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« Goings on about the town | Main | Sabotaged »

May 04, 2012

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Spag

Would she feel the same way if the N&R did take a stand on the issue and it was in favor of A1 ?

It appears that there is only one "right" take on A1 and damn the N&R for not taking it.

What would you rather have, an endorsement for A1 or no endorsement at all ?

Serious question. Replies accepted.

designation

@Spag - who is, of course, being deliberately obtuse yet again:

If you would have followed the link Ed provided, you would have an answer to your question.

Ore writes further, "The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality."

Spag

Obtuse ? For pointing out what is obvious even from reading her full post ?

Should every gay employee quit their job if their employer doesn't take a stand against A1? Why is the N&R singled out ? (Oh because they are a newspaper- they are supposed to have a liberal bias - except when they are accused of having a liberal bias by non-liberal people. I get it).

The original issue was the lack of ANY stand by the N&R. So the "obtuse" question remains: What would you rather have, an endorsement for A1 or no endorsement at all ?

If the answer is "neither" then you only need to look in the mirror to find the closest narrow mind.

Lying coward

Does the N & R have a right to take a position on an issue, an obligation to take a position, or just the right and obligation to take certain positions? Do people generally boycott the paper when it doesn't endorse the "right" candidates?

HRH

The vote was two against one for an endorsement against A-1, but the one signs the paychecks, so he wins. Pitiful. I'm canceling too.

Billy Jones

Too bad I can't cancel again.

Bill Yaner

I think Spag makes a good point which I was thinking too as I read Addison Ore's comment. Her first statement refers clearly to "a" stand, while the second can only mean "the" stand she endorses.

My stand, which I've stated here previously, is that A stand - whichever one - is vastly superior to NO stand, and will live as this paper's red badge of cowardice for many years to come.

Lying coward

obtuse--add another say-nothing soundbite to slippery slope, non-sequitur and straw man. Just might sound intelligent enough on the surface to the drive-by reader though.

Ed Cone

I think not running an editorial of any sort is an abdication of responsibility. As I said in another post, if you can't agree, run two. This is inside baseball to a lot of folks, but it matters a lot to others, and was consequential enough in the journalism world to attract a leading media pundit's attention when the N&R punted.

My strong preference would be for my hometown paper come out in opposition to the amendment, which I think is wrong on civil and human rights grounds, and also a huge overreach with its ban on civil unions.

But Addison is not assuming an Olympian perspective on journalism, she's saying that this hurts her personally in more ways than one. She has every right to feel let down that the publisher intervened to scuttle an editorial that would support her and make her feel a part of the paper's culture. This isn't a game, it's real life. Her life.

At some point in the not too distant future, as even a primary supporter of the amendment acknowledges, the laws will change and allow fuller rights to homosexuals. At that point, what will each us be able to say about our roles today?

bubba

"....the laws will change and allow fuller rights to homosexuals."

In this case, the way to invent a right that does not currently exist, like same-sex marriage, would require a new amendment to the US Constitution to codify such a thing.....or hope that further false statements, misdirection, misrepresentation, prevarication, and outright lies would be enough to fool Justice Kennedy.

Spag

Ed, where was your Herculean effort to legalize same-sex marriage and civil unions before A1? Was there no less a "civil and human rights" issue then?

Did you demand the N&R push that issue?

Did Addison threaten to quit because they didn't?

Is life any less "real" now without A1?

Is the sky really falling? Is it the end of the world as we know it?

Regardless of the outcome which doesn't really resolve anything, when I look back I will say that my role was to try to cut through the lies, misinformation, emotional appeals, alarmism, hyperbole, chest thumping, name calling, righteous indignation, sweeping generalizations, and mudslinging to try and actually have an intelligent discussion of an oversimplified complex issue. My frequent criticism of the opponents of A1 isn't indicative of my actual position on this issue. I have made no long term commitments to the issue either way at this time.

Instead, the criticism was leveled because it was entirely warranted. This was a shameful way to have a debate about an issue that so many claim is so important.

Fec

Jeepers, even Rosemary Roberts came out against it. There's nobody left but Brewster Rockit.

Ged

Wayne, I'm curious so I'll just come out and ask. And since you seem to distain flowery language this should be direct enough for you: Are you for or against A1 and why?

Account Deleted

I wanted to say "well put, Ed" after his last comment but I didn't want to sully the power of the humanity of what he said.

So anyway, well put Ed. Very well put indeed.

  Bill Yaner

"I have made no long term commitments to the issue either way at this time."

Read, "All my interest in this issue is mannerist. I lack the ability and/or gumption to take a position on an issue we've all had way more than ample time to think through. Ergo I will make comments on style, logic, quality of information from others, etc. Two thumbs down on all that. They've disappointed me!"

Spag

No we haven't all had ample time to think through it. The fact that different states are reaching different results (the majority against same-sex marriage) as are the various court systems illustrates that there is still many facets to this debate that have yet to be resolved or achieve a consensus.

The fundamental legal issue of whether there is a Constitutional right to same-sex marriage remains unresolved. That is a threshold question that governs the parameters of any subsequent debate.

I am no more swayed by arguments that same-sex marriage is the path to hell than I am that anyone who opposes same-sex marriage or civil unions is a bona-fide bigot out to impose their morality on everyone else. Neither are substantive arguments nor can either ever be proven. Yet, that is where we are right now. The discussion needs to move beyond that, sans all the propaganda and posturing.

I'm generally libertarian on such things, but that doesn't mean I condone plunging forward into the unknown without a reasoned debate on the consequences and without the establishment of a logical precedent.

Spag

That "is" should be "are"

Ged

Unfortunately there is no more time for debate Sam. The vote is Tuesday and since the existing laws already support what A1 seeks to extend, there is no valid reason I can fathom to vote for its approval. Why you would do so is beyond me if you intend to, especially since, as you claim, you don't have enough information or the precedent doesn't yet exist to make an informed decision.

Roch

"The fundamental legal issue of whether there is a Constitutional right to same-sex marriage remains unresolved." -- Sam

You insist on riding in the comfortable ambiguity of that rut. The right of people to equal treatment under the law is more certain and the reason why, yes, there is only one right answer on this matter if you believe in American values.

Sean

sam refuses to simply state whether he supports gay couples receiving the same benefits as heterosexual couples in marriage or not.

i've no idea why his personal opinion on the matter is locked behind so many legal walls, but that's just how it is.

bubba

"The right of people to equal treatment under the law is more certain and the reason why, yes, there is only one right answer on this matter if you believe in American values."

As previously documented here and elsewhere, the equal protection clause is not currently applied to same sex marriage. There is no established right in law or precedence that protects same sex marriage.

When given the chance to do so in the Baker v. Nelson appeal, the Supreme Court choose to summarily affirm the Minnesota Supreme Court's decision, which said, in part:

"We are not independently persuaded by these contentions and do not find support for them in any decisions of the US Supreme Court......The equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, like the due process clause, is not offended by the state's classification of persons authorized to marry. There is no irrational or invidious discrimination."

Ged

And back in February the 9th circuit court of appeals found just the opposite in California:

The 2-1 decision found the ban – known as Proposition 8 – "served no purpose, and had no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationship and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples." That violates the 14th Amendment's guarantee of equal protection under the law, the decision states.

Judges are often wrong, Bob. Time will bear everything out but support for gay marriage continues to increase with each passing year. The majority of today's children are not threatened by homosexuality like those of your (and even my) generation are.

Opposition to equal legal protection for same-sex marriage is ultimately a losing proposition.

Spag

"....there is only one right answer on this matter if you believe in American values."

So treating all forms of marriage equally is an American value ? Is that the new rule ? From where does it originate ? Are there any limitations ? Since when has "same-sex" marriage been an "American value" ? Does the fact that the majority of states have bans on same-sex marriage undermine the argument that this is an "American value"? Are those explicit bans any less an indication of disapproval of same-sex marriage than they are of other forms of marriage such as polygamy ?

Again, you are attempting to carve out an exception that does not have footing in a coherent rule. Your last attempt ("because those things are criminal") was circular and wasn't rooted in any recognized rule of law, and is ultimately unworkable because we have 50 states with 50 different laws on marriage. If one state decriminalized polygamy then under your theory there would instantly be an equal protection problem in all of the other states because your self-created exception would now fail, and a "right" would suddenly spring into existence. That would apply to all other forms of marriage as well. In short, whether something is a "right" or is entitled to "equal protection" under the U.S. Constitution does not rest on whether there is a criminal prohibition against it. If that were so, then Lawrence v. Texas and indeed Loving v. Virginia would have different outcomes as they both involved criminal prohibitions.

Roch

"So treating all forms of marriage equally is an American value ?" -- Sam

Treating all people equally is a bedrock American value. Please don't ask me from where it originates.

Ged

Amen, Roch. Amen.

Spag

"Treating all people equally is a bedrock American value. Please don't ask me from where it originates."

Including those who want to engage in polygamy and other forms of currently prohibited marriages?

If not, why not ? The "because it's illegal" argument won't work as I've already illustrated.

It still comes down to a whole lot of "just because" in light of the fact that you can't formulate a workable rule that is consistent with your stated rights argument yet permits exclusion of other forms of marriage.

"Just because" is fine, but that is a policy argument not a rights argument and "just because" invites the very same rational basis review of other forms of prohibited marriages that could justify continued exclusion of same-sex marriage. See O'Connor's concurrence in Lawrence v. Texas.

Like I said, this isn't a simple issue and a lot of this hasn't been worked out.

bubba

"And back in February the 9th circuit court of appeals found just the opposite in California..."

They did NO such thing.

"Lost in the respective euphoria and postmortems over the decision of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Proposition 8 in Perry v. Brown is the importance of the unanimous agreement by the court on two fundamental issues. I pose them as questions: 1. Is there a constitutional right to same-sex marriage? 2. Is sexual orientation — in this case homosexuality — a suspect classification?


Writing for himself and Judge Hawkins, Judge Reinhardt states near the outset what the opinion will not attempt to resolve: 'Whether under the Constitution same-sex couples may ever be denied the right to marry ... is an important and highly controversial question ... We need not and do not answer the broader question in this case.' Instead, the majority ruled on the narrower grounds that once a state provides a right it cannot take it away. Although that position, stated as an absolute proposition, is an error, this submission will narrowly focus on the two questions stated above.

The majority stated clearly that no fundamental right was at issue. Citing Romer v. Evans, the court asserted that if a law does not 'burden a fundamental right' the provision will be upheld if it is rationally related to a legitimate end. From that premise the court found that Proposition 8 did not involve such a right, stating succinctly, that '[s]uch was the case in Romer and it is the case here as well.' Not surprisingly, the dissenter, Judge Smith, agreed. Citing Lawrence v. Texas, Judge Smith wrote that 'The United States Supreme Court has not recognized that the fundamental right to marry includes a fundamental right to gay marriage.' "

But don't let a small thing like facts get in the way of your attempt to frame the issue in a way favorable to your worldview.

Roch

"Including those who want to engage in polygamy and other forms of currently prohibited marriages?"

Not polygamy. Not incest. Those are crimes. There is no right to commit a crime.

It is not a crime for two people of the same sex to form a union, it is just does not qualify for legal sanctioned by the state, thus the inequality with other couples.

It still comes down to a whole lot of "just because" in light of the fact that you can't formulate a workable rule that is consistent with your stated rights argument yet permits exclusion of other forms of marriage.

Legally sanctioning unions that do not violate the existing criminal code is the workable rule.

Spag

But what if a state decriminalized polygamy? Would a new right suddenly spring into existence? Under your rule, Lawrence v. Texas and Loving v. Virginia would have different outcomes because both involved overturning criminal statutes.

Ged

"But don't let a small thing like facts get in the way of your attempt to frame the issue in a way favorable to your worldview."

This is about the best example of the pot calling the kettle black I have EVER read. It's really rich, thanks for making my day, Bob.

The larger point which seems to have completely flown over your head was that just because one court in MN finds one way, doesn't make it "right" or the correct decision, nor does the fact that the court of appeals in CA finds the other. In time, the issue will ultimately be decided by the SCOTUS and at that time we'll be able to know for sure. I stand correct in my heart because I happen to agree with the 9th court when it says such laws as NC A1:

"officially reclassify their relationship and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples." which they most certainly do. They have unequal protection to their civil rights under such laws.

Give the equal protection clause in the Constitution, and the continued march towards acceptance of LGBT in our society, the "right" for gays to marry that you and Spag seem to want to cling all your arguments on will eventually be recognized. Many states ALREADY HAVE recognized it and more are adding them every single day.

I honestly don't know what motivates those who seek to restrict the rights of their fellow US Citizens other than bigotry and hate. It's pretty obvious to me these people lack the empathy most human beings have to treat their fellow men with dignity and respect. They probably have never known or had LGBT friends, were taught such people were "deviants" as children and so on. So, so sad.

Roch

Sam, The right of couples whose union is not otherwise criminal would not change.

You begged off yesterday from a discussion by saying that you didn't want to chase hypothetical down a rabbit hole, indeed, your opinion piece on the legalities of the proposed amendment wags a finger at those who "implausibly stretch" there arguments.

I think you are doing that now.

If you are going to vote to amend our state's constitution with a prohibition against any kind of legal sanction for gay couples because you fear some state may legalize polygamy and all hell will break lose, so be it. But I'd like to hear you say that. Despite multiple requests, you have yet to make a declarative assertion of why you might vote in favor of this amendment.

I'm not asking for a dissertation, just a concise statement. Here's mine, of why I will be voting against the proposed amendment:

This country was founded on the principle of equality for all. My personal opinions do not trump that guarantee. I have no right or obligation to enshrine a prohibition against equal treatment of otherwise law-abiding couples into law.
Spag

A swell emotionally based argument, Ged. Wrong on the facts of course, particularly as they relate to my motivations and your perceived prejudices that you ignorantly assign to me by simple virtue of my raising serious questions about this issue.

Quite narrow minded, actually. I must not have any gay friends simply because I dare to analyze this issue.

As for Roch, under his rule there is no right to equal protection in the face of a criminal prohibition. Ergo, it follows that the right to equal protection could be taken away by enacting a criminal statute. It further follows that same-sex marriage could be denied without violating equal protection simply by making it criminal.

That is the logical conclusion of his attempt to get around the issues I raised.

Is there a Constitutionally significant distinction between criminal prohibitions and prohibitions that aren't criminal but are simply legally void or unlawful without penalty?

bubba

"I stand correct in my heart...."

Translation: "I'm wrong, but it's not fair!"

No Ged....."the larger point" is that there is no "right" to gay marriage recognized as the law of the land, whether you like it or not.

Also, the larger point is that legal precedent does not say and has never said that ALL discrimination violates the equal protection clause.

Roch

"Ergo, it follows that the right to equal protection could be taken away by enacting a criminal statute." -- Sam

Now you are going off the deep end. What statute is going to get enacted that is, itself, not unconstitutional? A prohibition against opposite sex relations? A prohibition against same-sex relations? When your arguments become absurdities, you know you're position is indefensible.

I find it telling that you won't make a simple declaration of why you would vote in favor of the amendment. But, I'd still like to hear it.

Roch

"No Ged....."the larger point" is that there is no "right" to gay marriage recognized as the law of the land, whether you like it or not. "

Bubba, don't you agree that Americans have a right to be treated equally under the law?

Ged

"there is no "right" to gay marriage recognized as the law of the land, whether you like it or not."

Yes there is Bob, in certain states, whether YOU like it or not. North Carolina just happens to be one that does not. Doesn't make me wrong.

Legal precedent once said that slaves were property, and we all know how that went. That also, didn't make it right or just.

As for Sam, I stand correct until he can explain to me why he won't vote against A1. The proposed amendment does nothing but extend ALREADY EXSISTING laws. So why Sam, if you are so fond of wanting to "raise issues" and debate would you not vote against it until such time that we all have sufficient time to "analyze the situation" to your degree of satisfaction? Or is that also, too "narrow minded" a position to take?

A simple question I've yet to hear you answer. Or have you just decided to be lazy and stay home on Tuesday and let the fate of thousands of your fellow North Carolinians be decided by the likes of liberals like me?

bubba

"Bubba, don't you agree that Americans have a right to be treated equally under the law?"

See the last sentence in my last post.

bubba

"Yes there is Bob, in certain states, whether YOU like it or not"

No, there is not. What part of "law of the land" causes confusion for you?

bubba

"Legal precedent once said that slaves were property, and we all know how that went."

And rights were enumerated to the slaves/former slaves by the 13th and 14th Amendments, and the Civil Rights Act of 1875.

Which constitutional amendment or act of Congress did similar things for gay rights?

FYI, I voted last Monday at Bur-Mil.

prell

"FYI, I voted last Monday at Bur-Mil."

Congratulations?

Spag

Roch, you either forget what you previously wrote, don't understand logic, or we are having completely different conversations.

Why are prohibitions against polygamy not in and of themselves unconstitutional ? Here's a clue: they aren't. See Reynolds v. United States (1878). You assume that a criminal statute against same-sex marriage would be unconstitutional per se. If that were so, then even non-criminal prohibitions would be unconstitutional. But that takes us right back to the heart of the matter as to whether there is an independent right to same-sex marriage aside from equal protection. At this time, there is no Constitutional basis for that right as the right to marriage is based on the union of one man and one woman being a "deeply rooted" tradition. Same-sex marriage is not "deeply rooted" and if we are talking about marriage in general, then polygamy and all other forms of marriage would have to be included as fundamental rights which is an obstacle that you can't overcome.

So that takes us back to equal protection where you previously said that there would be no equal protection violation if same-sex marriage was allowed but polygamy and incestuous marriages weren't because they are criminalized. Because there is no fundamental right to same-sex marriage (without extending it to all marriages that aren't "deeply rooted") then there would be no Constitutional prohibition against criminalizing same-sex marriage and under YOUR theory, there is no equal protection violation because same-sex marriage- like polygamy et al - would be a criminal offense.

This is the logical outcome of your rule, Roch. If it's absurd, then you can only blame yourself. The fact is the very rules that are being used to try and argue same-sex marriage as a right or covered by equal protection are based on such legal deductions. This is how court rulings evolve. Hence my concern about the lack of a coherent rule that can be established to place any limitations on marriage at all.

Of course you could always say that you favor no limitations on marriage. Or you can argue "just because".

In any case, the vote is Tuesday and I've said my piece to you about this.

Ged, if all A1 does is "extend ALREADY EXSISTING laws" why are the opponents so up in arms? Or are you really saying that because A1 doesn't really change anything, a vote either way is a vote for the status quo ? Tell me, what is the difference between a "Yes" vote and a "No" vote, and don't feed me all of that domestic violence crap. If people want to repeal the Amendment at some time, they could do that by vote, couldn't they ? If I vote "yes" the issues I mentioned will still have to be sorted out. If I vote "no" the issues I mentioned will still have to be sorted out.

Lying coward identity thief

Killing them softly with his logic

Editor's note -- this comment and several previous were posted under a real person's name, but not by that person, to whom I apologized for the identity theft.

Sean

spag, again, is only focusing on the gay marriage aspect of this amendment. when the amendment states that the only "domestic legal union" that will be recognized is marriage between a man and a woman, it inherently removes any and all "legal" standing for any other form of domestic partnerships.

even one of his beloved campbell law professors recognizes this much as fact and is concerned about how benefits insurance benefits will be affected.

keep bringing up polygamy, or focusing only on gay marriage, pretending that *everyone* who's not a straight married couple isn't affected by this amendment. you're as transparent as a wall of glass smeared with shit.

Roch

Sam, although you already crossed the Rubicon, you tread deeper into the abyss of absurdity, arguing against the facts, putting words in my mouth and still refusing to make an affirmative argument in favor of supporting the amendment. Your tactics are boring, Sam. Your hand wringing does not pass for the deep contemplation you seem to think it does. It's a transparent attempt to avoid making yourself clear as I will demonstrate by asking you for the sixth and final time, what is your concise affirmative argument that would have you vote for the amendment?

Spag

I tried. Have a nice day, Roch.

Roch

I must have missed it. Would you mind linking to it or repeating it? What is your concise affirmative argument that would have you vote for the amendment?

sittinginthemiddle

Bottom line: Amendment passes by atleast a 20 percent margin. The pathetic radical liberals continue rabidly to gnash their teeth and howl. The majority of NC residents who passed the amendment break out the beer and popcorn and continue to ridicule the bottom feeders.

Sean

that's what this is to you? a party line/political issue? you really want the state to limit your rights as a resident? you and your ilk are jokes.

Ed Cone

My guess is that the amendment will pass, but it will be a pyrrhic victory for people opposed to gay rights.

Ged

Love how equal treatment for US citizens is considered a "radical" liberal agenda by some on the right. Shows just how far from traditional American values some people have fallen.

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