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Maine Marriage Equality Supporters Include. Anti-Gay Forces Exclude.

Yesterday in the city of Augusta Maine, the Reverend Bob Emich, Roman Catholic Bishop Richard Malone and head of the fundamentalist Family Research Council Tony Perkins gathered for a meeting in favor of ending same-sex marriage in Maine. You’ll notice that those leaders are all Christian religious figures. Indeed, the “Stand for Marriage Maine” organization has been largely funded by Christian organizations from outside of Maine. This is the first dimension of exclusion practiced by Stand for Marriage Maine: religious exclusivity.

The second dimension of exclusivity practiced by the anti-gay “Stand for Marriage Maine” is racial exclusion. In its audition call for actors willing to pretend to be a waitress or a teacher who opposes gay marriage, Stand for Marriage Maine specified that it wanted Whites Only for the part. Colored people need not apply.

The third dimension of exclusivity became apparent yesterday when Stand for Marriage Maine closed its meeting to Mainers of every variety except for those individuals organizers identified as safely opposed to gay marriage. No undecided voters allowed. No media allowed either. What words didn’t Stand for Marriage Maine want everyday Mainers or reporters to hear?

The fourth dimension of exclusion advocated by “Stand for Marriage Maine” is the very reason for its being: to deny the equal protection under law guaranteed by the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution, to kill Maine’s new marriage equality law, to erect a sign that declares, “Straights Only, please.”

Tonight in Auburn Maine, the organization called NO on 1 / Protect Maine Equality is inviting everyone to attend a community conversation. Gay people, lesbian people, transgendered people and straight people are welcome. People of all religions and no religion are welcome. White people, brown people, red people and yellow people are welcome. People who disagree with the NO on 1 campaign are welcome. And yes, media people are welcome to attend as well. I asked a representative of NO on 1 / Protect Maine Equality last night whether it would be acceptable for me to record and write about the proceedings at that community conversation tonight. His response to me:

This is an open meeting and it is open to all. You are a part of the Maine community having this conversation. So as a person and a writer of course you’re welcome to attend and to write about what you see and hear.

Which group’s approach matches your vision of American democracy?

97 comments to Maine Marriage Equality Supporters Include. Anti-Gay Forces Exclude.

  • qs

    I’m amazed ppl bother to organize against it. I can see how ppl would be opposed to it loosely, but organizing against it is weird,

  • Tom

    Yeah, qs – especially if one claims to be a Christian (you know, trying to emulate someone who commanded his followers to LOVE THINE ENEMIES).

  • le pelerin

    All you who think same sex people can “marry”, why do you discriminate against polygamists? What’s so ideal about only 2 people who would be allowed to marry? You’re on a slippery slope which is why I’m saying we’re destroying natural marriage if same sex people can “marry”. Next it will be polygamists which is why the Church fights so hard to keep marriage what it is supposed to be: 1 man 1 woman united for life for the sake of children and communities.

    • Jim

      I don’t. You do, and you do so non-Biblically. There are multiple references in the Old Testament to the LORD sanctioning polygamy, and many more references to polygamous marriages.

      So now, returning to the subject at hand: what makes you feel you have a grip on what’s “natural marriage” and what isn’t? Your source can’t consistently be the Bible (see above), and it’s can’t actually be nature, because in nature there’s all kinds of homosexuality in all kinds of species.

      So what the beech nut are you talking about?

    • Jim

      And now someone will say “but what about marrying children, huh? And what about DOGS? Are you going to marry your GOLDFISH?”

      This line of argument is silly, because goldfish and dogs and children can’t meaningfully consent and enter into marriage, because they’re not competent to do so. And that’s the difference.

      What le pelerin and the people whose argument he’s borrowed for his convenience are doing is a logical sleight of hand:

      1. Note the current legal (not Church, le pelerin) definition of marriage.
      2. Note that someone wants to expand the current legal definition of marriage.
      3. Say, “Holy Moly! If you can expand the definition in THIS way, then why can’t you expand the definition in THIS OTHER WAY? Why can’t you marry crusts of bread??????

      This is EXACTLY the argument that was used to argue against interracial marriage — and yes, the same groups of conservative Christian fundamentalists were the ones to do so.

      You can apply this from a prior restrictive point, too, just to show how silly the argumment is. You could say:

      1. Hey, there’s this couple I know named Sheila and Dave. They’re married.
      2. What??? There’s another couple named Sheila and Carl who want to get married???
      3. Holy MOLY! If you let Sheilas get married to Carls, what’s next, huh? Why not Sheilas getting married to MUSK OXEN?

      Silly.

      • I dont think the children argument and polygamy argument are that far off. The goldfish one is a slight of hand. You see, all around the world children are getting married. many times girls as young as 10 are marrying 60 year old men. So dont tell me that cant and wont happen. You have already stated that morals and values are decided by society and not based on faith, therefore as long as society thinks its ok it can and will happen. Its a jump from where we are in the US, at this point, but dont brush it off as impossible. Polyigamy on the other hand HAS to go along with gay marriage. IT HAS TO. These are consenting adults who want to do this. I believe that baised on your interpretaion of the 14th amendment we would be violating there rights by not allowing them to marry.

        • Jim

          Well, most of the places that young children have been getting married have been where religious fundamentalism dominates. What does that tell you? I won’t tell you it doesn’t happen. Of course things happen that people and collections of people don’t like. People do things whether they’re legal or not. I don’t understand what your point there is at all.

          I don’t like children getting married because children are not capable of making those kinds of decisions independently. Their brains aren’t fully myelinated.

          Yes, I agree that if the standard for marriage is by consent (which excludes partners who aren’t able to consent, like children and dogs and goldfish and toothbrushes), then consensual polygamous marriage (Steve is married to Sheila and Steve is also married to Belinda and Belinda is also married to Frank) should be possible. I’ve written about that sort of thing before, as a matter of fact.

          • “I don’t understand what your point there is at all”

            Sorry, I will try again. If there is not hard and fast standard what stops things from happening? You argue that children can not make a decision but in other portions of the world and in this country not that long ago people had other ideas. If there is no standard marriage is at the whime of current public opinion. You think dogs shouldnt be allowed to maryy people, I agree. Its a stupid idea and a stupid argument. But, someday if public opinion says its ok what would you think? If 90% od America thought marrying a dog was a good idea would you stand up for it?

            • Jim

              Why isn’t the union of consenting adults a “hard and fast standard?”

              If 90% of America thought marrying a dog was a good idea, then it would be enshrined in the Constitution, churches would be praising it as the natural state coming from God on High, and there would be quickie marriage kennels in Vegas.

              I’ve often been in minorities of 10% or smaller in my opinion and that’s never stopped me from voicing my opinion. Since my moral standard for marriage involves consent and dogs cannot give consent, I personally would think it was (depending on what it meant to consummate the marriage) abusive of dogs, and I would probably speak out against it for that reason. But considering that 9 out of 10 people (in your example) would be all gung-ho for nuptials with Nummy-Bear, I wouldn’t win. That’s part of life, Jacob: you stand up for what you believe in, but you’ve got to accept that there are other people in the world, too, and they have wants and desires, too, and sometimes you just won’t get your way. Don’t stop standing up for what you believe in, but recognize that you aren’t the all-powerful central character in a movie.

              • I dont believe I am the all powerful. But, I am standing for a standard. Without a hard fast standard things dont work (of course there are always gray areas, take the runner for example that was just identified as a hermapodite, I dont think I can say it would be wrong for her/him to date either sex). In your stated opinion you use “consenting adults” as the standard. What is a consenting adult? That changes significantly with time and region. In som eplace 10 is considered a consenting adult. In the past in America 12 was considered “consenting adult”. I believe that there has to be a standard. Your standard for the most part is based off of popular opinion and therefor subject to change at a whim…

              • Jim

                No, my standard is not based off of popular opinion. It is based upon scientific research showing that children through their youthful teens lack full myelination of their frontal lobes.

                Your standard is based on the selective quotation of a two-thousand-year-old book, and the selective ignoring of other parts of the same two-thousand-year-old book.

              • So, what is the scientific proof that gay marriage should be allowed?

              • Jim

                I didn’t say I had a scientific proof that gay marriage should be allowed. As you know, that’s silly, Jacob. Science doesn’t prove value judgments are right or wrong.

                No, I said my standard for marriage — excluding children as not competent to provide such consent — was based in scientific research. Scientific research has established the fact of incomplete myelination of the frontal lobes of juveniles. That provides a verifiable empirical scientific basis for declaring children to be unable to competently engage in tasks requiring complicated understanding and skillful cognition — including voting, driving a car, signing up to be a soldier and go fight in a war, having sex with 50 year olds, cleaning their rooms, and getting married.

                You were looking for a “hard and fast standard” for marriage, so I supplied one: the union of consenting adults. You characterized my hard and fast standard for adults getting married but not children as based on popular opinion and a whim, so to show you it wasn’t I supplied a scientific basis for it. The scientific basis is the empirical demonstration that children have incomplete frontal lobe brain development and therefore lack the capacity for fully adult judgment and consent. That fact is “hard and fast”: it is “hard” because it is a path of development followed by all children, and it is “fast” because it is not going to change, not until genetic engineers or chemists figure out a way to myelinate 9 year old brains.

                My standard is hard and fast and scientific.

                Your standard is soft (culturally relative, having religious relevance only to the minority of people in America who agree with your religious point of view), changeable (as history shows, religious ideas change drastically over time even within single religious traditions), and irrational (not based in a logical system, but rather in the unverifiable and authoritarian “because [I think] [my] God says so.”)

                Does that clarify matters?

              • So, marriage isnt an age issue. If a 15 year old can prove that they have this part of their brain developed they can get married. Ok, that makes sense. Take it the other way. Are you against marriage between people with mental disabilities then? Remember the movie the “Other Sister”. many people like that do not have a fully functional and developed “myelination of the frontal lobes”. So it is your stated belief that we should not allow these people to get married? We should take away their 14th ammendment rights to marry and be happy because of something outside of there control?

              • and just so we are on the same page then gay marriage IS then determined by social whim. Our society is starting to accept it therefor it is now right. You can say what you will about it not being the right thing to do and history has been wrong but I find it very hard to believe that if you existed in midevil England and was never part of current America you would be writing the same things…

              • Jim

                Of course I would have different ideas if I had been raised in medieval England. You would have different ideas (and would have a different religion you believed was really real) if you lived in India 1700 years ago.

                Of course gay marriage is determined by “social whim,” if by that you mean “society.” Straight marriage is also determined by “social whim.” Traffic laws are determined by “social whim,” and so are food safety standards and the age when the kiddies can go to Kindergarten.

                Everything we do that stems from decisions made by groups of people is a matter of “social whim.” You can call it “God,” Jacob, but your “God” is also, guess what, manufactured as a result of “social whims.”

              • qs

                Ya, that’s kind of the problem.

                Decentralized government is better.

              • “You can call it “God,” Jacob, but your “God” is also, guess what, manufactured as a result of “social whims.”
                ************
                You gave been trying to prove that since Irregular Times began and have yet to do so. Thats an strange claim to try to defend… What proof is there that God is not real

              • Jim

                I can SEE people talking about this God character and creating understandings about the God character in social groups. I can SEE that. It’s social creation of religious understanding.

                I cannot SEE an actual God character.

                I don’t have to prove the God character exists, and it’s clear that people get together in social groups to create consensus about the God Character.

                If you want to assert that the God character exists, you need to prove it. And you haven’t. So I stick with what I actually SEE.

              • JD

                Jim, You believe many things that you cannot SEE. Why do you ask for a different standard when it comes to God?

              • Jim

                If I am going to tell people what to do with their lives, you’re darned tootin’ I’m going to base it on something I can see. OK, OK: Hear, too. Or touch, or some other verifiable empirical source of information. Not just SIGHT! Boy, you got me there.

              • ReMarker

                YEAH, WATCH IT JIM!!! You MUST be totally and completely, hmm something!!!

                I know 1st hand you are totally and completely witty.

              • ReMarker

                I was trying to be witty too. I loved your wit in the comment I replied to. I was spoofing on the commenters that try to tell you what you believe.

                A friend of mine wrote a song with this line in it; “I won’t should on you if you don’t should on me”. Cute huh?

              • Jacob

                You hero worship of Jim is a bit scary… ;-)

              • ReMarker

                Hero worship? Hardly. I just think Jim and the “Jim gang” do a good job of being pertinent and maintaining a level of wit, humor, facts, and reason while dealing with the diverse views posted here in Irregular Times.

                You see, it’s not unusual for misguided people to get scared from imagining someone is a hero worshiper.

              • Jacob

                LOL, I respect our misguided friends here IT as well. But I hope their not scared from imagination. They seem much more grounded then that

              • Jim

                Ah, I didn’t get it. ;)

                But I love your friend’s “should” line.

              • ReMarker

                Good Lord!
                Isn’t it true that I.T. is NOT trying to prove the unprovable existance/non-existance of God or a God?

                Isn’t it true that I.T. is simply making the point that knowing God’s or a God’s intent is the problem?

                I don’t think Christians, Muslems, or any other religion should take I.T.’s position personally.

                If a supporter of a religion has facts that support their religious propositions, then by all means share them, so we can all use the facts for increasing our intelligence and wisdom.

                Obviously ‘facts’ is the operative word and without ‘facts’, religious propositions are subjective, period.

              • Jim

                No. And don’t put words in my mouth.

                That’s an interesting issue, Jacob, and as “The Other Sister” showed it’s really complicated. Various parents and caregiving groups struggle with that issue on a regular basis. I certainly think some people with developmental disabilities can be happily married.

                It’s NOT my stated belief that we should forbid “these people” (your words) from getting married, because “these people” are not all alike and do not follow typical developmental tracks. Two people with Down’s Syndrome can be very different in their abilities.

                Rather than trivialize the issue by trying to oversimplify it and pretend I understand everything about every developmental disability on the planet, I’ll have to say I don’t know a lot about the issue, just like there are a lot of things I don’t know about.

                But to broaden the issue back out again, I believe that marriage without consent isn’t marriage in the sense we define it in the United States. The way people get married in the United States requires an act of consent. Consent without the ability to consent is impossible. People who can’t consent won’t consent, and therefore they just won’t be married, not because we say they can’t, but because those particular people can’t, like I can’t carry a tune. Nobody had to pass a law to forbid me from carrying a tune. It’s just not something I do.

                What you raise as a hypothetical situation in which a 15 year old could prove full competency is interesting. I call it hypothetical because I don’t think I’ve ever met a 15 year old who was fully competent, and because I am unaware of any scientific study in which a 15 year old brain was shown to be fully myelinated. But IF that COMPLETELY hypothetical situation came to pass, then it would be interesting to consider whether that 15 year old person could get married. It’s important to realize that such a 15 year old would not be all the things we associated in our minds with “15 years old.” It’s kind of like science fiction. Yeah, maybe such a person should, hypothetically, be allowed to get married, because they’d be ready, hypothetically. But it’s a conjecture disconnected with what I know of empirical reality.

      • Also, fundamintal atheist where against interracial marriage as well, but for different reasons. According to Darwin and the threory of evolution as understood at that time blacks were a less evolved species that couldnt be allowed to be mixed with whites. the argument was it would be against nature and hurt the chance of survival of mankind. Please dont try to pin syupid on Christians only. Civil rights had plenty of stupid coming from atheist directions as well…

        • Ralph

          “What’s the scientific proof that gay marriage should be allowed?”

          You’re kidding, right?

          Jim just took all the trouble to explain to you that he holds a standard for marriage–THAT it should be between people capable of consenting to it. His way of judging WHO can consent is scientific. But taking consent as a standard is an ethical stance, not a scientific proof; Jim never presented it as one.

          There’s no scientific proof of any ethical “should.” Jim never claimed there was. Stop misrepresenting what he said; it is not an honest way to argue.

  • le pelerin

    So you sanction polygamy? If not, why not. They have a right to be happy.

    I’m not a “bible only” christian so that is why I appeal to natural commom sense when considering these issues, not quoting bible passages with people who don’t believe in any revealed truth.

    Animals don’t marry so your idea that because some are a little amorous with there own kind doesn’t apply to people marrying.

    Again, what is so special with the number 2 as in 2 people getting married? You’re dicriminating with people who are more confortable being polygamous. You’re being arbitrary here.

    • Jim

      Who said I’m against polygamy, le pelerin? I haven’t said I’m against polygamy. Indeed, I just told you I’m not, so long as the standard of consent is met (which is why the creepy LDS here-marry-my-12-year-old versions of polygamy are not a good idea at all).

      • le pelerin

        At least you’re consistent here.

        I however am against anything other then old fashion marriage as practiced in this country since its founding. Call me Amish if you want.

        • Jim

          So you’re against interracial marriage, then?

          • le pelerin

            Are the Amish against interracial marriage? I don’t know, I’m not. Has OH ever been against interracial marriage? Some clowns may be but not the laws. Tell me if I’m wrong.

            • Jim

              From its founding until 1967 (Loving v. Virginia), there have been laws forbidding interracial marriage. You want old fashioned American marriage? Fine: blacks and whites can’t get married, then.

              • le pelerin

                I want old fashion marriage without peoples’ race fears. There have always been interracial marriage throughout the world. Jews and then christians never forbade interracial marriage. When there is a bad law, we change it. Abortion permissiveness keeps coming to mind! Lets change those hideous laws where children can be sacrificed on the alter of convenience.

              • Jim

                OK, so now it’s old fashioned marriage, except for the differences you like.

                So why don’t gay and lesbian people get to exercise the same combination of old-fashioned and new-fashioned that you want for yourself?

                Why not let a gay couple be an old married couple together? They won’t mess with your marriage if you don’t mess with theirs.

                Absolutely — let’s not sacrifice children on the altar of convenience. It’s incredibly convenient for your ideological purity to deny gay and lesbian couples the opportunity to raise children as married parents. Let’s not deny kids the opportunity to be raised by married parents just because you don’t find the identity of the parents to be convenient and because you find it convenient to stick your nose into other people’s business.

              • le pelerin

                You raise a lot of issues I didn’t. I’m not going to change your mind that gay and lesbians need marriage to feel complete (or compete) or that marriage can be polygamous. You’ve stated your case and I’ve stated mine.

              • Jim

                “You raise a lot of issues that I didn’t.”

                Not at all. You raised the issue of wanting some of what’s old-fashioned and some new things too. I agreed with you and pointed out that this is the same thing that others want too.

                You raised the issue of not wanting to sacrifice children on the altar of convenience. I agreed with you and pointed out that denying children the benefit of being raised in the context of married parents would be sacrificing their well-being on the ideology of convenience.

                They’re the same issues. If you want those comforts and exceptions for yourself, you should extend them to gay and lesbian people as well.

  • Kevin

    The state should not be involved in “marriage” at all. If, as policy, we want to encourage stable grouping of adults and the procreation and proper nuturing of children, then we should, as we do now, use the tax code to encourage certain behavior, but we should do it in a very neutral way.

    Anyone can group with anyone else and list their SSNs on a tax form and pool their income, expenses and deductions. They should all live at the same address, nominate one person as “head of household” and then they file jointly and get dependant deductions and credits, etc.

    Groups that file together for three years or more should get higher deductions on a sliding scale. any minors included provide a tax deduction to the group that takes care of them.

    No reference to sex or number of members of the group.

  • Kevin

    so? how much income did you have? maybe we would want to subsidize college kids….

    and its not la la land. simple tax policy.

  • Kevin

    and Jacob, did your parents claim you as a dependant? and your roommates parents? so you were already a tax deduction. what are you arguing about? most likely you would be worth more to your parents in their bracket than your own…

    • No, my parents did not claim me as a dependent. I have no idea about my roommates… My point is that you would open up a lot of people to getting tax breaks such as sisters who live together elderly roommates etc… It would be very significant

      • Jim

        Well, now, Jacob, the first thing to get right is that while there are a lot of tax provisions that apply to married couples, and they combine differently for couples in different situations, there is often greater tax burden for married couples. This makes sense in a way because it incorporates the idea that two people cohabitating have lower expenses than two people each living in their own house.

        So the second thing to consider is why, if tax provisions account for the possibility that two married people have different household expenses than two people living separately, tax provisions shouldn’t also account for the possibility that two non-married people living together have different household expenses.

        What’s the big deal, tax-wise, with two people filing jointly who aren’t married? I mean, there are already taxable partnerships when it comes to business ventures. Why not otherwise?

        • I dont care either way in this aspect. All I am saying is that there would be a HUGE finacial impact nation wide of this… You will need to cut a plethera of programs in order to support such a change in taxes.

          • Jim

            Only if people who file jointly pay taxes at a lower rate.

            • So then why stop there? Lets do away with the tax code entirely and do a flat national sales tax? I think that would make even more sence. Do away with the entire confusion. then the rich pay there share and the poor pay there share. Give tax cards to make less then a certian amount so that they are exempt from paying them and move on…

  • Kevin

    what? look at what you are saying. if your parents did not claim you then you must have filed yourself. WHY shouldn’t two sisters who live togther or elderly roommates get tax deductions for filing as a household?

    what do you have against old people? If its so significant I can think of other places in the tax code to offset the deductions. This is the point of my plan. take in some old person and let them live in your house as a family and you get a deduction.

    that would be a public good and should receive preferential treatment. that’s the point of the whole tax code. like when republicans changed the rules so that rich doctors could buy hummers and escalades and use accelerated depreciation to write off the cost on their taxes, except it would help poorer people and not the rich.

  • ReMarker

    Marriage is a social institution that allows a person the ONLY opportunity to choose a family member. Other family members are blood relatives or relatives by marrage. Here in America our laws restrict marriages to only 2 people at a time.

    Our laws recognize and respect peoples’ right to choose their mate (marriage) and provide a law structure that allows married people to have certain special rights in their common financial and personal business. Examples: Access to a hospitalized member of a marriage. Inheritance rights.

    How can a civilized society deny “marriage rights” to anyone that has chosen a mate, just because they may be different races, different religions, different nationalities, or different than the traditional man/woman marriage?

    Who to marry, is a personal choice. Every person should have the right to make that choice. To have laws that define the sex of a person that another person wants to give the “special rights of marriage” to, is to much government intrusion into our personal lives to suit me. It reminds me of Nazism.

  • Kevin

    “What proof is there that God is not real?”

    hahahahahh

    What proof is there that God is not a blue fire-breathing dragon?

    come on! proove it! show me a photo! ha ha

  • ImPersonator

    The proof of God is a personal issue. He has proven himself to me. It’s not proof for anyone else but I’m convinced.

    • ReMarker

      I did not make the post I am replying to!!! I do not ever say whether I believe in a God or not!!!

      Jim, how can the name I use for my posts in Irregular times be used by someone else?

      • Jacob

        reMarker,

        I have had the same issue with qs. Apperently if your IP address is close enough to the other person it will fill in that stuff automatically for them. I posted in his/her name not too long ago

        • ReMarker

          IPs are character specific. I will be surprised if you are right about “similar” IPs getting a wrong poster’s name.

          A website owner can access the IPs of all posters and has a variety of options to deal with abuses.

          • Jacob

            I am just telling you what Jim told me at the time… It may turn out that someone did it on purpose, I dont know. What I do know is what I have been told

      • Jim

        WordPress software allows this; also, it seems there’s some kind of quirk where similar IP addresses lead to name “suggestions,” which i agree is frustrating.

        • ReMarker

          It’s more than frustrating. It’s allowing another person to use my identity. That’s not cool. Now I have no confidence that my commenting persona can be maintained. This is my first experience with identity theft.

          • Jacob

            ReMarker,
            I actually had “qs” pop up for me today as my name. Hopefully people just pay attention so it doesnt get confusing, or point out the mistake when they do so

            • ReMarker

              ‘Hopefully’, ‘pay attention’, ‘point out mistakes’, is not adequate. Sorry.

              • Jim

                ReMarker,

                Hang on there. It’s not identity theft. It is, at worst, pseudoidentity misplacement. Theft is someone actively taking something from you on purpose. This is a glitch in a computer program, one we didn’t write but do use.

                I understand you’re upset, and I hear you. I do not know where the line of code is that causes this problem, although I’ve looked for it before. I will look for it again. I can’t make any promises, not because I don’t want to, but only because I’m not sure I’m capable of the fix.

              • ReMarker

                I concede, theft is not the appropriate discription. Just the same, something I had is gone. I hold noone responsible. It is gone and I have no confidence it can be reclaimed.

                If there is something I can do in terms of helping track down the coding error, I will. Can’t you just make a post on WordPress’ forum? An answer may take a few days, however.

              • Jim

                I’ve posted the last time this problem popped up (before it seemingly went away again), and nobody responded. I’ve tracked down a few other people posting this problem on the WordPress forum, and again no solution was offered. I’m currently diving into the bowels of the program to try and understand what might be going on.

              • ReMarker

                Thanks for all you do.

              • Jim

                This isn’t an ideal solution, but after a couple of hours of poking around this is about all I can figure out to do:

                I’ve disabled the feature that “autopopulates” the comments form with what the WordPress program (clearly sometimes inappropriately) thinks is your name. This means in plain English that you’ll need to type in your name each time, which is a minor hassle, but offers the fix of the bug that just buzzed Remarker and has plagued people at odd intervals before.

              • Jacob

                seems like a fair trade off…

              • Anonymous

                I will make a topic in the forums for a discussion. A couple of things have occured to me and the forums are a better place to have a conversation about all this, than blog threads.

  • ReMarker

    Learn by doing. I will make a topic in the forums for a discussion. A couple of things have occured to me and the forums are a better place to have a conversation about all this, than blog threads.

  • Margaret Birlem

    Wow. Finally sort of an intelligent back and forth!!! Jim, you rule. You are amazing at rebuking these absurd posts. Kevin, your point about marriage not being a state (or federal) issue is right on point. If folks want to get “married” in whatever form they want in their churches, that’s one thing but everyone should be entitled to the benefits of a partnership that the government provides, for all of the obvious reasons. Creating a stable home, in any form they chose, is the whole point. Everyone deserves that opportunity and nobody deserves the right to determine how that should look for any other family but their own. I pay taxes, I want equal rights, end of story. Your religious arguments should be made in your church.

    • Jacob

      So really “shut up so we can do whatever we want”. Are there any limits at all whatsoever? Can I marry 400 women?

      • ReMarker

        You want 400 wives? Have you lost your mind? Isn’t 1 enough?

        Since I’m thinking about 1 man with many women, why in the world would a man want 72 virgins? Talk about a “pain”. How could that be a good heavenly reward?

        • Jacob

          I can barely keep one happy. I am just pointing out what could happen if there was truely no rules for marriage. There has to be line somewhere… What would that line be???

          • Jim

            Yours is, in the literal meaning of “absurd,” an absurd argument, equating the existence of different rules with no rules at all. You could use that to argue against daylight savings time: gosh, well, if we start daylight savings time, then what’s to stop us from just letting anybody decide what time it is, with no rules for timekeeping at all? It would be anarchy!!!

            Whoa, Nelly! If we mix the peanut butter with the chocolate in a candy bar, what’s to stop ‘em from putting asparagus in there? Blech!!!

            Hang on there: if we let cars turn right on red, then what’s to stop cars from going straight through the intersection on red? Mayhem!!!

            Gosh, if we let the boys and girls go to coed institutions, then what’s to stop us from inviting marsupials to get PhDs? Chaos!!!

            Golly, if we let the negroes marry the white girls, then what’s to stop us from letting monkeys marry tyrannosaurus rexes? Hell on Earth!!!

            Yours is an argument against any change at all, and it’s been made in history before.

            The answer is obvious: lines have always existed, you set the line in the new place, and that line is set by the law.

            • Jacob

              I dont think it is an absurd question to ask. You are talking about legally redifining marriage. It is obvious that there has to be boundries. What would the new boundries be if you had your way? Its reall a straight up question I am just being very sarcastic about it because with your interpretation of the 14th amendmaent as it is even if 400 wives were absurd it would still be wrong to limit it. We would be violating their rights. So, plain and simple. What boundries should be on marriage. We already have an issue with age. You say 18 and ReMarker says 16 in the post right after this one (“except for the protection of minors (no selecting people under 16)”)

              Whats your straight answer?

              • ReMarker

                Jim is more correct than me. http://www.coolnurse.com/marriage_laws.htm

                Wikipedia’s discription of marriage may be helpful in getting answers to some questions, too.
                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriage

              • Jim

                I didn’t say “18.” I’m willing to admit some places where my lack of knowledge restricts me from being able to pin down an answer: a particular numerical age is one of them.

              • Jim

                However, I think it’s interesting to notice the definitions of legal age of consent for marriage (as referenced in that link of ReMarker’s — thanks) often recognize the gradational change in the capability of youngsters by creating transitional designations and procedures for the ages in which children become adults to guarantee that there is just the sort of meaningful consent that I’ve been talking about.

              • No, YOU are talking about legally redefining marriage, Jacob, and using the power of government to interfere with churches that have a tradition of same-sex marriage. What do you have against freedom of religion, anyway, Jacob?

              • Jacob

                How am I redifining it Mr Fitzer. Currently in most areas marriage is between one man and one woman. Groups supported by this site are trying to change that and allow gay marriage. Jim has said that the 14th amendment gives gays the right to marry. It was brought up that if gays can marry because they are consenting adults then plygamy should be allowed as well. All I am asking is what limitations should be in place on marriage in your eyes? Why are you continually refusing to answer such a simple question?

              • Jim

                In the state of Maine, which is the point of discussion of this article, there has been legislation passed under which same-sex marriage has been made legal. The vote this November will be on a measure to make it illegal again.

                So if you support a vote to make same-sex marriage illegal in Maine, you are voting to redefine marriage.

                Additionally, as F.G. Fitzer points out, many churches have a tradition of honoring same-sex marriage. You are trying to alter marriage away from their definition of it.

              • Jacob

                Why wont you answer the question? Why are people who want to be married to multiple in Maine discrimiated against and have their rights violated? Does the 14th amendmentnot apply to them? Stop running and answer the question

              • Jim

                Er, Jacob, I’ve answered that question already, right here in this very thread.

              • Jacob

                SO then a man marrying 400 women is not absurd than. You leave a completely open ended definiton in that post. You imply that there should be no restrictions outside of age as to who can get married. You obviously dont agree that there has to be some sort of line drawn

              • Jim

                Well, you know what? Freedom is kind of “open ended” like that.

                If 400 people want to have sex with each other, so long as they’re consenting and they’re going to cover any resulting chlamydia treatment costs, that’s already perfectly legal and none of my business.

                If 400 people want to live in a building together, that’s already perfectly legal and none of my business.

                If 400 people want to enter into legal agreements that create the same obligations and privileges of marriage, that’s already perfectly legal and none of my business.

                If 400 people want to each have one 400th of a spousal employee death benefit, and each have one 400th of a spousal employee health care benefit, there are legal changes that would need to be made, but really, it doesn’t affect me. It’s none of my business. (It would only be partly my business if a person married to 400 other people tried to claim full benefits for 400 other spouses, taking economic resources away in unequal proportion compared to other employees. That potential inequity could be easily resolved by referring to some fixed sum available in employee benefits for all spouses, no matter how many spouses there were).

                The only remaining question is whether you call that a “marriage” or not. It’s just a word, so why should I care what people call it? A 400 person marriage is not MY cup of tea, but really, it’s none of my business.

                If people choose to enter into an arrangement, and they are doing so consensually, and they aren’t harming anyone else, it’s none of my business what they do.

                I was talking about becoming members of a church there, but you know, it applies to marriage too.

                Go ahead and marry 400 people, so long as you don’t mess with other people. Go ahead and go to whatever church you like and say whatever you like, so long as you don’t mess with other people. Freedom of religion and freedom of love are kind of parallel, if you think about it.

              • Jacob

                Throughout history we see that freedom is never open ended. Open ended freedom is anarchy. It would make qs happy but thats about it. Without rules or boundries the absurd happens often

        • ReMarker

          Our rules, per legislation, are 2 people per marriage. That’s enough don’t your think?

          Like I said in another comment, marriage is the only time we can select a family member. It is a special circumstance and U.S. law recognizes and respects that arrangement for a variety of reasons and in a variety of ways.

          Personally, I don’t think the government has any business making rules about who we might select, except for the protection of minors (no selecting people under 16).
          No race rules, no nationality rules, no religious rules, and no sex rules.

          The mate we choose to be our “family” is none of the government’s business.

          To respond to other concerns that commenters post, child abuse is a family, community, and government concern, and has nothing to do with people choosing their mates.

  • Kevin

    “Like I said in another comment, marriage is the only time we can select a family member.”

    err… what about adoption?

  • Kevin

    Margaret Birlem

    thanks Margaret. People, whether in churches or not, seem always to getting around to telling people what they should do with their lives.

    The state has a valid interest in keeping up the population and maintaining order. This leads to various tax rules and public behavior ordinances.

    I, like you, just wish all taxpayers were treated equally and not subject to religious restrictions.

    I think I am okay with making rules telling people who DON’T pay taxes what to do though….

    and, I guess, so do

  • Wow, there are always people who want to live in the past! It never suprises me the lenths certain groups will go to just to keep things the same ..whats next ..reintroduction of slavery?

    • Jim

      Actually, Emms, we have had people here argue that if a majority in a state wants to outlaw interracial marriage, they should be able to do that. So really you’re not far off in your question.

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