Ortman votes no on marriage equality

The marriage equality bill, S.F. 925, had a hearing today in the Senate Judiciary Committee.  State Senator Julianne Ortman (R-Chanhassen) was part of the party-line vote on the bill, with all five DFLers voting in favor of the bill and all three Republicans voting against the bill.  The bill is now eligible to vote to the full Senate for a vote.

In the 2012 election, Ortman’s SD 47 voted in favor of the amendment, earning 51.4% of the votes.  However, the results sharply varied from the eastern side of the district to the west.  The eastern portion of the district, House District 47B, voted against the amendment (only 45.4% voting yes), while the western portion of the district, House District 47A, had 57.5% voting yes.  It will be interesting to see if the dynamics in 47B play a role in influencing State Rep. Joe Hoppe’s vote.  Hoppe voted in favor of the amendment last session.

The counterpart bill in the House, H.F. 1054, had a hearing this morning in the Civil Law Committee that will continue tonight.   State Rep. Cindy Pugh, who represents northeast Chanhassen as part of District 33B, sits on that committee.  Pugh is a solid “no” vote on marriage equality.

 

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274 Responses to “Ortman votes no on marriage equality”

  1. There’s a big difference between being in favor of the amendment and againt this bill, as the polls clearly show.

  2. The use of the political euphemism “marriage equality” is wrong, Mr. Olsen. “Same sex marriage” can never be equal to marriage. Members of the same sex can never consummate the marriage, they cannot engage in the procreative act, and they cannot bring the unique qualities of a father and a mother to the family.

    • The legal requirements for marriage do not force citizens to have children to further the glory of the state; to do so would be a fundamental and total violation of the privacy of the citizenry. Such an argument has been tried before (Griswold v. Connecticut), where a state actually tried to prohibit married couples from using birth control, under the guise that a growing population base also provides a growing tax base in the future. Think about the grotesque intrusion that suggests, in the idea of demanding people breed so the government can collect more taxes. That standard was denied; hence, to present it as a de jure or de facto standard is a false argument. It is your opinion; that does not give you or anyone else the right to force such a flawed standard upon others through government action and denial of equal opportunity.

      Additionally, your argument that “they cannot bring the unique qualities of a father and a mother to the family” makes far too many assumptions on the elements a mother or father brings to their children. Who says that a man cannot be nurturing, or that a woman cannot encourage a competitive drive? Why should the state enshrine a stereotyped vision of gender for all people?

      Furthermore, if the state is allowed to sanction reproduction as an activity it can promote under its authority, then it can also limit or prohibit conception under the same guises. Again, case law already exists in this area attempting to do this very thing, a point you refused to address the last time this discussion happened. How would such a gross and tyrannical expansion of government power ever be wise?

      You have the right to live your life by your own moral code; however, to deny another person the right to do so, you must show cause, something that cannot be done in this case. Therefore, there is no reason not to pursue equality in marriage, because that is what’s at stake.

      • You can write all the paragraphs you want, Drew. It does not change biological fact. It does not change the objective truth – to reiterate – “Same sex marriage” can never be equal to marriage. Members of the same sex can never consummate the marriage, they cannot engage in the procreative act, and they cannot bring the unique qualities of a father and a mother to the family. This serves a legitimate religious and secular purpose.

        The one constant of marriage that it has been always between a man and a woman. Men and women are different, each sex has its own unique characteristics.

        No matter how you try, Drew, you cannot write your own Laws of Nature.

        • Procreation requires two different genders. Marriage is not solely about procreation, nor is procreation a legal requirement for marriage. Thus unless you intend to violate the liberty and privacy by requiring procreation for anyone to be married, connecting the two is a false premise, and thus summarily denied.

          Procreation may be your only reason for marriage, or the primary one in your case (if that is indeed true), but there is no justification in forcing that narrow definition on others through denial of civil rights. For most Americans, commitment in a relationship is about love, partnership, companionship, and strength. Those things hold, even in the absence of children. Your edict advances no valid purpose, and is done at the expense of creating a precedent that enables massive intrusion into the lives of the citizens.

          Through your logic, senior citizens should not be able to marry if they cannot demonstrate an ability to have children. All couples should be screened to test for fertility before granting marriage licenses. Genetic screening would be allowed as grounds to question a marriage license, if it could be shown that the offspring would have a limited chance of survival. How far do we allow big government to intrude before the insanity behind such a premise is recognized?

          That’s the problem. You have your beliefs, and are entitled to them. However, you are now seeking to deny others the same rights in order to shelter said beliefs from contradictions, in a way that opens the door for fundamental violations of our liberties, without any just cause to do so, and without any benefit to show for it. Until you can address that, your argument is flawed beyond repair, and thus without standing.

          • Once again, Drew, you fail to admit to objective truth. Only the union of a man and a woman can be a marriage, for only a man and a woman will be able to consummate a marriage, engage in the procreative act, continue the human race, and raise their offspring through the unique characteristics of a man and a woman.

            Marriage is primarily about the biological imperative of a man and a woman to start a family.

            You are entitled to your own biological opinions. You are not entitled to your own biological facts.

            • And you are not entitled to change the law and the meaning of the Constitution to fit your narrow definition of marriage. Marriage does not legally require procreation to exist; therefore, requiring such a standard for homosexuals when it is not required for heterosexuals is unequal, and thus without standing.

              Gay and lesbian couples can have kids through artificial insemination or surrogacy, and studies show no harm or difference for children raised by those couples. Therefore, your argument fails on its face, and is denied.

              So unless you can explain why big government should be allowed to ignore the Constitution to implement an unequal standard based on a limited definition of marriage that ignores any right to privacy, your argument fails. Repeating it again and again doesn’t address those flaws.

    • It’s like the Affordable Care Act. There’s nothing affordable about it. Agree 100%. Marriage is by definition between a man and a woman. When you change the difinition to suit those who don’t want it that way doesn’t mean you bring equality to the table. If there’s some benefit to being married that gives a benefit, you should be looking at why the benefit exists. Is it, for example, to foster a good environment for raising children? A support system, if you will, that honors that fact that the traditional family structure is that which brings about the greatest chance of success for the children?

      • I’m actually with Rand Paul on this one. Most of our laws should be neutral to marriage. There’s no reason one should get a tax benefit or penalty solely on the basis of being married. Policies that support children should support children regardless of their family structure (the kids, after all, didn’t pick their parents).

      • This isn’t about preserving a traditional family structure; it’s about enforcing a separate legal standard on one particular group to the detriment of their rights, without just cause. After all, if the preservation of the family unit was the goal, then the law would target divorces and make them illegal, or add support structures to maintain a two-parent home. Instead, we add impediments to having people participate in committed relationships that adversely affect health care choices, personal decisions, and even taxes, without any evidence to do so. It’s big government intervention at its worst.

        Again, look at the foundations of the original argument offered above, that procreation is the primary motive for marriage as a civil institution. First of all, that’s a hollow definition of marriage, even by the standards of scripture. Second, no other group is asked to maintain that standard; thus the standard is discriminatory, and violates the Constitution. We don’t screen heterosexual couples to determine if they can have children before granting a marriage license, nor do we allow for a grotesque government intrusion that insists that they not use birth control as to further the interests of big government. And yet that rationale is being used for one particular group? Again, big and intrusive government at its worst.

        Someone who is homosexual isn’t going to abandon their nature just because we pass a law saying they have less rights. If anything, a prohibition against the civil ceremony of marriage discourages commitment while increasing the emotional and financial burdens, without any actual benefit to society. Strange that those who normally oppose government mandates now favor one that offers only additional burdens. You can’t have it both ways.

        Churches should be able to maintain their own beliefs, as should individuals and families. However, the argument against marriage equality as a civil construct has been used with interracial marriages and other things that violate the “cultural norms” of the day, and have never been sustainable or founded in reality. Studies show that two-parent homes have higher success rates, so why discourage a relationship that binds two people to being committed to each other? Why limit adoption and other rights for homosexual couples, when that only adds to the burden government takes on to fill the gaps these couples would love to fill? It’s a false argument that insists on punishing someone for something that hurts no one else, that violates no rights of another, and in a way that establishes a precedent for massive government intrusion into our lives.

        Again, there have already been attempts to mandate the conception of children as part of the agenda of the state; this argument extends part of that premise. Do we want the police to come into our homes to determine if our marriage and intimate life meets the goals of the government? Do we need another mandate without any purpose? Are we willing to accept the consequences when, having taken rights away from some, the same argument is used to take rights away from us all?

        That is why this is an issue of equity. The arguments being used to restrict the rights of same-sex couples are not being applied equally, thus the premise fails to maintain a neutral purpose and application, and cannot be sustained.

        • So fix it with a civil union process. Or call it garriage or some other term. What I don’t get is why they want to be taxed higher anyway. I’d leave it alone, as many of these folks seem to want to do.

          And there is no inequality. If you are a man, you may marry any woman who will have you. Or vice versa. That’s equal.

          • Nice Michelle Bachmann quote, Mr. Brunette, except for the fact that her argument fails on even the most cursory inspection. Saying it is an equal opportunity as long as you love the group that big government tells you to love… that’s not equal, in any shape or form. Having someone use government power to say that your natural, legal, and consensual emotions must change to fit their normality is an inherent corruption and intrusion by government. That’s not much different than the same arguments against interracial marriage (minus the racial preconceptions, in this case). The same arguments were made about preserving values, about the harm to society, about the need to intervene. None of them turned out to have any foundation.

            I’m surprised that one who usually argues for a restraint of government is granting it such broad and intrusive power without any foundation. There is no public health risk, nor any risk to society, nor any illegal act involved. So why grant government the right to dictate whom a person can love and commit to? Therein lies the issue.

            In the case of fundamental rights, the government must show cause to restrict such rights. There is no cause here; additionally, it opens a standard that has already been attempted, which allows government to regulate love and conception to suit its needs. A government that can do this can also restrict conception on the same grounds; such a course has already been attempted in America through the eugenics movements of the early 20th centuries, and still has hooks in various laws and rulings in place. Strange that we would welcome such a statist solution to a problem that doesn’t exist, in a way that jeopardizes our individuality and self-identity.

            So let me ask: does anyone really advocate forcing those who wish to marry to do so with someone they would not naturally choose? If so, then what is the limit of government power?

            Again, religious institutions should be able to choose to preserve their definitions of marriage. This is a civil issue, and it is inherently unequal that same-sex couples should be denied access to a civil institution because of the lack of comfort others feel. The pretense of defending marriage doesn’t hold, unless we intend to force marriage and conception as part of the agenda of the state, along with the taxes, regulations, policing, and every other intrusion into our lives. We don’t do that for heterosexual marriages; thus the argument used above is without standing.

            This doesn’t affect me or my marriage… however, I do not have the right to deny someone else the pursuit of happiness solely because they take a different path than my own. Not in such a fundamental way.

            • No one is forcing anyone to get married. Stop being so ridiculous. You do have a choice however. If you want to be married, which is a union by definition between a man and a woman, then yes, you can choose to get married to a member of the opposite sex. If you want to get married to the same sex, then it’s not marriage. It’s something else. Call it garriage or larriage some other term that doesn’t mean a union between a man and a woman. You can’t just modify the meaning of the word to suit what you wish it to be. Otherwise, what if I want to marry my horse? We can’t have children either, but I love my horse. You see we have this unspoken bond that’s real special. I I want to be with my horse forever. I want it cared for when I die. I want it to be able to visit me when I’m sick, because we’ll have separation anxiety.

              What am I saying? I don’t even own a horse. LOL! But you get the point. WHy can’t I marry a horse? Horses have feelings too! SO do dogs. Cats. Parakeets. Why can’t I have multiple wives. WHy does government need to intrude on my desires to have many wives? I mean, at least we can have children, and raise them with a mother and father. SO what if there are multiple mothers. Only one can be be the real mom.

              I know this is all absurd, but it does get to the root of the matter, that government does traditionally have a say in what this definition is, and there is nothing unfair about it. If it’s unfair, then all of the above is as well. Can’t have it both ways.

              • You started that comment with “stop being so ridiculous”?

                • Hey, government doesn’t tell anyone who to love, or who can have children, or can’t have children or anyof the ridiculous things that Drew was saying, so, yeah, I did say that.

                  The current law is fair. It is based upon the definition of what marriage is. Make a new term and a new law if necessary, but leave this alone. Or allow everything under the sun. But if you choose to separate marriage entirely from the government, then you’ll need to do so on tax policy as well.

                  The state does have an interest in fostering an environment for child creation and child development. The social programs depend on expansion of the population, and it is expensive dealing with children who aren’t raised with a mother and a father, as many outside this environment go one to cost the state, and cost it big.

                  That doesn’t mean the state is mandating a man be a father, not even that he be a good father if he becomes one. Nor does it mandate that the man be a manly man. But it does, based upon statistical evidence, benefit from having as many children raised in this traditional fashion as possible.

                  Sure divorces happen, and people die, and some people have children that probably never should, and others cannot at all. But you cannot mandate these things, as Drew tried to assert was the goal. It’s ridiculous.

                  • Mr. Brunette, it would help if you could keep up with reality, or at least try. From the eugenics efforts of the early 20th century to the efforts to regulate marriage based on race (see Loving v. Virginia, among others), there has been a long-standing issue of the government trying to regulate love and relationships. Griswold v. Connecticut did exactly what you claim has never happened, in trying to regulate conception and childbirth to benefit the tax base, regardless of personal choice. To claim that this is not an issue is to be completely and willfully ignorant of these precedents. If you’re going to make such incompetent remarks, Mr. Brunette, then you should at least try to have a clue on the matters in which you speak.

                    The current standard isn’t equal, as was demonstrated by Rep. Bachmann’s exchange with the high school student last year (which mirrored Mr. Brunette’s comment above). Her insistence, along with Mr. Brunette’s, is that a homosexual has the right to marry… as long as they do so in a way that violates their personal beliefs, without any valid reason for the government to force such a decision. We don’t mandate people marry within their faiths, or within their race (at least not anymore). So this is an effort to have big government control lawful, consensual relationships, without cause. You are telling someone they can have the same rights and privileges, as long as they change who they fundamentally are. That’s big government intervention, period.

                    There is no other explanation; especially when those arguing against it are reduced to tossing in bestiality and polygamy, because they can’t admit that fundamental flaw. Someone who is in a same-sex relationship shouldn’t be told they can have a sham marriage, so it fits into someone else’s restrictions on how they are viewed and what rights others are willing to give them.

                    Being gay or lesbian isn’t a crime. Therefore, restricting marriage based on opposition to a legal act is without cause, and thus without standing.

                    I’m sorry if that confuses you, Mr. Brunette. Perhaps you should find a horse to take solace with (in an appropriate fashion, of course). This would have the added benefit of doubling the amount of manure you spread in a day.

                    • You say I’m off base on government telling people who they should or shouldn’t love, when clearly governmetn does not. Did it some where in the past, in another state, in another time, certainly seems so, which is irrelvant here and now.

                      No one said being gay is a crime.

                      But marriage as it stands today is based on equality. The definition is one man one woman. And every consensual pair who wishes to may do so. But a marriage isn’t between two men or two women. That is something else entirely. Just as my absurd examples point out, once you let the horse out of the barn, (pun intended) you’ve now cetainly opened up polygamy. If the definition of marriage merely fits as couple or multiples as they see fit, then there really is no such thing as marriage at all, and given the tax proposals from our governor, seems to be the plan anyway.

                    • And yet there are those who believe government should do so. After all, that’s what this prohibition against marriage equality is: an attempt to deny rights in order to compel homosexuals to change their beliefs, through government interference. There are still organizations that actively campaign for bans against miscegenation, including the CCC, which funded many of the Tea Party organizations in their infancy (and thankfully is being pushed out of the conservative mainstream).

                      This doesn’t advance having two parents in the home. All it does is deny access to rights: medical decisions, inheritance, custody, property, etc.

                      And making up a separate definition or class won’t work either. Separate but equal is inherently unequal (see Brown v. Board). A separate definition (“garriage” or whatever you called it) in Minnesota would not necessarily be accepted as a recognized contract in other states, thus denying those rights in the case the couple moves or is traveling. It’s an interesting intellectual exercise, but it falls short on the equal protection inherent to every citizen under the Constitution.

              • Thank you, Sean, for beating me to it…

                Homosexuals aren’t animals, they are human beings. Your over the top comparison implies they are not, or should be treated as if they are not, or can be dismissed as if they are not, which I’m going to dismiss as being inflammatory for the sake of getting attention and distracting from the issue at hand. As human beings, tax-paying citizens, soldiers, doctors, parents, and Americans in general, they have equal rights. That isn’t an issue of redefining marriage; it’s an issue of undoing an unequal standard, just like ending segregation wasn’t an attempt to end western society as we know it, no matter how some would try to sell it that way. We’ve heard these arguments before; they didn’t work then, and they don’t work now.

                The government has no right to interfere to tell someone who they can be with in a loving, legal, consensual relationship. Period. Telling someone who is homosexual they have to betray their nature to have the same rights as someone else is the worst form of big government. Additionally, it serves no valid purpose; the vast majority of gays and lesbians come from straight parents, while having gay parents has been shown to have no effect on a child’s sexual preference or development. It does nothing to promote strong families, and actually hinders committed people from strengthening their relationship; therefore, it is only about perception, and someone else’s preconceptions aren’t a good enough reason to discriminate through the law. (http://www.aacap.org/cs/root/facts_for_families/children_with_lesbian_gay_bisexual_and_transgender_parents)

                And I noticed that you dodged the issue of unlimited government intrusion and power. Again, the argument that is being used focuses on procreation as an interest the government can regulate and promote, instead of a private act. What happens during the next baby boom, when government wishes to slow population growth, and uses the same precedent to intervene against conception? There is already precedent for such intervention in American history and case law; this only widens the door in a foolish fashion.

                Why not multiple wives? Because marriage is a contract between two individuals through civil law. Not through scripture, which has polygamous examples, but as part of the civil contract. Same with prohibitions against child marriages or marriages within a bloodline. Marriage equality has nothing to do with those things; usually they get tossed out when someone has no valid points, and just needs to scare people with anything they can make up.

                There is no valid reason to hold a separate standard for same-sex couples when it comes to the civil institution of marriage. Churches can still hold their own definition, but that doesn’t define equality under the law, and so far no credible, neutral rationale has been presented. In fact, DOMA deliberately contradicted the Full Faith and Credit clause and the enumeration of powers within the Constitution, showing that legal standards weren’t much of a priority. Why spend tax dollars telling consensual, legal couples who they have permission to marry? Where’s the small-government logic behind that?

                • What a goof ball. No one said or even implied that homosexuals were animals. Nice try though. As usual, you completely missed the point.

                  You assert that government has no business determining what a legal marriage is. And yet they do,

                  And no I did not dodge the issue of intrusion. Once again, your saying this doesn’t make it so. I clearly stated why government has an interest in supporting procreation and family. In fact, the way our social programs are designed, government needs a steady population growth. Supporting marriage and family mkaes perfect sense. I know it gets confusing when folks like Dayton, (who seems to hate marriage with his policies), punish married couples through tax policy. But tax policy aside, the benefits of being married are indeed supported by regulation for the most part, for the reason of supporting family and the support and creation of children.

                  Perhaps that happens because that’s where every politician comes from. They come from a mother and a father, and whether or not both were involved in their lives, this permeates their existence, and therefore their policy. It’s what they know and understand, and have lived through the importance their parents had whether positive or negative that form the basis for who they are today.

                  Having two mommies is just plain illogical. Only one has your DNA. Two daddies, the same. We are curious creatues, and eventual the question begs an answer. Who is my real mom and who is my real dad? And why can’t I have a realtionship with the missing parent?

                  • You compared same-sex marriage to wanting to marry a horse, dog, cat, or parakeet. If you don’t like how ridiculous and obscene that sounds… then don’t say it in the first place.

                    Yes, you were being ridiculous, but not for the asinine comparison discussed above. More to the point is that, even when specific cases are cited, you still deny the evidence of attempts at social engineering through big-government intervention into conception and relationships. After all, Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney both stated that they believe that the Supreme Court was incorrect in Griswold (Romney in a debate, Santorum in multiple interviews). Reversing that ruling would have upheld Connecticut’s attempt to ban married couples from using contraceptives in the privacy of their own home, in the interest of building a larger tax base. If that’s how the GOP plans to balance a budget, by annihilating the right to privacy from government intrusion, then what limits are there to government power? What happened to the real conservatives who actually believe in limited government, not just when it’s convenient?

                    Yes, kids do better in two-parent homes. However, that is consistent regardless of heterosexual or homosexual parents, thus the prohibition against same sex marriage doesn’t advance your stated objective. Nor does it deal with the issues of divorce or poverty, or child abuse; none of those things have any link to having a gay or lesbian parent. Therefore, all the prohibition does is undermine the establishment of committed relationships, which runs contrary to your stated objectives.

                    As for parenting: as someone who worked for multiple years with the juvenile court system, often being sent to help remove children from an abusive home, I will say that a nurturing environment is far more crucial than a DNA link. While biology does program most parents with a need to protect their kids, I’ve seen the examples where this fails, with devastating effects. Two same-sex parents are definitely capable of loving and nurturing a child. To add a restriction that doesn’t exist for heterosexual couples violates equal protection and opportunity; thus it is unwise and unsustainable, and only hinders the creation of committed homes for those children who would benefit from such an environment.

                    • I’ll admit I was comparing changing the definition of marriage to all sorts of possibilities, and that remains. If you want to change the definition based upon whatever someone feels fits thier love or sex model, then who is government to judge the number or the type of parties involved. That seems to be your point is government has no business or vested interest in marriage definition. that doesn’t make it so, but that never stopped you before.

                      I’m not sure what a Montana judge’s email has to do with government policy. I’m sure you find many government officials who have very opinionated views you disagree with, but if those views don’t affect law, then who gives a rip. And Montana nor Connecticut aren’t Minnesota, so again, who gives a rip.

                      And study after study shows that having a father and a mother are the ticket. Not two mommies and two fathers, but a balance between both. You know, diversity and all that? Don’t get that from two mommies or two daddies. Are you anti diversity now? How very un-liberal of you.

                      (see what i did there — you do this kind of crap all of time).

                    • Recognizing an inherent inequality doesn’t change the other aspects of marriage, and does not invite polygamy or any of the other things being cited. Polygamy is a crime, and a violation of a contract between two people. However, as you granted, being a homosexual isn’t. Therefore, there is no grounds on restricting access to a civil right without due process or equal opportunity.

                      Furthermore, I’d argue that your the one limiting the diversity of marriage (not necessarily maliciously, but still through practice and practical effect). Homosexuals aren’t going to marry someone of the opposite gender just because someone tells them they have to. My position allows for people to make their own choice, free from government interference, to the benefit of all of society. There is nothing in my position that limits heterosexual couples at all, nor nothing in marriage equality that affects their lives in any way; that is a fiction you referenced, without a foundation to the thought (you may wish to put more effort into your arguments next time). However, your position bars that choice for those who have not violated any law. It does so based on a selective definition, which isn’t how America works; we don’t deny rights because it is convenient or popular to do so.

                      And it’s the two-parent environment that provides the benefits, which has been found in many studies (one of which I referenced already). One would think that the pro-life agenda would want more couples available for adoption of unwanted or at-risk children, and yet this hinders the creation of committed marriages. That contradiction is untenable.

                      As for judges and precedent, you may wish to go back to Civics class, Mr. Brunette. When federal judges issue rulings, they create a precedent that is referenced in future cases, even outside that jurisdiction. When candidates for president from a major party take stands on revoking the privacy of American citizens, that feeds into their choices in enforcing laws and nominating judges. So it has a tangible effect on us all, and is worthy of note, even if that undermines your perspective.

                    • Let’s make this simple. Why should I have the right to marry another man if I wanted to? What is the basis for this?

                    • I thought you said the judge sent an email, not a ruling. Are emails ruling, and precendent setting? Or only when sent by a judge?

                    • My question back is, why do you not have that right?

                      Homosexuality is not illegal. It does not produce a harm to society, and does not correlate with other illegal behavior. It does not interfere with the lives of others, and does not fall under any other regulated conduct to any extent different than that a heterosexual would face. So what grounds does government have to expand its power to regulate your private life in such an intrusive way?

                      Next, there’s the argument about encouraging population growth and stable societies. But we don’t require heterosexual couples to have children, and we don’t regulate and restrict marriage and divorce to that extent with them. So what would be the justification for the double standard?

                      Furthermore, banning marriage equality actually undermines that goal. By definition, someone who is fully homosexual will only know parenthood through a surrogate, artificial insemination, other medical avenues, or adoption (all options available to heterosexual couples as well). The stigma of discrimination and the absence of legal recognition and protection only adds to obstacles against those options, thereby discouraging them from either having new children or adopting children in need. If a growing population is necessary, then nothing in a ban would actually further that aim; in fact, it undermines that goal, increasing the likelihood of stagnation and government intervention. Thus that argument contradicts itself, and cannot be sustained.

                      (Unless the goal is to coerce homosexuals into relationships not of their natural choosing… that has a host of problems, and is a clear violation of the role of government in our lives.)

                      Finally, there is your rights under the Constitution. Yes, polygamy is banned, because of the nature of the contract with one person, and the inability to share those contracted rights among multiple people. Incestuous marriages are prohibited, because of the clear health risks. Marriages to those below the age of consent are prohibited, as well as those where a person is coerced, since it is not a willing contract. None of those things inherently apply to same-sex marriages. Hence, you shouldn’t have to beg the government to have the same rights as everyone else when your behavior violates no laws.

                    • Yes but why should there be a right for two men to get married?

                      First off, there isn’t. But why should there be?

                    • On a legal basis, prohibiting same sex marriage is a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

                      Here’s what the folks over Cato have to day about it: http://www.cato.org/blog/equality-under-law-requires-state-sanctioned-marriage-be-available-same-sex-couples

                    • Since when does conservative philosophy argue that government must grant a right for it to exist? Or what about the 9th Amendment, for that matter?

                      Therein lies the issue. Beyond the enumerated powers, and the implied powers that extend from them, is an unclear area where the government must show a valid interest to support regulation. What claim could be made to regulate marriage between a legal, consensual relationship in such a manner? There’s no commerce claim, and the claim on preserving societal growth is actually hurt by such a ban (see above). There is no evidence of any societal harm, not for legal and consensual same-sex relationships.

                      Therefore, the 9th Amendment states “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” In other words, without cause, such a right to liberty and privacy is inherent.

                      Additionally, one could argue that it is a right of association, and thus protected under the 1st Amendment. By denying a legal relationship equal rights, one infringes on the ability of that association without cause. In this case, that is further exacerbated by the rationale for denying marriage equality, which frequently enforces religious norms on that freedom of association through government intrusion.

                      Then there’s the 14th Amendment, Section 1, which states that: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

                      Homosexuality isn’t illegal, as we both agree. Therefore, they are a citizen under the law, seeking equal privileges and protection under the law. Thus a right given to another citizen cannot be denied without due process or cause.

                      Has historical standards lived up to this? No, but that’s nothing new; the same failure happened with segregation, civil rights, women’s rights, voting rights, interracial marriage, and a host of other issues.

                      But to answer your initial question: where does the right come from? From being a citizen of the United States, under the same Constitution as everyone else.

                    • if it were true that same sex marriage is available under the law under what ever amendment, then we would have had a ruling declaring so. Take it to the supreme court! If this is truley a violation of a right, why has it never been challenged in court?

                    • The Supreme Court is hearing Hollingsworth v. Perry on March 26. Last February, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned California’s Proposition 8 which barred same-sex marriage.

                    • It is true that the push for marriage equality is moving faster than segregation or interracial marriage did; in some ways, those leading the fight seem to be failing to keep presenting the narrative, instead relying on the legislative process without the full public discussion. This may be a fast way to approach the issue, but I’m not sure of the wisdom of it in the long term.

                      As far as court cases, it’s important to remember that Plessy v. Ferguson declared segregation to be constitutional. It took 60 years of examples of the failure of “separate but equal” to overturn that standard. Same with interracial marriage. Even after that, you still had states and cities (like Prince William County in Virginia, which closed its public schools and gave that tax funding to a private school firm to keep its schools segregated) who fought tooth and nail against change.

                      This change is long overdue. The only question is how long, and how much taxpayer money is wasted fighting it.

                    • I guess we’re about to find out then. Maybe then we can put this issue to rest.

                    • Just like Roe v. Wade did…

  3. Rock on, Drew K. You are solid. It is all about equity. SeanOlson makes a reasonable point as well. The issues are no different than they were for same race couples. I suppose someone pointed to some biblical phrase or definition to try to prohibit that back in the day as well (which, unfortunately was not too long ago). These stereotypes on what a relationship or family can and can’t be are just that, nothing more. They can’t be substantiated. Should we pick on single parents next?

    • Volkman: are you, then, in favor of polygamy?

      • Nachman: your polygamy argument has already been refuted on this very forum. Trying to reintroduce it without any foundation is inherently disingenuous and misleading, if not slightly dishonest. There is no connection at all to seeking marriage equality and any pursuit of polygamy. It is a false charge, meant to distract from the absence of foundation in your position. Especially given the fact that the last time you tried to offer such a position, you resorted to blind accusations that implied that the majority of American Jews were anti-Semitic for supporting same-sex marriage.

        So unless you actually have new evidence, that argument won’t fly.

        • You are the one suggesting we get goverment out of marriage law. I we do then why not allow polygamy? What’s the difference if it’s consentual? Should the government decide how many I can love? Why? See you can’t have it both ways. There either is a definition of marriage or there is not. And the definition is one man one woman.

          • It is a civil contract between two consensual people, as far as the government is concerned. The only question here is why prohibit those in a legal, consensual relationship do not have equal rights. Again, your same arguments were used with interracial marriage, even in an email from a federal judge from Montana last year (so not something that has vanished from memory, unfortunately). That argument violates the Equal Protection clause of the Constitution, and has already been rejected.

            Polygamy isn’t legal, nor is the idea of a marriage through coercion. Being gay or lesbian is; therefore, there is no causal reason to limit the rights of same-sex couples. Strange how conveniently the concept of a constitutionally-based limited government is abandoned by some. All this will do is waste millions of taxpayer dollars for a defense that is doomed to fail.

            • The law is based upon a definition. That definition is one man, one woman. That’s not government intrusion, period. And goverment does have a vested interest in supporting family life. There aren’t mandates to have children. But there is support for it. Government needs us procreating to handle our social programs. they need an expanding populous, and it makes perfect sense to support the family. Study after study shows a father and a mother foster the greatest chance for good child development. government should and does support that, because it’s better for society. Just the way kids are wired, I guess.

              • The definition used to be one man and one woman of the same race. Or the same faith. In fact, the Faith and Heritage Society, the Council of Conservative Citizens (which most real conservatives disavow, to be fair), and many other groups still think it should be that way: http://faithandheritage.com/2011/05/the-moral-status-of-miscegenation/

                That was discriminatory, yet it was the social definition of the day. Violating someone’s rights because it is convenient or popular doesn’t make it right.

                And if government can only balance the budget by forcing procreation as part of its power, then there is no limit to government at all.

                • Again, you are lost in the past, and no one is forcing anything. But to support that which works makes sense and is different than a mandate, stop being so silly. If you want to be ridiculous, I can go find quotes from gay people who suggest straight people should be removed. But it doesn’t apply tot he debate at hand, and neither does interracial marriage contraception or any of your other distractive nonsense.

                  • And yet this isn’t the past; this is right here, right now. This is a major party’s candidate for president advocating for an interpretation of government that would regulate contraceptive use in a person’s home, that would make privacy a right only if the government decides to let people have it. So much for the 9th Amendment. So yes, it is current; just because you don’t like that doesn’t erase all of the evidence that it is so.

                    The same arguments you are using were used for interracial marriage, almost word for word (to be clear, I’m not implying any racial bias on your part in any way or form). And with segregation. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTq1W39GuiU for a clear example of this, from a pastor with a great sense of irony.

                    So let’s get into the legal issue. You argue that society has the right to define marriage in a restrictive manner, beyond other restrictions that violate the law (polygamy, incest, coercion, etc.). If that is the case, then interracial or interfaith marriages can also be barred due to social opinion and popular will. However, the Supreme Court has already and overwhelmingly rejected that argument (Loving v. Virginia, and other cases). Therefore, for those in a legal, consensual relationship, a denial of those rights without due cause is untenable and unconstitutional.

                    Again, simple civics. Popular will often allows discrimination, but in the end that is the core issue. We can recognize that, or we can waste millions of taxpayer dollars on a standard that is doomed to fail.

                    • What’s restrictive? That I can’t marry anyone or anything that I want? Doesn’t the defintion of a word mean anything? If not, why does it exist?

                      Right now I’m reading a book. You can call it an engine block if you want to I guess, but that won’t hold up in court. A marriage occurs between one man and one woman. That’s what the word means. It definition, both legal and otherwise define a life long committment between a man and a woman (one of each). Any other combination is not a marriage.

                    • Not according to Psychology Today and many other mental health organizations: “Marriage is the process by which two people who love each other make their relationship public, official, and permanent.”

                      Has the historical definition usually focused on one man and one woman? Yes. However, there are examples of same-sex unions in Rome, even among the emperors, in ancient China, and even in medieval Spain under the administration of the church. Exceptions, granted, but proof that “legislating the gay away” simply won’t work.

                      The definition of marriage was also frequently based in marrying within a faith or a race, or a nationality, or a class. In America, that is a choice people make for themselves, not an opening for intrusion by big government. The courts have rejected all of those other standards.

                      Which leads to the flaw in your argument: even today, there are those that will look at an interracial or interfaith couple, and will insist that what they have can never be marriage. They will quote scripture, precedent, tradition, and language to the same extent you would. However, their refusal to recognize the rights of another person under the law doesn’t take those rights away. The comparison fails on its premise and application, and thus is without standing in law.

                    • And it does have standing within the law. As the law defines marriage as between one man and one woman, as does the dictionary when referring to that which is a legal union between two people. You can keep bringing race and other factors into this, but they do not get past the gender portion of the definition. Marriage is a concept of a permanent union between two mebers of the opposite sex and government has a vested interest in seeing this happen for the purposes of procreation and solidly based child rearing as defined by our very nature. You can’t equate the two. They are extremely different concepts. And the desire for gays and lesibians to marry is opposite of procreation as it is impossible for the two to create children through this union, which is the basis for marriage in the first place which is to foster an enviroment for raising children. That doesn’t mean forced anything. It means the best environment for raising children. I know of several openly gay men who got married to women, and did just that. To each his own, but leave marriage alone. I means one man one woman. Period.

                      If you want to keep touting this beyond government’s reach, then so is the number. So is the age. None of their business who marries who or what. It either is or it isn’t? It’s that simple. Nothing is gained by society to change this definition. Nothing.

                    • However, I’ve already demonstrated that the ban on marriage equality does not further that societal interest in procreation (see above). At best, it has no effect; at worst, it provides obstacles to stable homes that could raise children gained through adoption or other means. Thus that argument contradicts itself, and cannot be sustained. In its absence, there is no cause to restrict this right, and thus no rationale for the ban on marriage equality.

                      As for the references to race: again, you’re using the same logic that was used for those prohibitions (again, no accusation of any racial bias on your part intended). They made the same point on the racial definitions in the law, that they can’t be separated out from the meaning of marriage, just like you are arguing with gender. Those were social constructs, meant to enforce an inequality borne from that time, and they fell to a plain text reading of the Constitution and the protections therein. Just as this prohibition will.

                      And again, I’ve shown studies that demonstrate that there is no difference between being raised by a homosexual couple versus a heterosexual couple, or a single homosexual parent versus a single heterosexual parent. Your narrative doesn’t hold up; repeating it again and again doesn’t change that. The key is a stable and nurturing environment, and same-sex couples can provide that.

                      Finally, trying to toss in polygamy or age is a deliberately false argument that was already discredited above. This is a legal relationship without coercion, and within the bounds of a partnership between two people. Trying to link the two is like comparing apples and elephants; you’re not even in the same league.

                    • I’ve got news for you Drew, there was a story on the radio this morning about a guy screwing his dog, and thinks it should be ok because it’s just sex and it doesn’t matter. Government has no say. I disagree, but I guess I’m a prude.

                      Again, any man, can marry a woman and vice versa, there fore there is no inequality, because that’s what marriage is. If you want to change the meaning of the word, based upon someone’s feelings, then this dog banger ought to be able to marry his dog. I mean he wants to. But marriage isn’t between a man and an animal. Nor is it between a man and 2 or 3 or 10 women. Nor is it between a man and a man. USe the term domestic parternship, with all of the legal BS that entails marriage if you like. With the court costs for dissolution of the partnership. Hetero or homo skip getting married and form a legal domestic partnership. But leave marriage alone. And leave it’s privelegde for fostering a healthy family unit.

                      No one is saying you have to change your ways. No one is forced to participate in any of the above. But if you want to get legally married, then you have to abide by the definition and terms that come along with it. ANd the definition is one man, one woman.

                    • First off, once again you’re trying to dehumanize homosexuals by comparing their rights to the rights and practices of animals. That is just sleaze, an attempt to derail the debate through shock and depravity. Homosexuality is legal, and is between human beings who are equal citizens under the law. I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say that you should keep your obsessions with animals to yourself; the rest of us don’t seem to share your tendencies towards this fixation in this regard.

                      Gay Christian 101 offers a strong argument to your inane statement:

                      “If you are heterosexual, simply ask yourself two questions.

                      1. When did I choose to be heterosexual? The answer is, you never made that choice. Your heterosexuality is innate. Just so, innate homosexuals never made a choice to be homosexual. Their same sex attraction is as innate as your opposite sex attraction.

                      2. Would it be Christ-like for other Christians to equate my heterosexual marriage to having sex with animals? If you feel that would not be Christ-like behavior, then you need to stop using the sex with animals argument against your gay Christian brothers and lesbian Christian sisters.”

                      As far as your other points, those have already been discredited. The legal rights under the Constitution is the issue; just because an inequality was common and accepted in the past doesn’t make it any better, and the majority doesn’t get to use semantics to deny rights guaranteed to all citizens. And I’ve already pointed out that having a separate class and designation does not provide equal status. Such efforts have been tried, and do not work; hence past court rulings rejecting the notion of “separate but equal” when there is no cause to make the distinction.

                      Fortunately, there is strong leadership in the GOP willing to examine this issue, as evidenced by the leaders who signed on to the brief in favor of marriage equality. I can even understand those who disagree respectfully, out of deference to the beliefs of others, but are willing to listen and debate. Your statement does not qualify; it is just sleaze for the sake of attention, nothing more.

                    • No such equation was made. Learn to comprehend what you read. It would be very helpful.

                    • Yes, you are. Every time you equate the right to equal protection under the law to having relationships with animals, you demean the rights of those in question. Again, this has been done before, with judges going as far as to make that comparison in their rulings.

                      Having two loving people in a legal, lawful, beneficial relationship be entitled to the same rights and recognition as anyone else has nothing to do with bestiality (or “dog bangers” as you offered in such a prurient fashion). One does not lead to the other, just as allowing an interracial marriage does not do so. As long as you continue to use this blatant falsehood of a slippery slope, in such a way that links the two, the charge is accurate. And I’m sure I speak for many when I say that we do not need to hear about your fixation with animals (in a purely innocent form on your part, I’m sure, although you seem to be the only one stuck on it); it has no link to this discussion, and is beneath us all. Period.

        • Minnesota United For All Families: “Don’t limit the freedom to marry”.

          That’s a comprehensive statement.

          Drew K, if you condemn Jewish morality, especially Jewish family morality, you are a bigot and an anti-Semite. Jews can be anti-Semites, against Jewish morality, against Judaism.

          “Same sex marriage” does not exist in Judaism, either in Torah, tradition, or culture.

          • Over 80% of American Jews favor marriage equality.

            Over 50% of Israeli Jews favor marriage equality.

            And by your logic, all of them are antisemitic and hate Jews.

            Think about that… by your direct claims, the majority of Israelis hate Jews, and aren’t really Jewish, because you say so.

            Yeah… that’s not logic, or grace. That’s just fanaticism at its worst, bereft of any sensibility. That’s one person declaring themselves to be the sole possessor of the will of God; such declarations usually are more about self-worship and intolerance than faith.

            Beyond that, such petty accusations have nothing to do with the rule of law, and thus are summarily dismissed.

  4. Along with People United and the DFL, people like Drew K and Sean Olsen condemn Jewish and Christian morality. That makes them bigots.

    So how does it feel now that you know what you are?

    • Suggesting that same sex couples should be allowed to marry under civil law is not bigotry. By your logic, any part of civil law that doesn’t reflect your religious belief represents bigotry and that’s just not the way things work here in America.

      • The United States was founded as a civil society based upon moral precepts common to Judaism and Christianity and with a secular government, one that does not establish a state religion.

        You, Mr. Olsen, stand against Jewish and Christian moral beliefs that have sustained this country – even with all our flaws – made it a success. The abolitionist and civil rights movement were both largely Christian. The slaves and the oppressed blacks held the story of the Israelites being freed from slavery in Egypt by an understanding and benevolent G-d as their own, they knew exactly what the story was about. The civil rights movement followed the path of the Jewish bible, not Critical Race and Gender Theory, deconstruction, or postmodernism.

        You stand, Mr. Olsen, against normative Judaism and Christianity that lay at the foundation of American civil society. You openly condemn it. You condemn the moral foundations of Jews and Christians, and that makes you a bigot.

        • With our Constitution, you’re going to have conflicts between moral law as defined by religion and civil law that protects the rights of all people. This is one of those issues. Is an orthodox Jew being subject to bigotry because government doesn’t ban the consumption of pork? Or Muslims or Mormons because we allow alcohol to be consumed? Or Quakers when we send our troops into war? As Americans who are governed by the Constitution, we have to accept that those lines are not always going to be drawn in exact concordance with one’s religious beliefs. That’s true on any number of issues, not just gay marriage.

        • Slavery was based in Christian and Jewish scripture also (or more accurately, convenient interpretation, just as you offer now), or do we forget the past that easily? Do we forget the pastors who insisted that it was God’s will to have each race in their place?

          Your version of history is convenient, not real; thus it is a lie of convenience, nothing more.

          You are not the lord almighty, and yet you seek to tell millions, even among your own faith, what they must do to be part of the faithful. Who gave you that lordship, pray tell? Because I think most of those following the Judeo-Christian tradition in America would resent such intrusion.

          Beyond that, having a different opinion doesn’t make one a bigot. Nor does opposing same-sex marriage necessarily do so. A bigot is one who dwells in stereotypes, who uses fear and bullying tactics to deny rights, who can classify a group of people as being less than equal, and makes wild and fanatical accusations when their arguments are challenged. On that standard, Nachman, you may wish to find a mirror: your enemy lies within. How unfortunate.

          • You see Nachman, because a Christian or a Jew was once involed in slavery, every Christian or Jew since is guilty of slavery, and therefore cannot take credit in any way shape or form for having the decency to right those wrongs. Drew gets stuck in a past menaity of an individual act and finds it to permeate all existing lines that follow. For example, if a Republican who is also a judge happens to be against inter-racial marriage, why that means all republicans support the judges view, and we should there fore stand together and vote gay marriage. Amazing what one email can do to Drew. Left wing hatred has nothing to do with left wing politics or politicians, but if some right winger says something out of line, why that applies to the entire party, and thus requires a change in law to prevent such hatred from entering into policy.

            In Drew’s world, you see, when I was a kid I took candy from store without paying for it. But because I never corrected the situation, I’ll always be a theif, and as a member of the GOP, by extention, they are all theives as well.

            It should be noted that this same standard doesn’t apply to DFL’ers. And in fact, pointing it out at all that this double standard exists means you are a meanspirited evil republican for which there can be no recourse, and are permanently tatooed with the stain of inappropriateness.

            • Nonsense. Nachman’s remark portrayed Christianity and Jewish traditions as being behind the abolition movement, but ignored their history in slavery itself or in segregation. If you’re going to reference history, then reference all sides.

              And it’s not the past when those remarks and efforts are being made today. When a Supreme Court judge compares homosexuality to bestiality in his ruling from the bench, not 50 or 100 years ago, but less than two decades ago, and still serves on the court. Or when a member of the local party unit does the same in a vulgar version of a temper tantrum.

              Again, I praised members of the GOP above, even those who disagree with my view but do so in a reasonable and respectful way. There are those who question the pace of change, following Kirk’s principles of conservative thought, which calls for a balance between change and respect for the past, seeking not to pursue change just for the sake of change. That is a reasonable perspective and a worthwhile discussion.

              There was nothing about the GOP as a party in my comments; in fact, many of its leaders are emerging in favor of marriage equality, and many of the others want a sensible discussion. Mr. Brunette, however, likes to set his hair on fire and swing wildly when he can’t get his way, then play the victim card, claiming everyone’s out to get him. Nonsense.

              It is relevant when a Supreme Court justice makes such comparisons, regardless of party or beliefs. It is relevant when multiple candidates for president believe that government can tell people they have no right to privacy. This is happening right now; Mr. Brunette, it’s not my fault if you do not have the capacity to comprehend this. However, I do not hold that against the GOP; your conduct is too ridiculous to claim to be a fair representative for them.

              • Positions evolve goof ball. You think there’s a contradiction between Christian and Jewish faiths working to abolish slavery because both werer invovled in the far far past. You made my point for me. Thanks. You usually do, eventually.

                You even tried to say that I compared homosexuality to beastiality on this very blo9g, when nothing could be further from the truth. Logic and rationalization on your part are extremely weak. I only wish that you could understand a point when it’s made, because clearly you cannot. You have to put on a partisan lens and dig back through time where some ancient history shows that a group or a party had a view point that is clearly no longer held.

                In that regard, Mr. K., who ever you are, if we were to apply your standard for current positions, then the Democratic Party is clearly the party of extreme racism given members pervious stances in the south going back to the 60’s back through to pre-abolishment. The party can never erase that stain, if you are consistent in your philosophy towards evolution of stance and any issue.

                You remark to nachman was extremely offensive and bigoted against these religions who did and still do foster and push for reform of any racial bias on affront to human dignity, especially any form of slavery. Shame on you. You just offended about 90% of this country. Perhaps you should be a Democrat after all. I mean Democrats have a rich history in bigotry, so strap on the label and were it proudly. Or if you have any guts, renounce what you said and say something worthy of some pirde for a change. Because what you have done here is a great disservice to your cause, what ever it may be.

                • Again, Mr. Brunette, your comments seem to be more about screaming to make yourself heard… until you realize that those comments will linger, and you will be held responsible for them. You were the one who said “If you want to change the meaning of the word, based upon someone’s feelings, then this dog banger ought to be able to marry his dog.” Your words, comparing the push for marriage equality and the recognition of their love and humanity to bestiality. So yes, you did say that; for once, have some courage and own up to your rantings. To help with that process, I’ve made sure to forward your comment to a number of forums, including GOProud and the Log Cabin Republicans, among at least a dozen others, along with your position (after all, I wanted to make sure you were properly credited for your petty remarks). I’m curious if you’ll attack other Republicans with the level of puerile debauchery you’ve shown here. I’m curious if you’d look at Cheney and Portman and make that comparison to them and their families. I’m betting not. Either way, trying to hide from your conduct won’t cut it.

                  As far as past comparisons, once again, Mr. Brunette, you are making up facts. You conveniently ignored the comments from two presidential candidates from this last election on the absence of the right to privacy when it comes to conception, or the comments from a current Supreme Court justice. That isn’t the past; that’s right now, right here. It’s not the past when you make such comments as you have on this forum, either; fortunately, you are part of a shrinking but unfortunately vocal minority.

                  Yes, the Dems had an issue with race… or more accurately, American conservatism has an issue with race. It still does, and is working on that. For the Dems, it meant abandoning the Solid South in favor of an uncertain path, after years of benefiting from Jim Crow at the polls. For Republicans, it means facing the byproducts of strategies that capitalized on this change, seen in the remarks Lee Atwater (who helped run Reagan’s and G.H.W. Bush’s campaign in the 1980’s) made:

                  “You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.” – http://www.thenation.com/article/170841/exclusive-lee-atwaters-infamous-1981-interview-southern-strategy

                  Skeletons abound, Mr. Brunette. At least I’m confident about how the future will view my words and actions in that regard; I’m not sure your obsession with animal sex will be viewed the same way.

                  As far as my comment to Nachman, it is well founded. In fairness, the Jewish population in the south often remained silent in dealing with Jim Crow, out of fear of reprisal from the Klan. However, to depict the Judeo-Christian standard as always being supportive of the fight for civil rights is grossly inaccurate, and I will challenge you on that point (and all the other nonsense you’ve offered here) in any public forum, if you actually have the courage to do so this time. There’s far too much evidence to the contrary; that’s just part of history, and revisionism can’t erase that. That was where my reply to Nachman came from. It is an evolution, a growing of the mind and spirit, which left that darkness behind. This is just another step along that path. In that way, you were right about one thing: positions evolve. Marriage equality is just a logical step in that evolution. Except for those who choose to remain behind.

                  And finally, you have to try to paint things as an attack on the GOP; it’s your last stock reply when everything else runs out. However, if you actually took the time to read, you’d see that I’ve praised those within the GOP who are having an open and honest discussion, even those who follow Kirk’s principle’s to the point of taking a reactionary tone. Many, however, feel like my best friend does, and want a measured pace to change; others have changed their mind in favor of marriage equality as they’ve encountered personal examples in their lives. You, Mr. Brunette, are more like a ridiculous caricature, so absurd that it’s used to discredit the party. In that regard, your comments can’t be held against the GOP; they lack the competence to be seen as anything but the “stupid party” the leaders of the GOP are trying to leave behind.

                • The party leadership gets it. From the RNC report issued today, page 8:

                  “Younger voters are increasingly put off by the GOP. A post-election survey of voters ages 18-29 in the battleground states of Virginia, Ohio, Florida, and Colorado found that Republicans have an almost 1:2 favorable/unfavorable rating. Democrats have an almost 2:1 favorable rating.

                  For the GOP to appeal to younger voters, we do not have to agree on every issue, but we do need to make sure young people do not see the Party as totally intolerant of alternative points of view. Already, there is a generational difference within the conservative movement about issues involving the treatment and the rights of gays — and for many younger voters, these issues are a gateway into whether the Party is a place they want to be.”

                  See the part about intolerance for alternative points of view? You should take that to heart, Mr. Brunette.

                  • There’s no intolerance for alternative points of view. This perception is not real. You should come to a meeting sometime and learn what our party actually discusses. You might learn something.

                    • The perception was tangible enough that the leader of the GOP commissioned a report to identify problems in general, and the report made that conclusion. National leaders within the GOP made that conclusion, and have said so openly and publicly. Potential Republican candidates for high office said so. This isn’t my opinion; it’s the opinion of many of the Republican leaders in America, especially after an election where many opportunities for victory were thrown away because of this (can we say Todd Akin?). Sticking your head in the sand doesn’t change that.

  5. Drew K wrote:

    “And you are not entitled to change the law and the meaning of the Constitution to fit your narrow definition of marriage. Marriage does not legally require procreation to exist; therefore, requiring such a standard for homosexuals when it is not required for heterosexuals is unequal, and thus without standing.”

    According to your logic, polygamists are also denied equal protection.

    “Gay and lesbian couples can have kids through artificial insemination or surrogacy, and studies show no harm or difference for children raised by those couples. Therefore, your argument fails on its face, and is denied.”

    It is an objective fact that only a man and a woman can engage in the procreative act, and that a family that has a mother and a father is the best way to raise the successive generation. A few incited academic papers does not erase the history of civilization and human experience over tens of thousands of year. It is in the best interests of our civil society to define standards for marriage. Our civilization will deteriorate otherwise.

    Drew K wwrote:

    “Over 80% of American Jews favor marriage equality. Over 50% of Israeli Jews favor marriage equality. And by your logic, all of them are antisemitic and hate Jews.
    Think about that… by your direct claims, the majority of Israelis hate Jews, and aren’t really Jewish, because you say so.”

    You cite no sources. For the sake of argument, if 90% or 95% of Jews thought that “same sex marriage” was valid, that would not and will never change G-d’s declaration of standards in Torah: homosexual behavior is an avera, a great sin, an abomination. Reform Jews and all sorts of misnagdim want to be loved by the goyim of the day, so they adopt a new religion and attempt to make Judaism a hybrid. They will either lose their Judaism and disappear into history, or be ostracized. At the end of the day, however, they will still be Jews. Refer to the history of German Jewry for an explanation.

    The homosexualists in Reform, Reconstructionist, and Conservative are the Hellenist Jews of the modern era. What happened to the Hellenist Jews of Ancient Greece? Gone.

    “Yeah… that’s not logic, or grace. That’s just fanaticism at its worst, bereft of any sensibility. That’s one person declaring themselves to be the sole possessor of the will of God; such declarations usually are more about self-worship and intolerance than faith. Beyond that, such petty accusations have nothing to do with the rule of law, and thus are summarily dismissed.”

    No less than progressives claiming they are possessors of Truth. The progressive left, being self-proclaimed possessors or the Truth, will impose their believes upon the people of Minnesota. It’s tough for you to admit that your side is authoritarian and fascistic. It’s even more difficult, because you believe your side is all accepting, reconciling, and warm and fuzzy – to recognize that your condemnation of Jewish morality is anti-Semitism and bigotry.

    Sean Olsen wrote:

    “With our Constitution, you’re going to have conflicts between moral law as defined by religion and civil law that protects the rights of all people.”

    From where do you get your rights: the Constitution or a Creator G-d?

    Drew K wrote:

    “Slavery was based in Christian and Jewish scripture also (or more accurately, convenient interpretation, just as you offer now), or do we forget the past that easily?”

    Slavery predates Judaism and Christianity. Do you reference chattel slavery, indentured servitude, bride price, or vassalage? Torah outlines *rules* concerning the treatment of slaves. In that day, that was an expression of enlightenment, to wit: Exodus 21:2 et. seq.; Leviticus 25:38-41; The Law of Moses.

    “Do we forget the pastors who insisted that it was God’s will to have each race in their place?”

    Pastors are Christians. Let the Christians answer for themselves.

    “You are not the lord almighty, and yet you seek to tell millions, even among your own faith, what they must do to be part of the faithful. Who gave you that lordship, pray tell? Because I think most of those following the Judeo-Christian tradition in America would resent such intrusion.”

    You, instead, will make the State a substitute for G-d.

    “Beyond that, having a different opinion doesn’t make one a bigot. Nor does opposing same-sex marriage necessarily do so. A bigot is one who dwells in stereotypes, who uses fear and bullying tactics to deny rights, who can classify a group of people as being less than equal, and makes wild and fanatical accusations when their arguments are challenged. On that standard, Nachman, you may wish to find a mirror: your enemy lies within. How unfortunate.”

    After witnessing the tactics that homosexualists and the progressive left uses, from the protests outside of Mormon temples to church invasions, to what has happened in Massachusetts, you are engaging in projection. A similar protest against the HRC, Minnesota United for All Families, or the DFL would;d be condemned as “sexist and homophobic”.

    You have an animus against Jewish and Christian morality. That makes you an anti-Semite and a bigot.

    • Let’s separate out your nonsense, so it may be laid aside piece by piece:

      First off, your claim that “You cite no sources” on the percentages of Jews that favor marriage here in the United States and in Israel. The problem is that I have cited sources, in a direct reply to your initial attempt to sell this false reality, on January 10th:

      “You stated that “Notwithstanding the Reform, “Conservative” and Rescontructionist Jews who wish to adopt latter day Hellenism” as if these are small fringes, but indeed this is the core of the Jewish population in America, and they overwhelmingly support gay marriage (81% of all American Jews, according to a poll as reported by the Jewish Daily Forum; http://blogs.forward.com/forward-thinking/154171/poll–of-jews-back-gay-marriage/).

      Indeed, the conservative branch of American Judaism has adopted formal structures for gay marriages as part of their practices, and have wide support for their use (http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/06/01/conservative-jews-approve-gay-wedding-guidelines/).

      Even in Israel, a majority of the population backs gay marriage (http://hiddush.org/article-2107-0-_Israelis_support_gay_marriage.aspx).”

      Multiple sources (something you never provide, by the way). Attempting to rewrite the discussion to overlook evidence you do not like is disingenuous, at best.

      The point: your claim of bigotry is an outright slanderous lie. Period. It is meant to proclaim your version of faith as the only one, which in general works to the disadvantage of the Jews throughout history, and is more of the mark of a fanatic than a reasoned believer. The majority of the Jewish population in America favors marriage equality; while you may disagree with that, it does mean that your reactionary views do not define Judaism, nor is support for marriage equality anti-Semitic. “Nachman”, those are the arguments you seem to resort to when the evidence does not favor your doctrine, from the shelter of anonymity, knowing that in a public forum they would be rejected, and subject to ridicule and dismissal. It is folly wrapped in ignorance, nothing more.

      The true proof of that lies in the fact that the passage of marriage equality doesn’t change your life at all. You still get to follow your faith, to pass it on to your children, and adhere to your beliefs. That isn’t enough for you; instead, you have to enforce your definition on all of society, in a way that would allow for the introduction of religious doctrine into all elements of private life. And when that contradiction is demonstrated, your argument de-evolves into petty animus. It is without integrity or basis in fact, and thus is meaningless.

    • Second, you said: “It is an objective fact that only a man and a woman can engage in the procreative act, and that a family that has a mother and a father is the best way to raise the successive generation. A few incited academic papers does not erase the history of civilization and human experience over tens of thousands of year”

      Your point ignores the fact that procreation can still occur, through surrogacy, sperm donation, or other means. Those are facts, witnessed all around the world every day. Hence, if biological inheritance is the only measure and criteria (which it isn’t), then your argument still fails on its foundations. Also, heterosexual couples aren’t required to show a desire to procreate to marry, or the ability to do so; thus, using that argument to deny equal rights to same-sex couples creates a new standard selectively applied to a group of people without cause. On both grounds, your argument contradicts itself, and lacks any intellectual or substantial foundation, and must be dismissed.

      Furthermore, it’s worth noting that you acknowledged the studies showing no difference in the well-being of children raised by same-sex couples. Since the goal is to offer stable and strong households, and there are a number of children in need of adoption into such a household, and the studies show that same-sex parents can provide that, opposing marriage equality is counterproductive under the evidence you yourself cannot deny.

    • Next, the comment “From where do you get your rights: the Constitution or a Creator G-d?”

      There are inherent rights; however, any civil society must define rules and boundaries. Someone who feels that human sacrifice is a part of their divine right is not absolved from murder simply by referencing a faith in an almighty agent. Thus relying on your faith as grounds to deny lawful citizens rights and equal protection cannot be sustained. That isn’t bigotry; it’s just a simple acknowledgement that all have rights, and a wise suspicion of anyone who claims that their rights can only be preserved through the negation of the rights of others. Such claims lack the intellectual competence necessary to participate in a pluralistic society.

      Beyond that, you conveniently ignore the selective nature of your flawed implementation, and the consequences it brings. Do you plan to ban all pork products, and football? What about tattoos and other body decorations? Can someone who plants two different crops side by side be put to death? Can a rebellious child be stoned in the public square? Can only the parents do that, or can a teacher if the kid disrupts class? Can a rapist avoid prosecution by forcing his victim into marriage? What about those who do not observe the sabbath?

      You ignore these points, because any effort to argue that they are no longer part of cultural practices opens the argument that cultural practices and understanding evolves, as it has on marriage equality. Just like these practices no longer apply, a standard that is discriminatory can no longer apply.

      I do not want a state substitute for the Almighty; that is why I fight to prevent you from trying to enforce such heresy, since it is your position that only your version of faith can be allowed in America. Note that I did not say the Jewish faith, or Christianity, since large portions of both faiths do not share your beliefs. You have an interpretation of faith, and are welcome to practice it in your life. However, you cannot enforce your views on others in an attempt to isolate them from contradiction; such conduct is more common to cults than to healthy congregations. To find balance, we turn to the Constitution, which provides for the protection of individual faith and limits the government from instituting a mass faith to be imposed on the country. Under that standard, a lawful citizen has the right to equal access to civic institutions and benefits. It is unlawful to deny access, even if that means a person chooses behaviors we would not. That is the natural order of America, as it always has been.

    • Finally, an observation: both you and Mr. Brunette seem to want to make political hay out of this. However, anyone who pays attention to the news would know that the GOP is also shifting their position on this matter, and that there are Dems that are not yet convinced.

      Take Senator Rob Portman, for example. Definitely a conservative. Definitely a Republican. Definitely has set views of America that many liberals would disagree with. Favors marriage equality. Why? Because after his son came out as gay, he searched within, and determined that he could not deny equality to others, that he could not dehumanize them as both of you have.

      The same with Dick Cheney. Again, conservative, staunch Republican, solid in his beliefs. The same with over 100 GOP leaders who submitted a brief in favor of marriage equality, because it is nonsense to argue for the existence of limited government if you allow that government to deny equality to others based on the personal bias and opposition of a few. Because a government that can regulate conception and love in such broad strokes is the worst form of big government.

      Yes, only 25% (give or take) of those who self-identify as Republicans favor marriage equality. But that number is growing, and would be far larger if this hadn’t been used as a wedge issue to win elections in years past. Now it is hurting the GOP, driving those who are conservatives yet favor marriage equality away. Add to that remarks like those the two of you have posted here, and you can see why leading Republicans have to go on TV asking that the GOP get rid of the image of itself as the “stupid party.” That shows a division in the party, a desire to allow discussion and growth in a measured and wise fashion, which is a core element of conservative thought. Versus the petty animus shown here, which only hurts the party.

      To that end, I critique and challenge both of you, not in an attempt to attack the GOP, but in opposition to flamboyant incompetence. Since you both like to rant about persecution or a fetish with animal sex, I’ve taken the liberty of reposting some of your remarks to other forums, making sure to give credit to both of you, of course (and Mr. Brunette’s position within the party). Strangely, I have a feeling that these low and puerile remarks are exactly what Bobby Jindal was referring to.

      • I’m thrilled. Your massive exposure to your misunderstandings of my posts continue, and yet, I’ve never heard from a single person from any of your massive complaints and distributions. You get so nasty when you are forced to look into your own mirror. As they say in rome these days, “lighten Up, Franics!” Actaully he seems he’ll be an awesome Pope so I shouldn’t drag him into your quagmire, even to lighten your bigotry.

        I never would have figured you for a religious bigot Drew anonymous. I guess that the convenience of an anonymous handle. You make denigrate scores of religions from behind your safe little curtain. What a brave soul you are, chicken little.

        This issue isn’t harming the GOP one bit. This issue has been falling further and further intot he category of “Who gives a shit”, because our country is being run into the ground financially, and we have far more pressing matters than changing the meaning of a word in the dictionary. While we’re at maybe we can change the meaning of the word “debt” into “prosperity” and we claim victory as the amount rises further and further out of reach.

        Seriously, the only reason this is dropping off of GOP radar screens is that we have bigger fish to fry. With (UN) Affordable Care Act going into full swing, and our deficit spending continuing to rise, this little issue is the least of America’s problems.

        So go ahead and change what the word means. It’s only a matter of time before that it will need to be changed again, and multiple wives or even husbands are part of the picture. And we already have people claiming their rights to screw there dog are being violated, so what the heck. While we’re shredding the dictionary, might as well shred the Constitution. It’s old school as well, nad has no meaning anymore either. In fact, why do we ban stealing? I mean it’s stupid tradition from an antiquated bunch of old scrolls that “Thou shall not steal”, yet Mark Dayton approves more stealing in the name of government funding.

        You should get on board with some Bible burning while you’re at it Drew what his nuts. I mean you’ve already shown your lack of senitivity to Christianity and Judaism. You can’t be a jihadist, or you get stoned, physically, by that group. Perhaps atheism is your thing. In which case you’re trying to force your religion on the rest of us. Can’t do that Mr. Bigot. Naughty naughty.

        • You seem to conveniently forget, Mr. Brunette, that I challenged you to a public debate on multiple occasions, and you cowered away. Your feeble attempt to create some fiction of religious persecution belies the fact that I’m stated, multiple times, that people can teach their kids what they want on homosexuality, and worship as they please; they just can’t take away equal rights from others to force their obedience to that faith. That is religious tolerance; your rants are just a lie. And I will challenge you to stand behind your lies in a public debate, anytime; or are you still relying on petty comments to hide your reluctance and fear of being held to task?

          It is hurting the GOP; the RNC report released today says so, and particularly singles out conduct and comments like the ones you make here. I cited it above; strange that you weren’t aware of this, since any good party representative should have known that already. This debate would be far more meaningful if there was a competent representation of the GOP here; your efforts are just sleaze, nothing more. And eventually they will come back to be held accountable.

          So again, a public debate, without the ability to hide behind fabrications and sleaze? Or is this all you can do?

          • How would have a debate with someone who’s name is unknown? Anyone can claim to be the bigoted Mr. Drew K. fabrications and sleaze? I’m no Democrat! At least I haven’t been for 20 years. For someone who just slandered the Jewish and Christian communities, I’d be careful about who I claim spreads sleaze if I were you. Religious bigotry is about as low as you can go, and puts you at odds with a vast majority of this nation.

            As to the public debate, why I imagine I could go to any local skinhead meeting and find someone to take up your namesake and anti-religious attitude. And I’d have zero interest in debating such a heavily indoctrinated bigot.

  6. Paraphrasing: let’s separate out your rhetoric, so it may be laid aside piece by piece.

    The Forverts is a progressive-left newspaper; the Public Religion Research Institute has a Board of Directors that is packed with Reform Jews, liberal Christians, GBLT activists and academics; Hiddush is an arm of Reform in Israel.

    Not objective sources.

    “The point: your claim of bigotry is an outright slanderous lie. Period. It is meant to proclaim your version of faith as the only one, which in general works to the disadvantage of the Jews throughout history, and is more of the mark of a fanatic than a reasoned believer.”

    Torah says what it says. It is not reasonable to disregard what is clearly written in Torah. Reform and progleft Jews ignore it and posit that “same sex marriage” can somehow be Jewish. It can’t. Ever. That’s their problem, it sure ain’t Judaism, and it is fraud to parade it around as such. Since they are making it my problem, and the problem of civil society in general, I get to tell them I dissent from their treif.

    You, Mr. Olsen and the rest of your mob oppose Jewish morality what constitutes a normal family. That is an expression of anti-Semitism and bigotry.

    The shoe is now on the other foot.

    “marriage equality doesn’t change your life at all.”

    It is a non-sequitur to refer to “marriage equality” because “same sex marriage” can never be equal to marriage. “Same sex marriage” and homosexuality will be taught as normal in the schools, parents will not be able to opt out because of financial limitations, the power of the state will descend on all who dissent. This will be destructive to families and civil society.

    I asked Mr. Olsen a simple question: From where do you get your rights: the Constitution or a Creator G-d? There are only two answers, and you gave me a dissertation.

    “I’ve taken the liberty of reposting some of your remarks to other forums, making sure to give credit to both of you, of course…”

    By gross misrepresentation and attributing statements I never asserted. You are posting our comments in other forums to make examples of us. So be it. I expect uncivil behavior from your side. I expect nothing less from anti-Semites and bigots. The gloves are now off.

    Q.E.D.

    • The number of surveys from Gallup, Reuters, and other organizations that confirm the standing opinion of the majority of the Jewish population in favor of marriage equality is in the dozens. It is an accurate reflection of reality.

      And I noticed how you ignored, yet again, the convenient nature of your adherence to religious scripture. So let me ask it again:

      Do you plan to ban all pork products, and football? What about tattoos and other body decorations? Can someone who plants two different crops side by side be put to death? Can a rebellious child be stoned in the public square? Can only the parents do that, or can a teacher if the kid disrupts class? Can a rapist avoid prosecution by forcing his victim into marriage? What about those who do not observe the sabbath?

      Note my comment, that these things are no longer part of society because society evolves. So unless you plan to adhere to all of these things, and treat others with the same intolerance you show here, then your claim forfeits credibility. Shrouding it in a lie is equivalent to bearing false witness; hence, your fictional claims of bigotry erase your right to that standard in this regard.

      It is not bigotry to allow others to live a different lifestyle, and respect their rights. It is intolerance to deny them that right to elevate your standards beyond question.

      As far as reposting the remarks… again, you commit a sin by bearing false witness. I posted the full remarks, or the links (it’s handy that you can link to an individual comment on here). Your words are your own; if you cannot stand behind them, then you should not say them. What claim can you have to faith in your comments if you hide from them so quickly?

      As for my “dissertation”, the short answer: neither you, nor I, nor Mr. Brunette, nor anyone has the right to declare a lawful citizen to be less than equal. The wisdom of the almighty is beyond us, and those who try to declare absolute knowledge of such grace often err, with devastating results. Thus, it is the right to each individual to meet judgement in his or her own way. In the meantime, their rights as citizens cannot be denied.

      • But Drew whoever, you stumbled and displayed your own religious bigotry when you slandered the Jewish and Christian religions in their actions for abolition of slavery in this country. I mean if you seriously cannot acknowledge such a just cause due to your obvious hatred for these religions, why I have to wonder why we would take any of your religious rhetoric to heart, let alone mind?

        I guess that’s one reason to hide behind an anonymous ID. If I had just insulted 90% of the nation, I want to be in hiding as well. If you really want to be taken seriously, you’re really going to have retract that slavery stance you took earlier. That was disgusting, and would eb the kind of thing I expect to read from a skinhead or some other irrational lunatic fringe.

        • First off, recognizing this discussion is degrading into a name-calling contest, I’m going to try to reign it in, at least from my side.

          Secondly, being honest about the history of religion, both the positive and negative, is not “religious bigotry” as you claim. By your logic, any criticism of the Catholic Church for the sex abuse scandals over the last few decades is also bigotry and hatred of all Catholics. An honest history does not hide inconvenient facts; it faces the reality, and grows from the lessons learned.

          The reality is that both Jews and Christians in America were shown to be just as likely to endorse slavery and discrimination as their counterparts, when geography and other factors are eliminated. That is historical fact. While 90% of the Jewish population prior to the Civil War lived in the north, those in the south were just as likely to own slaves. Many southern Jews held the view that blacks were subhuman and were suited to slavery, which was the predominant view held by many of their non-Jewish southern neighbors (Reiss, “Jews in Colonial America”, p. 85). The larger difference was that Jewish slaveowners tended to live in cities, rather than the plantations, and applied their slave labors to crafts rather than cash crops.

          Leading Jewish figures in the south promoted slavery; in fact, one of the best orators in defense of slavery in the Senate was Judah Benjamin (who also is the only Jew to appear on commonly circulated American currency, albeit Confederate currency). Indeed, that contradiction of coming from a faith where escaping slavery was a key moment was thrown back at him by then Sen. Wade, who called him “an Israelite with Egyptian principles” during a debate on the Senate floor (meaning: one who is part of a culture that escaped slavery, who now imposes it on another).

          Harper’s Weekly (Feb. 25, 1865) offered a great summary of Benjamin’s political and social arguments in favor of slavery:

          “Let JUDAH BENJAMIN look at it. You have always insisted that negroes were meant for slavery, It was resisting the divine order to oppose it. It was flying in the face of Providence. It was blasphemous. The negroes are good for nothing else. They are an inferior race. They require guardianship. They must be forced to work. They are lazy, idle vagabonds. Capital ought to own labor and the laborer. The true order of society is that which rests upon a servile class. The negro is really thankful for slavery.”

          Such remarks were part of his record, along with attempts to show that slaves benefited from slavery. This was not just one man, either, just the most visible from the Jewish population.

          Many Christian ministers made the same arguments. To quote from ushistory.org:

          “Defenders of slavery noted that in the Bible, Abraham had slaves. They point to the Ten Commandments, noting that “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, … nor his manservant, nor his maidservant.” In the New Testament, Paul returned a runaway slave, Philemon, to his master, and, although slavery was widespread throughout the Roman world, Jesus never spoke out against it.”

          The example of Paul was particularly used as a Christian foundation for the Fugitive Slave Act, in both the north and south.

          Over 2,000 Jews volunteered for the Confederacy; given their small population in the south (about 10,000 to 15,000), that puts them on par with the average rate of service, depending on income.

          Does that mean that all Jews supported slavery? Not in the least, nor did all Christians. However, it does mean that you can’t use the argument of religious tradition to automatically shroud a practice in morality; simply put, mortal interpretations (and even scriptural statements) have been used to endorse many evils, and people of the faith have often endorsed paths that we now recognize as morally flawed.

          Nachman attempted to offer such an argument, as a way of lessening the validity of marriage equality. I simply pointed out the lack of historical accuracy in that approach. That is an unfortunate reality, which is only further compounded when good folks of the faith return to efforts to dehumanize some to deny them equal rights. There is no bigotry there; ironically, your claims of persecution mirror those of the slaveholders (again, no racial bias implied). Neither are based in fact.

        • Perhaps an example will demonstrate the flaws in your claim of persecution. To that end, let us turn to St. Paul, or more accurately, the naming of the city of St. Paul. And let us be thorough in our analysis.

          For most Baptists, the idea of sainthood is a contradiction of scripture. I was taught that praying to a saint (or Mary, for that matter) was the same as false worship, and a direct violation of the First Commandment, along with other scripture (“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12). In every case where a Baptist congregation in my hometown took over a Catholic church or facility, a couple things happened right away: Jesus is removed from the cross (interpretation of the significance of the resurrection), the images of the saints are pulled, and the statues of Mary in a shrine are pulled. Not to say that the apostles were evil; however, our faith does not allow for the worship of mortals. This wasn’t a minor issue, or a new interpretation; this was seen as breaking a commandment, and grounds for damnation by most pastors, with roots in the Reformation.

          So when a French priest founded a church here in Minnesota, and renamed what would become a state capital, it brought over a title that contradicts my faith (if it had just been called “Paul” or “Paulston” or anything else, not a problem). By your interpretation and your words on this forum, this is how I should respond:

          “Bigots! Bigots! Look at the intolerance, forcing my tax dollars to support this betrayal of my faith! Look at how it hurts society by teaching our kids that it’s OK to worship mortals! Look at my kids having to endorse the practice of sainthood every time they take state geography. Look how it undermines society by elevating the works of humans above the works of God. The only way to respect my faith and its roots in our traditions is to change the name back… to Pig’s Eye! It doesn’t matter what others think, because I know my faith is right, so nothing else can be allowed, or it’s discriminatory!”

          And everyone would think I was nuts, or at least intolerant in my own form. And they would be right on that last part.

          (A note: if the state capital were to go back to its original name, it would probably make news reports about the legislature far more entertaining.)

          —–

          Do I believe in Paul as a saint? No. Does having a city named after him make the rest of society bigoted? Not at all.

          Now, you may argue that the comparisons aren’t equal. After all, you argue on the social history against marriage equality. However, social history also said women shouldn’t vote (or speak, hold leadership positions, work, etc.), that certain ethnicities have inherent characteristics, that slavery was part of any stable society and based in scripture (see Fitzhugh’s “Cannibals All, or Slaves without Masters” for an example of that argument). We don’t allow fathers to force their daughters to marry their rapist, or any forced marriage for that matter (Deuteronomy 22:28-29). We do not adhere to those precepts anymore, even when some quote scripture to support those positions of the past. Therefore, just because something was common to the past doesn’t make it right.

          —–

          You might argue that the passing on of biological inheritance is necessary for marriage, and thus is of higher priority than my “claim”; however, we do not require that standard for marriage right now. No proof of the ability or intent to procreate is sought or demanded, and those who cannot have children are not restricted from that right.

          Furthermore, through surrogacy or artificial insemination, children may still occur, and while the genetic inheritance would not be from both parents, the inheritance and population growth would still occur. Heterosexuals are not denied the right to marry if they have children from previous relationships, nor are the bonds seen as less meaningful; hence, there is no prohibition against the same practice for same-sex couples.

          On the scientific end, the basic premise of creating offspring without sexual intercourse has already been achieved, even with human beings. In general, modifying the DNA of bacteria to specific designs and having them replicate is an introductory lab in most college biology courses. So by science or by cultural expectation, your premise is not an expectation required for civil marriage. Indeed, at one point the same argument about biology and nature was used against interracial marriage: “When people of the same race marry, they cannot possibly have any progeny, . . . and such a fact sufficiently justifies those laws which forbid their marriages.” (Missouri judge, in ruling against interracial marriage; his interpretation was based on other races being less than human, something many do to homosexuals today.)

          —–

          You may argue about the lack of a stable home as a pressing issue; however, multiple studies show that there is no difference between being raised by a homosexual parent or parents versus heterosexual environments. (The only difference seen was an increase in bullying and persecution, but we don’t punish people for how others treat them in this country.) In fact, encouraging marriage equality allows for committed relationships, which does create stronger homes and benefits for society.

          —–

          Some will argue that this opens the door to polygamy and unnatural practices (and do so in a sensationally vulgar manner, in order to sideline the discussion). However, the same thing was said about interracial marriage (there are at least twelve Bible verses, most in the Old Testament, that treat marriages between races/cultures as sinful). It was a Virginia judge that said in his ruling to ban interracial marriage that “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”

          A Georgia Representative said that “”Allowing interracial marriages “necessarily involves the degradation” of conventional marriage, an institution that “deserves admiration rather than execration.” (See http://www.equalitygiving.org/files/Marriage-Equality-Same-Sex-Lesbian-Gay-Marriage/Arguments_Against_Interracial_Marriage_and_Equal_Marriage.pdf for the full parallels, and how the arguments against same-sex marriage are identical to those against interracial marriage.)

          The Gulnare Freewill Baptist Church in Kentucky had a motion to ban interracial marriage introduced by one of its pastors in 2011, on those same grounds; a church in Georgia had the same issue in 2012. In no case did the decision of those churches revoke the rights of those people under the Constitution to equal rights under the law, unlike the standard you offer.

          If we grant your interpretation, then any intolerance to an equal right trumps the rights of another, as long as any interpretation of scripture can sustain that intolerance. Such a practice would fundamentally annihilate the very notion of freedom in America.

          Furthermore, polygamy and marriages without consent are illegal because of the harm they deliver to those involved. A lawful relationship does not fall under such definitions; thus the comparison doesn’t hold.

          —–

          You might turn the argument and say that my example is ridiculous, in that no harm is done to me from the name of the state capital. However, according to your standard, any tax support or government recognition of something that violates a Judeo-Christian religious tradition someone holds, no matter what portion of the religion actually holds that interpretation, is an act of bigotry. I was told to believe that the worship and edification of saints violates the First Commandment (and no, I’m not exaggerating). State recognition of sainthood thus violates a core tenet of faith, one passed down from God directly on Sinai, unlike the passages concerning same-sex relationships, which are accounts of legal and cultural traditions from that time.

          Thus under your rules we have to purify society to remove any contradiction that any Judeo-Christian sect could object to on their interpretation. That means no Pledge of Allegiance (worship of a graven image, see Jehovah’s Witnesses). No tattoo shops, liquor stores, or football (bye bye, Vikings). No clothing made from two different fabrics, or different crops planted side by side. No computers as part of any mandatory school course or activity. No working on the Sabbath for any government employee. The list goes on and on…

          —–

          We do not do any of those things. The name of the state capital doesn’t negate my rights, nor does tolerating a different religious perspective having recognition. Nor does abandoning discriminatory standards from the past. Just as I’d have no claim to discrimination, neither do you. And you most certainly do not have the right to use the law to negate religious freedom and interpretation for others.

          I’ve taken and addressed every argument you’ve offered, and while you may believe certain things, there is no legal or factual foundation for a claim of bigotry or persecution, let alone denying others rights. So far, you’ve dodged most of these points; if you cannot answer them, then perhaps you should reconsider your position on the nature of your approach. Your faith is up to you.

          • I guess I need a new religion. I’m guilty of slavery without having owned one. However can we clear our names? And why would I ask a religious bigot how to do so? What’s a blogger to do? I’m continually slandered by Mr. Anonymous for the actions of my predecessors. Oh, but for a time machine to right all of these wrongs… In the meantime, the national debt has gone up another 100 billion, and MN DFLers are rasing even more taxes. Time to watch the other hand.

            • Strange that you just dodged every point to hide behind an argument that’s not relevant to this discussion…

              No, you’re not guilty of all the past sins, just your own, as each person is. However, that also means we can’t romanticize the past to ignore the injustices it presented, as a way of avoiding how to make them right. That is the difference.

              • I’m not dodging anything, Mr. Bigot.I’m fully capable of admitting that our Jewish and Christian bretheren rose up and fought to get slavery abolished on moral grounds. That some used the same religion to justify the continuation of slavery is not a sin of the religion. Some use religion to justify flying planes into buildings, but that’s a twisted viewpoint, and I think we can all agree that those folks are dead wrong.

                There’s nothing immoral about about the defense of marriage. Marriage by definition is between one man and one woman. It’s written as such in DOMA as well. It is the law of the land.

                Now, you can state that there are benfits afforded to those couples who a re legally married the a gay couple can’t get. That’s a legal matter, which can be addressed in law.

                But you don’t need to slam these faiths over slavery to make a point about this issue. There’s nothing immorral about the defense of marraige. You might find something immorral about the denial of certain benefits from marriage, but again that can be addressed through other means. It’s immorral to covet another belongings, and yet that is part of this debate as well. Someone wants what others have. many find progressive taxation to be immoral. As Dr. Ben Johnson pointed out at the national prayer breakfast, God gave us a fair and equitable system of taxation. It’s the flat tax called tithing. I mean do I not have a right to my earnings just as much as someone who makes less than I do? Why should I have to pay a higher percentage? It’s unfair, and therefore immoral, and after it’s what I want, the law be damned! See how you can play this? When to try to pander to everyone’s wants and needs, the law becomes a twisted mess of definitions. And when that door is opened, like changing the definition of marriage to suit another meaning, why not keep going. Why not allow multiple parties to marry as one? Why not allow the guy in canada to fulfill what he sees as his right to have sex with his dog?

                And you’ll take the tangent that I’m now comparing homosexuals to animals, which is flat out absurd. Anyone who reads what I write and comes to that conclusion is irrational. My point is if the word marriage allows for ever evolving definitions, where does it end? If someone wants to marry thier horse, who are we to stop them?

                • If someone wants to marry thier horse, who are we to stop them?

                  You seriously don’t understand the distinction between a contract involving two consenting adult citizens versus a person and a horse?

                  • I understand the difference perfectly. We can change the definition of marriage to just about anything if we base this on someone wishes and desires. Unfortunately for some a marriage is between one man and one woman. I know you want to change that definition, but there are those who want to change it for bigamy and all sorts of nonsense. We’ve had people in the past grant their estates to the care of their dog or cat, or at least a portion of it. It’s not that far fetched to say that a person feels the right to be able to join with thier pet. There is a case of this happening in canada right now. Goof all is all lawyered up and going to court, last I heard. feels his rights are voilated by not letting him screw his dog. He’s not pushing to marry it just yet, but if were going to change the definition to suit however an individual feels it should fit, than this is not outside the realm of what some idiot will ask for.

                    You can’t just pick and choose what a word means when to want, despite what Bill Clinton oulled with the definition of “is”. DOMA is the law of the land. federally, gay marriage, (oxymoron, because marriage isn’t for gay people), is not recognized.

                    • There’s nothing you can do to prevent people from filing crazy lawsuits.

                      Again, there’s a fundamental difference between granting the right to marriage to an animal compared to a person. You would not only have to redefine marriage, but the notion of personhood itself, in order to make marriage available to animals.

                    • Exactly.

                      Marriage equality has nothing to do with bigamy or bestiality, or any of the other nonsense offered. Two people of the same gender can have a lawful relationship, as long as it is consensual, age legal, non-related, and in other ways within the law. That is already the case; therefore, denying a relationship that is lawful and legal equal protection is unconstitutional. Referencing DOMA doesn’t help, given its violations of enumerated powers and Full Faith and Credit.

                      Trying to toss in other standards demeans and dehumanizes the relationships same-sex couples have. Bigamy, bestiality, incest, and forcible marriage will still be illegal, because those standards present a clear danger to those involved. Marriage equality for same-sex couples has no link to those things; recognizing that right will not open up those standards, just like interracial or interfaith marriages did not do that. This argument has been used before, verbatim, word for word; it was wrong then. It is wrong now.

                • I didn’t slam any faith; however, Nachman was attempting to portray that the Civil Rights movement and abolition were things that religion endorsed fully, while marriage equality is not, and therefore marriage equality is somehow less permissible by that argument. The fact that even the conservative Jews have developed same-sex marriage procedures undermines that argument.

                  Additionally, using the idea of religious tradition as the sole basis for moral authority is dangerous, not because of the religion, but because of the self-serving interpretations mortals tend to make of the faith (as you described above). American history has that same element, and it was not just a token few, but a significant element of the population. I’ve given multiple examples; calling someone names does not excuse revisionist history. After all, by your argument every reporter who wrote about the sex abuse in the Catholic church is bigoted; all your argument does is hinder the proper scrutiny and reflection needed to grow in our faith and humanity. On those grounds, your position gives deference to authority at the expense of moral accountability, and thus fails completely.

                  As for your animal obsession: you are saying that allowing for equal treatment for same-sex couples would allow for people to have sex with animals. Therefore, by your logic, a person having sex with someone of their gender is equal to someone having sex with an animal. Those are your words (actually, that’s a cleaned-up version; many of your comments were far more vulgar in insinuation and euphemisms). If you do not like the meaning of your words, then stop saying them. Comparing equal legal protections for lawful human beings to bestiality is a way to dehumanize the debate and our fellow soldiers, doctors, police officers, friends, and citizens, so that their rights may be denied. Nothing more.

                  Next, referencing the definition of marriage in the scriptures and social definition is also flawed. By that argument, interracial marriage is illegal, as is interfaith marriage (see the examples above). And polygamy occurs multiple times in the Bible (Lamech, Abraham, Jacob, Esau, Gideon, Saul, David, Solomon, Rehoboam, and others). Also, a father can force his daughter into marriage to someone who sexually assaulted her if it is advantageous to him, according to scripture. None of these things are true anymore; we have evolved in our understanding, just as we have with marriage equality. A line in scripture doesn’t justify a moral wrong.

                  Finally, referencing DOMA is a poor argument, in that DOMA is the least likely of the laws to be upheld. It goes well beyond the enumerated powers of Congress in interfering with state’s rights. Additionally, it breaches the Full Faith and Credit clause. Imagine if another state could reject your business contracts and any rights therein, solely because of their opinion of your lifestyle. This would bring chaos to the business world; thus, DOMA was always more of a demonstration of a reactionary, knee-jerk reaction to change than a model for wise legislation.

                  • That’s not my point at all regarding animals. There is no equation to gay marraige and animal sex in anything I’ve stated. Only a complete moron could come to that conclusion from what I wrote.

                    • Actually, anyone would come to that conclusion, because it’s what you said. Sean is right, there’s a complete difference between two human beings having their lawful relationship recognized, and going outside of the species. You equated the one as leading to the other, which dehumanizes people and infers a relationship between the two actions through your own words. The same argument was used with interracial marriages (see above for specific quotes), to the same contemptible effect. Marriage equality, whether it is by race or gender, has nothing to do with bestiality. Period. As long as you try to make that link, you are dehumanizing others. No amount of evasion or doublespeak changes that; so if it isn’t your intent to do so, then stop making the comparison.

                    • What a goof ball. Seriously. I said nothing to equate a gasy person with a beastiality person other than that they both want to get married. That makes them equal in their desire to be married, but doesn’t make them animals. Use your head.

                    • Too bad that’s not the point you have been making, even now. Your point is that allowing marriage equality would also open up the law to sex with animals. Which means you see marriage equality for same-sex couples as being on par or a step towards bestiality. Which is obscene, unjust, and unfounded. Your own words betray you on this, comparing the dedication and love two people feel to your lust for a horse (fictional or whatever, we don’t need to hear such filth). Or a dog. And doing so in a most vulgar fashion.

                      The discussion is about equal protection for couples that live under every restriction under the law. Homosexuality isn’t illegal, unlike all of the other distractions you keep offering. It isn’t harmful, or coercive. Therefore, equality under the law is just. Repeating arguments that were used to justify slavery, segregation, and inequality does nothing to undermine that truth.

                      As Marc D. Stern, the general counsel of the American Jewish Committee, said: “Religious liberty, as the American Jewish Committee told the Supreme Court recently in a friend-of-the-court brief, does not give anyone the right to demand that someone else be deprived of the “right to live the most intimate portions of their lives according to their own deepest convictions.” That some religious groups regard same-sex marriage as an “abomination” does not authorize the government to ban such relationships. That is one price we all pay for protecting religious liberty.”

                • As far as family health, the American Academy of Pediatrics has made their position clear by endorsing marriage equality (taken from http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/03/21/pediatricians-same-sex-marriages/2003827/ ):

                  “In a new, updated policy statement, the nation’s largest pediatricians group says that civil marriage for same-sex couples — as well as full adoption and foster care rights for all parents, regardless of sexual orientation — is the best way to ensure legal and financial security for children in these families.

                  “Children thrive in families that are stable and that provide permanent security, and the way we do that is through marriage,” said Benjamin Siegel, co-author of the American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement. The group “believes there should be equal opportunity for every couple to access the economic stability and federal supports provided to married couples to raise children.” Siegel is a pediatrics professor at Boston University School of Medicine.

                  The new policy statement, published online Thursday, is in the April issue of the journal Pediatrics.

                  In 2002 and again in 2010, the 60,000-member association supported second-parent adoption by same-sex partners as a way to protect children’s right to maintain relationships with both parents, eligibility for health benefits and financial security. The new policy statement and an accompanying technical report adds recommendations in support of civil marriage for same-sex couples; adoption by single parents, co-parents or second parents regardless of sexual orientation; and foster care placement regardless of sexual orientation.

                  The statement says that an extensive body of scientific research documents that there is no cause-and-effect relationship between parents’ sexual orientation and children’s well-being.

                  Multiple studies attest to the healthy development of children of same-sex couples when the child is wanted, the parents have a commitment to shared parenting, and the parents have strong social and economic support, the statement says.

                  The statement names other national medical and health groups that have said they support marriage equality, including the American Psychological Association; the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Family Physicians.

                  Others that the statement says “support gay and lesbian parenting and the nurturing of children” include: the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry; the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the American Medical Association.”

                  • There are plenty of studies that show just the opposite. A study from the Social Science Reseach journal shows children of GLBT parents are more likely to suffer from depression and other physical and psychological problems.

                    And again, we have marriage equality today. Since the defintion is between and a man and a woman, per DOMA and other national law, any opposite sex couples may marry given consent and age requirements.

                    Or perhaps age requirements should be waived as well? I mean, really. What business is it of the government to define marriage at all? You seem to keep missing that part of the argument, and choose to go off on some animal misunderstanding to make the argument look stupid.

                    You completely miss the point, over and over again, that marriage has a definition, and if we want to modify it to allow one group’s personal feelings, then why not the others? We know they exist. That’s the only equation I’m making, since you seem unable to grasp what I’m suggesting. It’s that if we change the definition for one group, why not another? Why not a polygamist? Why not a 13 year old? That used to be OK, back in the day too, right? Are you getting it yet? Do you see where the equation lies, or should I post a picture or diagram?

                    • Read deeper into that study: the primary reason for the depression is from bullying and harassment from others because of a lack of tolerance. So now big government has the ability to deny rights because other people do not have a tolerance for certain people? That’s not America at all; thus, your conclusion is meaningless. Which is why the American Academy of Pediatrics rejected it. Your interpretation would legitimize discrimination and injustice, and do permanent harm to America and our children. Such an approach has no defense.

                      Furthermore, I don’t think you understand what DOMA does at all. DOMA is solely for federal recognition, and the ability of states to deny recognition of a marriage contract from another state. The second part violates the Constitution: “Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state.” So DOMA fails on that regard. Additionally, it does not restrict states from defining those institutions and recognizing marriage equality, as many states have done. Thus, DOMA offers no restriction on Minnesota, just as it didn’t for Iowa or any of the other states; the question is recognition of fundamental rights in all states, which DOMA tries to interfere with, in violation of the plain text of the Constitution. Trying to argue that is offers a national definition seems oblivious to the reality of the law; after all, if that was the case, why would we have needed the proposed amendment here in Minnesota in the first place?

                      As for the other nonsense: again, your same arguments, word for word, were used throughout history against interracial marriages, interfaith marriages, and even marriages between different social classes. There is no connection between underage marriage, bestiality, or any of your other fixations, and recognizing the right of a lawful couple to equal protection under the law. None.

                    • But there is a conneciton. You’re denial of such doesn’t make it so. Each of these examples list “marriages” that are desired by some. If we make concesions for one, why not all?

                    • So you admit that you are deliberately trying to equate marriage equality and same-sex relationships to bestiality and all of the other falsehoods you offer? Bold, but still not founded in fact. And still rather vulgar, at least in your presentation.

                      Study after study shows there is no connection between homosexuality and sexual misconduct, or any other conduct for that matter. Saying it is so, or implying such a thing, it a blatant injustice delivered on those who serve our country as our neighbors, friends, soldiers, and citizens.

                      So that leaves the slippery slope argument. That’s been tried before:

                      “[T]he State’s prohibition of interracial marriage . . . stands on the same
                      footing as the prohibition of polygamous marriage, or incestuous marriage, or
                      the prescription of minimum ages at which people may marry, and the prevention of the marriage of people who are mentally incompetent.” – Virginia judge, quoted in Loving v. Virginia

                      Interracial marriages would be a “calamity full of the saddest and
                      gloomiest portent to the generations that are to come after us.” – Tennessee Supreme Court

                      “[If interracial couples have a right to marry], all our marriage acts forbidding
                      intermarriage between persons within certain degrees of consanguinity are
                      void.” – Perez dissent

                      There are thousands of quotes like this. None of them were true. We are talking about two lawful, loving people seeking equal protection under the law. That has nothing to do with bestiality, or underage marriage, or any of the other boogeymen tossed out. In the future, the arguments you are offering will hold the same company as the arguments above. Is that what you want?

                    • We’re done here. You are incapable of rational thought. So this discussion is pointless.

                    • Really, Mr. Brunette? How is it not rational to point out that DOMA doesn’t do what you say it does?

                      How is it not rational to point out the identical nature between your claims and the biased arguments used against interracial marriage?

                      It seems like you’re running away from the argument again. So let me change the nature of the question.

                      You are arguing that marriage equality leads to corrupt acts, that it opens the proverbial flood gates, just like people argued with interracial marriages (see above). So, extending your logic, do you believe that people should be barred from marriage to another person based on their race or ethnicity?

                      You see, your arguments match those arguments used for racial discrimination as grounds for interference into marriage equality, nearly word for word; just replace the racial language with language addressing homosexuality. I have not assumed a racial bias on your part (and still do not); however, your interpretation would reauthorize such laws that discriminate based on race as acceptable under the law. What say you, Mr. Brunette? Is that what you are willing to accept? Will you answer, or will you show indifference to such injustice through your silence?

                    • You completely miss the point, over and over again, that marriage has a definition, and if we want to modify it to allow one group’s personal feelings, then why not the others?

                      The issue is not “personal feelings”, it’s equal protection under the law. There’s no societal harm to allowing same sex couples to marry. Polygamy and marriage to animals aren’t the same things at all. Animals can’t consent and have no rights, and polygamy has provable societal harm.

                      What business is it of the government to define marriage at all?

                      Well, here’s where it gets interesting. Why should government define marriage? Maybe it shouldn’t. Maybe it should be civil unions for all, and allow churches to administer the sacrament of marriage. Government would be free to promote child-bearing with incentives that would be based on the child, not on its parents. That seems like a more coherent “small government” approach.

                    • Sean, you make a decent point; however, many in society would feel robbed of the recognition of the value of their relationship if marriage was stripped from the language of the civil proceeding.

                      After all, many who marry now do not involve religion of any kind in the process; for them, it is a civil recognition of their love and faith to each other.

                      While the approach you offer would separate the religious concerns, I’d worry about the social backlash in the perception of taking away a right that others had in order to level the playing field.

                      I do feel that religious institutions, when operating within their own confines as an institution of faith, should have the right to recognize and determine what they consider marriage. However, I agree with you, and with the American Jewish Committee, that such determinations cannot be used to deny equality under the law when civil institutions are involved.

                    • Drew, I concur that such a “civil unions for all” proposal has the demerits you cite, and as such isn’t really feasible at this point. I was just putting it out there to see what the reactions were.

                    • And Sean finally makes the point that I was making all along.

                      Maybe it should be civil unions for all, and allow churches to administer the sacrament of marriage.

                      Exactly my point! Thanks!! Someone gets it, at last!! Unbelievable…

                    • You did offer an acceptance that the courts might go that direction (“I guess we’re about to find out then. Maybe then we can put this issue to rest.” March 14th), but to argue that you were in favor of equal rights through a civil process might be a stretch when your idea is applied.

                      Perhaps you have the best of intentions, but as I said above, calling it “larriage” or “garriage” as you suggested and expecting equality will not work. As history has shown, separate but equal doesn’t work. What would happen is you would have dozens of states and communities making laws that only grant rights to “married” couples, and we’d be back to square one, arguing over which rights belong to which group; the only thing would be how much taxpayer money would be wasted in the lawsuits. We’ve seen this with the end of slavery and segregation (see Prince William County, cited above); it’s also the main motive behind section 3 of DOMA, which patently violates the Constitution. Again, Mr. Brunette, it’s an interesting idea, but I fear that it is highly unlikely to actually get anything done.

                      You did also say on March 13th: “And there is no inequality. If you are a man, you may marry any woman who will have you. Or vice versa. That’s equal.” Again, the same thing was said about interracial marriage: ““Each [party seeking to marry a member of a different race] has the right and the privilege of marrying within his or her own group.”” (cited in Perez v Lippold) Except there is no cause to restrict an otherwise legal union, just as there isn’t now.

                      Like I said to Sean above, the idea of having to remove marriage entirely from the civil realm would be a poor solution for many who would feel that such logic was more about lessening the standing of all, rather than providing for equal recognition under the law. It could work, but there would be a number of obstacles. Essentially, such civil unions
                      would have to be recognized as equivalent to what marriage is under the law today in every state, and the religious recognition would be removed from any legal realm, along with the language. This is more akin to the approach some European countries take; when attending a wedding near Paris, I saw this firsthand, when the couple had two separate ceremonies. One was with the mayor of the city to achieve the civil recognition, while the other was the religious ceremony.

                      The other problem is in your other arguments, Mr. Brunette, is where you somehow brought in bestiality and every other evil into the mix. If your slippery slope argument is to be taken at face value, then even a civil union standard would still have the same moral issues, and be no more valid, thus providing no solution at all. Thus, as long as such false and dehumanizing arguments are offered, the ability to redress the situation is unduly compromised.

                      As long as such nonsensical comparisons are made, there will always be such monstrous misinformation, and a negation of equal rights under the law. The first step is to recognize that these are lawful citizens in consensual, lawful, loving relationships. From there, it becomes clear that denial of equality is unsustainable. Whether that comes from removing government completely from marriage, or from recognizing a civil definition versus a religious one, can be debated.

                    • And that’s where you still don’t get nor ever will you get it. You seem hung up that I was equating beastiality with homosexuals, when clearly I was not. You’re misunderstanding isn’t my problem. I can lead th horse to water, but but he only wants to BS. What can i do?

                      I said early on, that give them something else that equals marital rights within the law if you must. That way, when someone wants a similiar arrangement on other terms, like when polygamy is finally acceptable, then you can add that to the civil union mix, without affecting the definition of marriage. I know of a household in eagan where this goes on today, where there are two moms and one dad, and children from each. It’s not legal, but then again, neither is gay marriage, and is unacceptable from a legal standpoint.

                      BTW, here’s the guy I was talking about if you’re interested. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2012/02/26/bc-vancouver-bestiality.html

                      Seems this guy has been fighting against his perceived “rights” for years. Seems kinda silly to equate property rights to a dog, but it happens in estates, right? Where a trust is left to a pet? So as far fetched as you want to claim the comparison of various wishful forms of marriage to be, none of these examples fit the definition, which is one man, one woman. There’s nothing racial about it. But it is very gender specific. Once you break that, the definition is destroyed, and there’s no reason for it not to continue further. As our polygamist neighbors contend, as well as Mr. Dog sicko.

                      Persoanlly, I could give a crap about two gay people wanting to commit and share property for life. Same with a polyganist. Or a guy and his dog. But marriage, it is not.

                    • So you go from saying that you aren’t comparing homosexuality to bestiality, but then equate their equal rights to recognizing having sex with animals. So yes, you are equating the two; you just don’t like being called on it. You are taking the case of a citizen wanting to share their relationship and the benefits of their service with the person they love in a legal, caring relationship, and comparing it to a man having sex with a dog. How twisted and perverse of a logic, Mr. Brunette. What right do you have to denigrate and demean our heroes, soldiers, doctors, leaders, and fellow citizens that way?

                      And you obviously didn’t read the article fully, especially the part where the SPCA spokesperson says “and it can impact the welfare of the animals.” In other words, it causes harm to another creature, just as incest does, just as forced marriage. So none of those things are linked to marriage equality for two consensual, legal, same-sex adults. To argue differently is to deliberately introduce fiction for the sake of forwarding a rumor in place of civil discourse. Period. It is more misinformation, just like the inaccuracies you presented with DOMA, or using bullying and harassment as a way to blame the same-sex couples who are victims of such cruelty; only this has an odd fixation with animals the rest of us do not need to hear.

                      And you conveniently ignore the exact parallels to interracial marriage, and how your argument is a near verbatim representation of those same arguments. Let’s recap:

                      “[T]he State’s prohibition of interracial marriage . . . stands on the same
                      footing as the prohibition of polygamous marriage, or incestuous marriage, or the prescription of minimum ages at which people may marry, and the prevention of the marriage of people who are mentally incompetent.” – Virginia judge, quoted in Loving v. Virginia

                      “[If interracial couples have a right to marry], all our marriage acts forbidding intermarriage between persons within certain degrees of consanguinity are
                      void.” – Perez dissent

                      All of these are your arguments, just from a different time. All of these were proven false, shown to be scare tactics from those who would rather demean someone’s humanity than grant equality and the possibility of change, as if the government should be in the business of choosing which citizens deserve to be equal.

                      Unfortunately, they are the same exact arguments you are making; just change the references from race to homosexuality, and they are virtually identical. Of all the historical standards to follow, why follow one with such a history of failure? Especially since it’s already been proven to be completely wrong.

                      So let’s get that answer: if you continue to use those same arguments, then do you support the ability to ban marriages based on race or ethnicity if so desired? After all, it’s the same rhetoric, and has been proven just as false, but you still cling to that failed standard. Both take a legal relationship and impose someone else’s morality; in neither case does the relationship pose any harm to society. So what is the difference between the two?

                      As for your “separate but equal” idea, it doesn’t work. That’s already been proven. All it does is waste taxpayer money going through the steps to prove that, just as segregation did. So unless you can actually address the Full Faith and Credit issues, or the 14th Amendment issues, or the 1st Amendment issues, or the 9th Amendment issues, then stop offering this fantasy. It is without standing. So answer those points first, or that argument fails.

                      (Sean bypasses this by pulling government completely out of religious marriage and putting all unions on the same civic level, while your argument is a substandard idea of “something else that equals marital rights”; thus your intentions do not mirror his.)

                      As for the definition of marriage, you ignore the fact that the Bible is full of examples of polygamy. It has passages on forcing prisoners of war into marriage, and language that authorizes forced marriages, even in the case of rape. Furthermore, for most of the history of this country interracial marriages were illegal. I’m not saying you would favor those laws; however, to claim to hold to the historical definition of marriage seems convenient when you’re willing to accept the idea that the definition has evolved, but only when it suits you. Such logic can never be grounds for competent and prudent laws.

                      So, moving forward, no more animal fixations or slippery slope arguments, unless you’re willing to extend that argument to race and ethnicity, as those who said your words before you had done. Otherwise, it’s just convenient hypocrisy.

                    • Sean gets it. You never will. End of story. Arguing with a fool like you is foolish. Try using tour head sometime will ya?

                    • Really? So you’re completely indifferent to the reality that you are using the same arguments that were used to perpetuate decades of injustice, and when called on it, that’s your best reply? No retraction, no denial, no pause… are you willing to accept the parallels between your words and the words of injustice they echo from the past?

                      If this was just a name-calling exercise, then fine. But the holes in your arguments are massive. DOMA doesn’t bar same-sex marriage equality, it bars federal recognition and benefits, and directly contradicts the Constitution; thus it doesn’t have a leg to stand on, and is certainly not the foundation for state law.

                      Studies show the benefits of marriage equality, and the absence of any differences between same-sex couples and heterosexual couples. You offered one example that counts people teasing and harassing kids because of their parents lifestyle as a strike against them, something that is their fault and not an issue with intolerance.

                      You completely ignore the constitutional issues, even when they are well documented. In fact, you refused to address them at any point.

                      You also ignore the changes in the definition of marriage over time, insisting on some abstract “tradition” when history (and even the Bible) tell a very different story, that marriage is evolving, not a static definition.

                      And when all else fails, you try to hide in outrageous and brazen comparisons that, yet again, mirror the language of the intolerance and discrimination of the past. And when that is pointed out… you run away.

                      I’ve presented facts. You’ve presented fear and falsehood. Nothing more. Any reasonable conservative would have spoken on the natural evolution of change, or the need for the states to manage this issue, or how to preserve the independence of religious institutions. Those are reasonable points. From you, it was only about fear and an absence of facts.

                      Come back when you’ve actually got something with substance; a meaningful debate is more than welcome. What you offer now does not qualify.

                    • You still think I’m comparing homosexuals to animals. Until we can get past your inabliity to think, this is going nowhere.

                    • Mr. Brunette, you are the one who keeps insisting that allowing marriage equality would lead to allowing bestiality, and trying to equate the two. You’ve said it multiple times. So either stop with the comparison, or admit to your conduct. You cannot deny the reality of your own words.

                      Sean pointed out the difference between two different species, versus two loving human beings in a lawful relationship. You ignored him.

                      I pointed out the identical parallels to the vulgar language you are using from attacks launched against interracial marriage, used to demean entire groups of people. You are virtually quoting those same arguments. You ignored it.

                      I pointed out Christian organizations that reject your logic, specifically because the very nature of such statements is dehumanizing. You ignored it.

                      I walked through the flaws in your denial. In order to say that marriage equality would lead to polygamy, bestiality, and all the other ills you mention, one must assume that same-sex relationships are also inherently perverted, illegal, or immoral (as others did with interracial marriage); otherwise, the same slippery slope argument could be made for allowing any marriage at all. By implying that connection, you equate marriage equality and those seeking such commitment to animals. Period.

                      That’s just the truth; your denial shows a lack of courage and honesty on your part. Perhaps you don’t see homosexuals that way, but given a chance in a public forum, you went for the vulgar and sensational at the expense of slandering and dehumanizing others. You purposely dug out an isolated story and presented it in as vulgar and obscene a fashion as possible, ignoring the facts to the contrary in a vile attempt to poison the discussion. That is the reality, Mr. Brunette; own it. Or stop making the comparison.

                    • I guess I’ll need to post a picture, because you clearly can’t follow the logic. Shocker…

                      Sean figured it out. Seems your agenda prevents you from making the conclusion.

                      Marriage = 1 man + 1 woman
                      Marriage 1 man + 1 man
                      Marriage 1 woman + 1 woman
                      Marriage 1 man + (x > 1) women
                      Marriage 1 woman + (x>1) men
                      Marriage 1 human + 1 non human
                      Marriage 1 human + (x>1) non human
                      Marriage 1 human + 1 space alien
                      Marriage 1 human + 1 object

                      Do you get it yet? Is the definition clear to you yet?

                      Civil Union = (x>0) anything + (x>0) anything, as will be defined by civil union law.

                      Marriage = religious sacrement + legal contract
                      Civil Union = legal contract

                      Does that clarify my position? Because that’s what I’ve been saying all along. Never have I said:

                      Beastiality = 1 man + 1 man
                      nor
                      Civil Union of 1 man + 1 man = beastiality.

                      Are we clear yet?

                    • My not equals didn’t work above.

                      Marriage = 1 man + 1 woman
                      Marriage !=1 man + 1 man
                      Marriage != 1 woman + 1 woman
                      Marriage != 1 man + (x > 1) women
                      Marriage != 1 woman + (x>1) men
                      Marriage != 1 human + 1 non human
                      Marriage != 1 human + (x>1) non human
                      Marriage != 1 human + 1 space alien
                      Marriage != 1 human + 1 object

                    • First off, I’m going to keep on this, because you’re dodging the horrid meaning of your words, yet again.

                      Yes, you did equate marriage equality for same-sex couples to bestiality, saying that the one will lead to the other as if they are on the same page. You were the one fascinated with perversions, talking about “dog bangers” and loving a horse. Either you were being deliberately obscene to sabotage the conversation, or you were dehumanizing others. Trying to dodge that fact is a lie.

                      Furthermore, you still haven’t dealt with the fact that your arguments mirror those used against interracial marriage. Still nothing on that point, just avoiding that truth because it exposes your argument as hollow and based on historical bias more than law. Look at the historical standard you’re following, Mr. Brunette; is that the example you wish to adhere to? Yes or no? Or are you too afraid to answer that question?

                      That issue came up in arguments before the court, and was shown to be a major flaw in the argument of those opposing marriage equality.

                      Additionally, your initial equation uses an evolved, modern definition of marriage. It is not the one in the Bible, or known throughout most of history. That “traditional” definition is:

                      marriage = A man and one or many women (as long as scripture says it’s ok, they are of the same race and tribe, and faith, or her father forces the marriage, or she is a prisoner of war, etc.)

                      The very definition you are using is an evolved, modernized version. It wasn’t around for most of history. So why not continue with an evolution that reflects the principles of the Constitution?

                      I also noticed you’re still avoiding the Constitution and the issues therein. Both Sean and I have laid out those points; you run from them. So how do you address those issues?

                      Sean offers a separation of the civil from the religious, with equal rights given to all under civil law . I pointed out my concerns, which are founded in historical facts, given what happened with the end of slavery or segregation. At least his analysis avoids the vulgar comparisons you have offered; in that regard, your standard is far different than his. In fact, you never did answer how a civil union would be allowed under your slippery slope argument. Again, you’re running from your own words.

                      So, for your argument to have any hope of standing, you have to address:

                      – The issues with the Constitution

                      – The fact that you’re using one version of marriage that has evolved over time as a proxy to deny rights to others

                      – The extreme parallels in your arguments to discriminatory arguments of the past

                      – The horrid and dehumanizing comparison you keep making, equating marriage equality to the perversions you seem fixated with

                      If you do not have the fortitude to address such things, then yield. Because you can draw all the diagrams you want; it doesn’t matter when the very first line is flawed, and doesn’t answer those points. The only thing your claim above shows is that, when it comes to the intellectual competency of this debate, you’re still playing with crayons.

                    • Sean: I at least see the merits of your effort in trying to address the concerns of groups like the American Jewish Council who, while supporting marriage equality, also want to protect religious institutions and their beliefs. Unfortunately, I think the flaws are too great, and would just draw out the fight, as it did with the desegregation of schools.

                    • Even a diagram doesn’t work. See more of Drew at unreachable.com.

                      I guess the diagram needed race as part of the equation, becuase Drew, as usual, is comletely hung up in the past, and thus every person who is for marriage as is does out of racist theories? I know. WTF, indeed.

                      Marriage = 1 male human of and race religion or creed + 1 female human of any reace religion or creed.

                      I’ll let you come up with all of the permutations you desire. And if you still think I’m comparing my gay and lesibians freinds and neighbors to animals, you would be what used to be know as a retard.

                    • Let’s clear some thing up besides your ridiculous notion that I’m some how comparing any human being to an animal.

                      There is no constitutional right for gays or lesibians to be married. Equal protection doesn’t apply because the gender is specific in the definition of marriage. Just becuase someone wants marital rights applied thier union, doesn’t make it desireable or protected by the Constitution.

                      If gender is no longer a consideration in the defition, then why isn’t quantity (or species for that matter). There are those who want these definitions recognized as well, although perhaps fewer and farther between.

                      I really don’t care about the racial marriage debate from the yester years, and I certainly didn’t participate nor condone any such correlation as to race in any context of marriage. I’m sure if you dig hard enough, you can find someone, somewhere, in some time, that made a quote that makes any argument a parrallel, but has nothing to do with the discussion at hand.

                      But agrument is a simple one. Marriage is between 1 man and 1 woman. Period. IF you want to change that to fit the needs of someone else’s feelings in the matter, then yes it’s only a matter of time before another fringe gets enough numbers to change the definition once again, and we’ll be right back to this same discussion where as anti-polygamist marriage is considered passe and bigoted, when it’s really and anti-religious bigotry that is afoot. Which you have clearly demonstrated is a low you are more than willing to stoop to. Enjoy your bigotry Mr. anti-religion.

                    • First of all, Mr. Brunette, now you’re calling people “retard”… how many people and groups can you demean in a day?

                      Second, you just changed your “formula” again. If you had actually read the arguments before the Supreme Court from Tuesday, you would see that Scalia tried to do the same thing (with far more tact and decency, to be noted). He questioned counsel arguing for repeal of Prop 8 on exactly when same-sex marriage became constitutional. Counsel turned the question back on him, asking when interracial marriage became constitutional, which got a laugh (and even Scalia acknowledged the wisdom of the question, in good humor).

                      See, the problem is there was no change in the Constitution, or in federal law, that flipped a switch that suddenly made segregation or anti-marriage laws unconstitutional. They always were; the issue was society was willing to tolerate an injustice based on the prejudice of the day, to the extent that even the courts were complicit in perpetuating those injustices. That could not hold, however, against the rights given under the Constitution. Eventually, such injustices always fall to the wayside.

                      Your “formula” is not what existed for most of history. It’s what you’re comfortable with, but it’s not static or permanent. It has grown and changed, but always within the human species, and always in consensual, two-person relationships. Marriage equality for same-sex couples is the next step in that evolution.

                      So, as a self-proclaimed conservative, I challenge you to that question. If same-sex couples cannot marry, even though they are full citizens engaged in a lawful act, then what purpose does the 14th Amendment (or the 4th, 9th, or 1st) serve? What limits would there be to big government?

                    • As far as your sick comparisons: yes, you are comparing equal rights for gays and lesbians to bestiality. That’s what you said, in your own words; in fact, you went out of your way to do so in a flamboyant and obnoxious manner.

                      I’d be curious what you’d say to a gay friend, or someone in the GOP (like Portman or Cheney) who has a homosexual child. Would you repeat your arguments on this forum, saying:

                      “We can’t let you or your kids have equal access to marriage, because that would change things, change the definition, and the next thing you know we’d have to recognize incest, polygamy, and “dog bangers” as equal.”

                      I’d imagine that, once they recovered from the shock of such callous ignorance, they would ask you a simple question: “What does our loving, legal relationship have to do with those things? Is that really how you see us, as being a step towards incest or being a “dog banger”?”

                      At that point, I’d hope the maliciousness of your remarks would hit home.

                      They aren’t connected. At all. Repeating a prejudice from the past does nothing to change that. All it does is poison debate through appalling ignorance. Nothing more. That’s all you’ve done; at least take ownership for it.

                    • Finally, your bogus religious argument, which fails on two counts.

                      —–

                      First off, there is a wide divide on this issue between those of various faiths. While you and Nachman seem to believe that anyone has the right to play the victim card when someone believes something different, that isn’t the case.

                      As Marc D. Stern, the general counsel of the American Jewish Committee, said: “Religious liberty, as the American Jewish Committee told the Supreme Court recently in a friend-of-the-court brief, does not give anyone the right to demand that someone else be deprived of the “right to live the most intimate portions of their lives according to their own deepest convictions.” That some religious groups regard same-sex marriage as an “abomination” does not authorize the government to ban such relationships. That is one price we all pay for protecting religious liberty.”

                      In other words, one person’s faith doesn’t dictate a loss of rights given to a citizen. That is reality, and part of what makes America free.

                      —–

                      Secondly, I find the shield of playing the victim card you hide behind to be highly amusing. The reality is that the only way any organization or society grows is by recognizing the mistakes of the past. However, by your logic, anyone who reported on the sex abuse issues in the Catholic church is a “bigot”. I dare you to make that argument to a victim of abuse; the press coverage would have the rest of the GOP shaking their heads in amazed disappointment with you.

                      Yes, there were those who argued on their faith in opposition to injustice, just as there were those who used their faith to perpetuate injustice. The irony of your crying foul is that, based on your own words, you would not be part of that righteous tradition; instead, you are part of that convenient rage, twisting faith to perpetuate a greater darkness.

                      Your words are exactly the same as those who argued for segregation and anti-miscegenation laws in the past. In fact, if you took out the references to sexual preference, and transported your writings 60 years back, they would be indistinguishable from those proclaiming the need to preserve the purity and supremacy of the white race. The exact same arguments, the exact same falsehoods, the exact same reliance on tradition, no matter what the Constitution says. You would be a servant of the greater shadow, not a defender of the light of justice.

                      You argue that “Equal protection doesn’t apply because the gender is specific in the definition of marriage.” The problem is that the same logic was used to defend slavery. A telling passage comes from Michael Shaara’s “The Killer Angels”, in which Union Colonel William Chamberlain debates again a slaveower: “I tried to point out that a man is not a horse, and he replied, very patiently, that that was the thing I did not understand, that a Negro was not a man.” If the rights of lawful citizens involved in legal acts can be defined by another’s prejudice or perception of a word, then those rights are fundamentally compromised for all Americans. That is the standard you are arguing, Mr. Brunette, and it is as far from that righteous standard of faith as possible.

                      Does this make you racist? No.

                      Does it make your claim to any religious tradition of fighting for equality a fraud? Absolutely.

                      There are those who oppose same-sex marriages on reasonable grounds, who want measured change led by society, who want to avoid needless turmoil and protect the traditions of the past. You are not one of them; you have chosen to speak with a lesser voice. As long as you resort to such tactics, and clothe your words in such borrowed infamy, such grace is beyond you. You have no claim to it.

                    • You tell me Mr. separate but equal. Why do i get taxed a higher rate than you do? I mean if everything is so black and white on equality, then why do I pay more in taxes than most people make in a year? Seems fairness only suits governemnt when it’s beneficial to them.

                    • I’s also note that throughout every permutation of arriage, one thing has remained constant, and that it is a gender based definition.

                      A father is a man. A mother is a woman. Are we going to change that as well?

                    • First off, do you ever plan on addressing the evidence and arguments above?

                      Second, there are examples of same-sex marriage throughout history, in Ancient Rome, China, even in medieval Spain.

                      Third, again, an evolving definition. And one that must fall under the guidelines of the Constitution, which denying marriage equality does not.

                    • Ready for the shocking part Mr. Bigot? My comments are based on what my gay neighbor had to say on the matter. He’s completely anti same sex marriage and states that marriage is a term that is gender based.

                      Your endless rants tying to racial discourse are absurd. Gender isn’t race. Fathers aren’t mothers. Nuts aren’t bolts.

                      No amount of law can make a man equal to a woman, and vice-versa.

                    • Yes, because we decide legal cases based on “what my neighbor told me”…

                    • Simple questions for you. What makes you think that I’m channeling some racist from the past to come to these conclusions. You seem far more in tune with these racist agruments than I have ever been. Is this a sin from your past, perhaps? Are you a former racist yourself?

                      My approach has always been based upon the views of my gay neighbor, with whom I’ve had many conversations. To him, any challenge to the definition of marriage to allow gays to be married is just plain silly. Marriage, again, to him is a heterosexual union. He is not alone.

                      It was he who informed me that it would be bad for society, because, what’s next, polygamy, incest, child marriages, marrying your dog to give him estate rights? This from a gay man!! And he’s not alone! Many in his group feel the same way. Some have even testified before Congress. They want no part of it, and they think it’s a bad idea. I wonder if you can guess why? You seem to think you have all of the answers. Why do many gay men think same sex marriage is an extremely horrible idea? I’ll bet you have no clue.

                    • What the heck Sean, I never said we should base law on my neighbor’s view point. But he does make some great points, including changing marriage to fit the wants of everyone who feels they are slighted by the current definition, which includes polygamists, etc… At least he has the common sense to see what I’m saying regarding this. And he loved the “dog banger” remark, Mr. Bigot, Drewsky. He thought it was hilarious.

                    • No one has suggested that we change the definition of marriage to “fit the wants of everyone who feels they are slighted by the current definition”. The equal protection argument for marriage between two same sex partners doesn’t follow for polygamists. It’s long been established in our laws that limiting the number of spouses is not an Equal Protection violation.

                      Here’s a couple of good links on that issue:
                      http://www.americanbar.org/publications/human_rights_magazine_home/human_rights_vol38_2011/human_rights_spring2011/should_polygamy_be_permitted_in_the_united_states.html

                      http://writ.news.findlaw.com/hamilton/20040729.html

                      Incest or bestiality are also completely different from a legal perspective.

                      Just because the African-American gentleman who was sitting next to Rosa Parks went to the back of the bus when asked doesn’t mean that she should have been required to as well. If your gay neighbor doesn’t want to get a same sex marriage, I would give him the same advice as you: don’t get one. But your disapproval (and/or his) is not sufficient criteria for prohibiting them.

                    • So you like equal protection when it suits you, or fits your definition. If gender doesn’t matter, why does quantity? Or age? Or relation? Or species for that matter? Why has it always been gender based, in the history of this nation?

                    • Polygamy is inherently unequal proposition, even if you flip the normal historical script and make it one woman, many men. Age and species are easy: the young and the non-human are not able to give their consent. As for relation, you can again demonstrate societal harm that can result from allowing such relationships.

                    • Intesresting read Sean, but the article misses on several points. One is that the assumption one man many women. Another is that the women do not willing participate in the property restrictions and are somehow treated unfairly in a dissolution, which is certainly possible, but perhaps not so, if defined as such legally. Under proper definition, again legally, there is no difference aside from quantity of people involved in the contract.

                    • If you wrote the law properly polygamy would be an equal proposition. A 13 year old can’t give consent? Maybe not legally, but that’s just another unjust law, isn’t it? Why is it any business of the government?

                    • It might be possible to write parts of the law to facilitate some elements of polygamy, but not all. Say one spouse is incapacitated and the two others are in disagreement about how to proceed with health care. The incapacitated spouse has left no medical directive document. How do you legally decide who gets to make that decision?

                      It is most certainly the business of government to prevent individuals from being coerced into marriages or contracts when they are not of age to consent to such agreements.

                    • I guess it’s only equal protection when two people are involved.

                      I guess that just doesn’t apply for progressive taxation? Then large groups can be discriminated against based upon income?

                      Perhaps it’s time to rewrite the whole works so that every conceiveable notion can be applied to each and every single person, no matter what the gender, race, religion, creed, sexual preference, etc… Perhaps it’s time to make the law open to any and all interpretations. Let’s turn in into a free for all. No standards, nothing matters. Flat taxes for everyone, and no regulatory authority. Marry as many or what ever will have you. Screw it all. Liberty without consequences. Utopia!

                    • I suggest you do some reading on how the Equal Protection clause actually works in the court system. Here’s a good start:

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suspect_classification

                    • As noted in the article: The Supreme Court has recognized race, national origin, religion and alienage as suspect classes.

                      Sexual orientation and even gender do not exist. Nor does age. I guess you want to change that as well now? WHile were at it, why not income class? Woah, that would really be crazy, huh? No crazier than the rest.

                    • Actually, sexual orientation and gender are quasi-suspect classes subject to intermediate scrutiny. And, in many cases, the Supreme Court has treated the right to marriage as a fundamental right, which would be subject to strict scrutiny. Under both of these levels of scrutiny, prohibitions on same sex marriage face an uphill battle which is why the Court will probably do their best to sidestep that level of analysis in both of the cases it heard this week and rule on a more narrow basis.

                    • We’ve gotten to the point where the following could be applied to the higher income brackets:
                      The group has historically been discriminated against, and/or have been subject to prejudice, hostility, and/or stigma, perhaps due, at least in part, to stereotypes.
                      They possess an immutable and/or highly visible trait.
                      They are powerless to protect themselves via the political process. (The group is a “discrete” and “insular” minority.)
                      The group’s distinguishing characteristic does not inhibit it from contributing meaningfully to society.

                      I guess the only recourse is to make less money? How stupid is that? And yet I know folks who do this every year. I’ve done it. I’ve shut down a revenue stream to avoid popping up a level in the tax code. Looks like I’ll be doing it again in 2013 or 14 for sure. It will be nice to have the month of December off again. But if it saves the bottom line to the house, so be it.

                    • At best one of those four characteristics apply to folks in higher income brackets. Nice try, though.

                    • I think all four apply.

                      1. Certainly demonized with false notions of not paying their fair share

                      2. Due to AMT, you cannot avoid punishment by giving to charity, so your only recourse is to make less money.

                      3. The numbers of folks who scream out “tax the rich” far outweigh the number of rich folks, and elect based on this notion. (Even Dayton figures this is his mandate).

                      4. Not only does the group contribute to society, but vastly outpacing the other groups monetary contributions.

                    • Now you’re just trolling.

                    • News Flash. I’ve been trolling this entire thread. I’d say I was playing devil’s advocate but I don’t want to bring up religion again, and have Drew pop another bolt.

                      I’ve little interest in the topic. But my neighbor does. We sure were having a good laugh at Drew’s reactions. What a goober!

                    • Our favorite part was calling Drew a retard and watching him deflect that to an entire group, because he can’t be seen as a victim because when he’s wearing the policeman hat, he can’t be seen as a victim himself. It’s hard being the blogosphere cop. Always having to take the high road and live up to your own standards. Except when you can’t. LOL. Dog bangers… seriously. ROTFL.

                      Now back to the real fight. The insane DFL budget, and the extremely insane U.S. Senate budget. (that never balances…ever…on purpose even)

                    • FYI, I’m not the comm chair for the GOP board so don’t even bother trying to tie any of this baloney to the GOP. My term expired as comm chair. I’m still on the board, cause I’m so awesome, but as always, I’m here on my own as a Carver County Citizen, unlike other “net policemen” who want to impose their will on “our” ways.

                    • You’ll have to forgive the rest of us, Mr. Brunette. Given your remarks on other posts in this forum, it seems to be impossible to tell when you’re being ignorant just to gain attention, versus when you’re just being yourself.

                    • I don’t think I was ever being ingorant. Just because you can’t get a point, doesn’t mean I’m the ignorant one. You still think I was comparing gay people to animals for crying out loud. That comparison was a fabrication in your mind. I notice you don’t feel that I compared them to polygamists, but then again, that wouldn’t be as offensive would it Mr. Anonymous Blog Cop?

                    • Actually, I did, although your “dog banger” comment was the most offensive.

                      Strange that you would wait until your arguments were so thoroughly discredited to try to run away from them.

                      Also worth noting that a Google search of “johnbrunette dog banger” now leads to those remarks on your part. As Google’s search analytics file things deeper, those connections will probably grow in the search engine. Odd that you’d want to be known as the man fascinated with dog sex, Mr. Brunette; not a path I would have chosen.

                    • Don’t put your shortcomings on me, bud. Your failure to understand what was being said is on you. As I said. You’ll never figure it out. Mostly because you want to be the cop, so you want to make me out to be something I’m not. If someone actually wants to look me up in conjuction with a dog banger, they will be doing so for a laugh. The best part will be when they read what a failure you are as a blog cop.

                      Just as you failed to understand the point about the infirm voting. It was your misunderstanding, not mine. Your logic is extremely weak, in that you make leaps from point to another without connection, and claim it as fact. Liberalism on dispay. Can’t connect the dots. Typical.

                    • Actually, I’m just taking your words on their meaning.

                      You seem to enjoy to troll for the thuggishly sensational comment… until someone points it out to you, and you face accountability, in which case you run away. Same as always.

                      Given how your remarks have been reposted, I would have expected a better defense than “I thought it was funny” from you. However, if nothing else, this teaches everyone not to take anything you say seriously. But those remarks are going to be out there for a long, long time… good luck with that.

                    • There he goes again, playing blog cop. How about we get together and have a debate about what should and shouldn’t be discussed in a blog forum. Maybe then we can find out who the anonymous blog poster is, and why he’s so interested in carver county politics. And maybe we can demonstrate why he can’t connect the dots.

                    • I even built a truth table to display what I said, and you still think I’m equating gay people with animals. That’s how completely unreachable and unreasonable you are. Please stop putting your shortcoming on me, as you did with infirm voters. When you can’t understand what it clearly written, that’s your mistake, Connect the dots, Mr. Liberal Blog Cop.

                    • I saw all of your talking points above on the Sunday shows. Yeah, trying to make this the same as interracial marriage from the past, all that blather about what others thought decades ago. But gender is a whole different aspect to marriage. Leave the racial argument aside. It has no context here. Marriage, in this country, has always been one man, one woman. It’s a gender based definition. Period. It’s not a racial definition. It’s not a species definition. But two things do exist in the definition. Gender and quantity. That’s what marriage is.

                      I note that you still have no idea why so many gay men are against gay marriage? What’s the matter? You don’t have a Washington-based talking point for that question? Or is it that you can’t find an entry in your history books for that one? I mean you seem to be so in touch with the cause. Why don’t you know this viewpoint?

                    • Mr. Brunette, I’ve offered to have a real debate with you… however, you (and some of your colleagues at the local level) seem to have a fear of open discussion in a forum which you cannot control. That is your own weakness, no one elses. Although it’s interesting that you’re now claiming your arguments were genuine, when earlier you were trying to distance yourself from them. Which is it? Or do you even know? Or is it about screaming loud enough to drown out any other point of view? That approach didn’t work well for your colleague in the nursing home during the Voter ID debate; strange that you would replicate such loathsome tactics here.

                      As for your formula, the flaws were pointed out, and you refused to discuss them. The fact of the matter is that you equate allowing for marriage equality to allowing for bestiality; therefore, both are on the same level in your perverse statements and point of view. Sean pointed out that problem, as did I, and you kept making the comparison. You may not like how that looks to the general public; however, such accountability never seems to stop you in the past. The least you could do is own up for the things you say, or perhaps you’re counting on sliding one by the “voting morons” you show such disdain for. But I don’t think anyone else will buy that lie.

                      And you still ignore the exact parallels between your language and the discriminatory language of the past. Marriage used to have a racial definition throughout much of history, and those who defended it used the same arguments you are using now. So the definition of marriage can evolve, but only as far as you want it to? Where does the Constitution say that?

                      Holding someone accountable for their words is part of discourse and debate. It’s not my fault you offered such a weak and outrageous standard. You compared marriage equality to being on par with recognizing bestiality, in a vulgar fashion. You referenced DOMA and other articles, without even knowing what they actually meant or said. You rely on the failed arguments of the past. The least you could do is have the courage to actually stand by your own words, or stop wasting our time with such nonsense.

                    • The only comparison of gay marriage and beastality is that both would require a complete change in the definition in marriage. That does NOT make them equal to each Mr. No Logical Capability. See you still cannot connect the dots.

                      And you know absolutely nothing about me or my colleagues, so don’t bother slandering them because you cannot think on your own. If you had idea as to why those events were cancelled, you could perhaps speak intelligently about what happened. But you clearly do not, if you think some sort of fear had anything to do with it. Far, far from accurate.

                      If you want to debate something, let’s go. But make it something interesting. But not this gay marraige crap. Maybe cliamte change? I know a lot about that BS theory, and why it is so far from reality. Heck a third grader can debunk Al gore’s version of reality. And porbably make as good or even better PowerPoint presentation on it.

                    • It’s a simple matter, this re-definition of marriage. If you want to change the gender portion of the equation, why not change the quantity portion. Surely there are those who believe in polygamy, and find that to be a restrictrion of their rights to marry as well. Do you see the simple destruction of the construct yet? Doubtful. Obtuse Blog Cops can rarely see past the end of thier own baloney. Like claiming I’m make myself to be a victim, when you do all of the time of yourself. When is it OK to be a victim anyway? You like to wear it, and pass it on to others, but a hint of such through some stretch of your imagination is out of bounds?

                      One would think that rules for the blog would come from Sean himself, not some wanna be blogosphere version of Emily Post. Oops, wrong gender. See what I did there. I crossed a gender line. Does that offend your delicate blogosphere guidelines as well? Just wondering where you set the rules, and which ones apply, since you seem to be the gatekeeper. Or does gender suddenly matter? Oh the perils of being the policeman.

                    • Yet again, Mr. Brunette, you dodge the reality of your comments. Your words mimic the horrid comments of the past. You were the one who dug up some nonsense article and went off on a vulgar fixation with animal sex. And you’re ignoring that your definition is one that itself has evolved, or the obvious point Sean made that marriage has a stronger correlation to being within the human species as part of its definition than being based on gender. That is also historical fact, as I cited with specific examples above, but you ignore all of those things to dwell in sleazy arguments. You just don’t like being called on it.

                      So try this: explain how your argument that marriage equality will lead to recognition of bestiality is any different from the same argument on interracial marriage? Explain how both didn’t change the very definition of marriage that society knew, and how you can support the historical standards, prejudices, and biases for one but not the other? Without the distractions or temper tantrums, and with historical examples that don’t rely on the evolved definition of marriage you conveniently hide behind. If you can’t, then stop wasting our time. And keep your fixation with dogs to yourself.

                      And I noticed that you accepted the reality that you had no clue what DOMA actually did. Strange that you cite things that actually undermine your argument.

                      And for someone who can’t make up his mind on if you actually meant any of what you said, you sure are very defensive. The tactics with the Voter ID debate were roundly criticized in this and other forums. Basically, you and some like-minded individuals walled yourself off from any contrary perspective, like you do on this forum. That’s what was said in the public explanation, that a forum that was hosted by anyone with too “contrary” of beliefs was too much for some to deal with. Look how well that worked for the GOP in the last election…

                      So you either need to relax and offer some factual, civilized arguments, or get used to the laughter and ridicule. And get used to losing. Because most people have a limited tolerance for those who try to drown out any other point of view, who only see others as “morons” who deserve no respect.

                      And stop trying to change the subject when your words come back to haunt you, Mr. Brunette. It’s a weak diversion to disguise a weaker standard, nothing more.

                    • First off, I never said that same sex marriage would lead to beastiality. You make that assumption on your own. Second, I know exactly what DOMA is. Perhaps you should go read it sometime.

                      Second ofall, it is you aare fixated on sex with dogs, not me. I may have brought it up, and even shared a current situation where some guy thinks he has the right to “be with” his dog. But you want to boast this up as some sick fascination in my mind, when this is a current event. the sickness lies with you.

                      third, I’ve answered your idiotic questions regarding past nonsense with interracial marriage. I’m aware that in the past the racists existed. I grew up to despise racisim. My catholic faith prevented such beliefs. (Go ahead and find a catholic racist now, or better yet find someone who used catholicism to justify racism. that’s your modus operandi isn’t it? To dig up some past sin and lay it at the feet of entire groups of people. We seen you do it over and over, Mr. Religious Bigot. go on, start digging. We’re waiting!)

                      Forth, it’s clear you still have no idea why those debates were boycotted, and why this has something to do with me, comes back to your lump sum predjudical nonsense that you like to apply to others, but when called on it, you get huffy and claim it’s out of bounds

                      Fifth, notice how you rarely answer one of my questions. Here’s an easy one for you. Are you a male or a female? If you’re a male do you wear a dress ever? It’s just a gender-based social norm, like marriage is. Why not show you’re truely behind gender neutrality and start wearing female clothing? (Doug’s idea, not mine, folks). I mean seriously dude. Start sporting a bra and panties and let’s get rid of all these pesky gender-based traditions we have in this country.

                      then if you can answer that, perhaps you can get back to the real questions, why gay men are anti-gay-marriage? You don’t know, do you? It’s OK to say that, BTW. Go ahead Doug. Say it with me. I don’t know. (channeling Mr. Hand).

                      Just don’t say it about which gender you are.

                    • First off… your response is hilarious. I can actually picture you turning red and pulling your hair as you bloviate pointlessly, completely evading the issues at hand. Truly hilarious.

                      Second, you openly stated that supporting marriage equality would open the door for bestiality and other evils, and did so with a perverse description of some random animal fixation. To equate the one as leading to the other, in contrast to all common sense, is to dehumanize the loving, legal relationship of those involved. Period. Your words, Mr. Brunette; for once, take ownership of them. (And the fact that you’d rather talk about global warming, or anything else, rather than doing so, reflects poorly on yourself.)

                      Next, your inaccurate and incompetent presentation of DOMA. DOMA does not define and prohibit same-sex marriage, like you claimed above. Not it the least or slightest; to make such a claim is to either be ignorant of its actual provisions, or an attempt to willfully lie about them in the hopes that no one knows the difference. DOMA defines which marriages can receive federal benefits (in an unconstitutional manner), and allows states to deny recognition of legal marriage contracts for same-sex couples from other states (in clear contrast to the Full Faith and Credit clause). If it defined marriage under the law (as you tried to claim above), then why aren’t states that legalized marriage equality being sued? And why would the amendment have been necessary here in Minnesota to ban same-sex marriages? See, your point doesn’t make any sense, and has no foundation in facts. It’s more about yelling louder, rather than saying something of substance.

                      Next, your attempt to play the victim card again, woefully pathetic as it is. I’ve never assumed anything about your views on race (and have been open in saying so); however, your arguments copy the worst traditions of those who fought against racial equality, just pivoted to opposing marriage equality for same-sex couples. You may not like that reality, but the fact is that you can’t tell the difference between your “points” and those failed and biased standards of the past. The bigger issue is that none of those things were true in the past, and none of them are true now. Furthermore, your points aren’t even rooted in religion; I’ve quoted multiple examples in scripture and history, while you’ve offered nothing. So either face reality, or give up such false accusations.

                      Speaking of false accusations, your recollections of the LWV forums and debates is a complete and convenient lie. You see, I was there at both discussion forums; I know the nature of the conduct and the horrid and incompetent response that ensued, and how it was further magnified by some of the local members of the GOP. Hiding from opposing views does nothing but hurt the party, as we saw in the 2012 elections. And the public statement on why the LWV debates were avoided makes it clear that it was the fear of contrary ideas that led to the retreat. All this does is further isolate and weaken those who cannot stand to allow other points of view.

                      Which brings me to your puerile and prurient closing paragraphs, Mr. Brunette. I’m a man, married to a lovely and beautiful woman, and not partial to women’s clothing (unless my wife is wearing them, in which case I’m a fan). The bigger question is why you went on such a wild and misspelled rant in the first place, trying once again to toss in whatever garbage and filth is in the back of your mind to obscure the debate.

                      You see, just because I don’t understand what someone else does, doesn’t mean I get to look at a lawful citizen and rewrite the Constitution to treat them as less than equal. It doesn’t mean I get to use big government to deny them rights, or go off on random and perverse rants to lessen their humanity. I don’t need to do such things to define my rights. Nor do I need to “get loud” with others to shout them down, or call out others who try to take a different approach through ill-conceived editorials in the newspaper, or offer falsehoods to try to smear others. My rights, views, and marriage are not lessened by recognizing the rights and views of others.

                      I don’t need to treat others like “voting morons” to value myself. Too bad you cannot say the same, or at least make any argument based in fact.

                    • Wow, do you have an imagination. I don’t get angry and red faced. Especially not from the likes of one who couldn’t connect dots in a childs coloring book.

                      And of course, when a liberal runs out of arguments, they point to something like typos to cover their own lack of intelligence. I’ve already explained that I do not spell check. I type and move on. I do have important things to do after all.

                      And it’s clear you misunderstand me on DOMA, but that shouldn’t shock anyone reading here. (All 3 of us).

                      I didn’t say same-sex marriage would lead to any of those things. I said it could. And my point, which repeatedly sailed miles over your head, was that once you change the defintion of marriage to suit one group, it’s only a matter of time before you change it to suit another.

                      You continue to harken back to a time when the interracial marriage debates occurred, somewhere. But in all of my historical scans, I’ve never read that marriage was defined as one man, one woman, each of the same race, religion and creed. See, I get my definition from the document that you abhor so much called the Holy Bible, from which the laws of this nation were founded afterall.

                      I hear this staed at nearly every wedding I attend:
                      “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’ ? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

                      From this I see no reference to race, nor religion, but I do see one man one woman. Note the defining factors. Gender and quantity, and of course implied is species, since no animal is referred to as a man or a woman.

                      It is therefore purely logical that if we are to destroy the definition of one parameter, than any other parameter is at risk in the future. Meaning, (for those who still cannot connect the dots), that if the gender parameter is destroyed, what is to prevent the other two parameters from being destroyed as well. Obviously, for the unintelligent, there would be other challenges to overcome, just as there are with the gender parameter. So, this does not equate the parameters in any way, except that they all apply to the definition of marriage. So, to be clear, once a for all, quantity does not equal gender, gender does not equal species, species does not equal quantity, etc.

                      You chose to get your undies in a knot over the species parameter, because in your mind, in some twisted sense of illogical thought, that I was suggesting one parameter change would necessitate another, which was never once proferred. You also chose this one to dengrate me for pointing out the obivous parameters in the defintion that, again, could be altered in the same fashion. You chose to fixate on the species parameter to make me look as though I’m equating homosexuals to animals, which as anyone can clearly see, is not the case. (Well, anyone with any sense of logic beyond a thrid grade school yard retort).

                      And finally, it’s clear that you still have no idea why the LWV boycott occurred. Perhaps you could maybe be so bold as to ask one of the gentlemen who declined for their reasons. Fear had nothing to do it, but it is a handy third grade school yard reort, when you have no facts available.

                    • First off, you were the one who went into another vulgar and ridiculous diatribe, this time on women’s clothes and gender roles. Trying to claim any credibility after offering such nonsense is a laugh, at best.

                      Second, on March 24th you said “It’s written as such in DOMA as well. It is the law of the land.”, referring to a definition of marriage that bars same-sex marriage. You went on to say “Since the defintion is between and a man and a woman, per DOMA and other national law…”. The problem is that isn’t what DOMA did. DOMA defines who is given benefits as a married couple, not who is married or has the right to marry. Marriage is not part of the enumerated powers of Congress; thus, Congress has no ability to define marriage. All they did was try to punish homosexuals by denying them benefits (that is the actual motive; it was specifically stated in Congress, and quoted by Justice Kagan during oral arguments). And create a standard where states could pick and choose which contracts to recognize from other states, in direct violation of the Constitution.

                      My response was on point: “Trying to argue that is offers a national definition seems oblivious to the reality of the law; after all, if that was the case, why would we have needed the proposed amendment here in Minnesota in the first place?” You are still dodging that reality. DOMA does not bar marriage equality; it would help if you would actually read the sources you cite before using them. Your argument on DOMA has no foundation in fact.

                      Next, your convenient discovery of the Bible. Yes, there are verses that reference marriage as the joining of a man and a woman. There are also verses that bar interfaith relationships and relationships between tribes/races (Deuteronomy 7:3, Ezra 9:2,12, Genesis 26:34-35, Deuteronomy 23:2, Ezekiel 28:7, etc.). There are verses in Joshua that hit on the idea of other races being barred from intermarriage with God’s chosen: “shall make marriages with them, and go in unto them… but they shall be snares and traps unto you, and scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until ye perish from off this good land which the Lord your God hath given you.” And that is trying to avoid the revisionist interpretations some use to justify even greater ills.

                      There are also verses on the evils of tattoos (Leviticus 19:28). And of wearing clothing made from two types of fabric (Deuteronomy 22:11). Or of planting two types of crops side by side (Leviticus 19:19). Or how a child who is rebellious and curses the parents can be stoned to death (Deuteronomy 20:9; 21:18-21). Or how anyone who works on the Sabbath can be stoned to death (Exodus). Or force a prisoner of war to marry you (Deuteronomy 21:10-13; the next passage actually promotes polygamy). Or selling a daughter into slavery (Exodus 21:7).

                      This points out some major problems in your position. You cling to certain definitions, while trying to deny the fact that much of the Bible was a historical record of laws that are, by any standard, outside of what we would consider moral decency. That’s awfully convenient for you to selectively reference now, but not a good basis in law. That is why I point out (accurately) the parallels between your arguments and past arguments promoting slavery and segregation; it is not to comment on your opinions on race, but to point out the repeated failure of the premise in the first place. We live in a country where the Constitution establishes the rule of law, not mortal interpretation of religion. And definitely not such interpretations that pick and choose what parts of scripture can be used to deny the civil rights of others.

                      The definition of marriage has already changed from scripture, as has the laws in general. Holding to one religion’s interpretation of that evolution as grounds to limit the plain text of the Constitution invites a host of harms, and leaves religious freedom up to the tyranny of the masses. The argument fails on all fronts.

                      As for your “dog banger” argument, the claim that one could lead to the other is a broken record, a lie, a boogeyman that gets recycled again and again whenever someone needs to disgust the public in order to poison discussion. There is no comparison between marriage equality and bestiality, just like there wasn’t one with interracial marriage. It’s an attempt to dehumanize a right by comparing it to beasts. Some go even further; Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) tried to link gun control measures to supporting bestiality earlier this year. No matter what the source, him, or you, it’s sleaze, nothing more. The fact that you used vulgar and vile language to present the “claim” only adds to the lack of dignity or grace in such nonsense.

                      You cannot answer the issues with the Constitution. You cannot show any reason to treat legal, lawful relationships different. You cannot even cite accurate examples. At that point, a true conservative would argue that people don’t have to beg the government to have rights, and in the absence of any credible grounds, such rights belong to the people.

                      —–

                      As for the LWV forums, the open letter published in the Herald particularly states that it is the views of the LWV that the absent participants objected to (and on a number of points, the four absent debaters had to stretch to try to manufacture a victim card, a tendency you seem to share). Analysis of the questions asked by the LWV showed no indication of partisanship, and yet there was that need to only preach to the choir, or to try to shout down any other point of view, as I witnessed at the first Voter ID forum and with your thuggish behavior on this forum. You seem to represent those who believe that the party line governs all humanity, and that no other point of view can be allowed; what a sorry existence. Strange that there are so many false Republicans, claiming to represent individual liberty, but only when they can force everybody to live by their rules. How pathetic. Where are the real Republicans when you need them?

                    • What a complete and utter waste of time. You couldn’t understand a point if I stabbed you with it. Nevermind. Good God you are as obtuse as they come.

                    • From the Defense of Marriage Act, and I quote:

                      SEC. 3. DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE.
                      (a) IN GENERAL.—Chapter 1 of title 1, United States Code,
                      is amended by adding at the end the following:
                      ‘‘§ 7. Definition of ‘marriage’ and ‘spouse’
                      ‘‘In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of
                      any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative
                      bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word ‘marriage’
                      means only a legal union between one man and one woman as
                      husband and wife, and the word ‘spouse’ refers only to a person
                      of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.’’.

                      Could it be any clearer, bonehead?

                    • First off, read what you just quoted: “any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States…”. In other words, for when it comes to federal benefits, funding, and recognition. Just like any policy concerning education, the federal government has some abilities to put stipulations and requirements to those who would take federal funds. However, just like education policy at the local level, the Constitution does NOT give the power to define marriage in itself to the federal government; thus, DOMA does not prohibit marriage equality, it just attempts to interfere with state’s rights by refusing to recognize certain contracts, in violation of the Constitution.

                      Is that too difficult for you to understand, Mr. Brunette? Think about it: why would the marriage amendment have been necessary in Minnesota if same-sex marriage was barred under federal law? Or even more to the point, how could Iowa and other states recognize and perform same-sex marriages if it was prohibited under federal law? You tried to offer such an argument (as I quoted from above), that marriage was restricted because of DOMA, and that just isn’t true; it’s the equal access to federal benefits that is curtailed, not the right to marry. Not even the lawyers arguing on behalf of DOMA before the Supreme Court made such a foolish and constitutionally ignorant argument. It is a great testament to your blind rage that, even when quoting something, you fail to understand any meaning that contradicts your narrow views. Your version of DOMA is contradicted by facts and reality, and thus is dismissed as nonsense.

                      And I noticed you abandoned your biblical argument. It’s hard to claim a need for a literal application of scripture, when you’re having to dodge all of the other elements that we no longer follow. So unless you plan on supporting legislation to reinstate stoning, ban tattoo parlors, restore slavery, and punish farmers for growing different crops side by side, that argument doesn’t work. We live under a Constitution, and that law does not allow for big government to choose which lawful citizens are given fewer rights. Basing an argument on a religious tradition or interpretation does not change that fact; that separation is the only way to prevent government from trying to endorse a faith, and thereby silencing all others.

                    • Now showing how dead wrong you are on DOMA, (thanks for that BTW), I’m now going to demonstrate how you are dead wrong on the LWV issue.

                      The folks who decided not to attend the LWV forums did so, not on the basis of the questions that were given in the past, nor what was expected to be offered in the future. This came about because the LWV is viewed by many, to no longer be a non-partisan organization. The ban was an effort to point that out.

                      Tradationally, (oops, here we go again with tradition), debates are run and moderated by non-partisans. (although, having some in the national media act as moderators, given their far left of center views, is breaking from that more and more).

                      Personally, I would have attended. At the local level its hard enough to gain an audience, and I think the only way were going to change things is to get a haed to head debate like the one I attended in Waconia.

                      There was no fear as you state. No one thought they were going get unfairly skewered. But the LWV probably isn’t the best choice for moderation of the debates going forward. Unless they were to have a joint venture with a right leaning group.

                      Don’t be surprised if you see a local bi-partisan effort come out to replace the LWV next time around.

                      This is much more about LWV shifting to the left, openly supporting left of center issues, while claiming to be non-partisan. That’s all it was.

                      The cowards in this story are those who fabricate to try to score political points. We seem to have a coward in our midst right now, who can’t admit he was wrong on DOMA, and also isn’t brave enough to post under his real name.

                    • Since it’s clear you can’t handle DOMA’s definition of marriage as stated above, I doubt you’ll get this either, but what the heck.

                      You do know that The Bible is a historical record of God’s interaction with people right? And that much of the early writing are about God teaching the people. Hence, banning pork, and such as a method of helping early civilization to avoid harm, and create a better environment for these people to prosper and survive.

                      Of course, not with proper hygenics, pork is a very safe meat to eat and mamy consider that it is no longer a meat to be avoided, or sinful to do so.

                      None of which has anything to do with marriage. When it comes to marriage, all I’ve ever read from the Bible is that it’s one man married to one woman, but I’ll be the first to admit, I haven’t read all of it. I have read much of The New Testament, and I don’t recall any speak of gay partnerships resulting in any sort of marriage. But maybe I missed a chapter.

                      I have to wonder why you feel so free to be a critic of the most popular book ever written. Why do you seem so comfortable bashing the Word of God? My guess is this would alienate you from much of society, which likely explains your anonymoity. I guess if I were so sure in any of this, I’d put my name to it. Oh wait. I do.

                    • First off, it would actually help if you read my reply, and saw how fatally flawed your argument on DOMA is. It is so flawed that is actually contradicts what most conservatives opposing same-sex marriage are now arguing.

                      DOMA defines recognition for federal benefits, and ONLY that. If it had gone beyond that, the conservative justices in the court system would have struck it down in a heartbeat as being an overreach of federal authority. The states define marriage, period. So when you tried to give a false argument on DOMA that ignores all logic, especially the principles of limited federal government that are at the core of American conservative thought, I pointed it out; yelling the same ignorance of the facts louder just makes you look foolish. DOMA does not bar same-sex marriage (as we see with multiple states recognizing marriage equality); your attempt to make such an argument has no merit.

                      What’s even more revealing is that your flawed logic runs in opposition to many of the arguments being used to try to oppose marriage equality at the federal level. The parties before the Supreme Court, as well as many of the conservative justices, argued for a state by state approach, with each state being the entity to define marriage, allowing for social evolution at a local level. That has some logic to it, although it proves problematic when denying rights to those who are legally married (see the Full Faith and Credit clause), but your claim would undermine that path by empowering the federal government to make such declarations; thus, overturning DOMA would open up same-sex marriage across the nation. Read the arguments before the court; read the editorials in the College Conservative; read the writings. And then, you’ll realize how far off the reservation you’ve gone.

                      You quoted a piece of DOMA without knowing the full meaning, just like the study you cited, just like other sources you’ve cited. DOMA only pertains to the federal benefits and purse strings; your attempt to go beyond that puts you in a place where you are taking the position of the biggest big-government liberal in this forum. Strange that you would trade in your beliefs so easily to make a point that has no foundation in fact, Mr. Brunette.

                    • Second, I’m not “bashing the Word of God”; I’m opposing the twisting of the word of God by mortals to impose harm on others, and to deny the Freedom of Religion and thought that is a fundamental right all Americans possess.

                      I will agree with you that much of the Old Testament was an attempt in “helping early civilization to avoid harm, and create a better environment for these people to prosper and survive”, as you said. However, the very evolution you speak of has negated things that were not just social suggestions, but mortal sins according to scripture; not small things, but things where execution was endorsed as a punishment under the Bible. We don’t stone people to death for working on the Sabbath, we don’t sell children into slavery, and we don’t look at the tribe or race of people who want to marry. There is a fundamental difference in those things, in that they deliver an injustice onto others that cannot be justified. In fact, there is little that could be said to justify such things, even in the context of history. That is not bashing the faith; that is attempting to rise to the full defense of the greater potential of humanity, and the growth of such potential over time. What I criticized was the desire for some to be literalists only when it is convenient for their beliefs.

                      Questioning tradition, history, and faith is how we grow as human beings, especially when such questions are rooted in observations and reality; even Russell Kirk’s principles of conservative thought encourage such questions. You seem to want blind adherence to tradition, even in the face of untenable contradictions; such paths always lead to failure and destruction. By your standard, anyone who publicly questioned the Catholic church on how they handled the various sex abuse scandals is a bigot. Such perverse logic only weakens the faith; it is a failure of the worst kind, sanctioning great evil as part of the false worship of power and the past, nothing more.

                      With you, this is particularly observable when I quote scripture and history, to which you make some stumbling, thuggishly inept attempt to impugn my faith. As a Protestant, my Christian faith is defined by those who questioned the nature of mortal interpretations of the scriptures, who offered a different view than those who took any criticism and tried to hide behind attacks meant to silence discussion… just as you have done, Mr. Brunette. Mortals twist the word of God every day, and you would undoubtedly object to my interpretations, and vice versa. What I oppose is the attempt to enshrine one mortal interpretation into law through the denial of rights to others.

                      I recognize the only way I am allowed to practice my faith is to recognize that others have the right to practice their own faith, that government cannot negate or alter recognized rights to preserve my point of view (many religious groups, including the American Jewish Council and a host of Christian organizations, share my perspective). Arguments in gospel do not deny rights promised in the Constitution, no matter how uncomfortable that may make some people feel.

                    • John Brunette April 8, 2013 at 7:11 pm

                      Spin it in what ever fashion makes you feel vindicated. I guess if you believe it must be true. I staated that DOMA does define marriage, which it does, and that it is the law of the land, which it is. Sure, some state can vote to change the defintion of marriage, but it doesn’t carry outside of it’s borders. One state cannot make laws for another. And the federal law has a definition that is one man and one woman. Just as the Bible does on which the Constitution was founded.

                      Say what you will about the goals of the agruments before the court today. It doesn’t change the facts that I presented. The fact is, legally, only marriages between one man and one woman are recoginized, federally. Now you can argue all day long about whether or not the law is Constitutional, but just becuase you and some of your friends might wish that were the case, does not make it so.

                      I fully get that there are states rights issues involved here. And the biggest is that one state cannot force this upon another. And federally, it’s been decided by Congress, that this tradition will stand. That’s not to say there aren’t laws that are un-Constitutionally created from time to time, (see Obamacare). We see these challenges to laws come out from time to timie. But as of yet, that’s not the case here. It’s not been overturned. And federally, as I stated earlier, it is the law of the land.

                      For example, one of the initial laws that would have to change would be the federal tax code. Right now, you can’t file a 1040 as a married couple unless it’s one man and one woman. The federal government recognizes nothing else as marriage. That’s a fact. Get used to it. I was 100% correct in what I stated, and no amount of spin you come up with will change that.

                    • Same old Mr. Brunette, dodging your own words… Let’s go back to your actual words: “Marriage by definition is between one man and one woman. It’s written as such in DOMA as well. It is the law of the land.”

                      No, it is not, at least not beyond the bounds of the federal purse strings; the states are the ones that define marriage as a civil contract, and they are bound by the highest law of the land to recognize the contracts of other states. DOMA is a direct violation of the Full Faith and Credit Clause in the Constitution: “Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state.” Thus, it was always based on a flawed argument. But it never banned marriage equality; such an action is beyond the powers of the federal government. What it did was violate the direct text of the Constitution, by failing to recognize lawful contracts and denying benefits in a way that disregarded the highest enshrined law in our nation.

                      Your argument is so horribly flawed that it demonstrates a complete disregard for the Constitution itself. The direct text says that states must recognize the contracts and proceedings from other states. So Minnesota must recognize a five-minute Vegas wedding in front of an Elvis impersonator, but a legal same-sex marriage can be disregarded because some wish others to be seen as less than equal? Such arguments conveniently throw away the Constitution and any concept of limited government on a whim, betraying those principles in the convenient pursuit of power for the ends that are desired. Such convenient morally is void of substance or foundation, and offers only a betrayal of the rule of law.

                      In that, Mr. Brunette, you are the one still trying to spin out from the realities of your own words. DOMA will fall, as it should; it was an ill-conceived attempt by leaders from both parties to appeal to popular whims of the day, at the expense of the rule of law. Your arguments only offer further injury and contradiction to the highest law of the land, shaped in a tradition of its own. What credibility does one have when they throw away that foundation to suit their needs at the moment, to promote the denial of legal rights through big-government intervention? What is such conduct other than a betrayal of our American standards?

                      So, to recap: you’re willing to violate the Constitution, deny recognition of legal contracts, misrepresent studies (or use studies paid for by religious and conservative groups that used atrocious methodology), attempt to enshrine a state religion (but only certain parts), selectively quote the Bible, and defile loving relationships by trying to paint them as steps towards debauchery and bestiality. All to deny the freedom to equality for others under the law?

                      Perhaps you should take a lesson from Glenn Beck on this one: “It’s not about gays, it’s not about homosexuals, it’s not about any of that… It’s about freedom. And the reason why they’ve [marriage equality supporters] won is because they made it about freedom… The argument has been ‘Who are you to tell me what I can and cannot do?’ And by saying ‘Well, because it always is’, what’s happened? You’ve lost… That’s why they’ve won, because the principle of it is right. The principle is easy to understand. Who are you to say?”

                    • What a bonehead. It’s write there in black and white. It’s a very short law, DOMA. Takes about 15 seconds to read the whole thing. Marriage is defined in it and it is the law of the land, from a federal perspective. You cannot file as a married couple when you do your taxes unless you meet the this DOME definition. So now who’s dodging?

                    • See below… again, Mr. Brunette, repeating the same failed argument again and again doesn’t make it true. You directly implied that DOMA defines the nature of marriage, which the federal government cannot do in that way, per the Constitution. And the Constitution is the founding tradition of America… at least for some.

  7. Or right there in black and white. Jeez, I need coffee.

    • Too bad you didn’t address how what you are suggesting violates the Constitution on multiple levels, or how you’re having to rewrite your past remarks to try to conceal the level of your misstatements.

      You originally implied that DOMA would limit marriage equality through federal prohibition of same-sex marriage itself. That cannot happen, nor was it ever the intent. Instead of acknowledging your own words, you pivot to the tax argument, conveniently disregarding the very embodiment of American tradition in the Constitution. Again, how convenient that you can ignore laws and support big government when it suits you, Mr. Brunette. The federal government cannot rewrite the Constitution, and ignoring that undermines any claim you have to a legal foundation.

      You said “One state cannot make laws for another.” While that is true, they must honor the contracts and legal proceedings from other states. Imagine if that wasn’t the case: any business wanting protection of assets or contract recognition would have to reapply in every jurisdiction in America. The cost would be catastrophic, a massive incompetence tax allowed by those like you who rewrite the founding texts to suit their short-term needs. That’s what DOMA opens the door to, and your arguments expand that tax, that burden, in a reckless disregard for the highest law of the land, which states “Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state.” That’s the letter of the law, Mr. Brunette; so what pretext is there to ignore the Constitution? What insanity allows you to ignore that plain text, in such a way that jeopardizes one of the core foundations of American law and our economy?

      • As it stands, what I said is 100% accurate. DOMA does define marriage federally. While some states recognize gay marriage, it is not recognized federally. Not one of these “couples” can file their taxes as a married couple. What insanity in your mind allows you to ignore that this remains the law of the land?

        I’m not saying DOMA will stand. I’ve stopped second guessing the court years ago. No one knows what they are going to come up with. But right now, in this country, marriage is defined, by DOMA, as one man, one woman, and you can argue about it until you croak, and it doesn’t change a thing. That’s the law. Read it again if you must. Or perhaps you can find a state where gay couples are allowed to file their taxes as a married couple. You can’t because it doesn’t exist. Hence the point I’ve made all along regarding DOMA. Is federal income tax the law of the land? I believe it is, last time I checked. So is DOMA. Move along, bonehead. You are wrong. Your inability to reconcile what I stated is correct is very telling. You either cannot be reasoned with, or you are incapable of admitting when you are wrong. Or both, which is what I’m left to believe.

        Which also explains why you still think I’m comparing gay people to animals. You still can’t see past your ideology enough to think about parameters and definitions, and most importantly, logical conclusions. You make leaps to false conclusions consistently, which is why your credibility is lousy at best.

        • Federal tax law only defines just that; it does not define marriage, just who receives benefits under the purse strings, nor does it empower Congress to ignore the 10th Amendment (or the 9th and individual rights, for that matter). That is far different from the argument you tried to make initially (as I quoted directly); what point is there in debating you when you do not have the intention to stand by your own remarks, when to have to rely on revisionist history to disguise them?

          Furthermore, the fact that you are willing to throw away the Constitution to make your logic work undermines all credibility to your argument. The Constitution is the founding tradition, the highest of the laws of the land. You won’t even address the plain text of the Constitution when it is directly quoted.

          So let’s look at how you directly contradicted the Constitution by arguing that states should be able to ignore the legal proceedings and contracts from other states (again, as quoted from above). Your words, Mr. Brunette, that would open up a massive and crippling tax on businesses and our economy to allow for an unconstitutional, big-government denial of rights that is doomed to fail. You did not challenge that fact. Of course your lack of logic in this matter makes sense to you, Mr. Brunette; what limits are there to betraying a person’s rights when you can betray the plain text of the Constitution so easily? What credibility would you ever have to being a small-government, constitutional conservative, when you toss that away on a momentary victory, at the expense of creating a standard that would cripple the free market you claimed to respect?

          And when you talk about ideology, you should look in the mirror, Mr. Brunette; it is your crutch, what you hide behind when the shortcomings of your own arguments are exposed, a convenient victim card without any foundation. I quoted sources from all ends of the political and ideological spectrum, from the lawyers arguing for marriage equality to the American Jewish Council to Glenn Beck and Russell Kirk. Hardly a liberal sounding board. Your attempt to say otherwise is a lie, lacking all dignity in commission and comically meaningless in execution. It is the desperate act of the standard bearer of a lost cause.

          At least such tactics fit your professed world view, where people still shoot others for offending their honor, where only those with status or positions deserve to be heard, where discussions about tax policies can bring around the end of the world, where the majority of hard-working Americans are just “morons” to you, and where loving, caring relationships are painted with the same brush as bestiality. All of these things are part of your legacy, Mr. Brunette; after all, they are things you’ve said on this forum, and I have quotes, dates, and links for all of them. What a sad world one must live in to only see such darkness.

          As for the argument at hand, look at what Glenn Beck said. He got to the core of the issue pretty quickly, just like many in the GOP leadership have done. The Constitution rejects your argument. History rejects your argument. Common sense rejects your argument. That is the reality.

          • You will never get it. You are incapable of understanding what I say and when I say it. The Federal tax is just one of countless examples as to how, at a Federal level. per DOMA, and all Federal law that marriage is between one man and one woman.

            All of your baseless miscalculations beyond that are absurd because they only exist in your mind.

            I don’t give a flying rip what Glenn Beck says and/or does. He doesn’t make law, and he’s not even real good at interpreting it either, much like you.

            While you habitually misinterpret the law, whether it’s proposed or existing law, your basis for conclusions from these misinterpretations, and of comments based upon those laws make you look ridiculous. I’m not backing down from anything. Your failure to understand current law is not my problem. And your twisted sense of what I’ve said isn’t either. You cannot connect the dots from one day to the next, and it’s getting very tiresome, which must be the intent. Either that or you are extremely ignornant.

            • Actually, the problem is that you don’t like to be responsible for your own overblown rants on this forum. I quoted your words, which offered an interpretation that suggested that DOMA defines the ability to marry in itself, which the Constitution (that thing you refuse to respect or address) does not allow. All DOMA does is try to only recognize certain contracts, and allow states to do the same, in direct conflict with the stated text of the Constitution, the highest tradition and law of the land.

              Phil Russo, one of the founders of the Tea Party (again, not your typical liberal in any way), described your failed logic very well in a recent piece:

              “I remember explaining to one pseudo-constitutional “scholar” that the Full Faith and Credit Clause says that legal acts and records from one state are valid in every state. Therefore, if you respect the Constitution and believe in the strict interpretation of the Constitution then you must understand that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. That law says that gay marriages in one state do not have to be recognized by other states.

              But because of the Full Faith and Credit Clause, marriages from one state are recognized by other states. I asked this so-called conservative how he could say that he is an expert on the Constitution and that the Constitution is sacred, while supporting DOMA, which basically says, “To hell with the Constitution — states don’t have to recognize this particular document issued to these particular people.” I thought he was going to swallow his own tongue. He just had this look on his face that said: “does not compute.” Then he called me a liberal and walked away.”

              The “pseudo-constitutional” scholar and fake conservative sounds exactly like you, Mr. Brunette; ignoring the law, betraying the Constitution when it is convenient, then hurling garbage and walking away. Your quotes, your exact words, suggest a big-government denial of rights that would cost businesses millions of dollars in legal and contract fees, and undermines the very foundation of our American free market. Your words, Mr. Brunette; you said it. Why should anyone believe you, when you claim to be a conservative, but betray the Constitution to support the denial of rights in a way that undermines the economy?

              And it’s convenient that anyone who points that out is “dead to you”, as you stated in the other piece on this forum. Glenn Beck, Phil Russo, AG’s from the Bush administration, leading Republicans… anyone who points out that you could be wrong, you just bray louder, trying to ignore the mountain of evidence. Strange that your version of America only works when your opinion is the only one allowed. How totalitarian, how statist… how un-conservative. How typical for you, sir.

              My assertions are backed in the foundation of this country, and the plain text of the Constitution, supported by voices from all ends of the political spectrum. If that is beyond you, if you cannot even show any respect for the Constitution, then go home, and stop wasting our time.

              • Jeez. Take a pill. You know, like the governor does all day long. Those kind.

                I don’t know what makes you think I braying any louder. I just said how DOMA defines marriage, which it clearly does, and you can’t stand that your talking points were incorrect. And you still go off on these long rants about your false conclusions, and claim that I’m being loud and wasting time. For one it’s mine to waste. No asks you to read what I have to say.

                I have nothing but respect for the Constitution. And if DOMA is struck down as un-Constitutional, then your points will have merit. Right now, DOMA is the law of the land. And it clearly does define what marriage is and isn’t. Just as I said it did.

                I look forward to your next lengthy rant about how un-conservative and boisterous I am, based upon your next round of misperception. Hopefully you’ll have a high colonic first and maybe relax a bit. LOL.

                • Strange, Mr. Brunette, that one who claims that he respects the Constitution can’t even take two seconds to show deference to the plain text, even when leading conservative arguments show you that your points are fundamentally flawed. It’s also noteworthy that even some of the most vocal conservative movements and voices say you’re wrong; will you listen, or are they dead to you too, just like anyone else who doesn’t succumb to your narrow vision of the world?

                  I’ve offered a substantive response that directly quotes your words and offers bipartisan evidence to the contrary. All you do is run from that. DOMA only defines access to benefits; it does NOT prohibit same-sex marriage. Your initial argument didn’t seem to comprehend that.

                  So let’s grant your revisionist history, and look one step further. The Constitution is the law of the land. The highest law. It specifically requires that states recognize the legal contracts and proceedings of other states. Plain text, no interpretation needed, agreed to by liberals and conservatives alike. Therefore, setting aside DOMA for a second, your claim that states shouldn’t have to do so (“Sure, some state can vote to change the defintion of marriage, but it doesn’t carry outside of it’s borders…”) shows a clear disrespect or disregard for the literal text and meaning of the Constitution.

                  Plain text of the highest law of the land, betrayed by your selective interpretation. There in black and white. Forgetting everything else, there is no dodging that fact.

                  As far as DOMA goes, legislatures and Congress frequently pass laws that stretch or violate the Constitution; something that does so is still wrong, regardless. So, on substance, your argument is null and void. Especially when you double down on a standard that clearly breaks the highest rules and traditions of the land, and take that standard even further than DOMA would.

                  Except you won’t address that. You won’t address the dangerous legal precedent this would set, and how it would offer a standard that would devastate business and commerce in America. In all practical effect, this would make any contractual or legal proceeding subject to state and local variances, acting like a massive tax. You won’t address that tax you seem to conveniently endorse. Instead, you turn to some delusion about the governor, offering sleaze and filth without any foundation. A real conservative would have stepped up to offer a defense of the free market and interstate commerce; I guess we see where your priorities lie.

                  You can offer thuggish slander all you want, trying to bring in your paranoid delusions and attacks against others, but it’s only a distraction from that fact. The pure text of the Constitution invalidates your position. Period.

                  Instead of addressing or offering any legal argument, you cower behind attacks and slander that are completely irrelevant and without any dignity. Just like many of your other comments on this forum. Hence my reference to braying, Mr. Brunette; it fits you well, given how far out of your way you went to speak like an ass.

                  • Drew wrote: “The Constitution is the law of the land. The highest law.”

                    And the Minnesota Constitution is the highest law of Minnesota.

                    “The right of every man to worship [G-d] according to the dictates of his own conscience shall never be infringed…”

                    The states are sovereign, and no other state nor the national government can impose their laws in any way they choose. An interpretation of the Iowa, New York, or Massachusetts Constitutions are not binding in Minnesota.

                    • That works under the Articles of Confederation, but not the Constitution. State laws do not nullify or trump the Constitution, nor have they for over 200 years.

                      Additionally, allowing for others to have equal rights does not infringe on your rights. If that were the case, anything any religious group (Catholic, Baptist, Muslim, etc.) would object to would be illegal. So no computers in schools, no pledge of allegiance, no tax-paid services on the Sabbath, etc.

                      Simply put, neither point you offer works.

                  • What paranoid delusions are you even talking about? paranoid? About what? And what makes me “thuggish”? You somehow infer that my stance with DOMA means I’m against states rights. That’s not the case. Did I say anywhere that at state can;t allow gay marriage? No, I said that it cannot be transferred as legal to another state where it is illegal.

                    Let’s say I live in Colorado, and can legally buy marijuana. It’s illegal to possess in say Iowa. Can I expect to simply violate Iowa law and toke up where ever I please? Of course not!

                    And what I said about DOMA is accurate. It clearly defines what federal recognition of marriage is, and its between one man and one woman. It’s the law, and that law also states that such a union is NOT transferable to another state or tribe that believes otherwise. It’s the law. I follow the law. We have lots of laws that I don’t agree with. We have laws that I don’t believe are Constitutional, like the (un-)Affordable Care Act. Doesn’t mean I get to shuck it aside, now does it. I still have to pay the higher premiums that have come about due to a law I find to be un-Constitutional, but what choice do I have. That the current law, and I have to follow it.

                    The same is true of DOMA. It explicitly states what marriage is, and how a modification from this definition is NOT transferable. i.e. making this the law of the land. Coming to grips with that doesn’t make me a Constitution hater. Now if the court strikes down this law, or the portion that prevents these contracts from being recognized elsewhere, then you have a point, that continued practice of such would be a violation. But as it stands today, this is the law of the land and people will abide by it.

                    • First off, the “thuggish” comment was specifically directed towards the random accusations of drug use by the governor, and saying that I should follow suit. While you may say such things flippantly, they lessen the dignity of any conversation, and were completely unnecessary.

                      Marijuana use falls under criminal codes, which is not covered in that regard under the Constitution; however, a charge and warrant for drug possession in another state would have to be recognized in Colorado, even if such a thing isn’t a crime there. That’s the difference.

                      Your definition would open up contracts and legal proceedings to being trumped by every state variation; hence, no legal contract would be safe unless applied for separately within each state. The cost to businesses trying to navigate such bureaucracy would be devastating, which is why that language was added to the Constitution in the first place. Furthermore, it’s not the standard recognized with marriage in general. People go to Vegas, get a 5 minute wedding in front of an Elvis, and it counts here in Minnesota. That opens up a host of 14th Amendment issues, and undermines the core of that argument, or an argument about defending the pure tradition of marriage.

                      As far as waiting for a court decision, the current rulings of the lower courts (particularly the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals) are that DOMA is unconstitutional. Obama was roundly criticized by many of the Supreme Court justices (and rightfully so) for ambivalently enforcing DOMA when he opposes it, and with those rulings in place; even the conservatives on the court questioned why he would allow the executive branch to maintain the presence of a law that they feel is unjust. So, by your standard, the current ruling is that DOMA is unconstitutional, especially since it directly contradicts the stated text. That is the current stance of the courts; the case in question was an attempt to reverse that ruling. By that logic, DOMA should not be part of the law as currently applied.

                    • Homosexual marriage is illegal in this state, That’s the example I’m using as to why the contracts won’t hold up across state lines. I cannot make a contract in CA, and then move to MN and expect it to be valid when it is against MN law. That contract is not valid in MN, and DOMA states that it is the case.

                      This is like an employment contract, or a sales contract. Sales of goods, and employment of people are legal in all states. I don’t see this as contrary to states rights. Those states where this is illegal have every right to maintain that legal standard just as they do with the sale and possession of marijuana.

                      I see no constitutional grounds on the basis of contract law.

                    • That’s not exactly true. For instance, in some cases women under the age of 18 in Delaware (and a handful of other states) can get married without parental or court consent, something that would be prohibited under Minnesota law. However, Minnesota law would recognize those marriages under section 517.20 of our statutes.

                      Merely stating that we’ve defined marriage in one certain way doesn’t remove it from legal scrutiny any more than previous definitions of citizenship that gave women and African-Americans lesser status did. There has to be a sound legal basis beyond “but that’s how we’ve defined it” to make it stand up.

                    • So, when are states’ rights important to Republicans and when aren’t they? For instance, when it comes to health care, Republicans have advocated for individuals to be able to buy policies across state lines, removing the ability of states to set minimum coverage requirements. Can you explain how the party arrives at such a distinction?

                    • Without definitions, laws mean nothing. Without a set of parameters, laws mean nothing.

                    • 517.02 states exceptions noted in 57.03 where it explicitly prohibits the recognition of same sex marriages, as well as other marriages, that I don’t see anyone fighting for. I guess the southern cousin marriages aren’t valid here. Seems as unfair as gay marriage, doesn’t it? Not even DOMA touches cousins. Where’s the outrage?

                    • DOMA protects state’s rights. Keeps one state from defining marriage in another. I don’t see DOMA as an infringement on state’s rights at all. I see it as protecting them. You say the states have the right to define marriage. Well ours has. One man, one woman. Our federal law protects our law. Can you find another slant to try to apply to this mess?

                    • Actually, there may be a point that needs to be clarified… DOMA has already been declared unconstitutional. If the Supreme Court decides to deny the appeal on jurisdictional grounds (which is a decent possibility), then that ruling stands, because that is the current status of the law.

                      Here’s an explanation of that possible outcome, taken from AP commentary: “And then there’s the not-insignificant chance that the court will punt Prop 8 and/or DOMA back to the lower courts, on the grounds that the plaintiffs have no “standing” in the case. In other words, the court requires that parties show that they would be personally harmed by a law (or, as here, by a law being overturned). If the court found that there was no standing, the outcome of the case (or cases) would revert to the decision of the highest court below the Supreme Court to rule on them.”

                      Now a different Appeals court could offer a different logic, which would force the Supreme Court to actually consider the merits. However, the last official ruling held DOMA unconstitutional. Many of the justices on the Supreme Court were openly critical of the Obama administration’s choice to continue to allow the provisions to stand while waiting for their final judgement, particularly the Chief Justice:

                      “CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: I would have thought your answer would be that the Executive’s obligation to execute the law includes the obligation to execute the
                      law consistent with the Constitution. And if he has made a determination that executing the law by enforcing
                      the terms is unconstitutional, I don’t see why he doesn’t have the courage of his convictions and execute not only the statute, but do it consistent with his view
                      of the Constitution, rather than saying, oh, we’ll wait till the Supreme Court tells us we have no choice.”

                      In other words, they questioned why DOMA was still being enforced at all, given the lower court rulings and the stance of the executive on DOMA. This highly undermines the claim of DOMA still being the law of the land; it also takes a deserved jab at the Obama administration for sitting on the fence to a certain degree, instead of acting in line with their stated view on DOMA.

                    • In the case of contracts, there must be a valid and/or compelling reason to reject the contract or applications therein. Given that Vegas weddings and the like are accepted, and that homosexuality is not illegal, it is highly unlikely that such a claim would survive a 14th Amendment analysis.

                      If it did, in theory any state could nullify or disregard a contract from another state as long as some moral pretext could be generated. The chaos that would ensue for businesses would be catastrophic.

                      This is well recognized in the business community, where certain states are known to be welcoming to certain industries, such as Delaware with credit card companies. While there may be certain products they cannot offer in certain states, the incorporation of the company is still valid throughout the United States, per the Constitution. The argument used in DOMA contradicts that argument, and the Constitution.

                      Furthermore, this flawed logic used in DOMA has already resulted in cases where couples cannot divorce, because their marriage isn’t recognized. There’s also potential issues with child custody, where traveling through states that do not recognize that valid marriage contract could lead to harmful decisions if something should happen to one parent. Or the ability to make medical decisions and having access to their spouse if he/she is incapacitated. This creates the potential of state entities being sued throughout the federal courts for failing to comply with those contractual rights. Or a patchwork of chaos, where a contract has no stability when moving or doing business across state lines.

                      Either way, it’s a bad idea, and an unconstitutional one.

                    • I didn’t say homosexuality was illegal, but homosexual marriages are illegal, just as all of the other versions I mentioned before, that got you all twisted up thinking I was comparing gay people to beasties.

                      Therefore, those contracts are not valid across state lines where such a union is illegal.

                      I wouldn’t propose you try to guess what SCOTUS is going to do. As we saw with Obamacare, it’s anyone’s guess as to what comes of the myriad of questions that were presented and asked.

                      If they follow the Obamacare standard, the court may just say, hey, this law was passed overwhelmingly, (unlike Obamacare where every trick in the bok was used to force it through), and if you want to get rid of it, then you need to get Congress to repeal it, not the court.

                      That’s just another wild guess at this point, and second guessing the court is like cutting cards and knowing which one will be on top afterwards. The magician might know, but in this case, SCOTUS is the magician. So far, they’ve shown many cards, but they might not have even shown the one that will be the result. There are a wide variety of opinions and pre-spin coming out to try to direct the court how to act. But that just doesn’t work. We’ll have to wait and see.

                    • First, an aside: your comments on bestiality seemed to be particularly meant to disgust and dwell in the ridiculous, and did directly state that allowing for marriage equality would open the door to bestiality. Besides the poor parallels in history, and the lack of legal foundation, there is this, as I quoted above:

                      “If you are heterosexual, simply ask yourself two questions.

                      1. When did I choose to be heterosexual? The answer is, you never made that choice. Your heterosexuality is innate. Just so, innate homosexuals never made a choice to be homosexual. Their same sex attraction is as innate as your opposite sex attraction.

                      2. Would it be Christ-like for other Christians to equate my heterosexual marriage to having sex with animals? If you feel that would not be Christ-like behavior, then you need to stop using the sex with animals argument against your gay Christian brothers and lesbian Christian sisters.”

                      Hence my point, that whatever motives or intentions suggested making such a comparison, such arguments lessen the general standing of any associated with it, and demean our friends, colleagues, loved ones, and fellow Americans, without any hope of a righteous justification. It is wrong, period.

                    • You seem to be avoiding the two core points. One, while the terms of a marriage ceremony and qualifications for issuing such licensure may be limited from state to state, recognition of a valid and legal marriage does transfer, even if the terms of that marriage in the state of origin did not match another state. Again, Vegas weddings without a waiting period or other requirements are still valid weddings.

                      A good summary is on usmarriagelaws.com: “The Marriage License Laws for a man and a woman to marry vary from state to state. Although there are differences between the requirements in the various states, a marriage between a man and a woman performed in one state must be recognized by every other state under the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the United States Constitution.” This was written prior to the challenge of DOMA, but the premise still applies here.

                      Also, notice the difference in the language between 4.b and the other prohibitions listed in 517.03. Only in the case of same-sex marriage was specific language added to nullify recognition from other states: “A marriage entered into by persons of the same sex, either under common law or statute, that is recognized by another state or foreign jurisdiction is void in this state and contractual rights granted by virtue of the marriage or its termination are unenforceable in this state.” Strangely odd that this prohibition does not exist and is not stated with the other elements (including marriages between cousins); hence the question as to why such language was added only in this case, except that we know why: to evade and undermine the Constitution in order to deny recognition of same-sex marriages. There was an understanding that the arguments against incest or other prohibitions would not apply, and yet the law was bent to shoehorn in an extra prohibition against the rights of a particular class, without just cause or process. Read the legislative records, even the records of Congress, and you will see this is true, and that both parties allowed it to happen. However, that doesn’t excuse violating the highest law of the land in the Constitution.

                      Section 4.b. of 517.03 is unconstitutional. It directly contradicts the idea that “Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State.” If this is allowed, then states can pass a host of limitations on recognizing contracts and public proceedings, creating a massive bureaucratic tax that would undermine the economy and even endanger law enforcement and anti-terrorism efforts across state lines. This isn’t even based on interpretation, but plain text. DOMA, this provision, and others were passed, much like reactions to desegregation, as an attempt to write moral disapproval into the law, at the expense of upholding the rule of law. So unless you can explain why we should undermine our nation’s legal precedents in such a way that could devastate the economy, that argument doesn’t hold.

                      And again, with businesses we do not deny incorporation based on differences in state law. Or driver’s licenses, for that matter. DOMA directly contradicts that standard, as would failure to recognize a marriage from another state.

                      Imagine if you had to have an active driver’s license for any state you wished to drive through, based on their tests and qualifications, and that’s along the lines of what you are presenting. The devastation this would cause for business and commerce would be appalling, and completely preventable.

                      Or if a state decided that divorce is immoral, and thus banned recognition of any divorce from any jurisdiction?

                      See how messy and untenable this gets?

                      Second, as I stated and quoted above, DOMA has already been held unconstitutional; the BLAG effort is a last-ditch attempt to repeal and reverse that ruling. It was the conservative members of SCOTUS that questioned why it was still being enforced, given that the executive branch was no longer defending the law. They even brought in separate council to present arguments on that point, which is rare for court proceedings. So DOMA offers no foundation for stable, equitable law. At worst, SCOTUS will pass on ruling on merits, which will force the executive branch to go into each appellate court and agree with those challenging DOMA, thus ending the legal basis for case or controversy and allowing for marriage benefits to be awarded, but adding a lot of red tape along the way.

                    • I never equated homosexual marriage with animal sex for the 400th time. You jumped to that false conclusion all on your own. As I’ve spelled out repeatedly, marriage has a definition and it’s based on a few parameters. those parameters are gender, quantity, and infer humans. IF we are going to change those parameters for one group, why not all groups. YOU focus on the most negative variation of the parameters, the human portion, and ignore the other parameters of gender and quantity in favor of endlessly carping about the human portion. And I truly mean endlessly, for the love of God. Let it go already. Take a friggin pill or something. Holy moly, rocky.

                      I didn’t invent the definition of marriage. But it does have a definition for crying out loud. It’s in our Bible, and it’s in our laws. One man, one woman. It’s about as simple as definitions go, and your failure to wrap your feeble mind around those parameters is not my problem. It’s not my short coming that you still fail to understand these simple parameters in the definition.

                      Which to this point, once again, is either purposeful, or complete and total ignorance. I was thinking the first, but by now it’s completely clear that it is the later. When you see a law or rule that you disagree with, it flat out doesn’t register, no matter how black and white it is. As you would say, how sad?

                      Do you rationalize everything away that you don’t agree with? that’s a mental condition. Our governor suffers from it as well. And that’s the reason I highly recommend you see his pharmacist. He can’t follow logic either. But somehow he mumbles through lecture after lecture about things he doesn’t understand. Obtuse has got to have your photo next to it in the dictionary by now. Jeez.

                    • Oh, so now MN law is un-constitutional as well? What a shock. Is any law you disagree with constitutional? Apparently not.

                      You still can’t wrap your tiny brain around the parameters of the definition can you?

                    • You are the one who seems to have difficulties keeping track of reality, Mr. Brunette.

                      After all, it’s already been pointed out to you, multiple times, that the Bible has a host of examples of polygamy that were sanctioned. And prohibitions against marriage between different tribes, races, and faiths. Those are no longer part of our definition of marriage, and yet you absolutely refuse to address that fact, that the definition already has changed. Your convenient ethical definitions are meaningless, and not worth our time.

                      As far as your bestiality argument and obsession, go back to your original posts, and see the lie in your denials. You went out of the way to be as perverse as possible, as ridiculous as possible, and as ignorant as possible. According to your logic, changing any cultural standard would open the door to bestiality. Yet they said the same thing about interracial marriages, interfaith marriages, and a host of other standards over time. Every time that is presented, you dodge the issue and regress to slander and petty nonsense. Particularly with your bizarre obsession with the governor; in that regard, you have taken the worst elements of the accusations you have made against Mr. Olsen and his inquiries of Mr. Leidiger (founded or unfounded), and raised them to an unprecedented level of vile and petty thuggery. How sad.

                      And where’s your amendments against tattoo shops, or planting different crops side by side, or working on the Sabbath? Where’s the hysterical comments on those things?

                      I’ve offered scripture, and facts, and historical examples, and precedent. You’ve offered anger and a closed mind, but few arguments on substance. In that regard, the only beast to be seen is the one you offer here, Mr. Brunette, and the only bestiality is in your self-idolatry. So either address substance, or give up and stop wasting our time.

                    • As far as 4.b goes, it would help if you would actually address the substantive argument, instead of braying incessantly.

                      Do we not recognize driver’s licenses from other states, even if those states did not require our same level of certification to gain such a license?

                      Do we not recognize marriages from Vegas, without a waiting period or license that would have satisfied our requirements?

                      Do we not recognize the incorporation of businesses from other states, even if that incorporation was achieved under a different standard than our own?

                      Do we not recognize the legal proceedings of another state, even when they have different definitions of criminal and civil law than those in Minnesota?

                      Does the Constitution not require such things under the Full Faith and Credit clause?

                      Do the provisions you quote not violate that standard, and thus contradict the highest law in the land?

                      Were these provisions not motivated by moral disapproval and anger towards same-sex couples, as demonstrated on the record when they were presented for initial argument?

                      All these things are true, as is the fact that DOMA and similar provisions at the state level were a knee-jerk attempt to ignore the Constitution in order to deny rights, based not in the law but in the personal opinion some have towards same-sex marriage.

                      An unjust law is still unjust. This standard you defend compounds that by offering a ridiculous precedent that would scar interstate commerce, travel, and legal cooperation, thereby taxing and weakening the nation.

                      So do you want to address substance, or would you rather yell some more? Because on substance, your argument is null and void.

                    • And once again Drew proves that he is incapable of connecting the dots. The parameters are lost on him.

                      Maybe we could try it this way.

                      What do you see as the legal parameters defining marriage right here in Minnesota?

                      I see quantity, gender, and humans.

                      Do see see any other? I for one, don’t see race, or tribe, or religion, or shape, or weight.

                      I guess there could be age, and relation, but since you have so much difficulty with the first three, lets start there. (and since that’s as far as DOMA takes it as well).

                      I agree to these as the basic parameters, especially after reading DOMA. So I believe this definition doesn’t allow more than two people, they have to be of the opposite sex, and they MUST be human. So despite your fascination with dogs and horses, I don’t believe they are allowed under the current definition.

                      Quantity, just means no polygamy.

                      Gender. 1 man. 1 woman.

                      Assuming these 3 parameters, we have people who would like to change all three of them.

                      Some people, like you, want to eliminate the gender parameter. Which of course is a change of the definition.

                      Some people want to eliminate the quantity parameter. Which is also a change in the definition.

                      And some people want to eliminate the human parameter. Which again, is a change in the definition.

                      That is the only comparison I have ever made or implied, and if you cannot grasp this simple parameter based comparison, your level of intelligence is below that which I can ever hope to reach.

                      Quantity does not equal gender or species. Gender does not equal species or quantity. Species does not equal gender or quantity.

                      The only relationship in the context of this post, is that each is a parameter for the definition of marriage.

                      If you still think that I’m comparing gender to species, you are clearly missing the point entirely, and are worthless as point of reference in my stance on this issue. Your leaps to wild conclusions are on you, not me. I can’t make you use your head. Lord knows I’ve tried.

                    • First off, that wasn’t your original argument. Let’s quote your own words:

                      John Brunette, March 15: “Again, any man, can marry a woman and vice versa, there fore there is no inequality, because that’s what marriage is. If you want to change the meaning of the word, based upon someone’s feelings, then this dog banger ought to be able to marry his dog.”

                      So, in your eyes, marriage equality leads to the same moral corruption as bestiality. Again, your own words.

                      Now, you’re trying to argue that you are only objecting to changes in definition. However, I’ve shown that the definition has already changed, multiple times, and that those who protested those changes in the past used your same rhetoric and tactics. As you noted, we no longer make such judgments against interracial marriage or marriages between faiths, but they’re still in the Bible, and were a long-standing part of the cultural tradition. Why should your comments be judged any differently, Mr. Brunette?

                      Any why does your revision of biblical marriage or traditional marriage gain the status to overrule the Constitution? Particularly the 9th, 14th, and 1st Amendments, and the Full Faith and Credit Clause?

                      If you’re revising your words now, then say so, but it would be nice if you’d at least admit that your original comments were sleaze, a poor attempt at trolling to poison the discussion. And please, stop sharing your animal sex stories; no one else shares that fascination with you.

                    • Next, DOMA: already ruled unconstitutional. Violates the Constitution clearly, and was openly motivated by animus to homosexuals. Questioned even by leading conservatives. Not a valid argument. Denied.

                      Moving on…

                      Now, back to the massive tax hike that you are endorsing by discarding the Full Faith and Credit Clause.

                      Every example I offered above is correct. We recognize driver’s licenses from other states, even when they are granted under different standards than our own.

                      We recognize Vegas weddings and other ceremonies that do not match the requirements in Minnesota.

                      We recognize businesses and contracts from other states.

                      We recognize legal proceedings from other states. Someone can use marijuana in Colorado, but Colorado must still recognize an arrest warrant for using marijuana issued by another state.

                      The Constitution requires this, under Full Faith and Credit. Plain text, as many conservatives have noted.

                      But you continue to forward laws that disregard the highest law and tradition of the United States, the very foundation of our great republic.

                      So answer that question: why should we disregard the Constitution to allow for this contradiction, when it opens up a standard that would fundamentally scar our free markets, trade, and legal systems?

                      Let’s look at the tax and bureaucracy you are defending when it comes to travel and commerce. Imagine if every truck driver had to meet licensing requirements for their commercial license in every state they would travel through. The cost for truckers and trucking companies would skyrocket, as would the cost to consumers as that cost was passed along, and to taxpayers as the cost of trying to enforce such nonsense came into play. A massive tax, simply because we decided to ignore the Constitution when it gave rights to people some didn’t like.

                      To a degree, you can put limitations on issuing a marriage license in a particular state, and even that is bound by the guarantees of the Constitution (see Loving v. Virginia). You cannot limit the recognition of a legal contract, not without creating a standard that will tax and undermine our nation.

                      Hence the failure of your revisionist version of the laws, one that completely ignores the highest law of the land. DOMA goes beyond allowing state definitions and distinctions, as does 4.b. They try to delete a part of our Constitution, and one who can endorse that has no respect for the rule of law.

                      So why should we endorse this tax and harm you keep defending?

                    • You are the bonehead that keeps bring up animal sex. You are obsessed with it, not me.

                      I note that you still don’t get it. Obtuse doesn’t even begin to describe you.

                      Let’s say, for example that Utah passes polygamy. Your stance is that we would have to accept that marriage here as well.

                      Let’s say Kentucky allows marriage to a dog, not for sex, but for estate rights to be passed along. Your stance is that we have to honor that marriage.

                      Do you see yet where your “full faith and credit” argument falls apart? Gay marriage is illegal here, therefore that contract cannot, by law, be honored here. Polygamist marriages are illegal here, and cannot be honored here. Marrying a horse is illegal here, and cannot be honored here.

                      Even if DOMA is struck down on some grounds, our state law still makes these “marriages” that violate these 3 parameters unrecognized in our state by our own state law. We, in Minnesota, already have our own version of DOMA.

                      My arguments are all about the parameters of the definition, and these parameters disqualify the other “marriages” based upon these parameters both in MN law, and in federal law. Which has been my point all along. It is the law of the state of MN, and the United States, that these “marriages” outside of these parameters of one man one woman will not be honored.

                      As I have stated many times, despite your inability to reconcile it, this is the law of the land. You cannot even admit that is the case. Which demonstrates clearly how detached from reality you actually are. How sad?

                    • Actually, it still shows that you have no competent comprehension of the Full Faith and Credit Clause. (And it’s worth repeating that you were the one offering fantasies of your life with a horse, for whatever reasons… again, your fantasy, not mine.)

                      But when it comes to substance, you’ve got nothing on your side.

                      After all, I brought up multiple examples (like driver’s licenses) that show we must recognize valid and legal contracts from other states. You ran from those, yet again.

                      So let’s go back to 517.03, and read what the Minnesota State Bar Association says about it (from the Bench & Bar, their official publication, August 2004):

                      “A number of Minnesota statutes have codified the common law regarding cousins. For instance, unlike states that make easy targets for late night TV comedians, Minnesota does not allow sexual relations or marriage between cousins. Specifically, Minnesota statutes prohibit “sexual intercourse with another nearer of kin to the action than first cousins,” and further prohibit marriages between an uncle and niece, aunt and nephew, “or between first cousins.” Minn. Stat §§609.365; 5l7.03(a)(3). But, as with most codifications, an exception exists: cousins may marry in Minnesota if such practice is part of the “established customs of aboriginal cultures,” a solace for the many aborigines who reside in our diverse state.

                      Cousins may lawfully marry in many other states, and not just where hillbillies congregate to drink their moonshine. When these cousins legally tie the knot, their marriage is considered valid in Minnesota.”

                      Read that last sentence again, just to make sure it sinks in.

                      Although I’m not a big fan of the idea, that is the plain text of the law. Period. What don’t you get about that?

                      This also says a lot that the anti-marriage equality group only attempted to prohibit recognizing same-sex marriages from other states, and not marriages between cousins. So an Elvis wedding counts, Satanic ceremonies would count, marrying a cousin is recognized from other states, but same-sex marriage is somehow a threat to society? Nonsense.

                      This also shreds your legal argument. The Constitution says no. The Supreme Court says no. The lawyers and judges of the state say no. So do you actually have any substance, or are you just going to stick your head in the sand further to hide from reality?

                      Your incompetent understanding of the Constitution would create a monstrous tax and bureaucracy that would cripple trade, commerce, and law enforcement efforts. So why should we destroy the economic and legal foundations of the nation, just so you and others can choose who has equal rights, and who doesn’t?

                      Why should we pay your incompetence tax? Or were all of your claims about being a pro-business, small-government conservative just a lie? Or will you run from the evidence, yet again?

                    • Yes, bonehead, I do understand those items. It is you that does not.

                      Let’s take drivers licenses. A driver’s license is issued to one person, provided they are of age, and have passed a safety test.

                      What are the parameters? A person, (not a dog, or space alien, or a pair of dice), may apply for license.

                      That person must of legal age to drive in MN. If say Arkansas allows person of the age of 12 to get license for example, I doubt MN would recognize this.

                      If a person cannot pass the safety test in their state, but were for some reason granted a license do to some public honorary title or something like that, I’m guessing we’d maybe had an issue with that. Pretty sure nothing like this occurs, but I only live here.

                      Let’s say they had a DWI and moved out of state, like my buddy did. 10 years later he’s back in MN with his IL license, and gets pulled over for speeding. Guess what? That’s right, this happened. Car towed. Off to the police station. ticketed. and released to a licensed driver.

                      So again, unless you are saying this practice in also unconstitutional, I’m going to go ahead with the argument that your example is crap. Just like your marriage example is crap.

                      It is your misunderstanding of parameters of law that make for absurd assumptions regarding taxes, contracts and the like. SO, yeah, nice try, but again, epic fail. Epic.

                      Could your lack of understanding of licences mean you drive a horse, and that’s why you got so bent out of shape previously? LOL. Do horses have a “special” place in your heart?

                    • P.S. Don’t bother jumping to stupid conclusions on my buddy with the DWI. He was in college, paid is debts, and just didn’t bother renewing here because by then he was off on his career, and is a nuclear physicist. Don’t want you getting on your “high horse” again. LOL.

                    • Again, it would help if you actually addressed reality. Starting with the Full Faith and Credit Clause, which you refuse to address.

                      Or the exact words of the Supreme Court.

                      Of a direct quote from the Minnesota State Bar Association.

                      So let’s break down your lack of understanding, piece by piece.

                      Let’s take your driver’s license example. Yes, a valid license is recognized, even if it was earned under less strict standards than here in Minnesota. Now, there may be additional limitations for use of that license in our state, but the license itself is still valid, per the Constitution.

                      We know this to be true, because Americans travel between states readily, without having to apply for a license or pass standards and tests for each state. So your example fails when compared to reality.

                      As far as your DWI example, provide a name or case, because the story doesn’t add up. When your friend moved to Illinois, he would have needed to disclose the past offense, and get his license reinstated. Illinois would have to recognize any pending or past proceedings in Minnesota (again, that Full Faith and Credit clause you like to ignore). So if he had completed the necessary requirements, to reconcile the punishment here in Minnesota and to earn the license back in Illinois, then he’s fine. However, if he continues to break the law (by speeding and the like), he could lose that license again. So without additional details, I’d conclude from your story that your friend needs to drive more carefully. There is nothing from your story to support your flawed constitutional revisionism.

                      So let’s get past your evasion tactics, and actually see if you can look at 517.03, and the real issue here. The official publication of the MSBA says that marriages from other states, even those that would not be legal to perform here, must be recognized, per the Constitution. That’s the difference: first cousins could not be given a marriage license here, or have an official marriage ceremony here, but they can do so elsewhere, and that must be recognized here in Minnesota. The Constitution, and the laws of the land, say this is so.

                      And yet you and your counterparts wish to disregard the highest law and tradition in a way that would open all state laws and contracts to destruction, and undermine the foundations of our national framework. What a pathetic excuse for conservative values. When Glenn Beck and the founders of the Tea Party tell you you’re ignoring the Constitution, then you’ve really gone off the reservation.

                      So let me ask you this, Mr. Brunette: if a prohibition of same-sex marriage under Minnesota code was enough to ban all recognition here, then why did they also add 4.b, which tries to ban recognition from other states? Why would DOMA’s clause be necessary at all? After all, Republicans were the driving force behind much of that language, and they aren’t normally fans of repetitive laws and bureaucracy. So basically, you’re accusing the GOP of offering redundant bureaucracy and unnecessary regulation.

                      Or it could be that your understanding is so feeble that you’re offering an argument that is not only a fiction, and unconstitutional, but that also offers an incompetent attack against your own party. Wow, what a pathetic excuse for a Republican.

                      The language in DOMA and in 517.03, 4.b, was added to try to ignore part of the Constitution to keep same-sex couples from being given the contract rights promised under the Constitution. The authors said so, openly, especially with Congress, as Hawaii was looking to recognize those rights. It’s in the records, it was quoted in the news, and Justice Kagan even quoted this in the recent arguments. It is fact.

                      So explain that, Mr. Brunette. If a prohibition was enough, then why did we need 4.b or DOMA at all?

                      Why is it that the MSBA, the leading lawyers and judges of this state, say that you are wrong?

                      Why is it that you get to rewrite the Constitution to suit your opinions, and still claim to be a conservative?

                    • From http://www.dwi-minnesota.com:

                      “Many people assume that once their case has gone to court, their sentence served and fines paid, they can resume driving. Actually, MN DWI laws require that you follow a process and apply for driver’s license reinstatement following your conviction. While this sounds like an easy process, Minnesota DUI reinstatement is not necessarily easy.

                      Minnesota DUI reinstatement requires that you work to get your license back. You’ll have to fill out a lot of paperwork and pay additional fines. Some of the steps to get your license reinstated include:

                      Completion and passing score on a written DWI related driving test. Much like your first driving test, it’s a good idea to study up for this exam;

                      Pay a license reinstatement fee of $680.00;

                      Complete an application to reinstate your license;

                      Pay an additional reapplication fee of $24.00.

                      If you have had prior convictions for DUI or DWI, you may also be required to complete substance abuse classes, attend regular AA meetings, and prove that you are abstaining from alcohol for at least a year following your conviction. ”

                      From your second comment, it sounds like your friend didn’t complete that process. Therefore, he wasn’t in good standing to reclaim his driving privileges.

                      From the MN Judicial Branch web site: “If your driver’s license is suspended due to an unpaid fine, you will not be valid to drive until the court receives payment, the notification process to Minnesota Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) has been completed and the state has reinstated your driving privileges.” Note that the state must reinstate privileges.

                      Illinois code recognizes this, in multiple areas: “a driver’s license or permit is revoked or suspended as provided by this Code or the law of another state” (625 ILCS 5/6). So the interesting question may be if Illinois was premature in granting their licensure. Irregardless, if the reinstatement process was not completed, then driving privileges were not fully restored.

                      That has nothing to do with your argument; in fact, the reality that Illinois specifically acknowledges the guidelines of Full Faith and Credit further undermines your flawed claims, Mr. Brunette.

                      This is true across the country. For instance, from the Florida DMV:
                      “If your out-of-state drivers license is suspended you must clear up the suspension before you will be given a Florida drivers license.”

                      On top of that, there’s the Driver License Compact, which 45 states belong to. From a DMV site: “Started in 1960, the DLC, which champions a motto of “One Driver, One License, One Record,” is used by participating states to share information on moving traffic violations. So say for example, you receive a speeding ticket or some sort of traffic ticket in Minnesota, your home state of Vermont will be notified. The violation will then go on your driving record. Depending on your state, this could be in the form of points which could ultimately affect the status of your drivers license.”

                      Here’s what Illinois says on this:
                      “Drivers should keep in mind that a database known as the National Driver Register (NDR) is available to keep tabs on drivers with revoked or suspended licenses. The purpose of this database is to keep drivers from obtaining a license in a different state after their privileges have been revoked or suspended in their home state.

                      The Driver License Compact (DLC) is similar to the NDR, but provides information on non-residents who obtain license suspensions and traffic violations while visiting other states. This means an offense you commit while on vacation could incur additional penalties in your home state.”

                      That’s the issue in the case of your friend, that the process for reinstatement wasn’t completed (at least from your words on the matter). If anything, this reaffirms my point, and further undermines yours.

                    • I will not name the case in the drivers license scenario. There is no reason to drag his name into this. He did get a WI license without issue. They didn’t seem to mind that MN had his in suspension. He took the test, then graduated college, and moved to IL, received an IL license, came home to visit, got a speeding ticket, and the rest I’ve covered.

                      I know this, because I was involved.

                      Remember the part where a licensed driver had to pick him up from the station? That was me. I’m not going to bring up his name because you don’t know law.

                      Also, I don’t recall re-writing the Constitution. Perhaps you can cite the amendments I have written. After an extensive on-line search, I can’t find any law that I have written.

                      But I can read current law. And here in MN, despite your assertions to the contrary, MN law states that gay marriage isn’t marriage in this state, and is illegal, and it will not be recognized from another state. Upon closer inspection, it turns out that I didn’t write that law either. My name also does not appear on the DOMA legislative record.

                      Full faith and credit clauses do not cover transactions are illegal in the state of transfer. You need to move already. You lost this argument, the minute you said I was wrong about this being the law of the land. I was 100% correct.

                    • Actually, all you’re doing is running away from the evidence again, Mr. Brunette. Most would take such conduct for either blind pride or cowardice; I’m holding on judgment for the moment. However, your story about your friend doesn’t even fit Wisconsin law.

                      I offered the exact legal statutes that prove your point wrong. It wasn’t the lack of recognition of his out of state license, but the lack of completion of reinstatement here in Minnesota that caused the issue.

                      And it would help if the details about this “story” didn’t keep changing (just like your past examples, where the proof is always in some other folder). The problem is that Wisconsin has the same restriction, as stated on the Wisconsin Department of Transportation site: “If your driving privilege is suspended or revoked in another state, but you have not been convicted of a violation that requires mandatory suspension or revocation in Wisconsin, you must contact the state(s) in which your driving privilege is suspended or revoked and reinstate it in that state(s). You may then apply for a Wisconsin driver license.”

                      In other words, the “story” you just told violates Wisconsin law, too, because they share that same concept of Full Faith and Credit you can’t seem to understand. If the record system wasn’t updated, then maybe he was fortunate to slide through a gap (and by that, I imply no deliberate malice on his part), but the law says he has to complete the terms here for reinstatement. Additionally, in Wisconsin “If you apply for a Wisconsin driver license and have an OWI-type conviction in another state, in accordance with Wisconsin law you may have to provide proof that you have undergone an assessment and completed an alcohol program. This law applies even if you have met all the requirements in the state where you were convicted of OWI.” (http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/)

                      So the idea of going to Wisconsin and having them ignore the Minnesota arrest is nonsense. And given that your “story” keeps changing, I’m not buying it. There’s some key details missing. At best, your friend was fortunate to temporarily stumble through a loophole in reporting, that caught up with him with the speeding ticket. However, if anything, it further discredits your arguments on Full Faith and Credit. Every law I quote further erodes the fantasy you are offering.

                      We see this every time we drive from one state into another. We don’t have to be relicensed. We see this in the recognition of contracts, something your standard would undermine to devastating effect.

                      And we see it in the added language of DOMA and 4.b. Again, since you ran away from this point earlier: if a prohibition in Minnesota was enough to ban recognition of same-sex marriages from other states, then why did they need DOMA or 4.b. at all? Why was that language added, if it wasn’t needed, and why does it only target same-sex marriages, and nothing else? Why would Republicans (and some Dems, to be fair) have written another layer of wasteful bureaucracy if it wasn’t needed?

                      The simple answer: because you’re wrong. Your interpretation is wrong, and the Constitution, the MSBA, state laws, and the actions of your own party say so. And yet that doesn’t seem to stop you from being a tyranny of one, trying to force your interpretation into reality, despite its false standards.

                      If nothing else, the Minnesota State Bar Association itself said your interpretation is wrong. Directly. Specifically. Plainly. As quoted above: “Cousins may lawfully marry in many other states, and not just where hillbillies congregate to drink their moonshine. When these cousins legally tie the knot, their marriage is considered valid in Minnesota.”

                      From the organization representing those who practice the law in this state. Or are you also running from that fact, too?

                      So either cite law and facts, with actual references, or give up, because on substance, you have nothing.

                      Answer those two points: why would 4.b and DOMA have been necessary at all, and why do those who practice law professionally in this state say you are wrong?

                      And if all you can do is run from the facts, then one of those two terms fits you, Mr. Brunette; the least you could do is stop wasting our time, if you please.

                    • Nothing changed in my story, bonehead. Did I say where he went to college before. Nope. I added detail. If that’s changing the story, so be it. I changed the story by adding more detail. What a complete numb skull.

                      All you’ve provided is other’s interpretations of a law that you happen ti disagree with. I don’t happen to like speeding laws. And yet I don’t make stories about how they violate the Constitution of the US or MN, just because I disagree.

                      I can’t argue along your train of thought because it exists in fantasy land. Just as you seem to thing that when you read my posts, that I’m wasting your time. Don’t read them, you buffoon. DO like I do when MSNBC is on the TV. Turn the channel. And better yet, why don’t you track down the authors of these “so-called” un-Constitutional laws, and ask them how they managed to pass such law. I’ll bet for some reason there is precedent.

                      I’m guessing that part of the concept of states rights is to define marriage. You first seemed to think so, when it suited you. But now that’s it’s clear that our state uses its rights to deny recognition of marriages it sees as illegal, why then you are against states rights. I just wish you could make up your mind on the matter. Either a state has a right to defend it’s laws or it doesn’t. Seems in this case it does, AND there’s federal law to back it up. A contract is not legal in a state where it is illegal to have such. So put it in park, and quit whining because you cannot make a valid point that holds water. Your ignorance of the law is your problem, not mine.

                    • Again, that might have been a reply to the anger in your head, but it didn’t even try to answer any of the facts or laws I cited.

                      Your original story had Illinois issuing the license after it was suspended in Minnesota, then we had it coming from Wisconsin first. The problem: what you described, word for word, where they ignored the suspended license in Minnesota… it’s illegal. Neither state would have done it. Period. I quoted actual law, things that can be verified, that completely blow your story out of the water. So, can you actually account for the fact that the core idea behind your point is false, or will you run away again?

                      As for respecting state’s rights, it helps if you actually follow all aspects of the law, something you refuse to do. Minnesota can bar issuing a marriage license to those related as cousins or closer; that’s what 517.03 does. However, under the law, we must recognize a marriage between cousins from another state. Again, the MSBA, the legal authority for the profession in Minnesota, said this. You just bray louder to try to cover that up.

                      We have to recognize driver’s licenses from other states. However, we can have requirements for operating a motor vehicle (like seat belt use, helmets for motorcycles, and other restrictions) that are different from other states that must be honored while driving in Minnesota. Again, fact, but you would ignore this in a way that would cripple tourism and commerce.

                      We have to recognize contracts and corporations from other states. However, if one of those entities wanted to set up a factory here in Minnesota, they would have to follow our zoning and environmental regulations. Again, observed fact, but you ignore this foundation of American free enterprise in a way that would create the potential to strangle business growth under bureaucracy and red tape. Why do you think that Citigroup, Cisco, Apple, Morgan Stanley, Disney, and over 250 other businesses and organizations submitted arguments against DOMA to the Supreme Court, arguing that it hurts their efficiency without achieving any social good? Again, you ignore this, throwing any claim you have of being pro-business away on a whim.

                      It’s a simple concept, one that even prominent Tea Party founders recognize undermines the arguments behind DOMA. But you are still running from that evidence, too.

                      I’ve cited evidence that you can confirm for each step along the way. You can’t even give a name or date to confirm a story that couldn’t even survive a Google search.

                      So let’s go back to four things you are running from:

                      1. If a prohibition in Minnesota was enough to ban recognition of same-sex marriages from other states, then why did they need DOMA or 4.b. at all? Why would Republicans and conservatives have gone completely out of character by writing another layer of wasteful bureaucracy if it wasn’t needed?

                      2. How do you reconcile your arguments with the text of the Full Faith and Credit Clause, and the fact that the reality of the legal and business world contradicts everything you say?

                      3. How do you mesh the fact that the one “example” you offer, without any evidence, is contradicted by the laws of every state involved?

                      4. How do you explain the fact the the state bar says your interpretations are wrong?

                      The only law you seem to respect is the one you make up, and that makes any claim of being a conservative on your part a lie. Not the choice I would have made, if I were you, but I’m not going to let you run away from the facts, and try to sell such things as true.

                    • Some additional evidence on the harm to business, taken from the amicus brief against DOMA:

                      “It puts us, as employers, to unnecessary cost and administrative complexity, and regardless of our business or professional judgment forces us to treat one class of our lawfully married employees differently than another, when our success depends upon the welfare and morale of all employees…

                      Although marriages are celebrated and recognized under state law, DOMA, a federal law withholding
                      marital benefits from some lawful marriages but not others, requires that employers treat one employee
                      differently from another, when each is married, and each marriage is equally lawful. DOMA thus impairs employer/employee relations and other business interests.”

                      Here’s the businesses, professional organizations, and entities that signed on:

                      Businesses:
                      Addis Creson
                      Adobe Systems Inc.
                      Aetna Inc.
                      Aggregate Supply
                      Akamai Technologies, Inc.
                      Alaska Air Group, Inc.
                      Alaska Airlines
                      Alcoa Inc.
                      Alere Inc.
                      Amazon.com, Inc.
                      American International Group, Inc. (AIG)
                      Ameristar Casinos, Inc.
                      Apple Inc.
                      AppNexus Inc.
                      ARC Design
                      Artify, Inc.
                      Avanade Inc.
                      A|X Armani Exchange, LLC
                      Bain & Company, Inc.
                      The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation
                      Bankers Trust Co.
                      Big Duck Studio, Inc.
                      Bigelow Villa LLC
                      Biogen Idec, Inc.
                      BlackRock, Inc.
                      Blu Homes, Inc.
                      Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA
                      Boehringer Ingelheim USA
                      Borrego Solar Systems Inc.
                      Boston Community Capital, Inc.
                      The Boston Foundation
                      Boston Medical Center Corporation
                      Boston Scientific Corporation
                      The Bridgespan Group
                      Broadcom Corporation
                      Caesars Entertainment Corporation
                      Car Toys, Inc.
                      CBS Corporation
                      Central Physical Therapy and Fitness
                      Chang Consulting
                      Cisco Systems, Inc.
                      Citigroup Inc.
                      City Catering Company
                      City Lites Neon, Inc.
                      Clean Yield Asset Management
                      Commune Hotels & Resorts
                      Conlin Properties, Inc.
                      The Corcoran Group
                      Coupons.com Inc.
                      Crazy Misfits Pet Services
                      Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC
                      Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Inc.
                      David Kosar Insurance Agency
                      Depository Trust & Clearing Corp.
                      DesignWorlds for Learning, Inc.
                      Deutsche Bank AG
                      Diageo North America, Inc.
                      Distinguished Gay Men
                      DML Insurance Services, Inc.
                      Dry Creek Vineyard
                      DRY Soda Co.
                      Eastern Bank Corporation
                      eBay Inc.
                      Eldercare Consulting
                      Electronic Arts Inc.
                      EMC Corporation
                      EnduringHydro, LLC
                      Ernst & Young LLP
                      Exelon Corporation
                      Facebook, Inc.
                      Firefly Creative Co.
                      500 BC, Inc.
                      Flanery CPA
                      The Forward Motion Group, LLC
                      Full Court Press Communications
                      Gammelgården, LLC
                      Gardenworks Inc.
                      Geolo Capital, Inc.
                      Gilt Groupe Holdings, Inc.
                      Go Factory, LLC
                      The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.
                      Google Inc.
                      Greensulate
                      Grossman Marketing Group
                      Group Health Cooperative
                      Hafner Vineyard
                      Harrell Remodeling
                      Holdredge Wines
                      Homeward Pet Adoption Center
                      Horizon Air Industries, Inc.
                      ID Financial, LLC
                      Inspirato, LLC
                      Integrated Archive Systems, Inc.
                      Intel Corporation
                      Intuit Inc.
                      INUS Group, LLC
                      iStrategyLabs
                      Jackson Hole Group LLC
                      James D. Wood, DDS Family Dental
                      Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
                      JetBlue Airways Corporation
                      The Jim Henson Company
                      Johnson & Johnson
                      Jo-Lynn Otto Photography
                      JTracz Designs LLC
                      Kemp Goldberg Partners
                      Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group
                      Kinzer Real Estate
                      Kollmar Sheet Metal Works, Inc.
                      Kotzan Chiropractic
                      Laparoscopic Institute for Gynecologic Oncology
                      Larson Marketing & Communications
                      Levi Strauss & Co.
                      Liberty Mutual Group Inc.
                      Loring, Wolcott & Coolidge Trust, LLC
                      M. Arthur Gensler Jr. & Associates
                      Marriott International, Inc.
                      Mars, Incorporated
                      Marsh & McLennan Companies
                      Massachusetts Association of Health Plans
                      Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance
                      Mattson
                      The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
                      McKinstry Co.
                      Microsoft Corporation
                      Moody’s Corporation
                      Morgan Stanley
                      Mosaic Financial Partners, Inc.
                      MultiPlan, Inc.
                      Neumann Capital Management, LLC
                      New York Life Insurance Company
                      NewZoom, Inc.
                      NIKE, Inc.
                      The Ogilvy Group, Inc.
                      The Olivia Companies, LLC
                      1 Source Consulting Solutions
                      Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
                      Oracle America, Inc.
                      Orbitz Worldwide
                      Partners HealthCare System, Inc.
                      Paul’s Draperies, Inc.
                      Pfizer Inc.
                      Pierson Labs
                      Planet Fitness
                      Precision Door Service
                      The PrintingWorks
                      Prior Construction
                      Pro-Tec Data, Inc.
                      ProTrials Research, Inc.
                      Puma Spring Vineyards
                      Qualcomm Incorporated
                      Ray Holley Communications
                      Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI)
                      Regroup
                      Reproductive Science Center of New England
                      Resource Systems Group, Inc. (RSG)
                      Rising Tide Brewing Company
                      RLL Consulting & Advocacy, LLC
                      Rocket Science Associates
                      Rural Communications Service Corporation
                      salesforce.com, Inc.
                      Seabold International Services LLC
                      Seattle Hospitality Group LLC
                      The Seattle Lesbian, LLC
                      Shawmut Design and Construction
                      Silicon Valley Progressive Faith Community
                      Sing Out Louise! Productions
                      Smith & Quinn LLC
                      Solutions Wealth Management, LLC
                      Sōw
                      Starbucks Corporation
                      State Street Corporation
                      Stone Way Eateries, LLC
                      Stonyfield Farm, Inc.
                      Stuffed Cakes, LLC
                      Sun Life Financial (U.S.) Services Company, Inc.
                      Support.com
                      Sweet
                      Taber Food Services, Inc.
                      Thomson Reuters
                      Total Awareness Accounting Services
                      Total Home Improvement Inc.
                      Transparent Language, Inc.
                      Twitter, Inc.
                      206 Inc.
                      UBS AG
                      U.S. Balloon Co.
                      The Ultimate Software Group, Inc.
                      Unigo LLC
                      VCB Consulting & Accounting
                      Velsch Unlimited LLC
                      Verity Credit Union
                      Viacom Inc.
                      VitalSource Staffing, LLC
                      Vulcan Inc.
                      W/S Development Associates LLC
                      Walt Disney Company
                      Wasserman Media Group
                      Windows Management Experts, Inc.
                      Witeck Communications, Inc.
                      Xerox Corporation
                      Zynga Inc.

                      Professional, trade, and civic organizations:
                      American Benefits Council
                      Connecticut Alliance for Business Opportunities
                      Golden Gate Restaurant Association
                      Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce
                      Greater San Diego Business Association
                      Greater Seattle Business Association
                      Long Beach Community Business Network
                      Massachusetts Teachers Association
                      The National Fire Protection Association, Inc.
                      National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
                      Out & Equal Workplace Advocates
                      Portland Area Business Association 10
                      Rainbow Chamber of Commerce Silicon Valley
                      San Francisco Chamber of Commerce
                      Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce
                      StartOut

                      Cities, Counties and the United States Conference of Mayors:
                      The City of Baltimore, Maryland
                      The City of Bangor, Maine
                      The City of Boston, Massachusetts
                      The City of Cambridge, Massachusetts
                      The City of Hartford, Connecticut
                      The City of Healdsburg, California
                      The City of Los Angeles, California
                      The City of New York, New York, and the Council
                      of the City of New York, New York
                      The City of Northampton, Massachusetts
                      The City of Portsmouth, New Hampshire
                      The City of Providence, Rhode Island
                      The City and County of San Francisco, California
                      The City of Santa Monica, California
                      The City of Seattle, Washington
                      The City of West Hollywood, California
                      The County of King, Washington
                      The County of Santa Clara, California
                      The United States Conference of Mayors

                    • What a tool. You seriously researched all of that to try to debunk actual events that happened years ago, all because you can’t handle what the law says about marriage.

                      But if you want to do the research, and “waste more of our time” the DUI happened in 1982. A WI license was issued to the man in 1983. The IL license was issued in 1985. The incident with the speeding ticket occurred in 1994.

                      Enjoy digging bonehead. You are the one who tried to use drivers licenses as recognized across state lines. I just gave you an example of where that’s not true. But rather than admit you are wrong, as usual, you go the rails digging up your interpretations.

                      Add the funniest part, is that you made my point for me. That in not all cases are licenses granted in other states valid in MN. Just as in “marriage”

                      I see now we’re off an yet another excursion claiming further “inconvenience” with certain businesses. Well, businesses have lot’s of inconveniences with interstate laws, including taxation and all sorts of details.

                      I see you’re back to arguing against states rights. When it’s convenient, you are for them, when it not, you’re against. One thing is clear. You have no idea what you are even talking about, and have no concept of law and states rights. As you would say, “How sad?” Have fun wasting some more of “our” time with your misunderstandings.

                    • Hey, BTW, I would like to thank you pointing out the 3 or 4 millionths of 1 percent of businesses that are for gay marriage. Somehow, I remain unswayed.

                    • Once again, your cowardly avoidance of the facts makes this difficult. However, it also makes your arguments so ludicrous that anyone reading them will realize their lack of foundation.

                      Again, it’s stated in the laws of all three states, that the license is recognized, as are suspensions from other states. And in the Constitution of the United States (you know, that thing you keep ignoring). Plain as day, found in a 5 minute search on Google (and the fact that you make fun of those who actually base their ideas on facts shows how far out there you are).

                      Let’s try this: call the DMV of any of the states, tell them you have a suspended license from another state, and see what they say. Then throw the same temper tantrum as you are whining about here, and see how hard they laugh.

                      And we know licenses are recognized between states, otherwise there would be checkpoints at each state crossing. Any speeding ticket out of state would immediately result in an arrest for not having a license. It would be a massive tax on trade, tourism, and commerce.

                      Furthermore, requiring multiple state licenses would create situations where a person could have ID to vote in multiple states. See how flawed your logic is, that you contradict your whole premise on the Voter ID debate for an argument that makes no sense. So why should we believe anything you say, when your foundations and beliefs change to match whatever is convenient?

                      Your argument is not supported in law, or in facts, and was cracked open in less than five minutes. Try again, and this time, use something more than a “story”.

                    • So now, we have even more things that you’re avoiding. Let’s try this again, and see if you will actually try to dwell in facts.

                      The new addition to your fraudulent conservatism: now you don’t care about harmful regulations, bureaucracy, and red tape that hurts businesses. And you don’t care about the specific harm cited, and the negative effect it has on major job providers in this economy, or that the companies listed represent hundreds of thousands of jobs, and feed into millions of others around the nation.

                      How convenient your version of conservatism is, that it abandons businesses and free markets when it suits you.

                      So again, let’s go back to the other things you are running from, because they destroy your false arguments:

                      1. If a prohibition in Minnesota was enough to ban recognition of same-sex marriages from other states, then why did they need DOMA or 4.b. at all? Why would Republicans and conservatives have gone completely out of character by writing another layer of wasteful bureaucracy if it wasn’t needed?

                      2. How do you reconcile your arguments with the text of the Full Faith and Credit Clause, and the fact that the reality of the legal and business world contradicts everything you say?

                      3. How do you mesh the fact that the one “example” you offer, without any evidence, is contradicted by the laws of every state involved?

                      4. How do you explain the fact the the state bar says your interpretations are wrong?

                      Now we add your new anti-business, anti-trade, pro-bureaucracy stance. By far, you are the worst conservative alive, a RINO of convenience.

                      See, that’s why I quoted Chief Justice Roberts, the leaders of the Republican Party, founders of the Tea Party, and leading conservative commentators. They have come to realize that holding your nonsense position does more to hurt the party and American conservatism, by forcing it into contradictory positions. They get it; why is that so beyond your comprehension?

                      So, can you answer the five ways that your position contradicts facts, laws, and conservative values? Or will we have to suffer through another round of running away from reality?

  8. Sorry Sean, didn’t mean to avoid your question. I get caught up in arguing with the obtuse one, and end up ignoring something worth answering. Your question: When do republicans agree to states rights? I’d turn that around. When don’t they? Cause this isn’t it. DOMA does uphold states rights. It prevents one state from writing laws for another. In this case, just as it is in MN, there is no such thing as “gay marriage”. It’s unrecognized. Such a marriage is illegal in MN. So another state may allow that, but that has no meaning in this state per our law, and it’s also upheld by DOMA.

    Again, this all revolves around the definition of marriage. Bonehead says it changes all along, but here, in this country, it’s always been one man one woman.

    • History says the definition has changed, or are you still ignoring that?

      Besides that, there’s that pesky Full Faith and Credit Clause you seem to ignore, and the harm DOMA does to businesses and couples in a legal marriage.

      But on this, I think the point was that Republicans jumped into a state affair with a federal law that violated the Constitution and offered painful regulation of what is normally a state matter, and then tried to claim that the don’t like such regulation. And created a standard that would allow states and the federal government to pick and choose which contracts and legal proceedings get recognized, which would scar the legal and business systems of this nation.

      All because they were afraid that Hawaii would recognize marriage equality, and they didn’t like the idea of homosexuals having equal rights. That’s the record, and the facts. It’s also why this issue is hurting the GOP, to the point that the party leaders stressed a need to address it in their triage report after the losses last year.

      • Rather than try and search for replay for the above post, I’ll answer your questions here, (yet again, I might add).

        1. I don’t believe DOMA was written with MN in mind, but rather all states. I’m not even sure which came first, but it doesn’t matter. I didn’t write either, but they are the law of the land, both in MN and in federally, which has been my point all along.

        2. As stated numerous times, full faith and credit contracts do not apply for contracts that are ILLEGAL in other states.

        3. I don’t even know what you are talking about here. Is it the license thing that actually occurred? Get over it. It happened.Post 9/11, it probably would never happen again. But realize that the WI license was issued in 1982. IL took the WI license as proof of validity. Whether or IL cared if a MN license is under suspension or not back in 1992 isn’t the issue. You are making my point. IL cannot dictate driving privileges in MN. But you can get a license in another state, even if your license may be suspended in another, especially when the suspension is as old, and WI record is clear. Drop the license issue, bonehead. It doesn’t help your cause. Unless your cause is to look even more obtuse.

        4. The state bar, as far as I know, supports our laws. Our law still does state that marriage is between one man and one woman. Both at the MN level, and the Federal level. It would be nice if that would sink in at some point. You know, how I stated that is the law of the land, which you still cannot admit, eh, bonehead?

        So I’ve answered yours. How you you answer this one simple question:

        Is opposing gender the basis of the definition of marriage in MN and at the Federal level? In other words, is marriage in MN and Federally defined as a union between one man and one woman?

        • Your answers to #1 and #2 contradict each other, as well as your statement above that “It prevents one state from writing laws for another.” If contracts that are illegal here (like establishing a marriage between cousins) aren’t recognized from other states, then why was DOMA or the language in 4.b. of 517.03 necessary at all, and not just extra bureaucracy?

          That’s where the MSBA comes in, where they specifically stated in their official publication that such contracts ARE recognized, per the Constitution. Now, cousins cannot get a marriage license here, but such marriages from other states are recognized. This is fact in law, acknowledged by the professional organizations for those who practice the law. Again, fact; what don’t you get about that?

          DOMA was primarily a conservative push, and in my previous posts I was critical of the Dems who sided with it then, but run from it now. As the arguments before Congress show, the main purpose of DOMA was to show moral disapproval for homosexuality and to refuse to recognize marriage equality in Hawaii. In doing so, politicians from all sides took the mob mentality and abandoned the protection of the Constitution. That doesn’t make it right.

          As for the license issue, you have to realize how incompetent you look in trying to claim to be following the law, when I point out that your “story” violates the laws of every state involved.

          It would also help if you read my posts: I specifically stated that while driver’s licenses are recognized between states, each state can have additional restrictions or requirements (like the use of helmets while riding a motorcycle, for instance) while operating the vehicle itself. That is the difference, and why you can’t seen to understand this.

          So let’s look at the “story” you told. According to you, Wisconsin or Illinois didn’t care about the suspended license (even though their laws say otherwise, and have for decades). But by your logic, people crossing between state lines would need a license for each state, and we know this isn’t true. It would cripple trade, commerce, and tourism. So your inept theory is dismissed as contradicting all known reality.

          What actually happened: your friend was able to get a license before the records made it clear that he shouldn’t have (no malice implied on his part). This still happens at times, although central databases reduce that greatly. When he came back and got the ticket in MN, it exposed the issue, and he was forced to complete the process to reinstate the license here. Also, under the laws of the states involved, the other states were notified of the issue. See how that works in reality? Simple. And it blows your misconception of Full Faith and Credit out of the water

          As for DOMA, again, it’s already been ruled unconstitutional. And the Constitution is the highest law of the land. Or do you only care about the American traditions when it suits your purpose, Mr. Brunette? If Minnesota passed a law saying that people had to quarter soldiers in their homes, would you line up like a good sheep and defend it as the law of the land, just like you are doing with DOMA?

          Now, to answer your question: the federal definition has already been ruled unconstitutional, and it is causing other problems with the 10th Amendment. Hence, Sean’s comment about state’s rights, in that you are willing to give the federal government a power it does not have when it suits your interests.

          As for Minnesota, under current law and the current interpretations of the Constitution, Minnesota can refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Most likely, this will fall as 14th Amendment challenges are mounted, just like the prohibitions against interracial marriages did. However, 4.b. violates the Constitution of the United States of America. And that case against 4.b. has already been filed. So why should we blindly follow an unconstitutional law meant to discriminate against others?

          And you never addressed your new-found hostility to business and economic growth. How convenient.

          So, to recap your arguments:

          Based in the Bible (except that it’s not really following the Bible, just certain parts we like, but ignoring the parts that endorse rape, polygamy, and slavery). Doesn’t work.

          Based in tradition (except that tradition also banned interracial marriages, and we don’t discriminate like that anymore, and that a tradition of discrimination does not justify violating someone’s rights). Again, doesn’t work.

          Based in current law (except that those laws had to violate the Constitution, which is the higher law). Clearly nonsense.

          Based in state’s rights (except that it gives unwarranted power to the federal government without constitutional foundation, and negates contract recognition, which is essential to the economic and legal foundations of the nation). Truly nonsense.

          And then, when the harm to businesses is shown, in the words of major job-providers who oppose this needless and contradictory regulation, you basically abandon any pro-business credentials and principals you had.

          Ignoring the Constitution. Giving government more power. Adding regulations that harm businesses. Making it harder for trade, commerce, and legal cooperation between states. Again, beyond opposition to change, what part of your argument actually reflects conservative beliefs?

          • They certainly do not contradict, 1 and 2, as you state. Only a buffoon could come to such a conclusion. One SUPPORTS the other. Duh!

            This doesn’t give government any more power. How in the hell do you come to the conclusion that bolstering states definitions and maintaining that which is illegal in their states as being additional government power? You are out there dude. Way out there.

            Your conclusions are pure nonsense. Go take a logic class. Or a class in contract law. Anything that will help you grasp the situation.

            • Again, you whine and dodge, but offer no support or evidence.

              You are saying that DOMA was necessary to keep from recognizing marriages from other states, but then turn around and say that a prohibition on issuing same-sex marriage licenses here makes it unnecessary. That’s contradictory… it’s not my fault that your own words make you so upset that you throw a temper tantrum.

              And you are giving the federal government a power that it does not have in the Constitution. That’s an expansion of power, in contrast with the 10th Amendment. Pretty simple; so simple that you didn’t contradict it, because you can’t. All you can do is hide from that fact.

              Just like your convenient definitions of laws and when you have to follow them. Or your abandonment of a pro-business agenda. Again, the worst example of a conservative I’ve ever seen.

        • To be fair, this isn’t just your dilemma, but one for the GOP and conservatives as a whole. DOMA and opposing gay rights was a strong wedge issue in their favor, until now, where it works against them and forces those contradictions. The Dems had the same problem early on in the Civil Rights movement, and they eventually cut away from that wedge issue, even though it cost them the South as a voting block.

          However, the national party gets it, but isn’t sure what to do about it. Hence the report from Reince Priebus and the GOP leadership, and the infighting about what to do with it.

          • So is it the law of the land, or not? Didn’t Bill Clinton sign this law? But the GOP owns it? Senate passed 85-14 and the House 342-67. Wow! No partisanship there.

            If the bill is so abhorred, why not a push to repeal it? Is it like the gun bill where there is no support to repeal it? Why is that?

            • In this case, repeal will be faster through the courts. Again, there is that dilemma the GOP is facing, as noted by the fact that opposition to same-sex marriage was reaffirmed, even though the report on the losses in 2012 for the GOP stressed that tolerance for other views on the issue would be more inviting to a broader base of conservatives.

              I have no problem criticizing the Dems who only stood up for same-sex rights once it was convenient to do so. Even Obama’s “evolution” was a bit strained (there’s a great series of comics in Candorville that takes a jab on this, see http://www.gocomics.com/candorville/2011/07/06 for the first one).

              If you haven’t noticed, there is a push for repeal. The popularity of DOMA has plummeted. But in a world where reforms that have the support of 80% of the public can be blocked by a determined few senators, the courts have shown faster action.

      • DOMA upholds states rights. That is it’s purpose. And DOMA was not a GOP Democrat issue. The bill was overwhelmingly passed by both parties. You cannot make the GOP to be the bad guy over DOMA. It had wide bi-partisan support when it was made law. Bill Clinton signed the bill!!! Is he the new leader of the GOP?!? How absurd can you get.?

        • From above:

          DOMA was primarily a conservative push, and in my previous posts I was critical of the Dems who sided with it then, but run from it now. As the arguments before Congress show, the main purpose of DOMA was to show moral disapproval for homosexuality and to refuse to recognize marriage equality in Hawaii. In doing so, politicians from all sides took the mob mentality and abandoned the protection of the Constitution. That doesn’t make it right.

          At the time, it was seen as a great way to hamstring the Dems and liberals by pushing them away from the Family Values voters. Many, like Clinton (and Obama, to a certain degree), couched their answers, but have come to change their perspective as homosexuality lost the false stigma put upon it, and government remembered that its place is not in the bedroom. Now the tables have turned, in that the GOP faces the contradiction. Do they allow for flexibility on this issue and alienate a quarter of their base, or do they continue down this road, and force contradictions with their pro-business and limited government wings that will drive voters (and especially young voters) away?

          Beyond that, DOMA is the federal government taking a new power onto itself at the expense of state initiatives and recognition of their proceedings, in direct contradiction of the Constitution. That is not showing respect for state’s rights or the Constitution, by any stretch of the imagination.

          Think about this: imagine if Congress passed a law allowing states to refuse to recognize contracts and articles of incorporation from other states for any business that didn’t recognize global warming as fact and acted accordingly. Businesses would howl in protest, as would states that didn’t agree with that perspective and felt their businesses were being punished. That’s the standard DOMA operates under; that’s the door it opens.

          Passing laws shouldn’t be about what you can get while in power; they should be about what is best for all, and what is proper for government, even when your opposition takes over the controls of power. In this, DOMA is an abominable failure.

          • So you are firmly against states rights then… And you never answered the question. Typical.

            • Actually, I did:

              “Now, to answer your question: the federal definition has already been ruled unconstitutional, and it is causing other problems with the 10th Amendment. Hence, Sean’s comment about state’s rights, in that you are willing to give the federal government a power it does not have when it suits your interests.”

              Right there, in plain print. Again, it helps if you actually read what others write, Mr. Brunette. Sean adds another element to that question below, in a question he posed earlier about health care plans and state boundaries, and how the argument isn’t being enforced uniformly.

              And let’s bring up a specific example I mentioned above:

              Think about this: imagine if Congress passed a law allowing states to refuse to recognize contracts and articles of incorporation from other states for any business that didn’t recognize global warming as fact and acted accordingly. Businesses would howl in protest, as would states that didn’t agree with that perspective and felt their businesses were being punished. That’s the standard DOMA operates under; that’s the door it opens.

              In that case, you would be howling along with those in opposition. Yet this is founded on the same premise as DOMA, in allowing the federal government to decide which perspectives and contracts have to be followed on behalf of the states. Look at the precedent this creates.

              And again, since when does a “conservative” not care about harmful and counterproductive regulation?

              So is your position anything more than convenience without moral and factual foundation? Because you haven’t cited an independently confirmed fact in ages. State’s rights mean nothing if the federal government can take on additional powers that override other parts of the Constitution on a whim. DOMA wasn’t about state’s rights; it was about not having to recognize the rights of a citizen. Read the records from the debates in Congress, and you will see this is true. Again, fact, with a source, something you seem to run away from.

              • And you think I jump to wild conclusions on what doors can be opened? You’re still missing the point about states rights. It’s ILLEGAL for same sex couples to get married here! Therefore, no such contract can be honored in this state, bonehead.

                And you didn’t answer the question. At least not yet you haven’t. You might have touched it, but you certainly have not answered it. Let’s make it more simple.

                Is same sex marriage legal in MN?

                Is it legal at the federal level?

                The answer to both, is no. If you cannot come to grips with that fact, I cannot expect you to be reasonable about the rest.

                And yes, DOMA is about states rights. Please read that bill again. You did not grasp it’s meaning yet. Not sure you ever will, but it explicitly protects individual states in regards to their own marriage definitions.

                • You can result to your temper tantrums all you want, Mr. Brunette, but it doesn’t change the actual text on the screen. It just makes you look weak and stubborn, to be honest.

                  Now, if you had actually read what I wrote, instead of whining, then you would have noticed that I did say that under current Minnesota law, marriage licenses for same-sex couples cannot be issued. That is the truth, and while I believe that won’t last too much longer, it is reality.

                  However, as pointed out by the Minnesota State Bar Association, the Constitution requires that full faith and credit be given to the records, contracts, and legal proceedings from other states. That means that even though cousins can’t marry here in Minnesota, when they marry elsewhere, it is recognized here. Their words, from the professional legal organization for the state.

                  So you dodge the fact that the Constitution is the highest law, and creates that highest standard, even when I point out facts that sustain the tiny sliver of truth in your argument. Again, just like the twitter discussion, you go into attack mode, and blind yourself to anything you don’t want to see.

                  However, that doesn’t change the facts. Your anti-Constitution, anti-business, anti-equality position contradicts itself. What value can your word have if you can abandon your values so easily for a temporary victory?

                  • What values have I abandoned? The answer. None. I’ve stated that this is the law, here and now. Your quantum leaps from this are astounding and completely illogical.

                    • If one were to believe any one thing about you based on your writings here, Mr. Brunette, it would be that you oppose government regulation, particularly when it comes to businesses and free markets. Setting everything else aside, that is a common theme, followed shortly by your defense of the GOP and its long-term interests, sometimes with a reckless abandon.

                      Except on DOMA. When shown evidence attested by hundreds of major businesses that employ a major portion of our work force, that DOMA causes harm to their efforts at best practices in their interests, your comments were:

                      “Well, businesses have lot’s of inconveniences with interstate laws, including taxation and all sorts of details.”

                      You dismissed their tangible and identifiable concerns, and the concerns of leading conservative voices, in favor of a questionable idea that does harm to the party image. You refused to give any heed or concern to those interests, and tried to diminish the standing of these businesses (Citi, Starbucks, Alcoa, and Disney alone directly account for over 678,000 jobs, not including subsidiaries). That’s not a pro-business attitude.

                      Hence, the question as to why, founded in your own words, Mr. Brunette. Your standard here opens the door for massive regulation and hardship on interstate commerce and trade, as noted above. It is already drawing complaints from businesses trying to suffer through such interference and double standards when it comes to marriage. It is being criticized for violating the Constitution, on both the left and the right. And it has been identified by the GOP leadership as a position that, when held blindly and in a hostile fashion, is likely to erode support for the party.

                      So why do you take a position that contradicts your normal foundations? And why is it that you cannot address the specific evidence that proves this?

                    • The only thing anti-business in DOMA is such a reach as to be a minor inconvenience for HR at best. Any interstate work has to deal different tax codes as it is, AND it still has to maintain unmarried status for these “married” couples because same-sex marriage isn’t recognized by the Federal government anyway. It’s a streeeeeeeeetch to say this some major anti-business piece of law, that most of Congress was behind.

                      Your stance that pro-DOMA is anti-business is flat out absurd. One has nothing to do with the other. Aside from some extremely mild inconvenience that if it were listed on a balance sheet would be in the less than measurable category where things are rolled up as “other expenses”. If this costs one business more than .000001% of their bottom line, I’ll buy you dinner at your favorite establishment. It is patently absurd that is an anti-business stance. I know you think saying it makes it so, but unfortunately, for you, that is inaccurate.

                    • It is strange that you normally oppose any inconvenience, in any form, for a business through government regulation, but in this case make an exception without bothering to investigate their reasoning. Again, why abandon your previous beliefs so easily?

                      And it is not a minor inconvenience. In their own words.

                      First, a study from the Williams Institute: “Overall, we find that almost all of top 50 Fortune 500 companies and the top 50 federal government contractors (92%) state that, in general, diversity policies and generous benefit packages are good for their business. In addition, the majority (53%) have specifically linked policies prohibiting sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination, and extending domestic partner benefits to their employees, to improving their bottom line.”

                      The benefits they list as being part of such policies are more than incidental:

                      o Recruitment and Retention. Recruiting and retaining the best talent,
                      which in turn makes the company more competitive.

                      o Ideas and Innovation. Generating the best ideas and innovations by
                      drawing on a workforce with a wide range of characteristics and
                      experiences.

                      o Customer Service. Attracting and better serving a diverse customer base
                      through a diverse workforce.

                      o Employee Productivity. Increasing productivity among employees by
                      making them feel valued and comfortable at work.

                      o Public Sector Clients. Securing business by responding favorably to
                      specific policy requests or contracting requirements from public sector
                      clients.

                      http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/Mallory-Sears-Corp-Statements-Oct2011.pdf

                      Then there’s the brief itself:

                      “Federal law provides to the working family many benefits and protections relating to health care, protected leave, and retirement. These protections provide security and support to an employee grappling
                      with sickness, disability, childcare, family crisis, or retirement, allowing the employee to devote more focus and attention to his work.

                      DOMA thwarts these employee expectations, to the direct detriment of some married employees of amici, and, by extension, of amici ourselves. As set forth below, DOMA forces amici to consider the gender of the spouses of our lawfully married employees
                      when determining the scope and manner of benefits that may be extended to those spouses (and the children of those spouses).”

                      Also, “Because of DOMA, the typical paycheck and Form W-2 for a married employee with a same-sex spouse
                      looks quite different from that of her colleague married to a different-sex spouse. The Form W-2 for the
                      first will show higher taxable wages, due to the addition of the imputed value of the spouse’s health-care
                      coverage, and reduced take-home pay, reflecting the increased withholding on that imputed income.” This comes from the denial of federal benefits.

                      Then there’s the compliance penalty, with all of the added burden and paperwork, the changes to FICA and other calculations, and the penalty to small businesses:

                      “The burden on the small employer is especially onerous. Regular retention of outside consultants is generally not an option, and many may not be capable of devoting limited resources to understanding and administering the conflicting regimes. Administration of benefits for an employee married to a same-sex spouse is more likely to occur in an ad hoc, piecemeal fashion, and may require that employee to divulge personal information that she would not otherwise be required to make, enhancing a sense of marginalization. Such burdens, standing alone,
                      might chill some employers from employing an otherwise qualified employee because she happens to be
                      married to a same-sex spouse.”

                      DOMA can also interfere with the corporate mission and plan: “DOMA imposes on amici not simply the considerable burden of compliance and cost. DOMA conscripts amici to become the face of its mandate that
                      two separate castes of married persons be identified and separately treated. As employers, we must administer employment-related health-care plans, retirement plans, family leave, and COBRA. We must
                      impute the value of spousal health-care benefits to our employees’ detriment. We must treat one employee less favorably, or at minimum differently, when each is as lawfully married as the other. We
                      must do all of this in states, counties, and cities that prohibit workplace discrimination on the basis of
                      sexual orientation and demand equal treatment of all married individuals. This conscription has harmful
                      consequences.”

                      http://media.npr.org/documents/2013/mar/BusinessDOMAbrief.pdf

                      The harm and burden to businesses, the added layers of bureaucracy, and the tax harm is notable, in their own words.

                      Again, documented evidence.

                      I’ll skip the dinner; what I’ll take instead is a straight answer: how can you claim to be pro-business and small government, but abandon those standards so easily when it comes to DOMA?

                • And I’ve read DOMA, and the proceedings around it. It is obvious you haven’t, just like the studies you cited, and the SCOTUS arguments, and local and state laws, for that matter.

                  DOMA is about undermining the recognition of a legal, valid contract, so others can deny rights to a legal marriage. That’s what was said during the debate, when the fear was that other states would have to recognize a same-sex marriage from Hawaii (which turned out not to happen). That is the reality. And in doing so, it granted the federal government carte blanche power in state contracts and affairs.

                  So how is deliberately ignoring the Constitution and devaluing contracts from certain states, all the while granting extra powers beyond that of the Constitution to the federal government, an exercise in state’s rights? Simple: it’s not.

                  Read Justice Kennedy’s remarks and questions from the DOMA hearings, and you’ll see how DOMA interferes with the rights of the state. He seemed pretty clear: “You are at real risk of running in conflict with what has always been thought to be the essence of the state police power, which is to regulate marriage, divorce, custody…”

                  Or the remarks of one of the founders of the Tea Party, that says the exact same thing, as I quoted above.

                  You would create an anti-business, big government standard, just for a temporary point. And when it comes to facts, you refuse to address them. When the party talks about not making stupid arguments that make it seem inflexible and hostile, what you’re doing is what they’re referring to.

                  So unless you’ve actually got some facts, you’re done.

                  • So you’ve read DOMA, and still come to the conclusion that this law doesn’t protect states rights? OK. I’m the nut bar in the room, I guess. Cuckoo, cuckoo…

                    • Or it could be that you, along with many in the GOP, are trying to juggle an untenable position.

                      On one hand, you have the libertarian and small-government wings of the conservative movement, who question DOMA on its constitutional foundations and its intrusion into personal lives, along with the regulatory headaches it is causing.

                      On the other hand, you have the “family values” branch, which is willing to use and expand federal authority and government regulation to promote and maintain traditional values.

                      Those contradictions led to DOMA, and the split I quoted above. I specifically didn’t cite your liberal or leftist voices, because they have a partisan bias you would object to, Mr. Brunette; instead, I stayed on the right side of the spectrum. I’m the one quoting Scalia, Glenn Beck, Robert Portman, and the founders of the Tea Party.

                      And some of those voices are saying that DOMA is a problem, and a challenge to state’s rights and recognition of contracts. That is the reality, as they document quite well. What substance do you have to challenge those conservative positions?

                    • Um, the law?

                    • You mean the same law that the state bar, multiple Courts of Appeals, and multiple conservative leaders have said violates the Constitution, which is the higher law?

                      And the law that causes businesses all sorts of problems, while running into the 10th Amendment issues that even conservative Supreme Court justices are questioning?

                      Again, I’ve presented evidence and verifiable facts, from conservative sources. You’ve not presented anything that can both be verified and that conforms to the text of the Constitution. When confronted with this, you change the subject, going into rants on bestiality and global warming rather than staying on topic. And in presenting your arguments, you’ve shown a willful disregard for many of those conservative values you claimed to champion.

                      So again, what substance do you have to support an abandonment of those core principles?

                    • My whole point was that the law of the land is that marriage is between one man and one woman. That’s how it is defined, both locally and federally. Seems inconvenient to for you, but that’s just the way it is. You can bitch about it all you want, but in the end, there sits 517. It’s the law. It has not been found to be against the MN Constitution, nor the US Constitution. Our state has the right to ban gay marriage, and has done so. It’s currently our law. The rest of your ramblings are in attempt to deny that fact. It’s ridiculous. You wish it was different, as do others. Doesn’t change a thing. I wish taxes were lower. I think progressive taxation breaks the equal protection clause. Doesn’t change the fact that I still pay the higher rate, does it? But I can bitch about it, like you are with this DOMA issue, and it changes nothing.

                    • It does change when DOMA is ruled unconstitutional, as it has been and currently stands.

                      If we recognize the Constitution as the highest law of the land, then DOMA is invalid. That is its current status, and as I pointed out, it was the conservative justices of SCOTUS that questioned why it was still being enforced.

                      There is a great difference between trying to defend a law as constitutional and just, and your argument above that basically says it exists, so we’re stuck with it.

                      There’s also the problem with your insistence on a federally defined marriage, versus a federal allotment of and access to benefits. Having the federal government define marriage causes significant 10th Amendment issues, and creates an intrusion into state jurisdiction, according to Kennedy and other justices, along with many leading figures in the GOP and the Tea Party.

                      Again, supported by leading conservatives, the Constitution, and leading legal scholars.

                      And just so you know, 4.b of 517.03 has already had a challenge filed in court, and the initial attempt to dismiss was overturned. You seem to be banking a lot on a legal standard built on a crumbling and rotten foundation.

                    • That’s all I have ever said, is that it is the current law. 517 may well crumble, as may DOMA. When this is no longer the law, then I will no longer stand by it. My entire point through this entire thread was that this is the law, as it exists, today, here, in MN. It only took us a month or so to get there. And from that stance you determined I was anti-business, anti-Constitution, anti-Conservative, anti-etc…. all from your own misunderstanding that on this issue, I am siding with nothing more than current law. Period.

                    • Your own words declared you anti-business, Mr. Brunette. After all, I was not the one that dismissed tangible business concerns about unconstitutional regulation and intrusion as meaningless. That was you, sir, and it was a reversal of your previous positions.

                      Furthermore, you are still trying to include 4.b, which is the sticking point, and a major one.

                      Now, personally I believe that the prohibition against issuing same-sex marriages here in Minnesota will fall, because of multiple issues with its legal standing. Whether it falls to legislative action, or to court action, is yet to be seen.

                      However, your reliance on 4.b. as walling off recognition of all same-sex marriages contradicts the highest law of the land in the Constitution. In your points, you refuse to acknowledge the supremacy of the founding tradition of our modern American republic; by doing so, your claim to be following the rule of law is negated and summarily dismissed.

                      By your logic, a state can establish a government religion, or order for the quartering of soldiers in civilian homes, and because it is in state law, it must be right.

                      While those examples may seem overly obvious, your stance on 4.b. is just as flawed. Again, Minnesota recognizes Vegas weddings and marriages between cousins from other states, even though such a marriage could not be initiated through those rules and processes here. So why the selective discrimination, in violation of the plain text?

                      That is my issue, founded in the rule of law, supported by the letter of the law and those who uphold it, confirmed by representatives from all sides of the aisle.

                    • All of your bullshit, and you still can’t admit what the law is. Funny. I’m done wasting my time on your obtuse nonsense. Go marry a dude, and see how far you get in MN, you buffoon. The we’ll see where the law stands. Good luck. I’m done here.

                    • In other words, the facts weren’t in your favor, and your trolling wasn’t silencing a different point of view, so you’re pouting and running away… just like with the Voter ID discussion, and many others.

                      There are reasonable concerns as to the pace of change, and protecting churches and houses of worship for what they do in their specific religious practices. You’re not arguing those points; instead, you’re offering an anti-business, big government approach that relied on you saying something is the way it is, without any evidence, even when the law itself says otherwise.

                      And completely ignoring the Constitution, the highest law of the land. What claim could you ever have to defending the rule of law, when you ignore the foundation for that standard when it is convenient to do so?

                      Your legal arguments contradicted your own points, to a hilarious degree. For instance, your “story” about your friend. If your bizarre, alternate reality where the Full Faith and Credit clause doesn’t exist were true, then anyone would be able to go from state to state and get married again and again, and since your warped revisionism insists that states don’t have to recognize those proceedings or be concerned with those contracts, this would be legal. Instead of fighting against changing marriage, the application of your twisted rationale would legalize polygamy. What further proof do you need that your standard is wrong?

                      That is the problem. In order to hold to the absolutism of the far right, you betrayed the literal text of the Constitution, the concept of the 10th Amendment (and the 9th and 14th, for that matter), the premise of state authority, and the foundations of our free markets and economy. All for something that isn’t based in the rule of law, but instead founded on changing the law to what is convenient at the expense of liberty and freedom.

                      Even your fellow conservatives and Republican leaders know this is a losing path. But what credibility can you have, if you would betray the Constitution and the foundations of American conservatism so easily for so little in return?

    • The question is why is it worth overriding states rights on health care coverage, but not on gay marriage? How do Republicans draw that line?

      • The same way Democrats draw the opposite line? Are you suggesting that everyone views states rights by their own prism? Kinda touches on some of my original points doesn’t it?

        • Sure, everyone views states rights through their own prism. The key question, though, is what rules your prism operated versus someone else’s. Why is it OK to override state rights on health care but not on gay marriage?

          • The same reason it is OK not to on health care but is on gay marriage? Cause that’s the way the laws were written? Ask Bill Clinton. He signed the law. As did nearly every other Democrat. Who voted for the MN version?

            • I’m aware what the state of the law is. That’s not the question.

              What I’m trying to understand is how, when it comes to gay marriage, states rights are sacrosanct and can’t be messed with. But with health care, Republicans openly desire to stomp all over states rights when it comes to coverage mandates.

              • Since you seem to understand the state of the law, perhaps you could chime in as to how patently ridiculous bonehead is on DOMA and 517. It is the law, and both PROTECT states rights. That bonehead can’t say it is how he gets the nickname. Can’t even admit that these bills both are a protection of states rights? WTF!! (why the face?)

                • It helps if you actually address substance, not run from it. Sean brings up substantive points, as do I.

                  As I said earlier, and multiple times, the current law does bar issuing marriage licenses for same-sex couples in Minnesota. However, the Constitution requires the recognition of contracts and legal proceedings from other states, and is the highest law. Simple and straightforward, if you actually are willing to listen to the evidence.

                  However, you seem to be dodging Sean’s point also. His is a separate discussion and observation, and should merit a genuine reply, not more avoidance.

                • Additionally, it does not protect state’s rights when the federal government negates the 10th Amendment and begins issuing declarations that intrude into areas normally reserved for state regulation. Again, that is the point Sean made, as am I. Consistent, and documented by evidence.

                  • That’s why you are irrelevant. You can’t even see that DOMA was written specifically to uphold states rights by not allowing other states to intrude on their own regulations.

                    And furthermore, MN 517 does this as well. It’s MN’s right to define marriage in MN. It’s not CA’s right to determine MN regulations on marriage.

                    • You’re dodging the key point again. While states can regulate actions within their bounds, the must give Full Faith and Credit to the contracts and legal proceedings from other states.

                      Again, this comes from the Constitution, the highest law in the land.

                      DOMA attempts to grant the federal government regulatory power over that exercise, in contrast to the enumerated powers of Congress and deference to state initiatives.

                      And it was done specifically to target same-sex couples. Again, we recognize Vegas weddings that do not conform to our laws. And Minnesota recognizes marriages between cousins from other states (again, from the Minnesota State Bar). Strange that you do not question those marriages, but only certain ones you disagree with; such a standard would also run afowl of the 14th Amendment, and lacks any standing.

                      DOMA is an attempt by the federal government to promote certain state contracts and negate others. As I quoted from multiple businesses, it creates a nightmare of regulation by interfering in the actions of states. No fantasy or amount of revisionism can reclassify that as defending state’s rights.

                      Additionally, it expands federal power by weakening the 10th Amendment boundaries. Again, this runs opposite of state’s rights.

                      And while most of the provisions of 517 would survive currently, 4.b. contradicts the Constitution of the United States. If states can choose which contracts and proceedings they recognize from other states, then the foundation of our interstate trade and commerce will be devastated by an anti-business approach that can only fail us all, at a horrific cost to our economy.

                      Again, you’re trying to paint an unconstitutional expansion of federal power and discriminatory state laws as “state’s rights.” In this, Sean’s point rings true: “you can’t go around talking about the 10th Amendment on some issues and trampling states rights on others.”

          • Also note that Minnesota’s version of DOMA was passed when the DFL held the majority in BOTH houses. But I guess this is still a GOP problem? Funny how DFL’ers run away from their own record when it’s inconvenient.

            • The question I’m asking has nothing to do with who voted for DOMA. I’m asking a philosophical question. It is:

              What I’m trying to understand is how, when it comes to gay marriage, states rights are sacrosanct and can’t be messed with. But with health care, Republicans openly desire to stomp all over states rights when it comes to coverage mandates.

              • I think your question has a false premise. I think we’re all for states rights, and that your smoothing over the actual stance regarding health care. I know we’re for competition for purchasing coverage across state lines. But I would also suggest that we’re against Obamacare in part, because it does violate states rights. Making a one size fits all mandate from the federal level seems contrary to the point you are trying to make. What am I missing? What aspect of health care do you find the GOP to be against state’s rights?

                • I’m not trying to make a point per se. I’m trying to understand the Republican position on these issues because it doesn’t make sense to me. As the GOP, you can’t go around talking about the 10th Amendment on some issues and trampling states rights on others. On health care, it seems to me that the purchasing coverage across state lines provision is one that doesn’t follow the usual party line and I’m trying to figure out why. Is it merely because you deem such a provision less intrusive than the one in the ACA, or is there some other distinction?

                  I would also point out that the ACA isn’t one size fits all. States are free to apply for “innovation waivers” if they can show that they can achieve better results with a different approach. Vermont is pursuing one, and other states may do so as well.

                  • I don’t think buying across state lines is as much about mandates as it is about competition. But also believe it’s wrong for states to mandate what health insurance has to cover. It’s like trying to mandate that every house has 3 bathrooms, and must sell for less than 200K. Probably going to affect the quality of the plan. If people were allowed to participate in the plans and the coverage they desired, we’d get this thing under control.

                    We’re already seeing a lot of insurance companies switch to various models for coverage. And the consumer will decide the plans that best fit their needs. But let’s be clear about ACA. It tramps all over states rights. You must participate, unless you can come up with something better, as judged federally? That’s pretty heavy handed.

                    I’d love to have a decent discussion about health care if you want to make a new thread. I’m sure bonehead will come to some ridiculous conclusion that I want everyone to die, by making some quantum leap from something I say, like he has here over and over. Or even a thread about states rights. Because I think the GOP has been very consistent in this regard.

                    • Actually, I see this as a separate point that Sean is making, in that the position of the GOP seems to fluctuate on deference to states. When it comes to same-sex marriage, one standard is adopted, but on other issues a different interpretation is offered.

                      And now we have amendments being offered in Congress by the GOP that would mandate that a state must accept a concealed carry permit from another state. Again, Sean’s point is on the contradictions, and has merit.

                    • You can’t criticize the GOP for waffling on state’s rights, citing DOMA, or MN’s version, when the Democrats we’re every bit as involved in this law. Drew your fantastic paradox, is you claim these laws violate states rights, but then Democrats voted for them, and even helped write and sponsor these bills, and then also claim the GOP is the problem.

                      I won’t give you that. It’s just not real. See Obamacare for Democratic tramping of states rights. It’s chock full of federal overreach and far exceeds any negative business impacts from DOMA, even in your wild imagination.

                    • Your point about the conceal and carry over state lines is part of the universal background check theory. If you are going to mandate all states participate in such a policy, (anti-states rights) then having a federal standard for conceal and carry makes sense. Since that bill is dead, meaning the Senate universal background check that the President was throwing a hissy about last week, this proposed amendment died along with it.

                      So again, it seems you are for states rights when it suits you, and against when it suits you. Except perhaps on DOMA where you don’t even realize that it protect’s states rights.

                    • P.S., the House version of nationwide conceal and carry received bi-partisan support. Nice try on the GOP slam for something many Democrats are also pushing for.

                    • You may want to breathe into a paper bag, and then realize that I made no statement of judgment on the concealed carry issue, one way or the other. I simply pointed out that Sean was pursuing a question of philosophy on an observed contradiction, and I found his question interesting.

                      No partisan dig, no partisan reference, nothing of the sort. So again, just like with the previous discussion on the Twitter feed, it would help if you would curtail your response to the things that were actually stated.

                    • And yes, I did reference the GOP as leading the push for the amendment (when perhaps I should have referenced conservatives, or pro-NRA legislators), but without judgment either way. It is just an observation that adds another layer to Sean’s point, nothing more.

                    • Oh so now you are accusing me of leaping to conclusions? That’s rich. You are something else.

                    • That’s the best way to state it. Pro-NRA politicians. Because that cuts a very wide, bi-partisan swath. While the GOP tend to be the champions of the Constitution, especially around the 2nd amendment, I can see where one might think the two are one in the same.

                      (GOP anti-Constitutional rant coming soon)

                    • Actually, I’m not understanding the sidebar you’re on right now. I was merely stating that I was curious about how you’d respond to Sean’s inquiry, particularly on health care and his statement: “As the GOP, you can’t go around talking about the 10th Amendment on some issues and trampling states rights on others.”

                      It’s his perspective, and all I did was express curiosity on that element. There is no rant or anger here, nor was there ever.

                    • Aw… All I was suggesting is that would dig through the archives about all of the GOP sponsored law that has been struck down as un-Constitutional over the years, while ignoring any Democratic sponsored bills, (like Obamacare).

                      You let me down.

                    • First off, this reeks of a distraction from the main discussion, and I believe Sean is still waiting for a full answer from you.

                      Second, the ACA (or Obamacare, or Romneycare, or the health care proposal originally proposed by the conservative National Review, whatever you want to call it) was declared constitutional. Unlike DOMA, at its current standing.

                      Third, I’ve been clear to criticize both parties for legislating to the mob mentality on this and other issues. I even posted links to articles and cartoons critical of Obama’s slow evolution on this topic. Your claim of partisan persecution is false, as always.

                      After all, the arguments and sources I’m citing… they are mainly conservatives and Republicans, and groups normally aligned with GOP interests. In this regard, you are arguing against your own party, and thus are bound to lose.

                    • I know of no conservative or any other member of the GOP that does not believe in the rule of law. Now we may question some of laws, but while they are the laws we do our best to understand and adhere to them. And right now, here, in MN, 517 defines marriage and bans recognition of same sex “marriage”. I’m not dodging anything, other than your absurd premise that DOMA and 517 violate states rights, when clearly the opposite is true.

                    • Except that you’re ignoring the Constitution, which is the highest law, one which you refuse to address or acknowledge in that regard.

                      Again, I’ve quoted Supreme Court justices, and not the liberal ones, on this point. And the founders of the Tea Party. And business organizations. And even GOP senators who were on the short list for the vice presidential nomination.

                      Now, in other discussions you have been willing to declare anyone who differs from your interpretation of the party line to be “dead to me”, from your perspective. Is that your argument here? Is your definition of conservative such that it endorses personal liberty, only as far as people agree to think the way you tell them to? Because that is not what American conservatism is.

                      Because what those conservatives and many others are pointing out is what Sean has observed with state’s rights, and what I’ve noted with recognition of marriage contracts: your positions contradict fundamental conservative views. They give carte blanche authority to the federal government in denying recognition of state contracts, in contrast to the stated parameters of the Constitution. And they promote a sub-class of citizen’s rights for those who are in a legal relationship.

                      So on the constitutional grounds, the premise of a limited federal government, and on the premise of individual liberty, your stance does not conform to the rule of law in America.

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  1. Ortman's long position on equality. - LeftMN - August 6, 2013

    […] again in committee in 2013, Ortman votes NO to equality in contrast to her committee vote 24 months earlier to keep it out of the […]

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