A Blazing Hot Sunday in CA

Saturday it was 104 and today it’s supposed to be 106.  Friday we had to quit working out in the warehouse at about 1:00 pm and then went back out at about 6:00pm and worked until midnight while it was slightly cooler.   Yesterday we worked until about noon and then called it a day.  We were going to make a margarita and sit outside last evening but it was too damn hot for that even.  Today we’re taking the day off and swimming this morning and then either staying in and watching baseball or going to the movies.

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I love the picture with this story.

(Reuters) – More than 170 people were treated for heat-related ailments and some towns and cities took emergency steps to protect the homeless and elderly as the West sweltered on Saturday in dangerous near-record, triple-digit temperatures.

Extreme heat enveloped most of California and Nevada and parts of southern Arizona as a large high pressure system trapped hot air across the area, said National Weather Service meteorologist Todd Lericos.

More than 170 people were “treated for heat-related injuries” and 34 more were sent to local hospitals while attending an outdoor concert on Friday afternoon in Las Vegas, Nevada, where temperatures soared to 115 degrees Fahrenheit (46 C), said Erik Pappa, a spokesman for Clark County. On Saturday, highs are expected to reach 117 (47 C).

“It involves pretty much the entire West Coast at this point,” Lericos said, adding that the steamy conditions, which began in some pockets on Thursday afternoon, will likely continue throughout the weekend and linger into next week.

Temperatures were well into the triple-digits in most of the area, except in higher elevations.

In Death Valley, one of the hottest places on earth, temperatures could soar on Saturday to 128 F (53 C), close to the daily record set in 1994. 

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There is a lot of pent up romance blooming in California.

In a surprise action, a federal appeals court cleared the way, bypassing a normal waiting period and lifting a hold on a trial judge’s order that declared Proposition 8 unconstitutional.

The news came in a single, legalistic sentence Friday afternoon from the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

“The stay in the above matter is dissolved immediately,” a three-judge panel wrote.

Gov. Jerry Brown told county clerks they could begin marrying same-sex couples immediately, launching plans for ceremonies up and down the state. The two same-sex couples who filed the federal lawsuit against Proposition 8 headed to the city halls in Los Angeles and San Francisco to tie the knot, ending their long fight to become legal spouses.

Of course in a state where the tension between the SSM sides is still alive and well, not everyone was pleased with the Court’s decision.

Supporters of Proposition 8 were furious that the 9th Circuit acted before the normal waiting period. ProtectMarriage, the sponsors of the ballot measure, has 25 days from the ruling to ask for reconsideration.

“It is part and parcel of the utter lawlessness in which this whole case has been prosecuted, said Chapman Law professor John Eastman, a supporter of Proposition 8. “Normally, courts let the parties kind of pursue their legal remedies before they issue a mandate.”

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And many of us in CA, and elsewhere, realized Thursday that the SC decision could signal trouble to our system of ballot initiatives.  Be careful what you wish for I guess.

SACRAMENTO — Activists on both sides of the bitter fight over same-sex marriage managed to agree on one thing in the wake of Wednesday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision.

The justices, they said, set a worrisome precedent by giving elected officials undue power over ballot initiatives.

The court essentially voided Proposition 8, a measure placed on the state ballot by foes of gay marriage and passed by voters in 2008. The justices said supporters of the initiative had no standing to defend the measure after state leaders — who opposed the law — had refused to do so.

Their reasoning drew a testy dissent from Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, a Sacramento native, who wrote that the decision “disrespects and disparages” California’s political process — a staple of which is the ballot initiative.

The court, Kennedy wrote, did “not take into account the fundamental principles or the practical dynamics of the initiative system in California.”

Many in the state, regardless of their views on same-sex unions, shared Kennedy’s sentiment, fearing that elected officials now have permission to scuttle initiatives they dislike by simply deciding not to defend them in federal court.

“The initiative process, by its nature, is designed to bypass elected officials,” said Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn., a group named for the man who transformed California government in 1978 with Proposition 13, a ballot initiative that reined in property taxes.

“Anything that vests power in those elected officials over the initiative process is a dangerous move,” Coupal said.

Even Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, an early supporter of same-sex marriage when he was San Francisco’s mayor and an opponent of Proposition 8, expressed such reservations.

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And just to confirm some of the hopefully irrational fears expressed out in America somewhere, here’s one from the SF Chronicle.

SC marriage

And don’t worry I won’t turn every Sunday into a CA day….I don’t want to make y’all too jealous because you don’t get to live here.

129 Responses

  1. I guess it’s primarily a matter of semantics between the House and the Senate. I still don’t believe it’s going to happen, not this year.

    (Reuters) – Prospects for congressional passage of a U.S. immigration overhaul looked bleak on Friday, but some House Republicans signaled they would offer a way for the 11 million illegal immigrants already in the country to get legal status that could be portrayed as something other than a pathway to citizenship.

    The Democratic-controlled Senate on Thursday approved a bipartisan immigration bill backed by President Barack Obama, but leaders of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives are not expected to take action on the measure.

    Instead, the House is charting its own course because many conservative Republicans firmly oppose the citizenship provisions in the Senate version as “amnesty” for law-breakers.

    But a proposal being talked about in the House as an alternative to the Senate bill would offer possible citizenship in the future after current illegal immigrants spend at least a decade in a legalized status short of citizenship. The approach is similar to the Senate-passed bill.

    The difference may be one of semantics, in which the term “pathway to citizenship” can be averted. But the House approach might offer at least a glimmer of hope for enactment of immigration reform any time soon – in part just because it would originate in the Republican-controlled chamber.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/28/us-usa-immigration-idUSBRE95R14T20130628

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    • lms:

      And just to confirm some of the hopefully irrational fears expressed out in America somewhere, here’s one from the SF Chronicle.

      If they are confirmed, they are not irrational. 🙂

      But seriously, the point of the cartoon is correct. The logic behind thinking legally recognized same-sex marriage is a constitutional right destroys any legally limiting characteristic to the institution. Same-sex marriage advocates will twist themselves into logical pretzels trying to deny it, but the fact is obvious.

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  2. I read the caption on the cartoon as South Carolina Wedding instead of Supreme Court Wedding which changes the meaning of it altogether.

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  3. Scott, I think the fears are irrational as I haven’t yet seen a movement for the kind of marriage depicted in the cartoon. I thought it was funny to find it in a SF newspaper. I can’t tell if the cartoonist is making fun of the idea, making fun of the SC, or making fun of marriage. It struck me as satire but I couldn’t quite grok the angle.

    Yello, that would change the meaning wouldn’t it?

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  4. George Takei has a good piece in WaPo which touches on the Orwellian comparison between the Defense of Marriage Act and the anti-miscegenation laws of the past.

    The Virginia law struck down in Loving was called the Racial Integrity Act.Sound familiar? Kennedy also took note of this naming convention: “The stated purpose of the law was to promote an ‘interest in protecting the traditional moral teachings reflected in heterosexual-only marriage laws.’ Were there any doubt of this far-reaching purpose, the title of the Act confirms it: The Defense of Marriage.” DOMA, like the Racial Integrity Act, by its very name suggests a desire to protect marriage from some kind of social pollution.

    Takei also feels that most revulsion at gay marriage is based on what he calls the ‘ick’ factor.

    Whenever one group discriminates against another — keeping its members out of a club, a public facility or an institution — it often boils down to a visceral, negative response to something unfamiliar. I call this the “ick.” Indeed, the “ick” is often at the base of the politics of exclusion.

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    • yello:

      Takei also feels that most revulsion at gay marriage is based on what he calls the ‘ick’ factor.

      Opposition to gay marriage is not the same as “revulsion” to it. Nor is opposition to how SCOTUS just ruled.

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    • yello (from Takei):

      Whenever one group discriminates against another — keeping its members out of a club, a public facility or an institution — it often boils down to a visceral, negative response to something unfamiliar. I call this the “ick.” Indeed, the “ick” is often at the base of the politics of exclusion.

      One wonders whether Takei objects to sexual relationships between, say, a father and his daughter, and if so, if that objection is the result of his childishly characterized “ick” factor.

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  5. Perhaps as equal time, WaPo also has a commentary by the DC archbishop making sure the “one man and one woman” construction stays in play.

    What the court has determined demonstrates the limits of civil legislation. We all recognize that the word “marriage” is being used in many different ways. All that civil government can do is address the legal consequences of any specific union it has chosen to call marriage. While there are many other words to describe other human unions, “marriage,” in its intrinsic meaning and basic integrity, will continue to be understood by most people as the coming together of a man and woman committed to live together with the possibility to generate and raise children.

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  6. “The justices, they said, set a worrisome precedent by giving elected officials undue power over ballot initiatives.”

    Someone in the state governemt right now is figuring out the legal path to getting rid of Proposition 13 through this method.

    If the respondents lacked standing, then the 9th Circuit should have appointed counsel to defend the initiative on appeal.

    Edit: from your linked article lmsinca:

    “Proposition 8 had been ruled unconstitutional by federal judges, and supporters of the ban appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Lynda Gledhill, a spokeswoman for state Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris, said state officials have refused to defend only one initiative in the past — Proposition 14, passed by voters in 1964 to overturn fair housing laws.

    Then-Gov. Pat Brown — the current governor’s father — said the initiative was discriminatory. The U.S. Supreme Court ultimately struck it down.”

    If this is accurate, then the SCOTUS flat out lied about the lack of precedent here.

    The contrast between the California case and the SCOTUS allowing someone other than the Solicitor General to defend DOMA so that they could strike it down shows that the standing rulings have nothing to do with actual standing but were simply cherry picking the cases to produce the desired political result.

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    • jnc:

      The contrast between the California case and the SCOTUS allowing someone other than the Solicitor General to defend DOMA so that they could strike it down shows that the standing rulings have nothing to do with actual standing but were simply cherry picking the cases to produce the desired political result.

      Even before the DOMA/Prop 8 rulings was there really any doubt that SCOTUS makes political, results-oriented decisions?

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    • JNC, you are making a mountain out of a molehill.

      Reitman v. Mulkey was a tenant v. landlord suit with no state participation required to present a legitimate case or controversy.

      I will repeat that Congressional committees have defended statutes before and that where a state is a party no private interest is typically allowed to step in to successfully claim representation of the state in any federal courtroom. The 9th did so because the CA Supremes advised them that they would have permitted a private party to represent the state in this case.

      If the Supremes had chosen to permit standing they would have opened a door for putative representatives in the future. I would agree that they could have limited the circumstances as the CA Supremes were willing to do. In that case, they would have ruled 5-4 that Romer controlled and affirmed on that ground alone.

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      • I think both cases were predictable and not in any way weird except for Kennedy’s rant on animus in DOMA, which was unnecessary to the actual decision and a gratuitous slap at Congress. Wouldn’t even matter if it were true. There was no fact finding to support it as Scott noted.

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  7. Yello,

    Can their be principle opposition to gay marriage?

    Lms, in the third most populous country on earth, whatever can happen, will. I guarantee there will develop a not insignificant movement to legalize the most (to you) incomprehensible form of marriage. When that happens (and I say it will within 18 months) what legal argument prevent it?

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    • McWing:

      I guarantee there will develop a not insignificant movement to legalize the most (to you) incomprehensible form of marriage.

      I’m with you. It is not that long ago that the idea of same-sex marriages was incomprehensible to most people. Marriage by definition was understood to mean opposite-sex couples. That definition has been changed. It can, and almost certainly will, change again. The logic undergirding the legal thinking virtually demands it. Does the constitution really allow marriage benefits to be restricted only to couples that play with each others sexual organs?

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    • Can their be principle opposition to gay marriage?

      The principles seem to be:

      1) Tradition
      2) One man, one woman
      3) Raising kids
      4) Ick.

      Let me know if I missed any.

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    • When that happens (and I say it will within 18 months) what legal argument prevent it?

      Unless a state legitimizes some form of marriage that you imagine, there will never be an issue, just as there would not have been here.

      So let us say that Texas finally legitimizes the union of Aggies and sheep, George. We have lived in dread of that one for a hundred years, haven’t we.

      Work on your example set and assign some state to try each one, and we can get back to the discussion.

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      • mark:

        Unless a state legitimizes some form of marriage that you imagine,

        All it takes is a simple court ruling, as we have seen.

        Work on your example set

        Well instead of trying to come up with the most outrageous example in order to dismiss McWing’s claim, you might try to think of a rather obvious one. A wealthy widowed woman living in California has cancer and her doctors tell her she has only a short time to live. She wants to pass her entire estate on to her bachelor son, her only living relative, but she doesn’t want to pay any estate tax. If she marries him, there will be no estate taxes owed when the estate passes to him upon her death. So she sues California to allow her to marry her son. A California judge rules (quite properly, given its position on gay marriage) that the state has no grounds on which to deny this couple the right to marry and to therefore obtain the benefits of marriage that homosexuals are entitled to.

        This will happen. It certainly should happen.

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        • A California judge rules (quite properly, given its position on gay marriage) that the state has no grounds on which to deny this couple the right to marry

          The state lege defines marriage. No CA Ct but the CA Supremes could challenge the lege and that would have to be on state or federal constitutional grounds. There is no federal right to marry so the decision would have to be based on a state constitutional ground.

          Your idea of a proper ruling is different than my idea of a proper ruling, senor.

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        • Mark:

          There is no federal right to marry so the decision would have to be based on a state constitutional ground.

          So make it the CA Supremes. Or the MA Supremes. Or the Supremes in some other state. Or maybe it will happen after SCOTUS does what it is obvious (to me and Scalia, at least) it is going to do soon enough anyway. It doesn’t really matter to whom the issue is sent to decide. The point is that, having eliminated what had been for all of history an essential, defining characteristic of the institution in order to accommodate one group it seems extremely cavalier to simply dismiss as crazily far-fetched the notion that other groups will soon be seeking their own accommodations. That it will happen is, again, obvious to me, even as you poo-poo the notion.

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  8. It’s a date. 18 months and I’ll even give you an extra day mcwing. New Years Eve 2014. If we’re still alive at atim let’s see what kind of new marriage movement is getting some real play.

    Of course, if cao is also correct, all hell is going to break loose this year and either the San Andreas or extreme heat should annihilate me.

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  9. One wonders whether Takei objects to sexual relationships between, say, a father and his daughter,

    Thanks for going the incest route. I hate to get accused of building strawmen.

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    • yello:

      Thanks for going the incest route.

      Well it is certainly far more relevant to the DOMA issue than the anti-miscegenation laws that you introduced. Anti-miscegenation laws of the past bear no resemblance to DOMA. Anti-miscegenation laws actually criminalized inter-racial sex and marriage and the act of performing such a marriage ceremony. DOMA did nothing even remotely similar. Under DOMA gays were perfectly free to engage in whatever sexual activity they wanted with each other, and they were equally free to get married if they could find someone willing to marry them. DOMA simply said that such same-sex relationships would not be construed to be a “marriage” for the purposes of federal law. There was no criminalization of anything.

      Anyway, your understandable evasion notwithstanding, the issue of incest goes precisely to what Takei calls his “ick” factor, or what a more mature thinker/writer might call a “taboo”. It is most certainly true that people often have visceral reactions to certain kinds of activities, and that just as often those activities become the objects of both cultural stigma and even legal prohibitions. However, Takei, in defending same-sex marriage, would have us believe both that it is only the existence of such a taboo that explains opposition to same-sex marriage and, more importantly, that for that reason opposition to same-sex marriage is unreasonable. That is to say, Takei thinks that to have a viscerally negative reaction to a particularly activity cannot be a legitimate reason to oppose the activity or to discriminate against those who choose to engage in it. I’d like to test how much he really believes that principle by asking him whether or not he objects to what is certainly another taboo activity, incest, and if so how he can square his objection to it with his implicit argument that something being taboo, or “icky” in his adolescent framing, is no reason to object to it, either in culture or in law.

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  10. Yello,

    Do you believe there can be principled opposition to gay marraige.

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  11. There was no criminalization of anything.

    There was until Lawrence v. Texas, so it’s not like there wasn’t a history of unequal treatment of homosexuals up until then.

    Do you believe there can be principled opposition to gay marraige.

    The principle in favor of same-sex marriage is that gay people shouldn’t be treated unequally under the law. I’m really shocked that more conservatives aren’t in favor of keeping the government out of people’s personal business.

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    • The principle in favor of same-sex marriage is that gay people shouldn’t be treated unequally under the law.

      That was not a principle spoken to by the Supremes, in either case.

      States remain free to define marriage as they have always been absent a violation of a competing constitutional principle. Equal protection of homosexuals was ignored to the point that the cases establish for now that current same sex couples would not in the near future be able to raise that argument as a winner.

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    • yello:

      There was until Lawrence v. Texas

      Non sequitur. Lawrence v Texas had nothing to do with DOMA.

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    • yello:

      I’m really shocked that more conservatives aren’t in favor of keeping the government out of people’s personal business.

      Um..a legal marriage actually requires the involvement of the state in one’s personal life. If gays, or anyone for that matter, want the state to stay out of their life, then they really ought not be seeking government permission to get married, nor ought they be seeking government benefits for being married. You don’t sue the state to “officially” recognize you if all you want is to be left alone.

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  12. Mark, why would I do that when I’m not the one trying to argue there is no slippery slope and gay marriage is the end of the line. I’m confused.

    Yello, is your answer that all opposition to gay marraige is based on homophobia? I’m still confused.

    I’ve said it before, I think the State and Feds should not sanction any marraige.

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    • George, I misunderstood or characterized someone else’s statement as yours. But-but-but, who the hell else could I address my Aggie comment to?

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  13. I guarantee there will develop a not insignificant movement to legalize the most (to you) incomprehensible form of marriage.

    And even if there isn’t, one will be invented for the purposes of right wing media demagoguing. Keeping fringe groups center stage is what has kept NAMBLA and the New Black Panther in the news.

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  14. I’ve said it before, I think the State and Feds should not sanction any marraige.

    That’s not a principled objection to same-sex marriage, it’s a principled objection to all marriage.

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  15. Unless a state legitimizes some form of marriage that you imagine, there will never be an issue, just as there would not have been here.

    What would be the candidates?
    Polygamy in Utah?
    Bestiality in Montana?
    Incest in Kentucky?

    The age of consent (with parental permission) is as low as twelve in some states so the pedophilia ship has already sailed.

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  16. Yello, are you not understanding my question?

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  17. Can their be principle opposition to gay marriage?

    Do you believe there can be principled opposition to gay marraige.

    Yello, is your answer that all opposition to gay marraige is based on homophobia? I’m still confused.

    Yello, are you not understanding my question?

    I understand the question perfectly. You seem to be the one not understanding the answers.

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    • yello:

      You seem to be the one not understanding the answers.

      You have not answered him yet. He asked you if there could be principled opposition to gay marriage, and you responded by telling him what the principle was supporting gay marriage.

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  18. Non sequitur. Lawrence v Texas had nothing to do with DOMA.

    If you think DOMA had nothing to do with Lawrence vs. Texas, I can’t explain the connection. Hint: All sexual acts performed within a same-sex marriage are technically sodomy. Before Lawrence vs. Texas consummating a gay marriage required committing a crime.

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    • yello:

      If you think DOMA had nothing to do with Lawrence vs. Texas, I can’t explain the connection.

      There is no connection. DOMA was a federal law defining “marriage” for the purposes of federal law. Lawrence v Texas related to a Texas law which prohibited certain types of sexual activity. The two cases are unrelated. The fact that homosexuals may have had an interest in the outcome of each case does not “connect” them.

      Again, my original point was that Takei’s comparison of DOMA to anti-miscegenation laws was nonsensical. Anti-miscegenation laws criminalized activity. DOMA did not criminalize anything. There is no comparability between them at all. I assume that, having had to resort to injecting a totally different piece of legislation into the discussion, you concede the point.

      Before Lawrence vs. Texas consummating a gay marriage required committing a crime.

      In Texas there would be no marriage to be consummated. Same-sex marriage is not recognized. But consummating a marriage…what a quaint notion, surely as outdated as the notion that marriage is the union of a man and a woman. What possible interest does the state have in discriminating against people who are not going to have some kind of sex together? I bring you back to my mother and son hypothetical. Anyone who thinks they shouldn’t be allowed to get legally married must be a hateful bigot.

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  19. Your right Yello, I don’t understand hence my repeated questions. I’m gathering you do not want to answer. If so, why?

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  20. A mother and son already have a life time commitment with tangible financial benefits Scott, and since one of the socially understood aspects of marriage is a sexual relationship, I really don’t see a big change coming down the pipeline to include marriages between relatives.

    I’m pretty sure any court in the land will find some way to nix that idea if someone actually has the temerity to challenge the definition of marriage to include incestual relationships. You mentioned taboos, and some are meant to be broken, if enough people believe them to be acceptable over time, while others will, and should, remain taboo.

    There have always been marriages of convenience, even between heterosexuals, and I don’t think there’s any way to really prevent that entirely, but I just can’t get too worked up about some of these far-fetched scenarios. I don’t think you can claim familial marriages as a civil rights issue the same way SSM has been both framed and fought for. We’ve always treated a blood connection inherently different than a union between two unrelated people who want to marry.

    I think it’s really cynical to not just be able to recognize that there are same sex couples out there who see what marriage means to some of us and not just accept the simple fact that as an expression of love and committment they want the same thing, which includes some of the benefits as well as the responsibilities that go with it.

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  21. lms:

    and since one of the socially understood aspects of marriage is a sexual relationship, I really don’t see a big change coming down the pipeline to include marriages between relatives.

    The fact that one of the “socially understood” aspects of marriage has been, for virtually all of history, a heterosexual relationship didn’t stop big change from occurring. It didn’t even stop you from advocating for such a big change.

    I don’t think you can claim familial marriages as a civil rights issue the same way SSM has been both framed and fought for.

    Of course I can. The issues are exactly the same…state discrimination in denying certain government benefits to a particular class of people for no good reason.

    We’ve always treated a blood connection inherently different than a union between two unrelated people who want to marry.

    We’ve always treated a homosexual relationship inherently different than a union between two heterosexuals who want to marry. And yet..

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  22. Lms, I suspect we’ll be confronted with the multiple spouses scenario before my 18 months is up. Islam has a long tradition of multiple wives. Those that practice it here are being denied benefits based on pretty arbitrary reasons. Hello tax and Federal benefits to a man and his wives / a woman and her husbands. I can think of no legal reason why it should not be allowed and why it should not be considered a civil right.

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  23. I suspect we’ll be confronted with the multiple spouses scenario before my 18 months is up.

    I’ll buy the chance of a polygamy test case long before a transgenerational incest couple. The latter is just a tax dodge.

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    • yello:

      The latter is just a tax dodge.

      So is the desire for federally recognized gay marriage.

      It’s rather amusing to see the different ways some people characterize the exact same thing depending upon the narrative they wish to tell. For situations they like it is all about achieving “marriage equality” and being afforded the same “rights and benefits” that the government confers on heterosexuals. But for situations they don’t like it is just a “tax dodge”.

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      • So is the desire for federally recognized gay marriage.

        If that is what you think it’s all about, you are so off the mark as to be incomprehensible. Gay marriage as a crusade was originally created as a pie-in-the-sky goal as a milestone for the societal acceptance of homosexual relationships. For many gay couples, marriage would result in tax increases, which has been one of my tongue-in-cheek points if favor of it. The ‘benefits’ are more intangible and narrowly legalistic, hospital visitation rights, implicit power of attorney, etc.

        Yes, the DOMA test case was over inheritance but the goal was equal treatment not special treatment. Again, I don’t understand the conservative rejection of this argument since marriage is a fundamentally conservative institution. It’s these polyamorous polysexual free-love hippies you should be railing against.

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        • yello:

          Gay marriage as a crusade was originally created as a pie-in-the-sky goal as a milestone for the societal acceptance of homosexual relationships.

          If this is the case then they should be trying to win cultural and legislative victories, not court victories. It is one thing to try to change the culture to accept something that has in the past not been culturally acceptable. It is quite another to insist that it doesn’t matter whether or not cultural change has occurred, this change should be foisted upon society as a matter of already legally existing “rights”. The latter has logical consequences which, though you might wish to deny them, exist nonetheless.

          The ‘benefits’ are more intangible and narrowly legalistic, hospital visitation rights, implicit power of attorney, etc.

          All things that the classification of civil unions at the state level can confer. There is no need to change the legal definition of marriage nor invalidate federal laws.

          Again, I don’t understand the conservative rejection of this argument since marriage is a fundamentally conservative institution.

          You are playing a semantic game, using the term “marriage” to refer to something other than what it has always meant, and then expressing puzzlement over the fact that people who have held marriage, as traditionally understood, to be important might reject “marriages” that fall under your new definition.

          Perhaps if you considered why marriage has been a fundamentally conservative institution, you would not be so puzzled. Hint: It has to do with a common consequence of heterosexual sex.

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        • Interesting collection of data on that libertarian purity test we did the other day.

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        • You are playing a semantic game

          I admit to being a very dark kettle.

          Speaking of semantics, I’m a big fan of what are called retronyms, words or phrases that didn’t exist before a distinction had to be made to distinguish it from a more recent development. For example, nobody ever played an acoustic guitar before the invention of the electric guitar. Before then it was just a plain guitar. The same with day baseball and landline phones and lots of other things.

          In the Washington Post today they have a long article on what is being called a God-written marriage so as to distinguish it from the now diluted and meaningless gay-available marriage.

          As the groom explains it:

          “People think that I don’t want people to be together because they’re homosexuals, and that’s not it,” Randy had said. “People have a right to be together — that’s fine. I just believe marriage is religious, and I want to keep my religious things sacred. I don’t know if that’s mean or not, but I don’t want my religious beliefs to be diluted — not by heterosexuals or homosexuals. I don’t know, is that controversial?”

          There is the hyper-libertarian belief that all marriages should be non-secular and the government shouldn’t give out any special privileges based on living arrangements or romantic vows. While this is a principled opposition, it smacks a little of those states which were willing to abolish public schools to avoid integration. Marriage is a legal and social covenant. By de-secularizing it you end up throwing out a lot of baby with that bathwater.

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        • yello:

          I admit to being a very dark kettle.

          Clever, although somewhat sleazy in that you imply a charge that is left vague and unspecified, making it impossible to counter.

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  24. Here is an NPR story from a few years ago about American-born women in polygamous Muslim marriages.

    At first, the two families lived in separate homes. Now Shaheed, his two wives and nine of his 10 children live in one house. Each wife has a bedroom on a separate floor, but everything else is communal, including cooking and eating. Shaheed says it’s not easy to treat his two very different wives equally, but he tries.

    Less obviously some Asian immigrants, especially older ones, have stealth plural marriages. You will see an older couple with a younger or middle-aged woman as part of the family. But this is all still very discreet and never legally sanctioned.

    And since polygamy is considered inherently patriarchal, I don’t see it gaining the support of many liberal feminists.

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  25. Those are interesting results on the Libertarian Purity Test but it is a set of self-selected responses from a presumably already right-ward tilting sample size. I would still like to see the results from a scientific population cross-section.

    But NoVa can take comfort that he is more libertarian than Ben Domenech.

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  26. I think yello’s earlier point is the right one. This isn’t an even split in goals. It’s 30% benefts and 70% the desire to cast off outdated norms and instill new one. that said, I don’t understand how you can argue “families come in all shapes and sizes” and then slam the door when it comes to polygamy. perhaps recognizing it would get it out of the shadows and offer the protections the rest of us now enjoy.

    Like

  27. @lmsinca: “Scott, I think the fears are irrational as I haven’t yet seen a movement for the kind of marriage depicted in the cartoon.”

    Not at all. It’s also not new. You’ve ended up marrying your spouses entire family, whether you knew it or not, pretty much since the institution of marriage came into existence. For some folks, more of the marriage is devoted to dealing with your spouse’s family than your spouse. 😉

    Like

  28. I think it’s interesting that Merriam-Webster added a second definition to marriage fully 10 years ago to include same-sex couples. Maybe when they change the definition to include polygamous and incestual relationships we’ll know the court case and ensuing freak out will follow in about 10 years. That will give us an indication of how socially acceptable the ideas are.

    Like

    • lms:

      That will give us an indication of how socially acceptable the ideas are.

      I think that is probably a better indication than what Anthony Kennedy might have to say about it.

      Like

  29. Kevin, that wasn’t an angle I’d actually thought of but you’re absolutely correct, for better or worse, hah.

    Like

  30. that’s funny, lms.
    i’ll have to dig it up, but there have been cases of the courts providing parental rights to more than 2 people. kind of a gay couple + ex or biological father type thing.

    Like

  31. @yellojkt: “Thanks for going the incest route. I hate to get accused of building strawmen.”

    It’s a strawman in the sense that there will not be a movement towards legalizing incestual marriages, so if one is trying to “guilt by association”, it is a strawman. As a question of general concepts, however, it makes for a diverting thought exercise. re the objections to incestual relationships based on “ick”? I think the answer is mostly yes. And nothing wrong with that in this case, I don’t think.

    Of course, anti-miscengation as it relates to marriage equality is also a strawman. For much the same reason: there are about as many people pushing for the one as for the other. Also, there is a material difference between objecting to men and women from different groups, be it race or caste, marrying and wanting to re-define the traditional concept of marriage (man+women+potential children) as something different. Desiring to keep the traditional view of marriage codified in law and in the church may be without societal value, but being opposed to gay marriage is not the same as being opposed to mixed-race marriages. The objection is not superficial, even if we, as a society, are moving to a point of accepting same-sex marriage as a social good.

    Like

  32. slam the door when it comes to polygamy

    Polygamy has a much tougher uphill road. As currently practiced, it is the province of Mormon splinter sects and Islamic fundamentalists, two groups without a lot of political power within the United States.

    Marriage itself has evolved a great deal from the time not so long ago when wives were considered chattel with no inherent rights of their own. It’s only when the idea of marriage being between two equal partners came into play that the idea of gay marriage even became conceivable. The major paradigm shift from ‘traditional’ marriage to inclusive marriage is simply gender-neutralizing the various terms of art in the laws. Very little else changes.

    Polygamy opens up a thicker set of thorns as things like inheritance and parental rights get more complicated with the square of the number of participants. If polygamy were to become legal we would probably have to import a great deal of precedent and procedure from sharia law.

    If you need a line drawn in the sand, the distinguishing circumstance between two-partner marriage (to coin a retronym) and polygamy would be that nobody is ‘born’ a polygamist in the way someone is gay or straight, although I’m sure we can find sociologists to argue the opposite.

    Like

    • yello:

      If you need a line drawn in the sand, the distinguishing circumstance between two-partner marriage (to coin a retronym) and polygamy would be that nobody is ‘born’ a polygamist in the way someone is gay or straight, although I’m sure we can find sociologists to argue the opposite.

      My guess is that in fact most males are born polygamists, and that it is primarily social conventions that have turned them into single-partner creatures.

      Like

      • My guess is that in fact most males are born polygamists, and that it is primarily social conventions that have turned them into single-partner creatures.

        No argument from my end. While there are many polygamous societies, there are few polyandrous ones. Which does bring us back to the concept that marriage is inherently a societal construct and society is free to modify and change it as it sees fit. Widening the circle is not the same as destroying the institution.

        Like

        • yello:

          Which does bring us back to the concept that marriage is inherently a societal construct and society is free to modify and change it as it sees fit.

          And, by implication then, free not to change it as it sees fit. In other words, it is not a question of either moral or constitutional mandates, as same-sex marriage advocates routinely maintain.

          Like

  33. The court system is not the proper place to seek that 70%.

    Based on current polling, over half of that 70% has already been done as support for same sex marriage now polls over 50%. 30% of the US population now lives in a state with legalized SSM. As for the legal end on a state-by-state basis, the pendulum has swung to where judicial fiat (Iowa and California) is becoming less common as a way of legalizing SSM as much as referendum (MD) or legislation (NY).

    I do predict that a Supreme Court decision on the full faith and credit clause will be required to make deep red states recognized same-sex marriages. Whether that will result in them having to perform them or simply recognize ones performed in other jurisdictions, I don’t know.

    Like

    • yello:

      As for the legal end on a state-by-state basis, the pendulum has swung to where judicial fiat (Iowa and California) is becoming less common as a way of legalizing SSM as much as referendum (MD) or legislation (NY).

      And yet the thing that had everyone celebrating this past week was a court decision.

      I have two primary objections to the whole same-sex marriage movement, and legislating it into existence is not one of them. First, I object to the pretense that there is no conceivable reason for any person of good-will to object to the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples. I understand it as an effective, if dishonest, political strategy, ie try to paint your opponents as moral reprobates, but honest observers ought to be able to recognize it as just that, a political strategy and not an accurate representation of reality. Second, and perhaps more importantly, I object to the continued use of the court system and the perversion of the constitution as a shortcut to obtaining political victories that are more properly settled at the ballot box.

      Like

  34. @novahockey: “I don’t understand how you can argue “families come in all shapes and sizes” and then slam the door when it comes to polygamy”

    Logically, you cannot. The polygamy argument is usually one of quantity: there aren’t a lot of people arguing for polygamy, and the segment of the population who publicly support polygamy don’t have the best PR. There are no George Takeis or Neil Patrick Harrises among the splintered polygamous cults. Also, polygamy tends to correlate with folks like David Koresh or oher fugitives who married 12 year old girls and so on.

    There’s an episode of Big Love where Bill Paxton’s character talks about how to make the case against gay marriage so nobody confused the God-given principle of sister-wives with the unnatural abomination of homosexuality. Or something like that. Which goes to the point that neither the small minority of polygamists (although fictional in this case, actual polygamists have made the same points) or the much larger group of folks in favor of marriage equality are comfortable with the fact that the desire to redefine marriage makes them involuntary bedfellows.

    The point being, homosexuals are arguing for gay marriage because that’s what they want. They don’t want polygamous relationships, so they leave the job of arguing for them or trying to get the law to acknowledge them as legitimate to others. But when the argument is made that polygamy is wrong or unnatural . . . I’m not sure how you support gay marriage but oppose polygamy. I suspect, in most cases, it’s less opposition than just not caring. Lots of people have gay friends who they think ought to get married if they want. Almost nobody knows an out-of-the-closet polygamist.

    But, logically, it is as you say. If “families come in all shapes and sizes”, marriages between multiple partners fit logically into that. Of course, even if there was a sizable pro-polygamy movement, you wouldn’t get public support of legal sanction if almost all the polygamous marriages were one man and a harem.

    Also, there is a more ready legal remedy for polygamous marriage, especially now. Have two or more couples married to each other involved in semi-open marriages where they share spouses. This would be a little limited—three spouse arrangements would be problematic. But four spouses or six, and each pair is married to the other, thus enjoying said tax benefits and power of attorney to at least the immediate partner, while all of them can sleep with each other.

    But in the secular world, open marriages tax care of most of the potential polygamists. They have other sexual partners, often the same ones for long periods, and enjoy the primary couple enjoy the benefits of marriage while the 3rd or 4th partners don’t worry that much about it.

    There is not the same amount of discrimination against potential polygamists as there are against homosexuals (well before marriage comes into the picture), historically. That is, you don’t have guys in high school getting beat up by a group of guys for being a potential polygamist. Indeed, it can be a badge of honor to have multiple partners for some, or juggle girlfriends, and if you are a a guy and get have more than one girlfriend and have them both cool with it, you’re a rock star.

    Gay marriage is about more than gay marriage. It’s about normalizing homosexuality and making open gay relationships more mainstream (not that Neil Patrick Harris hasn’t pretty much taken care of that all by himself). There’s just not a movement out there to normalize polygamy, because there is no larger agenda, like mainstreaming homosexuality, to attach it to.

    I could also discuss Western concepts of romantic love, soul mates, and so on, but there are any number of reasons why polygamy is not going to get the same treatment as gay marriage.

    Like

  35. Not so sure about the monogamous/polygamous and the sexes thing anymore.

    Since its beginnings, when it was called “sociobiology,” evolutionary psychology has been wed to the theory that women are monogamous and men are promiscuous—that men have a compunction to spread their seed while women instinctually want to lock some guy down to raise her children. Feminist attempts to create sexual equality between men and women were doomed to fail, because they went against biology. Shrugging was encouraged, and the term “hard-wired” was mandatory.

    But now the evidence is beginning to trickle in, and one sticky fact has thrown this entire theory into jeopardy: It’s women and not men who get bored with monogamy faster. As Daniel Bergner writes in the New York Times, women are far more likely to lose interest in sex with their partners. This doesn’t necessarily translate into infidelity—a choice many reject because it’s so hurtful—but, Bergner reports, spouse-weary women often just avoid sex altogether.

    Add to that the study Bergner cites showing women respond to novelty in pornographic fantasies, and another showing that women are much more turned on by fantasies of sex with strangers than friends. You’d be forgiven for concluding that the gender most interested in mixing it up might be…women.

    What’s really fascinating is that with this shift in understanding comes a profound shift in how we as a society are deciding to respond. There will be no shrugging of the shoulders and tossing around the word “hard-wired” to rationalize women disappointing male expectations of passionate monogamous sex. Instead, as Bergner writes, a ton of money is being spent on developing a drug women can take to restore their desire for their husbands. The drug, called Lybrido, is in clinical trials now with the hope of writing an FDA application by the end of the year.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/05/23/nytimes_on_lybrido_women_get_bored_with_monogamy_faster_than_men.html

    Like

  36. Scott

    I have two primary objections to the whole same-sex marriage movement, and legislating it into existence is not one of them.

    The thing with prop 8 is that SSM was legislated here in CA, the ballot box via Prop 8 un-legislated it and so the issue went to the courts. The courts came last not first.

    First, I object to the pretense that there is no conceivable reason for any person of good-will to object to the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples.

    I’m sure there are people who have what they consider a principled position against SSM, I just don’t agree with them. I do try to respect their position when they’re not also making it about what they might consider the immorality of homosexuality. They lose me there. I know that is not you or McWing’s argument though, if that makes a difference.

    Like

    • lms:

      And jeebus, it’s nice to talk about something besides abortion.

      lol

      The thing with prop 8 is that SSM was legislated here in CA, the ballot box via Prop 8 un-legislated it and so the issue went to the courts. The courts came last not first.

      CA’s situation is complicated and raises its own issues. My understanding is that it went to the courts after prop 22, not prop 8, and that prop 8 was passed in response to the prop 22 ruling. I have mixed feelings about the whole ballot initiative process, but it has been accepted as a legitimate method of enacting laws. So given that is the case, what we have now is a law duly passed in CA which has only been overturned because of a federal court ruling. In other words, this is not a case of “the people” of CA deciding to recognize same-sex marriages. Quite the opposite, we have a case of “the people” of CA deciding not to sanction SSM, but being forced to because of the interference of a federal court. This is exactly the sort of thing I am talking about.

      As an aside, I think that as a representative of the people of CA, the executive’s refusal to defend prop 8 in federal court was a gross dereliction of duty, and that if he truly felt so opposed to prop 8 that he could not in good conscience defend it, he had an obligation to resign from office in order to avoid defending it.

      Like

  37. And jeebus, it’s nice to talk about something besides abortion. 😉

    Like

  38. [deletes comment about abortion]

    From lms…………..thank you, I’d rather discuss seat belt laws…………….hahaha

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  39. But in the secular world, open marriages tax care of most of the potential polygamists. They have other sexual partners, often the same ones for long periods, and enjoy the primary couple enjoy the benefits of marriage while the 3rd or 4th partners don’t worry that much about it.

    Dan Savage, nationally syndicated sex advice columnist is a big proponent of open relationships or being ‘monogamish’ as he calls it. In his construct there are primary relationships which can be of legal or other bond and secondary relationships which can be semi-permanent or of the ‘special guest star’ variety. His biggest contention is that these ground rules must be negotiated in advance as to who can do what with whom outside the primary bond with or without advance notification. It all sounds too complicated to a lazy person like me.

    His one big red flag is that these arrangements cannot be created retroactively as Newt Gingrich allegedly tried to do.

    Like

  40. @ScottC: “My guess is that in fact most males are born polygamists, and that it is primarily social conventions that have turned them into single-partner creatures.”

    I think men and women both tend to pair bond, and high partner counts damage the pair bonding response and the ability to get satisfaction out of romantic relationships (see: Sex In the City). Both men and women can and many are serial polygamists. They may not keep more than one or two simultaneous partners, but always want to have something going on.

    As with opposite sex marriage, social conventions happen for a reason. I think it’s best for individuals and families, overall, to pair bond and have a focused relationship. Marriage has become what it has become over time through social evolution: it has been the best solution for individual and family. Things do change, however, and I think gay marriage is a sign that the institution is at a tipping point. But there is probably a performance reason why the institution of marriage exists in it’s current form, and arguably that, despite feeling attraction for any potential female of child bearing age, the best strategy for genetic continuity is that a guy sticks around with his partner to help protect and provide for offspring. Not a coincidence that most late-term divorces (they were married for 25 years? What happened?) comes when the youngest kid hits college, or graduates.

    Like

  41. I understand it as an effective, if dishonest, political strategy, ie try to paint your opponents as moral reprobates, but honest observers ought to be able to recognize it as just that, a political strategy and not an accurate representation of reality.

    Which side paints their opponents as moral reprobates? I got confused in there somewhere.

    Like

  42. “Which does bring us back to the concept that marriage is inherently a societal construct and society is free to modify and change it as it sees fit. ”

    In a democracy, the elected representatives are the ones who legitimately do this, not the courts.

    Like

  43. “lmsinca, on June 30, 2013 at 6:55 pm said:

    I’m pretty sure any court in the land will find some way to nix that idea if someone actually has the temerity to challenge the definition of marriage to include incestual relationships. ”

    You are correct, because legal principles, precedent and consistency have had and will continue to have nothing to do with the actual decisions. It’s a raw exercise in political power and social policy enactment.

    Like

  44. “ScottC, on July 1, 2013 at 5:30 am said:

    yello:

    The latter is just a tax dodge.

    So is the desire for federally recognized gay marriage.”

    The entertaining part will be when two people who aren’t gay enter into a same sex marriage to do exactly this.

    Like

  45. I think men and women both tend to pair bond, and high partner counts damage the pair bonding response and the ability to get satisfaction out of romantic relationships

    Just because I was too lazy to change the channel this weekend, I watch the movie What’s Your Number? where Anna Faris’s character has a bio-sociolgical bomb go off in her head because she learns that since she’s had 20 sexual partners she is statistically unlikely to ever get married. She teams up with her hyper-promiscuous guy neighbor to determine which of her previous lovers she should settle down with. Hilarity ensues.

    Like

  46. The entertaining part will be when two people who aren’t gay enter into a same sex marriage to do exactly this.

    Or not so entertaining.

    Like

  47. jnc, you may be surprised but I don’t actually disagree with this. Unfortunately, they’re not only shaping social policy.

    You are correct, because legal principles, precedent and consistency have had and will continue to have nothing to do with the actual decisions. It’s a raw exercise in political power and social policy enactment.

    Like

  48. @lmsinca: “Not so sure about the monogamous/polygamous and the sexes thing anymore.”

    For the most part, when men and women talk about infidelity and temptation and a willingness to respond, women will sound a lot more monogamous and men will sound a lot more interested in straying, finding new partners, etc. Consciously. In practice, women tend to stray as often as men, and engage in practices that would seem outright creepy . . . if they were conscious.

    Women in the midst of a secret affair, for example, will often continue to have sex with their husbands to keep them complacent and providing . . . but not when they are ovulating. Sex that might result in pregnancy is saved for their partner, who by definition is currently more naturally attractive to them than their spouse.

    Women would probably stray less than men, perhaps much less, if their spouse stayed attractive to them, and continued to be more attractive than every other male the woman came in contact with. This is in part because male suitability is more complicated, thus attraction harder for men to maintain: men need to be strong, not unemotional but not ruled by emotion, they need to be powerful, and not put up will bullshit, but also not lose their temper, they need to be reasonably physically fit and attractive, and they need to be fun. They need to be obviously attractive to other women, but clearly faithful. They need to be sensitive, but not doormats, and in certain areas, for certain women, they need to be insensitive (which leads to the frequent conundrum of long term high sexual interest: the woman is often simultaneously frustrated and angry with the man she has ongoing sexual attraction for). The guy also needs to have stuff going on, and be leading his own life, and not be a dick but also not care too much what anybody else thinks, including the woman.

    The woman, on the other hand, has to be sexually available. She needs to be either attracted to him, or able to fake it convincingly. Or the potential has to be there. Thus, the man will tend to be sexually attracted to his wife (on the whole) much longer than she will be sexually attracted to him.

    Like

  49. “I’d rather discuss seat belt laws”

    by biggest pet peeve is people who put their feet on the dashboard. what a mess that is.

    Like

  50. @yellojkt: ” She teams up with her hyper-promiscuous guy neighbor to determine which of her previous lovers she should settle down with. Hilarity ensues.”

    The problem is, neither of them behave the way people with 19+ partners tend to. But I like both Ana Farris and Chris Evans, and enjoyed the film.

    Like

  51. “Kevin S. Willis, on July 1, 2013 at 8:46 am said:

    @yellojkt: ” She teams up with her hyper-promiscuous guy neighbor to determine which of her previous lovers she should settle down with. Hilarity ensues.”

    The problem is, neither of them behave the way people with 19+ partners tend to. But I like both Ana Farris and Chris Evans, and enjoyed the film.”

    My general experience is that serial monogamy is the norm. One at a time, but not one for life.

    Like

  52. Uh Kevin, you sure seem to know a lot about all this male/female sexuality stuff….. 😉

    It was interesting reading your take on women in general. One of these days I’ll have to give you the real scoop………….hahaha, not that you’re entirely wrong.

    Like

    • I and several men and women I know well who have lived more than 55 years can recount truly having spent a great deal of energy on sex between the ages of 14 and 25. Screwing around. In the sixties casual dating included sex. I believe that is true for most young people today, as well.

      I and most of my friends were completely faithful in marriages, even when they were ending badly. I don’t have any reason to equate casual sex with infidelity, from personal experience or the experiences of friends. In fact, my few friends who did cheat on their wives and/or in sexually exclusive relationships were all in sales or trial law and were always trying to sell themselves to everyone. The women I know who cheated in supposedly exclusive relationships were romance junkies and unhappy when not on a romantic high that was unsustainable. Again, most people I have known for thirty, forty, fifty years or more have been faithful to their commitments.

      The trial judge who decided Lawrence v. Texas and who was affirmed by the Supremes lived with me in my home in 1991 when both of our then wives announced we were too boring for them. We two went camping on Easter weekend ’91 in the Guadalupe Mountains and over the fire, at altitude, Paul said to me that he had asked their counselor why it seemed most people liked him but his wife did not. The answer was not immediate in coming, but it came. It was that Paul had tried to “make Kathy happy” but she wasn’t, and he became blameworthy for that. I learned the exact same lesson in counseling. My best friend from HS, a pediatric cardiologist in DC, found himself in the same predicament with his wife, a year later. In all three cases, the women acted like KW described and the men were not only faithful, but were called “stable” by our marriage counselors. We were boring to the unhappy empty nest wives.
      ***
      NOW I and [most of] my peer group would rather stay home and read a book than pursue sex for pleasure alone [and in my case, I am referring to the time when I was 47-50 and divorced and not in a sexually exclusive relationship, as I was 50 when Rosanne and I entered into one that continues]. I get tired just thinking of me at 23. And my mind does not bifurcate any more into two separate organs. It is just part of the aging process. Rosanne and I still look forward to our Saturday night dates. We are neither dead nor unattractive to each other [I TAKE HER WORD ON THIS!]. So whatever it was that made casual sex attractive at one time just seems tiresome now, and the thrill of it was greatest at 14, continued rampant until 24 or 25, and has been on a downcurve ever since, slowly in my thirties and forties, then more pronounced.

      I am guessing my experience of this is not uncommon in my age group.

      Like

  53. Scott, it’s true that prop 22 came before the bills that passed through legislation which attempted to legalize ssm. Schwarzenegger vetoed the first bill and then was waiting for the courts to decide the second bill. There was always a tension here re ssm. I guess my point was that at some point the courts have to decide the issue at least in CA’s case. Same sex couples were getting married here pre Prop 8.

    I can’t really speak to the executive’s refusal to defend prop 8 as I don’t understand all the legal ramifications of the decision. No matter how much I read there seem to be conflicting legal opinions on the subject and I’m not qualified to speculate.

    Like

    • lms:

      I guess my point was that at some point the courts have to decide the issue at least in CA’s case.

      I don’t think they do. The federal courts can, and should, allow the states to decide the issue for themselves.

      I can’t really speak to the executive’s refusal to defend prop 8 as I don’t understand all the legal ramifications of the decision.

      I meant more as a matter of ethics, not law.

      Like

      • The federal courts can, and should, allow the states to decide the issue for themselves.

        It was the California Supreme Court that over-ruled the referendum and the US Ninth District that over-ruled them. How does that square with your concept of federalism and state sovereignty?

        Like

        • yello:

          It was the California Supreme Court that over-ruled the referendum and the US Ninth District that over-ruled them. How does that square with your concept of federalism and state sovereignty?

          My understanding is that the CA Supremes ruled against prop 22 on the grounds that it was contrary to the CA state constitution. So the people responded to this with prop 8, which actually amended the state constitution so that it explicitly sanctioned only opposite-sex marriages, obviously rendering the previous ruling moot. The CA Supremes then affirmed the legitimacy of prop 8 as an amendment (rather than a “revision”) to the CA constitution, thereby ending the issue at the state level. All of this squares perfectly with my concept of federalism and state sovereignty.

          However, since the issue had been resolved definitively at the state level in favor of the will of the people rather than the will of the SSM movement, the only place left available to the SSM movement was the federal courts. The federal court could have ruled, as it should have, by affirming state sovereignty over establishing marriage laws. Instead it ruled that the amendment to the CA constitution violated the US constitution, handing the SSM movement a federal court ordered victory over the will of the people of CA. CA’s executive refused to defend his own state’s sovereignty by appealing, SCOTUS ruled that no one else had standing to appeal, and therefore left the lower federal court’s imposition on state sovereignty in place.

          So, as far as I can see, the only reason that SSM is now legal in California is because a single federal court judge, Vaughn Walker, thinks it should be. That does not square in the slightest with my concept of federalism and state sovereignty.

          Like

  54. @lmsinca: Long study! There’s some fascinating stuff out there. If you’re interested in a starting point, try The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature by Matt Ridley. And this:

    Sperm Wars.

    Keep in mind, as far as the real scoop goes, most of what I’m talking about goes on below the surface. Keeping in mind, both women and men aren’t great at actually describing what they actually find attractive in long term relationships, and women are horrible at accurate describing (as a group) what they find sexually attractive in men. But they think they are . . . however, what revs a lady’s sex drive is not necessarily what makes for a good long term relationship, or child-rearing partner, so its one of those many areas where exerting intellect over instinct can be good for us.

    Like

  55. by biggest pet peeve is people who put their feet on the dashboard. what a mess that is.

    Women do this. Is it something to do with the vag or what? I never see guys do it.

    Like

  56. @Troll: “Women do this.”

    My daughter does this all the time. I have to tell her to put her feet down. Both cars have footprints, and actual damage, from this practice. I don’t think I ever put my feet up on the dashboard, like, ever. Even back when I was young at it was the early seventies and I could stand up in the car seat, or sit backwards, or whatever. Just never occurred to me: hey, wouldn’t it be a more comfortable ride if my feet were on the dash?

    Like

  57. http://metronews.ca/drive/251601/get-your-feet-off-the-dash-for-safetys-sake/

    see the picture. where are her knees going to go if the airbag deploys.
    and what if you’re rear ended.

    Like

  58. That’s some gruesome stuff in that thread, NoVA!

    Like

  59. “yellojkt, on July 1, 2013 at 9:37 am said:

    The federal courts can, and should, allow the states to decide the issue for themselves.

    It was the California Supreme Court that over-ruled the referendum and the US Ninth District that over-ruled them. How does that square with your concept of federalism and state sovereignty?”

    You are incorrect. The California Supreme Court upheld it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Proposition_8

    “The court rendered its decision on May 26, 2009. The ruling established that Proposition 8 was valid as voted, but that marriages performed before it went into effect would remain valid. ”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strauss_v._Horton

    Like

  60. Unfortunately, Kevin, for some reason it is more comfortable to ride that way! Don’t ask me why, though.

    NoVA, I promise I will do my best to remember to not do it any more.

    Like

  61. Kevin,

    I do actually find the male/female dynamics in long term relationships fascinating. I’ve read the “Sperm Wars” but not the other. I’ve been and continue to be in a totally monogamous and faithful relationship since I was 28 so it’s not personally that interesting but both of our daughters are on the verge of marriage and so we’re constantly discussing “things”. It wears me out sometimes but I guess I’m glad they seek my counsel and I like to have different perspectives to share with them.

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  62. “So, as far as I can see, the only reason that SSM is now legal in California is because a single federal court judge, Vaughn Walker, thinks it should be. “

    No, this belongs to the SCOTUS. Walker didn’t play any BS game with standing and neither did the 9th Circuit.

    I still believe that if there was no standing for the appeal, then there should have been counsel appointed to present a defense.

    Like

    • Again, there was no standing issue in the trial court. None.

      The 9th certified standing to the CA Supremes and got a state law answer on standing and accepted it.

      The Supremes, under the FRAP cases, are much more restrictive on standing then the states. I was surprised the 9th certified the question because state standing laws could at most have an advisory effect on a federal court.

      Again, if they had not punted, they would have affirmed under Romer, which is on point. Kennedy decided Romer. And Lawrence. And Perry.

      Like

    • jnc:

      No, this belongs to the SCOTUS.

      SCOTUS may be to blame for deliberately evading the issue, but it seems to me that Walker is to blame for proclaiming that a state does not have the constitutional authority to restrict marriage to that between a man and a women. He made the ruling, no one else.

      What I find interesting is that in Windsor the majority claims that the federal government has no authority to define marriage, and therefore must defer to whatever a given state sees fit to say a marriage is. And yet CA now has had legalized same-sex marriage forced upon it simply because a member of the federal government, Judge Vaughn Walker, says that CA does not have the authority to define marriage as it sees fit.

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  63. Mark, interesting observations regarding you and Rosanne, it’s pretty much the same with my husband and myself and most of our friends. My first marriage was completely different from your experience though. My husband was a philanderer who hated the fact that I became pregnant so soon after our vows and just never got over me ruining his life. And honestly, he was a lying asshole about it.

    The age thing is really interesting though. Our youngest daughter was engaged the first time at 21 just as she was graduating from college and he was killed in a motorcycle accident. It took her 10 years to find someone else she wanted to spend the rest of her life with and the conversations regarding marriage and their commitment are completely different than the conversations we had 10 years ago…………….dramatically so.

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  64. Then Mark there needs to be some mechanism to force the executives at both the state and the federal level to defend all duly enacted laws, not just the ones that they approve of.

    This gaming of the system through selective defense will ultimately delegitimize the rule of law if it’s allowed to continue and succeed.

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    • Then Mark there needs to be some mechanism to force the executives at both the state and the federal level to defend all duly enacted laws, not just the ones that they approve of.

      Either that, or a system for the appellate court to appoint an ad litem to argue in defense of a statute. Agreed.

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      • Mark:

        Again, if they had not punted, they would have affirmed under Romer, which is on point.

        So you agree with Scalia’s dissenting predictions?

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        • Scalia’s dissents in Romer and Lawrence were correct as predictions.

          There is no doubt that Kennedy believes that discrimination against homosexuals is without rational basis and Romer was the shot heard ’round the world on this.

          I myself think that there is a rational basis for distinguishing SSM and while I would be for it as a legislator I would never have authored the opinion J. Walker authored. It covered the entire waterfront. The Supremes did not adopt his opinion, of course. Walker was constrained in many ways by Romer, which he cited 7 times, by my count.

          If any one human being is responsible for the changed legal status of homosexuals in America it is J. Kennedy.

          Without reversing Romer, at least, this was going to be the result here. Essentially, once a state has granted a legal right to all its adults it cannot retreat from it without a specific showing. The Colorado Supremes decided for Evans, too, but the SCOTUS rejected some of the CO reasoning, which was that CO could not retreat from general application of the law to specific denial of protection based on a strict scrutiny test. SCOTUS [J. Kennedy] asserted that the retreat not only did not meet strict scrutiny, but did not even measure up to a rational basis test.

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  65. “It is just part of the aging process.”

    that’s not true! that’s impossible!

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  66. Nova, nice Luke Skywalker / Empire Strikes Back reference.

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  67. The federal court could have ruled, as it should have, by affirming state sovereignty over establishing marriage laws. Instead it ruled that the amendment to the CA constitution violated the US constitution, handing the SSM movement a federal court ordered victory over the will of the people of CA.

    Thanks for that. It does clear up some mis-perceptions I had where I was conflating Prop 22 with Prop 8. It’s very interesting that the by denying standing the Supreme Court was able to dodge the ruling of Judge Vaughn Walker. They won’t be able to dance around it forever as some other judge will inevitably make the same or a contrary ruling.

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  68. “ScottC, on July 1, 2013 at 10:57 am said:

    jnc:

    No, this belongs to the SCOTUS.

    SCOTUS may be to blame for deliberately evading the issue, but it seems to me that Walker is to blame for proclaiming that a state does not have the constitutional authority to restrict marriage to that between a man and a women. “

    Walker ruled on the facts as he saw them and then gave the litigants an opportunity to appeal. He didn’t play procedural games and neither did the appellate court. The SCOTUS did what it wanted to get the results it desired. It wasn’t driven by any principle on standing or any desire to only decide real controversies before the court.

    I suppose I would make the distinction that even if you disagreed with Walker, he made an honest decision. The SCOTUS did not.

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    • jnc:

      I suppose I would make the distinction that even if you disagreed with Walker, he made an honest decision.

      That is fair enough, and that is exactly what I am doing. I disagree with Walker’s opinion, which I think represents an unconstitutional intrusion on state sovereignty. SCOTUS could have (and most certainly will eventually) make it worse by stamping its own imprimatur on the intrusion, but that is largely besides the point, which was that the decision was not left to the state of CA as it properly should be, but was instead imposed upon the state by the federal government.

      The SCOTUS did not.

      Scalia actually argued that SCOTUS should not have heard either prop 8 or Windsor. Do you think his position is not an honest one?

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  69. So you agree with Scalia’s dissenting predictions?

    Scalia has got a pretty good track record in doom-mongering. His dissent in Lawrence was fairly prescient even if we haven’t reached the bottom of his slippery slope yet:

    State laws against bigamy, same-sex marriage (emphasis added), adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality, and obscenity … every single one of these laws is called into question by today’s decision.
    {snip}
    If moral disapprobation of homosexual conduct is ‘no legitimate state interest’ for purposes of proscribing that conduct … what justification could there possibly be for denying the benefits of marriage to homosexual couples exercising ‘[t]he liberty protected by the Constitution?’

    I didn’t even know there were state laws against masturbation. Boy, are a lot of people in trouble.

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  70. “Scalia actually argued that SCOTUS should not have heard either prop 8 or Windsor. Do you think his position is not an honest one?”

    It’s consistent between those two cases with regards to standing, and he provides a good analysis of the “executive contrivance” of the Obama administration by not defending, while simultanously continuing to enforce DOMA to get the case to the Supreme Court while also undermining the defense.

    However, I don’t think his rhetoric on only deciding the cases that are actually before the court is consistent with his approach in Citizens United if he supported the re-argumentation and expansion of the decision which I assume he did as he was in the majority and I don’t believe his concurring opinion took issue with how the case was argued.

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  71. There are state laws against masturbation?????

    Not to question the great Scalia, but really?? Even Utah doesn’t go that far.

    But you’re right, his Lawrence dissent was pretty darn prescient.

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  72. We’re lucky he didn’t link pedophilia.

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  73. “yellojkt, on July 1, 2013 at 6:10 pm said:

    The real eye opener is that he equates homosexual acts (not even marriage) with prostitution, bestiality, and incest.”

    Why does this surprise? In terms of the US Constitution when it comes to state authority to regulate them they are pretty much the same thing, namely individual behavior involving sex.

    There’s either a general police power to regulate sexual relations or there isn’t.

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  74. yello:

    The real eye opener is that he equates homosexual acts (not even marriage) with prostitution, bestiality, and incest.

    No he doesn’t. He equates state laws against homosexual acts with state laws against prostitution, bestiality, and incest, in that they all exist(ed) as the result of “moral disapprobation” (which is an obvious fact) and the logic of Lawrence calls the constitutional legitimacy of them all into doubt (which is equally obvious).

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  75. “Michigoose, on July 1, 2013 at 7:03 pm said:

    We’re lucky he didn’t link pedophilia.”

    That’s intentional as then you get into harm of minors which is an entirely different rationale/justification than “moral disapprobation”.

    Like

  76. “Michigoose, on July 1, 2013 at 5:09 pm said:

    There are state laws against masturbation?????”

    Almost as shocking as state laws against smoking pot.

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  77. Almost as shocking as state laws against smoking pot.

    Well, but you can smell pot when your neighbor is smoking it. . . how would you know if

    Nope. Never mind.

    Although now that I’ve seen row houses in Baltimore (and put in applications for two) I can see where it might be possible. . .

    Nope.

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  78. But seriously, the point of the cartoon is correct. The logic behind thinking legally recognized same-sex marriage is a constitutional right destroys any legally limiting characteristic to the institution. Same-sex marriage advocates will twist themselves into logical pretzels trying to deny it, but the fact is obvious.

    I think the difference lies in that you confuse fact with opinion. As for obvious, I have to return to Inigo Montoya. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

    We can dispense with any legally limiting characteristic by looking at the commonalities between SSM and traditional marriage. The first of which being consenting adults; the second of which being plurality.

    As marriage is a legal contract, one can require that both signatories be adults. That dispenses with minors, animals, and various inanimate objects. Not sure about corporations since they are people, my friend. That would get us to plural marriage, but let’s handle that below. The age of consent is an arbitrary value, but law and life are full of such arbitrary measures. Currently, you get a DUI for going over 0.1%, but there’s a move to go down to 0.08%. I can vote at 19, but not purchase alcohol. Residency requirements for voting usually have some arbitrary requirements for length of residence. Requiring consenting adults does leave two groups who may wish to marry, but cannot.

    The Seven Degrees of Incest

    Siblings cannot marry, but cousins may. OK. So one degree is forbidden, but two is fine. Well, horizontally. I can’t marry my grandmother (leaving aside the fact that she passed away 25 years ago), even though that’s two degrees of separation. So, there’s a requirement of two horizontal degrees of separation. I can’t marry my Uncle (one degree horizontal & one degree vertical), but I can marry my Uncle’s cousin. Sooner or later, a pair of genetic siblings are going to get the hots for each other, only to find they have the same donor parent.

    Two’s a Party; Three’s a Crowd

    Plural marriage is traditional in various parts of the world (not to mention amongst some communities in the state of Utah). If we’re going to allow George and Ken to marry, why not allow Judy or James into the union? This is the case that’s most difficult for SSM advocates to answer. It would require significant changes in law such as inheritance, benefits, etc. in ways that SSM does not. The facile answer is that it would be difficult to do, whereas SSM is fairly easy. Not satisfying, but governing rarely is.

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    • I agree that the only conceivable outlier case that might raise a difficulty if SSM’s are required to be performed, by analogy to Loving (and they quite intentionally are not at this time), is polygamy (or perhaps group marriage). Reynolds is the Supreme Court authority but it is a weakly reasoned case. Some state would have to recognize it first. Our very own authority Justice Scott Callahan believes a judge in some state will declare her state to be out of compliance with its own constitution when a polygamous wannabe family sues. That is possible. But unlikely. Even more unlikely would be a state lege recognizing polygamy or group marriage. No community property state will recognize it because as BB says, it would be too hard. No Judge would want to handle the divorces, the custody matters, or the property splits. Sheer inertia will keep the state judges inline. I assume the English property states could find a formula more readily on property, but on custody and visitation it would be equally difficult. No, an appellate judge who screwed over the trial bench that way would have hell to pay.

      George, let’s revisit this in 18 months.

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  79. Well, Utah won’t be the test case because polygamy is specifically prohibited here by the state constitution.

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    • I would think that Utah would be about the last state to legalize polygamy as the LDS is pretty touchy about the existence of the FLDS. Better just to keep a blind eye turned to that.

      Like

  80. FB:

    I wanted to address this earlier, but I had to leave early this morning and I have been on the road all day.

    The age of consent is an arbitrary value, but law and life are full of such arbitrary measures.

    Yes, the law is full of such arbitrary measures. But those types of measures are properly decided by the electorate, through their representatives. Judges, if they are doing the job properly, have neither the authority nor any basis on which to make such arbitrary decisions for the people. Judges must apply principles when making decisions, and must apply those principles objectively and logically. Which is precisely the problem with judicially imposed SSM, and is exactly what the cartoon was about.

    Voters have the authority to make seemingly arbitrary decisions, like saying that marriage should only apply to heterosexuals but not homosexuals, or that it can apply to both hetero- and homosexuals, but not to close relations, or not to more than 2 people. Judges cannot, or at least they cannot if the are doing their job honestly. If a judge is going to rule that the electorate cannot constitutionally decide not to recognize SSM, then he/she must ground that claim in a principle that can be applied objectively and logically to other easily conceivable circumstances. Having discovered hidden in the constitution an individual right to be recognized by the fed as “married” to the person of one’s choosing regardless of whether or not the electorate wants to recognize it, a justice must either set out a principle that, when applied objectively and logically, somehow distinguishes homosexuality from all of the other “arbitrary” restrictions that the electorate places on marriage, or he/she must acknowledge that by disallowing one restriction as “unconstitutional, it has undermined the legal foundation of all of them.

    I think the latter is indeed obviously the case, and is all the more so now given your complete inability to establish a principle distinguishing restrictions against homosexuality from restrictions against either relatives or the number of people in a “marriage” despite that being the ostensible point of your comment.

    Not satisfying, but governing rarely is.

    Again, the issue is not “governing”, but is instead “judging”. Voters are allowed to govern using seemingly arbitrary distinctions. Judges are not .

    Like

    • Voters have the authority to make seemingly arbitrary decisions, like saying that marriage … can apply to both hetero- and homosexuals

      Voters in Maryland did just that. The federal government should recognize those marriages. And the full faith and credit clause (which Section 2 of DOMA still contradicts) will make all states recognize a same-sex marriage performed in Maryland.

      You are fighting a tide.

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      • yello:

        And the full faith and credit clause…will make all states recognize a marriage performed in Maryland.

        Not true. (Although really who knows…neither precedent nor what the law actually says has been a barrier to this SCOTUS when it decides it prefers a certain policy.)

        You are fighting a tide.

        That is true, although not the tide you are referring to. As I said earlier, I don’t care at all that SSM will come to be recognized. I do care about how it will come to be recognized. Using the judiciary to impose things that cannot be won through the political process is very destructive.

        Like

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