Liberty, Equality and Inconsistency

Photography: Chelsea Zimmerman

Photography: Chelsea Zimmerman

The decision of the Supreme Court extending marriage to homosexual pairs is a contradiction, not only of revelation by God, but of human nature and of the nature of mammalian biological reproduction. Setting these contradictions aside, the decision is self-inconsistent in its basis of individual liberty and of equality before the law.

The decision presents liberty as ontologically fundamental, to be moderated only by some possible, external compelling rationale. This exalting of the will over the intellect is a culminating illustration of what Pope Benedict identified as voluntarism and the dehellenization of western thought. He noted its inception in the late Middle Ages with the proposition that the will of God, as known to us, was not bound by his intellect. Previously, the binding of the intellect and the will of God was held to be one of harmonious coexistence. Now, the will of God was proposed as superior to his intellect.

The Supreme Court has declared the same holds true for the human will and intellect. This is fully consonant with the slogans of the American and French Revolutions. Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness; Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.

This exaltation of liberty, i.e. of will, not only denies the ontological harmony of truth and goodness, the ontological harmony of intellect and will, but ignores the character of human epistemology. Though acts of the human intellect and will should embody parity in harmony, the act of the intellect precedes the act of the will due to the temporal, sequential relationship of human knowledge and love.

The Court recognized a developing understanding of individual liberty, generally in its autonomy, such that individual liberty cannot be restricted except by some compelling, external rationale. Thus, civil rights, not listed or even yet understood as such, are implicitly guaranteed by the Constitution. Specifically, the traditional restriction of the right to marry to heterosexual pairs is based on no compelling rationale. Thereby, the Constitution guarantees the civil right to homosexual marriage.

The Court decision fully acknowledges the traditional restriction of marriage to heterosexual pairs, but overrides the heterosexuality in favor of liberty. This is inconsistent. In order to eliminate the heterosexual restriction, the restriction to pairs must be eliminated concomitantly. The tradition of marriage is not heterosexuality and the plural quantity, two. It is that of heterosexual pairs based on the morphology and physiology of bisexual reproduction.

The decision in favor of liberty is the declaration that bisexual reproduction is not essential to the rationale of marriage. In that declaration is the implicit elimination of the restriction to pairs. By simple logic it was incumbent upon the Court explicitly to strike down the specific plural number, two. In the light of homosexual marriage, the number two is not a pair, but is a completely arbitrary plural quantity, based on no compelling rationale. The quantity, two, is certainly not compelling on the basis of tradition, if heterosexuality is not a compelling rationale on the basis of tradition.

The Court cannot offer as an excuse that the restriction to pairs was not challenged and therefore not within the immediate purview of the Court. Heterosexual complementarity and pairing is essential to biological reproduction, whereas homosexual acts and pairing is arbitrary. The case before the Court was the Constitutionality of the restriction of marriage to heterosexuality and consequently to pairing.

Further, the Court decision bases civil rights not on the nature of man, but upon liberty, which the Court implied can be constrained only in an incidental way by other factors. The decision, eliminating the heterosexual restriction on the basis of liberty and equality before the law, acknowledges homosexual marriage as a civil right.

Historically, as a matter of civil rights, it was the traditional restriction to the number two, as a plural number, and not the restriction to heterosexual pairing, which was the initial civil rights cause in the American experience. The Mormons did not challenge heterosexual pairing. They challenged the number two as a plural number on the basis of liberty and civil rights. They did so in the middle of the nineteenth century. That is one hundred years before the civil rights campaign for homosexual marriage.

The result was the persecution of the Mormons and their fleeing from New York through the Midwest to Utah, and their final acquiescence to two as an arbitrary plural and to the denial of their civil rights in spite of the ontological preeminence of liberty. If there is a civil right to the homosexual marriage of pairs, there is a civil right to poly-spousal marriage, irrespective of the sex of the spouses.

As another illustration of the incongruity of the SCOTUS decision, consider it with respect to the traditional prohibition of marriage between close blood relatives, such as siblings. On the basis of autonomous liberty there can be no denial of the civil right of siblings of the same sex to marry because there is no external compelling reason for such a denial of liberty. In contrast, public health can be proposed as a compelling reason to deny siblings of the opposite sex the liberty to marry each other. Offspring of siblings are prone to be born with serious health defects.

In light of the Court’s decision based on individual liberty and equality before the law, we should logically hold that siblings have a civil right to homosexual marriage. However, due to the nature of biological sexual reproduction, siblings may and should be legally forbidden to enter into heterosexual marriage. Current marriage laws forbidding close blood relatives to marry must be revised due to their unconstitutionality in light of the Supreme Court’s understanding of liberty. Consistency requires the law to permit homosexual marriage and to prohibit heterosexual marriage between close blood relatives.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on google
Google+
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on pinterest
Pinterest

29 thoughts on “Liberty, Equality and Inconsistency”

  1. The decision in favor of liberty is the declaration that bisexual reproduction is not essential to the rationale of marriage. In that declaration is the implicit elimination of the restriction to pairs. By simple logic it was incumbent upon the Court explicitly to strike down the specific plural number, two. In the light of homosexual marriage, the number two is not a pair, but is a completely arbitrary plural quantity, based on no compelling rationale.

    On the one hand, you say that the restriction to pairs is implicitly eliminated, and that simple logic tells us this…yet I do not see you demonstrate this logic.

    Heterosexual complementarity and pairing is essential to biological reproduction…

    This is trivially true – to the best of my knowledge, even the most “unnatural” methods of conception require ‘heterosexual complementarity’ (ie. sperm and egg to combine). Similarly, how, if not biologically, do humans reproduce?

    …whereas homosexual acts and pairing is arbitrary.

    I think you are mis-using the word ‘arbitrary’, here.

    On the basis of autonomous liberty there can be no denial of the civil right of siblings of the same sex to marry because there is no external compelling reason for such a denial of liberty.

    At best, you might say that *you* can see no external compelling reason. Even if the same-sex nature of a sibling relationship would alleviate the concern over potential health defects of offspring, it does nothing to eliminate the others (eg. whether consent can truly be given in light of varying family dynamics).

    1. “The quantity, two, is certainly not compelling on the basis of tradition, if heterosexuality is not a compelling rationale on the basis of tradition.”
      The concern whether consent can truly be given has always applied to marriage in light of the varying dynamics of family, personality etc.

    2. The SCOTUS eliminated the traditional restriction of marriage to a heterosexual relationship in favor of liberty, on the principle that liberty must be unfettered
      except by some compelling rationale. The court judged that the traditional restriction to heterosexuality in marriage was not compelling. Nevertheless, the
      traditional restriction to two as a pair, not as a plural number, was based on heterosexuality. The rationale, for the restriction to two, ceases with the demise of the restriction to heterosexuality. In light of the principle of the autonomy of liberty espoused by the SCOTUS, ‘We want to restrict our marriage to the two of us’, is not a sufficient rationale to restrict the freedom of others who want to be married to more than one other. The SCOTUS rationale for eliminating the heterosexual restriction logically eliminates the restriction to two.

      Further the restriction to a heterosexual pair, was not simply a fad of tradition, as the court implied. Note that in human physiology the skeletal, muscular, nervous, circulatory, respiratory and digestive systems are physically complete and fulfill their purposes in the individual human. In contrast, the human reproductive system is physically incomplete in the individual. It is physically complete in a heterosexual pair and fulfills its purpose in a third party.

      That family dynamics could restrict the freedom of consent of siblings to marry is not peculiar to siblings. A variety of factors impinge upon freedom of consent
      in every marriage and every other contract. If liberty is autonomous, restricting the freedom of siblings of the same sex to marry would be a strange way of protecting the liberty of others to choose not to marry a sibling.

    3. Nevertheless, the traditional restriction to two as a pair, not as a plural number, was based on heterosexuality. The rationale, for the restriction to two, ceases with the demise of the restriction to heterosexuality.

      I don’t see how that follows. You could argue that it was *in part* based on the traditional hetero marriage, but there are reasons beyond mere gender that traditionally restrict marriage to two people.

      In light of the principle of the autonomy of liberty espoused by the SCOTUS, ‘We want to restrict our marriage to the two of us’, is not a sufficient rationale to restrict the freedom of others who want to be married to more than one other.

      You’re making it sound like the appeal to autonomy/liberty is the only principle that Justice Kennedy rests his decision on. That is not the case. He (and many others) bring up many principle that support the idea that marriage should remain fundamentally a union of two people.

      Further the restriction to a heterosexual pair, was not simply a fad of tradition, as the court implied.

      I would invite you to quote the passage you believe supports this claim.

      Note that in human physiology the skeletal, muscular, nervous, circulatory, respiratory and digestive systems are physically complete and fulfill their purposes in the individual human. In contrast, the human reproductive system is physically incomplete in the individual. It is physically complete in a heterosexual pair and fulfills its purpose in a third party.

      Noted, though it remains unclear how this is relevant.

      That family dynamics could restrict the freedom of consent of siblings to marry is not peculiar to siblings. A variety of factors impinge upon freedom of consent in every marriage and every other contract.

      Sure, and only the most simplistic among us would believe that all dynamics working for/against consent are equal. You would have us believe that removing one traditional restriction paves the way for all others to be removed. This is, of course, nonsense. Or do you believe the traditional restriction of age is linked to the hetero as well?

    4. “But there are reasons beyond mere gender that traditionally restrict marriage to two people.”

      What reasons would that be?

    5. You’ll have to forgive me, but this sounds like the type of question that somebody who’s never bother to explore the issue in depth would ask.

      A non-exhaustive list, in no particular order of importance:

      1. The historical track record of polygamy as a method of controlling, exploiting, and raping women.
      2. The inherent dilution of affection / attention and added potential for factions that multiple partners brings about.
      3. The stress that would be put on society by wealthy individuals accumulating large numbers of spouses, creating intense demand in poorer demographics.

    6. I asked because you’ve never offered any reasons and I wanted to know what they were (in your mind).

      What you’re arguing from (correct me if I’m wrong) is from a societal collective good. You’re not therefore arguing that a particular group falls under those 3 categories. Take the Browns for example. To my knowledge, Mr. Brown doesn’t control, exploit, or rape any of his four “wives.” There may be a dilution of affection or attention, but it isn’t such that it’s obvious that he has a favorite “wife.” If you wish to use that as an example, you might as well also argue that parents should only have one or two children because there’s an “inherent dilution of affection/attention.” It’s not a very strong argument, yes? And Mr. Brown is to my knowledge not wealthy. He’s middle-class and several of his “wives” work.

      They believe that polygamy is a choice, but not a choice for everyone. It’s the same rhetoric one hears from SSM supporters, yes? They argue for SSM from an individual’s freedom and ignore any societal ills that SSM creates.

      Logically one can say we want to promote the social good and argue for laws that protect that. However given that people routinely ignore the social ills of SSM in favor of individual freedom, what’s to stop them from using the same logic with polygamy/polyamory, etc.? How can one argue to promote the social good by banning polygamy while upholding SSM?

    7. What you’re arguing from (correct me if I’m wrong) is from a societal collective good.

      I’m not sure what you mean, leaving aside that we all are part of society, of the reasons I listed, only #3 is particularly concerned with the social good.

      You’re not therefore arguing that a particular group falls under those 3 categories.

      I’m again confused – I thought it was clear that, in responding to your question about reasons why we should restrict marriage to two people, that my response would be focused on reasons for prohibiting polygamy.

      Take the Browns for example. To my knowledge, Mr. Brown doesn’t control, exploit, or rape any of his four “wives.”

      I’ve never heard of the Browns, do you feel they are representative of how women have historically been treated in polygamous societies?

      If you wish to use that as an example, you might as well also argue that parents should only have one or two children because there’s an “inherent dilution of affection/attention.”

      I think it’s probably a good idea for parents to space their kids out in such a fashion that they don’t end up neglecting any individual child. On the other hand, as far as relationships go, it seems to me that married couples have far different responsibilities to each other than parents do to their children, so I’m not sure how good a comparison this is.

      They believe that polygamy is a choice, but not a choice for everyone. It’s the same rhetoric one hears from SSM supporters, yes?

      Do you hear many SSM supporters saying that being homosexual is a choice? I don’t.

      However given that people routinely ignore the social ills of SSM in favor of individual freedom

      My turn to ask: what, in your mind, are the social ills of SSM that people ignore?

    8. What I mean to say is that your not arguing that these things apply to every particular polygamous arrangement. You make your arguments based on what could happen and would be detrimental to society and those who may wish to be polygamous.

      One could make similar arguments for heterosexual couples. We shouldn’t have marriage because of potential abuse, abandonment, and so forth. Those are potentials. You are arguing for what potentially could happen to groups yes? And thus wish to prevent those potentials from happening within our society yes? You aren’t targeting a particular polygamous group like say those in Arizona (which does abuse women and girls). You make your case for all polygamous groups, but it can’t be applied to every group any more than you can say every heterosexual couple will be abusive.

      The Browns are one example of what polygamy looks like in modern times. I’m not so much concerned about what ancient or historical polygamy looks like because those people are dead and not suing the government like the Browns are.

      Actually I hear from many SSM supporters that if you don’t like SSM than you don’t have to have one. They do view it as a choice in that case. I’m not talking about Same-sex attraction. That’s not the same as supporting SSM which can be supported by heterosexual people (I’ve heard though can’t confirm that there are more heterosexuals who support SSM than there are SSA persons who do). There are SSA people who are against SSM. I’m strictly discussing SSM. SSA is a topic unto itself.

      I was wondering if you were going to ask about the ills. I think there’s been much discussion about what those are coming from those opposed to SSM and yet they are routinely dismissed. So I’ll just repeat a few of the arguments.

      Health: homosexual sex has lead to higher rates of STD transmission and higher rates of certain cancers like anal.

      Children: By legalizing SSM we’ve essentially told all children that mothers and fathers are interchangeable. Social science disagrees.

      Exploitation: The selling of human gametes and embryos. The rental of wombs. This started with heterosexual couples but is now becoming a big business with homosexuals.

      Religious freedom: There’s speculation about how far it will go, but so far it’s affecting religious people who run businesses and charitable groups. That’s the US. In Canada, which has had SSM for some time, there are even more restrictions to free speech.

      If you would like, I can link various articles that focus on a particular argument. But I think it’s outside the scope of this discussion to go through and pick apart each argument. Point is that these arguments exist. If one can argue the inherent problems with polygamy, how can one argue that we shouldn’t also examine the inherent problems with SSM? Alternatively: how can one ignore the problems with SSM but promote the problems with polygamy as a reason to ban it?

    9. Those are potentials. You are arguing for what potentially could happen to groups yes? And thus wish to prevent those potentials from happening within our society yes?

      I mean, yeah – in the same way that we argue against incest because of what could potentially happen with genetically defective children. We also argue against allowing children to marry adults because of the potential lack of consent. Etc.

      The Browns are one example of what polygamy looks like in modern times. I’m not so much concerned about what ancient or historical polygamy looks like because those people are dead and not suing the government like the Browns are.

      Again, I have no idea who the Browns are. You don’t have to go back into ancient history – there are polygamous societies around right now that seem quite problematic from the point of view of womens rights.

      Actually I hear from many SSM supporters that if you don’t like SSM than you don’t have to have one. They do view it as a choice in that case.

      I see, you’ve interpreted a joke literally here, it seems.

      Health: homosexual sex has lead to higher rates of STD transmission and higher rates of certain cancers like anal.

      First off, I’m surprised that I need to point this out, but one of the fundamentals of STD prevention is to promote monogamous relationships – you know, the highest form of which has traditionally been legally denied to gays, and the open expression of even the lower forms has been culturally shunned.

      Beyond that, if you think that marginalizing, ostracizing, and suppressing a group of people for decades will not lead to some ill-effects, then I’m afraid it is you who is ignoring the social science. Also, if society and government refuses to address certain health issues that primarily affect a marginalized group, the results are, again, unsurprising.

      I think we’ll find that as more and more homosexuals are able to openly be themselves without fear, and to have their monogamous relationships recognized by both state and society, that these rates will fall.

      Children: By legalizing SSM we’ve essentially told all children that mothers and fathers are interchangeable. Social science disagrees.

      I don’t know if I would agree with “interchangeable”, exactly – more of a many-ways to skin a cat type situation. I’m not sure that the social science disagrees, even now, let alone 10 years from now, after SSM couples have enjoyed the benefits and stability that state-recognized marriages can provide. Most of the studies I’ve run across showing negative results do a terrible job of comparing like-for-like, often lumping SSM couples in with single-parent households.

      Exploitation: The selling of human gametes and embryos. The rental of wombs. This started with heterosexual couples but is now becoming a big business with homosexuals.

      This is a separate topic entirely, not an argument against SSM.

      Religious freedom: There’s speculation about how far it will go, but so far it’s affecting religious people who run businesses and charitable groups.

      Yes, it turns out that quoting LEV to a gay customer, and posting their personal information on Facebook will have negative consequences when you are running a business. Ok, but seriously, I do think that this is a legitimate concern for religious people – though still not an argument against SSM, just an issue about how to resolve conflicts between religious freedom is legally interpreted.

    10. With all due respect, I can easily make arguments against the potential problems you see against polygamy. And I’m not even pro-polygamy.

      I think you are missing the point: that there are arguments. In one case, those arguments against SSM are being shut down. We no longer can work out those arguments amongst ourselves on a more localized level. SSM is a fundamental right according to SCOTUS. And on certain state levels any organization that receives any contracts or funding from the government or any business that opens itself to the public, you no longer have a dog in the fight.

      There are also arguments against polygamy, which has been an institution far longer than SSM. You take those arguments more seriously even though they affect more the groupings themselves more than they do society at large.

      So why should I take your arguments more seriously than those made against SSM? If SCOTUS can ignore the potential harms of SSM, why can’t they also ignore the potential harms of polygamy? They argued from the perspective of individual liberty superseding potential harm. Why can’t that apply equally to polygamous groupings?

    11. With all due respect, I can easily make arguments against the potential problems you see against polygamy.

      And you’re free to do so!

      In one case, those arguments against SSM are being shut down.

      Yes – though I see that you haven’t bothered to address any of my rebuttals of you SSM objections.

      There are also arguments against polygamy, which has been an institution far longer than SSM.

      I mean…slavery was an institution for longer than SSM, I guess we should have kept it.

      You take those arguments more seriously even though they affect more the groupings themselves more than they do society at large.

      First of all, I’m not sure what you mean here. Are you attempting to say that SSM affects society in a much larger way that polygamy would? How would you justify this claim? Secondly, I take them more seriously because (again, a non-exhaustive list): 1) I think there’s a difference between a right to access X and a right to unlimited X (in a similar way that you have a right to own a firearm, but not a right to own any firearm); 2) I think that the real world practice of polygamy has shown itself to be harmful to the rights of women, specifically; 3) and that we see these negative effects even in societies where polygamy can be openly practiced – ie. the ill effects we see aren’t a result of the population forcing practitioners into an underworld (pardon the expression).

      So why should I take your arguments more seriously than those made against SSM?

      I mean, for the porpoises of this conversation – because I’ve given reasons why I don’t take your objections seriously…and you haven’t.

    12. No, I haven’t bothered to rebuttal any of your arguments. As I said before, I’d be happy to link some articles for you which go into more depth about such arguments. What the arguments are is beyond the scope of this discussion (as I said). That the arguments exist and have been the subject of much discussion is much more relevant.

      The comment about slavery is just a straw-man propaganda tactic. Please stick to the topic at hand. Polygamy has been argued before SCOTUS before. It’s been dealt with when Utah desired to become a state. The point I was making is that the arguments for or against polygamy are ongoing and have been for some time. Arguments for SSM (and therefore against) haven’t been a topic that SCOTUS has had to contend with until our very recent history. The discussion for or against SSM hasn’t been explored in as much depth the way legalizing polygamy has. Roberts actually talked about this in his descent. Legalizing polygamy in his view is more logical than taking that huge leap to legalize SSM.

      I’m saying that you are making an argument for SSM and simultaneously making one against polygamy. Why should I take your reasoning seriously? Why protect SSM over polygamy? Isn’t it about individual freedom?

      1) I concur. There is a limited access. You draw the line at polygamy and not at SSM. Why? It makes little sense to me. The arguments are the same: individual liberty. The limiting factor for me is the definition of marriage. You view it as genderless but numbered. Why?

      2) And yet you forget that we have laws in place to protect women and girls. If my husband beat me, I could go to the police and seek a shelter. Why can’t a woman in a polygamous arrangement do the same? This isn’t like polygamy in Middle Eastern countries where regardless of marital status a woman has very few rights. It’s a rather weak argument if you ask me.

      3) please see my remarks above

      “Because I’ve given reasons why I don’t take your objections seriously..and you haven’t.”

      What reasons haven’t I given? I’m a little confused by that statement. I’m not pro-polygamy or pro-SSM. I’m not arguing for either. I’m merely pointing out that reasoning is the same: individual liberty.

      A pro-polygamist would say “we’re all consenting adults. nobody is being hurt by the relationship. it doesn’t affect anyone else’s relationship.” But that’s the same argument being made by pro-SSM supporters.

      You are arguing that the first statement isn’t true for polygamy. Could I not also argue that it isn’t true about SSM? You are saying no it’s not the same argument. Your arguments against polygamy hold more weight than the arguments for polygamy. And then you flip it around with SSM and are saying my arguments for SSM (which are same as a pro-polygamists ones) hold more weight over the arguments against SSM. And some are taking it a step further and saying “case closed. we won.” because SCOTUS decided to make it the law of the land.

      It’s not very logical. Either the argument holds water for all or none. Either it’s about individual liberty without any limited access or the arguments against a marriage redefinition (therefore limited access) have merit.

    13. What the arguments are is beyond the scope of this discussion (as I said).

      Remind me what the scope of this conversation is?

      The comment about slavery is just a straw-man propaganda tactic. Please stick to the topic at hand. Polygamy has been argued before SCOTUS before. It’s been dealt with when Utah desired to become a state. The point I was making is that the arguments for or against polygamy are ongoing and have been for some time.

      Please, spare me the straw-man accusation – you seemed to make an argument that polygamy should be harder to argue against because it was around longer.

      I’m not sure your elaboration here does anything to show that I misrepresented your argument, and I can’t see how it strengthens your position. It’s precisely because polygamy has been around so long that it is easier to argue against.

      I’m saying that you are making an argument for SSM and simultaneously making one against polygamy. Why should I take your reasoning seriously? Why protect SSM over polygamy?

      I mean, I think I’ve already given plenty of reasons for why I hold these positions.

      Isn’t it about individual freedom?

      Is this a serious question? Who is arguing that this is the only consideration?

      The rest of your response is littered with the faulty assumption that this is the only consideration, so I’m not really sure it’s worth responding to.

    14. I’m pretty sure we’re discussing why you can or cannot be pro-SSM and anti-polygamy.

      I am arguing that it’s harder to argue against polygamy because it’s been around longer. There’s more of a discussion that’s been ongoing. It’s been taking place for centuries even on a legal level. SSM hasn’t been argued for that long. It’s something Roberts argued and I agree with him. Many of the arguments against polygamy (ie degrading to women) aren’t very strong ones anymore since the dawn of women’s rights and SSM.

      We’re not arguing about slavery, which is essentially viewing a person as property. It’s apples and oranges.

      We’ll have to disagree that it’s easier to argue against polygamy in light of it’s ongoing discussion.

      No you really haven’t given many reasons. Why is SSM a protected liberty and polygamy not? I truly don’t see the difference in the logic. As I said before why can’t individuals have such liberties? Why are the arguments against polygamy stronger than the ones against SSM? Should we put a side-by-side comparison chart up?

      Well seems to me that is the argument SCOTUS made (individual freedom). Do you have another argument for why SSM should be a right and gender not a limiting factor? I must say I would be astonished if there was some other reason. The only one I can think of is because people already live in such arrangement and want such protects, but then you’d have to argue why others such as spinster sisters or polygamous/polyamorous persons can be denied such rights on the same premise.

      It all goes back to what I asked before: why are the limiting factors number and not gender? Why can’t the same arguments be said for SSM (that generally speaking it’s a social ill)?

      If my assumptions are faulty, please correct them. I’m truly trying to understand your logic.

    15. I’m pretty sure we’re discussing why you can or cannot be pro-SSM and anti-polygamy.

      So, let me get this straight (no pun intended)…you want to discuss whether or not you can be pro-SSM / anti-Poly…but the arguments for / against SSM are “beyond the scope”? Good luck to you, madame.

      [Edit a word]

      ———–

      I am arguing that it’s harder to argue against polygamy because it’s been around longer.

      We’re not arguing about slavery, which is essentially viewing a person as property. It’s apples and oranges.

      I’m honestly surprised that I have to spell this out. When you initially made (what I correctly interpreted as) an appeal to tradition for why polygamy should be more difficult to argue against – I offered an even longer-lasting tradition of slavery in this country. I did so not to argue about slavery (I shouldn’t think it necessary), but rather in order to show that the length of a tradition has little bearing, per se, on how difficult it is to argue for or against. Feel free to retract the charge of straw-manning, as it is plain that I did not misrepresent your position.

      [Edit a tense]

      ————

      No you really haven’t given many reasons.

      Have I given no reasons? How many do I need to give before I could be considered as having given “many”?

      ————

      Why is SSM a protected liberty and polygamy not? I truly don’t see the difference in the logic.

      You don’t see the difference between allowing homosexuals – who previously had no access to the many legal and social benefits of marriage – to marry VS. allowing people desiring of polygamy – who previously already had access to the many legal and social benefits of marriage – to marry?
      ————

      Well seems to me that is the argument SCOTUS made (individual freedom).

      I mean, have you read the decision? For somebody that just (incorrectly) whined about being the victim of straw-manning, you turn around an do the same here. Even if individual freedom were the only consideration (it isn’t), all of our rights are qualified! Life, liberty, etc. are not unlimited rights! It’s more correct to say that one of the arguments SCOTUS made was that, in the case of SS couples, there was no compelling reason to deny them the freedom to marry who they wanted.

    16. Yes, I believe it isn’t the individual arguments themselves. It’s the fact that they exist and have merit to them. We could go around in circles all day and people do about each and every argument. You won’t find a consensus. It really isn’t the arguments anyway. It’s the reasoning behind why a person is for SSM or for polygamy. It’s the same argument. You say the pro-polygamy argument doesn’t work. And I keep asking why. It’s the same argument used for SSM and that you agree with. That’s the one SCOTUS hangs it’s hat on which is why it’s legal. Why can’t SCOTUS use the same logic to make polygamy legal?

      So am I to understand that you are arguing that slavery ended because the discussion was shorter or longer? Because the impression I got was that you were making a flippant comment…basically saying that I’m not being logical. IE because polygamy has been around longer it should be legal is like saying slavery has been around longer it should be legal. But that’s not what you are saying? I’m sorry if I misunderstood you.

      It would be more helpful if you actually answered my questions. I’m trying to understand how your reasoning squares away and I’m having difficulty. So I’ll ask again: how can one say that SSM is about liberty and polygamy isn’t? How can arguments against polygamy hold water in light of personal liberties and ones against SSM don’t?

      “You don’t see the difference between allowing homosexuals – who
      previously had no access to the many legal and social benefits of
      marriage – to marry VS. allowing people desiring of polygamy – who
      previously already had access to the many legal and social benefits of
      marriage – to marry?”

      No. Because no marriage license asks if a person is homosexual or not. Any homosexual could marry under the definition of traditional marriage. Nobody was denied that right because of sexual orientation. They had the same access that I had. Polygamists, one could argue, are in the same boat in that regard. That they were/are subject to follow the traditional definition of marriage too. But like SSM supporters they don’t want to follow that definition. They want to afford the same rights as a grouping: ie access to health insurance, hospital visitation rights, etc. So I really don’t see how one can argue that 1)homosexuals were denied marriage under it’s traditional definition and 2) why polygamists can’t be afforded the same legal and social benefits of a plural marriage particularly since polygamists can and do have biological children with their “spouses” whereas SSM doesn’t produce biological children without third party involvement.

      “It’s more correct to say that one of the arguments SCOTUS made was
      that, in the case of SS couples, there was no compelling reason to deny
      them the freedom to marry who they wanted.”

      And as Roberts pointed out there isn’t a compelling reason to deny polygamy. That is if this is about liberty and rights and whatnot rather than upholding the traditional view of marriage.

      If it is about liberty and rights, then you can’t make a solid argument against anyone who wishes to enter into whatever a farce civil marriage has become. Social reasons aren’t compelling enough anymore because personal liberty reigns. The Obergefell decision talked non-stop about dignity, which is the same reasoning you can apply to polygamy. It’s a slippery slope that I and many others warned about, but people either in denial or truly can’t see.

    17. You say the pro-polygamy argument doesn’t work. And I keep asking why. It’s the same argument used for SSM and that you agree with.

      I mean, it’s not, though you’re welcome to keep deluding yourself.

      That’s the one SCOTUS hangs it’s hat on which is why it’s legal. Why can’t SCOTUS use the same logic to make polygamy legal?

      Have you read the decision for yourself, or are you just basing your claim off of Bob and other’s recaps?

      So am I to understand that you are arguing that slavery ended because the discussion was shorter or longer?

      Good lord…how on Earth do you get that idea?

      Because the impression I got was that you were making a flippant comment…basically saying that I’m not being logical.

      Oh, I was definitely doing both. This, you’ve managed to piece together.

      IE because polygamy has been around longer it should be legal is like saying slavery has been around longer it should be legal. But that’s not what you are saying?

      I don’t have high hopes that the third time will be the charm…but here goes anyways:

      You initially implied (and you have yourself confirmed that I correctly understood your meaning) that because polygamy was an older institution than gay marriage, it should therefore be more difficult to argue against it (polygamy). Your implication seemed to be that the longer an institution has been around, the harder it is to argue against. This seemed like a fairly clear appeal to tradition. In pointing out that slavery had been around even longer in this country than polygamy, I had hoped to show there was little relationship between how long a practice has been around, and how difficult it is to argue against.

      I’m sorry if I misunderstood you.

      No worries. It happens.

      It would be more helpful if you actually answered my questions. I’m trying to understand how your reasoning squares away and I’m having difficulty.

      Let’s be perfectly clear. Your first sentence above is a lie. Full stop. I have tried to answer your questions on this specific topic here:

      I think there’s a difference between a right to access X and a right to unlimited X (in a similar way that you have a right to own a firearm, but not a right to own any firearm)

      and here:

      You don’t see the difference between allowing homosexuals – who previously had no access to the many legal and social benefits of marriage – to marry VS. allowing people desiring of polygamy – who previously already had access to the many legal and social benefits of marriage – to marry?

      If I can’t count on you do to something as simple as recognizing that I’ve attempted to answer your questions, I can hardly hold out hope for more complicated things like you understanding the answers themselves.

      Because no marriage license asks if a person is homosexual or not. Any homosexual could marry under the definition of traditional marriage. Nobody was denied that right because of sexual orientation.

      Honestly, pat yourself on the back for this piece of cynical wordplay. Bravo. I can tolerate a degree of misunderstanding – it happens all the time in internet conversations – and I’m certainly not immune to a misplaced word here or there. On the other hand, consistent failure to acknowledge even that the other side is trying to answer your questions, whining about being straw-manned while yourself misrepresenting…and now this…

      I’m done.

    18. Then what is the argument for SSM and the one for polygamy. I’ve heard the arguments. They rest on the same thing which is why many supporters of SSM also support polygamy.

      I have read most of the descents and portions of the Kennedy’s. And what is wrong with reading other people’s view points and agreeing with them? I don’t pretend to be a legal expert, which is why I read a lot of commentary.

      Honestly I have no idea where you are going with the slavery argument. If you would actually answer my questions, that would prove helpful. Given that I talk to a lot of people of all sorts of political understandings, I don’t pretend to understand what a person’s point is. For all I know I’m talking to a pro-slavery guy. I highly doubt it, but I’ve read stranger things. I would also appreciate it if you take my questions more seriously. Flippant comments are confusing to me and derail the discussion. If you want to be seriously taken, then please afford me the courtesy of taking me seriously too. Thanks.

      I believe it was easier to abolish slavery because it was done so over the course of time in steps. First it was no longer allowing slaves to come into the country. Later it was restrictions when a state entered the union. I said it’s easier to make an argument for polygamy because we’ve been discussing it at length and in steps. We used to round up anyone who was polygamous and argued against Utah joining. Now they have tv shows that celebrate it. Arguments against it have changed as the times has changed. It helps that SSM is now law. That’s my point.

      But you really haven’t answered it. You’ve simply said there’s limited access, but you haven’t explained why it applies to polygamists and not SSM. Why can’t I argue that there is a limitation and it’s with the traditional definition of marriage?

      You haven’t explained why a homosexual person has more rights than a polygamist. Why can’t a polygamist put all his “wives” on his health insurance policy? Why can’t a polygamist file a joint tax return with all is “wives?” Truly I’m baffled why these so called rights (which I prefer to think of as privileges from the government) apply to gay people but not groupings. I’m sorry if it makes me sound like a dunce. But that’s why I feel there’s a logical disconnect here.

      I’m sorry if you find the truth offensive. You said homosexuals were discriminated against. You never referred to couples or relationships, which does have a level of discrimination. The government doesn’t recognize or afford rights to my friendships. It doesn’t afford the same rights with siblings as it does marriages. If you wish to argue that every relationship should have the same rights and privileges as any other, then you’re welcome to it. So far though you’ve said same-sex couples should have more rights or privileges than polygamous groupings and that’s fine with you. It’s not fine with me.

      All logic rests with one major argument: that marriage is about tying children to their biological fathers and mothers. It is one man and one woman because that’s all that’s needed to create children. Any other social group is something else entirely. That’s why you can’t have SSM or polygamous marriage. They don’t fit the standard. It makes no sense to hold up some sort of new standard based on personal liberty and not also afford it to others.

      I wish you well. Blessings!

    19. “You would have us believe that removing one traditional restriction paves the way for all others to be removed. This is, of course, nonsense.”

      Not quite. I surmised that potential health defects in offspring would trump the individual liberty of heterosexual siblings to marry one another. The judgment, that individual liberty abrogates the defining restriction of marriage to heterosexual pairs, effectively un-defines marriage. Can you propose a definition of marriage that could restrict ‘marriage’ to two persons, without violating the Constitutionally guaranteed liberty of anyone who wishes to ‘marry’ more than one other? In answering, keep in mind, the SCOTUS caution, “The nature of injustice is that we may not always see it in our own times. The generations that wrote and ratified the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment did not presume to know the extent of freedom in all of its dimen­sions, and so they entrusted to future generations a char­ter protecting the right of all persons to enjoy liberty as we learn its meaning. When new insight reveals discord between the Constitution’s central protections and a re­ceived legal stricture, a claim to liberty must be addressed.”

    20. The judgment, that individual liberty abrogates the defining restriction of marriage to heterosexual pairs, effectively un-defines marriage.

      I mean, I get it – *you* have no idea what marriage is anymore. Most of the rest of us can manage.

      Can you propose a definition of marriage that could restrict ‘marriage’ to two persons, without violating the Constitutionally guaranteed liberty of anyone who wishes to ‘marry’ more than one other?

      You mean the Constitutional guarantee to polygamy that exists in Bob Drury’s mind? I’m not sure I can craft such a definition for you.

      In answering, keep in mind, the SCOTUS caution, “The nature of injustice is that we may not always see it in our own times.

      If only there were a phrase that could be applied to your selective reading of this decision to support your arguments.

    21. I should add that – and I imagine similar arguments actually were made when debating whether or not to expand the right to vote to women and minorities – much of this seems like scare-mongering, ala worrying that giving women the vote would mean they would get so involved in politics that they stop having children.

      I don’t see much reason to accept your argument that changing one aspect of a many-aspect tradition requires you to throw out the tradition entirely. In keeping with the voting theme, traditional voting used to be restricted to landed, white, men. We’ve managed to change almost all of the original aspects of this tradition…and yet now (at least I hope this is the case) we wouldn’t look back and say that ‘voting has been un-defined’.

    22. The question I raised in the OP, is the inconsistency of changes, when they are due to the interpretation of liberty as autonomous. In Minor v. Happersett in 1875, in its interpretation of the fourteenth amendment, the SCOTUS unanimously ruled that the constitutionally protected privileges of US citizenship did not include the right to vote. In 1920, the nineteenth amendment extended the right to vote to citizens of both sexes. In
      2015 in its interpretation of the fourteenth amendment, the SCOTUS ruled that the constitutionally protected privileges of US citizenship did give same sex couples the right to marry, because “The right to marry is a fundamental right inherent in the liberty of the person.” Note the contrast. An amendment to the Constitution was not required because, according to SCOTUS, we are learning the meaning of liberty and coming to know the extent of freedom in all its dimensions. If ‘freedom in all its dimensions’ eliminates the heterosexual restriction to marriage, freedom in all its dimensions must surely eliminate the restriction to couples.

    23. I’m not talking about the contrast in how the court arrived at extending the freedom to vote to women VS extending the freedom to marry to SS couples. I’m speaking to your logic concerning whether or not changing one aspect of a many-aspect tradition “un-defines” said tradition. I think the answer is no, it does not, as we see in the case of voting rights.

      In addition, you keep characterizing the court’s decision to grant SSM based on freedom as if we should think that this new freedom is somehow different from every other freedom, namely that this new freedom is unlimited. Why on earth should we think that? Why should we not think that the freedom to marry whoever you wish should not still be abridged in certain cases by compelling reasons (as it is in all other cases)?

    24. In its definition, voting was and is a legality with respect to individuals in their capacity as citizens, whereas the old definition of marriage was a legality with respect to individuals in their capacity to sexually reproduce. Consequently your analogy applied to definition fails. However, the historical judicial treatment of these legalities offers a contrast between the old and the new understanding of freedom.

      The new freedom, which changes the definition to allow SSM, is not different from every other freedom. Rather we should think that the new freedom is theoretically, not practically, unlimited no matter to what topic it is applied. In the words of Justice Kennedy, “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.” The historic development of voting legislation, in contrast to the SSM decision, reflects the old and the new concepts of freedom as they apply to law. Previously, at least in theory, freedom was restricted by the actual wording of civil law. Now, freedom is restricted by the current philosophy of current judges.

      In the OP, I gave an example where, even within the current philosophy of freedom espoused by Justice Kennedy, the right to marry could be abridged. Yet, you keep saying I claim, that in light of the new freedom, the right to marry cannot be abridged for compelling reasons. Nevertheless, in my judgment under the new definition, there is no compelling reason for the restriction to couples, because same sex couples are not a biological pair, which pairing was an essential character of the old definition of marriage.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *