Gay Marriage: Political Debate thread (PLEASE READ RULES BEFORE POSTING!)

Discussion in 'Cafe toonzone' started by wonderfly, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. wonderfly

    wonderfly 30 Years since Vampire Hunter D! Administrator

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    It's been about 10 years since the topic of "gay marriage" started to become a national debate. Sure, the Vermont legislature passed a law in 2000 allowing civil unions, but many people wrote that off as a one state oddity. Then in 2003, President Bush first started proposing a Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage. Then in early 2004, a Massachusetts court struck down a gay marriage ban (thus "legalizing" gay marriage in that state). But the issue perhaps somewhat faded after the 2004 election cycle.

    The issue perhaps was revived last year when President Obama came out in favor of gay marriage. And now the controversial Proposition 8 from California and the "Defense of Marriage Act" from the 1990's are both going before the Supreme Court next week.

    Talk of "gay marriage" is now back on the front page of the news. As it's become a pretty high profile topic, this thread has been created to discuss and debate the issue.

    THE RULES:

    1) A discussion should most of the time not be more than "Post, Response, Reply to Response" as we don't need ongoing debates between two individuals that overtake the thread. Also, no picking apart someone else's post with a line by line reply over each point made in the other person's post. Pick one or two parts of the post to quote in your response, and that's it. We don't need a drawn out idealogical debate: You can believe what you want, and others can believe what they want, but realize that you probably won't be able to change their minds.

    2). Name calling or belittling other forum members will not be allowed. Do not denigrate supporters of one side in this debate. Do not denigrate a state that passes legislation you don't agree with. This is TROLLING or flamebait and may result in a warning or being banned. You can express your displeasure without resulting to name calling.

    3). Do not respond to flamebait or troll posts yourself!! Report the offending posts and let the moderators do their job! This thread will be CLOSED if repeat violations occur, and warnings will be issued for violations as warranted!

    4). About political cartoons- If you want to post more than one in the same post (or more than one on the same day), put them in spoiler tags. It makes it easier for people to navigate the thread.

    This thread was created to let people speak their voice on a timely issue that's gripping our nation. So speak your mind, but please follow the rules above!
     
  2. wonderfly

    wonderfly 30 Years since Vampire Hunter D! Administrator

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    For some contrast, I'll point out that this topic has been debated on this forum before:

    "Gay Marriage" (started July 31st, 2003).

    "Pres. Bush calls for gay marriage ban in Constitution". (started Feb. 24th, 2004).

    Granted, that was 9 to 10 years ago, and I'd rather not repeat some aspects of those debates (specifically the continuous back and forth bickering and picking apart posts - see Rule #1 above for what we no longer tolerate).

    The national discourse on this issue has shifted dramatically since Bush was in the White House. And with this issue going before the Supreme Court, in a case that may have MAJOR ramifications for the nation, I figured this warranted it's own topic. But this thread isn't for just tracking the current news stories on this subject, it's for sharing your own beliefs and some disciplined debating of the topic. I'll end this with a quote from my fellow moderator Ed Liu, who recently said in another thread the following:

     
  3. The Huntsman

    The Huntsman Friend of Toon Zone

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    I was watching a news/opinion show just the other day and the host brought up the slippery slope argument again. It's often said that if you allow gay marriage, it opens the door for polygamy and other such things. I've never bought that and can't see the logic behind that argument. As it stands now, marriage is between two consenting adults of opposite genders. If it's changed to be between two consenting adults of any gender, it ends there. There is no slope for it to slide down. I'm in favor of allowing gay marriage, despite knowing no gay people in my life. It seems just.
     
  4. Peter Paltridge

    Peter Paltridge Steven Sword! Moderator

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    When LGBT groups were fighting for equal rights back in the 90's, why was marriage NOT on their list of demands? It seems like a pretty big thing to leave out.

    Now they can adopt but they can't marry. That makes no sense. Why is marriage the one thing we can't let them have? Why is it singled out like this?

    The strongest argument the opposite side has is that marriage is a religious institution.....except, not really. Marriage has never been a concept exclusive to religion. Atheists marry. You could flip it around and say by not allowing gays to practice their belief in marriage it's actually religious oppression, and forbidden by the 1st Amendment. That would bust it right there. I can't see this ban holding up for much longer; the cracks are forming.

    However....if we get to the point where churches are shut down because their priests don't believe in marrying gay people....this is what gay marriage opponents are most afraid of and with that they have a point. I don't want oppression in the opposite direction either.
     
  5. Shawn Hopkins

    Shawn Hopkins TZ Member of the Year 2013

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    Very well-made points, Huntsman. I agree.

    The big thing to look for is the upcoming Supreme Court arguments next week. We won't know the decision for a while, but follow the news on the arguments and we'll get an idea of how it's going to go. With such a conservative court there's no guarantee DOMA will be overturned this time, but I think it will happen eventually, it just seems like history is marching that way.
     
  6. wonderfly

    wonderfly 30 Years since Vampire Hunter D! Administrator

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    I've expressed my views on this in the past, so my interest is more in the current news stories circulating in the media, and I'm fascinated over what the Supreme Court will do next week.

    This news article says that the Supreme Court will be releasing same-day audio of the marriage arguments. (so that we can actually hear the arguments from lawyers on both sides - a rare move indeed by the Court).
     
  7. MDawg

    MDawg Nerfariously planning

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    Awww, but that means we won't get to hear Nina Totenberg narrate the daily transcripts. Those were always a treat :sweat:
     
  8. defunctzombie

    defunctzombie Cutie Pie Moderator

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    I never understood the "gay marriage leads to animal marriage" arguments that some of the out-wingers continually present. Marriage between two men or women, it's still HUMAN.

    As far as child care concerns go, we have plenty of single people getting pregnant and not marrying. Who sticks up for those kids? If a child can be raised by two people who love each other, isn't that better than a child living in the system or with a single parent who struggles to make ends meet?
     
  9. Blipsy

    Blipsy Tara's been a bad girl

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    I'm completely supportive of gay marriage and gay rights. I've yet to see a single good reason it shouldn't be allowed, and I doubt I ever will. The most common argument against it, of course, is that the Bible is against is. Here's my thoughts: The Bible is not supposed to be law in America. If you believe gay marriage is bad because of your religion, then don't marry somebody of the same gender. But don't force your interpretation of a non-legal document on other people. Frankly, I believe politics and religion are already too intertwined and we shouldn't even accept religious reasons as a valid argument in legal cases about other's rights. If your position has any value, you shouldn't need religion to back it up. I. E., the Bible is also against murder and stealing. You don't need to be religious to agree those things should be illegal, as they infringe on other's rights. Two consenting adults getting the same rights you have does not infringe upon anybody's rights.
     
  10. wonderfly

    wonderfly 30 Years since Vampire Hunter D! Administrator

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  11. Jenk

    Jenk New Member

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    France is a Catholic country, at least nominally, so they naturally are able to gin up more widespread and passionate opposition to liberal social issues than in places like The Netherlands or Denmark.

    It's a heartening thing to see. Unfortunately, I don't think they'll be able to prevent this from happening.
     
  12. Shawn Hopkins

    Shawn Hopkins TZ Member of the Year 2013

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    Huh, guess the popular image of France as a uniformly liberal gay paradise is a bit of a myth.

    Nothing wrong with protesting, but the violence is unfortunate and won't do them any favors. In fact it hurts their position because now politicians that change their minds look like they're bending to the whims of a violent mob.
     
  13. wonderfly

    wonderfly 30 Years since Vampire Hunter D! Administrator

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    This is fascinating (to me anyway):

    Per that link, the following countries have legalized same sex marriage (most in the upper "Nordic" corridor): Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Iceland (does that island nation really consider itself part of Europe?). And yes, the "Nordic" countries are largely NOT Catholic in composition (the're mostly Lutheran or athiest).

    Meanwhile, in central Europe, Hungary and Poland have constitutional bans on gay marriage. Germany has "Registered partnerships". Eastern Europe (the former Soviet satellites) have largely banned it. Southern Europe (Greece, Italy, etc. - where the Vatican perhaps holds more power) isn't really touching it one way or the other. Western Europe is split - with Spain and Portugal having legalized it, and Great Britain and France having national debates over it now.

    So make of that what you will.
     
  14. Dr. Daedalus

    Dr. Daedalus I presume. Moderator Reporter

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    My personal opinion: Gay marriage should be viewed as an equal rights issue. In that sense, there's absolutely no reason to discriminate and say, "Certain kinds of people can't get married". That's unfair for a variety of reasons, and is not much different than the interracial marriage ban (before Loving v. Virginia overturned it).

    I hear one of the common arguments against gay marriage is due to religious reasons. Don't get me wrong; you're free to believe whatever you want. Problem is, when you're arguing that gays, by law, can't get married because of what your religion says, you're mixing church and state, which, by the very founding principles of the U.S., shouldn't happen.
     
  15. Shawn Hopkins

    Shawn Hopkins TZ Member of the Year 2013

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    Iceland is in the middle of joining the European Union, so, yeah.

    I don't think the dominant religion in the country is that important to the question. Spain is overwhelmingly Catholic. A better thing to look at is how well a country separates religion from politics and government. Gay marriage will probably never happen in any fundamentalist states or theocracies, for example.
     
  16. GWOtaku

    GWOtaku Moderator Moderator Reporter

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    My kneejerk and probably unpopular-to-nearly-everyone POV is that the Supreme Court should uphold Prop 8 on federalist grounds and overturn DOMA in part so the Feds can recognize state marriage laws. "Domestic partnerships" exist in CA, so the challenge for the proponents of overturning Prop 8 will be to show same-sex couples are really losing fundamental rights despite that. I'm not necessarily convinced, but I'll be paying attention to the arguments made this week. My mind isn't made up.

    On the flip side, I definitely don't think it's OK that in many states someone can be denied hospital visitation rights because of legal technicalities (this is only one example of consequences, but one I find egregious and hideously uncompassionate). My feeling is that even if it is true that the available social science shows that the traditional family unit is best for children and there is a strong argument to be made that there is a public interest in the state backing that up, something needed to be done about this state of affairs yesterday. Things are not fair nationwide right now, and it seems to me a national civil union law would have made quite a few lives better and might have even averted this legal controversy in the first place. But that's water under the bridge now, and we'll see what happens now.

    @ Wonderfly...I find I've forgotten when you argued [strike]for the status quo[/strike] before, so some links would be helpful.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 26, 2013
  17. Punisher

    Punisher One Shot At Glory

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    Personally, I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman.

    I also really believe that the best solution is to remove government from marriage entirely, and keep it as a religious practice. I do not feel that the government has to recognize your marriage to make it anymore legitimate. Of course, it would involve reworking the tax code because of the all breaks given out for this that and the other...but if it ultimately leads to simplifying the tax code and overall reducing them I see it as a huge positive.

    This wouldn't force churches to perform marriages for gay couples if the church is against gay marriage, and it would allow gay people to seek out a church that does. In the end, you get a ring on your finger, a certificate from the church, and everyone can still believe and practice what they want to believe.

    Of course, this doesn't address stickier issues like visitation rights, adoption, etc. I don't have an easy solution for any of that.
     
  18. Shawn Hopkins

    Shawn Hopkins TZ Member of the Year 2013

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    Your position is interesting, GW, but if the court makes a ruling on the substance of DOMA then I can't see how Prop 8 can stand. If they decide DOMA is unconstitutional because of the Equal Protection Clause as is being argued, then it stands to reason that Prop 8 and other laws like them are unconstitutional for the same reason. And Prop 8 would fail on those grounds even if there are alternative mechanisms in place for gays, just as having a separate, just as good water fountain for blacks wouldn't be okay. States can't make laws that are at odds with the Constitution. So it depends on if the Supreme Court answers the question or sidesteps it with the federalism argument.

    Somehow I don't think the answer to "gay people want to get married" is stripping legal recognition of marriage from everyone and making everyone suffer the way gays do now without easily proven visitation rights, adoptions, power of attorney, medical choice rights, legal rights against incriminating a spouse, and other rights that the government gives married couples. That's burning the whole No Homers clubhouse down to keep Homer Simpson out of it. And I don't think it would make the tax code any simpler, I think it would make it much more complicated because a myriad array of legal instruments would now have to be used to cover the joint property and income statuses that were covered by spouses filing jointly.

    It's also a solution for a problem that doesn't exist. Nothing forces churches to perform and recognize gay marriages, and nothing would force them to if the government recognizes them.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 25, 2013
  19. Jenk

    Jenk New Member

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    I like Punisher's ideas. Simple, but effective.

    Yeah, the Nordic countries are the most vitriolic in favor of homosexual marriage. I mean, like, violently so. It's gotten to the point where opposing it is a disqualify that can cost you your job. Spain and Portugal, by contrast, had it forced on them by their corrupt Socialist Party governments.

    Eastern Europe is blanket opposed to it. Completely. By young people and old ones alike. A few years ago the EU harassed Poland for passing a law forbidding any mention of homosexuality in public schools. More recently they've got in Hungary's face for it's new constitution defining marriage as a man/woman relationship and essentially making it impossible to ever allow gays to marry. It's also common in almost all of the east for "homosexual" and "pedophile" to be interchangeable.
     
  20. wonderfly

    wonderfly 30 Years since Vampire Hunter D! Administrator

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    If you're referring to when I said "I've expressed my views on this in the past", I was referring to the discussion on this forum 10 years ago (which I linked to above). Other than that, my commentary on gay marriage more revolves around freedom of speech.

    My current views are more in line with yours: I want the Supreme Court to uphold Proposition 8 (as I don't like a court overturning the will of the voters) and I'm fine with them overturning DOMA.

    I believe the GOP will over the next 4 years (in preparation of the next election) will shift to a new position on gay marriage (a position which they probably should've embraced in the first place): the government should have no say in who and who doesn't get married.

    Rand Paul is already leading the way on that line of thought.

    Also, I've come to believe we shouldn't be obtaining a license to marry from the government.

    From that article:

    Here's a more secular article along the same lines:

     

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