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Jun 27 2013

Now the fun begins

Yesterday’s Supreme Court decision on the Defense of Marriage Act has the right wing in full meltdown mode. Ed is documenting the reaction, Salon has a roundup, and Futile Democracy has some charming tweets. I have a very favorite, though: it’s from someone calling themselves @FreedomWarrior.

Here’s the good news: Massive population losses will be suffered decade by decade in the Gay States! pic.twitter.com/UORPWvUbCi

So, how does that work?

If DOMA had been upheld, would we right now be compelling gay people to go out and have children?

Now that DOMA has been ruled unconstitutional, are all the straight people in the “Gay States” deciding to not have children?

I’m definitely done with having children, but if I were of that age, I’d be more likely to want to bring children into a world where equality and justice were a little more common. And when we did have children, it was never as a matter of asserting our sexuality (or worse, my masculinity) — it was because we liked children and family. Do these people understand that family is not about sex?

I’m a little worried that maybe they don’t. Which would be creepy.

96 comments

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  1. 1
    hexidecima

    ah, always nice to note that people who call themselves “freedomwarrior” must do so since no one would notice that they were for real freedom at all.

    I am married. I was lucky that my one true love happens to be of the opposite sex so we aren’t bothered by jackasses. We have chosen to not have children. This was not because “teh gay” was around. I suspect that there will be population growth in those states that aren’t ignorant and hostile, just because most Americans aren’t keen on theocracy.

    a side note, it’s notable that “states rights” seem to be only invoked for some of the worst of human nature. It’s never “hey, states rights should be observed so we can give equal rights to everyone”. It’s only “hey, states rights so we can decide that some people are less than human.”

  2. 2
    Alverant

    Maybe he thinks that most of the people straight marriages are secretly homosexual and will divorce their opposite sex spouse and marry their homosexual lover instead. That may even be true in a few cases, but I think that would be outweighed by the children from other states that will be adopted by married homosexual couples. You’ll also have couples moving to such states to get married.

    Hex, in my experience the people who champion “states’ rights” will do a 180 faster than Microsoft at E3 when the states elect to do something they don’t like.

  3. 3
    Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

    Ah, the authoritarian mindset. Everything that is not verboten is mandatory.

  4. 4
    Rey Fox

    Good, more cheap real estate!

    In actuality though, I suspect birth rates will hold mostly steady, and people will move to the “gay states” as they’re better places to live based on many metrics.

  5. 5
    Sastra

    Apparently the gene pool is like an actual pool. When they start allowing people who are “icky” to swim in the municipal pool, decent people get out.

  6. 6
    peptron

    I have to give it to them… If the only context I was allowed to have sex was to make children, I’d probably end up linking sex and family too.

  7. 7
    TonyJ

    This is one of those thoughts that is so stupid, it leaves you stunned for a few seconds after hearing it.

  8. 8
    wildwilly1111

    I read it as: gay marriage –> AIDS

  9. 9
    matthewpickard

    Freedom Warrior is correct. Listen, if we make gay sex legal, we will become like the animals who only have sex for pleasure. Remember what happened to the dinosaurs when they got off the ark? Jesus, you people really have it backwards.

  10. 10
    Ouabache

    Right Wing Watch did a great job of collecting all the insane reactions from the wingnuts yesterday. I especially like how professional martyr Todd Starnes is already claiming that the Bible will be ruled hate speech and that pastors will be marched off to prison any day now.

  11. 11
    Eurasian magpie

    Maybe he expects the irate YHWH to get his shit together and work on those aiming-the-smite issues.

  12. 12
    peptron

    Also, I get the feeling from their message that “gayness” is something that you catch, or decide to become as some form of fashion statement; as opposed to something that you stop hiding as you no longer fear for your safety. I cannot warp my head around this idea that somebody would just decide to be gay, in a place where the social price is so ridiculously high.

  13. 13
    silomowbray, sans frottage pour la douche

    @11: YHWH sure fucked up with Katrina. I think it was Jon Stewart that said it proved ‘God’ wanted to punish not the gays, but the gay-adjacent.

  14. 14
    peptron

    @Ouabache
    If nowadays, I decided to write a book asking for the murder of people who wear polyester, would that be considered hate speech?

  15. 15
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    a side note, it’s notable that “states rights” seem to be only invoked for some of the worst of human nature.

    Yup. ‘States rights’ pretty much invariably means “State’s rights to oppress people who aren’t straight white cis men of the middle class or above.”

  16. 16
    David Marjanović

    Maybe he thinks that most of the people straight marriages are secretly homosexual and will divorce their opposite sex spouse and marry their homosexual lover instead.

    There really are such people, Alan Keyes for instance. I don’t know how common that is, though.

  17. 17
    Bronze Dog

    Apparently the gene pool is like an actual pool. When they start allowing people who are “icky” to swim in the municipal pool, decent people get out.

    COOOOOOTIES!

  18. 18
    mikeyb

    I think the idea here is gays are like zombies. You give dem gays rights such as to marry or even be in society, gayness spreads cuz dem gays turn udder people gay and sooner or later everyone is gay, so no one is reproducing and the species dies. This is the mentality we are dealing with, and it is frighteningly widespread.

  19. 19
    frog

    Some of the “only married people are allowed to have sex and procreate” school. Who is thick enough that he’s gotten it all backwards, so now believes that children are caused by marriage.

    I’m serious. He (or perhaps she?) might honestly believe this.

    Many years ago I met a young woman who didn’t know where babies come from. She got pregnant for the first time at age 15, and had no idea it happened because of having sex. She thought women just…got pregnant as a natural matter of course. She was apparently extrapolating from the very minimal information she had received about what puberty is (information she received after her first menstruation. I imagine a girl might not be listening entirely well if she is freaking out about bleeding for unknown reasons from places she’s not allowed to talk about!).

    Somehow she had the idea that you reach a certain age and get your period, and then some while after that you are pregnant–that was what happened to all the other girls she knew. No one told her what caused it. They said, “never let anyone touch you there,” but we all know how that breaks down in the real world (and besides, the father of the baby was *ahem* an adult man well respected in the community. Sadly, this was long enough ago that even statutory rape was difficult to prosecute). This is radical abstinence education in action.

    We who grew up in intellectually-enriched homes have so much basic knowledge that we don’t even think about or consciously remember learning. But there are a startling number of people who manage to muddle along in shocking ignorance of basic facts, and even manage to hold down jobs and be contributing members of society (at the lower end of the economic spectrum, typically).

  20. 20
    Jackie

    Dalillama,

    Yup. ‘States rights’ pretty much invariably means “State’s rights to oppress people who aren’t straight white cis men of the middle class or above.”

    QFT

  21. 21
    Marcus Ranum

    Apparently the gene pool is like an actual pool. When they start allowing people who are “icky” to swim in the municipal pool, decent people get out.

    I already peed in it, though. And I’m straight and all that. They’ve been swimming around in my pee for hours – don’t tell anyone.

  22. 22
    mikeyb

    I will praise Kennedy if he decides to retire soon.

  23. 23
    Lynna, OM

    The right-wing fun has definitely begun in Utah. I noticed that in last night’s broadcast, Rachel Maddow mentioned Utah several times. Utah is a useful and perhaps the ultimate contrast to states that allow same-sex marriage.

    Salt Lake Tribune link.

    … Utah’s Celebration of Marriage event fell just hours after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act, effectively allowing states to decide on same-sex marriage.

    Utahns in 2004 passed Amendment 3, which defined marriage as between a man and woman, and the Supreme Court rulings won’t directly impact the state. But speakers Wednesday night at the South Towne Expo Center in Sandy told the roughly 1,000 in attendance to stay “on the offensive” to promote traditional marriage.

    Historian David Barton said the Constitution bans gay marriage and other speakers praised past efforts by Utah legislators and voters to prohibit gay marriage in the state. …

    Ummm — some historian! Someone please take David Barton’s title away.

    “The joyous news is that Utah stands unaffected,” Christensen said. “America needs Utah like never before.”

    Frank Mylar, a marriage law attorney and former Utah assistant attorney general, said he saw positives in the ruling despite the court striking down a key DOMA provision preventing gay marriage.

    “The very important provision, perhaps equally important provision, that prevented one state from validating marriage and moving to another state like Utah and trying to enforce that upon Utah jurisdiction, that provision was not invalidated,” Mylar said. …

    “Same-gender marriage defines each of us as interchangeable, exchangeable units, and that there’s no difference between men and women,” said the event’s co-chairwoman Mary Summerhays.

  24. 24
    Randomfactor

    I think the problem he’s REALLY worried about is that the wrong color of babies will be born.

    And by that I mean “blue.”

  25. 25
    The Mellow Monkey

    People acting like same sex couples can’t have kids really, really pisses me off, and I see even allies doing this, constantly.

    Guess what? We can adopt. We can have a family member serve as a surrogate mother. We can get artificial insemination with the help of an old friend. We can take in our nephew after our sister and her husband die. We can get knocked up as a teenager and then fall in love with the woman we want to spend our life with. Or we can decide not to and not have kids, because we don’t want them. It’s all this big wonderful world of choice.

    Shockingly, there is actually more diversity within the community than just DINK white guys.

  26. 26
    screechymonkey

    I think this mentality is a combination of two things:

    1. The Christian Right sees sexual desire as a great evil that, if it can’t be suppressed entirely, at least has to be channeled into ways they find acceptable. So comprehensive sex ed, pornography, or anything that suggests that sex is pleasurable and healthy, are undermining society. Marriage is an important institution because it forces men to stick around and raise families with women if they want to get that sex they long for. (“Ok, if you’re having sex with your wife for the purpose of procreation, it’s ok to enjoy it a bit. Secretly. This doesn’t apply to her, of course, because women don’t enjoy sex. Unless they’re harlots.” So they really do think that, if you deny gay people the right to get married, that they’ll marry someone of the opposite sex instead and be miserable — but that’s a-ok with them! And why wouldn’t they think that? During all those decades when homosexuals were not just denied equal marriage rights, but were scorned, discriminated against, attacked (more than they are now, that is), and even treated as criminals, many of them did choose to stay in the closet. And some of those chose to get married to better blend in. So if you accept their bizarre premise that sex is bad in and of itself, and you have an utter lack of empathy, then this makes a cruel sort of sense. (I know: other than that, how did you enjoy the play, Mrs. Lincoln?)

    2. They really want to believe that sexual orientation is a matter of choice. I know the popular stereotype is that homophobes are closet cases themselves — and there’s no shortage of known examples — but I think generally that’s not true. Most of them probably don’t have any homosexual impulses — which means that declaring homosexuality to be immoral is a really, really easy way to feel morally superior to other people. I mean, with other “sins” (pride, wrath, whatever) you have to admit that you’re tempted by and probably do engage in them from time to time. But here’s this supposed sin that you’re not even tempted to do? Well, you can rage about it all the time and never worry about being called a hypocrite!

  27. 27
    truthspeaker

    Alverant

    27 June 2013 at 10:16 am (UTC -5) Link to this comment

    Hex, in my experience the people who champion “states’ rights” will do a 180 faster than Microsoft at E3 when the states elect to do something they don’t like.

    Case in point: the Fugitive Slave Act.

  28. 28
    fernando

    It is too dificult let people marry the ones they love?
    Marriage should be allowed to everyone, no matter the sexual preferences.

    Maybe im wrong, but i have the feeling that all the hate speech regarding gays is, more than only religious in its origins, a product of sexual unsecurities from the most vocal anti-gays.

  29. 29
    truthspeaker

    fernando

    27 June 2013 at 12:26 pm (UTC -5)

    It is too dificult let people marry the ones they love?

    It sounds like you think marriage should be about love instead of about fulfilling obligations to parents and society. Are you some kind of hippy?

  30. 30
    beergoggles

    In slightly OT and foreign news about marriage equality, Australian PM (& atheist?!) Julia Gillard is out and it looks like her replacement is the first pro-equality PM of Australia (http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/rudds-elevation-gives-hope-on-samesex-marriage-20130627-2ozrk.html).

  31. 31
    Naked Bunny with a Whip

    Amazing how being able to check the “married, filing jointly” box on my 1040 EZ instead of “unmarried, filing singly” will have such drastic state-wide effects.

  32. 32
    RFW

    One of the significant drives that leads to anti-gay hate is the “ick factor”. Many of the haters seem to have a puerile attitude toward human wastes and obsess over imaginary details of anal intercourse, never mind that many straight couples enjoy it too — and not just with the gentleman penetrating his lady love.

    You wonder if they’ve ever changed a baby’s diaper! Never mind that “done right”, buttsecks is as clean and decent as any other kind.

    IOW, they have dirty minds and concern themselves with other people’s private affairs.

  33. 33
    Big Boppa

    But there are a startling number of people who manage to muddle along in shocking ignorance of basic facts, and even manage to hold down jobs and be contributing members of society (at the lower end of the economic spectrum, typically).

    Or as red state congresspersons. Which are neither contributing member of society nor at the low end of the economic spectrum.

  34. 34
    frog

    Big Boppa: Yes, the lack of contribution to society was why I didn’t include them. There seems to be some sort of inverse principle at work here. “Be an ignorant buffoon who talks really loud, and ignorant self-effacing people will elect you to earn money and be a jerk on a larger scale!”

  35. 35
    unclefrogy

    the argument that marriage is about the children bothers me. I not so sure it is true nor limited to such a purpose alone. I read some where maybe in a previous thread that Rome adopted marriage in law for the formalization and recognition of the rights an of the married and to formalize the property rights of those involved.
    other wise what is the name change about why and who takes the others name which family connections have what precedence in the rights of inheritance sounds like it is primarily concerned with property to me and not children at all.
    So what is the real threat of gay marriage if not to the long tradition of authority and property expressed in marriage law?
    homosexuality is not some new phenomena it has been around as long as we have and was somewhat tolerated as long as there was no threat to “the natural order” of power and property just stay out of sight be secret, just suffer in silence if need be.

    uncle frogy

  36. 36
    Rich Woods

    @Alverant #2:

    Maybe he thinks that most of the people straight marriages are secretly homosexual and will divorce their opposite sex spouse and marry their homosexual lover instead. That may even be true in a few cases

    But enough of the televangelists and right-wing politicians…

  37. 37
    Rey Fox

    Amazing how being able to check the “married, filing jointly” box on my 1040 EZ instead of “unmarried, filing singly” will have such drastic state-wide effects.

    But marriage is MUCH MORE than that! It’s about a dramatic profession of your forever and ever and ever undying unwavering 24/7 LOVE to your partner in a big church ceremony with loads of relatives you hardly know and TONS of expensive single-use shit!

  38. 38
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    One thought on the idea that marriage is all about procreation. Weren’t there some insignificant early Christian theologians (Augustine, for example) who declared that not marrying was the ultimate way to remain pure, but, if one had to marry, both partners should remain celibate? Why are the right wing theocrats not pushing that particular venom?

  39. 39
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    But enough of the televangelists and right-wing politicians…

    I hear and read things like this and all that hits my mind is: Why are you insulting gays and lesbians? To assume that, because these asshats have glommed onto gay marriage as a way to fleece the flock, they are gay just seems like an insult to me.

  40. 40
    vaiyt

    I not so sure it is true nor limited to such a purpose alone.

    Do you see any of those bananas-for-brains clamoring for infertile people being forbidden to marry? What about dissolving the marriages of people after they fail to have one children a year? End of fucking story.

  41. 41
    silomowbray, sans frottage pour la douche

    Ferchrissakes. Why are the Religious Right so squicked about buttsecks? Because once you boil away all the BS, it always comes down to them faffing over the buttsecks. That OTHER people have. It’s not like they’re all going to be taken away in cattlecars where they’ll be forced to have anal love. God.

  42. 42
    mikeyb

    To me the primary important question is how marriage is defined legally – i.e. how it actually affects people and how it entitles people to equal protection and rights under the law. I could care less how people want to spiritualize the definition of “marriage,” or make it into some sort of trance magic word. There are and will be good/bad marriages, marriages for love or convenience or money or kids, gay or strait, that is not the point. Of course social acceptance is important, but equal treatment under law is essential. And no – you gay haters, there is not going to be a movement contrary to your paranoia to force churches to marry gay people against their will, which is a pretty bizarre argument that keeps coming up.

  43. 43
    bastionofsass

    My Catholic mother always told me as a child, “God gives you babies.” So it must be that God is so upset by the two SCOTUS SSM decisions that he’s going to stop baby-making.

  44. 44
    mikeyb

    There is also the consenting adults bit dimwits, so no there never will be a slippery slope to marriages with children or animals or inanimate objects.

  45. 45
    Nemo

    @Lynna #23:

    Ummm — some historian! Someone please take David Barton’s title away.

    It was purely self-assigned I the first place.

  46. 46
    Nemo

    in

  47. 47
    okstop

    @Ogvorbis (#38):

    “Weren’t there some insignificant early Christian theologians (Augustine, for example) who declared that not marrying was the ultimate way to remain pure, but, if one had to marry, both partners should remain celibate? Why are the right wing theocrats not pushing that particular venom?”

    First, point of order – “celibacy” is foreswearing marriage, so it is impossible to marry and remain celibate. “Celibate” and “chaste” are often confused in the colloquial, so it’s an easy and understandable mistake. That said, I get what you’re asking.

    Second, in answer to your question, while Paul thought it was “better to marry than to burn,” it is true that Jerome and others thought that a man who had to much passion even for his wife was an adulterer, in effect – all sexual desire, EVEN in marriage, was sinful. But that idea didn’t hold on for too long, for the same reason most theocratical jerks aren’t pushing it now – you can’t sell it. By the 13th/14th century Aquinas and Albertus Magnus had already softened the official line to claim that sex with one’s spouse for pleasure was okay if it wasn’t “excessive,” and Peter Lombard was already arguing that husbands and wives OWED each other sexual pleasure. Eventually, that’s the direction that the theology would take even for fairly conservative sects – witness the fact that at Church of Christ university, the Bible class on Marriage uses Ed Wheat’s “Intended for Pleasure,” a ‘biblical’ sex ed manual the title of which alone tells us a great deal about what even the relatively conservative Christians think these days.

  48. 48
    Lynna, OM

    Ex-mormon “Xyandro” posted this summary of Joseph Smith’s “traditional marriages” on another forum:

    In this time of stress and confusion, I’d like to say that I support the definition of marriage as revealed by God to his servant, Joseph Smith, Jr., prophet, seer, revelator, translator, and founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days saints:

    Man, wife #1 (Emma), wife #2 (16 years old, Smith’s housekeeper), wife #3 (already married), wife #4, wife #5 (already married, sister of #6), wife #6 (already married, sister of #5), wife #7, wife #8 (already married, daughter of #10), wife #9 (already married), wife #10 (already married, mother of #8), wife #11 (already married), wife #12 (already married), wife #13 (already married), wife #14, wife #15, wife #16 (17 years old), wife #17, wife #18 (already married), wife #19 (16 years old), wife #20 (sister of #21), wife #21 (sister of #20), wife #22, wife #23 (17 years old), wife #24 (17 years old, sister of #25), wife #25 (sister of #24), wife #26 (14 years old), wife #27, wife #28 (already married), wife #29, wife #30, wife #31, wife #32, wife #33 (15 years old), and wife #34.

    Mormons went down the slippery slope long ago. Then they attempted to climb back up that slope, but with various fundamentalist mormon sects still practicing polygamy the top of the slope is elusive.

    In Utah, some polygamists are celebrating the SCOTUS decision:
    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/56515337-78/marriage-darger-polygamy-case.html.csp

  49. 49
    Lynna, OM

    Canadians being sensible: they laid out in legalese, in a 2011 court decision, why polygamy should be banned.

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

  50. 50
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    okstop:

    Thanks. Sorry about my typical confusion (chaste v. celibate). I remembered it being one of the early church biggies regarding sin and sex. I keep forgetting about Jerome.

    I guess my poorly articulated point is that the idea of marriage (see the Saxon nobility of the 9 and 10 C for examples of what would today freak the right right out of their socks), sex, and sexual sin have evolved so much in the past 1800 or 1900 years that for them to argue from the bible and from tradition just shows how little they know of their own history.

  51. 51
    mikeyb

    If and only if polygamy/polyandry were between consenting adults – would it be a problem?

  52. 52
    okstop

    @Ogvorbis (#50):

    “I guess my poorly articulated point is that the idea of marriage (see the Saxon nobility of the 9 and 10 C for examples of what would today freak the right right out of their socks), sex, and sexual sin have evolved so much in the past 1800 or 1900 years that for them to argue from the bible and from tradition just shows how little they know of their own history.”

    Absolutely – you said it! I spent a long time in the Christian educational system, much to my woe, and the Memory Hole is just so obvious to non-believers with a little historical knowledge, but completely invisible to the Kool-Aid drinkers. It’s absurd. The Church of Christ is especially bad about this, as they take particular pride in having a theology that they think is EXACTLY what the First Century Christians would have believed. You can hear the capital letters when they talk about them, which is all the time. And of course they are so completely, laughably wrong it hurts the brain to contemplate, but there they go…

  53. 53
    screechymonkey

    If and only if polygamy/polyandry were between consenting adults – would it be a problem?

    I can’t say I feel very strongly about the issue either way, but I do think there are legitimate reasons why the courts can draw the line at two-person marriages and not feel obligated to head down some alleged slippery slope to plural marriages.

    A lot of the social benefits the government extends to married couples would be complicated by having more than one spouse. Who gets to make the medical decisions for an incapacitated patient who has three spouses: does it go by majority vote, or most senior spouse, or most recent? If Social Security survivor benefits have to be split between multiple surviving spouses, does that undermine the purpose of making sure survivors have enough support? Does a three-person marriage file joint taxes, and if so, do they get the same deduction as a two-person marriage, or a larger one? Divorce laws would become even messier than they already are.

    I’m not saying that any of those problems, or any of the others we can imagine, are insurmountable, but they do require some thought and in some cases probably some legislative action to clear the way, in a way that isn’t true for same-sex marriage.

  54. 54
    wjasonschaal

    I’m continually amazed at the power we gays have. We can control the weather, bring tsunamis and volcanic eruptions, we can control elections, we can turn straight children gay just by teaching them social studies in school, and now we can control birth rates. It’s awesome! Kind of like being a superhero only in reverse. ~wjs

  55. 55
    Lynna, OM

    “My analysis is that the gays are about 5 percent of the attack on marriage in this country, and the feminists are about 95 percent.” — Phyllis Schlafly, 09/28/2009

    Towleroad link.

    According to Phyllis, feminists are more powerful than gays when it comes to destroying marriage.

  56. 56
    Eurasian magpie

    What a stupid analysis from Schlafly.

    It completely omits the efforts of communists.

  57. 57
    gravityisjustatheory

    If and only if polygamy/polyandry were between consenting adults – would it be a problem?

    In theory, I’d say “probaby not”.

    (People already have multi-partner relationships, and formalising them and ensuring proper leagal rights/obligations for all involved would probably make them fairer for all involved).

    However, I think that in practice there are two major problems.

    Firstly, as screechymonkey says, its a much more complicated arrangment. From a practical, legal perspective, a same-sex marriage is really no different from an opposite-sex one, involving only one “relationship”. But a three-person marriage is a different kind of thing, requiring much more complicated rules regarding inheritance etc. It also contains three distinct “relationships” (AB, AC, and BC) rather than just one, so there is more scope for people falling out.

    The other main problem is that historically, multi-person marriages have been much less about equal partnerships but typically about at alpha-male demonstrating or exercising his power and wealth over others. (Which doesn’t in itself mean it should not be allowed, but that you need to be careful that in attempting to allow a nice, liberal, hippyish love-in you don’t just end up entrenching macho patriachy).

  58. 58
    roggg

    I just love this line of reasoning. Heterosexuality is the only normal way to be, ordained by god himself, and the natural order of things. But it’s so fragile that not persecuting gays will bring opposite sex marriage, and even procreation itself crashing to a halt.

  59. 59
    Azuma Hazuki

    @32/RFW

    Actually, something I’ve been wondering: has anyone done any sort of study comparing gay men and straight women who have a lot od receptive anal sex? I can’t help but think friction and pressure in a place like that, fragile and open to infection, is a Bad Idea (TM). There’s got to be a reason we lesbians have lower STD rates than straight couples as well as gay men, no? Might it not be “comparative lack of penetrative and/or forceful sex?”

    @38/Ogvorbis

    Would heaven Augustine had never existed. He was responsible for so much awful shit getting added into Christianity. It is fairly clear from his own confessions he was neurotic and sexually damaged, but why, why, did he have to inflict that on the rest of us?

  60. 60
    okstop

    I’m not sure that there are any arguments from complexity that one could level against multiple-partner marriages that could not also be leveled against multiple-party contracts. From the premise that multiple-party contracts should be perfectly acceptable among consenting parties, I tend to think that any argument against multiple-party marriages would be a reductio against the position it seeks to uphold. Of course, if logical space could be found to differentiate between an argument against multiple-partner marriages and multiple-party contracts (within the scope of things in which the gov’t has a legitimate interest), that conclusion fails.

  61. 61
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Actually, something I’ve been wondering: has anyone done any sort of study comparing gay men and straight women who have a lot od receptive anal sex? I can’t help but think friction and pressure in a place like that, fragile and open to infection, is a Bad Idea (TM).

    The infection risk is higher, but otherwise… *sigh*

    There’s got to be a reason we lesbians have lower STD rates than straight couples as well as gay men, no? Might it not be “comparative lack of penetrative and/or forceful sex?”

    Extrapolating from what I’m told, I suspect it has more to do with less direct genital contact and not having one partner depositing fluids inside the other during the usual course of unprotected sex. Number of partners, level of safer sex awareness, and partnering circumstances probably contribute as well?

  62. 62
    Azuma Hazuki

    @61/Azkyroth

    The infection risk is higher, but otherwise… *sigh*

    Otherwise what? Infection risk is a given I’d say, because of how fragile that part of the body is.

    Extrapolating from what I’m told, I suspect it has more to do with less direct genital contact and not having one partner depositing fluids inside the other during the usual course of unprotected sex. Number of partners, level of safer sex awareness, and partnering circumstances probably contribute as well?

    Oh definitely =P Reminds me of an old joke:
    Q: What does a lesbian do on the second date?
    A: She drives up in a U-Haul with all her stuff!

    And the counterpart
    Q: Okay, and what does a gay guy do on the second date?
    A: Uh, what second date?

    Those aren’t really fair though. I suspect there’s a lot of gay men who aren’t at all promiscuous, and aren’t there a bunch who refuse to do anal intercourse for one reason or another like Noel Coward? TBH I don’t know very much about gay men, just enough to know that I shouldn’t think stereotypes are the truth.

  63. 63
    erik333

    @57 gravityisjustatheory

    The immigrant womens right activists here (sweden) tend to make that last point, they fear more girls being turned into wife-slaves if polygamy is made legal.

    @54 wjasonschaal

    Gayinator, arch nemesis of Morality Man?

  64. 64
    skaduskitai

    @60. Technically you’re right that polygamy doesn’t need to be more complicated legally than a multiple party contract. But that is only if you assume that, just as in real multiple party contracts, or in most of real polygamy aswell, the different parties get to have very different roles and thus will not have equal responsibilities and equal rights towards each-other. This is exactly the crux of the problem. To get polygamous marrige completely equal with regards to all the legal stuff marrige entails: inheritance, visitation, medical decisions e.t.c. is way more complicated.

    I guess would-be polygamists could work out all these matters to their personal satisfaction and then get their marrige contract approved by a court and get a ceremony of their choice. But that leads to another difficult question: Should the state sanction people voluntarily giving up equal protection under the law?

  65. 65
    screechymonkey

    skaduskitai@64:

    I guess would-be polygamists could work out all these matters to their personal satisfaction and then get their marrige contract approved by a court and get a ceremony of their choice. But that leads to another difficult question: Should the state sanction people voluntarily giving up equal protection under the law?

    I’m not sure what you’re getting at with that last sentence. Are you suggesting that a plural marriage contract would be “giving up equal protection under the law”? That’s an odd phrase to me, because generally speaking, equal protection has to do with how the government treats you, not what private parties agree to among themselves. (There’s some slightly murkier situations: courts won’t enforce racial restrictions in property contracts, for example, but that’s not really about protecting the contracting parties themselves.)

    There are some legal doctrines, such as unconscionability and public policy, that limit what courts will allow someone to give up in a private contract. So I suppose a poly marriage contract that was drastically unfair to one of the spouses wouldn’t be enforced — but then, that’s true for prenuptial agreements in two-person marriages already, so it wouldn’t be anything new.

  66. 66
    Amphiox

    In reply to all those wailing right wingers right now:

    http://jeneralinsanity.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/worlds_smallest_violin_poster_by_dr_j33-d32tvet.jpg

  67. 67
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    Azuma Hazuki: I dunno who you hang out with, but a majority of the women I know who have sex with women also are into anal play, including of the strap-on varieties. Also, a happy butt that is being penetrated should not be at risk of injury from friction or otherwise.

    IIRC, it’s mostly due to fluid issues that there are higher STI rates among people who involve cis men.

    Anyway, I recall seeing somewhere (ages ago, and I sadly lack the source offhand) that about 40% of the population enjoy receiving assplay. Across genders. So plenty of queer men who don’t, plenty of straight men who do, and plenty of women who do of all orientations as well.

    Buttsecks for some! Miniature flags of #your country for others!

    As a poly person, while there is a (obviously) a big inclination for me to support plural marriage rights because there are lots of happy, loving consenting adults in relationships featuring more than two people who could use the legal protections and benefits, I’m still really, really leery of the idea because of how strongly it’s also connected to vile, dangerous, patriarchal bullshit.

  68. 68
    mouthyb, Vagina McTits

    It my was my understanding, like happiestsadist, that a properly lubed and prepared ass is much less likely to have microtears, which makes infection less likely. I’m personally a fan. ^.^

    I am also inclined to favor poly relationships, given strong laws to prevent the manipulation of people who are underage or unable to give consent.

  69. 69
    kayden

    I wonder how current Republicans will mimic the “massive resistance” that pro-segregationists practiced in the South in the face of civil rights advances. I don’t see them rolling over and giving up their fight. They need to recognize that most Americans are fine with same sex marriage and aren’t obsessed with sexual orientation — especially young people.

  70. 70
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    They need to recognize that most Americans are fine with same sex marriage and aren’t obsessed with sexual orientation — especially young people.

    Or us older folks. I think I did a great job after the Redhead’s cousin married (Canada) his long time partner. At the family reunion, I mentioned they sounded like a long married couple. They may gripe about their partner, but mention “do you need a ride”, and “the look (I’m just venting a little, not wishing to go anywhere)” is given. And that was 10-15 years ago, and they still are together. I think that caused a rearrangement on some folks thinking. Even if only to bare tolerance, it was progress.

  71. 71
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Otherwise what?

    Otherwise the comment inspires at least 400 millifacepalms insofar as it plays into a meme I find exceptionally tiresome both in principle and at a personal level?

  72. 72
    okstop

    @skaduskitai (#64)

    I’m with screechymonkey (#65), I have no idea what “[s]hould the state sanction people voluntarily giving up equal protection under the law?” is supposed to mean. The state has some default ideas about what rights spouses have, which wouldn’t have to change just because one person might have more than one spouse. In cases where the rights of one spouse would or could conflict with the rights of another, there’s no reason it would need (or even likely would be) privately settled – a simple legal principle could be enshrined in law or worked out in case law. For instance, if a woman who is injured has two spouses who disagree on the right call when making a medical decision for her, there’s no reason to assume we’d have to consult the individual marriage contract – there could be a law on the books that says what to do in that case or there could just be a decision by the courts that lays down a simple guiding principle in absence of living wills or whatever (first married, say). There’s no reason to think that any of this would lead to giving up protection under law – that’s just a bizarre leap.

    But it’s the first part of your post that is particularly opaque. “Technically you’re right that polygamy doesn’t need to be more complicated legally than a multiple party contract. But that is only if you assume that, just as in real multiple party contracts, or in most of real polygamy aswell, the different parties get to have very different roles and thus will not have equal responsibilities and equal rights towards each-other. This is exactly the crux of the problem.”

    Whatever you meant to say, what you did here was make two claims:

    1) IF polygamy is no more complicated than a multiple party contract THEN the different parties will not have equal rights and responsibilities.

    and

    2) It is the case that in multi-party contracts and most polygamy that the parties do not have equal rights and responsibilities.

    (2) is straightforwardly false. Perhaps it would be true if limited to “most polygamous marriages” that can be found in America today, but as most of those marriages are found among a particular group of religious conservatives, that’s not very informative about what polygamous marriage would be like if legal. Besides, it’s obviously false that in multi-party contracts the parties necessarily have unequal rights and responsibilities. Contracts where all parties have identical responsibilities toward each other are easily imaginable.

    (2) is also a non sequitur. Even if it were true, the only relevance it would bear to (1) is as an affirmation of the consequent, which tells us nothing about the truth of the antecedent.

    But the biggest problem is that (1) is just nonsense. There’s no reason to assume that if polygamy were only as complicated as a multi-party contract, parties would have unequal rights.

    Now, I would like to assume, charitably, that you did not mean to make that weird claim, but your closing sentence seems to indicate you did – seems to indicate that you think that polygamy (and possibly multi-party contracts) inherently lead to unequal power. Which is not only unsupported by what you’ve offered here, but also unsupportable, near as I can see.

    (PS – People so often misuse/misunderstand “only if.” It’s very irritating, especially when trying to teach it to freshmen.)

  73. 73
    mikeyb

    Thanks everyone for the poly-discussion. I know it’s never gonna happen except in certain parts of Utah – both for social but also practical reasons as discussed- but it is an interesting thought experiment if nothing else, kinda like the question of whether or not there is anything really wrong if a brother and sister have consensual sex which is often posed by moral philosophers. Serial monogamy is probably a much more common typical American phenomena – call it the Tom Cruise theory of marriage. Anyway interesting that Tibet is one of the few places where polyandry occurs. Sexist males never consider that possibility of arrangements.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyandry_in_Tibet

  74. 74
    Azuma Hazuki

    @67/HappiestSadist

    Well…call me a victim of the patriarchy but I am not into polyamory. At all. And maybe this stems from having had one nasty hemorrhoid in college but outside of occasional fantasies, nothing goes near the exit pipeline. The “no way, poop comes from there!” crowd isn’t entirely wrong. If I were ever to do anything involving anal play it would need to be after a very thorough shower.

    It seems like men get the short end of the stick in a lot of ways though, huh? I’ve always thought of the Y chromosome as a sort of experimental patch-set against the source tree of the human genome, one which creates some interesting performance gains at the expense of a fair bit of stability (and oh, lawd, what a crop of runtime errors…Y-flagged processes have a nasty habit of stomping all over each others’ stack space). We may have evolved, or enculturated, to the point that the same behaviors in our males which helped the species are now harmful.

  75. 75
    vaiyt

    What I find hilarious about freedomwarrior’s post is the chart that accompanies it. It’s a textbook example of fundie circularity. Nothing about population at all, just:

    *shows pic of states that allow gay marriage* “If gay marriage is allowed… then gay marriage will be allowed! Oh noes!”

  76. 76
    mikee

    @Azuma Hazuki #62

    Oh definitely =P Reminds me of an old joke:
    Q: What does a lesbian do on the second date?
    A: She drives up in a U-Haul with all her stuff!

    And the counterpart
    Q: Okay, and what does a gay guy do on the second date?
    A: Uh, what second date?

    Those aren’t really fair though. I suspect there’s a lot of gay men who aren’t at all promiscuous, and aren’t there a bunch who refuse to do anal intercourse for one reason or another like Noel Coward? TBH I don’t know very much about gay men, just enough to know that I shouldn’t think stereotypes are the truth.

    If you don’t think those “jokes” are fair (which they aren’t) then why type them at all?
    Those sorts of “jokes” just perpetuate ignorance stereotypes and caricature gay and lesbian relationships.

    Unimpressed.

  77. 77
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    And maybe this stems from having had one nasty hemorrhoid in college but outside of occasional fantasies, nothing goes near the exit pipeline. The “no way, poop comes from there!” crowd isn’t entirely wrong. If I were ever to do anything involving anal play it would need to be after a very thorough shower.

    Is there some reason you can’t hold that preferences yourself without implying that it’s an objective thing that should apply to everyone, and by extension that there’s probably something wrong with people who don’t share it?

  78. 78
    Azuma Hazuki

    @76/Mikee

    Well, the first one kiiiinda fits me. I fall in love really, really hard, and quickly. It’s one reason I’m not into polyamory too: if I love someone, she has all of me, all my energy and love and devotion.

    There is usually a grain of truth behind stereotypes; they’re just mixed in with several hundred very large grains of salt, is all. They come from somewhere.

    But, Azkyroth, I never said anywhere that “anyone who doesn’t have my exact preferences is wrong and evil and bad.” Calm down, poly-warrior. I don’t personally approve of marijuana either, but have no problem with people who do use it. There are risks associated with all behaviors, and I have made a decision not to pursue some; is this somehow bigoted?

  79. 79
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    But, Azkyroth, I never said anywhere that “anyone who doesn’t have my exact preferences is wrong and evil and bad.” Calm down, poly-warrior.

    What the actual fuck?

    Leaving aside the condescension, do you understand what the word “implying” means? Did I not explicitly say it feeds into a meme I find troublesome?

    I don’t personally approve of marijuana either, but have no problem with people who do use it. There are risks associated with all behaviors,

    And do you randomly pop into threads where someone’s references it obliquely to speculate about its side effects?

    and I have made a decision not to pursue some; is this somehow bigoted?

    Reread what I wrote.

  80. 80
    Lynna, OM

    More fun from the right wing: a Republican legislator in Pennsylvania kept a gay colleague from speaking by raising a procedural objection:

    As is the case in many states, many in Pennsylvania are considering how to proceed in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling striking down the Defense of Marriage Act, and on Wednesday, state Rep. Brian Sims (D) of Philadelphia rose to address the issue with his legislative colleagues.

    But Sims, the first openly gay member elected to the state House, was not allowed to deliver his remarks — one of his colleagues raised a procedural objection to block him from speaking.

    And why is that? Republican State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, who prevented Sims from addressing the chamber on DOMA, explained himself this way:

    “I did not believe that as a member of that body that I should allow someone to make comments such as he was preparing to make that ultimately were just open rebellion against what the word of God has said, what God has said, and just open rebellion against God’s law,” Metcalfe had told WHYY of Philadelphia….

    Pressed for further explanation by the Associated Press, Metcalfe didn’t back down, adding, “For me to allow him to say things that I believe are open rebellion against God are for me to participate in his open rebellion. There’s no free speech on the floor.”

    Some of Brian Sims’s fellow Democrats were also blocked from speaking.
    Maddow Blog link.

    Theocratic state legislators are sliding further down into the Weapons Grade Stupid hole.

  81. 81
    Lynna, OM

    More coverage of the Pennsylvania legislator who was prevented from speaking … “God’s Law” silences non-Republicans.

  82. 82
    roro80

    One of the cool things with marriage is that you go to city hall, sign a document, and all the legal stuff is fully understood and completed. Each relationship is different of course, but the power of attorney, joint ownership of all the stuff, inheretance rights, and to a great extend the terms and conditions of dissolution of the marriage — all that stuff is taken care of, no attorney needed. You’ve got a quick, cheap way to go from legally non-associated to each others closest relative. Because there are only two involved, each is the power of attorney for the other, any new money earned legally belongs to both, and either or both can deside to dissolve the marriage for any reason (in no-fault states at least). With a couple exceptions, all of this could be taken care of through a legal contract, drawn up by a lawyer, signed by the two parties, with tweeks here and there for the particular preferences of the two parties (like a pre-nup, for example). It’s a simple legal process all pre-packaged and ready to go.

    The difficulty with poly marriages (well, besides the historical context involving one powerful man and a whole bunch of often-unconsenting young girls forced to marry him) is that there is no pre-packaged way to do it. Who is the power of attorney for each of the partners would need to be decided, inheretance rights, terms of dissolution should anyone want out, child custody, etc, would need to be decided on, and because there’s more than one partner, it wouldn’t just be automatic. Even if the country/state recognized it as a legal marriage, you’d need a lawyer to draw up the agreement.

    This doesn’t mean from a moral perspective that our country/states shouldn’t allow it, given protections against “traditional” poly marriages, etc. It just makes it a lot more complicated. The legal structure isn’t set up for us to just say “now you get to do this too”.

  83. 83
    silomowbray, sans frottage pour la douche

    If you haven’t already seen this, you must, For It Is Beautiful:

    Reviews for the Mizuno Wave Rider running shoes, worn by TX State Senator Wendy Davis:

    3,849 of 3,880 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Marathon shoe for marathon filibustering
    The next time you have to spend 13 hours on your feet without food, water or bathroom breaks, this is the shoe for you. Guaranteed to outrun patriarchy on race day.

    783 of 816 people found the following review helpful
    1.0 out of 5 stars Men, do not try these on!
    I tried on a pair at the local mall and suddenly Texas Republicans started telling me what to do with my genitals. They started explaining reproduction to me like I was a seventh grader. Unfortunately, being male, I had no way to shut the whole thing down. I’m so confused…

    Source.

  84. 84
    okstop

    @roro80 (#82):

    “The difficulty with poly marriages (well, besides the historical context involving one powerful man and a whole bunch of often-unconsenting young girls forced to marry him) is that there is no pre-packaged way to do it. Who is the power of attorney for each of the partners would need to be decided, inheretance rights, terms of dissolution should anyone want out, child custody, etc, would need to be decided on, and because there’s more than one partner, it wouldn’t just be automatic. Even if the country/state recognized it as a legal marriage, you’d need a lawyer to draw up the agreement.”

    This goes back to what I was saying above – it’s a bit absurd to argue that one of the problems with making poly marriages legal is that there’s no pre-existing legal framework for them. Well, yeah. Of course not. There’s no reason to suppose that the very legislation that makes them legal wouldn’t lay down some basic rules for deciding these things, or, if it were deemed legal by court decision, that the legislature wouldn’t quickly pass some rules about it. Several people have expressed the view that a private lawyer would be needed to draw up poly marriage agreements, which is groundless. As you yourself point out, there’s already legal structures in place to detail the various responsibilities of partners in two-party marriage – what, precisely, makes you think states wouldn’t jump to and pass similar legislation for poly marriages if they became legal?

  85. 85
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    Azuma Hazuki: Yeah, Azkyroth is not the only one getting more than a little bit of the exact same shaming and refusal to understand that other people are not you that we were mocking in the OP from your little outbursts about the evils of assplay and polyamory.

    I don’t give the slightest fuck if you’re monogamous. That’s nice, so’s a partner of mine. I’m not sure why you feel the need to be so defensive about the fact that polyamory works for some people.

    I also don’t care about the state of your ass. I wasn’t planning to visit it, but your personal revulsion and non-enjoyment of anal play does not in fact have any bearing on the number of people who do enjoy it. It does, however smack of a lot of slut-shaming, and yeah, some internalized homophobia, as did your “jokes”, so maybe rethink those, hmm? Even if you were not intending do, you’re reinforcing some seriously harmful memes.

  86. 86
    roro80

    I’m not saying it’s impossible, okstop, just that we couldn’t use what already exists. What exists now as marriage and divorce law is in many cases predicated on exactly 2 partners, and it didn’t all pop up over night. It includes employment law and tax law and any number of other systems. Extending the law from any two opposite-sex adults to any two adults of any gender changes nothing but the little check box for “gender”, or in some places just means you remove the “husband” and “wife” labels and replace them with “Partner 1″ and “Partner 2″. All the existing laws still remain the same. I don’t think states would jump in and create a full new framework for it because it would require a lot of work. Having the set of marriage rights and responsibilities in a pre-set package is done because it’s so common. I don’t think it shouldn’t be done, I just think it’s unlikely it will be done any time soon, even if the political will were there, because a lot of stuff that hasn’t been worked out needs to be worked out.

  87. 87
    screechymonkey

    what, precisely, makes you think states wouldn’t jump to and pass similar legislation for poly marriages if they became legal?

    I think you’re looking at this from the opposite direction that I am. You seem to be thinking of a scenario where poly marriages become legal first, and then states have to decide whether or not to leave the situation messy or pass legislation to clean it up. I’m saying that the fact that you have to make all these other changes to effectively implement poly marriage is a reason why it’s less likely to happen (or will take longer).

    How do you imagine they would “become legal”?

    If you’re envisioning a society that has become sufficiently supportive of polygamy that the necessary legislation to authorize plural marriage can get passed, then ok — presumably the necessary tweaks to marriage law would be included in such legislation. If the political will exists to make poly marriage legal, then it’s just a matter of having competent legislators (or at least, legislators with competent aides and legal counsel). Though it’s always tougher to pass a more complex piece of legislation than a simple one.

    Or are you imagining a court ruling declaring poly marriage legal, and then leaving it to the legislature to decide whether to clean up the situation or leave it a mess? Because my point is that this is a reason why courts are less likely to do such a thing, at least in the U.S. Courts are reluctant to issue a ruling that will create a big mess unless the legislature fixes it. And more importantly, poly marriage advocates would have a hard time succeeding on an Equal Protection challenge, because these legislative complications are at least a “rational basis” on which to deny plural marriage, and that’s all the state needs to justify unequal treatment that doesn’t involve a “suspect class.” And since the Supreme Court has yet to acknowledge homosexuals as a suspect class, any recognition of “polyamorous people” as a suspect class is a LOOOOONG way away to say the least. (I doubt that a Due Process challenge would fare any better, but that’s probably a longer explanation.)

  88. 88
    roro80

    #87 — exactly. Just came back to say much the same thing. I can imagine a lawsuit where a poly person who has been with hir poly partners for many years dies and the remaining partners sue for rights to hir assets, and an open-minded judge granting that they should be allowed to have legal rights to a poly marriage like a 2-person marriage. But that leaves a big legislative mess to clean up, and therefore a likely outcome of that ruling being specific to the particular complainants and not a broad ruling that creates a new class of marriage that could be entered into by any group of consentual participants.

    I can imagine a world where a state legislature comes up with the idea and works out the details, but that world doesn’t bare much resemblance to the world I know right now.

  89. 89
    twas brillig (stevem)

    reading the comments at the Salon site. Most are pretty reasonable but there is one religiot that keeps spewing about how Darwin “proved” being gay is species deadly. That gay marriage will just lead the human race to “Darwinian” extinction. He bafflegabs a lot of other nonsense about “diversity” and “God loves us all” and such, but I have to ask, does he “gottus” with the “Darwinian” argument [rhetorical question]. Look around, see any purely homosexual species around? Of course not, they can’t reproduce. Checkmate, Darwinist Gaywads! Of course, if we allow gays to marry, NO ONE will ever have babies anymore. (and to have a baby is the ONLY reason to get married, ever) OR every child raised by a gay couple will necessarily be gay xisself. And this loon, there, keeps talking about “logic” and “reason” but doesn’t seem to use any on his own arguments. Is that a definitive “feature” of the “religiots”? [not rhetorical][...errrr maybe rhetorical; PZ provides us with so many examples of such 'reasonless reason']
    {sorry, I know it’s verboten to discuss comments of one site on another site, but couldn’t bring myself to comment there. The religiot is being soundly rebutted there as well]

  90. 90
    okstop

    @screechymonkey and roro80 (#87, #88):

    If you’ll look back at my posts, you’ll note I have no opinion about whether poly marriage is likely to happen, nor do I take a stance on whether, if it did come to pass, it would be start with the courts or with the legislature. So, no, I’m not looking at it “from the opposite direction” you are, screechymonkey, except to a selective reading – my view on it is, if anything, orthoganal to yours. The entirety of my point was that the argument from complexity (that is, the argument that it is unlikely that poly marriage will come to pass because it is complex) is bizarre because it ignores the way things actually tend to happen. If any other point can be taken from my comment, it’s that the leap to thinking poly marriages would have to be worked out in private contracts is also unsupported, but that falls out of my main point, I think.

    I say this because if it emanates from the courts (a ruling that grants poly marriage legal status, however it happens), legislatures would almost assuredly step in to “clarify” any grey areas, if only because legislators love to get their grubby little fingers on things, while if it emanates from the legislature in the first place, the laws as passed would probably include provisions for how to deal with the “problem areas” that might arise from going from a two-party marriage system to a multi-party marriage system.

    I also note that I’m quite sure legislation in both cases will be inadequate on the first try, at least.

    But at no point in any of my posts did I state or even imply an opinion about how likely poly marriage is to come about, from what provenance (legislative or judicial), or on what basis.

  91. 91
    screechymonkey

    okstop@90:

    The entirety of my point was that the argument from complexity (that is, the argument that it is unlikely that poly marriage will come to pass because it is complex) is bizarre because it ignores the way things actually tend to happen.

    I don’t think there’s anything bizarre about the following argument:
    1. Society tends to resist making changes to legal and social institutions like marriage.
    2. Polygamy would require more changes to marriage than same-sex marriage did/does.
    3. Therefore, there’s an additional obstacle to poly marriage that same-sex marriage didn’t have to face.

    Maybe it’s not ultimately persuasive. Certainly there are counter-arguments, among others the point that the same-sex marriage debate has led to growing acceptance of the idea that regardless of (what we think) is traditional, marriage be available to any consenting adults who want to enter into a public commitment.

    But I don’t think it’s bizarre.

    And I don’t understand how you can simultaneously complain that it’s somehow off-topic for me to discuss how the added complexity is a barrier to a court ruling on this issue, and yet say that I’m the one “ignor[ing] the way things actually tend to happen.”

    The reason I said that we seem to be coming at this from two different angles is that you seem to be saying that if policy A requires action B, then when society chooses A, of course B will happen even if it’s difficult or complicated. I don’t disagree with that, I’m just saying that the difficulty or complexity of B is going to factor in to whether or not (or when) society chooses A.

  92. 92
    Old At Heart

    Re: Poly marriage:

    There is no cookie cutter mould that could grant all parties perfectly equal rights that did not diminish their rights (there is only one power of attorney, for example, so one person will get more power, unless the government takes over ALL PoWs for poly’s, which makes it equal, but worse).

    No cookie cutter doesn’t mean no cookies, though. Someone brought up multi-party business contracts working just fine as an equivalency to marriage… Well, that’s kinda my field. Lemme tell you, you don’t go to city hall and pick up a multi-party contract. Lawyers get paid ludicrously well (in my opinion) to write up those little pieces of paper for every single contract. And it is every. Single. Contract. If a partnership sells to another partnership (4 parties), it doesn’t matter if they sell to a third partnership, or two other businesses do it, its completely new contracts each time. Far more complicated than you deceptively argue. Just because the postbox provision legally exists doesn’t mean there’s a stock form even possible for it… An editable form that lists who sacrifices what in order to maintain legality and zero-sum? That cookie is possible. Already possible, actually: You incorporate yourselves with yourselves as the sole shareholders, then have a 3- (or N-)way merger, for financial/economical marriage. Allowance and legal classification as family could probably be made by a well-read-enough lawyer to get hospital visits for all too. Really the only remaining issues would be Living Will type things and powers of attornies, you could make a living will mandatory for all marriages to help there. But all this is not cheap, not easy, not quick.

    Read an income tax act. Wait, don’t, because I don’t want to make anyone do that. I had to. It sucked. But you know what? It is pretty simple once you drill through the weaselease. The only issue with including additional prospective dependants is a fear of marrying for unlawful purposes, which links heavily in the worry about Patriarchy Pete’s Heavenly Harem. Though since (at least in Canada) the spousal provision is a substitutive measure for the spouse having their own income tax deduction (because they make little to no money), and most people are in all-sides-earning-income now, it will be less of an issue.

    You’re (generally) making some very patriarchal arguments in your quests for simplicity. Who gets PoW rights (or other one-person-only rights, you can’t even in current legislation have two PoWs, due to the legal quagmire)? A pair, it is easy: Each other. A trio… Do you go in a triangle? Does THE ALPHA CIS WHITE RELIGIOUS MALE get all the PoW rights of his wimmins/(or property, as he may call it), and the chief concubine get his PoW? What if you have a pair, and each side of the pair wants to bring another person in in quick succession? You need a new contract, clearly, but divorce is cheap compared to amending a multi-party contract. If a business adds another business to a contract, it costs thousands to tens of thousands to update a singular piece of paper. Singular marriage is affordable and open to everyone because it is able to be formulaic with current existing laws. I can see for even-numbered Poly groups them pairing off to get the legal marriage benefits, and having a nice ceremony for everyone together for the social benefit, but you’re meant to spend 15,000 dollars on the wedding, not on the initial contract write-up before you even consider invitations. It’s possible, sure, but both the legal structure and the social structure need to fall in place at the same time, by a group of generous, inclusive, caring lawmakers… So probably not in your country, whatever country that is (most seem to have a similar view of their politicians).

    It might happen. Then again, “true” communism may happen too, and then the laws don’t matter too much since everyone will care for everyone. Heck, “true” capitalism may happen and remove all discrimination and make it much easier to secure and transfer assets in a contractual basis. But all three are long off, if even ever.

    Sad as it is, with the costs involved (trillions on the government side, tens of thousands per poly group), it will be much more likely to marry a sufficiently advanced AI than to concurrently marry more than one other person. Least in my pessimistic viewpoint.

  93. 93
    Kagehi

    Guess what? We can adopt. We can have a family member serve as a surrogate mother. We can get artificial insemination with the help of an old friend. We can take in our nephew after our sister and her husband die. We can get knocked up as a teenager and then fall in love with the woman we want to spend our life with. Or we can decide not to and not have kids, because we don’t want them.

    You are forgetting the one that, probably, would freak them out only second less than the idea of you adopting one of their own kids: Bi, poly-amorous, with a slight lean towards the same sex. lol I mean, if you plan to push their buttons, why not find someone that pushes dang near all of them. ;)

  94. 94
    Lynna, OM

    The Family Research Council has responded to the SCOTUS rulings by starting a new campaign. Their slogan for the anti-gay campaign is “On our knees for America.” That’s got to be as good as “Tea Baggers” in the double entendre department.

    The logo for the campaign looks like a man praying or like a man performing oral sex, or like a man praying before performing oral sex.

    Logo can be viewed here:
    http://americablog.com/2013/06/the-most-unfortunate-logo-and-slogan-in-the-history-of-american-politics.html

  95. 95
    Lynna, OM

    More on the “On Our Knees” campaign here:
    http://www.buzzfeed.com/chrisgeidner/family-research-council-responds-to-marriage-rulings-with-ch

  96. 96
    Kagehi

    No.. Seriously.. There has got to be some guy in there who is closet gay, and hell bent on bringing these people down, who has them *absolutely* convinced that he is actually trying his hardest to support their cause. Its.. statistically improbable that they can truly be this totally clueless. Then again.. maybe they are praying to Jesus to get this stuff, and the rumors that “he” might have been gay where true? I suppose that would explain it too. Though.. it might qualify as evidence we need to rethink out position on a certain subject, if that was the case. lol

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