Thursday, February 25, 2010

Shirely You Can Be Serious

FLG wrote:
Basically, your argument is that we have qualifications for licenses. If a gay person or a straight person meet the qualification for a deer hunting license, then if we deny one but not the other on this basis alone it is discrimination. Ergo, gay marriage should be allowed.

However, if we change deer license to license to marry a partner of a the opposite sex and elk license to license to marry a member of the same sex, then maybe the objection makes more sense.

I'd like an elk license.

We don't offer those. You can have a deer license.

Deer don't tickle my fancy. I really want an elk license.

Sorry, don't offer those.

That's discrimination. If I want to hunt elk, then I damn well should be able to.

The question then becomes why somebody ought to be able to hunt elk, not really a question of discrimination. And then what justification can be offered to allow elk, but not wild boar (polygamy or incestous). I can come up with one why not house pets (children or animals).

Alan writes:
The objective of hetero- and homo-sexual marriages are both to hunt deer. They are after precisely the same thing. We refuse because the clothing they wear (their appearance) is unusual, not because their quarry is different. As you have pointed out, gay men and women are not refused entry into the marriage contract. In most states, however, they are refused the opportunity to choose their hunting partner. Andrew is right that this is little different than Loving vs. Virginia.

No, no, no, no, no. I'm going to put this straight up. You want to portray the CHANGE from an opposite sex partner only to either opposite or same sex partner as no change. And yet the change from partner to partners as a MASSIVE change.

They are both changes. Indeed, polygamists could say they are being discriminated against and that they should get to marry whom they love as well. And, this point is somewhat important, the legalization of gay marriage opens the door. If we say that you can only be married to a partner of the opposite sex, then it precludes polygamy if we treat it at a 3-way contract.

Likewise, with heterosexual marriage only, we can plausibly argue that potential reproduction is at least a part of the decision making guiding the marriage contract. Allowing gay marriage negates this. Which can open up the door to incestuous marriage.

You then say this:
A judge's ruling that a state must grant same-sex partners marriage licenses causes no difficulties for the state. Inheritance, tax, custody, visitation, and other laws tied to marriage are unaffected.

Are judges only to take into account the narrow consequences of some ruling on state legal apparatus?

Alright, I'm going to say this the last time. Your logic is tortured and based on incorrect assumptions. For your argument to work, you need to say that marriage isn't changing at all when homosexual marriage is introduced, but that it is a massive change when polygamy is introduced, which for people who, I don't know, have fucking thoughts, is a tough pill to swallow.

If you want to say that the change to gay marriage is simply immaterial, but a change to polygamy is, then I return to why? Saying that it makes divorce messier is totally not carrying the water.

UPDATE: I'm seriously and empathetically (sympathetically?) trying to get Alan's argument.

The argument seems to be this:
Marriage used to be restricted to two people of the opposite sex of the same race. We removed the "of the same race" part because it was discriminatory. Now, we ought to remove "of the opposite sex" for the same reason.

The thing that should be staring Alan in the face is why then wouldn't we change "two people" for the exact same reason? That it complicates divorces seems downright silly. Their rights are being violated! What is a bit of legal complication in the face of injustice?

1 comment:

rahowe said...

This morning's Washington Post carries a story on the Maryland State Attorney General's recent 90-page decision that the state must and will recognize the same-sex marriages performed in other states (and soon, the District of Columbia). The story includes the AG's mention that Maryland code features over 1,000 references to marriage. A ruling that says references to "wife" and "husband" (that are almost inherently sexist references) should hereby be considered to mean "spouse" in all applications, is FAR SIMPLER than changing those thousand-plus references to cover multiple partners. I cannot imagine a serious argument that holds the difference is trivial.

What stops multi-partner marriage now?

It is not that same-sex marriage has not passed. Other hurdles stand in the way. Therefore, it does not follow that approval of same-sex marriage opens the door immediately to multi-partner marriage. (The opposite, however--multi-partner marriage immediately opens the door to same-sex marriage--does hold.)

Proponents of multi-partner marriage can win approval without prior recognition of same-sex marriage. As same-sex marriage has been approved in some locations, it is, in fact, the LOW hurdle facing these proponents. It is the multitude of other concerns that hold proponents back, and those concerns remain when same-sex marriage is approved. Same-sex marriage is not a slippery slope to multi-partner marriage, and its lack does not hold back polygamy in the US.

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