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Documenting the Opponents of Equality Since 2001

Frequently Asked Questions About This Site

What are 'tuts'?

"Tuts" are like "Likes" in Facebook - they indicate agreement with the sentiment of the post.

What generates rankings on this site?

The entries in the Hall of Shame are organized by the number of tuts and their recency. As we like to repeat over and over really fast, "A tut tomorrow trumps two today."

What is your privacy policy?

My personal privacy policy is that you shouldn't be able to hide behind a cape and hood, or a secret society, or a Holy Bible when you exercise your First Amendment rights.

Our formal privacy policy is at http://shame.org/privacy.html

Frequently Asked Questions About Same-sex Marriage

Why do you say that people who are opposed to same-sex marriage, hate gays?

It's disingenuous to argue that taking away a couple's ability to participate in the society and economy is based on love. If it's not love, it's hate.

Are same-sex marriage bans hostile to gays?

Not all cultures that historically rejected same-sex marriage were hostile to gays. For example, Ancient Greece didn't have same-sex marriage, but they did have same-sex relations. Justice Alito pointed that out during the 2015 Supreme Court debate. Marriage is however a fundamental institution, and depriving certain groups access to marriage has been a policy tolerated for far too long. It would be difficult to argue that religious barriers in the Jewish faith and racial barriers in Virginia and Arkansas were erected out of love. If it's not love, it's hate.

What's to prevent somebody getting married in a country that allows pologamy, incest, or 12 year-girls to marry, from claiming a marriage here?

There's a long and a short answer to this question.

The long answer is that a State can legally define marriage to be whatever they want, as long as they don't discriminate in a way that violates the Federal constitution (and their own.) There are many federal protections that a state ban on same-sex marriage violates, most notably the ability to travel (when a couple has a different status depending on where they live), and the right to be free from laws that treat people differently based on their religion, race, age, and gender without a really good reason.

Certainly in the case of incest, the states have a sufficiently important interest that you can look up in your friendly neighborhood a biology textbook, which is to discourage dangerous pregnancies. When you get more than two people, when you get entities who aren't people, when you get minors, then there are contractual issues, and there are concerns about consent and coercion. If there's a divorce from the second wife, does that mean the fourth wife has access to the child of the second wife? There are issues around who is it that makes the medical decisions in the time of crisis. There would be lots of family disruption issues, setting aside issues of coercion and consent and so on that just don't apply to two person marriages, when we're talking about two consenting adults who want to make that mutual commitment for as long as they shall be.

It is important to explain here that "religious objections" are not a "sufficiently important reason" as we learned from years of blocking pologamy, incest, and child brides. The law is based not on thoughts, beliefs, or feelings, but on objective outcomes.

Bans against same-sex marriage are illegal is because there is no sufficiently important reason for blocking same-sex marriages. There is no question of coercion or consent. There is no question of dangerous pregnancies. There are just two consenting adults who want to get - and stay - married. Nobody can justify that with what we know about families now.

The short answer is that asking this question is just juvenile. When two adults want to be married, it's not the state's responsibility to send morality police to lift up skirts to see what's dangling there. The only people who matter are the people getting married.

With the states arguing that male-female marriage is designed to support child rearing, could states bar elderly couples from marrying?

Suppose a 70-year-old mixed-sex couple comes in and they want to get married. You don't have to ask them any questions. You know they are not going to have any children together, biologically. No state steps in and prevents such a marriage, nor should it. Over-inclusiveness is not something you need to worry about. But the fact that they don't step in means that marriage is not just for having biological children. The reason this is relevant is because same-sex couples cannot have children together, biologically, either. So they can't ban one kind of marriage for one reason and not the other for the same reason.

What about my religious belief that marriage is between a man and a woman?

What about my religious belief that marriage is between two consenting adults? We have a tie. The U.S. Constitution helps break the tie. Over-inclusiveness is not something you need to worry about.