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How should the question of gay marriage be framed?

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  • Center Left
    Independent
    Denton, TX
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    Right now, the supreme court is hearing cases to decide the constitutionality of gay marriage, based on the legislation of California's Proposition 8 and the federal law of DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act). I'm watching CSPAN at the moment hearing every point of view imaginable over the issue of gay marriage, and if it should be allowed or it. It got me thinking, how should this issue be framed? Is this a legal, secular issue that should focus on a couple's state and federal rights? Is this a civil rights issue based on equality to all under the law? Or, is there any legitimate case to be made that this a religious issue based on the argument that marriage is a religious invention?

    I think a lot of chatter and loud voices could be quieted if we could but frame the proper question. So, what is it? Or, is that too simple of a question in and of itself, because this is a multi-faceted issue? My voice says this is simply a civil rights issue. Everyone should be equal under the eyes of the law. The law is not allowed to discriminate or incorporate religious assertions/viewpoints. Which leads me to my last question: Are there any legitimate, SECULAR arguments to support the continuing ban of gay marriage?
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Denton, TX
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    Potentially, the answer to my question from listening to the reaction of attorney Ted Olson coming out of the Supreme Court hearing, is that the question should not be answered by the federal government, but instead by the states? Thoughts on that? That was his reaction anyways on the issue of Prop 8. Perhaps the rhetoric will be different (and will most likely will be) when it comes to the conversation over DOMA.

    I think that still comes down to what question we are asking. For, if its a civil rights issue, then majority DOES NOT rule on those issues. And, states rule and govern and pass legislation (ideally and in a sense) on voting and majority rule.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    In my opinion, there is no other way to look at this than as a civil rights issue. Time and again the States have proven themselves notorious for being on the wrong side of history and sometimes the Courts need to step in and remind the states that they can't discriminate against American citizens.

    I do understand and respect the religious beliefs of the individuals that are firmly opposed to gay marriage, however much I disagree with them, but we are not a state that is run by a church. We are a secular state with no national church. Our justices religious beliefs should have zero bearing on how they rule and I'm quite interested to see how everyone's favorite "originalist" justice, Mr. Scalia, handles this. He argues that he reads the Constitution as it was written and that it is not in his business to change it, although I'd argue that he has done plenty to change our Constitution throughout his years on the bench. I don't see anywhere in that wonderful document that provides for a legal sanction against gay marriage. Regardless of that, I am not holding my breath that he will come down on the right side of history.

    If marriage wasn't a federally recognized tax issue, then I would say that it is up to church's to decide who they want to marry, but it isn't that simple. Gay couples in states that ban gay marriage can't visit their loved ones in the hospital and be involved in decisions of life and death of their life partner; they have zero federally recognized benefits, which means that when their life partner passes, they are not able to claim their partner's social security; they get zero tax benefits that married couples are able to take advantage; the list goes on and on. It's just not as simple of an issue as religious rights.

    Churches claim that they don't want to be forced to perform marriages of gay individuals, an argument that makes zero sense to me. If the Supreme Court overturned gay marriage bans and declared them unconstitutional, churches will STILL not have to marry gay individuals. The consummation of marriage is not performed in a church, it is performed at a court house. I'm a firm believer in letting churches marry whoever wants to get married in their church. If they want to discriminate, then so be it, but churches should have zero say in how two individuals that love each other should be able to live their lives.
  • Democrat
    Philadelphia, PA
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    I think,and it is just my opinion, that some churchs are upset that the possibilty of gays rights being formed as a Civil Rights issue,that they then could be, maybe, forced to spend untold amounts of money in defense of the churchs exclusionary rules based on religious beliefs.
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    johnnycee Wrote: I think,and it is just my opinion, that some churchs are upset that the possibilty of gays rights being formed as a Civil Rights issue,that they then could be, maybe, forced to spend untold amounts of money in defense of the churchs exclusionary rules based on religious beliefs.
    Nope. Forcing chuches to do gay marriages would be a violation of the first amendment. The churches want the feds to force their views on others and that too is a violation. But the spin masters have many convinced the gay marriage issue has nothing to do with tax laws or partner rights when in fact that is all it is about.
  • Democrat
    Philadelphia, PA
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    That First Amendment issue is always up for someone or groups interpetation of it,60 years ago we would never have questioned the fact of having a Christian Cross on Government property or a Christmas scene outside the property lines of a Church, or even saying a silent prayer in school much less a vocal one. There are today much more powerful voices who opposed those practices and have had them changed, so never say never about anything that has Mans hand involved in it.
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    johnnycee Wrote: That First Amendment issue is always up for someone or groups interpetation of it,60 years ago we would never have questioned the fact of having a Christian Cross on Government property or a Christmas scene outside the property lines of a Church, or even saying a silent prayer in school much less a vocal one. There are today much more powerful voices who opposed those practices and have had them changed, so never say never about anything that has Mans hand involved in it.
    That's not interpretation that's enforcement. We now enforce. In your mind is gay marriage about the churches? Or are they meddling?
  • Democrat
    Meridian, MS
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    One thing I have really noticed a lot lately is that in these TV interviews on the topic of gay marriage, the individuals and/or couples who are holding signs promoting marriage are all saying that the most important thing to them is FAMILY. This just sounds ridiculous to me.
    Isn't the definition of a family a group of people related by blood, or descended from a common ancestor?

    The simple fact is this: 1. Gay and lesbian marriages = ZERO children
    2. Traditional marriage = numerous children

    As 1. increases, 2. will decrease. Eventually the traditional marriage, and ALL children will see its numbers drop significantly. Will/could this mean the decline and ultimate extinction of our race? I realize this is a stretch, but stranger things have happened. I am not oblivious to the feelings of gay and lesbian couples, it just seems to me that these relationships do nothing to create or extend their own nature in the form of any children, so what is their societal contribution, other than maybe economic only? Will the Court be bold enough to make such a decision?
  • Democrat
    Philadelphia, PA
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    From the Supremes Court {interpetation} regarding placing of various church icons on government land was a violation of the First Amendment,hence the {enforcement } of the new interpetation. Do I think the Church is meddling in Gay Affairs? No, its the other way around, the LGBT wants the Church to tell its members that being Gay is not a sin and should be allowed in the Church's teachings as just another example of Christian living.
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    johnnycee Wrote: From the Supremes Court {interpetation} regarding placing of various church icons on government land was a violation of the First Amendment,hence the {enforcement } of the new interpetation. Do I think the Church is meddling in Gay Affairs? No, its the other way around, the LGBT wants the Church to tell its members that being Gay is not a sin and should be allowed in the Church's teachings as just another example of Christian living.
    It's about everything but that. Use red herrings for fish bait not issues.
  • Democrat
    Philadelphia, PA
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    Just because you feel that its a red herring ,doesn't make it so, I aways believed that a red herring was tossed to deflect from the main issues , however, the gay issue with the church is a serious debate regarding Biblical teachings, quite a few Christian Churchs mine included , allow Gays to be members of our Church,however they must not be overtly showing any signs of affection during Services. BTW, we do allow hetrosexual shows of affection during Services.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    johnnycee Wrote: From the Supremes Court {interpetation} regarding placing of various church icons on government land was a violation of the First Amendment,hence the {enforcement } of the new interpetation. Do I think the Church is meddling in Gay Affairs? No, its the other way around, the LGBT wants the Church to tell its members that being Gay is not a sin and should be allowed in the Church's teachings as just another example of Christian living.
    I just don't see how this is a religious issue at all. The gay and lesbian community in California is not trying to get acceptance by the Church. They are demanding acceptance by the STATE. This should not be an argument about religious freedoms, because church's can marry whomever they decide to. Our gay and lesbian citizens deserve the same recognition and benefits that any straight couple gets. That's all they are asking for and I don't necessarily understand how religion has such a big role in this issue. This is a state and federal matter, and the religious beliefs of the justices should play zero role in this case. We have a separation between church and state and it's about time that we start living by that standard again.
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    michaels39301 Wrote: One thing I have really noticed a lot lately is that in these TV interviews on the topic of gay marriage, the individuals and/or couples who are holding signs promoting marriage are all saying that the most important thing to them is FAMILY. This just sounds ridiculous to me.
    Isn't the definition of a family a group of people related by blood, or descended from a common ancestor?

    The simple fact is this: 1. Gay and lesbian marriages = ZERO children
    2. Traditional marriage = numerous children

    As 1. increases, 2. will decrease. Eventually the traditional marriage, and ALL children will see its numbers drop significantly. Will/could this mean the decline and ultimate extinction of our race? I realize this is a stretch, but stranger things have happened. I am not oblivious to the feelings of gay and lesbian couples, it just seems to me that these relationships do nothing to create or extend their own nature in the form of any children, so what is their societal contribution, other than maybe economic only? Will the Court be bold enough to make such a decision?
    Please send me a copy of the screenplay when write this sci-fi.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    jaredsxtn Wrote:
    johnnycee Wrote: From the Supremes Court {interpetation} regarding placing of various church icons on government land was a violation of the First Amendment,hence the {enforcement } of the new interpetation. Do I think the Church is meddling in Gay Affairs? No, its the other way around, the LGBT wants the Church to tell its members that being Gay is not a sin and should be allowed in the Church's teachings as just another example of Christian living.
    I just don't see how this is a religious issue at all. The gay and lesbian community in California is not trying to get acceptance by the Church. They are demanding acceptance by the STATE. This should not be an argument about religious freedoms, because church's can marry whomever they decide to. Our gay and lesbian citizens deserve the same recognition and benefits that any straight couple gets. That's all they are asking for and I don't necessarily understand how religion has such a big role in this issue. This is a state and federal matter, and the religious beliefs of the justices should play zero role in this case. We have a separation between church and state and it's about time that we start living by that standard again.
    Very well said; I'm surprised about the last may be 8 years? that churches stick up their ugly heads and preach their politics in the bedroom. When I came into the US, I always thought, wow what a tolerant country; I think they flushed that down the toilet a long time ago.
  • Democrat
    Meridian, MS
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    What screenplay are you referring to? I am simply stating the FACT that gay/lesbian couples will never have any of their own children, and I emphasize the word "their" because let's say two guys hire a female to be inseminated with ONE of their sperm fertilizations and she becomes pregnant and delivers a child, that child will be a blood relative of the one man and the woman, not both men and the woman. Even if it were both men (by insemination of a blend of their sperm), it would only be a half-relative of theirs anyway, with the woman being the other half. Look at it from the lesbian couple's point of view. Neither of them could supply the sperm, so right there they could only be at most a half relative. As on and on it goes, but there is NEVER a case where the gay/lesbian couple are the true parents (100% blood relatives) of any child. So all I was saying was that IF our society progresses (or regresses) to the point where the majority of couples are same-sex, then blood lines will slowly stop existing, and a whole new world will emerge, a world of declining population, and a world with no-such-thing as a family tree.