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February 24, 2012

Same-Sex Marriage Bills Pass in States

Maryland is the latest state to pass a bill approving same-sex marriage.

A same-sex marriage bill passed the Maryland Senate Thursday, sending it to Gov. Martin O'Malley who said he will sign the bill into law.

0224marylandcapitol.jpg

Maryland will become the eighth state to legalize same-sex marriage, though opponents are collecting signatures to put a referendum on the November ballot.

The governor of Washington signed a bill this month legalizing same-sex marriage in the state. New Jersey also passed a same-sex marriage bill, but it was vetoed by Gov. Chris Christie. Christie and other state Republican lawmakers want to make the issue a ballot question for voters.

A question on same-sex marriage will likely be on the November ballot in Maine, the Portland Press Herald reports. Minnesota voters will also vote on a marriage amendment in November. North Carolina will be the final Southern state to vote on a constitutional amendment declaring marriage between a man and a woman. The vote will take place on May 8, which is also the same day as the Republican State primary.

Lawyers defending California's Proposition 8 asked the full 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to rehear the 2-1 decision ruling the ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.

Earlier this week, a federal court ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. Last year, President Obama asked the Justice Department to stop defending the law.

Some same-sex marriage proponents are making symbolic moves over the issue. A salon stylist created headlines for his refusal to cut New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez's hair due to her opposition to same-sex marriage. A judge in Texas refuses to conduct marriages for a man and a woman until same-sex couples can marry.

Comments

Marriage is a covanant between God, a Man and a Woman. Marriage is symbolizes and represents God's relationship with the Church. Marriage between the husband and wife, is symbol of Jesus’s love for His people. It’s in the Bible, Revelation 19:7-8, NKJV. “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.”

Government should never have any part of marriage however for a marriage to be legal it has to be recognized by the State, sadly. If the goverbment would get their hands out of private business between the Church and it's members then Gay Marriage would be a non issue. So you see it's a double edges sword because gay people want the right to marry and in order for that to happen they have to elect and support a government who will insist on sticking their noses where it doesn't belong and firhg for their "equal" right to marry. You can't have it both ways. You can't say the government needs to make laws and then complain about the laws they make.
I personally do not believe in gay marriage but I do think that people are born gay out of sin, their brains are imbalanced and God loves them as wants for them to live sin free. I think that all they want is the same rights as a married person, the ability to act when thier "partner" is sick or passes away, the ability to help make decisions. A loving God would not turn these people away and neither should we. If we agree that based Biblicaly that gay marriage is wrong then we should do the Christian thing and help find another way. If the government wants to help then create a "civil union" so they can accomplish what they need to legally without us calling it marriage.

"Marriage is a covanant between God, a Man and a Woman."

Nope. Legal marriage is a civil contract, codified by the state and registered via a state-issued marriage license. Religion has nothing to do with legal marriage, which is entirely the province of the state.

Religious spectacles, like weddings and 'holy matrimony' sacraments are legally meaningless. The government has no interest in them. This is precisely as it should be. You can have all the church weddings and holy matrimonies you want, but teh only way to get a legally recognized marriage is to obtain a state license.

Kathleen,

Although the government may have always enforced marriage laws, its attempt at redefining marriage in such a radical way is unprecedented, novel, and dangerous. In all cultures marriage has historically been considered sacred and intrinsically associated with the dominant religious views of that culture. The banning of, for example, polygamy in this country was not primarily because of the interest of the government but because the culture at large was based on orthodox Christianity with whose teaching polygamy was inconsistant and unacceptable. Apparently secularists now consider themselves the new dominant cultural viewpoint of the USA and thus have attempted to simply redefine marriage. But they are not redefining it, or anything else, around any consistent principal. Why should the number of marriage participants be held to two? Or who should really determine the minimum age of consent? If the "government," or more accurately, certain political movements within the government, now consider it their duty or right to change an established norm of all cultures in human history, then they better be prepared to do it time an time again as the winds of cultural change blow in every direction and cries of "why not me too" from bi-sexuals, polygamists and various others echo in the court chambers. In fact, redefining cultural norms is precisely not the job of the government, nor was it the founders' vision for it to be.

Can you name one major culture in the last 5000 years that defined marriage other than between a man and a woman? Hence, the need for the State to redefine marriage.

Conversely, there is no reason same sex couples cannot procure the blessing of their "holy matrimony" - if that's what they want - from a church that recognizes same sex couples.

Why should the govt. extend the right to marriage to same sex couples anyway? There is no compelling reason.

What gay organizations really want to do is to force society to recognize their perversion as normal and extend to them rights/benefits based on that perversion. Those consequences will be far reaching. An example: I can see a Harvey Milk Day in which schools nationwide will have to sing the praises of Harvey Milk's contributions to gay's civil rights struggles - or they will be labeled homophobes.

For this state to decide on this course of action only shows how far down the road to secularism they have traveled, a journey unthinkable by their forefathers. Sad.

These Godless same sex psuedo marriages are blasphemous! God tells us in genesis that He created the institution of marriage. And that marriage consists of a husband and wife. Thus its called HOLY MATRIMONY! What God has created no man has the authority to change. These godless homosexual activists are saying that they know better than God as to what a marriage should be! That is blasphemy!

I am against homosexuality, period. I am also against any redefining of marriage as the joining of "any two persons".

Marriage was never about "respectability" since respect inheres in persons not ceremonies. It was always about societal acceptance and sanction of the institution of family and subsequent off-spring.

Concerning marriage, homosexuals have seemingly answered the question: "What's in a name", concluding that the term "civil unions" was definitely not marriage by "any other name". I wish it were! Because with the joining of "any two persons" the prognosis for the institution of marriage is definitely not rosy.

Wiser persons than myself, including a justice of the Supreme Court, have predicted that joining two men or two women in "Holy matrimony" is as dangerous culturally and morally as opening Pandora's box. This Justice sees portents of all kinds of marital aberrations. I hope he is wrong.

I also hope they are wrong, too, who say that this homosexual respectability grab will mean that marriage by an ordained minister in a Church will become a snare for those ministers who either fail to act against or openly voice their convictions.

It may just be that while homosexuals may get their way, and the "right" to marry like heterosexuals, their victory may turn out to be pyrrhic.

America is in serious trouble. The ship of state should be re-named the Titanic.

I think that we who call ourselves Christians have better things to do with our time than oppose the giving of legal rights to those people who are different than ourselves.

Why don't we focus our time and effort on ministry instead of spreading what seems like so much hate? We should fight against the idea of government imposing religious laws (religion is the only opposition to same sex marriage), unless we want to look at the possibility of Islamic law becoming an American legal issue in the future as well.

If we think that same sex marriage is wrong, then we shouldn't engage in it. Plain and simple. How is a homosexual couple living in Maryland, New Jersey, or California getting married going to affect me? It is not.


Then why not allow moms and sons to marry? Or brothers and sisters?

And then why even limit marriage to human beings? Why can't a woman marry her cat? Or a man marry his car? Once the basic definition is thrown out, then anything is possible. The result will be chaos in the legal system, to say nothing of what it will do to children growing up in such a confused and confusing society.

Matthew Hamilton, you are wrong. A homosexual couple anywhere is a grave threat to your life. Your reasoning resembles that of the pro-abortion crowd who say that "If you don't like abortion, don't have one." It ignores the cumulative effect on society of the actions which are contrary to the will of God. We are all affected by abortion; we are all affected by the growing acceptance of homosexuality. Some posters have already alluded to possible outcomes (a Harvey Milk Day, etc.).

I understand where everyone is coming from on the matter of same-sex marriage, but I must disagree with the general Christian view on it. Honestly, I've seen worse offenses against the sanctity of marriage. People can get married these days merely on impulse, and have the ability to divorce right afterward. People have married inanimate objects for the insurance benefits. I believe that if two consentual adults truly love each other and wish to stay with one another for the rest of their earthly lives, who cares about mere details such as gender?

And yet what is the harm if one or both are sterile and are of age and give consent?

No harm at all!

Which is why the anti-incest laws ought to be repealed in the case of sterility.

Dan, just because a law is on the books does not mean it is a good law and ought to be retained.

You seem to think that it is OK to use the existence of bad laws as a precedent to add even more bad laws -- a fallacy, BTW, that the guy who wrote the article about secular reasons against gay marriage also falls into. You both want to use injustice as an excuse for even more injustice.

The appropriate response to bad laws is to repeal tha bad laws, not perpetuate them.

By admitting that sterile incestuous unions do no harm you make my argument for me.

Thank you!

@ Scott

"What gay organizations really want to do is to force society to recognize their perversion as normal and extend to them rights/benefits based on that perversion. Those consequences will be far reaching. An example: I can see a Harvey Milk Day in which schools nationwide will have to sing the praises of Harvey Milk's contributions to gay's civil rights struggles - or they will be labeled homophobes."

This is an outstanding point. Back in the 1960s,homosexual knew that their "lifestyle" would never be accepted by society at large unless they could get homosexuality removed from the American Psychiatric Association's list of mental disorders.

More.....

In 1970, militant homosexuals began a campaign of threats, intimidation, and constantly disrupted APA meetings. They eventually infiltrated the APA by gaining access to a major conference by forging delegates passes and setting up their own booths. Finally, when the APA were forced to vote on whether or not to remove homosexuality from their list of mental illnesses, members received threatening letters in the mail and threatening phone calls at their homes. In the end, enough members of the APA were sufficiently intimidated and did not vote on the matter a tall, leading to a victory for homosexual activists. Prior to this time, the APA were able to provide thousands of testimonies from former homosexuals and lesbians who had been successfully treated and had left their destructive lifestyle.

Think about this: to go from a clearly established and treatable mental disorder to suddenly no disorder is dangerous and highly irresponsible. From this point on, homosexuals and lesbians continued to relentlessly push their agenda onto society. We saw gay "pride" parades with displays of public nudity and sadomasochism appear on our streets. Laws banning displays of public nudity were ignored as police officers were told to turn a blind eye. Homosexuals were beginning to demand access to educational institutions, including public schools. Homosexual publications appeared everywhere, while liberal churches began ordaining homosexual & lesbian clergy. TV shows with open displays of affection and even sex scenes between homosexual characters, while people like Ellen Degeneres and Rosie O'Donnell were elevated to Goddess-like status.

During this "revolution," the homosexual movement was working feverishly to get "gay-friendly" politicians elected, including activist lawyers & judges. many public figures began to see the political advantage of supporting "gay rights,' right up to deconstructing marriage in the name of "equality." As homosexuals could not win through the ballot box, they made certain that their own judges would strike down the will of the people and impose same-sex marriage onto the nation through judicial tyranny.

It didn't stop there, of course. By this time, a total of 3.8% of the population of the USA identified itself as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, intersexed and two-spirited people. And governments at state and federal level even gave them recognition. Those dissenting voices who openly questioned this madness would be attacked and vilified in the most shocking and hostile way. Non-words like "homophobia" were invented to stigmatize anyone who did not agree with the advances of the homosexual movement in society. Churches were trashed, homosexuals threw used condoms at catholic priests, a campaign of "outing" prominent public figures and celebrities began with a vengeance, and public high schools are now being forced into accepting gay-straight alliance clubs under the disguise of "equality' and "anti-bullying." The real motive is to recruit the young into supporting the homosexual agenda, now cleverly disguised as a human rights issue.

In Canada, "human rights" kangaroo courts appeared, operating outside the framework of the legal apparatus. In 1999, Scott Brockie, a Christian printer from Toronto, was dragged into one of these abhorrent trials and fined $5,000 for refusing to print material for a homosexual organization. Mr. Brockie argued that the material was bordering on pornographic and offended him as a Christian. Mr. Brockie's legal fees topped $100,000.00. Yep, One hundred grand to defend yourself against a homosexual organization that could easily have gone to another printer who would have obliged them. I believe that Scott was targeted because he was a Christian.


In another case involvibng our "human rights" courts, evangelical pastor Stephen Boisson was "banned for life" from expressing his moral opposition to homosexuality. The tribunal also ordered Boisson to pay $5,000 “damages for pain and suffering” and apologize to the “human rights” activist (a heterosexual college professor) who filed the complaint.

The complaint stems from Canada’s debate leading up to state legislation recognizing so-called same-sex marriage. In 2002, the pastor wrote a letter to the editor of his local newspaper in which he denounced the homosexual agenda as “wicked” and stated that: “Children as young as five and six years of age are being subjected to psychologically and physiologically damaging pro-homosexual literature and guidance in the public school system; all under the fraudulent guise of equal rights.”

Be rest assured that freedom of speech no longer exists in Canada, unless you are a member of a privileged minority group. Note, however, than homosexuals are routinely condemned in print by Muslims in Canada, but no-one from that particular faith has yet been prosecuted or sued by anyone form the "GBLT" movement or our human rights professor.

Today, homosexuality or "gay rights" now permeates practically every facet of society. Trangender or "gender corrective" operations are paid for by our tax dollars, gay "pride" parades are given public tax dollars, and now even faith-based schools and home schooling are being targeted to eradicate 'homophobia."

Make no mistake about it, our complacency has allowed a tiny minority group of people to become so politically powerful, any member of the public or politician than expresses the slightest criticism of them can expect to be hounded and persecuted for homophobia, hatred, bigotry and even "Nazism." What homosexuals fail to realize is, their own behaviour is so utterly vile and depraved, they cannot think rationally anymore.

However, we as Christians should remember that God has given them over to a depraved mind.

"Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another." Roman 1:24

Remember. God Word expressly condemns same-sex relationships. Those "churches" that perform same sex unions and weddings will surely feel the full force of His wrath for ordaining and "blessing" a union that will ultimately lead to the eternal destruction of that couple. It doesn't matter how "nice" some gays and lesbians come over, they are still under God's judgement.

Our job as Christians is not to debate the pros and cons about whether or not homosexuality is a gender disorder, a mental disorder or a "lifestyle choice." Our job as God's chosen people is to pray constantly for their salvation. Even in the face of persecution and abuse from them, We are called to be faithful witnesses for Christ, not slaves to political correctness.

Here is a short list for your perusal. The Christian believer's relationship/involvement in the government has always been an issue in the Christian community. I have listed what the Bible says without much commentary. Come to your own conclusions about what Jesus and His apostles taught. But after reading this ask "Is there a Biblical mandate from our authority (Jesus) to establish a formal "Christian" government?

Jesus' "theology" of the Christian believer's relationship to government:
Matt. 15:21 "Then He *said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.”
John 18:36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.”
Matt. 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how [e]can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a [f]hill cannot be hidden; 15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a [g]basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven."

Paul's theology of the believer's relationship to the government:
Romans 13:1 Every [a]person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except [b]from God, and those which exist are established by God. 2 Therefore [c]whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. 3 For rulers are not a cause of fear for [d]good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; 4 for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. 5 Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. 7 Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.

Titus 3:1 (A)Remind them (B)to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be (C)ready for every good deed..."

Peter's theology of the believer's relationship to government:
I Peter 2:13 (AJ)Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, 14 or to governors as sent [p]by him (AK)for the punishment of evildoers and the (AL)praise of those who do right. 15 For [q](AM)such is the will of God that by doing right you may (AN)silence the ignorance of foolish men. 16 Act as (AO)free men, and [r]do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as (AP)bondslaves of God. 17 (AQ)Honor all people, (AR)love the brotherhood, (AS)fear God, (AT)honor the [s]king."

That is all very interesting, Dan, but it all misses the point ... which is justifying, on a purely constitutional basis, the privileging of one religious group (Christians, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, etc.) or one system of theological teaching in the civil law.

More plainly ... why should Christians (or Buddhists or Jews or Muslims or ... ) enjoy a legally privileged position in US society?

And please don't tell me, as I'm sure you will, that the US is a Judeo-Christian country, because (1) it isn't true and (2) the Founders and Framers wrote explicit provisions into the Constitution to make sure the government is, not religion hostile, but religion-neutral.

If you want substantiation for points (1) and (2) above, please review the thread on the 9th Circuit's decision in Perry, where I have substantiated both points repeatedly.

The marketplace of ideas is open to all. The question is: which ideas will be accepted and which ones will be rejected. That simple, James.

"What is the difference between one's moral vision and one's church's / denomination's teaching on matters of morality?"

One is the church's teaching and one is my own belief. And if the ideas happen to be the same - well, it is just a "coinkidink". As Solomon said, "There is nothing new under the sun."

"St. Paul was not a Christian because he obviously tolerated slavery, e.g.,"
Have you even read Philemon?

"This means, among other things, that it is not legitimate to justify your advocacy by citing reasons that only you and your group would consider valid."

That is your opinion. All truth is God's truth.

"This is why it always irritates me and frustrates me, in debates about "cultural" issues -- abortion, assisted suicide, gay marriage, etc. -- to see Christians immediately whip out their Bibles and start quoting Scripture."

I guess you'll just have to tolerate us b/c we aren't likely to stop just b/c you don't like it. The Bible says in II Tim. 2:15 "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth." And in I Peter 3:15 "... always being ready to make a [j]defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and [k]reverence..." But James, don't feel as if you are all alone in your frustration: the civil and religious leaders in Jesus' time felt the same as you except their annoyance was with Jesus. Seems He quoted the Scriptures to them, too, and they didn't like it any better than you do. So they crucified Him. They found some kind of legal principle to justify that.

"Beliefs are not data. Faith is not fact." You place your faith in philosophical naturalism, and that belief leads you inextricably to your moral/political/social convictions. So it is with Christians. Except Christians provide health care, agricultural assistance, job training, education, etc, etc, etc for lots of people all over the world. (Seems as if we take Jesus literally on this point, too.) What do philosophical naturalists provide - other than support for the legalization of abortion, homosexual perversion, assisted suicide, etc.

Study: Gay men spreading AIDS at alarming rate
ATLANTA— Gay men too young to remember the earliest reports of AIDS are now spreading the disease at alarming rates that remind health officials of the explosive first years of the epidemic.

A government survey released May 31 shows 4.4 percent of gay and bisexual men ages 23 to 29 are newly infected each year with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

The survey...is the government's most sweeping evidence yet of a resurgence in the disease among young gay men.

It suggests even more staggering infection rates for blacks in that group: 14.7 percent -- one in seven -- become HIV-positive each year.

Left unchecked, the infection rates for gay and bisexual men threaten years of progress the country has made to control the spread of HIV/AIDS, analysts for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

``The numbers we're publishing right now are more like the findings you see in the '80s than the findings you see in the '90s,'' said CDC's Linda Valleroy, who led the survey.

The study included nearly 3,000 gay and bisexual men who were tested anonymously for HIV from 1998 to 2000 in Baltimore, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and Seattle.

Government analysts acknowledged the data could be flawed: The men were recruited only at dance clubs, bars, city shopping centers and gay-and-lesbian community centers, so the true rates for all young gay and bisexual men could be higher or lower.

The government's effort to contain HIV/AIDS may be cursed by its own success, CDC analysts said. New HIV infections have leveled off in America at about 40,000 a year, and improved medicine allows AIDS patients to live longer and healthier lives.

``People don't perceive that you get infected and you die in two months anymore,'' said Phill Wilson, executive director of the African-American AIDS Policy and Training Institute at the University of Southern California.

``There's all these posters around that say you can climb mountains and do whatever with HIV and AIDS. There's not enough messages about the price you have to pay,'' he said.

Health officials expressed extreme concern about the high new-infection rates among young black gays and bisexuals, saying the stigma in the black community of having HIV or AIDS may be keeping testing rates low.

There are no comparable historical data on infection rates for young black gays and bisexuals. The one-in-seven infection rate in that group is roughly the same as current infection rates in South Africa, Valleroy said.

The CDC wants to cut the number of new infections nationwide to below 20,000 in five years, chiefly by improving prevention programs, targeting them more narrowly to the communities most at risk, and urging more Americans to get tested for HIV.

A key part of that effort will be getting to young gays and bisexuals to remind them of the disease's devastation and the risk that continues even in the wake of improved medicine and safe-sex efforts.

``We have to stop and take a look at the devastation that potentially could occur among these young men,'' said Helene Gayle, the CDC's AIDS chief. ``These are precious and important lives.''

Since the discovery of AIDS -- first reported in a 1981 government health bulletin as a strange form of pneumonia -- there have been about 750,000 reported cases in America. Nearly 450,000 of those patients have died.

``We're not visiting as many dying bedsides, and we're not going to as many funerals,'' Wilson said. ``But we are tired of losing our friends, and it's not over.''

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/sns-health-aids,0,745337.story

And you said there is no data out there.

And you said there is no data out there.

Actually, that's not accurate. What I said was (1) any exclusion of gay people from 14th Amendment protections has to be based on data, not dogma, and therefore admonished you to cite tha former, not the latter.

But in all of our posts, including your recent ones, you seemed, and still seem, to not realize the difference.

“Gay marriage” in fact represents a vast expansion of state power: In this instance, the state of New York is declaring that it has the competence to redefine a basic human institution in order to satisfy the demands of an interest group looking for the kind of social acceptance that putatively comes from legal recognition....

For if the state in fact has the competence, or authority, to declare that Adam and Steve, or Eve and Evelyn, are married, and has the related authority to compel others to recognize such marriages as the equivalent of what we have known as marriage for millennia, then why stop at marriage between two men or two women? Why not polyamory or polygamy? Why can’t any combination of men and women sharing financial resources and body parts declare itself a marriage, and then demand from the state a redress of its grievances and legal recognition of it as a family? On what principled ground is the New York state legislature, or any other state legislature, going to say “No” to that, once it has declared that Adam and Steve, or Eve and Evelyn, can in fact get married according to the laws of the state?"

"There is a curious rhetorical fact that has usually gone unremarked in these debates, but which is worth pointing out. That what the New York state legislature approved has to be described, not as marriage, but as “gay marriage” or “same-sex marriage” is itself a verbal indicator that what is being done here is counterintuitive. We all know, or thought we knew, what marriage is, and to add the qualifier “gay” or “same-sex” is a tacit admission by the proponents of the practice that it requires an appeal to authority to enforce what seems strange, odd, not right. The verbal tic of “gay marriage” or “same-sex” marriage is thus itself a rhetorical warning sign that what was done in Albany was an exercise in raw state power, the state’s asserting that it can do X simply because it claims that it has the power to do so."

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/270518/gay-marriage-libertarians-and-civil-rights-george-weigel

Same-Sex "Marriage" Is Not a Civil Right
"...marriage is a matter of civil law. And since it is unconstitutional to deny equal civil rights to citizens, it is unconstitutional to deny to homosexual couples the right to marry...we need to be clear about what constitutes a civil right.

"It is certainly true that the contention over marriage is about civil law. Marriage law has long been a state matter, and in the United States that has meant, literally, a state rather than a federal matter. In any case, the law has until now taken for granted that marriage is an institutional bond between a man and a woman."

"...the argument is about what government ought to do about keeping or changing the legal definition of marriage."

"...this debate is about whether the law that now defines marriage is itself good or bad, right or wrong. And to join that debate one must appeal, by moral argument, to grounds that transcend the law as it now exists. In that regard, the question of marriage is not about a civil right at all. It is about the nature of reality and interpretations of reality that precede the law."

"Those who now argue that same-sex couples should be included, as a matter of civil right, within the legal definition of marriage are appealing to the constitutional principles of equal protection and equal treatment. But this is entirely inappropriate for making the case for same-sex "marriage."

To argue that the Constitution guarantees equal treatment to all citizens, both men and women, does not say anything about what constitutes marriage, or a family, or a business enterprise, or a university, or a friendship. An appeal for equal treatment would certainly not lead a court to require that a small business enterprise be called a marriage just because two business partners prefer to think of their business that way. Nor would equal treatment of citizens before the law require a court to conclude that those of us who pray before the start of auto races should be allowed to redefine our auto clubs as churches."

"The simple fact is that the civil right of equal treatment cannot constitute social reality by declaration. Civil rights protections function simply to assure every citizen equal treatment under the law depending on what the material dispute in law is all about. Law that is just must begin by properly recognizing and distinguishing identities and differences in reality in order to be able to give each its legal due."

"If someone wants to argue that two people who have not in the past been recognized as marriage partners should now be recognized as marriage partners, one must demonstrate that marriage law (not civil rights law) has overlooked or misidentified something that it should not have overlooked or misidentified. For thousands of years, marriage law has concerned itself with a particular kind of enduring bond between a man and a woman that includes sexual intercourse—the kind of act that can (but does not always) lead to the woman's pregnancy. A homosexual relationship, regardless of how enduring it is as a bond of loving commitment, does not and cannot include sexual intercourse leading to pregnancy. Thus it is not marriage."

"The first question is about identity and difference. This is the material legal matter of properly recognizing and identifying what exists and distinguishing between marriages and auto clubs, between schools and banks, between friendships and multinational corporations. It has nothing to do with civil rights."
"To recognize in law the distinct character of a marriage relationship, which entails sexual intercourse, involves no discrimination of a civil rights kind against those whose bonds do not include sexual intercourse. Those who choose to live together in life-long homosexual relationships; or brothers and sisters who live together and take care of one another; or two friends of the same sex who are not sexually involved but share life together in the same home—all of these may be free to live as they do, and they suffer no civil rights discrimination by not being identified as marriages. There is no civil rights discrimination against an eight-year-old youngster who is denied the right to enter into marriage.

The remainder of this article, as well, is very informative.
http://www.cpjustice.org/stories/storyReader$1178



@Dan: For if the state in fact has the competence, or authority, to declare that Adam and Steve, or Eve and Evelyn, are married, and has the related authority to compel others to recognize such marriages as the equivalent of what we have known as marriage for millennia, then why stop at marriage between two men or two women? Why not polyamory or polygamy? Why can’t any combination of men and women sharing financial resources and body parts declare itself a marriage, and then demand from the state a redress of its grievances and legal recognition of it as a family? On what principled ground is the New York state legislature, or any other state legislature, going to say “No” to that, once it has declared that Adam and Steve, or Eve and Evelyn, can in fact get married according to the laws of the state?"

My answer: from a strictly constitutional standpoint -- I repeat: from the standpoint of the Constitution, not someone's idiosyncratic religious dogma -- there is no constitutional impediment to "poly" marriages, considered as civil / legal contracts.

I'm sure churches and other religious organizations would have multitudes of doctrinal, dogmatic, and theological objections. Also, religious organizations would be quite free, as free as they are now, to refuse religious sanction to "poly" unions. From that standpoint, and thanks to the "free exercise" clause of the Firsr Amendmenr, there would be no abridgement of religious organizations' prerogatives.

But -- one more time -- from a constitutional standpoint -- there would be no objection.

In order to rule out "poly" relationships and exempt them from 14rh Amendment protection, you would have to formulate a "compelling interest"I argument: and you would have to do so in religion-neutral terms on the basis of real, actual, tangible, empirically observable psycho-social harm that "poly" unions would cause.

So far, no one has done that for gay or "poly" marriages. All anyone has ever done, certainly all anyone has ever done in the conservative-evangelical Christian community, is quote the Bible, and their particular interpretation of the Bible, at that -- which is hardly a religion-neutral argument.

I am against homosexualty, as I am against every sin. However, I'm still okay with it being legalized. I think churches should be allowed to marry or not marry whoever they want. However, the secular government is different. I don't think there is any way to legally justify keeping same-sex couples from getting a marriage license from the state, especially since so many rights are tied into marriage. There is no way to justify denying secular same sex-marriage from the standpoint of the Constitution. I think the religious freedom right given in the constitution means that it can't be justified to keep it illegal. Religious freedom means that any church or whatever should feel free to deny them religious marriage. But it also means, by the same token, that people who are for same-sex marriage should be allowed to do it. I may not consider it a real marriage before God, but that doesn't mean I have the right to deny them their own beliefs or to stop the state from issuing marriage licenses.

Basically, I don't want my church or denomination to perform religious same sex marriages. But I think the federal government should legalize it. And I think that the Church needs to focus on more important issues like abortion.

"...from a constitutional standpoint -- there would be no objection."
Unless SCOTUS objects, that is. If the SC is comprised of a majority of philosophical naturalists (progressives) then they will spin the constitution their way. If the majority of the SC is comprised of traditional coservatives then they will spin it their way. It all depends on the world view of a majority of the justices.

"...when the California Supreme Court ruled in 2010 in favor of homosexual marriage, one dissenting justice warned that it would not be illogical to expect that support for polygamy soon would follow."
http://www.wnd.com/2012/03/1-in-5-americans-cool-with-polygamy/

(The barbarians are in the city.)