Friday, January 12, 2007

Marriage is the complementary union of a man and a woman to make and raise children

I made this claim yesterday. It has occasioned some misunderstanding, so let me elaborate.

One misunderstanding is that when I say that marriage entails submission and sacrifice, I am contending that homosexual couples are selfish. I did not mean to suggest that homosexual couples are incapable of submission or sacrifice; I am sure that that happens in many actual homosexual couples. My thought is that the complementarity of man and woman entails (mutual) submission, in a way that the similarity of a same-sex couple does not. Likewise, parenthood entails self-sacrifice, and parenthood is entailed in the social institution of marriage. Some actual marriages don't have children, and some homosexual couples do, and no doubt there are many exemplary marriages and parents contained in those groups. I am talking about is the social ideal, not your relationship or mine.

Another misunderstanding is that when I say that the social purpose of marriage includes children, I am condemning childless marriages. Again, I am talking about the social ideal, the reason that society depends on marriage. All actual marriages, mine included, deviate from this ideal. I do think that marriage as an institution entails children. Children are why complementary couples take the step to become a permanent, faithful, one-flesh unit – that is, become married. Some actual couples do not have children. Society, and the institution of marriage, can live with that. However, if all children were produced without marriage, society would disintegrate. And if no marriages produced children, society would end.

A third misunderstanding is that I am ignoring love as the basis of marriage. I do think that the deepest love among human beings is found between parents and their children, and between husbands and wives. Marriage, though, adds to that love a permanent institution that changes husband and wife into one flesh. This relationship, unique in all social life, has deep consequences for their material lives, as well. Sometimes the feelings of love fluctuate, especially between the husband and wife. The marriage does not need to end, though, if love is at low ebb; rather, the institution of marriage is there to protect the couple from their changing emotions, and especially to protect their children from rash emotional actions that their parents might feel like making.

41 comments:

Alex said...

Just curious as to where adoptive parents fall in your continuum of "good" v. "good enough"...

Gruntled said...

At least "good" and sometimes "heroic."

Mark Smith said...

"Children are why complementary couples take the step to become a permanent, faithful, one-flesh unit – that is, become married."

Again, you have made an absolute statement that just isn't true.

SOMETIMES children are the main purpose for getting married. Perhaps that was your personal main reason.

It certainly wasn't mine. My main purpose for getting married was to create an outward sign to the world and God of the love that exists between Carolyn and I. Side benefits include legal benefits, cohabitation, sex, and stability. But all of those are secondary. We'd still be happy and just as special in God's eye if we weren't married, or even lived apart.

Gruntled, why did you get married?

Chairm said...

Adoption is a related but seperate social institution that attempts (and often succeeds in the attempt) to make up for the shortfall experienced by a child lacking either a mom or a dad or lacking both.

But its entirely reasonable to prioritize prospective adoptors based on marital status, i.e. forming, or being open to forming, a conjugal relationship (both-sexed by its very nature).

The presence of children, including adopted children, does not bestow marital status. On the other hand, enactment of SSM, or of civil union, would not establish the legal child-parent relationship that adoption would establish.

Likewise with married step-moms and step-dads. Unless adoption is brought up to support the establishment of more than two legal parents per child, the subtopic of adopted children does not really serve the SSM argument. Rather it points to how the core of marriage is extrinsic to the one-sexed arrangement, homosexual or not.

Adoption depends on parental relinquishment or loss. It is not procreation so it is not at the core of the social institution of marriage. It is nonethless closely related to the raising and education of children which flows directly from responsible procreation. And this is combined with integration of the sexes to form the core of the social institution of marriage.

Adoption, as a social institution, is not the optimal nor the ideal but it is "good enough"; and, as per Gruntled, adoptive parents are at least good and (in my view) very often heroic. But unless there are dire circumstances, society does not intervene to create motherless or fatherless children. Adoption is the noble contingency for children in need.

The adopted children, too, are intrinsically of value for their ownsake and are also very often heroic in their experience with parental relinquishment or loss.

Gruntled said...

Mark: the premise of sociology is that we can make generalizations that are true of groups without necessarily being true of each individual in the group.

Gannet Girl said...

Hmmm....re discussion between Gruntled and Mark: my dd is about to declare a major in sociology. I wonder if that means that she will begin to emphasize generalizations about groups in ways that will forever put us at odds. It's so interesting to me how differently we are all inclined to look at our world and lives.

On the topic of the purpose of marriage: I wonder if anyone whom I personally knew in my particular cohort -- college and graduate-educated, professional couples -- married for the primary purpose of having children. Most of the discussions I recall had to do with how marriage was no longer necessary (biologically, socially, economically) in order to have children and, therefore, we needed to find other justifications for a committment to a shared life.

Gruntled said...

I think most couples marry because they love one another. Typically, they also have a (strong) physical desire for one another. Put the three together -- love + desire + marriage -- the normal result is children. This happens even if the couple did not marry with a clear intention to make children.

Society, on the other hand, has a very strong interest in parents making children, and raising them well. Marriage is the single best institutional support that society can give to a couple to achieve both ends. There are many other supports, too, but that is the main one.

(By the way, what is a "dd" ?)

Gannet Girl said...

DD = dear daughter, delightful daughter, darling daughter. Variations: dh, ds, dw, dwhatever. The adjective may vary with the noun as deemed appropriate or accurate by the speaker.

Mark said...

"On the other hand, enactment of SSM, or of civil union, would not establish the legal child-parent relationship that adoption would establish."

Under NJ's new law, the rules are the same for marriages and for civil unions. Children born to a partner during the marriage/union become the child of both partners. Children coming into the marriage/union from a previous marriage/union do not automatically do so - adoption is a possibility.

Alan said...

"My thought is that the complementarity of man and woman entails (mutual) submission, in a way that the similarity of a same-sex couple does not."

Spin it any way you want, I still say that you don't have any idea what you're talking about. You provide no actual evidence (and I'm not even sure what that evidence would be anyway.) I think it is precisely these sorts of arrogant statements that should at least convince you that your "conclusions" are nothing more than restatements of your starting assumptions, backed up by little or no evidence.

I am however, glad to see you finally noticed that love has something to do with marriage. :) Though your paragraph on love only serves to suggest that same-sex marriage should, in fact, be promoted, not opposed.

Mark said...

"Mark: the premise of sociology is that we can make generalizations that are true of groups without necessarily being true of each individual in the group."

You aren't in the realm of sociology here. You are in the realm of policy-making. You are proposing specific steps that society should take to promote harmony. You've gone beyond sociology into social engineering.

Generalizations in sociology are necessary (by definition). In engineering (social or physical) they are deadly.

Alex said...

Gruntled,

I am not comfortable with the idea of adoptive parents as heroic. Are you heroic because you are a parent? My mothering is no different.

Blessings to you.

Gruntled said...

I think all parenting is heroic sometimes.

Chairm said...

Mark at 8:29 AM, January 15, 2007:

Under NJ's new law, the rules are the same for marriages and for civil unions. Children born to a partner during the marriage/union become the child of both partners. Children coming into the marriage/union from a previous marriage/union do not automatically do so - adoption is a possibility.

Close, but incorrect. The presumption is based on the both-sexed nature of human procreation.

No woman is presumed the mother of a child born to another woman. No man is presumed the mother of a child born of another man.

In New Jersey the presumption of paternity is in statutory law.

Unless the putative father had sexual intercourse with the mother, it is not presumed that he impregnated the mother. A second man might contest the presumption if he, too, had sexual intercourse with the mother. The putative father could counter by establishing a reasonable possibility of nonexistence of sexual contact between the second man and the mother.

This even applies to unwed moms and dads who cohabit; and in some cases to moms and dads who have not cohabited.

There is the longheld and explicit presumption that applies to married men (and to men who formed marriages later deemed invalid or void). It applies in statutory law if the man held the child out to be his natural child (an impossibility for a person of the same sex as one of the biological parents).

The presumption can be rebutted if a court has terminated the putative father's parental status; or if a court establishes that another man (not another woman) is the child's natural father (i.e. through DNA testing). Adoptive fathers (not another woman) may also rebut the presumption.

Parental relinquishment is required for second parent adoption as it is for step-parent adoption.

Meanwhile, the presumption of paternity is both reasonable and well-entrenched in our customs, traditions, and legal system. The husband is presumed the father of the children born to his wife. This is a rebuttabale presumption.

Now if a change of the kind you described were to occur as a direct result of the amendment of the marriage statute, then, the substitution of marriage has occured under the guise of this merger with nonmarital civil union. That means that more than mere marriage "incusliveness" has been at issue throughout the SSM campaign in New Jersey.

I can see how you might miscomprehend the presumption of paternity and on that basis I can foresee a same-sex twosome making such an absurdly stretched application of the presumption so that a woman could be presumed the mother of another woman's child; or a man presumed to be the father of another man's child. This would substitute the presumption of paternity with an inappropriately sex-segregative rule for the conjugal relationship.

The basic principle to-date: responsibility for support runs from parent to child, not parent to parent.

Hence the child-parent legal relationship is not established except through adoption in the case of any double-dad or double-mom scenario. And that means there is a prerequisite of parental relinquishment or loss. This is the virtual inverse of marriage, as it should be in an ordered society.

Two related principles: one cannot be saddled with involuntary adoption; consent given by virtue of fraud is not consent.

So, Mark, if the change that you think already exists in the marriage statute were to manifest itself, what replacement principles would apply -- to all conjugal relationships and to all civil unions?

Or is there basic inequality based on the both-sexed nature of human procreation?

Sex integration is central to the social institution of marriage, as is responsible procreaton, hence the presumption of paternity. Remove this from marriage recognition, and replace it with what -- for the sake the merger of nonmarriage with marriage. What trumps the nature of humankind and the core of marriage?

As I've asked previously, what is the purpose of a preferential status based on the limits of the homosexual relationship (which is nonconjugal by its lack of one sex or the other)?

Mark said...

"So, Mark, if the change that you think already exists in the marriage statute were to manifest itself, what replacement principles would apply -- to all conjugal relationships and to all civil unions?"

First, I'm not presuming anything. I read the law. Those are the rules - any child born into a civil union is a child of both partners.

Here's what it says:
"The rights of civil union couples with respect to a child of whom either becomes the parent during the term of the civil union, shall be the same as those of a married couple with respect to a child of whom either spouse or partner in a civil union couple becomes the parent during the marriage."
NJ P.L.2006, c.103

I think you misunderstand the reason for this particular change.

Today, a gay partner with a child living in the house has no parental right. That means that he/she can't authorize treatment in case of a medical emergency, though he/she is likely to be left in custodial care with the child. If the parent dies, the child can become a ward of the state and be taken away from the partner unless a Will handles the situation.

This simply codifies the idea that a civil union produces a family, and that any children who are born into that family are members of it.

You do have a valid point regarding the biological parents. I would assume that any gay or lesbian couple that wants to have children will have taken steps to ensure that the birth parent relationship is severed. I could easily see it getting ugly. Baby M (from the 80's) was a member of my former church.

But then the church seems to accept divorce and remarriage - that makes for odd family trees as well.

Alan said...

"I would assume that any gay or lesbian couple that wants to have children will have taken steps to ensure that the birth parent relationship is severed."

In the case of anonymous sperm donors, that isn't even an issue. This conversation is interesting, but I think some of its presuppositions about how babies are made are about 50 years out of date. ;)

Chairm said...

Mark: "I'm not presuming anything."

You have misread my comment. It is not about your personal presumptions in this discussion.

There is a marriage presumption of paternity that cannot apply to civil union.

To wit: No one-sex twosome is capable of engaging in sexual intercourse, let alone creating children together.

On the other hand, probably about 98% of marital children are the progeny of the marriages of their moms and dads. The marriage presumption establishes the child-parent relationship for that 98% and for the other 2% as well.

Without relinquishment, civil union can do this for 0%. It is the opposite of marriage for it depends upon a very big exemption. (See below).

The amended marriage statute points outside of marriage to legislation that shields sperm and ova "donors" from being responsible for the children they create; and which shields the users of sperm and ova supplies from the possiblity of future claims of parental status by those suppliers.

The longheld principle that underlies the presumption of paternity is that each of us is responsible for the children we create. The shielding legislation creates a big exemption to this principle. It is extrinsic to marriage.

That is so even if married people are among those who might make use of the exemption.

Third party procreation is extramarital procreation. That the amended statute now points to a subset of extramarital procreation does not mean that the marriage presumption can apply to civil union.

Perhaps, if the merger is going to treat all marriages as if they were like all civil unions, the marriage presumption will be abolished. Contracts, affidavits, paternity tests, will accompany the new presumption that the conjugal relationship is sterile until proven otherwise. And that third party procreation, particularly that subset which is shielded by legislation, is intrinsic to both civil union and marriage.

These would be radical changes that SSM argumentation tends to be silent on. That is, until after a merger is accomplished. So we can expect the challenges that I mentioned in my previous comment.

* * *

Mark: "any gay or lesbian couple that wants to have children will have taken steps to ensure that the birth parent relationship is severed"

Those steps must be taken by the birth parent. Voluntarily. No coercion even through a contractual agreement. That's the wya it is in New Jersey, now.

The gay or lesbian couple cannot force relinquishment in surrogacy nor in third party procreation. As I said, only a subset is shielded.

You brought up the New Jersey case of Baby M.

That example retains the distinction that civil union status cannot eraise.

A surrogate is the mother; by her voluntary relinquishment the child to whom she gives birth can then be made available for second parent adoption.

In the meantime, if she is married, her husband is the presumptive father (that is rebuttable).

If she is unmarried, the contracting man might take steps to become established as the presumptive father.

If that man is married, the marital status of his wife does not make her the presumptive mother. Their marriage does not create the child-parent relationship status. Relinquishment followed by adoption would do so.

Likewise with civil union.

* * *

In fact, if a civil union partner impregnates a woman through sexual intercourse -- or a simulation of intercourse not sheilded by the legislation on fertility clinics -- his male partner does not become the child's father by virute of civil unon status. The child has a father and a mother.

For the double-dad scenario, again, relinquishment is requisite, followed by adoption.

Likewise if the civil partners were female. It would be absurd for the law to presume that one woman had impregnated the other woman, just because they were in a civil union.

All this goes to show how much the state authority, in the form of the courts primarily, must intervene to establish the child-parent relationship in civil union.

Meanwhile, when a child is born to a husband and wife, their marital status protects the child's child-parental relationship with both mom and dad. It is when marriages fail and dissolve that the state authority intervenes. Or in other idre circumstances. But that is not the starting line for the rules of marriage.

Something like the opposite is the starting line for double-dad or double mom arrangements.

* * *

Alan: "some of its presuppositions about how babies are made are about 50 years out of date"

Please bring us up-to-date. :-)

Chairm said...

"Today, a gay partner with a child living in the house has no parental right."

It is not because the man is gay that he would not have parental status. It would be due to the lack of a child-parent relationship established through adoption.

Two gay men might commission a child via surrogacey, however, the birthmother (i.e. the surrogate) is the mother due to the presumption of maternity. Unless she relinquishes, the second man cannot adopt the mother's child.

And this innovation, of second-parent adoption, was supposedly modeled on step parent adoption.

But that is a judge-made law which put aside the common-law definition of step-parent (i.e. the husband, or the wife, in a second marriage). Step parent adoption is not automatic just because the second adult lives in the same house as the child's mother or father.

The second-parent thing was established because, according to the court, the one-sex twosome is incapable of marrying. With the merger of civil union and marriage, it would seem that civil union would become an additional prerequisite to second-parent adoption and the definition of step-parent would be restored.

In the meantime, adults who are not adoptive parents can still be delegated with responsiblities toward children. The issue is not as you put it but it is about creating this new relationship status between child and an adult of the same sex as the child's existing mom or dad.

When a child is presumed to be the child of the mother's husband, it is a form of adoption. Where this takes place fraudulently, the husband has recourse against the other man. The presumption is rebuttable, in part, for this reason of potential fraud.

Tell me, if a civil union partner impregnated a woman, would the other civil union partner become the second father just because of his civil union status?

Surely not.

How could he hold the child out to be his natural parent -- re the marriage presumption? He cannot.

So you are left with relinquishment as a necessary step prior to the civil partner's steps to secure a child-parent relationship with the child of his civil union partner.

Now, if you can imagine how there are essential differences between the male and the female civil union, then, I think you can see how this merger cannot treat the two types of same-sex relationships as if they were equal. And, in this regard, it is not possible to treat either of them as equal to married couples.

Where this particular aspect of the merger of marriage with nonmarriage may lead has been demonstrated in Ontario. A court, not the legislature, decided that a child has three parents of equal status. The child's mom (birthmother), the child's dad (sperm "donor"), and the mom's SSM partner.

The mom and her partner said the child needed his father's status for the child be accorded equal status with other children; and the father refused to relinquish but said the child needed a second mom for the child to be accorded equal status with other children.

So the equality claim is distorted in any direction that suites the homosexual relationship when the equality claim is based on the false equivalency claim of SSM argumentation.

The marriage presumption demonstrates this. The example in Ontario demonstrates this.

If what you think has happened in New Jersey is ever manifested in New Jersey family law, then, expect a repeat of what happened in Ontario; that would be tied to an absurd presumption that a civil union partner is like a married husband whose parental status is based on the both-sexed nature of human procreation.

Gruntled: If you are reading this discussion, please tell us your opinion of how civil union is middle ground when it is merged with marital status as per New Jersey.

Is third party procreation now centrally attached to the core of the social institution of marriage, in your view?

Or has marriage been demoted based on the limitations of the one-sexed nature of civil union?

Sociologically, it would appear so, mostly due to the confusion added by the false equalivalency claims inherent in SSM argumentation.

At law, the way forward in New Jersey is the hastened devolution of marriage recognition.

Hence, this is not middle ground. It is full retreat from public preference for the conjugal relationship.

Alan said...

A correction: Actually second parent adoptions are not an "innovation" initially designed for same-sex couples. It was instead designed for heterosexual couples, initially.

Chairm said...

Not so Alan.

The term, second parent, refers to a second parent of the same sex.

This was indeed an innovation that was purportedly modelled on the common-law definition of step-parent. New Jersey case law demonstrates this very point.

Alan, where's your update on how babies are made?

Chairm said...

According to the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), they "created the legal mechanism of second-parent adoption and won the first second-parent adoption in the nation in 1987."

Referring to the step-parent model, the judge in that case was the first to recognize both the natural mother and her lesbian partner as the legal parents of the child jointly raised.

In most states the common-law definition of step-parent still applies and it is tied to the statutory exception for adoption.

In some states courts have borrowed the step-parent model as per the NCLR's innovation for lesbian couples.

Alan said...

"The term, second parent, refers to a second parent of the same sex."

I'm neither a lawyer, nor a scholar of legal history. Apparently you are, since you Google stuff on the interweb. ;) I'm simply repeating what several lawyers in two states who are experts in family law have told me: Second parent adoption laws have been around for ages and were initially developed for straight couples.

For example, consider a woman and her infertile husband. She can be impregnated by another man who is known to her (instead of an anonymous sperm donor) and her husband is able to do a second parent adoption of the resulting child. That was one of the original situations for which second parent adoption was created, which is obviously not a step-parent situation. As proof that I'm right, consider that second parent adoptions are completely legal for straight couples in Michigan, but not for same-sex couples. If it was an "innovation" created for same-sex couples, that would obviously not be the case.

It is possible that the group to which you refer has taken the concept of second parent adoption and applied it to same-sex couples, or taken that concept and introduced it in states that didn't previously have such laws. These laws do vary from state to state, after all, so perhaps my information applies only to Indiana and Michigan. It's hard to tell from the extensive research available on their website. ;)

Anyway....just correcting yet another inaccuracy. Not interested in getting into a fisking contest with you and your buddies again. LOL

Chairm said...

Alan, your first example is step-parent adoption. The husband, married to the mother, adopts the mother's child. This cannot take place without the relinquishment of the known natural father of the child.

Chairm said...

Alan, if you wish to offer a substantive correction, you might refrain from disparaging what you imagine to be my means of knowing about this subject.

Your catty remarks are self-indulgent attempts to insult rather than to address the substance of the topic. I've noticed you resort to that behavior rather too easily and too often in these discussions.

Please try better. Thanks.

Chairm said...

It is possible that the group to which you refer has taken the concept of second parent adoption and applied it to same-sex couples, or taken that concept and introduced it in states that didn't previously have such laws.

The reverse of what you described is what actually happened. It is odd that you would attempt to diminish the significant involvement of the NCLR in the first second-parent adoption case in the country.

The NCLR brought their innovation to trial in aide of a lesbian couple, one woman the natural mother, the other her domestic partner. The common-law meaning of step-parent was shelved for that case. But step-parent adoption served as the model for treating the second woman as if she was a married husband. That was in San Fransisco.

To take the generous view of your comments ....

Where you appear to be confused, and where you probably have misunderstood whatever it is your unidentified sources may have told you, is the case law that arose in places where unmarried cohabitating couples had children together, three decades ago.

In such a case, the man would be the natural father; the mother, the natural mother. No special technology would have been used to create their children. They would have lived together, had sexual intercourse with one another, and raised their children together.

That arrangement would have qualified as common-law marriage, except where statutes had abolished common-law marriage in favor of licensed marriage.

The child would be held out as the natural child of both. But due to the lack of marital status the presumption of paternity would not have applied.

Since that time, illegitimacey has been abolished and new statutory presumptions have been enacted for unmarried paternity.

The marriage presumption is different, as already discussed with New Jersey as the valid example when discussing the recent merger of marriage and civil union in that state.

Rather than correcting what I've said, Alan, you have brought the topic full circle back to the absurdity of applying the presumption of paternity to two men. They are incapable of engaging in sexual intercourse together; can't create children together; can't hold out the child of one man as the natural child of both men.

Compare that with two women, one the supplier of ova and the other the gestational carrier. Both would have at least some basis to claim to be the natural mother. But that depends on analogizing the enabling legislation for that subset of third party procreation. And that's extramarital because the father must relinquish.

Chairm said...

Alan: "As proof that I'm right, consider that second parent adoptions are completely legal for straight couples in Michigan, but not for same-sex couples. If it was an "innovation" created for same-sex couples, that would obviously not be the case."

Alan, the proof in Michigan contradicts the claims you've made in your latest comment.

1. Second parent adoption has not been around "for ages"; the idea was introduced to Michigan in the mid-90s, several years after the example of the California lesbian cases in which the NCLR's innovation was instrumental.

2. Such adoptions (regardless of sexual orienation) were then available for almost a decade in Michigan before being haulted by court order. It is wrong to say that this form of adoption was allowed for both-sexed couples and dissallowed for one-sexed twosomes. It was allowed for both and is now dissallowed for both.

3. The idea was brought to Michigan by advocates of the "second parent of the same sex". That it has also applied (sparingly) to unmarried both-sexed scenarios was a by-product and not the origin of the new idea in Michigan.

4. Recently, legislation was introduced in the Michigan Legislature which would allow the adoption of children by partners of natural parents, regardless of marital status. Such a reform would write into statute an idea that had been implemented in Michigan courts through the local embrace of judge-made provisions from California's same-sex adoption cases.

The new legislation, pushed primarily by the homosexual special interest groups, would eraise the statutory preference for marriage. It has remained in committee for a couple years and may not have the support to advance.

It looks like by "completely legal for straight couples in Michigan" you meant step-parent adoption, which depends on marital status.

Well, that's pretty much the legalistic innovation -- to recategorize familiar step-parent adoption under a new overly broad notion for the sake of the narrower same-sex-as-the-parent scenario. Merge nonmarital with marital and replace the preference for marriage.

If the proposed legislation were to eventually pass into statutory law, the new provisions would still not equalize the male one-sex twosome with the female one-sex twosome, in terms of third party procreation and its related adoption opitions.

Surrogacy agreements are prohibited, and heavily penalized, in Michigan. "Donor" insemination shields the anonymous male "donor" and the female user (and the surrogate inseminator, i.e. the intervening technican or clinic). Thus one form of third party procreation is banned while the other is enabled.

Maybe another false equivalency claim would overturn the compelling state interests already established in Michigan courts: a) preventing children from becoming commodities, b) serving the best interests of children and c) preventing the exploitation of women (read "men and women").

Perhaps the homocentric example from the Ontario judiciary would be embraced by courts in Michigan. Parental status for mom, dad, and mom's partner. If dad has a partner, just be equitable and add him as well.

That society has not gone that far for scenarios that entail children in common to both-sexed couples and third or more persons -- was no obstacle to the Ontario court. The key was that the couple was lesbian and the third person was the natural dad of the child. They agreed so that made it okay.

If that form of second parent adoption is okay, why not third parent adoption, or fourth?

There is no shortage of children living in scenarios that would lend themselves to further extension of adoption provisions. Afterall, joint custody and remarriage have been around, like, for ages. Social step-parents gain some aspects of parental status even though they haven't officially adopted. Why stop there?

And if three or more parents, then, why not extend the protections of marital status to threesomes and moresomes? It is such a new idea that it is an old idea already.

Alan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alan said...

"Your catty remarks are self-indulgent attempts to insult rather than to address the substance of the topic."

Thanks Mom. :) Actually, my "catty remarks" are meant to be amusing, hence the smiley faces, which are generally seen as a way to indicate humor. ;) Fact is, you've appointed yourself Blog Nanny because you don't like to be shown to be wrong. If you truly want to discuss the substance of the topic, then your habit of getting indignant about every comment I make doesn't seem to serve that goal. We're both adults and should be able to handle a little humor in an otherwise dry conversation.

And I have indeed addressed the substance of the topic many times throughout this and other threads, as I did with my most recent comment about second parent adoptions. That you then spend several pages discussing your opinions about second parent adoptions shows that, in fact, I did address the substance of the conversation.

As to the "substance" of the conversation, you're still wrong ... second parent adoptions are still legal in Michigan. Or at least they were as little as 4 months ago. On that there can be no doubt, since I've seen the adoption papers. :)

José Solano said...

Thank you Chairm for your very erudite exposition on stepparent and second parent adoptions. It was an excellent lesson from which I learned a lot. Yours is a keen observation of the direction in which these contemporary innovations with regard to "parenthood" lead. Threesomes are already here and that breaks down any reasoning for denying even moresomes.

It appears to me that the imposition of homosexual "marriage" on society inevitably will lead to the need to separate government altogether from serving as a custodian of marriage by privileging this special relationship with benefits. Creating any institution for homosexuals that mimics marriage demonstrates that government has failed to understand the meaning and function of marriage. It is possible that even a majority of the people, under the enormous indoctrination efforts of homosexualist propaganda in the media, the schools, etc., will in time be deluded into imagining a homosexual "marriage" has any sense. At that point I think it will be necessary to work towards getting government out of the marriage business altogether.

In the meantime my recommendation for people in Massachusetts wishing to marry is to do so in some other state where the meaning of marriage is still understood. This is an important movement in defense of marriage that must begin in Massachusetts. Lets get the word out!

José Solano said...

Thank you Chairm for your very erudite exposition on stepparent and second parent adoptions. It was an excellent lesson from which I learned a lot. Yours is a keen observation of the direction in which these contemporary innovations with regard to "parenthood" lead. Threesomes are already here and that breaks down any reasoning for denying even moresomes.

It appears to me that the imposition of homosexual "marriage" on society inevitably will lead to the need to separate government altogether from serving as a custodian of marriage by privileging this special relationship with benefits. Creating any institution for homosexuals that mimics marriage demonstrates that government has failed to understand the meaning and function of marriage. It is possible that even a majority of the people, under the enormous indoctrination efforts of homosexualist propaganda in the media, the schools, etc., will in time be deluded into imagining a homosexual "marriage" has any sense. At that point I think it will be necessary to work towards getting government out of the marriage business altogether.

In the meantime my recommendation for people in Massachusetts wishing to marry is to do so in some other state where the meaning of marriage is still understood. This is an important movement in defense of marriage that must begin in Massachusetts. Get the word out!

Chairm said...

We're both adults and should be able to handle a little humor in an otherwise dry conversation. [...] you then spend several pages discussing your opinions about second parent adoptions shows that, in fact, I did address the substance of the conversation.

I referred to the case law, the statutory law, and the recently introduced legislation.

You have yet to address any of that.

Rather than address substance, you would backhand my representation of that as mere opinion.

That I went to some length to address your main points is demonstration of good faith. Your subsequent comment is the opposite.

Nothing in your last comment discounts the childish and self-indulgent remarks you gave earlier.

Again, more flounce than substance on your part.

The invitation to do better came from a fellow commenter and not from your imaginary Blog Nanny. Your attempt to inject humor looks like simplle minded ad hom with no merit whatsoever. The invitation to do better still stands.

Chairm said...

In Michagan, a statewide organization was formed when ALL second parent adoptions were haulted.

In its most recent statement published in January 2007, the President of The Coalition for Adoption Rights Equality reported that their own legal review

DOES NOT SAY:

1) Second parent adoptions are legal and available in Michigan.

2) All second parent adoptions that have been done so far are safe from [being contested].

3) Judges are required to grant second parent adoptions.


End Quote

This organization is the primary supporter of the legislation that was introduced to reactivate and allow the processing of second parent adoptions in Michigan. See earlier comment re that legislation.

Alan said...

LOL. You do keep at it don't you, Chairm? :)

I know of several second parent adoptions that have been granted in Michigan in the last year, the most recent was about 4 months ago.

So, like several of your legal opinions, this one is incorrect.

Chairm said...

In Michigan, Chief Court Judge Brown was criticized by the ACLU for haulting the processing of petitions for second parent adoptions.

Judge Brown:

[T]here is no legal basis for accepting or granting petitition for second parent adoptions. [...] The language of the statute [i.e. The Adoption Code], under any reasonable construction, cannot refer to two or more individuals, unless they are married to one another. Therefore, it is clear that the statute, and our caselaw, bars adoptions by both gay couples and unmarried heterosexual couples.

[...] [A]ny change in the statute to allow for second parent adoptions is solely a legislative issue rather than one for judicial resolution.


I have already pointed out that such legislation was introduced and has not yet left committee.

Chairm said...

Judge Brown further responded directly to the ACLU:

The practice of granting unmarried couple adoptions [by one judge in Washtenaw County for a few years] was an aberration [contrary to long-standing judicial practice in Michigan]. No other court in Michigan has granted adoptions to unmarried couples, nor can you cite any Michigan appellate case that has authorized such an adoption.

[...]

Reasonable people can differ regarding what is the appropriate public policy for our state. The issues of what is in the best interests of the child, and whether unmarried couples are suitable adoptive parents, are matters for the state legislature to determine. The Court's role is not to make public policy, but to interpret and follow the law that currently exists.

If people disagree, then the option and responsibility of those interested in this issue is to go to their state legislators and seek to change our current adoption statute. Those who disagree with the law should not ask the Court to disregard the law as it currenty exists.


See earlier comment regarding the organization that has promoted such legislation; and the comment regarding the introduced Bill that would enable second parent adoption for both-sexed and one-sexed scenarios.

***

In addition to the organization I quoted earlier, which directly contradicts Alan's unsubstantiated claims, the Office of Children’s Ombudsman said, in its 2003 Annual Report:

the current requirement in the Adoption Code requires that an adoptive parent be either a single person or a married couple. Current statute does not permit two unmarried couples to adopt.

Also, in 2004 the Michigan Family Independence Agency (now known as the Department of Human Services) said:

[We] must [...] carefully research this issue before determining whether or not adoption of children by cohabiting adults is in the best interest of children, providing the stability and security they require.

* * *

Since Michigan case law bars two single people not married to each other from adopting, it impacts equally on heterosexual relationships as well as same sex relationships.

That's not merely my opinion. That's the advice of the Chief Court Judge Brown, of the Attorney General, and implicitly of the writer and sponsors of the Bill now in the Michigan legislative process.

Chairm said...

I suspect that Alan has not understood whatever it is he now claims to have seen.

His claim is probably not verifiable, however ...

If (if)there is a judge somewhere in Michigan who has processed a second parent adoption within the last few months, this would be a new development designed to directly challenge the status quo in Michigan.

If it occured, it will come to light soon enough. Though, 4 months is a rather long time for it to remain out of the public eye given how quickly the hault on such adoptions was executed (about 2 weeks) and given the Bill that was introduced.

Second parent adoption -- the adoption of a mother's child by the unwed partner of that mother -- is not currently available in Michigan.

When an SSMer makes false claims, it needs to be addressed by folks who defend marriage. The attempt to confuse with irrelevancies is central to the SSM campaign.

In any case, the original point made upthread still stands.

To wit:

1) civil union and marriage cannot be treated the same on the basis of the presumption of paternity. The two arrangements are not equal precisely because of the lack of one sex in civil union. And if civil union is not marriage, then, it does not fall within the requirements for adoption.

2) on the other hand, if civil union is to be treated as marriage in all ways, then, the common-law definition of step-parent can be restored in terms of adoptions by the wedded (or now civil unioned) partner of the natural parent. It would still require parental relinquishment on the part of the other natural parent.

As that is the requisite for all double-dad or double-mom scenarios, it goes to show how civil union is still not marriage even with the merger.

The two things are fundamentally different. However, if marriage must now be treated as if it was merely a one-sexed civil union, then, nonmarriage will be on par with marriage in New Jersey. The presumption of paternity will be twisted out of shape and rendered meaningless, eventually.

That's how preferential status will be flattened as the merger's infuence ripples through family law.

I don't really expect the SSMers to fight for the court system to restore the requirement that a step-parent be married to the natural parent; nor that civil union be required for a civil union step-parent to adopt the child of the partner's child. Afterall, a central theme of SSM argumentation is that the matnra of diversity trumps everything else.

Rather, the typical SSMer will settle for treating the unwedded as if they were wedded, which really means treating the wedded as if they were unwedded. Lower the standards to fit the limitations of the one-sexed arrangement.

The merger is not a great way to defend marriage recognition.

* * *

To Alan:

Smirking at someone else's diligence does not substitute for your lack of substantive follow-through.

Chairm said...

Typo correction:

"nor that civil union be required for a civil union step-parent to adopt the partner's child."

Chairm said...

Rats.

"nor that civil union be required for a same-sex partner to adopt the other partner's child."

Alan said...

"Second parent adoption -- the adoption of a mother's child by the unwed partner of that mother -- is not currently available in Michigan."

Like most of your legal opinions, that's incorrect. Of the many couples I know who have been granted second parent adoptions, only one, two friends in Indiana about 4 years ago, was of the type you describe. That's not the only kind of second parent adoption. In the most recent example I'm referring to, a teenage girl who was raped, gave her baby up for adoption. She chose these two men to adopt her child in an open adoption because she recognized what wonderful fathers they would be. So, one of the fathers adopted the baby, and then the second father adopted the baby in a second parent adoption 9 months later. In another example, about 1 year ago, two women adopted a child to whom neither of them had given birth.

What I find amusing is that you cite information that clearly shows that second parent adoption has indeed happened in Michigan, regardless of what your expert legal opinion (aided by your unparalleled research skills) tells you the about the law. Yes, the judge in Washtenaw county that was performing SOME of these adoptions (I live in Washtenaw county, BTW and have heard the information first hand... so I think I've got a better handle on what happened than you do) has stopped because he was ordered to stop by his superiors. However, not ALL judges in Michigan have received the same instructions and many continue to grant the adoptions quietly, anyway.

"When an SSMer makes false claims, it needs to be addressed by folks who defend marriage. The attempt to confuse with irrelevancies is central to the SSM campaign."

Well, I was not at these adoptions. But with the most recent example, I've seen plenty of pictures of the proceedings, including pictures of the two dads and both sets of grandparents in the courtroom plus one very cute picture of the judge holding the adorable baby. I, along with about 100 friends and family have seen the adoption papers at a party to celebrate the event. In addition, I have signed several legal papers myself since her daddies have appointed my husband and me as the child's guardians if, God forbid, anything happens to them.

Chairm....you're wrong. In fact, you don't know what you're talking about and your expertise is derived from Google searches. Your opinion on this matter, like many other things you write, it is simply one example of just how wrong you are about so many things.

One can, I believe, understand why I am reluctant to provide additional evidence to someone who seeks to destroy not only my own family, but the families of those I love, simply for the sake of proving that I'm right to a complete stranger on a blog comment thread. I'm sure that's precisely what you'd like me to do, but I wasn't born yesterday. Sorry, you're going to have to get your adolescent fun from trying to screw with someone else's lives. :)

So, you troll here, fisking comments, insulting me in one of your first comments in this series, insulting my marriage, and essentially calling me a heretic in another thread, you're now calling me a liar, Chairm. And you actually attempt to fake indignation by trying to twist my sense of humor into some sort of insult? Because you think I'm "catty"? Charming, Chairm. :) Frankly I think I've been more than polite. As Mark said in another thread, "Let me be clear - if you attack my marriage, I will be angry ... Relegating our marriage to second class status IS an attack." However annoyed I might be, I'm not really angry at you, though. Frankly, I've heard much worse from people far more bitter than you. But, I also don't see any reason to serve you tea and cucumber sandwiches while you insult me. I think it would be a good idea for you to recognize that, while this is an amusing academic argument for busibodies who have nothing better to do with their time, it isn't an "issue" -- these are families we're talking about. Actual people, human beings -- not "SSMers" as you so casually put it.

And yet somehow, you have attempted to convince yourself that I'm the bad guy in this conversation. LOL. Well... you don't seem to get too bothered by "facts", so I shouldn't be surprised, eh? ;)

I do admire your persistence, though. I appreciate how you don't let things like *facts* get in the way of your misguided, quixotic battle. I'm sure that continued internet searches will help you find other "information" with which to combat the truth. :) And, because I admire your persistence I'll give you the last word, since it seems clear that is somehow important to you. ;) Fisk away!

Chairm said...

Apologies for not replying earlier. I am dismayed with the pettiness displayed in Alan's latest comment. Maybe he has had enough time to cool down and reassess.

* * *

Alan, regarding Michigan, your timeline is obviously faulty. Note that I said currently -- which is in correct and appropriate in the context of this discussion. You thought that I had contradicted myself, but I think this is an example of your having misread, again.

In any case, maybe you will name the particular court in that state which today grants second-parent adoptions (to both-sexed couples but not to same-sexed couples -- or to any couples). Your claim can then be confirmed or rejected. There is a legislative discussion on this subject so playing hide and seek is counter-productive.

As it stands, your comments are demonstratably wrong -- not based on my opinion but based on the facts on the public record.

Readers can check further if they wish. They will find what I have already described.

You have not comprehended the significance of the facts in my comment at 3:37 AM, January 19, 2007. Snide words do not disguise the errors you have made in your comments.

--> "your expertise is derived from Google searches"

False. I've been in adoptions long before you were born, probably. Professionally, I have consulted many family law lawyers -- most mediocre but on this subject I've known a few who are top flight.

But we don't need direct access to experts. The public record is not so mysterious on this.

It is true that you can google a great deal on this subject and find primary sources online. But Google is not the only way to find the facts which are on the public record.

Maybe there is some aversion to googling the basics. Or checking other more traditional public sources. Or reading comprehensively or just being open to a wider view than just the stuff that filters through gay identity politics.

I dunno. But relying on a private stories shrouded in secrecy is no substitute in a public discussion.

--> "someone who seeks to destroy not only my own family, but the families of those I love"

False. I've no ill-will toward your family or people you know. You would poison the well, Alan, that's a mark against your credibility but it did not come from me; it came from your own words here.

SSMers too often try to over-personalize discussions as a way of playing some emotive trump card.

I could play the same game but I have not. Not merely because it is beneath me (though I find the rhetoric unpersuasive both ethically, morally, and logically) but because it diverts from the substance of the discussion. It serves no other purpose than that. It is manipulative and not convincing.

--> " insulting me"

False.

Playing the victim card signifies the weakness of your dispute of the facts. Whining complaints about won't strengthen the basis for your opinions on the subject.

On the other hand, "catty" is a fair description of the tone of the less mature gripes you have made in your comments. (Note I am referring, as I have previously, to your comments, not to you personally.)

In your latest comment you have just openly confirmed that the purpose of the remarks (which I had described as catty) was to offend me and to poison the well. You have resorted to namecalling.

I invited better because I thought you might be capable of better.

--> "you're now calling me a liar"

False. You clearly have not grasped the subject matter, as illustrated in your own words.

Playing hide and seek with the facts is not good form. You make factual claims which you choose not to support. Folding your arms and declaring yourself better informed leaves readers less informed about your side of the discussion.

You've been corrected. If the dispute is valid, present more substance. If not, then, all you can do is offer your personal account of non-public anecedotes. It is something, but it is not decisive. And your account, thusfar, does not really address the points I have made on the subject. You skirt those points -- perhaps out of the way you have misread.

--> "Relegating our marriage to second class status IS an attack"

Whether or not it is a marriage is in contention. By your lights, disagreement is beyond the pale. What else would you then dictate to the rest of society?

To wit:

If you want to merge nonmarriage with marriage, then, would you object to relegating to lower status the other nonmarital arrangments that are prohibited by New Jersey Civil Union?

Why is a relationship status needed just for the gay and lesbian identity? If, as per New Jersey, the public purpose is to provide protection, then, how does it protect gay and lesbian people to exclude other people? It doesn't. In fact, designated beneficiaries already provides protections without a new relaitonship status, at law.

What makes your relationship type superior to the other types that Civil Union excludes? Not commitment. Not caretaking. Not love.

Maybe, according to your own comments, your opinion is an "attack" against those families. Remember, "these are families we're talking about. Actual people, human beings".

* * *

An SSMer is someone who advocates for SSM. Not all SSMers are in same-sex households. Not all SSMers are homosexual. Not everyone in same-sex households is an SSMer. Not all homosexual people are SSMers.

* * *

My last word: Thanks.

Chairm said...

Typo fix: "Note that I said currently -- which is correct and appropriate in the context of this discussion."

* * *

I'll add this from a recent article by Dale Carpenter re the origination and extension of second-parent adoption:

Dale Carpenter at The Volokh Conspiracy

Starting in the early 1980s, the National Center for Lesbian Rights pioneered the concept of “second-parent” adoptions by which two unmarried people could both be a child’s legal parents. Over time, the concept has been embraced by courts or by statute in about half the states.

Second-parent adoptions have also become available to unmarried heterosexual couples. Thus, a legal reform intended to compensate for the unavailability of same-sex marriage has been seized by those who can marry but choose not to. It reduces the incentive to marry and means more children will be raised out-of-wedlock.


What I had said:

1. The second-parent thing was established because, according to the court, the one-sex twosome is incapable of marrying.

2. This was indeed an innovation that was purportedly modelled on the common-law definition of step-parent.

3. According to the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), they "created the legal mechanism of second-parent adoption and won the first second-parent adoption in the nation in 1987."

4. That it has also applied (sparingly) to unmarried both-sexed scenarios was a by-product and not the origin of the new idea in Michigan.

Although Dale Carpenter is a law professor, an support of SSM, and a supporter of second-parent adoption (for same-sex pairs primarily if not exclusively), his article agrees with the basis that I have described here about second-parent adoption.

He is also a blogger so perhaps he just googled the subject when he wrote his article for the Bay Area Reporter (May 24, 2007) and which also appears online at the Independent Gay Forum.

In that article he shot himself in the foot regarding his broader analysis, but the part about second-parent adoption contradicts Alan's timeline.

Readers can decide for themselves whose account is more credible.