Manfred and the SSM Debate or Riddle Me This Mr Liberal

Recently at Symphony I was privileged to hear Tchaikovsky’s Manfred Symphony, which is  loosely based on a Lord Byron poem of the same name. And while I am unfamiliar with the poem, I did in fact read the program notes. And what I read there spurred a question to which I have no answer with respect to the modern liberal position vis a vis marriage and who is allowed to partner in such arrangements.

The liberal position with respect to homosexual partnerships is that they should be allowed to marry even though the relative numbers of such partnerships is very small and the there is no possibility to have children. These are not dis-qualifiers for the state to sanction marriage in their view.

So here’s my problem. Manfred by Lord Byron is (we are told) is an expression of his forbidden sexual desire for his sister though the eponymous hero as proxy.  So to put a point on it, in the context of reasons the liberal arguments why can two men or women may marry but a man cannot marry his sister? Or let’s put it concretely. In a state where gay marriage is allowed, what argument could you muster for me not to marry my sister? What reasons for gay marriage are there that do not apply equally well to my marriage with my sister (or for that matter, my brother, my mother, my father, or grandmother/father …. if they are currently not married to anyone else)? It might be added that I have had a vasectomy, so no progeny are possible so the “genetically damaged offspring” argument does not apply and cannot be used. Also, the numbers of people desiring such relationships are not relevant (apparently). (side note: I have no sister so no siblings have been harmed by the this test case).

The non-religious conservative case, that marriage should privilege heterosexual marriage because children are both hard to raise and required to continue society forbids all these newfangled relationships. The exclusion of religious arguments depends both on the insistence that the Declaration of Independence separates law from morals/ethics and that the Habermas/Ratzinger debate is a clear Habermas win. I’ll concede the first half of this “both/and” but not the second, but note that most American’s although they should concede the first half, typically don’t.

So. Riddle me this Mr Liberal? What reasons for two men to marry don’t apply to me and my sisters’ desired nuptials? Or should we be planning seating charts and ordering a cake from a Islamic bakery (and will you condemn and attack said bakery for bigotry because they won’t deliver said cake because they object to our being wed in admittedly not-holy matrimony)?

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102 comments

  1. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    Say this is right. Then IIM is in.

    Is it or isn’t it right?

    If you oppose SSM because you think in this case gender happens to be in the set of things gov’t can discriminate on, why is lineage also in that group (in which case IIM is out the door) or is it not in that group (in which case IIM is in while SSM is out)?

    You do realize this question tacitly admits the questions are linked.

    Look. In my understanding of how things when, equal protection was put in to protect the rights (race) for ex-slaves. In the early 20th century women used that to argue gender (vis a vis) their vote allowed them to vote. Later race and marriage and EQP were linked and recently (in arguments not in actual the SCOTUS ruling) gender, marriage and EQP were linked. Lineage has never been allowed as the basis for discrimination, except in marriage. You noted a state even voided lineage as a valid discriminate when the couple was infertile. So then, by what reason would you separate lineage for marriage in light of your SSM argument?

    From Kennedy

    No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than they once were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death.

    Why would you deny that to my sister and I?

    But actually I don’t have to show anything unless I want to discuss IIM and assert it either should be banned or should be accepted. Since gender and lineage are two different things one simply does not lead to the other.

    But the point is that the argument for each is the same. Look. It isn’t word for word identical and there is no way it could be. If you want to discuss gender with respect to marriage, then gender will be in the discussion and oddly enough lineage will not. If you want to discuss parentage, then lineage will be and gender will not. But the freaking argument is the same. The statement “gender” should not deter from marriage because of equal protection and “lineage” should not deter from marriage because of equal protection. These statements are the same argument.

    You can say, oh, but gender and lineage are different. This on the one hand is trivial SSM != IIM. However, why? Why is gender considered different than lineage in this regard? What distinguishes it?

  2. Boonton says:

    Is it or isn’t it right?
    You do realize this question tacitly admits the questions are linked.

    Look, let’s say we have two coins, one red and one blue. I say the red coin is heads up.

    You “If you think Red is heads, then you must think Blue is heads”.

    Me “Why would I think that? The Blue coin could be anything regardless of the Red coin”

    You “They are linked”

    Me “What makes them linked? Are they glued together along their rim so they both always must point same side up?”

    You “Well they are both coins, don’t you see how that’s a parellel?”

    Yes they are both coins, but unless you demonstrate something that links them, knowing one tells you nothing about the other. If I tell you the Red coin is heads up, I’m not obligated to tell you anything about the Blue coin. Go investigate the Blue coin yourself if you care about it.

    Look. In my understanding of how things when, equal protection was put in to protect the rights (race) for ex-slaves. In the early 20th century women used that to argue gender (vis a vis) their vote allowed them to vote. Later race and marriage and EQP were linked and recently (in arguments not in actual the SCOTUS ruling) gender, marriage and EQP were linked. Lineage has never been allowed as the basis for discrimination, except in marriage.

    Not quite. The idea of equal protection is that gov’t is not allowed to treat peole differently. But all laws treat people differently (i.e speeding law treats speeders differently from non-speeders). So it means gov’t has to justify treating people differently with a compelling interest….it can’t just treat people differently for an arbitrary reason (i.e. “everyone with an even number of letters in their last name will pay $10 to everyone with an odd number of letters”).

    The standard default scrutiny is ‘rational basis’. This means a law must rationally relate to a compelling legitimate gov’t interest. So take speeding. Keeping roads reasonably safe and orderly is a legitimate gov’t interest, prohibiting speeding is rationally related to it so you can’t challenge your speeding ticket on Equal Protection. Suppose you assemble a lot of scientific evidence that the 55 mph speed limit is not any safer than a 65 mph speed limit. Doesn’t matter, since speed limits are rationally related to a gov’t interest, speeding laws stand. Courts don’t care if the speeding laws are optimal, if they work well, if they could be tweaked to be more productive. That’s the legislature’s job.

    Strict scrutiny applies when discrimination is based on a suspect class or fundamental right. Here the requirement is that the law meets a compelling interest, it is as narrowly tailored as possible to satisfy that interest, and it uses the least restrictive means to accomplish that interest. Classic example, segregating by race in a prison during a race riot. Not an Equal Protection problem during the riot but after the riot is over and the jail is under control segregation would be a problem. Why? Because while keeping riots from happening is a compelling interest, it can be done by less restrictive means than segregation over the long term.

    For race strict scrutiny applies. For gender the courts invented intermediate scrutiny which is actually a bit less restrictive than strict (which is why male-female bathrooms are OK but white-black bathrooms are not).

    Anyway your problem here is that lineage was never considered to be either strict or intermediate scrutiny. Your statement that “Lineage has never been allowed as the basis for discrimination,” is absurd. What do you think happens if you die without a will? Your estate is passed down to your ‘next of kin’, defined by lineage. In the past royal title, of course, was determined and passed down by lineage.

    You’d have no evidence that lineage was ever subject to higher scrutiny and a hard time arguing that it should be. That’s a problem for you because under the ‘rational basis’ test gov’t can outlaw incest marriage for the simple reason of genetics. They don’t have to consider your less restrictive solution of allowing it for infertile couples.

  3. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    First off

    Look, let’s say we have two coins, one red and one blue. I say the red coin is heads up.

    You “If you think Red is heads, then you must think Blue is heads”.

    Me “Why would I think that? The Blue coin could be anything regardless of the Red coin”

    You “They are linked”

    Me “What makes them linked? Are they glued together along their rim so they both always must point same side up?”

    You “Well they are both coins, don’t you see how that’s a parellel?”

    No. Actually its more like this.

    Me: Numbers are composite if they can be divided by a smaller prime without remainder.

    You: OK.

    Me: 15 is composite because it is divisible by 3 and 5.

    You: OK.

    Me: 16 is also composite, by the same argument/logic.

    You: No! That can’t be. 16 isn’t divisible by either 3 or 5!!!

    Me: Ouch.

    The same argument is used w.r.t. IIF as SSM regards to equal protection. And yes, 3 is not 2 .. or gender is not lineage. But the same argument applies.

    Regarding your 6 paragraph response on equal protection … you were doing so well, until you bring up genetics as your difference. See. Infertile people don’t have a “genetic” problem. I’m not sure why you keep shifting goalposts. Oh, wait … it’s because you have no argument if the goal isn’t shifted.

    Try again.

    They don’t have to consider your less restrictive solution of allowing it for infertile couples.

    Uhm. Except they already do that for marriage now, you noted in some states cousins can marry if they are infertile. So there is even precedent.

    You are the judge. My sister and I want to marry. What is your ruling and reasons for why/why-not?

  4. Boonton says:

    ***
    Me: 16 is also composite, by the same argument/logic.

    You: No! That can’t be. 16 isn’t divisible by either 3 or 5!!!

    Me: Ouch.
    ****

    You: 7 is composite too, because 7 is a number just like 15 and 16!

    The same argument is used w.r.t. IIF as SSM regards to equal protection. And yes, 3 is not 2 .. or gender is not lineage. But the same argument applies.

    The problem you have is whether or not a category is subject to strict scrutiny is critical to the outcome. In your above example, if being divisible by 3 or 5 was critical in how you treat a number, then it doesn’t matter if 16 happens to share the quality of ‘being a composite’ number with 15. Since 16 is not divisible by 3 or 5 it doesn’t qualify. That it happens to be a composite number is about as interesting as saying it also happens to be a two digit number.

    Regarding your 6 paragraph response on equal protection … you were doing so well, until you bring up genetics as your difference. See. Infertile people don’t have a “genetic” problem.,

    It doesn’t matter. People who speed but don’t cause accidents don’t have a road safety problem. That doesn’t mean you can beat your speeding ticket if you can prove to a court that you are a ‘safe speeder’.

    Uhm. Except they already do that for marriage now, you noted in some states cousins can marry if they are infertile. So there is even precedent.

    I can go 65 on some roads but only 45 on others. Again not strict scrutiny so I can’t demand that gov’t prove their rules are consistent, solve the problem, or even are the least restrictive way to solve the problem.

  5. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    You quote:

    Me: 16 is also composite, by the same argument/logic.

    You: No! That can’t be. 16 isn’t divisible by either 3 or 5!!!

    Me: Ouch.
    ****

    You: 7 is composite too, because 7 is a number just like 15 and 16!

    Hmm. You forgot the previous two lines (kind of like how you keep forgetting infertile). A reminder

    No. Actually its more like this.

    Me: Numbers are composite if they can be divided by a smaller prime without remainder.

    Which kind makes your “7 is composite” too … well, silly.

    In your above example, if being divisible by 3 or 5 was critical in how you treat a number, then it doesn’t matter if 16 happens to share the quality of ‘being a composite’ number with 15.

    And this is why 3 and 5 being prime is crucial. So, what is the “strict scrutiny” standard here? to quote a recent post on SSM From his conclusion:

    So ultimately we are left with same sex conduct justified not because it’s an unchosen orientation but rather because it’s between consenting equals who harm no outside party.

    Take that as yer “scrutiny”, principle. Again, my sister and I are in fact two consenting adults who will harm no outside party. Again, in the SSM argument this is why it passes your scrutiny. As noted before (see composites) the same damn argument works for IIF.

    I can go 65 on some roads but only 45 on others.

    So what? You’re missing the point. The point of precedent is that you keep bringing up the screwy genetic thing. The infertile as an item of consideration in in itself for the question of marriage where there is the possibility of genetic problems has precedent. The infertility/precedent isn’t about scrutiny. It’s that this is precedent w.r.t. to genetics and marriage. The scrutiny point is that like primes and 15/16 you ignore the common feature (consenting adults harming no outsider) common to SSM, interracial and IIF. So if you accept SSM, I see no reason why you wouldn’t accept IIF. You’ve given no coherent reason and I repeat, if you support SSM you must perforce support IIF to be consistent.

  6. Boonton says:

    .So ultimately we are left with same sex conduct justified not because it’s an unchosen orientation but rather because it’s between consenting equals who harm no outside party.

    This sounds like an argument against bans on same sex conduct. Are you changing gears now and arguing that a principle that consenting equals are sufficient for marriage? That’s a different argument than the Equal Protection one you were attempting to mount the last previous 5000 comments.

    Take that as yer “scrutiny”, principle. Again, my sister and I are in fact two consenting adults who will harm no outside party. Again, in the SSM argument this is why it passes your scrutiny. As noted before (see composites) the same damn argument works for IIF.

    I’m unclear how this makes ‘lineage’ a category subject to strict scrutiny.

    Also as I pointed out it isn’t clear at all that you will harm no outside party. I assume you are saying as a general principle any consenting brother-sister combo should be allowed to marry. If that’s the case then how do you avoid potential harm in the manner some parents may raise their kids

    So what? You’re missing the point. The point of precedent is that you keep bringing up the screwy genetic thing. The infertile as an item of consideration in in itself for the question of marriage where there is the possibility of genetic problems has precedent. The infertility/precedent isn’t about scrutiny. It’s that this is precedent w.r.t. to genetics and marriage. The scrutiny point is that like primes and 15/16 you ignore the common feature (consenting adults harming no outsider) common to SSM, interracial and IIF

    I don’t ignore common features. Consent is a requirement for marriage, so you are right in that all 3 categories (interracial, SSM, incest) share consent. They don’t share infertility, though. (Your infertile incest is a sub-category, just as infertile interracial would be a subcategory of interracial marriages). Some have genetics problems, some don’t. This isn’t surprising, different things have things in common and things in difference with other things.

    So some arguments used for one thing (there are people who want to marry interracially) can be used for another (there are people who want SSM or incest or both). Again not surprising. What you are attempting to assert is not that two things share some arguments but that they share all arguments. so much so that knowing one will reveal the other.

    Imagine two coins glued together heads to heads. If you see the first coin laying on a table, tails up, then you know the second is laying tails down. When the two coins are linked like that, you don’t have to observe the 2nd, knowing the outcome of the first will reveal the 2nd’s outcome.

    But you haven’t established that any of the categories are linked here. If you did then that would mean you could say the outcome of one argument would reveal the outcome of the other. If you permit interracial you must permit SSM and you must permit incest. Actually, though, you have it even tougher, anti-SSM advocates almost never argue that interracial should be banned. So you have to argue that allowing interracial doesn’t not require you to permit SSM. But allowing SSM requires you to permit incest (or at least some versions). The interracial coin isn’t glued to the SSM one but the SSM is to the incest one. Why?

  7. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    Actually, though, you have it even tougher, anti-SSM advocates almost never argue that interracial should be banned.

    But the reverse is often argued (that interracial allowances are similar to SSM ones). Odd that.

    What you are attempting to assert is not that two things share some arguments but that they share all arguments. so much so that knowing one will reveal the other.

    Again. You argue that 16 is prime because it is not divisible by 3 or 5.

    I assume you are saying as a general principle any consenting brother-sister combo should be allowed to marry. If that’s the case then how do you avoid potential harm in the manner some parents may raise their kids

    No. I’ve argued that any infertile brother and sister should be allowed to marry. You keep shifting goalposts. I’m going to keep calling you on that.

    I’m unclear how this makes ‘lineage’ a category subject to strict scrutiny.

    Perhaps it’s me. I have very little idea what is meant by strict scrutiny.

    But allowing SSM requires you to permit incest (or at least some versions). The interracial coin isn’t glued to the SSM one but the SSM is to the incest one. Why?

    Because (as noted), while anti-SSM rarely bring up comparisons to inter-racial marriage, SSM proponents on the other hand do. Likewise, IIM proponents would also bring up both as comparisons for the same reason.

    Hmm, so what you’re saying is if my sister was my brother you’d (logically) have no problem with that? SSIM? If that’s OK, why not IIF in general (Same Sex Incest Marriage) what do you have against hetero relationships anyhow?

  8. Boonton says:

    Again. You argue that 16 is prime because it is not divisible by 3 or 5.

    Actually this is very close to the error you are making. I say 7 is prime, partially because 3 or 5 cannot divide evenly into it. You say 16 must also be prime because 3 and 5 also cannot divide into it. I respond that just because 16 shares something in common with 7 does not mean it shares everything in common. Just because an argument for, say, interracial marriage may be shared for another type means the other type shares everything with interracial.

    Again, you accept interracial yet you seem to refuse to accept SSM. So since you have decided that one is justified but not the other, how do you go from there to your assertion that “If SSM, then IIM”?

    No. I’ve argued that any infertile brother and sister should be allowed to marry. You keep shifting goalposts.

    But parents of children cannot know if their children will grow up to be fertile or infertile, and as you point out even if someone is fertile they can make themselves infertile by being sterilized. So limiting incest marriage only to the infertile would not address the potential problem with how children are raised.

    Perhaps it’s me. I have very little idea what is meant by strict scrutiny.

    I gave you a short primer on it, wikipedia can be helpful too. In short, regular scrutiny means simply that a law must be rationally related to a legitimate gov’t concern. Strict scrutiny means that it is rationally related and gov’t can show it is the least restrictive policy possible to advance that concern.

    If you can’t get your category into a higher level of scrutiny, it is almost impossible to toss a law out on Equal Protection grounds.

    Because (as noted), while anti-SSM rarely bring up comparisons to inter-racial marriage, SSM proponents on the other hand do. Likewise, IIM proponents would also bring up both as comparisons for the same reason.

    This isn’t a reason. You’ve told us why an IIM advocate would want to compare IIM to interracial marriage. No surprise there, someone trying to win an argument on IIM would want to demonstrate IIM shares the qualities of another category of marriage that won.

    But that’s rhetoric, logic says the 3 different marriage types are either all linked, partially linked or totally unlinked. This isn’t a difficult concept to understand…flipping 3 coins is a perfect analogy. Linked would mean one or more coins are glued to each other, unglued coins would mean knowing one coin’s result provides you with zero information about the other two.

    Hmm, so what you’re saying is if my sister was my brother you’d (logically) have no problem with that? SSIM? If that’s OK, why not IIF in general (Same Sex Incest Marriage) what do you have against hetero relationships anyhow?

    Never said that at all. But suggestion, instead of trying to think up logic mazes to try to order others that they must think one thing or another, you just work on articulating what you think?

  9. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    Again, you accept interracial yet you seem to refuse to accept SSM.

    Uhm. This is a very very confusing statement. The premise in this discussion is that SSM is accepted, and that by the same argument you come to accept SSM you must also accept IIM.

    Just because an argument for, say, interracial marriage may be shared for another type means the other type shares everything with interracial.

    OK. So what is it that doesn’t share?

    But parents of children cannot know if their children will grow up to be fertile or infertile, and as you point out even if someone is fertile they can make themselves infertile by being sterilized. So limiting incest marriage only to the infertile would not address the potential problem with how children are raised.

    So you would block IIM because of a unrealistic strained hypothetical? Yet you argue that SSM should not be blocked for similar reasons.

    If you can’t get your category into a higher level of scrutiny, it is almost impossible to toss a law out on Equal Protection grounds.

    Uhm, Why is this needed though?

    Look you ask why are they linked. Here is one way. So. My sister and I have been refused our marriage license. We sue. We point out (reasonably) that if we of the same sex there would be no reason why we could not marry. And furthermore, I am infertile. We claim a right to marry.

    But suggestion, instead of trying to think up logic mazes to try to order others that they must think one thing or another, you just work on articulating what you think?

    This isn’t a problem for me. The reasons I don’t support SSM apply to IIM (which I don’t support). This discussion is different. I’m trying to see an argument for SSM that doesn’t apply equally well to IIM. I don’t see one. You, I deem, haven’t really supplied any reasonable ones. The “parents might seterlize their pre-teen kids and raise them to marry” … but why? If those kids can’t have children, why have them marry for inheritance reasons? In the current culture there would be no reasons to suspect your fear is grounded in anything but phobia and fantasy.

    What I glean from your bringing up “strict scrutiny” is the old “numbers” argument (which when raised vis a vis SSM you reject btw). That is, there aren’t enough IIM people to warrant restructuring. Well, we could actually say the same thing about SSM. Again, I’m looking for arguments against IIM that you don’t reject when they raised against SSM.

  10. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    Regarding Same Sex IIM? I’m guessing there are no laws against it. It hasn’t to my knowledge tested. But would you now support it or not? If not why?

  11. Boonton says:

    Uhm. This is a very very confusing statement. The premise in this discussion is that SSM is accepted, and that by the same argument you come to accept SSM you must also accept IIM.

    And what argument is that? Gender equality is an argument for SSM that doesn’t work for IIM.

    So you would block IIM because of a unrealistic strained hypothetical? Yet you argue that SSM should not be blocked for similar reasons.

    Actually that doesn’t seem very much like an unrealistic hypothetical. In a society where incest was accepted and legal I’m not sure why you think it is ‘strained’ to think at least some parents may react to that by trying to shape their kids in unhealthy ways.

    And recall for normal scrutiny a ‘strained hypothetical’ is sufficient as long as it is reasonably related to a legit. gov’t concern. Some people have argued that low levels of drinking, for example, are not a serious driving risk. Others have argued that modest pot usage doesn’t imapir driving ability. Even if they are right on the science that wouldn’t be an argument that could get you out of a DUI charge via Equal Protection.

    You, I deem, haven’t really supplied any reasonable ones. The “parents might seterlize their pre-teen kids and raise them to marry” … but why?

    Actually I’m thinking a more likely problem would be parents who end up trying to ensure their kids do NOT grow up to marry…or ones who do try to groom their kids to marry. That wouldn’t require sterilizing anyone as a teen.

    If your ‘why’ is meant to ask why would a parent try to either induce an incest marriage or deter an incest marriage if it was legal? Well historically incest has sometimes been used to preserve and consolidate family power, so that might be why some parents may want to try for an incest type marriage. As for why other parents might go to an extreme to avoid incestuous children…well most people disapprove of incest to begin with so one could see why some might get so freaked out that the possibility is legal they go to an extreme to avoid it ever happening. Are we sure this would happen? No, but if we aren’t in the realm of strict scrutiny we don’t have to be sure.

    Regarding Same Sex IIM? I’m guessing there are no laws against it. It hasn’t to my knowledge tested. But would you now support it or not? If not why?

    IMO no. I think it would be bad for children and disruptive to families and I don’t think that can be applied to SSM.

  12. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    Even if they are right on the science that wouldn’t be an argument that could get you out of a DUI charge via Equal Protection.

    ?? I’m curious why you keep bringing up Equal Protection. You do realize the actual courts didn’t use that as justification for SSM?

    Well historically incest has sometimes been used to preserve and consolidate family power, so that might be why some parents may want to try for an incest type marriage.

    IIM was never ever ever used to consolidate family power. Typically in power situations where inheritance would lend to such things, fertility was important.

    As for why other parents might go to an extreme to avoid incestuous children…well most people disapprove of incest to begin with so one could see why some might get so freaked out that the possibility is legal they go to an extreme to avoid it ever happening.

    Infertility? This seems to continually escape your notice. Children are rarely thought to face a lifetime of infertility.

    Gender equality is an argument for SSM that doesn’t work for IIM.

    And yet, 16 is a composite number even though not divisible by 3 or 5 (and even though the shared criteria is a larger set than “numbers 3 and 5” but the set of primes. Race and gender “equality” share similar features to lineage in this respect.

    IMO no. I think it would be bad for children and disruptive to families and I don’t think that can be applied to SSM.

    I fail to see how it is distruptive to family life. You haven’t shown any likely scenario where IIM between adult children would be disruptive. Look, most of the argument for SSM consider marriage as a consensual contract between equal adult partners. Why does this not apply to IIM? Again you have no answer.

    Can one marry one’s same sex sibling? If not, why not? If so, then why not IIM? You never gave a coherent answer.

  13. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    I begin to suspect your opposition to IIM is purely rooted in a notion that incest is morally wrong. That would of course be very small minded of you.

  14. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    Oh, and …

    Actually I’m thinking a more likely problem would be parents who end up trying to ensure their kids do NOT grow up to marry

    you do realize this is no different than what we do today, incest is actually (wait for it …. ) discouraged. So this comes down to … if we’d allow IIM we’d end up with the status quo. Horrors.

  15. Boonton says:

    you do realize this is no different than what we do today, incest is actually (wait for it …. ) discouraged. So this comes down to … if we’d allow IIM we’d end up with the status quo. Horrors.

    Of course you probably do want to discourage your kids from incest, but even if they fell into it marriage wouldn’t be an option. If you had IIM or just IM that road block would be open…which today could cause you to intensify your anti-incest efforts to an unhealthy level.

    Likewise if you happened to be an eccentric parent who liked the idea of raising incestuous kids, well at least you’re not able to raise them to marry. But with that opportunity opened you might increase your efforts, again potentially unhealthy.

  16. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    So. You find as a valid argument against SSM the remote possibility that parents might change the way they raise their kids? No. You reject that. This cannot be an argument against IIM, because the same can be said for SSM. This is an interesting experiment. For basically each argument you’ve brought up against IIM I can recall a closely analogous argument that SSM supporters have used to support SSM.

    (although in both cases I find the argument of changed parental behavior very weak)

    If IIM became accepted (as you desire SSM to be accepted and for the same reasons) shouldn’t you be arguing that those parents should lovingly accept and encourage their incestual love (like you want the parents of gay children to do) to do?

    So. I think we’ve pretty much established that SSM supporters to be consistent (non hypocritical) must support IIM as well for their arguments for SSM also work to support IIM.

    Germany disallowed the marriage of a man and woman because it was discovered that unbeknownst to them they were actually brother and sister. Should they have done so if they were gay? If so, why? If not, then it seems you support gay incest marriage. Why then not IIM?

  17. Boonton says:

    So. You find as a valid argument against SSM the remote possibility that parents might change the way they raise their kids? No. You reject that. This cannot be an argument against IIM, because the same can be said for SSM. This is an interesting experiment. For basically each argument you’ve brought up against IIM I can recall a closely analogous argument that SSM supporters have used to support SSM.

    You’re saying parents might change how they raise their kids in a country where SSM is legal versus one where it isn’t. Perhaps but does that make much sense? I can imagine a parent who tries to raise their kids to not be gay. But that would apply whether or not you have SSM. I’m not seeing a parent increase or decrease their efforts depending upon whether or not SSM is a legal option.

    Incest appears to be different in that it applies to sexual attraction in general which means on some level it would be a factor for all parents of multiple kids.

    So yes I think the potential for family disruption is higher for IIM/IM than it would be for SSM.

    If IIM became accepted (as you desire SSM to be accepted and for the same reasons) shouldn’t you be arguing that those parents should lovingly accept and encourage their incestual love (like you want the parents of gay children to do) to do?

    See there’s a disconnect here. If SSM was never legalized, are you saying parents should encourage their kids not ot be gay? Why? Because they couldn’t marry or else would marry someone of the opposite sex which would mean a much larger chance of a failed marriage?

    Anyway, I’m not going to tell parents to go any particular direction here. Parents will do what they will and kids will do what they will. I do think IIM/IM does alter the incentive structure to reward problematic behavior in a way that SSM does not.

    And let’s recall your scrutiny problem. Gender based scrutiny has a high standard of justification. A theory that SSM may cause incentives for bad parenting would require a lot more justification because gender is category that is subject to higher scrutiny. The IIM theory, in my view, is stronger than in the case of SSM but regardless ‘lineage’ is subject to normal scrutiny so it simply does not have to be justified at the same level.

    Germany disallowed the marriage of a man and woman because it was discovered that unbeknownst to them they were actually brother and sister. Should they have done so if they were gay? If so, why? If not, then it seems you support gay incest marriage. Why then not IIM?

    In general I would say they should have disallowed the marriage whether the couple was same or different sexed. This sort of thing does happen now and then and I would probably allow ad hoc exemptions if you have a case where a couple married unaware of their condition and now years later they are at risk of having their marriage invalidated. I don’t really have any interest going into nursing homes and forcing apart married couples because DNA tests show some hospital nurse swapped babies around a half century ago.

    But this story does illustrate why the two are different. You can easily imagine a man and woman (or man-man, woman-woman) falling for each other, ending up together, and then discovering they are really related. It isn’t so easy to imagine a man and woman marrying…and then discovering the woman was really a man all along (talking a normal marriage here with consumation and the couple living together for at least a modest period of time). This hints that in one case we are dealing with an orientation and in the other case we are dealing with circumstance.

    At the end of the day we have SSM and IIM/IM being two different things. Since they are two different things a person is free to come to different conclusions about whether or not the law should accomodate or not without being ‘hypocritical’ or inconsistent.

  18. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    You’re saying parents might change how they raise their kids in a country where SSM is legal versus one where it isn’t. Perhaps but does that make much sense?

    About as much sense as parents of children presumed to be fertile changing their stance if IIM was legalized.

    Parents will do what they will and kids will do what they will. I do think IIM/IM does alter the incentive structure to reward problematic behavior in a way that SSM does not.

    But you have little reason to think so.

    And let’s recall your scrutiny problem. Gender based scrutiny has a high standard of justification

    You’ve said that. You haven’t offered why the scrutiny level might differ. On what basis is scrutiny chosen? Wiki didn’t mention that and neither have you. You’ve made the claim that differing level of scrutiny is justified and/or is obvious. It is not. Why?

    In general I would say they should have disallowed the marriage whether the couple was same or different sexed.

    Why? Your genetic argument fails. Your parenting argument fails. Why?

    .

    This hints that in one case we are dealing with an orientation and in the other case we are dealing with circumstance.

    No. It only illustrates your failure to identify analogous situations.

    At the end of the day we have SSM and IIM/IM being two different things.

    Yes. 3 and 5 are not 2. Big freaking deal. A point in allowing SSM is that you don’t “choose” orientation. Well, neither do you “choose” with whom you fall in love. The point that started this off (the Manfred poem) was about Lord Byron’s anguish over his attraction to his sister. This was not something he preferred or chose. He (and Manfred) would have preferred a different inamorata but could not.

    You can easily imagine a man and woman (or man-man, woman-woman) falling for each other, ending up together, and then discovering they are really related.

    You haven’t indicated why this is important. And … I recall reading a contemporary fiction novel in which the main character is confused because he is attracted to another whom he thinks is a man but later discovers (to his relief) that “he” was a “she” dressing as a man.

  19. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    Look. I think you’re not being honest with yourself (or me). The reason you oppose IIM is not “because unlike any parents in history, I think that some parents for some unrealistic inheritance reasons will want to sterilize their kids and force them to marry” and that is why you oppose IIM.

    Why. Do. You. Oppose IIM? For what actual reason? Why do you really oppose it?

  20. Boonton says:

    About as much sense as parents of children presumed to be fertile changing their stance if IIM was legalized.

    As you pointed out, infertility is a simple medical procedure away.

    The risk may not be great but it has to be greater than with SSM.

    You’ve said that. You haven’t offered why the scrutiny level might differ. On what basis is scrutiny chosen? Wiki didn’t mention that and neither have you. You’ve made the claim that differing level of scrutiny is justified and/or is obvious. It is not. Why?

    Different issue and it doesn’t really matter. Your argument is if I’m for SSM, I must be for IIM. Well do YOU have some special reason why gender and lineage must share an equal scrutiny level? Unless you do you have no justification telling an advocate they must treat ssm and IIM the same.

    Why? Your genetic argument fails. Your parenting argument fails. Why?

    As you pointed out the genetic argument only works for general IM, IIM it doesn’t apply. But the parenting argument applies to both cases.

    Yes. 3 and 5 are not 2. Big freaking deal. A point in allowing SSM is that you don’t “choose” orientation. Well, neither do you “choose” with whom you fall in love.

    This isn’t quite the same is it?

    You haven’t indicated why this is important. And … I recall reading a contemporary fiction novel in which the main character is confused because he is attracted to another whom he thinks is a man but later discovers (to his relief) that “he” was a “she” dressing as a man.

    I can easily imagine people living a whole lifetime together as a married couple not realizing they were related. I can’t easily see a normal marriage where a person don’t realize the physical gender of their partner.

  21. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    As you pointed out, infertility is a simple medical procedure away.

    Indeed. But why? There is no reason for desiring that for your kids. You know that. You’ve decided because medieval cultures sometimes wanted to marry cousins, that they also wanted to marry siblings (which they never did). You’ve no historical basis for your fear.

    Different issue and it doesn’t really matter.

    Yes. It does. Your argument is that the scrutiny levels obviously is different yet offer no reason. You need to say why if you claim they must be different.

    Well do YOU have some special reason why gender and lineage must share an equal scrutiny level? Unless you do you have no justification telling an advocate they must treat ssm and IIM the same.

    You’ve given no criteria for ever using differing scrutiny levels. My advocate tells me that if strict scrutiny is applied to marriage in the marriage of other people who were previously refused marriage because of bigotry and fear of the common persons, we should too.

    But the parenting argument applies to both cases.

    It does not.

    This isn’t quite the same is it?

    Yes. You seem to keep forgetting that all are prime and primality was the criteria not 3 or 5.

    You still haven’t really told me why you oppose IIM. I’m waiting for a believable reason. Parents doing things they’ve never ever ever done is not a reasonable worry.

  22. Boonton says:

    Indeed. But why? There is no reason for desiring that for your kids.

    That would be an incentive then for a parent to go to an extreme to preclude their kids from opting for IIM then.

    You’ve decided because medieval cultures sometimes wanted to marry cousins, that they also wanted to marry siblings

    Actually no while it is possible some very eccentric parents might try to promote incest I think it is more likely the problem would come from those approaching it from the opposite motivation.

    Yes. It does. Your argument is that the scrutiny levels obviously is different yet offer no reason..

    I don’t have too. Your argument is that the arguments for SSM apply equally as well to IIM. Well they don’t unless a lot of things happen to hold. One of those things would be that whatever scrutiny level is merited for gender discrimination is also merited for lineage discrimination. So the onus comes back to you, why are these two linked?

    Notice I’m not saying its impossible for someone to present a convincing argument for apply super strict scrutiny to lineage discrimination and making a case for IM or IIM. But that in itself is unrelated to SSM. Whatever scrutiny applies to lineage doesn’t dictate the scrutiny applied to gender, unless yo have some reason for telling us the two must be related so if you know one you know the other. Where is that case from you?

    My advocate tells me that if strict scrutiny is applied to marriage in the marriage of other people who were previously refused marriage because of bigotry and fear of the common persons, we should too.

    AS we’ve seen there are thosands of potential categories (left handed people, people who go 60 in a 55 mph zone, people with blue eyes, etc.) I can imagine all types of advocates trying to argue that a particular category merits higher scrutiny AND a particular gov’t policy cannot be justified under that level of higher scrutiny. Out of all those categories, why is gender and lineage tied together so one decides the other? Why are they not disconnected like people who speed versus race?

    Is it the same?
    Yes. You seem to keep forgetting that all are prime and primality was the criteria not 3 or 5.

    An analogy here might be saying you cannot pick an even number versus being told you cannot pick the number 4. While both are statements that limit the range of possible choices you make, they do so in different ways.

  23. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    That would be an incentive then for a parent to go to an extreme to preclude their kids from opting for IIM then.

    and

    Actually no while it is possible some very eccentric parents might try to promote incest I think it is more likely the problem would come from those approaching it from the opposite motivation.

    You’re not thinking overly much about what you’re suggesting. What you pretend is that there is a realistic group of parents who approve of incest but when the specter of legalized marriage of adult children who voluntarily sterilize themselves … those parents might suddenly decide incest be bad and will maltreat their children. And this(?!!) is your reason to oopose IIM. Yah. Right. As I noted, tell me your real reason for not supporting it.

    One of those things would be that whatever scrutiny level is merited for gender discrimination is also merited for lineage discrimination. So the onus comes back to you, why are these two linked?

    Because both are marriage between adult couples who desire marriage but for whom antiquated social mores prevent such joining.

    Whatever scrutiny applies to lineage doesn’t dictate the scrutiny applied to gender, unless yo have some reason for telling us the two must be related so if you know one you know the other. Where is that case from you?and

    Out of all those categories, why is gender and lineage tied together so one decides the other? Why are they not disconnected like people who speed versus race?

    I don’t know. I asked you (but you didn’t answer) on which criteria the “scrutiny level” is selected. I’m no expert on scrutiny, what I’ve learned about it is from you in this thread and the suggested wiki post. Again, on what criteria is the scrutiny level selected. Riddle me that and maybe I can answer.

    An analogy here might be saying you cannot pick an even number versus being told you cannot pick the number 4. While both are statements that limit the range of possible choices you make, they do so in different ways.

    Given that the stated criteria is primality … you’re being silly.

    Look the argument for gay marriage you use is that these are adult couples who wish to marry. They don’t choose their orientation so forcing them to other marriage choices is unjust. This argument goes without change to IIM, these are adult couples who wish to marry, you don’t chose with whom you fall in love, so forcing them to other choices is unjust. This argument is exactly the same. Why you cannot see that is beyond me.

  24. Boonton says:

    You’re not thinking overly much about what you’re suggesting. What you pretend is that there is a realistic group of parents who approve of incest but when the specter of legalized marriage of adult children who voluntarily sterilize themselves … those parents might suddenly decide incest be bad and will maltreat their children. And this(?!!) is your reason to oopose IIM. Yah. Right. As I noted, tell me your real reason for not supporting it.

    Actually you have it backwards. I think if this is a problem it will be from parents who are horrified at incest so will go to extremes to prevent their kids from growing up and deciding to opt for IIM. As you point out parents wouldn’t normally want their kids sterilized. The opposite problem, parents who view IIM as an ‘opportunity’ I always admitted would likely be much more rare. In both cases, though, you are increasing the incentive so that would be a problem for an IIM advocate.

    Because both are marriage between adult couples who desire marriage but for whom antiquated social mores prevent such joining.

    We weren’t talking here about marriage and marriage mores but about scrutiny. Why should gender and lineage be given equal levels of scrutiny? Remember it isn’t just marriage laws that are subject to scrutiny, all laws are. If you argue lineage merits strict scrutiny, for example, that would apply to laws that have nothing to do with marriage such as inheritance laws, prohibitions against nepotism etc.

    I don’t know. I asked you (but you didn’t answer) on which criteria the “scrutiny level” is selected. I’m no expert on scrutiny, what I’ve learned about it is from you in this thread and the suggested wiki post.

    You don’t really have to know anything about scrutiny. It isn’t my job to make a case against incest. If someone makes a serious pro-incest case then that argument should be examined if and when that ever happens. Until then this is just speculation with you trying to guess arguments for it and against it.

    Look at it this way, suppose this was 50 years ago and we were talking about bans on interracial marriage. Do you think everything you said here applies? “If you vote to strike down interracial bans, you must accept striking down incest bans”? Why not?

    Look the argument for gay marriage you use is that these are adult couples who wish to marry. They don’t choose their orientation so forcing them to other marriage choices is unjust. This argument goes without change to IIM, these are adult couples who wish to marry,

    Well not quite. Before SSM you weren’t totally free to marry anyone of the opposite sex. You couldn’t marry your relatives, you couldn’t marry children, you couldn’t marry dead people, you couldn’t marry people already married to others, you couldn’t marry people who were unwilling to marry you etc. The heterosexual man was free to marry a female but he was never free to marry *any* female. You were not quite safe from Manfred’s problem of wanting to be with someone you couldn’t be with, right? In a world with SSM I’m not seeing how that changes. Both gays and straights may still end up wanting to marry a particular individual but they can’t because of lots of possible complications (and adopting IM doesn’t change this, after all your sister may not want to marry you!)

  25. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    Oh. I see.

    I think if this is a problem it will be from parents who are horrified at incest so will go to extremes to prevent their kids from growing up and deciding to opt for IIM.

    Ok. Here’s the thing. You, not I, need to answer that. Look at the following.

    I think if this is a problem it will be from parents who are horrified at inter-racial relationships so will go to extremes to prevent their kids from growing up and deciding to opt for (!) marriage of that sort.

    That’s one. And indeed, I’d guess that happened. But you don’t think that was reason enough to stop such marriages. And likewise,

    I think if this is a problem it will be from parents who are horrified at homosexuality so will go to extremes to prevent their kids from growing up and deciding to opt for SSM.

    Again. This is like to be worsened by SSM and the recent cultural normalization of homosexuality. Yet you find this parental thing not a reason to be against SSM.

    So. Why? Why is it not a valid argument against SSM and inter-racial marriages. Answer that and you’ll have my answer for why it isn’t the argument against IIM.

    It isn’t my job to make a case against incest. If someone makes a serious pro-incest case then that argument should be examined if and when that ever happens. Until then this is just speculation with you trying to guess arguments for it and against it.

    Hmm. Actually it is. You’ve said inter-racial and SSM were subject to strict scrutiny. Tell me why. And you’ll find that’s the same answer I’ll give vis a vis IIM.

    The heterosexual man was free to marry a female but he was never free to marry *any* female. You were not quite safe from Manfred’s problem of wanting to be with someone you couldn’t be with, right? In a world with SSM I’m not seeing how that changes. Both gays and straights may still end up wanting to marry a particular individual but they can’t because of lots of possible complications (and adopting IM doesn’t change this, after all your sister may not want to marry you!)

    I’m not sure this applies to any case of marriages between consenting and unconstrained adults (which is, you know, what we’re talking about).

    [edited to fix blockquote tagging]

  26. Boonton says:

    That’s one. And indeed, I’d guess that happened. But you don’t think that was reason enough to stop such marriages. And likewise,

    Strict scrutiny requires that any gov’t solution to a problem be the least restrictive means possible. Is banning interracial marriage the least restrictive means of addressing parents who, worried about their kids growing up to date and marry interracially, might harmfully go to extremes in raising their kids? I don’t think you can make that case.

    As we have seen, though, ‘lineage discrimination’ is not subject to strict scrutiny.

    Again. This is like to be worsened by SSM and the recent cultural normalization of homosexuality. Yet you find this parental thing not a reason to be against SSM.

    Gender discrimination has a higher bar. Also I’m not sure this is as sensible a concern. Banning SSM doesn’t alter the ‘culture of hormalization of homosexuality’. As I said I’m sure there are parents who are so anti-gay they will raise their kids in a negative way, but they are likely to do that regardless of the legal status of SSM IMO. Banning SSM doesn’t make gay kids grow up not-gay in otherwords.

    Hmm. Actually it is. You’ve said inter-racial and SSM were subject to strict scrutiny. Tell me why.

    I did not say, however, they were linked. In fact you will recall I pointed out that gender is actually subject to a type of ‘inbetween scrutiny’….this is why gender segregated bathrooms aren’t illegal but race ones are. So I did not make the case that being in favor of interracial marriage obligates one to support SSM. I view them as different arguments that need to be evaluated in their own right.

    Now you have been making the argument of linkeage so the onus remains on you to establish a link and show us why it exists between SSM and IIM but not Interracial marriage and the other two.

    I’m not sure this applies to any case of marriages between consenting and unconstrained adults (which is, you know, what we’re talking about).

    It does hint to us that a ‘lineage restriction’ isn’t quite the same as a class distinction. Saying you can’t marry your sister isn’t quite the same as saying you can’t marry a woman. While I’m purposefully not going to engage in the scrutiny debate because it is actually not relevant to your argument, this does hint that lineage restrictions operate in a different manner than more broadly based class restrictions like race, religion, gender and so on.

  27. Boonton says:

    It occurrs to me you are in the same boat. Why do you support interracial marriage but not SSM and IM? Because of “children are both hard to raise and required to continue society”? Err no since allowing SSM doesn’t cause any fewer children to be born or raised. No doubt the reason is hinted at in the start of your sentence, “The non-religious conservative case,…” Your argument then is essentially religious. You’ve struggled to find a “non-religious conservative case” that isn’t very convincing and doesn’t hold up to much scrutiny.

    But ‘religious case’ here functions quite a bit like scrutiny in my argument. Why is interracial marriage ok but SSM not? Because of religion. OK why’s that? No doubt you could respond with lots of theology. But then we go back and ask why your religion? No doubt you have some good arguments for your religion but not a great argument for why those not convinced by your religion should be bound by its conclusions.

    So what is your reason? Some fuzzy ‘general morality’? OK but then you’re back in the same boat. Why interracial yes, SSM yes/no and incest no? ‘General morality’. Errr ok but then the IIM advocate could argue your general morality is wrong. So now what? I can play this game too on you and demand you accept both SSM and IIM from your presumed acceptance of interracial marriage.

    But I’m nice so I won’t. If your reason for saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to various types of marriage is either religious or moral it makes sense that either system might give one answer for one thing and a different answer for something else. There is no linkeage with an answer for one requiring a particular answer for another.

    An example of a linkeage might be race and nationality. If interracial marriage is ok, it seems hard to argue that doesn’t imply marriage between different nationalities isn’t also ok. English and Scottish people, it would seem, should be able to marry each other if white and black people can. Granted nationality and race are not exactly the same concept but they do have a lot of overlap so to argue that they aren’t linked would imply inconsistency.

  28. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    Gender discrimination has a higher bar.

    Why? Is because you’re harboring phobias regarding incest? You need to tell me why? I don’t understand scrutiny level choosing at all. How does it work.

    Is banning interracial marriage the least restrictive means of addressing parents who, worried about their kids growing up to date and marry interracially, might harmfully go to extremes in raising their kids?

    Are you not seeing your inconsistency? Put that along side:

    As I said I’m sure there are parents who are so anti-gay they will raise their kids in a negative way, but they are likely to do that regardless of the legal status of SSM IMO. Banning SSM doesn’t make gay kids grow up not-gay in otherwords.

    And … replace gay with incest and golly, you’ve just informed yourself on incest. Those parents who find incest bad will likely do the same if IIM is legalized … just as you claim. So then nothing remains of your IIM parent issue. You have no other objections that have survived I think at this point.

    I did not say, however, they were linked.

    All are (or were) marriage prohibited by law due to similar reasons (that is to say thinking that such relationships are wrong).

    Saying you can’t marry your sister isn’t quite the same as saying you can’t marry a woman.

    Yep. And saying you can’t marry a man (or black woman) isn’t the same as same you can’t marry a woman.

    While I’m purposefully not going to engage in the scrutiny debate because it is actually not relevant to your argument, this does hint that lineage restrictions operate in a different manner than more broadly based class restrictions like race, religion, gender and so on.

    Sorry. You need to tell why these different scrutiny levels get applied before I’ll let you off the hook. I suspect ultimately that the so-called “reason” is exactly one you reject for SSM and inter-racial marriage, i.e., numbers of those desiring the law to change. You’d say the numbers of gay people is enough to warrant a change of law but not enough for IIM. Alas the counter is that this “number” is entirely subjective and saying IIM doesn’t have the number means SSM “not having the number” is a valid argument (which because you don’t allow that, you can’t for IIM).

  29. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    Why is interracial marriage ok but SSM not?

    As pointed out earlier the non-religious argument I use against SSM is that marriage is our mechanism for privileging those who raise children. SSM couples are infertile as is IIM. Interracial and inter-cultural marriages are not. I would add that inter-cultural and inter-racial marriage should, by the participants, be approached with caution. Marriage is a undertaking that is often difficult (see divorce rate) and adding cultural differences makes it just a little harder.

    (yes, and I know you don’t “buy” that argument. But you might note, we went 50-100 comments “arguing” about it … which is to say, you certainly means have to at least concede the other side has an “argument”, as we did indeed have that argument, even if it is one you don’t accept the other sides point of view… if I recall we last ended with you falling into the “Incredibles” fallacy (if everyone is special then nobody is special))

    (aside: I am in fact in favor or more barriers for everyone to marry. If you would “climb any mountain, swim any river” for your inamorata, then having swum/climbed you are less likely to let go.)

    No doubt you have some good arguments for your religion but not a great argument for why those not convinced by your religion should be bound by its conclusions.

    But, when I vote, for example, I am not bound to vote the general case, but what I believe is right. That’s called Democracy.

  30. Boonton says:

    Why? Is because you’re harboring phobias regarding incest? You need to tell me why? I don’t understand scrutiny level choosing at all. How does it work.

    How does anything work? How does morality or religion work? FOr purposes here it doesn’t really matter. The answer to your original question, how a person could advocate SSM but not IIM is obvous. Scrutiny applies at different levels to different things. Done.

    Now if you want to have a discussion why it is strict with gender but loose with lineage…. Well ask an Orthodox Jew why roast beef is ok, but roast beef with cheese isn’t. He will respond the rules say different foods get treated differently. But then you’ll have two different rabbis and with three opinions on whether cheese and roast beef is ok, if its ok if it isn’t cheese from cows milk, if its ok on Friday but not Saturday etc.

    You didn’t ask for a book on the correct way to do scrutiny. I don’t have to provide one. I only have to show you why scrutiny may lead a reasonable person to permit SSM but not IIM. Of course there very well may be some people who think IIM should be permitted via scrutiny as well. Some Jews think roast beef and cheese is ok too.

    All are (or were) marriage prohibited by law due to similar reasons (that is to say thinking that such relationships are wrong).

    Roast beef is food, so is cheese. That’s similar too. (And yea, presumably marriages prohibited by law are thought to be wrong relationships…if people didn’t think that why prohibit them?)

    Why Interracial but not SSM?
    As pointed out earlier the non-religious argument I use against SSM is that marriage is our mechanism for privileging those who raise children

    Older couples don’t raise children. Those who legally won’t be allowed to have children (i.e. those in jail, those with histories of child abuse) won’t be allowed to rase children.

    Likewise marriage is not a finite good so there’s no ‘privilege’ that is decreased for a child bearing couple if a SSM couple also shares a marriage license.

    But, when I vote, for example, I am not bound to vote the general case, but what I believe is right. That’s called Democracy.

    So your first answer doesn’t clearly apply. Your second answer is essentially a shrug. Because you vote for what you happen to think is right and if a majority says yes to interracial but no to SSM, then that’s it. If tomorrow they change their mind about interracial, then that’s out too. That’s really no different than me saying ‘scrutiny’ or someone else saying ‘let’s flip a coin’. All these methods can easily lead one to support SSM but not IIM without contradiction or hypocrisy.

  31. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    The answer to your original question, how a person could advocate SSM but not IIM is obvous. Scrutiny applies at different levels to different things.

    But any specific person should be able to justify why the apply different levels of scrutiny. You’re on the spot. Do it. Why would or do you support different levels of scrutiny?

    Now if you want to have a discussion why it is strict with gender but loose with lineage…. Well ask an Orthodox Jew why roast beef is ok, but roast beef with cheese isn’t. He will respond the rules say different foods get treated differently. But then you’ll have two different rabbis and with three opinions on whether cheese and roast beef is ok, if its ok if it isn’t cheese from cows milk, if its ok on Friday but not Saturday etc.

    This is how judges view the law? This is American juriprudence. “Just because”. Gosh, that’s a convincing argument. Seems to me a “reason why” is not unreasonable. So. Give it up.

    Some Jews think roast beef and cheese is ok too.

    Yep. And you know what? If you ask them why, they’ll tell you. So. Tell me.

    The answer to your original question, how a person could advocate SSM but not IIM is obvous. Scrutiny applies at different levels to different things. Done.

    But you reject this argument. You don’t see as a valid argument that SSM should not be “strict scrutiny”. IIM should be treated the same. Sorry.

    Likewise marriage is not a finite good so there’s no ‘privilege’ that is decreased for a child bearing couple if a SSM couple also shares a marriage license.

    What? You’re recapping the Incredibles fallacy. Gosh. I’d even hinted that was wrong. It remains wrong. You can’t privilege everyone.

    Your second answer is essentially a shrug. Because you vote for what you happen to think is right and if a majority says yes to interracial but no to SSM, then that’s it.

    It may be my answer as to how I will vote, but voters have not accepted SSM (and it is not unlikely that you’ve just given another rallying point like Roe/Wade for the Christian conservative) …

    You realize that by capitulating to “it’s all a matter of taste” you’ve lost the argument for SSM. You’ve justified all opposition to it because you’ve basically said your have no principles by which you can justify you support for SSM and therefore any similarly unprincipled stance against SSM is equally valid.

    How about we try another tack. Tell my your primary reason (or top three reasons) you support SSM. Then, recast them as IIM. Why do you reject them in that arena?

    Older couples don’t raise children. Those who legally won’t be allowed to have children (i.e. those in jail, those with histories of child abuse) won’t be allowed to rase children.

    We hashed this out. And those in jail can indeed have conjugal visits from which children can and do result. And for reasons why fertility tests are not done prior to marriage, I’ll leave you to figure that out. If you try, you’ll get it.

  32. Boonton says:

    But any specific person should be able to justify why the apply different levels of scrutiny. You’re on the spot. Do it. Why would or do you support different levels of scrutiny?

    You weren’t asking a specific person, recall your question?

    So. Riddle me this Mr Liberal? What reasons for two men to marry don’t apply to me and my sisters’ desired nuptials?

    That sounds pretty generic to me. Imagine I asked:

    So. Riddle me this Mr.I Oppose Interracial Marriage Bans? What reasons for a white and black to marry don’t apply to two men who want to marry?

    Errr, well right off the back some who support interracial marriage don’t support SSM and some do…so clearly we aren’t talking about any specific person but a class of people with some measure of diversity of reasons.

    And with a diversity of reasons we turn to the presumption of your question, which is that it is impossible to be consistent unless one has the same position on IIM as one does on SSM (either aganst both or for both). Yet there are lots of reasons that could lead one to different conclusions about both.

    This is how judges view the law? This is American juriprudence. “Just because”.

    Err no, and that’s certainly not how Rabbi’s view it either. Their declarations, if you care to pay attention, have a long line of reasoning and argument behind them. If two rabbis, however, come to two different conclusions it most certainly isn’t because both shrugged and said ‘just because’.

    But you reject this argument. You don’t see as a valid argument that SSM should not be “strict scrutiny”. IIM should be treated the same. Sorry.

    I said multiple times gender is high scrutiny but ‘lineage’ is not. I’ll point out that strict scrutiny is not assumed. In order to make lineage higher scrutiny you have to tell us why it should be accorded such scrutiny. Gender and race have a long history of scrutiny arguments already behind it, I’m unaware of anyone ever making a ‘lineage’ based argument. If you have one or care to make one, no one is stopping you.

    What? You’re recapping the Incredibles fallacy. Gosh. I’d even hinted that was wrong. It remains wrong. You can’t privilege everyone.

    How is’everyone’ being privileged?

    Tell my your primary reason (or top three reasons) you support SSM. Then, recast them as IIM. Why do you reject them in that arena?

    Gender discrimination is wrong unless you can demonstrate it is needed to prevent some greater harm. “Lineage discrimination” is not always wrong and the potential harm from incest IMO is greater than any plausible harms that anti-SSM advocates have managed to come up with.

  33. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    “Lineage discrimination” is not always wrong and the potential harm from incest IMO is greater than any plausible harms that anti-SSM advocates have managed to come up with.

    Alas, you never came up with any potential harm from IIM. Oh, well.

    I said multiple times gender is high scrutiny but ‘lineage’ is not. I’ll point out that strict scrutiny is not assumed. In order to make lineage higher scrutiny you have to tell us why it should be accorded such scrutiny.

    And you never ever said why scrutiny levels are high for gender. I don’t know by what criteria scrutiny is chosen. You never explained why gender has one scrutiny level vs another.

    Err no, and that’s certainly not how Rabbi’s view it either. Their declarations, if you care to pay attention, have a long line of reasoning and argument behind them. If two rabbis, however, come to two different conclusions it most certainly isn’t because both shrugged and said ‘just because’.

    Ok. So. Give me a reason why.

    Errr, well right off the back some who support interracial marriage don’t support SSM and some do…so clearly we aren’t talking about any specific person but a class of people with some measure of diversity of reasons.

    Yet, I suspect, none fit in the set for the converse.. Clearly they are in fact related.

    What reasons for a white and black to marry don’t apply to two men who want to marry?

    Because marriage is between a man and a women. Gosh that was hard. (It’s not “fleem”)

    That sounds pretty generic to me.

    But you never suggested a single reason why my sister and I actually shouldn’t marriage.

    Gender discrimination is wrong unless you can demonstrate it is needed to prevent some greater harm.

    Why? Men and woman are not always interchangeable. We are different.

  34. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    I’m unaware of anyone ever making a ‘lineage’ based argument. If you have one or care to make one, no one is stopping you.

    That’s because most of are laws are already lineage non-discriminatory.

  35. Boonton says:

    Alas, you never came up with any potential harm from IIM. Oh, well.

    I did, and that still doesn’t account for the fact that no argument is on record for making ‘lineage’ subject to strict rather than standard scrutiny.

    And you never ever said why scrutiny levels are high for gender. I don’t know by what criteria scrutiny is chosen. You never explained why gender has one scrutiny level vs another.

    Keeping it simple, the default is regular scrutiny. In order for a category to be given higher scrutiny, compelling arguments have to be made. For race and gender there are a long line of such arguments which you can research yourself. I’m unaware of anyone ever making one for lineage.

    If you want to argue that the race/gender arguments were insufficient and race or gender should be knocked down to regular scrutiny, go ahead. However since no argument for upgrading lineage to strict has been heard, there’s no reason to assume strict scrutiny as a starting point in an argument for IIM or IM. I see you tried to do one:

    That’s because most of are laws are already lineage non-discriminatory.

    Yes and most of our laws are speeding non-discriminatory. Out of the thousands of laws on the books, only a tiny portion have to do with speeding. It doesn’t follow from that that how fast people like to drive is a category that gets strict scrutiny. Try again.

    And keep in mind we’ve had lineage based laws for ages. What do you think inheritance laws work on if not lineage?

    Yet, I suspect, none fit in the set for the converse.. Clearly they are in fact related.

    By this I think you mean that there are people who oppose interracial marriage and SSM and IIM. But there’s probably no one who opposes interracial marriage but supports SSM…therefore supporting both SSM and interracial marriage means there might be some ‘relationship’ between the two leading some arguments to work for both. OK, that may well be but that tells us nothing about IIM. Just because two coins are tapped together doesn’t mean we know anything about what will happen when the 3rd coin gets flipped.

    Why? Men and woman are not always interchangeable. We are different.

    That doesn’t mean discrimination is necessary. Black people and white people have different skin colors. That means makeup that might work well on a white person won’t work as well on a black person. Macy’s doesn’t have to keep segregated makeup displays because of that and it doesn’t have to train its salespeople to refuse to sell to customers trying to buy ‘racially wrong’ makeup colors.

  36. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    I did, and that still doesn’t account for the fact that no argument is on record for making ‘lineage’ subject to strict rather than standard scrutiny.

    No. You didn’t. You’ve said things like some mythical harm that might be done to children to keep them from incest, but never actually established the notion that those parents would actually exist. Furthermore you’ve admitted that there indeed exist parents who might (or did) likewise behave differently after legalization of inter-racial and homosexual marriage … but you felt that that wasn’t important. Why it’s important for IIM but not same-sex or different race you’ve dodged.

    For race and gender there are a long line of such arguments which you can research yourself.

    Name one that doesn’t apply to the pro-IIM argument.

    I’m unaware of anyone ever making one for lineage.

    You realize that’s the “numbers of those requesting such change” argument which you reject vis a vis SSM.

    What do you think inheritance laws work on if not lineage?

    And how exactly does that apply here?

    But there’s probably no one who opposes interracial marriage but supports SSM…therefore supporting both SSM and interracial marriage means there might be some ‘relationship’ between the two leading some arguments to work for both. OK, that may well be but that tells us nothing about IIM.

    Uhm. You said they weren’t related. But indeed it seems they are. Because you have have incest-phobia you shouldn’t use that to stop my sister and me from getting married. If you were the judge for our civil marriage, what reason do you give for us not being married? What is the moral basis for that ruling?

    That doesn’t mean discrimination is necessary… well it might mean that “mom” isn’t interchangeable with “dad”.

  37. Boonton says:

    No. You didn’t. You’ve said things like some mythical harm that might be done to children to keep them from incest, but never actually established the notion that those parents would actually exist. Furthermore you’ve admitted that there indeed exist parents who might (or did) likewise behave differently after legalization of inter-racial and homosexual marriage … but you felt that that wasn’t important. Why it’s important for IIM but not same-sex or different race you’ve dodged.

    I pointed out that IIM and IM provide an increased incentive for parents to behave in a harmful way. That is probably sufficient to pass any normal scrutiny test.

    Race, Gender and Strict Scrutiny

    Name one that doesn’t apply to the pro-IIM argument.

    Name one that does. The strict scrutiny is the special status so the burden would be on you to establish that lineage must be treated under the rules of strict scrutiny. If you fail to do that you default to normal scrutiny where I simply have to show a rational relationship.

    You realize that’s the “numbers of those requesting such change” argument which you reject vis a vis SSM.

    I don’t think numbers has anything to do with this. If there was a good argument for strict scrutiny for lineage there’s plenty of potential people who would file court challenges. For example, lots of wealthy people die without a will and their estate passes to their kids automatically. Why not me? If there was a shot at forcing such estates to get divided up to everyone based on making a legal argument against ‘lineage discrimination’ I’m sure plenty of lawyers would love to make it and plenty of people would love to sign on to such a lawsuit.

    You forget that scrutiny applies to the entire category, not just cases about marriage. There might be few people interesting in fighting for IIM or IM but there would be quite a bit self-interested cases of trying to overturn lineage specficic laws.

    On SSM, IRM and IIM
    Uhm. You said they weren’t related. But indeed it seems they are. Because you have have incest-phobia you shouldn’t use that to stop my sister and me from getting married. If you were the judge for our civil marriage, what reason do you give for us not being married? What is the moral basis for that ruling?

    I said there is probably no one serious who supports SSM who doesn’t also support interracial marriage. That might lead us to conclude some dynamic that leads to supporting SSM also leads to supporting IRM (but not the reverse since there’s a lot of people who support IRM but not SSM). It doesn’t follow, though, that a 3rd thing (IIM) might also follow.

    Now of course if you actually start probing the reasons person X or person Y thinks something then you can ask if that particular reason does or doesn’t apply to IIM. For example, if person X says “I think anyone who wants to marry should no matter what because I’m a libertarian”….well you have a point, that would seem to apply to IIM too. BUT you have attempted to make a case here that all valid reasons that lead someone to support one (SSM) must lead someone to support another (IIM). You’ve provided nothing to support that assertion. Even more laughable, you’ve allowed those who support IRM but not SSM to be immune to this made up requirement of yours. Again no actual reasons or arguments provided despite so many posts.

    That doesn’t mean discrimination is necessary… well it might mean that “mom” isn’t interchangeable with “dad”.

    Are you talking marriage now or parenthood? Two different concepts.

  38. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    I pointed out that IIM and IM provide an increased incentive for parents to behave in a harmful way. That is probably sufficient to pass any normal scrutiny test.

    And I pointed out inter-racial and same sex marriages have and had the same problems. Is that all you have to do … make up some far fetched imagined reason and there you go. No way. The problem is your “parents would do X” doesn’t even begin to make sense. Parents right now don’t want their children having incest. You find that unproblematic. I’m a little confused why you think the specter of IIM would change that at all.

    For example, lots of wealthy people die without a will and their estate passes to their kids automatically

    Very few if any actual real wealthy people die without wills. Why? Because it doesn’t pass to their kids automatically. If you are wealthy and you don’t plan well, the state grabs most of everything. See. The thing above (“gosh lots of parents are going to start abusing their kids” and this “lots of wealthy people die without wills”) loses you a whole lot of credibility.

    It doesn’t follow, though, that a 3rd thing (IIM) might also follow.

    As I said. I don’t see arguments for SSM that fail for IIM. Given that your only argument so far has been the parent thing which isn’t rational at all, I’m still at that point.

    If you fail to do that you default to normal scrutiny where I simply have to show a rational relationship.

    You keep falling back on this as a strictly technical legal argument. That’s not how most SSM (and IRM) supporters work. They support SSM for moral not legal reasons.

    Name one that does

    I don’t know any of the arguments. You’ve said “there are lots”. You’ve been teaching me about this scrutiny thing for days now. Why am I supposed to be the expert. And again, I’m not sure scrutiny is relevant. It’s a legal argument. Most people don’t argue from precedent and legality. They argue from ethics. Again, what ethical reasons would you give for SSM that don’t work for IIM?

    Are you talking marriage now or parenthood? Two different concepts.

    I was giving an example.

  39. Boonton says:

    And I pointed out inter-racial and same sex marriages have and had the same problems. Is that all you have to do … make up some far fetched imagined reason and there you go.

    Yes, except strict scrutiny raises the bar. Gov’t must not only show that its policy has a reasonable relationship to a legit interest but that its policy is the ‘least restrictive’ way to accomplish that end. That opens the door to actually bring in evidence to see if the policy is even effective. Recall I pointed out for speeders you cannot try to argue your ticket by brining in traffic studies showing driving 70 mph is no less safe than driving 65 mph.

    Very few if any actual real wealthy people die without wills. Why? Because it doesn’t pass to their kids automatically. If you are wealthy and you don’t plan well, the state grabs most of everything.

    Top 1% yes but the estate tax has a $1M exemption built in and even after that it is only a portion of the estate that is worth more than $1M. While you may not be in the Forbes 500, you can die without a will and your kids will make out quite well by middle class standards.

    Anyway you’re dodging the problem with your lineage argument. There are all types of laws that depend upon who your parents are. If lineage discrimination was subject to strict scrutiny, there would be all types of people with a strong incentive to go to court with that argument…not just a few rare eccentrics who want incest marriage.

    As I said. I don’t see arguments for SSM that fail for IIM. Given that your only argument so far has been the parent thing which isn’t rational at all, I’m still at that point.

    Seems perfectly rational to me. You haven’t explained why it isn’t.

    You keep falling back on this as a strictly technical legal argument. That’s not how most SSM (and IRM) supporters work. They support SSM for moral not legal reasons.

    As I pointed out, there are all types of reasons one might support SSM, IRM or IIM. Some reasons might apply to all 3, others to just 1 and others to combinations of just 2.

    Your slipperly slope argument doesn’t work unless you can prove there are NO arguments that apply to just two. (You are, I assume, OK with arguments that apply to just 1…namely IRM) But as you just admitted I provided ‘technical legal arguments’ that do apply to just two!

    But then if you want a moral reason that’s easy too….same-sex relationships are not as morally problematic as incestuous ones. There.

    I don’t know any of the arguments. You’ve said “there are lots”. You’ve been teaching me about this scrutiny thing for days now. Why am I supposed to be the expert. And again, I’m not sure scrutiny is relevant. It’s a legal argument. Most people don’t argue from precedent and legality.

    Well if we are talking about the actions of the S.C. it is kind of implied, no?

    I was giving an example.

    Discrimination is not needed in parenthood either. If tomorrow some mad scientist announced to the world that he had cloned a child from a single human, that child would have only one parent. Whether or not that would be a good thing has nothing to do with the fact that biological single parenthood would be a fact in that case. If human cloning is impossible and only male-female parenthood is possible, that may be a fact of nature but nature doesn’t need our rules anymore than it requires us to pass laws saying c is the ultimate speed limit. It either is or isn’t.

    So how does your example apply to our discussion?

  40. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    Seems perfectly rational to me. You haven’t explained why it isn’t.

    Because it makes no sense. You allege that in the presence of IIM some parents will change how they raise their kids. Parents right now are very much against incest. You suggest that isn’t changing but for some unstated reason and in unstated ways “intensifying” because adult infertile siblings might marry. I’ve pointed out that the same problem exists for IRM and SSM, which you don’t find a show stopper, so this can’t be a very strong reason. I’ve also noted (and you seemed to agree) that this isn’t going to cause parents who weren’t against incest to change their mind. As noted, I see no rational why any parent would change anything. You’ve just said “it is rational” without being able to state a reason for it. That isn’t following what is normally meant by rational. If you think something is rational you should be able to state a reason. You can’t. I can’t explain why it is rational, because I think it is arbitrary, made up, and irrational. You ask me why I think your reason is irrational? Because I can’t see or imagine any reason for it. That’s why it isn’t rational.

    As I pointed out, there are all types of reasons one might support SSM, IRM or IIM. Some reasons might apply to all 3, others to just 1 and others to combinations of just 2.

    Yep, and as noted, I don’t see any argument the reasons that lead one to support of SSM don’t equally apply to IIM. You’ve not given any (rational) reasons why not. I suppose if you widen your scope to “irrational reasons”, then you’d be opening yourself to accepting as valid people saying “I don’t support SSM because rabbits are blue”.

    Well if we are talking about the actions of the S.C. it is kind of implied, no?

    Uhm. I was talking about a Tchaikovsky symphony, “Manfred”.

    So how does your example apply to our discussion?

    Well, the word “marriage” used a lifelong bond between a man and a woman, you know what it meant when you were a kid. You that time of life in which “dad” and “mom” oddly enough weren’t interchangeable.

  41. Boonton says:

    Because it makes no sense. You allege that in the presence of IIM some parents will change how they raise their kids. Parents right now are very much against incest. You suggest that isn’t changing but for some unstated reason and in unstated ways “intensifying” because adult infertile siblings might marry. I’ve pointed out that the same problem exists for IRM and SSM

    True you could argue that some parents, if IRM is allowed, might intensify their efforts to raise racist kids if they had the ‘horror’ of interracial marriage to worry about. But then you have the problem of strict scrutiny. Is banning all interracial marriage really the ‘least restrictive’ method of addressing that potential problem? Is the potential harm so great that a suspect type of discrimination is merited?

    SSM is a bit different IMO because I can see some parents who are so anti-gay they go to extremes raising their kids, but I don’t think you can say the presence of absense of legal SSM would change that. Incest is a bit different because it doesn’t appear to be an orientation in itself by something caused by the wrong person in the set of people you are attracted too. For example, Oedipus didn’t set out to marry his mother, he set out to marry a woman. Manfred above isn’t a case of a man who wants to hookup with his sister, it is a case of the woman he wants to hook up with is his sister. If someone ran in and declared that DNA shows the babies were switched at birth and the woman wasn’t his sister, he would be relieved. So the parent who wants to avoid raising incestuous kids does seem to have a broader array of dangers to consider if IIM was opened up as a possibility.

    Yep, and as noted, I don’t see any argument the reasons that lead one to support of SSM don’t equally apply to IIM.

    Very easy, ‘gender discrimination is wrong without a very strong justification’. That applies to allowing SSM but does nothing to argue for IIM….which is why you made up ‘lineage discrimination is wrong…’ But that is a different thing and different argument.

    Well, the word “marriage” used a lifelong bond between a man and a woman, you know what it meant when you were a kid. You that time of life in which “dad” and “mom” oddly enough weren’t interchangeable.

    Who says they are? Again you confuse marriage with parentage. Always two different things, different concepts.

  42. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    Very easy, ‘gender discrimination is wrong without a very strong justification’.

    Yet apparently you think there is strong justification for preventing/prohibiting my sister and my marriage. You have not provided same. The justification you did provide you reject for SSM and IRM. This remains a hypocritical position. For example,

    I can see some parents who are so anti-gay they go to extremes raising their kids, but I don’t think you can say the presence of absense of legal SSM would change that.

    And you give no reason why the presence or absence of IIM would change parents “extremes” regarding incest.

    You presume that for Manfred (Or Lord Byron) that part of the attraction is not that their inamorata is their sibling. Do you liberals live in a world in which “the fetish” does not exist? Hmm. Strange. The presumption is that it is the conservative is less worldly regarding these urbane matters.

  43. Boonton says:

    And you give no reason why the presence or absence of IIM would change parents “extremes” regarding incest.

    I did, the existence of IIM would lower the disincentive against incestuous relationships, which would probably cause at least a few additional ones that wouldn’t otherwise exist. I don’t believe, however, the presence of SSM is going to to alter the number of gay people in the world. So while an anti-gay parent going to extremes in raising his kids is a potential problem, I’m not seeing why SSM would make it better or worse. An anti-incest parent would however be quite rational to up his game if he was living in a society with IIM.

    Yet apparently you think there is strong justification for preventing/prohibiting my sister and my marriage. You have not provided same. The justification you did provide you reject for SSM and IRM. This remains a hypocritical position. For example,

    You will recall your original assertion long ago:

    What reasons for two men to marry don’t apply to me and my sisters’ desired nuptials?

    I provided you with:

    Very easy, ‘gender discrimination is wrong without a very strong justification’.

    That’s it, I’ve meet your challenge. Gender discrimination applies to two men who want to marry but not to you and your sister. I was not asked to provide reasons to oppose IIM that do not apply to SSM, so I have no obligation to fight that battle. Beyond this point we are just engaging in speculation about whether ‘lineage discrimination’ should be treated as wrong as gender or racial discrimination. If someone ever raises that as a serious discussion then it can be discussed but since at least a few of the arguments raised for SSM do not clearly apply to IIM we are under no obligation to adopt IIM to avoid the charge if being ‘hypocritical’.

    BTW, I don’t think hypocritical applies here unless you’re talking about, maybe, an SSM advocate who married his same-sex sibling but argues for incest being illegal. I think the word you really mean is ‘inconsistent’. Reason 1 implies both X and Y but the advocate asserts Reason 1 is correct but only supports X and rejects Y. That would be inconsistent if this argument happened in a vacuum…of course there might be a Reason 2 that acts to reject Y without touching X. In that case the advocate could still be consistent in his logic.

  44. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    I was not asked to provide reasons to oppose IIM that do not apply to SSM, so I have no obligation to fight that battle.

    Uhm, reasons to oppose IIM that don’t apply to SSM is exactly the question. I think all your reasons don’t support IIM are exactly akin to reasons which are used against SSM but which you reject.

    Gender discrimination applies to two men who want to marry but not to you and your sister.

    That’s true. But highly specific laws are even more specious and beyond the pale than generic ones. Laws that say Frank Smith must sit at the back of the bus are even more heinous than those that say that Negroes must sit at the back. Equal protection under the law means laws just for Frank Smith aren’t allowed.

    I don’t believe, however, the presence of SSM is going to to alter the number of gay people in the world.

    You might believe that but that doesn’t mean its true. In fact it almost certainly is not on purely mathematical grounds. Sexual polarity is not the same in all people, some are “extremely” hetero-, some are “extremely” homo-, some in between. Making SSM and homosexuality socially acceptable and in fact, as now, celebrated would tend to make more of those “in the middle” to move in the homo- direction, in part perhaps for exactly the same reason you give for an increase in incest. So. Given you’ve reject the notion that in increase in anti-gay parenting is likely to happen … why is that an argument to reject for IIM and one to ignore for SSM?

    I’m still not understanding any clear reason why my sister and I can’t marry. The supposed answer you give “gender discrimination applies … ” is not exactly a reason why my sister and I shouldn’t be allowed to marry. Do you have an ethical reason why we shouldn’t marry? Perhaps that is the way to approach the question.

  45. Boonton says:

    Uhm, reasons to oppose IIM that don’t apply to SSM is exactly the question. I think all your reasons don’t support IIM are exactly akin to reasons which are used against SSM but which you reject.

    Well actually the genetic issue was a reason to oppose IM that wouldn’t apply to SSM. You tossed IIM into the mix as an ad hoc fix that would dodge the genetic issue. The fact that you need a bunch of ad hoc fixes to make your attempt to equat incest marriage with SSM says that the two are different things.

    And no that is exactly not the question. On any issue there are likely a host of reasons for something and a host of reasons against something and depending upon the context those different reasons carry different weights. Do the all reasons for SSM apply to IIM? If they do then one has to ask are the reasons against IIM the same as reasons against SSM? If that is the case then are the weights the same? Only then can you conclude logically that if you have SSM then you must have IIM.

    Of course you can’t compare two populations unless you have those two populations (i.e. all the reasons for SSM vs all the reasons for IIM). There’s no reason to think SSM advocates would have made an exhaustive examination of IIM arguments, and since there are no serious IIM advocates there really isn’t anyone we can say who has mapped out the population. Since that hasn’t happened your argument is just speculation.

    That’s true. But highly specific laws are even more specious and beyond the pale than generic ones. Laws that say Frank Smith must sit at the back of the bus are even more heinous than those that say that Negroes must sit at the back.

    Are they? First Incest laws are not highly specific. They do not mention Frank Smith anymore than a law restricting SSM would mention Frank Smith. Second, this doesn’t seem to be a true statement. A law that says those conficted of murder get 20 to life is talking about a much more specific group than, say, a law that says all Jews must report to special camps.

    You might believe that but that doesn’t mean its true. In fact it almost certainly is not on purely mathematical grounds. Sexual polarity is not the same in all people, some are “extremely” hetero-, some are “extremely” homo-, some in between. Making SSM and homosexuality socially acceptable and in fact, as now, celebrated would tend to make more of those “in the middle” to move in the homo- direction, in part perhaps for exactly the same reason you give for an increase in incest. So. Given you’ve reject the notion that in increase in anti-gay parenting is likely to happen … why is that an argument to reject for IIM and one to ignore for SSM?

    Actually what you’re describing would be a change in behavior but not orientation. Someone who is bisexual who ends up having more same-sex sex because SSM is legal is not ‘more gay’ anymore than you are ‘more straight’ if you have sex with your wife more this week than last.

    But I’ll grant you this may be a fair point. I am just making an educated guess based on my experience with human nature. I think more parents would alter their parenting to a change in incest laws than they would to SSM. If acceptance of gays was going to cause parents to alter the way they raise their kids (either in a more accepting direction or more anti direction), it already happened before SSM was on the radar. SSM would just be rather trivial icing on the cake IMO.

    Granted that is just my opinion but as we learned from our discussion of scrutiny the gov’t doesn’t need strong support for its hunches if you are talking about an area of normal scrutiny. I am no more required to ‘prove’ my hunch is right than gov’t must prove a 65 mph speed limit saves lives.

  46. Boonton says:

    In your quest to find reasons to support SSM that don’t apply to other types of marriage, I found this:

    That is the new and highly intelligent book by Stephen Macedo, and the subtitle is Same-Sex Couples, Monogamy & the Future of Marriage. I balk at only one of his conclusions: he is pro-gay marriage, where I agree, but he does not believe in legal polygamy. For instance he argues there is no polygamous orientation comparable to a same-sex orientation, rather polygamy is a preference. He views polygamy as unstable, and also as leading to distributive injustice, with high status males reaping excess gains.

    : http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2015/08/just-married.html#comment-158525879

    Reworking this slightly:

    1. I don’t see much of an argument that incest or polygamy are orientations, meaning something embedded in the nature of the person.

    2. ‘Distributive injustice’ sounds rather dense but distribution has always been an issue in marriage. Historically and fictionally (see Game of Thrones) incest has been used to hoard resources and status by the powerful. Polygamy as well (see for example how Joseph Smith took the wives of other men and how modern day fundamentalist Mormon cult punish dissent by ‘reassigning’ wives to men who are more loyal to the leader)..

    Are these proven and inevitable with either incest marriage or polygamy? No but they are arguments that don’t seem to apply to SSM.

  47. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    “polygamy is not an orientation” … bisexuality is definition polygamous. Apparently that isn’t an orientation. Who knew?

    The only reason incest and std polygamy aren’t being claimed as an orientation is on account of the numbers. If 1% of the population was practicing either then it’d be an orientation. Really all you’re touting here is the numbers thing. 1-2% gay and it’s an orientation and subject to “strict scrutiny” if you’re well below that it’s an aberration, a sickness and not subject to same scrutiny. All a anti-SSM person has to say is 2% doesn’t cut it, you need 6 or more. And you you have to accept that as a valid argument (even if you disagree with the cutoff). There is no principle behind your objection (or your objection in turn to IIM).

    What is the principle behind your objection to IIM? What moral/legal problem do you have with my sister and my getting married? This ’cause parents world-wide would “change” (something completely unspecified) is, as noted, an argument you reject vis a vis SSM so you can’t use it. Saying “less parents” makes it again a numbers game, by which in turn you admit it as a valid argument for the anti-SSM crowd to use as there is no principle on which you base your cutoff.

  48. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    You do realize that historically and fictionally incest to “hoard resources and status” has two problems. (a) it never happened historically and (b) requires fertility to pass to a next generation.

    Families didn’t hoard by marrying siblings, close cousins who had different holdings/resources to consolidate power/property. But the only reason siblings would marry would be if they would be entitled to equal inheritance and that would split the holding. I know of no instances were that was done in history. Do you? Or are you just blowing smoke?

  49. Boonton says:

    “polygamy is not an orientation” … bisexuality is definition polygamous. Apparently that isn’t an orientation. Who knew?

    Bisexual and polygamous are not the same thing. A bisexual person could settle down to a monogamous relationship with a person of either gender.

    The only reason incest and std polygamy aren’t being claimed as an orientation is on account of the numbers. If 1% of the population was practicing either then it’d be an orientation. Really all you’re touting here is the numbers thing. 1-2% gay and it’s an orientation and subject to “strict scrutiny” if you’re well below that it’s an aberration, a sickness and not subject to same scrutiny

    You aren’t talking about polygamy but about incest. And orientation is not defined by numbers. If 1% of the population likes to build ships in bottles that wouldn’t make it an ‘orientation’.

    You do realize that historically and fictionally incest to “hoard resources and status” has two problems. (a) it never happened historically and (b) requires fertility to pass to a next generation.

    Historically I believe it did happen in ancient Egypt under Roman occupation. Rome allowed estates to pass to spouses but not to children. As a result wealthy Egyptians would marry their daughters thereby dodging the ancient type of ‘estate tax’. Likewise some noble families did condone incest based on the belief that their bloodline was more godlike than human so inbreeding would preserve the bloodline. Indirectly, of course, inbreeding would decrease the wealth distribution effect marriage has.

    Families didn’t hoard by marrying siblings, close cousins who had different holdings/resources to consolidate power/property.

    And when discussing prohibitions on incest one of the areas that usually comes up is cousin marriage and where the line should be drawn.

    Regardless, you’re missing the point. You claimed the reasons for SSM apply to incest marriage there are not arguments against incest marriage that wouldn’t apply to SSM. Distribution is clearly an example of an argument that applies to one and not the other.

    If you argue that two sets are identical, then you are asserting everything in one set is also in the other. All a person need do to refute your assertion is find but a single element that exists in one set but not the other.

    The moment that happens you can argue that two sets are very much alike but not that they are identical. If they are not identical you cannot use one set as a proxy for another. In other words, you cannot say our decision on SSM must also be our decision on incest unless we can say the set of all reasons pro and con are exactly identical for both. If they aren’t then they are two different things despite the fact that they may have common elements and there’s no inherent logical problem with treating different things differently.

  50. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    Rome allowed estates to pass to spouses but not to children. As a result wealthy Egyptians would marry their daughters thereby dodging the ancient type of ‘estate tax’.

    Something we will likely see here if y’all progressives get your (gay included) polygamy and your love of inheritance taxes gets its way.

    And when discussing prohibitions on incest one of the areas that usually comes up is cousin marriage and where the line should be drawn.

    And you’ve pointed out that there is legal precedent for that when they are infertile. Why you don’t figure that might equally apply to incest (siblings) awaits a valid reason.

    If they are not identical you cannot use one set as a proxy for another. In other words, you cannot say our decision on SSM must also be our decision on incest unless we can say the set of all reasons pro and con are exactly identical for both.

    I haven’t said “they are identical”. I’ve said the same arguments are used (and I’ve added that you shouldn’t be using arguments that you’ve previously rejected w.r.t. SSM).

    And orientation is not defined by numbers.

    I disagree. If 1 does it, it’s a mental illness or aberration. If thousands (millions) do, it’s an orientation.

    If 1% of the population likes to build ships in bottles that wouldn’t make it an ‘orientation’.

    Apparently gay is a hobby now. Not something by which one identifies essentials of self.

    A bisexual person could settle down to a monogamous relationship with a person of either gender.

    And monkeys might fly. And polygamy not required (apparently) just not being faithful to one’s “spouse”.