DOMA and Prop 8

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Alissa_Sal's picture
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DOMA and Prop 8

I can't believe no one has posted this yet!

As I'm sure most of my fellow debate junkies know, the SCOTUS struck down DOMA and ruled no on Prop 8. Thoughts? Does this mean that gay marriage is inevitable in the US?

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It's a very necessary step, and yes, it is clearly inevitable. It's embarrassing that it's so slow, but I'm so glad it's happening. It has been a very exciting day.

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I do think it is inevitable. I am not pleased with this ruling. I want gay marriage to be legal. But I also think the tides of public opinion were heading towards marriage equality and I think this ruling will set public opinion back. I just really feel that if the court did not rule on this now, within 5 years the nation would have made this decision

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I think they purposely stayed out of prop 8 so they wouldn't have to make a decision on it. So essentially it is still up to the states to decide. Glad I live in Texas.

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I think both decisions were excellent. The court in the Prop 8 decision absolutely did right by focusing on the fact that the proponents in that case did not have legal standing, and by not extending their ruling beyond that limited scope. Give the people of other states the chance to do the right thing and legalize gay marriage the right way, through legislation and/or the initiative process and not through court order.

ETA: in response to Gloria, when enough states have legalized it, the others will be forced to because it will become an Equal Protection argument.

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I am so confused by this idea that it can be up to the states. If a couple marries in China, and moves here, they are married. But if a couple marries in New York, they can be not married in New Jersey? It doesn't make ANY sense.

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"freddieflounder101" wrote:

I am so confused by this idea that it can be up to the states. If a couple marries in China, and moves here, they are married. But if a couple marries in New York, they can be not married in New Jersey? It doesn't make ANY sense.

That is why we are the United STATES. Any power not specifically given to the federal government in the Constitution is left up to the states to decide. The Feds already overstep that boundary way too much.

Alissa_Sal's picture
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I was pleased to see the rulings, but I agree with Gloria that they sort of punted and made it into even more of a states rights issue, especially their ruling on Prop 8 (no standing vs it being unconstitutional.)

The DOMA ruling raises some interesting questions. What happens if a same sex couple gets married in a state that has gay marriage, they receive federal benefits, and then they move to a state that does not have same sex marriage? Can a state strip a couple of federal recognition and benefits that they've already been given? Or will they be considered married for all intents and purposes by the fed government but not the state? I'm guessing that is going to lead to new lawsuits which may or may not lead to it no longer being decided by the state after all.

Having said all that, I do think that country-wide gay marriage is inevitable. I just don't know that these rulings make it any more so than it already was.

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"freddieflounder101" wrote:

I am so confused by this idea that it can be up to the states. If a couple marries in China, and moves here, they are married. But if a couple marries in New York, they can be not married in New Jersey? It doesn't make ANY sense.

Good point!

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

I think they purposely stayed out of prop 8 so they wouldn't have to make a decision on it. So essentially it is still up to the states to decide. Glad I live in Texas.

So am I

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"freddieflounder101" wrote:

I am so confused by this idea that it can be up to the states. If a couple marries in China, and moves here, they are married. But if a couple marries in New York, they can be not married in New Jersey? It doesn't make ANY sense.

You have pointed out a big loophole in the gay marriage controversy. In Canada gay marriage is legal in every province because it falls under the federal Marriage Act. But, if a gay couple married in Canada moves to another country or jurisdiction that does not recognize gay marriage, then there's no marriage to dissolve and assets to divide, no child support to get court-ordered, etc. So, they would have to return to Canada where their marriage took place and then go through divorce proceedings. And in Canada you must be "legally separated" for one year prior to filing for divorce. Legally separated just means living apart for one year, as long as you can prove it, but still it's a major PITA for legally married gay couples when other countries or states will not recognize their legal union.

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I'm happy with it. I think the rest of the country that isn't recognizing same sex marriage is an embarrassment to this nation where I used to think we offered "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" to all.

I'm proud to be from Massachusetts where we can marry anyone we darn please over the age of 18.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

That is why we are the United STATES. Any power not specifically given to the federal government in the Constitution is left up to the states to decide. The Feds already overstep that boundary way too much.

I don't understand how a country can have a marriage that's legal in one state but not in another. How does that make sense to you? We are a COUNTRY. United we stand. Divided we fall.

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"freddieflounder101" wrote:

I don't understand how a country can have a marriage that's legal in one state but not in another. How does that make sense to you? We are a COUNTRY. United we stand. Divided we fall.

This!

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"freddieflounder101" wrote:

I don't understand how a country can have a marriage that's legal in one state but not in another. How does that make sense to you? We are a COUNTRY. United we stand. Divided we fall.

Well its illegal in a lot more states than it is legal. Why does the minority get to dictate to the majority? If we have to decide as a country I'm pretty sure it wouldn't pass.

SID081108's picture
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I do think it's inevitable. And the questions some of you bring up are the same questions we are dealing with at this moment. My companies health plan follows the federal definition of "spouse". Since the federal definition (under DOMA) has now been overturned, we fall back to the state definition of spouse. We have employees in about 25 states, so what if one of our Texas employees goes to NY to get married and then comes back here. Do we recognize that marriage? All of these things are unclear and will likely take a while to iron out through further court cases and (in some part), IRS opinions.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Well its illegal in a lot more states than it is legal. Why does the minority get to dictate to the majority? If we have to decide as a country I'm pretty sure it wouldn't pass.

Let's not go there. I don't want it to get too personal.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Well its illegal in a lot more states than it is legal. Why does the minority get to dictate to the majority? If we have to decide as a country I'm pretty sure it wouldn't pass.

I'm sure there are states where it currently wouldn't pass, but if we did a country wide vote, it would pass. According to polls anyway.

Interesting article in Slate today.

Gay marriage polls and public opinion: The Supreme Court’s rulings upheld the people’s will. - Slate Magazine

Once again, the Supreme Court has infuriated conservatives. They say the court’s decisions in United States v. Windsor and Hollingsworth v. Perry—voiding part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act and disqualifying the plaintiffs who sought to reinstate California’s ban on gay marriage—override and disrespect the will of the people. But the will of the people isn’t what it used to be. In states where voters once passed ballot measures against same-sex marriage, they now support it. The country as a whole supports it. The court, in striking down what voters believed 10 or 20 years ago, is upholding what voters believe today.

Shortly after the court’s opinions were released, House Republicans held a press conference to denounce the rulings. They argued that marriage policy should be made by “elected representatives instead of unelected judges.” The problem is that in this case, California’s elected officials—its governor and attorney general—refused to defend the state’s ban, which voters approved in a 2008 referendum. At the press conference, Rep. Doug LaMalfa of California decried this treachery. He said voters lose faith in democracy when they’re abandoned by “their elected officials, like an attorney general in California that refused, because of politics, to defend what the people had done.”

That’s an odd complaint. When elected officials play politics, they generally comply with the people’s will. And that’s what happened in California. In 2008, as the National Organization for Marriage notes, “Proposition 8 was passed with over 52% of the vote.” But in the most recent Los Angeles Times poll, taken four weeks ago, Californians affirmed, 58 to 36 percent, that “same-sex couples should be allowed to become legally married.” The state’s leaders have abandoned what Californians thought five years ago to support what Californians think today.

Another speaker at the Republican press conference, Rep. Tim Walberg of Michigan, accused the court of “taking away the voice of the people.” He boasted that “in my state, we have clearly defined marriage to be that relationship between a man and woman.” That’s true: In 2004, 59 percent of Michigan residents who cast ballots on a proposal to forbid gay marriage voted for the ban. But a campaign is now underway to repeal the ban, and in the most recent Michigan poll, 57 percent of voters said they support gay marriage. Fifty-four percent said they’d like to replace the ban with an amendment authorizing same-sex marriage.

Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., declared at the press conference that “the people are more important than the Supreme Court.” She said the court “undercut the people’s representatives. When they [Congress] voted on the Defense of Marriage Act in the first place, the people were duly represented. They represented the will of their constituencies.” That was true in 1996, when DOMA passed. A decade later, when Bachmann, as a state senator, led the fight in Minnesota for a state constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, she could still claim to represent the people: 54 percent of Minnesotans opposed legalizing same-sex marriage, while only 29 percent favored it. But last fall, by 51 to 47 percent, Minnesotans voted down a ballot measure to define marriage as exclusively heterosexual. A month ago, the new Democratic-controlled legislature legalized gay marriage. Today, a tentative plurality of Minnesotans—46 to 44 percent—supports that decision. That’s an eight-point increase in support since the same question was asked in February.

What’s happening in California, Michigan, and Minnesota is happening everywhere. “Thirty-eight states have affirmed the belief of their citizens that marriage exists between a man and a woman,” Rep. Vicky Hartzler of Missouri pointed out at the press conference. Her reliance on the past tense was telling. According to a report issued two months ago by UCLA’s Williams Institute, “In the last eight years, every state has increased in its support for marriage for same-sex couples with an average increase of 13.6%. If present public opinion trends continue, another 8 states will be above 50% support by the end of 2014.” Based on the average rate of increase in support for gay marriage—about 1.5 percentage points per year—Nate Silver projects that by 2016, support will exceed 50 percent in 32 states. By 2020, all but six states will have crossed that threshold, and in all but two, support will exceed 48 percent.

The National Organization for Marriage also uses the past tense. “The vast majority of American voters have expressed with their votes their desire to maintain marriage as the union of one man and one woman,” it argues. “That decision should be respected and left undisturbed." But that old consensus has already been disturbed by the people themselves. In fact, they’ve trashed it. In last fall’s state ballot measures, they voted 4-0 for gay marriage. Every national survey shows the same trend. In 1996, Gallup found that Americans opposed recognizing same-sex marriages, 68 to 27 percent. By 2004, the gap had narrowed to 55-42. Today, it has turned in favor of same-sex marriage, 53 to 45. In 2003, the Pew Research Center found that Americans opposed allowing gays to marry legally, 59 to 32 percent. Today, they favor legalization, 50 to 43 percent. In 2007, only 40 percent of Americans in a CNN poll said gay marriages should “be recognized by the law as valid, with the same rights as traditional marriages.” Today that number has risen to 55 percent. A year ago, in a CBS/New York Times poll, Americans opposed the legality of same-sex marriage, 51 to 42 percent. Now they support it, 51 to 44 percent.

As the people have changed, so have their elected representatives. The Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative legal institute involved in the Supreme Court cases, protests that “DOMA was hardly controversial at the time it was passed: far from creating a partisan political divide, DOMA united Democrats and Republicans—passing by a bipartisan 84 percent of Congress (85-14 in the Senate, 342-67 in the House).” Again, note the past tense. Today, the Human Rights Campaign lists 54 senators and 184 House members as supporters of same-sex marriage.

Cheer up, conservatives. The court, at long last, has done what the people want. Unelected judges are no longer the nosy outsiders defying the country’s values. You are.

Bolding mine.

Alissa_Sal's picture
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DP

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Well its illegal in a lot more states than it is legal. Why does the minority get to dictate to the majority? If we have to decide as a country I'm pretty sure it wouldn't pass.

That still doesn't explain how marriage can be legal in one state but not in another within one country. It makes no logical sense.

And sometimes the majority has to deal with the fact that minorities deserve equal rights. There's even precedent!

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Gay Marriage: States That Allow Same-Sex Unions Have Lower Divorce Rates

We were the first state to allow SS marriage and the state with the lowest divorce rate. Go Mass!

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"Jessica80" wrote:

Gay Marriage: States That Allow Same-Sex Unions Have Lower Divorce Rates

We were the first state to allow SS marriage and the state with the lowest divorce rate. Go Mass!

Guess you missed the part that the reason that the divorce rate is low is because no one is getting married anymore. If you don't get married you won't have divorces. Marriage rates are decreasing all around the country because it is starting to mean less and less.

Why The Massachusetts Divorce Rate is Low: Few Get Married | NOM Blog

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Guess you missed the part that the reason that the divorce rate is low is because no one is getting married anymore. If you don't get married you won't have divorces. Marriage rates are decreasing all around the country because it is starting to mean less and less.

Why The Massachusetts Divorce Rate is Low: Few Get Married | NOM Blog

Isn't it normed so we're comparing apples to apples?

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ITA with EW. Marriage isn't starting to mean less and less; it's actually starting to mean more and more to those of us who care about it and choose to do it. The people who don't really care about being married are no longer feeling forced into it by society's dictates (because they have a baby on the way or are approaching 30 or will be thought of as gay if they don't get married) and the people who want to be married but were restricted by society's dictates (interracial couples a few decades ago, and gays & lesbians now) are now free to do it.

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"ethanwinfield" wrote:

Isn't it normed so we're comparing apples to apples?

Well the marriage rate in Massachusetts went down from 7.9% in 1990 to 5.5% in 2009. Divorce rate went down from 2.8% in 1990 to 2.2% in 2009. Read from that what you will.

Marriages and Divorces - The 2012 Statistical Abstract - U.S. Census Bureau

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Well the marriage rate in Massachusetts went down from 7.9% in 1990 to 5.5% in 2009. Divorce rate went down from 2.8% in 1990 to 2.2% in 2009. Read from that what you will.

Marriages and Divorces - The 2012 Statistical Abstract - U.S. Census Bureau

You skipped over the decline from 7.9 in 1990 to 5.8 in 2000. It was only a decline from 5.8 to 5.5 between 2000 - 2009. The marriage rate declined more significantly in the decade before same sex marriage than the decade during which it became legal.

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"ethanwinfield" wrote:

You skipped over the decline from 7.9 in 1990 to 5.8 in 2000. It was only a decline from 5.8 to 5.5 between 2000 - 2009. The marriage rate declined more significantly in the decade before[/] same sex marriage than the decade during which it became legal.

So how does that prove that same sex marriage causes a lower divorce rate?

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Guess you missed the part that the reason that the divorce rate is low is because no one is getting married anymore. If you don't get married you won't have divorces. Marriage rates are decreasing all around the country because it is starting to mean less and less.

Wouldn't that mean that for those of of who do get bothered, marriage means more? I mean, back in the day you basically HAD to get married if you wanted a "normal" life, right? Now, people still have kids, have families, careers, (not to mention S-E-X!!!) and they don't have to get married to do it. So for those of us who DO choose to get married, it's not because we have to, but because we want to. I think that makes marriage mean more, not less.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

So how does that prove that same sex marriage causes a lower divorce rate?

I didn't say it did. I thought it was interesting.

I was talking to a friend last night and I was saying I think that being open to all lifestyles allows people who live here to choose what is right for them. Marrying someone they love, living together with someone they love, being single...it's okay. We are not an area that has a huge abstinence promotion so people don't feel rushed into marriage in order to have sex nor do they feel rushed to be married due to an unplanned pregnancy. I think being certain about being married is a huge contributor to low divorce rates.

Plus, we wouldn't have any of those sham marriages with a gay partner and a hetero partner because we don't think gay people should marry someone they didn't love just to get marriage benefits.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

So how does that prove that same sex marriage causes a lower divorce rate?

I'm not trying to prove that same sex marriages causes a lower divorce rate. I'm trying to disprove your hypothesis that the divore rate is lower because the marriage rate decreased when same sex marriage became leagal in MA. The marriage rate decreased more significantly in the decade before it became legal - not after.

That said, not enough time has passed since same-sex marriage became legal in MA. So much has happened in the world of marriage between 1 man and 1 woman. Heterosexual marriage has had enough time to cover divorce and re-marriage that we can make predictions about the percentage of marriage ending in divorce, etc. We don't yet have enough data on same sex marriages.

Perhaps over time we will see that same sex marriage is no different in terms of divorce and affairs. Or maybe time will show that among gay men, the rates are higher but the rates among lesbians is lower. Maybe same-sex couples are more monogomous thus lowering the overall rate.

So many things go into the marriage/divorce rates that mere numbers don't reflect. How people view marriage has changed. Laws have changed addressing how men can treat their wives. Women have more opportunities to support themselves without relying on men to support them. Couples no longer believe they must get married just because of a pregnancy or need to stay together for the sake of the children. Casual sex and living together without the "piece of paper" aren't the taboo they once were. Adultery was once a crime and divorces weren't "no fault."

One thing is sure though. None of the heterosexual marriages suddenly became void because a same sex couple got married any more than a heterosexual marriage became void because their next door neighbor got divorced.

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"ethanwinfield" wrote:

I'm not trying to prove that same sex marriages causes a lower divorce rate. I'm trying to disprove your hypothesis that the divore rate is lower because the marriage rate decreased when same sex marriage became leagal in MA. The marriage rate decreased more significantly in the decade before it became legal - not after.

That's not what I said. I said the divorce rate is lower because the marriage rate is lower. I don't think same sex marriage has anything to do with it one way or the other, other than the fact that marriage in general means less to people.

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I had another chart that showed marriages/divorce rates per 1000...so it was more reflective of the whole and we still had one of the least divorce rate pre and post legalized SS marriage ...now I can't find it. My internet went down for a few.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

That's not what I said. I said the divorce rate is lower because the marriage rate is lower. I don't think same sex marriage has anything to do with it one way or the other, other than the fact that marriage in general means less to people.

Don't you think that if less people are getting married, those that do are putting more thought into it, and therefore it is working out more?

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I think marriage means less to people in many cases, but not because of gay marriage. I think it's specifically because of silly celebrity marriages and shows where you win a marriage and such.....those have a negative effect on many people in this country.

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"freddieflounder101" wrote:

I am so confused by this idea that it can be up to the states. If a couple marries in China, and moves here, they are married. But if a couple marries in New York, they can be not married in New Jersey? It doesn't make ANY sense.

Speaking only to this - There are a great many of China's laws that are not applicable in the US. There are also many laws that vary from State to State. There are several that come to mind as I just spent two weeks in NY. For example, you can get your learners permit to drive at 15 in TN, but not until 16 in NY. Plus NY has a ton of other rules like not being able to drive after 9 until you are 18 (At least that was the law when I lived there). Car seat laws also greatly vary. For example in GA, after age 4 you do not need a car seat or booster seat of any kind. I both TN and NY you need a booster seat until you are 8 years old. Marriage laws between straight couples also vary greatly between States. In some states you can marry under the age of 18 with just parental consent. I believe in CA you need a court order. Traditionally, marriage is a State issue.

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But if I married at 16 with parental permission I'm still considered married no matter what state I go to.

If I'm gay, and I marry here in Mass. and go to Texas, my legally wedded spouse here gets no benefits. That's horse crap.

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

Speaking only to this - There are a great many of China's laws that are not applicable in the US. There are also many laws that vary from State to State. There are several that come to mind as I just spent two weeks in NY. For example, you can get your learners permit to drive at 15 in TN, but not until 16 in NY. Plus NY has a ton of other rules like not being able to drive after 9 until you are 18 (At least that was the law when I lived there). Car seat laws also greatly vary. For example in GA, after age 4 you do not need a car seat or booster seat of any kind. I both TN and NY you need a booster seat until you are 8 years old. Marriage laws between straight couples also vary greatly between States. In some states you can marry under the age of 18 with just parental consent. I believe in CA you need a court order. Traditionally, marriage is a State issue.

But I'm not talking about random laws. I'm talking specifically and exclusively about marriage. If you marry in another country and move here you are still married. (If you're straight.). How can one country have a marriage legal in one state but not in another ? I know that is the case but it seems completely illogical and rather preposterous. How can this make sense as a country?

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"freddieflounder101" wrote:

But I'm not talking about random laws. I'm talking specifically and exclusively about marriage. If you marry in another country and move here you are still married. (If you're straight.). How can one country have a marriage legal in one state but not in another ? I know that is the case but it seems completely illogical and rather preposterous. How can this make sense as a country?

It is completely and wholly different to compare a different country with a different State. I would not expect China to recognize any of our laws. If you married in California to another woman then moved to the Middle East, would they recognize your same sex marriage? It is apples to oranges to compare within the US to another country.

Within the US, I really don't know the answers to getting married in one State where it is legal then moving to another State where it is not. That is something that will probably have to be solved in the courts. Over all though, I think unless there is a Federal guideline, you follow the laws of the State you are in.

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

It is completely and wholly different to compare a different country with a different State. I would not expect China to recognize any of our laws. If you married in California to another woman then moved to the Middle East, would they recognize your same sex marriage? It is apples to oranges to compare within the US to another country.

Within the US, I really don't know the answers to getting married in one State where it is legal then moving to another State where it is not. That is something that will probably have to be solved in the courts. Over all though, I think unless there is a Federal guideline, you follow the laws of the State you are in.

I don't think you're getting what I'm trying to say. I think it's LUDICROUS that marriage, which is recognized almost globally from one country to another, can be unrecognized WITHIN a country. I think the whole idea that the states decide on marriage makes no sense and divides us as a nation, and is ludicrous as well. This isn't an issue that has to do with regions or resources, it absolutely should be federal. It doesn't make sense, within a country, to have a marriage that is recognized in one area but not in another. I realize it's the case but it isn't logical.

I'm not asking China to recognize our laws or asking us to recognize theirs. I'm saying that a marriage in China = a marriage in the U.S., but a marriage in New York does not equal a marriage in New Jersey? And this makes sense to people? And seems right? It baffles me.

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"freddieflounder101" wrote:

I'm not asking China to recognize our laws or asking us to recognize theirs. I'm saying that a marriage in China = a marriage in the U.S., but a marriage in New York does not equal a marriage in New Jersey? And this makes sense to people? And seems right? It baffles me.

I understand what you are saying and don't really disagree. What baffles me is the comparison to other countries. I do not believe if you married another woman legally in the US, that all Middle Eastern Countries would recognize that even if it was legal in the US.

Other countries reaction to our laws is not a basis for our laws. Comparing two different States to two different countries doesn't work.

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That's not what she's saying.

She is saying that if she and her husband got married in China and moved here (or lived here and just married there) they would be considered married in all 50 states because they are heterosexuals.

So why is it, that when a same sex couple marries here in Mass. that it is not recognized in Texas? It makes no sense.

We will take your marriage from another country, with a completely different set of laws, and say it is valid but sorry to the couple from the northeast...you can't move to the south and be recognized as a married couple. Say goodbye to your rights!

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"Jessica80" wrote:

That's not what she's saying.

She is saying that if she and her husband got married in China and moved here (or lived here and just married there) they would be considered married in all 50 states because they are heterosexuals.

So why is it, that when a same sex couple marries here in Mass. that it is not recognized in Texas? It makes no sense.

We will take your marriage from another country, with a completely different set of laws, and say it is valid but sorry to the couple from the northeast...you can't move to the south and be recognized as a married couple. Say goodbye to your rights!

Thank you.

I'm not trying to break down the legality of it, I'm talking, big picture, about how ridiculous it is. I recognize your marriage from China but not your marriage from Massachusetts, although we're in America. How can an AMERICAN legal marriage not be recognized in another part of AMERICA, how can people accept that this seems right and makes sense? We are a country! One united country! Why does it seem logical to people to have marriages recognized in one state but not another?

(I'm from Canada, so this whole "the states should decide" sometimes just baffles me.)

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Yes. Laurie is not talking about other countries' reactions to our laws, but rather our normal reaction to theirs. If you are legally married in China and then move to the US, we will recognize your marriage. It doesn't really matter whether the reverse is true (whether China or wherever recognizes OUR marriages) because we're not debating Chinese law. It's weird that we recognize (legally) marriages that originate in other countries, but we would not recognize marriages that originate in other states.

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Sorry for accidentally locking another thread. Sheesh, who left me in charge? Lol

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

If you married in California to another woman then moved to the Middle East, would they recognize your same sex marriage?

So you are saying Texas is like Saudi Arabia? Wouldn't it be better for them to be like Massachusetts than Saudi Arabia?

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"blather" wrote:

So you are saying Texas is like Saudi Arabia? Wouldn't it be better for them to be like Massachusetts than Saudi Arabia?

Not in the least. I am saying you can't say Texes should recognize someone's marriage because China would. That is what is crazy.

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

Not in the least. I am saying you can't say Texes should recognize someone's marriage because China would. That is what is crazy.

Don't you think it's odd that we don't recognize legal marriages that happen within our own country?

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

Not in the least. I am saying you can't say Texes should recognize someone's marriage because China would. That is what is crazy.

Texas should recognize someones marriage because Mass does. Not recognizing that is being purposely obtuse or just enjoying it because you are against gay marriage.

It wouldn't bother you if 10 states allowed homeschooling and 40 didn't? So your girls HS degrees were recognized in 10 states but not the other 40, and they couldn't have the right to go to college in 40 states or find gainful employment in 40 states? You wouldn't find that odd or unfair? Would you still be going on about states rights then?

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1686

Issuing marriage licenses and granting divorces can be left up to the states. Recognizing another state's marriages and divorces can't. It just wouldn't work.

There are so many things married couples take for granted that you don't even think about. I don't even know where to begin....

Just for starters, could you picture yourself married for 20 years when your spouse gets a job opportunity in a different state? The first thing you would need to do is get yourself down to the courthouse and get married again. Even worse, if divorce is only recognized in the state that grants it, crossing into another state would mean another waiting period to establish residency, filing (not cheap!) and waiting for it to be finalized.

On the plus side (I guess), if your husband travels a lot, he could be married to you in your state, have another legal wife in OK, MT, NJ, FL, HI, and PR. It's not polygamy, right? Then when he dies, whatever state his is in at the time, that wife gets everything.

When I researched this. the only thing I found was that not all states will recognize marriage between 1st cousins. However, many states (TX included) won't issue marriage licenses for 1st cousins but will recognize a marriage from another state. There were only 3 that wouldn't. That said, even those 3 would never really have grounds to question it. One man, one woman, same last name. When was the last time you thought a married couple was cousins? Come to think of it, when was the last time you saying you are married was ever questioned?

I couldn't find anything that specifically says a state wouldn't recognize a valid marriage between two minors performed in another state. So it looks like that's valid everywhere too.

It just seems so bizarre to me that all of the other states will recognize a 5th marriage between one man and one woman and a marriage between a 51 year old man and a 16 year old teen who married in NV with parental consent. TX will recognize this as a valid marriage but not Neil Patrick Harris' or Ellen's marriages.

To address the DL:
Usually it is the sate that issues the license that places the restrictions on a license but other states recognize it as valid. Otherwise you wouldn't be able to rent a car if you were going to cross state lines. When I got my license, it was issued in AZ. I never had to take a behind-the-wheel test to get my license there. This is something CA required, but because I already had a valid license from another state, I took the written test and was issued a new license. I had to surrender my AZ license, though.

The list goes on and on of things that have reproposity when it comes to things like state-issued legal documents. Once I received my HS diploma, I was recognized as having it in every state I've lived in or applied to college in since. Same with my undergraduate degree from an accredited univerisity.

Child support is set by the state but federally recognized. The state you live in will help you collect from the NCP even if the CS order was set by a different state.

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Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3186

Those are all really good points, and much more specific than my I-can't-get-my-head-around-it argument.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

"ethanwinfield" wrote:

It just seems so bizarre to me that all of the other states will recognize a 5th marriage between one man and one woman and a marriage between a 51 year old man and a 16 year old teen who married in NV with parental consent. TX will recognize this as a valid marriage but not Neil Patrick Harris' or Ellen's marriages.

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And to quote Gloria, "Thank God I live in Texas". *shiver*

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