move over, Mass!
February 4, 2005 3:53 PM   Subscribe

Wedding Bells in NYC?? -- with a beautifully-written ruling, NY Supreme Ct. Justice Doris Ling-Cohan states that denying marriage to gay and lesbian New Yorkers is unconstitutional: ... There has been a steady evolution of the institution of marriage throughout history which belies the concept of a static traditional definition. Marriage, as it is understood today, is both a partnership of two loving equals who choose to commit themselves to each other and a State institution designed to promote stability for the couple and their children. The relationships of plaintiffs fit within this definition of marriage. Similar to opposite-sex couples, same-sex couples are entitled to the same fundamental right to follow their hearts and publicly commit to a lifetime partnership with the person of their choosing. The recognition that this fundamental right applies equally to same-sex couples cannot legitimately be said to harm anyone. ...
More here
posted by amberglow (108 comments total)
 
That is lovely. Hope it lasts a while before it gets overturned.
posted by mudpuppie at 3:56 PM on February 4, 2005


I'm glad to hear this. I was getting sad because Virginia is cooking up a bill that'll ban gay marriage in my state. Of course, that probably won't surprise most people. Nonetheless, it's nice to hear that places closer and closer to home are opening their doors to what I consider to be a no-brainer.
posted by Feferneuse at 4:02 PM on February 4, 2005


*dances around office, snarls "take that, reactionary bastards!", prepares for political hay to be made, hunkers down for long haul...*
posted by scody at 4:02 PM on February 4, 2005


Very nice opinion, but it won't last long.
posted by Captaintripps at 4:05 PM on February 4, 2005


Yay! After the debacle in California, it's about time the other coast had its moment before it is inevitably crushed by the neocons. ... But till then, PAR-TAY!
posted by sninky-chan at 4:06 PM on February 4, 2005


San Francisco has taught me that it ain't over 'til it's over.
posted by DaShiv at 4:07 PM on February 4, 2005


It's going to happen, sooner or later. I wish the people who are fighting gay marriage so vigorously would see that in 100 years, they're going to seem as demented and bigoted as slave owners, and segregationists.
posted by Doug at 4:11 PM on February 4, 2005


we might just get it, after all--our legislature is useless, and public support is greater, and our anti-gay folks are weaker than other places...

we'll see if Pataki (our governor who thinks he can run and win nationally) uses this as an attempt to earn bigotry cred with other Repubs.
posted by amberglow at 4:14 PM on February 4, 2005


Note that one way the State of New York is odd is that the "Supreme Court of New York" is acutally a low level court. Above that is (IIRC) the Circuit Court of New York, then the New York Court of Appeals, which is the equivalent of most states and the US Supreme Court.

So, this one isn't over by a long shot.
posted by eriko at 4:16 PM on February 4, 2005


Hey, I've got an idea, let's "triangulate" a "third way" and make everybody sorta happy but somewhat dissatisfied.

That's what coalition building in pluralistic democracies is all about, right?

Ok, so we let the gays get married, like they want...

and in compensation, we let the fundies stone them to death, like it says to in their book.

Everybody can get behind this, right?

Right?


posted by orthogonality at 4:16 PM on February 4, 2005


well, apparently it's up to the Mayor to appeal now, so we'll see. "We urge every American -- and particularly New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg -- to read with an open mind Justice Doris Ling-Cohan's extraordinary opinion ordering an end to marriage inequality in New York. It is brilliant, moving, and with compelling logic demolishes each and every argument raised against extending same sex couples the freedom to marry.

We call upon Mayor Bloomberg and the City of New York not to appeal this decision, but rather, when the 30-day stay expires on March 7, to welcome our couples with open arms and official marriage licenses.

posted by amberglow at 4:21 PM on February 4, 2005


eriko, doesn't every State Supreme Court have its court of appeals above it? The US Supreme Court doesn't, of course, but I thought the states all did.

I'm still unclear on it, but this might shed a little light...
posted by sninky-chan at 4:22 PM on February 4, 2005


legislating from the bench, eh? der fuhrer says: das ist verboten!
posted by blendor at 4:25 PM on February 4, 2005


It's going to happen, sooner or later. I wish the people who are fighting gay marriage so vigorously would see that in 100 years, they're going to seem as demented and bigoted as slave owners, and segregationists.

They don't care. In a hundred years, they'll be dead. And god forbid that some fag should get one up on them while they're still around.

I'm sorry if that sounds brutal, but this is the fight you're in. No holds bared, no quarter given. These people don't just think that civil rights are at stake; they think that their very belief in reality hangs on the spittle of one man kissing another in love.
posted by Wulfgar! at 4:28 PM on February 4, 2005


eriko, doesn't every State Supreme Court have its court of appeals above it?

On matters pertaining to state laws and constitutions, the highest court in the state (the state Supreme Court in most states; the Court of Appeals in NY state) is the final authority. The federal court system (federal circuit courts, federal appeals courts, and the U.S. Supreme Court) is involved only in matters of federal law or the U.S. Constitution. For example, the Mass Supreme Court was the final authority in the same-sex marriage case in that state, since that particular case was based on language in the Massachusetts constitution.
posted by mr_roboto at 4:30 PM on February 4, 2005


This is great. I look forward to seeing the opponents of same-sex marriage consigned to the dustheap of history, next to opponents of miscegenation and integration.

Is there an intelligent, well-spoken mefi conservative (the numbers of which are sadly dwindling) that could articulate either their personal argument against legalizing gay marriage or perhaps summarize the general conservative argument? I have yet to see anyone present one that actually makes sense. I really mean this, non-snarkily. I'd genuinely like to see what the reasoning is.
posted by deafmute at 4:35 PM on February 4, 2005


Oh, I so don't care about this any more. Government: get the F out of the marriage business altogether!
posted by ParisParamus at 4:35 PM on February 4, 2005


here's what our Mayor said in March: Bloomberg said in an interview that he goes "back-and-forth" on whether same-sex marriages should be allowed, but believes these couples deserve equality.
"Personally, I've always thought that civil unions should have exactly the same rights as marriage," Bloomberg said during the interview, to be broadcast Sunday on WPIX-TV. "I don't think you should discriminate against anybody."


If the courts say that it has to be marriage to be equal, will he go back on his words?
posted by amberglow at 4:40 PM on February 4, 2005


deafmute, I'm sure that you've heard the religious reasoning against gay marraige. We've discussed the (seemingly) secular reasonings before.

And the fact that ParisP is SOOOO Ooooverrrrr this argument, now that the election is passed ... speaks volumes.
posted by Wulfgar! at 4:43 PM on February 4, 2005


Actually, I'm sorry Paris. That was probably out of line of me. I know that this was never your issue; but you have argued that those of us who believe in equal rights for all are damaging our own positions. Still I would rather side with the correct, than accept your view. That I got snotty about it now is indefensible, and I do apologize.
posted by Wulfgar! at 4:47 PM on February 4, 2005


see, gay marriage brings people together! : >
posted by amberglow at 4:53 PM on February 4, 2005


These people don't just think that civil rights are at stake; they think that their very belief in reality hangs on the spittle of one man kissing another in love.

I think you're right for a lot of people, but there are PLENTY of people in this country who are against gay marriage because of simple inertia. Some from regular, nonreligious bigotry. It's these people who have some hope of rationality, I think. I mean, the majority of American's can't be religious zealots, right? Right?
posted by Doug at 4:55 PM on February 4, 2005


If the courts say that it has to be marriage to be equal, will he go back on his words?

Is a mayoral election coming up?
posted by AlexReynolds at 5:01 PM on February 4, 2005


Paris and Wulfgar! are getting married?
posted by homunculus at 5:01 PM on February 4, 2005


This is one of those times where I'm posting this message, under my name, so one day my grandchildren can see that their grandfather was one of the good guys:

This is a good thing, and the day this fight is over and every American can legally marry the person they love, no matter gender, will be probably the happiest day of my life.

And it WILL happen.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 5:02 PM on February 4, 2005


yup Alex-- our Mayor's up for re-election this year--and we vote in VERY large numbers.
posted by amberglow at 5:02 PM on February 4, 2005


Paris and Wulfgar! are getting married?

My wife might kind of object to that. She supports the gay marraige, but she just doesn't do with the whole polygamy thing ...
posted by Wulfgar! at 5:08 PM on February 4, 2005


(incidently, he only got 1/3 of our vote in a close race last time)
posted by amberglow at 5:13 PM on February 4, 2005


In a liberal town like NYC, there's very little downside to Bloomberg by not appealing (esp. since he can just quietly ignore it,) and quite a bit of potential gain, based on amberglow's last comment.

If he has plans to go into higher office, things get a bit muddier, of course.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 5:19 PM on February 4, 2005


I was so taken with the language and clarity of the decision, and intrigued by the judge's name, Doris Ling-Cohan, I had to look her up. More here about Justice Doris Ling-Cohan.
posted by trii at 5:21 PM on February 4, 2005


he doesn't, but Pataki does. And Eliot Spitzer's running for Governor, so is involved now too.

some analysis from rawstoryq
posted by amberglow at 5:22 PM on February 4, 2005


thanks, trii!
posted by amberglow at 5:28 PM on February 4, 2005


amberglow-- it's possible to be opposed to state-sanctioned gay marriage without being a bigot. It's perfectly reasonable to think that the state should regognize no marriages whatsoever. As soon as gays can get married, they're receiving better-than-equal treatment than are the unmarried.

How is this just to unmarried people?
posted by trharlan at 5:31 PM on February 4, 2005


to think that the state should recognize no marriages is not what ANY local or national politician is saying--they're saying that straight marriage is fine and dandy, while gay marriage is the biggest threat facing this country today, and stuff like that. What you state as a possible position is not in evidence anywhere, including NY.
posted by amberglow at 5:39 PM on February 4, 2005


but there are PLENTY of people in this country who are against gay marriage because of simple inertia. Some from regular, nonreligious bigotry.

I say those people can go fuck themselves with a rusty serrated dildo. The slower the better.

Here's what I had to do to get married - pay thirty-four bucks for the license. That was it. Period.

I can't imagine telling anyone else that they can't have what I have. It's fucking congenitally retarded on the face of it.
posted by trondant at 5:41 PM on February 4, 2005


it's possible to be opposed to state-sanctioned gay marriage without being a bigot. It's perfectly reasonable to think that the state should regognize no marriages whatsoever. As soon as gays can get married, they're receiving better-than-equal treatment than are the unmarried.

Well, sure, but that's absolutely not the predominant argument that 's being trotted out to ban same-sex marriage. Anti-gay-marriage initiatives attempt to "elevate" marriage per se as a state that can only, only, ONLY exist between a man and a woman, and is therefore so special that the government must get involved in order to "preserve" it.
posted by scody at 5:41 PM on February 4, 2005


I mean, the majority of American's can't be religious zealots, right? Right?

*cough* The November election results suggest that not pinning too many hopes on that theory.

It's perfectly reasonable to think that the state should regognize no marriages whatsoever.

Recognize, or reward? It sounds like you object to some citizens being treated as "more equal" than others. But the state is capable of recognizing status without imposing separate rights and burdens based on that status. Would you have objections if government treated marrieds and unmarrieds the same but provided the official recognition of what "counts" as married/unmarried for other purposes?
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 5:43 PM on February 4, 2005


trharlan, that's a strange argument (especially since, as amberglow rightly points out, no one with any power in the matter is actually arguing it), but I'll bite -

Marriage is a civil process by which two people are legally made members of the same family. The closest equivalent is probably adoption. Members of the same family, out of practical necessity, have rights and obligations with regard to each other with respect to child-rearing, medical decisions, jail visitation, immigration, etc.

The concept of marriage is therefore no more unfair to the unmarried than adoption is to the childless.

It is probably arguable that marriage should be extended out even further (to groups, etc.), but getting rid of it altogether because it is "unfair" isn't a very good argument.
posted by kyrademon at 5:45 PM on February 4, 2005


From a debate I had previously with someone:

Traditional marriage that goes back from the dawn of time means kidnapping the wife. Or buying her from the father. Or meeting your wife on your wedding day a la Tevye and Golde. Love was far from the primary purpose. Miscegeny was untraditional. Divorce was once non-existent, which can be good or bad depending on who you ask. The definition changes, and has changed, and claims that the definition is ancient are simply incorrect on many levels.

...

The meaning behind marriage (least for the last few hundred years,) is for two people, who love each other very much, to affirm before each other, before the state, before their neighbors, and before their God, that they choose to spend the rest of their lives with each other. If I may quote the Court again: Separate is Not Equal.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 5:50 PM on February 4, 2005


trharlan, that's a specious objection to gay marraige. Male-female marraige is "unjust" to unmarried people in your argument. However, that isn't the objection that is proferred. What is put forth is that gay-marraige damages the sanctity of marraige itself.

Get off your Nader hobby horse and take a stand. Or not ... your choice, of course. Just don't expect to be taken seriously when you argue that gay people shouldn't be allowed to be married because that confers a status that unmarried folk have. Argue the honest point, that marraige should be null and void, or get out of the way. Again. Your choice. The only reason I think you don't avidly stake your claim in the real world is that you know you'll be laughed right out of the game. So, seriously, why damage the few to make a point that very very few others would even concider supporting? Are you that arrogant and willful?

(People fighting for equal rights really shouldn't have to fight a two front war against the bigots and those people fighting for no rights, yes?)
posted by Wulfgar! at 5:51 PM on February 4, 2005


Individuals should be able to create civic equivalents of any of the many types of business ownership. I think marriages should require contracts, not just licenses, that provide for many eventualities, including the eventual dissolution of the partnership (or removal of one or more of the members).
posted by Eideteker at 5:52 PM on February 4, 2005


Just don't expect to be taken seriously when you argue that gay people shouldn't be allowed to be married because that confers a status that unmarried folk *don't* have.

Sorry, my bad in expression.
posted by Wulfgar! at 5:53 PM on February 4, 2005


also, if you actually believe that no marriages at all should be recognized, shouldn't you then be fighting to remove it for those who actually have it, instead of those who want it? it doesn't make sense to fight against gay marriage if you believe no one should be able to have it--it makes sense to fight straight marriage, which actually exists.

your argument doesn't hold water, since it's not being used at all against those that currently have marriage, but you'd like to use it against those of us that don't have it.
posted by amberglow at 5:53 PM on February 4, 2005


As soon as gays can get married, they're receiving better-than-equal treatment than are the unmarried. How is this just to unmarried people?

Wow, what a non sequitor... How is straight marriage just to unmarried people, again?
posted by AlexReynolds at 5:53 PM on February 4, 2005


Yay! I [heart] NY.

"Is there an intelligent, well-spoken mefi conservative (the numbers of which are sadly dwindling) that could articulate either their personal argument against legalizing gay marriage or perhaps summarize the general conservative argument?"

The main beefs seem to be:
1) Won't someone please think of the children? (As if queers don't have kids too, and nevermind that 99% of queers grew up with straight parents.)
2) God says it's wrong! (Yes, and the Bible passages being read in synagogues across the world tomorrow morning [parsha Mishpatim, Exodus and Jeremiah] just happens to be the ones that talk about the legal responsibilities involved in slave-owning. Ew.)
3) Slippery-slope! It opens the door to polygamy, bestiality, and cats lying down with dogs! (Well, 2 out of 3 ain't bad.)

Yeah, I honestly don't grok their reasoning either, and I actually am a Republican. Among non-religious conservatives, especially younger ones, support for gay marriage rights is way higher than you might think, eliciting far more shrugs than debate. Unfortunately, secular conservatives are becoming a distinct minority in the modern GOP.

However, Governor Pataki is one of them--er, us. He and Rudy Giuliani are two of the most actively pro-gay Republicans in the country. Pataki regularly speaks at Empire State Pride Agenda and Log Cabin Republican and other NY-area and/or Republican gay rights organization meetings/dinners, and his history of supporting anti-discrimination laws like SONDA goes back a few years. I hope he sticks to his guns and helps this ruling stand.

Meanwhile, can you imagine seeing Stephen Sondheim's name in the Vows column of the Times? How cool would that be?
posted by Asparagirl at 5:58 PM on February 4, 2005


All I know is, if Pataki takes a stand in support, he may alienate himself from the party, but would prove himself to be one of the most progressive Republicans around - putting his money where his mouth is.

And THAT would be something to see!
posted by OhPuhLeez at 6:03 PM on February 4, 2005


...er my last point being that New York has a huge number of famous gay people, and I can only imagine the stampede when they all start getting legally hitched and throwing big parties to celebrate. Tavern on the Green, for example, is going to have a very good year.

(Note to self: buy stock in Tiffany's, Barney's, and Crate and Barrel now.)
posted by Asparagirl at 6:04 PM on February 4, 2005


I don't think he will--Pataki is looking at DC, and thinks he has a chance in 08--he's dreaming of course, but just may take a stand against this to try to get points with the right.
posted by amberglow at 6:11 PM on February 4, 2005


trharlan, that's a specious objection to gay marraige. Male-female marraige is "unjust" to unmarried people in your argument. However, that isn't the objection that is proferred. What is put forth is that gay-marraige damages the sanctity of marraige itself.

Male-female marraige is "unjust" to unmarried people in my argument. And so is gay marriage. That's the objection that I proffer. And it's a principled one.

Get off your Nader hobby horse and take a stand.

I don't understand how this relates to Nader.

Argue the honest point, that marraige should be null and void, or get out of the way. Again. Your choice.


Okay. The state should not recognize marriage. That wasn't hard.

The only reason I think you don't avidly stake your claim in the real world is that you know you'll be laughed right out of the game.

Laugh all you want to.

So, seriously, why damage the few to make a point that very very few others would even concider supporting? Are you that arrogant and willful?

Arrogant and willful?

What really pisses me off about the gay lobby regarding this issue is how it claims to just want the rights everyone else has and claims to be a sensitive advocate of those who have untraditional relationships. This altruistic posturing is bullshit, because 99% of the gay marriage lobby will not pick up the fight for the small minority of those who wish to marry their siblings. And the single people who are left to pay more than their share in taxes? The gay lobby isn't going to care. It's not about being fair to everyone-- These equal rights include the right to screw over unmarried people, just like straight married people get to.
posted by trharlan at 6:13 PM on February 4, 2005


This altruistic posturing is bullshit, because 99% of the gay marriage lobby will not pick up the fight for the small minority of those who wish to marry their siblings. And the single people who are left to pay more than their share in taxes? The gay lobby isn't going to care. It's not about being fair to everyone-- These equal rights include the right to screw over unmarried people, just like straight married people get to.

WTF? We're fighting for us--for ourselves. It's not for us to fight for incest or anyone else--you fight for you; we fight for us. Who ever said we're being altruistic???? We have families that are being hurt because denied the rights other families have. We have couples who are forbidden to visit each other in the hospital. We have couples where one is thrown out of the apartment when the other dies, which doesn't happen to married straight couples...
posted by amberglow at 6:17 PM on February 4, 2005


These equal rights include the right to screw over unmarried people, just like straight married people get to.

Christ, someone read this guy a copy of Harrison Bergeron, already.

Child-bearing couples place a disproportionate burden on society, taking a greater share of resources to raise their kids than childless couples. Do we all (gay and straight lobbies) outlaw children? Or do we recognize that society comes up with a framework of agreements within which we haggle and chew over?
posted by AlexReynolds at 6:18 PM on February 4, 2005


I got an email from someone about this:
I was reading your post about Justice Ling-Cohan's decision (I'm a gay, New York based, legal services lawyer myself), and just wanted to point out that, because of the way the lawsuit was framed, the decision cannot be reviewed by SCOTUS. That was a strategic decision by Lambda and Kramer Levin, the petitioner's counsel. Basically, the challenge was on the basis of the New York State Constitution only, rendering it beyond the scope of review by the Supremes.

Which is not to say, as was noted in the discussion, that it cannot be appealed to the Court of Appeals. However, as I was saying to a colleague a few minutes ago, that might not be all bad. The Court of Appeals in general, and Judge Kaye in particular, appear to have been itching for some time to deal with this issue and, as high courts go, they're pretty liberal. Not as liberal as New Jersey, but they were one of the first high courts to recognize the rights of gay partners to have succession rights (the case was called Braaschi, and had to do
with a rent-controlled apartment, property worth more than gold in New York, as I'm sure you know :))

And finally, the reason Matt Foreman called on Bloomberg to not appeal is because the named defendant is Victor Robles, City Clerk of the City of New York. He is represented by Eliot Spitzer's office, but his boss is Bloomberg.


interesting, no? thanks, Lassie!
posted by amberglow at 6:25 PM on February 4, 2005


Male-female marraige is "unjust" to unmarried people in my argument. And so is gay marriage. That's the objection that I proffer. And it's a principled one.

That's not an argument against gay marriage specifically, but an argument against marriage itself. I generally agree that the government shouldn't be in the business of validating relationships, but realistically that's not going to change any time soon. So, the question for you is, if we assume that state-sanctioned marriage isn't going anywhere, then do you support the extension of the right to marry to gays?

What really pisses me off about the gay lobby regarding this issue is how it claims to just want the rights everyone else has and claims to be a sensitive advocate of those who have untraditional relationships. This altruistic posturing is bullshit, because 99% of the gay marriage lobby will not pick up the fight for the small minority of those who wish to marry their siblings. And the single people who are left to pay more than their share in taxes? The gay lobby isn't going to care. It's not about being fair to everyone-- These equal rights include the right to screw over unmarried people, just like straight married people get to.

Uh, the "gay lobby" exists to further the equality of gay people, not people who want to marry their siblings. That's why we call it the "gay lobby." In the same vein, I don't expect that the gay lobby will support gun ownership, or getting out of Iraq, or whatever. There are other lobbies for other causes.
posted by me & my monkey at 6:26 PM on February 4, 2005


WTF? We're fighting for us--for ourselves.

And still other people – both gay and straight – are fighting for the right of same-sex couples to marry because they recognize that it is simply not fair to deny some families the protections all other families are eligible to receive.

The argument I pasted above is the one I hear most often-- that it's not fair to deny some groups rights that are offered to others. This argument, taken to its logical conclusion, supports sibling marriage. But the gay lobby for the most part doesn't care about sibling marriage! It argues under the rubric of what's right, asking the people who oppose it to just be fair. Why then is the lobby only concerned about fairness when its patrons are the victims?
posted by trharlan at 6:41 PM on February 4, 2005


This argument, taken to its logical conclusion, supports sibling marriage.

No, its logical conclusion very simply supports same-sex marriage. Where are you making the leap to sibling marriage? Why are you stopping with siblings, for that matter, following your "logical conclusion" tack?

Why not go all the way to pets? Or is that kind of "logical conclusion" just as much of a silly non-sequitor as kin marriage?
posted by AlexReynolds at 6:45 PM on February 4, 2005


of course, you post the third and least-important reason, trharlan: try these from the same link:
Many same-sex couples want the right to legally marry because they are in love, or because they just met the love of their lives or, more likely, have spent the last 10, 20 or 50 years with that person – and want to honor their relationship in the greatest way our society has to offer, by making a public commitment to stand together in good times and bad, through all the joys and challenges family life brings.

Many others want the right to marry because they are parents and know that marriage offers children a vital safety net, guaranteeing them protections that unmarried parents never could.

posted by amberglow at 6:46 PM on February 4, 2005


Christ, someone read this guy a copy of Harrison Bergeron, already.

I've read it, like, eight thousand times, and I don't get your point.

Child-bearing couples place a disproportionate burden on society, taking a greater share of resources to raise their kids than childless couples. Do we all (gay and straight lobbies) outlaw children? Or do we recognize that society comes up with a framework of agreements within which we haggle and chew over?

No, we give them a federal tax break and make their neighbors pay to educate the rugrats. If I remember correctly (and I might not), Alex, you realize just how stupid this is.
posted by trharlan at 6:47 PM on February 4, 2005


Why not go all the way to pets? Or is that kind of "logical conclusion" just as much of a silly non-sequitor as kin marriage?

Well, pets aren't subject to estate and income taxes, for one. And the fact that they're, you know, animals also has something to do with it.

I am sure that somewhere in America, there exists a brother and a sister who deeply love each other. If state-sanctioned marriage (with special priveleges) exists, and if fairness is important, the siblings ought to be able to marry.
posted by trharlan at 6:52 PM on February 4, 2005


This is one of those times where I'm posting this message, under my name, so one day my grandchildren can see that their grandfather was one of the good guys.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 7:02 PM CST on February 4


I say those people can go fuck themselves with a rusty serrated dildo. The slower the better.
posted by trondant at 7:41 PM CST on February 4


And then you can explain to little timmy what a dildo is, and for what purpose would it be rusty and serrated, and why "slow"?

Good times, good times...
posted by justgary at 6:55 PM on February 4, 2005


I have sort of related question*:

Before I was married for, well, about a year (I no longer am), back in, well, 2000, even 2001, I remember dating a woman named Laura, with whom I recall going at one point to the "Chelsea Diner" on 7th Ave. in Chelsea (NYC). Did it close? I couldn't find it two weeks ago when a woman and I were looking for a quick bite. Some of the money I spent pre-marriage, and would have spent two weeks ago, was/would have actually have been earned which appearing in Justice Ling-Cohan's Part of Supreme New York. Two weeks ago, we went instead to the Eros Diner

*The portions of this question relevant to this thread are highlighted in bold and underlined
posted by ParisParamus at 6:56 PM on February 4, 2005


No, we give them a federal tax break and make their neighbors pay to educate the rugrats. If I remember correctly (and I might not), Alex, you realize just how stupid this is.

You don't remember correctly.

There are couples that have children, and couples that don't. You've decided to respond with a snappy quip.

But can you grasp the logical point I'm trying to make, which is that "equal rights" is not some sophomorish, abstract ideal, but has a concrete, real-world meaning based upon whatever rules a society of people agree to set up.

Some people fight for their equality. Others do not.

The strawman "gay lobby", as such, has its hands full dealing with keeping Bush from putting the country on the first steps towards throwing us into ovens.

If kin wish to get married, then they can hash it out in the legal system and through voting in sympathetic legislators, just like we have to.

Kin-couples will have my full support, if they do fight (if they do exist, to give you benefit of doubt), just like my straight friends have full support for my desire for gay-friendly civil rights.

The point about Harrison Bergeron is that idealizing "equal rights" to the degree that you seem to is the ridiculous equivalent of putting gravity boots on people who can jump up and down, i.e. equality doesn't have to mean keeping everyone single and miserable.
posted by AlexReynolds at 6:58 PM on February 4, 2005


Ooops! ...Eros Diner
posted by ParisParamus at 7:01 PM on February 4, 2005


And the fact that they're, you know, animals also has something to do with it.

I'm just taking your argument to its logical conclusion. I could just as easily say in turn, "You know, the fact that they're siblings also has something to do with the reason why kin marriage has nothing to do with same-sex marriage." Right?
posted by AlexReynolds at 7:01 PM on February 4, 2005


Well, pets aren't subject to estate and income taxes, for one.

Not the ones with skimpy inheritances, anyway...

ParisParamus, if you're so eager to say something, at least have the balls to say it. Even Drudge would find that lame.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 7:16 PM on February 4, 2005


But can you grasp the logical point I'm trying to make, which is that "equal rights" is not some sophomorish, abstract ideal, but has a concrete, real-world meaning based upon whatever rules a society of people agree to set up.

I'm saying it's extrememely concrete. Why should the state set up any rules at all as far as marriage is concerned?

The point about Harrison Bergeron is that idealizing "equal rights" to the degree that you seem to is the ridiculous equivalent of putting gravity boots on people who can jump up and down, i.e. equality doesn't have to mean keeping everyone single and miserable.


Well, no. Just the opposite. I'm arguing that the state ought not put boots on anyone.

I could just as easily say in turn, "You know, the fact that they're siblings also has something to do with the reason why kin marriage has nothing to do with same-sex marriage." Right?


I'll draw you a syllogism:

P1: It is unfair to assign protections to some families and not others
P2: Some families receive legal protections

C:It is simply not fair to deny some families the protections all other families are eligible to receive.

If you're going to use those premises to support gay marriage, than you can use the same premises to support kin marriage, with equal logical validity.
posted by trharlan at 7:25 PM on February 4, 2005


Let gays marry. Who cares?!! Chelsea is a gayish neighborhood. Answer my question! Please.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:28 PM on February 4, 2005


I'm arguing that the state ought not put boots on anyone.

Well, you're going to have an even harder time convincing society to give up (straight) marriage altogether, than the rest of us (non-straights) will have trying to get equal protection under the law.

Good luck, you have an incredibly tough fight ahead of you.
posted by AlexReynolds at 7:33 PM on February 4, 2005


hmmm..a puzzle: married, year, woman, Laura, Chelsea, Chelsea, woman, marriage, Justice Ling-Cohan's Part of Supreme New York.

What is....gibberish?
posted by amberglow at 7:53 PM on February 4, 2005


The only halfway honest explanation I've ever received about the anti-gay-marriage stance came from a male relative. (Straight and married.) I actually admire him for saying this.

When I asked him why gay marriage threatened him -- personally -- he said that he didn't want people to think he could "stick it in" a guy as easily (or as legitimately) as he could his wife. He somehow thought gay marriage would make him less manly, I guess. Really -- he actually said this.

I think he summed it up. It pisses me off, but at least he was honest.
posted by mudpuppie at 7:53 PM on February 4, 2005


" Well, you're going to have an even harder time convincing society to give up (straight) marriage altogether, than the rest of us (non-straights) will have trying to get equal protection under the law."

Not sure. If gay marriage gets very far in enough "red" states, the path of least resistance may be "civil unions for everyone!" with marriage reverting to a purely religious institution thing.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:59 PM on February 4, 2005


the path of least resistance may be "civil unions for everyone!" with marriage reverting to a purely religious institution thing.

Exactly. Religious fundies can continue to believe that their unions are special and sacred, and nobody else has to give a damn. It's a win-win.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 8:13 PM on February 4, 2005


I would consider myself a well-spoken, intelligent conservative.

Who doesn't drool too much.

So, here's a novel thought: Let any two consenting adults (hell, make it three if you like) agree to a binding union.

Let's call it...... a "Fred."

So, these two people can have their Fred, with all the civil benefits of a "traditional marriage." If said couple want to take a big heapin' bottle of religion and spray it all over their Fred, more power to them.

And likewise if they don't. It should make zero difference in the eyes of the law.

Churches can offer the "Deluxe Fred" if they like - if you don't like the choices, look around, some other permutation of Fred will likely show up.

It never ceases to amaze me that our government doesn't have something better to do.
posted by ebarker at 8:54 PM on February 4, 2005


that sounds good, but people should never have to give up rights (even the name by which those rights are bestowed counts to many)--rights should be expanded--and will--as our history shows. All this talk about making all marriages civil unions is just talk and will never happen.
posted by amberglow at 9:03 PM on February 4, 2005


Let the gay's marry. Let them see how stupid it was to get married in the first place, and if your gonna be gay you might ass well get as much cock and rug as you can.

Even if gay marriage does become the norm, I can still sleep easily at night knowing that it is a step closer to Armageddon.

Also knowing that even if they do feel the need to wear wedding rings, it's comforting to know that gays will always face prejudice and persecution. They should expect it, for it is deserved.
posted by AMWKE at 9:13 PM on February 4, 2005


Paris Paramus - what's your question? Whether or not a diner is still in Chelsea?
posted by ericb at 9:19 PM on February 4, 2005


As long as I can remember, us gays were early to Chelsea - like so 1980's.
posted by ericb at 9:26 PM on February 4, 2005


Or, do you have some objection for a diner being named for the Greek god of love - Eros, son of Aphrodite?

Suggested reading: Greek Homosexuality.
posted by ericb at 9:32 PM on February 4, 2005




"...it's comforting to know that gays will always face prejudice and persecution. They should expect it, for it is deserved." - surely the words of a troll. Ignore.
posted by ericb at 9:52 PM on February 4, 2005


Oh my God! I can feel my marriage dissolving as we speak!
posted by fungible at 9:59 PM on February 4, 2005


In other news ... Black clergy unite to publicly support gay rights (Atlanta, GA).
posted by ericb at 10:55 PM on February 4, 2005


No--I just want to know if I couldn't find it, or it's gone--said establishment had a decent tofu stir-fry, and it was open late. The only connection with this thread is that it's in Chelsea, and I know the Judge.
posted by ParisParamus at 11:21 PM on February 4, 2005


trharlan -

1) I'm an active campaigner for allowing sibling marriage.

2) Even if I weren't, it's perfectly legitimate to attempt to deal with one issue at a time. Just because someone is currently focused on, say, getting help to tsunamai victims, doesn't mean they don't give a rat's ass about earthquake victims. No one has an infinite amount of time or energy.

3) It's also perfectly legitimate to deal with a battle that it looks like it might be possible to win, and put off ones that are currently hopeless until public sentiment or the political landscape changes.

4) It's not hypocritical to be most concerned with the matters that affect you most directly. And it's much easier to speak to an issue you have direct knowledge of.

5) I've examined the arguments for government getting out of marriage entirely, and it's impractical. Too many legal issues - regarding, for example, children, inheritance, insurance, medical care, immigration, prisoners' rights, and power of attourney - are wrapped up in family relations. Unless you want to completely end the concept of family as an idea in law, marriage is necessary to create families of choice in addition to families of origin. And ending the concept of family is unlikely to happen as long as, for example, children are generally raised by their parents.

6) I am, however, perfectly open to hearing arguments about how certain aspects of marriage, such as taxation, are inequitable or unfair, and so are many others. You'd probably have a lot more luck arguing along those lines.
posted by kyrademon at 11:31 PM on February 4, 2005


Gary - shove it up your ass and hum.

I do find it odd you feel the need to drag children into the discussion. Is there anything you'd like to get off your chest?
posted by trondant at 12:09 AM on February 5, 2005


trharlan, you are aware that you could just as easily be using polygamous marriages as your extreme example, right?

Because if we can't come up with good reasons why gay marriage shouldn't be legal, we can't come up with good reasons why polygamous marriage shouldn't be legal -- logistical problems, maybe, but those can always be overcome. And there is a fairly large polyamorous community that would probably be very happy to benefit from the successes of the gay rights movement (and is probably deserving of those rewards), but has been held at arms length.

You could have gotten into all of those valid points, but you instead brought up incest.

Incest, in case you never noticed, is wrong because (1) it's almost invariably a form of rape because relatives have pre-existing power dynamics, and (2) it tends to lead to the creation of deficient offspring. (You could probably find examples of sterile siblings raised apart, but hard cases make bad law.) We don't have to invalidate the arguments in favor of gay marriage to oppose sibling marriage because there are plenty of other things standing in the way.

You are being treated as a troll here because, given an excellent opportunity to fairly attack the gay rights movement for hypocrisy and opportunism, you have instead compared us to rapists. You chose an insulting and inaccurate analogy when a perfectly appropriate one was readily available -- that's truly slimy.

For what it's worth, I think that (a) Bloomberg is almost certainly going to pursue an appeal, because he's a creep detested by most of the city and it's just the kind of thing he would do, (b) the Court of Appeals is almost certain to hear the case and approve marriage rights within a couple of years. Nice. Now I just have to meet somebody.
posted by Epenthesis at 1:05 AM on February 5, 2005


Legislate or dictate.
posted by HTuttle at 1:31 AM on February 5, 2005


Oh ... okay ParisParamus ... does the following bring you closer to that which you refer?

Diners & Coffee Shops
72 7th Ave, New York 10011
Phone: 212-691-5200
Fax: 212-924-7272
posted by ericb at 2:18 AM on February 5, 2005


I really, really don't want to derail this thread onto this topic, but trharlan was very clearly NOT comparing gays to rapists. He was obviously specifically referring to consensual incest ("somewhere in America, there exists a brother and a sister who deeply love each other"), and also strongly implied that he considers marriage to a nonconsenting party, such as with the case of bestiality, to be a subject entirely different from the one he was talking about ("the fact that they're, you know, animals also has something to do with it.")

He raised the topic of incestuous marriage not to compare gays to rapists, but to proffer an example of a situation that he (and I) find inequitable, but that many even in the right-to-marriage movement would nonetheless oppose. Whether this opposition is the result of cultural prejudice or legitimate concerns is fair game for discussion (although not on this thread), but accusing him of insults he did not intend is not, in my opinion.

I would guess that he did not bring up polyamory because many in the right-to-marriage movement have no objection to polyamorous marriages. So bringing that up would not have proved his point.

I disagree strongly with the anti-marriage conclusions he has come to, but he has raised a perfectly valid argument in thread where people *asked* if there was any non-bigoted argument against gay marriage (his answer: all marriage is bad), and you can argue his analogy is inaccurate but I think it is neither insulting nor slimy.
posted by kyrademon at 2:30 AM on February 5, 2005


certain aspects of marriage, such as taxation, are inequitable or unfair

Actually kyrademon this, for me, would be one reason to oppose gay marriage.
Part of the problem is we still have inequities in earning (that is men still earn more than women) and certain social elements.
A gay (male) couple would typically earn more money than a mixed couple for example.

There is, and probably will always be, friction between some groups that have non-popular common interests and are somewhat closed and internally cooperative as a result.
(Usually perpetuated by those who don't recognize this dynamic)
Jewish folks come to mind as a group that has experianced this to greater degrees in history. But it's common to many ethnic groups in America - a polish (or italian, or greek, or whatever) guy might empathize more with another guy from his ethinic or religeous (or whatever) background and so become friends, less with someone else from a different background.
African-Americans have experianced this a lot in the U.S.
And you get some external hostility for it (why do they all sit together?, etc.) from those who are not included (even though they themselves are the reason they're not included).

So you get gay folks in the same situation, but now (if the law passes) they can pool their reasources in a way usually reserved only for "families".


There are also plenty of other social considerations there and at what point does changing the law to protect homosexuals become social engineering?

This is not to say that I don't think those problems can't be fixed - the legal and financial ones anyway, nor that they would be hard to fix.
I'd even say they should be fixed first, but I agree with you that some causes need to be championed when it is likely to bring change.

I suppose I'm just pointing out that there is an almost mechanical social reason why there is opposition to this idea beyond the pigheaded ignorant fools who are a'scared of the queers (despite their attempts to rationalize and codify this fear).

Every group is seen as "they" sometimes.
posted by Smedleyman at 6:23 AM on February 5, 2005


Smedley, is there resentment against more wealthy straight married couples? I don't see how that's a real, widespread reason for denying anyone rights. And what about lesbian couples? They certainly don't make more than 2 men. In fact, that whole income thing is a myth:
* Gay, lesbian, and bisexual people do not earn more than heterosexual people
* Gay, lesbian, and bisexual people do not live in more affluent households than heterosexual people
* Two studies suggest that gay men earn less than similarly qualified heterosexual men
* Gay, lesbian, and bisexual people are found throughout the spectrum of income distribution: some are poor, few are rich, and most are somewhere in the middle, along with most heterosexual people.

posted by amberglow at 7:36 AM on February 5, 2005


Smedleyman, I'll admit I'm quite confused by your point. I could be misreading you, but you seem to be arguing that, because men make more money on average than women, gay male couples would on average have an unfair advantage over mixed or lesbian couples. Which would also be an argument for not allowing white people, rich people, or college-educated people to marry each other, so it's not really an argument that's holding a lot of punch for me.

I'd be all about figuring out fair ways of ending any or all of those financial inequities. But as a social reason for disallowing or even disliking gay marriage, it's pretty weak.

Please let me know if I've misinterpreted your position.

On preview: and what amberglow said.
posted by kyrademon at 7:53 AM on February 5, 2005


He was obviously specifically referring to consensual incest ("somewhere in America, there exists a brother and a sister who deeply love each other")...

1) There is for practical purposes no such thing as consensual incest. I cited the hypothetical example of siblings raised apart because that's as close as you can come -- exploiting the bonds of family for sexual access is rape. It's no different from a psychologist having a relationship with his patient; one party's ability to consent has been compromised.

2) You give trharlan far too much credit. You seem to see an independent thinker there, while I see another ass who's brought up the incest canard. Someone who wasn't trying to be insulting would have been much more careful in raising such a sensitive comparison.
posted by Epenthesis at 10:51 AM on February 5, 2005


I so wish I could have the judge's words tatooed on my MP's forehead.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:47 AM on February 5, 2005


Epenthesis - the "incest canard" in this context is generally taken to mean someone who uses the apocryphal argument that legalizing gay marriage will inevitably lead to legalizing incest. Trharlan is *complaining* that legalizing gay marriage will *not* lead to legalizing incest. The two are hardly the same.

Yes, they both draw a moral equivalence between the two situations. But the first drags gay marriage down to a perceived moral low (incest), and is insulting to gays. The second raises incest up to a perceived moral high (gay marriage), and is not.

I realize your belief that incest is always rape is the belief of the majority (and I'm perfectly willing to admit that most incest is the nonconsensual rape of a minor.) But I'm pretty sure, from what he says, that trharlan doesn't think incest is always rape, that he wasn't talking about nonconsensual sex with a minor, and that he didn't therefore mean any insult to gays by the comparison.

Look, I disagree with his views, and I think some of his posts have been unnecessarily combative in tone, but you're trying to make out that he's pulling a Rick Santorum, and he's not. He didn't mean it that way. Let it go.

I'd really like to get back on topic now.
posted by kyrademon at 11:52 AM on February 5, 2005


Don't have the link handy but in fact a former police officer in Utah was in the news this week after filing a lawsuit seeking recognition of his polygamous marriage(s?) and further to have state laws against such as unconstitutional.

Also not mentioned here so far is that the Ling decision directly conflicts with rulings on similar cases in other state jurisdictions. If for no other reason the NY Court of Appeals will probably have to take this up soon to clear the disagreement. Here's hoping they go along with this verdict.
posted by billsaysthis at 12:43 PM on February 5, 2005


With regard to the "Utah" question (i.e. polygamy), I seem to recall that before admission to the U.S., Utah had to specifically renounce the concept of polygamy. Did this end up in the Utah Constitution precluding the same kind of result as happened in NY with regard to same sex marriages?

Otherwise, I am having trouble finding a distinction that would permit same sex marriages and prohibit polygamous marriages.

By the way, my legal reasoning skills are passably good given the fact that 2 state Supreme Courts and at least 5 federal courts have admitted me to practice before them.
posted by mygoditsbob at 2:32 PM on February 5, 2005


from the e-mail amberglow received:
I was reading your post about Justice Ling-Cohan's decision (I'm a gay, New York based, legal services lawyer myself), and just wanted to point out that, because of the way the lawsuit was framed, the decision cannot be reviewed by SCOTUS. That was a strategic decision by Lambda and Kramer Levin, the petitioner's counsel. Basically, the challenge was on the basis of the New York State Constitution only, rendering it beyond the scope of review by the Supremes.

I assure you that SCOTUS absolutely can review this decision if they so choose. They've reversed the (technically) ultimate arbiters of state law before.
posted by oaf at 2:37 PM on February 5, 2005


well, oaf, didn't they refuse to hear the Mass. case? (i think they did, no?)

i got a followup: Victor Robles was represented by
Corporation Counsel, via Michael Cardozo's office, rather than by Spitzer's office. Having interacted with Cardozo, I sincerely doubt his dedication to limiting marriage to heterosexual couples -- he's a law and order type, but he's also socially liberal. If Cardozo decides not to appeal, Spitzer will be faced with the difficult decision of whether or not to appeal on behalf of the state. Even outside of his gubernatorial bid, I just cannot see him doing it willingly. ... the man is committed to fairness.

Also, interesting in a law-geek kind of way, I found it absolutely
hilarious that Justice Ling-Cohan cited to a) Genesis and Deuteronomy to support her position that polygamy was once an acceptable practice, and b) to Dick Cheney's comments about how freedom for some must mean freedom for all in the context of choosing who we want to be in relationships with. Having had to suffer through years of legal decisions that cited the bible every time some right wing judge wanted to justify denying civil rights to a group of people, turn-about was
delicious fair play in this instance.

posted by amberglow at 2:49 PM on February 5, 2005


oaf:

Bush v. Gore was decided based on federal question jurisdiction.

The SCOTUS is the ultimate arbiter of these types of issues. That said, I think the decision was wrong and agree with Ginsberg's dissent, respectfully.
posted by mygoditsbob at 2:50 PM on February 5, 2005


amberglow: They might have refused to hear the Mass. case; I don't know. I just know that they decided to rewrite Florida's election law.
posted by oaf at 2:54 PM on February 5, 2005




Bloomberg just announced the city will appeal.
posted by scody at 5:53 PM on February 5, 2005


he's such a bastard--and he now lost his reelection bid too.
posted by amberglow at 6:41 PM on February 5, 2005


I hope so -- it's high time for the anti-gay agenda to start biting at least some Republicans in the ass!
posted by scody at 7:02 PM on February 5, 2005


more from the NYT: he's talking out of both sides of his mouth, and clearly lying to us: With New York's highest court now likely to face an issue that has proved its political potency around the country, Mr. Bloomberg said he personally favored gay marriage. It was the first time, according to his aides, that he has so clearly stated his position in public.

He went further last night at a dinner held by the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group, where he told the guests at the Waldorf-Astoria that he would "work with you to change the law" in Albany if the lower court ruling - which he called "something to celebrate" - was struck down.

"I think people have the right to love, to live with and to marry whoever they want, regardless of their sexual orientation," the mayor said as hundreds of guests stood and cheered.

Later, the same audience booed Mr. Bloomberg when he said once again that the city would appeal Friday's ruling by Justice Doris Ling-Cohan, who found that the state's Domestic Relations Law violated New York's constitutional guarantee of equal protection and due process.

In his remarks in Chinatown, the mayor said city lawyers had told him that the ruling "was incorrect, that the current state Constitution does not permit same-sex marriages."

posted by amberglow at 8:40 PM on February 5, 2005


amberglow: Perhaps not. It might end up costing the city more if they issue licenses without being entirely sure they have to. If it ends up being ruled that gay marriages aren't allowed, then all of the licenses issued before then will become nothing but nice souvenirs. If it were actually codified in New York law, it would be a lot harder for a court to say that gay marriage isn't allowed (whereas all that's needed now is for this decision to be vacated by a higher court).
posted by oaf at 2:39 AM on February 6, 2005




oaf, if no one appeals, then there's no problem tho, no? The city doesn't have to appeal, and doing so while saying you're a supporter of gay marriage is just two-faced and offensive.

Gays heckle Bloomberg
posted by amberglow at 1:45 PM on February 7, 2005


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