The Ugly History of the Marriage License in America

As the fevered handwringing and celebrations over the Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling remains in full swing, I thought it may be a good time to reflect on what gay people really won. On one level they quite rightly won equal protection under the law and will be able to be issued marriage licenses in every state. Marriage was reclassified from a, “basic civil right”, to a “fundamental right”. That doesn’t sound much different, but it makes a huge difference. In my blog last week, I asked why we need government approval for a marriage in the first place. What is the point of a marriage license? Well, in an effort to answer my own question, I did a little digging. What I found out was horrifying.

In order to fully explain what I mean, let’s start with marriage before the marriage license. Yes! There is such a thing! Let’s go way back to the 1600’s where most of our laws concerning marriage were inherited from England. The ugliest of these laws were called anti-miscegenation laws, or laws that prevented interracial marriages. These laws persisted for over 300 years. They were prevalent in almost every state in the union. Miscegenation laws were upheld numerous times even after the 14th amendment was passed. In the famous Supreme Court case of 1896, Plessy v. Ferguson, the concept of “separate but equal” became the law of the land. This allowed the states that still clung to anti-miscegenation laws to renew their fervor against interracial marriage. The argument went something like: Everyone is free to marry, just marry in your own race. Which sounds eerily similar to: Gay people can get married, just marry someone of the opposite sex.

Up until this point in American history, around the 1920’s, there was no such thing as a marriage license. The states invented them as a way to dictate who could and could not get married for the purpose of making sure blacks, whites, Asians and Indians didn’t mix. That’s right. Marriage licenses were invented as a way to stop white people from marrying black people. Because they couldn’t get a license, interracial couples who would have been considered married before the marriage license was available, ceased to be married. They lost inheritance rights, medical rights and all other benefits of common law marriage. The issuers of marriage licenses were considered the gate keepers, charged with keeping the white race pure.

Laws against interracial marriage persisted long after segregation was deemed unconstitutional in 1957. It wasn’t until 1967 that anti-miscegenation laws were wiped off the books in the southern states. Alabama didn’t bother to take it off the books until 2000. Thanks for that Alabama, appreciate it. In fact, I live in Florida, where until 1967 an interracial marriage could get you 10 years in prison. Thank goodness for Alabama I guess.

My question for gay people is this: If this is what you won, did you really win? Really? What I see that you won is to be able to claim the government can now have dominion over your marriage just like it does of straight peoples’ marriages. If you are really looking for equality might I suggest joining in the fight to abolish the marriage license? Look at it this way, by what right does the government have the right to approve or deny who we want to form a life with? A license is permission. Do you really need permission to love someone enough to spend your life with them?

I get it. There are certain benefits to being married. Social Security, Medical, Legal, survivorship rights. Without a marriage license how could you be sure to reap the benefits and rewards of marriage? How about you get married to whomever you want, register that marriage with the state and receive a certificate of marriage that is recognized by the federal government. Like they did before the government found a way to control who gets married. How about you dictate to them who you married, not the other way around. The state and federal government should not be able to dictate who you marry. Period.

We are all individuals and the government should treat us all the same. Marriage is necessary to protect certain aspects of society like children and surviving spouses. The only reason that we need to register as a couple at all is for the government benefits. The avenue’s to gain access to these benefits are not contingent on the marriage license. There would be no need to make any real changes to the system we already have in place. You would notify the same government offices, in the same way as you would right now.

Let’s put the power back into the hands of the people and get rid of the last vestiges of a racist, bigoted practice that is the marriage license. Little did you know that the license you are clamoring for and that is filed away in millions of homes around the country has roots more ugly than the confederate flag that can no longer be purchased on Amazon.com. Ironic, isn’t it.

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SCOTUS Gay Marriage Ruling, First Impressions

Today the Supreme Court passed a landmark decision that essentially made gay marriage legal in every state. I normally don’t write opinions on things like this right away, but this seems like one of those times where it might be good to document the feelings of the times. Facebook is going crazy. People are either celebrating or predicting the end of the world. I can’t think of an issue relevant to so few having such a big impact in the arena of public opinion. So for the sake of posterity, here are my first impressions.

I should preface this by saying that I have no problem with gay marriage. If I was in the wedding industry, I would have no problem baking a cake, catering, providing the flowers or selling rings to gay couples. If any of my kids turn out to be gay, I would happily walk any of my boys or girls down the aisle and give them away. I say this because not all of my first impressions were totally positive. In fact, I think there are more questions than answers at this point.

The good stuff

The ruling hinged on the 14th amendment and basically says that if a state issues marriage licenses to straight couples, then not issuing marriage licenses to other couples creates a situation where one group of people have rights that other groups of people do not have. All other things being equal, I have a hard time arguing with the logic. If two people love each other and want to get married why should I interfere with that? More power to you. In fact, I often say that when faced with the prospect of siding with an individual or the government, I will always choose the individual. This seems like a win for individuals. Another good thing is that this decision has absolutely nothing to do with your right to sell or not sell cakes, flowers or food to couples for their gay weddings. This decision in no way will force churches to perform wedding ceremonies against their will. That’s a good thing for those individuals.

The bad stuff

The Supreme Court’s decision in essence ruled that the 14th amendment can overrule the 10th amendment. In brief, the 14th amendment grants every person in America equal protection under the law. This means that the state cannot treat one person different than another person, or the state can’t have one set of rules for one group and another set for another. The 10th amendment says “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” Basically, the Constitution spells out exactly what the federal government can and cannot do. If something is not on the list it gets settled on a state by state basis. The problem here is that the Constitution makes no mention of marriage, so it would normally fall to the states to decide. The Supreme Court got around this by in essence calling marriage a “right” that needs to be protected. In placing the 14th amendment over the 10th amendment, they sort of claim a hierarchy to Constitutional amendments. That’s not good, because if we can now place the amendments in order of importance, what else would be below the 14th? If you confer the meaning to the 14th amendment to say that marriage is a fundamental right, are we now going to list every fundamental right covered by the 14th amendment? Or are we going to let the federal government just add them as they come up, transferring the power from the state to the federal government one by one?

I’m not sure what to think stuff

The implications are unknowable. While I remain happy for those who would like to be married, or enter a civil union, or whatever the term would be, I worry about the rights of the people who aren’t happy about this. Will this eventually trickle down to the wedding industry? Will the federal government use the 14th amendment to force baker’s to make the cakes since they would cater straight weddings? Will the 14th amendment trump the 1st amendment? Why do we even need marriage licenses? How is it even the business of the government who we marry in the first place? It seems like it should be a simple contract between interested parties, and that’s all. The wedding or marriage part is a symbolic ceremony performed by churches. The issue at hand isn’t marriage, it’s the state issued marriage license. It seems like the real problem was created by government and then “solved” by the government. Why go through the middle man?

At any rate, congratulations gay people. These are my unedited first thoughts on the subject. If I get around to it, I will revisit this blog in the future and see if any of my first impressions have changed.

You Down with TPP? Yeah, Not Me.

This week the United States senate voted to grant fast track authority to president Obama for the, Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This is the free trade deal including 12 countries: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam. These countries make up about 40% of the world’s GDP. As a general rule I am almost always in favor of free trade. That governments are working towards a free trade deal at all is, in and of itself, an oxymoron. You see, the government itself will not be trading anything. What they are really doing to debating to what extent that they will be able to dictate to business owners whom they would normally have no control, how and under what circumstances they are able to do business with the people who live in other countries and vice versa. Let’s put all that aside for a moment and work within the world we currently live in, and not the world we want, at least for a few minutes.

I can’t really say that I am, or would be for or against the current version of the TPP. I haven’t read it. Nobody except a select few honored, important individuals have read the agreement. The content of the bill is private. Off limits to mere citizens and elected representatives. The same elected representatives that are expected to vote on the agreement. Herein lies my problem. The entirety of the congress has been taken out of the loop…forever. Part of the reasoning for the fast track is that some of the countries would be hesitant to sign the agreement knowing that a future congress could change or eliminate some or all of the agreement. The solution? Easy, just make it impossible for anyone to ever alter the TPP. How could this possibly have happened? Oh yeah, I forgot, multi-national corporations have been lining the pockets of both parties to the tune of millions of dollars over the past few months.

The extremes of both the democrat and republican parties are against the TPP. The progressives were against it because they thought it may weaken unions and harm worker’s rights. The republicans were against it due to the lack of transparency in the bill and the power it gave away to the executive branch. The mainstream of both parties were for it, if not before, certainly after the bribes started rolling in. Remember, all this was purely based on ideology because NONE OF THEM WERE ALLOWED TO READ THE AGREEMENT THAT THEY WERE VOTING FOR! There have been a few details that have come to light, like the fact that Vietnam will have to improve worker conditions, wages and allow them the possibility of unionizing. Other aspects don’t seem so vanilla, like the Investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS), which could potentially threaten the sovereignty of every country that agrees to the provision. In essence, an international tribunal could overturn Supreme Court decisions regarding trademark and intellectual property laws if the business decision of one country hurt the profits of a private corporation, that corporation could sue for damages using ISDS, even when the case was lost in local courts.

If there were ever a case to be made that government and business should not mix, it is this one. Every time the government tries to broker deals on behalf of business, they fail. It’s not because they don’t try or they are corrupt. The truth is that there is uneven knowledge. What I mean is that the government, or more accurately, the people who make up the government, do not have the knowledge to run a business, never mind an international conglomerate. Those people tend to look towards the people who do have knowledge on the subject, international conglomerates, to help them write laws that deal with business and trade. Of course those laws and trade deals will favor multi-national corporations. This is exactly how intellectual property laws have gotten so out of hand. This is why big corporations are in favor of things like a minimum wage and regulatory controls. They know it will be harder for a small business to grow into a potential competitor.

In a perfect world a free trade agreement would be very short: You sell me your stuff, and I’ll sell you my stuff. We, unfortunately, do not live in a perfect world. The current version of the TPP is, according to Rand Paul, who was granted 45 minutes with the document, says that it’s about 800 pages. That alone tells me that this agreement is probably not a great deal for anyone except the shadowy, secretive people who write these things anonymously for their own benefit. The silver lining here is that this is an issue that transcends identity politics. When the tea party and the progressive socialists agree on an issue there must be a reason. To be very honest, the TPP was not even on my radar until the last couple weeks. It has been in the works for 10 years! Just scratching the surface enough to write this blog compels me to dig a little further and ask everyone else to do the same.

Social Justice Warriors Are Killing the World

This week’s blog is an extension of last week’s blog. It was brought to my attention that my blog last week on feminism could apply to almost every special rights group, and they were right. Who and what are special rights groups? They generally fall into 3 main categories: women’s rights, minority rights and gay rights groups. However each main group may have their own set of sub-group, For instance, the body image group is a subset of feminism. They specialize in trying to get photo-shopped models off the cover of magazines because it may make an overweight girl feel bad. These people are generally called social justice warriors (SJW’s) and are basically just professional victims.

As far as I can tell, there is no widely accepted definition of the SJW movement. Generally, it is based in cultural Marxism that sees built-in inequality in the western culture based on things like race, gender, religion and sexual orientation and seek to make every group equal no matter what. To a SJW, some people have a natural advantage in any given culture. Because men, and white/European men in particular, have built and run the world for the vast majority of human existence, they are at the top of the cultural food chain and therefore “privileged”. Thus, a hierarchy of human existence is born. The goal of cultural Marxism and the SJW movement is to eliminate this hierarchy so that everyone is on a level playing field. To a SJW, any group above any other group needs to be attacked and brought down a few pegs to achieve an equality of outcome. It is easy to see then, that white males are the main target of their hate. Any group that does not cater to the wants and desires of a group lower on the hierarchy is a target for destruction.

The ultimate goal of the SJW movement is to quell any humor, speech or actions deemed to be offensive (by any SJW) from a group that is higher in hierarchy directed towards a group lower on the hierarchy. This makes for some interesting battles sometimes. This is also why it is deemed to be ok for a member of a minority to say something that would be considered racist if said by a white male. It’s not labelled offensive for instance if a Latino comedian uses typical white stereotypes to make fun of white people in a joke because they are lower on the cultural scale and therefore have less “privilege”. It gets interesting when the gap in hierarchy is smaller, such as the case between slim women and overweight women. Both groups would be low on the hierarchy, but thin women would be slightly higher and therefore an acceptable target from the pro-plus-sized women group. You see this in action on your Facebook with meme’s that say things like, “only dogs like bones”, with a picture of a slim woman. Another popular meme says, “Real men like curves” with a picture of an attractive plus-sized woman. Once only plus-sized women are on all the covers of magazines the term plus-sized is no longer acceptable and some other less offensive term will be invented.

So how does all of this work in the real world? What’s so bad about wanting equality? In order to answer these questions, let’s look at each category of SJW group briefly, excluding women’s rights since I used the above example and wrote about modern feminism last week.

The largest network of SJW groups would be minority rights groups. There are probably dozens or possibly hundreds of sub-groups for every race/nationality on the planet. The point of this group is not to build up minorities to better achieve the life goals of the individual members of that group, rather to destroy and bring down the groups that would be considered higher on the cultural scale. In America, you can see this in action in the outrage over white police officers killing black people. To be sure, police killing any innocent person is a tragedy, but to the SJW what matters is that not enough white people are getting killed by cops. This is the fallacy of the SJW movement. Facts, science, logic and reason don’t matter. Arguments like twice as many white people are killed by police than black people don’t matter. What matters is feelings and pop culture trends. What matters is the color of the person, not the argument or idea that is offered. The exact opposite of what Martin Luther King Jr. preached. Minorities of all nationalities, you have value outside your skin color. You control your own destiny, no matter what they tell you. If someone doesn’t like you because of your skin color, screw them and succeed anyway.

The other major category of SJW is the gay rights groups. There are several sub-groups in this category. Each letter in the LBGTIAQ (sorry if I missed any letters), could be considered a sub-group. The target of gay rights right now seems to be religious groups, especially Christian ones. I am guessing from the media coverage that conservative religious groups are higher on the “privilege” scale because they are all about forcing religious business owners to cater to their every whim. Because the gay people are lower on the hierarchy their rights supersede the religious rights of business owners. Truly, I cannot think of anything more demeaning to a person than being reduced to a letter in a long incoherent string of letters. How dismissive is that of an individual’s personal experience, existence, opinions. Gay people of all stripes, you have value outside your sexual orientation. You are not just a letter. If someone hates you for who you love, screw them and succeed anyway.

The SJW movement is killing the world because it is propelling political correctness to dangerous levels. They are killing free speech on college campuses, and in the media. They are killing social media, where they for the most part live. They use social media to ruin the lives of dissenters, by doxing individuals in order to threaten their employers into firing the dissenter. They use twitter, Instagram, tumbler, Facebook and youtube like a SWAT team uses a sniper rifle. They have propelled being a victim to rock star status. If you are not a victim, you are a misogynist, sexist, bigoted, member of the patriarchy. When your goal is to tear down instead of build up, you are doing it wrong. When you can no longer speak your mind on a college campus something is wrong. Eventually, normal people will stop using social media. Sjw’s see capitalism as the enemy because is based in the patriarchy created by white/European males and needs to be destroyed. They have no facts, no logic and no reason. Science is not on their side.

When I got my white privilege certificate in the mail, it came with a secret decoder ring. We white males get secret updates on a regular basis and are prohibited by the patriarchy to discuss the contents of those secret documents. I am going to spill some of the beans right now. This may get my privilege reduced or even taken away, but I’m willing to risk it. Here goes. If you have goals, work hard, figure out what you are good at and work towards getting better anyone can succeed. If you worry about what other people have you will fail. A great man once said, “But let me offer you my definition of social justice: I keep what I earn and you keep what you earn. Do you disagree? Well then tell me how much of what I earn belongs to you – and why?” –Dr. Walter Williams. There, I have transferred some of my privilege to you, don’t make me regret it.

Modern Feminism and Why it Fails

I think it’s about time I wrote something on feminism. Actually, my daughter asked me to write about it. I have 4 kids, including the oldest daughter, boy/girl twins and the youngest boy. I’ve always had a fondness for strong female leads in movies and TV shows. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is one of my all-time favorite shows. The only sport I follow is MMA through the UFC, and Rhonda Rousey is currently my favorite fighter. The point is, I don’t hate women. To modern feminism, that doesn’t matter, the fact that I am male means that I must objectify Buffy and Rhonda, and therefore I hate women. This is why the movement is doomed to fail.

Feminism

  1. the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.
synonyms: the women’s movement, the feminist movement, women’s liberation, female emancipation, women’s rights;

informalwomen’s lib

“a longtime advocate of feminism”

Seems like common sense. Who doesn’t want equality right? I’m sorry, that was the old feminism, you know, the one from the turn of the century advocating that laws and rights be equally applied to both men and women. Advocating that any law that applies to men such as voting and owning property should also apply to women. Nothing special, just equal opportunity under the law. Those were truly pioneer women, in some cases literally killing themselves for equality. This blog is not about that kind of feminism, it’s about modern feminism.

Modern Feminism is a movement that advocates for equality of outcome over all areas of life where men and women interact, using a wide range of social, political and legal means.

This isn’t about equal opportunity, it’s about equality of outcome. Modern feminism is based in victimology. What I mean is feminists always see women as victims of some injustice or another, by definition. In video games, in the movies, in TV and in life, women are always victims of the whims of men. We’ve all heard terms like, “objectify”, “misogynist” and “patriarchal”. I used to think they were just a natural group of insults hurled by man-hating, liberal idiots, but in doing a little research for this blog I found out that there is such a thing as “feminist science”, that produces theories based in what can only be described as feminist reality. This is a reality that does not resemble the one you and I are familiar with. Now I realize that when feminists try to ban words like “bossy”, or force employers to pay women more based on a myth that women make $0.77 for each dollar a man makes, they aren’t just man-hating, liberal idiots but man-hating liberal idiots using “science”. I also found out that they hate liberal men just as much as any other group of men, so at least there’s that.

One of the foundations that modern feminism is based on is the “subject/object dichotomy. Basically, this states that subjects act and objects are acted upon. Objects can’t have a true human identity and/or feelings because they are just objects and can’t be seen any other way. As an example let’s look at video games where women appear in scantily clad outfits while men soldiers go around shooting them, or using them, or whatever else happens in video games, (sorry, I don’t play video games). Since men are acting out in the fantasy world of the game it means that the women characters are simply objects within the games structure and therefore less than human. Therefore men will objectify women in the real world. Therefore the games must be either changed or banned. How about a real world example? Strip clubs. Men go into strip clubs simply to view naked women. They don’t want to know these women as people, they don’t want to know their names, their struggles in life, they just want to ogle them and go home. Men objectifying women. Misogyny. Patriarchy.

The problem with this is illustrated when you apply this kind of logic to other areas of life. Any kind of buyer/seller relationship could be characterized this way. When you buy your groceries you don’t care what the cashier’s name is that rings you up so you are objectifying them. When a doctor treats a patient, all they care about is treating the illness, they are objectifying them. The other thing that illustrates the insanity of this position is that there are two sides to every transaction. Let’s look at a strip club from the stripper’s perspective. You go to work and dance around for nameless, faceless, ever changing “Johns” riding them of their money. When their money runs out, they leave and are replaced with another one. Who is objectifying whom? The patient is using the doctor for the sole purpose of getting well. They don’t care about the doctor’s home life. The cashier is getting paid to scan groceries, they don’t care about the customer as a person. There are two sides to every transaction. In a consumer driven society the subject/object equals out. In other words, it is non-existent.

Modern day feminists believe that only men are subjects and only women can be made objects and therefore every action a man takes objectifies women, no matter what. Good deed, bad deed, no deed, you as a man are a misogynist, patriarchal objectifier. This is why silly notions like all sex is rape are prevalent among the ideology of hard core and mainstream feminism. This is also why the modern feminist movement is generally not popular among women and is ultimately failing. The most ironic thing about the modern feminist movement is that in order to support the position held by feminists, you would have to believe that women are in essence inferior to men and therefore laws must be passes to protect them against the patriarchy.

Whether you like it or not, the world was built by men, in virtually every way. The roads, bridges, buildings, businesses are all residue of the efforts of mostly men. That is an ugly fact, but a fact none the less. Women were subjugated for millennia. Women were treated no better than property for the better part of mankind’s existence. Another ugly, but true fact. That is not to say that there were no women involved in building this society, just that most of the labor was done by men. There have been exceptions to the rule throughout history like Madame Curie and Joan of Arc just to name two.

The feminist movement of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s sacrificed life and limb to change the way women were treated by the law. They succeeded in removing the legal barriers, but the infrastructure remained. Equal opportunity is true feminism. Women now have choices. Just because a self-proclaimed feminist doesn’t like the choice doesn’t make it patriarchy. Women making choices is a good thing. Staying home and having babies, getting ahead in the workforce, a combination of both or neither are choices that should not be judged by other women. Equality of outcome removes choices and thereby sets women back 100 years. It’s funny how every feminist in the effort to ban the word “bossy”, claims to have been called bossy as young girls and yet still were able to make millions and even billions of dollars anyway. I’m all for my daughters being feminists, just not modern ones, but that is really up to them. I want them to protect themselves, make their own choices, live their own lives on their own terms and own their place in this world, wherever it takes them.

Feminism doesn’t decide what job a woman can and can’t do, women do. Feminism doesn’t decide what games women should or should not play, women do. Feminism doesn’t decide what women should or shouldn’t buy, women do. I have an idea, instead of being feminists, liberals, conservatives, this race or that gender, why don’t we try just being human insead?