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posted by NCommander on Tuesday April 01 2014, @11:00AM   Printer-friendly
from the i-guess-they'll-unfriend-mozilla dept.
Sir Finkus and keplr writes:

The controversy around Mozilla's new CEO Brendan Eich continues. Eich made a personal $1000 donation to California's Yes on Proposition 8 campaign in 2008. Now, dating site OkCupid has started redirecting Firefox users to a page explaining Eich's views against marriage equality, and asking users to switch to IE, Chrome, or Opera.

The page states:

If individuals like Mr. Eich had their way, then roughly 8% of the relationships we've worked so hard to bring about would be illegal. Equality for gay relationships is personally important to many of us here at OkCupid. But it's professionally important to the entire company. OkCupid is for creating love. Those who seek to deny love and instead enforce misery, shame, and frustration are our enemies, and we wish them nothing but failure.

Visitors are then provided links to alternative browsers, or they can continue to the site by clicking a hyperlink at the bottom of the page.

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  • (Score: 1) by Grishnakh on Tuesday April 01 2014, @02:35PM

    by Grishnakh (2831) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @02:35PM (#24199)

    What is marriage?

    This is easy: when you're talking about state-sanctioned marriages, you're talking about a legal contract, defined by legislation. The religious crap is irrelevant. No one's trying to make laws forcing religious organizations to do anything differently.

    State-recognized marriage, until recently, targeted only monogamous, heterosexual couples.

    Legally-sanctioned bigotry isn't right, and needs to be stopped. "It's always been that way" isn't an excuse. There's almost never a good reason for giving special privileges to certain people (esp. when they're in the majority, and denying those privileges to a minority amounts to oppression and reduces their quality-of-life).

    Finally: If the reasons behind the legal definition of marriage have changed, how should the legislation change? Simply recognizing LGBT marriage is very narrow indeed. Perhaps the Mormons would like polygamous marriage allowed? What about polyandry? Group marriages?

    You do bring up good points here, and the answer is simple: group marriages should also be allowed, because forbidding them is also discrimination and oppression.

    Seriously, if we're going to reconsider the legal definition of marriage, let's do it right. Marriage, legally, is basically a contract, so let any arrangement of people enter into whatever legal contract they want.

    Yes, this is exactly right.

    Of course, pretty much they already can,

    Not exactly. Contract law is a pretty large body of law with its own specialists. Marriage is easy; even though it's mostly a contract, it's a pre-defined and pre-approved contract. Any moron (or rather, two morons) can head down to the county courthouse, get an application for a marriage license (aside: why do we need a license to get married?), fill it out, pay the fee, then get the Justice of the Peace to make it official. You don't need to hire a lawyer to get married, just go through the simple and usually inexpensive process, and you now have all the privileges (which are are many, including tax advantages) accorded to married couples.

    Writing up a contract to do something different from this, however, isn't so easy. You can write your own contract, but it's quite likely it will have clauses that won't be enforceable or legal, so to make a good contract, you probably need to hire a lawyer. That's expensive, plus such contracts can be challenged in court. Good luck contesting the terms of a standard marriage in court.

    Returning marriage to a totally private matter doesn't work, because there's too much stuff entwined into our society associated with it, legally speaking. Inheritance rights, visitation rights, power-of-attorney rights, tax privileges, etc. Just imagine the uproar if you try to take away the tax privileges associated with marriage, saying "it shouldn't have anything to do with the government". How do you handle non-working spouses, for instance? Tax the working partner at the single rate, and then give welfare benefits to the non-working partner? Or deny them welfare because they enjoy free rent and board, but then force the working partner to pay the same taxes as a single person? You'll never get many people to agree to that.

    I do agree with legalizing group marriages, but the whole issue is very complicated, and dismissing it by saying "return marriage to a private agreement that has nothing to do with the government" is woefully naive, and completely unworkable because it totally ignores how most of our society operates.

    I think the answer is to treat it much like regular contract law, but create different pre-approved marriage contracts that couples or groups are allowed to choose from. (They can also create their own, but it's advisable they hire an attorney to do so. They could also amend one of the standard contracts, which is much less risky and expensive.) A hetero couple could just choose from "standard marriage contract, community property version" or "standard marriage contract, non-community property version". Homo couples would likely do the same. Polyamorous groups could choose from different standard contracts, reflecting the nature of their relationship, whether it's a triad, a "vee", a quad, etc., if someone is a "full partner" or more of a "secondary", and specify how they want to handle things if a partner leaves the group. There's a lot of complexity involved in group relationships, which is probably why government probably isn't too keen on legalizing such things, but it could be done.

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  • (Score: 2) by metamonkey on Tuesday April 01 2014, @03:43PM

    by metamonkey (3174) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @03:43PM (#24257)

    aside: why do we need a license to get married?

    The purpose of state-sanctioned marriage is to make divorces easier. In contract law, 90% of disputes are as to whether or not a valid contract exists, with one side or the other trying to nullify the contract.

    When a married couple breaks up, things tend to get messy, and the state gets dragged into it for the purposes of divvying up property and children. They short circuit the process by requiring you to meet some basic qualifications. Head down to the country records office and make sure Bob isn't still married to Alice before he marries Susie. Make sure everyone is of a proper age to consent to be married. Make sure no one is being forced or coerced into the marriage. This simple act eliminates a huge amount of the arguments that would otherwise be presented during a divorce hearing.

    I think the gay marriage debate is hilarious because people don't understand this. They think state-sanctioned marriage is some kind of reward, a special little cookie for being in love and getting married. When no, no it's really just to make divorce easier. LGBTs think they're getting gay marriage, when all they're really getting is access to gay divorce.

    Which brings up an interesting question. In a lesbian divorce, how will the family court judge know whom to blame if there's no man involved? And if it's two men getting divorced, would they just burn the house down because there's no woman to give it to?

    Okay 3, 2, 1, let's jam.
    • (Score: 1) by Grishnakh on Tuesday April 01 2014, @04:13PM

      by Grishnakh (2831) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @04:13PM (#24277)

      The purpose of state-sanctioned marriage is to make divorces easier.

      No, not really. That's a modern add-on or perhaps side-effect; divorces used to be extremely difficult to get, if not mostly impossible. They used to take that "til death do us part" line seriously, for better or for worse.

      I think the gay marriage debate is hilarious because people don't understand this. They think state-sanctioned marriage is some kind of reward, a special little cookie for being in love and getting married.

      You obviously haven't been paying attention. There are many benefits to state-sanctioned marriage. Taxes are a big one: married couples pay lower taxes. There's also inheritance rights and other things accorded to married couples. Health insurance benefits are another. Here's a big-ass list of benefits. Some other big ones: receiving Social Security and Medicare benefits for spouses, veteran's benefits for spouses, lower auto insurance rates, being able to sue for wrongful death of a spouse, the list is quite long. These are the things gay people want which straight people take for granted. []

      And yes, an easier divorce process (due to modern laws) is part of the package. Why wouldn't they want it to be easier to split up if it comes to that? There was some case in Florida a while ago about a lesbian couple that couldn't divorce because the state didn't recognize their marriage (I think they married in a different state), and couldn't make a clean break (co-mingled house ownership IIRC) and one ended up murdering the other. Imagine if battered wives who own part of their house weren't able to leave their abusive husbands without losing their portion of their house and also their money in the shared bank accounts, basically rendering them impoverished and homeless?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 02 2014, @04:15AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 02 2014, @04:15AM (#24609)

      > The purpose of state-sanctioned marriage is to make divorces easier.

      That is an argument which ignores the fact the divorce was exceptionally rare until quite recently, even having been illegal in many countries. Yet they still had state-sanctioned marriage for centuries if not millenia.