Same-Sex Marriage: Six Theses

As we start heading toward the next round of elections, both sides – the GOP and the DFL – are planning to make the biggest electoral hay that they can out of the Same Sex Marriage issue.

The GOP majority in the legislature put the issue of a Marriage Amendment on the ballot for next year.  The issue might just overshadow all other issues on the ballot, short of the presidency itself.

Just a couple of observations:

  1. Both Sides Need It To Be An Issue:  there’s evidence that the GOP left a lot of votes on the table in the 2010 gubernatorial election when Tom Emmer didn’t make gay marriage a key campaign issue.  Naturally, gay marriage is a bloody shirt that the DFL can wave at its constituents; they think it’ll get people to turn out.
  2. Neither side wants this issue to be resolved:  You caught the bit about this being a vote getter – or at least a perceived vote-getter – for both sides, right? It’s not just this election; however this amendment turns out next year, it’ll be an electoral carrot and stick for both parties to dangle out there for years to come…provided it’s not actually resolved, one way or the other.
  3. The GOP Has More To Gain By Keeping It As A Public Issue: While I agree with Andy Aplikowski that Minnesotans are generally a fairly socially libertarian bunch, I think that when you add up the math for the GOP, it’s a lot easier to get to “landslide win” if the evangelicans turn out for you.  And while evangelical conservatives will turn out for economic issues, throwing them some social red meat surely can’t hurt.  Can it?
  4. The DFL Has More To Lose: The Democrats nationwide are scrambling to give their base – to say nothing of independents – a reason to turn out next November.  Saddled with a turkey of a President, a Senate with approval lower than Mullah Omar, a slew of Senate seats at risk, the unions’ attempt to outsource agitation to the “Occupy” movement dissolving in a welter of filth, crime, sexual assault and counterculture dissipation, and Progressivism in the heartland rocked back on its heels by two-chamber flips in Wisconsin and Minnesota, the DFL needs to be able to wave the bloody shirt of “bigotry” at its gay and gay-sympathetic constituents.
  5. The DFL Needs It More: If the Democrats nationwide are in a public relations bind – still running against George W. Bush, looking forward to a campaign that has to answer the question “are you better off now than you were four years ago?” with “Hey! Mitt Romney has weird hair!”  – the DFL is worse.  They’re not really even a party anymore; The DFL is a shell that basically administers outsourcing contracts with “Alliance For A Better Minnesota”, “Take Action Minnesota”, “Win Minnesota”, “Common Cause”, “Draw The LIne” and other checkbook advocacy groups that do most of the “party’s” actual work; think “the Hessians”.  DFL could use something to get people to remember they exist.  (But they’ll likely subcontract this out to “Minnesotans For Marriage Equality”, a fully-owned subsidiary of “Alliance For A Better Minnesota”.  Yes, it’s fictional, but you know that’s basically how it’s going to work, don’t you?)
  6. The DFL Doesn’t Want Single-Sex Marriage Legalized: Think about it.  They’ve been nominally for gay marriage for thirty-odd years.  And from 2006, and especially 2008, through 2010 the DFL had absolute control of the Legislature; it was two chambers against Tim Pawlenty.  Now, the DFL maintains that a majority of Minnesotans support same sex marriage.  So if they actually believe that, why not push it through in the 2008 or 2010 sessions, when they had overwhelming control, were riding high on two landslide victories and the Obamascenscion?  “Because Pawlenty would have vetoed it!  Why waste the votes?” is the usual answer.  So why not bypass Governor Pawlenty and go for an amendment?  Or use that purported majority of Minnesotans that favor the issue to either override the veto, or use it to get Republicans voted out of office back in 2010?  There really are only two reasons; one would be that there just isn’t that much of an electoral demand for same sex marriage – but we just know the DFL wouldn’t blow smoke up the state’s skirt, would it?  The other reason is that it’s not in the DFL’s interest either to push this issue (in the oh-so-unlikely even they’re lying) or, I suspect most likely, they don’t really want same sex marriage legalized; that would take it off the table as a get-out-the-vote issue.

27 thoughts on “Same-Sex Marriage: Six Theses

  1. Throw me the red meat, baby. Mariage is the union of one man and one woman. Period. If we don’t have certain principle that we will defend, we might as well just give up.

  2. The difference between Conservatives and Liberals is that Conservatives study Government while Liberals study Political Science.

    Government asks “How should society be ordered to achieve the best for the most?” Plato, Hobbes, Burke, Locke and Jefferson all offered different rationales why their system would produce the best for the most. They disagreed on the method but not the objective.

    Political Science asks “How can we grab and hold power so we can order society to our liking?” Machievelli, Gueverra and Alinsky are the guiding lights.

    Nero fiddled while Rome burned not because he was powerless to stop the destruction, but because he didn’t care what happened to society as long as he ruled it. That attitude lingers in modern Progressives.

  3. Liberals play Jenga with society. They pull out the foundation blocks that have supported ordered communities throughout history and pile on uselss dead weight burdens. Eventually, it must collapse, as have dozens of civilizations before us. The reasons are obvious. The blindness is wilfull.

    A society that fails to protect its population from invasion will replaced by the invaders; that fails to reproduce will die off; that fails to develop a robust enough economy to feed, clothe and house its members will linger in disease and hunger until conquered or deceased.

    Liberals insist on open borders and importing Somali terrorists; on aborting the next generation and destroying the familial infrastructure that might nuture it; on punishing producers and rewarding the idle.

    Changing the definition of marriage to give homosexuals access to government money tugs on another foundation block in an area of the structure already weakened by no-fault divorce and child welfare subsidies. Thos segments of our society already have fallen into ignorance and poverty; undermining the rest won’t uplift the fallen but will pull down the struggling.

  4. For libertarians (and moderate Democrats) out there who say “oh, let them get married, what harm can that do”, I don’t think they understand the impact of gay marriage. Will the Catholic church be illegal? Will the Boy Scouts be illegal? The very frew true Christian colleges will be under full assualt.
    There are ways for the powers to destroy someone or an organization without explicitly outlawing them. See the war on University of North Dakota over the Fighting Sioux name (which the Sioux approved of).
    The gay lobby has pledged a scorthed earth policy when it comes to gay issues. They will destroy anyone who doesn’t submit to them.

  5. Logic ought to tell anyone same-sex marriage is a green light for a whole plethora of social illusions. If I can marry my boyfriend, then why can’t I marry my brother, my sister, my cat, my mother, my imaginary friend? It plays into the whole ‘truth is relative’ notion we Christians find both predictable and contrary – not just to God’s law, but human nature.

    And let’s not kid ourselves – regardless of how you view gay marriage, it’s passage into law will result in the gay lobby knocking on the public schoolhouse door the very next morning and demanding – “we’re legal, we have a right to recruit!”

  6. If marriage is no longer the millenias-old traditional family grouping of one man and one woman making a lifetime commitment to nuture and protect each other and their children, but instead is an agreement to gratify sexual desires terminable at will, then what are its limits?

    What is the intellectual, philosophical or moral justification for distinguishing:

    One man and one woman.
    One man and one man.
    One man and two women.
    One man and one child.
    One man and one dead woman.
    One man and one sheep.
    One man and one prostitute.

    Prove to me that it won’t harm society to pull out this foundation stone and I’ll consider it. Until then, leave off pulling.

  7. I really wish the MNGOP and the GOP would consult Jason Lewis and Ann Coulter on this. This is what they say: The fact is, government got involved in the 1880’s because society needed better recourse on fathers that ran off from their responsibilities. It was a poverty issue. Today society has a leveraged interest in the procreation of lots of responsible taxpayers to fund our stupid social insurance disasters and bloated government. That’s the primary issue. No babies turning into self reliant adults–civilization falls apart. We set it up that way and now we can’t undo it. Immigration helps, but you can’t just let everyone and anyone in willy nilly. The other considerations, while important, are secondary.

    The fact is, from the state’s point of view heterosexual coupling and homosexual coupling are very different things.

    Gays should be allowed to adopt etc. You can’t make the case they shouldn’t be able to adopt because, net-net, some are going to be superior parents in many cases. That’s not to say it shouldn’t be a consideration.

    Ann Coulter says that in private she always gets gays to agree with her point of view and they admit it’s mostly about getting society to recognize them in a substantial and fair way or something like that.

    I thought it was disgusting that CPAC excluded GOPROUD and allowed the Bircher’s in. I think it was because of the Heritage foundation, or something. Crazy.

  8. My stance on this is the state can call my wife and me “domestic partners” for all I care. However, as Christians, my wife and I wanted our union anointed in a church before God. As such we participated in “Holy Matrimony”, which is the true definition of “marriage.” Since most religions adhere to Biblical principles, there would be no theological basis for “same-sex marriage.” However, if two people choose to form a “civil union”, which is purely secular and outside religious purview, I have ZERO problems with that.

    People often associate Civil Unions with a gay relationship because that is the only legal avenue which gay couples have to combine their personal property, be the primary beneficiary of death benefits if a partner dies, etc. However, there may be a situation where two elderly widows decide to form a civil union since neither has the desire to marry, but could benefit from a better standard of living if they had a “domestic partner.”

    The argument I most often hear from the pro “gay marriage” crowd is “Why can’t two people who love each other have the same rights/benefits as heterosexual couples?” Again, that issue would be solved with civil unions being legalized in every state.

    Here’s something to watch for: If indeed the marriage amendment gets voted down, people’s ignorance of this issue will come to the forefront. I guarantee there will be rejoicing from many in the pro “gay marriage” crowd because they will believe that same-sex marriage is now legal —– except it won’t be. Same-sex marriage is already illegal. The whole purpose for the ballot initiative is to amend the state constitution to define marriage as “One Woman, One Man” so as to remove the ambiguity of whether or not a law is “constitutional.”

  9. Nate,

    You asked about the intellectual, moral or philosophical differences between:

    • One man and one child.
    • One man and one dead woman.
    • One man and one sheep.

    I’m no lawyer, but I”m not aware that any of these have standing to sign contracts.

    • One man and one woman.
    • One man and one man.

    Clearly, one-on-one contracts between consenting adults are pretty normal.

    • One man and two women.

    Good question.

      One man and one prostitute.

    What prevents one man from marrying a prostitute at the corner church? Or in Vegas for that matter?

  10. If you aren’t in favor of gay marriage, then don’t marry one. This is simply not the state’s concern. Property rights, inheritance, support obligations, etc. can all be handled by contract or a default civil union arrangement.

  11. One factor not mentioned is the Star Tribune decision to go to a paywall system with only 20 free story views per month. I get my TV listings and 15 weather forecast elsewhere.

    My personal experience is that a lot of people are reading the Star Tribune online a lot less. The Strib seems to have a “gay of the day” policy and before the pay-wall I saw plenty of stories and opinion pieces opposing the MN amendment but none favoring it.

    The Strib will increasing “preach to the choir” as mostly those on the left subscribe to the print addition or pay for the pay-wall.

  12. Nate: “Changing the definition of marriage to give homosexuals access to government money”

    I thought one of the core ideas on the right was that there is no such thing as “government money.”

  13. mnbubba, exactly how can one set up a contract that will allow one person to pass property to a non-spouse without incurring inheritance taxes?

  14. Brad C, if you think you can find support for a civil union compromise, good luck to you. David Blankenhorn and Jonathan Rauch proposed such a compromise in 2009, but it went nowhere.

    FWIW, we already have civil marriage that is “purely secular and outside religious purview.” It’s called getting a marriage license and making it official with a non-religious officiant, such as a judge or a court clerk. (And in Colorado, you don’t actually need an officiant.)

    Mitch, while Emmer didn’t make same-sex marriage a campaign issue, the Catholic bishops certainly were working that angle.

  15. coming back to the first part of this
    The difference between Conservatives and Liberals is that Conservatives study Government while Liberals study Political Science.

    as a conservative/libertarian who studied, and still studies, political science, I find it useful for our side to learn about it so we know how to defeat the enemy, and use their own tactics against them. You know you are doing it right when you are called a racist/bigot/homophobic/intolerant/sexist etc… by a lib you are ‘debating’

  16. I think government, by policy, should favor biologically successful pairings over nonviable pairs. “How much?” is something we can argue about.

    Arguments that don’t sway me (so far):
    * name calling
    * imaginary new Natural Rights
    * marriage as an entirely legal construct and nothing else

    I want gay people to have the freedom to be happy, but I wish they would not depend on government approval for that happiness. It’s not “get out of my bedroom”, but a lot more like “get in here and give us your stamp of approval, everyone”.

  17. Peter H – obviously, you can’t under the current regime. My point was intended simply to be that the essence of these matters should be contractual in nature, and that government should not involve itself in these matters by extending privilege to some particular subset of possible arrangements between people.

  18. Excellent analysis of the situation. There is a peculiar use of gays as a tennis ball in this game. Any movement forward would require an actual discussion which given the left’s tendency to use gays as pawns is not possible. The same sex marriage issue has become warped with socialist intentions that have made it tainted. Marriage is no longer an issue. Having a kind of legal recognition to same sex partnerships, which doesn’t affect institution or language, is the next frontier. It should be a discussion of social realities and not stupid fake “rights”.

  19. You’re all stuck inside the box. Think outside the box.

    We’re planning to stand 5,000 years of legal precedent on its head, to call “marriage” something other than one-man-one-woman. Why stop there? Why not toss out the much-more-recent concepts of capacity to contract and personal consent? There is precedent for it, too.

    Remember “Fiddler on a Roof?” Tevye and Golda hired Yenta the matchmaker to find a husband for eldest daughter Tzeitel, whose consent was not required. Why shouldn’t crackhead parents be able to arrange for their son to marry a pair of pederasts?

    Girls as young as 14 can be married in Islamic countries, which is well below their age of majority to enter into contracts. And capacity to contract would only matter if enforceable rights were a concern – neither a sheep nor a dead woman have any rights to enforce.

    The only thing gay marriage does that can’t be done by private agreement is entitle the survivor to Social Security benefits – to government money. That’s not worth overturning one of the building blocks of all of human society.

    Oh, sure, the gay marriage crowd tells you they’re only asking for one thing now and that “slippery slope” arguments are hysterical and homophobic, that this one little change won’t cause civilization to fall.

    That’s what the residents of Sodom told Lot, too, and they were right. It wasn’t yanking out any one building block that caused the structure of civilization to fall, but the cumulative effect of yanking out too many. Look at the world today and tell me we haven’t been yanking like fiends for the last 70 years. Tell me why you’re confident we can safely yank this one, too.


  20. “The only thing gay marriage does that can’t be done by private agreement is entitle the survivor to Social Security benefits “


  21. Nate, with parental and judicial consent, a 13 year old girl can get married in the Islamic Republic of New Hampshire. The age is 14 for Texas and Pennsylvania.

    I’m pretty sure that a same-sex couple would not be able to set up a private contract for the tax free transfer of property from the deceased to the survivor. Quite a few states currently have constitutional amendments that prohibit the state from recognizing contracts set up between same-sex couples. All of those amendments would have to be amended before same-sex couples could avail themselves of these private contracts that you believe could substitute for marriage.

  22. “The only thing gay marriage does that can’t be done by private agreement is entitle the survivor to Social Security benefits – to government money.”

    Follow the money, that’s what it’s all really about!

  23. “… tax free transfer of property …”

    “Follow the money, that’s what it’s all really about!”

    Change a few tax laws and the point is mute.

  24. Right. And if both partners in a same-sex couple make about the same annual income, getting married will raise their taxes.

    I guess they really are only motivated by money.

  25. Pingback: What The Hell Do We Do About The MNGOP Now, Part III | Shot in the Dark

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