Even Fred Flintstone was down with having a gay old time

Quick follow-up on the New York gay marriage vote, while waiting for a rational explanation from those in the “states’ rights” crowd who support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would prevent states from exerting their rights on this issue:

–hooray for the mayor of New York’s unequivocal support for gay marriage: it’s the right thing to do, opposing it is the same as opposing women’s rights or civil rights or the abolition of slavery, the law won’t require religions to perform or sanction a same sex marriage…and although people are free to belong to any religious group American society as a whole places its faith in the Constitution, not some set of religious laws.

–the Obama Administration isn’t defending the Defense of Marriage Act, and when House Republicans threaten to fight an 81-year-old woman over it even the lawyers bail out.

–the gay marriage issue helped a president win re-election in 2004; now some political pros think the Democrats can use gay marriage to hammer Republicans in 2012 because it could pull traditional Republicans away from the right-wing Christian evangelicals taking over the GOP.

–and looking into the future far beyond 2012, how many of us have even thought about how all this kerfuffle over gay rights will be viewed by our descendants?

9 thoughts on “Even Fred Flintstone was down with having a gay old time

    1. Good to hear from you, Mike. Let’s put the link out there so everyone can take a look, and see what kind of responses it draws. (I’ll have my response a bit later.)

    2. What I see in the “secular case” is that most of the arguments grow out of a conservative Christian point of view that opposes societal acceptance of homosexuality. But more importantly, all those arguments miss the point (and intentionally, I imagine). My point has always been that this is a civil rights issue, that the Constitution supports gay Americans having the same right to marry as other Americans. Wintery Knight’s premise that bad things will happen if we legalize gay marriage is a red herring, akin to arguing that because there are murders and other crimes committed by people carrying guns that none of us should have the right to bear arms.

  1. I thank Mike for providing a link to the “secular” argument. Before I outline my position, I have a question for the “secular position” (and I apologize if the answer exists in the article from the Princeton and Notre Dame professors which I was unable to read):
    If two lesbians, two gay men or two co-habitating heterosexuals without the benefit of marriage decide to form a general partnership, if, as part of the formation of that partnership, they execute a written partnership agreement under which each partner decided to buy a house, live together, share all expenses, share all income, share all property, and execute wills or survivorship agreements to leave all of each partner’s assets to the other partner, if they comply assiduously with the general partnership agreement for 10 years, and if then one partner fails to comply with the agreement to the injury of the other partner, should the injured partner be able to sue to enforce the partnership agreement in law or in equity and secure the benefits of the agreement?
    I am looking for a lay response. This question has plagued the law for years. Enjoy the Fourth. God bless each of your families.


  2. If you look at previous cases of this type, such as the palimony suit brought against actor Lee Marvin or the suit brought by Scott Thorsen against Liberace and the case of Judy Nelson against Martina Navratilova, we find that since they didn’t actually sign a contract and the support promised by the plaintiffs was only implied orally, they got thrown out, although Thorsen did get $95,000 of the $113 million he was suing for.

    As a layman, if the parties sign a contract, then they should be liable for it. But an oral agreement is only as good as the people entering into it and most judges won’t honor an oral agreement unless you happen to get it on tape.

    I’m fine with Gays entering into a civil union for the purposes of inheritance, insurance, etc., but I’m dead set against Gays using the church and the institution of marriage to reach their political ends. Why can’t they just be satisfied with the civil union aspect of it?

    I have a Gay child, so I have a dog in this hunt.

    Mike G.

    1. It seems that you and I have the same response to Pascal’s question; I’m interested to see where he takes that. In the meantime I have a question of my own: do you mean there are other “political ends” that gay people plan to achieve through winning the right to marry other than the “right to marry” itself?

      1. As in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” the answer to my question is a ticket to continuing down the path (to what I am not certain). The significance of the questions is that the terms of the partnership replicate the basic attributes of a civil marriage.

        Thus, a person who answers “no” seems to believe that there is something inherently wrong with each of the relationships, and that person would not endorse marriage, a civil union, or even basic legal rights for gays, lesbians or cohabitating heterosexuals. As Pat insightfully commented, that person’s “secularism” is a re-working of a specific religious moralism.

        A person who answers “yes” seems to believe that each person in such relationships deserves the basic attributes of a civil marriage. If that same person then refused to recognize either a civil union or basic legal rights for gays, lesbians or cohabitating heterosexuals, I would ask how that is possible if that person believes that they are entitled to the attributes of civil marriage. If that person would recognize civil unions and basic rights, then I would ask if society or the American culture could still declare that there is an additional dimension to a marriage separate from a civil union that should be reserved for heterosexual couples in a ceremonial (or common law) marriage? The answer may be yes, but that is left to each state and religion.

        Mike reached this point by recognizing (1) that civil unions should be available, (2) palimony suits are different because there is no agreement (although there should still be redress if warranted), but (3) there should be some institution unique to ceremonial marriage. Pat reached the same point, because Pat believes that fundamental human rights dictate some equivalent rights, which could be a civil union with all the basic rights bundled together (although it was probably bundling which preciptitated the union in the first place) and there can be some other institution of marriage so long as basic rights are shared by all.

        Because there is a secular ceremonial (and common law) marriage and religious ceremonial marriage, I have reserved my comments for secular ceremonial (and common law) marriage. I will not lecture any religion on dogma, unless that dogma informs secular legislation which infringes on basic secular rights.

        Mike and Pat have been frank and candid with their respective comments based upon a fundamental belief in the integrity of all of us, in fundamental fairness, and in basic rights endowed in all of us. I do not believe that these comments derive from some agenda. Mike is correct to caution all of us from those who lead with an agenda rather than candid and frank discussion.

        Let us re-read the soul of the Nation writ large by that Gentleman from Virginia who played the violin and tucks it right under his chin. Enjoy the Fourth. God bless. Mercii. Pace e salute. Pascal

      2. I agree wholeheartedly, and you make the important point that legalizing marriage for homosexuals is a matter of civil rights and civil law, not one of religion–a sect that doesn’t believe in gay people marrying one another wouldn’t have to give its blessing to such a ceremony, just as it is not forced to perform marriages for people who don’t belong to their faith.

        Consulting Mr. Jefferson is always a wise and rewarding endeavor…much like following you down a path, even one with no known destination.

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