Blogs Jan 17, 2011 at 11:55 am


on the other hand-
Obama's DOJ defending DOMA does absolutely nothing to weaken the marriages of opposite-sex couples, so there's really no downside......
It's not a big surprise. Spineless cowards are not usually prone to rocking the boat. The DOJ under Obama is a disgrace. This is in the news today, in fact:…
It would be an interesting comparison to see how straight marriage has fared since DOMA in the States (divorce rates, income, general happiness indicators, etc.) versus how straight marriage is perceived in those countries that allow same-sex marriage. Because, by most indicators, I'd have to think those pro same-sex marriage countries are doing better across the board? Or does what happens in other countries not even factor into the decision making process in the US?
Also a more equitable divorce structure. I honestly believe many marriages would last longer if divorce couldn't be used as punishment, but merely a dissolution of a contract.

yeah, that last thing you said
@3: "Or does what happens in other countries not even factor into the decision making process in the US?"

Well, Canuck, as one of SLOG's ardent opposite-marriage defenders never tires of telling me, what America does is no one else's business. I would guess the corollary is that America has nothing to learn from anyone else's experience.

Too bad; there is much to learn. For example, I am conducting a longitudinal study with a sample size of one. The results are promising; I've done an in-depth study of a marriage contracted in Canada before the implementation of marriage equality, and one of a marriage contracted afterwards. Data suggests no variation in the perceived quality or stability of either marriage by the participants or by outside observers. There has been a 50% reduction in the number of children produced, but if we control for length of relationship and the age of the partners, that difference disappears.
Backyard, I'm thinking you may want to rework your data so as to suggest that the second marriage is freakin' awesome compared to the first, same-sex marriage notwithstanding, lest you blow the study completely by spending the next week sleeping on the sofa...
@7 You're pretty much describing an average morning at Tim Hortons, but with more Ukranians...
@8: What? And compromise the sacred integrity of my anecdata? You are suggesting that I just... make stuff up?

(Besides, she doesn't read SLOG.)
The USA has 9.8 marriages per 1000 population per year.

Sweden, 4.7.....
Can ya put the guns down just once? I mean, at least on MLK day for fuck's sake.
"(Besides, she doesn't read SLOG.)"
Oh, never mind then, carry on...
Just remember that when the data are boring, it never hurts to insert a little levity...

(Luckily Mr. Canuck doesn't read Slog either, or I'd be in big trouble about that "snot in the sink" thing.)
The Netherlands, when I lived there, had fairly lax attitudes about marriage between opposite sex partners (it wasn't seen as particularly necessary or important) as well as legal same sex marriage.

Unconditional health care coverage for everyone and a better economy and job market would probably allow a lot of people to get divorced who might not otherwise, so I'm not sure those would really strengthen marriage in the way that conservatives mean it. (ie, the divorce rate might go up, even if the remaining marrieds are happier on average)

I'm not convinced any of these policies should be judged by how many straight marriages they produce or save.
@11: Nice try.
"No matter how you slice the demographic data, rates of nonmarital births and cohabitation do not increase as a result of the passage of laws that give same-sex partners the right to registered partnership. To put it simply: Giving gay couples rights does not inexplicably cause heterosexuals to flee marriage, as Kurtz would have us believe. Looking at the long-term statistical trends, it seems clear that the changes in heterosexuals' marriage and parenting decisions would have occurred anyway, even in the absence of gay marriage."

The Dutch out-of-wedlock birthrate has increased by an average two-percentage-points a year ever since the Dutch passed registered partnerships in 1997, followed by formal same-sex marriage in 2000.
Gay-marriage advocates rejected the idea that marriage is intrinsically connected to parenthood, and the Dutch public bought that argument. Once marriage stops being about binding mothers and fathers together for the sake of the children they create, the need to get married gradually disappears.
@16: One more time:
"No matter how you slice the demographic data, rates of nonmarital births and cohabitation do not increase as a result of the passage of laws that give same-sex partners the right to registered partnership. To put it simply: Giving gay couples rights does not inexplicably cause heterosexuals to flee marriage, as Kurtz would have us believe. Looking at the long-term statistical trends, it seems clear that the changes in heterosexuals' marriage and parenting decisions would have occurred anyway, even in the absence of gay marriage."

@ 11 That only means Swedes don't rush into marriage as quickly as Americans do.

It's meaningless data if you don't take into account the people who have unmarried long-term relationships; those are often protected by law in North European countries, among others, which means that people don't need to get married in order to enjoy the financial incentives of marriage.

How many of those 9.8 American marriages are motivated by financial considerations, that's the only question you actually raise.

@ 3 Same-sex marriage, social programs, drug laws... Obviously, the US never take into consideration what's happening anywhere else. Not even culturally speaking, either: look at the American music charts, for example, or Hollywood's habit of remaking - and dumbing down - popular movies from the rest of the world. It seems that, for American authorities (i.e. government AND big business), it's better if US citizens don't know that the rest of the world exists.

But I guess yours was a rhetorical question, and you already knew the answer.
@ 16 Who cares if children are born out of wedlock or not, if the parents' obligations are the same and the children's rights are protected equally?

As you say yourself, "Once marriage stops being about binding mothers and fathers together for the sake of the children they create, the need to get married gradually disappears". Why? Because that's the only reason the institution of marriage was invented. It's actually a good sign that after 8000 years of that, we're able to develop other models that correspond to the needs of people who live in the 21st century, don't you think?
@18 & 19 Exactly! Why is the assumption made that couples who raise children together through domestic partnerships, or as we call them in Canada, common law partnerships, are somehow "less" than those who are married? Or that there is "no papa"? And yeah, rhetorical question, unfortunately. Probably would have applied to me at one time...
Please, no more snot rockets in the sink, or, really, anywhere...
@12: Is that sarcasm?

Because I would have thought that a day that honors someone who fought for equality might be a good day to talk about...a fight for equality.

(Of course, some people don't agree that this is a fight for equality.)
@ 20 But you left.

Congrats to you for having been able to learn that there are other points of view. It's probably why your comments here always are so relevant.
@ 20 Your comment highlights a couple of interesting characteristics of the US, though.

First, as much as Americans criticize faith-based regimes (Iran, etc.), American law and mentality is still just as thoroughly rooted in religious values as the laws and mentality of other, supposedly "backward" countries (read: different, muslim, whatever).

Second, it appears from their own admission ("no papa") that you have to force American fathers to take care of their children with this oppressive ancient obligation called marriage, or else they won't.

So who's "backward"?

gus, scouts honour, no more snot!! (now if we can just get the memo to you know who...he did it yesterday, too, and I said, "cut that out, or I'm going to tell them on slog!") he was quaking, I tell you...

You know, Ricardo, there is definitely something to be said for living elsewhere, or even just being around people who don't all share your viewpoint. Believe me, even though Canada is more liberal in general than the States, Calgary is SO much more conservative than where I grew up, so it's really helpful, in terms of debating, to hear all these different viewpoints. I think I send 3 letters a week to the Calgary Herald...between that and Slog, who has time for laundry??
@ 22 The mere fact that they don't agree it is a fight for equality is proof that it is. Those same arguments were used against civil rights for Blacks in MLK's time.
@ 25 You live in Calgary!?! The squarest town in the whole wide world! (in every sense of the word - a square in the middle of hundreds of miles of absolutely nothing)

Then you don't deserve congratulations for your enlightened viewpoints: you deserve a national holiday named after you. And a maid to do your laundry.
@11: Except that the marriage rate (per 1000 population per year) in Sweden has actually INCREASED since gay marriage was instituted...

@16: Your entire statement was cuntpasted word for word from an article from the National Review, you plagiarist. And it's a specious argument, since that statistic had been rising monotonically since 1975. It's a case of "if you sift through enough noise, you'll find any pattern you're looking for".
@ 28 And it gets the facts wrong: I lived in the Netherlands in the early 90's and they already had registered partnerships for both gays and straights.
@7: Sounds like the Swedes are having fun.
Woot! Bring on the maids, I say, Ricardo! No, seriously, it is intensely conservative here, but, for instance, when the Herald published both a letter and an editorial complaining about the poor marriage commissioners who have to do their jobs even though it "goes against their religion" to marry same-sex couples (poor, poor public employees!), they published 3 letters blasting the editorial yesterday, so that's a glimmer of light. Some of the schools have GSAs (although there could be more), and my son said there are openly gay and trans kids in his high school, and he hasn't noticed any overt bullying (I asked), and the place where I volunteer is the largest "sex ed/counseling" non-profit in the city and it's really progressive, so, you know, the more voices that can drown out the dinosaurs, the better.
I was just joking, actually (well, not completely: it is a square in the middle of nowhere, had to land there once).

I don't know Calgary and have met few Calgarians. But yeah, it seems that every time I read about some ultraconservative viewpoint being defended or promoted in Canada, the article starts with "Calgary, AB."

It's good to know there are other voices out there.

18 ...'meaningless...'

19...'Who cares if children are born out of wedlock...'


we agree.
proponents of homosexual 'marriage' actually care nothing about marriage.
"National health care and a strengthened safety net and jobs."

why don't you take that list up with your boy Barack, Danny?
@ 33 You should call yourself the illiterate humanist, you can't even read. It's laughable: you're your own cause's worst enemy.

Proponents of marriage equality actually care a lot about EQUALITY of rights, which the US is supposed to provide to all its citizens. I don't think it's that hard to understand, but then again, it might be for you.
"meaningless data if you don't take into account..."
"Who cares if children are born out of wedlock or not, if the parents' obligations are the same and the children's rights are protected equally?"
"Exactly! Why is the assumption made that couples who raise children together through domestic partnerships...are somehow 'less' than those who are married?"

we agree.
proponents of "traditional" family legislation actually care nothing about accuracy or keeping quotes in context.
@ 36 When people have no valid arguments, that's what they do: manipulate quotes.

If Palin got to be an "intellectual" leader of the right, someone whose ideas are followed by the right-wing masses, that means that everyone who actually gives any importance to what she says is more stupid than she is. Frightening thought, isn't it?
@33 That's the difference between you and me, you care about other people's marriages; you criticize those who don't marry, and you pass judgment on who's allowed to marry. Conversely, I don't actually care at all whether someone chooses to marry or not, their marriage (or not) is their own affair, not mine...I only care that the RIGHT to marry is applied equally to those who wish to do so.
That's really the thing -- the biggest threat to het marriage has always been the hets themselves...
@ 39 How dare you say that? Everyone knows that as soon as hets are exposed to the presence of a gay married couple (or even the thought of it), they automatically feel compelled to cheat on their spouse, beat them up (or their children), stop feeding their family and taking their responsabilities, and, inevitably, file for divorce.

If only those bloody gays didn't want to have stable, committed and recognized relationships...

(I hope that even the troll got the sarcasm.)

The most ridiculous part of it is that the right condemns gays for being immoral screwarounds, and when gays say they want to conform to the stable, monogamous model, the right condemns them for wanting to destroy that model.

How about some logical thinking, guys? Or do we need to explain how that concept works?
"officially-designated" hate groups....who makes that call? Where is this registry held?
ah ricky
you sputter and spew spittle and name call
but don't dispute the fact that you don't value the institution of marriage over other competing arrangements.....

we care under what circumstances children are born and raised. children raised by unwed adults are at much much greater risk for abuse and neglect. you gleefully sacrifice the safety of children in the pursuit of Gomorrah.

we think of the children....

SPLC is a Liberal advocacy group that makes money by scaring credulous liberals into seeing HATE GROUPS around every corner and under every bed.

The more OFFICIALLY DESIGNATED HATE GROUPS the more need for the SPLC, unsurprisingly they manage to find more and more groups each year.

Pimping Hate and Panicking Liberals is lucrative work if you can get it;
Richard Cohen, President/CEO pays huimself $351,648 and
Morris Dees pulls in $346,919.
9 staff members collect over $1.8 million annually.

here is some of the HATE

"In Snellville, Ga., a boy on a school bus told a 9-year-old girl that he hoped Obama would be assassinated...."

wait- the HATE gets worse...
"Second-and-third-grade students on a school bus in Rexburg, Idaho, chanted, "Assassinate Obama"....

wait, it gets much much worse (you may want to sit down...)
"A University of Alabama professor reported that an Obama poster was ripped off her office door....."


luckily the highly paid staffers at SPLC are documenting these awful crimes and spooking terrified liberals into donating....…

God makes the call.
follow the link in Dan's post, it goes straight to God.
(but please call him Joe...)
Joe. Dan's God. He is who designates Officially Designated Hate Groups.
@43: Well, you moron, he's actually saying that the institution of marriage should be available to everyone. Also, Canuck's not saying that people should have children without getting married. Canuck is saying that it's none of her business whether or not people get married. There was nothing about parenthood in what she said.
Ricardo's pretty spot-on when he says you're illiterate.

@45: So you're saying that it's not hatred when people are brainwashing their kids to advocate the assassination of our duly elected head of state?
We have the Secret Service for a reason, you know.
@ 43 And could you please explain what's wrong with not valueing "the institution of marriage over other competing arrangement"?

I value freedom of choice in life and relationships. And what I value mostly is equality of rights; that's a lot more important in a country that pretends to be modern than any religion-influenced tradition.

And as for your answer to 38, it's based on the misguided idea that what is "true" in a society opposed to freedom of choice on relationship arrangement (i.e. the US) is actually valid for the whole world. (Canuck and I already touched on that already earlier in this thread.)

That "much greater risk" you talk about might be real in the US, but not in civilized societies where different types of partnerships are protected by law.

If you cared about the children, you'd want to protect all children, regardless of their parents' relationships. You obviously don't. All you want to protect is your close-minded view of what relationships should be... like Canuck said @ 38.

Your continued zeal in debating us in spite of your thorough lack of capacity for intelligent argumentation is amazing, I'll grant you that, but clearly, you're only showing us that "defenders of marriage" are proof that evolution CAN go in reverse.

But of course, you probably don't believe in evolution either.

which reiterates the point-
you don't think marriage is any more valuable or useful than shacking up.
when folks talk about 'defending' marriage it is people like you they have in mind.
with good reason.
@49: The institution of marriage (and that includes gay marriage too) is excellent for raising children. If someone doesn't want to settle down and raise a family, what's wrong with not getting married?
Monks don't. You mad?
@ 49 But please tell us what is WRONG with that. It's allowed to have different viewpoints and values in a free country. Or maybe the US stopped being a free country, so you think your government should impose your will on everyone else.

I didn't say I don't value marriage, by the way; you're the one making that assumption... which reiterates my point: you're illiterate. (And remember: there's nothing wrong with name calling if the names are true.)

Marriage is okay for some people, but not everyone shares those values, and that's supposed to be allowed in a country that says it defends liberty, equality and justice for all.

And if, personally, I don't believe marriage is the best option for me (I said "IF", got that? It's a rethorical argument, you know what that means?), I still believe everyone should have access to it, gays and straights alike. Gays pay the sames taxes as everyone else, you know, so they should have the same rights as everyone else. That's a simple democratic principle: you participate equally, you receive equal protection and rights. Isn't the US supposed to be a democracy? Or don't you know what that word means?

Besides, civilized countries allow and protect a few more relationship options than "shacking up". If that's the only alternative you are aware of, then clearly your ignorance is just as infinite as your bad faith. To quote myself, "All you want to protect is your close-minded view of what relationships should be..."

Haven't you ever heard the saying "live and let live?" Get a life, please, and stop trying to impose your narrow viewpoint on everyone else.

you are free to have any opinion of marriage you wish.
'defenders' of marriage believe it is a special, vital institution in need of and deserving to be defended.
from people who think other lifestyle choices are just as beneficial to society.

we make no assumptions about your position on marriage, only repeat what you emphatically state it to be.

the US is not a 'democracy'. it is a republic. were it a democracy the majorities who repeatedly vote to outlaw homosexual 'marriage' would not have to fear having tyrants in black robes dictate to them what social policy will be.

you seem to measure 'civilization' by the various ways in which people can cohabitat.
others see marriage as the esential and superior social building block of society.
we don't have a view on 'what relationships should be'.
we do have a view on what relationship constitutes marriage.
the union of male and female.
a definition that has existed for thousands of years.
the status quo.
and along you come, trying to impose your viewpoint on everyone else.....
@52: Where your logic fails is that you make the flawed assumption that marriage needs to be defended.
Just because society no longer ostracizes those who do not marry does not mean that people will no longer get married.
You mad?
@ 52 Your view on marriage, which you personally have every right to hold, is historically religion-based.

The US is a lay state, i.e. with separation of church and state.

Your view of marriage is fine for those religions that want it and their followers, but a lay state should never base its laws on religious beliefs (hey, after all, that's what you criticize Iran and other Muslim states for, right?).

A lay state is there for everyone, religious or not. Its laws should be based on universally agreed fundamental principles, such as liberty, equality and justice for all. The US has been claiming for more than two centuries that it's based on such values.

A lay state has no right to impede a religion from limiting the marriages it allows to unions between "a man and a woman", but it does not have the right either to impose that religious view on those who do not believe in the religions that hold it. That's why it's called a lay state.

None of what precedes is my opinion. It is fact.

And I think most people in the civilized world would agree that there's nothing odd about judging the level of civilization of a country on whether or not the state treats ALL of its citizens fairly and equally, giving them the freedom to choose how they live, etc., but there's definitely something odd about your viewpoint on this issue and the arguments you use to defend it: you guys are the ones in black robes - the Inquisition - defending a traditional view that no longer applies to everyone's reality and preventing your fellow citizens from enjoying the same rights as you according to your religious-based beliefs.

That status quo is not viable because people and society have evolved. Obviously, you guys didn't, but that makes you the odd ones out.

Finally, you might want to follow this link to the definition of "republic":…,
and more specifically, definition b):

a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law (2) : a political unit (as a nation) having such a form of government.

"Elected officers and representatives"... isn't that precisely what makes that which is commonly referred to as a democracy?

Let's look at what Webster has to say about democracy:…

"a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections".

The opposites of democracy are despotism, dictatorship, absolute monarchy, monocracy, totalitarianism, tyranny.

A republic is, by all accounts, a form of democracy.

Listen to you: you don't even know your own language! And you think you're clever? You think we should obey your opinion?

I rest my case. You've now proved beyond all doubt that your capacity for intelligent argumentation is nil, and that your ignorance is only matched by your bad faith.

PS: So now could you please inform the rest of the US and the world of the big news that your country is NOT a democracy? Because you people have kind of been bragging about the US being the greatest democracy in the world for quite some time, now (although no one outside of the US really believes it, I must admit, because of people like you). Your previous president said it ALL THE TIME. So could you please personally set the clock straight for everyone? That should keep you busy and off Slog for a while...

@ 53 What logic?

" Its laws should be based on universally agreed fundamental principles..."

"a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote..."

so as long as every state that has voted has rejected homosexual marriage the matter is pretty much settled.


and in states where 80% of the body of citizens entitled to vote have rejected homosexual 'marriage',
and civil union,
and refused to recognize homosexual 'marriages' and civil unions from other jurisdictions,
not just in their laws but by amending their constitutions,
making crystal clear the fundamental principles they universally agree upon,
well those folks can sleep easy knowing that the supreme power they exercise will be heard and respected in this great democracy.


that is really great news.....
@ 56 A quick rule of debating: you can't constantly contradict yourself and still think you've made your point.

See you in another thread, I guess: it seems you just won't go away.


not at all.

marriage as a relationship between male and female is as old as recorded history.

and far preceeds christianity or any other religion.

in fact in the entire history of mankind no civilization has defined marriage to include homosexual pairings.

not the Greeks,
huge fans of the Gay that they were,
pagan heathens totally opposite of any Judeo-Christian belief system,
a society where the ruling elite were heavy into homosexuality,
not even the Greeks recognized homosexual 'marriage'.

nor the Romans.

nor the savages of New Guinea...

it seems in History, as in USA state referendums,
homosexual 'marriage' can't manage even one measely tie....

The US does protect its citizens from having religion forced on them.
which means when the Secular Humanists come along and invent a religious belief in homosexual 'marriage' they can't force the rest of us to believe, endorse or subsidize it.


"people and society have evolved...."?

oh really?

how many countries in the world have achieved this new evolutionary state?

what percentage of the world's population?

perhaps we are dealing with an evolutionary dead end.....
@59: I've seen better arguments out of fruit flies, but I'm not going to dignify you by actually debating you on the issues this time.
No sir, I'm here about your implication that the dodo was somehow inferior or defective. The dodo was actually highly evolved in order to fill a niche on Mauritius; it had no natural predators, and so maintaining the usual cautious attitude of most animals would reduce its ability to effectively forage, without the benefit of increased survivability. Since it fed on fallen fruit etc., nested on the ground, and benefited from the aforementioned dearth of predators, developed wings would only be a costly nuisance to maintain. And the existence of wet and dry seasons on Mauritius would necessitate the animal fattening up during the wet season so as to survive the leaner dry times. In short, the dodo was highly evolved, and well-adapted to its niche. Their demise was brought about by a sudden change in their environment: the introduction by humans of predators and the destruction of their habitat.
Ah, marriage. I always enjoy the opportunity to celebrate a strong marriage that has brought two people together in love, and which has stood the test of time. Like these ones:
Two same-sex couples who became the first in North America to be legally married have renewed their vows in Toronto, a decade after they made history.

Yes, two strong marriages - an inspiration to us all.

And I think I can help the troll with its question "how many countries in the world have achieved this new evolutionary state?" Wikipedia has a good article with a handy map showing legislation regarding equal marriage and homosexual rights around the world. Now to be fair to the troll, there are a lot of different colours (almost... a rainbow!) and many big words in the key. So I can simplify the explanation: places in shades of blue recognize some form of same-sex marriage; places in shades of brown or red have laws against homosexuality.

I will leave it to everyone to decide on their own which group of countries represent, in their other aspects, societies that we would like to see continue to thrive, and which group represent societies that would be better described as "dead ends".


just- wow.

two 'marriages' have survived 10 years?!


mankind is saved.

civilzation is secure.

their children are soooo lucky.....

I'm aware of no legal bar to homosexual couples having stable lifelong comitted relationships in the United State. Sodomy laws were declared unconstitutional. Discrimination in housing or employment is either illegal or strongly discouraged in most jurisdictions across the country. Most government employment recognizes domestic partnerships including gay couples. You yourself say that marriage isn't the only form of stable romantic partnering. If a gay man wants to stay with his partner forever, nothing is stopping him.

I've written it before, and it bears repetition. A gay man has the same right to marry a woman as I do, and a lesbian woman has the same rights to marry a man as a heterosexual woman does. The law is applied with perfect equality. No one who desires it is denied marriage in this country. If you mean that you always get to marry the person you love, who the hell gaurantees that? At 20 I was pretty sure I wanted to marry a young lady who didn't want to marry me. (For which I devoutly thank whatever Gods there be. It would have been an unmitigated disaster. I think the saying is, 'Marry in haste, repent at leisure.') As it happened, it wasn't in the United States. Had it been, by your reasoning I could sue this person for denying me the marriage I wanted. After all, we all have the innate civil right to marry whom we love, right?

What gays want is not equal rights, they want special rights. Assault against a gay man can get increased sentencing on the nonsensical basis of 'hate crime.' Using certain words can get a person fired. And you want all of society to bend around the will of a tiny and arrogant minority, by granting them a title to which their own choices have denied them, husband or wife.

I firmly believe that discrimination against gays is and should be illegal. Violence against gays should be punished, just as we punish any assault. I even would have no problem with a nationallly recognized civil union status for gays or anyone else who didn't want to be 'married.' But I strongly object to protected classes of citizens, whether gay or black or white.

DOMA isn't about defending individual heterosexual marriages. It is about defending the concept, what it means to society and what it does for society. It is about incentivizing the demonstrated stable platform of heterosexual lifelong partnerhips for raising chiildren. The homosexual noise machine had done a marvelous job here in distracting folks from that point. They point out prominent serial monogomists, or spectactular heterosexual marital failures or (inevitably, always and without exception) how much BETTER Europe does the whole romantic relationship thing. It's similar to how the left wing media distracted national attention from Clintons perjury, incitement to perjury, lying to his constituency on national television, abuse of his position in seducing a child who could have been his daughter etc. How did they do this? 'It's about sex, and not our business.' That would be correct, if it weren't also about criminal behavior on the part of the president of the United States.

But the left has always been better at popular messaging. Asking people to make difficult choices and accept the consequences of them is inherently less popular. It's also infinitely better public policy. The right asks people to live within their means. It asks them to make wise choices about when or if to have a family. It asks them to consider how their choices impact others around them. It's hardly surprising that this is less popular, even if the message needs heard.
BTW, Savage misses the logical mark in several places. I see no logical argument for why universal health care etc should strengthen marriage. Nor do I see where organized theft from productive members of society to benefit the lazy or stupid helps marriage. Hard times can weaken poor marriages. As for employment, I can see two problems. First, the government is not the engine of employment in any healthy economy. Second, most of the long married folks I know look back on the hard times with some fondness, as a time when they had to pull together just to make it. SPLC is a left wing noise machine, so who they designate a hate group is hardly interesting, never mind compelling. But he's dead on about Obama. He is an empty suit politician who wouldn't know a principled stand if it hit him in the eye. Thank God. FDR similar beliefs to Obama, but the stones to do things. Look how much damage HE did this country!
More of the same SB BS.

I particularly like "No one has a right to marry the person they love - after all, the other person could say no." That's a ridiculous argument, and one which is easily invalidated. Marriage is a contract between two persons. The right to marry is the right of two people to enter into that contract with each other. Homosexuals - two of them who wish to marry each other - are denied that right.

All the rest is homophobia and obfuscation. The old "homosexuality is a choice" canard; the classic right-wing recasting of equal rights as "special rights"; and a whole scattergun attack on the left. (Special credit for the "organized theft from productive members of society to benefit the lazy or stupid" line.)

And yes, SB, I am Canadian and US marriage laws do not impact me. My country is enlightened enough to have extended the right to marry to all their citizens. (One of several ways we are more enlightened than the US - but I digress) That said, US marriage laws do impact members of my family, and my friends, and they impact millions of people who simply want the same rights as the rest of their countrymen and women. Denial of equal marriage is the denial of equal rights, and I will not remain silent about it.

when will your enlightened utopia catch on to separation of church and state?
it's not the dark ages down here....
"Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
(a) freedom of conscience and religion;
(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
(c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
(d) freedom of association." (Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms)
Though there is no equivalent to the Establishment Clause in Canada, any official sanction of any institution of religion could be interpreted as contrary to section (a) up there.
I don't even know where you got that bit of bullshit about the Pope. If Canada were to be affiliated with any branch of Christianity, it would, as a Commonwealth Nation, cleave to the Anglican Church.
@11 Marriages per capita per year is only an interesting metric to wedding planners, gown makers, printers, videographers, catering halls, and suppliers of ancillary services.

To have any social-science meaning of the sort you seek, you need to at a minimum include statistics on longevity and dissolution. Better comparative indicators would be: a) percentage of people who get married during their lifetime, b) average duration of marriage, c) average number of times married people have been married, d) average age at first marriage, and e) poverty statistics (which reflects to some extent, preparation to support a household prior to marriage.)

And, as previously mentioned, informal marriage is a factor. Couples who live together as if married, including buying homes together, raising children, and mingling their finances, especially in countries that treat all couples the same regardless of whether they are formally married, present a problem to social scientists. Should they be counted as married, or not? Unless you're tabulating religious/institutional acquiescence, I think you have to count them.

The Southern Poverty Law Center -- which earned its stripes battling the KKK in the 60's -- tracks hate groups and publishes a list annually, if not more often. They are generally regarded by non-bigots as the experts on hate groups and the use of violence and intimidation as a political tactic.
@65: Oh, troll, how you amuse me sometimes. I think Venomlash has just about covered it for me. Good effort though, good effort. Well, apart from the sheer idiocy of trying to rebut a comment that details Canada's pro-marriage equality stance by somehow tying Canada (or was it just me? I'm a bit confused) to the Pope and the RC church - those noted defenders of gay rights.

Homophobia is a fear of or discrimination against homosexuals.

I don't fear homosexuals or homosexuality. What a person does in their home is entirely their business. With whom they choose to engage in sex, provided they are consenting adults, is their business. I find the idea of being attracted to other guys entirely incomprehensible, but I imagine you find attraction to the opposite sex equally so. Does this make you a heterophobe? Of course not.

I have repeatedly and explicitly stated that discrimination on the basis of chosen sexualilty is not acceptable, and is often illegal.

You might try using some real factual basis for your ad hominem arguments. Outright mis-statements just make you look foolish.

In the golden land of angels in human form that is Canada, I'm sure the enlightened denizens don't so much walk on the ground as float on clouds of benign love for all things. Do you get savings on sidewalk maintanance on account of this?

You have a perfect right to your opinion on the US marital law. What confuses me is first, why you should care. I don't spend much time worrying about Egyptian tax code, or Bolivian building regulations. Why you should so obsess on our marriage laws is a bit obscure. The second thing that confuses me is why you think Americans should care what Canadians or Brits or the Chinese or really any non-American thinks about our marriage laws.
Er, SB? This? " I find the idea of being attracted to other guys entirely incomprehensible, but I imagine you find attraction to the opposite sex equally so."

What makes you think that I'm gay? Is it because I am a vocal defender of equal rights for gays and lesbians? Because I am a proponent of equal marriage?

Or is it because you find the idea of homosexuality so "incomprehensible" that you cannot conceive of a heterosexual who is not so lacking in imagination, or simple compassion.

Because, for the record, I'm not gay.

As to this: "I have repeatedly and explicitly stated that discrimination on the basis of chosen sexualilty is not acceptable, and is often illegal." Two points:

First, chosen sexuality? Do me a favour: before you say that homosexuality is chosen again, please explain to us where, when, and how you chose to be heterosexual. Oh wait - you cannot. By your own admission, you find same-sex attraction "incomprehensible". No doubt the possibility of choosing it would never occur to you. What makes you think it is any different for gays or lesbians? You yourself state, in the same post, that you imagine that gays would find heterosexuality to be incomprehensible. So how could it have been a choice?

Second: For the umpteenth time, denial of same-sex marriage is discriminatory. It is, many countries (and US states) have recognized this, more will follow, the battle against it is lost. Continuing to work against it is discrimination and homophobia. (Don't even get me started on "deviant".)

Finally, I've never said Canada was perfect - we are far from it. But we have got a few things right. Why should Americans care what other people think? Perhaps because you may, on occasion, be able to learn something from them. Perhaps because you may want to not appear to be a self-centred asshole. There are many possible reasons.
@70: Claiming that you're not a homophobe because you're against discrimination and then expressing opposition to gay marriage is remarkably closed-minded. There are plenty of racists, anti-Semites, and homophobes who don't think that they are such because they lack the ability to comprehend that certain of their opinions are, indeed, racist.

Mea Culpa. I got you mixed up with a different poster who stated that he was gay.

As for the rest, marriage as a heterosexual institution is not discrimination any more than male and female locker-rooms at schools are. Both just recognize basic facts. Whether the advocates of gay marriage are prepared to accept it or not, marriage is the union of a man and woman in a lifelong bond.


Yes, I get it. For you folks refusing marriage to gays is discrimination. For the vast majority of your fellow citizens it is the will of the majority enforced on those who chose a certain lifestyle.

Were we talking about housing or employment or access to education or commerce the certain harms of not extending these things overwhelms the fact of the person having chosen their lifestyle, and being responsible for that choice. But we're not. We're talking about marriage, all of the rights of which can be obtained by a gay couple without the actual marriage. Basically, a tiny minority of the population wants the rest of us to change a millenia old cultural cornerstone based on the personal choices exercised by the minority, apparently so that they can file taxes jointly. Sorry, it doesn't work that way.
"Basically, a tiny minority of the population wants the rest of us to chang a millenia old cultural cornerstone based on the personal choices exercised by the minority."

Yes. Good thing for you - for you, personally, based on what you have described of your history - they were successful.

Oh - sorry. That wasn't the change to the millenia old cutural cornerstone you were referring to? Oh.

Hm. Was it the changes to these laws that you were referring to? No?

Hey - I've got it! It must have something to do with the lifelong bond between a man and a woman you are so concerned about protecting. Not that either?

Wow, this is tough. Of course it would be, seeing that marriage as a social institution has been in a constant state of change and evolution for millenia.

(PS- You said "choice" again. Still waiting to hear how you chose to be straight. Please, let us know!)
66 69

Seven Canadian provinces and territories allow Catholic schools to be supported with tax money.
A UN committee has accused the Ontario Ministry of Education of discriminating against non-Catholics by continuing to fund Catholic schools, but not allowing other non-Christian separate school boards to be set up and funded with tax dollars. For more information see Education in Canada and Waldman v. Canada.

Using tax money to fund religion is a relic of the Dark Ages.....
Whether the advocates of gay marriage are prepared to accept it or not, marriage is the union of a man and woman in a lifelong bond.

So says your religion, which is fine. If you choose not to recognize same-sex marriages because of your religious beliefs you're free to do so. What you've never been able to explain is why your religious beliefs should be imposed on others.

And since your opposition to same-sex marriage is based solely on religion, why is your church's position superior to that, of, say, the United Church of Christ?
"Seven Canadian provinces and territories allow Catholic schools to be supported with tax money."


"In Canada, separate school refers to a particular type of school that has constitutional status in three provinces and one territory. Separate school education exists in the provinces of Alberta, Ontario, and Saskatchewan and in the Northwest Territories."

And, "In Alberta and Saskatchewan, the extent of separate school education is more limited, and Protestant separate schools are slightly more present."

As Venomlash so eloquently puts it, Learn2Internet, Bitch.

As to those three provinces and one territory: It's in our constitution. It can be changed, but that does require amending the constitution - a non-trivial task, as I am sure any civic-minded American would understand. In fact, several provinces have made the necessary changes. I expect that the holdouts will follow within the next ten to twenty years.

Seriously, if that is all you got? You suck at this.

"Using tax money to fund religion is a relic of the Dark Ages..."

I'll see your separate schools, and raise you tax-exempt status for religious institutions. (PROTIP: Exempting groups from paying tax while they still benefit from tax-funded programs means that you are using tax money to fund them.)

nice link.

like we said-
"The constitutionally provided mandate of a separate school jurisdiction and of a separate school is to provide education in a school setting that the separate school board considers reflective of Roman Catholic theology, doctrine, and practices. "

"The separate school establishment right is not available to citizens of any other faith (such as Jews, or Mormons, or Hindus, or Muslims). "

"In the Quebec education system there were separate Protestant and Catholic school boards until 1998 when they were replaced with linguistically based secular school systems, EXCEPT on the Island of Montreal and in the Eastern Townships."

this is interesting-
"Newfoundland and Labrador, both historically and currently, provide another interesting variant. .... The constitutional amendment that created the current public school system also provided assurance that certain expressions of faith could continue to be manifested in the local public school itself, ."
....not exactly separation of church and state

still from your link:
"On November 5, 1999 the United Nations Human Rights Committee condemned Canada and Ontario for having violated the equality provisions (Article 26) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The Committee restated its concerns on November 2, 2005, when it published its Concluding Observations regarding Canada's fifth periodic report under the Covenant. The Committee observed that Canada had failed to "adopt steps in order to eliminate discrimination on the basis of religion in the funding of schools in Ontario."

so we agree that Canada has taxpayer funding for religious schools and policies that discriminate based on religion and the UN has condemned it but Canada thumbs its nose at the international community.
God, troll, you are a fucking idiot aren't you? You are illiterate, and you can't count. You also clearly know nothing whatsoever about government and education in Canada - or even basic geography.

I have a whole point by point refutation of just how you are wrong but you know what? You fucking suck. You aren't worth the time or the effort.

Kiss my ass.

Re 76

With respect, this has been written repeatedly. I have never once quoted the Bible or the Quran or any other holy book to suport an argument on political matters, homosexuality or otherwise. I have never referenced any prohibitions in my faith against homosexuality. The sole reference I've made to faith is to say that my faith is irrelevant to public policy. Not one argument advanced has used any religious ground to support it. Because I want the freedom to practice my faith, I respect the rights of others to practice theirs or none at all. Accordingly faith is not a valid basis for public policy on homosexuality.


When something alters beyond the point where it has much in common with the point from which it derived, we call it something new. We don't call a dog a wolf, or a house cat a tiger. And if marriage changes from the fundamental point and purpsose which defines it, it no longer is marriage.

I don't define a healthy person by the cancer some folks are unfortunate enough to suffer from. Nor do I define a thing by everything that it is not. 'A ball is not a square. It is not a rectangle. It is not two dimensional.' This would be a silly way of defining anything. Yet you do. Marriage is not limited to similar racial types. It is not rape. It is not....' Yes, idiots passed laws regarding inter-racial marriage, and these laws were changed. Yes, women were mistreated in some marriages, and laws altered so that such treatment could be punished. This is NOT the same thing as gay marriage, which alters the function and nature of marriage past the point where it can even be called that.

dear boy-
if it pleases you to quibble over the number of provinces go for it;
the point remains that in Canada taxpayer funds finance religious schools.
haggle over the price if you wish but let us agree that the lady is a whore...
@80: I'm sorry, SB; did you just compare same-sex marriage to cancer?

My point, which you seem to miss, is that the "millenia old cultural cornerstone" you seek to defend is no such thing. The cultural context for what you think of as "traditional marriage" is itself less than a few hundred years old, and even in that span marriage has altered in dramatic ways.

You say that "gay marriage... alters the function and nature of marriage past the point where it can even be called that." Explain. Please explain, exactly, using examples, how it does that.

(While you do so, please bear in mind that there exist many straight marriages where for reasons of health, age, or personal choice, the bearing of the biological child of husband and wife is not possible - and that these marriages are universally considered valid.)

(Also, please don't bother with "Gay sex is icky. Why do people do that?" I find lights-off missionary to be pretty icky too, but I still agree that people who do it should be allowed to marry. If only to keep them away from everybody else.)

@81:Eat shit and die.

"I'm sorry, SB; did you just compare same-sex marriage to cancer?"

No. I compared unhealthy marriages, like those in which the wife is raped, to cancer. That is, these marriages don't define healthy ones anymore than someone with lymphoma defines a healthy body.

"My point, which you seem to miss, is that the "millenia old cultural cornerstone" you seek to defend is no such thing. "

Actually, it is. Marriage is and always has been the union of a man and a woman creating a stable way of transmitting culture to children. When people married for property reasons, they were transmitting that culture to their children, as well as the values that would eventually change this perception of a valid reason to marry. When people married the person their parent selected as a good match, they transmitted the cultural expectations to their kids of that culture. We may disagree with the culture, but the transmission of what a person could expect from the dominant culture in which they were born is the goal. It's why cultures incentivize marriage in tax code or social approval. We want this transmission of our culture to occur, and marriage and family are the best means for doing it.

Yes, the romantic notions of marriage are fairly recent. So?

Yes, I know of people who marry and don't have kids, or marry past child bearing age, or divorce or cheat on their spouses. Had I or my wife been unable to have children I'd have married her anyway. My sister married her second husband after a divorce caused by her ex consistently cheating. Again, the exceptions don't define the rule. We honor these because the type of relationship is the same, regardless of the effect.

"Also, please don't bother with "Gay sex is icky. Why do people do that?"

I personally find the idea of gay sex offputting. This has nothing to do with marriage, or whether a gay man who doesn't so find it can't love whom he wishes. It has to do with personal preferences. I didn't bring this up as a reason not to encourage gay marriage, if I recall correctly, so I'm unsure of the reason for the question.

for the entirte history of mankind marriage has been between male and female.
no culture or society has ever granted homosexual pairings the status of marriage.
not even pagan non-religious societies where homosexuality was fully accepted.
calling same sex pairings 'marriage' distorts the word and deforms the institution to the point that it is not recognizable anymore.
It's all circular reasoning.

Marriage is a social construct. It is a concept. It has no inherent meaning beyond that which society gives. Thus its definition and structure is and can be fluid.

Saying that same-sex marriage is not marriage because the definition of marriage is opposite-sex is tautological. It is self-referential. It is to mistake the definition for the thing itself.

In Canada, women were once defined, legally, as not persons. A person was, by definition, a man, and as a woman was not a man, a woman could not be a person. Luckily for our women, someone eventually noticed that this was a pile a crap and the definition of person was changed - extended - to include both men and women.

You are clinging tight to a restrictive definition of marriage that is no longer representative of the relationships that people form and which society values.

(For the troll: I know I used some big words up there. Let me help you out; "tautological" and "self-referential" mean statements that just go around in a big circle without really going anywhere. Like a snake eating its tail. Or like you, with your head firmly planted in your ass.)
I have never once quoted the Bible or the Quran or any other holy book to suport an argument on political matters, homosexuality or otherwise. I have never referenced any prohibitions in my faith against homosexuality. The sole reference I've made to faith is to say that my faith is irrelevant to public policy.

And yet you haven't cited a single piece of scientific evidence of any kind to back up your position. If your opposition to same-sex marriage and your dislike of homosexuality isn't based in your religious faith, what is the basis for it? What you seem to keep repeating over and over is, "Same-sex marriages are wrong because I say so."

As for your earlier snarky comment that "a tiny minority of the population wants the rest of us to change a millenia old cultural cornerstone based on the personal choices exercised by the minority, apparently so that they can file taxes jointly", first of all, have you ever stopped to consider that many same-sex couples have adopted children? Those couples might like the same legal recognition that heterosexual couples enjoy so they don't have to worry about what will happen to their children if something happens to either or both of them. Of course it's possible that you'd prefer that those children be taken away, because they'd be better off in foster care. Unfortunately the research doesn't back up such a position, so, if that is your attitude, then it's back to "It's wrong because I say so".

Also, consider that, in California, 48% of people who voted on Prop 8 voted against it. Is 48% really a "tiny minority"?

California is hardly representative of the nation. In California some schools are taught entirely in Spanish, for instance, a position most rational people would consider insane. After all, what are these students supposed to do when they get to college? Last I checked even Berkely teaches classes in English. What could more honestly be said is that even in far left California Prop 8 couldn't pass, never mind the more mainstream parts of the nation.

Any right I have as a heterosexual husband and father, or that my wife has a heterosexual wife and mother, can be obtained by a homosexual couple. Wills regarding the custody of a child are as compelling for adoptive parents who are homosexual as those who are hetersexual. Living wills, death benefits which specify the surviving partner or adoptive child, powers of attorney and a host of other legal remedies exist for homosexual couples. The canard that homosexuals can't visit each other in hospital for instance is easily gotten around with a bit of planning.

To take a less loaded example, I know that in Italy I don't have easy access to their medical clinics, and if I pay cash it is prohibitively expensive. (Being socialist medicine, we wouldn't use them except in cases of dire necessity anyway.) Rather than asking Italians to re-work their legal system for the benefit of a few expats I purchase insurance which covers my family for major medical while we are visiting our house there. It's called foresight. It's called taking responsibility for the choices I make.

With planning and foresight a homosexual couple can enjoy any and all the legal rights a heterosexual couple does. What they want is for their lifestyle to be on par with the dominant cultural norms. This may happen in time. It may not. But it isn't their legal right to force cultural acceptance of their lifestyle.


California may be "hardly representative of the nation", but at least I'm relying on a real example of a place where your "tiny minority" claim simply doesn't hold. I'm not resorting to your tactic of citing something I may or may not have read somewhere, or using something that may or may not appear in an English or Italian comedy skit as proof.

As for all your high talk about planning, accidents happen. Do you expect all couples--whether same-sex or heterosexual--to be prepared for every possible contingency? Perhaps in the case of same-sex couples you think that, if they haven't planned for an unforeseen tragedy, well, they're getting what they deserve for being "deviant".

Finally, please drop the condescension about same-sex couples wanting "for their lifestyle to be on par with the dominant cultural norms".

This is about couples wanting the same rights and protections that others enjoy, and your vague assertions about "dominant cultural norms" and forced "cultural acceptance" simply don't hold up. You're simply saying that because the majority doesn't accept something that makes it wrong--but, of course, you only believe that as long as the majority shares your attitude.

Please wait...

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