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Bush's Shameful Assault Against Gay Marriage

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Even if the gay couple was only engaging in a civil union?

Yes. As I stated, I don't believe their prejudice is really rooted in the word marriage, it's rooted in the affront that gay sexual activity represents to their values and religious system.

VES

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They why are 55% of Americans against gay marriage?  Its a religious thing.  There is obvious confusion.

I would say that a similar number of Objectivists think the same, and it is not because of religious issues. Gay marriage remains a contentious issue among Objectivists, as does homosexuality itself.

There is obvious confusion.

Yes, there is confusion, but not the one that you and Richard think.

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They why are 55% of Americans against gay marriage?  Its a religious thing.  There is obvious confusion.

No, what's obvious is the prejudice against gay people and gay activity. They're not confused, they are bigoted.

You can find churches that will accept gay members and do not condemn homosexual activity, but they are rare.

Perhaps this can be illustrated by this web site:

http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_chur2.htm

I think if you review this, you will see that there is largely a prejudice against gay people and gay activity in general, in that most denominations view homosexuality as "not compatible with the scripture". The issue of gay marriage is just an extension of that prejudice.

VES

(edited due to grammar and spelling errors... I really need to proof-read better before submitting)

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I don't believe their prejudice is really rooted in the word marriage, it's rooted in the affront that gay sexual activity represents to their values and religious system.

It is defiantly not rooted in the word. The word is just a holder for the concept. I am saying that their confusion lies in the real concept behind the words. I believe that most of those who appose gay marriage do so because they think marriage is a religious concept, it is not. Do you think that 55% of Americans would be for a ban on all homosexual behavior? I don't. If what you are saying is true I would think that about the same amount of people who are against gay marriage would be against gay everything; gatherings, parades, bars, national coming out day (yes they have one), etc. Why are they only willing to ban gay marriage? People understand the right to free speech, they are often confused about the reason behind marriage.

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I would say that a similar number of Objectivists think the same, and it is not because of religious issues
Then do you care to say why?

Gay marriage remains a contentious issue among Objectivists, as does homosexuality itself.

I don’t see how a straight shooting Objectivist would find anything wrong with gay marriage. Anyone who wants to be legally acknowledged as someone else’s wife/husband or whatever should be allowed that. Marriage should, in the eyes of the state, be only a legal matter. What many Objectivists don’t agree with is homosexuality in general, morally. But if marriage is indeed only viewed as legal documentation then what is the problem?

Yes, there is confusion, but not the one that you and Richard think

Again, care to say why you think we are wrong? What is the confusion?

If anyone who thinks that the confusion is not due to religious influence I would be interested to hear what your take on it is. But I am not interested in only hearing that you think I am wrong with no evidence to back your opinion. I find that very rude.

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No, what's obvious is the prejudice against gay people and gay activity. They're not confused, they are bigoted.
Then why are they willing to ban gay marriage and not other gay activities?

prejudice against gay people and gay activity in general, in that most denominations view homosexuality as "not compatible with the scripture".

True, but why is only marriage ban worthy? I think it is because people do not view marriage as only a legal issue. They see all other gay activities as freedom of speech or something else that is legally protected by the state.

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Joerj11,

I will address both of your posts in this one.

Then why are they willing to ban gay marriage and not other gay activities?

Well for one, they couldn't ban any of the things you listed above because of the US Constitution. There is nothing about marriage protected in the constitution. Being prejudiced is not an all or nothing gambit. There are varying degrees, so it's not realistic to say that all people who are prejudiced against homosexuals would ban everything having to do with them. And in some cases, they can't ban things, and wouldn't even try. Some folks prejudice merely extends to things like, "well as long as they're not in my neighborhood", or " as long as I don't have to know they're gay".

Prejudice is often masked by other issues. To say that you couldn't have a parade, which I'm sure SOME people would like to see, would suggest that you bring your bigotry into the open. There's no other reason to hide behind when you deal with public places (parades, gatherings) or private places (bars, etc.). And actually where I work, there are people who constantly call and complain on people at a gay bar where they live. The gay people around the bar are not committing crimes, but the people call for us (the police) to harass them, and make up complaints.

Marriage however is a different story. It's one more step of what people call, "in your face". People can hide behind the scripture, they can say it assails their religious beliefs, they don't have to admit their bigotry. And certainly your recognize that a lot of people are also against gay adoption, so it's not only marriage. In polls I could find on the internet, results ranged from 42-50% being against gay adoption. So for the sake of argument, I'll give you the lower figure.

It is not hard for me to look at this data, and my experiences and say that right now, roughly 50% of the nation is prejudice against gay people. It just happens that the hot button topic right now is marriage.

In my work, I've seen enough prejudice against gay people (not to mention virtually any ethnic group) to know that not all people are not up front about it.

VES

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Then do you care to say why?

I don’t see how a straight shooting Objectivist would find anything wrong with gay marriage. Anyone who wants to be legally acknowledged as someone else’s wife/husband or whatever should be allowed that. Marriage should, in the eyes of the state, be only a legal matter. What many Objectivists don’t agree with is homosexuality in general, morally. But if marriage is indeed only viewed as legal documentation then what is the problem?

I am not going to rehash the debate among Objectivists which has gone on for some time. But, in essence, there are a large number of Objectivists who think that homosexual couples should have the right to be married in the same manner and for the same reasons as are heterosexual couples. There are also a large number of Objectivists who do not want to permit homosexual marriages. Instead they offer a separate legal agreement to acknowledge some of the legal issues which are legally acknowledged by marriage.

I personally know many of the Objectivists on both sides of this debate, and most are "straight shooting Objectivists." None of the issues on either side are religious in nature.

Again, care to say why you think we are wrong?  What is the confusion?

If anyone who thinks that the confusion is not due to religious influence I would be interested to hear what your take on it is.  But I am not interested in only hearing that you think I am wrong with no evidence to back your opinion.  I find that very rude.

What do you think I have been doing in all of my preceding posts, if not providing evidence? If I have been talking to myself, then this is a waste of time. As to rudeness, I chose to ignore several remarks made by two posters which were, in fact, rather rude. But, if I am going to talk at all, I'd rather talk about the issues, then talk about the talk.

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There is nothing about marriage protected in the constitution
The allowance of gay sex is not in the constitution. Why are they not trying to ban that? You are right, however, that once it is perceived as a legal issue people back off. This is what I think would be helpful.

Prejudice is often masked by other issues.

If 55% of America was that prejudice they would not have to mask it.

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There are also a large number of Objectivists who do not want to permit homosexual marriages.
I have never heard of this being true. Would you care to provide us with a link to prove this claim, or for starters tell us who in the real (ARI) Objectivist community believes this? Because this:
Instead they offer a separate legal agreement to acknowledge some of the legal issues which are legally acknowledged by marriage.
does not make sense to me. Maybe you are simply not getting the point across that you are intending but this sounds like the exact same thing as a heterosexual marriage. What is the difference?

I personally know many of the Objectivists on both sides of this debate, and most are "straight shooting Objectivists." None of the issues on either side are religious in nature.
Then what is the source of their disagreement?

What do you think I have been doing in all of my preceding posts, if not providing evidence?

Evidence for what? You have not said. You said that there was confusion and that Richard and I were wrong about the source, would you mind telling us what you think the confusion is really about?

I think that if there was a direct distinction between legal marriage and religious marriage, like if the state only referred to it as a civil union or something of the like, that it would help people recognize that a marriage in the eyes of the state has nothing to do with any religious beliefs or practices. Once people realize it is only a legal matter they would not care to ban it, at least not in as many numbers nor as avidly. If you believe me to be wrong, please show why and do not just say that that is what you have been attempting to prove the whole time, because for a major chunk of this conversation I thought it pretty apparent that you were not even aware of what was being discussed (the use of the term marriage).

Also this:

If I have been talking to myself, then this is a waste of time.
I consider a bit rude and too.

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The allowance of gay sex is not in the constitution.  Why are they not trying to ban that?

(snip)

If 55% of America was that prejudice they would not have to mask it.

Do I need to point out that there ARE laws on the books still in some states that ban gay sex? So one reason why some people aren't trying to ban gay sex is because in some jurisdictions it already is banned. While the laws are changing, sometimes at the behest of the courts, that doesn't preclude lingering resentment exists by those who would still like to see the laws in place. However, as we agreed upon, once things become legal, most people often cease pursuing the issue.

http://archive.aclu.org/issues/gay/sodomy.html

I accept that it is your opinion that if 55% of America were prejudiced they wouldn't mask it, but like most of the debate between us, that is what it is, opinion. Regardless, having to mask it and choosing to mask it are two different things. Most bigots, in my experience (and I intend to pursue the psychological aspect of bigotry to see if that supports my belief), not all, are not willing to come right out and tell you they are bigots. Be that as it may, the 55% figure is subject to error, and there is a large amount of prejudice out there that does not require banning anything in order for the prejudice to exist. I can't help but think that you are failing to recognize matters of degree. I also don't understand the logic you are using to imply that any level of prejudice requires a full out assault on gays.

VES

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March 17th, 2004:

http://www.sodomylaws.org/usa/tennessee/tnnews03.htm

Well, I guess they are pretty open about their bigotry.

As an addendum to my above post, I recognize that the information is dated. Here is newer information about sodomy laws according to the ACLU. Of note, it's taking the Supreme Court to take action against states that don't want to give up their sodomy laws. The laws die quicker than the attitudes though.

http://www.aclu.org/LesbianGayRights/Lesbi...yRightsMain.cfm

VES

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I don't really care if the states recognize gay marriages or not. But don't expect me to call gay couples married. I think it undercuts the meaning of the word.

These couples certainly deserve all the legal recognitions of a union, like the right in inherit each other... but what they don't deserve is the right to force others to change their concepts and thinking. This amounts to politically correct brainwashing.

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Unless specifically requested to clarify or respond to any of my points, this will be my last post on this matter (at least in this thread). I will use it to clarify some things about about me, and to raise some tangential ideas to other points made. While some of this may be a little off topic, I ask to be warned by moderators if I stray too far, so that I may understand better the limitations of discussions.

I grew up in a home with a female mother and a male father. They were by legal definition, married. They even had a religious ceremony. In most every other important sense of the word, the rest of their "marriage" would be an abomination to the concept. Shortly after I moved out, my grandmother died and left her house to my mom. My mom moved into that house, but my parents remained "married". It was good for taxes. That was around 19 years ago. When my mom died almost 2 years ago, she died "married" to my father. She had nearly as much contempt for him prior to dying as she'd had as I grew up and after I moved out. For my father's part, it wasn't so much contempt as a lack of respect for my mom, and very little ability to exhibit emotions. The single most significant thing I learned about marriage from them was that I didn't want my marriage to be like theirs.

Needless to say, this provided very little basis for me to place the concept of marriage in high esteem.

That kind of relationship demeans the concept of marriage. People who simply get married for the tax break demean the idea of marriage. People who almost ritually engage in domestic abuse / assault demean the idea of marriage. ( I see this one literally NIGHTLY at work ) I could go on about all the other ways that the institution of wedlock suffers from the actions of it's participants, but I think I have laid the foundation of where I'm going with this.

If I can look around and see other people, whether gay or straight, engaged in a committed, loving, healthy relationships, ones that actually honor the term marriage, then they can call their union whatever they wish as far as I'm concerned. To me, the terminology pales in importance compared to the manner in which the institution is carried out.

erandror: I would never wish you to be coerced into thinking anything you don't wish to think. It is your right, and I certainly have no beef with that. I too have little regard for PC, which is one of the first things I mentioned upon entering this conversation. I see parallels to PC thought in this thread about having to come up with alternative terms so as not to offend people's sensibilities.

I had to think a little about your following comment though:

but what they don't deserve is the right to force others to change their concepts and thinking.

In my mind, I don't think they really can brainwash those that aren't willing. They can try to demonize you perhaps, but that shouldn't change your mind if you are truly convicted in your beliefs.

Now I suppose it's a stretch that they could establish a "hate" law illegalizing the prevention of gay marriages to try to brainwash people or coerce their thinking. I don't like the concept of the "hate" laws. There are already laws and punishments on the books to take care of these crimes. These laws already account for intent.

Despite the way it may seem in this thread, I'm no champion of gay rights. I'm not gay myself, although I do have a very few gay friends in the workplace. I don't socialize with them off duty that much because to be honest, I still feel a little uncomfortable around them. (I may need to review whether this is rationally based I suppose) This thread could have been about any other type of cultural controversary on which I had an opinion and I would have spoken up just the same.

VES

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I have never heard of this being true. Would you care to provide us with a link to prove this claim, or for starters tell us who in the real (ARI) Objectivist community believes this?

I am not about to provide a list of Objectivists for your benefit. It you are seriously interested, you can do the research. The debate on gay marriage has gone on for decades, in countless private and group discussions, as well as on public forums. There was an article in The Intellectual Activist some seven or so years ago arguing against gay marriage. There have been several debates on HBL since its inception some seven years ago, and many more before that on OSG.

Because this:

does not make sense to me. Maybe you are simply not getting the point across that you are intending but this sounds like the exact same thing as a heterosexual marriage. What is the difference?

A marriage certificate with all of the legal consequences is not the same as a different legal document with some of the same legal consequences. Marriage is not the same as non-Marriage, and some is not the same as all.

Got it now?

I thought it pretty apparent that you were not even aware of what was being discussed (the use of the term marriage).

Pardon me for being underwhelmed at the forcefulness of your argument. I suggest you find someone else to talk to about this subject. I have no further interest in discussing it with you.

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Do I need to point out that there ARE laws on the books still in some states that ban gay sex?

I must confess I have not read any of your other posts in this thread (nor have I read that many from others), but from this I get the impression that you are (rightfully) outraged at the existence of such laws. I would like to add that for decades I have found the moralizing against Objectivist homosexuals, by some Objectivists, to be very sad, and at times even horrific. I am most definitely heterosexual myself, but I personally know a number of first-rate Objectivists who are homosexual, and they are first-rate people not only intellectually, but also morally. I would not want to go through many of the emotional devastations which these good people have experienced for many years.

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Why is there such a debate about this amongst Objectivists? The government shouldn't be in the business of providing any licenses, let alone 'relationship licenses.' Privatize the marriage contract, let the body of law develop in the courts (much of it already has) and let the societal consensus determine if homosexual unions will be labelled a 'marriage' or not. I really don't see the problem.

To me this is a simple matter of finding an instance of the 'initiation of force' and arguing for the cessation of that force. From the political standpoint, who cares whether homosexuality is 'normal' or not, 'healthy' or not, etc.. Its not relevant.

I think a large problem here stems from the fact that the government has created the marriage contract that creates the legal relationships of the union. This is what I get angry at. The current government contract is this one-size-fits-all approach. If the marriage market were free (so to speak), people would enter into all kinds of different relationship contracts. (Hell, I might conisder getting married if I could sign a one year contract with the option to renew and the immediate cessation of all obligations if the female became pregnant or was unfaithful.) Marital partnerships would probably develop new forms the way business organizations have developed new forms; ie LLCs, LLPs, sub-chatper S, etc.

But in the current system the government has defined all the legal relationships and homosexuals want those relationships to apply to them under the same umbrella of rights that heterosexual marriages enjoy. I can't say I blame them. But the main point I see is the same with every other consequence of political intervention, namely that the problem wouldn't exist under laissez faire and objective law.

There wouldn't be one legal relationship that enjoyed monopoly protection from the government and carried with it such social status. There would be abundant partnership formats couples could enjoy; everything from the traditional arrangements to the polygamous (probably be very big in Utah) to the free agency model I described above, etc. And whatever term was applied to homosexual unions would be determined by the social dynamics of free citizens not the mandate of government.

As I said, I dont see the reason for a debate. This should be small potatoes for well read Objectivists.

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I think a large problem here stems from the fact that the government has created the marriage contract that creates the legal relationships of the union. This is what I get angry at. The current government contract is this one-size-fits-all approach.

It does so only as a default when the contracting parties don't specify all the details.

Having marriage laws makes for simplicity and predictability. People are still free to override just about anything in the standard legal contract, by mutual consent, using pre- and post-nuptual agreements.

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It does so only as a default when the contracting parties don't specify all the details. 

Having marriage laws makes for simplicity and predictability.  People are still free to override just about anything in the standard legal contract, by mutual consent, using pre- and post-nuptual agreements.

I've taken courses on family law and what you are saying is right in 'theory' but much harder to execute in practice. First of all, any alternative partnership arrangements wont be allowed; ie polygamous or homosexual (depending on jurisdiction). Pre and post nuptuals are subject to incredible scrutiny from courts (especially if you get a traditionalist judge) and, from what I understand, they don't provide all the protection or flexability they are purported to. Property issues can be a nightmare in the case of dissolution as can be child custody arrangements.

Perhaps, if religion weren't such a strong backround factor in the realm of all things marrital, the current system wouldn't be as bad. But I can't but see the current marriage contract as a government created and protected one that has been softened a bit in recent years but still refuses to admit real competition.

And of course, the whole concept of having to get a marriage license is just plain offensive.

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I must confess I have not read any of your other posts in this thread (nor have I read that many from others), but from this I get the impression that you are (rightfully) outraged at the existence of such laws.

Outraged is a bit strong for me, but I do think those laws have no place on the books. The "good" thing about the sodomy laws is that they are ridiculously difficult to prosecute if people are violating them in private places (homes, motels, hotels, etc.) Now people that engage in sexual activity in public, or in their cars on a public street are inviting intrusion into their sex lives in my opinion.

There's not much I get outraged about. Occupationally, I have learned to suppress that kind of reaction to a large degree as it is hazardous to tactical situations. This is not something that turns on at work and turns off at home. So while I may have a strong sense of what an injustice may be, I automatically try to keep the emotional response on a even keel so that the brain stays in control.

(As a side note, I attended a class today on Hostage Negotiations. Talk about staying on an even keel, those folks are amazing.)

VES

PS: I guess I just broke my self-imposed retreat from this thread. :)

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Having marriage laws makes for simplicity and predictability.

The government using force to enforce such laws is equally simple and predictable.

The government using its power to ensure that gays are not covered by "marriage laws" is simple and predictable.

After all, infusing Christian doctrine into laws makes for simplicity and predictability.

Right now gays can be prosecuted for attempting to enter upon a marriage in many areas of this supposedly "free" country.

Simplicity and predictability at its utmost in squelching their individual rights! :o

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The government using force to enforce such laws is equally simple and predictable.

... and PROPER.

It's the government's job to protect each individual's property rights when people engage in joint ventures whether that venture is marriage, or domestic partnership, or a business partnership, or a corporation.

The government even provides standard agreements with standard assumptions to make setting up a joint venture easier. In almost all cases, people are free to draft their own agreements or to modify the standard agreement if that's their choice.

Tom Bowden gave a wonderful 4-lecture course called "A Celebration of American Law" which is available from AynRandBookstore.com by clicking here. In it, he likens the standard default contract to buying a suit off the rack. You can find one that fits, buy a suit off the rack and have it altered, or have a suit custom made.

The government using its power to ensure that gays are not covered by "marriage laws" is simple and predictable.

After all, infusing Christian doctrine into laws makes for simplicity and predictability.

Right now gays can be prosecuted for attempting to enter upon a marriage in many areas of this supposedly "free" country.

Simplicity and predictability at its utmost in squelching their individual rights!  :o

I don't agree with this view of government as a malevolent, powerful, Christian conspiracy -- at least not in the USA. Here, the government is still primarily an organization which does a very good job of protecting rights which was what Tom Bowden explained in his lectures. If there are areas where the freedom of contract is improperly restricted -- and there are -- we are free to argue and to eventually change that.

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I don't agree with this view of government as a malevolent, powerful, Christian conspiracy -- at least not in the USA.  Here, the government is still primarily an organization which does a very good job of protecting rights which was what Tom Bowden explained in his lectures.  If there are areas where the freedom of contract is improperly restricted -- and there are -- we are free to argue and to eventually change that.

If that's so then why is it illegal for gays to get married?

And why is it that the Bush administration is pressing for a constitutional amendment to ensure that this becomes a constitutional "law?"

The government may not quite be the malevolent powerful Christian conspiracy, but it sure is behaving like one in this instance. And the very people you support are at the helm steering this country into this precarious direction.

I'm not the only one who thinks this way. Even if that were the case, so what?

Article upon article at Capitalism.org comments against Bush and his evil agenda to infuse Christianity and faith-based dogma into American law.

The Bush faith-based machine extends even uglier into foreign policy- into his mishandling of Israel, for example. After all, it is religion which preaches the equality of all men- you know, love thine enemy?

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If that's so then why is it illegal for gays to get married?

We haven't changed that -- yet.

Also, marriage is a state issue. I expect some states will recognize these contracts and other states won't. Then gays will go to those states to get married just as women once went to the few states which allowed legal abortions when most states did not.

And why is it that the Bush administration is  pressing for a constitutional amendment to ensure that this becomes a constitutional "law?"
That's Bush's view of how thing ought to be, but he is not a totalitarian dictator. His view may be popular among some people, but his constitutional amendment will never get passed.

The government may not quite be the malevolent powerful Christian conspiracy, but it sure is behaving like one in this instance.  And the very people you support are at the helm steering this country into this precarious direction.

The very people I support on SOME issues are advocating something I don't support in ANOTHER area where they have absolutely NO chance of success.

Article upon article at Capitalism.org comments against Bush and his evil agenda to infuse Christianity and faith-based dogma into American law.

The Bush faith-based machine extends even uglier into foreign policy- into his mishandling of Israel, for example.  After all, it is religion which preaches the equality of all men- you know, love thine enemy?

So what? He can try, but he can't make it so. This is still a country with a rational intellectual foundation and constitutional safeguards.

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So what?  He can try, but he can't make it so.  This is still a country with a rational intellectual foundation and constitutional safeguards.

boldface mine

Exactly right!!!!

And it's every bit the reason why it is this country can withstand the administration of the past presidents and still be the thriving nation that it is!

The constitutional safeguards in this country are eminently powerful. I don't know of any other country on earth that has such safeguards.

Other budding republics based upon liberties have failed principally because of the fact that such safeguards do not exist in their basic laws.

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