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Planesdragon's Journal: Amending the Constitution 81

Journal by Planesdragon

Since this is legislative and not really left-wing or right-wing, I'm not considering it a "political" journal

It's my opinion, as an American citizen, that we need to amend the Constitution. Each of the proposed changes is one that I feel would do the country good as a whole; comments are welcome, as always.

Amendment D1: The Equal Rights Act
Save in such cases that basic gender-based characteristics are relevant and crucial to the task, Congress shall make no law that differentiates between persons based on gender.

I don't care if it's moot. I don't care if it would damage special interests; as far as the government cares, except for parts specifically requiring breasts or a sexual organ my wife and I should be identical. (And note that "gender-based characteristics" are cruical to "marriage." If the above language does not seem to read that way, Congress will correct it.)

Amendment D2: Marriages and Civil Unions
Article 1: The word "marriage" shall mean only a union between a man and a woman, and no law shall be construed as to require the states to recognize marriages between couples of the same gender

Article 2: Any relationship between couples of the same gender by any state shall be recognized by all other states as a Civil Union.

Article 3: All marriages and civil unions shall be given the full weight of all endowed rights as determined by the state in which the couple spends the majority or plurality of each year.

Article 4: All Civil Unions shall be accorded full rights of marriage under the laws passed by Congress to apply to the many states, but only those laws within each state that the state itself gives to them.

No "gay marriage", but federal weight to civil unions and an out for states that don't want them.

Amendment D3: Protection of Citizens
In addition to the powers granted it in Article 1, Congress shall make such laws as it deems fit to protect the rights of all persons residing in the United States, as enumerated in this Constitution.

Enough stretching commerce to cover murder. We rely on the Bill of Rights to protect us from even the local town traffic judge -- let's give Congress the teeth to enforce and protect them.

Amendment D4: Abortion
Article 1: Congress shall make no law abriding the right of a competent woman with the consent of the father to prematurely end a pregnancy within the first three months.

Article 2: Congress shall make no law abridging the right of an unborn but viable child to be born, nor of fathers to have their children brough to term, save in such cases that are deemed medically necessary to save the life of the mother.

No abortion at all would be bad. No limits on abortion at all is bad. Men being unable to bring legal weight to save their children is bad.

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Amending the Constitution

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  • There is nothing inherent in marriage that requires sexual organs or breasts. Child bearing and marriage are not the same thing, so you cannot cross the two as if they were. I am perfectly capable of siring offspring though I am not married, and I work with a married woman who is not capable of bearing children. Adm. D2, Article 1 is hereby stricken because it provides unreasonable restrictions on citizens based on gender. An alternative is also provided: the United States government shall not recognize mar

    • There is nothing inherent in marriage that requires sexual organs or breasts.

      Hence why this and equal protection are both amendments.

      I know it's all geeky to say "we should just not have gov't recognized marriages" and all, but it won't happen. You'll sooner see televangical baptists in Texas calling for polyandry.

      The Constitution isn't a law passed by Congress -- ergo, anything in the Constitution is set and seperate from the "Congress shall pass no law" rules.

      BTW, D2 is the biggest one here IMO. So
      • You'll sooner see televangical baptists in Texas calling for polyandry.

        I could give two shits what those nutjobs think. They're not going to get their agendas shoved through(us yanks won't allow it[and if all of us say no, ammendments aren't possible], our conservatives balk at these guys by and large) and I can wait 'em out.

        No government marriage is a compromise, and a constitutionally sound one at that. Doesn't require any amending. They can take it or leave it. I suggest they take it, because insi
      • You like to argue the "it's better than nothing" angle on writing in support for CUs and writing gay marriage off as illegal. That, to me, skirts the real problem here: that marriage in our society is defined around judeo-christian belief even though it's being used to provide secular benefits.

        The problem, as I see it, is one of separation of church and state. If churches want to refuse marriages to gay people, that's their right as part of their practice. However, if that's the case, then marriages are st

        • You like to argue the "it's better than nothing" angle on writing in support for CUs and writing gay marriage off as illegal. That, to me, skirts the real problem here: that marriage in our society is defined around judeo-christian belief even though it's being used to provide secular benefits.

          I'm not skirting the issue -- i'm agreeing with it.

          Our entire system of law, from our social programs to executive leniency to our system of jury to what we consider crimes, is defined around judeo-christian belief
          • The difference between, for example, enforcing statutes on murder vs. enforcing statutes on marriage is that the murder case can be made without ever making a religious argument. At some point, however, you have to resort to using a religious argument to support the current method of recognizing marriage because there is nothing about marriage that isn't flatly religious. As an example, you can't secularly argue the point in relation to child-bearing because child-bearing and marriage were only superficiall

            • At some point, however, you have to resort to using a religious argument to support the current method of recognizing marriage because there is nothing about marriage that isn't flatly religious.

              Not true.

              Marriage has three wholly non-religious argumens in its favor -- which, btw, is one more than I can think of against murder.

              * Seperation of Specialty -- men and women are different. In study after study, case after case, we find that while any single man or single woman is supurbly capable, the heights
              • men and women are different. In study after study, case after case, we find that while any single man or single woman is supurbly capable, the heights of achievement are found in complimentary couples.

                How is this relevant to marriage? In addition, where are the case studies?

                while women may bear children out of wedlock, and homosexual couples may easily support children and a stay-at-home parent, humans mature better and quicker when they have both a good female model and a good male model.

                I keep see

                • Well, then I can just say: it's time for times to change again.

                  Why?

                  At the most basic, right now marriage is only a man and a woman. You want to change the meaning of that word -- why?

                  Kindly skip the "we want equal rights" line. Presume that C.U.s exist and offer all the beneifts of marriage.
                  • Because religion is what's defining marriage in a society that is supposed to be free from established religion. "Marriage" has a strong secular meaning and it's being given its definition by Christianity, mainly. It's not even a change, it's a correction. If we were just arbitrarily making a change, I'd demand there be significant evidence provided to show its necessary. However, since this is problem of the government giving extra legitimacy to, mainly, Christianity, it's a correction. It's really no dif
                    • It's really no different than striking Jim Crow laws from the books.

                      No. Giving C.U.s full federal weight is striking Jim Crow from the books.

                      Changing the definition of the word marriage is aking to passing a law forbiding the use of the word "nigger".
            • At some point, however, you have to resort to using a religious argument to support the current method of recognizing marriage because there is nothing about marriage that isn't flatly religious.

              Using the same rationale, shouldn't polygamy also be legally recognized?

              I agree that the issue needs to be dealt with as a "separation of church and state" thing. The word "marriage" needs to be stricken from the legal lexicon.

              "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting th
              • Polygamy shouldn't be anything. If some dude wants five wives and they all agree, it's there business and it's not harming anything, so yes, why not? Laws should be enacted for the benefit of a society, not to support arbitrary fears and prejudices. There really isn't any logical reason to limit the activities of two or more consenting adults when all of their actions are self-contained and don't endanger/impede anyone else.

            • At some point, however, you have to resort to using a religious argument to support the current method of recognizing marriage because there is nothing about marriage that isn't flatly religious.

              Even viewed from the standpoint of evolution of the species (and societies) the marriage of men and women is a valuable and natural thing. Societies with no christian tradition of 'God gave Eve to Adam in marriage' have marriage. You could make a case that it is purely a religious ceremony and should not be mana

        • That, to me, skirts the real problem here: that marriage in our society is defined around judeo-christian belief even though it's being used to provide secular benefits.

          To preface the following, I'd like point out that if we were entirely consistent- we'd also be denying benefits to infertile heterosexual marriage couples.

          Having said that- the ideal isn't based on judeo-christian belief. Marriage being a part of childbearing predates both Judaism and Christianity, nor is it limited to those cultures. I
          • The ONLY reason for providing the benefits in the first place is to create a new generation of well educated laborers.

            No, you're forgetting keeping the current generation of well educated laborers happy and content. Benefits to unions go a long way to doing that.

            • No, you're forgetting keeping the current generation of well educated laborers happy and content. Benefits to unions go a long way to doing that.

              I'd argue that they've got a negative side as well on that angle- by making the single well educated laborers less content, and thus, less productive. It would be interesting to see what would happen to the productivity differences between singles and married couples if you took away the extra incentive for being married.
          • I have a hard time believing that marriage predates religion. In fact, I'm having a hard time buying that anything approaching what we know as marriage today predates even just Judaism. We've been bopping about this planet for about a million years in our current, general form. I'm willing to bet that wherever marriage started, it started with religion. Even failing that, I can guarantee you that our current views on marriage came straight out of the Roman Catholic church of the middle ages.

            Barring all tha

            • I have a hard time believing that marriage predates religion.

              That's because you're largely stuck in the taker meme of marriage being granted by religion or by government, as opposed to merely recognized by religion and government.

              In fact, I'm having a hard time buying that anything approaching what we know as marriage today predates even just Judaism.

              Hindu's marriage rituals are a specific example- though still in religion. The Indus Valley was settled and farmed for 4000 years before Moses came along
              • You keep quoting scripture to me. That is not evidence to support your position anymore than me pointing to Aesop's Fables would be evidence for me. You can't point at your religion as justification for your religion being given special treatment in social matters.

                Regarding all of your other points about the origin of marriage, I'll take the point about Hindu rituals into consideration and still note that is a religious tenet.
                • You keep quoting scripture to me.

                  If you don't want to hear scripture, then don't try to explain things from a religious point of view.

                  That is not evidence to support your position anymore than me pointing to Aesop's Fables would be evidence for me.

                  The scripture presented was not evidence to support my position- it was an explaination of why YOU were wrong specifically about a single Catholic teaching which happens to be taken from scripture- and thus predates the middle ages like you claimed.

                  You can
  • The problem with D4 is what happens when fetuses become viable before three months - then it conflicts with itself. Its going to happen, sooner or later, that science comes out with an artifical womb and we can dispence with the silly notion that "viability" is some watermark as to when abortion becomes a homicide. The only way to Consitutionally legalize abortion is to declare that a fetus is not a "person". Blackmun writes in the opnion of Roe:

    A. The appellee and certain amici argue that the fetus is

    • Simple solution, I believe that abortion needs to be a legal option up to the point of viability. If there is any question about whether a fetus is viable or not, C-section it and give it a chance. After the point of viability, abortion should be illegal but c-section be avaliable.

      The pro-life/anti-abortion groups should be climbing all over eachother to provide support for these babies right?

      • Yeah, what he said. On both counts.

        If you're against abortion, have a house, and you don't have a foster child, you had better not tell me that you're "pro-life." That's right up there with "start fathering children" after "get a house" on my lifetime to-do list.
        • don't have a foster child

          Tried it- there are extenuating reasons not to have a foster child due to significant paperwork problems with the current system. It badly needs reforming.

          Having said that- I choose to go another way- instead of giving my money and time to quasi-life groups like Right to Life, I volunteer and give my money to BIRTHRIGHT instead. Their homes for unwed mothers are much more in keeping with my beliefs about abortion- and insure a healthy start and better well being for a number of
          • Tried it- there are extenuating reasons not to have a foster child due to significant paperwork problems with the current system. It badly needs reforming.

            Cool. I can mail you a "MH42 is not a hypocrite" certificate if you want. ;)

            I could have given more qualifiers, but no good rallying cry sounds like a contract.

            What do we want?
            An end to an unsustainable conflict that harms our youth and provides no beneift to the american citizenry!
            When do we want it?
            At the earliest practicable time!

      • A C-section is a pretty damn invasive procedure for the mother. The father bears no weight of the risk or complications from such a thing. Aside from that, I'm broadly in agreement with you.
        • Sure, but the burden of pregnancy will always be on the woman for obvious reasons. An unwilling father bears no burden except a financial responsibility, if he's identified and ordered to pay that is. A big If. The unwilling mother is always the one stuck with the hardships and tough choices. I don't think there'll ever be a way to lift those burdens off her.

          Because this unfair burden is placed on women, they need to take the responsibility in preventing an unwanted pregnancy. The point isn't that the woma

          • The unwilling mother is always the one stuck with the hardships and tough choices. I don't think there'll ever be a way to lift those burdens off her.

            Universal Declaration of Human Rights, passed by UN Resolution in 1948, states in part:

            Special economic circumstances should be provided for the conditions of motherhood and childhood

            Financial responsibility is a part of economics, and econoics is a human invention. How those hardships and tough choices are given to her are a human invention. When a hu
      • I think that there are some important things that would need to be added, but I'm not able to word them well, so instead pretend I am a superstar author and read the following:

        Congress shall make no law preventing abortion in the event of rape, incest, or endangerment of the life of the mother regardless of viability of fetus or paternal consent.

        The reason I think those are important is that it doesn't make sense to make a 13 year old girl who didn't realize she was pregnant until six months who was

        • Hmm...

          On the one hand, you're exactly right that the mother's life should trump the infant's at any time. D4:A2 covers that.

          On the other, while I want to say "yeah, 13-year old rape victims should be able to get abortions", incorporating a rule like that is too wide IMO. Better to, if the girl can bear the child, bear the child -- and then investigate and lock her father up.

          In the case of incest, the child "may" be non-viable -- do an ultrasound or DNA test and find out. In the case of rape, three-s
          • 5 weeks, however, is not enough- and in one very rare instance, could well end up with a girl in a coma in an emergency room, with the fetus already dead and only a 25% chance of the girl coming out alive even with an emergency abortion.

            That's why the exception for the doctor to make a unilateral decision is needed.
      • Simple solution, I believe that abortion needs to be a legal option up to the point of viability. If there is any question about whether a fetus is viable or not, C-section it and give it a chance. After the point of viability, abortion should be illegal but c-section be avaliable.

        I'm sorry, but the worth and dignity of human life has nothing to do whether it may or may not survive a C-Section. You are effectively saying, "If it dies, no problem, it wasn't viable, so it wasn't person after all. It it s

        • If on the other hand you believe that a 12 week fetus does not have the same intrinic worth as [a newborn], then perhaps you can enlighten me why you feel this way.

          Note the edit: let's compare apples to pears, not salmon.

          The start of why I think a non-viable fetus is worth less than an infant is contraception / birth control. A woman who may have sex should be allowed to take action to not concieve a child in the first place -- hence, a zygote that could mature to an adult given the right "artificial wo
          • The start of why I think a non-viable fetus is worth less than an infant is contraception / birth control. A woman who may have sex should be allowed to take action to not concieve a child in the first place -- hence, a zygote that could mature to an adult given the right "artificial womb" is "aborted" prematurely.

            What does contraception or birth control have to do with the intrinisic worth have a human fetus? The existance of such things has no bearing a discussion that asks "what make a fetus differen

            • Are you telling me that the previously 12 week fetus with all organs, brainwaves, and a beating heart is somehow less deserving than a 36 week fetus, or a newborn infant?

              Yes. And a child born with a genetic defect that will keep it from living out the year is less deserving than a child that is in perfect health, and a soldier who is beyond help is less deserving than one who can be healed.

              For the sake of argument, can you, without referring to the mother, tell me why destroying the infant is murder an
              • Yes. And a child born with a genetic defect that will keep it from living out the year is less deserving than a child that is in perfect health, and a soldier who is beyond help is less deserving than one who can be healed.

                You are confusing intrinsic worth with, well, something else. I'm pretty sure you are not saying that some people are just worth more than other people, which is pretty much the justifications for racism and eugenics. The life of a child with a genetic defect is precious. The life o

                • Both infants and fetuses are helpless and need to be cared for to achieve adulthood, so clearly that is not a distinguishing characteristic.

                  I specfically did not mention what help, if any, the child would recieve. Quite obvisouly, any child born prematurely requires medical attention -- but enumarating that is not necessarily part of law.

                  If sometime in the future a "miracle child" is born at 20 weeks, or someone performs a fetal transplant at 8 or 12 weeks, does this mean that the age of "viability" ha
                  • No, never. I'm stating that the line between "not a crime to abort" and "a crime to abort" should be drawn when it is possible to remove the child and have it continue to adulthood.

                    The issue you are skirting is if you consider a 23-week fetus a "person" or not - or for that matter, a 22-week fetus, 21-week fetus, 24-week fetus, 25-week fetus, etc. I don't believe you have directly answered this particular question. Nor have you answered what specifically what bearing being able to survive outside the

                    • I don't believe you have directly answered this particular question.

                      Let me spell it out for you then:

                      Q: What makes an X-week fetus a person and a X-1 week fetus not?

                      A: Nothing. There's no way to tell. BUT, for the purposes of law, we need to point to something and say "this is a reproductive rights issue" and "that is a case of infantcide."

                      Not true - the justices on Roe vs Wade simply summarily declared that a fetus is not a person,

                      Nope. The justicies didn't even have to consider the issue -- th
                    • Let me spell it out for you then:

                      Q: What makes an X-week fetus a person and a X-1 week fetus not?

                      A: Nothing. There's no way to tell. BUT, for the purposes of law, we need to point to something and say "this is a reproductive rights issue" and "that is a case of infantcide."

                      So let us not consider the eyes of the law, let us consider the eyes of God. Is the destruction of a fetus an act of murder? Is it a violation of the 6th commandment? Does God really care about the viability of the fetus and the

                    • So let us not consider the eyes of the law, let us consider the eyes of God. Is the destruction of a fetus an act of murder? Is it a violation of the 6th commandment?

                      Not so long as it's performed according to the law of the land. If the law is ungodly, God is perfectly capable of inspiring us to change it. But unless we are going to throw off the government, we should obey the laws and that means that we use our current country's judgement for what is and isn't murder. (Now, He may very well be working
                    • Not so long as it's performed according to the law of the land. If the law is ungodly, God is perfectly capable of inspiring us to change it. But unless we are going to throw off the government, we should obey the laws and that means that we use our current country's judgement for what is and isn't murder. (Now, He may very well be working to change the law; don't know, wouldn't be surprised either way.)

                      (And, FWIW, yes, I'm perfectly aware that my above interpretation means that some very horrible things

                    • I'm going to make a different reply for the religious side of the argument in a bit.

                      You continue to ask "where is the cut-off". Why must there be a cut-off? Who said there must be one? All medical evidence suggests human life begins at conception. The only reason to search for a "cut-off" is so abortion can be phrased as "the termination of a human organism without the taking of a human life". Again, legalism at its worst. Consider the fact that it is so difficult to find a moral "cut-off" that that "cut-
                    • Oh boy do you have it wrong - what is considered sinful and what is not has nothing to do with the "law of the land".

                      In three very specific cases, it does. Namely, Murder, Theft, and Adultury. Goodly Governments -- those that Christians or Jews or Muslims may submit to the rule of -- designate what is and isn't the permissiable time to kill someone, what is and isn't someone's private property, and who is and isn't married.

                      Because of that first one--determining what is and isn't an acceptable time to k
                    • Cut-off There has ALWAYS been a point wherein the tissue stops being flesh that's part of the parents and becomes a person all on its own. This point may be at birth, or it may be at conception, or it may be at some point between those two acts where the soul is attached to the body... or it could even happen as much as a year after birth.

                      Trying to argue that the cut-off doesn't exist is like trying to aruge that there is no difference between "air" and "space." There is a point that it's air, a point th

                    • In three very specific cases, it does. Namely, Murder, Theft, and Adultury. Goodly Governments -- those that Christians or Jews or Muslims may submit to the rule of -- designate what is and isn't the permissiable time to kill someone, what is and isn't someone's private property, and who is and isn't married.

                      Because of that first one--determining what is and isn't an acceptable time to kill--doctors performing abortions in countries with abortion laws who do not in the course of that act commit additiona

                    • What is apparently in dispute nowadays is whether an undeniable human organism, whether zygote, or embryo, or fetus, is a "person" in the sense that it has basic human rights

                      I stand corrected. Very well stated. I shall adjust my view from now on.

                      Something is legal today and a first-degree homicide the next?

                      No. Even at its worst, abortion is a different offense than first-degree homicide. And to be clear, even in lands with unlimited abortion, there's still a point where before to kill the thing is
                    • I don't think so. God cursed Cain for murdering Abel before there was such a thing as civil government. Prohibitions against murder stem from Creation itself, not from the civil laws of Isreal

                      I patently disagree. If the talmudic law were woven into creation, God would have slain Cain as was the punnishment for murder in the nation of Israel. But since God marked Cain and cast him out, Cain must have committed a different Sin -- namely, refutation of his duty to his brother and malacceptance of his lot i
                    • And if you think abortion is a grey area, you haven't looked very deeply into how legal systems work. If I drive 79 1/2 miles per hour, I get a ticket; if I drive 80, I'm thrown in jail. If I pick up a metal bar when I go to break up a fight, I'm a murderer; if I setp in and grab a bar in that alley, it's self defense. If i walk around naked in my own house it's my privacy; if I lean out my back window, it's indecent exposure.

                      The law must use arbitrary dividing lines on occasion, another example would be

                    • Just a couple of points:

                      I patently disagree. If the talmudic law were woven into creation, God would have slain Cain as was the punnishment for murder in the nation of Israel. But since God marked Cain and cast him out, Cain must have committed a different Sin -- namely, refutation of his duty to his brother and malacceptance of his lot in life.

                      Had Cain not killed Abel, his punnishment may very well have been the same.

                      Genesis 4:8-11:

                      Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Ca

                    • Clearly God was punishing Cain for the murder of his brother.

                      Not so clear. If God was punnishing Cain for the murder, then why did he ask Cain where Abel was, and why did he not strike Cain down?

                      There was sin there but, as I pointed out, it wasn't murder.

                      The prohibition against murder is again made in Genesis 9:5-6:

                      That's not murder. That's killing. It's a subtle yet important difference. And, even if we ignore that point, the verse you quoted is clearly part of God's covenant with Noah, not the
                    • Not so clear. If God was punnishing Cain for the murder, then why did he ask Cain where Abel was, and why did he not strike Cain down?

                      I see no real reason to continue down this path if you cannot see something so obvious that God disapproved of the fact that Cain killed Abel. "What have you done? Listen! Your brother's blood cries out to me from the ground." Your desire to define "murder" as "whatever society says is murder" simply is not biblical. One man killing another out of cold blood is murder a

                    • God disapproved of the fact that Cain killed Abel.

                      Cain killed Abel, and then denied any responsibility to watch his brother. God disapproved of this -- but it is not clear from the text precisely WHY. (I'll note that you never bothered to answer why, if Cain was a murderer, God not only did not strike him down, but marked him as one that no man could strike down -- a direct contradiction of the covenant he would make with Noah only four chapters later.)

                      Much of the Old Testament suffers from the same pr
      • Ok, this deals with my objection as well- since a malformed fetus or a medical problem with the pregnancy make the fetus nonviable. I like it, a neat solution.

        The pro-life/anti-abortion groups should be climbing all over eachother to provide support for these babies right?

        Certainly anybody with a "womb to tomb" mentality should- I would point out though that viability is not a bright line- and it's healthier for the fetus to stay in the mother's womb a full 38 weeks. Thus, pro-life people should be wi
        • Definitely. If the pro-life groups would focus less on damning the mothers and more on providing them with viable options and support, I think there would be a real difference and a greater incentive for them to go full term.

          But, I'm not sure they're so much pro-life as they are anti-abortion.

          • Definitely. If the pro-life groups would focus less on damning the mothers and more on providing them with viable options and support, I think there would be a real difference and a greater incentive for them to go full term.

            Based on what I've seen, mere application of UDHR Article 25 to our economy would result in a 90-99% decrease in the abortion rate, depending on whose numbers you believe

            But, I'm not sure they're so much pro-life as they are anti-abortion.

            I personally don't think they're either- a
            • I personally don't think they're either- after all, if abortion and gay marriage go away, where will they find their scapegoats to keep blaming their inept handling of the economy on?

              I don't know if inept is the correct word since their view of a proper economy is based on a different set of axioms. Regardless of what you think of the new conservative handling of the economy - the culture wars have a huge number of battles to be fought, even if they were to "win" the war against abortion and gay marriag

              • I don't know if inept is the correct word since their view of a proper economy is based on a different set of axioms.

                True enough- I shouldn't have used inept. Should have used selfish instead (since that's the difference between my axioms and theirs- whether the few or the many are allowed to win).

                Regardless of what you think of the new conservative handling of the economy - the culture wars have a huge number of battles to be fought, even if they were to "win" the war against abortion and gay marriage
                • Well to my way of thinking I don't think any electable politician could do better than pay lip service to the 10 commandments or the teachings of Jesus. "Turn the other cheek", "Build up treasures in heaven rather than on earth", "What you do to the least of my brothers you do to me as well", "Have no gods before me" and so on are all fine and good for Christmas cards and snoozing through on Sunday, but there is no chance of a millitary/economic leader or someone interested in temporal power applying them i
                  • Well to my way of thinking I don't think any electable politician could do better than pay lip service to the 10 commandments or the teachings of Jesus. "Turn the other cheek", "Build up treasures in heaven rather than on earth", "What you do to the least of my brothers you do to me as well", "Have no gods before me" and so on are all fine and good for Christmas cards and snoozing through on Sunday, but there is no chance of a millitary/economic leader or someone interested in temporal power applying them i
  • Did we give states that didn't want blacks or women voting an out in the constitution? Why can't we do the same for homosexuals?

    Gay marriage is a civil rights issue, and it needs the same protections as that of heterosexual marriage.
    • I see it as a religious issue. Marriage needs to be wiped from the government's radar altogether. Then, churches can do whatever they want.

      If people want benefits from the government, marriages performed by both the church AND the state should be recognized as "civil unions" and that should be the common denominator for privileges.
    • Did we give states that didn't want blacks or women voting an out in the constitution? Why can't we do the same for homosexuals?

      Because a black man cannot decide to be white, nor can a woman decide to be a man. Homosexuals, on the other hand, can enter into loveless sexless marriages just as well as anyone else.

      And we *did* give states that didn't want integration an out, for close to a hundred years. Considering that we don't treat homosexuality as a crime or a disease anymore, the next tactical step
  • by miu (626917)
    The last real chance the ERA had I think was in the late 80s. The political and social consciousness was vastly more liberal at that point and NOW and other feminist organizations had not yet alienated an entire generation of males.

    Even if this were to pass I think the DOD would trot out all their old arguments about men and women in combat. Even if the ERA were to pass I think the military would get a blanket exemption.

    • Seeing as how MA's ERA language was used by the court to justify requiring same-sex marriages then people would lobby even harder against an ERA now than before.
      • Exactly the kind of thing I am talking about. People will come out hard against the things that an ERA would lead to, and as a result against the ERA itself. In my mind national recognition of CU is one of those consequences.

        Also I meant the late 70s (not the 80s) were the last time the national ERA had a real chance - the "flower power" generation had settled into maturity but the "greed decade" had not yet flowered - Reagan was not yet a national candidate and liberalism was still viewed as natural to a

    • Even if this were to pass I think the DOD would trot out all their old arguments about men and women in combat. Even if the ERA were to pass I think the military would get a blanket exemption.

      Based on how female soldiers have performed in recent wars, I wager that a simple "segregation for living arrangements" compromise would do it.
    • The political and social consciousness was vastly more liberal at that point and NOW and other feminist organizations had not yet alienated an entire generation of males.

      That alienation, to me, is reason enough to vote for the ERA. As a male who appears white (despite a mixed background of several minorities) and who is NOT from a priviledged family, I often feel that current laws are working against me. The ERA would fix that problem once and for all.
      • by miu (626917)
        I think that the ERA makes sense for that reason (among many others) when you think about it, but people are a lot more emotional than that. I've always considered myself a 'small f' feminist in the sense that I believe that women should enjoy the same rights and responsibilities as men, but after meeting a large number of 'large F' Feminists in my late teens and early twenties I learned that that term seemed to mean 'castrating bitch' to most women who apply the term to themselves.

        I hope it won't take an

  • Speaking as a man with a wife, we're not 'married.' We're civilly-unioned. We went up in front of a Justice of the Peace, did a secular ceremony, signed our marriage papers, and done.

    'Marriage' is a religious concept; ALL that the Constitution should recognize is a Civil Union. If you want to go up in front of a religious figure and swear to be faithful, fine. You can do that without the State recognizing you as a Union. Or, do what most couples do now, and do both.

  • Your D1 is already covered by the Equal Rights Amendment, first proposed in 1923. So far 35 of the required 38 states have ratified the ERA.
    Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.
    Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
    Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.


    Your D3 might be a good idea but I wo
  • I'd ammend it to include the following logic statement (Consent of Mother, Father) OR Competent Physician, based on a very rare problem that can occur with ectopic pregnancy which is perfectly reasonable even by Roman Catholic Church theology on abortion (still evil, but more evil would be doing nothing) where the father probably can't be found in time and the mother is already in a coma due to the ectopic pregnancy. This actually can occur within the first 5 weeks of a pregnancy with a mother who does not
    • What if we re-worded D4:A2 to make it clear that "life of the mother" trumps the father's right?

      Not to mention that non-viable fetuses -- those that are stilborn, have no brain cavity, etc., etc., -- should be excluded as well.

      • What if we re-worded D4:A2 to make it clear that "life of the mother" trumps the father's right?

        It helps- but still doesn't get past the requirement in D4:A1 for it to be the MOTHER's decision- if the mother is alreay in shock/coma due to internal bleeding it doesn't help.

        Not to mention that non-viable fetuses -- those that are stilborn, have no brain cavity, etc., etc., -- should be excluded as well.

        That, on the other hand, would help this rare case- since the fetus is already dead by the time it has
  • Here's my thoughts on marriage and civil unions, which I think make more sense than having the government decide what kinds of relationships are better than others. Until a few years ago, I had two elderly relatives (both female) who lived together for the last 30 years of their lives or so. This wasn't a romantic relationship or anything like that, just two old women who preferred to live with each other than with other relatives. The benefits of marriage--power of attorney and automatic inheritance, et
    • I really ought to have clicked the "Plain Old Text" option. Sorry about the formatting.
    • We recognize that government only got into the marriage business to keep people from mixing skin colors

      You're forgetting the part about ensuring support for the less-wealthy member of the relationship, any childen born from the relationship, and defining what is and isn't adultury.

      The gov't got into the marriage business because the people wanted them to. This happened sometime shortly after the first chief was crowned, several thousand years ago. ;)
      • I guess I should have specified that I was talking about government in this country, which wasn't really that concerned about marriage before interracial marriage became a possibility.

        Ensuring support for non-wage-earning partners and children are good things for the government to do, and that'd be covered under my civil partnership plan. Determining what is and isn't adultery gets a little sticky, since what I consider adultery is lawful marriage to my Mormom and Muslim friends. I've yet to see a non-r

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