A. Yes, I think there's a difference between groups that possess an identity and groups that do not.
Why? What causes a group to "possess an identity"? What are you really talking about? An identity is just what/who you are, right? Aren't you really talking about a "recognized identity"? And who decides what those are? I just think that whole approach is rife for silliness.
I never once said that they deserve unequal treatment by the gov't.
Not in so many words. But you did acknowledge that the reason gay couples should gain access to marriage benefits and not first cousins (or siblings, or multi-partner groups, or whatever) is because of gays having an "identity". Which I interpret as really meaning that gays have a stronger lobby.
So you are at least supporting the policy of providing people unequal treatment by the government based solely on whether a group has sufficient political clout. Doesn't that seem backwards? Shouldn't we treat all groups the same? I think so.
However, identities aren't a matter of population--population only helps them grow. Furthermore, my point is that an identity is something that can be oppressed.
But what you consider an "identity" has to do with whether a largish political machine has mobilized its forces to tell you that this group is being oppressed and you need to leap into action to help that group, and if you don't you're a terrible person who wants to oppress people.
Isn't that about right? Don't you feel used? This is why I reject most liberal causes. It's not about liking or disliking a group of people, it's the very fact that the groups being championed are more or less arbitrary. We should create a consistent method for determining how we derive all rights and benefits and then apply it, not cherry pick groups of people we want to help and argue for special treatment for them.
Identity politics is not only stupid, but it's inherently discriminatory. What's surprising is how many people, who insists they are opposed to discrimination, fail to see this and blindly support it every single time. We should not be fighting for "women's rights", or "black rights", or "gay rights". We should be fighting for "rights". Period. Same for everyone. Doing it the way you're doing it leads to discrimination and a society with made up of jigsaw puzzle laws full of exceptions for everyone and everything.
Marriage is NOT A @#%^ING BENEFIT you dumbass.
At the risk of stating the obvious: Marriage is not a benefit, but Marriage Benefits are
No one cares if you view it that way, you are wrong. Marriage COMES with benefits right now, yes. But it is NOT reducible to the benefits.
When all we're talking about is the benefits, it can though. As I pointed out in the other thread we had just last week, the only difference between marriage and domestic partnership in California is that marriage can qualify one for federal marriage benefits. That's it. And DOMA prevents gay marriages from qualifying anyway, so in real legal terms there is no difference between the two
So what have people in California been fighting over? What was prop8 about? What was the legal case which forced that proposition about?
It's all about the government benefits. Despite all the talk about it being about legalizing "marriage", as you correctly pointed out, "marriage" isn't the benefits. The benefits are something the government may choose to give to people who marry. Yet, when the benefits are denied to gays, you take the exact opposite position and insist that by being denied those benefits they are being denied "marriage".
Isn't that strange? You know they are two different things, but take a position on the issue that assumes that one can't exist without the other. Seriously. Stop and examine your own position for a minute. It makes no damn sense at all.
If it came with absolutely no perks (as I think it should), I would still argue the case for gay marriage.
If it came with no perks we wouldn't be having this argument because "gay marriage" would already be legal. Heck. If we're just talking about "marriage" and not "marriage benefits", then it's legal right now. The only thing we're fighting over is the state issued or mandated benefits. What do you think a marriage license does? It qualifies your relationship for a specific set of benefits.
There's no law preventing any two people from entering into a marriage contract, sharing finances, property, life, and love, granting powers of attorney to each other, taking vows, having a wedding, inviting guests, exchanging rings, and living together in blissful harmony as spouse and spouse (and spouse and spouse and toaster if they want).
Nothing prevents that. Laws tell us what we can't do, not what we can. Barring a law telling us we can't do something (which doesn't exist, except maybe in the case of the toaster), we're free to do whatever the hell we want. That's what liberty is about. If you think that in order to have the freedom to do something, you must get the government's permission (a license if you will), then you have failed utterly to understand what freedom is. Freedom is not having to ask permission. Thus, the argument that one is fighting for the "right" to obtain a marriage license in order to be able to marriage is complete nonsense. I honestly think most of you just don't grasp this. It's absurd. You're fighting to have the government tell you what to do and pretending that you're fighting for your "rights".
You're not. You're fighting to have a comfortable government cookie-cutter status which defines your relationship. That's not the same thing. You are free right now to enter into any relationship you want.
The only reason gay rights advocates need to argue about it regarding the benefits is that its what @#%^s like you always turn to when trying to ignore the civil rights issue.
Because the only thing being argued *for* is the benefits.
Let me apply the same thought experiment I've done before:
Let's pretend that tomorrow we could change all the laws in the country so that everyone could qualify for a marriage license from the state regardless of sexual orientation. However, we change all the laws pertaining to the state issued benefits such that only married couples consisting of one man and one woman can qualify for them. This is only the state issued benefits
. So tax brackets, social security, pensions, survivor benefits, etc are affected, but the contractual stuff isn't. You can still share property, have visitation and decision making authority in hospitals, the label of "marriage", and every other social/civil thing associated with marriage.
It's only what we can all clearly identify as straight up benefits. Heck. Let's assume that the 5th amendment applies as well, so that's made available to all gay couples (everyone who is "married" gets that). We just change the benefits so that you have to be married + other conditions to qualify.
Would that be ok? Or would all you gay marriage advocates still argue against this? And if you would, then shouldn't you admit that it's really just about the benefits? The point being that I've presented this hypothetical solution many times in the past, and I've *never* gotten a response of "Yup. That's all we want. Just the label and the relationship". Ever. Yet, the same people will insist until they are blue in the face that it's not about the benefits.
Yeah. It is. Well, I actually believe it's about the political value of the issue and you're all just blindly along for the ride, but that's a whole different aspect of this issue. I don't think most of you have a clue why gay marriage is important. You've just been told that it is, so you fight for it. As I said earlier, if you were told something else was important and some other groups rights were being trampled on, you'd fight for that instead, just as strongly, and with just as much absolute conviction that you're right and everyone who opposes what you support is wrong, bigoted, and evil.
And the "slippery slope" of equality is that the social groups in power no longer get to control the groups they are oppressing. So I REALLY don't accept that as a valid argument.
That's not what I was talking about. The slippery slope is that as each group wins some political battle for "rights" today, we just shift our focus to some new group. When you turn rights from being something you have which you need to keep the government from taking from you into something (everything) you don't have and you need to fight to get the government to give them to you, it becomes an endless thing. There is a hard limit to what you can prevent others from taking from you. There is no limit to what you can demand that others give to you.
That's the fundamental flaw with the concept of positive rights btw. Again, that's a whole separate issue, but it's relevant here because it's the flawed concept your are acting on, even if you don't realize it. You aren't fighting for the "right to marry". You're fighting for the government to give some benefits to a group of people on the grounds that not receiving them is the same as having their rights infringed upon. But we can argue that not receiving *anything* can be argued to be an infringement of rights, thus making the whole thing absurd.
But it doesn't have to make sense. It just has to work well enough to get a bunch of gullible people to support it and vote for those who adopt it as policy. So... working as intended.