Tuesday, April 28, 2015

2 Thoughts On Oral Arguments for Redefining Marriage

1) Those who want to redefine marriage were asked "why not four people - 2 men and 2 women want to get married" by Justice Alito, and the person actually arguing for redefining marriage said, and I quote:

"I assume the states would rush in and say that when you're talking about multiple people joining into a relationship, that that is not the same thing that we've had in marriage, which is on the mutual support and consent of two people."

Justice Alito jumped all over that - "marriage between two people of the same sex is not something that we have had before!"

And the lawyer went on to say that we shouldn't let 4 people get married because divorces would get messy.  Please.  Like fear of messy divorces has ever altered the course of any of our legislatures or courts in the history of our country.

The fact is there is no answer to Justice Alito's question - why not 4, and when you try and say

"Well it COULDN'T be 4 because marriage has always been two" the argument shoots the redefiners of marriage in their own foot.

2) Justice Sotomayor asked: "How does withholding marriage from one group, same ­­ same­ sex couples, increase the value to the other group?"

And there we go - the same argument that's used by video gamers and teenagers - "Dude, it doesn't affect me if two guys down the street get married."

Have we lost all notion of the common good?  Have we lost all sense that we're connected?  We all spout, all the time "No man is an island...don't ask for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee"...we recognize, on a fundamental level, that we're all connected, that our laws matter, And that it is disgusting, infantile and completely contrary to everything this country was founded on to make the sole criteria for the importance of a law be whether or not it happens to affect me right this minute if it is passed

BONUS point! (ha): By all accounts, Justice Kennedy is the only one on the fence on this issue, with the other 8 split 4-4.  Justice Kennedy certainly had some tough questions for the marriage redefiners, and some are taking that as a sign of which way he'll go.  However, let's remember during the Obamacare hearing he had Obama's lawyer stammering and confused and unable to say anything rational for several awkwardly long stretches, and yet Obamacare still passed, so you never know what is going to happen until we get the decision in May or June.


  1. Ginsberg addressed your concern well when she pointed out that recognizing marriage as traditional and in existence for a "millennia" doesn’t jibe with our current understanding of marriage as egalitarian. And in fact if we only support a complementarian view of marriage it supports inequality and subjugation. Supporting egalitarian marriage would naturally prohibit polygamy because polygamy historically is well known to exploit women and children. Recognizing equality in marriage could never lead to polygamy. Same sex marriage does not lower the moral bar of marriage, in fact it raises it. We know that sexual orientation is not a choice unlike polygamy, so there is a great difference between the arguments of one vs. the other. Also, let’s remember that no petitioner is asking for multiple marriage, so the argument is really a non-sequitur with the current debate.

    I didn't see Sotomayor's statement about increasing the value to another group as matching with your argument. She is not saying "why care if it doesn't bother you" (obvious paraphrase), but rather why do we need hetero marriage on a pedestal? What benefits do we gain by excluding homosexuals from marriage? No one has articulated this well, yet identifying a compelling state interest to restrict what is understood to be a right needs a great reason. The states have failed exceptionally in this regard.

    That being said, I think the argument of states’ rights is a good one. And yes, marriage equality supporters have been way over-confident, Kennedy is a huge unknown. However, since the argument boils down to states’ rights vs. individual dignity in the absence of a compelling reason to limit dignity, I think the ruling will be in favor of marriage equality. We’ll see in June.

    1. 1) Ginsburg did not address my concern

      2) I love it..."polygamy historically exploits women" - I love how you can get away with saying that but bristle when people say that same sex relationships exploit children.

      3) when marriage was declared a right, marriage meant "between a man and a woman" not "anyone can get married who wants to"

      4) Why do we need hetero marriage on a pedestal...uhm because it is what I, and most who have gone before me in history and in this country consider "hetero marriage" to be a key to a healthy society

      5) It is laughable that some think of marriage as nothing more than "the state bestowing dignity on a relationship" - that is how selfish and inward looking we've become.
      As if it is the state's job to congratulate people on being in love.

      Did the founding fathers (or the vast majority of other Americans that have gone before us) think of marriage as something to create in order to bestow dignity on "hetero marriages"

      Good grief!

  2. The following is consensus among these professionals:
    American Psychological Association,
    American Psychiatric Association,
    American Academy of Pediatrics,
    American Psychoanalytic Association,
    American Academy of Family Physicians,
    and the American Medical Association :

    "Scientific evidence strongly supports the
    conclusion that homosexuality is a NORMAL expression of human sexuality :
    1)that gay men and lesbians form stable, committed relationships that are equivalent to heterosexual relationships in essential respects;
    2)that same-sex couples are no less fit than heterosexual
    parents to raise children, and their children are no less
    psychologically healthy and well-adjusted;
    3)and that denying same-sex couples access to marriage is both an instance of institutional stigma and a contributor to the negative treatment of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people.

    In short, the claim that allowing same-sex couples to
    marry undermines the institution of marriage and
    harms children is inconsistent with the scientific evidence. "

    Church history tells us our Church wasn't always very clear on marriage . In fact, for the majority of her history , the Church had little, if any, interest in the"civil discourse" concerning marriage.

    Marriage wasn't a sacrament in our Church until the Council of Verona in 1184. Marriage as sacrament in the Catholic tradition has existed for only 831 years, less than half of Church history.

    The claim that the Catholic Church somehow defines/owns marriage is untrue. Marriage existed long before the Church . Even after the Church was formed, marriage = a civil matter for Christianity, and the Church had very little interest in it.

    St Paul wrote: “To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn ...”

    Marriage was something one should have only if he was unable to live a celibate life. Therefore in the Church, marriage was considered an inferior way of life, only secondary to celibacy.
    Celibacy and freedom from the responsibility of having a family was considered the better way to live. Thus family was also secondary to a celibate life.

    By the way, just how do same sex parents exploit children? The children of gay parents that I've seen aren't exploited nor have I found any evidence that they are. Please explain.

    Good grief !