On the weekends, my four-year old daughter comes to work with me. There isn’t much for her to do. She certainly isn’t allowed in patient rooms. She doesn’t help me make medical decisions. But we spend twenty minutes each way in the car laughing. We walk around the hospital, everyone greeting her, everyone her friend. One time, when she was actually admitted to the hospital, she wasn’t scared at all because, “all my friends are there.”

Friday night, we went to services. My mother-in-law was singing, and she asked us to come. Normally, I’m not one for formal religious observances—it’s just not my thing. So rather than contemplating the nature of the universe, I watched my family. My daughter ran around saying “hi” to all of her friends (that’s everyone), cuddled her grandfather, sat on her pre-school teacher’s lap, played with her cousin. It was about family.

When she is having one of her tantrums, and my wife can’t possibly take another minute of it, we trade places. When it’s all over, we all climb in bed together and cuddle and laugh. It’s family.

I was watching Dan Savage and and some Family Research Council talking head on Anderson Cooper the other night. The were talking about the Prop 8 debacle in California, and it finally hit me for the first time—the “family values” groups have no idea what family is, not even a clue.

If you read their websites, James Dobson and others are always talking about things like “Three Lies About Sex Before Marriage”, “Pornography”, and “The Gay Revisionist Agenda”.


And from the AC360 interview:

SAVAGE: There is no confrontation with religious liberties.

PERKINS: — these demonstrations of Violating the spaces of the church and going in and disrupting their services.

SAVAGE: That hasn’t happened.

PERKINS: Yes, it has happened. They’ve been spray painting churches, vandalizing churches.

COOPER: Tony, the tens of thousands of people demonstrated so far most have been extremely peaceful. There may have been a few incidences here and there. But I don’t think it is accurate to say there has been a large scale of invasion of churches.

COOPER: Tony, should the civil rights of individuals be left up to the majority to decide?

PERKINS: No one has unrestrained liberties in this country to marry whomever they want. Someone can’t marry a close blood relative or an underage person. There are restrictions upheld in almost every civilization for millennia.

SAVAGE: For millennia it was legal for men to beat their wives.

PERKINS: Dan, would you let somebody else speak.

COOPER: Tony, you’ve got to finish your thought because I want to ask one other question. Tony, finish your though.

PERKINS: Look, this is about redefining marriage. It is not about what — you try to compare this to interracial marriage. It is not the same thing. There were extra provisions put that would prohibit people that were man and woman to marry.

This is redefining marriage. This is a total different issue. The people of California have spoken. In fact, every time this has gone on to the ballot and people have had a chance to vote –

The anti-gay marriage folks think that family is all about fear, sex, and violence. For them, marriage is about control—control of who marries and why, control of the woman by the man. It’s also about sex. Sure, marriage and sex are related, but most people understand that sex is only one aspect of marriage. If you listen to the Prop 8 types, you’d think that gay people get married for the sex (and that soon enough people will marry their cousins or their goat for sex). News flash, folks—gay people aren’t getting married in order to have sex. They can already do that (thanks to a recent supreme court decision). They get married for the same reasons as most straight couples—love, comfort, freedom from fear. Believe it or not, some gay people want to trade places when their daughter is having a tantrum, and want to cuddle in bed afterward. They don’t want to have to worry that when their kid is in the hospital, there will be a problem figuring out who the “real” parent is.

These folks who fought for Prop 8 don’t understand the real meaning of family, of love, of comfort. For most of us, it’s not about fulfilling one fringe group’s idea of what God wants. It’s about creating a life with another, sharing a physical and emotional space with someone, rejoicing together when things are good, and holding each other when things are tough. It’s human.

Comments

  1. #1 Ramel
    November 16, 2008

    One correction in the last paragraph,”These folks who fought Prop 8 don’t understand the real meaning of family”, should be people who fought for prop 8. The prop was in favour of banning gay marrage. Otherwise agree totally.

  2. #2 Chris
    November 16, 2008

    Exactly. This is about family. All families – including all members (not just the striaght ones). The Por Prop 8 folks are so far out there – they just don’t get it. Talk about irony.

  3. #3 Liz Ditz
    November 16, 2008

    PAL — this is one of the greatest marriage-equality posts from a straight writer to date.

    You hit it — the “Yes on 8″ / “protect traditional marriage” folks were about fear and control.

  4. #4 mufi
    November 16, 2008

    For that matter, Jesus wasn’t much on “family values”, either (e.g. see in the Book of Matthew how he disses his own family and encourages his disciples to abandon theirs). The modern conservative Christian notion of “family values” strikes me as less Bible-based than based on a romantic and nostalgic image of a time in this country when it was still commonly accepted behavior to openly denounce or diminish gays, blacks, women, and atheists. Of course, conservative Christians aren’t the only ones who engage in such behavior, but they are perhaps its most vocal, proud, and well-organized political advocates.

    That said, I doubt that their aversion to gay marriage is necessarily reducible to a sex taboo, although one would normally assume that marriage includes sex. I suspect it’s more complicated than that – more like a reactionary attempt to circle the wagons around a particular vision of the “good life”, for fear of a slippery slope into a strange and alien world beyond their control. To put it another way, I doubt that many of these folks adopted (at least consciously) that vision simply as a consequence of prior sex taboos.

    Nonetheless, I certainly would agree that Perkins’ comparison of gay marriage and/or sex to incest and pederasty reveals a slavish adherence to traditional sex taboos, which does indeed have a Bible basis (particularly in the Old Testament), and which reveals a refusal or inability to reason out answers to ethical dilemmas based on human empathy and up-to-date evidence. In their world, it seems, doctrine trumps all.

  5. #5 Comrade PhysioProf
    November 16, 2008

    These folks who fought for Prop 8 don’t understand the real meaning of family, of love, of comfort.

    Of course they don’t. They are deranged neo-feudal theocratic authoritarians who seek to hijack the power of the state to impose their ridiculous Bronze Age fantasy shit on normal decent people.

  6. #6 D. C. Sessions
    November 16, 2008

    Sure, marriage and sex are related

    Or not. I know two people who are contemplating matrimony. One is a heterosexual female, the other is a strictly homosexual male.

    They’re very, very close friends and whenever the question comes up of “who would you want to see over the breakfast table twenty years from now,” the answer is always each other. The fact that they have absolutely no sexual interest in each other is incidental.

    It’s perverse, isn’t it, that the “family values” set at the same time would approve of this “man and woman” marriage and at the same time disapprove of almost everything else about them?

  7. #7 Adrian
    November 16, 2008

    “Family values” is a code word.

  8. #8 Kagehi
    November 16, 2008

    Of course, the problem Mufi is that while pederasty may, more or less, be covered in the Bible, its not **quite** so clear it incest is really a “traditional taboo”. I mean, its mentioned in a few places, but.. its not real clear, taking those specific cases by themselves, if the prohibition is tacked on “after the fact”, or there to start with, in every case. And, one can always take the extreme case that either bestiality **or** incest must be allowed, otherwise you have a major problem with the entire human race being “from Adam and Eve”. How many generations of incest do you need before making out with your cousins, cousins, cousin isn’t some sort of incest exactly?

    But, yeah. Someone, at some point, codified a whole set of idiot ideas about “the right sort of sex”, and these “family values” groups are obsessed “solely” about those definitions. The fact that such attitudes where lax for non-royalty during the middle ages, non-existent in the entire Roman Empire, while stretch into the middle east, and the entire source for most of the obsessive BS comes from one minor sect of religious people, who nearly went extinct, ironically during the fall of the Roman Empire. A fall that took place because a) overstretching resources (sort of like the big oil BS we get from conservatives now), b) hiring foreign help to support the country (we are doing the same, pushed by conservatives, but, thankfully this time is businesses, not our military that is being sold out to foreign mercenaries, so.. conquest is somewhat less likely), and c) turning from everything that “built” their nation, to an obsession with a new “one true religion”, which set nearly everyone against each other, over “precisely” the same “moral issues” that conservatives are obsessed with in the US.

    I really truly think that the only saving grace this time, is that we have not “yet” resorted to libertarianizing the military, like some wackos would like, and hired groups like Blackwater to be our main forces, or allowing such “protectors” to be hired from foreign nations, who would be more than happy to offer lots of people that wanted the idiots hiring them dead, and the US wiped off the face of the planet. Heh, it was good enough for Rome to hire people that despised them to “protect” their borders, with training and weapons Rome gave them, while ignoring their real feelings. It was certainly good enough for the US in Afghanistan when the Russians where posing a threat and we “trained and armed” what became Al-Queda.. You honestly think, in 40 years, never mind 2,000 years, the kinds of dipshits that obsess over imaginary threats in people’s bedrooms, while ignoring their own mistakes, have learned a damn thing from those mistakes?

  9. #9 AlexT
    November 16, 2008

    I can’t speak for other Christians, but as for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints this is what we teach and believe about families and family values:

    “The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.” (The Family: A Proclamation to the World)

    Full text: http://www.lds.org/library/display/0,4945,161-1-11-1,00.html

    Concerning the issue of same-sex marriage, this is one reason why I voted YES on Prop 8:

    “”Some portray legalization of so-called same-sex marriage as a civil right. This is not a matter of civil rights; it is a matter of morality. Others question our constitutional right as a church to raise our voice on an issue that is of critical importance to the future of the family. We believe that defending this sacred institution by working to preserve traditional marriage lies clearly within our religious and constitutional prerogatives. Indeed, we are compelled by our doctrine to speak out.

    “Nevertheless, and I emphasize this, I wish to say that our opposition to attempts to legalize same-sex marriage should never be interpreted as justification for hatred, intolerance, or abuse of those who profess homosexual tendencies, either individually or as a group.” (Gordon B. Hinckley)

    There are many more reasons on my blog:
    http://yes-on-prop8.blogspot.com/

    For more information about the Church you can go here:
    http://mormon.org

    .

  10. #10 D. C. Sessions
    November 16, 2008

    That said, I doubt that their aversion to gay marriage is necessarily reducible to a sex taboo, although one would normally assume that marriage includes sex. I suspect it’s more complicated than that – more like a reactionary attempt to circle the wagons around a particular vision of the “good life”, for fear of a slippery slope into a strange and alien world beyond their control. To put it another way, I doubt that many of these folks adopted (at least consciously) that vision simply as a consequence of prior sex taboos.

    They want the 50s back. The USA was at the apex of “The American Century:” even a high-school dropout could get a job that would allow him to own his own home, drive a reasonably nice car, and eventually retire comfortably.

    Donna Reed, all that.

    Then the damn n*****s, liberals, c****s, hippies, w******s, environmentalists, f*****s, and atheists came along a wrecked it.

  11. #11 clevedan
    November 16, 2008

    “Some portray legalization of so-called same-sex marriage as a civil right. This is not a matter of civil rights; it is a matter of morality. Others question our constitutional right as a church to raise our voice on an issue that is of critical importance to the future of the family. We believe that defending this sacred institution by working to preserve traditional marriage lies clearly within our religious and constitutional prerogatives. Indeed, we are compelled by our doctrine to speak out.”
    AlexT,
    If I read PalMD’s post correctly…it seems like his position is based on human morality and civil rights. not one or the other.
    Your statement above is quote from something one of your prophets said but I noticed that you didn’t quote from any sacred texts of your faith regarding marriage…or possibly even Joseph Smith. Is it possible that doing so would show that the sacred definition of marriage has been changing for religions over the last few hundred or thousand years?

  12. #12 clevedan
    November 16, 2008

    I think it is fair to single out the Mormon faith for extra criticism(not harm or vandalism) on this issue for two reasons:
    The Mormon faith has more recently than any other mainstream religion had a totally different definition of marriage. Their scriptures still reflect this they just denounce it publicly. They denounce sects like the FLDS. The FLDS are the ones who refused to “change” the definition of marriage! The LDS changed their public definition of marriage in order to get Utah admitted to the Union.
    2nd: they have no problem teaming up with people who laugh at them in private in order to take away the civil rights of others. Evangelical Christians don’t consider Mormons as Christians in any sense but when its time to team up against the gays…….they are all “united in Christ”

    The Mormons do have a valid point. If you are gay it would be hard to become a god with your heavenly spouse, have spirit children and go off to populate and rule your own universe as man and wife gods. They don’t bring that up much as an official reason though…….I think because it has a bit too much of a xenu ring to it

  13. #13 Comrade PhysioProf
    November 16, 2008

    They want the 50s back.

    Yeah, the 1350s.

  14. #14 dean
    November 16, 2008

    “I think it is fair to single out the Mormon faith for extra criticism”

    you mean like being nothing more than a cult founded by a criminal?

  15. #15 Badger3k
    November 16, 2008

    I had a long comment prepared for the bigot, but since his post perfectly illustrates the point of this post, I decided not to bother. I wouldn’t mind finding out what exactly a “traditional” marriage is, and what is the basis of it, considering that for the tradition of marriage, as defined by Abraham, is polygamous, and as defined (in places) by that Jesus-fellow is…well, no marriage, actually. Paul especially preached this, but since the Return never happened, they had to change that and make marriage OK again. I wonder if we totaled up all the traditions of marriage around the world, we’d see a lot of differences than just “one man, one woman”. For many cultures, there had been marriages between same-sex individuals.

    But I do have to admit I did have a laugh at the “equal partners” bit – of course, as someone said, “some are more equal than others”. Coming from a misogynistic belief system such as Mormonism, it’s hilarious.

    Now, if only we can see a Constitutional Amendment making it illegal for Christians (and I’m including the Mormons in this) to get a Divorce (although I would be humanistic enough to allow it for a woman to leave an abusive spouse) – after all, isn’t that a much greater threat to marriage? I wouldn’t make it enforceable for others, since they aren’t the ones who want to enforce their beliefs on others. Unless our illustrious Mormon guest keeps Kosher, avoids eating meat, and fasts during Ramadan, I don’t see how he expects others not of his belief to be willing to abide by his silly restrictions if he isn’t willing to abide by the restrictions of others. Good for the Goose, and all that.

    Still, here’s one link to counter his propaganda: http://www.exmormon.org/

  16. #16 Ramel
    November 16, 2008

    Wasn’t Abraham’s definition of marage polygamous, plus slave girls?

  17. #17 clevedan
    November 16, 2008

    lets get back to all the conservative traditional definitions
    black = 3/5th of white man
    citizen = 35yr old, white, land owning male
    marriage = 1 man & and one or more submissive silent uneducated women
    no political offices for Catholics!

    we’ll really show how advanced a nation we are then

    ..and you Brits out there need to stop letting them dumb Irish read and vote and own land and stuff too
    Conservationism!! wohoooo!!

  18. #18 clevedan
    November 16, 2008

    well Ramel…while your fancy facts may be correct. that doesn’t fit in to my current definition of my god’s(the real one) eternal plan and law for man…LOL

  19. #19 DuWayne
    November 16, 2008

    Personally, my advocacy for gay marriage is all about morality. Not that I feel compelled to push my moral frame on anyone else – I certainly don’t. But the flip side of that, is that I don’t want anyone else forcing their moral frame on me and more importantly, my friends who the current institution of marriage discriminates against.

  20. #20 Kagehi
    November 16, 2008

    Relevant other posts on this:

    http://thechapel.wordpress.com/2008/11/10/the-conservative-devaluation-of-marriage/

    and

    Causes and Influences of Abnormal Sexual Orientation
    http://lacrimae-rerum.org/?p=411

    Hint, “choice” and “nurture” lose based on ***all*** existing evidence at this point, but “choice” loses by a far worse margin.

  21. #21 Gray Gaffer
    November 16, 2008

    AlexT says “This is not a matter of civil rights; it is a matter of morality”. Which is making religious dogma into law for one particular religious group, and directly contravenes the 1st Amendment. I must confess I am really surprised that there is no filter for 1st amendment issues to prevent such proposals from making it to vote in the first place. It was clearly in violation just from the proposition language. Well, there are several thousand citizens who now have standing for a class action suit to make it all the way to the Supremes if need be.

  22. #22 Azkyroth
    November 16, 2008

    That said, I doubt that their aversion to gay marriage is necessarily reducible to a sex taboo, although one would normally assume that marriage includes sex. I suspect it’s more complicated than that – more like a reactionary attempt to circle the wagons around a particular vision of the “good life”, for fear of a slippery slope into a strange and alien world beyond their control. To put it another way, I doubt that many of these folks adopted (at least consciously) that vision simply as a consequence of prior sex taboos.

    I think an equally important element of their opposition to gay marriage is that allowing it effectively declares that, in fact, marriage is a legal contract and personal commitment between loving equals, rather than a man taking possession of a woman. As long as it’s restricted to just men and women, they can pretend otherwise. But how can a family with two men or no men have a patriarchal head who makes all the decisions with unquestioned authority?

  23. #23 Azkyroth
    November 16, 2008

    “By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.”

    In other words, both spouses are equal, but one is more equal than the other.

  24. #24 Azkyroth
    November 16, 2008

    But I do have to admit I did have a laugh at the “equal partners” bit – of course, as someone said, “some are more equal than others”. Coming from a misogynistic belief system such as Mormonism, it’s hilarious.

    …bastard. ;(

    Oh, yeah, AlexT…

    Care to actually DEFEND any of what you just blathered? Believe me, we KNOW (at least in broad outline) what your church’s position on this is, and it’s the height of arrogance to assume that the fact that we don’t agree with it or are criticizing it indicates that we simply haven’t been told about it.

  25. #25 D. C. Sessions
    November 16, 2008

    This is not a matter of civil rights; it is a matter of morality.

    “That which is hateful to you, do not do to others; that is the whole of the law. The rest is commentary; go and learn it.”

    I’ll go with that as a moral basis for a civil society. Now, how about civil rights so that we follow the “whole of the law?”

  26. #26 Paper Hand
    November 16, 2008

    Of course, the problem Mufi is that while pederasty may, more or less, be covered in the Bible, its not **quite** so clear it incest is really a “traditional taboo”

    Actually, it’s the other way around. There is not one mention of pedophilia, pro or con, in the Bible.

    Incest, on the other hand, is forbidden in Leviticus (18:6-18 to be exact). However, the definition is rather more narrow than our current standards. The forbidden relationships were (all defined in the Bible relative to the man):

    Mother
    Father’s wife
    Sister (either your father’s daughter or your mother’s daughter – the authors apparently felt that it was necessary to explicitly state that!)
    Son’s daughter or daughter’s daughter
    “daughter of your father’s wife, born to your father” (redundant with the above ban, but so it’s stated)
    Father’s sister
    Mother’s sister
    Father’s brother’s wife (but note, not Mother’s brother’s wife!)
    Daughter-in-law
    Brother’s wife
    “Do not have sexual relations with both a woman and her daughter. Do not have sexual relations with either her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter; they are her close relatives. That is wickedness.”
    And finally, a reference to marriage:
    “Do not take your wife’s sister as a rival wife and have sexual relations with her while your wife is living.”

    So, a man may legally have sex with his niece, but not his aunt (nice double-standard there …), and a cousin is legal. There’s also several relations by marriage that are treated the same way as relations by blood, although today we would not consider those to be incestuous, since there’s no genetic relationship.

    Also, note that in the case of mother or father’s wife, it’s said that that would “dishonor your father”, having sex with your granddaughter would “dishonor you”, having sex with your father’s brother’s wife would “dishonor him”, and having sex with your brother’s wife would “dishonor your brother”. The other taboos make no mention of dishonoring anyone else.

    In addition, one is not to marry one’s wife’s sister while she is still alive. Unlike the above taboos, however, that one explicitly referred to marriage. So, apparently it’s okay to have sex with your wife’s sister as long as you don’t take her as a “rival wife”?

  27. #27 The Perky Skeptic
    November 16, 2008

    This post is beautiful! Family is about love. It’s terrible that so many voters want to make it about hate.

  28. #28 Narc
    November 16, 2008

    Some portray legalization of so-called same-sex marriage as a civil right. This is not a matter of civil rights; it is a matter of morality.

    Well, no, it’s not. It’s a matter of religious doctrine, apparently. Unfortunately, I doubt you can understand the difference.

  29. #29 nanoAl
    November 17, 2008

    If you replace “Family” with “Patriarchy” you almost always get a clearer picture. Try it!

  30. #30 Richard Eis
    November 17, 2008

    This post is beautiful! Family is about love. It’s terrible that so many voters want to make it about hate.

    Thats because they were lazy…easily manipulated with a bit of fancy wording and an expensive campaign.

    Education and skepticism is necessary for freedom.

  31. #31 Scrabcake
    November 17, 2008

    As has been mentioned above, these people are longing for a Norman Rockwell society that never really existed. I have friends who are directly affected by prop 8–Do these pro-8 groups have ANY empathy? That they can see these people protest in the streets, and know that their marriages are being annulled and families ripped apart by the state, and somehow yet still think they’re in the right?
    The slippery slope argument is BULLSH*T, and anyone who makes it has no idea why gays want to marry.
    I wrote a bit of a diatribe on this as well, and managed to avoid coming straight out and calling these people scum.

  32. #32 llewelly
    November 17, 2008

    Shorter AlexT: If gays get married, AlexT will have to do the laundry, while his wife is out playing football with the kids.

  33. #33 Dianne
    November 17, 2008

    Ok, Alex, you’ve convinced me. You should definitely not get married to another man and, if your church feels the same way they should not perform same sex marriages. But why do you care what other people who do not hold your religious views get married or not? What’s it to you?

  34. #34 RickD
    November 17, 2008

    I don’t understand why AlexT thinks gays marrying is “immoral”. This attitude bespeaks sheltered prejudice, from my viewpoint.

    Of course, I actually know a gay couple who are raising children, and appear to be doing a better job than most hetero couples that I know. AlexT has been taught by his religion that this cannot posssibly be true.

    And that’s why it is legitimate to decry people who hide behind words like “religion” and “morality” to impose limits on how other people live their lives.

    At some point, people who pursue the path of religious indoctrination have to be held accountable for the real-world impact of their ideas, rather than being given a free ride by uttering the magical words “religious belief”.

  35. #35 Dan S.
    November 17, 2008

    Metaphorically speaking, I’m up on my feet, applauding so hard my hands start hurting. Bravo!

  36. #36 William Miller
    November 17, 2008

    I really don’t like the use of “family values” as an almost Orwellian code word … good post.

    One thing that bothers me that I hear from people on the other side, though, is when gay marriage is defended as “progress”. I think it would be better to argue that it will make those people’s lives better, and that there’s no secular reason to prohibit it – newer isn’t necessarily better.

  37. #37 Azkyroth
    November 17, 2008

    “Progress” means a step in the right direction, not just the next step.

  38. #38 RickyM
    November 17, 2008

    AlexT just makes me extremely glad I am not a Mormon. And, mind you, no pulling any of that ancestral baptism crap on me after I’m dead.

    I’m quite happy being straight and unmarried. I don’t particularly care if anyone else on the planet is gay or whether they get married or remain single. As far as I can tell, you are born straight, gay, or bi-sexual. Further, again, as far as I can tell, marriage is supposed to be a choice that two people make to be legally bound together, generally with the idea of creating a family (but not always). And, as I recall, the United States is supposed to be a place where you have the freedom to follow your own religious doctrines (or no doctrine at all).

    So, what I get from the Prop 8 people is that because a person is born with a particular sexual orientation, they are not allowed to make a choice to be married to their partner because some god (that they may or may not believe in) has “dictated” it to some long-dead “prophet”??

    Right. Sure. Makes perfect sense … in some alternate universe.

  39. #39 jimbear59
    November 17, 2008

    I live in Idaho and consider many Mormons as personal friends, as a gay man, I consider their religion their own business even though I find it personally offensive. I do not care if the Book of Mormon describes a second revelation of Jesus. The Bill of Rights ensures FREEDOM FROM RELIGION. They have crossed the line separating Church and State. Civil Marriage is a secular relationship and not religious in any way. In many places in the Western USA, laws were passed discriminating against them. This is recent memory and they should have a little more tolerance and consideration of ways not their own.

  40. #40 Julie Stahlhut
    November 18, 2008

    Actually, the state’s interest in marriage should have nothing to do with either religion or love. It’s an economic interest — the legal recognition of a personal and sometimes religious partnership, with the goal of preserving the property rights of the partners, as well as their responsibilities to any children they may have. Extending these rights to same-sex couples is a matter of fairness, and should have, if anything, a stabilizing effect on society.

    The “love” part is something that neither the state nor any religion can control. The “religion” part is already diverse; the state can’t force a religious organization to marry anyone.

    And that’s where the fear and control come in.

  41. #41 daedalus2u
    November 18, 2008

    I think the efforts to annul marriages already granted will go nowhere because there wont be the will to compensate the victims.

    Breaking up a marriage requires legal documents, legal representation for the various parties, and the division of the assets of the marriage. Each marriage is unique, each break-up is unique, each must be treated uniquely.

    When the State takes something that belongs to private individuals they must be fairly compensated. What is the fair compensation for a marriage? The only way to determine that is either by willing agreement of those having their property confiscated, or with a jury trial.

    Does the State of California have the political will to have 18,000 jury trials to determine the compensation for each marriage that some want to annul? Including legal fees for each spouse? That is probably at least $100k just for the legal work for each trial, let alone what ever compensation the jury decides is appropriate. Does the State of California have a couple of billion to piss down a rat hole on this for the legal fees?

    Even if the compensation is only $50k per spouse, that is another couple billion. I didnt know that California had a surplus of $4 billion to deal with such an important issue.

  42. #42 Christie
    November 18, 2008

    “Some portray legalization of so-called same-sex marriage as a civil right. This is not a matter of civil rights; it is a matter of morality. Others question our constitutional right as a church to raise our voice on an issue that is of critical importance to the future of the family. We believe that defending this sacred institution by working to preserve traditional marriage lies clearly within our religious and constitutional prerogatives. Indeed, we are compelled by our doctrine to speak out.”

    That’s not what Marriage is. Marriage is a legal contract – one which two consenting adults should be allowed to commit to. f Marriage is a ‘sacred, religious institution’, for one, I wouldn’t be able to go get married by a judge or elvis, and two, it has no place in the state or federal legal codes or constitutions under that whole ‘separating church and state’ bit. If you want to call the ‘oath in front of god’ part a “marriage”, and the legal part just extras, then take the word ‘marriage’ out of the state constitutions, etc entirely – for heterosexuals and whomever else.

  43. #43 Jon H
    November 20, 2008

    “This is not a matter of civil rights; it is a matter of morality.”

    The Mormon church, which excluded blacks until recently, is in no position to be dictating morality to anyone.

  44. #44 clevedan
    November 21, 2008

    Jon H = correct
    ….but also only scratching the surface of their hypocrisy

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