Comments on: On the passage of Proposition 8 http://www.lessig.org/2008/11/on-the-passage-of-proposition/ Blog, news, books Tue, 10 Oct 2017 06:01:00 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.2 By: Relnick Barns http://www.lessig.org/2008/11/on-the-passage-of-proposition/#comment-3515 Wed, 24 Dec 2008 06:50:58 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2008/11/on_the_passage_of_proposition.html#comment-3515 Ironically the proper solution to this problem is not to fight for the government to be able to marry gays but to remove that power entirely from government purview. I.e., separate the legal aspects from the religious aspects of marriage for everyone.

Church is supposed to be separate from state. So separate them. Make all “marriages” the province of churches alone. Persons of any gender can then pick the church of their choice embracing whatever definition of “marriage” fits theirs.

Government would then only be in the business of granting “civil unions” to both straights and gays alike. This would be a contract that gender-neutrally defines the legal terms of the civil union with no moral dimensions.

Mainstream religious people would feel victorious for stopping the government from granting “marriages” to gays. Gay people would feel victorious by achieving exactly the same legal rights as straight people get from the government…and even the title too by simply joining alternative churches that perform gay marriages.

This keeps the moral holy wars about the definition of marriage among the churches and out of the provinice of public government, preserving equal protection of the law to all citizens.

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By: Steve Baba http://www.lessig.org/2008/11/on-the-passage-of-proposition/#comment-3514 Sun, 30 Nov 2008 00:27:03 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2008/11/on_the_passage_of_proposition.html#comment-3514 You do realize that it has just been the “opinion” of the majority of voters that gay-rights don’t include marriage. Anyone’s or even the majority’s opinion (5 of 7 prefer) is not a good place to start a strong argument.

The same facts can lead to multiple opinions. Well-informed voters can have different opinions on gay-rights.

And some people have very bad “facts” about history, but from the gay rights point of view have (stumbled on) the right “opinion.”

And I probably don’t want to know, but why would someone who compares “traditional” marriage to slavery, want marriage rights anyway?

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By: David desJardins http://www.lessig.org/2008/11/on-the-passage-of-proposition/#comment-3513 Fri, 28 Nov 2008 01:29:47 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2008/11/on_the_passage_of_proposition.html#comment-3513 P.S. Here’s the current status of the lawsuit, that, as I understand it, Lessig thinks we should oppose, even if it turns out to prevail.

http://cnnwire.blogs.cnn.com/2008/11/19/calif-high-court-will-hear-gay-marriage-appeal/

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By: David desJardins http://www.lessig.org/2008/11/on-the-passage-of-proposition/#comment-3512 Fri, 28 Nov 2008 01:19:17 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2008/11/on_the_passage_of_proposition.html#comment-3512 I don’t understand this attack on our legal system. The reason we have courts is to adjudicate laws. There are different opinions about whether Proposition 8 is valid under the California Constitution. The way our system adjudicates such differences is for the courts to decide. To argue that we shouldn’t let the courts perform their function of deciding whether the initiative is valid, makes no sense to me. If the initiative is, in fact, invalid, then to accept it as part of the California Constitution when it wasn’t properly adopted would be completely wrong. And we have no way of knowing whether that’s true or not unless and until the California Supreme Court rules on the matter

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By: EBdM http://www.lessig.org/2008/11/on-the-passage-of-proposition/#comment-3511 Wed, 26 Nov 2008 22:36:20 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2008/11/on_the_passage_of_proposition.html#comment-3511 Steve baba,
Once again you´re twisting things around.
Anyone can OBVIOUSLY start an argument with “in my opinion” and it can be a perfectly sound argument, the only thing that will depend on are the facts people use to support their opinion.

Unfortunately arguing with you is pointless, firstly because you´re not interested in the real topic which is the civil rights of gay citizens, at every opportunity you´ve tried to turn the debate into something else entirely.

Secondly you´re using a very rudimentary knowledge of logic and fallacies to support ideas you already have. That´s doing things the wrong way around. You need to use logic to arrive at a conclusion not arrive at a conclusion and then try to justify your position by twisting logic. I understand this is the process preferred by religious institutions like the Vatican, but that doesn´t mean it´s the most intelligent path…

I´ll explain once more because you obviously don´t understand what an analogy is:
An analogy simply transfers relevant information from point A to point B to make a point more clearly. It would only be a false analogy or a “strawman” if there were no true similarities associating point A and point B. The movie In the movie “A time to kill”, Matthew McConaughey shows that beautifully in his closing arguments in court when he describes a rape and attempted murder, and everyone is very touched- but he finishes by saying “and now imagine all those things happened, and the little girl was white”…

In the case of the so called “traditional marriage” and slavery there are a great number of parallels:

1. Both were widely accepted by society
2. Both existed in most civilizations
3. Both were practiced informally and formally
4. Both guarantee rights to certain groups whilst removing them from other groups
5. Both were enshrined into law
6. Both have great social/societal significance
7. Both have been opposed by various groups.
I can go on and on with a list, but hopefully it won´t be necessary.

Slavery and Traditional Marriage are therefor parralels in many ways, hence comparable. That means that using slavery as an analogy is not a fallacy, since the points being compared (equality, justice, discrimination & persecution) can be found in both matter A and matter B.

My suggestion to Steve Baba is to try to be a bit more serious in this discussion. This isn´t about you personally or your ability (or lack there-of) to use logic or understand fallacies.

The real subject, I´ll say once more is the civil rights of CITIZENS. CITIZENS WHO PAY TAX, CITIZENS WHO WORK, CITIZENS WHO HAVE CHILDREN, CITIZENS WHO HAVE RELATIONSHIPS AND ARE DE FACTO MARRIED, but unfortunately the law is being modified to persecute this group of people. Gays, like slaves are being treated like second class citizens. Gays like slaves are not having their rights enforced. The exclusion of gays from marriage is like the exclusion of slaves from basic human rights. That´s in no way a strawman, it´s a valid comparison, and a valid argument. Like I said before, if you don´t understand how logic works, stop pretending you do.

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By: Steve Baba http://www.lessig.org/2008/11/on-the-passage-of-proposition/#comment-3510 Wed, 26 Nov 2008 22:07:12 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2008/11/on_the_passage_of_proposition.html#comment-3510 You can’t start a, “logical and sound argument,” with, “in my opinion…” or “I believe” or “it’s a matter of perspective.”

You start good arguments with non-strawman agreeable facts such as, “In the past the Bible was used by some to justify slavery. Slavery is wrong.” Therefore biblical arguments can be wrong.

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By: EBdM http://www.lessig.org/2008/11/on-the-passage-of-proposition/#comment-3509 Wed, 26 Nov 2008 01:06:15 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2008/11/on_the_passage_of_proposition.html#comment-3509 Steve Baba says:
“Insults are a logical fallacy, since even if the person making the argument is stupid (hateful, ignorant, pseudointellectual…) the argument is not false (or true) because the person making it is stupid (or smart). )”

Now let´s take this statement apart, logically.
1. Insults are not necessarily arguments and since a fallacy is a “failed” argument, your statement doesn´t make sense.
2. To insult is “To treat with gross insensitivity, insolence, or contemptuous rudeness”- that in no way means it´s a logical fallacy.

One can state that X or Y is an ignorant perception and that´s not a fallacy, it´s simply a fact. It could be perhaps insulting or unpleasant to hear, but it´s not a fallacy. My suggestion for people like Steve Baba who are interested in fallacies is that they first study logic. Try something simple like: Introduction to Logic by Harry Gensler.

If one doesn´t understand the process, it makes it terribly difficult to take apart the results. As it is incredibly difficult to have a discussion with people who think they know a great deal about a topic when they actually don´t.
I´ll give an easy example. If I say “The story of Jesus is a myth because it doesn´t withstand the principle of negative/exclsuionary evidence used by historians”– that is not a fallacy, perhaps offensive to some, but it´s a fact because that principle says:
1. If all the evidence or evidence to corroborate a proposition are untrustworthy.
2. There is no evidence verifying the proposition, when this should be present if the proposition is true.
3. If searches were done carefully and thoroughly to find corroborative evidence in the right places.

According to those principles we can state that the story of Jesus is a myth. that´s not a fallacy.

Now continuing with the “hateful/ignorant” point, as I´ve said previously it´s simply a matter of perspective. I believe, firmly, that anyone who believes anothwer citizen should have less rights than themselves does it from ignorance or hate- which may be based on a range of other situations or emotions, but is in essence a hateful and ignorant position. That doesn´t mean they are entirely hateful or entirely ignorant- simply regarding their particular position which is perceived as such. That´s not a fallacy.
ie: X believes purple people should not receive the same constitutional protections as green people.->
Hence X believes purple people are in some way inferior to the rest of society->

In my opinion that´s a hateful and ignorant position since according to the bill of rights all people should be treated equally.
Hence X is maintains a hateful and/or ignorant position
Therefor X is hateful/ignorant regarding this topic.

That is a logically sound argument.

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By: pegr http://www.lessig.org/2008/11/on-the-passage-of-proposition/#comment-3508 Tue, 25 Nov 2008 03:42:05 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2008/11/on_the_passage_of_proposition.html#comment-3508 Why should the state have anything to say about marriage anyway? Why does the state participate in social engineering by encouraging marriage via tax breaks, etc.

The state should be marriage-blind. Let people marry whoever they want. Remove tax breaks. Get the state out of my love life.

Off topic: Why do blind people get a tax break, but deaf people don’t?

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By: Steve Baba http://www.lessig.org/2008/11/on-the-passage-of-proposition/#comment-3507 Mon, 24 Nov 2008 23:21:33 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2008/11/on_the_passage_of_proposition.html#comment-3507 Insults are generally counterproductive since they reflect badly on the insulter and anger the insulted.

Insults distract from the main argument.

Insults are a logical fallacy, since even if the person making the argument is stupid (hateful, ignorant, pseudointellectual…) the argument is not false (or true) because the person making it is stupid (or smart).

For example if one were able to prove that a/some/most gays were stupid or ignorant, it would not mean that gay rights are wrong. (The stupid are for gay rights, so gay rights must be stupid).

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By: EBdM http://www.lessig.org/2008/11/on-the-passage-of-proposition/#comment-3506 Mon, 24 Nov 2008 18:46:07 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2008/11/on_the_passage_of_proposition.html#comment-3506 Steve Baba,
Your comments and supposed arguments are the very definition of what many call “pseudointellectual”.

Whether there is, was or not a group that opposes something like slavery (or anything else), doesn´t mean it wasn´t a mainstream and generally accepted practice. A section of purist libertarians and on the other hand purist femenists have always opposed marriage as an institution- that doesn´t mean it isn´t widely practiced and accepted. So before misrepresenting what a fallacy is, you should try to understand logic. An exception doesn´t necessarily invalidate a general rule. Irregular verbs don´t invalidate regular verbs.
You´ve taken an analogy and tried to swirve the argument into something else entirely with misinterpretations of fallacies and citing half-truths.

I can cite many biblical references that regulate if not endorse slavery, and even give suggestions to slave owners on how to behave etc… etc… That the bible contradicts itself is not an issue for me. The fact of the matter is, it was used to justify slavery, it was used to justify the oppression of women and it is being used yet again to persecute homosexuals.

I have not insulted the religious in general as ignorant and hateful. I´m not stupid enough to make that sort of generalization. But that doesn´t mean that you aren´t hateful and ignorant, or that there aren´t hateful and ignorant people participating in this debate. Some like you, feigning knowledge and intellectual ability that you evidently don´t have-
But again, this isn´t a personal debate- it shouldn´t be about anyone in particular. Not you, not me, not Joe or Mary or Sally.This is a debate about the very basis of citizenship and the rights afforded to those who are members of a state where all are supposed to be treated as equals.
Gays don´t pay less taxes than other people, gays don´t contribute less to society than other groups. A gay doctor works the same hours as a heterosexual doctor. A lesbian mother spends just as many hours awake as a heterosexual mother. Gay votes aren´t worth less than those from other groups and therefore Gays must be allowed to enter into the same contracts offered by the state as any other citizen.

Personal religious beliefs are no excuse to deny equality to anyone, unless Mormon, Catholic or any other religious group is prepared to for example accept the religious beliefs of other religions which they do not practice. It would be like a muslim majority imposing the use of the hijab on all women. Something that would never be tolerated in a democratic state where all people MUST be treated equally. Imposing a personal religious view on the lives of any group goes against everything the constitution and the bill of rights stands for. Slavery was one of those absurd paradoxes of the American legal system- so too were the lack of women´s rights, and again we see it now with the lack of rights of gays and lesbians.

As for Jesus in a diaper, well, we must agree to disagree. That character doesn´t belong to you or any other particular group. Christianity alongside other religions have caused havoc and destruction throughout the world. They were singlehandedly responsible for the deaths of millions of people. Many christian groups take it upon themselves to insult and persecute a number of minorities. They´re the first to insult and threaten with hellfire and damnation. Religious groups of many denominations have persecuted and murdered those who didn´t agree with them. They´ve sent gays to be burned alive in public squares. What they´re fighting for now isn´t to conserve or defend anything. Some Christian groups now fight for the right to continue persecuting, for the right to impose their prejudices on all of society. These Christian groups are fighting to keep hate and discrimination alive and well- and for that they should be ashamed of themselves, as should you.

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By: Cactus http://www.lessig.org/2008/11/on-the-passage-of-proposition/#comment-3505 Sun, 23 Nov 2008 08:00:51 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2008/11/on_the_passage_of_proposition.html#comment-3505 I’ve noticed that the pro-prop 8 men (and they are almost all men) making the anti-argument about polygamy, never mention polyandry. I wonder why.

BTW, the reason the state is involved in marriages is they have a property interest and an interest in the children, as in accountabilities, divorces, deaths, inheritances, etc., etc.

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By: Steve Baba http://www.lessig.org/2008/11/on-the-passage-of-proposition/#comment-3504 Thu, 20 Nov 2008 21:21:21 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2008/11/on_the_passage_of_proposition.html#comment-3504 and
Didn’t Lessig learn the hard way that (unintentionally) insulting the religious by showing a video of Jesus in a diaper was counterproductive and distracted from his argument.

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By: Steve Baba http://www.lessig.org/2008/11/on-the-passage-of-proposition/#comment-3503 Thu, 20 Nov 2008 21:14:54 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2008/11/on_the_passage_of_proposition.html#comment-3503 Try St. Paul, (slave traders were even compared to murderers and gasp practicing homosexuals Tim 1:8-10), or St. Patrick or try Google and even the Bible mandated the death penalty for kidnappers who enslave. Exodus 21:16

In ancient and early Christian times, slavery was arguably a humane alternative to killing POWs and capital punishment of criminals. Abolition of slavery was a lost cause at the time, and most of Bible’s rules on treating slaves and treating wives at that time, mandated kindness and limited mistreatment of slaves, not total freedom.

Insulting the religious as ignorant and hateful (Obama believes marriage is between a man and a woman for religious reasons) is highly counterproductive, in addition to a logical fallacy.

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By: EBdM http://www.lessig.org/2008/11/on-the-passage-of-proposition/#comment-3502 Wed, 19 Nov 2008 18:58:17 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2008/11/on_the_passage_of_proposition.html#comment-3502 Steve Baba,

I have not overstated anything. Slavery didn´t exist as a “crime like prostitution”, in fact, even prostitution has been perfectly legal in a number of civilizations. May I also remind you that the bible itself makes no criticism of the institution of slavery, it was an accepted and LEGAL part of human tradition.

I suggest you not only study history, but have a review on what a strawman fallacy is and you´ll discover your statement is absurd, verging on ridiculous.

My original point, which I stand by and is proven by history is that tradition alone is not a valid argument for conserving anything. It wasn´t a valid argument for conserving slavery, an insitution embraced by much of the world, it wasn´t a valid argument for conserving that lack of women´s rights- and it´s not a valid argument to conserve any sort of discrimination. I´m not sure if it´s your ignorance which prevents you from understanding the analogy or if you´re playing dumb- either way- the facts don´t back you up.

I don´t know where you get this absurd idea that “there were always many people agaist slavery”, when it was an institution adopted by most of the world. Who are these “many people” that were against it? Where were they? What exactly did they do to stop it during the many centuries in which it existed? Which civilization are you reffering to? Or are you just making statements based on “what you feel” without any evidence to back it up?
If you know anything of history, you´d know that a real movement against slavery only began to happen in quite recent terms (historically speaking). So before making ridiculous affirmations open a book and read a little.

Comments like yours remind me of the utterly ignorant people who say “life begins at the moment of conception” as if conception were something that happens in a micro-second, or as if sex and conception were synonyms… Just ask any of them how long conception takes and they´ll stare back at you blankly. Do you think they know that for 1500 years of a 2000 year Christian history the church did not condemn abortions if they were done during the first 3 months of pregnancy (during the fetus inanimatus period)…
Did they know that 50% (Yes, FIFTY percent) of fertilized eggs are spontaneously aborted by the body? Wouldn´t that make “god” the biggest abortionist of all time?

Well, there you go, the “life begins at conception” people and the “don´t let gays marry” people hand in hand in their ignorance and in their hate, manipulating science, history and fact to justify their personal ideologies based on nothing but mythology and “tradition”.

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By: Steve Baba http://www.lessig.org/2008/11/on-the-passage-of-proposition/#comment-3501 Wed, 19 Nov 2008 01:28:47 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2008/11/on_the_passage_of_proposition.html#comment-3501 “Slavery was fully embraced by people all over the world, whether formalized into law or informally just like marriage.”

By overstating your case you are setting yourself, your argument up as a stawman easy to knock down.

Slavery, just like crime or prostitution happened all over the world, but there were always many people agaist slavery because of the revolt-risk, slaves don’t fight for us in battle or the ethics.

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By: NeedMoreInfo http://www.lessig.org/2008/11/on-the-passage-of-proposition/#comment-3500 Tue, 18 Nov 2008 03:10:11 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2008/11/on_the_passage_of_proposition.html#comment-3500 @Eric Windisch

As a fan of much more open borders, I agree with your feelings about allowing loved ones in to the country. I would take it even further. I feel citizens should be able to sponsor foreign immigrants regardless of whether they have have intimate committed relationships. Cousins, friends, etc should all be allowed in as long as the sponsor takes responsibility for them.

But we both digress from the thread topic. As immigration is a federal issue and the federal D.O.M.A. only recognizes heterosexual marriages, California recognizing gay marriage yields no immigration benefits.

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By: Ms. D. http://www.lessig.org/2008/11/on-the-passage-of-proposition/#comment-3499 Sun, 16 Nov 2008 04:20:57 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2008/11/on_the_passage_of_proposition.html#comment-3499 Daniel Ipson,

Your comment is an attempt of fear mongering with no base in reality. There has never been a proposal that any religion celebrate or even approve of gay marriages. In fact, gay marriages exist and are law in a number of countries, none of which have obliged or intend to oblige any religion to perform gay marriages.

It´s a shame, but this is a perfect example of what the debate has become, fear mongering of the worse kind and even lying- all to justify a hateful prejudice against a minority.

Let me tell you about persecution, first of all as a a person of Jewish descent I´ll say Christians shouldn´t DARE to use the term Judeo-Christian, when Christians themselves are single handedly responsible for persecuting jews, stealing from jews and expelling jews from almost every country in Europe. A few years ago the religous right fanatics wanted to jump on the bandwagon of history. I´m sure the term is offensive to any jew who knows the history of Judaism, or who´s seen pictures of the American Christian signs that said NO DOGS, NO BLACKS, NO JEWS- in that order-
Judeo christian my foot.

And as for the persecution well, let´s be clear about this- who´s persecuting who?
Do gays want to stop Mormon marriages?
Do gays want to stop Christian or Catholic marriages?
Do gays want to tell anyone how to live their lives?

The answer is NO. The people who evidently have nothing better to do and want to freely persecute and impose their model of what life should be on society are the ones who want to force everyone else to live the way they do.

My simple suggestion is: If you´re an extremist christian or simply don´t believe in gay marriage, that´s your personal choice, fortunately no one is forcing you to marry anyone of the same sex as yourself.

BUT how dare you, any of you presume to have the right to stick your noses into the lives of other people to tell them who they can or can´t marry- and after you do that, you pretend to be the victims talking about the
“persecution of Judeo-Christianity”- what a joke.

So let me see if I understand correctly, you want to dictate how people live their lives, you want to impose your definition of relationships on them, you want to say that they choose to live is wrong- and if anyone dares to disagree that means they´re persecuting your religion… right- that makes perfect sense…

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By: Daniel Ipson http://www.lessig.org/2008/11/on-the-passage-of-proposition/#comment-3498 Sun, 16 Nov 2008 00:59:11 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2008/11/on_the_passage_of_proposition.html#comment-3498 Not yet,

The way this is going in the future, if a church declines to perform a marriage citing personal beliefs they could be sued for discrimination. If they still refuse they could lose their liscense to perform marriages altogether (or have them be state recognized.). Not yet but soon, if certain people prevail. In the mean time, the persecution of Judeo-Christianity continues by those who would have US keep our beliefs “in the closet”.

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By: EBdM http://www.lessig.org/2008/11/on-the-passage-of-proposition/#comment-3497 Sat, 15 Nov 2008 21:55:18 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2008/11/on_the_passage_of_proposition.html#comment-3497 Steve Baba,

I´m not sure what you´re responding to, but your answer doesn´t in any way contradict my comment. The supposed “riskiness” of slavery in no way makes it less traditional or less of a part of human history. Slavery was fully embraced by people all over the world, whether formalized into law or informally just like marriage.

We find it in cultures as old as the Sumerians, and see it grow amongst Persians, throughout Africa (including Egypt), as most of the Mediterranean civilizations and from there we see it spread to the colonial America´s. We also see the insitution of slavery in the primitive American culture´s with the Aztec´s having “tlacotin”, and the Maya´s with their “Ppentacob”- both of these cultures also enslaved their war prisoners. In China a system of child slavery called Mui Tsai, where children were sold existed until the second half of the 20th century. The Japanese also had slaves, in the 3rd century known as Seiko, by the 8th century slave laws were enacted and they were then called Nuhi. Whichever way one looks at it slavery is as much a part of human tradition as marriage.

Slavery wasn´t only embraced by the masses but also specifically by the Christian church. Both Catholics and Protestants owned slaves and defended the institution. Even Pope´s and Protestant pastors owned slaves and used their bibles to justify it. So it seems your comment is entirely off base.

To continue with the point I was making debunking the idea of “traditional is best”- as I explained in previous comments Marriage has already been redefined many, MANY times. In the 19th century and most centuries before that it was a contract of guardianship. A man OWNED his woman, in many cases the woman´s family even had to pay the son in law a fee to get rid of their daughters. From the moment in the 20th century when women started having independant property rights, child custody rights, the right not to be raped or beaten by their husband´s- the concept of marriage was revolutionized. It ceased to be a contract of property to be a contract of partnership. There could be no greater redefinition than that.

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By: Steve Baba http://www.lessig.org/2008/11/on-the-passage-of-proposition/#comment-3496 Sat, 15 Nov 2008 11:16:53 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2008/11/on_the_passage_of_proposition.html#comment-3496 “SLAVERY as an institution has been licensed, regulated and defined as between a master and his slave since at least the dawn of recorded history. Its unique endurance across time, place, culture, forms of governments, religions (and lack thereof), race, ethnicity, etc. is far more than sufficient evidence that it fills a basic, fundamental role in the foundation of civilization.

Nice try, but slavery even when it occurred was always known to be risky to even the slave-owning class – the slaves may revolt and kill us – that it was rarely embraced as fully as heterosexual marriage – which got tribes/towns/countries in the past more children/warriors so that we don’t get killed.

My history is a bit fuzzy, but didn’t both ancient Rome and Jews have to (suppose it varied from time to time) release slaves after so many years as a safety valve.

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By: EBdM http://www.lessig.org/2008/11/on-the-passage-of-proposition/#comment-3495 Fri, 14 Nov 2008 17:51:47 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2008/11/on_the_passage_of_proposition.html#comment-3495 So the user who signs as BH would like to know how same sex marriage satisfies civilization’s need…

Firstly I suppose I should clarify that people should not confuse sex and marriage. Men and women, both homo and heterosexual existed long before marriage contracts of any form, and in all probability not just gay sex, but gay unions existed long before christianity. To imply that gay marriage is a modern “invention” of a liberal society is utterly ignorant. I would suggest looking up marriage in the Fujian provinces of China, African tribal marriage rituals, the ancient Egyptian marriage of Khnumhotep and Niankhkhnum etc… etc… If one does take the time to study those topics before spewing babble, one learns that gay marriage is A PART of many civilizations and cultures.

Now let´s highlight this user´s specious argument by substituting the word marriage for the word slavery, and the words same-sex marriage for the word abolition:

“SLAVERY as an institution has been licensed, regulated and defined as between a master and his slave since at least the dawn of recorded history. Its unique endurance across time, place, culture, forms of governments, religions (and lack thereof), race, ethnicity, etc. is far more than sufficient evidence that it fills a basic, fundamental role in the foundation of civilization.

The question and burden to those proposing ABOLITION is: How does it satisfy civilization’s need? Answer that *convincingly and you’re done; otherwise you are ignorantly fooling with the underpinnings of civilization itself.
(*Simply avowing “no harm” is insufficient grounds for civilization to divert resources to the defense, support and promotion of an uncertain alteration in its own foundation.)”

If this is how anyone measures civilized society, they´ve got serious problems. Gay marriage achieves the same goal as MODERN heterosexual marriage. That which has come to signify the officialization of a union of affection and physicality between two ADULT CITIZENS who freely decide to commit to each other, defending each other´s interests and pursuing common goals. The French and American revolutions were supposed to uphold the idea that all citizens be treated equally- without distinctions. It´s no more the government´s job to special contracts to people of different sexes than it would be to offer special contracts only for people of a particular race as was the case of the prohibition of interracial marriage.

And just as a special note on civilized society, I´d like to say that most of the countries who have already passed gay marriage into law have violent crime rates, abortion rates, prostitution rates and drug usage rates that are considerably LOWER than America.

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By: Eric Windisch http://www.lessig.org/2008/11/on-the-passage-of-proposition/#comment-3494 Fri, 14 Nov 2008 09:12:59 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2008/11/on_the_passage_of_proposition.html#comment-3494 My wife and I, I being a heterosexual male, were married based on a K-1 visa. That is, I petitioned on her behalf to bring her to the United States based on our intention to marry. If instead, I had fallen in love with another man, I would have instead been heart brokenly separated from him forever. Regardless of your personal view of homosexuality, those that are homosexual are people with legitimate feelings, and are capable of love. To deny them that love is morally incomprehensible.

To my fellow so-called Christians that believe differently, I hope you one day see that above all, Jesus preached love. He preached love to the sick, to the outcast. If homosexuals are the lepers of the 21st century, then they are precisely those that Jesus would demonstrate his love unto. Do not use the name of Jesus to spread hate and evil against any man, as that should be the truly unnatural act in the eyes of a Christian.

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By: bh http://www.lessig.org/2008/11/on-the-passage-of-proposition/#comment-3493 Fri, 14 Nov 2008 00:05:56 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2008/11/on_the_passage_of_proposition.html#comment-3493 Other than as invention of the courts, Marriage is not and never has been a fundamental right of individuals. Marriage between a man and a woman Is a fundamental need of civilization, making marriage between a man and a woman a societal obligation.
Now before emotionally asserting “It is not!”, please consider:
Marriage as a civil (not religious) institution has been licensed, regulated and defined as between a man and a woman since at least the dawn of recorded history. Its unique endurance across time, place, culture, forms of governments, religions (and lack thereof), race, ethnicity, etc. is far more than sufficient evidence that it fills a basic, fundamental role in the foundation of civilization.
The question and burden to those proposing same-sex marriage is: How does it satisfy civilization’s need? Answer that *convincingly and you’re done; otherwise you are ignorantly fooling with the underpinnings of civilization itself.
(*Simply avowing “no harm” is insufficient grounds for civilization to divert resources to the defense, support and promotion of an uncertain alteration in its own foundation.)

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By: Hillary Hartley http://www.lessig.org/2008/11/on-the-passage-of-proposition/#comment-3492 Wed, 12 Nov 2008 13:20:56 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2008/11/on_the_passage_of_proposition.html#comment-3492 While I sort of disagree that we should not go to the courts — “separate but equal” and interracial marriage would have been law (and therefore socially acceptable) much longer if the courts had not intervened — I will also be the first one to say that No On 8 had NO ground game. We must open our hearts to communities and hope that in return they’ll open theirs.

Mr. Lessig (and everyone reading and commenting here), won’t you join us at EqualityCamp in SF on January 10, 2009?
http://barcamp.org/EqualityCamp

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By: IDontUnderstand http://www.lessig.org/2008/11/on-the-passage-of-proposition/#comment-3491 Wed, 12 Nov 2008 11:42:35 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2008/11/on_the_passage_of_proposition.html#comment-3491 @Tsubasa:

“Your story about your fish went out to my heart! I too am a fish person and would like very dearly for my fish to be licensed.”

I appreciate your sympathy.

“However, I don’t think you understand quite what marriage is.”

By all means, please enlighten me.

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