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My Marriage Seems to be OK

Gay marriage has been legal in California for over 12 hours now, and, despite fears from opponents that it would weaken the institution of marriage, every indication is that my own marriage is as strong as ever.   I don't see any reason to make life difficult for those whose preferences are not my own.  All the best, newlyweds.

Postscript: I thought John Scalzi had a funny line.  A commenter on the Daily Kos had asked if Scalzi was on their side, politically, presumably because they could not allow themselves to enjoy his writing if he had not met their political litmus tests.  Anyway, he offered a line a libertarian would love:

Well, I don’t want my political proclivities to be in doubt, so let me be absolutely crystal clear where I stand:

I support the right of same-sex married couples to carry concealed weapons.

I hope this explains everything.

 

Posted on June 17, 2008 at 08:45 AM | Permalink

Comments

That is a great line from John.

It always grated on me when I would hear someone like Hannity say that Gay marriage was "an assult on Marriage". It made me want to ask him if the cheeseburger was an assult on the chicken sandwich.

Posted by: Tim | Jun 17, 2008 10:01:03 AM

As noted in the 6th comment on Scalzi's post, that sounds a lot like Instapundit's "Personally, I'd be delighted to live in a country where happily married gay couples had closets full of assault weapons".

Adding concealed carry was a nice touch, though.

Posted by: Kevin | Jun 17, 2008 10:40:00 AM

Yes, and just think of all that new revenue for the divorce industry!

Seriously, the real danger to marriage is the government fooling about in it. Same-sex couples do not meet my definition of marriage, but what they choose to call their own contract is irrelevant. The real damage comes from government intervention, and in the marriage/divorce arena we end up with more coercion from the government in our personal lives than in any other way.

Posted by: August | Jun 17, 2008 10:56:00 AM

Am I the only person left in California that gags when he sees two men or women kissing? I must be biased because I don't have the same reaction when I notice a concealed weapon.

Posted by: cesqy | Jun 17, 2008 12:19:30 PM

I think the correct quote is from Glenn Reynolds, and goes something like- 'I'd like to live in a neighborhood of happily married lesbian parents with closets full of assault rifles' ; at least that's who I credit when I slap my Obama friends with it.

Posted by: dr kill | Jun 17, 2008 2:09:24 PM

I can understand why people support the right to bear arms, but when someone gets turned on by imagining people stuffing their closets with assault rifles - which are designed with the sole purpose of killing other human beings - I have a lot of trouble seeing eye to eye. The idea of killing another person (even if it's in self defense) certainly never made me feel giddy.

Posted by: Dan | Jun 17, 2008 2:16:22 PM

As a libertarian, I don't care if a guy want to call himself married to a ham sandwich.

But I think it's unconscionable that the state have certain preferred classes of relationships that it subsidizes or otherwise encourages. I don't understand how a gay marriage adovocate can argue "we want the rights and benefits of marriage too" on civil libertarian grounds. Implicit in this argument is that single people and married people should have different rights and benefits under the law.

Anyway, that is why I support separation of marriage and state.

Posted by: diz | Jun 17, 2008 2:27:17 PM

I used to not care about same sex marriage, although I am in favor of civil unions. I'm concerned about the potential confusion that it could cause. Now progressive teachers of young children have the ultimate proof that same sex and heterosexual marriage are no different in the state of California. They can have picture books that will ask whether you should marry a boy or a girl when you grow-up. I imagine they'll come-up with puppet shows to reinforce it. So some day soon, little Johnny will come home and ask mommy if he should marry his best friend, Timmy. I don't have a problem with homosexuality in general.

Posted by: Ian Random | Jun 17, 2008 6:09:35 PM

I'd offer another angle.

There is a culture war going on in America - here in Europe it's already lost. In the red corner, the defenders of traditional culture & lifestyles, in the blue corner, alternative lifestyles & multiculturalism. Box!

Now, I admit that the red corner is too autoritarian, no issue with that. Yeah, Hannity & co. can be quite dumb & annoying. My problem is that the only reason the blue corner looks less autoritarian is that they have less power. Yet.

As the blue corner gradually gains more power, they are more and more reverting to their true authoritarian personalities. Warren have already blogged about a photographer who turned down an offer to take photos at a gay marriage and was forced by the court to accept it. Soon, you will see churches sued for discrimination if they are unwilling to marry gays. Soon you will see priests sued for hate speech if they preach against gay marriage. Soon you will see public schools teach kids about gay married lifestyle even if you as a parent clearly state you don't want it. And so on, and so on.

So basically, I think this act, which at first seems to have given more freedom to a lot of people, will ultimately reduce a lot of freedom of other people. This is the problem with it.

(At the end of the day, if you realize that in the long run both corners are about equally authoritarian, why not choose at least the one that's proven to be capable to building a sane civilization?)

Posted by: Miklos Hollender | Jun 18, 2008 2:25:40 AM

Society has a vested interest in insuring there is a next generation to "carry on", otherwise it ceases to exists. As such it has formulated policies and law over the years that promotes its general interest (survival). The marriage laws has been created to support that. One man one woman insures that the low class man has a shot at marriage to a low class woman, a high class man has a choice among high class women and low class women. One man many women leaves the low class male on the out. If a man has no vested interest in the future of society, a wife and hopefully children to carry his genes on, then he will not work as hard to build and defend said society.

Now the other problem is the woman is the child bearer and primary nurturer (traditionally) while the man has been the provider (traditionally). The marriage laws has been crafted to protect the wife and children from abandonment by the man. Marriage does not grant rights but places restrictions on the couple especially the man. Society has no vested interest in same sex marriage other then to keep a segment of its population happy, because, by definition a same sex union will not produce children.

Same sex marriage of females has a better chance to produce children because one or both of the female can have children by getting a male to donate sperm, same sex male will require adoption or convincing a female to bear his child but not raise it, a harder course.

In addition to civil society interest in supporting one man on woman unions, the major religions of the world also has their set of rules for marriage. So in many people eyes marriage is more than a civil union but a spiritual union set in motion by their creator with the creator rules governing marriage. These people becomes offended by civil society changing the basic rules.

So does society take a big risk to satisfy a small portion of its population by fooling around with a winning formula, while offending a larger portion of the population. Time will tell.

Posted by: will | Jun 18, 2008 5:15:21 AM

Either 'marriage' is an important social institution or it isn't. Part of the reason the state gets involved is to manage through law what happens after the marriage fails which includes children, real property, and other assets. The institution, regardless of the gender combination, is at minimum, important for this reason. But the kind of supra-institutional importance; i.e. family building, social cohesiveness, morality can't be clearly addressed by the Libertarians because they cannot conceive of a truly moral universe but rather only one that maximizes freedom at almost any cost and contains a positive cost-benefit by their social calculus and skeptics and complainers be damned!

The state or any other governing body's original intent in sanctioning marriage wasn't to exclude people as some of the commentors seem to think because the homosexual option was not only unavailable but most likely unthinkable. But now Descarte's dictum has become "I think, therefore I can do anything"

What I would like to know from the Libertarians is will they be able to draw any kind of line limiting marital practices and if yes, what is the nature of the line? Many people have noted that the next thing in line is polygamy. If the Libertarians object to this practice then tell me what is the basis for the objection? If they don't object and this practice becomes institutionalized what will be the next blow struck for human freedom?

Posted by: Rocky Mountain | Jun 18, 2008 9:36:30 AM

Either 'marriage' is an important social institution or it isn't. Part of the reason the state gets involved is to manage through law what happens after the marriage fails which includes children, real property, and other assets. The institution, regardless of the gender combination, is at minimum, important for this reason. But the kind of supra-institutional importance; i.e. family building, social cohesiveness, morality can't be clearly addressed by the Libertarians because they cannot conceive of a truly moral universe but rather only one that maximizes freedom at almost any cost and contains a positive cost-benefit by their social calculus and skeptics and complainers be damned!

The state or any other governing body's original intent in sanctioning marriage wasn't to exclude people as some of the commentors seem to think because the homosexual option was not only unavailable but most likely unthinkable. But now Descarte's dictum has become "I think, therefore I can do anything"

What I would like to know from the Libertarians is will they be able to draw any kind of line limiting marital practices and if yes, what is the nature of the line? Many people have noted that the next thing in line is polygamy. If the Libertarians object to this practice then tell me what is the basis for the objection? If they don't object and this practice becomes institutionalized what will be the next blow struck for human freedom?

Posted by: Rocky Mountain | Jun 18, 2008 9:38:09 AM

Same sex marriage is the first step down a very, very slippery slope. On its face, SSM may seem like an issue of fairness and the government treating all people equally. However, SSM is the first step in restricting, muzzling, and eventually eliminating conservative religious thought.

Two of the reasons religion, in general, is so strong in this country are government non-interference and the tax-exempt status of religious institutions. Over the 200 years of our republic, government has generally not interfered with individual practices of religion. A big exception occurred when the Feds pressured the LDS church to renounce polygamy in exchange for granting Utah statehood. Additionally, until the early 1970’s government granted religious institutions tax-exempt status as a non-endorsement right. In the early 1970’s, the federal government changed the tax code such that tax exemptions are now government endorsements predicated upon the religious institution not opposing issues of public policy. The original purpose of this change was to prevent white supremacist organizations from claiming religious tax-exempt status. Anti bigotry, according to the feds, is a vital interest of public policy. This policy has been used to pull Bob Jones’ University’s tax-exempt status for opposing interracial marriage.

Sexual orientation is not a federally protected class. Sexual orientation is not included in the 1960’s civil rights legislation and the USSC has ruled that gays are not a protected class for the purpose of employment discrimination at least. Many states have included gays as a protected class, but not the feds.

Given the above, it is a short path from gay marriage to suppressing conservative religious institutions and thought:
Step one – Get gay marriage on the books. (Done – Calif and Mass)
Step two – Move sexual orientation into the protected classes through judicial fiat. (Done – The California decision cited animus (hatred) as being the only reason to deny SSM. Therefore, the state needs to protect LGBTs from discrimination and bigotry)
Step Three – Sue a conservative church (Roman Catholic will probably be targeted) for discrimination when a priest refuses to marry two gay parishioners. The church will win this case on First amendment grounds of Freedom of Speech, Religion, and Association. This step is necessary to show that conservative religions are bigoted against gays.
Step Four – Pressure government to pull tax-exempt status of Church based upon Church opposing public policy of anti-bigotry against gays, a protected class. This does not take an Act of Congress. The IRS, federal bureaucrats, determines tax status.

Churches will be given the choice of changing their doctrine or being put out of business by crushing income and property taxes.

People will dismiss this scenario as far fetched because we have enjoyed 200 years of non-interference by the government in our religious institutions. However, tax-exempt status for religious institutions is not guaranteed in the Constitution. The government would not be interfering in religious practices by simply pulling its tax-exempt status. The government would be exercising good sense in pulling the tax-exempt status of a bigoted and out of step institution.

Posted by: NASCAR Wife | Jun 18, 2008 2:19:44 PM

While that's a possible scenario, NASCAR Wife, I don't think that it will come to pass.

I suspect that in America, there are enough religious people who want their churches to remain tax-free, to pass a Constitutional amendment if needs be.

Posted by: Solar Lad | Jun 18, 2008 4:04:06 PM

This talk about how the government's enforcement of equal rights concepts is somehow reducing or impinging on people's freedoms is misguided.

As a society, we've decided (slowly) that immutable differences between people - meaning, those differences that people cannot change or control, such as race, gender, age, and now, gender-preference - do not provide a rational (or at least acceptable) basis by which to categorize people. Thus, if I rent out apartments, I cannot choose to rent to pinkies and not to bluies. If I run a transit company, I cannot demand that all old people sit on top of the bus. If I'm organizing an election, I cannot remove all economists from the voter lists. (No, wait, ignore that last one. Economisty can be cured, and so is not an immutable characteristic.)

The essence of the complaint seems to be that our freedom to force oldsters to climb up top - for the spectacle of it all, you know - has been infringed. The complaint lacks seriousness, lacks honor, and marks its maker as someone to be rightfully jeered. You may as well argue that the lunchcounter-owners in Selma were unfairly deprived of their freedom to treat blacks like trash. Yeah, they could treat them like trash before the CRA, and they couldn't after its passage, but they didn't lose some freedom - society decided, in a democratic way, that such treatment was wrong and unacceptable. Somewhat longer ago, society decided that murder was also wrong and unacceptable, and yet we hear few people decrying their loss of freedom to murder as they see fit.

If you owned one of those Selma lunch counters, and your religion held that blacks were inferior to whites, well, sorry, there's no exception for such a reason. You are always free to hold whatever beliefs tickle your fancy - that's your essential freedom right there - but your "right" to consider blacks inferior ends at your own skin. Your actions in expressing your belief - at least in certain public-context ways - have been determined, by democratic decision-making processes, to be unacceptable.

Similarly, if your god tells you that gays should make you gag, feel free to gag in your own private way. Tell your children to gag. Proclaim your gagdom aloud in your house, in your car, in your yard. Work to convert new adherents to gagdom.

But . . . if you rent living space to other people - if you use governmental money or power in what you do - if you provide a product or service to the public - then, in those interactions, gag quietly, into your shirt collar maybe, and then smile and rent the nice couple the room. Your god will understand that your actions are taken under protest - I mean, how stupid would a god have to be to think, in those circumstances, that you were proclaiming him/her to be wrong, that being gay was like being short, or tall, or hairy or not, and not indicative of merit or fault or . . . anything. People whose god tells them that green people suck have had to make the choice between living in our society or carrying out their god's will towards those Damn Greenies for quite some time. You're no better.

(Do people choose to be gay? I suspect they do, especially once they see how fun and rewarding the taunted-hated-despised-beaten-and-ridiculed lifestyle can be, plus they have a great 401k. Hard to say no, eh?)

Posted by: bobby b | Jun 18, 2008 9:56:07 PM

Bobby B...

We did not decide democratically to allow and condone SSM. It was imposed by Judicial fiat in both Mass and Calif. In fact, in Calif., the decison directly overturned a voter referendum on the issue.

Posted by: NASCAR Wife | Jun 19, 2008 9:18:29 AM

NASCAR Wife, yeah, I know - but neither did we democratically enact the Supremes' decisions about civil rights and discrimination based upon the equal protection clause. Some judge, without a vote, simply said "look, our constitution says "nor shall any state . . . deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws", and extrapolated from there. Society bought into the concept democratically later, with the passage of the anti-discrimination legislation.

Frankly, given our history, I see no possibility that we won't have gay marriage within twenty years.

Posted by: bobby b | Jun 19, 2008 3:19:56 PM

I'm a conscientious objector: I don't care who gets married as long the age of consent is set low enough, marriage isn't restricted to two beings (human or otherwise), and no one, by word, thought, or deed, in speech or commercial transaction is forced to recognize any form of marriage to which he or she objects. There should be no compulsion by the state in recognizing marriage.

Damn Brittney Spears! I'll go to hell (er, San Quentin) before I offer her marriage benefits.

Posted by: tehag | Jun 19, 2008 4:51:32 PM

Equal protection of the laws sounds good to me: let everyone conscientiously object to whatever their conscience demands! No compulsory laws to prohibit blacks from eating at lunch counters contrary to the owner's wishes; no laws compelling offering marriage benefits for any marriage contrary to the owner's wishes!

Posted by: tehag | Jun 19, 2008 4:57:45 PM

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