T Nation

'Ann' and Same Sex Marriage

[quote]forlife wrote:

Meanwhile, Ann is a real person wanting to find love and happiness just like anyone else.[/quote]

So long as Ann is capable of ‘keeping the secret’ s/he is free to marry as s/he pleases. Much the same way Bob with a first marriage is able to continue to marry as he pleases.

Additionally, respecting Loose Tool’s proviso, before I pass legislation on a minority of marginally ‘oppressive’ cases like Ann, I’d pass reinforce legislation on the (probably numerically equivalent) clearly unlawful and fraudulent marriages Bob is involved in. Again, if I were forced to draft or ratify law based on minority gray-area cases.

[quote]lucasa wrote:
So long as Ann is capable of ‘keeping the secret’ s/he is free to marry as s/he pleases. [/quote]

Why would Ann be required to “keep the secret”? Do you consider this to be equal protection? Would you try to enforce this through legislation, or are you stating it only as a personal preference?

[quote]Loose Tool wrote:
There’s an old saying, hard cases make bad law. Writing law to cover the gray areas causes the clarity of the law to be obscured by exceptions and strained interpretations.
[/quote]

It is impossible to cover every contingency through formal law, and judicial discretion plays a critical role in interpreting laws as they apply to special circumstances.

That said, the very existence of these gray areas highlights the fallacy of the black and white thinking that often characterizes opponents of gay marriage.

If it is ok for Ann to marry someone of the same sex, why would it not be ok for a man with a fully developed penis to marry someone of the same sex?

Sometimes calling out the gray areas is a good way to reveal the real reasons people take a particular stance on a given controversial issue.

[quote]Rockscar wrote:
forlife wrote:
Here’s an interesting scenario for the anti-gay guys (why is it always guys, by the way?) on our board.

What is your take on “Ann”? Should she marry a man or a woman? If she self-identifies as female, is it ok for her to marry a man, despite your objection to same sex marriage?

How does your logic extend or not extend to same sex marriage in general?

My daughter,“Ann”, is male. At the basic chromosome level she is XY, just like me.

She presented at birth a female. We had no idea that there was anything awry until she was a teen. “Ann” was in high school and had not yet started her cycle, so I took her to the gynocologist for what I thought would be a simple exam and explanation. The doctor took me privately into her office and explained that Ann had an undeveloped penis and testicles in her abdomen. She presented as a female only because her male parts did not present and develop externally. This was due, most likely, to an incomplete hormonal wash en utero.

I find the incomplete hormonal wash concept fascinating, because I am one of 12 children, and the fifth of six boys; it is very likely that I am gay for the same reason that my daughter is an XY male. Maybe incomplete hormonal washes run somehow in my family. If I showed you a picture of me and my brothers, and asked you, “Ok fellas, which one of these brothers had an incomplete hormonal wash”, you would not have to look long. All of my brothers are extremely muscle bound, like their father. They are aggressive both in business and sports. And me? I am quite small in comparison, and, um, I play the harp with deft fingers…

Your problem is you can never get beyond this topic. You are truly reaching here.

Most people’s “logic” out there tells them it’s icky, wrong and gross.
[/quote]
My thoughts also. Hey there are a lot of us married guys who find it very strange that gays want to get married so bad. Your average woman seems to have to pin down the average guy on marriage.

So why do gays want it so bad? Make a will and leave your buddy your stuff. It’s easy and cheap. All they want is health benefits. Marry some guy who works for the state and voila!

So if they allow that, why can’t two straight guys just get married and not have sex? Makes as much sense.

[quote]forlife wrote:
Loose Tool wrote:
There’s an old saying, hard cases make bad law. Writing law to cover the gray areas causes the clarity of the law to be obscured by exceptions and strained interpretations.

It is impossible to cover every contingency through formal law, and judicial discretion plays a critical role in interpreting laws as they apply to special circumstances.

That said, the very existence of these gray areas highlights the fallacy of the black and white thinking that often characterizes opponents of gay marriage.

If it is ok for Ann to marry someone of the same sex, why would it not be ok for a man with a fully developed penis to marry someone of the same sex?

Sometimes calling out the gray areas is a good way to reveal the real reasons people take a particular stance on a given controversial issue.[/quote]

Loose Tool is absolutely correct.

This is a typical liberal argument in that it that seeks to undermine our capacity for reasoned judgement: i.e., “because I can find a wacky exception, let’s decide together that we cannot make any judgements at all.”

The only thing “the existence of these gray areas highlights” is the existence of gray areas. Period. To argue from a wacky exception that this means that everything else is a gray area is, well, just laughable.

[quote]tom63 wrote:
Rockscar wrote:
forlife wrote:
Here’s an interesting scenario for the anti-gay guys (why is it always guys, by the way?) on our board.

What is your take on “Ann”? Should she marry a man or a woman? If she self-identifies as female, is it ok for her to marry a man, despite your objection to same sex marriage?

How does your logic extend or not extend to same sex marriage in general?

My daughter,“Ann”, is male. At the basic chromosome level she is XY, just like me.

She presented at birth a female. We had no idea that there was anything awry until she was a teen. “Ann” was in high school and had not yet started her cycle, so I took her to the gynocologist for what I thought would be a simple exam and explanation. The doctor took me privately into her office and explained that Ann had an undeveloped penis and testicles in her abdomen. She presented as a female only because her male parts did not present and develop externally. This was due, most likely, to an incomplete hormonal wash en utero.

I find the incomplete hormonal wash concept fascinating, because I am one of 12 children, and the fifth of six boys; it is very likely that I am gay for the same reason that my daughter is an XY male. Maybe incomplete hormonal washes run somehow in my family. If I showed you a picture of me and my brothers, and asked you, “Ok fellas, which one of these brothers had an incomplete hormonal wash”, you would not have to look long. All of my brothers are extremely muscle bound, like their father. They are aggressive both in business and sports. And me? I am quite small in comparison, and, um, I play the harp with deft fingers…

Your problem is you can never get beyond this topic. You are truly reaching here.

Most people’s “logic” out there tells them it’s icky, wrong and gross.

My thoughts also. Hey there are a lot of us married guys who find it very strange that gays want to get married so bad. Your average woman seems to have to pin down the average guy on marriage.

So why do gays want it so bad? Make a will and leave your buddy your stuff. It’s easy and cheap. All they want is health benefits. Marry some guy who works for the state and voila!

So if they allow that, why can’t two straight guys just get married and not have sex? Makes as much sense.

[/quote]

There was a piece on NPR recently about the large number of gays who are disappointed with marriage; despite desiring it for many years, once married they found it boring, and even incompatible with their “outsider” image of themselves.

[quote]katzenjammer wrote:
To argue from a wacky exception that this means that everything else is a gray area is, well, just laughable.
[/quote]

I agree, but then I never made such an argument to begin with.

So how about answering the question?

Should Ann be allowed to marry a man? Why or why not?

[quote]forlife wrote:
katzenjammer wrote:
To argue from a wacky exception that this means that everything else is a gray area is, well, just laughable.

I agree, but then I never made such an argument to begin with.

So how about answering the question?

Should Ann be allowed to marry a man? Why or why not?[/quote]

It doesn’t matter. Whatever one argues about this wacky exception has no bearing at all on the issue of gay marriage.

[quote]katzenjammer wrote:
This is a typical liberal argument in that it that seeks to undermine our capacity for reasoned judgement: i.e., “because I can find a wacky exception, let’s decide together that we cannot make any judgements at all.”
[/quote]

Wrong. You’re being specifically asked to make a judgment. No one is trying to prove that judgments can’t be made.

A marriage of ‘Ann’ to a man should not be legally recognized, because ‘Ann’ is a man. A marriage of ‘Ann’ to a woman should not be legally recognized, because ‘Ann’ is known in advance to be impotent.

Marriage is not for everyone. Nor does one have to be married or engage in sexual activity to give and receive love to/from parents, siblings, nieces, nephews, friends, etc.

[quote]katzenjammer wrote:
forlife wrote:
katzenjammer wrote:
To argue from a wacky exception that this means that everything else is a gray area is, well, just laughable.

I agree, but then I never made such an argument to begin with.

So how about answering the question?

Should Ann be allowed to marry a man? Why or why not?

It doesn’t matter. Whatever one argues about this wacky exception has no bearing at all on the issue of gay marriage. [/quote]

KJ–I happen to agree with you in the last.
Special situations–and biologic exceptions are not excepted–do not argue a rule by exception.

So unfortunately, for forlife, life’s exception argues against his own:
Ann has one of many intersex abnormalities. Whatever her genotype, she is phenotypically female, or much more female than male. Society and casual observers see her as female.
No legal test for legal marriage has ever been based on genetic testing. Marriage is, and has always been, a phenotypic event, and not dependent on discovery of a genotype, a recent notion compared to the thousands of years of history of marriage.

So, by forlife’s inferred logic, Ann may marry a man because she is phenotypically a woman, and phenotype is commonly and historically and legally understood to determine marriage partners, because only women should marry men. Or, at least that is where forlife’s logical exception would lead us.
[edited for"clarity."]

[quote]DrSkeptix wrote:
katzenjammer wrote:
forlife wrote:
katzenjammer wrote:
To argue from a wacky exception that this means that everything else is a gray area is, well, just laughable.

I agree, but then I never made such an argument to begin with.

So how about answering the question?

Should Ann be allowed to marry a man? Why or why not?

It doesn’t matter. Whatever one argues about this wacky exception has no bearing at all on the issue of gay marriage.

KJ–I happen to agree with you in the last.
Special situations–and biologic exceptions are not excepted–do not argue a rule by exception.

So unfortunately, for forlife, life’s exception argues against his own:
Ann has one of many intersex abnormalities. Whatever her genotype, she is phenotypically female, or much more female than male. Society and casual observers see her as female.
No legal test for legal marriage has ever been based on genetic testing. Marriage is, and has always been, a phenotypic event, and not dependent on discovery of a genotype, a recent notion compared to the thousands of years of history of marriage.

So, by forlife’s inferred logic, Ann may marry a man because she is phenotypically a woman, and phenotype is commonly and historically and legally understood to determine marriage partners, because only women should marry men. Or, at least that is where forlife’s logical exception would lead us.
[edited for"clarity."][/quote]

I thought “conservatives” were supposed to be the more Kantian of us. Sounds like there’s been a bit of Mill readin’ going on here.

Good Dr. I’m not certain your version of forlife’s “inferred logic” is correct, in fact, I think that’s the whole point he’s trying to make: that things are a big more complecated than most “anti-marriage” proponents are willing to admit.

Because Ann is phenotypically a woman, should she be allowed to marry a man? This is the whole question he is bringing up. Technically, it is gay marriage, no? While exceptions may make for bad laws, they also help us to clarify our thinking and understand the world in its totality.

btw, what’s the difference between “phenotypically a woman” and “self-identifies as a woman”? What if the later “really” looks like a woman? Has undergone a surgery? Has been born with an abnormality? See what I’m getting at?

Well, I guess because Ann is…whatever Ann is…we should do away with state recognized marriage and any benefits associated with it.

[quote]forlife wrote:

Why would Ann be required to “keep the secret”? Do you consider this to be equal protection? Would you try to enforce this through legislation, or are you stating it only as a personal preference?[/quote]

In order to keep with the definition of marriage and enjoy the (federal) sanctity it imparts, s/he would be defrauding the gov’t very much the same way Bob is. Were Ann to propose changing the definition, I would see distinct inequality in denying Bob the opportunity as well. Especially since Bob, in several ways, represents a larger portion of the constituency.

Second, behind “right to privacy”, IMO, equal protection is the next most misunderstood, divisive, and distorted legal principle. The idea that ‘all men are created equal’ was directed at the idea behind noble birth and to ensure a basal level of equality for the majority of people. To use it to imply that people born with Y chromosomes and a vagina are the same as everyone else is a joke. Especially when, arguably, the concept of noble birth still exists.

Observing our Federal Republic, I wouldn’t, and, to my knowledge, no states does require ‘XX to XY marriage’. I wouldn’t force Ann to lie any more than I would force him/her to marry. And, as Ann’s cause is of little benefit to me personally as well as my social demographic, I would be very reticent to support it (especially by expanding gov’t). Equally, I would expect Ann to turn me down were I to propose Steak and BJ Day as an official National holiday.

What I find curious is that people who use legal gray areas to show that the law isn’t black and white are often ill at ease with gray area solutions like ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’.

[quote]katzenjammer wrote:
It doesn’t matter. Whatever one argues about this wacky exception has no bearing at all on the issue of gay marriage. [/quote]

Of course it does. Why would you support same sex marriage in the case of Ann, but not support same sex marriage for guys that have a full penis? Is penis size really all that?

[quote]NealRaymond2 wrote:
A marriage of ‘Ann’ to a man should not be legally recognized, because ‘Ann’ is a man. A marriage of ‘Ann’ to a woman should not be legally recognized, because ‘Ann’ is known in advance to be impotent.
[/quote]

Good luck trying to pass a marriage law banning everyone known to be impotent, gay or straight.

[quote]DrSkeptix wrote:
So, by forlife’s inferred logic, Ann may marry a man because she is phenotypically a woman, and phenotype is commonly and historically and legally understood to determine marriage partners, because only women should marry men. Or, at least that is where forlife’s logical exception would lead us.[/quote]

If you’re going to allow phenotypical exceptions irrespective of genotype, does this mean you support marriage between transexuals and people of the same gender?

Where do you draw the line, and what is the supporting logic of your argument?

Is it all about appearance to you? As long as you can’t tell someone is a man, you don’t mind him marrying another man?

[quote]lucasa wrote:
In order to keep with the definition of marriage and enjoy the (federal) sanctity it imparts, s/he would be defrauding the gov’t very much the same way Bob is.[/quote]

So your stance is that Ann should not be allowed to marry, since doing so is, according to you, fraudulent. She may try to cheat the system, but that doesn’t make it any less a crime, in your book.

Would you expect her to marry a woman, then? Or are you going to sentence her to solitude for the rest of her life? Do her personal wishes have any bearing for you?

How else would you determine whether or not equal protection was being violated, unless you determine whether the target group is similarly situated? That determination in no way implies that intersex individuals are “the same as everyone else”, only that they are entitled to the same protections as everyone else.

[quote]
It doesn’t matter. Whatever one argues about this wacky exception has no bearing at all on the issue of gay marriage. [/quote]

I think that you are misinterpreting the problems with legislating from exceptions - and basically begging the question. ForLife is not suggesting that the law be rewritten to include a ban on gay marriage with a clause excepting people like Ann. He is questioning the philosophical basis for a ban on gay marriage, and your response assumes the validity of a ban on gay marriage.

In order to actually refute ForLife’s argument you would need to either explain the difference between a Ann’s marriage to a man and a gay marriage(perhaps you could argue that because she is in appearance a woman, it would not disrupt the nuclear family in others), or explain how Ann’s marriage is equivalent to a gay marriage and thus falls under whatever your argument against gay marriage is.

An excess of exceptions in legislature is bad not because the exceptions aren’t valid, but because they take up too much time in either the writing of the laws or the enforcement of them. However, In the philosophical discussion of laws exceptions and hypothetical situations are very useful for determining the validity of the reasoning for the law.

This may seem pedantic, but as Bertrand Russell said, “a pedant is merely someone who wishes his opinions to be true.”

[quote]forlife wrote:
DrSkeptix wrote:
So, by forlife’s inferred logic, Ann may marry a man because she is phenotypically a woman, and phenotype is commonly and historically and legally understood to determine marriage partners, because only women should marry men. Or, at least that is where forlife’s logical exception would lead us.

If you’re going to allow phenotypical exceptions irrespective of genotype, does this mean you support marriage between transexuals and people of the same gender?

Where do you draw the line, and what is the supporting logic of your argument?

Is it all about appearance to you? As long as you can’t tell someone is a man, you don’t mind him marrying another man?[/quote]

You are floundering.

Perhaps you did not care to understand what I wrote. I will repeat myself in simple declarative sentences, for your benefit, but only once:
–I find no exception.
–Ann is phenotypically a woman.
–Women can marry men.
–Ann may marry a man.
(–This is so even if Ann cannot be an Olympic Female Shotputter.)

I do not feel the need to generalize from this example, because frankly, it serves no purpose.
Now, it is clear you do not understand the meaning of “phenotype.” It is not synonymous with appearance. I suggest you learn the meaning of your terms, since this is your example.

Your own examples undermine your logic, and it is your logic, not mine.