Social Question

ETpro's avatar

The President's evolving on gay marriage. What does that mean?

Asked by ETpro (34217 points ) May 7th, 2012

Obama says he’s evolving on gay marriage. Evolution is real, but also real slow. Does “evolving” mean that the President will come around to the view that the majority of Americans now hold; it’ll just take a few million years? Do you think Biden’s recent statement in support of marriage equality was a trial balloon approved by Administration strategists, or just the unthinking ramblings of the Vice President?

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78 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

It means that he will “come out” for gay marriage After the elections.

Blackberry's avatar

Society has no choice but to become more “Progressive”. There is really no reason for anyone in the 21st century to be socially conservative. It is a slow progress, but it’s happening.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I’m not sure of his balls on this issue. I’m also not sure I’d try to script anything for Biden.

GladysMensch's avatar

It means he fears that he will lose votes if he gives his opinion prior to the November election. It proves that he is a politician above all else.

chelle21689's avatar

I think that me, it means that he isn’t saying “yes” or “no” because he is afraid of losing votes. I think that by Biden saying he’s for it, it gives those for gay marriage a yes on their side lol

tedd's avatar

Honestly, and I say this as a flag waiving democrat, it’s probably just election year talk. But he has made some things happen that we thought were impossible, and has helped homosexuals already… a prime example of both, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is gone.

I have little doubt the President would probably like to tackle gay marriage… But I expect the economy and other matters will take precedence, and little if anything will be accomplished on a Federal level towards that gay-marriage goal.

syz's avatar

It means that he’s constrained by having to appeal to the lowest common denominator to get re-elected.

JLeslie's avatar

It means he doesn’t want to lose the gay vote. I think maybe it also means he hopes he wonted be accused of flip flopping on the issue. Lastly, I think it means he hopes the socially conservative black voter won’t hold his support of gay marriage against him, and maybe that he can change some minds among black voters. I have a hard time believing Obama was ever really against gay marriage, but he tends to try to be realistic about what he can get done in a certain political climate. I get very annoyed with him on some issues, his attempts and seemingly being realitic and negotiating. He has more patience than I do.

I think it is a prediction of what will happen of he is elected for a second term. This issue will finally be argued at a more national level, and the president will hopefully make a dramatic move to seal the rights of gay people to enjoy legal civil marriage like everyone else.

Cruiser's avatar

It’s an election year and the time when both candidates will say anything and do anything to sway voters even in the case here of Biden doing all the talking. The only thing I see evolving is Obama continued reluctance to do anything more about gay marriage rights is starting to anger gay rights voters. Talk is cheap.

As far as a trial balloon…perhaps it was but to suddenly change rhetoric that is a 180 from his 2008 campaign stance with nothing credible as far as legislation to show for this change of heart would be beyond risky.

Jaxk's avatar

He’s poll testing. If it looks like he’ll get more votes by endorsing it, he will. If it looks like he’ll lose votes by endorsing it, he won’t. None of us will know what he thinks on most issues until after the election. He’ll no longer be constrained by any reelection so he can do whatever he wants. November will reveal the real Obama. Until then we only have a cardboard cutout to analyze.

flutherother's avatar

Society is evolving, the President is evolving with it. Reflecting the public view is what politics is all about in a democracy. What is the problem?

bkcunningham's avatar

The President is campaigning and, like @Jaxk said, he’s poll testing.

Ron_C's avatar

I don’t care what politicians say about marriage equality. It is not a political question, it’s personal. If you are straight or gay and want to get married, do it! If enough people are married the politicians will follow suit. It is past time expecting politicians to lead, the best we can hope for is that they follow the crowd. I think that if enough gay people get married, politicians will have to relent and get with the program.

You all have my support but that’s not worth much.

josie's avatar

The president is just another grubby politician. He will say whatever he or his advisors think he should say in order to win the next election. His evolution is nothing but a calculation. Only star struck bozos and sophomoric innocents imagine it is something sincere.
Happens all the time.

filmfann's avatar

It doesn’t have legs yet.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I agree 100% with @josie.

ETpro's avatar

@elbanditoroso I actually doubt it, although I am sure many in the LGBT community hope that’s so. I don’t think he’s likely to risk political capital on the issue at least until DOMA makes it to the Supreme Court and the Supreme Corporatist 5 get to find the secret places where the Constitution says equal protection doesn’t mean equal. Maybe it will turn out that when the Framers wrote “equal protection under the law” they didn’t mean real people, they meant only the kind of people that are multinational corporations.

@Blackberry That’s true. It must be a real bitch to be a GOP regressive and see society constantly moving in a progressive direction.

@Adirondackwannabe It took balls to nominate Biden for VP. It would take sheer delusional thinking to script him.

@GladysMensch I absolutely agree.

@chelle21689 Yep. I suspect that it was no accident that Biden, Education Secretary Anne Duncan and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan have all recently said Yea to marriage equality.

@tedd It’s not just “Don’t ask, don’t tell”. He’s asked his Justice Department to stop defending DOMA because his lawyers (and his own review) suggested to him it violates the equal protection requirement of the US Constitution. He’s also pushed to have hate crimes defended when the whole concept of them was under GOP attack, and he pushed to include violence against same-sex partners in the Domestic Violence Law, again against GOP pressure against such a definition. That doesn’t say he supports Gay Marriage per se, but it does indicate he’s for marriage equality.

@syz Unfortunately, yes. That’s politics. The best intentions are of no good if you can’t win office to enact them.

@JLeslie, @Cruiser, @Jaxk, & @bkcunningham That doesn’t seem likely. This is nothing new. It’s exactly what he said back in 2007 when campaigning against Hillary.

@flutherother I completely agree. This is one issue that needs to evolve among the general electorate before being pushed out front by a crusader.

@Ron_C Right now, you’d have to move to one of a few states that even allow same-sex couples to marry. But hey, it is possible to move.

@josie & @WillWorkForChocolate Mitt Romney claimed to be more in favor of Gay Marriage than Ted Kennedy back when he was running for Kennedy’s Senate seat. He was a defender of gay marriage as governor of Massachusetts. And now he is a “Severe Conservative” who would never change DOMA and believes that marriage is ALWAYS and ONLY between one man and one woman. And you are trying to sell Obama as Mr. Etch-a-Sketch on this because he’s been consistent in his statements?. So who is the “grubby politician” here?

@filmfann Public opinion is now 51% support marriage equality and 40% oppose. It’s now got legs, just little ones not capable of carrying a candidate into office. They might be big enough, though, to keep an anti-equality candidate out of office.

josie's avatar

@ETpro Never said or implied Romney was any different.

ETpro's avatar

@josie You never *said” Romney was different, but upi damned sure implied it. I’d submit Romney is WAY different. I can’t think of any other person in politics who has been on the far left and right side of as many issues as Romney has been.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@Ron_C In most state, you can’t get gay married. You can have a religious ceremony, you can call yourselves spouses, but legally, you aren’t married. You don’t get all hundreds of privileges that come with marriage, from the right to visit your spouse in the hospital, to the assumption of your spouse’s social security, pension, and military benefits, to health insurance benefits, to adoption benefits, to child custody, to tax breaks, to inheritance rights, to power of attorney, to immigration rights, etc. So when politicians don’t come out for gay rights, it isn’t like “I wouldn’t be nice to you at a party”, because who the fuck cares? It’s like, “I will have the political power to deny you certain rights, making you a lesser citizen under the law”.

Gay people are trying to lead the way, trying to have tons of commitments and unions despite their lack of legal recognition. But politicians have to step up and take the reigns at some point, because ordinary citizens can’t pass bills like they can (ballot referendums not withstanding). How can gay people just show the way and get married, when politicians won’t let them in the first place?

JLeslie's avatar

I think I understand what @Ron_C is getting at. Gay people should have their ceremonies and call their SO spouses if in their heart and mind they are married, why are they waiting for the state to do that? Of course they deserve what comes with legal/civil marriage, but until then they can still take hold of the terms, married, spouse, husband, wife, and get the population used to the idea. Hell, in America people will probably just start to think it is legal, or the person was married in another state, whatever they might assume.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@JLeslie But people are already doing that. They have been doing that for decades. Some religious institutions won’t perform gay wedding ceremonies, so that makes it harder. But lots of people don’t feel like using a term (spouse, husband, wife) that undercuts the very real reality that they aren’t allowed to get legally married – it actually doesn’t help gays to have straight people think gays have made gains they haven’t. The fight for gay marriage is overwhelmingly about the right to get legally married.

JLeslie's avatar

@Aethelflaed I don’t know anyone who does, but I do believe you. I have been calling my BIL boyfriend my BIL for years, but mostly because it is easier/shorter than saying my BIL’s boyfriend. I would do the same if they were heterosexual not married and together long term. I know a lot of gay people. Most in very long term relationships.

I don’t think churches should ever be “forced” to marry anyone, is that what you are alluding to? I don’t see how anyone can support that.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@JLeslie Legally force them? Religions aren’t forced to marry any heterosexual couples, or perform wedding ceremonies at all. But yeah, it’s a problem. Maybe not one that should be legislated away, but a big problem none-the-less. And the more and more religions refuse to meet the needs of the people, the more people refuse religion. For those that are unwilling to stop being committed to a same-sex partner, and are also unwilling to abandon their faith, they do need their religion to recognize their marriage, and most would rather have their usual cleric perform the ceremony instead of having to go to that one rabbi/pastor/minister/priestess/etc in the city that performs them.

JLeslie's avatar

@Aethelflaed Right, legally force them, I am against it. And, that sort of talk allows the groups against gay marriage to talk their bullshit about churches will have to marry gay couples, which is total bullshit. I saw Joy Behar arguing that on The View one day and then her show, how they should have to. I wanted her to shut up. We need to emphasize, in my opinion, how civil marriage is completely different than religious marriage. Dismiss any talk of “marriage” being only between a man and a woman, and that the word is associated only with Christian heterosexual coupling.

JLeslie's avatar

@Aethelflaed I must have miscommunicated about gay marriages regarding your links. It isn’t that I have never seen a gay marriage, it was just none of my friends bothered with ceremonies until they could legally do it. I actually, now that we are talking about it, vageuely remember one of the guys saying they were going to a wedding at their church many many years ago, but I didn’t know the couple personally who was getting married.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@JLeslie Oh, yeah, I misunderstood that.

tedd's avatar

@Jaxk By God…. for once you and I are largely in agreement! lol

Jaxk's avatar

@tedd

Holy crap. Maybe the Mayan calendar is right, I can feel the world unraveling already ;-)

Qingu's avatar

I hope he is lying, that he’s not actually stupid enough to seriously be on the fence about the moral validity of gay marriage, and that this is just pandering and trial-ballooning to an ignorant electorate.

I seriously doubt that a liberal Harvard-educated U of C professor actually believes that gays shouldn’t be able to get married.

I am willing to cut Obama slack on this issue because he has done more for gay rights than any other president.

Ron_C's avatar

@JLeslie and @Aethelflaed what I was saying is to let overwhelming public opinion force the issue. I think that a coalition of married straight and gay people could eventually force the issue. especially in federal law. State law will eventually follow along except in Mississippi and Alabama. They’re still settling the civil war.

JLeslie's avatar

@Ron_C It seems public opinion isn’t enough, someone has to push the issue and write into law that gay marriage is legal. I have wondered if it actually says, written down, that civilmarriage is only legal between a man and a woman? Does the wording actually need to be changed? There was a push to add an amendment to the constitution, does that mean there is an absence of language on the matter? My question applies both state and federal.

@Qingu I said basically the same that I have a hard time believing Obama was ever against gay marriage. Not sure the Harvard degree justifies our reasoning though, didn’t Bush and Romney go to Harvard? Or, maybe you specifically mean the Harvard law degree? Although, I think Romney did study law there?

Cruiser's avatar

@JLeslie Obama at least in 2007 was clearly on the record against same sex marriage where he cleverly passed that buck to saying it was up to each religion to make that decision and in the same breath championed his support for equal rights for same sex civil unions. Now he sends Biden on a fishing expedition to see how he might fare if he “evolves” to support same sex “marriage” meanwhile anyone who IS married or wants to go through the herculean effort to achieve that status of “Just Married” could take exception to his lack of commitment to this very issue he is IMO pandering to just to get votes.

JLeslie's avatar

@Cruiser I just tend to think being against gay marriage in the beginning was the biggest pandering effort, not this change. I don’t defend his actions on the topic.

Cruiser's avatar

@JLeslie I could not agree with you more on that point!

ETpro's avatar

@Aethelflaed Thank you for a passionate exposition of the issues.

@JLeslie I completely agree that no church should be legally compelled to preform any other weddings than whatever they condone. The issue is one of equality under civil law, which the Fourteenth Amendment to our Constitution compels, but which we have never followed in this one area.

@Qingu I agree. I’d make more of an issue of it if his opposition were taking a more enlightened stance. Sadly, they are about as enlightened as Torquemada.

@Ron_C Civil war? Hell, they haven’t settled the Crusades yet.

@Cruiser I agree on the pandering front. We are, after all, discussing a politician. But I think Obama had it right in saying that restrictions to marriage within a religious denomination should be left to that denomination. There are plenty of churches that will preform same-sex weddings; and there are civil ceremonies as well. What’s really a political issue is the rights gained by marriage that are available to heterosexuals but denied to all others.

Cruiser's avatar

I don’t claim to be the smartest guy, but I am honestly not clear on what all the fuss over this issue is. The 14th amendment already guarantees all humans equal rights. So to me this is a debate over the word “marriage”. To date marriage was a word to describe a civil union between a man and a wife. What I want to know is why does the definition of marriage have to change to include man and man or woman and woman?? Gays already have access to civil unions. What can’t someone come up with a new word to affectionately refer to loving same sex civil unions and allow heterosexuals their long standing word of marriage to refer to loving opposite sex civil unions??

JLeslie's avatar

@Cruiser How do gay people already have access to civil union? And, the word marriage is important, because most documents and laws protect people who are married. I guess we could go back and change something that would make some sort of statement that all civil unions are given the same rights as marriages. The religious do not own the word marriage. Marriage is used for anything linked together, not just people, but even inanimate objects. If the Christians (I pick on them only because they are a majority in the country with load voices) some Christians, want to claim they are the end all be all of definitions, well that just isnot the case. I have mentioned before they use and change definitions not used by the masses all the time. They define submissive not as most of us would, and cult, and there are others I cannot think of right now, and they are insisting on their definition of marriage. They can do whatever they want in their circles, but there are a whole bunch of people out here who don’t want gay people to feel like they cannot have the same committment as heterosexuals. And, yes, it is not just legal jargon, but also psychological. It’s similar to separate but equal. Plus, it’s the principle of the thing.

Cruiser's avatar

@JLeslie Your points are exactly where I get lost in all this. What rights do marriages have that civil unions don’t already have?? I read an article today that exposes this hypocrisy in very stark terms…

“The marriage radicals, on the other hand, seek to restore nothing. They have not been deprived of the law’s equal protection, nor of the right to marry — only of the right to insist that a single-sex union is a “marriage.” They cloak their demands in the language of civil rights because it sounds so much better than the truth: They don’t want to accept or reject marriage on the same terms that it is available to everyone else. They want it on entirely new terms. They want it to be given a meaning it has never before had, and they prefer that it be done undemocratically — by judicial fiat, for example, or by mayors flouting the law. Whatever else that may be, it isn’t civil rights.”

JLeslie's avatar

@Cruiser I just did some googling, because as far as I know, there is not Civil Union equal to marriage avalable across the US. I found this wikipedia page, see under overview and terminology. The copy there argues my point a little more, and gives a little of the other side. There is also a map showing that the rights for marriage and civil union are not available in all 50 states. An even more telling map is lower on the document under United States.

Your article to me still does not explain why we have to hang onto marriage only being between a man and woman. I ask you think about the motive behind each group. Gay people just want to be able to legitimize, use the language and get the same rights as heterosexuals for their committment as a couple. The other side wants to keep the term marriage for themselves, and in my opinion not “taint” marriage with opening it up to those gay people. Really, why is it so important to the people againts gay marriage to prevent it? And, why is it so important to gay people to have gay marriage available? If someone said you can’t get married to the person you love and want to spend your life with, wouldn’t you feel discriminated against?

JLeslie's avatar

@Cruiser I just saw on TV, and dug up this article, that NC yesterday voted to add to their state constitution a ban of gay marriage and civil unions.

Cruiser's avatar

@JLeslie I think this is most unfortunate and more unfortunate that a majority of US citizens feel this way about this issue.

I found though the language on the NC amendment may not be in synch with the jist of your linked article though.

“Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State. This section does not prohibit a private party from entering into contracts with another private party; nor does this section prohibit courts from adjudicating the rights of private parties pursuant to such contracts. .”

Part of the problem I am seeing is across the board the media and specific rights groups are taking editorial license to say what they “feel” is the issue at hand rather than examining the real facts of the matter.

JLeslie's avatar

@Cruiser What you bold to me means a couple can go to a lawyer and draw up contracts to protect their rights. I am not a legal expert, so my interpretation could be wrong. How does that equal you going to the courthouse, paying a small fee, and signing a marriage license that now gives you and your spouse 100’s of protections under the law? Just the expense alone is discriminatory.

Jaxk's avatar

Just to get this off my chest. Marriage is a legal contract. There is nothing in law that supports any notion of ‘love’ or ‘soul mate’ or any such notion. You can get married for any reason or no reason. Most of our laws governing marriage were created to support the family unit. That may be an outdated concept, but it is nonetheless, the basis for most of the marriage law. Once we throw out the definition of marriage we affect many things. Can brothers marry? Can sisters marry? How about a father daughter? there are legitimate financial reasons for any of these couplings. We’re on the verge of opening a Pandora’s box. Maybe we will sort it all out maybe we won’t. I just don’t think it is as simple as it is portrayed.

bkcunningham's avatar

Obama (EDIT gave ABC news an interview Tuesday). I supposed an answer on his stance on same-sex marraige has beeen hatched, err, I mean an answer has evolved. Geez, I wonder what he will say? ~

JLeslie's avatar

@Jaxk You started outnjust like I would. Marriage is a legal contract (one we don’t really read before we go into it by the way) there is nothing really about love or soul mate or any such notions. Here is where I veer off from you…so in my opinion any two adults should be able to go into this legal contract of partners, why should the government decide gender? The two people building a life together still need the same protections no matter what sex they are.

Jaxk's avatar

@JLeslie

Once you open the door for redefinition, it’s more than just gender. Do you support father daughter, or multiples? How about the whole commune entering into marriage. Sixteen wives and sixteen husbands or thirty two of whatever you want to call them. Currently there are laws on inter family marriages for genetic reasons but maybe that’s not legitimate. And as far as any family relationship, hell that’s been going by the wayside anyway. Maybe we just don’t care anymore about family.

Qingu's avatar

@Jaxk you’re right. Such a slippery slope.

We should go back to the original definition of marriage where a woman was literally her father’s property until her future husband buys her for a brideprice.

Though now I’m curious. Why do you oppose men marrying multiple wives? That was allowed under the earliest definition of marriage.

Qingu's avatar

I’m also a little confused about what you mean when you say “Maybe we just don’t care anymore about family.”

My understanding is that gay couples can raise families. Adopted families usually, although lesbian couples can of course raise genetically related children by giving birth to them.

I’d love to hear you explain to this kid that his mothers aren’t actually his family members.

Or is your problem that inevitably children of gay parents are only genetically related to at most one parent? Surely, blood relation is important. Families are all about mixing preserving bloodlines after all. The blood must be pure. Is that what you meant?

The problem here is that idiots so often parade around the term “family values” that it’s gotten to the point where I don’t even know what this term is supposed to mean… other than, of course, “anti-gays.” Perhaps your support of “family” means you also support incestuous marriage. Marriage can’t get any more familial than when brother weds sister. Are you going to deny that the Ptolemaic dynasty cared deeply about family?

JLeslie's avatar

@Jaxk No, I would keep the law the same—two adults (I think some states define if the people cannot be closer than second cousins, not sure). It seems to me a lot of states did not have man and woman written into marriage law, why else are they writing in and voting now on creating changes to state constitutions and laws that it can only be between a man and woman?

Why don’t you explain to me why you think two men who share their lives, property, build their wealth together supporting each other through thick and thin, sickness and in health, and who raise a child should not be pretected as married people under the law? One dies, ifthey are married they inheirit as a spouse, no tax. Not married, the estate can be taxed. It’s discriminatory.

Qingu's avatar

@JLeslie, I believe Jaxk already gave his explanation. If we let them marry then who will stop people from marrying their sisters or their daughters? It would be chaos. A veritable maelstrom of incest, polygamy, polyandary, and for all we know legalized horse-fucking.

Look what happened to Canada after they legalized same-sex marriage. Now you can marry your underage kids up there just as easily as you can order cheese curds on fries.

Jaxk's avatar

@Qingu

As usual you’re most interested in creating a personal attack than you are at addressing the issues. The father-daughter thing has been outlawed in most countries for a long time due to genetic defects from inbreeding. However if you look at marriage as simply two people that want a relationship sexual or otherwise, marriage between father and daughter naturally raises to the occasion. It has nothing to do with adoption or any other insane issue you seem to want to argue.

@JLeslie

If the discriminatory issue is your main concern, why is it not discriminatory for multiple wives or husbands or significant others? It would seem the issues are the same.

Cruiser's avatar

The butterfly has emerged from the chrysalis…

”“At a certain point,” Mr. Obama said in an interview in the Cabinet Room at the White House with ABC’s Robin Roberts, “I’ve just concluded that for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.””

Qingu's avatar

@Jaxk, well, it looks like you’ve identified a perfectly good reason (genetic defects from inbreeding) to keep incestual marriage illegal that does not apply in any way to same-sex marriage.

Looks like Pandora’s box can stay shut, right?

Jaxk's avatar

@Qingu

If marriage is not for the purpose of breeding, why would that pertain?

JLeslie's avatar

@jaxk Polygamy doesn’t freak me out. But, right now we are just talking about two people for the laws that are on the books. You want to control the gender of the people, I don’t. I don’t want it controlled when I go into business with a partner, nor when I marry someone. multiple spouses is a different argument.

Jaxk's avatar

@JLeslie

I think you misread my intention here. The truth is I don’t care one way or the other. I understand both positions on this. I just don’t completely discount either one.

Ron_C's avatar

Great answers @JLeslie I’ll second your answers. You are doing OK and there’s no need for me to butt in to the discussions.

lillycoyote's avatar

@JLeslie Delaware’s new same-sex civil union law synopis:

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 13 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO CIVIL UNIONS.

This Act creates the recognized legal relationship of civil union in Delaware for eligible persons. This Act further recognizes as civil unions for all purposes under Delaware law legal unions between two persons of the same sex entered into in jurisdictions outside of Delaware provided that such union and the parties thereto meet the Delaware eligibility requirements to enter into a civil union in the State of Delaware. Parties who enter into a lawful civil union in Delaware, or whose legal union is recognized as a civil union under Delaware law, will have all of the same rights, benefits, protections and responsibilities as married persons under Delaware law. It is not the intent of the Delaware General Assembly to revise the definition or eligibility requirements of marriage under Delaware law or to require any religious institution to perform solemnizations of civil unions.

That is pretty unusual as you point out. There is full fledged same-sex and then there civil unions, domestic partnership laws, most of them giving most of or just some of the rights and benefits of marriage.

Ron_C's avatar

@lillycoyote it looks like Delaware got it right.

Qingu's avatar

@Jaxk, I suppose it wouldn’t. Which leaves the question of what is your problem with incestuous marriage?

Or do you only support marriage that results in (healthy) breeding?

Oh, I see. You don’t feel one way or the other. By parroting conservative talking points you’re just being enlightened and trying to see both sides of this issue.

JLeslie's avatar

@Jaxk Oh. So you are fne with same sex marriage. I did misunderstand, thanks for clarifying.

@Ron_C Thanks.

filmfann's avatar

Woo Hoo!! Look what has evolved legs!

Jaxk's avatar

@JLeslie

I was merely trying to point out that it’s never as clear as it seems. When we have many of our laws, including things like joint tax returns and inheritance rights based on creating a family, a lot of it needs revisiting when you disconnect that relationship. And I really don’t see the difference in your argument to that of polygamy. If a man wants to marry two other men, the civil rights argument would seem the same. It must be a moral objection.

Jaxk's avatar

@Qingu

If you have no problem with incest, I’m not going to argue the point with you. Most of the world has decided that it is not acceptable. That’s why they’ve created laws against it. Frankly if you want to marry your goat, I won’t protest. I think you’ll have trouble finding a preacher, however.

JLeslie's avatar

@Jaxk I agree the civil rights argument could be made for polygamy. But right now we are just arguing gay marriage. The civil rights argument for polygamy can happen whether there is gay marriage or not.

I am not sure what you mean by disconnecting them? I am trying to keep it all connected. That is one of the points of allowing gay people to marry.

Jaxk's avatar

@JLeslie

For thousands of years, the whole purpose of marriage has been to start a family. In old Rome if your wife didn’t bear any children you could give her back (of course you also had to return the wedding presents). In ancient Japan the guy would move in with the woman and live in her parents house until she had a baby. then they would move out and create a new family. I’m not trying to endorse any practices but just understanding history.

Now we are disconnecting marriage from creating a family. Making them two distinct issues. We’ve been doing this for some time now even before the gay marriage controversy. Divorce is common and easy. Families are starting with single mothers with no intention of marriage. Marriage to form a family is quickly diminishing while we rush towards marriage of convenience. All of the old traditions and indeed laws concerning marriage need to be revisited to accommodate this new paradigm.

If you look at things like the joint tax return and why it was created, you will find it was to promote the family. A family with one working adult would be able to pay taxes as if both were working. At the time it was passed, that was the typical household. And the year after it passed the birth rate markedly increased. Same with inheritance. When the head of the house died, the family wouldn’t lose everything. Gay marriage is but one of the many things that we’ve done to disconnect marriage from the family. Maybe it’s time to revisit all of it.

ETpro's avatar

@Cruiser Actually, you don;t have to dial back further than Mitt Romney great grandfather to find marriage being fine between one man and 5 women. The same God that now has his hair on fire if marriage means anything but a union between one man and one woman blessed Solomon with 500 wives. There have also been times when marriages did apply to same sex partners. Ancient Greece was an example. Apparently GOd is the same yesterday, today and forever except when He can be used as a political wedge issue to divide anc conquer for partisan purposes.

32 states have outlawed same-sex unions. Explain to me how civil unions with all the legal privileges and protections of regular marriage are available to all. That’s simply not true.

@Jaxk This is the 21st century. Do we want to argue that turning the clock back to the 18th century would be a great idea. Let’s reestablish slavery too, and what’s with the crazy idea women can vote? Hey, why not regress to cave man days and just club some chick over the head and drag her into your cave. History isn’t moving backwards. Arguments about what the early settlers did or did not do have no merit in my view unless they can be proven superior for today’s world. And in a world with 7 billion people, expected to hit 8 billion by 2020, I do not see how making all the babies we possibly can is a survival strategy.

Jaxk's avatar

@ETpro

What a ridiculous interpretation. As I said history helps us to understand how we got to where we are. But understanding has never been your strong suit. Club who ever you want. I’m not interested in another pissing contest right now. maybe later.

JLeslie's avatar

@Jaxk As much as I care about the stability of the family, and I do, I am being completely serious, married couples don’t always have children, many couples both people work. You could argue the tax break should only go for dependent children not spouses since things are evolving with both spouses working. Or, even make a criteria that one spouse is dependent financially for the tax break. Now gay people have children and the stability of their family unit is just as important for those children and society.

Single parenting, and I am not even talking divorce, I mean born out of wedlock, is huge now, the percentages were staggering to me last time I looked. It seems the tax code is not encouraging marriage enough if that is what you are looking for. As far as divorce, people definitely think about the financial impact of divorcing, but I think the taxes are barely considered. They think about splitting all the assetts and the wealth and if it is early enough inthe marriage and they have lost all respect for them, getting out before they are entitled to part of their spousal social security benefit.

I don’t know if you are married, but I think being married does encourage people to stay together through tough times, so if you want people to stay together ascouples and parents, I suggest we continue having a civil marriage available. We can do away with marriage altogether if you think it is too far from its original intent. Is that what you want?

Qingu's avatar

@Jaxk, why did you bring up incest as a slippery slope from legalizing gay marriage… if you don’t care if incest is legal or not?

Jaxk's avatar

@JLeslie

I just want our tax code and our laws to make sense. I can’t think of a single reason why the government would care whether you get married or stay married unless there are children involved or likely to be involved. Two able bodied people living together should be of no concern to the government whether they are married or not. When children are involved it’s a different story. The government has a vested interest in a stable environment for them. Less crime and fewer social disorders. The truth is I don’t want government managing my life. And to argue that you should get a tax break if you love each other is beyond my capacity to understand.

Qingu's avatar

It’s not just tax breaks (I agree with you that marriage should not be privileged in that respect—especially since married couples often inherently enjoy huge benefits from not having to have two homes).

It’s also visiting rights in hospitals, the right not to testify as witness, inheritance, etc.

JLeslie's avatar

@Jaxk I am fine with not giving tax breaks to married people. I am also fine with not giving them for dependent children, but that is a different topic.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

It means the president’s campaign handlers are evolving on gay marriage only in the respect that they believe it will improve his chances for re-election if he comes out for it at this time.

ETpro's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus Judging from the way Romney’s handlers programmed him to answer questions on the issue today, it may be the Obama camp was right in that assessment.

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