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Author Topic: To those that claim that I'm the only one that makes this argument against ssm
Tom_paines_ghost
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Sorry, I missed the proof of how marriage is actually under attack. Got anything to prove it?
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Pete at Home
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[DOH] Here you go again, Paine. The concurring opinion makes clear this attack is about chuch doctrine and practices as well as law.

http://www.mass.gov/courts/courtsandjudges/courts/supremejudicialcourt/goodridge.html

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Everard
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I know we don't see eye to eye on this issue at all, pete, but I think we can both agree that worrying about paine is a waste of time. I don't think anyone here is reading what he writes anymore to better understand ANYTHING. He's just noise.
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Pete at Home
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Well, while we're agreeing on things, Ev, I second your recomendation that people read the Goodridge case rather than taking my word -- or anyone's word -- for anything.
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Jordan
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One question that came up while reading that document: if the decision to broaden the legal definition of marriage is handed to the legislature, will that decision be just as easily reversible if the tide of popular opinion changes?
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Pete at Home
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Broadening seems to be a one-way trip. How could the tide of popular opinion change, if people lack any means of communicating the original idea? You can't opine what you can't understand. That's the danger of newspeak.


HOWEVER, if the decision was made by the legislature, then there's a public record of when the definition of marriage changed, depending on whether the legislature is honest about what they are doing: changing the definition.

When the decision gets made in the courts, as in Goodridge, they start with the question "do gays have the RIGHT to marry," which sweeps over the whole question of what marriage means. Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia. That's a lie to future generations that marriage "rights" were once "restricted" from gays. That false history hides what "marriage" really means to us.

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DonaldD
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Jordan, did you mean "if the legistlature broadens the legal definition" or did you mean "if the judiciary tells the legislature to broaden the legal definition"?
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Tom_paines_ghost
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Pete, I am reading the decision and not seeing what you are. What specific bitsprove "marriage is under attack?"

Also, your source (and I presume you, am I incorrect?) are aledging a long term, systemic assault on "marriage."

So such a major assault surely has left more evidence than that. Right?

The question of wether barring part of the population from legal rights and protections availible for others seems a fair matter for the courts. Certainly it was when anti-missegenation laws were challenged in courts.

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Jordan
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quote:
Donald:
Jordan, did you mean "if the legistlature broadens the legal definition" or did you mean "if the judiciary tells the legislature to broaden the legal definition"?

I meant neither. [Smile] I meant "if the legislature is allowed to make the decision". No outcome was prescribed.

quote:
Pete:
How could the tide of popular opinion change, if people lack any means of communicating the original idea? You can't opine what you can't understand. That's the danger of newspeak.

I dislike admitting this, but I'm not sure what you mean. Could you expand upon this a little?


I note that you both believe I was hypothesising that the outcome would be in favour, so perhaps my phrasing accidentally implied this. To clarify, I'm just as interested in whether or not a negative decision would be reversible.

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Jordan
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Wait, I get it now, Pete.

But I don't think that's the case at all. Just because the legal definition is currently one man, one woman doesn't mean that people aren't postulating alternatives. This debate is only happening because we aren't being limited by oldspeak. If MFA has apparent and disastrous consequences, people will presumably start calling for the legal definition to be changed again.

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Pete at Home
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Here's what I mean:

If the state changes the meaning of the word "marriage" within the culture, that erases the meaning of marriage and replaces it with a new meaning. The previous idea, and all the underlying philosophy and assumptions, are lost. If people cannot communicate the idea of marriage, then the tide of popular opinion can't change in favor of that inexpressible idea.

Of course, if the legislature passes it, then it's going to take longer for people to forget what marriage was, since there's a public record and admission that it was something else. I guess that schools and the media could still brainwash people that marriage has always meant X and speak of those awful days when people would not "let gays marry," to muddy the issue that things used to be different. But the debate to neuter marriage is more destructive when you take it through the courts (which requires them to rewrite history to justify their decisions), than if you take it through the legislature, where they focus on actually *making* changes clear rather than covering up the nature of the change.

So in short, there's more of a chance of popular opinion reversing a legislative change, than of reversing a judicial change.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Jordan:
Wait, I get it now, Pete.

But I don't think that's the case at all. Just because the legal definition is currently one man, one woman doesn't mean that people aren't postulating alternatives. This debate is only happening because we aren't being limited by oldspeak.

Oldspeak doesn't limit the debate in the sense that newspeak does. You can communicate both ideas in oldspeak. You can only communicate one of the ideas in Newspeak.


quote:
If MFA has apparent and disastrous consequences, people will presumably start calling for the legal definition to be changed again.
That's right. The MFA enshrines oldspeak, wherein people can still rally support to "broaden" the definition of marriage, and reverse the amendment, like they did with prohibition.
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KidB
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quote:
Marriage is neither a conservative nor a liberal issue; it is a universal human institution, guaranteeing children fathers, and pointing men and women toward a special kind of socially as well as personally fruitful sexual relationship.
Gay marriage is the final step down a long road America has already traveled toward deinstitutionalizing, denuding and privatizing marriage. It would set in legal stone some of the most destructive ideas of the sexual revolution: There are no differences between men and women that matter, marriage has nothing to do with procreation, children do not really need mothers and fathers, the diverse family forms adults choose are all equally good for children.”
What happens in my heart is that I know the difference. Don’t confuse my people, who have been the victims of deliberate family destruction, by giving them another definition of marriage.”

Since Pete put this quote at the very beginning of this thread, I'd like to point out the problem I'm having with it.

First off - and I'm really surprised that no one else has picked up on this yet - I have grave issues with the phrase "Don't confuse my people." This is an infantalizing stance to take, don't you think? I.e. "my people are easily confused". It harkens back to the notion - all-too-rampant in the sixties, and evident in the writings of Malcolm X and other activists - that homosexuality (along with other forms of supposed sexual deviance) is an invention of the white bourgeoise. It is racism, pure and simple.

This leads directly to my next point - that there is an assumption that homosexual orientation is something that can be influenced by social coercion. In other words, legal tolerance of homosexuality leads to more homosexuals (as if heteros can be so tempted to form permanent gay unions they would not otherwise have pursued). I know that Pete is perfectly willing to tolerate gay unions of a sort, but his fears about redefining marriage nonetheless speak to a similar assumption.

Perhaps - if I read him correctly - he is rather afraid that the effect on heterosexual couples will be negative in other ways. In other words, by taking the emphasis of marriage away from child-rearing and emphasisizing sexual love relationships in general, it will lead to a more selfish or self-centered marriage culture, in which the welfare fo children becomes less central to society as a whole.

I however, see the opposite effect. Love and commitment should be a legal and social prerequisite to having children. For most of history, when birth control was both unavailable and/or inadequate, mutual love and attraction as a presrequisite for marriage was seen by most as a foolish, pie-in-the-sky luxury, marriage had to be enforced to make sure that children had parents. One the woman become pregnant (whether as product of genuine sexual love, or simple recklessness) the man had to be made to stay and take care of wife and child. This was when society afford only men a "self" - women were seen as inherently self-less. The male ego had to be restrained and made responsible. This social coercion did not necessarily lead to happiness - nor was it meant to. It was simply in place to make people take responsibility for their actions, to face consequences whether it made them happy or not.

Fine. However, one of the great outcomes of the sexual revolution is the now widespread acceptance that happier parents have healthier children. As such, our modern culture recognizes that women experience desire (i.e. have an ego) just as men do, and encourages planned parenthood rather than accidental parenthood. Our modern view of marriage posits that one should be in love first, and have a secure relationship, before attempting to reproduce. This means that we lead happier lives, and do not have to foist our bitterness about being trapped in an unwanted marriage on our kids. So it seems to me that defining marriage as being about love, first and foremost, would actually benefit children rather than hurt them. In other words, marriage would be defined as "mutual love and lifelong commitment." That would be our social ideal. It may lead to children or it may not. But at least by putting sexual love first, you create a cultural climate in which people learn to take love and sexual happiness seriously, as something socially important.

Children with single parents are not the victims of re-defined marriage. Unplanned children come about when two people took risks that were not appropriate for their lack of commitment to one another. If you want to foster a healthy society, the last thing we should encourage is the idea that marriage is an alter upon which adults sacrifice their happiness to live for their offspring. We should encourage gay marriage, and use the word "marriage," for all the reasons Pete would have us deny it to gays, because it would promote the belief that mutual love and happiness MUST come before any attempt to have children. That gays still have the right to marry members of the opposite sex does not solve the problem, because gays would still be denied the right to marry someone with whom they could fall in love with. An unhappy faux-hetero couple is a far, far worse environment for a child than a happy homo couple.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
First off - and I'm really surprised that no one else has picked up on this yet - I have grave issues with the phrase "Don't confuse my people." This is an infantalizing stance to take, don't you think? I.e. "my people are easily confused".
No. It means "my people are already confused about marriage." And if you paid attention to history, and to what he said, you'd understand the forces that have been set in place to confuse his people with respect to marriage.

Different cultures have different strengths. Many white American cultures are profoundly confused about physical affection, for example. In a healthy culture, guys should be able to hug without inferences of homosexuality.

Until 2001, most Americans were pretty confused about world geography.

Recognizing a weakness and trying to fix it, isn't "infantalizing." Seems like a spurious PC argument.

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Tom_paines_ghost
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till waiting Pete.

Other than your vaporous, imaginary 1984 BS stalking horse, got any proof of marriage under attack?

I mean, it isyour one trick pony. Surely you have evidence of the great nihilist conspiracy?

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Pete at Home
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quote:
that there is an assumption that homosexual orientation is something that can be influenced by social coercion
No, there isn't in what he said. Pay better attention, and try to see past your stereotypes and preconceptions of anti-ssm arguments. " It would set in legal stone some of the most destructive ideas of the sexual revolution: There are no differences between men and women that matter, marriage has nothing to do with procreation, children do not really need mothers and fathers, the diverse family forms adults choose are all equally good for children.”

NONE of that has to do with sexual orientation. Sticking in an argument that's not there and then rebutting it is called a "straw man" argument. Don't do that.

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KidB
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quote:
No. It means "my people are already confused about marriage." And if you paid attention to history, and to what he said, you'd understand the forces that have been set in place to confuse his people with respect to marriage...Recognizing a weakness and trying to fix it, isn't "infantalizing." Seems like a spurious PC argument.
What "forces"? I have paid plenty attention to history, but I'm not a mind-reader, and therefore don't know what the hell you're talking about. Please clarify.
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Tom_paines_ghost
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He cant.
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Pete at Home
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For one flickering moment, it almost looks as if you're going to address his argument instead of a straw man.

quote:
Children with single parents are not the victims of re-defined marriage.
That depends. If the single parents didn't get married because of the legacy of slavery, Jim Crow, or because most men her age she knew were in prison or otherwise ineligible for marriage, then no, it's not.

But if the single parents didn't get married because they were taught about a definition of marriage that was not associated with procreation, then yes, those children are victims of re-defined marriage.

This civil rights leader's point is, that he's trying to teach his people the importance of marriage, and that redefining marriage so that procreation has nothing to do with marriage, undermines his efforts and traps his people in a permanent undercaste.

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KidB
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Pete,

If there are "important differences" between men and women, as suggested in the quote, then obviously sexual orientation is directly related to the argument he is making. Not only is it not a straw man, it is central to his argument.

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Pete at Home
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KidA, if you honestly have no idea about what he meant when he said that his people "have been the victims of deliberate family destruction," then I apologize. Schools don't really teach this stuff. I'd suggest reading "Beloved" and "Raisin in the Sun."
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Pete at Home
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He made clear that these important differences relate to procreation and raising children, which has nothing to do with sexual orientation.
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KidB
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quote:
This civil rights leader's point is, that he's trying to teach his people the importance of marriage, and that redefining marriage so that procreation has nothing to do with marriage, undermines his efforts and traps his people in a permanent undercaste.
Who has taught the black community that marriage has nothing to do with procreation?

What evidence to you have that this accounts for any current problems among African-Americans today?

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KidB
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quote:
KidA, if you honestly have no idea about what he meant when he said that his people "have been the victims of deliberate family destruction," then I apologize. Schools don't really teach this stuff. I'd suggest reading "Beloved" and "Raisin in the Sun."
Pete, don't insult me. I'll bet you I've read more deeply into the canon of African-American literature than you have. Comparing gay marriage to the consequences of institutional racism is beyond preposterous.
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KidB
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quote:
He made clear that these important differences relate to procreation and raising children, which has nothing to do with sexual orientation
Did you really just write that? [FootInMouth]
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by KidB:
quote:
KidA, if you honestly have no idea about what he meant when he said that his people "have been the victims of deliberate family destruction," then I apologize. Schools don't really teach this stuff. I'd suggest reading "Beloved" and "Raisin in the Sun."
Pete, don't insult me. I'll bet you I've read more deeply into the canon of African-American literature than you have.
Then please stop asking questions as if you did not already know the answers. I don't know what you've read; when you ask an ignorant question, don't get all self-righteous and offended when I point you towards the obvious answer.

quote:
Comparing gay marriage to the consequences of institutional racism is beyond preposterous.
He didn't. He compared the consequence of "gay marriage" (i.e. confusing his people about marriage was, and cementing the sexual revolution's results) to the consequences of institutional racism.

If you have a counterargument, do so. But just gasping and saying proposterous is the empereror's new clothes argument. Get over the shock that someone has an opinion that you don't like. Engage the argument or disingage from the thread.

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Pete at Home
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More emperor's new clothes arguments:

quote:
Originally posted by KidB:
quote:
He made clear that these important differences relate to procreation and raising children, which has nothing to do with sexual orientation
Did you really just write that? [FootInMouth]
Sterile recreational wanking is not procreation. And I've seen no evidence that a gay man is less of a father than a straight man. If you have an argument, then engage it. If you don't have an argument, then please disengage.
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KidB
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I just made a very lengthy argument further up the page - 90% of which remains unaddressed by you.
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Pete at Home
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If any of it was actually relevant to his argument (as opposed to straw man), please repost them without the irrelevant parts.
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KidB
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quote:
Then please stop asking questions as if you did not already know the answers. I don't know what you've read; when you ask an ignorant question, don't get all self-righteous and offended when I point you towards the obvious answer.

It honestly didn't occur to me (until your prompt) that someone - either he or you - would seriously draw such a comparison in the year 2006. Okay then, do you really want me to go on at length as to why the current problems faced by the African-American community are NOT the result of the gay rights movement? Rather than, say, the continuing effects of racism and a total lack of funding for adequate education? How many hoops shall I jump through for your amusement, O' ringmaster?

I give the African-American community enough credit that they are not any more likely to be "confused" on any issue than any other American community. I do not take them for simpletons.

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KidB
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quote:
If any of it was actually relevant to his argument (as opposed to straw man), please repost them without the irrelevant parts.
All of it is relevant, to his quote and to this discussion. If you think otherwise, YOU need to show me what parts you deem to be made of straw.
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Pete at Home
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OK, here you seem to be trying to address it:

"Perhaps - if I read him correctly - he is rather afraid that the effect on heterosexual couples will be negative in other ways. In other words, by taking the emphasis of marriage away from child-rearing and emphasisizing sexual love relationships in general, it will lead to a more selfish or self-centered marriage culture, in which the welfare fo children becomes less central to society as a whole."

Since you consider yourself the guru on African-American literature and concerns, why don't you explain how that connects to what he said?

Seems more on point that he's concerned that it will be harder to persuade girls to postpone making babies until marriage, if marriage isn't about raising children any more. Many black leaders feel that a lack of FATHERS plagues the black community. How a self-designated expert on african-american literature misses that little fact is beyond me. This whole debate trains the left to completely dance around that issue, and that's part of the problem here.

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KidB
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PaH,

Are you familiar with the term "Down Low"? Do you know what it means? If not, look it up on wiki - I only have so many hours in the day.

Perhaps, then, you will see why I think it's socially beneficial to promote marriage as a source of sexual and emotional happiness.

African-Americans suffer from a great deal of cynicism about their possibilities for personal happiness (for obvious reasons). Promiscuity occurs not because people are having "fun," but rather because they are miserable, fatalistic about their future, and are using sex to fill an emotional void. Promoting sexual happiness as an ideal that everyone should demand for their own lives would have a stabilizing effect, which would benefit families.

Incidentally, the divorce rate in the Netherlands is lower than in the U.S., and its per-capita rate of abortions and teen pregnancies a mere fraction of what they are in the U.S.

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Pete at Home
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A divorce rate by population rather than as a percentage of actual marriages is not social science; that's propaganda. By that logic a healthy society would have no marriages, and hence no divorces.
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Pete at Home
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The relevant question would be, what have the divorce/marriage% and unwed pregnancies and abortions numbers done in the Netherlands since ssm appeared.

But for the issue of the word "marriage," the Netherlands are a poor example since a growing percentage of the population there are Muslims who have some very strong traditions and live an independent law, keep themselves apart from others, and may even speak a different language. The Netherlands are also a civil law society rather than common law, with a regulatory rather than adversarial court system, so if the government changes a word's meaning, the courts aren't as likely to be used to enforce usage consistently through the public sphere.

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Pete at Home
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So while the Netherlands are very relevant for purposes of the legal arguments that I've made on other threads, for the word argument topic of this thread, I'm not as concerned with them.
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KidB
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The Netherlands is entirely relevant, because, as a culture, it is much more pro-pleasure, pro-sexual liberty. This is the same set of values from which I argue for gay marriage, and I use the Netherlands to show that this value system (of which gay marriage is one of many logical consequences) is beneficial, rather than harmful, to children - whose well-being is, as you've repeatedly stated, your ultimate concern.
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Tom_paines_ghost
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But when you tr to compare the well being of children, he gets silent and or shucks and jives or throwa a red hrring or tree out.
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by KidB:
The Netherlands is entirely relevant, because, as a culture, it is much more pro-pleasure, pro-sexual liberty. This is the same set of values from which I argue for gay marriage, and I use the Netherlands to show that this value system (of which gay marriage is one of many logical consequences) is beneficial, rather than harmful, to children - whose well-being is, as you've repeatedly stated, your ultimate concern.

Correct. Like I said, the Netherlands is relevant to my ultimate concern. I'm just not sure how the Netherlands are relevant to this particular argument, as in "To those that claim that I'm the only one that makes this argument against ssm."

Do you remember what "this argument" is?

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Everard
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Under the pure hypothetical that SSM benefits children, the entirety of your argument against SSM would, I believe, collapse. So to the extent that you HAVE an argument, the netherlands is entirely relevent to it.

Ok. There is more to your argument then that. However, without the children, I don't think you have an argument against legal marriage that would withstand a compelling interest test. Since we both agree that the SC says marriage is a fundamental right, it is the compelling interest test that matters.

[ January 10, 2007, 07:01 PM: Message edited by: Everard ]

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