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Author Topic: Gay marriage legislation compromise
Kent
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From The New York Times Op Ed.
quote:
We take very different positions on gay marriage. We have had heated debates on the subject. Nonetheless, we agree that the time is ripe for a deal that could give each side what it most needs in the short run, while moving the debate onto a healthier, calmer track in the years ahead.

It would work like this: Congress would bestow the status of federal civil unions on same-sex marriages and civil unions granted at the state level, thereby conferring upon them most or all of the federal benefits and rights of marriage. But there would be a condition: Washington would recognize only those unions licensed in states with robust religious-conscience exceptions, which provide that religious organizations need not recognize same-sex unions against their will. The federal government would also enact religious-conscience protections of its own. All of these changes would be enacted in the same bill.

Check out the whole article. What do you think of the compromise?
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Everard
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"It would work like this: Congress would bestow the status of federal civil unions on same-sex marriages and civil unions granted at the state level, thereby conferring upon them most or all of the federal benefits and rights of marriage."

And why aren't they called marriage instead? As long as there is one institution of marriage for straights, and another institution not called marriage, then we've got a serious problem.

So, I'm on board when it changes from "civil union," to "marriage," or when the word "marriage," is removed from law. But if straights can get married, and gays can't, then its not really a workable compromise over more then the short term.

[ March 04, 2009, 01:13 PM: Message edited by: Everard ]

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DonaldD
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How about this:
quote:
It would work like this: Congress would bestow the status of federal civil marriage on all marriages and civil unions granted at the state level, thereby conferring upon all unions all of the federal benefits and rights of marriage. But there would be a condition: Washington would recognize only those unions licensed in states with robust religious-conscience exceptions, which provide that religious organizations need not recognize same-sex unions against their will. The federal government would also enact religious-conscience protections of its own: a grandfather clause would allow currently-employed federal employees with religious qualms to continue to discriminate (against those seeking gay unions) for a pre-determined time period - say five or ten years - and providing alternate career path options at the end of that time frame.

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EDemoMan
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Ev, gays can get married, under the same rules straights can. A gay man can marry any woman same as a straight man can marry any woman.
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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by Everard:
"It would work like this: Congress would bestow the status of federal civil unions on same-sex marriages and civil unions granted at the state level, thereby conferring upon them most or all of the federal benefits and rights of marriage."

And why aren't they called marriage instead? As long as there is one institution of marriage for straights, and another institution not called marriage, then we've got a serious problem.

So, I'm on board when it changes from "civil union," to "marriage," or when the word "marriage," is removed from law. But if straights can get married, and gays can't, then its not really a workable compromise over more then the short term.

While I think you're right (for a given value of "serious"), I tend to think this kind of compromise would be a lot better than the current status quo, and wouldn't necessarily set back any efforts to allow for same sex marriage.

Sadly, it's not even palatable for some people. Utah voted just a few years ago to disallow anything that even resembles marriage for same sex couples.

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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by EDemoMan:
Ev, gays can get married, under the same rules straights can. A gay man can marry any woman same as a straight man can marry any woman.

Thanks for the useless bit of clarity.
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NSCutler
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And in Saudi, non-muslims can follow Sharia just like muslims can!
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Everard
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"Ev, gays can get married, under the same rules straights can. A gay man can marry any woman same as a straight man can marry any woman. "

I hope you're just playing the *******, and aren't actually one in real life.

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TommySama
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lol. He's right, dude. I never thought of it that way! Well I'm glad we finally figured out this same sex marriage issue, it was getting pretty heated and uncomfortable.
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EDanaII
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In other words "No compromise here..."
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Wayward Son
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Too bad for you, Ed. You'll get tired swimming against the tide after a while.
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EDanaII
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Did you miss the meaning of the word "compromise?"
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JoshCrow
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Why compromise on the inevitable? As the younger generation grows up and the older, more conservative bastions fade away, there's really nothing to suggest anything will really permanently obstruct gay marriage in the US.
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munga
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I think the compromise solves it the long-way-around.

They are saying,

1 let the feds grant the "marriages" of SS couples
2 let the religious object if they want to, and what.... not call them "marriages"?

Why not just NOT call any civil domestic contracts, "marriages?" Rip that line off the top of the paper, and just leave "domestic civil agreement, state of _______."

Why invite the religious folks to have coniption fits ("go protest now in order to save your flock") instead of invite them to make their church's "stamp of marriage" (which only a church should be able to give, as the state will only give out domestic civil contracts) the best and most meaningful covenant the church understands how to perform?

I think this compromise twists people wrong and invites more problems than it solves.

[ March 04, 2009, 02:54 PM: Message edited by: munga ]

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Wayward Son
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Sorry, Ed. I thought you meant that you were not willing to compromise. My bad. [Embarrassed]
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philnotfil
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quote:
It would work like this: Congress would bestow the status of federal civil unions on any marriages and civil unions granted at the state level, thereby conferring upon them most or all of the federal benefits and rights of marriage. But there would be a condition: Washington would recognize only those unions licensed in states with robust religious-conscience exceptions, which provide that religious organizations need not recognize same-sex unions against their will. The federal government would also enact religious-conscience protections of its own. All of these changes would be enacted in the same bill.
I would like it more this way.
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DonaldD
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Then you would need to change the second line too, phil.

My proposal was a compromise too, Ed (EDanaII, not emoMan)

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swbarnes2
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quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD:
How about this: It would work like this: Congress would bestow the status of federal civil marriage on all marriages and civil unions granted at the state level, thereby conferring upon all unions all of the federal benefits and rights of marriage. But there would be a condition: Washington would recognize only those unions licensed in states with robust religious-conscience exceptions, which provide that religious organizations need not recognize same-sex unions against their will.

But they will be forced to recogize other legal unions against their will? You basically want a law saying that religious organizations can discriminate against gays, and no one else?

quote:
The federal government would also enact religious-conscience protections of its own: a grandfather clause would allow currently-employed federal employees with religious qualms to continue to discriminate (against those seeking gay unions)
So basically the government would be saying "If a gay couple tries to exercise their civil right and get a marraige license, the qualms of the staff may impede that couple from getting their civil marriage. Straight people, of course, won't have to worry, no matter how strongly the staff objects".

quote:
for a pre-determined time period - say five or ten years - and providing alternate career path options at the end of that time frame.
Does anyone know how this accomodation compares to say, the accomodation given to a person who develops a disability? If someone loses their right arm, or their sight, and can't do what they were hired to do, do they really stay on for 10 years not doing their full job?
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munga
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quote:
Originally posted by philnotfil:
quote:
It would work like this: Congress would bestow the status of federal civil unions on any marriages and civil unions granted at the state level, thereby conferring upon them most or all of the federal benefits and rights of marriage. But there would be a condition: Washington would recognize only those unions licensed in states with robust religious-conscience exceptions, which provide that religious organizations need not recognize same-sex unions against their will. The federal government would also enact religious-conscience protections of its own. All of these changes would be enacted in the same bill.
I would like it more this way.
NICELY PARSED
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Jordan
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Dana, gay marriage with robust protection for objections of grounds of conscience is a compromise. Everyone having legal civil unions is a compromise. Civil unions for same-sex couples only are a compromise on a compromise.

What would constitute a compromise in your eyes, Dana? I am quite serious when I say that it is hard for me to see how much more marriage equality advocates can compromise beyond this until their detractors are the ones who haven't compromised.

[ March 04, 2009, 04:04 PM: Message edited by: Jordan ]

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drewmie
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quote:
Everard wrote: And why aren't they called marriage instead? As long as there is one institution of marriage for straights, and another institution not called marriage, then we've got a serious problem.

So, I'm on board when it changes from "civil union," to "marriage," or when the word "marriage," is removed from law. But if straights can get married, and gays can't, then its not really a workable compromise over more then the short term.

"Workable compromise"? Sounds to me like you're insisting on no compromise. Compromise, by definition, means both sides give up some of what they want in order to make some progress. SSM advocates want (1) legal recognition for benefits, visitation, power of attorney, etc.; and (2) legal recognition and legitimacy of their coupling as being equal to that of opposite-sex couples. What's so horrible about getting the first part now, then continuing to work on getting the second part? In fact, wouldn't living with the first part help increase public support of the second part?

Your position sounds strangely like our pro-life Utah legislators that refused to pass anything short of an all-out ban on all abortions for years "on principle," instead of actually giving a crap about smaller, practical changes that would pass judicial review and get some of what they want. Am I missing something?

[ March 04, 2009, 04:26 PM: Message edited by: drewmie ]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
In fact, wouldn't living with the first part help increase public support of the second part?
Living with the second part will do far more to get them the first part.
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DonaldD
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drewmie, this particular compromise (1) doesn't give equal legal recognition of benefits (2) doesn't provide equal legitimacy and (3) would entrench in law some undefined amount of discriminatory leeway federally.

The only compromise here seems to be that it would commit to not enforcing a federal DOMA-like statute and would provide for a subset of federal rights and benefits of marriage to same-sex couples recognized by their state.

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Everard
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" In fact, wouldn't living with the first part help increase public support of the second part?"

Thats why I said "over the short term."

If I thought that the position that gays shouldn't be able to have legally recognized marriages was one that is at all supportable under the constitution, or contained within any fundamentally decent morality, then I might be willing to compromise on that aspect of the debate. But I remain unconvinced that there's any legitimate constitutional argument that straights can be legally recognized as married, but gays can't. And I remain unconvinced that there's any moral justification for not extending legal marriage rights to gays.

So, I'm willing to compromise by extending vigorous religious conscience exceptions.

But I'm not willing to make a long term compromise that sacrifices anyone's civil liberties or equal protection under the law.

I don't really have room for pragmatism that sacrifices the very foundations of our system of government and law, and I think that's what equitable marriage opponents are asking when asking to draw a legal distinction between same sex couples and opposite sex couples.

[ March 04, 2009, 04:36 PM: Message edited by: Everard ]

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Athelstan
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Jordan

Is there are great demand for same sex marriages in Britain. I must confess I haven’t heard its vocal call but then I’m not exactly on the same wavelength. I was under the impression that almost everyone was content with the civil partnerships we have in Britain. Surely people speak much more about partners than any gender definition. Then I’m not a great fan of church weddings anyway and I’m happy to let the Church of England keep their definition of marriage. Gracious of me I know.

There was the recent case of two lesbians being allowed IVF treatment on the NHS and no one asked whether they were even in a partnership. It was enough that they were in a relationship.

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Wayward Son
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What is the normal Federal procedure if a new law is passed and it is against a worker's religious beliefs?

What is the normal procedure if a new law is passed and it is against a religion's belief?

Is it similar to this "compromise?" If not, why make an exception for gay marriages?

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JoshuaD
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quote:
Originally posted by Everard:
"Ev, gays can get married, under the same rules straights can. A gay man can marry any woman same as a straight man can marry any woman. "

I hope you're just playing the *******, and aren't actually one in real life.

And yet somehow you claim the tolerance highground in these arguments?
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DonaldD
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swbarnes - you seem to have even deeper objections to the original compromise than I did. In which case, you should probably address the original as opposed to my more compromising compromise [Smile]

But regardless, the idea of a compromise is a good thing in the current environment - especially if it is not perceived as a win-lose by one side or the other.

The basic idea, that the federal government recognize state jurisdiction is certainly interesting. Where I think it errs too much is in completely accepting some states' rights to restrict gay marriage while itself restricting the meaning of other states' recognition of gay marriage, effectively holding a veto over the head of 'rogue' states. Now, if the proposed statutes recognized gay unions for the purposes of federal legislation and services regardless of the regulations within the particular states...

I wonder how such a compromise would work in practise, however: what happens when a married couple moves to a jurisdiction that doesn't recognize their marriage? Would they also lose their federal protections, would their new state of residence necessarily respect their contract or would they be subject to a dog's breakfast of conflicting regulations?

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Pyrtolin
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Phil's take on it is good, but the whole thing is amusing in as much as the religious-conscious protections mentioned already effectively exist. No private religious organization is required to recognize and union they do not want to.

(_Private_ is important there. Any organization operating on public funds must be subject to public regulations on the use of said funds)

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EDanaII
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"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;" No proviso about public mula here...


@ Wayward Son

Forget about it, Wayward, I probably should have done my usual @ttributions but decided to to make it a "drive by." I bear some fault for the confusion too. [Smile]

Ed.

Fixed attribution.

[ March 04, 2009, 06:10 PM: Message edited by: EDanaII ]

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Everard
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"And yet somehow you claim the tolerance highground in these arguments? "

*shrug* Tolerance for groups of people and willingness to treat people the same under the law, regardless of who they are?

Yes.

Tolerance for people who think they're making some kind of relevant argument when they make statements like the one I quoted?

No. I've never claimed to be tolerant of bigotry or idiocy.

I think we established recently that the statement in question would get you pummeled in a gay bar. And I think the pummeling would be justified.

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Jordan
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Athelstan,

To be honest, most are content with domestic partnerships. (Even though it sounds like what happens when two cleaning companies start sharing clients.) When it's not so long since you were fighting tooth and nail to even be allowed, say, to adopt, or legally have sex with your partner at the same age that everyone else can, I imagine that you tend to be happy with whatever you can get.

Gay couples, by and large, are mostly just happy that they are now protected under law the same way as any other married couple, although I have heard of a few issues being raised with the "no religious elements" stipulation being taken to extremes. (Vis á vis, a couple were told that they could not play Robbie Williams' Angels at their commitment ceremony; and if you have a public church ceremony, you need to sign the legal contract elsewhere.)

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Jordan
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quote:
JoshuaD:
quote:
Everard:
"Ev, gays can get married, under the same rules straights can. A gay man can marry any woman same as a straight man can marry any woman. "

I hope you're just playing the *******, and aren't actually one in real life.

And yet somehow you claim the tolerance highground in these arguments?
I wouldn't go so far as to use a word that needs censoring, but I think the fundamental problem with statements like EDM's is not that they are merely unhelpful, but that it is hard to use them in a manner which does not imply that the other party is not only wrong, but also rather foolish for even entertaining the possibility.

It's not a kind or conciliatory implication to make when discussing a divisive issue, so I think it is wise for any polite speaker to be cautious when employing such phrases. [Smile]

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swbarnes2
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quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD: swbarnes - you seem to have even deeper objections to the original compromise than I did. In which case, you should probably address the original as opposed to my more compromising compromise
I can address what I want, thank you very much. The stuff I quoted was in a post with your name on it. And it wasn't a quote follwoed by criticism. That makes it yours, even if its only a slight modification of what someone else said.

I thought that the notion of telling people "Feel free to discriminate against gays, if it floats your religious boat, but don't you dare lift a finger against straight people, no matter how ardent your objection to their marriage" deserved response.

quote:
But regardless, the idea of a compromise is a good thing in the current environment - especially if it is not perceived as a win-lose by one side or the other.
Well, that's easy for straight people, whose marriage rights are secure, to say.

If you'd advocated that straight marriages be just as subject to the whims of religious belief, that would have been closer to a compromise.

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DonaldD
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do you understand what the word 'compromise' means, or what the status quo currently is? [Smile]

I get the impression that you think I'm advocating the 'negative' (from the perspective of SSM advocates) aspects of this compromise as if from first principles, as opposed to having left in or weakened some of what had previously been proposed in the initial compromise.

Seriously, you have a problem with a five (or ten) year delay in implementing one of the more contentious aspects of this proposal, at the end of which you get what you want, and knowing that without such a compromise the fight over SSM would last far longer than that?(not that it would likely pass constitutional muster anyway)

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drewmie
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quote:
Everard wrote: If I thought that the position that gays shouldn't be able to have legally recognized marriages was one that is at all supportable under the constitution, or contained within any fundamentally decent morality, then I might be willing to compromise on that aspect of the debate. But I remain unconvinced that there's any legitimate constitutional argument that straights can be legally recognized as married, but gays can't. And I remain unconvinced that there's any moral justification for not extending legal marriage rights to gays.

So, I'm willing to compromise by extending vigorous religious conscience exceptions.

But I'm not willing to make a long term compromise that sacrifices anyone's civil liberties or equal protection under the law.

I don't really have room for pragmatism that sacrifices the very foundations of our system of government and law, and I think that's what equitable marriage opponents are asking when asking to draw a legal distinction between same sex couples and opposite sex couples.

I can respect the principled integrity of your position. However, do you realize that your EXACT argument has been made by a pro-life advocate who believes in full legal personhood at conception? They have just as defensible an argument as you, and I would disagree with them on the same basis.

In both positions, the current overwhelmingly accepted interpretation of the Constitution, written statutes, and legal precedent don't support the ideological position being taken. Mind you, it may be right. It just isn't the law of the land currently.

In both positions, the argument against compromise is based on the idea of not supporting anything in law that might appear to undermine the position as a wedge issue, for fear of losing the public's support for further progress later on... even though the current public largely doesn't support going further anyway.

And in both positions, assuming the position is correct, MORE people harmed (and/or are harmed to a greater degree) by not compromising, but instead insisting on adoption of the full position.

Like I've asked before, isn't it more important to make some progress toward bridging the antagonistic, ideological divide on such issues rather than simply beat our chests and feel self-righteous about what is "right"?

Assuming their position, do you really think these pro-lifers are doing what's right by not accepting constitutional compromise bills that reduce later-term abortions?

P.S.- Frankly, it sounds like you're saying that it would have been better for American slaves to stay in slavery until complete equality was achieved, rather than have to deal with limited rights during a long period of segregation.

[ March 04, 2009, 08:29 PM: Message edited by: drewmie ]

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Everard
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*sigh*

Drewmie, let me remind you of what I initially wrote:

"But if straights can get married, and gays can't, then its not really a workable compromise over more then the short term."

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drewmie
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quote:
Everard wrote: I've never claimed to be tolerant of bigotry or idiocy.

I think we established recently that the statement in question would get you pummeled in a gay bar. And I think the pummeling would be justified.

Come on. If you really believed that, it would pretty much put you in the same ideological camp as Toby Keith and the very bigots for whom a beating is "justified." Justified? What a word to use! Do you really feel a sense of justice and satisfaction at the idea of hurting others who throw little more than sticks and stones?
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Everard
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Justified as in, "yeah, you should have expected that would happen," not justified as in "justice has been served, and I'm satisfied with the result."

[ March 04, 2009, 08:43 PM: Message edited by: Everard ]

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drewmie
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"Justified" meaning "should have expected"? Hmm. Doesn't sound like any common usage I've ever heard. I think I'd understand if you just misspoke. You said it would probably happen AND it would be justified. I don't think you were repeating yourself.

[ March 04, 2009, 08:49 PM: Message edited by: drewmie ]

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