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Marriage and Divorce Entitlements

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Denials, obfuscations and condemnations are a poor substitute for being unable to refute your opponent's claim, DonAthos...

You cannot agree that words have meaning and then proceed to assign whatever meaning you want to them. You cannot agree that context is everything and then proceed to drop the heterosexual context of marriage in order to subsume homosexual relationships in marriage. You can, and have repeatedly, condemned me for doing no more than identifying marriage for what it is, and isn't, and while I believe your intention to end the discrimination of homosexuals is sincere (and shared by me for very personal reasons), marriage is the wrong venue to achieve this goal.

Discrimination against minorities didn't end by painting them white.

Discrimination against women didn't end by dressing them like men.

Discrimination against homosexual relationships won't end by calling them married.

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Marriages sure are similar to other types of contracts, like wills. The governments role in marriage should be to enforce such contracts and create certainty regarding legal interpretation. So it make

Fixed. The opposite would be, "Gay people can practice Objectivism, but they can't be called Objectivists."

Because it has no bearing on the concept of marriage - Sexual organs, nor any other random part of physical appearance like height, weight, or skin color, has any effect on it. It is unessential, and

Denials, obfuscations and condemnations are a poor substitute for being unable to refute your opponent's claim, DonAthos...

More high school crap.

You cannot agree that words have meaning and then proceed to assign whatever meaning you want to them.

Yup. Not doing that.

You cannot agree that context is everything and then proceed to drop the heterosexual context of marriage in order to subsume homosexual relationships in marriage.

Indeed, context is everything. The history of marriage -- and we're agreed as to its history -- is part of the context.

Also part of the context is modern society (i.e. that we do not live in Ancient Rome), and the fact that history does not force us to treat present legal institutions in the manner of the past, or according to the Latin derivation of the terms employed. That's the part of the context that you consistently drop.

You can, and have repeatedly, condemned me for doing no more than identifying marriage for what it is, and isn't

Incorrect. I have disagreed with your conception of marriage, and the basis on which you've argued for that conception -- i have not "condemned" those things (unless describing "tradition" as forming the basis for modern legal codes as being "silly" is condemnation, in which case, sure, have at it).

I *have* condemned your refusal to state your proposition clearly and without reservation.

Paraphrased: "You're against homosexual marriage." "No I'm not!" "You're for it, then?" "No! But I'm not against homosexual marriage; I'm for heterosexual-only marriage!"

Also, I have condemned your baiting tactics and your juvenile rhetoric. What clock is ticking again? What was I meant to be backpedaling about? I keep asking about all of these little remarks you pepper your posts with, but you keep not responding to any of my questions -- I guess that's your way of saying that it was never important to begin with.

So why don't you just cut the crap out of your posts?

, and while I believe your intention to end the discrimination of homosexuals is sincere (and shared by me for very personal reasons), marriage is the wrong venue to achieve this goal.

My interest, with respect to this discussion, is not to "end the discrimination of homosexuals." It is to treat them the same per our legal institutions. It is to not insist on a distinction between "marriage" and "civil union," on the basis of the gender of the participants when there is no purpose for the government to either recognize or enforce such a distinction.

Discrimination against minorities didn't end by painting them white.

Discrimination against women didn't end by dressing them like men.

But where legal discrimination against minorities and women did end is when we began to treat them the same with respect to our legal institutions.

Discrimination against homosexual relationships won't end by calling them married.

Of course not. But when they *are* married -- or when they are as a heterosexual couple are when on the cusp of marriage, and desirous of it -- we *can* end this vestige of legal discrimination against those relationships by offering the same institution to them as we do to heterosexual relationships.

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Why call something that doesn't reflect the concept of marriage, e.g. civil union, cohabitation, being single, etc, a marriage??

Because it has no bearing on the concept of marriage - Sexual organs, nor any other random part of physical appearance like height, weight, or skin color, has any effect on it. It is unessential, and frankly laughable, how some people (talking heads on radio for example) want to focus on something so uselessly unimportant. Why some people worry more about some aspect of physical appearance, like sexual organs, than the people actually affected by it, the happy couple, I do not now. But I’m not accepting such a waste of induction into my lexicon.

Essentials are that, essential. Random body parts are not essential to a marriage no more than any other useless trivia of physical appearance.

I'm beginning to hear ticking noises in my head... OK, did your parents ever discuss the birds and the bees with you? Civil marriage is the legal recognition of the custom of matrimony, as in:

"We are gathered here today in the face of this company, to join together (Groom's Name (hint: a guy)) and (Bride's Name (hint: a girl)) in matrimony; which is an honorable and solemn estate and therefore is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently and soberly. Into this estate these two persons present come now to be joined. If any one can show just cause why they may not be lawfully joined together, let them speak now or forever hold their peace. Who gives this woman to be married to this man?" ~ customary marriage vows

"matrimonium is an institution involving a mother, mater. The idea implicit in the word is that a man takes a woman in marriage, in matrimonium ducere, so that he may have children by her."

http://en.wikipedia....arriage#Ancient

By any chance, did the future Mrs Architect have a Matron of Honor??

Sure. We also had my two female cousins be the ushers in spite of my family’s Catholic traditions (it was not a Catholic Wedding by the way). So did we not get married since we disobeyed another nonsensical tradition invented by people who think every animal on earth once lived on a boat together? Of course not.

As an aside, I’ve always wondered if that is what really happened to the dinosaurs. They got on the wrong ark? Anyway…

The birds and the bees were about love and, more importantly for a person hitting puberty and getting the “talk” about their body, not slamming a useless obsession with random body parts into the concept of marriage. You keep going back to the argument from tradition. If you want to do that then why don’t we just go the whole way?

christian-marriage.jpg

I think it’s safe to say that tradition has no place in how one defines the values one uses to live.

Edited by Spiral Architect
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More high school crap.

condemnation

Yup. Not doing that.

denial

Paraphrased: "You're against homosexual marriage." "No I'm not!" "You're for it, then?" "No! But I'm not against homosexual marriage; I'm for heterosexual-only marriage!"

obfuscation

from post #133: "I'm not against homosexual civil unions; only for heterosexual-only marriage ~ my claim presented again"

from post #61: "The issue at hand, "Marriage and Divorce Entitlements", questions the justification of entitlements which favor heterosexual marriages, on the presumption that the role of gender falls outside the context of what a marriage is: "The idea that marriage is the union of one male and one female has been thought to be so basic that it is not ordinarily specifically expressed by statute. This traditional principle has been challenged by gays and lesbians who, until recently, have unsuccessfully sought to legalize their relationships. In Baker v. Nelson,, 191 N.W.2d 185 (Minn. 1971), the Minnesota Supreme Court sustained the clerk's denial of a marriage license to a homosexual couple."http://legal-diction...ry.com/marriage

My position is that a significant element of context (pairing by gender) regarding what marriage currently is, is being dropped to promote an inconsistent view of what marriage ought to be. The presumption that heterosexual marriage and gay unions are the same thing, is a false premise for reasons already given (and not yet rebutted)." ~ and still not refuted...

I *have* condemned your refusal to state your proposition clearly and without reservation.

Marriage refers to long term, monogamous heterosexual relationships. Marriage doesn't refer to long term, monogamous homosexual relationships. Civil Union does refer to relationships not dependent on being heterosexual. Legal recognition of individual rights doesn't depend on calling the members of one group by another groups title. That is the position I started with, and the position I've given back to you numerous times during this thread, to which you repeatedly reduce to, "Only bigots are against homosexual marriages". Fine.. leave it at that then, and we'll see how quickly your position resolves this issue.

Edited by Devil's Advocate
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The birds and the bees were about love and, more importantly for a person hitting puberty and getting the “talk” about their body, not slamming a useless obsession with random body parts into the concept of marriage. You keep going back to the argument from tradition. If you want to do that then why don’t we just go the whole way?

The birds and the bees are about reproduction.

Please refer back to post #134, which I think responds to your remaining comments as clearly as I can repeat here.

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condemnation

denial

obfuscation - from post #133: "I'm not against homosexual civil unions; only for heterosexual-only marriage ~ my claim presented again"

Marriage refers to long term, monogamous heterosexual relationships. Marriage doesn't refer to long term, monogamous homosexual relationships. Civil Union does refer to relationships not dependent on being heterosexual. Legal recognition of individual rights doesn't depend on calling the members of one group by another groups title. That is the position I started with, and the position I've given back to you numerous times during this thread, to which you repeatedly reduce to, "Only bigots are against homosexual marriages". Fine.. leave it at that then, and we'll see how quickly your position resolves this issue.

'K. I'm not going to pretend like what you say has any real meaning -- it does not -- but I do have a question for you, if you're game:

Suppose a modern day church "marries" a homosexual couple (like I suspect some of them do).

And that homosexual couple lives together, and they adopt a child and raise it, and they grow old in love, and etc., and share their household till they die, at which point they bequeath their estate to the child that they have raised.

How would you describe their relationship? Would you say that this couple had been "married" to one another?

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My main point of disagreement has been your use of traditional marriage, "long term, monogamous, heterosexual relationships," which you've used to generalize all current-day marriages.. when in fact the only legal requirement of marriage is the latter.. which shouldn't be in the definiton in the first place, because it discriminates against people based on their sexual preference, which they have no ability to control.

At the beginning of this thread, you were arguing that love is the only reason people get married, and the rest is just semantics. Then when I mentioned civil unions and how ridiculous and discriminatory the concept was, you argued that gay marriage is should continue to be outlawed because "it's different to be in a gay relationship than a straight one." Then you started arguing that the definition of marriage is a "long term, monogamous commitment, between husband and wife, for the purpose of creating a family," and said that the main purpose of marriage is to create a family, and that gay people cannot do that for biological reasons.

Most recently, you've magically changed the definition of marriage by dropping that last part, "for the purpose of creating a family," and argued that gay relationships still do not fit into that mold.

"I can't get my head around this notion of gender being a non-essential contextual element of marriage but hey, whatever floats your boat..."

Well, which is it? You can (and have) dropped whatever phrase you wanted to from the traditional definition of marriage, to suit your needs. But when we argue that the word heterosexual should be dropped, you say 'oh no, you can't drop that word, that's essential!'

It just doesn't make sense.

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Would you say that this couple had been "married" to one another?

I would not, for reasons already stated; however civil marriage is whatever the law makes of it, so this couple is "married" in the eyes of the law, the same as segregation, slavery, and prohibition were once legal. What happens if their child comes of age in a society that returns the legal recognition of marriage to the more historically consistent view (as has happened before time and again)?

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My main point of disagreement has been your use of traditional marriage, "long term, monogamous, heterosexual relationships," which you've used to generalize all current-day marriages.. when in fact the only legal requirement of marriage is the latter.. which shouldn't be in the definiton in the first place, because it discriminates against people based on their sexual preference, which they have no ability to control.

At the beginning of this thread, you were arguing that love is the only reason people get married, and the rest is just semantics. Then when I mentioned civil unions and how ridiculous and discriminatory the concept was, you argued that gay marriage is should continue to be outlawed because "it's different to be in a gay relationship than a straight one." Then you started arguing that the definition of marriage is a "long term, monogamous commitment, between husband and wife, for the purpose of creating a family," and said that the main purpose of marriage is to create a family, and that gay people cannot do that for biological reasons.

Most recently, you've magically changed the definition of marriage by dropping that last part, "for the purpose of creating a family," and argued that gay relationships still do not fit into that mold.

"I can't get my head around this notion of gender being a non-essential contextual element of marriage but hey, whatever floats your boat..."

Well, which is it? You can (and have) dropped whatever phrase you wanted to from the traditional definition of marriage, to suit your needs. But when we argue that the word heterosexual should be dropped, you say 'oh no, you can't drop that word, that's essential!'

It just doesn't make sense.

My position from the beginning has been consistent with the summary I offered in post #149. The title and context of marriage has meaning and I choose to recognize it.

Edited by Devil's Advocate
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I would not, for reasons already stated; however civil marriage is whatever the law makes of it, so this couple is "married" in the eyes of the law, the same as segregation, slavery, and prohibition were once legal. What happens if their child comes of age in a society that returns the legal recognition of marriage to the more historically consistent view (as has happened before time and again)?

I can't believe you're lumping the legal recognition of this as marriage: "And that homosexual couple lives together, and they adopt a child and raise it, and they grow old in love, and etc., and share their household till they die, at which point they bequeath their estate to the child that they have raised" in with segregation, slavery, and prohibition. I have just lost all respect for your views on the matter.

edited to clarify.

Edited by mdegges
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I have written him off too, M. Your thread is not about the traditional view of marriage - which even today includes polygamous marriage with multiple husbands in some places. Rather, the question of your thread is about the radical view of marriage - what role should marriage play in a capitalist society? This is an appropriate question to ask because, as the history of marriage tells us, the form marriage takes depends on the society's needs. Capitalist societies are built to conform to the requirements of human life, so marriage law in a capitalist society needs to serve some relevant role in protecting individual rights. Every time Devil's Advocate is asked for concrete examples to support his claim that polluting the concept with traditional gender-bias serves such a purpose, he ignores or evades. Recently he did this by insinuating that his opposition is being intellectually dishonest for asking. In other words, he's out of ideas.

Sex organs are as unessential to marriage as melanin prevalence. That statement doesn't rely on a proof that heterosexual relationships are discriminatory (I don't think anyone said they were discriminatory, in fact). That statement does, however, imply that any legal discrimination in marriage contracts on the basis of sex organs violates rights in a way similar to miscegenation laws. I'm not talking about calling the two things by different names - that's not discriminatory. You can keep marriage as between a man and a woman while calling the other thing something deragatory like homo-pretendagomy for all I care. It's a stupid distinction because it's based on nonessentials, but if the use of separate words satisfies some sort of tradition-fetish while leaving the legal outcomes identical, then fine. So long as the two types of contracts don't have different effects, then I have no qualms (A is A, after all).

The problem is, today's society does have separate legal outcomes for civil unions and marriages, leading to violations of the rights of homosexuals. This could be fixed by amending DOMA to exclude language about marriage being between a man and a woman. In other words, by calling A, "A," no matter who is involved. It's not like we'd be redefining a part of nature; we're redefining the man-made, and that's ok. In fact, redefinitions are ubiquitous throughout history.

Edited by FeatherFall
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I can't believe you're lumping the legal recognition of this as marriage: "And that homosexual couple lives together, and they adopt a child and raise it, and they grow old in love, and etc., and share their household till they die, at which point they bequeath their estate to the child that they have raised" in with segregation, slavery, and prohibition. I have just lost all respect for your views on the matter.

If your respect depends on my agreeing that heterosexual relationships and homosexual relationships are interchangeable according to the meaning of the words and context used to describe the concept of marriage, then it wasn't really there to begin with, was it? My reference to "segregation, slavery, and prohibition" was an obvious attempt to demonstrate how legal ambiguity results from regulating concepts beyond the scope of what they refer to. Look, I've followed this thread down to the bitter end on the presumption that words have meaning and context determines their appropriate use. If this is a simple referendum on whether same sex couples ought to be allowed to marry, then fine, but the title 'marriage' hardly applies according to it's actual meaning. If Objectivists want to pretend that all words have meaning except the word marriage, then language is simply a tool to be hijacked for political gain, and good luck with that...

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I have written him off too, M... Every time Devil's Advocate is asked for concrete examples to support his claim that polluting the concept with traditional gender-bias serves such a purpose, he ignores or evades. Recently he did this by insinuating that his opposition is being intellectually dishonest for asking. In other words, he's out of ideas.

The concretes you keep asking for have been repeatedly provided by pointing to the biological consequence of males and females having sexual relations, as opposed to same sex couples. That you choose to jump over this fact as being irrelevant to the concept of marriage, which depends on words which specifically identify the gender of male to marriage and female to matrimony when being used to describe the concept of marriage, demonstrates whose intellectual honesty risks a loss of credibility on this issue.

It's not for me to disprove your claim that homosexual "marriages" are the same as heterosexual marriages. The onus remains on you to prove it.. and that has yet to be even attempted other than by calling your opponent a bigot.

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Sex organs are as unessential to marriage as melanin prevalence. That statement doesn't rely on a proof that heterosexual relationships are discriminatory (I don't think anyone said they were discriminatory, in fact). That statement does, however, imply that any legal discrimination in marriage contracts on the basis of sex organs violates rights in a way similar to miscegenation laws. I'm not talking about calling the two things by different names - that's not discriminatory. You can keep marriage as between a man and a woman while calling the other thing something deragatory like homo-pretendagomy for all I care. It's a stupid distinction because it's based on nonessentials, but if the use of separate words satisfies some sort of tradition-fetish while leaving the legal outcomes identical, then fine. So long as the two types of contracts don't have different effects, then I have no qualms (A is A, after all).

The problem is, today's society does have separate legal outcomes for civil unions and marriages, leading to violations of the rights of homosexuals. This could be fixed by amending DOMA to exclude language about marriage being between a man and a woman. In other words, by calling A, "A," no matter who is involved. It's not like we'd be redefining a part of nature; we're redefining the man-made, and that's ok. In fact, redefinitions are ubiquitous throughout history.

I think D.A is saying the same thing you are in terms of legal rights (correct me if I'm wrong?).

I do, however, take issue with naming them two separate names. Historically black and whites were not allowed to marry. Would you have been okay with law recognizing their relationship as interracial civil union, to satisfy those who claim because it's not traditional, it's not marriage? I oppose government categorizing based on race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. because it is frivolous and I'd consider discriminatory.

I think the best option would be just to have government categorize every union as civil union because it will avoid these discussions and claims.

Edited by Matt Giannelli
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Thank you Matt for at least trying to understand my argument as something other than homophobic.

No, I wouldn't have been OK with interracial civil unions in lieu of interracial marriages. Why? Because the words that describe marriage imply specific gender rolls, but say nothing about race. Are the words used to describe sorority, fraternity, boy scouts, girl scouts, men's rooms and women's rooms frivolous or discriminatory? Should we call girls "boy scouts" if they feel discriminated against because they can't join the same club their brothers are in?? Marriage is gender specific because it is; Civil unions aren't. And the language used to describe these two kinds of relationships reflects that.

My solution (like yours) would be to limit all government entitlements that address long term monogamous relationships to civil unions, which would at least be consistent with what that name implies, while guaranteeing legal equity among all long term monogamous relationships. Let heterosexual bigots who opt for the traditional marriage ceremony obtain the same license civil unions provide :P

Edited by Devil's Advocate
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So now you're for civil unions for all relationships, and you want to do away with the whole concept of legal marriage altogether. I don't see that happening at all, but okay, we're on the same page. However, the primary reason you want to do away with the concept of legal marriage is still discriminatory. It's not because you think homosexual and heterosexual couples are entitled to the same benefits; it's because you believe "Marriage is gender specific because it is" and you can't get past that. In other words, you would rather see marriage completely dissolved rather than allow gay marriage.. And that is something I can't comprehend.

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I'm not talking about calling the two things by different names - that's not discriminatory. You can keep marriage as between a man and a woman while calling the other thing something deragatory like homo-pretendagomy for all I care.

I don't agree with this, and I find that it reflects a "separate but equal" stance. You don't believe that keeping them nominally separate would not convey some meaning of itself? If it did not, why would some folks be so insistent on legally enforcing these distinctions, up to and including amending state and federal constitutions? A concern for clarity in conceptualizing? No, not that, for as you immediately note:

It's a stupid distinction because it's based on nonessentials...

If we maintain two water fountains, alike in all ways, but one is for "whites" and the other is for "coloreds," because we wish to preserve the purity of the one fountain for the whites (just as some cast this as a battle to "defend" marriage), would you not find that discriminatory?

Would there be any good non-discriminatory reason to distinguish these fountains in this manner, do you suppose?

, but if the use of separate words satisfies some sort of tradition-fetish while leaving the legal outcomes identical, then fine. So long as the two types of contracts don't have different effects, then I have no qualms (A is A, after all).

I find it questionable that two types of contracts under different terms will not therefore have different outcomes, even if they are otherwise worded alike.

Beyond that, consider that civil unions (as you subsequently mention) are not currently equivalent to marriages. If we hold them as two separate things, they likely never will be (and will always be susceptible to further discriminatory efforts). Anyways, as to whether Devil's Advocate wishes them to be equivalent, or actually believes them to be, consider that he said this earlier:

The goal of civil unions as an alternative for alternative lifestyles is worth pursuing, but the expectation that civil unions are the same thing as marriages needs to be checked; A=A.

So... at least we're all agreed that A is A! :)

I think D.A is saying the same thing you are in terms of legal rights (correct me if I'm wrong?).

I do, however, take issue with naming them two separate names. Historically black and whites were not allowed to marry. Would you have been okay with law recognizing their relationship as interracial civil union, to satisfy those who claim because it's not traditional, it's not marriage? I oppose government categorizing based on race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. because it is frivolous and I'd consider discriminatory.

I think the best option would be just to have government categorize every union as civil union because it will avoid these discussions and claims.

Consider that Devil's Advocate (for I assume it is *that* D.A. that you mean! :) ) is speaking to the "concept" of marriage, and not simply its legal status.

Were marriage stricken from governance, he would still not recognize a homosexual couple married by their church, living together forever, raising children, etc., and so forth, as actually married -- and he would argue that you shouldn't either.

Whether the government should be marrying people at all, I consider a separate topic. My stance has been, and continues to be, that *if* the government marries people, it should do so in a non-discriminatory fashion with respect to same-sex couples. And of course Devil's Advocate disagrees.

But his disagreement goes beyond that government ought not call a homosexual civil union a "marriage," or that the government ought not marry. He believes gender to be essential to the concept of marriage, and he believes that there is no such thing as a same-sex marriage.

It's not for me to disprove your claim that homosexual "marriages" are the same as heterosexual marriages. The onus remains on you to prove it.. and that has yet to be even attempted other than by calling your opponent a bigot.

Thank you Matt for at least trying to understand my argument as something other than homophobic.

All right. So, I have little interest in scouring the thread for this personally, but if you would be so kind?

Point out the instances where anyone has called you a "bigot" or described your arguments as "homophobic."

Please do.

Please.

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Most of the first 3 paragraphs are directed at Spiral (but not exclusively him), I just didn't want to go fancy it up with quotes right now.

I've tried many times to point out that the issue going on here is that you can't refer to love when we're talking about marriage. The purpose of marriage isn't a symbol of love, and whether it is a symbol of love for you is true only metaphorically. The very reason that you can be married without love is enough evidence to say that love is not the essential part of what marriage is. You're arguing against those who accept the premise that marriage is about love, which is not a premise I or Devil accept. I may plausibly be incorrect, but you won't demonstrate me to be wrong unless you restrict yourself to legal concepts. There is no argument from tradition going on, just argument from historical evidence, the referents.

My question wasn't rhetorical. I really do not know how you can reconcile the idea that marriage is about love without also saying love is ultimately about marriage, which is not a conclusion you intended. I guess you would say all marriage has love, but not all love has marriage. But it's false to say all marriage has love because you don't need to check a box "in love" when filling out a marriage license, nor does anyone seem to think that is necessary. You'd have to conclude at most that some marriage has love, proving my point that love is not an essential to marriage. Just to clarify, by essential, I mean an aspect of a concept that if missing, the entity in question (whether abstract like marriage or concrete like a tree) does not fall under that concept. I would say it helps and is important to have love if you *want* a stable marriage (leaving aside my beliefs of how stable marriage actually is), but that's different than saying the very concept of marriage requires love.

The possibilities I see that may make gay marriage a sensible concept are if you remove the goal of biological family building, which is by nature different from heterosexual relationships. Why, yes, people can adopt or use surrogate mothers. That is the only way non-heterosexual people can have kids. The legal conundrum here (implied by the monogamous aspect of marriage) is that you can't go on Maury to determine who the legal father is, even if Maury can tell you who fathered the child. Different legal considerations must be applied so a surrogate mother can't claim her child was kidnapped. Same with adoption. My thinking is that marriage as a concept is useful for these legal considerations that primarily crop up due to differences of one's sex, but it's not a negative judgment.

In other words, you would rather see marriage completely dissolved rather than allow gay marriage.. And that is something I can't comprehend.

Well, I'll try to make it comprehensible because you've summed up at least my position quite well. Say there was no more special entitlements. Suppose also there was no gay marriage. What would be the discrimination? If you ask me, there probably would still be flak for that with an argument that it would be denying someone a symbolic type of love. And since love isn't about gender, therefore, denying marriage is discrimination. The disagreement seems to be more resistance to the idea of denying that marriage is a symbol of love. If someone were arguing that marriage is a symbol of love *therefore* there should be no gay marriage, that would be different. Personally I'd rather have marriage dissolved (or extremely diluted) than just start saying marriage is whatever you want it to be as long as it's a romantic relationship. I'd rather have people say marriage is whatever you want it to be than for marriage entitlements to exist.

Hmm, DonAthos, I think you're being overly harsh on Devil, if for no other reason I'm than I'm getting a lot less flak for saying similar things.

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Devil's Advocate, the concretes you gave don't address my question. I want you to help me understand your point about sanctioning the creation of children. Because I don't understand what legal "sanction" you believe is conferred when a government enforces a marriage contract, I want you to give concretes only for heterosexual relationships. I want to know the difference between how you think the state should treat unmarried hetero parents and married hetero parents. I sincerely hope this helps us move forward without any misplaced feelings of intellectual dishonesty on either of our parts.

DonAthos, I think you're right that two separate names would eventually lead to separate legalities. The legal realities are likely to change through divergent court precedent alone. I'd prefer we use the term we've been using for thousands of years for the contract, regardless of the sex of the participants. Marriage is the term we'd use to describe the suite of contract provisions that allow two people to fully integrate their families via power of attourney, inheritence, hospital visitation, immigration, etc.

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Eiuol- remember the position I stated at the beginning of this thread, that the government should not give any entitlements to couples who have 'formalized their relationships' by getting married? That still holds.

Say there was no more special entitlements. Suppose also there was no gay marriage. What would be the discrimination? If you ask me, there probably would still be flak for that with an argument that it would be denying someone a symbolic type of love.

Yes, that would most likely be true.

"The disagreement seems to be more resistance to the idea of denying that marriage is a symbol of love. If someone were arguing that marriage is a symbol of love *therefore* there should be no gay marriage, that would be different."

Right, I understand your position on marriage. But do you understand DA's? If you look on the first page of the thread, you can see all his sentiments about marriage: "What is so special about marriage, is the integration of 2 individuals into a durable living partnership founded on faith and commitment." "If your position is that marriage is a quaint custom that's no longer relevant in today's society, as is the prevailing position being promoted these days (and I suspect for the last several generations), then I say pfui!!" "That being said, you should only get married when you can't talk yourself out of it... and then hang on for the ride of a lifetime. The best defense of the practice is a golden anniversary," etc.

Imo, this shows he believes marriage to be a symbol of love. I don't think he's saying that marriage is a symbol of love *therefore* there should be no gay marriage, but he is saying that marriage is a symbol of love for only heterosexual people, *therefore* there should be no gay marriage. That is discriminatory.

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Personally I'd rather have marriage dissolved (or extremely diluted) than just start saying marriage is whatever you want it to be as long as it's a romantic relationship. I'd rather have people say marriage is whatever you want it to be than for marriage entitlements to exist.

Marriage is whatever you want it to be, as long as you and your partner are straight, consenting adults. There's no law that says you have to be monogamous, or married forever (that is rare anyways), or even romantic (yes- some married couples choose not to be sexually active at all, horrible as that sounds). All of these details are left up to couples to decide, as it should be. I'm against government-funded marriage entitlements as well. But as long as legal marriages exist, it should be inclusive of same-sex couples.

Edited by mdegges
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Hmm, DonAthos, I think you're being overly harsh on Devil, if for no other reason I'm than I'm getting a lot less flak for saying similar things.

I could give you more flak, if you'd like? :)

But seriously, my manner towards Devil isn't due to the content of his arguments, but due to his apparent intellectual dishonesty, and to the number of jerky comments he has smuggled into his replies, and his unwillingness to defend or explain those things he says.

If you acted in like fashion, I would treat you the same. That said, I rely on you to remain as you always have been: unfailingly polite and willing to honestly engage. Even when you're wrong. ;)

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Eiuol:

I understand the quotes thing!

Of course people can get married without being in love. The tragedy of most of human history is that people do lots of things for unselfish reasons. You can also work without being in “love” with it (i.e. passionate about your work). That does not mean that it is a good thing.

Love =/= marriage. You’re right on this. However, if someone is in love, they will find ways to delve deeper into their relationship. It could be marriage. It could be something else (like the annual trip I mentioned in an earlier post). All I am saying is that:

  1. Marriage is a fine option to advance one’s relationship since
  2. Marriage can be a natural extension of a loving relationship based on reason, not tradition/mysticism/social duty.

Now, most importantly:

Marriage should be about love. It has not been an essential characteristic historically but then again most relationships (from family to government) have been the exact opposite of what it should be historically. I’m telling you that being in love is a prerequisite for any intimate long term relationship. I’m not saying that you should get married, it’s your relationship so both people need to do what’s best for them, but I am saying that if you do choose to get married you should be in love. Or why bother?

I can quantify that with an involved statement on the virtues of romantic love and long term relationships, but honestly I hope it is understandable that the idea of spending a looooooong time with someone in an up-close and intimate level should always be the product of an intimate appreciation of the values that precondition all relationships.

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The birds and the bees are about reproduction.

Which has nothing to do with marriage or relationships. I did not marry my wife to reproduce. It is a non-issue.

Please refer back to post #134, which I think responds to your remaining comments as clearly as I can repeat here.

I did not delve into that post since I really didn’t want to open up the can-o-worms that was that posts collectivist identification of relationships by physical appearance. But since you brought it up, there you go. I don’t think you actually think that way, but that is the result of looking at people and identifying them in groups.

The only bases for group think of people’s relationships is the tradition/mystic/social duty approach since that is how it has always been argued. If you strip the group think you end up going back to essentials rebuilt the concept based on reason, and there is no reason to look at random body parts when identifying the status of a relationship.

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" ... and I used to be over by the window, and I could see the squirrels, and they were married..." ~ Milton, Office Space

Apparently Milton, et al, are more enlightened than myself on this issue...

My position has been, and remains, that the words used to describe marriage imply specific gender rolls (refer to post #149); those same words say nothing about interracial relationships. Likewise, the language used to describe sororities and fraternities imply gender and ignore race. Long term, monogamous heterosexual relationships aren't inherently discriminatory towards long term, monogamous homosexual relationships any more than sororities are inherently discriminatory towards fraternities.

My position isn't that civil marriages, as the legal recognition of matrimonial ceremonies, aren't discriminatory towards same sex couples who want equal legal recognition for their long term, monogamous relationships; they are, but the fault lies with the regulation, not the concept. My preference would be to limit regulation to civil unions, which would be the appropriate venue to secure individual rights according to the language used to describe civil unions, while allowing a continuing diversity of ceremonial recognition for two individuals choosing to spend the rest of their lives together. The notion that assignment of the title "marriage" is essential to securing individual rights is pragmatic at best, and at worst will lead to legal ambiguity, thus further discrimination in my view.

Therefore, my view of the legal efficacy of trying to subsume homosexual relationships within marriage, according to the meaning of the words and context used to describe marriage, can be summed up with the following:

"If it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic." ~ Tweedledee, Through the Looking Glass

--

As I was preparing to post this, I happened to notice this forum's daily quote...

"The biggest enemy of real equality is make-believe equality" ~ Thomas Sowell

I agree, (edit follows) and I have no issue with the following ceremonial recognitions of same sex couples, other than the meaning of the word marriage (as previously explained numerous times):

"Same-sex marriages can be performed in a secular civil ceremony or in a religious setting. Various religious groups around the world perform same-sex marriages, including Christians (such as Quakers and Episcopalians), Jews (such as Reformists and Reconstructionists), Wiccans, Druids, Unitarian Universalists and several Native American religions."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage

Unless something new comes up to address, I'm done responding to paraphrased insinuations of my position on this issue.

Edited by Devil's Advocate
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