Tuesday, May 26, 2009

California Supreme Court Upholds Proposition 8


california supreme court
This morning the Supreme Court of California ruled 6-1 in favor of Proposition 8.  I am immensely relieved that this state’s judiciary was inspired to reaffirm the right of the people of California to amend our own Constitution as we see fit.  I am relieved that my Nov. 4th vote didn’t come to naught.  I am relieved that, at least for a time, marriage is as it should be in the great state of California.

Democracy has ruled the day here in The Golden State.

As per the 18,000 homosexual “marriages” performed between last year’s judicial ruling against Prop 22 and the November 4th vote approving Prop 8, they will remain valid.  I will be curious to learn how that is justified.

~Pearl

31 comments:

Joe said...

Let me start by saying that I respect your right to your opinion and views on same-sex marriages. I would like to point out, however, that we in America live in a republic. A republic by definition protects the rights and property of individuals against political leaders, other individuals and even an oppressive majority.
Just because a majority of voters would elect to take your property away from you would not make it right and it is the judiciary's responsibility to recognize that.
Regardless of your views on the specific matter being dealt with, I think it would be prudent to look at the bigger picture of how much power we want a temporary majority to have, whether we agree with them or not.

Pearl said...

Joe,

It is your opinion then, that those who voted for Proposition 8 are an "oppressive majority?" Would you call those who agree with a ban on drunk diving, "oppressive?" And those who tell the pedophile he cannot pursue his emotional attraction to children? Are they also "oppressive?" You paint a pretty picture of injustice with your tale of confiscated property, but you do not offer any details as to why it was confiscated and why voters were given the opportunity to vote on such a matter in the first place. You seem to think that the people of California were allowed to act out of line, but there was a process required to even get Prop 8 on the ballot and approval for the measure was given by the legislature. There are checks and balances, even in this, and today our government worked in some semblance of the harmony that has been missing since the jucidial fiat last year that overturned the unmistakable will of the people as expressed in Proposition 22.

galaxy5x5 said...

I cannot answer for Joe, but I can attempt to point out a fallacy in your response. As Joe pointed out, "A republic by definition protects the rights and property of individuals against political leaders, other individuals and even an oppressive majority."

Do people have a right to drive while drunk? Do pedophiles have a right to pursue emotional attraction to children (who are by definition under the age of consent)? I submit that they do not, in either case. Nobody has the right to harm another, as drunken drivers and pedophiles must.

Those bans (on pedophilia and drunk driving) are in place to protect society from those who would try to harm others, and as such those bans are not oppressive.

Therefore, to determine if those who voted for Proposition 8 were an oppressive majority, one need merely ask if there existed a clear and present danger (to the life, liberty, or pursuit of happiness of the citizens of our great State) in allowing gay couples to marry.

To return to the salient point, though. The passage of Proposition 8 and its subsequent legal affirmation cannot be used as proof that it is a just law. The voting bloc, the legislature and the supreme court can be bought, persuaded or intimidated. The checks and balances which will be applied to Proposition 8 have not yet been exhausted by its opponents, and I predict that there will be no resolution to this issue within the next decade.

Unless, of course, the citizens of California were to remember that our government is predicated upon the separation of church and state, and no federal, state or local government should use the religious institution of "marriage" to enact secular rights (such as hospital visitation, adoption, etc.

Pearl said...

galaxy5x5,

You make some fair points, but the already-precedented threat that SSM poses to religious freedoms and freedom of speech as well as to parental rights and the stable emotional health and well-being of children are all very real to those who voted for Proposition 8. Indeed, as one who voted for it, I would definitely suggest that a "clear and present danger exists."

And now, please allow me to address a fallacy which you have introduced. That of "Separation of Church and State."

Separation of Church and State is a myth. None of those words actually exists in either the Constitution or the First Amendment.

"The First Amendment religion clauses have been morphed into the phrase 'a wall of separation between Church and State' - eight words taken out of context from an incidental letter written by Thomas Jefferson in 1802 . . . . Ironically, Jefferson intended for his letter to the Danbury Baptists to reassure them that the new federal government would not endanger the free expression of their religion. This is widely known. But what is not well known is that Jefferson did not actually coin the phrase 'separation of church and state.' Rather, he borrowed the metaphor from the sermon, 'The Garden and the Wilderness,' which was very familiar to Baptists of the time. As Jim Henderson, senior counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, explains it:

"That sermon, rendered by Roger Williams (the founder of the Rhode Island Plantation colony, and a Baptist), depicted the church as a garden, the world as a wilderness, and the wall as a device of the Creator's invention that protected the garden from being overrun by the wilderness. Williams explained that, from time to time, for the purpose of disciplining sin in the church, 'it hath pleased' the Almighty to break down the wall.

Thomas Jefferson, ever the politician, knew when he communicated with the Baptists that 'The Garden and The Wilderness' was a well known and widely read nearly two generations later. He appealed to them in the terms of their own great man's idiom."

There you have it. The wall of separation was meant to protect 'the garden' of the church from being overrun by 'the wilderness' of government. No wonder Chief Justice Rehnquist has said, "The metaphor of a 'wall of separation' is bad history and worse law. It has made a positive chaos out of court rulings. It should be frankly and explicitly abandoned." In other words. it's a lie." (The Marketing of Evil, p. 55-56)

Indeed, when our Constitution was created, the nation was overwhelmingly Christian and . . .

- ". . . no fewer than six of the thirteen original states had official, state-supported churches - 'establishments of religion'! I'll bet you didn't know that. In fact, these states - Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and South Carolina - refused to ratify the new national Constitution unless it included a prohibition of federal meddling with their existing state 'establishments of religion.'"

- "In 1777, with the Revolutionary War threatening the flow of Bibles from England, Congress approved the purchase of twenty thousand Bibles from Holland to give to the states."

- "Other states required those seeking elected office to be Christians."

- "The Continental Congress routinely designated days of fasting and prayer and other religious observances, appointed government-funded chaplains, and appropriated money to pay for Christian missionaries to convert the Indians." (The Marketing of Evil, p.41)

galaxy5x5 said...

And as a matter of fact, the preamble to the Constitution of the State of California states "We, the People of the State of California, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom..." There's certainly room to argue that we have forever been a nation of Christians.

But why, then, haven't we enacted Constitutional amendments to exclude non-Christian religions from tax exemptions? After all, surely our children in our schools are in as much danger learning about the Five Pillars of Islam as they're in from learning that Jackie has two mothers.

The answer is in Article 1, Section 3 of the Constitution of California. And I quote, "Free exercise and enjoyment of religion without discrimination or preference are guaranteed. This liberty of conscience does not excuse acts that are licentious or inconsistent with the peace or safety of the State. The legislature shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." In short, because the state government holds no right to support or deny any religious beliefs or actions, it follows directly that the government is independent of religious bodies.

Hence, what is commonly referred to as the separation of church and state, which is hardly a myth. I might add that the origin of the phrase is irrelevant, as are the mishaps of the early states attempting to sort out enforcement of the bill of rights. After all, we didn't get rid of slavery until four score and seven years later.

But you write about "the already-precedented threat that SSM poses to religious freedoms and freedom of speech as well as to parental rights and the stable emotional health and well-being of children." These are separate points.

Proposition 8 posed the same threat to religious freedoms: it nullified the meaning of (for instance) marriages performed by the Unitarian Universalist church. Seeing as it removed that right of Unitarian Universalists, it is an oppressive law.

To my knowledge, neither same-sex marriage nor Proposition 8 posed any threat to freedom of speech. Libel, slander and bigotry laws are still in effect regardless of the existence of homosexuals with wedding bands. I'd like to know how you feel about this issue, though.

Similarly, I wonder what "parental rights" exist, much less how they were threatened by same-sex marriage. I was only aware of parental responsibility for the safety and well-being of their children, while the children enjoy all the rights ascribed to them by the constitution. Are you referring to the "right" of parents to censor their child's interaction with the world? This is a de facto ability of the parents contingent upon the structure of the family unit, and is not a right, per se.

Finally, you state that the children have a right to stable emotional health and well-being. I assure you, the passage of Proposition 8 did irreparable harm to the emotional health and well-being of a number of children.

I feel I must reiterate my statement that this is unlikely to be resolved within the next decade. The perceived oppression of the minority will merit a response from said minority, and a synthesis of ideals will only be achieved when the government backs away and says, "An' it harm none, do what ye please."

Meg said...

The big complaint I keep hearing isn't about love; it's about taxes. They keep saying they don't get the same tax benefits that married couples do.

Change the tax code; don't go after marriage, but instead go after the policies that don't affect the rest of society. I think that couples that are committed to one another, homosexual or heterosexual, and either married or in a domestic partnership should have the tax benefits.

No one on the Pro-Marriage (Yes on 8) side has ever said it was a denial of a "right to love." I don't mind civil partnerships, but don't mess with Marriage.

galaxy5x5 said...

An interesting point, but we can dig even further. Why should married couples have tax benefits at all? There exists no substantive benefit to society if its component people are in paired relationships.

Unless, of course, such people are raising children. The care and feeding of minors for eighteen years is prohibitively expensive for many couples unless they're given tax benefits.

At the time such benefits were enacted, it was assumed that married couples would raise children, and that people who were raising children were married couples.

However, we now know this to have been an incorrect assumption. A significant fraction of minors are raised in divided households by single parents. Another fraction of minors are raised in households by unmarried, domestically-partnered parents.

In my opinion, the correct action to be taken regarding this issue is for these tax benefits to be given to child-rearing adults. It remains up for debate whether there should be differences for single or paired parents.

In any case, the United States needs to find a tax system that will encourage an average of a little over 2.3 children per household (unless we feel the need to downsize).

In other words, I agree that marriage itself should be irrelevant in tax law, but I feel that we should examine the reason for such benefits more critically.

...and aren't tax benefits a federal matter covered under the DOMA, and as such not covered by the Pro-8 or Anti-8 campaigns?

Oh, and I must thank Pearl for establishing and moderating this public forum. It is only through discussion and critical thought that mutually agreeable resolutions can be reached.

emissary said...

galaxy5x5,

I believe that one way government promotes certain behaviors is by assigning benefits to them. In other words, if it believes that the intact, married home is the best place to raise a child, offering benefits is a good way to promote that kind of behavior. I believe that giving those benefits to any parent will actually weaken marriage. Why enter into a marriage contract if you can get the same benefits by just living with someone else (or by yourself even)?

And to answer your question on tax benefits, there are both state and federal benefits offered to married couples. However, I believe that in California at least, domestic partnerships are treated as married couples in terms of state benefits.

Seda said...

Pearl,
I wont' weigh in here, but if you're interested in my opinion, find it here: http://silknvoice.blogspot.com/2009/05/abraham-lincoln-proposition-8.html

galaxy5x5 said...

While I agree that government subsidies encourage that which was subsidized, I remain unconvinced that single parents should be punished for not being part of an intact home. After all, shouldn't (for caring parents) the stability of such a family structure and the related positive child-rearing environment be incentive enough for them to try to find a spouse?

In fact, if nothing else, I would suggest that the government subsidize single parents (especially single mothers, as are the majority of cases) to the point where they needn't be required to work over 40 hours per week while raising their child. In too many cases, mothers are having to forgo raising their children in favor of working two jobs, just to put bread on the table.

And I hope I didn't imply that benefits should be given to people "...by just living with someone else." After all, the act of raising a child with another person is also a difficult endeavor. You have to coordinate schedules, jobs, take care of the day-to-day necessities and still take time for romantic tete-a-tetes. That's above and beyond simple roommates. Aren't homosexual couples as devoted to each other and to the family unit and care of their children as heterosexual couples?

I stress that my point is that these relevant tax benefits should be reserved for child-rearing couples (with considerations for single parents), as children are rather expensive in this day and age. In my ideal world, these child-rearing couples would have entered into a domestic partnership contract, to provide for the future security of the household. And that refers to both homosexual and heterosexual couples.

emissary said...

Single parents are not punished because they are not in an intact, married home. They just don't get the benefits reserved for the institution that society is trying to promote. Why should the government be subsidizing something it discourages?

In my ideal world, we'll go back to marriage being the foundation of our country. It needs to be promoted every way our nation knows how as a lifelong commitment. Once in a stable marriage, many of the problems with single parents will go away. There will still be problems like death or illness and, in the rare occasion, divorce, but they would be the exception.

Let me repeat again: A society cannot discourage something by promoting it! You will not discourage single parenthood by paying women to enter into it and continue living it. If people really want what's best for their children, they need to be willing to make the sacrifices necessary to assure that the child grows up with a mother and a father.

emissary said...

"After all, shouldn't (for caring parents) the stability of such a family structure and the related positive child-rearing environment be incentive enough for them to try to find a spouse?"

You'd think so. But with 40% of children being born out of wedlock, it's not happening. And I think one of those reasons (although definitely not the only one) is welfare. Girls are paid to have children and not get married.

emissary said...

"I would suggest that the government subsidize single parents (especially single mothers, as are the majority of cases) to the point where they needn't be required to work over 40 hours per week while raising their child."

In marriage, the father was typically the provider role, and the mother the nurturer. Are you now suggesting that the government should take over the provider role (in essence become the father) for children of single parents? Do you really think that's a healthy thing to be promoting in society?

Since the money would most likely come from taxes, in essence you're forcing many people to pay other women (mostly) for not getting married. Also, you're refusing to hold the fathers accountable for the children they bring into the world.

In my family, all of my sisters and sister-in-laws went to college and received degrees. Yet all of them have chosen to stay home with their children. That means all of our families are living on a single salary. I have a hard time thinking it fair in any way to send more of our hard-earned money to "bail out" others who decided not to be responsible. (Yes, there are exceptions, but 40% of births shows more of a trend than an exception.)

galaxy5x5 said...

We take your assumption that "intact, married" homes are the best place to raise children as a premise, with the implication of the existence of two loving and devoted parents who have committed to raising a child or children together.

If marriage is considered a prerequisite for being an intact household, why should gay marriage then be banned? After all, surely the children of gay parents should be raised in the best possible environment: an "intact, married" home.

Unless...are you suggesting that having gay parents is not the best possible environment in which to raise a child? Your statement "If people really want what's best for their children, they need to be willing to make the sacrifices necessary to assure that the child grows up with a mother and a father" certainly implies that such is part of your argument.

However, I must ask upon what basis you're making these claims? If you're going to assert that gay parents are inadequate, I'd enjoy being directed to some evidence that will support that, preferably peer-reviewed.

As for the second point, it is true that girls are being paid to have children and not get married. However, I find it difficult to believe that almost all of them would not rather be in a committed relationship, sharing the joy (and cost) of raising their child. The exceptions are probably sufficiently well-off to be able to share plenty of bonding time with their children.

Cutting welfare for single mothers (or fathers) would not result in them hitchin' up immediately with the other biological parent of the child (not to mention, doing so might create disastrous, self-hating families which would undermine the ideal of marriage). It would simply further oppress and persecute and already overworked and underpaid sector of our economy.

If you're looking to prevent children from being born out of wedlock, it is far simpler to pursue the problem to its source. Nip it in the bud, as it were, rather than enforce palliative measures that will corrode the structure of society.

emissary said...

Marriage is the "husband-wife relationship". Thus, it is, by definition, impossible for a homosexual couple to enter into it.

I would assert that having two parents of the same sex still robs a child of either a father and a mother. I wrote a post about the logical side of "the best place to raise a child" here:
http://fightforfamily.blogspot.com/2009/03/best-place-for-raising-children.html
(The comments are also insightful about the social sciences aspect.)

Basically, the argument goes as follows. For each child, opposite sex parents provides 1. an example to emulate, 2. an example of the opposite sex to learn from, and 3. an example of the relationships between sexes. No other family form can provide that. None.

Compare the best same-sex parents to the best opposite-sex; can you think of any compelling advantage that same-sex parents provide to a child of either gender that opposite-sex parents cannot?

emissary said...

I certainly agree about the preventing child born out of wedlock. We have to start at the source, which is sexual relations outside of marriage. Strengthening marriage and teaching it as both desirable and vital should ensure that children will be born in wedlock. Problem solved.

chris said...

Basically, the argument goes as follows. For each child, opposite sex parents provides 1. an example to emulate, 2. an example of the opposite sex to learn from, and 3. an example of the relationships between sexes.

This is a joke, I grew up in a Heterosexual houshold and I didn't learn any of this from my parents, I learned from living in the real world, you should try it. And by the way, even though my parents are both church-going god-loving people, I turned out to be gay.

emissary said...

chris,

That's what the institution of marriage provides, not necessarily every instance of marriage. Just because your situation didn't turn out to be the ideal doesn't negate the fact that the institution is a good thing.

What does the fact that your parents are "church-going god-loving people" have anything to do with the fact that you have homosexual attraction?

emissary said...

galaxy,

Let me sum up what I understand as the main problem we are both trying to solve. It is that we want all or the vast majority of children to have the benefits currently given to those in marriage.

As I understand it, your solution is to go from the child angle. Every child should have those benefits, given through whoever the parent(s)/guardian(s) are.

My solution is to strengthen marriage so that every child (exceptions aside) would be born with a mother and father, and the benefits would naturally follow.

What do you think the results would be for society? In yours, I see a fragmentation. People get benefits based on whether they have children or not, regardless of what their adult relationships are. But I don't think this is a good basis for society. I think bringing men and women together in a monogamous, lifelong relationship automatically promotes responsible procreation. I think the institution of marriage is good, even if individual couples are not ideal.

chris said...

Basically, the argument goes as follows. For each child, opposite sex parents provides 1. an example to emulate, 2. an example of the opposite sex to learn from, and 3. an example of the relationships between sexes.

This notion is a joke, I grew up in a totally hetero-sexual household and I didn't learn ANY of this stuff from my parents, I learned it from living in REALITY, you know, the real world, you and Pearl 'ought to try it. And if you thank that's rude, it's probably because you know it's true.

By the way, even though my parents are church-going, god-fearing people I was born gay, so there goes that argument.

The idea that SSM poses ANY valid threat to any of the aforementioned rights is absurd and you know it, it's all just a veil to hide the real truth: bigotry. And the fact that you, or anybody would attempt to defend such a ridiculous claim, is inexcusable!

And Pearl, where's the compassion? Comparing SSM to drinking and driving or child abuse, shame on you. You are a terribly rude and offencive person.

Here's a few fun facts, nearly ALL child abuse cases, rape cases, violent crime offences, homicides and genocides are committed by STRAIGHT MEN, THIS IS A FACT. Adolph Hitler, Osama Bin Laden, George W. Bush, Ted Bundy, Charles Manson, Dan White, all murders, all STRAIGHT.

Christ preached one thing: Love for all people, no questions asked, so where's the love, people? Not here, "pearls of wisdom and truth", don't make me laugh, more like hate slander, and bigotry.

galaxy5x5 said...

While pro-marriage, anti-sexual activity education should ensure that children will be born in "wedlock," studies issued by multiple government agencies, scientific groups and medical groups show that it doesn't. If you're unfamiliar with the abject failure that is abstinence-only sex education in the United States, I recommend that you check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abstinence-only_sex_education Studies which find in favor the efficacy of abstinence-only sex education originate from pro-"morality" groups. In a nation of religious freedom and tolerance, I find it strange that these groups are attempting to impose their specific morality upon the youth of today.

By whose definition is marriage a "husband-wife" relationship? Marriage is a contract and the government has no business regulating personal and private contracts between individuals (aside from certain minute legal technicalities). If you're referring to a religious definition of marriage, I stand by my statement that other religions define marriage differently, and the majority opinion in favor of a "husband-wife" relationship constitutes government meddling in the practice of religion: something outlawed since the inception of our great nation. Unless you would like to argue that the United States is a collection of theocracies.

Or perhaps you're going to state that the definition of marriage comes from its traditional stance, in which case I needn't say that for many years tradition included the clause that the husband and wife need be of the same race. And of the same religion. And (if you go back far enough) betrothed from birth for the dowry of livestock. The definition of marriage must evolve with time as with any law, to accommodate unforeseen circumstances and to reduce the outright oppression and persecution of minorities.

I believe your argument for the existence of a mother and a father can be handled by a reducio ad absurdum:

For each child, different-race parents provides an example of a race to emulate, an example of a race to learn from, and an example of the relationships between the races. No other family form can provide that. None.

For each child, having one parent be a law-abiding citizen and another a felon provides an example of a behavior to emulate, a behavior to learn from, and an example of the relationships between the behaviors. No other family form can provide that. None.

Etc., etc. I won't bore you with further examples. It suffices to say that as it is not the place of the government to dictate to the people the forms of marriage based upon race, religious belief, body type, felon status, etc., gender should not be an exception.

And all this isn't to mention the fact that homosexual children categorically do not have same-sex role models to emulate and learn from. How is that a fair and just paradigm?

Now that I've deconstructed your argument, I'll answer your challenge. No, I can think of neither any compelling disadvantage or advantage that same-sex parents provide to a child of either gender than opposite-sex parents cannot.

But I must thank you for being open-minded and for thinking critically in this discussion. It has been nice to avoid the typical blather found online.

Pearl said...

Chris, you aren't helping yourself or your cause by raging here and throwing out some extremely wild and overly-generalized assertions.

As for me, you can attack me all day if you'd like. Sticks and stones, Sir. An attempted character assasination will do nothing but show readers and commenters the deflective nature of homosexual marriage advocates.

galaxy5x5 said...

Chris, insults will not help solve the fundamental problems plaguing our society.

The genocide/straight men anecdote is completely irrelevant and contributes nothing to this conversation. Not to mention incorrect, were it not for the word "nearly." A significant number of atrocities have been committed by non-straight men, although I strongly doubt that there is any statistically significant correlation between sexual orientation and likelihood to commit an atrocity.

Seda's link above contains a quote by Abraham Lincoln that you'll find instructive, I hope, in dealing with people online: "Am I not destroying my enemies, when I make friends of them?"

emissary said...

I've thought a lot about chris's claim that having heterosexual parents did not prepare him for the adult life he would lead. It leads me to two different further questions. First, is this typical of those with homosexual attraction, or is this an anomaly? If it's typical, then the opposite question must be asked. If heterosexual parents cannot prepare a child for life with homosexual attraction, wouldn't it also hold true that homosexual parents could not adequately prepare a heterosexual child for life?

Since there's an estimated 1-3% of the population with homosexual attraction, it then seems that the institution of marriage would be sufficient for 97-99% of children. Whereas homosexual marriage would fail to adequately prepare 97-99% of the children they raise.

Anyone know where I could find more information about this?

emissary said...

galaxy,

The best definition of marriage I've heard of is from federal DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act). It makes the husband-wife relationship very plain.

"...the word 'marriage' means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word 'spouse' refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife."

It's really very plain. If you want to enter into marriage, you enter into the husband-wife relationship.

galaxy5x5 said...

The federal DOMA is being contested on that very definition, though, and cannot be used as an valid source (in a similar fashion to my earlier arguments stating that the current status of Prop 8 cannot be used to argue in favor of the validity of Prop 8).

Regarding the 4% of people who in the last election on exit polling self-identified as "gay, lesbian or bisexual," (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_sexual_orientation#Modern_survey_results), I assert that the good of the many does not outweigh the good of the few. Ignoring the surmise that "If heterosexual parents cannot prepare a child for life with homosexual attraction, wouldn't it also hold true that homosexual parents could not adequately prepare a heterosexual child for life?" (which I hold to be completely false on both counts), our country must still protect the 4% minorities against the oppressive whims of the 96% majorities.

emissary said...

galaxy,

Whether it's being contested or not, until the time that it is overturned, DOMA is the federal government's definition of marriage. When Proposition 8 passed, the government stopped issuing same-sex marriage licenses, even though it was in litigation. It's similar with DOMA. Right now states are not forced to recognize the same-sex marriages performed in other states because DOMA is the law of the land. It doesn't matter whether it's being litigated or not. It was already contested once, and in 2005 was upheld. During the time it was in court was it invalid? No.

emissary said...

I appreciate your examples of other family types, because it dove-tails nicely with my thinking. You used one that was immutable (race), and one that was behavioral (law-abidingness).

When a person is born, s/he is one of two sexes, male or female (barring the rare exception). That is an immutable characteristic, like race. But, to become a man or a woman in society requires an assemblage of different behaviors. Thus, a boy or girl starts looking for role models to emulate. The first ones they come in contact with are usually their parents. Girls tend to follow the mother's example, and boys the father.

They also learn from their opposite parent, though. Girls learn how a man should treat her by how her father treats her mother. And boys learn the opposite.

I don't think that race is really something that can be learned. Nor is behavior immutable. But when a father and a mother teach their children through example, they learn both what it means to be male and female, and how to become a man and a woman in society.

And that, I think, is the essence of what makes marriage so valuable to children.

emissary said...

Well, it's been fun chatting, but I'm neglecting my family. Have a great evening.

galaxy5x5 said...

We were talking about marriage in the abstract. I personally recognize marriage between homosexual couples. So does a significant portion of the population. "So as it is defined now, so it is defined forever" does not work with any legal definition. Remember that the Earth was once "defined" as being the center of the universe. Slaves were once defined as being two-thirds of a person. Does that mean that people couldn't talk about solar systems, or the souls of slaves?

Curious thought: do the rare exceptions to being born male or female have no ability to marry under Prop 8, even against their sexual orientation? Isn't that a tad bit unfair?

Nowhere in the first four paragraphs of your "essence of what makes marriage so valuable to children" do you use the word marriage. You're talking about the importance of having a father and a mother.

Almost all social behaviors are indeed learned. But...black people and white people are still treated differently in society: shouldn't children learn that at an early age by watching their parents? Law-abiding and law-breaking people are treated differently in society: shouldn't children learn that at an early age by watching their parents?

Gender and sex are not the be-all, end-alls of a person's identity. A person cannot be reduced to their chromosomes. So why should sex alone (not even gender!) be the determining factor in what types of parents they have.

Sorry I'm being curt: I had this written out much more eloquently, and then I lost it. Thank you for taking the time to put these arguments in digital form. I've enjoyed talking with you, and I feel that this page captures parts of the issue much more completely now.

Particularly regarding my proposed solution (removing the word "marriage" entirely from state law). Few people seem willing to discuss that possibility, as the "gay marriage debate" brings so many people to the voting booth.

And that's about all I have to say on the issue: I, too, have been neglectful of my duties.

Pearl said...

galaxy5x5, you said:

"Remember that the Earth was once "defined" as being the center of the universe. Slaves were once defined as being two-thirds of a person. Does that mean that people couldn't talk about solar systems, or the souls of slaves?"

You speak from a point of view that a definition of marriage between one man and one woman is an injustice to those that do not fall within such a definition, but others (like myself) might suggest that not all demands for change are equivalent to wrongs (slavery) being righted (abolition).

Thank you, thank you, thank you for a delightful conversation. I admit that I stepped back as you and Emissary brought much more meaningful insights to the table than I could have contributed, but I have been thoroughly enjoying the transcript and hope that others will emulate the tone of respect presented here. You are a breath of fresh air, galaxy5x5 and I wish you well wherever you land in this goofy world wide web.