New York Rainbow

Last night, the New York state legislature voted to legalize same sex marriage. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law just before midnight. Celebrations began immediately.
Less than an hour after the New York legislature passed a marriage equality bill 33 to 29 during a late session on Friday, Twitter started filling up with messages about how the Empire State Building had "gone rainbow." "OK, pictures of rainbow Empire State Building are getting me misty," screenwriter Diablo Cody wrote. "A rainbow shines on the Empire State and the Empire State building tonight!," another tweet read. And another: "Empire state building goes rainbow. Go us!"

Less than an hour? The Atlantic explains how the display was executed so fast. Link -via @Bad Astronomer

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TL;DR at large to everyone. I jest! I read it all.

There are a few pivotal points which the debate on this thread seems to swivel; A) The definition of "marriage", B) The religious meaning or purpose of "marriage", C) The constitutional rights of individuals, D) Moral valuations of paraphilic orientations.

Definitions in general have a colloquial meaning which differs from their professional use. This may be especially true as it pertains to law. If one looks up the legal definition of a "Verbal threat" for example; one may find that it includes hearsay. Therefor it is not surprising to find a dual-use of language between the legal definition and the more colloquial usage.

It is my view, of which I have no personal attachment, that there is virtually no scriptural basis for a marriage "sanctuary". All references to marriage in the Bible are precluded by an air of disapproval. "It is better for a man not to touch a woman" Peter insists, "But if they cannot contain" he concedes, "then they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion." (1 Cor 7:1,8-9) He then insists that "The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife." (1 Cor 7:4)

In other words, the Bible seems to indicate that marriage is a compromise with "passion". That it is best for a man or woman to be a solitary individual. As a matter of fact, in the "apocrypha" Jesus is quoted as saying "Many are standing at the door, but it is the solitary who will enter the bridal chamber." (Thomas: 75) The imagery of the "bridal chamber" here is to King Solomon's iconography of the divine wisdom Sophia, who alone Solomon would dedicated his heart to. Further sketching out that Christianity is more about reason and truth than it is about egotistical refuge.

Of course this says nothing of the constitutional rights of individuals, unless one sees a reason for conforming one's behavior to the idealism of the Biblical authors, one is likely to pursue whatever most satisfies them. Nor would it be profitable to force anyone to live by such a doctrine without due respect for the doctrine. I wish not to debate consitutional rights myself, but will simply say that if I imagine us to have free-will, it is little more than a will free from social obligation. Without that basic freedom there isn't much freedom to speak of.

As to moral valuations of paraphilic orientations, I would not attempt to justify or cast doubt on the moral character of one of them purely because one was or was not born with said quality. Predilections say nothing of moral character; valuations of morality must invariably supervene on global epistemic certainty or else they are purely subjective fabulations. To establish the rudiments of an 'objective' morality and avoid all the fallacies of whimsy is a difficult task, but we are the much worse without it. Biblically speaking; God dictates moral obligations by their functional anatomy. If it serves no biologically purposive function it is vain and deviant. One may argue that self-satisfaction has a calming effect which may avert serious illness caused by stress, however it is not clear whether this is habit-forming and will result in greater need for gratification later.

Another point of contention, at least for me, is how much of our outward behavior has an effect on cultural norms and mores. I feel a responsibility as an individual to contribute constructively to society, and I do not feel that on the functional/causative level, I am really doing anything independently or with no consequence to anyone else. Even as I stand outside smoking I provide myself as a character model to countless children and adults.
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Kaine: Bash away? you don't know the meaning of the word "bash", if you think that any of the people advocating gay marriage have been "bashing" anybody here.

You know what "bashing" is? Google Matthew Shepard - just one example of how intolerant society is. Gays can't show affection in public without fear of ridicule or the threat of violence, and you worry about sharing the definition of a word that's been ravaged by heterosexual society into a travesty of its former meaning.

A hundred years ago, women didn't have the vote. If it were left up to the majority of voters at that time to give women the right to vote, would they have gotten it? Hey, majority rules, at least when it's convenient.
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Marriage is a legal contract.

The same sort of thing you sign when you rent a house.

What has been approved here has nothing to do with religion. Nothing. As in zero. Nada. Diddly squat.

(And BTW: we all already know what the Catholic Church or other religious fundamentalists do not approve of.)
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@DC:

Except that you're doing the same thing. The definition you describe - "a man and a woman whose benefits to society are recognized by the state" - is in itself a radical revision.

Four centuries ago, benefits were rendered by churches, not nation states. Those benefits were lopsided - husbands effectively owned their wives (financially, physically, sexually), and women owned nothing that their husbands did not give them. And, of course, they were not extended to mixed-race couples. At the time, these were all time-honored traditions that had rarely been questioned.

Every generation remodels its institutions, trying to make them stronger, more equitable, more beneficial to society. In the case of marriage, this push has gradually redefined husbands and wives as equal partners with equal rights, irrespective of gender, race, or faith.

So yes - people ARE trying to change the definition of marriage... as usual. Because we want to make it better... again. And, I suspect, future generations will accept this change as if it never happened... just like you do now, with all the previous changes.
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@Kaine:

That can be said of every evolving social issue, though. All of them start out as minority opinions within the population (because they're new) and remain that way for years as they gather support. During that time, OF COURSE their initiatives fails a the ballot box. But that margin of failure shrinks and shrinks until opinion reaches a tipping point. Then, suddenly, they start to pass.

Yes, Prop 8 passed by a 5-point margin. But in 2000, Prop 22 (defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman) passed by a 23.5-point margin. And in 1990, the concept of putting same-sex marriage to a popular voice would have been laughable. So in twenty years, support for same-sex marriage amongst California voters went from a tiny minority... to a significant minority... to almost 50/50. What do you think will happen in twenty more years, Kaine?

As I said to J.M. - you don't sounds like you're a hateful person and I have no desire to bash you. I'm happy you support civil unions, too! (Another opinion that failed popular votes for years, BTW.) I just think that in this one case, your logic is based on prejudice rather than the other way around.
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