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Civil Disobedience and Same-Sex Marriage

 
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"God-fearing" always bothered me, it seems to go against the whole nature of a Creator. Sounds more tyrannical, and I have a hard time conceptualizing any Grand Designer as a tyrannt. But who knows, give me my own little lab and enough energy to create an experimental Universe... *rubs his hands together in a dastardly fashion*
But this goes back to the religion aspect of this debate. I know a few couples that have done the hand-binding (I believe that is what it is called) ceremony, or were married by a preacher of a Christian denomination that recognized the union. For them, that was enough. They didn't need to strive to be accepted by society. They are accepted by their God/god/goddess and that is all they need. This makes much more sense to me than having to have society approve of you.
And sorry to say, but you'll still get that extra bit of attention if you are a man(woman) married to a man(woman). Just because I have a wedding ring on and I am legally married, if someone asks "Oh, how long have you been married?" and I say "My husband and I have been together for 4 years now", I can guarantee you there's going to be the same reaction than if I wasn't legally married and I say "My partner and I...". Legally it may change things, socially there's still a ways to go.
Honestly, I think the past few years have seen huge strides in social acceptance for many different groups. Doesn't mean we have to stop moving forward (or hopefully not go backwards!), but it could be a lot worse.
Society evolves just like any other organism. Sometimes in almost imperceptively slow progressions, other times in sudden leaps. Too much at one time, though, and Mother Nature lashes back to set things, for lack of a better term, straight
 
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I think what "society" deems the purpose of marriage is a dynamic thing and can't just be reduced to procreation alone. Historically it has had a lot to do with the passing of wealth through a bloodline and entitlement to that wealth. It has been about creating powerful relations between families and countries. Its tied to limiting sexual exposure, and inbreeding. And of course in some places its tied to religion. Yes, babies are involved, but its not the only factor. As for raising children, historically extended families and villages have had that responsibility, not just a mother and (lets be honest, to a lesser extent) a father. The nuclear/isolated unit family is relatively new development.
I do think marriage is under threat in the sense that less people are bothered about entering into it (less pressure to do so) and from other pressures that lead to divorce and break-ups. These pressures are numerous - the expectation that you can easily raise a family as a mother and father alone, coupled with greater pressures for both members to have a career for example. I know of course that many couples do this successfully, but many people have real trouble. For those without children, the pressures might come from marrying too young, finance and a sense of greater liberty, ie you can do what you like, if it ain't working and you're unhappy, no one is going to blame you for leaving. There is also the fairly modern notion that romantic love can conquer everything. The (roughly) 50/50 success rates of marriage would seem to back this up. The fact that homosexuals might be allowed to marry is the least of "marriage's" problems.
It could be that western society clinging on to a style of union that is no longer suitable or necessary for the direction our society is headed, and of course many people couldn't care less for marriage in any of its guises. There's the fact that people can get together (gay or straight) have kids (or not), break up, ie do as they please. There is no obligation to marry through any of this, so, really, how important is this institution to society anyway? For those people that perceive marriage as crucial, they should have the same chance to make it work as anyone else regardless of their sexuality. For people intent on saving marriage, I'd say the institution needs more success stories. By dropping the barriers to marriage and allowing more people to marry this may be possible. Who knows. The rhetoric about gay marriage undermining the value of marriage just doesn't make sense. Its an economic analogy for something completely inappropriate - increasing something's value by restricting its supply!
On a personal note, marriage has never been about wanting to raise children but about being in a committed union first, and I think a significant number of people in my generation share this view.
 
Richard Hawkes
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Originally posted by Eugene Kononov:
I would love to engage in a 100+ post discussion with you and to gracefully terminate it on a Nazi argument.
Hitler was married. And he didn't like gays!
[ March 09, 2004: Message edited by: Richard Hawkes ]
 
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On a personal note, marriage has never been about wanting to raise children but about being in a committed union first, and I think a significant number of people in my generation share this view.
So you have no problems with cousins marrying? Or brother and sister?
Joe
 
Joe Pluta
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Hey Joe, have you read "The Da Vinci Code" yet?
I liked Angels and Demons, also. I'm currently reading Deception Point, and its pretty good, too. I will admit, though, that it certainly does look like a woman next to Jesus in The Last Supper.
Joe
 
Richard Hawkes
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Originally posted by Joe Pluta:
So you have no problems with cousins marrying? Or brother and sister? - Why do you think I wouldn't have a problem with that?
 
Richard Hawkes
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Originally posted by jason adam:
And sorry to say, but you'll still get that extra bit of attention if you are a man(woman) married to a man(woman). Just because I have a wedding ring on and I am legally married, if someone asks "Oh, how long have you been married?" and I say "My husband and I have been together for 4 years now", I can guarantee you there's going to be the same reaction than if I wasn't legally married and I say "My partner and I...". Legally it may change things, socially there's still a ways to go.
Yes, I agree, but being able to say you're married is one of those little steps towards acceptence.
Also they say first impressions count. Being know as a married man/woman first, then as straight/gay second may also count for something at some subtle level.
 
Joe Pluta
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RH: marriage has never been about wanting to raise children but about being in a committed union first
JP: So you have no problems with cousins marrying? Or brother and sister?
RH: Why do you think I wouldn't have a problem with that?
Because the only reason cousins aren't allowed to marry is in order to avoid genetic defects in their children. If marriage is not about children but instead is about a committed union, then cousins qualify. Thus my conclusion that you support marriage between cousins, or even brother and sister.
Or are you saying cousins or siblings are incapable of a committed relationship?
Joe
 
Richard Hawkes
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Originally posted by Joe Pluta:
If marriage is not about children but instead is about a committed union, then cousins qualify. Thus my conclusion that you support marriage between cousins, or even brother and sister.
Or are you saying cousins or siblings are incapable of a committed relationship?
I'd say that depending on where they're from they're probably capable of a lot more than a "union" Plus I think that your conclusion is premature.
Just because having children is not top of my list when considering marriage, that doesn't exclude the possibility that I might father children. Nor does it exclude me from getting married in the first place. Indeed the fact that infertile couples (because they're too old or have medical problems) can be joined in holy matrimony would seem to imply that at some level there is an acceptance that two people can marry on the basis of love and companionship alone.
That said, even if you could guarantee no babies would be born, I wouldn't think that brother/sister marriages would be particularly healthy, so no, I wouldn't support marriage in this case. The risk of inbreeding would be to high and writing your Christmas cards would get awful tricky! Of course denying marriage to a persistent and determined incestuous couple can't in itself stop their relationship.
An aside - thinking about it further, is there a case for decriminalising consenting incestuous relationships? Based on ideas of freedom and liberty (and the fact that you're not hurting others), maybe there is. What if you found out your friend was invloved with their sibling? Do you think they should cease or go to jail? Ignoring the risks of inbreeding (I don't know the nature of these risks) and the queasyness in my gut, where's the harm? Is it an outdated taboo?
 
Joe Pluta
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Just because having children is not top of my list when considering marriage, that doesn't exclude the possibility that I might father children.
Ah. You're against cousings/siblings marrying because they MIGHT have children. Then obviously you think it's okay for GAY cousins or siblings to marry, but not heterosexual cousins and siblings.
Thus you are discriminating against the entire community of heterosexual kissing cousins.
See how this gets confusing quick?
Joe
 
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Originally posted by Joe Pluta:
Hey Joe, have you read "The Da Vinci Code" yet?
I liked Angels and Demons, also. I'm currently reading Deception Point, and its pretty good, too. I will admit, though, that it certainly does look like a woman next to Jesus in The Last Supper.
Joe


Not to highjack this thread, I read The Da Vinci Code and loved it. Although I don't share the belief in it's theory.
And just to clarify something I hope everyone is aware of, just because Da Vinci painted what appears to be a woman to the right of Jesus only means that Da Vinci possibly shared a belief in the theory that Jesus and Mary M. had a little something something going on. It does not hold any water to fact though. For all intent and purposes, no one really knows for sure. But being a believer in the Bible as I am, I feel if it was so, it would have been written, so to speak.
God has nothing against marriage, I just don't believe marriage was part of Jesus' purpose.
[ March 09, 2004: Message edited by: Gregg Bolinger ]
 
Richard Hawkes
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Originally posted by Joe Pluta:
Thus you are discriminating against the entire community of heterosexual kissing cousins.
I guess you're right, its a double standard. In that case I would support the right for anyone to marry anyone else if that's the only way for same-sex couples to achieve the right to marry. Unless there are some overwhelming reasons why some groups of consenting adults shouldn't marry, that is.
 
Joe Pluta
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Unless there are some overwhelming reasons why some groups of consenting adults shouldn't marry, that is.
Well, for a whole lot of people (such as those who quote Leviticus), there is an overwhelming reason that same-sex couples shouldn't marry.
Really, it's very difficult to argue this particular issue. Once you open the doors for one special interest group, you pretty much have to open it for everyone. The next logical barrier to drop is the family relation barrier, but soon after that is the minimum age barrier and then the number of persons barrier and if you carry it to the extreme, even the species barrier.
Who is to determine which barriers stay in place?
Joe
 
Richard Hawkes
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Originally posted by Joe Pluta:
Once you open the doors for one special interest group, you pretty much have to open it for everyone. The next logical barrier to drop is the family relation barrier, but soon after that is the minimum age barrier and then the number of persons barrier and if you carry it to the extreme, even the species barrier. - Are homosexuals to be considered a "special interest" group because they happen to be a minority? I not convinced by the opening-of-the-floodgates argument either. Its one thing to argue for same-sex marriage between consenting adults (and yes, even to argue for polygamy and for the rights of "kissing cousins") because the crucial word here is "consenting". However IMO its quite a leap to say that children's rights will start to be eroded and that the abuse of children (and animals) will naturally follow.
Who is to determine which barriers stay in place? - In as much as they need to be maintained, the citizens and the courts should decide while consulting their respective constitutions and documents of rights I suppose, same as ever. And Java Ranchers!
[ March 10, 2004: Message edited by: Richard Hawkes ]
 
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I think many of the religious disagreements with gay marriage seem not to do with the legal issues, but with the idea of two gay people loving and sleeping with each other. The key problem here is that marriage is a religious and legal entity. A better option would be to somehow separate the two ie have a way of registering a person as a "life partner" who gains the same rights that a husband/wife would ie inheritance, making medical decisions etc. There could be a similar process to divorcing to get out of this registration. Any marriage ceremonies that the couple wish to do or not do can then be done separately. As the "life partner" registration is a purely legal thing, and not to do with religious limits, there isn't really a need for limits on who can do it - in the case of the two sisters living together given above, they could register each other as "life partners", even though they wouldn't get married. The idea is that you can nominate one person, whoever they are and whatever relationship you have with them, as being someone that you wish to inherit your stuff, have a say over what happens when you are in a coma (and to keep up with tradition, moan at you when you forget to wash up).
Another advantage with seperating the legal and ceremonial parts of marriage is that if a person proposes marriage, you'll know they're not just doing it for the money
 
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Originally posted by Eugene Kononov:
TB: Why is it silly? When you say your are married to someone it says a lot about your relationship, if you can only say you live together or are partners, it doesn't imply the same permanence.
What are you saying, -- that the purpose of marriage is to communicate clearly the nature of your relationship with your partner to the outside world? That is, indeed, silly, as much as proposing in a public place, and playing it publicly. Every time I see it, I doubt the fellow's intentions, -- why not express their feelings in private? Why do I have to know that he loves her, when I am working on my steak in a restaurant?


So whats the point in different sex couples getting married? Most of them are having sex before marriage, and a whole lot have children before marriage. Unless you [...] stick to the bible there is no real reason for marriage either. Why do people in their 60's who have no intention of child bearing get married?
[ Edited for content -- EJFH ]
[ March 10, 2004: Message edited by: Ernest Friedman-Hill ]
 
Tim Baker
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Originally posted by Joe Pluta:
One of the main benefits here in the UK is exemption from inheritence tax, and this is a BIG thing.
Alright, let's take just this one thing.
We have traditionally held that when a man and woman marry, they are now granted a benefit of being able to inherit from one another upon death. Gay couples want that right as well. Why should a gay couple be granted that right and not, say, two unmarried sisters who have decided to live out their lives together? Or, as Jason has brought up, how about a polygamous family unit of several men and women who wish to co-survive each other?
The question to me is not one of raising gay couples to the status of married couples, but instead of raising gay relationships above other social relationships.
What is the specific criteria that makes a union qualify for "marriage" status? The fact that there are only two people, and that they are not closely related? That's seems discriminatory against any other social grouping.
Or what about other two-person relationships? Since gay marriages are not about childbearing, it seems particularly discriminatory against couples that are more closely related than society aloows to marry. For example, cousins are typically discouraged from marriage because of genetic issues. If childbearing is no longer in the picture, then shouldn't cousins be allowed to "marry" if they're truly in love?
Or even brother and sister? Cringe if you must, but remember that some people cringe at the thought of two men or two women marrying. Now that we've thrown out tradition as a measuring stick, we must review all our old thought processes.
If we're willing to remove one societal taboo in the name of equality, shouldn't we be willing to remove related ones?
I'm just thinking out loud here...
Joe


Why not? I have no problem with any people marrying if it is what they want. People aren't going to go around getting married willy nilly because of the problems it creates in getting divorced. You're not going to marry someone just to get the tax benefits if you think in 2 years your going to go your seperate ways because they'll have the right to 50% of your stuff!
 
Tim Baker
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Originally posted by Joe Pluta:

Really, it's very difficult to argue this particular issue. Once you open the doors for one special interest group, you pretty much have to open it for everyone. The next logical barrier to drop is the family relation barrier, but soon after that is the minimum age barrier and then the number of persons barrier and if you carry it to the extreme, even the species barrier.


Kids can already get married, but only a parrott can say "I DO" and I don't think any of them could mean it.
 
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I deleted a backhanded insult from Tim Baker's post, and I deleted Gregg's response to it because it didn't make any sense without quoting the insult. Tim, remember, be nice.
 
Tim Baker
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Bah that wasn't an insult
 
jason adam
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Originally posted by Joe King:
I think many of the religious disagreements with gay marriage seem not to do with the legal issues, but with the idea of two gay people loving and sleeping with each other. The key problem here is that marriage is a religious and legal entity. A better option would be to somehow separate the two ie have a way of registering a person as a "life partner" who gains the same rights that a husband/wife would ie inheritance, making medical decisions etc. There could be a similar process to divorcing to get out of this registration. Any marriage ceremonies that the couple wish to do or not do can then be done separately. As the "life partner" registration is a purely legal thing, and not to do with religious limits, there isn't really a need for limits on who can do it - in the case of the two sisters living together given above, they could register each other as "life partners", even though they wouldn't get married. The idea is that you can nominate one person, whoever they are and whatever relationship you have with them, as being someone that you wish to inherit your stuff, have a say over what happens when you are in a coma (and to keep up with tradition, moan at you when you forget to wash up).
Another advantage with seperating the legal and ceremonial parts of marriage is that if a person proposes marriage, you'll know they're not just doing it for the money


I believe this is what civil unions would accomplish. From what I understand you basically get the same rights as a marriage, it's just called something different. I'd like to know the true legal distinction between the two.
Found this in an online article:


"Civil unions single out a group of people for second-class treatment. That is discrimination, and it does not belong in any Constitution," said Cheryl Jacques, president of the Human Rights Campaign, which is the largest gay and lesbian lobbying group. "Marriage, not civil unions, unlocks the door to important federal protections. Civil unions do not provide Social Security survivor benefits � a system we pay into but that our survivors can't access."


But again, "civil union" just doesn't carry the weight as "marriage" for many people. I would hope that people would be strong enough in their faith, and more importantly in themselves, that this wouldn't be an issue, but that doesn't appear to be the case.
Of course if you never have felt persecuted because you just don't let biases, prejudice, and ignorance bother you, hard to sometimes understand the feelings of those that do. Their feelings are valid and at least they have the right to demonstrate those feelings openly.
<sidenote>Palindromes rock!</sidenote>
[ March 10, 2004: Message edited by: jason adam ]
[ March 10, 2004: Message edited by: jason adam ]
 
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Hey all,
Haven't had time to participate much in the thread I started, and between the general same-sex marriage discussion and The Da Vinci Code , no one's really even addressed the topic I was asking about (well, maybe the first few posts). The question is basically about whether anything about this same-sex marriage issue can be called "civil disobedience". My opinion is no for the original reasons stated at the top of the thread.
What boggles my mind is that anyone--even gays that *want* to get married--think that this issue is the one issue that can operate outside the law. What I mean by that is: we have the rule of law that includes a managed process for change to ensure that it can adapt over time to changing attitudes. Shouldn't everyone be held responsible for at the very least engaging that system before engaging in illegal acts to make a point?
An example might help (forgive me if you've seen it already bandied about in the media). I get elected mayor of San Francisco. I decide that the state's gun laws regulating conceal and carry (prohibiting it) are unconstitutional, and I cite the 2nd Amendment as proof. So, I start issuing conceal-and-carry licenses from City Hall to anyone that wants them making it legal for anyone who drops by to carry a concealed weapon of any kind in California.
By supporting the actions of those who didn't even bother trying to go through the law-changing process, you are undermining the rule of law. You are basically saying that it's ok for anyone to flout laws they don't agree with...well, I'm mayor now and I don't agree with gun regulation. What do you think about that?
Same-sex marriage is no different than any other issue. The Founding Fathers put in place a framework for dealing with these things, and everyone--*especially* elected officials--should support the democratic process and uphold their sworn oaths at least until every legal avenue has been exhausted. Then, and only then, if you feel strongly enough that you wish to engage in civil disobedience, ok. I can respect that if you're willing to stand up for what you believe and take the punishments meted out to make your point. If you can generate enough traction with society, you can change things. This person does not scare me...they're part of the process and long tradition in the US.
What scares me is that every crank who doesn't like the law will not even *engage* the system to try and change things legally. This is exactly what's happening with same-sex marriage. No one even TRIED the right way.
sev
 
Richard Hawkes
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Originally posted by sever oon:
Haven't had time to participate much in the thread I started, and between the general same-sex marriage discussion and The Da Vinci Code , no one's really even addressed the topic I was asking about
Don't you just hate that
 
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