Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Virginia could be one of first states to have its anti-marriage laws before the Supreme Court

The first case on whether states can ban same-sex marriage may well come from Virginia, according to a detailed story in the Washington Post today by Robert Barnes, link here

Two cases from opposite sides of the state percolate, although so do cases from Utah and Oklahoma.
It will take two contradicting appellate rulings to get a Supreme Court ruling. But don't forget that it was in Virginia in 1967 that anti-miscegenation laws got struck down.
Again, much of the argument seems to hinge on looking at sexual orientation as an immutable characteristic, an idea for which there is a lot of circumstantial evidence but no clear proof.
On the other hand, social conservatives look at marriage as a social institution that only thrives when people are taught the idea of self-discipline in the use of sexuality for the common good: the ability to stay with a partner for life (which gay marriage can offer) and the format for producing and raising children in a world were gender differences are expressed.  Social conservatives have to deal with a paradox in their own argument:  they are admitting that traditional marriage requires discipline and sacrifice and that individually they won’t be that interested unless they know that others will do it. 
There’s a triangle here with tension among values:  independence with equality at one vertex, the ability make and keep an intimate commitment regardless of hard times at a second vertex, and an optimal environment for having and raising children at the third. 

There's a site called "Soul Pancake" that has a lot of replies to the question, whether other people's relationships and lives affect "my" capacity for (heterosexual) marriage -- what Barney Franck saw as a clown question (well before Bryce Harper), here.  The overwhelming majority of replies are, "No, it doesn't". Yet from blue-state Minnesota (where I lived 1997-2003) there is a Star Tribune article in 2012 by Riley Balling, "why same-sex marriage affects my marriage", link here  There seems to be a pivot (of the Third Dominion kind) over the idea of marriage for the common good (children and a future) than personal fulillment. 
Remember, the marriage issue is about a lot more than equal benefits for spouses.  People who don’t enter into these relationships at all often do fine, until they don’t, because others can sometimes barge in and demand their sacrifices. 

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