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On what rational basis does NY State now deny polyamorous clusters the right to marry?

On what rational basis does NY State now deny polyamorous clusters the right to marry?

The slippery slope argument. 

Perhaps the best (or worst) example is the scene from Animal House in which an attempt by the student disciplinary council to discipline Delta House is turned into, through a series of slips and slopes, an alleged attack on the United States of America.  Slippery slope arguments have a way of ending up in absurd places, but the absurd end result does not negate a legitimate starting point.

In the same-sex marriage debate, there were some stupid slippery slope arguments, for example, that eventually you would have a right to marry your dog.

But when it comes to polyamory, the slippery slope argument had a sound footing and went something like this:  Once society moves away from the traditional definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman, why stop at one-and-one?  If loving each other and having a healthy household in which to carry on one’s life, and in some cases to raise children, is the standard, then on what basis does one deny three or more people who meet those qualifications the right to legal recognition by the state as a marital unit, with all the benefits that accrue?

The polyamory slippery slope argument was met with derision precisely because it raised a legitimate point.  There are ample historical and modern examples of societies which recognize polygamy and less frequently, polyandry.   A couple of years ago Newsweek ran an article arguing that polyamory was the wave fo the future here, accompanied by a photo history of polyamorous societies.  ABC News ran a similar article, in the context of the debate over Prop. 8 in California.

The counter argument, that polyamory is a choice but homosexuality is not, is questionable.  Given the high rates of infidelity, particularly among our male politicians, there is every reason to believe that people are hard-wired not to be monogamous.  What better for society, the argument would go, than to give that non-monogamous tendency an outlet within the family unit?

The legal argument in favor of same-sex marriage, which breaks a marriage down into pieces and then attempts to demonstrate that there is no rational basis to distinguish same-sex relationships, applies with equal force to polyamorous relationships, if one is going to be intellectually honest about it.

Don’t take my word for it.  Listen to this audio clip of a talk by Martha Nussbaum, Professor at the University of Chicago School of Law and one of the most prominent intellects advocating for same-sex marriage.  (You will find the full hour and 25 minute audio at the link, but I’ve clipped the ending part where she discussed polygamy and incest.)  Nussbaum argues that most if not all of the arguments in favor of same-sex marriage apply to polygamous relationships, and even goes so far as to argue that modern genetic science demonstrates that there is no rational scientific basis for barring marriage as to some incestuous relationships.

Once society decides that one-man, one-woman no longer is the “arbitrary” standard, on what rational basis do we stop at one-and-one?

This is not a slippery slope argument against same-sex marriage, at least not in New York State.  Same-sex marriage has been signed into law and will become effective in less than 30 days.

Why stop at one-and-one?


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Pasadena Phil | June 26, 2011 at 10:47 am

The main problem that I see in this debate, as with most of the debates involving our constitutional rights, is that there is a deliberate effort by most of those engaging in these debates to exclude those who understand and cite the source of our rights. Anyone who violates the “rule” is deemed to be an extremist and intolerant.

Where do our individual rights come from? We were born with them having been granted the right to be free by The Creator and thus, they are inalienable. That is not a pop “theory du jour”. Inconvenient as it might be to the majority who not only shy away from, but take pains to exclude outright, discussing the rich Judeo-Christian philosophical roots our very nation was founded on.

It was long, painful and bloody road and many hard lessons were learned before the Judeo-Christian Enlightenment presented the opportunity for free men to create their own form of self-government. America was the only nation founded on these very specific principles.

Let me help those of you who feel obligated to trash anyone whose arguments are rooted in religious beliefs before making high-minded sterile secular arguments that only alienate people who still believe that our founding fathers had it right and for the right reasons. Stop trashing us.

I am not a member of the Christian Right. But I am a believer and I completely understand the importance of religious argument in why our rights are inalienable. You can’t have an intelligent discussion about this having fumigated the room of people who argue the same arguments of the greatest minds of an era that gave rise to what was a miracle, our founding as a nation.

You don’t have to be a devout Christian to grasp the fundamental legal argument that is essential for establishing the “inalienable” part. Once you kill God in that argument, you have undermined the very reason our nation has survived for so many years.

Discussing “gay rights” falls in the same category. There are very good reasons why homosexuality and bestiality have been considered “sinful” for so many millenia. They are a serious threat of deadly diseases. They are obviously unnatural behaviors.

Being based on some vague definition of “right to love who you want”, I would argue that it is the secular argument that is vapid and groundless, not the religious argument which has common sense, science and thousands of years of human experience to support it.

Let’s not be so quick to circle the wagons around the secular arguments in order to exclude the religious arguments. By doing so, you are stripping us of the only tool we have for reclaiming our very individual freedoms. After all, we are not free to do whatever we want. Freedom is not anarchy. There are consequences to the choices we make and the bad consequences are what gives rise to the need for bigger and bigger government. We are only free if we virtuous. Virtue is not a secular concept.

I fell asleep at the 2:02:01 mark. I love my dog, but she refuses to marry me. My wife’s 3 girlfriends, on the other hand, like me alot and may be willing to marry me. My wife, on the other hand, reminded me about Lorena Bobbit. I am cured.

I’ve thought about this for a while and though I agree that theoretically allowing gay marriage breaks down the legal reasoning (and finally now the actual law in some States) behind not allowing other types of unions, proponents fo those unions won’t be beating down the doors to the courthouse very soon.

The gays won this ‘battle’ through sheer volume both in numbers and vocally and legally. They are also a disproportionately influential force as far as popular culture due to their over representation in the arts, fashion, entertainment industries and a strong link to the ‘Progressive’ party (currently mostly Democrats but many Republicans seek approval from those groups and consider themselves to be ‘progressive’) AND last but not least the Make Believe Media.

Any other group that currently is unable to form legal unions (polygamist, polyandrists, pedophiles and Zoophilists) do not YET have the numbers and/or the ‘approval’ of the Make Believe Media. Nor, I suspect, do they have the money to pour into the effort to break the current barriers.

However that could change if the success of gays ignites in them the hope that they too can become sanctioned by the law. Perhaps there are more of them than I believe.

We shall see, won’t we.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | June 26, 2011 at 2:15 pm

While George Soros uses his billions to fund a very broad leftist agenda, gay billionaires like Tim Gill have a more narrow focus. Legalizing gay marriage in as many states as possible has been a high priority for Tim Gill. He has spent huge sums of money to “normalize” homosexuality, defeat conservatives, and promote pro-gay Democrats who support gay marriage. He supposedly has committed $200 million to get gay marriage legal in as many states as possible. In all the states that have legalized gay marriage so far, Gill and other gay philanthropists have been influential in making it happen.

The point I’m making is that if Soros, Gill, David Geffen and other liberal billionaires like them decide they want to live in a polyamorous society, then they’ll spend the money to change the political climate and make it happen just as Gill has done to advance gay marriage.

Here’s more on Gill:

See also, the “Colorado Model” in which very rich liberal leftists have built institutions to turn Colorado, historically a swing state that tilts slightly to the right, into a state dominated by the Democratic Party (Tim Gill is a Coloradoan and a major contributor who helped fund the creation of those institutions)

JimMtnViewCaUSA | June 26, 2011 at 2:34 pm

A subtext to this issue is the following:
Mormon polyandry: bad
Islamic polyandry: legitimate cultural difference, you racist
Gay marriage is a place where Left and Muslim interests have an overlap.

Don’t count out the dog-marriage argument too soon, either. After all, married households are eligible for shared medical coverage through the workplace. Why shouldn’t an old spinster or bachelor get coverage for their pet as well? It’s ridiculous on the face of it, but expect to see “fairness” rationales popping up all over in the years ahead.

    Milhouse in reply to JimMtnViewCaUSA. | June 26, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    Neither Mormons nor Moslems have ever practised polyandry, you illiterate. Polyandrous societies have historically been quite rare. I know it exists in Nepal, and that the Talmud accuses the ancient Egyptians and Cannanites of it, but I can’t think of anywhere else right now.

Jim Treacher points out the idiocy that is NY:
“You can marry a person of the same gender in New York City, but you can’t eat your own wedding cake without Bloomberg slapping it out of your hands”

God, I wish I could move.

The polygamic marriage is naturally next given the number of Islamic residents within the US. This will be a practical outworking of gay marriage within those states that legalized it, since who are they to deny the choices of another culture and religion? In a not so far fetched example: Man and wife (US citizens) convert to Islam, over the internet he meets his 2nd wife to be, travels to Egypt, gets married and then returns to US, say NY. Under reciprocity rules NY is obliged to recognize said marriage of Islamic polygamic marriage. IF the State of NY baulks, man and two wives sue State of NY for discrimination on the basis of both religion and new same sex marriage legislation since said legislation obviated the “one man, one woman” limitation recognized by NY State.

What judge in NY is going to rule against this marriage union in the new atmosphere of tolerance? On what basis does this judge have to rule contrary since there is no longer a precedent from which to rule? Not one man one woman. The judge may infer only two people to a marriage but where in the NY State law does it say that? Thus the bigamy statute has been rendered null and void. That’s how it will be sold, of course right thinking people would say the bigamy statute came first, but that no longer matters in the liberal interpretation of the law. Remember, one man one woman was settled law for over 200+ years since the founding, so claiming bigamy by virtue of settled law means nothing either. It’s called the sophistry of legal argumentation, the law means what I want it to no different than words meaning what they are twisted.

[…] William Jacobson calls them Polyamorous Clusters. Bookmark & […]

Polyamorous Clusters. Wonderful wordsmithing!

I’m getting very confused again. Can’t we be arbitrary? How could rights be God-given without the plumb… never mind. God makes mistakes? Three? Oh the mess it’s going to create for the Internal Revenue Code. Do we have to go to multiple persons on a joint return? Something akin to the Subchapter S marital association, non-profit variety? Or would threesomes and foursomes have the right to file as partnerships. Or do we just do away with joint returns and tax-free spousal property transfers altogether? Or do we have like the secondary breeder or concubine classes, different status spouses. Do we have to start recognizing polygamous marriages from other countries? Polygamy doesn’t work in a society of equal gender rights. If he can bring in a second wife, she then can go bring in a second husband, and on and so forth. There are no polygamous societies I’m aware of that require wife #1 to consent to a wife #2… What a mess. The end of marriage. What happened to the building block of society? Are we going to tribes? Harems? I’m not finding any of this charming. Or really interesting. Rather, it’s all sincerely disturbing. I must be a bigot. I feel things breaking apart into unnecessary chaos, created for incredibly frivolous reasons…

    Exactly, what is the IRS to do? The practical outworking is to simply dispense with the whole mess and force everyone to file separately. Worse, the practical will force the dependent status to the female as the assumed custodian unless ordered otherwise through the courts via a custody order to someone else. E.g. Two people, male and female in relationship have 4 kids, either they each claim two (the male being forced to go to court to be given custodial rights for 2 of the 4) or female just claims all 4 filing head of household. If the female doesn’t work outside the household, she gets EIC and the male with zero dependents is forced to pay the highest rate as non head of household (single), presumably the EIC and single rate will cancel out after the male cuts his check to the IRS and the Treasury cuts their check to the female. This scheme would work for 3 or more adult marriage units with children.

    Of course after everyone screams to the Rubegoldbergness of the situation, they will do away with the income tax and slap the VAT on everything we buy. Thus the government rapes the population using Rohypnol over and over again because the customers never get to see the full sum total of the taxes slapped on them. What’s a half percent here and a percent there after all? Who will notice if they jack it up later? The pols will simply blame the greedy businesses and rich people for not paying their fair share and passing it on to the little people.

    At some point when everyone gets disgusted enough of the meddling know it alls there will be a revolution, lots of people will get killed and a new order will be celebrated. It won’t matter who’s side wins, 50 years from then, we’ll all be dead, the next generation be watching the fireworks of the next independence day celebration whenever that may be. Yeah, I’m cynical like that.

While a society with established and shared limits to behavior can often agree that “consenting adults” of either or both sexes have a certain liberty and/or protection under the law for actions taken “in the privacy of their own home”, Martha Nussbaum seems to believe that sexual behavior rules of any kind are just arbitrary constructs that can (and, she proposes, should) be changed – mostly without limit.

She utterly fails to consider how a shared societal relationship can continue in an environment where there are no such shared limits, and where each individual’s behavioral limits cannot be known or assumed by another.

For example, although giving a dismissive (and wrongly assumptive) palaver to the idea of protecting young children, she failed to reconcile how this need can be met in her otherwise post-moral world with the fact that in Massachusetts today a girl can legally marry at age 12, a boy at 14. In New York, a child of 14 is allowed to marry “with parental and judicial consent”.

I didn’t listen to the whole audio file, only the clip. It reminded me of a post on Facebook some time back of a link to a similar argument for dismissing rules against incest. In that link the proponents talked about abolishing the “ick factor”, while Ms. Nussbaum calls it “the politics of disgust”.

The argument is that birth control and genetic testing to avoid birth defects caused by consanguinity have erased any reason to prohibit close family members from having sex. But that argument is not only simplistic, it is irrational and incomplete. It is, if I may use the word this way, ignorant – it ignores the possibility of any other reasons for the taboo against incest.

My response now is the same thing it was there: the idea of incest is not only icky because of inbreeding. It’s also icky because human beings all need a community, our whole life long, in which we are safe from being viewed as prey. And there is no sexual relationship of any kind in any circumstance that does not involve a touch of prey/predator element in its beginnings.

If we can’t be safe in our direct kinship unit, where can we be?

(That is another reason life-long monogamous marriage unites two people as one under God, within society and under the law: to set the limits and modify the intensity of the prey-predator elements and convert the relationship into one of forever-and-only shared mutual-life. The fact that we only imperfectly manage to achieve this unity for life does not make the attempt for this absolute safety any less essential to human society.)

Thanks for making this point. Very few people have been making serious arguments about the unintended consequences of legally-recognized homosexual marriages.

Obviously there is no rational basis on which to ban polygamy. The same can be said of incestuous arrangements and marriages between adults and young children.

I strongly suspect that the arguments employed to support “marriage equality” in 2011 will prove to be very versatile.

The question of homosexual marriages has been one of popularity, not principles or logic.

It makes a difference that this was implemented legislatively rather than by having a court create a new right. Legislators have the power to make inconsistent laws – courts theoretically need to maintain some level of logical consistency, which would tend to give credibility to “slippery slope” reasoning.

Captain Obvious | June 27, 2011 at 4:46 pm

The gay marriage debate has always been frustrating because neither side addresses the fundamental underlying constitutional premises. The question is not “On what rational basis does NY State now deny polyamorous clusters the right to marry?” The question is “On what rational basis does ANY state officially recognize any religious covenant?” Legally sound or not, the answer is that the government provides itself legal insulation through a layer of abstraction: Licensing. A right to any government recognized marriage does not exist in law, as to do so would be a direct violation of the first amendment. A prohibition against having an unrecognized marriage does not exist either. Any person can, according to their own beliefs, make any vows they choose to any other person, without government interference. Any religious institution can, at its discretion, choose to recognize those vows or not. Any person can, according to their own wishes, formalize such commitments in form of contract or by notary public to make them enforceable against fraud or perjury under law. The “Gay marriage” debate has never been about marriage… it’s been about the license. What any person can NOT do is demand a license for which they are unqualified. It is capricious to issue licenses without codified standards which further a compelling governmental interest. We do not issue drivers’ licenses to the blind. We do not issue dog licenses to cat owners who call their cat “Rex”. What is at issue is whether or not there exists a compelling interest in changing the licensing standards to include same sex couples. To determine this, we need to understand what the rational interest is in licensing any couples to begin with, and what that license actually entails. A marriage license is essentially a one-size-fits-all package of contracts concerning community property, child custody, etc etc, again which ANYONE can subject themselves to manually and piecemeal, should they so choose. By applying for a marriage license, you are VOLUNTARILY agreeing to have your otherwise free relationship bound by rather strict laws governing your private behavior. The government has only one legitimate interest for these legal bonds to exist: to safeguard the state’s perpetuity by encouraging (not dictating) family environments most inclined to produce well-adjusted future citizens. Just as a license to drive does not require driving, a license to procreate in the government-sanctioned-manner does not require procreation. Similarly, as it is not illegal to drive in-general without a license (only on publicly provided roads), it is not illegal to procreate in-general in the non-sanctioned-manner (only to attempt to claim publicly provided marriage benefits). The only difference then, between those who contract their vows ad-hoc or privately, and those who do so through marriage, appears to be the conference of marriage benefits. The existence of those benefits is solely an incentive to enter into contractual marriage obligations otherwise against individual interests. The purpose of setting standards in the licensing process is to prevent the irrational dispensation of those licenses (and benefits) to those who do not further the ultimate purpose for which the license was created. Licensing drivers fosters a culture of safer, more responsible drivers, and licensing marriage fosters a culture of safer, more responsible child-rearing. No, the benefits are not explicitly for children (child tax credits are) but rather for providing for the general welfare of a child-friendly culture. Yes, exceptions exist based on circumstance that don’t make immediate sense (e.g. the infertile can marry), but the terms of licensing is broad and inclusive to begin with so as to AVOID cases of capricious discrimination by not attempting to list every possible individual circumstance, and thereby creating explicit ambiguity where circumstances are inevitably omitted from law. One could rationally argue that more traditional marriages, in abscence of children, still contributes to a culture of traditional marriages. Regardless of how you feel about childless marriages receiving benefits, the rational governmental response to a legal loophole should be to close the loophole, not to expand it further. This propensity for expanding dependency on the nanny state, and the fundamental misunderstanding of the purpose of marriage benefits as “for love” instead of incentive-for-obligation-to-the-state’s-goals-in-creating-additional-well-adjusted-citizens is quite the slippery slope. If we take the moral-relativist approach that all child-rearing environments are equal, then the extrapolated logical consequence is that we must provide marriage benefits to unmarried foster parents, divorcees, and single mothers. What, then, is the distinction?

The rational debate about illegal aliens, contrary to the nasty accusations of racism and xenophobia, isn’t about aliens, it’s about illegal. The rational debate about gay marriage licensing, contrary to the nasty accusations of bigotry and homophobia, isn’t about gay, it’s about marriage licensing.

It is incumbent upon same-sex couples to demonstrate they deserve the special incentives intended to encourage responsible procreation, whilst they are prima-facie incapable of procreation. Unless they can demonstrate this, then same-sex-marriage is just a euphemism for picking the taxpayer’s pocket. None of this implies any hatred or even disdain for homosexuals. None of this should discourage those who choose to pledge their lives to eachother from doing so. This is only the rational acknowledgement that not everyone should automatically receive any handout they demand at the expense of others.

Great article, but I created an account primarily to give kudos to Captain Obvious for laying down quite possibly the most compelling argument against same-sex marriage that I’ve read (and I’ve done quite a bit of reading on the topic).

retribution1 | June 28, 2011 at 12:17 pm

Nice post Captain Obvious. However you miss one important point: the purpose of marriage, as it always has been throughout history, is to make legitimate sexual relations. Its secondary purposes are what you cite, how to handle the natural result of those relations, children, and their relationship to their parents and extended family. There are no legitimate sexual relations between two individuals of the same sex, and gays know this (even if only subconsciously). The push for gay marriage was never about the benefits, it was about garnering approval from others, to plausibly make legitimate that which is illegitimate. The vast majority of gays will never marry (and few that do will actually live up to the vows) and they know it, its the approval they want. Conversely, the heterosexuals who support gay marriage do so for precisely the opposite reason, to render the idea of “legitimate sex” a nullity, thereby providing justification for license and a salve for a troubled conscience that inevitably flows from the exercise of such license.

Captain Obvious | June 28, 2011 at 1:27 pm

I didn’t really miss that point, as I wasn’t writing about the purpose of marriage… it just wasn’t relevant to a post addressing the legal rationale for government involvement in marriage. You’re not wrong, I just don’t think you’re using “legitimate” in the same sense I’m using “legal”. It don’t disagree there exists disparate real reasons why people are passionately for or against, but when it arguments come to a court room, I think the licensing issue is what should be addressed, and I’ve never heard it tackled by either side.

There is no slippery slope from gay unions by any name or word within 100,000 words of “marriage” in the dictionary to polygamy or polyandry — the latter two are heterosexual institutions found in many societies, and endorsed by the Bible itself. Heterosexual marriage is the slippery slope to polygamy or serial marriages, not us.

Us gay folks keep saying this — we are gay, and you are not, and we have unions. I personally know couples who have been “married” longer than the combined six marriages of Newt and The Donald, and those two didn’t claim gay unions caused their failings. And I know couples whom no doubt are “married” longer than you Mr. Jacobson, and probably pay more in taxes. We already have had unions legally recognized for decades — only under commercial law, and not family law. We wish to be included in family law. This would make it automatic, and not make us jump through hoops and gyrations in a multitude of differing ways to effect what you heteros do automatically without a thought or a lawyer. If family law is, say, Title II, and we don’t quite fit, then give us Title II 1/2.

However, what you heterosexuals do is your business. Do not attempt to claim that what you do is dependent on somehow denying our reality. The reality is gay unions exist without a shred of societal support, so logically, we do it even better than you folks. There are no fairy tales for “fairies” after all. But despite the enormous societal support for hetero unions you all have botched it up big time. Do not blame us for your shortcomings, now or in the future. No hetero ever got a divorce or committed adultery or bigamy, or the pseudo-legal polygamy by Mormon fundamentalists, by claiming there was a commercially partnered gay couple on the other side of town or down the block. Nor will you all cease messing with the “sanctity” of marriage, heralded more in the breach than the practice, because we gays now have a legal regime to recognize the unions which exist in reality. And conservatives, my dear professor, deal in reality.

On the other hand, we do have assets, wealth, houses, business, insurance, wills, and all manner of other life-reality things going on that require some legal recognition of some kind to effect what we wish to do as citizens of this nation ought to have a right to do — and yes, we don’t leave it to our kids, unless we adopt some, or have some from our ex-hetero lives, because we don’t have kids. But we do leave our assets, etc, to our nieces, nephews, siblings, charity, etc. And why should we be denied some legal mechanism to do so in a free Republic merely because heterosexuals have bollixed the institution of marriage without us having a thing to do with it? Surely Henry VIII didn’t use gay marriage as an excuse for his divorces, did he?

Let me paraphrase Jesus: render unto heteros what is hetero, and unto gays what is gay.

And as for “natural,” there is now ever more increasing evidence that gay men react differently to a whole range of drugs than do hetero men — give a pill to a hetero guy it does one thing, to a gay guy it does another — something must be afoot biologically. And that has nothing to do with polygamy, but brain chemistry and wiring. Put us on the autism spectrum if it will help you deal, and be done with the nonsense already.

And the quicker you all come to this conclusion the quicker the whole thing will just disappear and we shall return to our rather quiet, peaceful, productive little gay lives with which you interact every day anyway — have you never flown and seen the flight(y) attendant? Stayed at a hotel? Gone to a little theater or Broadway show? An antique store or interior design firm? Whom do you think is filling those positions which enable you and your wife to enjoy your time? And we have already set up a complete separate “pink” economy to get as far away from you all as possible, to spare us the grief of listening to you all complain how terrible we all are, or to spare you the grief of having to witness reality which so many of you can’t handle. You have Club Med, we have Club Ted, for heaven’s sake.

But I’m sure tired of hearing how the entire hetero world is dependent on the continued denigration of gay folks, and the denial of the reality of our relationships, as if gays are lynchpin of it all. We are just not that important — but deserve a whole lot better than to just be pilloried and hounded all our days.

Oh yah, on a very practical political note — I have never heard of a political movement that wins elections by chasing votes away as the Republican Party seeks to do. I have too many Palinista gay friends, and you know I am very conservative on everything – which to me, also includes gayness — for I do recognize the reality of my existence within this Republic, which is not a theocracy. And might I remind you, sir — no force on this earth is going to stomp us out of existence. We shall not go quietly to the spiritual or physical slaughter which so many still seem to call for. I will not “pray my gay away” as is demanded of me, so that I will be forced to join some religion which I will not adhere to. You wouldn’t either; that’s the point of your blog, isn’t it? The inquisition and forced conversion of me is unto Medieval Spain converting Jews on penalty of death. And I have never even so much as kissed a girl, and have no earthly clue as to what else to do with the fair sex other than treat them as I wish to be treated.

And I will also add, as the most politically astute member of my family, I am asked about the Tea Party movement which enthralls me, and I must somehow convince my 60 member extended family — who has known I was gay since I was 10 years old — to not vote for the socialists destroying this great nation — or to vote for someone whom thinks they are going to once again outlaw me, harangue, harass and hound me, and threaten to incarcerate me or do whatever you all think will be done with us. We are so few and are so dispersed that we have no real effective political power other than to keep up this sort of begging and pleading for a recognition of our reality. But if anyone thinks I’m going to recommend voting for someone like Santorum or Bachmann so that my family’s gay boy (me) is the target of the police state once again is out of their minds. Get a grip sir, get a grip. We gays are here to stay. And we earn a hell of a lot of money, and are taxed at the same confiscatory rates, and we deal with the same inflation and the same gas prices, and falling home prices. If I might pun, for I always endeavor to be humorous — gays are like ripe fruits ready for plucking. Come and get our votes — don’t chase them away — for the good of the nation, and for yourself and your family. Thanks.

Captain Obvious | June 29, 2011 at 5:01 pm

If one admits that heteros “never” claim that “gays are responsible” for the problems with marriage, it’s rather absurd to then argue against the pseudo argument your opponents admittedly aren’t making. You might think you’re bravely vanquishing dragons, but the rest of us are watching you tilt at windmills. To rail about the most visible problems with marriage being different from the consequences of same sex marriage (which is debatable) is not to prove that those consequences are not also problems. In acknowledging the symptoms of national marriage problems, it needs to be understood that what they fundamentally stem from is a lack of respect for the institution and what it achieves.

Conservatives do deal in reality, and that means considering the consequences to the long-term big picture, not just the selfish short-term good for an individual case, else we’d all be welfare queens (I can make puns too!). No-fault divorce is a short-term individual-case good… it allows someone in a bad situation to escape it. Who could oppose that? Yet we recognize that macroscopically this has had disastrous consequences in exploding the divorce rate, not just because it’s easier to divorce, but because the lack of consequences makes those considering marriage do so less seriously, with a fundamental dearth of respect for the solemnity of both vows and legal responsibilities, which has lead simultaneously to fewer couples bothering to marry at all, and a higher proportion of those who do naively getting into “bad situations” in the first place.

While a piece of paper from the government with the word “marriage” on it instead of “civil union” might make a loving devoted couple feel all warm and fuzzy (who could oppose that?) what effect do you think it has in general on people’s respect for the institution to redefine legal words on a whim? Your argument is that it’s such a wonderful thing to have that it is such a wrong to be denied, but that belies your cognitively dissonant argument that it’s so screwed up already that we shouldn’t care what the consequences are.

That strawman dealt with, what you’re asking for is a handout… a special coupon for free legal services as you’ve admitted. Nobody, not even you, believes for a second that conferring “Title II 1/2” wouldn’t INSTANTLY be met with a lawsuit decrying “separate but equal”.

You want the license without doing what is legally required to qualify for the license. We got it. The answer is “no,” for the good reasons outlined above. You are not being subjected to Torquemada just because you can’t have free government cheese, nor because conservatives rightly won’t use the force of government to make others more accepting of your lifestyle. You are not being “driven away” unless that is the only issue you care about. Skip the persecution complex, make whatever private vows you want to with your partner, reflect in the fact that those are the only part of marriage which SHOULD matter to you, take whatever legal steps you need to in securing your property and posterity, and enjoy your life. Best of luck to you and your family, and I hope you continue to be a good sane fiscal conservative.

Captain Obvious, this takes “friends with benefits” to a new extreme.