I'm seeing a lot of dust being tossed up here and some sub-par reasoning from you. I find that tends to happen when people like where the legal line in the sand happens to be for now, but much like those who didn't like the change in the first place, the reasoning has to be sound to keep it there.
Originally Posted by muppetry
Actually no, and you cleared up the confusion very effectively by paraphrasing what you understand my point to be. Which it isn't. But you also bring up some very important issues, so let me try again:
Firstly, I am arguing neither for or against legalizing same-sex marriage, nor for or against legalizing polygamy. All I am doing is noting that:
(1) If one accepts that discrimination comprises denying one segment of society a privilege or right that other segments of society have, and, if one accepts (a) that sexual orientation is a condition rather than a personal choice (although you seem to be arguing that it is for you but not for homosexuals), and (b) that both orientations are legal, then not allowing same-sex marriage is, by those definitions, discriminatory;
A couple points, any definition of marriage upheld by the state is BY DEFINITION, discriminatory. The courts have ruled that all definitions are discriminatory but the state must have a compelling rationale for their laws.
Now the rationale for same-sex marriage sex/gender and society does indeed use it for as a rationale basis for discrimination. Women are excluded from combat. They are not required to register for the draft, etc.
Is sex/gender a compeling reason to deny same-sex relationships? The courts have ruled both ways on it.
So now let's move on to condition versus choice. Homosexuality can be a condition or a choice and I would still support homosexual marriage. I know we haven't gotten much into our own views, and you appear to not want to take a side on this but I'm simply sharing I support homosexual marriage. I also support civil unions for heterosexuals and would prefer society explore and allow other relationship forms beyond just marriage and with different terms than just "for life."
So now, with regard to using condition to determine law. We can do that but we cannot limit conditions to those that have a good political lobby or who are the cause du jour. The criteria for condition cannot be selectively applied. If loving a particular sex is a condition and condition is not a compelling state interest, then all other conditions should be treated the same way. The state must be able to prove scientifically that other sex drives are choices rather than conditions or else they have no compelling interest in litigating against them.
Is loving or having a relationship with more than one person a condition or a choice? I have argued that it meets the exact same criteria and conditions as homosexuality. If homosexuality is a condition, then so is polyamory. The societal consequences for choosing polyamory, is profoundly negative so much like homosexuality, people would not undertake it as a conscious choice. I'm a stating that polyamory is a condition and is as biologically driven as homosexuality.
Now as to part b, the condition of polyamory is absolutely legal. There are no state laws that limit your number of sexual partners, that declare you must only go home to one boy or girlfriend or that you must be exclusive in your relations when unmarried. It is only when asking society do endorse the relationship via marriage that it becomes illegal aka polygamy. This is the same issue as with homosexuality as well.
(2) By the same definition of discrimination, since marrying multiple partners is not equivalent to marrying one partner (it is an additional freedom), and because disallowing polygamy disallows it for all people equally, it is a restriction of personal freedom but it is not discriminatory.
Whether I support either of those freedoms is immaterial.
Sorry but marrying one partner of a different gender is an additional criteria because homosexuals are free to marry using the same criteria that applies to heterosexuals. They are seeking to alter the marriage criteria. Altering it by sex/gender is no different than by number of partners. I do believe whether you support these freedoms is material because you seem unwilling to recognize that polyamory is legal but polygamy is not. Likewise polygamists are allowed to marry, they just do not believe the criteria are broad enough to fully encompass and recognize who they love versus who society endorses. It isn't an additional freedom but expansion of an existing freedom.
Now, if you hold the view that homosexuality is a choice, then you can certainly make the argument that disallowing same-sex marriage is not discriminatory, but I did not realize that was where you were going. And, as I said, it seems a little arbitrary to assert that heterosexuality is not a choice but that homosexuality is. Why do you think that homosexuals might feel that they have any more choice than you do?
We make it choice because we believe in free will and also because we believe it proper to judge using that free will to pick the norm versus the abnormal. We consider abnormal to be deviant behavior, thus we punish murder, theft and even drug use and prostitution. Now regardless of whether I believe it a choice or not, I certainly don't care to punish it and have no problem endorsing it including endorsing homosexual marriage. However I also have no problem endorsing prostitution or certain types of drug use as long as we as a society allow people to assume their personal responsibility associated with the rights.
As to the question of what happens when we extend this argument to other behaviors, such as drunk driving - those are false equivalents. The equivalent of drunk driving, that would permit the argument that disallowing drunk driving is discriminatory, would not be driving sober but instead legally driving impaired under the influence of some other addictive substance (and note that both are illegal behaviors), and would still require meeting the conditions that (1) there is no choice involved in getting impaired and (b) there is a fundamental right to drive a vehicle in any condition. The equivalence fails both those conditions also.
They are not false equivalents because as I noted above, law discriminates and society must show a compelling reason to do so. Allowing use of alcohol but not marijuana as an example is a discrimination. We do not allow drunk driving (but didn't mind it as much in the past) because when awareness was raised, society decided the cost of tolerating the drunk driving was higher than the cost of discriminating against drunk driving. If or when the laws were tested in courts, the deaths and accidents that occurred from drunk driving were declared a compelling rationale for the state to discriminate regarding that behavior.
So far the ruling on homosexual marriage with regard to courts and prop 8 have been rather nebulus. It has been ruled against once because the state refused to defend it while also proclaiming the backers were not party to defending it. Then the ruling by the 9th circuit was narrowly crafted to have it apply to ONLY California, not any other states with regard to the jurisdiction of the 9th, which is quite large.
Similarly, illegal deviant behaviors are obviously illegal, so clearly we cannot argue to legalize a framework for them. I'm not aware of much support at this time to legalize sex with farm animals and then allow mixed-species marriages. Same-sex relationships, on the other hand, are perfectly legal, and since the right to marry a partner is one enjoyed by heterosexuals, proposing it as a right for homosexuals is not equivalent to legalizing deviant behavior.