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#352 Jul 01 2010 at 10:06 AM Rating: Good
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knoxxsouthy wrote:
Nadenu,

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And once again, we have come to the conclusion that same sex marriage shouldn't be allowed because it's icky.


And once again we've come to the conclusion that liberals don't understand how the tax structure works because they don't pay taxes to begin with.

Goddamn, I wanna be one of those liberal lawyers you keep talking about that are both out of touch with the common man and exempt from taxes!
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#353 Jul 01 2010 at 10:53 AM Rating: Good
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How many times do we have to say that we actually don't care that much about Gore?

Ted Kennedy was the darling of liberal Democrats. He's dead. We haven't decided on who's getting that title just yet, but it sure as hell wouldn't be Gore. He's not even a party leader any more; hasn't been for a decade. Howard Dean is more likely to be our favorite living Dem than Gore is.

Then again, Republicans consider Mrs. Sarah "I quit my job" Palin to be a spokesman for their party even though she no longer holds any elected office, so maybe that's why you guys are so confused.
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#354 Jul 01 2010 at 11:07 AM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Bardalicious wrote:
gbaji wrote:
MDenham wrote:
So why not have these benefits be awarded upon actually producing the children?


Because then it wouldn't act as much of an incentive to get people to marry before producing children.

Why do they have to get married before?


The first (maybe second) good question of the thread!

Because statistically very few people get married after having a child together out of wedlock. Shockingly few.

Um, maybe that's because people that aren't going to get married don't, regardless of child status.

If Suzy and Sonny love each other enough to get married without a child, they sure as hell would get married with a child.
If Betty and Bob don't get married when they have a kid under the current system, they probably won't under a "new" system where only people with kids can get married.

Therefore, changing the regulation for marriage to include a child requirement would not change the amount of single parents, only unwed couples.
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#355 Jul 01 2010 at 11:30 AM Rating: Good
gbaji wrote:


You are correct Joph. If we assume that a marriage is not a marriage unless the state grants you those benefits, then by denying you those benefits, you are being denied "marriage". But I don't agree that that is what constitutes marriage!. So. How about instead of repeating the bit we both agree to over and over you grasp that point and attempt to provide any reasonable argument what-so-ever that absent state benefits a marriage ceases to be a marriage? Just a thought.


I'll wait...


Thankfully, YOU aren't in charge of what constitutes marriage. Tell ya what, go become a Supreme Court judge, then maybe your opinion will matter. It would be hilarious to watch your Senate hearing.
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#356gbaji, Posted: Jul 01 2010 at 3:01 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) It was a 5-4 decision, and 2 of the justices of the 5 in the majority did *not* believe that marriage was a fundamental right. We don't have direct statements from all the dissenters, but barring evidence that they believed it was a fundamental right but ruled in opposition anyway, we can only assume that had the issue hinged entirely on whether or not marriage is a "fundamental right", the ruling would have been 6-3 against.
#357 Jul 01 2010 at 3:05 PM Rating: Decent
techno,

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It would be hilarious to watch your Senate hearing


Funnier than watching that fat whale blubbering all over the place and recusing herself from the werewolf vs vampire trial?

#358 Jul 01 2010 at 3:06 PM Rating: Default
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Sir Exodus wrote:
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I still want someone to show me where my tax break is for being married.


When you file your taxes and you select either Single, Married, or Head of Household that actually puts your income into a certain bracket which is then used to calculate how much of a refund (if applicable) you are getting. That's as far as said "tax break" goes. At least, from what I've worked with hands on.


You also get to be put on your spouses medical insurance pre-tax. That's a tax break. You get to transfer wealth from one to the other upon death without taxes being applied. That's a tax break. How many times do you hear a politician (like Obama) talk about a tax effect that "wont affect individuals up to $200k or married couples up to $250k"? That's a form of tax break (depending on whether both work or just one). There are a few ways in which taxes are impacted by marriage.
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#359 Jul 01 2010 at 3:19 PM Rating: Default
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Bardalicious wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Because statistically very few people get married after having a child together out of wedlock. Shockingly few.

Um, maybe that's because people that aren't going to get married don't, regardless of child status.


People choose to shack up for a variety of reasons. Whether they choose to formalize the relationship (get hitched, make an honest man out of him, etc) is a decision which may hinge on financial issues.

Quote:
If Suzy and Sonny love each other enough to get married without a child, they sure as hell would get married with a child.
If Betty and Bob don't get married when they have a kid under the current system, they probably won't under a "new" system where only people with kids can get married.


Most people don't plan their lives that way. They meet someone. They fall in love. They move in together. And then maybe they think about marriage. Some percentage of those couples will result in children. Anything that makes the "go past thinking about marriage and actually get married" happen improves the statistical results for those children.

A whole lot of young naive couples will happily go into marriage not yet knowing all the trials they'll face as a couple. Put them in those trials, 6 month baby screaming every night, money problems, etc, and the odds of them getting married after that point drop to near nothing. Get them to take those vows before that stage and most of them will stick it out.


Quote:
Therefore, changing the regulation for marriage to include a child requirement would not change the amount of single parents, only unwed couples.


I'm not sure how you can conclude that. All one needs do is compare the statistics between married couples getting divorced within the first few years of having a child together and the number of non-married couples getting married within the first few years of having a child together to see that there's a huge difference. It's too much of a difference to just represent personality differences between the two sets. The most significant factor is whether or not they took those vows and committed to married *before* having a child. It's not even hard to understand why this is important. For most people divorce is seen as a failure. You stood before your entire set of family and friends and said you'd stick it out with this person for the rest of your life. That's an enormous factor. If you've never done that, it's a lot easier to simply walk away from the relationship as soon as things aren't fun and easy anymore.


Of course it's important to get young couples to marry before they have children together. It's critically important.
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#360 Jul 01 2010 at 3:24 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
It was a 5-4 decision, and 2 of the justices of the 5 in the majority did *not* believe that marriage was a fundamental right. We don't have direct statements from all the dissenters, but barring evidence that they believed it was a fundamental right but ruled in opposition anyway, we can only assume that had the issue hinged entirely on whether or not marriage is a "fundamental right", the ruling would have been 6-3 against.

Ummm.... what??

It was an 8-1 decision for Redhail with four people agreeing with Marshall that marriage was a right, three people agreeing on the basic grounds of Equal Protection and only Rehnquist dissenting entirely. Even out of those, Powell's objection is that he wants clearer boundaries for when the state may regulate the right to marry rather than flatly denying the existence of any such right.

But even if I give you Powell, your idea of a "6-3 against" is ludicrous and I can only assume you didn't know what you were talking about. Perhaps you should stick to sophistry -- you just embarrass yourself arguing actual law.

Edited, Jul 1st 2010 5:39pm by Jophiel
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#361 Jul 01 2010 at 4:30 PM Rating: Good
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I'd like to state that I'm still waiting for gbaji to respond to my question as to whether or not he believes we should separate marriage benefits into "just for getting married" and "for being married and having kids" categories.

I mean, Christ, it's been nearly a page since I asked it and he's managed to say nothing of substance yet in that time. :-)
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#362 Jul 01 2010 at 5:32 PM Rating: Decent
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knoxxsouthy wrote:
[Al Gore], the darling of liberal democrats.
You really must be going out of your way to be wrong.
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I'm not getting my news from anywhere Joph.
#363 Jul 01 2010 at 5:39 PM Rating: Default
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Fine. I'll answer you, you darn attention whore you! ;)

MDenham wrote:
Given the following cases:

A) The current system, where benefits relevant to having children, as well as benefits not relevant to having children, are obtained upon being married; and

B) Benefits not relevant to having children are obtained upon being married. Benefits relevant to having children are obtained upon having children while married. (Children out of wedlock, being bastards, do not grant their parents the relevant benefits.)

My question is "why shouldn't case B be the norm, rather than case A?" Is this a little more clear as to what I'm asking?


Because I think you're looking at the issue incorrectly. It's not about "benefits related to having children" and "benefits not related to having children". It's "benefits granted by the state to those who marry" and "effects created naturally as a result of entering into a marriage contract in the first place". I suspect you are blending those together, and it's important to keep them separate.


The state mandated marriage contract contains a set of conditions which most people wouldn't choose to enter into if they had a choice. If you were free to write you own contract, you might not put all the same financial entanglements and responsibilities in there, for example. But the state wants people to enter into that full contract, so it creates benefits to try to get them to do so. If you want the benefits, you have to enter into "this" contract, not just any marriage contract you want to write up to define your relationship.

We define both sets of things together, because one is a pre-requisite for the other. Couples would have to be bound to the full set of conditions in the marriage contract in order for their marriage to qualify in the future for the set of benefits, right? If we delayed granting them those benefits until they had children, you'd be back in the situation where most people wouldn't choose to enter into that contract in the first place, figuring they'd wait until they had children (why take the negatives if you don't get the positives until later?), but then once they have a child, they will be less likely at that time to choose to get married at all.

Which benefits are directly related to children and which aren't is kinda irrelevant to the issue. And some of them are most relevant to couples building a life where they intend at some future point to have children. Certain home loan programs, for example. You might want to marry and buy a house *before* you have children, right? That would be ideal. But if you can't get the better loan rates until after you do, it kinda nullifies the whole thing. We'd now be encouraging people to have children before they are financially situated, which is not what we want to do.


Make sense?
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#364 Jul 01 2010 at 5:47 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
But the state wants people to enter into that full contract, so it creates benefits to try to get them to do so.

This is unsupported and, in many cases, is flat out wrong. Unfortunately it also makes up the entire foundation of your argument which is why you won't let go of it and insist on saying "Yeah they say they were trying for this but really it was about enticing people to marry before they make babies!"

But, by all means, show some actual hard evidence that these benefits were created to entice people to marry before making little people. Given that even the idiot arguing the case in court had to fall back on "I don't need to show evidence! It's just obvious!" I'm going to guess that you won't fare any better.

On the plus side, if you did turn something up, you could give that guy a call before the appeal.
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#365 Jul 01 2010 at 6:12 PM Rating: Default
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Jophiel wrote:
It was an 8-1 decision for Redhail with four people agreeing with Marshall that marriage was a right, three people agreeing on the basic grounds of Equal Protection and only Rehnquist dissenting entirely. Even out of those, Powell's objection is that he wants clearer boundaries for when the state may regulate the right to marry rather than flatly denying the existence of any such right.


Yup. I read the list of Justices and their positions incorrectly. My bad. It's still a dubious argument to make. Just repeating "but they found it to be a fundamental right" over and over fails to address two aspects which I have mentioned and which you have ignored:

1. The label of "fundamental right" does not mean that it absolutely cannot be infringed. The test for this typically is whether the infringement is necessary to the purpose of the law in question. Speech is a fundamental right as well, yet we penalize slander and perjury. If one can show that the purpose of the marriage laws require denying the benefits contained within to couples of the same sex, then the requirement of a couple consisting of one man and one woman isn't a violation of the constitution. And that argument most certainly can be made, no matter how much you don't like it.

2. The precedent for labeling marriage a "fundamental right" does rest on the principle of the right to bear children extended through various courses of rulings on contraceptive use, involuntary sterilization and into the cases we've argued about in this thread. It's very clear that the court has connected marriage rights with procreation rights through case history. To then arrive at an end point, simply quote a bunch of previous cases declaring marriage to be a "fundamental right" and ignore the context within which they made those statements would be fallacious at best.


If you've been actually reading those cases, and not just skimming them for key phrases you can repeat, you'll have noticed the frequency with which the decision rest with an examination of the "purpose" of a law, and the applicability and necessity of whatever restrictions are carried with it. It would be hard to read any state marriage laws and not conclude that the whole purpose of writing up a set of state mandated contractual requirements and then tying those (along with some other conditions) as a prerequisite for a set of state mandated benefits is to encourage people to enter into the specific contract defined by the state. There can be no other reason for the state to do this. From that starting point, it's really just a matter of examining other criteria to see if they fit with that "purpose". And when you start listing off things like "can't be in another marriage contract", "must be legally able to enter into a contract", "must not be within a certain blood relation to each other", the condition at question, "Must be a couple consisting of a man and a woman" certainly "fits" the purpose of the law itself.


Judicial decisions are made by doing more than just quoting out of context phrases from other cases and applying them literally to the case at hand. And while you love to say that I know nothing of the law, it's strange that you continually refuse to acknowledge this fact. Bad judges do it the way you think it works. And lower court judges quite often make horrible rulings by doing this. But to their credit the Supreme Court usually looks a bit deeper at the issue itself (some really bad examples excepted). It's not really about whether one likes or hates gay people. It's about whether someone looks objectively at our marriage laws, and asks "What purpose do they serve?". Most people would (or should!) conclude that they must serve some purpose beyond just giving benefits to groups of people we like while denying them to groups we don't like. And when you glean that purpose, it becomes pretty obvious that there is no unlawful discrimination by not providing said status and benefits to gay couples.


I know you don't like that fact, but it's there anyway.
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#366 Jul 01 2010 at 6:22 PM Rating: Default
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Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
But the state wants people to enter into that full contract, so it creates benefits to try to get them to do so.

This is unsupported and, in many cases, is flat out wrong.


You keep saying this, but have yet to *ever* present an alternative explanation as to why the state would create those benefits if it wasn't about rewarding those who marry.

Quote:
But, by all means, show some actual hard evidence that these benefits were created to entice people to marry before making little people. Given that even the idiot arguing the case in court had to fall back on "I don't need to show evidence! It's just obvious!" I'm going to guess that you won't fare any better.


I'll ask again: What other purpose could there be? Let's see. There's a set of benefits the government created, and a set of conditions to qualify for those benefits. There are typically two reasons a government does this:

1. The conditions are negative things, and we want to help people who are in that condition.

2. The conditions are positive things, and we want to encourage people to enter into those conditions.


Which do you suppose marriage is, Joph? Is this seriously so hard for you to noodle out? I don't say "it's obvious" in order to avoid having to support my point, but because it is, in fact, obvious. It's so obvious that when writing the laws, no one felt they had to explain why they were doing it. Those people knew that only the most slow idiots wouldn't understand what they were doing and why. Sadly, in the intervening years, a lot of slow idiots have been born apparently.
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#367 Jul 01 2010 at 6:30 PM Rating: Decent
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gbaji wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
But the state wants people to enter into that full contract, so it creates benefits to try to get them to do so.

This is unsupported and, in many cases, is flat out wrong.


You keep saying this, but have yet to *ever* present an alternative explanation as to why the state would create those benefits if it wasn't about rewarding those who marry.

Actually, in many of these threads, a detailed explanation was presented describing the evolution of the current marriage tax brackets based on an anthropological examination of shifting motives as society evolved. You, of course, quit answering questions in the thread at that point, or at best flat-out ignored these posts. And for some reason you keep pretending that when these laws were established, people sat down and said "Okay, we need these things to happen, how can we incentivize people to that end?" You're completely ignoring the fact that our legal system is not the result of careful planning and rational thought, but inherited codes from our British roots which we've built upon in complex and often irrational ways as our society evolved. The code wasn't written yesterday in a carefully plotted-out manner.
#368 Jul 01 2010 at 6:42 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Sir Exodus wrote:
Assassin Nadenu wrote:
I still want someone to show me where my tax break is for being married.


When you file your taxes and you select either Single, Married, or Head of Household that actually puts your income into a certain bracket which is then used to calculate how much of a refund (if applicable) you are getting. That's as far as said "tax break" goes. At least, from what I've worked with hands on.


You also get to be put on your spouses medical insurance pre-tax. That's a tax break. You get to transfer wealth from one to the other upon death without taxes being applied. That's a tax break. How many times do you hear a politician (like Obama) talk about a tax effect that "wont affect individuals up to $200k or married couples up to $250k"? That's a form of tax break (depending on whether both work or just one). There are a few ways in which taxes are impacted by marriage.


Yeah, none of that applies to us.
#369 Jul 01 2010 at 7:01 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
If you've been actually reading those cases, and not just skimming them for key phrases you can repeat

This is absolutely hilarious coming from someone who has consistently proven in this thread that he has little to no understanding of any of these cases, what they entailed, what the rulings or precedents were or what other cases were built on them. You just make a complete ass out of yourself by having no clue what the rulings in this case were and then actually lectured us about how your completely mistaken understanding meant that we should all stop assuming those court decisions had merit and instead join in on your own interpretation. It's obvious to everyone that, at best, you're just Googling for snatches of something you hope will pass as an intelligent legal refutation (such as when you cited Skinner without realizing that it was not, in fact, the foundation of the "marriage as a fundamental right" statement) and more likely just blindly guessing and hoping that if you speak authoritatively enough people won't notice that you're full of shit.

Quote:
The label of "fundamental right" does not mean that it absolutely cannot be infringed

Of course not and I never have argued that it did. Nice strawman, though. I have actually argued multiple times that you should just admit that you are denying homosexuals their fundamental right to marriage because you think you have a valid reason to deny them this right. You won't do this because you're too wrapped up in the perfection of your ideology to admit that you are willfully denying someone their rights. The very cases that I've cited state that there may be a good reason to deny someone of this right. A 40 year old man and his 15 year old daughter have the fundamental right to marry but we deny them this right because we feel it's in society's best interests to do so. Get it? We deny them this right. Just as you are saying we should deny homosexuals the right to marry one another. Not that they don't have the right. Not that the right really means that they can just sign some half-assed contract unrecognized as marriage by the state. But that you wish to deny them their fundamental right because you think there's a good reason to deny them this right.

Your insistence that the legal rulings really meant "you have the fundamental right to get married so you can have babies" has already been addressed previously in this thread. The notion of marriage as a plain fundamental right (rather than one contingent upon procreation) has already been upheld in rulings. The fact that you don't like it and so insist that those are all the "bad" rulings made by judges who don't really understand the law like you do (well, you and the "good" judges) is just pathetic but that's really been the one common thread you've had in this debate.

Quote:
You keep saying this, but have yet to *ever* present an alternative explanation as to why the state would create those benefits if it wasn't about rewarding those who marry.

Of course I have. I have multiple times. In fact, the last time I started citing various benefits and their origins you fell back on "Yeah but REALLY it was about babies!" just as I said you would.

Quote:
I'll ask again: What other purpose could there be?

(A) I've answered this in previous threads
(B) Even if I hadn't answered it, it wouldn't make your answer true. If this is the foundation to your entire argument, it should certainly be better supported than "You didn't have a better answer so mine is the right one!"

Quote:
Which do you suppose marriage is, Joph?

Both and neither. You're playing up the excluded middle fallacy when, in reality, our current laws, benefits and other legal wranglings regarding marriage are a hodge-podge of various legislation rooted in everything from ancient tradition to modern equal rights ideals. I would wager that the vast majority of modern changes to marriage and what it entailed revolved primarily around people wanting something for themselves now and with very little concern to how others would approach marriage in the future, much less if any given random couple would be further enticed to wed.

Quote:
I don't say "it's obvious" in order to avoid having to support my point

This is, in fact, entirely the reason why. Or rather to avoid admitting that your point has no support.

Edited, Jul 1st 2010 8:14pm by Jophiel
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#370 Jul 01 2010 at 7:05 PM Rating: Default
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Majivo wrote:
gbaji wrote:
You keep saying this, but have yet to *ever* present an alternative explanation as to why the state would create those benefits if it wasn't about rewarding those who marry.

Actually, in many of these threads, a detailed explanation was presented describing the evolution of the current marriage tax brackets based on an anthropological examination of shifting motives as society evolved. You, of course, quit answering questions in the thread at that point, or at best flat-out ignored these posts.


No, I answered them, right up until the point at which it became apparent that people were just tossing random stuff into the debate which had nothing to do with the discussion at hand and with not even an attempt to provide explanation as to how those things supported their position much less refuted mine.

It's just like Joph repeating over and over "But the court found marriage to be a fundamental right!!!", without once explaining how that finding in that court on that case relates to an issue involving same sex couples. If you can't describe why or how what you're saying relates to the discussion, then it's just words for the sake of saying words. And no amount of those words happening to appear to say something that if taken out of context and dropped into the current issue with no further examination can be simplistically presented to support your position actually means those words *do* support your position.


Quote:
And for some reason you keep pretending that when these laws were established, people sat down and said "Okay, we need these things to happen, how can we incentivize people to that end?" You're completely ignoring the fact that our legal system is not the result of careful planning and rational thought, but inherited codes from our British roots which we've built upon in complex and often irrational ways as our society evolved. The code wasn't written yesterday in a carefully plotted-out manner.


I'm not making that mistake, but I *am* being held to that standard by others. Joph is the one who keeps insisting that I have to provide some proof that people did exactly that. And as you say, the laws didn't happen that way. Over time, they evolved. However, that doesn't mean that we can't make reasonable assumptions as to what purpose those laws held when written and what purpose they still hold today. We don't need to focus on why a specific marriage benefit or condition was created. Joph did this with his whole "Unions fought to get the pensions for spouses", but he failed to look at the bigger picture of *why* married union workers might want this, and why therefore the union might fight for this on their behalf. He just pointed to the method and declared that this somehow proved that pension transfers to spouses had nothing at all to do with the needs of couples in which one may have had to delay career plans for a decade or two.


You really do have to work pretty hard to *not* see the pattern present with marriage laws. Over time, as social pressures on couples to marry became less acceptable, we replaced them with financial incentives from the state. But the reasons why we want couples to marry remain the same. It's not that hard to see this, as long as you aren't tied to a political position which doesn't work if you do. Then... Well. You'll do everything you can to ignore it. Which is what happens every time we have one of these debates.
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#371 Jul 01 2010 at 7:20 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Joph did this with his whole "Unions fought to get the pensions for spouses", but he failed to look at the bigger picture of *why* married union workers might want this, and why therefore the union might fight for this on their behalf.

Right. It had to be because of babies. It wasn't at all an issue of equality or an issue of property rights or anything like that. It was ooobbbvviioouussslllyyyy because all the wives gave up their lives to raise babies.

Of course, even if this asinine proposition was the case, and they only wanted this because they had to give up their lives to raise new union members from the womb, it still wouldn't be evidence that they fought for and enacted those benefits to entice future generations to marry before having children. In fact, taking "this benefit is to entice people to marry before having kids" would be one of the stupidest things you could take from it.

Not that that's stopped you yet.
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#372 Jul 01 2010 at 7:26 PM Rating: Decent
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gbaji wrote:
1. The label of "fundamental right" does not mean that it absolutely cannot be infringed.
The aim would be to uphold our fundamental rights, not to find new ways to deny them.

Nowhere has anybody said that "fundamental rights" can never in any way be infringed for any reason.

Seriously, I'm worried for your mental health. This isn't a sarcastic "man he reeeeeeally needs to get a cat scan lololol", but rather a sincere "you need to honestly sit down and break down the logic you use and the facts presented that you continuously ignore in order to maintain your rose-tinted world view."

And before you even try to make the argument, this isn't just a left-wing vs. right-wing clash either. There are plenty of conservatives that I take no issue with, my best friend is essentially a libertarian that votes republican because he's realistic. You're only a rung above Varus and ThiefX on the delusional conservative ladder.



Edited, Jul 1st 2010 8:36pm by bsphil
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gbaji wrote:
I'm not getting my news from anywhere Joph.
#373gbaji, Posted: Jul 01 2010 at 7:35 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) Encouraging those within society who will statistically produce children to do so in the most positive manner possible clearly meets the "important social objective" test. And restricting benefits for those who marry to that same group is clearly a "reasonable means" to achieve that.
#374 Jul 01 2010 at 7:44 PM Rating: Decent
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Gbaji, your reading comprehension is atrocious. You claim that in Perez v. Sharp they link marriage and procreation, and yet:

Perez v. Sharp wrote:
The right to marry is as fundamental as the right to send one's child to a particular school or the right to have offspring

Here, they're quite clearly making a distinction between the right to marriage and the right to procreate. Thus the right of procreation can be denied separately from the right to marriage, and vice versa. The fact that this has not yet happened does mean they legally cannot be - and we are, after all, having a legal debate, despite the several pages in this thread you spent trying to discuss things which have nothing to do with the law. If marriage and procreation are so inextricably linked to the justices as you claim, then why list the right to send your child to a particular school? Is this another right that's somehow linked to marriage? If you get a divorce, are you required to send your child to the nearest public school? Or are you simply picking and choosing the lines you want from the ruling just like you're accusing everyone else of doing? Why is it that procreation and marriage are linked so powerfully by this ruling and yet nothing else that he happened to mention are?

gbaji wrote:
Quote:
Marriage is thus something more than a civil contract subject to regulation by the state; it is a fundamental right of free men. There can be no prohibition of marriage except for an important social objective and by reasonable means.



Encouraging those within society who will statistically produce children to do so in the most positive manner possible clearly meets the "important social objective" test. And restricting benefits for those who marry to that same group is clearly a "reasonable means" to achieve that.


Except, of course, that opening those benefits to people outside of that group will not somehow make children-producing couples less likely to wed. No one is saying "if they let the gays marry, I'll never get married but I'll still have kids!" This is another one of your leaps to support a conclusion that you reached long before examining any facts.

Edited, Jul 1st 2010 8:47pm by Majivo
#375gbaji, Posted: Jul 01 2010 at 7:44 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) And there goes the name calling. Look. How about you follow your own advice. Break down your own position logically and make a case for gay marriage that does not constitute an appeal to emotion or simply quote from some unrelated source (appeal to authority) or which skips right past the establishment of facts and on to "it's discrimination!". Can you do that? Can anyone do that?
#376 Jul 01 2010 at 7:54 PM Rating: Decent
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gbaji wrote:
bsphil wrote:
Nowhere has anybody said that "fundamental rights" can never in any way be infringed for any reason.


That is an assumption of an argument that simply declares that since marriage is a fundamental right, then benefits granted by the state to those who marry can't be denied to gay couples. I have repeatedly asked Joph to explain how the fundamental right defined in those cases equates to the conclusion he's reaching with regard to gay marriage, and all he does is just repeat that it's a "fundamental right", so it's wrong to deny them anything related to marriage.

Let's see if you can follow incredibly basic logic.

1) Marriage is a fundamental right.
2) As a legal status, marriage comes with certain benefits.
3) Marriage without these benefits is not viewed as a legal marriage in the eyes of the state. (That would be your "write your own marriage contract" idea.)
4) There is no evidence that denying these rights to homosexuals will benefit the state. (In agreement with Perez v. Sharp, it has to benefit the state in such a way as to advance a significant social objective.)
5) Homosexuals should have the right to marry.

Surely you can agree with points 1-3. What I don't understand is, why disagree with the last two? For someone who claims the government should infringe on people's rights as little as possible, you seem awfully gung-ho to infringe on them here with nothing to back it up. There must be an important social objective to deny these rights. You've made an argument for allowing these rights to heterosexual couples, but not one for denying them to homosexuals. Giving these rights to homosexual couples does not somehow devalue them for heterosexuals; as I said before, no one is going to say "well I won't be getting married now that the gays can". So what social objective is being met by infringing on this fundamental right?
#377 Jul 01 2010 at 7:59 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
If you want to talk about logic, you might want to actually pick a "side" that isn't using nothing but a list of logical fallacies to argue the issue.
Gay marriage would make a lot of people happy while giving up basically nothing. I'll let others take it from there.
#378 Jul 01 2010 at 8:09 PM Rating: Decent
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Majivo wrote:
Gbaji, your reading comprehension is atrocious. You claim that in Perez v. Sharp they link marriage and procreation, and yet:

Perez v. Sharp wrote:
The right to marry is as fundamental as the right to send one's child to a particular school or the right to have offspring


Sigh... You can lead a horse to water...

Reading comprehension means being able to follow the flow of the words, not just pluck single sentences out. The Judge is equating one fundamental right to two others previously established. One of which is the right to send your child to a school of your choice. The other is the right to procreate. Now... Wait for it... Read further and see where that right to procreate comes from. It comes from Skinner, in which it *and* marriage are linked to that right. Perez quotes Skinner. How did you miss it? I even bolded it for you...


And if we're going to talk about comprehension, why did the judge choose to list off two rights in that section both having to do with children when making his case for marriage being a "fundamental right"? Think about it. Don't just read the words, understand what the person writing them is saying.


Quote:
Here, they're quite clearly making a distinction between the right to marriage and the right to procreate.


No. He's saying that they are similar. Not identical, but similar. He's saying that just as a person has a right to decide where to send their child to school, and just as a person has a right to choose to procreate, a person has a right to marry. He's saying that these things all fit into a similar category and exist as "fundamental rights" because they share common social import.

He's absolutely not making a distinction between them. And, more to the point, he then specifically quotes from Skinner in which that justice declared them together to be a fundamental right. Precedence comes from somewhere, and this concept of marriage as a fundamental right ultimately comes from that statement in Skinner. Ironically, I only included the first paragraph so that no one would claim that I was leaving out the bits about choosing schools for you children. I don't see how that removes the later and more relevant statements, but I didn't want someone insisting that I left them off because I did.

Quote:
Thus the right of procreation can be denied separately from the right to marriage, and vice versa.


Not according to Skinner. Skinner combines the two into one. In fact, even though the case had nothing at all to do with marriage, marriage is mentioned only one time in the case in the sentence quoted later in Perez (and presumably in other court cases since). Why, if the case is purely about forced sterilization and the justice is making a point about the "right to procreation", does he say "marriage and procreation are fundamental..."?

Think about what the words mean and why they were written. That one use of the word marriage wasn't added to skinner just as flavor. It has a meaning. The two go hand in hand.

Quote:
The fact that this has not yet happened does mean they legally cannot be - and we are, after all, having a legal debate, despite the several pages in this thread you spent trying to discuss things which have nothing to do with the law. If marriage and procreation are so inextricably linked to the justices as you claim, then why list the right to send your child to a particular school?


Because they have similar justifications having something to do with the state stepping in and making decisions for reason of social/physical/mental health. You have to read more of Perez to see that he's debunking a state position that it's for the good of the people to not allow mixed races to marry, complete with some pretty weak arguments about diseases and whatnot. So cases relevant to the issue of the state taking a "public good" position for discrimination would be logical choices.

Quote:
Is this another right that's somehow linked to marriage? If you get a divorce, are you required to send your child to the nearest public school? Or are you simply picking and choosing the lines you want from the ruling just like you're accusing everyone else of doing?


I think you're reading too much into it. I included the whole section so no one could argue that I cherry picked the section. There happens to be an additional reference in there which isn't part of what I'm talking about. Don't read anything more into it than that.

Quote:
Why is it that procreation and marriage are linked so powerfully by this ruling and yet nothing else that he happened to mention are?


Because the quote from Skinner effectively says so. The logic is pretty simple really:

If a right to procreate exists, then by extension any law which places limits or burdens on the choice of who to procreate with must infringe that right.

Limits on marriage represent clear limits or burdens on the choice of who to procreate with.

Therefore, those limits on marriage violate a "fundamental right".



My argument is that since that establishment of marriage as a "fundamental right" rests on the effect of limiting marriage on the resulting limits on procreation choices, a law which places limits or restrictions on marriage only to couples who cannot procreate does *not* violate the fundamental right at question.


Get it?
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#379 Jul 01 2010 at 8:12 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Um... As to the Skinner reference, did you bother to read Perez v Sharp?

Yes, I did. Which is how I know that the stance of marriage being a fundamental right comes before the part you claim was instrumental in making that statement. Here, let's try quoting a broader portion rather than the bit you selected:

Perez v. Sharp wrote:
The due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment protects an area of personal liberty not yet wholly delimited. "While this Court has not attempted to define with exactness the liberty thus guaranteed, the term has received much consideration and some of the included things have been definitely stated. Without doubt, it denotes not merely freedom from bodily restraint, but also the right of the individual to contract, to engage in any of the common occupations of life, to acquire useful knowledge, to marry, establish a home and bring up children, to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience, and, generally, to enjoy those privileges long recognized at common law as essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men." (Italics added; Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390, 399 [43 S.Ct. 625, 67 L.Ed. 1042].) Marriage is thus something more than a civil contract subject to regulation by the state; it is a fundamental right of free men. There can be no prohibition of marriage except for an important social objective and by reasonable means.

No law within the broad areas of state interest may be unreasonably discriminatory or arbitrary. The state's interest in public education, for example, does not empower the Legislature to compel school children to receive instruction from public teachers only, for it would thereby take away the right of parents to "direct the upbringing and education of children under their control." (Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510, 534-535 [45 S.Ct. 571, 69 L.Ed. 1070, 39 A.L.R. 468].) Again, the state's vital concern in the prevention of crime and the mental health of its citizens does not empower the Legislature to deprive "individuals of a right which is basic to the perpetuation of a race--the right to have offspring" by authorizing the sterilization of criminals upon an arbitrary basis of classification and without a fair hearing. (Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535, 536 [62 S.Ct. 1110, 86 L.Ed. 1655].)


Gbaji wrote:
The judge in this case is drawing a claim to marriage being a fundamental right from earlier defined rights regarding decisions of procreation and child rearing.

He first derives it from an earlier ruling regarding the due process cause in a case regarding education. You're acting as though he is taking his concept of marriage as a fundamental right from Skinner when this is not the case. Had you actually read the case rather than looking for snippets to take out of context, you'd have known this and saved yourself just another embarrassing episode of Gbaji Looks Like An Ass.

This is also setting aside the fact that the importance of Perez isn't merely the statement that marriage is a fundamental right (as that can be taken from other decisions as well) but rather the recognition that the status of marriage observed by the courts is one that includes state recognition.

Look, I think it's great that you're now frantically looking at these cases and Googling, trying to slavage some sort of a point. Given your performance over the last three or four pages, it's painfully obvious that you hadn't done so yet so at least you're starting to at least try.

Quote:
No. You never really have.

Actually I gave quite a few examples before. I'm not sure who you're trying to convince here -- others have already recognized that I've done this. I'd guess that anyone bothering to follow these threads also knows that I have. I suppose this leaves the possibility that you're trying to convince yourself. Which certainly seems plausible.

Quote:
It would make my answer more reasonable, though.

Not really and I'd hope that before you started denying people their rights you had a better argument for it than "Sounds good to me".

Quote:
Let me leave you with one other quote from Perez, but I'll add the last sentence of the paragraph, which your quotes tend to leave off

Wow. Just wow. You don't even read these things, do you? I mean, you not only skim the court cases but you obviously just skim the posts as well. I have repeatedly (and as recently as my last post to you) acknowledged that marriage can be denied to people (just as any right can and is denied to people given sufficient reason) based off this very passage and now you think you've got some big "Gotcha!" I haven't seen before? Really?? Are you that stupid that you're actually taking a passage I've referenced at least a half dozen times in this thread and saying "Ah ha!! You never read THIS, did you?!"

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha....


Thanks for that. I'm leaving on vacation tomorrow so probably won't be responding much to this thread, if at all, after this but that was awesome! You've absolutely shown everyone that you don't have a clue.

Thank you.
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#380 Jul 01 2010 at 8:31 PM Rating: Default
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Majivo wrote:
Let's see if you can follow incredibly basic logic.

1) Marriage is a fundamental right.


Ok.

Quote:
2) As a legal status, marriage comes with certain benefits.


Got it.

Quote:
3) Marriage without these benefits is not viewed as a legal marriage in the eyes of the state. (That would be your "write your own marriage contract" idea.)


Yup.

Quote:
4) There is no evidence that denying these rightsbenefits to homosexuals will benefit the state. (In agreement with Perez v. Sharp, it has to benefit the state in such a way as to advance a significant social objective.)


First off, you changed a word. We were talking about the benefits being denied, not the ability to enter into the contract. There is no "right" involved in just that. However, I'll grant that by removing the benefits to a group, you will create a "burden or limit" on their obtaining or utilizing that right. It's effectively an increased opportunity cost to choosing to marry. I just want us to be clear about what is actually being denied. The lack of benefits for gay couples only mildly infringes their "right" to marry in the sense that others have an incentive and additional benefits for doing so which gay couples do not have access to.

Second, you are looking at it backwards. There is no evidence that by providing those benefits to homosexuals will benefit the state. I'll go back to my farm subsidy example. If we determine that it will benefit the nation economically if we subsidize wheat production, we can use that to justify a wheat subsidy. No one in their right mind would argue that since the state can't show that it benefits by denying the subsidy to okra farmers that it's a violation of their rights not to receive the subsidy.

Surely you agree with that logic?

As I stated earlier, the test for applicability is if the law as written can be shown to advance a social objective and is reasonable to achieve that. You're looking at it backwards. It's not about whether or not it's beneficial to deny homosexuals that bonus, but whether it's beneficial to provide it to heterosexuals. Since only heterosexual couples can produce children, if we accept the premise that the purpose of marriage incentives in the first place is to encourage procreation within a legally defined marriage contract, then limiting said benefits to only heterosexual couples absolutely passes the test.


Quote:
5) Homosexuals should have the right to marry.


A right to enter into their own marriage contracts, just as everyone else does? Absolutely.

The question is whether or not the lack of government benefits/incentives and ease of contract availability in the existing law constitutes a violation of that right. And as I pointed out earlier, when we don't look at the issue backwards, it clearly passes the test.


We don't start by looking at how groups of people are affected by laws and then deciding if that's "fair" We start by looking at what the laws do and asking if the purpose of the law is good, and if the law reasonably achieves that purpose with no unnecessary infringement of other liberties. The okra farmers right to grow the crop of his choice is clearly infringed by the existence of a wheat subsidy, but the subsidy wasn't created to hurt the okra farmer but to increase the amount of wheat grown. In the same way, a set of benefits and codified and easily obtained marriage contract set up for heterosexual couples can be said to infringe the homosexuals marriage choices, however, that set of laws was not created to hurt the gay person, but to increase the number of heterosexual couples who entered into a strictly codified marriage contract.

It passes the test IMO.



Hopefully, I answered your additional questions already, so I'm not going to quote the rest.
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#381 Jul 01 2010 at 8:51 PM Rating: Default
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Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Um... As to the Skinner reference, did you bother to read Perez v Sharp?

Yes, I did. Which is how I know that the stance of marriage being a fundamental right comes before the part you claim was instrumental in making that statement.


Yes, Joph. I did read that part. I rejected it as meaningful because while it happens to be mentioned first in the opinion, the case he quotes doesn't shed any light on the issue. It just happens to include "to marry" in a list of other rights.

I think you're getting to caught up on the order of the words. Do you think that he wrote the opinion while forming the opinion itself? I'm pretty sure he'd thought through the whole thing and did the research and derived his position *before* putting pen to paper. And just as you often write what you're going to argue first and *then* list the reasons why, it appears as though this section of the opinion is written with that stylistic approach.

He put the weakest supporting case first in what is essentially the thesis paragraph of that section. He ends the paragraph with the thesis (that marriage is a fundamental right). Then he follows with more solid reasoning to support his opinion.


Is that really the best you can do? You're going to counter a paragraph which very specifically correlates the right to marry with the right to procreation with a statement that another quote happens to list it as a right and appears earlier in the opinion? Let me say again: Weak.
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#382 Jul 01 2010 at 9:01 PM Rating: Decent
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gbaji wrote:
bsphil wrote:
Nowhere has anybody said that "fundamental rights" can never in any way be infringed for any reason.
That is an assumption of an argument that simply declares that since marriage is a fundamental right, then benefits granted by the state to those who marry can't be denied to gay couples.
You have to show that there is legitimate and objective reason to DENY a fundamental right to a group of people, we shouldn't have to argue that rights should apply to everyone before we make exceptions.

So far you've tried to say something about the ability to produce children, but said nothing about raising children, which is the vastly more important part of the process. Gay couples, whether two men or two women, can in fact raise children (and recent studies have shown that kids raised by lesbian couples have better social and academic skills and less susceptibility to aggression).

gbaji wrote:
Quote:
4) There is no evidence that denying these rightsbenefits to homosexuals will benefit the state. (In agreement with Perez v. Sharp, it has to benefit the state in such a way as to advance a significant social objective.)


First off, you changed a word. We were talking about the benefits being denied, not the ability to enter into the contract.
Except they aren't allowed to enter into the contract either.

Edited, Jul 1st 2010 10:03pm by bsphil
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#383 Jul 01 2010 at 9:06 PM Rating: Excellent
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Here's a benefit to the state.

Homosexuals who marry should have the right to adopt or foster under most state laws (unless a law was written explicitly to prevent married gays from adopting, which has been discussed in a few states already.)

That means more children will be taken out of the state orphanages and into the foster system and into loving homes, leaving less of a burden upon the state, and thus less of a tax burden upon the citizens of the state.
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#384 Jul 01 2010 at 9:09 PM Rating: Decent
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catwho wrote:
Here's a benefit to the state.

Homosexuals who marry should have the right to adopt or foster under most state laws (unless a law was written explicitly to prevent married gays from adopting, which has been discussed in a few states already.)

That means more children will be taken out of the state orphanages and into the foster system and into loving homes, leaving less of a burden upon the state, and thus less of a tax burden upon the citizens of the state.
But then those kids will catch the gay disease by eating gay food!

Think of the children cat, think of the children!
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I'm not getting my news from anywhere Joph.
#385 Jul 01 2010 at 9:24 PM Rating: Decent
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gbaji wrote:
Quote:
4) There is no evidence that denying these rightsbenefits to homosexuals will benefit the state. (In agreement with Perez v. Sharp, it has to benefit the state in such a way as to advance a significant social objective.)


First off, you changed a word. We were talking about the benefits being denied, not the ability to enter into the contract. There is no "right" involved in just that. However, I'll grant that by removing the benefits to a group, you will create a "burden or limit" on their obtaining or utilizing that right. It's effectively an increased opportunity cost to choosing to marry. I just want us to be clear about what is actually being denied. The lack of benefits for gay couples only mildly infringes their "right" to marry in the sense that others have an incentive and additional benefits for doing so which gay couples do not have access to.

You were doing so good. You agreed that marriage is a fundamental right, per Perez v. Sharp. You agreed that a marriage is not recognized by the state if it doesn't come with these benefits. Thus, by removing the benefits, you eliminate the marriage and infringe on the right. How can that not be the case? You are absolutely infringing on these rights by not offering them the same benefits, because as far as the state is concerned, a marriage without these benefits is not legally a marriage.

gbaji wrote:
Second, you are looking at it backwards. There is no evidence that by providing those benefits to homosexuals will benefit the state. I'll go back to my farm subsidy example. If we determine that it will benefit the nation economically if we subsidize wheat production, we can use that to justify a wheat subsidy. No one in their right mind would argue that since the state can't show that it benefits by denying the subsidy to okra farmers that it's a violation of their rights not to receive the subsidy.

Doesn't matter. Perez v. Sharp does not state that a right must be granted only if it can be shown that it advances society to do so; it stated that a right can be infringed only if this advances society's purpose. That is not the case here. It's a very clear distinction made in the ruling.

The rest of your post is equally wrong because the whole logic train is derailed at that point. I'd elaborate but I need to leave for the night.
#386 Jul 01 2010 at 9:42 PM Rating: Decent
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I can't wait til gbaji tries to propose to someone with the line "a marriage between us would be a fiscally advisable way for us to raise offspring!" before getting 5 fingers across the face.

Honestly, can anyone show me a representative that believes that the sole purpose of marriage is to encourage people to marry before having children?



Edited, Jul 1st 2010 10:49pm by bsphil
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#387gbaji, Posted: Jul 02 2010 at 9:02 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post)
#388 Jul 02 2010 at 9:08 PM Rating: Decent
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gbaji wrote:
False. We only have to find that there is a legitimate and objective reason to "provide" a benefit to one group and not another. The argument I have made for marriage benefits more than meets that requirement.

Except, as you've completely failed to acknowledge once again, the benefits in this case go hand-in-hand with a fundamental right that, as stated in Perez v. Sharp, cannot be infringed upon except for a significant societal purpose. You can't have the legal status of marriage without the benefits and vice versa. You can't just make up the law on this point. It's very much well-defined.

gbaji wrote:
If the marriage is the contract, and the contract is not only legally allowed, but is made available, then what the hell is missing? The only thing is the benefits. Hah! But in California, even that isn't missing. The California Domestic Partnership laws provide exactly the same state benefits as the Marriage laws, including all the benefits possible from the state of California. In fact, the only thing missing is that said status doesn't qualify one for federal benefits. Of course, the DOMA at the US level prohibits that anyway, so no change in California would have any actual effect on benefits or contracts or anything at all for gay couples in California.

Which should be telling you that people only want to have an identical status since they're already getting all the benefits associated with the status. Instead, you're deluding yourself into thinking that they're being manipulated somehow. Funny how all the grassroots movements that you disagree with are being manipulated, but the ones you like are examples of democracy in action. How can you honestly claim to be a free thinker with such ridiculous double standards?
#389 Jul 02 2010 at 9:16 PM Rating: Decent
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Majivo wrote:
Doesn't matter. Perez v. Sharp does not state that a right must be granted only if it can be shown that it advances society to do so; it stated that a right can be infringed only if this advances society's purpose. That is not the case here. It's a very clear distinction made in the ruling.


No. It's a subtle distinction, but what you're saying would require that the actual "infringement" be shown to advance some social purpose. But that's not what the test requires. If it did, a whole lot of things would not be seen as constitutional but are.

The test is that the law must advance some social purpose and that if that law includes some infringement that said infringement is a reasonable component of the law working to the social purpose. Remember that in this case, we're talking about a relative issue. By creating state defined marriage contracts for straight couples, and providing a set of benefits if they enter into them, we've made it easier for them to enter into said marriage contracts. We haven't made it "harder" for gay couples to do so except in a purely relative way. If we hadn't done any of that for straight couples, gay couples would be no worse off today on the issue of marriage, right?

The incredibly minor infringement thus levied on gay couples is certainly "reasonable" in the context of the significant social purpose of encouraging straight couples to marry. In the same way that the okra farmer is harmed in a very minor way by not receiving the same subsidy that the wheat farmer gets (actually, this is a more significant harm in fact), we would still allow the wheat subsidy to stand because it's purpose is to encourage the production of wheat, not okra.

If you can argue that the purpose of marriage laws is to get gay people to marry, then you'd have a point. But that would be a particularly hard argument to make, and there are reams of evidence pointing in the other direction. Common law marriage laws for a start. If gay marriages were the intent of our marriage laws, why have we never applied common law marriages to gay couples? Clearly, the "purpose" of our marriage laws was specific to straight couples. Everything else follows from that point.
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#390 Jul 02 2010 at 9:31 PM Rating: Decent
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gbaji wrote:
No. It's a subtle distinction, but what you're saying would require that the actual "infringement" be shown to advance some social purpose. But that's not what the test requires. If it did, a whole lot of things would not be seen as constitutional but are.

The test is that the law must advance some social purpose and that if that law includes some infringement that said infringement is a reasonable component of the law working to the social purpose.

Perez v. Sharp wrote:
Marriage is thus something more than a civil contract subject to regulation by the state; it is a fundamental right of free men. There can be no prohibition of marriage except for an important social objective and by reasonable means.

Unless you're reading some further case law that you haven't revealed here, then you're completely bending the text of the ruling. It says that the prohibition of marriage must be to advance an important social objective. Extending marriage rights (and yes, benefits) to gay couples is in no way a significant setback to the social objective in question. If you have two versions of the law, identical except that one contains the infringement and one does not, then it must be shown that the version containing the infringement is significantly superior to the one without. You cannot, in any way, show how gay marriage is a blow to the established marriage paradigm. You can't. You can make up some argument about how it cheapens the value of marriage, or how it's not essential to the role the law was designed for, but those are ideological arguments that have no place whatsoever in this legal argument.
#391 Jul 02 2010 at 9:38 PM Rating: Decent
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Majivo wrote:
Except, as you've completely failed to acknowledge once again, the benefits in this case go hand-in-hand with a fundamental right that, as stated in Perez v. Sharp, cannot be infringed upon except for a significant societal purpose. You can't have the legal status of marriage without the benefits and vice versa. You can't just make up the law on this point. It's very much well-defined.


The benefits are not the fundamental right. The right to enter into a marriage contract is. Not providing a set of benefits and a pre-defined contract to just sign does represent a minor infringement of that fundamental right, but it's incredibly minor.

The "fundamental right" of marriage presumably existed prior to the US creating a set of benefits. Thus, the benefits *cannot* be the right. They can affect and influence the rate at which one might choose to enjoy that right, but that's not the same thing. I've explained this several times in this thread. A benefit cannot ever be a right. Period. End of story.


Quote:
Which should be telling you that people only want to have an identical status since they're already getting all the benefits associated with the status.


I'm not denying that people want that. People want lots of things. Ponies for example. What I'm denying is that by not getting what they want, their constitutional rights are being infringed. See how that works?

Quote:
Instead, you're deluding yourself into thinking that they're being manipulated somehow.


Of course they are. They're being convinced that they must fight for something which 90% of them don't want, and then further convinced that their rights are being infringed because they aren't being encouraged by the government to do that thing which 90% of them don't want to do anyway. Think about that for a moment.

A marriage contract is a significantly binding document. Most people would not choose to enter into it unless they felt they had to. For most of history, we've had to create really strong forces to make people enter into them (to one degree or another). Social stigma, creation of the importance of family names, lineage, labels for people who didn't follow the rules, and today a set of benefits to try to convince people to do so with positive reinforcement. And despite all of that, we've still only been moderately successful historically at convincing people to do this.


And here comes the gay rights movement insisting that it's somehow a violation of their rights that no one thought to pressure them to marry? Lol. It's funny if you stop and think about it. We've spent centuries trying to come up with methods to force straight couples into marriage, and gay people are pissed because we aren't forcing them? Ah... But we got rid of all the "force". We use a carrot instead of a stick, don't we?

Let's pretend for a moment, that tomorrow we eliminated all the benefits granted via the state status of marriage. Let's say we re-institute all the traditional social rules and stigmas we used through most of history to coerce people into marrying. But since this is modern times and we're all socially aware and open and whatnot, lets give the gay people the choice to fight to be treated exactly the same as straight people. So they'll be subjected to shotgun weddings. They'll be labeled with scarlet letters. Their parents will arrange their marriages without their say. They'll be called old maids and scorned socially if they don't marry by a certain age. Whatever historically used social pressure you can think of, let's apply it to gay people.

How hard would gay people be fighting for marriage if that was the case? I'm thinking not so much...


They fall for it because it has been made to appear to be something positive which they are being denied, and for which no negative appears to be applicable to themselves. The reality is quite different.


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Funny how all the grassroots movements that you disagree with are being manipulated, but the ones you like are examples of democracy in action. How can you honestly claim to be a free thinker with such ridiculous double standards?


Not at all! I fully agree that most people involved in any sort of movement are ignorant of more than basic surface aspects of the issue themselves. That's why I don't tend to judge the validity of political positions based on what the members of those movements believe or what they are being told, but based on my own assessment of the issue itself. The mere fact of misunderstandings among the masses about the issue doesn't make the issue itself a good or bad one to follow. That would be a dumb way to make up one's mind, right?

It's funny, because I'm often attacked for doing this. Which I find strange. Varus will spout some stereotypical rhetoric and I'll respond with something like "His reason is wrong, but the position is correct, and here's why..." and I get a chorus of "But that's not why most people believe that", as though that somehow invalidates my own argument. Of course the majority argument in almost any issue is going to be an overly simplistic and often factually incorrect one. That's because most people are persuaded by emotion and aren't very good at critical thinking. Again though, that has no bearing on whether the thing they are supporting is a good or bad idea.
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#392 Jul 02 2010 at 9:43 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
The benefits are not the fundamental right. The right to enter into a marriage contract is. Not providing a set of benefits and a pre-defined contract to just sign does represent a minor infringement of that fundamental right, but it's incredibly minor.

gbaji wrote:
Quote:
3) Marriage without these benefits is not viewed as a legal marriage in the eyes of the state. (That would be your "write your own marriage contract" idea.)

Yup.

You can't legally enter into a marriage contract without those benefits. You've already agreed to this. I give up, the cognitive dissonance here is overwhelming.
#393 Jul 02 2010 at 10:00 PM Rating: Decent
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Finishing up a final script run, so I'll be heading out for the weekend. I'll say one more thing though:

Majivo wrote:
Perez v. Sharp wrote:
Marriage is thus something more than a civil contract subject to regulation by the state; it is a fundamental right of free men. There can be no prohibition of marriage except for an important social objective and by reasonable means.

Unless you're reading some further case law that you haven't revealed here, then you're completely bending the text of the ruling. It says that the prohibition of marriage must be to advance an important social objective.


I would wager good money that if we could talk to the guy who wrote that and asked him if by "marriage" he meant "marriage between a man and a woman" and did not intend it to be applied to gay couples, he would think we were crazy even for asking the question and of course he meant marriage as he and everyone else understood it to be at the time.

That's a separate point of course, but it does bear being said. I've already shown how later in the opinion he clearly associates marriage and procreation. I guess the problem is that when most of us hear the words "fundamental right" we assume it applies to "everyone". But it doesn't apply to single people, right (the benefits at least)? And it doesn't apply to siblings, right? And it doesn't include multi-partner marriages either (I believe a justification for denying polygamy appears in Perez). Clearly, there is an intended context within which "marriage" is intended here. I just think reading the words "marriage is a fundamental right" and taking that as an absolute, even though it clearly was not meant to be at the time those words were written is the wrong way to read the opinion.

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Extending marriage rights (and yes, benefits) to gay couples is in no way a significant setback to the social objective in question.


Wrong way to look at it. Extending those rights does not further the social objective and failing to do so does not significantly infringe on the rights of gay people. I know you disagree with that, but what are they really being denied here? I'll ask you to again go back to the basics. Ignore the labels and look at the facts. What are gay people being denied? A pre-written contract to sign, and a set of benefits which they largely don't need.

I'll point out the farm subsidy analogy. You have yet to respond to that. If the okra farmers rights are not being infringed sufficiently to make the subsidy unconstitutional, then how can you argue that the gay couples rights are in this case? It's the same thing. Gay couples do not lose anything (much of anything anyway) because straight couples gain. It's a purely relative thing.

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If you have two versions of the law, identical except that one contains the infringement and one does not, then it must be shown that the version containing the infringement is significantly superior to the one without. You cannot, in any way, show how gay marriage is a blow to the established marriage paradigm.


Let's get away from the labels. I absolutely can show that by increasing the number of people competing for the same government benefit that it decreases the relative value of the benefit and therefore it's incentive effects. If everyone gets a free pony, and not just good girls, then the use of a free pony as an incentive for girls to be good is clearly reduced. That's the logic of this argument. By extending the qualifications the value of the benefits themselves are reduced as an incentive.

The social purpose for the laws are harmed by extending them. And this is before we even consider the slippery slope aspects of this. The shift of purpose required in order to justify the inclusion of gay couples into state marriage benefits requires that we eliminate and/or ignore any procreation aspect. I know that many of you argue that this is already the case, but I don't agree with that argument at all. Furthermore, if we accept that procreation, or at least the potential for procreation isn't a key component of marriage (the contract in this case, for which we use government benefits at an incentive), then most of the other restrictions disappear as well. There's no reason to limit it to adults. There's no reason to deny it to close relations. Take away the procreation angle, and why deny those groups as well?

Polygamy becomes an obvious next target as well. If it's a fundamental right to marry the "person" of your choice, why be restricted to just one person? Isn't that unfair?


I'm not arguing for or against any of those. But I am saying that once you open that barn door, don't be surprised when all the horses run out. And that's a lot of horses. We'll be left with a whole bunch of people getting those benefits and not so many people not getting them. Which absolutely does weaken the incentive effect.

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You can't. You can make up some argument about how it cheapens the value of marriage, or how it's not essential to the role the law was designed for, but those are ideological arguments that have no place whatsoever in this legal argument.


I just did. Of course it weakens it. It weakens it unnecessarily as well. Let's apply the test again, shall we? Is there some other way in which we could provide for the contractual marriage needs of gay couples without harming the incentive value of the state marriage benefits currently applied to heterosexual couples? Why yes! We can codify a marriage contract which isn't connected to the state status, and which anyone could enter into! Eureka! We have a solution which does everything we want and meets all the "tests" we need to pass.

Doesn't it? Why is that not the correct solution?
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#394 Jul 02 2010 at 10:04 PM Rating: Default
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Majivo wrote:
You can't legally enter into a marriage contract without those benefits. You've already agreed to this. I give up, the cognitive dissonance here is overwhelming.


Of course you can. You're just too caught up on the labels. A "marriage contract" is simply a contract which defines your marriage. Whether you enter into a contract because the law writes it for you and required that you enter into it, or if you do so by signing a piece of paper with the exact same contract written down makes absolutely no difference in terms of the legality of the contract, or its enforceability.


People entered into marriage contracts in the US long before we created government benefits for them. So yeah, you can enter into a marriage contract without the benefits. Why would you think otherwise?

And no. I have *never* agreed to that. Stop playing word games.

Edited, Jul 2nd 2010 9:05pm by gbaji
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#395 Jul 02 2010 at 10:18 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
A marriage contract is a significantly binding document. Most people would not choose to enter into it unless they felt they had to.


Your entire argument is idiotic and baseless to begin with, but this statement right here nullifies any credibility you may have had. You just as well might have said "I'm retarded" and moved on.
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gbaji wrote:
You guys keep tossing facts out there like they mean something.


#396 Jul 02 2010 at 11:31 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
A "marriage contract" is simply a contract which defines your marriage.
This sentence needs to be taken out and shot in the streets, preferably repeatedly in the kneecaps, because all it does is promote circular logic (see "logic, circular").

I'll even give the companion sentence to it that makes the circular logic blatantly obvious: "A 'marriage' is what two or more people who have a marriage contract are contracted into." Which, not in so many words (but in similar ones that can't reasonably be interpreted in any other way) is what your argument has been based on.

Net result: your argument may be "correct", but it only is because it is solely composed of tautologies.
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#397 Jul 03 2010 at 1:42 AM Rating: Good
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MDenham wrote:
gbaji wrote:
A "marriage contract" is simply a contract which defines your marriage.
This sentence needs to be taken out and shot in the streets, preferably repeatedly in the kneecaps, because all it does is promote circular logic (see "logic, circular").

I'll even give the companion sentence to it that makes the circular logic blatantly obvious: "A 'marriage' is what two or more people who have a marriage contract are contracted into." Which, not in so many words (but in similar ones that can't reasonably be interpreted in any other way) is what your argument has been based on.

Net result: your argument may be "correct", but it only is because it is solely composed of tautologies.


He's philosophically invincible!
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#398 Jul 03 2010 at 7:44 AM Rating: Decent
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gbaji wrote:
Finishing up a final script run, so I'll be heading out for the weekend. I'll say one more thing though:

Majivo wrote:
Perez v. Sharp wrote:
Marriage is thus something more than a civil contract subject to regulation by the state; it is a fundamental right of free men. There can be no prohibition of marriage except for an important social objective and by reasonable means.

Unless you're reading some further case law that you haven't revealed here, then you're completely bending the text of the ruling. It says that the prohibition of marriage must be to advance an important social objective.


I would wager good money that if we could talk to the guy who wrote that and asked him if by "marriage" he meant "marriage between a man and a woman" and did not intend it to be applied to gay couples, he would think we were crazy even for asking the question and of course he meant marriage as he and everyone else understood it to be at the time.

What he *meant* to say?

Seriously?

Read it. It says what it says.

This did *not* bear being said.
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#399 Jul 04 2010 at 5:32 AM Rating: Good
AshOnMyTomatoes wrote:
gbaji wrote:
If you want to talk about logic, you might want to actually pick a "side" that isn't using nothing but a list of logical fallacies to argue the issue.
Gay marriage would make a lot of people happy while giving up basically nothing. I'll let others take it from there.
I guess this was totally ignored because it's hard to argue with.
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#400 Jul 04 2010 at 7:48 AM Rating: Good
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Vestal Chamberlain Lubriderm wrote:
AshOnMyTomatoes wrote:
gbaji wrote:
If you want to talk about logic, you might want to actually pick a "side" that isn't using nothing but a list of logical fallacies to argue the issue.
Gay marriage would make a lot of people happy while giving up basically nothing. I'll let others take it from there.
I guess this was totally ignored because it's hard to argue with.
<gbajilogic>Actually, we have to give up a lot to allow benefits to gay marriages. That increased tax burden on heterosexual couples will put too much strain on our economy. Disregard the fact that homosexual couples have always and will always subsidize heterosexual marriages while not being allowed the same benefits. Come on, this should be obvious.

Think about it...</gbajilogic>
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Almalieque wrote:
If no one debated with me, then I wouldn't post here anymore.
Take the hint guys, please take the hint.
gbaji wrote:
I'm not getting my news from anywhere Joph.
#401 Jul 04 2010 at 8:31 AM Rating: Excellent
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I love how gbaji wants us to pick a decide and defend it "not based on emotion." Even though we've been telling him the point all along is emotion. Normal people (whether gay or straight) do not get married for any supposed financial benefit. They do it because they love the other person, and in our society the symbolic sanctifying of that love is marriage. Money is not the issue, and never has been. Every time gbaji or varrus or any other conservative drags us into a 12 page debate about the financial aspects of marriage, all they're doing is obfuscating the point: we should allow homosexuals to get married because they love each other the same way a man and woman in heterosexual marriage love each other, and our society recognizes the bond between two people through the ceremony of marriage.

There is no other reason.
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