Department of Justice won’t defend DOMA, advocates “heightened scrutiny”

Old news by now, but I am including the post by request to facilitate discussion.

Some see it as a way to maintain support among younger voters since they favor gay marriage. I think this puts more pressure on the GOP to come out strongly against gay marriage in order to differentiate the party on the issue. While I think that would be misguided and cut against them in the general election, I am pretty sure this will be a big deal during the primary season.

To better understand the legal issues involved, see this article which reviews the different types of scrutiny a discriminatory law must go through. Also here is AG Holder’s letter laying out the Administration’s position and support for a heightened scrutiny analysis.

To those who say equal rights is not linked with legal assessments of status, I say read the letter and this article.

184 thoughts on “Department of Justice won’t defend DOMA, advocates “heightened scrutiny””

  1. Debbie,

    I’m referring to a comment that David made earlier – he didn’t specify heterosexual couples there, he made a general statement about how broadening the definition of marriage weakens it.

  2. Emily,

    This pernicious lie is used to demonize gays and claim that since we’re so wealthy we can overcome any emotional distress foisted upon us and use our vast piles of money to comfort us after being forced from the hospital room where our dying partner passed away, far away from our comforting presence. It’s also used to claim that we can control the political landscape at our whim, and since we haven’t done that yet, we must not *really* be interested in equality.

    Thank you! I’m really tired of hearing this as well. I usually bring up people of Jewish descent when people try and use this idea to deny gay people equal rights.

  3. David,

    That article I posted cannot be just retreat theories of the 60’s and 70’s because it involves rights put in place well after those decades, but nice try 😉

  4. David B –

    David,

    Broadening the definition of legitimate heterosexual coupling to include casual encounters and living together outside marital bounds did weaken, ultimately the definition of marriage.

    Your logic states that broadening the definition of marriage to include interracial couples weakens marriage – is there some reason you are avoiding dealing with this?

    And please provide some scientific evidence for your statement above.

    People, mostly conservatives, idealize marriage prior to the 60s, but there is no real evidence that marriage prior to the “free love” era was actually the idealized thing people thought it was

  5. David,

    And what exactly does “weaken the definition of marriage” mean? I have a funny feeling this statement means different things to different people

  6. How do you have it both ways, Jayhuck? An intimate expression of love (conjugal is best) or pure pleasure with no romance attached? By reducing sexual intimacy to the latter or looking for the former over and over, we have cheapened it and made it what it was never intended to be. Now, at least in the state of Virginia, young girls are essentially required by government to get HPV vaccinations because it is assumed they will be sexually active. Look at the STD pandemic. There is the best evidence for the destruction we have wrought by turning sex into a game. Sex only has no consequences in our dreams.

  7. Debbie Thurman# ~ Feb 27, 2011 at 8:16 am

    “How do you have it both ways, Jayhuck? An intimate expression of love (conjugal is best) or pure pleasure with no romance attached? ”

    For some people doesn’t have to be one or the other Debbie, that is what Jayhuck was trying to tell you. And you are correct if there is a disconnect in why the people involved are having sex then yes there will likely be some heartache. However, when those reasons are in tune, there isn’t any problem.

  8. Jayhuck,

    They may also stay together but hate each other

    They might…it could be a torture chamber :).

    God knows there are many people who are permanently immature who marry for all the wrong reasons, multiple times.

    Some youthful marriers get it right the first time. Wow, what a gift.

    Some get it wrong, but not wrong enough to wreck it. They mature and they seek maturity and make a miracle.

    Plenty of cliches here which have served many well: “Bloom where you are planted; the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.” And so forth.

  9. Debbie,

    What about the impact on their partners? There is no sex without emotional baggage. Sex is no recreational sport. It is meant to be a sacred, intimate bonding between a husband and wife.

    OK, that’s flat out false. Sex does not have to involve emotional baggage and it doesn’t have to be enjoyed by a wife and husband to be fulfilling and enjoyable for both partners. This may not be your experience Debbie, but please don’t make assumptions that sex has to involve emotional baggage for everyone else.

  10. Many people enjoy sex and like having it in a variety of ways. They don’t attach a lot of emotional baggage to it. It is just a fun thing to do.

    What about the impact on their partners? There is no sex without emotional baggage. Sex is no recreational sport. It is meant to be a sacred, intimate bonding between a husband and wife.

  11. homosexuals (who are generally better educated and wealthier that heterosexuals)

    false.

    This pernicious lie is used to demonize gays and claim that since we’re so wealthy we can overcome any emotional distress foisted upon us and use our vast piles of money to comfort us after being forced from the hospital room where our dying partner passed away, far away from our comforting presence. It’s also used to claim that we can control the political landscape at our whim, and since we haven’t done that yet, we must not *really* be interested in equality.

    Tell it to my food stamps card.

  12. Debbie,

    Callous? I don’t see it that way at all. I view sex as a very intimate act between two people that can be a wonderful way of expressing your love for another. I don’t think anyone who knows me would suggest that I view sex as a callous thing. However, sex can be, and has been for me in the past, something that is also purely enjoyable, without any romance involved. There are many different ways to view and experience sex. And for the record, sexual relationships outside marriage are hardly the only place one can experience a broken hearts. Broken hearts abound without bringing sex into the picture.

  13. Just a thought: many churches – the Catholic church for example but plenty of protestant churches – do not recognize your second marriage. They consider you to be having sex outside marriage.

    You’re right. So did Jesus when he addressed divorce. We made it far too easy, didn’t we?

  14. Well, you’re going to have to do a better job explaining to us how they are different, pal. What constitutes “responsible” sex outside of marriage? Birth control? Condoms? Where’s the safety net for the broken hearts?

    Yes, it involves condoms, birthcontrol, but it also involves some emotional maturity on the part of the people involved to avoid broken hearts. Responsible sex entails, just what I said above:

    Intelligent adults are able to successfully engage in fulfilling non-marital sex without any dire consequences. The word responsible however does entail some degree of knowledge, thought and care before engaging in these acts.

  15. Timothy,

    Broadening the definition of legitimate heterosexual coupling to include casual encounters and living together outside marital bounds did weaken, ultimately the definition of marriage.

    It has making a slow, somewhat mild comeback.

  16. Debbie,

    Just a thought: many churches – the Catholic church for example but plenty of protestant churches – do not recognize your second marriage. They consider you to be having sex outside marriage.

    I think that in these matters, like all matters, throwing down black-and-white absolutes are seldom the smartest way to go.

  17. Don’t confuse responsible sex outside marriage with “free-love”. They are not the same things.

    Well, you’re going to have to do a better job explaining to us how they are different, pal. What constitutes “responsible” sex outside of marriage? Birth control? Condoms? Where’s the safety net for the broken hearts?

  18. David,

    Those are rationals and justifications that are retreads of theories and philosophies of the 60?s and 70?s.

    LOL – but did you see the study that was done of non-married couples in Europe. Might make you nervous 🙂 Its not just retread theories 😉

  19. Dave Roberts,

    It is personal to you…even when you are not addressed; and gays in general are not the topic.

    Now we will get a long response of “of course it is personal.”

    But if you look at my comments, they are about heterosexual unions. As are my comments about the Tyranny of the Individual.

    Wage your war boys, it looks like it is over. Now comes the time to address the larger issues which were on the table before the pursuit of Same Sex Marriage of the fragmented family…

    Jayhuck,

    Two couples, both immature having a lot of sex. One couple gets married, the other does not. Both have children (since they are immature, they are impulsive and unreliably take precautions). It is better that one immature couple got married…better chance for legal accountability and support for the children. They may also try harder to stay together in the relationship while they mature.

  20. Tim,

    Yes, I was going to point that very fact out to Debbie but you saved me the trouble.

  21. There is a difference between “free love” and responsible sex outside marriage as I’m sure many can attest to. Unwanted children, abortions and abandonment by one parent or another can and do all happen within marriage as well.

  22. Debbie Thurman# ~ Feb 26, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    “I would vehementy disagree with that assessment. The very fact that they need to have serial sex shows they have emotional problems.”

    Simply because someone doesn’t think or feel the way you do Debbie doesn’t mean they have emotional problems. Many people enjoy sex and like having it in a variety of ways. They don’t attach a lot of emotional baggage to it. It is just a fun thing to do. And as Jayhuck pointed out they can also be very responsible about protecting themselves and their partners. In some cases even more responsible than married people.

  23. David B,

    Broadening definitions tends to weaken definitions, that is just a fact.

    Logic follows then that when they broadened the definition of marriage to include interracial couples, that marriage was weakened. I’m glad you said it and not me.

  24. It looks like we are going to get our chance to see if Same Sex Marriage strengthens or weakens the institution of Marriage.

    So far, it appears to have no observable negative consequences and several observable benefits. Those nations which have experienced same-sex marriage seem to want to continue – if not strengthen – it.

    But it is still early.

    The trend and plan to strengthen marriage really does not go through Same Sex marriage. Broadening definitions tends to weaken definitions, that is just a fact.

    Nope. Not a “fact.” Not even close.

    Standards that apply consistently to everyone strengthen institutions. But those which are perceived as bigoted or discriminatory undermine the prestige and status of institutions.

    You may believe that “broadening definitions” to treat same-sex couples on the same standing as opposite-sex couples will “weaken” the “definition” of marriage. But it is nothing but your opinion.

    My second prayer is that advocates of Gay marriage will join me in condemning the Tyranny of the Individual as it effects the family, working to teach adaptive marriage and parenting skills in families at risk. Admonishing lovers to think seriously before starting a family.

    I’m with you on that

    To advocate for covenant marriages.

    I see this as a political gimmick so I’m not going there.

    To discourage youthful marriage,

    I’m with you

    and to delay sexual activity until marriage.

    I know this won’t be viewed favorably by the “but the word in the Bible say” crowd, but I don’t really support this premise. Prohibition on all sexual activity in the Bible appears to have been based on procreation presumptions at the time, ownership of women, and seemed to have exceptions for concubines and other forms of socially accepted sexual behavior outside of marriage. A study of the meaning and intent might be more useful than a recitation of Bronze Age rules.

    But I will agree that young people ought to be taught sexual responsibility with an emphasis on delayed gratification, meaningful commitment, and respect for each other. And I believe that doing so has a chance of success while “thou shalt” has almost none.

  25. David B. said:

    The Tyranny of the Individual:

    In Environmentalism, the convenience of plastic bags, when multiplied over 30 million shoppers, creates a tyranny…other people’s lives are curtailed due to environmental hazards associated with this convenience.

    In Social Policy, the convenience of sexual coupling when multiplied over millions of couples creates a tyranny…in public health with STD’s; in children raised without a father. Other peoples lives are impinged upon because of the sociological ramifications of irresponsible sexual behavior.

    Which are we gays again, the plastic bags or the sexually irresponsible? I’m sure someone will tell us. Sometimes you speak with such mock profundity that taking you seriously is difficult.

  26. David answered the question.

    Other peoples lives are impinged upon because of the sociological ramifications of irresponsible sexual behavior.

  27. Warren, I see President Obama as looking at the Ugandan situation and expecting someday to have to seriously speak to the issue, knowing that there is an unconstitutional law on the books that makes him/us look hypocritical, no matter what his stand may be. I noticed yesterday AFA’s various talking heads were calling the president’s decision (among other things) an illegal act. Today, the legal counsel for AFA was “interviewed” and declared to the radio audience that the president’s action was legal.. The program’s host then declared it was “legal but immoral.” Of course that was to expected.

  28. I think this puts more pressure on the GOP to come out strongly against gay marriage in order to differentiate the party on the issue.

    Of course, they could also differentiate themselves by coming out strongly in favor of civil-union/domestic-partnership laws but against same-sex marriage, thus allowing them to cast the Democrats as “the Gay Marriage party”.

  29. I bit melodramatic in my labeling…

    There is not enough money in government, or goodwill, to make up for the selfishness of the individual, multiplied by millions or billions.

  30. It’s been legal here in Iowa since 2009. Marriage rates went up in the first year and divorce rates have slipping to pre-1970 levels.

    Naturally allowing gays to marry each other would increase marriage rates. As for how gay marriage magically, all by itself, brought divorce rates down in Iowa, I am curious. Can you provide some raw data and then explain how this came to be? Were pre-1970 divorce rates in Iowa dramatically lower than now or just a bit lower?

  31. As for how gay marriage magically, all by itself, brought divorce rates down in Iowa, I am curious. Can you provide some raw data and then explain how this came to be? Were pre-1970 divorce rates in Iowa dramatically lower than now or just a bit lower?

    I tend to think of it differently. Not that it brought divorce rates down, but that divorce rates continue to go down. Despite the fact that supposed gay marriages are going to destroy the institution of marriage. You can’t claim for years that something destroys something and then ignore the fact that it’s not getting destroyed.

    I’ll admit that Iowa’s stats are fresh and I’m curious to see if they continue to exist in year two of our marriage equality experience, but MA’s divorce rates have continued to be one of the USA’s lowest and marriage equality has been the reality there since 2004.

  32. It looks like we are going to get our chance to see if Same Sex Marriage strengthens or weakens the institution of Marriage.

  33. Same sex marriage can only strengthen marriages and society in general. Bonding pairs is a natural thing, nuf said.

  34. P.S. As I commented to my brother-in-law on FB earlier today:

    It does occur to me, however, that the DADT-repeal process may in fact have something to do with the timing this — since Sec. 3 of DOMA presents a severe legal obstacle to providing spousal-type benefits to same-sex partners of military personnel. (To the best of my understanding, DOMA §3 theoretically forbids any such benefits, apart from a one-time death compensation that can be made to ANY beneficiary that a service member chooses to designate — legal spouse, gay lover, grandmother, handicapped cousin, etc.)

    So it would be logical for the Pentagon to request some kind of waiver (at least) on §3 of DOMA, if not necessarily an outright repeal of this section, in order to give the DoD legal room to revamp its “family benefits” policies for a post-DADT military.

  35. It looks like we are going to get our chance to see if Same Sex Marriage strengthens or weakens the institution of Marriage.

    Marriage has been legal in Massachusettes since 2004. Has it been weakened there? If I recall correctly, MA has one of the lowest divorce rates in the country.

    It’s been legal here in Iowa since 2009. Marriage rates went up in the first year and divorce rates have slipping to pre-1970 levels.

  36. David, can you expound a bit on what you mean by The Tyranny of the Individual? Could it also apply to those looking to make a “federal case” out of feeling offended? To those who hold the idea of marriage hostage to self-gratification (as opposed to being focused on the needs of others)?

  37. David Blakeslee# ~ Feb 24, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    “It looks like we are going to get our chance to see if Same Sex Marriage strengthens or weakens the institution of Marriage.”

    We always were David, it was just a matter of WHEN.

  38. @David,

    I think we should make room for the possibility that gay marriage will have little to no effect on straight marriage

  39. Ken,

    There is a strawberry on the table…if you eat it now that is all you get.

    If you can wait 10 minutes, I’ll give you a bowl of strawberries.

    This is the essence of emotional intelligence…and it is what our culture needs at its core to survive.

    Marrying as an immature person is better than sex outside marriage…but that does not make it good, only better.

  40. Back to legal ramifications:

    A President could retroactively veto laws passed by previous Congresses and administrations by coordinating with a plaintiff who would challenge the constitutionality of the law, and then asking the court to agree with the plaintiff and strike the law down. Imagine the reaction of Democrats if, in 2013, President Sarah Palin or Tim Pawlenty orders the Justice Department not to defend the constitutionality of Obamacare.

    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2011/02/24/2011-02-24_obamas_dangerous_divorce_from_doma_the_executive_cant_pick_and_choose_which_laws.html#ixzz1Eym5U7hc

    Glad we are posting about this.

    To Mary and Jayhuck, I won’t mind being wrong.

    The trend and plan to strengthen marriage really does not go through Same Sex marriage. Broadening definitions tends to weaken definitions, that is just a fact.

    Broadening the definition of heterosexual coupling in the name of diversity in the 60’s through 80’s was thought to be the tolerant and loving thing to do…it probably is for a majority of couples and a minority of children.

    It leveraged upon the culture a legacy of poverty and violence and ignorance that no Public Policy legislation can make right or heal.

    In America, the Tyranny of the Individual is easily understood with greed, exploitation of the environment, violent crime and reckless substance abuse. Perhaps you can think of others.

    But the Tyranny of the Individual on the breakdown of the family, and its consequent “offloading” of responsibility on the community and the state, is termed condemned by many now as “moralizing.”

    My first prayer is that broadening the definition of Gay Marriage does the exact opposite to our culture of what broadening the definition of Heterosexual coupling did in the 60’s and 70’s.

    My second prayer is that advocates of Gay marriage will join me in condemning the Tyranny of the Individual as it effects the family, working to teach adaptive marriage and parenting skills in families at risk. Admonishing lovers to think seriously before starting a family. To advocate for covenant marriages. To discourage youthful marriage, and to delay sexual activity until marriage.

  41. David Blakeslee# ~ Feb 25, 2011 at 10:17 am

    The problem with the analysis in the opinion piece you cited is that it ignores the possibility of Congress defending the law (and note, Holder was clear if congress chooses to continue the fight he would give them assistance). It presumes that ONLY the administrative branch can defend laws in court. I’m pretty sure congress would have standing to file as well. It may even be that individual congressional members may have standing (although, I don’t know if that has ever been tested).

    “Broadening the definition of heterosexual coupling in the name of diversity in the 60?s through 80?s”

    Can you expound on what you mean by “”Broadening the definition of heterosexual coupling” ?

    and what is: “the tyranny of the individual”?

    “To discourage youthful marriage, and to delay sexual activity until marriage.”

    You do realize these 2 things are pretty much in opposition to one another 🙂

  42. Was this particular federal lawsuit about “feeling offended” or was it about legally married US citizens seeking to correct discrepencies between the state recognition of their marriages and the federal recognition of their marriages?

  43. I tend to think of it differently. Not that it brought divorce rates down, but that divorce rates continue to go down. Despite the fact that supposed gay marriages are going to destroy the institution of marriage. You can’t claim for years that something destroys something and then ignore the fact that it’s not getting destroyed.

    It would be nice if divorces are on the decline. I hope they are. Gay marriage isn’t going to single-handedly destroy marriage. Most folks realize the hype in that. Chelsea Clinton and her now-estranged husband (they made it what, seven months?) are more the poster children for failed marriages.

    What people fear is that redefining marriage (and who knows what would follow same-sex marriage?) will render marriage meaningless because it decouples it from procreation and makes moms and dads interchangeable. Co-habitation is already on the rise, which means marriages are likely declining. That could be the real explanation for the decline in divorces.

  44. Of course, they could also differentiate themselves by coming out strongly in favor of civil-union/domestic-partnership laws but against same-sex marriage, thus allowing them to cast the Democrats as “the Gay Marriage party”.

    That’s not what the GOP’s doing here in Iowa. They’re not only trying to outlaw my marriage and others like it, they are trying to block civil unions or domestic partnerships, too.

    Then again, imagine the Democratic Party coming out fully in favor of marriage equality. “The 100% Pro-Family/Pro-Marriage Party”. How cool would that be?

  45. Of course same-sex “marriage” weakens my own marriage, by reducing it (and all others) to a mere legal contract between two persons

    You place a surprising amount of weight on other peoples’ definition of “marriage.” (Though I suppose in this respect you are no sillier than gay activists who acted like Prop 8 was the start of Holocaust 2.0)

    Algernon: Bunbury doesn’t live here. Bunbury is somewhere else at present. In fact, Bunbury is dead.

    Lady Bracknell: Dead! What did he die of?

    Algernon: He was found out! Er, the doctors found out that Bunbury could not live, that is what I mean—so Bunbury died.

    Lady Bracknell: He seems to have had great confidence in the opinion of his physicians!

  46. Also important is the point that those gays that are educated, wealthier, and without anybody to support financially are more likely to be out.

    I don’t know if that’s as true today as it used to be — but certainly, the fact that totally closeted gays are going to be invisible to pollsters has always been a problem in trying to do any kind of sociological survey of “the average homosexual.”

  47. Of course same-sex “marriage” weakens my own marriage, by reducing it (and all others) to a mere legal contract between two persons

    You place a surprising amount of weight on other peoples’ definition of “marriage.” (Though I suppose in this respect you are no sillier than gay activists who acted like Prop 8 was the start of Holocaust 2.0)

    Algernon: Bunbury doesn’t live here. Bunbury is somewhere else at present. In fact, Bunbury is dead.

    Lady Bracknell: Dead! What did he die of?

    Algernon: He was found out! Er, the doctors found out that Bunbury could not live, that is what I mean—so Bunbury died.

    Lady Bracknell: He seems to have had great confidence in the opinion of his physicians!

  48. Also important is the point that those gays that are educated, wealthier, and without anybody to support financially are more likely to be out.

    I don’t know if that’s as true today as it used to be — but certainly, the fact that totally closeted gays are going to be invisible to pollsters has always been a problem in trying to do any kind of sociological survey of “the average homosexual.”

  49. 1. There’s more references to family and marriage than that referred to in Genesis.

    2. Regardless, one does not need to be Christian to apply for a marriage license in this country.

  50. I also believe that my marriage is — in addition to being a legally recognize relationship within the boundaries of my state — a sacred covenant between the two of us which was entered into with God’s blessing.

    I believe that any marriage (opposite sex or otherwise) officiated by anyone dressed like Elvis cheapens my marriage. But that’s just me.

  51. Of course same-sex “marriage” weakens my own marriage, by reducing it (and all others) to a mere legal contract between two persons, rather than a sacred covenant with God to be a union of “one flesh” –a covenant acknowledged by government as essential for a healthy nation.

  52. Throbert,

    Thanks for bringing up the oft-cited market surveys from the various “Glossy Gay Monthly’s”. I was afraid someone was going to use those to counter my source, but you rendered that moot. Also important is the point that those gays that are educated, wealthier, and without anybody to support financially are more likely to be out.

    But ask a “confirmed bachelor” dock-worker in a rural area their income and I’m sure you’ll find a different answer.

  53. Throbert,

    Thanks – you make a lot of sense and I appreciate the fair and intelligent way you comment.

  54. 1. There’s more references to family and marriage than that referred to in Genesis.

    2. Regardless, one does not need to be Christian to apply for a marriage license in this country.

  55. The Book of Genesis explicitly designates marriage as one man and one woman.

  56. it was a highly unscientific poll designed to make it easier for ad salesman to fudge the income numbers a bit higher.

    Thanks Throbert…

    Market surveys are also used in counting mental illness numbers, work loss due to mental illness and so on…

  57. I also believe that my marriage is — in addition to being a legally recognize relationship within the boundaries of my state — a sacred covenant between the two of us which was entered into with God’s blessing.

    I believe that any marriage (opposite sex or otherwise) officiated by anyone dressed like Elvis cheapens my marriage. But that’s just me.

  58. Of course same-sex “marriage” weakens my own marriage, by reducing it (and all others) to a mere legal contract between two persons, rather than a sacred covenant with God to be a union of “one flesh” –a covenant acknowledged by government as essential for a healthy nation.

  59. Throbert,

    Thanks for bringing up the oft-cited market surveys from the various “Glossy Gay Monthly’s”. I was afraid someone was going to use those to counter my source, but you rendered that moot. Also important is the point that those gays that are educated, wealthier, and without anybody to support financially are more likely to be out.

    But ask a “confirmed bachelor” dock-worker in a rural area their income and I’m sure you’ll find a different answer.

  60. Throbert,

    Thanks – you make a lot of sense and I appreciate the fair and intelligent way you comment.

  61. it was a highly unscientific poll designed to make it easier for ad salesman to fudge the income numbers a bit higher.

    Thanks Throbert…

    Market surveys are also used in counting mental illness numbers, work loss due to mental illness and so on…

  62. Following up on my previous post about that misquoted marketing survey from Glossy Gay Monthly™ — while this survey (and others of its type) may have been misquoted by anti-gay sources who are trying to represent All Gays Everywhere as pampered elitists, it has also been misquoted by some gays, as evidence that “we’re so much more awesome than those dumb breeders” (why, just look and see how Adam Smith’s invisible hand favors us!!).

    Thus, Emily K’s assertion that it was all a “pernicious lie” only tells a part of a more complicated story, because the exact same “lie” has sometimes been repeated as LGBT braggadocio.

    In either case, of course, the effect of the misquoting is to take the survey out of context and to obscure the fact that it was a highly unscientific poll designed to make it easier for ad salesman to fudge the income numbers a bit higher. But whether this misrepresentation served anti-gay or pro-gay political purposes depended on who was misquoting the poll.

  63. The claim that gays are wealthier and more educated has been used by both sides of the gay rights debate.

    While the stereotype that gays are richer than non-gays may ultimately have more than one source, one of the more prominent (read: oft-cited) sources was a single survey commissioned by a glossy gay “fashion and lifestyles” magazine in order to help attract more ad revenue.

    Obviously, if you’re trying to persuade an upmarket, premium-priced brand like Gray Goose vodka to contractually commit to at least six months’ worth of full-page ads in your magazine, it behooves you to persuade the makers of Gray Goose that your “average reader” is a white-collar Manhattanite who wears Prada shoes, buys at least 25 new albums on CD per year, and generally has piles and piles of disposable income lying around.

    So you’re going to design your “reader survey” in such a way that your “average subscriber” appears wealthier than the average Joe Public. (You also try to make it appear that your loyal subscribers outnumber the occasional newsstand purchaser, etc.)

  64. Although I would agree that several things occurred in the 60?s and 70?s that definitely made casual sex easier and somewhat less risky, at least for women in terms of pregnancy

    Roe v. Wade was one of those things. The proliferation of casual sex with multiple partners also led to a proliferation of STDs. Less risky?

  65. or Morwomans….oops. :).

    Mormons (Followers of Joseph Smith who persist and are not associated with the LDS Church)..

  66. Thanks Ken,

    I meant nothing pernicious in quoting this “factoid.” Emily refers to a page with many articles and I am certainly open to hearing more accurate information.

    @ Jayhuck,

    Definitions are powerful for what they include and exclude. That is their power.

    Broadening marriage to include nearly all types of adult coupling dilutes the original specificity of the definition.

    The definition may be broadened further to include Mormans who have multiple spouses. That will be a dilution also.

    In science, definitions become ‘independent variables’ which need specificity in order to understand their effect on the dependent variable, for instance.

  67. Emily K# ~ Feb 27, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    “This pernicious lie is used to demonize gays ”

    The claim that gays are wealthier and more educated has been used by both sides of the gay rights debate. While I couldn’t find any peer-reviewed study supporting that claim (if anyone has a pointer please post) I suspect that what such a study would really show is that gays who are educated and wealthy are more likely to be out.

    So I don’t think it is fair to characterize it as a “pernicious lie”, but rather an unsubstantiated claim (probably based on a mis-interpretation), that has been around for years.

  68. Although I would agree that several things occurred in the 60’s and 70’s that definitely made casual sex easier and somewhat less risky, at least for women in terms of pregnancy –

  69. I think what David really means, at least in terms of marriage, is that broadening definitions of groups/institutions makes them less exclusive, but I would argue that is not the same thing, at all, as weakening them.

  70. Debbie,

    You have a talent for turning things upside down, Jayhuck. Contrary to what you apparently believe, casual sex was/is not on everybody’s minds. Most people don’t have concubines hidden away somewhere. The sexual revolution attempted to mainstream infidelity. But it has backfired. And more folks are coming back to their senses. Why should couples remain married if one or both are cheating? In fact, why marry at all? That’s another bit of fallout.

    I think you mean I have a talent for saying things you don’t like, even if they might be true. Casual sex is not on my mind at all, but that isn’t what I said. I think it is you who seems to have the talent for turning things “upside down”.

    I understand you want to blame things on the 60’s and 70’s – many conservatives do. As the quote above says, its a convenient scapegoat for some. I’m saying that the 60’s and 70’s only made people honest about sex, and it sure didn’t introduce the idea of casual sex,

    This is the statement of David’s that you quoted just before your follow-on statement. The interracial marriage fight was about heterosexual coupling. If there is another statement you are reffering to, then quote it.

    David said regarding the definition of marriage: “Broadening definitions tends to weaken definitions, that is just a fact.” When I said that his logic dictates then that broadening the definition of marriage to include interracial couples weakens the institution, he failed to address this.

  71. Following up on my previous post about that misquoted marketing survey from Glossy Gay Monthly™ — while this survey (and others of its type) may have been misquoted by anti-gay sources who are trying to represent All Gays Everywhere as pampered elitists, it has also been misquoted by some gays, as evidence that “we’re so much more awesome than those dumb breeders” (why, just look and see how Adam Smith’s invisible hand favors us!!).

    Thus, Emily K’s assertion that it was all a “pernicious lie” only tells a part of a more complicated story, because the exact same “lie” has sometimes been repeated as LGBT braggadocio.

    In either case, of course, the effect of the misquoting is to take the survey out of context and to obscure the fact that it was a highly unscientific poll designed to make it easier for ad salesman to fudge the income numbers a bit higher. But whether this misrepresentation served anti-gay or pro-gay political purposes depended on who was misquoting the poll.

  72. Broadening the definition of legitimate heterosexual coupling to include casual encounters and living together outside marital bounds did weaken, ultimately the definition of marriage.

    This is the statement of David’s that you quoted just before your follow-on statement. The interracial marriage fight was about heterosexual coupling. If there is another statement you are reffering to, then quote it.

  73. So what does this really say? That people actually felt free for the first time to leave bad relationships? This “casual sex experiment” that you say happened, did not introduce casual sex into the equation, it just allowed people to be honest about it instead of hiding it.

    You have a talent for turning things upside down, Jayhuck. Contrary to what you apparently believe, casual sex was/is not on everybody’s minds. Most people don’t have concubines hidden away somewhere. The sexual revolution attempted to mainstream infidelity. But it has backfired. And more folks are coming back to their senses. Why should couples remain married if one or both are cheating? In fact, why marry at all? That’s another bit of fallout.

  74. My understanding is the sexual revolution occurred in part in response to the hypocrisy of the preceding generations.

    I appreciate what this author has to say of that time:

    For progressives it is heralded as a time of revolutionary ferment which ushered in much needed social change, ushering in the civil rights movements, decolonisation, women’s liberation, gay & lesbian liberation, green and peace movements. For conservatives it has become a scapegoat to blame many contemporary problems upon. Issues such as pornography, marriage breakdowns, single parent families, welfare state dependancy, drugs and youth crime are all seen as having their origins in the “permissiveness” of the sixties. For the generation after the sixties, the love children of the baby boomers, it is often seen as a failed project which sustains their parents romanticisation of their youth prior to selling out.

  75. Debbie,

    As for evidence, how about the divorce rate, which skyrocketed after the casual sex experiment failed?

    So what does this really say? That people actually felt free for the first time to leave bad relationships? This “casual sex experiment” that you say happened, did not introduce casual sex into the equation, it just allowed people to be honest about it instead of hiding it.

  76. Debbie,

    I’m referring to a comment that David made earlier – he didn’t specify heterosexual couples there, he made a general statement about how broadening the definition of marriage weakens it.

  77. Your logic states that broadening the definition of marriage to include interracial couples weakens marriage – is there some reason you are avoiding dealing with this?

    And please provide some scientific evidence for your statement above.

    David only spoke of heterosexual couples, so playing the race card makes no sense. As for evidence, how about the divorce rate, which skyrocketed after the casual sex experiment failed?

  78. The claim that gays are wealthier and more educated has been used by both sides of the gay rights debate.

    While the stereotype that gays are richer than non-gays may ultimately have more than one source, one of the more prominent (read: oft-cited) sources was a single survey commissioned by a glossy gay “fashion and lifestyles” magazine in order to help attract more ad revenue.

    Obviously, if you’re trying to persuade an upmarket, premium-priced brand like Gray Goose vodka to contractually commit to at least six months’ worth of full-page ads in your magazine, it behooves you to persuade the makers of Gray Goose that your “average reader” is a white-collar Manhattanite who wears Prada shoes, buys at least 25 new albums on CD per year, and generally has piles and piles of disposable income lying around.

    So you’re going to design your “reader survey” in such a way that your “average subscriber” appears wealthier than the average Joe Public. (You also try to make it appear that your loyal subscribers outnumber the occasional newsstand purchaser, etc.)

  79. Emily,

    This pernicious lie is used to demonize gays and claim that since we’re so wealthy we can overcome any emotional distress foisted upon us and use our vast piles of money to comfort us after being forced from the hospital room where our dying partner passed away, far away from our comforting presence. It’s also used to claim that we can control the political landscape at our whim, and since we haven’t done that yet, we must not *really* be interested in equality.

    Thank you! I’m really tired of hearing this as well. I usually bring up people of Jewish descent when people try and use this idea to deny gay people equal rights.

  80. homosexuals (who are generally better educated and wealthier that heterosexuals)

    false.

    This pernicious lie is used to demonize gays and claim that since we’re so wealthy we can overcome any emotional distress foisted upon us and use our vast piles of money to comfort us after being forced from the hospital room where our dying partner passed away, far away from our comforting presence. It’s also used to claim that we can control the political landscape at our whim, and since we haven’t done that yet, we must not *really* be interested in equality.

    Tell it to my food stamps card.

  81. David,

    That article I posted cannot be just retreat theories of the 60’s and 70’s because it involves rights put in place well after those decades, but nice try 😉

  82. David,

    And what exactly does “weaken the definition of marriage” mean? I have a funny feeling this statement means different things to different people

  83. David B –

    David,

    Broadening the definition of legitimate heterosexual coupling to include casual encounters and living together outside marital bounds did weaken, ultimately the definition of marriage.

    Your logic states that broadening the definition of marriage to include interracial couples weakens marriage – is there some reason you are avoiding dealing with this?

    And please provide some scientific evidence for your statement above.

    People, mostly conservatives, idealize marriage prior to the 60s, but there is no real evidence that marriage prior to the “free love” era was actually the idealized thing people thought it was

  84. David,

    Those are rationals and justifications that are retreads of theories and philosophies of the 60?s and 70?s.

    LOL – but did you see the study that was done of non-married couples in Europe. Might make you nervous 🙂 Its not just retread theories 😉

  85. Although I would agree that several things occurred in the 60?s and 70?s that definitely made casual sex easier and somewhat less risky, at least for women in terms of pregnancy

    Roe v. Wade was one of those things. The proliferation of casual sex with multiple partners also led to a proliferation of STDs. Less risky?

  86. or Morwomans….oops. :).

    Mormons (Followers of Joseph Smith who persist and are not associated with the LDS Church)..

  87. Thanks Ken,

    I meant nothing pernicious in quoting this “factoid.” Emily refers to a page with many articles and I am certainly open to hearing more accurate information.

    @ Jayhuck,

    Definitions are powerful for what they include and exclude. That is their power.

    Broadening marriage to include nearly all types of adult coupling dilutes the original specificity of the definition.

    The definition may be broadened further to include Mormans who have multiple spouses. That will be a dilution also.

    In science, definitions become ‘independent variables’ which need specificity in order to understand their effect on the dependent variable, for instance.

  88. Emily K# ~ Feb 27, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    “This pernicious lie is used to demonize gays ”

    The claim that gays are wealthier and more educated has been used by both sides of the gay rights debate. While I couldn’t find any peer-reviewed study supporting that claim (if anyone has a pointer please post) I suspect that what such a study would really show is that gays who are educated and wealthy are more likely to be out.

    So I don’t think it is fair to characterize it as a “pernicious lie”, but rather an unsubstantiated claim (probably based on a mis-interpretation), that has been around for years.

  89. @ Jayhuck,

    Regarding your above noted article…ekk.

    Those are rationals and justifications that are retreads of theories and philosophies of the 60’s and 70’s.

    If they held true, homosexuals (who are generally better educated and wealthier that heterosexuals) who not be interested in marriage at all :).

    People complain about a world view corrupting science and this article is the embodiment of it.

  90. Although I would agree that several things occurred in the 60’s and 70’s that definitely made casual sex easier and somewhat less risky, at least for women in terms of pregnancy –

  91. Timothy,

    Broadening the definition of legitimate heterosexual coupling to include casual encounters and living together outside marital bounds did weaken, ultimately the definition of marriage.

    It has making a slow, somewhat mild comeback.

  92. Debbie Thurman# ~ Feb 27, 2011 at 8:16 am

    “How do you have it both ways, Jayhuck? An intimate expression of love (conjugal is best) or pure pleasure with no romance attached? ”

    For some people doesn’t have to be one or the other Debbie, that is what Jayhuck was trying to tell you. And you are correct if there is a disconnect in why the people involved are having sex then yes there will likely be some heartache. However, when those reasons are in tune, there isn’t any problem.

  93. Jayhuck,

    They may also stay together but hate each other

    They might…it could be a torture chamber :).

    God knows there are many people who are permanently immature who marry for all the wrong reasons, multiple times.

    Some youthful marriers get it right the first time. Wow, what a gift.

    Some get it wrong, but not wrong enough to wreck it. They mature and they seek maturity and make a miracle.

    Plenty of cliches here which have served many well: “Bloom where you are planted; the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.” And so forth.

  94. I think what David really means, at least in terms of marriage, is that broadening definitions of groups/institutions makes them less exclusive, but I would argue that is not the same thing, at all, as weakening them.

  95. Debbie,

    You have a talent for turning things upside down, Jayhuck. Contrary to what you apparently believe, casual sex was/is not on everybody’s minds. Most people don’t have concubines hidden away somewhere. The sexual revolution attempted to mainstream infidelity. But it has backfired. And more folks are coming back to their senses. Why should couples remain married if one or both are cheating? In fact, why marry at all? That’s another bit of fallout.

    I think you mean I have a talent for saying things you don’t like, even if they might be true. Casual sex is not on my mind at all, but that isn’t what I said. I think it is you who seems to have the talent for turning things “upside down”.

    I understand you want to blame things on the 60’s and 70’s – many conservatives do. As the quote above says, its a convenient scapegoat for some. I’m saying that the 60’s and 70’s only made people honest about sex, and it sure didn’t introduce the idea of casual sex,

    This is the statement of David’s that you quoted just before your follow-on statement. The interracial marriage fight was about heterosexual coupling. If there is another statement you are reffering to, then quote it.

    David said regarding the definition of marriage: “Broadening definitions tends to weaken definitions, that is just a fact.” When I said that his logic dictates then that broadening the definition of marriage to include interracial couples weakens the institution, he failed to address this.

  96. Broadening the definition of legitimate heterosexual coupling to include casual encounters and living together outside marital bounds did weaken, ultimately the definition of marriage.

    This is the statement of David’s that you quoted just before your follow-on statement. The interracial marriage fight was about heterosexual coupling. If there is another statement you are reffering to, then quote it.

  97. So what does this really say? That people actually felt free for the first time to leave bad relationships? This “casual sex experiment” that you say happened, did not introduce casual sex into the equation, it just allowed people to be honest about it instead of hiding it.

    You have a talent for turning things upside down, Jayhuck. Contrary to what you apparently believe, casual sex was/is not on everybody’s minds. Most people don’t have concubines hidden away somewhere. The sexual revolution attempted to mainstream infidelity. But it has backfired. And more folks are coming back to their senses. Why should couples remain married if one or both are cheating? In fact, why marry at all? That’s another bit of fallout.

  98. My understanding is the sexual revolution occurred in part in response to the hypocrisy of the preceding generations.

    I appreciate what this author has to say of that time:

    For progressives it is heralded as a time of revolutionary ferment which ushered in much needed social change, ushering in the civil rights movements, decolonisation, women’s liberation, gay & lesbian liberation, green and peace movements. For conservatives it has become a scapegoat to blame many contemporary problems upon. Issues such as pornography, marriage breakdowns, single parent families, welfare state dependancy, drugs and youth crime are all seen as having their origins in the “permissiveness” of the sixties. For the generation after the sixties, the love children of the baby boomers, it is often seen as a failed project which sustains their parents romanticisation of their youth prior to selling out.

  99. Debbie,

    As for evidence, how about the divorce rate, which skyrocketed after the casual sex experiment failed?

    So what does this really say? That people actually felt free for the first time to leave bad relationships? This “casual sex experiment” that you say happened, did not introduce casual sex into the equation, it just allowed people to be honest about it instead of hiding it.

  100. Your logic states that broadening the definition of marriage to include interracial couples weakens marriage – is there some reason you are avoiding dealing with this?

    And please provide some scientific evidence for your statement above.

    David only spoke of heterosexual couples, so playing the race card makes no sense. As for evidence, how about the divorce rate, which skyrocketed after the casual sex experiment failed?

  101. How do you have it both ways, Jayhuck? An intimate expression of love (conjugal is best) or pure pleasure with no romance attached? By reducing sexual intimacy to the latter or looking for the former over and over, we have cheapened it and made it what it was never intended to be. Now, at least in the state of Virginia, young girls are essentially required by government to get HPV vaccinations because it is assumed they will be sexually active. Look at the STD pandemic. There is the best evidence for the destruction we have wrought by turning sex into a game. Sex only has no consequences in our dreams.

  102. @ Jayhuck,

    Regarding your above noted article…ekk.

    Those are rationals and justifications that are retreads of theories and philosophies of the 60’s and 70’s.

    If they held true, homosexuals (who are generally better educated and wealthier that heterosexuals) who not be interested in marriage at all :).

    People complain about a world view corrupting science and this article is the embodiment of it.

  103. Debbie,

    Callous? I don’t see it that way at all. I view sex as a very intimate act between two people that can be a wonderful way of expressing your love for another. I don’t think anyone who knows me would suggest that I view sex as a callous thing. However, sex can be, and has been for me in the past, something that is also purely enjoyable, without any romance involved. There are many different ways to view and experience sex. And for the record, sexual relationships outside marriage are hardly the only place one can experience a broken hearts. Broken hearts abound without bringing sex into the picture.

  104. Well, you’re going to have to do a better job explaining to us how they are different, pal. What constitutes “responsible” sex outside of marriage? Birth control? Condoms? Where’s the safety net for the broken hearts?

    Yes, it involves condoms, birthcontrol, but it also involves some emotional maturity on the part of the people involved to avoid broken hearts. Responsible sex entails, just what I said above:

    Intelligent adults are able to successfully engage in fulfilling non-marital sex without any dire consequences. The word responsible however does entail some degree of knowledge, thought and care before engaging in these acts.

  105. Debbie,

    What about the impact on their partners? There is no sex without emotional baggage. Sex is no recreational sport. It is meant to be a sacred, intimate bonding between a husband and wife.

    OK, that’s flat out false. Sex does not have to involve emotional baggage and it doesn’t have to be enjoyed by a wife and husband to be fulfilling and enjoyable for both partners. This may not be your experience Debbie, but please don’t make assumptions that sex has to involve emotional baggage for everyone else.

  106. Don’t confuse responsible sex outside marriage with “free-love”. They are not the same things.

    Well, you’re going to have to do a better job explaining to us how they are different, pal. What constitutes “responsible” sex outside of marriage? Birth control? Condoms? Where’s the safety net for the broken hearts?

  107. Just a thought: many churches – the Catholic church for example but plenty of protestant churches – do not recognize your second marriage. They consider you to be having sex outside marriage.

    You’re right. So did Jesus when he addressed divorce. We made it far too easy, didn’t we?

  108. Many people enjoy sex and like having it in a variety of ways. They don’t attach a lot of emotional baggage to it. It is just a fun thing to do.

    What about the impact on their partners? There is no sex without emotional baggage. Sex is no recreational sport. It is meant to be a sacred, intimate bonding between a husband and wife.

  109. David,

    Two couples, both immature having a lot of sex. One couple gets married, the other does not. Both have children (since they are immature, they are impulsive and unreliably take precautions). It is better that one immature couple got married…better chance for legal accountability and support for the children. They may also try harder to stay together in the relationship while they mature.

    I don’t disagree, but again, for emphasis, this is not what I’m talking about when I talk about responsible sex outside marriage.

    They may also stay together but hate each other, perhaps one feels that the woman had the baby to keep the guy around, or the woman does not like the guy but needs help raising the child. The love is gone, the child has to grow up in a home with parents who no longer love or care for each other, possibly having to bare witness to emotional and/or physical abuse. The money is there for the child sure, but What is the emotional benefit to the child growing up in a home setting like this?

    Seriously, there are all sorts of scenarios one can conjure up advocating for or against marriage. For the record, I’m not against marriage, I fully support the institution and hope that the benefits it does convey on people get to be shared by all legal adults.

  110. Dave Roberts,

    It is personal to you…even when you are not addressed; and gays in general are not the topic.

    Now we will get a long response of “of course it is personal.”

    But if you look at my comments, they are about heterosexual unions. As are my comments about the Tyranny of the Individual.

    Wage your war boys, it looks like it is over. Now comes the time to address the larger issues which were on the table before the pursuit of Same Sex Marriage of the fragmented family…

    Jayhuck,

    Two couples, both immature having a lot of sex. One couple gets married, the other does not. Both have children (since they are immature, they are impulsive and unreliably take precautions). It is better that one immature couple got married…better chance for legal accountability and support for the children. They may also try harder to stay together in the relationship while they mature.

  111. Debbie Thurman# ~ Feb 26, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    “I would vehementy disagree with that assessment. The very fact that they need to have serial sex shows they have emotional problems.”

    Simply because someone doesn’t think or feel the way you do Debbie doesn’t mean they have emotional problems. Many people enjoy sex and like having it in a variety of ways. They don’t attach a lot of emotional baggage to it. It is just a fun thing to do. And as Jayhuck pointed out they can also be very responsible about protecting themselves and their partners. In some cases even more responsible than married people.

  112. Debbie,

    Just a thought: many churches – the Catholic church for example but plenty of protestant churches – do not recognize your second marriage. They consider you to be having sex outside marriage.

    I think that in these matters, like all matters, throwing down black-and-white absolutes are seldom the smartest way to go.

  113. Debbie,

    Jayhuck, of course marriage is no panacea for happiness. People marry ill advisedly all the time. I am not blind to that reality. What gave you that notion? In fact, I was one of those hapless people. I have been divorced.

    I am glad. Marriage is not for everyone, whether they are gay or straight, that does not necessarily mean that they can’t have happy and fulfilled sexual and romantic lives outside of marriage.

    I would vehementy disagree with that assessment. The very fact that they need to have serial sex shows they have emotional problems.

    You disagree because you make the assumption that these people NEED to have serial sex. I maintain there are people who simply want serial sex but would agree that there are those who feel they need it as well.

    Serial sex, however, is not what I am talking about when I talk about having responsible sex outside of marriage. Just as some people enter marriage ill advisedly there are people who engage in sex outside marriage ill-advisedly. I’ve known too many people gay and straight who have had responsible sex outside the bonds of marriage, who have not suffered any ill consequences from these acts. I’ve also known people who have suffered, both within a marriage and from having irresponsible serial sex outside of marriage.

    Don’t confuse responsible sex outside marriage with “free-love”. They are not the same things. Intelligent adults are able to successfully engage in fulfilling non-marital sex without any dire consequences. The word responsible however does entails some degree of knowledge, thought and care before engaging in these acts.

  114. Jayhuck, the sexual revolution opened up what is best preserved for marriage to the “free love” philosophy. There is no free love, of course, just as there is no free lunch. There are always strings attached. Most often, it’s an unwanted child. That forces the choice of an abortion, the other ramification of irresponsible sexual behavior, or abandonment by fathers, which brought the proliferation of the welfare mess we’re in. And it all impinges on the responsible taxpayers who have to fund it all. Clear enough? It is self-centered, focused on immediate gratification, with little or no regard for the consequences.

    You do realize, don’t you, that you are making the argument for recognition of same-sex marriage, not against it?

    And here’s more argument in favor:

    Sexual intimacy carries with it the risk of emotional harm when given away to someone other than the person you have committed to spending the rest of your life with.

  115. Jon, only God can judge “marriage equality.” Emotions are emotions, gay or straight. Love is love.

    Jayhuck, of course marriage is no panacea for happiness. People marry ill advisedly all the time. I am not blind to that reality. What gave you that notion? In fact, I was one of those hapless people. I have been divorced.

    And there are people who have sex with many people without having any emotional problems

    I would vehementy disagree with that assessment. The very fact that they need to have serial sex shows they have emotional problems.

  116. Debbie,

    You are confusing responsible sex, as most conservatives do, with wanton promiscuity and the free-love era. You can easily have a marriage that involves sexual irresponsibility and emotional harm, so don’t try and tell me that marriage magically confers safety and responsibility on people – LOL. Sexual responsibility involves knowing the risks, being safe, saving sex for someone you truly care about, etc. And there are people who have sex with many people without having any emotional problems, while there are people who are married where that marriage has caused a great deal of emotional problems. You appear blind to reality.

  117. David,

    Two couples, both immature having a lot of sex. One couple gets married, the other does not. Both have children (since they are immature, they are impulsive and unreliably take precautions). It is better that one immature couple got married…better chance for legal accountability and support for the children. They may also try harder to stay together in the relationship while they mature.

    I don’t disagree, but again, for emphasis, this is not what I’m talking about when I talk about responsible sex outside marriage.

    They may also stay together but hate each other, perhaps one feels that the woman had the baby to keep the guy around, or the woman does not like the guy but needs help raising the child. The love is gone, the child has to grow up in a home with parents who no longer love or care for each other, possibly having to bare witness to emotional and/or physical abuse. The money is there for the child sure, but What is the emotional benefit to the child growing up in a home setting like this?

    Seriously, there are all sorts of scenarios one can conjure up advocating for or against marriage. For the record, I’m not against marriage, I fully support the institution and hope that the benefits it does convey on people get to be shared by all legal adults.

  118. I agree with you here Debbie, but responsible sexual behavior does not have to mean waiting to have sex until you are married. There is plenty of evidence for this

    Evidence? Show me the money. “Responsible sex outside marriage” is an oxymoron. Sexual intimacy carries with it the risk of emotional harm when given away to someone other than the person you have committed to spending the rest of your life with. There is no pill to prevent that. You can’t get back the parts of your heart you have given away.

  119. Debbie,

    Jayhuck, of course marriage is no panacea for happiness. People marry ill advisedly all the time. I am not blind to that reality. What gave you that notion? In fact, I was one of those hapless people. I have been divorced.

    I am glad. Marriage is not for everyone, whether they are gay or straight, that does not necessarily mean that they can’t have happy and fulfilled sexual and romantic lives outside of marriage.

    I would vehementy disagree with that assessment. The very fact that they need to have serial sex shows they have emotional problems.

    You disagree because you make the assumption that these people NEED to have serial sex. I maintain there are people who simply want serial sex but would agree that there are those who feel they need it as well.

    Serial sex, however, is not what I am talking about when I talk about having responsible sex outside of marriage. Just as some people enter marriage ill advisedly there are people who engage in sex outside marriage ill-advisedly. I’ve known too many people gay and straight who have had responsible sex outside the bonds of marriage, who have not suffered any ill consequences from these acts. I’ve also known people who have suffered, both within a marriage and from having irresponsible serial sex outside of marriage.

    Don’t confuse responsible sex outside marriage with “free-love”. They are not the same things. Intelligent adults are able to successfully engage in fulfilling non-marital sex without any dire consequences. The word responsible however does entails some degree of knowledge, thought and care before engaging in these acts.

  120. Jayhuck, the sexual revolution opened up what is best preserved for marriage to the “free love” philosophy. There is no free love, of course, just as there is no free lunch. There are always strings attached. Most often, it’s an unwanted child. That forces the choice of an abortion, the other ramification of irresponsible sexual behavior, or abandonment by fathers, which brought the proliferation of the welfare mess we’re in. And it all impinges on the responsible taxpayers who have to fund it all. Clear enough? It is self-centered, focused on immediate gratification, with little or no regard for the consequences.

    You do realize, don’t you, that you are making the argument for recognition of same-sex marriage, not against it?

    And here’s more argument in favor:

    Sexual intimacy carries with it the risk of emotional harm when given away to someone other than the person you have committed to spending the rest of your life with.

  121. Jon, only God can judge “marriage equality.” Emotions are emotions, gay or straight. Love is love.

    Jayhuck, of course marriage is no panacea for happiness. People marry ill advisedly all the time. I am not blind to that reality. What gave you that notion? In fact, I was one of those hapless people. I have been divorced.

    And there are people who have sex with many people without having any emotional problems

    I would vehementy disagree with that assessment. The very fact that they need to have serial sex shows they have emotional problems.

  122. There is a difference between “free love” and responsible sex outside marriage as I’m sure many can attest to. Unwanted children, abortions and abandonment by one parent or another can and do all happen within marriage as well.

  123. In fact, marriage doesn’t magically confer any kind of responsible sexual behavior on a person – all you have to do is look at many marriages today.

  124. Debbie,

    That forces the choice of an abortion, the other ramification of irresponsible sexual behavior, or abandonment by fathers, which brought the proliferation of the welfare mess we’re in. And it all impinges on the responsible taxpayers who have to fund it all. Clear enough? It is self-centered, focused on immediate gratification, with little or no regard for the consequences.

    I agree with you here Debbie, but responsible sexual behavior does not have to mean waiting to have sex until you are married. There is plenty of evidence for this

  125. Debbie,

    You are confusing responsible sex, as most conservatives do, with wanton promiscuity and the free-love era. You can easily have a marriage that involves sexual irresponsibility and emotional harm, so don’t try and tell me that marriage magically confers safety and responsibility on people – LOL. Sexual responsibility involves knowing the risks, being safe, saving sex for someone you truly care about, etc. And there are people who have sex with many people without having any emotional problems, while there are people who are married where that marriage has caused a great deal of emotional problems. You appear blind to reality.

  126. Jayhuck, the sexual revolution opened up what is best preserved for marriage to the “free love” philosophy. There is no free love, of course, just as there is no free lunch. There are always strings attached. Most often, it’s an unwanted child. That forces the choice of an abortion, the other ramification of irresponsible sexual behavior, or abandonment by fathers, which brought the proliferation of the welfare mess we’re in. And it all impinges on the responsible taxpayers who have to fund it all. Clear enough? It is self-centered, focused on immediate gratification, with little or no regard for the consequences.

  127. I agree with you here Debbie, but responsible sexual behavior does not have to mean waiting to have sex until you are married. There is plenty of evidence for this

    Evidence? Show me the money. “Responsible sex outside marriage” is an oxymoron. Sexual intimacy carries with it the risk of emotional harm when given away to someone other than the person you have committed to spending the rest of your life with. There is no pill to prevent that. You can’t get back the parts of your heart you have given away.

  128. In fact, marriage doesn’t magically confer any kind of responsible sexual behavior on a person – all you have to do is look at many marriages today.

  129. Debbie,

    That forces the choice of an abortion, the other ramification of irresponsible sexual behavior, or abandonment by fathers, which brought the proliferation of the welfare mess we’re in. And it all impinges on the responsible taxpayers who have to fund it all. Clear enough? It is self-centered, focused on immediate gratification, with little or no regard for the consequences.

    I agree with you here Debbie, but responsible sexual behavior does not have to mean waiting to have sex until you are married. There is plenty of evidence for this

  130. Jayhuck, the sexual revolution opened up what is best preserved for marriage to the “free love” philosophy. There is no free love, of course, just as there is no free lunch. There are always strings attached. Most often, it’s an unwanted child. That forces the choice of an abortion, the other ramification of irresponsible sexual behavior, or abandonment by fathers, which brought the proliferation of the welfare mess we’re in. And it all impinges on the responsible taxpayers who have to fund it all. Clear enough? It is self-centered, focused on immediate gratification, with little or no regard for the consequences.

  131. Debbie,

    David answered the question.

    Other peoples lives are impinged upon because of the sociological ramifications of irresponsible sexual behavior.

    How did he answer any question? With a vague statement about sociological ramifications? LOL

  132. Debbie,

    To those who hold the idea of marriage hostage to self-gratification (as opposed to being focused on the needs of others)?

    Please expound upon this. What does this mean? I would prefer you being more specific.

  133. David,

    Marrying as an immature person is better than sex outside marriage…but that does not make it good, only better.

    LOL, you must be kidding, right? You can’t be serious. So if two, responsible adults, have sex outside marriage, and for all intents and purposes, have a loving relationship, that is somehow inferior to two immature and irresponsible people getting married. I just keep laughing

  134. David B,

    Broadening definitions tends to weaken definitions, that is just a fact.

    Logic follows then that when they broadened the definition of marriage to include interracial couples, that marriage was weakened. I’m glad you said it and not me.

  135. Debbie,

    David answered the question.

    Other peoples lives are impinged upon because of the sociological ramifications of irresponsible sexual behavior.

    How did he answer any question? With a vague statement about sociological ramifications? LOL

  136. Debbie,

    To those who hold the idea of marriage hostage to self-gratification (as opposed to being focused on the needs of others)?

    Please expound upon this. What does this mean? I would prefer you being more specific.

  137. David,

    Marrying as an immature person is better than sex outside marriage…but that does not make it good, only better.

    LOL, you must be kidding, right? You can’t be serious. So if two, responsible adults, have sex outside marriage, and for all intents and purposes, have a loving relationship, that is somehow inferior to two immature and irresponsible people getting married. I just keep laughing

  138. Other peoples lives are impinged upon because of the sociological ramifications of irresponsible sexual behavior.

    Good thing we queer women are stereotypically monogamous and have the “safest” sexual practices (the kind that don’t involve the male genitalia). Let’s legalize lesbian marriage – heck, let’s promote it!

  139. David B. said:

    The Tyranny of the Individual:

    In Environmentalism, the convenience of plastic bags, when multiplied over 30 million shoppers, creates a tyranny…other people’s lives are curtailed due to environmental hazards associated with this convenience.

    In Social Policy, the convenience of sexual coupling when multiplied over millions of couples creates a tyranny…in public health with STD’s; in children raised without a father. Other peoples lives are impinged upon because of the sociological ramifications of irresponsible sexual behavior.

    Which are we gays again, the plastic bags or the sexually irresponsible? I’m sure someone will tell us. Sometimes you speak with such mock profundity that taking you seriously is difficult.

  140. David, can you expound a bit on what you mean by The Tyranny of the Individual? Could it also apply to those looking to make a “federal case” out of feeling offended? To those who hold the idea of marriage hostage to self-gratification (as opposed to being focused on the needs of others)?

    Amen

    I am so tired of those who hold marriage hostage and fight to deny it to others all out of some desire to see themselves as better or purer or to “protect marriage” from folks they don’t like without any consideration of the needs of same-sex couples.

  141. It looks like we are going to get our chance to see if Same Sex Marriage strengthens or weakens the institution of Marriage.

    So far, it appears to have no observable negative consequences and several observable benefits. Those nations which have experienced same-sex marriage seem to want to continue – if not strengthen – it.

    But it is still early.

    The trend and plan to strengthen marriage really does not go through Same Sex marriage. Broadening definitions tends to weaken definitions, that is just a fact.

    Nope. Not a “fact.” Not even close.

    Standards that apply consistently to everyone strengthen institutions. But those which are perceived as bigoted or discriminatory undermine the prestige and status of institutions.

    You may believe that “broadening definitions” to treat same-sex couples on the same standing as opposite-sex couples will “weaken” the “definition” of marriage. But it is nothing but your opinion.

    My second prayer is that advocates of Gay marriage will join me in condemning the Tyranny of the Individual as it effects the family, working to teach adaptive marriage and parenting skills in families at risk. Admonishing lovers to think seriously before starting a family.

    I’m with you on that

    To advocate for covenant marriages.

    I see this as a political gimmick so I’m not going there.

    To discourage youthful marriage,

    I’m with you

    and to delay sexual activity until marriage.

    I know this won’t be viewed favorably by the “but the word in the Bible say” crowd, but I don’t really support this premise. Prohibition on all sexual activity in the Bible appears to have been based on procreation presumptions at the time, ownership of women, and seemed to have exceptions for concubines and other forms of socially accepted sexual behavior outside of marriage. A study of the meaning and intent might be more useful than a recitation of Bronze Age rules.

    But I will agree that young people ought to be taught sexual responsibility with an emphasis on delayed gratification, meaningful commitment, and respect for each other. And I believe that doing so has a chance of success while “thou shalt” has almost none.

  142. Other peoples lives are impinged upon because of the sociological ramifications of irresponsible sexual behavior.

    Good thing we queer women are stereotypically monogamous and have the “safest” sexual practices (the kind that don’t involve the male genitalia). Let’s legalize lesbian marriage – heck, let’s promote it!

  143. The Tyranny of the Individual:

    In Environmentalism, the convenience of plastic bags, when multiplied over 30 million shoppers, creates a tyranny…other people’s lives are curtailed due to environmental hazards associated with this convenience.

    In Social Policy, the convenience of sexual coupling when multiplied over millions of couples creates a tyranny…in public health with STD’s; in children raised without a father. Other peoples lives are impinged upon because of the sociological ramifications of irresponsible sexual behavior.

    You may be able to think of other, better examples, of this label.

  144. Ken,

    There is a strawberry on the table…if you eat it now that is all you get.

    If you can wait 10 minutes, I’ll give you a bowl of strawberries.

    This is the essence of emotional intelligence…and it is what our culture needs at its core to survive.

    Marrying as an immature person is better than sex outside marriage…but that does not make it good, only better.

  145. David, can you expound a bit on what you mean by The Tyranny of the Individual? Could it also apply to those looking to make a “federal case” out of feeling offended? To those who hold the idea of marriage hostage to self-gratification (as opposed to being focused on the needs of others)?

    Amen

    I am so tired of those who hold marriage hostage and fight to deny it to others all out of some desire to see themselves as better or purer or to “protect marriage” from folks they don’t like without any consideration of the needs of same-sex couples.

  146. David Blakeslee# ~ Feb 25, 2011 at 10:17 am

    The problem with the analysis in the opinion piece you cited is that it ignores the possibility of Congress defending the law (and note, Holder was clear if congress chooses to continue the fight he would give them assistance). It presumes that ONLY the administrative branch can defend laws in court. I’m pretty sure congress would have standing to file as well. It may even be that individual congressional members may have standing (although, I don’t know if that has ever been tested).

    “Broadening the definition of heterosexual coupling in the name of diversity in the 60?s through 80?s”

    Can you expound on what you mean by “”Broadening the definition of heterosexual coupling” ?

    and what is: “the tyranny of the individual”?

    “To discourage youthful marriage, and to delay sexual activity until marriage.”

    You do realize these 2 things are pretty much in opposition to one another 🙂

  147. Was this particular federal lawsuit about “feeling offended” or was it about legally married US citizens seeking to correct discrepencies between the state recognition of their marriages and the federal recognition of their marriages?

  148. David, can you expound a bit on what you mean by The Tyranny of the Individual? Could it also apply to those looking to make a “federal case” out of feeling offended? To those who hold the idea of marriage hostage to self-gratification (as opposed to being focused on the needs of others)?

  149. I bit melodramatic in my labeling…

    There is not enough money in government, or goodwill, to make up for the selfishness of the individual, multiplied by millions or billions.

  150. Back to legal ramifications:

    A President could retroactively veto laws passed by previous Congresses and administrations by coordinating with a plaintiff who would challenge the constitutionality of the law, and then asking the court to agree with the plaintiff and strike the law down. Imagine the reaction of Democrats if, in 2013, President Sarah Palin or Tim Pawlenty orders the Justice Department not to defend the constitutionality of Obamacare.

    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2011/02/24/2011-02-24_obamas_dangerous_divorce_from_doma_the_executive_cant_pick_and_choose_which_laws.html#ixzz1Eym5U7hc

    Glad we are posting about this.

    To Mary and Jayhuck, I won’t mind being wrong.

    The trend and plan to strengthen marriage really does not go through Same Sex marriage. Broadening definitions tends to weaken definitions, that is just a fact.

    Broadening the definition of heterosexual coupling in the name of diversity in the 60’s through 80’s was thought to be the tolerant and loving thing to do…it probably is for a majority of couples and a minority of children.

    It leveraged upon the culture a legacy of poverty and violence and ignorance that no Public Policy legislation can make right or heal.

    In America, the Tyranny of the Individual is easily understood with greed, exploitation of the environment, violent crime and reckless substance abuse. Perhaps you can think of others.

    But the Tyranny of the Individual on the breakdown of the family, and its consequent “offloading” of responsibility on the community and the state, is termed condemned by many now as “moralizing.”

    My first prayer is that broadening the definition of Gay Marriage does the exact opposite to our culture of what broadening the definition of Heterosexual coupling did in the 60’s and 70’s.

    My second prayer is that advocates of Gay marriage will join me in condemning the Tyranny of the Individual as it effects the family, working to teach adaptive marriage and parenting skills in families at risk. Admonishing lovers to think seriously before starting a family. To advocate for covenant marriages. To discourage youthful marriage, and to delay sexual activity until marriage.

  151. The Tyranny of the Individual:

    In Environmentalism, the convenience of plastic bags, when multiplied over 30 million shoppers, creates a tyranny…other people’s lives are curtailed due to environmental hazards associated with this convenience.

    In Social Policy, the convenience of sexual coupling when multiplied over millions of couples creates a tyranny…in public health with STD’s; in children raised without a father. Other peoples lives are impinged upon because of the sociological ramifications of irresponsible sexual behavior.

    You may be able to think of other, better examples, of this label.

  152. I tend to think of it differently. Not that it brought divorce rates down, but that divorce rates continue to go down. Despite the fact that supposed gay marriages are going to destroy the institution of marriage. You can’t claim for years that something destroys something and then ignore the fact that it’s not getting destroyed.

    It would be nice if divorces are on the decline. I hope they are. Gay marriage isn’t going to single-handedly destroy marriage. Most folks realize the hype in that. Chelsea Clinton and her now-estranged husband (they made it what, seven months?) are more the poster children for failed marriages.

    What people fear is that redefining marriage (and who knows what would follow same-sex marriage?) will render marriage meaningless because it decouples it from procreation and makes moms and dads interchangeable. Co-habitation is already on the rise, which means marriages are likely declining. That could be the real explanation for the decline in divorces.

  153. As for how gay marriage magically, all by itself, brought divorce rates down in Iowa, I am curious. Can you provide some raw data and then explain how this came to be? Were pre-1970 divorce rates in Iowa dramatically lower than now or just a bit lower?

    I tend to think of it differently. Not that it brought divorce rates down, but that divorce rates continue to go down. Despite the fact that supposed gay marriages are going to destroy the institution of marriage. You can’t claim for years that something destroys something and then ignore the fact that it’s not getting destroyed.

    I’ll admit that Iowa’s stats are fresh and I’m curious to see if they continue to exist in year two of our marriage equality experience, but MA’s divorce rates have continued to be one of the USA’s lowest and marriage equality has been the reality there since 2004.

  154. It’s been legal here in Iowa since 2009. Marriage rates went up in the first year and divorce rates have slipping to pre-1970 levels.

    Naturally allowing gays to marry each other would increase marriage rates. As for how gay marriage magically, all by itself, brought divorce rates down in Iowa, I am curious. Can you provide some raw data and then explain how this came to be? Were pre-1970 divorce rates in Iowa dramatically lower than now or just a bit lower?

  155. @David,

    I think we should make room for the possibility that gay marriage will have little to no effect on straight marriage

  156. David Blakeslee# ~ Feb 24, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    “It looks like we are going to get our chance to see if Same Sex Marriage strengthens or weakens the institution of Marriage.”

    We always were David, it was just a matter of WHEN.

  157. Of course, they could also differentiate themselves by coming out strongly in favor of civil-union/domestic-partnership laws but against same-sex marriage, thus allowing them to cast the Democrats as “the Gay Marriage party”.

    That’s not what the GOP’s doing here in Iowa. They’re not only trying to outlaw my marriage and others like it, they are trying to block civil unions or domestic partnerships, too.

    Then again, imagine the Democratic Party coming out fully in favor of marriage equality. “The 100% Pro-Family/Pro-Marriage Party”. How cool would that be?

  158. It looks like we are going to get our chance to see if Same Sex Marriage strengthens or weakens the institution of Marriage.

    Marriage has been legal in Massachusettes since 2004. Has it been weakened there? If I recall correctly, MA has one of the lowest divorce rates in the country.

    It’s been legal here in Iowa since 2009. Marriage rates went up in the first year and divorce rates have slipping to pre-1970 levels.

  159. Same sex marriage can only strengthen marriages and society in general. Bonding pairs is a natural thing, nuf said.

  160. P.S. As I commented to my brother-in-law on FB earlier today:

    It does occur to me, however, that the DADT-repeal process may in fact have something to do with the timing this — since Sec. 3 of DOMA presents a severe legal obstacle to providing spousal-type benefits to same-sex partners of military personnel. (To the best of my understanding, DOMA §3 theoretically forbids any such benefits, apart from a one-time death compensation that can be made to ANY beneficiary that a service member chooses to designate — legal spouse, gay lover, grandmother, handicapped cousin, etc.)

    So it would be logical for the Pentagon to request some kind of waiver (at least) on §3 of DOMA, if not necessarily an outright repeal of this section, in order to give the DoD legal room to revamp its “family benefits” policies for a post-DADT military.

  161. I think this puts more pressure on the GOP to come out strongly against gay marriage in order to differentiate the party on the issue.

    Of course, they could also differentiate themselves by coming out strongly in favor of civil-union/domestic-partnership laws but against same-sex marriage, thus allowing them to cast the Democrats as “the Gay Marriage party”.

  162. It looks like we are going to get our chance to see if Same Sex Marriage strengthens or weakens the institution of Marriage.

  163. Warren, I see President Obama as looking at the Ugandan situation and expecting someday to have to seriously speak to the issue, knowing that there is an unconstitutional law on the books that makes him/us look hypocritical, no matter what his stand may be. I noticed yesterday AFA’s various talking heads were calling the president’s decision (among other things) an illegal act. Today, the legal counsel for AFA was “interviewed” and declared to the radio audience that the president’s action was legal.. The program’s host then declared it was “legal but immoral.” Of course that was to expected.

Comments are closed.