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if a hypothesis is wrong once

This is, at least nominally, a firearm-related weblog, but it is worth delving into politics every once in a while.

The topic of homosexual marriages has come up recently – understandable, given the associated Supreme Court case – and the usual useful idiots have crawled out of the woodwork proclaiming that we cousin-humping, gun-toting rednecks universally hate teh gayz.

Y’know, except not.

My position on homosexual marriage is quite simple:

First, adult human beings should be able to enter into whatever mutually agreeable (but not necessarily mutually-beneficial) contracts they so desire, and if the federal/state/local government is going to honor one such contract between two parties, it should honor all such contracts between two parties. That covers civil unions.

Second, if the official representative of any given religion – be it Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, or the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster – is willing and permitted by his religious authorities to perform whatever rites and rituals are necessary to religiously marry two consenting and legally-eligible individuals, then that is a matter between those three individuals, the aforementioned religious authorities, and their chosen god(s).

Neither my relationship with my significant other nor my religious faith are in any way threatened or affected by two other people exchanging vows or signing their names on the dotted line, regardless of whatever combination of Tab A and Slot B they might possess. If yours are, maybe that is more a problem with your relationships and faith and less a problem with other people’s decisions?

And I say all this as a firearm owner who regularly carries one of those firearms on his person and who will stand up and ardently defend all humans’ rights to self-defense, self-preservation, and ownership of private property.

So much for that stereotype.

29 comments to if a hypothesis is wrong once

  • Avoidance

    I agree with everything you have to say in this post, however it begs the question. What if the official representatives of a given religion are unwilling or not allowed to perform a same sex marriage? Can they or should they be forced to do so against their will?

  • Speaking as someone who has confided in Linoge some details of my life that are decidedly non-standard and would make most “typical” conservatives run away screaming or denounce me as an abomination — he walks what he talks, folks.

  • David W.

    I feel the same way, but I do think what we call “Marriage” today should become “civil union” tomorrow. A civil union is a new word/phrase made by the government to describe a “marriage” but between a homosexual couple rather than a heterosexual couple.

    By making all legally binding heterosexual couples a civil union in the eyes of the government, along with all legally binding homosexual couples, neither side is favored.

    This keeps the government from defining a word, because when the government defines a word everyone is screwed royally.

    Marriage would become whatever an individual thinks it is. If you believe a civil union = marriage, then all civil unions are marriages. If you believe a marriage is only a marriage when it’s done in a church, then you can believe that.

    I support gay people being allowed to have the same exact legally binding agreements and contracts that heterosexual people are allowed to have, but I’m very distrustful of the government and what it would decide “marriage” should be. By using a new term for marriage legally, and having it cover all contracts made through the government, there is no need for the government to decide what a marriage is, or isn’t, they only have to decide what a civil union is, or isn’t.

    I just can’t see how the government can dictate what a marriage is or isn’t, when the word and concept outdates the government by a few thousand years. It just seems wrong. Also the government will probably screw it up if it tries to cause they’re incompetent.

  • So much for that stereotype.

    Not to mention the gun toting gays. The people who fall for those kind of stereotypes like to pretend that inconvenient little people who don’t fit into that worldview don’t exist.

  • I couldn’t care less, and it has nothing to do with the government either. As long as all the boxes on the form are filled out correctly and the fee is enclosed joe desk jockey should stamp it and move to the next case. Its a religious matter, and if your religion, church and pastor or equivalent are ok with it fine. If they are not, fine. Pick a different one of the above and do the ceremony there.
    I still 100% disapprove of gay divorce, for hundreds of years straight people suffered in miserable relationships they couldn’t get out of. Gays should do the same, not just waltz in at the end when we have the kinks worked out.

  • I don’t know, Dave… gay divorce will be INCREDIBLY bitchy. I think that evens things out.

    BTW, I would watch the hell out of “Gay Divorce Court.”

  • @ Erin Palette:
    OMG, what a hilarious train wreck that show would be.

  • Archer

    @Avoidance: There are some pastors/ministers/priests who WILL NOT EVER preside over a homosexual ceremony, and forcing them to do so is a flagrant violation of their 1st Amendment rights.

    Essentially, we’re talking two kinds of “marriage”: the type a religious organization performs/recognizes, and the type the State performs/recognizes — the former is usually called a “marriage”, and the latter a “civil union”. Most (hetero) couples do both simultaneously; the couple and the presiding religious official sign a State-recognized contract (oddly termed a “Marriage License” here) outside the sanctuary after the “I do”s. It’s fully possible to do one without the other (my dad got re-married by the county clerk at the courthouse, and my wife and I had the option of a new ceremony by the new official when we changed churches).

    Personally, I fully support the right to “civil unions” between consenting adults (and responsible minors with parent permission). And I fully support the right to “marriages” between the same, IF AND ONLY IF they can do so without trampling the rights of others (i.e. they can find a religion/official willing to perform the ceremony). I’d equate that to the saying, “Your right to swing your fist ends at the tip of my nose.”

  • Don

    First I think gay poeple have an equal right to be a miserable as the rest of us but seriously the state has no business in marriage in the first place.

  • the dude

    Isn’t the gay population somewhere around .01% of the total population? And not every gay is gonna want to marry.
    I’ll just go ahead and say it: gay marriage is a distraction issue whose sole purpose is to turn the public’s attention away from real problems.
    We’re in excessive debt for the next few generations and still spending like there’s no tomorrow. We have police locking down cities and performing warrant-less ‘searches’ in the name of turrurism. We have a government that spies on its own citizens and has given themselves permission to capture and kill said citizens with little to no evidence/reason.
    But as long as the gays can marry, everything will be okay! Right, guys? Guys?

    Ultimately, my problems with the whole thing rely on government intervention. They already made a mockery of traditional marriage. Why let them have any more control over something they spectacularly cocked up the first time?

  • Avoidance

    Archer, I agree with you, I believe in live and let live. What I fear are discrimination suits against churches who decline to preform same sex marriages. It is happening in Canada now I believe. @ Archer:

  • @ Erin Palette:

    Heh! As would I.

    I’m with Linoge here. Half of all marriages end in divorce anyway, so butt out & focus on your marriage not whether someone else can / can’t marry.

    I’d like to see the government out of the marriage business all together.

  • Rob Crawford

    It is happening in Canada now I believe.

    It’s happening here in the US. OK, not churches, but religious people who decline to provide personal services for gay weddings.

  • Geodkyt

    Canada doesn’t have the First Amendment. Their legal system ALLOWS direct government interference in religious manners — for example, prosecuting clerics under “hate speech” laws for using scriptural references in sermons the State doesn’t approve of.

    Which is one reason why, nice as Canada and pretty much every Canadian I’ve known (Toronto is pratically overrun with hottie blondes, fer instance), I don;t live there.

    @ Avoidance: What I fear are discrimination suits against churches who decline to preform same sex marriages. It is happening in Canada now I believe

  • Geodkyt

    BTW, Linoge,

    Yup, you’ve precisely summed up my position on “gay marriage” that I’ve proposed ever since it actually became a political issue.

    Get the government the Hell out of the “marriage” business altogether, and leave that to the religious or social group of your choosing. Frankly, I do not care what combination of Slot A or Tab B (or even if the relationship has a sexual componant at all. . . if a pair of single business partners or lifelong roommates want to get hitched for tax & property purposes, and they continue to date other people, it affects me not a whit — “life partner” need not mean “bed buddy”) is involved — it’s a contractual relationship between two sovereign adults about who THEY designate as “the person they trust the most”.

    Government has a legitimate interest in setting rational limits, since government treatment, benefits, and tax status are involved. So, if they want to state, for example, that such relationships are limited to a being between a particular PAIR of people who are legally capable of entering into the contract and are not in any OTHER similar contract at the same time, that’s rational. (For example, poly groups might have to pair up within the group for tax purposes because the IRS limits “registered life partners” to one per customer. And if their religious or social group chooses to recognize the entire group as one marriage, the IRS neither cares nor gets to voice an opinion.)

  • Archer

    @ Avoidance:
    I’m a bit worried about that, too. My real worry is more a question of funding; will the churches be able to keep up with the gay-rights groups who would jump into the fray? Court disputes like this are HUGELY expensive to pursue/defend.

    That said, I think the churches and religious leaders are in the right, and any group who would force their ideology on others is wrong. It’d be the same as Muslim leaders suing the Catholic Church to force them to teach the Koran. You can’t pick and choose which rights you agree with and then rightfully claim to be “pro-rights”. I sincerely hope if it comes to that, the courts agree with what I said above – that one person/group’s rights are valid as long as they don’t infringe on another person/group’s rights.

    If they don’t, we’re all hosed.

  • Whiskey Dick

    @ linoge

    Robyn Ringler’s friends are back come on over and say hello.

  • @ Avoidance:
    The answer to that would be ‘no’. A religious marriage has no affect on the states version of a civil union.

  • Personally we can kill the whole tax reason for people getting married by going with a simple flat tax.

    I suppose the original reason of the marriage tax break was to encourage people getting married and having kids, but those days are long gone and now it is just another stupid way that people are getting screwed by the tax man.

    I would love a simple flat tax that says “You earned X dollars so you pay 15%” No loopholes, exemptions, 401K – nothing. Bet we could shut down a lot of the IRS with that.

  • Skydaver

    Well said. Vehement agreement.

  • Aye. I’m of the view of get gov out of marriage. In the abstract consider how creepy it is that one has to get approval from the State for something like long term (ish) companion(s) for most all life events.

    And yes, the whole adult human beings entering into whatever mutually agreeable contracts they cosnent to does open the door for polygamy. And? So what.

    That’s something I think a lot of SSM supports are doing to shoot themselves in the foot when they go on about how marriage is just between two consenting adults.

    Saying marriage is between “Adam and Steve” and not “Adam, Steve, and Eve” ain’t much more equality minded than saying marriage is between “Adam and Eve” not “Adam and Steve”.

    Part of wearing your big-girl pants in free society is realizing that other peole will do things you’ll find wasteful and offensive. That’s what real tolerance is all about.

  • Derek D.

    @ Archer:

    There are MANY churches/clergy who would be glad to perform this type of ceremony of it was legal for them to do so. Actually, they already do, it’s just not legally binding.

    Time for the State to get the f#ck out of the way.

  • Archer

    @ Derek D.:
    That’s what I’m saying. The State should NOT be differentiating between hetero- and homosexual unions, in as far as the State has any interest (taxes, property transfers, death/funeral rights, insurance, power-of-attorney, etc.). At the same time, the clergy must retain the right to refuse to perform ceremonies their beliefs don’t support.

    This is the only way I can think of for each of the parties – the couples and the clergy – to balance their rights. The State shouldn’t have the right to interfere. How we got to the point it thinks it does, I don’t know.

  • Geodkyt

    Much of the hangup revolves around, NOT the nature of the relationship nearly so much as the governmental sanction of the term “marriage” to mean something it has never meant in Western Civilization.

    Remove the word “marriage” from the legal code all-around, and you’ll find that resistance to allowing sexuality-neutral legal treatment pretty much evaporates, other than that very small minority that think gays should be stuck in work camps with pink triangles.

    Of course, if you stop calling the governmentally-recognized relationship “marriage”, and you make the governmentally-recognized relationship sexuality-neutral, then the government loses any interest under even the lowest level of Constitutional scrutiny in caring about if there is any sexual component to the relationship, although they can reasonably claim an interest in limiting it to a certain number of people per relationship (such as the current limit of two). (Limiting the size of the goodie bags to “1 partner per person, max” is easily defended as rational when the goodie bags consist primarily of economic value involving tax revenues, thus meaning people in poly relationships could be prevented from listing everyone in the household as their registered partners.)

    Likewise, the government would lose any legal interest in the sexual relationships between two or more consenting sovereign adults, regardless of the governmentally-recognized relationship status of any of the participants. Which means, even if a person is limited to one “registered partner” at a time, frankly, the State doesn’t give a damn who or even how many people you sleep with or marry — because the government’s interest in your bedroom would be limited to “did the person(s) in your bed give lawful consent” and nothing more. . .

  • Muddyboots

    Marriage (or whatever you want to title it…) has four layers of agreement:

    1) The sentient consenting parties
    2) Their families and friends
    3) Their spiritual leaders
    4) the state

    None of them, beyond the first layer, have any actual value UNLESS you want the explicit approval of that particular community and the supposed benefits that come with it. Even if you are Handfasted by your Shaman, the State doesn’t think it counts until you pay your fee and file your paper. Even still, that doesn’t mean your inlaws will recognize it…

    A conversation I heard a few years ago between a young woman and her mother:

    A :If I marry Jay, you will never speak to me again?
    B: Yes.
    A: Really!?! You would NEVER Speak to me again? Ever?
    B: Yes! I mean it. YES!!!
    A: You promise?
    B: On my honor!
    A: Perfect, that solves a huge problem in MY life. Have a nice life. Bye.

    They got the state stamp and their community’s blessing. That’s all they wanted. (no, I’m not Jay, just a friend.)

  • Well, I guess I should have figured this was going to be one of the more-popular posts I have written, but it still surprises me on some level.

    @ Avoidance: If a religion bars its officiants from performing a religious marriage between two individuals of the same gender, they should not, under any question, be forced to do so.

    @ Erin Palette: Much appreciated, Erin :). Aside from a few exceptions, I like to think I am not in the minority.

    @ David W.: Indeed. The concept of “marriage” predates our modern governments, our modern religions, and most other things; allowing our government to arbitrarily limit and define the word was unquestionably a mistake, but it is interesting how sneaky the feds are, no?

    In any case, the government should ensure both parties in a contract honor the terms of the contract, but from their perspective it should just be a contract, nothing more, nothing less. The name the parties of the contract choose to call the contract should be immaterial to the government.

    @ Jake: I occasionally point out the existence of Pink Pistols to people, just to see their heads explode.

    @ dave w: I generally disapprove of divorce, especially since I generally view marriage as a contract, but, yeah, a show about gay divorces might be something I would actually watch. At most once, maybe, but still.

    Don wrote:

    but seriously the state has no business in marriage in the first place.

    This. The state should provide an avenue for parties to contracts to ensure the other parties are upholding their end, but, really, that is about it.

    @ the dude: Oh, I will unquestionably grant that “gay marriage” is a distraction, but I was quite tired of being repeatedly clubbed around the ears with that pointless and idiotic stereitype. Seemed like a good time to address it :).

    @ Geodkyt: The problem is that the concept of “marriage” has gotten so wrapped up in our tax code, our abilities to speak for or with family members, and so forth, the government has every vested interest in keeping their tentacles armpit-deep in the concept of marriage. It is time to fix that, but it is going to take a lot of work to undo.

    @ Borepatch: High praise from you. Thanks :).

    @ Instinct: And that is one quick way to fix it. Unfortunately, we run right smack dab right back into the “vested interest” problem – the IRS employs an untold thousands of government weenies, and brings in an untold billions to the government coffers. Politicians will require a lot of encouragement to give that up.

    Unfortunately, the majority of the voting populace is dependent on those politicians and that IRS, so…

    @ Skydaver: Thanks :).

    @ The Jack: Honestly, I do not have much of an issue with polygamy either. So long as no one is being harmed by the arrangement and all parties are legally able to give consent and have done so… meh? Why is it my issue?

    That said, I do not really buy that slippery slope argument (not saying you are supporting it, just saying). The government currently sees marriage as an agreement between two parties; I am not sure how changing the genders of the parties would allow for the addition of a third party.

    @ Muddyboots: I love it when people give that kind of easy out ;).

  • Geodkyt

    Work, yes. But well worth it.

    Pass a statute that basically states that:

    1. All persons now recognized as being lawfully married are designated for the purposes of federal law, regulation, or rules as having entered a registered partnership with their spouses as of the date of their legal marriage. Persons entering the United States who have been lawfully married outside United States jurisdiction are designated for the purposes of federal law, regulation, or rules as having entered a registered partnership with their spouses as of the date of their legal marriage.

    2. For the purposes of federal law and the United States government, persons lawfully married in states which legally define such partnerships as “marriages” are designated as being in a registered partnership with their spouses for the purposes of federal law, regulation, or rules.

    3. All benefits, responsibilities, and privileges formerly assigned to “marriages” or “spouses” are reassigned to “registered partnerships” and “registered partners”.

    4. All prohibitions on which two consenting, sovereign adults can mutually register as partners are voided, aside from the limit of only one partner per customer.

    5. From this point forward, “marriage” (as opposed to registered partnerships) is defined in federal law as being a cultural, social, or religious custom, rather than a legal one.

    6. All statutes, regulations, and rules not in correspondence with this act are amended to comply.

    Of course, to institute this for the states, you would need either a Constitutional amendment either defining the status of registered partnerships or authorizing Congress to define terms by statute, or you would have to run something similar through each state legislature.

    Hell, if we can pass 2000 page abominations like Obamacare, we should be able to change federal recognition from “marriage” to “registered partnerships” in one bill.

    Sure, there would be a lot of copy-paste in statutes, rules, and regs, but the LAW shouldn’t take very many pages — I’ll bet you could get it down to 1 or 2 pages if you keep it “high order” as above. Any adjudication of a law, rule, or reg, before the copy editors got to editing them specifically would still fall under the new definitions of registered partnerships because the “Partnership” statute states that all laws, rules, and regs are construed to mean it that way.

  • Oh, I am not disagreeing that it would be worth it, if only to reduce the amount of control the government has over our lives, but there are a lot of sociological, political, and financial hurdles that would have to be pretty much dynamited before it would happen.

    I dare say you have a good skeleton from which to proceed once we tend to that distasteful matter, though.

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