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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

On Gay Marriage

As a self-declared libertarian with an asterisk, to wit, one who wants the government out of as many aspects of our lives as possible while supporting a big and mean US military capable of turning our enemies into puddles of goo and piles of ash and rubble, I am somewhat conflicted on the gay marriage issue. I am using this post not to reach any conclusion or advocate any position, but to lay out my own confused thinking. Think of it as 21st century therapy for someone who usually does not write about these sorts of topics.

I really don't care what consenting adults do to each other on their own time and dime. I, furthermore, support decriminalizing, oh, heck, legalizing drugs, and ending the absurd "drug war" with which I have had years of experience. Drug use should be a matter for individuals, health professionals, and the private sector, e.g., if you don't want your employees using, you have the right to fire them for using. I do not see it as a matter for legions of bureaucrats, consultants, cops, prosecutors, and jailers living on the taxpayers' dollars. I favor rescinding nearly all anti-gun legislation, and find that the evidence supports the view that more guns in the hands of law abiding citizens means less crime and insecurity. I want taxes and government spending reduced drastically, and I want an end to the dominance of the liberal philosophy that sees life as a series of problems that needs government solution. As I have said before, the President of the United States should matter more to our friends and enemies abroad than to Americans at home. We should have an Uncle Sam, not a Daddy Sam.

Let me turn now to today's garbled topic, the issue of gay marriage. It is not a simple one of right vs. left. We see Republican libertarians supporting the idea of gay marriage, and black churches, stalwart supporters of the Democrats, opposing it. It is not only about "civil rights" or government power over our lives. It is about the shape and future of basic institutions developed over thousands of years. Its proponents demand that marriage be completely redefined from what it has been in the western world for hundreds if not thousands of years. Whenever such a change is demanded, it is good to resist it. Long established institutions have been long established for a reason, to wit, they presumably work or at least perform a socially useful function. Demands for radical changes in basic institutions should face obstacles, and should be required to make the case that the end result will be "better," however one defines "better." The marriage institution, of course, has been under pressure for a long time. The introduction of no-fault, easily available divorce being one of those pressures. Changing public mores, too, have brought the venerable institution further into question, e.g., in the United States, the most socially conservative of the western nations, nearly half of all children are born out of wedlock. The challenge to marriage posed by these changes has produced negative social phenomena: The correlation between single mothers and poverty is very strong; children from single parent homes have a host of problems not the least being increased criminal tendencies.

To demand a complete redefinition of the institution, in my view, puts a burden on the demander to show that there will not be a further increase in serious social pathologies (e.g., what is the impact on children?) for which we will all pay. In addition, of course, redefining marriage away from the one-man-one-woman equation means opening it not only to gay marriage but to polygamous marriage and perhaps other constructions at odds with traditional western values. If marriage is no longer the union of "one man and one woman," with what moral or logical justification do we restrict it to just two people? The proponents of gay marriage have to answer that.

Redefining marriage would have major legal and economic consequences. They are too many to list exhaustively, but we see implications for tax policy, for immigration law, for benefits of various kinds, for the issue of who might be required to testify against whom in trial, and many others. This is not a simple matter, and its proponents do themselves no favor by trotting out hysterical arguments about human rights, and ignoring the details.

For now, I oppose redefining marriage from its current definition. On the other hand, I don't like the idea of the state deciding who can live in a marriage-like arrangement. I can see a compromise in which the state acts as the enforcer of some sort of contract between people who decide to live together, the details of the arrangement being up to the individuals. I see no reason for the state to force churches to conduct gay weddings, any more than I think it right for the state to force, say, a Catholic Church to marry people who are not Catholic. The state, of course, would still have to define the issue of benefits and tax policy, and that would be a battle royal.

I would also like to see numbers on how many people we are talking about. How many gay marriages would we see? Given that heterosexual couples are less inclined to marry than before, why are gay couples so eager? Or are they? Is this all a stunt meant to undermine a major institution of our civilization? I don't know.

There is no clean answer to this. I certainly do not have it. I hope that others smarter than I will. Anyhow, I promise to avoid these sorts of discussions in the future.  They are not my forte.

46 comments:

  1. Dip, I have to admit I'm more a conservative than a libertarian here--and I'll also admit that I'm a conservative Protestant Christian, so the redefinition of marriage is something that bothers me greatly.

    To address the question Justice Kennedy raised about children being raised by homosexual couples, I say, let's address it.

    This species of ours, like all others, needs sexual reproduction to survive; and hence I am not bothered when the good book tells me that marriage is between a man and a woman.

    Is it a good thing that a number of children are to be raised in an environment where they do not have a chance to see truly functional male and female roles modeled for them? We've already seen the enhanced chance for a young male raised by a single woman to end up feral. Do we really wish to warp more and more of our following generations?

    We hide issues like that lesbian couple pushing their adopted son to undergo sex change; or the Frank Lombard case in North Carolina. But I fear that more and more of this sort of thing is coming down the pike. Worse, I foresee lots of school systems, social workers, and the like sweeping certain cases of child abuse under the rug lest the LGBT "parents" start suing over "discrimination" Yes, "normal" couples can and do abuse their children; but I fear we're opening the door to more of a bad thing, rather than giving more children intact "families".

    I understand that in Sweden and the Netherlands show homosexual marriage both rare and unstable. It's bad enough with our high divorce rates and illegitimacy rates over here. But, again, it's more of a bad thing.

    And, does the LGBT crowd really have courage of its convictions? I've seen them gloat over the Roman Church's abuse scandal and shout in triumph that these men in black who are supposed to champion traditional morality have fallen; but if exploring sexual identity and "gender diversity" are all that great, why didn't they stand up for those offending padres as initiating the young into something supposedly beautiful? I think the LGBT crowd, in its response to that scandal, showed that it knows deep down inside that it's twisted and warped far more than many others.

    I further foresee that this is going to be used as a matter to delegitimize every religious body that refuses to bow to it; and provide ample reason for a relentless lawfare against churches. It will also be used to drive the devout out of charitable work in caring for orphaned or abandoned children. It will be a body blow to the First Amendment.

    Same-sex marriage is civilizational suicide. We adopt it, and we deserve to be overrun by the Muslims.

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  2. Well Mr. Mad,
    I'm like you, I have no definite yes/no on the subject. We are sailing into uncharted waters with liberals at the helm ordering "full speed ahead, damn the torpedoes". It seems that all basic institutions are being attacked with a single minded willful ignorance, which is very disturbing thing unto itself.

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  3. WIth great change, there comes the Law of Unintended Consequences when some of the greatest proponents of change become the harshest critics.

    In Texas, we have a law known as Marriage Without Formalities in which the state legislature made the practice of 'common law' marriage a creature of statute. Not because the legislature wanted to encourage more 'common law' marriages, but to limit the time period for filing for a divorce after the end of the relationship. If no divorce is filed within one year of the end of the relationship, then there was nevar a common law marriage.

    Imagine a gay man, having amassed a fortune over his lifetime, now facing the prospect of a former lover from decades ago now claiming a community property half interest on all his wealth because he once said that he was married to the man with whom he once shared a house.

    After all, if the state did not recognize same sex marriage, the state did not provide for a mechanism to end the marriage and divide the assets acquired therein.

    Once the definition of marriage changed, then the pitfalls of marriage would now open beneath the feet of the gay community.

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  4. All of the above are excellent comments and show the complexity of the issue is much greater than most of the public debate admits.

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  5. As a matter of political reality, your proposed contratual compromise is a non-starter. The impetus of the LGBT is not ultimately about how they lead their lives, but to force society to validate their arrangements as being the moral equal of traditional arrangements. Anything less than full recognition of gay marriage on an equal footing with traditional marriague will not satisfy.

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    1. You may be right. That's why I state that I wonder if the whole ting isn't just a stunt, one aimed at reforming the very nature of our society.

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    2. And once the LGBT folks have their arrangements viewed as the moral equivalent of traditional marriage, they will find that the "moral equivalent of traditional marriage" no longer exists. IOW they want the social acceptance of "marriage" w/o doing anything that created that value in the first place.

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  6. ...force society to validate their arrangements as being the moral equal of traditional arrangements...
    That hits the nail on the head, IMO.

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  7. How did gay marriage ever become such a hot button issue? Gays make up around 2 to 3% of the population. Out of that how many really want to get married? When the dust settles I doubt there will be more than a few thousand. So, what's the big deal, and why do I keep hearing about it in such shrill tones? Some other agenda here?

    I don't really care all that much if a few gays want to get married. What I really object to is Muslim polygamy. And there aren't any arguments for gay marriage that can't be used for polygamy with a few minor changes. One will lead to the other.

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    1. How? SSM is a perfect storm of opportunities for progressives to act out: 1) An occasion to be offended on behalf of an identified and favored minority. 2) An opportunity to publicly self-identify as a virtuous and broad-minded person. 3) A chance to slag anyone insufficiently enthusiastic about SSM as a bigot, religious maniac and/or mentally ill person. 4) No actual cost or peril. That’s how.

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    2. It is about the money. the litigant in this case has been the monogamous homosexual life partner with the same individual for nearly 42 years - without any claim of civil rights loss for the first 40 of them. the stickler in this case is that the life partner has perished, and a large sum insurance and pension benefits are at stake. the nut is that the insurance does not list a specific beneficiary, and thus will either fall to a spouse, or to the nearest blood relative. Precedent exists for spouses in common law marriages to receive full benefits of traditional marriages in such situations. however, in this case, the insurer refuses to pay as gay marriage is not recognized and the pension payer has made the same claim.

      so in brass tacks, this case is about the money and most of the gay marriage backers i have personally spoken with generally fall on the arguments of the rights of spouses in medical emergencies (which a proactive granting of power of attorney can address) and employer benefit packages and SS survivor payments.

      hope that helps.

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    3. How can we say no to either Islamic or old-school Mormon polygamy if we say yes to SSM? The slippery slop is real.

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  8. "For now, I oppose redefining marriage from its current definition."

    Huge and loud ditto here. It's unpleasant to observe the loud clamor to change the values we've had since the founding of our Christian values. It's also so unpleasant to observe the clashes over the legal ramifications within the question of recognizing same-sex marriages.

    We're already seeing and feeling the awful ramifications and consequences of trashing one of the world's best health care systems in order to help a small percentage of those who did not have health care! Now, it's beginning to look as if a huge, very expensive mess is beginning, with health care being more expensive and less available to families all over the country.

    Also, it's obscene that the law-makers who forced this down our throats are totally exempt from the laws they voted in for the country! And, their union-loving buddies are also exempt. And, of course, all companies who have donated generously and often to the coffers of the law-makers, within the right party, of course.

    Are we to trash another centuries-old tradition simply to end up with another huge mess of actions without knowing all there is to know about how it will turn out?

    The educational system has almost finished a fine job of eliminating God from our schools, Christmas from our calendar and the Easter bunny! And the teachers get what they want in Chicago while 84% of graduates can't read or write!

    As long as the remaining faith-based population of the U.S. continue to roll over and not fight back, often and hard, against all the invasions of what we've known and believed all our lives (and our parents' lives), this continuous erosion will occur. Right now, I almost don't even know our country, and I believe Harry Truman would be as mad as hell.

    I know I am.

    I don't care what the gays do. I do feel they have a right to legal paperwork that bind them as partners if they so choose, just as unmarried couples can do without marrying. But, marriage? The definition of marriage is between a man and a woman. At least, it started that way in the Bible. Do they forget that?

    Sandra C.

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  9. If you call a tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have? - Abraham Lincoln

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  10. One of the Nordic countries, Sweden I think, has legalized gay marriage and there are very few of them. When asked why, a very prominent person who started the whole movement was that they just wanted to force those of faith to bow to their whims and definitions no one really had any intention of actually getting married. The end game is the destruction of the church and Christianity. They might be superficially successful but Christ said the gates of hell could not prevail against the true church so I foresee a time of winnowing ahead in the church. I do see an issue with this in that there is no way this group is not going to try to force churches to perform marriage ceremonies or at least to use their space for said ceremonies. Our church has a fairly large hall that we rent out to various people and groups in the community and we do not support gay marriage. What legal basis are we going to have to allow us to use our property as we see fit? I can foresee that we may have to limit the use of our campus to members only which I think will even be tenuous at best in this raging climate.

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  11. O.K., kids; let's cut to the chase. (a) Majority considers lifestyle of tiny percentage of population to be deviant. (b) "Tiny percentage" demands, either through legislation or court fiat, that majority accept as "normal" those choices. In the end, it won't change damn thing. Majority will still feel...etc. Sigh. That being said, I'm on the side of Mr. D on this one.

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  12. Canada has had gay marriage now for about 10 years. Guess what? Life went on, nothing changed, the scare stories against gay marriage turned out to be just that - fictional scare stories.

    As for those "major legal and economic consequences, too many to list exhaustively", they were trivial details which were relatively easy to sort out.

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    1. Tell that to the Catholic priests and bishops dragged into court, or in front of Canada's ridiculous "human rights tribunals", because of their suddenly "hateful" teaching.

      Then again, Canada's not above locking up peaceful pro-life activists, so perhaps this particular problem of theirs isn't limited to the gay "marriage" arena.

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  13. How about getting the state out of marriage altogether? There's the breach in the wall between state and religion. How about letting the state do what it does, protecting private property and contracts, and letting religions do what they do, blessing relationships. We allow, demand, that pastors, et. al., act as agents for the state in notarizing the marriage contract, but we sure don't allow them anywhere near the dissolution of a marriage or the division of property and children. Go to an attorney, the courthouse, heck, a notary, and file the contract, and then go to church or synagog or wiccan forest for the blessing. Let religions choose whom or what to marry to whom, and let the state offer the rule of law for the contract.

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  14. Why is the gov't in the marriage business at all? Civil unions, two people, three people, whatever. Let the churches figure out who they want to marry in their sanctuaries.

    With a 40% rate of kids born out of wedlock, almost guaranteeing poverty and crime, it's already over. How do we backtrack from that? The rest of this stuff is just bread and circuses.

    Dutch 1960

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  15. I understand those who way "Why not?" when it comes to SSM because of the "If it doesn't pick my pocket or break my leg" philosophy. But I have to tell you that most people do not understand the roots of the "gay" movement. I will try to shed some light on that, bear with me,this will be lengthy.

    The movement to legitmize homosexuality came out of Germany well over 100 years ago. Karl Ulrichs, a lawyer, political activist and homosexual pedophile, who had been sexually assaulted as a child, lobbied to have the sodomy laws revoked in Germany. A writer, also with German ties, in sympathy with Ulrichs, coined the phrase "homosexual" in order to be able to personalize the men who participated in sodomy. The concept was pure Marxism. Apply a label to the person, personalizing them, and distract from the act itself. The theory being that while it is easy to attack unacceptable behavior, it is difficult to attack a person who has been personalized. Ulrichs failed in Germany, but his cause was picked up by activist gays in the United States.

    In 1985, an article in a publication aimed at homosexuals, called "The Gay Agenda" listed the goals of the "Gay Liberation Movement" to redirect the opinion of the populace from the act to the person. It was to create a "third" gender. Around the same time, there was pressure from the California gay movement to have homosexuality removed from the list of mental illnesses. When American psychiatrists held their convention in San Francisco, they were bombared with threats, not only against them, but their familes as well, if they did not removed homosexuality from the list of mental illnesses. Due to such violent threats, the psychiatrists capitulated. Homosexuality was removed. And so the march began.

    The "gay" movement declared that the only thing they were interested in was freedom of association. They were not interested in "marriage" per se, but simply wanted sodomy laws abolished. As a matter of fact, the "gay" movement at the time was strongly anti-marriage. Lawrence removed the sodomy laws, but as with any movement of the left, that proved to be not enough. The next step was to normalize homosexuality in the same vein as heterosexuality. That goal included a number of things; being able to have children taught that homosexuality was just as normal as heterosexuality and consequently, same sex marriage was absolutely acceptable. That is where we are now.

    Zane

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    Replies
    1. Zane, I've read similar accounts online before, but never seen a citation to the original sources. Do you have any such cites? I'm not disputing the account, just looking for more information.

      Thanks.

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    2. You have a lot of work to do if you want to know the true beginnings of the "gay" movement. The first name you need to research is Karl Heinrich Ulrichs who was a lawyer, political activist and gay pedophile. The second name is Karoly Maria Benker, a writer who used the pseudonmy Karoly Maria Kertbeny, who coined the term "homosexual" to personalize the act of sodomy.

      You also need to do deep research into the Frankfort School of Marxism that was located in Germany before the rise of the Nazis. It was out of that bastion of academia that we were condemned with "cultural Marxism" or what is now known as "political correctness." Those who taught at Frankfort migrated to the U.S. after the rise of Hitler, mainly to schools like Columbia and UC Berkley.

      I'm not asking you to take my word for anything I said. Do your own research. Understand the writings of Marx, and especially Antonio Gramsci. I promise you, you won't like what you learn. Research how many "Stalinists" FDR had in his administration, like Rex (The Red) Tugwell, and some of FDRs advisors on the New Deal. Right out of Stalinist (communist) Russia.

      If you want to know where we are going, you have to know where we have been.
      Zane

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  16. Since when is marriage a federal issue? Since marriage was woven into the tax code. Otherwise marriage shouldn't be defined for all time for all citizens and honorary illegals. Marriage should be left to the states to define much like driving is. DOMA should be struck down as unconstitutional usurption of states rights.
    Prop 8 should be upheld as a lawful expression of states rights.

    Oh by the way, the tax code should be bleached of all benefits to married couples while lowering the tax rates for all filers so that nobodies taxes increase.

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    1. DOMA is limited in scope to the federal government -- it doesn't apply to the states. (I think something to this effect is actually written into the Act, and I'm not aware of any court using it as precedent in a state matter.) The federal government needs a definition of marriage for its own purposes -- employee benefits, asylum seekers, and so forth.

      I'm not unsympathetic to simplification of the tax code, believe me, but I also think it's important that government policies favor stable families and the rearing of children whenever possible, and I'm concerned that a flat tax doesn't do that. At a minimum, I think we at least need a deduction per child.

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    2. "Oh by the way, the tax code should be bleached of all benefits to married couples"

      You're arguing a false flag. Let's take a look at the actual "married" benefits, shall we? Most couples file a short form unless they have enough to claim the standard deduction of $10,600. So they get a personal deduction of $7,200, plus an additional $3,600 per child. What is the personal deduction for a single person? $3,600, or half of the $7,200 and the standard deduction is $5,300, or half of the $10,600. The benefit only comes if one of the spouses does not work at all, collects no SSI or SSDI.

      But let's also see what will now happen to the new Obama tax plans: Taxes will increase on any single person making a taxable income of $200K or more, but for marrieds filing jointly, that amount is NOT doubled, as has been tradition, but will increase at $250K joint income. So here is the senario: you have two gay guys both with taxable incomes of $130K/yr (common salaries on the two coasts). They are not affected by increased taxation on incomes over $200K. Now, add those incomese together on a joint return. You now have an income of $260K and the higher tax kicks in. So where is the tax benefit for middle income gays? There will be none, and there is a high probability they will wind up paying more in federal income taxes between the two of them.
      Zane

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    3. Federalism IS the purpose of DOMA. Let the states decide. If DOMA is overturned SSM will be imposed by the courts, even in very red states.

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  17. Antonio Gramsci, the Italian Marxist, devised a plan that would advance Marxism in the populace. It was a pretty simple plan in reality; destroy the churches by reducing the influence the churches had on the populace; discredit the value of the family unit, abolish social norms when it came to sexual activity (accepting sodomy and prostitution as social norms) and exert influence over children in the school setting. Gramsci believed that people desired authoratative figures, and if parents, and churches, was that authority, the young would reject Marxism and only by indoctrination prior to the age of 12 could the children be turned into good little Marxists for life.

    Gramsci's philosophy was widely accepted by all Marxist groups. Including those in the U.S.

    Here is the problem: SSM has no sociatal benefit. None. But it does create a protected class that has legal ramifications. Some of those ramifications are already being felt as owners of a bed and breakfast and a florist have already been sued over refusing service to gay couples based on their religious beliefs. The gays won those law suits. You see, even the freedom of association extends only to those protected classes, not to those who own, and operate, businesses who might hold a religious POV. SSM will open those flood gates and once again, lawyers will find a whole new clientel.

    Zane

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  18. I see the logic in fighting this battle, but I think it is already lost, the goal posts have already been moved. What I also see is some sort of cosmic justice in play. If the SC keeps DOMA and/or Congress does not ban guns, they are, IMO, a direct result of the obvious failure of and mess created by the passing of Obamacare. A lot of people are sick and tired of all this stuff, and a couple of SC justices, and certainly much of political Washington, pays close attention to what they perceive to be public opinion (so much of the Left's antics are all about making public opinion to be something more their way than it really is). A backlash is brewing, thank you Obamacare, and once it gets started, the bandwagon is going to look mighty attractive to many of the great unwashed. What happens when the "white privilege" bracelets, defined and promoted as a badge of shame, become a badge of honor? I think it will all happen, should be interesting to witness. Unfortunately, that 40% birthrate out of wedlock (which means 80%+ in many communities) will trump all over time, and not in a way we want to witness.

    Dutch 1960

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  19. I'm surprised you didn't mention the judicial overreach at work here. The citizens of California didn't agree with a court decision, so they overturned it via law, and the left just can't handle that.

    Unfortunately, the irony of both supporting invalidating Prop 8 and passing a law to invalidate Citizens United is lost on your average "NOH8" lefty.

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    1. Thanks for making that point - I've been waiting for the media (all media - not just the so-called MSM) to bring into the discussion the "enumerated powers."

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    2. Excellent point. I wish I had thought of it. I will steal your point next time I have to debate this issue . . . an issue which I don't like.

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    3. " . . . an issue which I don't like."

      Permission granted!

      (S'why a certain State's denizen didn't sign off as usual).

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    4. I'll expand on my "opinion" about such - in case another steal is in order.

      Because the enumerated powers clause explicitly gives to the states the non-reserved powers, the only way this thing should've come about would almost of necessity have been a Constitutional Amendment. For the life of me I can't understand why SCOTUS even deigned to take it up.

      It's a lose/lose proposition with collateral damage far exceeding what is possible for "us" to even imagine at this point. DADT will come to be seen as Small Potatos regardless of the decision.

      The only smidgen of "hope" is there'll be a recognition of, 'no standing' - but I'm doubtful that'll be likely.

      (Actually Dip, this post of your's in my opinion is the best analysis I've seen & I thought about posting a link to it, if the subject came up in my local paper - I didn't want to be "recognized" commenting).

      A Resident of a Southern State

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    5. Yes, that is a great point, but the democrats of today do not care about the law, the Constitution, or anything else except winning. They will stake out a position and defend it tooth and nail. The next position they take maybe diametrically opposed to the one before, but they don't care they'll defend it as vigorously. We get somewhat nonplussed by this attitude and tend to give in. We don't need to trash the constitution or be unethical just oppose and stick to our guns. That's why Rand Paul and Ted Cruz are so important, I think they may have it right. Say no and mean it. Look at the sequester bluff it proves my point to a large extent. Well I've blathered enough. Republican politicians, time to practice it's not hard just one syllable, no, no, no, no!

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    6. "Unfortunately, the irony of both supporting invalidating Prop 8 and passing a law to invalidate Citizens United is lost on your average "NOH8" lefty."

      Would you mind unpacking this a bit? I've heard of both cases, and know a little (very little) about them, but I'd appreciate a more expanded explanation of how they conflict.

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    7. Gee I dunno James,

      I'm plussed as hell!

      A Resident of a Southern State

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    8. jabrwok: My point wasn't so much about the cases themselves as the conflicted liberal reasoning (or lack thereof) behind them. Prop 8 was passed to nullify a decision by the state judiciary, which the liberals tell us is an abuse of civil rights. Generally, however, these same liberals hate the Citizens United decision, and think that Congress is perfectly within its rights to nullify it by passing laws limiting political speech.

      The way I see it, they think the judiciary should be a black-robed Moses, handing down the law, not to be questioned or challenged -- unless they hand down the wrong law, in which case they're dangerously inept and should be challenged.

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  20. Just as Newton posited " for every action there is an opposite equal reaction" in science, so is it true in politics. It may take awhile, but it's coming and It's not going to be pretty.

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  21. Mr. Mad,
    Tell me. What do you think of our wind surfing latter day Pele of a Sec. of State? Did you see the photo of him heading the soccer ball? So much material there for a good SNL skit we'll never see, oh well.

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  22. Daniel Greenfield has some interesting thoughts:

    http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-deconstruction-of-marriage.html

    He touches on my problem with the left: they define meaning by the listener's interpretation rather than by the speaker's intent, and so deceive any third parties. Jeff Goldstein at proteinwisdom.com has for years been dissecting this pernicious use of language to invert social institutions.

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  23. Thanks for posting the link Brett.
    I think Daniel gets it completely and he is so eloquent too.
    Excellent.
    MikeNZ

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  24. I've got another gripe about SSM, speaking as someone who worked in the lowly consular cone of our august former employer.

    I foresee the import of more and more unhealthy people under cover of "marriage", and also a new trade in children under cover of "adoption".

    And, to all men over 40 here, how many of you think that a guy who enjoys getting the moral equivalent of a prostate exam is helathy, and how many of you think that someone who enjoys giving it isn't just a little cruel?

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