Various thoughts on current events with an emphasis on politics, legal issues, books, movies and whatever is on my mind. Emails can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org; please put "blog comments" in the subject line.
Is the religious objection to same-sex marriage truly religious? How do you tell? Do religious people who believe marriage after divorce is adultery but have no qualms about providing flowers or cakes or health insurance to the divorced and remarry object to same-sex marriage because it is a worse sin in their estimation than adultery? Or are they prejudiced against gay people in a way that they are not prejudiced against adulterers?
This was raised by me before in the thread alluded to before and yet again we don't get a real answer (as of this writing). As I noted, the claim that discrimination based on marriage is not likely to come up is bogus -- not only would it be consistent based on belief and practice, but public accommodations law cites it as a concern. People are discriminated against for being unmarried, you do hear of cases of people not wanting to rent to a couple unmarried. But, SSM is particularly cited here. Why? Religion or personal liberty generally would demand that one specific belief is not singled out in this fashion.
[And Also: The point of this post is that there is a double standard going on here that goes past merely religious belief, but a later comment on the thread this is directly addressing raises another point. There is a continual concern for the religious beliefs of certain providers, such as wedding photographers or something. What about their religious beliefs?!!!! But, as with contraceptive mandates, what about the beliefs of the customers/employees? Are public accommodation rules, state action, supposed to selectively respect them? Or, are we -- like for abortion -- to assume "faith" here only pops up one way?]
"Sean" argued that sexual orientation should be treated the same as race and gender. I chanced upon an interesting argument saying just that, getting a response that the guy is a great scholar and all, an appeal to authority of sorts (repeatedly I have law professor types preaching about basics while missing the point*) but wrong here. Also, it is "intimidating" to compare sexual orientation to "race" but wrong. The article upfront says race and gender. Why the focus on race? As with the pushing aside the question of why SSM is different, why religious accommodations here requires special attention, a law professor selectively responds. Bad pool. And, "intimidating?" Realize racism is seen as wrong, but the claim fails repeatedly -- affirmative action supporters or those against profiling do not always win, nor does victims of disparate impact. Also, sounds somewhat like the argument the merits is too much to take.
"David" (quoted above) in this thread
on the "need" for special religious accommodations for SSM not present
for other marriage related matters that violate religious beliefs (e.g.,
divorce) made a telling point late this afternoon. What are those five? Abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, cloning and homosexual "marriage." Huh. One looks different from the others, putting aside the scare quotes and "homosexual" term for what is actually same sex marriage. War or the death penalty is negotiable. Helping the poor is too. You know, things Jesus deemed pretty important. But, not same sex marriage. Not just "marriage" btw. Contraceptives, cohabitation, re-marriage etc. are not listed. That is, things Jesus specifically talked about.
By numbers and effects, such things violate the Catholic sacrament of marriage and affects society more than same sex marriage. But, same sex marriage specifically is cited. Why? Contraceptives violate the "unitive" (itself having a special meaning here, same sex unions [sic] not enough) function, right? Divorce surely does. The Catholic Church handled Griswold and employing divorced people. SSM is different, why?
[Also, a few years back, I learned that there is a doctrinal problem with marriage if one person is impotent, but this is not you know, applied that strictly -- wink wink, chance of miracles, etc. Sort of "don't' ask, don't tell policy" in place too apparently. Still seems a bit cruel to those with some sort of disorder. OTOH, you don't need to be fertile to marry, even if you would otherwise be of the right age. This underlines "procreation" is not "the" reason for marriage. These days, it is not even cited by the Church as the only reason for sex as it must not be, since you know, people who cannot reproduce of the different sex still have it. It also has a unitive function. So does same sex relations.]
* I dealt with the same thing when Volokh Conspiracy regulars supported a federalism argument in the DOMA case. Asked about, quite literally, FOUR times what would happen in D.C., since it is not a state, so it would seem same sex married couples would lose out there. I simply never got an answer. I was not the only one who belabored the point either.
One person managed to respond, first, noting he thought (signing a federalist brief would seem to warrant being familiar with it) D.C. recognized SSM. Yessss, I said, that is why I wondered how the argument would work there. He assured me he was supportive of same sex marriage on policy (but didn't think it was constitutionally compelled). Okkkkayy. But, what about my particular question? I finally snapped at him a bit, the tiresome "hey, I'm a nice guy on policy" thing not helping. That's nice -- some who opposed segregation probably felt all nice and fuzzy too as the law allowed it to go on.