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15 June 2007 @ 01:21 am
Marriage ban voted down  
Let this not go unremarked: The state legislature has voted down the proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. In order to make the ballot, the measure required 25% approval of the combined houses for two consecutive years. It passed last year; this year, only 45 voted in favor.

I am pleased to note that one of the nine legislators to switch from "yes" to "no" is my former representative in Quincy, Michael Morrissey. (My current representative is one of the gang who sued to try to overturn the initial judicial ruling. I had no hope that he might see reason.)

Congratulations to everyone whose rights (and, in some cases, existing marriages) are hereby more secure. Congratulations and my thanks to the 151 who voted against the measure. I am proud to be a citizen of the Commonwealth of Massachuetts.
 
 
Current Mood: relievedrelieved
 
 
 
sings and wandersvioletcheetah on June 15th, 2007 12:21 pm (UTC)
I made sure to email my rep and senator and thank them for their "no" votes. you should email yours and say "nyah nyah nyah."
(Anonymous) on June 19th, 2007 09:54 pm (UTC)
One has to wonder how people can be so against the concept of democracy when it goes against the things they insist have to happen. Marriage is not a right - it is a privilege, and as an institution there are rules and regulations you must meet in order to participate. Homsexuals are naturally excluded from this institution. In a democratic society, if they wanted to participate, the rules state that they must petition the people to change the institution.

Instead we have a new attitude that we should override the will of the people to 'make things right'. That's a dangerous way of thinking.
michelel72: Eekmichelel72 on June 20th, 2007 03:35 am (UTC)
One has to wonder how people can be so against the concept of equal protection when it turns out to apply to everyone. Civil marriage is a government-administered benefit assumed to be the right of every citizen in the absence of a compelling impediment (such as the inability of one party to consent due to minority). "Homsexuals" don't exist; homosexual people are not "naturally excluded" from any civil right. In this democratic republic** operating under its written constitution, every citizen is accorded equal rights within this society under its constitution's equal protection clauses.

[** Hint for those who apparently slept through civics: this is the actual political structure of the United States and of the member states, including the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.]

Instead we have a tragically archaic attitude that we should arbitrarily override equal protection in order to 'make things right' for bigoted, narrow-minded, selfish individuals who seek to deny rights to subclasses of citizens they deem unworthy so that they can instead write their bigotry into the constitution. Such bigotry is obsolete when the subclass is defined by race and is happily becoming obsolete when the subclass is defined by sexuality.

"The will of the people" of Virginia (for just one example) once prevented interracial couples from marrying. Interracial couples were "naturally excluded" from the institution of marriage ... until they weren't because sanity eventually prevailed. If the government has any business at all institutionalizing marriage as a protected and benefit-endowed relationship, it owes the benefits it assigns that institution to any unrelated couple of consenting adults.

One has to wonder, for that matter, how someone can be so dedicated in his (or her) bigotry to espouse it on a random person's journal without the courage to identify himself (or herself) in connection to that bigotry. If I even know anyone affiliated with Carnegie Mellon in any capacity, it's news to me. That said, I'd rather an ignorant stranger spew his vile here and prompt me to up my comment security than someone I consider a friend turn out to be so hateful.
wickerbasket34 on June 20th, 2007 04:04 am (UTC)
"One has to wonder how people can be so against the concept of equal protection when it turns out to apply to everyone."

Perhaps, if that weren't a strawman. You aren't campaigning for universal 'equal protection', you're campaigning for a specific group to receive a benefit to which they are not entitled ... by the very definition of that benefit.

"Civil marriage is a government-administered benefit assumed to be the right of every citizen in the absence of a compelling impediment (such as the inability of one party to consent due to minority)."

Incorrect. Marriage is not a right. The fact that you must meet qualifications in order to obtain the 'benefit' means it is a privilege. It is an institution to which one can belong if they meet guidelines - not limited to the concept of age or consent, but also to gender, species, number of participants, distance of relation, and so forth. There are numerous qualifications for the institution. The fact that you disagree with one does not make it an objective wrong, nor does it mean that someone's "rights" are being "violated".

"every citizen is accorded equal rights within this society under its constitution's equal protection clauses."

Irrelevant, as we are not discussing a right. But also false. Our rights are very much conditional upon our social status (e.g., convicts being unable to vote).

"Instead we have a tragically archaic attitude that we should arbitrarily override equal protection in order to 'make things right' for bigoted, narrow-minded, selfish individuals who seek to deny rights to subclasses of citizens they deem unworthy so that they can instead write their bigotry into the constitution."

The view from that soapbox must be amazing. Perhaps you can explain to me how anyone is "denying" anybody anything when the very reason this particular group cannot participate in the instution is because the institution excludes them by definition. That's rather like saying a vegetarian club is bigoted for excluding meat eaters, or a Catholic camp is bigoted for not allowing Jews to attend.

"The will of the people" of Virginia (for just one example) once prevented interracial couples from marrying."

Red herring. At one time, the scientific community in America believed wholeheartedly in the concept of eugenics. Does that mean the scientific community can never be right about anything, due to that one mistake? Of course not. So the fact that interracial couples were once excluded due to racism is irrelevant to the issue, particularly so because race does not change the gender qualifications for marriage.

"If the government has any business at all institutionalizing marriage as a protected and benefit-endowed relationship, it owes the benefits it assigns that institution to any unrelated couple of consenting adults."

That's simply your opinion. The wonderful thing about Democracy is that when opinions differ, you have the right to petition the people to change the status quo. The reason you don't want to do this is because you know you will lose. So you are cheering making an end-run around our system of governance because you agree with the end result. Fascism in the name of liberalism: a common desire in the modern world.

"One has to wonder, for that matter, how someone can be so dedicated in his (or her) bigotry"

Ah, yes, I must be a bigot for stating fact. Look up 'ad hominem' in a dictionary.

"That said, I'd rather an ignorant stranger spew his vile "

Spew his 'vile'? See what happens when you pick on typographical errors? Now, tell me: what kind of person is so terrified of dissenting viewpoints that they will silence them at any opportunity? Answer: the fascist liberal.

Your type like to throw around these pejorative labels for anybody who doesn't agree with you. But bear this in mind: nobody is saying anything against what you do in your private life. It's the constant need for homosexuals to force themselves into every aspect of life that causes problems. If it's private, I don't need to know about it. And you certainly don't need to destroy the institution of marriage so you can get everything you want.
sings and wandersvioletcheetah on June 20th, 2007 04:55 am (UTC)
"Now, tell me: what kind of person is so terrified of dissenting viewpoints that they will silence them at any opportunity?"

umm, please note that the owner of the journal did not remove your original post, even though it was anonymous, and even though, this being their journal, they had every right to do so.

"At one time, the scientific community in America believed wholeheartedly in the concept of eugenics. Does that mean the scientific community can never be right about anything, due to that one mistake?"

the scientific community for the most part has acknowledged its mistake on eugenics, just as it has acknowledged its mistaken belief that homosexuality was a mental disease.

"Irrelevant, as we are not discussing a right. But also false. Our rights are very much conditional upon our social status (e.g., convicts being unable to vote)."

i find the subtext interesting. i've seen this argument before, and it implies that homosexuality is (a) wrong, and possibly criminal; (b) a personal choice, like robbing a bank. and my mind tangents to the fact that death-row inmates are allowed to marry, as long as they marry someone of the opposite sex.

but mainly: "Irrelevant, as we are not discussing a right." this seems to be the crux of the disagreement. I believe that civil marriage, in as much as the state sanctions it, is a right. In any event, it affords certain rights: to inherit property, to act as healthcare proxy without having to specifically get a legal paper appointing you, to visit your loved one in the icu. these are rights a couple has by virtue of being married.

i have a friend who believes that the state has no business sanctioning marriage at all. to him, the word "marriage" has religious connotations, and the legal, civil aspects should be called something else. if that were the case -- if the government called such a legal union a 'civil union' in all cases -- then perhaps the waters wouldn't be so murky. people wouldn't confuse religious marriage and civil marriage. but as long as the state calls such a union "marriage" for heterosexual couples, the word will have to apply to all state-sanctioned unions.


wickerbasket34 on June 20th, 2007 07:26 pm (UTC)
"the scientific community for the most part has acknowledged its mistake on eugenics, just as it has acknowledged its mistaken belief that homosexuality was a mental disease."

Not the point, but it is an interesting topic. Did you know that the decision to delist homosexuality as a mental disorder in 1973 was not the result of any scientific discovery, reasoning, or other valid cause? It was the result of political pressure, activism, and protests at a key convention. There's a popular misconception that there was some discovery or global realization that the categorization of the behavior was scientifically incorrect, but that's just not the case.

In any case, my personal objection to the behavior really isn't the issue. Private matters should be private. It's public manifestation of the behavior, and its corrupting influence, that causes problems.

"i find the subtext interesting."

No subtext was implied. I was simply listing other situations in which there are qualifications that must be met in order to participate in what is widely regarded as an inalienable right.

"I believe that civil marriage, in as much as the state sanctions it, is a right."

There's an important qualification in your statement: 'as the state sanctions it'. The state sanctions marriage as our society defines it. Again we can analogize to any of a number of other issues: drug laws, smoking in public places, etc. In a democracy, determination as to what the state allows is supposedly a matter for the people.

"In any event, it affords certain rights: to inherit property, to act as healthcare proxy without having to specifically get a legal paper appointing you, to visit your loved one in the icu. these are rights a couple has by virtue of being married."

If these benefits were the issue, civil unions would be an acceptable compromise. In fact one could argue that such benefits should be granted to all 'partnerships', regardless of length, gender, and so forth. There is actually considerable social support for such a compromise. It's the attempt to change the institution of marriage that is facing opposition.

michelel72michelel72 on June 21st, 2007 03:29 am (UTC)
Not the point, but it is an interesting topic. You know who brought this up? You. If it's not the point, you shouldn't have mentioned it in the first place.

Private matters should be private. It's public manifestation of the behavior, and its corrupting influence, that causes problems. You've given yourself away. You're somehow terrified that according equal rights to people of a different sexuality somehow "corrupts" anything and causes undefined "problems".

No subtext was implied. Again, try a dictionary, this time on the word subtext. You deliberately chose to use disenfranchised felons as your comparison to homosexual people. Your choice of that comparison over any other is more telling than the argument you were attempting to construct.

If these benefits were the issue, civil unions would be an acceptable compromise. If civil unions were fully equal under civil law, and if the state only issued civil unions, regardless of the sexes of the participating members, sure, that'd be fine. The fact that it isn't (though it has been accepted as a compromise in some states, which you've mysteriously ignored) is why anyone has felt the need to sue the state for discrimination.
michelel72michelel72 on June 20th, 2007 05:10 am (UTC)
Repeatedly going back to the well of your definition of marriage doesn't make that definition fact. I guess you need to go to a dictionary yourself.

Your false logic that "The fact that you must meet qualifications in order to obtain the 'benefit' means it is a privilege" means that you consider voting also a privilege (cf your reference to the disenfranchisement of felons in some jurisdictions). Regardless of whether you consider rights to be mere "privileges", equal access to the rights of citizens does not magically become special benefits for special groups just because you name it so.

Meanwhile, you pull in vegetarians and Catholics yet dismiss my parallels as red herrings. You've parroted the right wing "fascist liberal" oxymoron. You label me as this nonexistent type by claiming I'm terrified of dissenting viewpoints when you're the one who couldn't step up and put a name to his foul commentary the first time around. Meanwhile, I have yet to encounter "homosexuals forcing themselves into every aspect of life"; you're the one terrified of dissenting viewpoints, with your paranoid insistence that this occurs and must always instead be kept private. Again: maybe you're the one who needs to become acquainted with a dictionary.

I cheer the state judiciary performing its constitutional role of interpreting the constitution and evaluating state laws against it. There is no end run here. The SJC performed its prescribed role. A petition was submitted but did not qualify under all conditions of the petition process for the ballot; again, this all occurred within legitimate processes, and I cheer the legislators for performing their duty honorably. You lost; consider getting over it.

Your type like to throw around these pejorative labels for anybody who doesn't agree with you. But bear this in mind: the sex of two people seeking a marriage license is none of your business and is completely unrelated to your mythical, unsupported, straw-man assertions that equal rights somehow "destroy the institution of marriage". You certainly don't need to destroy the institution of civil law so you can get everything you want.

Now bear this in mind: You've used pejoratives and made (laughably uninformed) insinuations about me. Do either again and you get blocked. My journal, my rules: Civil discourse; no pejoratives or name-calling. It may break your heart, but rules of conduct are not somehow a "fascist liberal" plot to silence your "heroic" broadcasting of "truth". Make a cogent, informed, civil point or go away. I have intelligent people to spend my time on.
wickerbasket34 on June 20th, 2007 07:12 pm (UTC)
"Repeatedly going back to the well of your definition of marriage doesn't make that definition fact."

But it's not my definition. It's the definition. Marriage, in our society, is defined as an institution whose members are unions of one man and one woman, of consenting age, of no close relation, and of the same species. Differing societies define marriage in different ways. Marriage is not a natural right, it is an institution defined by each society and thus participation in that institution is a privilege. Note that this is the second time you have failed to argue the point, you are simply gainsaying it.

The best part is that you know this to be true - if it weren't the case, you wouldn't be petitioning our society to change our definition of marriage to allow your special interest group.

"Your false logic that "The fact that you must meet qualifications in order to obtain the 'benefit' means it is a privilege" means that you consider voting also a privilege"

Voting is a privilege. That is why participation is controlled and why it can be taken away. You must be of legal age to vote. You cannot be a felon. Is it bigotry and hate-mongering that 17-year-olds cannot vote?

Almost everything in any society is regulated by some code. And every form of institution or practice is in some way discriminatory. That doesn't make it pejorative. Discrimination is how one determines membership.

"Meanwhile, I have yet to encounter 'homosexuals forcing themselves into every aspect of life'"

Then you're simply not paying attention. Homosexuals and their fans are doing everything in their power to force acceptance of the behavior. Not tolerance. Acceptance. Examples include the push to alter our definition of marriage; the constant cry about allowing 'openly gay' people into the military (we certainly can't expect people to keep their 'private issue' private, can we?); public vilification of anybody who disagrees with the behavior; and so forth.

"I cheer the state judiciary performing its constitutional role of interpreting the constitution and evaluating state laws against it."

Of course you do. It's human nature to cheer when something one agrees with happens, no matter what course is taken to get there.

"A petition was submitted but did not qualify under all conditions of the petition process for the ballot"

Actually it was killed by a politician seeking to curry favor with a special interest group, as is usually the case with politicians. And how did same-sex marriage become possible in the first place? Due to political tinkering, not a public vote. In every instance in which same-sex marriage has been made possible - both within the US and Canada - it has been the result of political maneuvering, not democratic action.

"But bear this in mind: the sex of two people seeking a marriage license is none of your business"

It most certainly is my business. It is the business of every single member of our society. That's the concept of democracy: the rule of the people. Socially-defined institutions are the business of society.

"You certainly don't need to destroy the institution of civil law so you can get everything you want."

Since that has never been an issue, I fail to see your point. There is no civil law violation in the situation of gay people not getting something they want. People don't always get what they want. Doesn't mean they're a victim.

"Make a cogent, informed, civil point or go away"

But I have. This is why you failed to rebut a single point, and instead reverted to merely repeating your same tired talking points over and over, responding to my valid points with simple verbal negation, and basically threatened to end the conversation. This is how your type always work: you lack the ability to sustain any logical debate on the topic, so you attempt to quash any dissent through intimidation, name-calling ('bigot', 'Nazi', etc), and any other forceful means you deem necessary.
michelel72michelel72 on June 21st, 2007 03:29 am (UTC)
Part the first ...
Funny, but just repeating over and over that your definition of marriage is the only right one doesn't make you right. Note that this is more than the second time you have failed to argue the point -- repeating over and over that your definition is the definition is not proof nor even evidence.

The best part is that you know this to be true - if it weren't the case, you wouldn't be petitioning our society to change our definition of marriage to allow your special interest group. Where to begin with this one. I didn't petition anyone for some putative interest group. A group of citizens denied a civil benefit sued the state for discrimination under the state constitution and prevailed on the merits of the case entirely within the normal judicial process. The SJC even offered the Legislature a delay to give them a chance to enact any alternate system that would give gay couples fully equal rights; the Legislature failed to do so. There was no political tinkering. That's all right -- it's natural for the paranoid to see conspiracies when something one disagrees with happens, no matter what happened in reality.

Nor was it "killed" by a "politician seeking to curry favor with a special interest group"; it got its vote and it failed. (Yes, there was politicking -- on both sides, or didn't you notice the Catholic bishops and Camenker's poisonous people?) The in-favor tally dropped, both in polls before the vote (reflecting the will of the people who voted out some of its proponents) and in the vote itself (reflecting the will of the people who contacted their representatives and persuaded them to vote against it). Of course you're complaining that the will of the people was thwarted by the failure of the petition to qualify for direct vote and ignoring every other way in which the vaunted will of the people was exercised; it's human nature to ignore information that contradicts your viewpoint when you're espousing a denial of rights.

Your claim that In every instance in which same-sex marriage has been made possible - both within the US and Canada - it has been the result of political maneuvering, not democratic action is thereby shown false except in that permitting gay people equal access to civil marriage was not put to a public vote, any more than (back to the direct parallel you're incapable of recognizing) allowing interracial couples to marry was put to a public vote. Interesting that you've ignored every other country that has recognized or explicitly legalized gay marriage.

Homosexuals and their fans are doing everything in their power to force acceptance of the behavior. Not tolerance. Acceptance. Examples include the push to alter our definition of marriage; the constant cry about allowing 'openly gay' people into the military (we certainly can't expect people to keep their 'private issue' private, can we?); public vilification of anybody who disagrees with the behavior; and so forth. Those are examples only of your fear of something. Allowing a gay couple to marry does not require you personally to -- anything, actually, and certainly not to marry someone of your sex, or officiate a same-sex ceremony, or even to hold your tongue and say you don't like them there "homosexuals". Straight military people are allowed to discuss their mates and engage in public displays of affection; gay military people who have served with honor are dishonorably discharged even if they only refuse to lie when asked if they have a same-sex partner. All that's being "demanded" is equal treatment. And why should you have permission to vilify others without those others having the right to vilify you right back? You're the one seeking special rights.
michelel72michelel72 on June 21st, 2007 03:29 am (UTC)
... and part the second
Meanwhile, you're the one who attempted to draw some artificial privilege vs. right boundary. If it's false, that's a flaw in your construct.

It most certainly is my business. It is the business of every single member of our society. That's the concept of democracy: the rule of the people. Socially-defined institutions are the business of society. You're mixing arguments (and reducing it back down to your fallacious "you've perverted democracy!" again). You have yet to indicate any value of marriage that is somehow diminished by allowing gay people equal access to it. The sex of people in a marriage is no more your business than the fertility of either partner is your business.

There is no civil law violation in the situation of gay people not getting something they want. People don't always get what they want. Doesn't mean they're a victim. When people are not treated equally within a legal system governed by a constitution requiring equal treatment, they've been victimized. Yet again, you need a dictionary.

But I have. This is why you failed to rebut a single point, and instead reverted to merely repeating your same tired talking points over and over, responding to my valid points with simple verbal negation, and basically threatened to end the conversation. This is how your type always work: you lack the ability to sustain any logical debate on the topic, so you attempt to quash any dissent through intimidation, name-calling ('bigot', 'Nazi', etc), and any other forceful means you deem necessary. I've rebutted pretty much every one of your "points"; you simply refuse to accept my arguments. You're the one reverting to the same exhausted talking points over and over, denying the validity of my points by simply saying you're right and I'm wrong. This is how your type always work: You lack the ability to construct sound logical arguments, so you accuse responders of nonsensicality, use of red herrings and straw men, or non-response when your argument proves to be inferior. You lack the ability to notice that your arguments might be unsupported or wrong, so you attempt to quash dissent through intimidation, name calling ('fascist liberal', 'Nazi' -- which term you're introducing here, speaking of subtext), repetition of right-wing talking points, and any other forceful means you deem necessary. I called you nothing. I called your assertions bigoted; you called me (nonsensical) names and tried to dismiss me by accusing me of being (and insinuating I am) what you patently fear and despise.

For that matter, you're the one who barged uninvited into my journal and attempted to start a fight. Without, let it be noted yet again, identifying who you are and why I should give even half a rat's ass what you think. You've even resorted to disguising your host IP and creating a blank user to continue arguing with me anonymously. I will now call you a name: You're a coward.

What do you think you're accomplishing here? Your shrill self-contradictory paranoia hasn't changed my mind; you're apparently unable to consider that you're wrong. If you're just looking to argue with somebody for the sake of argument, I'm not inclined to oblige. All you've done is wasted my time and annoyed my friends.

So I'll do something now to please both of us: I'm blocking you. You can smugly pretend to yourself that I've somehow resorted to "silencing" you because, despite all evidence to the contrary, I'm somehow afraid of or intimidated by or outreasoned by you. And I get to be free of your right-wing, heterosexist, stranger-accosting, cowardly, special-rights-seeking idiocy.
coffeewimpcoffeewimp on June 21st, 2007 03:04 pm (UTC)
>>"My journal, my rules:"

Kudos for having the guts to take this stance. Too many people feel they have to kowtow to any opinionated creep who chooses to piss all over their space, just to avoid the appearance of quashing some sort of "free speech." Free speech applies to the right to speak one's mind--not to the right to do it on other people's dime, time, and space. If this person feels the need to be rude, he can do it in his own journal, not yours. Hurrah for taking a stand for your right to feel comfortable in your own space. A journal like this might not be a private space in the manner of one's own home, but it is private in the manner of one's own front yard--and people don't expect to be able to walk into each other's yards willy-nilly and do whatever they please.
michelel72: Winrymichelel72 on June 21st, 2007 05:18 pm (UTC)
Thank you. And sorry you got caught in my screen -- I thought I had already friended you. That's fixed now, at any rate.