set of morals onto their kids on all sorts of topics. If those kids disagree when they are adults, that is their right. Liberals always get outraged about parent’s instilling morals in their kids, okay, great, then liberal parents should totally teach their kids about how awesome capitalism, free markets, small government, and gun ownership are… Oh, wait. That’s never going to happen, because all parents pass on their beliefs, either acitvley or passively, to their children.

      Apparently you’ve got a problem with people having differing belief systems. Deal with it. I can respect your rights, and I can think it is okay for you to make your choices, but I don’t have to believe that you are doing the right thing. I think anybody voting democrat is making a bad choice too, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to try and prevent them from doing it. Me not liking your lifestyle isn’t the same as me stopping your lifestyle.

      When you scream that you want people to give you tolerance, what you actually want is acceptance and praise. (and you are accusing me of being the word police?) Not going to happen. People have differing moral belief systems. Expecting them to change their moral compass to match yours is delusional, and the main reason people insist on doing this is so that they can play their precious victim cards.

      So let me get this right, I’m a well known conservative blogger with a whole lot of readers, and I write a blog post where I say that I’ve got no problem with gay MARRIAGE, an issue you apparently care about, but because I personally don’t think it is an advantageous lifestyle, then my personal agreement on this issue isn’t good enough, and I’m a fundy Christian bigot railing from the rooftops against the homos?

      As I also pointed out in the article, if you wanted to enjoy the same rights and privledges, don’t attack the other side and then get shocked when they fight back. Duh. If you actually cared about the issue of the right for gays to be married, shouldn’t you be happy when people who are supposedly on the other side say “Go ahead, no skin off my nose.” But oh no, we don’t LOVE YOU HARD ENOUGH? Or it isn’t acceptable until people who disagree with your lifestyle discard their religious/moral/personal beliefs and teach it to their chilren as being okay?

      “Then there’s the fact that there are plenty of Christian denominations who have no issue with homosexuality, and welcome homosexual marriages. Do their religious beliefs count for less than yours?” Nope. You will note that I SAID THAT in the original post that as a matter of religious freedom, if a religion believes in gay marriage, then they should be able to practice gay marraige. But if you want to argue against your intolerant hatey-hate phantoms, go ahead.

      Do you people see an article on a topic, and then just skim until you find something to get your moral outrage on? Oh no… I said “you people” furter proof of my discriminating hatey hate-mongery.

      • Who are “you people”, just out of curiosity? You make some interesting assumptions here. 🙂

        What you say you believe, and then the words that follow? Those are two different things. You may say you’re okay with gay marriage, but then you spend quite a lot of time explaining why you’re not okay with it at all. You’re fine with it, as long as it’s not called marriage.

        You say so right here:

        “Why not have a ballot initiatve that says consenting adults can form a civil partnership that allows visitation rights, joint filing of taxes, parental custody, and coequel property ownership? GASP! ”

        That’s not marriage. That’s “separate but equal”. And that’s not what those who want to be MARRIED to their spouse, regardless of gender, want.

        But yes, let’s get distracted by your persecution complex, if that makes you feel better. You’re the one labeling yourself a “hatey-hate” mongerer. Not me.

      • Here, let me help you out. This is the 2nd and 3rd paragraph of the blog post, as in the beginning, you know, the part of an essay where you communicate the general idea of the piece.

        “Personally, I’m not offended by it. And what other people do is their own business. I don’t think marriage should be the federal government’s business at all. The governement doesn’t own the concept of marriage.

        Two people want to enter a contractual partnership where they share assets, responsibilites, benefits, visitation rights, and tax burden. Awesome. Knock yourself out. Heck, if seven people want to marry each other and have a harem, great. Have fun. As long as they are consenting adults, I don’t care. If it wasn’t for the government screwing around in everything, this would be a really pointless question, because then some religions would have it and others wouldn’t, and people would be free to determine their beliefs for themselves.”

        If that isn’t clear enough for you, I DON’T GIVE A SHIT WHAT YOU DO.

        And this “Why not have a ballot initiatve that says consenting adults can form a civil partnership that allows visitation rights, joint filing of taxes, parental custody, and coequel property ownership? GASP! ” Because that is a basic list of what marriage actually does in a legal sense, which is the only sense the government (i.e. the 3rd branch of which is debating currently) has in defining it. And that comes from later in the post when I’m wondering why the media, activists, and the democrat party are so fixated on controversy rather than securing actual liberty and opportunites for the people they are supposed to be representing. (hint, because they’re not. They’re using you, just like they use minorities, immigrants, workers, unions, women, and any other group of people they can stick in a bucket to swing around and beat their opponents with)

        The few dozen other people commenting here all seemed to catch that. Congratulations. Out of the 15,000 individual readers this has gotten in two days, that makes you special. Even the other people I’ve disagreed with and debated here and on FB have been over the concept of free agency vs. predeterminsm, not that stupid crap about how my personally not caring for a lifestyle makes me a hatey-hate monger. 🙂

      • “You’re the one labeling yourself a “hatey-hate” mongerer.”

        -Heh… 😀 You are obviously new around here. All of the regular readers knew exactly what I was talking about. I’m an outspoken conservative author who routinely posts his hate mail for everyone to enjoy. Hatey-hate monger is a running joke for us.

        “Who are “you people”, just out of curiosity? You make some interesting assumptions here.” And you apparently slept clear through the mid 1990s all the way up to last election if you didn’t get that reference either. 🙂

      • Gays in Australia just made an end run around all of this crap.

        Instead of spending any time worrying about fundamentalists freaking out about marriage, they just started exchanging their equivalent of Powers of Attorney.

        Hospital administrators and other government officials learned bloody damned quickly that anyone who attempted to pretend these people weren’t legally couples would get the snot sued out of them for violating attorney-client privilege.

  59. Larry I pretty much agree with you. About the only part I disagree with you is your opinion that homosexuality is bad. That of course does not matter, since as you stated individual freedom is far more important.

    There is no Right to marriage. If I am a miserable, completely unlikable person that no woman would want to marry, then I can not get married. If it were a Right that would mean even if no one wanted to marry me I would still be able to be married if I chose to, which would only be possible in this example if some woman was forced to marry me.

    What you do have a Right to, is the ability to form a social contract with another person. While that may seem to be pretty much the same thing they are in fact very different

  60. Larry, you really hit the nail on the head with this post with your typical smart, streamlined thinking. You have put things in perspective for me, and I appreciate it. Great post! I would like to share this with my liberal friends. To that end, would you mind fixing a few typos in the piece? “Repercussions,” “inner city,” etc. I couldn’t care less about typos and to me they don’t affect your message. But I’d hate for some snarky douchebag liberal to tell me, “Repercussions wasn’t spelled right and that negates the entire article!” Would you consider it? Thanks!

  61. In our side-discussion regarding the nature of homosexuality, Larry wrote:
    >> However, you will never sway me into believing in predeterminism.

    and:

    >> Using predeterminism as an excuse for ANY activity or behavior is
    >> an insult to that person’s intellect.

    Good! We are in absolute agreement here.

    Here’s the thing…I’m a middle-aged software engineer living in Silicon Valley, but I’ve also been a gamer and LARPer, worked as an artist, volunteered at theaters, etc. In my youth, I was also somewhat politically active before the extreme liberalism/socialism of most of the LGB rights activists drove me away. The point is this: I’ve known a lot of gay people.

    Some choose to cruise the streets every Friday night looking for hookups. Others are desperately seeking long-term, loving and committed relationships. Some have children by previous heterosexual relationships, by adoption or by surrogate. I know one elderly gentleman who has, for religious reasons, been celibate his entire life. Every last one of them has complete control over how they choose to live with their homosexuality and what actions they choose to make.

    In all my life, however, I have never met a single person who chose to be homosexual.

    How, exactly, would that thought process work? Some pre-teen is lying in bed thinking, “Ooooh, I know! I want to have a limited range of wants and desires that will likely make me a social pariah and constant victim of bullying! I’m really looking forward to being disowned by my parents, to worrying about being fired from my job for my orientation, to harassment and being hated. Those long years of confusion and self-loathing sound like a blast. At least I’ll operate my entire life under social pressures that make it less likely that I’ll ever find a long term and happy relationship! I can’t wait to experience all of that lonely depression and high rate of suicide…”

    You say (with remarkable certainty) that being homosexual isn’t an ingrained trait in the same sense that being short or the color of one’s skin are ingrained traits. I say…I believe that you are wrong.

    I am, however, willing to keep an open mind. If you can find a gay person that offers a good explanation to you as to why he (or she) chose to be homosexual, please let me know!

    • Well, for fear of arguing in circles, you define somebody as homosexual because they feel that way, not because they take part in the act. I’d say those individuals are somebody with homosexual inclinations or feelings, because I define it by the action rather than the thought. In your examples you mention someobody like that who is entirely celibate, or somebody else who chooses to enter a heterosexual marriage instead. I wouldn’t call them homosexual. I’d personally seperate acts and thoughts, and though I don’t claim to speak for all Christians (one poster declaring that to the contrary) most Christians feel the same way. Like your religious guy who stayed celibate, most of his fellow parishoners probably didn’t think of him as homosexual either.

      Let’s take a hypothetical person who has feelings and inclinations where they are sexually attracted to young children… They say they are born that way. That is how they feel. They say they didn’t choose it. All the same arguments. Now, if this person never acts on this inclination their entire life, and they exercise the self control neccesary to never act on this inclinaiton, and they make the active choice to not have sex with kids and they stick with it, would you say this person is a pedophile?

      If no? Why? Same argument. Serious question.

      And once again, I’m not equating homosexuals with pedophiles. Consenting adults, you guys have fun.

      “In all my life, however, I have never met a single person who chose to be homosexual.” And how do you determine that, exactly? Where did your feelings come from? You know of a surety that you were simply born with them? You never chose to dwell on that or take your life in that direction?

      You mention the extreme liberalism/socialism taking over the LGB movement, but abrogation of personal responsibility and forsaking personal accountability is the bread and butter of the liberalism/socialism philosophy. I’m against any mindset that breeds personal helplessness.

      “How, exactly, would that thought process work? Some pre-teen is lying in bed thinking, “Ooooh, I know! -long list of horrible stuff.”

      -HA! Yet for that other poster, they got all hung up on how evil it was for me to teach my children that homosexuality is a poor life choice. 😀

      Look, at least I’m philosophically consistent. I think people choose to be X. X being whatever thing you are into. I think that saying your choice was removed from you is an abrogation of personal responsibility, and makes people less than they are. I treat homosexuals the same way I treat everybody else. If somebody wants to be gay, awesome. Own it. If somebody wants to be a stinking hippie, awesome, own it. If you want to be a redneck gun nut, awesome, own it. If you don’t, don’t do the things that put you in that category.

      “If you can find a gay person that offers a good explanation to you as to why he (or she) chose to be homosexual, please let me know!”
      – I am quite literally afraid to type “Choosing to be Gay?” into Google. I can’t even imagine what all the Ad Sense advertisements would look like for the rest of my life. 😀 Just from having this debate of Facebook all of the ads off to the side there now are buffed shirtless men who want to be my friend. Thanks, Facebook!

      • For the record…I believe that your conclusions regarding the nature of homosexuality are based upon faulty premises, but I do recognize and respect the fact that you are philosophically consistent.

        I think that you are wrong, not that you are a hatey hate-monger. 🙂

        I will, however, ask that you consider the syllogistic implications of teaching that homosexuality is a life choice.

  62. Larry wrote:
    >> Let’s take a hypothetical person who has feelings and inclinations
    >> where they are sexually attracted to young children… They say
    >> they are born that way. That is how they feel. They say they didn’t
    >> choose it. All the same arguments. Now, if this person never acts
    >> on this inclination their entire life, and they exercise the self control
    >> neccesary to never act on this inclinaiton, and they make the active
    >> choice to not have sex with kids and they stick with it, would you
    >> say this person is a pedophile?

    Yes, absolutely. I’ve known two people like that. Both of them are highly moral, strong willed people who would never, ever harm a child. But they are, absolutely, pedophiles.

    You’ll note, by the way, if you look up the definition of ‘pedophile’, you’ll find:
    A pedophile is a person 16 years of age or older who is primarily or exclusively sexually attracted to children who have not begun puberty.

    The definition includes nothing at all about actually *ACTING* on that inclination.

    >> -HA! Yet for that other poster, they got all hung up on how evil it
    >> was for me to teach my children that homosexuality is a poor life
    >> choice.

    There is literally not a single advantage to being homosexual over being heterosexual, and there exists a raging sea of disadvantages in almost every modern culture. *If* being homosexual is a life choice, then it isn’t just poor…It’s monstrously stupid, and every gay person in the history of the world is/was a fricking moron.

  63. Very well articulated. I agree

  64. I like your thoughts here, Larry. It is interesting to me that the LDS Church (of which I am proudly a member) has no problem with gay rights—equal protection under the law for gay couples who choose to enter a legally binding civil union—but is entirely against the idea of redefining what “marriage” means. If only the people championing gay (and so frequently demonizing their opponents) could realize that.

  65. So if sexuality is choice, when did you choose to be heterosexual? Do you remember the exact moment, or did you just find yourself attracted to the opposite sex and go with it? That argument holds no water.

    • Well, when 99% of the population follows the same pattern, then there would not be a conscious decision to deviate from the norm for them to take note of, now would there. 🙂

  66. In regards to my statement that the state of being homosexual is not a choice, Larry wrote:

    >> And how do you determine that, exactly?

    Decades of soul-searching and self-evaluation, time spent talking with dozens (if not hundreds) of other people who have dealt with similar issues, time spent talking with people who *haven’t* dealt with similar issues, research in medical journals, the dictionary and encyclopedia definitions of ‘homosexual’, reading fiction and non-fiction and other scholarly works on the subject, etc.

    >> Where did your feelings come from?

    I don’t know.

    >> You know of a surety that you were simply born with them?

    Nope. For all I know, it was cosmic rays or a weird side effect of being fed bad gefilte fish as a small child. All I know for sure is that homosexuality is (for me and for the thousands of other people that you’d find out about if you *did* try to Google ‘Choosing to be gay’) an innate trait that I absolutely, with 100% certainty, did not choose.

    >> You never chose to dwell on that or take your life in that direction?

    Correct.

    ( I had a few more minutes free…This will be my last post for a while, I promise. 🙂 )

  67. Larry, first things first, while I don’t agree with everything you’ve said here I do respect how you expressed it and your right to instill your values in your kids even if I disagree with some of them. That being said can I ask what it is about being gay that makes it, in your opinion and own words a bad life choice? Is it a matter of religious conviction or are there factors unrelated to your faith that come into play? And yes, as a deeply religious man myself I know it can be hard, if not impossible to completely separate the two. Not trying to kick an anthill here. Just trying to legitimately understand because while I don’t get the appeal of being gay myself I don’t see it as any better or worse than heterosexuality and can’t see as I would if I knew for a fact that it was a choice, which I haven’t seen compelling evidence of.

  68. I wanted to address the pedophillia question separately. Yes, I would consider a person who is sexually attracted to little kids a pedophile even if they never acted on the impulse. Who we are attracted to determines our sexuality to my way of thinking.

    I also need to take modest exception to your remarks on predeterminism . The example you cite of sitting in a trailer drawing a welfare check is one of personal action, not personal inclination. You and I both come from circumstances where, yeah, we should be dependent on the state for our needs. Instead our *personal inclination*, that is, the wiring of our own internal headspace said “This won’t do. I want something better and I’m going to go get as much of that something better as I ethically can.” . Granted, the point where we went from thought to action was one of choice. But the character traits that made us even consider making the attempt are, I believe, innate to who we are, maybe not on a DNA level -Gods know most of my bloodkin are trailer trash- but on a mental level that is so far back of our conscious selves we aren’t really aware of it until we’re on the road. Any action is a matter of choice. The *desire* to act in a particular way? I don’t think so.

  69. What a refreshing post to read regarding gay marriage! I wish I could have said it so well. My hat is off to you my friend and I am proud to call you a friend!

  70. […] This one will probably get me hate mail from both sides, Gay Marriage […]

  71. Maybe this was brought up before, I only skimmed, but the reason government should be involved in “marriage” is because of its potential to produce children. Yes, I know, they don’t all produce children, but the government has an interest in encouraging and strengthening institutions that offer the best chance for children to become well-adjusted, happy, productive, etc. Study after study has shown that the best chance children have is when they are raised by a man and woman who are committed to each other in a marriage. If the studies had been done earlier, its possible that laws making divorce so easy would never have passed. It was a great experiment, based on the hope that the kids might be better off (or just as well off) if their parents divorced. That hypothesis has been proven wrong. More recent studies show that “fathers” and “mothers” parenting styles are quite different, and that having one of each is ideal for children. Government offers benefits for married couples in order to encourage the best situation for children. If they’re going to offer the same advantages for “civil unions”, they might as well offer the same benefits for unmarried heterosexual couples, friends, roommates, single people, or whatever. The institution of marriage (between a man and a woman) has been around since ancient times because of the stabilizing effect it has on society, resulting from better outcomes for children.

  72. State.god apparently fancies itself to be building the ‘One Church’ -The Unifier- but its really becoming a sort of Mordor on the Potomac with an Isengard in every state…I’ve heard it told.

    “Ash nazg durbatulûk, ash nazg gimbatul, ash nazg thrakatulûk, agh burzum-ishi krimpatul”.

  73. […] This one will probably get me hate mail from both sides, Gay Marriage […]

  74. I used to buy into the argument of opposing gay marriage because it would open the possibility of churches being forced to honor and/or perform homosexual marriages. But I don’t anymore. Here’s why:

    Pre-marital sex is not illegal, BUT I haven’t seen any lawsuits against the Church for not allowing unrepentant couples get sealed/married in the temple. Same goes for ALL temple recommend questions.

    I also haven’t seen women sue the Church for discrimination relating to not being able to hold the priesthood.

    So frankly, I don’t completely understand why we as Mormons are afraid of federal or legal persecution for failing to perform gay marriages.

    While I appreciate the point of view expressed, and while I’m personally uneasy with the concept of gay marriage at times, most Mormons I know don’t support gay marriage because they believe God doesn’t support it and that by allowing it, we’ll have an even more corrupt society.

    • Simply because you have not seen these court cases doesn’t mean that they haven’t happened. People have been trying to sue the LDS church for the things you have listed (and many, many others) almost since day 1 of its organization. Since the LDS Church isn’t using any form of illegal discrimination they have consistently won these cases. So much case history has been built up over these issues that these lawsuit attempts cannot be brought to court any more.

      One of the reasons why Mormons in general are against redefining marriage is because it has the potential to overturn much of that case history. As Mr. Correia has said, it has happened before in plural marriage, it has the potential to happen again in gay marriage.

      The best way to keep it from happening is to be active in defining and defending our stance.

  75. BTW I am reading your books cos they are great and fun but if you ever run for office you have my vote

  76. LOL. Marry a bucket of fried chicken. My sides ache from laughing so hard.

    I’m a Democrat and fully agree with your explanation. Well, a Blue Dog Democrat, anyway. In June the Supreme Court will decide not to decide. Not sure where that will leave us. I expect more persecution however – we’ve already seen some vicious persecution in California.

  77. There’s a number of things that have been sticking in my throat, not about this specific post but about the topic in general. The most prominent one is the recurrent argument that “I’m not against them having the same rights, I just don’t want it called a marriage.” . Well there’s a couple problems with that. The first one is that if you’re ok with them having the same rights then you need to be ok with it being called a marriage. Because that’s a right we, as straight people have. Otherwise you’re getting into separate but equal territory and that nonsense got shot down before I was born. Words matter. Words have power. We don’t have a millennium old tradition as human beings of calling the union of two people a civil union. Even ceremonies devoid of any religious trappings at all are called marriages. For gays and lesbians to be truly equal-and like it or not as citizens they have that right- then their unions deserve to be called the same thing that straight people’s unions are called. Doing so takes nothing away from straights and does us no harm of any kind and I defy anyone here to prove otherwise. Show me the food it takes from your kids mouths, the cuts it opens in your flesh or the material possessions it comes into your house and destroys. Anything else is “Me no likey.” and last I checked shrugging your shoulders and getting on with your life despite the existence of “Me no likey” was part of being an adult.

    The other thing I keep hearing is that it somehow harms straight marriages. No. It doesn’t. Infidelity, domestic violence, chemical dependence, all of those things harm straight marriage. But two people with the same plumbing having the exact same arrangement as two people with different plumbing, the same rights and the same label applied to it? Nope. Not in the slightest and I’ve never seen evidence that it does. The only thing that can harm a marriage is the people IN THE MARRIAGE. What the neighbors get up to has as much impact on your own domestic situation as what the guy working the counter at Starbucks had for breakfast . Less really because if the guy working the counter at Starbucks didn’t have a good breakfast he might screw up your order and you might get cranky and take it out on your partner.

    Finally there’s the concern-very reasonable given what happened with Mormon church- of the government stepping in and forcing the church at gunpoint to perform gay weddings. But I don’t think they could get away with trying something like that with the Catholics or Protestants, Jews or Muslims. What I do see happening- and we’re seeing it right now – is gays and gay allies voting with their feet . And that’s not government oppression. That’s people exerting their free will and exercising their innate right to chose their house of worship.

    In the end it comes down to a couple very simple things. If you don’t like gay marriage get straight married and leave the gay marriage to the gays. If you don’t like seeing gay people hold hands or kiss in public, get over it .

    • The government has already started to “get away with” forcing churches to do things they don’t want. Massachusetts allowed gay marriage, and immediately started enforcing the catholic church to place babies for adoption into gay couple families, even though it is against the catholic beliefs. The catholic church in Massachusetts stopped doing adoptions after that. That is only one example, but sufficient to show not just a “Me no likey”.

      I get so tired of people saying “it’s no skin off your nose, just give in to what I want”. No. The break down of society, morals, and honor are plagued with “it doesn’t hurt you what other people do”. It *does* hurt me and mine, it *does* hurt the American way of life, and it *does* hurt our society in general.

      Societal rules are based on the best outcome for the most people. Stop trying to rewrite the rules for the loudest minority among us.

      • Steve, what the government did was step in and prevent discrimination against a minority. That’s part of their function. You say it hurts you that gay people get equal rights. **How** precisely? Does it, as I mentioned in my post open cuts in your flesh? Does gay people getting equal rights burn down your house, poison your dog, force you at gunpoint to cheat on your spouse? Anything remotely like that? You mention that it harms the American Way Of Life. How precisely does giving American citizens equal rights under the law in ANY WAY run contrary to the American way of life? Isn’t that what we’re supposed to be about in this country? Not one set of rules for one group of people and another set for another. But one set of rules for EVERYONE .

        You mention societal rules. Rules change and grow with society. Time was the rules said a man could beat his wife, that black people were chattel and that women couldn’t vote. Did any of *those* rules serve the best outcome for the most people? What you’re describing is mob rule or the tyranny of the majority. Rules, good sensible rules, are based off one simple question; who does it harm? We outlaw theft because when you take something that isn’t yours you harm the person whose property it was. We outlaw murder and arson for the same reason. We outlawed drunk driving because there was a direct line correlation between operating a thousand pounds of high-speed metal and glass when your reflexes are impaired and people getting dead. Gays having equal rights doesn’t injure anyone while discriminating against them very much does.

        What this really comes down to, at least based on your inability to cite examples of *how* it harms you is that you’re uncomfortable with homosexuality for whatever reason and you equate that with harm. Sorry but it doesn’t work that way. If your version of God tells you that being gay is wrong that’s between you and Him. But we don’t live in a theocracy and if your only reason for wanting something a particular way is “My version of the invisible person in the sky says it’s bad.” then while you’ve every right to have it that way under your own roof, you’ve NO right to make it into a law. So possess whatever opinion you want but before you do take a hard look at whether it is consistent for a nation founded on the idea of equal rights for all citizens to pass laws which, by their very nature, deny equal rights to certain citizens.

      • mechgogogames, I see that you have read Larry’s list of all the things a liberal will do during an argument, and made sure to do them all.

        restate to a different argument (“equal rights” versus “gay marriage”, not the same thing), ignore examples you don’t like, casually dismiss the bits you can’t ignore, and demand proof to specific things that have general answers (Sorry, Larry, for the paraphrasing).

        Religious institutions should be able to follow their own belief system, and not be forced to the latest PC thing to do. Redefining a multi-millennial old tradition to make a small group of people feel validated in their life choices is not about equal rights. If they wanted equal rights, they would be willing to work toward a solution, not try and force their beliefs on all religions.

        Also, your insistence that if it does not have a specific personal impact on my life, it must be OK is a fallacy. There are many things that doesn’t work for. One example would be Global Warming. Does it open cuts in your flesh? Does it burn down your house, poison your dog? Make you cheat on your spouse? Of course, since it is a fallacy in it’s own right, you will not be able to cite specific examples of **HOW** it will personally effect you. At least, none that are not falsified data.

        As stated by SCOTUS, gay marriage opens up all sorts of legal and societal issues. Do you accept Polygamy? How about Bestiality? Should people marry their computers? Where is the line?

      • Ok Steve, one point at a time. How is marriage equality not an equal rights issue? We’re talking about people wanting equal protection and equal recognition under the law. I’m no ivy league graduate but I’m pretty sure that’s textbook equal rights. This whole nonsense of “Let them call it a civil union or domestic partnership?” 21st century Jim Crow. Separate but equal for the modern age. And NOT ACCEPTABLE, And while I wouldn’t say that either side of political aisle has a monopoly on it doing everything BUT answering the question-in this case “How does two gay people getting married and calling it a marriage hurt you or damage your marriage in ANY WAY?”- is pretty standard behavior when you know you don’t have a viable answer and would rather not admit it.

        The global warming question. Let’s see. The climate *is* changing. We’re getting more and more extreme weather patterns. The polar ice caps are melting. That’s not propaganda, that’s documented. Friends of mine nearly died in New York when that big storm hit and. That’s a pretty direct impact on me. Also, in case you haven’t noticed drinkable water is in increasingly short supply and water prices are going up as are prices on basic food stuffs. Food and water costing more means it’s harder for my family to have the basic necessities, means that global warming DOES in fact directly impact me. And I have yet to see a study on the phenomena that denied climate change which wasn’t funded by an organization with a vested interest in dismissing it.

        By the way comparing global warming to marriage equality to the point of asking me a question that I specifically in an effort to address the whole “Gay marriage is a threat to straight marriage” fallacy? Not only is it apples and oranges it’s cheap theater of the worst sort. Not to mention some rather clumsy dodging of a direct and simple question. So I’ll ask it again. How does gay people getting married threaten the stability of your marriage? I’m 41 years old. I’ve been married 20 years next month. I know a thing or two about what puts a marriage at risk and what makes it work. So explain it to me if you can, please.

        Religious institutions being forced to go against their beliefs in favor of the latest PC thing to do/the multi-millenia old tradition of marriage. First off, even in the Christian Bible marriage has been re-defined repeatedly. One man/one woman, one man and multiple women, etc etc. Second, I’m not talking about forcing churches to marry gay people if they don’t want to. If others are that’s their dog in the fight. As a member of a minority faith myself I’m with Larry and you in wanting the government as far the fuck away from my religious observances as humanly possible. What I’m talking about, me personally here, is gay people being able to get married same as straight people, be able to call it a marriage and have all the same legal rights, responsibilities and protections under the law that straight people have. If they want to get married in a church but can’t find a church willing to marry them too bad, so sad. Clergy have the right to refuse to perform specific rituals if they feel doing so would violate the tenets of their faith. At least in my opinion they do and I feel that anyone who tries to force the issue is out of line. But whether it is a civil ceremony or a religious one it should be called a marriage and it should be treated as such in regards to rights, responsibilities, protections and penalties.

        Where is the line? The line is Consenting Adults. Do I support polygamy? That honestly depends. Is everyone in the relationship an adult -not age of consent but 18 years or older- ? Are they mentally competent to give informed consent to participate in the marriage? And here’s the biggie; are they in the relationship of their own free will, free of coercion and threats? In that case HELL YES I support it. My beef with polygamy isn’t with multiple partners. I’ve got three wives myself for frig sake. The hell kind of hypocrite would I be if I didn’t support someone else’s right to live as I live. Personally I believe that a man being able to have multiple partners but a woman not being able to or vice versa is seriously unfair but if an adult consents to live in that kind of an arrangement that’s their business not mine.

        A housepet can’t give consent. They aren’t sentient. Neither can a computer or a bucket of fried chicken. And the bestiality/marrying inanimate objects thing is SUCH a tired card to play it’s right up there with comparing someone you disagree with to Hitler. And no I’m not accusing you of comparing me to Hitler or comparing you to him Simply pointing out what a sad cliche it is to trot out the bestiality shtick .

        So now we’re back where we started. Here’s me asking how it’s right or fair or in any way consistent with the American ideal to discriminate against American citizens and deny them the same rights and protections under the law as everyone else. If you can’t answer that simple question then don’t bother responding because all we’re gonna do is go back over previously covered ground and while I’m always happy to politely discuss new points I get pretty bored, pretty quick repeating myself. Have a nice one Steve. You’re wrong on this issue but at least we both agree that Larry’s writing kicks ass by the cartload.
        Cheers!

  78. I think some of the people here, and in particular the author of this article, may be interested in this Facebook Group:
    https://www.facebook.com/GovernmentOutOfMarriageEntirely

  79. If you want to take the word ‘marriage’ out of the debate, wouldn’t the logical conclusion be to take the word ‘marriage’ out of all laws and regulations? Because doing otherwise leads to the ‘separate but equal’ bullshit other people have noted that is mostly remniscent of Jim Crow.

    So assuming government no longer deals with marriage in any way…what is stopping gays and lesbians from calling their civil union marriage? And would really those who are opposed to gay marriage really be comfortable with government no longer recognizing marriage?

  80. Well put, I’ve been saying the same thing to people when the subject comes up. And yet the fight over semantics is too important apparently. Gun control, and now gay marriage…2 things we agree on Larry. Keep writing, love your books!

    • If you get to call your recognized union marriage, and i have to say I’m civilly unioned, you’ve created a second class, a lesser class. You call it semantics, but try reading any court decision addressing the issue and maybe you’ll recognize it’s about dignity.

  81. […] Gay marriage: a non-issue made into an issue for political purposes. […]

  82. […] Okay, here’s the thing. Personally, I don’t care who anybody shacks up with.  I’m not even against gay marriage. Yet I still don’t really want to put my equipment in some other dude either because I like women. I should be able to say that and it be okay! But as I’ve seen here before, it isn’t enough to tolerate somebody else’s lifestyle choices, if you call them a lifestyle choice, you’ll be attacked. I did a blog post about gay marriage back when that was the topic of the day, and I wrote it from the perspective of a religions person, and quickly discovered that my not being against it wasn’t enough. The comments were full of people saying that my personal belief that a homosexual lifestyle was a choice was offensive to them.  https://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2013/03/27/this-one-will-probably-get-me-hate-mail-from-both-sides… […]

  83. Its a shame that people spend so much money and time into gay rights instead of helping people in need. What an arrogant country America is.

  84. “So if you want to know why the Mormons in California voted against gay marriage, they weren’t scared of gay people. They were scared of the feds.”

    Larry, love your books and will keep buying them.

    However, what you wrote there is a crock of shite. No church has ever been ordered to perform a certain type of marriage, they have only been precluded from performing certain types of marriages. That’s a big difference. No church will ever be required to marry a gay couple in this country. Ever. It is not possible, and no, it can’t happen here. No court can issue an order to a religious institution mandating that it perform any ceremony, be it a bar mitzvah, a funeral service, or a wedding. Can. Not. Happen. No church has ever been required to perform an interracial wedding either.

    • “It is not possible, and no, it can’t happen here”?

      Not possible is a crock of shite.

      Anything’s possible with the Left.

      The Left accepts no limits on their ability to create their version of the “Perfect World”.

      All the written protections in the Constitution are meaningless where the Left is concerned.

      The Left believes in the “Living Constitution” where the Courts can rewrite it.

      Now what would likely happen if the Courts attempted to force Churches to marry Gays is another matter and I doubt that the Lefties would like what would happen.

      • The sad thing is I doubt if the lefties actually give a crap about gay rights. It’s just a social engineering tactic used to guilt people into letting government tell churches what to do.

        Stating it bluntly “We want the government to dictate what religious organizations can and can’t do or say” Would rile people up. By using an issue of ‘fairness’ they get the same result and actually get some support. Instead they show you ‘victims’ of ‘discrimination’ saying look at poor John and Fred. They are deeply in love but church x refuses to acknowledge their love and marry them for the simple reason that according to their faith it is wrong. Since that is discrimination that is wrong and we want to fix it. Which completely ignores the fact that by doing this they are using the power of the state to force groups of people to do something they think is immoral.

        In the modern world we seem to have forgotten that giving people freedom means they are free to act in ways that we don’t approve. Every time we let someone force or restrict behavior of some action we don’t approve we are all tacitly agreeing that the place of government is as the ultimate arbiter of human behavior in the country. I don’t know about the rest of you but from what I see of both parties in DC that scares the hell out of me.

      • Yep, no argument.

        Of course, what really annoyed me about that gentleman was his idea that it was *impossible* to happen as if even if the Lefties wanted to do it, they were unable to do it. [Sad Smile]

      • Paul,
        I tend to agree with you on that. Since the ACA passed I’ve been much more cynical about what our government will and will not do. The NSA revelations topped with the IRS being used as a political weapon haven’t helped either. (That’s not even getting into crimes by Democrats or Democrat groups being ignored and seemingly exempt from prosecution). I’ve got little faith that the Republicans are any better since only a few seem concerned.

        Makes you wonder what it is going to take before the rest of the country starts paying any attention to it.

    • It’s already starting in England.
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2383686/Millionaire-gay-fathers-sue-Church-England-allowing-married-church.html
      Millionaire gay fathers to sue the Church of England for not allowing them to get married in the church

    • only to bake a cake

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