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I don't know if you're referring to the phrase in the preamble to the Constitution, but it's "in order to form a more perfect union." And "perfect" in the sense of "complete." If you're just offering your own view, great--but you're saying something very different. It's true the Declaration says it's a self-evident truth that "all men are created equal." And the 5th and 14th Amendments both require guarantee the "equal protection" of the laws. But even in this country, there's never been any legal "right to equality" anywhere near as far-reaching as what you seem to think it should be.
California and every other state discriminate in all sorts of ways. Big deal. They can charge non-residents more to attend their public colleges than residents. They can deny convicted felons the vote. They can make you sell your house and move to make room for a highway. They can make one homeowner pay higher property taxes than another who owns a very similar house a block away. They can require sex offenders who've been released from prison, etc. to make their addresses public. They can allow the vote of one person to weigh slightly more than another's because of the way their electoral district is drawn. They can even keep people from marrying if they're too closely related, or if they're too young, or if they're still legally married to someone else! And on and on.
It's not necessarily a bad thing to discriminate between groups of people just because people sometimes do it out of animosity. Usually, the purpose is not to be mean to anyone, but to be fair to most of us. For example, do you think 10-year olds should have the right to vote? To buy firearms? To enter into contracts? To buy alcohol? To drive? To enlist in the armed forces? To fly airplanes? And if not, why not? You don't want to inhibit their right to just be themselves, do you? Maybe the idea of children having full adult rights threatens adults psychologically, and that's why they cling to their reactionary, prejudiced notions.
Posted: 10/24/2008 1:17:18 PM
do you think 10-year olds should have the right to vote? To buy firearms? To enter into contracts? To buy alcohol? To drive? To enlist in the armed forces? To fly airplanes? And if not, why not?
Discrimination is fine when it is related to a capacity that is necessary to competently exercise a right or qualify for a privilege. Ten-year-olds often lack the understanding, skills, or strength to perform the tasks required to vote, serve in the military, and so on.
Which capacities, exactly, do gay adults lack that would prevent them from performing the responsibilities of being a marriage partner?
There is no reason, other than preference, for discriminating against gay people who want to marry.
Are you really offering up a straw-man argument like that because you believe it? Or do you really think that people can't tell the difference between a policy that is rooted in reason and one that is rooted in religious intolerance?
Posted: 10/24/2008 2:21:14 PM
In general I agree with you. However, had your wife been hospitalized and unconscious, you would not have been allowed in to see her or say anything about her care. If you had died, she would not have been able to inherit.
Marriage is a legal contract that gives people certain rights and privileges, and also requires certain responsibilities. You don't have to enter into the contract. But you don't get those rights and privileges unless you do.
To say to someone that he can't have those rights and privileges because you don't approve of his choice of partner is simply ridiculous.
Posted: 10/24/2008 5:05:10 PM
|Tell ya all what, - |
If this is all about non-descrimination and making all walks of people here in Calif equal (ie: follow-up to the "anarchist" side of the arguement), I'll trade you gay rights to marriage for end of Affirmative Action. Think about it.....o4
PS: I noticed that no one had disagreement with the "codependent" side of the coin. ~ Interesting!
Posted: 10/24/2008 7:53:45 PM
|117: Usually a co-dependent is a person who doesn't necessarily have a trait but allows a friend, or even pushes a friend sometimes, to make choices that aren't necessarily good for them or sometimes even genuinely their own (or even healthy for them for that matter). One who opens up the liquor cabinet for a drunk would be a co-dependent. The one that then gives that drunk the keys to a car would be the enabler of the tragedy about to happen.|
118: I'm sort of tongue in cheek on the anarchist side of the coin. But, as per my later post then above, I'd be then the first to say that if the argument is based on "freedom" and "equality" then I'd like to see those principles applied across the board fairly in all categories. But we still have Affirmative Action hanging around don't we? Which discriminates by giving favor to a particular sub-set group. Or, I'm sure we could get a lot of mileage out of a discussion about the Second Amendment in this way too, no?
I believe that the crossroads of those two points is that we'd have to recognize that participation in our society indeed causes the needs to have laws which limit individuals of some freedoms in trade for the overall good of the whole group of citizens. To just say that we should play all situations out to "anybody can do anything" ends up with nobody in membership with anybody. The question then becomes anybody's personal opinion about where they draw the lines of what they think is right and wrong for the good of the whole. But to just yell out "Individual rights! Individual rights!" every time can also lead to nothingness, and I certainly don't think that THAT is what the founding fathers intended and worked so hard for either.
First we shape our laws, - thereafter our laws then shape us.
Posted: 10/24/2008 8:21:02 PM
|Matchless -- |
The constitution of the State of California is set up to protect the rights of its citizens.
At this time, notwithstanding the wishes of any number of citizens of California, the California supreme court has determined that the state constitution of this state protects the rights of any two adults to marry, regaurdelss of their relative genders. Make no mistake, the court did NOT rule that this is something they think should be legal; they did not rule that this is something that was left out that they felt needed to be in there; they ruled that "equal protection under the law" applies to all citizens of the state.
Proposition 8 is specifically written to exclude people from those equal rights. There is nothing at all far-fetched about making a comparison to the early history of the Holocaust. There is NO other place in the constitutions where rights are specifically taken away from any group of people.
It's easy to say that this is nothing like rounding up people, taking their property and putting them in a ghetto. No one wants to think that they would ever "just follow orders" like that. But how in the world do you think the whole Nazi movement started? One group had its rights taken away -- a little at a time -- and no one stopped it because - hey, of course it made sense to change the laws when there were people that so obviously should not have them.
Would it be any different to you if Oakland voted to amend their city constitution (if there was one) to define marriage as "between one African American man and one African Woman"? I mean, if majority rules, why not?
Every hear that might does no make right???
Funny, in the four months that same gender marriage has been legal, I have not heard of one marriage OR family falling apart because ANYone else got married.
Posted: 10/24/2008 9:42:41 PM
|Will there be an "above my pay grade so I'll just vote 'PRESENT'" option on the ballot for this one?|
Posted: 10/24/2008 11:47:43 PM
Legal documents is the reason why gays want marriage? There are other ways to have those documents without marriage. My ex was going to get everything if I passed away. It's called a will. I do believe courts will honor a persons last will and testament. My ex was hospitalized and I had no problem staying with and visiting her.
Not necessarily. If you have greedy relatives, they could contest the will and might conceivably win. Their argument? If he really meant for her to inherit he would have married her. A will is just a the starting point for a legal battle in which your wife would have had the burden of proof. A marriage gives her a legal presumption of ownerhsip unless someone can prove otherwise, and those proofs are hard.
I didn't say gays can't have rights and privilages. I said they already have rights and privilages just like everyone else. It is the strait married that need to lose their special privilages. Equality is the key. That and less government.
Have you ever heard the phrase "justice delayed is justice denied?" Without marriage, all of those papers that gay couples have to file are subject to legal challenge. They have to get them all just right in order to legally hold up in the face of greedily determined relatives. The simple act of marriage eliminates a lot of exposure for a loved one, Gays want that. They also want the formal symbol of acceptance as fully human, fully adult, full membership in polite society that marriage symbolizes.
And why shouldn't they get that if they're willing to behave like adults and do right by their beloveds?
And since they are willing to do that, what right do other people have to deny them?
Answer me that. Or, if you cannot, don't go getting all petulant on me. Just go vote no on proposition "hate."
Posted: 10/25/2008 1:23:03 AM
You choose to describe what I wrote as a "straw-man argument." I wouldn't describe it as that.
I was responding to someone who seemed to be plumping for radical egalitarianism. The Framers called that "license," as distinct from "freedom," and very few if any of them approved of it. She used phrases like "form a more equal union" and "right to freedom." That made it unclear to me if she was talking about the degree of equality and freedom she thought we should have, or using constitution-like phrases to imply that's what we already do have. We certainly do not, and that's what I wanted to make clear.
In most cases, the U.S. Supreme Court will not hold that a law violates the applicable equal protection clause (5th Am. for federal laws and 14th Am. for state laws) if the law serves some legitimate governmental purpose and has some rational basis. Discriminations imposed by law are the rule, and there are many thousands of them. That's why I listed some of the everyday discriminations our laws impose that almost no one thinks are unreasonable. Anyone who imagines perfect equality and freedom are ideals America just hasn't achieved yet has never thought much about why we have laws. Their main purpose is to promote order, justice and social good--and the paradox is that they ordinarily do that by favoring one behavior or group of people over another.
When a law involves a fundamental right (e.g. voting, political speech) or a "suspect class"/"discrete and insular minority"of people (e.g. Blacks, Jehova's Witnesses) the Court applies "strict scrutiny." Under this standard of review, a law violates the equal protection guarantee unless the government can show no reasonable, less burdensome alternative was available, and that the law is "necessary" for a "compelling" government purpose. This is the standard the California Supreme Court used to find Proposition 22 violated the equal protection guarantee of the state constitution. It was a 4-3 decision, and I thought a pretty unconvincing one.
The U.S. Supreme Court has never applied strict scrutiny in cases where the claim was discrimination on the basis of sex or sexual orientation. Nor has it ever found that homosexuals have a fundamental right to marry each other. As several U.S. Supreme Court Justices have pointed out, a big problem in all these equal protection/discrimination cases is that the outcome is almost certain once the decision to apply strict scrutiny is made. Once the California court in the Prop. 22 case this year decided the right in question was "fundamental," that triggered strict scrutiny--and it was all over. The court did not offer any reasons why same-sex marriage is a fundamental right. In the end, all that finding reflects is the personal views of four members of the court.
I'm not opposed to same-sex marriage. But if a majority of Californians want to define marriage to exclude same-sex marriages by amending the constitution, what is all this baloney that they don't have that right? The U.S. Supreme Court could still find this violated the U.S. Constitution, but an amendment to the California Constitution trumps the California Supreme Court.
Posted: 10/25/2008 7:40:02 AM
|^^ So, you are seriously saying that not allowing 10 year olds to vote (or drink for that matter, I suppose) is a form of discrimination??? I guess having mandatory education end at 16 is also a form of discrimination??? |
Perhaps you could give us a better example of one of any one of the laws you refer to here:
In most cases, the U.S. Supreme Court will not hold that a law violates the applicable equal protection clause (5th Am. for federal laws and 14th Am. for state laws) if the law serves some legitimate governmental purpose and has some rational basis. Discriminations imposed by law are the rule, and there are many thousands of them.
"License" would be to say that if two people can get married, why not two animals; why not an animal and a human, why not an adult and a child. We are not talking license here, nor radical egalitarianism, buhast rather simple equality
Posted: 10/25/2008 12:10:32 PM
I won't assume that you hate gays if you vote against gay marriage. However, I will conclude that you were most likely duped by those who do and won't admit it--even to themselves.
You seem to have no great love for the institution. Why would you want to support the people who so desperately want to preserve their idea of its "sanctity?" --especially when they are perfectly willing to undermine the rights of others to do it?
Posted: 10/25/2008 12:40:26 PM
Of course those are discriminations. In each example, the applicable laws favor some people and disfavor others. If you want other examples, think of tax laws. Most homeowners--but not renters--save thousands in income taxes because they can legally deduct mortgage interest payments from their taxable incomes. Flagrant discrimination against renters. Or how about land use laws? The guy who owns five acres of cropland down the road can make it much more valuable by putting up a six-story office building, but because of the zoning ordinance, my almost identical parcel has to remain cropland. Unequal treatment once again--and perfectly legal.
It sounds like you're not distinguishing between that kind of discrimination and what the Supreme Court calls "invidious" discrimination, which usually violates the equal protection guarantee. An extreme example would be a law that required people receiving county welfare payments to prove their parents had been legally married when they were born. Or what about a state law on resident aliens' rights to teaching jobs? If it prohibited them from teaching in any public university in that state, it would be unconstitutional on equal protection grounds. But a law prohibiting them from teaching in any of that state's high schools would NOT be. Why? Because the Supreme Court has held that states have a legitimate interest in entrusting the education of their high school students only to teachers who are U.S. citizens--but that they do NOT have a legitimate interest in extending that requirement to professors in public universities.
I think you're a little quick to dismiss the argument that legalizing same-sex marriage will open the door to all kinds of other non-traditional marriages. If the one's OK, I don't see any good reason to prohibit others--especially polygamy, or marriages between brothers and sisters ( who might neutralize any argument based on damage to their offspring by agreeing to be sterilized.)
Also, as I wrote about in an earlier post, some state constitutions banned polygamy forever as a condition of being admitted to the U.S. Those states probably can't eliminate that by amendment. If same-sex marriage became legal in Utah, say, someone who couldn't enter into a polygamous marriage would soon file an equal protection suit. And neither a Utah court nor a federal court interpreting Utah law could hold for him without ignoring the highest state law--its constitution. It seems to me the U.S. Supreme Court would have to get involved--and what good reason could it give why homosexuals should have a greater right to equal protection of the laws than polygamists (or close opposite-sex relatives?)
Posted: 10/25/2008 3:36:49 PM
|Let's set aside the moral aspects of this issue for a moment if that is possible.|
Any knowledgeable economist will tell you that the leading indicator of economic growth and stability is population growth (more producers, more consumers) That is pretty much a no-brainer.
Gays cannot procreate, therefore their union in legal marriage adversely affects our economy.
Vote Yes on 8
Abortion adversely affects economic growth as well, overturn Roe v. Wade.
Posted: 10/25/2008 7:18:34 PM
|I'll vote for them to be able to marry just to annoy the crazy self rightous religious &^*s|
Posted: 10/25/2008 7:41:22 PM
Thinking about law school, are you? Lawrence is more of Justice Kennedy on the bender he's been on roughly since Justice O'Connor left. He grew up in Sacramento and while in high school met Earl Warren. Now, he seems to believe he's Warren with a vengeance, righting everything HE thinks is wrong, and the Constitution be damned.
When experts on the Court talk about its ten all-time worst decisions , it wouldn't surprise me if Lawrence came up. And Boumedienne too, where Kennedy last year found a right for enemy combatants held anywhere in the world to petition for habeas in U.S. courts. Unbelievable. Anyone seduced by that tripe about a "living, breathing Constitution" that adapts to a changing world (and here I thought that's what the amendment process was for) should read the dissenting opinions by Justices Roberts and Scalia. I don't like the Court to erode the Constitution or the rule of law--read Friedrich Hayek on what happens when you replace it with the rule of man.
No one has any say in their sex, or race, or legitimacy--those are accidents of birth. That's partly why the Court uses strict scrutiny in equal protection claims involving the last two, and at least "intermediate" scrutiny in claims involving a person's sex. People may also have no say in their sexual preference, but it hasn't been established as fact that no person ever has any control whatsoever over it. With sex, or race, or legitimacy, it's self-evident that no one ever does. Also (e.g. in the armed services) the reason for the unequal treatment may be less people's sexual preference per se, than the harm it would cause if people who preferred the same sex were to express it in their behavior. So there's some reason to question whether discrimination on the basis of sexual preference should be treated the same way as discrimination on these other grounds.
Incidentally, a state law doesn't necessarily violate the equal protection clause even if it flatly discriminates on the basis of race. It wouldn't violate it IF the state could prove it was necessary for a vital state interest, and that no other less burdensome alternative was available. In practice, that would be extremely hard to prove. Also, I believe courts should rule that it doesn't violate equal protection to use ethnic profiling to catch terrorists (especially on airplanes, trains, ships, or wherever many people gather.) It's been recognized for centuries that the most important duty of any government is to protect the physical safety of its citizens--so the profiling couldn't possibly serve a more vital government interest. And if no less intrusive way to stop terrorists from carrying out plots were likely to be effective, it would be necessary to profile people by age, sex, ethnic appearance, etc.
Posted: 10/25/2008 8:46:26 PM
You're saying the fact some fraction of people in countries around the world is in prison proves that heterosexual parents generally are incompetent? Maybe someone other than you can understand that logic, but I don't.
It's true that some conservative Christians want the federal government not to be involved much in people's lives generally, but want it to be very much involved in moral issues. As a political conservative, I'm not in favor of that involvement--but if they want it, they can try to get it. And no one favors greater interference in our lives by the federal government more than secular liberals. For them, there must be an agency or a court to protect almost everyone from almost everything. They want this to extend to all sorts of moral issues, which explains why they're so concerned that Roe v. Wade might be overturned.
You use the phrase "people they hate." How do you know that's true--and what makes your opinions so sacrosanct, that you assume people who don't share them have such bad motives? You don't specify what freedom government is taking away. But in this case, it's the people of California who are deciding whether to amend the state constitution, not the government. And whatever they are taking away--although you may believe it should be a freedom--sure isn't any generally recognized legal freedom.
Posted: 10/25/2008 11:10:48 PM
Gays cannot procreate, therefore their union in legal marriage adversely affects our economy.
If you go to any gay neighborhood in any major city and look around for just a bit, you will find that, by and large, they are typically the most prosperous and lively neighborhoods around. They're also generally safe.
Now go to neighborhoods where the custom is to have as many kids as possible. Look around. How much squalor can you take in?
The truth is that in every country where the birth rate drops the standard of living goes up. So does the value placed on individual lives and individual rights. Back in agrarian days, before we knew how to design machines to do menial work for us, we needed lots of people to do that work. Now we need well-educated people to diagnose and maintain the machines. Fewer kids with more face time among adults, including their gay aunts and uncles, makes for a better educated childhood and a more prosperous future.
Posted: 10/25/2008 11:16:28 PM
It's been recognized for centuries that the most important duty of any government is to protect the physical safety of its citizens
So long as it does so without violating their rights. Otherwise, a government could justify pre-emptive imprisonment.
Posted: 10/26/2008 1:04:54 AM
|I say we just ban marriage, period. And then we can ban driving, drinking, eating, t.v., farting, and just about anything else that may be of risk to your health or the health of others.|
Seriously, the idea that allowing gay marriage will open the door to polygamy or incestuous marriages is ridiculous. They are are on completely different levels and are illegal for completely different reasons. And that if gay marriage is allowed, it will be taught in schools... what? Taught, as in, "Some families are composed of a mommy and a daddy and some families have a mommy and a mommy or a daddy and a daddy?" DIdn't "Mrs. Doubtfire" address this issue, like, 15 years ago?
It comes down to what can happen when things go wrong. That is, "when I die, what's going to happen to my loved ones?" As it stands, in California, your common law partner (straight or gay) CANNOT make arrangements for your earthly remains; it must be done by the next of kin. And if cremation is involved, most mortuaries require all the responsible family members to be on board (so, if Nana dies before Pop-pop and Nana wanted to be cremated, even though Nana and Pop-pop were never married but together for 70 years, your mom and her a**hole brother are the next of kin--Pop-pop doesn't count for anything. The a**hole brother can say he doesn't want Nana cremated for whatever reason, and 90% of the time the mortuary will refuse to cremate becasue they do not want to be sued for "emotional distress.") Essentially, if you want everything to go as you expected it to go, you need to get married
Posted: 10/26/2008 1:53:53 AM
|The idea I referred to was already well accepted by political philosophers by Locke's time. As for pre-emptive imprisonment by this government, I lose much more sleep from eating Tommy's burgers too late in the evening than to that unlikely prospect. Save that for the Islamist Nazis at Guantanamo. (BTW, Prof. Dershowitz has argued that the "torture" used on some select detainees doesn't violate any part of the U.S. Constitution. Then again, he doesn't know anything more about con law than Robert Bork.) But it does concern me that so many people who live here have such a poor opinion of the U.S. The presumptive first lady, and a number og her husband's associates have made their contempt for America clear. This low opinion usually is based on a litany of sins an execrable education system has "taught" them America is guilty of, rather than on a sound knowledge of this country's history and achievements. but if this country's really that bad, why try to save it?|
Posted: 10/26/2008 7:11:50 PM
|I agree with kateriyta, strong family values which are needed to have the future generations of this counrty to continue it's greatness are damaged by the trend toward its destruction. The divorce rate is at an all time high, way too many single mothers are bringing up children alone, too many parents pawn their kids onto nannies and are too selfish to give them the time of day. Todays kids, even with a traditional, caring responsible family are very messed up. Imagine, if they are going to be brought up wiht two daddies? C'mon, thats not fair even to the kids. Imagine, bringing home friends and saying "hey this is my dad", and then your friend says oh wheres your mom? Oh ? you mean my other dad?? I know Iam going to be chewed up and spit out by taking this view..but I dont care, Iam entitled to my opinion just like everyone else.|
PS..BTW Matchlessm, did you ever think that although property OWNERS get these big tax breaks by being able to deduct their mortgage payments (interest ONLY thanks to Pres Clinton)., and RENTERS dont..That it is the property OWNERS that PAY all the property tax..which the RENTERS get all the benefits and pay nothing?
Posted: 10/27/2008 12:22:07 AM
Gays cannot procreate, therefore their union in legal marriage adversely affects our economy.
So I guess that means we put in a fertility requirement for marriage licenses?
Posted: 10/27/2008 12:29:39 AM
|And I have yet to hear of a single ruined marriage/family in the last four months; NOR have I heard of a single classroom reference to marriage at the elementary, middle or high school level. |
Matchless, you seem to have a whole lot invested here -- you must know of SOMEthing catastrophic in the last few months to cause your adamant panic to get this passed. -- or is it just speculation...?
Posted: 10/27/2008 2:38:57 AM
I wasn't aware that the legal experts on the Court's decisions generally thought Bowers was wrongly decided. Who cited it as one of the Court's worst decisions? The usual consensus list includes several notorious offenders: The Dred Scott case; Plessy v. Ferguson (the 1890 case that approved "separate but equal"); Korematsu (the Japanese-American internment decision); Miranda (whose warning language everyone knows from TV cop shows) and Roe v. Wade (where the majority--by what logic only it knows--found a right to abortion in the Constitution.) And in Boumedienne, from 2007, I--and a lot of people with much more expertise than I have-believe the majority was so bent on satisfying its animosity toward this administration that it ignored the Constitution and the Court's own precedents.
I couldn't disagree more that "Lawrence corrected" the holding in Bowers. In fact, it hardly mentioned it-- bizarre, considering that at the time, Bowers was the Court's only other gay rights decision. However much you may feel that homosexuals should enjoy equal rights, please show me where the Constitution (even impliedly) grants a right to sodomy, as the majority found it does. Everything we know about the views of sodomy at the time the Constitution was written makes the idea ridiculous. But Justice Kennedy is intoxicated with his own importance these days-- the quality of the opinions he writes has declined, and too often they (Lawrence and Boumedienne are good examples) are weakly reasoned, arbitrary gobbledygook. If you doubt that, read Justice Scalia's dissenting opinions in these two cases--devastating.
Why bother with that uncertain, difficult amendment process, when it's so much quicker and easier to change the law by getting a majority of the Court to interpret it your way? But people who applaud the notion of a "living" Constitution, whose meaning should be changed to suit the times, should think long and hard. The next time, with different faces on the court, the call could just as easily go against them. In the long run, anything courts do that tends to undermine the rule of law erodes the freedom of us all.
Posted: 10/27/2008 3:11:10 AM
|john in bh,|
What makes you think renters don't pay property taxes? People who own apartment buildings certainly have to pay them, and (at least where no rent control ordinance is distorting the market) they pass much of this cost on to their tenants in the rent they charge. I sure pass most of it on to my renter.
In any case, I never claimed it was unfair for laws to favor one group over another. Just the opposite--the person I was writing to seemed to think that, and I disagreed. She asked me for more examples, so I was pointed to several laws that treat people very unequally--and yet don't seem to outrage most people at all.
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