Marriage is arguably a civil right

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by Athelwulf, Jan 18, 2009.

  1. Athelwulf Rest in peace Kurt... Registered Senior Member

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    June 12th, 1967: The Supreme Court of the United States decided Loving v. Virginia, ruling that Virginia's anti-miscegenation statute was unconstitutional. Wikipedia currently explains the case thusly (and I deem it to be accurate enough for our purposes):
    What the court wrote in their decision is very fascinating:
    People like to say there's no right to marry in arguments over same-sex marriage, but that statement seems to be invalid in the light of judicial precedent. The court interpreted the Fourteenth Amendment to say that the right to marry does exist, and this was the basis for deeming bans on interracial marriage unconstitutional.

    The topic for this thread: What implications does this have for same-sex marriage, in and of itself? Do note that this fact isn't necessarily sufficient grounds to legalize same-sex marriage, so no knee-jerk reactions against my thread are allowed.

    In the name of intellectual honesty, keeping the record straight, and maximum propagation of knowledge, I point out that there is precedent deeming bans on same-sex marriage constitutional, although I certainly think the precedent ought to be overturned in light of America's general opposition to discrimination based on sex, among other things. I turn your attention to Baker v. Nelson. This was a ruling by the Minnesota Supreme Court that Minnesota law restricted marriage to opposite-sex couples and that it's allowed by the Constitution. The case was appealed to the United States Supreme Court, which rejected it "for want of a substantial federal question." This means the court deemed the case as lacking merit. Such decisions are binding on all lower courts unless and until the Supreme Court ever decides that it's not a meritless question anymore, which apparently they are free to do, unless I'm mistaken. For the time being, bans on same-sex marriage arguably are allowed by the Constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2009
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  3. Balerion Banned Banned

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    Very interesting. I've always been one to call marriage a civil right, if only because there is no law that prevents heterosexuals (or even homosexuals) from marrying someone of the opposite sex. Convicted murderers may get married in prison, you know. If those people are eligible simply because they want to marry someone of the opposite sex, then it's a civil right.

    What I don't agree with is the sentiment that marriage is "fundamental to our very existence and survival". It certainly isn't that. I don't need to be married in order to procreate, or to raise children in a loving home with two parents. It certainly has its advantages, and that's part of the reason civil rights activists have taken the fight beyond civil unions and domestic partnerships, but at this point it's merely a matter of making the statement that no one groups should be considered lesser than another simply because of their sexual preference. And I agree with that. But to say that marriage is essential to our existence...no, that's not true at all. And it never has been.
     
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  5. swarm Registered Senior Member

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    My sweety and I didn't marry and yet manage to live together and procreate.

    I've cosidered we should both get same sex marriages in protest.
     
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  7. Montec Registered Senior Member

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    Hello Athelwulf
    This ""basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival...." is an interesting observation by the court. If "man" is taken as "the human race" then we are talking about procreation as a "survival" right. If this is the courts mindset then we are talking about marriage between a man and a woman. I guess it is all in the interpretation which can become a problem over time as cultures change. What was meant back then is not what it means now.

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  8. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    "I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury."
    -Groucho Marx

    “My husband and I divorced over religious differences. He thought he was God, and I didn't.” -Unknown

    “My wife and I were happy for twenty years. Then we met.”
    -Rodney Dangerfield

    “They say love is blind...and marriage is an institution. Well, I'm not ready for an institution for the blind just yet.” -Mae West

    "A man is incomplete until he is married. After that, he is finished."
    -Zsa Zsa Gabor
     
  9. scott3x Banned Banned

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    I have a feeling that -someone- here isn't too keen on marriage; not mentioning any names now ;-)
     
  10. scott3x Banned Banned

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    Laugh

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  11. Balerion Banned Banned

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    Still wouldn't make sense, because marriage isn't required for procreation. You can hump and have babies without being married.
     
  12. Montec Registered Senior Member

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    Hello JDawg
    Hehe, Very true but watch out for those child welfare lawyers or the occasion father packing a white shotgun (or its equivalent).

    But on a serious note: Why would the courts assert that marriage is " fundamental to our very existence and survival...." if not to link marriage to the survival (in their minds) of mankind? Or are they linking family structure to mankind's survival?

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  13. Balerion Banned Banned

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    Hello, Montec!

    Considering the time of the decision, I think it was meant to stress the idea that nobody should be excluded from it based on their race. I still think it's an overstatement.

    Also, the idea that marriage is essential to life is relatively modern. Even Jesus wasn't exactly thrilled about it.
     
  14. mikenostic Stop pretending you're smart! Registered Senior Member

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    I'd like to know who thinks marriage is essential to life, then go hit them on the head with a ball-peen hammer.

    Aside from a legal document and a trivial ceremony, there is NO difference between (expensive consequence for failure) marriage and (a lot less expensive consequence for failure) cohabitation.
     
  15. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    Marriage is not a right just like driving a car. You have to earn it sucker!

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  16. wizard Registered Senior Member

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    no its not
     
  17. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    I don't think marriage is a right. Its a choice. Too much is made out of what is a ritual of commitment. A written contract could easily replace it.
     
  18. Balerion Banned Banned

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    That's the point, SAM. Nobody's arguing that a church should be forced to marry gay couples. Only that they be able to go to city hall and get a license.
     
  19. swarm Registered Senior Member

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    FYI the "church" doesn't marry any body, at least in the US. The church can officiate for the state, but all marriages are done by the state. The only exception are the few states which still recognize common law marriages where the individuals can marry themselves and the register it with the state if they choose.
     
  20. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    Anybody who is interested, I have a proposal for arguing for the EXACT SAME nature of polygamy and gay marriage in the Formal Debat forums, you are welcomed to participate...
     
  21. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    And the link is ....

    Yes, and in case anyone actually wants to follow up on that proposal, here is the link:

     
  22. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    Arguably, the word arguably is ridiculous & useless.

    It's good to see precedents but of course marriage is a right. It's clear & simple & anyone who won't see it is blinded by prejudice & the desire to force others to live by his will. It shouldn't take such complications.
    It's a shame people have to fight so much for equality & human rights. It should be the reverse.

    Cohabitation is marriage.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 23, 2009
  23. swarm Registered Senior Member

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    No, cohabitation is cohabitation.

    Marriage is entirely seperate. You can be married and not cohabitate. You can cohabitate and not be married.
     

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