Gay marriage is legal in California *UPDATED*

California joins Massachusetts.

I’ll be interested to read the decision when I get the chance.

As for me, let me reiterate my usual point. I am not categorically opposed to gay marriage. However, I think we’re rushing too fast to change human relationships that have been fixed across all human cultures for thousands of years: marriage is between a man and a woman. Even polygamy doesn’t mess with that basic (and biological) principle. I prefer more thought before getting pushed politically into such changes.

UPDATE:  I just wanted to say, friends, that you are a remarkable group of people.  In a series of 56 comments, despite differences of opinion, all of you have consistently been intelligent, respectful, thoughtful and open-minded.  Thank you so much.

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  • Bookworm

    Thomas: I think “Civil Union” is marriage by another name, although it has the distinct virtue of clarifying the way in which, over the centuries, the religious aspect and the societal aspects of Marriage merged. My two main points is that I don’t believe in rushing to change an institution that has marched hand in hand with humankind practically since its inception and that I definitely don’t want judges to do this. Put another way, my real issue is less with the gay marriage as to which I haven’t really made up my mind, and more with the gay activism, as to which I have — and I loath it. I especially loath it because I’ve dealt with so many judges and I can assure you that they are not, for the most part, the cream of the intellectual or moral crop. They are busybodies and, in SF, they invariably put their prejudices ahead of the law.

  • Ymarsakar

    I don’t have a problem with civil unions, but it is not me that you have to convince. It’s the gays and their activists themselves who just don’t particularly accept civil unions. They want more.

    And even if most normal gays “don’t want more”, then they might as well want more since their handlers are telling us that compromises are not acceptable. Very Alinsky like in which ever attempt to compromise is portrayed as weakness and unacceptable to the base.

    There is no way you can try to define marriage in any way, shape, or form that will allow you to convince people to allow you to change it and thus how the state treats their relationship. The regular defense is that more people being married doesn’t change or affect current people’s marriages. If that is the case, then it is also true for civil unions in that if you are given the same protections and disadvantages that marriages provide to men and women, how is that going to affect the relationship of gays?

    In reality, it will affect the relationship of gays, but with each other. It will affect the relationship of gays with hetereosexuals and thus this is not perfect and so gay activists will deny and sabotage it as best they can. They had a few good runs in around 2004, but lately I haven’t heard much from them. Perhaps with the advent of civil unions in California and Mass., regular gays have calmed down and thus the fire of activism has died down a bit. Then again, the constant barrage of bills that propose some kind of gay marriage in California proves that even if gay activists are retreating, straight Leftists aren’t.

  • Ymarsakar

    In reality, it will affect the relationship of gays, but [not] with each other.

    Equality how?

    Equality by the process of making everybody equally miserable.

    It doesn’t seem avoidable.

    With the advent of Sharia in Britain using multicultural laws to enforce Sharia and female genital mutiliation, it is not only unavoidable, it is inevitable.

  • Thomas

    Hello Bookworm,

    I would have to agree with you about activism and activist judges. I don’t much like the gay, queer nation activist nonsense, especially when they are conducting indecencies in broad daylight. And I don’t much like the activist judges who lock out the American people by subverting the democratic process. Issues like these ought to be talked and discussed, not decreed from a gavel, and I personally think that court actions like these are extremely counterproductive to what gays want since it might provoke a backlash. The people don’t like their wills being thwarted by courts.

  • jj

    Nobody does, me least of all.

    On the other hand, there ought to be something. And I think it should be voted on by the people – and the people seem to be very attached to a specific connotation of the word “marriage.” I don’t see that changing soon: it’s a loaded word, in this context.

    So let the people of California, who’ve already done so, vote again to defend that specific connotation of that word, and work out something else. There’s a solution somewhere, be it “civil unions” or something else. And there’s a way to do it without incurring all kinds of unintended legal consequences. (This pretty much automatically means congress can’t be involved: they specialize in unintended consequences.)

    Whatever it is, Thomas, I’m with you. “Civil union,” “domestic partnership”- whatever: it’s time. I’m fine with either, or something else. It just has to written and enacted with great specificty, to keep the polygamists, incestuous, etc. out. They’ll make an argument anyway, there’ll always be a lawyer ready to take it on, but it can be addressed in such a way as to insure they lose fast.

  • suek


    What do you see as the purpose in changing the definition of marriage from “a legally binding relationship between one man and one woman” to “a legally binding relationship between two people”? (two unrelated people?)

    The reason for the legal relationship in the past was a recognition that a family consisted of two parents and offspring, and that one of the adults would be working for stable income, and one would be staying at home to raise the children, and generally would not have an independent source of income. It also defined a legal chain of inheritance – children were legitimate – born in a legal marriage – or illegitimate, born outside of a legal marriage. Illegitimate children were not included in the rights of inheritance unless recognized by the father.

    What is the purpose of gay marriage?

  • Thomas

    Hello Bookworm,

    Y’see, Book. Usually when there’re differing opinions, those usually the most interesting conversations :)


    There is a very concrete purpose to gay marriage, but I think I’m commented out right now. (I’m powering dooown…)

  • Mike Devx

    In the 1940’s Robert Heinlein divorced his wife, and had to wait one year before marrying a final time (to Virginia Heinlein).

    In the early 1970s there was still a huge social stigma against divorce. Marriage was still considered sacred. I think the cheapening of marriage has been effected more by how easy it is to hop in and out of marriage, than by anything else. How is it possible that Britney Spears can impulsively decide to get married and accomplish it in one evening; and then, within 36 hours, impulsively get her divorce because she’d done SUCH a silly thing?

    The state has every right and reason to legislate the definition of marriage, and the People have every right to modify those laws when they see fit. There are consequences even to that, however. We see those consequences all around us via the vast cheapening of marriage between a man and a woman.

    It amazes me that judges cannot see that traditional laws over centuries, or even thousands of years, have a gravity of their own that should be respected, and overturned only after great upheaval – as in this country concerning slavery and subsequent apartheid laws. When judges “follow their conscience instead of law and precedence”, we are, all of us, in a great deal of trouble. Thirty years of activist agitation does not define social upheaval. And there has never been any general “right to marry”.

    I myself am ok with allowing gay marriage or polygamy, though I don’t see any compelling need for it. We already allow people of the same sex to live together (and have sex). We allow groups of people to live together (and have sex). This is not at all the same as incest and bestiality: the latter are acts, not relationships. Marriage is a legal form of relationship that has no or very little negative impact on the unmarried, and changes to it need not be forced upon the People by 4-3 court decisions.

    If I could summarize it in a different way: Court decisions should follow social upheaval, not precede it. And in general, the more settled the question is, across the entire country, the more the court decision promotes the general welfare. A court decision on gay marriage, when there is not even one state where the People have voted it, where this is not even one state where a majority of the People want it, where in fact in every state where the People have chosen they have chosen against it, is a recipe for causing disaster. Not because of gay marriage itself, but because the judges have made themselves Lords of us all, and we in general will resent that ppowerfully. That simply is not how this country works.

    But again, if you can convince the majority of people that there is a compelling reason for change, and they vote it, then it would be fine.

  • suek

    >>There is a very concrete purpose to gay marriage, but I think I’m commented out right now>>

    Heh. That sounds like a cop out, you know. Ok…so I’ll be waiting till you power back up – I’d love to hear your concrete purpose. I haven’t heard one I have thought was valid so far, but you never know.

    And of course, this thread could disappear, so we may have to wait till the next thread on the topic!!

  • suek

    Just planting a link on the social value of traditional marriage – so I won’t lose it. And it’s part of the conversation!