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Moderation Note: The first four pages of this thread were moved from "Is homosexuality unnatural" as the topic of these posts is more about same-sex marriage in a sociological context.

 

I'm sorry. I don't understand what you're saying here. Please explain.

 

--lemit

Let me take another run at it, lemit.

 

The cartoon tacitly implies by way of simile that if your dogma opposes unorthodox forms of sexuality (i.e., non-heterosexuality) then you are still living in the Middle Ages. Well, maybe, but such an implication also carries a load of dogma, namely that homosexuals should not be discriminated against any more than left-handed people should be discriminated against. I can go along with that, however, according to one rhetorical extension of this dogma, we should have special laws that give such people equal protection and legal access to all governmentally sanctioned institutions, including marriage. And here’s where that dogma shows through.

 

At great risk of going OT, here’s where that dogma breaks down logically: there are no laws in America that prohibit either homosexual people or left-handed people from getting married, providing that “marriage” is understood to be a civil union between one man and one woman, which is the orthodox view. Left-handed people can marry other left-handed people of the opposite sex, and homosexual people an marry other homosexual people of the opposite sex. So, whose dogma wins out in this dogma match.

 

Isn’t that the dogma the cartoon is trying to portray? Isn’t it saying that to be orthodox about such things as marriage you must still be living in the Middle Ages?

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At great risk of going OT, here’s where that dogma breaks down logically: there are no laws in America that prohibit either homosexual people or left-handed people from getting married...

 

I refer you now to the Defense of Marriage Act passed in 1996.

Defense of Marriage Act - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

 

Separate, but equal is not equal at all, and I seem to remember almost the exact same argument being put forth in the 60s about whites and blacks not being allowed to marry.

 

Even if you disagree, definitions of words change, and the Christian church itself performed gay marriage ceremonies as far back as the 11 and 1200s, so the "traditional definition" argument fails on numerous fronts.

 

 

Left-handed people can marry other left-handed people of the opposite sex, and homosexual people an marry other homosexual people of the opposite sex. So, whose dogma wins out in this dogma match.

It's not about dogma, but about reality and equality. You are essentially arguing that there is no discrimination because gay people are allowed to marry people of the opposite sex, just like hetero people can. What this blindly misses, however, is the fact that the approach itself is inherently discriminatory because one group is being allowed to marry the person they love, and the other not... and all for no relevant secular purpose. The only "purpose" such an approach has is to institutionalize bigotry... to prevent equal protections... and to discriminate against those "icky" gays.

 

There is no measurable harm done to other people by allowing two people of the same sex to wed. Any supposed "harm" is self-inflicted by the bigot himself, and not a direct result of the marriage of two same sex partners. Hence, attempts to prevent same sex partners from marrying via the law are unconstitutional, and anyone who supports such attempts is a bigot who would be better off in the middle ages, as their views are anything but modern and enlightened on this matter.

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Separate, but equal is not equal at all, and I seem to remember almost the exact same argument being put forth in the 60s about whites and blacks not being allowed to marry.

 

I’m not interested in gay bashing or straight bashing, I’m only interested in examining philosophical principles here. You say, I am assuming, that the principle of “separate but equal” is invoked by prohibiting same-sex "marriages." But I’m here to ask why the opposite isn’t true: Why isn’t the call for same-sex "marriage,” vis-à-vis opposite-sex marriage, actually separating marriage into two kinds? Why wouldn't that be separate but equal?

 

I think the separate-but-equal principle is already dispelled in the current marriage laws, because there is only one kind of marriage—opposite-sex marriage—and homosexuals are not excluded from it. If you want to split marriage into two kinds, each different from the other on the grounds of sexual preference, then it is you who is invoking the separate-but-equal principle.

 

There is no measurable harm done to other people by allowing two people of the same sex to wed.

I don’t see the philosophical point here. Who ever said anybody will be harmed by same-sex marriages? Is anybody ever harmed by opposite-sex marriage?

 

Just to keep this thread on track, I don’t think there is anything unnatural about same-sex “marriage,” because I don’t think there is anything unnatural about homosexuals. I’m just asking why the definition of “marriage”—the legal definition—has to be split up and parsed out to please special groups. Which group is next in line for special consideration?

 

Btw: Many people like Barack Obama and me don’t see homosexuals as unnatural or even undesirable. We just don’t understand why the definition of marriage needs to be revised, especially when states now are beginning to offering same-sex civil unions that have the same legal purchase as opposite-sex marriages have.

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I don’t see the philosophical point here. Who ever said anybody will be harmed by same-sex marriages? Is anybody ever harmed by opposite-sex marriage?

My primary point was not philosophical in nature, but instead Constitutional.

 

As per the Constitution of these United States, and the consistent and one-sided SCOTUS rulings regarding the Establishment Clause in the First Amendment, all laws and rules must have a relevant secular purpose (see also the Lemon Test). Most commonly, laws and rules which prohibit actions, or which allow the differential conferment of state granted benefits and privileges, are in place to prevent harm to others. For instance, laws against rape, murder, theft of property, etc.

 

As you rightly described in your post above, same sex marriage does not cause any harm to others, which supports my own point that there is no relevant secular purpose for preventing it from being treated as an Equal Protections issue as per the 14th Amendment. State recognized marriage is granted to opposite sex couples (along with numerous benefits and privileges... about 1,138 of them), ergo any attempts to prevent the state from offering that same recognition (and conferment of benefits) to same sex couples must provide a relevant secular purpose for so doing.

 

If you are, or anyone else is, aware of any constitutional secular reasons for prohibiting marriage between two humans of the same sex, then I'd welcome hearing it. Thus far in these debates, I've yet to hear a single one, and all opinions have tended to be motivated by bigotry, iron age fairy tales, or some combination of both.

 

 

 

Just to keep this thread on track, I don’t think there is anything unnatural about same-sex “marriage,” because I don’t think there is anything unnatural about homosexuals. I’m just asking why the definition of “marriage”—the legal definition—has to be split up and parsed out to please special groups. Which group is next in line for special consideration?

Here's where I think the crux of your position fails. Marriage is not defined by the gender of those wed, but is instead defined as the union of two people (generally whom are in love). Marriage defines the relationship, not which genitals the partners in said relationship are required to have.

 

When we begin with the correct definition of marriage, as a word defining the state recognized union of two people... a union which confers a multitude of privileges and benefits from the state... a state bound by the secular guarantees of our constitution... then we realize that there is no issue... no "special groups," no "parsing" required.

 

Marriage defines the relationship, not the genitals those united must have to be recognized.

 

Also, just to remind you, I educated you on exactly this just over a month ago in this same thread when I also discussed how the Christian Church itself performed gay marriages as far back as the 11th and 12th centuries).

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we should have special laws that give such people equal protection and legal access to all governmentally sanctioned institutions, including marriage.

 

Isn’t that the dogma the cartoon is trying to portray? Isn’t it saying that to be orthodox about such things as marriage you must still be living in the Middle Ages?

Marriage was a Catholic Church "sacrament".

However one problem with it is, for example, when say, you work for the Australian Public Service, have lived with the same partner or soul mate for thirty years.

If you died and were heterosexual, your pension would go to support your wife.

If you died and were homosexual your partner would get nothing.

This is patently unfair and unjust. Similarly, with property owned by the couple.

 

"Marriage" is now, very much a legal, civil union with consequences such as the above.

How different will your "special laws" be to marriage? What are your reasons for not using the existing marriage ceremony? No 'special laws' would then be needed.

 

How come you would deny people the right to make public their love and commitment to each other?

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Marriage was a Catholic Church "sacrament".

However one problem with it is, for example, when say, you work for the Australian Public Service, have lived with the same partner or soul mate for thirty years.

If you died and were heterosexual, your pension would go to support your wife.

If you died and were homosexual your partner would get nothing.

This is patently unfair and unjust. Similarly, with property owned by the couple.

 

"Marriage" is now, very much a legal, civil union with consequences such as the above.

How different will your "special laws" be to marriage? What are your reasons for not using the existing marriage ceremony? No 'special laws' would then be needed.

You mean to say then that there is no difference between a heterosexual marriage and a homosexual marriage? I agree that there should be no legal difference. But I disagree that the term "marriage" should apply to both. If we legalize "gay marriage" then we will forever have two kinds of marriages, which will serve only to promote animosity. How do you solve that problem? You can take the word "marriage" out of the legal context and the problem goes away. Or you can call "gay marriage" something else and the problem goes away.

 

But, to me, it's only a philosophical problem. I want to see all kind people get spliced to the ones they love. But those who decry "separate but equal" make a philosophical mistake when they call for legalizing "gay marriage," which is to say that it should be separate but equal to straight marriage.

 

How come you would deny people the right to make public their love and commitment to each other?

But I don't! I want to see all of the people get all of their rights regardless of who or what they love. If you're talking about homosexuals loving each other then I'm all for legalizing same-sex domestic partnerships. But I guess you want me to redefine my definition of marriage to include "gay marriage." So, my nagging philosophical question is: Why do I need to alter my orthodox Middle Ages" definition of marriage when I already support legalizing full-on domestic partnerships for gays.

 

btw: I happen to be a very liberal person who is kind and respectful to life and nature, and I don't see why my questioning the need to change my definition of "marriage" should disqualify may claim of being a liberal.

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Which definition?

If the term 'marraige' was first used to describe a Catholic sacrament, then we have changed the definition to include many people not included in the original definition. Should we perhaps tell all the Lutherans, Methodists, Athiests, etc that they are not married?

And as mentioned, the chuch performed homesexual marriages as far back as the 1100s.

 

As I have mentioned before, the US never should have called civil unions marriage. That would have eliminated this whole mess.

Marriage should not involve any government provided rights such as property sharing, treatment under tax laws, survivorship, etc.

The government should license 'Civil Unions' which do provide the above rights under the law.

Churches can marry who they want and can refuse anyone for any reason. Civil Unions would be protected under discrimination laws and could not be denied based on race or sexual orientation.

Marriage grants NO rights, however everyone married in a church can get a civil union liscense (which we do already, it is just called a marriage liscense).

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I'm all for legalizing same-sex domestic partnerships. But I guess you want me to redefine my definition of marriage to include "gay marriage." So, my nagging philosophical question is: Why do I need to alter my orthodox Middle Ages" definition of marriage when I already support legalizing full-on domestic partnerships for gays.

 

Because your personal definition is really moot. Others define it differently than you, so whose interpretation should we go with? Can we settle the dispute with rock/paper/scissors?

 

As Zythryn rightly pointed out, marriage hasn't been a religious term for quite some time, as evidenced by the fact that atheists have been getting married for quite some time, and all without challenge by the religious folks with "orthodox definitions." The term marriage was usurped by the state long ago, and its meaning has shifted greatly through changes in our society. Further, the "orthodox definition" comment is silly when shown in light of the fact that the church itself performed same sex marriages as far back as the 1100s.

 

Why call it by something different, when it's not? It's the state recognized union of two people who love each other, and has nothing to do with the genitals those two people are required to have.

 

Nobody is forcing you to change your personal definition, so that's a bit of a strawman. However, the argument here is primarily that you are being prevented from forcing that same personal definition on to others.

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You mean to say then that there is no difference between a heterosexual marriage and a homosexual marriage? I agree that there should be no legal difference. But I disagree that the term "marriage" should apply to both.

 

I still don't get why this is. You are using the very term "marriage" in your question, and so it would make sense that it can apply to both. If going with short hand of "marriage," I will admit it could be confusing, but only if prejudice.

 

If we legalize "gay marriage" then we will forever have two kinds of marriages, which will serve only to promote animosity.

 

Don't you think same things were said about interracial marriages? Do you think that interracial marriages only serve to promote animosity?

 

IMO, you can substitute the word "marriage" with "relationship" and approach the issue in similar, if not same, way. Do gay relationships alter the way in which we think of human relationships? Perhaps. Do they automatically lead to animosity in our consideration of human relationships? Perhaps.

 

How do you solve that problem? You can take the word "marriage" out of the legal context and the problem goes away. Or you can call "gay marriage" something else and the problem goes away.

 

I would vote for the former way before the latter. The latter would be rebelled against forever if maintained as "right." If it were other way around, "gay marriage" is "true marriage," I think people would instantly see the fallacy in the logic.

 

I think it is prudent to remove it from the legal, because I do think gay marriage as legal right is gateway to other forms of marriage. I can't see why we would not say polyamorous relationships couldn't also be legal marriages as well. I realize gay rights advocates may not be arguing for polygamous marriages (I'm pretty sure they are not), but if the relationship is there, and it is desired to be taken to the other level which other humans desire; the one where public witnessing and blessings and celebration is called forth, I can't see why that would be forbidden, other than prejudice is once again allowed to rule the day.

 

But, to me, it's only a philosophical problem. I want to see all kind people get spliced to the ones they love. But those who decry "separate but equal" make a philosophical mistake when they call for legalizing "gay marriage," which is to say that it should be separate but equal to straight marriage.

 

What is the philosophical mistake being made? Is that same mistake being made with interracial marriages? And interdenominational marriages?

 

But I don't! I want to see all of the people get all of their rights regardless of who or what they love. If you're talking about homosexuals loving each other then I'm all for legalizing same-sex domestic partnerships. But I guess you want me to redefine my definition of marriage to include "gay marriage." So, my nagging philosophical question is: Why do I need to alter my orthodox Middle Ages" definition of marriage when I already support legalizing full-on domestic partnerships for gays.

 

You don't have to. But what if things were to go the other way? We are now saying that heterosexual marriage is not "marriage" and gay marriage can be referred to as simply "marriage." Would you perhaps seek to alter that? You might say you wouldn't. I know I would seek to alter that. It doesn't make sense that one type of coupling or intimate relationship, between two (or more) consenting persons would have ownership on a term that is essentially neutral.

 

btw: I happen to be a very liberal person who is kind and respectful to life and nature, and I don't see why my questioning the need to change my definition of "marriage" should disqualify may claim of being a liberal.

 

You're just not being a "true" liberal. :hihi:

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Which definition?

If the term 'marraige' was first used to describe a Catholic sacrament, then we have changed the definition to include many people not included in the original definition. Should we perhaps tell all the Lutherans, Methodists, Athiests, etc that they are not married?

And as mentioned, the chuch performed homesexual marriages as far back as the 1100s.

Frankly, I don't care what any of the churches do, because I don't bother with any of them. I'm talking about my definition of the word "marriage."

 

Both motorcycles and bicycles are called “bikes,” but, technically, only bicycles are bikes. Should the same lexical flexibility be applied to the definition of “marriage”? Maybe it should, and maybe it shouldn’t. I wouldn’t want my definition to keep good people from all the rights they deserve or from having legal partnership with the ones they love. Still, I’m not yet sure why I should have to give up my definition of “marriage” in order for them to get everything they think they deserve.

 

I’m guilty of dragging this tread OT. Sorry, I’m looking for a way out it. My practical assertion, stated succinctly, is that if the homosexual community had pushed for same-sex domestic partnerships instead of same-sex marriages I think they would be much further along toward what they want. And I’ll admit that there is self-righteous indignation about the word “marriage” on both sides of this issue.

 

Now, back to the topic: Is homosexuality unnatural? I think absolutely not.

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Don't you think same things were said about interracial marriages? Do you think that interracial marriages only serve to promote animosity?

But those interracial marriages you speak of are between one man and one woman, which fits my definition of marriage perfectly.

 

What is the philosophical mistake being made? Is that same mistake being made with interracial marriages? And interdenominational marriages?

No, all those are true marriages, by my definition. The philosophical mistake is decrying "separate but equal" and at the same time calling for gay marriage, which, by doing so, makes gay marriage separate but equal to straight marriage.

 

You're just not being a "true" liberal. :hihi:

To me, a "true" liberal is a philosopher who questions everything. You have to be a skeptic to be a true liberal, by my reckoning. You gotta ask hard questions, otherwise you're just running down the street with the crowd.

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Because your personal definition is really moot.

Not to me it isn't.

 

Nobody is forcing you to change your personal definition, so that's a bit of a strawman. However, the argument here is primarily that you are being prevented from forcing that same personal definition on to others.

Yeah, just who is the forcer and who is the forcee in this situation?

 

I've wrecked this thread, I'm sorry.

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But those interracial marriages you speak of are between one man and one woman, which fits my definition of marriage perfectly.

 

Why do you assume I was speaking to interracial marriages between a man and a woman? I had not said this.

 

 

No, all those are true marriages, by my definition. The philosophical mistake is decrying "separate but equal" and at the same time calling for gay marriage, which, by doing so, makes gay marriage separate but equal to straight marriage.

 

What is the mistake? The decrying part????

 

 

You gotta ask hard questions, otherwise you're just running down the street with the crowd.

 

Do you mean a gay crowd? Or a separate but equal heterosexual crowd? :hihi:

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BTW, I am a legally married gay man in Massachusetts, the Commonwealth of "Don't tread on me." Do I make an issue of it, I try not. Everyone I work with knows, and many of the students do--all of the gay ones do. Why do I know? Because they all came out of the woodwork last year after the wedding. It was funny how they all knew. Yes, it was good to get our eleven year relationship validated...

Hi Hasanuddin,

 

My private definition of marriage probably is of a Middle Age mentality. But, for me, the legality of gay marriage is entirely settled by whatever a state’s Supreme Court decides is constitutional. My private definition of marriage would have to give way to state law, as I would not hold myself above such an opinion issued by a state’s Supreme Court. So, congratulations on your marriage!

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My private definition of marriage probably is of a Middle Age mentality.

So, your definition of marriage means that women are the property of the man, to be beaten, punished, and done with what he will... something deeded to the man by the girls father? You see a marriage to a woman as equivalent to buying a car or a horse? Rather curious, that. :hihi:

 

Please note, also, those christian church delivered gay marriages referenced earlier happened during the middle ages, so your point isn't even really that accurate. :hyper:

 

 

I've wrecked this thread, I'm sorry.

No, not at all. Please, don't be. This is an important discussion to have. There are a great many people in our country who view this situation the exact same way you do. They don't see it as a "marriage." They are okay with domestic partnerships... okay with civil unions... okay with equal rights and protections under the law... just not okay with calling it "marriage."

 

That's very common, and important to understand. Some of my closest friends and colleagues feel precisely that way, so you're not alone.

 

I just don't. I don't understand it one bit. You, yourself, in each of your posts keep referring to it as a marriage... you're not calling it a "gay union" or "same sex partnership." You're calling it a "gay marriage," and TBH the term "gay" is extraneous. It's just how we understand the relationship. It doesn't particularly matter whether it's between two same sex or two opposite sex partners. Our parlance calls it a "marriage," as evidenced in the word you've chosen in your own posts on the subject.

 

That's just it. Sure, it's different from what you're used to, but it's still a marriage and your chosen lexicon implicitly suggests your agreement with my point. A gay man is not going to run up to his friends and tell them all he's getting "civil unioned" or "domestically partnered" with his mate. He's going to tell them he's getting "married," because that's what he's doing.

 

That is, of course, if he happens to be lucky enough to live in a state which prizes equal protections and considers it legal to begin with. :hyper:

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But I disagree that the term "marriage" should apply to both.

So, your problem is mere semantics?

Just the use of the word "marriage" is your problem?

 

Words always change in meaning over time-- and even according to the society using them .

eg "Silly" originally meant "saintly".

 

"Marriage" is now also a legal term, not just a religious word.

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"Silly" meant "saintly?" Wow, that's an odd twist. I wonder how that perversion occurred? Personally, I prefer being more silly over overly serious.

 

This debate is over the wrong things. Look, as I said, by the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts I was wed to the other-half of my heart, of now twelve years. The most important part of the event was not a slip of paper, a number, or bragging rights, it was to be in front of family (and God) to crystalize it. Just have both friends AND family in one place was important. I had over eighty relations from 16 state come to the Boat Slip in Provincetown, Massachusetts. P-town, as it is more simply called, is the most fabulous gay-mecca on earth: drag queens, leather, nipple-rings, twinks, bear, and lots of lesbians. It was "tranny-week" that coincided with the wedding. This was all intentional on my part; Ptown is pretty, but it is unavoidably educational. My aunt Olga from New Mexico, was apparently in awe of the profoundness of the event. She later wrote to me that "it was the most important wedding she had ever been to."

 

I don't think it is a coincidence that Connecticut, Vermont, and Maine all flipped in favor of gay marriage, while New York and New Hampshire are hotly debating it. Mine was just one wedding, and I don't have any relatives from any of the states mentioned (except that both me and my partner have gay brothers living in NYC--the largest gay villiage on Earth.) But statistically I think I am an outlier for not having much family in New England. All the states mentioned border Massachusetts (and Maine was once administered by Massachusetts.) In other words, the other New Englanders saw that the sky didn't fall in Massachusetts... actually the opposite is clearly visible. Massachusetts' resorts, like Ptown, have benefitted by extended seasons caused by marriages like mine (that occurred on the autumn equinox.) Honestly, I don't know how/why Iowa flipped. I think its wonderful. Soon the Midwesterners will see that the sky will remain firmly above the Cornbelt as it has over New England.

 

Primarily marriage is about family, God, and society--legal aspects and verbal definitions are so trivial. Did it make things rosy and perfect... of course not. Did it bring everyone in the family closer?.. for the most part, yes, but the finale kiss seems to have estranged my partners nieces from me to this day--whatever. But, do I regret a second?.. not a chance.

 

Tip for all: the best aspect of the wedding event is that we hired a caller, fiddle, and another who gave us live English Country dancing. The best thing about English Country dancing is that it forces everyone to touch one another at some point in the whirling and twirling. (Actually, that's how Patrick and I met.) But by far that was the most important thing we did. For those remaining uptight, I'm sure the physical action of grabbing another man in a doecey-doe swing must have been like a slap of refreshing, but icy cold water.

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