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Would it be trolling to write a letter to the paper to make people think?

Discussion in 'Alley of Lingering Sighs' started by SlickRCBD, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. pplr Gems: 18/31
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    I think you're contradicting yourself here. Saying you can have the same rights and practice what you choose-including making your own rules-but my denomination will undermine yours by using the state when it feels like is undermining the concept of freedom of religion.

    Especially when the larger denomination cannot fairly claim that the smaller is hurting or injuring it.


    Thus larger religious denominations have made it so that all of their marriages are likely to get notarized and smaller denominations may not.

    That still smacks of unequal treatment.

    Plus I'll point out that intent of the law is something judges sometimes examine in a court case.

    A number of the gay marriage bans and state constitutional amendments were done in response to judges recognizing unequal treatment and allowing gay marriages.

    Thus gay marriage bans were an attempt to enshrine discrimination in law.



    Correct me if I'm wrong but you already feel gay marriage bans are unfair to gay people as individuals. I'm adding to that by pointing out that is it also unfair to a few different denominations (it makes some marriages by their clergy of lesser-that is unrecognized-status).
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2013
  2. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    The marriage of my mother's parents was an aranged marriage back in the depression era of the 30s. She was 15, he was 29. That would be shocking in today's world.
     
  3. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I had a guy that worked for me on my first ship. He needed to get off early one day to go pick up his pregnant wife at school. I was thinking Olympia Community College ... noooo ... his wife was a junior at the local high school and six months pregnant -- he was 29-30 at the time.
     
  4. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    But the state laws apply equally to all religions. One denomination cannot "use" the state for any purpose. If the state doesn't allow gay marriage, no same sex marriages regardless of where they are performed will not be recognized by the state. Any denomination is free to perform a ceremony between any two people, but it won't be a state-recognized marriage unless they meet the state's requirements.

    The reverse also works. I live in a state that does allow gay marriages, but that law does not force churches to perform these ceremonies if it's against their doctrine. The state tells you what criteria must be met for them to recognize the marriage, but it doesn't tell churches what they must or must not do. A church can perform or refuse to perform any ceremony independent of the state laws.

    Here's an example that doesn't require me to utilize same sex marriage or underage partners to illustrate my point: I'll use my youngest brother and the woman he married last year. His wife is of Indian descent, and she's also Canadian. She came to the US on a student visa, and that's how she met my brother. Like many Indian families, her family practices Hinduism, and it was important to her that they have a traditional Hindu wedding at their temple.

    But here's the rub - the way the law works in the US and Canada, if they officially get married in Canada, the foreign born spouse gains Canadian citizenship. If they officially get married in the US, the foreign born spouse gets US citizenship. Since she wanted to pursue her career in the US, they couldn't have an official wedding in Canada. So they had a ceremony in Canada, but had a recogzined marriage in the US. Their marriage is legal in both places, but they opted to not submit the paperwork for the Canadian ceremony because they didn't want that to be the official marriage of record.

    The bottom line is the state doesn't care where you get married. The state sets the laws of which marriages they will recognize and which ones they won't. It doesn't matter to them whether you get married in a church or by a JoP, provided you meet all the requirements. It's not a freedom of religion issue, simply because the state laws apply equally to everyone irrespective of their religion. That many states have laws that ban same sex marriage and many religious denominations also refuse to perform such ceremonies is completely irrelevant.

    I do support gay marriage, but I don't see it as a case of freedom of religion. There is a separation of church and state that is a two way street. The church doesn't get to tell the state what to do and the state doesn't get to tell the church what to do. In fact, freedom of religion is usually brought up in the debate as a reason for why churches would NOT be required to perform gay marriages even if such marriages are legal in their state.

    To me the issue is one of equal protection. There are many legal benefits of getting married, and gay marriage bans prohibit gay couples of receiving the same benefits as their straight counterparts. The SCOTUS is expected to release their rulings this week regarding both the Prop 8 case and DOMA, which will likely have far-reaching effects regarding the legality of gay marraige within the US. It is telling that the lawyers opposing Prop 8 and DOMA argued their case from the perspective of the equal protection clause in the 14th Amendment, and not the freedom of religion clause in the 1st Amendment.

    Holy cow! Never mind shocking in today's world - it's a few other things as well. Like creepy and illegal.
     
  5. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    On the flip side my wife is 13 years younger than I am -- she was 28 when we got married. Many of my friends were somewhat envious of me at the time (and still should be...).
     
  6. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    You are a Dirty....Old....Man.... :D
     
  7. Silvery

    Silvery I won't pretend to be your friend coz I'm just not ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran

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    How old is a high school junior?
     
  8. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Generally 16-17 years old.
     
  9. pplr Gems: 18/31
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    No they don't. A more extreme version of this view would be like saying state laws applied equally to all US citizens in the 1950s because they are all citizens. We both know that wasn't true as black people were often discriminated against despite being citizens.


    No. This is just factually wrong. In the broadest sense religion and government influence each other. There may be limitations but each still influence.

    A specific, and utterly corrupt situation IMO, was brought to my attention by someone who spent time in Alabama. Story went that there was a race track owner who received a offer from a neighboring church to purchase his land at below market value. The owner refused and was told by one of the church officials that if he didn't change his mind they would get the land seized and he would get nothing. The owner still refused and a member of this church then to took him to court on trumpted up claims. Sure enough the land was seized and ended up going guess where?

    Now this sounds to me like an illegal scheme except the state (ie court) was used as a means to carry it out. This likely took at least a couple of dishonest members of this church and possibly a judge over whom that particular church had undue influence but there are subtle ways for churches and the state to use each other.

    Sounds like discrimination to me.

    And it even adds the point that if a gay couple is married in a different state that recognized gay marriages that level of equality may end at the state's border. Yet if a straight marriage occurred in the same state it would not.

    And any citizen of a state can vote as long as they pass this little exam-just a little requirement. Now if the citizen is white the polling officials may even help out. If the citizen is black they still have to take only 1 exam but it may somehow be harder too..



    That is not the reverse. Your state recognizes any marriage a church is likely to do-including same sex. Other states do not.



    The legal recognition is still blocked. If a citizen's only ballot isn't counted does that mean his or her right to vote was respected just because he or she was allowed to mark one?



    Last time I checked larger denominations were not supporting a ban on recognition of all marriages done outside of Alabama's (or pick some other state) borders.

    Your example shows an odd rule that people could question but it still focuses on all marriages from an area being treated equally. Not picking and choosing which marriages from that area are recognized.

    That is a difference.


    I disagree with you and I'll point out that this is *not* a two way street for all denominations. A bit like citizenship, at various times, did not guarantee rights for all citizens.

    That only touches on part of freedom of religion aspect. Effectively the churches who will not do gay marriages get all of their clergy's marriages recognized and the choice to recognize a marriage-both legal and religious-is effectively left to the clergy.

    But those churches which will recognize gay marriages the decision-both legally and religiously-is not effectively left to clergy.

    I'm guessing the debaters you referred to were focused on trying to sooth denominations, and members thereof, who would not recognize gay marriages.

    And this is why they utterly missed how gay marriage bans override freedom of religion for those churches, and members thereof, that would recognize gay marriage.

    If you only saw talk of the former and not the latter then the debaters you watched did not fully explore the question of freedom of religion.

    If you see any such debate in the future I would suggest you raise it if you can.



    Equal protection matters to me as well but just because the lawyers did not bring up freedom of religion does not mean there is no discussion to be had on freedom of religion.

    If they thought about freedom of religion and choose not to bring it up the only telling thing about that may be that it appeared to them a certain amount of religious discrimination had been enshrined in the law at this time.

    At one time separate but equal (relating to skin color) was seen as legal but then that changed at least partly because the inherent inequality (or tendency to it) was recognized.
     
  10. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    Pplr, citing an example of government acting in a manner not in accordance with its own edicts does not change the fact that gay marriage is, legally, an issue of equal protection. If the Holy Church of Sibling Love wants to sanctify a marriage between a brother and sister, the FLDS Church wishes to sanctify a polygamous union, and the Untied Church of Dog wishes to marry a man to his Schnauzer, these organizations are free to do this -- the state is not, however, impinging on their religious freedoms when it refuses to recognize the unions.

    If we exchange these extreme situations for a Church sanctifying a gay union, the state is again not impinging on the religious freedom of the couple or the church performing the union when it fails to recognize it. The state is, however, in danger of violating the Equal Protection Clause found in the 14th Amendment of our constitution. It is legal to lie, take the lord's name in vain, worship 'false gods', desecrate personally owned religious symbols, to have sex before marriage, to have a mistress, to have 10 mistresses, to have a boy-toy on the side, or to have an open marriage. I've never heard a religion argue that it's freedoms are being stepped upon because other people who are not members of their faith are legally allowed to do these things. The reason? Because such an argument would be silly, and religious organizations recognize this.

    The religious argument about gay marriage is the same as any of the issues I spelled out above -- religious organizations argue that gay marriage is somehow 'different' than the previous scenarios, that allowing two men who love each other to marry will somehow impinge upon *their* religious freedom, but allowing a pair of godless heathens to enter into an open marriage where the wife has 10 mistresses and the husband has a boy-toy on the side does not. If we counter that religious argument by flipping it on it's head, we are now fighting the battle by religious rules, on a battlefield chosen by the opposition. Even if we win that battle. we have surrendered the field. Taking this tack will only serve to validate the presence of religious argument in what should be a strictly Constitutional debate. We don't want this. Legally speaking, this isn't a religious issue, and it never was. Let's not make it one. :)

    Religion will *not* be the deciding factor in the Gay Marriage debate. Balancing the Equal Protection Clause from the 14th amendment against state sovereignty probably will.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2013
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  11. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    I think Drew summed it up pretty well. The only thing I will add is that the only way freedom of religion would be at issue is if the state was unwilling to recognize marriages from a specific faith, but being willing to recognize identical marriages from some other faith. Like if they said they would only recognize Christian marriages. That is religious discrimination. Banning gay marriages is not because it's all gay marriages - including secular ones, which by definition have no religious component. If they don't recognize religous gay marriages they are not discriminating against a particular church or group of churches, because the secular ones don't fly either.
     
  12. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    That would still not be a freedom of religion issue; it would be an equal protection issue. They can be married under their religion, just not legally, so equal protection.
     
  13. Silvery

    Silvery I won't pretend to be your friend coz I'm just not ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran

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    I support gay marriage 100% however, you wouldn't marry your boy-toy/mistress/10 mistresses in a church or go into a church to worship a 'false idol' or desecrate a holy symbol. That's the difference. You wouldn't eat a bag of pork scratchings in a mosque or oysters in a synagogue so why should 2 gay people be allowed to marry in church?

    At the end of the day all religions have their own rules pertaining to what is and isn't fine. Sure, it'd be easier for Jewish people to think 'Eating shellfish is a common and accepted thing, let's just disregard that part of our religion' but they don't, that's not what religion is for.
     
  14. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    Silvery, the law will not require any churches anywhere to sanctify any unions they don't want to sanctify. If my wife and I asked to be married by a Rabbi in a Synagogue back in 1999, our request would have been denied. We aren't Jewish. Churches already have the freedom to deny any union they wish. This will not be changed by legally recognizing homosexual unions.
     
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  15. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    It's absolutely an equal protection issue. The trappings of the argument against gay marriage stem from certain religious perspectives but the legal issues are pure equal protection and state sovereignty (and some idiot passing the DOMA . . . )

    :p
     
  16. pplr Gems: 18/31
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    I'm not sure if you are referring to when I described a church in Alabama stealing a race track owner's land but my point with that was not about gay marriage just that it is possible for a religious organization to use the state for a goal of its own.

    Problem there is that you are exchanging extremes for something that is not. Unless you feel differently there is the implication in your statement that gay marriage is not an extreme and I suspect we don't feel having a marriage in a church and by clergy is extreme either.

    So we probably agree you're switching extremes for 2 things which are not, but that is a problem.


    It would be silly but it isn't what we are discussing either.

    What we are discussing is a state-due at least partly to efforts by other religious groups-refusing to recognize something it typically would for people who *are* members of a faith and acting in accord to that faith.


    I think you have it backwards here.

    Not every religious organization agrees so saying they have the same point is wrong.

    My point is for the minority of religious organizations who *want* to not only allow but perform marriages for gay people.


    1. Religious freedom is a Constitutional issue.

    2. This isn't just about the Constitution it is also about fairness and justice in the larger sense.

    3. Correct me if I'm wrong but you seem to be saying there are only 2 viewpoints 1 secular POV and 1 religious POV-I already pointed out that this is factually incorrect.



    It may be the deciding factor in the current case before the SCOTUS but that certainly isn't the only place nor way to discuss gay marriage.

    Drew, have you (or anyone else here) actually spoken with a member of a minority religious group that would choose hold gay marriages and had the topic of religious freedom come up during the discussion?

    I actually have.

    I'm not sure if anyone else here has.

    One of the points that I've been trying to make is there is a POV that was being utterly ignored.



    EDIT:

    The talk about young people getting married reminded my of my high school days where I knew 2 people (perhaps out of the school of over 1000) who were engaged.

    Now that I'm long out of high school I'm not comfortable with the thought of high-schoolers getting married (even if they can have sex) because I'm not sure if they are ready for that decision, on the other hand they can join the military shortly after graduating so if someone can legally sign up to get shot at I guess it is only fair to allow them to get married.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2013
  17. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    PPLR, various religious groups can already marry (or not marry) pretty much anyone they wish. You interpret religious freedom too broadly. Using the idea that we have to allow gay marriage because banning it would limit religious freedom places you at the precipice of a very slippery slope. A church wants to marry first cousins? This is very common within the Middle East and consequently, within Islam. Failing to allow this would limit the free practice of religion using your liberal interpretation that the government cannot pass any laws that limit religious practices, and we'd have to recognize it. To be fair to Islam and the Middle East, first cousins can still marry in about half of of the United States. What about the FLDS church marrying a 16 year old girl to a 50 year old man who already has 7 wives? Religious freedom, have to recognize it. In fact, we can't tell the Church that 16 is too young, either, since that would *also* limit the free exercise of religion by your interpretation. It gets worse. Wahabiism (an extreme branch of Islam) states that a girl can marry as young as age 9, since one of the wives taken by Mohammad was that young. We'd have to allow that too. We'd also have to allow honor killings, and religious edicts would be a valid way to avoid prosecution for certain crimes.

    Fortunately, the government does has the right to limit behavior, even when doing so limits the behavior of the adherents of a legitimate religion, as long as the limits are applied evenly, serve the public good, and are put in place without the intention of specifically targeting a specific religious organization or group of organizations. The state is not limiting religious freedom when it does not recognize gay marriage because it is applying the ban on gay marriage evenly, and it has the right to pass laws that limit behavior. This is why this is an issue of equal protection, and why religion doesn't figure in.


    (...it was actually a collection of idiots -- the majority republican Congress that passed it with substantial Democratic support, and the desperate Democratic president flailing to re-establish himself as a centrist after an embarrassing and spectacular failure at reforming the healthcare system damaged his ability to govern effectively signed it into law.)
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2013
  18. Silvery

    Silvery I won't pretend to be your friend coz I'm just not ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran

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    I may have got a bit lost her...or bored from reading some very long posts! It sounded like people had gone off into a 'If gay people can't marry in church, it's not fair' siding
     
  19. pplr Gems: 18/31
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    Close but not quite.

    This is more of a its not fair if a church cannot have gay people it marries legally recognized.

    Drew pointed out a church can legally discriminate against people but not be legally recognized to not discriminate.




    @Drew
    The whole slippery slope thing (owners marrying dogs) had already been brought up against gay marriages in general and it didn't happen when they were legalized in some states.
     
  20. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    Of course it didn't. How many states legalized gay marriage on the grounds that the states refusal to recognize gay marriages infringed upon the free practice of religion? If you answered with 'none,' you would be right. :p

    If the government's right to pass legislation that limits human behavior were to stop when the law meets religious practice, the government wouldn't be able to stop me from stoning my disrespectful son in the town square. Fortunately, this is *not* how freedom of religion works.. The government remains able to pass laws to protect the public good, even when doing so can limit or render illegal certain religious practices.

    An example of actual infringement upon the free practice of religion can be found with Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye v. City of Hialeah, in which the Court ruled that states cannot restrict religiously-mandated ritual slaughter of animals, regardless of the purpose of the slaughter.

    Here's the relevant part of the decision:

    To add clarity, the law banning the "unnecessar[y]" killing of "an animal in a public or private ritual or ceremony not for the primary purpose of food consumption" was aimed to directly target a specific group.

    In order to overthrow the current status quo on religious grounds, you would need to prove that gay marriage was banned with the explicit intent to limit the free practice of religion. The problem, in this case, is that this is demonstrably false. While one can easily, cogently, and in my opinion correctly proffer the argument that the government discriminates against the gay community when it does not recognize gay marriage, you'll have an uphill battle trying to argue that the law is discriminating against, say, the Episcopal church. You will also lose that uphill battle.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2013
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