Obama: “I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.”

(youtube video has been disabled; view video on the ABC News site)

And with that, having an Obama bumper sticker on your car in the church parking lot just got that much more eyebrow-raising. And the election just got a lot more interesting.



  1. Aaron Brown says:


  2. Related video?

  3. Cynthia’s video post in #2 FT Epic W.

  4. Ah, so it’s not real conversation wanted. Noted.

  5. Ben S: I noticed you didn’t comment on my “Tips for teachers” post. Art thou focusing only on what thou dost not like?

    While we’re posting video responses, why not pitch my band’s anthem for the upcoming election season?

    Please, buy this album. Very few of you Bloggernaclers have made the purchase, so, let down.

  6. But Ben you have to admit, that Ghostbusters clip is pretty hilarious, notwithstanding.

  7. How fitting, as I was just about to put a fresh Obama 2012 sticker on my car. I live in a very blue state, so I get a lot of closeted liberal Mormons coming up to me during or after church, thanking me for being so open with my political views.

    If anything, this will help members who do support marriage equality to not feel like they’re the only ones in the church who feel this way (because they’re not… see http://mormonsformarriage.com ). An Obama sticker on a car in a church parking lot just became akin to a Gay Pride rainbow or a NOH8 sign.

    Also… Do you think Rush Limbaugh has ALREADY had a stroke over this? :)

  8. Chris Gordon says:

    Can the eyebrow be raised any higher? I’m no fan of the man, but I’m realistic enough to assume that the VAST majority of my fellow non-fans were ignorant to his until-now nebulous support of gay marriage and assumed as much anyway. Will my more uninformed brethren be any more repulsed? I doubt it.

  9. Of course, the real news here isn’t that Obama thinks gays should be able to get married. I’m sure we all assumed that. The news is that he gave a definitive statement on it, which he doesn’t do often about anything.

  10. John Taber says:

    My father, who served as a bishop, supports gay marriage as well. (I don’t, but with two lesbian aunts I’m sensitive about things like hospital visitation.) Anyway, my father’s views don’t disqualify him from being my father, or from holding any Church position.

    I do worry now that the one-noters (“Romney is against abortion, Obama is for it”) now have another note to sound off on.

  11. The Obama bumper sticker crowd will have to form an alliance with the libertarian bumper sticker crowd. Critical mass achieved.

  12. When the British PM (and leader of the Conservative Party) voiced support for gay marriage, there was a collective meh outside of the passionistas on this issue. Gay marriage is so obviously going to happen in the west that to fight an election on it in 2012 would be kind of sad. The one criticism of David Cameron was that with civil partnerships already secured for homosexuals, many moderate people think there are more pressing issues right now. Like the economy.

  13. Consider the President’s announcement meh-ed.

  14. I’m already looking for a dog to marry. Thanks Rick Santorum for the idea.

  15. Mark B. says:

    Re: the video in comment 5–someone forgot to add a “marriage equality” sign to the parade of solecism.

  16. Edward J says:

    As a person who believes that the Church will one day change its stance on gay marriage—as it has on miscegenation—I applaud Pres. Obama’s announcement. History shows that God has accomplished His work in the world partly through progressive social change, though it has not always seemed that way to many Church members at the time.

    For me, this issue is about love: gay folks’ love for each other and Church members’ love for gay people. “Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.” (1 John 4:11)

  17. “I’m already looking for a dog to marry.”

    Only one? And of which sex?

  18. Good for Obama. He’s going to be on the right side of History.

  19. If the end of days prophecies I heard as a kid turn out to be true [families divided against one another] I think this issue could very likely have something to do with it.

  20. “And the election just got a lot more interesting”

    Really? I think all this announcement does is help Obama with fundraising. All those for whom this is an issue have already taken sides.

  21. As far as the bumpersticker goes, it’s likely going to embolden knee-jerk anti-Obama rhetoric (bad) as well as simultaneously increase divisive attitudes (worse). That being said, the church has only made itself conspicuous on a very few issues including this one. This change in stance should be carefully considered by saints preparing to vote. Either the Quorun of the Twelve is wrong, or the President is wrong, or possibly both are wrong on this important issue.

    While this one issue is not a good litmus test, it shouldn’t be lightly looked over by saints as part of the political milieu, even though the President’s actual power on the issue is notably limited.

  22. Hey guys, remember the Proclamation on the Family?

  23. jimbob says:

    Call me cynical, but as I see it, the only newsworthy thing about this is that Biden effectively “outed” Obama (sorry about the pun). Biden goes on national news last weekend and speaks his mind on the issue, which then appeared to make the Obama cabinet “divided,” since Obama has always said he’s not for gay marriage. No one believed Obama when he wasn’t for it, but he said it. Thus, Biden created what was nominally a schism in the cabinet. Rather than deal with the lack-of-unity issue, though, Obama has decided to say now what everyone always assumed he already believed, but wasn’t saying before for political expediency: that he is in favor of gay marriage. And why? Because he’s decided that that issue is less damaging to his ability to win a re-election than is the appearance that he and his cabinet aren’t a united front.

    Or at least that’s how I see it.

  24. Good – now as soon as he is in favor of plural marriage I can see him as philosophically consistent rather than politically opportunistic. But this won’t be the reason I won’t vote for him — the $15 trillion deficit already convinced me of that.

  25. #21: Why does anyone have to be wrong? And how does the church (which is nonpolitical, mostly) taking a stand on one (incredibly) narrow issue mean that a member-citizen (who is political) should elevate that issue to some central significance? It isn’t that the church is choosing to not take stands on the actual important issues of governance because it thinks gay marriage is more important. It’s that those other things are outside of the bounds the church has set for itself. The fact that social conservative issues (gay marriage, gays in the military, legality of abortion etc) play major roles in campaigns in the US is just sad. Politicizing them almost always just overshadows any possibility of dealing with whatever legitimate societal problems might underlie them. It isn’t like women get abortions for fun… #1 reason for the decline of the family? It’s the economy, stupid. And was the family the way it was in the past really all that great? Other than for Wally and the Beaver? That’s the real problem the church and social conservatives in general have with arguing these issues–they have a hard time coming up with anything other than “God says so” (not that that isn’t a legitimate thing to argue, but in democratic politics it doesn’t get you far…) when confronted with the realities of how marriage has been in the past and is now. Sure, divorce is bad, but is making women slaves to abusive husbands better? Sure, abortion is bad, but is chaining women to the lives their rapists and defacto rapists (husbands, boyfriends on whom they depend for survival) choose for them better? Sure, a kid might be best off with a mom and a dad, but is two dads or two moms really worse than only one or none? Is it really better to have *more* people entering and exiting relationships willy-nilly than making those relationships legally binding?

    People are always saying “how bad things are getting.” Really? Because my life is great and everyone I know is richer, healthier, and has more latitude to choose for themselves between good and evil than ever before in human history. I can’t think of a single thing that is worse now in a general way than it was in the past, except for the state of the environment before man discovered fire. Even in the church, now we’re more serious about attending meetings, paying tithing, following the Word of Wisdom, temple work, genealogy, getting our youth to find out for themselves etc than we have every been before.

    You might think from this that I’m for Gay marriage. Actually, I’m not, but the reasons are rather dark and somewhat at odds with notions of humanity as beings with meaningful agency. I’ll just keep that to myself though.

  26. Geoff - A says:

    Eva 22. Tha proclamation says nothing about civil gay marriage. It does say marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God. Unless you can read between the lines that does not exclude gay marriage does it? If you start reading betwwen the lines you could also make it say it opposes working wives.

  27. Bush and Cheney were divided on the gay marriage issue, but no one seemed to care about that. And who ever believed that Barack Obama was really against gay marriage? And who takes anything Joe Biden says seriously?

    This changes nothing.

  28. Blake, for me, it’s the 2 trillion dollar war for no reason and GOP promises of nonsensical austerity that’s going to keep me voting democratic.

  29. I’m not entirely convinced that Mitt won’t flip on this issue if/when it becomes politically expedient.

  30. #25 you said it all and more. Everything I wanted to say but am too close to the issue to articulate without breaking down in tears. Excellent comment. For the record: I am absolutely in favor of Gay Marriage though. My sister is a married lesbian, and there has been no better example in my life of a loving marriage ever.

  31. O – Good on ya. I’m glad that you can so easily ignore the 4+ years that Obama has needlessly continued the Afghan war. But I suppose you’ll be selective about that inconvenient little fact, won’t ya? I guess you can join France and Greece in fighting austerity measures and say that it is really going to get the deficit under control by ignoring fiscal constraints. Frankly, I’ve never followed that argument because it is just bassackwards.

    Geoff re: 26: Straining at gnats? I suppose you could wrench the Proclamation that way. I suppose that Obama’s support for gay marriage is another reason for Mormons to ignore the prophet on this issue and vote for him in some people’s eyes.

  32. #5 BHodges, if I didn’t already have a copy I would buy your guys’ album just because of the video. Errant spelling on hand-made signs is great, but errant spelling on signs people paid to have made are the complete best. Although I must admit that my favorite was “No Pubic Option” hilarious!

  33. I trust that this change in Obama’s position will put to rest the Romney is a flip-flopper issue?

  34. 31 I am not voting for Obama or Romney, but you can absolutely bet I will ignore Monson on this issue. Even if one takes for granted that he is not speaking from his own mouth at all, it is not our business to tell consenting adults what to do with their lives when they are not harming anyone else.

  35. Well said and well admitted EOR — as for me and my house . . . .

  36. Exactly. If you don’t want to marry a gay person, you go right ahead.

  37. EOR so I suppose that you also support plural marriage and gang marriage and cousins marrying as well?

  38. I support what I said I support. Consenting adults who are not harming others. You’ll find no hypocrisy here friend.

  39. So do you support gang and plural marriages or not? Your dodge is noted but your profession of being straightforward (not a hypocrite) is not convincing when you dodge the logical questions that follow.

  40. How is it a dodge? If a plural marriage is a man and child brides no, but if 5 women decide they want to marry one man, and that one man wants to marry them then yes. It could not be more clear. I am against coercion or force, but otherwise it is not my place to tell (again) consenting adults who are not harming others who they can or cannot marry.

    I don’t know what a gang marriage is. If it fits my parameters then yes, if it doesn’t then no.

  41. EOR good on ya. I’ll bet Obama won’t be that consistent. I’d love him to be consistent and say that not only does he support one man and several women marrying or vice versa, but also lots of men and lots of women marrying each other (that’s gang marriage). His present stance is not political suicide – but being consistent on his stance and admitting that this is where the issue leads, certainly would be. I say go for it Obama!

  42. Blake, EOR answered your question directly and explicitly. Seriously.

    I don’t think this changes much of anything, and I think Biden’s statement pushed Pres. Obama to make his own statement. Those who are voting based on this issue (and others like abortion) aren’t the target audience for either candidate. Moderates and Independents are. I’m guessing Pres. Obama thinks there are more of them who will like this stance than those who will not. Simple politics, imo.

    Romney, otoh, to avoid a complete bloodbath at the GOP convention, couldn’t take the same stance even if he wanted to do so. I’m not saying he wants to do so, but he couldn’t regardless. SImple politics, imo.

  43. For all who think that this doesn’t change anything, I agree it doesn’t change Obama’s assumed position, it changes his explicit position on gay marriage. It takes away perhaps his most potent argument against Romney — that he is a flip flopper who changes positions. That is pretty significant in my book. I’m glad it happened.

  44. Chris Kimball says:

    For me personally: The President’s statement makes it more likely that I will contribute to his campaign for re-election. (My vote was never at issue.)
    On the political front: My prior is that only a very small minority are really “for” Mitt Romney, and that this election is almost all an up-or-down on the President. Given that view, I expect that almost no votes will change as a result of the President’s comments today. There may be a small shift in enthusiasm, both for and against (reference my comment about giving money), but nothing that would change votes.
    On the BCC or Mormon front, I have questions:
    (a) The Loyalty Test Question: The Church’s position that it will not recognize or sacrilize same-sex-marriages is pretty clear. But I thought the Church’s position on the law was not so clear that it constitutes a loyalty test. There are certainly strong opinions, and the Church has even put money into anti-SSM efforts, but it seems to me there is still plenty of room for individuals to support some kind of legal recognition for same-sex couples. Not so? Has there become a dividing line where civil union is OK, marriage-lite is OK, but “marriage” (civil law) is beyond the pale and cannot be countenanced by a loyal Mormon?
    (b) The Advice to Your Son Question: Suppose your adult son is gay, lives in Massachusetts, and you believe,with no serious doubts, that (a) marriage with a woman is never going to happen, (b) lifetime celibacy is not going to happen, and (c) his current (male) partner is a great guy, they are happy together, and they both want to be together for a very long indefinite future (some version of “forever”). In that case, do you recommend marriage? Civil marriage in Massachusetts? (I think this is an easy question–that is, I think almost everybody would recommend marriage.)
    Am I missing the Mormon zeitgeist on these questions?

  45. Tom O. says:

    Eva #22, the PoF is decidedly gauche in these here parts…

  46. Last I heard, the war in Heaven was about compulsion vs. agency. I chose agency, I will continue to do so. We have no right, indeed we CANNOT compel anyone to abide by our personal standards and beliefs. I’m 100% with EOR on this one. What in the world is wrong with consenting adults making their love legal? I can think of MANY more pressing concerns like crime and abuse and war, which DO take away others agency by taking away non-consenting adults and children inherit human rights.

  47. Golly, Blake’s reasoning is so blistering, so flawless, so intimidating that my small brain is reeling. Forget Obama—I’m not even sure what I believe anymore. Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.

  48. Aaron Brown says:

    “It takes away perhaps his most potent argument against Romney — that he is a flip flopper who changes positions. That is pretty significant in my book. I’m glad it happened.”

    Blake, I doubt this will play against Obama (or in Romney’s favor) in the way you’re suggesting. First of all, Romney’s flip-flops are perceived to be legion; that Obama changed his tune on one issue will hardly seem comparable. Second, the flip-flop charge is extremely important, and potentially deadly, when your political base is obsessed with ideological purity in the way that much of Romney’s seems to be this political season. Not so in Obama’s case. Plus, since he’s an incumbent, he’s not an unknown quantity at the presidential level. Romney is.

  49. Tom O, what does the PoF say about legalizing gay marriage again? We’re all to busy hating on it to bother reading it, so you faithful folks will have to refresh our memories.

  50. EOR, don’t feed the trolls, no matter how lifelike their hair seems.

  51. #37: Blake,
    Most States let cousins marry. If I married my cousin, I don’t think anyone would care.

  52. Bob, don’t sweat it if you can’t follow the diamond-cutting logic. It doesn’t make sense to me either, but my moral compass has been long compromised by my friendship with canadian gay mormon polygamists (that’s actually not a joke either). I’m surprised I can distinguish dark from light (much less Obama’s from Romney’s deficit reduction plans).

  53. comment lover says:

    Brad’s #50! I want to gay marry this comment.

  54. Blake, gang marriage? Google only yielded bike gang marriage.

  55. comment lover,
    That comment’s actually spoken for, so you’d have to settle (assuming you’re philosophically consistent) for polygamously gay marrying it (or gang-gay marrying it, in Blake’s parlance).

  56. BHodges,
    I think Blake might be referring to Sharks marrying Jets, a well attested consequence of casting aside traditional marriage norms.

  57. Sharks and Jets, lol!

  58. I think our country turned a corner today, and I don’t think it was a corner turned in the right direction.
    (And just so you understand that I do have some standing to make this statement — I have a GLBT daughter and a GLBT neice.)

  59. #58 that reminds me of “I’m not racist, I have black friends.”

    Why is it a wrong direction to mind business, not judge, and support equal rights and civil liberties? Just curious.

  60. I’ve been fascinated to watch “gay-marry” turn into a compound verb, so now I can only hope that “gang-marry” might get the same treatment; e.g., “You godless liberals just want to gang-marry some Pixy Stix.”

  61. #58:Alece ,
    Do you think (I don’t know them), any law on the books is going to stop their relationship(s).
    You can’t outlaw loving another.

  62. Brad: I’m not real surprised that you’re not following the logic — modus operandi and all of that from past dealings. Really, you can’t see that it follows that if consenting adults can do whatever they want without damage to a third party that group marriage and polygny don’t follow? Hold it, I forget, you cannot reason civilly with anyone who disagrees with you. Oh hold it, did I say gang instead of group? I can see how that changes everything so that yo just couldn’t follow. Let me see how many ways I can become an offender for a word to avoid the issue. I of course meant meant group and whatever gang of room mates seeking a tax break you could get together.

  63. Mommie Dearest says:

    TomO #45, with respect, you don’t speak for me when you call the PoF gauche here; I don’t think that at all. I believe it and apply it in my own life and I do my best to judiciously encourage it in the lives of my children, where I have some stewardship and a vested interest, but ever diminishing authority to govern. I don’t insist that everyone else apply it as I do, and I don’t presume to tell people with the challenges to creating relationships that gay folks have how to go about that. I would rather see their lives more sober and stable and less degenerate or hedonistic. I cannot begin to tell them how that is to be done in this world’s current moral climate. I think it best to encourage their ideal, but otherwise get out of their way as they navigate their difficulties.

  64. el oso says:

    I believe this will hurt Obama in at least 1 important swing state, Florida. The biggest consequence of this will be if the Obama campaign publicly emphasizes this new policy. As one previous commenter said, this is not a high priority issue in most people’s minds. The economy and related issues are much more important. Why raise this issue now? It distracts from more important issues, unless he really wants to push it in some way. When his two biggest policies (the stimulus and Obamacare) are already disliked, he should focus on the bigger problems in the country.

  65. Blake, I wish Obama would get us out of Afghanistan too. The fact remains that he started neither war, and it was a republican president, acting very republican, who started both wars and decided not to focus on the one that actually mattered in some sense. I wish Obama would have done some things differently, but compared to the GOP alternatives, I prefer someone whose orientation–often stymied by the political situation–is towards policies based on science and established economic/social/etc theory. The other side offers me ignorance-based policies (denial of climate change, evolution, the “failure of European-style socialism”), fear-based policies (immigration, Iran, the gay menace), and a tendency to favor the interests of the owners of capital and “efficiency” over all other values, including equity, fairness, the rule of law, and making sure everyone has food in their belly whether they are deserving or not. This is the twenty-first century, and our choices are between more than “the road to Godless socialism” and “freedom and liberty” as the GOP would have us believe. We’ve got a good thing going in the industrialized world, and all I hear from the GOP is how we should be dismantling the foundations of that progress and going back to a golden age I don’t believe ever existed for anyone but landed, disease-free white males who got off on bossing other people around. I know Mitt is smart enough to do some serious policymaking, but what he is telling me he would do is pander to right-wing extremists who don’t seem even to know who builds the roads they drive on.

    I would be more OK with gay marriage (or whatever they want to call it) if all tax benefits associated with marriage were removed in lieu of child support tax credits only. The whole married-filing-jointly thing seems pretty antiquated at this point anyway when there aren’t kids involved.

  66. #64 I agree that same sex marriage should not even be an issue. It should just be legalized and that will be the end of it.

    Good thing my candidate has always been for it. That way economic concerns, and other equally important issues can be addressed.

  67. Christian J says:

    Social Conservatives gave Obama credit for his gay marriage waffling? They’re now going to decide that they don’t like him?

  68. Alece, I’m curious what you mean by “standing” to say something, and how you think standing is conferred by having gay relatives. Are you saying that because of the closeness, you happen to know that they agree with you? Are you simply demonstrating that you clear some minimum bar of informedness (i.e. you aren’t someone who has never (knowingly) known a gay person in their life)? I’m not sure that clearing that extremely minimum bar really confers any “standing” to dictate how all the gays you haven’t met should live their lives. If you are detecting some skepticism in these questions, that is correct. But I hope I’m also conveying a certain sense of sincere curiosity as to what you intended that statement to mean, because I sincerely feel like I’m missing some foundational assumptions or frames of reference for interpreting that–it just doesn’t make sense to me. But it obviously makes sense to you, so I’m trying to understand it.

  69. #66 – “Good thing my candidate has always been for it.”

    Who is your candidate? I can’t remember you ever saying, so I’m curious.

  70. Ray 69 Rocky Anderson.

  71. Possibly even more interesting: Harry Reid agrees.

  72. Mr. Independent says:

    The only solution to this dilemma is to get government out of the business of marriage entirely. Why do we as a society believe we need a license from government commit our lives to the one or ones we love? If we could accomplish this then so called “Gay Marriage” would not be an issue. Because it would be consenting adults committing to each other. The religious folks of the world could also bring their god into their relationship with their spouse or spouses and who would care what the non religious would do without bringing in god to their relationship.

    Civil laws would only need to be there to enforce contractual agreements in the courts. The inheritance laws and tax laws would also need to be changed so there was no “marriage penalty” and if the deceased dies without a will the property would be divided as each state legislature decided it would be divided as it is now.

    This decision of Obama to come out of the closet will affect him in some swing states like FL and OH two essential states for the GOP. I agree with most other posters on this thread most people who really knew Mr. Obama knew it was only political expediency for his public position on this before this announcement today.

  73. Independent, because the consent involved in a marriage is non-obvious as to third-party claimants to property unless made a part of some sort of public record. Litigating a private contract in the courts for every marriage is frankly, a much more cumbersome system than a government licensing scheme. So who is entitled to make a public record of their marriage becomes an issue. Inheritance laws already specify how property is to be distributed without a will and there is a presumption that the bulk of it goes to a spouse, if any.

  74. Alece #58
    Just because you gave birth to a gay girl, it gives you no standing.
    It’s the same as saying : ” Gay marriage is wrong, but I’m not a homophobe, I have some very good gay friends!” Because, No you do not.

  75. Peter LLC says:

    Good – now as soon as he is in favor of plural marriage I can see him as philosophically consistent rather than politically opportunistic.

    A cobbler should stick to his last.

  76. Within the church, I think a big part of this issue comes down to how you view the concept of SSA:
    1. It comes as part (nature/nurture) of the fallen world we live in, and is one of the difficult trials many people have to endure or overcome in order to become more like our Father in Heaven.
    2. It’s part of your divine nature and potential that when embraced will enable you to become more like our Father in Heaven.

    I’m not suggesting these are the only two tension points, as there is certainly the libertarian, “live and let live” perspective, but that perspective does not cause so much tension between people in position #1 and #2.

    If #1 is true, then many people will be accountable for leading others in difficult situations astray and telling them those feelings or desires God wishes them endure and/or overcome are actually desires which should be embraced. Difficult elements of some people’s lives, which God intends them to overcome and come to a greater knowledge of redemption from our fallen statement through becoming one with Christ. This very personal aspect of their own personal plan of salvation would be completely neglected because of the persuasions of others that light is really dark. A significant learning experience is thwarted where a person may never get to fully experience the changing power of the atonement because of what legions of others tell them. What a terrible situation to be in, as on who seeks to convince someone that something God wants them to overcome is actually something to be embraced.

    If #2 is true, then many people, including the prophets and apostles of the last 100 years or more, will be held accountable for denying the divine nature and potential which God plants in some of his children. Further, how sad and terrible it would be to tell someone that their feelings of love, which not originate with or resemble Christ at all. A learning and growing experience through life and love would be thwarted, because some SSA individuals mistakenly struggled in vain to put off the natural man through the atonement of Christ after being persuaded by biased and/or bigoted people (including prophets and apostles). Also this is a terrible situation to be in, as it would involve those in authority leading the church and world astray.

    I think #2 is highly unlikely because virtually any feeling or tendency can be explained this way — “God made me this way, these desires are good and should be embraced within reason.” Truly, any time we can devise a system which allows us to embrace our fallen state while still maintaining a worship towards God we think it to be a wonderful thing. Paradigm #2 further seems unlikely, when the Plan of Salvation is taken into account — God is our Father and his work is organized for us to become like Him, which means shedding or forsaking those thoughts, actions, feelings that do not reflect who he is.

  77. MikeInWeHo says:

    Re: 74
    That’s probably true. You may have some polite gay acquaintances, though.

  78. Ya’ll be nice to Alece (not that anyone is being super mean). I kind of like having her around. Feel free to be mean to Blake, though.

  79. #76 are you suggesting that Prophets and Apostles have never been wrong?

    Even taking for granted that what you say is correct (which I don’t) this all boils down to what people are allowed to do in this country. I would never personally have an abortion but I’m absolutely Pro-Choice. I would never personally marry someone of the same sex but I believe in allowing others to do as they please. (I gagged when you called it a “Libertarian” policy–as if they had a corner on free agency). I simply take the admonition to judge not lest I be judged seriously. I don’t want my agency to be impeded and I won’t do it to others. The fact that I happen to believe that people who are attracted to those of the same sex are made that way is even irrelevant to my feelings regarding their rights.

  80. The way he parsed it will allow him to tell LCGTG that he supports gay marriage, and then turn around and tell blacks (a large percentage are opposed to gay marriage) that that’s just his own opinion. Taking a page out of the Clinton playbook.

  81. I believe this is an election year ploy. I have no doubt if he gets re-elected he will spin it, smack it up, flip it, rub it down oh noooooo. It is going to take a real progressive for this type of change at the federal level. I would take the honoring of a state’s decision to legalize it, and mandating that other states recognize a legally binding marriage from another state as a major win though. In my mind not only is that not asking for too much, but it is certainly asking for less than is deserved.

  82. It was very kind of EOR and Alece to both bring up their close homosexual relatives, because that is always good entertainment. Someone in favor of homosexual couples marrying will cite their experience with relatives or close friends, often opining that those opposed to such unions are just afraid of things they know nothing about. Then some Pete Knight comes along, and we get to hear that he or she is a terrible person who hates her daughter and has no standing in the matter.

  83. 82 John Mansfield my feelings on civil rights pre-date my sister telling me she was a lesbian. The experience has enhanced my views, not created them. By your logic only those who don’t know a homosexual can be in favor of homosexuals marrying.

    Name one good reason to be opposed to same sex marriage without invoking your religious beliefs (since this is not a theocracy) and I will refrain from thinking you are a homophobe.

    Also, Alece is against same sex marriage despite her close ties. You may want to read more closely.

  84. #76

    Yes it is not like prophets have been on identity based social issues before…teaching (what we have retrospectively interpreted as) their personal opinion from the pulpit and creating first-line theologies to explain why God is denying the crowning temple blessings to someone because of a genetic trait. If the scriptures are correct the prophets and apostles will be responsible for their successes and mistakes in their appointed roles and spheres. I respect them for that. It is hard to imagine bearing such a burden. However, each of us is just as responsible in our own sphere. I for one take that responsibility seriously. My heart and soul tell me that #2 is the most likely scenario and I feel conscious bound to act and when asked say so respectfully. The leadership has already shifted significantly on their basic understanding of what homosexuality is. I don’t see why another shift is impossible. This mortality thing is hard for them and for us.

  85. It’s a very interesting turn of events. Obama is being forthright, which is essentially anti-political. It could lose him the election. But… he must be admired for his public courage.

  86. I think this is going to hurt Obama’s chances of winning the Mormon vote.

  87. This was good for him to do as it helps Romney’s chances. Those who would not support Romney and even castigated him are now fully on board. I have heard many statements from very critical (thinking of voting third party) SoCon Republicans suddenly say, “Get ready to campaign for Romney!”

  88. I agree that Alece deserves to be treated a bit more civilly. I don’t personally think having or not having gay relatives strengthens or weakens one’s stance (or standing) but (unlike, say, Blake) she’s done nothing to deserve scorn.

    Blake, get over yourself. You’re not some offender-for-the-word martyr, and you’re not being treated uncivilly because you disagree with someone. You’re being treated this way because here, like every other time you’ve ever commented at this site) you’re acting like a pompous, self-important ass. Of course a civil libertarian argument for gay marriage could also be reasonably applied to other outlying marital arrangements. But Obama didn’t appeal to libertarian logic or even a rights-based argument. Its entirely possible (and philosophically consistent) to believe that marriage should be based on mutual commitment grounded in romantic love between consenting adults, to believe that this should include same sex (or sexually ambiguous) couples, and still believe that it should be monogamous. In fact, since commitments to abstract goods and ideals in politics often bump up against and even conflict with or are balanced against one another, it’s technically possible for one’s support of gay marriage to be grounded in some form of libertarian reasoning and _still_ retain a commitment to marriage as a monogamous institution.

  89. I don’t think there’s any question that Casey and Jettboy are correct here: this will help Romney and hurt Obama with social conservatives.

  90. Obama is pandering in an election year. Plain and simple. A totally orchestrated event. He used Biden and LaHood’s statements as coverage to make it appear he was “forced” to take this stand. He’s trying to create differences with Romney that will be inflection points for independent voters.

    The culture wars are always such fun.

  91. Brad 89 I can’t imagine Social Conservatives were going to vote for Obama anyway. I don’t think this will do significant damage. I think it may help Romney in the sense that people may vote for him instead of either staying home or voting for a third party. However, while I believe Romney has the best chance against Obama of anyone the GOP has been offering I still don’t think he stands a chance. I guess we will have to see how the election plays out.

    Jettboy’s comment is the very reason I poo-poo people who act like pro or anti on this subject is no big deal. He is right, and it makes me extremely sad so I must double my efforts as a pro.

  92. Sorry, mixed up my Illinois pols now in the Cabinet – meant Arne Duncan not Ray LaHood. Point is nothing happens in the Obama White House without prior planning. They are a tight lipped well coordinated group.

  93. Edward J says:

    rah 84

    You took my breath away! You expressed how I feel better than I could have said it myself.

  94. it's a series of tubes says:

    76, thanks for your elaboration of points 1 and 2. They crystallized some thoughts I had been muddling through.

    It’s disappointing to see people on both sides of this issue paint the other side as either “homophobes” or “apostates”, depending on which side of the issue they favor. Surely if we are going to take the President at his word and allow some nuance in his views, we can do the same for each other.

  95. Brad: When it comes to self-absorbed and self-important asses, I suggest getting out a mirror and taking a good look. Wink at yourself while you’re at it so you can keep up the self deception you’ve so wonderfully mastered. I can’t imagine someone with your education making such a poor argument. The argument from romantic love could justify any relations at all among any group and number of people who want to get hitched at all –and even pedophilia (and no I’m not saying all gays are pedophiles so don’t go there — I’m saying that your argument from romantic love would logically justify it).

    Obama is not being consistent with what he previously stated. He is pandering and cow-towing and changing a view he explicitly held. What hurts Obama is not that social conservatives won’t vote for him (they never would), but that he is now the flip-flopper, he will make those who were somewhat interested think again and those who care to listen to a prophet will change their minds. Have you ever written a post supportive of the prophet or church?

    But like I said, he won’t get my vote because he has proved to be a fiscal disaster. I’m still stunned that Obama supporters don’t get that the massive federal deficit is the defining issue and all that Obama has done has exacerbated a problem that he still doesn’t have the integrity to take accountability for after 4 years.

  96. #79
    >>are you suggesting that Prophets and Apostles have never been wrong?

    When it comes to an issue of this magnitude, yes. But I don’t base my opinion solely on that fact, rather it’s credence to what I already know about the plan of salvation.

    >>(I gagged when you called it a “Libertarian” policy–as if they had a corner on free agency)… I don’t want my agency to be impeded and I won’t do it to others.

    Errr… that second sentence describes libertarian principles pretty well. But perhaps you’re shy of terms or labels is understandable. It wasn’t an attempt to smear someone but I was using pure libertarian free will as more of a philosophical concept than political one.

    >>I simply take the admonition to judge not lest I be judged seriously.

    That is admirable (if true). It’s also important on issues where the Lord has spoken through his prophets to be willing to judge righteous judgement. If you fee unqualified to judge righteous judgement on a particular issue, or lack further light and knowledge I think your “judge not” position is a good one to fall back on. But claiming to “judge not” while actively judging the positions of the leadership of the church seems a bit…odd. Make no mistake, you are actively making judgements on this issue. Stand by them and don’t pretend that you’re not making judgements.

  97. prior planning is, like, totally gay says:

    Alain, well I’ll be jingoed! A President and his staff doing nothing without prior planning! It makes me miss those free-wheeling, flying by pant seatin’ early 2000s. I miss me some spontaneous military adventures and gestures. A time of romance, it was.

  98. Mark B. says:

    I try to resist my inclination to comment on people’s spelling in blog comments, but “cow-towing” can’t pass without conjuring up the Griswold clan in the Wagon Queen Family Truckster dragging a poor animal to death–it’s just a bigger animal this time.

  99. Wondering says:

    Do you support, affiliate with or agree with, any group or individual whose teachings or practices are contrary or oppose those accepted by the church? If you are pro-gay marriage, are you a mormon who supports, affiliates with or agrees with a group or individual whose teaches and/or practicing something expressly opposed by the church as set forth in Handbook 2, 21.4.5, 21.4.6, and 21.4.10? If so, are you honest enough to turn in your temple recommend? Don’t shoot the questioner. Just wondering how an LDS member who is pro-gay marriage can advocate for something that is clearly and unambiguously contrary to a teaching or practice accepted by the church. It doesn’t mean you forfeit your membership in the church, but I don’t see how one can make a reasonable argument that says he/she can support gay marriage and still hold a temple recommend.

  100. Christian J says:

    Blake, pertaining to actual policy – Obama has been the most pro gay rights president in history. What he’s flip flopped on here is nothing more than his personal opinion. There’s no new initiative rolling out.. Romney on the other hand has given me no indication how he’ll lead in terms of real policy – on ANY issue. What evidence do conservatives have that he won’t revert back to his liberal MA Gov policies? He has no other legislative experience to speak of.

  101. #99 Wondering: Do the Democratic or Republican parties support the right of people to smoke or drink if they want? Smoking and drinking are practices which are contrary to the teachings of the Church. Do you affiliate with the Democratic or Republican parties? Then are you supporting, affiliating, or agreeing with a group whose teachings or practices are contrary or oppose those accepted by the Church?

    Those who advocate for a marriage equality law are not advocating anything that is against the Church. The Church’s teachings and standards are clear. However, this nation is not filled with only members of the Church, and things must be run in a way that is the best for the entirety of the nation, not just a single group.

  102. Wondering, does your views on immigration square with Church teaching? We know Romney’s doesn’t. Should he hand in his recommend?

  103. I don’t hold a Temple Recommend, so I guess I’m OK in agreeing with Obama and Joe Biden.

  104. CTJ 102 – No, but he should probably repent if he’s actually in favor of preventing charitable treatment of immigrants and I hope he receives light on this subject because it’s an issue where many are going astray. For the record, I do think there is a very fine line where you can come down in favor have strict immigration controls, but I don’t agree with it. I agree there are similarities with both issues, but probably not where you see it. I see well meaning people on the SSA side leading others astray in the name of kindness and love. I see well meaning people on the immigration issue leading others astray preventing kindness and love — it doesn’t help that the immigration issue is thrown in the mixed of a broken system where the border is screwed up, hospitals are overcrowded and bankrupt, etc. etc.

    But those in the church who are in favor of expanding the concept of marriage to cover homosexual unions are wrong, just as those who would seek to prevent charitable treatment of immigrants are wrong.

  105. Wondering says:

    Arkholt and CTJ – if the question doesn’t apply to SSM or WOW or Immigration, then to what is the question referring? What does it mean to support, affiliate with or agree with? Just wondering out loud. If President Monson was asking that question to you, and you said you wholeheartedly support SSM and all others who support SSM initiatives, do you think he would sign off on your recomend?

  106. CTJ: You not accurate about Romney’s position being contrary to the Church’s on immigration. Romney supports self-deportation and not allowing employers to hire illegal aliens. That does square with Church policy. Self deportation is another term for the government won’t have to do it because economic factors will take care of it. Here is Romney’s platform on immigration: http://www.mittromney.com/issues/immigration. Perhaps you could show where his views differ from those of the Church on this issue. You assert it without showing any real substantial disagreement at all.

    Christian: Your failure to know where Romney stands is due to your lack of looking at what he has put in black and white and committed himself to do: http://www.mittromney.com/issues

  107. Mark B — I meant the double entendre with cowtow and kowtow. Obama is towing cows.

  108. @ 99 Wonderling — I read that question primarily as “Are you now or have you ever been a communist or anti-mormon”. But even if you interpret that question broadly, I uphold the church’s teachings that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained by God; my support for gay marriage rests entirely on civic and humanitarian reasoning, which I am free to decide per church doctrine. I disagree with the church’s political stances against gay marriage and will not take part in them, but I don’t believe I’ve ever been commanded to do so, and I accept the church’s freedom to involve itself in political causes if it wants. Furthermore I don’t advocate for gay temple marriage, although it wouldn’t bother me if it ever happened. So, yeah, no real problems there as I see things.

  109. You know, one can believe that homosexuality is wrong and a sin, and still believe that gay marriage is OK and should be legalized. Gay people aren’t likely to try to get Temple Recommends.

    Most people who are opposed to gay marriage simply don’t like homosexuality at all, or homosexuals. They’ve made the issue a moral one, when the issue of gay marriage is really just a legal issue. Should gay people be accorded the same legal rights as married straight people? Of course they should.

  110. And if Pres. Monson every asked me that question for a recommend interview, I’d tell him my beliefs and let him decide.

  111. The question is designed to find out if you are affiliating with polygamist groups.

  112. annegb5298 says:

    I don’t support gay marriage as a vague, not-personally-meaningful, concept. But then I remember my nephew and his partner, whom I adore. And my other gay friends. And I’m stumped.

  113. Christian J says:

    Blake, Mitt has been contradicting the *black and white* on a regular basis for some time now. That’s the point. I don’t know which Mitt to believe!

  114. #105 Wondering: Affiliating with people who oppose the Church is not the same as affiliating with people who have different religious and political beliefs.

    If Pres. Monson, or anyone, asked me if I affiliated with someone who opposed the Church, and they brought same-sex marriage into it, I’d quote them section 134 of the Doctrine and Covenants: “…all governments have a right to enact such laws as in their own judgments are best calculated to secure the public interest; at the same time, however, holding sacred the freedom of conscience… human laws being instituted for the express purpose of regulating our interests as individuals and nations, between man and man; and divine laws given of heaven, prescribing rules on spiritual concerns, for faith and worship, both to be answered by man to his Maker… We do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil government, whereby one religious society is fostered and another proscribed in its spiritual privileges, and the individual rights of its members, as citizens, denied.” I think it’s pretty clear what the Church stance on government is.

  115. You can only believe what Mitt or other politicians say… after the election.

  116. Wow, being attacked so viciously in public is so undignified. I mean, I’m not saying I feel like I’ve been straight-up taken down, but I’m definitely feeling like my leg has been aggressively humped. But seriously, Blake, it requires a very special combination of intellectual over-confidence and sheer stupidity to construe “marriage should be based on mutual commitment grounded in romantic love between consenting adults” as an “argument from romantic love” that would include pedophilia. I didn’t even actually argue that romantic love and commitment should be a defining feature of marriage (though if I did, that would hardly qualify me as unusual, radical, or even progressive); rather I “argued” that using such a conception of marriage as the basis for extending civil access to same sex couples is philosophically compatible with a sustained commitment to defining marriage monogamously.

    Also, I know you are but what am I infinity.

  117. Wondering says:

    Suppose you know of a group who encourages people to smoke, says smoking is good for you, children ought to be smoking, etc. And you draw a line in the sand, and ask those to support, agree with or affiliate with that group to step on one side of the line, and all others to step on the other side. I think if you step on the side of the pro-smoking group, you’ve just answered the temple recommend question, even though you, as an individual, don’t smoke. Maybe the SSM issue is the same. This doesn’t seem to be the church getting involved in political issues. When you read the church handbook language, it is a fundamental doctrinal issue. By the way, I think we often claim the question is meant to ferret out any polygamist leanings, but if that were the case, the question wouldn’t have been made so broad. It would have been very simple to ask “Do you support, affliate with or agree with those who practice polygamy.”

  118. Wondering says:

    Oops – “and ask those “who” support, agree”

  119. #117, not quite. One may think smoking is a sin, and still applaud a government which allows its constituents to smoke. My rights as a non-smoker should be equal to someone’s rights as a smoker, as long as they don’t impinge on each other’s rights.

  120. Wondering: Again, saying that someone has a right to do something does not necessarily mean that you believe that they ought to do it. If there was a group that said smoking was good for you, no I wouldn’t support it (one on scientific and medical grounds, and two on moral grounds). By the same token, I don’t support groups that say the Church ought to allow gays to be married in the temple. Those who are supporting marriage equality aren’t saying that, however. They’re saying they ought to have a right to be married if they want to. It would be supporting the public interest to allow that. Section 134 says that our laws ought to reflect the public interest. Therefore, I’m supporting groups that support things that are in line with Church doctrine. Where’s the problem?

  121. “Gay people aren’t likely to try to get Temple Recommends.”

    I know lots of gay people who hold temple recommends… Just sayin’…

  122. What happened to the kind of conservatism that had as a goal the idea of fitting inevitable social change into existing institutions, thus co-opting the more radical elements of the change and ensuring the survival of time-tested institutions? From this perspective fitting gay relationships into the hoary institution of marriage would be a conservative triumph, as the institution of marriage is strengthened and re-legitimized.

    And Blake, o/t but many of us do not see the federal deficit as a central defining issue because it is largely a function of the automatic stabilizers independent of the political will of Obama or anyone else; every dollar of federal deficit adds net financial assets to the private sector which is still struggling; the Treasury is currently borrowing at negative real interest rates; the U.S is sovereign in its own currency and presents no default risk; and a deflationary economy with massive unused capacity such as ours gives the government lots of room to print money without causing inflation.

  123. Wondering says:

    I said group, not government. And that may be the difference. We keep pointing to what the government may do. That is separate and distinct, and we do believe in being subject to magistrates and so forth. We vote our conscience. But the question focuses on non-government groups and individuals. If I were Chinese, I could answer the question the question in the negative even though my country advocates abortion. As a US citizen, I live in a country that has said (for now) that abortion under certain conditions is legal. But that doesn’t mean I support, agree with or affiliate with those groups or individuals that are pro-abortion.

  124. it's a series of tubes says:

    In this debate, I am reminded of the aphorism I once heard that applies to so much of internet discussion, regardless of the side you take:

    “You can’t use logic to change someone’s mind on an opinion that they did not use logic to arrive at.”

  125. Brad: Sigh, I just wonder when you’re going to grow up. Sticks and stones . . . .

    DCL: If you think that every dollar of deficit adds net financial assets to the private sector, then I suggest that you don’t understand at all that every dollar spent by the government has to come from the private sector in the first place and has to be taken by coercive force. Further, the dollars don’t go to the private sector but to debt . . . let me say it again, when we spend in a deficit dollars go to foreign debt. The fact that trillions of dollars ges taken later rather than sooner doesn’t change that. Haven’t you learned anything from post-world war I history and the current European economic crisis — or the Swedish and Japanese crisis in the 90s? Have you seen the projected rate of growth of the debt? This is very serious and a head in the sand and refusal to heed economic reality is our worst enemy right now.

  126. “when we spend in a deficit dollars go to foreign debt.”

    What a remarkably ignorant claim to make. 

  127. How does a map of existing foreign debt substantiate the claim that all dent is foreign debt (that every dollar of deficit spending increases foreign debt)?

  128. Sorry to continue the o/t, but foreign ownership of US Treasuries represents about 28% of the total outstanding and is a function of our trade imbalances. Foreigners buy treasuries as a safe place to park the dollars we give them in exchange for real goods and services. Otherwise their dollars sit in the equivalent of checking accounts with the Fed as bank deposits. The U.S. holds most of the power in this relationship because it has the latitude to choose whether to satisfy these obligations with strong dollars or weak dollars. I think that “net financial assets” is a term of art that you missed, meek.

  129. meek, your comments betray a staggering ignorance of the basic nature of debt, money, investment, currency, sovereignty, and international capital markets.

  130. Brad: I didn’t claim wasn’t that all debt is foreign debt. When we have debt spending, an increasingly large portion of funds spent by the government go to pay interest on the debt (you do remember the concept of interest, right?). Only about 42% of current debt is foreign — hold it, did I say 42%? Yes, when the debt is over $15 trillion that is a whopping amount to be sending to foreign investors. To see how the debt increases under Obama and into the future, check this out: http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/story/Government-Debt-Graphic/39255812/1

  131. Brad, nevertheless, Blake’s and meeks’ views are shared by a large swath of political leaders and economic commentators. I think that presenting the counterarguments positively rather than just pointing out that they are wrong is more satisfying, but I question whether continuing that conversation on this thread is the best way to do it.

  132. “I think that presenting the counterarguments positively rather than just pointing out that they are wrong is more satisfying…”

    That’s an admirable strategy. :)

  133. To contribute something more on the actual topic from me, I see Obama’s gradual and evolutionary embrace of gay rights within the institution of marriage as further evidence for how he actually fits into the broader conservative tradition after the manner of Burke, Oakeshott and even Buckley. This is why I continue to think that someone like Obama can actually preserve important American institutions against the revolutionary fundamentalism (i.e. not conservatism) of the current republican party.

  134. Antonio Parr says:

    Although hesitant to do anything on BCC other than to give a “thumbs up” to the many, many posts that expand my vision and move me to be a better person . . .

    The apparent disdain by many BCC regulars for the LDS Church’s teachings regarding sexual morality lead me to the following questions: .

    – Is it the provence of the Church to speak about moral issues related to sex?
    – Should the Church make proclamations about pre-maritial sex, or pornography, or extra-marital sex, or same-sex relations?
    – Does God care about how we use our reproductive powers? If so, should the Church speak to such issues?

  135. Indeed, DCL. Obama’s presidency so far fits within a longstanding American political tradition. We are constantly reforming, but we do it very conservatively.

  136. I just love it when politics and religion mix — it really brings out the best in everyone.

  137. Antonio Parr says:

    (re: Obama as flip-flopper: won’t stick. His prior announcement of “evolving” views about same-sex marriage have always been understood to be a declaration of the inevitability of his now public position that he supports gay marriage. Plus, he is so very, very smooth . . . )

  138. Jacob H. says:

    Wondering #99,

    I am affiliated with a university that clearly has teachings opposed to those accepted by the church. Can I therefore ever answer no? The question is kind of a catch-all that I believe was originally designed to catch post-manifesto (2nd manifesto?) polygamy supporters, but is so useful as a form of social control that it remains.

  139. (@Brad (now deleted), that was uncalled for.)

  140. I think turning a comment thread on gay marriage into a debate over sovereign debt is a indicates a thorough nuking of the fridge. So I guess that happened way back at #24…

  141. And I is also am thinks I should proofread my comments better.

  142. Antonio Parr says:

    Brad: No insults of any kind intended. To the extent they came across that way, I apologize, and all unintended negative inferences are withdrawn.

    But I remain curious: some/many/most BCC’ers seem to be of the opinion that the Church’s teachings about homosexuality and/or same-sex marriage are simply wrong, and that homosexual relations are morally indistinguishable from heterosexual relations. For those who hold this position, is the Church correct in speaking about sexual expression, but happened to have missed the mark on this particular issue?; should the Church refrain altogether from making statements regarding private sexual expression?; what is the proper role of the Church as it relates to matters of human sexuality?

    No trolling here. Although my viewpoints regarding this issue are probably more conservative than many on BCC (a) I have no difficulty respecting the perspectives of those with whom I am in occasional disagreement, and I am curious as to how those who are critical of the Church’s position regarding same-sex marriage see the role of the Church with respect to such issues; and (b) with certain limitations, I am open to persuasion.

  143. Wondering says:

    Jacob H – “affiliate – to bring into close association, to be united with” “group – a number of persons or things ranged or considered together as being related in some way.” I assume you mean you are employed by a university. I don’t think that’s affiliated, or that a university is a “group.” I know we’re splitting hairs, but it’s the same kind of difference between “government” and groups and individuals. I offered my line in the sand analogy because I thought of the refrain “Who’s on the Lord’s side, who…?” Each of us has to make those personal decisions where we work, who we hang out with, who we sympathize with. I don’t work for gambling interests or in a place that sells tobacco or liquor or in the porn industry. I don’t question or challenge a member of the church that does. It’s their business. But I think the temple recommend question is worth mulling over in one’s head as we try to figure out which side of the line we stand with respect to SSM. And if a church member wants to pick the SSM side, then okay. But I expect them to stand up and be counted, then let the chips fall where they may. At the end of the day, I’m most comfortable siding with 15 prophets, seers and revelators.

  144. 144 Wondering you seem to be laboring under the idea that “The Lord’s side” is Anti-Gay Marriage. I contend you have no basis to believe that is so. The Church has been wrong before so you should really not get your panties in a bunch when people think it is wrong again.

  145. @Atonio #143

    Personally I don’t have an overarching theory on church involvement in sexual expression, but my approach on gay marriage keeps in mind how much the church has changed its stance on issues like miscegenation and birth control, along with the very nature of family itself through polygamy. Not to mention changing approaches toward issues like black people/priesthood and statements about evolution. The historical approach doesn’t necessarily say “Gay marriage is the future!” but it does let me say, “I personally believe it’s right, society is moving in a direction that says it’s right, and historically the church has followed societal norms to a greater extent than its regular discourse admits.” So even if the church never embraces gay marriage, it may come to tolerate it. If not, at least I know that historically there’s been space for some faithful disagreement in spite of folks who have tried to deny that space.

  146. Re: Obama as flip-flopper: I think the President looks just fine in flip-flops. http://www.styleite.com/media/obama-flip-flops/

  147. They sell flip flops with Mitt Romney’s face on them. That would be noteworthy footwear I suppose.

  148. I personally like taking money from foreigners and then paying them back at ridiculously low rates of return that amount to paying them negative interest. Sounds like a winner to me. Especially since we take that money and then use it to pay Americans for stuff they do and make like killing foreigners and building bombs.

    [I prefer ambiguity in my art. Can you tell?]

  149. Kristine says:

    Antonio–I think there’s a wide enough range of opinions here, and enough nuance in the issues, that broad questions about huge swaths of church teaching addressed to “some/many/most BCCers” are unlikely to get a lot of useful responses.

  150. O/T regarding the debt.
    The issue is not that foreign investors are making a profit on our debt. They’re practically losing money on our debt when inflation is factored in. Some argue we borrow at effective negative interest rates (that means foreigners pay us to lend us money). Indeed, if Ron Paul and many conservatives are correct in that “real” inflation is much higher than being reported this is even more so the case. We have high inflation, and very low interest rates. I’d be a fool to not take your dollar today, in exchange for paying you a 1.03 tomorrow, if in fact that dollar I pay you back is worth even less.

    The issue with the debt financing is it all works really well since the dollar is the defacto world currency — for now. Just with the stock market crash, the housing crash, etc. it all works very well until it ends, and we can all look to the future at say “at some point this will end” but we don’t know when it will end for sure. When it does, it will be much much messier. I would not be surprised to see war as the end result. Not suggesting anyone will declare war on the US or its allies, but consider the fragile economies of many (every) third world nation. The first world countries will get through the severe debt crisis pretty fine. But when capital dries up in the third world, dictators come to power even faster (or they abuse their power with less oversight… not much now anyway). When these things happen, there is a stronger likelyhood of the western world being pulled in.

    All that being said, the immediate effects of a debt-bubble collapse would be extremely high interest rates. The US can keep borrowing as it currently does, until it can no longer do so. When it can no longer do so, the rates won’t trickle up, they will sky rocket up. And with so much debt being short term debt, we need to roll it over somewhere, somehow. Plus you’ll have to factor in existing spending.

    Europeans are screaming about “Austerity” that isn’t really austere at all. The US defense department is shutting down “crucial” programs even though we’re still spending tons of money on defense. Imagine once real budget cuts start coming into play, in this country…

    It won’t be pretty in the third world. It won’t be pretty based on our global involvement and how we’ll get sucked into the consequences of the third world, and it won’t be pretty in our welfare-health-education-defense-corporate entitlement state.

    Unfortunately, the choice of changing things now, means having some certain pain now, in order to prevent even more seemingly uncertain pain later. But that uncertain later pain could come next month, year or decade… I don’t like our options, but the course of action I do prefer is one where we acknowledge the difficulties we’re in and the pain we’re going to face and we work to make virtuous changes now both in our outlook and what we expect of our government.

    This seems only slightly more likely to happen with Romney. But at least he’s not advocating for doubling down on spending and increasing taxes in the process.

  151. Aaron Brown says:

    Can’t we all just get a bong?

  152. Fair enough, Antonio.

    I do want to quickly address the TR question. I think framing it this way is nonsensical. Do you materially support or sympathize in any way with any person/group/cause/entity that in any way advocates something out of harmony with Church teachings? Does the congressperson you voted for agree with all of the teachings, truth-claims, and authority-claims of the Church? Does the church that is sponsoring the 5k you’re running in this weekend believe in Joseph Smith’s first vision? Do you patronize restaurants that sell alcohol? Does the humanitarian organization you donated to accept the Book of Mormon as an ancient history translated by the gift and power of God?

    The question did, in fact, originate as a way of finding out if the addressee was affiliated with or sympathized with polygamous break off groups, but even though it has taken on a more general application, I think we can all agree (and we should all very much want to agree) that it is a question designed to ascertain whether or not the person answering it materially supports or strongly sympathizes with (as in sympathizing with the aims and/or claims of) people, organizations, groups, or causes which directly and explicitly challenge the authority and truth of the Church (i.e. schismatic break off groups and avowedly anti-Mormon groups). I mean the ADF (a conservative evangelical legal organization which discriminates against Mormons in hiring because it doesn’t consider us Christian) was the chief legal counsel for the Yes On 8 Campaign. It would be absurd to suggest that Mormons in CA who supported Yes On 8, or even Mormons who participated cooperatively with ADF in coordinating and managing the campaign, are not temple worthy.

  153. Brad you’re really conflating the issue. I think none of us have the right to answer these questions for someone else. But if I asked it of myself, I think it’s pretty clear I’m not supporting a group that is out of harmony with the church if I pay them to go jogging and they don’t accept all the church’s teachings.

    The line is much much more gray for the people who are a part of or support groups that actively oppose the church in this area. It’s not the same as smoking or drinking, etc. This is pretty much a single issue and they are advocating that the church is not only wrong, but bigoted and shameful.

    All that being said, there are once again two sides to this debate. Appeals to authority or appeals to inevitability. Those hammering the temple recommend question are trying to use authority to cause one group to change their position. Those using appeals to inevitability are using both the authority of the past and presumed future to force the hand of their opponents.

    The simple fact is, we have every right and expectation that individuals in a society should be able to vote according to their conscious on this issue. Declaring that their conscious is bigoted and hateful, and therefore should have no “say” in the matter is pretty out of bounds. But it’s unfortunate that some are depending on this defense (offense) in order to “win” — in the courts. No single or group of judges should be able to determine for the people what is moral and/or proper any more than what the people determine. This is not a constitutional, legal right’s issue.

  154. It seems that some people assume that if you disagree with Obama on SSM, you ought not vote for him. This line of reasoning completely baffles. Why must this be the deal breaker? I will inevitably disagree with plenty of views and policy proposals of whoever I end up voting for. Surely we all will; if we believe our team is always right, we have simply become unteachable.

    Wondering: Asking rhetorical questions is not actually “wondering”.

  155. This thread is shutting down so everyone can go watch Colbert’s segment on Jon McNaughton’s paintings! (see sidebar) “It’s like where’s Waldo, only what you’re searching for is the smallest hint of subtlety.”

  156. kaphor 154 this is in fact absolutely a constitutional issue. How can you say it is not?

  157. I just explained why. It’s a moral issue. In fact, my understanding of the cases that are going before the courts have to do with the judge deciding that the citizens who voted for prop8 were acting immorally. Their vote was not legitimate, because it was an immoral (hate & bigot motivated) vote. But the judges and the constitution do not decide what is and what is nor moral. So in this case, you can either have a judge or selection of judges determining what is moral, or let the voice of the people do it.

    With regards to the issue of civil rights being violated, it’s a stretch. While marriage may be commonly thought of as a “right” there have always been certain requirements in order to get married. That some people what to change those requirements, is again, something that is best up to the will of the people. It’s not a “right” to have any requirement changed to suit your desired outcomes. If you want those requirements changed, persuade the people to vote for it. If you meet the requirements, then it becomes your right. If you met the requirements and the right was denied to you, THEN it becomes a constitutional issue.

  158. Where does it say in the Constitution that it is required of marriage-seekers they each have a different gender? It seems to me that gay couples who wish to marry certainly meet any requirements, and therefore have been denied their rights. Legal issue, not moral one.

  159. Okay let’s look purely at existing law; 6 states and Washington DC currently grant marriage licenses to and perform same sex marriages. Competent authorities in these states have deemed the marriage legal. Non-recognition by other states, and the federal government is a violation of the full faith and credit clause of (drumroll please) THE CONSTITUTION. It is a violation of the civil rights of the married individuals as well as a violation of the aforementioned state’s rights.

  160. it's a series of tubes says:

    Non-recognition by other states, and the federal government is a violation of the full faith and credit clause of (drumroll please) THE CONSTITUTION.

    But see, DOMA (1996). Until SCOTUS rules on that one, sorry, your argument is premature at best and may in fact be wrong.

  161. DOMA only covers Federal level though. Okay even if I am premature there–at the very least other states are in violation when refusing to recognize a legally binding marriage.

  162. it's a series of tubes says:

    DOMA only covers Federal level though. Okay even if I am premature there–at the very least other states are in violation when refusing to recognize a legally binding marriage.

    Sorry – your understanding of the scope of DOMA is, frankly, wrong.


    First sentence of the second paragraph should clarify for you.

  163. DOMA is in the process of being found unconstitutional all over the place. You’re right that I was early with my information but with so many challenges to it currently pending and decisions made to not defend it the de facto constitutionality will return.

    Interracial marriages used to be illegal, and that illegality was defended as “righteous” at one point too.

  164. Even DOMA proves this is a legal issue. I’m not a lawyer, and I don’t have legalese vocabulary. But it seems to me a law had to be created with new requirements for married couples, since previously there weren’t any which weren’t met by same gender couples. In other words, there’s nothing in the Constitution or any of the states Constitutions before this decade to suggest gay couples couldn’t marry. During the process of assimilation of gay marriages, many states suddenly had to make laws forbiding them, which denies them previous rights. Hence, North Carolina, et al.

  165. This has nothing to do with gay marriage, this is simply Obama whoring himself out to an issue with a Hollywood Mother Lode of campaign $$$…if it wasn’t this it would be something else…and it probably will be as the months roll-on to NOV 2*

  166. David Elliott says:

    #158: “With regards to the issue of civil rights being violated, it’s a stretch. While marriage may be commonly thought of as a “right” there have always been certain requirements in order to get married.”

    I’m not a lawyer, either, but it seems to me that the legal argument is not that people have a right to get married but rather that they have a right to equal protection under the law.

  167. Nebraska says:

    @116 Brad
    “I’m not saying I feel like I’ve been straight-up taken down, but I’m definitely feeling like my leg has been aggressively humped.”

    Best turn of phrase I have ever read on BCC.

  168. #163 I had jumped into the shower and immediately realized that my comment (164) may have come off as a dodge. So, yes, you are correct, my recollection of DOMA’s scope was errant (I don’t know that I would have said “false” but I am open to believing that I just have a negative reaction to the word) However, due to DOMA itself being deemed unconstitutional in several cases/jurisdictions I still stand by my assertion that this is a constitutional issue and a legal one as well rather than a moral one as opined above.

  169. Pamela 166 did you mean November 6? Or is something else happening on November 2?

  170. it's a series of tubes says:

    DOMA is in the process of being found unconstitutional all over the place. You’re right that I was early with my information but with so many challenges to it currently pending and decisions made to not defend it the de facto constitutionality will return

    EOR, I recognize that you are not legally trained, but it’s important to be both accurate and precise here. Until the Supreme Court of the United States finds that DOMA is unconstitutional, or DOMA is superseded or revoked via legislation, DOMA remains the law of the land.

  171. And the law of the land is wrong. Challenging the constitutionality of a law still makes it a constitutional issue–not a moral one.

  172. it's a series of tubes says:

    I still stand by my assertion that this is a constitutional issue and a legal one as well rather than a moral one as opined above

    I agree – there are legal and constitutional implications. Moral ones too.

  173. Here’s the legalese, very briefly. I’ll do my best not to editorialize.

    It’s an equal protection clause issue. Under “normal” rubric for equal protection issues, the issue before the court *should be* if the state has a rational explanation for why it is denying marriage to a certain group. Typically, this rational explanation doesn’t have to meet much muster–the government can be wrongheaded or shortsighted, since the nominal role of the courts in these situations is not to question the wisdom of the legislature. Thus, if the government comes up with just about any explanation, it will typically pass an EPC challenge.

    Except this isn’t true with certain groups. Things like race and sex are parentage fall into what are sometimes called “protected classes.” In those cases, the courts require a better explanation, usually a much better explanation and some showing that the law is necessary and that research has been done concerning why the law is necessary. As a result, laws specific to only one race, for example, typically won’t be upheld.

    There is now, and has been for about 18 years, some question as to if homosexuality is a protected class. The Supreme Court keeps saying that there isn’t, but then seems to apply the more stringent test to homosexuality-related laws anyway. Thus, in the Lawrence v. Texas case (about 8 years old), the S.C. struck down sodomy laws that had been on the books for years, even though it recognized that Texas had brought forth a putative “rational explanation” for its laws.

    In sum, the reason why this is such a interesting legal issue is because the S.C. has struggled to be consistent with the traditional EPC analysis as it relates to homosexuals. It doesn’t want to come right out and say that they are a protected class, but it seems to protect them as though they were.

  174. Aaron Brown says:

    Please, please, PLEASE can we stop framing controversial questions as “moral” vs. “legal” issues, or “moral” vs. “constitutional” issues, or what have you? I realize there’s a long-standing tradition in Mormonism — going back at least to the ERA days — of talking in this manner, but honestly, it’s an incoherent framework in which to debate just about anything.

  175. I don’t think my point is #173 is entirely defensible. I think it’s possible to poke plenty of holes in that argument. But I also don’t think just because someone asks nicely we should stop considering the moral perspective as compared to what is legally defined in the law. A judge has already employed a certain degree or moral reasoning to discount the vote on Prop8. He’s also combined that appeal to moral reasoning with legal reasoning.

    Contrary to being incoherent I think it provides clarity to the discussion. If a judge can apply moral reasoning to deciding a case (certain voters are bigoted so their vote should be disregarded) then the people have equal say to apply moral reasoning. And in fact, the weight of the people’s moral reasoning should outweigh a single judge’s moral reasoning.

    You can also appeal to various laws or amendments to make your claim, such as banning SSM would violate equal protection, etc. In that case there are again well reasoned arguments on both sides of the issue. Clearly the 14th Amendment says equal protection, so if someone want to “expand” that notion of equal protection to include marriage, just as they expand the notion of marriage, that is their right to argue as such. But just as clearly, the 14th Amendment was not past with this kind of intent. And it’s entirely reasonable that we should consider the intent of the law when trying to apply it and not just shoe-horn any thing we want into the language of the law because we can make an argument for it.

    Aaron, if you don’t want to debate within either of these frameworks, what framework should we debate in? The one that continues dozens of posts above where we call each other names, pretend that we’re not calling each other names, get offended, etc?

  176. EOR, I’m not taking sides with this comment, but it’s important to point out a simple fact that is relevant to your assertion that because one state okays something all other states must, as well:

    Different states have differing laws regarding lots of things – and some of them are radically different. There is no expectation that individual states must recognize something done in another state just because it was done in that state (for that reason only). If that was the expectation, chaos would reign – literally.

    Relative to marriage itself, if a state (or six states and Wash, DC) okayed and performed polygamous marriages, do you think it automatically would force all other states to recognize those marriages if they were not legal in those other states? That certainly didn’t work with Utah in the 1800’s – and that was post-Civil War constituional amendment clarification. (Vegas is not a good example, btw. Very different situation.)

    North Carolina just passed the opposite law. This is not a settled legal matter. It’s being decided in the trenches on an on-going basis.

  177. john willis says:

    An excellent analyis and exposition of the equal protection clause jimbob.

    A little bit of background on the pending challenges to DOMA on equal protection grounds. Same sex couples who are legally married in states like Massachusetts are challenging provisions of DOMA which state that the federal government does not have to recognize the vaildity of same sex marriage. This means for example that a same sex couple could file a joint state tax return in Massachusetts while they could not file a federal tax return as a married couple.

    The challenge to DOMA is first of all that states have traditionally been free to define what marriage is and the federal goverment is required to look to state law to determine if a couple is married for things such as tax filing status, social secuity survivor benefits and a whole host of other benefits. The gay couples challenging DOMA argue on kind of a states rights ,10th amendment grounds that if the federal government does not recognize same sex marriages in states where they are legal they are interfering with a states right to define what marriage is and isn’t.

    The second arguement is an equal protection argument that there is no rational basis for the federal government to distinquish between same sex and opposite sex marriages for the purposes of federal benefits. Regardless of the merits of same-sex marriage on social policy or moral grounds I beleive this is a strong arguement and the lower federal courts have agreed with me (great legal minds all think alike you know).

    These cases are working their way thorugh the federal appeals courts. The Obama administration has declined to defend these cases and they are being defended by Paul Clement, the former solcitor general who did the challenge to Obmamcare and represented Arizona in the SB1070 immigration case. before the supreme court. He is being paid by house of representatives.

    The provision of DOMA that holds that a state in which same sex marrige is not legal does not have to recognize a same sex marriage preformed in another state is NOT being challenged at this time.

    Normally unders the full faith and credit clause of the U.S. consitutiion states do have to recognize marriages preformed in other states unless they “violate public policy”. We will see if this is challenged somewhere down the road. I supect the proposition 8 case which is now before the 9th Circuit court of apeals may make this issue moot one way or the other.

  178. “As a result of our discussions and other interactions with gay and lesbian voters across the state, I am more convinced than ever before that as we seek to establish full equality for gay and lesbian citizens, I will provide more effective leadership than my opponent.”

    “I am not unaware of my opponents considerable record in the area of civil rights, or the commitment of Massachusetts voters to the principle of equality for all Americans. For some voters it might be enough for me to simply match my opponent’s record in this area. But I believe we can and must do better. If we are to achieve the goals we share, we must make equality for gays and lesbians a mainstream concern.”

    Mitt Romney, Campaign for Senate in Massachusetts vs Ted Kennedy, 1994.

    What does “full equality” mean? Full equality is something Obama understands, Romney… not so much. Although he will utter the words to support his only conviction in life: to become the president.

  179. Bradley says:

    I’m with Oromney. A relationship just isn’t legitimate unless it’s backed up by men with guns.

  180. …and on that note! ‘Night all.

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