Truth Before Dishonor

I would rather be right than popular

Maine’s Same Sex Marriage Law Going Down?

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/11/04


As of an hour ago,

From the Washington Post

With more than 84 percent of precincts reporting Tuesday, the side seeking to repeal the law had 53 percent of the vote. Their campaign organizer, Frank Schubert, claimed victory and declared that Maine voters had helped preserve the institution of marriage.

For the record, as a Bible believing Christian, I hope this victory stands.

31 Responses to “Maine’s Same Sex Marriage Law Going Down?”

  1. DENNIS said

    It’s too bad that we, the enslaved in the People’s Republic Of Taxachusetts, did not have the similar right to vote.

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  2. Jeff said

    And as a Constitution-believing Jew, I wish it hadn’t 🙂

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  3. John Hitchcock said

    Jeff, if you were to become a Messianic Jew, you’d be doubly Jewish. And the Old Testament has much to say about the matter in the header, none of which will support your position. 😉

    PS: I’ve seen T-Shirts that say “My boss is a Jewish carpenter.” There is a lot of truth to that.

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  4. Jeff said

    I’d be a Jew-Jew? Hey, as long as I’m not a Jujubean…

    Don’t remember the Old Testament saying a lot about civil marriage contracts. Must have been in Numbers. I tend to sleep-read through Numbers. Talk about a boring book…

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  5. John Hitchcock said

    Well, I guess you’re not one who practices your faith.

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  6. Jeff said

    How do you mean?

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  7. John Hitchcock said

    Jeff, I don’t know if you’re serious sometimes. If you’re serious and you want to debate matters seriously, and include “religious” (there’s a difference between “religious” and being a firm believer in something, but I’m not trying to denigrate or presume here) material, I am more than willing to enter that realm as Judaism and Christianity share the Old Testament. But if you’re not being serious, I can understand that, too, and my #5 was me backing off and saying “that door is closed.”

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  8. Jeff said

    I guess I’m just trying to say, in my snarky way, that I don’t think this issue has anything to do with religion. We can debate the Bible’s view on homosexuality ’til the cows come home (the Bible, at least my part of it, has exactly zilch to say about marriage) but that would be completely immaterial to the issue of same-sex civil marriage in America.

    Now we can debate religious convictions if you want, but in the end I just think that’s off-topic.

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  9. John Hitchcock said

    Jeff, “your part” of the Bible, the Old Testament, has much to say about homosexual activity. And that was my point.

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  10. Jeff said

    Right, clearly, but gay marriage isn’t an issue where the Bible is particularly important, since the legal institution of marriage is a construct of the American system of government. Talking about whether we perceive homosexuality as “moral” is not germane to the issue at hand, since there’s quite the distinction between “immoral” and “illegal…”

    [I do believe my filter is snagging stuff due to the subject matter — JH]

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  11. John Hitchcock said

    There are two terms (likely more) that I refuse to use when dealing with homosexuality and related topics. “Gay” and “queer” have been co-opted and their definitions perverted. I have found deviants and disingenuous folk have often co-opted terms, providing new definitions for old words to fit their needs. And those two terms are examples of such activity, thus my refusal to use them.

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  12. John Hitchcock said

    By the way, if you honestly believe “the legal institution of marriage is a construct of the American system of government” you are really far gone. People have been married in monogamous heterosexual unions for centuries prior to the formation of the US. At least 17 centuries prior. The legal institution of marriage is not an American construct, and to assert such is to stake a claim as far out there as the most loony of the loony toons.

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  13. Jeff said

    I’m not talking about marriage altogether, John. But the benefits and paperwork and all the legal stuff that goes along with civil marriage are indeed part of our government. There are two separate institutions of marriage in this country – the traditional, religious/spiritual/whatever institution that goes back centuries as you assert and that exists wholly outside the government, and the institution created by the existence of a legal contract between two adults that exists within the government.

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  14. Dana said

    Our good friend Pam Spaulding had an article on the vote, which actually said something she didn’t intend.

    Miss Spaulding is a lesbian blogger from North Carolina, who “married” her girlfriend in Vancouver, where such things are legal. Naturally, her “marriage” isn’t recognized in the United States.

    However, she noted that several openly homosexual candidates did win, including the new mayor of Chapel Hill. If you read the whole thing, it becomes pretty obvious: openly homosexual candidates can win elections, because with whom they sleep has nothing to do with their jobs. It’s when homosexual activists try to change things that effect everybody else that they get defeated.

    Nobody cares about their private lives; we do care when they try to change things for other people.

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  15. Jeff said

    Dana – right, and no one is trying to change anything for anyone else. If two men or two women can marry, how does that affect you? It doesn’t. That’s my point – somehow people get convinced that same-sex marriage will affect them, but there’s no conceivable way in which it would.

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  16. John Hitchcock said

    If the Boy Scouts refuse to allow a man to become a Scout Master because he is married to another man, does that man have legal grounds to sue the Boy Scouts? Can a DA bring criminal charges due to discrimination law? Or do the Boy Scouts have a constitutional right to freedom of association? Do the Boy Scouts have a right to their Christian underpinnings? Or must they have their religious freedom undercut to serve an anti-Christian social agenda?

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  17. John Hitchcock said

    If a church chooses not to employ a woman who is married to another woman, can that woman win a court battle regarding EEOC? Does the church have to reject Christian principles to allow that woman to play the piano (some churches pay for this) during Church services?

    1 Corinthians 5 says:

    1 Corinthians 5
    Expel the Immoral Brother!
    1It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father’s wife. 2And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your fellowship the man who did this? 3Even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. And I have already passed judgment on the one who did this, just as if I were present. 4When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, 5hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature[a] may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.

    (snip)

    12What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.”[b]

    (You can see the entire passage at the link.) So, if the church tells two women who are married to each other to leave the premises, can they sue? Can the government remove the church’s religious tax-exempt status as punishment? Can the government jail the Pastor for “discrimination”? Can the government jail the Deacons and Deaconesses for discrimination? Can the government shut down the church?

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  18. John Hitchcock said

    Again, what of Christian colleges and universities? Will they be required to eschew Christian doctrine and hire a male professor who is married to another man?

    The list goes on, but hopefully you get the point.

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  19. Jeff said

    John – regarding the Boy Scouts, I think that made it before the court, and the court settled that in favor of the Scouts. They have the right to free association, including the right to exclude whoever they want to.

    And I think you’re concerned more with anti-discrimination laws rather than marriage laws. None of your examples deal with “marriage” specifically – anti-discrimination laws apply to protected classes no matter what their marital status. So it would kick in whether or not the person in question was married, and if such a law didn’t exist, the person’s new marital status would not suddenly make them eligible for EEOC claims. So I’ll agree with you in part: ENDA does affect straight people, just as the Civil Rights Act affected white people. That has nothing to do with marriage though.

    Now I’m pretty sure most anti-discrimination laws include religious conscience clauses, and if they don’t the Constitution sure does (that whole “free exercise” thing). So the answer to all of your examples is still no. No Christian institution will be required to violate their religious beliefs in order to accommodate anti-discrimination laws. For example, the LDS Church forbade black people from the priesthood until 1979, and I’m unaware of them ever losing a lawsuit over it. The court of public opinion may have something to say, but the government in general can’t touch the church.

    Naturally, it’s more complicated than that. If the church is executing a state function, or providing a public good, in general they may not discriminate in the execution of that function or the provision of that good. Thus the much-ballyhooed case of the Catholic adoption agency in MA and (Dana’s favorite) the church pavilion in NJ. Again though, these aren’t a result of marriage laws, but of anti-discrimination laws…

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  20. John Hitchcock said

    I am not prepared to allow the courts to decide what the Constitution says. The courts have been notoriously wrong on the liberal side of things regarding the reading of the Constitution.

    If the church is executing a state function, or providing a public good, in general they may not discriminate in the execution of that function or the provision of that good.

    So if a church opens a food pantry and hires people to staff that food pantry, they cannot refuse to hire people who are at odds with 1 Corinthians 5 and have to resort to shutting down their food pantry, which helps people in need? And you don’t see how that will affect people outside a certain little circle? If the government gives money to faith-based institutions, the government can have full control over the actions of those institutions. And you don’t see how that will affect people outside a certain little circle?

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  21. Jeff said

    Again, John, that’s anti-discrimination law, not marriage law.

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  22. John Hitchcock said

    Jeff, what constitutes discrimination other than a rejection of something the State declares discriminatory? If the State says “everything is marriage” and some organization says “no it isn’t and we reject immorality” who wins? In the end, the State will shut down and shut out all who dissent on moral grounds because they are discriminating against a “protected class” of people.

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  23. John Hitchcock said

    And, by the by, you discriminate in your every-day life. And it’s not always a bad thing. I’ll leave you to your research *cough*dictionary*cough* to understand what I just said.

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  24. Jeff said

    John, I’ll agree that I discriminate in my everyday life. But that doesn’t mean the government should discriminate. We’ve founded our country on the principle of equality before the law. You don’t have to approve of anything you don’t want to approve of, and neither does your church. But the government can’t discriminate.

    Again, there’s a very legitimate argument against anti-discrimination laws, and I don’t want to get into that because it’s completely not germane to our discussion of marriage laws.

    You set up the following hypothetical question:

    If the State says “everything is marriage” and some organization says “no it isn’t and we reject immorality” who wins?

    But it’s a false dichotomy! The State must recognize a contract between two consenting adults as valid if the government allows the contract to exist for two other adults. That’s pretty much the definition of “equal protection under the laws.” But if your organization sees that contract as immoral, it is not required to be a party to that contract! Marriage is a contract between government and two people. You and your church are not required to view that contract as valid. Anti-discrimination law notwithstanding, neither is your business.

    Again, your issue is with anti-discrimination laws, not with marriage laws. The presence of the latter does not imply the presence of the former.

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  25. John Hitchcock said

    The presence of the latter will guarantee the presence of the former. We already have on the books in certain places anti-discrimination laws based on sexual preference. Every one of those laws need to be stricken from the books. And those laws have indeed already bitten Christian organizations in the posterior, much less “regular” businesses. Further institutionalizing “Sodom and Gomorrah in the US” will further alienate and illegalize Christians.

    Christian schools of all levels already have to deal with “outside your Christian dogma region” EEOC, including hiring non-Christian (atheist, even) Math teachers since Math, after all, has nothing to do with “religion”. If the schools do not kowtow to the government deity, they suffer the consequences.

    Adding another level of this bovine byproduct will just add more problems (civil and criminal) for all who are opposed and horrified by such an immoral decision. There is no way around that fact. It affects everyone, not just the two Lucys who want to get immorally married.

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  26. John Hitchcock said

    And I haven’t even talked about the government’s budgetary effects, where married people are treated differently. That could well cost every American more tax money, just by recognizing such a marriage. And businesses that carry health insurance for their employees and families? They’ll be socked with more costs, despite their refusal to accept such a horrific thing. Again, business don’t pay for anything, customers of businesses pay for everything, so that brings it back to me. My hamburger will cost more because my restaurant has to pay for the insurance of the wife of a woman.

    Nothing happens in a vacuum. “Do not ask for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.” — John Donne(?) This bell is tolling for me and I will do everything I can to stop it from tolling.

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  27. Jeff said

    Christian schools of all levels already have to deal with “outside your Christian dogma region” EEOC, including hiring non-Christian (atheist, even) Math teachers since Math, after all, has nothing to do with “religion”. If the schools do not kowtow to the government deity, they suffer the consequences.

    I don’t think I’ve heard of that happening. If it has, that’s off the mark, because private religious schools are protected by “free exercise.”

    And businesses that carry health insurance for their employees and families? They’ll be socked with more costs, despite their refusal to accept such a horrific thing.

    Hate to break it to you, John, but a hell of a lot of major companies already do offer domestic partner benefits for gay couples. In ten years almost every major company will likely do so. And I’m not sure if businesses will be required to buy health insurance for their employees under ObamaCare, but businesses don’t have to provide health insurance for anyone. But I have about as much sympathy for businesses who fight against providing benefits for gay couples as I have for companies that would refuse to provide benefits to black people, so there’s a fundamental difference there I think.

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  28. John Hitchcock said

    That’s my point – somehow people get convinced that same-sex marriage will affect them, but there’s no conceivable way in which it would.

    I showed how that does indeed affect everyone else.

    Again, your issue is with anti-discrimination laws, not with marriage laws. The presence of the latter does not imply the presence of the former.

    I then showed how the marriage law will affect anti-discrimination laws.

    But I have about as much sympathy for businesses who fight against providing benefits for gay couples as I have for companies that would refuse to provide benefits to black people, so there’s a fundamental difference there I think.

    So, you admit that marriage law will affect everyone else and you despise Christian-owned businesses who operate under Christian beliefs? Believe what you want but keep it in the closet?

    And let’s be crystal clear here. Homosexuality is a choice, not an inborn trait. Providence did not make anyone homosexual, as is proven in the dictates of the Old Testament, so don’t even bandy that satanic lie around.

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  29. Jeff said

    No, I favor anti-discrimination laws, which – you’re right here – clearly do affect straight people, and are intended to do so. You clearly do not. That’s not the argument we’re having though. Our argument is about the legal contract of marriage. You only got through the marriage-implies-anti-discrimination laws thing via handwaving. True, most people who support marriage equality supported ENDA, but that’s like saying that most people who like chocolate also like potato chips. One doesn’t imply the other.

    Answer this question, then: would you be okay with allowing gay people access to a legal marriage contract if it were legal for your business to discriminate against them? If not, why?

    Homosexuality is a choice, not an inborn trait.

    So is religion. Guess it’s cool for me to advocate for laws against Christian marriage then.

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  30. Jeff said

    With regard to anti-discrimination laws, it seems that if you’re an expressly Christian organization you have pretty much free reign with religious discrimination – and, since Christianity has expressed opposition to homosexuality, you’d likely get free reign there too. Here’s an article about a Protestant Christian-owned soccer team that kicked a Mormon off their team and didn’t suffer any ill consequences because of it. One assumes that this same model would be extended to gay employees as well. So I might be wrong about anti-discrimination law – could be that it wouldn’t affect businesses run as Christian enterprises.

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  31. John Hitchcock said

    Homosexuality is a choice, not an inborn trait. (quoting me)

    So is religion. Guess it’s cool for me to advocate for laws against Christian marriage then.

    Except you run afoul of the First Amendment. Nice try, though.

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