Wednesday, February 6, 2013

We must save something we can not legally define.

Frum: To rebuild middle class, push marriage

He's not talking gay marriage, even though Frum will not change the shift. We can't push marriage, if marriage has been defined as sometime else.

But we're stuck with a problem like Leah.  Public opinion moved in favor of gay marriage and young adults do not see the secular public policy concerns that have grown over the decades. A real problem which we must address.

As candidate Barack Obama told a Chicago church in 2008:

"(C)hildren who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime, nine times more likely to drop out of schools, and 20 times more likely to end up in prison. They are more likely to have behavioral problems, or run away from home or become teenage parents themselves. And the foundations of our community are weaker because of it"

But the President's opinion has evolved, and what he said five years ago doesn't matter.


  1. I'm confused. What is your point exactly? I understand there is a policy problem with regards to parenting and the desirability of having 2 parent households. What does that have to do with marriage equality? What does this have to do with sacraments?

  2. No, there a problem with the ideal the mother and father should parent, not 2 parent households. We redefined parent to no longer be link to biology as a matter of law. So when you say 2 parents you are not referencing biology. Marriage as public policy can not be linked to the rights and needs of children, is it about marriage equality. The rights of adults, no matter the constellation of the relationship. We can no longer say children have a right/need to their mother and father, to be raised by their own related kin. We can't write legal policy referencing male/father and female/mother with a legal relationship between the two, because it is deemed as discrimination. Marriage according to the Goodridge case, is about the two adults. The law plays willfully dumb, when it comes to the children.

    Gay atheists have a mom and dad, too...

  3. "No, there a problem with the ideal the mother and father should parent, not 2 parent households. "

    Studies of children parented by same sex couples would seem to diverge from this assertion.

    It seems you want to promote legal responsibility with regard to parenting and encourage the ideal mother and father parent scenario. Neither of those two efforts are necessarily hurt by encouraging marriage equality. Indeed, marriage equality can only benefit children by expanding the supply of loving two parent households. The problems you reference predate equality efforts and are not exacerbated by them. Expanding the rights of gays to include equal rights isn't a zero sum game with regards to the rights of children and the adequacy with which the law deals with them.

    See also Chait and Weigel.

  4. A tidbit on the absurdity of thinking of marriage rights (even from the standpoint of protecting children) as zero sum from Chait:

    "It does make sense in the limited way of thinking that, okay, you might want marriage as a way to force the two straight people facing a sudden pregnancy to get married and raise the baby together. But this is a reason to deny marriage to gays because … there’s only so much marriage to go around? The gays will sign up all the best caterers?"

  5. Marriage must be of free will, both under civil and canon (Catholic) law. But if your going to have sex with someone consider married or not you will have to co-parent a child together for the rest of your lives. Much easier if you've made a social/legal commitment of a formed relationship, that is geared to the benefit of the children.

    Is it a valid reason to deny the legal status marriage(or any legal status under a new name) to couples of the same sex or any other constellation of adults (polygamy or three individuals of the same sex)?


    The argument isn't out of fear or hatred over gay people.

    In fact as Catholics, we're suppose to defend both marriage and homosexuals.

    Defend traditional family, rights of others, archbishop says -The Boston Pilot

    "While the church opposes recognizing gay unions as "marriage," he said, it affirms the full dignity of homosexual men and women. "If a country outlawed homosexuality, I would work to overturn it," he said, adding that he believed there are still "20 or 25 countries" that define homosexuality as a crime."

    "Archbishop Paglia said those interested in the good of the human person should rejoice over one of the key evolutions in the understanding of marriage over the centuries: the recognition that the union must be based on love between the spouses.

    However, he said, "the family is not just about affection." Marriage and true family life also must include the potential to generate new life, to educate children as good human beings and good citizens and to care for the weak.

    "Democracy needs solid and stable families," he said. The sharing, caring and sacrificing people learn in their families are what spurs them to extend their defense of the rights of others to the social and political realm, and to protect and care for weaker members of society."

  6. This doesn't mean new public policy to address adult relationships other then a monogamous heterosexual can not be address. There are plenty of unmarried individuals who have life long connections to another individuals. They who happen not to be in any romantic relationship with another, could benefits for public policy that can create a 'legal kin' if they choose not have the biological relative be 'next of kin'. Sort of a legal designation of another.

  7. I don't see how what you've written here actually addresses anything I've said. There simply is no case that expanding the rights of homosexuals with regard to marriage necessarily works at odds with institutions of marriage for anyone else. It doesn't work at odds with any effort on behalf of children to strengthen their legal ties to their parents. It doesn't work at odds against any effort to 'promote' the consequential-ist viewpoint of legal (or cultural) frameworks regarding parenting responsibilities and sex.

    There are lots of things you demonstrate you are 'for' here, but you haven't demonstrated why marriage equality is 'in the way' of what you want. It seems to me that what you've done here is merely state that your reasons are valid, which actually doesn't make the case for their validity. If it isn't in your way, then denial of marriage equality is actually orthogonal to your goals, unless your goals are actually about something else not stated (sanctity or some other such line of reasoning).

    To quote from the Weigel piece again: "But if you’re a lawyer defending a gay-marriage ban in court, you need an actual legal reason for your position.", and "So the problem here is that you can’t discriminate against people without good cause. You need some distinction to justify it." The fact that the expansion of rights here has no legal consequences regarding the way others get married or even deal with parenthood demonstrates that there is no legal "distinction to justify it." You actually have to demonstrate the harm. Not the harm of what happens when people mis-parent or mis-couple with regard to reproduction - because such harm simply is not made worse by and is completely irrelevant to what happens when marriage is equal.

  8. Because it eliminates the obligations in what was marriage public policy was and necessary the intent of the government to acknowledge it.

    You speak of rights, I speak of objective obligations. Mother and father are both equally obligated to a child, for life. It is an absolute necessity that both parents reside with the child and are faithful to the family. Or else? Look out the window, we both live in Lowell with high rates of single parents struggling without the other parent.

    If it marriage is a just a temporary piece of paper the connects to adults to government sponsor benefits, why do only allow gay and straight sexual couples? Why not expand it? Why should we discriminate against them?

    Obligations are created when one has a child. We hold the obligation that a child has his/her right to have a relationship to both maternal and paternal kin.

    You want to eliminate obligations by redefining marriage as something about the rights of two sexual adults. I have a problem with that. We should all have a problem with that. We can't have a society, that doesn't encourage parental obligation. It is a must, even if some heterosexual married couples for whatever reason do not have children.

    to quote Monday's post

    "Commitment and even love are terminable in a way that obligation is not because both are subjective and can, to some degree, be chosen or unchosen. On the other hand, one may ignore an obligation, but cannot will it out of existence. An obligation is objective."

    So in the name of marriage equality, to make things equal under the law we have to ignore the fact that heterosexual behavior, unlike homosexual behavior creates an obligation to children. We need to pretend that homosexual behavior and heterosexual behavior have the same repercussions. As you noted, we really do not desire force marriage if a women becomes pregnant, so as a matter of public policy we should really do something to encourage a man and a woman to do it willingly.

    We talking about sex right, because we are denying relationships that are not sexual in nature any right to marriage benefits.

    Homosexuals can engage in sexual activity, but they don't have sex. You know penis in the vagina. Yes, it sounds so limiting. But that is where the penis goes. It goes in the vagina, Not the mouth, not the anus, and not in the hand. A penis was designed to go in a vagina. Human bodies are designed to copulate, even if we use our free will do something else with our bodies.

    Copulation is how babies are made, no matter how much we try to unwill and ignore the fact. Babies are made this way. We can try to separate it with IVF, donors, and surrogacy, babies have a mom and dad.

    We hold an obligation to babies.

    Gay atheist babies even if conceived through anonymous donor surrogacy, have natural rights to their biological mother and father.

    Don't mess with their rights, we are obligated to hold.
    And I will defend and promote those rights.

  9. If the legal definition of marriage were tied to parental obligation you'd have a point. But lets be clear here - that's not the current legal framework and as such, equality is irrelevant to your non-existent legal framework. Now you can decry the legal framework's characteristics that you find lacking, but that's a different story now isn't it. Moreover, there's no reason marriage as an individual freedom necessarily obligates the neglect of procreative responsibilities. That is, whatever the framework that is marriage, it shouldn't, doesn't, and wouldn't prohibit specific frameworks regarding parental obligations. Marriage isn't a necessary condition for defining parental obligations. It just isn't.

    Now all that being said, how exactly does Stan and Steve's marriage negatively effect Paul and Mary's obligation to their children? Is there any particular reason that it could, would, or should effect such obligations. Even if you wanted to entangle Paul and Mary's marriage status into their obligations, what exactly does that have to do with Steve or Stan? What harm is Steve or Stan causing by cementing their relationship? You have to show harm before discrimination is justified.

    "Obligations are created when one has a child. We hold the obligation that a child has his/her right to have a relationship to both maternal and paternal kin. " How does Steve and Stan interfere with any of that? "...heterosexual behavior, unlike homosexual behavior creates an obligation to children." And when homosexual's cement their relationship in marriage that affects heterosexual offspring how exactly? What case exactly can someone bring that can demonstrate that when Stan and Steve got married, Paul and Mary's obligations were interfered with? Do Paul and Mary's obligations really change when Steve and Stan get married? If not, what's the problem here then?

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  11. It was/is tied to parental obligation. See my post on "Obligation is Objective" AIt was written in the Howard Law Review and cites the New York Court of Appeals case in favor of heterosexual marriage, because it is reasonable to connect heterosexual activity to becoming a parent.

    "“[t]he State could reasonably decide that by encouraging opposite-sex couples to marry, thereby assuming legal and financial obligations, the children born from such relationships will have better opportunities to be nurtured and raised by two parents within long-term, committed relationships, which society has traditionally viewed as advantageous for children.”65 "

    Not only is traditionally advantageous for children, the social research and nature backs this up on the importance of biological mothers and fathers.

    back as the Law Review Journal comments

    " The risk of a redefinition of marriage is that this social understanding and the goods it promotes are in danger of being lost in the new adultcentered version of marriage."

    It is no longer tied to the needs of children, it's all about Stew and Stan and their demands that pretend in legal fiction that their relationship is exactly the same to mine. I don't hate Stew and Stan, in fact I would have every obligation for what their relationship is. It's something different and that's fine, but it's not the same or equal to a heterosexual relationship. Respect for diversity doesn't mean calling everything the same, rather it is about acknowledging needs. Homosexual relationships and heterosexual relationships have different repercussions, society and the law should reflect that. The law has lessen marriage to being about two people, with the inability to acknowledge that children have a mother and a father. That affects everyone.

    Why is Stew and Stan and their supporters redefining a law the protects children to be raised by their biological parents and kin, is beyond me?

    Being a mom and dad are not social structures by some oppressive religion, they're biological ones. As a society we can foster them or ignore them. We have been ignoring them for some time. Free will is a bitch at times and we're paying the consequences in our community.

    We should use it more wisely, but human beings think they're the creator, rather then the guardian and work against nature rather then with it. Before the government, communities would have long ledgers protected by the elders/or church records of marriage and baptisms as to document an individuals family. Individuals had "Roots". Now we have just ourselves.

    Back to Basics and with Kinship Fundamentals through Anthropology

  12. I'm sorry to understand that my or anyone else's childless marriages devalue your obligations to you children.... or something.

  13. But the presumption is that your marriage could create a child. That's a reasonable and logical presumption, as stated in the decision of the New York Appeals Court. Correct? Human beings are designed male and female, not matter their ethnicity or color of their skin. Designed for procreation, we wouldn't have sexuality without the function of procreation. Unlike other organisms we are notasexual. It wouldn't be outrageous or a statement of bigotry for the law to designate that the relationship between a mother and a father to benefit the stability and health for their children as a matter of public policy. This would be done with the legal kinship status of marriage. The term marriage would make the most sense, because almost all cultures and religions without the government public policy use this formation as a way to stabilize the needs of children.

    The issue of fertility is a sensitive one, that heterosexuality has to address. The fact that fertility is sensitive and emotional, that is the very reason why our marriages are different then other relationships and that includes homosexuals. Heterosexuals deal with fertility with or without children.

    For instance these is this study....

    Less Partner Abuse, Substance Abuse and Post-Partum Depression Among Married Women, Study Finds

    "Dr. Urquia said knowing the differences between married and cohabitating partners was important as the number of children born outside marriages rises. Thirty per cent of children in Canada are born to unmarried couples, up from 9 per cent in 1971. In several European countries, births out of wedlock outnumber those to married couples.
    Dr. Urquia found about one in 10 married women (10.6 per cent) suffered partner or substance abuse or post-partum depression in his study of data from the 2006-07 Canadian Maternity Experiences Survey, a nationwide sample of 6,421 childbearing women compiled by the Public Health Agency of Canada.
    He found 20 per cent of women who were cohabitating but not married suffered from at least one of those three psycho-social conditions. The figure rose to 35 per cent for single women who had never married and to 67 per cent for those who separated or divorced in the year before birth."

    I don't know what the immediate future will ever turn the tide back, all I know is what marriage could do if in every facet of community we supported and valued it for the reasons stated in this study and others. This really matters, heterosexual behavior is different and that's not wrong to say.