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Tags gay marriage , judicial activism charges

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Old 6th April 2009, 11:55 AM   #81
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Originally Posted by pgwenthold View Post
The comments mentioned above that "it should be left to the legislators and not to the courts" are kind of missing the point. The courts have ruled that the constitution DOES NOT ALLOW the legislative branch to do this. In fact, in Iowa the legislators had already passed the law prohibiting it.

That is what is meant when the court calls it "unconstitutional." It means that the legislators acted without constitutional authority. You can't accept the court's ruling that the law is unconstitutional and then claim that it should be left to the legislative branch.
No.
That's not what it means, AFAIK
What an unconstitutional law is, is one that has results contradictory to the Rights in the Constitution.
Punitivly restricting Rights of a selected group of otherwise free individuals because of their belief, for example.
Or worse, Punitively restricting Rights of a select group of otherwise free individuals because of someone else's belief.
Making legal actions between two people illegal between two other people, without good and compelling cause.
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Old 6th April 2009, 12:04 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by Skeptic View Post
Quite right. That's why I married my daughter. And my dog, too. So what if it's incesteous zoophilic bigamy? What's wrong with THAT?! People have been committing incest and screwing with sheep for thousands of years! No stupid legistlator is gonna tell me it's wrong! I can love anyone I want!
You can. Forcing your 'love' on dogs, sheep, and children, all of whom are legally unable to consent and enter into legal contracts, is a different issue.

If your daughter is an adult and she gives her consent, I don't see why the law should stop you. I think it's icky and perverse, but I don't see why that should be a legal matter.
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Old 6th April 2009, 12:41 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by timhau View Post
If your daughter is an adult and she gives her consent, I don't see why the law should stop you. I think it's icky and perverse, but I don't see why that should be a legal matter.
REEEAAALLLLLLYYY?

Now, there have been cases (or at least one case) of parent and child separated from birth who met after the child had entered adulthood and who have made a case that incest laws are unjust in their very specific circumstances. But otherwise - there are lots of issues (not least the heightened risk of severely disabled children) which make incest laws a very wise set of statutes.

Laws against gay or even polygamous marriage? Not so much.
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Old 6th April 2009, 01:22 PM   #84
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Originally Posted by rwguinn View Post
No.
That's not what it means, AFAIK
What an unconstitutional law is, is one that has results contradictory to the Rights in the Constitution.
The way it protects those rights is in preventing the government from infringing upon them. In this case, the Iowa constitution says that people have equal protection under the law. That means that those rights cannot be removed by legislative action. That's what the court ruled, and is exactly what I said. And it seems to be what you are saying, so I am not clear why you are saying no.

As I said, the courts in this case ruled that the legislature does not have the authority to pass a law banning gay marriage. Therefore, it cannot be said that the matter should be left to the legislatures.

Keep in mind that the constitution is a description of the GOVERNMENT, not a set of laws.
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Old 6th April 2009, 01:47 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by pgwenthold View Post
The comments mentioned above that "it should be left to the legislators and not to the courts" are kind of missing the point. The courts have ruled that the constitution DOES NOT ALLOW the legislative branch to do this. In fact, in Iowa the legislators had already passed the law prohibiting it.

That is what is meant when the court calls it "unconstitutional." It means that the legislators acted without constitutional authority. You can't accept the court's ruling that the law is unconstitutional and then claim that it should be left to the legislative branch.
Originally Posted by pgwenthold View Post
The way it protects those rights is in preventing the government from infringing upon them. In this case, the Iowa constitution says that people have equal protection under the law. That means that those rights cannot be removed by legislative action. That's what the court ruled, and is exactly what I said. And it seems to be what you are saying, so I am not clear why you are saying no.

As I said, the courts in this case ruled that the legislature does not have the authority to pass a law banning gay marriage. Therefore, it cannot be said that the matter should be left to the legislatures.

Keep in mind that the constitution is a description of the GOVERNMENT, not a set of laws.
I misread your first missive. Sorry 'bout that.
You are correct-the ruling was that the Legislature cannot Constitutionally pass such a measure, not that (as I read it) the Legislature cannot pass measures.
The legislators act with Constitutional Authority by making laws--they just dont have the authority to make this TYPE of law.
I think we were saying the same thing.
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Old 6th April 2009, 01:58 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by volatile View Post
REEEAAALLLLLLYYY?

Now, there have been cases (or at least one case) of parent and child separated from birth who met after the child had entered adulthood and who have made a case that incest laws are unjust in their very specific circumstances. But otherwise - there are lots of issues (not least the heightened risk of severely disabled children) which make incest laws a very wise set of statutes.

Laws against gay or even polygamous marriage? Not so much.
We had a thread about this some time ago... anyway, parents being close relatives is only one of a multitude of factors that can elevate the risk of having severely disabled children. Is there a reason other than the general yuckiness of parents procreating with their children that we single out this one factor and ban it?

I can't think of a single reason to have a law against gay marriage; as for polygamous marriage, the one complexity that springs to mind is polygamous divorce...
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Old 6th April 2009, 02:05 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by timhau View Post
We had a thread about this some time ago... anyway, parents being close relatives is only one of a multitude of factors that can elevate the risk of having severely disabled children. Is there a reason other than the general yuckiness of parents procreating with their children that we single out this one factor and ban it?
Legislatures are not bound to legislate things in the order of descending riskiness. It is sufficient to justify anti-incest laws that incestuous relationships have an increased risk factor for birth defects for their issue. They do not have to first regulate all other factors, even those that might have a greater chance of causing defects.

The yuckiness might explain how the legislatures prioritize, but it is unnecessary to justify the law on equal protection grounds.

Quote:
I can't think of a single reason to have a law against gay marriage
Agreed. As far as I'm concerned, the same arguments that apply for rendering anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional apply equally here.

Quote:
as for polygamous marriage, the one complexity that springs to mind is polygamous divorce...
Actually, polygamy should not be illegal, but there's no reason that the State can't prohibit people from designating more than one spouse, and that such designation must be mutual (i.e., A can't designate B as a spouse, who designates C, who designates D...) merely from an administrative standpoint with respect to government benefits for spouses. Whether A, B, C, and D can call themselves "married" in a religious ceremony is something I don't think the State should get involved in.
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Old 6th April 2009, 02:20 PM   #88
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Originally Posted by timhau View Post
We had a thread about this some time ago... anyway, parents being close relatives is only one of a multitude of factors that can elevate the risk of having severely disabled children. Is there a reason other than the general yuckiness of parents procreating with their children that we single out this one factor and ban it?
Sure, I see where you're coming from. But on top of the genetics, I think there are a tonne of complex issues relating to the psychology of child abuse that such a law would really make much harder to keep an eye on... For example, many sexually-abused children often report the confliction of either (or both) enjoying at least some part of the physical sensations of the abuse and being unable to detach familial love from the fear and other rather obviously horrific negative emotional responses engendered by the abuse. It seems paedophiles will often report a sincere sense of mutual love or consent from their victims, too. Legislating for incestuous sexual relationships seems to be little more than creating a set of circumstances that would allow parental paedophiles to get away with their abusive behaviours under the guise of mutual consent.

I think the demand for "legitimate" incestuous relationships is sufficiently low and the risk for "problematic" ones sufficiently great that the law's current judgement is correct, "ickiness" or not.

In fact, I'd even be in favour of extening the law as it stands, such that relatinships like Woody Allen's (with a child who was not his genetic daughter but whom lived with him and his wife as his, essentially, his adopted daugher whilst she was still under the age of consent) would be outlawed.

Quote:
I can't think of a single reason to have a law against gay marriage; as for polygamous marriage, the one complexity that springs to mind is polygamous divorce...
Indeed.

Polygamy is more complex as in religious communities which practice it, it is often tied up with a culturally-sanctioned mysoginy - but then again, so was "traditional" marriage until relatively recently. I know more than a few relationships which feature more than two people.
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Old 7th April 2009, 09:02 AM   #89
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Vermont's legislature has voted to override the governor's veto of a bill allowing same-sex marriage.

Somehow I'm sure this will be blamed on "activist judges."
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Old 7th April 2009, 09:21 AM   #90
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Originally Posted by Alt+F4 View Post
Of course it will fail. Most new amendments to the Constitution have expanded people's rights, not take rights away from them.
But, every time when voters have had a chance to "take rights away" from gays who wanted to get married, they have done so. While courts have found that such a right exists in various places, voters have said it does not. Of all the "ban gay marriage" ammendments that have appeared on ballots across America, only one has failed.

So, it seems likely this one would have a very, very, good chance of passing.

There is one, minor, flaw in his argument, though. The current crop of justices on the US Supreme is unlikely to notice the right to gay marriage in the Constitution. Therefore, the scenario Skeptic describes could only come about after the replacement of at least one conservative by a liberal. By then, the attitudes may have changed sufficiently that the ammendment reversing the decision may be less popular.

Also, every ammendment so far has gone through Congress, and it requires a 2/3 vote. That would be difficult to muster. The other alternatives for constitutional ammendments are sufficiently complicated that they've never been done. If it got through Congress, it would get through 3/4 of the states in a matter of weeks.
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Old 7th April 2009, 09:32 AM   #91
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
But, every time when voters have had a chance to "take rights away" from gays who wanted to get married, they have done so. While courts have found that such a right exists in various places, voters have said it does not. Of all the "ban gay marriage" ammendments that have appeared on ballots across America, only one has failed.
We really need to have more rounds of public votes to strip people of their rights. Who's next?
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Old 7th April 2009, 09:36 AM   #92
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
We really need to have more rounds of public votes to strip people of their rights. Who's next?
You know, I seen nothing in the constitution that allows marriage between left and right handed people. How do we know if they have the right to do so?

(and don't let my five years of bi-dexterous marriage influence anyone. This is a matter of principle.)
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Old 7th April 2009, 09:37 AM   #93
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Incidentally,
Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
Okay, Skeptic. With no ad homs:

How would gay marriage be unjust and incorrect?

Where is straight marriage magically found in the constitution?

How would allowing gay marriage negatively impact straight marriage?

Under equal protection, would you be willing to give up all legal marriage to prevent gay marriage?
Skeptic?
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Old 7th April 2009, 09:46 AM   #94
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
You know, I seen nothing in the constitution that allows marriage between left and right handed people. How do we know if they have the right to do so?

(and don't let my five years of bi-dexterous marriage influence anyone. This is a matter of principle.)
Good point, handedness is not a suspect class and it would be even easier to make such a law than saying marriages must be between sexes as sex is a suspect class.
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Old 7th April 2009, 02:51 PM   #95
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No sign of Skeptic. Could the news from Vermont have caused him to self-combust?
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Old 7th April 2009, 07:03 PM   #96
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Originally Posted by Cleon View Post
Vermont's legislature has voted to override the governor's veto of a bill allowing same-sex marriage.

Somehow I'm sure this will be blamed on "activist judges."
If the state Supreme Court does it, it's just the activist judges overriding the will of the legislature.

If the legislature does it, then it will be blamed on activists Democratic lawmakers overriding the will of their constituencies.

If the voters do it, it will just be an example of the general moral decay that has overtaken our once great country.
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Old 7th April 2009, 07:24 PM   #97
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Ten years ago when civil unions were being debated here in Vermont, the opponents were predicting many scenarios in which marriage would be ruined, society degraded, and before long people would be marrying their cats. Guess what, folks?
What? I still can't marry my cat? What the hell kind of subversive satanic agenda are we running here?
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Old 7th April 2009, 08:17 PM   #98
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Skeptic, why exactly are you afraid of gay marriage?

Give a rational answer.
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Old 7th April 2009, 09:34 PM   #99
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
Ten years ago when civil unions were being debated here in Vermont, the opponents were predicting many scenarios in which marriage would be ruined, society degraded, and before long people would be marrying their cats. Guess what, folks?
What? I still can't marry my cat? What the hell kind of subversive satanic agenda are we running here?

Your slope requires more lubrication.
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Old 7th April 2009, 09:40 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by JoeTheJuggler View Post
I'd like to interject my own take on the issue in general. I think the heart of the problem is really an entanglement between church & state.

I think as long as we give state recognition to religious rituals (or have ministers, priests, rabbis and such acting as agents of the state when they perform what they view as a religious rite or sacrament), there will be people who think they have the right to impose their religious view of marriage onto others.

I think the best solution would be to ban the legal recognition of church rituals. Legal marriage should be done by a matter of civil procedure (and I think the oaths and ceremony aren't necessary). You can do any marriage ritual you want in your church, but it should get no legal standing whatsoever.

There are already models of this in our society. Catholics, for example, don't recognize divorce. So if you want to dissolve a Catholic marriage, there are two parts--the legal/civil divorce and the Church's annulment. That annulment gets no legal/civil recognition at all. Also, there was a time when naming a baby was done as a religious ritual. Now we've separated the legal naming of a baby (done with documents) and church rituals like christening or baptism. The church rituals have no legal standing whatsoever, I believe.

Once these separations are made, then I don't think there will be any issue left about "defending" one's religious idea of marriage from some perceived homosexual agenda.

I think this is an excellent idea.
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Old 7th April 2009, 11:01 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
If you want answers to this look up some of the polygamy threads.
There is nothing wrong with polygamy. It's none of anyone else's business if consenting participants decide to form relationships.
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Old 8th April 2009, 02:19 AM   #102
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Originally Posted by Tin Foil Timothy View Post
There is nothing wrong with polygamy. It's none of anyone else's business if consenting participants decide to form relationships.
Sure, but like gay marriage this is not about relationships that they form, but relationships that the state recognizes.
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Old 8th April 2009, 06:26 AM   #103
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You know, a few posts aside I actually respected Skeptic quite a bit. Sure, he was blatently biased with regard to Israel-Palestine threads (which I've stopped going into, because it's too much hassle) but he provided some interesting thoughts all over the board.

This....this however is depressing. Outright bigotry and an utterly vile attitude, coupled with a distinct love for logical fallacies and a tenuous at best grip on reality.
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Old 8th April 2009, 06:54 AM   #104
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For skeptic:

Please demonstrate why gay marriage should be illegal.

Please demonstrate why incest should be illegal.

The later case can be made based on the potential harm based on unequal power in a relationship and consent. Where is the harm in the former case?
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Old 8th April 2009, 09:11 AM   #105
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An interesting exercise for the opponents of gay marriage might be to try to justify making it illegal without retroactively removing other rights and protections that have already been established as legal. In a sense, the "slippery slope" toward gay marriage began when legal bars to homosexual behavior itself, and to the establishment of homosexual-based nuclear families, either natural or adoptive, were removed. Because once you have recognizable nuclear families with a homosexual core couple, the issue becomes one of family, as well as individual, rights. It was, in part, this principle that pushed the Vermont supreme court's decision that led to the first civil union law, and the extension to civil marriage is largely a finishing touch, the removal of a semantic sop to the religious lobby that should never have been an issue in the first place.

Although there is considerable overlap, and a terminological blur left over from less secular times, there has always been a difference between civil marriage and holy matrimony, despite the disingenuous attempts of some church leaders to deny their own traditional disavowal of civil marriage and to argue that it's all the same sacred thing. Civil marriage involves a set of rights and obligations designed to protect both individuals and families. As our own society has changed to allow and acknowledge the existence of families based on homosexual couples, it seems entirely appropriate that civil marriage should recognize this change accordingly. It is, if anything, already an anachronism and a sop to organized religion for there to be any correspondence between civil and religious marriage now. If religious people believe that this social change, or the terminology associated with it, has eroded their concept of holy matrimony, it should be up to them to come up with a solution of their own. Let them devise a new rule and a new name for it if they must, instead of insisting that we pander to them by denying civil rights to families which are not in accord with their religious bias.
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Old 8th April 2009, 09:35 AM   #106
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
An interesting exercise for the opponents of gay marriage might be to try to justify making it illegal without retroactively removing other rights and protections that have already been established as legal. In a sense, the "slippery slope" toward gay marriage began when legal bars to homosexual behavior itself, and to the establishment of homosexual-based nuclear families, either natural or adoptive, were removed.
I prefer to tie it to womens rights. Once men and women became equal it undermined the idea of marriage being about the ownership of women.
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Old 8th April 2009, 09:40 AM   #107
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
If religious people believe that this social change, or the terminology associated with it, has eroded their concept of holy matrimony, it should be up to them to come up with a solution of their own. Let them devise a new rule and a new name for it if they must, instead of insisting that we pander to them by denying civil rights to families which are not in accord with their religious bias.
That's what I don't get about religious people, they already have "holy matrimony" and can make up all the rules they want to for it. No one is trying to take that away from them or force them to perform gay marriages.
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Old 8th April 2009, 10:30 AM   #108
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
For that matter, where is straight marriage magically found in the Constitution? If straight marriage is magically found there, so is gay marriage.
Ding! We have a winner!

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Old 8th April 2009, 08:47 PM   #109
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Anyone here notice that when people demanded to see the argument for exactly how gay marriage would wreck society, Skeptic apparently lost the power of speech?

Am I the only one who finds this interesting?
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Old 8th April 2009, 08:48 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by MattusMaximus View Post
Anyone here notice that when people demanded to see the argument for exactly how gay marriage would wreck society, Skeptic apparently lost the power of speech?

Am I the only one who finds this interesting?
Well, it seems to me that the only real issue is allowing 10% of the population, give or take, to be as happy or not as the rest of us.

Why not? The whole uproar is absurd, and anti-gay laws are nothing more than directly codifying religion into law.
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Old 8th April 2009, 08:49 PM   #111
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
We really need to have more rounds of public votes to strip people of their rights. Who's next?
I say go after the Mormons. Since they're so fond of stripping the rights of other people who do them no harm, then they should get a taste of their own medicine.
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Old 8th April 2009, 08:57 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by Alt+F4 View Post
That's what I don't get about religious people, they already have "holy matrimony" and can make up all the rules they want to for it. No one is trying to take that away from them or force them to perform gay marriages.
Well, not exactly. They can't, for example, allow polygamy in this country even if their religion allows it. And they can't make rules for divorce, the division of marital property, and child custody: those are also determined by the states. There are also restrictions on how a husband can treat his wife which outlaw spousal abuse that is common practice in other cultures. I read recently that Pakistan had passed a law for its tribal belt, I think only binding on the Shiite community, that requres a wife to have sex with her husband at least once every 4 days if he so desires, thus essentially legalizing spousal rape. That would be a no-no here: there are laws protecting a woman's right to say "no". So we have all sorts of government intrusion into marital activities here. All the church can decide is who they will marry and who they will provide an annulment, which is not legally binding as a divorce. Otherwise, they have no power at all.
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Old 8th April 2009, 09:07 PM   #113
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Originally Posted by gdnp View Post
I read recently that Pakistan had passed a law for its tribal belt, I think only binding on the Shiite community, that requres a wife to have sex with her husband at least once every 4 days if he so desires, thus essentially legalizing spousal rape.
That law would be much more amusing if they took out the "if he so desires" part. Mandatory mating every four days or less whether either partner wants to or not.
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Old 8th April 2009, 09:33 PM   #114
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
For that matter, where is straight marriage magically found in the Constitution? If straight marriage is magically found there, so is gay marriage.
The 9th ammendment.

(ETA: Some would argue that the right to gay marriage is also found in the penumbras and emmanations of that ammendment, but it's a bit more of a stretch.)
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Old 8th April 2009, 09:45 PM   #115
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All anyone has to do is look at how dreadful society in Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Spain, South Africa & Canada is with gay marriage, I mean, those countries are famous for being failed societies and horrible places to live . It's sad when South Africa affords more rights to gays than either Australia or the US.
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Old 8th April 2009, 10:19 PM   #116
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Originally Posted by The Fool View Post
Dammit Skeptic....I can't keep up the sham any longer....I have to shout out my true feelings from the rooftops......Marry me.
LOL, This post made my day!

Skeptic, I must say, I like many of your posts and like your insight on Israel but why in the world do you worry about gay people getting married? I mean honestly. Redefining marriage to the modern age is no skin off my back and will have lots of meaning to some people.
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Old 8th April 2009, 10:34 PM   #117
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Originally Posted by MattusMaximus View Post
I say go after the Mormons. Since they're so fond of stripping the rights of other people who do them no harm, then they should get a taste of their own medicine.
Well said!!

Let's give the Christian Fundies a taste of their own medicine and vote to ban various religious institutions and see how they like others telling *them* how to live their lives!!!
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Old 8th April 2009, 10:36 PM   #118
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Originally Posted by MattusMaximus View Post
Anyone here notice that when people demanded to see the argument for exactly how gay marriage would wreck society, Skeptic apparently lost the power of speech?

Am I the only one who finds this interesting?
Not only interesting but *incredulous* given his usual unbridled flow of diatribe.


http://www.internationalskeptics.com...6&postcount=17
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Old 9th April 2009, 02:51 AM   #119
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I think its great the liberals are coming out of the closet (no pun intended) and passing laws promoting equal rights for people who were born gay.

It's time someone stood up to the bigots who claim gays offend their religion.
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Old 9th April 2009, 03:10 AM   #120
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Originally Posted by jj View Post
Well, it seems to me that the only real issue is allowing 10% of the population, give or take, to be as happy or not as the rest of us.
I believe 3-5% is a more accurate number. The 10% was from Kinsey and he did not have a good random sampleing technique.
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