Blog Debate: Owen's Rebuttal to Question 2

Marking the half-way point, Owen posted his rebuttal to my response to the second question. Friday afternoon Jenna will ask the third question.

Remember both Dean at Thoughtful Conservative and the folks at are making it easy to track the whole debate.


At 5:06 PM, Anonymous Keith said...

Owen's rebuttal is classic, and I mean that in a good way. He is arguing from precisely the perspective that, I think, most Wisconsinites share. Namely, most Wisconsinites fear that someone, somewhere, sometime, is going to IMPOSE a solution to this problem.

Fact is that BOTH sides are equipped to make that argument. And BOTH sides should, because it really is the crux of the matter. That's why this debate is important. And I hope this debate is followed up with another 3 months of civil discussion in the media.

The question really boils down to balancing two RISKS.

With the status quo (i.e. a NO on the amendment), there is a risk that non-married Wisconsin families might get to share the word "marriage."

With a YES vote, there is risk that non-married Wisconsin families might lose what little protection we have.

Which of these two is more likely to happen? Owen thinks the former. Ingrid thinks the second.

Which of these two is the more frightening risk? To the average Wisconsinite, probably the first. To non-married families, certainly the later.

Which of these two is the more severe? To the YES folks, even the most rabid, the risk is not going to effect their lives much. Their ideals might be shattered, but they will wake up on November 8th with the same legal standing as they had the day before.

But to we NO folks, who stand to lose our very livlihood, it is stark and utterly terrifying! We will wake on November 8th and think seriously about renting a U-Haul.

At 5:53 PM, Blogger Communitygal said...

The thing is, Owen's risk argument is pure theory, which if he gets the results he wants, can NEVER BE PROVED--it is pure speculation:

Owen says if we don't pass this, judges *will* force "gay marriage" down our thoats (and other, less thoughtful "yes" advocates also fear legalized polygamy, people marrying dogs, and all sorts of other marital horrors). If we pass the amendment, we'll never know if Wisconsin judges would do that, because they'll get stopped by the Constitution (as amended).

On the other hand, Ingrid's risk argument is testable, and "correctable" if correction is indeed required: If we do not pass this ban, and if as Owen fears a legal challenge to the current law limiting marriage to husband and wife goes forward, we will find out what at least 11 judges think about that question (1 trial court, 3 appeals court, and 7 supreme court justices, and more if the court of appeals is asked to pass on it en banc)before it ever becomes the binding law of the state. And THEN, if, as Owen fears, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has indeed taken a hard left turn and declares that marriage equality is required by the Constitution, and the people so greatly disagree with this, AT THAT POINT they could change the Constitution to reverse that holding.

But at this point, NO Wisconsin judge has done what Owen fears. Shouldn't we give our courts, and our litigants, future legislators, and even the citizens inheriting this state, a little respect and not cut them off at the knees?


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