Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum
Sign in to follow this  
Paul Hsieh

North Carolina’s Despicable Amendment

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

North Carolina’s Despicable Amendment:

David Deerson writes an excellent blog post on North Carolina’s Despicable Amendment — a.k.a. Amendment 1. The amendment — up for a vote today (May 8th) — would declare that “marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state.”

David writes:

The amendment isn’t only a strike against gay marriage but also civil unions, regardless of the gender composition of the partners. Depending on the courts interpretation of the language of the amendment, it could:

  • invalidate domestic violence protections for all unmarried partners;
  • undercut existing child custody and visitation rights that are designed to protect the best interests of children;
  • prevent the state from giving committed couples rights to allow them to order their relationships, including threatening their
  • ability to determine the disposition of their deceased partner’s remains;
  • make medical decisions if their partner is incapacitated
  • allow second-parent adoptions in order to ensure that both partners have a legal tie to, and financial responsibilities for, the
  • children they are raising.
  • invalidate trusts, wills, and end-of-life directives by one partner in favor of the other.

Apparently, the people who will be voting for this amendment don’t even understand its legal implications. But based on recent polling numbers, it seems likely to pass by a wide margin. I’m hoping for an unexpected but stunning defeat.

Ou7CamceX0I

View the full article

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nope. :(

There is such a disconnect between some parts of this country and other parts...

Edited by JASKN

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Despicable Amendment – Amen

Thanks, Diana.

Depending on the courts interpretation of the language of the amendment, it could:

. . . prevent the state from giving committed couples rights to allow them to order their relationships, including threatening their ability to determine the disposition of their deceased partner’s remains; make medical decisions if their partner is incapacitated; . . . invalidate trusts, wills, and end-of-life directives by one partner in favor of the other.

Those are the sorts of possible effects that could impact my partner and me. We have that sort of legal situation here in Virginia also. The good news is that so far the legal profession is not so bigoted as the general public.

One good thing for same-sex couples throughout the country is that a couple of years ago, the President issued a directive that hospitals receiving Medicare business are required to have a written policy of nondiscrimination against same-sex couples concerning visitation rights. Unfortunately, even that can be overturned by a future President pandering to the bigots.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The amendment passed 58% to 42%. My impression is that a majority of voters are for civil-unions even while they are against extending "marriage" to same-sex couples. Since this amendment bans civil unions, I'd hoped it would be defeated.

As an aside, one thing that has always bothered me is the ability to change a constitution with a simple majority. If a constitution is something more than ordinary law, then it makes sense to make it more enduring by requiring a super-majority. For the curious, here's a summary of rules across the various states.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Michigan requires a 2/3rds vote in it's legislature then it goes to public vote by majority. The sad thing is that a similar law passed here several years ago. What is even sadder is that I've gotten in more arguments in recent years over this law too. Of all things to argue over or be motivated enough to change the State Constitution. You'd think something really draconic like out new "Emergency Managers" would rate higher than the threat of two people getting married...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't believe Obama came out for gay marriage right after this vote. NC is a state he probably needs, too. Am I missing something, or did he actually go with an honest belief instead of a flash poll?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If they did that, what would there be left for you to troll about?

If they did that, what would there be left for you to troll about?

I mean this seriously, not in a trolling sense at all, and to be clear, support gay marriage, but I have been struggling with why legalizing gay marriage would not also imply that polygamy, polyandry, group marriages, etc ought to be legal. Obviously a strong line can be drawn at consent so as to preclude marriage to animals, children, and inanimate objects, but I haven't seen or come up with any reason to forbid marriage for groups and have been somewhat surprised to find that many supporters of gay marriage are opposed to it. Is there some argument that I am unaware of or does it stand to reason that group marriages ought to be allowed as well?

Obviously the right answer is that government doesn't really need to be in the business of encouraging particular kinds of contracts, but since they are and many Objectivists seem to support it I would be interested to hear why there isn't a small slippery slope involved.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Legally speaking, there is nothing wrong with groups of three or more individuals contracting to form a single civil union. The government should recognize and enforce such contracts. However, polygamous marriage contracts are necessarily different from monogamous ones with regard to medical decisions, inheritance, child custody, etc. Polygamous marriage contracts would be complicated webs when compared to relatively simple/"vanilla" marriage contracts. This is compounded by the fact that today's tax structure simply isn't designed to support such relationships. The result is a political climate where advocacy of polygamy just isn't worth the time.

Aside from legality, there is a moral question as well. I see no reason why such relationships are necessarily immoral, but I don't know how on earth they would work, so I won't defend them.

Edited by FeatherFall

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I mean this seriously, not in a trolling sense at all, and to be clear, support gay marriage, but I have been struggling with why legalizing gay marriage would not also imply that polygamy, polyandry, group marriages, etc ought to be legal.

The issue isn't so much with "legalizing" gay marriage, as it is preventing the state from discriminating against some couples based on their sexual orientation (the way they used to discriminate against interracial couples, in the past, for instance). Gender and race have no relevance to the institution of marriage. They're an arbitrary criteria to use, because the legal (secular) concept can be applied to two people of any race and gender, all the same.

On the other hand, the number of people involved in such an arrangement is not an arbitrary criteria. A three way arrangement is fundamentally different than an arrangement between two people. Discrimination against such an arrangement can of course still be arbitrary (and a ban on polygamy most certainly is, the argument for it is not rational), but it can also be objective. Saying that the government won't create a special institution for polygamists, the way one is created for couples, because there isn't a significant enough demand for it, is rational.

I agree with Jacob on how such arrangements should be handled, instead of being classified as "marriage".

Edited by Nicky

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Obviously the right answer is that government doesn't really need to be in the business of encouraging particular kinds of contracts, but since they are and many Objectivists seem to support it I would be interested to hear why there isn't a small slippery slope involved.

I agree that the government shouldn't offer incentives for particular kinds of contracts/arrangements, but it should offer increased legal support for them when it is justified. (justified because the legal system is made more efficient by such a pre-made framework, be it marriage, a corporation, etc., whenever there is enough use for them).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't believe Obama came out for gay marriage right after this vote. NC is a state he probably needs, too. Am I missing something, or did he actually go with an honest belief instead of a flash poll?

I’m cynical enough of politicians, especially the “leaders” we’ve been propping up in recent decades, to think that he was against it four years ago as a calculated position to get votes and now is supporting it for the same reason.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As an aside, one thing that has always bothered me is the ability to change a constitution with a simple majority. If a constitution is something more than ordinary law, then it makes sense to make it more enduring by requiring a super-majority.

OTOH, it can also be changed back with a simple majority.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't believe Obama came out for gay marriage right after this vote. NC is a state he probably needs, too. Am I missing something, or did he actually go with an honest belief instead of a flash poll?

I would say it is a blatantly naked attempt to rally the youth vote. Young people aren't voting for Romney, but they aren't nearly as strongly in favor of Obama as they were four years ago either. I think he decided to cut his losses in North Carolina rather than ride the fence and instead rally his core vote accross the country.

Also, Obama is starting to remind me of Gail Wynand. He controls nothing, his followers control him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would say it is a blatantly naked attempt to rally the youth vote.

And if tumblr is any indication, it worked, worked, worked.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And if tumblr is any indication, it worked, worked, worked.

Dear God has it ever.

I've spent the last 24 hours with liberal straight white males telling me how I should feel about Obama's endorsement of gay marriage and how grateful I should be.

The term useful idiots becomes more apt by the minute.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear God has it ever.

I've spent the last 24 hours with liberal straight white males telling me how I should feel about Obama's endorsement of gay marriage and how grateful I should be.

The term useful idiots becomes more apt by the minute.

It flumuxes me that it is an achievement for a 50 year old man who was in the Senate and now the whitehouse for four years to finally come around to the right side on an issue as blatantly obvious and simple as gay marriage. And especially from a progressive! I am a twenty year old at a liberal arts college and I am astounded by the lack of awareness of the cynical nature of Obama's sudden conversion. He just happens to make this major life altering statement just as a huge step backwards occurs in a Republican dominated state. He didn't bother to announce this new stance sooner in a press release or in speech, but instead waited for the opurtune moment. This is about as low as a politican can get.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that the government shouldn't offer incentives for particular kinds of contracts/arrangements, but it should offer increased legal support for them when it is justified. (justified because the legal system is made more efficient by such a pre-made framework, be it marriage, a corporation, etc., whenever there is enough use for them).

By encourage, I meant Tax Breaks, and the other concrete benefits meant to encourage families or whatever. Absent the perks, its really not much more than a contract that has a larger than usual amount of legal precedent so I doubt there would be much reason to fuss.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The issue isn't so much with "legalizing" gay marriage, as it is preventing the state from discriminating against some couples based on their sexual orientation (the way they used to discriminate against interracial couples, in the past, for instance). Gender and race have no relevance to the institution of marriage. They're an arbitrary criteria to use, because the legal (secular) concept can be applied to two people of any race and gender, all the same.

I'm saying that wanting a variety of vaginas in your life would be a sexual orientation that's being discriminated against. Gender does have relevance if the "institution" is believed to be intended for procreation and/or biblical values. Removing that standard for judgement, what remains is anti-discrimination, in which case disallowing any sort of marriage(assuming consent) seems unsupportable to me. So my thought is that once gay marriage is legalized it's unavoidable that eventually some bigamists are going to sue for recognition of their marriage and should probably win, expanding it even further.

I'd like to understand if their is a moral basis for discriminating against polygamist couples for what I see as an inevitability.

On the other hand, the number of people involved in such an arrangement is not an arbitrary criteria. A three way arrangement is fundamentally different than an arrangement between two people. Discrimination against such an arrangement can of course still be arbitrary (and a ban on polygamy most certainly is, the argument for it is not rational), but it can also be objective. Saying that the government won't create a special institution for polygamists, the way one is created for couples, because there isn't a significant enough demand for it, is rational.

I agree with Jacob on how such arrangements should be handled, instead of being classified as "marriage".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm saying that wanting a variety of vaginas in your life would be a sexual orientation that's being discriminated against.

Lol! What a way to phrase it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm saying that wanting a variety of vaginas in your life would be a sexual orientation that's being discriminated against.

Well yes, if you want a variety of vaginas married to you, you are being discriminated against. But you're not being discriminated against based on your sexual preference. The reason is much more practical (it would take too much effort to create an institution tailored to you, the way one exists for couples, because you're in such a small minority).

Discrimination just means choice. Every action is an act of discrimination. The issue is, what does the government base its choices on: budget restraints and efficiency, or religious lunacy? The decision to not craft institutional support for polygamous relationships is based on the former, the decision to exclude gay couples from the existing institution of marriage is based on the latter.

Edited by Nicky

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I understand that there would be a lack of efficiency, but that's not an ethical reason. Ostensibly, a polygamist(or polyandry for that matter)could craft their own marriage licenses for wives number 2, 3, and 4. Perhaps a line of succession, like inheritance, for decision making with regard to health issues and all that. Currently, like gay gay marriage, it is not even allowed regardless of how much work they wish to put into it. If ones sexual preference is to have more than one person to love, than they and their sexual preferences are being discriminated against. Their preference isn't just having a woman. They want the woman, her best friend, and her sister, too be happy in the relationship. If they're all game, why should other people tell them that they can't?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If they did that, what would there be left for you to troll about?

While I disagree with EC's stance on this and many matters I don't think it is fair to call it trolling.

Allowing for gay marriage would in fact be a change from norms that have been accepted for a very long time and across cultures.

Some think that is a bad thing, some do not.

But! The point is if we're going to change it because "people have a right to marry who they want" we need to ask- are there any boundaries on that?

If there are boundaries what are they?

As a gay individual I use to get very offended by people asking the question "so can people marry their pets then?" "people can have 5 wives?" "can they marry children?" and so forth.

But being objective means that I don't get to just look at this as a gay individual. Being objective means I have to get outside of that.

That many are being ignorant or snarky or just plain dumb when they ask these questions does not mean that they don't need answering.

If marriage is to be redefined then part of that is asking tough uncomfortable questions.

I also disagree with another assertion in this topic that people being against gay marriage are basing that on religion. While many, and certainly often the most vocal, anti-gay activists are often religious I've known plenty of atheists and agnostics that are anti-gay.

Edited by SapereAude

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...