Wednesday, June 07, 2006


Three things today.

1) The Pirates. I could take last night's loss (Rockies 5, Pirates 4) and still feel pretty happy with what the team's been doing in the past few days. The Rockies have been doing better so far this year than they were last year (they're 29-30 this year over 59 games, while last year they were 20-39), and I can handle the loss given the level of play before, say, the San Diego series. Today's loss just made me very angry at Oliver Perez. When you give up nine runs in two innings of work in what turns out to be a 16-9 game, that's something that's going to happen though. I understand the guy gets really upset really easily and completely loses it, but allowing this to happen over and over again doesn't seem like the right thing to do.

2) The Pennsylvania House voted to implement a ban on gay and polygamous marriages in the Pennsylvania constitution. In order to be amended to the Pennsylvania constitution, it will have to achieve a majority (of 50) in the Pennsylvania senate, and then do it again in the next session of the General Assembly, and then hope that a majority of the electorate. A few issues.
  • I find it nonsensical that the proposed ban includes both same-sex marriage and polygamist marriage, as they're two separate cases. No, they're not as simple as "Oh, well they're both some sort of weird fetish, so they're the same," as William Saletan attempted to demonstrate. Including polygamy, however, does increase the likely hood that it'll pass, which is the only reason I can think it was included there.

  • I find it unbelievable that this is something we're seriously talking about changing the constitution over. The federal marriage amendment failed earlier in the day, which I think is a plus, as at the very least this should be a states rights issue, but I think I'll have to defer to Lewis Black on this:

    "On our list of national concerns, gay marriage should be on page six, right after 'Are we eating too much garlic as a people?'".

    I, personally, think that marriage by the state between same sex couples should be allowed. No church should ever be forced to conform to a marriage definition they don't agree with, as that's absolutely ludicrous, but if Bill and Ted are 40 year old guys who are in a committed relationship, I find it hard to say "No Bill, you can't have visitation rights when Ted has a heart attack." Whichever church you believe to be the Truth doesn't want gays to get married? That's cool. Your church of choice doesn't have to let gays get married (and shouldn't have to, and won't have to as long as this whole "avoiding political influence in religious customs" thing stays on track). I just can't for the life of me figure out why that means that Bill and Ted, who are not members of your church, but of a church that allows for gay marriage, or not members of a religious denomination at all, should be denied the legal rights afforded to them if Ted was named Tina.

So, while I agree that it's a state's rights issue, I'm sad that Pennsylvania legislators appear to want to go ahead and pass that. It's absurd that we're considering amending even the state Constitution to make sure that dudes that like each other can't enter a committed relationship with the same legal rights as they could if Ted were named Tina. I find it absolutely laughable that the legislators that have been hammering on this for the past few months are trying to pretend this isn't partisan posturing to attempt to reclaim a base of voters or simply to remind voters which team they're for (as I have trouble distinguishing anymore between how people relate to political parties and how people relate to sports teams), or to try to appeal to new voters based on a one issue stand, or, in PA's case, to get people to try to forget about the whole pay raise/unvouchered expenses thing. The President was correct when he said that the constitutional amendment probably wouldn't pass given the fact that the Defense of Marriage Act still exists, and allows states to not recognize out of state marriages despite the "full faith and credit" clause. If I were a backer of said plan to ban gay marriage, I'd feel used at this point, I think, given the zeal with which it was pursued until 2004, at which point it was dropped, only to be picked up again (without the context of the mayor of San Francisco giving marriage licenses out on his own and in the face of the banning of gay marriage in the past two years by everyone) right before 2006's elections.

3) Living in Chicago means I'm around a lot of Chicago sports fans. Cubs fans mostly, as I live on the north side and most NU students who didn't have a team before tend to default to the Cubs. And while most of my feeling bad about things time is spent on myself and the misery of being a Pirates fan, you'd think that this is probably pretty disheartening to most of them. Poor Kerry Wood.


Jenna said...

Interesting viewpoint, but I think the name of your post should have been Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey into THE DEPTHS OF SIN!!

my word verification is yomamasaho, what the hell

Rory said...

Hence why Jenna's titties are better then yours.


Hal said...

Bill and Ted's Excellent Sodomy.

Seriously, though, if gay marriage arrives, polygamy will not be far behind. And while I would normally argue for states' rights in such an issue, I think a national solution may be required, simply because the people pushing for gay marriage aren't working through legislatures and constitutional amendments in the states, they are working through the courts. And the people and the legislatures can do all they want, but the only thing that can reverse a supreme court ruling is another supreme court ruling or a constitutional amendment. So, there you go.

If you want an interesting perspective on why gay marriage is bad, LaShawn Barber has some interesting arguments. She blends the religious with the secular, but she makes an interesting point about undermining the foundation of families and marriage relationships.

Any idea who anon is on my blog, incidentally? Apparently I'm some sort of extremist according to someone at UIC.

-Murphy said...

It's not a hard issue to demonstrate why polygamy and gay marriage are different (even if one leaves out the entire possibility that attraction to one's own sex is biological while wanting more than one wife is not), and so no, I don't think that the slippery slope statement works. I simply cannot comprehend the mentality that one should amend the Constitution, the taproot of American government, to say that person X and person Y should not get married. While ideally, I would like to see gay marriage approved through legislature, altering the foundation of the government because you don't want person X and person Y to commit to each other sounds wrong to me. It strikes me as odd that when gay marriage proponents point to the Fourteenth's guarantee of equal protection under the law for all (remembering that secular marriage, which is the only kind states can confer and is therefore the only kind that is relevant to the argument, is little more than a set of benefits), the response is to try to put in another amendment because the one we have now might let gays marry.

Moreover, I can't think of any reason why religious reasons should go into the legislation of who can marry whom, and the idea of essentially codifying a state definition of a religious term into the law of the land appalling. Which is why I made the distinction that no amount of legislature should ever force, say, the Catholic church from marrying individuals. The state cannot make this differentiation, because the state is not the church. Similarly, the state can 'marry' whomever it wishes depending on how the state defines marriage. Which is why, say, atheists can be married outside of a church by a Justice of the Peace. There's no religion involved there, simply shared terminology. To that end, I cannot reconcile the idea of selecting who can apply for a certain set of benefits based on the gender of a person they associate with. Which is what state marriage is.

In addition to the fact that a federal marriage amendment would prohibit states from deciding upon whom they may confer benefits (in a distinction from equal opportunity legislation, which requires the conferrence of opportunities to the entire populace regardless of criteria), which I believe is an affront to state's rights, and is distinctly strong-government, something which many supporters of the amendment are at least nominally against. If nothing else, let the states decide whether or not they want gay marriage. I think they should have it, but if a state doesn't want to marry homosexuals, it should be their decision.

I can't find much on LaShawn's page about her actual beliefs, and what I have found is essentially an argument against gay religious marriage, which I'm fine with banning. Not that the state should have a damn thing to do with it (unless for some reason the state regulating religion is something that's desireable, but that kind of goes against the First). Many of the arguments in the comments appear to be focusing on calling homosexuality a perversion (which is debatable) or claiming that allowing gay marriage would eliminate Christianity from government (I'm not in favor of a state religion, state marriage and religious marriage are separate things anyway (as atheists can marry), and as a whopping majority of the legislators/judges/people in government in general actively identify with that religion, I'm having a hard time buying the idea that it's being wiped out of the government.) I really don't want to straw-man the argument there, so until I can find it, I won't try to attack why it might subvert society.

But most of all, this is recognized by pretty much everyone as a calculated move to mobilize a base of voters for the Republican party (it showed up in 2004, prompted by actual decisions that might be construed to allow gay marriage, then no one did anything about it, and suddenly it's back). That's what I'm not down with. I think that if gay marriage is a threat to society, there are much more pressing things that are being put aside to deal with the thing that no one expected to pass, and I can't get behind that kind of politicking. Appeal to voters with actual issues, and I'm fine with that. But to trot out the phantom of gay marriage (when almost every state has a law against it, and several state constitutions have been amended to ban it) instead of telling me how they're going to use my tax dollars (now that I'm paying a significant amount) is disingenuous.

For a more sustained debate on this that won't be in the depths of my archives within a week, I really do suggest that you sign up dammit. :D Every like... month or so there's a flurry of activity on the subject. When registering though, let me know, or use a sn that I might figure out. It helps when newbies are being vouched for by someone that can delete other people's posts.

Again, :D.

And no, I'm sorry but I'm afraid I don't know who that is, though I'll check the comments now.