The Supreme Court just upheld Proposition 8. I personally had more faith in them. At least in subjects like torture, abortion, etc, it's very easily ethically debated but gay marriage? It's hard to defend without delving into superstition.


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I believe you are right. But that has the unexpected (or expected?) consequence of making homos second-class citizens. So I suppose the question that should be asked is: Can the majority amend the constitution to deny equal access and opportunity for a minority?

For that matter: Can the majority decide that all people should be euthanized at the age of 75 so as to save on social security? Can the majority decide that a minority should be sterilized and not allowed to reproduce?
Long, hard weekend = late to this very fast moving game, but my $0.02 in bullet points:

- By the general, cold, hard, dictionary definition of 'marriage,' joining-of-entities, it can apply to lots of things.

- By virtue of tradition, the construct of man-woman-as-equals is, as has been pointed out here, very recent and very modern. So if one is to argue 'tradition,' you had damn well better be arguing for man-owns-wife and man-owns-several-wives.

- Otherwise you are just arguing for A) the tradition you like best or B) the most recent tradition, which assumes, like every culture assumes, that we are currently at the pinnacle of civilization. We aren't. Our great-great-great-great grandkids will look back and muse about how backwater we are, just like we do about our great-great-great-great grandparents.

- @ goddump: You started out fine when you brought up several posts back, "I've often heard the argument that marriage is the union of two people and two gays are two people so what's wrong with them marrying." But how you interpret this as meaning any-two-life-forms, I have no idea how you made that leap. 2 people. 2 consenting adults. How is that the same as a daisy marrying a cow?

- I absolutely agree that if the conservatives are to argue on the 'sanctity of marriage,' they had better put their money where their mouths are and picket just as hard to outlaw divorce. Otherwise, I just can't take that argument as anything more than cherry-picking and tossing out a word like sanctity without knowing what it actually means.

- Finally, in what universe does it affect me and my (future/possible) heterosexual love of a man if the 2 women down the block or 2 men across the street are also so in love they wish to share a bed and a bank account? Exactly how insecure would I have to be in my own sexuality to find that the slightest bit threatening?
@Mary Wood
It's not my argument. I was arguing against a point ad absurdum. Talking about a man and a woman as "people" getting married is correct and valid. But already a leap or shift in category or hierarchy has taken place. We can say that a crow (for example's sake) is a living entity. Here we are describing the crow as a member of a greater encompassing category. Now if we wanted a second example of a member of this category, a crocodile would fit quite well. But we cannot describe the crocodile in terms of the attributes of a crow. A crocodile is not a black bird that flies, although both of them are living entities in the higher category. Describing the marriage of a man and a woman as the marriage of people (category shift) and then using the word people
to describe a marriage between two men or two women is not logical and is in fact faulty. The point of my (counter-) argument is that using category shifts can lead to absurd results as in the (povocative) example of a daisy and a daffodil. Even two consenting "adults" is a category shift.

Being an atheist (which doen't give me any special qualifications to discuss marriage) I don't care for religious arguments much less to defend them.

No, you or anybody else need not feel threatened by gays sharing a bed and a bank account. I am positively in favour of them getting "married" but I don't feel it should be called that.

Above your comment to me you write:
- By the general, cold, hard, dictionary definition of 'marriage,' joining-of-entities, it can apply to lots of things.

Of course there are extended definitions of marriage. On an automobile production line the engine block gets married to the chassis, just as an example. Nobody in their right minds would imagine the engine block and the chassis exchanging vows with each other.

Some dictionaries have been quick off the mark and describe marriage (inter alia) as being the union between two people of the same sex. But they are a lot slower to define a husband and a wife to fit the "new " definition of marriage. Dictionaries are not always right and some contradict each other. Conversely one could argue (wrongly) that because the f-word didn't appear in earlier dictionaries, the word didn't exist in the language of the people.
"Of course there are extended definitions of marriage. On an automobile production line the engine block gets married to the chassis, just as an example. Nobody in their right minds would imagine the engine block and the chassis exchanging vows with each other."

Exactly. In context, when we look at the term 'marriage' in the context of human, modern, western society, we see a legal recognition of two people previously unrelated declaring each other a couple: Filing taxes jointly. One being allowed to visit the other in the hospital. Sharing health benefits. Sharing parenting responsibilities.

To have this 'couple' be male/male or female/female versus female/male does not change anything. There's no reason for the hospital say to suddenly freak out and scratch their heads, "Well gee, we could let your husband visit you but not your wife." To an employer providing benefits to "Employee and spouse," the dynamics/finances of that does not change if spouse is male instead of female.

And I still fail to see how my definition of "2 human beings" can only mean male/female, whereas talking about a male/male pairing, the "human beings" qualifier suddenly can not be applied.
@Mary Wood
"...we see a legal recognition of two people previously..." You are doing it again. You are using a higher category shift to justify something in the sub-category. What we in fact see is "a legal recognition of a man and a woman previously..." I'll try again to explain the absurdity of using category shift: Women can have babies. Women are people. Men are people, too. So men should have babies.

There is no need to list the individual rights of hospital visits. Gay couples should have all the rights of heterosexual couples. Every homosexual man or woman has the right to marry someone of the opposite sex. He or she can marry. This right is not curtailed in any way. When it comes to same-sex marriages we are involved with an increase or extension of the right. It is a new legal situation. So we can give the new situation a new legal definition or we simply extend the meaning of marriage. I favour a new legal definition, e.g. a civil union, legal partnership, or whatever. In popular parlance a civil union would probably still be called a marriage and there is probably no way to control the speech of the people (although this is being done all the time by Polictical Correctness in other areas). And one more point. It is not about withholding rights from or extending additional rights to homosexuals. The rights should be there for everybody including heterosexuals. If I wanted to "marry" a man (for whatever reason) I would find it unfair to have to prove I was homosexual before I could get a "marriage" or "partnership" license.
"Gay couples should have all the rights of heterosexual couples."
Exactly. INCLUDING the right to call their civil union marriage.
"I'll try again to explain the absurdity of using category shift: Women can have babies. Women are people. Men are people, too. So men should have babies."

Flawed logic.

7 is an odd number.
7 is contained in the set of all real numbers.
4 is contained in the set of all real numbers.
Therefore 4 must be odd.

Because one element of a defined set includes property X does not necessarily dictate that all elements of that set must also include property X unless that property is part of the definition.

In this case, the property "incapable of having babies" does not necessarily exclude one from belonging to the defined set "People."

Now, attempting to guess what you are inferring, are you suggesting that only pairings capable of heterosexual reproduction be allowed to fall under the term 'marriage?'
No. This was just another example (obviously not very good as you seem to misunderstand it). I'm not arguing on the basis of reproduction at all. Every time I make a comment, somebody wants to misunderstand it and assume that I don't want homosexuals to have their rights. I don't care whether they reproduce or not. Not all heterosexuals do. I don't even want to get involved in the particular rights they have or do not have. I simply prefer to see the term marriage reserved for a union between a man and a woman. It's that simple.
A lot of christians I've said the following to have been rather shamelessly cruel about it.

If a married man went to go see his wife on her deathbed for one last time only got visitation rights because he was married, what if two gay men/lesbian women had one last chance to see their partner on the deathbed instead but were denied visitation rights because of a marriage license? The last chance they would ever get to EVER see each other before the other died would be forever lost. Or worse after that the dead lover burns eternally in hell on top of that?

The most common response is "Too bad but marriage is still a sacred ceremony that can only be done between a man and woman, they were sinners to love each other anyway(the gay partners)"
Marriage is a civil contract.

Churches do NOT perform marriages,they perform marriage CEREMONIES. The religious ritual "sanctifies" the marriage. It has no legal standing by itself.

In Australia no ceremony is needed for a legal marriage. All that is needed is REGISTRATION of the fact IE a couple go a registry office to register their marriage. It is not a legal marriage until that time.

Gay marriage is NOT banned ,anywhere. Most churches will not sanctify such marriages and states refuse them registration. The FACT is not recognised at law.

In Australia hetero couples in a "de facto" or "common law" marriage have certain rights at law,as do any children.(Eg child support,property and inheritance) These rights have not traditionally extended to gay couples,but that is changing slowly.
Good point.
As a true seperationist, I feel marriage shouldn't be acknowledged by the government at all. If you get married (to a women, man, goat, blowup doll), that's your business, you shouldn't have to register with the state like you just bought a firearm. Maybe someone here (since I'm not married) can explain the pros of letting the state in on your marriage. The only one I've heard of is potential tax breaks, but I think that's b-s too. Why should taxes be different for a couple living together versus one living together with rings on their left hands?



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