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There are known unknowns
October 15, 2009 7:50 AM   Subscribe

"My answer is, I don't know. I don't know." US District Court Judge Vaughn Walker asked Prop 8 supporters to define the nature and extent of damage done by same-sex couples to the institution of marriage, and being unable to get any definitive answer, denied the request from supporters of Prop 8 to throw out Perry v. Schwarzenegger and ordered the case to trial in January 2010.
posted by Blazecock Pileon (94 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
Maybe not everyone knows what "Prop 8" is.
posted by plexi at 7:55 AM on October 15, 2009


Click the 'prop8' tag directly to the right of your comment. You'll find 11 other posts talking all about it.
posted by jedicus at 7:56 AM on October 15, 2009


Why do I have a feeling that the Prop 8 supporters were just trying to find the legalese for saying "the harm that same-sex marriage has on procreation in traditional marriage is that it makes me feel too oogy to have sex myself"?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:58 AM on October 15, 2009 [6 favorites]


"the state is entitled, when dealing with radical proposals to make changes to bedrock institutions such as this ... to take a wait and see attitude," he said.

how long does this "wait and see" phase last? seems like the state did that, and now its seeing a lot more gay people being a lot more vocal about their civil rights.
posted by Think_Long at 8:00 AM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


For anyone who doesn't know what Prop 8 is: Wikipedia will tell you all about it.
posted by bjrn at 8:01 AM on October 15, 2009


oogy?
posted by P.o.B. at 8:02 AM on October 15, 2009


I think (I hope) 50 years from now we'll look back and marvel at these attempts to treat people differently just because of their sexual preferences. It would be a big step if California managed to overturn Prop 8--hope it happens soon!
posted by Go Banana at 8:02 AM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


I live in California and was (maybe naively?) surprised and upset when Prop 8 passed. Now that Iowa has somewhat recently legalized same-sex marriage, I certainly hope that this gives more precedence to the Perry v Schwarzenegger case and that same-sex marriage will be legal in California, too.
posted by too bad you're not me at 8:02 AM on October 15, 2009


"What really is happening is the voters who passed Proposition 8 are essentially on trial in this case, and they continue to be accused of being irrational and bigoted for restoring the traditional definition of marriage," he said.

I wish: they're guilty as charged.
posted by anotherpanacea at 8:03 AM on October 15, 2009 [12 favorites]


Gah. Bigots.
posted by jaduncan at 8:04 AM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


A friend of mine clerked for Vaughn Walker. He's a little quirky, and his politics are quite different than mine, but I usually like the way he thinks.

Walker made clear that he wants to examine other issues that are part of the political rhetoric surrounding same-sex marriage but rarely surface in courtrooms.

Alright. It's about time.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:05 AM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


The damage is hard to account for because the computer models take so long to run. Scientists all over the world are running game after game of the Sims to measure the results of same sex marriage, and the general correlation seems to say that pool drownings and gay marriage seem to go hand in hand. As for how much these drownings will cost society or how often they will occur is hard to tell.

Although I was being totally sarcastic, I would like to see a Folding@Home-type distributed computing project that runs sociological or economic models. Are there any out there?

/derail
posted by mccarty.tim at 8:07 AM on October 15, 2009 [5 favorites]


I think (I hope) 50 years from now we'll look back and marvel at these attempts to treat people differently just because of their sexual preferences.

"We" already look and marvel. But conservative nutbags have a stranglehold on media and politics so their minority views always get airtime and often get written into policy.
posted by DU at 8:13 AM on October 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


"What really is happening is the voters who passed Proposition 8 are essentially on trial in this case, and they continue to be accused of being irrational and bigoted for restoring the traditional definition of marriage," he said.

The anti-gay marriage crowd here in Maine has been playing that card a lot. "It's bigoted to call us bigoted! We're not the bigots, you intolerant liberals are the bigots! We just love marriage the way it is! How dare you draw any conclusions from our position that gay people should just shut up and live without marriage!"

Asses.
posted by miss tea at 8:16 AM on October 15, 2009 [16 favorites]


oogy?

"Oogy." From the Latin "oogrus," I believe; "generally uncomfortable despite being unable to pinpoint the precise cause of one's own discomfort." Less severe than "disgusted". Common synonyms: "Icky", "squicky," "having a wiggins."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:18 AM on October 15, 2009 [35 favorites]


"There are things we can't know, that's my point," Cooper said.

Ah, those crafty unknown unknowns. Wouldn't it be best to never change anything? Something horrible we can't anticipate, justify or explain might happen.
posted by nanojath at 8:20 AM on October 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


This comes on the heels of the first gay couple, who happen to be CA residents, to appear on the Newlywed Show.

Whether the people who voted in favor of Prop 8 like it or not, times they are a changin'.
posted by zizzle at 8:21 AM on October 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


The anti-gay marriage crowd here in Maine has been playing that card a lot. "It's bigoted to call us bigoted! We're not the bigots, you intolerant liberals are the bigots! We just love marriage the way it is! How dare you draw any conclusions from our position that gay people should just shut up and live without marriage!"

Yes, and there's always the "You liberal bigots are bigoted toward people of faith/religious belief/Judeo-Christian tradition and are trying to silence people who believe in God!" card too.
posted by blucevalo at 8:23 AM on October 15, 2009 [5 favorites]


"There are things we can't know, that's my point," Cooper said.

In that case, shouldn't we ban traditional marriage too and go back to men in buffalo skins knocking women over the head with gigantic dinosaur bones, then dragging them back to the cave by their hair? You know, just for safety?
posted by DU at 8:23 AM on October 15, 2009


DU: " conservative nutbags have a stranglehold on media and politics so their minority views always get airtime and often get written into policy."

Only tangentially related, but too good to pass up:

Tonight… We Are All Rush Limbaugh

posted by Joe Beese at 8:23 AM on October 15, 2009 [11 favorites]


Blazecock Pileon: "US District Court Judge Vaughn Walker asked Prop 8 supporters to define the nature and extent of damage done by same-sex couples to the institution of marriage"

"Your Honor... they're fuckin' queah!"
posted by Rhaomi at 8:25 AM on October 15, 2009 [8 favorites]


In that case, shouldn't we ban traditional marriage too and go back to men in buffalo skins knocking women over the head with gigantic dinosaur bones, then dragging them back to the cave by their hair? You know, just for safety?

As long as it's consensual, I sort of want to live in this world.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:26 AM on October 15, 2009 [4 favorites]


The Wikipedia article was sanitized sometime in the last few months. At one point, it had various exit polls describing how frequently people went to church and what their correlation was with how they voted on Prop 8. There weren't a great deal of surprises there, I am sad to report.

I don't even think it is the Oogy factor, so much as they have this notion of a church wedding, and a church marriage, and the concept of two men or two women being married offends them. It tramples all over this notion they have, and like most cases where someone is "offended," there's an attempt to get someone else to remove it from the offended party's reality.
posted by adipocere at 8:27 AM on October 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


From the Latin "oogrus," I believe;

It's a thin line between schmoopy and oogy.
posted by cortex at 8:33 AM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Tonight… We Are All Rush Limbaugh

Tonight? They haven't been Rush Limbaugh this whole time? For their sakes, I hope Rush doesn't find out that they weren't him until last night, because he'll force them to apologize in public.

(WTF is this in reference to? Did someone finally jail the drug-using sex tourist?)
posted by DU at 8:35 AM on October 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


(WTF is this in reference to? Did someone finally jail the drug-using sex tourist?)

The NFL's not going to let him buy a share of the St. Louis Rams. I can't wait for the inevitable march on Washington.
posted by EarBucket at 8:37 AM on October 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


"Oogy." From the Latin "oogrus,"

Okay. For a second there I thought you're talking about the Electric Slide, but apparently that's "boogie woogie, woogie"

Carry on.
posted by P.o.B. at 8:38 AM on October 15, 2009


The NFL's not going to let him buy a share of the St. Louis Rams.

That poor, poor, very rich, disproportionally-influential, overly-privileged, selfish, hateful man.
posted by DU at 8:39 AM on October 15, 2009 [12 favorites]


The anti-gay marriage crowd here in Maine has been playing that card a lot. "It's bigoted to call us bigoted! We're not the bigots, you intolerant liberals are the bigots! We just love marriage the way it is! How dare you draw any conclusions from our position that gay people should just shut up and live without marriage!"

heh. Two thoughts:

There was a piece in the Portland Press Herald where the Yes on 1 (anti-marriage) group was basically saying "we can't get office space because people think we're bigots!" Yeah, imagine that, after your leadership said two years ago that they thought it was ok to discriminate in housing based on sexual orientation. What goes around comes around, and all that.....

I had a wild conversation with a "friend" on Facebook that basically went like this:
me: "The leadership of yes on 1 are bigots"
him: "I'm not a bigot just because I don't believe them gays should be married"
me: "well, yes you are, but I wasn't talking about you"
gay friend: "yes you are"
another friend: "really, yes you are"
him: "sputter, sutter, retract, backpedal"

The social pressure is turning. In the same way that society has had to unlearn that race-based bigotry is bad, society is now learning that bigotry based on sexual orientation is bad. Sometimes it takes public shaming to do it, but its heartening that its the anti-marriage folks who now have to defensively defend the right of their position. An interesting turn in just a few years.

As a reminder: In September, Maine became the first State in the nation to pass a same-sex marriage law without the courts being involved. That law is currently being challenged via Maine's "People's veto" referendum process.

The No on 1 campaign to keep same sex marriage legal in Maine has raised quite a bit of money, but can always use more. Please click the link and drop them a little cash. Help us make history.
posted by anastasiav at 8:40 AM on October 15, 2009 [8 favorites]


The same sort of rhetoric was used by bigots opposed to interracial marriage last century, and those of different social classes in the century before that. These people will look just as appalling in retrospect.
posted by kjs3 at 8:41 AM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


"the state is entitled, when dealing with radical proposals to make changes to bedrock institutions such as this ... to take a wait and see attitude," he said.

This is such a red herring. There's no condition that will persuade them that gay marriage is harmless short of God coming down out of cloud to say so himself. Even that would probably just result in them deeming Jehovah as damaged goods.
posted by invitapriore at 8:41 AM on October 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


"What really is happening is the voters who passed Proposition 8 are essentially on trial in this case, and they continue to be accused of being irrational and bigoted for restoring the traditional definition of marriage," he said.

Well, good for them, restoring the "traditional" definition of marriage, which has in the past included:
1691 - Whites only.
1724 - Blacks, with permission of the slave owner.
1769 - The wife is property.
1899 - Polygamous Monogamous Marriage.
1900 - The wife can now own property.
1965 - Contraception is legal.
1967 - Interracial couples are legal.
1975 - The wife can have credit in her name.
1981 - The husband owns all property.
1993 - Marital rape is legal.

It seems pretty clear-cut to me. Marriage has always had a very clear-cut, unchanging and, might I say, spotless tradition.
posted by xedrik at 8:48 AM on October 15, 2009 [103 favorites]


In my pre-coffee fog, I read Perry v. Schwarzenegger as Perv v. Schwarzenegger and thought that I needed to read more about the case.
posted by oozy rat in a sanitary zoo at 8:49 AM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm sure the accusations of liberal, activist judges overturning the will of the people are right around the corner (if they haven't already begun)
posted by The Gooch at 8:56 AM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wow that is really the perfect question to ask, made even more perfect by the fact that the lawyer had to answer it directly. If only our political discourse could always run so smoothly.
posted by creasy boy at 9:03 AM on October 15, 2009


Wow, xedrik. can you cite those? I'd love to see a reference?
posted by tayknight at 9:06 AM on October 15, 2009


The NFL's not going to let him buy a share of the St. Louis Rams.

Not to derail further, but that's not quite true. The investor group bidding on the Rams dropped Limbaugh as an investor (perhaps due to pressure from the NFL.)
posted by mrgrimm at 9:09 AM on October 15, 2009


Being an anti-gay bigot is just like being Black during the civil rights movement!
posted by lexicakes at 9:10 AM on October 15, 2009


Wow, xedrik. can you cite those? I'd love to see a reference?

From the large image "Traditional Marriage" image here, which in teeny tiny print cites this and this.
posted by xedrik at 9:15 AM on October 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


The anti-gay marriage crowd here in Maine has been playing that card a lot. "It's bigoted to call us bigoted! We're not the bigots, you intolerant liberals are the bigots! We just love marriage the way it is! How dare you draw any conclusions from our position that gay people should just shut up and live without marriage!"

I get this a lot when arguing with right wing folks - they'll argue the left is more intolerant than the right because they force the right to accept things like gay marriage.

I usually come back with "the only thing the left is intolerant of is hate based on race, gender, sexual orientation, etc." and they'll end up frothing even more.
posted by SirOmega at 9:21 AM on October 15, 2009


Wow, xedrik. can you cite those? I'd love to see a reference?

I have to head to work, but here are citations for the first few:

1691 - Whites only.

Finally in 1691, the Virginia colony passed and enforced the first law on earth against voluntary marriage between free individuals of predominantly European and free individuals of predominantly African ancestry.

1724 - Blacks, with permission of the slave owner.

VII. The ceremonies and forms prescribed by the ordinance of Blois, and by the edict of 1639, for marriages, shall be observed both with regard to free persons and to slaves. But the consent of the father and mother of the slave is not necessary; that of the master shall be the only one required.

1769 - The wife is property.

By marriage, the husband and wife are one person in law: that is, the very being or legal existence of the woman is suspended during the marriage, or at least is incorporated and consolidated into that of the husband: under whose wing, protection, and cover, she performs every thing

1899 - Polygamous Monogamous Marriage.

The Edmunds Act, also known as the Edmunds Anti-Polygamy Act of 1882, is a United States federal statute, signed into law on March 23, 1882, declaring polygamy a felony.

1900 - The wife can now own property.

By 1900, every [US] state had passed laws giving married women substantial control over their own property.

1965 - Contraception is legal.

Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965), was a landmark case in which the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the Constitution protected a right to privacy. The case involved a Connecticut law that prohibited the use of contraceptives. By a vote of 7-2, the Supreme Court invalidated the law on the grounds that it violated the "right to marital privacy".

1967 - Interracial couples are legal.

Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967), was a landmark civil rights case in which the United States Supreme Court, by a 9-0 vote, declared Virginia's anti-miscegenation statute, the "Racial Integrity Act of 1924", unconstitutional, thereby overturning Pace v. Alabama (1883) and ending all race-based legal restrictions on marriage in the United States.

posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:22 AM on October 15, 2009 [40 favorites]


this must be one a dem, whaddayoucallem, activist judges. you can tell he's an activist by the way he asks important questions instead a just, whaddayoucallit, shuttin' the queers up.
posted by shmegegge at 9:25 AM on October 15, 2009 [6 favorites]


I don't even think it is the Oogy factor, so much as they have this notion of a church wedding, and a church marriage, and the concept of two men or two women being married offends them.

It's more than that. Here in Washington state, the legislature passed and the governor signed into law a measure which would instill equal rights and responsibilities as marriage to registered domestic partners, only without having it be called marriage. This was done to placate all the people who were going around saying, "we don't care if they want the same thing, just don't call it marriage." So, they did that. Even nicknamed the legislation the "everything but marriage" bill.

As soon as it was signed into law, the religious groups banded together and filed an injunction to stop the law from going into effect, and now we have Referendum 71 on the November ballot, so the public can decide if these rights and responsibilities should be granted.

Basically, they lied about their interests, their bluff was called, and now they're working to enforce their bigotry. Again. It isn't about marriage. It's about making sure GLBT people are second-class citizens in the eyes of the law.
posted by hippybear at 9:28 AM on October 15, 2009 [22 favorites]


Right, the (six years and counting) "experiment in Massachusetts." Wonder how that's going.
posted by oinopaponton at 9:34 AM on October 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


The investor group bidding on the Rams dropped Limbaugh as an investor (perhaps due to pressure from the NFL.)


And perhaps due to CCMOs worrying performance, leading them to wonder if Rush will have the capital and assets required to satisfy his obligations should CCMO file for bankruptcy protection -- which to me is more likely.

No matter how much he wants to be, he just ain't part of the Big Boys Club.
posted by mikelieman at 9:34 AM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


The anti-gay marriage crowd here in Maine has been playing that card a lot. "It's bigoted to call us bigoted!

it can get even worse - there's an anti-discrimination ordinance on the ballot in kalamazoo and a yes vote means that there will be an ordinance prohibiting discrimination over sexual preference

the opposition has been giving people flyers that say "vote no to discrimination"- because being forbidden to not hire or rent to gay people is "discriminating" against people's religious beliefs

then there's the omg factor of them putting up scare stories that transgendered men might get to choose to use the women's bathroom even if they're still men

the bullshit is getting awfully thick - but it's pretty certain that the ordinance will pass
posted by pyramid termite at 9:36 AM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


On-topic: Yay for civil liberties! Also, seeing xedric's post once more gave me the slightly shocked feeling whenever I remember how recently bigotry was codified by law.* Hopefully, my (hypothetical) kids will feel the same sort of shock when I eventually tell them how things were way back in the 2000s.

Off-topic:
As a sideline for us limeys, do any Brits want to weigh in on the current state of gay marriage here in the UK?

Insofar as I understand British Marriage Law, "civil partnership" for a gay couple is identical to "marraige" for a straight couple, except for the name. Is this correct? If so, is there a concensus that this is all fine now, or is there still a big movement pushing to get the name as well as the legal rights?

Presumably the different name is a concession to the Church (and, by extension, religious voters generally) and would be a tough political battle, but it's still weird. Is it something that a lot of people care about?

*Although I'm slightly surprised to note that inter-racial marraige has never been illegal in the UK, according to the indisputible Wikipedia. What fun we must have had, goin' over there, takin' all their money and stealin' all their women (and men). Someone ought to point this little facet of our history out to the Daily Express and anyone else who hates immigrants and loves the "pure British race".
posted by metaBugs at 9:37 AM on October 15, 2009


Yeah, the whole "we just want to protect traditional traditional marriage" thing has been patently false from the start. Lots of these groups cut their eye teeth battling civil unions, and Virginia, for instance, didn't just ban "gay marriage" and "civil unions" "but arguably renders any state recognition of private contracts entered into by unmarried couples unconstitutional."
posted by rtha at 9:42 AM on October 15, 2009


The anti-gay marriage crowd here in Maine has been playing that card a lot. "It's bigoted to call us bigoted! We're not the bigots, you intolerant liberals are the bigots!

Damn fascist homos and homo-lovers always trying to take away our right to take away their right to get married.
posted by dersins at 9:46 AM on October 15, 2009


Isn't it clear?

We joke about teh gay being contagious, but seriously, if fashion, music etc are a model to go by then teh gay will catch on. If bottom sex becomes default, where will the next generation of voters come from be procreated from?

Think about it, people. You're playing with big gay fire. Fire, I tells ya.
posted by MuffinMan at 9:48 AM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also, seeing xedric's post once more gave me the slightly shocked feeling whenever I remember how recently bigotry was codified by law.

This x1000. Look how far we've come, and how far we have to go.
posted by Big_B at 10:11 AM on October 15, 2009


Rescue marriage! Ban divorce!

2010 California Protection of Marriage Act -- "Safeguarding Marriage From The Evils of Divorce." [video | 02:07].
posted by ericb at 10:17 AM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


if prop 8 gets over turned, i think that pretty much ends the gay marriage debate. I mean, it will take some time, but it'll doom DOMA, just for business reasons. Employers are going to demand some kind of consistent national law once that many people get married and start moving around the country.
posted by empath at 10:21 AM on October 15, 2009


Wouldn't it be best to never change anything?

They're conservatives -- the whole point of their belief system is to resist change and attempt to rewind the clock. It's all they do. It's all they've ever done, despite occasional claims to the contrary (eg: "fiscal conservatism").
posted by aramaic at 10:28 AM on October 15, 2009 [5 favorites]


A friend and I started a Google Wave to really get down to planning the Homosexual Agenda. If anyone wants to make sure that families and children are sufficiently undermined, just let me know and I'll add you.

Currently, we're working on the issue of Brunch and I assure you it is far more complex than previously imagined.
posted by greekphilosophy at 10:30 AM on October 15, 2009 [15 favorites]


Among the questions he plans to entertain at the trial are whether sexual orientation is a fixed or immutable characteristic, whether gays are a politically powerful group, and if same-sex marriage bans such as Proposition 8 were motivated by anti-gay bias.

Hmm, gee, I have no idea!
posted by shakespeherian at 10:34 AM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


xedrik, you also left out olygamy; it's traditional, it's RIGHT THERE IN THE BIBLE, where's my wives?!
posted by rodgerd at 11:00 AM on October 15, 2009


Those crazy-eyed, activist Bush (I) appointees are at it again!
posted by brain_drain at 11:07 AM on October 15, 2009


Good lord, that Louis CK bit just kills me. The juxtaposition of tonality with the Bostonian-accented "They're queah!" with Louis's serious voice "Well, counselor, I don't really see how that, uhh..." makes me lol every time. Spot on.
posted by lazaruslong at 11:26 AM on October 15, 2009


asked Prop 8 supporters to define the nature and extent of damage done by same-sex couples to the institution of marriage

Yes. Gay marriage is a big wedge issue that many people are against. So surely there must be tons of verifiable facts and statistics as to how two people of the same sex gaining the legal benefits of marriage is corrosive to society which opponents can provide so that we can dispassionately evaluate the claims.

*crickets*

Ah, I see. Then kindly fuck off back under your rock.
posted by quin at 11:31 AM on October 15, 2009 [5 favorites]


As a reminder: In September, Maine became the first State in the nation to pass a same-sex marriage law without the courts being involved.

Actually, Vermont legalized same sex-marriage without a court's involvement first, passing legislation on April 7, 2009. It had passed the original bill earlier than that, but the Republican (yes, Vermont has a Republican governor) governor Jim Douglas vetoed. The law was then enacted through a veto override vote, the first successful override in twenty years. (I remember watching live the state's House of Representatives veto override vote, which gathered exactly the 2/3rds vote necessary to pass. It was quite tense because the outcome of the vote wasn't clear beforehand.)

Maine passed its same-sex marriage law the next month, on May 6th (and New Hampshire followed on June 1st). However, Maine was the first state to have a governor sign a same-sex marriage law into effect without a court order compelling them to do so.
posted by thewittyname at 11:34 AM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thank you, thewittyname, I stand corrected.
posted by anastasiav at 11:49 AM on October 15, 2009


Help us make history.

No, seriously.

Here is your chance to make a difference. For all the times you felt powerless. For all the times you had to listen to your parents talk about how their generation was the last progressive one. Just because you missed out on King's March on Washington doesn't mean there aren't still battles to be fought.

Be a part of history. It'll be a nice story to tell your kids.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:52 AM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


1967 - Interracial couples are legal.

Most of the U.S. had already done away with anti-miscegenation laws by 1967 (or never had them). Loving v. Virginia ended them in the 16 states in which they remained (which correspond closely to the states and territories claimed by the Confederacy during the Civil War. Quel coincidence.)

No anti-miscegenation laws were repealed between 1887 and 1948. (California's had gotten more restrictive -- a Filipino man married a white woman, successfully arguing that he was "Malay", not "Mongolian", and thus it wasn't prohibited. California promptly fixed the omission and invalidated their marriage.) But in 1948, California overturned it, and 13 states followed suit prior to Loving v. Virginia.

Not long ago I was proud of California for similarly being an early adopter of gay marriage. Then I wasn't anymore.
posted by Zed at 11:57 AM on October 15, 2009


I don't really know how to express my anger that Minnesota does not yet have legalized gay marriage. Come the fuck on, MN. You're supposed to be better than the haters.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:58 AM on October 15, 2009


The question is relevant to the assertion that Proposition 8 is constitutionally valid because it furthers the states goal of fostering "naturally procreative relationships," Walker explained.

As a married woman with no kids (past, present, or future) I always feel, well...oogy when I hear that one.
posted by JoanArkham at 12:34 PM on October 15, 2009 [4 favorites]


JoanArkham: The question is relevant to the assertion that Proposition 8 is constitutionally valid because it furthers the states goal of fostering "naturally procreative relationships," Walker explained.

As a married woman with no kids (past, present, or future) I always feel, well...oogy when I hear that one.


I always wonder what Prop 8 supporters think about heterosexual couples who are infertile. Are they breaking God's heart?
posted by shakespeherian at 12:53 PM on October 15, 2009


I truly think this conflict is about a basic, fundamental impasse, that came about because religion was a much bigger part of everyone's life back when marriage was institutionalized as a concept from religion into law with the name "marriage."

People who are against same-sex marriage are, generally speaking, okay with civil unions. That's because civil unions have nothing to do with their religion, whereas "marriage" is a religious thing to them.

People who are for same-sex marriage are, generally speaking, against civil unions. That's because of the bigotry (rightfully) associated with "separate but equal". Marriage is not a religious thing to them.

There are obviously other issues about whether a given religion should admit gay members and/or allow gay marriage, but those things are outside the scope of what I've said above (except, of course, that if their religion DID allow same-sex marriage, the conflict would presumably go away entirely.) There is also, of course, more than a small amount of good old-fashioned bigotry involved, but that is what it is, there's no nuance to discuss there.

It's a shame they didn't call 'em "civil union" back in the day.
posted by davejay at 1:05 PM on October 15, 2009


I'm not sure I understand the focus on fixed, immutable characteristics. I mean, religion is about as changeable as characteristics get, and nobody's claiming that because religion is a choice, it's okay to discriminate on that basis.
posted by kafziel at 1:10 PM on October 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


People who are against same-sex marriage are, generally speaking, okay with civil unions. That's because civil unions have nothing to do with their religion, whereas "marriage" is a religious thing to them.

What's going on in Maine, and what's already happened in states like Virginia, begs to differ.
posted by kafziel at 1:17 PM on October 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


Errr, Washington, not Maine.
posted by kafziel at 1:17 PM on October 15, 2009


People who are against same-sex marriage are, generally speaking, okay with civil unions. That's because civil unions have nothing to do with their religion, whereas "marriage" is a religious thing to them.

That sounds right on the surface, except there's hippybear's comment.

The "marriage" terminology is a fig leaf. They will fight civil unions, too, or anything which is designed to recognize the rights of homosexuals.
posted by krinklyfig at 1:19 PM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


MuffinMan: "If bottom sex becomes default, where will the next generation of voters come from be procreated from?"

As far as I know gay men don't have as much anal sex, as, for example, straight people have vaginal sex; it isn't like most guys are fucking ass on the third date or something. Dan Savage addressed this in a Savage Love column I am having a hard time finding right now. Identifying homosexuality with anal sex, even jokingly, is kind of ignorant and could easily cross the borderline to offensive, depending on your audience. For another thing it isn't as if lesbians are more likely than anyone else to be having anal sex either.
posted by idiopath at 1:24 PM on October 15, 2009


A LiveJournal friend just referred me to this, which may explain much.
posted by hippybear at 1:31 PM on October 15, 2009


we're working on the issue of Brunch and I assure you it is far more complex than previously imagined

Well, you have breakfast and lunch, on the same table and married in a seamless transition between the two in a manner and order of the diner's choosing.

I propose breakfast combined with yet another breakfast, while on the other side of a friendly partition lunch is accompanied by yet a second lunch. Participants can see each other over this partition but are not inclined to cross it, except for a select few who may be applauded, maligned, or merely regarded quizzically depending on their discretion.

That should help bring torches and pitchforks to all post-church dining, pronto.
posted by CynicalKnight at 1:34 PM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


The "marriage" terminology is a fig leaf. They will fight civil unions, too, or anything which is designed to recognize the rights of homosexuals.

Well, yeah, that's the stuff that's just pure bigotry. It's there, it's ugly as hell, and it doesn't respond to reason.

Prop 8 on the other hand didn't oppose civil unions/domestic partnerships, and I've heard many a reasonable person state that they have nothing against "teh gays" and everything against "teh gays being married -- why isn't a civil union enough?"
posted by davejay at 1:46 PM on October 15, 2009


"Identifying homosexuality with anal sex, even jokingly, is kind of ignorant"

Point taken, but doesn't irony count for anything these days? I'm wasn't writing that in my voice, you know.
posted by MuffinMan at 2:23 PM on October 15, 2009


Sunday, my wife and I made a sign and went down to the National Equality March. The reaction was, to put it mildly, overwhelming.

Then today, I found out that things hadn't gone as far as we thought.

It's a fight worth fighting.
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:40 PM on October 15, 2009 [18 favorites]


MrMoonPie: Holy cow. I can't believe that story. (I mean, I can believe it, just can't believe it happened in 2009.) That's one man I hope loses his job with much national shaming.
posted by hippybear at 2:53 PM on October 15, 2009


As far as I know gay men don't have as much anal sex, as, for example, straight people have vaginal sex; it isn't like most guys are fucking ass on the third date or something.

Point of order: The term "bottom sex" does not necessarily imply anal sex. Whether the expert about All Things Gayological Dan Savage thinks it does or not.
posted by blucevalo at 3:04 PM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


I now propose someone create a porno staring a John Hodgeman look-a-like called "All Things Gayological."
posted by mccarty.tim at 3:24 PM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


A Louisiana justice of the peace said he refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple out of concern for any children the couple might have. Keith Bardwell, justice of the peace in Tangipahoa Parish, says it is his experience that most interracial marriages do not last long.

This took place, you know, now. Awesome.
posted by rtha at 3:37 PM on October 15, 2009


Actually, Vermont legalized same sex-marriage without a court's involvement first, passing legislation on April 7, 2009.

The California legislature approved same-sex marriage in September 2005, but Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed it.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:45 PM on October 15, 2009


So I actually kno wliterally nothing about the subject, but...

As far as I know gay men don't have as much anal sex, as, for example, straight people have vaginal sex

You are reading a different copy of Xtra then the one I pick up on the subway.

I kid! Xtra is actually kind of mum on more details than I expect. Much like straight people, gay people don't seem to like to make sex into a clinical anatomy lesson
posted by GuyZero at 3:51 PM on October 15, 2009


How come same-sex marriage detractors never protest people like this when talking about the nature and extent of damage done to the marriage institution?

Perhaps what people do after they are married is less important than what they do before....
posted by BigBwana at 4:49 PM on October 15, 2009


Perhaps what people do after they are married is less important than what they do before....

I've noticed this applies to a lot conservative takes on things. Pregnancy, for instance.
posted by Caduceus at 4:55 PM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


> Then today, I found out that things hadn't gone as far as we thought.

Oh man. Wow. I can't even form a proper sentence in response to someone who has the power to do that to others, let alone thinks that kind of thing about my marriage. I hope he never works for any kind of branch of immigration, I never would have been left in the country. What an asshole.

> do any Brits want to weigh in on the current state of gay marriage here in the UK? Insofar as I understand British Marriage Law, "civil partnership" for a gay couple is identical to "marraige" for a straight couple, except for the name. Is this correct? If so, is there a concensus that this is all fine now, or is there still a big movement pushing to get the name as well as the legal rights?

I left the UK back in January, but I am of the impression that most folk are pretty content with the current status quo. I'm in a heterosexual marriage, but I don't identify as heterosexual, and since civil partnerships were introduced I felt like that side of things for me opened up and were suitably protected. If I divorce, return to the UK and fall into a non-hetero relationship, I don't feel like anything I have gained now is unattainable in a gay relationship (except an easy method to have children). I don't think there's any chance of gay rights reverting back to how they were previous to the Labour Party getting into power (*spit*Section 28*spit*), David Cameron seems almost capable of catering to LGBT issues, aside from a lot of old leftover bigotry, most people aren't really bothered enough to get off their arses and do anything to stop gay rights. If someone pushed to change the official title to "marriage", it would only be something that amended paperwork, not real life.

I also happen to live in California, and know more queer/gay/transsexual people than I used to, and I'm of the opinion that the LGBT movement should have ninja'd a win via shooting for civil partnerships that established all the legal rights, waiting 5 years and then file for a title change. But Americans are way more motivated than British people. We'll take what we can get, we'll compromise, we'll wait. America wants it all and it wants it now.* They also have a bigger hurdle of bullshit to scale because they face an organised opposition, whereas in the UK, who cared? Who protested? A bunch of old Christians? Pfft. The differences in the two countries mean that different war strategies are required. I'm looking forward to the day when California, and the rest of the United States, achieves real equality for all. It will happen.

*This is not a negative criticism, honest!
posted by saturnine at 5:46 PM on October 15, 2009


*let in the country
posted by saturnine at 5:47 PM on October 15, 2009


Prop 8 on the other hand didn't oppose civil unions/domestic partnerships, and I've heard many a reasonable person state that they have nothing against "teh gays" and everything against "teh gays being married -- why isn't a civil union enough?"

These campaigns are not being run by reasonable people. They try to rope in as many moderates as possible by playing on their latent fears, much the same way the Southern Strategy exploited racism. Sure, you hear a lot of people saying things like that. These are - literally - talking points. I grant that plenty of people are reasonable enough and do have thoughts of their own, but the people in the undecided middle lean right and are easily swayed by whisper campaigns. But these same people will fight civil unions if that is passed, and they will once again try to rope in the moderates the same way they've always done it, and in some cases such as CA with Prop 8, they try to fool people into voting the wrong way by lying about what the referendum does. Yeah, I've heard reasonable people say things that they heard from other people that sort of sounded reasonable at the time, but upon closer scrutiny they might just be repeating what they heard their cool co-worker tell them at work that morning, who read it on a blog, which just happens to be bankrolled by the same lobbyist groups who run rampant over our whole political system, and who learned long ago to always approach such issues with the "culture wedge" strategy to maximum effect.
posted by krinklyfig at 1:10 AM on October 16, 2009


We'll take what we can get, we'll compromise, we'll wait. America wants it all and it wants it now.

I think there is also the issue that civil unions will not change in any way the toxic atmosphere the political right has whipped up to oppose homosexual rights in any form. Unfortunately, due to the sheer dominance of religion here in the US, IMO civil unions will always be a half-measure, though I totally agree it makes the most logical sense. I think our culture as a whole has to reject these ultra-religious groups in order to move past this, and one way to do it is to reclaim the word "marriage," because really gay marriage is not a big deal at all once you see it in action, and when it's called marriage there isn't an easy way to make a shorthand distinction that it's different than someone else's marriage.
posted by krinklyfig at 1:21 AM on October 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


when it's called marriage there isn't an easy way to make a shorthand distinction that it's different than someone else's marriage

This. There should be no distinction between marriages based on the sex or gender of the partners. If it's marriage, it's marriage, and it comes with all the same rights and responsibilities without regard to biological plumbing, gender identity, sex indicator on official paperwork (from birth certificate forward). If there is any indicator that a same-sex officially-recognized partnership is different, it will be treated as less-than.

The only way to protect it is to end sex-based discrimination in regard to all aspects of naming, licensing, priveleging, taxing, dissolving, or otherwise dealing with marriage. If you change the tax code or immigration code or inheritance code or divorce code or consumer credit code in a way that affects married couples, it should apply to all couples who have licensed and registered as married within the jurisdiction, period.
posted by notashroom at 7:15 AM on October 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


My UK perspective: we have civil partnerships and that's nice an' all. But really, it isn't a big deal for most of us. Everyone uses the marriage/married terms anyway and our Christians are largely irrelevant.
posted by Lleyam at 10:52 AM on October 16, 2009


Everyone uses the marriage/married terms anyway and our Christians are largely irrelevant.

Yeah, I wish we in the US could say that, though I do think we're getting there. But growing up in the '80s with Reagan as president and gender ambiguous pop stars, I figured the stridently anti-gay campaigns would have died out by now, but I wasn't counting on Bush being president.
posted by krinklyfig at 7:30 PM on October 16, 2009


Documentary Exposes Mormon Financial Contributions to Prop 8.

Trailer.
posted by ericb at 9:52 AM on October 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


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