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Dec 13, 2011

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Stephen

What not go all the way and take out bigamy and polygamy too? Why should it be lumped in with incest, insanity, and infancy?

Lex

I've argued in a number of forums, including the comments here, that the state needs to get out of the marriage business. If it wants to construct and enforce unions between two people with attendant legal benefits, fine, but leave marriages to faith communities. That is, I believe, the only way to reconcile the establishment clause of the First Amendment, the free-expression clause of the First Amendment and the equal-protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Of course, constitutional congruence is not uppermost in the minds of those pursuing a ban on gay marriage in North Carolina.

RBM

Thanks for that Lex.

I can't pin it down, but something smells a the lawsuit language.

What's Thigpen's et al position of same gender marriage ?

Lex

@RBM: mandatory disclaimer: IANAL.

I presume on the basis of this lawsuit that Jeff supports legalizing same-sex civil unions and thinks same-sex marriage is up to churches or denominations. But I haven't communicated with him on the subject, so I don't know.

Andrew Brod

Like others, I've always agreed with Lex on this.

Steve Harrison

I can safely say that being deeply in love comes pretty close to that insanity thing. So, marriages based on "excessive amounts of love" should probably be prohibited. Or maybe require a 7 1/2 year cohabitation "cooling off" period before the marriage license could be issued.

Abner Doon

"Marriage would be distinct from civil union. And because people believe that marriage is a holy state (and I agree), it would be the province of religious institutions, of churches and synagogues and mosques (even those two blocks from Ground Zero). If any couple, whether hetero- or homosexual, wanted to be married rather than just "civilly united," they'd have to find a church that would perform its marriage ritual for them, and the government would have no say in the matter.

So if Church X refused to marry an interracial heterosexual couple, that would be its (repugnant) right. That couple would be civilly united by the government but would have to find another church in which to be married. Similarly if Church Y won't marry homosexual couples."

Andrew

Andrew Brod

Um, yes, that's what I said.

Craftyboro

Properly conducted "marriages" in the faith community would be recognized by the State as Civil Unions or would the two have to go visit Mr. Deeds and fill out a Civil Union form?

Is this similar to taking an oath and invoking God or having the choice to say, as they say, "so help me, me?"

Doug Clark

A marriage license is not required to have a valid marriage in North Carolina, as noted in last week's Court of Appeals decision, Juma Mussa v. Nikki Palmer-Mussa. These ministers don't have to act as an agent of the state when they officiate at a wedding, so their complaint on those grounds doesn't ring true to me.

justcorbly

If I am correct, in most (all?) faiths, a marriage requires a ceremony that is, for those who use such language, a sacrament. By and large, that's none of the state's business. (Exceptions being things like child abuse, sacrificial offerings, etc.)

If a religious wedding ceremony is a preequisite for the state's recognition of a marriage anywhere in the U.S., I'm not aware of it.

So, in a sense, we already have that desirable decoupling of the state from marriage, i.e., the sacrament of marriage.

What we do have, though, is political pressure by people who are offended, religiously and otherwise, by the existence of certain people participating in a state-recognized marriage. This amounts to faith-sanctioned and government-imposed bigotry and should be made to disappear, the sooner the better.

Religions need to remain free to marry or not marry people as they see fit. If a faith believes being gay, or red headed, is evil, they have the right to refuse to allow gay and/or-red headed people to participate in the sacrament of marriage.

The state has no right to make such discrimination when it comes to recognizing marriages.

And a religious wedding ceremony should have no bearing on whether or not the state recognizes the marriage. Those requirements, and the accompanying procedures, sneed to be distinct and separarte. I.e., no preachers bestowing marriage licenses. That;s making the preacher a de facto officer of the government, and they are not.

Doug Clark

Addendum: I acknowledge the contradiction between what the law says about a marriage license and what the courts have recognized as valid marriages.

Roch101

"These ministers don't have to act as an agent of the state when they officiate at a wedding, so their complaint on those grounds doesn't ring true to me."

Is it legal in North Carolina for religious officials to marry people of the same gender?

Ed Cone

I've been to a church ceremony joining a same-sex couple, although I don't know that it was formally deemed a marriage.

Roch101

Me too, which is why I am wondering if it was legal.

greensboro transplant

"What not go all the way and take out bigamy and polygamy too? Why should it be lumped in with incest, insanity, and infancy?"

Ditto. can't figure out why discrimination against polygamists is okay while discrimination against gay marriage is not.

i'm not trying to equate the two. and i'm not trying to provoke an argument. i'd just like someone who favors gay marriage to make a cogent argument against polygamy. if there is one, i haven't heard it.

bueller? bueller? anyone?

Roch101

Polygamy demonstrably results in harm to some of the people involved—victims, if you will. There are no victims in a same-sex marriage.

Love,
Ferris

Craftyboro

Transplant,

Marriage to multiple partners (polygamy) does present negative issues for society to deal with. A consenting couple (hetero or same sex) is easier to get one's hands around, literally and figurativly.

greensboro transplant

"Polygamy demonstrably results in harm to some of the people involved—victims, if you will"

buzz. try again. the same arguments have been made about gay and interracial marriage.

Stephen

What about polygyny/polyandry then? Consensual adults married to more than one partner - Big Love style.

How does that present any more of a negative view than same sex marriage?

Ed Cone

The same arguments being used in different cases doesn't mean they apply to all cases.

greensboro transplant

that's true ed. so, let's go at it from this angle.

suppose Roch is correct and polygamy creates harm. also suppose that it can be shown that gay marriage creates harm.

why would you allow gay marriage and not polygamy?

Stephen

I agree with your statement, Ed. I would also like to read and consider why you think one is acceptable (two consenting men), while the other is not (a consenting man and three consenting women).

Ed Cone

"...suppose that it can be shown that gay marriage creates harm."

Supposing it is one thing, producing credible evidence is another.

Until that evidence is presented, the question is not, why allow one harmful thing but not another, it's why compare a harmful thing to a non-harmful thing?

I think the argument against polygamy is that it tends to be a coercive relationship, in which consent often is not freely given.

Jordan Green

Religious marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples performed in states such as North Carolina that don't allow same-sex marriage are typically considered blessings of unions. But this is an awkward legal position, as the complaint alludes when noting that the three clergy who are plaintiffs in the case act illegally and subject to punishment if they marry persons ceremonially without having their marriages licensed by the state.

Stephen

"I think the argument against polygamy is that it tends to be a coercive relationship, in which consent often is not freely given."

Wouldn't that fall under marriage by fraud, duress, joke, or mistake clause? Are you of the opinion that it is impossible to have a mutually consensual polygamous marriage?

Ed Cone

S -- No, I don't think that's impossible, but it's a separate discussion from gay marriage, and an (often deliberate) distraction from that discussion.

sean

i understand the catch 22's of this logic driven argument, stephen. i guess the straight-up question i have for you is do you equate same-sex marriage with polygamy?

Stephen

I'm not deliberately distracting from the gay marriage issue.

I don't believe polygamy should be lumped into the same category with incest and infancy and want to understand why Thigpen has done so - if not for religious reasons.

I'm happy to see that Thigpen is fighting for gay marriage rights, though.

Stephen

Sean, no.

sean

i'm currently watching the anderson show (don't ask) and he's interviewing people from the FLDS (warren geffs group). i'm sorry, but polygamy is just wrong. not quite sure where you stand on that, stephen, but lumping it into a category of outlawed types of marriage, i'm all for it. many of these "women" are forced into marriage as teens or less, and many more are forced to marry first cousins.

Stephen

I don't want to go 'round in circles, Sean. Coerced and/or forced marriage was brought up previously. If all polygamous marriages are forced, I would agree with you. I don't think all of them are.

Roch101

"buzz. try again. the same arguments have been made about gay and interracial marriage. "

Oh, the same arguments were made? Never mind then.

sean

yeah... i'd bet a majority of polygamist sects raise their kids in preparation to be in an arranged marriage or marry into a polygamist relationship. so there's actual forced marriages, and then there's years of brainwashing leading up to it when these young women probably don't know any better.

the same could be said for straight marriage, though, so whatever.

Billy Jones

Steve Harrison, "Or maybe require a 7 1/2 year cohabitation "cooling off" period before the marriage license could be issued."

Good idea! That would have saved my butt twice.

greensboro transplant

so far y'all are batting .000 on presenting an argument against polygamy. not even a foul ball.


don't look now, but your prejudice is showing.


Roch101

"suppose that it can be shown that gay marriage creates harm." - GT

Harm? I said victims. But, out of curiosity, go ahead: what harm results from gay marriage that does not also arise from opposite sex marriage?

cheripickr

You know, I was going to stay out of this one, and probably still am, but I was noticing how tranquil it is when there's a discussion of an issue with two sides, and everybody's on the same one. Kind of like the sound of one hand clapping.

Ed Cone

GT, I found the information about coercion to be pretty compelling, at least in regards to some polygamist practices.

You didn't, I take it? Is that because you don't believe that many polygamous relationships are coercive, or you're OK with that coercion, or some other reason?

Meanwhile, the main discussion seems to be about gay unions, not polygamy -- you asked what would happen if it could be shown that gay marriage is harmful (or had victims, per Roch). Any progress in mustering that case?

Roch101

"I think the argument against polygamy is that it tends to be a coercive relationship, in which consent often is not freely given." -- Ed

That, and the British Columbia Supreme Court found that polygamy inherently tends to impoverish women and sexualize girls, ergo victims. That's British Columbia, Canada, where same-sex marriage is legal and polygamy is not—a rational consideration of balancing adult freedoms while protecting potential victims.

cheripickr

My, my. Such deep concern about the victimization and sexualization of girls, from the man who would fight to his dying breath any attempt to block porn from our public library, as "odious" and "ominous"!

Too funny. You can't make this stuff up.


Cue " Red Herring! Straw man!" in 3...2...1...

Roch101

Dr. Hayes, not a red herring, just dishonest. I support the library's policy of filtered internet access for minors.

Dave Ribar

Stephen:

We can probably agree that bigamy should be treated differently because it almost always involves a situation in which one party does not give consent.

Polygamy is tougher. Roch's cite notwithstanding, it's hard to make a case that the institution itself causes harm (is it polygamy or polygamists that cause harm?) or causes harm universally. Roch's cite listed a bunch of correlations, but those don't necessarily add up to causation. Even if there are harms, do these stem from a culture and institutional context that are oriented toward monogamous marriage? Could the harms be eliminated with stronger protections against coercion and duress?

cheripickr

Kudos to Dave for recognizing that the differences and thus similarities between polygamy and same sex marriage are incomplete, and that comparing the two is a complex matter that does not honestly or logically break along neat distinctions regarding "harm", "coercion" and "victimhood" which vary from case to case in any human relationship. Some would prefer it to be much simpler, for reasons of ease of projecting ideological consistency in their relative stances on the two.

Stephen

So outlaw everything so we don't have to figure it all out, cheripickr?

Stephen

Dave R.

I, for one, always thought of bigamy and polygamy as synonymous most of my life. I wish I could edit my initial post to remove the bigamy part...

How many wives did Abraham have?

cheripickr

"So outlaw everything so we don't have to figure it all out, cheripickr?"

That could not be a more polar opposite take on what I said. I guess I should have said kudos Dave and Stephen. From your comments, it would seem that both of you are looking at the comparison thoughtfully from from various angles, which I was trying to laud. But I maybe I misunderstood you. I also share your fuzziness on the distinction between bigamy and polygamy which Dave sees.

cheripickr

...comparison between same sex and bigamous/polygamous marriage, I mean.

Stephen

Thank you, cheripickr. I'm the one that misunderstood.

bubba

"Supposing it is one thing, producing credible evidence is another."

Except when it comes to "global warming",fracking,the efficacy of more/ better government spending, and assorted other "progressive" agenda item myths.

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