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Same-sex marriage not unlawful, says group at least 85% committed to making SSM unlawful


Cross-posted at Good As You

By Jeremy Hooper

Ruth-InsituteIf one heads over to the blog of the Ruth Institute (a National Organization For Marriage affiliate), he or she will find perhaps the most obtuse anti-same-sex marriage argument ever presented. Here’s a snip:

John, show me the statute that prohibits same-sex ‘marriages’. Do you know of anyone who has been prosecuted for ‘marrying’ someone of the same sex? Or who has ever been charged with a crime for doing so? Or even warned that they are breaking the law? It doesn’t happen because it’s not illegal.

Laws like Proposition 8 (for example) don’t prohibit anything, they just define what kind of unions will be sanctioned and privileged by the state. For the government to reach into people’s lives in order to accord special privileges to any kind of relationship, it had better be a matter that is crucial to the general welfare of society. (At least I think so…)

No, no — same-sex marriages aren’t widely unlawful. All those constitutional bans championed by groups like the Ruth Institute and NOM are just there for fun, right?

Ridiculous. Far too many of these folks just don’t get it, or at least won’t admit it. Because we in the organized marriage movement are of course not talking about non-binding commitments, which gays have obviously been enjoying for eons, sometimes even with fancy clothes and even fancier cakes. What we are now seeking, here in 2011 America, is the *CIVIL* MARRIAGE CONTRACT. And yes, that contract is, with 0% of deniability, restricted to heterosexual couples in most American states. Denied to *all* same-sex couples on the federal level.

But then after denying that anything is actually being denied to gays, the Ruth Institute blogger goes on the bizarre path of attempting to justify why such supposed non-denials (but obvious denials) are kosher. The reasoning is primarily about procreation, as it typically is with the NOM crowd. But then the path goes this way:

Same-sex so-called ‘marriage’ does not contribute anything to the general welfare of society, it diminishes the general welfare. Yes, it would certainly be a boost to the self esteem of same-sex couples and their loved ones if Big Brother were to validate those relationships by compelling all of us to treat same-sex unions as equal to actual marriages. (Bringing the force of law to bear to legitimize homosexual relationships – and legally marginalize any of us who refuse to kowtow to that agenda – is the only actual objective of attaining legal recognition of same-sex ‘marriages’, as a matter of fact.)

But the government is not supposed to be in the business of affirming our personal lives just because it makes us feel good – especially when it has to be done at everyone else’s expense. And to accomplish that level of thought control would necessitate the repression of our freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and our right to the free exercise of religion. Allowing people to form same-sex unions – and even call them ‘marriages’ – is one thing, but to legally require that same-sex unions be equated to actual marriages is a very real threat to our civil liberties. Some of us are absolutely determined to hold on to the freedoms we have left, and pass them on to the next generation. We will never surrender.

Again with the ridiculous and offensive idea that this fight is about our self-esteem. Sorry, Ruth Institute, but we’re not hinging our worth on whether or not Jennifer Roback Morse will serve as gay couples’ flower girl. And we’re not asking anyone to “kotwow to [an] agenda,” either. Instead, we are DEMANDING — as in telling everyone, including the Ruth Institute — that the American government will, ultimately, treat us like full and equal citizens of the country in which we live, love, and contribute to on multiple levels (not the least of which being taxes).

The anti-LGBT crowd is forever accusing us of operating on an emotional rather than practical or legal level. But this anti- argument is rife with emotional justification! The whole thing is based around the idea that gays simply want to feel good — a psychological red herring if there ever was one. But that’s actually fine if groups like Ruth Institute want to think this is our impetus. We really don’t care why they fight so passionately against our civil rights under our shared constitution. Just as long as when we ultimately win this legal battle — and we will inevitably win this battle — the passionate opposition movement psychologically prepares itself to get out of the damn way while the rest of us march forward. Down the aisle. Down the path of progress. Upping the general welfare of this great nation as we go.

We will never surrender.


  • 1. Manilow  |  February 7, 2011 at 5:14 am

    OMG – am I first?

  • 2. Kathleen  |  February 7, 2011 at 5:46 am

    Yes, you are. 🙂

  • 3. Ann S.  |  February 7, 2011 at 5:16 am

  • 4. Peterplumber  |  February 7, 2011 at 6:04 am


  • 5. Lesbians Love Boies  |  February 7, 2011 at 5:20 am

    I am a bit confused on the headline – where in the article does it discuss the meaning of "at least 85% committed to making SSM unlawful"?

  • 6. Rhie  |  February 7, 2011 at 6:07 am

    That seems to be just referring to the fact that NOM and Ruth Institute devote nearly all their resources to making sure SSM is illegal.

  • 7. Mark M - Seattle  |  February 7, 2011 at 7:13 am

    Did you ever get an answer LLB?
    I'd like to know where this 85% number was pulled from too

  • 8. Lesbians Love Boies  |  February 7, 2011 at 7:15 am

    no, I understand what Rhie is saying – but it's an actual, physical number and got me confused. I thought maybe it came from a new NOM/Ruth inside poll.

  • 9. Lesbians Love Boies  |  February 7, 2011 at 7:28 am

    It's the headline in the good as you article, but not on the Ruth blog. So, I will remain in the dark with my sunglasses on.

  • 10. Mark M - Seattle  |  February 7, 2011 at 7:46 am

    Hmmmm….I really dislike when odd poll numbers and or percentages are pulled out of thin air by either side.

  • 11. Steve  |  February 7, 2011 at 9:12 am

    60% of all statistics are completely made up

  • 12. Mark M - Seattle  |  February 7, 2011 at 9:14 am


  • 13. adambink  |  February 7, 2011 at 10:58 am

    My impression is Jeremy is making an estimate.

  • 14. Mark M - Seattle  |  February 7, 2011 at 5:21 am

    Thank you Jeremy….well written as usual 🙂

  • 15. Mark M - Seattle  |  February 7, 2011 at 8:10 am

    Any word on the 85%? Where did that figure come from?

  • 16. Dave in ME  |  February 7, 2011 at 5:24 am

    Tell my how the "government reaches into the lives" of John and Betty by making it legal for me to marry Steve. Come on, tell me! I bet they can't!

    That's such a great phrase they use all the time. The specter of the big liberal government tearing apart their old-fashioned traditional lives.

    Dave in Maine

  • 17. Bob Barnes  |  February 7, 2011 at 6:11 am

    Dave, please go to the Ruthblog and ask yourself. Seems like this blog does take most every post, of course after moderation. But let your voice be heard.

  • 18. Ann S.  |  February 7, 2011 at 6:27 am

    They want to be able to legally discriminate. To not have to take wedding pictures at the marriage of a same-sex couple. To not have to make rainbow cupcakes for a Pride event. To not have to lease their pavilions for the wedding of a same-sex couple.

    Boo-hoo, they can no longer discriminate on the basis of race or religion, either. Cry me a river, Jennifer Roback Morse.

  • 19. Sarah  |  February 7, 2011 at 7:57 am

    I always wonder who would want somebody who hates them to take part in their wedding anyway… I would not hire an organization to bake my cake or take my pictures knowing that they thought I was an abomination. But maybe that's just me? I understand that partly it is the principle of the thing, but do they really think they'll get sued over this so much? I feel like many people would simply look for accepting businesses to use. Am I totally off-base here?

  • 20. Kate  |  February 7, 2011 at 8:02 am

    I'm with you, Sarah. And my guess is that most folks would want to have supportive businesses for their wedding and other plans. Besides, once the BAD companies see how much $$$ they're losing in the process, they'll be begging for our business!

  • 21. John  |  February 7, 2011 at 8:13 am

    I think that's one thing we can do – support those who support equality.

    But at some points, unfortunately, some businesses who will try to profit off of bigotry need to be challenged. Just like some black people did make life better for others by sitting down to eat in "white only" diners.

    But I'm with you as far as being confused. Nobody got to come to my wedding who wasn't 100% supportive. And I didn't get married to make a statement other than my love for my wife.

  • 22. Ann S.  |  February 7, 2011 at 8:31 am

    There was a case in, I believe, NM about a couple who went to a photographer and asked to have their commitment ceremony photographed. They were refused on the grounds that it violated the photographer's religious beliefs. The couple sued and won (as for what they won besides the principle of the thing, I can't say).

    Note that this isn't even about marriage. NM does not have marriage equality. They DO have a law making it illegal to discriminate against people based on sexual orientation.

    (The NJ case about the beach pavilion rental was also about a commitment ceremony, and had somewhat unusual facts, so I'll leave that one out for now.)

    Do I know or care whether the photog who did my and DH's wedding approved of interracial marriages? No, I don't know and I don't care. They did it, they did a good job, and that was enough for me.

    If they had told me, "No, we won't do your wedding, it's against our religious beliefs", I would have been shocked and angry. I might have been angry enough to sue. But nobody says that, because it's illegal and they know it.

    I didn't have to shop around to find a photographer who was "friendly" to my "type" of wedding. As far as I was concerned it was a commercial transaction, nothing more, and it was as easy as getting a few referrals and booking the date.

    Everyone should have that same right — not to have to shop around until they find the photographer, the florist, the tux place, the dress shop — that is "friendly". If you want to, fine. But I should be able to walk into any dress shop I choose and be helped.

  • 23. Chris in Lathrop  |  February 7, 2011 at 10:32 am

    This scenario totally puts me in mind of all the anti-abortion pharmacists who refuse to fill prescriptions for RU-486. I say, over and over, if you can't get over who might be your clientele, find a new line of work.

  • 24. fiona64  |  February 7, 2011 at 9:02 am

    Thing is, the Unruh Act says that if you offer services to the public, you don't get to discriminate. Period.

    So, if people don't want to bake cakes for the Rainbow Tribe, they need to take down their business shingle and just make cakes for their personal friends.


  • 25. Ann S.  |  February 7, 2011 at 9:07 am

    The Unruh Act is a California law, and applies to sexual orientation (but not gender identity, as far as I know).

    But yes, you don't get to put a sign in the window (literally or figuratively) and say "We don't serve XYZ type of people here".

  • 26. Sarah  |  February 7, 2011 at 10:07 am

    I do understand the social implications of businesses/people being allowed to discriminate, and I in no way think it should be allowed. I guess I just think that if I had to sue somebody to get them to take my money, or knew of the bad feelings, I would rather go elsewhere. I don't know what I would do/feel if this situation actually came up, though, and I realize that.

    Ann, I know enough about the NJ case you mentioned to know it was definitely a whole other issue as well. Intertwined governmental/religious things and such. Weird stuff there I believe.

    Love the input here, as always… 🙂

  • 27. Ann S.  |  February 7, 2011 at 10:22 am

    Whether the ceremony was over or not by the time of the NM lawsuit decision, I haven't been able to find out. However, the photography business was asked to pay $6,600 in attorneys' fees and costs to the couple who sued. I don't see anything that says that they actually did photograph the wedding.

    The woman who emailed them to ask about them doing the wedding described, at the hearing, her shock, disbelief and anger at being told that the photographer "just didn't do" commitment ceremonies for same-sex couples.

    That is the harm I believe we need to avoid. Having that scenario repeated hundreds and thousands of times, to couples planning a happy celebration.

    That is why it is important, I believe, that some people actually bring the complaint and force legal action against the discriminatory businesses. Not everyone will, but enough people eventually will that businesses will learn that they can't simply tell people "we don't serve your kind here".

  • 28. Dave in ME  |  February 7, 2011 at 9:30 am

    I think that if a business doesn't want to make an arrangement or bake a cake, then so what. I'll know to take my business to a place that wants it.

    Dave in Maine

  • 29. Ann S.  |  February 7, 2011 at 9:37 am

    Dave, I'd prefer not to live in a society where certain members have to be told "we don't serve your kind" X number of times before they find the one who will. And in a small town, maybe no one will.

    I respect your opinion, but I disagree.

  • 30. Sheryl Carver  |  February 7, 2011 at 8:12 am

    If you DO get an answer, please let us know what it is!

    In all this time, I have yet to hear any of them give an actual example of how anyone else's marriage affects their own.

  • 31. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  February 7, 2011 at 8:30 am

    @ in all this time, I have yet to hear any of them give an actual example of how anyone else’s marriage affects their own.

  • 32. Straight Ally #3008  |  February 7, 2011 at 10:38 am

    I'm guessing the best they can do is say it makes them uncomfortable. Yeah, try legislating that. See Loving v. Virginia.

  • 33. Straight Ally #3008  |  February 7, 2011 at 10:39 am

    Which reminds me, I haven't broken out the Roy Zimmerman in a while.

  • 34. Dave in ME  |  February 7, 2011 at 5:33 am

    You know, I remember reading in late 2009 something somewhere that stated that same-sex marriage was illegal in one of our states and that anyone found having been married in a same-sex marriage would be prosecuted. I THINK it was Indiana but God help my find that article now…

    Dave in Maine

  • 35. Paul in Minneapolis  |  February 7, 2011 at 8:49 am

    That was Wisconsin, where there was talk of charging resident Wisconsin same-sex couples who married in other states/countries with defrauding the state. Ultimately they realized that they couldn't get away with it.

  • 36. NetAmigo  |  February 7, 2011 at 5:44 am

    Actually, same-sex marriage will cause a person to lose his/her job right now if they are in the military. Until DADT is repealed, that is the law. In states that have no employment protection for gays and lesbians, I think any employer could fire someone over having a same-sex marriage. How punitive does Ruth Institute want discrimination to be against the gay community? Religious fanatics as those running the Ruth Institute want to project an image of love and concern. In fact, they are hate-filled bigots of the worse kind who spend all their waking hours attacking gay parents and their children trying to destroy their homes and families with any means they can get away with.

  • 37. Trish  |  February 7, 2011 at 5:45 am

    To be clear, "unlawful" and "illegal" have two different meanings. Unlawful means not legally recognized or not done in accordance with the law. A marriage performed in a church but without a marriage license is an "unlawful" marriage. The same goes for same-sex marriages in most states. "Illegal" means prohibited or forbidden by law. Yes, same-sex marriages are not illegal. However, they are unlawful.


    A lawyer

  • 38. Lightning Baltimore  |  February 7, 2011 at 5:56 am


    You contradicted yourself. 31 states (right?) have laws prohibiting same gender couples from legally marrying. By the definitions you've given, that makes it illegal for same-gender couples to marry in those states.

  • 39. Steveg  |  February 7, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    I think "not legal" might be a better synonym for unlawful in the reply. A religious or ceremonial marriage without the legat component is not legal but has never been illegal (at least in the USA).

    Even a marriage that is legal according to one set of laws need not be legal under other laws. For example, a divorcee's civil marriage might not be legal under Catholic Canon Law but likely is legal under most state laws. Similarly, Massachusetts marriages and not legal under US Federal law.

    We will not fully achieve Same sex marriage until we can stop having to ask the question "Legal according to whom?"

  • 40. Trish  |  February 7, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    It's what we call "legalese" – words that have very close meanings but mean something different. Illegal — you can go to jail for it (forbidden; e.g., you do it, you go to jail). Unlawful — not legally recognized (not in accordance with law; e.g., not of legal significance).

    There's no contradiction. Same-sex marriage is unlawful in 31 states. Not illegal.

  • 41. Lightning Baltimore  |  February 7, 2011 at 5:46 am

    Yea! I'm glad to see this gathering steam!! I'm the "John" to whom Leland the Liar was responding.

    tee hee hee

    Dave in ME, it's Wisconsin (and probably more states). Please forgive me for being lazy, but this is what I just posted in response to a comment on the Good As You post:

    If you live in Wisconsin yet travel to a state where same-gender couples may legally marry and do so, you could be slapped with a $10,000 fine and nine months in prison, thanks to a law barring Wisconsin citizens from going elsewhere to evade laws governing marriage in WI. Per Article XIII, §13 of the Wisconsin Constitution:

    Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state.

  • 42. Dave in ME  |  February 7, 2011 at 5:52 am

    Thanks, John!

    Yes, Wisconsin sounds right. I remember thinking that if they have actually made it against the law, then I guess they gotta recognize it!

    Dave in Maine

  • 43. Paul in Minneapolis  |  February 7, 2011 at 8:50 am

    Hmm, didn't see this before I posted. I thought that Wisconsin had decided that they couldn't get away with this, but perhaps I am wrong.

  • 44. Lightning Baltimore  |  February 7, 2011 at 9:04 am

    I'm fairly certain the penalties outlined in 765.30 of the Wisconsin code long predate the amendment that made marriage between anyone other than one man and one woman illegal.

  • 45. Ķĭŗîļĺę&  |  February 8, 2011 at 2:07 am

    I think some gay couple in Wisconsin should get married in another state, get back and be fined or imprisoned — to make a big case out of the fact that gay people are being prosecuted for simply getting married… something that is perfectly legal in some other states and even countries.

  • 46. Ronnie  |  February 7, 2011 at 5:49 am

    " we are DEMANDING — as in telling everyone, including the Ruth Institute — that the American government will, ultimately, treat us like full and equal citizens of the country in which we live, love, and contribute to on multiple levels (not the least of which being taxes)."

    HEAR HEAR!!!!!!!!!…..<3….Ronnie

  • 47. John  |  February 7, 2011 at 6:04 am


    I see the Ruth Institute's bet and raise. Find the statute that defines "man" or "woman". I'm not aware of any Federal statute. I don't know of any State statute anywhere I've researched it. I do know of rules, regulations, and case law – but not statute. (and I wouldn't be surprised if one of the 45 or so states I haven't researched has a statute – but I would bet most don't)

    I have a heterosexual marriage that some (including at least one Texas county) would see as a same sex marriage.

    What if either the state I was married in or the state I live in decides that my wife, legally, isn't female (this has happened several times in courts with regard to transsexual people; their gender has also been affirmed by other courts, so it's very much a gray area with no controlling law at all in most places)? Or what if the feds, who regulate interstate commerce, decide this? I've got three different ways I can lose.

    I have to fear filling out my tax return. Are we married? Or should we file two "single" returns? Nobody knows (only because it's not been to court in circumstances similar to mine), and either answer might be wrong – and expose us to prosecution for tax evasion and/or fraud. (So, what did I tell the IRS? Married of course. All you can do is answer honestly and hope the law recognizes reality if you are ever challenged)

    I have to fear prosecution for insurance fraud every time I check "married" on an insurance form. Am I really married?

    There's hundreds of other things like that which change depending on if you are married or not – and answering "wrong" exposes you to criminal and civil charges.

    Yet there are way too many of us who are in ambiguous circumstances. Among others, it includes transsexual and intersex people and their spouses. I'm sure Ruth Institute would have no problem saying trans or intersex people shouldn't marry anyone – but right now the way the law is, it's easy to be trapped by that law.

    Oh, just a quick result of people prosecuted for being in a 'same sex' marriage (ironically, both were only involved in heterosexual marriages):

    Ohio, 2002, against Sean Brookings for fraud in obtaining marriage licenses (he is male, but Ohio, at least then, determined sex through chromosomes)

    Kansas, 2004, against Sandy Gast for "gender fraud" in obtaining a marriage license.

    Fortunately, the state in both cases lost. But that doesn't mean prosecution didn't occur. On the first case, the State lost only because of statute of limitations.

    I'm sure there's more, but somehow I doubt Ruth Institute cares. There is also a lot of civil court cases about this, but I looked only for cases where there was *criminal* prosecution.

  • 48. John  |  February 7, 2011 at 6:04 am

    Remember to check the box.

  • 49. AnonyGrl  |  February 7, 2011 at 6:14 am

    "…but to legally require that same-sex unions be equated to actual marriages is a very real threat to our civil liberties"

    errr… what?

    What civil liberty is threatened in any way at all? Does this woman have any idea what she is spouting, or is she simply making noise because she likes the sound of her own keyboard clicking?

    Once again, the phrase "our civil liberties are being threatened" is a phrase that WORKS FOR US, but does not, in any way, work for NOM and Co., yet they do their best to try to make it their own. It amazes me that they continue to do so.

  • 50. Sagesse  |  February 7, 2011 at 10:10 am

    I'm puzzled. Where is the 'threat to civil liberties' in the five states and DC where 'same sex unions are equated to actual marriages'? In the various countries that have marriage equality?

  • 51. Lightning Baltimore  |  February 7, 2011 at 10:16 am

    That's what's so insidious! It is completely undetectable to the untrained layman.

  • 52. Sagesse  |  February 7, 2011 at 10:56 am


  • 53. Trish  |  February 7, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Yeah, their civil liberty to deny other people civil liberties. Duh.


  • 54. AnonyGrl  |  February 7, 2011 at 6:32 am

    The very simple disproof of her argument is to walk up to the window in the County Clerk's office in Los Angeles and apply for a marriage license with your same sex partner.

    That dispels her entire case.

  • 55. Lesbians Love Boies  |  February 7, 2011 at 6:50 am

    Remember Kitty Lambert and her partner trying to get a marriage license

    Denied – yet she is allowed to marry someone she doesn't even know.

  • 56. karen in kalifornia  |  February 7, 2011 at 7:56 am

    Awesome vid (well except for the fact that the situation is so pathetic).
    Mean while in Indiana, a legislative Judiciary Committee ok'd an Anti Gay Marriage amendment to make sure Kitty and her partner can never marry there either.

  • 57. Kevin  |  February 7, 2011 at 6:41 am

    "But the government is not supposed to be in the business of affirming our personal lives just because it makes us feel good…"

    Hmm, I seem to recall some kind of phrase about 'pursuit of happiness'. Can't have been very important, or written down anywhere significant, could it…?

  • 58. LCH  |  February 7, 2011 at 7:06 am

    Funny how they don't mind government affirming THEIR personal lives so they can feel good

  • 59. Rick  |  February 7, 2011 at 7:06 am

    Notice that it says "One Man, One Woman, For Life." So about a constitutional ban on divorce to enforce the "For Life" business?

  • 60. John  |  February 7, 2011 at 7:08 am

    No, I'm sure that "for life" just refers to not allowing married people to have abortions. (yes, that was sarcasm, but I'm suspecting I'm not too far from the truth)

  • 61. Straight for Equalit  |  February 7, 2011 at 11:17 am

    The "for life" must refer to their argument that marriage is about procreation. “One Man, One Woman, For Life” means the man and woman are getting married only to create children. /sarcasm

  • 62. Ed  |  February 7, 2011 at 7:24 am

    Well, this should prove to be interesting….

    Maggie "testifying" in opposition to MD's marriage equality struggle…..

  • 63. Ed  |  February 7, 2011 at 8:08 am

    So lets see…..Maggie opted not to be a witness (or the defense chose not to call her….regardless) because there was nothing that she (or Bryan) could offer in support of prop 8. OK.

    Now, she wants to testify against marriage equality in Maryland. "Testify", because this is not a proper legal court challenge….More opinions I would think.

    Ok….so she can't back up her claims and whatnot in court…..but she CAN try (and probably will) influence the legislature…..And since her own site is linking to a site where this can be broadcast, it seems thats exactly what she intends to do…..

    GOD i hate this woman, but i DO have to give her "props", she is not a dumb woman….

  • 64. Straight Ally #3008  |  February 7, 2011 at 10:42 am

    I begrudgingly admit that it does take some savvy to be a professional bigot.

  • 65. Michael Herman  |  February 7, 2011 at 7:25 am

    I've had anti-gay nuts use that on me. It's a battle of wording. They say that gays are free to marry anyone they wish- as long as it's someone of the opposite sex.

    One even went so far as to say love isn't a requirement for marriage.

    It's a battle of wording. TECHINCALLY, the text of Prop 8 doesn't say "gay marriage is illegal," so in a way, they're right. BUT, they're wrong in others, because it was passed when it WAS legal, and TOOK AWAY the equal rights of gays in California.

    So, pretty much, the only way to see their point is to wear their own tunnel-vision goggles.

  • 66. Lesbians Love Boies  |  February 7, 2011 at 7:29 am

    or lower our IQs.

  • 67. Michael Herman  |  February 7, 2011 at 7:30 am

    "But the government is not supposed to be in the business of affirming our personal lives just because it makes us feel good – especially when it has to be done at everyone else’s expense."

    The blatant hypocrisy is mind-blowing.

  • 68. Ronnie  |  February 7, 2011 at 7:59 am

    UnMarriage Until GayMarriage 2011

    On Sunday, February 13th….Straight married supporters of Marriage Equality will un-marry in a mass ritual in NYC….The mass ritual will be lead by Reverend Billy, a legal officiant for the city of New York…..Hey NOM….religious liberty…EQUALITY NOW!!!!!!!!!!……<3…Ronnie

  • 69. Michael Herman  |  February 7, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    "By the powers vested in me by the State of Inebriation, I now pronounce you un-husband and un-wife."

  • 70. JonT  |  February 7, 2011 at 8:45 am

    '…it diminishes the general welfare.'

    'Allowing people to form same-sex unions – and even call them ‘marriages’ – is one thing, but to legally require that same-sex unions be equated to actual marriages is a very real threat to our civil liberties.'

    Aside from the typical "scare" "quote" BS, has anyone ever heard a satisfactory answer to the statements alluded to above?

    How exactly is marriage equality threatening or harming anyone?

    'We will never surrender.'

    Neither will we sweetie 🙂

  • 71. Straight Ally #3008  |  February 7, 2011 at 10:45 am

    Lewis Black explains.

    (Not safe for work!!!)

  • 72. JonT  |  February 7, 2011 at 10:56 am


    Hadn't seen that one.

  • 73. Peterplumber  |  February 7, 2011 at 9:15 am

    I have been asking that question to any troll who comes here and with every post I make on the NOM blog. Most of the posts on NOM blog never make it to the screen. The trolls here skirt the issue.

    I imagine maggie and Brian are huddeling up now, trying to think of an answer.

  • 74. Ray in MA  |  February 7, 2011 at 9:19 am

    Monitoring Zach Wahl YouTube…

    20 hours: 51,515 views

    1 Day: 130,598

    2 days: 563,762

    3 days: 1,025,247

    4 days: 1,363,732

    5 days: 1,423,027 … just short of 1.5 MILLION!

  • 75. Lightning Baltimore  |  February 7, 2011 at 9:26 am

    Threats same-gender marriages pose to opposite-gender ones:

    Married same-gender couples encourage children to (incorrectly) think it is OK to be LGBT.
    Children, exposed to this perversion, will decide to get gay-married.
    All children will get gay-married in the near future.
    The human race will die out.
    The cockroaches will rule the Earth, and erect temples to their pagan Roach Gods.
    The citizens of the Roach Planet will develop technology and attack each of the Mormon planets, and wipe out their civilizations.
    The Roach People will band together with the Thetans to take over the Universe.
    The Roach People and Thetans will discover how to traverse the Multiverse, and wipe out all Christians in all universes.

    As you can see, the threat is very real.

  • 76. Ann S.  |  February 7, 2011 at 9:29 am

    I, for one, welcome our new Roach overlords.

  • 77. Mark M - Seattle  |  February 7, 2011 at 9:33 am

    Thank you for opening my eyes to this treat….I had no idea just how devastating it would be if I married my partner.

  • 78. Straight Ally #3008  |  February 7, 2011 at 10:44 am

    Makes as much sense as Scientology in general.

  • 79. Peterplumber  |  February 7, 2011 at 10:49 am

    I know they think that, but can they prove it? Maggie is going to testify. Is that what she plans on saying?

  • 80. Richard A. Jernigan  |  February 7, 2011 at 11:11 am

    What is with these people? Why do they always use the Scare Quotes when referring to our marriages? Oh, that's right. Our marriages DO scare them. Mainly because they are afraid they will actually have to do the necessary work to maintain the health of their marriages in order to be equal in marital health once our marriages are recognized as equal to theirs and we raise the bar for relationship health!

  • 81. Josh  |  February 7, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    Very nice response to such an idiotic bunch of words in the ruth blog.

    Replying to, "Same-sex so-called ‘marriage’ does not contribute anything to the general welfare of society, it diminishes the general welfare." They can contribute to society in exactly the same ways as any marriage. Using the phrase "so-called marriage" is their right, but it will eventually die out when those of the type who wrote this pass away.

  • 82. Lee  |  February 7, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    Some of us are absolutely determined to hold on to the freedoms we have left, and pass them on to the next generation. We will never surrender.

    NOM and the Ruth Institute aren't trying to hold on to freedom, they're trying to hold on to privilege. As long as marriage is limited to heterosexual couples only, that's exactly what it'll remain: a privilege given to one group at the expense of another.

    Whenever I hear them carrying on about this, I'm reminded of this one South Park episode where Cartman badly wants a Haibo robo dog. At the end of the episode, he finally gets it, but when he learns that Stan and Kyle got them, too, it's suddenly not as special and he doesn't want it anymore. That's exactly what NOM and the Ruth Institute come across as: spoiled nine-year-old children upset that they've lost their exclusive privilege.

    On another note, I love the fact that Morse tries to use scare quotes around the word marriage but can't even do it correctly. You never use single quotation marks unless it's a quote within a quote. Also, punctuation always goes within the quotes in American English; it's not "marriage", it's "marriage." Furthermore, entire, standalone sentences do not need to be in parentheses. If Morse wants people to take her seriously, the least she could do is learn to punctuate.

  • 83. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  February 7, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    It’s about family…Local Story I heard about today from and AMAZING site:

    “I’m From Driftwood – True Stories by gay people all over”

  • 84. adambink  |  February 7, 2011 at 10:59 am

    We're including I'm From Driftwood in an exciting new video project Courage Campaign Institute is rolling out later this month. It's a great story.

  • 85. Sagesse  |  February 7, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    Remembering Canada's Stonewall

    30 Years After the Toronto Bathhouse Riots

  • 86. Bob  |  February 10, 2011 at 8:35 am

    Sagesse,, there is also a video documentary that was included in one of the articles,, it was very interesting, although long,,,, and very worth watching,,, if just to get a sense of struggles from various perspectives,,,,

    that video, brought back many memories for me and a number of friends who where actual "found ins" in the bathhouse raids….. imagine,,, what the religious right would be saying about sex pits,,,,, but that become Canada's Stonewall….

    I sent that link to Kathleen if you haven't seen it,,,, not to distract from what's going on down south,,, but an intersting historical perspective non the least…..

  • 87. Bob  |  February 10, 2011 at 8:43 am

    sorry spoke too soon,, the video is included,,, if anyone has the time,, it's interesting from a number of perspecitves,,,, although the police took action against gay men,,, women joined the protest,,, it's what galvanized the gay community,, and as some people mention it was the beginning of the idea that we were community,,,,
    once that was acknowledged there was support from other minority communities,,,
    and a real interesting development, labour unions also supported the cause,,, and fought for minority rights,,, which reminds me of what is happening in Egypt right now…
    it immediately become a civil rights battle,, and as Americans are presently experiencing,, the fight was really helped by elected officials who took our side,,,,,

  • 88. Sagesse  |  February 10, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    I remember that time. A year later, Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms (our constitution) was adopted.

  • 89. Bob  |  February 10, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    loved the short clip of Margaret Atwood,,, they called her to speak for the community,,, she asked who do you have ,, they said no one,, she said, I'll do it…. loved her line about the bathouse raids,,, she said what on earth do they have against cleanlieness…. that was funny….

    also the guy who said,, what community,,,as gay men we only know each other from the waist down,,,, boy did we have lots to learn…

    it's like voyeurism into the life of gay men thirty years ago,,,almost embarrasing now… I don't think there where many couples with children back then,,, how things have changed,,,

  • 90. Ķĭŗîļĺę&  |  February 8, 2011 at 2:20 am

    Maryland Judicial Proceedings Committee
    Live audio stream of the proceedings
    scheduled to begin at 1 pm EST (10 am PST)

  • 91. David in Houston  |  February 8, 2011 at 4:59 am

    Their inane arguments could just as easily apply to interracial marriage. When the Supreme Court nullified the remaining state bans 50 years ago, they weren’t forcing society to accept interracial marriage or those relationships. They were simply righting a societal wrong — irrational animus directed at interracial couples. I have no doubt that there are plenty of Americans that still think interracial marriage is wrong. That doesn’t matter. Civil rights are not a popularity contest that should be put up for a vote.

  • 92. Lightning Baltimore  |  February 10, 2011 at 7:51 am

    I posted a list of thirty seven statutes either banning same-sex marriage, or defining marriage as strictly one man/one woman, thus inherently banning same-sex marriage. I also posted the list on my (newly revived) blog, so the links are there rather than in the body of this comment.

    Responses I got:

    John, after clicking on a couple your links it seems to me that you are not attempting to meet the original challenge:
    “John, show me the statute that prohibits same-sex ‘marriages’. Do you know of anyone who has been prosecuted for ‘marrying’ someone of the same sex? Or who has ever been charged with a crime for doing so? Or even warned that they are breaking the law? It doesn’t happen because it’s not illegal.”

    Of course same-sex marriages are ‘prohibited’ in the sense that they are not recognized. (In fact I pointed out that Proposition 8 does that…)

    But where are same-sex so-called ‘marriages’ prohibited in the sense that they are violations of the law?


    John, your list is not a list of bans. Nor is it a list of examples of SSM being criminalized, made illegal, in the sense that polygamy and incestuous marriage are both outlawed.

    Since Merriam-Webster defines a ban as "a legal or formal prohibition," I'm finding it unbelievable that legal language that uses the term "prohibition" is both being called not really legal prohibition and not a legal ban. Oh, and since people don't get arrested for getting gay-married where it is expressly prohibited by law, it's not illegal.

    Could any lawyery types either give me some arguing points here, or, preferably join the idiotic conversation on the Ruth blog?

  • 93. Ann S.  |  February 10, 2011 at 8:01 am

    The point should not be whether it is criminally prosecuted, but whether it is legally recognized. They've set up a straw man argument. Your best tactic is to try to ignore the straw man (criminality) and keep harping on the more important point — lack of recognition.

  • 94. Lightning Baltimore  |  February 10, 2011 at 8:53 am

    Lack of recognition is the claim they are trying to push, though: marriage isn't prohibited or illegal for same gender-couples, it's merely not recognized by the government.

    It sounds to me like they're trying to pull a Clinton: dispute the meaning of common words in order to misuse them to their benefit. Of course, Leland is talking out of both sides of his mouth, anyway, when he claims there are "no such laws" prohibiting same-sex marriage and "Of course same-sex marriages are ‘prohibited.’"

    I looked up illegal on and it's defined as "contrary to or in violation of a law." To me, that sounds like same-sex marriage, where prohibited by law, is illegal. Especially since the same site defines prohibition as "something (as a law) that prohibits a certain act or procedure."

    Therefore, if same-sex marriage is explicited prohibited by law, as in the very first example I gave (Alamaba Code Section 30-1-19: "Marriage, recognition thereof, between persons of the same sex prohibited."), then same-sex marriage is illegal in Alabama. Is my reasoning flawed here?

  • 95. Ann S.  |  February 10, 2011 at 9:00 am

    With all due respect, you're letting them frame the argument in the way that it pleases them. They're saying "what are you complaining about, it's not criminal". They're getting you tangled in their argument about what the words "illegal" and "unlawful" mean.

    None of that is important. What's important is the lack of recognition. They of course agree that it's not recognized, but what we disagree about is that that's what needs to change.

    If you keep arguing on their terms, you are going to end up convincing them more and more that they're right.

    Their "question" is ridiculous. Refuse to discuss it anymore.

    That's my advice, take it for what it's worth.

  • 96. Rhie  |  February 10, 2011 at 11:55 am

    Agreed. Never accept the premise of the opponents beliefs or arguments. Tell them that they are using straw men, and just ask over and over what they think "not recognized" means. Ask the big questions, the real questions.

  • 97. Sheryl, Mormon Mothe  |  February 10, 2011 at 10:15 am

    I definitely agree that they are using the words as they want to define them. And, Ann is right, you are letting them define the argument. Just point out to them that no one is arrested for being married to a member of the same sex in those states that ban marriage equality, because they cannot be married and, therefore, no law has been broken to be arrested for. In our current society, we do not arrest people for living together, which is what same sex couples do when they cannot get married (or when they are legally married in one state and move to another that does not recognize that marriage). Doesn't matter what type of ceremony they had, unless they have that piece of paper from the state they are not married. And, if they have that piece of paper then they are married (except, of course, if they move to a state that does not recognize that marriage). IF you are going to continue discussing this with them, you need to keep emphasing the real issues, not their straw man issues. They are very, very good at straw man issues.

    Sheryl, Mormon Mother

  • 98. Lightning Baltimore  |  February 10, 2011 at 10:25 am

    I made one final response. I'm sure it will not sway them one bit, but maybe it will get through to people on the fence:

    Leland :


    John, whenever we’ve used words such as prohibited, illegal, criminal, ban, etc on this thread the precise connotations of those words – as they apply to our arguments – have been meticulously defined for all to see, and yet you choose to respond as if you understood that completely different connotations of those terms were being used.

    On another thread I pointed out to someone that equivocation is intellectual cowardice, and you are being very transparent about it. What do you expect to accomplish by that?

    It sounds like you are attempting to base your argument on marriage ceremonies, not civil marriage. That's NOT the issue. No one is fighting for the right to private, non-civil ceremonies.

    The Alabama Code, Section 30-1-19, is headed "Marriage, recognition thereof, between persons of the same sex prohibited." Part (d) states, "No marriage license shall be issued in the State of Alabama to parties of the same sex."

    You asked for a statute prohibiting same sex marriage. That's the very first of the 37 laws I supplied. The word is right there: prohibited. defines illegal as “contrary to or in violation of a law.” Same-sex marriage is contrary to the law in Alabama, as stated above, therefore making it illegal. If a same-sex couple applies for a marriage license, they will be denied one; same-sex marriage is prohibited.

    Since you are trying to change the meanings of words in order to make your argument, there is no point in discussing this further. Of course, since your post begins with the claim that there are no statutes prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying, then you follow it in a comment with, “Of course same-sex marriages are ‘prohibited,’” you're clearly trying to play fast and loose with semantics.

  • 99. Ann S.  |  February 10, 2011 at 10:41 am

    Bravo, LB!

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