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Omaha Mall Shooting in General
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Member # 4233
Profile #440
"Sameness" is a red herring, Stillness. Couples' motives for getting married are many and varied. No one marriage exists for quite the same reason as another, so in that sense, no hetero marriage is "the same." Nevertheless, the one's that are recognized by the government are entitled to the same benefits. So sure, a same-sex marriage might be qualitatively different with regard to the method of copulation. Why shouldn't they be entitled to the same, uniform government benefits that hetero couples enjoy?

For that matter, what sort of behaviors do you think the government should be trying to promote through providing legal benefits to married couples? Why would these benefits be bad for monogamous, married same-sex couples? THe only reason they wouldn't be is because it's blasphemy in your eyes. Otherwise, the same sex couples benefit the same - less promiscuity, so less exposure to STDs; structured, stable family environments for the couple and their children; etc.

It strikes me that you're actually trying to justify the laws by demeaning the nature of same sex relationships, as if those relationships are "lesser" than hetero ones. Your justifications, however, are based purely on your personal (religious) prejudices. I'd like to see you rise above that.
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
Omaha Mall Shooting in General
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Member # 4233
Profile #416
Right. Now, what does this have to do with the government's role in creating benefits for married couples? As I've mentioned, the role originally stemmed from creating a tax break for single-breadwinner families. If you're going to suggest that the government is continuing this benefit for the purpose of somehow promoting hetero-vaginal sex as better (which is patently absurd), then we're back in Lawrence v. Texas territory. The government has no business regulating sexual behavior short of cases in which matters or consent are concerned.
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
Dikiyoba Seeks to Flaunt the Meaningless Approbation of Dikiyoba's Fellows in General
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Member # 4233
Profile #16
quote:
Originally written by Dryth'tor:

I know all of the people in those pics except for the guy in the suit...
It's Carl Rove.

Congrats, Diki, and BOO!!!
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
Omaha Mall Shooting in General
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Member # 4233
Profile #401
Given that organized religion, and Christianity in particular, has been so breathtakingly wrong about the nature of creation so many times, how can anyone say with certainty that it's actually right on the homosexuality matter? Given past stances on matters of race, whether the Earth revolves around the sun, the crusades, etc., how does it have any credibility on this issue?

EDIT: Oh, and Stillness, it seems to me that you're pretty much grasping at straws at this point. The paradigm when the federal income tax was created was that there was typically a single breadwinner per family unit. The federal income tax wasn't created until after the Gilded Age was over, so your bizarre points on children working and contributing to the family is moot.

This is seriously one of those moments where you're pointing out the motes in our eyes in spite of the log in your own. You seem intent on needling our assertions with minutiae and diversion, all the while ignoring the substantive points of our arguments. It's pretty tiresome.

[ Wednesday, December 19, 2007 16:47: Message edited by: Drew ]
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
Omaha Mall Shooting in General
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Member # 4233
Profile #381
"Absolute morality" doesn't apply when we consider what role the government should play here. It doesn't play this role, or shouldn't. Consider that there's a population of tens of millions of mouth-breathing God-fearing Southern Baptists out there that say your spin on "absolute morality" is incorrect, Stillness (of course, they hate the gays, I mean the sin, just as much as you, though this is beside the point). What does that say about your absolute morality, and more to the point, do you really trust them to enact their spin on morality into law that affects your freedoms? The secular nature of the government starts to look pretty good when it is protecting your rights.

It is not the government's role to regulate or enforce morality, precisely because no one has absolute authority when it comes to morals. This goes to the heart of what the Establishment Clause is all about.

EDIT:
quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

But, if the government sees some particular type of action as generally good, why can’t it encourage that while not discouraging or making illegal other types of actions?
To qualify federal recognition of marriage based on what kind of sex is likely to occur or whether a child could come of that union is completely absurd, because hetero couples not meeting that definition can still enjoy the benefits. The notion that I could get my tubes tied now and only have anal intercourse with my wife from here on out yet enjoy the benefits of marriage, whereas a gay couple could not enjoy those same benefits, is patently unjust. Any other basis the government may have for promoting marriage/civil unions would apply equally to same-sex couples.

As for why the federal government gives special recognition to marriages, I explained this back on page two. As far as the federal government and marriage go, most of the benefits provided stem from the tax code:

quote:
Originally written by Drew:

Procreation wasn't the motivation for the tax incentives. It had a lot more to do with recognizing the particular cultural norms of the time. Traditionally, there was only one income earner per family. Because that income earner had more people to support than an unmarried individual, the government decided to create the "married" and "head of household" tax rates to ease the burden, with respectively adjusted tax rates, standard deductions, and personal exemptions. Times however, have changed - it seems there's hardly a family anymore that doesn't have two income earners, and therefore, two taxpayers. As such, the marriage categorization became a "penalty," since the standard deductions of two individuals together filing seperately were greater than the single marital deduction they would receive filing jointly. The tax code has since been adjusted to at least restore balance, but times and understandings have changed.
I just don't think you see homosexuals as a class worthy of civil liberty protection, the same as a bigoty Southerner is unable to see the need for black people to have "special" civil rights.

[ Tuesday, December 18, 2007 11:57: Message edited by: Drew ]
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
When bullying goes galactic.. in General
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Member # 4233
Profile #6
What I like is that the gas cloud is about 1000 lightyears wide. No escaping that sort of thing if it happens to our galaxy. Of course, we'd probably have about a billion years' notice, so meh.
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
Jest and Youthful Jolity in General
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Member # 4233
Profile #21
quote:
Originally written by Excalibur:

Yeah, golden slumbers is a nice thing about the break.
Once again, I thought I read "showers." You really need to find a more innocuous form of expression. Here's a hint: don't use the word "golden" to describe anything starting with the letter S.
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
Who celebrates Christmas? in General
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Member # 4233
Profile #16
Swing your razor high, Sweeney! I understand the movie actually isn't going to feature the musical's opening anthem. :(
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
Omaha Mall Shooting in General
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Member # 4233
Profile #355
I can imagine the whole thing would be very troubling to people who are fairly evangelical yet nevertheless intelligent. Because if homosexuality is something more that just the way someone decides to act (i.e., a decision derrived from the individual - not from God - which could therefore qualify as a sin) but is actually something inherent to a person, then that would mean that God made someone that way - and yet there're all those rigid prohibitions in the Bible allegedly *against* homosexuality. Oh noes! Just what is this God trying to do? Or maybe there really is a fly in the ointment, and now they need to deal with all these unsettling questions.

I think homosexuality is an inherent characteristic in a person; perhaps repressible, like other personality traits, but ever present. If that's the case, then it wouldn't be that individual's choice to "sin." For people who believe in God, this leaves two alternatives: either God is cruel for creating a person with inherent sin, or people are misinterpreting God (the likely answer). Of course, the easiest thing to do is to avoid this uncomfortable consideration and just assume that since one isn't gay and can't understand what it means to be gay, then those people who are just aren't controlling themselves enough ("I mean, it's so disgusting, right?"), and so are in fact choosing to sin. That, or God is "testing" their souls or some crap. Best not to question, though! That upsets the apple cart of comfort.

[ Sunday, December 16, 2007 15:22: Message edited by: Drew ]
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
Who celebrates Christmas? in General
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Member # 4233
Profile #2
I celebrate it as a time to be together with family, exchange gifts, and see old friends back home. Jesus has little to do with it for me anymore.
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
Omaha Mall Shooting in General
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Member # 4233
Profile #353
To the extent that what goes on in the bedroom has been deemed private and therefore not subject to regulation by the government, I think this pretty much undercuts the "boys have a penis and girls have a vagina" rationale for permitting only hetero-marriage.

EDIT: Salmon, I think he's still trying to make the distinction on the basis of describing homosexuality as a way of acting/behaving versus a state of being, like race, i.e. a person can control his homosexual acts, but can't control his race.

[ Sunday, December 16, 2007 15:00: Message edited by: Drew ]
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
Omaha Mall Shooting in General
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Member # 4233
Profile #274
quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

(In the latter portion I’m much more humble because of my great lack, but I’ve asked questions and raised scenarios that the legal minds don’t seem to be addressing, which gives me a feeling that it’s not completely baseless). This issue is a matter of opinion and morality, on both sides.
What questions and scenarios have we not addressed? I'm pretty sure we've hit most of them. I think you may just be unwilling to acknowledge them.
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
Omaha Mall Shooting in General
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Member # 4233
Profile #253
quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

While there could be questions of causality, this is a much better argument that the discrimination or separation of church and state arguments.
Care to qualify this statement? The law is what impedes any meaningful exploration of these issues. These laws, which were likely created initially from a position of benign ignorance, only persist (and indeed, in many cases have been enhanced) as a result of prejudice based largely on "traditional" religious values, which in most other cases has been determined a violation of the Free Exercise and Establishment clauses. Not allowing this institution a chance to prove its merit for arbitrary, religiously-based "values" is prejudice, plain and simple.

[ Thursday, December 13, 2007 12:01: Message edited by: Drew ]
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
Omaha Mall Shooting in General
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Member # 4233
Profile #249
quote:
Originally written by Ephesos:

Then may I ask what you'd do with transsexual people? Their birth certificate might be grievously incorrect. I'm particularly thinking of pre-op here, because that's logically the biggest gray area.
Actually, in the US whether the birth certificate is allowed to be amended varies from state to state. This can make testamentary dispositions concerning a transsexual spouse's take very hairy, as I came to find out during my Trusts & Estates final exam last week.

Of course, if same sex marriage were legal, these sorts of questions wouldn't plague poor law students anymore! :)

[ Thursday, December 13, 2007 10:32: Message edited by: Drew ]
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
Omaha Mall Shooting in General
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Member # 4233
Profile #246
Right, but irrespective of our rights is what was laid down in the Constitution that we are required to abide by - rights to personal liberty and equality. I refer you to Alec's first post above. When implemented justly and correctly, it serves to protect the liberty and equality interests of everyone, but most importantly political minorities, be they homosexual or other, from legislation made for purposes of proliferating the majority's values alone. Yes, we have different values, but according to Lawrence v. Texas, it takes more than just one set of values or another to justify a law that establishes inequality or interferes with personal liberty rights. It's not just "I think this; you think that. Let's call the whole thing off!" The Constitution is TEH RULEZ in this nation, and there are particular parts of it that cannot just be railroaded over by the majority's opinion, at least without amending it first, which is very, very difficult.

[ Thursday, December 13, 2007 10:24: Message edited by: Drew ]
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
Omaha Mall Shooting in General
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Member # 4233
Profile #243
Preventing someone from marrying whom they want to is prejudicial. The Defense of Marriage Act, the recent laws passed in Virginia making testamentary transfers for non-married couples significantly more difficult, and all the states who have passed amendments to their constitutions stating that marriage "is between one man and one woman" have done so because they want to prevent gay people from marrying. Why does traditional marriage need to be preserved? It doesn't. This argument is a lark. The real reason is that a bunch of religious folk don't want to see what they consider a holy institution be "profaned."

The motivation behind a law counts, Stillness. The courts have seen through this in the past.

[ Thursday, December 13, 2007 07:23: Message edited by: Drew ]
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
Omaha Mall Shooting in General
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Member # 4233
Profile #241
If I never have to look at another LSAT question, it will be okay with me. I hope you aren't inflicting that on yourself, Kel, though it certainly does open much more remunerative paths to you than a Ph.D in Ancient Greek or Physics. :)

We've been in the weeds of this argument for a while. In reality, short of Congress passing an act recognizing same sex marriage for federal purposes, the only thing that will get same sex marriage recognized is a Supreme Court opinion holding that banning same sex marriage violates the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment and/or fails as a matter of Substantive Due Process under the Fifth Amendment. Given that everything is political these days, and Scalia being Scalia (see his dissent in Lawrence v. Texas), it is unlikely that this will happen with the court composed as it is/will be for the foreseeable future, which is a shame. If it does happen, of course there will be cries of "judicial activism" and "legislating from the bench," but this is how the law is supposed to work when it is protecting a minority's rights from an unkind, thoughtless, or selfish majority.

If the holding in Lawrence v. Texas is any indication of the prevailing political winds, however, I think that Stillness is correct in asserting that legalized same-sex marriage will probably be a reality in the near future.
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
Omaha Mall Shooting in General
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Member # 4233
Profile #236
Maybe you should use the word "warrants" instead of "merits" to avoid confusion.
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
Omaha Mall Shooting in General
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Member # 4233
Profile #214
Regardless of whether it's discrimination-for or discrimination-against, I think the point of contention here is:

Morality is not a sufficient legal basis for discrimination of any nature.

[ Wednesday, December 12, 2007 07:51: Message edited by: Drew ]
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
Omaha Mall Shooting in General
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Member # 4233
Profile #170
quote:
Originally written by Excalibur:

I'm sure oral contracts count as something in some situations. My father summoned the police once because his cousin failed to submit to an oral contract. His cousin admitted he had made an oral contract, but he thought it was meaningless. The police ruled in favor of my father.
Wow - that actually sounds really scary. Your dad in the mob or something? 'cause I reckon that's how they enforce their agreements.
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
Omaha Mall Shooting in General
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Member # 4233
Profile #165
Oral contracts are also almost unenforceable in court, and don't count for squat for purposes of determining testamentary dispositions, especially in the case where someone dies without any testamentary devices at all, i.e. a will or trusts. In those cases, your oral contract with your partner counts for nada, which I believe is a light chicken gravy...

[ Monday, December 10, 2007 19:39: Message edited by: Drew ]
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
Omaha Mall Shooting in General
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Member # 4233
Profile #159
He's equating discrimination against same-sex marriage with discrimination in distribution of housing development dollars. Why not throw the disabled in there? It's actually a tighter analogy, though I in no way am positing that homosexual people are disabled.

The threshhold for access to the privilege of marriage is based on relatively religiously-based discrimination; whereas the threshhold for participation in, say, a housing development project is meeting an ascertainable economic standard.

[ Monday, December 10, 2007 15:20: Message edited by: Drew ]
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
Omaha Mall Shooting in General
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Member # 4233
Profile #157
So I suppose, Stillness, you think that the Americans with Disabilities Act is just a bunch of bullcrap? After all, individuals with mobility disabilities, if they work very hard against what life has given them, can enter a building only accessible by stairs if they really wanted to. Or wait - maybe it's actually unfair to a class of individuals who can't help being the way they are. Hmm...

EDIT: But Synergy, getting the lovin' outside of marriage is a SIN, didn't you know? Jesus has to be there in the bed with you for it to be okay. :rolleyes:

[ Monday, December 10, 2007 14:56: Message edited by: Drew ]
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
OOC: The Vale RP in General
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Member # 4233
Profile #93
Not true! But in many ways, it *is* more fun observing the inmates running the asylum. :)
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
Omaha Mall Shooting in General
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Member # 4233
Profile #140
What is the purpose of marriage at all, then? Why should it receive special government treatment? One could argue that it should on account of procreation, but whether people are married or not doesn't seem to stop that from happening. For that matter, many married couples decide not to have children at all. Why should they receive special government benefits that other couples can't? How about the fact that a number of churches are willing to perform or have performed marriages for same-sex couples? A marriage is a marriage, right? And yet the government is willing to privilege the marriages of some faith traditions while denying the marriages of others. Seems like we're on murky First Amendment ground there, and not just on account of "extreme secularists."
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00

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