Thursday, October 15, 2015

Marriage and limiting government

Marriage licenses, at the very least, require explanation. It would be interesting to know what other countries do on this issue. 

One argument on this issue might be this. People who enter marriages naturally bring children into the mix. But having children means adding mouths to feed, and children to educate, etc. So the government compensates people who risk this with various financial advantages. However gay relationships don't incur this risk, so they should not receive this kind of compensation.

One firm conviction I have on this issue is that my government is not competent to adjudicate the moral question of homosexuality one way or the other. I am against sodomy laws and forcing bakers to bake rainbow shaped cakes with two grooms on top for exactly the same reason.

60 comments:

Hugo Pelland said...

Should infertility be cause for denying marriage licences?
And more importantly, why does the gender matter at all? Marriage means 2 people, end of story.

entirelyuseless said...

It would be more logical to compensate people who actually have children, as opposed to those who merely risk it. Some countries such as Austria do in fact do this.

Victor Reppert said...

How would the people giving out the licenses know whether a couple will or will not be infertile?

Two people, end of story? I am sure NAMBLA would be pleased to hear this.

On the other hand, why is two a magic number?

In any event, marriage licenses need to be explained. I'm not sure the can be, or they can't, but I think the question of same-sex marriage can't be addressed without explaining why the government is issuing licenses to anybody.

Hugo Pelland said...

"How would the people giving out the licenses know whether a couple will or will not be infertile?"
Exactly, that was my point; they cannot know and should not need to know. Victor, you raised the point of children...

"Two people, end of story? I am sure NAMBLA would be pleased to hear this."
Good point, let's clarify: Two adults. Anything else to add?

"On the other hand, why is two a magic number?"
Because that's what we are talking about... Marriage, under the law, refers to a union of 2 people, sorry, 2 adults. However, some religious individuals want the government to include specific genders in the equation, for no good reason other than their personal discomfort. So that's my point here; that's what I think needs to be argued for. Why specify gender at all, regardless of the number?

Discussing another kind of union, a 3-way marriage, is a completely different topic. Actually, I would argue that this kind of union already exists; it's called a company. And we can debate, as a society, what such 3+ union of people can and cannot do. Regarding children, for instance, there is currently no way a company can adopt; it's not legal. Would it be a good thing? I don't think so... but this has nothing to do with the gender of the people involved, nor what the 2-adult union we call marriage is, or is not.

" In any event, marriage licenses need to be explained. I'm not sure the can be, or they can't, but I think the question of same-sex marriage can't be addressed without explaining why the government is issuing licenses to anybody."
No, it's the other way around. We could certainly debate the relevance of marriage, under the law, under the government, but assuming that we have such legally defined unions, there is no reason to specify the gender of the people involved. i.e. one can disagree with the government issuing marriage licenses, that's fine, but since they do issue such licenses today, the question is why should it be restricted to a specific set of gender?

Also, going back to children, as "entirelyuseless" just pointed out it would be more logical to compensate people who actually have children, as opposed to those who merely risk it. And again, the gender of the 2 adults involved has no reason to be specified in the law.

JaredMithrandir said...

Christians should not get Marriage Licences
http://solascripturachristianliberty.blogspot.com/search/label/Biblical%20Marriage

Victor Reppert said...

But it is important to determine why the government is passing out marriage licenses in order to decide who should be receiving them. One explanation for why the government passes them out is to have a default method for determining paternity. The reason government benefits might start when a couple is married, and not when a child is born, is because we don't have a way to determine who the dad is (at least without getting men to submit to testing). So instead of making having to give paternity tests every time a child is born, the government just looks at the marriage records and see who the woman is married to. It's not foolproof of course, but the likelihood of getting the father right by this method is pretty good.

Victor Reppert said...

If this is why the licenses are being issued, then there is no reason to give them to same-sex couples.

Victor Reppert said...

Do you think a man should be permitted to marry his sister or brother, if both are adults? Do we have something to learn from people in the hills?

Hugo Pelland said...

"But it is important to determine why the government is passing out marriage licenses in order to decide who should be receiving them"
Sure, that's why it should be for adults only, for example, but is there anything that should relate to gender?

"One explanation for why the government passes them out is to have a default method for determining paternity. [...] It's not foolproof of course, but the likelihood of getting the father right by this method is pretty good."
I don't see the point of that paragraph. Being able to determine paternity is a useful tool, a fortunate consequence of having a married woman give birth and concluding, by default, that her husband is the father (even though, in the end, only she really knows until a DNA test is performed...) But I don't think it qualifies as 'one explanation', and certainly not a 'main explanation', for passing marriage licenses. Planning to have children is certainly not a requirement to get married. So when you add:
"If this is why the licenses are being issued, then there is no reason to give them to same-sex couples."
I don't see how this is relevant because it is certainly 'not' why licenses are issued. Again, people who don't want kids, or cannot, are allowed to get married just as much as those who want to have kids.

Under the law, marriage is really more like a business contract rather than an ethical/moral/future planning decision. The 2 people essentially say that, from now on, they should be treated as responsible for each other, dependant on each other, and almost as if they were the "same" person. Any situation where 1 of the 2 cannot make a decision on their own should fall back to the other person making the decision. In a way, it's an affirmation that this chosen person now overrides the family bloodline which would normally be the default resource for the individual.

"Do you think a man should be permitted to marry his sister or brother, if both are adults?"
It's an interesting but fringe question I suppose; what's the point?

Personally, my opinion would be that, yes, they should be allowed to marry, even if I find it really messed up. It's up to the 2 adults to decide, and it does not impact anyone else. However, I would be against them having the right to reproduce due to the unreasonable risks of complications. (A quick Google search tells me that, thankfully, incest laws are already in place to prevent such pregnancy, and it seems to include marriage ban in most cases, which is unnecessary in my opinion.)

Victor Reppert said...

The 2 people essentially say that, from now on, they should be treated as responsible for each other, dependant on each other, and almost as if they were the "same" person. Any situation where 1 of the 2 cannot make a decision on their own should fall back to the other person making the decision. In a way, it's an affirmation that this chosen person now overrides the family bloodline which would normally be the default resource for the individual.

But here, aren't people already allowed do designate whom they wish as power of attorney in case of incapacitation? But I do have a strong intuition that a life partner should be empowered to make that decision, not family members who might have disowned them for being gay years ago.

It's a general principle that you don't want your government doing something if there isn't a reason for it. The default option should be to disengage the government.

Hugo Pelland said...

It's similar to power of attorney I guess, that's a good point. But nothing to do with gender, which is the issue with denying same-sex couples certain rights that others have, solely base on gender.

And yes, the general principle you mention could be used to argue against marriage licenses as a whole. Still nothing to do with gender...


Victor Reppert said...

I have doubts about marriage licenses. There are some justifications for marriage licenses that would include same-sex couples, and others that would exclude them.

Most criticisms of gay marriage these days involve the role of children.

http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2015/02/14370/

Hugo Pelland said...

It seems that the opinion of that 1 person in that 1 open letter you linked to clashes with the Canadian Psychological Association, The Australian Psychological Society, the The American Psychiatric Association, or the US Supreme Court. As a Wikipedia article summarizes it: "The scientific research that has directly compared outcomes for children with gay and lesbian parents with outcomes for children with heterosexual parents has been consistent in showing that lesbian and gay parents are as fit and capable as heterosexual parents, and their children are as psychologically healthy and well-adjusted as children reared by heterosexual parents"
Judith Stacey, of New York University, stated: "Rarely is there as much consensus in any area of social science as in the case of gay parenting, which is why the American Academy of Pediatrics and all of the major professional organizations with expertise in child welfare have issued reports and resolutions in support of gay and lesbian parental rights".

In any case, it's actually worse than that for people arguing against legal same-sex unions because it's simply, and obviously I think, not logical. It's not because some people tie marriage to children that it makes it reasonable to do so; it seems to be purely emotional. There are people who have children out of wedlock and people who get married with no such intention. In both cases, they are not the majority, but also not just a fringe. Therefore, there is no logical pathway between couples' legal right to marry and the right to raise children.

For instance, it seems to me that factors such as divorce (see the article you linked to), income, substance addiction, nearby family members, etc., have more impact on the well-being of a child rather than the gender of each parent... when there are two. The single-mom living on minimum wage is far less likely to provide her children with the best chances of success in life than the gay couple in the top 1% income bracket. At the same time, it's not all black or white... that single mom could be a super-star who loves her kids and succeeds, while the gay parents could be horrible workaholics who got kids just to show off and cause them to be miserable. I just don't see why gender would have a noteworthy impact and it seems that scientific observations support that view.

Finally, I tried to find some articles that would contradict it and, not surprisingly, it only comes from biased groups such as the Family Research Council who: "shapes public debate and formulates public policy that values human life and upholds the institutions of marriage and the family. Believing that God is the author of life, liberty, and the family, FRC promotes the Judeo-Christian worldview as the basis for a just, free, and stable society." I think these are all great values to hold but the problem is that when such values conflict with scripture and today's science, groups such as FRC will resolve the contradiction by going with their emotions, their gut feelings, instead of logic and reason.

Victor Reppert said...

Here's where it gets really tricky. Suppose someone were to contradict that data, and argue that the evidence supports a disadvantage to gay parenting. Oh wait, someone has, and his case is rejected as being based on pseudoscience, because, well, he has an axe to grind. But don't the people who are on the other side have an axe to grind?

Are you arguing that the anti-gay rights position conflicts with the Bible? This will sound weird to a lot of people, but it is at least possible. At least the biblical case to the contrary is not as clear to me as it is to some people.

I am inclined myself to think that I would rather have a child grow up in a committed gay family than see them grow up in a revolving door. And I have actually had the idea that gay marriage will unmotivate gay promiscuity.

But what do you think of resistance in some parts of the gay community to marriage. My idea of gay marriage is that if it exists the only change is the couples who can be in it, the requirement of lifelong fidelity should not be compromised as a result. Some in that community say "thanks for knocking the barrier down, but we won't let it domesticate us to (semi)-traditional marriage.

Steve Lovell said...

Hugo,

Just a small point of correction. You keep repeating that opposing same sex marriage is a discrimination based on gender. This is obviously false. Opponents of same sex marriage aren't against men getting married or against women getting married. You're confusing sexual-orientation and gender, and I don't think that's helpful.

Technically, of course one can oppose same sex marriage and still approve of a homosexual getting married ... Though in that case it wouldn't be a marriage between people who are (both) sexually attracted to one another.

Might have something more substantial to say later.

Hugo Pelland said...

Victor Reppert said...
"Here's where it gets really tricky. Suppose someone were to contradict that data, and argue that the evidence supports a disadvantage to gay parenting."
There's always data on both sides of any issue such as this one. We can each evaluate that data and come to a conclusion based on our other beliefs and values. Someone with a negative personal experience, such as in the open letter you linked to, might not care much about the opinion of several medical associations. Their personal feelings trump what the experts say and it's completely understandable. But I don't have such personal anecdotal evidence, and certainly no 'axe to grind', so my opinion is based only on what statistics I can get.

However, there is more to this in my opinion... Let's suppose that studies found that gay parents are worse, on average. The question I would ask is: how much worse do they need to be so that we prevent them from adopting? (And I am only talking about adoption here since marriage is completely different and I see no reason at all, literally zero, to prevent them from getting married.) I think that question is relevant because I believe that there are lots of groups of people that we could label as 'worse than average' when it comes to raising children, yet we don't prevent them from reproducing, obviously, or even adopting. For adoption, it's easier, since potential parents go through a selection process, but what about all the less-than-average people who raise children? Should we start to prevent certain ethnicities from having children because on average they are worse than others? That sounds ridiculous; doesn't it?

I think this is the same with gay parents; even if it could be demonstrated that they perform worse, on average (which they don't), I don't see why they should be excluded from raising children since, as individuals, they are just as entitled as other individuals. They would need to be significantly worse, as if being gay was some mental illness that demonstrably causes them to beat up children, for example. However, it's not the case as gay people are not much different; they just have a different preference for who they fall in love with. I honestly don't see why it matters that a man likes men, or tall skinny blonde women, or short chubby brunettes. The main reasons why gays appear so different are historical; they were shunned, pushed aside, ridiculed, and still are in most places around Earth unfortunately. Most kids in today's western world couldn’t care less, and it's a move in the right direction.
http://college.usatoday.com/2015/04/03/study-millennials-more-accepting-of-homosexuality-than-casual-sex/

And again... absolutely nothing logically links marriage to children here. You have yet to acknowledge or refute that.

Hugo Pelland said...

" Are you arguing that the anti-gay rights position conflicts with the Bible?"
Of course not. I don't care much about what the Bible says; it's pointless to use it alone to justify any position. It's useful to use it to get some insights but, in the end, the context matters a lot more. And no, I am certainly not arguing that anti-gay rights position conflicts with the Bible, it seems to me that it's the opposite: it's tougher to argue for gay rights using the Bible. There are clear passages that are against homosexuality, none directly accepting it.

" I am inclined myself to think that I would rather have a child grow up in a committed gay family than see them grow up in a revolving door. And I have actually had the idea that gay marriage will unmotivate gay promiscuity. "
Yep, totally agree! And that's why I raised the historical reasons for gays being different. It's hard to test but I would bet that if gays had always lived in open communities where nobody cares about who they fall in love with, there would be virtually no difference between hetero and homosexual people. Individual preferences, behaviors and habits have way more influence than who you happen to be sexually aroused by.

"But what do you think of resistance in some parts of the gay community to marriage. My idea of gay marriage is that if it exists the only change is the couples who can be in it, the requirement of lifelong fidelity should not be compromised as a result. Some in that community say "thanks for knocking the barrier down, but we won't let it domesticate us to (semi)-traditional marriage."
We live in an extremely diverse world. I am not surprised such individuals exist. It's yet another topic that has nothing to do with the gender of the 2 people involved. I certainly agree that fidelity is better than promiscuity, but it's up to the people in the relationship to decide how they want to live their life. I think encouraging stable families, in general, is more important than encouraging a fixed set of man-woman parents.

Hugo Pelland said...

Steve Lovell said...
" You keep repeating that opposing same sex marriage is a discrimination based on gender. This is obviously false. Opponents of same sex marriage aren't against men getting married or against women getting married. You're confusing sexual-orientation and gender, and I don't think that's helpful."
You misinterpreted my words Steve. I never said 'discrimination based on gender' and I certainly understand the difference between gender and sexual orientation. You probably never heard the argument I am making so you assumed that I was confused... My point is that 'gender' should not be specified in the law, at all. This simplifies the debate because we don't even need to talk about sexual orientation; we only need to ask the question: why should a law specify the gender of the individuals it refers to? When it comes to marriage, I see no reason to specify the gender of the parties involved; let the two consenting adults decide. At the same time, this takes care of any ambiguity raised by people's gender, such as hermaphrodite, transgender, or gender-neutral people.

Victor Reppert said...

But you do hold that number is relevant. So take a look at this guy's rhetoric, and look at how he uses gay rights language to defend his lifestyle. He calls what he is doing "coming out" and he describes his polyamorousness as a "sexual orientation." Hey it worked for the gays, so why not for me?


http://freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/6737

planks length said...

I don't care much about what the Bible says

Once I hear (or read) someone saying something like that, I rapidly lose all interest in what he has to say.

Hugo Pelland said...

@Victor,
I don't understand how this relates to anything I wrote. There is the word 'But' at the beginning of your comment and I wonder if it means something like 'ok yes, I agree, but...', or 'I disagree, but let's move on to...'. I really don't know because you don't address much of what I actually write, unfortunately.

In any case, no, I don't think the number is relevant but it depends on what you are talking about. As I stated above, we currently have laws that regulate 2-people unions so, in this case, it's irrelevant to point out 'but what bout 3 people?' because the issue is that these 2-people unions should be defined as 1-man-1-woman according to some, for absolutely no justifiable reason. Therefore, the number is not relevant at all because it changes the topic. It's more-or-less as if we were discussing 'World War 1' and then someone says 'But what about World War 2?'.

Did you have something else in mind? What link do you see with Carrier's personal lifestyle choice?

@planks length,
There is a context around this quote. I don't care when someone is trying to support a certain position relating to ethics, or the law, for example. It's not because the Bible says 'X is right' that 'X is right'. I only care about arguments in support of the position that 'X is right'. But I do care about what the Bible says in general. It's an interesting historical book and, having been raised Catholic, I have always enjoyed reading it and discussing its meaning.

But your knee-jerk reaction at the words 'I don't care much about what the Bible says' is duly noted. If I were to care about what you have to say, I will take that into account.

Dave Duffy said...

Fine, let them have the word "marriage" to mean whatever they want. Who cares anymore?

However, let's come up with a different word for a man and woman who vow to stay faithful to each other for life and devote themselves to whatever children they have together. Of coarse this will exclude a whole lot of people. Who cares? Let's just come up with a different word to describe what this bond is.

Hugo Pelland said...

Actually Dave, you can keep the word. Can we then just agree that, under the law, 2 married people (heterosexual couple who intend to have children) have the same exact rights as 2 people in civil unions (not-"heterosexual couples who intend to have children") ?

Would you prefer a different word for interracial marriage too? My wife is Indian... and not 100% sure she wants kids; should I say we are married, or just in a civil union? I'm afraid I'll keep calling the event a "wedding" though, is that ok Dave?

Crude said...

Can we then just agree that, under the law, 2 married people (heterosexual couple who intend to have children) have the same exact rights as 2 people in civil unions (not-"heterosexual couples who intend to have children") ?

Well, if you're admitting that the word doesn't apply, then they aren't married couples, now are they?

I'm afraid I'll keep calling the event a "wedding" though, is that ok Dave?

Actually, while I won't speak for Dave, I will say that if you have no intention of having children, you shouldn't call it a wedding, or a marriage.

Can you survive that, Hugo? Will it reduce you to tears? Will you have a 'knee-jerk reaction' of your own?

B. Prokop said...

I can't speak for the US government, but the Catholic Church says if a couple is not open to having children, they ain't married!

Victor Reppert said...

I don't think you have Jefferson's desim quite right Bob. It's quite different from what most people think it is.

If you believe in the idea of a transcendent, as opposed to a simply immanent God (such as many Hindus accept), there are choices here as well. For example, some believers in God are called deists, in that they don’t accept special revelation. By special revelation, I mean deliberate activity on the part of God to make people aware of who God is and what he expects from people. Typically people think of deists as holding that God created the universe and then ceased to be active within it.

However, historically deists were committed to the following five points.
1) God exists
2) God is to be worshipped
3) The practice of virtue is the true worship of God
4) People must repent of wrongdoing
5) There are future rewards and punishments.
This is somewhat different from what people today think of as deism.

Victor Reppert said...

Oops, wrong thread.

Dave Duffy said...

"Would you prefer a different word for interracial marriage too?"

Do people ever get tired of this kind of childish bullshit? I know I am.


planks length said...

Would you prefer a different word for interracial marriage too?

Whenever anyone brings up this canard, the proper response would be a variant of Bernie Sanders' comment in the first Democratic debate: "I'm sick and tired of hearing about the damn e-mails!"

In this case, "I'm sick and tired of people making the false equivalency between SSM and interracial marriage!"

Dave Duffy said...

Hugo, forgive me for my scorn. It's not right.

People who bring up race are usually, in my experience, scoundrels. Yes, I believe in equality under the law and inalienable rights given by our Creator, not by some government bureaucrat.

But, if marriage has can mean prenups, fifth-time-around, domestic partners, weekend fling in Las Vegas and quick divorce, gays, groups, robots, once a month Rotary Club meetings, then we need a different word for a man and woman bonded for life and sacrificial for their children. That's all. I just want a different word.

Your relationship to your wife is your own business.

Hugo Pelland said...

Crude said
"Well, if you're admitting that the word doesn't apply, then they aren't married couples, now are they?"
Under the law they are. That's the point. Why should 2-people civil union be limited to heterosexual couples who want children? You can still call your favorite kind 'marriage' if you prefer. But why do you think you own the word?

"I will say that if you have no intention of having children, you shouldn't call it a wedding, or a marriage."
I would like to have kids for sure, but my wife is less certain, and I respect that. We'll wait a few years. Should we send back apology notes to the 500 guests if we end up not having any kids in 5-10 years to let them know the event was not really a wedding after all? Under US law, it (rightfully I think) doesn't matter so we'll still be legally married.

"Can you survive that, Hugo? Will it reduce you to tears? Will you have a 'knee-jerk reaction' of your own?"
Looks like you are crying... I tried to have an intelligent discussion on the legal implications of government sanctioned marriages, which is what marriage licenses, gay rights and adoption/kidraising rights are about. Looks like this may not be the forum for that.

Bob said
"I can't speak for the US government, but the Catholic Church says..."
Different topic then. Again, this is a legal issue. If you want to have Catholic weddings, nothing is stopping you, and the union is recognized under US law. Why would the definition of such specific marriages be useful to define 2-people legal unions? More importantly, why shouldn't others be allowed to get that same kind of union, which has, unfortunately, the same legal name?

Hugo Pelland said...

Dave, thanks for the 2nd comment,
The race is as relevant as asking for the number; I totally agree it is not. But I didn't raise the number of people first, nor did I mention robots or animals, another irrelevant example.
If you have no issue with egality under the law, and only want a word for that specific type of marriage for personnal/emotion reasons, then we have no disagreement.
Again, I am only concerned with the law and the notion that only 1man-1woman (who want kids?) unions should get benefits of legal unions.

Dave Duffy said...

"benefits of legal unions"

The benefits are in your relationship with your spouse, children, and your conscience before God. If we are fighting over what benefits some government politician or bureaucrat is handing out, then no wonder there is so much animosity between citizens.

Hugo Pelland said...

Yes actually, that's what the fight is about; legal benefits are what matter before anything else. What you described are personal, emotional and spiritual benefits, real actual benefits of marital bounds. As a married man I couldn't agree more.

But existing marriage licences for 2 people yield legal advantages such as hospital visits rights, tax deductions when filling jointly, immigration visas for spouses, inheritance, etc... which should be given to any 2 people who wishes to be part of that agreement. Regardless of unrelated factors such as individuals' gender, race, gap in age between adults, nationality, previous divorce, already having children, being infertile, income, physical abilities, sexual orientation, education, religion.

That is not to mean that anything gies either.
I do think that it makes sense to regulate other conditions. The benefits come because of the notion that the 2 people are a family, have a strong real relationship and intend to share each other's lives, at least briefly. However, someone getting married only to get a green card, or save on taxes, or get a work visa, is committing fraud.

Hugo Pelland said...

*That is not to mean that anything *goes* either...

Steve Lovell said...

Hugo, thanks for clarifying. This has been an interesting discussion to follow. I don't have a fixed opinion on the matter, and while my moral views are pretty much those of a fairly conservative Christian, I'm not comfortable saying that those views should be enshrined in law.

I guess the foundational question is: what is the point of marriage (or whatever one chooses to call it)? Can we give an answer to that which will satisfy all parties to the discussion? Even a minimal one? If not, it's going to be difficult to agree on the rights and wrongs of such issues.

Crude said...

Under the law they are.

In the same way the law can define a dog as being a cat, sure. It's a farce that had to be imposed by SCOTUS coup, and we both know that 'under the law' isn't the end-game here.

But why do you think you own the word?

I don't. Reason does. Again, you can huff and pout and say that the SCOTUS has declared a dog to be a cat, but it isn't and it won't ever be, so hey. Now me, I think at a minimum the law should respect such distinctions, but to be honest - there's an advantage to making a mockery of the law.

I would like to have kids for sure, but my wife is less certain, and I respect that. We'll wait a few years. Should we send back apology notes to the 500 guests if we end up not having any kids in 5-10 years to let them know the event was not really a wedding after all?

How many of the 500 people you invited to your wedding, who you couldn't have possibly meaningfully interacted with at the actual event, would even care?

By the by - the marriage added what to your relationship? Children are clearly optional and by your earlier statements unlikely. You got married without this question even being weighed in on by your wife. Cultural inertia? Wait, tell me it was the desire to not live in sin, because sex is sacred and should only occur with the blessing of the state!

Looks like you are crying.

I'm getting a kick out of your drama. Don't be bitter and passive aggressive if conversation is what you want - if you decide you want to put on a show, don't be surprised if some of the audience boos.

I tried to have an intelligent discussion on the legal implications of government sanctioned marriages, which is what marriage licenses, gay rights and adoption/kidraising rights are about.

It's about squelching dissent and criticism, which is sadly what passes for 'Gay Rights' nowadays.

planks length said...

what is the point of marriage?

The point of marriage is to provide a stable, life-long environment in which to raise children to adulthood with a (female) mother and a (male) father, with the blessings and support of society. Anything that weakens that aim, whether it be premarital sex, cohabitation, adultery, no-fault divorce, contraception and abortion, and same-sex so-called marriage, is contrary to reason and nature.

That is the point.

Hugo Pelland said...

Steve, thanks for the comment; I think you gave an accurate summary of what really matters here:
"I'm not comfortable saying that those views should be enshrined in law."

That's pretty much what I think too. I value monogamous long-term relationships and think that stable male-female couples are more likely to raise children successfully, but statistics tend to show that there is little to no difference with same-sex couples. So I have to admit that I am biased in my thinking, when it seems to me that the positive influence of both genders helps. That being said, the law should not care about these differences unless there is a very strong reason to, and that reason does not seem to exist by any objective scientific standard.

"I guess the foundational question is: what is the point of marriage (or whatever one chooses to call it)? Can we give an answer to that which will satisfy all parties to the discussion? Even a minimal one? If not, it's going to be difficult to agree on the rights and wrongs of such issues."

These are interesting questions yes, but again, when it comes to the law and its benefits/rules, such as the examples I listed above, the definition of the 2-people legal union does not have much to do with what's 'right and wrong'. I don't think we need to answer what the 'point' of marriage is besides what the agreement already lists. Any 2 adults, literally any, should be allowed to enter that 2-people union, freely, without pressure, for as long as they wishes to.

Hugo Pelland said...

Crude said:
"we both know that 'under the law' isn't the end-game here."
I disagree. This is really the only thing that matters here, or at least the 'first' thing that matters. We could then discuss non-legal issues but it's a different topic; it's not what marriage license are about.

"How many of the 500 people you invited to your wedding, who you couldn't have possibly meaningfully interacted with at the actual event, would even care?"
It was obviously a rhetorical question based on the silly comment about how my wedding shouldn’t be called a wedding... and I did not invite more than 20 people myself and did not know more than 50 personally, I think... so that's actually my point, they would not care, but they would still agree it was a 'wedding'...

"the marriage added what to your relationship?"
What about the engagement of loving my wife forever, for bad and good times, the vow to help her, be with her, be faithful to her, dedicate my life to her, cherish her, share my income, time, body, future with her, and hopefully one day raise children, if she chooses to? That's not enough? And if we were 2 men, it would never be enough?

"I'm getting a kick out of your drama. Don't be bitter and passive aggressive if conversation is what you want"
I would invite you to re-read this entire thread. All of my "passive aggressive" comments were REPLIES to silly things you or PL wrote, and only the 2 of you, like when you asked me "Can you survive that, Hugo? Will it reduce you to tears"... now you reply to my comment about crying as if I just suddenly mentioned this... it was a reply to YOUR comment Crude.

"It's about squelching dissent and criticism, which is sadly what passes for 'Gay Rights' nowadays."
No. I would defend your right to dissent and critic. You can talk as much as you want. I am also allowed to reply back and call bullshit on your lack of reasons to support exclusion of people based on sexual orientation alone.

planks length said:
"The point of marriage is to provide a stable, life-long environment in which to raise children to adulthood with a (female) mother and a (male) father, with the blessings and support of society. Anything that weakens that aim, whether it be premarital sex, cohabitation, adultery, no-fault divorce, contraception and abortion, and same-sex so-called marriage, is contrary to reason and nature."
Legal unions have nothing to do with this. What you wrote is one of many reasons people get "married" under the law, for a lack of better word, but it's not the 'only' reason since there are lots of other benefits and rule that depend on being in that kind of 2-people union. Still nothing to do with the rights for all to choose who they can enter this union with...

Mr. Green said...

Planks Length: Whenever anyone brings up this canard, the proper response would be a variant of Bernie Sanders' comment in the first Democratic debate: "I'm sick and tired of hearing about the damn e-mails!”

While I sympathise with the reaction, I’m afraid it’s not likely to be too constructive… a better approach might be to take the person discreetly aside and inform him, in language as simple as possible, that male and female humans of different “races” are quite capable of producing offspring. One might also gently suggest that anyone so confused about basic human biology is probably not exactly qualified to rewrite the laws surrounding mating practices.

Hugo Pelland said...

Mr. Green, please read the context regarding that person who is "so confused about basic human biology". You might find that you are confused about what was being discussed and that it's precisely because 'race' is not an issue, just like 'having children' is not an issue, that it does make sense to mention 'race'. It's simply 1 of many examples of things that should not have any impact on 'marriage laws'. Also, I wonder where you got the idea that 'mating practices' were being discussed... as if marriage had anything to do, legally, with mating...

***

- Planning to have children is certainly not a requirement to get married. So when [Vic] add:
"If this is why the licenses are being issued, then there is no reason to give them to same-sex couples."
I don't see how this is relevant because it is certainly 'not' why licenses are issued. Again, people who don't want kids, or cannot, are allowed to get married just as much as those who want to have kids.

- It's not because some people tie marriage to children that it makes it reasonable to do so. [...] There are people who have children out of wedlock and people who get married with no such intention. [...] Therefore, there is no logical pathway between couples' legal right to marry and the right to raise children.

- "The race is as relevant as asking for the number; I totally agree it is not. But I didn't raise the number of people first, nor did I mention robots or animals, another irrelevant example."

- "But existing marriage licences for 2 people yield legal advantages such as hospital visits rights, tax deductions when filling jointly, immigration visas for spouses, inheritance, etc... which should be given to any 2 people who wishes to be part of that agreement. Regardless of unrelated factors such as individuals' gender, race, gap in age between adults, nationality, previous divorce, already having children, being infertile, income, physical abilities, sexual orientation, education, religion."

Crude said...

I disagree. This is really the only thing that matters here, or at least the 'first' thing that matters.

No, it's not. All we need to do is ask: 'Did the SCOTUS decision satisfy any LGBT group? Did it end the matter for them?'

It didn't. Not 24 hours passed before they started to opine about how churches and organizations that opposed same-sex marriage could be penalized by the state. If all they ever wanted were legal benefits, civil unions - distinct from marriage - would have satisfied.

It never did, and it never will. Because it's not about that.

It was obviously a rhetorical question based on the silly comment about how my wedding shouldn’t be called a wedding... and I did not invite more than 20 people myself and did not know more than 50 personally,

Ah, so you were bullshitting. Gotcha.

What about the engagement of loving my wife forever, for bad and good times, the vow to help her, be with her, be faithful to her, dedicate my life to her, cherish her, share my income, time, body, future with her, and hopefully one day raise children, if she chooses to? That's not enough?

Clearly it wasn't, because nothing about that requires a marriage license, the word 'marriage', a wedding ceremony or more. Nor was 'hopefully one day raise children' - she wasn't in on that agreement, remember?

So you've given your own reply to the question. No, your vows weren't enough. Your promises, your feelings, and your love wasn't enough. You needed marriage, but you won't say why.

Be direct, Hugo. Tell us that you could never have loved your wife if you couldn't marry her. That's what you're saying, yes? If tomorrow it turns out your minister or whatever agent was a sham and you never were married, then your vows were meaningless?

I would invite you to re-read this entire thread. All of my "passive aggressive" comments were REPLIES to silly things you or PL wrote,

I showed up late in the game, and you were going at it full tilt.

No. I would defend your right to dissent and critic. You can talk as much as you want.

Your compatriots disagree. See: Canada, and everywhere else where they get the power.

And you know why? Because when people can talk and dissent, it threatens them. For one thing, as we see here, we expose people who take your side as not having as many arguments as one expected, with little more than melodrama powering your appeals. I've got reason and argument on my side here. You've got tears and stamping of feet.

Hugo Pelland said...

Crude said...
...All we need to do is ask: 'Did the SCOTUS decision satisfy any LGBT group? Did it end the matter for them?' It didn't...
These are very good points actually. LGBT groups certainly want more than just the legal benefits of civil unions, and rightly so I think. They don't want their difference in terms of sexual orientation or gender identification to be cause for discrimination. I agree with you that wanting to impose their views on churches goes too far, but I also don't think that this has any influence on the arguments regarding the legal issue. The issuance of marriage license based on the gender of the 2 people involved is still THE biggest issue because of all the points I mentioned above.

Ah, so you were bullshitting. Gotcha.
Hum, no... I did not write anything false... you made a comment about how my wedding is not really a wedding simply because children are not 100% on the radar; so I asked the 'rethorical' question, i.e. I made a joke: should I let the 500 guests know? If that's what you call bullshit, I really don't get it...

Be direct, Hugo. Tell us that you could never have loved your wife if you couldn't marry her. That's what you're saying, yes? If tomorrow it turns out your minister or whatever agent was a sham and you never were married, then your vows were meaningless?

That's not what I am saying at all no. I was not even sure I wanted to get married before being with her precisely because of that. Marriage never meant much to me because a couple can be just as strong without spending all that money on a celebration. My own sister, for instance, has 2 lovely kids (baptized btw), a house with her boyfriend and live a nice quiet life that Christians would find nothing to object to except that... they did not get married. In Québec, where they live, it makes no difference legally anymore; the law has been changed to include live-in couples automatically, so they did not bother.

So let me repeat yet again: this is a legal issue. There are laws that give benefits to married couples and clearly make it easier for them to live a common life and get recognition as each other's life partners.

Your compatriots disagree. See: Canada, and everywhere else where they get the power.
Yep, I completely disagree with some "compatriots" (not sure who you were referring to though?). I had a fight with a friend recently about that actually.

And you know why? Because when people can talk and dissent, it threatens them.
Well of course! That's why most old American Conservative Christians are against LGBT rights and other things they find "different". It's not what they are used to, not what they grew up with, not that feels right, not what their "reason" tells them, against their common sense, against their core values, immoral, unnatural, weird, etc... there is no logic to it, only emotions and fear. But they don't realize it; instead, they say things like that:

For one thing, as we see here, we expose people who take your side as not having as many arguments as one expected, with little more than melodrama powering your appeals. I've got reason and argument on my side here. You've got tears and stamping of feet.
But it's precisely the opposite. You asked me "will you cry?" when you are clearly the one who is doing nothing but whining. You say you have reason and argument but you presented none. There is nothing emotional for me here; I am a white married heterosexual male with a great job, a great life and a very positive outlook on life. I entered this discussion purely for the appeal of a potential intelligent discussion. Most comments were along those lines but I am afraid you did not contribute in that way Crude.

Mr. Green said...

Hugo Pelland: You might find that you are confused about what was being discussed [...] Also, I wonder where you got the idea that 'mating practices' were being discussed... as if marriage had anything to do, legally, with mating...

Oh, so the confusion isn't about biology, it's over the centuries-old culture-spanning purpose of marriage itself. And if you want to pay attention to what's being discussed, Victor's post right there at the top of the page raises the issue that the very reason governments regulate marriages in the first place is because they are the specific relationship by which children are brought into the world. Which is of course the whole point.

Hugo Pelland said...

Mr. Green,

1) Ideas that are centuries-old culture-spanning are neither good nor rational by default; it's not an argument for them. It might actually be an argument 'against' them since the older the idea, the less likely it applies today due to the nature of our ever changing society.

2) It's not even true that the purpose/definition of marriage itself has been around for centuries. Again, that's where race becomes relevant since interracial marriage was not even legal just a few decades ago in the US. People at the time could have used the same argument to argue that marriage has been between same-race people for centuries. And regardless of the law, most conservative individuals, among any culture today, still try to restrain cross-cultural unions.

3) Yes, Victor raise the point of government regulating marriage because of children, and I argued against that point. There are actually tons of non-children related benefits of getting married. And the fact that people have children without being married and people get married without having children, also goes against Victor's point that marriage necessarily relates to children.

4) So, still nothing to do with the gender of each individual involve in marriage; still no reason to link children to the issue.

Victor Reppert said...

Hugo: How would you respond to this statement by Masha Gessen:

Fighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what we are going to do with marriage when we get there—-because we lie that the institution of marriage is not going to change, and that is a lie.

Hugo Pelland said...

Victor, I am not sure I understand her point because it sounds like a stupid way to get results imho...

Hugo Pelland said...

p.s. also, the institution of marriage has already changed, and will keep changing, just like any other social convention, so it's a moot point.

Crude said...

These are very good points actually. LGBT groups certainly want more than just the legal benefits of civil unions, and rightly so I think. They don't want their difference in terms of sexual orientation or gender identification to be cause for discrimination.

No, they don't. They don't want any dissent, at all. Period. LGBT activists want the very act of criticizing same-sex sex acts to be considered hateful, wrong, and an offense worthy of shutting down an organization or firing an individual. And that includes so much as openly regarding same-sex relationships to be distinctly different from any other kind.

I made a joke: should I let the 500 guests know? If that's what you call bullshit, I really don't get it...

Saying 'Should I let the 500 guests know?', then backtracking that to 20 and saying it was a joke, is bullshit.

So let me repeat yet again: this is a legal issue.

And let me repeat yet again: it is not. Or, if it is, it's only insofar as the law is seen as a vehicle to punish any dissent on this issue whatsoever.

Hence you now have it so if a some backwater pizzeria owner says they'll *serve gays and lesbians* but don't want to provide service for a same-sex wedding, they are regarded as hateful enemies who must be destroyed.

there is no logic to it, only emotions and fear.

And yet between the two of us, I'm the only one providing arguments, reason, and observation. You've fallen back on pure emotion and bullshit rhetoric.

You plead and beg and cry that you love your wife, why shouldn't you be allowed to be married even though she apparently doesn't want kids and that's utterly inessential. I turn the question around and ask why marriage was essential even if kids are apparently out of the question for her and utterly optional for you, no matter your proclivities. All you do is say that, yes, well, that was a question you fretted over.

Yet you blow off the fact that you /had no answer/.

But it's precisely the opposite. You asked me "will you cry?" when you are clearly the one who is doing nothing but whining.

Let's repeat your maudlin act: "My wife is Indian... and not 100% sure she wants kids; should I say we are married, or just in a civil union? I'm afraid I'll keep calling the event a "wedding" though, is that ok Dave?"

I respond, saying that no, it's not really a marriage in any meaningful sense, and you bitch yet more. I point out that LGBT activists don't 'just want to marry the people they fall in love with' - it's any dissent at all they react against. You go from talking sarcastically about how you want to keep calling your relationship a 'marriage', then admit you don't even see the point of marriage, but darnit, you want to call it as much anyway.

All you have is the same old emotional and frantic refrain, lacking argument, and belting out dishonesty on top of it. I'd say I expected better from you, but frankly man - I didn't expect all that much, and I got exactly what I expected.

Hugo Pelland said...

Crude, let me start with this:
" And yet between the two of us, I'm the only one providing arguments, reason, and observation. You've fallen back on pure emotion and bullshit rhetoric."
I have honestly not seen 1 argument from you Crude. I am not kidding; where are the arguments? What's your argument for denying same-sex couples marriage licenses? Not wanting kids? But heterosexual couples are not required... So where are the reasons to care about whether a couple will have kids before giving them a marriage license? Perhaps you don't care about this much (I doubt...) and you want to discuss everything but the legal issues. In that case you wouldn’t have a problem with the arguments I am presenting here then. You have issues with LGBT activists and everything outside of the legal framework.

Everything else after that, every single quote from you, is what you called bullshit rhetoric. I find it interesting to reply to it anyway, but I purposely ordered it this way to highlight the fact that there is no argument coming up...

"No, they don't. They don't want any dissent, at all. Period. LGBT activists want..."
Ok, well, why don't you argue with an LGBT activist then?
And what does this have to do with the, now legal, same-sex couples unions?

"Saying 'Should I let the 500 guests know?', then backtracking that to 20 and saying it was a joke, is bullshit."
That's interesting because you simultaneously care about the details but also don't pay attention to the details. So here are my exact quotes, copy/pasted, so that you don't accuse me of bullshit even more:
- "...500 guests..."
- "...invite more than 20 people myself..."
- "...did not know more than 50 personally..."
All of these are true... Now, since you care about the details: what is the most likely explanation for this "complex" riddle?

Moreover, the 'joke' was that I would obviously never call back the 500 people that the wedding was not really a wedding; who would do that!?

"So let me repeat yet again: this is a legal issue.
And let me repeat yet again: it is not. Or, if it is, it's only insofar as the law is seen as a vehicle to punish any dissent on this issue whatsoever.
"
Again, go talk to someone who actually believes that then; why are you replying to my comments with unrelated ideas? If you do find someone who thinks dissent should be punish legally, I will gladly be on your side. I will be more than happy to tell that person 'I disagree with Crude's views but it's his right to express them'. But there is still nothing arguing against the positions I presented here on this thread.

"...don't want to provide service for a same-sex wedding, they are regarded as hateful enemies who must be destroyed"
You raise this example but there is no logical link here; this has nothing to do with the legality of same-sex couples unions. That's a different topic: discrimination based on sexual orientation.

It's a lot more complex to discuss because it's hard to draw the line. Correct me if I am wrong but I would assume we agree that people/businesses should be free to choose who they deal with; but we probably also agree that denying service to an entire group base on their religion alone, for example, is not acceptable. No?

Hugo Pelland said...

" You plead and beg and cry that you love your wife, why shouldn't you be allowed to be married even though she apparently doesn't want kids and that's utterly inessential."

Plead, beg, and cry? There is quite a party going on in your head Crude! Do you really imagine that? Sorry to stop your day-dreaming but this is not what's going on here... I am not upset at all. As I said, there is nothing emotional going on for me here... In a way, I am glad you saw some emotions in the description of my love for my wife, because that's a good thing, but the use of the word 'wedding' is something YOU care about, not me. I will get back to this too...

Next, I never said 'she apparently doesn't want kids'; bad reading comprehension. It's a small detail but, if you often do that, it makes you miss the truth of what's written. Here, I only said she was 'not sure'. We are both focused on our career right now, and considering going to business school. So it's not the right time to raise children, and it was even more accurate 3 years ago when we got engaged; that's all...

"I turn the question around and ask why marriage was essential even if kids are apparently out of the question for her and utterly optional for you, no matter your proclivities. All you do is say that, yes, well, that was a question you fretted over. Yet you blow off the fact that you /had no answer/."

This could be my mistake here as I don't know which question you refer to. Let me try a few things...

- First, you want me to explain why marriage is 'essential' but I never said it was...
- What I did point out though is that there are lots of legal benefits, which have nothing to do with children.
- I also mentioned that it has nothing to do with same-sex marriage, obviously.
- It's also something that's meaningful as a promise to each other; but you replied back to that saying that we don't need a marriage license, which is beside the point.
- Perhaps what I did not specify is that marriage is super important for my wife and her family? Her mom started to save money for her daughter's wedding since she was a child so it would be rude to not get married; she would have been very sad. (Does that make it essential? Maybe...) I am sure she would also be disappointed if we don't end up having kids, but I think they discussed that already and she understands that not everyone wants some anymore.

Not sure if that now answered the question... and again, there's no argument in all of that; nothing to do with who should get marriage licenses or not.

"I respond, saying that no, it's not really a marriage in any meaningful sense, and you bitch yet more."
The word 'meaningful' here is supposed to mean 'children', but it's not the only reason why people decide to spend their life together and/or get married. Just to name a few: the law provides advantages, the wedding ceremony is a meaningful cultural celebration in and of itself, the couple makes strong promises to each other, well, most of the time, etc... Basically, my marriage is no different than any other marriage and my point is that your insistence on 'children' is completely absurd and supported by no arguments whatsoever. You did not present any here; you just state "Marriage = kids, no kids = no marriage. Me is right, me has reasons." So, in reality, I am not bitching; I am laughing at your attempt to label my wedding, or anybody else's wedding, to be not-a-wedding just because we don't have kids yet. You are literally trying to decide for millions of people whether their 'wedding' is meaningful or not solely based on the fact that they ended up having children or not. And again, I cannot repeat this enough... the legal issue of same-sex marriage has nothing to do with the morality of choosing a life partner.

Hugo Pelland said...

" I point out that LGBT activists don't 'just want to marry the people they fall in love with' - it's any dissent at all they react against."
So what? It's not because some, or even most, LGBT activists are too extreme in their statements, or that we don't agree with their lifestyle, that we should have stupid laws that specify the gender of the 2 people involved in a legal agreement.

" You go from talking sarcastically about how you want to keep calling your relationship a 'marriage', then admit you don't even see the point of marriage, but darnit, you want to call it as much anyway."
Yes Crude, I know it's hard for you to understand. Things are not all black or white in real life. There are subtleties, lots of different meanings, opinions, values, choices, etc... And you seem to struggle to interpret my words among all of this, because even if I said I don't see the point of marriage in Quebec (I specified, remember...) it does not mean that I don't see the point of marriage in the USA. It also does not mean that I did not change my mind (I specified it was before meeting my wife, remember...) and it also does not mean that I see no point in committing my life to someone else, which is what I personally think matters a lot more. i.e. to me, it's not the word 'marriage' that matters, it's the commitment.

But that does not mean that my marriage was not a marriage. We even had 2 darnit! One in the US, just with friends who couldn’t travel, and so that it would be easier to get it legally recognized; and one in India so we could do the whole traditional 1-week long stuff. (So now you have the full answer to the "riddle" above; that's why I did not know 450 of the 500 people...) So basically, we told each other 2 times that yes, we do want to spend the rest of our lives together, yes we really love each other and promise x-y-z to each other, etc...

And now, with all of that said, you still insist that my 'marriage' is not really a 'marriage' according to your definition because of the potential lack of future kids. That's why it's truly fascinating for me to have this conversation because I am baffled by the fact that someone tries to argue that I am not really married. I am not pleading, begging, or crying, I am having trouble controlling my laughter... I am legally married and had people come to 2 different events called 'weddings', but Crude on the internet does not believe I should call this a wedding because of the lack of commitment to having children. How can this not be totally hilarious!?

Finally, I must add that being called dishonest is probably the only thing that annoyed me here. I have not lied at all, and I am actually more transparent than I should be I think. My personal life is not relevant to the arguments. But I am genuinely trying to have a fun conversation, even if it turns into completely unrelated things... it's not as intelligent as I would like it to be but it's interesting nonetheless. That's probably why my comments are so much longer, but anyway... Cheers and take care!

Crude said...

Hugo,

I have honestly not seen 1 argument from you Crude. I am not kidding; where are the arguments?

You haven't been paying attention, then.

For one thing, I've noted that the end-game with LGBT activists isn't, and never has been, 'legal recognition of their unions' or the like. They react bitterly against any criticism whatsoever, including the suggestion that their unions are meaningfully different from heterosexual unions - to say nothing of their being regarded as not ideal.

I've also bolstered points others have made, such as the purpose of marriage, which you haven't replied to except to engage in mock surprise, then sarcastically note how your own marriage is childless - only to have it pointed out that yes, your marriage is not just hardly a marriage in its intention, but to have you basically agree with the point.

You, on the other hand, haven't had an argument to speak of. Assertion is not an argument, nor are theatrics.

So where are the reasons to care about whether a couple will have kids before giving them a marriage license?

Because that's the central purpose of marriage to begin with, and maintaining the purpose of a public, legal and cultural arrangement is entirely reasonable, particularly if you value said arrangement. If you don't value it - and you've made it clear, you don't - then at best you have an apathy towards it. At worst, you simply want to break it down for unstated reasons.

Shall I be expecting some replies out of you, or more misdirection?

You have issues with LGBT activists and everything outside of the legal framework.

More misdirection. The 'legal framework' is just the latest vehicle for this conflict. It is not, and has never been, some entirely legal question. One look at the SCOTUS ruling shows as much.

Ok, well, why don't you argue with an LGBT activist then?

I'm doing so right now.

Moreover, the 'joke' was that I would obviously never call back the 500 people that the wedding was not really a wedding; who would do that!?

The 'joke' was the inflated figure to begin with.

If you do find someone who thinks dissent should be punish legally, I will gladly be on your side.

I don't have to go far - they exist, in abundance. And, by the way, they make reference to the SCOTUS decision as a legal footing upon which to further advance their aims in that regard. See the immediate followup to the decision where speculation began about denying tax exemption to any organization that opposed same-sex marriage or disapproved of it.

As for 'I will gladly be on your side', bullshit. See the next for an illustration:

You raise this example but there is no logical link here; this has nothing to do with the legality of same-sex couples unions. That's a different topic: discrimination based on sexual orientation.

First, yes - there is an obvious link to it, precisely because the SCOTUS-borne forced recognition of gay marriage as a constitutional right immediately runs risk of placing any opposition in the same legal situation as Bob Jones University, to say nothing of the cultural impact. And, as I keep saying, the cultural impact has always been the end game.

Second: it's not 'discrimination based on sexual orientation', since two heterosexual people of the same sex wanting to be married wouldn't be celebrated. But you give away the game there - or are you going to say you support the emotionally charged description of 'discriminating against someone based on sexual orientation'?

Crude said...

Plead, beg, and cry? There is quite a party going on in your head Crude! Do you really imagine that? Sorry to stop your day-dreaming but this is not what's going on here... I am not upset at all. As I said, there is nothing emotional going on for me here...

Buddy, you're the one who decided to bring your own marriage into this conversation, daring anyone to criticize it. The reason you're backing off from the begging, pleading and crying - the drama in general - is because it's simply not going to go very far.

Next, I never said 'she apparently doesn't want kids'; bad reading comprehension. It's a small detail but, if you often do that, it makes you miss the truth of what's written. Here, I only said she was 'not sure'.

If you want to snipe like that, Hugo, I'll snipe right back: she 'apparently doesn't want kids' is correct. She doesn't want them right now. You're banking on the possibility that maybe someday she will want them. 'Not sure' means 'She doesn't want them now - maybe she'll change her mind'.

Yes Crude, I know it's hard for you to understand. Things are not all black or white in real life. There are subtleties, lots of different meanings, opinions, values, choices, etc.

Actually, Hugo, I'm the one who keeps pointing out that there is no way to isolate this question as a purely 'legal' one, since simple legality has never been the concern of any of the parties. You, meanwhile, switch back between 'this is purely a legal question' and 'wait, no, this isn't black and white, there are subtleties here' on a whim.

Which is a game you're engaging in yet again, with the following:

And you seem to struggle to interpret my words among all of this, because even if I said I don't see the point of marriage in Quebec (I specified, remember...) it does not mean that I don't see the point of marriage in the USA. It also does not mean that I did not change my mind (I specified it was before meeting my wife, remember...) and it also does not mean that I see no point in committing my life to someone else, which is what I personally think matters a lot more. i.e. to me, it's not the word 'marriage' that matters, it's the commitment.

The only one struggling with your words here is you, as you try to make sense of the spaghetti logic you've made for yourself. For one thing, saying that marriage has been made pointless in Quebec gives away the game - why, it turns out that cultural attitudes can impact the purpose, meaning and desirability of marriage after all. So much for that line of defense.

Second, you spin around and imply that you see a point to marriage in America rather than Quebec, but then you defend 'committing your life to someone else' regardless of whether a marriage is involved. And yet you decided to get married anyway.

So basically, we told each other 2 times that yes, we do want to spend the rest of our lives together, yes we really love each other and promise x-y-z to each other, etc...

That's not a marriage. Don't believe me? Try doing it tonight. No one's holding you back. There's no law against it.

Crude said...

I am legally married and had people come to 2 different events called 'weddings', but Crude on the internet does not believe I should call this a wedding because of the lack of commitment to having children.

What's actually hilarious here is that A) You think my concern is with what you personally call it, and B) that you think you -have- to have been married, because you threw a party and everything! Sure, children are entirely optional in your view. So is a lifelong commitment, if one of you just plain gets bored with the whole affair. But darnit, you acquired legal recognition of your intention to have a joint checking account and such, so it has to be a marriage after all.

It's little wonder that you think the only thing keeping a man being married to a horse is a piece of paper and a signature from the state.

I have not lied at all, and I am actually more transparent than I should be I think. My personal life is not relevant to the arguments. But I am genuinely trying to have a fun conversation, even if it turns into completely unrelated things.

You're the one who brought up your personal life, not me. If you don't want it to be open to inspection, next time, holster it.

So what? It's not because some, or even most, LGBT activists are too extreme in their statements, or that we don't agree with their lifestyle, that we should have stupid laws that specify the gender of the 2 people involved in a legal agreement.

Hahaha, I love it. Behold, Hugo's view of marriage: a legal agreement between two people. Nothing less, and certainly nothing more.

Hugo Pelland said...

"I've noted that the end-game with LGBT activists isn't, and never has been, 'legal recognition of their unions' or the like."
Sure, I said that's a good point already. Nothing to do with legal marriage licenses though.

"I've also bolstered points others have made, such as the purpose of marriage, which you haven't replied to except to engage in mock surprise [...]"
The 'purpose' of marriage is not relevant legally, so still nothing to do with legal marriage licenses. That's my argument and there is nothing you can reply back to that. So yes, it is funny that you insist on not calling a marriage based on children alone, when not all married couples have children and not all children have married parents. If you want to argue on the moral usage of the term 'marriage' and you want to insist that people should not call such unions 'marriage', it's even funnier, because you end up trying to appropriate the meaning of a word to suit your personal limited view of the world we live in.

" Because that's the central purpose of marriage to begin with, and maintaining the purpose of a public, legal and cultural arrangement is entirely reasonable, particularly if you value said arrangement. If you don't value it - and you've made it clear, you don't - then at best you have an apathy towards it. At worst, you simply want to break it down for unstated reasons.
Shall I be expecting some replies out of you, or more misdirection?
"
Again, the purpose of 'having children' is not relevant legally, just to be clear. Next, if you combine 'public, legal and cultural' in 1 sentence, it makes it impossible to discuss what the issue is here. Each situation is different. Legal marriages can be secret, public marriage can be completely a-cultural, and cultural weddings can be null under the law.

" More misdirection. The 'legal framework' is just the latest vehicle for this conflict. It is not, and has never been, some entirely legal question. One look at the SCOTUS ruling shows as much. "
I am just talking about the 'legal framework'. Will you ever answer the question: why should the government specify the gender of 2 individuals entering the union labeled as 'wedding' under the law? If civil unions and weddings were 100% the same under the law, would you be 'ok' with this? I would...

" Ok, well, why don't you argue with an LGBT activist then?
I'm doing so right now.
"
I am certainly not an activist no...

" The 'joke' was the inflated figure to begin with. "
It was not inflated. There really were 500 people... why should I lie!?

" I don't have to go far - they exist, in abundance. "
Give me 1 quote with 1 link to a public blog and I will go place a comment just to prove the point and make it crystal clear I am not lying... if you care.

" it's not 'discrimination based on sexual orientation', since two heterosexual people of the same sex wanting to be married wouldn't be celebrated."
I don't understand that hypothetical example. They would be lying on why they want to get married? Or want to be married but not really be together? I am missing the point...

"But you give away the game there - or are you going to say you support the emotionally charged description of 'discriminating against someone based on sexual orientation'? "
Why do you say 'emotional'? It's not; it's just how homophobic people operate. They treat people differently because of their sexual orientation.

"The reason you're backing off from the begging, pleading and crying - the drama in general - is because it's simply not going to go very far."
How can I back off from something that never happened? You imagined this... in your head...

Hugo Pelland said...

"she 'apparently doesn't want kids' is correct. "
Correct! You know what's funny, I had written 1 more line about how your use of the word 'apparently' was correct but I removed it for simplicity, since my comments are already so freaking long...

"Actually, Hugo, I'm the one who keeps pointing out that there is no way to isolate this question as a purely 'legal' one, since simple legality has never been the concern of any of the parties. You, meanwhile, switch back between 'this is purely a legal question' and 'wait, no, this isn't black and white, there are subtleties here' on a whim."
The legal issue can certainly be separated: 2-people unions under the law are between 2 people regardless of gender. And that's why all of the subtleties are not relevant to the legal question, but interesting to discuss on the side.

"For one thing, saying that marriage has been made pointless in Quebec gives away the game - why, it turns out that cultural attitudes can impact the purpose, meaning and desirability of marriage after all. So much for that line of defense."
The legal issue is settled. People can then decide for themselves what kind of cultural practices they want to engage in. For some, marriage is super important, a cultural gem they want to preserve. For others, not so much, it's an old patriarchal ceremony that tends to place the woman as inferior (just an example, not my views of course...)

"Second, you spin around and imply that you see a point to marriage in America rather than Quebec, but then you defend 'committing your life to someone else' regardless of whether a marriage is involved. And yet you decided to get married anyway."
Yes, because the 2 can be separated. Legally, in America, it makes perfect sense to get married, while in Quebec it really makes no difference under the law. Then, we can discuss the commitment part, the relationship, the personal meaning, etc... To me, that was the main reason to get married; not the legal one.

"That's not a marriage. Don't believe me? Try doing it tonight. No one's holding you back. There's no law against it. "
But you can say that of children too! Don't believe me? Try doing it tonight. No one's holding you back. There's no law against it.

" you acquired legal recognition of your intention to have a joint checking account and such, so it has to be a marriage after all."
Yep, whether you like it or not, regardless of the little sound bites you put around that sentence, that's what matters under the law. We are married legally, and I think that 2 men or 2 women should be allowed to make that decision too. Everything else around is what we culturally refer to as a wedding, and you disagree, because it is definitely your concern.

"It's little wonder that you think the only thing keeping a man being married to a horse is a piece of paper and a signature from the state."
But if he intends to try to have children with the horse, does it become a marriage?

" Hahaha, I love it. Behold, Hugo's view of marriage: a legal agreement between two people. Nothing less, and certainly nothing more."
Is this some sort of giggling because you just realized that yes, this is exactly what I was talking about all this time? A marriage, under the law, is a legal agreement between two people. Nothing less, nothing more. Again, if you want to argue that people are not married, in your opinion, because of other reasons that's fine. But is that what you really care about? Why would you care what word they use among themselves and with the people around them? What you care about is the SCOTUS decision and that has nothing to do with what word people use... outside of the legal agreement.

Mr. Green said...

Hugo Pelland: the older the idea, the less likely it applies today due to the nature of our ever changing society.

What, because human beings have evolved into a different creature from a century ago? We're back to not understanding biology... Not to mention that "old" ideas do have at least one very good argument in their favour: they have stood the test of time.

2) It's not even true that the purpose/definition of marriage itself has been around for centuries. [...] the same argument to argue that marriage has been between same-race people for centuries.

Eh? Marriage hasn't been around for centuries?!? But of course, people of difference races were marrying for centuries, and millennia — looking to the obvious facts of the matter, the history of marriage and its mating-based nature could have and were precisely the arguments against interracial bans. Nobody thought it should be banned because different races couldn't breed. So insofar as your point is not irrelevant, it actually supports my position.

And regardless of the law, most conservative individuals, among any culture today, still try to restrain cross-cultural unions.

So what? Most parents would to want restrain their daughter from marrying an axe-murderer, say. (Wouldn't you?) People have lots of good reasons for wanting to restrain lots of things (and sometimes bad reasons too). That is again completely irrelevant to the nature of marriage.

There are actually tons of non-children related benefits of getting married.

Of course there are. For example, if you drop something under the couch, you can lift it up while your spouse retrieves the object. If you weren't married, you might have to go get your neighbour to help you instead, and he might not want to, or might not be home! This still says absolutely nothing about the nature of marriage.

And the fact that people have children without being married and people get married without having children, also goes against Victor's point that marriage necessarily relates to children.

Sure, just like learning something in an office proves that schools are not necessarily related to learning. People sometimes eat lunch at school, so clearly "schools" have been redefined to mean "restaurants"! You can 'redefine' anything when you ignore logic!

still no reason to link children to the issue.

Except for all the reasons we've already given that you have dismissed not with any actual arguments, but only because you apparently don't like them. The only reason we have marriage laws is because the state has an interest and responsibility in supporting mating and families, which comes (certainly in the West) directly from the Church's regulation of marriage, and as already pointed out to you, having children is requisite. The only reason some laws — not all, just some — may have loopholes for that is because virtually everyone used to have children anyway and you can' tell if a couple was unable to produce offspring just by looking at them. Well, you can tell that two people of the same sex cannot reproduce just by looking at them (remember our biology lesson from before).

p.s. also, the institution of marriage has already changed, and will keep changing, just like any other social convention, so it's a moot point.

No, nothing about marriage has changed, just the way people deal with it. Just like human nature hasn't changed, even when particular governments decide to "redefine" humanity not to count blacks, or Jews. Maybe that's good enough for you, but when the state manipulates its laws to go against reality, I have a problem with that.

Hugo Pelland said...

Mr. Green,
"What, because human beings have evolved into a different creature from a century ago? We're back to not understanding biology..."
Nothing to do with biology. All to do with moral and ethics, which evolved over time.

"Not to mention that "old" ideas do have at least one very good argument in their favour: they have stood the test of time."
How is that a good argument; idea 'X' has been around for long, hence 'X' is true?

"Eh? Marriage hasn't been around for centuries?!?"
The same 'purpose or definition' has not been around. In the sentence: "It's not even true that the purpose/definition of marriage itself has been around for centuries.", the subject of the action 'has been around' is 'purpose/definition'. Try again if you still disagree, but it seems to me that we do, because you say that races were mixing at some point, but they also were not, and it was even illegal, so the definition changed.

"So what? Most parents would to want restrain their daughter from marrying an axe-murderer, say. (Wouldn't you?) People have lots of good reasons for wanting to restrain lots of things (and sometimes bad reasons too). That is again completely irrelevant to the nature of marriage."
Of course, parents should voice their opinion. Now the question is: should parents restrict the gender of the person their daughter wants to marry? Since you mentioned 'parents', it's a personal choice, and I think parents should be allowed to say that they would rather see their daughter marry a man. I think it would be evil of them to force or, or threaten her with whatever consequences they see fit, if she were to choose a woman, but it would still be legal.

"still no reason to link children to the issue.
Except for all the reasons we've already given that you have dismissed not with any actual arguments,
"
It's the opposite... I have given a list of multiple reasons why, under the law, marriage is not primarily about children. It happens that marriage does include some provisions regarding children, but there is no way you can argue that it's the only purpose, and not even the main one. Again, people have kids without being married, no problem under the law; people get married and don't have kids, no problem under the law.

Basically, if you are just arguing that 'for you' marriage is really just about kids, then fine... but why should anybody care?