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Marriage Equality Referendums


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Initial post: Nov 8, 2012 4:49:08 AM PST
J. Harding says:
Voters in Maryland, Maine, and Washington became the first in the US to approve marriage equality by referendum. I haven't seen much news coverage of this development, which is surprising because it represents the final stage of the amazing paradigm shift in the public perception of homosexuality.

Were you guys aware of these referendums? It seems that the failure of referendums was the rallying point of equality opponents in recent years. What's the rallying cry now?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 5:37:40 AM PST
anne says:
J. Harding: <I haven't seen much news coverage of this development>

anne: Me, either. What's up with that?

<Were you guys aware of these referendums? >

No. The first word I heard was Tuesday right here on Amazon.

<What's the rallying cry now? >

I hear social issues kill a candidate. So all the candidates have learned to stay away from such topics, apparently.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 6:01:55 AM PST
Katydid says:
It's all over the news in Maine.

There will be a process before it is completely though with the governor signing it and such. Same sex parteners will be able to get marriage licenses early next year.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 6:09:10 AM PST
anne says:
Katydid,
Was it all over the news in Maine before the election?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 6:30:40 AM PST
Katydid says:
Yes. It was biggest state issue being voted on other than US Senator.
There were constant commercials for both sides on TV too.

It was a fairly close vote, but you could tell it was going to go toward marriage equality.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 6:34:42 AM PST
anne says:
Katydid: <It was biggest state issue being voted on other than US Senator. >

anne: Oh, that's interesting. And here in Illinois we heard nothing.

Was the race for President not a big deal in Maine?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 6:42:37 AM PST
Katydid says:
It's pretty standard that Maine will be democrat with the Presidential vote (at least I think for the last 20 years) it would have been a real shock for it to go the other way. :)

The race for President was a big deal, but around here local issues were at the forefront.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 7:31:31 AM PST
R.M. says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 7:36:21 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 8, 2012 7:50:07 AM PST
tokolosi says:
Well, Rick, considering that the vast majority of the anti-gay constituency are devoutly religious, and anti-gay because of their religious beliefs, it makes perfect sense to discuss this issue here.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 7:41:11 AM PST
S. Kessler says:
RM: I think the rallying cry now is to take back the Theocracy that is being forced upon us from the Humanist religion. Return to the constitution and a government that is for all people and protects all people

SK: OMG! My irony meter just exploded into millions of teeny, tiny little bits.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 7:46:18 AM PST
G. Heron says:
Rick Maxon

I see no reason why other people's rights should be curtailed simply because some people worship a homophobic deity.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 7:47:21 AM PST
Joe W says:
You're funny.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 8:02:31 AM PST
S. Kessler says:
He's funny as in "ha ha" or funny as in he needs his head examined?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 8:21:21 AM PST
D. Thomas says:
Theocracy?

Shame on you. "Humanist religion" is a figment of your imagination, yet another dishonest attempt to force your religious beliefs on others.

If same-sex marriage votes demonstrated anything, it's that people aren't buying your bully-boy brand of homophobic bigotry. Stop trying to foment hatred against those who don't live according to your dictates.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 8:55:34 AM PST
Joe W says:
Can't it be both? :-)

Posted on Nov 8, 2012 9:30:48 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 8, 2012 9:39:22 AM PST
robb says:
**Katydid: <It was biggest state issue being voted on other than US Senator. >

anne: Oh, that's interesting. And here in Illinois we heard nothing.

Was the race for President not a big deal in Maine?***

It was biggest state issue being voted on other than Governor
Hardly heard any Pres ads until the last few days. Too little electoral votes and they traditionally go to the D not R.
Does this mean you missed the big Jeff Bezo's donates 2.4 milllion to Ref74 (pro ssm)?

ETA: and legalizing pot

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 11:27:58 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 8, 2012 1:07:29 PM PST
R.M. says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 11:30:07 AM PST
"Why is a posting about Referendums, voting, News coverage and gay rights, not in the political forum?"

In the United States, at least, the majority of the vocal, politically active opposition to legal same-sex marriage has come from individuals and groups who assert their opposition is grounded in their religious beliefs.

"The voters might have approved of Same Sex marriage but that is because they do not know God and His word."

You know... people like you.

"The fact is that homosexuals will never be equal because they choose to engage in an abhorrent lifestyle."

Good luck with getting others to agree with your personal biases. Take a long, hard look at the poll results, and the recent votes. Your position is on its way to the dustbin of history, and will rest there right next to the "blacks aren't the equal of rights" and "women aren't the equal of men" positions that landed there before yours.

"Too many people claim to believe in God and then make choices that they should be ashamed of."

Too many people claim to worship a God of love, and then proceed to invoke the name of that God as they share their hate.

"I think the rallying cry now is to take back the Theocracy that is being forced upon us from the Humanist religion."

Have you considered moving to another country? There are several out there who embrace theocracy, and even base theirs on the worship of the Abrahamic deity. Sure, there are some doctrinal differences, but I'm sure you can get those ironed out.

Good luck...

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 11:39:28 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 8, 2012 11:41:18 AM PST
""This Court has taken notice of the fact that recognized "religions" exist that "do not teach what would generally be considered a belief in the existence of God," ... "Among religions in this country which do not teach what would generally be considered a belief in the existence of God are Buddhism, Taoism, Ethical Culture, Secular Humanism, and others."

Since Rick doesn't see fit to provide the context for this, I will:

The case was "Welsh v. United States (No. 76)", and was argued before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on January 20, 1970 --- Decided: June 15, 1970.

Reference: http://religiousfreedom.lib.virginia.edu/court/wels_v_us.html

Facts of the Case: Welsh was convicted of refusing to accept induction into the armed forces. He sought conscientious objector status but did not base it on any religious beliefs. He said that he could not affirm nor deny the existence of a Supreme Being. Rather, Welsh asserted his moral opposition to conflict in which people are being killed. He alleged that the sincerity of his belief should qualify him for exemption from military duty under the Universal Military Training and Service Act. The Act allowed only those people whose opposition to the war was based on religious beliefs to be declared conscientious objectors.

Decision: In a 5-3 decision, the Court allowed Welsh to be declared a conscientious objector even though he declared that his opposition to war was not based on religious convictions.

Majority Opinion (Justice Black): This case has many similarities to the Seeger decision in which a person was exempted from military service because his views were based on a his views of an ultimate reality. The Selective Service identifies two differences between the cases. First, Welsh insisted that his views were not religious. He crossed out the word "religious" on the application form and said his views were formed "by reading in the fields of history and sociology". The Court rejects this claim because it places too much emphasis on the interpretation by the individual of his beliefs. Although an individual's assertion that his views are religious is to be regarded highly, the opposite proclamation is not to be similarly viewed. The other distinction the Selective Service identified was that Welsh's views were political in nature. This ignore the depth of Welsh's beliefs. Under this interpretation, the Universal Military and Service Act, "exempts from military service all those whose consciences, spurred by deeply held moral, ethical, or religious beliefs, would give them no rest or peace if they allowed themselves to become a part of an instrument of war."

Significance: This decision greatly expands the types of beliefs that can be used to obtain conscientious objector status. The depth and fervency of the beliefs are critical to determining which views exempt an individual from military service.

This case was about what qualifies one for Conscientious Objector status (see: http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Welsh+v.+United+States).

Rick, what did you think was the significance of this case as it applies to your beliefs? Remember: we live in the age of the World Wide Web, where most, if not all claims can be quickly verified for their veracity... or lack of same.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 11:42:38 AM PST
Michael, what rationale did the court use for labeling secular humanism (or "Secular Humanism") as a religion?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 11:47:10 AM PST
Bubba says:
Even the best overload protection circuits available on irony meters wouldn't have protected your meter from that, sorry.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 11:48:31 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 8, 2012 11:50:42 AM PST
From the decision (reference: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/search/display.html?terms=religion%20and%20free%20or%20establishment&url=/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0398_0333_ZD.html)

"This Court has taken notice of the fact that recognized "religions" exist that "do not teach what would generally be considered a belief in the existence of God," Torcaso v. Watkins, 367 U.S. 488, 495 n. 11, e.g., "Buddhism, Taoism, Ethical Culture, Secular Humanism and others." Ibid. See also Washington Ethical Society v. District of Columbia, 101 U.S.App.D.C. 371, 249 F.2d 127 (1957); 2 Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences 293; J. Archer, Faiths Men Live By 12138, 254-313 (2d ed. revised by Purinton 1958); Stokes & Pfeffer, supra, n. 3, at 560."

Some theists have attempted to parley this court decision into some sort of official statement that secular humanism constitutes a religion. This, I believe, stems from the common theist confusion between "Revealed Knowledge" and "Discovered Knowledge." They mistake one statement made in one court case with an assertion made by a religious leader or religious text, wherein that assertion is deemed to be "The Truth" based on the authority of the source of the assertion.

In contrast, the "Discovered Knowledge" approach would compare the characteristics we generally associate with religion:

* sacred texts
* sacred places
* sacred days / holidays
* sacred rituals
* etc.

with the characteristics of secular humanism, and note that they share few common attributes, and thus conclude that no, secular humanism is not a religion.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 11:52:30 AM PST
Bubba says:
From "10 Myths about Secular Humanism"
http://www.secularhumanism.org/library/fi/cherry_18_1.01.html

Myth #3. The Supreme Court ruled that secular humanism is a religion.

This myth is based on a misunderstanding about how Supreme Court decisions are written, and was finally laid to rest by a Federal Circuit Court ruling issued in 1994.

In the 1961 Torcaso v. Watkins decision, Justice Hugo Black commented in a footnote, "Among religions in this country which do not teach what would generally be considered a belief in the existence of God are Buddhism, Taoism, Ethical Culture, Secular Humanism, and others." Such footnotes, known as "dicta," are written to provide factual background to the legal principles in a decision. These dicta never have the force of law. They are merely comments.

The claim that secular humanism can be considered a religion for legal purposes was finally considered by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Peloza v. Capistrano School District. In this 1994 case, a science teacher argued that, by requiring him to teach evolution, his school district was forcing him to teach the "religion" of secular humanism. The Court responded, "We reject this claim because neither the Supreme Court, nor this circuit, has ever held that evolutionism or secular humanism are `religions' for Establishment Clause purposes." The Supreme Court refused to review the case; they refused to reverse a ruling that secular humanism is not a religion.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 12:03:15 PM PST
""We reject this claim because neither the Supreme Court, nor this circuit, has ever held that evolutionism or secular humanism are `religions' for Establishment Clause purposes."

Well, so much for *that* argument.

What do you say to this, Rick?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 12:38:32 PM PST
Thank you. It appears that the court was using an inaccurate or incomplete definition of secular humanism. The name alone should have told them they were wrong.
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Discussion in:  Religion forum
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Initial post:  Nov 8, 2012
Latest post:  Jan 14, 2013

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