Sunday, June 28, 2015

Why Didn't Anyone Think of Same-Sex Marriage Before?

Hanging over the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage is a simple question: Why didn’t anyone think of it before? Why did the question never come up? Why has no other culture institutionalized marriage between two members of the same sex?

In his dissent John Roberts wrote:

And a State’s decision to maintain the meaning of marriage that has persisted in every culture throughout human history can hardly be called irrational.

He adds that there are reasons why marriage has always been between a man and a woman. He dismisses the notion that marriage was defined in order to exclude gays and lesbians.

In his words:

Marriage did not come about as a result of a political movement, discovery, disease, war, religious doctrine, or any other moving force of world history— and certainly not as a result of a prehistoric decision to exclude gays and lesbians. It arose in the nature of things to meet a vital need: ensuring that children are conceived by a mother and a father committed to raising them in the stable conditions of a lifelong relationship.

Of course, the Court majority pointed out that we no longer have arranged marriages, but have marriages based on love. As I pointed out in my book The Last Psychoanalyst this represents a misunderstanding of history.

Marriage was revolutionized when women gained the freedom to choose a mate. Perhaps romantic love is more important to women than it is to men, but surely women do not choose husbands purely on the basis of romantic love. Saying as much is saying that women are hopeless sentimental and irrational. Most women do love their husbands but their choice is based on a myriad of other factors—good character, status in the world, capacity as a breadwinner, parental approval.

Women do not fall in love with just anyone. Men don’t either.

When arranged marriage was supplanted by what we call love marriage no one imagined that marriage expressed romantic love. It remained a social institution, albeit one where women gained more freedom and more responsibility for their choices.

Even when love enters the equation, it does not make marriage as an expression of romantic love. Throughout most of human history the province of romantic love has been adulterous relationships. And those, we know, have been open to both men and women.

Roberts makes the same point.

In his words:

They did not, however, work any transformation in the core structure of marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

But then, Roberts makes the following statement, statement that led Washington Post reporter Ishaan Tharoor to do some historical research.

Roberts wrote of the Court’s decision:

As a result, the Court invalidates the marriage laws of more than half the states and orders the transformation of a social institution that has formed the basis for human society for millennia, for the Kalahari Bushmen and the Han Chinese, the Carthaginians and the Aztecs. Just who do we think we are?

Of course, five justices are saying that their wisdom is greater than that of nearly the entirety of the human species. It may be true, but then again, what if it isn’t?

When he read Roberts’ statement, Tharoor responded that the four cultures mentioned did not have “traditional unions.” It would be a useful argument if Roberts had said that these cultures practiced traditional unions. More likely the chief justice was saying that even some of the most extreme human cultures, cultures that experimented with sexual behavior and rules, recognized marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

Tharoor summarizes the customs and behaviors of the four groups, beginning with the Kalahari Bushmen:

The Kalahari Bushmen don't have very strong wedding practices, and don't pay much attention to ceremonies around mating.

Early European accounts of tribes and kingdoms encountered in southern Africa included details of warrior women styling themselves as kings (not "queens"), polygamous households where lesbianism was common, and even ancient Bushmen rock paintings depicting explicit homosexual sex.

What about warrior women depicting themselves as kings? Doesn't that sound familiar?

As for the reference to paintings depicting explicit homosexual sex, if I recall correctly, Giotto’s Last Judgment at the Arena chapel in Padua shows homosexual sex. And surely, the Decameron does not depict a very virtuous group of pilgrims. So what?

As for the Kalahari Bushmen, are we really sure that we want to make them our role models? Do we really want to emulate them?

Tharoor mentions that gay marriage is not and has never been legal in China, not even among the Han Chinese. What exactly does he think that that proves? He adds:

During the Han dynasty, the ancient lineage of kings that gives the Han their name, homosexuality was rife. Almost all the emperors -- you know, the lawgivers of the land -- of the Western Han dynasty apparently had same-sex lovers.

Again, so what? Plato talks about homosexual love. Having gay lovers has not throughout the course of human history had any effect on the institution of marriage. If these relationships were openly acknowledged, then perhaps they were not always considered to be shameful. Gay sex, after all, does not hold the risk that other forms of adultery had: conception.

Tharoor mentions that Carthage was a paradise for homosexuals. It may or may not have been true, but recall how Carthage fared in the Punic Wars with Rome. They were not fought over the question of homosexuality: they were fought for dominance in the Mediterranean. In the end Carthage was completely destroyed.

Again, do we really want to emulate Carthage? And besides, however rife homosexual love was in ancient Carthage it did not change the nature of marriage.

Tharoor then quote a description of marital customs in Aztec civilization:

Marriage was conditional in that the parties could decide to separate or stay together after they had their first son. Marriages could also be unconditional and last for an indefinite period of time. Polygamy and concubines were permitted, though this was more common in noble households and marriage rites were only observed with the first, or principal, wife. Aztec families could live in single family homes, though many opted to live in joint family households for economic reasons.

But, what is a conditional marriage? Doesn’t it exist in a slightly different form in a culture where divorce is easy to obtain… like ours?

Tharoor mentions that the Aztecs also practiced human sacrifice, so perhaps we should not be too eager to emulate their way of doing things.

As for living arrangements, these have differed in different places and at different times throughout human history. So what. Obviously, these arrangements do not resemble the nuclear family, but that might merely demonstrate the flexibility of some human customs. It might tell us that the nuclear family is a better solution. It might also show that cultures that practice these alternative living arrangements do not survive for very long. Surely, the Kalahari Bushmen are not leading the world in technological innovation and industry.

And, by the way, where are the Aztecs now? How did all of that work out for them?


Anonymous said...

So much for GOP's praise of capitalism.

It led to degradation of culture, borders, and family values.

Globalist capitalists only care about vanity, privilege, profits, and power.

No values whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

Every moral institution has come under forces of corruption and decadence.

Marriage is no exception.

America is a sick country.

Success breeds decadence, cynicism, complacency, frivolity.

Success is good but often bring bad results from people taking core values for granted or sneering at them as 'uncool'.

Fashion displaces truths.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Utah was permitted to enter the Union as a State on the non-negotiable condition that they prohibit polygamy in their State constitution. That demonstrates how "open" the United States has been about the definition of marriage. Homosexual "marriage" would've been beyond the pale. It was a condition that the U.S. used to bring the Mormons of Utah to heel. So much for Justice Kennedy's penumbra of "dignity." Is there ANY issue the Federal government cannot consider their own under this boundary-less view of the 14th Amendment?

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

"And, by the way, where are the Aztecs now? How did all of that work out for them?"

Not very well. Yes, they were routed by the Spanish conquistadors in a bloodbath, but many like to go to Diamond's "old reliable" explanation of guns, germs and steel. The chief factor they ignore -- as Tharoor has here -- is the Aztecs' decadence. They'd gone around chopping off so many heads and bringing slaves into their empire that the cultures around them were happy to help the conquistadors point the way so they could destroy the Aztec civilization.

So there is a role that decadence plays in all this. The Supreme Court's majority opinion provides no limits to that decadence. There can be any number of martial arrangements the Federal government could promote under the "dignity" definition carried out in the ruling. And there is a problem with gay adoption, where the child will not have a mother and father. But that doesn't matter, because denying adoption on the grounds of a traditional nuclear family would be anathema to Justice Kennedy's outlook on the Fourteenth Amendment, which now means that Amendment could be the basis for any kind of Federal encroachment on any State matter.

Ever heard of the Tenth Amendment? Perhaps that's an anachronism like arms and militias and the quartering of troops. I see no limits.

Justice Kennedy could soon rule on Muslims being given a guarantee of no pork products on their pizzas nationwide, claiming Federal supremacy over State food handling guidelines.

If a 14-year-old cannot get a moped license, is now a catastrophic threat to his "dignity," and thus worthy of an age discrimination claim under the Fourteenth Amendment? Or is that far-fetched and silly?

What if the bathroom lines are too long at NHL hockey games? Can women claim discrimination under the Fourteenth Amendment? And if States adjust arena building codes so there are twice as many toilets in women's bathrooms as there are for men -- so as to alleviate this evacuation burden on the fair sex -- can men approach the Supreme Court to remedy this terrible injustice regarding "human waste abatement access" under the Fourteenth Amendment?

Sound preposterous? It is.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Also, Tharoor mentions that historically there were homosexual relationships and acts. Really??? Whodathunkit?

So what? What historically relevant culture has given official sanction to the rights, privileges and prerogatives of gay couples? It wasn't even about that in the first place, because many states offered civil unions to homosexuals as an accommodation to the material or legal benefits of marriage to homosexuals, to avoid changing the traditional meaning of marriage. This was not enough.

For the homosexual activists and their allies, it was never about the rights, privileges and prerogatives of marriage they were offered in civil unions. It was the legal/cultural sanction that marriage represented -- as a symbol -- that they equated with Kennedy's conception of "dignity."

The homosexual "marriage" advocates were saying "You are telling me I have no dignity as a man and human being unless I can marry the man I love, simply because I love him." No, that's not correct. Under civil unions, State governments said you could love whoever you wanted, and with rights of joint property, inheritance and shared medical benefits, but we (the State) are saying we're not going to call it a "marriage," just like we don't give a boat license when you go to register your car. A boat is not a trailer is not a motorcycle is not a automobile is not a semi tractor-trailer.

States make these distinctions on a wide array of legal structures with rights, privileges and prerogatives on... well, lots of things. The Federal government says they can no longer do this with two citizens who want to marry, and it's because of the Fourteenth Amendment concerning "dignity" and "intimacy" and "love." Read the opinion. That's what Justice Kennedy and his merry band said. I notice the three Jewish Justices joined him, and their ancient, historic definition of marriage is very clear. The other five Justices are Catholic, and that tradition has been very clear to the present day.

But we are very fortunate in 2015, because we can travel with Tharoor across the myriad cultures who thought or think that homosexuality is a part of life -- that (shhhh!) there are homosexuals amongst us. Who was questioning that??? After Griswold v. Connecticut (1965, right to privacy) and Lawrence v. Texas (2003, sodomy laws), who cares? What's not protected? Who's going to blow your door down and catch you in your bed with your lover? This isn't some witch-trial environment in the United States. Hell, a (very brave) gay journalist wrote last year that one of the touchstone moments for gay rights -- the murder of Matthew Sheppard -- was because of a bizarre love triangle and drugs. Where is this animus Tharoor speaks aboutand Justice Kennedy must vindicate?

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

And I'd like for Throor to fill me in on the historic culture that would allow homosexuals not only to marry -- but to adopt and raise children as a nuclear family. Two daddies or two mommies. Now we have to adjust to that nationwide thanks to Justice Kennedy. There have been States that have said they will allow homosexuals to adopt, but they went through their own legislative and/or judicial processes on that matter. Not anymore! Now the wishes of five unelected, unaccountable politicians without term limits can decide for all of 300 million of us how we should, must, ought live our lives. Adopting children will be a homosexual right. Who's looking out for the children? They might find out their Climate Change superhero Pope Francis has called homosexual adoption "child abuse." No doubt the New York Times' monicker of Pope Francis' "authority" ends with his theological views on fluctuating global temperatures.

We love "democracy," don't we? Especially when we can avoid it with the help of five people on the Supreme Court of the United States. We've had this go-around with Roe v. Wade for over 40 years, and the Left bitches and whines about "the war on women" and all the legal gymnastics we have to go through protecting and challenging this penumbra right to "privacy" that Harry Blackmun made up. Well, if you live by the (legal) sword, you'll die by the (legal) sword. And the two sides will fight this out in the courts for decades more, because we couldn't wait for this to hash itself out State-by-State.

This homosexual marriage issue, which was imposed by judicial fist by the Massachusetts Supreme Court in the ancient era of 2003 shows how "urgent" an issue this is for our Republic. Because the glowing box tells them so.

Sam L. said...

I believe this will be the Roe v. Wade case of the 21st century. The issue is not settled.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

The core argument in all is not new: "We know better than you." This majority of Court, in this case especially, holds itself as priests and priestesses of "the good," whatever they hold it to be. And they know better than the citizen who chooses the legislators, and the legislators who pass laws. And if there is something the Court's clergy finds distasteful, well... there's always the Fourteenth Amendment, or a penumbra right you can come up with.

This is the hubris pointed to in the dissents of Roberts, Scalia, Thomas and Alito on Friday, in clear, lively language. A loose interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment allows the Federal government, and indeed the majority on the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), to basically declare whatever they want under the aegis of "due process." And there's no personal propriety or limitation, either... Justices Ginsberg and Kagan had officiated at homosexual weddings, and offered opinions on the matter prior to the case at hand. They should have recused themselves for bias. But biases for the anointed -- our supposed intellectual betters -- are givens... par for the course in today's postmodern world. You see, they're RIGHT. It is only the conservative, traditional, or religious man who is expected to check his beliefs at the door, lest he be a meanie.

This is the rule of men, shrouded in the rule of law.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

In case you thought the encroachment of Fourteenth Amendment interpretation is something new, please refer yourself to the excerpts below, show the prophetic dangers of judicial overreach by SCOTUS, from Justice Hugo Black's dissent in Griswold v. Connecticut (1965):

"I repeat, so as not to be misunderstood, that this Court does have power, which it should exercise, to hold laws unconstitutional where they are forbidden by the Federal Constitution. My point is that there is no provision of the Constitution which either expressly or impliedly vests power in this Court to sit as a supervisory agency over acts of duly constituted legislative bodies and set aside their laws because of the Court's belief that the legislative policies adopted are unreasonable, unwise, arbitrary, capricious or irrational. The adoption of such a loose, flexible, uncontrolled standard for holding laws unconstitutional, if ever it is finally achieved, will amount to a great unconstitutional shift of power to the courts which I believe and am constrained to say will be bad for the courts, and worse for the country. Subjecting federal and state laws to such an unrestrained and unrestrainable judicial control as to the wisdom of legislative enactments would, I fear, jeopardize the separation of governmental powers that the Framers set up, and, at the same time, threaten to take away much of the power of States to govern themselves which the Constitution plainly intended them to have.

I realize that many good and able men have eloquently spoken and written, sometimes in rhapsodical strains, about the duty of this Court to keep the Constitution in tune with the times. The idea is that the Constitution must be changed from time to time, and that this Court is charged with a duty to make those changes. For myself, I must, with all deference, reject that philosophy. The Constitution makers knew the need for change, and provided for it. Amendments suggested by the people's elected representatives can be submitted to the people or their selected agents for ratification. That method of change was good for our Fathers, and, being somewhat old-fashioned, I must add it is good enough for me. [...]

The doctrine that prevailed in Lochner, Coppage, Adkins, Burns, and like cases -- that due process authorizes courts to hold laws unconstitutional when they believe the legislature has acted unwisely -- has long since been discarded. We have returned to the original constitutional proposition that courts do not substitute their social and economic beliefs for the judgment of legislative bodies, who are elected to pass laws. [....]

The late Judge Learned Hand, after emphasizing his view that judges should not use the due process formula suggested in the concurring opinions today or any other formula like it to invalidate legislation offensive to their "personal preferences," made the statement, with which I fully agree, that:

'For myself, it would be most irksome to be ruled by a bevy of Platonic Guardians, even if I knew how to choose them, which I assuredly do not.'"

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

And yes, Stuart, you are correct, not one of the Framers thought of homosexual "marriage" before, which is why they put in the Tenth Amendment to establish federalism, and the ability to create new Amendments to the Constitution, as per Article V.

This is apparently too long and painful a process for Justices Kennedy, Breyer, Ginsberg, Kagan and Sotamayor... they who declare what the law will be, not what it says.

I am sure the homosexual community is thrilled, and I do not besmirch their adulation. But we are all better off when there are good means to good ends, and our political system offers them. It takes time. And it's the humility within each branch of government that keeps our Republic afloat. For now. Humility seems hard to come by these days...

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

Because, logically, and morally, they would not be able to deny others the same right. Also, this was before women were "freed" from the kitchen to serve as womb banks, and men from fatherhood to become sperm depositors. Fortunately, our "advanced" society has adopted the doctrine of pro-choice, that not only rationalizes selectively denying the right to marriage, but also the right to life (e.g. selective-child), and the right of individual dignity (e.g. [class] diversity).

That said, can someone without principles be legitimately described as a bigot, a sanctimonious hypocrite?

Anyway, it's an interesting game of chicken or perhaps poker. I'm tempted to say "forward" and "call", then witness the progressive liberals perform miracles with pro-choice doctrine. The last one, where they changed rites to rights, was impressive. A wicked solution to a "wicked problem".

Ares Olympus said...

I confess I don't understand the passion on either side.

Its all about symbols, and for pro-gay-marriage people I'd suggest if you're threatening someone's symbol, what does it hurt to pick another? Call it Spaghetti as long as spousal rights, protections and privileges are shared, and let's move on.

But they couldn't leave well enough alone, so here we are. Maybe this is the last great liberal charge? Maybe we should just let them have their victory? Why not?

The defeat I expect for homosexuals is still 50%+ of this minority would prefer to keep their private lives private, and not make their "minority sexual preferences" a public issue, so perhaps many "gay" men will still marry, and still have kids for their public front and and still maintain secret homosexual relationships on the side.

There's still going to be conservative gay pastors preaching against gay sex, just in case it helps quiet their own immoral urges. But it looks pretty silly when it becomes public, like with Ted Haggard.

I'll end with quotes from Wendell Berry:
“My argument, much abbreviated both times, was the sexual practices of consenting adults ought not to be subjected to the government’s approval or disapproval, and that domestic partnerships in which people who live together and devote their lives to one another ought to receive the spousal rights, protections and privileges the government allows to heterosexual couples,” Berry said.

Berry said liberals and conservatives have invented “a politics of sexuality” that establishes marriage as a “right” to be granted or withheld by whichever side prevails. He said both viewpoints contravene principles of democracy that rights are self-evident and inalienable and not determined and granted or withheld by the government.

“Christians of a certain disposition have found several ways to categorize homosexuals as different as themselves, who are in the category of heterosexual and therefore normal and therefore good,” Berry said. What is unclear, he said, is why they single out homosexuality as a perversion.
“If it can be argued that homosexual marriage is not reproductive and is therefore unnatural and should be forbidden on that account, must we not argue that childless marriages are unnatural and should be annulled?” he asked.

“One may find the sexual practices of homosexuals to be unattractive or displeasing and therefore unnatural, but anything that can be done in that line by homosexuals can be done and is done by heterosexuals,” Berry continued. “Do we need a legal remedy for this? Would conservative Christians like a small government bureau to inspect, approve and certify their sexual behavior? Would they like a colorful tattoo verifying government approval on the rumps of lawfully copulating parties? We have the technology, after all, to monitor everybody’s sexual behavior, but so far as I can see so eager an interest in other people’s private intimacy is either prurient or totalitarian or both.”

“The oddest of the strategies to condemn and isolate homosexuals is to propose that homosexual marriage is opposed to and a threat to heterosexual marriage, as if the marriage market is about to be cornered and monopolized by homosexuals,” Berry said. “If this is not industrial capitalist paranoia, it at least follows the pattern of industrial capitalist competitiveness. We must destroy the competition. If somebody else wants what you’ve got, from money to marriage, you must not hesitate to use the government – small of course – to keep them from getting it.”

Berry said “so-called traditional marriage” is “for sure suffering a statistical failure, but this is not the result of a homosexual plot.”

“Heterosexual marriage does not need defending,” Berry said. “It only needs to be practiced, which is pretty hard to do just now.”

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Ares Olympus @June 26, 2015 at 6:11 PM:

"I confess I don't understand the passion on either side."

This is a puzzling statement. Let me offer two thoughts to you:

First, the nuclear family is the core organizational unit of the human race. Perhaps one could argue it is the tribe, but that still places the family as the core organizational component of society and culture, which connects it to the tribe's memes, values and worldview. Upsetting the integrity of this unit is folly, and to my mind quite dangerous. The American founding was based on certain givens and basic understandings. If you have to flesh every one of these out, you'll end up with a U;S. Constitution that is as bloated as the EU constitution, and an attitude of parsing language where "it depends on what the definition of 'is' is." Let's use the example of the tribe, and say the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that an "American" is no different than a "Russian" or "Laotian" culture, that the three were interchangeable. I suspect the vast majority would see that as ridiculous. I think many people see the definition of marriage similarly, and hold it dear. While this view is clearly in transition, it was in transition through the democratic process, where State legislatures and courts were working it out. But States have to work out lots of different things, as the list I provided above notes, including traffic laws, titling requirements for automobiles, insurance laws, etc. These are State prerogatives. I cannot see why marriage licensing is not the same. The five Justices on the Supreme Court say otherwise, which brings me to my other point...

Secondly, we increasingly have a problem in our society, and that is postmodernism and its effects of pronouncing subjective viewpoints as worthy of change or exception of widely accepted, objective standards. There is a gratuitous auto-morality to all this, in which the critic expects the rest of the world to defer. Please refer to the lucid dissents from the four Justices to Friday's ruling... what they are highlighting is that the Constitution is silent on marriage. Therefore, there is no standing on the issue. The majority says it lies in the Fourteenth Amendment under "due process," but this can be applied to anything the States do. In other words, the majority that wrote the opinion decided what was important to them and their sensibilities, and pronounced what the law should be, not what it is. It is a distinct and alarming trend. It is a subjective standard that is n9ow to be held nationwide. One could say homosexual "marriage" is an important issue, but there are lots of important issues that vary person to person. Some are more pressing for some people in municipalities, counties or States, and others not. The Great Lakes region is not concerned with a drought and how they will control the citizen's water usage. In California, they are. So be it. You deal with that you want to deal with. But if an issue can rise in importance and the velocity of change, and five people on the Supreme Court decide change needs to come now, they will not just interpret the law, they will pronounce the law. Five unelected, unaccountable people with no term limits know what is best for us. They make a mockery of legislative efforts and ballot initiatives at the State level, and seem to do so with not a whit of acknowledgement of the radical action they take. It's for "dignity" and "intimacy." What is the rational basis test for such a standard? There is none.

We are moving Left. And for the Left, the ends justify the means.

Cont'd below...

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Cont'd from above...

So, in summary, the reason I am passionate about this issue is not because I am afraid of homosexuals and their love. I witnessed the extraordinary celebrations in the gay area of my town on Saturday, and such human joy is overwhelming. What I am concerned about, and passionate about, is that we are losing control of our own lives and our ability to have standards and set them for ourselves and the communities we live in. Most importantly, this ruling also moves into the area of conscience. You have to believe the right things in order to operate. The drumbeat is already underway to do away with tax-exempt status for religious and non-profit organizations. So this isn't a huge win, this is a step in a process that reflects a worldview, and the standard for the imposition of that worldview is subjective. THAT is what is new. THAT is what is distressing. Add in the Thursday ObamaCare ruling, where the majority decided what Congress "meant when it passed the law." That's a lot of power, a power to add new words to statutes to make sure they work... because that's what someone else meant.

Washington, D.C. increasingly doesn't so much reflect the will of the country as it does the will of Washington, D.C., and the consolidation of political and economic power therein. It's desire is centralized power and planning. When one region, State or metro area can determine how we are to live because it reflects their sensibilities of what a social order should be, we have tyranny. That is something I am passionate about. Human beings make judgments, and we do discriminate. Every moment of our lives. We try to control the big stuff, such as immutable characteristics (e.g., racial discrimination), but we can only go so far. The individual mind and/or conscience has to be transformed, and this is sustainable when it is of his free will. The rights enumerated in the U.S. Constitution apply to individuals, not groups. So that's individuals, not couples. So marriage has no standing under the Constitution unless someone -- or perhaps five outlandishly powerful people with no check on their power -- decides it does. And everyone who disagrees is a bigot. Can you see how corrosive that can be to a society?

So, in the end, the real risk in all this -- the part that seems a lot like Orwell's "1984" -- is that we are imposing a new form of thought control on people, with great velocity, in this high-velocity media age. Attack the conscience, and you attack morality and ethics. This informs and shapes thought. Thought control is a very dangerous thing.

Being labeled a bigot is a descriptor for someone operating at the height of ignorance, a dangerous pariah. The term can also be applied to a lot of different things. There are a great many good citizens who oppose homosexual "marriage" on a number of different grounds, including their religious views, which form and reflect their personal conscience. Using hostile labels is a way of marginalizing people and impacting their life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. It is an act of social violence, not an act in the interest of debate or wider conversation. It is to silence opponents. Homosexual activists have stopped at nothing to publicly identify, publicize and humiliate those who disagree with their social agenda. That's a form of tyranny we ought not accept, in my view. That's an attempt to conduct a mass social purge of the individual's conscience.

If only I could get five people on the Supreme Court to agree with me, and then write a long opinion of precedents to back-up their preconceived view, I could have it my way, too. Our government isn't just the separation of powers between the executive, legislative and judiciary... those are the Federal powers. The separation of powers extends to State powers, and then those of the citizen. That's written in the Tenth Amendment... the one central planners hate. But they know what's best for us, right?

priss rules said...

Even homosexuals are produced by real sexuality requiring male and female(in sex act or in donation of eggs and sperm).

Homosexuality has never ever created a single life. Yet, we are to believe that homosexuality is just as legit as real sexuality.

What a trashy petulant nation the US has become.

When people are severed from the past and heritage through trash pop culture and brainwashed with PC sophistry from cradle, you have America of 2015 where people equate two men buggering one another with the rainbow.

The lesson? People can be made believe anything.

Ares Olympus said...

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD, said.. First, the nuclear family is the core organizational unit of the human race. Perhaps one could argue it is the tribe, but that still places the family as the core organizational component of society and culture, which connects it to the tribe's memes, values and worldview. Upsetting the integrity of this unit is folly, and to my mind quite dangerous.

I'm curious if you're okay with "Gay Marriage" if its called something else, like Domestic partnership?

For example, of the above, which of these "1,138 statutory provisions" should apply exclusively to "heterosexual couples"? And also maybe, which ones should only apply to couples with children? Can we decide how to divide this up? Or maybe most of them should be downgraded to state decisions?

And it works both ways, including unintended liabilities. Like perhaps the "marriage penality" where dual-income couples pay more in taxes together than as two singles. Or perhaps the "marriage tax benefit" of traditional labor specialization, with one working parent, one stay-at-home parent is too generous, and should only apply for couples with underaged children? Or maybe having a say-at-home spouse is still good for strong communities, even without children? But that sounds more like a D-P benefit then.

And a bigger question to me is not whether gays can marry, but whether gay couple should be "trusted" to raise children, whether their own, or via adoption. What if some states want to decide to not allow certain types of parents, which is easier when biology won't automatically create the offspring.

And if we decide its not in the best interest of children to be raised by same-sex parents, can we make the same judgment against single parents?

And yet its all a dangerous place as well, that a federal or state government wants to dictate upon family structures, so perhaps approval and disapproval or family structures is better applied through religious leaders? (Like the attempt for a "covenant marriage" that makes divorce more difficult?)

Anyway, the idea of "50 state" democracy where people can move to states that support their values does offer a chance for experimentation, and if the Libertarians end up taking over a majority in Vermont, they can experiment there and if the Muslims end up taking over a majority in South Dakota, they can practice their Sharia law, without federal interference.

I'm not against any of this categorically, although I do see humanity has two forces, one which pulls together, and one that drives apart, and the first contains a dictatorial impulse which can be harmful and helpful, and the one that drives apart contains freedom but a different sort of alienation, where minorities are not welcome, and self-selection can purify any group into cultural incest that can't get along with anyone outside of themselves, and that's probably the nature of 99% of humanities prehistory, and perhaps its where we'll end up, when our cheap energy modern economies fall apart.

So I imagine the "good fight" can exist on both sides in the long run, and maybe we can hope both impulses fail to completely dominate the other.

Anyway, if you say "I worry about Gay Marriage because it grants implicit rights to gay couples I think should be limited" that sounds like a somethnig to discuss in detail while this "new right" is here, at least for now.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Ares Olympus @June 30, 2015 at 1:38 AM:

Q: "I'm curious if you're okay with "Gay Marriage" if its called something else, like Domestic partnership?"
A: Yes, they're called "civil unions" in many states. I've mentioned this dozens of times in my comments.

Q: "For example, of the above, which of these "1,138 statutory provisions" should apply exclusively to "heterosexual couples"?"
A: Individuals apply for a marriage license. That was the problem with the majority opinion from Friday, which found a collective right enjoyed with couples. There are no collective rights in the Constitution. And the Constitution is silent on marriage. And if individuals file and claim a right to be able to marry who they love, why are any restrictions legal. We're talking about love here, not a compelling State interest in the family unit. How does a State navigate that standard?

Q: And also maybe, which ones should only apply to couples with children?
A: Don't know. What's the "compelling State interest" the Justices now seek to justify the State's desire? With all the emotional entanglements the majority mentioned on Friday, I don't see an clear, objective standard. It can be... whatever you want it to be, I guess. Ask Justice Kennedy. He seems to have it all figured out.

Q: "Can we decide how to divide this up?"
A: I don't know, can we?

Q: "And a bigger question to me is not whether gays can marry, but whether gay couple should be "trusted" to raise children, whether their own, or via adoption."
A: Yes, but this question is now moot. Homosexuals will be permitted to adopt children. Resistance will be met by the same response as Friday, along the same reasoning. We've crossed that river. It's over.

Q: "And if we decide its not in the best interest of children to be raised by same-sex parents, can we make the same judgment against single parents?"
A: Assuming that single parents have custody of their own natural children, I don't know how you get int the way of that, nor do I think you'd want to. One could make a case that the child would be "better off" in a two-parent family, but that's a lot of discretionary power in the hands of the government, and the government would have to forcibly take away someone's child. It would be unseemly and tyrannical. Right now they only do that in cases of abuse, neglect, etc. On the other hand, I am not sure the state wouldn't have an interest in a single parent selecting for adoption. That would be debatable.

Q: "Or perhaps the "marriage tax benefit" of traditional labor specialization, with one working parent, one stay-at-home parent is too generous, and should only apply for couples with underaged children? "
A: I suppose you could do that. Good luck getting it through the legislature. Need has no season in Obamaland.

Q: "And yet its all a dangerous place as well, that a federal or state government wants to dictate upon family structures, so perhaps approval and disapproval or family structures is better applied through religious leaders?"
A; For religious leaders to have any influence today, agreement on the structure would have to be voluntary by all parties, otherwise it won't fly. And that won't fly.

Q: "if the Muslims end up taking over a majority in South Dakota, they can practice their Sharia law, without federal interference."
A: That would violate the Establishment Clause, as Islam does not allow distinctions between church and state. Sharia is a system where the state and mosque are intertwined. Before the Fourteenth Amendment, States could establish a religion. The Supremes did not find an Establishment Clause issue on Friday -- the ban on same-sex marriage wasn't written to reflect one particular religious belief. They found it on the ever-expanding silly putty of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Ares Olympus @June 30, 2015 at 1:38 AM:

One more thing...

Stuart's original question was "Why didn't anyone think of same-sex marriage before?" Because it wasn't even a consideration until 20 years ago. The Constitution is silent on the issue, so Justice Kennedy made it up and found four other people to agree with his wacky reasoning. I guess his thinking "evolved," just like Obama's and Hillary's did. But again I say there is peace when one has good means to good ends. I don't think judicial fiat is a good means to an end amidst shifting public opinion. Justice Ginsberg has said as much about the Roe v. Wade decision. I guess her thinking has evolved, too. Kagan has officiated at homosexual weddings, so we know where she stands. With all this evolution going on, it's important to know where the judiciary stands on matters of interpretation. But making law what you say it "should be" -- as an unelected, unaccountable politician with no term limits -- is a pretty good gig. And it is a threat to self-government and the sovereignty of States. And now we move on, wondering what's coming next...

I guess that's life.

Ares Olympus said...

IAC said: Stuart's original question was "Why didn't anyone think of same-sex marriage before?" Because it wasn't even a consideration until 20 years ago.

That is an interesting point. I wonder if it is true? Have gay people lived together for thousands of years and it never once occured to them to wish their relationship could be recognized as an acceptable equivalence of heterosexual marriage. I admit I don't know. And perhaps sheep and plastic doll-lovers also still wish their impotent relationships could be recognized as marriage? Who knows?

It certainly seems that political change follows desire for change, and a few brave souls are willing to ask like what RFK (re)quoted "There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why... I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?" So apparently dreams lead, and when a critical minority care more than a critical majority don't care to get in the way, the minority has a chance for their "impossible dream".

And perhaps all social order is utopian to degrees, starting with high ideals, and then reality tests the practicality of those ideals in action, and social evolution continues as serves things that people are willing to fight for.

I also found this article from last October.
Francis would like to liberalize church doctrine on marriage, the family, and homosexuality, but he knows that he lacks the support and institutional power to do it. So he's decided on a course of stealth reform that involves sowing seeds of future doctrinal change by undermining the enforcement of doctrine today. The hope would be that a generation or two from now, the gap between official doctrine and the behavior that's informally accepted in Catholic parishes across the world would grow so vast that a global grassroots movement in favor of liberalizing change would rise up at long last to sweep aside the old, musty, already-ignored rules.

If this is what Pope Francis is going for, I don't blame conservatives for beginning to express serious misgivings. It's a brilliant, clever, supremely Machiavellian strategy — one that promises to produce far-reaching reforms down the road while permitting the present pope both to claim plausible deniability ("I haven't changed church doctrine!") and to enjoy nearly constant effusive coverage in the secular press.

And the "CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH" looks like an interesting document to study.
Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered."142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

I don't know enough church history to guess when all these came about or whether they are deemed to be the work of God or the work of Men, but they do seem like opinions to me, and could be debated at least, except that faith might be threatened.

Jesus might have only had 2 commandments, but churches need to elaborate more to keep social order. We might risk associating ourselves with prostitutes and tax collectors if we're not careful!