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  • Larry

    So we have one argument which might have to be taken seriously, precedent. But SCOTUS is not bound by precedent. Plus as the author noted society and laws have changed dramatically on the subject of civil liberties for gays since the early 1970’s. Baker factors in a time when being gay was a criminal offense, could lead to a loss of child custody, was a bar to government service, was a bar to military service, and could be grounds for a good deal of discriminatory behavior which was legal at the time.

    The author has the other 4 nonsense arguments pegged as irrational and half-thought out. The silliest, but most often seen here “tradition”. Judge Posner said it best,
    “If no social benefit is conferred by a tradition, and it is written into law, and it discriminates against a number of people and does them harm beyond just offending them, it is not just a harmless anachronism. It is a violation of the equal protection clause.”

  • David Moore

    Those who would promote poligamy, incestuous unions, pederasty and other now proscribed marriage modes are waiting in the wings, watching how this matter will be decided. The real question here is whether laws may legitimately limit what sexual preferences and their corresponding living arrangements are to be recognized as marriage. Is regulation of this possible under the law, or is it not?

  • Larry

    No they aren’t. But its good to see that brain-dead arguments die hard. Unlike all those other types you mentioned, there are no rational and secular arguments against gay marriage.

    Polygamy-wreaks havoc on laws relating to marital rights and obligations. Nobody has to consider it until the polygamists figure out how it can be workable in our current binary based relations under the law.

    Incest/pederasty/whatever pops into your head- Obviously many people, including Fundamentalist Christians have trouble with the concept of consensual adult relations.

    David, if there was any rational basis for such an argument, why does nobody use it when arguing in front of the literally dozens of courts where this issue has come up?

  • ben in oakland

    So you are claiming that all of these people are just waiting in the wings, eh? And the only reason these “other arrangements” haven’t been legalized is because gay marriage hasn’t been. but if gay marriage is, then all rational constraints disappear.

    “polygamy”: everywhere it is practiced in the world, it is a heterosexual institution, including in so-called Christian countries like Utah and South Africa. But if a man can marry a woman, why can’t he marry three? And what does the answer to that have to do with gay people getting married.

    “incestuous unions”: also usually heterosexual, but incest is not a sexual orientation. And there are plenty of legal and medical reasons to proscribe them.

    “pederasty”: child marriages are also heterosexual word-wide. duid you ever hear of the word “consent?” And what does it have to do with the unions of adults? Oh, yes, they can.

    where are these legions of brother bangers and sister shaggers, waiting in the wings?

  • Doc Anthony

    But if you, or Judge Posner, or anybody else, **cannot** show specifically why the Equal Protection Clause requires a state to do a specific something **today** that the EPC clearly did NOT require that same state to do 10 or even 5 years ago (such as eliminate its own voter-approved legal definition of marriage as one man and one woman), then the failure is upon YOU (and also Judge Posner, and anybody else who supports gay marriage), and therefore gay marriage bans do not violate the Equal Protection Clause.

    (Hat Tip to 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.)

  • Larry

    Since when did the 14th Amendment stop existing? It holds states to a standard which requires it to justify laws restricting the actions of others.

    In this case a ban on gay marriage. It is not for people to justify why gay marriage needs to exist. The point is to justify why it must be precluded entirely by force of law. So why should the voter-approved legal definition of marriage stay “man + woman only”.

    What rational and secular interests of the state exist here? NONE WHATSOEVER

    The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals dodged the 14th Amendment issue entirely. I see you don’t want to go near it either.

  • John W

    “Those reasons also have been loudly debunked.”

    They have not been loudly debunked, nor could they be. They have just been loudly screamed down.

  • ben in oakland

    Because that’s what always happens in courts of law: one side screams loudly, and the courts listen to whomever screams the loudest.

    Because that’s exactly what happened in 2012, when three states permitted same sex marriage by electoral vote, and a fourth decided they didn’t wish to ban it. Gay people just screamed and screamed until the electorate gave in.

    Because that’s exactly what happened in NY, HI, MD, DE, VT, NH, and IL. Gay rights bullies screamed and screamed at the legislature.

    This is just one more of the “gays are bullying us poor, poor Christians” meme that substitutes for actual and factual arguments.

  • Larry

    Saying they “haven’t been debunked” isn’t a rebuttal to the article which clearly pokes massive holes in the arguments made. The only reason they could not be debunked is they were never coherent arguments in the first place. The support of the gay marriage bans are half-@$$ing it on all points. Nothing resembles a rational or well thought out argument.

    1. Precedent-Does not bind SCOTUS and the one cited is no longer relevant

    2. Procreation/Child raising- Neither of these are rationally related to banning gay marriage. Biological procreation is not given special status over any other forms of having children in a marriage. Gay marriage bans make raising families more difficult.

    3. Tradition-Means nothing unless you can give a rational and secular reason why it is an excuse to bar people from a given action.

    4. States Rights-States lost the right to be the final say on matters of civil liberties in 1868.

  • James Carr

    Hopefully, the Supreme Court rules against gay marriage, but allows civil unions to be protected. Marriage, historically and morally, has been an exclusive male/female union and is deeply tied to religious beliefs and practices. Blessing gay marriage will cause a severe rift with Religion, and labeling Religion discriminatory will be the next attack on society. Will Churches be allowed to condemn sins openly, or be persecuted for their beliefs? Shout the minority gay voice down and make them accept a reasonable truce.

  • Ben in Oakland

    “but allows civil unions to be protected.” Civil unions exist at right this very moment. They are called “a civil marriage license”. Religion is completely optional.

    “Marriage…is deeply tied to religious beliefs and practices.” to anywhere in the civilized world. You get a civil marriage license. It’s mostly been that way in this country since the Massachusetts Bay colony.

    “Blessing gay marriage will cause a severe rift with Religion.” Except for all of the religions that condone and celebrate it. but they don’t count, right?

    “labeling Religion discriminatory will be the next attack on society.” no, on theocracy.

    “Shout the minority gay voice down.” you’ll also have to shout down our friends, colleagues, neighbors, churches, and the business world.

    “and make them accept a reasonable truce.” There is a reasonable truce. It’s called mind your own business.
    “Will Churches be allowed to condemn sins openly, or be persecuted for their beliefs?” Only…

  • Ben in Oakland

    ““Will Churches be allowed to condemn sins openly, or be persecuted for their beliefs?” Only in Christian fantasy land.

    This new commenting system surely doesn’t work very well.

  • Doc Anthony

    You didn’t answer the 6th Circuit’s question Larry.

    The 14th amendment has existed since the 1860’s. But in all the states, (including mine which was also voter-approved), that have enacted gender-complementarian definitions of marriage, NOT ONCE has any gay marriage supporter nor lawyer nor even gay-marriage judge, been able to answer the 6th Circuit’s specific constitutional question.

    If a state voluntarily CHOOSES to eliminate its own complementarian-man-&-woman definition of marriage and allow gay marriage, then that’s their choice. No problemo.

    But what the 6th Circuit is spefically asking of you Larry, is to please show us why the 14th Amendment NOW REQUIRES a state to change its definition of marriage when it did NOT even do so 5 years ago, given the very same “no-gay-marariage” marriage-definition sitting right there on the state books.

    Are you able to answer ’em?

  • Larry

    The 6th Circuit’s question is improperly stated in light of 14th Amendment issues, which are paramount to the issue. The 6th Circuit simply ignored the Equal protection arguments as if they did not exist. They put the burden on the wrong parties.

    Here is the answer (that you will ignore anyway and repeat the same nonsense) Up until 5-10 years ago, you still had DOMA, Don’t ask/don’t tell and gay relations were still allowed to be criminalized. Without those legal roadblocks, a gay marriage ban becomes impossible to justify anymore and runs afoul of the 14th Amendment. This is why the 6th Circuit relied on obsolete law to justify its decision.

    It is too late to make a collateral attack on those seeking to overturn gay marriage bans. Unless you can show why they need to stay, what interests are being served by the state with such a ban, you have nothing.

  • James Carr


  • Doc Anthony

    James’ question is easy to answer.
    “Will Churches be allowed to condemn sins openly?”

    NO. Period. No joke. Things have changed; huge unprecedented changes. It’s about to get SERIOUSLY worse for Christians.

    It’s now clear, post-Indiana, that the gay activists and their minions will simply do whatever reprisals, threats, and/or intimidations are deemed necessary for winning. There IS a genuine Gay Gestapo out there.

    Hey folks, does your church have TAX-EXEMPT STATUS?? If your answer is “Yes”, then you don’t have to guess what will be the next shoe to drop (once the Supremes have legalized gay marriage from coast-to-coast).

    If your church or clergy speaks out openly against gay marriage, or if your church or clergy refuses a gay customer request to use their facilities or buildings for gay weddings, gay union ceremonies, or gay receptions, your church may well be targeted, as in PUNISHED, by the Gay Gestapo. Do get ready.

  • ben in oakland

    Oh, c’mon doc. you’re giving yourself the vapors.

    You left out throwing Christians to the jumping sharks, forcing them to gay marry their aborted fetuses, and supplanting the Bible with the Arabic translation of the book of Mormon.

    Do you know what’s really going to happen, Doc? Gay people will get married. That’s pretty much it.

    Antigay churches will continue to spew their anti-Christ bile until, as with the anti-black churches that continued to support segregation– surely, you remember THAT bit of Christ-inspired nonsense– they find someone else to target.

    Oh, yes. and certain slanderers, revilers, and bearers of false witness will be told by Jesus that he never knew them.

    Or not.

  • Doc Anthony

    So, for you (and me and everybody else), there’s actually NOTHING in the 14th Amendment text itself, that **REQUIRES** (or even required at any time in past history) that American states change or eliminate any gender-complementarian state-level definitions of marriage. That’s the reality.

    It’s true as you say, that DOMA has been overturned (Windsor decision), but it’s a huge fact that the Supreme Court DID NOT answer the 6th Circuit’s specific question in its Windsor decision.

    (Remember, the 14th predated the DOMA too, but even back then was NEVER interpreted by any Feds, the Circuits, or the Supremes, as **requiring** states to legalize gay marriage..)

    In Windsor, the Supremes simply handed a **political** (not constitutional) victory to the Gay Activists.

    Which is exactly why the 6th Circuit correctly nailed ’em, put the brakes on the gay train, and forced the Justices to come right back to their soiled benches and do it all over again.

  • Larry

    No Doc. You are either deliberately ignoring the issue or trying a canned argument that doesn’t fit.

    Because its a gay marriage BAN, the 14th Amendment comes into play in justifying its existence. There, question answered for the 2nd time.

    The 6th Circuit doesn’t have a 14th Amendment question. They ducked all relevant discussion of the subject. Equal protection requires that bans that differ across state lines be justified by legitimate government concerns.

    The 6th Circuit got it wrong on all counts. They did not “nail them” they avoided the issue entirely with a phony premise.

  • Greg

    The crazy thing is that a mere 42 years ago homosexuality was classified as a mental disorder, as it is an abnormal condition. Back then, the gay lobby was getting so loud, that the American Psychiatric Association declassified it as a “disorder.” And make note that this was not the result of a medical, or psychological study, but a mere panel vote. Many doctors disagreed then, and continue to hold that it remains a disorder.

  • Ted

    Churches are free to grant or deny their sacraments, including matrimony, as they choose. They are not free, though, to expect the government to deny equal protection of the law to similarly situated couples. Something known as the First Amendment guarantees this distinction, no matter how loudly zealots scream.

    It’s that simple. You are free to be as bigoted as you please INSIDE your church.

  • Ted

    Yeah, and they were keeping all those Black people in line, too.

  • Doc Anthony

    “Gay people will get married. That’s pretty much it.”

    Sorry Ben, but some of us Christians were paying attention to what happened to Indiana recently. No disrespect to you, but we already know what you gay activists have got cookin’ for us Christians. We even know it’s already out of the oven.

    See, it’s right there in HRC’s official political cookbook, page 97. A
    very straightforward recipe, yes? “Radicalized Repression Rotisserie with Gay Gestapo Garnish.”

    You see, we watched what happened in Indiana. And New Mexico. And Colorado. And Minnesota. And Vermont. And Oregon. And Washington. And Kentucky. And Hawaii. And Houston.

    In 2007, in the Harvard Law Journal, Roger Severino predicted that American religious freedom would get seriously damaged when legalized gay marriage arrived. Gay Activists and their sous chefs have so far proved Severino to be, well, 100% correct.

    Maybe 200%, if you toss in NY Times columnist Frank Bruni !!

  • Ben in Oakland

    Of course, greg, none of what you just wrote was true. I know, because I was living in Honolulu in 1973. I was there.

    The bigots who tried to keep it so classified failed on a referendum to the entire membership. No one was buying that junk anymore. The few that STILL buy it are usually, no surprise, conservative religionists.

    This is just one more of the stories you tell yourself to justify the prejudice that you hold towards gay people. If you frighten yourself enough about the Big Bad Gay-stapo who is out to destroy you and your faith, you can justify anything.

  • Adam

    “To date, no reputable studies have shown that same-sex parents do an inferior job raising children.”

    Recently in the news: parents who lock their children in basements or closets and starve them. Parents like Adrian Peterson who beats his son’s private parts. Parents who … well, you get the picture.

    What do they all have in common? They’re HETEROSEXUAL parents.

    Enough said.

  • Ben in oakland


    Well, consider me just completely smacked down by the brilliance of your rhetoric.

    not one thing you said has any factual basis to it. but that’s ok.

    As with Greg, you have a number of stories you keep telling yourself that justify your attitudes. You use them to scare yourself and anybody gullible enough to listen to you. Anywhere in the world any of your fanatasies– misspelling intentional– have come true? No?


  • Ben in oakland

    Well, if at first you don’t have a point, change, change the subject.

    You’re simply ignorant about the subject. but then…

    It’s kinda your style, isn’t it?

    how about this? do as Jesus bade you, focus on your own sins, and associate with like minded people only. stay out of my life and the lives of millions of people like me.

    We’ll all be happier.

  • opheliart
  • Ben in oakland

    Let me answer your question, doc, with another one. Why did it take nearly 100 years after the 14th amendment to do away completely with segregation, Jim Crow, and miscegenation laws, at least, officially? Why were those constitutional issues not brought to bear? And why are those laws still on the books in some places? and why is animus– and let’s not pretend it isn’t about animus– suddenly not an issue when it comes to gay people?

    And there is a problemo. The states are required to accept the public acts of all of the other states. But they have declared, via those voter approved amendments, that they will not do so. There is yet another constitutional issue.

  • Doc Anthony

    So why is a robust (though intense, as always) exchange of views allowed in THIS thread/article, but systematically censored out from subsequent threads/articles?

  • Doc Anthony

    This inquiry is not directed at Opheliart or others.

  • Doc Anthony

    But why are you saying “stay out of my life” when you’re busy interacting with all kinds of people on an Internet discussion form? And why are you using the power of government to impose public acceptance of YOUR religion on Christians, but then expecting Christians not to speak out against such things?

  • Larry

    Some authors get annoyed by the usual back and forth from the commentariat. I think it is a matter of personal tastes of the writer.

    Cathy Lynn Grossman does not like it when people hog the discussion. I try not to post more than 2 or three times on her articles anymore. She occasionally E-mails me back with a verbal ruler across the knuckles when I get too feisty.

    Jonathan Merrit has recently stopped permitting comments on his articles at all.

  • Larry

    “Public acceptance” being things like:
    -the ability to transact in open commerce
    -the ability to raise families in a sane manner
    -holding down a job
    -being able to obtain housing

    all without being hamstrung by prejudices by “Christians” who feel the need to treat people like crap. Worse still such Christians want to give their prejudices color of law. Our laws are not here to push your sectarian and irrational agendas. You don’t like gays, fine. But you are delusional if you think such opinions should have an effect on others.

  • Ted

    I am a believer.
    I don’t like to see someone or define someone as gay or not gay. There are a lot more in a person than just sexual preference.
    Separate the people from sexual activities.

    Homo-sexual activities are nothing more than extreme sexual perversion. Homo -sexual are the ones who gave in to their own perverted desires and convinced themselves that they are that way with the help from like-minded people. No matter what discourse people like to use to justify, it just against the whole order of creation in the universe, and also in basic foundation of human family and society. And a grave sin and an insult against the Creator. What logic, or what explanation can justify, when those people standing at the judgement day before the creator at the death bed? I don’t think there are happy ending among who practiced homo-sexual life-style at the end of their life. It is a grievous error to think that this mortal life is all we got -just a passing moment compare to…

  • Marshall

    There is a 6th argument that neither side is addressing. The argument is, “What does God, the Creator of heaven and earth have to say about this matter?” To dismiss what He has to say, says one of 5 things:

    1) There is no God or Creator
    2) The Bible is not authoritative and does not apply to “these times”
    3) This is a cultural matter, not a spiritual/religious matter
    4) “Man” is wise enough to “figure this out” and come to a “right” conclusion
    5) Any majority in any matter automatically determines and underscores what is “right”

    If the Bible is not true on matters that it speaks to, there is no absolute standard. Every man can do what is right in his/her own eyes. If we live like that then we need to protect the “civil rights” of pedophiles, adulterers, kidnappers, drug dealers, murderers, etc., since those in these groups also can argue the propensity to commit their particular types of crimes, as they were born and predisposed to behave like this. Is this…