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Responding to words with violence

A blogger called Archbishop Cranmer is being investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority after ten people complained about an advertisment on his blog that tried to get people to sign a petition against gay marriage. Says he:

His Grace is further minded to respond that he has neither fear of nor hatred for the gay and lesbian community, though he is a little pissed off with 10 of them. They could easily have emailed His Grace with their complaint, and we could all have had a jolly good chinwag about the whole thing. Instead, they called in the Gestapo to censor the assertion that marriage is a life-long union between one man and one woman, in accordance with the teaching of the Established Church, the beliefs of its Supreme Governor, and the law of the land.

I like this because it cuts through nearly all of the information hiding abstractions like ‘Advertising Standards Authority’, ‘investigation’ and ‘complaint’.

What is really happening is that A does not like what B is saying and rather than respond with words they have asked C to threaten B with violence. Note that Archbishop Cranmer can not simply ignore the ASA: there are requirements and deadlines imposed upon him. Notice also how notions of ‘complaining to an authority’ who will then ‘conduct an investigation’ make this appear more sanitary than it really is, to the point that I would have a hard time convincing A that violence is involved.

Since the ASA exists to respond to words with violence, its existence can not be justified. Advertising should not be regulated. One might worry that without regulated advertising we would be bombarded with lies, claims and counter-claims and that the world would become a more confusing place. I think instead that it would only reveal confusion that is already there.

H/T Tim Worstall.

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51 comments to Responding to words with violence

  • Sigivald

    Note that Archbishop Cranmer can not simply ignore the ASA: there are requirements and deadlines imposed upon him.

    Sure he can. And he should.

    They will doubtless fine or arrest him, and then he can and should parade that fact, and make them – institutionally and politically – live with what they try to do.

    If they press on, I think he ends up winning in the court of opinion, and as an Archbishop, one hopes he’s willing to sacrifice some comfort and trouble for his beliefs.

    And if they give up in the face of a little resistance? Everyone wins; once the beast starts quailing, it’s moribund.

    Civil disobedience is effective if you do it right, and he has an excellent chance to do it right.

    (I’m ambivalent-to-against-him on the issue they’re trying to censor him on, but I am absolutely on his side on the issue of not being censored.)

  • Sigivald

    (Okay, I didn’t read closely enough, and he’s not an actual Archibishop of the church.

    And without the church’s resources at least notionally behind him, and being an Archibishop, I withdraw my expectation that he ought to risk a fine or imprisonment over it.

    It would still be nice if he wished to do so and people could chip in to fund a defense, though.

    The civil disobedience thing is less powerful when it’s not an actual Archbishop doing it, but it could still work…)

  • Dom

    Dear ASA:

    Sorry. I can not keep your deadline. I will be busy making an ad for the Romney campaign deploring the fact that Obama’s nazi-like Advertising Standards Authority is trying to deny me my rights of free speach.

  • M. Thompson

    It’s not the topic that infuiates me, it’s the desire to censor. Have a little bravery and stand up publically for what you belive, not to hide behind some bureaucrat and using the monopoly of force the state has.

    Who ever whined about this is a small minded bigot who wishes only their own viewpoint could exist.

  • Advertising standards are useful. The items being sold should be able to live up to the claims of the advertisement. Somebody needs to be able to put suspicious claims to the test, whether it is Underwriters’ Laboratory, Consumer Reports, or a government agency.

    This, however, does not seem like an advertisement. It’s a political opinion, and calling the government in on it (as is happening frequently these days) is censorship.

  • Carnwennan

    How can it be legal to harass someone for carrying an ad which advocates the law as it currently stands?

  • Lee Moore

    But what actual sanctions can they impose on Archbishop Cranmer ? For all their fighting talk of deadlines etc, having looked at the ASA’s website, it is far from clear that they can do anything to him.

  • jhc

    Will someone tell this ignorant Yankee about the ‘Advertising Standards Authority’, please? I’ve never heard of it.

    What authority does it actually have? Is it a trade group for advertisers? Or is it an arm of the government whose regulations have the force of law behind them?

    The ‘Who We Are’ page at the ASA site has come interesting verbiage. E.g.,

    ‘We are independent of both the Government and the advertising industry and we are recognised by the Government, the courts and other regulators such as the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and Ofcom as the body to deal with complaints about advertising. ‘

    I’m not sure what that implies but what I infer is that the ASA has no power to bring criminal complaints. Then it continues:

    ‘If we uphold a complaint about an ad, the advertiser must withdraw or amend the ad and not use the advertising approach again.’

    Or else… what, exactly? They shall taunt you a second time?

    TIA.

  • MattP

    Who ever whined about this is a small minded bigot who wishes only their own viewpoint could exist.

    Yes, but then that’s exactly who is pushing the issue of gay marriage here in the states. Small minded, indeed hateful bigots who intend that only their viewpoint will exist.

    I used to just be casually opposed to gay marriage as a silly non-issue. But then I noticed the vile tactics the supporters use. In California they got lists of people supporting Proposition 8, a voter referendum that changed the state constitution to define marriage as only a union between a man and a woman. Then followed truly despicable actions against these supporters, such as vandalizing churches, interrupting church services, harassing the children of supporters, threatening their livelihoods, etc.

    The referendum passed anyway. So a federal judge overturned the will of the people in a breathtakingly dishonest rewrite of history. I.e. to claim that procreation has never been a central element of marriage, never was recognized as a compelling state interest, and it’s just irrational religious bigotry that has barred gay marriage. To do this, he had to edit out of his ruling what the attorney defending the referendum said and what evidence he presented. He actually went so far as to make it appear said attorney stated he didn’t need to present such evidence. When the transcript makes it crystal clear that he not only didn’t say he needed to present no evidence on that point, but he provided the judge with abundant case-law evidence on exactly that point. Which the judge subsequently chose to ignore.

    We have a saying in the US which many of you may be familiar with; “don’t p**s down my back and tell me it’s raining.” That’s exactly what this judge is doing when he fundamentally changes the meaning of marriage but dishonestly rules he’s not changing anything at all.

    One of the SCOTUS cases oft cited by gay marriage supporters is Loving v. Virginia which ruled laws prohibiting interracial marriage unconstitutional. They argue that gay marriage is morally equal to interracial marriage.

    But Loving v. Virginia cited other cases in support of its ruling:

    Marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man,” fundamental to our very existence and survival. Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535, 541 (1942).

    The sentences that the Loving is referring to in Skinner v. Oklahoma are these:

    We are dealing here with legislation which involves one of the basic civil rights of man. Marriage and procreation are fundamental to the very existence and survival of the race.

    Note that “marriage and procreation” are referred to as one right. There are other cases that make this link between marriage and procreation even more clear, in fact state that the two are inseparable, but this will do. Loving v. Virginia doesn’t support the idea of a definition of marriage that isn’t linked to procreation and can not fairly be read as if it did. (Indeed, laws banning interracial marriage were passed because procreation was an essential element of marriage in US law and tradition, and it was expected these marriages would produce interracial kids.)

    It’s the dishonesty of tactics of judges imposing their will by judicial fiat, what are rightly referred to as the gestapo tactics against bloggers like Archbishop Cranmer to silence them, as well as the gestapo tactics used against those who continue to support the idea of marriage as between a man and woman with procreation as a central purpose, that have turned me into something more than just a casual opponent of gay marriage.

    It’s still nonsense. But it’s malicious nonsense. These are not nice people we’re dealing with.

    I certainly hope no one in the UK gets of visit from the authorities if this post makes it through moderation. But if that happens, they’ll be proving my point.

  • Alsadius

    Preventing fraud is actually a legitimate purpose for a government agency, which is better than can be said of most. It’s rather a shame that this group doesn’t seem to care very much about doing their job, though.

  • Paul Marks

    juc – it is quite clear from the post that ASA is a government thing, hence the repeated use of the word VIOLENCE.

    If (for example) Underwriters Labs does not agree with claims made for a product it can put a press release saying “X company are lying” (and your competitors will be glad the spread the news).

    The ASA can FORCE YOU to stop running the ad.

    And (contrary to the claims of J.S. Mill in “On Liberty” – with his nonsense about restrictions on sellers being morrally different from restrictions on buyers)) there is no real difference between “commerical speech” (business) and any other form of speech – as this case shows.

    The blogger wants to push the point of view that “marriage” is a union between a man and a women – one can agree or not agree with that opinion.

    But the “objectors” want to use the threat of VIOLENCE (of the state) to close down opinions with which they do not agree.

    This raises questions about the various European and International “Human Rights” things (Conventions and so on).

    When a libertarian first looks at these documents the first thing that stands out is that there is no right to keep arms.

    From ancient times the mark of a free man was the right to be armed – first with sword and spear (and so on), later with firearms.

    It is central to the thinking of classical writers (before Augustus destroyed the Republic – in fact, although not in name). And it appears among the “barbarian” tribes and in such later things as both the British and American Bill of Rights.

    Yet it does not appear in modern declarations (conventions….) of rights.

    Odd.

    Accept, we are quickely told, that this is silly thing and what is really important is the rights that the old right to defend oneself and others (which is what the arms are for – it is not a matter of hunting) were meant to defend, but which is not “practical” now.

    O.K. what are these rights?

    “Freedom of speech, and freedom of association and….”

    No hang on a minute – let us just stick with “freedom of speech” and “freedom of association”.

    Surely such things as the British 1965 Race Relations Act violates both freedom of speech and freedom of association (which must logically include the freedom not to associate – i.e. not to employ or trade with people one does not wish to employ or trade with).

    “No, if you look carefully you will see the new Human Rights Conventions (and other such) are compatible with the 1965 Act and so on”.

    So this “looking carefully” shows that the modern declarations and conventions do NOT support freedom of speech or freedom of association.

    It reminds me of something I noticed comparing the American Bill of Rights with the “Declaration of the Rights of Man” of the French Revolution.

    If one read casually they seemed similar in spirit – but if one read carefully……

    The limits on government seemingly imposed by the French Revolutionary document were not limits at all – for example property rights were CONDITIONAL (and so on).

    Mordern (i.e. academic and international elite) “rights talk” seems to be of a similar sort.

    Seemingly libertarian – till one pays close attention.

    Then the cloven hoof becomes clear.

  • The ASA may claim to be independent from government but I doubt that has much meaning. Their existence must be due to some legislation or other, and there must be some punishment for disobeying them, though I have no idea what. The test would be to simply ignore them and whatever other agencies they invoke, including not paying fines or turning up for court appearances. At the very least they are using their position as an official body to make threats.

    It seems to me that making false claims is not in itself a crime. The crime happens when someone takes your money and does not deliver what they promised, at which point a bit of violence to get your money back would be justified.

  • Lee Moore

    I’m fairly sure that when the ASA was established it was purely a trade group, and nothing to do with the government. And it was established by the advertising industry precisely to try to forestall real government regulation of the advertising industry – ie “look we self regulate, so there’s no need to impose regulation by law.” The only sanctions were that in the last resort advertisers could be encouraged to blackball newspapers who refused to obey rulings, the advertisers themselves being threatened with ejection from the ASA if they didn’t comply. A private club in fact.

    But things may have moved on, and per their website there certainly seem to be actual legal regulations on broadcast advertising. But as regards non broadcast advertising, which presumably covers websites, it’s not clear that they can do anything other than huff and puff.

    If it acts as a purely voluntary huffing and puffing organisation I can see no objection to it, in principle. In practice, since it’s real power is “obey us voluntarily or you will have to submit to government regulation by force” it’s not quite a libertarian model of self regulation.

  • They will doubtless fine or arrest him, and then he can and should parade that fact, and make them – institutionally and politically – live with what they try to do.

    Not a good idea, unfortunately. Since New Labour, the process is the punishment in Britain. The Archbishop will be on record as having been arrested for a hate crime, something he will have to declare on visa applications for the rest of his life. Whereas most countries – even notoriously authoritarian ones like Russia – don’t arrest except for serious offences, New Labour widened the definition of arrestable offences to include pretty much anything. Good luck trying to get a visa officer in an embassy somewhere to understand that an applicant who has been arrested for a hate crime in the UK might only have called a police horse “gay”.

  • Gib

    MattP, should the government recind marriage licenses after 10 years of childless marriage? Should infertile people be unable to get married in the first place?

    Some of the people in support of interracial marriage would have also used tactics that you wouldn’t like. If you lived back then, would tactics like these have caused you to be against permitting interracial marriage?

    The rightness of things don’t rest on the behaviour of their most active proponents, but on the merits of the things themselves.

    I don’t want the government involved in deciding whether my decision to marry meets their criteria for what they think a marriage is for. They just need to uphold my marriage contract and otherwise keep their nose out.

  • Midwesterner

    No, Gib. The gubmint should out of the marriage business entirely. The only reason the taxing authorities have for regulating who may call themselves married is to play games with property rights.

    Any people who wish to enter into reciprocal responsibility pacts, whether those are a ceremonial marriage in high church, or only public identification as “married” or perhaps even completely celibate, as a couple of celibate retired missionaries looking after each other’s well-being in old age, it is none of government’s proper business to prevent it.

    We need more people willing to take responsibility for their own selves and voluntarily for others they trust to share their property, not more rules and prohibitions driving them to public assistance in their times of need. In most jurisdictions, if the government does not approve of your relationship, when your partner dies you must either buy out your partner’s half of the house, or it must be sold to pay the taxes.

    Domestic partnership is not about sex or marriage and, perhaps regrettably, marriage is no longer about exchanging obligations. The appropriate jurisdictions should record domestic partnership agreements (including when they are part of a traditional marriage) in the same way they record deeds to real estate. But whether there is a claim of marriage is beyond the just purview of the state.

  • Midwesterner

    BTW, Gib, I was answering your rhetorical. We are probably in general agreement.

  • Gib

    No worries Midwesterner, I agree.

    There are other additional “rights” though that currently go along with marriage, that the government endorsement takes care of. Like who is allowed to make decisions for you, or visit you in hospital, and decide where you’re going to be buried. That sort of thing.

    Fixable by mentioning it in the “marriage” contract I suppose, and educating hospitals on the way to handle things…

  • MattP

    MattP, should the government recind marriage licenses after 10 years of childless marriage? Should infertile people be unable to get married in the first place?

    Some of the people in support of interracial marriage would have also used tactics that you wouldn’t like. If you lived back then, would tactics like these have caused you to be against permitting interracial marriage?

    The rightness of things don’t rest on the behaviour of their most active proponents, but on the merits of the things themselves.

    Gib, the childless marriage thing is a red herring. Even when geriatrics marry, the man is usually still capable of fathering children. Actor Anthony Quinn and author Saul Bellow are famous examples of men who became fathers in their 80s. Point being it’s exceedingly rare, practically impossible, that a childless couple consists of both partners being incapable of producing children. And it’s a historical fact that such as couple was still upholding the ideal of marriage. As long as neither partner never went outside marriage and produced children they were seen as upholding marital principle of fidelity. The principle of fidelity was rooted in the foundation that marriage and procreation were inseparable; responsible procreation only takes place within it. If a husband had a child with a woman not his wife, or vice versa, that’s always been an iron clad reason for divorce, back before we (at least) had no-fault divorce. Or annulment in the case of just about any western Christian denomination you’d care to name, as such a marriage was considered no marriage at all.

    Gay marriage is the polar opposite of this concept of marriage. Procreation within gay marriage is impossible. Either children were produced prior to the marriage, or some willing third party outside the marriage must be involved in some way to produce children. In a gay marriage, procreation must take place outside of marriage.

    The ideas underpinning the concept that marriage and procreation were inseparable were quite a bit more involved than the reductio ad absurdum argument than “all marriages must produce children.” They aren’t that difficult to discover for oneself, but the fact is gay marriage proponents have been airbrushing history (such as Judge Walker, whom I mentioned earlier) to make it appear as if there is no cogent argument against gay marriage.

    Quite simply, the argument for gay marriage is based upon lies. One of the most prominent among them is that marriage has never been about procreation. That’s simply the fundamental one that must be advanced in order to make gay marriage even thinkable. It isn’t the only one, but for the sake of brevity I won’t go into them in this comment.

    As far as the tactics go, I mean absolutely no disrespect when I say this, I believe you are missing the forest for the trees. First of all, you are missing the point about the Loving decision. No one, including the people who supported and voted for anti- miscegenation laws doubted that interracial marriages fit the traditional definition of marriage. They had to be outlawed precisely because they did. In fact, interracial marriages in general weren’t outlawed. These other interracial marriages were legal and accepted as marriage. Only those involving whites and “inferior” races were banned. This makes it an entirely different breed of cat than gay marriage, which does involve a wholesale redefinition of marriage. Which leads to the second point.

    The people who advocate gay marriage can only engage in these vile tactics can do so because they have government sanction. What gay marriage advocates need, are demanding, and getting, is an alternate government-enforced moral code that can not co-exist with the one that for thousands of years has underpinned the idea that marriage can only be between a man and a woman. This is something a liberal government is wholeheartedly willing to do. And without which the concept of gay marriage can not exist. Gay marriage isn’t a libertarian concept; it’s not now and never is going to be a matter of “you live your life, I’ll live mine.” That can’t be allowed. Without government enforcement, the idea that gay marriage is fully equal to just marriage as it’s always been defined and recognized can not be imposed on the public. And if you read the decision in the Prop 8 case I referred to earlier it is precisely the idea that society must be forced to recognize gay relationships as fully equal to any heterosexual relationship in every single way that Judge Walker determined that no other arrangement will do. Not civil unions. Not domestic partnerships. Only marriage, plus the demand that every individual must be required to recognize it as such and in no way different from any other marriage.

    As Archbishop Cranmer is finding, and as will be obvious to everyone once it’s too late, you simply can not have freedom of religion and gay marriage. You can have one, but not the other. Your religion may tell you that gay marriage can never be the moral equivalent of “traditional” straight marriage. But the government says differently, and it is a crime to go against the government diktat.

    Essentially, liberals embrace gay marriage because it must by definition subordinate any other source of morality to the all powerful state. As we are learning under Obama, as far as he’s concerned the Constitution permits us to go into a house of worship and indulge in the outdated superstition of our choice. Once we leave, we have no rights of conscience. The government will tell us what to think, say, and do.

    Have a moral objection to participating in an abortion as a health care professional? Too bad, you’re participating in the abortion or you’re out of the business. Does the Catholic Church have a moral objection to providing contraception and abortion services to its employees? Too bad, a brand new women’s right to products and services that someone else has to pay for that isn’t in the Constitution trumps the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of religion that actually is in the Constitution.

    “All within the state, nothing outside the state.” There are many tools that can be used to achieve this goal. Gay marriage is simply one of them. It empowers government, not the individual. And what it empowers government to do, as Archbishop Cranmer is finding, is outlaw any source of moral authority that isn’t subordinate to and supportive of state authority in the sphere of morality.

    The Archbishop will be on record as having been arrested for a hate crime, something he will have to declare on visa applications for the rest of his life. Whereas most countries – even notoriously authoritarian ones like Russia – don’t arrest except for serious offences, New Labour widened the definition of arrestable offences to include pretty much anything.

    Quite right, Tim. And I see no reason to help this process along by accepting the premises behind the push for gay marriage.

  • MattP

    No, Gib. The gubmint should out of the marriage business entirely. The only reason the taxing authorities have for regulating who may call themselves married is to play games with property rights.

    Any people who wish to enter into reciprocal responsibility pacts, whether those are a ceremonial marriage in high church, or only public identification as “married” or perhaps even completely celibate, as a couple of celibate retired missionaries looking after each other’s well-being in old age, it is none of government’s proper business to prevent it.

    I’ll see if this appears before my prior response to Gib.

    Midwesterner, this would simply be another form of surrender to the idea behind gay marriage that there can be no definition worth preserving.

    There was a time before government was in the business of issuing licenses. It still acknowledged and regulated marriage. It would do so again.

    I imagine the people pushing gay marriage would be giddy at your proposal. Because they could still make it a hate crime for someone to consider one form of marriage superior to another.

    And you’re conceding that their position that any arrangement really is no different in value from any other is the correct one.

    So someone like Archbishop Cranmer would still be persecuted for his views. How does merely getting the government out of the marriage creation business while leaving the rest of the legislative apparatus in place (which it must, as the state would still have a compelling interest in all the other aspects of these relationships) constitute an advance?

  • MattP

    I need to correct my last post. The gub’mint never entered the marriage license business as the exclusive agent determining who can or can’t call themselves married in many places.

    I live in Texas. Here common law marriage is still legal. All it requires is an agreement between the parties that they are married, that they live together, and that they publicly acknowledge themselves as married. Such marriages are still considered just as valid as any other.

    They were also just as regulated when it came to dissolution of the marriage, how the children are raised (ostensibly to prevent abuse), and inheritance law.

    You’ve got your history wrong though. Government didn’t get involved in this regulation because of the tax code. But because there were invariably disputes between the parties involved. Which didn’t just include the two adults who agreed to the marriage. The government got dragged into these disputes.

    Think King Solomon and the two prostitutes who lived in the same house, and the dispute over the one baby. This definitely involves an incident of “family law,” and by your libertarian definition of the government has no right to determine who is and who is not married, since it involves two people living together according to some private agreement no doubt “marital law.”

    Point being, they brought the dispute to him. Not the other way around. And if you believe that things would be somehow different in this day and age, I’m afraid you’re kidding yourself, my friend.

    The gub’mint didn’t really take an interest in private agreements to cohabitate even in the US until people started suing each other for “palimony.” Then the gub’mint started making rules.

  • Jordan

    And you’re conceding that their position that any arrangement really is no different in value from any other is the correct one.

    No he’s not. Whether a straight marriage is different in value than a gay marriage is irrelevant to the question of whether one should be illegal and one shouldn’t. Adam and Steve forming a marriage contract violates nobody’s rights. That’s all that matters.

  • MattP

    And you’re conceding that their position that any arrangement really is no different in value from any other is the correct one.

    No he’s not. Whether a straight marriage is different in value than a gay marriage is irrelevant to the question of whether one should be illegal and one shouldn’t. Adam and Steve forming a marriage contract violates nobody’s rights. That’s all that matters.

    I’d be curious to know just why Archbishop Cranmer wouldn’t be getting assaulted for expressing his views about what is a legitimate marriage whether the government (a) determines the definition of marriage or (b) the government stays out of it entirely?

    Are the rules governing what constitutes hateful language determined by the marriage laws in the UK? What meets or doesn’t meet ASA standards?

    It appears to me, having read Archbishop Cranmer’s post that they are not.

    If my post in reply to Gib ever appears, I linked to Judge Walker’s California Prop 8 decision in which he determines it’s unconstitutional to deny homosexuals the use of the term marriage. You may care to read it. In it, he declares it’s irrational bigotry for society to declare a preference for heterosexual marriage over gay relationships.

    I submit that whether the government gets out of the marriage license business entirely or not, expressing a view that heterosexual marriages are the only legitimate form of marriage could and would be considered “irrational bigotry” and remain just as illegal by that reasoning.

    I believe I’m expressing something that is patently obvious. We aren’t heading toward a society that is somehow less judgemental and doesn’t impose it’s morality on anyone; in the name of “you don’t have the right to impose your morality on me” the individuals and groups complaining about Archbishop Cranmer’s views are asserting their right to impose their alternate morality on him. And with an arm of the government helping them.

  • Gib

    MattP, your original response to me hasn’t turned up yet, so I’ll address your latest post.

    I’d agree that it’s irrational bigotry for a government to put into law a preference for heterosexual marriage over gay relationships. I think it’s fine for a person to have a preference for their own marriage to be heterosexual over gay. And I think it’s allowable bigotry for a person to prefer other people’s marriages to be heterosexual rather than gay.

    Archbishop Cranmer is within his rights to express his views, and those trying to use the government against his expression of those views are wrong. But there are many (hopefully a large majority) of people in favour of allowing gay marriage who are also in favour of allowing the Archbishop to express his bigotry freely.

  • MattP

    So then, you agree with my contention that the libertarian position as expressed by midwesterner:

    Any people who wish to enter into reciprocal responsibility pacts, whether those are a ceremonial marriage in high church, or only public identification as “married” or perhaps even completely celibate, as a couple of celibate retired missionaries looking after each other’s well-being in old age, it is none of government’s proper business to prevent it.

    is the functional equivalent of Judge Walker’s contention that society has no rational basis to define marriage as solely between a man and a woman and thus deny marriage to homosexual couples?

    The problem with your idea that Archbishop Cranmer is has a right to express his views is that the reasoning in Judge Walker’s decision (have you read it at the link), which seems to be the same reasoning behind the persecution of the Archbishop in the UK, is that the government has the duty to enforce equality between gays and homosexuals. Irrational bigotry is not a right protected by the first amendment, or whatever remains protected as freedom of speech in the UK.

    From Walker’s findings:

    Religious beliefs that gay and lesbian relationships are
    sinful or inferior to heterosexual relationships harm gays and
    lesbians.
    a. PX2547 (Nathanson Nov 12, 2009 Dep Tr 102:3-8: Religions
    teach that homosexual relations are a sin and that
    contributes to gay bashing); PX2546 (video of same);
    b. PX2545 (Young Nov 13, 2009 Dep Tr 55:15-55:20,
    56:21-57:7: There is a religious component to the bigotry
    and prejudice against gay and lesbian individuals); see
    also id at 61:18-22, 62:13-17 (Catholic Church views
    homosexuality as “sinful.”); PX2544 (video of same);
    c. Tr 1565:2-1566:6 (Segura: “[R]eligion is the chief
    obstacle for gay and lesbian political progress, and it’s
    the chief obstacle for a couple of reasons. * * * [I]t’s
    difficult to think of a more powerful social entity in
    American society than the church. * * * [I]t’s a very
    powerful organization, and in large measure they are
    arrayed against the interests of gays and lesbians. * * *
    [B]iblical condemnation of homosexuality and the teaching
    that gays are morally inferior on a regular basis to a
    huge percentage of the public makes the * * * political
    opportunity structure very hostile to gay interests.
    It’s very difficult to overcome that.”);

    It continues. The point being, once Judge Walker, in agreement with the Libertarian position, decrees that only irrational bigotry has prevented gays from enjoying the right to marry, and that religion (officially recognized as “organized irrational bigotry” by by the USG and the law of the land should Walker’s decision stand) remains the major obstacle to homosexual relationships enjoying equal status to heterosexual relationships and thus continuing to harm homosexuals, it becomes very difficult to argue that defending the right to indulge in public expressions of “irrational bigotry” can possibly equate to the identified compelling state interest in defending gay rights.

    You can have freedom of speech and freedom of religion or gay marriage. Not both. In the fight against this irrational bigotry, what you get is an atheocracy that brooks no dissent.

    As Archbishop Cranmer says:

    …it is now an offence to express the moderate view of the majority and promote the orthodox teaching of the Church of England Established.

    Yes, it is.

    And just because we have a written Constitution and you don’t, it’s a pipe dream to imagine that what’s actually written in the Constitution will trump these newly invented rights.

    As reported in US News & World Report in November 2009, Quote of the Week: Obama Urges Freedom of Worship in China

    We do not seek to impose any system of government on any other nation, but we also don’t believe that the principles that we stand for are unique to our nation. These freedoms of expression and worship—of access to information and political participation—we believe are universal rights.

    This is part of the airbrushing of history that Judge Walker engaged in when deciding against Prop 8. Our Constitution states we have the right to engage in the free exercise of religion. It’s being redefined by the current administration, and the judiciary, as “freedom of worship.” The difference is that the first is a right to public expressions of one’s faith. I.e. being able to say that gay marriage is wrong. The second is what underpins Obama’s health care mandate that religious organizations have no right to deny women the “right” to free contraceptives and abortion no matter how much goes against their doctrine.

    “Freedom of worship” means you have the right to engage in private religious ceremonies. But you must leave your religion, and your religiously-formed conscience, and your religious expression at the church door. Their is no room any longer for that in the public sphere as long as it interferes in this case with women’s health care or in the Archbishop’s case with gay rights not to have to listen to disapproval of their relationships. It’s also the exact right guaranteed to its citizens by the former Soviet Constitution.

    Article 52. Citizens of the USSR are guaranteed freedom of conscience,
    that is, the right to profess or not to profess any religion, and to conduct
    religious worship or atheistic propaganda.

    Which why I agreed with Tim Newman’s characterization:

    Whereas most countries – even notoriously authoritarian ones like Russia – don’t arrest except for serious offences, New Labour widened the definition of arrestable offences to include pretty much anything.

    You may not realize it, but you and I are trading in our Constitutions for the Soviet one. “All within the state, nothing outside the state.” While nice tame state churches were tolerated and still are tolerated in communist dictatorships, that tolerance only lasts as long as they don’t compete with the state’s moral authority to determine what values are deemed worthy (formerly known as “socialist morality) and which are deemed worthless. And as long as they reinforce the fact that no one can opt out of obeying state sanctioned morality.

  • Jordan

    You can have freedom of speech and freedom of religion or gay marriage.

    What on Earth are you talking about? Allowing two consenting adults of the same sex to enter into a contract absolutely violates nobody’s rights, whether religion, free speech or otherwise. Legalizing something does not remove somebody’s right to criticize it.

    If you think freedom of religion means being allowed to use force against others when they try to enter into voluntary relationships, then tough. You can’t assault somebody and then claim your religion commanded it as a defense. If you think homosexuality is a sin, then feel free to criticize it all you like. Nobody is forcing you to enter into a homosexual relationship by legalizing gay marriage.

  • MattP

    What on Earth are you talking about? Allowing two consenting adults of the same sex to enter into a contract absolutely violates nobody’s rights, whether religion, free speech or otherwise. Legalizing something does not remove somebody’s right to criticize it.

    If you think freedom of religion means being allowed to use force against others when they try to enter into voluntary relationships, then tough. You can’t assault somebody and then claim your religion commanded it as a defense. If you think homosexuality is a sin, then feel free to criticize it all you like. Nobody is forcing you to enter into a homosexual relationship by legalizing gay marriage.

    I’m afraid you have it backwards. Protecting gay rights now means using force against those who disapprove of gay marriage.

    From the original post upon which this comment thread is based:

    What is really happening is that A does not like what B is saying and rather than respond with words they have asked C to threaten B with violence. Note that Archbishop Cranmer can not simply ignore the ASA: there are requirements and deadlines imposed upon him. Notice also how notions of ‘complaining to an authority’ who will then ‘conduct an investigation’ make this appear more sanitary than it really is, to the point that I would have a hard time convincing A that violence is involved.

    That is “what on earth” I’m talking about. The very cogent observations of Tim Worstall about the exact nature of the pickle Archbishop Cranmer now finds himself in.

    Worstall goes on to say:

    Since the ASA exists to respond to words with violence, its existence can not be justified.

    Here he is wrong; the existence of the ASA can very much be justified. By the exact people now using the ASA and it’s power to combat Archbishop Cranmer in imagining he still had what were formerly recognized, at least in US terms, as freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion.

    They no longer can compete with the new rights being exercised by his adversaries through the ASA. And in any case, he only has “freedom of worship.” The old soviet right to engage in whatever archaic ritual dictated by his miserable, outdated, and false superstition. Not to imagine that he can engage in his “irrational bigotry” in public and thus “harm and offend” people. As stated in the complaint he to which he must now respond:

    under CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 and 3.3 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation) and 4.1 (Harm and offence)’.

    When you say that gay marriage doesn’t infringe on anyone’s rights, I keep looking back at the topic under discussion here and sincerely wonder what on earth you all are talking about?

    It’s quaint that people here still think he has a right to free speech, but like his “organized irrational bigotry” formerly known as the Church of England, it’s now obsolete. I’m curious how many people have to be made examples of like the Archbishop before that’s apparent.

  • Jordan

    When you say that gay marriage doesn’t infringe on anyone’s rights, I keep looking back at the topic under discussion here and sincerely wonder what on earth you all are talking about?

    Nobody on this site is arguing in favor of speech restrictions, and speech restrictions don’t go hand in hand with gay marriage. I strongly suspect that you are just using the specter of hate speech laws as an excuse for your own bigotry.

    If the ASA investigated someone for petitioning against interracial marriage, would you say that is a reason for outlawing interracial marriage? Or what if they investigated him for petitioning against heterosexual marriage?

    I would say that is a reason for outlawing the ASA.

  • MattP

    To clarify and reinforce my earlier observation that you can have freedom of speech and freedom of religion or gay marriage, but not both I’d like to refer you to this paper by Eugene Volokh (a UCLA law professor and founder of a libertarian-leaning legal blog called The Volokh Conspiracy).

    Freedom of Speech, Permissible Tailoring and Transcending Strict Scrutiny

    I think the pertinent quote is the first one in the introduction:

    The Supreme Court has often held that content-based restrictions on fully protected speech are valid if they are “narrowly tailored to serve a compelling state interest.” 1 I believe this is wrong.

    I agree, but as Professor Volokh these restrictions on what would otherwise be fully protected free speech are the law of the land per SCOTUS precedent.

    What Judge Walker was doing in his decision which I quoted from briefly earlier, and will do so more briefly now:

    Religious beliefs that gay and lesbian relationships are sinful or inferior to heterosexual relationships harm gays and lesbians…Religions teach that homosexual relations are a sin and that contributes to gay bashing…There is a religious component to the bigotry and prejudice against gay and lesbian individuals…“[R]eligion is the chief obstacle for gay and lesbian political progress…[I]t’s a very powerful organization, and in large measure they are arrayed against the interests of gays and lesbians…[B]iblical condemnation of homosexuality and the teaching that gays are morally inferior on a regular basis to a huge percentage of the public makes the * * * political opportunity structure very hostile to gay interests.

    …was establishing a case that there is a compelling state interest here in the US for exactly the same restrictions on speech that the gay rights groups are seeking to impose upon Archbishop Cranmer via the ASA.

    We have a written Constitution, so I doubt Archbishop Cranmer’s freedom of expression when they conflict with some compelling state interest as defined by the UK government are as well protected.

    And as we’re finding here in the states, our rights are not nearly as well protected as we thought.

    So yes, the government can easily determine for itself that defending newly invented rights that it tells us were always contained in the “penumbras emanating” from the Constitution, but no one ever noticed until our enlightened elites discovered they were always there, trump the ancient rights we just assumed we had.

    It certainly appears that’s the case in the UK as well.

  • Jordan

    If the government made it illegal to criticize the purchase of firearms, should we outlaw the purchase of firearms in response? Your absurd logic says yes.

  • MattP

    Nobody on this site is arguing in favor of speech restrictions, and speech restrictions don’t go hand in hand with gay marriage. I strongly suspect that you are just using the specter of hate speech laws as an excuse for your own bigotry.

    If the ASA investigated someone for petitioning against interracial marriage, would you say that is a reason for outlawing interracial marriage? Or what if they investigated him for petitioning against heterosexual marriage?

    I would say that is a reason for outlawing the ASA.

    What does it matter that no one commenting on this blog is arguing in favor of speech restrictions. That’s just because Judge Walker, any representatives of the ASA, or the groups urging the ASA to act aren’t commenting here. But who’s views are more likely to become law of the land?

    Barack Obama in his own words, Chicago public radio, 2001:

    If you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement and its litigation strategy in the court. I think where it succeeded was to invest formal rights in previously dispossessed people, so that now I would have the right to vote. I would now be able to sit at the lunch counter and order as long as I could pay for it Id be o.k. But, the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society. To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasnt that radical. It didnt break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted and Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states cant do to you. Says what the Federal government cant do to you, but doesnt say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf, and that hasnt shifted and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, um, because the civil rights movement became so court focused I think there was a tendancy to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change. In some ways we still suffer from that.

    We have people in power now who are embracing the issue of gay marriage precisely because it provides an opportunity to “break free from the the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution.” Judge Walker in his ruling provides just such a rationale for doing so. Go read his entire ruling if you doubt me; I quoted briefly from it but please read the entire ruling if you believe that I’m taking anything out of context.

    Barack Obama is often described as “professorial.” In a way he is; he embodies all the worst elements of the population of the faculty lounge at any US university, who have been inventing rationales to enforce campus speech codes in order to restrict free speech in the name of protecting minority rights. In the process they’ve discovered a wonderful thing; if you invent new minority rights, you can restrict more and more speech. And one’s ability to act in accordance with one’s own conscience if it conflicts with the campus code, soon to be enforced nationwide if they have their way.

    They aren’t interested in gay marriage for any other reason than it does mean that protecting gay rights and restrictions on speech do go hand in hand.

    As Archbishop Cranmer is finding out in the UK. I’m afraid you’re in the same position as Professor Volokh I referred to earlier. You’ll think it’s wrong that the courts, or the government is doing what it’s doing. But it will be doing it, and the ASA won’t be going anywhere in the foreseeable future.

  • Midwesterner

    We have people in power now who are embracing the issue of gay marriage precisely because it provides an opportunity to “break free from the the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution.”

    So you propose to destroy the village in order to save it? The most essential constraint that the founders placed in the Constitution was the restriction of the Federal government to enumerated powers. Defining marriage is not one of those enumerated powers and so would come under the 10th Amendment. But the 14th Amendment stipulates equal treatment under the law. Special treatments or privileges must be offered equally to all without respect to race, religion, marital status etc. If a state attempts to offer special treatments and privileges to people who are “married” then everyone must be permitted to call themselves “married”. The Federal government does not have any authority to define marriage but it does have the obligation to see that states may not treat people differently under the law regardless of the reason it claims for doing so. If “marriage” is the cover used to extend unequal treatment under the law, then the Federal courts have no choice but to order that “marriage” be available to all persons without restriction. We do not live under common law, we have a Constitution.

    If you cannot see how stipulating special treatment for people who meet a definition of “married” requires that “marriage” be opened up in order to retain equal treatment under the law, then you do not understand or support this Constitution you claim to be protecting.

    The solution is to quit using “marriage” to deny equal protection under the law in the form of tax protections, privileged property transfers, etc. Stop extending special privileges and exemptions to people labeled “married” and the Federal courts no longer have a 14th Amendment basis for interfering. Those privileges and protections could still be available under the name “domestic partnership” but some people you morally disapprove of may use the option and you just can’t countenance that.

    It is your determination to retain unequal treatment under the law, not any loyalty on your part to the Constitution, that underpins your stance. You are trying to use the unConstitutional application of government power to achieve your goal (privileged treatment for people you approve of) while decrying others for the same tactic in pursuit of their own objectives (privileged treatment for people they approve of).

    For ’tis the sport to have the enginer
    Hoist with his own petard

    Let go of your privileges for “married” people, either by ending them entirely or offering them to all applicants equally under the same “marriage” or a different “domestic partnership” name, and most of your problems and hypocrisy would disappear. In any case, abandon the pretentious talk about protecting the Constitution. You are one of its destroyers.

  • Gib

    Well said Midwesterner

  • MattP

    Midwesterner, you illustrate the problem I’ve always had with libertarians. Your failure to understand the principles behind the Constitution lead you guys to pursue your “ideals” to the destruction of liberty.

    The federal government has always had a definition of what constitutes marriage; and it is fully within its powers to codify it nationally because of the full faith & credit clause of the Constitution (not to mention its powers to regulate the armed forces because, believe it or not, the armed forces need guidance as what they must recognize as a marriage and what isn’t not only for a variety of administrative purposes but also because it effects the states where these troops are stationed [bet that didn’t occur to you libertarian types]).

    Article. IV.
    Section. 1.
    Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.

    There’s your enumerated power, midwesterner. Marriage falls within the categories of public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of States. And Congress may make general laws concerning them. In fact, must, for reasons we’ll address later. Do you libertarians who say you respect the Constitution ever read the thing?

    In fact we inherited a definition of marriage from the British as part of the common law. From the transcript of the Prop 8 trial.

    Blackstone, your Honor, said that there are two great relations in private life. First, that of husband and wife, which is founded in nature, but modified by civil society, with nature directing man to continue and multiple his species and civil society, the social, society’s interests, prescribing the manner in which that natural impulse must be confined and regulated.

    And the second great relationship, according to Blackstone, that of parent and child, which is consequential to that of marriage, being its principle end and design. It is by virtue of this relation that infants are protected, maintained and educated.

    There is one relationship other than those based upon kinship that the government has always taken an interest in; marriage. For one reason; it’s procreative. For one end; it essential to our system of ordered liberty.

    Supreme Court Justice Stevens, retired from the SCOTUS as of 2010, echoed this in his Bowers decision. As was referenced by Mr. Cooper in his closing argument:

    Your Honor, I mentioned earlier another great lawyer, Justice Stevens, who, himself, in his dissent in Bowers said that marriage is a license to cohabit and to produce legitimate children. That’s what it has been — what it has always been.

    State courts recognized the purpose of marriage in the 19th Century:

    The first purpose of matrimony by the laws of nature and society is procreation. The California Supreme Court said that shortly after statehood.

    Federal Circuit courts recognized in the 21st Century, such as the 8th in 2006:

    “The state’s interest in steering procreation into marriage justifies conferring the inducements of marital recognition and benefits on opposite-sex couples who can otherwise produce children by accident, but not on same-sex couples who cannot.”

    What you fail to recognize, and Walker willfully ignores, but just as I’ve pointed out before that makes you functional equivalents, is that Marriage is not a creation of the state. It is in essence the other way around. Marriage is the creator of ordered societies; ordered societies create states. States in turn acknowledge the existence of marriage, if they know what’s good for them and it’s clear that a state run by libertarians would not, and recognize how society has organized itself via marriage and regulate it but always acknowledging that marriage is a sphere into which it must not intrude.

    Which is what was significant about Skinner v. Oklahoma (1942) which contained this in it’s decision:

    We are dealing here with legislation which involves one of the basic civil rights of man. Marriage and procreation are fundamental to the very existence and survival of the race.

    (Note that marriage and procreation are one right.)

    Why? Because the Skinner v. Oklahoma ruled unconstitutional an Oklahoma law that required felons who had been convicted of crimes of moral turpitude be sterilized. The SCOTUS recognized that was someplace that state power could not go.

    Bonus question for gay marriage supporters: when has gay marriage, which has never existed before, proven fundamental to the existence and survival of the (human) race?

    Bonus question for the libertarians: when have all this grab bag list of alternate arrangements provided by midwesterner:

    Any people who wish to enter into reciprocal responsibility pacts, whether those are a ceremonial marriage in high church, or only public identification as “married” or perhaps even completely celibate, as a couple of celibate retired missionaries looking after each other’s well-being in old age, it is none of government’s proper business to prevent it.

    …proven so essential to the survival of the human race that a society, unless forced to by an overbearing government, recognized them as marriage? Or even the functional equivalent to marriage?

    Discuss amongst yourselves.

    Marriage, like the rights listed in the Bill of Rights, are not creations of the states. You libertarians don’t get to define them. Walker doesn’t get to define them. They pre-exist the state. And upon them the state must not infringe.

    But the state must acknowledge there existence, including the existence of marriage. The people insist upon it.

    NOT acknowledging them is as much of an infringement as actively trampling upon them.

    Let me turn now to one of my favorite moments of the January 2012 GOPdebates, in which Rick Santorum left libertarian Ron Paul a sputtering mess. I’ll start with Paul’s final inept attempt at a response after Santorum spanked him on stage:

    PAUL: Well, this is the way — this is the way our Constitution disappears. It’s nibbled away. You say, well, I can give up on this, and therefore, I’ll give that, and so eventually there’s nothing left. But, no, tort law should be a state function, not a federal function.

    What left Paul stammering as he realized that Santorum had handed him his rear end is that Paul failed to recognize what constitutes proper federal exercise of authority under the Commerce Clause (as an aside, it’s amusing how libertarians always seem to think it’s “unconstitutional” to actually know what’s in the Constitution). Ron Paul attempted to debate Santorum concerning Rick’s vote in favor of federal liability for gunmakers. Because if there was no federal standard, states could set their own. Including a state standard that guns are inherently unsafe, and any gun used unsafely or illegally within their boundaries no matter where the manufacturer was located would open the manufacturer to the possibility of being sued out of existence. In fact the federal standard was in response to states doing exactly that.

    If the federal government creates a vacuum, states will step in to fill it. And extend their power into other states against the will of its residents. Would you, Mr. Midwesterner, enjoy finding no guns for sale in Kansas (or wherever) because New York sued them into bankruptcy? Ron Paul thinks you would, since that’s where your libertarian ideals require you to go.

    Which gets us back to the full faith & credit clause. Unless the federal government establishes a uniform national definition of marriage, Massachussetts is free to define it for the rest of the country.

    You may not like the fact that the nation does not like your libertarian “anything two or ten people or appliances they want to call “married” is fine with me” attitude, but when asked directly the people insist that marriage consist of what it’s consisted of for millenia before this nation was founded. What marriage has been recognized as consisting of since it was founded. ONLY one man and one woman with the central purpose of procreation. The federal standard, the Defense of Marriage Act, fills what would be a vacuum that the Massachussetts Supreme Court would like to fill with the popular will. So that the people of North Carolina don’t have to put up with having the New York legislature telling them what they’re going to recognized as marriage via the full faith & credit clause of the Constitution.

    You accuse me of throwing out the baby with the bathwater. In my view, midwesterner, you’re throwing out the baby and keeping the bathwater. If you note the my earlier citations, almost universally the law recognizes how deeply rooted marriage is in human nature. Your libertarian theories may sound good to you and your friends when you get together, but they are mere fantasies that have nothing to do with human nature. There’s a reason why the Libertarian Party is a practically a party in name only with little influence; because operating in a vacuum into which human nature never enters is how you guys roll.

    I’m a conservative. Which means I follow the evidence and go with what works.

    Speaking of following the evidence, I thought I’d cite some for the secondary purpose of illustrating what an assault on history, an act of judicial malpractice, and abject fraud Judge Walker’s decision was. Here’s how part of how he committed it, from his decision:

    During closing arguments, proponents again focused on the contention that “responsible procreation is really at the heart of society’s
    interest in regulating marriage.” Tr 3038:7-8. When asked to identify the evidence at trial that supported this contention, proponents’ counsel replied, “you don’t have to have evidence of this point.”

    I think the citations I’ve already provided should provide a good hint that things did not go as Judge Walker would have you believe if you only read his decision. Let’s look at how Walker edited counsel’s reply, again from the transcript:

    MR. COOPER: You don’t have to have evidence of this point if one court after another has recognized — let me turn to the California cases on this.

    Judge Walker took the first 9 words of counsels reply and put a period on it, to make it appear is if the man provided no evidence. But he went on, including very clearly turning to what constituted the evidence. The case law that he had provided the judge with in the form of exhibits.

    The pro Prop 8 side had provided Judge Walker with volumes of evidence in the form of case law dating from 2006 back to the 1750s showing a common unbroken understanding of the definition of marriage. One man, one woman, for the purpose of procreation, in which society and consequently the state takes an interest because that’s how we reproduce ourselves.

    Now let’s look at the entire exchange, to fully grasp this Judge’s breathtaking mendacity.

    MR. COOPER: …This understanding of marriage, your Honor, is before you from imminent authority after imminent authority in a range
    –THE COURT: I don’t mean to be flip, but Blackstone didn’t testify. Kingsley Davis didn’t testify. What testimony in this case supports the proposition?
    MR. COOPER: Your Honor, these materials are before you. They are evidence before you. But Mr. Blankenhorn brought forward, brought forward these authorities and that’s — and that’s these social scientists and anthropologists and sociologists and the others. But, your Honor, you don’t have to have evidence for this from these authorities. This is in the cases themselves. The cases recognize this one after another.
    THE COURT: I don’t have to have evidence?
    MR. COOPER: You don’t have to have evidence of this
    point if one court after another has recognized
    — let me turn to the California cases on this.
    The first purpose of matrimony by the laws of nature and society is procreation. The California Supreme Court said that shortly after statehood.
    A century later, the California Supreme Court re-emphasized that the institution of marriage serves the public interest because it channels biological drives — channels biological drives — that might otherwise become socially destructive and it ensures the care and education of children in a stable environment.
    That’s the California Supreme Court, your Honor.
    That’s the purpose of marriage in this state, according to the California Supreme Court in DeBerg against DeBerg.

    Got that? In Judge Walker’s court the fact that Sir William Blackstone died in 1780 and was unavailable to testify means there was no evidence brought to the judge’s attention. Which is strange, as in normal court proceedings live testimony is considered only one form of evidence. Case law, which Mr. Cooper constantly reminded the judge were before him in the form of exhibits is another.

    This is the fraud part. He then ignores the four centuries of history concerning the understanding of marriage in preference for a three decade old theory of marriage advanced by the pro-gay marriage advocates and rules as if that’s been the understanding of marriage all along.

    Which is important because to declare gay marriage a fundamental right according to US jurisprudence, he has to determine it’s a right deeply rooted in this nation’s history, tradition, and law. And there’s no way he could have done that if he actually looked at this nation’s, you know, actual history, traditions and law. So he rewrote history and accepted an alternate theory of marriage younger than I am and pretended it constituted this nation’s common understanding of marriage.

    He had no power to declare a new right. So he had to declare gay marriage an old right. One which would have had been recognized under law with a rich history and tradition all it’s own, I guess, if “irrational religious bigots” hadn’t unjustly denied them their rights which only he could see was always their because prior to Walker only irrational religious bigots sat on the bench.

    Which is why Jordan’s analogy of what he believes my “logic” to be is hopeless inept:

    If the government made it illegal to criticize the purchase of firearms, should we outlaw the purchase of firearms in response? Your absurd logic says yes.

    No, my logic says that if I went into a gun store to purchase a gun, and there were no actual guns but just tiny little non-firing toy guns on keychains I would say, “Hey, those aren’t real guns.” The storeowner would tell me the federal government had redefined the definition of firearms to include toy guns.

    It turns out that a judge had ruled this way. The side arguing that we had a centuries old definition of what constituted an actual firearm, which included such central features as discharging a projectile due to the ignition of explosive or highly flammable propellant. But they couldn’t produce the original creators of that definition and only presented case law. Meanwhile, the judge went with the new definition of what constituted a “gun” based upon decades of “precedent” established by school boards popularly known as “zero tolerance” policies concerning weapons. Where a key fob such as the one pictured will get you expelled. And declared that to have been the definition of what constituted a firearm all along.

    And declared saying, “Hey, those aren’t real guns” a hate crime.

    Which is essentially the Walker decision, and all the other judicial decrees “discovering” the ancient right of gay marriage in two to three hundred year old documents that was there all along, in a nutshell. I’d like to know from all the “live and let live” gay marriage supporters if they enjoy this “by any means necessary” method of imposing gay marriage upon an unwilling public? Or if not liking it constitutes irrational bigotry.

    Anyway, that is the nature of my “irrational bigotry.” I understand the fact that history, law, and tradition is against those who would impose “gay marriage” upon the rest of us by judicial fiat. And simply common sense is against those who would like to see people vote it in on their own. Most people in the US simply see no sense in changing the definition of marriage. Marriage exists for a purpose; it is precisely because people understand the history, tradition, and law that Judge Walker so strongly would like to ignore and rewrite that they have no real attachment to the idea of “gay marriage,” which just isn’t marriage.

    And I also understand the motives behind those persecuting Archbishop Chanmers. When you are perpetrating a fraud on people based upon lies (as amply demonstrated by Judge Walker and his judicial fellow travelers here in the states) the only way to keep it going is through intimidation and persecution.

    Draconian measures are required, part and parcel, go hand in hand, whatever, such as “hate speech codes” to make come along quietly. It’s not an aberration, it’s a requirement. Because if you read Judge Walker’s ruling, gays are harmed because:

    California’s provision of a domestic partnership —— a status giving same-sex couples the rights and responsibilities of marriage without providing marriage —— does not afford plaintiffs an adequate substitute for marriage and, by disabling plaintiffs from marrying the person of their choice, invidiously discriminates, without justification, against plaintiffs and others who seek to marry a person of the same sex.

    …Several experts testified that the State of California and California’s gay and lesbian population suffer because domestic partnerships are not equivalent to marriage.

    …Cott explained that domestic partnerships cannot substitute for marriage because domestic partnerships do not have the same social and historical meaning as marriage and that much of the value of marriage comes from its social meaning.

    Domestic partnerships lack the social meaning associated with marriage, and marriage is widely regarded as the definitive expression of love and commitment in the United States.

    The evidence shows that domestic partnerships were created as an alternative to marriage that distinguish same-sex from opposite-sex couples. FF 53-54; In re Marriage Cases, 183 P3d
    384, 434 (Cal 2008) (One of the “core elements of th[e] fundamental right [to marry] is the right of same-sex couples to have their official family relationship accorded the same dignity, respect,
    and stature as that accorded to all other officially recognized family relationships.”); id at 402, 434, 445 (By “reserving the historic and highly respected designation of marriage exclusively to opposite-sex couples while offering same-sex couples only the new and unfamiliar designation of domestic partnership,” the state communicates the “official view that [same-sex couples’] committed
    relationships are of lesser stature than the comparable relationships of opposite-sex couples.”).

    People like Judge Walker can manufacture a new history in a ruling if he likes. He might even get his way. But he can’t make a public that knows better stop talking about the old one. He also can’t write a decision that forces people to esteem, or at least pretend to esteem, the newly invented “gay marriage” as if it packed all the history, cultural meaning, social status, etc., as what is commonly understood to be the real thing.

    For that you need hate crimes laws and draconian punishments. When the government decides it’s going to make gay marriage equal to marriage as its been understood for centuries, you can’t just let people say what they want about it. Enjoy it, libertarians. You create vacuums, and people who want to force their wills on others step in and fill them. You thought you were getting a “you live your life and I’ll live mine” kind of world. Not if you value speaking your mind and your free exercise of religion, you’re not. You’re getting a brave new world. Take a look at Archbishop; that’s your future. If it isn’t already your present.

  • Alisa

    MattP, I’m wondering: in the hypothetical scenario where the US was totally free of progressive influence (cultural, political, educational and otherwise), and was in fact a minarchist state, more or less along the lines of the Framers’ vision, with a bare minimum of government involvement in the lives of the citizens – would you still advocate government involvement in the regulation of marriage?

  • Midwesterner

    Article. IV. Section. 1. Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.

    There’s your enumerated power, midwesterner. Marriage falls within the categories of public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of States.

    This is where I stop engaging your fantasy. Yes indeed. Defining marriage does fall within the category of “Proceedings of the States“.

    You make a fantastic leap to conclude that “prescrib[ing] the Manner in which such Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings [of every other State] are proved” is the enumerated Federal power to stipulate the determinations those states make in the course of their “public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings.” What part of “the States” is confusing you? Every state has its own power to declare what marriage is and who is married. Every other state is required to recognize each others acts. The US Congress is empowered to create the record keeping system, not to make the States’ decisions that are recorded in it.

    You are an utter waste of time and I read no more of your comment and will read no more of your additional comments in this thread. I repeat my previous advice. Abandon the pretentious talk about protecting the Constitution. You are one of its destroyers.

  • MattP

    Alissa, the government was involved in the regulation of marriage before the US was the US. This is why these are procedural acts of the states (as in the 50 states). It’s because marriage causes conflicts, and the people legitimately turn to the government to resolve conflicts. If you look at the history of marriage licenses, for instance, it used to be one had to post notice of one’s intent to get married. Formerly known as the “Banns of Marriage.” So if anyone had an objection to the marriage (still part of the vows) they could file their grievance. Later the whole thing could be avoided with the purchase of a license. First from the church, later the government.

    Preventing and resolving conflicts is a legitimate role of government. The words of the preamble of the Constitution have meaning:

    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    I don’t expect libertarians to understand that the federal government has a constructive role to play in achieving those objectives, even though it’s written into the preamble of the basic law establishing the federal government. But then, I also understand that midwesterner never read Article IV section I since he doesn’t think Congress has the authority to define just what acts of one state the others have to give full faith & credit to, and Ron Paul doesn’t realize that we aren’t losing our Constitution when the government exercises its legitimate constitutional authority per the Commerce Clause.

    But I realized after I posted I haven’t been as clear as I should have been, mostly because I keep pointing to Walker’s decision and expecting people to read it and see the obvious point I see. Midwesterner writes:

    But the 14th Amendment stipulates equal treatment under the law.

    Yes. It does. For people. But we are not talking about people here at all, for all my problems with Judge Walker, at least he understands what he’s talking about.

    If one cares to, reread the quotes at the tail end of my previous post. It is clear we are talking about relationships. Gay relationships must be treated equally to straight relationships. Not that gay people must be treated equally, but their partnerships.

    My meaning has probably been lost in my attempt to gather all my supporting evidence. Straight marriage has been valued because that’s how society reproduces itself in an ordered way. Gay relationships have never been seen as of equal value, and in my opinion rightly so. I may have asked in a less than serious manner, but it was nonetheless a serious question. I quoted a SCOTUS decision that declared marriage vital to our existence and survival.

    True.

    Then I asked when gay marriage has been vital to our existence and survival. Obviously never. Otherwise society would have insisted we have it and government respect it, the same way we have the marriages we have.

    Gay marriage, and more importantly providing what people like Walker demand for it, equal status for gay marriages as if they’ve always had the same cultural, social, and historic significance, requires a reordering of society from the top down.

    Not, to repeat for emphasis, a bottom up demand from society in the same way we acquired heterosexual marriage.*

    Such a reordering of society takes force. Walker understands that. That’s why he identifies his target in his ruling:

    religious hostility to homosexuals [plays] an important role in creating a social climate that’s conducive to hateful acts, to opposition to their interest in the public sphere and to prejudice and discrimination…Religions teach that homosexual relations are a sin and that contributes to gay bashing…There is a religious component to the bigotry and prejudice against gay and lesbian individuals.

    That’s just a distillation of the justification for “Why We Must Act!”

    That is, if your support for gay marriage and gay rights goes beyond the bumper sticker stage. This is why the Prop 8 people in California targeted churches, vandalized churches, invaded church services, targeted churchgoers and their children, and why even after gay marriage is achieved preachers and even just adherents must be silenced. As in Archbishop Chanmer’s case. Even after a law regarding gay marriage is on the books religion remains:

    a very powerful organization, and in large measure they are arrayed against the interests of gays and lesbians…[B]iblical condemnation of homosexuality and the teaching that gays are morally inferior on a regular basis to a huge percentage of the public makes the…political opportunity structure very hostile to gay interests.

    …the chief obstacle for gay and lesbian political progress

    People in love with socialism don’t understand that the body count socialism racked up in the 20th century, is not an aberration. Not because “the wrong people” were in charge. It’s because it’s the nature of the beast. When you are going to reorder society in an inhuman way, you must be inhumane.

    I’ve said enough, or maybe not enough because people still don’t seem to get it but I’m sure they’re tired of reading it, about how the simple acknowledgement of marriage as society developed it and the regulation of it that has been part of our government since before it was our government is part of our system of ordered liberty.

    Gay marriage is not going to be the same thing. Just like with the nature of socialism, speech codes and hate crimes legislation is part and parcel of what you’re going to get.

    Here in the states the push for same sex marriage has acquired an appropriate new nomme de guerre. “Marriage equality.” I’m just trying to warn you, that isn’t just a marketing ploy. That’s a demand that will go far beyond what some people realize. I hope, if you think you’re getting some easy breezy future where we all just enjoy our freedoms in harmony you enjoy it as much as Archbishop Chanmer is.

    And just to reiterate, we’re not talking about equal rights for individuals as spelled out in the Constitution. We’re talking about equalazing society in a way no less radical and no less against human nature than socialism. Otherwise, society would have evolved in the direction people like Walker or those at the ASA now realize it must be forced to go.

    *After Europe became Christian marriage wasn’t encouraged as everyone was supposed to be readying for the hereafter. But people keep doing what comes naturally no matter what, and the powers that be decided they had to get back into “the marriage business” to keep the peace until heaven on Earth arrived.

  • MattP

    Nice edit, midwesterner. You left out “the Effect thereof.”

    As in the effect on other states.

    Look, as I told Elissa, you libertarians don’t read the Constitution and I long gave up on the idea you’d ever try to grasp the historical reasons why the legitimate powers of government are the legitimate powers of government.

    Now you’re demonstrating that you don’t understand that the federal government has a role to play in what “acts of the states” the others have to give “full faith & credit” to.

    Great.

    Ron Paul demonstrated that he doesn’t understand that the federal government’s legitimate role in regulating interstate commerce is to ensure one state doesn’t interfere with the regulation of commerce in another state.

    You’re all cut from the same cloth.

    I realize I’m an utter waste of time for you midwesterner. I realized that when I debated libertarians on the meaning of the term “undeclared war.” Apparently libertarians believe that if you don’t use the magic code words it’s not a declared war.

    I like a lot of libertarian ideas. Others just make sense if you avoid facts or thinking things through.

  • Gib

    MattP,

    I’ll leave it to those better equipped to argue the constitution and law with you. But, I’ll pick on one thing. You said that: “the people insist that marriage consist of what it’s consisted of for millenia before this nation was founded….. ONLY one man and one woman with the central purpose of procreation. ”

    Marriage is not some unchangeable thing. If we can trust the bible, for instance, as having some truth regarding the old customs, then this history of marriage in it might interest you:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFkeKKszXTw

    Hint: it involves multiple wives, slave girls, mistresses, women as property.

    Two gay guys getting married is often closer to your stated preferred type of marriage than many of the old style marriages seem to have been.

  • MattP

    No, Gib, it isn’t. Two gay guys getting married is not at all close to my preferred form of marriage. That’s the supposedly “conservative case” for gay marriage. Again, it’s complete nonsense. I have no interest in how gay people organize their lives. Society has never found any reason to develop such an interest. By interest, I mean an identifiable stake in the outcome, as societies have developed an interest in heterosexual marriage.

    It’s my preferred form of marriage for a variety of reasons, none of which have to do with the Bible, but the norming effect it has on society. There’s a reason why court after court have referred to the stabilizing and civilizing effect on society (generally, as I referred to earlier, to prevent interference in the sphere that rightly belongs to the family and is beyond the reach of government). Children learn to channel their procreative urges into stable relationships that actually benefit society at large, instead of disparate ways that can be destructive (the reason why the church, and later government, got back into the “marriage business” in the first place and why it’s a good reason for it not to get out).

    Teaching children that procreation MUST take place outside of marriage and that such relationships are of equal social, cultural and historical value as that of their parents by definition means they will learn procreating outside of marriage is just as good as procreating within it. It undermines the whole purpose of promoting or even recognizing marriage in the first place. It’s the polar opposite.

    A term that can include itself and its exact opposite is meaningless and of no value. To call gay relationships “marriage” renders the term “marriage” meaningless. Which is why feminists who believe that marriage is an outdated, oppressive patriarchal institution promote gay marriage. Openly, as a way to kill off the esteem in which marriage is held. I’ve been exposed to feminist literature since the 1980s, and whenever gay marriage makes some sort of advance toward reality they celebrate it as another nail in the coffin of the idea of marriage.

    But that isn’t the point. When the question is left to the people, the people do insist on a particular definition of marriage. It’s also their preferred form of marriage; indeed the only conceivable form.

    As an aside, I’d like to point out how high the support is for marriage and the opposition to gay marriage is in the Black Community in the US. In the recent referendum in North Carolina they voted against it by a 2 to 1 margin. Which makes practical sense. In a way the Black community is something of an anomaly since usually societies support gay marriage in direct relationship to the percent of children born out of wedlock. But the Black community has been so ravaged by the epidemic of single motherhood they don’t follow the trend that you’d find, say, in Sweden (50%+ of births to single moms) or Denmark (60%+). They need marriage more than anyone else, and they know it.

    It’s also useful to not that the Black community, feeling the effects of history more than the rest of US society, absolutely rejects the notion that this is a civil rights issue or that opposition to gay marriage is the same sort of “bigotry” that opposed interracial marriage. And I know some Black preachers that are far better than I at citing chapter and verse as to exactly why they are nothing at all a like. So when people accuse me of of being the same sort of “irrational bigot” who would have opposed interracial marriage, I just let it slide as the musings of someone who doesn’t know the history of what they are talking about.

    For instance, Judge Walker cited a Vatican document as evidence of that the Catholic Church’s opposition to gay marriage grows out of their “hatred” of gays:

    Catholics for the Common Good, Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons, Excerpts from Vatican Document on Legal Recognition of Homosexual Unions (Nov 22, 2009): There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be “in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family”; “homosexual acts go against the natural moral law” and “[u]nder no circumstances can…be
    approved”; “[t]he homosexual inclination is…objectively disordered and homosexual practices are sins gravely contrary to chastity”; “[a]llowing children to be adopted by persons living in such unions would actually mean doing violence to these children”; and “legal recognition of homosexual unions…would mean…the approval of deviant behavior.

    We can debate the merits of the Catholic Church’s position on homosexuals and gay marriage if you like, but I can absolutely assure you that the Vatican didn’t issue a document back in the ’40s, ’50s, or ’60s opposing interracial marriage and in support of Jim Crow. Why? The two are not remotely comparable.

    One last slam at Judge Walker. It absolutely burns liberals that Blacks in California (and North Carolina, and elsewhere) don’t tow the party line on this issue. He included this in his decision:

    Miller agrees with his former statement that “the religious characteristics of California’s Democratic voters” explain why so many Democrats voted for Barack Obama and also for Proposition 8.

    I suppose it might seem to the history-rewriting judge that if only he could pry the Black community away from that mind-controlling superstition they’d all vote the correct way as far as he’s concerned. You can sort of tell the judge has led a sheltered life. Good luck with that, Judge!

    R.e. the Biblical references, all that you refer to has fallen by the wayside as women gained equality. A positive development in my view. But it’s like how you can go back and find Vatican documents on the treatment of slaves. The unknowing or the ill intentioned can and do say, “see, the Catholic Church endorsed slavery.” No, the Catholic Church didn’t have the power to eliminate slavery. Recognizing they live in the world as it is, they wrote treatises that basically amounted to “as long as we can’t eliminate slavery, here’s how slaves must be treated.”

    The Bible operates in a similar manner. God may have chosen the Israelites, but they weren’t too different from their pagan neighbors. Take the part about God commanding Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. Many crazed people will kill their kids and say “god told them to.” Many non-religious people will lament the negative influence the Bible and religion has on society.

    But the story has a purpose. It was meant to teach the Israelites that the God of the Israelites would never demand human sacrifice, as they saw the false gods of their neighbors demanding of them.

    Do you want to discuss the Bible, too, in addition to what’s happening today?

  • Jordan Keith

    Bonus question for gay marriage supporters: when has gay marriage, which has never existed before, proven fundamental to the existence and survival of the (human) race?

    Irrelevant. North Korean labor camps are societies in which only things essential to human survival are permitted.

  • MattP

    My earlier response seems to have gotten lost in the ether, Gib.

    Shorter version.

    Just because it’s in the Bible doesn’t mean it’s approved, mandated, etc.

    Many are confused about the story of God ordering Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. It’s the only story in the Bible like that you’ll find, and an God stopped Abraham from doing it. It was a lesson to the Israelites that their God would never order them to commit human sacrifice, like their neighbors. Whom they weren’t too different from when God chose them.

    No two gay guys getting married is still the exact opposite of marriage. I cited chapter and verse in terms of quotes from jurists and SCOTUS decisions that marriage’s central purpose was procreation. How can a marriage in which all procreation must take place with some third party outside of it be at all like marriage in which procreation is confined within in it?

    It’s the polar opposite. A term can not include one thing and it’s opposite and still be a meaningful term. gay relationships are not marriage.

  • Gib

    My point with bringing up that biblical marriage was just to show historically (to the extent we can trust the historical accuracy of the bible) that marriage wasn’t always a man and a woman for the purposes of procreation, as you maintain it should be. Plus, I got the feeling you were probably a religious person and wouldn’t argue that you can’t trust the bible.

    Therefore we’re not arguing about the definition of marriage as it’s been for millenia, because it hasn’t always been.

    I feel that your arguing so much on your definition of marriage is not totally honest. When I asked about if infertile couples should be able to get married, you brought up that one of the couple probably is fertile. I don’t understand how that’s relevant, since you go on to say that they’re not allowed to have sex outside marriage anyway. It’s then that you revert to saying, well, it’s ok that infertile couples get married, “As long as neither partner never went outside marriage and produced children they were seen as upholding marital principle of fidelity.”

    Then by that rational, two guys who never cheat should are also upholding the marital principle of fidelity.

    I know you feel in your heart that gay marriage is wrong, but you’re cherry picking and using double standards to try to argue your point, and I’m not convinced by it. I used to be religious and anti-gay. I grew out of both. Coincidentally, it was at about the same time.

  • Paul Marks

    Midwesterner.

    As you know James Madison actually suggested (or half suggested – he did not really push it) a power for the United States Congress to veto unjust laws at State level.

    So, for example, if a State declared (in statute or by court judgement) that guesthouse owner had to offer a double bed to two homosexuals – the Federal government could step in and void such a law (not that such a extreme example would have occured to James Madison).

    HOWEVER, the general feeling was (and I think quite rightly) that this would give the Federal government far too much power – that State government would have to spend their time crawling and begging (of course these days the States do spend their time crawling anbd begging the Fed – but that is another matter) the Feds not to veto X, Y, Z, (even if the statutes were just – not unjust) and the Feds would be able to use the threat of vetos to make the States their slaves.

    So a State government CAN demand that a guesthouse keeper offer a double bed to two homosexuals. And so on.

    This is all within the “police power” of the States – I am not saying State governments should do that, but they can (if they want to). Of course I am talking about State legislatures (not State judges who think they can make law).

    The above does NOT mean that if one State declares (for example) that guest house owners must offer double beds to homosexuals ALL States must do so.

    That is not what “recognising” the activities of a State means.

    Of course it works the other round also – if an guesthouse owner owner wishes to offer double beds ONLY to homosexuals (forbidding hetrosexual couples from staying on their private property – i.e. the guesthouse) that is also up to them.

    Unless State governments (not the Federal government) chooses to follow the doctrines of the late Roman Empire – with its “public accomidations” and “common carrier” legal doctrines.

    Doctrines that destroy the distinction between the state (i.e. the government) and civil society.

    Why a State would want to follow the practices of the late Roman Empire I do not know – but certainly the Federal government has no Constitutional power to do so, and the Constitution does NOT force other States to copy a State whose government has decided to follow “public accomidations” and “common carrier” (and so on) doctrines.

    This is where JORDAN totally misses the point.

    No one is saying that homosexuals should be forbidden from holding ceremonies (on a private property) and calling each other “man and wife” or “married couples” – or whatever they want to.

    The issue (the point) is whether other people should be forced to “recognise” such unions (the “anti discrimination” extortion scam).

    THIS is the threat to freedom of associatioin (which must logically include the right NOT to associate) and freedom of speech.

    A State may have the right to violate freedom of association (by forceing people to do, or not do, business with people they do, or do not, not want to do business with) although that was the legal position that JIM CROW was based upon.

    However a State certainly does not have the right to force other States to follow its lead.

    That would be like South Carolina trying to enforce a Jim Crow law in Maine (“we do not allow blacks and whites into the same hotels – so you must RECOGNISE our proceedings by forbidding it as well”).

    Ditto one State declaring that private business enterprises must “recognise” “gay marriage” does not mean that business enterprises in other States must do so (judges who declare otherwise deserve to be impeached).

    That would again be like the State of South Carolina saying to the State of Maine “we insist that hotel owners give double rooms to homosexual couples [perhaps because of bribes to the State Legislature from the trial lawyers associations – eager for more “anti discrimination” legal cases] – so YOU MUST AS WELL, that is “recognising” our “proceedings”).

    As for freedom of speech – proteced in the United States by the First Amendment (I am not going to get into the argument over whether the First Amendemnt applied to the States before the passing of the 14th Amendment – it certainly applies to them NOW).

    I can not “get my head round” the double think required by the modern “liberal”.

    With one part of their mind they declare themselves in favour of “freedom of speech”, yet (with some other part of their mind) they demand prosecutions for “racist”, “sexist”, “homophobic”……. (whatever) speech.

    I am told that, under modern “human rights” conventions and declarations such blatent contradictions are totally fine.

    Which proves just how utterly worthless (to put the matter nicely) modern “human rights” conventions and declarations are.

  • Alisa

    What Mid said.

  • MattP

    I am religious. And as you noticed I didn’t say the Bible is wrong.

    But, I’m not arguing from a religious perspective. From a historical and legal one. And I certainly hope you didn’t expect to get the entire “History of Marriage in Biblical and Western Civilization” in two brief paragraphs.

    And you’re not going to get it in this response either. But in an expanded summary, not all western societies in terms of marriage limited the number of wives on man could marry, as you’ve noted. And those that were, in terms of marriage, did not require men to be faithful to their wives. I’m paraphrasing, but the Greek orator Demosthenes once said (or is reputed to have said) something along the lines of we have concubines for our entertainment, prostitutes for our daily needs, and wives to bear us legal heirs. Roman society similarly might have limited a man to one legal wife, but not how many sexual liaisons he might care to have outside of marriage. Adultery consisted entirely of a woman having sex outside of marriage, because then a man could not be sure if any offspring were his legal heirs. Also, a man having sex with a married Roman woman.

    Since we’re limiting or at least I am although I expect you to maybe bring up how many hundreds of wives and concubines King Solomon had as if that had to do with anything, ourselves to the legal tradition I won’t go into the characteristics of marriage in China and Japan except to note they functioned similarly to Roman marriage. As long as the man did his duty to his ancestors and kept the family name going, his personal life was his own business.

    Later in the Christian era, the definition of adultery was extended to men as well. In a victory for women’s rights, what was sauce for the goose became sauce for the gander. As a matter of fact, interesting sidenote; when a man “took up the cross” and volunteered for the Crusades it was considered a grave sin, subject to excommunication, not to make good on the vow. Except if his wife objected. Then it was the man’s duty to remain with her and not deprive her of “nuptial bliss.”

    Point being, there is a history of marriage consisting of one man, one woman for the purpose of procreating going back millenia (as well as a history of it consisting of other things as well) and that is the form of marriage that was distilled down and to us and the one we inherited from English common law. Which is why I quoted the jurist Sir William Blackstone, and not the Bible. To illustrate the starting point for our understanding of the definition and purpose of marriage in the legal history of our country as an independent nation.

    One that remained unaltered until Judge Walker decided to alter it. Seriously, how can you accuse me of “cherry picking” data? Have you read his decision? Do you seriously believe that the definition of marriage he adopted is the one Blackstone described? The ones in the SCOTUS decisions I referred to? It most certainly is not.

    As for the rest, if you choose not to understand a couple of simple basic points I can’t help you.

    Per our legal tradition, responsible procreation is expected to be channeled into marriage. Gay couples are incapable of doing so. They can procreate outside of marriage, but then so can the fertile partner in an otherwise infertile relationship. In both cases that meets the legal definition of adultery and is one of the few grounds in the states that still have for-fault on the books for divorce. Such a marriage is not considered to be a marriage.

    But to combine procreation with a gay relationship, that must always be the case. So I ask you, how can a relationship that in order to be procreative must by definition be legally adulterous possibly fit the definition of marriage?

    Marriage has fulfilled an important historical function, and was promoted in order to have a norming effect on society. Adulterous heterosexual relationships fail to uphold the ideal of marriage. Gay relationships can never uphold the ideal of marriage.

    So if you care to, please address those points. I honestly can not comprehend how you could read Walker’s entire 138 page decision and not come to the conclusion he’s cherry picking data. No one who is familiar with US legal tradition could possibly arrive at the conclusion that procreation was never considered to be the central purpose of marriage.

    Indeed, that’s one of my beefs with the pro-gay-marriage side. I get two stories. One from Walker, who says gay marriage has always fit the definition of marriage. The other from the more honest proponents who say, well, marriage has evolved to be more about companionship.

    Well, which is it? If it’s evolved, then that means it was something else before. I.e. as everyone from Blackstone to Justice Stevens described it. And guess how that was?

    But at this point I have to conclude you haven’t actually read the decision (and even if you’re in the UK reading the decision would be a wise idea as the rationales for recognizing gay relationships as if they are marriage in both countries are not too different), and you won’t, so you can continue to “suspect” I’m cherry picking data.

    As long as we’re voicing our suspicions, I suspect you’re being deliberately obtuse. You keep trying to catch me out on some “gotcha!” point to “prove” your suspicions I’m trying to impose my personal religious viewpoint on society. I keep trying to get back to the history that shaped our legal understanding of marriage.

    Now all you’re reduced to is your:

    I feel that your arguing so much on your definition of marriage is not totally honest.

    Got it Gib. I know you “feel.” Most people arrive on your side of the issue through pure emotion.

    Just to let you know when I hear people say “I grew out of that” or in the case of Mr. ONEderful our President “I evolved” I frankly consider it to be a case of something else.

    As noted by half of our amazing (and I mean that) leadership team:

    (Vice President Biden) He even touching on the influence of the television show “Will and Grace.” (He said the show “probably did more to educate the American public than almost anything anybody’s ever done so far.”

    Right. Great. This is what’s teaching our society to “grow up.” It reminds me of the debates on putting women in more combat roles back in the first Clinton administration, and I actually heard Congress people cite female characters they saw in Star Trek as evidence for their convictions.

    I’m sometimes I suspect my side will lose this debate. Then I see the returns from voter referenda and I have hope that the people of this country still are smart enough to tell real life from TV. Of course, that means none of them will get elected to the top spots on the Democratic ticket.

    Of course, if you weren’t simply emoting based upon your conditioning, you might be capable of pointing out where I’m wrong about the Walker decision. I haven’t seen one person try to point out my conclusions are wrong based upon the evidence I’ve based my conclusions upon.

    They are all just “feeling” that I must not really be the case.

  • MattP

    Seriously, at this point I have to conclude everyone on this thread who’s engaged me has a pop culture understanding of this issue.

    And you’re so convinced by what you’ve seen on TV, or wherever you’re getting this, that you think there isn’t much history, particularly legal history, you have to bother with.

    Which is why I have at least some respect for Judge Walker. He at least knew what areas of history he had to falsify in order to appeal to these pop culture sensibilities. He knew no one, except those right-wing “irrational religious bigots” would actually go back and compare what was actually said per the transcript of the trial to his misrepresentation of it in his decision.

    He knew his audience. Cooper wasted his breath, didn’t he, going through centuries of case-law? Walker could demand testimony at trial, to which the defense answered he didn’t need testimony since the evidence was in the case law “before him,” and then in the decision falsify the record and make it appear the defense said, “you don’t need evidence.” And just end it there and get away with it.

    I certainly hope you enjoy getting your history lessons from Oliver Stone.

  • MattP

    What Mid said.

    You mean the guy who never heard of Article IV, Section I of the Constitution until I pointed it out to him Alissa?

    The guy who didn’t understand that the Consitution granted powers to Congress to pass laws visa vie the the acts, records, and statutes of the states to determine “the Effect thereof,” so that say a statute in one state was not binding upon another?

    This is your authority?

    Well then, I am wasting my time with you all. So I won’t bother, anymore. I mean, why should I actually bring up facts when all you people are going to do is argue with the caricature of a southern baptist you all have been conditioned to believe is on the other side of this.

    I can see you all enjoy your fantasies, so I won’t try to muddle you anymore with history, facts, law, or any those other inconveniences.

  • MattP

    Hey, just so you guys know it started to dawn on me that maybe you guys have a point. H8rs h8, and I don’t want to be a h8r.

    So I figured a devout Roman Catholic like Joe Biden wouldn’t have brought up a TV show like “Will & Grace” if it wasn’t a moving experience. I mean, nothing says “keeping it real” to me and speaking truth-to-power about gay-marriage like a Hollywood sitcom in which a straight guy plays a gay guy living with an attractive woman as a room-mate. That’s got to be powerful. So I went down to the local Half Price Bookstore but they had just sold their last two volumes of seasons three and four. So I did the next best thing and bought a copy of Newsweek and a Ricky Martin CD. And I’m driving around listening to “La Vita Loca” and it all of a sudden everything you guys tried to tell me really began to make sense.

    Who can’t be happy listening to “La Vita Loca?” And if I can make Ricky Martin happy by voting for gay marriage, is that really too much to ask?

    I don’t think it’s too late for me to evolve. It’s starting to get stale, hanging out with the Romneys. Sure, it’s still fun driving the streets of Boston looking for effeminate young non-conformist men to mob, hold down, and forcibly shear off their hair. It’s just, I dunno, not as “edgy” as it used to be, no pun intended.

    And I was really moved, as I know everyone else was, by that episode on the series “Friends” when Ross’ ex-wife married her lesbian partner. I nearly became an advocate of gay marriage myself. I didn’t “evolve” on the spot or “grow up” like the rest of you when you saw it. Now I realize I need to work on my feminine emotional IQ but it’s going to take some work and perhaps watching that episode on continuous loop for days on end before I can hope to catch up with all you enlightened folks. Even then…

    I was thinking about it, and the good thing about if I watch that particular show for weeks on end is that maybe if I can’t “grow up” as fast as Gib and rid myself entirely of religion I can adopt the version of Christianity of Newt Gingrich’s gay daughter who played herself as she ministered at the wedding. I mean, let’s face it; Jesus, 12 apostles, traveling around together. We’re all adults here, we know what was really going on. So here Gospel has got to be closer to the truth. I can adopt it until I can wean myself off of that silly superstition entirely.

    Yeah, I think I can evolve too! And maybe someday I can be one of the nice, cool, tolerant folks thinking all the nice, cool, tolerant thoughts that all the nice, cool, tolerant folks tell each make them nice, cool, tolerant people to begin with. That’s really all there is to it, isn’t it? Good people think all the good things, and thinking good things make you one of the good people. All the good people who think good things will tell you that.

    Maybe someday, with enough hard work and amnesia. After all, I’m just a bit younger than Obama, and he evolved, in large part due to the influence of his daughters. I’m I admit to having latent Heterosexist thoughts. Like, “they’re 13 and 11; who’s the adult in this relationship?” But Obama’s a busy man, what with all his fund-raisers, appearances to discuss pop culture with the ladies of “The View,” photo-ops with champion college sports teams, and all the other important work of the Presidency. And let’s face it, those golf balls just won’t drive themselves. Obama doesn’t have time to watch Fox’s hit show “Glee” himself and he certainly isn’t soaking up the richness of the latest in cutting-edge pedagogical theory as embodied in tomes such as Queering Elementary Education, advocated by the author of the foreword to the book and Obama’s former Safe Schools Czar Kenny Jennings.

    Maybe we all should listen to the wisdom of Sasha and Malia. It certainly appears to me the rest of you have. You’ve escaped the tyranny of history. Perhaps I should too. We’re all differently gendered and differently historied and certainly entitled to our own definitions of marriage and definitely our unique versions of the facts. It was just so, so patriarchal of me to try to impose an alternate view formerly known as reality upon the rest of you.

    Yeah, I’m really starting to get this now. Of course, that could be because I’ve embraced libertarianism and have started using what REALLY SHOULD BE LEGAL drugs. Which makes what I’ve read here start to seem not only sensible, but profound. And makes me realize the children will lead us. Which would explain why some Democrats demand we should lower the voting age to 16. It makes sense. At 16 given the state of public education, they are as yet untainted by history, or even the slightest inkling there is such a thing as history. And judging by my experience here, if we want them to be good gay-marriage advocates, we want to keep it that way. And I do! I’ve seen the light! No more mucking around with facts for me.

    Maybe I should be a Democrat. I know, I’ll be a Libertarian Democrat. And I’ll lobby to drop the voting age to 12. Then we’d legalize gay marriage week after next. And if that doesn’t happen, I’ll start registering what REALLY SHOULD BE LEGAL voters.

    Peace out, y’all.

  • I’ll be a Libertarian Democrat.

    Damn, that was far too many minutes of my life I’m never getting back. Better yet, be a pregnant virgin vegetarian meat eater, because that might actually make more sense.

  • Gib

    So MattP, you admitted that the concept of marriage being between one man and one woman wasn’t the sole type of marriage going back millenia, which is what I thought you were implying previously. It’s just one of many types of marriage, as the polygamous Mormons and Muslims could still attest to today.

    The constitutional and legal arguments aren’t my forte, and even if your examples are valid in demonstrating the government has decided to elevate one type of marriage above all others, my point is that this shouldn’t be the case, and such decisions are just more examples of legal decisions I disagree with, and think the government has no business in making. It’s not their business as to what they think constitutes a “permitted” marriage between consensual adults.

    What is marriage anyway?

    Is it a permission slip the government gives people to permit them to have kids? Obviously not, since there’s no law against having kids out of wedlock.

    Is it a legally binding contract between the couple to never have sex outside the marriage? No again, since adultery isn’t against the law.

    Is it a contract the couple has with the government in which the couple promises to have kids, in exchange for some government favours? No. It’s not even a promise that they’ll TRY to have kids.

    If we assume that you’re right, that the government support of heterosexual-only marriage is due to procreation, then the current situation seems to be that marriage is a 3-way contract between the government, and the couple, whereby the government agrees to support some extra legal rights for the couple, in return for the fact that the couple fits a profile of two people more likely to have kids. Presumably “love” and “commitment” have nothing to do with it as far as the government is concerned. They’re saying “yeah, we’ll give you these extra rights, just as long as you can convince the guy with the stamp and the bad eyesight that you might be more likely to have kids than those queers down the road, and that unmarried hetero couple over there. Nah, we won’t check your age or fertility – just no homos. Afterall, we wouldn’t want to be giving these rights to two gay guys, or………… something bad would happen that I can’t think of right now…”

    Even if I granted that it is the government’s responsibility to promote having kids (and I don’t), then we also need to show:
    1. Allowing heterosexual marriage increases the number of kids.
    AND
    2. Allowing homosexual marriage either decreases the number of kids, or granting them marriage rights causes some other problems to reasonable people.

    And I’m not convinced of either 1 or 2.