published Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

The Wedding Crasher

about Clay Bennett...

The son of a career army officer, Bennett led a nomadic life, attending ten different schools before graduating in 1980 from the University of North Alabama with degrees in Art and History. After brief stints as a staff artist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Fayetteville (NC) Times, he went on to serve as the editorial cartoonist for the St. Petersburg Times (1981-1994) and The Christian Science Monitor (1997-2007), before joining the staff of the ...

133
Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.

Marriage will always be about a man and a woman. No laws passed or bullying by actors and politicians can force me to accept it as normal. It is what it is. I accept it's real and that's what they are. But it AIN'T normal and saying that doesn't make me a bigot.

February 8, 2012 at 12:37 a.m.
blackwater48 said...

IS GAY MARRIAGE STILL AN ISSUE?

I think government is too big and a constant threat to our liberty, so if gays and lesbians want to get married what do I care?

They should have the right to be just as miserable as the rest of us. (that's a joke)

But seriously, is it still an issue?

February 8, 2012 at 12:46 a.m.
David_Franks said...

chattanoogatennesseeusa--

RE "Marriage will always be about a man and a woman." What do you base that on?

February 8, 2012 at 12:54 a.m.
shoe_chucker said...

it costs money to get married. i say let the gays stimulate the economy if they want to. seems to me that the most adamantly anti-gay type people always turn out to be the most perverted queers, sticking their feet under bathroom stalls and and stuff.........

one thing you slack jawed, mouth breathing southern republicans haven't figured out yet is that you cannot legislate ideas, feelings, or morality.

February 8, 2012 at 1:02 a.m.
shoe_chucker said...

chattanoogatennesseeusa said...

Marriage will always be about a man and a woman. No laws passed or bullying by actors and politicians can force me to accept it as normal.

i bet your boyfriend could force you to accept it ||||||))

February 8, 2012 at 1:08 a.m.
blackwater48 said...

THERE IS LEGAL PRECEDENT

If you are going to single out a segment of America citizens, who are presumptively entitled to be treated like other citizens, and discriminate based on characteristics unique to them, YOU HAVE TO HAVE A LEGAL REASON FOR DOING SO. Lawyers arguing for the state of California couldn't make the case because their arguments lacked any merit. There is no legal reason to ban gay marriage.

I'm sure Bible quoters will weigh in at some point, but we do not yet live in a theocracy. And I do mean, YET.

February 8, 2012 at 1:19 a.m.
acerigger said...

blackwater48 said...

IS GAY MARRIAGE STILL AN ISSUE?

Yep,it ranks right up there with global warming,solyndra,bail-outs,food-stamps,apologizing for America,abortion,etc,etc.

February 8, 2012 at 1:19 a.m.
WHS1970 said...

Is that BRP or joneses picture?

February 8, 2012 at 2:07 a.m.
fairmon said...

Why is Polygamy illegal? I assume it is because states have a law against it, the issue is not addressed in the constitution. There is no constitutional right granted to anyone straight or otherwise to be married therefore why is the federal government involved? It is and should be a state issue. Who issues and gets revenue for a marriage license and maintains the documents? Instead of politicians saying we are a constitutional republic You hear more and more we are a country that adheres to and is governed by the rule of law as more and more laws infringing on liberties are passed. Look at the number of lawyers in congress and other positions in government. Considering all the prejudices against singles it is no wonder gays want to marry.

February 8, 2012 at 2:28 a.m.
hambone said...

I think when the founding Father wrote the Constitution everyone had bigger closets!!

February 8, 2012 at 4:36 a.m.
hotdiggity said...

"There is no constitutional right granted to anyone straight or otherwise to be married therefore why is the federal government involved? It is and should be a state issue."

Harp, the issue for why Prop 8 was overturned was the opinion that it was a violation of the 14 Amendment to the Constitution.

Also, as to your distaste in saying "why is the federal government involved", perhaps you would support doing away with federal and state laws that benefit marriage such as taxes, home buyer programs, educational assistance, etc. There are hundreds of benefits protected by the state and federal government for persons that are married.

Part of the decision states, "Although the Constitution permits communities to enact most laws they believe to be desirable, it requires that there be at least a legitimate reason for the passage of a law that treats different classes of people differently".

Sounds reasonable to me.

February 8, 2012 at 6:28 a.m.
EaTn said...

I like the old saying that in the Bible God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve nor Addie and Eve. When same sexes develop to the point of being able to conceive, then I will wholeheartedly support same sex marriage.

February 8, 2012 at 6:35 a.m.
MTJohn said...

EaTn said...I like the old saying that in the Bible God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve nor Addie and Eve. When same sexes develop to the point of being able to conceive, then I will wholeheartedly support same sex marriage.

Procreation requires a physical heterosexual union. It does not require marriage.

February 8, 2012 at 7:21 a.m.
cpace02 said...

Right, EaTn, because infertile heterosexual couples shouldn't be allowed to marry. /sarcasm

February 8, 2012 at 7:25 a.m.
fairmon said...

hotdiggity said....

Also, as to your distaste in saying "why is the federal government involved", perhaps you would support doing away with federal and state laws that benefit marriage such as taxes, home buyer programs, educational assistance, etc. There are hundreds of benefits protected by the state and federal government for persons that are married.

Those prejudices against singles are true but why? What gives the government the power to pass laws that discriminate against those opting to not be married? to name a few:

1- The tax table headings are the first clue. Why do singles pay more than the other categories? I prefer being single and so does a lady friend. We both pay property taxes and have all the typical expenses of home ownership yet our incomes are taxed at a higher rate.

2-Health insurance rates are less for a married couple, the family rate, than for two single people. Why? There is no evidence the claim rates or health care charges differ.

3-There are no social security survivor benefits for singles. A non-working spouse can receive social security based on the working spouse income plus get an increase if the other dies. The two single worker paid the same social security rates as the working spouse but the benefits calculations are the same. There are other prejudices in the social security system.

4-I have heard home buyer programs are greater for married couples than single. Why? I saved until I could pay cash for a home. Why is interest paid on a house deductible? Why any deductions for tax purposes instead of a set rate for each income level? For every deduction someone else pays for it.

5- Why tax deductions for each kid because a married couple decides to have a house full of rug rats that everyone else has to help pay for and educate?

There are other examples of this prejudice against singles. which obviously is the primary reason for gays wanting the right to marry. Perhaps singles should get together and take their cause to court. I don't object to gay marriage but it is a stretch to interpret amendment XIV section 1 to over turn a state law regarding the issue. The ruling of the ultra liberal third district is likely to be over turned upon appeal to a higher court. Some people still believe in and support state sovereignty and limiting federal government to those powers assigned it by the constitution. Amendment X; 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.

February 8, 2012 at 8:05 a.m.
fairmon said...

A plus for gay marriage is they won't proliferate and add to the population and welfare roles.

February 8, 2012 at 8:13 a.m.
conservative said...

Genesis 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh

February 8, 2012 at 8:14 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Conservative, not everybody believes in your book of myths. This is not a theocracy.

February 8, 2012 at 8:25 a.m.
MTJohn said...

Conservative - please cite the Scripture passages that prescribe all of the benefits that we have associated with "marriage", as listed above by Harp. And, while you are at it, please cite the passages that prohibit granting those same benefits to those couples who choose to form a civil union, irrespective of gender.

February 8, 2012 at 8:31 a.m.
alprova said...

chattanoogatennesseeusa wrote: "Marriage will always be about a man and a woman."

Says who?

"No laws passed or bullying by actors and politicians can force me to accept it as normal."

Nobody is asking you to accept anything.

"It is what it is. I accept it's real and that's what they are. But it AIN'T normal and saying that doesn't make me a bigot."

Oh...you're definitely a bigoted person alright. You're a typical Conservative as well. You'll speak about liberty, personal freedom, and lovin' the good ole' US of A, until it comes to something that you happen to disagree with.

What you consider to be "normal" to you may not apply to everyone else. I'd be willing to bet that there's probably something about you that is not "normal" when compared to other people.

Every person is an individual and each and every person has idiosyncrasies unique to them. When it comes to what turns on an individual sexually, the sky is the limit when it comes to turn-ons and turn-offs.

I will bet that if the truth were known, you harbor your own version of something that turns you on, that is not shared by other people. To you, you are perfectly "normal." Other people would probably disagree.

You may harbor some desire to spend some private time with ladies unmentionables and/or a pair of high-heel slippers. You may have some desire to don them in order to be closer to them. Afterward, you may light up a cigarette to top off your moment of passion.

Now I consider the above scenario to be highly abnormal, but because it crosses the line of heterosexual related behavior, would you agree or disagree with my assessment?

Normality is relative to each person on an individual basis.

February 8, 2012 at 8:43 a.m.
conservative said...

Truth is not determined by what one believes. One could not believe that 2+2=4 but that would not negate the truth that 2+2 does indeed equal 4.

February 8, 2012 at 8:45 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

It's a huge stretch between 2+2=4 and your book of fairy tales handed down from Bronze age shepherds, written in Greek and then translated hundreds of times.

Once again, if we are not Christians we do not have to adhere to anything in your story book.

BTW-still waiting on your definition of a TROO CONSERVATIVE (TM) with examples.

February 8, 2012 at 8:47 a.m.
alprova said...

EaTn wrote: "I like the old saying that in the Bible God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve nor Addie and Eve. When same sexes develop to the point of being able to conceive, then I will wholeheartedly support same sex marriage."

I might understand your point, if only people who were married were the only people to conceive.

Conception does not depend on marriage nor is there evidence to suggest that the only reason people seek to marry another is to conceive a family.

February 8, 2012 at 8:52 a.m.
conservative said...

Stated another way, just because you refuse to believe a truth, it does not mean the truth does not exist.

February 8, 2012 at 8:58 a.m.
moon4kat said...

Don't confuse the differing roles of church and state. As far as the government is concerned, under the US Constitution, gay marriage is a simple issue of civil rights. The term "marriage" is sometimes freighted with religious significance, but it also has a secular meaning. Churches can refuse to "marry" a couple, but the government cannot. Gays have the same rights as non-gays to make a civil commitment to "marry" (with or without a church ceremony) and share their lives with whomever they choose.
Many so-called conservatives who rail about government interference in our lives are all too happy to insist that the government should supervise personal relationships, and decide what people can do with their own bodies.

February 8, 2012 at 9:16 a.m.
alprova said...

Harp3339 wrote "Why tax deductions for each kid because a married couple decides to have a house full of rug rats that everyone else has to help pay for and educate?"

Because there are costs associated with the raising of those "rug rats." Your choice to not have or to not want kids is totally your own. The rest of the 90% of people out here who do have or who do want kids think they are kinda special.

Your not receiving a tax deduction does not translate into you paying a dime toward the raising or education of someone else's kid.

You Ron Paulians really have a funny way of looking at taxes in this nation, not to mention of how the actual percentages of what you pay are applied to whatever pet peeve expenditure that you happen to disagree with tax money being spent on.

To you, the entire burden is on your shoulders. In reality, you pay pennies at best and those pennies are spread out over millions of people.

February 8, 2012 at 9:18 a.m.
MTJohn said...

conservative said...Stated another way, just because you refuse to believe a truth, it does not mean the truth does not exist.

And, stated yet another way, just because you choose to believe a falsehood, it does not make the falsehood true. (please understand that is a comment about your logic and not a comment about the central tenets of Christianity)

February 8, 2012 at 9:22 a.m.
conservative said...

MtJohn--

The "logic" IS sound. "Stated another way, just because you refuse to believe a truth, it does not mean the truth does not exist" Believing a truth is accepting a truth and that is always good "logic"

February 8, 2012 at 9:44 a.m.
MTJohn said...

conservative said...Believing a truth is accepting a truth and that is always good "logic"

Only if, like 2 + 2 _ 4, "truth" can be deduced entirely by reason. And, as often has been demonstrated on this blog, e.g. "birthers", even when it is possible to deduce falsehood entirely by reason, some folks still insist on believing that the falsehood is true. Thus, my post.

I'd also note that you are on very shaking ground when you attempt to apply logic and reason to matters of "truth" that are discerned only through faith.

February 8, 2012 at 9:59 a.m.
potcat said...

Your truth is not my truth,period.

This is NOT a State issue.Gay Rights to Marry is a Civil Rights issue. The State of Tn. will never allow Gay PEOPLE their Civil Rights. Look who Tn. elects, the most backward, ignorant buffoons imaginable.

Gays will have the same right as i do, one day in America, you know why,because we evolve!!!

February 8, 2012 at 9:59 a.m.
mtngrl said...

using conservative's logic:

using his bible verse he is stating that Man + Woman = Marriage

He then compares that to 2 + 2 = 4

Therefore Man = 2 and Woman = 2 and Marriage = 4

Therefore using basic algebra it is also true that:

Man + Man = Marriage and Woman + Woman = Marriage.

February 8, 2012 at 10:19 a.m.
conservative said...

MTJohn--

Are you and atheist and a homosexual as well? I have noticed they are the ones most vocal on their hatred for God and defense of homosexuality.

I have also noticed the two constantly try to change the subject, "birthers" for example and never refute anything that is true. You didn't refute one thing I wrote but tried to confuse others by stating that people believe things that are false. That is what Lieberals do.

February 8, 2012 at 10:26 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

The "logic" IS sound. "Stated another way, just because you refuse to believe a truth, it does not mean the truth does not exist" Believing a truth is accepting a truth and that is always good "logic"

The bible is neither logical nor is it the TRUTH (TM).

February 8, 2012 at 10:30 a.m.
conservative said...

mntgrl--

You're are lesbian, I get it.

February 8, 2012 at 10:31 a.m.
mtngrl said...

conservative--

I have yet to see you state one single "truth"

February 8, 2012 at 10:45 a.m.
potcat said...

Hatred of God? I have never read one post on here from a Atheist,agnostic that said any thing close to "they hated God". Why put God and Homosexuality togeather, after all it would be God who made the person Homosexual, asexual or a person born with both a Penis and a Vagina. Did God make a mistake?

Get Real!!!

February 8, 2012 at 10:45 a.m.
mtngrl said...

More fun with logic:

According to conservative, anyone who defends homosexuals must be homosexual.

Therefore, you must also believe that anyone who defends unborn fetuses must be an unborn fetus.

February 8, 2012 at 11:04 a.m.
fairmon said...

alprova said... Harp3339 wrote "Why tax deductions for each kid because a married couple decides to have a house full of rug rats that everyone else has to help pay for and educate?"

Because there are costs associated with the raising of those "rug rats." Your choice to not have or to not want kids is totally your own. The rest of the 90% of people out here who do have or who do want kids think they are kinda special.

Your not receiving a tax deduction does not translate into you paying a dime toward the raising or education of someone else's kid.

Two people working the same job with the same income with one married with kids and one single. The single will pay significantly more taxes than the married with kids. So, the single is paying to help you pay for raising the kids you chose to birth and that you think are special. You file as married which is a lower rate. You chose to finance a house and the single person did not, when you file taxes you get a deduction for interest resulting in the single paying paying on more of the same income. There is no justification for the discrimination against singles. The pennies impact you insist on add up to significant dollars with the acculalative effect of all the discrimatory items.

At the local level a high percent of property taxes go to education with two singles owning homes similar to and at similar rates to yours indeed help you educate them. That may be justifiable with education being a state and local issue and responsibility. I can see no reason for federal involvement in education. It wasn't until Carter decided it should be. The size and cost of that departiment has grown exponentially with the only measurable impact has been is it is more costly.

February 8, 2012 at 11:25 a.m.
conservative said...

Mathew 19:3-6

The Pharisees..... The Pharisees were a Jewish sect. This is an historical fact, a truth, not a "myth." Would an atheist foolishly disagree?

February 8, 2012 at 11:43 a.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Conservative said: "Truth is not determined by what one believes."

So how is truth determined? I'm curious and would really like to know.

February 8, 2012 at 11:43 a.m.
whatsnottaken said...

My issue isn't with gay or not gay. I vould care less since your sex life is irrelevent to me. My only concern is that the people of a state voted this into law. It was the wishes of the marjority, which is what this nation is built on. If a court can override that, it can do anything, even rule King Kenyan Obama exalted ruler for life against the wishes of the electorate. It truly is a dangerous precedent if it's allowed to stand.

February 8, 2012 at 11:46 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

That's it? One item of "fact" in the whole book? I never said that everything in the bible is wrong-obviously there is history mixed in. But a lot of it is inconsistent or downright incorrect, understandable given what people understood about their world all those thousands of years ago.

My point is this: I, along with many others, don't consider your book to be a valid guide to life, governance, or justice. Thankfully, we live in a secular country where WE DON'T HAVE TO. Nor do we accept the Quran or the Talmud, or the Wall Street Journal.

February 8, 2012 at 11:50 a.m.
News_Junkie said...

I find it completely ironical that conservatives like to (try to) use that U.S. Constitution as a bludgeon against anything that they disagree with, but then do an about-face and then argue States rights when the U.S. Constitution goes against their beliefs.

If conservatives truly believe in States rights, then they should wholeheartedly support the rights of States to enact laws permitting same-sex marriage and the legalization of marijuana. I've yet to hear a conservative group do that. (I don't consider libertarians to be "true" conservatives within the usual connotation of that term.)

February 8, 2012 at 12:16 p.m.
LaughingBoy said...

There's a lot in the Bible that can't be followed, most if not all in the Old Testament. Gay marriage does not bother me personally. What I dislike is a gay agenda being pushed in schools and in the media, in the guise of fairness or tolerance.

February 8, 2012 at 12:22 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

What, exactly, is the "gay agenda" being pushed in schools?

February 8, 2012 at 12:31 p.m.
LaughingBoy said...

Discussion of any gay lifestyle in the least as early as kindergarten is the clearest example of a gay agenda. How does this get on the lesson plan when they should be learning to count and read?

February 8, 2012 at 12:36 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Waiting on the "agenda" part. The fact is, there are children in schools that have same sex parents. Schools cannot ignore this. But they don't discuss sexual matters with 6 year olds, gay or straight. Try again.

Sorry, tuqu. You cannot use your religious texts to dictate to the rest of us. You can follow them all you like yourself.

February 8, 2012 at 12:43 p.m.
tipper said...

Conservative: I'm glad you have such a monopoly on "the truth." If you haven't figured it out yet, truth is relative. Everybody has a separate truth based on their life experiences. Yours is just one of millions.

February 8, 2012 at 12:58 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Tu_quoque said: "You are residing in a nation that allows its citizens to participate in the forming of its laws and policies and their beliefs and faiths are of great influence."

True, Tu_quoquw, but we do have an established framework and any proposed laws and policies must be in accordance with the basic principles in which this Nation was founded – such as the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. Do you not agree?

February 8, 2012 at 1:08 p.m.
Momus said...

Marriage is between a man and a women, and a women, and a women. - Newt

February 8, 2012 at 1:28 p.m.
Ozzy87 said...

Ok. One more try. Here are most of the red herring arguements in one package. Marriage with an animal, when Bessie-The-Cow can sign a marriage license, call Ripley's Believe It Or Not. Marriage betweem immediate family members, legal next of kin status already established. Marrying a child, they are under legal age of consent (although in some states the legal age for marriage with parents' consent is 14, so no one striaght should compare homosexuality to pedophilia, I'm just saying...) Polygamy is a seperate issue. If someone wants to challeng the laws on polygamy, that is their right under the Constitution. Forcing churches to marry gay and lesbian couples : the separation of church and state goes both ways. As far as I know, no one has successfully sued the Catholic Church to force it to marry non-Catholics or divorced couples. Prop h8 was and end-run around California's state constitution. The religious reich had already tried to ban marriage equality and the state supreme court ruled it unconstitutional. Prop 8, DOMA, and state constitutional bans sre unconstitutional based on the Full Faith And Credit Clause, the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

February 8, 2012 at 1:52 p.m.
MTJohn said...

conservative said...I have also noticed the two constantly try to change the subject,

With the questions that you posed to me, I think you are the one who is trying to change the subject.

conservative said...

MTJohn--

Are you and atheist and a homosexual as well? I have noticed they are the ones most vocal on their hatred for God and defense of homosexuality.

As a matter of fact, I am a life-long practicing Christian. Thus, I speak about faith on the basis of personal experience.

As a second matter of fact, I also am a practicing heterosexual and still very happily married to my first wife. And, based on that experience, I understand 1) that I did not choose to be heterosexual and, if I didn't choose my orientation, I don't think anyone else chose theirs, either; and, 2) there is a clear distinction between "marriage", which is a spiritual matter and "civil union", which is a matter of legitimate interest to the state.

As a Christian, I believe that I am created in God's image. If I am created in that image, I believe that everyone else - homosexuals included - also is created in God's image. As a Christian, I also believe that the law of love should guide my relationships with everyone. Consequently, I believe that, if the state grants me privilege based on my and my wife's mutual decision to enter into a civil union, that privilege ought to be granted to every couple who make a comparable commitment to enter into a civil union. To believe otherwise would violate the law of love.

February 8, 2012 at 2:06 p.m.
MTJohn said...

whatsnottaken said...My issue isn't with gay or not gay. I vould care less since your sex life is irrelevent to me. My only concern is that the people of a state voted this into law.

The Constitution does not grant the majority the authority to compromise the civil rights of the minority.

February 8, 2012 at 2:10 p.m.
ibshame said...

Everytime I look at Rick Santorum and listen to all the rhetoric he spews about same sex marriage, I can't help but be taken back to the time of Terri Schiavo. Here was a case that clearly was about spousal rights involving a man and a woman in the holy state of matrimony. Yet it became a NATIONAL SPECTACLE not seen or heard of before or since. Members of the U.S. Congress passed a law specifically for this ONE CASE and the sitting U.S. President returned from his time playing cowboy rancher to sign this law in order to stop a SPOUSE from giving his permission for the doctors not to use anymore intrusive measures to keep his vegetative wife alive. This case had already been heard several times in several courts. Each time the courts had decided it was indeed the SPOUSE'S RIGHT to make the decision concerning his wife SINCE THERE WAS NO LIVING WILL AND AS HER SPOUSE HE WAS HER LEGAL NEXT OF KIN. Her parents had no legal standing in the case since her illness was not the result of anything her husband had done to induce her coma.

For people like Santorum and those who are for Prop 8 it's about what THEY think a marriage should be like and not what a marriage really is. Eventually, Terris Schiavo was allowed to peacefully exit this world and her husband returned to the private life he desired before Santorum, Frist and Bush made his life a living hell. All because they thought they knew better what his wife wanted even though they NEVER KNEW or met his wife. They didn't have the right to interfere in a marriage then and they still don't today regardless of whether it's a same sex marriage or not. The people who holler the loudest about the government interfering in the lives of the people are the ones who will use the government to intrude when it suits their purposes. That makes them full of "pious baloney."

February 8, 2012 at 2:15 p.m.
MTJohn said...

tu_quoque said...

MTJohn sez:

"The Constitution does not grant the majority the authority to compromise the civil rights of the minority."

But it does grant us the power to make it say whatever we want if we have a sufficiently large enough majority.

Only if you burn the Constitution, first.

February 8, 2012 at 2:21 p.m.
Ozzy87 said...

MT John said:

As a matter of fact, I am a life-long practicing Christian. Thus, I speak about faith on the basis of personal experience.

As a second matter of fact, I also am a practicing heterosexual and still very happily married to my first wife. And, based on that experience, I understand 1) that I did not choose to be heterosexual and, if I didn't choose my orientation, I don't think anyone else chose theirs, either; and, 2) there is a clear distinction between "marriage", which is a spiritual matter and "civil union", which is a matter of legitimate interest to the state.

As a Christian, I believe that I am created in God's image. If I am created in that image, I believe that everyone else - homosexuals included - also is created in God's image. As a Christian, I also believe that the law of love should guide my relationships with everyone. Consequently, I believe that, if the state grants me privilege based on my and my wife's mutual decision to enter into a civil union, that privilege ought to be granted to every couple who make a comparable commitment to enter into a civil union. To believe otherwise would violate the law of love. Ozzy87: Loud applause I wish more people shared your outlook. I knew from a very young age that I was different than other boys. My older sister said she knew by the time I was 5 years old. And I'm not one of the "stereotype" that some people think of. Following their reasoning that sexual orientation is a choice to it's logical conclusion is that everyone is born bisexual and remains that way until a conscience choice is made.

February 8, 2012 at 2:43 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Tuqu, you still haven't shown any "agenda" that you claim gays are trying to push in schools.

You are aloud to voice your opinion all you like. But you may not interfere with the civil liberties of others. Same sex marriage is inevitable because it falls under "equal protection under law". All the bible-thumping in the world can't change it.

February 8, 2012 at 2:46 p.m.
Ozzy87 said...

tu_quoque said... Ozzy87:

PETA is currently trying to free some whales from "slavery" by claiming they have rights under our constitution. If they win maybe you and Bessie can appeal her situation under the same ruling. Then the two of you can get hitched and live happily ever after


No reading comprehension? Describe how an animal can sign a marriage license?

February 8, 2012 at 2:48 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Tu_quoque said: “The Constitution gives us the right and the mechanism to alter the laws, policies, principles, and in fact the Constitution in any manner we so desire.”

Interesting response, but it’s not really relevant in regard to the legal issue at hand. Is it, Tu_quoque? The bottom line is that America's Founders did establish a framework, which still exists; America does have a Constitution, which still exists; and America does have a Bill of Rights, which still exists. As such, any proposed laws and policies needs to be in accordance with this framework, Constitution and Bill of Rights.

February 8, 2012 at 2:49 p.m.
MTJohn said...

tu_quoque said...Article Five of the United States Constitution

Yes, and amendments to the Constitution must comply with the Constitution. Article V does not give either Congress or the majority electorate the right to compromise the civil rights of the minority.

February 8, 2012 at 3:02 p.m.
mtngrl said...

Prop 8 in no way followed the procedures outlined in Article 5. Nothing in there mentions a simple majority vote by members of one state being able to change the constitution. . What Prop 8 did do is violate the 14th amendment which specifically states:

"No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; 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."

.

Prop 8 specifically abridged the privileges of a set of citizens for no reason other than another set of citizens just doesn't like them having those rights. Prior to Prop 8 being passed, it was legal for same-sex couples to marry in the state of California. The ruling states you cannot deny rights they already had without showing those rights actually caused harm. No one in the case has been able to show any harm that same sex marriage causes.

.

No one posting above has been able to show any harm same sex marriage cause either

February 8, 2012 at 3:04 p.m.
potcat said...

Thank you MTJohn!!!

February 8, 2012 at 3:05 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

No one posting above has been able to show any harm same sex marriage cause either

Nor can they come up with a secular moral argument for denying gays full rights as citizens.

February 8, 2012 at 3:48 p.m.
mtngrl said...

They can't even come up with the "gay agenda" they themselves claim exists...

February 8, 2012 at 3:55 p.m.
News_Junkie said...

The bottom line is that this issue will go to the U.S. Supreme Court.

However, they may choose to dispose of it on very narrow grounds, so that the decision will not have any bearing on the laws of other states. It is very likely that is the course that the Supreme Court will take, because that this their general nature. (Admittedly, there are exceptions, and the decision in Citizens United is a perfect example of where the Supreme Court went much broader than necessary because they wanted to stake out new ground.)

That is particularly true where the case involves a close issue on which they sense that the mood of the populace is shifting. In that regard, in contrast to a mere decade or two ago, the majority of the population support same-sex marriage. Furthermore, while older people tend to be opposed to same sex marriage, the opposite is true with respect to younger people. Specifically, percentage of 20 and 30 year olds who suppport it is about 70 percent (depending on the poll). Thus, the Supreme Court doesn't want to be caught on the wrong side of a tectonic shift in public opinion.

Also, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision was very narrowly focused, which was undoubtedly drafted that way so as to increase the likelihood that their decision would be affirmed by the Supreme Court.

Furthermore, Judge Vaughn R. Walker, who presided over the trial, wrote his opinion in such a way that it would be very difficult to reverse his decision. (There are ways to craft a judicial opinion to achieve that result.)

February 8, 2012 at 4:04 p.m.
whatsnottaken said...

MYJohn. The whole problem with this is the perceived power of the court to render all legal votes meaningless, usurping the power of the people and placing it in the hands of self-serving, influence-accepting "judges." The people spoke. That's the law. When elections mean any less than they do already, people have lost the ability to govern themselves: "A government by the people, for the people." That you've heard of, I take it. Without that, we might as well start the revolution now.

February 8, 2012 at 4:10 p.m.

Two guys sporting beards and wearing tuxedos kissing each other after exchanging vows! LOL. YUCK! They can do whatever they want, it's a free country, but don't waste my time convincing me that's normal and should be called a marrige.LOL

February 8, 2012 at 4:17 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

MTJohn said: "To believe otherwise would violate the law of love."

Wonderful posts, MTJohn. I get the feeling that the "law of love" is a foreign concept to our "Conservative" poster, which is rather odd since most Christians believe God is love.

February 8, 2012 at 4:17 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Would inter-racial marriages receive popular vote in the 60's? Would blacks have received civil rights if they had to depend on the populace to vote them in? Does the majority have the right to pass laws that deny civil rights? No, the courts do have this responsibility. Prop 8 should have never been voted on in the first place.

Politics of voting is interesting. If the "wine in supermarkets" ever made it to a ballot, it would pass. The goal of the unholy alliance between the Baptists and the Liquor Store lobby is to keep it from ever doing so.

February 8, 2012 at 4:19 p.m.
MTJohn said...

whatsnottaken said...The whole problem with this is the perceived power of the court to render all legal votes meaningless, usurping the power of the people and placing it in the hands of self-serving, influence-accepting "judges." The people spoke.

The people may have spoken. However, if they compromised the rights of the minority, there was nothing lawful about the vote. And, the Constitution grants the courts not only the authority but the obligation to "usurp the power of the people" when the people violate the Constitution.

February 8, 2012 at 4:24 p.m.

Mr. Franks, I base that on sanity. Trying to convince me that I'm a bigot because I don't accept Homosexuality as normal is a waste of time. It's quite insane to expect me to look at two guys locking lips the same as I would a guy and a girl. It's exists, and it's real, but it AIN'T the same. My beef is not the morality issue, it's the idea that I have to accept it as normal. No way.

February 8, 2012 at 4:25 p.m.
MTJohn said...

chattanoogatennesseeusa said... but don't waste my time convincing me that's normal and should be called a marrige.

Nobody is asking you to. We are just asking you to acknowledge that they are citizens and that all citizens are entitled to the same rights as you.

February 8, 2012 at 4:26 p.m.
mtngrl said...

whatsnottaken said...

MYJohn. The whole problem with this is the perceived power of the court to render all legal votes meaningless, usurping the power of the people and placing it in the hands of self-serving, influence-accepting "judges." .

I am glad to see you used the word "perceived", since that is only your perception and not an actual fact. The court has every right to render votes meaningless when they are unconstitutional. This does not mean "all legal votes" as you claim.

February 8, 2012 at 4:29 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Mr. Franks, I base that on sanity. Trying to convince me that I'm a bigot because I don't accept Homosexuality as normal is a waste of time. It's quite insane to expect me to look at two guys locking lips the same as I would a guy and a girl. It's exists, and it's real, but it AIN'T the same. My beef is not the morality issue, it's the idea that I have to accept it as normal. No way.

Frankly, I'd rather everyone keep their kissing in private. Gay or Straight. Don't wanna see it.

February 8, 2012 at 4:35 p.m.
whatsnottaken said...

The Constitutional right of the majority for self-governance has been compromised.

February 8, 2012 at 4:46 p.m.
whatsnottaken said...

Look at it this way. At least we don't have to have elections anymore since they're meaningless.

February 8, 2012 at 4:50 p.m.
mtngrl said...

whatsnottaken, so in your view the voters should be able to decide if we want to have our state run by sharia law if we get a majority vote? How about banning all weapons of any sort? That pesky constitution just gets in the way, doesn't it?

February 8, 2012 at 5:19 p.m.
conservative said...

Mathew 19: 3-6

The Pharisees also came to Him, testingHim and saying to Him......The Him was Jesus Christ, a real person, a historical fact, a truth and not a "myth". Would even an atheist foolishly disagree? This fact is in addition to the fact that the Pharisees also existed as I noted earlier.

February 8, 2012 at 5:19 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

As I understand it, Jesus did exist. What atheists don't accept is the notion of a deity or god. I am sure Jesus was a good man, and his teachings are important, on the same level with Aristotle, Plato, etc. However, I don't buy the supernatural stuff. And the nice thing about the USA, is that you and your ilk can't force me to, nor can you force the minute details of your interpretation of his teachings (or anyone else's) on others.

You should celebrate this. After all, no one else can impose their version of an almighty sky daddy on you.

February 8, 2012 at 5:24 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Whatsnottaken said: "The Constitutional right of the majority for self-governance has been compromised."

I don’t think you fully understand the various issues involved in the California Prop 8 case, Whatsnottaken. Kevin Drum’s commentary does a pretty good job at getting to the bottom line and includes the court’s reasoning:

"Although the Constitution permits communities to enact most laws they believe to be desirable, it requires that there be at least a legitimate reason for the passage of a law that treats different classes of people differently. There was no such reason that Proposition 8 could have been enacted.

....All that Proposition 8 accomplished was to take away from same-sex couples the right to be granted marriage licenses and thus legally to use the designation of 'marriage,' which symbolizes state legitimization and societal recognition of their committed relationships. Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples. The Constitution simply does not allow for "laws of this sort."

http://motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/02/gay-marriage-ban-unconstitutional-—-now

February 8, 2012 at 5:26 p.m.
mtngrl said...

Those Pharisees also came to Jesus in John8, conservative. That is when he told them "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her"

Why can't modern "conservatives" live by that teaching?

February 8, 2012 at 5:27 p.m.
conservative said...

Mathew 19: 3-6

The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?” Note that the subject here is a man and a wife. For thousands of years mankind has known that divorce, that is the desolution of a marriage is between a man and wife. This is an historical fact, a truth and not a "myth". Would even an atheist foolishly disagree? Think, this is from the Bible. Who but a fool would deny these facts?

February 8, 2012 at 5:41 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

And the definition of marriage and divorce have changed over the centuries too. That does not make the Bible, nor its interpretation, TRUTH (TM). So, your point is?

Marriages have been "performed" in many cultures, most of which don't even know the bible exists. Some have been to what we would today call underage girls, some have been arranged between children, some are plural marriages. Why would the bible be considered the last and only authority on this?

February 8, 2012 at 5:45 p.m.
dude_abides said...

tu_quoque said... PETA is currently trying to free some whales from "slavery" by claiming they have rights under our constitution. If they win maybe you and Bessie can appeal her situation under the same ruling. Then the two of you can get hitched and live happily ever after.

tu... I think you'd find more conservative country boys on that "Bestiality Bus" than you would liberals. That tired old tactic of tarring the left with any zany incident or opinion you can find would be equivalent to saying everyone right of center is a snake handling, tongue speaking, strychnine drinker.

February 8, 2012 at 6:04 p.m.
Ozzy87 said...

Ikeithlu, A friend made a very simple reply to the "change the definition of marriage" crowd. All words change or expand the definition over time. 40 years ago a mouse was defined as a small rodent. Now the definition has expanded to include a Human Interface Device (HID) for a computer

February 8, 2012 at 6:12 p.m.
conservative said...

Mathew 19:3-6

3 The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?” 4 And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female". The "He" is of course God but the point to be made here is He made them male and female. Remember, the Pharisees were asking Jesus about divorce between a man and a woman. For thousands of years people have known that divorce of a marriage was between a man and a woman ( a female and a male). This is an historical fact, a truth and not a " myth". Would even an atheist foolishly disagree? Think, this from the Bible written thousands of years before and practiced by civilization. Are there divorce records in the past between two females or two males?

February 8, 2012 at 6:13 p.m.
Ozzy87 said...

conservative, let me know when the Bible replaces the Constitution as the law of this country. Also historical fact that marriage predates Jewish traditions and was originally a Pagan ritual.

February 8, 2012 at 6:24 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

And these you shall detest among the birds; they shall not be eaten; they are detestable: the eagle, the bearded vulture, the black vulture, the kite, the falcon of any kind, every raven of any kind, the ostrich, the nighthawk, the sea gull, the hawk of any kind, the little owl, the cormorant, the short-eared owl, the barn owl, the tawny owl, the carrion vulture, the stork, the heron of any kind, the hoopoe, and the bat

So bats are birds, right?

February 8, 2012 at 6:37 p.m.
fairmon said...

ML I do agree with your post regarding prop 8 and the intent of the constitution to protect citizens against discrimination by the majority or the states. I cannot find in the constitution the power of government to discriminate against singles. A few examples:

1- The tax table headings are the first clue. Why do singles pay more than the other categories? I prefer being single and so does a lady friend. We both pay property taxes and have all the typical expenses of home ownership yet our incomes are taxed at a higher rate.

2-Health insurance rates are less for a married couple, the family rate, than for two single people. Why? There is no evidence the claim rates or health care charges differ.

3-There are no social security survivor benefits for singles. A non-working spouse can receive social security based on the working spouse income plus get an increase if the other dies. The two single worker paid the same social security rates as the working spouse but the benefits calculations are the same. There are other prejudices in the social security system.

4-I have heard home buyer programs are greater for married couples than single. Why? I saved until I could pay cash for a home. Why is interest paid on a house deductible? Why any deductions for tax purposes instead of a set rate for each income level? For every deduction someone else pays for it.

5- Why tax deductions for each kid because a married couple decides to have a house full of rug rats that everyone else has to help pay for and educate?

There are other examples of this prejudice against singles. which obviously is the primary reason for gays wanting the right to marry. Those that object to gay marriage should join those that support the constitution as you do and quit being so selfish and insist this discrimination against singles cease.

I could find no reference in the constitution to the "law of love". Marriage does not require or confirm that two people love each other. I agree they have a constitutional right but to think the pursuit of the right for gays to marry is driven by an undying love, with de minimis exceptions, is naive.

I am anxious to hear how you or others justify this blatant discrimination against singles. How does this result in everyone with the same income paying their "fair share" of their income? The fair tax proposal in house bill HB-25 would solve a lot of problems.

February 8, 2012 at 6:53 p.m.

To compare the struggle of black Americans to even be recognized as human beings to "gays" bitching about wanting their unions to be called marriages is a joke. To compare people who don't accept an abnormal and deviant lifestyle to those who are racists is farce.

February 8, 2012 at 6:58 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

To compare the struggle of black Americans to even be recognized as human beings to "gays" bitching about wanting their unions to be called marriages is a joke. To compare people who don't accept an abnormal and deviant lifestyle to those who are racists is farce.

What difference does it make what it is "called"?

Oh, conservative, there are two Genesis creation stories. Different timelines. Which one is correct? Why are there two?

February 8, 2012 at 7:28 p.m.
MTJohn said...

tq - what part of separation of powers don't you understand?

February 8, 2012 at 7:58 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

tuqu: you are absolutely correct. My comment should have been directed at someone else. Senior moment? Probably. Aging is not for sissies you know.

February 8, 2012 at 8:03 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Do you really believe that the courts have the right to "pass laws" and on top of that they can pass laws that "deny" us our civil rights? If so you are a hopeless loon.

Either you misunderstood my comment (understandable-it's poorly written-haven't had a day off in 2 1/2 weeks so I'm kinda loopy), or you have no idea how the constitution protects minorities from the tyranny of the majority. Prop 8 should have not even been on a ballot.

Let's put this another way: How does allowing same-sex marriage interfere with YOUR rights?

February 8, 2012 at 8:16 p.m.
moonpie said...

chattanoogatennesseeusa

You still argue that gay marriage is not normal. Your argument is only true in a mathematical sense, meaning it's not average.

However, it is natural. Homosexuality occurs in nature, in other species. Do you think those species made a lifestyle choice? Or do you think it was innate?

I would argue that being homosexual is innate. With great effort, some people do live a lie counter to their natural selves and marry people of the opposite sex. So those gay people can marry but only if they live a lie.

For those of us who are straight, I can't begin to fathom how allowing two committed couples to marry infringes on any of your rights or devalues the commitment you've made to your spouses.

But in the end, just because something is not average, does not make it wrong.

February 8, 2012 at 8:30 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Harp3339 said: “I could find no reference in the constitution to the "law of love."

Believe you’re taking MTJohn’s reference to the “law of love” out of context, Harp3339. As I recall, the subject came up during a discussion of God and Christianity.

Harp3339 said: Marriage does not require or confirm that two people love each other. I agree they have a constitutional right but to think the pursuit of the right for gays to marry is driven by an undying love. . . is naive.

Indeed, I have no doubt that people get married for a variety of reasons, Harp3339. I have noted though that the happiest and most successful marriages are the ones where the individuals involved have a genuine love and respect for one another.

Harp3339 said: “I am anxious to hear how you or others justify this blatant discrimination against singles. How does this result in everyone with the same income paying their "fair share" of their income?”

But I agree with much of what you say here, Harp3339. I’ve always thought our tax laws were unfair to singles, especially when I was single. However, I disagree with your views in regard to the tax deductions for children. This has always seemed perfectly fair and reasonable to me. As for the contributions of the citizenry towards the education of children, it might be good to remember that that the U.S. citizenry also helped to educate you during your “rug rat” days, Harp3339. I also believe the education of children is a good investment for any society.

February 8, 2012 at 8:37 p.m.
conservative said...

Mathew 19:3-6

3 The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?” 4 And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’

Notice in v5 the reference to father (always a male) and mother (always a female). This marriage (always between a man and a woman) resulted in a male offspring. In this teaching the man leaves his mother and father to "be joined to his wife". Could it be any more clear that only male and female marry and could marry. Untill recently it has always been this way in civilization. Historically women have not married other women. Women having sex with other women was condemed as an abomination. So even lesbian atheist must acknowledge that a male is always and has been always the father and the female is always and always been the mother. Also civilization has for thousands of years only married man and woman. So now you too recognize that these Biblical truths are not "myths".

February 8, 2012 at 8:49 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Nope. I don't recognize them as truths at all, conservative. Human sexuality is very complex, and the bible is just a book. An OLD book, full of inconsistencies and falsehoods mixed in with some good stuff. That humans have engaged in sexual practices that don't fit some narrow biblical model is real, and in the case of consenting adults, often healthy and harmless. That you don't like it and try to use the bible as grounds to condemn it is a cop out. If you don't like it, fine. But you step out of line trying to tell others that your invisible friend disapproves and that laws should be based on this invisible friend's supposed book.

February 8, 2012 at 8:56 p.m.
dude_abides said...

tutu... I bet most of the people here have heard of strychnine drinking by the Pentacostal Signs Followers. "Enlighten us," you said, condescendingly. How can you trash the left when you don't even know all the habits of the right? I'd call the toll free number on the back of your diploma to see if there have been any recalls.

February 8, 2012 at 9:02 p.m.
fairmon said...

mountainlaurel responded with....

I disagree with your views in regard to the tax deductions for children. This has always seemed perfectly fair and reasonable to me. As for the contributions of the citizenry towards the education of children, it might be good to remember that that the U.S. citizenry also helped to educate you during your “rug rat” days, Harp3339. I also believe the education of children is a good investment for any society.

Why is a deduction for children people make a decision to have fair and reasonable? Why do you think childless couples pay a slightly higher percent of their income and singles even more.I accept your belief that is is OK but it is not supported by the constitution. I agree education is critical. My lady friend and I both own our homes and pay property taxes on each which is 2X the typical or average married property owners. A significant portion of property taxes plus some of other local taxes go to education. Yes I did attend public schools and my parents and other local citizens paid enough local sales and property taxes to provide a good education system. I completed most of my education before there was a federal department of education. Education, to me, is a state and local obligation. However Carter thought the federal government should be involved. Nothing measurable has changed except increased cost and uncontrolled growth of a federal department.

I know the discrimination will not change since singles are a small minority being discriminated against while many singles pay zero taxes. A ground swell of protest is not going to happen so those married selfish saints will continue to benefit from the unfairness while situationally referencing the constitution when it supports their beliefs and in some cases the bible.

February 8, 2012 at 9:34 p.m.
News_Junkie said...

This is from CNN Breaking News:

Washington state's Legislature approved a bill to legalize same-sex marriage.

The State House of Representatives voted 55-43 to back the bill, which already passed in the state Senate. Gov. Christine Gregoire, a Democrat, has pledged to sign the bill.

February 8, 2012 at 10:23 p.m.
News_Junkie said...

People should know that it is impossible to draft the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code so as to be neutral as to whether two people are married or not. You can make it favor married couples or favor single individuals, but you can't make it neutral, unfortunately.

Over the decades, the rules have shifted as to which group was tax-favored, but it always has to favor one group or the other.

Given the long-term trend towards less people marrying, my guess is that the rules will eventually shift so as to favor them. (I'm pretty sure that the rules now predominately favor married individuals. For example, a married individual can now completely avoid the estate tax by simply leaving the estate to his or her surviving spouse, which option isn't available to unmarried individuals.)

February 8, 2012 at 10:31 p.m.
facyspacy said...

Here's a couple of truths... The world is millions and millions of years old. The bible was written by man. Christianity is a few hundred years old. Does anyone truly believe the earth is 6000 years old? Doesnt everyone believe that people sometimes exaggerate the truth? If you believe a man broke 2 loaves of bread and with 5 fish and fed thousands then you probably still believe in Santa. But those of you who believe in the bible may continue to bc that is a right you have in this country. If you are homo then you should be allowed to be homo. If two homo want to get married then let .them get married.

February 8, 2012 at 11:15 p.m.
MTJohn said...

tu_quoque said...

MTJohn said...

"tq - what part of separation of powers don't you understand?"

In what context are you asking this question?

In the context of this conversation and a couple of your posts that seem to suggest that the courts should not defend the Constitution whenever you want to violate it.

February 9, 2012 at 6:26 a.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Harp3339 said: “Why is a deduction for children people make a decision to have fair and reasonable? Why do you think childless couples pay a slightly higher percent of their income and singles even more? I accept your belief that is is OK but it is not supported by the constitution.

Your dismay over the tax deduction given to families for feeding, clothing, and supporting their children is amusing, Harp3339. At least the tax deduction for children applies across the board to all income sectors, which is dramatically different from the bargain 15% tax rate that is given to financial investors and self-serving billionaire politicians like Mitt Romney whose main means of support are through their financial investments – a tax break that you fully support.

February 9, 2012 at 6:41 a.m.
fairmon said...

ML..

Your dismay over the tax deduction given to families for feeding, clothing, and supporting their children is amusing.

Amusing? The question was why is it fair and constitutional not if you think it is good or bad? You would make a good politician. Instead of the addressing the question you change the subject and use a talking point which is popular with the selfish majority that lack an understanding of investment capital gains and dividends. Did you know people receiving capital gains and dividends can have a significant loss of principle they had already paid taxes on as it was earned but still have to pay more taxes if they receive dividends or a gain on their at risk investment?

A real world example: In 2007 a 2,000 share investment in Bank of America at $50/share was an investment of $100,000 paying 4% annual dividends or $8,000 which was taxed at 15% although the share price dropped to $5 a share with an investment capital value of $10,000 or a loss of $90,000. People investing in GM received and paid taxes on dividends but lost their capital gains with many losing 100% of their investment capital with the GM bankruptcy. When anyone risk investing in something to make a return they may or may not and often don't realize a gain. What would happen if no one was willing to take an investment risk? How many businesses would there be if some people were not willing to take the risk of investing in them? Increasing taxes on those willing to risk their capital to make a higher return than they can make on low risk tax free municipal government bonds may have unintended economic consequences. The fed is keeping interest rates low and loaning low interest money to encourage investments while people and many politicians want to increase capital gains rates which discourages investing . How many voters would ever understand any attempt to explain this? Apparently very few, including you. Again house bill HB-25 and senate bill SB-13 would address all tax issues regarding fairness and simplicity of the tax codes with everyone paying their "fair share" while protecting those with lower incomes.

February 9, 2012 at 8:36 a.m.
MTJohn said...

harp3339 said...Did you know people receiving capital gains and dividends can have a significant loss of principle they had already paid taxes on as it was earned but still have to pay more taxes if they receive dividends or a gain on their at risk investment?

Yes. But, they do not pay taxes on the principle while that principle is invested. And, they pay taxes on interest, dividends and capital gains at a reduced rate. And, the capital losses may be used to reduce the amount of income that otherwise would be taxed at the taxpayer's highest rate.

harp3339 said...What would happen if no one was willing to take an investment risk? How many businesses would there be if some people were not willing to take the risk of investing in them? Increasing taxes on those willing to risk their capital to make a higher return than they can make on low risk tax free municipal government bonds may have unintended economic consequences.

Can someone who believes in less government please explain why the government should buffer the risks associated with investment?

And, please note, that the issue is not one of increasing taxes on those who are willing to take risk. It is a matter of increasing taxes on the gains that result from investment.

February 9, 2012 at 10:23 a.m.
mtngrl said...

Harp, cant you see that all of your talk about "discrimination" against singles applies even more to gays? At least you have the option of getting married, they don't and are forced to keep the "Single" status and tax rates whether they want to or not.

And until we go full single payer, the insurance companies are to blame for any inconsistencies in their rates, not the government. They make those decisions based on past payouts. I have seen married rates be much higher than families with children even though the families cover more people in the policy. Insurance claimed this was because most of their married customers with no kids were elderly and had much higher medical bills than the younger families. It didn't seem to matter what me or my husbands ages were, we still fit into that category, but this had nothing to do with the government at all.

February 9, 2012 at 11:42 a.m.
fairmon said...

MTJohn said... harp3339 said...Did you know people receiving capital gains and dividends can have a significant loss of principle they had already paid taxes on as it was earned but still have to pay more taxes if they receive dividends or a gain on their at risk investment?

MTJohn responded....

Yes. But, they do not pay taxes on the principle while that principle is invested. And, they pay taxes on interest, dividends and capital gains at a reduced rate. Reduced from what? And, the capital losses may be used to reduce the amount of income that otherwise would be taxed at the taxpayer's highest rate.

Why should it be taxed again if still invested? Invested principle has already been taxed at the regular rate when earned and is not taxed again while invested. Interest income is taxed at the regular rate. An annual maximum of $3,000 in losses can be claimed and applies to all income not just capital gains if the investment is sold and a loss occurs. It would take 20 years to claim a $60,000 loss and cannot be used if more earned money is invested and the gains are equal to prior losses. The only break is the gains are not taxed at the cap gains rate until the losses are recovered. If you die before the losses are recovered the losses die with you, they cannot be passed on to your heirs but if you leave them more than $1 million they pay very high taxes on that above $1 million.

An investment held for ten years with a small gain of say 15% is still taxed at the capital gains rate of 15%. Many people are in this very predicament with their investments with returns less than inflation.

You buy a house keep it a few years and sell it but pay no capital gains on the profits up to I think $250,000. What is the difference in that and my buying a stock? As we have learned both have risk. Both contribute to a growing economy. No one said the tax system is fair and there a very different opinons regarding what is fair.

February 9, 2012 at 4:49 p.m.
fairmon said...

mtngrl said... Harp, cant you see that all of your talk about "discrimination" against singles applies even more to gays? At least you have the option of getting married, they don't and are forced to keep the "Single" status and tax rates whether they want to or not.

That is exactly what I repeatedly said. Take away the disciminatory practices against singles and the motivation of gays to attain a marriage license no longer exist. However neither those married folks that support legal gay marriage and those opposing it have no problem discriminating against straight single people. I have no objection to gay marriage and could not care less if it is legalized or not. They will pay less taxes and get cheaper insurance but they won't proliferate and birth more kids for me to help feed and educate.

February 9, 2012 at 5:02 p.m.
MTJohn said...

Harp - I didn't suggest that principle should be taxed while it is invested. I suggested that earnings on investments, like other income, ought to be taxed.

Regarding capital gains on the sale of a house, it is exempt from taxation, but only if the gain is reinvested in a primary residence and I think both transactions have to occur within a two year window. Also, unlike investment in securities, a capital loss on the sale of a home typically is not tax deductible.

I do think you and I agree that our tax code ought to be simplified. I think we also would agree that everyone ought to pay their fair share of taxes. However, in that equation, you and I might not agree on the definition of "fair".

February 9, 2012 at 7:06 p.m.
fairmon said...

That is true and disagreeing on something is OK. I think there may be 1 or 2 credible congressmen in each party that disagree but remain credible. I really think we agree and I of course think I have a better understanding of the capital markets and how they help drive the economy while you think they don't play a role and that the tax system doesn't discourage and reduce the number of people and the amount they are willing to essentially "loan" to a business. I hasten to add that hedge fund managers and the way some high dollar management folks are allowed to use the capital gains rates is illogical and pure politics and favoritism.

February 9, 2012 at 8:20 p.m.
MTJohn said...

harp - I guess depends on your definition of "better understanding" and it certainly relates to how I think about "fair".

When our government functions as it ought to function, everything that our government does supports free-market capitalism. That, by the way, includes government expenditures on the underclass who do not (and might never) participate in the economy. In that context, wealth and income are reasonable measures of the benefits that an individual receives from government service. A "fair" tax structure would be one in which taxes are reasonably proportional with benefits received.

I agree with you regarding hedge fund managers and high dollar management folks. However, I probably think there is more of that kind of abuse in the system than do you. In too many ways, our government - under the influence of K Street - makes it too easy for the wealthy and influential to accumulate wealth at the expense of those less fortunate. And, the less fortunate are paying the taxes to support a government that favors those who are ripping off the rest of us.

February 10, 2012 at 7:22 a.m.
AndrewLohr said...

Think as I think, said Bennett's cartoon, or you are a toad. I thought about it and decided I will, then, be a toad. (cf poem by, ah, Stephen Crane?)

February 11, 2012 at 5:49 a.m.
fairmon said...

MTJohn said...

In too many ways, our government - under the influence of K Street - makes it too easy for the wealthy and influential to accumulate wealth at the expense of those less fortunate. And, the less fortunate are paying the taxes to support a government that favors those who are ripping off the rest of us.

I think we are somewhat in agreement but when you use a splatter gun and put every investor in the same category you hit a lot of people, wealthy and not wealthy, that are not guilty.

I would change the wording to our government unreasonably accommodates K-street bankers, fund managers and brokers. I don't see how someone realizing a gain on their investment that the gain is at the expense of the less fortunate that pay no income tax. If you started a business and succeeded would it because you did it at the expense of the less fortunate? I depend on stock investments for gains and dividends to supplement my income. I have not yet recovered from the 2008-2009 losses but still pay taxes on dividends and interest. Dividends are normally 1-4% which is slightly more than no risk treasury bonds. If I buy a stock this January and sell it next December for a 5% profit it is a short term gain and taxed at the regular income rate. If I hold it more than a year and regardless of how many years I hold it it is taxed as a capital gain if there is still a gain. How am I ripping anyone off? Hedge fund managers, bankers and brokers have none of their own money at risk and should pay taxes at the regular rate. As you said both parties are in bed with the financial sector. Could it be because they have investments with them and receive campaign funding and support.

I have a problem with congress exempting themselves from the laws and rules they passed for the rest of us such as insider trading which equals jail time for everyone but an exempt congress. Many of them say their money is in a blind trust and they are not aware of how it is doing which means they haven't leaked any information or received any information from the trustee, how many people would believe that?

February 11, 2012 at 4:55 p.m.
MTJohn said...

Harp - I'm an investor, too, and I expect to pay my fair share of taxes. I also took a hit a few years ago from which I have not yet recovered. What has affected me more than the loss of principle has been the loss of opportunities to include secure investments with a 5+% rate of return. I also continue to pay tax on interest and dividends, but at a lower rate than I pay on the income I declare on Schedule C (not including SE tax).

I share your frustration regarding the banks and hedge fund managers. But, most of the businesses with representation on K Street are ripping the rest of us off, so I don't limit my frustration to just the banks and hedge fund managers. My frustration also includes middle class voters who haven't (and apparently don't want to) figured out that they are being sold a bill of goods by the politicians who preach tax cuts. Sure, you and I see a benefit from the Bush-era tax cuts on our 1040. But, we didn't really get a bargain because we and our kids and grandkids will pay the price elsewhere as a consequence of the tax breaks given to folks much wealthier than us.

February 11, 2012 at 5:30 p.m.
please login to post a comment

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »

advertisement
advertisement

Find a Business

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.