US Catholic Bishops: Oregon marriage ruling a travesty of justice

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USCCB Subcommittee Chairman Calls Decisions in Oregon and Pennsylvania Travesties of Justice

  • Archbishop Cordileone says marriage, democracy, children deserve better
  • Says state attorneys general were derelict in their duties
  • Reiterates that authentic marriage is the union of one man and one woman

WASHINGTON–Responding to the ruling by the federal court in Oregon striking down the state’s voter-approved marriage amendment and the ruling by the federal court in Pennsylvania striking down portions of that state’s domestic relations code, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, said, “We stand in solidarity with the Oregon and Pennsylvania Catholic Conferences and all the people of both states. These court decisions are travesties of justice.” 

The federal court decisions in Oregon, May 19, and Pennsylvania, May 20, join a series of federal court decisions since last December striking down state marriage laws recognizing marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

“Children deserve a mother and a father, and marriage is the only institution that unites children to their own moms and dads,” the Archbishop said. “We need policies and laws that encourage strong, permanent and faithful marriages, and that help young people marry before having children. The ruling in Oregon is another unfortunate example of a serious step backward, but no one is really surprised. As the Oregon Catholic Conference indicated, the state attorney general was derelict in her duties by refusing to defend a law she swore to uphold. Moreover, she even argued against the marriage amendment. Thus, no one defended the law in court. Is this justice, or just a farce?”

“The Pennsylvania Attorney General was also derelict in her duties by refusing to defend the state’s marriage laws and making public comments against them. Fortunately, other state officials decided to defend the state’s marriage laws in federal court,” said Archbishop Cordileone. “However, the judge concluded his opinion by saying that it is time to take marriage laws like those under attack in Pennsylvania and ‘discard them into the ash heap of history.’ This is a reckless and irresponsible statement. Marriage deserves better, our democracy deserves better, and our children deserve better.”

In the afternoon of May 21, Governor Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania announced that the state would not appeal the federal court’s decision.

The statement by the Oregon Catholic Conference is available here

The statement by the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference is available here.

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  • guest

    Can’t deport them, but the Oregon’s governor and AG should be excommunicated from office for dereliction of duty and the federal judge defrocked for his travesty.

  • Eric Blair

    It is a miscarriage of justice when the State of Oregon won’t compel everyone to conform to the Catholic’s doctrinal beliefs about marriage? I think the USCBB has turned the meaning of justice on its head.

    • .

      Surly, you carrion left meat head.

      • Eric Blair

        Don’t call me Shirley

        • .

          Surely or Laverne you don’t perceive yourself as an insinuated “Surly”…monsieur DEMonstrive left wing pinhead?

          • Eric Blair

            Nope.

          • .

            You belie…butthead cannot see the facet you’re just as DEM’d down as the rest of your insurgent class inhalants.

          • Eric Blair

            If you knew the answer to your question, why would you ask it? You don’t make sense anyway, so “nope” was really just a coin toss. I’m guessing your response wasn’t in any way dependent upon mine. Too busy listening to the other voices, and all that.

          • .

            Your hoity-toity ‘tude airs a lot about what’s left of US.

            Come wipe me, butt because of m’being a Baby Snooks, please pass on training pants, cuss I’d rather be a rash upon common sense, diapered frequently by gullible society.

  • leathermouth

    Why don’t they just call it something else instead of “marriage” for gays, lesbians, etc. – like “smairriage”!

    • Eric Blair

      Well, that would have been a good idea when it was determined that the State would start issuing marriage licenses. But that’s the term that now refers to both the legal contract, and the religious ceremony. Technically speaking, gays can get married by some Christian denominations. The United Church of Christ, and the Episcopal Church for instance. However, the issue has been about having marriage legally recognized, and the benefits that traditional marriage confers.

      I’m surprised that the USCBB hasn’t tried to outlaw marriages within those churches that perform gay marriage since they seem so adamant about not letting the recognize those marriages.

      By the way, if the term was to be changed to, say, civil union, that should have to apply to all couples, gay or straight.

      • marvinmcconoughey

        Well, Ok. But why can’t individuals marry their career, favorite car, have ten wives (or husbands), etc. I see no clear limit to the alterations that can be put on the venerable custom of marriage. I see many individuals are more truly married to their careers than to their spouses.

        • Eric Blair

          Those are related, some of them quite silly, examples, but we’re not talking about any of those issues. We are talking about same sex marriage.

          If you want to make a case to marry your car or career, go for it. However, ridiculous extremes does not negate the logic pertaining to same sex marriages.

          Polygamy is a real form of marriage (unlike cars and careers) and certainly worthy of serious discussion. However, a discussion that is separate and distinct from gay marriage.

          Now, back to our regularly scheduled program.

          • .

            On DEMnational NPR at-testicles, you DEMwashed pinhead!

          • Eric Blair

            LOL.. you use “.” as your name, and I’m the pinhead. Interesting

          • .

            Bill O’Reilly would assess you as loosed another ‘pinhead’ Ardbeg, aka, Eric Blair. Even a bag of hammers has better aim at constitutional matters than your droning.

          • Eric Blair

            Oh noes! Billy O’Reilly wouldn’t like what I said? Damn, now I’ll need to rethink everything given the high level of regard that I hold Bill in.

          • .

            Bilge over annoy boy!

          • Eric Blair

            🙂

          • .

            Ja sure you highjacked numb ass, fore, your aback water beckons you monsewer, wailcoming on deck mitt the catch of your half fast baloney opine tar pitch’n about. .

  • Gardenhomeboy

    LGBTQQAA people should be able to get married(as in the legal agreement). Period, end of story. Now if it comes to forcing churches or private individuals to participate in those marriages through providing services, then we have a major liberty problem. I know people will retort that countries in Europe are forcing churches to marry people, but you have to remember many governments like Britain, Denmark, etc have official state churches so the relationship between the state and religion is different than here in the states. Not that I think the rulings are right or good.

    • Gardenhomeboy

      I should clarify “Not that I think the rulings are right or good” to mean the rulings in Europe not the ones mentinoed in the article.

  • marvinmcconoughey

    It is almost always difficult for the power elite in any large group to accept change. It is sometimes difficult for me. But changes have taken place and the aging bishops will be forced to accept them, like it or not. Attorney Generals almost always have to choose which laws to enforce. The financial resources are seldom available to pursue full compliance with the vast array of laws flooding out from legislative bodies.

    • .

      D’oh you think all Oregonian’s should all bend over like David Blair – and, accept whatever public servants John Kitzhaber, Ellen Rosenblum and Michael McShane swish to shove up Oregon’s masses – despite what’s been constituted otherwise?

      I think snot and a clear majority of constituents ought not accept any furor malfeasance by these New World Order-ants any longer.

      Pest measure: Neuter these insurgents asap, otherwise our state of affairs will suffer michael moore consequences hirsute by left wing bats the guano they so readily supply.

      • marvinmcconoughey

        The larger reality, larger than political leaders, is that a mass change in public attitudes is taking place. Something like that has happened many times in history.

        • Eric Blair

          LOL.. good luck with a reasonable response. I would beg you to not feed the troll, but I do it so often myself I’m afraid I would be making myself into a hypocrite.

          • .

            EB, ‘peers a typo cript, hell bent for an expedition to perdition. Don’t leave any lights on for this left winger dinger.

          • Eric Blair

            🙂

    • MrBill97702

      In some cases it’s true that people resist change simply because they are set in their ways and are simply unwilling (I count myself as one of those too). But not always. Sometimes people resist change out of a conviction that the proposed change is wrong. And that’s what’s at issue here.

      • Eric Blair

        In the absence of any compelling reason for government to chose between the two, there is no reason that your belief that something is wrong should be imposed on someone who holds an opposite opinion.

        • MrBill97702

          If there is no compelling reason to choose between the two, then the gov’t shouldn’t choose at all. Are you sure there’s no compelling reason?

          • Eric Blair

            I absolutely am convinced there is no compelling reason for the government to favor mixed-sex couples over same-sex couples on the issue of marriage. If you allow same-sex marriages, what harm will accrue to other individuals, or to the general public?

          • MrBill97702

            Well, let me suggest a reason. Marriage predates our government and constitution by several millenia. It’s was recognized by our Founders as the pattern designed by our Creator to ensure continuation of humanity, and is defined based on the original marriage between Adam and Eve in the Bible. Laws surrounding marriage, until recently, have always reflected that reality. That’s because they recognized that strong marriages tend to produce kids who grow into responsible adults, and that’s in the government’s interest.

            Homosexuality is a perversion of that pattern. It’s not how we’re made to function. To put it delicately, the parts don’t fit.

          • Eric Blair

            ” Laws surrounding marriage, until recently, have always reflected that reality.

            How many wives did Solomon have? His sin was idolatry, not polygamy.

            That’s because they recognized that strong marriages tend to produce kids who grow into responsible adults, and that’s in the government’s interest.

            Do you have evidence of this? I would argue that the great body of psychology and social work contends that a loving home, and a secure attachment is much more important than marriage.

            Also, the founders made a great many mistakes which were corrected such as slavery. It took a little longer for people to get past their fears and bigotry.

            It is not, and should not, be the government’s job to protect religious orthodoxy.

            Finally, extending marriage to gays will not weaken in any way, the benefits of marriage to straight couples in having and raising children. See my comment above. Marriage in itself does not provide for good parenting, nor does it compel mothers or fathers to be better at the job of raising children. What it does do, is make mothers and fathers financially responsible for those children. That is not something that is changed by broadening the availability of marriage.

            Please explain how extending marriage to gay couples will adversely affect the ability of opposite sex parents’ ability to raise children. Will straight couples suddenly decide to be gay? Will they abandon their children because the gay couple next door got married?

            Homosexuality as perversion is your opinion. You’re free to wallow in it as much as you wish.

            Actually.. from what I understand… some of the parts do fit.. and those are parts that straight couples engage in as well. That is the most ridiculous argument I’ve every heard. Even if true who cares?

          • .

            Expedite your derriere with anal emission to venue forth to Uranus asapc (as swoon as politically connectable).

            It may dung a bite at first butt K-Y jelly will see you through onto extra bases.

          • MrBill97702

            Polygamy didn’t work out so well for Solomon. True, his sin was idolotry, but he was introduced to it via his hundreds of wives. This is kind of a side note to this discussion, but in every instance in the Bible where men multiplied wives, they also multiplied the amount of drama in their lives. That alone should tell you all you need to know about polygamy.

            No disagreement on the importance of attachment and love. I would also add that security and a sense of belonging are important as well. All of these tend to be attributes of families that are produced by strong marriages which is in the gov’t interest. Even though it’s not their job to supply every kid with a good, loving home, their policies should promote that. In return families should support gov’ts role in promoting order and restraining the bad stuff.

            I agree that state shouldn’t be in the business of enforcing religious orthodoxy of a particular group. But that doesn’t mean that churches can’t and shouldn’t provide instruction and guidance to the state in a general sense. I think you’d be crossing the line if you were to try to get the state to legislate beliefs that are unique to a particular sect. For instance, the story we’re all commenting on was put out by the Catholic Church. If they tried to push laws that promoted allegiance to the Pope (speaking hypothetically), they’d be guilty of enforcing orthodoxy. But there’s a general sense of right and wrong that’s broadly held that stems from religious thought. Since the gov’t is in the business of legislating morality (that’s what law is) gov’t would benefit from heeding the advice of churches.

            As to how extending marriage to homosexuals would affect me personally, I think that’s a moot point which we’ve discussed previously. Sometimes you have to look at things based on whether they’re right or wrong. For instance, it harms no one in any way if I married my sister. But that’s doesn’t mean it’s right or that the gov’t has an obligation to accommodate that. Sometimes you need to weigh questions on whether they’re right or wrong and not simply on whether they harm you or not.

          • Eric Blair

            And sometimes you need to step outside of your own personal beliefs, and accept that others have a right to live their lives, as long as they are harming no one. Even if those beliefs and actions are opposed to your own.

            Questions of right and wrong need to be taken beyond simple religious concepts. Individual rights need to be taken in account, and harm to others should be a guiding factor, not whether or not allowing greater freedom is in violation of particular religious precepts.

            Your only arguments appear to be: Marriage has been defined as one man and one woman for thousands of years; the founders wouldn’t have liked gay marriage; it goes against your personal religious beliefs. None of those reasons are very good, and have been easily countered.

            As for sects, why is it that conservative Christian values of same sex marriage should be more valued than the opinions of the Congregationalists or the Episcopalians who conduct gay marriages?

            Not everything considered wrong by you, and religious adherents who agree with you, need to be inflicted on the rest of us. Live your life by your values, and let me live my life free of your bigotry and insular view, and by my values. It is as simple as that.

          • Andy Miller

            Bill, if you read carefully what you just wrote, you made an argument for allowing gay marriage. Once you concede there are no harms, all that remains is your claim that lawmakers should legislate the broadly held notions of right and wrong of its citizens. Opposition to gay marriage is not broadly held; even the simple majority that passed Measure 36 did not constitute a broadly held view; so by your own standard, we should not restrict gay marriage.
            The problem with this “we are a democracy not a republic” approach is that it violates a core foundation of that philosophy of limited government core to the American tradition, that the coercive power of the state should only be employed to mitigate harms. The American Revolution was more than a tax revolt; it was a Lockean Liberal revolution against a classical conservative world of official state clergy, official state religions, and hereditary title. This is a political philosophy holding that the law does not have to legislate morality. It can simply facilitate maximum freedom of human action, agnostic to the right and wrong of individual choices that pose no harm on others.
            Perhaps that is why you had to make reference to marrying one’s sister. The reason we retain such restrictions is the genetic harm it imposes on a fetus. There is little demand for marring one’s sister in the first place due to innate disgust for the sexuality of our siblings, but if this genetic harm did not exist, there would no longer be a compelling state interest to ban it.
            Here we are chatting under a blog founded by Jason Williams, head of the Oregon Taxpayer’s Association, who along with Don McIntire always tried to get the Oregon Republican Party to punt out of the losing social issues, it’s then not a moot point stop and consider why one reason the educated public looks askance at Republicans today is the hopeless contradiction within the conservative coalition. If a majority of Americans want economic intervention we cannot have that because it’s not a legitimate role of government. But if a majority hold a particular moral view on a personal choice that harms no one, the coercive power of the state can intervene and regulate culture. If the Republican Party had a coherent vision of liberty, then perhaps it could get some traction in blue states and affluent suburbs.

          • MrBill97702

            I see your point on the whole no harm thing, and I should have worded that better. In the general context of what I was saying, you can’t always identify right and wrong simply based on whether you can see any harm to it or not. That’s where moral guidelines from something like the Bible are helpful. The Bible represents itself as the word of the God who created everything. It says this is God’s world and it runs by His laws. If you follow God’s laws, the world works with you. If you ignore them, the world works against you. And sometimes it says things are wrong even though it may not be readily apparent why.

            This speaks to some of what Eric was saying above as well. Why should I, as a Christian, be eager to inflict Biblical morality on everyone else? The answer is because, I believe they will benefit from it and may even avoid serious harm.

            Here’s an example. Back in the late 70’s and early 80’s homosexuals were becoming more and more vocal. I know because I had a number of close relatives who were homosexual. Their arguments were very similar to yours and Eric’s. They said their lives were their own and I should just mind my own business and keep my fairy tales to myself. In Eric’s words, I should not “inflict” my rules on them.

            Within 10 years we learned that anal sex is a really good way of transmitting disease. One of my relatives learned the hard way and died of HIV-AIDS. Another once told me that he had lost upwards of 70 close friends and acquaintances. Another has probably lost a similar number.

            It wasn’t apparent at the time that there was anything wrong with homosexuality. But we found out later that there are consequences, and they can be deadly. The lesson learned is that just because you can’t see any harm in something doesn’t mean it’s right or that should be permitted or encouraged. If the standards I’m advocating here, were “inflicted” on society, that epidemic and the pain and misery that ensued, could have been prevented.

          • Eric Blair

            There are consequences to unprotected sex, especially with multiple partners. STDs, however, are a problem whether your are homosexual or heterosexual. This is not an issue limited to homosexuals; not even close. In this sense, homosexuality is no different than heterosexuality. Or, you’re going to have to argue that because straight people get STDs, there is something wrong with heterosexuals.

            By the way, straight couples engage in anal sex as well.

            AIDs was noted first in the homosexual community in the United States. This is not true of other nations.

            This speaks to some of what Eric was saying above as well. Why should I, as a Christian, be eager to inflict Biblical morality on everyone else? The answer is because, I believe they will benefit from it and may even avoid serious harm.

            Preventing gays from getting married, will not stop the spread of STDs through the homosexual community anymore than allowing marriage has stopped the spread of STDs in the straight community.

            You can convince people of the benefits of straight marriage if you think that is best. What you are doing, however, isn’t trying to protect them from disease. You wish to keep them from getting married because if offends your religious beliefs. Marriage hasn’t stopped STDs in the straight community, and we grant them marriage. Why not the gay community as well?

          • Andy Miller

            Now we are on the right track Bill, harms, but as we back out of the deontological dead end we were previously heading down, you missed something, the American tradition. Remember we are not talking about private normative values to live our lives by, we are talking about public policy, employing the coercive power of the state to force people’s behavior to comply with the dictates of those wielding power. How do you square this totalitarian political philosophy of yours with our American form of government?

            Would we even want to? It is perfectly fine for someone to believe that for their own life, following biblical precepts will yield them a better outcome, but there is no evidence to suggest this unreliable ancient text that is riddled with errors, fossilizing a bronze aged mentality, if followed, then “the world works with you. If you ignore them, the world works against you.” The US states with the highest levels of devout Christian faith have the worst social problems. Schools with abstinence-only sex education have the highest teen pregnancy rates and STD transmission. Globally, the most atheistic counties (Scandinavia and Holland) who are far more sexually promiscuous by American standards in every sexual orientation imaginable beat us in every measured metric of social cohesion and stability. They have lower crime, less poverty, less broken homes, less crisis pregnancies, less STD infection, and even less abortions.
            But you’re talking about the Bible in full, not just its sexual morays. The Bible actually has remarkably little to say about sex and marriage compared to its more consistent themes, so how desirable would it actually be to fully enforce the things the Bible actually focuses on? When it comes to things the Bible says are right and wrong, homosexuality is at the bottom of the list. Why arbitrarily pound the table over a matter that the gospels never record Jesus preaching about when his ministry was focused like a laser on condemning more broadly cherished liberties Americans take for granted? Jesus was given an opportunity to spell out what the most important commandment is in Matthew 22: 36-40. When it comes to right and wrong, the greatest sin we can possibly commit is to worship a false god, and yet we have the First Amendment protecting the free exercise of false belief, the greatest of all sins. Forget about the 14th Amendment, now you’re going to need to either pretend America is not the pioneer of disestablishmentarianism or punt out of religious freedom.
            And in terms of loving our neighbor as ourselves, why waste time worrying about something as trivial as gay marriage when according to Jesus’ priorities you need to be advocating laws mandating altruistic behavior? The number of Biblical references to homosexuality are a rounding error compared to the condemnation of the rich simply for being rich. Indeed intertwined onto loving God is Jesus’ teaching that we must HATE wealth (Matthew 6:24). According to Jesus, failure to hate wealth NECESSARILY means hating God. Where is your advocacy of laws that restrain wealth accumulation? Why are you so devoted to regulating specks when you freely accept beams? (Matthew 7:3).

            That is known as reductio ad absurdum. If we are then instead to accept the wisdom of the American tradition of limited government, then we focus on harms another way. We accept that a free people must necessarily be free to fail in the course of their own lives. We can simultaneously have our own normative values about the Good, the Just, and the Beautiful while other members of society have a different vision of the good life. The legitimate role of the state is not to protect people from harming themselves, but merely to prevent us from harming others.

            So when making arguments about harms in the context of American jurisprudence, not only do they need to be bona fide negative externalities, but they have to be backed up with reason and evidence. For example, here you are talking about AIDs, a disease that originated among heterosexuals in Africa and has killed far more straits than gays, but when gay people seek committed monogamous married relationships, the safest of all sex, you use the existence of STDs as a premise for denying this equal protection of the law? That makes no sense.

          • Eric Blair

            Damn it.. I was going to point out that I would think, given his comments about AIDs, that he would be in favor of gay marriage, and the hope of a monogamous, and healthy relationship.

          • MrBill97702

            My point was that sometimes things are wrong even if it’s not apparent why. I put that in the discussion of AIDS as an illustration of that point. Dissecting the AIDS epidemic wasn’t the point.

            Totalitarian political philosophy? Saying that marriage should be limited to one man and woman is completely consistent the American tradition you allude to (and has been for centuries).

          • Andy Miller

            Dissecting the AIDS epidemic must necessarily be a part of your point. You use it as an example of why you think homosexuality is wrong, but the disease originated as and remains primarily a heterosexual disease that can be eliminated by widespread condom use as is the case in northern Europe, or that other solution, marriage. No doubt you recognize marriage as a solution to the AIDS epidemic. If AIDS is your example of a harm, there is no rational reason as a matter of policy to deny this solution to gays simply for being gay.

            When we are talking about harms, if “it’s not apparent” a harm exists, that is the same thing as saying there is no evidence of harm. There are moral commandments in the Bible that don’t protect us from harm. There are plenty of moral commandments in the Bible that actually impose harms on us.

            All totalitarian forms of thought have two things: 1) a believe in access to a universal absolute Truth about how we can all live the Good Life, and 2) advocacy of a role of government that sees no limit to state power, wanting to use the coercive power of the state to enact their utopia. Go back and read what you have written above. You articulated both of those things. In the absence of harm imposed on others by gays getting married you said it is wrong simply because the Bible says so, and our laws need to enforce what the Church says.

            Denying the equal protection of conjugal contract to gay people is not itself totalitarian, but in the absence of any real evidence of harm in gays getting married you articulated a totalitarian political philosophy as a premise for banning gay marriage. Ironically you did so after saying you oppose government enforcement of the religious orthodoxy of a particular group. Like the Bible itself you present us with contradictions.

            If you really believe that churches should “provide instruction and guidance to the state in a general sense” then this begs the obvious question: why waste your time on trivial matters like gays seeking marriage when there are more serious sins to restrain like worshiping false gods and being rich? If you are unwilling to employ the coercive power of the state to regulate the things the actual text of the Bible identifies to its readers as the most important, then why bother with something peripheral to God’s concerns? There is no historical record of Jesus ever saying anything about homosexuality, let along gay marriage. Why not spend you time advocating public policy that promotes what Jesus actually said?

            When I refer to the American tradition, I’m of course referring to the way Lockean Liberalism has been enshrined into our national identity and our madisonian form of government. Aberrations from that tradition are as American as apple pie, but some how the ideology of the Scottish Enlightenment always wins in the long run. For example, Jim Crow laws were enacted in the 1890s but eventually the 14th Amendment triumphed. Laws banning gay marriage won’t last that long. Before 2004 no US state banned gay marriage; by the end of next year that state of affairs will likely have been restored. Having the freedom to SAY that marriage SHOULD be limited to “one man and woman” is consistent with the American tradition. Denying gay couples equal access to conjugal contracts is not.

          • MrBill97702

            I question that being in favor of banning one thing (homosexual marriage) is somehow based on a totalitarian impulse. We have laws that ban all kinds of things and restrict people in all kinds of ways, but that does not mean I, individually, or we as a people are totalitarian.

            I disagree with what you say about the two ingredients of totalitarianism. Universal absolute truth can be the preventive to unlimited gov’t power. This is because even though universal absolute truth sets standards of right and wrong, it also sets limits on what we as individuals can do as well as what gov’t can do.

          • Eric Blair

            Why is banning gay marriage a right thing for the government to do, but not a whole host of other wrongs as identified by the Bible?

          • MrBill97702

            Such as?

          • Eric Blair

            As Andy has pointed out, the Bible is filled with verses that pillory the rich. Are you in favor of laws that tax the rich much more than they already do?

            How about laws forbidding the worship of any God other than the Abrahamic God? That one is in the 10 Commandments.

            Or laws that would forbid the rendering by any painting or drawing that depicts Heaven, or God, or Hell, or Lucifer. That is also in the 10 Commandments.

            As Andy has asked — why this particular sin? Isn’t blasphemy the greatest of all sins? Should we use the power of the state to prevent blasphemy?

          • MrBill97702

            The Bible doesn’t favor or disfavor the rich. It does however condemn the love of money. It also tells us to look out for the poor. On a personal note, watch out for those who would tell you wealth is either a blessing or curse. Enjoy your wealth if you’ve been blessed with it, and don’t envy the guy who’s rich if you haven’t been blessed with wealth. And always look out for the less fortunate.

            On your second point, the church in the New Testament deals with things differently from Israel in the Old Testament (even though false worship/idolatry are wrong in both). There’s lots of explanations why, but there’s not space here to go into all that. Just stating it as an observation. As a Christian, I need to deal with it in accordance with the NT.

            I’d have to say that if the gov’t wanted to pass a law explicitly sanctioning false worship/idolatry, I’d have to respond the same way as I am with homosexual marriage. I would say it’s wrong and such laws should not be enacted. This doesn’t mean either wouldn’t/couldn’t happen anyway, but they would lack gov’t sanction. This would also leave people free to follow the dictates of their consciences if they wished to have not part in either.

          • Andy Miller

            “The Bible doesn’t favor or disfavor the rich” is a claim that can only be made by a Christian who does not read his. This is however a claim that could be made of Mosaic Law, but the Hebrew prophets and the New Testament tip the text of the Bible in opposition to wealth. I’ve already mentioned the direct instruction from Jesus, that anyone who fails to HATE money, must necessarily HATE God (Matt 6:24), but given that you have identified yourself as a dispensationalist, I’m sure you have noticed an absence of condemnation of homosexuality by Jesus, so imagine if in Mark chapter 10 the text said a homosexual asked Jesus what he needed to do to have eternal life, and Jesus told him he must abandon his sexual orientation. When the man walks away “sad” Jesus tells his disciples “How hard it is for homosexuals to enter the Kingdom of God!”

            If there were such a verse it would be cited over and over again as condemnation of homosexuality, but the real gospel account has a rich man approach Jesus. Instead of a gay man being told to abandon his sexual orientation the rich man is told the way to enter the Kingdom of God is for him to sell off all he has and give it to the poor. There is no allowance for enjoying one’s wealth if one has been blessed with it. Indeed when this story is told in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus uses a more colorful locution “Again I tell you it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.” (Matt 19:24) The actual text of the New Testament is rather clear that being rich is itself a sin. For a dispensationalist like yourself Bill, you will need to discard the lower standards of Mosaic Law. A 10% tithe is no longer enough in the church age; the rich must give it all away. Anyone who is rich necessarily has failed to do so and are living in sin. This is a theme replete throughout the gospels, but condemnation of homosexuality is absent. So when it comes to the church informing the state as to what is right and wrong, is it not the case that there is more New Testament scriptural support to inform policymakers that allowing the rich to remain rich is wrong than that allowing gays to marry is wrong?

            The government, or rather the founding fathers, have already passed “a law explicitly sanctioning false worship/idolatry” It’s called the First Amendment! If the role of government is to legislate morality, and as you just admitted the New Testament agrees with the old one on this particular moral issue and is very clear, when it comes to right and wrong, there is nothing more wrong than worshiping a false god. Why waste time opposing something peripheral to the ministry of Jesus when you should be devoting more energy calling for an end to religious freedom?

          • MrBill97702

            Matt 6:24 says you can’t serve both God and mammon (money), not that it’s wrong to be wealthy. You can be wealthy and serve God without being a slave to your wealth. You’re reading something into the text that’s not there.

            I am not a dispensationalist. Just because Jesus didn’t say anything about homosexuality doesn’t mean that he was down with it.

            Homosexuality is condemned in both the OT and NT, but you see it addressed differently. The OT called it a sin, identified it as a capital offense and that’s pretty much it. In the NT, you see Paul in Romans calling it a sin even going so far as to reaffirm the OT standard that it is deserving of death. But at the same time, he goes a step further by recognizing grace which is the message of the rest of the Book of Romans.

            You see a similar pattern with Jesus doing the same thing with adultery which was also a capital crime under the OT law. He forgives a woman caught in the act, but sends her forth with the admonition to sin no more.

            The bottom line is that the definition of sin is the same in both the OT and NT, but the NT talks more about forgiveness and redemption. Not that either are absent in the OT, but it’s emphasized more in the NT. Perhaps in view of Christ’s purpose of reconciling you, me, perhaps even Eric, to God.

          • Andy Miller

            Jesus says a lot more than we cannot serve two masters, and it is not at all vague. Fully congruent with his teaching in Mark 19:16-30 that the rich ought to sell off all they have and give it to the poor, in Matt 6:24 Jesus says explicitly that loving one master necessarily requires hating and despising the other. You are asserting a neutrality to wealth that Jesus quite lucidly rejects. So it’s not that I’m reading something in the text that’s not there; I’m merely reading the text in its entirety. The question is why aren’t you?

            You acknowledge that idolatry remains wrong today. Again I ask, why waste your time on something as peripheral to the text of the Bible as homosexuality when idolatry is explicitly identified as the greatest of all sins (Matt 22: 36-40). Indeed the passage you just mentioned, Romans chapter one is a classic example of where your priorities diverge from that of the Bible’s. Paul does not identify their sin as homosexuality. Paul identifies their sin as idolatry and he claims being homosexual was the punishment God inflicted on them for their idolatry.

            You revealed yourself as a dispensationalist when you made a distinction between the Old Testament and the New Testament that non-dispensationalists do not. Most Christians are dispensationalists so it’s not exactly a pejorative term, but perhaps you really are a non-dispensationalist. If that is the case then it merely raises the question of why you don’t advocate banning pork and the like too – where is your outcry for the imposition of the full Torah on the rest of us?
            I made no claim that Jesus condoned homosexuality as it was practiced in his day. I merely pointed out what his priorities were. Since there is no case to be made that marriage equality for gays imposes a harm on the rest of us, you instead cite as a premise this sweeping political philosophy which sees laws as regulations of personal morality as deemed so by the church, but this would really focus on policy matters actually core to the Bible and Jesus’ ministry before it wasted time on such trivial matters; for it would be absurd to defy the teachings of Jesus and Paul by accepting the religious freedom of the 1st Amendment and still insist on denying the equal protection of conjugal contracts to gay couples under the rational that the law is supposed to ban what is wrong. For both Jesus and Paul it does not get more wrong than worshiping false gods.

          • MrBill97702

            Lest you think gay marriage is the only thing I care about, the only reason I’ve said as much as I have here is because I’ve just been responding to two people with differing opinions.

            Trying to change the focus to worshiping false gods doesn’t mean everything else goes away. You may be correct that idolatry is worse, but that doesn’t mean homosexual marriage doesn’t matter.

          • Andy Miller

            There was no change in focus. Your premise for banning gay marriage was that our laws should regulate what is right and wrong, and it is the church that should inform policymakers what is right and wrong. I tested the truth value of this premise of yours by reducing it to its absurd conclusion. If your premise no longer holds, then there is no basis for you to support a law that bans gay marriage.
            It would indeed mean that your personal belief that homosexual marriage is wrong does not matter, as a matter of policy. Whatever it is that prevents you from opposing the things that matter most to the text of the Bible also must necessarily prevent you from opposing things that are peripheral to the text of the Bible. Whatever prevents you from opposing religious freedom in America and prevents you from advocating laws that force the rich to give all their wealth to the poor, as Jesus teaches, would also prevent you from opposing gay marriage.

          • Eric Blair

            So, the old testament can be safely ignored? The Ten Commandments no longer are a central tenant of Christianity?

            If the Government, through the First Amendment can sanction, as Andy points out, all forms of worship whether it be for a single God, or a variety of Gods, with or without idolatry, or graven images, then why shouldn’t the government sanction alternative views of marriage? Why should the government only sanction one view of marriage? That is more akin to your example of the government explicitly sanctioning false worship/idolatry. You seem very comfortable with the government picking sides when it’s to your benefit and is in accordance with your beliefs.

          • MrBill97702

            No, I clearly stated that false worship/idolatry are clearly condemned in both the OT and NT, but that they are dealt with differently in each.

          • Eric Blair

            So, where does that leave you? What, in the end, is the compelling justification for the State limiting marriage to only straight couples?

            You’ve given up, apparently, on the idea of harm Gay marriage would not cause an increase in AIDS, and AIDS is actually a topic that doesn’t really touch upon gay marriage.

            The fact that it’s been done this way, in western society, for thousands of years I think it a very weak argument and can be easily rejected.

            Even supporters of limiting marriage acknowledge that the 14th Amendment is relevant.

            Because it’s a religious restriction? That one is not only falling all over itself on First Amendment issues, but is weakened by your selectivity of which biblical tenants are worthy of state intervention, and which ones are not.

            For children? Marriage has never been just about children. And opening up marriage to gay couples is not going to stop straight couples from getting married or having children.

            So what is left? Why should the state restrict marriage to only straight couples? Because it offends you? LOL.. if that is the case, I have a whole bunch of laws, starting with the FISA laws and the Patriot Act that I want changed.

          • MrBill97702

            Just what I’ve maintained from the beginning. Homosexuality is wrong.

          • Andy Miller

            If that is all that you maintain Bill, then you are essentially admitting you have no basis to conclude that Measure 36 was good policy. You initially declared that gay marriage is wrong, but Eric pointed out that banning gay marriage does not logically follow from that premise alone when he said: “In the absence of any compelling reason for government to chose between the two, there is no reason that your belief that something is wrong should be imposed on someone who holds an opposite opinion.”
            So you preceded to articulate connecting premises for your argument to become sequitur, but one by one you dropped them when they were shown to be wanting. Now by your simply falling back on a single claim that no one questioned, that you personally believe that homosexuality is wrong. That is the same thing as admitting to Eric that you have no valid argument to suggest the coercive power of the state should deny gay couples the equal protection of conjugal contracts.

          • MrBill97702

            Well, we can rehash all this, but that’s really what it comes down to. Lets follow through what we’ve discussed.

            The gov’t interest in marriage is based on the fact that marriages between a man and woman are inherently procreative. Gov’t has an interest in this because this is where the next generation will come from. They recognize this arrangement and accord it certain benefits because this is something that should be encouraged.

            Everyone has the right to enter such relationships. This includes homosexuals. Just because they have no desire to enter such relationships doesn’t change this. There is no issue of equality here and hence no violation of the 14th amendment.

            Because homosexual relationships do not share this attribute of being inherently procreative, they are not the same. Because they are not the same, again there is no issue of equality to be addressed.

            Of course, even though there is no issue of equality, it doesn’t mean we couldn’t accord the same benefits of traditional marriage to homosexual couples anyway. Would some harm result? Not necessarily. But just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Gov’t can legislate approval of all manner of things that harm no one, but that doesn’t obligate them to do so.

            Is there any other reason why we shouldn’t approve of homosexual marriage? Well it is evident from nature that we’re not really designed to function in homosexual relationships and there is a whole body of religious tradition that backs this up.

            So, yeah. It kind of does come down to saying the definition of marriage shouldn’t be expanded to include homosexuals because homosexuality is wrong.

          • Eric Blair

            Marriage is a social contract, not a biological contract. Marriage is just as much about commitment and legal rights with regards to the spouse. Since we let straight couples get married, even if they are unable to have children, then limiting marriage to only opposite-sex couples is an issue of equality.

            There is nothing in the laws, or even tradition, that requires married couples to have children. There are multiple benefits to marriage, having children is only one of several reasons. No where is it required that couples have children or be fertile. It is not even implied in the ceremony or the legal registration

            Homosexuality occurs throughout nature. Evidently the authors of the Bible were unaware of that.

            Reducing Homosexuality to only one of several sex acts shows a profound ignorance and a willful lack of understanding. Homosexuality, just like heterosexuality, is more than that sum of its parts – if you’ll pardon the pun. It is about sex (are you aware there are other options beyond anal sex?), it is about love, commitment, and sharing your life with someone. If straight couples can get married for love and to share their lives, and to confer legal benefits and rights to their spouse, regardless of whether or not they will or can have children, then gay couples should be have the same opportunity to get married.

            You have nothing Bill. Just a narrow religious view that you are willing to inflict on others. Not everyone wishes to be a Christian, or to be a Christian like yourself.

          • Eric Blair

            Let me bring this a little closer to my home.

            A few years ago I got remarried. My wife had a procedure and cannot have children; I had a procedure and I cannot have children. Nor, barring those procedures, do we wish to have children. Should have been allowed to get married?

            If the answer to that question is “yes”, then please explain why I should be allowed to get married, and a gay couple shouldn’t.

          • Andy Miller

            That is actually a new argument for you Bill, which is fine by me. Bush’s former solicitor general, Ted Olson tore this line of thinking to shreds during oral arguments for Hollingsworth v. Perry. Eric above essentially made the most memorable part of Olson’s arguments regarding the fertility of the couple standard, a reductio ad absurdum; I’ll break it down into more detail. In formal logic it’s called modus tollens, involving two premises that validly lead to their conclusion in the following structure: Premise 1) P if Q, Premise 2) ~Q, and thus the conclusion ~P, where P = Marriage, Q = able to procreate, and if you recall from logic 101 ~ is the symbol for negation.
            First let’s talk about premise 1. Eric pointed out that as a matter of policy, it’s not clear why we would only want to allow fertile couples from entering into conjugal contracts. This excludes more than gays. Such a policy would exclude the elderly, disabled veterans, folks who have had their tubes tied before marriage, and the many other forms of infertility. If this were actually a desirable policy then these laws would be written accordingly, but Proposition 8, Measure 36, nor any of those laws passed since 2004 ban infertile marriage only gay marriage, and thus such a rational for the law singles out gays as but one of the many types of infertile couples. Also in Hollingsworth v Perry, Ted Olson pointed out that government involvement in marriage is a relatively recent thing; the origin of the government issued marriage license had nothing to do with fertility and everything to do with joint ownership of property. And one final point on Premise 1, your claim that procreation is contingent on marriage is both ahistoric and commits the logical fallacy of denying the antecedent. We have had lots and lots of procreation before there was ever a such thing as a government issued marriage license in modern times. Indeed the entire distinction of being “lawfully wedded” verses not being lawfully wedded did not emerge until the Council of Trent in 1545. All marriages among commoners were mere cohabitation, what we would today call common law marriages. After the Council of Trent, most marriages among commoners remained outside the legal structure for several centuries. Indeed mere informal cohabitation did not become rare in America until the beginning of the 20th century when even lower class Americans began to accumulate property. Fertility was actually higher before the advent of universal adoption of county marriage license registry than after. Since there is no evidence that excluding infertile people from marriage will increase procreation among those who are, your claim of a compelling state interest assumes a fact that is not in evidence.
            Then there is your Premise 2, that gay couples cannot procreate. This is quite obviously false. Any single woman can legally purchase sperm and be medically impregnated to raise a child on her own. Lesbian couples can do the same. Homosexual couples can use one of the men’s sperm to medically impregnate a surrogate mother just as infertile heterosexual couples do.
            Regarding the notion that banning gay marriage does not violate the 14th Amendment because they are equally free to enter into heterosexual marriages just like everyone else is a poor argument that we have seen before and was rejected more than four decades ago. Long before American gays ever became interested in getting married, we had anti-misogyny laws. In Loving v Virginia the state attorney general argued that blacks and whites are equally free under the law to marry a member of their own race. Because interracial couples are easily identified as a separate group of people denied access to the same conjugal contract protections to marry the person of their choice as intra-racial couples were, their right to marriage equality was upheld 9-0. Because of this precedent, legal teams defending state bans on gay marriage do not even bother wasting finite oral argument time claiming the absence of a breach. They argue compelling state interest and against being held to strict scrutiny. The problem is the arguments themselves are so full of holes like the one you just posted, and the claims to a compelling state interest lack evidence (thus the need to avoid the evidentiary standard of strict scrutiny) that overturning these laws has been a constitutional no-brainer even among leading conservative legal minds like Ted Olson.

          • Andy Miller

            If you read the post of mine again that you are replying to, you will see that I said specifically that a law banning gay marriage alone is not totalitarian. It was your justification of it that was totalitarian.

            A non-totalitarian justification for banning gay marriage congruent with our Lockean Liberal tradition would be an argument that doing so was a compelling state interest because it mitigated a harm. In the absence of a case for real harm you said that we should ban it simply because it is wrong, and that churches are to inform policymakers of right and wrong.

            Also having only the first characteristic does not make one a totalitarian either. I said they need both. Members of a free society all have their own perception of what the Good life is and how to obtain it; this can be in absolutist and universal terms, but they don’t seek out the coercive power of the state to mandate others’ compliance. Ayn Rand for example called her philosophy Objectivism due to her belief in an absolute universal Truth, but she advocated a limited government because only non-coercion could maximize adherence to this virtue. What totalitarians miss is epistemic humility.

            A product of the Enlightenment, our madisonian form of government was constructed with epistemic humility in mind not confidence in our ability to know the Truth. Tell me more about how you think universal absolute truth sets limits on “what gov’t can do.”

            And please answer my previous question: why waste your time on trivial matters like gays seeking marriage when there are more serious sins to restrain like worshiping false gods and being rich? If you are unwilling to employ the coercive power of the state to regulate the things the actual text of the Bible identifies to its readers as the most important, then why bother with something peripheral to God of the Bible’s concerns? There is no historical record of Jesus ever saying anything about homosexuality, let along gay marriage. Why not spend your time advocating public policy that promotes what Jesus actually said?

          • MrBill97702

            Totalitarian refers to a system where the state maintains control over all aspects of peoples lives. I am neither the State, nor am I trying to control all aspects of anyone’s life. Just because I took a different path to my conclusion than the one you prescribed doesn’t make the logic totalitarian.

          • Andy Miller

            It is the case that what you believe will unlikely LEAD to a totalitarian state because two thing get in the way, the embedded liberalism in our constitution, (classical liberalism) and the fact your views are minority views. I’m a little surprised at how quickly the religious right has declined not just in Oregon but nationally over the past decade.

            However, were we to imagine that what you believe was widely held and we did not have the constitutional restrains on the will of the people that our republican form of government places on us, then you are advocating a political philosophy that would indeed maintain control over all aspects of our lives.

            You have also said some things that contradict your more sweeping claim that all laws regulate morality and its the role of the church to inform the state of right and wrong. Probing you to reconcile these contradictions, I asked you specifically how you think universal absolute truth sets limits on “what gov’t can do.” You failed to answer. I also asked you for a second time the same thing Eric just did, that given the text of the Bible does not even weigh in on gay marriage, why fail to advocate policies that the God of the Bible highlights as the most important like idolatry and being rich? If you’re going to skip the logs, why not skip the specks too?

          • Eric Blair

            If your illustration is flawed, it calls into question the logic that forms the foundation. You want to argue somethings are wrong even if its not apparent why… but your example fails..

            If homosexuality is wrong, you need a concrete example it you want others to consider your opinion seriously. If you’re going to legislate discrimination against homosexuals, you need to be concrete. There needs to be an indentifiable and compelling reason for the state to intervene. To date, you have not provided a reason. All your justifications have been general and vague.

            American actions have not always been in the best tradition of promoting freedom or equality for all.

          • MrBill97702

            AIDS, at the time, was primarily a homosexual disease. In many ways it
            still is in that male homosexuals make up about 1-2% of the population,
            yet they are responsible for over 60% of cases. The rate of new infection has been flat for over 20 years. That’s because, as stated previously, anal sex is a really good way of transmitting disease. It kind of goes back to what I was saying earlier about the parts not fitting.

            Monogamy as a means of reducing the rate of AIDS infection has been available for the last 20 years, yet the rate of infection has been flat during that time. Neither of us can predict the future, but I predict making marriage an option will have no impact on the future rate of new infection.

          • Eric Blair

            But gay women must be God’s favored, since their rate of AIDs is the lowest of all groups?

          • Andy Miller

            I was referring to the global AIDS epidemic. In the US we really don’t have a problem, we simply have a legacy of a past problem that spread in the US initially in the gay community and was stopped by concerted public health efforts. AIDS however remains a raging problem in Africa and Asia where it is a heterosexual problem. If HIV had been introduced in the United States to say the Greek system of the University of Michigan rather than the gay clubs of San Francisco, we would look more like the Christian communities of sub-Saharan Africa who are probably less promiscuous than we are, let alone Stockholm or Amsterdam, but have a real problem. But we and far more promiscuous northern Europe have relatively no AIDS problem, begging the question why you even brought it up given that homosexuality is not a determinative independent variable here. The amount of people who die from AIDS in the US each year is a rounding error to the amount who die in automobile accidents. The fact that people die from riding in cars does not mean the “parts don’t fit” it’s unnatural, or the like. The point you are trying to make with AIDS is known as the logical fallacy of the red herring.
            On what basis do you think marriage will not have a positive impact?

  • Andy Miller

    Conservatives point out often that we live in a republic not a democracy. So I find it silly that when our system of judicial review and the friction it places on the passions of the people does not go their way conservatives argue the opposite. It is not legally impossible for the religious right to ban gay marriage in America in our madisonian form of government. All they have to do is get 3/4ths of Congress to pass a new amendment to repeal the 14th Amendment and have 75 state legislatures ratify it. Ready Go!

    • Eric Blair

      LOL. They’ve never really liked the 14th Amendment anyway.

      • antityrant

        It is apparent that Mr. Blair is not a history professor.

        The Party of Abraham Lincoln has no hatred for the 14th Amendment. It is the emanations and penumbra of judicial corruption and activism that it finds distasteful.

        • Eric Blair

          Who the Republicans were in 1868 is not who they are today. Not even close.

          • .

            You seam nuttin butt a whore devour gesticle-ularizing for what’s left of US monsewer.

    • .

      Are you the same smart fart who fantasied Monic Wehby was stalking you and now Erect Blair would love a date with you?

    • antityrant

      The restriction of marriage to opposite sex couples does not run afoul of the Equal Protection Clause of the US Constitution’s 14th Amendment, since same sex pairing is plainly not the same thing as opposite sex pairing. Same sex pairing cannot naturally produce the next generation; a distinction that cannot be dismissed as insignificant, since it is the fundamental reason for encouraging the durable pairing called marriage.

      No matter how it is stated, it is absurd to claim that same sex pairing is the same thing as opposite sex pairing. The claim requires perverse rationalization that readily collapses when challenged. And so does the culture that embraces such irrational assertions.

      It is striking to realize that with ease, mankind confounds nature’s goodness with corruption. So, it is not surprising when in dereliction of duty a State’s Attorney General colludes with a Federal Judge in an attempt to overturn a well established and beneficial institution. They must not prevail for the sake of the Republic.

      • Eric Blair

        Having children may be one reason for marriage, but it is not the only one.

        1) People will continue to have children, with or without the legal institution of marriage It is a biological imperative that is far strong than any human constituted institution.

        2) There is no law to require couples to have children.

        3) We allow couples, same-sex, to marry even if they can’t have children.

        If you are not prepared to require married couples to have children, or to ban couples that cannot have children, then your statements are at least consistent. Otherwise your just engaging gin st lofty rhetoric devoid of any actual real world meaning.

        Since marriage is not confined to only the fecund who promise to have children, your argument is baseless. Asserting that same-sex couples should have the same right to marry will not stop procreation. Unless you believe that now that gay couples in Oregon can get married, opposite sex couples will stop having sex and children.

      • Andy Miller

        The 14th Amendment’s mandate of the equal protection of the law does not have a footnote requiring sameness. Indeed the entire point of the clause is to prevent the denial of legal protections to a group of people simply because they differ. We allow infertile heterosexual couples to marry. If we deny standard conjugal contracts to gay couples simply because they are gay, a strict constructionist interpretation of the 14th amendment would repeal such a law in the same way it did in Loving v Virginia.

    • MrBill97702

      A lot is made of the 14th amendment. But if you were able to tell the authors of the 14th amendment that it justifies homosexual marriage, I think they would have said you were nuts. Regardless of what the judges say, I think this is a misapplication of the 14th amendment.

      • Eric Blair

        That is the beauty of the Constitution. We are not bound by the blindness and bigotry of the original authors of the document and its amendments. Just as I’m sure some of the framers of the Constitution would think that we were nuts for ending slavery and in believing that non-whites were our equals.

        • .

          Wholly scat, aback at the Tabernacle of Delphi, pharisee animal pharmacyst EB, snort’n the sulphide arising from the sepulcher over and over again.

          • Eric Blair

            😉

        • MrBill97702

          That kind of misses the point which is that the fourteenth amendment in no way supports same-sex marriage and to say it does is to misinterpret its intent.

          • Eric Blair

            Not, it is exactly on point, you just want to avoid the truth: there is no equal protection under the laws when one group is discriminated against.. it also runs afoul of the first amendment and establishment of religion. If you’re using a biblical definition of marriage, your are using the State to enforce doctrine over other religions and sects

          • Andy Miller

            The point being missed here Bill is you missing the point of the 14th Amendment. Its authors could have written a narrowly worded language only to give the newly freed slaves citizenship, but they consciously wrote a general principle into constitutional law to prevent future generations of lawmakers from denying the equal protection of the law to any group of people simply because they are different. That is exactly what Oregon’s Ballot Measure 36 did, so a strict constructionist using only the text of the constitution itself would strike down such a law because we are a republic not a democracy.

      • Andy Miller

        There are two problems with this assumption of yours. First, the framers of the 14 amendment wrote it in general terms intending that it be applied to future minorities. Second, you seem to be unaware of just who the people pushing for this amendment were. It’s important to remember that these folks we call “Radical Republicans” were the intellectual forefathers of today’s liberals while the Democrats who opposed the amendment at the time were the forefathers of today’s conservatives. Many of today’s red states had no representation in Congress at the time, and the Reconstruction Act made ratification of the 14th Amendment in their state legislatures a condition for reestablishing that representation.

        • MrBill97702

          The principle contained in the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment is that laws shouldn’t apply differently to different people. I don’t think Oregon’s ban on homosexual marriage was not in conflict with this, nor was the status quo that existed before that in conflict.

          Regarding the discussion on radical republicans, democrats, liberals, and conservatives, no one of these has a monopoly on being right. Identifying with any one of these doesn’t make you more, or less, enlightened .

          • Eric Blair

            If one group, straight men, are allowed to get married, and another group, gay men, are not allowed to get married how are the laws not being applied differently?

            Unless you’re going to tie yourself into a logical pretzel and argue that gay men can still get married to women? LOL.. I seriously hope that’s not where you were headed with this.

          • Andy Miller

            As a matter of social behavior, marriage means many things to many different people, but as a matter of law, marriage is simply a conjugal contract that offers certain unique protections that other forms of contract do not. When gay couples seek the same protection under that law, the denial of this protection to homosexuals simply for being homosexual presents a prima facia denial of the equal protection of the law. It’s impossible to reconcile a strict constructionist interpretation of the text of the 14 Amendment and Oregon’s Measure 36.
            The reason I pointed out who it was that pushed this amendment through is that you made an unwarranted assumption that the authors of the 14th Amendment would consider its language’s used to repeal laws denying equal conjugal contracts to gay couples nuts. The only thing surprising would by the fact that homosexuals wanted to get married in the first place. If they were told the full historical context of how a very different gay culture emerged in the US in the 20th century, they would immediately understand how once again a minority was being denied the equal protection of the law and would tell you that is why they composed such general language to cover future circumstances.
            It’s hard to argue today that the authors of the 14th Amendment did not have a monopoly on being right. What exactly did the other side get right? When it comes to who is and is not more enlightened, certainly Charles Sumner and John Bingham had more of the Enlightenment values that America was founded on than the folks in the former confederate states who opposed this Amendment but were forced to ratify it anyway as a condition to restore their congressional representation. Nixon’s strategy of turning the American south Republican which much later came into full fruition in 1994 has deprived the Republican Party of a coherent philosophy of liberty today, so this is no trivial matter.

          • Or does it matter

            Howl about taking your attest pattern to make an appeal to all radical Islam numb nuts, include a stop in Benghazi and light a candle in memory of the “finalized” four at the embassy?

          • MrBill97702

            Simply postulating that the authors of the 14th amendment, if they heard the historical context of a very different gay culture that emerged in the US in the 20th century, would see it your way doesn’t cut it. They saw no conflict between the amendment and laws that said marriage is between one man and one woman. Nor did generations that followed them.

          • Andy Miller

            It was you who were postulating that the authors of the 14th Amendment would consider marriage equality nuts. I merely pointed out that there is no evidence to support your assumption. The historical evidence is that the authors intentionally wrote general language so that future lawmakers trying to deny the equal protection of the law to some future group of people would be subject to judicial review. That necessarily means they were consciously willing to approve of future forms of discrimination they knew they could not foresee. They had the opportunity to write something narrow, applying only to the freed slaves but they were ideologically committed to the classical liberal principals of the 14th Amendment’s language. There is absolutely no historical evidence to suggest that in a time like this where the court is simply applying its text to gay marriage, that the authors would make an exception.
            A common flaw in many of social conservatives’ thinking is that if you go back far enough, society must be more conservative, but that is not the case. Using public policy to enforce traditional morality is a relatively recent development starting in the last two decades of Victorian Britain and not getting much traction here until the turn of the century when the Progressive Movement was fully allied with the Populist Movement. Even then homosexuality was a non issue; the two social issues were temperance and race.
            Since you like to use the singular “one man and one woman” turn of phrase of today’s social conservative, perhaps there is another way to remind you there is no evidence to warrant your assumption that the Radical Republicans shared your values. The ante-bellum Republican Party opposed attempts to ban polygamy and other such laws that sought to exclude Mormons and Utah’s statehood. Anyone familiar with the details of Lincoln administration politics knows how he was constantly looking for domestic policy concessions to win support from northern Democrats. One of the most successful was the Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act of which the Radical Republicans opposed, but it did get passed with all the Democrats’ votes and the Republican congressional leadership’s pressure on its membership. Lincoln signed it into law after convincing congressional Republicans that he would not enforce it, which he did not. Your contemporary notion that the government has a role in defining marriage is not an idea the Radical Republicans shared.
            There was no conflict with the law at the time regarding gay marriage either. There was no opposition to gay marriage in 1868 nor did state or federal law narrowly define marriage so as to exclude gay marriage. Marriage equality was a non issue since there was no interest by homosexuals at the time or even fifty years ago to get married. The FIRST definition of marriage written in a way to exclude gay marriage in Oregon came from Measure 36 in 2004. The first federal one was DOMA, a response to developments in Hawaii. Whether we are talking about restricting polygamy, misogyny, or gay marriage, the law generally comes after what free people are already doing.

          • MrBill97702

            Read the last two sentences of my last post again. I don’ t think you’ve really thought it through.

          • Andy Miller

            I did read those last two sentences and I preceded to remind you that there is no evidence for your assertion. How can you claim that a group of people philosophically opposed to restricting polygamy when Mormons were a hated people would want to restrict gay marriage? How can you claim that folks who wanted to permanently enshrine into constitutional law that no group of people can be denied the equal protection of the law would support a special exception for Measure 36 to their passionately held lockean liberal principles? What evidence do you have that two men who were not social conservatives would accept your 20th century social conservative arguments?
            The language of the 14th Amendment is so clear and so sweeping in its jurisprudential implications that the only argument you cling to now ignores the text to instead make an unsubstantiated claim that Charles Sumner and John Bingham would somehow want to hedge that language to preserve our Measure 36. That is what is known as a losing argument. Though the briefs supporting gay marriage bans are rather short for want of arguments, no legal team defending such a law has been desperate enough to make this one of yours. But let’s really think it through as you ask. Thought there is no historical evidence to support this claim of yours and the historical record implies the opposite, let’s assume you are right and they would lament the consequences of the language they wrote, and they went around claiming Measure 36 is compatible with their amendment. Both legal scholars and the average fella with a mere high school civics education could rightly ask them where in their text is the exemption for denying equal protection of conjugal contracts to gay people. Whatever bad arguments the framers themselves might make would not repeal the legal implications of the amendment they passed. From Glass Steagal to Obamacare, lawmakers pass laws whose legal implications they do not fully understand. This does not make the text of the law less binding. The language Sumner and Bingham wrote remains binding until a new amendment is passed.
            One last thing regarding those last two sentences of yours. I mentioned it before; perhaps you missed this important fact: there was no such law excluding gay marriage for them or later generations to find compatible with the 14th Amendment! In Oregon the first law to define marriage in such terms was passed in 2004. We are the first generation to ban it, and a general principal found in the plain text of an amendment passed by some Radical Republicans more than a century ago has struck it down. It will take an amendment to ban gay marriage, but you know no such amendment will pass because you know there is no broad consensus in our society that gay marriage is wrong.

          • MrBill97702

            The evidence is that defining marriage between a two people of opposite gender has, until recently, has never been seen as conflicting with the 14th amendment. I may not be able to prove the assertion to your satisfaction, but I’m confident enough that if I placed a bet on it, I’d win.

          • Andy Miller

            A common form of publicly declaring that one is mistaken is to simply repeat one’s conclusion over and over again without offering any supporting premises that lead to it, worse is the way you fail to address several historical facts which make your conclusion improbable. You have simply repeated your assumption about what Charles Sumner and John Bingham might think had they been shown that more than a century later gay people wanted to get married, laws then were passed after the fact to prevent gays from getting married, the plain text of their amendment would be used to strike down these laws, and you assert they would think the straight forward application of the language they composed would be “nuts.” Rather than worry about your ability to prove your contention to my satisfaction, why don’t you simply meet a reasonable person’s satisfaction by actually articulating some premises to support your conclusion?
            And that would just be for the legally moot point of what the authors of the 14th Amendment would think of the consequences of the sweeping and clear language they passed down to us. That the language as it is written into our constitution is binding is not in dispute. That denying entry into conjugal contracts to gay couples violates the equal protection clause is not in dispute either: the legal teams trying to defend these laws stipulate the breach. You knew that right?

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