As Supreme Court Debates Gay Marriage, Texas Politicians Explain How it Violates God's Law

Categories: Politics

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Rick Perry, speaking at the Texas Faith & Family Day in Austin.
The attention of the country, or at least that segment of it that's politically aware enough to pay attention, is focused squarely on the U.S. Supreme Court,which this week is debating a pair of potentially momentous cases. Hollingsworth v. Perry, which was argued today, could do away with California's Proposition 8, which bans gay marriage there.

Tomorrow is the hearing for United States v. Windsor, which challenges the federal Defense of Marriage Act and the prohibition on same-sex partners who, though legally married in their home states, aren't eligible for federal spousal benefits.

Taken together, the cases have the potential to greatly expand the rights of same-sex couples, assuming a majority of justices position themselves on the right side of history. We don't know yet whether that will happen. What we do know is a helluva lot of Texas politicians are firmly on the opposite side.

They have expressed their objections over the last couple of days with increasing frequency and volume as the Supreme Court showdown has loomed. The specifics vary, but not much.

Take Ted Cruz. He's a lawyer, and he offered a lawyer's dispassionate response when he spoke with the Morning News' Gromer Jeffers Jr. outside an event in Richardson today: "The Constitution leaves it to the states to decide upon marriage, and I hope the Supreme Court respects centuries of tradition and doesn't step into the process of setting aside state laws that make the definition of marriage."

In Austin, where Texas Values was sponsoring a Texas Faith & Family Day at the State Capitol, the rhetoric was less subdued. There was Governor Rick Perry, of course, who suggested that proponents of gay marriage "want to silence the religious in the name of tolerance. Where is the tolerance in that? Somewhere along the way we lost our way, not to mention our common sense."

The Austin American-Statesman has the soliloquy on the subject Attorney General Greg Abbott delivered at a related event last night:

Some people forget that marriage is not man-made law. Marriage is God's law that man applied and adopted here in Texas and the United States, and man cannot rewrite God's law. Well Texas has stood firm on this issue, because we don't care how they define marriage on the East Coast or the West Coast because in Texas marriage remains a union between one man and one woman. But now, as we speak, marriage of course itself is being challenged. In the United States Supreme Court this week the definition of marriage will come under assault. I wish I could predict for you how the case will turn out but I turned out to be wrong in my prediction about Obamacare. But here is what I can predict for you. Regardless of how that case turns out, Texans will respond the way they always do. We will fight to ensure that traditional values of faith and family will be preserved, protected and defended in the state of Texas.

State Senator Donna Campbell said that Texans' "core values are being attacked on a daily basis ... by government fiat in our courts and in our schools," according to the Statesman. "They want to redefine marriage between a natural man and natural woman the same way the want to redefine the Constitution. It's just not going to stand with me." Nor with any of the 250 or so activists who were gathered today on the steps of the state Capitol.

And surely no such gathering would be complete without dire warnings about plural marriage. State Representative Scott Sanford of Collin County voiced that concern to KHOU. "It will be polygamy, it'll be to define family however you want."

So if the Supreme Court OKs gay marriage, it's only a matter of time before Americans enter legally sanctioned unions with goats. Bears. Lizards. Toothbrushes. It's a slippery, slippery slope.

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122 comments
lcjacobs50
lcjacobs50

Mr. Perry~

It seems you like to make the rules as you go along...I can't help but notice the young scouts in uniform holding a banner at what might be deemed a political rally...a BIG SCOUTING NO NO. Please refer below to the rules concerning scouts in uniform..perhaps you should refresh your memory about the scouting rules and regulations.

Policy on Scout Participation in Political Events
To: Scout Executives

From: Stephen Medlicott
Marketing & Communications Division Director

Subject: Policy on Scout Participation in Political Events

With many local & state elections coming up in 2010, it is a good time to restate the BSA’s long-standing policy regarding the participation of Scouts in political rallies and other political events.

Uniformed unit members and leaders may participate in flag ceremonies at political events and may lead the Pledge of Allegiance; however, they should retire after the ceremony and not remain on the speakers’ platform or in a conspicuous location where television viewers could construe their presence as an endorsement or symbol of support. In addition, photos of candidates or Scouts in uniform or BSA marks and logos are not allowed in political campaign materials of any kind.

Volunteers and professionals must be alert to situations that would imply that the BSA favors one candidate over another. Strict observance of our long-standing policy against the active participation of uniformed Scouts and leaders in political events is mandatory.

commenter8
commenter8 topcommenter

There is a lot of misinformation in the comments below. Some people are claiming that if marriage is defined as a legal relationship between two consenting adults, that definition implies that polyamory cannot be legally recognized. That conclusion certainly does NOT follow - in fact, the legal theory of "dyadic networks" specifically uses exactly that definition as its fundamental method of instituting the legal recognition of polyamorous families! Details here: http://marriage-equality.blogspot.com/2010/12/legal-nitty-gritty-of-polygamy.html

halldecker
halldecker

Wonder if Guv Rick still gets love notes from his Secretary of State?

Definitely,  the most interesting Super Bowl his wife Anita ever saw!



John1073
John1073

I had a conversation with a high school buddy who kind of went off the rails about being against "gay marriage". But his answer to it was "go get a civil union or something". I pointed out to him that civil unions were not equal under the law, and he decided that was wrong. So it seems to me the issue with many religious folks is they do not so much as hate the concept of two same sex individuals entering into a union, but they care that it is called marriage and the gubment might force their church to marry them. So it really just boils down to semantics and religious freedom to do what you want in your church. If we could get these other wingnuts like Perry and Abbott on board with reason such as that, it would all go a lot smoother. I don't care what you call my marriage (which NY says I am married to a man FYI). If it is legal under the law and I still get the same benefit and enjoy a union with the man I joined with, then call it whatever the hell you want to. But the seperate and unequal status bullshit ain't going to fly.

biiware
biiware

Jesus said specifically: What God has joined together, let no man put asunder.

That's pretty clear compared to what he said about homosexuality... which is NOTHING.

So, which one of them has the guts to make divorce illegal? Wonder what BS they have to negate that??

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

It is amazing to me that such a non-issue consumes this much national passion and this many resources attacking and defending.  Conservatives are moronic to waste time fighting this issue.

1) Gays did not 'jeapordize the sanctity of marriage'.  Straights did that with their quickie divorces, pre-nups, infidelity, and irreconcilable differences.  Any law on marriage that recognizes irreconcilable differences as grounds for divorce is not holding to the sanctity of marriage.  Argument lost.

2) The LGBT community is not destroying the family, I'd say abusive parents and spouses, child neglect, a hyper-scheduled adult population that relies on TV and video games to raise their kids, lack of focus on education, poverty and wealthy entitlement are doing that.

3) This isn't a federal issue, or even a States' issue, this is an Individual Issue.  The document reads: "All men are created equal...".  Even from a Christian standpoint, God doesn't dictate how we are to use our equality, or to live our lives.  I am, myself, opposed to gay marriage and homosexuality.  Such is my right. I exercised this right by marrying a woman, not by telling others who they have to marry.  It is the right of others to live how they choose to live, with whom they choose to live, under the ethics and morals they choose to follow.  It is not my place to dictate to others how they should live their lives.

It is idiocy such as this that drives true conservatives away from Republican politics.

lcjacobs50
lcjacobs50

Mr. Perry~

It seems you like to make the rules as you go along especially in scouting...I can't help but notice the young scouts in uniform holding a banner at what might be deemed a political rally...a BIG SCOUTING NO NO. Please refer below to the rules concerning scouts in uniform..perhaps you should refresh your memory about the scouting rules and regulations.

From: Stephen Medlicott
Marketing & Communications Division Director

Subject: Policy on Scout Participation in Political Events

With many local & state elections coming up in 2010, it is a good time to restate the BSA’s long-standing policy regarding the participation of Scouts in political rallies and other political events.

Uniformed unit members and leaders may participate in flag ceremonies at political events and may lead the Pledge of Allegiance; however, they should retire after the ceremony and not remain on the speakers’ platform or in a conspicuous location where television viewers could construe their presence as an endorsement or symbol of support. In addition, photos of candidates or Scouts in uniform or BSA marks and logos are not allowed in political campaign materials of any kind.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

I guess it's hard for them to accept that marriage as a concept and practice existed well before the creation of Christianity, but these are the same people who believe the Earth is merely thousands of years old and things like fossils, carbon-dating, stellar radiation, and ancient creations like the Pyramids of Giza are nothing but a grand conspiracy against their "truth."

You didn't invent marriage, assholes.


downtownworker
downtownworker

Is this a speech against same-sex marriage or against heterosexual divorce? I'm confused.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

I say let them be just as miserable as the rest of us.


Besides, I am waiting to see how tort law develops on divorces between gay couples.  The mind boggles as to how the issues will be settled.

Rumpunch1
Rumpunch1

The seperation of church and state is a two way street.  We need to keep government out of religion just as much as religion out of government.

That being said, we need to find a way to correct the inequalities without throwing the whole system away.  Many other countries have a civil and a religious process.  You form a legal partnership under the eyes of the government and then form a spiritual partnership under the eyes of God.

As a married Christian, although I do not agree with the lifestyle, I do not think it devalues my marriage by giving gay the same rights and protections.  The arguments being made against it (such as the effect on children) are valid arguments for a religious forum, but are not relevant in the laws.  Therefore, each denomination can determine their definition of marriage without santions from the government.

As far as the slippery slope arguements (i.e. polygamy, beastiality or marriage with objects), I would think that the law would be written to limit this "partnership" as a contract between not more than two living, natural persons (i.e no corporations).  However, I now wish that I had entered my first marriage as a LLC. 

manpanties
manpanties

@RTGolden1 you married a woman to show that you oppose gay marriage and homosexuality?  does she know that?

scottzwartz
scottzwartz topcommenter

@Scruffygeist   Also, some Xtians believe in Gay marriage.  Why are they prevented from marrying two men when their religion sanctions such marriages?  Lots of people have no religions.  Why should the religious beliefs of some right wingers control the lives of people who do not share their beliefs. Their anti-Gay prejudices are identical to the racists who imposed their brand of Ztianity on everyone and forbid inter-racial marriages.


scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

@ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul seems a pretty easy transition.  What concerns me are all the mundane benefits of marriage that gay couples are excluded from.  Of course, they're not excluded, they can make arrangements to settle many of these matters, but it must be a mess as in when people die intestate 

JackJett
JackJett

When you say you don't agree with the "lifestyle".......what exactly do you mean?  What part of my lifestyle do you not agree with?  Is it that I have had a 20 year monogamous relationship and our current main concern is finding the right size microwave to fit in our kitchen?  That we are bummed over the recent high vet bill but happy our dog is okay?  Our concern that crime has increased in our neighborhood?  That we are having to make a decision on celebrating Easter with our Jewish or Protestant friends?

My point is you DON'T KNOW my lifestyle.  Yet I know this about yours.  You claim you are a Christian yet you sit in judgement of others that you don't even know.  ....BUT please share with me since you seem to know more about a gay lifestyle than I do...what you disagree with and how you came to that conclusion WITHOUT being part of the "lifestyle".

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

@Rumpunch1  

If a basis of same sex marriage is that of two consenting adults, then how do you rule out polygamy and polyandry?  After all, could not these situations be the result of consenting adults or an expression of religious belief?

Chuck_Schick
Chuck_Schick

@Rumpunch1 This married Christian agrees - it's time to separate marriage into legal and spiritual partnerships. Hopefully these cases are the first steps toward that.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

@JackJett JJ, what about my proposal to you in FB?  You can legally unite, but can't call it marriage, and there's affirmative action in favor of heteros in adoption?  Would you call that a victory and be please?  I think it might be a good compromise.  Would it offend you, and remember you speak now for every homosexual on the planet.

Rumpunch1
Rumpunch1

@JackJett It is irrelevant of whether I know or don't know your lifestyle.  This country would be a lot better place if we did not base our laws of what we like, agree with or understand. 

I guess you missed by point, despite my feelings on the gay lifestyle (and to be clear I am talking about sexual relations not your microwave, pets or Sunday plans), I still don't think you should be denied the same rights that are afforded me.  I think that you just read that I was a Christian and that I didn't agree, and you launched into your little fit.

You can legislate rights and protections, not acceptance or approval.  So do you want my support in gaining rights and protection or not?

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul @Rumpunch1 

I think you answered your own question: "If a basis of same sex marriage is that of two consenting adults. . ." The quantity of two implicitly rules polygamy out.

Actually, that should be the basis of any marriage, no? Two consenting adults? 

That pretty much cuts out the poly problem altogether and still leaves it open for same sex unions.

downtownworker
downtownworker

@ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul @Rumpunch1 So allowing two consenting gay adults to get married somehow opens the door to polygamists? The variables of gender and quantity of parties involved have nothing to do with each other. Help me understand your argument because it makes no sense to me.

commenter8
commenter8 topcommenter

@Chuck_Schick Already done! US law has ALWAYS drawn a distinction between civil (in your words, "legal") marriage and religious (in your words, "spiritual") marriage. When people get married at the courthouse, that's a civil marriage. When people obtain a marriage license and a religious official then performs the marriage, that's both a civil marriage and a religious marriage. It's a civil marriage because the religious official is acting as an agent of the state by executing the marriage license, just as a ship's captain could do. And it's a religious marriage because the religious official is also acting as a representative of his or her religion. The religious official's actions are simultaneously civil and religious. If the religion later wishes to grant or refuse to grant a religious divorce, that is completely independent of and has no effect on the civil marriage. If a court later decides to grant a civil divorce, that is completely independent of and has no effect on the religious marriage.

MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

@Chuck_Schick @Rumpunch1 The answer is obvious. I go with the Michael Kinsley approach. Remove ALL benefits to be being married and then let people proclaim their union in whatever forum they desire including church. Everything else gets decided by legal partnerships with no automatic presumptions. If presumption of children goes away, then why does the tax and legal system care about the status of 2 human beings of any sex or 3 or 4? Why should two adults get to share property freely with no impact yet a single person's exchanges are closely limited? Why should someone claim to be a spouse and get a free SS benefit? We have three or four classes of freeloaders to be trying to emulate another group of freeloaders. If you remove the traditional view, then get rid of all the other stuff too. Problem goes away.

JackJett
JackJett

You know that might have been acceptable 10 years ago.  But I want to marry the man I have lived with and been faithful to for 20 years.  I want all the rights that you have and which ever one of us kicks the bucket first, I want the same tax breaks and benefits as you get.  It is full equality time.  The interesting thing is that it will happen but Texas will be the last to get on the right side of History. 

I have posed this question on a few Texas blogs and have yet to get an answer. 

How will gay marriage change any straight marriage now or in the future?  If past history is any indication, we might bring the value up.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

@JackJett it's on Facebook, but it's basically what I wrote above.  civil union no "marriage" and affirmative action for hetero adoption.  Would you take it, or is it too little?  I think it's a good compromise, but that's easy for me to say.

JackJett
JackJett

didn't see it...will track it down.....trying to figure out the posting guidelines here .......was it on this site?

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

@observist @Rumpunch1 @JackJett Can't I object to overly fit and groomed men and women who seem to be VERY natural and on some crusade to rescue every damn stray in the city?

Not that I DO, I just wanted to make crude comments in a harmless way

crimjunkie
crimjunkie

@Rumpunch1 I hear you, Rumpunch1, but the semantics actually aren't immaterial in this instance.  You happened to get "beat up" this time because you happened to be the one to use the phrase "the lifestyle" to refer to sexual relations.  In so doing, you (inadvertently, I think) reduced gay men and women to their sexual lives only, and Jack (understandably) wished to make the point that his "lifestyle" (like mine and probably yours and most people's) comprises a helluva lot more than sex, and in its fundamentals looks not that different at all from the "lifestyles" of his straight friends.

It's the reductionism to which Jack objected.  Sometimes, semantics matter.

All that said, I appreciate your willingness to live and let live.  That's all any of us should reasonably expect.

JackJett
JackJett

I certainly didn't mean to beat you up and was attempting to show you that if it got right down to it, my lifestyle (san sex) is probably a lot like yours.  And that we probably have more in common than not.  For me, the marriage issue may not happen in time for my partner and I and while that may hurt us financially, it certainly doesn't take away from the incredible love we have for each other and thankful to have the American rights that we do have.

If anything, perhaps just take away that you never had to go through this struggle and you are free to love and marry without any battle at all.

Rumpunch1
Rumpunch1

@JackJett Point taken.  However, I'll be more careful when voicing my support next time so I am not beat up over immaterial semantics.

JackJett
JackJett

I missed your point because I do not view SEX and LIFESTYLE as the same thing.  While having dinner with friends, I am not thinking about the sex they have. 

For 30 plus years I have heard the overused comments about sin/sinner from Christians.  I don't think there is space on the internet to list the amount of hypocrisy associated with Christianista's. 

So, I will never change the way you view my "lifestyle" because you only see one small segment of it  and refuse to look further.  Yes, I am aware that I am a stunningly attractive sexy man (it is a curse) but my life is more than sex.  To quote my dear friends Simon & Garfunkel......a man hears what hear and disregards the rest.   I guess the answer would be no, I don't want or need your acceptance.  The answer should be in your question.  Why should I NEED your acceptance "in gaining rights"?  Shouldn't being an American be enough? 

I am sure you understand that I only speak for myself.  I have yet to be elected official spokesmodel for the gay community in spite of my incredible sexual studliness.  Plus I have three rescue  canine's that are demanding of my time and attention.  They could give a shit less about any sex happening in this house because I hold the key to the Milkbones.  I offer you one Mr Rumpunch1 in hopes that you have a happy life.

observist
observist topcommenter

@Rumpunch1@JackJettYou wrote "I don't agree with the gay lifestyle" but the sentiment you just described is more like "I'm not interested in gay sex."  A "lifestyle" is not comprised entirely of sex, so why say you don't approve of the lifestyle when you really just don't approve of the sex?  It's like someone saying they don't "approve of your lifestyle" because they're not sexually attracted to your wife. 


commenter8
commenter8 topcommenter

@ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul Your definition of polygamy is incorrect. Polygamy simply means being married to more than one person at the same time. Polygyny is what happens when one man is married to multiple women at the same time.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

@TheCredibleHulk If three male homosexuals or three female homosexuals were to be "married" then they would not be in violation of the laws concerning polygamy and polyandry.


Hence if we have a law allowing homosexual marriage, then we will also need a law prohibiting multiple partners in a homosexual marriage.


If a homosexual male is "married" to another homosexual male and the first homosexual male has heterosexual intercourse with a female heterosexual, has the first homosexual male then committed adultery?


I would say no, as adultery is defined as a heterosexual activity with a partner of the opposite gender that is not the first person's spouse.  Therefore, there either needs to be a tort establishing the concept of homosexual adultery or a law defining it.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul @TheCredibleHulk @Rumpunch1 

Like I replied to Daniel, I think the state may have an interest in regulating certain aspects of these unions as they relate to child custody or asset distribution.

As far as it goes, I'm not sure that parsing the definitions here is even helpful as you specified "two consenting adults" which necessarily excludes polyamory. If you meant to say, "two or more consenting adults", well. . .

These issues necessarily get a lot stickier and harder to parse as the number of participants increase. 

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

@TheCredibleHulk @ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul @Rumpunch1  

Once marriage is defined as relying upon the consent of adults regardless of gender, then to what purpose does the restriction on number of adults in the marriage apply or be relevant? How does the current prohibition against polygamy and polyandry (as current defined) apply to homosexual unions?  After all a homosexual marriage with either three male partners or three female partners does not fit the legal definition of polygamy or polyandry.


I would just like to make sure that people do understand the difference between polygamy and polyandry.


Polygamy:  A single partner of the male gender with multiple female partners.


Polyandry:  A single partner of the female gender with multiple male partners.


And then should we go one step further and consider polyamory?

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@Daniel @TheCredibleHulk @ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul @Rumpunch1 

Although I have no desire to marry more than the one person I am currently married to and cannot begin to imagine why some men might actually want more than one wife, I have no specific objection to poly relationships.

The state however may have some interest in regulating these types of relationships for the purposes of the legal aspects of child custody or distribution of marital assets in the case of divorce (s). 

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

@Daniel not to mention that slippery slope arguments are logical fallacies.

observist
observist topcommenter

@Daniel  I'm pretty sure Boffing Spot is a tube station in London.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

PS:  Are you confusing "rights" with activities permitted by law?  After all I do not think that the survivor's benefit under SSI is a right as it is more of a legally defined benefit.


Also, please do not confuse the legal framework of marriage in community property states versus non community property states.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

@downtownworker @ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul @Rumpunch1 Assuming that SCOTUS strikes down the CA Prop and allows homosexual marriages as constitutionally protected, then which of these rights that you refer to would be applicable to homosexual unions?  Which ones would apply, but not make any sense because it is a homosexual rather than a heterosexual marriage?

Daniel
Daniel

Late '80s proto-nerd-rock album title: "The Deplorable Practice of Boffing Spot"

Daniel
Daniel

@ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul @downtownworker @Rumpunch1 

Whether or not gay marriage would open the door to legalizing polygamy is actually an interesting question. All the other "slippery slope" scenarios trotted out by conservatives are simply silly. (For instance, there's a public health aspect to people achieving congress with dogs; a dog cannot consent to enter into a legal marriage contract; and whoever is drawn to the deplorable practice of boffing Spot is almost certainly undeterred by its illegality.)

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

@downtownworker @ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul @Rumpunch1 I am posing the question, not advocating it.


Besides what I usually hear as the basis for homosexual marriage is that the two partners are committed, emotionally and financially, to each other.


On even more fundamental level, what is marriage anyway?  Historically, it has been for economic and political alliances; and, daughters treated as assets to be sold off.  It is only since the early Victorian era that the concept of romantic marriage was first started.  As recent as the Georgian period (See any Jane Austen novel), marriage was more an economic matter than a romantic matter.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

@MikeWestEast doesn't really make much sense, spousal benefits for soldiers, insurance reasons and many other mundane issues make this easier decreed than achieved

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