Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The slope is getting slipperier by the demonstration


Somehow, someway those protesting humans romping around the streets of California will find a liberal court or activist judge to overturn the vote of the people.


  1. Overturning a vote of the majority against the minority might be a good thing.

  2. Prior to the election, I was wondering at the response of the left toward a McCain victory. I don't think it would have been as calmly received as the right accepted the Obama victory. I think that the reaction to the acceptance of Prop 8 (marriage defined between man/woman) is just a small preview of the outcry that would have resulted from a McCain victory last week.

  3. Anon:
    So you think McCain should be president elect right now?

  4. Anon:
    I can't help but wondering whether you're a monarchist or an anarchist [extremes used metaphorically and for effect]. I don't want to peg you so I can write you off; it's just that it would clarify what you're trying to say. Are you subscribing to the very respectable position (IMO) that most of our fore-fathers believed: that our country should be a Republic, closely related to a mixed monarchy, where minorities are protected from the tyranny of the majority, and that Jacksonian Mobocracy is a significant departure from original intent? Or are you saying that our country should be even more "democratic" than it already is? By the way, I personally don't think it's the province of the government to legislate against gay marriage; but I also don't understand why the minority in this case wants to use a term so badly. It's a different animal, is it not?

  5. Prop 8 & its sister initiatives in Arizona & Florida were not legislation. They were ammendments to the state constitution. It would take US courts to overturn these decisions. If this did occur, it would be especially unfortunate since it would cede more state authority to the US government.

    Given that the US constitution is silent on the issue of marriage, according to the Tenth Ammendment, this should be a state decision.

    What I found odd is that the official ballot title for Prop 8 was "Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry". Prior to same-sex marriage becoming an issue in the past decade, no such "right" to marriage was defined anywhere.

    The Declaration of Independence (not a binding legal document, but certainly fleshes out the ideas of the founders) does not mention marriage among the rights endowed by our creator, the Bill of Rights does not mention it.

    Constitutionally, states should be free to officially recognize marriage as whatever they wish. It is the judiciary's job to interpret laws in light of what the constitution (state or federal) actually says - not what they wish it says.

  6. Joe: Mostly, I am in favor of republican leadership (not necessarily by members of the Republican Party, though.) I see withholding partnership rights from homosexuals as violating a right to a freedom of religion, and arguments for a minority status based on sexual identity are not unfounded.

    John, I may be mistaken, but having the right to marry someone of one’s choice was judicially determined to include same-sex choices in California.

  7. Anon:

    It is the California Judiciary's job to interpret the actual text of their state laws and constitution. The do not have the authority to invent rights.

    My earlier point is that prior to this becomeing an issue, there was no right to marriage defined for anyone - in any document. Legal marriage is simply state recognition of a specific partnership. They are free to define it (or not define it) as they see fit.

    If a state wished, they could pass legislation abolishing legal recognition of any type of partnership as marriage.

    Inidividuals, businesses, churches, etc are free to recognize marriage as they wish.

  8. John,

    Judges in California did do their job. Their interpretation was neither necessarily prohibited by the text nor well accepted by the majority in California and the nation, so to revoke that judicial interpretation the appropriate text was changed to define marriage to fit the majority opinion which necessarily excludes same-sex partnerships.

    I wonder if you would support a state if it were to recognize _only_ same-sex marriages after all it is a state’s right to define marriage however they want.

    A friend of mine summarized the situation this way:

    _Why I am a reluctant supporter of marriage_

    With Proposition 8 up for a vote in CA next week, many folks have been speaking and thinking about what some call "gay marriage". Even calling it "gay marriage" is problematic because you'd never call two people of different races marrying a "mixed-race marriage".

    My friend Wes wrote an insightful piece this morning about why he supports "gay marriage" and I thought I'd share my response here:

    Hey Wes, I am a half-hearted supporter of gay marriage. Sadly, I find myself swept up in it because that's the conversation our nation is in and the current rallying cry for many religious sects. I have mixed feelings about this debate for a couple reasons.

    I'm not a fan of marriage as we see it today. It's one of the few aspects of our system where religion and state trot along hand and hand unchallenged. The government has a stake in marriage or, to say it more succinctly, people having children and paying taxes. Religion's stake in marriage is one of power - it wants to dictate what is "blessed" and what isn't.

    The foundation of marriage, as with any partnership, is the commitment of parties and it is publicly recognized in a ceremony we call a wedding. Other than making sure the parties aren't relatives, and what relative means varies state to state, or have similar sexual organs, anyone can marry in our country. To me, that is where the religious argument against gay marriage dissolves.

    At this moment, pastors, ministers and priests across the country can decide not to marry someone based upon any reason. Race, religion, one is a wife beater, etc, the clergy are not forced to marry anyone. It will be the same for gay marriages - don't like it, don't do it. It's that simple. However, it's hard to beat the war drum around that so that's when fear becomes incorporated.

    So, the end to my rant is this: The power to declare a couple legally married should not be in the hands of the clergy. If people want a religious ceremony, go nuts! But whether you call it a civil union or marriage, what people are essentially fighting for are the same legal rights hetero-people currently enjoy. Sure, public acceptance is grand but has anyone looked at the idiots they are trying to align themselves with? I like calling myself "queer" because it means different and if I am viewed as different from the foaming mouth evangelical from up the street, awesome!

  9. "Even calling it "gay marriage" is problematic because you'd never call two people of different races marrying a "mixed-race marriage"."

    If I am to understand this statement correctly, the mysterious Mr. Anonymous is equating sexual orientation with race. This brings up another debate as to whether people are genetically predetermined to be homosexual and heterosexual. obviously race is a genetic trait and is not a moral issue, but when you believe (as I do) that homosexuality is a lifestyle choice, and is not a genetic trait, then it can be treated as a moral lifestyle choice, which is why most evangelicals are against any form of legitimizing it. Homosexuals can obtain all the legal rights of marriage through civil unions, they desire the right of marriage because it legitimizes their union for the world to see. Governments are supposed to prohibit evil, not legitimize it. (And yes, every government throughout history has legislated some form of what it views to be morality)
    It should not be a surprise to anyone that marriage is a considered to be sacred and religious rite by many in America, because that is exactly what it was for many years. It has only been in recent years that it has been secularized (the intrinsic religious nature of marriage is probably why it was never mentioned in the legal documents that founded our country.) Secular government took marriage from the church, not the other way around.
    -The foaming mouthed evangelical from up the street

  10. "I see withholding partnership rights from homosexuals as violating a right to a freedom of religion"

    What religion compels people to be homosexual?

  11. "It should not be a surprise to anyone that marriage is a considered to be sacred and religious rite by many in America, because that is exactly what it was for many years."

    Not just many years - thousands of years. For all of recorded history, marriage has been defined as a partnership between a man and a woman.

    Historically, marriage has never made any differentiations on race (race being a misnomer anyway, given that we are all classified as Homo Sapiens). In fact, cultural intermarriage (which is what mixed race marriages really boil down to) has a rich place in history. Treaties between nations were often made on the basis of marriage.

    There is more historical support for polygamous marriage (not that I'm arguing for it) than there is for individuals of the same sex.

  12. I want to change my screen name to "foaming mouthed evangelical from up the street"

  13. Homosexuality is either a lifestyle choice, like being Muslim, or genetic, like being Latino. So, IMO, you are either stepping on one’s right to practice the religion of their choice or stepping on their minority status. Either way it’s a wrong thing to do, therefore I cannot support legislation/judiciary opinion/or actual enforcement of prohibitions against gay marriage.

    And yes, I do equate homosexuality with a religious freedom.

    Here are some arguments that I’ve heard against same-sex marriage:

    **God made the sexes for a heterosexual purpose
    **God made Adam and Eve, the perfect pattern
    **God forbids homosexuality in Leviticus and Romans

    This group of arguments is based on religious opinion, as correct as that opinion may be, but in America we don’t have to ascribe to and follow biblical purposes, patterns and laws. In America, one doesn’t have to use water for the purpose it was designed -- to drink and grow crops, we can make cannons that will shoot water at people we don’t like. In America, I don’t have to follow the patterns in Genesis like keeping the Sabbath holy, I can work 7 days a week. In America, I don’t have to follow biblical rules like being circumcised, not eating pigs, praying to God alone, honoring my parents, not hating my brother, loving my neighbor, tithing, etc.

    Here are some other arguments:

    **Homosexuals have many many partners
    **Homosexuals have a higher incidence of disease

    This group contains arguments against promiscuity and therefore are actually arguments FOR same-sex marriage not against it.

  14. 1) Lifestyle choice is not equal to religion - so your analogy of Homosexuality to Islam fails. Our lifestyle if informed by our religious beliefs. Regardless, Prop 8 did not prohibit Homosexuals from practicing their lifestyle choice. It did not prohibit them from monogamous relationships. It does not prohibit them from SAYING they are married or prohibit businesses from choosing to recognize "domestic partners". It simply recognized the historical definition of marriage as a specific contract between a man and a woman.

    2) Minority status is a whole 'nother ball of wax, so even if homosexuality were akin to being Latino, I'd like you to point me to any section of the US or any state constitution that mentions minority status having any relevence to the conveyance of rights.

  15. Here are a few statements from the California Constitution that are much stronger than conveying rights based on a so-called minority status. These statements convey rights to people and some of them enumerate various things that may make up a minority status.


    SEC. 7. (b) A citizen or class of citizens may not be granted privileges or immunities not granted on the same terms to all citizens.


    SEC. 8. A person may not be disqualified from entering or pursuing a business, profession, vocation, or employment because of sex, race, creed, color, or national or ethnic origin.


    SEC. 31. (a) The State shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.

  16. Christianity isn't a lifestyle? Huh?!?!

    **So just as he that has called you is holy, so be holy in ALL THAT YOU DO.

    **Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

    **Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

    From these few verses, it sounds like Christianity is a way of life.

    It appears to me that people are more concerned about who is committing their life to whom in California, Arizona and Florida rather than committing their lives to each other within the church and demonstrating to the world that what it has pales in comparison to the real deal. If we don't have our stuff together regarding marriage and loving each other, then what the world does makes no difference whatsoever.

  17. At the risk of being redundant, Anonymous, may I point out that the CA constitution articles that you pointed out still don't work in supporting your arguments?

    The following ideas have already been made for the most part in one way or another, but we'll try once more to make them clear.

    1. Individual words in any legal document have a known, concrete definition. They are based on what the definition of the word was when it was first put into place in the document. The term "marriage" was originally espoused in this country by the church as both a sacred and a legal union between a man and a woman. Since that is what the definition included when the documents were written, that is what goes for the CA written marriage laws until a majority of the legislators and/or citizens vote for that definition to be adjusted. Period.

    2. No laws have been broken by excluding gays from being recognized as married. All that the exclusion does is declare that the one group's commitments are not the same as the other. One monogamous, committed union is considered just legal; the other is considered both sacred and legal. If gays are homosexual due to religious convictions, they are still a new category of religious ideology, and thus they need to come up with their own terms for the "sacredness" of their unions. We cannot, without being given proper authority by the people, arbitrarily change a known definition in a legal document because somebody has a religious conviction that we do so.

    2. Denying that gays' monogamous relationships and commitments do not fit into this term's category does not deny them rights. Nobody has been denied rights. Gays already have all the same rights as everybody else. The rights provided in recognizing a same-sex civil union incorporate all those other things. (This fight for the title of "legally married" is a ridiculous game of semantics for the sake of undermining the morals of those who are religiously opposed to the lifestyle choice. I doubt it would be an issue if it were not so intrinsically connected to the teachings of the church.)

    3. Nobody in CA is legally being denied business opportunities based on sex, race, creed, color, or national or ethnic origin. Everybody has every opportunity to apply for any position and be accepted or rejected based on fair qualifications for that position. The few exceptions to this are dealt with by the courts. To deny gays a title that doesn't match up by definition to what they are is not synonymous with denying them business opportunities based on creed. It's just paying attention to the dictionary and moving on from there.

    4. To deny gay's the "rights" of a legal marriage title is considered by some to be discrimination against them. But then to accept gay marriage as a right could also be considered discrimination against the church which expects to reserve that title for her own heterosexual married couples since they are in fact different types of relationships. The whole argument is, after all, a direct affront against the church's opinion of the sacredness of the heterosexual's union vows.

  18. Obviously I am not a lawyer. My objective of posting here was not to create a legal argument for or against gay marriage in California or any other state. The sections from Article 1 of California's constitution were given as examples that John asked for in his point #2 above. Absolutely no intimations of any kind were intended when referring to Sections 8 & 31 -- they are just examples.

    Section 7 however is the crux of the matter and IMO it uses clear language to indicate that a right (like marriage) should not be granted to one group differently than another group. That was also the ruling of the court. Now since Prop 8, that ruling is impossible.

    Hooray for hetero marriage!

    Beyond getting your way, what does Prop 8 achieve? If it's just silly semantics, then why bother fighting against gay marriage?

  19. I can't presume to speak for the entirety of the general populace. I can speculate. I would guess that a very strong factor would be the numerous social and psychological studies which have alike revealed a great deal of emotional instability in homosexuals as well as a general disregard for the moral values most communities consider important. Since that instability does not affect just the homosexual couple alone but also the surrounding families and communities as well as any children who may be involved either by past relationships or by adoption, the negativity of those statistics may be the driving force behind others that voted against gay marriage. Over all, a great number of people don't view it as healthy.

    But for conservative Christians, the success of Prop 8 represents a ray of hope that America has not deserted her God entirely. That is the crux of the argument to us.

    We tend to believe as Alexander de Tocqueville determined about the state of our nation. "America is great because America is good. When America ceases to be good, she will also cease to be great." We believe that de Tocqueville was right because his words echo the Scripture that says, "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people." To turn a blind eye as a nation to a sin as great as sodomy represents severing the last string of God's mercy on our nation.

    But I wonder if that explanation is really that helpful to you, since in your mind that position will relegate myself and those I represent to an extreme group of religious fringe fanatics.

  20. One more point: I noticed you are determined to continue to call this an issue of "rights". But if it is about a legal term being assigned to one group of a population and not another, that is not an issue of rights. It is an issue of legal terminology. For example, it is not discriminating or denying my children "rights" to call them "minors" and not allow them the privileges of the term "legal adult" because "minor" is the term that accurately describes them. That is just how legalities work. You have a working definition for a term and you stick to it until you have reason to change it with the permission of the people.

  21. Alexander de Tocqueville overlooked the first and greatest commandment: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind & soul. America was never good because of one of the great American premises, the freedom of religion. I am astounded when I hear people say that others are free to be non-Christian, but then are shocked to see those non-Christians follow their non-Christian gods into non-Christian things.

    Since true goodness, a righteousness that will actually impress God, which comes from God Himself on the basis of true faith in Christ, AND since true faith in Christ can never be coerced, creating a good nation through laws is impossible.

    Another great American premise is balancing the freedoms of different individuals with opposing viewpoints. A balance is achieved by allowing people freedom to do things which do not harm another person. Freedoms should be limited only when something is intrinsically, verifiably, and significantly harmful to people and/or society at large.

    Saying that gay people are necessarily emotionally unstable and are innately subversive is a silly prejudice and those problems, where true, very well may be a result of that prejudice. You can’t relegate something to the outskirts of town and then blame it for taking place there.

    I don’t see a balance in celebrating one group’s life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness while squashing another’s.

  22. Er. . . I should have used the word quashing and not squashing. Either way, you get my point. . .

  23. Speaking of de Tocqueville, it's notable that one of his more trenchant critiques of 1830's America was that it ran the risk of being too democratic, subjecting the minority to the whims of the majority...

  24. You are correct that a nation cannot legislate godliness - unless that nation were directly governed by God himself.

    Prop 8 does not prevent anyone from the pursuit of happiness. The law does not prohibit homosexual behavior. It does not prohibit individuals from referring to themselves as married.

  25. Part of the reasoning behind the court’s decision was that in even having two separate titles for the same thing was not granting rights on the same terms. I tend to agree with that on the basis that separate is rarely equal. One group gets to use term A and the other group gets to use a stigmatized term B.

    This whole mess resulted from having a secular government define and implement a sacred concept. It doesn’t work.

  26. "This whole mess resulted from having a secular government define and implement a sacred concept. It doesn’t work."

    Government didn't define the term. They simply accepted the definition that has been in place for thousands of years.

  27. Accepting a term is defining it. One day you may realize that when the majority accepts something that nullifies something that you hold very dear.

    How would any married person that voted for Prop 8 like it if they themselves would be recognized by their government as "Civilly Unioned" instead of married. Give me a break.

    Regarding siting the historical use of an idea as support for that idea -- history has been wrong in countless ways. Just because something has always been a certain way doesn't mean that's the way it ought to be now.

  28. I'm a different Anon

    The bottom line is in using the term "marriage" to include homosexual couples only encourages a behavior that the Bible clearly describes as sin. Unfortunately, less and less people in our country use the Bible as their source of authority. The more America pushes God out of the picture, the more God's hand of blessing is removed from our country.

    I understand that Americans have the right to choose who or what sets their standards and what lifestyle they want. That is a choice given to them by God. Those of us who believe the Bible is the Word of God are saddened by the fact that America is rejecting her Sustainer.

    If you don't hold true to God's word, then this whole argument is in vain. People in their sin will naturally reject God's Word no matter what anybody says. There will be no convincing of sin. The more people reject righteousness, the harder their heart resists righteousness.

    KJV-R (Webster) Romans 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
    18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
    19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed itto them.
    20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, evenhis eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
    21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified himnot as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
    22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
    23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
    24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves:
    25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
    26 For this cause God gave them up to vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
    27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

    Like I said, If you do not believe the Bible, nothing that is said means anything to you. The Bible is what defines sin, not government, not churches, not any individual. Without the Word of God, nothing is sin and people are free to do whatever they want.

    No, we cannot stop homosexual people calling their union a marriage. Man will always find a way to justify his sin. We can sound the alarm of a future judgment of God on this sin cursed earth but ultimately, we are responsible for our own sins.

    The whole point of the Bible is to make man aware of his Creator, explain why man struggles with sin, tell man what the consequences of sin are, and point man to Jesus Christ as the only One Who can take sin and it's consequences away.

    In an unstable world, it is wonderful to have an assurance that all things will work together for good to them that love God. The invitation is out. Won't you make sure that your sins are forgiven you? Read the Scriptures and find out how you can know for sure that your sins are washed away in the blood of Jesus Christ if you have not done so already.

  29. From the original Anon:

    I am a born again believer. I have faith that Jesus paid the penalty for all my sin.

    I'm a Christian that believes that all Christian values should not be legislated -- only some of them should. I'm sure you draw the line somewhere, too.

  30. Original Anon,

    Even if Christian values were legislated, it would not change the hearts of the people. The Bible is full of examples of kings in Israel who destroyed the high places for the people to worship their false gods. As soon as a new king came on the picture, the people pick up right were they left off. All we can really do is pray for our country that God would change the hearts of the people.

    I'm glad to hear that you are a born again believer. That is wonderful