Federal Marriage Amendment Debate and Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Darth Mischievous, Feb 24, 2004.

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  1. Jediflyer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2001
    star 5
    Womberty, I would agree with you if the issue was banning sodomy or something like that. However, this issue is about the public endorsing a union. People who do not want to endorse a union are not imposing their views.

  2. womberty Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2002
    star 4
    Basically what you are saying is that my beliefs shouldn't matter in a public forum because they are religiously-based, while someone else's beliefs (even if identical to mine) should matter because they are not.

    No; I am saying when your religious-based beliefs contradict the basic principles of freedom and equality, they should be set aside in the interests of freedom.

    I would say the same for beliefs that have any other basis as well. For example, if an environmentalist thinks it would be best that we all stop eating meat, I would ask that they set that belief aside when it comes to deciding what should be put into law.


    EDIT:
    And of course, this is personal opinion on the extent to which a person should let their belief system guide their judgement in supporting laws that govern everyone around them. I realize that not everyone would follow this principle, and that is why we have certain safeguards written into the Constitution to protect our most basic rights.
  3. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    No; I am saying when your religious-based beliefs contradict the basic principles of freedom and equality, they should be set aside in the interests of freedom.

    I would say the same for beliefs that have any other basis as well. For example, if an environmentalist thinks it would be best that we all stop eating meat, I would ask that they set that belief aside when it comes to deciding what should be put into law.


    The problem is that it is not that simple.

    What do you do with your religious beliefs when you know (not simply believe) that something is wrong? If something is wrong, you should oppose it, and stand by your principles, regardless of what others might believe.

    For example, if a person honestly believes that abortion is a form of killing a human being, then it is completely unreasonable to expect them to support it, even if you describe it as a "right" of the mother's. To their beliefs, it is still wrong, and nothing would change that. Should people with such beliefs be forced out of public service? Should they be force to simply stand by whenever such a topic comes up for a vote?

    For many people, they believe that homosexuality is wrong, to the same degree that there are people who believe that abortion is homicide/murder. It is unreasonable to expect that they be required to either sit idly by or support the public recognition of something that they believe is wrong. They have a right for their voice to be heard as well.

    As others have pointed out, there is a difference between allowing homosexual acts to be immune from government interference because of privacy and demanding public recognition and/or acceptance of those acts. You cannot claim that what you do in the bedroom is none of my business, but then require that I (through the government) support it. That is hypocrisy at the least. Either it is none of my business, or it is of public concern/recognition. It can't be both at the same time.

    Kimball Kinnison
  4. womberty Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2002
    star 4
    For example, if a person honestly believes that abortion is a form of killing a human being, then it is completely unreasonable to expect them to support it, even if you describe it as a "right" of the mother's.

    But that is still in keeping with the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness - specifically, you are saying that the fetus' right to life outweighs the mother's right to abort as part of her right to pursue happiness.

    Where your stance on abortion may break down is if you claim that the fertilized egg must be protected because you believe God has given it a soul - we don't make laws based on the assumption of a "soul", so it is unreasonable to ask the law to recognize it.


    For many people, they believe that homosexuality is wrong, to the same degree that there are people who believe that abortion is homicide/murder.

    Do they not believe that adultery is just as wrong as homosexuality?

    Do they not believe that pre-marital sex is just as wrong as homosexuality?

    Do they not believe that marrying for money and divorcing after a few months is wrong?

    If so, why are they not demanding legislation to correct these wrongs? Why is only homosexuality "wrong" enough to require action?


    You cannot claim that what you do in the bedroom is none of my business, but then require that I (through the government) support it.

    You are implying that marriage is about what happens in the bedroom.
  5. Crix-Madine Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2000
    star 4
    U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts said Bush will "go down in history as the first president to try to write discrimination back into the Constitution."

    In a written statement, Kennedy said, "The Constitution is the foundation of our democracy. It reflects the enduring principles of our country. We have amended the Constitution only 17 times. ... [It] has often been amended to expand and protect people's rights, never to take away or restrict their rights."


    He has a serious point there. This is going to be a step backwards if this goes through. It's not progression, but regression.

  6. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    Do they not believe that adultery is just as wrong as homosexuality?

    Actually, yes I do. And my state has laws against adultery (as do many other states).

    Do they not believe that pre-marital sex is just as wrong as homosexuality?

    Again, I do. Again, Virginia has laws that restrict such things (although I will conceed the privacy concerns are valid on this one).

    Do they not believe that marrying for money and divorcing after a few months is wrong?

    I also believe that this wis wrong. However, in this case, it is difficult to pass effective laws against it because you need to demonstrate intent, which can be nearly impossible in such a case.

    If so, why are they not demanding legislation to correct these wrongs? Why is only homosexuality "wrong" enough to require action?

    First, as I pointed out, my state (as with many others) has laws against many of those things. Again, it comes down to the difference between outlawing and refusing to recognize. For example, I agree that what two people do in the bedroom should not be interfered with by the government (within reason). However, to take that sort of relationship and then try to require that the government recognize and sanction it is a different matter.

    I agree that laws against homosexual activity are wrong. I won't interfere with how you want to live your life. However, I cannot support or condone behavior that I honestly believe is wrong. In the same way, I believe that drinking is wrong, and I cannot support or condone that (although I have been known to go and pick up my friends when they were too drunk to drive). Just as I would fight against the government supporting alcohol because I believe it is wrong, I disagree with the government supporting homosexuality.

    This doesn't make me a homophobe, any more than my religion teaching that smoking is wrong would make me a tobaccophobe. It simply means that I cannot and will not support those things I honestly believe are wrong.

    And witholding my support does not make me a bigot either. It simply means that I will not support it, and will resist anyone trying to make me support it (which is what is happening here).

    You are implying that marriage is about what happens in the bedroom.

    That is a major part of it. Besides, hasn't it been many of the advocates of Same-Sex Marriages who have called it discrimination based on what people do in the bedroom? You cannot simply separate the two things.

    Kimball Kinnison
  7. DorkmanScott Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    For example, if a person honestly believes that abortion is a form of killing a human being, then it is completely unreasonable to expect them to support it, even if you describe it as a "right" of the mother's. To their beliefs, it is still wrong, and nothing would change that.

    Abortion, arguably, is inherently harmful to a human being (the baby). Much like murder, theft, etc.

    How is homosexuality inherently harmful?

    M. Scott
  8. womberty Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2002
    star 4
    Actually, yes I do. And my state has laws against adultery (as do many other states).

    Why is there no federal act or pending amendment to make adultery laws uniform?


    Virginia has laws that restrict such things (although I will conceed the privacy concerns are valid on this one).

    I'd be interested to know exactly what the Virginia law says on the question of pre-marital sex.

    However, you're admitting that privacy concerns - rooted in the principles of individual liberty and freedom from government interference - outweigh your religious concerns.

    Isn't that what I've been saying? The basic principles of our government should take precedence when deciding what is put into law.


    Again, it comes down to the difference between outlawing and refusing to recognize.

    How about refusing to recognize a marriage between atheists? Doesn't that conflict with your religious views on what marriage is?


    This doesn't make me a homophobe, any more than my religion teaching that smoking is wrong would make me a tobaccophobe.

    Well, I think the "phobic" term is accurate as the opposite of "philic", but I agree that it carries with it a negative connotation because "phobia" is used to describe an irrational fear. I will not accuse you of fearing homosexuals.


    And witholding my support does not make me a bigot either.

    It depends on your reason for withholding support. If you say "it's just wrong", it's hard for the rest of us to see a belief founded in any rational basis.


    That is a major part of it. Besides, hasn't it been many of the advocates of Same-Sex Marriages who have called it discrimination based on what people do in the bedroom? You cannot simply separate the two things.

    I think many of the advocates have confused the issue by calling it discrimination based on sexuality. They should stick to calling it discrimination based on gender, because that is really all the government takes into consideration when deciding whether or not to issue a marriage license.

    However, I suspect that the advocates believe that the people opposed to same-sex marriage base their stance on a dislike for what same-sex couples may do in their bedrooms. It's a curious thing, since those opponents do not seem to be quite so concerned with what married heterosexuals might be doing in their bedrooms.
  9. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10

    I'm just going to give a dry-outline of my opinion.

    Personally, I have no problems with gays. I don't think that they're messed up, I just think they're different and made a choice to be that way. Fine, that's their choice.

    Personally, gay marriage offends my sensibilities. My secular sensibilities, mind you.

    Personally, I also feel that it is improper to write a discriminatory law into the highest document of the land without adequate justification. Just because "it offends me" is not good enough. Smoking and drinking offend me, but I'm not about to ask for that to be banned. Idiots offend me, but I'm not about to ask for mandatory intelligence tests for everyone. I've no right to do so. I have an opinion, and I have the right to hold an opinion. If I have that right, then so do those gay couples who want to marry. If they want to marry, they should go for it. It's their choice--just as I can choose to dislike the idea.

    We will have to go with Tyranny by Majority with this one. It's almost certain an issue where one person's opinions will go against the other. Whichever group has the weightiest opinions will win, and offend the rest of them. If the anti-FMA people prevail, the other side will be grossly offended and vice versa.

    This is going to be very divisive, and is one of the instances where democracy isn't fun because with such a near parity in opinions, there will be vast numbers of upset people either way.

    :(

    It's tragic.
  10. dizfactor Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2002
    star 5
    Where your stance on abortion may break down is if you claim that the fertilized egg must be protected because you believe God has given it a soul - we don't make laws based on the assumption of a "soul", so it is unreasonable to ask the law to recognize it.

    that's pretty much where i stand on the issue. of course, people who feel strongly about an issue for religious reasons will generally feel compelled to act on those beliefs, but if your argument rests entirely on religious belief, then it has no place in political discourse. if you can make a case purely on tangible grounds which stand up even without consideration of religious belief, then more power to you, but otherwise...

    He has a serious point there. This is going to be a step backwards if this goes through. It's not progression, but regression.

    absolutely, and i think a lot of moderates who aren't in favor of same-sex marriage will still balk at the idea of writing discrimination into the Constitution. that's why i'm not too worried about all this. i really don't think that any such amendment would get past the very high hurdles necessary to amend the Constitution due to lack of support by moderates.

    i mean, you need a 2/3 majority in both the House and the Senate to start with, which i think is unlikely. simple majorities i could see, but 2/3? no way. i don't think most of the Democrats in the Senate would vote for such an amendment, and i don't think that the more moderate New England Republicans would, either. the House Democrats are more liberal than those in the Senate, and you'd need to win over a lot of them to pass it. i think that's unlikely.

    after that, it would go to the states, and even though 38 of them have passed anti-gay-marriage laws, i don't think all of those would necessarily vote for a Constitutional amendment. i think that would be too extreme for at least a few of them. i don't think a Constitutional amendment like that would have a real chance of passing in California, probably not in Washington, etc. i am cautiously optimistic as a result.

    And witholding my support does not make me a bigot either.

    i don't know about that. when people were trying to legalize interracial marriage, and you believed it was morally wrong and resisted legal attempts to recognize interracial marriage, it would be hard to argue that you were not a bigot, even if you also didn't support lynching or harassment of interracial couples. not being a bigot in cases like this requires more than passive acquiescence with gritted teeth - it requires you to actively support the notion that the victims of discrimination are not second-class citizens. it's like saying "i've got nothing against black people, but you can't expect me to serve them food at my lunch counter."
  11. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    How is homosexuality inherently harmful?


    I agree. What is it about homosexuals and what they'll "do" to marriages which is "harmful", that hetrosexuals haven't already done? The divorce rate is up, infidelity is still there...


    E_S
  12. anakin_girl Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2000
    star 6
    STARBOB:

    What people want doesn't make it right.

    In this case, why is it wrong for gay people to want to marry their partners? Because they don't fit in with the "tradition" of a "family" being Mom, Dad, brother, sister, and dog?

    womberty:

    Also, the fact that no one has suggested legal action to further restrict the bounds on marriage to keep things like reality TV marriages and drunken Vegas weddings from being valid proves that the people opposed to gay marriage are really not concerned with keeping marriage from being considered a joke.

    I was going to say...

    These people are not concerned with whether or not marriage is a joke, or everyone would have to be engaged for six months before buying a marriage license. They are concerned with whether or not gays can receive the same benefits that straights can.

    No southern US state is going to vote for a national party or candidate that does not fully oppose gay 'marriage'.

    Yeah, we're about 100 years behind the times here.

  13. Blue_Jedi33 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2003
    star 5
    I don't blame Bush for trying to stop another Sodom from developing, we all know what happened to that city.
  14. Valkor Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 2002
    star 4

    Not everyone takes the Bible Literally, and not everybody believes Homosexuality is a sin.
  15. womberty Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2002
    star 4
    I don't blame Bush for trying to stop another Sodom from developing, we all know what happened to that city.

    As I said before, I don't think we should pass laws based on a fear that God will rain down fire and brimstone if we don't.


    Because if we do that... did I mention God said he'd flood the earth if I don't get a Mercedes-Benz convertible? [face_devil]
  16. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    However, you're admitting that privacy concerns - rooted in the principles of individual liberty and freedom from government interference - outweigh your religious concerns.

    Isn't that what I've been saying? The basic principles of our government should take precedence when deciding what is put into law.


    There is a big difference between that and recognizing gay marriage (or similar structures). Just because I believe something is wrong, does not mean that I would support making it illegal. At the same time, it doesn't mean that I support the government supporting it either.

    You see, my saying that the privacy concerns can play a factor is limited to when people keep it private. Once they start trying to bring such things into the public realm, I oppose it. This applies in such things as TV/movies, same-sex marriages, and other similar topics.

    I stand up for my own beliefs, without apology for them, and I expect that others will do the same. I won't ridicule or antagonize someone for standing up and saying "I believe this is wrong", because that is their right and responsibility in order ot be true to their own beliefs. All I ask is the same level of respect from others when I stand up for my beliefs.

    A person's beliefs do not become less valid or less worthy of respect because they come from their political philosophy, nor from their religious or intellectual beliefs. Each of those is a part of an individual, and above all else, you should be true to yourself and your beliefs first and foremost.

    Being true to your own beliefs doesn't make you a bigot, nor does it make you irrational. All it makes you is true to yourself.

    Kimball Kinnison
  17. Jansons_Funny_Twin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2002
    star 6
    I don't blame Bush for trying to stop another Sodom from developing, we all know what happened to that city.

    Weak. [face_plain]




    Don't leave me.
    Don't ignore me.
    Don't kill me!

  18. TripleB Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2000
    star 4
    I think it is a sad day for america that it has come to this.

    Unfortunately the left wing secularist forces of this world have made it clear that they don't respect what traditionalist believe, that they ahve no problem in hurting people of faith with their blapshemous "Gay marriage" and have made it clear they want to run this down the throats of all Americans, regardless of what they think.

    So it is a sad day that it has come to this, but I feel it is neccessary as our opponents here have made it clear this is the only thing that will stop them.

    So Gavin Newsome, Rosie O'Donnell....consider yourself stopped.
  19. womberty Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2002
    star 4
    A person's beliefs do not become less valid or less worthy of respect because they come from their political philosophy, nor from their religious or intellectual beliefs.

    But I will not consider it a valid enough basis for law. Again, this is more my personal opinion, but I think the basis for a law (especially a federal amendment) should be in keeping with the principles of equal individual rights.


    Unfortunately the left wing secularist forces of this world have made it clear that they don't respect what traditionalist believe,

    As opposed to the traditionalists, who respect what the secularists believe?


    that they ahve no problem in hurting people of faith with their blapshemous "Gay marriage"

    How does it hurt you?

    Your church does not have to perform gay marriages, does it? So how does gay marriage hurt people of your faith?
  20. Jansons_Funny_Twin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2002
    star 6
    Trips

    How does it affect you? I want to know how it's going to hurt you to see gays married.




    Don't leave me.
    Don't ignore me.
    Don't kill me!

  21. Jediflyer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2001
    star 5
    Well, technically it doesn't have to hurt you to make a law. According to the Constitution, the states hold all lawmaking powers except for those few held by the federal government. It does not say that states hold all lawmaking powers except for cases where there is no harm.

  22. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    But I will not consider it a valid enough basis for law. Again, this is more my personal opinion, but I think the basis for a law (especially a federal amendment) should be in keeping with the principles of equal individual rights.

    Here, you are wrong. Ultimately, the basis for any law (even an amendment) is the clear will of the people. Why a person supports or proposes a law/amendment is irrelevant, as long as they convince the required number of people to support it. If a proposed law would violate the Constitution, it then requires that you convince a much larger (and more varied) group of people (to pass an amendment), but it still comes down to convincing the People.

    In the end, each of us must vote according to our own conscience and beliefs, and let the voice of the people decide. That is the true basis of our Constitution and government. Even with the many safeguards, it is a statement of faith in the American People that they can choose their own destiny according to their own beliefs, no matter what they may be.

    Kimball Kinnison
  23. womberty Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2002
    star 4
    According to the Constitution, the states hold all lawmaking powers except for those few held by the federal government.

    And they can't make laws violating the Bill of Rights, because of the 14th Amendment.

    There is nothing on the national level prohibiting the states from discriminating in their definitions of marriage, by sexual orientation or gender. All the federal law says is that a marriage in one state is valid in another.

    However, many states have laws prohibiting discrimination based on gender - and that is where the state marriage laws run into problems.
  24. Blue_Jedi33 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2003
    star 5
    I agree with Kimball, this flaunting in your face attitude by the pro-same sex marriage people, is bound to offend some people.
  25. Jediflyer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2001
    star 5
    So we should have unisex bathrooms?

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