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AuthorTopic: Omaha Mall Shooting
Raven v. Writing Desk
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I was hoping Alec would join in on this discussion.

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Slarty vs. DeskDesk vs. SlartyTimeline of ErmarianG4 Strategy Central
"Slartucker is going to have a cow when he hears about this," Synergy said.
Posts: 3560 | Registered: Wednesday, November 7 2001 08:00
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quote:
Originally written by Najosz Thjsza Kjras:

Outlawing gay marriage is against the First Amendment, interfering as it does with the free exercise of religion.
The government can’t interfere, but is it obligated to recognize religious status. I’m not an expert on the Constitution, but if I made a religion that had the rank “Chief of Police” would the government recognize me as the Chief secularly? I think they’d say, “Call yourself whatever you want, but we ain’t buyin’ it.” If my religion is polygamous I can have all the “wives” I want, but if I try to legalize the marriages I get locked up right?

If I’m wrong, enlighten me, but it doesn’t seem that the government recognizes anything that they don’t see as beneficial to society.

quote:
lavender marriages are the practice of gay men and lesbian women - friends - marrying each other for the benefits of marriage while dating or engaging in long-term relationships elsewhere.
So, because people use the law for something outside its intent, the laws should be expanded? Is that your argument?

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quote:
Originally written by Locmaar:

Stillness, your tiresome quoting out of context, turning and twisting other people's thoughts around, and then claiming that everybody agreed on your discourse is really annoying.
This is not what I did, but if I’m doing something you’re tired of then don’t address me. I’ll reciprocate.

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Alo, I was agreeing with you and Thuryl that the figures could indicate that the divorced women were in abusive relaltionships. Since marriage has good benefits, I was just saying that this could be an argument for education and assistance in building and maintaining healthy marriages.

Marriage doesn’t have to be about reproduction, but that certainly can be an important part of it. And even when they aren’t they are still normally sexual in nature.

The stuff about asthma was this: I gave the example of a city that had zone they wanted developed and so offered very nice benefits to anyone that would build their house there. You decide to build there and I would like to also, but the zone is particularly smoggy and I have asthma (which I inherited) so I don’t want to. The city is not discriminating on who moves there, but because of my genetic situation it would be uncomfortable for me.

I could appeal that the benefits be applied to me because I’m building in an area that needs development, but I can’t say it’s unjust discrimination if I don’t get the benefits that I would get if I went to the area that the city views as special.

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quote:
Originally written by Thuryl:

The trouble is that merit is in the eye of the beholder. People who discriminate against blacks do so because they genuinely believe that blacks are inferior, after all.
So they “prejudge” all blacks before meeting them, right? That is the definition of prejudice. Saying that all blacks are of African descent would not be prejudice because they are by definition (I think).

All opposite-sex marriage is male-female. That is the pairing that is perceived to be ideal.

Let’s say that in 10 years the development zone will turn out to be a complete flop and with send the city into bankruptcy. At present there is a perceived benefit though. Maybe they did historical, geographic, and economic research, but are still wrong. That is all that is needed to justify special treatment for those moving in the zone.

This is not discrimination even though the people moving into the zone are not any more special or inherently meritorious. Where they’re building merits special consideration.

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quote:
Originally written by Synergy:

"Marriage" is again, an arbitrary construct and term we keep using, but really has no absolute meaning apart from social ceremonies, marriage licenses, and government benefits.
Synergy, it has no meaning to you but that does not apply to everyone. And your opinions on the figures are just that. I don’t know why everyone keeps focusing on the children. The most compelling stats to me were for the adults. They specifically compared the married to the unmarried.

I do agree that children would probably fare better with any kind of decent parents if you compare it to nothing or some state-run facility, though. You could put them with a mass-murdering, drug-dealing, rapist that loved them and treated them well and they could turn out ok.

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Alo, I think your understanding of “merit” is problematic in distinguishing between what is discrimination and what is not. And even if traditional marriage is “discrimination” in the same sense that handicapped spots or development zones are, it certainly isn’t in the way that racism and sexism – illegal discrimination – are. The latter have sweeping generalizations that are either not true or only sometimes true.

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Kel, if you think “All white people are superior” has the same quality as “All handicapped people have a disability” I don’t think there’s much more to say.

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Excalibur, it is better not to marry if you have “the gift.” (Matthew 19:11; 1 Corinthians 7:7)
Posts: 701 | Registered: Thursday, November 30 2006 08:00
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quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

So they “prejudge” all blacks before meeting them, right? That is the definition of prejudice. Saying that all blacks are of African descent would not be prejudice because they are by definition (I think).
All people are of African descent, if you go back far enough. :P

quote:
All opposite-sex marriage is male-female. That is the pairing that is perceived to be ideal.
How do you define "male" and "female", anyway? By chromosomes, gonads, or external sex organs? However you define it, there are going to be people who don't fit easily into one category or another. Should intersex people just not be allowed to marry at all? Because of the ambiguous nature of the definitions of "male" and "female", there is no statement which is true of "all males" and not of any non-male, and there is no statement which is true of "all females" and not of any non-female, which means that any statement about "males" or "females" (and therefore, any statement about marriage between them) is, by your definition, prejudiced!

quote:
Synergy, it has no meaning to you but that does not apply to everyone. And your opinions on the figures are just that. I don’t know why everyone keeps focusing on the children. The most compelling stats to me were for the adults. They specifically compared the married to the unmarried.
Again, you have a direction-of-causality problem here. People with severe physical or mental health issues don't have the best prospects of getting married.

quote:
Alo, I think your understanding of “merit” is problematic in distinguishing between what is discrimination and what is not. And even if traditional marriage is “discrimination” in the same sense that handicapped spots or development zones are, it certainly isn’t in the way that racism and sexism – illegal discrimination – are. The latter have sweeping generalizations that are either not true or only sometimes true.
The difference between your examples of discrimination is only a difference of degree, not of kind.

[ Wednesday, December 12, 2007 21:54: Message edited by: Thuryl ]

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quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

All opposite-sex marriage is male-female. That is the pairing that is perceived to be ideal.
By you. Given the statistics you cited, same-sex marriage might be even better. We have no idea.

quote:
Kel, if you think “All white people are superior” has the same quality as “All handicapped people have a disability” I don’t think there’s much more to say.
Heh. I was wondering if you'd notice. I'll grant that. I notice, though, that you've (as is your wont) ignored the other half of my post, the part that's harder for you to refute.

To reiterate: Your argument runs like this.
Premise 1: All handicapped people have a disability. (Fine.)
Premise 2: Having a disability merits (not in the sense that it’s earned, but that society says it entitles) special treatment. It’s been discussed, thought over, and legislated because it makes us a kinder society and/or whatever other reasons there are. (Eh. Weird, but not what makes this argument most vulnerable to criticism.)
Conclusion: Handicapped parking spots is not discrimination - not this definition. (Shift in language flaw!)
Assumption: If society says that something is appropriate, it's not discrimination. That is, society cannot choose to discriminate. (This is wildly untrue.)

[ Wednesday, December 12, 2007 22:02: Message edited by: Kelandon ]

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

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quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

quote:
Originally written by Locmaar:

Stillness, your tiresome quoting out of context, turning and twisting other people's thoughts around, and then claiming that everybody agreed on your discourse is really annoying.
This is not what I did, but if I’m doing something you’re tired of then don’t address me. I’ll reciprocate.

It is what you're doing. You still are. (hence your forum name? I wonder.) Taking words out of context and then receding to a different meaning the combination of letters might carry is precisely what you're doing all the time.

Out of curiosity: when you said you'll reciprocate, which meaning of the word did you have in mind?

1. To give or take mutually; interchange.

or

2. To move back and forth alternately.

Depends on what you had for breakfast, doesn't it?

Edit:

I forgot. In the handicapped parking dilemma, we need to realize the following premise:

The notion is that there are certain things handicapped people have a harder time at, which are considered a vital part of everyday life in society. Aiding them to be able to participate in everyday life is a way of countering this handicap. It is not rewarding them for being different.

When my daughter wants to challenge me to a hundred yard dash, it's not discriminating to give her a head start or to run at something far below top speed. She's seven. It's evening the odds. Calling this discrimination is semantically challenged lingo-babble.

[ Wednesday, December 12, 2007 22:29: Message edited by: Locmaar ]

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Maybe you should use the word "warrants" instead of "merits" to avoid confusion.
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quote:
Originally written by Drew:

Maybe you should use the word "warrants" instead of "merits" to avoid confusion.
Ah, but there's the problem: The confusion is manmade. Stillness wants to misunderstand, since he can then continue to argue from his semantic ivory tower, where no external noises can penetrate his musings. Were he interested in finding out what we are talking about, he would actually comment on the things he's avoiding instead of quoting excerpts and puzzling them together in order to tailor them to his replies.

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Always be true to yourself - unless you suck
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All those years we scrimped and saved here to send Drew to law school, they're beginning to pay off.

(Since lawyer jokes are so common, I should say that I mean this seriously, except for the scrimping and saving part.)

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I was wondering if Drew would comment on my LSAT-speak. I guess it wasn't blatant enough. :P

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
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quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

All opposite-sex marriage is male-female. That is the pairing that is perceived to be ideal.
Yeah, so this is going to be picked apart again. You seem to theorize that there is a common perception that a certain thing is ideal. There are numerous examples of things that were commonly thought as ideal which have been tossed aside as being silly dalliances which are best soon forgotten. It may be convenient to remember that.

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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.
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The question about sexual classification is one I’ve thought a lot about since I do agree with the anti-gay marriage camp that practicing homosexuality is bad. I guess since we’re talking about what’s legal though, we could go with the legal sex – like what the birth certificate says. I reckon that everyone has one or the other.

Thuryl, what exactly is your argument of direction of causality and severe mental and physical health issues? I doubt you’re saying that everyone unmarried fits into one of these categories, but that’s what it seems like.

quote:
Originally written by Thuryl:

The difference between your examples of discrimination is only a difference of degree, not of kind.
We’ll probably just have to agree to disagree, since I don’t know how to make my position any clearer and I’ve read you all make your case and don’t see it.

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quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

All opposite-sex marriage is male-female. That is the pairing that is perceived to be ideal.
By you. Given the statistics you cited, same-sex marriage might be even better. We have no idea.

That sounds like an argument from ignorance.

quote:
you've (as is your wont) ignored the other half of my post, the part that's harder for you to refute.
Really it’s not my practice to ignore posts directed to me. If I think your point is unrefutable, I’ll concede or say, “good point” or something along those lines. In this case, I admit I didn’t give it much thought after seeing the first part of your post, just like I’m doing with Locmaar’s nonsense from now on.

My assumption is not: If society says something is appropriate it’s not discrimination. My assumption is: A decision has to be prejudicial to be discriminatory. Calling all handicapped people disabled and making a determination on that basis is not prejudice. You can use the same word – “discrimination” - to describe it if you please or if you think the dictionary allows it, but it is not the same thing and it is not a matter of degree. One involves prejudice. The other does not. That’s what makes it equivocation to equate them.

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Salmon, I agree that perception doesn’t make a thing true.
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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 ]
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quote:
Originally written by Drew:

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.
…Not just homosexuals, but any combination of people other than man-woman pairs. Is someone trying to pretend that this is not the motivation? If they are, it's a poor cover...like "We destroyed the tapes because they posed a security risk."

I don’t think it’s just about a holy institution being profaned. I don’t think that’s even the main issue. I think the primary concern is the effect on society. And I disagree that this is prejudicial, especially not in the Jim Crow sense. You all just feel strongly about this issue just like the other side does. You think your values are best as they do theirs.
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quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

I guess since we’re talking about what’s legal though, we could go with the legal sex – like what the birth certificate says. I reckon that everyone has one or the other.
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.


(I apologize for my abrupt appearance in the discussion. I should be studying/working right now and I don't want to, so I figured I'd see how far afield this thread has wandered. And then I saw that point, and had to chase it.)

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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 ]
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quote:
Originally written by Drew:

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.
Evidently you've forgotten what I do for a living. I teach test prep. The LSAT is my favorite test. :P

quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

That sounds like an argument from ignorance.
No. I'm not claiming that anything in particular is true or false (which is an integral part of an argument from ignorance). I've said that, lacking substantial evidence, the default response should be not to make a distinction between two things that may not differ, because to do otherwise is prejudicial and therefore discriminatory. I've also said that, in this case, we lack substantial evidence. The conclusion follows.
quote:
A decision has to be prejudicial to be discriminatory. Calling all handicapped people disabled and making a determination on that basis is not prejudice. You can use the same word – “discrimination” - to describe it if you please or if you think the dictionary allows it, but it is not the same thing and it is not a matter of degree. One involves prejudice. The other does not. That’s what makes it equivocation to equate them.
Then let's not use the word "discrimination." Let's use the word "prejudice." They're not the same, as any dictionary will tell you, and "prejudice" is less ambiguous anyway.

Prejudice is bad (and against the spirit of the Constitution). If not allowing same-sex marriage constitutes prejudice (in the same way that not allowing interracial marriage did), then not allowing same-sex marriage is bad and unconstitutional.

The usual reason given for not allowing same-sex marriage is the one that you've been attempting to give this whole time: opposite-sex marriages are better. This reason is given without evidence, and therefore it is a judgment made prior to knowing any relevant facts. That makes it prejudice.

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

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quote:
Originally written by Stillness:
quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

All opposite-sex marriage is male-female. That is the pairing that is perceived to be ideal.
By you. Given the statistics you cited, same-sex marriage might be even better. We have no idea.
That sounds like an argument from ignorance.

http://www.pastpeak.com/archives/2006/07/marriage_in_mas.htm

quote:
[F]or several years now the Commonwealth [of Massachusetts] has had the lowest divorce rate of any state in the union. [...] [I]n the first two years of legal same sex marriage in the Bay State, Massachusetts showed a more rapid decline and will very likely hold on to its title as the US state with the lowest divorce rate in the nation.

[T]he group of US states...which have passed both state laws and also state constitutional amendments prohibiting same sex marriage, lag dramatically in terms of divorce rate improvement when compared to same sex marriage friendly states. [...] This group contains 4 of the 5 states with the highest divorce rate increases in the US during 2004 and the first 11 months of 2005.
It seems that the attitudes that limit marriage to opposite-sex couples are detrimental when compared to the attitudes that favor extending marriage to same-sex couples. Perhaps our percieved ideals aren't so ideal.

Dikiyoba.

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Episode 4: Spiderweb Reloaded
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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 ]
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Ephesos, I wouldn’t do anything with them. From a personal perspective, I don’t see how chopping into your stuff changes your sex.

Drew, In light of Ephesos’ question, would it be possible for someone that is not a transsexual to have their birth certificate changed and then marry someone of the same sex?

Is Alec=Najosz Thjsza Kjras? If so I already responded on the issue you raise. I don’t think the government’s treatment of marriage makes for inequality or takes away liberty. You can have a union with 2 men and 2 women so that each bisexual will have a way to fully express themselves, have a ceremony, a reception, live in a house together or whatever you want. The government not recognizing you doesn’t stop any of that. Does the Constitution say the government has to recognize every decision that a person makes?

quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

I've said that, lacking substantial evidence, the default response should be not to make a distinction between two things that may not differ, because to do otherwise is prejudicial and therefore discriminatory.
They do differ in very basic, natural ways.

quote:
If not allowing same-sex marriage constitutes prejudice (in the same way that not allowing interracial marriage did), then not allowing same-sex marriage is bad and unconstitutional.
Agreed.

quote:
The usual reason given for not allowing same-sex marriage is the one that you've been attempting to give this whole time: opposite-sex marriages are better.
I haven’t argued that once.

quote:
Originally written by Dikiyoba:

It seems that the attitudes that limit marriage to opposite-sex couples are detrimental when compared to the attitudes that favor extending marriage to same-sex couples.
While there could be questions of causality, this is a much better argument that the discrimination or separation of church and state arguments.
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Huh. I always thought that when you said "Opposite sex marriages are more natural," you were implying that that was better. It seems not though, given your last statement. You have some freaky logic.

Edit- dropped a letter arrrr

[ Thursday, December 13, 2007 11:25: Message edited by: Jumpin' Salmon ]

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I think that's a pretty key point. You've argued over and over that same-sex and opposite-sex marriages are fundamentally different. This is true on the level of genitalia. This is probably also true on some mental level, as it's pretty clear that the brains of men and women don't work the same way.

However, arguing that opposite-sex marriage is less natural poses two problems. Firstly, you're presupposing that homosexuality is unnatural, which flies in the face of science, or that naturally homosexual couples don't marry. Since marriage is a man-made institution, not a natural one, the second argument is meaningless. Secondly, if you're not arguing that opposite-sex marriages are better, then whether or not they're natural is irrelevant. We don't make laws based on nature. In fact, according to social contract theory, we make laws specifically so that we don't have to live naturally.

So, again: what specifically makes opposite-sex marriage worth legally supporting that does not apply to same-sex marriage?

—Alorael, who will be disheartened if the answer has anything to do with children. Marriage is not about children, as has been repeatedly stated, and there is no evidence that opposite-sex marriage is better for children.
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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 ]
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quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

Ephesos, I wouldn’t do anything with them. From a personal perspective, I don’t see how chopping into your stuff changes your sex.
This is such a wonderful way to evade the question, it's almost worth framing. But I suppose I can infer from your position that you don't view the life choices of these people as particularly worthwhile, regardless of how significant they can be. I find that kind of funny, given that you seem hellbent on defending the choice to pay thousands of dollars so you can stand in a church and have someone with a weird collar/hat/robe tell you and your other that you can kiss now, not to mention defending the idea that only opposite-sex couples should be allowed that choice.

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Remember, any two (or perhaps more) people can do that ceremony in a church that allows it. It is the government sanction and acknowledgment of that union which is in question. My church allows gay weddings, as well as straight weddings, and welcomes all (in proper Christian fashion) to celebrate those joyful unions.

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