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Maryland's Gay Marriage Ruling: Can You Spell Confused?

In a narrowly reasoned ruling that acknowledges that social change is happening at a faster pace than legal change, the Maryland Court of Appeals today said it will not be the tool by which gay marriage becomes legal in Maryland. That may happen someday, the court said, but it will have to be elected legislators who make that decision--not the courts.

For now, said a majority of four justices on the seven-member court, marriage remains a legal arrangement between a man, a woman and the state--a deal made expressly for the purpose of encouraging procreation.

But three justices said the majority is willfully ignoring both social and legal change, including a long string of moves by Maryland's legislature to assure that gays receive the same guarantees of fundamental rights as other citizens.

The 244 pages of opinions break down like this: The court decided there is no constitutional claim to gay marriage in Maryland, but three of the seven justices said the state should provide people in committed gay relationships the same legal rights as men and women who are protected by marriage laws.

Two justices, Chief Justice Robert Bell and Irma Raker, said that while there is no right to gay marriage, gays must be granted the same rights of marriage as any other citizen. The dissenters said they would have adopted the conclusion of New Jersey's top court, which ruled that "to comply with this constitutional mandate [of equal rights for all], the Legislature must either amend the marriage statutes to include same-sex couples or create a parallel statutory structure, which will provide for, on equal terms, the rights and benefits enjoyed and burdens and obligations borne by married couples."

But the majority opinion by Justice Glenn Harrell attempts no such Solomonic division. Rather, the justices found a fundamental difference between the question of gay marriage and the relatively simple issue of sex discrimination. Maryland law forbids discrimination by sex in matters of housing, accommodation, employment and so on. The law around social club membership--including whether a private men's club, for example, may exclude women--clearly has been interpreted to mean that you may not discriminate on the basis of a person's sex.

But the majority says those laws were never intended to deal with sexual orientation. The purpose of the state's Equal Rights Amendment was "to prevent discrimination between men and women as classes," the court ruled, looking back at old Washington Post articles from the 1972 debate over the ERA for guidance on the original intent of that law. And the court concludes that the state's marriage law does not "separate men and women into discrete classes for the purpose of granting to one class of persons benefits at the expense of the other class."

Gay marriage proponents based their argument on two main ideas: 1) It's discrimination on the basis of sex to let men and women marry but forbid that legal recognition for same-sex couples. The majority was unimpressed. 2) There are fundamental rights protected by Maryland's constitution that same-sex couples cannot enjoy because the marriage law excludes them. On this point, the majority agreed that the law treats gays differently and excludes them from the benefits associated with marriage. (Justice Irma Raker's dissent says there are 425 legal protections that marriage grants to Marylanders--protections that same-sex couples don't enjoy.)

The court fully accepted that being gay can mean suffering considerable pain at the hands of an unaccepting society. Quoting the U.S. Surgeon General, the court noted that "[O]ur culture often stigmatizes homosexual behav ior, identity and relationships. These anti-homosexual attitudes are associated with psychological distress for homosexual persons and may have a negative impact on mental health."

But the justices said the unequal treatment gays often receive does not render them politically powerless--the standard the court would have to reach before it could justify declaring gays a "protected class" eligible for special legal status. To the contrary, the majority said, rising gay power in the state's political process has won gays all manner of legal protection from discrimination in housing, education, employment and so on. Given that "increasing political coming of age," the majority said, gays don't need any additional constitutional protection.

The majority also rejected the idea that homosexuality is immutable, saying that it had no scientific or sociological evidence to show that people are born gay and therefore are being discriminated against on the basis of something over which they have no control--another argument the same-sex couples had made to bolster their view that their fundamental rights were being violated. There is no such thing as a fundamental right of marriage for same-sex couples, the ruling repeatedly says, quoting from the Bible, Maryland law and the laws of every other state in the Union but for Massachusetts to support the idea that marriage is rooted in the man-woman relationship.

In the end, the main split between the court and the same-sex marriage advocates took place on the purpose of marriage: The pro-gay marriage side says the fundamental right in question is the right to marry, and the question of who gets to do that is secondary. "The proper inquiry is what has historically been enjoyed (e.g., the right to marry), not who has historically enjoyed it (e.g., people in heterosexual relationships)," the proponents of gay marriage argued.

But the court sided with most other state courts in rejecting that idea, arguing that "the right to marry enjoys its fundamental status due to the male-female nature of the relationship and/or the attendant link to fostering procreation of our species."

Here's where you can hear the structural foundation of the anti-gay marriage argument starting to creak toward collapse. If marriage is solely a matter of giving legal sanction to procreation, then what to make of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in a Missouri case granting the right to marry to prison inmates who had zero prospect of procreating? In that 1987 case, the court said marriage was a fundamental human right--kiddies notwithstanding. The majority in the Maryland case acknowledged that the prison case blows something of a hole in their procreation argument but took refuge in a simple declaration that they just don't care: The Missouri case just "does not persuade us," the court ruled.

And indeed states put all different kinds of restrictions on marriage--rejecting some relationships because of age, incest, other genetic connections, or existing marital ties.

Marriage is all about "safeguarding an environment most conducive to the stable propagation and continuance of the human race" and that's what makes regulation of marriage "a legitimate government interest," the majority said.

But Justice Lynne Battaglia in her dissent said that defense of marriage as a legal status is crumbling: "The correspondence between opposite-sex marriage and biological necessity has never been more tenuous than it is today." Indeed, the majority notes that "As of 2000, there were just as many married households in the United States without marital children as those households with marital children." And "according the Census Bureau, 67 percent of all children in Baltimore lived outside of a married couple household."

So why does the court cling to the idea of marriage as an institution existing primarily to sanction childbearing? "The fundamental right to marriage and its ensuing benefits are conferred on opposite-sex couples not because of a distinction between whether various opposite-sex couples actually procreate, but rather because of the possibility of procreation," the majority says. Ah--this would be the if-you-build-it, they-might-come theory.

The majority concludes by noting that the state legislature is free to change the law and bless either civil unions or gay marriage or both--it's just not something Maryland law as written now allows.

Raker's dissent puts it more strongly, advocating for the state legislature to address the gap between the rights gay citizens already enjoy and those they are denied because of the marriage law. She notes that Maryland already "supports procreation that occurs in both opposite-sex and same-sex couple environments. Maryland appears to grant adoptions to both homosexual and heterosexual couples, and adoption agencies 'may not deny an individual's application to be an adoptive parent because . . . [o]f the applicant's . . . sexual orientation.'"

If the state's purpose is to give kids a stable and supportive environment, then the lack of equal rights for gay couples actually undermines that purpose, Raker argues. "While there may be a legitimate basis for retaining the definition of marriage as one between a man and a woman, there is no legitimate basis for denying committed same-sex couples the benefits and privileges of marriage."

Raker would give the General Assembly 180 days to come up with either a civil unions law or some other way to grant gay couples the same rights that marriage bestows upon opposite-sex couples. But Raker was in the minority, so there is no such mandate from the court.

"The right to marry," Chief Justice Bell wrote in his dissent, "encompassing as it does the related and critically
important element of choice - the freedom to choose whom to marry, to select the "lucky" person - is not inherently party-centric. Neither is it either hetero- or homo-sexual."

Except that it will remain exclusively heterosexual in Maryland, until the legislature changes that. Or--as I've argued before--until some smart state decides to get out of the marriage business entirely, leaving the moral questions of when to sanction marriage to the various religious faiths and ethical beliefs that will continue to come to different conclusions for many years, if not forever.

By Marc Fisher |  September 18, 2007; 12:47 PM ET
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While I am personally opposed to gay marriage because of my religious beliefs, I feel the real reason this stays an issue is because politicians don't want gay marriage. Follow my reasoning here:

(1) Politicians are mostly lawyers.

(2) Politicians make the laws.

(3) When politicians leave office, they frequently go back to a law practice, making money off of the laws they voted into existence as politicians.

Seems like a conflict of interest, doesn't it?

How does that pertain to the subject of this blog? Here goes:

Have the state come up with legally binding forms that can be filled out by anybody to assign things like Power of Attorney (Legal and Medical) and remove the financial obstacle of needing an attorney to generate these documents for us. Need a Last Will and Testament? Go to the local govt office, pick up the form, fill it out, and file it with the state (for a minimal fee - something like the cost of a marriage license).

Now you see why it is politics impeding the process - the politicians won't change a law that would simply these types of documents because they want to charge us $500 for a simple Last Will and Testament, or 5 times that for something complicated. Allowing gay marriage takes money from the politician's pockets - a marriage license is around what, $20? But a Medical Power of Attorney can cost ten times that because the lawyer (ex-politician) charges us that much.

We can discuss taking your Last Will and Testament through a "Pre-Probate" process another time. That would be something like going to court while you are still alive and explaining who gets what and why. After that is settled, nobody can argue about your estate after you pass away.

Posted by: SoMD | September 18, 2007 2:05 PM

These "judges" are pathetic. Let's prohibit anyone who can not procreate from being able to be married. Let's see, how many of these "judges" would that include? I hope that none of them did procreate and pass down their idiot genes.

Posted by: RK | September 18, 2007 2:25 PM

Procreation. The weakest of arguments against gay marriage. Does anyone actually think Maryland is suffering from a lack of procreation? Is that really a pressing problem?

If so, how about if we mandate that all married couples must pump out a kid within the first two years of marriage, or they lose their marriage rights?

No? Then how about denying marriage to the elderly, the sterile, or those that are just so 'selfish' that they won't get with the government procreation program?

Until we do that then the procreation argument is fairly unsupportable.

Posted by: Hillman | September 18, 2007 2:29 PM

Ah, the tortured language of discrimination!

So, procreation is the ONLY VALID reason for marriage? Then women beyond menopause should not be allowed to marry. Nor men who are no longer able to father children. (Certainly no seniors should be allowed to marry--unless they can prove that they are capable of procreating.) Should not marriages be dissolved once the partners are past the ability to procreate? Should not the state require proof of fertility of all couples applying to be married? Should married couples who fail to procreate be ordered divorced? Would adopting someone else's children serve as a substitute for procreating your own?

What the court really said is that a religious belief should trump secular fairness.

Of course, the judges wants to avoid that truth. Because next we might establish civil requirements for baptism. Or circumcision. (Religions today celebrating their triumph over civil life might not be so happy in the future when opposing religions celebrate their own--but different--triumphs over civil life. Just think how excited Christians will be when the U.S. turns majority Muslim!)

The neatest way out of this dispute is to separate religious belief and practice from secular law. Give "marriage" to religion. Let religions treat marriage as a sacrament. Let religion protect its sacred turf. And let's get the secular government get out of the business of protecting the sacred.

Let the civil state create civil unions or domestic partnerships for all couples of the age of reason. Couples who join in a civil union can then go to church to be married. Or may not, if they so prefer.

Posted by: TomL | September 18, 2007 3:01 PM

Same idjits different state. Just leads me to believe that Maryland has some real problems finding intelligent lawyers to sit on their courts.

Posted by: lesbian_for_marriage | September 18, 2007 3:11 PM

Marc - the Maryland Court of Appeals does not have Justices - instead they are called Judges. One of (if not the only) state where the judges of the state's highest court are still called Judge not Justice.

And, yes, the ruling does suck.

Posted by: courthouseguy | September 18, 2007 3:39 PM

Marc Fisher....Shouldn't you be somewhere spewing hatrad for Jim Moran or the list AIPAC handed you, you filthy jew b@stard! No low life bigot like doesn't have the right to comment on anything.

Posted by: Mark | September 18, 2007 4:49 PM

Mark -- Do you own a dictionary? Generally if you are going to rant about someone it is helpful if people could read and understand your rant.

As it is you just made yourself look like an ignorant, uneducated hick.

Posted by: lesbian_for_marriage | September 18, 2007 5:01 PM

One thing I don't understand: why the Post hasn't posted an actual news story about the decision, instead of a mere blog entry (which hasn't been updated since 9:35 this morning). And the fact that DC has the second-worst traffic in the nation gets a banner head on (or at least that was the case earlier today).

Does the Post really consider the traffic situation to be bigger news than this decision, which bars gay Maryland citizens from receiving the rights and privileges of marriage -- rights and privileges that are considered "fundamental rights" for non-gays? If so, it's a sad commentary on the Post's priorities.

Posted by: DMS | September 18, 2007 5:10 PM

DMS I believe you are mistaken. The news article is linked on the front page.

Posted by: lesbian_for_marriage | September 18, 2007 5:15 PM

I just checked again. The link you refer to leads to a blog entry by Eric Rich and John Wagner that was posted at 9:35 am today -- not to a news story.

Posted by: DMS | September 18, 2007 6:12 PM

A very sad day for justice in MD. It defies belief to think that gay sexuality is any less genetic than straight sexual orientation. Accordingly, the Maryland court only grants justice to those who are too powerless to seek redress through any other means. And finally, that marriage is fundamentally about creation is the stuff late-night TV monologues are made of. Clearly we have a bunch of justices more interested in dodging political bullets than seeing justice done. The court in session must look like a ballroom floor.

Posted by: EthanQ | September 18, 2007 7:00 PM

This ruling does not bar anyone from anything, it just clarifies state law/constitution; which is what the court is to do. The MD constitution bars homosexual marriage and we walk down a slippery slope when we ask judges to change laws or constitutions based on the public opinion poll of the moment - as easily swayed emotionally as our electorate is these days. And if you want to go there, the constitution does not bar anyone from marriage based on sexual orientation - look at the governor north of here that ws gay and married. It treats heterosexuals the same as homosexuals in that men can't marry other men and women can't marry other women, regardless of sexual orientation. No, you do not have the right to marry ANYONE you want and many other examles besides same-sex can be cited and have in other arenas. The court said that the constitution does not bar same-sex couples from 'rights and priveledges' enjoyed by married couples (if THAT is the gay community's real goal) and the legislature has the power to enact laws that grant/enforce such. And that IS the role of the legislature, not the courts.

Posted by: Steve | September 18, 2007 7:11 PM


Thank you for owning up to the fact that your personal religious beliefs preclude you from accepting same-sex marriage. I appreciate your honesty, in a time when so many people who share your religious beliefs are hunting for legally legitimate reasons to bolster arguments that are, in fact, based only on religious belief.

However, I would thank you even more to take the extra step of admitting that in a democratic country of civil rights and responsibilities, religious belief should not dictate public policy. Believe what you will, but keep it out of the law - and out of my personal life.

Thank you.

Posted by: Jack | September 18, 2007 7:34 PM

Where would we be if these judges were around in the 60's
Brown vs Board of Education which struck down school discrimination,
'sorry, we can't do that, Legislature has to'
Gideon vs Wainright which gave people the right to an attorney at a trial
'sorry must go through Legislature'
Roe vs Wade Abortion
'Sorry must go through legislature'

Exactly what are we paying them for, if it's not to research the law and make sometimes difficult judgements. There's Judges , not 'people sitting around in funny robes'

Posted by: Chrisfs | September 18, 2007 8:25 PM

I take issue with the State having *any* say in who I can or cannot marry. So long as two consenting adult human beings choose to partner, I believe it is one our inalienable rights as free people to partner with anyone we choose, whether it be homosexual or heterosexual in nature. On that same line of reasoning I believe the State has to choose whether to extend the exact legal benefits of a legally partnered couple regardless of the nature of that coupling.

The most ideal scenario would be to eliminate ALL sanctioning of marriage or coupling benefits by the State. Marriage is an institution of religions and should remain free and independent from any State entanglements. Do away with State authorized segregation and discrimination - problem solved.

The State should have no say about who I can or cannot visit in the hospital, how to manage our personal financial affairs among partnered couples, etc. etc. In short, you aren't fighting for the real independence and liberty that we so freely hand over to our representatives. That time has come to and end - We the People must stand up and demand the restoration of the liberties already granted to us by a Creator. It's not the "government" that gives us freedom - it is WE who loaned it to a representative body to protect. Since those men and women have refused to stand guard, we will reclaim it for ourselves. Amen. :)

Posted by: Kevin | September 18, 2007 8:30 PM

"If you build it, they may come" to describe the rationale for enshrining procreation as the reason for marriage - brilliant. I can't believe they let WaPo reporters put this stuff on their blogs.

Posted by: Lindemann | September 18, 2007 9:06 PM

Opponents of gay marriage are relying on 2000 years of procreation being the fundamental basis of marriage (I have a lengthy review of this history at: What both sides have ignored, which makes the SSM opponents' strategy ultimately a loser, is that very very very quietly [as in silent] for over ten years, reproductive biologists have been advancing the science of same-sex procreation. In ten years, this will all be a moot debate, another chapter in the advance of science over hate, thanks to SSM opponents drawing a line of science while ignoring the science.

Posted by: Greg Aharonian | September 18, 2007 9:31 PM

I agree with Mr. Fisher in that marriage ceremonies should be left to the churches. Seeing how simple unions of partners (homo or hetero) are in other countries like Argentina and Holland, where the church ceremony is optional, I can't understand why our government is so interested and determined to play God. If all unions were civil, the issue of gay marriage would be null. Instead of husbands and wives, we would have partners, like smart countries who are years ahead of us, and all would be equal. It's simple, really.

Posted by: Lance Williamson | September 18, 2007 11:09 PM

As the mother of equally beloved adult children -- four straight, one gay -- and as someone who with her husband has been fighting for GLBT equality for many years, including posting boards, letters to editors, online chat rooms ('religious' and political)-- I can assure you that the 'dirty little secret' that keeps gays from gaining the equality that should be theirs is: 'sex.' A decade or more of daily chat room encounters on the anti-gay topic has shown clearly that most males in the rooms (so-deemed 'macho men') are not only *threatened by* but - much more telling -- are *repulsed at* 'what men do with other men.'

That's the reality. These machos have no problems with 'what 'pretty women do together' (emphasis on *pretty* always); they'll often comment to the room that they'd love to 'watch two pretty gals together, or even be part of it.' But even thinking about 'men in intimacy?' Never. 'Religion' is often used as a reason for being anti-gay ... or 'the Bible says' ... or 'procreation' ... but make no mistake ... for anti-gay males, it's 'what men do.' Women in the chats are much more affirming and open-minded; they might mention 'religion,' but never does the 'what men (or women) do' become an issue. And they'll often tell of having a beloved gay adult child. As I always remind the macho chatters: "Anyone who's secure in his own sexuality will have no problems with others' sexuality."

A final note: Take it from this proud mother (and equally proud dad), who know beyond all knowing, having raised kids of both sexual orientations ... gay is as genetic as straight. Common sense asks: Would countless millions of people (gays are thought to be an approximate ten percent of any population) daily *choose* to be vilified, denied equality, discriminated against, ridiculed, sometimes physically harmed?

Fair-minded heterosexuals, stand up and be counted for your blessed gay family members and friends. THAT will change laws and bring equality faster than any other route.

Posted by: equalitygal | September 19, 2007 9:02 AM

Kevin, I absolutely agree about restraining the state's power to decide who can and cannot get married. But I disagree about making marriage solely a religious institution.

From the standpoint of government, marriage is a contract that gives the partners certain rights and responsibilities. The Court was somewhat correct in noting that those rights extend to the children. But for the partners themselves, those rights and responsibilities are the same whether the couple is straight or gay. So I see no compelling interest for government to limit legal marriage to straight couples.

Posted by: Tonio | September 19, 2007 9:14 AM

Marc, I have to say that the state court made the right decision based on the laws and constitutional requirements. The Court of Appeals needed to make a decision based on interpretation of the laws -- NOT on the changing winds, crumbling arguments of anti-gay marriage folks, or their personal feelings toward the issue.

We count on the courts to rule this way. If they don't, the personal politics of the justices becomes too intertwined with the "law of the land". I don't want any laws to subject to the mere whims of the justices. This doesn't mean there isn't room for interpretation. It just means that the interpretation must be within some reasonable latitude around a (presumably) ambiguous area of law. If there's no or little substantial ambiguity, then the justices, regardless of their political preferences, have a moral and ethical obligation to rule in a particular way.

Posted by: Ryan | September 19, 2007 11:43 AM

Thank you equalitygal,
I have often wondered why parents of gay children have been so deftly quit on this issue.
It is great to hear your/those voices finally breaking threw.
I will hope your posting will act as a green light to other parents of gay children to come forward and defend their family.

Posted by: Gary | September 19, 2007 12:42 PM

The irony here is that my partner and I can get a religious marriage, we just aren't granted a civil marriage which is what the state recognizes.
Karen in Maryland

Posted by: Anonymous | September 19, 2007 12:46 PM

Jack is right that religious belief should not dictate public policy. I don't understand SoMD's religious stance - gay marriage cannot be immoral because it poses no harm.

While I share SoMD's suspicions about politicians, I don't buy the argument about marriage licenses bringing in fewer legal fees than wills. This wouldn't explain the motivation for politicians who don't have legal backgrounds. I think the motivation is much simpler - gay-bashing brings in the votes and the campaign contributions.

Posted by: Tonio | September 19, 2007 1:26 PM

My partner and I just had a religious wedding. We are sanctioned to be together in the eyes of God, just not the eyes of Justice in the state of Maryland where we wed. And just like getting a driver's license, dog license, fishing license, registering to vote, etc., we had to re-register as domestic partners when we moved to another state, as our original registration in D.C. did not transfer. We needed the registration to show my partner's employer, because I receive full benefits as her legal, registered partner (though she is taxed on them as salary, unlike her straight colleagues). I do have faith that one day soon this will be more streamlined. We've come a long way in a very short period of time (short time on this issue--not on our long struggle in other areas).

I would encourage all of our straight allies to check out Atticus Circle as well.

Posted by: Ashley | September 19, 2007 3:35 PM

Ryan is correct. The judges made the right decision consistent with their duty to interpret the Constitution and Maryland law. We don't need any more courts overturning democratically passed laws. Judge Battaglia's dissent was particularly pathetic in her reliance on other actions of the General Assembly as support for the idea that the law defining marriage should be overturned. If the General Assembly wants to reconsider its past actions, it's entirely free to do so but Judge Battaglia is not free to do it for them.

Posted by: sj | September 19, 2007 4:55 PM

These judges (the majority opinion) should be ashamed of themselves. Their arguments have lots of holes. For example:

1. No need to be a protected class. A group that only represents 10% of the population doesn't need protection? What the hell.

2. Marriage is for proceation. Okay then everyone who's sterile, had a vasectomy or hysterectomy or is in menopause should NOT be allowed to marry!!!

3. Marriage is for procreation: Anyone can adopt and create a family that way, as many gays and lesbians do. But somehow these families aren't equal?

4. It's not up to the courts. Why not? Courts have traditionally pushed progress forward. Brown vs Board of Education anyone?

And I could go on....


Posted by: xrk9854 | September 20, 2007 9:24 AM

I think it is better to argue that banning gay marriage is a form of religious discrimination. After all, the majority of supporters are admittedly relying on scripture as their reference. Sure, if their sect or congregation refuses to recognize a gay wedding, fine. That still leaves supporters of such a ban need to convincingly prove why their views can dictate what OTHER churches do.

Churches who do accept gays and even celebrate gay marriages should be allowed to legally do so. Prevention of this is religious discrimination, pure and simple

Posted by: zzazzeefrazzee | September 20, 2007 6:36 PM

Steve- resorting to the all-to-common "Slippery Slope" argument is obvious appeal to a logical fallacy. No one is going to run out and ask for leglaized pedophilia and incest.

Posted by: zzazzefrazzee | September 20, 2007 6:44 PM

Look, now it's clearly up to the legislature in Maryland to give whatever benefits they deem appropriate to homosexual couples.

I know there's a lot of emotion on this issue. But the court simply clarified what the law is, and clarified that's it's not unconstitutional not to have same-sex marriage. The court practically begs the legislature in this ruling to re-consider the role of same-sex couples in society and pass appropriate legislation, up to and including full same-sex marriage benefits. What is wrong with this approach? There would have been many angyr people for other reasons if the ruling had gone the other way. The courts are not supposed to change social policy. They are supposed to administer the law and interpret the law. The court interpreted the law in a way that those who favor a specific policy disagree with. As I said before, now it's clearly up to the legislature to make provision for same-sex relationships. What's wrong with that; why is there such an expectation that the courts have to rule a certain way, even if the law and constitution as written don't support such an opinion?

Posted by: Dilbert | September 23, 2007 12:52 AM

"Steve- resorting to the all-to-common "Slippery Slope" argument is obvious appeal to a logical fallacy. No one is going to run out and ask for leglaized pedophilia and incest.

Posted by: zzazzefrazzee | September 20, 2007 06:44 "

Many years ago, nobody would have thought that anyone would run out and ask for legalized same-sex marriage either.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 23, 2007 12:55 AM

How ironic. The gay marriage issue is like straightening the deck chairs in the Titanic with regard to marriage. Given the raping that men get in divorce court, men in America should not marry at all - gay or straight.

The truth is that more than 67% (no, not 50% - do your homework) of marriages will end in divorce. 92% of the time it will be initiated by the woman for no other reason than she is "unfulfilled" - oh, and because she gets the kids, the house, at least ½ the assets and most of his future after tax income for the next 18 years. The man will get raked over in family court. He will lose the house and his kids. He will see his kids 2 out of 14 days (if the ex doesn't level unsubstantiated "abuse" claims.) He will be forced to hand over 40-50% of his take-home pay. If he loses his job due to illness or downsizing, the State will toss him in jail. While jailed the arrearage will grow and the state will charge interest. The State will revoke his driver's and professional licenses, make him virtually unemployable.

If you were to take up sky-diving, and the instructor informed you that 67% of the parachutes were defective, would you take the plunge?

The men's Marriage Strike is alive and well, thank you.

Posted by: Chris | September 24, 2007 4:11 AM

Having lived in Maryland for almost 24 years (I turn 24 next month BTW), I was quite certain that the Court of Appeals would do the same thing that the Massachusetts high court did. But I was pleasantly surprised when I found out they did that right thing in saying that there is no fundamental right to marry someone of the same sex because there isn't. Now I agree that the issue of marriage, or any issue for that matter, should never be put to a popular vote. But judges do indeed walk a slippery slope when they overstep their authority by making same-sex marriage legal. That decision rightfully belongs to the legislature.

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