Colliding visions of marriage at the Supreme Court (ANALYSIS)

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An "Equality" flag waves against the sky as crowds gathered in front of the Supreme Court on April 28, 2015 as justices heard arguments about same-sex marriage. Religion News Service photo by Adelle M. Banks

An "Equality" flag waves against the sky as crowds gathered in front of the Supreme Court on April 28, 2015 as justices heard arguments about same-sex marriage. Religion News Service photo by Adelle M. Banks

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WASHINGTON (RNS) As the Supreme Court finally took up the vexing question of same-sex marriage, the case came down to two competing visions of marriage: what it's been, what it should be, and who gets to decide.

  • Larry

    There’s No Real Case Against Gay Marriage
    By John Culhan

    “…the focus naturally turns to the many costs imposed by the marriage bans. They’re expensive, because marriage carries many benefits. They’re damaging to emotional and physical health, because, as the brief co-authored by the American Psychological Association points out, excluding same-sex couples from the protection of the law creates a stigma—and stigmatized groups suffer stress, with resulting health consequences. When these barriers are lifted, things improve. A brief from the American Public Health Association contains this striking example: in the year after marriage equality came to Massachusetts, gay and bisexual men enjoyed improved health, as measured by number of health care visits and costs.”

  • James Carr

    The wisest ruling would be to define marriage exclusively as a male/female institution, since it is historically been defined as this, and there is no precedent for changing it. Don’t make the gays wait any longer for their disappointment, end it now with a decision that safeguards the institution.

  • Pingback: Justice Stephen Breyer spewing the lie “The right to be married…has existed for all of human civilization” NOT TRUE for same sex couples. #prayformarriage | Laodicean Report()

  • Greg

    Ginsburg and Kagan should recuse themselves from this case as they have both conducted homosexual marriage ceremonies, and neither will not be unbiased. I’m trying to understand how the 14th Amendment, which reads, “…nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws,” can be used as a means to justify a “new” law. It specifically calls out laws already in existence. I’m assuming they probably mean that since a man and a woman can lawfully marry, that somehow it means that a man can also marry a man, or a woman marry a woman. I just don’t see that or anything like it in the text. Now if people are being denied their rights under the law, then that is one thing, but to establish a new precedent totally apart from what the law reads is another.

  • Susan Russell

    As part of the Task Force on the Study of Marriage for the Episcopal Church — which will be debating and deciding in June at our General Convention whether to amend our canons and marriage liturgies to end discrimination against same-sex couples — here is the answer I have for the “aren’t we redefining marriage” question: “Only if our definition of marriage starts and ends with the gender of the couple promising to love and to cherish each other until death do they part.”

    The values of marriage transcend the gender of the couple making those vows. Giving equal protection to same-sex married couples redefines marriage the same way ending giving the vote to women redefined voting. Roll Down Justice! (And thanks for the “first person” look at the proceedings. )

    The Reverend Susan Russell
    All Saints Church, Pasadena

  • James Carr

    Exactly, Greg. Marriage has always been defined and understood in one particular manner. If loopholes are seen now, it is because the idea of same sex couples marrying never would have been thought of as even a remote possibility throughout history.
    It reminds me of the Catholic need in the 16th Century to define Catholic truth with the Nicene Creed as an answer to Protestant heresy. The Apostle’s Creed had always been good enough and the expanded Nicene only formalized what was always believed.
    This marriage issue must now be more explicitly defined to disallow the inclusion of , like you say, a totally new law.

  • James Carr

    Giving women the right to vote, or allowing interracial marriages are not analogous at all with the idea of same sex marriage. It is not a progressive or rehabilitating issue, and society benefits not one iota from legalizing it.
    Women were accorded the vote because we learned they were equals in citizenry and opinion. Interracial marriage still consisted of a male and female union, so that was a discrimination of Blacks rectified. Same sex unions are not marriages, they are a unique modern conceit that wants to equal itself to something it does not represent. Since gays have overcome discrimination in the legal arena, they should not assume they are the same as male/female couples.

  • Greg

    Susan, reading your post is an amazing twist of a clear precedent. Marriage has always been understood as a complete dynamic, and integral part of society for its greater good. The current approach from the left is to distill it down to some vague “love” that transcends gender, when in reality, it is a fortress of continuity for a society. It involves perpetuating societal values within the bulwark of the family. Its natural complementarity of husband and wife, establishes a rounded environment for children to be raised so to mature into psychologically balanced adults. It is the place where continuance of the human race occurs in a healthy stable environment. My goodness, just look at the results of broken families, of single mothers raising children; My God,look at what is happening in Baltimore? Where are the fathers of these thugs?? We need to resurrect traditional family life, not continue to destroy it even further.

  • Larry

    The 14th Amendment applies in this case because we are talking about a gay marriage ban, not affirmative rights to gay marriage. The law in existence being called out being the legislative preclusion of the possibility of gay marriage. To institute a ban, the government must show compelling interests in doing so which are rationally related to the ban and secular. Since you can’t cough up valid interests in such a ban, it must be stricken down.

    By instituting a gay marriage ban, rather than just doing nothing and dealing with apathy of voters, the anti-gay bigots created a situation where the court can use the 14th Amendment. By doing so it can institute marriage equality by striking down said ban.

    So in essence Greg, you completely missed the point of the case in front of SCOTUS.

  • Greg, the definition of marriage has changed numerous times in the name of equality. Traditional views of marriage you extol treated women as property, someone whose rights were subsumed to the husband or in days past, a commercial transaction between families.

    Most importantly, NOTHING YOU HAVE SAID COMES CLOSE TO JUSTIFYING A GAY MARRIAGE BAN. Tradition is not grounds for precluding the rights of others.

  • Eric

    “There’s harm if you change the definition of marriage because, in people’s minds, if marriage and creating children don’t have anything to do with each other, then what do you expect? You expect more children outside of marriage,” he said.”

    Keep in mind that this is a central plank in Bursch’s main argument: that marriage is fundamentally and foremost about procreation. Yep, that’s right. Those opposed to same-sex marriage are tripling down on one of the weakest arguments they could find.

    And in this quote he’s also making the patently absurd claim, worthy only of the likes of Frankie No Fact, Doc Anthony, or James Carr, that same-sex marriage magically *harms* opposite-sex marriages.

  • Larry

    I am going to steal a quote from a poster on another board discussing the same subject

    “Argument from tradition is always an act of desperation. It dodges the constitutional rightness or wrongness of the issue, and it dodges the human ethics of it. If Roberts and Alito think that argument from tradition is so valid, then why do they not argue for a monarchy instead of a democracy? The Founding Fathers were certainly not drawing upon tradition when they decided to craft this very complicated representational republic instead of simply declaring some strongman the king and then following all his orders.’

  • Doc Anthony

    “the government must show compelling interests…”

    Said compelling interests (both non-religious interests and religious-freedom interests) have already been offered and explained MULTIPLE times in this RNS forum, of which a certain poster has NOT refuted a single one of them — not even slightly — despite multiple invitations to give it a go.

    Let the record so note.

  • Doc Anthony

    “the rights of others…”

    Oh, and that reminds me. A certain poster has NEVER demonstrated — not even slightly — that gay marriage is a “right” at all, nor has he demonstrated (given the millenia-strong planetwide standard based on the very clear reality of gender-complementariy), that gay “marriage” is even a marriage at all.

    Gay marriage is essentially the ultimate in falsehood. On steroids.

  • Greg

    So we are using the 14th Amendment to establish “new” law? Twist it any way you wish, Larry, but the the 14th only pertains to existing law, and its precedents. Gay marriage has no precedent prior to few years ago. So if they decide it, the 14th has no place in the decision.

  • Greg

    I believe it does; in fact Justice Kennedy today used the same argument. He said effectively, what we have has been the standard for a millennia, so the court is just going to decide to change it? (that is not verbatim). As I said before, this whole thing is new, novel, ground breaking, progressive, avant-garde, or whatever description you choose. It has no precedent pertaining to marriage, and has no place in society until it can be proven that it is not destructive to civilization.

  • Christians who want gay marriage banned everywhere, and for everyone, merely because they think it’s “against God’s law,” are like Orthodox Jews who want pork and shellfish banned because they’re forbidden in their own faith.

    (Not that I think there are any Orthodox Jews who think this way … just citing it as a hypothetical example in order to illustrate a point.)

  • Larry

    No they haven’t. If they did you would mention them instead of saying, “nyuh huh”. You have arguments, all of them irrational crap and you appeal to tradition. But no compelling reason gay marriage should be banned.

    You keep claiming reasons exist and then you give lazy blind links to ridiculous nonsense. What does it say for the validity of an argument that you can’t even articulate in your own words.

    You have nothing but prejudice and ” god says so”. Nothing anyone has to take seriously.

  • Larry

    Twist nothing. You just don’t have a handle of the most basic facts of the case. It has to do with gay marriage bans

    Your argument is circular nonsense. We won’t give new rights because we didn’t give it to you in the past. Of course it would not be new rights if we did so.

    Your understanding of the 14th amendment is as defective as your understanding of the 1st. A legal ban requires justification. You can’t dance around the fact none exists. The burden of justification is on the state governments as to why it is necessary. They are coming up empty.

  • James Carr,

    “Same sex unions are not marriages…”

    Yes. Because they are unions until they get married.

  • Larry

    Which would only make sense if this were not a case concerning a gay marriage ban. Which it is. Since the court is deciding the validity of a gay marriage ban, the burden is on the state governments to show it has rational and secular purposes and meets compelling government interests.

    Your refusal to discuss such things and making phony appeals to tradition show how lacking in substance your POV really is.

  • @Greg,

    “It has… place in society until it can be proven that it is not destructive to civilization.”

    1. Nothing is more destructive to civilization than religion.
    2. Civilization is a continuum of FREE INQUIRY, debate and democracy.
    3. Religion forbids free inquiry, debate and democracy.

    Your proposal for an Inquisition is neither decent nor civilized.

  • Julian Penrod

    The fact of the matter is that any presentation or discussion which has taken place in the widest public forums of homosexuality has been based on lies. “Homosexuality is only about love.” The essence of homosexuality is just who you have sex with and absolutely nothing else.” “Homosexuality is completely innocuous and harmless”. On the basis of this, they say, “Homosexual marriage is a completely harmless issue.”
    The truth about homosexuality is, in fact, foul and malignant and demonstrative of massive mental disorder.
    Among other things, homosexuals try to claim it is a form of normalcy. Even homosexuals claim they make up only about 3 percent of the population. Nothing that constitutes only 3 percent of the population can necessarily be said to be a manifestation of normalcy.
    But the fact about homosexuality go far beyond that.

  • Julian Penrod

    Such as the constant clandestine homosexual campaign to decriminalize knowingly, therefore willingly, therefore maliciously, transmitting HIV/AIDS to another. In fact, the homosexuals had deliberately and maliciously transmitting HIV/AIDS to another listed only as a misdemeanor, punishable only by a fine, in many states as early as the late Eighties, when it was still considered a death sentence! This indicates the hammer lock the homosexuals have over government. That act is a demonstration of “depraved indifference to human life”, which is a defining quality of homicidal sociopathy. This doesn’t say that wanting to have sex with someone of your own sex is necessarily a mental disease. It seems all homosexuals all have a deeper, more serious mental imbalance which also demonstrates sociopathic contempt for the lives of others. But no group should have the right to demand that society redefine itself to satisfy their whims!

  • Julian Penrod

    But, consider, too, such things as that self loathing and massive drug use, at levels unseen in the heterosexual community, are universal among homosexuals. The self loathing, it seems, is at the base of many if not most homosexual suicides and certainly seems related to their insistence on engaging in unsafe sex far more often than heterosexuals. They claim it is because they are hated, but the early Christians were pursued by the Romans to be killed and they didn’t engage in suicide or drug use.

  • Julian Penrod

    A fundamental facet of the matter, too, is the verified tendency toward obsessive, mindless promiscuity and compulsive infidelity. They are compelled regularly to engage in massively multiple mindless, anonymous sexual contacts. Establishments catering to homosexuals provide areas for these to occur. And they don’t even do it for the pleasure, but, rather, the uncontrollable need to be able to say that they had so many sexual contacts in as short a time as possible! Even in a relationship, both “partners” will still continue to engage in this practice! In fact, it is established that the understanding that both can continue to engage in this obsessive, mindless promiscuous behavior is the glue that keeps homosexual relationships together!

  • Julian Penrod

    But that means the homosexuals do not intend to respect, to even the smallest degree, any of the accepted forms of marriage! It is all a joke to them! They all intend, the night they are “married”, to engage in an orgy of obsessive, mindless promiscuity! They want “marriage” only to cash in on the 1100 or so taxpayer funded financial benefits that government has made certain to acquaint them with, but has worked to withhold from heterosexuals!
    If the Supreme Court does say that homosexuals should be permitted to “marry”, it will mean they have not done their due diligence of examining the matter or that they know about this, but, under the hammer lock that homosexuals have of government, are choosing to betray God, the people and society!

  • Susan

    I don’t see how if I am in a heterosexual marriage, living next to a gay married couple hurts my marriage. I know heterosexual couples that don’t have children and don’t want children. I know lesbian and gay couples that have children and they are thriving.

    Greg, poverty and unemployment break up families or cause so many unmarried parents. If you want to keep families together that is what you should be fighting for.

  • Susan

    Well, not exactly, many gay and lesbian couples have already been in long term relationships. They are like most people that have jobs and families and are tired when they come home from work. You are making inaccurate assumptions about gay sexuality and infidelity. It is certainly not established that “obsessive” mindless promiscuous behavior is the glue that holds them together.” They get married for the same reason heterosexual people do.

  • Diogenes

    I predict a 5-4 split, which would surprise no one. The ruling will be in favor of gay marriage, with Chief Justice Roberts casting the deciding vote. I’m not in favor of such an outcome, but that’s my book on it.

  • Greg

    Larry, Reviewing Gay Marriage Bans in light of the 14th Amendment would require nothing more than a rubber stamp, as the 14th clearly does not pertain to new definitions of present laws. It might define to whom those basic rights pertain to, but not the definitions of the rights themselves. To try to use the 14th for this case is a back door approach that the Justices should easily see through. Like it or not, the “text” of the Amendment, as well as, “precedent” is all that really matters. The “spirit” of the law is meaningless, unless of course you are a leftist Supreme Court Justice.

  • Greg

    Larry, determining the long term effects of homosexual marriage is years off, likely several generations, or more. So to change the definition of marriage willy nilly is the means justifying the ends.

  • Greg

    Julian, homosexuality is a disorder. It is outside of the normal order of nature. People can do whatever they like, but to flip a society on its head in attempt to “normalize” a disorder, is the tail wagging the dog. The long term repercussions of this novel twist of a societal norm will not be realized for another 50 to 100 years.

  • Greg

    Susan, that is another fight for another time, but I would agree that keeping heterosexual families together, is the key to a healthy, normal civilization. Just look at Baltimore; that is one massive horror! That is a direct result of the breakdown of the Traditional Family. Chaos, Anarchy, and a police state, will be the way of the future unless we begin to establish healthy norms for our society. If we could summarize, the overarching theme–across the board–is children growing up in a society that has no moral compass.

  • Greg

    And, to a certain degree, I can partially understand the atheists on this board, and across the country, who wish to rid our society of any law that has even the hint of religion in it (although they agree with Thou Shalt Not Steal); however, I cannot fathom the religious leaders–on this forum, and elsewhere–who clearly turn a blind eye to the norms God has established, and instead preach a Gospel that is anything but the Gospel. The phrase, “they have lost their way,” is appropriate (Jeremiah 50:6).

  • Susan

    Gay and lesbian couples do have a moral compass. That is why they want to get married. In the traditional family the father and earns money and leaves taking care of the children to the mother. I don’t think we want to keep that traditional family. Also, the nuclear family is an American idea. Most people live in extended families. Well, what if a father can’t get a job or support his family? What happens the manufacturing jobs have gone? Men can’t earn a living to support their family.

  • Larry

    Greg, let me make this even plainer to you do understand the nature of equal protection arguments.

    If anything you said was remotely true, then why haven’t the dozens of legal experts submitting briefs and making arguments before the highest court in the land, said anything to such effect?

    Because they are all stupid compared to master of legal matters Greg? No. Because your arguments are so off the point and incorrect they wouldn’t waste the time on using them.

    You are trying to handwave about a century of application of the 14th amendment away as if it never existed. You are telling me you don’t understand the notion of common law, judicial review and precedent in our system. Your ignorance is duly noted.

  • Eric

    Your faux outrage barely conceals your repressed hope that everything you say you fear comes true.

  • Eric

    That you have resort to long-abandoned slanders of what gay and lesbian people “really do” is the measure of how desperate your cause has become.

  • Eric

    Your deluded fantasies about gays and lesbians are yet another sign, of desperation or willful ignorance or both.

  • Eric

    I think the only one trying to hide something here is you, (Failing to) Be Brave.

  • Eric

    So, you think Kennedy will vote against? Why is Roberts the swing, and not him?

  • Be Brave


    What “ban?” Homosexual “marriage” has never been legal and never been “banned.”

    Guns, are banned. Because they are legal and always have been since the founding of the USA.

    Wake up and smell the historical coffee Larry.

    This is about the rise of the promotion of homosexual sex acts and nothing else. LGBT’s know well their “redefinition” of marriage will never make their convoluted demands valid.

  • Ted

    “Same-sex marriage isn’t gay privilege, it’s equal rights.
    Privilege would be something like gays not paying taxes,
    like churches don’t.” – Ricky Gervais

  • Ted

    The seething anti-Christian hatred displayed by people like you, Julian, says so very much about the actual work of the Anti-Christ in the world. Indeed, he comes (trying to) wear a disguise. But, we see you, Satan.

  • Larry

    @Greg Which means you have no proof of harm which caused by gay marriage that would be sufficient to justify a ban.

    Meaning you can’t meet the burden of compelling government interests in light of the plaintiffs claims of actual harm in the here and now caused by the ban.

    Yep the legal arguments for a gay marriage ban are garbage.

  • Larry

    Kennedy may be a weenie at times but he is unlikely to decide against himself from prior decisions related to this subject.

    Roberts may be more sympathetic to marriage equality than what is assumed.

    5-4 likely, 6-3 is an outside probabitu.

  • frank

    In secular arguments at this point in history, the side with the least ethics and morals generally “wins” (more negative tools at their disposal in an argument, and less in their lives to lose by being beyond ethical behavior and not having a deep abiding concern for all others). I will deal with the idea of homosexual type pseudo-marriages, as the financing and persuasion of public opinion of this is making it inevitable. I care about the people as individuals who are involved, but I do think that a lot of mistakes are being made here, with perhaps 1/3 of the people involved being truly homosexual.

    I think that the biggest harm here comes from the conversion attempts. Just like some homosexuals do not like to be preached at toward becoming heterosexual, there is a constant attempt by many homosexuals to see if there are “converts” to their behavior. My view is for homosexuals to stop their bullying and persuading, especially re’ developing heterosexual children and…

  • EDGY

    Julian, when it comes to our laws your construct of a god have no place in it, even in Birmingham.

  • Frank

    …and adolescents…

  • Bobby Bob

    Darwin is against homosexuality too boys and girls. Prior to artificial insemination, homosexuals were incapable of passing along their genetic material. Unless they were to deny themselves in some way and to procreate with a heterosexual–but you don’t want to think about that–it will destroy so many of your team’s arguments and fake discriminations. I mean if they could chose to heterosexually procreate, than maybe having to buy pizza for your wedding from Dominos wouldn’t be so bad after all, right?

  • Re: “This is about celebrating and promoting homosexual behavior.”

    Have any objective, verifiable evidence for that?

    Re: “Homosexuals have literally invaded the public education system in search of fresh young bodies.”

    Have you any objective, verifiable evidence for your gay-recruitment conspiracy?

    Re: “Most are already divorced or broken up from their child’s parent.”

    Yeah, because centuries of “straight marriage” only has worked out just SO well, hasn’t it?

    Re: “We are watching personified evil take two-fisted power and control of our world.”

    Who, exactly, has stomped into your living room, or worse, bed room, and FORCED you to do anything you didn’t want to? Please be specific.

    Re: “ISIS on one side and atheism/homosexuality on the other side.”

    I see you know nothing about ISIS/ISIL/IS/whatever. Actually they are with YOU on the matter of gays; they’ve been known to slaughter them. You & they have a lot in common.

  • Beebe

    That anyone is even discussing this absurdity that two men or two women can marry just shows how stupid we have become. The state has absolutely no interest or concern what people do in their private lives. The only reason the state was ever involved in regulating marriage was out of concern for women and children: women typically, at least in the past, being economically disadvantaged compared to men, and children being dependent on parents for their food, shelter and clothing.
    Many of the reasons the benefits attached to marriage came to be are not true anymore, since women are in the workplace and can earn as much as men, and the state takes care of children whose fathers are not living with the mother. So, let’s just drop all the economic benefits people gain from marriage, since men and women are more economically equal now. If we do that he gays will lose interest gaining the “right” to marry so fast, it’ll make your head spin.

  • @BB,

    “And CHILDREN???”

    Oh the horror!
    They would have to spend time with people who love each other!

    If you are so concerned about “the Children” why do you want to teach them this nonsense instead of love? :


    “If men get into a fight with one another, and the wife of one intervenes to rescue her husband from the grip of his opponent by reaching out and SEIZING HIS GENITALS, you shall cut off her hand; show no pity.” (DEUT. 25:11)

    Do you really want to teach your children the ignorant morality of primitive Knuckle draggers who didn’t know where the sun went at night?

  • RobVancouver

    Of course the definition of marriage has not been with us for millenia at all, Justice Kennedy is completely mistaken. In fact, marriage used to include marriage equality. Marriage definitions have changed and will change many times. At some point interracial marriage was illegal in the USA, now it is legal. Marriage is a civil institution and we should respect the seperation of Church and State.

  • B_a_r_b

    James Carr is plainly dishonest. He lied in an earlier, since comments-closed article about his IQ. James, such tests would not give you an exact number over 150, only a range or a gate.

  • James Carr

    Oh really ? Cute that you’re so interested in me.

  • Greg

    Larry, the only place I mentioned God was to the religious people on this blog; aside from those people, I have approached this from a strictly legal perspective. I am scratching my head at your accusations. That said, I will reiterate, read the text of the 14th Amendment, and stop making it into something it is not. When it comes to deciding law, all that really matters is the 14th Amendment “text,” and “precedent” (if one were to argue this from the standpoint of the 14th Amendment).

  • samuel Johnston

    “an immoral secularized populace.”
    So only religious persons can be moral?
    Please explain. What about when religious persons disagree.
    Are they still moral?

  • Bobby Stern

    Rob – while I probably don’t share you overall view, I appreciate the soundness of your logic and the civility of your discourse.

    I think an important question here as I have heard elsewhere said is not so much what is marriage and how should it be defined, but WHO has the right to define it and what gives them this right?

    Does the constitution afford the Supreme Court the right to modify this definition and if so how?


  • Bobby Stern

    Well said Frank.

  • Bobby Stearn

    Tradition is not grounds for precluding the rights of others. Agreed Larry.

    But just because something is tradition does not inherently make it invalid so the burden of proof seems to lie with those wishing to eliminate the tradition and instate a redefinition.

    My question would be who possesses the right to redefine marriage and what bestows them that right?

    Secondly if the basis for marriage is no longer two opposite gender adults but love and commitment, then how can gay marriage equal equality when it blatantly bans marriage from others who qualify on the basis of love and commitment, but are in other arrangements (3+ people, adults and underage,…..)?

    And if one objects to polygomy, or the notion of a man marrying a child, or any other variation of which some wish to pursue – but hold the same values of love and commitment justifying gay marriage – how does that not make them “ignorant and bigoted” just as those who disagree with gay marriage are labeled to be?

  • Bobby Stern

    Hi Susan – can you clarify which are the transcendent marriage values that make gender irrelevant? Thanks

  • @Bobby Stearn,

    “who possesses the right to redefine marriage and what bestows them that right?”

    Who has the right to redefine marriage?
    Any pair of consenting adults who decide to get married.

    What bestows the right?
    Any pair of consenting adults who decide to get married.

    The question is not who bestows these rights. But who thinks they have the right to object.
    Marriage is just a contract – that’s it. You have no right to butt in and alter the contract which other people want to have between themselves.

    Religion has nothing to do with marriage.

  • Greg

    Doc Anthony: You are correct, homosexual marriage has not been demonstrated to be socially neutral in terms of having an impact on society at large. I myself have seen smaller cells of societal destruction from the homosexual lifestyle, but we need to look at the larger picture, civilization at large, before anyone can make a judgment on it, and that is decades away.

  • Greg

    Susan, what appears to be “normal” to you on the surface, may not reveal the underlying undercurrent of disorder. Only time will tell what impact having a gay couple with artificially inseminated children in the neighborhood will have on the other children of traditional families, over time.

  • Larry

    The government has the right to redefine marriage (as they have done in the past). Since they define marriage under the civil laws in the first place.

    The burden of proof under the 14th Amendment is always on the government’s interests when the subject is a ban on given activities. Pretending to shift the burdens is unavailing here. Nice try.

    If your objection is about “redefinition” you are not giving a full argument. Unless you have some rational and secular argument as to why such a redefinition must be prevented, you are simply begging the question. You would have no argument to speak of

    As for your “slippery slope” of what it allegedly might lead to, try considering the fact that rational and secular arguments exist for banning all those other types of unions (polygamy, incest…). NONE exists for gay marriage.

  • Larry

    “Does the constitution afford the Supreme Court the right to modify this definition and if so how? ”

    The same way it did in the past, 14th Amendment Equal Protection Clause. Marriage is redefined all the time under civil laws. Tradition is not an argument in of itself. Like any laws or government action, it has to be justified with rational and secular interests.

    Your argument appears to be a concession that you can’t really address the sum and substance as to why a gay marriage ban should be justified. Instead you are trying to make collateral attacks. The obvious elephant in the room is that such bans don’t have reasonable, rational and secular justifications. This is why you are reduced to such half-baked arguments.

  • Larry

    ” “precedent” is all that really matters.

    Yes, there is about 80 years of precedent in using the 14th Amendment to evaluate legal bans on various activities. Of setting up levels of scrutiny in which laws have to be evaluated in a given situation to justify their existence in light of their effects on the citizenry.

    It is not a “back door” approach. It is standard operating procedure. The subject of how that operates takes up a mandatory class in law schools throughout the country.

  • Larry

    Darwin maybe, but not current scientists. The latest hypothesis is it has to do with prevention of overpopulation and conferring benefits to one’s kin/siblings. The straight kin of a gay person has one more available person to care for their young

    But lets be brutally honest. Bible thumpers have no use for science (or any other form of rational discussion) unless it can be used as an excuse to browbeat others into accepting their sectarian religious views.

  • Bobby Stern

    Larry – you stated that I made “collateral attacks” and I am reduced to “half-baked arguments.”

    Given that all I did was ask what seemed to me as thoughful questions in the interest of learning more, would you care to tell me how I was attacking anyone and making an argument?

    You seem to do a significant amount of slandering and mischaracterising of those you don’t agree with which I don’t appreciate or believe fosters meaningful dialogue.

    Are you engaged in these threads because you want to learn something and add a new thought into that open-mind of yours or is your motivation just to be right and tell everyone you disagree with how wrong they are?

  • Larry

    Still not getting rational and secular arguments for a gay marriage ban.
    The court isn’t either.

    If you want a civil dialogue then you have to drop the tone trolling and actually address what is being said. All I see is someone who is too afraid to voice their real opinion as to why they support a gay marriage ban From what I see, the sole reasons are they think gays are icky and they thing God approves discrimination against gays.

    Unless you can show me something to the contrary, what else am I supposed to do here? You want respect, you have to show me you deserve it. I see nothing from you which does.

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