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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 can see non-religious reasons for stoning a child (yes I know you can make Bible references) but child abuse in general comes to mind.

    But I think you would be hard pressed to say that gay marriage bans are somehow protecting "the public good"?

    They strike me as a combination of discrimination and religious belief that is not universally shared.

    Now it may be an uphill court case for me to claim gay marriage bans were aimed at the Episcopal church but less so that they discriminate against at least part of it and other religious denominations.


    I also wouldn't be surprised to hear that some churches were part of the effort to legalize gay marriage. They certainly weren't the only group but that doesn't mean they weren't part of the effort to legalize gay marriage or defeat a gay marriage ban in states where this happened.


    Now even if I loose any gay marriage court case I was part of that doesn't change the broader concept of justice and fairness that I did mention before.

    Isn't it in some sense unjust for larger denominations to enshrine something in law (despite it likelihood it is hurting rather than helping the public good) that actively takes away from part of the minority beliefs?

    Gay marriage bans don't say practice what you will and we will practice what we will. Nor do they say everyone practice whatever you want unless someone gets hurt (something that fits public good). They actively discriminate against a part of minority beliefs (lesser status rather than outright bans on trying to do ceremony) with no public good.
     
  2. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    PPLR, you are missing the thrust of my argument. I don't know if it's because you are ignoring it or don't understand it, but here's the breakdown. Currently gay marriage is illegal most places. As a result, individuals both secular and religious are unable to gain the legal and tax benefits that accompany marriage. Child abuse is also illegal. A parent who abuses or kills his child, for religious reasons or not, will typically be punished to the full extent of the law.

    You are arguing that the state in refusing to recognize gay marriages is infringing on the free practice of religion. How? Are secular couples able to enter into homosexual unions? Are some religions able to perform such unions while others are not? To all questions, the answer is a clear, emphatic, and obvious 'no' (with the obvious exception of those states that currently allow it). Further, churches are not prohibited in any way, shape, or form from marrying any two (or 3, or 10) people that they wish.

    The limitation, therefore, is not a limitation placed on a religious institution, but on the citizenry, itself. If the Catholic Church decided it wanted to recognize gay marriages, it can do so, and the government has no say-so about it. That the state does not extend the tax benefits of marriage to the hypothetical newly married gay couples does not constitute an infringement on the right to free practice of religion, unless you are arguing that the government has no authority to limit behavior that becomes the purview of religion, and that government is compelled to recognize any and all marriages performed by religious institutions. This isn't how it works.

    Religious institutions are not being denied a right that other institutions currently enjoy. Your too-broad interpretation of free practice of religion flies in the face of existing legal precedent. Candidly, if free practice of religion compels the government to recognize gay marriages performed by religious institutions, it also compels the government to recognize polygamous unions they perform, marriages of siblings or first cousins, etc. You are arguing that the government's authority to limit behavior is overridden by the edicts of a person's faith. It isn't. This is why I come to you with extreme examples like stoning a child for disrespect, for example. It is a religious edict, and if the government doesn't have the authority to decide for itself which marriages it will recognize, it also doesn't have the authority to decide for itself which religious edicts it will and will not respect when enforcing child safety laws.

    EDIT: Please understand that I'm not arguing that the current state of affairs regarding gay marriage do not constitute discrimination. I believe they do, but it isn't religious discrimination. The state is under no obligation to legally recognize a marriage performed by a religious institution any more than a church is obligated to perform a marriage it does not wish to perform once gay marriage has been legalized. Like Larry Craig when his wife isn't looking, the wall between church and state goes both ways. The state does not get to tell the church which marriages it can and cannot perform, but does reserve the right to extend the legal benefits of marriage to only those unions that meet its legal standards. In the same way, the Church is not obligated to sanctify a union it does not wish to sanctify, even if the union is a legal one.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2013
  3. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    I think all of us here get that. Well, at least I do, and I suspect Drew does based on what he has written up to that point. I agree with you that gays are being discriminated against by now being allowed to have the same benefits as heterosexual couples in getting married. The only thing Drew and I are trying to explain is it is not an issue of religion, even though there are churches out there who would have no problem performing a marriage ceremony for a gay couple.

    I bolded part of your quote because that is specifically what you have yet to explain/defend.

    The willingness of a church to perform a gay ceremony does not equal having gay marriage being part of the church doctrine and/or belief system. The first thing you need to prove is that the states' unwillingness to recognize gay marriages prohibit the ability of these churches to practice their religion. I cannot envision how a church would cease to be able to function simply because of this. They could still bless these unions and perform any other services they typically do.

    Drew already gave an excellent example of this - there are vodoo sects in the US that require the ritualistic sacrifice of an animal during their religious ceremonies. It is an actual part of the practice of their religion, so even though it's illegal for everyone else to do this, it's legal for them during the practice of their religious ceremony.

    Similarly, there is a group of Native Americans in the southwestern part of the US that consume a hallucinogenic cactus called Peyote during the practice of their religion. Peyote is a controlled substance in the US, but it's OK to use it if you're taking part of this Native American religious ceremony. In both cases, they are specifically exempt from the law (but only during the ceremony itself) because they cannot pracitce their religion without doing these things.

    So in order for gay marriage bans to become a religious issue, you must show how the the unwillingness of the state to recognize these unions (although they don't prohibit you from performing the ceremony) affects these churches in the same way as the Vodoo and Native Amercan sects I listed above. You would need to show why these churches should be specifically exempt and have their gay marriages recognized, even though the state doesn't recognize secular ones either.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2013
  4. pplr Gems: 18/31
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    Are you a lawyer?

    You seem to be focusing too much on legalism rather than the concepts of fairness or justice.

    I get that you think I would loose a court case because the state has the ability to make rules and certain minority churches are usually not specifically named by those pushing gay marriage bans.

    But you don't seem to address that even if you're right in legal terms this is still discrimination and unfair to different denominations (perhaps enshrined in the law but unfair nonetheless).





    Now back to some of the legalism.

    You referred before public interest meaning the state has a valid reason to make rules.

    This could apply to marriage between 1st cousins as well as stoning sons.

    But you never referred to or named any public interest in banning gay marriage-I suspect we agree there is not one.




    Therefore the state doesn't have a good reason to be banning gay marriage.

    Thus the primary reasons, sometimes explicitly stated leading up to referendums on state constitutional amendments, are religious ones.

    If the only reasons for laws are religiously based then that is a problem for smaller religious groups which disagree.

    Larger religious groups may not have intended to step on smaller ones-the primary thrust being aimed at members of the gay community (secular and religious ones) but that doesn't mean there was no impact on them.




    It may be easy to think of some of these smaller religious groups as collateral damage except people who are collateral damage may have no interest in the conflict that ends up harming or killing them while smaller religious do. They may have very purposefully chosen to hold gay marriages because they felt it was the right thing to do or struggled with an internal debate already until they reached their conclusion. Either way could be a proverbial slap across the face to have some of their marriages treated with a lesser status legally and no public reason for doing so.


    You said there is a wall between church and state yet I see the 2 interacting and influencing each other. There may be limited influence & interaction but it is there. The wall at best has cracks and holes. This is understandable in some ways as both the church and state may see the other as doing some things it wants-both may see the other as a order promoting and charity/social support given by one may reduce the need for the other to provide it.


    I think the wall is weaker than you seem to seem to feel. As such I suspect the rules over legal marriage are actually a compromise between religion and state-the state still makes them and has final legal power but doesn't do so totally ignorant of religious POV. And it is arguable the gay marriage bans enacted recently are situations where larger religious groups took the power to create the rules unto themselves to create the ban. When larger religious groups-both through their own religious officials directly and through members indirectly-put pressure on state legislators to hold a referendum on banning gay marriage and then is an active player pushing people to vote a given way in said referendum that seems to be a crack in the wall you describe.

    The state can push back against both large and small religious groups or utterly ignore them if it is in the public interest. I'm partly repeating myself but there is public interest in some rules on marriage. Increased odds of genetic diseases when 1st cousins marry. Both physical harm to 9 year-olds whose bodies are not ready for sex as well as the recognition children that young are not necessarily ready to make life changing legal agreements. Those rules may override some minority religious views but there is a definable public interest in the push and pull between church and state.

    You went back to the slippery slope argument with saying that changing rules to allow for smaller religious groups to hold legally recognized gay marriages would open the door for marriages to 9 year-olds or end the state's ability to make rules. But that isn't true. The state could still make rules for the public good.

    The shortage of related public good associated with gay marriage bans sets this rule apart from others.



    EDIT

    @Aldeth

    Don't forget there is a legalistic and non-legalistic part of this.

    Legalistically

    Yes they can hold the ritual but the point is that the results are of lesser legal status than typical.

    Not Legalistically

    Even if it doesn't reach the level required for a court to intervene please acknowledge some unfairness or diverting from religious freedom when larger religions make rules (even if it is indirectly) impacting smaller ones.

    Or do you feel larger religious groups were not the driving force behind recent gay marriage bans?
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2013
  5. 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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    You keep bringing up religious freedom when it has nothing to do with it. All religions are free to perform gay marriage ceremonies if they so choose. It is not illegal to perform a gay marriage ceremony; gay marriage is simply not recognized (in many places) in the legal sense, so regardless of whether your religion approves/sanctifies a gay marriage in the eyes of your god/supreme being(s) or whatever, you will not be married as far as the law is concerned only. So gay marriage bans have no impact on your religion, only the secular legal benefits of marriage.
     
  6. Gaear

    Gaear ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful

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    Is that really true? And if it is, do they get special dispensation from the government to do specifically x, y, and z, or could I form my own church of whatever and ritualistically slaughter 1800 black rhinos every third Sunday as long as it was a part of my religion?
     
  7. 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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    I would think there are requirements that you would have to meet to start your own church. Like a minimum registered memebership for starters.
     
  8. pplr Gems: 18/31
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    I already disagreed with that argument and if you read through my earlier comments you'll see I explained why. Including addressing this specific argument.:

    I think I mentioned that discrimination is not limited to bans but also lesser treatment (such as lack of recognition).

    It may be in the public good to have some discrimination but I don't believe it is in this case.



    Anyway, Aldeth & Drew both gave some reasoning and I think I addressed it.

    So I was waiting to see if they would address my own reasoning but if you would like to please read though it and try to pick it apart.
     
  9. 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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    But again has nothing to do with the exercise of your religion.
     
  10. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    PPLR, are you an idealist? You seem to focus too much on factors that have nothing whatsoever to do with the legislative and judicial process. Sure, there are many politicians that are informed by religion when passing laws. As a result, bad laws that are later overturned by the judicial system are often passed. There may be a non-legal part to this debate, but it is irrelevant when trying to determine the constitutionality of an existing law. From a legal standpoint, the free practice of religion is not being infringed upon because any church can marry anyone it wishes, for any reason. A religious marriage is not held to a legal standard, although the religious standard is usually *more* strict than the legal one.

    Our right to unimpeded free practice of religion means that the state is not allowed to dictate our religious practices to us. They can't tell a church who it can and can't marry, or who it can or can't baptize. Free practice of religion doesn't mean that the state is required to recognize every marriage a church performs as lawful. The church has it's standards for marriage. The state has it's standards from marriage. They are not the same standard. If you really think this through, you'll see that forcing church and state to accept the same standards in regards to marriage (whether you know it or not, this is exactly what you are advocating) would be a very bad thing.

    Not exactly. With my Santeria example, the government wasn't able to ban the needless slaughter of the animals in a religious ceremony because it didn't also ban sport hunting, leather production, animal research, etc. The actions taken within Santeria ceremonies are no more cruel than those other examples, so the court ruled that the activity could not be banned. The ban in Florida affected a single religious group and thus was overturned. Practitioners of Santeria are still expected to adhere to existing regulations regarding animal cruelty. Those restrictions, however, are not particularly strong, particularly when animals used for sustenance or research are concerned.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2013
  11. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Oh, there is definite discrimination here, I won't deny that, but I do not feel that larger religious groups are the driving force behind it.

    We need a brief history lesson here. DOMA was passed back in 1997. At the time of its passage, gay marriage was legal nowhere in the US. Stating that marriage had to be between a man and a woman was a redundant law, as the only marriages on the books anywhere in the US were in fact between a man and a woman.

    Both the House and Senate voted overwhelmingly for the measure - it received over 85% support in both chambers of Congress, and was later signed into law by Bill Clinton. The reason for my reluctance to characterize it as strictly a religious-based movement (acknowledging that they certainly supported it whole-heartedly), is because the nation, as a whole, was largely opposed to same sex marriage at the time.

    The shifting view on gay marriage has been nothing short of remarkable in recent years. Going back to the time that the law was passed, only about 20% of the population supported same sex marriages. During the following 10-12 years, support for gay marriage began a slow but steady rise, gaining a percentage point or two each year. However, in the last 5 years, that increase has greatly accelerated, increaing 3%-4% each year. According to recent national polls, support for gay marriage now constitutes an outright majority of the nation.

    Similarly, the members of Congress who support gay marriage has increased dramatically. That is an even more recent development, with nearly all of those in support announcing it within the last two years. A logical question: Why has this happened? I think it's more than coincidental that the rise in Congressional support happened just as a majority of Americans supported it.

    Congress is interested in getting re-elected. We do not need to invoke some massive conspiracy theory involving the mega-churches to say why DOMA passed overwhelmingly in 1997. When 80+% of your constituents want you to vote for a piece of legislation, it is certainly in your best interest to do so. I am convinced that if the DOMA legislation hit the floor of Congress in the last few years, it would never have become law. But we as a society have changed regarding gay marriage, and the ever malleable talking points in Congress have changed to accomodate them.

    And you can't tell me that in a span of 16 years, we went from over 80% of the nation being deeply religious and opposing gay marriage on religious grounds to only around 45% feeling that way today. I think the amount of deeply religous people in this nation hasn't changed all that much in recent years, and certainly it wasn't 80% of the population just 16 years ago. Hell, I'm one of the people who changed thier opinion in the last 16 years, and I'm just as irreligious now as I was back then.

    Do religious organizations have political influence? Of course. About 22% of the US are self-described Evangelical Christians (compared to 24% in 1997), and I'm sure nearly all of them oppose same sex marriage. In Congressional districts where such people comprise a significant portion of a candidate's constituents, they can certainly influence votes and legislation. But if it was religion that was the driving force behind such legislation, then we should still see it today in society's viewpoint, because their numbers have been stable. I suspect that most people who changed their mind weren't among the deeply religous, and I do not feel that religion was the driving force, despite their support for the ban.

    Yes.

    Yes, but only during actual religious ceremonies. You can't kill a chicken for shiggles.

    FIIK. Although probably not. Chickens and goats aren't on the list of endangered species, and they are far and away the most common selections. Furthermore, since rhinos are only found in equatorial climates, and their export is banned, good luck finding any.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2013
  12. Gaear

    Gaear ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful

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    I'm kind of shocked by that really, or maybe just a bit horrified. I know chickens and goats are in good supply, but it still seems a subjective thing - "go ahead and kill this animal but not that one." What if somebody wanted to sacrifice dogs? That would probably go over quite poorly with most people. And I know chickens are killed by probably the hundreds of thousands every day in order to supply us with our KFC, but at least that's for food, not a pointless execution (even if its 'important' in the eyes of religion x). I also don't really cry for the chickens of the world, it's just a bit odd that this type of thing would be government-approved.

    Anyway, I know this thread's not about that, so apologies for the sidebar.
     
  13. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    Dogs don't have as many legal protections as you may think. They are often used for LD50 tests, for example. A ritual sacrifice will typically entail substantially less suffering than an LD50. People are often surprised at the fact that it is legal to sacrifice an animal, or assume that it is already illegal. It is perfectly legal.
     
  14. 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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    Banning the killing the of Cows, Goats, Chickens and Fish would put the US in a food crisis, though it probably wouldn't change McDonald's menus much...;). Killing Rhinos would break several other laws and have zero affect on our food supply. I think that would be the drivinig factor behind which animals we can and can't kill. I mean, hey, you gotta 'eat! Right?
     
  15. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    To be candid, it would do no such thing. 90% of our agriculture goes to feeding livestock. We could switch to just eating the food we were going to feed our livestock with no ill effects. We could feed 800 million people with just the grain that we currently feed to livestock. We don't need to eat meat.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2013
  16. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Just as a bit of a postscript here - I was of the opinion that DOMA, like Prop 8, was being challenged based on the 14th Amendment of the Constitution - specifically the equal protection clause. While the majority opinion did mention the 14th as a possible source of violation, the 5th amendment was cited as the reason for DOMA being unconstitutional. The woman was suing because she received a tax penalty in excess of $350K following the death of her spouse, whereas heterosexual spouses would not have to pay. While that certainly sounds like an example where equal protection didn't apply, they actually said that she was assessed the penalty without due process of law, which falls under the 5th. (But not the 1st, and not freedom of religion.)
     
  17. pplr Gems: 18/31
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    When I asked about Kennedy before it wasn't so much about this decision (yes he wrote the majority opinion) but the pattern of SCOTUS choices Kennedy makes. He, some say, seems to be a "social liberal" while Scalia is a "social conservative". Correct me if I'm wrong but both were appointed by Reagan so the conflict is interesting (though it has been argued both favor big business so there may be some commonality there).


    I didn't expect this Supreme Court case to be fought over freedom of religion. And you brought up a good point that many non-religious people supported DOMA back in the day.

    With prop 8 (and the other state-not federal-Constitutional amendments) you have a situation that may be similar with many non-religious voters supporting the initial gay marriage ban. Yet the actions of larger religious denominations have been unmistakable in promoting the passage of a gay marriage bans at the state level.

    The supreme court wisely punted there (let the changes play out-I expect to see increasing equality into the future). I wonder if, over time, we may be increasingly headed towards the freedom of religion question as the state Constitutional amendments seem to be a slap in the face of some smaller denominations. Especially as the larger denominations seem to be likely be the ones to push through any further gay marriage bans or actively protect those already in place long after DOMA was passed.

    Gay people as individuals will of course be the center of focus into the future but at some point as debates continue at the state level I wonder if a gay (or straight but supporting gay marriage) person will point out that his or her denomination supports gay marriage-I've already seen complaints (perhaps overblown) that other denominations religious groups will be forced to recognize gay couples in other ways (which I don't have a problem with so long as they aren't forced by an outside group to make gay people clergy, which isn't happening).
     
  18. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    We aren't. Failing to recognize a church performed marriage is the right of the state. To recognize a marriage, the state requires that certain paperwork be submitted. This, on its own, does not constitute religious discrimination.

    While the argument can be made that the state is discriminating against homosexuals by denying them the benefits of legal marriage, the argument that the state is discriminating against certain religious denominations by denying those benefits cannot be made. Freedom of religion compels the state to allow the free practice of religion, but it does not compel the state to give a marriage license to anyone the Church wishes. Secular marriage and state marriage exist separately -- you can have one without the other, and this is a two way street.

    Case in point -- I grew up Catholic, but I was married outside the Church, in a non-religious ceremony conducted by a secular humanist. In the view of the Church, I have never received the Sacrament of marriage. The Church is not compelled to accept my state marriage as valid, and is well within its rights to recognize or not recognize my marriage as it sees fit. Just as the Church is not compelled to sanctify my legal marriage, the state is well within its rights to issue marriage licenses only to couples that meet its legal standards. Any religious denomination is free to marry any couple it chooses -- whether that couple has a license or not. However, a couple with no marriage license, even a heterosexual couple that meets all other legal requirements for marriage, will not be considered married by the state without that notarized piece of paper. This is not religious discrimination -- it's just bureaucracy inaction (or is it 'in action'? I forget how this one goes.).
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2013
  19. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    One of the more interesting points was in Scalia's dissent. He flat out stated that the SCOTUS has set itself up for another case (quite possibly in the next year or two) based on the rulings - specifically striking down Section 3 of DOMA but maintaining Section 2.

    Quick recap: Section 3 stated marriage as being between a man and a woman - that's gone. Section 2 stated that states don't have to recognize marriages performed in other states - that's still on the books. Scalia's point was that inevitably a legally married gay couple will move from a state that allowed them to be married to one that doesn't. (With 37 states and about 2/3 of the population still residing in states where gay marriage isn't legal, it's only a matter of time.)

    So I completely agree that moving forward, more and more states will legalize gay marriage, and/or there will be another case brought before the Court that would challenge gay marriage bans in their entirety. This ruling now sets precedence that not allowing gay couples to receive the same benefits as straight couples are violating their Constitutional rights under the due process clause.
     
  20. pplr Gems: 18/31
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    According to a priest cousin of mine you're factually wrong here.

    The Catholic Church in particular feels that it is the promises made in a marriage (not if it is done by a Catholic Priest-though that may be preferred) that decides if it is a marriage. So if you got divorced and then wanted to marry someone else (not saying you do) then the Catholic Church would ask if you got an annulment.

    Now the Catholic Church can be somewhat legalistic but that is the way it is seen by the Church-and I know not only the priest who explained this to me but someone else who was told to get an annulment despite his previous marriage not being done by a Roman Catholic priest.



    Now to the gay marriage thing-don't say I "cannot" argue something after I just did. That is bad logic or poor language use. :p

    You both made it sound like it was just paperwork thing and that there is a divide between state and religiously recognized marriage.

    For the latter point you are part wrong and part right. Many religious groups and states have their own qualifiers and paperwork for marriage-the part you are right about. The part you are wrong about is that in practice clerics handle both (perform the marriage and often keep copies of the required documents) so there is functionally a blending of the 2.

    Now compare the former claim to a poll test or tax from the Jim Crow days. Arguably the test to be passed or tax to be paid was supposedly just a bit of proper paperwork and activity to be done before someone could vote. Yet it was designed, on purpose, to discriminate against certain groups of people (often with dark skin). Thus an unfairness was imposed using the state and hollow notions about what is proper.


    Aldeth made a good point when he noted that DOMA was passed early on when there were not many people (including non-religious) seriously thinking about fairness and gay marriage.


    More recent Constitutional Amendments done at the state level cannot be written off as easily with the same excuse because there are often people vocally debating against such gay marriage bans. And when the secular excuses for gay marriage bans are upended (raising children and so on) as they tend to be the only arguments left are religious ones and ones in particular that don't seem to include the social good.

    So the practice is imposing unfairness based on religious belief and over those with different religious views. And this is via the state and a guise of what is supposedly is proper.

    This is our religious views are better than yours activity.

    To touch on legalism again, only from the state. There was a court decision that it is Constitutional to post the 10 Commandments in a courthouse as long as you do it in a plural way where other documents can be put on display and these aren't limited to Christianity.

    Gay Marriage bans favor some denominations over others in a way that is not plural and has practical impacts in ways more important than a display.
     
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