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The Consitutional Amendment To Ban Gay Marriage

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This is an email that i received, when I asked why the ARI hasn't said anything about the amendment, in op-eds, or editorials, or press releases. It actually bothers me a lot.

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ARI has no position on this isuue.

-----Original Message-----

From: The Ayn Rand Institute [mailto:[email protected]]

Sent: Thursday, July 22, 2004 4:54 PM

To: David Holcberg

Subject: Response Medialink Feedback

Medialink Feedback

Date: 7/22/04 6:54 PM

James Hughes

1.) Personal Information

Name: Mr. James Hughes

E-mail: [email protected]

E-mail Opt-In: Yes

E-mail Format:

2.) Comments:

Why isn't the ARI saying anything about the proposed constitutional

amendment to ban gay marriage?

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How can the the ARI have no position on this issue?? How can an objectivist not be against a constitutional amendment that violates individual rights?

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Here is another email response

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Subject: RE: Response Medialink Feedback

Date: 7/23/2004 4:48:17 PM Central Daylight Time

From: [email protected]

Reply To: Re: Response Medialink Feedback

To: [email protected]

I am not aware of the particular reason for ARI not taking a stand on this issue. Sorry.

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From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]]

Sent: Friday, July 23, 2004 2:35 PM

To: David Holcberg

Subject: Re: Response Medialink Feedback

Is there any reason why the ARI doesn't have a position on this issue?

Thank you

James Hughes

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Why does the gov. involve itself in marriage?

It is natural for the government to do so. It MUST have a stance on it.

specifically

republicans want to ban gay marriage

democrats don't want to ban gay marriage

both require legislation, bureacracy, etc....the government gets bigger regardless of who wins. The only side nobody has taken yet, is the side that government should have no business regarding this matter. Think about both political parties and thier intent based on the ideas that you know about altruism. It should clear this up a bit for you.

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How can the the ARI have no position on this issue?? How can an objectivist not be against a constitutional amendment that violates individual rights?

Because marriage is not (properly) relevant to government. Marriage should have no more of a legal status than being blonde or blind. Legal marriage should simply be outlawed (well, should be eliminated as a special legal status): there are better ways to get what you want, legally speaking, from the law of contracts and partnerships. In a nutshell, nobody has a right to legal marriage. If you want non-legal sanctification of your relationship with a person, many churches are willing to do it for free.

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In that case, the ARI should still have a position; that government should have nothing to do with marriage certainly includes not having the right to ban any kind of marriage. that would be the position right? that the ban on gay marriage is unconsitutional and morally wrong, because the government shouldn't deal in marriage at all.

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In that case, the ARI should still have a position;

Well, it's really easy for an individual to take and argue a position. Not so easy to get an organisation of any type to take An Official Position, since there are procedures. You could make the argument to them, and see if that persuades them to take a specific position. BTW you have to separate the issue of constitutionality from morality: the US Constitution is sufficiently open-ended that it permits quite a number of immoral laws. You get annual reminders in mid-April.

Do you have a list of Official ARI Positions? I'm not aware of such a thing, as it happens, so I don't know whether the lack of an official position on their part reflects ambivalence on the question, or perhaps a general stance on Official Positions. For example I'm not sure what the ARI Official Position is on gun control, or whether there even is one. So perhaps if you compared some cases of their actual Official Positions, historically, you'd find out why there is not an Official Position on this matter. Maybe, simply, because nobody has written the Op-Ed.

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Those who support "gay marriage" or advocate against it are operating on flawed premises. Civil marriage is a state entitlement similiar to a corporate entity where the parties are given a certain status of priviledges, tax advantages, who then combine assets, credit and income. Unless one advocates that there exists persons of special standing in soceity, we should abolish such an institution and leave it in private hands.

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Gobstomper

Civil marriage is a state entitlement similiar to a corporate entity where the parties are given a certain status of priviledges, tax advantages, who then combine assets, credit and income.

What entitlements do you get? Do you mean these like welfare? And what are the tax advantages?

I pay a higher tax rate being married than I would single. The only way I could get a break is if my wife starts pumping out puppies and that isn't going to happen. Even the combining of assets is more for the skimming. And the combining of credit is a good thing and reasonable since it is the outgrowth of combined income.

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Being married does have its tax benefits. Do you remember Georgy's tax cuts in 2001? Primary beneficiaries were married couples. But here are some more words taken from the General Accounting Office explaining the various tax advantages of marriage:

"Marital status also plays a key role in the estate and gift tax laws and in the part of the tax code dealing with taxation on the sale of property. For estate tax purposes, property transferred to one spouse as the result of the death of another is deductible for purposes of determining the value of the decedent's estate. Gifts from one spouse to another are deductible for purposes of the gift tax. Gifts from one spouse to a third party are deemed to be from both spouses equally. The law permits transfers of property from one spouse to another (or to a former spouse if the transfer is incident to a divorce) without any recognition of gain or loss for tax purposes. These provisions permit married couples to transfer substantial sums to one another, and to third parties, without tax liability in circumstances in which single people would not enjoy the same privilege."

"The only way I could get a break is if my wife starts pumping out puppies and that isn't going to happen. Even the combining of assets is more for the skimming." ~ Thoyd Loki

When you get married and have puppies, your wife and children are considered partners in this corporation. When you get divorce you must divide the monies derived during this corporation and all future monies to all the persons involved. Even if you make the majority of the income you are legally liable to "reimburse" the respected persons be it through allimony and/or child support. Even in cases that there is a pre-nuptual agreement providing limited liability to the respected spouse, some state courts have not respected them.

"And the combining of credit is a good thing and reasonable since it is the outgrowth of combined income." ~ Thoyd Loki

If you have bad credit and your wife has good credit and you guys combine credit, your bad credit is reflected on hers as well. In such cases it would be harder to get credit. Then again you could always use your wife's social security number and neglect to use your own. The fact that your credit is somehow base on a government assigned number which is both illegal and immoral as the purpose of such number was ONLY tax identification and to benefit from Social Security and other kinds of governmental assistance.

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Those who support "gay marriage" or advocate against it are operating on flawed premises.  Civil marriage is a state entitlement similiar to a corporate entity where the parties are given a certain status of priviledges, tax advantages, who then combine assets, credit and income.  Unless one advocates that there exists persons of special standing in soceity, we should abolish such an institution and leave it in private hands.

The chances of marriage being abolished as a state institution within the next 10 years are precisely 0. During this time, a lot of gay people are going to miss out on benefits which they are entitled to. Since legalising gay marriage is an achievable goal whereas replacement with civil unions is a pipedream (within the current context), it makes sense to campaign for the former as opposed to the latter. Think of it as being similar to the rationale which people use to justify voting for 'the lesser of 2 evils' when it comes to elections, rather than "wasting their vote" on a third party.

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I've always thought the endless articles against a nanti-gay amendment on the CapitalismMagazine were their position.

Capitalism Magazine speaks only for the owner of that web site and not for ARI, Ayn Rand, or Objectivism.

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This may be incorrect, but ARI is 501 non-profit organization and I'm pretty sure that one of the rules pertaining to that particular status is that they aren't allowed to hold (not officially, anyways) a position on matters that are to be discussed in an impending election (based on a certain numbers of days or months before the election - I'm not sure).

Anyone who heard Yaron Brook speak at OCON on the Morality of War will remember his explanation, when asked how an Objectivist should vote, that he could not speak for ARI.

So that's my $0.02, applicable or otherwise.

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Elle wrote:

This may be incorrect, but ARI is 501 non-profit organization and I'm pretty sure that one of the rules pertaining to that particular status is that they aren't allowed to hold (not officially, anyways) a position on matters that are to be discussed in an impending election (based on a certain numbers of days or months before the election - I'm not sure).

Does this have something to do with their tax status? There was talk here in Colorado about a Catholic chruch losing its non-profit tax status because a Bishop was outspoken about people suffering religous consequeces based on the way they voted. Would it be a similiar situation with the ARI? And if so, does that mean that they have to clam up about other election issues that they have taken a stance on, like abortion, until the elections are over.

If this is the case, it is both frustrating and bizarre. It is sad that there such a profound effect on the actions an organization can take simply because of how much money the government is legally allowed steal from them if they do.

As for the original post, why does it matter what the ARI's official position is on gay marriage amendment?

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Because marriage is not (properly) relevant to government. Marriage should have no more of a legal status than being blonde or blind. Legal marriage should simply be outlawed (well, should be eliminated as a special legal status): there are better ways to get what you want, legally speaking, from the law of contracts and partnerships. In a nutshell, nobody has a right to legal marriage. If you want non-legal sanctification of your relationship with a person, many churches are willing to do it for free.

Are you serious? If you are, I just want to voice my disagreement.

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Are you serious?  If you are, I just want to voice my disagreement.

Yes, I'm serious. What is it that you disagree with? Unless you mean the church part, which was a tongue in cheek slap at those people who are panicked about the sanctity of marriage, who aren't willing to admit what sanctity means.

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Yes, I'm serious. What is it that you disagree with?

The idea that marriage is nothing more than a meaningless religious ritual that should be shunned by rational people.

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The idea that marriage is nothing more than a meaningless religious ritual that should be shunned by rational people.

We're talking about marriage as a legal institution, and not about the act of making a personal commitment (which I do believe in). Gay couples often have ceremonies to perform the non-legal aspects of "getting married". which no constitutional amendment can touch. Don't focus on the ceremony of joining, but rather focus on the special legal status that the state gives to marriage. Do you think that it has anything at all to do with the proper function of government?

BTW I don't believe that the act of commitment (or a ceremony expressing that commitment) is meaningless, which is why I inserted the word "legal" in my comments a number of times. I also don't believe that it is necessarily religious -- of course I also don't believe in the sanctity of marriage. Religion and "sanctity of marriage" go hand in hand. Of course I recognise that there are annoying social and familial problems that can result in church ceremonies.

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...Do you think that it has anything at all to do with the proper function of government?

Do you think that the proper function of government has nothing to do with enforcing contracts?

But I don't want to argue about this issue, I just wanted to register my disagreement. That's all I have to say about it right now. But add this to the things you've said that I disagree with (although I think this one probably depends on what you mean by sanctity and what kind of context you have in mind):

I also don't believe in the sanctity of marriage. Religion and "sanctity of marriage" go hand in hand.

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I suspect that there is some misunderstanding going on here. I think Dave is objecting to the government being involved in marriage in any manner other than enforcement of a contract, just like any other legal contract drawn between people.

And, I think Dave has objected to the "sanctity" of marriage in the strict sense of "sanctity" being associated with godliness.

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I suspect that there is some misunderstanding going on here. I think Dave is objecting to the government being involved in marriage in any manner other than enforcement of a contract, just like any other legal contract drawn between people.

Yes, exactly. A partnership agreement should be enforced by the government, and should not be subject to externally-imposed renegotiations by the government (esp. regarding dissolution).

And, I think Dave has objected to the "sanctity" of marriage in the strict sense of "sanctity" being associated with godliness.

Again, exactamundo. See for example Websters (online). The Christian right is particularly fond of speaking of the sanctity of marriage, and they don't mean "importance".

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I suspect that there is some misunderstanding going on here. I think Dave is objecting to the government being involved in marriage in any manner other than enforcement of a contract, just like any other legal contract drawn between people.

And, I think Dave has objected to the "sanctity" of marriage in the strict sense of "sanctity" being associated with godliness.

Understood. I suspected that something like that was going on here, but thanks for clearing that up.

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Yes, exactly. A partnership agreement should be enforced by the government, and should not be subject to externally-imposed renegotiations by the government (esp. regarding dissolution).

Again, exactamundo. See for example Websters (online). The Christian right is particularly fond of speaking of the sanctity of marriage, and they don't mean "importance".

I have read this thread and I agree with DaveOdden's objection to government into the marriage contract. I attended law schcool and when studying family law I realized that it is a convoluted mess precisely because of all the government interference. I have no problem with the Common Law courts setting down default rules pertaining to all aspects of family law situations the same way they do for regular contract interpretation cases. But the myriad statutes that dictate how two people should structure their personal economic affairs agravates me to no end.

I would say that at the most the government could offer a default standardized marriage contract for people that don't draft their own, allthough in a fully free market I don't think that would be neccessary (specializing attorneys would offer their own and far better). Similarly, I wish that there was the freedom for people to draft there own corporate or business partnership agreements without using government approved formats found in the various legal statutes (corporation codes, partnership codes, etc, I forget the exact names).

Again it seems to me that the solution is more freedom not a Constitutional Amendment.

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