FanDuel - WFBC

June 16, 2011

David Tyree: Gay Marriage Will Lead to Anarchy: Former New York Giants wide receiver David Tyree, a hero of Super Bowl 0x2A, has come out against gay marriage in the state. "If they pass this gay marriage bill, what I know will happen is this will be the beginning of our country sliding toward it's a strong word, but, anarchy," Tyree said. "That will be the moment itself where our country loses its grip with what's right," he says in a new National Organization of Marriage video. "Marriage is one of those things that is the backbone of society. So if you redefine it, it changes the way we educate our children, it changes the perception of what is good, what is right, what is just."

posted by rcade to football at 10:14 AM - 58 comments

Tyree's a former drug user arrested in 2004 for possessing a half pound of marijuana he intended to sell. He had at least two of his four kids out of wedlock. So naturally he should speak out on this issue to deny marriage to others because of how sacred it is.

posted by rcade at 10:18 AM on June 16

What rcade said.

But I'm confused--do pro athletes want to be role models or not?

posted by billsaysthis at 10:22 AM on June 16

Anarchy... he says that like it's a bad thing

And, of course, what rcade said, but this is the NY Daily News - without bile they'd be a sports section and some movie times.

posted by kokaku at 10:46 AM on June 16

Oh dear.

Well at least I know of one agent who'll be happy to work with him.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 11:11 AM on June 16

listening to the moral advice of professional athletes will lead to anarchy.

posted by Atheist at 11:25 AM on June 16

If anarchy descends, Delonte West will be prepared.

posted by holden at 11:34 AM on June 16

Anarchy... he says that like it's a bad thing

My thought exactly (speaking as an Odonian anarchist).

"Marriage is one of those things that is the backbone of society. So if you redefine it, it changes the way we educate our children, it changes the perception of what is good, what is right, what is just."

You might be able to make that argument that changing the definition of marriage creates these other fundamental changes in society, although I'm wary of these simplistic assertions of direct cause and effect. Again, I don't know that that's a bad thing. Currently we're teaching children (and adults) to hate and exclude; we're teaching them that those behaviors are good and right and just. How you get to such a state is by refusing to allow anyone to question "society's" mores -- that is the only way that you can warp them so that hate is a virtue. So the whole idea that society's values can never be wrong and must never be questioned or changed is a flawed premise in the whole anti-marriage argument.

Another flaw, of course, is the implicit assumption that society's (which?) current definition of marriage is some kind of eternal truth that has been handed down unchanged from the very beginnings of humanity as a species. In truth, "society" has many different definitions of marriage, and they all differ about what a marriage can be. And for any one of them you name, I can name an older institution of marriage that differed from the contemporary different definition in a fundamental way. There is no society, government or religious institution so old, that there is not a form of marriage that predates it.

So, when we question what the definition of marriage should be, and who has the right to define it, the "because it's right" argument fails because it's an unexamined assertion, and the "because it's always been that way" fails because it's just not so. The tragedy is the righteous conviction of so many people who are so fundamentally wrong.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 11:44 AM on June 16

He got 15 minutes of fame and did what else in his career to warrant continued attention?

Tyree visits some of the schools I cover for my newspapers. I doubt he'd ever discuss this in a school, but now I'd question if I want him there.

posted by jjzucal at 11:58 AM on June 16

OMG, someone has an opinion (right or wrong or indifferent or who gives a f***, but it's different from mine). Can we stone him?

posted by graymatters at 12:02 PM on June 16

@graymatters - he's a decent receiver - wouldn't want to risk getting those stones thrown back

posted by kokaku at 12:29 PM on June 16

graymatters-

I'm just sayin', but that is what SF is about. Otherwise it would be box scores and chat threads. I look at this as a forum to express an opinion about matters having to do with sports. Even if they are somewhat tangential. Sometimes we find an opinion that runs contrary to what the majority agrees with. If you agree with Tyree go ahead and voice your opinion. Or disagree. Or whatever. Maybe we define this page's purpose differently. But raging against the machine seems to have little point.

Unless your point is anarchy. Then, like Emily Litella, never mind.

My opinion is that Tyree's opinion is barely a blip on my consciousness.

posted by THX-1138 at 12:40 PM on June 16

OMG, someone has an opinion (right or wrong or indifferent or who gives a f***, but it's different from mine). Can we stone him?

When someone supports the active discrimination and marginalization of a group of people, it is unfair and simplistic to call that merely holding an opinion. He is actively advocating discrimination.

posted by bperk at 12:43 PM on June 16

OMG, someone has an opinion (right or wrong or indifferent or who gives a f***, but it's different from mine). Can we stone him?

Sure thing. If gay marriage is legalized, then the country will descend into anarchy and there will be nobody to stop us from stoning him.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 01:20 PM on June 16

My opinion is that Tyree's opinion is barely a blip on my consciousness.

Agreed. Put me in the "who gives a f*** what his opinion is" category.

When someone supports the active discrimination and marginalization of a group of people, it is unfair

Tell it to white-y.

posted by graymatters at 01:49 PM on June 16

In other news, David Tyree is a dick.

Can we stone him?
Since he used to sling weed, I'm sure he knows how to stone himself.

posted by NoMich at 01:52 PM on June 16

When someone supports the active discrimination and marginalization of a group of people, it is unfair

Tell it to white-y.

I'm not sure what I was supposed to get from that link. However, I hope you don't think that voting discrimination against white people is a real threat to the freedom and equality like discrimination against gay people is.

posted by bperk at 01:59 PM on June 16

I find graymatters' presentation vague. Perhaps he doesn't want his opinion pinned down, but being so vague with writing opens up interpretation to the reader. As far as I can tell, graymatters doesn't support civil rights for gays or blacks, and is so gutlessly sure his opinion will be met with anger and ridicule that he hides behind an attack on his imagined adversaries and an incoherent blog post.

I would be happy to learn that my interpretation is wrong.

posted by Hugh Janus at 02:33 PM on June 16

graymatters is just trying to derail the thread. The best thing to do in that kind of situation is usually to ignore it.

posted by insomnyuk at 03:04 PM on June 16

Marriage is not a civil right IMO. As a matter of fact I am against gay marriage and heterosexual marriage, and polygamy and all forms of government sponsored and subsidized marriage.

Marriage is a personal contract or promise between individuals, it is a moral contract, and a financial contract basically invalid by it's very nature. I mean the verbal contract may read to death do us part, but obviously it really should read until death do us part blah blah blah, or until one or all parties chooses to ignore or break the contract because as it reads, it is unenforceable. Now if people want to enter into a marital contract recognized by their particular god or church or social group or whatever it is one thing, but as soon and the government endorses it in any form it becomes morality by legislation. Lets get the government out of peoples private lives not intrude more.

What the government should be doing is getting out of the marriage business all together. If people want to form business contracts between each other with regard to personal property rights, rights of survival, medical authority etc, they should do that with a lawyer in the form of an enforceable contract with provisions for dissolution that do not involve utilizing public funds will they fight it out in court. The government should not be subsidizing civil unions with preferential tax treatment as by endorsing any form of marriage they are essentially discriminating against somebody. If you endorse traditional marriage without allowing gays, polygamist, cousins, or others to marry who they love you are in fact discriminating and it never ends.

What is a gay marriage? I know what we all think. If you are pro gay marriage, let me ask you this. If two 60 year old heterosexual men want to marry each other after their wives have passed away, because they are good friends, have no wives and need to get a tax break or get one of them covered on medical insurance or allow one to get paid social security death benefits when one dies, or be able to collect on life insurance etc, should they be allowed? Do you want the government to try to determine what is legitimate marriage and what is marriage for profit or convenience? Is a sexual relationship part of the criteria, and how do you prove it? Don't a man and two women who love each other have the same rights as two men or two women or a man and a woman. No matter how you slice it at some point you have the government putting their stamp of approval on personal relationships within some moral or social guideline. Today we add gay marriage to the marriage fiasco and next Polygamists are fighting for the same right or first cousins or guys who are in love with a sex doll or their pet.

Be gay be happy but please do not ask the rest of society to foot the bill for more divorce, more custody battles and property fights. We have enough problems with what we have already started.

The government should only pass a law making the discrimination against people for their sexual preferences illegal. Of course that is impossible also because there is always a moral judgement.


The best scenario would be to allow people to make contracts with regard to their personal property and other rights without government interference or tax subsidies. Recognized marriage by nature discriminates against the unmarried, by giving tax breaks to the married, even though they typically utilize more government services. At the same time it penalizes the single wage earner with higher taxes when they in fact use less services.

Marriage is not about sexual preference, or love. Marriage is a contract. Being against adding additional forms of marriage contracts is not saying you find certain sexual practices immoral, or you are against gay people. It is about not legislating, and endorsing what sexual, or love or family preferences people can live their lives with or not.

posted by Atheist at 04:13 PM on June 16

"So the whole idea that society's values can never be wrong and must never be questioned or changed is a flawed premise in the whole anti-marriage argument. "

It is perfectly acceptable to question society's values and they can be wrong. Of course at some point a decision has to be made. On what basis should it be made. Who decides what sexual preferences are wrong? Personally I do not know. Is it the majority? Obviously that is not fair. The majority have nothing to do with individual rights.

Society's values are always changing slowly, so now we are at a point where homosexuality is considered fine and normal but polygamy is illegal on what grounds? Consenting adults engaging in a behavior that doesn't hurt anybody else. At one time society considered it perfectly acceptable, along with marrying twelve year olds, public stoning, dog fighting and bull baiting for sport. At one time it was perfectly acceptable to throw Christians to the Lions for it's entertainment value.

posted by Atheist at 04:27 PM on June 16

I find graymatters' presentation vague. Perhaps he doesn't want his opinion pinned down

My opinion is that government should have nothing to do at all with the definition of marriage. It should not define it as between people of opposite sex, people of the same sex, or anything else. That it is none of government's business. Period.

I just get frustrated that every time an athlete expresses his view that it becomes fodder for an opportunity for people to criticize and attack them as being discriminatory or a former drug user or whatever. Because most of all, I believe in free speech and free opinion. A person has the right to say or believe whatever they want, whether that person is an athlete or anyone else. You don't have to agree with them, but I do not believe that is a reason to attack them, even with past actions that have absolutely no bearing on their opinion or their right to express that opinion.

posted by graymatters at 05:00 PM on June 16

graymatters is just trying to derail the thread.

One, I am not sure what rail this thread was really on: gay marriage, Tyree's a former drug user so he must be stupid which is why he is against gay marriage, or what? Two, sometimes a thread deserves to be derailed.

posted by graymatters at 05:05 PM on June 16

Thanks, graymatters. I appreciate your clarification, and I'm glad I was wrong.

posted by Hugh Janus at 05:09 PM on June 16

My opinion is that government should have nothing to do at all with the definition of marriage. It should not define it as between people of opposite sex, people of the same sex, or anything else. That it is none of government's business. Period.

Ya know what? I agree with you, at least in the abstract. In a world where various religions have appropriated the term, each claiming ownership of it, with their various contradictory definitions and their assurance, each one, that their "marriage" is sanctified by their god, it would be best for government to wipe its feet clean of the whole mess -- while making painfully clear to all, religious and non-religious alike, that the word "marriage" has absolutely no legal meaning and that religious ceremonies of "marriage" have no legal standing and convey no legal status (as indeed they do not now in the United States, but people don't know that).

As a practical reality, though, are you going to tell hundreds of millions of heterosexuals that they are no longer legally "married"? That if they want to be "married", they need to go find someone wearing religious clothes who will say, "Yeah, my god is okay with the two (or three or four or whatever) of you getting married so *bing* you're married"? That their legal institution is dissolved and if they want to have a legal relationship, they'll have to apply for some other thing?

Because some other thing is needed, as a matter of practical reality. The current legal institution of "marriage" conveys a large number of civil rights in the United States. You can either expand legal "marriage" to everyone, or you can strip everyone of it and create some other institution. The only alternative is to continue in the present situation where gays are second-class citizens deprived of those civil rights, and as Mavis Staples reminded us, "99 and a half won't do."

posted by lil_brown_bat at 05:25 PM on June 16

Intolerance will not be, must not be, tolerated.

posted by apoch at 05:30 PM on June 16

He got 15 minutes of fame and did what else in his career to warrant continued attention?

as far as I'm concerned, he pretty much single-handedly beat the Patriots with one catch...he need not do a single thing else in his worthless life and I will still remember him fondly :-)

posted by bdaddy at 05:34 PM on June 16

LBB - I totally agree with your view. As for your question what do we tell all those that are legally married now? Since I share your view the government should absolve themselves of the entire mess, I am not sure just how we handle those "traditional marriages" now in existence. First step would be to repeal all special tax and legal benefits of marriage and treat the married and the unmarried the same. That in effect eliminates the so called rights that are being denied to the unmarried gay or otherwise. Just because we have made a mistake in the past by allowing the government to treat married people specially, doesn't mean we should continue making the mistake and expand upon it. Just like slavery, we should abolish it, regardless of how established it had become of how inconvenient it was to those who already had slaves and depended on them. Wrong is wrong. If all men and women are created equal, why is it constitutional for the government to bless married people with benefits not extended to the unmarried?

The problem in not that people cannot live together as they choose now it is that marriage is discriminatory in nature when given special treatment by the government. End the special treatment to be fair and just for all. Do not expand it to include one more OK to be married group, which only opens the door for the next let us get married group. Some want to define marriage as a specific combination of people, others want to expand it to include just their group. I would personally have more respect for the civil rights argument of gays if they were also fighting for the rights of polygamist who if you ask me should have the same rights to marry who and how many they choose.

In reality some see marriage as a piece of paper or legal document, others see it as an abstract and personal bond between people in sync with their beliefs, but truth is it all in your mind. Since marriage is not the same for everybody, ie Tiger Woods obviously had a different belief of what marriage means than his wife did, why does it matter what the government or society believes as the whole concept is voluntary and between the participants once government subsidy of it is removed and we get to a point of real equality, not just for gays, but for the unmarried, and everybody else.

posted by Atheist at 06:14 PM on June 16

I don't know why gay marriage would necessitate a rewriting of the whole book of marriage. Is that basically the equivalent of taking the ball and going home? That's a good way of denying gay marriage - how about no marriage! Period! For anyone!

We let gays get married and life here is exactly the same as it was previously for us straights, though the gays seem a bit happier. Didn't have to get the government out of marriage, didn't have to absolve all previous marriages, didn't have to go out and replace governments to make it happen.

What in holy hell is the big fucking deal?

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 06:20 PM on June 16

As a practical reality, though, are you going to tell hundreds of millions of heterosexuals that they are no longer legally "married"?

Why would they no longer be legally married? If government was out of the picture, is there some necessity that some religion step in? Can't two people just decide that they are married? In Texas and some other states, there is not even a need for any ceremony whether by a government official or by a religious official; it's called common law marriage. Isn't marriage just an agreement or contract between two people?

Now, I do agree that government should step in to protect the interest of any children, but they are supposed to do that whether there is a marriage involved or not; i.e. provide support for a child whether born in wedlock or out of wedlock.

posted by graymatters at 06:44 PM on June 16

Atheist - you talk about special benefits that those with marriages recognized by the government have, but there are also detriments as well. In the past, my wife and I have paid more federal taxes because of the requirement to file as married than we would have if we were allowed to file each as single or as "married filing separately." I am really not sure what special benefits that "married" people get. Not saying that there aren't, just not sure what they are.

posted by graymatters at 06:49 PM on June 16

Intolerance will not be, must not be, tolerated.

Paradox alert.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 07:17 PM on June 16

my wife and I have paid more federal taxes because of the requirement to file as married than we would have if we were allowed to file each as single or as "married filing separately." I am really not sure what special benefits that "married" people get. Not saying that there aren't, just not sure what they are.

I can't tell if you're joking or not. Please tell me you're joking. If you're not sure, try this: run your wife over with a car then visit her in the hospital. If you weren't "married", you wouldn't be able to.

Visit her, I mean.

posted by yerfatma at 09:30 PM on June 16

should read: my wife and I have paid more federal taxes because of the requirement to file as married or as "married filing separately" than we would have if we were allowed to file each as single

The reason is that by combining two incomes you get kicked into a higher tax bracket. With her not working now, it makes no difference.

As for the hospital situation, that sounds like a "hospital" problem, not a government problem; or is there some law that prohibits non-spouses from visiting patients in a hospital?

Then again, we are getting way off topic, so never mind.

posted by graymatters at 09:37 PM on June 16

I do not believe that is a reason to attack them, even with past actions that have absolutely no bearing on their opinion or their right to express that opinion.

People who champion the sanctity of marriage open up their own marital record to some scrutiny. The fact that Tyree had two kids out of wedlock, but now believes marriage so sacred that a gay couple together 40 years should not be allowed in, is germane to the discussion.

... or is there some law that prohibits non-spouses from visiting patients in a hospital?

Hospitals have, with appalling frequency, denied visits to gay partners. This happens particularly often when the sick person's family disapproves of homosexuality. The hospital defers to their wishes on who to allow visits from.

Throwing out civil marriage would just require the establishment of a new relationship that comprises all of the same legal rights and responsibilities. I'm not saying it shouldn't be done -- I think people get married too quickly and don't always understand what they've gotten themselves into -- but the idea we can live without anything like marriage seems far-fetched to me.

posted by rcade at 10:18 PM on June 16

graymatters:

Why would they no longer be legally married?

Because the government makes the laws, and if you get government out of the marriage business, there's no such thing as legal marriage any more. Is this a trick question?

If government was out of the picture, is there some necessity that some religion step in? Can't two people just decide that they are married?

Yes, and they can also decide that they are octopi, but that doesn't make it so -- unless you define "octopus" as something that you can simply choose to be.

In Texas and some other states, there is not even a need for any ceremony whether by a government official or by a religious official; it's called common law marriage. Isn't marriage just an agreement or contract between two people?

As I've already explained, "marriage" is many different things. There is no uniform definition, not even a uniform legal definition. If you define "marriage" as "a committed primary relationship" and that's it, then of course two (or more) people can simply decide that they're married. If you're talking about a legal contract, then no, they can't simply decide that they are in a legal contract called marriage -- not even common law marriage.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:06 AM on June 17

Atheist - you talk about special benefits that those with marriages recognized by the government have, but there are also detriments as well. In the past, my wife and I have paid more federal taxes because of the requirement to file as married than we would have if we were allowed to file each as single or as "married filing separately." I am really not sure what special benefits that "married" people get. Not saying that there aren't, just not sure what they are.

Here's a pretty good recap in re: US law. The HRCF has identified "more than 1,138 federal rights, protections and responsibilities automatically granted to married heterosexual couples", including rights of visitation, medical decisions, family leave, ownership of joint property, and inheritance rights, and going down to things like family discounts at public facilities.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:18 AM on June 17

Anarchy? Really? I'm surprised he didn't cite the State of Iowa in his rant. Because gay marriage is legal in Iowa and I have yet to see the state government fail, or an all transvestite review take over for live theater in Des Moines. Just one more homophobic moron running his mouth.

posted by Tinman at 12:18 PM on June 17

What is a gay marriage? I know what we all think. If you are pro gay marriage, let me ask you this. If two 60 year old heterosexual men want to marry each other after their wives have passed away, because they are good friends, have no wives and need to get a tax break or get one of them covered on medical insurance or allow one to get paid social security death benefits when one dies, or be able to collect on life insurance etc, should they be allowed? Do you want the government to try to determine what is legitimate marriage and what is marriage for profit or convenience? Is a sexual relationship part of the criteria, and how do you prove it? Don't a man and two women who love each other have the same rights as two men or two women or a man and a woman. No matter how you slice it at some point you have the government putting their stamp of approval on personal relationships within some moral or social guideline. Today we add gay marriage to the marriage fiasco and next Polygamists are fighting for the same right or first cousins or guys who are in love with a sex doll or their pet.

Are you fucking serious? This is homophobic bullshit of the highest order. Let me ask you this, if a sixty year old man and a sixty year old woman want to marry each other after their spouses have passed away, because they are good friends, have no spouses, and need to get a tax break or get one of them covered on medical insurance etc, should they be allowed?

And really, bringing bestiality into the mix? Are you a NOM spokesman or something?

posted by kmzh at 12:27 PM on June 17

A person has the right to say or believe whatever they want, whether that person is an athlete or anyone else. You don't have to agree with them, but I do not believe that is a reason to attack them, even with past actions that have absolutely no bearing on their opinion or their right to express that opinion.

A person has the right to say what they want, just as I have the right to call them a shithead. Bigots of any stripe should get called out for it. Doesn't matter if you're a homophobe, racist, misogynist, etc. They're an asshole, and I'm not going to respect their "opinion".

posted by kmzh at 12:32 PM on June 17

KMZH Yes I am serious, and to call me homophobic is just displaying an ignorance with regard to everything I have been saying or just not comprehending. Feel free to disagree but nothing I have said demonstrates any bias against homosexuality.

The government should not be putting their stamp of approval on any civil union or personal relationship. All rights granted in relationships should be rights granted to anybody regardless of sexual preference or marital status and done through a legal contract. Everything that I have suggested would apply equally to all people. The notion of marriage that is sanctioned by government through special recognition, a separate and unequal application of law and taxes etc. If you accept the notion that the government must not be allowed to define a marriage or the criteria of a marriage, then you must accept everybody's definition of a marriage. So if the government is wrong to declare and recognize a marriage as a union between a man and a woman only, they would be just as wrong to declare a marriage only acceptable if it is between a man and woman, man and a man, or woman and a woman without also granting the same rights to a man and two women, or two men and two women or a man and his first cousin, who based on their personal beliefs want to form a family unit, whether on not sexual relations are part of their relationship. You can be for government democratically deciding what constitutes a marriage or against it. You can't have it both ways.

In my view if you reject the government defining a marriage as a union between a man and a woman blah blah blah, then it must be expanded to not only include "traditional" gay marriage but also to anybodys version of marriage without prejudice to polygamists or others.

Any person should be able to designate another for next of kin status or power of attorney in matters that they decide regardless of any marital status and that right should be protected by law against religious, sexual, or racial discrimination. Whether someone is married common law, or in the eyes of the county, state or some church, or is single should have no bearing on their rights in legal matters of health, inheritance, survivor rights etc. Other than a default bloodline back up for anybody without a legal designation, those matters should be decided by the individuals themselves in a legal fashion and in accordance with their wishes.

Also I never brought up bestiality, you did. Sex and marriage are not reguired for each other. So if two men marry for tax benefits or other purposes what does that have to do with homosexuality? If you consider it fraud, how do you enforce it? While regular marriage is a bad can of worms, expanding it just opens up an ocean of worms.

posted by Atheist at 02:28 PM on June 17

The government should not be putting their stamp of approval on any civil union or personal relationship.

Atheist, if it is a civil union, it is by definition one that has the approval of a government authority. That's what the term means.

All rights granted in relationships should be rights granted to anybody regardless of sexual preference or marital status and done through a legal contract.

How can a legal contract have any meaning outside the context of laws and courts? Or do you prefer your courts and laws to be the product of something other than government?

Any person should be able to designate another for next of kin status or power of attorney in matters that they decide regardless of any marital status and that right should be protected by law against religious, sexual, or racial discrimination.

They do, as long as the power of attorney is properly constituted. The point that seems to escape you is that heterosexual married partners do not have to do this. This legally recognized union conveys -- scroll up, it's right there -- more than 1,138 federal rights, protections and responsibilities automatically granted to married heterosexual couples"[emphasis mine]. "Automatically" means that they get them without having to do anything else. They don't have to hire a lawyer and draft a legally watertight power of attorney; they already have it.

Whether someone is married common law, or in the eyes of the county, state or some church, or is single should have no bearing on their rights in legal matters of health, inheritance, survivor rights etc.

And we should all be free and equal, but we're not. That's the point.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 03:08 PM on June 17

Today we add gay marriage to the marriage fiasco and next Polygamists are fighting for the same right or first cousins or guys who are in love with a sex doll or their pet.

Emphasis mine.

And I don't have a problem with polygamy or incest, assuming equal power relationships. (In other words not cult leaders with underage wives.)

posted by kmzh at 03:11 PM on June 17

Train wreck, all the way around.

posted by graymatters at 03:29 PM on June 17

'Atheist, if it is a civil union, it is by definition one that has the approval of a government authority. That's what the term means."

Yes I understand this and it may have been a poor choice of words. It is semantics. So if marriage is the traditional word we use to describe the life in a committed family relationship of a man and a woman, then I suppose civil union means the same thing where same sex couples are concerned. Because the word used to describe the situation is different, doesn't make one lesser than the other if the same rights are connected to it.

"How can a legal contract have any meaning outside the context of laws and courts? Or do you prefer your courts and laws to be the product of something other than government?"

They can't and I am not suggesting otherwise. I am suggesting that the notion that marriage come with a whole list of default legalities is wrong. The legal issues that marriage settles by default should be addressed specifically when people marry. All marriages are contracts but unfortunately not ones which require any review or sign off by the participants. I am suggesting that in order to address these issues, within a marriage or in any relationship nothing should be taken for granted. The law should require any couple to willfully make these decisions than the current implied default contract that courts have to enforce between two parties who haven't a clue as to what they signed up for in the first place. Why should people who are married and want to deviate from aspects of the contract be forced to accept the governments concept of how property rights or decision rights are applied. When people get married depending on the state, are they every even notified of the contractual issues? When someone gets married are they made aware that now their spouse who they may have known for a week will now have the authority to disconnect life support over their parents or other family? Shouldn't that be an issue for direct address, rather than imposed on two 19 year old lovers who elope to Vegas without giving them an opportunity to sign off or doing anything to ensure they know what contract they are entering in to?

"They do, as long as the power of attorney is properly constituted. The point that seems to escape you is that heterosexual married partners do not have to do this. This legally recognized union conveys -- scroll up, it's right there -- more than 1,138 federal rights, protections and responsibilities automatically granted to married heterosexual couples"[emphasis mine]. "Automatically" means that they get them without having to do anything else. They don't have to hire a lawyer and draft a legally watertight power of attorney; they already have it."

Like I said, I have a problem with the way marriage is handled for all, and yes I believe getting those rights, protections and responsibilities automatically is wrong and these issues need to be addressed specifically. I am not against gay people forming lives together, I am for granting gay couples protection from discrimination, but I am against an incredibly flawed practice being expanded, and creating more government expenses, and expanding the load on the courts to include a whole new group of potential divorcees.

Marriage is an institution originally based on a traditional (for lack of a better word) notion of man, and a woman, and their subsequent creation of children. It makes assumptions as to how those people want to handle legal family issues without regard for the actual feelings of the people involved. That traditional notion no longer exists and therefore traditional marriage as an institution is obsolete in our modern society. It isn't working for traditional couples, how on earth could it be expanded to be suitable for an even wider variety of relationships than have completely different circumstances, and issues. Laws regarding marriage were created when it was assumed to be important and normal for women to remain home with children and to aid and encourage the creation of families, almost like a subsidy. With the changes in sexual equality, most women working, family units changing so much, the acceptance of homosexuality, open relationships etc, I see the fight to be included in the traditional marriage club to be a major step backward for all. I am not against homosexuality I believe freedom and equality lies in the reformation of the entire concept not perpetuating and expanding an already presumptuous, and outdated practice.

posted by Atheist at 04:51 PM on June 17

They can't and I am not suggesting otherwise. I am suggesting that the notion that marriage come with a whole list of default legalities is wrong.

This idea is fine. But, this line in the sand should not be drawn when gay people want to get married. After our existing laws are not applied and a discriminatory manner, then we can debate whether the laws are worthwhile in the first place. The place to bring up this debate is not when people are arguing that they don't want to be discriminated against anymore.

posted by bperk at 05:06 PM on June 17

Sorry, can't help myself.

Legal vs. illegal. Some believe that something is legal only if the goverment says it is OK (seems to be LBB position). Others believe that something is illegal if the government prohibits it, and everything else is legal (my view). If government stays out of marriage (definition or anything else), then it is legal since government would not be prohibiting it.

If someone wants to marry their pet poodle, I have no objection assuming that the poodle can give valid consent. In other words, no freaking way.

Bestiality? Some seem to confuse marriage and sex. They are two different things. If Sex = Marriage, there would be a helluva lot of people married that don't want to be. If Marriage = Sex, then there would be a lot fewer middle-aged comedians.

As for the Human Rights list, I have not and have no reason to view the whole thing. I think some can probably be contracted around if people decide to do so rather than have the government define their rights. But at a glance, it appears that most involve again what the government says spouses can and cannot do. Keep government out of marriage, and most if not all of these restrictions would go away.

posted by graymatters at 05:35 PM on June 17

I believe freedom and equality lies in the reformation of the entire concept not perpetuating and expanding an already presumptuous, and outdated practice.

It seems closer to the truth to say that you believe not in the reformation of marriage, but abolition of it. Flawed though many marriages may be, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that it just ain't gonna happen. I've read your earlier posts, and am having a hard time reconciling the adjectives you use with the "realities" you think you recognize.

And if gay/lesbian couples want to join the fun (for better or for worse?), well I say c'mon in. If marriage is so flawed, then let everyone, regardless of orientation, find out for themselves. Maybe expanding the pool of the potentially married will have the stabilizing effect on the institution that you so desperately crave.

posted by tahoemoj at 05:47 PM on June 17

Keep government out of marriage, and most if not all of these restrictions would go away.

It's just impossible. Taking marriage out of the tax code? Bankruptcy? Divorce? Child custody? Social Security survivor's benefits? It cannot and will not happen. So, we are left with two options, either legally recognize gay marriages or don't. These other arguments about getting government out of marriage are far-fetched, and confronting people who are facing discrimination here and now with pie-in-the-sky dreams of the perfect situation doesn't really help at all.

posted by bperk at 05:59 PM on June 17

It cannot and will not happen.

Because it will lead to anarchy? Back full circle.

posted by graymatters at 06:11 PM on June 17

Taking marriage out of the tax code is totally possible. Just eliminate it from the tax code.

Divorce is only possible and an issue because of marriage in the first place. How about insisting that any couple entering into a marital contract include a clause for an agreement on dissolution as part of the initial contract. Similar to how most business contracts are constructed with exit clauses to avoid litigation should the contract be broken. Save us all a lot of money and get divorce fights over property out of the courts.

Child custody - has nothing to do with marriage, its only an issue when there is no marriage or a marriage has dissolved and someone has to determine what is in the best interest of a child when parents are fighting even if those parents were never married. A non issue related to marriage.

Rights of survivorship. Any person married or not should be able to name a beneficiary of their choice regardless of if that is a spouse, child or other relation.

posted by Atheist at 06:33 PM on June 17

Advice from this role model, I think not. Marriage between a man a woman hardly lasts 5 years anymore. Anyone who takes the advice of an overpaid undereducated athlete is akin to a MORON!

posted by catsgolf at 07:29 PM on June 17

Rights of survivorship. Any person married or not should be able to name a beneficiary of their choice regardless of if that is a spouse, child or other relation.

It's not that easy in our common law system. To get a greater understanding of what is meant by "right of survivorship" as a legal term of art, look up the meaning of a "tenancy by the entirety" or "community property with right of survivorship." These estates in land are only available to legally married couples.

posted by tahoemoj at 07:42 PM on June 17

These estates in land are only available to legally married couples.

I think Atheist's point was that a person could name a beneficiary in his or her will that theoretically would trump or achieve the same purpose as the common law right of survivorship. There's no reason why you have to depend on the government or common law to decide for you.

posted by graymatters at 09:37 PM on June 17

graymatters:

Legal vs. illegal. Some believe that something is legal only if the goverment says it is OK (seems to be LBB position)

You're a very careless reader indeed if you believe that.

If government stays out of marriage (definition or anything else), then it is legal since government would not be prohibiting it.

How can you "stay out" of something that you're already in? Government is already in the business of regulating marriage. It can't "stay out", it could only get out.

As for the Human Rights list, I have not and have no reason to view the whole thing. I think some can probably be contracted around if people decide to do so rather than have the government define their rights. But at a glance, it appears that most involve again what the government says spouses can and cannot do. Keep government out of marriage, and most if not all of these restrictions would go away.

But it's not just about restrictions. If you'd read any of the list, even the few bullet points in the article that I linked to that call out a few of the more wider-ranging points, you'd know that they aren't just (or even mostly) matters of "restrictions", but of rights and responsibilities. You seem to have a classic libertarian view that government is the source of all evil and injustice, that all it does is restrict people from doing things, and that if government and its regulations were removed, things would automatically revert to a state of perfect justice. A cursory review of minority rights proves this to be fallacious. The matter of hospital visitation rights, for example, has nothing to do with restrictions -- there isn't some law saying that hospitals can only admit legal spouses -- and "getting government out of marriage", as you propose, would not establish that right.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:13 PM on June 17

I think Atheist's point was that a person could name a beneficiary in his or her will that theoretically would trump or achieve the same purpose as the common law right of survivorship.

But, if you're legally married, you don't have to. As I have already pointed out to you.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:14 PM on June 17

Because it will lead to anarchy? Back full circle.

Because the people who have these rights are not about to give them up. What's so hard to understand about that?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:16 PM on June 17

In summary, it seems to me for the most part that we agree a man should be allowed to marry a man or a woman marry a woman assuming consenting adults. The differences appear to be how we get there and what government's role should be in private lives.

posted by graymatters at 09:34 AM on June 18

Interesting stuff.

My ex and I were common law married in Mississippi where all you had to do was represent yourselves as married to 3 people then consummate the marriage in a 24hr period of time. I think that law has been changed since then. We didnt see a pastor friend of mine for a formal service until 6yrs later when she decided to go into the Air Force. Which also ended our time together a few yrs later.

posted by Folkways at 12:11 PM on June 20

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