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  1. #71
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour View Post
    2) the union of male and female is fundamental to nature (and therefore to God).
    Its not fundamental to nature, but it does seem pretty fundamental to every self-perpetuating human society, and specifically modern "liberal" society. That's not a good reason to oppose gay marriage (it doesn't infringe on the rights of others and hasn't been demonstrated to have any notable negative effect on the institution of marriage, much less a negative effect so substantial as to necessitate restricting the individual liberty and personal happiness of homosexuals), but it its a good reason not to base gay marriage advocacy on opposition to so-called "hetero-sexism." I think doing so is both counter-productive in terms of immediate goals and potentially detrimental to the cultural perpetuation of "liberal" society itself.

    This is one of those subjects where I usually end up arguing with both major sides of the issue; the educated advocates are basing their positions (at least in part) on principles I value equally, and I can't resist nit-picking over different interpretations of those principles. Normally that isn't a problem, but these debates are so emotionally charged that many posters (I'm not including you amongst this generalization) often forget to verify that someone actually said what they initially think was said.

  2. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by htb View Post
    Second, that an assault on First Amendment rights of religious organizations to eschew homosexuality is intended with the passage of new marriage laws. The face of the movement defines "not commiserable."
    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I think part of the reason this issue exists is because pastors are allowed to legally marry people.

    If we separated religion from law, then it would be far easier to let churches control their fiefdoms and let the government control who it considers married in terms of what legal rights are granted.

    Right now religion (CHRISTIAN religion) actually is intertwined with legal/secular marriage. Why should they be?
    I just don't understand how this is an issue in the gay marriage debate. What possible connection could a legal right to marriage have with forcing churches to perform marriages they object to? This would be a right granted by the state and fulfilled by the state. The state can perform marriages it deems acceptable and the church can do likewise. I don't understand why this is confusing. I question the basic intelligence and reasoning skills of anyone that would argue against gay marriage on this point.
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  3. #73
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    Its not fundamental to nature, but it does seem pretty fundamental to every self-perpetuating human society, and specifically modern "liberal" society. That's not a good reason to oppose gay marriage (it doesn't infringe on the rights of others and hasn't been demonstrated to have any notable negative effect on the institution of marriage, much less a negative effect so substantial as to necessitate restricting the individual liberty and personal happiness of homosexuals), but it its a good reason not to base gay marriage advocacy on opposition to so-called "hetero-sexism." I think doing so is both counter-productive in terms of immediate goals and potentially detrimental to the cultural perpetuation of "liberal" society itself.

    This is one of those subjects where I usually end up arguing with both major sides of the issue; the educated advocates are basing their positions (at least in part) on principles I value equally, and I can't resist nit-picking over different interpretations of those principles. Normally that isn't a problem, but these debates are so emotionally charged that many posters (I'm not including you amongst this generalization) often forget to verify that someone actually said what they initially think was said.
    I appreciate that, and I certainly don't think there's anything wrong with being heterosexual (which sounds funny to say). I have a hard time seeing homosexuality sweeping the nation to such an extent that perpetuation of the species (or the country) would be significantly effected. Plus, there are all the lesbians and gay men who have children.

    Despite being raised as a fundamentalist, I didn't find my own sexuality to be malleable enough to function as a straight man (despite a great deal of effort on my part). My upbringing hammering home that anything else was unacceptable failed to change my orientation. I think that the orientations of vast majority of heterosexuals are equally immutable.

    I certainly don't want to stop supporting heterosexual marriages. Studies show children do best when raised by two loving parents (of whatever gender) in a stable home. I have no problem with society encouraging that. I just don't see what society gains by not granting the same support to gay couples.

  4. #74
    Senior Member htb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EffEmDoubleyou View Post
    . . .
    No, my original second point, which concerns chilling effects via defamation laws following normalization (e.g., Canada) is unrelated to the legal matter Jennifer and I discussed above.

  5. #75
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by htb View Post
    What's a greater -- and really, intractable -- issue is marriage's integration with property, custody, and tax laws. Marriage won't (can't) be disassociated from the state anytime soon.
    I agree with you. Keep "legal marriage" associated with legal entities -- property, custody, and tax -- and allow the religious organizations to ordain marriages within their faith and establish families as they see fit.

    Right now the church is claiming it has a right to perform marriages (as a religious sacrament), and these marriages are religious AND LEGAL entities... not just religious ones. They should just be religious ones. Because the pastors have actual legal power to "approve" legal marriages, the church feels like marriage is ITS turf and being told same-sex marriage is legal now steps on its toes.

    But it has that legal power illegitimately, IMO, to start with.

    I don't see how that's pivotal in the extension of marital recognition by a state. Add two clauses to state code: one defining marriage alternately as one man and one man; another defining marriage alternately as one woman and one woman. Clergy whose churches do not recognize non-traditional marriages naturally ignore the new law -- a typical list of officiants shows far more civil servants than clergy, anyway.
    I think my point was right now it's muddied. There are no separate "church weddings" versus "legal weddings," all of these Christians get married in a church, the pastor signs the slip and mails it to the courthouse, and the marriage is now perfectly legal. That's even how my wedding, done 20 years ago in NJ, was handled. I just don't happen to know many people personally IRL who get married in a non-church setting.

    Maybe this is my own skewed experience, because I just happened to grow up within a religious area and live in one now. You don't get married without a church wedding around here. I'm thinking this forum might comprise the first potential group of people I've personally been invested in where people might not get married in a church and be officiated by a pastor.

    And all of these religious people for some reason have this crazy idea that if homosexual marriages are permitted by the state, the state will force the pastor to conduct homosexual weddings. It might not be rational, but I hear it over and over and over again. It's maddening... especially because realistically church and state shouldn't even be muddied together like this in the first place, should it?

    Making the delineation very clear might be a start in terms of letting religious people see their own turf as separate and distinct and unrelated to the state's decision to either allow or disallow same-sex marriage... although I know it's not that simple, the church is still scared over the large changes in culture in the last fifty years and will continue to fight this change.

    You're right, as far as this comment of yours is concerned. It should be very simple to permit same-sex marriage without stepping on church turf.
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  6. #76
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour View Post
    . I have a hard time seeing homosexuality sweeping the nation to such an extent that perpetuation of the species (or the country) would be significantly effected
    um, just to clarify*, I'm not talking about physical perpetuation so much as cultural perpetuation (and any problems with physical perpetuation that correlates with lack of cultural perpetuation would be due to the impact on heterosexual relationships, not the small and relatively stable proportion of homosexual relationships). My concerns relate to ideologically devaluing the broad roles of "fatherhood" and "motherhood" (in a monogamous context), which are the primary tool of socialization, and are the foundation upon which "liberal" society has developed. In short, I'm concerned about the constructivist impact of such a paradigm, and not demographic decline due to increased numbers of homosexuals (which I agree is doubtful, to put it mildly).

    Edit: And in case there was a misunderstanding on this point, I support the legalization of gay marriage, I'm just leery of certain alternative justifications for doing so.

    *Ironically, attempts to clarify my reasoning usually leads to the exact opposite, as far as debate partners are concerned. I really wish I had greater facility with language.
    Last edited by lowtech redneck; 04-05-2010 at 08:41 PM. Reason: self-evident

  7. #77
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by htb View Post
    No, my original second point, which concerns chilling effects via defamation laws following normalization (e.g., Canada) is unrelated to the legal matter Jennifer and I discussed above.
    I agree that free speech should trump anti-hate crime legislation. I think that's pretty inarguable constitutionally here in the United States. In fact, I think the ACLU should do a better job of being even handed in whose free speech it defends.

    I also agree that the whole "churches will be forced to marry gay couples and/or acknowledge gay marriages" is a red herring. The Catholic church has successfully ignored whole categories of marriage for a long time now. They have every right to do so, but that doesn't (and shouldn't) affect civil marriages.

    And, Peguy, I'm less concerned about the unique qualities of fatherhood and motherhood than the values of committed parenthood in general. I admit I get irritated when people genericise references to God as divine "parent" rather than father or mother. So I can't claim to be entirely consistent.

  8. #78
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Pastors refuse to marry people all the time for all kinds of reasons, including, in the denomination I was raised, having been divorced. I've heard of them refusing to marry people that wouldn't attend premarital counseling sessions and a friend of mine told me that a pastor insisted that a proclamation of pre-marital abstinence be part of the ceremony regardless of whether or not it was true.

    I don't think pastors are going to be forced to marry homosexual couples unless something else happens legally besides (and possibly unrelated to) gay marriage.
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  9. #79
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Eliminate the government from marriage entirely. Civil unions only for the government, "marriages" from the priest, rabbi, personal spiritual leader, etc. In the secular sense, it should be a binary contract between two consenting adults.
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  10. #80
    Senior Member htb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour View Post
    I also agree that the whole "churches will be forced to marry gay couples and/or acknowledge gay marriages" is a red herring.
    Just a quick response, as I'm considering other posts above and will probably reply later: that isn't what I meant at all, and would argue alongside you that clergy would (should) not be compelled to perform marriages.

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