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> The social question - Gay Marriage on the Ballot
Bikerdad
post Oct 30 2012, 05:50 PM
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This election, the matter of gay marriage is appearing on the ballot in at least 4 states, and it's apparently flying under the radar from the national perspective.

Question 1 in Maine. -
QUOTE
"Do you want to allow the State of Maine to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples"

Referendum 74 in Washington. -
QUOTE
"The legislature passed Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 6239 concerning marriage for same-sex couples, modified domestic-partnership law, and religious freedom, and voters have filed a sufficient referendum petition on this bill.
This bill would allow same-sex couples to marry, preserve domestic partnerships only for seniors, and preserve the right of clergy or religious organizations to refuse to perform, recognize, or accommodate any marriage ceremony.

Should this bill be:

[ ] Approved

[ ] Rejected "


Question 6 in Maryland. -
QUOTE
Question 6
Referendum Petition
Civil Marriage Protection Act (Ch. 2 of the 2012 Legislative Session)

Establishes that Marylandís civil marriage laws allow gay and lesbian couples to obtain a civil marriage license, provided they are not otherwise prohibited from marrying; protects clergy from having to perform any particular marriage ceremony in violation of their religious beliefs; affirms that each religious faith has exclusive control over its own theological doctrine regarding who may marry within that faith; and provides that religious organizations and certain related entities are not required to provide goods, services, or benefits to an individual related to the celebration or promotion of marriage in violation of their religious beliefs.

For the Referred Law
Against the Referred Law


Amendment 1 in Minnesota. -
QUOTE
Limiting the status of marriage to opposite sex couples.

"Recognition of Marriage Solely Between One Man and One Woman."

YES
NO


Essentially, the proponents and opponents of gay marriage are asking two different questions, as reviewing the for/against arguments on the above ballot measures through Ballotpedia.Org will show.

Questions for Debate (1 & 2 courtesy of Dennis Prager):

1} Is keeping the definition of marriage as man-woman fair to gays?

2} Is same-sex marriage good for society?

3} When making laws, which is more important, fairness to individuals, or the good of society?

4} How do you decide #3?

This post has been edited by Bikerdad: Oct 30 2012, 05:59 PM
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Dontreadonme
post Oct 30 2012, 06:41 PM
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1} Is keeping the definition of marriage as man-woman fair to gays?

Depends on whether or not one sees marriage as a blessing or a curse....

Defenders of 'traditional marriage' proclaim that redefining the label will bring everything from the downfall of western civilization to somehow damaging or invalidating their own marriage. Though when pressed on the latter, I've yet to have somebody actually substantiate the latter.

When weighing on a policy or legal decision, my foremost question is always - does this increase or restrict individual liberty? In that light, and in the absence of fundamental factors such as public safety or national security, prohibiting gays from entering a legally recognized commitment that the rest of society maintains as a right, is fundamentally unfair.

2} Is same-sex marriage good for society?

I believe so. Ensuring that gays can partake of the same benefits as the majority, allows them to form stable tax paying households. Prohibition of such cannot be argued [in my estimation] as an inherent good for society.

3} When making laws, which is more important, fairness to individuals, or the good of society?

As this is a case in point, the two are not mutually exclusive. Archaic, emotional based prohibitions are neither fair nor represent the concept of liberty.

4} How do you decide #3?

I refer to my foremost question - does this increase or restrict individual liberty?
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amf
post Oct 30 2012, 06:51 PM
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To answer 1 & 2: beating up on a minority for who they are and who they want to be is never a recipe for societal success.

#3 is the more interesting question. From my view, it's a pendulum that swings back and forth through the ages. In some periods, we focus hard on increasing individual liberties (e.g., the period 1967-1971), often at the expense of a common society structure. In other periods, we strive for a stronger structure at the expense of individual liberties (e.g., The Patriot Act).

Right now, I think we're tending toward "increasing structure", likely in response to technology that is propelling us so rapidly into the future that people long for those days when they felt more in control of their life.

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AuthorMusician
post Oct 30 2012, 07:56 PM
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1} Is keeping the definition of marriage as man-woman fair to gays?

It is obviously not, as long as the state of being married gives certain legal advantages that don't otherwise exist. This is why I'm for civil unions that grant the same legal advantages to same-sex couples, whether there's homosexual sex involved or not.

2} Is same-sex marriage good for society?

Any form of positive relationships is good for society, from same-sex marriage to communal organizations sometimes known as villages, towns and cities. When we share common goals is when we do the best.

3} When making laws, which is more important, fairness to individuals, or the good of society?

Yes, both are as important.

4} How do you decide #3?

By throwing out the hierarchy that would put one above the other. I don't have a single touchstone notion that would put one above the other, so the judgement on any particular issue has to be considered from the details. In this example, keeping gay marriage (or civil union) illegal or merely ignored as being nothing more than house/room mates is both bad for the individual and society.

I also think that the until-death-we-part deal in marriage is bound to fail. People change, as do relationships, and keeping a bad relationship together just because it's hard to part is asking for trouble, both from the individual and society viewpoint. It really should be handled like partnerships in business. The contract would clearly lay out what would happen if the partnership is dissolved and have the ability to be amended for changing conditions.

Meanwhile, the religious notion of marriage can go where it is bound to end up: atop the scrapheap of historical bad ideas.

I guess it would be important to maintain status in particular societies, but societies change.
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vsrenard
post Oct 31 2012, 06:09 PM
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1} Is keeping the definition of marriage as man-woman fair to gays?

I personally don't believe it's fair but then I also don't think the State should be in the business of granting "marriages" to anyone. Regardless, whatever designation of official coupledom the State does bestow, it should be the same for gays and lesbians as well.

2} Is same-sex marriage good for society?

Anything that promotes stability of family and community is a good thing. Moreover, it's certainly not a bad thing.

3} When making laws, which is more important, fairness to individuals, or the good of society?

There needs to a balance between the two.

4} How do you decide #3?

For me, it's the comparison of risk/benefit to the society and what freedoms would the impact would be for how many individuals.

This post has been edited by vsrenard: Oct 31 2012, 06:10 PM
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Hobbes
post Oct 31 2012, 06:42 PM
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QUOTE(Dontreadonme @ Oct 30 2012, 01:41 PM) *
1} Is keeping the definition of marriage as man-woman fair to gays?

Depends on whether or not one sees marriage as a blessing or a curse....


HA! One of the best lines I have heard on this issue came from a comedian, but goes to this very point. He said he was in favor of gay marriage because he didn't see why they should be exempt from the pain and suffering the rest of us go through. Does put it into a different perspective, doesn't it?

Personally, this is not a major issue to me, either way. However, I also believe that it extends into the area of personal freedom, which in general I am against government infringement upon. I don't see gays marrying as much different than people from different races doing so, and they faced much the same challenges not really all that long ago. Now that is not only allowed, bur fairly common, and no great ill has befallen society. Which leads to:

2} Is same-sex marriage good for society?

I flip this around. I don't see how it is bad for society. Who someone else chooses to marry is irrelevant to me, and doesn't impact me (or others) outside of their relationship.

3} When making laws, which is more important, fairness to individuals, or the good of society?

The good of society should be in ensuring fairness to individuals. This right should extend up to point where their right to 'fairness' infringes on someone else's. In this particular instance, I don't see how it does.

4} How do you decide #3?

Answered above.
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Curmudgeon
post Nov 1 2012, 04:18 PM
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1} Is keeping the definition of marriage as man-woman fair to gays?

No. Redefining marriage as a union of two human beings is likely an idea whose time has come. In America, the concept of an arranged marriage is something both the bride and groom would object to. We marry in this country largely because we have fallen in love.

I am growing accustomed to hearing, "If you are personally opposed to marrying someone of the same sex, then don't do it."

Enactment of laws to permit same sex marriage would in no way require anyone to enter into marriage; any more than current laws which permit couples of opposite gender to marry, but do not require any specific couple to marry.

2} Is same-sex marriage good for society?

I have heard it argued that same-sex couples are the only people who are making an honest effort towards Zero Population Growth. It may not be recognized as "good for society," by most religious leaders; but I have heard atheists argue that religions are not "good for society."

3} When making laws, which is more important, fairness to individuals, or the good of society?

I think that is irrelevant to this issue. I think that by making the passage of such laws a ballot issue, the legislators in the aforementioned states have succeeded in placing the passage of such laws onto the honest judgment of the general populace. It can then become law without a single legislator being forced to admit that s/he voted for it. I suspect that at least one of these states will have enough enlightened voters to pass the issue. It will then of course be challenged in court and fought all the way to the Supreme Court. While that is going on however, I expect that the language used in the state(s) that passed the legislation will be copied onto petitions in other states.

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Hobbes
post Nov 1 2012, 05:02 PM
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QUOTE(Curmudgeon @ Nov 1 2012, 11:18 AM) *
1} Is keeping the definition of marriage as man-woman fair to gays?

No. Redefining marriage as a union of two human beings is likely an idea whose time has come.


Why just two? I have similar thoughts to polygamy as I do to gay marriage--if some fool out there wants to be nagged by multiple wives, and deal with all their internal bickering, then who are we to stand in his/her way? smile.gif

Marriage is really a legal construct. Nothing about that construct really changes whether the people getting married are gay. Nothing in that construct would change if mulitiple people were getting married, either. Can anyone point to anything, legally, that would? Marriage stipulates certain legal responsibilities, and certain things that happen if that legal construct is dissolved (divorce). All of that works just exactly the same if the couple is gay, and really would work the same if it wasn't a couple, but mulitple parties. Yes, marriage has lots of ties back to religion, but the two are really completely separate. You can go through the entire religious process, but you still aren't married until you sign the legal document, and conversely, you can sign the legal document with no religious entities involved at all. It is purely a legal construct.

This post has been edited by Hobbes: Nov 1 2012, 05:11 PM
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Curmudgeon
post Nov 1 2012, 05:48 PM
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QUOTE(Hobbes @ Nov 1 2012, 01:02 PM) *
QUOTE(Curmudgeon @ Nov 1 2012, 11:18 AM) *
1} Is keeping the definition of marriage as man-woman fair to gays?

No. Redefining marriage as a union of two human beings is likely an idea whose time has come.

Why just two? I have similar thoughts to polygamy as I do to gay marriage--if some fool out there wants to be nagged by multiple wives, and deal with all their internal bickering, then who are we to stand in his/her way? smile.gif

I have not known many people who were involved in "group marriages," but I do recall that when they broke up; it was a mess to determine possessions, custody, etc. Nonetheless, I recall being taught in High School that the laws against Polygamy were aimed directly at the Mormons. I questioned at the time why they chose to leave the country rather than challenging the law under the Freedom of Religion principle.

Hey, maybe Republicans can look for votes here... "Harems for Romney!" Wait... Does Sharia law allow women to vote?
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Paladin Elspeth
post Nov 1 2012, 06:18 PM
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QUOTE(Hobbes @ Nov 1 2012, 01:02 PM) *
QUOTE(Curmudgeon @ Nov 1 2012, 11:18 AM) *
1} Is keeping the definition of marriage as man-woman fair to gays?

No. Redefining marriage as a union of two human beings is likely an idea whose time has come.


Why just two? I have similar thoughts to polygamy as I do to gay marriage--if some fool out there wants to be nagged by multiple wives, and deal with all their internal bickering, then who are we to stand in his/her way? smile.gif

Marriage is really a legal construct. Nothing about that construct really changes whether the people getting married are gay. Nothing in that construct would change if mulitiple people were getting married, either. Can anyone point to anything, legally, that would? Marriage stipulates certain legal responsibilities, and certain things that happen if that legal construct is dissolved (divorce). All of that works just exactly the same if the couple is gay, and really would work the same if it wasn't a couple, but mulitple parties. Yes, marriage has lots of ties back to religion, but the two are really completely separate. You can go through the entire religious process, but you still aren't married until you sign the legal document, and conversely, you can sign the legal document with no religious entities involved at all. It is purely a legal construct.

Funny, Hobbes, I thought one time that polyandry might be the way to go...Not really. Back in about 1980 or 1981 I was with another woman and met a guy at her apartment complex's swimming pool. He was a Muslim, and he was having a good time telling us that in his country he could have up to four wives. I told him it was biologically improper, because there was no way one man was capable of satisfying four women in one night (this was before Viagra), but a woman could satisfy four men in one night. It really messed with his mind, and that was my sole objective. He was being arrogant, and I was a divorcee with a chip on my shoulder at the time. devil.gif

I agree--there would be marriage whether there was religion around to sanction it or not. As a matter of fact, it would be around if there were no government, either.

I believe there is a practical reason for a 1:1 spousal relationship. While watching a documentary on FLDS (Fundamentalist Latter-Day Saints] in the western states, I noticed that these men with multiple wives and (therefore) multiple children were more often than not incapable of supporting their families without some form of government assistance, like welfare and food stamps. I don't think that anyone should marry and beget with abandon when he (or she) knows that he (or she) has no reliable means of meeting the needs of that family. Reagan brought it up in the form of the dreaded "welfare queens," but what I just mentioned is a prime example with a religious context.

Is keeping the definition of marriage as man-woman fair to gays?

Nope. There have been countless same-sex "roommates" who could not openly express their love for their partners through hospital visits, time off for funerals, uncontested wills bequeathing their earthly goods to their partners, etc. As with heteros, marriage signifies a deeper commitment to one individual in particular. Not only does it bring legal benefits; it honors the other person by saying, "I love you and want to be with you for the rest of our lives. You are more special to me than any other person, and I want the world to know."

Two consenting adults making such a commitment should not adversely affect others or their committed relationships. Arguably it would mean less infidelity, but then I've noticed that it isn't necessarily the case with heterosexual marriages. If we are concerned with maintaining (restoring?) the "sanctity of marriage," we need only look at our own and see what we can do at home for the one to whom we pledged our love and loyalty.

This post has been edited by Paladin Elspeth: Nov 1 2012, 06:35 PM
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vsrenard
post Nov 1 2012, 08:02 PM
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QUOTE(Hobbes @ Nov 1 2012, 10:02 AM) *
Why just two? I have similar thoughts to polygamy as I do to gay marriage--if some fool out there wants to be nagged by multiple wives, and deal with all their internal bickering, then who are we to stand in his/her way? smile.gif

Marriage is really a legal construct. Nothing about that construct really changes whether the people getting married are gay. Nothing in that construct would change if mulitiple people were getting married, either. Can anyone point to anything, legally, that would? Marriage stipulates certain legal responsibilities, and certain things that happen if that legal construct is dissolved (divorce). All of that works just exactly the same if the couple is gay, and really would work the same if it wasn't a couple, but mulitple parties. Yes, marriage has lots of ties back to religion, but the two are really completely separate. You can go through the entire religious process, but you still aren't married until you sign the legal document, and conversely, you can sign the legal document with no religious entities involved at all. It is purely a legal construct.


I'm fine with polygamy. My only concern would be how the finances for legal benefits would work out.
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