questionsare you following the supreme court decisions…

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I am appalled (but not surprised) that the decision was so close. Really? A law that discriminates against Americans is OK?

In my opinion, laws like this have nothing to do with the religious protest about "sanctity of marriage". We all know straight people who make a mockery of marriage. This is about greed. Insurance companies, unions etc. are fighting tooth and nail to prevent people from getting the financial benefits of marriage such as survivor's benefits.

Someday we will all wonder why the gay marriage issue was such a big deal. Remember, it hasn't been that long ago that interracial marriage was illegal and now we ask ourselves, "Really??"

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Yay! hadn't seen that yet. But I agree with @ohcheri that it shouldn't have been that close a decision.

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I must say, I find Justice Thomas' siding with the dissent interesting, given the reality that his own marriage was illegal not too awfully long ago. But then, I guess the issue can't be simply reduced to 'black and white', as it were.

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Just waiting for the storm of angry tweets and statuses and posts about DOMA that have nothing to do with an interpretation of the laws of the United States of America.

BRACE FOR IMPACT D:

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Whether you agree or disagree with the morality of gay marriage, we should all have the right to make our own decisions. Moral beliefs have no place here.

I hope this tears apart NC's law as well.

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I am following it. I'm incredibly disappointed with the court's findings.

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I know I might be on my own, and get downvoted into oblivion, but I thought it would be fair to voice the minority opinion.

Aside from what big company and government corruption want to achieve, out of greed, the point is: marriage was religiously established as a union between a man and a woman. If you want to be with someone of the same sex, no problem! But I really don't think that you have the right to force those who follow the established boundaries of marriage, within their religion, to change everything they hold to, because of you. You can call it whatever you want, but it does not meet the established definition of what marriage is. It's something new.

It has been well-argued that when a society start down a path of changing rules to adhere for everyone's right to pursuit of happiness, rationalization will overcome reason. I honestly think it won't be very long before we see polygamy legalized.

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News: SCOTUS will not hear the appeal of Prop 8. The ruling is confusing but essentially they are side stepping a major ruling on state authority and simply saying the the California court's overturning of Prop 8 will stand, thus gay marriage in California stands. Again, this ruling is not cut and dry and not a landmark decision on the constitutionality of state laws for or against gay marriage. Some of my interpretation may be off.

For those who don't know - Prop 8 was voted into law in California, defining marriage btw a man and woman. After lengthy court battles, the law was eventually overturned. It was appealed up to the SCOTUS. SCOTUS says they won't hear the appeal, the overturning by the California court stands.

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@dmaz: Seperation of Church and State.

Unfortunately, there are many areas where your opinion is not the minority, hence so many rights being violated.

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I am a big advocate for the separation of church and state. Churches can decide what their members will regard as moral and immoral. Different churches will take different stances on the morality of different behaviors. That's their prerogative. It is not the role of the government to adjudicate morality. The government's only responsibility in policing morality is to provide safety for the citizenry. Gay marriage by no stretch of the imagination poses a threat to public safety, so it is none of the government's business.

@nmchapma: Jinx!

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@dmaz: Since polygamy is based on religion then you should be for it. I'm not for it, btw, but it's a basic doctrine of some accepted religions.

This is the problem with the government being involved with issues that should be personal...who determines what is "moral". Freedom of religion is a big part of our constitution but freedom of what religion?

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Religion, unfortunately, did not make, invent or define marriage. Nor do all religions have a single definition of marriage, especially not one that defines it as a man and a woman. That argument is historically inaccurate. The SCOTUS is charged with making decisions exclusively on the basis of the Constitution. It cannot, under any circumstances, take into consideration a moral majority (or minority) or a definition of an institution based on anything (i.e. Religion) except law.

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@dmaz: My sister believes that interracial marriage violates Christian religious law, She has a sack full of Bible quotes that she feels support that belief. She';s in the minority these days, but once upon a time her view was in the majority. To me the bottom line is that your rights end at my nose. None of us have the right to force anyone else to comply with our own perceptions of morality or proper behavior unless it compromises people's safety. The real problem here is that the government should never have gotten into the marriage business in the first place. There are other ways of identifying members of a household for legal purposes. Marriage should have remained a social or religious contract.

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I thought I saw somewhere that the concept of "marriage" has been around since before Christianity. In these United Sates, the only definition of marriage that counts is what the US Constitution says it is. As citizens of the US, we all must abide by the laws of the land. Religious beliefs vary and should only apply to the members of those faiths.
I was not married in a church and it was not performed by a preacher/minister/whatever, yet it's still viewed as a LEGAL marriage in this country. You may have been married in a church, but all that means is you had a "religious union". I may only have a "civil union", but the law views us both as "married". This should apply to same sex couples as well.

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Note that this does nothing to change the religious definition of marriage, so the "forcing me to such and such" argument falls flat. Nobody is forcing your community to marry homosexual couples in your church, synagogue, mosque, or temple. That would be an unconstitutional violation of your freedom of religion. When it comes to rights granted outside of your church, synagogue, mosque, or temple, then it's no longer in that field.

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@ohcheri: I was speaking of the religion on which the United States was founded:

"The blessed Religion revealed in the word of God will remain an eternal and awful monument to prove that the best Institutions may be abused by human depravity; and that they may even, in some instances, be made subservient to the vilest of purposes." - George Washington

"Suppose a nation in some distant Region should take the Bible for their only law Book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited! Every member would be obliged in conscience, to temperance, frugality, and industry; to justice, kindness, and charity towards his fellow men; and to piety, love, and reverence toward Almighty God ... What a Eutopia, what a Paradise would this region be." - John Adams

Also, @nmchapma, if you read carefully over the terms in the definition of Separation of Church and state, you would find they are there to protect the church from the state. This is often mixed up.

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@dmaz: I understand what you are saying, and this isn't the first time I've seen the response "You can have a civil union, with all the rights and benefits, we're just not going to call it marriage...why can't you be happy with that?"

Three words for you. "Separate but equal". Since it didn't really work out last time, why are you proposing we try it again?

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@moondrake: I do agree with your point, thank you for giving me an ear at least, haha.

I am not intolerant of those who wish to live their life the way they want. I just think, as you do, that it wasn't the government's resposibility to force everything to change. I often get judged of being intolerant, rather quickly, because I simply have a different view of the government's role.

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Because restaurants totally would have stopped being "whites only" on their own, why did the government have to step in and force the issue? ٩(`д´)

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@dmaz: John Adams clearly never read the Bible. Or if he did, he only read the Pollyanna bits. I noticed you've neglected to use any quotes from Jefferson, but that's understandable. The fact is, this nation was founded by a pretty diverse bunch of people and each had his or her own reasons and motivations. Saying that we were founded based on some sort of religious cornerstone is being pretty simplistic about things.

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The problem as i see it is religion, specifically christianity, feels it has the exclusive rights over marriage. This isn't an argument over morality.. too subjective. The morality of religion doesn't have a great track record, nor does the morality of government. This is an argument over those pesky inalienable rights we are all guaranteed, and yet somehow are denied or applied differently.

I'm straight, and was raised catholic, so I'm not just bashing the other side. I just find it ridiculous that there's even a debate about it. No one is asking churches to start having priests perform gay marriages (we'll ignore for a moment, the hypocrisy when they are quicker to condemn gay marriage than they were to condemn the child rapes that were being performed by the very people we trust our spiritual guidance to, lol) - but don't dare try to impose "god's rules" on government policy - your god, your morals, and frankly - your business. Go mind it. This is about freedom, 'Murica.

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I do not understand the religious element indicated here. Nowhere is there a law stating that your religion or any religion is forced to marry two people. That is up to the tenets of the religion. Marriage, in order to be recognized by the government, must be filed legally with the government, regardless of whether it was performed in a religious environment or a civil environment. (If your religious leader forgot to file your license, you may be married under God, but not under our government.) Since all marriages are filed with the government, all people who are married must have equal rights in the eyes of the government. That is the basis of this decision.
(However, Mormons and Muslims and others must follow government regulations and only be married to one person, despite their religious leanings. Polygamy is not currently allowed in the USA)

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@dmaz: [quote] But I really don't think that you have the right to force those who follow the established boundaries of marriage, within their religion, to change everything they hold to, because of you. [/quote]

Shame on those pesky same-sex couples who dare to want the same benefits straight couples have enjoyed for years.

The established boundaries of marriage are always evolving. The rights afforded married couples by the U.S. government were hardly relevant to Abraham and Sarah. But now? Married couples enjoy hospital visitation without question. They can file taxes jointly and are exempt from certain estate taxes. They can marry the person they love, regardless of country of origin, and not fear that their husband or wife will be deported. . . and the list goes on. . .

Besides, who is forcing you to do anything? You get to keep everything you hold to. And now other people will share those same rights. Feel free to ignore them if it bothers you so much.

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I don't claim to be a religious scholar, I actually feel the abuse of religion is the leading cause of destruction since the dawn of time. But I know that all Christian religions use the Bible (Old and/or New Testament) and they all interpret the Bible as they please. Examples:

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Polygamy is a different creature than same-sex marriage.
In the words of Spider-man, "Everybody gets one."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdr6SG_t1TU

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The Bible teaches love, forgiveness and tolerance, yet Westboro Baptist Church preaches only hate. In my opinion, they should receive the same status as the KKK yet they enjoy tax exemption and protection as a church.

Catholics believe an infant must be baptized as soon as possible for if the child should die unbaptized they can not go to heaven. A few drops of holy water is all it takes.

Church of Christ believes you have to make the decision to be baptized and it must be full immersion or it doesn't count.

Some Pentecostals don't allow the women to wear pants or cut their hair. They base this on a particular line from the Bible (I am paraphrasing) that "women shouldn't go around looking like men".

There is a scene in "The Seventh Sign" where a Jewish boy asks Demi Moore, "What if we are all wrong?"

I prefer to live by the George Carlin quote from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, "Be excellent to each other."

That's all the religion I need.

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@dmaz:From the first amendment:
"Congress shall make no law establishing one religious sect or society in preference to others, nor shall freedom of conscience be infringed"

To me, that means they won't force me to obey the way your religion defines marriage.

Also seperation of church and state is not listed in the constitution and has no defined guidelines. The term was coined by Jefferson and has been used many times through history in the legal system. So many that a lot of people really do belive it is written and defined in the constitution.

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I have to say that I am delighted to see the tone that this conversation is taking. Although there is some obvious disagreement, I am very proud of my DW friends for not turning this into a bashing contest. Kudos to all for agreeing to disagree and doing it so politely.

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just FYI:

In 1797, the United States Senate ratified a treaty with Tripoli that stated in Article 11:

As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

This is from a time when the government seems to have accomplished a bit more than it has in recent years. I wish this country and it's people would return to this.

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@belyndag: I also wanted to thank @dmaz for having the courage of his/her convictions despite being the minority. It's easy to speak out when you agree with everyone, harder when you do not, especially when it is something a lot of people have very strong feelings about.

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@moondrake: Absolutely! I know how tough it can be. I'm a blue girl in a red state.

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I'm still waiting for a decision on the whole Mortimer v Monty case.....

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I am straight, never married, but I celebrate this day as a victory for all humankind. Congrats to all my brothers and sisters in the LGBT community!

I have really enjoyed @ocheri's contribution to this thread. Well spoken!

Also to @belyndag - same here with the blue/red thing. Whew it's tough, I hate election years!

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@moondrake: Thanks for the shout out.

Also, @ohcheri, please don't mistake my counter arguments as hostile or trying to bash anyone. I do have opinions that differ strongly from the majority of the people here. But I also see where you all are coming from, and think that you have many valid points as well.

Forgive me for my tendency to "spice up" the conversation a little. As much as it might rub me the wrong way, I know that it's good to hear the stark opposition to my very conservative (and often considered, outdated) views.

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Religious arguments aside, the question becomes what's the governmental interest in marriage? Historically, nations have only grown economically and/or in power through population growth (Decline of Roman Empire, growth of British Empire, Russian colonization of Siberia, French losses during WWII). Therefore, as a means toward trying to grow in national stature the nation should try and encourage population growth.

The US has generally done this through laxer-than-the-rest-of-the-world immigration laws, being less restrictive on who's welcome to join the nation as a citizen. But a nation encourages this any way it can.

So the national interest as far as marriage goes stops at population growth, in general. As far as the national interest goes, there is no benefit to the elderly, infertile, or otherwise unable to reproduce persons getting married. Marriage benefits fit the national interest when they result in population growth, which is why marriage benefits to...

[cont]

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@dmaz: you're the only one that made this thread any fun. thanks for being big enough to forgo the hostility :-)

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[cont]

... younger persons is in the national interest. Therefore, extending marriage benefits to those unable to procreate or otherwise grow the nation's population is in general not in the national interest.

This decision is disappointing because it further dilutes the ultimate, national benefit to marriage benefits. I am religious and have those convictions too, but the larger issue that we all can agree on is we're seeking our nation's ultimate benefit. Unfortunately, sanctioning marriage that does not result in population growth does not serve the national interest whatsoever, and has the potential to cause long term harm to the nation's growth and power.

Let the downvotes commence.

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@figgers3036: Sorry to jump in but aside from national interest there are a great many personal interest that marriage serves. It's time to cap population growth. Gay marriage might just help that. :-) Marriage has nothing to do with population growth. There is no law that you must be married to procreate. If our personal interest were not what marriage was meant to serve then it has no purpose at all.

Please don't hide behind doing things "for the greater good". It starts to sound like communism after that idea bounces around a while.

lots of edits...

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@figgers3036: So we should block heterosexual marriages where one partner is infertile?
The law isn't going to direct people to go get married to the opposite sex and have kids if that isn't their orientation.
There are means for same-sex couples to have and raise children (e.g., surrogacy, sperm donation, & adoption- which if the kid is from abroad is still a net gain.)

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@hot72chev: Re: Red/Blue election years -- I worked in government for over 30 years. Election years are not nearly as bad as the first year FOLLOWING an election year, regardless of which party prevails.

The worst has been the last 5 years working for the EXTREME RIGHT administration of the current governor. Extreme anything is dangerous. Under the current administration any disagreement or even questioning of policy (and, Heaven forbid, pointing out errors in calculations or legality) is met with termination or, at minimum, removal of authority, even for those individuals elected to represent their constituents. (Seriously, senators and representatives have been removed from committees for questioning legislation backed by the governor.) This is the only reason I retired last year. Enough was enough.

BTW, for those of us who were raised in a conservative religion, but who find ourselves in disagreement with their political stances, check out thechristianleft.org.

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@figgers3036:
Your argument is ridiculous, as evidenced by the many infertile and purposely childless heterosexual couples who enjoy the benefits of marriage.

Gay couples can and will have children (little thing called artificial insemination/IVF/surrogacy) whether they're married or not.

I have two lesbian friends, legally married in their home state, raising an adorable baby girl conceived through IVF. They are educated, loving parents and I've no doubt society will benefit from the daughter they are raising.

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@dmaz: No hostility detected at my end, I hope I have not given that impression. I do enjoy a lively debate!

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We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Pretty darn clear to me.. and I am VERY conservative.

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@figgers3036: Your whole argument is for population increase? You don't have to be married to have kids. In fact, if people don't practice monogamy through marriage, it stands to reason they would have even more kids. So are you arguing against marriage of any kind? I is confused...

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@figgers3036: "Therefore, as a means toward trying to grow in national stature the nation should try and encourage population growth." Because this is working out so great for India and China. Low population growth usually goes hand in hand with increased standard of living. It also increases the value society places on the individual human life, and generally correlates with more equal treatment of women and minorities (except in countries where religion or homogeneity play a powerful role in these social issues). I have always felt the solution to most human ills is less humans.

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we're watching you.

BE COURTEOUS!!!!

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Since I have some issues with the government's ability to do the whole marriage thing in the first place I wasn't really following this issue. To me it's like Martians and Venusians squabbling over who gets to host the Solar Cup next year.

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I am not a lawyer, but I believe the correct title to this should be: "The Supreme Court reaffirms lower courts ruling". I could care less who marries who or who civil unions who. I believe, based upon my understanding of the powers of the government, that the supreme court had no business in this case.

I believe that Scalia and Alito laid out the proper framework for this. Please don't read the snippets online, rather, read the full dissenting opinions. They (media) are listing Scalia's well reasoned dissent a rant. A rant is something I normally read by some blogger or a post I read online, I guess they could have called it a judicial legal rant.

Let the downvotes commence, as emotional thought always trumps reason or logic. I would love to hear a well reasoned LEGAL opinion by someone on why Scalia is wrong ( like some balance for thought). SO far I have only found attacks and emotional reactions in the press. Links to legal opinions on his dissent anyone?

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@ecriscit: I did read the dissent. Scalia's logic is flawed at its base. For the Federal Government to make any law that undermines an individual's Rights is directly in violation of our constitution. Yes, I would carry that logic across the board though several issues.
The dissenting opinion written uses inflammatory language and does read like a rant. Agreeing with a rant doesn't make it less of a rant.

Asking for a legal merit debate, where none of us are lawyers is akin to asking for a medical debate when none are doctors. At the end of the day, we can research and try to understand the inner workings as best we can - and we all have our own opinions, but the arguments will fall a bit short.