Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Is marriage equality a coherent idea?

Any institution of marriage involves some kind of inequality. That is, it treats some relationships as fitting objects of religious affirmation, or government support, or what not, while others are not. It is to say that certain relationships rise above the level of mere shackups and hookups, and worthy of some form of community respect. Therefore the term “marriage equality,” strictly speaking, is an oxymoron. The very idea of marriage, gay or not, implies that some relationships are marriages and others are not. 

21 comments:

Hugo Pelland said...

Legal marriage = 2-people legal contract

Equal and simple.

The end.

Joe Hinman said...

why shouldn't;t authority if there is any in a marriage be decided between the people in the marraige?

Starhopper said...

So Hugo, would you be in favor of a parent marrying their own child being legal, or a brother marrying his sister? Any why are you limiting it to just 2 people?

One Brow said...

Marriage is a legal contract that gets government benefits in exchange for the public declaration. Not every relationship seeks such benefits.

Starhopper (even though you did not ask me),

We have too much baggage in the relationships between people we are raised with for a marraige to be a partnership of equals. However, I don't see why there can't be a binding contract between 3 or more adults (adding more people does make it trickier, of course).

Hugo Pelland said...

Starhopper, the fact that you asked your question as a 'would you be in favor of' shows that you confuse what one can be 'in favor of' versus 'legal'. These are 2 very different things. Legal marriage is a contract under the law, and the law should apply to everyone equally, by default. We agreed as a society to make exceptions: people under the age of 18 are not considered adults and thus have very different rights and responsibilities, for instance.
So, can you rephrase your questions?

Victor Reppert said...

The point here is that marriage by definition is a discriminatory institution. It chooses some relationships as worthy of either government or or ecclesiastical support, and others as not worthy of it. Complete marriage equality is an oxymoron. We may widen the range of what can equally be regarded as marriages, but we still discriminate against some relationships, otherwise they would not be called marriages.

Joe Hinman said...

I interpreted the question as pertaining to "who is the boss in the relationship?" Which means the nature and structure of marriage itself is irrelevant. Of course I may have misunderstood the topic.

One Brow said...

The point here is that marriage by definition is a discriminatory institution.

In the sense that some couples self-discriminate by choosing not to be married, yes.

SteveK said...

Victor: "The point here is that marriage by definition is a discriminatory institution."

This is true. Society recognizes that not all "pairings" are a marriage.

Hugo: "We agreed as a society to make exceptions"

Why do we agree? Is there a justifiable reason for making exceptions? If so, then you are agreeing with Victor that the term marriage doesn't apply to all "pairings". Not all pairings are a marriage.

SteveK said...

Hugo,
When you attempt to justify (with argument) that "A" is a marriage, but "B" is not a marriage - you are agreeing with Victor. If it was just a matter of pure personal opinion then no argument is even necessary. In that situation, everything can be a marriage if one's personal opinion is so inclined.

Hugo Pelland said...

Offering some benefits that every individual may or may not choose to pick is not discriminatory. Nobody has to enter a marriage, or not to enter a marriage. It's a problem when some people who would like to enter a marriage are denied because of who they are.

In other words, as long as the government doesn't choose some relationships as worthy, but not others, that's not discrimination. One could argue that they do discriminate against people who don't want any relationship, or at least not the 2-people kind that marriages are. Perhaps... that's a different question.

SteveK said...

Hugo,
Other than the current legal system that prevents it, is there any legitimate reason why a 10 y/o and a 27 y/o cannot be recognized as a marriage?

How about a lone 8 y/o?
How about that 8 y/o and their pet rabbit?

In other words, what is the basis for things being called a marriage? If it's mere opinion then there's no justification for discriminating against anything or anyone getting the legal benefits of a marriage.

Hugo Pelland said...

SteveK, you just throw random ideas. Who cares?

SteveK said...

You don't care. Okay.

Hugo Pelland said...

Correct, I don't care about out-of-topic comments nor silly comments about kids marrying their rabbit.
By the way SteveK, did you stop beating your teenage husband?

Victor Reppert said...

Someone is bound to be excluded from marriage, either because of age, because of relation (first cousins can't marry in most states, and siblings can't marry anywhere), and polygamous, polyandrous, and polyamorous relationships also are not accepted as marriages. Expanding marriage do gay couples does not produce marriage equality, because no matter how much you expand it, someone is bound to say "What do you mean, marriage equality? What about us?"

Hugo Pelland said...

That's muddling the water again. What id marriage, legally? It's a contract between 2 people that answer questions such as:
- when I die, who gets my money?
- if I'm hospitalized and 1 person can visit, who had priority?
- if I'm on a work visa, who can be sponsored too?
Etc...
By default, there's no reason to specify the gender of anybody involved. That's why heterosexual only mariage are discriminatory.
Then, of course, it excludes 3 people uniom, that's by definiton.

What about siblings? Cousins? It depends. I don't see why legal marriage, for the examples listed here, should exclude them. Having childreb might be a problem; I'll let biology expertd chimr in.

Children? That's a different question altogether; that's about concent, responsibilities, citizenship/adulthood, etc... it superceed marriage. It's actually really dumb to bring it up imho, but that's part of the anti-marriage equality narrative so it's expected...

Hence, no, allowing gay marriage isn't leaving any explicit discrimination in place within the definiton of legal marriage.

SteveK said...

Hugo,
My comments aren't off-topic. I'm arguing that a marriage is a particular reality that laws recognize and affirm.

You are arguing that laws create marriage out of whole cloth to be whatever it is that a group of people agrees it to be. I'm just pushing that idea to it's extreme.

Other than your bigotry, why don't you want to recognize a 10 y/o and a 27 y/o to be a marriage?

Hugo Pelland said...

SteveK,
That's where we disagree. The reality of marriage is not relevant to the legal definiton. Who cares if some religious nuts want to marry, symbolically/religiously, their 10yo to a 27yo? But legally, it's a contract between 2 consenting adults.

Nobody is forcing anyone to get married. And nobody who wants to should be denied it.

But please, do continue to bring up children...

SteveK said...

>> "The reality of marriage is not relevant to the legal definiton"

Laws should be relevant to realty, otherwise what good are they? Imagine legally defining "female" as anyone who feels like they were born female. Oh, wait...

>> "But legally, it's a contract between 2 consenting adults"

It is today...in the USA...but not everywhere.

>> "And nobody who wants to should be denied it"

The law currently denies many - as it should. You think the law shouldn't deny anyone, which brings me back to my examples.

Hugo Pelland said...

Laws should be relevant to reality, otherwise they are useless, yes. But you missed the point: what reality portraits is irrelevant to what should be legal. What is happening in the USA today, or anywhere else, is irrelevant to our assessment of what we think should be legal. Things that are very common aren't necessarily desirable in the long run.

You said:
"Imagine legally defining "female" as anyone who feels like they were born female. Oh, wait..."
Oh I see, you think you're funny because you're making that comment on transgender folks. Bur you're too ignorant, and lack self-awereness, to understand that your joke is just simplistic and antiquated. That sucks SteveK, you should educate yourself on the topic. It's not that simple...

Finally, you confirmed that you have no idea what my point here really is. You think that I wish the law didn't deny "anyone" of marriage. But I explicitly said "consenting adults". Kids are not anyone; adults are not anyone. Is it really that fucking hard for you to understand?

Anyway, you're not even using a real name. Just another coward interner troll...