What is the mindset of the people who support equal civil rights for homosexuals but disagree with Obergefell v. Hodges because it redefines the word "marriage", which they believe is a sacred thing between a man and a woman?

EDIT: Maybe the premise of my question is wrong. Are there any people that really fall into the category described above? It would be helpful to find at least one writer who does.

What kind of ruling do they think the supreme court should give in order to ensure that gays have equal civil rights?

Would they prefer that the supreme court ruled that all laws with the word "marriage" in them are unconstitutional, because marriage is between a man and a woman, and therefore laws with the word "marriage" don't grant equal protection to Lesbian or Gay couples? That would eliminate a lot of laws overnight, and potentially have a lot of unintended consequences, so it's hard to imagine someone who is overall expressing conservative opinions to want that.

I think such people probably exist. For example, Barack Obama supported equal rights for Lesbian and Gay couples, but had a conservative definition of marriage back in 2008, so probably some people still have the same two opinions.

  • I think you're confusing two concepts. On one hand, we have a view on jurisprudence which would dictate how the supreme court should rule based on the law in the constitution. On the other hand we have what they think the law should ideally be. Which is your question about? One's views on homosexuality aren't really relevant to how one thinks the law is written. – lazarusL Jun 30 '15 at 13:33
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    I think it's typically a convoluted idea of religion vs. law. Both use the term 'marriage' which bothers some people. But technically, the law doesn't dictate the term's definition within a religious context. – user1530 Jun 30 '15 at 14:08
  • I edited the question to put more of an emphasis on finding actual people who hold the views described in the first paragraph. I think if we can find one or two writers who have that view, assuming they are intelligent and thoughtful, they will probably explain what kind of ruling the supreme court should have given in their world. – David Grayson Jun 30 '15 at 16:01
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    I believe this type of person exists, since I'm one of them :) – Bregalad Jun 30 '15 at 16:12
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    @DavidGrayson many (I'd like to hope almost all) people think that the supreme court should make decisions based on the law as it is, not in order to promote a specific agenda. So people in this group shouldn't have a common view on what they think the supreme court should do. – lazarusL Jun 30 '15 at 17:12

Note: This post only words my own opinion, and I ignore if it is representative of other people holding the same position.

I would support no discrimination against homosexual people and would ensure they are not excluded from the society. They already run into much risk of being discriminated against by individuals, it should not be the state's role to discriminate even more against them, instead it should give what it can to protect them against all kinds of discrimination.

I not would support changing the definition of traditional marriage any bit as marriage is a very long lived tradition that should be kept, and involve a man and a woman in most cultures. (Although some cultures allows some men to have multiple wives, but in the countries with such cultures same-sex marriage is usually out of question yet).

I would support civil unions only for same sex couples, and marriage only for regular couples. That's also a good thing because it's exactly what my country does, and I believe it's the right thing - two different kind of couples, two different kinds of unions.

As a matter of comparison, to solve the problem of "black" people discriminated by against "white" persons, we don't paint black people in white, instead, we forbid to give hate speech and discriminations against black. A similar approach should be taken for same-sex couples.

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    This was my original opinion on the matter, but someone pointed out to me that unless legislation is passed which makes "civil unions" equivalent to "marriage" for all legal purposes (taxes, next-of-kin, health benefits, etc) then this solution doesn't solve most of the issues that triggered the desire for same-sex marriage in the first place. With said legislation, this would be a good solution, but then it raises the question of why not have everything be a civil union? – Bobson Jul 1 '15 at 14:42
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    I belive it could make sense if Churches allows to marry (regular straight) couples who just made a civil union, it would make sense. Civil union would be a purely civil term and marriage a purely religious one, and it would not ruin the long lived tradition of marriage. I do not know if such a shift is desirable, though. This is a complicated debate. – Bregalad Jul 1 '15 at 15:02
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    @DavidGrayson that goes back to it being more of a pundit-based argument than one that actually has legal merit. The reasons to not allow gay marriage tend to fall into religious and language based arguments, neither of which really have much bearing on the legal definition. – user1530 Jul 1 '15 at 17:57
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    @DA The same could be said in the other direction, the only argument to allow "gay" marriage is very recent gay-pride propaganda. – Bregalad Jul 1 '15 at 19:46
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    @Bregalad people can say anything. :) But I don't think the same logic is there. BTW, I think this is an interesting topic and am all for discussing in chat if interested. But here, I think you answered the question well and I don't think we need to clutter the comments. @ me in chat if you'd like, though! – user1530 Jul 1 '15 at 20:03

I think it has to do with children. Marriage was first a bond to ensure that couple would stay together to raise children. With the state growing, more laws were added to the term marriage. Now there is a conflict where people still believe children need a mother and father to raise children (traditional marriage) but don't want to prevent same sex couple to have all these important government benefit (civil union).

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    Any sources for marriage first being a bond to raise children? – Lawtonfogle Jul 11 '17 at 13:24
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    Lots of marriages don't involve children, and same-sex couples can have (or adopt) and raise children. – Erik Jul 11 '17 at 13:38
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    One judge rejected this argument by noting that he had officiated at a wedding between a couple in their 80's. If marriage is about kids, should heterosexual couples of such an advanced age be allowed to marry? What about younger heterosexual couples who are unable to reproduce for medical reasons? – phoog Jul 11 '17 at 13:39
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    I'm not talking about today, but the traditional meaning of marriage in the past. Marriage comes from matrimonium which is "mother+obligation". Culturally (at least western), in the past, sexual relationship was done after marriage to prevent the woman to have children (or else the family would have to provide). What I'm saying is that marriage today is very different with all the legal law attached to it but the attachment to the historical meaning of the word is still there. – the_lotus Jul 11 '17 at 14:02
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    @blip There's a difference between talking about an ideal and the reality of marriage. Also, we have to look at the divorce rate of first marriage, those that are actively religious or not and those that have children together. People that have kids and are active in their religion usually have the community to help them stay together for the kids. – the_lotus Jul 11 '17 at 16:54

In many animal species, including the human animal, there is a very strong tendency for females to form exclusive lifetime mating relationships with males(*). Such mating relationships have formed a key cornerstone of almost every human society, and have done so long before the development of government, religion, or anything resembling modern language. In English, the term "marriage" is used to refer to such relationships among humans.

(*) In many human and animal societies, the exclusivity is reciprocal, forming mating pairs; occasionally, multiple females may mate with the same male but with no one else.

Those who would repurpose the term marriage seek to erase the distinction between a kind of relationship which has existed since time immemorial and has been recognized by practically every human society throughout history, and other forms of relationship of much more recent invention.

If government were to pass a law saying that the term "red" shall be used to refer to colors whose peak wavelength is 500-550nm, that might compel states to start painting stop signs green, but it wouldn't make grass red.

Likewise if the state declares that groups of individuals which do not comprise exactly one male and at least one female may call themselves "married", that may affect the way in which various laws apply to those people, but it wouldn't mean they had the same kind of relationship the term "marriage" was coined to represent.

  • I'm not sure this directly addresses the question, as it still uses the term 'marriage' in our final example. – user1530 Nov 4 '15 at 7:22
  • @blip: The question asked about the mindset of people who maintain that marriage necessarily involve relationships between men and women, but do not oppose extending many to people in some other kinds of relationships the benefits afforded to married couples. I am such a person; I believe I have explained my mindset. Does my second-to-last paragraph not make the meaning of my last paragraph clear? There are a number of situations where statutes define words in a fashion contrary to their common-language meaning; in some cases, adjectives are coined to disambiguate such usage. For example, – supercat Nov 4 '15 at 17:39
  • ...one might in some contexts refer to the new stop-sign color as "statutory red" to distinguish it from the color of ripe tomatoes. I'm not sure what terminology would become most prevalent to distinguish the "marriages" which are invented by government from those of the form which predates government, but I think a distinction should still be drawn. – supercat Nov 4 '15 at 17:40
  • Well, I'm unclear as to whether you believe the term 'marriage' should be stricken from laws, or kept--which I think is what the original question was going for. – user1530 Nov 4 '15 at 17:56
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    I see what you are getting at. The catch is, of course, is that there is no one defined definition for 'marriage' inside or outside of the legal context. I do understand the argument, though. – user1530 Nov 4 '15 at 19:33

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