Voting day, Tuesday, 11/07/06

Archived discussion from Toril-2.
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Postby Sarvis » Tue Nov 14, 2006 5:23 pm

With all apologies to Ambar:

rylan wrote: enough clueless people here who keep voting for the incumbants.


Exactly.

It's not a Democrat or Republican issue, it's a voter issue. If your state doesn't care enough to vote shitty politicians out, you're going to have shitty politicians who find they can get away with more and more each election.
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Postby Ragorn » Tue Nov 14, 2006 5:44 pm

rylan wrote:Thats what ticks me off... the politicans don't show any respect for their constituants, and unfortunately there are enough clueless people here who keep voting for the incumbants.


I don't mean to pick on you.

But...

Did you actually know the history behind the income tax reduction? Or did you form an opinion on that issue without searching for the facts?

Are you an educated voter?
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Postby Lathander » Tue Nov 14, 2006 11:52 pm

Ok Rags, I'm confused. You seem to want to imply that Rylan is not an informed voter when he said that democrats in his state decided not to follow the public's will to lower taxes. You seem to have had the freetime to look it all up and basically explain the play by play on how dem's in his state did it. At the end though, it's the same thing, democrats were against lowering taxes. Clearly, Rylan knew what he was talking about.
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Postby Corth » Wed Nov 15, 2006 2:36 am

Yeah, I got the impression that Ragorn basically confirmed what Rylan was saying after previously arguing that it wasn't possible. I would have expected Ragorn to say, 'ok you were right'.
Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth

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Postby Sarvis » Wed Nov 15, 2006 4:25 am

So repealing a law through legal processes, after it had partially taken effect no less, is the same as illegally ignoring it altogether?

In the end, the incumbents were re-elected so we still know where the problem lies: with the voters.

But hey, if you must keep up the Witch Hunt don't let reason stop you. I hear Coulter is writing a new book!
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Postby Ragorn » Wed Nov 15, 2006 4:32 am

Rylan was half right. What rylan said about the tax issue was "the Democrats ignored the voter referendum to lower taxes."

What happened in reality was, the Democrats allowed the referendum request to pass through two sessions of Constitution Convention, ratified it, and passed it to the ballot. The measure passed, but two years after the measure passed, it was repealed as being economically unfeasible.

How is that "ignoring" the referendum? If you want to bitch that you didn't get the last 0.3% deduction off your income tax, then make that your point. Be sure to note also that the capital gains tax was also lowered significantly in the same year when issuing your complaint.

Rylan was partially right about the anti-gay amendment. The Democrats ARE ignoring this request for referendum, because it was already voted down once this year. The petition submitted to ban gay marriage followed a previous unsuccessful push by minority groups to pass the amendment. The Democrats are ignoring this petition because they ALREADY VOTED THIS ISSUE DOWN. It's a waste of everyone's time and money to continue pushing an issue that was defeated by a landslide margin.
Last edited by Ragorn on Wed Nov 15, 2006 7:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Lathander » Wed Nov 15, 2006 5:38 am

Most folks believe taxes are too high, and they do not want more big government programs. The real reason I think people like referendums is because they don't trust the politicians to do what they say. By the way, I do think the legislature going against a popular vote is tantamount to ignoring the will of the people.

I'd encourage folks that are mad about taxes going up to not just vote, but get politically active. Google your local republican party for your county and get involved. Both parties have their problems, but for most Americans, a responsible government which does not overtax the people is what they want. Also, the tax cut on dividends should be to 0 since the dividends come from the income of the corporation which is taxed at a higher corporate rate anyway. Is double taxation fair? Anyone with sense can see that low taxes are better than high taxes. The answer to the funding issue is to cut spending on needless goverment entitlement programs and give people more control over their retirement. We need more conservatives out there to get this done.

Dem's are ignoring the ban on gay marriage because the people do want it and it is their way of not saying no to the voters, but placating their base which includes the gay lobby. If they support gay marriage, why don't they just try to pass a bill allowing it? I'll tell you why, because that would be the gotcha for the next election. Finally, it is not bigoted to believe in defending what marriage is. It may feel cool to say it, but it's just silly. The institution of marriage has enough trouble right now without watering it down more with this nonsensical change.
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Postby Sarvis » Wed Nov 15, 2006 12:22 pm

Lathander wrote:Most folks believe taxes are too high, and they do not want more big government programs. The real reason I think people like referendums is because they don't trust the politicians to do what they say. By the way, I do think the legislature going against a popular vote is tantamount to ignoring the will of the people.


Yet these guys didn't get voted out.

I'd encourage folks that are mad about taxes going up to not just vote, but get politically active. Google your local republican party for your county and get involved. Both parties have their problems, but for most Americans, a responsible government which does not overtax the people is what they want. Also, the tax cut on dividends should be to 0 since the dividends come from the income of the corporation which is taxed at a higher corporate rate anyway. Is double taxation fair? Anyone with sense can see that low taxes are better than high taxes. The answer to the funding issue is to cut spending on needless goverment entitlement programs and give people more control over their retirement. We need more conservatives out there to get this done.


Yes, the conservatives have been great at cutting spending lately. :roll:

Remember the Liberals were the last ones to balance the budget.

I also love how anyone who disagrees with you doesn't have sense, and how programs meant to keep people from starving to death are entitlement programs. Yes, low taxes are nice... but these "entitlement programs" are doing a lot more good for society than an extra $50/month would be doing in my pocket.

Dem's are ignoring the ban on gay marriage because the people do want it and it is their way of not saying no to the voters, but placating their base which includes the gay lobby. If they support gay marriage, why don't they just try to pass a bill allowing it? I'll tell you why, because that would be the gotcha for the next election. Finally, it is not bigoted to believe in defending what marriage is. It may feel cool to say it, but it's just silly. The institution of marriage has enough trouble right now without watering it down more with this nonsensical change.


Exactly how does allowing gay marriage hurt the institution? It doesn't. It doesn't change a single thing. All it means is that other people can do the same things you can. What, you can't enjoy your marriage knowing someone else is married?
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Postby rylan » Wed Nov 15, 2006 1:11 pm

Btw, yes I am in imformed voter. I know that some of the taxes were lowered but thats not the whole point.

Anyway, I don't know why you keep referring to it as the "anti-gay amendment". The whole point of having the issue brought up is to define what marriage is. Nothing in there is saying that civil unions are outlawed or that gay marriage is illegal.
Here is what happened (the abreviated version) and what generated the movement for a ballot question in the state:

In 2001, gay and lesbian couples launched a lawsuit against the state for the legal right to marry. In Nov 2003, the state supreme judicial court ruled that the state must issue marriage licenses to same sex couples. Soon after that the court also ruled that civil unions would not be acceptable and that the state must grant full marriage licenses.
Over the past couple years, several other attempts to have the legislature put a ballot question banning same sex marriage but also granting full protection via civil unions was either shot down or ignored.
Just recently, another judge ruled to allow residents from other rhode island where same sex marriage is not allowed to come to MA and marry. This in effect will make other states laws against same sex marriage meaningless since they can come here to get married and then their state must recognize it.

My issue is no tabout same sex marriage in itself. My problem is that A GROUP OF JUDGES effectively passed a law legalizing same sex marriage.
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Postby Corth » Wed Nov 15, 2006 1:17 pm

Ragorn wrote:It doesn't sound like you have your facts right... if you "voted" to move the income tax down to 5% via referendum, then it would have gone into law. Democrats cannot simply ignore voter referendum results... that's not how politics works. Now, if what you mean is, your local newspaper took a poll and 65% of the people in your town voted "Yea" to lowering the income tax, then that's something else all together.


It was not a newspaper poll. Rylan was right, a majority of the people voted in favor of the referendum. It did not go into law, as you say. Instead, a waterered down version was implemented for a short period of time and then repealed. This is 'how politics work'?

I'm not sure how we get from your position above, to your new position that the democratic legislator did not ignore the voters in Massachusetts.
Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth



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Postby Ragorn » Wed Nov 15, 2006 1:30 pm

Lathander wrote:Most folks believe taxes are too high


I'll give you that. Everyone thinks their taxes are too high. That is why any referendum which hits the ballot to lower taxes will get rubber stamped by the voting public, regardless of the effect or ramifications to the state economy.

and they do not want more big government programs.


False. People want big government programs, but only when they are personally beneficial. Low-income people want welfare. Churches want tax exemptions and state subsidy funding. Everybody wants affordable health care, and all but the upper class want social security benefits. This is why we pay taxes.

Big government/small government isn't even a partisan issue any more, because both parties now favor exponentially increasing legislation. Only difference is, liberals favor social programs, while conservatives want economic programs.

By the way, I do think the legislature going against a popular vote is tantamount to ignoring the will of the people.


It is, because the people do not have the requisite knowledge to govern themselves. That is a basic, fundamental tenet of our representative government system. The people can not govern themselves, so they elect officials to do it for them. In this case, a referendum was put forth and implemented until the elected officials saw it was not economically feasible to continue.

If you let the people have their way, they'd repeal taxation entirely. In fact, there's a movement in MA trying to get the No Income Tax referendum to the ballot right now.

I'd encourage folks that are mad about taxes going up to not just vote, but get politically active. Google your local republican party for your county and get involved. Both parties have their problems, but for most Americans, a responsible government which does not overtax the people is what they want.


Isn't it the Republican party who is funneling hundreds of billions of dollars into a war that the majority of the American people are against? Imagine the tax breaks you could implement by cutting this elephant out of the budget. If Americans want a responsible government who doesn't overtax the people, they have no options for that at the moment.

Anyone with sense can see that low taxes are better than high taxes. The answer to the funding issue is to cut spending on needless goverment entitlement programs and give people more control over their retirement.


Actually, anyone with sense can see that what we need is universal, affordable health care and the guarantee of social security benefits. Those who think critically and avoid the knee-jerk reaction to call for lower taxes can clearly see that social programs benefit taxpayers more than an extra 2% on their weekly paycheck. We need more liberals in office to ensure these benefits are not taken away in favor of yet another tax break for wealthy corporations.

Dem's are ignoring the ban on gay marriage because the people do want it and it is their way of not saying no to the voters, but placating their base which includes the gay lobby.


Gay marriage is a civil rights issue that is an inevitability in our country, in the same category as women's suffrage and voting rights for African Americans. There is always a lot of backlash from conservatives when the country tries to move forward with civil rights. However, each new generation will be raised with fewer prejudices as our society comes to accept homosexuality as normal, and in a couple decades, gay marriage will be nationally legal. It's the same way we moved forward with rights for women and minorities.

Finally, it is not bigoted to believe in defending what marriage is. It may feel cool to say it, but it's just silly. The institution of marriage has enough trouble right now without watering it down more with this nonsensical change.


Marriage isn't an institution, it's a legal proceeding which confers additional rights and benefits on both partners. Getting married lowers your auto and home insurance, allows health insurance to extend to your partner, confers power of attorney on your spouse in cases of death or dismemberment, and qualifies you for a new bracket of income tax deductions. Denying marriage to an entire group of citizens is discriminatory, and doing it because of their sexual orientation is bigoted.

If, because of your religion, you want to believe that marriage is some sacred and divine institution handed to you by your god, then that's fine with me too. Voice your support in favor of "civil unions," which confer the legal benefits and status upon engaged partners without dragging the religious aspect into it. But no, conservatives don't want this either, because "the institution of marriage" really isn't the core of the issue... homosexuality itself is the issue.
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Postby Birile » Wed Nov 15, 2006 1:39 pm

Corth wrote:
Ragorn wrote:It doesn't sound like you have your facts right... if you "voted" to move the income tax down to 5% via referendum, then it would have gone into law. Democrats cannot simply ignore voter referendum results... that's not how politics works. Now, if what you mean is, your local newspaper took a poll and 65% of the people in your town voted "Yea" to lowering the income tax, then that's something else all together.


It was not a newspaper poll. Rylan was right, a majority of the people voted in favor of the referendum. It did not go into law, as you say. Instead, a waterered down version was implemented for a short period of time and then repealed. This is 'how politics work'?


As you already know, Corth, yes, this is exactly how politics works. We get watered down law all of the time.

And I'll say it again--if you don't like what your elected officials are doing, vote against them. Look what happened last Tuesday. Everyone knows there was such a shift not only because the Democratic base came out and voted along party lines as they normally do, but because Moderates and Independents were fed up with the direction our elected officials were going in. That's the beauty of politics. Voters think their votes don't count, but they ousted parties in control in the '70s, '80s, '90s and now the 2000's. They CAN make a difference.
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Postby Ragorn » Wed Nov 15, 2006 2:05 pm

Corth wrote:It was not a newspaper poll. Rylan was right, a majority of the people voted in favor of the referendum. It did not go into law, as you say. Instead, a waterered down version was implemented for a short period of time and then repealed. This is 'how politics work'?


The bill that went into place was set to reduce the income tax from 5.75% to 5.0% over a period of three years. This is exactly as the referendum was presented to the voting public. I don't understand what part of this is "watered down." Do you have a link?

The final tax reduction was repealed for being economically unfeasible. The face of the country and our economy changed between 2000, when the bill was passed, and 2002 when the final reduction was repealed. Should our government be shackled to old legislature which has become infeasible? The first few years of this decade were a flurry of new legislation, I don't understand why you think this particular bill is so offensive.

I'm not sure how we get from your position above, to your new position that the democratic legislator did not ignore the voters in Massachusetts.


In the case of the income tax referendum, the state government did not ignore the voters.

*EDIT* In light of further research I did a few posts down, I'm changing this statement. In the case of the gay marriage ban petition, the Democrats paid due diligence to the minority seeking a ban on gay marriage. The proposed amendment was struck down, and the referendum petition submitted by VoteOnMarriage.org only served to reignite an already-dead issue. So, in this instance also, the state government did not ignore the will of the voters.
Last edited by Ragorn on Wed Nov 15, 2006 7:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Sarvis » Wed Nov 15, 2006 3:36 pm

rylan wrote:Btw, yes I am in imformed voter. I know that some of the taxes were lowered but thats not the whole point.

Anyway, I don't know why you keep referring to it as the "anti-gay amendment". The whole point of having the issue brought up is to define what marriage is. Nothing in there is saying that civil unions are outlawed or that gay marriage is illegal.
Here is what happened (the abreviated version) and what generated the movement for a ballot question in the state:

In 2001, gay and lesbian couples launched a lawsuit against the state for the legal right to marry. In Nov 2003, the state supreme judicial court ruled that the state must issue marriage licenses to same sex couples. Soon after that the court also ruled that civil unions would not be acceptable and that the state must grant full marriage licenses.
Over the past couple years, several other attempts to have the legislature put a ballot question banning same sex marriage but also granting full protection via civil unions was either shot down or ignored.
Just recently, another judge ruled to allow residents from other rhode island where same sex marriage is not allowed to come to MA and marry. This in effect will make other states laws against same sex marriage meaningless since they can come here to get married and then their state must recognize it.

My issue is no tabout same sex marriage in itself. My problem is that A GROUP OF JUDGES effectively passed a law legalizing same sex marriage.


Well, here's my suspicion:

Judges cannot pass laws, only interperet and enforce them. Most likely, nothing in the currently written laws mentioned ANYTHING about same sex marriages. For instance, of the law said something like "The state shall grant marriage licenses to couples in good health and financial standing" then the judges did not create a law saying that gays could marry, they just formalized that the existing law's failure to ban gay marriage means it is legal.

That's how it works, and should work, isn't it, Corth?
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Postby Ragorn » Wed Nov 15, 2006 4:28 pm

The catch point in MA law is that the state legislature cannot overturn judicial decision via law. So, short of a constitutional amendment, now that a judgement has been made in favor of same-sex marriage, the state congress is powerless to ban it.
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Postby Sarvis » Wed Nov 15, 2006 5:06 pm

Well, that's odd. So they can never overturn any law that's ever gone in front of a judge?

If that's the case, you can't really blame the legislature for not listening to the referendum... they can't change the law anyway!
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Postby Ragorn » Wed Nov 15, 2006 7:02 pm

No, I think I misread or misworded something, it doesn't make sense that judges would have ultimate authority over the legislature. The law appears to dictate that once the state Supreme Court finds a measure constitutional, the only way for the legislature to overturn it is through a constitutional amendment. That makes a bit more sense. The constitution takes precedence over all other laws.

From the Wiki, the sequence of events surrounding the gay marriage amendment is as follows:

1. Superior judge finds that the state's marriage statute applies to only "one man, one woman," essentially banning gay marriage in MA.

2. State Supreme Court overturns the Superior judge's ruling on the grounds that denying marriage rights to same-sex couples creates "second-class citizens," violating a clause in the state constitution. At this point, in order to ban gay marriage, the state legislature needs to pass a constitutional amendment, since gay marriage was deemed constitutional by the state Supreme Court.

3. The MA Supreme Court clarified its position. Not only must gays be allowed to join in civil union, but they must also be given the right to MARRY. Marriage. Using the actual term.

4. The state government drafted an amendment to the state constitution that would prohibit gay MARRIAGE, while allowing CIVIL UNIONS... essentially the same thing, but without using the word that offends the christians. This amendment passed by a narrow margin, meaning it would go through the normal referendum process (passed through two Constitution Conventions, then referred to the ballot) before passing into law.

5. The second Constitution Convention was held to determine whether to put the gay marriage referendum on the ballot. The amendement was defeated SOUNDLY, by a margin of 157-39, and thus did not go to referendum.

6. VoteOnMarriage.org submitted a petition with 165,000 signatures to put the gay marriage amendment to referendum (again). This starts the process over from step 4, meaning the potential amendment must pass through ANOTHER two Constitution Conventions before appearing on the ballot.

7. The Convention was convened in 2006 without VoteOnMarriage.org's petition seeing a vote.

So, after doing a bit more digging, my position on the issue becomes clearer. The Democrats did NOT ignore the will of the people on the gay marriage issue. They went through this once already, the motion was SOUNDLY defeated in convention, and VoteOnMarriage.org's petition seeks to do nothing but continue flogging a dead horse.

Looks like the system is working just fine.

Very educational, I'm glad this came up.
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Postby Sarvis » Wed Nov 15, 2006 7:35 pm

Ragorn wrote:4. The state government drafted an amendment to the state constitution that would prohibit gay MARRIAGE, while allowing CIVIL UNIONS... essentially the same thing, but without using the word that offends the christians. This amendment passed by a narrow margin, meaning it would go through the normal referendum process (passed through two Constitution Conventions, then referred to the ballot) before passing into law.


First, remind me never to get into an argument against you. ;)

Second, the funny thing here is what happened in France when they decided to allow Civil Unions. Basically, heterosexual couples decided that civil unions sounded like a much better idea than actual marriage, so the actual marriage rate dropped significantly!

Way to "defend marriage!"
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Postby Ragorn » Wed Nov 15, 2006 7:46 pm

Personally, I don't care what it's called. If we can reach a compromise by creating a change in status which grants homosexuals the same legal rights and social benefits conferred upon married couples, you could call it whatever you want. If you want to defend marriage, that's fine by me. Let gay people become "bosom buddies" or "special friends" and let them share health insurance benefits.

Marriage is just a word. If the word offends you, it's totally cool if we find a different word :P
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Postby Lathander » Wed Nov 15, 2006 10:40 pm

Words do have meanings, that is the primary point of not distorting what marriage is. While is important to to tolerant, it is also important not to put acceptance onto things that most folks do not agree with. Applying "marriage" to gay unions implies some sort of acceptance which is bad for society and our kids in particular. It's not much different than idiots that want to dye their hair purple and wear mohawks or folks with 15 earrings and a few nose rings. It is important that people understand they don't have to accept things they know are wrong.

That said, I think some other setup with gives equivalent status for insurance and estate benefits holds water from a fairness standpoint.
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Postby Sarvis » Wed Nov 15, 2006 11:04 pm

The meanings of words change all the time, and it's hardly sacred. For instance, "fag" used to have an entirely different meaning... or is it ok to shift meanings in favor of prejudice?

Now, go back and re-read what you wrote. You started off saying that it would be bad to allow homosexuality to seem normal, and ended by saying it would be good to have a separate intitution (separate but equal!) that was essentially the same as marriage. How would such an institution NOT make homosexuality seem normal?

Frankly, I read that as using the "sacredness of marriage" as an excuse to cover your predudicial dislike of homosexuality.

Also keep in mind that in providing such an alternative to marriage you'll probably do more actual harm to the institution of marriage than gay marriage ever could, as has happened in France.

EDIT: I wanted to come back to this point specifically:

Lathander wrote: It is important that people understand they don't have to accept things they know are wrong.



In the 1800's they <i>knew</i> it was wrong to free the slaves. Through the 1900's they <i>knew</i> it was wrong for women to vote. Again through the 1900's they <i>knew</i> it was wrong for black people to use the same bathrooms as white people.

What you "know" is wrong is going to keep changing. How about we stick with the few things we know are right? If you need a hint, read the Constitution.
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Postby Lathander » Wed Nov 15, 2006 11:20 pm

I don't disagree that words meanings or even society's beliefs don't change. That doesn't make it right. Women having children out of wedlock used to be bad and shame was a useful thing. It used to be bad to have a divorce, and today, more marriages fail than survive. Commitment to family has lost some of its power while liberals preach the religion of individual satisfaction. Those are bad in my and most folks eyes.

We create a culture that does not raise up the family unit as a basis for the future. Forcing acceptance of aberrant behaviors and trying to say they are ok is just foolish. It would be like saying polygamy, another form of marriage, should be allowed. I disagree with that as much as I disagree with gay marriage. Really, I think that this is a case of a minority wanting special rights which is always a bad idea.

Maybe you are right and the idea of a separate institution for gay folks is giving in to weak liberal ideas. I do see the issue of fairness for economic and legal reasons, but I also see the fact that calling it "marriage" gives a bad example to our children.

Out of curiosity, in France when they created a new thing for gay marriage, what were the particulars that led to heterosexuals using it as well compared to real marriage?
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Postby Lathander » Wed Nov 15, 2006 11:32 pm

On the Fiscal stuff:

Clinton balanced the budget because he had a great economy from Reagan's landmark changes in the 80's. In addition, he did some good things like welfar reform and NAFTA>

Bush isn't the best guy around, but he was the best guy running. I think he really made a huge mistake with Medicare D. I expect the politicians will pork this all to hell in the future. Also, Bush scares me because of his support of amnesty and a guest worker program. These are largely to give business cheap labor. Personally, I think we need to assimulate these new folks not just work them. Europe has guest worker programs and that is why muslims are such a problem.

Finally, some of the big businesses like the auto industry are lobbying for national health care. It scares the hell out of me that Bush might join with the Dems to put this in to bail out the companies. We'll see but hopefully we get 2 years of gridlock.
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Postby Sarvis » Thu Nov 16, 2006 1:18 am

Lathander wrote:I don't disagree that words meanings or even society's beliefs don't change. That doesn't make it right. Women having children out of wedlock used to be bad and shame was a useful thing. It used to be bad to have a divorce, and today, more marriages fail than survive. Commitment to family has lost some of its power while liberals preach the religion of individual satisfaction. Those are bad in my and most folks eyes.

We create a culture that does not raise up the family unit as a basis for the future. Forcing acceptance of aberrant behaviors and trying to say they are ok is just foolish. It would be like saying polygamy, another form of marriage, should be allowed. I disagree with that as much as I disagree with gay marriage. Really, I think that this is a case of a minority wanting special rights which is always a bad idea.

Maybe you are right and the idea of a separate institution for gay folks is giving in to weak liberal ideas. I do see the issue of fairness for economic and legal reasons, but I also see the fact that calling it "marriage" gives a bad example to our children.

Out of curiosity, in France when they created a new thing for gay marriage, what were the particulars that led to heterosexuals using it as well compared to real marriage?


Why does gay marriage lead to a breakdown in family units? Are two men incapable of raising children? Two women? Are they more or less capable than a single woman?

Here, read:

Discriminatory practices are based on the assumption that lesbian mothers and gay fathers are different from heterosexual parents in ways that are detrimental to their children's well-being. However, few differences have been found in research conducted over the last 3 decades comparing lesbian and heterosexual mothers' self-esteem, psychological adjustment, and attitudes toward child rearing.25,26 Lesbian mothers fall within the range of normal psychological functioning on interviews and psychological assessments, and report scores on standardized measures of self-esteem, anxiety, depression, and parenting stress indistinguishable from those reported by heterosexual mothers.27

Lesbian mothers strongly endorse child-centered attitudes and commitment to their maternal roles28 and have been shown to be more concerned with providing male role models for their children than are divorced heterosexual mothers.29 Lesbian and heterosexual mothers describe themselves similarly in marital and maternal interests, current lifestyles, and child-rearing practices.29 They report similar role conflicts, social support networks, and coping strategies.30,31

Empirical evidence reveals that gay fathers have substantial evidence of nurturance and investment in their paternal role and no differences from heterosexual fathers in providing appropriate recreation or encouraging autonomy. Gay fathers have been described to adhere to strict disciplinary guidelines, to place an emphasis on guidance and the development of cognitive skills, and to be involved in their children's activities.32,33 Overall, there are more similarities than differences in the parenting styles and attitudes of gay and nongay fathers.34,35 - http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/c ... /118/1/349


From this we know that a gay couple can raise a family just as well as a straight couple, let's take a look at the effects of predudice against homosexuality:

Because most children whose parents are gay or lesbian have experienced the divorce of their biological parents - Same article


You see, this is what happens when social norms force someone to conform to a false ideal. Eventually they cannot repress their true nature any further, and must betray their spouse. Were there less of a stigma associated with homosexuality, there would be far fewer of these cases as they would be more willing to enter into their favored union.

So is being raised by same sex parents worse for a child than going through a divorce?

If you're going to argue that same-sex marriage leads to a breakdown of family values, you need to actually show it... not just give us a knee jerk slippery slope fallacy.


(I'm having trouble finding links on the France thing, I'll have to post something later... sorry)
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Postby Ragorn » Thu Nov 16, 2006 3:08 am

Lathander wrote:Words do have meanings, that is the primary point of not distorting what marriage is. While is important to to tolerant, it is also important not to put acceptance onto things that most folks do not agree with. Applying "marriage" to gay unions implies some sort of acceptance which is bad for society and our kids in particular.


First, please stop using the word "most." There is not a clear majority of opinion on this issue in our country. Where I live, most folks support homosexuality, including the legalization of gay marriage. Intolerance is much more shameful here than homosexuality.

Second, what part of homosexuality is bad for our kids? Sexual orientation is a social status, equivalent to being black or being a woman. Homosexuality is not abnormal, immoral, or wrong. It is not contageous, except that social acceptance will encourage more homosexuals to be open about their orientation. It is not a choice in most cases (sorority girls looking for attention notwithstanding), it is a biological predisposition. Allowing gay marriage does imply acceptance, because our society SHOULD accept homosexuals, the same way we accept other social minority groups. Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is no different from racial, ethnic, or gender discrimination.

[Veering off course a bit.]

Homosexuality IS a sin, which means it is against the moral code of a select group of religious individuals. But it is less of a sin than lying, dishonoring your parents, or taking the Lord's name in vain. God didn't issue a commandment to Moses condemning homosexuality. However, there IS a commandment prohibiting you from working on Sunday. So, even in the christian religion, homosexuality is a decidedly minor offense, akin to divorce or failure to tithe. I don't understand why so many evangelical christians choose THIS issue to rise up against when they pointedly ignore so many other rules of their religion.

Lathander, I don't know if you're a christian or not. I assume you are, because it's rare to see someone defend the "institution of marriage" unless they're speaking from a religious standpoint. I don't want to strawman you by attacking beliefs that aren't yours, nor do I want to open this thread up into an attack on any one particular religion. However:

That said, I think some other setup with gives equivalent status for insurance and estate benefits holds water from a fairness standpoint.

Like I said, I don't care what we call it. If you want to provide civil unions for homosexuals so they can enjoy the same legal benefits conferred upon married people, I think everyone on our side of the fence is pretty ok with that.

Finally, some of the big businesses like the auto industry are lobbying for national health care. It scares the hell out of me that Bush might join with the Dems to put this in to bail out the companies.


GM's financial difficulty stems from the fact that their union is costing them more in health care than they can afford to pay out. GM is only lobbying for a national health care plan because THEIR bottom line has completely tanked as a result of runaway insurance premiums. This puts the Republicans in a very tight spot... they've fought against "socialized health care" for so long that it's going to be tricky for them to accommodate the wishes of their wealthy corporate buddies. What do you do when your own policies start to strangle your biggest contributors?
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Postby Sarvis » Thu Nov 16, 2006 3:46 am

I can't find an article explaining why French couples are choosing civil union (pacte civil de solidarité) over traditional marriage.

I did confirm I was thinking of the right country though:

According to the 2004 Demographic Report (pdf in English) by the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (Insee), the number of marriages in France had fallen each year since 2000. 266,000 civil marriages took place in 2004, a decline of 5.9% from 2003. However, the report found that the number of couples getting PACS had increased every year except 2001. There was a 29% increase in PACS between 2001 and 2002 and a 25% increase between 2002 and 2003. For the first 9 months of 2004, 27,000 PACS were signed compared to 22,000 in 2003. The report found that one PACS in 10 had been dissolved. A parliamentary report released in January 2006 said a total of around 170,000 PACS had been signed.[4] - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacte_civil_de_solidarité


I suspect that the reasons people are choosing PACS are that it is easier to enter into and break out of, but I'm still not sure.

I also ran across this interesting article: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4340088/

Particularly interesting from it was that marriage has only "recently" been a religious issue, and has always fluctuated to suit the times anyway:

While the decline of marriage may seem to portend some kind of social cataclysm, scholars say the institution has always been in flux, responding to the particular needs of different eras. "Throughout much of history, if you acted like you were married, then you were treated like you were married," says marriage historian Stephanie Coontz of Evergreen State University in Washington. Religion, a major part of the current defense of "traditional" marriage, didn't even enter the picture, Coontz says, until the ninth century, and then only to prevent European aristocrats from marrying close relatives. The goal was to make sure noble families didn't consolidate too much power. (Commoners could still hook up with anyone they fancied.)


Hah! Conservatives are defending an institution that came about as a tactic for class warfare!
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Postby teflor the ranger » Thu Nov 16, 2006 5:02 am

Sarvis wrote:Hah! Conservatives are defending an institution that came about as a tactic for class warfare!


My guess is that you only find this unusual because you don't understand the Republican (conservative) party's platform or the reasons behind their philosophy.

Really, it's amusing to me that you find this amusing at all.
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Postby Branthur » Thu Nov 16, 2006 6:20 am

Ragorn wrote:Homosexuality IS a sin, which means it is against the moral code of a select group of religious individuals.


As long as we're being clear, it is certainly not set in stone that homosexuality is a sin. Sorry Bible literalists, but it's not. Most references in current translations of the bible are mistranslated from other terms, often in reference to ritual temple prostitutes. In other cases, it's reference to homosexual RAPE. And of course, there's Paul, who's wary of ANY sexual contact, hetero or homo, and even then verses attributed to him are often taken out of context.

You can rail against homosexuality all you want, but leave the good book out of it.

It could be that God frowns upon homosexuality. Maybe not. Any references to it in the Bible are vague at best, or are in Leviticus, where you get all the other fun verses of banning tattoos, not eating rare steaks, bans planting a field with mixed seeds, and prohibitions on how you may trim your beard.

And finally, what happened to Judge not, lest ye be judged?
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Postby Ragorn » Thu Nov 16, 2006 2:48 pm

Branthur wrote:It could be that God frowns upon homosexuality. Maybe not. Any references to it in the Bible are vague at best, or are in Leviticus, where you get all the other fun verses of banning tattoos, not eating rare steaks, bans planting a field with mixed seeds, and prohibitions on how you may trim your beard.


1 Corinthians 6:9:

<i>Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,</i>

This is from the King James. The word "effeminate" is translated as "homosexual offender" in the NIV, and "homosexuals" in most other versions including the New American Standard.

Well, yes, this is a letter from Paul, who's a bit of a prude even by biblical standards. In this particular book, he's lecturing on everything from sleeping with prostitutes to having sex with your mother. But it's not a matter of translation or a biblical technicality... unless you want to claim that there was a mistranslation somewhere in the shared history of all the current versions, but you'll have to provide your own research on that :P

The real irony here is that 1 Corinthians 6:1 says:

<i>If any of you has a dispute with another, dare he take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the saints?</i>

This passage clearly says to me that christians should resove their own morality problems among themselves without dragging secular government in. Doesn't this mean that christians should deal with their own issues rather than trying to pass legislation that affects everybody?
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Postby Sarvis » Thu Nov 16, 2006 3:11 pm

Ragorn wrote:
This passage clearly says to me that christians should resove their own morality problems among themselves without dragging secular government in. Doesn't this mean that christians should deal with their own issues rather than trying to pass legislation that affects everybody?


No, it means the Christians shouldn't allow a secular government. :P
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Postby Branthur » Thu Nov 16, 2006 3:13 pm

Ragorn wrote:
Branthur wrote:It could be that God frowns upon homosexuality. Maybe not. Any references to it in the Bible are vague at best, or are in Leviticus, where you get all the other fun verses of banning tattoos, not eating rare steaks, bans planting a field with mixed seeds, and prohibitions on how you may trim your beard.


1 Corinthians 6:9:

<i>Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,</i>

This is from the King James. The word "effeminate" is translated as "homosexual offender" in the NIV, and "homosexuals" in most other versions including the New American Standard.


Yes, but all of that is a mistranslation of the greek words malakoi arsenokoitai, which has been translated in any number of ways through the years. I know that around the time of Martin Luther, it was a reference to masturbation, and only later became a reference to homosexuality. (It's good to have a religious scholars as wife, friend, and father-in-law). I'm not sure (haven't done the research), but it has probably been translated as different things as well.

Ragorn wrote:The real irony here is that 1 Corinthians 6:1 says:

<i>If any of you has a dispute with another, dare he take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the saints?</i>

This passage clearly says to me that christians should resove their own morality problems among themselves without dragging secular government in. Doesn't this mean that christians should deal with their own issues rather than trying to pass legislation that affects everybody?


Yup. Oh, and before someone else says it, no, my argument is not technically in favor of gay marriage. Honestly, I don't know where I stand on that particular issue. While I maintain that the Bible really says nothing AGAINST homosexuality, there is also nothing in it, by inference or otherwise, that would be in support of a religiously recognized union between two members of the same sex. That is also NOT to say that I don't believe that there is an equal rights issue here - there most certainly is.
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Postby Ragorn » Thu Nov 16, 2006 3:56 pm

Branthur wrote:Yes, but all of that is a mistranslation of the greek words malakoi arsenokoitai, which has been translated in any number of ways through the years.


Got link?
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Postby avak » Thu Nov 16, 2006 4:02 pm

...Same sex marriage will erode the institution of marriage....

I find it hard to believe that people still say that.

I think it may be more honest to say that the people (in general) who hold that sentiment are actually homophobic. I also think that using religious doctrine as justification for such discrimination is faulty at best. Perhaps the entire problem stems from an inherent fear of homosexuals based on insecurity about one's own sexual identity.

I believe that we need to stop running legislation to outlaw same sex marriage and start running legislation to strip marriage of legal status and -only- grant it to civil union.

I also think that there is great irony in a country that wants to be the model of democracy, but in fact, verges on a theocracy.

*** Removed rampant (but thoughtful, imo) sarcasm in favor of sterilizing message for mass consumption ***
Last edited by avak on Thu Nov 16, 2006 6:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Vigis » Thu Nov 16, 2006 4:03 pm

Ragorn wrote:
Branthur wrote:Yes, but all of that is a mistranslation of the greek words malakoi arsenokoitai, which has been translated in any number of ways through the years.


Got link?


I found this one. The background is ugly, but it gives the progression of the translations.
http://www.geocities.com/rainbowchristi ... and_T.html
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Postby Ragorn » Thu Nov 16, 2006 5:43 pm

avak wrote:ROFL. Same sex marriage will erode the institution of marriage.


I've requested that this post be deleted. Please keep flames and offensive posts off our forum.
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Postby Ragorn » Thu Nov 16, 2006 6:27 pm

Vigis wrote:
Ragorn wrote:
Branthur wrote:Yes, but all of that is a mistranslation of the greek words malakoi arsenokoitai, which has been translated in any number of ways through the years.


Got link?


I found this one. The background is ugly, but it gives the progression of the translations.
http://www.geocities.com/rainbowchristi ... and_T.html


Yeah, I found a similar text on a website that's a bit easier to read. Good call, going to research that a bit when I get a chance.
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Postby Sarvis » Thu Nov 16, 2006 6:57 pm

What's your Rags? Something more authoritative than Geocities by any chance?
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Postby Ragorn » Thu Nov 16, 2006 8:07 pm

If you google malakoi arsenokoitai, you'll get a bunch of responses. Some similar to what Vigis posted, and there's a chart listing some of the translations of the words over time.

If you don't mind visiting a website run by gay and lesbian christians, you can read something about it here:

http://www.whosoever.org/bible/corin.html
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Postby teflor the ranger » Thu Nov 16, 2006 11:19 pm

Ragorn wrote:
avak wrote:ROFL. Same sex marriage will erode the institution of marriage.


I've requested that this post be deleted. Please keep flames and offensive posts off our forum.


Omg. I am offended that you are offended.
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Postby teflor the ranger » Thu Nov 16, 2006 11:24 pm

Why has everyone seem to have missed the point that providing government benefits for opposite sex marriage is to encourage both that and the traditional family unit, _the most_ productive relationship for the American workforce?

Why hasn't anyone considered the CRITICAL factors of economy, population, and general American productivity?

A national government DOES NOT AND SHOULD NOT PRIMARILY CONSIDER your FEELINGS when it comes to ADMINISTERING a governing body. We need American babies to be raised into American workers. The best way to ensure that is to promote opposite sex marriage.

AND yes, in order to PROMOTE something over another means FAVORING one. LIMTIATION OF RESOURCES.

"But teflor, addurrrr, what resouces would allowing gays to marry take?"

$60,000 IN LOST TAX RECIEPTS ON AVERAGE
We give $60,000 in tax breaks on average to the married over a course of about 20 years IN ORDER to promote opposite sex marriage. THATS A LOT OF RESOUCES.

"but teflor, ahahahbuhhhh, you're just a homophobe, why do you hate gays?"

Do you support Federal funding for Affirmative Action? What about minority-only scholarships? Do you agree that veterans should get preference for federal service jobs?

WHY DO YOU HATE WHITE PEOPLE.

"but teflor, bbbbbbbuhhhhh, why would it hurt to give gay marriage the same respect and benefits as straight marraige"

- No longer promoting opposite sex marraige.
- Loss of necessary tax reciepts that will INCREASE national debt and place a further burden on our children.
- Clog up divorce court further and make divorce itself an even bigger farce.
- Disrespects the beliefs of an extremely large number of people in this country and opens the door to massive societal change. (*experts that support state benefits for gay marriage agree with the part about massive societal change - it can be good and it can be bad, the point is that no one knows IT IS _BAD_ GOVERNANCE TO ENACT SOMETHING WITH RESOUNDING EFFECTS THAT NO ONE CAN PREDICT OR EXPLAIN)



That all being said, marriage is an archaic and aging institution that appears to be increasingly incompatible with modern society. Promotion of change should be done with SOLID and SCIENTIFIC understanding of the changes occuring in both society and institutions of American culture and life themselves.

There is no need to feel anger or pain over what others believe. Unless, of course, you need others to validate how you feel - which would make your marriage a joke to begin with.
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Postby Branthur » Thu Nov 16, 2006 11:43 pm

teflor the ranger wrote:Why has everyone seem to have missed the point that providing government benefits for opposite sex marriage is to encourage both that and the traditional family unit, _the most_ productive relationship for the American workforce?
-snip-
We need American babies to be raised into American workers. The best way to ensure that is to promote opposite sex marriage.


Please define "American babies". If a baby is raised in a homosexual home, what do you call the baby then?

A husband and wife have a baby. The husband dies shortly thereafter in a car crash. The wife is now a single mother, who now gets other government benefits. Is her child no longer an "American baby"?

Are foster children no longer "American"?

By your definition, since the entire point of marriage is the production of children, are married couples with no children not entitled to marriage benefits? Can't have children? Don't want children?
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Postby teflor the ranger » Thu Nov 16, 2006 11:46 pm

Branthur wrote:
teflor the ranger wrote:Why has everyone seem to have missed the point that providing government benefits for opposite sex marriage is to encourage both that and the traditional family unit, _the most_ productive relationship for the American workforce?
-snip-
We need American babies to be raised into American workers. The best way to ensure that is to promote opposite sex marriage.


Please define "American babies". If a baby is raised in a homosexual home, what do you call the baby then?

A husband and wife have a baby. The husband dies shortly thereafter in a car crash. The wife is now a single mother, who now gets other government benefits. Is her child no longer an "American baby"?

Are foster children no longer "American"?

By your definition, since the entire point of marriage is the production of children, are married couples with no children not entitled to marriage benefits? Can't have children? Don't want children?


That is a good question Branthur, I will respond by merely saying "what baby."

Homosexuals don't reproduce with each other.

Specifically to what you said, American children are those who share with the majority of other American children the average American existance.

They are the most productive class of society. Clean and simple.
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Postby Branthur » Thu Nov 16, 2006 11:48 pm

teflor the ranger wrote:
Branthur wrote:
teflor the ranger wrote:Why has everyone seem to have missed the point that providing government benefits for opposite sex marriage is to encourage both that and the traditional family unit, _the most_ productive relationship for the American workforce?
-snip-
We need American babies to be raised into American workers. The best way to ensure that is to promote opposite sex marriage.


Please define "American babies". If a baby is raised in a homosexual home, what do you call the baby then?

A husband and wife have a baby. The husband dies shortly thereafter in a car crash. The wife is now a single mother, who now gets other government benefits. Is her child no longer an "American baby"?

Are foster children no longer "American"?

By your definition, since the entire point of marriage is the production of children, are married couples with no children not entitled to marriage benefits? Can't have children? Don't want children?


That is a good question Branthur, I will respond by merely saying "what baby."

Homosexuals don't reproduce with each other.


But they can adopt. ;) Try again.

teflor the ranger wrote:They are the most productive class of society. Clean and simple.


You've said this a few times. Stats? Link? Anything?
Last edited by Branthur on Thu Nov 16, 2006 11:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby teflor the ranger » Thu Nov 16, 2006 11:50 pm

Branthur wrote:But they can adopt. ;) Try again.


Insignificant to an Extreme

How many? Maybe 20,000 across the entire country in 20 years? You try again.

The "I bought this one Ford and it broke down on me so all Fords are unreliable" argument is NOT ONE GOOD GOVERNANCE TAKES SERIOUSLY.
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Postby teflor the ranger » Thu Nov 16, 2006 11:54 pm

Branthur wrote:
teflor the ranger wrote:They are the most productive class of society. Clean and simple.


You've said this a few times. Stats? Link? Anything?


Just caught your edit. This is a well known and well studied fact. I see no reason to question it. If you do: www.google.com
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Postby Ambar » Fri Nov 17, 2006 12:20 am

Why is America so afraid of gay/lesbian marriages? Everything I have watched and heard (no refrences dont ask im lazy) says same sex relationships are more stable than heterosexual relationships. Of course there are cases where abuse, neglect, irresponsibility occurs, but that happens EVERYWHERE in every walk of life.

The Bible is archaic in its rules and beliefs. Laws are meant to be changed with the times. Hell how can you even believe in something that was written thousands of years ago by MEN (by men i refer to mankind/humankind) and translated over and over and over and over again.

Flame .. on .. this is how I feel deep in my heart, just like you feel however you feel deep in yours.

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Postby Vigis » Fri Nov 17, 2006 12:45 am

teflor the ranger wrote:
Branthur wrote:But they can adopt. ;) Try again.


Insignificant to an Extreme

How many? Maybe 20,000 across the entire country in 20 years? You try again.

The "I bought this one Ford and it broke down on me so all Fords are unreliable" argument is NOT ONE GOOD GOVERNANCE TAKES SERIOUSLY.


Forgive my laziness in research, but this website: http://www.womedia.org/taf_statistics.htm claims to have statistics taken from the US Census Bureau of Household and Family Statistics showing that one third of gay and lesbian couples have children. Add to that the the census reports neary 47,000 gay or lesbian households in just New York says that there are by far more than 20,000 children in 20 years.
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Sarvis
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Postby Sarvis » Fri Nov 17, 2006 1:51 am

So Teflor, are the tax revenues lost from gay marriage more or less than the tax revenue lost to Bush's tax cuts?

What spin are we going with this week?


Vigis, Branthur... I heartily recommend NOT arguing with Teflor. It never goes well, and in three pages you'll have Ambar yelling at you. :poke Ambar:
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Postby Corth » Fri Nov 17, 2006 5:06 am

I'm in favor of gay marriage, but I recognize that people hold strong positions adverse to mine, and I respect those positions. However, trying to justify a ban on gay marriage on the basis that gay marriage will cost the government TAX REVENUE is absurd to me. If that is our logic for resolving moral issues, we may as well start euthanizing indigents and welfare mothers to save additional tax dollars.

Teflor doesn't believe me when I call him a commie statist.. but every single political position he espouses involves giving the state more power over individuals. Its almost as if the political spectrum wraps around.. and Teflor is so far to the right, he ends up on the left.
Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth



Goddamned slippery mage.
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Postby Lilira » Fri Nov 17, 2006 11:24 am

I'm not extremely awake yet so forgive me if I start rambling. (Yes as usual.)

I can understand the major reasons why homosexual pairs want legalized marriage.

1) Insurance and other benefits only available to legal partners.
2) An emotional feeling of commitment and a religious/civil tie to state that.

Reasons why so many people are opposed...

1) Religion
2) Umm.. well I think basically that citizens of the US as a whole are just enough homophobic (whether they want to admit it or not) to allow it, so they drag out the religious tomes and dust them off.

Personally I believe the word marriage should be removed from legal documents. Come up with something else. (I've seen a phrase I particularly liked, but won't remember it til after I've had some caffeine.) Then let the religious folk fight it out as to whether or not they'll perform marriages for homosexual couples or not. Then let the insurance companies fight it out as to who will cover them. I guarantee they'll fall in line after the first 2000 lawsuits that drive up everyone else's costs. Make it so civil ceremonies can be performed but call it something else. The word marriage is so wrapped up in religious connotations that most people hearing the words "marriage" and "homosexual" in the same sentence get their backs up.

Tax breaks? *mutter* My husband and I were hosed the first 4 years of our marriage in the area of thousands of dollars each year despite the steps we took told to us by our tax accountant. It wasn't until I stopped working and we went off his income that we started coming in positive. How screwed up is that?

Give them their ceremony. Then they can pay taxes as a legal couple, get hosed as a legal couple, and get divorced as a legal couple.

But then I'm one of the ones who thinks we should legalize prostitution so it can be taxed and health concerns can be regulated. (You're a working girl.. okay if you want to keep your license you get a medical check every month.)

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