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7:56 a.m. - February 05, 2004
I want a couple wives and husbands, and I've always had an eye on that goat over yonder
Decidedly mixed reaction toward the Massachusetts Supreme Courtís requirement of gay marriage as opposed to civil unions being a right and other forms of legal union inherently discriminatory and unequal. Iím attempting to sort out my own impressions rather than reacting to those made by other groups, whether pro or against, and different topics keep coming to mind: Polyamory, polygamy, and incest.

If the state, as the Massachusetts court posits, cannot create arbitrary qualifications in addition to preliminary civil requirements for the right to marry, then what enjoins the state from not recognizing a triad of whichever gender combination from wanting to marry? Isnít it just social norms that call for one + one? And as quickly as the court puts aside norms in favor of rights of personhood for same-sex couples, why couldnít the court also do the same for a group of individuals who want to be recognized as married? Arenít their rights also upheld? Civil requirements Ė blood test, one + one, marriage license - are fundamentally arbitrary and based upon the prevailing norms or preferences at the time of enactment for which the state takes a compelling interest. The Mass court has now, in effect, said the state has no compelling interest in the business of marriage other than the issuing of marriage licenses, so one + one may not be the only judicial activism coming out of that state.

A while ago I watched Ellen Degeneresí comedy special where she made a comment about (narrow-minded)people following gay marriage with animal husbandry (does that qualify as a pun?). She misses the point conservatives raise: If them, meaning gay couples, then why not animals or polyamory or other (decidedly) fringe element? If the state cannot regulate or limit marriage to certain groups, how can it exclude others from partaking?

Some have compared the issue of gay marriage to that of civil rights or desegregation and I personally find that appalling but that is pro forma here in America, where we seek to ride whatever bandwagon that appeals for a boost past the finish line. Admittedly, Iíve viewed the goings-on from a distance and without much personal interest and perhaps Iíd feel different were I barred from inheriting or visiting a partner in a hospital, but I donít see large numbers of gays and lesbians marrying anytime soon.

It makes for interesting discussions, though.

Almost time to call Barbara-the-Editor. Why did I agree to an early morning call? The books are done - what more is there left to do? I really don't want to know.

 

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