Mississippi’s Move to Protect the Family Should Be Lauded, Not Attacked

November 21, 2017

by Steven Jonathan Rummelsburg


Mississippi has been in the news lately thanks to HB 1523, the “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act.” By enacting this sane law, the state has taken a heroic stance on morality that holds the potential to restore the rightly ordered foundation of civilization, the family. Although this truth been obscured by the rising tide of the sexual revolution, the well-ordered family is a vitally necessary building block for the good society. However, the supporters of this important law are under attack. The opponents to this good bill are legion and a most formidable foe of the family with tentacles in every aspect of public life. Nevertheless, HB 1523 is a beacon of hope in a dark time.

As reported by Chris Woodword at OneNewsNow.com, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant and his attorneys are defending the family over and above the demands of the LGBT rights community. Moral vision clearly sees the right order of this. The new law “protects three beliefs: marriage is only between a man and a woman, sex should only occur in such a marriage, and a person’s gender is determined at birth – and cannot be altered,” three self-evident truths which are primary in the good society. Only ideological deformation can blind one to these truths.

The complementarity of a man and woman is obvious for countless reasons, not the least of which is the fruitfulness of procreation — the single and indispensable source of our citizenry. Children raised by faithful and married parents in a healthy setting are far better off than their counterparts and have the best chance of becoming excellent citizens as an integral part of their own future families. Without the complementarity of the sexes there are no future citizens. If children are born out of wedlock they are not only at a disadvantage in nearly every aspect of life, they are also less likely to participate in building up society, as the available evidence bears out.

In The Huffington Post, Lavar Young references the findings of researchers at Columbia and Princeton universities who studied thousands of cases of “fragile families,” families with children born out of wedlock. The researchers concluded that “compared with ‘traditional families,’ parents of fragile families are more likely to have become parents in their teens, more likely to have had children with other partners, more likely to be poor, suffer from depression, struggle with substance abuse, and to have been incarcerated.” The instability of the relationships into which children of unwed parents are born is devastating to the children themselves, but also costly for society.

The research further indicates that “fragile families are shown to have harsher parenting practices and fewer literacy activities, and children of such families produce lower cognitive test scores and a have a higher incidence of aggressive behavior.” And just when you think it can’t get worse, we learn that children who are raised apart from one of their parents “are twice as likely to drop out of high school, twice as likely to have a child before age 20,” and more vulnerable to a host of other societal difficulties. These are not exactly desirable outcomes for building a society. We have a greater responsibility to the well-being of our children then we do to assert “gay marriage,” sex outside of marriage, or transgender ideology, partly because these things help undermine the good society.

The gold-standard family, the family that protects children from the instability of unwed or single-parent homes, is comprised of an eligible man and eligible woman who are married and then participate in procreation. They are faithful, monogamous, and in possession of the intellectual and moral virtues required to be an excellent citizen. There is no equivalent to this gold standard; all different arrangements are defective to some degree.

However, these truths are just too much to bear for proponents of LGBT rights. The apoplexy that follows these statements of obvious truth turns quickly into a maelstrom of confusion as those who would challenge the new law misrepresent what the law is designed to do. They would deny us our God-given right to speak the truth without fear of reprisal from vicious attacks simply because we do not agree with their licentious propaganda.

The gold-standard building block of civilization is the one configuration that contributes edifying growth to a society. Moral and intellectual health necessitates that we ought to honor the truth about the gold standard and have our laws reflect the goodness, truth and beauty of the family. That marriage is only between a man and a woman, that the marital act is only appropriate inside the marital bond, and that boys are boys and girls are girls are three basic fundamentals over which human beings have no real say. How did we ever get to the point where it causes so much trouble just to state the truth?


Steven Jonathan Rummelsburg is a senior fellow at the American Principles Project, a writer in residence and teacher of philosophy and theology at Holy Spirit Preparatory School in Atlanta. He is also a senior contributor to The Imaginative Conservative and has written for numerous venues on matters of faith, culture and education.

Archive: Steven Jonathan Rummelsburg

82 comments on “Mississippi’s Move to Protect the Family Should Be Lauded, Not Attacked”

  • henry says:

    Oh please here we are again. it is like the 1960s when the south pretended being bigots in public accommodations was all about religion. People don’t choose to be black or gay or an ethic minority. But you do choose your religion. Didn’t we learn from the 1960s. You open a business you then serve the public even if you don’t approve of them. My church doesn’t do gay weddings and the government should not tell them to. But obviously some churches do gay marriage. We conservatives are supposed to be against government interference in our lives. But this writer wants the government to interfere with other churches and their rights to do what they think God allows. This guy is wrong.

    • Andrew Shaffer says:

      Henry,

      I don’t think that Steven’s article calls for stripping same-sex marriages of their legally recognized status, and I certainly don’t see anywhere that it calls for legally prohibiting churches from blessing same-sex relationships. Furthermore, if HB 1523 was really enabling 1960’s-style discrimination, it would already have been overturned by the courts (which actually did initially rule against the law, but then threw out their ruling because the plaintiffs couldn’t demonstrate that such discrimination was actually happening).

      With a little more thought, I bet that you could come up with some ways that our society might legally honor the beauty of Steven’s “gold standard” families in our laws while also simultaneously respecting and honoring the dignity, worth, and relationships of people in other types of family arrangements. The tension between gay rights and freedom of conscience does not have to be resolved in a zero-sum manner.

      If you would like a starting point to think about such alternative approaches, one such idea is presented in my earlier comments on this page.

      • jk105 says:

        Steven’s substardard family law is religious doctrine masquerading as secular law. It is theocracy.

        What you provide is old Separate but Equal arguments that were once used in places like Mississippi (again) where white people of conscience did not want to mingle with black people. That segregation was morally reprehensible then and it is morally reprehensible now when using it for different relationship statuses for same-sex couples.

        If if don’t want a zero sum, then I assume you don’t mind legal marriages for same sex couples and other non-legal recourses for opposite sex couples. In the eyes of God and my community, I am legall same-sex married.

        You continue to be dishonest. You and Steven support laws that would deny Christian churches the right to perform same-sex marriages.

        Henry is correct. You are trying to relive the ’60s. Under this law, gays will be turned away from public accommodations–just like what blacks experienced.

        Immoral then. Immoral now.

      • jui says:

        Andrew continues to chop the legs off the truth.
        You write: I don’t think that Steven’s article calls for stripping same-sex marriages of their legally recognized status
        A nasty lie: You “think” wrong. Steven writes: “have our laws reflect the goodness, truth and beauty of the family. That marriage is only between a man and a woman.” So Steven overtly calls for stripping same-sex marriages of their legally recognized status. Why can’t you tell the truth?

        You write: “ I certainly don’t see anywhere that it calls for legally prohibiting churches from blessing same-sex relationships.”
        Misstatement on your part, probably a deliberate lie. He calls for the government to take actions that prohibit churches from performing legal same-sex marriages. More dishonesty on your part. You keep inserting the word “blessing” rather than “legal”. Why can’t you tell the truth? You and Steven would use the brute force of government to deny churches from performing LEGAL same-sex marriages.

        More of your blather: “ it would already have been overturned by the courts”
        It is working its way through the court system. Lie on your part. You know it is headed to the Supreme Court, which since the ‘sixties ruled against those who discriminate against a protected class in a public accommodation. It is hardly settled. Why lie?

        You write: “I bet that you could come up with some ways that our society might legally honor the beauty of Steven’s “gold standard” families in our laws while also simultaneously respecting and honoring the dignity, worth, and relationships of people in other types of family arrangements.”

        Yes, as JK has suggested. Steven’s substandard families can have alternate non-legal relationship status and beautiful gold standard same sex couples can have legal marriages in their Christian churches. Thanks for offering this separate but equal opportunity. I doubt many heterosexuals would be happy with this arrangement. I blame you.

        The long bloody history of the world suggests that giving one faith permission to discriminate against another rarely ends well. You are dragging us back to Jim Crow.

      • Andrew Shaffer says:

        Jk & Jui,

        I appreciate the opportunity to respond to you for the benefit of any other people who may be reading this site. There is an important distinction between the 1960’s segregation policies and anti-miscegenation laws and today’s current conflict over same-sex marriage that was missed in your comments.

        In the 1960’s, pro-segregation advocates wanted to physically separate the races because of racist animus toward black people. They also wanted to prevent mixed-race marriages because they recognized that those marriages would produce mixed-race children who would eventually dilute racial purity (thus further reducing the separation between the races in the future). These advocates recognized that there was no difference in kind between same-race and different-race marriages, because both types of marriages could conceive children – in fact, this was why they perceived mixed-race marriages to be a threat. The segregation and anti-miscegenation laws that these advocates promoted were based in animus toward black people, and I agree with you that they were reprehensible.

        Today, the current conflict over same-sex marriage is not based on animus toward homosexuals, but rather on a disagreement about what the nature of marriage actually is. As I stated earlier, traditional marriage advocates hold that marriage is primarily a legally protected relationship oriented toward conceiving and raising children, whereas same-sex marriage advocates hold that marriage is primarily a consensual relational pairing that is dignified by government recognition. This difference in view about the nature of marriage was wholly absent from the segregation and anti-miscegenation laws of the 1960’s.

        Traditional marriage advocates do not seek physical separation of heterosexual and homosexual persons as segregationists did in the 1960’s. (In fact, it would be practically impossible for them to do this even if they wanted to, because there are no inherent visible indications of whether a person is heterosexual or homosexual that are comparable to the way in which a person’s race can be visually observed!) Rather, traditional marriage advocates support preserving a legal distinction for those types of relationships that are capable of conceiving children, as well as maintaining laws and social norms that foster the raising of the children that are conceived in those relationships to be good citizens, because society really does have an interest in children becoming good citizens. (This is also why we require minimum educational standards for children and provide public schooling for families who do not educate their children themselves.) There is no inherent reason why traditional marriage advocates should oppose affirming the dignity of persons participating in other types of relationships, or of granting legal status to their relationships and affirmation of the dignity of those relationships. However, such affirmation should be provided in a way that does not undermine society’s legal and social frameworks for supporting the well-being of children being raised in those relationships that are capable of conceiving them.

        I have no objection to sharing any public accommodations with you. However, I do have objections to being coerced into creating messages that repudiate what I understand marriage to actually be, and I appreciate that HB 1523 is intended to protect people like me from being coerced into creating such messages just because they operate a business. I imagine that you would likewise not want to be coerced into creating messages that disparage your same-sex marriages. Furthermore, I would think that it actually would be in your best interest not coerce a vendor who disagrees with same-sex marriage into participating in your wedding ceremony – both personally, because you would likely receive better service from someone who is acting freely instead of under compulsion, and also socially, because coercing these individuals to undertake speech and actions that are supportive of same-sex marriage in its current form belies that the former LGBT claim that “same sex marriage won’t affect anyone who isn’t homosexual.” Furthermore, finding vendors with conscientious objections to same-sex marriage today really is quite exceptional, whereas in the 1960’s the opposite was true because Jim Crow laws made it illegal for vendors not to discriminate.

        Given my previous observation that some homosexual persons would actually prefer to abolish marriage, I find your proposals for keeping same-sex marriages legal while removing legal recognition from heterosexual marriages to be quite interesting; I wonder if the arrangement that you propose might be more to your liking than the current status quo. Nevertheless, your proposal is still not analogous to my proposal for having separate and different types of legal recognition for traditional, same-sex, polygamous, incestuous, temporary, non-exclusive, and asexual relationships, because I never called for same-sex relationships to be stripped of legal recognition as you are claiming should be done with traditional marriages. Your argument that I should accept deconstruction of traditional marriage in exchange for nothing because I seek to find a way that both LGBT rights advocates and supporters of traditional marriage can peacefully and constructively coexist is absurd – but as I have stated earlier, I actually have no objection to treating same-sex relationships preferentially as a different kind of relationship than traditional marriages, as long as the legal protections for traditional marriages that support raising the children who are conceived in those marriages into good citizens can be maintained. (In response to Jui’s comment, I will also note that I don’t really care if same-sex couples retain the name “marriage” and traditional marriages are renamed “civil unions,” although I think that pursuing this option would entail a much larger administrative burden than the alternative, and that most of society would find this extra burden unnecessary.)

        I honestly don’t know why it is so important to you that your same-sex marriages be associated with all of the legal and social norms that have historically been built up around traditional marriages. If you and your partner should ever decide to divorce, why should you be burdened by the legal presumption that one of you should provide spousal support to the other, as heterosexual couples are (based on the historical reality that women who have divorced usually suffer disproportionate financial harm)? Or if you or your partner ever wants to have an extramarital sexual liaison, why should you be burdened by the possibility of being legally prosecuted for adultery, as heterosexual couples are (because heterosexual affairs can produce illegitimate children who can increase the burden on the social safety net, and these children also often experience inferior outcomes because they are raised in fragile family types)? And so on.

        I would think that the LGBT community could develop laws and social norms to reflect and accommodate its unique attributes and preferences more easily by using a new type of relationship as a starting point (e.g. a civil union, or whatever other title you like), rather than appropriating traditional marriage and deconstructing the traditional marriage norms that it neither needs nor wants. Furthermore, it would be much more magnanimous towards the rest of society for the LGBT community to create a new type of legally recognized relationship than to deconstruct traditional marriage. The laws and social norms that are now being deconstructed were created primarily to protect women and children, and the deconstruction of those laws and social norms really will harm these disproportionately vulnerable groups.

        I do not want to see gays turned away from public accommodations, and if I were to observe someone mistreating another person merely because they were gay I would intercede to do what I can to prevent that from happening. However, I also do not want to see the powerful LGBT political lobby mistreating people by using antidiscrimination law to financially ruin those who have genuine conscientious objections against being coerced to speak or act in support of the current definition of same-sex marriage.

        HB 1523 is intended to protect conscientious objectors from people who would weaponize anti-discrimination laws (and dilute the legitimacy of such laws) by fabricating claims of animus-based discrimination where none is actually present. Your comments in this discussion have consistently and willfully misconstrued what both Steven and I have said. By using a little creativity to imagine how our conversation might have played out if it was actually a lawsuit being tried in the courts, an impartial outside observer can easily see them as an illustration of why such laws are actually needed.

        We ought to be able to find a way to coexist peacefully with each other, and for my part I am willing to do so. However, I have not yet seen anything in any of your comments here suggesting that you are willing to find a way to peacefully coexist with those who disagree with you, or even that you are willing to genuinely try to understand them. I cannot help but think that if you are not willing to at least try to understand those who disagree with you, then those who disagree with you really have no reason to try to understand or accommodate you either.

      • jk105 says:

        Wow Andrew certainly knows how to dodge questions with throwing up hundreds of words unrelated to the issues at hand. Your history lesson is biased cherrypicking. It is also not related to our posts.

        So for those reading this post, let’s go over Andrew’s lies and deflections.

        1- Yes, we get that you believe marriage is solely for procreation. But this is your personal definition. There isn’t a state in this union that ever legally required procreation to be an obligation for marriage. Name one state. You can’t.

        2- Since Steven’s substandard family requirement is being offered here as a legal requirement, such a bigoted law would deny my Christian church the right to legally perform same-sex marriages. You have been provided plenty of quotes direct from Steven’s article, his call for theocracy. You keep dodging the point. You and Steven would use the brute force of government to deny Christian Churches the right to perform LEGAL same sex marriages. Why do you lie about this?

        3-Two people on this site (one being me) have offered you a rather charitable solution to your dilemma. Same-sex couples get legally married in their Christian Churches. Meanwhile Steven’s substandard opposite-sex couples can have other legally recognized civil unions. Problem solved. I suspect heterosexuals won’t like this, and I don’t blame them. So Andrew, if heterosexuals won’t settle for less than a legal marriage, don’t ever expect gay people to settle for less than legal marriage either.

        4-If you are morally repelled by Jim Crow laws, then you are morally repelled by Andrew’s lies in defense of Jim Crow Revisited–the anti-Gay kind. This law would allow a public accommodation to viciously turn away gay couples who are simply buying a cake.
        a- The heinous monster baker signed a contract that would obligate him to abide by state and federal law. Andrew has no problem with businessmen breaking their contracts.
        b- Andrew lies about this being about message. Public Accommodations never have the control of “message” after a product is sold.
        c- If serving gays with courtesy is against your alleged religion, don’t open a public accommodation than requires you to serve the public, with includes gays people. You are free to hate gay people in your so-called church.

        Andrew doesn’t address these issues because Andrew prefers to throw up deceptive spin and propaganda.

        Stop dodging.

      • Steven Jonathan says:

        Andrew,

        You articulate beautifully what ought to be said. Where we differ is hard to pinpoint because was agree on what matters most, that all human persons have intrinsic dignity and worth and that the true definition of marriage necessarily means including the complementarity of a man and a woman open to new life. Although I have never once advocated government intervention to prevent the conventional law- it is just the opposite that I advocate, protection from the homosexualists who would ruin a livelihood just because one holds that a marriage is for a man and woman, that sex outside of marriage is immoral and that boys are boys and girls are girls.

        If my students or any other child were to ask me about sexual relations, I would tell them that the marital act is only rightly ordered in side the bonds of marriage. As a Catholic, this is what the Church teaches and it is in accord with revealed truth and the philosophical anthropology because sex outside of marriage, although natural between a man and woman, is an intimacy without a commitment with the actual end being procreation- so if a child results, that child is going to suffer as are the two participants in the act outside of marriage. So I would never advocate sexual activity outside of marriage, but it is stupid absurdity to assume that this means I want the government to enforce my understanding of morality, of course I don’t and the trolls repeating this are simply agitating not conversing. I do expect that I will not suffer harm just because I hold this moral stance. So if I would never advocate sex acts outside of marriage, even less would I advocate same-sex acts, for all the same reasons and then some, which I won’t mention here. So theocracy? of course not. Can I hold that marriage is between an eligible man and woman? not if the trolls get their way. And the Christian baker is not a monster, just a man who cannot by conscience participate in a same sex “wedding.” He serves all walks of life in many other capacities.

      • jk105 says:

        Yes Steven, you have made it very clear that you have a right wing religionist substandard definition of marriage and you want the government to force it on the rest of decent society. You openly admit that you would use the brute force of government to apply this substandard definition on Christian Churches, thus denying them the right to perform legal same sex marriages.

        Steve hates religious liberty.
        Thanks for clarifying that!

      • Jui says:

        I notice that Andrew didn’t answer any of my questions. I was particularly curious how he would respond to the very, very charitable offer for legal same-sex marriage while heterosexuals can have the separate but equal civil unions. But dodging questions seems to be his speciality. Perhaps he was too busy praying to his fertility god to ward off asexual marriage.

      • Andrew Shaffer says:

        Jk,

        It occurred to me earlier this evening that the historical details that I presented in my argument really could come across as being cherry-picked. I did not intentionally set out to do this, but I inevitably colored the way in which my argument was presented based on my own values and experiences.

        Speaking personally, I believe that every human life is of inestimably great value and worth. You have great dignity simply because you are a human being, and it does not readily occur to my mind that a person would hate you or anyone else based solely on your identity. The fact that I place such great value on your dignity and your life (and the lives of others) is one of the key reasons why I have tried to be gracious when responding to comments in this conversation that appear to be intended to destroy my reputation.

        I live in a relatively small town that is fairly homogenous and usually very peaceful. I do read about small groups like the alt-right online, and I have seen a few instances of anti-homosexual violence when I am watching the evening news, but I do not think I personally know anyone who would act in such ways. When I said that the current conflict over same-sex marriage is based primarily on different views about the nature of marriage, that characterization reflected what I have observed in my own social circles.

        But there really are people in the world who hate others based solely on their identity, and as a gay person you have almost undoubtedly personally encountered more anti-gay animus during your lifetime than I have observed from all of the sources that I have ever read or watched. I can also see how you would feel personally attacked by every instance of anti-gay violence and discrimination that is reported in the news in a way that I do not, because I don’t fear that I will be the next target of such violence or discrimination.

        I was bullied pretty badly as a child, so I can relate to a limited extent with how you might feel. However, my experiences with being bullied mostly ended by the beginning of high school. I don’t know how old you are or what you may have experienced in your lifetime, but I can imagine that your experiences might be far more demanding and far more painful than anything that I have ever had to live through.

        Regardless of our political differences, I want you to know that I bear you no ill will, and I genuinely hope that you will have a joyful and fulfilling life. If I were to see someone trying to harm you or if someone was making derogatory slurs about or towards you, I would intercede to try and stop that from happening. I do not want you to be turned away from public accommodations merely because you are gay. And I have no objection to your same-sex marriage continuing to be legally recognized and to have meaningful social norms associated with it in the future, just as I hope that my traditional marriage will also continue to be legally recognized and to have meaningful social norms associated with it in the future as well.

        I do not view you or your marriage as having less dignity than myself or my marriage. Indeed, the approach that I have proposed in my argumentation is truthfully the only way that I see for our society to move forward without inevitably reducing both your marriage and mine to meaningless pieces of paper that were issued by the county clerk, after marriage has been expanded to encompass all consensual adult human relationships and all of the laws and social norms associated with marriage have finally been stripped away.

        I don’t know if my telling you this will make any difference in your opinion about me or about any of the argumentation that I have advanced during this discussion. However, I still want to acknowledge the animus that you have probably encountered in your life, and to apologize for not being more sensitive to your experiences in our conversation up to this point.

        Perhaps if we can each understand where the other is coming from more fully, we might be able to have a more constructive conversation from this point forward. We would both be better off if we could find ways to work together for the good of our society.

      • Andrew Shaffer says:

        Jui,

        If you had read my comment more closely, you would have seen that I actually agreed to the arrangement that you are now proposing – and I even called you out by name to call your attention to it! As long as the civil unions and marriage are separate but legally equivalent to start, I would be happy to be in a civil union instead of a marriage. Over time, this will allow the laws and social norms associated with each type of relationship to develop independently, instead of both of them being reduced to the lowest common denominator.

      • jui says:

        So Andrew, it is up to you to pressure heterosexuals to have laws that ban legal heterosexual marriage. Good luck. However, I will point out that there is nothing stopping heterosexuals from doing it now. I just don’t see a massive movement of opposite-sex couples opting for civil unions rather than legal marriage. The separate but equal concept seems limited to you.

        I notice you didn’t mention a state that had procreation stated in law a mandated requirement for marriage. None exists. Again, that is your definition, never a state one.

      • Andrew Shaffer says:

        Jui,

        You haven’t described your background in this conversation to the extent that Jk has, but I would like to add that if you are of a similar background to Jk, then my apology to Jk should extend to you as well.

        I grant your argument that no state has ever required that a couple actually have a child in order for their relationship to be legally recognized as a marriage. However, your argument misses the point. Up until around 20 years ago, every government in the history of civilization has recognized only various configurations of relationships that are theoretically capable of conceiving children as being marriages – and most world governments outside of the West actually still limit the definition of marriage to these types of relationships. The most logically consistent reason that I can see for this definition of marriage is that the state has an interest in ensuring the well-being of the children who may be conceived in them, and also that the state has an interest in promoting the growth and development of those children into good citizens. The particulars of marriage laws have varied somewhat over time and across different cultures, but in general they have been based on these principles all over the world until very recently.

        As you say, this is my understanding of the basis of marriage law, and you hold a different view. So I put this challenge to you: in your view, what is the purpose of marriage, and why should it be limited to only consensual opposite-sex and same-sex pair bondings? Why is your view better for society than mine?

        Justice Kennedy says that marriage is all about granting dignity to relationships. If that is the case, why shouldn’t dignity also be granted to consensual polygamous groups? Why not to consensual adult incestuous relationships, or consensual relationships between cousins or siblings? Why not to consenting adults who plan before getting married to end their marriage relationship on a particular date, perhaps several months or years in the future? Why not to consenting adults who don’t plan to be sexually monogamous – or to those who have no desire to be sexually or even romantically involved with each other at all (e.g. a pair of bachelor brothers, or the members of a corporate board)? Also, why should any person be limited to participating in only a single marriage at any given time?

        The traditional view of marriage that I have described in this discussion provides an intuitive and logically coherent answer to each of these questions – and most people intuitively recoil at the idea of accepting all of these additional relational permutations into the institution of marriage, because doing so would broaden marriage to the point of it becoming grotesque and unrecognizable.

        Nevertheless, I challenge you to consider that if same-sex couples should be included in the definition of marriage because they deserve the dignity that government recognition of their marriages communicates, then any person in any of these other relationship types also deserves recognition of their own preferred form of marriage. Every person is equally deserving of being treated with dignity and respect by the state, and there are no objections that apply to any of these groups being married that outweigh their rights to the dignity that state-recognized marriage confers. Thus, there is no justifiable reason to oppose any of these relationships as being legally recognized as marriages; there is only bigotry. Are you also a bigot?

        Once you have decided which of the people who participate in these various types of relationships actually deserve to be granted dignity, and after you have explained why the boundary line of marriage should be drawn wherever you put it, you must then also decide and justify what laws and social norms should apply to all of the relationship types that you will accept as marriages. Because marriage equality by definition requires that all marriages be treated equally, you must find the common factors across all of these relationship types and establish the basis for marriage and family law on only those essential features that apply equally to all of them.

        What principles that are unique to marriage are essential and common between a polygamous heterosexual group and a pair of asexual bachelor brothers? Are property transfer rights the most significant common factor? Should marital property transfer rights continue to be protected if a father can also marry his children to bypass a multi-million dollar estate tax? Should even legally privileged communications between spouses still be protected if an asexual corporate board marriage can use those privileges to avoid discovery during a legal proceeding?

        If you think about these questions honestly, I believe that you will find that there are no common factors among all of these different groups that rise above the level of mere consent combined with a desire for government recognition – and that is a pitiful basis on which to justify any types of marriage laws.

        I posit that your preferred view of marriage will gradually lead to the removal of the logical justifications for why we have marriage laws and laws related to marital behavior in the first place. Once that happens, the courts will be obligated to strike those laws down, because laws without a basis in rationality are capricious and discriminatory. As this process progresses, the same-sex marriage rights that you cherish so much eventually will be reduced to a mere government stamp of approval communicated by a piece of paper issued by a county clerk.

        The burden is on you to prove that my reasoning is wrong – and I would actually be genuinely glad if you are actually able to do so. Invective is unnecessary; all that is needed is a single cogent argument. If you cannot provide such an argument, I’m not going to badger you about it – you will just have to contend with the reality of where our nation’s current marriage laws will be taking us in your own mind.

      • jui says:

        So in other words, there is no state that required procreation as an obligation for marriage. Thanks.
        That definition is yours, not the state’s. It is not the definition of over 60% of Australian voters. It is yours. Certainly not mine or my church’s. I am same-sex married in a Christian church. To repeat: It is your definition.

        So do you support laws that ban same-sex marriage? If so, my Christian church cannot perform legal same-sex marriages, which would be the brute force of government denying us religious liberty. Be honest. You and Steven tap dance around this. Be honest.

        The definition of marriage has always changed. In my lifetime it changed to include interracial couples. And yes, that is a very apt analogy.

        Asexual marriages etc. are the boogy man you are afraid of. It is up to asexuals to make a case for marriage. It is up to you (since it is so important to you) to make the case against it. It is not something I fear, and I am very disgusted that you would use the slippery slope argument against my marriage. Stop.

        I accept your apology but I don’t believe you are aware of the degree of your offense. You started this whole dialog by calling Steven’s straight-forward government intrustion into our churches and private lives “inherent truths.” You are giddy with love over his substandard definition of marriage. You have not criticized the contemptuous language he has used. Look at that scalding title of this article. “Protect” the family! Immoral and disgusting. Both of you should apologize. He is hateful.

        It is not enough to claim that you disaprove of alleged religious believers treating gay customers with contempt in public accommodations. You sugarcoat your totalitarian politics. The fact is you support legislation that would allow such heinous treatment to be legal. If it is not legal to viciously mistreat a black person in a public accommodation, then as a protected class minority, it should not be legal to treat me with the same heinous treatment. This is not just about a hideous monster not selling a cake. A Mississippi funeral home recently refused to serve a gay man’s husband. That’s the world you want to create. You would create a world in which gay people are second class citizens. Your politics are disgusting.

      • jk105 says:

        Andrew, I appreciate your apology, but I hope you do realize that your perspective is one in which you would allow the government and vicious right wing religionists the right to damage my religious liberties and violate my ability to safely function in the public sector. I will never silently suffer such sinister politics.

        Your apology would also seem more heartfelt if any (any!) of your posts criticized Steven’s overt bigotry. Instead, all your posts attacked the people on this board who addressed his celebration of religious-based hate.

      • Andrew Shaffer says:

        Jui,

        Even restating my position in your words, I think that I have been fairly clear in this conversation that I do NOT support banning legal same-sex marriages.

        You claim that my argument is a slippery slope fallacy. However, I have been repeatedly attacked in this forum for being a bigot because I will not hurl myself down the slope that I have identified. Your most recent comment indicates that you see no problem with society proceeding all the way to the bottom of the slope if people like me cannot prevent that from happening. You say nothing to address why we will not proceed down the slope as I have outlined. My argumentation does indeed point to a slippery slope, but it seems to be a real slope that we are actually sliding down, rather than a fallacy. If my argument is indeed a slippery slope fallacy, please tell me why we should not take the next step and recognize polygamous groups as being legally married.

        I disagree profoundly with your characterization of the Jack Phillips case. Jack Phillips serves his generic products to both gay and straight customers without distinction, and he only refuses to create custom cakes that conflict with his conscience. For example, he refuses to create custom cakes with alcohol in them, Halloween cakes, lewd cakes for a bachelor party, and cakes celebrating a divorce. He also refuses to create cakes that convey the message that same-sex marriages really are legitimate marriages, because his religion holds that they are not. Since the civil rights commission initially prosecuted him several years ago, Jack Phillips has declined to make custom cakes entirely instead of violating his conscience, even though this has cost him about 40% of his business. I can understand the disgust and the offense that you as a gay person feel towards Jack Phillips because he is unwilling to create a custom cake to celebrate a same-sex wedding, but I see Jack Phillip’s conscientious objection as being sincere. Do you really believe that he hates gay people so much that he built up his business for nearly 20 years just so that he could turn away this one same-sex couple, stop making custom cakes altogether, and then face the prospect of financially ruinous penalties in the ensuing lawsuits that have gone all the way to the Supreme Court? I don’t see a reason why the government should compel him to create artwork that conveys a message that he sincerely disagrees with when numerous alternative vendors are available and more than happy to provide service to the gay couple that he turned away.

        To consider situations that are similar to Jack Phillips’ situation, a Jewish baker should have the freedom to refuse making a Nazi-themed cake, a Muslim baker should have the freedom to refuse making a cake bearing the image of Mohammed, a baker who is an ardent Democrat should have the freedom to refuse making a cake that says “Make America Great Again” – and if you were a baker, you also should have the freedom to refuse making a cake inscribed with the words “True Marriage is Only Between a Man and a Woman”! In all of these cases, someone would be turned away with hurt feelings and they would have to go somewhere else to purchase their cake – but all of us have the freedom to do just that. In the 1960’s, Jim Crow laws legally required businesses to discriminate, so no other options were available for those who were turned away. Today, laws supporting freedom of conscience only allow very limited exceptions to anti-discrimination laws, and numerous alternatives to vendors with conscientious objections are almost always available. Far from creating a totalitarian environment, laws supporting freedom of conscience are quite literally antithetical to totalitarianism – they prevent the political majority from coercing the minority into doing things with which they deeply disagree.

        Finally, I agree that a funeral home patron should not be refused service simply because he is gay. If the events in the case that you mentioned really happened as reported by the plaintiff, then it would certainly be appropriate for the funeral home to pay compensatory damages to the plaintiff for breaking its contract. However, I have read through the actual text of HB 1523 several times now to see how it would legally enable the discrimination that occurred in this case, and I don’t see any way that HB 1523 could be used as a defense by the funeral home, even if the funeral home was actually to assert that its refusal was based on a conscientious objection (and I have not been able to find any evidence that the funeral home is actually claiming that it has a conscientious objection in the first place, either). If you would like to show me which provisions in the bill actually defend the type of discrimination that occurred in this case, I would welcome the clarification. (The full text of HB 1523 is available as the first search term in a Google search for “HB 1523”.)

      • Andrew Shaffer says:

        Jk,

        It is unclear to me how my perspective damages your religious liberties – neither Steven nor I is calling for the deconstruction of same-sex marriages, or for preventing your church from performing same-sex weddings. This has been stated many times during our discussion by both Steven and myself.

        I can understand that there is some confusion on this point because Steven’s article does contain some sections that would have been better if they have been elaborated more fully and precisely – such as his statement that our laws ought to reflect the truth about the gold standard and reflect the goodness, truth and beauty of the family. I can see how this statement could easily be misinterpreted as calling for our laws to be changed so that the gold standard family is the only family type that is legally permissible. However, Steven has since clarified that he doesn’t expect the government to impose his moral views on anyone, and in my public and private conversations with him he has affirmed the dignity and value of all people regardless of their sexual orientation. I am confident that he also does not hold ill will toward any of the people who have commented here.

        I can understand how you might feel at risk of being turned away by vendors in public accommodations because of HB 1523, but the number of vendors who actually turn away customers because of conscientious objections is almost vanishingly small – and their competitors are more than happy to take your business. Have you personally been turned away from many businesses because of your sexual orientation?

        I am only rarely turned away from a business or denied equal access to publicly available programs, but when I am turned away, I usually try to accommodate the other person’s beliefs as much as I can – as I have done in this conversation by being willing to accept Jui’s proposal, instead of insisting on the path forward that I think would be preferable. I don’t want other people to coerce me into doing things that I find unconscionable, so I try to avoid using the government to coerce others as much as possible.

      • jui says:

        Andrew, you claim that you mean no offense, but then vomit up your bigoted guts. Do try to be consistent!

        You write: “Even restating my position in your words, I think that I have been fairly clear in this conversation that I do NOT support banning legal same-sex marriages.”

        And yet you support Steven’s “intrinsic truths”, which categorically calls for the government to legally ban same-sex marriage. Make up your mind!

        You write: “You claim that my argument is a slippery slope fallacy.”
        Because it is. Your bigotry blinds you to the way you cherrypick your way through the Supreme Court decision. “Dignity” is only one word used in the decision. “Equal Protection Clause” is the overwhelming concept. The day polygamists become a protected class is the day they can claim marriage rights.

        I already made mincemeat out of your bigotry. Polygamy is a religious liberty issue. Shall we ban all religious liberty simply because polygamists may one day use it in court to get marriage rights? Stop being a bigot. Stop the slippery slope depravity.

        You write: “I disagree profoundly with your characterization of the Jack Phillips case.”
        Because you are a bigot. This heinous monster straight-forward refused to serve a gay couple because his morally impaired conscience hates gay people. Truth. If this heinous monster gets his jollies treating gays with contempt, he should not have signed a legal contract where he promised to serve gays with dignity.

        Andrew, you claim you respect my humanity. But this shows that you are a pathological liar.

        You write: ” I don’t see a reason why the government should compel him to create artwork that conveys a message that he sincerely disagrees…
        You puke up more lies. The gay couple asked this heinous monster for a cake. There was no message on the cake to indicate it was for a same-sex marriage. Do try to be truthful. This public accommodation service did not “endorsed” the wedding. Moreover, the public accommodation that sold them their underwear they wore that day also did not “endorse” the wedding. I know it is hard for Andrew to tell the truth, but do try to keep in mind that your arguments are considerably weakened by your habitual dishonesty.

        You write: “Nazi-themed cake.” You really are making analogies between same-sex marriage and nazis. Is your previous post apologizing about disrespect honest? I wanted to believe it, but not anymore.

        Moreover, Nazis are not a protected class. Nice try, liar.

        Do you criticize Steven’s desire to use government to ban legal same-sex marriage?
        Do you oppose religious liberty because it is a slippery slope to legal polygamy?

        If not, your nose has been growing!

      • jui says:

        Lies.
        You write: ” neither Steven nor I is calling for the deconstruction of same-sex marriages, or for preventing your church from performing same-sex weddings”

        Yes, Steven wrote “have our laws reflect the goodness, truth and beauty of the family. That marriage is only between a man and a woman”. Steven’s substandard definition of marriage outright demands that government ban the gold standard of same-sex marriage. If not, he and you can apologize. So far you haven’t. Steven hates religious liberty.
        Yes, you condemned the Supreme Court decision that allowed for legal same-sex marriage.

        You write: ” but the number of vendors who actually turn away customers because of conscientious objections is almost vanishingly small…”
        Small or not, it is vicious and immoral. You wouldn’t use the same “its small” argument against treating blacks with contempt in a public accommodation, don’t do the same for gay people. You wouldn’t tell black people to shop elsewhere. Apologize.

        You write: “Have you personally been turned away from many businesses because of your sexual orientation?”
        Yes. My husband and I were kicked out of a taxi going from the airport to downtown Kansas City because this Phillips-type heinous monster refused to bring us to town–for religious “conscience” reasons.

        You lied when you wrote that you respect my intrinsic worth. Why did you lie?

      • Andrew Shaffer says:

        Jui,

        Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I don’t see myself reflected in what you have written here, but I do value your feedback because it helps me to understand how others might perceive me. Your comments have also provided me with a very different perspective of the world to consider.

        I don’t think there is much value for either of us in continuing this conversation beyond this point. I appreciate your passion for correcting what you perceive to be wrong in the world, and I hope that you find constructive ways to express it.

        I wish you the best.

      • Jui says:

        Do you criticize Steven’s desire to use government to ban legal same-sex marriage?
        Do you oppose religious liberty because it is a slippery slope to legal polygamy?

        If not, your nose has been growing!

        Yes my criticisms have been very constructive. Not only did you (typically) dodge my last points, I notice that both you and certainly Steven have evolved on legal same-sex marriage. Steven overtly called for government bans on God-blessed same-sex marriage and now supposedly denies this! I smell deceit!

        If you don’t see yourself in my criticisms it may because you are morally blind.

        I suggest that if you want to sell your substandard definition of marriage to the American public, honesty is the best policy. You are allergic to the truth.

      • jim says:

        Yes Jui, you have been marvelous. Steven and Andrew have habitually dodged, deflected and deceived.

        Thanks for speaking out against their hate.

      • Andrew Shaffer says:

        For the benefit of those reading this thread without commenting, I think it might be worthwhile to juxtapose Jui’s minimization of dignity’s importance in the Obergefell decision and his supposed rebuttal of my “slippery slope” argument with the remarks of someone having greater legal expertise:

        —–

        One immediate question invited by the majority’s position is whether States may retain the definition of marriage as a union of two people. Cf. Brown v. Buhman, 947 F. Supp. 2d 1170 (Utah 2013), appeal pending, No. 14-4117 (CA10). Although the majority randomly inserts the adjective “two” in various places, it offers no reason at all why the two-person element of the core definition of marriage may be preserved while the man-woman element may not. Indeed, from the standpoint of history and tradition, a leap from opposite-sex marriage to same-sex marriage is much greater than one from a two-person union to plural unions, which have deep roots in some cultures around the world. If the majority is willing to take the big leap, it is hard to see how it can say no to the shorter one.

        It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage. If “[t]here is dignity in the bond between two men or two women who seek to marry and in their autonomy to make such profound choices,” ante, at 13, why would there be any less dignity in the bond between three people who, in exercising their autonomy, seek to make the profound choice to marry? If a same-sex couple has the constitutional right to marry because their children would otherwise “suffer the stigma of knowing their families are somehow lesser,” ante, at 15, why wouldn’t the same reasoning apply to a family of three or more persons raising children? If not having the opportunity to marry “serves to disrespect and subordinate” gay and lesbian couples, why wouldn’t the same “imposition of this disability,” ante, at 22, serve to disrespect and subordinate people who find fulfillment in polyamorous relationships? See Bennett, Polyamory: The Next Sexual Revolution? Newsweek, July 28, 2009 (estimating 500,000 polyamorous families in the United States); Li, Married Lesbian “Throuple” Expecting First Child, N. Y. Post, Apr. 23, 2014; Otter, Three May Not Be a Crowd: The Case for a Constitutional Right to Plural Marriage, 64 Emory L. J. 1977 (2015).

        – Chief Justice John Roberts, United States Supreme Court, Obergefell v. Hodges, p. 20-21

        —–

        I would also note that the vast majority of the 500,000 polyamorous families in the United States are not Mormon, and they generally do not rely on religious freedom argumentation to advance their claims for the legal recognition of their relationships as marriages. Certainly the poly families in the town where I live do not. I wonder how they would respond to Jui’s argumentation that their relationships do not deserve similar legal recognition to his same-sex marriage because they have not achieved protected class status.

        I invite the reader to draw their own conclusions about the plausibility of my “slippery slope” argumentation and about the cynical reasons why so many of the commenters on this board are saying that polygamous marriage is purely a religious liberty issue.

      • jui says:

        Wow! Andrew has a hard time saying goodbye!

        It is not as if he has offered anything new, or at least anything resembling an intellectually honest argument.

        As usual, Andrew shows a ruthless unacquaintance with the truth. Apparent is he is absolutely comfortable shooting off slippery slope arguments when it suits his prejudice, but pushes it off slippery slope arguments when it turns on his false sense of superiority.

        Andrew pukes up a lot of sentences as if “more means a better argument.” For the reader who hasn’t posted, it is quite apparent it is his usual deflect and dodge tactic.

        He is obsessed on his “dignity” point in same-sex marriage, but conveniently dodges the straight-forward fact that same-sex marriage is largely settled on the equal protection clause. He knows polygamists are not a protected class. He would rather dodge that point because it shows him to be deceitful.

        Mormons have indeed brought polygamy to the court system, using religious liberty as a defense. In fact it went to the Supreme Court decades ago. But he would have readers believe relgious liberty does not mean legal polygamous marriage … because he says so!

        The because Andrew says so argument is not convincing. But then Andrew has been transparently dishonest throughout this whole post board.

      • jk105 says:

        It is telling that Andrew cites the losing side of a Supreme Court case!

        People argued in the Loving case that it too would bring forth polygamist marriage. What was the response from interracial couples? Race was a protected class and polygamists are not. The same holds true with gay people.

        The burden is on polygamists and Andrew to argue the pros and cons of polygamy. Don’t pull me into your hissy fit!

        And try to do it honestly. You have a compulsion to misrepresent your opponents arguments. It is a bit immoral.

      • Andrew Shaffer says:

        Jk,

        Why do you believe that the state has an interest in legally recognizing some relationships as marriages and not in recognizing others? I know that you believe the purpose of marriage has nothing to do with children or with the potential for children to be conceived, and Jui says that granting dignity to relationships is merely an incidental purpose of marriage as well.

        I would genuinely like to understand why you believe that the state actually has any reason to be involved with marriage at all. What is the purpose of marriage that warrants the state’s interest in regulating it? And why do you believe that the current definition of marriage is consistent with that purpose?

      • jui says:

        Deflection. Again on your part.

        The burden is on polygamists and Andrew to argue the pros and cons of polygamy. Don’t pull me into your hissy fit!

        And try to do it honestly. You have a compulsion to misrepresent your opponents arguments. It is a bit immoral.

        The burden is on you.

      • Andrew Shaffer says:

        Jui,

        Both you and Jk claim that I am misrepresenting your arguments, so I am giving you an opportunity to use your own words to positively state your definition of marriage, as well as your justification for why society’s current laws regarding marriage are consistent with that definition.

        This is a basic question, and one that anyone should easily be able to answer if our current laws surrounding marriage are actually grounded in reason.

      • jui says:

        Deflection. Again on your part.

        The burden is on polygamists and Andrew to argue the pros and cons of polygamy. Don’t pull me into your hissy fit!

        And try to do it honestly. You have a compulsion to misrepresent your opponents arguments. It is a bit immoral.

        The burden is on you.

      • Andrew Shaffer says:

        No, Jui, it is you who is deflecting. : )

        I take it that you cannot provide an answer to my very basic question. Since that is the case, I will explain your definition of marriage for you, based on what you have said in your comments up to this point. I will consider the following definition to stand until you provide me with an alternative.

        You have said that marriage changes over time, so marriage clearly is malleable. Its method of change is based on power: anyone who is strong enough to claim the right of legally recognized marriage for themselves can do so, just as powerful people like you and your LGBT allies have done. You would gladly include polygamous groups and asexual relationships in the institution of marriage if they prove themselves powerful enough to overcome the opposition of people like me.

        Reflecting on your definition of marriage, I find it very interesting that you will not help these fellow human beings as they pursue a struggle very similar to your own. You deny polygamous individuals the same dignity that you yourself have achieved based merely on the capricious basis that they are not members of a legally protected class – and you are quite willing to sacrifice their well-being by painting them as a target for right-wing religionists in your cynical attempt to destroy the remaining laws that protect freedom of conscience. Now that you have finally achieved the goal of legally recognized same-sex marriage, you dehumanize anyone who would view your sexual behaviors as less than perfectly moral, calling them “vicious” and “monsters.” Your words demonstrate that you would financially ruin anyone who offends you if you and your allies are ever successful in abolishing freedom of conscience – indeed, you are at least as bad as the taxicab driver who refused to give you a ride. You have become one of the monstrous totalitarian oppressors that you have hated for so much of your life, and your words prove why bills like HB 1523 are needed and must be preserved.

        Being a gay person, I imagine that you have had more than your fair share of experience being treated badly at the hands of politically powerful oppressors, and you probably know all too well how that feels. Now that you yourself are powerful, you ought to take a few moments to reflect on how your treatment of sexual minorities who are less powerful than yourself would cause them to feel. You ought to reflect on the negative consequences experienced by the women and children who are harmed by the deconstruction of traditional family norms that you promote. You ought to reflect on the harm experienced by the families of the tiny number of conscientious objectors that you would use the full weight and power of the state to destroy.

        Indeed, you ought to consider whether trolling website comment sections and telling strangers how bigoted they are is really making the world a better place, or if it is even making your life any better on a personal basis – and then decide if you want to continue spending your life in this way. You only get one, and it is far too short to waste your time being enraged at strangers.

        I hope that you will use this conversation as an opportunity to reconsider the direction that you want the rest of your life to take, so that your legacy will consist of something more than a few million angry words strewn about in Internet chat forums – slowly disappearing, one by one, as the servers where you vented your outrage are eventually switched off.

      • jui says:

        Deflection. Again on your part. You are good at it.

        The burden is on polygamists and Andrew to argue the pros and cons of polygamy. Don’t pull me into your hissy fit!

        And try to do it honestly. You have a compulsion to misrepresent your opponents arguments. It is a bit immoral.

        The burden is on you.

      • Andrew Shaffer says:

        Jui,

        Don’t you have anything positive to say for yourself? Will this repeated paragraph that you keep posting become your epitaph?

        It’s your choice. I don’t hate you, and you don’t have to spend your life this way.

        If you ever want to talk about things that are more important than political arguments, I would be willing to listen.

      • Jui says:

        Your deflections are disrespectful. You are a liar. So yes, you are hateful.
        The burden is on polygamists and Andrew to argue the pros and cons of polygamy. Don’t pull me into your hissy fit!

        The burden is on you. Go ahead and make the case without maliciously pulling gay people into it.

      • Andrew Shaffer says:

        Jui,

        I guess this conversation isn’t going anywhere, and we would both be better off spending our time elsewhere. I think your words paint a picture that speaks pretty clearly for itself – good job!

        I would still be interested in hearing Jk’s answer to my questions about the nature of marriage, but I don’t think that it is possible for me to engage with Jk without you interrupting – so I’m going to sign off from this discussion altogether. For my part, I have found these interactions to be very educational.

        I hope that you have a good weekend!

      • Jui says:

        Dodging again.

        I take your orgy of dodges, deflections and deceit to be admission on your part that you can’t make a case. The burden is on you. Instead all you do is maliciously defame gay people.

        Yes have a nice weekend.

      • Jk105 says:

        Jui, your excellent responses to Andy Old Chap’s purified hate sure got him under his tight collar. Bigots do not like getting called out on their immoral shortcomings. It made for knee-slapping hilarious reading. He not only played the nazi card, but he also equated minoritities expecting to be served in a public accommodation with getting kicked out of a cab on a highway. What depravity. Of course, The Old Boy could always have taken my advice. If he does not like being called a bigot, he should have been more discrete about his bigotry. Problem solved.

    • Steven Jonathan says:

      Henry,

      It doesn’t appear as if you read my article, but instead have read the comments and repeated the false accusations and willful misinterpretations made by insincere participants (or you are the one or one of the insincere participants). There is nothing I have said that would lead one to conclude that I have any desire what so ever to have government prohibit churches from doing anything.

      As a Catholic I understand that the term marriage can only apply to an eligible and and eligible woman so two people of the same sex cannot be married by definition- however, I never suggest that the government should intervene on my behalf or any others behalf in order to prevent same sex attracted people from doing what they want to do. The constant refrain to the contrary is just one or several trolls repeating a thing that is not true.

      Henry, you are very confused for a conservative- for it is not difficult to understand that race or ethnicity is a qualitatively different thing then sex acts. The first is a thing you are and the second ins a thing you do. Despite the conditioning to the contrary, people are not what they do, they are what they are. Not recognizing “same sex marriage” is nothing like discriminating against a race. Henry, if you are not a troll, try reading the article, and if you still have issues please cite specific words from the article that trouble you.

      • jk105 says:

        Henry read the article and smells a liar.

        Steven clearly writes in his article that government laws should reflect his substandard definition of marriage. That malicious definition would deny Christian churches the right to perform legal same sex marriages. Steven is allergic to the truth. Steven would use the brute force of government to force other churches to abide by his theocratic religion. Henry is right.

        Steven twists Henry’s words. There are only a few sentences (as opposed to Andrews hot gas) but he says no one “chooses to be gay or black.” But Andrew’s right wing religionist hate is definitely something he openly embraces as a choice, an immoral choice.

        Steven was once asked to prove sexual orientation is not innate. He was asked to tell us all about the day he “decided” to become a heterosexual. An important decision, no? Quick like a snake, Steven stopped writing posts! He is intellectually dishonest.

        Steven is in love with contemporary Jim Crow laws. Immoral then. Immoral now.

      • Jui says:

        Discrimination against sexual acts!!!!

        No one is having sexual acts in bakeries. Gays are being turned away in public accommodations because of who they are, clear and simple.

        Jim Crow Lives in Mississippi!

  • Kern says:

    Steven says Humans have no real say over marriage. God blessed my same sex marriage. So right wing zealots like Steven have no real say on the matter. Yet, Steven habitually writes about how he knows more than God and how government power should reflect his ideas, which supersede God. Wow, Steven is smarter than God!

  • nino says:

    The last time Steven Jonathan polluted this site he was trying to force his irrational law theories onto humanity. We laughed him away and now he wants government to enforce a gold standard on the population! He sure seems obsessed with producing babies! We are not fooled. It is the same obnoxious theory, same vile bigotry, same message dripping with venom. Steven Jonathan is free to go his right wing churches and despise gays as much as he wants, however, he isn’t free to use the state to regulate the religious freedom of Christian Churches who want to do God’s work and perform legal same-sex marriages. That’s a truthful message this man doesn’t want to hear.

  • Steven Jonathan says:

    To the LGBT Patrolls,

    The one thing I appreciate about the caustic and deliberately mis-interpretative comments is that they show the bent mind behind a movement that considers sexual license as the highest law. You all unwittingly make my point about the apoplectic rights ideology crowd but there is no sense in dialogue because the comments are not dialogic but hysterical ideological propaganda not worthy of even this response, except to say that I am grateful that you don’t even any longer put forth the pretense of courtesy. The mask is off the truth, but not of those who propagate it. There is no civility in comments that deliberately distort, contort and wildly misrepresent what is plainly, clearly and charitable being said. If any of you even tried to refute what I have actually said, I would be pleased to participate in a conversation, but this is not what is desired by the patrolls. The most illustrative line may have been the one that suggested that procreation is fetishized in my exposition of the gold standard family.

    • Kaysha says:

      If you want a “pretense of courtesy” you really should change the title of your hateful editorial. Who are you “protecting” the family from–us. That is disgusting discourtesy. You are the person who set the tone of this debate. Be big boy and deal with it.

      Given that your hilarious “gold standard” family requires mandatory breeding, I think Dan’s term “fetishizing procreation” is quite apt. Own what you clearly wrote.

      All the posts here have directly address things you have specifically written about. You just want to dodge the fact that you quite clearly hate religious liberty. You quite clearly would use your religious gestapo to deny Christian churches the right to perform legal same-sex marriages. Stop lying. I see numerous posts refuting your actuall statements.

      Our points concern same-sex marriage, monogous, legal relationships in the eyes of God and recognized by the state. The fact that you call this “sexual license as the highest law” says more about the promscuity that races through your mind, not ours.

    • jk105 says:

      Stevie Old Boy, stop blubbering about the harsh responses to your acidic writing. Your nose is growing! You are surprised that people send caustic blogs to this gusher of bigotry? “Defend the family,” our Godly marriages are “defective.” The truth is that you deliberately puked up hateful words for the express purpose of generating a heated response. So deal with it.

      Your laughable “gold standard” demands that marriage only be for those who promiscuously procreate. You brought the topic up and it is your fault that Dan rightly labeled your tainted standard to be fetishizing procreation. Harsh? Well apologize. Not all marriages are created for the express purpose of creating a litter of your own byproducts to immorally deplete the earth’s natural resources.

      And stop lying. The last thing you want is a dialog. All our previous dialogs have revealed you to be a vicious totalitarian who would savagely use Big Government to harm gay people and violate the religious liberty of Christian Churches who seek to perform legal same-sex marriages.

    • Andrew Shaffer says:

      Well said, Steven, both in your article and in this comment! Your opponents’ responses here demonstrate their own willful dishonesty, as well as why HB 1523 really is needed. Thank you for your gracious representation of what used to be obvious truths!

      • Jk105 says:

        Your “obvious truths” have been exposed to be willful lies. We no longer silently suffer such abuse, get used to it.

      • Kern says:

        The God who made me gay did not put me on earth to be a punching bag for right wing zealots. We no longer put up with your immoral hate. It is our Christian duty to confront your evil agenda.

      • Kaysha says:

        If Andrew and Steven dislike people calling out their hideous bigotry, I suggest they tone down their public displays of hideous bigotry.

      • nino says:

        “gracious representation of what used to be obvious truths!”

        There is nothing “gracious” about Steven’s straight-forward fabrications. He and you advocate a theocratic state. According to you, we mere mortals have no say over our secular and religious marriages, that our civil and religious liberties are dictated by the sinister force you call god–not the all-loving Christian God others worship. As you post, Steven’s call for theocracy is “well said.” I agree. His writings are well said advocacies for using the machinery of government to dominate people he despises. His bigotry is exposed Therefore his call for cold-blooded theocracy is getting met with the harsh response it merits. We Christians who will be harmed by this totalitarianism will not sit still, we will use our free speech rights to express how we are morally repelled by his hate.

    • david says:

      Dude I’m a straight guy libertarian and I am amazed at how tame the responses against your obvious bigotry is. You clearly advocate statist intervention into the religious and private lives of other people. Moreover, my post would be considerably more hostile than the others on this site if you wrote such nasty, disparaging comments about my life.

      • Steven Jonathan says:

        David,

        Do you know what the word libertarian means? you should look into it. I have never heard of a libertarian who would object to the self-evident truths expressed above, but even more so, what libertarian would object to a Christian believing in the importance of the family, you must look up the word “bigoted” too, it means narrow- and it is laughable that you say you are a libertarian and yet you would not allow a person to hold such basic views on marriage, sex and sex-

        There is nothing tame about the responses here, but I think they are honest and emotional- yours on the other hand is silly.

        Why don’t you try to make an intelligent comment on what I did write. I have yet, with the exception of Andrew, to see anyone reflect what I intended to say- but as I said, it seems to me that the LGBT patrolls at least are sincere in their pathological distortions. Of all the comments yours is by far the silliest and most incongruent. Most straight libertarians would have something intelligent to say. I don’t know a thing about your lifestyle, but the quality of your intellect and character is clearly on display.

      • david says:

        Steven, you repeated say people don’t respond to what you write. A lie. Many people do. I think you are afraid to address their points because an honest response would just unmask just how bigoted and Big Government bully you really are.

        Now I will. You should look up the word libertarian.
        Libertarians seek to maximize political freedom and autonomy, emphasizing freedom of choice, voluntary association, individual judgment and self-ownership.

        Steven, your compulsion to use government force means you are the enemy of freedom.

        You write:I have never heard of a libertarian who would object to the self-evident truths expressed above.

        Well I just did. Most libertarians I know would be nauseated by your “self-evident truths” because they are only “truths” to you and not us. We certainly believe you should have the freedom to believe and worship your fictitious “truths”. But the above article makes it evident that you intend to use the state to force others to abide by your bigoted beliefs. You want freedom for yourself that you would deny others.

        You write: Christian believing in the importance of the family…
        Again, this is family as defined by you and not others. I am a non-believer. I believe in the importance of family and a gay marriage does not threaten my parents’ marriage. I am sorry your marriage (if you have one) is so weak the marriages of the people on this post board threatens it.
        That says more about you than gay marriage. Your use of government impacts my life and violates my desire to be left alone from your church. I see other Christians on this post board who are appalled by your brand of Christianity. The point is you have no monopoly on morality, religion or making a definition of “family.”

        You write: it is laughable that you say you are a libertarian and yet you would not allow a person to hold such basic views on marriage, sex …

        Well sober up and stop laughing. Stop twisting what I said. I thought religious people oppose lying. Everyone here has agreed that you can hold basic views. In this country all sorts of unsavory political and religious views are allowed to be held, including yours.
        (You are clearly dishonest.) What people oppose is your vicious attempt to use government to deny other people including minorities the right to their own views. But you are dishonest and know that. It is easier for you to respond by lying and saying I am attacking your right to free speech. That’s a lie.

        You write: pathological, silly…
        Yes, the content of your character is clearly on display. And your name-calling is more emotional than anything else written here. You provoke people and then like a delicate snowflake cry that the response is harsh, not tame, etc. More dishonesty on your part. You definitely mean to insult.

        I am a single heterosexual libertarian. I barely know any gay people but a libertarian believes the government allows freedoms for everyone. If Steven can marry even though many people find his religious views to be abhorrent then gay people shall have the same right.

        Yes you are a bigot. That silly gold standard is designed for the express purpose of codifying your toxic religious views onto the American public. It is evil.

      • Steven Jonathan says:

        Good reply David!

      • Andrew Shaffer says:

        David, you actually posted a thoughtful reply, so I’ll respond here to you and the others who have commented in response to my appreciation for Steven’s initial article.  I believe that everyone posting here is a human being with inherent dignity and worth, and I feel that an explanation is warranted in case any of you truly are not aware that a person might oppose same-sex marriage for reasons other than animus and bigotry (religious or otherwise).

        The post-Obergefell definition of marriage as the government solemnization of a heterosexual or homosexual pair bonding is logically incoherent and cannot last.  If the new purpose of marriage is for the government to grant dignity to the relationships of those seeking it (as Justice Kennedy proclaimed), and marriage has no intrinsic link to procreation (which it cannot, because some of the new forms of marriage are inherently sterile), then the current definition of marriage discriminates against and denies dignity to multiple other groups who legitimately desire government solemnization of their relationships – including polygamous groups, consensual incestuous relationships, temporary relationships, non-exclusive relationships, and asexual relationships.  If the government has no compelling interest to justify excluding same-sex couples from being legally married, then the same arguments that justified same-sex marriage justify all of these other forms of marriage as well.  Similarly, if there is no other reason to oppose same-sex marriage than bigotry, there likewise is no reason to oppose any of these other forms of marriage except for bigotry.  Since apparently no one here except for Steven and myself are bigots, I suspect it is safe to assume that everyone else here would be perfectly fine with granting government recognition to these alternative forms of marriage as well.

        Unfortunately, these other forms of marriage expand the institution of marriage to include literally every form of human relationship except for the relationship between an adult and a child.  What social norms can be applied to such a diverse range of relationship types?  There is no basis for establishing any norms available except for a combination of mere consent and a desire for solemnization of a relationship by the government – and that basis is insufficient to justify any laws associated with marriage as a whole.  Why should adultery be illegal if some marriages were never meant to be exclusive?  Why should divorce entail spousal support if some marriages were never meant to be permanent?  Why should married couples be permitted to transfer property tax-free when one spouse dies if a billionaire can marry his adult child to avoid the estate tax?  (And so on…)

        To support same-sex marriage while denying recognition to any of these other groups is bigoted and discriminatory, and to support marriage for all of these other types of relationships is to broaden the definition of marriage to the point of it becoming meaningless.  Essentially, to properly and fairly expand marriage to provide dignity to everyone who seeks it without discrimination, we must either functionally or formally abolish state recognition of marriage altogether.  Fortunately for you, abolishing state recognition of marriage altogether is a position that is not inconsistent with many forms of libertarianism; indeed, it is more statist to legally recognize only some relationships as marriages and not to recognize others.  And as some of my gay friends have told me, we should actually want to abolish marriage, because it is both oppressive and patriarchal.

        In contrast to this view, I really do see traditional marriage (i.e. one adult male and one adult female consensually paired in an exclusive and permanent legally protected relationship) as being an indispensible social institution with social norms that have been historically shown to better promote stable families and the development of good citizens than any alternative arrangement that has ever been studied.  (Steven related some of these findings in his article, and no one here has contested them.)  Traditional marriage really is worth preserving because of the good that it does for society.

        Unfortunately, the only way that I can see for our society to preserve traditional marriage instead of eventually abolishing all forms of state recognized marriage is to return marriage to its pre-Obergefell focus on providing legal protection and social norms to support successfully raising children in those relationships that are by their very nature oriented toward conceiving them.  As I understand it, this is one of the main themes of Steven’s article.  Society’s primary interest in marriage has historically been related to its interest in raising virtuous citizens, and this concern cannot be subordinated to secondary issues such as avoiding potential dignitary harm without incurring catastrophic social costs.

        Affirming the dignity of previously oppressed sexual minorities is a worthy goal, and I have no objection to recognizing same-sex relationships in a way that does not dilute the laws and social norms associated with traditional marriage.  However, I cannot support conflating traditional marriage and same-sex marriage as being merely two variants of the same kind of thing – an understanding that I view as inevitably leading to the destruction the very institution that so many same-sex couples claim to cherish, and which I consider to be the very bedrock foundation of our society.

        That practically everyone else here assumes Steven’s defense of traditional marriage is a mere cover for animus and bigotry towards sexual minorities says more about the closed-mindedness of these posters than it does about Steven.  With this in mind, I support his defense of the institution of marriage to the extent that it aligns with my own.

      • david says:

        Everyone here views Steven to be a bigot because they have more than two brain cells. The read his article and recognize the hate emanating from them. Your slippery slope nonsense is just that, slippery slope nonsense. The same arguments were made against interracial marriages. Wrong then and wrong now. In fact, polygamy can be argued as the logical result of religious liberty. How dare you deny Mormons their religious liberty!

        You are not telling the truth. You are imposing your religious views on the views of other people–including me. You are violating the country’s religious liberty.

      • Steven Jonathan says:

        Andrew, there is very little we disagree on! A very interesting and extremely well articulated defense of traditional marriage. You are charitable and respectful of the inherent dignity of all human persons as I try to be. Well done and thank you for contributing a voice of reason to a fairly unreasonable discussion I believe is put forward by sincere folks but perhaps lacking a disposition of a philosophical way of understanding nature and what follows from that apprehension. You would not find that I harbor animosity or ill-intent towards anyone. I would be very pleased to have a conversation with you outside of the public forum Andrew and if you would like to, I give express permission to the editor to give you my email address. Again, good work!

      • david says:

        Andrew is not telling the truth.
        He writes: Polygamous groups, consensual incestuous relationships, temporary relationships, non-exclusive relationships, and asexual relationships.

        There is no ban on “temporary, non-exclusive and asexual” legal marriage. You may wish that to be true, but don’t put it on your slippery slope argument. You are not telling the truth. Polygamy is a religious liberty issue. Don’t push that on gay people.

        He writes:no one here except for Steven and myself are bigots,

        A rare moment of honesty. If I get that you are hateful, the other writers on this post board get it too.

        He writes: Steven related some of these findings in his article, and no one here has contested them.

        Perhaps they don’t need to. A simple Google search presents many instances in which kids in gay marriage fare quite well. For instance, this one from Columbia Law Schoo says “We identified 79 scholarly studies that met our criteria for adding to knowledge about the wellbeing of children with gay or lesbian parents. Of those studies, 75 concluded that children of gay or lesbian parents fare no worse than other children.”

        He writes:With this in mind, I support his defense of the institution of marriage to the extent that it aligns with my own.

        Which means he would use Big Government to deny gay people their legal civil and religious rights. To be clear, gay marriage is only “catastrophic” to Steven, Andrew and others from a particular religious sect. Their marriages are feeble. To be clear, you guys believe in a state religion. Many religious people are appalled by your hateful dogma, and like me, are horrified by the thought that the government will be taking its cues from right wing church.

      • Steven Jonathan says:

        Good reply David! Not exactly libertarian, but very consistent with your other posts!

      • Andrew Shaffer says:

        David, your last three replies are less thoughtful than those before.  You initially accuse me of making a slippery slope fallacy, and then you call me a bigot for not hurling myself down that slope (by endorsing polygamous marriage), and finally you conclude that we are already actually at the bottom of that slope in many important areas.  From which part of this argument would you actually like to advance this discussion?

        Perhaps the most valuable contribution that you make in your comments is the reference to the Columbia Law School study.  I could debate with you about the validity of the underlying research used in that study (mainly because same-sex marriage has existed for such a short time and extremely little data is actually available), but for the sake of argument I’ll grant your assertion that there are no differences in outcomes for children raised in same-sex households and for those raised in the “gold standard” households referenced in Steven’s article.  You could even claim that children in same-sex households do better than those in “gold standard” families, if you want, perhaps because the same-sex parents want their adopted or surrogate-facilitated children so badly.

        Even if these claims are true, the destruction of traditional marriage norms that necessarily results from the logical consequences of accepting same-sex marriage will result in at least a small fraction of “gold standard” families being converted into various fragile family types – and for this kind of family type transition, outcomes for children are actually known to become definitively worse. I would expect the overall effect of such change to be more than minor.  However, because heterosexuals outnumber homosexuals by about 30:1, and only a small fraction of homosexuals desire to be married and raise children, even a very small decrease in the percentage of “gold standard” families would result in negative consequences for so many children that these effects would simply overwhelm any positive difference that adoption and excellent parenting by same-sex couples might make.

        You are right that the traditional marriages at the center of “gold standard” families are often challenging to maintain – without strong social, cultural, and legal supports to reinforce prioritization of child-oriented family structures, and to encourage spouses and parents to keep their commitments when life raising children is hard, many adult parents will give in when they are tempted to put their own needs and desires before those of their children.  Social, cultural, and legal supports really are needed, and they really were set up to protect children who cannot yet speak for themselves, but they are both illogical and unjust in a world where marriage has been expanded to encompass literally every form of consensual adult relationship.

        Finally, as somewhat of an aside, you keep mentioning that I wish to establish a state-mandated religion.  Given that I have neither discussed religion nor used any religious argumentation, and that we do not previously know each other, I am genuinely curious as to what basis you have for asserting that I believe in any particular religion – let alone that I wish to impose such religion on you.

      • Steven Jonathan says:

        David,

        The thing that confuses me is that I am not used to libertarians abusing speech as you do- I only responded to you in the first place because you are much more like a homosexualist than a libertarian. Perhaps you are a millennial libertarian in which case your confusion is perfectly understandable. I think our conversation is at an end, but know that I don’t recognize your words as any kind of participation in dialogue, but only the typical ideological subterfuge of the ideological left- still….

        good luck to you.

      • David says:

        Steven, your ignorance of libertarianism equals your ignorance of religious liberty. It does not take a gay person to see that. It also does not take a gay person to see you hate gsy people, despite your dishonest claims that you are being charitable.

      • Steven Jonathan says:

        David, the Mississippi law is libertarian in spirit meaning it protects people from legal reprisals from the government just because they support the gold standard family. The homosexualists, those who promote the homosexualist agenda, including you it seems, (not that you yourself are gay) are saying that I am saying just the opposite of what I am saying. I know what libertarianism is, I know what religious freedom is. You on the other hand appear to be quite confused- instead of making false inferences about what I am saying, why don’t you quote me and demonstrate that I am the things you say I am- the reason no one here has done that is that they can’t- I have not said hateful or bigoted things, that is just a trope homosexualists use to discredit those with whom they disagree- the intellectual dishonesty belongs to the lgbt patrolls and to you for making false assertions about what I have said and about what Andrew has said- he has been clear, intelligent and respectful and you have misinterpreted his words, whether willfully or ignorantly I am not sure, but neither one would surprise me. Just so you know David, there are three ways to be false, one is logically, which is an error, not a lie, two is ontologically, which is counterfeit in representation and third is morally, when a person intentionally says what he does not believe. How many of those are you? I am not sure.

      • jk105 says:

        Steven continues his ruthless lies.
        The Mississippi law shows contempt for libertarianism. I am not a libertarian, however I know they honor contracts. When someone signs a contract to get a business license to open a public accommodation, that person contractually agrees to obey state and federal law. Therefore, when someone like Steven viciously turns away a gay couple protected by state or federal law (just because he believes in marriage being the mandatory manufacturing of babies), a libertarian supports legal reprisals against breaking a contract.
        Steven dishonestly twists this into a reprisals against “support”or “free speech”. He knows he is free to despise gays as much as he does. It is the action of contemptuously ejecting gay people from a public accommodation that is morally repellant. Some gold standard!

        Steven and Andrew both would use the brute force of government to deny Christian Churches the legal right to perform same-sex marriages. Steven admits this. Religious Liberty, for them, is freedom for his sect to be bigots, not for the many Christian Churches that are appalled by his bigotry. Somehow he wants people to believe that it is religious freedom to use government to deny Christian Churches rights he disagrees with. Orwell would have a field day with this corrosive acid.

        Steven’s propaganda is willful immoral lying.

        Steven, you support the government denying Christian Churches the right to perform legal same-sex marriages. Correct?

      • Jui says:

        “the Mississippi law is libertarian in spirit meaning it protects people from legal reprisals from the government just because they support the gold standard family.”

        That’s an actual quote from you. And it is a lie. It give license to people so they can perform discriminatory acts–not support. And you know that. Your bigots can still support the gold standard of depravity all they want in their right wing churches, in their feeble homes. But they can’t treat protected classes of minorities with contempt in public businesses. You lie. These laws came into effect because Mississippi has a shameful history of evicting black people from public accommodations–Jim Crow. It must be in their DNA because they are abusing minorities again!

        “morally, when a person intentionally says what he does not believe.”

        As has been pointed out here and at other post boards, Steven favors laws that prohibit Christian churches from performing legal same-sex marriages. Steven says he supports religious liberty out of one side of his mouth and then out of the other side of this twisted mouth he says he would use government to regulate Christian churches he has contempt for.

        Steven is just that kind of liar!

      • Andrew Shaffer says:

        Jk and Jui – it is unclear how signing a contract to the effect that a person will obey the law makes the law more binding upon them, or how a libertarian would be comfortable with the idea that the state could justifiably compel every businessperson to support and defend every portion of established law as a precondition of doing business.  (Many libertarian businessowners strongly object to laws restricting the sale and use of marijuana, for example.)  Moreover, HB 1523 already is part of Mississippi state law, so under Jk’s reasoning, wouldn’t a businessperson be expected to honor the validity of this part of the law as well?

        I agree that throwing out homosexual patrons merely because they are homosexual is abhorrent, but I do not see HB 1523 being used to justify or defend such actions.  According to the Wikipedia article on HB 1523, the rulings from the initial court cases against HB 1523 were thrown out because the plaintiffs in those cases could not demonstrate that such discrimination was actually happening.

        In truth, HB 1523 is intended to protect the small number of bakers and florists who cannot in good conscience participate in same-sex wedding ceremonies.  Most of these vendors, such as Jack Phillips and Barronelle Stutzman, are happy to sell their generic products to homosexual patrons; they are merely unwilling to create artistic expression that conveys a message of support for same-sex marriage, or to participate in a same-sex wedding ceremony itself.  Also, the law will likely be used to protect doctors who believe that the purpose of medicine is to restore and maintain health, and who cannot in good conscience remove or mutilate the properly functioning organs of individuals who would compel them to perform gender reassignment surgery.

        I see nowhere that Steven’s argumentation calls for preventing churches from blessing same-sex relationships.  Indeed, many churches did bless same-sex relationships prior to same-sex marriage being legally recognized as equivalent to traditional marriage, and nothing in HB 1523 would prevent any church from continuing such religious practices.

        Perhaps the important distinction from your point of view is that neither Steven nor I view the desire of religious citizens to have their same-sex marriage blessed by their churches as creating an obligation for the state to solemnize those relationships as civil marriages that are equivalent in kind to traditional marriages.  The operative principle here is similar to that by which the sincere beliefs held by some Mormons have not created an obligation by the government to recognize polygamous marriage for the past century, why membership in a notional “Church of Not Paying Taxes” does not accomplish the desired aim, and why sincere belief in the god Molech cannot be used to legally justify child sacrifice. The First Amendment protects all of us from having our religious practice unduly burdened by the government – when the government has a compelling interest that conflicts with an individual’s religious practice, the government must use the least intrusive means of accomplishing its interest that it can, even if this results in increased cost to the public. However, an individual’s religious exercise rights also do not automatically override the compelling interest that the government was trying to meet in the first place. If no less intrusive method is possible (e.g. prohibiting infanticide requires disallowing child sacrifice), then the government is permitted to burden an individual’s religious exercise.

        Personally, I would not object to the state recognizing same-sex marriages as a different type of relationship (e.g. a civil union), because this would prevent the social norms associated with each type of relationship from being reduced to the lowest common denominator between the two.  (You could even grant preferential treatment to the same-sex civil unions if you like!) Our differences on this issue really do seem to boil down to whether marriage is an institution that the government uses to grant dignity to relationships that are seeking it, or whether it is an institution established by pre-political society to protect children and promote the development of good citizens.  Your arguments presuppose that the former purpose is definitive without addressing the questions that I raised earlier regarding how this change in purpose will not eventually lead to marriage norms becoming entirely vacuous.

        Additionally, you seem not to recognize that by conceding the idea that the government can actually grant dignity to a relationship (as opposed to merely recognizing the inherent dignity that is already present because of pre-political factors), you are also granting the government the power to take your dignity away.  The Obergefell decision was a massive political power grab by the government over the definition of who can and does possess dignity.  You are supportive of this decision because you like the short-term political gain that it provides; I wonder if you will still be so happy if the government eventually uses its new role as the arbiter of who has dignity and who does not to persecute you or those that you care about.

      • jk105 says:

        Andrew that is a lot of blather that basically makes my point. Thanks!

        “it is unclear how signing a contract to the effect that a person will obey the law makes the law more binding upon…”

        They signed a contract to abide by the law, whether they like the law or not. Jack Phillips comes from Colorado, a state that includes gay people in its anti-discrimination statutes. He broke the law and his contract. Nice try!

        Nice try! Include this ditty with your fear of “asexual marriage” among the many silly “ideas” you present to foolishly help make the case that you hate gay people.

        You deflected. Do you or do you not support laws that would prohibit Christian churches from performing legal same-sex marriages. It is quite telling that you went of for paragraphs giving alternatives to legal same-sex marriages. So I take your dodge to mean that yes, you have contempt for the religious liberties of Christian Churches that want to perform legal same-sex marriages.

        Why couldn’t you be honest and admit this?

      • Andrew Shaffer says:

        Okay, Jk, I will try to restate what I have already written using a more concise format that is simple enough to fit within the parameters of your trap question.

        I do NOT support laws that would prohibit churches from performing legal same-sex marriages.  If same-sex marriages are legally recognized to be equivalent to traditional marriages (as currently is the case), churches should be permitted to perform them.  Moreover, if the law changes in the future such that marriage is redefined yet again (as I expect it will be), I would still support allowing churches to bless the same-sex relationships of any individuals who would seek to receive such blessings, provided that the church’s leadership should desire to do so.

        These are basic tenets of the rule of law and of religious pluralism.  What I am advocating for beyond these basic tenets is that current marriage law should be changed to recognize that there is an essential distinction between traditional marriages and same-sex marriages (namely, orientation toward conceiving and raising children).  Such a change would allow constructive laws and social norms to be established and maintained to support the unique features of each type of relationship.  This would be much better than continuing blindly down our current path, which I believe will lead directly to the complete abolition of state recognized marriage altogether (along with the destruction of all associated positive social norms).  By my reading, such an approach is also consistent with what Steven wrote in his initial article.

        This is the least intrusive approach that I can think of that offers the possibility of restoring and maintaining the legal and social norms that support a healthy family environment for the families in which the overwhelming majority of our society’s children will be raised.  It baffles me that you clearly do not understand what I have already written in my earlier comments, and also that you and the others here are so insistent in finding hate where none is actually present.  Your misunderstanding seems to be quite willful, to the point that it is difficult not to perceive animus on your part, or to conclude other than that your end goal really is to see marriage abolished.

      • jk105 says:

        So in other words you support laws that would ban Christian churches from performing legal same-sex marriages. It is only a “trap” because you know an honest answer on your part exposes you to be an enemy of religious liberty.

        It was a concise question and you gave me a lot of hot gas as a response. All that other nonsense about your creepy ideals about family are your own unsavory private opinions. You have the free speech to puke them up, but really, you clearly hate gay people.

        Marriage abolished! Oh my! More lunacy on your part–equal to your nail-chewing fear of asexual marriage.

        So to be concise, you hate religious liberty. Steven also has made it clear he has contempt for religious liberty. No wonder you two like each other!

      • Andrew Shaffer says:

        Jk, your question is a trap because you will attack me regardless of how I respond (and you did).

        My answer was as charitable and clearly stated as I know how to make it.  I will leave it to any visitors who might be reading this thread to determine whether it is actually you or I who has been intellectually honest in this conversation.

        There is little point in my writing to you further when you appear unable or unwilling to engage with what I have already written up to this point.  I wish you the best.

      • Jui says:

        Yes all the silly paragraphs yapping on about unsubstantiated nonsense dies not mask the fact that Andrew supports laws that would bar Christian churches from performing same sex marriages. He has contempt for religious freedom. He is entitled to believe his supremist claptrap about heterosexuals, but lets be honest, he is willing to enshrine his superstitious biases into law. Delegating us into second class status is rooted in pure hate. And he wonders why we are justifiably hostile.

      • Andrew Shaffer says:

        Steven, I would be pleased to correspond with you outside of this forum as well. I do not see where to contact your editor to request your e-mail address, but I also expressly grant permission for your editor to share my e-mail address with you so that you can send me your contact information if you should so desire.

      • Jk105 says:

        Yes Jui, both Steven and Andrew expect us to silently suffer through their beligerant calls to regulate Christian Churches that do not share their god of obligatory procreation. They despise religious liberty. They are perfectly fine when public accommodations treat gay people with contempt. They have no problem when gay people are denied jobs, housing and marriage rights. And most absurdly, they are fake surprised to receive hostile posts in response to this bigotry.

        They are intellectually dishonest.

      • Jui says:

        Intellectually dishonest. Now JK do not be so harsh about our thin skinned fellow earthlings Steven and Andrew. I do not know about you but I spent the night quivering in fear about how my same sex marriage has just created a slippery slope for asexual marriage!

      • jk105 says:

        Jui, I fear that I was not too harsh about Steven and Andrew. Look at the latest swill that Steven has stained this post board with!

        Not content to deny Christian churches their religious liberties (unless they abide by his sects immoral dogma), Steven continues his crazed totalitarian campaign with more lies about accommodation laws–or course, gays are to be contemptibly ejected by heinous monsters who hate minorities. That’s Steven’s so-called religion and no lie is hideous enough that he won’t use it to create an environment dangerous for gays.

        Jui, if must have a depraved nemesis, best it be ones as obviously deceitful as Steven and Andrew.

        Yes, they would use the brute force of government to deny Christian churches the right to perform legal same-sex marriages. They despise religious liberty.

        I pray for their polluted souls.

      • Jui says:

        JK, I was only kidding when writing that you were harsh. I actually am amazed at your kindness when faced with Steven’s brazen bigotry. Both he and Andrew now have dated up and can continue their fevered fantasia fearing asexual marriages. I praise the fact that you refuse to put up with demons who would use the government to turn this country into theocracy. I thank God my church is full of Christians who are morally repelled by the devils spawned from Steven’s wicked sect. I join you in praying for their tainted souls.

      • jk105 says:

        Yes Jui, it looks like the boys have hooked up. Now Steven and Andrew can solemnly pray to their fertility god and clutch eachother for comfort while fighting off the hordes of asexuals who want to get married.

    • Steven Jonathan says:

      Andrew,

      I admire and respect your attempt to have a civil conversation with those below- I did the same thing a few articles ago on the Jack Phillips case- What you have seen is a pathological method turned against reason for the purpose of destroying the reputation of the interlocutor. It reminds me of the show intervention where people try to deal reasonably with the addict and they respond very irrationally- The perfect example is if we were to say “Jack Phillips has no issue serving all walks of life in any capacity excepting baking cakes for events he finds morally unacceptable like a “gay wedding” or a satanic ritual or some such thing because as a Christian his conscience forbids him from taking part in such celebrations-” the patrolls say that you said “I hate gay people, I want to cause them harm and limit their freedom.” This is absurd and they say the same about the Mississippi law that intends to protect Christians from the kind of irrational and totalitarian reprisals that ruin a livelihood because decent folks do not celebrate what they might consider aberrant behavior, like gay weddings, sex outside of marriage and transgenderism. The surprising attack was from David who claimed to be a libertarian but behaved with the same irrationality as the others- Last time I tried they accused me of “dodging” questions, and I even said they were the kind of question “when did you stop beating your wife?” So my standard is that if any of them want to have a conversation, I would be happy to, but only if what they write reflects what I have actually said or if they make an inference, the inference is what I have actually inferred. I will not respond to the pathological attack and as you can see it is not only fruitless, but counter productive. You made an honorable and honest attempt to have dialogue and I have yet to see an upside except that I have learned in these last few weeks about the mind of the enemy, not the folks posting here, but the ideology that confuses and drives these poor deluded souls. I will try to find a way to contact you.

  • Kaysha says:

    Rummelsburg states he wants laws that reflect his religious viewpoint. He is in the wrong country. Perhaps Iran, a theocracy, is where he belongs. He certainly would fit right in. In the United States we have religious liberty, which means we don’t have his right wing (alleged) religious gestapo dictating how the rest of us normal Americans live our lives. Religious freedom also means he gets to worship in (alleged) churches that have contempt for gay people. Just don’t contaminate the public sphere with your hate.

  • jui says:

    ” the truth about the gold standard and have our laws reflect the goodness, truth and beauty of the family.”

    Steven means the “gold standard” as defined by his alt right religious views. The fact is that many Christians and humanitarians consider his “gold standard” to be nothing but mind-rotting tripe. He wants laws that reflect his lethal religion. At least in this edit he is honest and admits that he wants to use government to legally impose his religion on decent Christians and other Godly churches that don’t share his bigotry. Steven admits that he hates religious liberty in this country.

  • dan says:

    “The complementarity of a man and woman is obvious for countless reasons, not the least of which is the fruitfulness of procreation.”

    How quaint! Fruitfulness! Rummelsburg is free to fetishize procreation. But it is obvious to many people that marriage is not only for baby-making machines. That would make us no different than dogs in an alley.

    Worse, Rummelsburg would unleash big government to implement his stomach-turning beliefs as a weapon to harm the good citizens who don’t share his barbaric opinions. It is we who need protection from totalitarians like him. He wants government to favor his brand of religion over every other religion that he disagrees with. This violates religious liberty, which he clearly has contempt for. This is a state religion, and a vengeful religion at that.

    Yes, Mississippi hasn’t learned the lesson from its past practice of slavery and Jim Crow. The immorality continues with this bigoted legislation. No surprise, Rummelsburg wants to codify hate.

    I pray for your deformed soul.

  • jk105 says:

    More theocracy brewing from the pot of poison of Stevie Old Boy.
    The former slave-owning state of Mississippi is being rightly condemned for violating the religious liberties of those who don’t share Stevie’s heinous theocracy. He is a liar. No one is preventing him from speaking his Satanic verses. Indeed he is free to continue worshiping in his hate-infested so-called church that despises gay people. What he and the former slave-owning state of Mississippi is not free to do is use the brute force of government to shove their bigoted dogmas down the throats of American Citizens who don’t share their depravity. He would deny us our God-given right to speak the truth without fear of reprisal from vicious attacks simply because we do not agree with Stevie Old Boys licentious right wing propaganda.

    Yes, decent people condemn Mississippi.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *