Daniel Eran Dilger in San Francisco
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Apple gives $100,000 to fight California gay marriage ban

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Prince McLean, AppleInsider

Apple has joined Google in publicly opposing California’s Proposition 8, a measure intended to ban the rights of gay Californians to legally marry, and has contributed $100,000 to defeat the measure.

Both companies have a history of remaining politically neutral, but have chosen to take sides on this issue because it relates directly to the civil rights and opportunities of their employees.

In its Hot News feed, the company stated, “Apple is publicly opposing Proposition 8 and making a donation of $100,000 to the No on 8 campaign. Apple was among the first California companies to offer equal rights and benefits to our employees’ same-sex partners, and we strongly believe that a person’s fundamental rights — including the right to marry — should not be affected by their sexual orientation. Apple views this as a civil rights issue, rather than just a political issue, and is therefore speaking out publicly against Proposition 8.”

Earlier, Google co-founder and president Sergey Brin wrote in the Official Google Blog, “it is the chilling and discriminatory effect of the proposition on many of our employees that brings Google to publicly oppose Proposition 8. While we respect the strongly-held beliefs that people have on both sides of this argument, we see this fundamentally as an issue of equality. We hope that California voters will vote no on Proposition 8 — we should not eliminate anyone’s fundamental rights, whatever their sexuality, to marry the person they love.”

The No on 8 campaign notes that “Virtually every major paper in California is against Prop 8. The L.A. Times says it is ‘a drastic step to strip people of rights.’ La Opinión called Prop 8 ‘an unnecessary initiative.’ The San Diego Union Tribune wrote that Prop 8 ‘offends many Californians’ sense of fairness.’”

Apple’s $100,000 contribution to the No on 8 campaign is significant because the effort to stop the proposition has been systematically outgunned by out-of-state religious groups, who have poured cash into TV advertisements that threaten dire consequences if gays’ right to marry continue in the state. Among other claims, the ads state that if the proposition isn’t passed, California schools will force children to study gay marriage.

That claim prompted California Superintendent of Schools Jack O’Connell to announce that the proposition “has nothing to do with schools or kids. Our schools aren’t required to teach anything about marriage, and using kids to lie about that is shameful.”

In reality, California gays and lesbians have been able to marry since 2004, when San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom arranged for ceremonies at City Hall, which led to a landmark state Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage in the state. None of the claims pushed by Prop 8 supporters have occurred over the last four years.

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57 comments

1 Orenge { 10.24.08 at 5:11 pm }

Great to hear this. Apple’s doing the right thing. Hopefully the rest of CA will too.

2 Murrquan { 10.24.08 at 5:47 pm }

I don’t think that marriage is just a lifestyle choice, and I don’t think that a monogamous homosexual relationship is the moral or biological equivalent of an actual married couple.

I think that the only way this discussion even makes any sense is if the definition of marriage has already been weakened substantially.

3 confluencePDX { 10.24.08 at 6:02 pm }

Gay since birth and an Apple user since 1998.

I’m patriotic: I pay my taxes (so Sarah P’s son can have body armor), vote (as a civic duty) and proud of the achievements of this country.

Yet, why don’t I have the same basic rights as other citizens? Am I asking too much?

Thanks Apple!

4 swinn { 10.24.08 at 6:11 pm }

First, I don’t think Google or Apple are politically “neutral” companies. I hear that line parroted over and over again, but it just isn’t so. In this election cycle Google gave contributions through their PAC to Nancy Pelosi (D), Zoe Lofgren (D), one Barack Obama (D) to the tune of $499,705 and another $140,660 to the DNC. Contributions to McCain or the RNC were conspicuously absent. The political leanings of Apple’s cofounder and current CEO are well known, as well as a former vice president and presidential candidate currently serving on the board.

[That may be true, but neither company has endorsed candidates before.]

Jack O’Connell is talking out of both sides of his mouth. Yes Prop 8 has nothing to do with what is being taught in schools, because the legislation redefining gender with reference to public education was already passed by the legislature last year. It effectively requires “equal time” for gay, lesbian, and transgendered information to children at all levels of education. So if a Kindergarten teacher reads “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” to her class, which mentions a Papa bear and Mama bear, part of her curriculum must include an equivalent reference to the gay or lesbian lifestyle.

[So you agree the TV message Prop 8 churches are advertising is a lie.]

In reality, Gavin Newsom was breaking the law when he performed those marriages. A law enacted with 61% support from California voters. Those are the facts as I understand them.

[California law did not define sex in marriage until a fundamentalist revival in 2000 passed Proposition 22, which changed the California Family Code to formally define marriage in California as being between a man and a woman.

Same sex marriages were hardly "breaking the law." Instead, in May 2008, the California Supreme Court ruled that the statute enacted by Proposition 22 and other statutes that limit marriage to a relationship between a man and a woman violated the equal protection clause of the California Constitution. It also held that individuals of the same sex have the right to marry under the California Constitution. The court subsequently refused to issue a stay of its order.

Populist efforts by Mormons and the Knights of Columbus to whip up hatred and fear in order to push religion into the sphere of secular civil government is not just immoral, but illegal itself, and shows contempt for the California constitution and the principles on which the American government were founded upon.

In 1948, the California Supreme Court became the first state court in the country to strike down a law prohibiting interracial marriage. It was the only state supreme court to do so before the United States Supreme Court invalidated all those laws in 1967.

The California Supreme Court held that "marriage is ... something more than a civil contract subject to regulation by the state; it is a fundamental right of free men ... Legislation infringing such rights must be based upon more than prejudice and must be free from oppressive discrimination to comply with the constitutional requirements of due process and equal protection of the laws."]

5 swinn { 10.24.08 at 7:14 pm }

[That may be true, but neither company has endorsed candidates before.]

Actions speak louder than words. Money speaks extra loud.

[So you agree the TV message Prop 8 churches are advertising is a lie.]

It is not a lie. The strict wording of Prop 8 does not include or strike any text from the education code. In that, he was technically correct. However, educators in Massachusetts have already used the judicial fiat that legalize gay marriage there to teach gay and lesbian relationships to Kindergartners with no parental notification or ability to opt out. If it has already happened there why should anyone believe that it will not have a similar effect in California? It seems like a virtual guarantee to me. The California legislature has already redefined gender in the education code, but failure to pass Prop 8 will certainly reinforce that bit of legisaltion.

[Same sex marriages were hardly "breaking the law." ]

Was Prop 22 the law in California in 2004 when Newsom was performing those marriages? It was. The fact that the judiciary came along 4 years later and threw it out doesn’t mean it was not the law of the land or that he wasn’t breaking it.

[Populist efforts by Mormons and the Knights of Columbus to whip up hatred and fear in order to push religion into the sphere of secular civil government is not just immoral, but illegal itself, and shows contempt for the California constitution and the principles on which the American government were founded upon.]

1) Churches and other groups have every right to speak out on moral issues and when they do so it is neither illegal or immoral. How can taking sides in a moral issue be immoral?

2) So few people seem to understand that most law is based on morality. The basic moral principles of a culture will play a large role in determining its government and its laws. There are thought to be two types of law. An illegal act is either : “malum in se” (bad in itself) or “malum prohibitum” (not inherently bad but illegal by policy). What is defined as “malum in se” can vary greatly from one culture to the next: public drunkenness, cannibalism, owning a dog, urinating in the street, etc. It is the public sense of what is right and wrong — morality. It always makes me chuckle when people complain about “imposing values” on anyone, since that is what law does to a large extent. That is what societies and governments are — groups of people who adhere to a similar concept of morality.

The United States and many other countries were founded on Judeo-Christian principles — that is the basis of our cultural morality. That moral tradition is solidly opposed to homosexuality. But for the last 30 or 40 years a very vocal minority has had a great deal of success in changing many people’s concept of morality. Call it the Culture Wars, the Sexual Revolution or whatever. The concept of “If it feels good, do it” has been making great strides lately.

Now if there is a God and he bothered to outline his system of morality in the Bible (or anywhere else since most of the world’s major religions teach similar values), then embracing homosexuality as a cultural norm is likely going to provoke Sodom and Gomorra Part II. If there is no God (or he doesn’t take a very active role in human affairs) but nature has things figured out pretty well, then homosexuality isn’t the best plan either. If it is genetic, it should be a very difficult trait to naturally pass on to offspring. But if neither of the above is true, then it doesn’t matter what anyone does because we’ll all most likely be dead tomorrow anyway.

However, it seems that families are important to society. Increases in divorce have produced corresponding increases in a wide range of social problems. We have already learned that the hard way — though many of us choose to ignore the lesson. Likewise, countries that have legalized homosexual marriage have seen a decrease in heterosexual marriages as well. The numbers seem to show that legalizing gay marriage undermines the perceived value of marriage as a whole. Devaluing marriage, for whatever reason, decreases committed family relationships, and overtime brings corresponding increases in drug addiction, poverty, crime, higher dropout rates, teen pregnancy, etc. All of these serious societal issues are strongly correlated to weakening families.

Personally, I’m not anxious to have major revisions made to the concept of “family”. I think it is the ideal system and it has worked for a long time. Men and women each have important roles in producing and raising children which seem to strike a natural balance. Keeping men and women together in a stable, exclusive relationship (i.e. marriage) each concerned and contributing to their children’s development seems to be in the best interests of society. I think society’s laws should reflect and encourage that.

[The California Supreme Court held that "marriage is ... something more than a civil contract subject to regulation by the state; it is a fundamental right of free men]

Next up, polygamy. After all, if consenting adults have the fundamental right to be married what difference does it make if there are more than two of them?

6 nat { 10.24.08 at 7:39 pm }

swinn said:

“The United States and many other countries were founded on Judeo-Christian principles — that is the basis of our cultural morality.”

This place we call the U.S.A. was founded by the Native Americans; the white folk who came on boats simply found it.

7 nat { 10.24.08 at 7:49 pm }

swinn said:

“Next up, polygamy. After all, if consenting adults have the fundamental right to be married what difference does it make if there are more than two of them?”

Just consenting adults, regardless of gender? So you’re against both gay and straight marriage? By that logic, we’d already have legal polygamy.

Of course, if you meant to say consenting same-sex marriage, we’re already there and…right, polygamy is still illegal.

8 aboutjack { 10.24.08 at 7:59 pm }

Odd… after being here for literally every single post since the beginning, this one prompted me to register and comment for the first time.

Legally, “marriage” is a contractual agreement between private citizens that has, over time, been somehow usurped by government, and re-characterized as some sort of conditionally granted privilege. I am intentionally omitting any religious viewpoint, as these are irrelevant to any discussion of law… at least under the U.S. constitution… at least theoretically… at least, I *thought* that was the case.

Informed, consenting adults have the intrinsic right of contract in matters not substantively impacting the freedoms or rights of others who are not party to that contract. Period. No discussion possible within the United States’ constitutional rule of law.

It is the courts’ responsibility and the states’ duty to protect and enforce the terms of these contracts.

That there is even any discussion on the issue of individual rights to contract to mutual obligations with another individual is anathema to the fundamental principles of government that underlie the very existence of this wonderful, unique nation.

I live in Tennessee and had missed this whole Prop 8 issue. This afternoon I mailed my own check for $100 to the No on 8 organization. I encourage other patriots who love this great nation and support our core constitutional values to do the same.

9 Murrquan { 10.24.08 at 8:13 pm }

Consenting adults can do whatever they want. The question is whether or not we call monogamous homosexual relations the same thing as actually being married. And whether the state considers the two equivalent, for purposes of childrearing. And whether the state ought to force everyone else to consider them equivalent, including the Boy Scouts of America and adoption agencies that want to do business in California.

I’m LDS (Mormon), and my church almost never takes a stand on political issues. The only times that we do are when the family is at stake. We don’t think its definition can be watered down without lasting repercussions for everyone.

This is not about being stingy and trying to keep others from having what we have. This is about keeping “marriage” from being just another choice between consenting adults, instead of an institution for raising children and the core of worldwide society.

10 aboutjack { 10.24.08 at 8:17 pm }

And, to Swinn, who sarcastically paints the next evolutionary step in this process of acknowledging simple contract rights among individuals as being “polygamy,” I offer these further words:

Yes, the thinking voiced here in opposition to Proposition 8 actually *does* lead to acceptance of polygamy. If 3 or more adult, mentally competent, informed individuals freely choose to enter into a contract defining an intimate relationship among that group, then it is the duty of the state and the courts to protect and enforce that contract.

Personal note: I am sick unto death of self-important bigots complaining about anyone who does not agree with them, and then demanding that our government tilt the legal landscape toward their parochial viewpoint that I am actually scared for the future of this country — frightened. The touchstones of America are mutual respect, tolerance, acceptance, and diversity — with impartial, level treatment of all by our government. If you are reading these words and disagree, you simply do not grasp the mechanisms that have favored this nation above all others through the past 230-years.

11 Murrquan { 10.24.08 at 8:23 pm }

@8, 10

Aboutjack, this isn’t about enforcing contracts between legally competent adults. This is about protecting children who are incapable of entering into such contracts themselves. It’s about a belief that marriage between a man and a woman is both morally and biologically right, and that the institution that this creates — the family — should not be watered down with alternate meanings just for others’ convenience.

I hate no one, and consider myself a reasonable person. But I disagree with you.

12 aboutjack { 10.24.08 at 8:23 pm }

Murrquan: The reality is that marriage **is** “just another choice between consenting adults.” It is word we’ve coined to point to an agreement between individuals to share home and hearth in a long-term, intimate relationship. All that devolves from that relationship — kids, property, obligations of all sorts, are matters of contract, to be defined, stipulated, and enforced between the parties, or by the courts should there be default.

Your church may see it differently, as is your right. What matters here is the one, single, legally codified definition that will be imposed by the force of the state against **all* citizens, not just the ones involved in your church. In America, laws must be broad enough and sufficiently tolerant to embrace **all** citizens. not just the few.

13 Murrquan { 10.24.08 at 8:31 pm }

@12

aboutjack: The children are people too. And they don’t have a say in what life they enter, unless and until the courts step in.

I feel that it’s better if children are raised by both a man and a woman, and I feel that this is biologically obvious and scientifically sound. And I don’t think the force of the state should be used to make adoption agencies, youth ministries or even wedding photographers who disagree do business with people that they think are committing wrong acts and harming children.

You’re treating them as property, not human beings. And we can disagree on what’s best for them, but you have to acknowledge that when people who don’t have a say in the matter are involved, someone needs to protect them.

14 danieleran { 10.24.08 at 8:36 pm }

@Murrquan:

>Consenting adults can do whatever they want. The question is whether or not we call monogamous homosexual relations the same thing as actually being married.

that part is correct

>And whether the state considers the two equivalent, for purposes of childrearing.

that part isn’t. we don’t stop people who are unable to have children (too old, infertile, genetic problems, etc) from getting married.

It is also unthinkably hypocritical for the LDS, a church founded by a polygamist who fought for the right to practice his own beliefs in his family, to be working to “define marriage” for others who do not share the same religious beliefs.

LDS also has an ugly history of racism against blacks. 25 years ago, would the Mormons have supported freedom of interracial marriage? I don’t think you have a holy leg to stand upon.

Being ‘pro family’ does not mean hating other people’s families in another state. San Francisco is full of ex-Mormon gays who have fled religious persecution in Utah. Do Utah Mormons really need to stir up hatred in California as well to further persecute their unwanted children they’re run off from their families? Pro-family my ass.

The Mormon church should lose its tax exempt status for its political involvement in pushing its religion contrary to the state constitution.

Gays need to get married so they can be functional members of society rather than perpetual 17-year olds jumping around on floats while wearing clothes from Abercrombie and Finch. If you’re pro-family, you won’t begrudge their efforts to have the same civil rights you do in terms of raising a family and caring for each other.

15 danieleran { 10.24.08 at 8:43 pm }

And if it’s “all about the children,” consider that there are thousands of unwanted children that would be far better suited to grow up in a caring family raised by two lesbians or two gay dudes than in a foster home or the abusive, racist, hateful and/or religiously-intolerant homes they are pulled from, run away from, or thrown out of by their uncaring biological parents.

Look at Steve Jobs: he was deserted by his biological parents, but raised by a loving family. They didn’t need to be fertile or “biologically natural” to raise him.

Gay children come from straight couples, not the other way around.

16 aboutjack { 10.24.08 at 8:48 pm }

Note to observers: I come at this from a distinctly Libertarian bent, in that I do not see the logical premise by which government justifies the requirement of registering marriages/seeking a marriage license in the first place. My wife and I feel no more or less “married” after having been forced to obtain a government license (for immigration purposes). What we feel is forcefully, invasively intruded upon. Why any individuals wishing to make commitments to one another must beg the permission of a bureaucrat escapes my constitutionally framed sensibilities.

17 Murrquan { 10.24.08 at 8:58 pm }

@16
aboutjack: Libertarian FTW. I’m afraid of the government forcing people to do business with homosexual couples on the grounds of preventing discrimination, even when they feel that it’s morally wrong for them to do so.

@14,15
danieleran: I disagree with you, but I don’t feel that it means you’re a bad person.

I lived in Utah for two years and didn’t like it much there. And I was ostracized by my family for holding progressive political views. I know what kind of bigotry that many of the people I’m talking about are capable of.

I think that reasonable people can disagree on this issue, though, and that taking a different stance does not automatically mean that I am a hateful person who wants to oppress people. And as one who has studied both, from what I believe is a modern, progressive standpoint, I also feel that the issues of both polygamy and black members holding the Priesthood are much more complex than you make them out to be.

I had a hard enough time explaining to my classmates and the teacher this week that the pro-gay marriage side is not hateful and self-absorbed, and trying to tell them what they believe they are actually fighting for. Perhaps this is an issue where both sides really fail to understand each other.

18 theskeptic { 10.25.08 at 12:58 am }

Bah. Marriage was “undefined” in the law for years – because everyone KNEW that it was a union between a man and a woman! Even when you use the phrase in other circumstances, (e.g a marriage of jazz and blues), it means the union of things which are NOT the same….

Thus it seems to be a verbal sophistry to use it for same sex couples!

That said, homosexual relationships are legal and it is perfectly logical to give homosexual couples the same rights as heterosexual couples under the law (with the exception of adoption etc.).

It would be nice to use a different phrase for the relationship though. How about “gayriage”?

19 SteelBlades { 10.25.08 at 2:51 am }

Like so many divisive issues, it is necessary to distill an issue to its central core to understand what drives the conflict. In this case, on one side (Camp A) you have the those who hold marriage up as something unique (both in nature and character). On the other side (Camp B) you have those who see marriage as unnecessary. People may sit between these camps, but at the end of the day, I believe this is the nub of it.

In countries dominated by western culture (my own included) there has been a steady drift towards Camp B. For various reasons, Camp A is viewed by many (and importantly the educated elite) as anachronistic. We can argue why, but it usually ends up with Camp B calling Camp A religious bigots, and Camp A getting frustrated while they’re unable to articulately defend their point of view.

In most countries where the law protects marriage as between one male and one female, with the notable exception of perhaps China, there is a unifying social ethic founded in religion. As the west has eschewed its own main religion (Christianity) the culture has diversified – to the point that it’s almost difficult to call it one culture. So here’s the problem – those who still have a link to a religion (in the west that’s usually Christianity of some form) tend to lean towards Camp A. Those who have no link to religion tend to lean more towards Camp B. There are exceptions of course. We can argue all we like about the pros and cons of gay marriage, but really, this is a result of a much larger discussion – the role of Christianity in western culture (if this was in the middle east, it would a discussion of the role of Islam, India – Hinduism, etc.).

We also need to consider how far pragmatism can go. If being pragmatic is all that matters, then a great deal of issues will be resolved bluntly, and with little compassion. We need to be careful of using pragmatic arguments when choosing between two unpopular choices (for this example we could say, gay foster parents vs bad natural married parents). Diminishing the value of an institution based on those who abuse it, isn’t fair. If people are failing in an institution that has stood the test of time, the solution needn’t be to dismantle it, but assist those struggling in it.

As an institution, marriage really has stood the test of time like few others. For thousands and thousands of years, it has served humanity well. In meddling with it, we risk so very much. While not it’s only role, marriage has a key part in maintaining a stable family in which to nurture the next generation. Even in stone age cultures, there was *always* a ceremony that celebrated and cleared the way for a man and woman to join as a couple. This typically preceded close relations. Examples that come to mind are native Americans and our own Maori. While not even closely Christian (or other major religion) the cultures learned long ago to protect and celebrate a marriage.

For those assessing this from an evolutionary standpoint, does it not seem strange that after all this time, other species still use the male/female system to raise the next generation? Looking at our close cousins the apes, they mate for life and share in the raising of their children. Of course, the tribe also shares in it – analogous a human village sharing the responsibility.

Humans are complex, and fathers and mothers bring valuable differences to a marriage and the raising of children. Two dads and two mums may seem better than two bad natural parents, but that brings to the table other weaknesses. Surely the better solution is to work on the cause of the problem, not find an alternative solution.

The cornerstone of human society is the family, and a central part of that is the marriage of one woman and one man. Reinventing marriage, after thousands of years of it existing in a certain way – after our wonderful cultures have developed within it – has to be one of the riskiest undertakings of our time. For people distancing themselves from religion – the main defender of common marriage – it’s understandable that they put both in the same cart. I suspect history will judge this a mistake.

Marriage between same sex couples inevitably leads to some wanting children to further complete their life experiences. My suggestion is to examine the effects on children of non-standard families. In my own country, the research is compelling. In the majority of cases, children do best with caring mother and father in a stable family. I believe we should be working to repair the institution of marriage, as it has served us so well for so long, and not play russian roulette with the future of our families, and by extension, our culture and countries.

My two cents worth.

ps. In my country there are very few unwanted children. Most unwanted children are terminated before birth. The irony is that there are thousands of childless couples (woman + man) desperate to adopt, but there’s a shortage of available children. Perhaps it is different in the USA.

20 aboutjack { 10.25.08 at 4:19 am }

You know… at the core of this discussion a question begs. Why on earth does anyone object to a couple of consenting adults choosing to make a life commitment to one another and to then establish mutual residence with all the rights and privileges normally attendant thereto? How does this reality in any way *harm* you, the objecting party? Given this is a discussion of the legalities, not of the theological implications of such a union, I literally cannot think of one single logically valid objection. And, I am still waiting for an opponent of same sex marriage legality to step up and make a legally compelling argument based on what supposed harm this does to other, uninvolved citizens.

21 Joel { 10.25.08 at 5:48 am }

@theskeptic “It would be nice to use a different phrase for the relationship though. How about ‘gayriage’?”

Why would it be “nice” to discriminate against a minority…? And if we can discriminate against one minority, what’s wrong with discriminating against others…?

In the UK the clumsy term “Civil Partnership” is used, and luckily is one of the few examples of legalised discrimination remaining…

@aboutjack “Why on earth does anyone object to a couple of consenting adults choosing to make a life commitment to one another and to then establish mutual residence with all the rights and privileges normally attendant thereto?”

Because its nice to feel morally superior than others for no actual reason…?

Personally, I’m glad Apple has made this step. It will hopefully bring this issue into mainstream America, especially in California. And once America has tackled gay marriage, perhaps they move to the reasons why its wrong, and start discussing religion, and the pros/cons of that…!

22 theskeptic { 10.25.08 at 9:38 am }

@Joel –
You fail to address the point. Marriage MEANS the union of man and woman to become husband and wife. Please tell – what terms do you use for the individuals in a homosexual marriage? Husband and husband?

It is not discrimination to prefer that the word keep its meaning, and that an alternative be found for the “new” relationships. It is not discrimination to use two words to express two different concepts.

When saying that someone is married, we are saying more than”he/she is in a committed relationship”!

Words are important. So is equality. Same sex couples should have the same rights as hetero couples, under the law. Just find a better word for the relationship, instead of hijacking one that has been well understood for centuries.

23 aboutjack { 10.25.08 at 11:26 am }

theskeptic: Hmmm… I just checked the definition in four different dictionaries. It seems the meaning is a bit broader than the narrow one you ascribe. And, I hardly think historical usage of a word is a bar to expansion of its meaning, especially insofar as invoking that meaning as a mechanism to arbitrarily limit changes in society. Words evolve to more correctly fit contemporary realities. This is such an evolutionary opportunity for “marriage.”

I reject the notion of limiting the legal marriage of gays because doing so is semantically incorrect.

24 aboutjack { 10.25.08 at 11:31 am }

“We’ve always used the word ‘citizen’ to refer to white, European descent males. Other people should have the same rights as citizens under the law — women, non-Caucasian ethnicities. Just find a better word for the relationship, instead of hijacking one that has been well understood for centuries.” [American Bigot, circa 1860]

25 Joel { 10.25.08 at 12:09 pm }

“Marriage MEANS the union of man and woman to become husband and wife. Please tell – what terms do you use for the individuals in a homosexual marriage? Husband and husband?”

And why can’t they be…? Sounds like a very contrived argument to me… Just change the definition and you remove the problem. And words, especially in English, change their meaning over time.

Words are important. But they’re just words.

And everyone would know the difference to a gay marriage and a long-term relationship. Just as everyone knows the difference between a long-term straight relationship and a “proper” marriage.

“When saying that someone is married, we are saying more than”he/she is in a committed relationship”!”

What is this “more”…? To me a marriage is a formalised union between two individuals, whether they are men, women or a mixture. Or should we anull the marriages of childless couples…?

I wonder if African-Americans would be satisfied if they were given full equality with white US citizens, just be called something other than citizens…

26 tripleman { 10.25.08 at 1:06 pm }

I find it amazing that in this time of wars, genocide, famine climate change and economic crisis, people are freaking out about two people, in love, wanting to marry.

All of the arguments opposing gay marriage have been used before against women’s rights and minority rights.

27 Per Grenerfors { 10.25.08 at 1:39 pm }

I really don’t understand what the fuss is all about. It’s not like anyone’s forcing Mormons to marry gay men or lesbian women for that matter.

28 Apple opposes Proposition 8 « Systematic Abstraction { 10.25.08 at 3:13 pm }

[...] If you want to debate about Proposition 8 itself, the comments on RoughlyDrafted are interesting (if slightly one-sided). Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)A Message [...]

29 danieleran { 10.25.08 at 3:40 pm }

Morris Thurston, an active Mormon who received his undergraduate degree in political science from BYU and his law degree from Harvard Law School, recently critiqued the anonymously published list of talking points (frequently reported by supporters, as above) because they were false and misleading:

Most of the arguments contained in “Six Consequences [the Coalition Has Identified if Proposition 8 Fails]” are either untrue or misleading. The following commentary addresses those arguments and explains how they are based on misinterpretations of law and fact. My intent is to be of service in helping our Church avoid charges of using falsehoods to gain a political victory. Relying on deceptive arguments is not only contrary to gospel principles, but ultimately works against the very mission of the Church.”

http://www.noonprop8.com/downloads/Thurston-Memo.pdf

1. Children in public schools will have to be taught that same-sex marriage is just as good as traditional marriage.

Response: This is untrue. California Education Code 51890 provides that “pupils will receive instruction to aid them in making decisions in matters of personal, family, and community health.” The focus is on health. The statute provides for community participation, including lectures by practicing professional health and safety personnel from the community. Things that are to be taught include, for example drug use and misuse, nutrition, exercise, diseases and disorders, environmental health and safety, as well as “family health and child development, including the legal and financial aspects and responsibilities of marriage and parenthood.”

Another section of the Education Code (51933) deals with comprehensive sexual health education and HIV/AIDS prevention. It provides that instruction shall be age appropriate and medically accurate, shall teach “respect for marriage and committed relationships,” and shall encourage a pupil to communicate with his or her parents about human sexuality.

Therefore, no provision of the Education Code requires any teacher to teach that same‐sex marriage is “just as good” as traditional marriage. Teachers are to teach respect for marriage and committed relationships, and Proposition 8 will not change this law.

2. Churches may be sued over their tax exempt status if they refuse to allow same-sex marriage ceremonies in their religious buildings open to the public.

Response: This false “consequence” is based on the misrepresentation of a case in New Jersey involving an association affiliated with the Methodist Church. In considering that case, it is important to remember that New Jersey does not permit gay marriage, so that case had nothing to do with Proposition 8.

What was the New Jersey case about? The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association (OGCMA), a Methodist organization, had taken advantage of a New Jersey law granting a state property tax exemption for a pavilion in the seaside town of Ocean Grove that was dedicated for public use. Note that the case did not involve income tax exemptions and note that the purpose for giving the exemption in the first place was to reward organizations for opening their buildings and facilities for public use.

The property in question was a boardwalk pavilion open to the public. “Bands play there. Children skateboard through it. Tourists enjoy the shade. It’s even been used for debates and Civil War re‐enactments.”3 It was also available to be reserved for marriage ceremonies by people of any faith. Nevertheless, the OGCMA wanted to prohibit a gay commitment ceremony (not a marriage ceremony) from being held in the pavilion. The New Jersey real estate commission ruled that if OGCMA intended to claim a property tax exemption for a building open to the public, they could not discriminate. Seen in this light, it was a sensible ruling. Implicit in the ruling is that the group could discriminate if they ceased to claim a property tax exemption for a public facility. It is important to note that this ruling pertained only to the pavilion, which constituted a mere one percent of the property the OGCMA owned. The total amount of additional tax assessed was $200. The OGCMA continues to receive a property tax exemption for the remaining 99% of its property.

This case has nothing at all to do with any Mormon, Catholic or any other church’s chapel or sanctuary that is used for religious purposes. It has nothing to do with any church’s income tax exemption. To my knowledge, the Mormon Church has never sought to take advantage of a property tax exemption similar to the New Jersey exemption and likely never would.

The California Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage cannot have any federal tax consequences, and the Court so noted explicitly in its decision. The Supreme Court also noted that its ruling would not require any priest, rabbi or minister to perform gay marriages, which should be self‐evident because of the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of religion.

3. Religious adoption agencies will be challenged by government agencies to give up their long-held right to place children only in homes with both a mother and a father. Catholic
Charities in Boston already closed its doors in Massachusetts because courts legalized same-sex marriage there
.

Response: Another misrepresentation. To begin with, it should be noted that Catholic Charities in Boston was not forced to close its doors—indeed it is still very active. (See its website at [url]www.ccab.org.) Rather, Catholic Charities voluntarily ceased providing [/url]
adoption service in Massachusetts. According to the Boston Globe, Catholic Charities elected to close its doors in protest over the legalization of gay marriage in Massachusetts and because it was reluctant to undertake a lawsuit that might be lost.

LDS Family Services still operates in Massachusetts, as it does in California. There are several differences between LDSFS and Catholic Charities. LDSFS does not take federal or state funds; Catholic Charities does. LDSFS facilitates only voluntary adoptions and permits the birth mother to approve the adoptive parents. Catholic Charities handled non‐voluntary adoptions (where the state seizes the children) and normally did not accommodate birth mother approval. Catholic Charities had contracts with the state and was, in effect, acting as an agent of the state. LDSFS does not. To date, LDS Family Services has never been forced to place any children
with a gay couple, and has never been sued for not doing so.

If this situation ever faces a legal challenge in California, it will not matter whether Proposition 8 passes because California already has on its books (and has for several years) laws granting domestic partners (homosexual and heterosexual) the same civil rights as married couples. This is a point that many people seem not to understand. Here is the language of just one California statute: “Registered domestic partners shall have the same rights, protections, and benefits, and shall be subject to the same responsibilities, obligations, and duties under law, whether they derive from statutes, administrative regulations, court rules, government policies, common law, or any other provisions or sources of law, as are granted to and imposed upon spouses.”

Therefore, the passage or failure of Proposition 8 will have no effect on the placement of orphans with gay couples in California.

4. Religions that sponsor private schools with married student housing may be required to provide housing for same-sex couples, even if counter to church doctrine, or risk lawsuits over tax exemptions and related benefits.

Response: This claim relates to an experience at Yeshiva University in New York. Gay students were eligible for University housing, but their partners were not able to join them because they did not have marriage certificates. It should be noted that Yeshiva University (despite its name) is chartered as a nonsectarian institution, enabling it to receive state and federal funding. The New York court found that Yeshiva was discriminating against the students based on their sexual orientation—not their marital status. The ruling was based on New York City non‐discrimination laws.

California’s existing non‐discrimination laws give all registered domestic partners, whether heterosexual or homosexual, the right of equal access to family housing. To date, however, no California private religious school has been forced to comply with this law. Neither the passage nor the failure of Proposition 8 will have any bearing on the law relating to family student housing in California.

The gay marriage problem will not arise at BYU and other Church universities because engaging in homosexual activity is a violation of the honor code and is a basis for expulsion from the University. These rules will not be overturned merely because California recognizes gay marriages, any more than they have been because Massachusetts, Canada and many European nations recognize them.

5. Ministers who preach against same-sex marriages may be sued for hate speech and risk government fines. It already happened in Canada, a country that legalized gay marriage. A recent California court held that municipal employees my not say: “traditional marriage,” or “family values” because, after the same-sex marriage case, it is “hate speech.”

Response: Of course, anyone can be “sued” for anything, but no minister has been convicted of a crime in Canada or the United States for preaching against same‐sex marriages. The Owens case, on which this statement is based, was brought well before gay marriage was legal in Canada and did not involve a minister, but a private citizen. In that case, a man named Hugh Owens produced bumper stickers and took out an ad that depicted two stick figures holding hands, covered by a circle and a slash, along with a reference to a passage in Leviticus that says that a man engaging in homosexual activity “shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.” The lower court ruled that this amounted to hate speech, but the decision was overturned on review. The current Canadian law on hate propaganda excludes any speech if it is spoken during a private conversation or if the person uttering the speech “is attempting in good faith to establish by argument an opinion on a religious subject.”10Thus, even ministers who preach against same‐sex marriages in Canada have no risk of legal liability or government fines.

This would never be an issue in the United States because we have far more liberal freedom of speech and religion laws than does Canada.11 There have been no hate speech lawsuits in Massachusetts, which has been a gay marriage state for four years.

The description of the recent California case is another fabrication. This case is Good News Employee Association v. Hicks, which was decided before the Supreme Court legalized gay marriages and so it, too, has nothing to do with Proposition 8. The
plaintiffs in that case were evangelical Christians (not homosexuals) who posted flyers around the offices of the Oakland Community and Economic Development Agency promoting their “Good News Association” and calling on those who read the flyer to
“preserve our workplace with integrity … with respect for the natural family, marriage and family values.” In other words, this group was promoting the idea of ridding their workplace of gay people—a blatantly homophobic message and highly offensive not
only to several gay people who worked there but to heterosexual co‐workers as well. The supervisors removed the flyers. The Good News people sued, claiming their rights of free speech were violated. The court found that the agency was entitled to eliminate the workplace disruption the flyers were causing and noted that there were any other ways for this group to promote their message without resorting to such offensive tactics.

This case does not hold that municipal employees are prohibited from saying “traditional marriage” or “family values” and it has nothing to do with gay marriage, or ministers preaching, or Proposition 8. Indeed, the court specifically found that there were many other ways for these people to get their message out without disrupting the workplace by creating an atmosphere of persecution.

6. It will cost you money. This change in the definition of marriage will bring a cascade of lawsuits, including some already lost (e.g., photographers cannot now refuse to photograph gay marriages, doctors cannot refuse to perform artificial insemination of gays even given other willing doctors). Even if courts eventually find in favor of a defender of traditional marriage (highly improbable given today’s activist judges), think of the money – your money – that will be spent on such legal battles.

Response: The argument concerning cost is fallacious and calculated to engender fear. In actuality, the net fiscal effect of Proposition 8 will be an influx of revenue to California because of the anticipated increase in marriage ceremonies and the related boon to the economy. The change in the definition of marriage will not bring a “cascade of lawsuits” because heterosexual and homosexual registered domestic partners already have all the rights of married couples in California. None of the lawsuits alluded to in this paragraph has anything to do with gay marriage.

The wedding photographer case was in New Mexico, a state that has no gay marriage law. The medical doctor case was in California, but was based on our existing non‐discrimination laws and would not be affected one way or the other by the passage of Proposition 8.

30 PXT { 10.25.08 at 4:11 pm }

I think it’s significant that Apple are emphasizing the ‘civil rights’ angle, rather than political or religious.

I think they are saying: This is America? Are we all equal or not?

31 theskeptic { 10.26.08 at 4:37 am }

@aboutjack: This isn’t “evolution” of popular language. This is a change that is being forced by particular interest groups.

You and Joel falsely link “equality” to the word that is used. If people are treated equally – that is what matters. Redefining “marriage” to include homosexual couples is simply an attempt to homogenize different kinds of relationships.

Next I expect to hear that “married” homosexuals are sanctioned by the Bible…. because they are married!

@Joel: Who mentioned children? Nice strawman. Is it fun to argue with yourself?

32 Joel { 10.26.08 at 5:20 am }

And you’ve avoided answering the points in my reply, as well as introducing a nice put-down. Hmmm….

33 aboutjack { 10.26.08 at 8:06 am }

@theskeptic: I think this is becoming sport for you, so I will simply summarize my position on Prop 8 here, and back away, leaving the topic for others to pursue. The objections to gays being married are all religious in nature. There simply is no non-religious rationale for arbitrarily limiting the rights of marriage to monogamous male/female couples. Codifying these religious objections in the form of Prop 8 is an egregious back step in this country’s fitful forward march away from inconsistent human rights policies to an era of equal justice for all citizens. Prop 8 is simply a wrongheaded piece of civil rights crushing nonsense that should be defeated and forgotten.

34 SteelBlades { 10.26.08 at 3:15 pm }

aboutjack: “The objections to gays being married are all religious in nature. There simply is no non-religious rationale for arbitrarily limiting the rights of marriage to monogamous male/female couples. ”

So close, but wrong. It’s true that the religious folk living in our secular culture have the purpose and motivation to defend the institution of marriage form attack. However, allowing gays to marry *will* impact on everyone – ulitmately. This is death by a thousand cuts.

First came accepting de facto relationships as legitimate in society. Then come legalising it in law in some capacity.

Next comes accepting gay relationships as legitimate in society. Then come legalising it in law in some capacity.

Then comes a new institution – the Cilvil Union (a marriage for any couple – gay or straight) that just avoids the name marriage (this is where my country is at).

Next comes making it very hard for a woman to change her surname to that of her husband (for some – a small thing – but it is another nail).

Then comes gay adoption. Then polygamy. Actually, polygamy is closer than many realise, since a Cilvil Union isn’t as picky as a marriage about who can unite with whom, and it doesn’t matter if a third party wants to be in the union unofficially. It’s a very short step from there to recognising it legally, whereas even proponents of gay marriages tend to prefer it to be between two not three or more.

The point is, marriage as an institution has looked after our society for thousands of years. Meddling with it is risky at best. Based on real, impartial and non-religious research, the impact on the next generation of non-standard relationships is well known. You don’t *have* to be religious to read this and understand it. But apparently it helps, as religious folk don’t carry the baggage of a contemporary culture trying to find itself by burying it’s traditional past at all costs.

[Your whole argument boils down to "slippery slope" fear. So lets look at what the slippery slope has done to society over the last 50 years: in the US, it has granted blacks civil rights. We had Jim Crow laws up into the late 60s. We're still working on the right for women to earn equal pay for equal work.

50 years ago, your impassioned arguments could just as well be addressing the scary dangers of mixing races: allowing different races of school kids to share a room might result in kids not being able to learn because they'd be so traumatized by their own racist fears. Think of the children!

And what about interracial marriage?! Many religions taught (or teach) that God cursed the black race, meaning that mixed races would logically spread the curse around. Mormons, the same group trying to stop same sex marriage today, were against interracial marriage as "unnatural" not too long ago. Before that, they were also working to make polygamy acceptable.

Would you be writing the same thing about that subject 50 years ago? : "The point is, [racially pure] marriage as an institution has looked after our society for thousands of years. Meddling with it is risky at best. Based on real, impartial and non-religious research, the impact on the next generation of non-standard [interracial] relationships is well known. You don’t *have* to be religious to read this and understand it. But apparently it helps, as religious folk don’t carry the baggage of a contemporary culture trying to find itself by burying it’s traditional past at all costs.”

When you look at the “slippery slope” from hindsight, you see that we’re actually climbing uphill in progress, and it’s your fear-based religious baggage that makes progress so very burdensome for you.]

35 valit { 10.26.08 at 4:54 pm }

SteelBlades, congratulations on posting probably the silliest comment so far in this thread.

When you say something like “Based on real, impartial and non-religious research, the impact on the next generation of non-standard relationships is well known” you have to provide some kind of reference to the research you’re referring to otherwise your contribution is as valuable as saying: “it’s been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that pigs can and do indeed fly”.

This research that you are allegedly privy to shows the indisputable effects of same-sex marriage on subsequent generations. It’s extremely interesting considering that same-sex marriage hasn’t been around all that long. It would be great if you could share such ground-breaking findings with the rest of us so we can all learn from these innovative research methods.

36 SteelBlades { 10.26.08 at 8:25 pm }

Daniel: thanks for the response. With respect, and I mean that – you’re one smart guy – the comments above simply don’t match with Biblical teaching, especially in the Christian era. Please understand that I am not commenting at all on the Mormon position – I don’t begin to understand their teachings. But on strictly on the basis of New Testament Biblical teaching I’ll continue.

I wouldn’t dream of suggesting that there *haven’t* been some terrible injustices done in the name of God (and other gods) – and sadly and mistakenly sometimes in the name of Christianity – such things are a blight on our collective religious heritage. A global minority (although at times concentrated in some places) take scripture out of context and have tried to apply it more recently. Even in the original context, the interpretation of such passages has often been questionable.

Now directing attention to the slippery slope – as I understand it, the Bible has much to say on the matter of equality. At the risk of inciting some, and annoying others for not (can’t win eh?), I won’t reproduce any Bible verses here. But the Bible is clear that there is no basis for Christians to discriminate base on race, creed, sex and so on. But on the basis of sexual orientation there is. Some argue it’s out of date. Okay – they can claim that, but indisputably, the Bible does differentiate between homosexual issues and others. The issue is always treated separately from race, creed, gender, etc. so the argument that those using a Biblical angle need to consider gay marriage a continuation of earlier battles isn’t valid.

The right for woman to vote was first brokered here in 1893 – long before the USA. It was achieved through the work of a strongly Christian woman – who quite rightly used the Bible to defend her position. In the USA, many of the greatest movers and shakers in social change (e.g. Martin Luther King) were Christian. Indeed, MLK was a clergyman!

I don’t believe the liberalisation of marriage is in the same ballpark as the correction of anti-social and anti-Christian segregation laws. And as I said before, it’s not fair to judge a theology by its abuses.

Fifty years ago this discussion would have looked exactly the same here in NZ. We’ve never have issues with race here – the USA has nothing on NZ when it comes to acceptance of others different to ourselves. Nevertheless, I don’t believe gay marriage is the same sort of issue as race, creed and so on, and Christians can’t be told that because they believe in A, that B must follow, when B is always dealt with very differently in the Bible. I hasten to add that Christians are taught to love the person, if not their choices in life – regardless of what those choices are.

So to conclude, I don’t think the advancement of black civil rights, and the acceptance of interracial marriages was anything other than the correction of some bad US laws and attitudes – nothing to do with a slippery slope at all.

Valit: I’ll try and address your concerns today, but it’s Labour Day here and the weather’s beautiful. So guess where I’ll be.

37 valit { 10.27.08 at 6:58 am }

Thanks SteelBlades but if you address issues based on what the scriptures allegedly say rather than a logical argument, there’s no need to “address my concerns” as I know in advance that we won’t find much common ground.

Arguing that it’s fair to discriminate against homosexuals because the bible doesn’t say we shouldn’t is a bit like saying that it’s fine to hit people over the head with an ironing board because the bible doesn’t say anything about no ironing boards.

I would suggest that you consider reading texts like “What the Bible Really Says about Homosexuality” by Daniel A. Helminiak, a Roman Catholic priest who has done careful reading in current biblical scholarship about homosexuality, just to consider someone else’s point of view.

Patrick A. Daley, commenting on this book said: “As Father Helminiak points out, the Bible has no concept of homosexuality, which is a modern concept and word. What one can study is what the Bible says about what we would class as some forms of homosexual behavior. But the biblical authors lacked the concept, and so could not classify anything as homosexual. Therefore, there can be no general condemnation of homosexual behavior (our concept) in the Bible, like it or not.”

You are right in saying that we shouldn’t judge a religious faith on the basis of its abuses and it’s a shame that the religious intolerant keep putting off thousands of people claiming their persistent gay-bashing is religiously motivated when it’s simply a product of their upbringing.

38 aboutjack { 10.27.08 at 7:41 am }

SteelBlades: The USA is premised on a constitutional ban of enforcing religious notions via law. Our system of government is secular, and designed to promote and protect cultural pluralism. It is premised on the idea of providing an even-handed foundation of law that recognizes and supports a wide enough swath of humanity and human views and behaviors to allow any honest, adult, informed activities that do not themselves wrongfully impose on the freedoms of others. The idea is to allow anyone to engage in any behavior that does not forcefully or deceptively impose on others. That’s why we have thousands of unique ethnic and cultural groups peacefully coexisting here, when so much of the rest of the world lives in constant turmoil. It is why hundreds of religions have unfettered rights to worship and engage in their unique behaviors here.

At its essence, it is the complete non-religious legal framework of the USA that has allowed this country to become the mecca of global religious promotion, practice, and evangelism of all sorts. Everyone here is completely free to worship and promote whatever religious approach suits their fancy — because of the secular, non-discriminatory nature of our legal system.

When one “special interest,” such as a religious group, begins to impose shifts on our legal structure that favor that group’s specific agenda, the entire fabric of this pluralist approach begins to break down. Conversely, when a needed legal improvement is blocked by a religious intervention (as is being attempted here with this California Prop 8 issue), old worn spots in this evolving fabric fail to be repaired.

The thing that benefits a Baptist couple in Georgia with the sanctity and security of a well-defined government system of marriage rights and definitions is the same thing that allows a Muslim women in Chicago to walk safely to the neighborhood mosque for worship, is the same thing that allows a Klansman in Mississippi to walk down the street in a peaceful protest against Jews, which is the same thing that permits a college newspaper editor in Oregon to publish an article decrying the integrity of the state legislature, and so forth. All of these are premised on the underlying concept of peaceful coexistence in a pluralist society, with the full protection of our laws. One group cannot be permitted to impose its prejudiced views upon the underlying system without jeopardizing the continuing viability of that very system, and of their own freedoms.

In other words, the strongest reason for a fundamental Christian American to *support* gay marriage rights under the law, even though the idea runs counter to their religious teachings, is to strengthen and support the underlying egalitarian legal fabric of our country, the same fabric that provides all of those wonderful freedoms that also equally benefit that same fundamental Christian.

The legal framework that gives you the right to do what you choose is always in need to continuing improvement and perfecting, to correct errors and cope to changing realities. Broadening the legal definition of marriage to embrace this country’s huge, honest, productive population of gays and lesbians is just one such needed adjustment.

A Christian endorsing such a legal shift would not be saying “Gay marriage is okay within my beliefs.” She would be saying, “The secular laws of this country should not discriminate against these people in this matter.”

39 designguy { 10.27.08 at 2:02 pm }

I am truly shocked to see this level of intolerance.

Thank you aboutjack and Dan, the best arguments I have seen due to their honest truths.

Those of you who are discriminating, shame on you.
Your personal beliefs are not welcome in this forum, because we are talking about EQUAL RIGHTS! Nothing more

Under this very basic concept, an opinion is irrelevant.

Some of you are actually promoting discrimination, and opening the door for hate. I am shocked that we can write fundamental rights out of our constitution because of a personal or religious belief.

One of my “gay” friends lost the person he loved in a car accident and was unable to see him on their death bed, because he was blocked by the family.

My gay friend is not the sinful snake, it is you who fanatically force your beliefs on others with strict adherence.

Just a fact for all of you to know…
The first year that the gay youth suicide hotline was opened it received over 15,000 calls from youth. Guess what kind of parents they had……..

40 aboutjack { 10.27.08 at 2:21 pm }

Thanks, designguy… It always amazes me to see an individual fighting against the very same equal rights concept that is responsible for them having the right to safely voice that opinion. And, I am shocked that so few Americans seem to fully grasp that it is by our government being relentlessly non-religious that all religions, including theirs, have the rights to flourish here. It can’t be both ways. Either one set of religious based ideas is codified into law, leaving all others as disadvantaged, possibly even criminal, minorities. Or, religious based ideas need to be completely omitted from our laws, leaving ALL religions with complete safety and freedom.

It can’t be both ways.

41 Apple tar ställning för homoäktenskap | Forumsok - Sök bland svenska forum { 10.27.08 at 9:27 pm }
42 swinn { 10.28.08 at 2:33 pm }

It is amazing to me that people are having such are hard time distinguishing between religion and morality. Religion teaches forms of morality, but is not an exclusive source of it. A great deal of law (malum in se) is based on a society’s concept of what is moral. In short, a society is a group of people who generally agree on certain standards of behavior or what is considered right and wrong; society’s laws reflect that.

When this nation was founded, the basis of morality did not include homosexual behavior. It was considered “wrong”, just like lying, adultry, drunkenness, or a number of other things. Religion considered homosexuality a “sin”, but society considered it “immoral”.

A great many people have altered their sense of what is moral since then. The tendency is for people to attempt to redefine societal morality to tolerate their behavior. Over the last 30 or 40 years infidelity, drug use, divorce, and homosexuality have been gaining acceptance as “the way things are”. Homosexuals in particular have found some people to support them, intimidated others, and made others so tired of hearing about it that they are generally apathetic.

Allowing homosexual marriage is just as much an imposition of moral judgment on society as not allowing it. It is perfectly correct to oppose something you consider immoral. Some people in our society have accepted a definition of morality that includes homosexual behavior as normal and natural, others have not. Prop 8 will be something of a barometer for where society’s morals are currently.

43 aboutjack { 10.28.08 at 3:07 pm }

“Opposing” a non-intrusive private behavior of others and legislating it as illegal or “less than others” in legality are very different. The argument here is not the irreligious nature or immorality of gay marriage. The issue is whether this non-intrusive behavior is within the purview of the government insofar as legislative action. Many of us ascribe to the strict constitutional concepts of right to privacy and equal treatment under the law in these matters. You seem to not agree — which is your right.

44 swinn { 10.29.08 at 1:15 pm }

How did the public definition of marriage become a “private” and “non-intrusive” matter? We are talking about the legal definition of marriage in our society, right? In what way could that ever be private? If it were a private matter I would take no exception to it, but it clearly is not. Non-intrusive? It is a fundamental shift in the publicly endorsed structure of families. There isn’t any aspect of society it won’t affect.

It is strange that you invoke a right to privacy when discussing government and public involvement. Isn’t that sort of the opposite of privacy? Doesn’t privacy mean keeping things away from public attention? It does. So how can a right to privacy support a public definition of marriage?

Your definition of equal treatment under the law seems a bit skewed too. Equal treatment means equal application of the law. If the law says only marriage between a man and woman is recognized as valid that means any man that is married to any woman has a valid marriage. That does not mean any two people can have a legally binding marriage because they want to be married. Cousins, siblings, parents and children, anyone underage, pets: you can’t marry any of them, no matter how much in love you are (see my previous posts about law and morality). The law has to apply to you before you consider whether you are being treated equally under it.

45 aboutjack { 10.29.08 at 2:27 pm }

swinn:: You are dancing. You can agree with me or not about the proper role of the USA government. I ascribe to the Non-Aggression Principle:

“No person may initiate or threaten to initiate the use of coercive physical force.”

This is very near the rebellious attitude at play in the design of our government and codified in our Constitution. I say “rebellious” as the guys doing the designing and drafting were sick and tired of the hugely invasive British government and wanted to get government out of peoples’ lives as best possible. Since then, we as a nation have haltingly move along a continuing road based on these same ideas: less intrusion, more respect for individual liberties, more respect for privacy. There have been dark periods in this ongoing quest (such as the past 8-year reign of the Bush administration). But, the long trend has been to seek more perfect implementation of that dream started by our founding fathers — the dream of people peacefully coexisting, with government’s only actions against individual liberties coming when individual actions forcefully, physically disrupt the rights of others.

Now… marriage. How are the private relationships between other citizens in any way a physical intrusion into your personal rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? How does Mr. & Mrs. Jones being granted a legally recognized marriage, or Mr. & Mr. Smith, or Mrs. & Mrs. Brown being granted that same status in any way physically impede your pursuit of a peacefully coexistent life in this country? What physical threat does that legal status present to you or your property?

This is a constitutional argument, not a philosophical or theological debate.

Again, when moral, philosophical, or epistemological viewpoints native to a minority of our population infiltrate into the body of federal law, and that shift imposes — forcefully, by rule of law — those views onto the overall citizenry, the dream of our founders is diminished, and the pluralist, diverse nature of our society is threatened.

America is the Land of Opportunity for a reason: Our constitutionally defined system of government vigilantly provides a level playing field to everyone, of all varieties.

We embrace diversity in this nation.

To your minor point about privacy vis a vis government involvement; yes, I think the entire concept of “licensing” a right of marriage is archaic and not in step with our system of government. However, it’s there, and the effort to change it is not what is in debate here. Given it’s existence, the system must by equally applicable across all citizens.

46 droughtquake { 10.29.08 at 3:14 pm }

Thank you Daniel!

‘Separate, but equal’ has already been declared unconstitutional. This is a Civil Rights issue, it wouldn’t be a religious issue except that some churches want to impose their views on everyone else.

47 swinn { 10.29.08 at 8:17 pm }

“You are dancing.”

I’m talking about definitions. You talk about privacy. It is not privacy. You talk about non-intrusiveness. It is socially very intrusive. You talk about equal “treatment” under the law. Equal “protection” (aka 14th Amendment) is law not being equally enforced among people it already applies to.

“You can agree with me or not about the proper role of the USA government. I ascribe to the Non-Aggression Principle: No person may initiate or threaten to initiate the use of coercive physical force.”

The problem I see with the Non-Aggression Principle is that to my way of thinking (and the founding fathers too), government is a coercive force. So, if no one can use coercion on anyone, you essentially don’t have government. However, I don’t see how this works into the discussion, since it is a Libertarian plank and not any sort of law or founding national principle.

“Since then, we as a nation have haltingly move along a continuing road based on these same ideas. . .”

I would claim the opposite is true. We have lost the concept of limited government and enumerated powers. Government passes legislation that is brazenly unconstitutional simply because it can. All three branches of government seem fundamentally interested in increasing the size and scope of government. That is an extremely difficult trend to reverse.

“But, the long trend has been to seek more perfect implementation of that dream started by our founding fathers”

So you don’t see the hulking behemoth that government has become as any kind of problem? That is a strange point of view for a Libertarian. I think of Jefferson’s idea of the citizen statesman; common people taking their turn representing their fellow citizens’ interests. We don’t have anything remotely like that. We have a largely corrupt political ruling class. They represent the interests of whoever has the most money and demagogue “the people” every few years to get elected and keep their careers going. They use their position to channel money to the special interests that keep them in power. And that goes for both sides of the aisle.

“How are the private relationships between other citizens in any way a physical intrusion into your personal rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?”

Those “private” relationships run contrary to the country’s moral and legal foundation. In as much as they are private, I do not take issue with them. When they become a public matter then I have an interest in preserving the moral principles that are the basis of society. What harm do they do to me? Not a valid question, since the law does not affect just me. The law is about a seismic shift in society’s traditional values. It will affect all of society. I think intellectual honesty requires admitting as much. What harm will it cause society as a whole? It devalues natural family relationships. Families are the ideal system for rearing and educating children. They are proven and they have worked for a long time. Men and women each have important roles which strike a natural balance. Keeping men and women together in a stable, exclusive relationship (i.e. marriage) each contributing to their children’s development is in the best interests of society. I think society’s laws should reflect and encourage that. To the extent that law grants equivalent status to any other marital arrangement, it is not serving the best interests of the people.

“This is a constitutional argument, not a philosophical or theological debate.”

Glad you have come to realize that it is not about religion. In your posts above you seem to be a bit confused on that particular point.

“Again, when moral, philosophical, or epistemological viewpoints native to a minority of our population infiltrate into the body of federal law, and that shift imposes — forcefully, by rule of law — those views onto the overall citizenry, the dream of our founders is diminished, and the pluralist, diverse nature of our society is threatened.”

Right — so when a moral viewpoint (homosexual marriage) native to a minority of people (homosexuals and their supporters) imposes that view forcefully, by rule of law (because that’s all government can do is force) onto the overall citizenry — bad things happen. But they may not be the minority viewpoint anymore. We’ll find out.

“America is the Land of Opportunity for a reason: Our constitutionally defined system of government vigilantly provides a level playing field to everyone, of all varieties.”

. . . according to our shared moral foundation. Behavior outside of that tends to be illegal and not constitutionally protected.

“We embrace diversity in this nation.”

E pluribus unum – From many, one. We do spend a lot of time focusing on our differences. Maybe that is why we are so divided.

“I think the entire concept of ‘licensing’ a right of marriage is archaic and not in step with our system of government.”

As I have said, government, law, and society are based on a shared culture and concept of morality. The less we have in common in our cultural and moral views, the less fit government becomes to represent us. Perhaps with all of this diversity we have been busily promoting, diverging groups in society will have no desire to be governed by the same institution.

“However, it’s there, and the effort to change it is not what is in debate here. Given it’s existence, the system must by equally applicable across all citizens.”

Which leads us back to morality as the foundation of law. When society’s definition of morality has altered sufficiently to accept gay marriage, polygamy, or even incest — I’m sure the law will be altered to comply.

48 valit { 10.29.08 at 9:12 pm }

“Those “private” relationships run contrary to the country’s moral and legal foundation.”

Swinn, it’s not enough for you to say that something is immoral to make it so. The mere fact that this issue is being debated shows that there is no moral agreement on the matter. You will find much wider agreement in society over issues where morality is involved, like murder, theft… Those are issues that society considers immoral. Homosexuality or same-sex marriage are clearly not.

You are simply exposing your point of view as though it were an inalienable truth. But that is not the case.

And with this same attitude you talk about same-sex marriage “devaluing natural family relationships” (as though family was a natural construct and not a cultural one) and families (I suppose you mean families headed by an opposite-sex couple) being the ideal system for rearing and educating children.

If you consult the website of the American Psychological Association you will find that researchers have consistently found no significant difference in the development of children with straight or gay parents.

You can’t simply say things hoping that your undoubtedly articulate way of exposing your ideas is all the effort you have to put in. Sometimes you have to stop to consider the facts.

49 droughtquake { 10.30.08 at 3:18 am }

So, when Gay Marriage is ‘forced’ on you, who will you choose to be your husband, swinn? And how soon will the government be ‘forcing’ you to divorce your current wife?

50 swinn { 10.30.08 at 6:27 pm }

valit said: “It’s not enough for you to say that something is immoral to make it so.”

True. I don’t have the power of judicial fiat. My views and a few of my associates can’t override the voice of the people to define what society will or will not consider moral. The people will have their say, again.

“The mere fact that this issue is being debated shows that there is no moral agreement on the matter.”

It certainly is not as clearly cut as it used to be. Society has been changing and it’s definition of morality has been changing too. As a result, what was previously considered immoral is gaining wider acceptance. If you want moral absolutes you need to make an appeal to God or nature (something beyond human opinion anyway). I don’t think nature makes a very strong case for homosexuality. God (or gods, Judeo-Christian or otherwise), or really most any religion doesn’t either. But if you are not open to either of those, you are left with morally shifting sands. People can change their minds about what is morally right and they have been. If there is a God though, watch out! :-)

“You will find much wider agreement in society over issues where morality is involved, like murder, theft… Those are issues that society considers immoral. Homosexuality or same-sex marriage are clearly not.”

Perhaps not so clearly as they once were. But if you take a trip in the Way-Back machine you will find that society had a much wider consensus on same sex marriage not too many years ago. Homosexuality was considered immoral and gay marriage was nigh-unthinkable. As I have been saying, morals have been shifting.

“You are simply exposing your point of view as though it were an inalienable truth.”

My point of view can never be more than that. I can tell you how I see the world and what in my opinion is good for society. I can talk about definitions, and that is what I have been doing. I am not eager to redefine family relationships. Men and women have been forming families since, well, as long as there have been people.

“As though family was a natural construct and not a cultural one.”

Um. It is natural. Put two gay men on an island, let nature take its course, and what will you have? A family? Well, you’ll have exactly what you started with. Call that an “alternative family” if you want to, but nature will only let you get so far. You see, if it were just about culture then homosexuals could reproduce. They would form their own culture on their deserted island and that would be it — offspring aplenty.

“Families (I suppose you mean families headed by an opposite-sex couple) being the ideal system for rearing and educating children.”

That’s what I mean. Sorry if I was unclear.

“If you consult the website of the American Psychological Association you will find that researchers have consistently found no significant difference in the development of children with straight or gay parents.”

I think an APA study compares pretty poorly to the laws of nature and human history. The sampling is pretty small by comparison.

“You can’t simply say things hoping that your undoubtedly articulate way of exposing your ideas is all the effort you have to put in. Sometimes you have to stop to consider the facts.”

Thanks for the compliment. I have considered the facts. I’m trying to look at the big picture here. God (if you believe in one), nature, moral tradition, and the existence of the entire human family run contrary to the notion of gay marriage. What is making people so keen to throw all of that away in favor of an alternative social construct designed to make a certain segment of society feel good about their behavior?

droughtquake: get over the emotion and make a rational argument.

51 valit { 10.30.08 at 8:17 pm }

swinn said: “My views and a few of my associates can’t override the voice of the people to define what society will or will not consider moral. The people will have their say, again.”

Whatever the outcome of next week’s vote, I repeat what I’ve already said: to be able to define something as immoral, I would say you need unanimous condemnation and you are not going to get that with this proposition 8 vote. In fact, there are good chances (fingers crossed) the proposition will not even pass. You would have no such uncertainty on issues like paedophilia or murder which, I think we will agree, can be classified as immoral.

“If you want moral absolutes you need to make an appeal to God or nature”

Well, I don’t think I believe in God so I would prefer it if we used rational thought to interpret nature for the sake of this debate.

“But if you take a trip in the Way-Back machine you will find that society had a much wider consensus on same sex marriage not too many years ago. Homosexuality was considered immoral and gay marriage was nigh-unthinkable. As I have been saying, morals have been shifting.”

If I can get you to climb into your Way-Back machine once more and travel a little farther back, you will find that homosexuality was no issue then. In fact, I think homosexuality was no issue until around the 12th century BC when the Church made a big stink about it. I would agree that same-sex marriage would have been inconceivable back then but, you know what else, it would also have been inconceivable for women to be considered equal to men and people didn’t think much of imprisoning enemies and selling them as slaves. As you say, society evolves and I’m not sure that what was considered appropriate a thousand years ago should influence how we organise our lives today. All those changes have required a lot of conflicts and at each stage there were people fighting those changes so you’re not the first one and you won’t be the last.

“It is natural. [...] if it were just about culture then homosexuals could reproduce”

You are confusing marriage and reproduction. You don’t need to be married to reproduce and you don’t need to be able to reproduce to get married. You cannot possibly argue that marriage is a natural, rather than cultural, institution. In some societies children are raised only by women, in other ones only by men. Those societies are far from us but throughout the animal kingdom for instance, in very few cases do both parents stick around to watch over their offsprings. Marriage is an entirely cultural construct.

“I think an APA study compares pretty poorly to the laws of nature and human history. The sampling is pretty small by comparison.”

Well, the laws of nature and human history can’t show us that children don’t fare well with gay parents because obviously there isn’t ample evidence of that. What we can rely on are a body of evidence that has emerged in studies carried out over the last 20-30 years in families headed by same-sex couples so before I copy & paste a little extract here, I would leave it to you to find opposing scientific evidence to prove your position.

“Some opponents of gay marriage worry that gay couples just do not make as good of parents as straight couples, and that in fact a child cannot grow up both physically and emotionally healthy in a household headed by a homosexual couple. However, a scientific consensus has coalesced around the opinion that homosexual couples are no better or worse as parents than heterosexual couples. Underscoring this fact is the list of “organizations that have officially supported adoption by same-sex couples: the American Psychological Association, the Child Welfare League of America, the American Bar Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the North American Council on Adoptable Children, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychoanalytic Association, and the American Academy of Family Physicians” (“GLBT Parenting” 2007)

52 swinn { 10.31.08 at 2:18 pm }

“To be able to define something as immoral, I would say you need unanimous condemnation” – You’ll never get it. There are always deviants in any society as well as people who will tolerate anything.

“You would have no such uncertainty on issues like paedophilia or murder which, I think we will agree, can be classified as immoral.” – Really? You and I will agree, but where is the unanimous condemnation? Pedophiles and murderers won’t agree. Anarchists won’t agree. NAMBLA won’t agree. What the general public considers moral is always going to be something of a popularity contest. It will be based on how people behave and how much sympathy they can garner for their behavior.

“Well, I don’t think I believe in God so I would prefer it if we used rational thought to interpret nature for the sake of this debate.” – Fair enough, however, I will add some food for thought. If there are no absolute moral standards and our society’s definition of what is moral keeps changing to accommodate people’s desires and behavior, when will we cross your line and what will you do about it?

“If I can get you to climb into your Way-Back machine once more and travel a little farther back, you will find that homosexuality was no issue then.” – It has been an issue for a very long time. Much longer than the 12th Century AD and in more than one culture. Israel in 1400 BC for example. Hinduism at about the same time, or possibly much earlier (5500-2600 BC). Many others like Zoroastrianism and Buddhism around 600 BC or even Islam at 700 AD. It has been a moral issue throughout recorded history and most likely before. Yes, those are all religions, but let’s not get muddled with the idea that religion = morality again. They are not just religions, they are moral philosophies too.

“As you say, society evolves and I’m not sure that what was considered appropriate a thousand years ago should influence how we organise our lives today.” – And society de-evolves. We are not just talking about what was considered moral 1000 years ago. We are talking about changes that have bubbled up in less than a generation. People’s take on moral issues can be a bit like the stock market. At the moment they may be crashing too. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there really were moral absolutes?

“You are confusing marriage and reproduction.” – Not marriage. Remember, I was responding to your comment about natural families. Reproduction and the concept of family have a good deal going together. I allowed for an “alternative family” definition if you cared to use it, but it doesn’t go anywhere naturally. It doesn’t grow on its own. But since you started in this vein by confusing my argument (marriage vs family), I won’t pursue it further.

“Well, the laws of nature and human history can’t show us that children don’t fare well with gay parents because obviously there isn’t ample evidence of that.” – So, why are we rushing to change it again?

“What we can rely on are a body of evidence that has emerged in studies carried out over the last 20-30 years . . . I would leave it to you to find opposing scientific evidence to prove your position.” – Isn’t that what science does, question? My position has never been that homosexuals cannot make “good” parents. My observation is that nature finds it most appropriate for men and women to produce and raise children. If you think that is just a trick of genetics, then so be it. Natural systems are some of the most complex in the world. There are invariably high degrees of interdependence among the different elements, many of which are not well understood. Men and women are different in many ways. Science has put a great deal of politically motivated effort into disproving that, but the truth remains. It stands to reason, therefore, that both men and women have important roles to play in a family. Our current moral culture has been bent toward accepting alternative lifestyles and alternative families. You may argue that people’s desires to change the definition of family and a few scientific studies are sufficient reason to make and enormous change to the structure of society. I would and have been arguing the contrary.

53 aboutjack { 10.31.08 at 4:24 pm }

swinn:: valet’s comments aside, my reply to your post is simply that our goal in this country — if the objective is to increase peace and prosperity from the same political vector upon which we have been proceeding — should be to expand acceptance of societal diversity as far as possible in our legal constructs, over time. “As far as possible” will always be constrained by how far individuals and groups of citizens will expand their own tolerance and embrace legislation designed to achieve the larger goals. How tolerant can each of us be to approaches fundamentally in opposition to our own narrower views? The answer to that question defines the degree to which this unique, amazing American experiment can continue to prosper for all of us.

54 valit { 10.31.08 at 8:20 pm }

swinn said: “It has been an issue for a very long time…. Hinduism at about the same time, or possibly much earlier (5500-2600 BC).”

The Advocate (Oct 31, 2008) reports:
Navya Shastra, the international Hindu reform organization based in Troy, Mich., sent out a press release Friday urging California voters to reject Proposition 8, which would eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry under California law.

The organization notes that Hinduism has never classified homosexuality as a sin. While some ancient law codes have been critical of homosexual acts, the denomination has never called for the persecution of gays. In fact, there is ample evidence that alternative lifestyles have been accepted throughout Hindu history. Several modern Hindu leaders have also spoken positively of gay rights; however, many American Hindus remain uncomfortable with homosexuality.

“According to the Hindu contemplative tradition, we are all manifestations of the one universal spirit, straight or gay, and worthy of the same respect and rights” said Jaishree Gopal, chairman of Navya Shastra, in the release. “We urge American Hindus in California to remember this central insight of their faith when they vote on November 4.”

I can’t go into the details of what you wrote today – just pointing out that the facts you mention are misinformed and biased by your own belief that there is something wrong or unnatural about homosexuality. It’s your opinion and you’re entitled to it, just don’t try to lend it objective validity by quoting your own interpretations of religions and nature.

55 valit { 11.01.08 at 8:23 pm }

Swinn said: “What the general public considers moral is always going to be something of a popularity contest”. – I disagree. If you subscribe to the concept of a societal sense of morality, it means you accept that there is some kind of fondamental sense of good and bad. Something that’s so hotly debated as homosexuality can’t qualify as such. It’s like saying the Democrats or the Republicans are immoral, based on the latest poll…

“I will add some food for thought. If there are no absolute moral standards and our society’s definition of what is moral keeps changing to accommodate people’s desires and behavior” – I think there’s an inconsistency in your argument. You’re the one who just said there are no “absolute” moral standards, that it’s a popularity contest. I’m saying if you are going to claim something is moral/immoral, you’re going to need some stronger support than 51% of society.

“It has been an issue for a very long time. Much longer than the 12th Century AD and in more than one culture.” – That is what you’re claiming. It’s debatable. But most importantly it’s immaterial. We’re starting to repeat ourselves. Slavery and a firm belief in the inferiority of women have been very popular concept in the majority of societies and throughout most of history. Are you going to defend those illuminated values too under the banner of “let’s go back to good old times”?

“People’s take on moral issues can be a bit like the stock market. At the moment they may be crashing too. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there really were moral absolutes?” – Your desire for moral absolutes is endearing but idealistic. And dangerous too. It’s the basis of much persecution throughout history. I’ll just say one thing: one of the examples I used before. I said people would consider murder to be immoral, but I have to take that back. Look how many people are in favour of the death penalty.

“I was responding to your comment about natural families. Reproduction and the concept of family have a good deal going together.” – My comment was that marriage (and family as a unit defined by marriage) is a cultural, not natural, construct. You claim that the fact that it takes a man and a woman to create life is enough to prove that marriage is a natural construct and I pointed out that reproduction is not the same as marriage. Reproduction can certainly be defined as natural – marriage, as in the organisation and recognition of two people with their children as being a legal entity and the basis of society is a cultural concept. I don’t know that I could put this in any clearer words. It should be enough to point out that it’s very rare in nature for both parents to be involved in the rearing of children or that it’s not even the case universally in all societies.

“My observation is that nature finds it most appropriate for men and women to produce and raise children.” – Produce, yes. Raise, debatable. You’re universalising our own cultural heritage, giving the status quo moral unquestionability. I don’t think we’re ever going to agree on that.

Anyway – I think we should wrap this up… Not that I want to have the last word, feel free to reply but I’m not sure I will continue debating this back and forth.

So if you’re in California, just vote No on 8 and if we run into each other I’ll buy you coffee and we can continue discussing face to face.

56 swinn { 11.03.08 at 8:51 pm }

valit: You incorrectly asserted that homosexuality was only an issue with Christianity beginning around the 12th Century. I cited several moral traditions in several cultures that predate that significantly. I’m glad you had the intellectual honesty to include the information on ancient Hindu law. It proves the point I was trying to make. It is a moral issue and has been for a long time across multiple cultures.

Your counter argument citing a very modern (only a few days ago) take on the Prop 8 argument from a Hindu reform organization also adds weight to what I have been saying. Society’s definition of morality has been changing. Ancient law and tradition discouraged homosexual acts. Some modern religionists have been embracing a different set of morals. Many people who remain true to the original moral traditions are not comfortable with that.

“Just pointing out that the facts you mention are misinformed” – I think you have actually validated the points I was trying to make.

“If you subscribe to the concept of a societal sense of morality, it means you accept that there is some kind of fondamental sense of good and bad.” – Not exactly. If you subscribe to a fundamental, innate sense of good and bad that would mean you accept the idea of moral absolutes. You may not know the source of these morals, but they would somehow be natural and logical to everyone.

“[something is] immoral, based on the latest poll…” – If there is no absolute right or wrong, what else have you got? You have stated that in your philosophy there are no moral absolutes. You also said that societal morality must have absolute consensus to be valid. I have showed (pretty clearly I think) that that is not possible. If you will allow no absolutes, an impossible unanimous consensus, and no majority consensus, what can be considered moral or immoral? Should the minority’s moral definitions make public policy? Now we are back to legalizing murder for the murderers and pedophillia for the pedophiles again.

“You’re the one who just said there are no ‘absolute’ moral standards, that it’s a popularity contest.” – Sorry I lost you. My food for thought was a bit of cautionary advice for people who do not subscribe to moral absolutes. I do. For the sake of argument, I make the case that it is the public’s definition that matters (in this case) and will become law (because it will). I point to what morality was and show how some people’s idea of it has changed. The implied question is do we know what we are getting into? If there really are moral absolutes, then it doesn’t matter in the slightest what the public’s perception is. Right will be right and wrong will be wrong no matter how many people subscribe to it. I hope I haven’t lost you again.

“I’m saying if you are going to claim something is moral/immoral, you’re going to need some stronger support than 51% of society.” – I don’t know why that would be. If you don’t accept the notion of moral absolutes then you have to go with the consensus view. What else is there? You can’t take the minority view unless you are willing to allow everything the most anti-social elements of a society can dream up.

“I think we should wrap this up… Not that I want to have the last word, feel free to reply but I’m not sure I will continue debating this back and forth.” – Agreed, after tomorrow the debate will be moot for awhile anyway, until the next time. I’m sure whatever the outcome people will continue to pursue the issue.

I am in California. I am a rational, free-thinking individual with no hatred or malice toward anyone regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation, Republican or Democrat, religion or no religion, creed or no creed, and I’m voting Yes on Proposition 8.

57 valit { 11.04.08 at 7:26 am }

Thanks for the debate. Though it’s been a bit like talking to a wall. Racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, the fear and mistrust of whatever strays off conventional mores have been part of our self-obsessed society for the longest time. These are the traditional values you’ve chosen to stand for claiming some moral superiority of mass culture. I don’t think we’ll ever agree on this so go ahead and vote yes if you want and hopefully you’ll have become a minority in these societal changes you so fervently decry.

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