An unlikely conspirator in Prop 8′s murder

How an anti-SSM Supreme Court justice provided an argument to lift the ban

Yesterday afternoon a federal court struck down California Proposition 8, the successful ballot initiative that had banned same-sex marriages in the state. U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn Walker’s Perry v. Schwarzenegger decision offers a fascinating overview of the American SSM fight. Subjecting Prop 8 to the strict and searching scrutiny that any overt act of state discrimination invites, Walker found the evidence of social harm resulting from gay marriage to be wretchedly meagre, and the evidence of any additional administrative burden on the state to be worse than nonexistent. (In a display of perversity surely more nauseating to many of us than mere sodomy, debt-addled California has been foregoing revenue from marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples and has been maintaining a distinct bureaucracy for the creation and oversight of “domestic partnerships”—a species invented in order to endow gays and lesbians with all the legal difficulties of civil marriage without entitling them to drink from the dregs of its social dignity.)

Walker, having entertained and weighed the evidence of a rational basis for Proposition 8, could find none—none beyond discrimination against gays and lesbians for its own sake, which he characterizes as a “private moral view” that, in the absence of a legitimate government interest, cannot be an appropriate subject of legislation under the due process and equal-protection provisions of the Constitution. So runs the argument. (I’m not a lawyer, but it feels to me like a rather Canadian, Oakes-y one, structurally.)

How airtight is the ruling? One objection that someone like Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia would make—for he has made it—is that all laws implement some “moral view”, and could be struck down by a judge the minute some protectable class were found to object to it. Laws against homicide discriminate against murderphiles, and so on. Of course, this isn’t very convincing. Even if you can show that there is such an inherent characteristic as “being a murderphile” and that people in no way choose membership in this class—which, in fact, is an argument you could probably win!—the compelling state interest in preventing murderphiles from murdering is a million times easier to show than anybody’s interest, anybody’s at all, in fretting over the nebulous effects of gay marriage.

This debate is over in Canada, except as a convenient way for kooks to define themselves, because how the heck could you possibly show that absolutely anybody’s life was affected irreversibly for the worse on the exact date of July 20, 2005? I’ve given pro-lifers generous helpings of hassle over the years, but they’ve at least got the “Abortion Stops A Beating Heart” thing to fall back on. If you were picking a similar slogan for the anti-SSM movement, where would you even start? Gay Marriage…Makes A Gorge Rise? Gets A Dander Up? Sticks In A Craw?

The punchline to all this is that Justice Scalia is so forthright, confident, and frankly plain ornery in his views that he inadvertently supplied Judge Walker with a grace note for his magnum opus. Back in 2003, UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh pointed out that the then-fresh Lawrence v. Texas Supreme Court decision annulling that state’s sodomy law featured a little sideshow he thought relevant to the future of the gay-marriage struggle.

In today’s Lawrence decision, Justice O’Connor refuses a general right to sexual autonomy, but concludes that banning only homosexual sodomy violates the Equal Protection Clause—there’s just no rational basis for such discrimination besides “a…desire to harm a politically unpopular group,” she says. What about gay marriage, one might ask her? She anticipates this, by suggesting that “preserving the traditional institution of marriage” is a “legitimate state interest.” “Unlike the moral disapproval of same-sex relations—the asserted state interest in this case—other reasons exist to promote the institution of marriage beyond mere moral disapproval of an excluded group.”

Justice Scalia derides this—”[Justice O'Connor's reasoning] leaves on pretty shaky grounds state laws limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples,” because “‘preserving the traditional institution of marriage’ is just a kinder way of describing the State’s moral disapproval of same-sex couples” [emphasis in original]. But wait: Isn’t that the usual argument of those who criticize the heterosexual-only marriage rule?

In his tirade against “a Court…that has largely signed on to the so-called homosexual agenda”, Scalia gave the game away. Allergic to O’Connor’s cop-out, he argued that there was no need for hetero-only marriage to stand on any basis but “moral disapproval”—and took the extra step, regarded as dangerous by many in his camp, of denying that it could possibly have any other basis. It was an admission, a rather gay-friendly admission really, that any search for objective harms or administrative excuses with which to bash same-sex marriage would be nonsensical and futile.

And lo and behold, in the year of our Lord 2010, the Volokh prophecy has come to pass; Scalia’s grenade has landed right smack in paragraph 21 of Perry v. Schwarzenegger.

Lawrence v. Texas, 539 US 558, 604-05 (2003) (Scalia, J, dissenting): “If moral disapprobation of homosexual conduct is ‘no legitimate state interest’ for purposes of proscribing that conduct…what justification could there possibly be for denying the benefits of marriage to homosexual couples exercising “the liberty protected by the Constitution”? Surely not the encouragement of procreation, since the sterile and the elderly are allowed to marry.”

An unlikely conspirator in Prop 8′s murder

  1. debt-addled California has been foregoing revenue from marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples and has been maintaining a distinct bureaucracy for the creation and oversight of “domestic partnerships”—a species invented in order to endow gays and lesbians with all the legal difficulties of civil marriage without entitling them to drink from the dregs of its social dignity.

    Very well put. Reason #4237 why California is going bankrupt.

    But glad to see the court got this one right.

  2. "'domestic partnerships'—a species invented in order to endow gays and lesbians with all the legal difficulties of civil marriage without entitling them to drink from the dregs of its social dignity."

    Perfect. Thanks for making my day with this one, Colby.

    • I second that. Brilliant!

  3. "The Gay's" is not possessive, but plural, thus no need for an apostrophe. The word is correctly spelled "farce." Your grammar and spelling are as faulty as your reasoning.

  4. as a gay man, I can tell you right now that I have no interest in mimicking anybody who cannot spell 'farce' correctly.

    • LOL!

  5. I'm always amazed at how well known the American Supreme Court Justices are in comparison to their Canadian counterparts.

    I'm fairly politically engaged and could name five or six from the US (Scalia, Thomas, Sottomayor, Kagan*, Roberts, Alito, Bader Ginsburg…and I'm drawing a blank on the others). The SCOC? There's a Beverly Something right?

    I wonder what accounts for that?

    • Probably for the same reason that everyone fears "activist" judges. The balance of power means that more things are left for the courts to decide in the U.S. than here in Canada. Sure, we have a Charter and other parts of the constitution, but our executive and legislature are more powerful in comparison to the court.

      As well, the SCOC is much more bashful about flexing its muscles than in the States, even though they have been given more power by the updated and repatriated constitution (certainly much more than than their British counterparts).

      I don't know if it is cultural, or if there is some other restriction on exercising their full power that I'm unaware of. Maybe someone who practices the law could chime in.

      • I was under the impression that the SCOC was arguably more "activist" than their US counterparts, in large part because of the nature of the Charter. I seem to recall reading articles in University all about how, since the advent of the Charter, the courts have taken on a very active role in the legislative process (case in point – denying gay marriage was declared unconstitutional before allowing it was made law).

        I suspect the disparity in visibility is cultural…but I have no idea why.

        • I thought it wasn't declared unconstitutional, it was just declared that there was no legal barrier to extending gay marriage to same sex couples. Maybe I'm not remembering it right?

          • Actually I think you might be right…although I think the original impetus was a ruling in favour of extending same sex benefits based on a query (wrong word, I know) brought to the Supreme Court by EGALE…

            Either way, the Supreme Court played a pretty significant role in the issue (effectively allowing Parliament to sidestep any controversy)

          • The Courts of Appeal in many provinces declared the law unconstitutional prior to the 2004 Ref. Re. SSM Supreme Court case, but the Supreme Court deferred to Parliament regarding whether the traditional definition of marriage was consistent with the Charter, essentially because Parliament had already decided to offer same sex marriages and ostensibly because it didn't want to answer a question that would potentially put in doubt the Court of Appeal rulings (but not overturn them, since it was in a reference case) which had extended same-sex marriage across a number of provinces (note: BS). However, had Parliament decided to keep the 'traditional' definition, then an actual case would have been appealed to the Supreme Court, and it would almost undoubtedly have been struck down.

          • I'll concede then to you and S_Argent then that I'm just not paying much attention to how activist our courts are. Probably for the reasons that Bob and Robin_E suggest.

      • The Supreme Court of Canada is every bit as "activist" or a policy-maker as the US Court. I think we know less about our judges because our appointments process is less transparent, less openly partisan… (which is good, because it is less of a circus sideshow, but bad, because we know less about the people making very important decisions).

        • I think it has to do with this in part. I would also add the point that the SCC does not usually split on issues on partisan grounds. While I can name the members of the SCC with relative ease (I'm a graduate student in law though), I would have a really difficult time naming which party put them up for promotion, other than the relatively recent arrivals. This tends to keep them individually out of the news, even when the Court as a whole is in it.

          • I'd agree with this, for what it's worth. I mean, after a while of reading the cases, you'll definitely know (or have a reasonable suspicion) of how certain members of the court are going to rule on certain issues, but it doesn't really seem to split along the partisan lines as we concieve of them. For example, I'd say L'Heureux-Dube was one of the "toughest on crime" judges we've had since the Charter (which we normally associate with conservatives), but on equality issues, she almost always found that a law was discriminatory (which we normally associate with liberals). Some of the Justices appear more gung-ho for freespeech (McLachlin, I would say), for example, while being less likely to uphold Charter claims based on other fundamental freedoms. But there's no real ideological split the way there is in the US, where on certain questions you know in advance which five justices are voting one way and which four are voting the other way.

          • Yes, definitely. The Justices definitely have some fairly consistent differences of opinion on certain issues, they just don't break down in a way that fits within the easy Lib/Con paradigm of reporting on the issues (this applies to Bob's comment below too). Off the top of my head, the only Justice currently on the court who could absolutely not have been appointed by the party which did not appoint her would be Justice Abella; she is just far too progressive for a Progressive Conservative or Conservative government to have appointed her. I would have said the same (probably to an even greater degree) for former Justice Arbour. Other than that, it usually isn't immediately obvious which party appointed the Justice by reading their judgments.

          • I think there are a lot of current justices, appointed by both parties, that this Conservative government wouldn't appoint.

          • Well, the Canadian Court certainly isn't quite as polarized. The judges are also much more likely to reach unanimous decisions. And it's not "partisan." But it's every bit as political, with divided opinions on almost all of the hot-button issues that come before it (think the Morgentaler abortion case, the Chaoulli health care case, the Rodriguez assisted suicide case, etc.)

          • But it's every bit as political

            Absolutely. I was reading a certain law review article by a rather well known constitutional scholar, and I was absolutely flabbergasted by the degree to which she refused to even consider the possibility that justices make decisions based on personal preferrence, political leanings, etc. It was never a question of "which body, parliament or the courts, should be making very controversial rights-balancing political/policy decisions" it was always "under what circumtances should parliament be able to violate our rights", as if those rights were set in stone for every conceivable case and weren't themselves subject to reasonable disagreements. It was terribly frustrating.

          • Who was it?

          • Was it Lorraine Weinrib?

          • Bingo.

          • That was my guess as well. Funny stuff.

          • Those are two separate questions, you know.

            And the "personal preference as opposed to following the law" thing almost always gets overblown in public discourse, mainly by people trying to undermine court's legitimacy.

          • Mike, don't just say stuff, make an argument. I know you're capable.

            As to the two separate questions point, Weinrib bases her argument on the assumption that Courts merely dispassionately, almost mechanically, apply the rights as written in the Charter, as if deciding whether same-sex marriage is a Charter right or whether the harm principle is a "principle of fundamental justice" or whether the coverage of a specific government tabacco warning on a pack of cigarettes infringes freedom of speech were just a technical matter that flows directly and uncontroversially from the words of the Charter. She just blatantly ignores a crucial pillar of her argument that is far from self-evident.

            And the "personal preference as opposed to following the law" thing almost always gets overblown in public discourse, mainly by people trying to undermine court's legitimacy.

            Like it's currently being overblown by critics of the Roberts court?

        • I believe the word 'activist' in this context to be somewhat misleading, and is generally shorthand for "the Court makes decisions that I disagree with". So the Robert's court (and the court during the Lochner era) is derided for being activist by 'liberals', and the Warren court was called activist by conservatives. If you agree with the rulings, you tend to think "well, they're obviously just applying the law as written, good for them" and if you disagree with the rulings you think "well, they're just letting their personal biases/political viewpoints shine through".

          • I know what you're saying, and I think you're generally right, but I think of both courts as being activist.

          • A minor quibble, but I think some of the derision of the Roberts court over its activism comes because:

            1) Crying judicial activism was such a HUGE rallying point for the right and
            2) Roberts basically lied through his teeth at his hearing, claiming he'd never do these kinds of things.

        • It's worth noting that judges are almost always appointed from lower courts and that in the internet age most of their decisions are readily available. In fact, there are very few public employees whose work is more easily examined than a potential supreme court justice. The media may be less likely to run articles on the topic, but the raw data is very easy toa ccess.

    • U tell us!

      • wish I knew bud, wish I knew :)

  6. Your write: "[Chief Judge] Walker, having entertained and weighed the evidence of a rational basis for Proposition 8, could find none … "

    How about democratic process? Is that not a rational basis? However valid a minority's point of view may be, a sympathetic judge should not be in a position to overturn a majority vote.

    • Absolutely not, when the vote of the majority is in violation of the constitutional rights of the minority.

      • Don't you know the tea partiers are the only ones who love the constitution? Except when they hate it?

      • Isn't gay marriage an example of the overwhelming minority imposing its will over the majority?

        • Not here it isn't. Gay marriage passed a vote in the HoC and survived a vote that was intended to re-open the debate. The majority voted in favour of it.

          • Well, we're talking about California right now. Don't get me started on how it happened here. Liberals didn't run on a platform of passing gay marriage. They used the courts as justification for their actions all along. And all three leftists parties ended up passing gay marriage on a hot summer night so that it would not be on any ballot box. So, I certainly disagree with your characterization of what the majority wanted in this country. In fact, supporters of gay marriage freely admit they don't care. They say it's about rights they invented, and who cares about anything else.

          • Regardless of the political machinations that led up to the vote, or whatever the temperature was that night, the vote passed fair and square. In fact, it passed twice, since Harper held vote asking to reopen the debate and was defeated. This vote wasn't even whipped, whereas Martin whipped his cabinet in the original vote. So you can't really say that majority will was overruled. If Martin had gotten his way and let the Supreme Court rule the gay marriage ban was unconstitutional here to save himself the political fallout of holding a partially whipped vote, the vote would never have happened, and maybe you could try that argument. But they didn't, it did, and here we are.

            As to California, my parsing of Colby's parsing of the ruling is that the judge ruled that Prop8 was essentially unconstitutional. It would be as if a majority voted to, for example, reintroduce mandatory segregation into schools. Even if you could find a majority somewhere that would vote for this, no judge would let such a vote stand.

          • Well, your claim is that the majority of Canadians support gay marriage, and my claim is that using legislative tricks in that regard, then having a vote after the fact, isn't really an example of democracy in action. Every step of the way, supporters of gay marriage have tried to circumvent the people. They were never confident of convincing society, so they had to ram it through.

            And, again, comparing segregation to gay marriage has always been a huge stretch. That a gay judge in California agrees with your assessment isn't one of the most surprising developments on this issue, I'm afraid.

            Look, I honestly do not believe that denying gays marriage is tantamount to a human rights crisis. There were always more important things to deal with, but not for social liberals bent on reshaping societal values through fiat.

        • Perhaps, but primarily what you're saying is true in the same way that emancipation is an example of the (black) minority population imposing its will over the (white) majority in the southern US at the end of the 19th century…

          Discrimination based on sexual-orientation is just as eggregious and insulting to the human-condition as discrimination based on race! Furthermore, the idea that granting the same rights to a minority portion of a popthat the majority already enjoys somehow diminishes the majority is patently ABSURD.

          • Sorry, but I would hardly compare basic human rights of racial minorities to allowing gays to call themselves married.

            I also know that we're basically past this point, but I also don't understand why someone's sexuality is considered on par with someone's race or religion. If you want to be gay, fine. But why the special status, especially when wanting to change a societal institution?

          • Because it's no more a choice than your race, and less than that of your religion.

          • I'm sorry, but I don't buy this modern socially liberal notion that we're complete slaves to our sexual drives. Beside, there is yet any definitive clinical evidence to explain homosexuality. So, some of the same people who swear by all kinds of science, throw it by the wayside when it comes to imposing their beliefs on others.

          • Fortunately it doesn't matter what you 'buy'. If sexuality is a choice for people, as you claim, why on earth would any person to choose to be part of a minority that is so rabidly attacked and persecuted? Suicide rates are higher in gay youth than straight youth. Why don't those teens just change their ways and live like everyone else? If you ask any kid who is coming to terms with his or her sexuality and feels that he or she may be different, I guarantee that almost all of them would choose heterosexuality. Your argument doesn't make any sense.

          • I don't think there has ever been widespread persecution of gays. Stigma, yes, which is no longer the case. In fact, if there's one good thing that has come out of gay marriage, it is the removal of the stigma. I'd grant that. I welcome that.

            But your argument about why people do things is easy to answer if you take a quick look at the human condition. Why would Tiger Woods wreck his marriage and his family in the pursuit of sexual drives? Why does anyone do anything to put themselves at risk? It's part of the human condition, part of the socially liberal agenda on sex, and now being enshrined further in society.

            It makes complete sense. In today's society, with respect to sex, nobody is allowed to be "judgmental". Anyone can do anything. Anyone can blame something else beyond themselves. As long as it's consensual, it's considered OK. I don't subscribe to it. And, before social liberals came along, neither did society.

          • Infidelity and homosexuality have been occuring for as long as society has existed. Your, or society's disapproval of either is really of no consequence. I'm not going to condemn Tiger Woods for his infidelity, since it was his family and his life that he damaged and has zero impact on my life. I would appreciate the same courtesy. Your involvement in the personal lives of others is your problem and the angst it causes you is your own fault. Mind your own business and you'll feel a lot better.

          • I'm not going to condemn Tiger Woods for his infidelity

            Exactly. There you go. I think he's a scumbag. You don't.

          • Keep your life personal for all I care. But don't turn around and force it on society. Right? Geez.

          • Gay marriages are optional, I'm not forcing anything on you. You're not my type.

          • You forced your values on us through the courts. You legitimized the gay lifestyle through the courts. And that's what this gay judge did in California, too.

          • I think its quite entertaining that you find such a threat in allowing gays to marry. That your happiness is so tied up in how other people live is ridiculous. The judiciary forced civil rights on us and forced us to share the vote wiht women, too.

            Values are something you hold dear. I know you won't hold gay marriage dear, and therefore, will not be one of your values. You can choose to ignore it, thats freedom!

          • "Sorry, but I would hardly compare basic human rights of racial minorities to allowing gays to call themselves married."

            What you would or wouldn't consider a basic human right is of little interest to anyone but you.

          • And I suspect countless people worldwide, which is precisely why you don't want to convince them but, instead, get friendly gay judges to force it on them.

          • What is being forced on them exactly?

          • The first rule of the Homosexual Agenda is "Do not talk about the Homosexual Agenda" ;)

          • Uh, the definition of marriage. Legitimization of homosexuality and the socially liberal sexual agenda. Can't do it through democracy, so shove it through the courts with gay or gay-friendly judges.

          • Perhaps I should have been more clear. What is being forced on you personally? In what way will their marriage change your life?

          • Actually, you have now changed the question. I guess you didn't expect a correct answer the first time around, so you're trying again. Fair enough.

            A value regarding marriage, homosexuality, family, etc has been forced by social liberals through the courts in a society that I live in. You can't convince people in a democracy, so you have to force it.

            Again, many of you, when running out of tactics, make it personal. This isn't about me, you, or Dalton McGuinty. This is about the values we stand for, and how some try to force them through, then turn around and angrily accuse the other side of doing such.

          • The question hasn't changed. I simply adjusted the perspective somewhat; it is still about how this will effect people on an individual level (whether that be the individual as in you, or the individual as in "countless people worldwide"). And it isn't about making anything personal.

            The core of my position on this topic is that the decision of some people to enter into SS marriages effects me not one iota. Their life is their life; my life is my life.

            Some people will behave in a way that "countless people worldwide" find offensive. That's life. If they aren't hurting me, and they aren't hurting you, and they aren't hurting anybody else around them, let them do what they want with their lives and you can do whatever you want to do with your's.

          • My original claim was this: That the same people always accusing others of forcing their values on people, which is false, are precisely doing this with respect to gay marriage. At every point, it's defenders have circumvented the democratic process, or even overturned it, in order to get their way. This is the epitome of forcing your views on others. It's the ultimate in hypocrisy, and I love using the irony.

            I think gay marriage is part of the socially liberal agenda, which is and will continue to have a destructive effect on society. You might not care about it, I do.

          • "The question hasn't changed. I simply adjusted the perspective somewhat; it is still about HOW this will effect people on an individual level"

            "I think gay marriage is part of the socially liberal agenda, which is and will continue to have a destructive effect on society."

            You didn't answer how.

          • People are living in a society that is increasingly liberal with respect to sex, marriage, and the family. I do not think this is a good thing for society or the individuals living in it. Clear enough now? Or do you want me to tell you how many bathrooms are in my house, too?

          • Clear as mud.

            You still aren't saying why this is a bad thing or how it harms society, you're just saying that it does. If you're going to feel this strongly about something you probably should be able to defend your position explicitly.

          • I think the socially liberal agenda is a destructive one for society, individuals, and family. So, it's not just about gay marriage, but a broader effort in attacking the traditional family. I believe that families are better off with a mommy and a daddy, and that kids are better off being raised by their natural parents. That it doesn't always happen that way, or is getting worse,doesn't mean you destroy it altogether, which is what I think gay marriage is about. But its defenders don't care about any of it. They just want their way, and they'll do anything to get it.

          • So "traditional family" for you means the post-war, suburban ideal, is that correct?

          • I've stated what it means. Kids being raised by natural mommies and daddies joined together in marriage. Exceptions to the rule don't justify abandoning the rule altogether. In fact, your reference to a specific era I find misguided. The truths I speak of are of timeless value.

          • Expanding a definition does not mean abandoning it. I have no idea where you get that notion from.

            (and a cursory reading of social history will show you that the timeless values of which you speak, aren't.)

          • You haven't expanded it, you've changed its very nature. One man and one woman is pretty air tight. Now, it can be two men, or two women. What's next. The polygamists are already agitating. Group couples want it. And on it goes.

            The natural family is far more timeless than radical marriage. That's for sure.

          • The 'slippery slope' and 'whats next?' arguments are ridiculous. Gay marriage is legal in many, many places and none of those 'scary' scenarios have happened. And if a group wants to get married, who cares so long as they consent?

            Anyway, if gay marriage leads to polygamy, then gay marriage must have com efrom interracial marriage or universal suffrage, maybe? To truly nip this in the bud we should strip women of the right ot vote and split up interracial couples.

          • That's funny, because we've been on a slippery slope for some time. Loosening of various laws were considered no big deal, then the deals got bigger. Gay marriage just passed, and everyone says see, not so bad. Let's wait. This is a generational thing.

            And, again, I think it's silly to compare gay marriage to some of the truly great civil rights struggles of humankind. Probably a sign of societal moral corruption.

          • And back during the civil righs movement lots of people opposed it. We now look back in horror that discrimination of that type ever occurred. Why is the struggle for civil rights such a 'great struggle of mankind' while gay rights are, according to you, trivial?

            Please enlighten us why some discrimination is more socially acceptable than others

          • I'd hardly compare a gay couple not being able to marry with black s being lynched in the old South. Good God.

            This is moral corruption. People are struggling on this planet, but we want gay marriage. Look at us.

          • Matthew Shepherd was beaten and left to die on a fence because he was gay. Gays were put to death in Hitler's camps for being deviants. Gay bashing occurs quite often, but doesn't often make headlines.

            Up until the 70's homosexuality was a disease that was treated with castration and imprisonment.

            I'd say that sounds like persecution.

          • So the exceptions such as broken familiies, blended families, deadbeat dads (or moms), adoption, death of one or more parents… those are cool, but two dads or two moms is wrong? Gays are already adopting, or using surrogacy or even blending their families after they come out at a later age. Marriage won't change that at all. I'm not sure why this issue seems to stick in your craw so bad.

            I find it odd that you would prefer little Jimmy to be raised by some crack addicted mother with daddy in prison than by two people who actually decide to have a child and consciously raise it. But as heterosexuals they are better role models for their children than gays are.

            If not, then maybe a debate on reproduction rights is more up your alley.

          • I want little Jimmy to be raised by happy mommy and daddy. That it doesn't always work out that way doesn't mean we throw the baby out with the bathwater, forgive the pun.

            Personally, I wouldn't have a problem with a kid living with a gay couple if that was the best alternative arrangement for them. That doesn't mean we legitimize the gay lifestyle, or change societal values as a result – especially through undemocratic means like shoving it through courts being presided over by liberal judges.

          • But since you and the NOM and all the other 'family' based groups aren't campaigning to take children and reproductive rights away from 'unhappy' couples you are saying that they are more legitimate than gays? Gays are more of a last alternative then, for kids? Not ideal, because two gay men or two lesbians are worse parents? Just trying to understand your point of view.

          • In most endeavours, letting more people take part in a cultural practice would be applauded as strengthening that practice. Yet somehow, the fact that others want to share the rights and responsibilities that come with declaring a long-term commitment to their life partner is a threat to you and your commitment to your life partner? I share the opinion expressed by others here that this thought process just doesn't hold water.

          • This is the epitome of forcing your views on others.

            I'm still not understanding your position here. No one is forcing anything on you; no one is making you do anything; no one is stopping you from doing anything.

            The epitome of forcing your views on others would be to force you into a SSM. Or, forcing a minister to perform a SSM. But that isn't what we are talking about. No one is doing anything like that.

          • Without seeking my consent as a voter and citizen, you are changing a basic societal value. You are changing what it means to be a family. You are ripping the reproductive nature of marriage out of marriage. You are legitimizing a sexual and alternative lifestyle as some kind of constitutionally protected trait like race or creed.

            You know, for something you consider so important and needed, you're working awfully hard to argue that it doesn't matter at all. Who cares? Let it go. C'est la vie. Sorry, not buying it.

            According to you, we can bomb the heck out of Iceland, and it's OK, because it doesn't affect you directly.

            It's not really a strong argument, is it.

            But thanks for giving me chance to chew it up further.

          • You are changing what it means to be a family.

            For who?

            You are ripping the reproductive nature of marriage out of marriage

            Come now… Given the declining birth rates, it is perfectly within reason that we are very soon going to see incidences of childless marriages exceeding those marriages for whom procreation is the end goal.

            And that has nothing to do with SSM.

            You are legitimizing a sexual and alternative lifestyle as some kind of constitutionally protected trait like race or creed.

            No I'm not. I'm saying that if someone is doing something that isn't hurting anyone, then it isn't my business to interfere.

            You know, for something you consider so important and needed, you're working awfully hard to argue that it doesn't matter at all

            You'll have to explain this one. People`s freedom to do what they want matters very greatly. People`s freedom not to be offended is less of a concern.

            According to you, we can bomb the heck out of Iceland, and it's OK, because it doesn't affect you directly.

            Either you're being intentional obtuse or you've missed the point entirely. The difference, of course, is that were homosexuals to bomb Iceland, it would interfere in the lives of Icelanders. Were homosexuals getting married in Iceland, on the other hand, the only ones who would be effected would be the homosexuals getting married.

          • Sigh. Human reproduction 101: Man meets woman. Makes baby. This is an integral part of marriage. Yes, it has been deteriorating, especially under the pressure of the socially liberal agenda, and gay marriage just furthers that trend.

            All of you keep asking me how gay marriage affects me directly. Well how does bombing Iceland affect you directly? Or are there greater moral issues involved that you don't want to address? The forcing isn't only coming from gays, but their various supporters among social liberals.

            It's not my fault that your arguments don't work the way you want.

            And, again, this isn't about any one individual. this is about social liberals forcing their views on society through the courts, then accusing their opponents of forcing their views. It's hypocrisy. You can't defend your views otherwise.

          • Typing out "sigh" is an autofail.

          • Actually, your lame response to my entire post is. lol.

            Amazing that this is all that some of you can come up with in defence of gay marriage. No wonder you don't trust the people with it. No wonder you have to get friendly judges to force it on us.

          • For SSM to need a defence, you would have had to put up some kind of offense, where you show that the harm caused to society outweighs the rights of gays to marry whom they choose.

            Unless you can demonstrate the harm caused, you have no justification for denying them the same rights you have, except your own distaste for their lifestyle.

          • I agree. If you want to be a bigot then you can be. You are entitled to hate gays and be disgusted by their lifestyles if you want. You can have your own definition of marriage as you see fit. But keep out of the lives of others. If my marriage cheapens yours so much then I'd be concerned about the foundation of yours in the first place. If you're a bigot then go on and be one, but just stay out of my life and I'll stay out of yours.

          • Ah, and after writing your desperate one-liner troll post, you engage in this kind of hate speech against me. Again, people like you can't defend your agenda. You have to resort to these tactics. You have to bully your agenda through., which says everything about your agenda. Thanks for showing up.

          • You are clearly determined to impose your own hateful values on other people, Dennis, and none of us will put up with your bigotry.

            It is not hate speech to call a bigot a bigot. Your posts reek of bigotry, Dennis.

          • Read the posts. I have answered every single question and issue raised, including those by you. Then people like "mike" come along, and others, and they dump on it all with one-liners, with people like you apparently approving. Again, if this is all you have in the defence of radically changing marriage, then no wonder you need the courts instead of democracy. Thanks.

          • You have not answered what specific harm is being caused to you. That was my question.

            I'll put it this way. Some % of people may not approve of pornography. It does not follow that pornography should not be allowed, although there was a time this was so.

            Your democracy arguement only works if you believe that rights are given to us by the state. If they are instead intrinsic (as I believe) then no referendum vote should be able to violate them.

            BTW I'm sure you are aware that I am not trying to change the definition of anything. The ball is in your court, at least in Canada, to have the definition of what a marriage is "radically changed".

            I don't dispute that the current law wouldn't have survived a referendum, but I'm damn happy to live in a country where the state can't trample the minorities civil rights, on the whim of the majority.

            On a total tangent, I think every libertarian minded Canadian should take a gander at this:

            http://www.nationalpost.com/news/Stephen+Harper+P

          • Absolutely fantastic article. Thank you for posting it.

          • I don't get the reproduction = marriage arguement.

            Does that mean that elderly people, or sterile people shouldn't be allowed to get married?

            Unless you believe that to be the case, you should stop using this red herring.

          • Let me repeat it. That marriage is reproductive in nature does not mean that every single person in marriage reproduces. The one man one woman relationship is reproductive, and is maintained under the traditional definition. That is no longer the case with this radical redefinition. Gay relationships are obviously not reproductive. Any kids in a gay marriage family will by definition have to be raised by at least one parent that is not natural.

          • This also occurs in marriages where children are adopted or conceived through egg or sperm donors. Sometimes children are even raised by step-parents or grandparents! Outrageous!

            The only difference is your personal distaste for a child to be raised by two people of the same gender. Is it okay if one of them is transgendered?

          • None of those examples change the fundamental nature of marriage. However, I will concede that social liberals have been attacking traditional institutions like marriage for decades. Gay marriage may well have been their icing on the ice. Their greatest and latest indulgence, so to speak.

          • Sure they do! If marriage is for the conception and rearing of children, which you say it is, fundamentally, then participation where no children are desired, or raising a child by other than a biological parent is a slap in the face of marriage. The only logical thing to do, then, is to invalidate all marriages that don't conform to the one dad, one mom and biological children living happily in wedded bliss.

            Right?

          • O.K., since you brought the n-word into it. I have to ask you Dennis, is a hermaphrodite natural?
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermaphrodite

            If not, then should they be allowed the privilege of marrying, or having children?

            If so, then how can you deny that not everything about human sexuality fits into yours or mine little box of what we would consider to be "natural".

            A little 'live and let live" mentality would go a long way to causing you less discomfort about this. Those who are different then you are no less entitled to being full citizens, with all of the rights that entails. You have to demonstate quantitatively why your vision of traditional marriage is better for society, and that SSM should not be allowed.

            As the recent court ruling shows, this is no easy task.

          • Well with your argument then if majority rules its okay to bomb Iceland then so it should be done, right? Doesn't really matter how Icelanders feel, since they are the minority and democracy doesn't account for them.

          • A little bit slower for you. The argument was about how laws affect me directly. By that standard, bombing Iceland wouldn't affect any of us directly, so who cares, right? It's not my argument, simply my picking it apart.

          • So by legitimizing same sex marriage we're headed down hill as a nation, morally speaking? Is that what you're saying? Recognition of same sex marriage won't encourage more people to be gay, just as denial of it won't prevent relationships from happening. Being gay isn't a crime and gays can even adopt! All we're asking for is the same benefits as anyone else who is in a relationship.

            Denying civil marriage (we're not looking for recognition by churches, mosques, etc) has nothing to do with preventing moral decay, as that 'moral decay' is already here. It is rooted in bigotry and hate. Get over it.

          • I'm saying it's part of a continuing trend; a continuing erosion of marriage and the family. I''m not saying being gay is a crime. I'm just saying it's an alternative lifestyle that should not receive the same privileged status as traditional marriage, or any other relationship that is not a traditional marriage.

            The only people who have hatred inside themselves are those who can't debate this issue in a civil fashion. You have to have your way, and you get outraged when you don't. What an agenda.

    • a sympathetic judge should not be in a position to overturn a majority vote

      That's a pretty slippery slope you're standing on. Majorities have voted for some pretty crazy and morally repugnant things in the past.

      • Unfortunately, I think that his position is exactly where Scalia stands. In line 113 of the Lawrence dissent, Scalia effectively says that democratic measures are a perfectly legitimate way of determining minority rights. It's a position that's seemingly incompatible with the recognition of fundamental human rights, true, but it's one that's lurking inside a precedent that Walker cites…

      • Care to provide an example? Big bonus points for a Judge overturning that voter faux pas.

        Oh and since you're interested in the co-efficient of friction on inclined planes, here's a couple for you: Polygamy & Consanguinity. Any thoughts on how SSM will affect the inevitable demands of a muscular & aggressive Islam on those. Or are you and the gang here just going to wait for Judge Vaughn's ruling and roll with it?

          • Unfair. That's pretty obscure. Who's ever heard of that?

          • Sorry, missed the part about the voters of Topeka passing a referendum on separate schools. Still no points for you but do keep trying….

    • However valid a minority's point of view may be, a sympathetic judge should not be in a position to overturn a majority vote.

      Huh? Judges overturning majority votes when they are deemed to violate the rights of a minority is the entire purpose of a Bill of Rights.

      • Not exactly. Judicial review of legislation came along after the US Constitution was passed. In other words, judges gave themselves the right to overturn the decisions of elected members of Congress, for good or bad.

        • What's the purpose of having a Bill of Rights if it can be violated at will by the elected branch?

          • I'm not going to engage in a technical argument about the US constitution with you. My sense is that we're both not qualified. I'm simply stating that US courts were originally not in the practice of overturning legislation based on its constitutionality. There's a landmark case that changed that, but its name escapes me.

          • Marbury v. Madison, I think.

        • Dennis, this is the same reason why gun control legislation passed at the state level is constantly overturned by federal courts. An individual state cannot vote to overturn a constitutionally enshrined right. You'd have to amend the constitution. In his ruling, the judge laid out very clearly why he believed prop 8 violates the constitution.

          • Well, one gay judge in California might have his version of what a constitutional right is, and the Supreme Court might yet have another.

          • The Supreme Court may have another, but I'm pretty sure they're going to come to the same basic conclusion in the end.

          • Especially if Obama gets to appoint another socially liberal judge who has no problem forcing their values on everyone else. By the way, the nominee currently under consideration, Elena Kagan, is rumoured to be gay. Hey, when the fix is in…..

            Actually, I'm not sure how even Obama appointees would decide the case. After all, even the Supreme Court is a political animal of sorts. So, while Americans might expect a gay California judge to force gay marriage in California, the idea that it be done nationally might provoke even greater outrage. We'll see.

          • You do know that Obama is personally against same sex marriage, right?

          • You do know that Obama is talking out of both sides of his mouth on the issue, don't you? He talks about full equality, then says he's against gay marriage. He says that Prop 8 is divisive, but essentially agrees with its basic stand.

            Actually, I think it's pretty clear that he personally supports gay marriage, as does most of the socially liberal clique. It's very fashionable for them and makes them feel smarter than everyone else. However, he's obviously afraid of coming out of the closet, so to speak, because Americans don't want gay marriage. They have expressly stated such every time they've had a chance at the ballot box, and liberal judges have reversed their wishes almost every time. They just have to get their way.

          • And what could be more outrageous than having a gay justice on the Supreme Court? I mean, it's really not fair to have someone so obviously on one side of this issue. That would really destroy all credibility of the institution.

            Obama should stick to appointing justices who are demonstrably asexual, and hence neutral, as has always been done in the past.

          • Look, there's just no way a gay judge will anger all his socially liberal and gay friends by ruling against them. They can't stand not getting their way on this issue. They will agitate until they get it, then accuse their opponents of not accepting defeat, even though they never do.

          • What does the judge being gay have to do with the decision?

          • I'll let quicker and more honest posters figure that one out. Next.

          • claaaasssic!

          • Are you being too cowardly to call me dishonest outright? What is it with some of you?

          • My boy, that would've been redundant now wouldn't it have?

            :)

          • Why these cowardly tactics in the defence of gay marriage? How does that reflect on your agenda?

          • We're not talking about gay marriage my boy, we're talking about how you inadvertently called yourself dishonest and slow :)

            Do keep up.

          • Who else are you speaking for, coward? First you can't defend gay marriage. Then you cowardly suggest I'm dishonest and slow.

            Look, if this is how you have to defend your social agenda, then just keep it up. Keep proving my point.

            You're not even smart enough to defend your own tactics, or challenge someone you consider stupid. This is too funny.

          • You're not making any sense my boy.

            I'm not defending gay marriage here. No really, read this mini-thread again. I'm laughing at your malapropism. That is all.

            And yet here you are going off all guns a-blazing, calling me a coward and stupid (incidentally, you really should brush up on your instigative skills).

            I'll give you one thing – this really IS too funny!

          • Malapropism? Where, coward? You couldn't insult me directly. You can't defend your agenda. You claim to speak for others. What other desperate tactics do you need on here? I'm that formidable, am I? You can't come up with anything else, can you? Wow, some of the desperation that I come across here. People hate having their agenda challenged, even though they think they're the smartest people in the room. Then, when it's made obvious that they aren't, they pull this stuff. Keep it up.

          • Fair point – you didn't write a malapropism, instead you inadvertently made fun of yourself. Which is what I was laughing at (and heartily too!)

            I don't think you're formidable, I'm more inclined to agree with your first attempt at self description (slow and dishonest)

            But rage on old boy, rage on!

          • Well, at least you're admitting that one attack against me was false, you just won't back off from the others. Look, you're the one who apparently considers me formidable. Not one substantive response to any of the issues I have raised in this thread. Instead, you hid behind ta liberal troll in order to make a cowardly accusation against me, then pat yourself on the back for it. Heck, if this is what passes for a defence of the liberal agenda these days, no wonder you need the courts to pass it. No wonder you can't convince the very people you want to force your policies on. Thanks for showing up, coward.

          • Heh, whatever dude. Relax.

            Take a cue from Olaf, when you've burned yourself, own it, laugh it off, and move on :)

            (hey, I have an idea – why don't you miss the point again?)

          • Sorry, I guess I lack patience with liberals who can't defend their positions but instead make cowardly attacks in my direction, then pat themselves on the back like a loser. lol. Wait, you're right. That is funny. Thanks for the laugh.

          • Yay! You took my advice and missed the point again!

            cheers!

          • What point did I miss, genius? Man. Lighten up! lol.

          • Come on Dennis. You don't think gays should be judges, do you?

          • What someone does with their sex life is their business. But when they turn around and try to force it on society, that's different.

            Now, are you finished trolling for the day, Jan, or bc, or whatever you're calling yourself these days?

            That some of you have to pull these desperate tactics just proves my point.

        • Not exactly. Marbury vs. Madison states that congress intended judges to be overseers of the constitution.

          • Fine. Until then, they weren't, at least not in terms of judicial review of legislation.

    • Any law passed by the majority must be able to withstand the scrutiny of the constitution. In this case, it did not.

      Simple eh?

      • RE-VAH-LA-SHUN! Truly, the scales have fallen from my eyes. Before you (& Olaf & John G & John D & Bleus et al) I was pig ignorant as to the fact that the 18th century, slave owning guys (and no women) in powdered wigs & silk britches (how gay is that?) were Constitutionally cool with SSM as an inherent right! Thank you. I'm forever in your debt, sirs. ;-P

      • True, but only so far, and only at two levels below the SCOTUS. If it is going to be heard again, it will be by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals first. As it happens, they are the single most-reversed Court of Appeals in the United States. If they render a decision, and even if the SCOTUS agrees to hear the case, no matter how they decide it if they do, they may later reverse themselves, let alone any decision from what many refer to as the Ninth Circus, or a Constitutional Amendment may pass. Thus, to simply say, as you did, "In this case, it did not," may mislead someone who does not possess a thorough understanding of US courts into thinking that the issue of what you refer to as, "the scrutiny of the constitution," is settled. That is patently false, though I have no reason to believe you meant to deceive anyone here.

    • What you're struggling to put into words is a concept identified most prominently by the French author Alexis de Tocqueville in the early part of the 19th century. He labelled it as "Tyranny of the Majority" in his book, "Democracy in America". Basically, he identified that the downside of Democracy was its inherent ability to permit a majority of citizens to impose their beliefs, morals or other personally held convictions on a subset population, without regard to that (smaller) group's inherent human rights.

      Essentially, you're arguing for pure democracy, without regard to the rights attributable to everyone as identified in either the Canadian (Charter of Rights and Freedoms) or American (Bill of Rights et al) Constitutions. Indeed, the primary tool employed to limit Tyranny of the Majority IS a Constitution which by its existence prevents such effects and which cannot be overridden (except by changing the Constitution itself), even by a majority of voters.

      • Ummm, no. The laws as to marriage were part of the common law at the founding, and still are. The Constitution of the United States makes no mention of marriage.

        The case against miscegenation laws involved traditional marriage, and never involved changing the very nature and definition of the institution. Here is where Judge Vaughn Walker's decision was incorrect: no person in any State is currently being deprived of the right to marry someone of the opposite sex. The law does not prevent you from doing so if you are old, young, black, white, gay or straight, so long as you have attained your majority or are an emancipated minor meeting state-mandated minimum age requirements, are mentally competent, can come up with the fee for the license, aren't marrying in contravention of consanguinity laws, stay within your species, limit your concurrent spouses to one and so forth.

        The judge errantly thought he had the power to redefine away the problem. It is social engineering in an attempt to ekevate one group and their "rights" above others. What about the rights of all those who married under the understanding of what marriage was at the time they married? The judge probably has not thought about the fact that he is changing the nature of a great many contracts.

        Barack Obama is no stranger to social engineering. In the Illinois legislature, he consistently favored passage of a law that would have made it legal to kill a newborn infant that somehow survived abortion. In other words, he was in favor of infanticide, a form of murder, though of course, he would never call it that. To him, it was just a matter of changing a definition.

    • I'm with you FarNorth. This really ceased having anything to do with SSM on the morning of 5/11/08. It's now all about the future of democracy – government of the people, by the people, for the people. Do the voters get to decide what kind of society they want & what laws they want to live under or are they just expected to be spectator, consumer drones (who pay for it all)?

      'I, for one, welcome our new “Gender no longer forms an essential part of marriage“ robed overlords' posts in 3, 2, 1….

      • Same sex marriage was enacted into law by the House of Commons and Senate of Canada. It then even survived a SECOND vote in the House of Commons to re-open the debate. Your problem, vis a vis Canada, isn't with judges, it's with representative democracy.

        • 2 points…

          1) Sedulous inattention to the ruling at hand (thought I wouldn't notice?).

        • 2) Canada? Representative democracy? Finally – FI-HINE-ALLY – you're onto something! Why yes, I do also have a problem with Canada's "representative democracy". You say SSM was enacted by Parliament; I say it was the Ontario Court of Appeal striking down the existing law for violating the equality provisions in The Charter of Rights and Freedoms. (Ask "The Michaels" when their anniversary is.) And want to try for more bonus points? Find the sexual orientation clause in The Charter that the judges used. Our political leaders, to whom issues & debate are inimical to their coveted careers, opted for a quiet life feeding at the trough knowing full well that any move against SSM would not survive the furrowed brow glare of The Ermine Robed Ones. Seriously, are you going to sit there and say otherwise? If parliament passed a law against SSM tomorrow, what would the SCC do with it? Do tell!

        • Look, I lived in Switzerland for a short while and really came to admire direct democracy. I want it in Canada. Alas, it seems there are an imponderably large number out there who prefer rule-by-robes. Sad. I'm beginning to think it's some kind of sexual hang-up.

          • I agree. Direct democracy and 'majority rules' are awesome… if you are part of the majority. Try walking in the shoes of a minority for a while and you may change your tune. Just a thought.

          • A vague, open ended warning of potential trouble from too much democracy in the face of at hand, concrete examples of imperious – to the point of being looney – usurpation of the demonstrated will of the people?

            My feet are still quite comfortable in my size 11s and my tune remains the same.

    • "How about democratic process? Is that not a rational basis?"

      No, it's not.

  7. Possible pithy anti-SSM slogan: “SSM means that marriage has nothing
    to do with kids.”

    Ok, it’s not that catchy on the one hand, and simplistic on the other.
    But it has the virtue (I think) that SSM supporters would probably
    agree with it.

    • Of course, it also opens up Colby's point that letting old people, or sterile people (or people who just don't want kids!) get married ALSO means that marriage has nothing to do with kids. My great aunt and uncle never had children, but I don't think anyone would ever try to argue that they shouldn't have been allowed to get married!

      • It could be grounds for an annulment though if one of the parties didn't disclose a known sterility problem. Since a sacramental marriage is intended to be lifelong, exclusive and procreative. If someone didn't intend to fullfill one of those three criteria when they took the vows, the party is considered to be acting in bad faith and the marriage is considered never to have existed.

        So sterility could be considered to be a reason that you weren't married, in this specific case, and that's because of the understanding of marriage as being for procreation.

        • But since we don't legally require people to have children in order to be married, your point is utterly meaningless.

          • Yes, but the argument can be (and is) made.

        • I assume this is Catholic doctrine? That old annulment trick can come in handy.

    • That is not even true and this supporter of SSM would not agree. For example, it is much easier (almost a pre-condition) to adopt children if you can show that you are married or in a very stable relationship.

      "SSM means that marriage has nothing to do with kids." (?)

      I don't think so.

  8. Walker found the evidence of social harm resulting from gay marriage to be wretchedly meagre

    Are you kidding? I attended a gay wedding a year ago. Since then I have not been able to control myself and have tried to marry other dudes on 4 separate occasions.

    • John D……funny.

      This decision will probably go to the Supreme Court but I suspect Walker's decision will be upheld.

  9. The sad part is that before going to the Supreme Court it'll become fodder for 500 Tea Party fundraising letters, and probably help a few whackjob Republicans in the rest of the country coast into office this November.

    • Mark…..ah, that old free speech thing always gets in the way when progressives don't like what some have to say.

  10. These are more "likely" accomplices, but I also find it fascinating that in this case the original defendants, both the State's Governor and it's Attorney General, refused to participate in arguing for the law. The case is "Perry versus Schwarzenegger", but Schwarzenegger himself refused to participate in defending the case, as did his AG.

    • Which is what comes from having a state governed by referendum.

      • Which is #2 or #3 reason why California is bankrupt (or at least, can't claw its way out of the hole).

        • Although, in California's defence, I believe almost every state has these kind of ballot measure options in place, so this is hardly unique to the left coast.

  11. Your traditional view supports particular gender roles? So you, in effect, own your wife?

    • Well, she earns more money than I do and thus has a corresponding control over the family finances. As well, I accept that marriage is considered to be more of an equal partnership these days than being about under the power of the husband. But I generally wear the pants, set the agenda, and discipline the children. Now I don't use any degree of force to control my wife, nor do I feel the need to restrict her movement, activities or career. In fact, my career is the one languishing while she pursues hers, but I'm still the head of the house day to day.

      In terms of my marriage, the husband is still expected to be the patriarch and his duties are still expected to be those of husband and father. It is right in the vows that are agreed to in the marriage ceremony that the husband has his traditional authority.

      Which is why of course the beef with the Church by progressives isn't that they don't perform marriage for same sex couples, but that they have the understanding of marriage that they do at all. No gay couples would able (and few would be willing) to take those vows.

      • I can't imagine being in your marriage, but since I'm not I don't have to. As long as you and your wife are both good with it, I'll just be happy for you.

        Nor do I care if your church offers wedding ceremonies to same-sex couples, inter-ractial couples, interfaith couples, age-gapped couples and so on. Do whatever.

        The only place I start to object is when the law of the land must conform to whatever it is that you and your church think is right.

        • Our personalities suit it, and I'm not an ogre. I just believe in being the husband and father, with all that this entails. I don't enforce it, I just expect it. Certainly, if people don't expect to live under these vows, they shouldn't take them.

          Of course in my defense, I think most marriages involve one partner who submits to the more dominant personality, and most households have a head. I find it largely inconceivable that a perfect compromise between two people is possible.

          But yes, the last part is my point. We'll complain, but generally if we didn't think it was the better way to do things for society, we wouldn't live this way ourselves. I also don't think that a priori that the law of the land shouldn't conform to the will of the majority simply because it happens to coincide with the opinions of a church, and therefore the opinions of the unchurched should have precedence. I think that is an abberant corruption of the principles of the separation of church and state. I can also certainly accept however that people who aren't spooking the horses have a right to try and pursue happiness, and that should override the desires of the majority.

          The only thing that really worries me is that I won't be allowed to sacrifice my sacramental view of marriage for a more secular version. Gay marriage and divorce are strictly incompatible to that sacramental view. As long as the pledges to leave this alone are true, and not just true "for now", you won't have any problems with me.

          • Oop, mistake in the last paragraph, first sentence. "won't be allowed to" should read "will be forced to". Obviously, I changed the sentence half-way through.

      • I hope you never ever ever speak out in favour of banning the burqua because it subjugates women.

        • I haven't done it so far.

  12. I find it fascinating how supporters of gay marriage can't convince society of their position, so they have to basically get a gay judge to overturn the decision of people who voted at the ballot box. They then turn around and accuse the other side of trying to force their values on others. Whatever.

    Regarding harm, my argument is perhaps different. It's about a further erosion of societal values, which I think people should choose and not liberal judges,especially regarding sex and reproduction. Homosexual relationships turn all those values on their head.

    Regarding the reproductive nature of marriage, heterosexuals who don't reproduce don't change the nature of marriage. Homosexuality certainly does. I have always found this argument from the other side to be a rather bizarre one; like taking the exception proving the rule in order to change the rule. Yet here we have judges using the same bizarre argument. This passes for sober jurisprudence, does it?

    • So you have no rational reasons for opposing SSM either.

    • It's very simple: we supporters of SSM don't want to force anyone to do anything other than mind their own bloody business, and we don't want to keep anyone from doing anything other restricting generally available rights from a minority for no good reason.

      Regarding harm, my argument is perhaps different. It's about a further erosion of societal values,

      I certainly disagree that anything of the sort would result (I believe rather the opposite, in fact), but if you can tell me that you want the government to step in in a wide variety of cases where you see an erosion of values, and not just those cases where gay people might be able to participate in society as equals, then I could at least give you points for consistency.

      which I think people should choose and not liberal judges

      People do choose them. They also change them sometimes, and I don't think you'll like where this one is going. But regardless, people shouldn't always implement their values in the law, especially when they conflict with the values espoused in, say, a constitution.

      Regarding the reproductive nature of marriage, heterosexuals who don't reproduce don't change the nature of marriage. Homosexuality certainly does.

      You can't just make assertions like that as if no one has ever argued against them. Well, you can, but you're not likely to be taken very seriously by anyone who doesn't already agree with you. You're very clearly begging the question here.

      • That about sums it up. I think that our default position as a society should be that people can do whatever they want, unless the rest of society has a good reason to prevent them from so doing. I see absolutely no good reason to prevent gay people from getting married,; it's not in societies best interest (in that it doesn't prevent any conceivable harm) and it's certainly not in their own best interest. I've seen no arguments that can't equally apply to heterosexual couples (some don't reproduce), thus they should be able to get married (or no one should, one or the other).

        • Yes, some heterosexuals don't reproduce in marriage. They're the overwhelming minority, but it happens. Homosexuals can't reproduce, at least not with each other. Don't quite know why people don't understand the difference.

          I think it's about societal values, families, etc. If people want to be gay, fine. But why change a societal institution in the process, especially in this fast-tracked way?

          • "But why change a societal institution in the process, especially in this fast-tracked way?"

            Because while anti-SSM types muse about "societal values, families" and "a sense of…", committed gay couples are being denied things like job benefits for spouses, tax benefits, parental status, end-of-life decision-making, etc. These are very real, everyday things that create a tangible second-class status for gay couples.

            I think it's out of line with Western human rights codes that a subgroup should suffer as a second class until another group gets over its emotional resistance to change.

          • First, many of those "rights" have been given to gays, at least in Canada, haven't they?

            Second, why not fight for those things specifically instead of changing a societal value regarding marriage? Specifically, make these things more open to anyone, not just gays.

            Third, I'm of the opinion that homosexuality is still a choice. If people choose to live in these relationship, then fine. But why the need for special status? Why liken it to race or religion?

          • "many of those "rights" have been given to gays, at least in Canada, haven't they? "

            Yup, through the right to marry.

            "Second, why not fight for those things specifically instead of changing a societal value regarding marriage?"

            Because "married" status is written into processes, rules, forms, policies and laws everywhere. It's much more effective and faster to extend "married" status to a small number of people than to rewire society to accommodate a new status of "gay married". And creating a new status for homosexual marriages does just that – create a new status. There's no good reason to do so.

            "Third, I'm of the opinion that homosexuality is still a choice."

            Have whatever opinion you like. Why should society accommodate your opinion about other people? And, recall, religion is given all sorts of special accommodations, including tax-exempt status. Gay people aren't asking for anything except the right to choose their own spouse.

          • No. Gays had rights before gay marriage. I can't remember the specifics, but they were entitled to certain privileges that only married couples had before. Maybe it was spousal benefits. Something like that.

            You're arguing that marriage makes it easier for gays to get certain things. But that's not an argument for marriage specifically.

            Not good reason to do so

            That's the debate, isn't it? Is gay marriage good or not. You obviously think it is.

            Regarding choice, why should society accommodate your opinion over mine?

            Regarding tax-exempt status, again, I don't put a person's sex life in the same category as religion or race. How we got here I believe is part of the socially liberal agenda on sex and other things, including religion. Is part of the justification for gay marriage anti-Christiani? I certainly think so. This is an attack on our Christian heritage.

          • If some of you Christians don't knock off trying to force your views on the rest of us there may just be an attack on your blessed heritage.

          • What in the world are you talking about? Your side can't convince people, so you have to shove it though the courts. Thanks for showing up, bc. What would the Internet do without a Liberal agitator such as yourself. Why your types need to do this I don't know. Oh wait, I do know. You can't win debates outright, just like gay marriage. Thanks. Next.

          • 'Shoving it through the courts'? It is the civilized way to settle disputes in a democracy.

          • Since when do you care about being civilized, bc? lol. No, shoving things through and trolling on message boards is totally your style. Thanks.

          • This is ridiculous. I tell you that a major driver for SSM is that married couples enjoy some rights that are currently denied unmarried couples. These include status for end-of-life decisions, estate planning, parenting rights etc.

            And you try to dismiss the whole issue with 'No, I read somewhere that something had been done to fix that.'

            Prove it. Because as long as my point stands, there's a clear, tangible cost to gay people being refused the right to marry compared to no tangible cost to straight people whose rights aren't being affected at all.

          • Well, earlier in this thread I was caught lacking knowledge about judicial history on the issue, so I guess it's kind of nice to turn the tables:

            M. v. H. [1999] 2 S.C.R. 3, is a landmark decision of the Supreme Court of Canada on the rights of same-sex couples to equal treatment under the Constitution of Canada.
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M._v._H.

            There is a track record in Canada of gays getting so-called rights without marriage, but that last hurdle has been overcome. The legitimization of one's sex life as an ascribed trait has been fully achieved.

            Personally, I don't think alternative lifestyles should receive the same rights and benefits as marriages. But I guess I'm old fashioned, ain't I.

          • Last hurdle? Did you read the article you linked to? It looks like the ball was moved closer to equal rights, but the ruling:

            "applied only to cohabiting partners in a common-law marriage, who have significantly fewer rights than married spouses in some areas, especially relating to division of property upon separation.[2] Cohabitating partners of the same sex require capacity to marry."

            It's waaaay too early to claim that the last hurdle to equality has been overcome.

          • No, I meant marriage was the last hurdle in the socially liberal campaign of legitimizing homosexuality as an ascribed trait equal in status to race and creed.

            I don't think gay marriage is about equality. I think it's about a group of people passing their agenda and cloaking it as something else, which is what the left usually does.

          • Why didn't you say so? You could have saved a lot of people a lot of wasted time trying to debate this with you, when in fact you're committed to a conspiracy theory.

          • What conspiracy theory? Wow, you're like the fourth poster in this thread that's resorted to desperation. Hey, when you've got nothing else in defence of gay marriage….

          • Your words: "I think it's about a group of people passing their agenda and cloaking it as something else."

            I think that meets the definition of a conspiracy theory.

          • I don't think it does. It's a political tactic. Liberals don't argue that gay marriage is good, they argue that it's necessary because of rights they made up. They don't argue that abortion is a good thing, but that it's necessary for a woman to somehow have rights, even though woman have complete rights without resorting to abortion. Again, it's always some kind of higher force that's compelling them to do these things, even though they're the ones inventing the force.

            So, no conspiracy theory. Just an agenda and a means to shove it through.

            Got it? Didn't think so.

          • As usual, a complete waste of my time.

            Even if you were interested in a good-faith discussion you're clearly incapable.

            "Got it? Didn't think so."
            "Stop being desperate, for God's sakes."
            "Wow, you're like the fourth poster in this thread that's resorted to desperation."
            "Thanks. Next."
            "Ah, I gotta love it when posters become desperate like this."

            And then: "Sigh. It's hard to debate people who consider themselves to be the smartest people in the room."

            For once, I agree with you.

          • It's a waste of time for you because you can't break my arguments. You cut and paste lines from my posts that don't make sense out of context, while ignoring the numerous attacks against me. Again, I don't know why I'm surprised by this, given your gay marriage agenda, but I am. Oh well.

          • You're making the same mistake I am. When we argue that this is about equality rights, it doesn't register with Dennis because he doesn't think that homosexuals are equal (or rather, that being homosexual doesn't place you within a distinct category of people and thus eligible to be giving equal status)

          • Yup. Although I think my real mistake was to engage with the guy at all. Every interaction with him goes like this, I don't know why I keep expecting him to engage in an adult discussion.

          • Look, it's not my fault you lose then complain about it. You obviously think you're smarter than those who disagree. When that's challenged, you get frustrated. I guess I understand.

            I answered all your questions, engaged the debate on your terms, and you still can't win. How about that.

          • I don't think a person's sex life should be a basis for arguing equality. No. Race? Yes. Creed? Yes. Gender? Yes. All valid human rights. Sexuality? Made up by the left.

          • You go ahead and believe whatever you want I guess. Just know that you're on the wrong side of history here.

          • Maybe, but I don't ever think it's too late to stand up for what's right. And, in the end, perhaps the truth wills out. Maybe reform of the social liberal agenda will eventually come once the errors of our ways have been fully revealed. Or maybe not. We'll see.

          • "In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever" – George Wallace.

          • Oh please. The idea that gays constitute a class of people, or that this constitutes anything even resembling genuine civil rights struggle, is absurd. You didn't take this to the streets. There were no civil rights marches. Just liberals and their judges forcing their values on the rest of us. Liberalism 101.

          • "You didn't take this to the streets. There were no civil rights marches."

            You're joking right? Never heard of these things I gather? Which is odd, they're pretty much in every city on earth every year…
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pride_parade

          • You consider those things to be civil rights marches, do you? Wow. Here you are trying to underscore the seriousness of your so-called cause by comparing Martin Luther King Jr. with some guy wearing a collar and chain. You guys should congratulate yourselves. You keep making my points for me. Thanks!

          • You actually don't know anything about Pride do you? The parades started as marches to commemorate the Stonewall Riots. That they have morphed into celebrations of diversity instead of an excuse to beat up homosexuals is a good thing (well for most people, for you apparently it isn't)
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stonewall_riots#Gay_

          • I know what I see, which is a bunch of people dressed in freaky outfits engaging in a bizarre sex show. That you consider this a triumph of civil rights is quite amazing. Sorry.

            And I can assure you that I have no desire to beat up anyone. Just use my right to stand up for what I believe and convince others, instead of shoving it through the courts.

      • It's very simple: we supporters of SSM don't want to force anyone to do anything other than mind their own bloody business, and we don't want to keep anyone from doing anything other restricting generally available rights from a minority for no good reason.

        I agree. Keep your sex life your business. Why use it to change a societal institution?

        Where is gay marriage enshrined in the US constitution again?

        And I can make any assertion I want, especially when your only response is that "I'm begging the question." The fact is that homosexuality does indeed change the reproductive nature of marriage. Exceptional heterosexuals, or even mixed marriages, don't.

        • Why use it to change a societal institution?

          Um, maybe because that institution comes with certain legal rights (not to mention a certain basic respect) that other people get to take for granted?

          Where is gay marriage enshrined in the US constitution again?

          According to Judge Walker's meticulously argued decision, which I'm sure you've read thoroughly, the same places that prohibitions on segregation and other forms of discrimination are enshrined. That might have something to do with what we're talking about.

          The fact is that homosexuality does indeed change the reproductive nature of marriage. Exceptional heterosexuals, or even mixed marriages, don't.

          HOW?

          Or here, I'll make it easier for you:

          - What is about the reproductive role of marriage that makes it so much more important than any of the other traditional roles of marriage that aren't used to restrict marriage rights in modern society?
          - What is it about non-reproductive heterosexual couples that's so reproductive?
          - What is it about letting more people legally marry that changes anything at all for anyone else anywhere?
          - Does allowing same-sex marriage somehow make it more difficult for heterosexual couples to take advantage of the reproductive benefits of marriage?
          - Why shouldn't those benefits be available to gay parents as well? Are their children not as important? Or would you prevent them from raising children at all?

          • Sigh. It's hard to debate people who consider themselves to be the smartest people in the room. But I'll try.

            Um, maybe because that institution comes with certain legal rights (not to mention a certain basic respect) that other people get to take for granted?

            It comes with certain legal rights now made up by socially liberal judges, right? Basic respect others take for granted? That's your moral judgement, isn't it, that you're now forcing on others?

            Yes, you love the gay judge's decision. But, again, the idea that a person's sex life is likened to race or creed I find bizarre, and a recent invention by social liberals.

            Perhaps some of you don't get what reproduction is, and who can engage in it, or how it affects the institution of marriage. That some heterosexuals don't reproduce in marriage doesn't affect marriage's fundamental character. If men and women didn't reproduce, we wouldn't have marriage. Same thing with mixed marriages. They don't change what marriage is. Homosexuality does fundamentally.

          • To clarify, allowing same-sex marriage doesn't actually outlaw opposite-sex marriage. I'm trying to understand your last paragraph, and it makes no sense in light of this fact.

            Could you even try to answer NSC's questions?

          • Who in the world says it outlawed normal marriage? I've commented on this point numerous times. Instead of bothering me again, go read. I answered everyone's questions very diligently. Stop being desperate, for God's sakes.

    • "Regarding the reproductive nature of marriage, heterosexuals who don't reproduce don't change the nature of marriage. Homosexuality certainly does. "

      There are quite serious flaws in your reasoning. Hetero couples don't have to have kids in order for others to procreate, as you state, but then you stop there. Many kids today are born out of wedlock … so childbearing and traditional marriage don't seem terribly well linked in the modern world. With half of marriages ending in divorce, it's hard to say marriage is a bedrock of families either. Gay couples also can have kids … via in vitro (as many straight couples do), adoption (same) or the good old fashioned way … whether they are married or not.

      In the order of battle for "traditional" and bedrock" principals, anti-SSM advocates should place prohibitions on divorce and on out-of-wedlock childbirth WELL ahead of opposition to same sex marriage. Yet this never happens, because those opposed to SSM aren't really concerned about traditional marriage (or they'd first seek to outlaw divorce) or the impacts on child rearing (else they'd vigorously prosecute adultery resulting in offspring).

      This is about a zero sum view of the world: Letting another person enjoy the same rights you do is seen to diminish the value of those rights. This is the conservative position. The Liberal position is that extending rights to more people is a good thing.

      • Amateur Hour, you just aren't paying attention. Allowing easy divorce was contested. So were removing penalties for adultery.

        They just lost is all, and it's now they are lost causes. It will be the same with gay marriage.

      • As TedTylerEzro points out below, I'll agree that societal views regarding sex and the family have declined, and that gay marriage is perhaps the latest example.

        I'm not stopping any person from being gay, or even being bizarre sexually. But changing marriage is a big deal in the pursuit of sexual liberation, imo.

        If extending rights to more people is the goal, you want to extend marriage rights to polygamists? To any two people who want to call themselves married, or three people, or four, or group marriages, etc?

    • "I find it fascinating how supporters of interracial marriage can't convince society of their position, so they have to basically get a black judge to overturn the decision of people who voted at the ballot box. They then turn around and accuse the other side of trying to force their values on others. Whatever.

      "Regarding harm, my argument is perhaps different. It's about a further erosion of societal values, which I think people should choose and not liberal judges, especially regarding sex and reproduction. Interracial relationships turn all those values on their head."

      Thank goodness civil rights aren't granted based on populist approval, eh?

      • lol, last time I checked, supporters of interracial marriage were able to convince society of the merits of their position, which is why we didn't need these court campaigns and interventions, right?

        Thank goodness these ad hoc arguments don't get past first base, eh?

        • "lol, last time I checked, supporters of interracial marriage were able to convince society of the merits of their position, which is why we didn't need these court campaigns and interventions, right?"

          Wrong. "Activist judges" on the Supreme Court had to step in and forcibly strike down all interracial marriage bans in the US in the landmark 1967 case, Loving v. Virginia, precisely because reasonable arguments didn't take in the South.

          • OK, but I still believe that the example of mixed marriages is bogus. They never did change the structure of marriage. They were only denied on the basis of race. Sex, on the other hand, is kind of integral to issues like marriage and gays, right?

            I guess I don't understand how we got to the point where someone's sex life is akin to race or religion. We're always told it's private, but I guess not when we're trying to change societal institutions or values.

          • You're going to have to spell out what you believe the "structure of marriage" is and how same sex marriage alters it, then explain why that alteration matters. And not just why it matters to you, but for society as a whole.

            (Furthermore, when you make assertions like "I don't understand how we got to the point where someone's sex life is akin to race or religion" it leads me to believe that you think homosexuality is a choice and not a biological reality.)

          • Why do I have to do anything?

            Anyhow, I have already explained it, and it seems pretty simply. For centuries, marriage was about common sense. One woman. One man. This is natural, in part because it is reproductive. You change it, like you do with gay marriage, you change it fundamentally in a way that it's not recognizable. In the end, this will not be good for families or for society.

            However, I will add that gay marriage isn't the culprit, but is part of a larger trend of liberal views towards sex, family, and marriage.

            And, yes, I ultimately do believe that homosexuality is a choice, just as adultery is, or child sex, or promiscuity, etc. There is this view that is common today that we can't be "judgmental" when it comes to sex. People can do anything they want. They're not in control. We can't say anything. And anything that anyone says that's different is now the new taboo.

            Well, I don't subscribe to that.

            Ironically, I find that the same people who say we don't need God, that we make our own way in this world, are the same people who say we are slaves to our sexuality. So, on the one hand, we have control. But, on the other, we don't. And I just don't buy it. Sorry.

          • "OK, but I still believe that the example of mixed marriages is bogus. They never did change the structure of marriage. They were only denied on the basis of race."

            Interracial couples were denied the right to marry based on a biological characteristic. Same-sex couples were, and are being, denied the same right for essentially the same reason — their biology. One has as much control over his sexual orientation as he does his skin colour or his dominant hand. These things are all determined by our genes or how our brains develop in the womb. That's why sexual orientation is akin to race.

            Opponents of interracial marriage certainly tried to argue that it would "change the structure of marriage." To them, marriage wasn't just for procreation, but the continuation of certain racial groups (namely Caucasians). Interracial marriage bans were needed to ensure people "kept to their own kind."

            Thankfully, the US Supreme Court realized there is no logical, objective reason to justify bans on interracial marriage. "I don't like it" didn't cut it back in 1967, and it shouldn't cut it in 2010, either.

          • I don't buy this idea that we're slaves to our sexualities. I know that's what's fashionable at liberal psychiatric conventions. However, I have yet to come across one verified clinical explanation of homosexuality. Indeed, the closest most supporters of the gay agenda come is by saying, "You are what your are." This is supposed to be a biological trait in the same fashion as race is? Come on. Who are you guys trying to kid?

          • So what you're saying, then, is that you could regularly engage in gay sex and enjoy it?

          • No, because I personally think it's disgusting. However, if that's what others want, go ahead. But then why try to force it on society?

          • Dennis, there is more to marriage than rutting.

          • Why is it that this is the best that the defenders of gay marriage can come up with? Is that why you can't convince people and, instead, have to force it on others? Is this why you are Nola's sidekick, first on Bourque, and now with a name change here? Why this agenda? Why do you people need this?

          • Nobody's forcing it on you Dennis. You may keep your opposite sex wife.

  13. I stated some of them, you chose to crap on them. That's a great way to represent the liberal homosexual agenda. Congratulations.

    • Dennis, I don't understand the point of your argument either.

      We've had gay marriage here now for what…maybe 6 years? You say that homosexual couples "change the nature of marriage". If I may ask…are you married? If so, can you honestly say that the legalization of gay marriage has caused any negative change in your own relationship? It certainly has not done so in mine.

      Can you honestly identify any way our society is weaker now than it was before SSM was legalized here, that you can reasonably attribute to allowing gays to marry?

      • It's fine not to understand an argument, but why enable the trolling that Holly Stick engaged in? Do you not have any confidence in your own arguments?

        Anyhow, of course homosexual couples change the very nature of marriage. How doesn't it? This isn't about me, you, Dalton McGuinty, or anyone else who uses bizarre analogies. It's about the nature of the institution. Previously, it was one man, one woman. That's no longer the case. Again, the natural reproductive component is nullified. That certainly changes the nature. And what about other people who want to call themselves married? Polygamists? Why can't they have "equal marriage" too? Once you open it up, you change it forever.

        Furthermore, traditional marriage was and is open to anyone. However, if you want to be gay, then you don't have to get married to someone of a different sex. But, instead, gays have turned around and changed an institutions that won't accommodate them. ie) Forcing values on others.

        I'll certainly argue that society has been on a continuing road downwards regarding social and sexual values, and this obsession with gay marriage is just the latest step.

        Which leads me to another point. This isn't just about homosexuality. It is about a larger societal attitude towards sex and family. So I'm not picking on gays, so to speak. My beef is with social liberalism. They can't pass their agenda through democracy, so they ram it through the courts, then accuse others of forcing their will on society.

        • I understand your point and that it's an issue for you of morals more than anything else. So obviously you will find SSM as a symptom of a larger issue. You will probably never agree that SSMs are acceptable and it is equally unlikely that you will convince a supporter of SSM that it is wrong.

          However, to state that this decision is undemocratic is simply incorrect. Democracy is never about a simple show of hands. As others have pointed out, the will of the majority needs to pass the scrutiny of the Bill of Rights in US, which this does not. We have a judge nominated by a democratically-elected President (Reagan), appointed by another democratically-elected President (Bush Sr.) forming a decision (i.e. judging) which overturns a referendum decision according to the Bill of Rights, something which has been developed by elected officials. This is democracy in action. California is notorious for its ballot initiatives which paralizes the legislative process. This is why we generally do no have referundums here in Canada. We elect our MPs to represent us. If we feel they do not represent us, we vote them out.

          • (Continued) As for so-called "activist" judges: this is what judges do, interpret the law. This will go to the Supreme Court, another body appointed by elected officials and this is how the system works. Fundamental human rights cannot be decided by a simple majority vote.

            As others have reminded us, it was "activist" judges who struck down segregationist laws in the US in the 1950s. The apparent will of the majority was ignored based on the Bill of Rights. That's how society rights its wrongs. You may disagree with the idea of SSM but to state that it is undemocratic is just plain incorrect.

          • One gay judge decided to change the institution of marriage, and you consider this to be democratic, do you?

        • Most if not all of the arguments you're making were made, well within living memory, against mixed-race marriages.

          • Really? I'd love for you to apply even one. And, besides, did we need courts to tell us that mixed marriages were OK?

            On that point, I'm not even sure why homosexuality is considered a trait on par with race. If people want to be gay, fine. Why the special status, along with race, religion, etc?

          • "And, besides, did we need courts to tell us that mixed marriages were OK?" Maybe you should look that one up and get back to us.

          • Why don't you enlighten me?

          • Loving vs. Virginia in the U.S.

          • OK, but I don't think the example of mixed race marriages is a good one, frankly. They never did change the fundamental nature of marriage. Opposition to them was racial in nature. Homosexuality changes the fundamental nature of what marriage itself is, which is what I suspect gay marriage has been about all along.

          • In minutes you went from totally ignorant of the history of mixed-race marriage in the US to asserting that its opponents' arguments were different. Do you expect anyone to take your claims seriously? You're still arguing from a position of total ignorance.

            To repeat colbycash: Most if not all of the arguments you're making were made, well within living memory, against mixed-race marriages.

            Go educate yourself. You're doing yourself no favours here.

          • Ah, I gotta love it when posters become desperate like this. Yes, my knowledge of the judicial history regarding mixed marriages was off. But so what? The rest of my argument stands. I challenged Mr. Cosh to show me how my arguments also applied to mixed marriages, and the legal side is the only one, and it's still not completely analogous.. Someone else tried other facets, and failed. I dare you to do it, since you're being so cocky about it.

            I know this is a desperate issue for many of you. You have to get your way. But put your money where your mouth is. Don't take one example and make a false victory out of it. It only further exposes your weakness.

          • One cannot challenge an assertion about the 'nature' of marriage – that's an entirely subjective viewpoint so go ahead and decleare victory if you wish.

            I'll accept that allowing same sex marriage does change the nature of marriage.

            It changes marriage for the better.

          • People of African-American descent were enslaved, treated as chattel, abused, tortured and murdered by their owners. Later, after slavery was ended, they were then forced to live under Jim Crow and other terrible discrimination. They were denied the right to vote, first by law, then by the poll tax and highly-discriminatory literacy tests. They were forcibly segregated into inferior accommodations, schools, and many other disadvantaged situations. It began with law and when those laws were overturned, it became a matter of de facto segregation more than de jure segregation. All of this was based on race, which has subsequently been proved not to be valid from a scientific basis.

            Homosexuals have faced discrimination, let us stipulate, but the nature and extent have been minimal, in comparison to the treatment faced by African-Americans. They have also, to a far greater extent, had it in their power to conceal the fact of their homosexuality from the larger society, unlike the vast majority of blacks. In that way, they have often escaped some or all of the disapprobation heaped, at times, on others of their persuasion. I happen to be of the generally tolerant disposition of the person who expressed her attitude this way: "I don't care what they do, as long as they don't do it in the street and frighten the horses." What consenting adults do in private is between them and their God, if any: it simply does not concern me and ought not concern anyone else, in my humble opinion. It is when anyone of any sexual orientation, homosexual or otherwise, wishes to behave in such a fashion as to frighten the horses, or attempt to force the rest of society to accept and even approve, as opposed to tolerate. any behavior they deem appropriate, that I have a real problem with that attitude and behavior.

            The fundamental facts about homosexuality that differ so vastly from race include that one has no choice in their race, while we all have a choice about our behavior. (I am not making an assertion as to orientation — only behavior.) Neither one's race nor one's sexual orientation is intrinsically harmful to another person. Behavior, however and again, is a different matter.

          • You are aware that throughout history homosexuals have been beaten or killed (both state-sanctioned and vigilante) simply for being (or being suspected to be) gay right?

            A *brief* recap:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violence_against_LGB

            To be sure homosexuals have not faced the same level of discrimination as African Americans – but to breezily dismiss any as you have done ("Eww…gays are gross!") is misleading at best.

          • Dennis getting closer and closer to his real feelings about gays. For anyone who remembers Randy White – this is where he is going.

          • What closer and closer? I have explicitly stated my views on homosexuality. You were a troll on Bourque, please don't do it here.

          • I'm very familiar with your views on homosexuality. And you're holding back, Dennis. Come on, let it out.

          • What have I left out, troll? Gee. You'd think gay marriage was more defensible than this. I guess it ain't. lol

  14. Well I guess that's one way to ignore the state of your lives, which is to say by fixating on what someone else does that has no actual effect on your life.

    Good grief people, why should us straight folks be the only ones allowed to mess up a marriage? LOL

  15. I simply can't view the anti-gay marriage movement as anything but the desire to tell other people what to do with their lives.

    What next, not allowing atheists to marry because they don't share traditional Christian marriage values?

    None of it makes any sense.

    Each person should be entitled to do as they will in so far as they do not interfere with another's right to the same. End of story.

  16. "…what justification could there possibly be for denying the benefits of marriage to homosexual couples exercising “the liberty protected by the Constitution”? Surely not the encouragement of procreation, since the sterile and the elderly are allowed to marry.”

    Or for that matter, what justification could there possibly be for denying the benefits of marriage to any couple (or group) exercising the liberty protected by the Constitution? Let's just use the resources of the state to sanctify every loving bond between people who request it, seeing as how it is the business of the state to affirm people's feelings for each other!

    • So are you like me, in that you think the government should get out of the marriage business?

      • I think our society needs to stop and think carefully about why the state is involved in marriage in the first place. What are the benefits to society? If we're spending public money on it, it had better be a common good.

        I don't think the current concept of marriage in Canada – an affirmation by the state of two adults' feelings for each other – is useful in any way. It's ridiculously childish, actually. But I do think that there was originally a practical purpose for marriage in society with real common benefit which we no longer have, and which our society probably relies on for its long-term survival.

        Anyway, in my view the concept of marriage was lost when divorce was legalized. By 2005 heterosexual couples had so thoroughly ruined whatever marriage once was that it probably can't be salvaged without some kind of general reawakening to the concept that feelings and whims are supposed to be subject to reason and duty.

        • Funny how this conception only comes up when the right attacks gay marriage, then tries in the same breath to claim they don't feel any more animosity towards homosexuals than to people who engage in, say, sex beore marriage.

          • But Mike, we don't feel any more animosity.

            It just isn't that controversial anymore to say that sex outside of marriage is generally not a good practice. Something that has just come about recently actually. Same with divorce. We've always been against divorce, but it is less controversial to say that divorce should be an absolute last resort for safety, rather than simply because you are unhappy.

          • Call me when Maurice Vellacotte does a rally about it.

          • Sure, just make sure you call me just before there is a change to the legal and societal status status quo on these issues. I'm sure you'll see protests and rallies.

            Once the battle is lost though, there are other hills to die on, for even more urgent causes. Those stopped hearts that Colby mentions for one thing.

        • Yeah, unless the purpose of marriage is to create households and produce more taxpayers, I don't really see the point of the State being involved either.

          If that is the point, maybe the government should bring in income splitting to encourage and help single income, two-parent families.

        • Perhaps the state should adopt my definition of marriage:

          A foolish way to ruin a perfectly good dress.

    • Group marriage is likely not protected by the constitution, so that that issue is out (not that we can't allow polygamous marriage if we choose by legislation, there just isn't a constitutional right to it.) As far as any couple who would like, barring a few obvious exceptions I don't see any reason why not.

      • not that we can't allow polygamous marriage if we choose by legislation, there just isn't a constitutional right to it

        Are you saying that there isn't one, or that it just hasn't been recognized yet?

        • Thbere's nothing directly on point yet but the indicia points to there not being a constitutional right to polygamous marriage.

      • The reasoning that everyone has the right to pursue happiness if it is not at the expense of another, I can get behind, even if I don't like its particular applications.

        Arguing that it is constitutional based on a specious understanding of the word "sex" which was meant to apply to gender equality, was mere sophistry, and frankly cheapens the victory for the pro-SSM side.

        Unfortunately, only the second argument would stand against the right to polygamy, and not very well. If you can twist the constitution so that "sex" means "sexual orientation", you can easily twist it to extend to "sexual lifestyles". All that is required is the political will to do it.

        • That reasoning seems pretty weak, legally, and I doubt it will be the argument used if the right to polygamous marriage is ever argued in court.

      • Actually you are completely right. Our understanding of what marriage is and what entails comes from Canon Law, not from Anglo-Saxon or Roman understandings of marriage.

        To the pagan Anglo-Saxons marriage was a matter between two parties, not the state. To the Romans it was the same. For while both of our legal forerunners punished breaches of marital agreements, the state didn't officiate over them or preside over their dissolution.

        For marriage to be a concern of someone other than the parties (and families) involved… well that is a legal innovation by the Church.

        • Actually, that's not entirely true, I just remembered. Augustus passed laws prohbiting marriages between those of high birth (particularly the senatorial class) and those of low repute such as dishonored women and feedwomen. This made concubinage the only way these people could get married.

  17. "… I don't want its meaning diluted to that of a concubinage." This does get at the heart of the issue. It's your opinion that if I marry my boyfriend, your marriage to your wife becomes less socially valuable in your eyes. I think this is a divide that will never be reconciled, and therefore I actually kind of feel bad for you that you feel your marriage is degraded. All I can say is that marriage (for every sexual orientation) involves legalities that concubinage ignores, so this degradation is purely your moral/religious view and has nothing to do with the law.

    • Oh, no no no. You misunderstand.

      I'm saying if that the Church is forced to marry you and your boyfriend, the marriage simply won't be marriage anymore.

      The secular version of marriage isn't really marriage already anyway. That's why civil marriages are a slam dunk for an annulment.

      • I didn't realize that you were speaking of marriage in church-based terms only. I should have read your post more carefully. It appears we're on the same page. Let religious marriage have it's rules and civil marriage have it's rules!

        • Sounds good, and we can be friends and moderates together, even though you're progressive gay man and I'm a crusty Catonian conservative.

  18. "Can't spell Cosh" stamp for this one. Saved me an awful lot of reading.

    • A typo in two instances of using the name? Sounds much more like habitual aversion to reading.

      • You cannot seriously be throwing this stone at Cosh?

    • Could be helpful to look past that… to portray a sincere interest in the discussion.

  19. Also note that all but the last of those examples were (and in come places still are) typical of "traditional" marriage.

    • Ummmmm, no.

      The context is the common law. While Not Stephen Colbert has a point that such marriages have occurred, even legally, albeit almost always in the past, sometimes in significant numbers, they have never been what the majority of the people in this country, living under the common law and the Constitution, considered "traditional marriage."

  20. As Jefferson said, " The Earth belongs to the living"

    I have no idea why any long-term thinking conservative would want to marginalize gay people, or any other legitimate groups – not including the murderists – lol

  21. My take, for what it's worth, makes a classical liberal uncomfortable.
    - 52% of the population voted, in a referendum, against allowing SSM. Fair enough (the process, that is.)
    - The courts, for their part, found a breach of rights. (Fair enough too.)

    The dilemma, as I see it, is this:
    A government of the people, by the people, and for the people, having constitutionally guaranteed rights , were it a calculator, would deliver a result of "Error"
    Put simply, a referendum with an absolute majority is the purest possible expression of "of the people, by the people and for the people" that I can think of.
    Put simply as well, certain equality rights, and the pursuit of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are also constitutionally enshrined.

    Constitutional literalists will see the judicial overturning of this referendum as a failure of a system which was meant to give power to the people.
    Those attuned to what we all commonly call rights would call the dismissal of this case as a pretext for tyranny by majority.

    Your thoughts?

    • is this tyranny… you set the bar so low!

    • Put simply, a referendum with an absolute majority is the purest possible expression of "of the people, by the people and for the people" that I can think of.

      I think where this analogy falls down is that the minority is included in "the people". The standard from the Gettysburg address is for a government of the people, by the people, for the people – not of the majority, for the majority, by the majority.

      • Pedantic aside first: “government of the people, for etc.” is a principle and certainly not an analogy. There. I feel better now.

        Where you (and the rest of the crew here) have fallen down is into the deep impact crater of King Vaughn's enormous ego. I've had a chance to look over some more of ruling… Get a load of this:

        “The evidence shows that the movement of marriage away from a gendered institution and toward an institution free from state-mandated gender roles reflects an evolution in the understanding of gender rather than a change in marriage. The evidence did not show any historical purpose for excluding same-sex couples from marriage, as states have never required spouses to have an ability or willingness to procreate in order to marry. Rather, the exclusion exists as an artifact of a time when the genders were seen as having distinct roles in society and in marriage. That time has passed. “

        Yowza.

      • Government of the people, by the people, for the people?

        Government of the majority, for the majority, by the majority?

        Nope. Try Government of the judicial royalty, for the judicial royalty, by the judicial royalty?

        Feel wretchedly embarrassed? If you're not, I'd recommend hanging out at Rabble cause that's where you belong.

  22. Cosh, who usually regards himself as a libertarian, endorses the latest jaw-dropping quantum leap toward state omnipotence. The government can now, against the clear will of its people, redefine the word marriage in a way unfathomable for about 2950 of the last 3000 years.

    • yup, deal with it.

    • You're absolutely wrong. No church or non-governmental body with the powers to marry is forced to conduct same-sex marriages (in the same way that Catholic churches aren't forced to marry atheists, for one example). Classic libertarian policy.

      No individuals are forced to marry individuals of the same gender. For that matter, no one is compelled to marry at all. Libertarian, from where I sit.

      I think we can all agree that one's gender ought never form the basis of discrimination or unequal life chance. At least, that would be a classically libertarian perspective. So, for a government to restrict marriage to those of opposite genders is difficult to argue as a matter of libertarian principle.

      As for the issue of the majority: I'm not familiar with libertarians arguing that the polling the majority is the best way to ensure individual freedoms. That whole 'tyranny of the majority' thing is something you have to watch for. Point of fact, a lot of libertarian concerns and writings often have to do with countering popular and hegemonic beliefs and practices.

      Tradition and appeals to thousand-year old understandings make no sense to bolster a libertarian argument. Feudalism hardly represented the height of individual liberty, for example, so why should use their definition of marriage as an example of libertarian perspective? (To be fair, that a practice has a long history is no reason to automatically discount it, either).

      Yes, the state controls the legal definition of marriage. Eliminating gender criteria for eligibility in no way increases that omnipotence – it was already there. If anything, it renders the state less arbitrary and intrusive by making the marriage contract as neutral as possible. Which sounds fairly libertarian to me.

  23. In the words of John Stewart, I was initially nervous about the prospect of same sex marriage until I found out that it wasn't going to be mandatory.

  24. While I have not special problem with gay marriage, I think Mr. Cosh misses a point. 'Marriage' is a loaded word. For many it is a sacrament. The function of the state is to grant legal rights and obligations not sacraments or social recognition. For that reason the state should not be 'marrying' anyone including heterosexual couples. A civil declaration of rights and obligations, let's call it a 'Registered Domestic Partnership' should be available to any two adults of any orientation. 'Marriage' should be left to private organizations to declare.

  25. It appears that the push to have the state 'marry' gays is a desire to have the government, on behalf of all of us, legitimize their social status. But it is not the job of the state to determine who we want to recognize as 'married'. That will come as an evolutionary change. Having the state recognize 'marriage' also gives colour to those who would wish to use the law to force recalcitrant religious groups (e.g. Catholics, Muslims, etc.) to recognize or sanctify their status as, indeed, Kevin Bourassa, a Toronto based gay activist, has threatened to do. Politicians in Canada have attempted to exempt religious organizations from this threat; but who knows what the courts will do? If the state removed itself from the 'marriage' business altogether, private organizations would be much less likely to be under threat of legal harassment over this issue.

    Robert Tracinski of The Intellectual Advocate (TIA) in his article "The Metaphysics of Marriage" has a much better analysis of this issue than yours, Mr. Cosh.

  26. Here is my indecisive argument:

    If the government must insert itself into the categorization of inter-personal relationships – and I take it that it must – it should only be to the extent that is necessary to incentivize behavior that benefits the people and, in contrast, disincentivize other behaviors. One benefit of heterosexual marriage is the production of children who are certainly a key ingredient in the future of the society. Is it not a wise economic choice then to bestow some benefits and privileges upon those who take onto themselves the burden of raising those children? Japan has none and they are finding it necessary to build robots to bring comfort to their aged.

    I don't care what kind of relationship consenting adults want to have, and if they want to have their church of choice bless that relationship, well then, amen, Brother. But I, as a taxpayer, don't want to invest in relationships that bear no fruit. (Insert offensive pun here)

    If I'm failing to see a benefit that I should rather like to nurture, I would happily change my mind.

    On the other hand, the amount of the investment is rather small. Really.. what will all the gay marriages add up to on my tax bill? So I think that in principle I'm opposed, but in practice, is it really worth it to hurt their feelings given the piddling economic costs. Maybe that's the benefit – everyone gets along and we all pull on the oars together.

    • So no traditional marriage if you don't produce children, then? What if they promise to steal one from overseas?

  27. Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Faithful worshippers of the Exalted Ermine Robes. A proclamation from King Vaughn:

    “The evidence shows that the movement of marriage away from a gendered institution and toward an institution free from state-mandated gender roles reflects an evolution in the understanding of gender rather than a change in marriage. The evidence did not show any historical purpose for excluding same-sex couples from marriage, as states have never required spouses to have an ability or willingness to procreate in order to marry. Rather, the exclusion exists as an artifact of a time when the genders were seen as having distinct roles in society and in marriage. That time has passed. “

    Forsooth, go forth and have no gender distinct roles in society. For that time hath passed. So as it has been written, so it shall be done.

    ===========================================

    Sweet Mother of Christ! My Kent Brockman Insect Overlords line wasn't just a bit of comic relief after all. In all seriousness: you guys still cool with hitching your cart to this pony? A now transparent case of imperiously looney judicial activism? I can only trust that at least a few here are now sufficiently embarrassed and (re)thinking about who makes the big decisions about society: the people or the judges.

    I'm off to my local where, with any luck, I'll play a gender distinct role in buying attractive members of the opposite gender drinks and getting a few of their phone numbers.

    Direct Democracy for Canada!

    • Who markets this brand you mention: "attactive members of the opposite gender" drinks? And since when did they start making drinks with telephone numbers?

      • It's a rebranding of the well known “buying hot babes drinks”. Apparently, they got wind of a CHRC complaint and their legal team suggested the new name. The phone numbers are tip lines for alerting the authorities of any homophobia and/or gender distinct behaviours.

        And get used to the new nomenclature. I get the sinking feeling that Judge Walker et al ain't done with us yet.

    • "Fight the homosexual agenda! Defend the traditional family! I'm off to pick up babes at the bar!"

      This is called cognitive dissonance, my friend.

      • Let the people decide. Eschew imperious social engineering. Enjoy life.

        It's called being intelligent, amigo.

      • Oh, I forgot! You can actually quote me on that instead of just make stuff up and put quotation remarks around it.

  28. Who said that Judge Walker was gay .. these posts are the first place that I have seen that suggested? Or is that just a slander. anyway. Canada has had gay marriage for several years now, our second and third largest Christian churches now support it and offer to conduct gay marriages. Support across the country for if has gone from 45% to 60% since it was legalized. No impact has been felt on any part of our society, what seems to be the problem here?
    And besides, who cares.
    However there is a real problem soon to arise and I suggest that we all should get on our governments to solve it before it explodes.
    Polygamous marriages are almost certain to be legalized in this country within the next few years. That's OK by me and if some people want that then fine, but
    We desperatley need a law that prevents any man or woman with multiple wives (or husbands) from putting those spouces on the welfare system for us to support which is said to be happening in some places. If you want two or more wives, you'd better be prepared to support them…….

  29. In what way does TJCook regard the quoted fragment as a "strawman" [sic]? Note the response of Not Stephen Colbert, who insists:

             " … all but the last of those examples were (and in come places still are) typical of 'traditional' marriage."

    These two posters cannot both be right. The argument I made cannot be an illogical argument of the straw man variety if such "other forms of marriage" are not merely hypothetical, not least because I neither stated nor implied a 'slippery slope' argument, but stuck to observations and reasoning from them, as to the negative effects of non-traditional marriage on society in general, as well as on children and traditional, one man to one woman, marriage. Thus, what I said goes to rebut central tenets of Vaughn Walker's decision, which are, in fact, specious, based in emotion rather than science, presume to know the unknowable hearts and minds of his fellow Californians, and are overtly violative of the First and Tenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, at a minimum.

    I suggest, with all due respect, that TJCook read the decision.

  30. Gay marriage is either a redundancy or an oxymoron. And Schwarzenegger is a girly-man.

  31. "This is a simplistic argument."

    Yeah, OK. This flu an fever has left me with nothing better to do, so…

    "In fact, there are many ripples from gay marriage that can and do end up hurting people, mainly children."

    Maybe? I don't know; your list of suppositions, weak conjectures, logical fallacies and flat-out baiting certainly doesn't back up this assertion. But, hey… it's all "mainly children"! Not icky queers. Why take a risk?

    "[The] Netherlands. In fact, traditional marriage DID decline after gay marriage was legalized."

    You mean the "traditional marriage" that was already on the decline in that libertine hellhole? Here's another shocker… I emptied my dishwasher… and the sun set!

    "Just because you would not have a child out of wedlock to collect Welfare as a single mother, does not mean the availability of easy Welfare has not resulted in an etc etc etc…"

    You get right into mixing it up, don't you? Right away, the HELL NAW shibboleth of race & class baiting. Welfare causes poverty, indigent single-motherhood is a crafty scam, and by the way same-sex marriage has something to do with 70 PER CENT BLACK BIRTHS GAY NEGRO PANIC.

    "Many people in society ARE influenced by the zeitgeist and what society deems acceptable."

    Duh. That's what the words "society" and "zeitgeist" mean.

    "The state has to give such people children if they demand them."

    If they're going through The State (ie Provincial adoption) then no; it's not the putter-rental booth at the mini golf. Maybe if a same-sex couple was denied adoption they'd squawk… but if the Agents of The State involved do their jobs properly (ie don't discriminate based on the nature of the partnersh–MARRIAGE) then what's the problem? As for the other way (God's Natural Way), well… so what else is new?

  32. There are many comments that the judge's ruling is somehow a violation of democracy. Majorities have a long and sordid history of trampling on the rights (and often the life) of minorities. It is no comfort to them that the excesses tend to be corrected a century latter. To correct for this with a check and balance, the Americans and later Canadians adopted a constitution which enshrine inalienable rights beyond the ability of government to violate with discriminatory laws. Proposition 8 was clearly such a law. The judge did his duty and justice was done.
    Fencesitter as a taxpayer doesn't “..want to invest in relationships that bear no fruit.” I knowingly married a barren woman in a church; so our marriage is exactly like a homosexual marriage i.e. two people in love, forming a barren, mutually supportive, partnership, expressed in ways that are none of your business ( don't presume you know), and having it recognized and accepted by society. As I remember it I paid for the wedding and as a mutually supportive couple we have saved Fensesitter and his fellow taxpayers a considerable amount of money.
    So the problem with gay marriage is…?

  33. You wasted not just your own but everyone's time who reads your rant because your emotional irrational opinion and presenting your fantasies as fact e.g. only a gay couple would encourage kids to explore their full potential is hot air. You have no evidence. There IS evidence that the situation giving a child the best chance of growing up happy and healthy is to know and live with his biological parents. Arrangements that flout this in premeditated fashion are undertaken for the adults involved, at potentially great cost to the children. You cannot face the selfishness involved (and I said adoption when the parents are not available through death or illness is a special case).

    Coverage of a recent Gay Pride parade showed a little girl, about 2 years old with a pink tutu and a Tshirt that read "Lesbian" in dark lettering. Looking more closely, one could make out light lettering saying "If you think I'm cute, you should see my LESBIAN mother but from any distance, the only legible word would have been lesbian. Odds are 97% that this little girl will be heterosexual. What are the odds she's going to grow up with healthy sexuality and relationships with men when she has two mothers who think what they did to a two year old to score cheap laughs is acceptable?

    I didn't say anything derogatory about gay people, that's your paranoia but there is no justification for society to collude in using children to bandage their adult hurts. Having a child-centric view instead of homo-centric is not homophobic much as you would like to make anything but 100% agreement with the most extreme demands of the most extreme elements of a tiny minority homophobic.

  34. Mr. Cosh misunderstands the basis of “rational basis” scrutiny. It is the least constraining category as defined by the Supreme Court of the United States. The test is not whether the judge finds the law is rational or not. It is whether there is any facially rational basis for a law that may impinge in some degree on a constitutionally protected right.

    It is no business of judges to pass on the rationality of laws in general; that is the job of legislators (or voters, in the case of a referendum or initiative).

    This particular law did not impinge on anyone’s rights. It did not restrict anyone from performing an act permitted to anyone else. What it did was establish the definition of that act in law – that definition being the one which had been in effect in every society in recorded history.

    Such is the strength of the homosexualist agenda that this definition is casually referred to as a “prohibition”.

    It is also interesting that advocates of radical redefinition of this fundamental human institution demand that opponents present conclusive evidence of major negative consequences; but a new technology or development in food, medicine, or energy may be opposed on the grounds that it might pose some unknown hazard however small.

    • It's unlikely I'll undertake a homosexual marriage without knowing it.

      New technology developments in food, medicine, or energy can affect me without my knowledge.

Sign in to comment.