Didn’t Chuck and Larry Get “Married”?

I highlight this only because I think Crowley, in his ineptitude, stumbles into an error of reason that others exhibit more subtly. Pointing to the expressed concern of Howard Weizmann, deputy director of the U.S. Office Of Personnel Management, that expanded domestic partner benefits would increase incidents of the sorts of fraud depicted in I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, Crowley writes:

Bush administration officials hard at work protecting us from gay people insurance fraud. Now all this silliness can end with a very simple solution: grant marriage rights to all couples and we won’t have to worry about the nuances of Chuck N Larry.

In point of fact, in order to procure their benefits, Chuck and Larry do get married. The only way “granting marriage rights to all couples” avoids fraudulent benefit transfers (for instance) is by legitimizing what had previously been held to be fraud. Marriage and divorce laws being what they are, there would be very little disincentive to “marrying” a friend for benefit, tax, housing, or even testimonial reasons.
If society wishes to create a system that encourages the mutual care of partnered pairs, then it should do so distinctly from marriage; to do otherwise would be to dilute the institution into nothingness. And if we are to set up domestic partnerships/civil unions, it would seem the height of government intrusion to insist that there be verifiable sexual intimacy between the participants.
ADDENDUM:
Here’s one further justification for taking Mr. Weizmann’s concern seriously, but on a much broader scale:

Marriage to an American citizen remains the most common path to U.S. residency and/or citizenship for foreign nationals, with more than 2.3 million foreign nationals gaining lawful permanent resident (LPR) status in this manner between 1998 and 2007.

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Thomas Schmeling
Thomas Schmeling
12 years ago

Justin,
I generally stay far away from the same sex marriage arguments here, but this post compels me to ask:
Do you have any evidence to suggest that same sex couples are more likely to enter into fraudulent marriages to obtain benefits than are opposite sex couples?

rhody
rhody
12 years ago

Thomas, let’s not be spoilsports and let those pesky little things called facts get in the way of a good rant here. Maybe homosexuality IS the root of all evil

Justin Katz
12 years ago

Thomas,
Pursuit of radical change on the grounds that there is not yet broad evidence of outcomes that one can predict from reason is more a gamble than an indication of wisdom.
I’ve seen evidence of lawsuits from (e.g.) sisters who wish to transfer estates claiming a right to partner benefits. You can be sure that where such things can be accomplished without litigation, they will be.

Greg
Greg
12 years ago

Damned queers trying to ruin marriage just like they ruined showtunes and Bravo TV.
Don’t you people know that they’re not like us?! They need to be stopped! We need to breed deviant homosexuality out of the species at all costs!
/raving sarcasm
Boy, Justin. You have a raging mad-on about gay people. Did you have a creepy priest or something?

Justin Katz
12 years ago

Greg,
A persistent failure to understand does not prove your error to be accuracy. Although, I suspect you’re willingly complicit in attempts to control the cultural debate by painting the other side as creepy: “Damn religious traditionalists, trying to push their own deep-seated pathologies on the rest of us (by insisting that society not be overhauled on a whim)!”

Greg
Greg
12 years ago

No Justin, my problem is that you want to make decisions for an entire group of people based on the misconception that they’re not equal in the eyes of your ‘god’. They are somehow lesser being in your eyes and not entitled to the same rights as other citizens.
What I want to do is drag you to an ICU in a hospital somewhere where someone can’t see their dying partner because they aren’t family and they aren’t a spouse. And then to probate court where they have to battle the legal system to get what is rightfully theirs after their partner dies.
But you don’t really care. You just see fags in leather and chaps and you want them to go away. Maybe all move to an island somewhere and form Fagotopia so you don’t have to see them.

Mike
Mike
12 years ago

You think 2 of these rectum loving freaks of nature could “marry” then demand a steady supply fresh little boys from the “progressive” run foster care system?
Nah, even the “progressives” aren’t THAT scummy.
Right?

Greg
Greg
12 years ago

The fact that Mike is continually allowed to post trash like that on this site speaks for itself.

rhody
rhody
12 years ago

Who’s more dangerous:
Justin, whose arguments are generally delivered in temperate language that seems to make sense (at first glance, anyway), or Mike, whose thoughts are unconstrained by political correctness?
Sometimes, I wonder if there’s really much difference in the depth of feeling.

Justin Katz
12 years ago

And what does it say, Greg, that I continue to allow you to post your trash (such as threatening to beat Christian pharmacists and making vicious assumptions about me just as Mike makes vicious assumptions about others)? If anything I edit him more tightly than I do you.
Get a grip. And while you’re at it, reread my response to you above, because it continues to apply.

Pragmatist
Pragmatist
12 years ago

Justin, are you arguing that the increased potential for this rather technical case of “insurance fraud” is an important consideration for the SSM debate? Yes, that certainly does look like a straw you are grasping.
And it does not go unnoticed that while you and your fellow bloggers here scour the web to find examples of every perceived slight by someone on the “left” of someone on the “right”, you seem to find very little time to say anything at all about the flow of hate posted on your very own site.
Of course, the “intellectual” right has always fomented the fears, ignorance, and hatred of the masses. The anti-intellectual crusade of the last election and lionization of Joe the Plumber provide only the most recent examples of that tactic.

Greg
Greg
12 years ago

It might say that I need to have my Republican Party card pulled. I clearly don’t have the required hatred for people not exactly like me or the requisite iron grip on my bible.
I remember when being a Republican meant wanting small, non-obtrusive government. Whatever happened to those days?

Justin Katz
12 years ago

Greg,
If you can find a party in which threatening to beat up pharmacists constitutes mainstream conversation, you’ll surely feel at home.

Greg
Greg
12 years ago

You’d think the party of racists, homophobes and those who spread the lie that Obama was a muslim would have room in their big, angry tent for somebody who just wants the friggin pharmacist to do their goddamned job and leave the bible [snip] at home.

rhody
rhody
12 years ago

Before we stray too far off topic here…
The next piece of evidence that conclusively proves gay marriage harms hetero marriage will be the first.

Greg
Greg
12 years ago
Mike
Mike
12 years ago

Before we stray too far off topic here…
The next piece of evidence that conclusively proves gay marriage harms hetero marriage will be the first.
Posted by rhody at December 3, 2008 1:05 PM
Rectal marriage hurts the behinds of the little boys who are turned over to these freaks.
You DO support the state turning little boys over to these monstrous “couples” don’t you Rhody?

Justin Katz
12 years ago

Greg,
Your general view of the responsibilities of pharmacists is certainly reasonable, but your complaint above was about rhetoric, to which I replied that yours is just as extreme, just as irrational, and just as hateful.
As for your link, placing a strawman argument in the form of a clever musical doesn’t make it any more valid.

Justin Katz
12 years ago

For goodness sake, Mike, would you resist the urge to slap your opposition thus? There are plenty of abusive freaks among the ranks of heterosexuals. And just as with heterosexuals, the majority of stable homosexual couples are no danger to children.
That is not where the argument lies, and insisting on dragging it back there does damage to the cause of planting red flags where they actually, immediately, and crucially below.

Thomas Schmeling
Thomas Schmeling
12 years ago

Justin says,
“Pursuit of radical change on the grounds that there is not yet broad evidence of outcomes that one can predict from reason is more a gamble than an indication of wisdom.”
What the heck is that supposed to mean?
i ask again “Do you have any evidence to suggest that same sex couples are more likely to enter into fraudulent marriages to obtain benefits than are opposite sex couples?”

Justin Katz
12 years ago

It means that radicals have done a great deal of cultural damage by pretending that changes should produce data before they’ve happened, or unreasonably shortly after their initiation.
One can deduce some consequences of same-sex marriage from reason, and the resulting concerns should be taken seriously.

rhody
rhody
12 years ago

Let’s ask Mike about the consequences. I “bow” to his authority on such matters.

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