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March 26, 2009

Marriage In New Hampshire
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 06:36 PM *

Just a couple of hours ago, the New Hampshire Legislature voted to make same-sex marriage legal. That makes us third in the nation (Drat! Not first in the nation!) after Connecticut and Massachusetts.

The margin of victory was seven votes. Now the bill goes to the senate, then to the governor for his signature. Governor Lynch is a Democrat, but has said that he opposes gay marriage. He hasn’t said that he’d veto such a bill, though.

The governor’s address, should anyone from New Hampshire be reading this, is:

Office of the Governor
State House
25 Capitol Street
Concord, NH 03301

Comments on Marriage In New Hampshire:
#1 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2009, 06:45 PM:

A busy day in the State House. The Legislature also voted to abolish the death penalty.

This is solid, conservative, live-free-or-die New Hampshire.

#2 ::: Torrilin ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2009, 07:06 PM:

As a solid anti-killing people type, I am quite pleased by both... I wish you guys the best of luck in getting the governor to sign them. Think you can get 'em to make a clean sweep and make sex discrimination illegal for health insurers?

#3 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2009, 07:19 PM:

Well, third, fourth, or fifth, depending how you count.

California had it for a few months, of course, and the existing marriages will most likely continue to be recognized, and the Vermont state senate voted in favor of same-sex marriage by a wide margin earlier this week. That measure is in the state House now, and as in Vermont the governor is opposed but hasn't explicitly said he would veto it.

#4 ::: Marko Kloos ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2009, 07:37 PM:

Thanks for the update. This New Hampshire resident is going to send a letter to his governor post haste.

#5 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2009, 07:40 PM:

Regrettably, yesterday the Hawai'i State Senate allowed a same-sex marriage bill to die on a procedural vote. There's a lot of unpleasant cheering going on from the "Christian" churches out here. My City Councilman testified emotionally and religiously against the bill; I've told him he's lost my vote the next time he's up.

#6 ::: Alberto ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2009, 07:51 PM:

@3: Unfortunately, that's not the case. Vermont Governor Jim Douglas has stated his intention to veto the bill. See Towleroad for video.

Congratulations to New Hampshire, though! How wonderful!

#7 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2009, 07:57 PM:

lorax @ 3... California had it for a few months

...and San Francisco did a few years before that, which prompted the Governator to utter dire warnings against a Gay Apocalypse.

#8 ::: Pfusand ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2009, 08:19 PM:

...and San Francisco did a few years before that, which prompted the Governator to utter dire warnings against a Gay Apocalypse.

Wish me luck in the coming apocalypse! I live in Massachusetts and work in Boston, and my closest co-worker (and ordained minister) goes home to her wife every night. I should be very close to ground zero.

...

Nothing yet...

#9 ::: Evan Goer ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2009, 08:41 PM:

The Governator should know all about the Gay Apocalypse, and what comes after...

"The 600 series had rubber skin. We spotted them easy, but these are new. They look Straight - sweat, bad breath, everything. Very hard to spot..."

#10 ::: Tazistan Jen ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2009, 09:00 PM:

Boulder, Colorado had same sex marriage for about five minutes in 1975.

#11 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2009, 09:22 PM:

Good for New Hampshire!

#12 ::: annalee flower horne ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2009, 09:40 PM:

When it comes time for me to plan my next vacation, I know who's getting my tourist dollars.

#13 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2009, 09:49 PM:

Hmmm... Linkmeister, would letters to your politicians declaring that our vacation dollars will now be spent elsewhere be likely to do more good (losing tourist revenue, oh no!) or harm (fewer idiot tourists, yay!)?

#14 ::: J.K.Richard ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2009, 09:56 PM:

Meanwhile, Oklahoma (my state) passes the Covenant Marriage Bill.

One day...one day equal rights will be given to all people, equally.

#15 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2009, 11:55 PM:

That article appears to be a bit long in the tooth. Last I heard, the Oklahoma bill managed to pass the state House last year, but that's about it. It's not the first time, so I don't think they'll stop trying, though.

#16 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2009, 12:16 AM:

Alberto @ 6: Yes, but the state senate in Vermont passed the bill by a thunderously veto-proof majority. A similarly overwhelming vote in the House would make the governor's veto threat pointless.

#17 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2009, 02:30 AM:

Lee @ #13, who knows? Now would seem to be a good time for politely threatening letters of that sort, since our tourism industry is way way down, and it and the military are our two biggest revenue-generators.

One of the problems is that for whatever stupid reason the leader of the State Senate wheedled the guy who was the face of the campaign for the 1998 Amendment 2 which reads in full:

The legislature shall have the power to reserve marriage to opposite-sex couples.
over to the Democrats. Since she already had a supermajority we voters never understood that. Worse, then she gave him a seat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over civil rights law. Of course he voted with the two reactionaries on the committee, and so it deadlocked at 3-3. Yesterday's vote was an attempt to pull it out of committee and get it to the full Senate, where the proponents thought they had enough votes to pass (although probably not enough to override a veto).

I've written to Colleen Hanabusa, the Senate Majority leader, to tell her how disgusted I am and to let her know that her actions here won't be forgotten if she's got aspirations toward higher office (which is the rumor).

Here's the list of State Senators. Here's the roll call of the vote.

I guess on balance it couldn't hurt to remind them that visitors pay attention to these things, so if I were you and it really would give you pause I'd write, focusing on the No voters.

#18 ::: Marc Moskowitz ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2009, 11:35 AM:

Mark @6,
So there might be a photo-finish as VT and NH scrample to be the third SSM state? Exciting!

#19 ::: m.k. ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2009, 04:44 AM:

My congratulations to New Hampshire! I hope to visit soon.

A friend of mine asked me about how the vote was going here in Hawai'i and I told her I've been so angry I can't see straight. Angry enough that I have considered having a wedding ceremony just so that I could send out "sorry I ruined your life" cards a la Portia de Rossi.

The wedding industry here has been nosediving as well (part of the decline in tourism). I wonder if the Hawai'i Visitors Bureau is aware of how many potential gay vacation wedding dollars they may have lost out on.

#20 ::: MattW ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2009, 06:47 PM:

What conservative bent I have urges me to try to reclaim the term "conservative" from the hijackers who have it now and oppose gay marriage for political reasons. Bedrock conservative principles do not encompass telling consenting adults how to live their lives, whatever the Republicans would like to have people believe.

As for the death penalty issue, in a world where you can't be sure of guilt and death penalties cost a fortune to prosecute, that's just justice and pragmatism.

#21 ::: Marc Moskowitz ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2009, 11:49 AM:

...and Iowa jumps out of the pack of pending judicial cases to snatch the bronze and prevent a sweep for New England!

#22 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2009, 12:34 PM:

Marc, #21: From the MSNBC coverage:
"The court reaffirmed that a statute inconsistent with the Iowa constitution must be declared void even though it may be supported by strong and deep-seated traditional beliefs and popular opinion," said a summary of the ruling issued by the court.

Does that read to anybody else like directions for how to overturn the ruling by changing the state constitution? And the anti-gay-marriage forces have been having good luck with that tactic...

#23 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2009, 12:40 PM:

Lee, according to Scalzi's blog, amendments to the Iowa Constitution require two separate legislative sessions to pass them. I see the same pattern happening as in MA; the lies of the right won't come true, and support for an amendment will dissolve.

#24 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2009, 12:41 PM:

Lee: I'd say that even if that's what they're trying to do, the fact that they felt compelled to make the ruling in the first place is a step in the right direction; it wouldn't have happened even ten years ago.

Now all we need is for people everywhere to realize it's none of their business who anyone else sleeps with, and the human species will be improved.

#25 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2009, 12:42 PM:

Lee @ 22:

Why do they need instructions spelled out for them by the court? That's what the bastards already did here in California. To me it sounds more like the court slapping them down for making an illegal law, although I have not read the court ruling.

The time-honored way for a court to keep an illegal law is to invent load of twaddle supported by specious reasoning.

#26 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2009, 12:43 PM:

Lee: I think that exactly what the court has to do, though. This is the part of the state constitution that says you can't make gay marriage illegal--now either allow it or amend the constitution. Courts can't prevent amendments to the constitution or changes to the laws, they can only require that the laws be followed.

#27 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2009, 12:55 PM:

John Kinsella: Is this heaven?
Ray Kinsella: It's Iowa.
John Kinsella: Iowa? I could have sworn this was heaven.
Ray Kinsella: Is there a heaven?
John Kinsella: Oh yeah. It's the place where dreams come true.

#28 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2009, 01:00 PM:

Dubuque, Des Moines, Davenport, Marshalltown, Mason City, Keokuk, Ames, Clear Lake! Ought to give Iowa a try!!!!

#29 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2009, 02:12 PM:

Meanwhile, Iowa Rep. Steve King warns that this might turn his state into a gay marriage Mecca. That sounds better that the Governator's dire warnings against a Gay Apocalypse.

(Evan Goer @ 9... "The one thing that gave them away is that they knew how to dress, and how to decorate, even in the middle of post-Apocalypse L.A.")

#30 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2009, 05:34 PM:

More information on Iowa from one of my LJ friends:


I'm reading a PDF of the news article from the Des Moines Register now. To summarize their summary:

* The state failed to demonstrate that there was a specific and compelling government interest in prohibiting marriage between people of the same gender.

* The state's claim that gay people are fundamentally different because gay couples cannot procreate doesn't hold water; the fundamental fact is that both homosexuals and heterosexuals seeking marriage are in committed relationships, and thus are in similar circumstances- yet treated differently.

* The state's claim that the gay marriage ban does not discriminate against sexual preference or gender is, dressed up in legal terms, bullshit.

* Laws addressing factors that have been the subject of past unjust discrimination must meet a higher constitutional standard- strict scrutiny rather than the presumption of constitutionality. Homosexuality falls under this category because:
(1) homosexuals have been deliberately and methodically discriminated against;
(2) homosexuality does not affect their ability to participate in society;
(3) sexual orientation is not a choice, but a fundamental part of an individual's personality; and
(4) homosexuals are a minority with inadequate political power to defend their own rights in the political process.
At minimum, these factors require that the gay marriage ban be judged under an intermediate level of scrutiny- in other words, the government has to show an important government objective is being met by the ban.

* The state's claim that upholding tradition is an important government objective is bullshit; tradition is only legally important when it's being upheld for some other purpose, not for its own merit.

* The state's claim that the gay marriage ban provides the optimum environment for children in families is bullshit; the law doesn't ban child molesters, violent felons, or single parents from raising kids, nor does it bar unmarried gay people from doing so. Furthermore, the state didn't even bother to demonstrate that a gay marriage ban is actually good for children of heterosexual couples- whereas the plaintiffs brought studies showing that same-sex couples were about as good as mixed-sex couples for raising children.

* The state's claim that banning gay marriage promotes procreation is bullshit; the state failed to demonstrate that prohibiting homosexuals from marrying does anything to encourage procreation. (Personal note: there's nothing said about whether or not promoting procreation is a valid government interest in the first place.)

* The state's claim that banning gay marriage strengthens straight marriage is bullshit; there's no evidence for the proposition.

* The state's claim that denying the legal benefits of marriage to homosexuals conserves state resources is bullshit; similar savings could be made by discriminating against blacks, Catholics, etc. in the same fashion.

* Religious arguments on gay marriage have no place in the courts whatever, especially since there are religious arguments on both sides.

* Homosexuals are people too. As such, the law can't treat them differently from everyone else.

Wow. That was a righteous smackdown! And the counter-argument to the "gay marriage mecca" thing is, think of how many tourist dollars that will pump into your state's economy. Iowa could easily pick up all the wedding-tourism money that Hawai'i is going to lose.

#31 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2009, 06:02 PM:

Lee:

That's a very good smackdown indeed. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

Is the only hope for something amazingly bigoted in a state's constitution taking it to the Federal level? I'm still feeling embarrassed about California.

#32 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2009, 10:56 PM:

WTF? Iowa? IOWA? Who knew?

OMG! Yeah, Iowa!!!!!

*happy dance*

Remembers Proposition 8 and feels all sad again...

#33 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2009, 11:04 PM:

Oh, here's where the Iowa talk is! Went to the rally in Iowa City, heard some people talk, mocked some speeches, briefly considered the possibility of scaling the Old Capitol and putting a pride flag up top, met some dogs, saw lots of couples being together and really cute.
Also got my picture taken as an accidental couple with a friend because her semispouse was off hunting a restroom.

It amused me how many of the signs-- how many of the speeches, even-- invoked the, "Wait, Iowa? Yeah, that's right, IOWA," thing. Corn, also.

#34 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2009, 11:16 PM:

Lizzy L @ 32... I emailed to one of my co-workers in SF and, even though he wishes he too could marry another man if he so chose, he's quite optimistic that it will happen. And soon too.

#35 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2009, 02:24 AM:

No residency requirements in Iowa.... The courthouses in Council Bluffs and Davenport are going to be busy.

#36 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2009, 09:01 AM:

One of my friends is already planning her wedding in Iowa. It's only a three-hour drive for them to the nearest Iowan courthouse.

I'm still waiting for Maryland to gather up some courage and finish the job they started.

#37 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2009, 09:30 AM:

By the way, if you want to peruse the Iowa decision yourself (it's good reading), the Iowa Independent has the pdf file online.

#38 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2009, 10:31 PM:

I'm feeling a bit bummed at the moment, and would like to vent here because I can't elsewhere.

One of my Facebook friends posted a 1-line comment in praise of the Iowa decision. This has developed into a long discussion heavily dominated by one... well, I'd call him a troll here, but I don't know how well that metric applies when he's apparently an acquaintance of someone I respect.

He started out by saying, "If you live in Iowa, how do you explain to your children that the government has now formally sanctioned sodomy?" and it went downhill from there. It's like arguing with my father -- all of his opinions are "logical" or "basic facts", those who disagree with him are "delusional" or "irrational" or any of a number of other unpleasant things. And he just keeps repeating the same already-refuted statements over and over again, usually with a sideswipe about how blind/stupid/immoral/immature the people are who disagree with his "incontrovertible facts". Every single argument he makes boils down to "gay sex is icky, and icky things should not be allowed".

The reason this is bugging me as much as it is? He's only 44 years old -- almost 10 years younger than me, and certainly young enough to know better. Until he said that, I honestly thought I was reading somebody in their 70s or older. It's all very well to say "wait for the old guard to die off", but he's not the old guard.

FWIW, my friend has had a crack at this too, using actual historical data to refute his arguments. It bounced.

I know there's nothing I can do to change this guy's mind; he's absolutely convinced that his personal opinion has the force of natural law. But DAMN, that's discouraging.

#39 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2009, 11:19 AM:

Lee @ 38:

I'm sorry. At least you can be kind of comforted with the fact that there are fewer people who share his views these days than there used to be, no matter how loud they are.

You probably don't want to detail all the icky things that straight people get up to for him either.

#40 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2009, 02:30 PM:

KeithS, #39: Actually, somebody did note that gays don't have a monopoly on "sodomy". And he proceeded to say that any het couple doing THAT was just as sick and unhealthy as a gay couple.

I'm annoyed with myself too, for linguistic reasons; I know better than to let your opponent dictate the language of the debate, and yet on several occasions I went along with his usage of "sodomy" when I should have said "anal/oral sex" instead. By using his language, I was playing into his paradigm.

#41 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2009, 03:29 PM:

Lee, there is always the possiblity that he's protesting so very loudly because his horror is in fact aimed at his own fears about himself--he could, oh dearie me, be one of those scary gay people, oh dearie dearie dear. I imagine that suggesting this to your friend, just in passing (along the lines of "Methinks that Commenter X doth protest too much"), would surely add a fair amount of JP-4 to things. So don't do it just because I mentioned it, because that would be mean.

There's a useful term I picked up last weekend--"fire hazard"--someone whose denial is so intense their closet needs a sprinkler system. Of course, it may not apply here; the commenter could just be someone whose preferred world view is one without anything they don't like in sight.

But, hey--the Little Old Lady from Dubuque was always a lot cooler than those smart-aleck kids at The New Yorker knew.

#42 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2009, 03:35 PM:

Lee @ 40:

Don't be too hard on yourself for that. It's incredibly easy to do, especially because in discussions like this you think you both agree on what the terms mean.

As you've noted before, you're not going to get him to change his mind. I know it's frustrating, but the fact that things are (slowly) changing for the better is cause for celebration.

If you want to have fun with him I suppose you could ask for his opinion on committing the Sin of Onan (despite that not being Onan's sin), but I can understand if you just want to leave him well enough alone.

#43 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2009, 03:51 PM:

fidelio @ 41:

I keep hearing people saying that the people who doth protest too much are probably closet-cases themselves, and there have been studies done to prove it, but I don't always buy it.

Sure, you have slimebuckets like Ted Haggard who are, of course, completely heterosexual, really, who spew hate and lies. You also have plenty of otherwise nice straight people who have been taught to hate and fear.

The argument does seem to get used as a sort of condemnation of hypocracy, which is useful in certain cases (see again Haggard et al.). I'm not saying that it isn't true; it may very well be. It just seems that if you focus on that side of the issue then you don't deal with the number of honest but misled people. Also, if you use it on someone who is straight, it isn't taken any better than a straight person telling a gay person that they're really straight they're just indulging in sin, or some such.

Please preface this with a big, fat IMO. I don't have hard numbers at hand. Corrections welcome. Offer void where prohibited.

#44 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2009, 03:56 PM:

This seems like a really good place to mention this: from 538.com, some analysis that suggests the bozo who's so annoying Lee really is in a shrinking subset of the population. They used a demographic model to predict when various states' voters would vote against a ban on same-sex marriage.

There are things the model doesn't take into account, and they enumerate some of them at the end of the article. But they don't mention one I think is big: the effect on voters of having gay marriage in their state or nearby states, with no Gay Apocalypse, no dog-marrying, no bestiality training in kindergarten.

#45 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2009, 04:04 PM:

Xopher, that was an extremely interesting article. I've got my fingers crossed that NC will manage it in less than ten years, though.

#46 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2009, 04:27 PM:

KeithS, you have an excellent point there. I know people who are uncomfortable with homosexuality, people who are uncomfortble with the idea of any non-purely vanilla sex, and people who are just plain uncomfortable with the idea of sex, any sex at all--and none of them are closet cases. However, a lot of the loudest and most truculent on the topic of Teh Gay that I've encountered are those who come across as very anxious and uncertain about their own identities, underneath all the posturing. Of course, it can be hard to tell the difference between people who are freaked about sex, period, and those who are freaked by the fact they could be gay themselves, especially based on online contact only.

However...


Xopher--Cool! It's a lot like the reports that those most fretful about the end of DADT in the military are those who are long past their own days of active service.

#47 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2009, 05:58 PM:

Fidelio, I think you are very likely right in this case. It's not always true, but something about this guy's language did ping that same button for me. (I'm still waiting for Pat Buchanan to be caught soliciting in a men's room, too. The Banner used to carry his columns, and I noticed that the tone of the anti-gay ones was significantly more irrational than anything else he wrote.)

Xopher, thank you for posting that. It makes me feel rather better about the whole debacle.

Various: I'm out of that conversation, and not going back. The only reason it didn't turn flamewar-nasty was that everyone arguing against this guy was really not wanting to start a fight on their friend's Facebook page. I don't think the troll would have hesitated -- he kept trying to bait people into one.

Although I have to admit that I was petty enough to use the most obnoxious exit line I could think of on my final comment -- the sanctimonious "I'll pray for you."

#48 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2009, 12:49 PM:

The Vermont legislature voted to override the governor's veto and legalize same-sex marriage. They had exactly 100 votes in the state House. I have to wonder if the Iowa decision between the initial vote and the override didn't help to change the necessary two or three votes.

#49 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2009, 12:58 PM:

lorax, the way I heard it there were people who voted against the marriage bill but FOR overriding the veto, because while they were against same-sex marriage they were against the governor even more!

#50 ::: Cat Meadors ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2009, 01:42 PM:

Man, I spend so much time hoping Nate Silver's right... My own estimate was for VA to go in 2020. (His says 2015, for the record.)

But this is just the prediction for bans to fail. I'm still unclear, even after reading his article, what's supposed to happen in states that already have gay marriage bans and don't have any inclination to revisit the topic. (My own 2020 estimate is based on that being when the federal government gets around to sending discrimination-loving (or loving discriminating?) states back to the drawing board. Also based on when enough other states have taken their heads out of... um, the sand and there start to be real issues about legal marriages from one state not being recognized by others.)

#51 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2009, 09:37 PM:

The real question is... when will someone use a marriage from Vt., Iowa, etc, to challenge the consitutionality of DOMA's attempt to vacate, "full faith and credit."

On its face, that seems to be a no-brainer for the court to overturn, but this court, with Strip-search Sammy and "Strictly how I construct it" Scalia, and all the rest... I am not so sure it's a good idea.

#52 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2009, 03:27 PM:

I just got an email from Garden State Equality informing me that the caconymous National Organization for Marriage has just unveiled a set of commercials for release here in New Jersey, purporting to be of “real people” who explain how their marriages would be hurt by marriage equality.

I have no doubt that their claims are bogus. Turns out even the people are; HRC has uncovered the audition tapes for the actors in the commercials. According to GSE, in the tapes “each actor rehearses various U.S. states he or she is allegedly from, and various professions that he or she allegedly holds.”

These people (NOM and their ilk) are dedicated to the widespread and well-funded bearing of false witness. If one of them called hirself a “Christian” I’d laugh in hir face.

[Yeah, I crossposted from Whatever. Please don't kill me.]

#53 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2009, 03:47 PM:

Xopher @ 52... Do you think their video is called "The Coming Storm" because they're jealous?

#54 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2009, 04:25 PM:

#51:

I actually hope nobody tries it anytime soon (and there may be a good reason why nobody's tried it in the four years since MA legalized same-sex marriage). The current court would almost certainly find reason to uphold DOMA, and it's always harder to overturn precedent than to make a new ruling. The Obama administration is likely to chip away at the edges of DOMA (probably starting with things like Social Security benefits for same-sex spouses), and I think piecemeal legislative repeal is going to be more successful than a whole-hog judicial attempt with this court.

(Incidentally, to my knowledge, there has never been a case testing whether full faith & credit actually applies to marriages. Loving vs. Virginia didn't because the Lovings were married in the District of Columbia, not in a state.)

#55 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2009, 05:37 PM:

Xopher, #52: So is there an effort to make a series of counter-commercials featuring clips from the audition tapes? And if so, where can I contribute to funding it?

#56 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2009, 06:36 PM:

I'm trying to figure out how this kind of commercial would work....

"I was happily married to a woman, till Bruce and Phil moved in next door. But then, I saw how hot Bruce was and..." Cut!

Honestly, how do you make the argument that issuing marriage licenses to couples that were already living together, often with extensive joint property and kids, undermines existing heterosexual marriages?

Lots of people are uncomfortable with gays, especially in the abstract. So, I can see how there could be awkward conversations with your kids ("How come Heather gets two mommies and I only get one?"), or awkward interactions with your neighbors (because that middle-aged pair of women who live together and raise a child and several dogs are probably really just roommates, but if they were to refer to one another as "my wife" instead of by first name or as "my partner," then you'd probably have to acknowledge in your mind that they're lesbians). But how on Earth is it supposed to affect my marriage?

#57 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2009, 06:53 PM:

albatross @ 56:

The only argument that I've ever heard that even approached five light years of reality was that if more people could get married then marriage wasn't as special. So, yeah, it doesn't and can't affect existing marriages at all.

#58 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2009, 07:30 PM:

Keith:

I've seen arguments that weren't obviously nuts for opposing gay marriage, but (as with your example) none that affected existing marriages. Maybe it will encourage future homosexuality (though I'll admit I have a hard time buying this). Maybe it will undermine traditional values w.r.t. marriage and family. (But there is already widespread divorce and cohabitation, and there are already many single parents by choice or circumstance. How much more damage is it going to do, honestly? Aren't we Christians supposed to do the right thing despite whatever the rest of the world is doing?)

But will there really be people more willing to get a divorce or sleep off on their wife because Keith and Joe got married? How would this work?

#59 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2009, 07:42 PM:

albatross @ 58:

I've never seen any arguments against gay marriage that didn't come down to one of religious belief, tradition, or a feeling that gay sex was 'icky'. Actually, I lie. I heard one that claimed that since gay people were so promiscuous they'd put a heavy burden on the courts from all the divorces that they'd have. At the time I was so thrown by the stupidity I didn't have a cogent answer.

I can't imagine any situation in which a married straight person would be more likely to get a divorce or cheat because gay people could get married, unless they were already in a bad situation and decided that this was a good excuse.

As far as I'm concerned, people will always be people, and we shouldn't be trying to make others less.

#60 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2009, 07:49 PM:

Dan White: Society can't exist without the family.
Harvey Milk: We're not against that.
Dan White: Can two men reproduce?
Harvey Milk: No, but God knows we keep trying

#61 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2009, 05:17 PM:

xopher@52: shouldn't that be "bovocaconymous"? (Or am I mixing languages?)

#62 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: April 29, 2009, 04:17 PM:

The marriage bill has passed the state senate:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/30/us/30marriage.html

According to the article the governor still has not said whether or not he will sign it.

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