Thursday, June 22, 2017

Hasn't gay marriage been legal for a long time?

It's interesting that people think that same sex marriage was permitted only in 2015. The first gay wedding took place in 1969, in a church. The church was permitted to do that, so gay marriage was really legal in 1969, at least in Huntington Beach, CA.

What the Obergefell case was about was not the legality of gay marriage, but the government recognition of gay marriage.

In the Loving case, there was a criminal law preventing the Lovings from living together in Virginia as husband and wife. No law of this sort was struck down in Obergefell.


Jimmy S. M. said...

Thats true, but I think hospital visitation rights, survivorship benefits, child custody, inheritance, etc were the legal issues. Not simply the right to live together. And legal issues far from exhaust what constitutes a marriage, they're very rarely even addressed in most wedding vows.

oozzielionel said...


Wedding vows are not intended to address the legal aspects of marriage. The government's role in marriage comes into play regarding distribution of property in inheritance, custody of children, and who makes medical and funeral decisions. These are all defined in law. What you say on your wedding day has no bearing. These issues can also be addressed in legal documents like a power of attorney. Marriage is a shortcut to the legal paperwork. It can all be duplicated but it takes a lot of paper.

One of the new challenges I am seeing is that fiance's believe they have legal rights. The fiance believes she determine funeral arrangements over the rights of the parents or sibling. In situations where common law marriage is not recognized, many seem to believe that living together is the same as being married. It does not usually end well.

Victor Reppert said...

These legal issues are important to be sure. But I think it is a popular mistake to think that the legalization of gay marriage, first in various states, and finally via the Supreme Court, is similar in kind to the legalization of interracial marriage in the 1960s. The Lovings didn't just face legal nonrecognition, they faced a criminal statute preventing them from being together as a couple.

Starhopper said...

What our society needs is a way to express tolerance without being forced to express approval.

I could not care less what homosexuals do in the privacy of their homes, but please do not expect (or even) demand that I approve of it. Full disclosure: I am a bit at a disadvantage here, since I do not personally know anyone who is homosexual (at least, not openly). So this issue is totally theoretical with me. I honestly do not know how I would react to actually knowing a same-sex couple.

I have no quarrel with any Muslim, but please do not expect me to say there is any truth whatsoever to their religion. It is not "Islamophobia" to say that Mohammed was not a prophet, or to assert that the Koran is not divinely inspired. But at least this is not theoretical with me, as I know more Muslims than I can accurately number, and count many of them as my friends. And I have no "problem" with any Muslim. I simply regard them as I do any other non-Christian (i.e., mistaken in their beliefs).

The same goes for politics. I have more close friends on the opposite end of the political spectrum as myself, than I have who agree with me politically. But you know what? Who cares? I would never dream of imposing a political litmus test upon my friendships. How stupid would that be?!?

Jimmy S. M. said...

Mortal, I don't see a problem, no one is seeking your approval. For example, I don't approve of people owning assault weapons, yet it's legal and they do, and they don't care if I approve or not.

Starhopper said...

no one is seeking your approval

Not true. Just try to not be supportive of the local "gay pride" event. If you're a public figure, you're not even allowed to just remain silent - you must be vocally approving.

Reminds me of the scene in Seinfeld: "Who? Who does not wear the ribbon?!?"

Victor Reppert said...

I think there is a lot of demand for approval on the part of the LGBT community, where disapproval is treated as homophobia. I think this is part of why there are these issues about wedding service providers. If I were gay and getting married, and someone were to refuse to bake a rainbow cake with two grooms on top on religious grounds, my reaction would be, "Well,
I'm glad you told me. You probably wouldn't do as good a job on the cake as someone who supports gay marriage."

Starhopper said...

EXACTLY, Victor!

Jehovah's Witnesses do not approve of the celebrations of people's birthdays. So why on Earth would anyone go to a JW baker to get their birthday cake, knowing they disapproved of such things? I can't imagine the baker putting out his best effort in such a task. And since I would want a quality product, I'd cheerfully go elsewhere.