Re: Congratulations

1

Indeed it does. As does the fact that the county clerks who are refusing to perform gay marriages can't perform straight marriages either. The shoe on the other foot and all that.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 7:59 AM
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1: tee hee! I hadn't realized that.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 7:59 AM
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Awwwwww.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 8:01 AM
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There's so much about this to prompt smiles. Granted, some are straightforward feel-good smiles and some are schadenfreude smiles-- a file of smiles, as Giles De'Ath would put it.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 8:02 AM
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But I'm worried that if they ever get divorced they will undermine the institution of marriage.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 8:09 AM
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2: One county clerk apparently sought legal advice on whether she could refuse to marry gay couples only and was told no -- so rather than face the onslaught of family-destroying homos in, hello, Bakersfield, she's stopped officiating weddings altogether.

Also in SFGate, a reporter visits the wilds of red-state California and comes back with a report:
"[Reagan is] just about my favorite person after Jesus Christ and my husband."


Posted by: Magpie | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 8:11 AM
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County officials in at least two California counties say they'll stop performing all wedding ceremonies by next week, arguing that they don't have enough resources to marry both gay and straight couples.

Homophobe, please.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 8:13 AM
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Some standing in the schoolhouse door was to be expected; when it's a government official there should be all sorts of remedies. An easier case than private actors with a quasi-public function like pharmacists.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 8:16 AM
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Every marriage saps the officiant's power, Cala.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 8:17 AM
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"By the power of Greyskull....hang on, a minute. This has never happened to me before."
"It's okay. It happens to all officiants sometimes when they're tired."
"It's just... I'm so embarrassed."


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 8:18 AM
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10: And then you take some medication for nuptial dysfunction and the whole thing is over in two minutes. What a letdown.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 8:22 AM
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"Sorry. I just got excited."
"It's okay. A first ceremony normally only last seven minutes. They've done research on it."
"I'll get more stamina with more practice."


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 8:26 AM
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Welcome to Marriage, Homos!

In honor of the occasion, I give you this joke:

A man and a woman share a sleeper car on a train. They are married, but not to each other. In fact, they are total strangers. After some awkward small talk, the man takes the top bunk. Just as they are settling in to sleep, the man says, "Excuse me, madam, it is a little cold, can you hand me the extra blanket."

"I have an idea," she replies, "Let's pretend we're married, just for tonight."

"Why that would be great!"

"Good. Get your own damn blanket."

After a moment of stunned silence, the man farted.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 8:27 AM
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Here in Costa Rica, I just saw a cat licking a dog with affection.

I blame gay marriage in California!


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 8:29 AM
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"Your Clerkship, officiant energonium levels are draining rapidly!"
[Grits teeth, bangs desk.] "Call the governor. I want the authority to deputize two thousand civilians for the duration."
"No response!"
"Damn it! Can't they see we're overextended here?"
"Wait, message coming in from... the Supreme Court!"
[Reads.] "What are they thinking? This operation is done for! OK, wipe the files, evacuate the building, and burn it down after you. We're going black."
"If only they knew the dark forces we're keeping at bay, your Clerkship."
"If only..."


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 8:30 AM
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12: and before you know it you're letting your intention wander...


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 8:31 AM
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Let's all raise a glass to gay divorce! I am so excited!!!!


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 8:31 AM
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17: If only one in every ten Chinese gay couples gets one matchbook one divorce a year, that's a squillion hojillion dollars in profits for the right people.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 8:39 AM
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In all seriousness, the divorce thing is a pretty valuable feature of the right to marry. Property distribution, alimony, even child support...

And the linked story says a hell of alot about genuine commitment. Little old couples who are still holding hands and looking affectionately into one anothers' eyes... I really does warm the heart.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 8:40 AM
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I can sympathize with people who don't want the descendants of their ancestors' slaves to show up at their family reunions. But I don't get what makes people refuse to provide the proper form in order for people to come into their office, get married, and leave.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 8:41 AM
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I really does warm the heart

You really does, it are true.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 8:42 AM
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I think that everybody should wait until they're 70 or so to marry. Rushing into things is the big problem. I'd be much less hard core about relationships if everyone waited 50 years before getting serious.

There's a lady here who just got married for the first time at the age of 55 after going with the same guy for about 20 years. If you met her, to you she'd seem like a perfectly ordinary Wobegonian, except that a.) she's not at all fat, b.) she's consistently cheerful and pleasant, and c.) she looks like she's about 40.

Draw your own conclusions, fat grumpy aging married folk.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 8:53 AM
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Got weepy in the bathroom this morning, listening to the radio. So good, so happy.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 8:58 AM
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I posted a link to the MSNBC version of this story on my blog. Shortly thereafter, my mom called to inform me that she had read the entry and she worried that saying this would lead people to wonder about my sexual orientation. Why would I be so happy that gay people could marry unless I was gay myself?, after all. I assured her that I was indeed interested in teh boys. Though, I added, I rather often wish it were otherwise.


Posted by: Crabby Abby | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 9:01 AM
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Because it means that PATRIARCHY IS GOING DOWN, BITCHES.

Wait, you think your mom wouldn't like that answer?


Posted by: Magpie | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 9:16 AM
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Talk about weepy: the following, which B quoted from People for the American Way, has me all verklempt.

[June 11th] was "Loving Day," the anniversary of the 1967 Loving vs. Virginia Supreme Court decision that allowed interracial couples to marry in this country. Mildred Loving died this year, but I'm glad she lived long enough to see the child of an interracial marriage run for president.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 9:37 AM
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Draw your own conclusions, fat grumpy aging married folk.

You know Emerson, I liked you a lot better when you were with Lake and Palmer. And FYI, I've been working on the paunch since the start of this year.

13:

Rob - brilliant joke. I'm gonna try and remember it.


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 9:45 AM
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Tripp: One of my wife's relatives forwarded her that joke. It felt weird to be totally amused by one of those over-forwarded emails that jam people's inboxes.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 9:48 AM
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Nothing to grump about. It is all starting to feel normal, though. My second thought, after whatever warm fuzzies are possible, is about whether these couples have the full set of rights and privileges of legal marriage, which is kinda more the point than warm fizzies. Stories about lack of hospital and inheritance privilege have burned me for decades.

In California I think they might, but I do believe DOMA prevents joint returns, rights on federal lands, etc. Is that right? DOMA must die.

Since I have taken my vow of comity, I will not even ask about Obama's position.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 9:50 AM
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Referencing ELP is dirty pool, Tripp. Banned!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 9:51 AM
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After looking at DOMA at Wikipedia, the grump is definitely back. The Lovings did not still face legal fears and threats after the SCOTUS decision.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 9:58 AM
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Obama's position.

"For the record, I opposed [the Defense of Marriage Act] in 1996. It should be repealed and I will vote for its repeal on the Senate floor. I will also oppose any proposal to amend the U.S. Constitution to ban gays and lesbians from marrying. This is an effort to demonize people for political advantage, and should be resisted."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 9:59 AM
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Since I have taken my vow of comity, I will not even ask about Obama's position.

Obama has advocated the full repeat of DOMA since 2004, if memory serves. Clinton said she'd only roll back some of DOMA's provisions.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 9:59 AM
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you know, bob, it's not just about legal rights. The issue is also about respect and acceptance. In fact, I bet for most people the respect aspect is most important. People just find it galling that their relationships are given second class status.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:01 AM
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33: Only Section 3.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:01 AM
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Obama and Hillary both say yes to civil unions, no to gay marriage.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:04 AM
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In fact, I bet for most people the respect aspect is most important.

I doubt that. I don't have actual data, but that's certainly not true amongst my friends.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:05 AM
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More detailed answer.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:09 AM
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I'm just working on empathy here. I get bored pretty quickly with insurance and tax law. But if someone told me my marriage "didn't count" or wasn't a real marriage, I would be insulted.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:09 AM
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Your marriage doesn't count, Rob. I think of you as someone who, even though married, is not entirely lacking in good sense and talent.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:14 AM
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Yeah, but if someone told you only Molly had legal custoday of your kids and that you weren't allowed to adopt them, I imagine the insult would take a back seat.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:14 AM
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But I agree that respect is also very important.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:16 AM
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34:If you say so. I can imagine finding all sorts of public respect and acceptance for women in 19th century political speeches against granting women property and voting rights.

I've known families who have just loved the partner until the house went into probate.

Good for Obama. I knew there were reasons to vote for the man.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:19 AM
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The linked story is great. I wonder how long it will take for the rest of the country to follow suit. All the energy and time some people have spent sticking their noses into other peoples' relationships...what a waste.


Posted by: Annie | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:23 AM
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39:

rob, the point about marriage not counting is a pretty interesting one to me.

My religious training drummed into me that the sacrament of marriage was a covenant with God. In other words the important part is that it is a vow I have made to God.

So now the people who claim that their commitment to God is the most important thing in their life are also claiming that their commitment to God is risked because of what somebody far away does?

This is typical authoritarian lack of reasoning. They are able to hold two contradictory ideas at the same time and don't even see the conflict.


Posted by: Tripp the banned! | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:29 AM
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39,41: I imagine it's a combination of both. No one wants to have second-class status, and spouses are treated as more permanent than long-term partners by society. But having to try to make all the legal arrangements -- and having them be respected -- without being married would suck.

What I can't figure out is what the difference between a civil union and a marriage is supposed to be in reality, as opposed to in rhetoric. Same rights and responsibilities, legally, right? Is there anything that makes a civil union not a marriage that I'm missing, or is this just a triumph of goofball labelling? (The number of people who say 'they can have a civil union, but not a marriage like I have with my wife' seems startlingly non-zero if this is just advertising.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:29 AM
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is this just a triumph of goofball labelling

Yes. It's a stupid linguistic battle that once again reinforces my belief that Americans care about symbolic politic about 100x more than substantive politics.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:32 AM
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All the energy and time some people have spent sticking their noses into other peoples' relationships...what a waste.

Your waste is another person's entertainment. I'm not saying gossip and judging should be condoned but they sure do seem to be part of human nature. They are a shameful part to be sure.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:32 AM
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Bob, I didn't say that all arguments based on respect are good. I was just imagining that gay people who aren't allowed to marry would feel the way I would if i weren't allowed to marry.

The 19th century arguments you talk about sound more like arguments against gay marriage out of "respect for the institution" which is the opposite of what I was thinking of. I was talking about respect for gay people and their relationships. And isn't respect for people always better than respect for institutions?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:33 AM
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Christ. I was hoping there was some substantive difference, but, no, it turns out, we're just a country chock full of stupid.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:34 AM
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47:

Americans

Out of fairness and perhaps a bit of optimism I think you are specifically referring the the approximately 25% of the population that are authoritarian followers. Sadly this percentage seems to be true across countries.

What makes recent times so bad is that these people have temporarily seized the reins of powre.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:36 AM
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Same rights and responsibilities, legally, right?

No. No federal rights, period. For other rights, it depends on the state.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:36 AM
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46:Cala, I think hundreds of federal laws use the word "marriage."

Brain Scan ..from Yglesias.

Look. I enthusiastically give empathy, respect and acceptance to almost any orientation, choice or group, but Republicans? Andy Sullivan? Just the way I was brought up, and anyway my religion forbids comity and bipartisanship.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:36 AM
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What I actually believe is that civil marriage should have no religious component and that religions should do whatever they wanted. If the civil marriage were called a domestic partnership that would be OK with me, if it had the legal rights of marriage. No religious aspect of marriage should have any legal authority. (For example, the Catholic Church does not recognize remarriaged of divorced Catholics, but the state should.)

It does not bother me at all that various churches do not recognize gay marriage, except that they try to get government to enforce their doctrine. That's just one of the dumb things churches do.

I have a moderate sympathy, in the sense of "not much", for devout gay Christians who are unhappy because their church does not recognize their relationship, but it's their problem. They should just switch churches and find a new community to belong to.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:36 AM
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I was under the impression that the words "marriage" and "spouse" had all kinds of legal consequences, particularly in tax, and that the number identified at least in theory was in the hundreds.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:39 AM
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anticipated, obviously.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:40 AM
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civil marriage should have no religious component

Amen.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:40 AM
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I don't think the labeling issue is stupid. I agree that Americans overvalue symbolic politics 100-fold, but still, symbolic politics has some weight.

Molly and I got married following the ceremony of her family's Quaker tradition. The only officiant was the congregation itself, who all signed the marriage certificate. It was an important part of the ceremony that our community recognized our relationship. I don't want to deny that to anyone else.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:41 AM
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54: I am Emerson.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:41 AM
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It's a stupid linguistic battle

I tend to agree, but probably not for the same reason. If the civil union option were truly a middle road compromise that could command majority support nationwide, I would think it a reasonable position for a progressive politician to take: you enable gay couples to enjoy all the legal benefits of marriage, and you defuse the opposition of the good faith objectors who think legal discrimination is bad, but are reluctant to "redefine marriage".

The trouble is that the good faith objectors are ever fewer, while the hard-core opponents are just as opposed to civil unions as to gay marriage (because an institution that extends the benefits of marriage to non-married couples represents a dangerous slippery slope, in their view; hence all the hue and cry about polygamy).

So a progressive politician might as well come out for gay marriage foursquare. At least he/she will get some credit for standing up for principle. Maybe someone can find polling data that proves my supposition wrong, but I suspect that for voters for whom gay unions are a voting issue, there are very few (one way or the other) who will be more inclined to vote for a politician who opposes gay marriage but supports civil unions.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:41 AM
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but I suspect that for voters for whom gay unions are a voting issue, there are very few (one way or the other) who will be more inclined to vote for a politician who opposes gay marriage but supports civil unions.

I'm too lazy to look, but I'm pretty sure that, in fact, there's broad support for civil unions and less support for marriage. In fact, I thought that was the standard understanding.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:43 AM
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46
What I can't figure out is what the difference between a civil union and a marriage is supposed to be in reality, as opposed to in rhetoric. Same rights and responsibilities, legally, right? Is there anything that makes a civil union not a marriage that I'm missing, or is this just a triumph of goofball labelling?

I'm not a lawyer, but I think there may be a difference: civil unions dodge the "faith and credit" clause of the constitution, and therefore don't pose a threat to the constitutionality of DOMA. Or maybe that was the intent, whether or not that would actually work.

There have been some civil union divorces, some of which happened outside the states where the unions were performed, but the civil unions weren't legally marriages in the first place, so those other states could treat the couple as not married without worrying. There was no way the divorce case could have gone to the Supreme Court and paved the way for a ground-breaking ruling, a gay equivalent of Loving.

Huh, there are holes in that theory, and like I said I'm not a lawyer, and even if true this is just a side benefit to the goofball labeling, which is the main reason. Oh well, it's possible at least.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:44 AM
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Marriage-based immigration would be one issue. Funny how some 60-year-old rich dude can divorce his American wife and blame it on feminism, take up with some 19-year-old from a third-world country who doesn't really speak English, but 'her race' makes for 'good wives', meet her once, and bring her to the U.S.*, but a gay couple that meets through work or college can't.

So there is a difference, and it's bigoted. Maybe the way to bring the nutjobs on board is to point out that the gay couples aren't subject to the marriage penalty in taxes.

*I wish to God that were a strawman, but it ain't.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:45 AM
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What I actually believe is that civil marriage should have no religious component and that religions should do whatever they wanted.

That's always seemed the most sensible position to me as well.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:45 AM
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What I actually believe is that civil marriage should have no religious component and that religions should do whatever they wanted.

Isn't this, in fact, already the case? Churches don't have to marry anyone they don't want to, and marriage licenses are official government documents dispensed by public officials.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:46 AM
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Rob, should churches be required to recognize gay marriages? Suppose you had wanted to marry a guy, and your fellowship had refused to recognize it. That would be their right, in my opinion.

I believe that a certain proportion of straight couples are choosing the civil union route. To me that coud be a step in the direction of secularizing the family entirely, and thus a good thing.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:46 AM
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49:The 19th century arguments you talk about sound more like arguments against gay marriage out of "respect for the institution"

Umm, not really. Has the history been lost? In the Enlightenment book I'm reading I just finished a chapter on a early wave of feminism, early 17th century.

Some of the arguments were along lines of:"Women are actually superior to men, in their own special ways, and we must not corrupt and weaken their more pure and pious natures with the complications and sophistries of the philosophes"


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:46 AM
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I'm no lawyer, but how can it make sense to propose two sets of (essentially) contract law that are `the same' and hope they'll remain the same over time, unless you couple them so tightly it's silly to use two names?

The seemingly (to me) obvious solution is to take all legal components out of church marriage. Call it something else or not in civil law. People who get married by a church can apply like anyone else, if they so choose.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:46 AM
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To clarify 47, I don't think the push for gay marriage is stupid. I think the people who try to thread the needle by saying "I'm for civil unions, but not marriage" are playing a stupid and disingenuous game. If you're advocating two different things, then you're being a bigot, full stop. If you're advocating two identical things with different names, then you're just engaging in sophistry.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:47 AM
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58: To be clear, I think it's stupid not in the 'but they have the same rights, why are they complaining?' sense but stupid in the 'okay, so if I called it 'marriage', you'd say it was a crime against the family, but if I relabel it like New Coke, you're cool with it?' sense.



Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:48 AM
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68: Making sense? A long-term solution over time? Who said anything about that?


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:49 AM
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What I can't figure out is what the difference between a civil union and a marriage is supposed to be in reality, as opposed to in rhetoric.

My understanding is that "marriage" gives you various federal rights, while a "civil union" only gives you state-level rights.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:49 AM
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My understanding is that "marriage" gives you various federal rights, while a "civil union" only gives you state-level rights.

That's a terrible idea, then.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:49 AM
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If you're advocating two identical things with different names, then you're just engaging in sophistry.

I don't think it's solely sophistry, or at least not purposeless sophistry -- some people seem really, really hung up on the idea that the evil gummint is going to make their churches perform gay marriages. Civil unions for all, and get the state out of the sacrament business.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:50 AM
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Marriage as understood by the state is already completely secular. At least, I don't remember having to put my religious affiliation down on the license form, or say that we had a priest involved, or anything like that. All the state does is recognize that the religious officiant also can be the secular officiant.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:50 AM
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Following on #61, this set of polling data seems to suggest that there is more support for civil unions than for gay marriage. (I am assuming gay marriage folk wouldn't object to civil unions.)

, but how can it make sense to propose two sets of (essentially) contract law that are `the same' and hope they'll remain the same over time, unless you couple them so tightly it's silly to use two names?

I don't know why you can't empower the priest to be perform two ceremonies at once, one civil and one religious. I don't know how that's different than what happens now, actually.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:51 AM
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72, meet 52.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:52 AM
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I think that the civil marriage / religious marriage distinction is mushy, especially in the minds of Christianists. Many of them are doubtful about and resentful of straight civil unions (courthouse marriages) too, I think. If changing the name of civil marriage while keeping the substance made it possible to fudge the issue, I'd be for that.

For a long time courthouse marriages were just a convenience for unchurched or irreligious people, whose beliefs about marriage were as homophobic as the religious beliefs were.

I personally would be much more willing to enter into a straight civil union than into a marriage, rights being equal. The religious aspects are essentially abhorrent to me.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:53 AM
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Aren't many legal disputes stupid linguistic battles or goofball labeling? Potato, Potahto is a lot of billable hours.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:53 AM
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My understanding is that "marriage" gives you various federal rights, while a "civil union" only gives you state-level rights.

I'd be astonished if that's true, if only because--to the best of my knowledge--"civil union" isn't well-defined, and is usually taken to mean "like marriage, but without the 'm' word."


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:54 AM
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76: I'm pretty sure that is what happens now. We had the sacrament ceremony in the church, and the day before we signed the paperwork for the county, and the day after, the priest mailed in the forms.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:54 AM
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I'm too lazy to look, but I'm pretty sure that, in fact, there's broad support for civil unions and less support for marriage. In fact, I thought that was the standard understanding.

That's why I added the qualifier about people for whom it's a voting issue. The mushy middle is unlikely to oppose a candidate just because of his stance on gay rights. So I think the polls lead timid Dem politicians toward a center that doesn't exist in any electorally meaningful form.

My understanding is that "marriage" gives you various federal rights, while a "civil union" only gives you state-level rights.

That's not strictly accurate. Neither one confers any federal rights under DOMA. And the full faith and credit clause could arguably apply to civil unions, just as it does common law marriages.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:54 AM
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The word "marriage," and having it certified with a marriage license, takes care of hundreds (thousands?) of laws that reference marriage, married couples, survivors, etc. My understanding is that calling it a "civil union" means that none of those references to marriage in our existing laws necessarily apply.

That's not really why I want the word "marriage," though. I want it to annoy those who don't want me to have anything. I want it as a way of grinding their face in the mud with the heel of my shoe. I want it to cause them pain to hear me say "husband."


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:55 AM
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I personally would be much more willing to enter into a straight civil union than into a marriage

Another chink in Emerson's wall!


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:55 AM
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John, I don't think that churches should be forced to perform gay marriages. I just think they are being mean, insulting, petty, and cruel. We're basically on the same page here, but I feel the insult more personally, because, you know, I like marriage.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:57 AM
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76: Tim, that data seems to show that the percentage of adults who support full marriage rights has been steadily increasing over the last four years, while the percentage of adults who support civil unions isn't that much greater - in fact, it's within the margin of error. And the percentage opposed to any legal recognition for same-sex couples has been dropping. Given the trends, I don't see a need to settle for civil unions, and from what I can tell neither do most gay rights organizations.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:57 AM
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One thing that I think legal gay marriage can't do is give gay couples the feeling that their relationships are blessed by the community, and that they are fully accepted. Legal changes can take away the objective penalties, and it will require public recognition in a legalistic way, but people in general will accept it or not as they wish, and some communities will bless these marriages and some communities won't.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:57 AM
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That's not really why I want the word "marriage," though. I want it to annoy those who don't want me to have anything. I want it as a way of grinding their face in the mud with the heel of my shoe. I want it to cause them pain to hear me say "husband."

Keep talking like that and the Anglicans won't be willing to perform the ceremony.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:57 AM
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I don't think the labeling issue is stupid. I agree that Americans overvalue symbolic politics 100-fold, but still, symbolic politics has some weight.

I was mostly fulfilling my grump responsibilities. Of course the story link is heart-warming and empathy inducing, and it will be stories like it, widely disseminated, and personal experience, and other political acts, that get DOMA overturned or otherwise voided (I can't think of a word for un-enacting a law).

Especially since I doubt we can put much hope in this SCOTUS.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:58 AM
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76. I'm sure I read that that is what they do in Europe. According to the state, one must have a courthouse wedding, that is the only one that counts. If one wants a church wedding, go ahead, knock yourself out.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:59 AM
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I want it to cause them pain to hear me say "husband."

It's fun even when you don't get to cause pain, because there's a noticeable difference in how acquaintances and business partners react to 'girlfriend' versus 'wife.'


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:59 AM
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88: That's what Unitarians are for.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:00 AM
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88: Just for that, I refuse to have Rah's and my reception happen in fast-forward with the Benny Hill music playing. That'll show 'em.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:00 AM
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I don't know why you can't empower the priest to be perform two ceremonies at once, one civil and one religious.

That's fine too. You might have more trouble with refusing to perform ceremonies, I don't know.

My point had nothing to do with the ceremony per se., but with the legal status. As soon as you have two classes of people in law, you have a problem afaics.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:00 AM
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89.1 was meant to be in italics, quoting #58


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:00 AM
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because there's a noticeable difference in how acquaintances and business partners react to 'girlfriend' versus 'wife.'

What's the difference?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:01 AM
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That's not strictly accurate. Neither one confers any federal rights under DOMA.

Because DOMA doesn't recognize same-sex marriages as marriages at all. But when you call them "marriages," as in MA and CA, instead of making up this other, sort of marriage-shaped thing we've got in VT, CT, etc., you've got something that more obviously should confer federal rights, and a more obvious indication that DOMA is unconstitutional.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:01 AM
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My understanding is that "marriage" gives you various federal rights, while a "civil union" only gives you state-level rights.

I'm pretty sure this isn't right. Under the federal DOMA, the federal government does not recognize any same-sex relationships as marriage, even when they are called "marriage" by a state.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:02 AM
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When you get married, Robusto, you'll be grinding your heel into the faces not only of the haters, but also of the high minded, caring people who are trying to save you and the whole world from the hell of relationships. You might think about that.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:03 AM
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What's the difference?

It's actually really annoying, but many people have different expectations/reactions.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:03 AM
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In sappier news, when SF started doing marriages in 2004 one of our friends asked that Rah and I go in with him on sending flowers to a random couple. A couple of weeks later we got the world's nicest thank-you letter from the couple that received our flowers and Rah and I still have the note and envelope on our fridge. Tonight I'm going to write them back to ask for an update.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:04 AM
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I'm an advisor to the straight & gay alliance at my school, and these kids are SO not ready to break from their hometown churches. It's totally heartbreaking. Their churches are important to them, and they just swallow the fact that their churches say that gay kids go to hell.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:05 AM
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Especially since I doubt we can put much hope in this SCOTUS.

First day of the Obama administration I'm planning a field trip with the justices to the beach, where they can dodder out into the ocean to be swept away and eaten by walruses.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:05 AM
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97 to 98.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:06 AM
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96: Something like 'instant respect', actually. It's kind of subtle, but it's sort of the difference between 'I'll call back when he is home' and 'You can give him this message for me, right?'


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:06 AM
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88: That's what Unitarians are for.

Make sure you find a lefty, firebreathing congregation rather than the milquetoast Robert Fulghum type. When the minister asks why you want to be married, watch him or her closely when you say, "To make Rick Santorum's children cry. Again." A slight relaxation of tension around the eyebrows and perhaps an modest exhalation of satisfaction is the tell that you've probably found the right officiant. If this is followed by a joke about santorum, ask if they can recommend a wedding band.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:06 AM
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88: That's what Unitarians are for.

Make sure you find a lefty, firebreathing congregation rather than the milquetoast Robert Fulghum type. When the minister asks why you want to be married, watch him or her closely when you say, "To make Rick Santorum's children cry. Again." A slight relaxation of tension around the eyebrows and perhaps an modest exhalation of satisfaction is the tell that you've probably found the right officiant. If this is followed by a joke about santorum, ask if they can recommend a wedding band.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:06 AM
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It's actually really annoying, but many people have different expectations/reactions.

Yeah, but what are the specifics that you or Cala have bumped into? I'm just curious. (Soupy, did you get married under our noses?)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:07 AM
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Their churches are important to them, and they just swallow the fact that their churches say that gay kids go to hell.

This must be really frustrating & painful to watch.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:07 AM
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You might think about that.

In about a million years, when NC's human-alien-hybrid governor uses its powerful mind-rays to allow gay marriages, I'll expect a sympathy card. Until then, nothing.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:07 AM
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87, see 83

Legal changes can take away the objective penalties, and it will require public recognition in a legalistic way, but people in general will accept it or not as they wish, and some communities will bless these marriages and some communities won't.

That's not really why I want the word "marriage," though. I want it to annoy those who don't want me to have anything. I want it as a way of grinding their face in the mud with the heel of my shoe. I want it to cause them pain to hear me say "husband."

The fact that Dixie hated the Civil Rights Acts of the 60s was a very definite plus for many of us.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:07 AM
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Tim, that data seems to show that the percentage of adults who support full marriage rights has been steadily increasing over the last four years, while the percentage of adults who support civil unions isn't that much greater - in fact, it's within the margin of error.

One of us is reading that table wrongly. I think the numbers in a single row add to 100%, so the support for civil unions (which, as I said, I take to inc. gay marriage) is about twice that as the support for gay marriage.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:08 AM
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This must be really frustrating & painful to watch.

Eh, they're 18, 19, and they're growing and changing little kids. They'll come to it when they're ready.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:09 AM
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(105 answers 108 but I hadn't previewed.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:10 AM
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The more I think about it, the more people (gay and straight) choose unblessed civil marriages, the more the religious blessing will become a limited, parochial, sort of ethnic thing, and the less power it will have.

Having the two types of marriage would also be a way for straigh couples to show real solidarity.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:11 AM
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There's nothing about a marriage now that prevents you from going down to the courthouse without having a religious affiliation.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:13 AM
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102 is why it is important to force gay marriage into law. Those churches would reluctantly start accepting those gay parishioners. And very soon the law would change attitudes.

The parallel is with the guy who owned the hotel in Jackson who may have been just marginally racist and could say:"Hey, I don't like it either, but I have to give them a room and let them eat in the dining room."

As I said in another thread, I think a lot of Northern & other accomodations would have accepted Billie Holiday but they didn't want to lose the Southern racist customers. Or cause a scene.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:16 AM
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In places where civil unions are recognized, can straight couples opt for them? (out of solidarity, as Emerson suggests.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:17 AM
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112: I don't think I'm reading it wrongly. The poll asks respondents whether they support (a) gay marriage, (b) civil unions, or (c) no legal recognition for same-sex couples. "Gay marriage" and "civil unions" are presented as alternatives; one is not a subset of another.

civil unions (which, as I said, I take to inc. gay marriage)

Here I think you're just wrong. There are plenty of gay rights advocates who just don't see civil unions as an acceptable solution, which is why they're frequently derided as "separate but equal." And the ultimate goal of the marriage equality movement is still a thing called marriage, with all the legal rights and privileges straight people get whenever they get married, which just isn't what you get with a civil union.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:17 AM
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Those churches would reluctantly start accepting those gay parishioners.

You *are* an optimist.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:18 AM
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Having the two types of marriage would also be a way for straight couples to show real solidarity.

If they were really equal, which is very unlikely. What this has taught me is all the privilages built as presumptions and defaults into the system, which no one should deprive himself or loved-ones of if they are available.

What we seem to be moving toward, state-sanctioned marriage being available to all, is both the most likely and fairest solution.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:19 AM
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115: Which is exactly what I envisioned. Anyone can do this in their own church if they want to, but in the larger context its irrelevant whether you did or not.


There's nothing about a marriage now that prevents you from going down to the courthouse without having a religious affiliation.

Except if you are a same sex couple. The point is by more clearly separating the legal an religious roles, it should be easier to expand the legal status without getting too many fundamentalist knickers twisted.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:19 AM
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Right, but the solution to that problem is to allow same sex marriage, not make a duplicate marriage called 'civil union' that people get only if they're not religious. I think all that would do is create a second-class status.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:23 AM
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The point is by more clearly separating the legal an religious roles, it should be easier to expand the legal status without getting too many fundamentalist knickers twisted.

Yeah, but you already twist those knickers plenty just by trying to separate the legal and religious roles.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:23 AM
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I don't know, the ways churches and religions accomdate themselves to social and political changes is complicated. My personal feeling is that the acceptance of gays is closer to contraception than to abortion. At least I hope so, and there is some evidence.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:24 AM
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118: For both civil unions and domestic partnerships, it depends. They can be governed by municipalities or states who all set their own rules. Your rights & responsibilities are defined by those jurisdictions and most likely your employer (for health care, pensions, etc.).

Yet another reason health care shouldn't be tied to your employer or your marital status or anything else.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:25 AM
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If one wants a church wedding, go ahead, knock yourself out.

True in some countries (France, Germany), not in others.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:25 AM
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(105 answers 108 but I hadn't previewed.)

This cuts both ways. People insisting that your status has fundamentally changed when you don't believe it has is disrespectful, in a way. Example: people asking about your career plans may often assume it's a solo decision if you aren't married, but ask about your partners goals/wishes if they believe you are married.

I know several couples whose long-term commitment had not plans of formal marriage, but eventually decide to do it (quietly) for purely practical reasons (visitation rights, children, taxes, whatever). It's pretty insulting to them to insist that their relationship changes at that point in ways they don't believe it has. Particularly after decades & children, which I've seen happen.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:26 AM
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Yeah, but you already twist those knickers plenty just by trying to separate the legal and religious roles.

Sure. But really, too bad. The churches have no place in that, imo.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:27 AM
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123: Which is exactly what I said..... maybe everyone is agreed here.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:28 AM
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Example: people asking about your career plans may often assume it's a solo decision if you aren't married, but ask about your partners goals/wishes if they believe you are married.

I agree that is a downside, but I didn't see it as one particularly related to the marriage changing things as much as sexist assumptions, e.g., whether shivbunny was okay with following my career around should I happen to stay in the academy. Even a couple of close friends were asking delicately about it. I'm not sure if it happens to guys in the same way, but I would be a little surprised if it did.

I think it's just the permanence, or supposed permanence, that people are reacting to.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:32 AM
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123: I think that the religious union would be the second-class status. I'm talking about a real separation, too, with only civil union having legal status, and only religious marriage called "marriage", but with the religious being required to form civil unions if they want the legal status of marriage.

I think that gay individuals who want to love, acceptance, and blessing of homophobic churches will always have a problem.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:32 AM
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I don't know, the ways churches and religions accomdate themselves to social and political changes is complicated.

I'm reminded of a chapter from a collection of surveys and interviews I read fifteen or so years ago about what it was like to grow up gay in the South. One of the respondents described going to a local firebrand minister for counseling; the preacher in question had built a career on railing against sins of the same-sex flesh. The minister's in-private advice was to move to San Francisco, find a nice boyfriend and forget about all that bullshit back home; the minister himself didn't believe what he got paid to say.

One of my last ditch efforts to feel welcome in my parents' church (even after I'd abandoned the tenets of faith and started viewing it as more of a community institution than anything else) involved lobbying their minister, their bishop and on up the chain of their conference for some sort of under-the-table support for a gay youth group. Over and over again I was told that while whatever individual with whom I spoke sympathized with me and supported me they didn't think anyone else would support them. None of them would believe that anyone else had told me the same thing.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:34 AM
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Sure. But really, too bad. The churches have no place in that, imo.

Right, but given that they already have that place, you're not going to take it away from them without a fight. And I'd just as soon use that energy to fight directly for same-sex marriage, rather than take up a fight that appeals primarily to nontheists and heathens and doesn't look like it'd get much accomplished that same sex marriage wouldn't anyway. If you want to start taking up church-state fights, I'd like to start with more transparency for church finances and the weird nonprofit-but-not-really tax status religious orgs enjoy in the US, which would also stir up a shitstorm but might well be worth it.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:34 AM
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The weird thing about it is that a lot of hyper-churchy young guys seem and/ or are gay. The straight HS guys sneak off into the church basement to mess around with girls.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:34 AM
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I think that gay individuals who want to love, acceptance, and blessing of homophobic churches will always have a problem.

This is extremely well-stated.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:35 AM
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136: Agreed. And from a larger societal point of view, the big win is making everyone realize this is the problem of the homophobic churches, not the gay individuals.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:36 AM
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There's nothing about a marriage now that prevents you from going down to the courthouse without having a religious affiliation.

What John and others are trying to say is that everyone should have to go to the courthouse, as they do in [parts of] Europe, even in countries with state churches; the religious may choose a church ceremony as well.

If we were on a different trajectory, then I'd be more enthusiastic about this option. But we're plainly on the cusp* of legal gay marriage everywhere, and so I don't see any benefit to going in this third direction. If there really were a plurality of good faith objectors (as someone mentioned above), and going the Emerson route would really get them on board, then that would also make me more enthusiastic. But I think that even the less malicious objectors really think, deep down, that gay marriages should be second class, and I'm not willing to accept that.

I was married by a mayor, but I've never once felt that I should qualify my marriage as "civil." Telling gays that their weddings are actually civil unions is a pretty blatant instance of second-classing.

All that said, I'm on board with anyone who wants to advance the cause of equality - civil registries, civil unions, whatever. I think that anyone who's willing to advance the cause, however half-hearted or misguided, is, in fact, advancing things, and that's an unalloyed good. I'll always hope/work for more, but I won't cut down someone trying to do the right thing.

* For some non-infinite definition of "cusp."


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:43 AM
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I think it's just the permanence, or supposed permanence, that people are reacting to.

Well-phrased. You only put in a modest effort to remember information about a colleague's/acquiantance's GF/BF, because there's a presumption that it could end any second. Although, as Will will happily point out, the same is true of spouses, that's not the presumption.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:46 AM
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||

The scans reveal that in gay people, key structures of the brain governing emotion, mood, anxiety and aggressiveness resemble those in straight people of the opposite sex. The differences are likely to have been forged in the womb or in early infancy, says Ivanka Savic, who conducted the study at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. "This is the most robust measure so far of cerebral differences between homosexual and heterosexual subjects," she says.

link is at MY this morning.

At the risk of being comically Jovian again, if this were true there would still be an asymmetry between gay and straight relationships: in gay both would have that opposite-sex-resembling structure and in straight, each would have the structure typical of their own gender, and would hence be different from one another.

|>


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:56 AM
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133
The minister's in-private advice was to move to San Francisco, find a nice boyfriend and forget about all that bullshit back home; the minister himself didn't believe what he got paid to say.

Wow. Weird. My gut reaction is respect and admiration for a minister more tolerant than he seems who's genuinely trying to help people. But as soon as I think about it, the situation looks more like hypocritical demagoguery. Confusing.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 11:57 AM
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When I first read it I thought the former; now I think it the latter.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 12:07 PM
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But as soon as I think about it, the situation looks more like hypocritical demagoguery

If he was truly railing against the sins of same-sex flesh from the pulpit, I agree. But I am pretty forgiving of hypocrisy on this count in general. A well-intentioned closet-tolerant clergyman can actually do a lot of good by injecting a dose of "hate the sin, love the sinner" into his parishioners' skulls. It's the first step down the road to becoming accepting of homosexuality, and a clergyman is in a unique position to influence people's thinking.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 12:12 PM
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What John and others are trying to say is that everyone should have to go to the courthouse

This may have been answered upthread, but doesn't everyone have to to the courthouse now, to get a license? Do insurance companies etc recognize church ceremony marriages without a marriage license?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 12:14 PM
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doesn't everyone have to to the courthouse now, to get a license

Not necessarily. A notary public can do it in some states. I mailed in my church certificate and got a legal certificate back in the mail from the state.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 12:18 PM
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141-143: I know a priest who counseled a couple that getting divorced and trying for an annulment was probably their wisest course of action given how miserable they both were being married to each other. That's not normally the answer one would expect from a priest, even one who did not normally make the sanctity of marriage a big issue in his homilies, and I think that in that case, he was not being hypocritical, just wise.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 12:19 PM
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A notary public can do it in some states.

A notary public performed my first marriage (in South Carolina; NC makes you go to the courthouse).


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 12:20 PM
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145: If you hadn't mailed it in, however, your marriage probably wouldn't be recognized by the state.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 12:21 PM
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If we were on a different trajectory, then I'd be more enthusiastic about this option. But we're plainly on the cusp* of legal gay marriage everywhere, and so I don't see any benefit to going in this third direction.

This is a good point. I'm inclined to say that one shouldn't let the perfect be the enemy of the good, but if a) it's only a matter of waiting an extra couple of years for the perfect, b) a more European option in America isn't any more feasible than straight equality tacked onto the current status quo and c) my views are possibly shaped by some subliminal discomfort with the gays a-marryin' on my part, maybe I should shut up and take Perfect in 6 games. Hm.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 12:22 PM
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Proxy marriage.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 12:25 PM
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Well damn, the story I was thinking of is on Google Books:

He said, "Get close to the Lord, find you a good lover, and be happy."

Rereading it now, it seems a lot more someone trying to do what good is available to him than cynical hypocrisy.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 12:25 PM
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Interesting. California, and San Francisco especially, expect this to be a huge boost to tourism (and the Wedding Industrial Complex). I didn't realize that (same-sex-only? all?) marriage in Massachusetts was limited to residents, while in California it's not. (I assume this would also make a California marriage a better case to get rid of DOMA on full faith and credit grounds.)

The marketing is already starting, which is both cool and a bit mercenary.


Posted by: Magpie | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 12:27 PM
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If you hadn't mailed it in, however, your marriage probably wouldn't be effectively over by now. Put some heart into it!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 12:29 PM
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Dear gay people,

Get married. Have a wonderful life, with children if you want them. But for the love of little apples, do not adopt the wedding-industrial complex. It is not necessary. Even if some straight couples think it is.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 12:30 PM
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151: It's a shame that Billy Joe McAllister didn't attend that church.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 12:31 PM
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Rereading it now, it seems a lot more someone trying to do what good is available to him than cynical hypocrisy.

Yeah, that's pretty good advice, especially since it clearly - albeit implicitly - acknowledges that there's no conflict between being close to the Lord and getting teh hott buttsexxx.

Is the triple x too much?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 12:31 PM
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Is the triple x too much?

Nah, but the sequel starring Ice Cube was terrible.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 12:35 PM
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do not adopt the wedding-industrial complex

Yeah, good luck getting gays to eschew faaaabluous weddings.

Actually, when my sister got married*, they did a really nice blend of mid-sized, family & friends-oriented and Burner-inspired reception/party in a converted warehouse with flame-jugglers** and a real DJ. So, pretty fabulous, but no W-IC.

* In CO, so technically not legal

** What the hell is the right term for this? I was a little drunk


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 12:36 PM
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I'm too lazy to look this up, but wasn't one surprise of the MA experience the small number of SS couples that wanted to get married? After the initial flood, it's been pretty slow, according to that NYT article.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 12:39 PM
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Well, they're jugglers. And the flaming things they are juggling are torches.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 12:42 PM
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I hope I can settle a couple things.

To be legally married you must get a legal Marriage Certificate from one of the 50 states. I'm not sure about immigrant marriages.

In MN at least the wedding "ceremony" could be conducted by a notary public, a judge, or a minister of a faith (I'm not sure who all is included in this list. For sure Catholic Priests were included.)

Now I'm pretty sure the notary public "ceremony" is something like showing him/her your ID, swearing who you are, showing that you are aware of what is happening, and then signing some paper and getting the seal. Probably swearing you are not already married too. Kinda like any other contract I suppose.

They used to require blood tests for VD or something but we didn't have to do that. I think MN required something like a three day waiting period, too, kinda like the lemon law for used cars.

In my opinion legalized gay marriage is coming, no doubt. Authoritarians are generally fearful and their leaders stoke that, but personal experience can calm their fears. Once they see that the sky did not fall most of them will move onto something else to be fearful about.

Another general aspect of this came up from my 5th grade daughter. She took "family life" (formerly sex ed) and in general the topic is 'icky' for her. In the same vein I know some classmates of hers really hate the idea of gay sex, kinda like being doubly icky.

I am glad my daughter could talk about this to me because we have openly gay members of our family in committed relationships and she knows it. I told her she doesn't have to share that information but if she wants she can say something like "Gays are not icky. Gays are just normal people too."

Her friends told a scare story about two lesbians making out on the street and I told her it would be icky if a boy and girl made out like that on the street too. Some things should be done in private.


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 12:44 PM
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Not to get all Richard Florida on y'all, but I wonder if subsequent generations will look back on tolerance for gays in various U.S. jurisdiction the way historians look at emancipation of Jews in late modern Europe. Not only does an intolerant jurisdiction drive out a disproportionately talented and accomplished group, but it creates an environment that is hostile to difference and innovation more generally. As England and the Netherlands profited from their neighbors' persecution of the Jews, so does the West Coast (and Atlanta) profit from the hostility of the bible belt to gays. It's well established in the conventional wisdom that gays fill an indispensible niche in the ecology of urban renewal; I think you can generalize this economic and cultural dynamism more broadly.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 12:44 PM
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Interesting. California, and San Francisco especially, expect this to be a huge boost to tourism (and the Wedding Industrial Complex). I didn't realize that (same-sex-only? all?) marriage in Massachusetts was limited to residents, while in California it's not.

Same thing happened with divorces in Nevada in the previous century, if I'm not mistaken—the residency limit was absurdly low, so you could go there, tool around for a few weeks (separately, I imagine) and get divorced. Thin end of the wedge and all that.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 12:50 PM
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159 sounds pretty sensible to me actually. After a lifetime of longing for the day, and then the initial rush and excitement of the historic moment, it seems inevitable that ordinary couples would spend time thinking pretty hard about whether they really do want to be married before rushing in. Given that there's not a long-establish expectation for gay couples to get married, it would make sense that gay couples on average might be more circumspect about the decision. I hear that some heterosexual people wind up married despite serious doubts because it's sort of expected. I wonder if legalizing gay marriage will lead to that same sort of expectation/pressure for gay couples.

(Just kind of pondering haphazardly... )


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 12:51 PM
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Atlanta?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 12:52 PM
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JRoth,

flame-jugglers** What the hell is the right term for this? I was a little drunk

Partial thickness with reepithelialization from squamous cells burn pre-victim.


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 12:52 PM
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I hear that some heterosexual people wind up married despite serious doubts because it's sort of expected.

Did I detect a note of bitter irony wafting up from that comment?


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 12:53 PM
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I think it's just the permanence, or supposed permanence, that people are reacting to.

The thing is, they'll do this regardless of evidence and of your stated position on the matter. Let's say you're in a long term, committed relationship of 10+ years, and for whatever reasons you haven't got married (don't like the institutional implications, dislike of the wedding-industrial complex, support of gay friends, whatever). It is really, really easy to find a couple who've been married less than 6 months who will, all empirical evidence to the contrary, tell you how they consider your relationship to be fundamentally less committed that theirs is, or how things will change for you once you finally get married.

It's stupid, but pretty deeply ingrained in some people.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 12:53 PM
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So that's why they call it "Hotlanta?"


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 12:55 PM
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162: I'm almost certain this will happen.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 12:55 PM
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Atlanta?

Atlanta. It's a good compromise between San Francisco and Spartanburg if you are a gay southerner.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 12:56 PM
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169: I think that's more a function of latitude.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 12:56 PM
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Atlanta. It's a good compromise between San Francisco and Spartanburg if you are a gay southerner.

Durham is Lesbian Central.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 12:57 PM
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Did I detect a note of bitter irony wafting up from that comment?

From me? Why, never! (But, seriously, I did mean that more generally. The pressure to stay> married was a bigger issue for me, personally, than the pressure to get married.)


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 12:57 PM
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Atlanta. It's a good compromise between San Francisco and Spartanburg if you are a gay southerner.

Houston too, for that matter.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 12:58 PM
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Huh. I would've thought there'd be tons of hot gay action in Spartanburg.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 12:58 PM
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soup biscuit,

It's stupid,

Well I dunno. There is an important difference. If you break up a marriage after 10 years you go to divorce court. If you break up an unmarried relationship after 10 years you go on Judge Judy. Or Jerry Springer.

So maybe people are just trying to keep the younguns off TV.


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 12:58 PM
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169: 169: I think that's more a function of latitude.

That's what they all say.

But hush up, I'm learning stuff. OK, Atlanta, Durham, Houston, Spartanburg?! Who knew!

Go on.


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 1:01 PM
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If you break up a marriage after 10 years you go to divorce court. If you break up an unmarried relationship after 10 years you go on Judge Judy

Assuming one or both of you can't be decent about the break up , perhaps. But also, that really depends a bit on what other contract law you've involved, doesn't it? And depending on jurisdiction, etc. If you have shared biological children.

But this is really a reflection of the lack of choices in civil law out there for people. The idea that the choice not to marry is necessarily due to a fundamentally a lack of commitment is inane, any way you cut it.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 1:03 PM
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It's funny on the assumption of permanence thing. My grandma and her bf have been shacking up for at least a decade. They have no intention of ever getting married. But I can't remember a time that I didn't think of their relationship as permanent. Contrast my best friend, who's been married less than 5 years, who's relationship I fully expect to be non-permanent. (Hope?)


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 1:03 PM
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So that's why they call it "Hotlanta?"

They call it that because "they" are fucking stupid. But it is hot here, especially today. And we have a lot of teh gays. I can't figure out what w-lfs-n proffers it response to.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 1:05 PM
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Contrast my best friend, who's been married less than 5 years, who's relationship I fully expect to be non-permanent. (Hope?)

Di's got her eyes on the prize!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 1:05 PM
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Also, "whose".


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 1:05 PM
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I can't figure out what w-lfs-n proffers it response to.

I can't figure out what the fuck this means.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 1:06 PM
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soup biscuit,

Well, I was kinda making a joke. But couldn't the rationalization that "we don't need a piece of paper to make our commitment real" be applied to every single legal contract?

I mean the contract is not for when things go well. Usually. It is to keep people from using guns when things don't go well.

Which brings up a point many youngsters don't really want to hear.

Almost nobody goes into a marriage without a real serious commitment. Sure, you've got Brittney and probably some immigration people but in general everyone who gets married is really in love and fully intends to spend the rest of their days with their betrothed.

And yet. And yet.

Interesting to me is that in those states which offer a 'covenant' marriage which makes it legally much harder to divorce hardly anyone is getting that kind of marriage. I wonder why?


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 1:08 PM
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Who knows. Its a million goddamn degrees in my house.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 1:09 PM
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and i left that apostrophe out on purpose.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 1:09 PM
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182 -- absolutely! I fully intend to take over one or more of their gorgeous babies. In all the chaos of divorce, they won't even notice one missing!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 1:09 PM
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186 to 184.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 1:10 PM
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180: Contrast my best friend, who's been married less than 5 years, who's relationship I fully expect to be non-permanent. (Hope?)

Is Hope cute?

I mean just for future reference.


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 1:11 PM
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Sybil,

Its a million goddamn degrees in my house.

How much is that in degrees Kelvin?


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 1:12 PM
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Huh. I would've thought there'd be tons of hot gay action in the bathroom of the highway rest stop nearest to Spartanburg.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 1:13 PM
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To be legally married you must get a legal Marriage Certificate from one of the 50 states. I'm not sure about immigrant marriages.

Thank the Lord, the federal government's involvement in my ability to get married ended with the visa. We went to the County Courthouse just like any other couple, and just left his SSN blank (since he didn't have one) and on the clerk's advice, left his profession blank (so they wouldn't think he was working illegally.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 1:13 PM
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It's like, 2 degrees Kelvin I think.

And Spartanburg is a shithole, is that what we are talking about?


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 1:14 PM
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Umm, if Di comes to the next UDCon, I'm leaving Iris - and Baby Brother at home.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 1:14 PM
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Sybil,

is that what we are talking about?

Beats the heck out of me. Things change quickly around here.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 1:16 PM
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And Spartanburg is a shithole

Comity!


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 1:17 PM
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I'm reading comment 53 right now and having wicked deja vu. I sense that something in either a comment or link will really piss me off and my knickers will be in a twist for hours today. I hope I'm wrong.


Posted by: Annie | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 1:26 PM
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>i>Gays are not icky. Gays are just normal people too.

And normal people are icky, huggin & kissin & laughin & talkin and other icky stuff. Aspbergerians and other differently-social types may or may not be icky, but really don't want to talk about it.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 1:38 PM
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Same thing happened with divorces in Nevada in the previous century, if I'm not mistaken--the residency limit was absurdly low, so you could go there, tool around for a few weeks (separately, I imagine) and get divorced. Thin end of the wedge and all that.

Yep. A "Reno divorce" featured pretty prominently in The Women. I think the residency period was 30 days. (Also, Joan Crawford was a knitter? Who knew?)

168: OH DEAR GOD YES. And even if they understand it's permanent on some level, they'll still take your relationship less seriously if you don't have that piece of paper, because you're not really committed. (Not the whiff of bitter experience here -- the reek.)


Posted by: Magpie | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 1:38 PM
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191: 555,811

Huh. I would've thought there'd be tons of hot gay action in Spartanburg.

Why do you think they named it that?


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 1:38 PM
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201: thanks for making that explicit.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 1:40 PM
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Yep. A "Reno divorce"

I shot a man in Reno, just to have his bride.


Posted by: the man in black aquamarine | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 1:41 PM
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Sorry, I thought I was responding to someone saying "wouldn't've thought".

JOKE FAILED

TRY AGAIN?

[YES] [NO] [CANCEL]


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 1:41 PM
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Did you ever notice that html markup doesn't work in the name field?


Posted by: the man in ... | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 1:42 PM
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A lesbian friend of mine grew up in Spartanburg, but then moved to Charleston, which seemed to have a thriving gay community, but this was a while ago.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 2:01 PM
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I started skimming towards the end, but with regard to the what difference does lack of legal recognition of one's marriage make: as others have pointed out, so long as we have DOMA, there is no such thing on the Federal Level as a legally recognized same-sex marriage. And l here are just a few of the (many, many) irl ways that DOMA affects spouse and I (and we are, as two employed professors, in an incredibly privil. position):
1) spouse and I now have powers of attorney for health care and for finances documents, as well as separate medical information release forms, and end of life documents for each of the five states in which we spend a meaningful amount of time each year. Plus wills (all the same in content) for the three states in which we spend most time each year. Why? Because state laws with regard to each of these documents vary, and without the benefit of a Federally recognized marriage, there is no guarantee that e.g. a power of attorney for health care signed in state x would be recognized by random-hospital-official in state y. Or even 'mortuary where I'm trying to get spouse's body shipped back home'. We *each* now have more than 25 such protective legal documents, and STILL if one of us should g-d forbid be injured while in some state other than those five (or NJ, NY and for a while CA--all of which recognize our Canadian license at least for this purpose) we're completely, utterly, screwed.
2) taxes. This is no fucking minor thing, let me tell you. "They" (who are 'they' and can I please off them?) say it only makes a difference if one person is employed for money and one is not. Liars. I'm sure there are many other circumstances in which the lie in that might be discovered, but here are two examples from my own life. 1- A few years ago, spouse and I bought our first house. Unusual circumstances basically put us in a position where we needed to do it fast (or like, have no place to live) so the downpayment came out of an old tiaa-cref account of mine (a gra, not an ira--one can take money out of an ira for first home without tax penalty). Now, it turns out if one takes money out of an RA or GRA, then one can take out x amount if one is filing singly or married filing separately, OR one can take out 2x if one is a married couple filing jointly. It's a 10% penalty. screwed. 2- Last year, spouse had some medical problems and we had to float on my income and credit until they were (mercifully) solved. Which would have been not so bad except that this year I had medical problems not covered by insurance (and mind you, I have job where health insurance is really really good), so since I was maxed out covering her year of medical costs, she had to cover mine. The result? We're (and I'm not kidding) upwards of $45K in debt, all of it directly or indirectly (just one step indirect) medical costs. AND not one fucking red cent of it is deductible, because I had to pay for her and she paid for me, and the Federal gov. doesn't recognize us as standing in any relationship to one another. And yes, we could have avoided a little bit of this if, say, I'd given her $ and then she'd paid for her care directly and vice versa; but in the first place, with costs that high, we'd still have to pay 'gift tax' on a large portion of it (remember, gov't doesn't recognize us as standing in any relationship to one another), and plus, even that wouldn't really have been possible because you know, those pesky medical problems just won't wait until one person figures out how to cleanly transfer a whole bunch of money to the other...
pretty high class problems, I know. But christ, still...


Posted by: academic lesbian | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 2:07 PM
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207: That must be so frustrating. And as you say, you two are starting off from a privilege position.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 2:10 PM
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203 is damn funny.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 2:12 PM
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thanks soup, yes it is frustrating & yeah, we know we're starting off in an incredibly priv. position. I mean, at least we have the chance--given our socio-economic status-- to get through this sort of thing, and put together enough legal documents to give us minimal protection. And it's beyond infuriating to realize that one *has* to be as priviledged as we are to even get this kind of minimal simulacrum of true legal protection.


Posted by: academic lesbian | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 2:17 PM
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207 is a great/terrible reality check. That sucks, al.

Not to pick on you, rob, but this stuff is why you can afford to "get bored pretty quickly with insurance and tax law" but lots of gay folks can't.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 2:18 PM
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I would've thought there'd be tons of hot gay action in the bathroom of the highway rest stop nearest to Spartanburg.

It was, at least at one time. I knew someone once who was charged with public indecency at exactly that rest stop.

Spartanburg is a shithole

Spartanburg makes most of the upstate look good.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 2:19 PM
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Spartanburg makes most of the upstate look good.

Correction: The rest the upstate makes Spartanburg look good.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 2:21 PM
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DOMA must die.

And it really pisses me off because I think for most who voted for it, and the fucker who signed it, it no more personal meaning or significance than National Flowerpot Day. It was a casual cruelty.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 2:22 PM
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now see, I'd celebrate National Flowerpot Day.
and yeah, i hate doma with the heat of a million red hot... It's also one of the prime reasons (other topic, mostly, kinda) I get really ticked off at people who did (and still) refer to HRC as the "feminist" candidate. HRC supports--even now- DOMA. Obama does not. Don't tell *me* that *she's* the feminist candidate.


Posted by: academic lesbian | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 2:29 PM
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A "Reno divorce" featured pretty prominently in The Women.

And don't forget Desert Hearts, which I haven't seen in forever. That's going on my rental list.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 2:30 PM
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WeHo is going to be overrun with weddings this month, if one believes the buzz. My son, who regards all PDAs as something that should not be done in the streets lest it scare the horses, has announced that he will never, never get married if it means he has to kiss his new husband in front of people.

I, myself, am looking forward to making lots of wedding cakes.


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 2:31 PM
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207:

Yeah. Sometimes details really matter.

This is not as bad as what you went through but my story is with insurance coverage.

I worked for Globalcorp back when our medical coverage was spectacular. I mean tops!

I slipped a disc in my neck by doing nothing. Instant nerve pain, delayed muscle spasms, diagnosed and operated on in three days. Relief.

When the bill arrived I found out that my medical coverage required a second opinion for any spinal surgery or they would only cover 50%. Normal coverage for surgery was 100%.

I know I am fortunate to have had 50% coverage compared to nothing but damn. How was I supposed to know I needed to get a second opinion? I was about 30 years old and healthy and never thought I'd need neck surgery. When the disc slipped I was in bad pain, went sleepless, and was finally drugged up. That whole time is a blur to me.

What if the slipped disc happened from a car crash and I was knocked out? How would I be able to get a second opinion then?


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 2:34 PM
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215: Every time I see "HRC" I think first of the Human Rights Campaign. I've been confused ever since they dropped the "Fund." (Though one can level some of the same criticisms for centrism at both, so it does save time.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 2:34 PM
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Tripp: EXACTLY like that. and 50% of almost anything remotely in the land of serious is "fuck of a lot", and one has to be damn lucky in the first place to be in a position to in some way put together that kind of money (even if it means taking out credit that it'll take 5 yrs to pay back), then add getting hit on top of that by not even being able to take the medical deduction for it....


Posted by: academic lesbian | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 2:39 PM
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I admit to thinking that once you marry someone you get certain social (not legal) rights that you aren't entitled to when you aren't married.

My cousin's boyfriend, whom she's since married, started making suggestions about how my grandmother's funeral shoudl be conducted. It didn't help that he's Jewish, and she was Roman Catholic. My Dad and my aunt's husband both had the sense to keep quiet and let their brother-in-law my grandmother's eldest son handle things, since he's a control freak.

They're actually married to my grandmother's daughters, and they didn't feel that it was their place to butt in, since they weren't her own children. I found it terribly offensive, because I think he was trying to be part of the family and to be helpful, but the thing is that he wasn't fucking part of the family. I don't care how committed he was to my cousin, until they got married he wasn't family. (If they'd been gay, I might have thought differently.)


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 2:41 PM
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214 gets it exactly right.

From the Obama campaign's website:

Barack Obama supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples equal legal rights and privileges as
married couples, including the right to assist their loved ones in times of emergency as well as equal
health insurance, employment benefits, and property and adoption rights. Obama also believes we need
to fully repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal
legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex
couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 2:42 PM
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Every time I see "HRC" I think first of...

I can't be the only person who adopted HRC because "Hillary" seemed overly-familiar and somewhat condescending, "Clinton" didn't distinguish her sufficiently, and everything else was too cumbersome.

Did feel kind of lame though.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 2:44 PM
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On the one hand, good on Obama. That's better than any nominee we've had previously from either party. On the other hand, if that's your position, then why cling to the fiction that you oppose "gay marriage"?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 2:45 PM
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I admit to thinking that once you marry someone you get certain social (not legal) rights that you aren't entitled to when you aren't married.

Do you really believe this holds even after, for example, you've told your family: "This is the person I choose to be with. We don't believe in the ceremony for reasons X,Y,Z, but we're making a life together." In your mind, is it respectable for the family to say, no we won't ever accept your choice until you've formalized it in process you object to?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 2:46 PM
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219 & 223-- I know. It just seems least awful alternative. (I was once complaining to spouse about HRC's Iran statements & spouse said "the HRC took a position on that?!?" now, around here we've resorted to saying "THE hrc" loudly when it's the organization we have in mind)


Posted by: academic lesbian | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 2:48 PM
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erm, `ceremony' in 255 should have been `institution', of course.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 2:48 PM
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224: Because you drive up the religious homophobe turnout if you don't. Also, you're chickenshit.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 2:49 PM
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Just don't expect me to let that person make important decisions about the extended family. And to be fair, I was talking about a 25 year-old.

Frankly, if you show up at a funeral in tevas and jeans, not only should you not offer your unsolicited opinions about how the casket should be carried and offer to help, it is an enormous act of grace that nobody asked you to leave.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 2:49 PM
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229: And you actually think he's entitled to more of a say in things now, just because they're married? Even if he were still in Tevas & jeans?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 2:55 PM
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Right, facts in 229 sure modify the impression from 221; their not being married may have been the important detail but it sure wasn't the only one.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 2:57 PM
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On the other hand, if that's your position, then why cling to the fiction that you oppose "gay marriage"?

Because "gay marriage" is an unpopular phrase that means exactly the same thing as the much more popular concept that you are making it clear that you support?

Obama is also opposed to pre-natal infanticide, at least by that name.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 2:58 PM
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yeah, i think chichkenshit basically covers it. but hell, I'll take somewhat akratic and committed to the right view over committed to the wrong view to begin with any time.
bostoniangirl--seems to me that noodnik should have no decision making powers with or without license; you should come up with better reason for ignoring him before they actually get married so you can do so when they do so. :)


Posted by: academic lesbian | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 2:58 PM
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221:

Bostoniangirl,

In my experience when it comes down to the big decisions it is up to the immediate family only. Spouses better stay out!

So I'm saying being married into a family is still not the same as being part of the family. Not in every case.

I wonder if the legal system has a clearly defined "next of kin" for deciding these kinds of things? I think Grandchild's boyfriend or even spouse would be pretty low on that list.


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 3:01 PM
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oops! missed that they are now married. sorry. too late to switch tactics now, probably, and "your husband is a noodnik" generally not acceptable or effective at family gatherings.


Posted by: academic lesbian | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 3:02 PM
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228, 232: Yeah, I understand the tactical decision. But it kinda chafes me all the same, though mostly because I have some very deep-seated neuroses about use of language.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 3:03 PM
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soup, do you know many (straight) couples who stay together a long time, who are explicitly committed to each other in the way we presume a married couple is, who have this trouble? I ask because I have literally no experience with this. I know plenty of people who have been together a long time, and plenty of people who have been together a long time who intend to get married at some point (but not yet), and plenty of gay couples who can't get married, but no one in the category you describe.

If it's uncommon, I suspect most people are assuming that they're in one of the other categories. Which would be annoying.

Are there any legal protections involved in these long term no-marriage relationships (other than the common law ones)? The one thing legal marriage is provide a lot of legal rights, and I think, for example, the difference between living with someone and not having power-of-attorney over medical issues, and being married (and thus having those rights) would be a significant change. (Not that that's what people are thinking about when they think the couple isn't for real without being married.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 3:05 PM
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They are married now, and I don't see them. My aunt wasn't as bothered, because she thought that he was just trying to be part of the family, to which my response is "Well, he wasn't yet." He should have known his place.

230: They're not going to be at my parents funeral, and I won't tell my cousins how they should handle my uncle's funeral, so it's moot.

I do think that the husbands of my grandmother's daughters have more of a right to say something than the boyfriend of her granddaughter. And I don't think that you ought to offer suggestions for a Christian funeral of a devout Roman Catholic when you're a lapsed Jew who doesn't believe in God, but still makes his fiancee convert.

Yes, I loathe him for other reaons. But if they were gay and had been together for ten years I might have felt differently because they couldn't be married in 1995.

My emotions color this obviously. Still, I wouldn't expect to be included in discussions about family finances if I wasn't married to someone.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 3:07 PM
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I was hoping a real lawyer would step forward and tell us about the next of kin tree but so far nothing.
For giving out the money I think it should go equal share to progeny, if the progeny is deceased and has progeny then pass his/her share on to his/her progeny.

For deciding when to pull the plug for an adult it should go: Person, spouse, adult progeny starting with the oldest. If there are no adult progeny then the parents of the person if they are alive.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 3:17 PM
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My comment above is for the case when there is no will or power of attorney or living will or any other legal document from the person saying what to do.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 3:19 PM
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tripp-- I'm not an attorney (probably obvious), but yes, there are very precise laws about that, they vary state to state, and it is only in CA, NY & NJ (not MA, because we're not residents there, and they have that weird pre-lovingv.virginia residency requirement) that we count as one another's next of kin. In absence of legal directives to the contrary, for instance, it can go not to progeny but to one's parents (say the kids are not of age). Even if one has not spoken to said parents in 25 plus years...


Posted by: academic lesbian | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 3:27 PM
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237: Actually, yeah I know quite a few in the long term and don't like marriage boat. Some with children, most without. Don't like the institutional history, don't like the way their gay friends are treated and want solidarity with them, don't like the way their first one ended up, don't like like the social expectations of `married folk'. There's lots of different reasons.

A lot of people in this boat eventually do it because of the pain in the ass (or potential pain in the ass) of not doing it. Either the sort of thing academic lesbian was talking about, or the complications that may come with kids, or moving to another country and your visa doesn't cover them unless your married, etc. etc. etc.

So yes, particularly in the absence of strong common-law defaults, you lose a lot of legal protections and rights, which I think is what drives a lot of straight couples to eventually have quiet little civil marriages (and sometimes never tell anyone). But this doesn't mean they like the institution any better.

And you're right, the annoying thing isn't that people thing something has changed. As you can see from 207, some of the changes can be very important under the right circumstances. The annoying thing is that this *isn't* what people think about, and often insist has changed.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 3:34 PM
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237: "Common law marriage" is largely a myth - only a dozen or so states have it [and several of those have it only in a grandfathered-in sense]. S. Carolina just abolished it as of July 1, 2008.

Non-married couples in almost every state can enter into legal contracts re: property, appoint each other as attorneys-in-fact for health care and general affairs., nominate each other as executors, guardians, etc. [I haven't looked it up, but I believe that at least one state barred same-sex couples from entering into any contract that resembled marriage rights when they did their own little DOMA.]

The only "social" sanction I ran into re: the Biophysicist's and my non-marriage was at the law firm I last worked at. The sanctimonious bitch of an office manager did not want to list him on the firm's in-house directory as my spouse/partner/whatever because we weren't married. When I protested, she explained that "unmarried couples don't stay together". Amusingly, several of the married people whom I worked with have become unmarried since that time, whereas the Biophysicist and I have been together going on 16 years. It's been long enough that my quasi-mother-in-law now introduces me as her daughter-in-law and my mother has accepted that if he hasn't bought the cow, at least he's taken on a long-term lease.


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 3:48 PM
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It certainly gets a bit ridiculous to question the staying power of a non-married relationship once it's well past the average length of marriages (in DEs case, roughly double that if I recall correctly)


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 3:54 PM
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I haven't looked it up, but I believe that at least one state barred same-sex couples from entering into any contract that resembled marriage rights when they did their own little DOMA.

This, if true, is pretty sick.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 3:55 PM
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Soup: it is true. It is Virginia.
See e.g.:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A36314-2004Jun12.html

My spouse and I decided at that point that (even if the law were overturned) it's just too dangerous for either one of us to travel to VA. As academics, it's actually come up. Breaks my heart for people who have to live there.

meanwhile--what is the average marriage length? spouse and I have 16 going on 17 years now; we must be passed the het average, yes? :)


Posted by: academic lesbian | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 4:00 PM
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Ohio, too: they interpreted their anti-SSM law to mean that unmarried couples no longer fell under the domestic violence laws--beating up your live-in became simple battery. Terrible stuff, really.


Posted by: Amber | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 4:02 PM
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246: I guess Virginia isn't for all lovers, then. Asshats.

If it makes you feel any better I know a good double handful of academics who won't come to the states at all on similar (i.e. too dangerous) grounds. Yeah, that doesn't make me feel better about it either.

I seem to recall something like 8 years on average (may be just for 1st marriages,). I'm much too lazy to look it up.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 4:04 PM
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Re: Ohio: I don't think that particular interpretation lasted long--too much impact on the straights.

Virginia is still screwed up, though.


Posted by: Amber | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 4:05 PM
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North Dakota's amendment also has similar wording. I don't know if there has been any legal precedent on how it is going to be interpreted.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 4:06 PM
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it is true. It is Virginia.

Holy crap, that's disgusting. It's even worse because the legislators had to know they were barring a number of contractual agreements between non-sexual partners (suddenly unwed brothers can't grant one another power of attorney?), but were willing to overlook such a thing because they so wanted to give gay constituents a horrendous kick in the ribs.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 4:07 PM
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My aunt wasn't as bothered, because she thought that he was just trying to be part of the family, to which my response is "Well, he wasn't yet." He should have known his place.

Wow, do I find that last part offensive -- wouldn't want those non-marital partners to get too uppity. I hope you'd feel a bit differently if he weren't such a douche.

Re: social sanctions, people just tend to assume we're married and it's usually not worth the trouble to correct them -- and they don't usually say stupid shit like DE's office manager. I'm sure an awful lot of that has to do with living in the Bay Area, and that if we lived anywhere even an inch further to the right (such as Austin), I'd run into it all the time.


Posted by: Magpie | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 4:09 PM
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re: dangerous-- yeah, I know. I'm right there with your European friends, soup. Except my job is in this country, and so is spouse's, so....
Actually, when I got present job I moved from economically depressed area of Big city to tiny-town & all the very friendly (that's not sarcastic) people in new department said "well, one good thing about here is that tiny-town is just so safe! aren't you glad to be living somewhere so safe?" and I'd smile and nod ('b/c that's what one does) and think all the while "yeah, safer for YOU heteronormative poster-guy/gal; in big city, at least if I was shot I could be sure that spouse could have visited me in hospital..."


Posted by: academic lesbian | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 4:15 PM
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This thread is both depressing and apropos, as just today I advised a colleague who is interested in queer equality/immigration issues to be prepared for heartbreak if she goes into that field. God, there is nothing so awful as being the expert and having nothing whatsoever helpful or even optimistic to tell people. Especially if one of them is HIV positive.


Posted by: Anonymous Now | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 4:48 PM
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Sorry, boys and lesbians: no more masturbating to Cyd Charisse.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 5:00 PM
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oh, no!


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 5:02 PM
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||
What did McCain call his baby-mama again?
|>


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 5:09 PM
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AKA Tula Ellice Finklea, Natacha Tulaelis, Felia Siderova, Audrey Farber, Melanie Faber, and Betty Jo Bialovsky.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 5:30 PM
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Dude, Emerson, you frighten me sometimes.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 5:32 PM
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255:Fred could never do the lifts Gene did and never wanted to.

Fred moved like glass. Physically it was easy to dance with him. It was not as demanding on me. I didn't need the same vitality and strength.

The censors were always there when I was on the set. When I was held up. in a lift [in "Deep in My Heart"] they were up on ladders to see if I was properly covered.

Is it sexist to talk about her legs, as in Ann Miller had the best legs but Cyd Charisse the most legs? I mean, she was a dancer. Can I get a dispensation from the College of Feminists for one day?

Only 5'7" I would have guessed 6 more inches, but I probably should check Astaire & Kelly.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 5:33 PM
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of course, let's talk about all their legs...
backwards in heels, honey; backwards in heels...


Posted by: academic lesbian | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 5:36 PM
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||

Hey, it looks like I will be heading to San Francisco for an argument in July. Any recommendations on places to stay? Preferably near the court (450 Golden Gate Ave) and possibly kid-friendly...

|>


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 5:46 PM
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the most legs

Good lord, how many?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 5:48 PM
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Wow, I didn't know Cyd Charisse was famous enough to merit all this pomp and send-offs. I only knew her as that one girl from the one musical number in An American In Paris.


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 5:49 PM
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262: Most of the hotels in SF are going to be near Union Square, which isn't too far from the courthouse. In fact, given the neighborhood the courthouse is in, you don't want to stay any closer. Personally, I'd probably just go for one of the big chain hotels; presuming your firm's going to cover it, the Westin St. Francis wouldn't be a bad choice. (It's right on Union Square.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 5:54 PM
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it looks like I will be heading to San Francisco for an argument

Lawyers get all the fun. Some of us don't get to travel thousands of miles to fun places just to argue, you know.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 5:55 PM
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2.5) Of Mice and Men

3.5) John Steinbeck's "The Pearl"


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 5:56 PM
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Lawyers get all the fun. Some of us don't get to travel thousands of miles to fun places just to argue, you know.

I've traveled a whole three times in my entire career. The last trip was to a prison in rural Kentucky (staying at a hotel in what turned out to be a dry county...). So, you know, not always this much fun.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 6:01 PM
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265: Thanks -- that is helpful to know.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 6:03 PM
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(Di, I hope it's clear that I was joking -- trying to riff on the notion of having to travel to have an argument, here on this website where we don't have to travel from our living rooms/office cubicles to find an argument if we want one. Um, yeah, this goes on Standpipe's blog. Oooh! Maybe Standpipe is one of the new posters!)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 6:05 PM
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269: No problem. The other thing to note is that SF is so small that getting anywhere you'd want to go in The City is a matter of a shortish cab ride.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 6:06 PM
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Di, will you have time for a meetup?


Posted by: Magpie | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 6:08 PM
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270: I know. I just seized the opportunity to gripe about the dry hotel in the Kentucky prison town. Because I like to gripe.

272: I don't know for sure, yet, but I will definitely be saying so if I do!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 6:11 PM
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Especially if one of them is HIV positive.

So, so true.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 6:16 PM
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264:Singing in the Rain and The Bandwagon are arguably the two best musicals of the 50s, and should be enough in themselves to make her immortal. She also had some interesting less musical roles. Party Girl by Nicholas Ray and Vicente Minnelli's Two Weeks in Another Town are campy cult classics.

Cyd Charisse had a very attractive poise and calm. Am currently wasting time at IMDB on a theory that it was the ballet training. Of course, you have Audrey Hepburn, but a current example is Neve Campbell.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 6:54 PM
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263: only two, but they went all the way to the floor.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 7:05 PM
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That Virginia amendment is so mean-minded and spiteful.

One of my sisters is in a same-sex partnership (but not marriage) in that vast cold land to the north where gay people can now marry. And her partner is the daughter of one of the judges who first ruled (at the provincial level) that gay people could marry. Needless to say, there are people in that vast cold land to the north who are not happy about the recent court rulings.

One of them wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper, alleging that the judge's ruling had been biased toward gay people because his daughter is a lesbian (the judge also has some hetero children, so, according to the not unassailable logic of this claim, I suppose he must be biased against his other offspring?). Anyway, I found this a bit disturbing, frankly, since my sister's partner is not a public figure, not involved in activism or anything of the sort. So how did this letter-writer know she is gay? Reading the letter, I almost had the impression that he was, I don't know, tracking them or spying on them or something.


Posted by: Laura Ingersoll Secord | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 7:09 PM
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And if you barely remember Cyd Charisse, you've probably never heard of Tony Martin her spouse of sixty years.
Born 1912, still performing.

Looking at all of Cyd Charisse's associations by blood & marriage, my gut feeling is that Martin & Charisse were major players in a Hollywood/Las Vegas/NYC 50s social scene, saner than the Rat Pack.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 7:10 PM
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it looks like I will be heading to San Francisco for an argument

Ha! I did this once. Quotes out of context are fantastic!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 7:16 PM
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Okay, actually just got Witt's joke now. Suggesting, perhaps, the client might be better off with a quicker-witted person to argue in San Fran...

Apropos arguments that you don't have to travel for -- any thoughts on the propriety of bringing a 9-year-old into a courtroom while I argue? Like, am I neglecting her because I'm not watching her while I'm in front of the judge?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 7:30 PM
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You can leave her with me.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 7:35 PM
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Reasonable rates!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 7:35 PM
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She'd probably like that, actually. She's waxing philosophic at the moment about the joys of good cooking, which seems to be one of your many talents. However, I'm thinking the ex would have fits if he heard "Dad, mom left me with this strange man she met on the internet!" I mean, I'm pretty sure your not a dangerous psychopath, but...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 7:47 PM
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And for my last trolling on 50s musicals, which are on my mind because I listened yesterday to an NPR hourlong interview with the lead of the South Pacific revival...Kiss Me Kate is just insanely neat. Attractive leads doing complicated dual roles, an unbelievable Cole Porter soundtrack sung by opera quality voices (Keel & Grayson), and 5! of the best dancers in film history (Miller, Fosse, Tommy Rall, Bobby Van, Carol Haney) unleashed to do their best.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 7:49 PM
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any thoughts on the propriety of bringing a 9-year-old into a courtroom while I argue?

Are you kidding? Awesome learning experience! She gets to experience the arbitrariness of metal detectors (does counsel get searched? Do nine-year-olds?), the kitschy-yet-moving Americana of a typical courtroom, the tedium of waiting, the endless entertainment of people-watching, plus best of all (and I am not being sarcastic), the pleasure of watching her mother doing "real" work.

Seriously, remember being 9? Remember how fascinating even some of the mundane parts of the adult world could be? (Or how stupid they seemed and how much they made you glad to be 9?) Take her along. Definitely.

(This is not a commentary on the joys of meeting w-lfs-n, surely the only pocket-watch-carrying 20-something grammar snob she is likely to encounter in her travels.)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 8:01 PM
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283: You can leave her with Ben, really. He's perfectly harmless.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 8:03 PM
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I think I went to the Oakland courthouse on a field trip when I was 9 or 10. (Probably 10.) We got see some witness testimony in a murder case. It was much more dull and routine than I expected, but interesting. When I watched the first court scene in The Wire I thought of that day.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 8:05 PM
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Or Ogged. Of the two, Ogged is better with kids. But leaving a 9 year old with w-lfs-n is funnier, plus we'd actually get to *hear* about it afterwards.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 8:06 PM
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286: plus I loooove kids.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 8:07 PM
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289 is a lie.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 8:08 PM
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289: boiled or fried?


Posted by: W.C. Fields | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 8:12 PM
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Fried. Boiling is more suitable for the tougher meat of adults.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 8:14 PM
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I never trust anyone who hates children. But I have even less trust of those who claim to loooove them.

(With the exception of w-lfs-n, of course).


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 8:15 PM
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HISTORICAL FOOTNOTE: It wasn't Fields who said "no one who hates children and dogs can be all bad", or whatever the formulation is; it was said of him, in introducing him, by a less-well-known comedian; the Principle of Comedic Attraction then led to the phrase's misattribution.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 8:15 PM
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(I'm trying to "write on" to tEotAW.)


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 8:16 PM
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If you think about making a joke that involves Jonathan Swift, please don't do it. Thank you.


Posted by: Tiny Hermaphrodite | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 8:17 PM
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286: Oh, I sincerely do not doubt that. I also sincerely do not doubt that UNG would immediately seek to have me declared an unfit parent if I left her alone with him. There is a reason I started second guessing whether it's okay to bring her to court...

I'd also gladly let her hang out with Ogged, but didn't he die or something?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 8:28 PM
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W.C. Fields was terrified of swans.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 8:41 PM
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You can leave her with Ben, really. He's perfectly harmless.

Just make sure she' got enough cash to cover two for brunch.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 06-18-08 12:05 AM
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She's, of course.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 06-18-08 12:05 AM
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300: There was some dissonance in the apparent use of Ebonics to write a sentence that included the word "brunch".


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 06-18-08 7:14 AM
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I've traveled a whole three times in my entire career. The last trip was to a prison in rural Kentucky

Di,
How long were you in for?

293:
I never trust anyone who hates children. But I have even less trust of those who claim to loooove them.

People who have their own children soon learn that it is a love-hate relationship. If nature didn't make one love them then why would one ever put up with them?

Dogs? Dogs and cats? Now that is a love no hate relationship. Shame they die so soon. I lost my beloved dog unexpectedly last week. We've always had dogs, love them to death, and mourn greatly their passing. If there is a heaven my dogs will be there.


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed | Link to this comment | 06-18-08 8:20 AM
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My best friend lost his dog last month. What is shocking is how much you can spend in medical care, in a very short time, on a pet these days. He was filling a cocktail of prescriptions at the regular pharmacy, spending a thousand dollars on an MRI, etc. He had to pull the plug, he's got kids in college. But the lonely, or better off, are probably paying it.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 06-18-08 8:24 AM
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