Please be aware, gentle reader, that the following post is extremely adult in content. If you are not of a temperament where you believe it is occasionally acceptable to be rude, crass, vulgar and downright mean, then you're probably a good person and shouldn't ever come back to this blog. I throw down some pretty strong language in the text that follows, so if your ears bleed or your eyes forcibly eject themselves from your sockets when in the presence of profanity, please consider yourself warned.
So, it turns out that absolutely no one can tell that the previous two posts were intended to be satire. It is sad just how absolutely bat shit crazy the entire world has become. Then again, maybe that just means I'm the bat shit crazy one. Maybe I'm just not very good at writing satire.
But maybe that's not fair. Maybe you think debate is about playing word association games. Maybe you aren't even sure what the words mean.
I'm going to put this in super simple language so that everyone can understand: legal status is the pretty-pink-bow-on-a-pig way of saying legal discrimination. Maybe that was too hard... I'll try again.
Just so we're all on the same page, in this post and the two that precede it, when I use the word "love" either raw or in double quotes it specifically means the word being thrown around in the media as the primary reason that I should care about this whole debate. I don't know what the media means when they use that word, and frankly it's irrelevant. It's almost certainly not what I mean when I use the word, as almost no one means what I mean when they use the word. But I breathe oxygen and can generally smell a red herring when it wreaks of fish. "Love" may be the reason people want to talk about because it's warm and fuzzy, but there isn't a legal definition of "love" and I really really don't want there to be one. Seriously, if the thought of the government defining "love" doesn't scare the shit out of you... I just don't even know what to say. Can you imagine the government enforcing whether you meet the qualifications to use the word "love" to describe one of your relationships? Can you imagine the test a judge would have to perform to decide whether your relationship meets the legal definition of "love"? Ok, stop imagining, pervert... though to be fair there have been social groups throughout history that have invented some rather disturbing legal tests around all this stuff, so historically speaking at least, you're not all that perverted.
If you like to grow herbs in your garden, you might call it farming. Maybe you're trying to be cute, but maybe you really feel like it is farming. Maybe you feel like it's farming so much that you start to refer to yourself as a farmer and your garden as a farm. Maybe you find that the more you stick stuff in the ground and pull stuff back out, the more you identify yourself as a farmer. Finally one day, after seasons of sticking stuff in and pulling stuff out, you decide that you want to get the legally afforded benefits of being a farmer. So you try to gain the legal status of farmer, only to find that you don't meet the criteria.
This seems horribly cruel and unfair discrimination. You love your farm, even though the government feels it's really only a garden. And you love being a farmer, but that's just not enough to meet the criteria. Isn't the government denying you from being a farmer?
Absolutely not. If you go get yourself a qualifying farm, you can have all the legally supplied benefits of farmer-dom. No one is preventing you from being a farmer, you simply don't meet the qualifications. You're free to make the sacrifices it takes to get a qualifying farm, just like every other farmer, and those sacrifices may be more difficult for you than the ideal farmer given your deep love for your garden-farm. But other farmers had to sacrifice things they loved to get a qualifying farm as well. The government isn't interested in what you had to sacrifice to get the qualifying farm. A farm that qualifies for the legal status has been deemed beneficial to the greater good. Your garden simply doesn't benefit the greater good enough to gain the benefits granted to qualifying farms. So you have to choose between farming your garden and not qualifying as a farmer, or sacrificing farming your garden to get the benefits of farming a qualifying farm.
This applies to nearly every legal status. You can't be a veteran just because you love guns. You can't be a rancher just because you love animals. You can't be retired just because you love to not work. Legal status is about classifying a certain subset of the population for the purpose of granting benefits and responsibilities because their existence is critical to the greater good.
If you're mad now, just wait for what I've got in store for you next. If you're offended at the parallel I just drew, keep in mind that I haven't even used the m-word yet, so everything you're thinking and feeling right now is due exclusively to parallels you yourself have drawn to the plight of our hypothetical farmer. Really go back and reread the farmer story as a story about a farmer; you'll find that you would absolutely blow a fuse if owning a garden qualified a gardener for tax-funded federal assistance reserved for farmers just because he really loved gardening.
Let me ask you a question. Really answer this honestly. Do you believe for even a second that there is not a single instance out there of a person who identifies as homosexual but is currently in a legally qualified heterosexual marriage? These days, I'm expected to believe that homosexuality is not a choice, but is in fact genetic. So don't you have to concede that there is almost certainly someone out there who purely due to social pressures has consented to being in a hetero marriage, even though he has since birth been blessed with the gay gene? I mean with so many people living in denial due to social oppression, surely there's one homosexual who is in a marriage, right?
Of course. We all know it's true. The central point of the debate is not that homosexuals are denied the legal status of marriage, it's that they are denied the legal status of marriage with the person they want.
Well sure, we all know that, it's almost silly to point out. We all know that this debate has been about "love". So it seems almost pointless to bring up.
Imagine a man who because of the social groups he desires to remain a part of, say for instance his family or his church, is told he must marry the woman he has impregnated instead of the woman he loves. Now, he's certainly not being denied the legal status of marriage with the other woman that he actually wants to marry by the government. But if he desires to remain a part of the social structure he identifies with, he must marry a woman he does not want to marry.
Imagine a man who because of the social groups he desires to remain a part of, say for instance his family or his church, believes there is nothing wrong with entering into a marriage covenant with several women. Now he will definitely be denied the legal status of marriage with at least all but one of those women, and could face criminal prosecution should it be discovered he has other spouses. So if he desires to stay out of prison and provide for his family he will be prevented from marrying all the women he wants to marry, at least concurrently.
Imagine a man who does not believe in the traditional definition of marriage and wants to commit not to a person, but to a group. He wants to stay committed to the core group regardless of how its membership changes over time. He will absolutely be denied the legal status of marriage with this group, he will simply never be allowed to marry the group he loves and works to maintain, protect, grow and thrive.
Imagine a man who loves his sister so intensely that he cannot imagine spending his life with anyone else. He cannot marry the woman he loves because society is scared of their babies or some nonsense. He will absolutely be denied the legal status of marriage with the woman he wants to marry.
I'm frustrated from pointing out that I haven't actually heard any evidence at all about why the legal status should be extended specifically to homosexual unions but not all these other ones. I keep hearing "love" and "equal rights". I keep hearing that I'm a bigot because I'm not ok with calling a legal status a right or with using a legally undefined word to define a legal status. Can't you see that it is insane to demand that I without protest or discussion agree to grant one specific social group a privilege no other group can claim. Everyone else on the planet who wants the legal status has to agree to a qualifying marriage under whatever qualifies in their jurisdiction. What is the reason that homosexuals are somehow justified in being the only group that gets to redefine marriage so that they get to marry whomever they want and still be guaranteed the benefits? Why do you feel justified in saying that gay marriage is good and incestuous marriage is bad? Why should gay marriage be given the full benefit and privilege of the law, but polygamy is a felony? How am I the bigot if I'm interested in changing the legal status so that all unions are given the same provision under the law, and you're not a bigot even though you pick and choose which unions should secure legal benefits based on your own personal preferences and prejudice?
I'm being asked to support elitist policies, plain and simple. If you can't provide a single shred of evidence as to why the legal status of marriage should be changed to include a group it has never before in the history of legal statuses ever included, if you are not able to say what has changed that makes it a clear benefit to society, then you are asking me to arbitrarily discriminate in favor of one social group against all the others and you have the fucking gall to dress it up as equal rights.
Women couldn't vote, hold most jobs, or generally own property. Minorities couldn't vote, live other than in designated areas, pursue an education, hold most jobs, own property, use public services, eat in restaurants, have social relationships with whites, or drink out of a fucking water fountain. These are humiliating, degrading, dehumanizing atrocities that people literally fought and died to get reversed in law in a country that supposedly believed in the inalienable rights of all people. This is equal rights. If you come to me about equal rights know that you're putting yourself in the class of people that I have the utmost respect for and who we as a society will forever be indebted to; quite frankly you've got some damn big shoes to fill. If you spend too much time talking about how tedious it is to get a power of attorney, I'm likely going to explode.
Then when I bring up the fact that this isn't a love issue or a rights issue but a legal status issue, you feel the need to insinuate or flat out state that I am anti-gay. I am not anti-gay. I am anti-elitist, anti-discriminatory, and anti-you-pretending-you-have-the-right-to-abuse-folks-just-so-you-can-get-your-way.
I hate it when people imply I'm a bigot, because I hate being exposed as prejudiced against people who call me a bigot, unless they call me a bigot for being prejudiced against people who call me a bigot, because I love those guys. So normally I wouldn't help you out, (and by you I specifically mean the straight-white-guilt crowd who feels the need to act out their guilt in rage, not the gay community because I've got no problems at all with y'all) but since we're technically on the same side of the issue, I will anyway. Look at me getting over my bigotry; there's hope after all.
The legal status of farmer has changed several times over the history of this country. Over time the amount of land and types of crops a farmer can maintain to the benefit of the greater good has changed with technology, property ownership and water rights, co-operatives, et cetera.
Legal statuses are allowed to change their meaning over time. Legal statuses are supposed to change their meaning over time. But they change for reasons that benefit the common good, not just because the Real American Pastime is backing the underdog and making the other team feel like assholes.
The legal status of marriage has up until very recently never actually been defined. Even in places where it has supposedly been "defined" it's not the sort of definition that actually defines a legal status. Amendments, laws, or rulings have been passed in 33 states that say marriage is between a man and a woman. This is a constraint referred to as "necessary" but not "sufficient". In other words, if I walk into a state that has this "definition" and point to an arbitrary man and an arbitrary woman, they're not suddenly married. These states have decided that it is necessary for a marriage to be between a man and a woman, but they haven't separated all the between-a-man-and-a-woman things into those that are marriage and those that aren't.
A single necessary constraint does not in any way get you a definition. For a legal status to be defined and therefore exist it must have "sufficient" criteria. In other words, a legal status must have a legal test, there must be a clear way to determine what both is and is not granted the legal status, not just what is not.
So, I dare anyone to come up with a necessary and sufficient definition for one man, one woman marriage that allows everyone currently granted the legal status of marriage to keep their legal status without some sort of self-referential nonsense like "survival of the fittest". For that matter, I dare you to come up with a definition of "man" and "woman" that allows the entire population to be partitioned into the two groups with no overlap or exclusions.
If the legal status of marriage between a man and a woman cannot be defined, then it does not exist, and cannot be used to provide benefits to some members of society and not to others at the whim and mercy of the government or religion.
Therefore, if we wish to keep a legal status of marriage, we are bound as a rational people with rational law to allow the legal status of marriage to be available to all individuals who meet the necessary and sufficient criteria which we as a society define, whether that excludes some of those who currently enjoy the benefits of the legal status or includes those who currently do not.
If we decide to keep the status, I'm personally in favor of a definition that does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, familial status, disability status, veteran status, or genetic information (therefore close-relations) as we as a society have determined that these are protected classes and therefore cannot tolerate discrimination. In addition as it seems arbitrary to discriminate on the basis of quantity, I also favor a definition that does not discriminate on the basis of the number of participants in the marriage union.
If I'm wrong, which is I suppose somehow possible, and there is in fact a possible legal definition necessary and sufficient to determining the legal status of marriage between a man and a woman that does preserve the conventions and conditions which we have as a society up until now somehow managed to follow to the letter even though it has remained unwritten, then I would highly recommend that gay, polygymous, polyamorous, polygamous, incestuous and any other sexually oriented groups that might desire the status of marriage please come up with evidence that clearly shows that things have changed in our society in a way that makes it beneficial to the greater good to grant your particular sexually oriented group the benefits and privileges afforded to the legal status of marriage. And it's probably in your best interest to tell the straight-white-guilt folks to stop throwing words around like "love" and "equal rights" which are just clouding the real issue.
I support equal, not social-group-specific, rights. I support legal statuses with clear, necessary and sufficient criteria. The legal status of marriage is not defined with necessary and sufficient criteria and therefore does not exist. It should either be defined with necessary and sufficient criteria or deemed arbitrary and discriminatory and its provisions, benefits, responsibilities, and protections should be removed.
I would also like to point out that I am in general against the legal status of marriage since the vast majority of its benefits are predicated on the idea that women should stay home, make babies, raise the children and tend to, as Chaucer puts it, "hussif's capery" (At least I think he does. I can't find the reference because I don't remember the spelling. I vaguely remember it from high school, so maybe it's not even Chaucer. At any rate, it literally means "housewife's work", at least, whatever the quote really is does). I personally feel like this is one of those clear changes in our society that demands a reassessment of the legal status and the benefits it provides. I am not against the social contract of marriage as I believe it is one of the fundamental requirements of civilization.