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Thread: Marriage Equality Comes to Wisconsin

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    Voice of Reason ProgressivePatriot's Avatar
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    Marriage Equality Comes to Wisconsin

    I can't wait to hear what those who rely on an appeal to tradition will have to say about this!



    Federal Judge To Wisconsin: You Know 'Traditional' Marriage Was Polygamy, Right?

    The federal judge who struck down Wisconsin's gay marriage ban thinks state officials have a thing or two to learn about the history of marriage as a social institution.

    In defending their same-sex marriage ban, state officials claimed that "virtually all cultures through time" have recognized marriage "as the union of an opposite-sex couple."

    But as U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb wrote in her 88-page ruling on Friday, that's simply not true.

    "As an initial matter, defendants and amici have overstated their argument. Throughout history, the most 'traditional' form of marriage has not been between one man and one woman, but between one man and multiple women, which presumably is not a tradition that defendants and amici would like to continue," Crabb wrote in her opinion.

    History alone wasn't enough to justify a ban on same-sex marriage, Crabb said.

    Federal Judge To Wisconsin: You Know 'Traditional' Marriage Was Polygamy, Right?

  2. #2
    New Member Havelock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProgressivePatriot View Post
    I can't wait to hear what those who rely on an appeal to tradition will have to say about this!
    Another week, another state in which laws banning same-sex marriage have been struck down... It hardly seems to merit notice any longer. Truly amazing when one thinks that only 10 years ago it was the hottest of hot-button topics and a marvelously useful wedge issue for conservatives... Times do change, and faster than some can come to terms with it all, it seems. I feel for them -- just a little.

    As for tradition, sure, it's a wonderfully useful justification. So protean... Just about the only type of coupling that doesn't seem to have been sanctioned somewhere, at some time, is true pedophilia: that is to say sexual contact with prepubescent children. Just about everything else can be supported by an appeal to tradition, depending on which tradition one chooses.

    Most folks are fairly choosy, though, in my experience. They want to appeal to a particular tradition but seldom bother to tell us why that tradition is the tradition to venerate. So, maybe appealing to tradition is not so useful after all.

    Cheers.

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    Established Member soupnazi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProgressivePatriot View Post
    I can't wait to hear what those who rely on an appeal to tradition will have to say about this!
    I never appeal to tradition.

    The OP title is misleading to the substance you posted.

    No equality was won. Only s slight expansion of state privilege for a select few.

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    Voice of Reason ProgressivePatriot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soupnazi View Post
    I never appeal to tradition.

    The OP title is misleading to the substance you posted.

    No equality was won. Only s slight expansion of state privilege for a select few.
    Misleading? How? Gays do now have the ability to marry, equal to that of heteros. What is it that you want to say?

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    Established Member soupnazi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProgressivePatriot View Post
    Misleading? How? Gays do now have the ability to marry, equal to that of heteros. What is it that you want to say?
    It leaves out all the other forms of marriage which consenting adults should have a right to.

    No one has a right to anything which is licensed. If they really wanted equality im marriage they should work to abolish government licensing and tax incentives for marriage.

    Now the select group who enjoy a privilege got a little bit bigger but it is still select.

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    Voice of Reason ProgressivePatriot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soupnazi View Post
    It leaves out all the other forms of marriage which consenting adults should have a right to.

    .
    I’m not going to make any judgment as to what your motive is here, but in my experience, the vast majority of them are being intellectually dishonest, do not want “equality for all” and are simply attempting to derail the debate and obfuscate the issue of same sex marriage. , The intent is to stoke the fears of those who are already dubious about any redefinition of marriage with a slippery slope type of logical fallacy if you will. Many will accuse someone of being a hypocrite for support same sex marriage but not “other variations” on marriage are, intentionally or not, perpetrating another type of logical fallacy, a slight of hand known as the appeal to hypocrisy.
    However, there are those who are sincere in their beliefs. To those I say; as well intended as you might be, tread lightly least you do a serious disservice to the gay and lesbian rights movement. Progress is always incremental. Attempting to expand the issue will only feed into the fears, and bolster the arguments of those opposed to marriage equality for gay couples. The issue of other sexual preferences or lifestyles is not on the table and, arguably has nothing to do with the current debate. Equality being sought means equal to what heterosexual couples can do that is generally accepted by society and is legal.

    When, and if the issues of further changing the definition of marriage comes up, it will be an issue that will affect everyone, not just something that will effect gay people In fact I can tell you from experience, that the vast majority of people involved in various “non-traditional” lifestyles are not gay.
    Consider the fact that there would be legal and social issues that we would have to deal with much in the same way that we are grappling with same sex marriage now, but would also effect opposite sex relationships. While I don’t see those issues as insurmountable, such arrangements would upend the concept of marriage a bit more than the current debate has.

    The question of whether these other matters can be seen as strictly parallel and unrelated issues to same sex marriage, or in fact, the next logical step following gay marriage is an open one. One could indeed argue that gay marriage will open legal doors and loosen societal inhibitions against further redefining marriage. However, whether or not there is a cause and effect relationship, my position remains that for purposes of the current debate, and in the interest of supporting same sex marriage for couples, it should remain separate.

    I will add, that I for one have no moral objection to plural marriage as long as it involves consenting adults participating on an equal basis. In fact my spouse and I have “played house” with other couples as well as singles for periods of time. You may have heard of the Polyamory Society that promotes the practice, although I don’t think that there is a lot of political support and it is certainly not a “movement” as same sex marriage is. In any case, I’m here to tell you that if you think that one on one marriage is challenging, try dealing with the dynamics of a group marriage. However, polygamy, a decidedly unequal arrangement where men have multiple wives that are often under aged and coerced into the arrangement is an entirely different matter for which there is a compelling government and societal interest in opposing it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by soupnazi View Post

    No one has a right to anything which is licensed. .
    So all of those straight people who have been getting married are not exercising a right that they can pretty much take for granted? The license is to ensure that those marriages comply with the law, but within the parameters of the law, marriage is indeed a right. People who are heterosexual do not have to wonder if they will be allowed to marry, gays often do.

    In addition:

    Fourteen times since 1888, the United States Supreme Court has stated that marriage is a fundamental right of all individuals. In these cases, the Court has reaffirmed that “freedom of personal choice in matters of marriage” is “one of the liberties protected by the Due Process Clause,” “essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men,” and “sheltered by the Fourteenth Amendment against the State’s unwarranted usurpation, disregard, or disrespect.”

    14 Supreme Court Cases: Marriage is a Fundamental Right | American Foundation for Equal Rights
    .......

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    Quote Originally Posted by soupnazi View Post

    If they really wanted equality im marriage they should work to abolish government licensing and tax incentives for marriage.
    Yes, I’ve heard that said before….mostly by people who have not really thought it through. People who have not really considered what that would look like.

    Of late there seems to be an element in the gay marriage debate that is taking the position that government should be out of the business of regulating marriage. They take this position as an alternative to the legalization of gay marriage and assert that in the absence of government regulation anyone can form a union-via contract- with anyone else who they chose to, and call it whatever they want. I suspect that those pushing this viewpoint are those who are opposed to same sex marriage, and will do anything to stave off the day when such nuptials are universally recognized by government. My immediate reaction has been that it is not so well thought out idea, wrought with problems and pitfalls, and promoted by people who do not really want it to come to that-indeed they don’t believe that it will-but who are also being coy about their opposition to equality. However, far be it from me-the Progressive Patriot- to jump to conclusions or rush to judgment so I decided to take a closer look.

    First, let us consider why marriage is something that is regulated by the government in the first place. It is true that for centuries, marriage was in fact a private affair between families. However it is also true that the practice of requiring marriage licenses dates back more than 400 years in England. (When those opposed to gay marriage talk about tradition, I say, now there is tradition! A tradition that you might want to think twice about discarding)
    This license requirement came about because ” …. When the state-run Church of England decided it wanted to have a say in approving marriage partnerships, laws regarding marriage licensing were established to ensure a level of control and source for revenues.” The American colonies later adapted many of the same customs and laws. Gradually, the states began to exercise greater control over who one could marry and a major concern was to prevent inter racial marriage. Later, the primary reason for government control of marriage licenses remains for vital statistics recording and continues as a source of revenue for local and state governments. Source: The History of Marriage Licenses | eHow
    It’s interesting to note that while marriage licenses came about in England at the behest of the state run church, and the church continued to have enormous influence in the colonies , once the United States came into being, there was no longer a state church and in fact a state church was specifically prohibited. However, concessions were made to the church such as granting tax exempt status, and most notable with respect to marriage, clergy were afforded the right to perform wedding ceremonies that result in a legally binding union under the law. Some would say that doing so blurs the lines between church and state.

    So while I set out to make the case as to why government should regulate marriage, it may seem at this point that government regulation came about for the wrong reasons or is no longer relevant:
    • Interracial marriage is no longer an issue so few would stand in the way of “private vs. government sponsored marriage
    • There is no state sponsored church that has official influence on government so presumably, government could pull out of the marriage regulation business if chose to.
    • Marriage licenses are probably not a significant source of revenue, it is restricted to local government and it is not a reason to require legal marriage that most people would endorse.
    • Public health and vital statistics could be compiled by the census and through the registration of those private contracts
    But wait! What is a “private contract” Not being a student of midlevel history, I don’t know what the concept of “contract” was then. However, I know that in our system of government and law, a contract is a legal construct that is it is created by law. Its execution and desolation is controlled by statute, and only government creates statutory law. So I submit to you that to get government “out of marriage” is not a choice under the contemporary definition of contract

    Ok, so some government involvement is inevitable. But you might say if those contracts are regulated by government, why they can’t just be like any other contract such as one you might enter into with an employer, or someone remodeling your home. What makes a “marriage contract” special? Why require a license to enter into a marriage contract, but not other contracts?

    As it turns out, there is at least one supporter of traditional marriage who think that it would, in fact be a very bad idea to remove the government sanction and regulation of marriage.

    Robert George, one of the leading voices contending for traditional marriage today, along with Sherif Girgis and Ryan T. Anderson, have written a thorough and well-documented piece in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy entitled What is Marriage? Among other things, they argue that attempts to stop government from regulating marriage are naive at best and ruinous at worst.
    They go on to say:

    “Almost no society that has left us a trace of itself has done without some regulation of sexual relationships…The wellbeing of children gives us powerful prudential reasons to recognize and protect marriage legally”.
    And while a main concern of theirs stems from an opposition of extension of marriage to gays, they have much more to say in support of government regulation.

    “…… the government cannot simply bow out of the marriage regulation business, as divorces will still have to be adjudicated, for there will inevitably be disputes over marital unfaithfulness, assets, and custody of children. The state will have to involve itself in disentangling the mess after traditional marriage has been thus dismantled. This is why the libertarian argument fails. For a true libertarian would surely want less governmental intrusion into our private lives, but the de-regulation of marriage would in fact lead to more of it”.

    And: “Although some libertarians propose to “privatize” marriage, treating marriages the way we treat baptisms and bar mitzvahs, supporters of limited government should recognize that marriage privatization would be a catastrophe for limited government. In the absence of a flourishing marriage culture, families often fail to form, or to achieve and maintain stability. As absentee fathers and out‐of‐wedlock births become common, a train of social pathologies follows.”

    Should We Do Away With All Governmental Regulation of Marriage? | Russell and Duenes
    In addition, for many people, religious or not, marriage is still a special covenant, a statement about commitment and a status that is still valued. While traditionalist who rail against same sex marriage as devaluing marriage as we know it, to say that marriage is no different than other contracts and not recognize it as special would be the ultimate blow to the institution and its value.

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    Established Member soupnazi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProgressivePatriot View Post
    So all of those straight people who have been getting married are not exercising a right that they can pretty much take for granted? The license is to ensure that those marriages comply with the law, but within the parameters of the law, marriage is indeed a right. People who are heterosexual do not have to wonder if they will be allowed to marry, gays often do.

    In addition:



    .......
    The right to get married does not exist whatsoever. Perhaps it did some time in the past I really do not know.

    However once marriage licenses were issued by the state the right to marry ceased to exist.

    No license is granted ever to ensure that someone complies with the law after receiving said license the purpose is to control who does what.

    The USSC is wrong 14 times no matter how smart they are. A license to do anything by definition makes it a special privilege and no right whatsoever.

    People who are straight have to ask permission to be married. A government beauracrat or the United States Supreme Court or the entire Faculty of Harvard are all supreme unqualified to decide whether or not someone should be allowed to marry. Perhaps it is rubber stamped by the state for apparently straight people but that is irrelevant. If they give permission to a select few they can withdraw permission for those same select few whenever they like.

    The advocates of homosexual marriage often claim to be fighting for rights but they are not they are fighting for a slight expansion of a privilege to a few more select people while ignoring the rights of polygamists, groups and communes, people who desire a temporary marriage or whatever. If they were honest about fighting for rights they would fight to abolish marriage licenses and any tax incentive for marriage.

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