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Okay, this is the lowest new low that NOM has ever reached in their logic against marriage equality yet. In short, they are claiming that same-sex marriage should be illegal because not all chairs are exactly the same. That statement does not exaggerate or misrepresent, I promise you.

Cue Brian Brown:

Dear Marriage Supporter,

Definitions are important. They are the means by which we can reason together and communicate ideas intelligibly. Without definitions, social organization becomes impossible.

The great English writer and Christian polemicist G.K. Chesterton illustrated this principle very clearly in his book Orthodoxy, by taking to task his friend, H.G. Wells, for a particular phrase that Chesterton called "not merely a misstatement, but a contradiction in terms."

Wells had said once that, "All chairs are quite different." And Chesterton, with his characteristic wit and his common-sense, pointed out the obvious problem with that assertion: "If all chairs were quite different, you could not call them 'all chairs.'"

A similar descent into meaninglessness has been the hallmark of the push to redefine marriage.

Uhhh, what? WHAT? Are you f*****g serious? I always knew you guys were stupid, but that stupid? Really? Not all chairs have the exact same characteristics, so same-sex marriage shouldn't be legal?

They're trying to draw parallels to the different chairs to the different marriages. But I am just blown away by their assertion that if two things are not exactly the same in every single regard, detail and characteristic, then they cannot have the same name. Let's extrapolate their logic to some other things.

A Toyota and a Hyundai have different manufacturers. Therefore, they cannot both be cars.

A Boeing and an Airbus have different manufacturers. Therefore, they cannot both be planes.

An Apple is different to a Microsoft. Therefore, they cannot both be computers.

America is a different country to Canada. Therefore, they cannot both be countries.

A red apple has a different color to a green apple. Therefore, they cannot both be apples.

And in case you haven't realized, Brian, not all straight marriages are the same as well.

Some straight couples are old, some are young. The fact that they are different in age they cannot both be married.

Some straight couples are black, some white, some interracial. The fact that their races are different means that they cannot all be married.

Some straight couples have children, some don't. The fact that their parental status is different means that they cannot both be married.

Brian, do you see how f****d up that is?

Advocates for same-sex "marriage" constantly evade the question of definitions. While they clamor ever more loudly for "marriage equality," they studiously avoid the necessary and logically prior point: What is marriage?

This is the real question. It is also, of course, the title of the wonderful book penned by NOM co-founder Professor Robert George along with Ryan T. Anderson and Sherif Girgis. These three have been incredibly heroic and consistent in their efforts to corner the arguments of the same-sex marriage lobby and return the debate time and again to that central question—a question that still has not sufficiently been answered by the other side.

I'll answer it right now.

Marriage is a domestic union recognized by a government or jurisdiction between parties who are eligible for marriage, with their eligibility defined by the government with respect to the constitutional questions and rights surrounding marriage.

Lately, Anderson has been fighting that good fight again, on many fronts, and I want to highlight the work he's been doing, as it is illuminative and instructive for us.

Last week I wrote about how New York Times columnist Josh Barro had taken to Twitter to level some cheap insults against people like you and me for supporting traditional marriage. Barro claimed our views were like those of racial segregationists of old.

But Ryan Anderson decided to engage Barro on Twitter, and the exchange was fascinating to follow. Ryan has chronicled the whole thing over at Heritage's The Daily Standard.

One part of the debate was of particular interest:

Ryan then pointed out that, by this logic, "government could never define marriage wrongly."

Barro then argued that "A public policy defining marriage can be bad or undesirable but it cannot be false" [emphasis added].

And Ryan is the one who's supposed to be engaging in "doublespeak"?!

What's the big deal? All Barro is saying is that just because is bad, doesn't mean it's not a law. Laws banning same-sex marriage are bad laws, but laws nonetheless. Government can define marriage in a bad way, but that doesn't mean that their definition doesn't exist. Barro's point is not an argumentative point for or against same-sex marriage, it's just a statement of fact. The Ninth Circuit pointed out in its opinion striking down Prop 8 that when its proponents claimed that a legitimate interest in the law was to prevent students from being taught about same-sex marriage, the teaching about it wouldn't be advocacy, but just teaching them what the laws of the state are. When schools teach that "boys can marry boys", they're not advocating that. They're just pointing out what the laws of the state are. In Texas, it wouldn't be wrong to teach that "boys can't marry boys."
This kind of reductive logic is dangerous in any application, but especially when it relates to a question as important as the definition of marriage, and an institution as close to the roots of our civic order as the family!

But it is also a logic that simply undoes itself. If marriage is whatever the government deems is to be, and if political will is all that makes any given definition of marriage the "true" one, then how can Barro and others support the usurpation by judges of the will of legislatures and citizenries to identify marriage as the union of one man and one woman?

I refer NOM to my previous definition of marriage: the judgement by the citizens and legislators must be consistent with the constitutional requirements and protections afforded to all people, regardless of majority rule.
No, this is the real doublespeak in the marriage debate. Barro cannot allow that there is a "right" definition of marriage outside of the fiat of the state—but then he tries to maintain (without any evident basis) that some definitions are "bad [and] undesirable."
What's he's saying is quite simple: the government defines marriage. Just because they have defined it in a bad way doesn't mean that their definition is not the law. Pointing out that in Saudi Arabia, marriage is a union of one man and many women who can be legally beaten and raped isn't advocating for that type of marriage. It's just stating a fact.
Barro razes the bastions of natural law to pave the way for the state to posit whatever it will about marriage, but—as Anderson points out—now he has left no barriers in place for making any rational determination about marriage.

As Ryan puts it:

Indeed, if the law redefines marriage to say it is about consenting adult romance and caregiving, what principle would govern the contours of marriage policy? Can't three people form such a union, so that if you sue for marriage equality for the same-sex couple, why would you deny such equality to the throuple?
While I don't personally have many concerns about legalizing consensual polygamous marriages (unions where one person is married to many people who are not married to each other have a consent concern, and I am less warm to their legal recognition), not allowing polygamous marriages is not a form of discrimination. There is no immutable characteristic within a person which means that they can only form polygamous relationships. Because no discrimination is occurring, I don't view banning polygamous marriages as an injustice, and it is a question that can be left to the people.
And how about those who desire a "wedlease" instead of "wedlock."
Then they're not desiring marriage, are they? So what's the concern?
These are the sorts of consequences that result once you abandon the natural law understanding of what marriage is.
This is why there is now, and really always has been, only one question of real relevance in this debate: What is marriage? To that question, only those who acknowledge the public good of marriage and the natural and conjugal complementarity of men and women have a real answer.

And because there is a "what is" to marriage—because marriage has a real definition—we can, indeed we must say that it still holds even in those states where marriage has been legally reconstructed and redefined.

While same-sex married couples are legally married in the states where it's legal, you are free to think of them as not married. It is not our intention to force everyone to view them as married. While that would be nice, all we are working for is for the government to think of them as married. You can say that. I disagree, but don't have any real problem with it. The only problem is when you say that because you don't personally view a gay couple as married, nor should the government. That is what we fight against. Not your thoughts, but putting them into law so that people are discriminated against.
In another posting at The Daily Signal from Anderson last week, there is a video of an exchange during a lecture at Stanford, between Ryan and a gay man who asked: "Why should I, as a gay man, be denied the same right to file a joint tax return with my potential husband that a straight couple has?"

In the clip, we see Ryan brilliantly holding the line on the fundamental question of what marriage is, which cannot be separated from the question posed to him.

Ryan explains that the reason the man cannot file a joint tax return is because, simply, he can't get married. When the questioner objects that he can get married in California, Ryan's answer cuts straight to the point: "You can be issued a marriage license in the State of California, but you can't actually get married... given what marriage is."

And yet none of us object to what you personally think what marriage is. It's not our concern. All we want is that you don't use your own opinions to deny same-sex couples the dignity and legal protections of having their unions recognized as marriages by the government.
Ryan points out that there is no real 'discrimination' because the man has an equal right to enter into the marital relationship—a union of husband and wife— and, as he explains:
If you're not interested in entering into that sort of a union, you're not being discriminated against. What you're asking us to do is to redefine marriage to include the adult relationship of your choice, and the adult relationship of your choice happens to be a same-sex couple. There are other adults who want to have marriage redefined to include the relationship of their choice, which may be the same-sex 'throuple' or the opposite-sex 'quartet.' And so what I'm asking you in response is, what principle are you appealing to, when you say this is discrimination, to vindicate your rights and not their rights?
I've already responded to the polygamy argument. I will address the discrimination argument as if I were a judge writing a legal opinion in favor of same-sex marriage. The customary trolling of Justice Scalia is included.
Defendants claim that the State’s marriage laws do not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, as gays and lesbians in the state are still able to marry. Defendants claim that they, like heterosexuals, may marry a person of the opposite sex.

The Court rejects this argument due to the fact that the State’s marriage laws still classify the only type of deep, meaningful and enduring relationship that homosexual persons can form as inferior to those of heterosexual persons. This is discrimination against homosexual persons. Merely technically allowing both homosexual and heterosexual persons to marry is not enough; the state must treat with equal respect the only type of deep, meaningful and enduring relationship that both groups can form.

If one group is unable to have the only type of deep, meaningful and enduring relationship that it can form recognized as a marriage, but the other is not, then the people in the former group are discriminated against. In Lawrence, the Supreme Court held that the sexual conduct of a homosexual couple is constitutionally protected because it is “but one element of a personal bond that is more enduring.” The Lawrence ruling “dismantles the structure of constitutional law that has permitted a distinction to be made between heterosexual and homosexual unions.” Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (Scalia, J., dissenting).

It is therefore not sufficient justification to claim that the laws still allow homosexual persons to marry. The State must also treat with equal respect the deep, meaningful and enduring relationships of homosexual and heterosexual persons. While the State’s marriage laws technically allow for both homosexual and heterosexual persons to marry, they do not allow homosexual persons to have their deep, meaningful and enduring relationships, a critical element of liberty recognized by the Supreme Court in Lawrence, recognized as marriages. However, the laws do allow for this recognition for heterosexual persons. “This differentiation demeans the couple, whose moral and sexual choices the Constitution protects.” United States v. Windsor, 570 U.S. _ (2013). A deep, meaningful and enduring relationship must be respected by the State for both heterosexual and homosexual persons, and allowing heterosexual, but not homosexual, couples to marry falls short of this.

Back to NOM:
This is the kind of logical thoroughness this debate needs. You can see in the Stanford exchange the same logical errors Barro made on Twitter: by evading the question of the definition of what marriage is, they logically weaken any rationale for setting aside any kind of relationship as 'marriage'.

Clear-sighted people can see the wisdom and common sense of Ryan's logic here. One such clear-sighted person is Federal Judge Paul Niemeyer, from the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Niemeyer was on the three-judge panel of the 4th Circuit that heard the appeal of the case regarding Virginia's marriage amendment, which a lower court had deemed unconstitutional. Unfortunately, in its decision on Monday the panel split 2-1 and upheld the lower court's ruling.

But Niemeyer was the dissenting voice, and his dissent rings with such clarity and wisdom precisely because it acknowledges the real question: what is marriage?

This analysis is fundamentally flawed because it fails to take into account that the "marriage" that has long been recognized by the Supreme Court as a fundamental right is distinct from the newly proposed relationship of a "same-sex marriage." And this failure is even more pronounced by the majority's acknowledgment that same-sex marriage is a new notion that has not been recognized "for most of our country's history." Moreover, the majority fails to explain how this new notion became incorporated into the traditional definition of marriage except by linguistic manipulation. Thus, the majority never asks the question necessary to finding a fundamental right—whether same-sex marriage is a right that is "deeply rooted in this Nation's history and tradition" and "implicit in the concept of ordered liberty, such that neither liberty nor justice would exist if [it was] sacrificed."
My response:
Defendants argue that the right to marriage as recognized by the Supreme Court has implicit inherent limitations regarding it, those being that the Court intended to limit the right to marriage to opposite-sex couples. Defendants misunderstand the precedent entirely.

The Supreme Court has held that “[t]he freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.” Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967). There are no mentions of exceptions to it nor of legitimate limitations of it. With this in mind, this Court must conclude that there are none.

It is possible that the Supreme Court intended these limitations, and this Court respects their authority to clarify its interpretation of the right to marriage, and state that the limitations proposed by Defendants do exist. Therefore, this Court also respects the Supreme Court’s authority to overturn a century-year old precedent holding that there are no legitimate exceptions to or limitations of the right to marriage. However, in light of the conclusion that Baker is no longer binding, the Supreme Court has not explicitly held this, and this Court cannot hold itself to the uncertain, speculative interpretations proposed by Defendants as to what the Supreme Court meant.

Thus, the Court finds that the right to same-sex marriage is inseparable from the right to marriage as recognized by the Supreme Court. As the fundamental right to marriage is impinged upon by the State’s marriage laws, the State’s marriage laws trigger strict scrutiny.

Back to NOM:
It is refreshing to read in Niemeyer's acknowledgement that "when the Supreme Court has recognized, through the years, that the right to marry is a fundamental right, it has emphasized the procreative and social ordering aspects of traditional marriage," ...
Bulls**t. I repeat:

"The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men."

Where is procreation mentioned?

which is why "the marriage of a man and a woman... rationally promotes a correlation between biological order and political order" [emphasis added].
Notice how Judge Niemeyer omits the word "only" from "the marriage of a man and a woman". Allowing opposite-sex couples to marry may encourage procreation (I don't know), but it is not necessary to prohibit same-sex couples from marrying to do so.
And Niemeyer also drives home the same point observed above: he says that if the majority opinion is correct—if there is a fundamental right to marry for any consenting adult relationship—there is no principled legal way to prevent plural marriage or a host of other imagined unions.

Let's hope more judges begin to see with the clarity of this the importance of the fundamental question of what marriage is!

As I said before, banning polygamy, incest and pedophilia doesn't discriminate against people, and so therefore, doing so is not an injustice. There are also many compelling interests in doing so: protecting women (polygamy), preventing children from being born with genetic disorders (incest), and preventing child abuse (pedophilia).

Back to NOM:

I'd like to recall again Chesterton's reply to Wells about "all chairs being different." Suppose you took a table and a chair and together referred to them both as chairs. In that instance, the two things really would be different—and by calling them the same thing, you would have made the term "chair" meaningless.

The point is this: the word "marriage" either means something or it does not. Isn't it only fair and just to ask first what it does mean before trying to decide to apply the term to something new?

Okay, three things:

1. If someone wants to call a table a chair, I would not try to pass a law or amend the state constitution to ban them from doing so.

2. If same-sex marriage is like calling a table a chair, then calling a table a chair has a chilling effect on religious liberty, results in the traditional family and fabric of society collapsing, and sends the message that all who disagree are bigots.

3. Most importantly: Not allowing same-sex marriage is not like calling a chair a chair because saying that a chair is only a chair does not relegate an entire group of people to second-class citizenship status, deny them the status and dignity of their heterosexual counterparts, deprive them of over a thousand rights and responsibilities to protect their relationships and cause them to have more mental disorders.

This talk about gay marriage being bad because chairs have differences is a new level of absurd logic that I have not seen before in this debate by anyone. If this is what they know must resort to, then they really must be scraping the bottom of the barrel. I don't know if they've realized that no one is buying their other arguments, which has prompted them to move on, but it must be possible.

I think opponents of marriage equality can be divided into two groups: those who are uncomfortable with it but require some justification to oppose it, and those who always will. Both groups are expressing some bigotry, as they want their opinions about marriage to be used to justify inequality and discrimination. But I think that the former group is slowly being whittled away, as more of them come to accept that there is no problem with it. The latter group is worse. It's homophobic. But as the former group, seeing no compelling logic to retain their opposition, gradually moves to our side, I think NOM realizes that there's no point trying to persuade them back. The only thing they can do is retain the support they already have. This requires providing talking points that will be rote learnt and recited word for word in debates, even if the people doing so don't know what they mean.

This isn't about a genuine argument against marriage equality. It's about trying to keep on opposing it and being able to have something to say to defend it and make themselves not look completely stupid, even if it's just fluff.

Fluff's all they have left.

3:15 PM PT: While discussing that I think they have the right to personally believe what a marriage is, I should have made it more clear in explicitly saying that their personal beliefs don't grant them a right to discriminate. They absolutely don't. I'd like to thank Cali Scribe for pointing that out.

Originally posted to Kossacks for Marriage Equality on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 01:34 PM PDT.

Also republished by Political Language and Messaging.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Yep. They're outdoing themselves. (12+ / 0-)

    Good catch!

    ps. I was so tempted to edit tags to include 'chairs' and was delighted to see that you'd already done so.

      •  Sound/fury=go back to SCOTUS precedent. @Loving... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        leftprogressive, rabrock

        Sound/fury=go back to SCOTUS precedent. @Loving v. VA (1967): Marriage is a basic, fundamental right. End of holding. Basic principle: What isn't excluded is included. No qualifiers? No exclusions.

        •  =go back to the Supreme's precedent, Loving vs. VA (0+ / 0-)

            Why not go ALL the way back, to the Constitution? (as Loving did in part).

             The good news is that marriage is defined in the Ninth Amendment, "The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights, shall not be interpreted to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

             The bad news is that people, and a judiciary, trained to at least sometimes follow "enumerated" strictures, are, mirabile dictu, almost completely unable to deal with un-enumerated rights. One "leading jurist" claims that the whole idea of unenumerated rights was a mere "ink blot"--unintelligible, unenforceable, non-existent.

              However, were these unlistedly-challenged folks to hie themselves back to the first sentence of the mostly ignored Constition, they would find that: We the People of the United States, in order to [attain six major goals] do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

              That is, the people hold all the power (or used to, sorta), and delegated only some of it to a federal republic. (Other bits of People Power had already been delegated to the states, then "colonies." Additional bits were delegated to school boards, water districts, "quasi-governmental" entities (Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller's specialty).

              The Ninth is a reminder that We're The Boss of You, Gummint, not vice-versa (as gummint has become, de facto, de coup, de subversion, pick your flavorite (sic) word). We retain myriad unenumerated rights, and reserve myriad unenumerated powers (10th).

              Where in the Constitution does anyone find a right or power delegated by the people, for gummint to mess with marriage? Because, as to the government, it's supposed to have NO rights or powers beyond those expressly delegated to it. By the People.

             And not "pieces-of-paper people," as the Gang of Five pretends in Citizens etc., but real breathing, bleeding people. Hominids.

             What biological taxonomy provides a parking space for "pieces-of-paper people"? For "the corporate charter/piece-of-paper-with-seal-embossed-upon-it" piece of paper?

             Vertebrates? There's no spine here. Protozoa? Where's the nucleus? Hominids? Where're the caudal appendages, the opposable thumbs, hands, arms, lives and lights? How do these people reproduce? Trim their fingernails? Drive an 18-wheeler to deliver products to the corporate welfare mart?

              I await with interest the lawsuits to be brought under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) by these pieces-of-paper people (PoPP) to provide steps, ramps, elevators, paper-slots for these PoPPs. I'd include Handicapped Parking facilities, but has anyone yet designed an automobile or other "road vehicle" that a PoPP could drive?

               I'm surprised that the Gang of Five (GoF) has not yet been laughed off the bench, as truly a gang that has no robes, or clothes beneath, racing towards irrelevance, perhaps stopping along the way for bedsheets with which to clothe their nakedness.

              Or maybe they're waiting for guidance from Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Hamilton, Grant and Franklin, who will speak to them from their fiat homes (paper money--that, with logic equal to Citizens, etc., the GoF has declared to be speech, mistaking a bromide, patois, slang, a figure of speech, for Constitutional law ("Money talks; bulls**t walks").

              Here's a civics challenge, then: What "others," what other rights have we the people retained, as against the government we did ordain and establish, via Constitution, for the United States of America? A prior document claims that we are endowed with inalienable rights, that among them are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (changed from "property")

          On my list:

          Communication, by any and all means, from the latest and greatest all the way back to smoke signals and the jungle telegraph.

             Association (this would include "marriage" -- the regulation of which is something many people have ceded to their religious organizations. [I'm here reminded of Thomas Paine's comment about organized religion in his essay The Age of Reason: Organized religion is "an amphibious fraud," wrote he.

             Liberty (that's still a good thing to strive for, that "freedom from oppression" thang, freedom from slavery

             Due process (not Dew process, that Holder seems to favor--gather the pure (?) morning dew, bottle it, use it to keep wet the facecloth you put over the nose and mouth of the folks you've "detained" for "questioning" so they don't get dehydrated--and strap 'em on a gurney safety board, so they don't slip in the wet and fall, visibly injuring themselves (we don't want no visible injuries heah, does we).

             What're on your short list of retained rights?

             While you're at it, waddabout  them reserved powers. I'd go for "the power to impanel a grand jury" if our elected/appointed employees won't fulfill "Mission #2" of the Constitution, namely, "establish Justice."

             In case you've forgotten (as our federal & state officials who swore to "support and defend" it seem to have done), the other six missions are these:[in order to:]
          ...form a more perfect Union
          ...establish Justice
 domestic Tranquility
          ...provide for the common defense
          ...promote the general Welfare, and
 the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.

             One must acknowledge, as the late Howard Zinn did in a cynical, or candid moment, that the Preamble and the Bill of Rights, and the UN's Universal Bill of Rights, are perhaps merely "window dressing"--the candy store front for the oppressive plutocracy behind the beaded curtain to the back shop, with an army to put down critics. That is, in General Smedley Darlington Butler terms, "the racket" with its benign "front."

              "You don't want to advertise your oppressive goals in advance," he said (I'm paraphrasing, but have the video).

              That is, in General Smedley Darlington Butler's War Is A Racket terms, "the racket" with its benign "storefront."

             (I'm also reminded, speaking of Loving vs. Virginia (is that where the state phrase "Virginia is for Lovers" came from?) that our $2 bill guy, main draftsman of the 2 July 1776 document (adopted 4 July of that year), and an active participant in the Constitutional ratification debates, was engaged in miscegenation long before the Supremes, in Loving, acknowledged that the statute was unconstitutional. That's the Jefferson/Hemmings thing. I suppose Tom's excuse was his wife's deathbed request that he not remarry after he death. So Sally was a reasonable "way forward."

  •  There no longer ARE genuine arguments (13+ / 0-)

    And "fluff" is just the nice way of putting it. Thanks for this nice takedown of NOM AND of Ryan Anderson.

    I have a diary up about religious exemptions that you might like.

    All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 01:49:09 PM PDT

    •  No problem Dave. (4+ / 0-)

      I had fun doing it.

    •  I totally agree. At this point the "debate" is (8+ / 0-)

      just embarrassing. I can't believe how fast public opinion has changed on this. In 2008 in California it seemed like we were having to really fight to change minds, now minds are changed and most of these conversations are just awkward.

      Marry who you want. The thing destroying the supposed sanctity of marriage is the debate that makes the civil rights of some voteable by others.

      "Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny. Free men pull in all kinds of directions.” --Lord Vetinari

      by voracious on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 03:30:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There are 2 reasons for government to care about (5+ / 0-)

      anyone's sex life.  One is to track pedigrees and know who to hold responsible for rearing children--that can be handled between reading genomes to establish parenthood and requiring all children including biological children to be adopted to impress upon parent their responsibility to rear their children.  The other reason for government to care about sex, is public health, to try to cut down on the spread of sexually transmitted diseases by encouraging couples to commit to monogamous relationships.

      •  Otherwise ... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bluegeorgia, user23, salliezoo

        Government has the absolute responsibility to stay out of everyone's marriage.

        Sometimes, you need a sensa uma!

        by HashHoward on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 01:56:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Most reasons have to do with property (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bluegeorgia, salliezoo, novapsyche

        Marriage can have nothing to do with sex (and the government generally has no interest in sex lives), as long as it defines inheritance rights, property claims, and possibly child custody. That is the real historic heritage. The rest of it is all modern fluff. The government has a much easier time with all this if there is marriage (otherwise everybody has to have a Will, which up to now gay couples had to have).

        The groundbreaking Supreme Court decision was about taxation and property.

        As usual, follow the money.

        •  Property Rights and Inheritance (0+ / 0-)

          These are the 2 reasons behind the Catholic Church's decision that priests must be celibate.  When they were allowed to marry, disputes arose over what property, daddy priest could leave his children and what property belonged to the church.  Once Priests were denied the right to marry, the disputes disappeared because few priests were all that concerned to leaving estates to family members as opposed to their children.  

          In the early church, marriage wasn't even a sacrament,  It was deemed to worldly for a church service and was held on the steps of the church to be witnessed, as all contracts were, by the church.  It was considered a contract between families not a union of individuals.  When the betrothal contracts were signed, the couple was considered married for all intents and purposes- inheritance laws.  All the religious trappings and definitions came much later.

  •  They would perhaps have been better off (11+ / 0-)

    arguing that there is a Platonic ideal of a chair, the perfect chair, that may or may not exist.  This concept then should be applied to marriage as there is only one perfect form of marriage.

    However even this attempt fails at the start gate.  Marriage means many different things to many different people so we recognize religious marriages, civil marriages and common law marriages.  I note for example, that many religions prohibit marriage to a nonbeliever and do not recognize such marriages.  Does this mean in the NOM universe that such marriages are void as civil unions since their religion does not recognize its validity

    •  it's classic fundamentalist thinking: (6+ / 0-)

      Fundamentalism is the extreme of concrete thinking applied to religion.

      Thus "Truth" become a concrete object, and only one such object can occupy any given coordinate.  

      The well-known aggressiveness of fundamentalism and its use of warlike metaphors ("capture the seven mountains") is based on this: the world becomes "turf" to be "conquered" and "occupied," and there is room for nothing else.

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 05:09:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is a Christian version of Platonism (0+ / 0-)

      The ideal form of anything is then the idea of it in the mind of God, but the ideal form of God is the one in the mind of the bigot in question. Thus only that idea of God's idea of marriage can be entertained, and Human Rights come only from God, so that there cannot be a right to anything sinful like abortion or same-sex marriage. Those would be Human Wrongs, ha-ha.

      The other form of this argument comes from the Logical School of classical Chinese philosophy, in the work known as White Horse is Not Horse. The argument is that a horse can be red or yellow or white, but a white horse can only be white.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 12:48:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This is of a piece with 'Right Reason'... (0+ / 0-)

        ... whose use,  by definition,  cannot when applied to accurate data and premises result in a conclusion inimical to the Church's teachings...which brings to mind the anti-modernist Popes who criticised the notions of freedom of speech and of religion fof grwating Truth and Error equally.

        (...much as most modern conservatives criticise social welfare schemes for resulting in a world in which virtuous rich folk and damned  moochers alike don't fear starvation.)

    •  More of an essence than an ideal (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aratinga, dragonwerx

      First, I will vigourously assert my opposition to N.O.M., and not just because their name redefines the institution of imitating the noise a cat makes when it eats.

      That being said, I thnk the original poster somewhat misses the point of the Chesterton argument, that there is a chair-ness common to all chairs, with or without there being some external ideal form.   The NOMser is pretty obviously saying that judges or none, majorities or none, there were an essential nature to 'marriage' that includes that there be two people of opposite gender.

      I can't criticise this argument on its own terms, as I would hold that there is an essence of marriage discoverable from extant examples, and that this essence cannot include procreation as the main goal because of all the recognised marriages for which this were not the case, as surely as that essence cannot include exact equality of age, since very few marriages fit this.

      And I have some sympathy with the fear of legislative redefinition: I'd hate the First Amendment's 'press' to be defined such that it were limited to late-{Eighteenth Century} communications technologies (and I'd spread that hate via heliograph). But the N.O.M.nard  fails to distinguish between a universal redefinition and the appropriate extension of a given definition...there is an analogy to the extension of a function defined on the 'real' numbers to the complex plane---without getting too far into the details,  now the function is defined for places beyond where it ever before had a definition, but it's unchanged in that older domain.   Another bad analogy:the recipe for hard-boiling eggs must be changed for mountain-tops, but that doesn't change it for the plains and shallow valleys for which it was developed.

  •  He who controls language rules (6+ / 0-)

    Marriage, chair, these are words.  Since we are in a democracy, their meaning should be decided by a majority.

    But the theocrats are not into democracy.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action. UID: 9742

    by Shockwave on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 01:51:40 PM PDT

    •  in fact that's exactly what they were arguing... (5+ / 0-)

      ... until the tide of public opinion changed against them.

      When the right to marry was a minority position, NOM argued for majoritarianism.

      But majoritarianism is always a risk when it comes to the rights of minorities.  Our side has argued, and this hasn't changed, that rights are inherent and unalienable, and majorities cannot be allowed to take away the rights of minorities.  

      Now that the political landscape has changed, NOM is arguing from fundamentalist theology translated to chairs: a "higher law" that under closer examination is nothing more than their own religious doctrine posited as supreme absolute truth, against which other religions and philosophies have no standing.

      In the end most of them will give up the fight and slink home with their tails between their legs, and a few will resort to terrorist tactics such as shooting up churches.  The latter will be convicted and sentenced to life in prison, and that will be the end of it.

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 05:15:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Let's Practice "Preventative Defense" on THEM! (0+ / 0-)
        In the end most of them will give up the fight and slink home with their tails between their legs, and a few will resort to terrorist tactics such as shooting up churches.
        Why wait? Let's throw alll NOM supporters in prison now!

        Hey, The War Criminal Bush Regime did it - so I'm sure as KKKhrister Right Fuckkheads they'll approve, right...?

  •  If I'm Allowed to Play Violin, Your Fiddle (14+ / 0-)

    will lose all its meaning.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 01:52:50 PM PDT

  •  Beings without white skin are not 'people' (8+ / 0-)

    Therefore, they have no rights. Which I'm sure they would love to have as a legal opinion too.

    "What's it all about? You know what I mean." - Alfie

    by Fordmandalay on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 02:06:23 PM PDT

  •  Even more basic... (14+ / 0-)

    NOM wants to pretend that they definition of 'marriage' in the United States has been immutable until 'marriage equality' has come along.  That is a complete and total lie.  The definition of 'marriage' has evolved as the country has.  It is an institution created by the government and is therefore subject to change as the government and the govern change - which it has throughout the history of the country.  If want to argue religious reason - then you should be excluded from the conversation.

    “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” - John Steinbeck (Disputed)

    by RichM on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 02:07:26 PM PDT

  •  Chesterton's real problem is with Wells's syntax. (19+ / 0-)

    What Wells really meant is the way you phrased it in your opening paragraph: "Not all chairs are the same."  NOM took advantage of Wells's awkward phrasing to make a point that they should know full well wasn't either Wells's or Chesterton's.

    •  ^^ Excellent ^^ (no snark) (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      raincrow, cai, leftprogressive, im3snakes

      "It ain't so much the things we don't know that get us in trouble. It's the things we know that ain't so." (Artemus Ward)

      by Silencio on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 02:16:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Both Wells and Chesterton were correct (0+ / 0-)

      Wells made the point that chairs are all "quite different".

      Chesterton replied that they are not so different that Wells would refrain from calling them "chairs"

      If anything, this is an argument for a very broad definition of both Chairs and Marriage.

    •  Twisting logic (0+ / 0-)

      is what they do.

    •  What they do is more like... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      leftprogressive, rabrock

      revising reality to fit their opinions.  Most of them want to believe their opinions are facts, and do so on a regular basis.

      As soon as a person has used their logic to turn an opinion into a fact, they like to become dogmatic about their opinions, which they believe are facts.  It's no coincidence that the most ignorant are almost always the most dogmatic.  The dogmatism is what they use to avoid being shown they are wrong.  Being wrong does emotional damage to those who have poor self-images.

      It doesn't matter that they really have no idea WHY they believe what they believe.  Just believing in something that makes them think they are better than other people is enough.

      It's all about putting other people down, so they can see themself as better than others.  Everything about their opinions they think are facts, is used as an attempt to subtly, and not so subtly, put others down because they don't think, act, look, or talk the same as them.

      The Christian Right is neither Christian nor right.  The religious zealots basic intent is to try to make everyone the same, so that every person they have contact with, will show them a reflection they find acceptable.  It makes them feel better about themself, and it makes them think they have worth.

      Their basic belief is that they are "worthless sinners," so everything they do is an attempt to assuage their basic belief about themself.  Because they admit to being "worthless sinners," they can then assume they are better than everyone else who hasn't admitted to being a "worthless sinner."

      It's all logical, but none of it is rational, because it's all rationalizing.

  •  Words mean what we intend them to mean. (10+ / 0-)

    They mean what we declare them to mean.  And each generation, the words mean what we teach the next generation that they mean.

    Those definitions may change.  There is nothing inherent about the connection between any set of letters and an associated concept.

    "I don't know what you mean by 'glory,' " Alice said.

    Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. "Of course you don't—till I tell you. I meant 'there's a nice knock-down argument for you!' "

    "But 'glory' doesn't mean 'a nice knock-down argument'," Alice objected.

    "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less."

    "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

    "The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master—that's all."

  •  Glad to know my recliner and my table chairs (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey, gizmo59, cai, skrekk

    Must all be the exact same from now on

    Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle
    >Follow @tmservo433

    by Chris Reeves on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 02:20:13 PM PDT

  •  I've got a slight issue with this: (7+ / 0-)
    While same-sex married couples are legally married in the states where it's legal, you are free to think of them as not married. It is not our intention to force everyone to view them as married. While that would be nice, all we are working for is for the government to think of them as married. You can say that. I disagree, but don't have any real problem with it. The only problem is when you say that because you don't personally view a gay couple as married, nor should the government. That is what we fight against. Not your thoughts, but putting them into law so that people are discriminated against.
    Thanks to our beloved SCOTUS, people could be free to discriminate against married couples, if they held a religious belief that those couples are actually not married regardless of what the government says. You're not required to approve of the marriage (heck, I know a few marriages that I thought were really bad ideas -- most of them have since ended in divorce so maybe my family/friends should listen to me more often), but you are required to recognize its validity when it comes to providing services. You can't give a family discount to one married couple, for example, but not to another solely because you think their marriage is icky. Or you can't refuse to rent a single bedroom apartment to a same-sex couple and require them to get a 2 bedroom at higher cost.

    Now, maybe I'm misreading what you're saying here, or maybe you're paraphrasing what the NOM folks are saying and I didn't get that (short sleep and up early to watch the Giants beat the Mets today). If so, apologies and disregard the comment as you will.

    There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

    by Cali Scribe on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 02:26:04 PM PDT

  •  I'd buy this line from them except (4+ / 0-)

    they all opposed domestic partnerships, too.

    While you dream of Utopia, we're here on Earth, getting things done.

    by GoGoGoEverton on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 02:29:48 PM PDT

  •  Shouldn't we ask Clint Eastwood? (23+ / 0-)

    Clint knows from chairs.  

    "...the baffled king composing 'Hallelujah'..." (Leonard Cohen)

    by Remediator on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 02:30:07 PM PDT

  •  I was born & will always happily be a recliner, (11+ / 0-)

    but some of my best friends are chaise lounges.  Screw those self-righteous snobs.

    We are all made of star stuff, so please be kind to dust bunnies.

    by jwinIL14 on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 02:30:25 PM PDT

  •  Two unrelated comments (4+ / 0-)

    First, interestingly, the question of "What is a chair?" and "Are there different chairs?" (rather than "Are all chairs different?") is one of the motivational examples in Artificial Intelligence for the problem of representation, reasoning and question answering about objects. (Are stools chairs? Are La-Z-Boys? Sofas? Chaises Longues? Divans? Potty chairs? Wheelchairs? ...)

    Second, and tangentially, I would think one consequence of recognizing plural marriages (in which all parties consent to be married each of the others) would be to end the tax preferences and a number of other legal preferences for married couples. (Since it would be difficult or impossible to find an equitable way to extend such privileges.)

    •  The tax solution would probably (4+ / 0-)

      be found more in corporate law rather than standard tax law -- some sort of articles of incorporation perhaps, spelling out how the corporation could be amended or dissolved if one or more parties decided they wanted out or if more members wanted in. It would be a lot more complicated than just hitting Reno or Vegas for a long weekend. That's another diary topic though.

      There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

      by Cali Scribe on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 02:46:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AJayne, MoreLiberalByTheDay, aratinga

        For the considered and intelligent response.

        Issues of hospital visitation and even next-of-kin stuff are probably not hard to extend. But questions of estates and the like will also have to be dealt with.

        While in principle one could imagine generations of old people marrying young people who become old and ... to pass on an estate without tax consequences, this never happens. In a corporate (so-to-speak) marriage, who knows?

        Conversely, set-asides for retirement accounts, and in some states wills, would also be more complicated.

        Might be worthwhile having a diary just to get the lawyers here to start playing around with the issues.

  •  Not that anybody at NOM would give (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pat bunny, CPT Doom, sfbob, darleneh

    a hoot in hell what I think, but  IMO marriage ought to suggest two people -- any two people -- who care for each other, watch out for the other's interests, invest time and attention to each other's individual trajectories, take walks together, play music, maybe slip away to a weekend getaway once in a while, possibly raise children and show those kids unswerving support and affection to make their paths through the wilderness as humane as possible.  

    Also, dammit, I think they should have a dog.  And treat it a hell of a lot better than Mitt Romney treated his.  

    I'm not seeing a role for NOM in this concept of marriage.

    None at all.  

    "...the baffled king composing 'Hallelujah'..." (Leonard Cohen)

    by Remediator on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 02:38:07 PM PDT

    •  Ah, but why two? THAT's NOM's point. (5+ / 0-)

      Or actually one of them.

      First, it will surprise no one that Brown only included a very small portion of the twitter argument. I follow Josh (he's a friend of a friend) and this all began because of Anderson's allegedly brilliant take-down of the guy in California. By refusing to acknowledge that two men can get married, Anderson thinks he's found some new argument, but he really hasn't.

      The point the NOM and the other anti-gay people make is that, if you end the gender requirements of marriage, what rationale is there for the restrictions on age, or incest, or group marriage or requirements that only people (and not animals or things) are involved? Quite frankly, they have a weird point.

      If we believe, as most Americans claim, that we are a "free" people, able to do what we want without government interference, any restrictions on legal arrangements are questionable. Now we can dismiss the age and non-human arguments out of hand - marriage is by any definition a contract, and minors and non-humans cannot enter into contracts. But what about the number of people in a marriage or marriages between fathers/daughters, brothers/sisters? If you remove the gender requirements from marriage, can you keep these other two?

      As for number, the answer is yes, but it does rely on the current nature of the marriage contract. Because the marriage contract currently includes two adults, and the presumption is those two adults come together to create a new, legal family unit, there are benefits in the law, particularly in issues of property, custody and medical/financial decision-making, that cannot be easily determined in a plural marriage. So group marriage would require a new type of marriage law - one likely tailored to each individual relationship. And preventing group marriage is not discriminatory under the Constitution, because no one is able to enter a legal multiple partner marriage, although one is free, as we have seen from reality TV, to convince one's wife to allow you to have three mistresses and treat them as wives.

      In the same way, the marriage contract creates new legal families, not connected by close blood or adoption. Aside from any issues of reproduction (and first cousins are able to marry in most states, second cousins in all, so that doesn't seem to be too strong a concern), siblings, parents/children are all already considered family, and don't need a new legal arrangement to be recognized as family.

      The argument Anderson, Brown and their fellow travelers can't refute, though, is the gender restrictions in marriage are discriminatory, especially now that marriage has changed so much in this country that the husband and wife are now considered legal equals (whereas married women weren't even separate legal entities in marriage of any kind until the late 1800s). They are discriminatory firstly because no one should be defined by their gender. Current marriage law prevents me from marrying another man simply because I am also a man. It doesn't matter, from a civil perspective, that we can't naturally have children, only our "parts" matter. The second reason the gender restrictions are discriminatory is that intersex people - those who cannot easily classified as one gender or the other - exist. If gender cannot be defined in all cases, then that implies some people are barred from marriage law altogether. Well, that refutes the "everyone's being treated equally" argument the anti-gay side says.

      "There is no crack in our pies." - Michelle Obama 6/30/2014

      by CPT Doom on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 04:19:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  well put (4+ / 0-)

        this is why the marriage argument isn't really a 'freedom' argument, it is an 'equality' argument.  

      •  They're making the exact same argument the racists (3+ / 0-)

        made 50 years ago.

      •  Am following your legal lens across the (3+ / 0-)

        minefield of the marriage conflict and would brazenly ask NOM's legal arm why they could not have made at least some of these considerations.  

        Absent their ability to integrate potential and obvious refutation to their position, I think it is fair for us to imagine that they are posturing now for the sake of agitating their donor base and not because they believe a word of what they say.  

        Not the rank and file NOM people, I mean, but the attorneys.  They must all know how to read the steaming entrails of the sacrificial beast of recent court trends.  

        And behind closed doors, those attorneys, no matter their personal stake in the argument, must surely have told NOM's executive staff that they've lost this war.  

        "...the baffled king composing 'Hallelujah'..." (Leonard Cohen)

        by Remediator on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 07:37:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  See my Diary on Cognitive Dissonance (3+ / 0-)

          in the Grokking Republicans series for Readers and Book Lovers. I went through the known conditions for religious cultists and ideologues refusing to recognize reality, and doubling down on the feeblest of excuses, as explained in the book When Prophecy Fails, by Festinger, Riecken, and Schachter. It is no surprise if you are familiar with the theory that they are getting louder, nastier, and less coherent the more they lose.

          I checked several anti-gay-marriage Web sites, as listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and I see that they don't even mention the court cases they are losing any more. Denial is strong with these.

          Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

          by Mokurai on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 01:04:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Republicans dare not call it marriage (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sfbob, happymisanthropy

    because if marriage equality succeeds, they dare not call it marriage. :)

    (What's a little moving goalposts, among friends?)

  •  NOM was illogical?! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Remediator, aratinga

    Trying to follow them through their fever dreams is a waste of time.  They don't give a shit about semantic meaning or consistency or anything else.  They care only that patriarchy be fully sustained.

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 02:56:13 PM PDT

  •  A chair is still a chair..... (8+ / 0-)

    ....even when there's no one sitting there. But a chair is not a house and a house is not a home when there is no one there to hold you tight.... and no one there you can kiss goodnight. (Bacharach/David I think)

    Look, National Organization for Marriage --if that is your name--- we just want someone to come home to, to sit in that chair, to kiss goodnight and we would like that recognized by the state just as it is in 19 states across the country.

    The sky did not fall.

    If you hate government, don't run for office in that government.

    by Bensdad on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 03:00:14 PM PDT

  •  What About Clint Eastwood's Chair? nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Remediator, sfbob

    ACA job losses? It's not "We can't afford to keep you" but "Take this job and shove it, I can get healthcare without you".

    by Tuba Les on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 03:00:42 PM PDT

  •  Oh, "All chairs are quite DIFFERENT". (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow, sfbob, leftprogressive

    Now I understand why same sex marriage should be outlawed said no non RWNJ ever....

    Adopt a homeless cat and have a friend for life

    by dave1042 on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 03:01:10 PM PDT

  •  "...and no one cared at all... (8+ / 0-)

    Not even the chair."

    --Neil Diamond

    "...the baffled king composing 'Hallelujah'..." (Leonard Cohen)

    by Remediator on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 03:01:14 PM PDT

  •  I'm actually with Chesterfield on the chairs. (3+ / 0-)

    If only as a bon mot.  

    But then they start talking about marriage and it all goes haywire.

    © cai Visit to join the fight against global warming.

    by cai on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 03:01:49 PM PDT

  •  THIS chair has a wooden seat (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Remediator, FiredUpInCA, AJayne

    THAT chair has an upholstered seat. So how can they both be chairs?

  •  I haven't slept since 6:00 AM EST yesterday mornin (6+ / 0-)


    So this makes perfect sense to me.

    Obviously, if all chairs were chairs then we wouldn't have ottomans.

    And the Ottomans had to be stopped.


    Lawrence of Arabia.

    All marriages are invalid.

    Oh god, please ignore me, I shouldn't be around social media right now.

    An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail.

    by OllieGarkey on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 03:18:58 PM PDT

    •  What? Huh? Are you talking to us? (0+ / 0-)

      © grover

      So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

      by grover on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 05:20:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  LOL but it was a wonderful stream of randomness... (0+ / 0-)

      LOL but it was a wonderful stream of randomness... I'd hesitate to call it consciousness due to the length of time you've been awake. Hope you got some rest!

      As far as the general argument by NOM that multiple or poly marriages would be a logical outcome, while I'm not a lawyer, it seems to me that the law would have to be changed much more significantly than simply allowing two consenting, competent adults after whatever orientation to marry. I still have yet to hear a rational argument against marriage equality that demonstrates the harm that would supposedly occur in society.

      There's just nothing there...

      •  I completely forgot that I posted this, (0+ / 0-)


        As far as the general argument by NOM that multiple or poly marriages would be a logical outcome, while I'm not a lawyer, it seems to me that the law would have to be changed much more significantly than simply allowing two consenting, competent adults after whatever orientation to marry.
        I know some folks who are into what they call responsible polyamory, and yes, this would require significant legislation.

        It's not going to happen as a logical consequence of marriage equality.

        An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail.

        by OllieGarkey on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 09:34:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I can prove (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sfbob, darleneh, skrekk, aratinga

    the definition of marriage has already changed even to these people, it's very easy really. Simply go up to someone who is anti-marriage equality and say to them, "I have two friends who are thinking about getting married but neither of them wants kids." If they don't respond, "Well why are they getting married then?" then they've acknowledged that it is already understood that people enter into marriages without procreation in mind.

    •  Toss in that they're living together (0+ / 0-)

      and the NOMer will help throw a bridal shower.

      © grover

      So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

      by grover on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 05:22:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  How many folks are registered here at DKos? (3+ / 0-)

    We should each of us get a picture of a chair -- as many different ones as can be found on the interwebs -- and send the image as an attachment to NOM's website.

    "...the baffled king composing 'Hallelujah'..." (Leonard Cohen)

    by Remediator on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 03:26:01 PM PDT

  •  The weird chair thing (9+ / 0-)

    Let us take it to the final degree (that the evangelical RWers would like us to go) Simply put, men and women have different body parts, so they can't both be people... One guess on which gender is going to get the short end of that stick!

  •  Some more definitions (7+ / 0-)

    Definition of marriage: union between two adults of the same race.

    Definition of school: educational institution where all participants are men.

    Definition of Religion: the belief that Jesus Christ is the lord and savior.

    and it could go on and on.

    See? It's not discrimination if it's in the "definition."  It's the ultimate bigotry loophole.

  •  they neglect to mention that going way back... (6+ / 0-)

    In the REALLY old days, marriage was a secular institution - a contract. Once it was signed by both parties,  there was a ceremony,  but the binding part was the contract. Even then, the priest who performed the marriage did so outside the church, and then a church service (inside) followed that blessed the marriage.  This is probably why, even today, if you get married in a church,  what the officiant says is, "By the power vested in me, by the state of (your state here), I now pronounce you..." They say this in because the government gives them the power to perform the marriage.  If the power to determine what a marriage is rested with the religion,  there'd be several Protestant denominations that would have been performing same-sex marriages for years before the laws changed.

    Someone tell the GOP that politics is not like sports. No one should be a diehard fan of a politician; by the nature of the job, you need to keep a close eye on them.

    by darleneh on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 03:41:11 PM PDT

  •  Yes, this was a particularly egregious mess, (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Remediator, im3snakes, darleneh, sfbob, AJayne

    amongst the many egregious messes pumped out recently by NOM. They are desperate, knowing that they are losing the battle against SSM. All they have left is the dubious consolation of their faith.

    And, of course, faith is exactly the problem; these folks can't/refuse to acknowledge any other definition of marriage except their own. Their arguments are totally faith-based, even when they try to dress them up and take them out into the realm of civil law. They seem unable or, more likely, unwilling to separate their faith from law. In their private realm, God gets everything and Caesar gets nothing, despite what Jesus said about all that.

    This is another manifestation, another symptom, of one of the biggest underlying problems with this current iteration of the American culture wars: faith is being given the same privileges, the same weight, as fact. You see it in climate change deniers, the birth control deniers, even in the austerity-loving deniers of some pretty basic economic principles; faith is trumping hard, evidence-based fact.

    They aren't completely getting away with it, but they've made more gains than I like to see.

    The whole point of society is to be less unforgiving than nature. - Arthur D. Hlavaty Shop the Kos Katalogue! @alicevincit

    by Alice Venturi on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 03:46:24 PM PDT

  •  His argument is actually pro marriage equality. (5+ / 0-)

    The analogy he uses argues that not all chairs look alike but they are still chairs.  I agree. Just like all marriages may not "look" the same but they are still marriages. Some marriages are between two white heterosexuals. Some marriages are between a white heterosexual and a black heterosexual. Some marriages are between an older man and a younger woman or an older woman and a younger man.  And, yes, some marriages are between two men or two women. It doesn't make it any less of a marriage.

  •  marriage exists outside of the state (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lorimakesquilts, AJayne

    In our modern contemporary cultures and society where we have given power over to the State, we use legal definitions of marriage. But this is a human institution that exists in pre-state societies. The non-state societies have rules and customs...but not codified laws (well, not without the influence of a larger state society).

    Now of course in our modern world (and in state societies before industrialization), marriage also comes with legal rights and obligations. And these issues are important. In fact, the majority of these legal issues trump individual religious beliefs as far as most sane people are concerned. And really its this State defined marriage vs religiously defined marriage dichotomy that is at question.

    Any absurdity about same sex marriage threatening civilization is woefully uninformed about sexuality and gender roles throughout history and cultures. And of course, no matter what the opponents to same sex marriage and what not are really calling for is further religious influence on our laws.

    But what is fascinating is that in Anthropology--you know, that obscure field that studies human cultures and has been engaged in recording and analyzing the kinship and marriage patterns of people all over the world as part of what it does for over a century now--is that we have found it impossible to make a definition of marriage that defines it for all cultures.

    ANd so to NOM I say.....STFU

    I cant tell if its a West End musical or Marxism in action.

    by Evolution on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 04:00:33 PM PDT

  •  You don't even have to dig that deep (6+ / 0-)

    to see the stupidity.

    Their argument in a nutshell is:
    Some guys said chairs are all different. And some other guy said they're not. Therefore gay marriage is bad!

    Uh ... (quietly calls guys in white coats).

  •  Words mean things. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AJayne, darleneh

    It must be sad on their end of things, when the only thing that they have left to do is to argue over the definitions of words, rather than form any kind of real argument.  (Not that any decent one could be constructed in the first place.)

    Now that the lies, slander, fear and hatred of gays aren't going to work with the vast majority of people, all they're left with is the crappiest (and least effective) arguments that exist.  There's now nowhere left to go except using their religion to justify hatred, and crappy word-salad arguments constructed to appear secular.

  •  My mind was "poisoned" in college Philosphy. (5+ / 0-)

    Once I discovered that there is a difference between questions of fact and questions of language, there became a whole class of people with whom I could no longer have a meaningful conversation.  The minute someone says "Marriage IS between one man and one woman," I just have to walk away.  

    LAW is about what must be deemed to be true to keep the peace, make the trains run on time, get the crops in, and  run a civilization.  If we have to deem and call same-sex marriage "marriage" in order to have true equality under the letter and spirit of the Constitution, then we just have to by God call it "marriage."  See that guy over there still mumbling about what marriage "really" is?  The conversation passed him up a long time ago.

    A right answer to the wrong question is a wrong answer.

    by legalarray on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 04:37:13 PM PDT

  •  In the words of Laurie Anderson... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Language is a virus.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 05:35:52 PM PDT

  •  As far as government should be concerned... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bluegeorgia, MoreLiberalByTheDay

    ...marriage is simply a formal pairing of adults.

    The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

    by wesmorgan1 on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 05:49:41 PM PDT

  •  It Boils Down To Their Ultimate Argument (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Why would an 8-foot-tall Wookiee get married to a 2-foot-tall Ewok! That does not make sense!

    On the Internet, nobody knows if you're a dog... but everybody knows if you're a jackass.

    by stevemb on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 07:25:25 PM PDT

  •  there is no such thing as marriage, in "natural (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    portlandzoo, AJayne, Bluegeorgia, darleneh

    law", the whole premise of the institution is a human construct, created for inheritance and support purposes. while it's true that other animals mate, for procreative purposes, that's a function of biology, and permanence of the bond isn't required. and while it's also true that some other animals do mate for life (which is a lot shorter than human's), they are the rarity, not the norm.

    in other words, the definition of marriage is whatever our government deems it to be, as long as it meets the minimal constitutional requirements.

    NOM, still grifting, so their leaders might make a nice living, while doing nothing constructive.

  •  I have been begging lawyers to address this sub... (2+ / 0-)

    I have been begging lawyers to address this subject for years. The fundies cannot codify the definition of a word based upon their religious interpretation. It is blatantly unconstitutional, and is the basis of their argument. But nobody listens to me.

    •  I thought the same thing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ebohlman, Bluegeorgia

      When the right wing was trying to re-define abortifacient. That's a medical term that means something specific,  but they were trying to pretend that they could decide on a different definition for their own use.

      Someone tell the GOP that politics is not like sports. No one should be a diehard fan of a politician; by the nature of the job, you need to keep a close eye on them.

      by darleneh on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 10:59:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think it is a courtesy in any post (0+ / 0-)

    to include the actual title the first time for an acronym.  I did not know what NOM stood for and it is not mentioned anywhere in the diary.  It was easy enough to google it but really should not be necessary.  

  •  Too much of this process of definition is not d... (0+ / 0-)

    Too much of this process of definition is not defining for oneself, but defining others.Sorry, butt out.

  •  This kind of stupid (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    could burn its way to the center of the earth.

  •  Speaking of definitions ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I was always taught to define TLA's** upon the first use in the text.  This is so people don't, as they read the document, keep wondering "Is NOM 'Nice Ordinary Mammoths'?  'Neanderthals Observing Mardi-gras'?  'Nixonian Obstetrics Merchants'?  'Nihilist Ocelot Minders'?  'New Orleans Manufacturers'?   'Names Obfuscating Meaning'? 'Never O-ever Mind'?"

    **Three Letter Acronyms ;)

    -- illegitimi non carborundum

    by BadBoyScientist on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 10:47:17 AM PDT

  •  On polygamy.. (0+ / 0-)

    "While I don't personally have many concerns about legalizing consensual polygamous marriages (unions where one person is married to many people who are not married to each other have a consent concern, and I am less warm to their legal recognition), not allowing polygamous marriages is not a form of discrimination."

    The reason the law exists is because of the recognition that the definition if "consent" in this context has a) all too often been similar to claiming that pedophilia is consensual (which is to say, its an issue of unequal power, which is assumed to exist in the majority of cases, even if, in some cases, it may not), and b) its often not anything close to consensual. It was also much more widely practiced at one time, not just by Mormons, but, when it was, consent wasn't an issue, because marriages where almost universally "arranged". There may be a time when it once more becomes legal, but only if the law which makes it possible applies some strict rules as to the conditions it is allowed to take place under (which isn't going to happen, so long as we can't even get the legal system to take rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment seriously...)

    None of which stops anyone from being poly-amorous, or swingers, the former of which at least is basically the same thing in many cases, but not formalized by a marriage license, and, since there is no "marriage", legal or otherwise, does not force the participants into rules, or relationships, with which they have no actual say in the matter (unlike the only form of polygamy that still takes place in the US).

    This of course, brings up the glaring idiocy of his arguments all the more, since there has never been a time in history, until recently, in which "marriage" didn't mean something drastically different, or include other elements (like the explicit assumption of mistresses, which was, for a time, accepted as normal), that don't fit his absurd claims about what the definition "should be".

  •  It doesn't have to make sense. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dewolf99, Bluegeorgia

    Most of what RWNJs believe is nonsensical. Some of their beliefs are so far off reality, they fall into the realm of fantasy.

    We don't call them "nut jobs" for no good reason, y'know.

  •  whatever (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    next they will compare stools?

  •  Arguing that the defintion of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    words should not be expanded doing word processing on his computer while using a mouse.

  •  funny that they left the word "polemicist" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to describe Chesterton in their quote. They probably don't know what it means, but we do:

    Polemic: "a strong written or spoken attack against someone else's opinions, beliefs, practices, etc."

    AND "unlike debate, which may allow for common ground between the two disputants, a polemic is intended only to establish the truth of a point of view while refuting the opposing point of view."

    AND, Derived from the Greek word, polemikos, meaning "warlike, hostile"

    yep, religious people (especially xtian fundies) are known for their peaceful tolerance and erudition (cough)

    "Please proceed, Governor"

    by portlandzoo on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 12:09:27 PM PDT

  •  Oh, and, yes, let's have (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bluegeorgia, fastpathguru

    a debate about "natural law" as it relates to a totally man-made institution.

    •  The inconsistency is far deeper... (0+ / 0-)

      Why exactly should "natural laws" apply to man and his institutions?

      Why, it's as if they believe Mankind is somehow connected to certain members of the animal kingdom, as if there were some "common root" between Mankind and the rest of life on Earth...

      Where does it say in the Bible that "natural laws" should be applied to Mankind?

      What exactly are these laws, and how do we resolve conflicts between them and The Word Of God?

      Billboard version of their argument:

      Jesus says fuck like animals!


      •  All I know is, you can't (0+ / 0-)

        claim humans are a part of nature, i.e., subject to "natural law," and then reject homosexuality as "unnatural" when it's been shown to occur in over 1,100 species.

        And if you claim humans are "above" nature when it comes to behavior, you also can't condemn behavior as "unnatural" when you've just said nature's rules don't apply.

  •  Yes, definitions are important (0+ / 0-)

    Which exemplifies why the people opining this aren't just stupid, they're F**KING STUPID!

    But that is to make sure that we accurately describe the difference from the ordinarily stupid...

  •  Comparing people to chairs (0+ / 0-)

    is just another way of denying the people their humanity, and thus their human rights. It is an example of the banality of evil. Not so much stupid as cruel, and showing a distinct lack of empathy, or the character of a sociopath.

    I find classifying conservatives as sociopaths much more satisfying, and truthful than calling them nut jobs. It shows them more as criminal than incompetent.

  •  Never use logic with a religious monkey (0+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:

    It wastes your time and annoys the monkey.

    The religious brain being over 10,000yrs inferior to a normal non religious human can't be expected to understand rational thought.

    Time to take the religious monkeys and put them back in the zoo.

  •  My Rocker (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is eyeballing the Stool,
    they'er not "Chairs",
    what should I do?

    Perplexed in Horsedrip, TX

  •  Simply put (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bluegeorgia, jcord

    There are 2 kinds of marriage:  religious (defined by each religion) and secular (defined by government).  Because the government offers benefits to married couples, government has a duty to recognize all married couples, even to marry them at city hall.  Religious organizations have no duty to do that or to recognize government definitions - including definitions of legal divorce.  While the government has divorce laws that apply to all, the Catholic church, for instance, does not recognize divorce of Catholics who have been married by a Catholic priest.  They can still get a legal divorce, but will not be allowed to marry someone else in a Catholic service.  (OK, unless they pay a handsome some to the Church to have their marriage "annulled".  Most can't afford it.)  

    So, religious zealots - don't marry gay couples in your services, but STFU about what happens in a secular service.

  •  Who Owns Marriage (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bluegeorgia, MoreLiberalByTheDay

    It all boils down to who owns the definition and structure of the institution of marriage. The churches see marriage as a spiritual thing under God etc, etc. So it's understandable how they might feel "marriage" is theirs. But under the surface of expensive weddings and religious ceremony marriage is a legal union between two people that prescribes the division of property and parental custody. And when marriages fail it's not the churches who determine the equitable division of property and parental rights. It's not the churches who enforce rights and responsibilities. And it's not the churches who step in and remove minors when things go really wrong. So yes, the Government does get to define marriage, a definition based constitutional rights and societal values.  

  •  You think something is wrong... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    therefore no one else can do it...and you're saying we're trying to force our beliefs on you?

  •  Who has the right to define marriage? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The Right is in love with their definitions and in staking claim to the definition they bully everyone else. But since when is it for them to define marriage? Who do they think they are?

  •  Different chairs are all "chairs", ergo... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Mind-numbing stupidity.

    My first thought is that his argument actually proves THE OPPOSITE!

    Different chairs are still called "chairs"; different dogs are still called "dogs"; and different cars are still called "cars".  Ergo, different marriages are still "marriages".

    The stupid... it burns!

    * Bill Clinton made me a Democrat. But George W Bush made me a Liberal.

    by Mugsy on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 01:32:56 PM PDT

  •  All idiots are quite different (0+ / 0-)

    Each one is special and unique.  

  •  WOW. If SAMENESS is the criterion (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    for the integrity of a defined term, well then, by that logic, then SAME-SEX should be the only option for marraige. SAME. Get it? SAME-sex. Not hetero-sex.
    I just got stupider trying to make sense of NOM's witless attempts at mental gymnastics.

  •  These guys are going at it wrong. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    A "Civil Union" is a secular, legal, state-recognized partnership between two people.  When you get a marriage license, you are indeed applying for a Civil Union.  That's the long and short of it, really.

    A "Marriage" is a RELIGIOUS RITE that recognizes a partnership VOW between two people.  There's no legal binding to it without the aforementioned 'license'.  

    These two items, quite distinct if you examine them closely, have for decades been part of the same process, that of two people binding their lives together in a formalized public ritual that usually (but not always) includes a religious service and the witnessing thereof by families and friends of the people involved.

    And now the people at NOM want to completely equate them, when they are simply two parts of this ritual... and by equating them, decide who is entitled to undertake the whole ritual.

    If your sole and entire rationale for doing something is "It's not illegal." then perhaps you should rethink doing it.

    by dcnblues on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 02:06:29 PM PDT

  •  Marriage (0+ / 0-)

    I've got a great idea. Why doesn't everyone just mind their own God damn business?

  •  Anderson and chairs (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Hmmm... Much to approve here, but frustrated by the overall definition of marriage, which may fairly be called tautological. I feel driven to redefine:

    1. Chesterton is right in pointing out to Wells that chairs hold certain characteristics in common. The question for purposes of social relations then becomes: what are the common characteristics of marriages? Which of these common characteristics are in the government's interest to regulate? What are the implications for government recognition of same sex marriage?

    2. The common characteristics of all marriages is that they are a social contract between two or more human beings, which encompass economic/material, emotional, and social/religious status implications.

    3. Governments can't or don't regulate emotional implications. Their regulation of social status under democracies is allowed (ie officer and gentleman) but rhetorical -- because, frankly, society and culture roll on merrily despite any law. Economic/material arrangements are well within their purview. Therefore, governmental recognition of marriage is largely economic, or otherwise related to power in the public sphere.

    4. Because our system of governmental fits under whig liberal principles of freely-entered contracts, and sets itself up as nondiscriminatory, same sex marriage reasonably should have the same recognition as any parallel contract.

    Once I look at this, the "chairs" metaphor is reasonable but comes to precisely the opposite conclusion as NOM intends. What I like is that it tidies up the "marriage is what government says it is." Obviously religion is entitled to say what its view of a religious marriage is; government is merely entitled to determine what a civil view of marriage is or ought to be.

    A beggar on horseback lashes a beggar on foot. The beggars change places, but the lash goes on. --WB Yeats

    by kestrel sparhawk on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 02:17:12 PM PDT

  •  The supremacy of idiocy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    A few years ago I wrote a commentary, "Witnessing the rise of the American underbelly."  Well, like turds floating to the proverbial top we are witnessing that rise.  These people are so infantile and mentally underdeveloped the only argument they can muster is one of total idiocy; or, one that is the most disgusting.  I scratch my head and wonder, "What happened to them during their fetal stage?"  Sadly, these folk are so under-evolved they make the apes look intelligent.  If there were an Oscar for the supremely and irreversibly dumb, these folk would win it en masse.

  •  Actually, I think the chair analogy works. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Just not the way NOM intended. See, an easy-chair made out of leather cushions is a different kind of chair than a wooden dining room chair. They are both chairs. If straight marriage is considered by NOM to be different than gay marriage then they are just different kinds of chairs. They are both marriages. They may have different qualities. But if a chair is a chair then a marriage is a marriage.

    NOM has turned the logic on its head to say that one kind of chair is a chair but another kind of chair is not a chair when they and everyone else can clearly see that both are chairs.

  •  The fun part is that these same people were dee... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The fun part is that these same people were deeply offended when someone suggested years ago that his affair depended on what the meaning of "is" is. Don't you just love irony?

  •  This is all a crock of semantic porridge. (0+ / 0-)

    To any software engineer who's ever used an object-oriented language, the matter is obvious.  We're in the realm of classes and subclasses here.  For instance, "Car" could be a class, with certain required attributes (wheels, frame, engine, etc.), and "Chevrolet, Ford, Honda, etc." could be subclasses of "Car".

    Likewise, "Marriage" is a class.  Subclasses are "FF, FM, MM".  There is absolutely no semantic or logical difficulty here, unless you're an English major.

  •  That was (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bluegeorgia, BAB

    one boring a$$, repetitious article I couldn't finish.

  •  Conservative Mobbing (0+ / 0-)

    If the rights of the minority are determined by the majority, then the rights are no longer unalienable.  Not that this fundamentalist nonsense represents a majority.

  •  NOM (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a gilas girl

    When they said: "Wells had said once that, "All chairs are quite different." And Chesterton, with his characteristic wit and his common-sense, pointed out the obvious problem with that assertion: "If all chairs were quite different, you could not call them 'all chairs.'"

    They invalidated their own logic.  If all humans were different...  And therein lies the Constitutional logic which invalidates their argument.

  •  On the nature of language... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Okay...  Here's the straight poop on language.

    It's alive.  It's organic.  It's democratic.  It evolves.  Ann the changes are unrelenting.

    The word 'nice' was once a synonym for dim-witted.

    Not anymore.

    Not that many generations ago, adverbs ending in "-ly" were frowned upon.  The proper way to say "quickly" or "loudly" was quick-like or loud-like.  

    That's certainly changed.

    Linguist James McWhorter once noted that the forces which gave spawned Ebonics from English are the same ones that  triggered Latin giving birth to Romanian, Italian, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

    Consider the word we use for America's great original music.

    When the great ragtime pianist Eubie Blake was a guest on The Tonight Show back in the 1980's, host Johnny Carson referred to him as one of America’s greatest jazz pianists.

    Blake took issue with this, telling Carson to never call him a jazz pianist. He explained that he hated the label, and “…that [jazz] is a filthy word.”

    At first, it seemed that the American jazz legend was distancing himself from the modern jazz that had become so removed from the music he played.

    But later investigation revealed that Blake was relating to the word’s meaning when he was a young man back in the earliest decades of the 20th century.

    The word 'jazz,' a noun now used to describe a type of music, was once not a noun but, rather, a verb. And it had nothing to do with music. Less than a century ago, 'jazz' was a synonym for the word 'fuck.'

    Because the music was often played in the brothels of the early 20th century, it came to be known as ‘jazz music.’ With the passage of time, the sexual meaning faded entirely, and what remained has become the term used for America’s great original art form.

    Consider the wild and wacky evolution of the word 'gay.'

    The same sort of linguistic metamorphosis is already transforming the word ‘marriage.’

    There's not a damned thing anyone can do to stop it.

  •  NOM should keep their collective noses out of o... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    NOM should keep their collective noses out of our bedrooms. Don't these people have something better to do like fighting poverty, sexual abuses, creating jobs, etc.? Why are these people sex obsessed? Who cares?

  •  We could use the same (il) logic on this guy... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Some people are smart, intelligent, dumb, stupid...can they all be human?  It is the logic used by the NAZIs and racists to justify their justification of genocide.  It may be a stretch but it applies.  

  •  Well, clearly all brains (0+ / 0-)

    are not the same.  Some are even missing.

    "I concur with you strictly in your opinion of the comparative merits of atheism and demonism, and really see nothing but the latter in the being worshipped by many who think themselves Christians."
    -Thomas Jefferson

  •  Comparison is the first logical construct (0+ / 0-)

    that children learn. It is, apparently, the only logical construct that dimwits and other Republicans learn. And here we have their singular and consistent misuse of comparison.

    One can legitimately compare one's subject to something else to tease out some quality that is more evident in the something else than in the subject itself. So "Children are like dogs. If you keep them and don't feed them, they will run away. And if they can't run away, they will bite you."

    Well and good. And THEN the honest broker goes back to talking about children themselves, literally, and making whatever the point is about children in literal terms.

    But THESE nitwits propose their comparison, set sail on the other thing, and leave their subject entirely behind, until their metaphorical cruise is topsy turvy on silly, silly seas.

    Marriage is like cheese. You have to take care of it, pay attention to it, or it will go bad and stink up the entire house. You want to refrigerate it until an hour before you want it, and then set it out lightly covered at room temperature. Oh! And wrap it in aluminum foil in the fridge, to further retard spoilage.


    It's hard to comprehend a mind that can let that kind of nonsense loose in the world and not see it for what it is. So I suspect some of these hucksters, and maybe NOM themselves, know that they are talking shit, but also know their unsophisticated target audience won't look past the plain assertion, so long as it lines up with their irrational fears.

    So, as tempting as it is to howl at the idiocy, I think you and I have to restrain ourselves. Our objective is not, after all, to reform NOM and other enemies of democracy. Our objective is to help their audience free itself from the bondage of illogic. Their audience is the numbers, and far more accessible.

    I try to remember that a key strategy in the assault on democracy is the sabotage of public education. Independent thinking, not to mention historical and political literacy, are nearly abandoned as disciplines by our public schools. So, many of our neighbors are more susceptible to nonsense than they ought to be. We need to be as patient as teachers, and show these good folks the nonsense in these specious comparisons.

    And that will be like teaching them to fish. After an assist ore two, they'll be fishing for themselves. :)

    To My Colonoscopist

    I think that I shall never see
    so far up you as you up me.

    by shieldvulf on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 04:06:05 PM PDT

  •  why not get rid of the institution of marriage ... (0+ / 0-)

    why not get rid of the institution of marriage all together? if no one were married no one would be discriminated against. right now single people are discriminated against.

  •  It depends on what the meaning of the word "is" is (0+ / 0-)

    Semantics, shlemantics. Some people will always be uncomfortable with any definition of marriage that doesn't coincide with their own. I get it. As a member of a traditional religious community, I used to be uncomfortable with same-sex marriage myself.

    I changed my view for two reasons. First, same-sex marriage encourages gay men, in particular, to avoid (or at least reduce) risky sexual liaisons. I remember all to well when gay bath houses became a breeding ground for the AIDS virus. Thousands died as a result. True, medical advances have helped mitigate the effects of that virulent virus, but so has the rising culture of monogamy in the gay community. It is to be welcomed.

    Second, gay marriage helps stem over-population. Yes, yes, I know the Bible teaches us to "be fruitful and multiply." But lest we forget that the word "be fruitful" precedes the word "multiply" (which by the way in the original Hebrew means "grow great"). Perhaps it's time for some re-interpretation: as the earth becomes more populated and resources grow slim, the path to greatness may no longer be achieved by breeding. Surely gay marriage is a more noble path to population  control than war and disease.

    So my advice to Mr. Brown is: give it up, fella. Stop knocking yourself out over silly semantics. Should same-sex partnerships be referred to as "marriage?" Not in your church, I'm sure. Fortunately, your pastor will always remain free to refuse to officiate at same-sex  unions. That's our wonderful Freedom of Religion at work.  But in the public domain, honoring marriages among same-sex partners, complete with tax advantages and visitation and inheritance rights, is the only sane, moral way to go forward.

    Be pretty if you can, be witty if you must, but be gracious if it kills you...Elsie de Wolfe

    by Hilltop Mama on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 04:14:27 PM PDT

  •  Under his logic... (0+ / 0-)

    ...heterosexual marriages between a male and a female are not valid because males and females are different from each other. But, in a same sex marriage, each partner is the same so that marriage would be legitimate because of the similarities.

    I love watching these morons make strong statements that when turned back on them invalidate their entire argument. They should have taken a high school debate class.

  •  I completely agree with your view, but... (0+ / 0-)

    I believe you have mis-stated the crux of the original argument... You state "Not all chairs have the exact same characteristics, so same-sex marriage shouldn't be legal?" and elaborate that point quite a bit in your argument. What they are actually saying is sort of the opposite. Chairs DO have something in common, otherwise they wouldn't be called chairs.

    I think others have pointed out, that's a ridiculous argument that actually supports same-sex marriage. There is something in common with other marriages (perhaps love, perhaps commitment... any number of things) therefore its reasonable by that argument to call it marriage. As usual, in their attempt to intellectualize their argument they have botched it. But I do think that you misinterpreted the chair analogy. But its all good- the rest of the analysis is spot on and certainly your interpretation of their intentions is accurate.

  •  Been married twice.Neither time ended well.Hopi... (0+ / 0-)

    Been married twice.Neither time ended well.Hoping it ends up better for these folks.

    Maybe just leaving people in peace to do what makes them happy and content is the best way to go.Who am I to judge?I didn't take these grown folks to raise!

  •  Marriage? Chairs? (0+ / 0-)

    This article is nothing more than a pseudo-intellectual piece of 'nothing'.  Meaningless, inane, and just written to satisfy the author's pretensions to being a wise sage.  What a waste of time reading it.

  •  Words change (0+ / 0-)

    Here is an example of a word that has changed from its original meaning to include other ... er ... participants?

    Navigate: 1580s, a back-formation from navigation, or else from Latin navigatus, past participle of navigare. Extended to balloons (1784) and later to aircraft (1901). Related: Navigated; navigating.

    (From Online Etymology Dictionary).

    I guess NOM would argue that aircraft should never be described as "navigating" because the word originally referred exclusively to ships.    

  •  That's why Clint talked to a chair. (0+ / 0-)

    That's why Clint talked to a chair.

  •  + Marriage Equality + (0+ / 0-)

    . As we all know, EVERYONE has the EQUAL right to MARRY someone of the opposite sex... people who have succumbed to homosexuality addiction want the bizarre Special Homosexic Right to 'marry' someone of the same sex... their mere 'friend'... we desperately need a U.S.Constitutional Amendment DEFINING MARRIAGE as only between only one genetic male and only one genetic female... that's the only way a marriage license will be issued... marriage has never been about "deep, meaningful, and enduring", it has just always been about opposite sex... if it also happens to include or eventually include those 3 things, well, fine... if it doesn't, also fine... and not uncommon...

  •  While I support Gay Marriage... (0+ / 0-)

    Your sentence,
    "In short, they are claiming that same-sex marriage should be illegal because not all chairs are exactly the same. That statement does not exaggerate or misrepresent, I promise you."
    is false, misleading and represents a "straw man (or woman ;-)" attack.

    Further, while I repeat that while I support Gay Marriage, I disagree with how it was accomplished in the courts.  To say that marriage, as previously defined, was simply two people who wanted to live together legally - is a lie. Our institution of marriage was established (and remained for 100s if not 1000s of years) as the union of a man and a woman (or women).  To pretend otherwise is the same as pretending that when the constitution gives us the "right to bear arms" it means that we have the right to carry flesh and blood brachial appendages around.

    That was not the meaning of the word "arms" when the words were written (or indeed now) and we should not pretend that it is. Similarly, we should have worked to pass a constitutional amendment allowing Gay Marriage rather than lying and pretending that marriage (as defined when the words were written into law) allowed same-sex unions.

    So - The right thing was accomplished the wrong way.

    •  If we take that view, (0+ / 0-)

      then Loving was a bad decision, because interracial marriage was not accepted when the constitution was written.

      •  I'm sorry, but your simile is flawed. (0+ / 0-)

        The southern states, that outlawed interracial marriages, had laws that specifically prohibited different races from inter-marrying. What they did was NOT a redefinition of marriage. Instead they specifically forbade a particular type of marriage, and that type of marriage was based on race and therefore illegal under federal law. By forbidding interracial marriage, they actually implied rather forcefully that it would indeed be a true marriage (as defined), but it was specifically made illegal.

    •  It would also mean... (0+ / 0-)

      that I, as a hetero woman, would never be able to marry a hetero woman. If only "Gay" marriage was legalized, and not "Same-Sex" marriage, then a lesbian could only marry another lesbian, and I would not be able to marry any woman.

      Erk, imagine all the medical intrusions in that situation! Want to marry a same-sex partner? Prove you are gay.

      I know several straight women who look forward to someday having a same-sex mate, and neither one lesbians. What they want is a loving, compatible partner in a legal marriage.

      I look forward to when we don't care if someone is gay or not, but that they marry the one they love and treat them well.

      I want to live in a civil society. Political compass: -7.88, -5.08

      by dragonwerx on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 01:53:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Het women who look forward to marrying het fems? (0+ / 0-)

        I find the above statement unlikely. (I could, of course be wrong). Do you also know any het men "looking forward" to marrying another het man?

        Regardless of the statement's likelihood, I agree that I, "look forward to when we don't care if someone is gay or not, but that they marry the one they love and treat them well."


  •  Just reading their comments made my head hurt. (0+ / 0-)

    These people are so full of shit, they squeak going into a turn.  But they will continue to work themselves into a frenzy to stop gay marriage, no matter that their cause has become a sinking ship, with now 19 states having legalized gay marriage and more on the brink of doing so as we go.  Not to mention a majority of Americans now in support of gay marriage, which maybe I'd better not mention as they seem unable and/or unwilling to accept this...

  •  I'm with you here politically, BUT (0+ / 0-)

    you misinterpreted the Chesterton quote. His point was that chairs may be different, but they all have to have certain characteristics in common in order to be called "chairs." You have to be able to sit on them, and they have to be man-made (I think we can agree that a log or a rock isn't a chair even if you can sit on it) and they have to be stably supported. They don't necessarily have to have four legs; a beanbag chair has no legs. They don't have to have backs or arms. They don't have to have upholstery. Some have desk-arms, some don't. Some are recliners, some aren't, but they all have to function in some way as chairs.

    The trouble with the NOM's argument is that you can use Chesterton's response to answer back very effectively to the NOM crowd. "Yes, all chairs are not alike, but gay marriage meets enough of the essential definition of marriage to be accepted as part of that group."

  •  Different religions may have their own definitions (0+ / 0-)

    of marriage, but from a LEGAL standpoint, a marriage is a contract.
    It must be made between competent adults who freely consent to it. It has legal ramifications regarding property, taxes, medical decisions, children, inheritance, etc. etc.

    Said adults ought to be, but generally are not, informed of all the clauses and ramifications of what is so casually called "marriage".  It ought to be taught in high school.  How many seniors in HS could even tell you whether they live in a community property state or not, and what that will mean to their marriage?  

    No, this definition does not eliminate possible polygamy or polyandry, both of which are accepted in some other countries.  But the participants would all have to agree at the outset to the arrangement, in writing.  No "here is my new wife, accept her" or parents giving their underage daughters to their cult leader.

    It does forbid marrying underage, demented, mentally disabled, or unconsenting partners, or animals, or any of the other horrors that are thrown out as red herrings in this debate.  It requires that the couple be sober, and sign and notarize their contract.  It would not recognize "common law" unions that were never formalized.

  •  reasoning??? Explaination????? (0+ / 0-)

    Here it is plain and simple....  STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES!!!

  •  Imagine (0+ / 0-)

    there's no countries...(no marriage to define)* religion life in peace....

    *Added for effect.

  •   Real point (0+ / 0-)

    The stupid part is the fundamental logic. You can't  just label things as all the same.  You would be missing immeasurable depth and beauty between two things that seem the same on the  extremely superficial level.  The truth is in what the first man said. To elaborate, that there is essentially profound and marvelous uniqueness to all of creation.  My point, Love is Love, and it is  truly divine, far from the understanding of the small minded and  small hearted.  Just like God.

  •  Sorry to quibble off topic but... (0+ / 0-)

    Apple makes computers and software ...Microsoft makes software. (I don't count mice or keyboards as computers!)

  •  Chairs analogy works also in favor of gay marriage (0+ / 0-)

    By the same token, one could make the counter argument that because all chairs are not exactly the same yet they are still all called chairs, that marriage too is like that... i.e. not everything that is called marriage is exactly the same.

    All chairs each having their own unique characteristics also have something in common, which is that we can sit on them.

    So gay marriage has its own characteristics that are unique from heterosexual marriage, yet these two forms of marriage also share a commonality like chairs.

    This commonality is that there is a legal commitment based on love that two people enter into and which carries the same legal and moral advantages and responsibilities through the life of the individuals for as long as they remain married.

  •  What is marriage? (0+ / 0-)

    Marriage is a formal contract that establishes legal status in relation to inheritance and property rights.  Birth certificates establishes birth precedence, inheritance rights and birth order.  The church took the administration of both marriage and birth registration as, at the time, they were the only entity with the capability to write and communicate outside of their communities.  End of story.  

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