Marriage Amendment: What it might mean to let the people decide

  • Article by: DAVID BOOTH
  • Updated: May 11, 2011 - 9:51 PM

It might mean the tyranny of the majority.

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talktalkMay. 11, 1110:52 PM

Prof. Booth, I think you’ll find the following colum/blogs by Ross Douthat of the NY Times to be food for thought relative to your reductionist “aversion” or “religious offense” dichotomy: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/09/opinion/09douthat.htmlhttp://, douthat.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/12/marriage-in-thick-and-thin/, http://douthat.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/10/law-culture-and-same-sex-marriage/.

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goferfanzMay. 11, 1110:54 PM

Tyranny? Perhaps, it is the common sense of the majority. America will go the way of ancient world powers unless it can strengthen its traditional marriage and reverse these horrible divorce and illegitimacy trends. Gay marriage is simply a sideshow distraction from the real problems facing this country. Gays, indeed everyone, should try rally around strengthening traditional marriage.

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dubbleaMay. 11, 1111:14 PM

I'm with Prof. Booth on this one.

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orpheus90May. 12, 11 1:46 AM

Another way to look at this: One could make the case that the Marriage Amendment is a violation of the religious liberties of gay people.

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ammunraMay. 12, 11 1:48 AM

goferfanz -- If you sincerely believe that heterosexual marriage is the only thing preventing America from collapsing into utter ruin a la Rome, Assyria, Babylon, Greece, etc. then perhaps it's time to crack open that dusty history book again.

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PolishBearMay. 12, 11 9:06 AM

DEAR GOFERFANZ: What makes you think that anything is happening to "traditional marriage?" The quest for marriage equality by Gay couples has absolutely nothing to do with Straight (i.e. heterosexual) couples. Nothing is changing for them. Nothing is happening to "traditional marriage." Most people are Straight, alway have been, always will be ... and they will continue to date, get engaged, marry and build lives and families together as they always have. None of that will change by allowing Gay couples to do the same. Religious beliefs are irrelevant to this debate, because (1) the United States is not theocracy, and (2) churches will continue to be free to conduct or deny ceremonies to whomever they want. Procreation and parenting are irrelevant, since (1) couples do not have to marry to have children, and (2) the ability or even desire to have children is not a prerequisite for getting a marriage license. This is simply a matter of equal treatment under the law. Maybe you should ask yourself why law-abiding, taxpaying Gay Americans should be forced to subsidize all the legal benefits and responsibilities that Straight couples enjoy, when we are unable to take advantage of those same incentives to marry? And since when do voters get to decide that the rights that they enjoy should NOT apply to minorities?

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my4centsMay. 12, 11 9:47 AM

Remove religion from this debate and the ideal still does not change. While there are many families that thrive with only one parent - or with two parents of the same sex - there are vast studies and resources that show the advantages of a heterosexual two-parent family. These societal advantages alone, apart from any discussions about what anyone does in their bedroom, are enough to CONTINUE to uphold the traditional marriage as the ideal. That being said, I do believe that divorce and the large number of single parents is probably a more troublesome issue. Our laws, especially our welfare and social services, should be changed to discourage this as well.

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nasethMay. 12, 1110:32 AM

PolishBear - And gopherfanz response? "But...but..."

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retrntiredMay. 12, 1111:21 AM

Tyranny by the majority is better than tyranny by special interest groups paying for votes

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cynical1May. 12, 1111:59 AM

Government isn't needed to make laws about sex. Individuals decide who they want to sleep with - the system works quite well when you just let people make those choices themselves.

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