Gay Marriage Debate Ends

A lot going on today, but the big news is that the Court has upheld gay marriage by a 5-4 vote. With that, the debate over the subject is effectively over. And, as someone who has supported the GOP in the past, I couldn’t be happier. The issue can go away and we can focus on more substantive issues.

More to come.

You should read the opinions. It includes vintage Scalia. But it also includes a very good dissent from Roberts who argues that the problem is not gay marriage; the problem is the way the Court has interpreted the Constitution. It’s quite good and conciliatory. Roberts can drive me nuts sometimes, but I still think he’s one of the best things to come out of the Bush 43 Administration.

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  1. Xetrov

    Paraphrasing Chief Justice Roberts “logic” on Obamacare:

    “But Congress didn’t mean to say it must be a State run exchange, so it doesn’t have to be, even though the law states that it does.”

    Chief Justice Roberts’ on dissenting against gay marriage:

    “Under the Constitution, judges have power to say what the law is, not what it should be. The people who ratified the Constitution authorized courts to exercise “neither force nor will but merely judgment.””

    *Facepalm*

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  2. CM

    What good points did Roberts make? He seems to think it’s not a Constitutional argument, but something for the legislature to determine? Do you agree? He said “The fun- damental right to marry does not include a right to make a State change its definition of marriage”. But, say, if a state redefined ‘person’ as excluding Hispanic people, surely the Court would wade in?

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  3. West Virginia Rebel

    Is this as big as allowing blacks and whites to marry (one of the arguments for it?)

    I don’t think so. And I would have preferred to leave it to the states. But I’ll be happy for whomever wants to get married in sincere faith and couldn’t before. We’ll see how this shakes out at the local level.

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  4. Hal_10000 *

    CM, I disagreed w/ Roberts but I thought his dissent was well-argued and would have been a reasonable decision for the Court, if that had eventuated.  It also struck for very conciliatory tone, which I liked.

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  5. CM

    What would Lee say?

    I really liked that Kennedy made children a key point.

    Fair to say this is a terrible week for religious conservatives?

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  6. CM

    Good chance for the GOP primary hopefuls to show their stuff in terms of responses. Shame they decided to act as expected.

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  7. Hal_10000 *

    Dug through the archives to find some of Lee’s thoughts on gay marriage:

     

    http://archives.right-thinking.com/index.php/weblog/comments/god_hates_ronald_mcdonald/

    I don’t think people who are opposed to gay marriage are motivated by hate.  I think THESE PEOPLE are motivated not only by hatred, but by self-inflicted ignorance and a barbaric, medieval view of the world based entirely on a magic book written two thousand years ago.  In that manner they are very much like Hizbollah.

    The problem here is that nobody really gives a shit about gay marriage any more except for these fucking fundamentalist Christian retards (and their equally fundamentalist religious nutjobs in such enlightened nations as Iran).  They can see the writing on the wall, that their brutal, oppressive religious state is slowly losing power, and tactics like these are their last desperate grasp at power

    http://archives.right-thinking.com/index.php/weblog/comments/its_those_evil_fucking_fags_again/

    Lee was a staunch federalist on the issue, so I think he would have agreed with Roberts — at least he would have six years ago.  I can’t say what he would have thought now.

    PS – It’s always good to dig through the archives and remember how funny Lee was. I ran across some post where he referred to someone as a “some bloviating douchebag feminist harpy”.

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  8. InsipiD

    But, say, if a state redefined ‘person’ as excluding Hispanic people,

     

    You couldn’t build a better straw man than that to argue against letting the states decide?

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  9. Xetrov

    Do you agree?

    It doesn’t matter if I agree or not, that wasn’t the point of my post.  My point is that Robert’s logic is completely inconsistent between the two rulings.

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  10. Xetrov

    Or…maybe you weren’t responding to my comment.  :)

     

    Political Expediency at its best – http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/hillary-flashback-no-new-york-should-not-recognize-same-sex-marriages_979108.html

    Obama did the same thing from 2008 to now with the rainbow colored Whitehouse last night.  At least most of the Republicans have been consistent on this topic instead of going with whichever way the wind blows.

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  11. West Virginia Rebel

    Let me just add that if the Republican nominee tries to use this as an issue in 2016, you will get President Hillary Clinton. Rubio, whom I’m not particularly fond of, gave perhaps the most reasonable response.

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  12. Hal_10000 *

    Xetrov, on first glance, Roberts’ rulings are inconsistent.  But the defining element of his judicial philosophy has been deference to the will of the legislature. He was not willing override Congress’ stated intent with Obamacare.  And he was not willing to override the states’ intent with gay marriage.  In both cases, he decided for a minimally invasive court.

    A lot of people don’t see it that way as they see the King decision as rewriting the law.  I’m sympathetic to that argument.  But Roberts’ philosophy on that has been very consistent: don’t rock the boat unless you have to.

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  13. Hal_10000 *

    Let me just add that if the Republican nominee tries to use this as an issue in 2016, you will get President Hillary Clinton. Rubio, whom I’m not particularly fond of, gave perhaps the most reasonable response.

    Jeb’s response was reasonable to.   Honestly, I think that most of the Republican establishment is relieved.  The issue can now go away and they can concentrate on the things the GOP is strong on: the economy and foreign policy.

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  14. Seattle Outcast

    No, it will not go away.  At least not in our lifetimes.  This is a sticking point with fundies, who see their interpretation of the bible as the basis for American laws, culture, morality, ethics, history, and their version of “science” – it will be the backup to Roe vs Wade, perhaps even sharing front billing, as something to be “fixed” in order to “save America.”

    There will be endless attempt to whittle away at it, and I doubt they will have much success, which will inflame them more.

    You can also expect interest groups that want to use this to promote their own agenda to start agitating.  First up will be polygamists, who I think have a fair shot at winning their case, quickly followed by pedophiles who will claim that they were born that way, just like homosexuals, and that you can’t discriminate against them.  They will push for age of consent to be lowered or eliminated.

    The pervs will lose.  Hell, they’ll most likely makes things even worse for themselves if they start to step out of the shadows.  Few people will suffer a child molester to live.

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  15. CM

    There will be endless attempt to whittle away at it, and I doubt they will have much success, which will inflame them more.

    Yeah that’s the point I was coming here to add. Like the ongoing efforts to make abortion as difficult as possible.

    You can also expect interest groups that want to use this to promote their own agenda to start agitating.  First up will be polygamists, who I think have a fair shot at winning their case, quickly followed by pedophiles who will claim that they were born that way, just like homosexuals, and that you can’t discriminate against them.  They will push for age of consent to be lowered or eliminated.

    Has that happened in all the other countries in the world which have marriage equality?

    I found Kennedy’s opinion most compelling when he talked about the effects on children. Superb.

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  16. Seattle Outcast

    They have started to realized their “base” has either deserted them on the issue or know that their opponents will be categorized as even worse.  The issue is pretty much a non-starter outside for most people; demographically there are only two groups that give a crap – people over 65 and various groups of religious fanatics.  Both groups are becoming less relevant by the day.

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  17. AlexInCT

    I have never had a problem with gay marriage other than the fact that it was being rammed down the throats of people that were not ready for it. Personally I think this isn’t even news worthy except for the fact that Roberts, again, legislated from the bench. The court is supposed to interpret law and in this case they wrote it.

    In the mean time we are facing another massive financial crisis with the very likely Greek exit from the Euro. Iran is about to get nukes courtesy of the US. ISIS is winning despite the fact that they are a bunch of nincompoops. And this country is being sold down the drain by the most corrupt group of politicians ever to have been in charge of anything.

    But people seem enthralled by what kind of sex some people like to engage in. Me, I don’t give a fuck. Polygamy, sex with animals, and sex with minors is next. People can pretend otherwise, but the argument for how to make it work has been established. Personally I can’t be bothered except for the last item, and even then, there are things that need our attention being missed. The left is trying to ban sex altogether because it is all rape-rape. So maybe soon none of us but the lesbians will be having any sex.

    Don’t worry about me though. I am a lesbian trapped in a mans body, so I think I can get this court to give me the seal of approval.

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  18. CM

    Polygamy, sex with animals, and sex with minors is next. 

    Except it hasn’t happened elsewhere where marriage equality has occurred.

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  19. AlexInCT

    Except it hasn’t happened elsewhere where marriage equality has occurred.

    I wanted to say that the operative word is “yet”. I was around back in the 70s and 80s when the idea of gay marriage was only good for a joke, and look at where we are today. But then I remembered Europe and how things are there (and it has been 6 years since I traveled there). Sex with animals or kids as old as 13 isn’t just legal in some places, but there is a thriving industry for it (hit the Amsterdam red district if you have a chance).

    We can pretend otherwise, but this is all coming, and when it happens people better not pretend those of us that pointed out it was coming didn’t do so. Its Rome all over. I suspect that when the ever growing Islamist population takes over in Europe in a few decades, they will ban sex with animals, and make what is all but pedophilia and polygamy legal, anyway.

    But nice try CM.

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  20. CM

    I’m not sure I get the direct link between sex with kids/animals, and a decision allowing more people to form formalise long-term committed relationships.

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  21. Biggie G

    I don’t think the debate is over.  The media has been salivating over this.  They will go full Akin on this one.  Every single Republican candidate will have to answer for and repudiate Mike Huckabee’s or Rick Santorum’s or whoever says they are not in favor of gay marriage.

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  22. CM

    I don’t think the debate is over.  The media has been salivating over this.  They will go full Akin on this one.  Every single Republican candidate will have to answer for and repudiate Mike Huckabee’s or Rick Santorum’s or whoever says they are not in favor of gay marriage.

    I think you’re right.

    I’ve thought for some time that the Citizen’s United was actually terrible for conservatives – it just means that the mega-wealthy get to bankroll the nutter of their choice far longer into the primary season, and meaningfully affect the candidates that are actually viable. Inevitably the viable candidates will be consistently be required to lurch right (or some third or forth direction depending on the flavour of nuttiness) to protect their flank, but this leaves their other flank (appealing to moderates/independents) much more exposed once they’re past the primary and into the main contest. The big problem the GOP candidate has is the moderates/independents, and this will increasingly so based on demographic changes. This big problem is going to get bigger. Rather than expanding the tent, the party seems determined to shrink it.

    Interesting piece Xetrov. I’m not sure how this would ever get sufficient support to get far. Polygamy is bad for society for the simple reason that it reduces the number of women available for pro-creation (being gay does too, but that’s not a policy decision, there is no public ‘bad’ by allowing gay marriage). As I understand it, the other main evolutionary argument against it is the large pool of “low status unmarried men” who engage in much higher levels of increased crime and antisocial behaviour. It DOES pass the “consensual” test though, which kills off many of the other “slippery slope” claims.

    The Supreme Court of British Columbia ruled on polygamy in 2011. Their 335 page legal decision is something I’m interested in reading:

    http://www.courts.gov.bc.ca/jdb-txt/SC/11/15/2011BCSC1588.htm#SCJTITLE

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  23. AlexInCT

    Interesting piece Xetrov. I’m not sure how this would ever get sufficient support to get far

    CM, you do realize that just 2 or 3 decades ago this was precisely the attitude about gay marriage right? Maybe you are too young to have experienced or remember it, but that’s how people reacted when the question was posed. Now here we are.

    Traditional marriage is dead IMO and there is more changes to come. The people that wanted children to become wards of the state so they could fill their heads with mush from the youngest possible age have won the fight by basically destroying the structure of traditional family. I don’t see this ever ending in anything but more grief and instability. With government already rampantly abusing its power and treating the law as a means to an end, I see nothing but a dark future ahead for us all.

    Celebrate this stuff now if it is your thing, but don’t act surprised when a decade or two from now things are totally out of control and the same arguments that were used to make people conform with what a dedicated and vocal minority wanted to make normal are used to make things happen that you don’t like or approve off. Once you declare a line arbitrary and make an argument to move it, expect others to do the same to you with your shibboleths being the ones to come under fire.

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  24. Nobody

    Alex is right. This ain’t about “equality” at all. It’s about agendas, and forcing people to know-tow to a vocal minority. Alex is correct in pointing out how absurd the very idea of two men getting married was a couple of decades ago, now it’s the law of the land.

    The whole point here is to ultimately criminalize Christianity. We see it happening already. This country was founded on the principle of religious freedom, but the SCOTUS just knifed that in the chest.

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  25. Nobody

    This decision and the Obamacare decisions pretty much establish that we are no longer a Constitutional Republic, but an oligarchy instead.

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  26. AlexInCT

    The whole point here is to ultimately criminalize Christianity. We see it happening already. This country was founded on the principle of religious freedom, but the SCOTUS just knifed that in the chest.

    Nobody, I am well aware of this side of the argument and respect it, and I bristle every time the political class tramples on our freedoms and rights. Especially when pretending to do it out of some noble reason. Like I mentioned repeatedly: my objection ins’t to gay marriage – I have a gay uncle and have no objection, religious or otherwise to whom people choose to have sex with – but to why I clearly see this was done and more importantly, how it was done.

    A line in the sand was declared arbitrary, capricious, and dehumanizing, the people that wanted it moved made an emotional appeal, relying on enormously negative pressure tactics and shaming to move it, and now, the people that did that tell us the line is again immutable so nobody needs to worry. Yeah, sure.

    There is an agend far greater than what this battle was about that drove this event, and everyone should be warry of those that tell us the war is over. It is not. Expect more such assaults against the familiy and the system the nanny staters know they need to tear down in order to remake society the way they want it. The end goal is to make people wards of the state, conformist to the things the state wishes them to believe in and do, from the moment they are born. Docile sheep are easier to control and manipulate. Catch them young and all that. And there is no denying that the traditional family unit has been the greatest obstacle for the collectivists movement that wants to remake man into the docile and obedient drones it needs to exist.

    This decision and the Obamacare decisions pretty much establish that we are no longer a Constitutional Republic, but an oligarchy instead.

    We have not been that for a long time. What this decision clearly established is that the courts have signaled the law makers that they have no problem making laws on their own or “fixing” up the bad laws the law makers give us, blurring the line between the three branches that were supposed to serve as each other’s checks and balances, yet again.

    Tyranny is here, and it will only get worse. We are all going to end up serfs of the elite.

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  27. CM

    CM, you do realize that just 2 or 3 decades ago this was precisely the attitude about gay marriage right? Maybe you are too young to have experienced or remember it, but that’s how people reacted when the question was posed. Now here we are.

    I’m 41. But yes I would assume that was the case. Polling history certainly suggests so.

    Were these same arguments not made with the Loving decision in 1967?

    A line in the sand was declared arbitrary, capricious, and dehumanizing

    I would say that being denied equal rights was also dehumanizing (as Sullivan explains at the link above, and others have described elsewhere).

    What the decision ultimately leads to is the promotion of committed long-term relationships and family. I don’t know that it needs to lead anywhere else. I know plenty of people who are gay, and many of them are pleased that they have the opportunity to get married, just like their straight family members and friends do. I don’t know of any that want to marry more than one person. I don’t personally know of any people who are straight who want to marry more than one person either. I don’t know, perhaps it’s different here, but here we have gay marriage and there is no sign that anyone is pushing for “the next thing”.

    Criminalising Christianity would certainly be wrong IMO.

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  28. AlexInCT

    Were these same arguments not made with the Loving decision in 1967?

    I was too young for that one, but I have heard from people I acutally went through it that this is often the defense imployed by people that have no refuge, but that it was not the case. The opposition in the Loving case was purile and debasing, and while others might have pointed at the slipery slope argument, that is also ludicrose. It didn’t redefine marriage, or familiy, for sure unless you were a racist bigot.

    Man+ woman remained man+woman, and family remained family. What came after that was an all out assault on traditional family, and as I mentionded before, it was because that’s the quickest way to be ablle to get control of people at the earliest age possible, and program them into good drones for the state.

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  29. CM

    I was too young for that one, but I have heard from people I acutally went through it that this is often the defense imployed by people that have no refuge

    I’m not sure asking the question has anything to do with “refuge”. It’s just a question. It’s not like one of us is suggesting it might lead to beastiality being decriminalized, even though that would very clearly not involved informed consent….

    The opposition in the Loving case was purile and debasing

    I’ve been reading comments on The Tea Party facebook page since the ruling and many are certainly purile and debasing.

    It didn’t redefine marriage, or familiy, for sure unless you were a racist bigot.

    But there must have been times when terms were redefined so that they weren’t discriminatory? I don’t think ‘family’ is being redefined in this case, is it? Families have always come in different shapes and sizes.

    What came after that was an all out assault on traditional family…

    An “all out assault”? How so? How is the “traditional family” affected in any way? People who are gay are not just going to turn straight and get married (in order to form “a traditional family”) because they couldn’t marry a gay person.

    On the other hand it promotes and celebrates family (just not as carefully and narrowly defined as “traditional”) and allows people to have their commitments formalised just as others are. If anything it creates more families.

    and as I mentionded before, it was because that’s the quickest way to be ablle to get control of people at the earliest age possible, and program them into good drones for the state.

    Gay married couples will be controlled by the state? How does that work? I don’t see the link.

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