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This blog is the work of an educated civilian, not of an expert in the fields discussed.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Marriage and Reason Are Poor Bedfellows Alert

EV referenced a declaration (a comment there notes that it is related to the case I discuss here, the literal reach of the law goes beyond getting marriage licenses for multiple marriages) that it is local policy not to enforce polygamy laws except when a party is a minor and/or other crimes are involved.  This discretion is in place to respect local religious beliefs.  Related to the lawsuit, an intent to prosecute the "Sister Wives" people is denied though it is accepted that the possibility might have been noted.

My discussion is referenced to note the scope of the law in question and the nuances of the specific claim.  Polygamy is a usual trope when SSM is raised (incest is tossed in too -- see the EV comments), but the law covers those who merely "purport" to be married, including via some sort of religious ceremony that does not express any official character.  This suit also is partially a claim of selective prosecution or fear thereof.

So, there is a few steps between the right of intimate association (referenced by the claimants here), SSM and official recognition of polygamous unions. The differences are confused by various typical comments, including yet again the apparent inability to find a reason to allow polygamy or incest prohibitions if SSM is allowed.  Somehow, states manage to have one but not all and who really thinks they are just being arbitrary?  Also, "any change to marriage" that has been around for "millennium" (a repeated term ... do they mean polygamy?)  should be done only by legislatures.  Loving v. Virginia et. al. somehow different.

The specious nature of classification is -- though those making it unsurprisingly wish not to admit to it -- is nature to bigotry, this area still a somewhat respectable area to have it.  I guess that is a key point here, but I still am annoyed about the whole thing, since so many claim to be blase about it.  You know, hey, I'm okay with it, I just don't think the courts should do it.  Or, I'm not stressed out, I just think, you know, once you say marriage is merely about loving another person (or a consenting adult) (it isn't, in part since "love" isn't needed to get a license), SSM (aka sex discrimination) reasonably means polygamy and marrying your brother.  I'm just being reasonable here. What are the reasons (for the 100x) for differentiating the them?  I'm an idiot. 

It is like saying thinking marijuana laws are stupid means heroin must be sold in drugstores next to the Malboros. A few libertarians can think that way, but I seriously don't think we are just dealing with them.  We are dealing with people who resist to really honestly reason out what is going on.  Like those who -- like the True Scotsman -- think a myriad of changes to "traditional" marriage don't really count, but same sex marriage just is too much. 

"Habit, rather than analysis, makes it seem acceptable and natural to distinguish between male and female" here.  This includes the inability to deal with a specific issue (e.g., see EV thread: a question of the courts enforcing some rights in the marriage context became a matter of substantive debate of the question of marriage) without reopening things writ large or somehow -- in one area selectively -- finding the idea of line drawing so hard to understand.  Of course, the same canards come up, so a case involving polygamy (which very well can in some state include SSM) prosecution discretion raises questions about the recognition of SSM and in this area sex discrimination is necessary to avoid freefall.

Reasoned discourse is something many find lacking these days and this warrants certain analytical tools that sadly seem lacking.  RM last night railed against the lack of debate in election contests these days on various issues and on some level, fine.  But, she missed something that is basic to our two party system, another case where a historical perspective that suggests our problems weren't invented c. 2000 (I find Chris Hayes' book problematic on that front, at least, his discussions; I also couldn't honestly get into its prose -- if there is an "elites" issue, why is the last decade so unique? the book talk I went too surely didn't tell me).

Moderation is key, which means certain issues are basically agreed upon, including certain national defense matters. The Ron Pauls are outliers here (and even he is not a true libertarian on various issues) though his son was probably worth a reference too given her past dealings with him (one question: twenty minutes).  Was pacifism a big general election deal over the years too?   "Obamacare" is b.s. in part since it makes a moderate plan sound like the "left" option, which is truly not within the proverbial Overton Window during general presidential elections.  A full fledged editorial comment on the issue must cite this. RM did not.  Annoying.

Blog comments et. al. are not great places for it, but (I say "but" a lot) one of my hobbyhorses (unless that is too negative) is to try to tell more of the full story about things.  Some think if you give an inch, you really are giving a mile.  One person, e.g., refused to see abortion as a moral choice at all, it was merely about health care.  It's both and most women who have one probably would agree (see, e.g., The Abortion Myth).  Some topics should lead to stock replies since the same misleading stuff is repeated over and over again.  On many sides.  It is so very tiresome.

Life is complicated.  It is really more interesting that way. If it also is more tedious, so be it.  It's still life.  Resistance is not futile.  It is just b.s.