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Comment Re:Faggotry (Score 1) 804

Its as if a lite went off in someone's head and all the sudden the claim was made.

I've found myself wondering why this issue seems to be so popular all-of-a-sudden--perhaps this is part of it. I find myself quite biased, though, having come out and gotten interested in the whole thing only recently, so I can't speculate very effectively on reasons for increased general interest.

You will not see a federal civil union either. Marriage simply is not within the powers of the federal government.

I'm sorry (since I like this conversation), but this is just not true, depending on precisely what you meant. Marrying people is perhaps not within the powers of the federal government, but one of DOMA's main aims is to invalidate same-sex marriages for federal purposes, regardless of their recognition by state(s). To give one example, even a married lesbian couple from Massachusetts cannot file a joint federal tax return. There are many, many more. That said, I misspoke. By the phrase "federal civil unions", I just meant federal recognition of civil unions (performed who-knows-where, maybe states, maybe other countries) for the purposes of federal marriage rights and responsibilities.

You have to remember that even in California which is probably the most gay friendly state, the voters supported multiple state wide bans on gay marriage. It took not one, but two state supreme court challenges and a federal challenge to make it legal.

I lived in California during the Prop. 8 campaign. I suspect gay marriage supporters got somewhat complacent--it's California, after all; you'd just expect it to be legal. The reality is that California is not nearly as liberal as one might think. Some urban centers, notably San Francisco, are, but it's a huge state. This Prop. 8 voting map is instructive. California is certainly not the most gay friendly state either; Massachusetts might be.

While it doesn't matter much, your summary of same-sex marriage in California is perhaps misleading. Same-sex marriage is not currently legal in California. It was legal for a while in 2008 in the time between the State Supreme Court overturning Prop. 22 (a law) and the passage of Prop. 8 (a constitutional amendment). It should be noted that Prop. 8 barely passed--52% to 48%--and that federal constitutional challenges based on it are currently making their ways through the courts. I suspect that if it weren't for the potential Supreme Court rulings, a repeal of Prop. 8 would already have passed, considering it barely passed even before the recent general surge in same-sex marriage support. A federal judge and a three-judge panel of the relevant appellate court have both found it unconstitutional and those rulings are stayed until review by the Supreme Court. Either SCOTUS will refuse to hear the case next term in which case gay marriage will again be legal in California--this seems highly unlikely to me--or SCOTUS will hear it and rule, possibly at a national level depending on legal specifics--and if the lower courts are any indication, they will rule for gay marriage.

Next Supreme Court term will be very important for gay marriage in general. DOMA and Prop. 8 challenges will likely be heard and ruled upon. I suspect (hope) 2013 will be the "Brown v. Board of Education"-year for gay marriage.

Comment Re:Faggotry (Score 1) 804

Perhaps. I'm unsure. The states rights issue is certainly a large potential sticking point. Left to their own devices, I have no idea if say Alabama would ever legalize gay marriage. I do have some hope that SCOTUS will find gay marriage constitutionally mandated for each state by either the commerce clause or the equal protection clause. If they do nothing of the kind, I can potentially see a deeply divided country where the west and northeast allow gay marriage while the south(east) and most of the middle don't. I don't know about the federal situation--I hope the gross inequality at least leads to federal civil unions in the next few years if not marriage proper.

I am also unsure about the general support for it by generation. The 65+ crowd is by *far* the most anti-gay-marriage (here's a graph using somewhat old data; better evidence exists). I think that either support will continue growing overall as it has in the last few years, or that generation will mostly die off in the next decade, and either way there will be a "super majority" of support.

The key portions of the civil rights movement took like a decade after things got moving. My hope is that we're at about the same starting place (maybe a few years in?) with gay marriage.

Comment Re:Faggotry (Score 1) 804

I imagine you're referring to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, though I'm not sure what court case you're referring to. Or perhaps you're just referring to the battle over school segregation Kennedy talked about eg. here.

You may be right, but I do not think for the reasons you see. I also think time might be close to the end of or beyond both of our times.

What reasons do you have in mind? (I'd like to note I listed none myself beyond a vague sort of analogy.) I also seriously doubt marriage equality will take as long as you suspect in the US, unless you're quite old (I am not).

Comment Re:True equality (Score 1) 804

Sorry about my link on #2, though it should be easy for any techie to fix. Here's a working version.

1 and 3 are not the same thing. 1 is a general sort of background acceptance even for those gay people who will never marry while 3 is a personal reason a gay couple actually gets married.

But hey, if it makes you feel better about yourself.

I don't think you understood 3 at all. My point was that in the minds of other people a married couple is considered "family" to each other, which is the type of recognition couples in general and gay couples in particular often want.

perhaps they'll start calling gay people "married" while straight people are in Holy Matrimony ;)

That'd be hilarious. I don't think it would happen though. I've heard nothing of the kind despite, for instance, The Netherlands legalizing same-sex marriage over a decade ago. If everyone just shut up about it, the tiny fraction of gay marriages to all marriages would make the impact nearly insignificant.

Now, put me into whatever small minded box you think I belong in, okay?

The box I've put you in so far is: smart-ish, not particularly good with detail with a particular emphasis on oversimplification, kind of a jerk but also a nice guy to the people he likes, doesn't care much at all what other people think, non-standard political views.... I certainly don't have enough data to give a complete analysis though.

Comment Re:Why does it have to be "marriage"? (Score 1) 804

He was, however, careful to state that the issue should be left up to the states -- meaning in reality his position is no different than Romney's.

Not really. For instance, Romney has said

Marriage's status should be constant across the country. I believe we should have a federal amendment in the constitution that defines marriage as a relationship between a man and woman, because I believe the ideal place to raise a child is in a home with a mom and a dad.

It should also be noted he has (at least in the past... he changes positions periodically) supported domestic partnerships, though I'm not sure precisely what he had in mind.

That said, as a gay man myself, this one issue isn't enough to decide my vote anyway, and I prefer Obama's politics on the whole. (I'm also not nearly as cynical about his recent gay marriage stance change as you seem to be. FWIW he said he was going to announce it before the DNC and that Biden just sped things up. Since the political fallout is unclear and this election could be so close, I considered it a courageous move.)

Comment Re:Faggotry (Score 1) 804

The 1883 Supreme Court case Pace v. Alabama dealt with basically this issue, but in the context of interracial marriage. The Court interpreted Alabama's anti-miscegenation laws as punishing blacks and whites equally, so they said it satisfied the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause. This was overturned in the 1967 case Loving v. Virginian, where the Court completely revised its stance:

The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discrimination. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.

With that in mind, I would suggest the "extra rights" argument won't stand the test of time.

Comment Re:So now Google is literally a bunch of faggots? (Score 1) 804

The equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment is often brought up in this sort of argument:

...nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

You might say current state marriage laws are equal--gay guys can marry women if they want to, for instance--but that line of reasoning was rejected by the courts in interracial marriage debates many years ago. Both of these apply specifically to states--I'm not sure what the constitution-based pro-gay-marriage arguments are at the federal level.

Comment Re:Why does it have to be "marriage"? (Score 1) 804

The usual counterargument is that the "separate but equal" doctrine is intrinsically flawed since separation implies inequality. Barack Obama shared your view for many years before he evolved to a pro-gay-marriage one. I haven't heard a good non-sound-byte list of reasons why he switched, but my guess (hope?) is that he met some gay parents, saw they were basically the same as everyone else, and said "what the hell, why not?"

That said I'm happy the debate has moved on to this. "I'm all for gay couples having the same kinds of rights as straight couples" is a great way to start.

Comment Re:Polygamy (Score 2) 804

I've been reading the book Debating Same-Sex Marriage (endorsed by both Rick Santorum and Dan Savage, who gave Santorum its... other... meaning). The pro-same-sex marriage advocate, John Corvino, in this case is in the minority--he doesn't necessarily believe polygamy should be allowed. He explains why in section 4 of his opening essay:

In other words, [the argument goes] the pro-gay position logically entails the pro-[polygamy/incest/bestiality] position. Why would anyone think this? The answer, I suspect, is that opponents misread the pro-gay position as claiming that "People should be able to marry anyone they love." ... But I know of no one in the marriage-equality movement who really accepts this premise, despite pithy bumper-sticker slogans suggesting otherwise. It's a straw man.

Does my position logically commit me to accepting polygamy as well? I don't think so. ... After examining most of the major arguments, we have yet to see any serious costs from extending marriage to same-sex couples. By contrast, we have thousands of years of human history demonstrating the typical costs of polygamy. Polygamy tends almost always to be polygyny, where one man has multiple wives. (By contrast, polyandry--one wife with multiple husbands--is quite rare.) The usual result is a sexist and classist society where high-status males acquire multiple wives while lower-status males become virtually unmarriageable. in that sense, examined from the social-policy point of view, polygamy actually undermines our "mutual-lifelong-caregiving" goal: if we want to ensure that as many people as possible form stable family units, we should be wary of allowing any one individual to take multiple spouses.

I've clipped some of his discussion for brevity, but his overarching point is that there is ample evidence (which he briefly presents) that allowing same-sex couples to marry is not harmful and is even beneficial, while there is also ample evidence that polygamy is harmful, so same-sex marriage should be allowed and polygamy shouldn't. It should be noted though that he also says,

I've expressed this point before, which usually elicits a "Gotcha!" response from my critics: "Ahah! So you're saying that if polygamy actually promoted individual well-being and community flourishing, you wouldn't oppose it?" Yes--that is precisely what I'm saying.

(I'm having trouble getting through Maggie Gallagher's half of the book, but so far their biggest disagreement is typified by the above. Corvino uses effects-based, what-will-this-do-to-society arguments, and Gallagher uses abstract definition-based arguments. I suspect Corvino won the debate, though again I haven't finished it yet.)

Comment Re:True equality (Score 1) 804

OR why would Gays even care about marriage.

In order of importance...
1. Symbolic acceptance. (I imagine you've never had to come out to your conservative fundamentalist family members; this is important.)
2. Over a thousand on-the-books legal rights.
3. Public recognition of your new status as family members--not "boyfriends", but family.

In otherwords, what "rights" do married people have that gay people do not?

See (2). You may be using "rights" in some metaphysical sense, but to be honest I care about reality and not your philosophy.

Comment Re:I Want to Believe. (not) (Score 1) 312

I do believe I know the source of your misunderstanding, which is what I am attempting to address. The abstract concept of the infinite cannot be translated into the real world, you must be able to come up with a finite value for any practical application (or even an observation allowing one to test a theory.)

You are incorrect, that is not the source of my "misunderstanding", and I have explained why several times. Your discussion about arguments makes it sound like you want to be able to object to me without allowing me to object to you. Even if you were a Nobel laureate that would be preposterous (though in that case I would make my objections much more highly refined, for instance discussing them with a third party first).

You are attempting to derive a physical result from something that is unphysical.

The "unphysical" thing I'm discussing is a hypothetical newly discovered physical mechanism. I'm just arguing against that hypothetical discovery. I understand it has not been discovered yet, and my argument provides strong evidence that it will never be discovered. The general form of argument, "X is not physically observed so any argument Y that refers to X is fallacious", is itself flawed. It does not work eg. with the Pauli Exclusion Principle, where certain configurations of quantum particles are not observed and yet many solid arguments are based on the statistics that result.

The note that you are a mathematician is amusing to me, my girlfriend asked me what I was doing the other day, and my reply was "trying to convey a point to someone... probably a math student." If the student part is incorrect I apologize, but that comes from the constant arguments along the lines of "other guy is an idiot... who eats babies." This is not something you see often from those older than about 25, as it usually hurts your case more than helping it, and that is around the point by which most people will understand this.

You are correct. Especially in rereading my earlier points, my emotional tone very much hurt my case more than helping it--though I stand by the content of everything I said, the style I said it in was off-putting. I know I am correct in general, and I know that it does not come across that way, especially to the uninitiated, which most of the mods are. That explains why they chose you over me. In my view, you have not addressed my points (or understood many of them, I suppose?) while I have been able to understand and address all of yours to my satisfaction. I'm not sure what more to say. Good luck to you.

Comment Re:It's only 92% accurate ... (Score 1) 186

Yup, excellent point. I haven't actually seen statistics on how many people get infected that way, but it's of course a possibility. I remember reading an "advice to cheaters" guide that brought this up--it said that, if you're going to cheat, at *least* wear protection so the poor guy you're screwing over doesn't get sick.

Comment Re:It's only 92% accurate ... (Score 1) 186

I agree with all of your points. I do not agree that they were all actually relevant to my post (for instance, my 1-3 months remark was in the context of someone having bareback sex with multiple partners [note the "If you can't"'s], in which case it's perhaps even generous), but oh well. Actually, I do contest one point--"absolute certainty" about being HIV negative, while not 100%, can be extraordinarily close. One would need several tests after months of 0 risky behavior. I mostly meant to cover the case of eg. two pairs of married guys who want to bareback amongst themselves. And even then, my discussion completely ignores other STDs.

Comment Re:I Want to Believe. (not) (Score 1) 312

I feel I have listened to you but that you have not listened to me, since many of your points have been repeated in each post without you addressing my already-raised objections. I begin to suspect (just suspect) that you have some developmental problem like low-grade austism that prevents you from holding this debate properly. Still, I will raise my objections one more time.

You are assuming greater than infinite energy AND time travel to even put it forward as an argument...

No, I am not (and neither is my source). The misunderstanding is yours. I (and my source) made no assumptions whatsoever about how tachyons might form. As I said before maybe they've always existed, or maybe some change to special relativity won't alter the relativity of simultaneity in an essential way while also allowing the creation of tachyons from sub-light-speed matter.

As you approach the speed of light, energy input must approach infinity. To cross it requires a greater than infinite amount of energy. This is impossible, both in theory and practice.

I agree with you here, but yet again your statement is irrelevant. I do not care how one might create tachyons, I merely assumed their existence. I would like to remind you that my original FTL travel discussion was in the context of new discoveries allowing FTL communication, so the existence of a tachyon isn't even my own assumption, but rather my interpretation of someone else's probable argument. My original point was that FTL communication would result in such a radical violation of well-tested principles of special relativity as to be astonishing.

He was aware that infinite + 1 does not really exist, you are apparently not.

You have finally begun insulting me. I insulted you in my first reply and for that I apologize; I was too angered by the combination of your misconceptions and complete self-certainty. I was better in my second reply. I am actually a mathematician, so I probably know many more ways than you for "infinity + 1" to be interpreted reasonably. None of them are relevant here though.

Relativity therefore prohibits producing a tachyon.

Your argument merely shows the impossibility for relativity to produce a tachyon by accelerating a mass from sub-light speeds to FTL speeds. Barring just one method of production does not bar them all, and I've given two other methods above (twice now; you ignored them the first time so I've repeated them).

The theory prohibits this, and relativity has no appropriate application in an FTL scenario (this is WHY you get a causality violation.)

You have it backwards. You do not get a causality violation in an FTL special relativity scenario because relativity has "no appropriate application" there. Special relativity has "no appropriate application" to an FTL scenario because you get a causality violation (and most people want to keep causality). Your implication is backwards, and this is a fundamental error.

The observation in half of the relativistic light cone will be that effect preceded cause (the missile destroys the ship before it is launched.)

This doesn't make sense. A light cone is not a collection of frames of reference but rather the set of points in spacetime with zero interval from a given point. You probably meant to say that in "half" of all reference frames (specifically, those where the velocity along the line connecting the missle's start and end points is in the direction pointing from the start to the end point) the missile destroys the ship before it is launched.

So what happens?

1) Causality violation means that side B can fire their own FTL missile, destroy the ship on side A that launched the first one, and "undestroy" the one on side B by changing the past.

2) Causality remaining intact means that while side B can fire their own FTL missile and destroy the side A ship, the side B ship will remain destroyed, as this event has already happened.

Your argument is again backwards. You assume contradictions in both cases without realizing it--in case (1), causality violation is itself the contradiction, and it immediately leads to the paradox that ship B is both destroyed and not; in case (2), causality remaining intact contradicts the prediction of special relativity that causality is violated. Your contradictory and hopelessly vague discussion of "undestroy"ing a ship and one "remain[ing] destroyed" are artifacts of these backwards arguments.

The information on the cause is relativistic, the information on the effect is not. You cannot use relativity to determine cause and effect here, but cause still came before effect.

I cannot make this make any sense. I am essentially certain it is incoherent.

Unless you being responding to my actual points, I will not reply again.

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