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Tag: Catholic Church

Lodestar

By Julia Rosen

This weekend at Camp Courage during my training on online organizing, one of the campers asked me essentially, how useful is it to go mix it up with the other side and argue with them.

My answer was that generally you don’t get anywhere, but that it can be entertaining.

What is more useful is when you deconstruct their arguments in your own space/turf.

To that end, today I found an article by the Catholic News Service, covering the last days of testimony, including Blankenhorn. The article ends this way:

Blankenhorn, testifying the previous day as the principal expert witness for the Proposition 8 defense, said the social foundation of marriage is greater than the legal issues surrounding it. He described marriage and domestic partnership as separate institutions. He said marriage predates law and “is not a creature of law.”

“The marital institution is differently purposed, is specifically purposed,” he said. “The purpose is to bring together the biological male and biological female to make it as likely as possible that they are the social and legal parents of the child. That’s the lodestar, that’s the distinctive and core contribution of the institution of marriage.”

Fascinating, because this really is an argument for getting the state out of the “marriage business”. It was something Judge Walker seemed to be particularly interested in at the start of the trial, but asked less about as it wore on.

The trouble is there are hundreds of places where our laws mention marriage. They are incredibly intertwined and this court case is indeed about how marriage is a creature of the law. This is a court of law and one cannot simply claim: society sees it how we see it and so the law should follow our lead.

This court case is about how the law treats two people who make a commitment to each other. It is not about sex. We don’t subject people to a fertility test before their wedding, or inquire at the frequency of their sex life. If we were following the Catholic Church for guidelines, they would likely have us test to ensure no birth control was being used by the couple applying for a marriage license.

Modern marriage is designed for stability, support and social recognition of that commitment. Children, sex and paternity can be a part of it, but are no longer the fundamental reasons for the union. After all, they exist increasing frequency outside of the institution of marriage. The lodestar is love, not sex (the physical act or biology).

135 Comments February 1, 2010

Liveblogging Day 10: Daily Summary

By Julia Rosen

Man, David Boies just destroyed the defense’s first witness today on cross. I even had a friend and a former student of Professor Miller tweeting at me their embarrassment at his implosion. More specifically, Miller admitted that DOMA and DADT were legislated discrimination. And that was just the afternoon…

This morning the plaintiffs introduced evidence of Prop 8 proponents comparing gay marriage to 9/11 and a reference to polygamy or two. Oh and the tiny little revelation that NOM, the Catholic Church, LDS Church, and the Family Research Council all conspired together through ProtectMarriage.com to use fear and lies to pass Prop 8. It’s something we all knew, but it sure is validating to see it all laid out in Federal Court.

Boies gets to finish his fun in the morning, then it is on to their second and possibly last witness. I think they know they just hurt their case if they get any witnesses of their own on the stand, so they aren’t calling very many.

Now for the real show, the compiled liveblogging from Rick Jacobs from day 10 of Perry v. Schwarzengger. (more…)

76 Comments January 25, 2010