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Gays, Taxes, and the 14th Amendment

Khaos_Mage
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11/20/2014 11:07:09 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
THIS IS NOT A THREAD ABOUT THE MERITS OR PITFALLS OF GAY MARRIAGE SO TAKE IT ELSEWHERE!!!

It seems that a common argument against prohibition of gay marriage is the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment. It basically states that all laws must be applied equally, and the fact that no man can marry another man (regardless of sexuality) does not meet this requirement. Even though the law is applied equally, it just has a disparate impact among gays, this is viewed as not equal under the law.

If this is true, then why is it that my 13 year old child qualified me for a $1,000 tax credit, and an exemption of $3,900 dollars if I make $30K and am single, but if I won $250K on the lottery, no my kid is only worth an exemption of $2,964, but I do not get the tax credit? Is that equal protection under the law, too?

Or, forget the kid, if you are single and make up to $250K, you can deduct $3,900 for yourself. But, if you make over $373K, you deduct nothing for even yourself. How is that fair?

Or that married couples have different brackets than singles?
Or the poor receive free money for having a 401k?
Or different tax brackets at all?
Or different dollars are taxed differently? (the same dollar is taxed differently if it is acquired via self-employment, wage, hobby income or gambling, capital gains, or possibly even retirement accounts)

How is this equal application of the law?
Is there something wrong with my analogy?
Or does the legal aspect of the 14th amendment not apply, and is just misused by the layperson (intentionally or otherwise)?
My work here is, finally, done.
YYW
Posts: 36,242
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11/20/2014 12:41:02 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/20/2014 11:07:09 AM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
THIS IS NOT A THREAD ABOUT THE MERITS OR PITFALLS OF GAY MARRIAGE SO TAKE IT ELSEWHERE!!!

It seems that a common argument against prohibition of gay marriage is the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment. It basically states that all laws must be applied equally, and the fact that no man can marry another man (regardless of sexuality) does not meet this requirement. Even though the law is applied equally, it just has a disparate impact among gays, this is viewed as not equal under the law.

If this is true, then why is it that my 13 year old child qualified me for a $1,000 tax credit, and an exemption of $3,900 dollars if I make $30K and am single, but if I won $250K on the lottery, no my kid is only worth an exemption of $2,964, but I do not get the tax credit? Is that equal protection under the law, too?

Yes, because sexual identity is immutable whereas earning capacity is not.

Or, forget the kid, if you are single and make up to $250K, you can deduct $3,900 for yourself. But, if you make over $373K, you deduct nothing for even yourself. How is that fair?

"Fair" in that sense is based on the view that taxation rates should be proportional to actual dollars earned. This is, in some circles, a controversial idea. It is, nevertheless, the philosophical principle upon which our tax code is written.

Your tax rate is based on "what you make" and "what you do" not "who you are."
Greyparrot
Posts: 14,212
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11/20/2014 12:55:42 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/20/2014 12:41:02 PM, YYW wrote:

Your tax rate is based on "what you make" and "what you do" not "who you are."

He wasn't talking about equal protection under the law for tax rates,

He is talking about equal exemptions under the law.
Khaos_Mage
Posts: 23,214
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11/20/2014 12:59:54 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/20/2014 12:41:02 PM, YYW wrote:
At 11/20/2014 11:07:09 AM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
THIS IS NOT A THREAD ABOUT THE MERITS OR PITFALLS OF GAY MARRIAGE SO TAKE IT ELSEWHERE!!!

It seems that a common argument against prohibition of gay marriage is the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment. It basically states that all laws must be applied equally, and the fact that no man can marry another man (regardless of sexuality) does not meet this requirement. Even though the law is applied equally, it just has a disparate impact among gays, this is viewed as not equal under the law.

If this is true, then why is it that my 13 year old child qualified me for a $1,000 tax credit, and an exemption of $3,900 dollars if I make $30K and am single, but if I won $250K on the lottery, no my kid is only worth an exemption of $2,964, but I do not get the tax credit? Is that equal protection under the law, too?

Yes, because sexual identity is immutable whereas earning capacity is not.
Sexual identity is not being restricted in marriage laws, is it? In fact, it is not even considered?

It's like saying Voter ID is unequal because it hurts the elderly and impoverished. It does hurt them, but the law itself is equal.
The law being applied equally =/= an equal effect on its citizens

Pedophiles cannot have sex with kids, because kids cannot enter into contracts (i.e. consent). They are unequally affected by the law, but the law is applied to all equally: kids cannot consent to contracts.
Every single law in existence effects some group more than others.

Or, forget the kid, if you are single and make up to $250K, you can deduct $3,900 for yourself. But, if you make over $373K, you deduct nothing for even yourself. How is that fair?

"Fair" in that sense is based on the view that taxation rates should be proportional to actual dollars earned. This is, in some circles, a controversial idea. It is, nevertheless, the philosophical principle upon which our tax code is written.

I meant equal.
And, while the idea of progressive income tax has merits, the issue is why some dollars are treated differently than other dollars. Some rich folks are unequally affected by these laws, but the laws are applied equally: any dollar over X earned via Y method is taxed Z.

Your tax rate is based on "what you make" and "what you do" not "who you are."
Ah, but marriage is based on what you do as well.
The fact that you are gay does not mean you must marry a man, or that you will marry at all. The fact that I am not straight does not mean I can marry a man, either. No one can, assuming the law is in place.
The chilling effect effects you, since you have no reason to marry, but the law is not based on you or your status, but on your action.

If the law was that gays should be jailed, that is different than having a law with a disparate impact. Disparate impact laws are passed and enforced all the time, it does not make the law unequal, even if the motivations are.

Are there any lawyers on the site? Or am I the closest thing to one? LOL
My work here is, finally, done.
YYW
Posts: 36,242
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11/20/2014 1:00:44 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/20/2014 12:55:42 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 11/20/2014 12:41:02 PM, YYW wrote:

Your tax rate is based on "what you make" and "what you do" not "who you are."

He wasn't talking about equal protection under the law for tax rates,

He is talking about equal exemptions under the law.

Everyone gets equal access to exemptions. Someone in a higher tax bracket can chose to make less money.

Again, tax rates are based on "what you make" and "what you do" not "who you are."
YYW
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11/20/2014 1:11:30 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/20/2014 12:59:54 PM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
At 11/20/2014 12:41:02 PM, YYW wrote:
At 11/20/2014 11:07:09 AM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
THIS IS NOT A THREAD ABOUT THE MERITS OR PITFALLS OF GAY MARRIAGE SO TAKE IT ELSEWHERE!!!

It seems that a common argument against prohibition of gay marriage is the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment. It basically states that all laws must be applied equally, and the fact that no man can marry another man (regardless of sexuality) does not meet this requirement. Even though the law is applied equally, it just has a disparate impact among gays, this is viewed as not equal under the law.

If this is true, then why is it that my 13 year old child qualified me for a $1,000 tax credit, and an exemption of $3,900 dollars if I make $30K and am single, but if I won $250K on the lottery, no my kid is only worth an exemption of $2,964, but I do not get the tax credit? Is that equal protection under the law, too?

Yes, because sexual identity is immutable whereas earning capacity is not.
Sexual identity is not being restricted in marriage laws, is it? In fact, it is not even considered?

The issue is equal protection under the law; such that denying gay people the right to marry is inconsistent with the 14th amendment's requirement. I'm not sure how marriage licenses "restrict sexual identity," because you can be gay and not married.

It's like saying Voter ID is unequal because it hurts the elderly and impoverished. It does hurt them, but the law itself is equal.

No... it's not. Voter ID laws are unequal because in cities where people don't have drivers licenses (democratic heavy states), many people have never owned cars, nor will they own cars, nor do they have a need for a drivers license. Voter ID laws without a national ID program (which Republicans have objected to) "actually" impede on equal access.

The law being applied equally =/= an equal effect on its citizens

Except that's not the issue.

Pedophiles cannot have sex with kids, because kids cannot enter into contracts (i.e. consent). They are unequally affected by the law, but the law is applied to all equally: kids cannot consent to contracts.

That is totally beyond the scope of what you're talking about, and sex is not a contractual issue. The reason that having sex with kids is illegal is because of the ethical view that those who are underage cannot give effective consent.

Every single law in existence effects some group more than others.

Not really... but even still, that's not the point.

Or, forget the kid, if you are single and make up to $250K, you can deduct $3,900 for yourself. But, if you make over $373K, you deduct nothing for even yourself. How is that fair?

"Fair" in that sense is based on the view that taxation rates should be proportional to actual dollars earned. This is, in some circles, a controversial idea. It is, nevertheless, the philosophical principle upon which our tax code is written.

I meant equal.

Ok. The point still stands.

And, while the idea of progressive income tax has merits, the issue is why some dollars are treated differently than other dollars. Some rich folks are unequally affected by these laws, but the laws are applied equally: any dollar over X earned via Y method is taxed Z.

All "dollars" are treated equally. What matters is how many "dollars" you make.

Your tax rate is based on "what you make" and "what you do" not "who you are."

Ah, but marriage is based on what you do as well.

But it's also based on "who you are" which is different than tax law. The "who you are" part was the point there. Even if marriage is connected to "what you do" that doesn't mean that the state has a right to extend a group of benefits to one group of people and then not only deny, but penalize another group of people based on that latter group's immutable characteristics.

The fact that you are gay does not mean you must marry a man, or that you will marry at all. The fact that I am not straight does not mean I can marry a man, either. No one can, assuming the law is in place.

Yes, but that doesn't really advance your point because taxes are not based on immutable characteristics. We do not, for example, tax black people for being black, or gay people for being gay -well... one state tried that (see the Windsor case) and it didn't work out well for the state.

The chilling effect effects you, since you have no reason to marry, but the law is not based on you or your status, but on your action.

Chilling effects have to do with free speech. We're not talking about free speech issues.

If the law was that gays should be jailed, that is different than having a law with a disparate impact.

Again... not really sure why you included that... because the salient issue is "reasons for taxation" v. "equality under the law" not "what impact laws have or do not have."

Are there any lawyers on the site? Or am I the closest thing to one? LOL

You might be surprised...
YYW
Posts: 36,242
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11/20/2014 1:13:58 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
@Kahos

Returning to your question of why some dollars are treated differently than others... while I don't accept that premise, even if I did, it wouldn't matter because money does not have constitutional rights. People do.

Money is something that people can acquire, spend, invest, gift, and do other things with. It's a "thing" not a "person." Money doesn't have "rights."

People have rights; in this case constitutional ones.
Greyparrot
Posts: 14,212
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11/20/2014 1:15:26 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Actually, equal protection should mean any and all exemptions of the law are unconstitutional.... interesting take Khaos Mage....
Khaos_Mage
Posts: 23,214
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11/20/2014 2:25:11 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/20/2014 1:11:30 PM, YYW wrote:
At 11/20/2014 12:59:54 PM, Khaos_Mage wrote:

The issue is equal protection under the law; such that denying gay people the right to marry is inconsistent with the 14th amendment's requirement. I'm not sure how marriage licenses "restrict sexual identity," because you can be gay and not married.

Why are men not being allowed to marry men more inconsistent then saying both participants must be single, unmarried, and a few other choice conditions?
How is the law, in of itself, unequal in its application? The law is two men cannot marry, regardless of the reason. Not, two gay men cannot marry, but two straight men can because....money.

It's like saying Voter ID is unequal because it hurts the elderly and impoverished. It does hurt them, but the law itself is equal.

No... it's not. Voter ID laws are unequal because in cities where people don't have drivers licenses (democratic heavy states), many people have never owned cars, nor will they own cars, nor do they have a need for a drivers license. Voter ID laws without a national ID program (which Republicans have objected to) "actually" impede on equal access.

No, the law is equal.
It is unfair, manipulative in its endorsement (maybe), and politically motivated, but the law itself is equal.

The law being applied equally =/= an equal effect on its citizens

Except that's not the issue.
Then hold my hand and explain why marriage (an action) is immutable.

Pedophiles cannot have sex with kids, because kids cannot enter into contracts (i.e. consent). They are unequally affected by the law, but the law is applied to all equally: kids cannot consent to contracts.

That is totally beyond the scope of what you're talking about, and sex is not a contractual issue. The reason that having sex with kids is illegal is because of the ethical view that those who are underage cannot give effective consent.

Actually, it is quite on par with the scope.
The fact that adults cannot legally have sex with kids is an equal application, even if only NAMBLA is affected. Unequal effect, but an equally applied law.
It's an analogy, and it is apt.

Every single law in existence effects some group more than others.

Not really... but even still, that's not the point.
It is the point. It is the central point of this inconsistency as I see it.

And, while the idea of progressive income tax has merits, the issue is why some dollars are treated differently than other dollars. Some rich folks are unequally affected by these laws, but the laws are applied equally: any dollar over X earned via Y method is taxed Z.

All "dollars" are treated equally. What matters is how many "dollars" you make.
How?
One dollar may be taxed at 40.2% federally, while the other is taxed at 15%, simply due to how it was acquired. (self-employment vs. capital gains)
And, it is more than dollars, it is the laws.
Deductions and credits are UNEQUALLY applied, based on incomes.

So, if it is equal to say that EVERYONE who is X (makes $4400K) cannot Y (deduct their own personal exemption), then why is it unequal to say that EVERYONE who is X (male) cannot Y (marry another man)?

Your tax rate is based on "what you make" and "what you do" not "who you are."

Ah, but marriage is based on what you do as well.

But it's also based on "who you are" which is different than tax law. The "who you are" part was the point there. Even if marriage is connected to "what you do" that doesn't mean that the state has a right to extend a group of benefits to one group of people and then not only deny, but penalize another group of people based on that latter group's immutable characteristics.

But it is based on what you do.
Again, a gay man can marry a woman, so his rights are not impeded because he is gay.
It sucks that he can't marry a man. I agree that he should be able to. However, the question is how is the law unequal to this gay man?
It is not.

The fact that you are gay does not mean you must marry a man, or that you will marry at all. The fact that I am not straight does not mean I can marry a man, either. No one can, assuming the law is in place.

Yes, but that doesn't really advance your point because taxes are not based on immutable characteristics. We do not, for example, tax black people for being black, or gay people for being gay -well... one state tried that (see the Windsor case) and it didn't work out well for the state.
How is marriage based on immutable characteristics?
Is age and bloodline not also immutable?
Why is an ACT immutable?
Why is marriage a right? Maybe this is what I need to understand.


If the law was that gays should be jailed, that is different than having a law with a disparate impact.

Again... not really sure why you included that... because the salient issue is "reasons for taxation" v. "equality under the law" not "what impact laws have or do not have."
Because being gay is the immutable characteristic, not an effect of being gay.
Not marrying a man is not barring you from entering marriage, but it will, because you don't want to marry a non-man. That is your deal. That is your choice. That is your effect from a law that applies to everyone in the same way.

Are there any lawyers on the site? Or am I the closest thing to one? LOL
You might be surprised...
Are you one?

------------------
The issue YYW is that almost every law affects some in unequal ways, but that is NOT what the 14th amendment is about.

You don't like my tax examples (I see you only comment on the brackets, and not the statutory exemptions that are lost), fine, here are some more:

Voter ID - you've already said that income is irrelevant and can be unequally applied, so the 14th amendment does not apply to Voter ID, does it?

Social Security - Why can't I retire at age 62? Why are there different amounts based on nothing more than age, an immutable characteristic?

Handicapped parking - why am I fined $250 for parking somewhere based solely on my ability to walk? That is not equal.

Why are laws allowed to be implemented unequally acceptable under the 14th amendment, but laws that are implemented equally are not, simply because an affected group is affected?
My work here is, finally, done.
YYW
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11/20/2014 3:28:18 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
@Kahos

Why are men not being allowed to marry men more inconsistent than saying both participants must be single, unmarried, and a few other choice conditions?

You're asking for what's different between "being gay" and "being single," "unmarried," and etc. You want a specific answer that distinguishes these qualities. I've already answered that question... but perhaps I wasn't clear.

Being gay is something that is "immutable." If something is immutable, that means that you can't change it and that you're "born that way." A more technical definition would be "unchanging over time or unable to be."

Being single, unmarried, etc. is NOT immutable. It's something that you CAN change and that you ARE NOT necessarily born with. Said another way, these are not "characteristics" that are unalterable.

So, the next step in this analysis is to understand what it means that one set of characteristics is immutable and the other is not; in the context of entering into marriage.

For example: If you are male, and gay, you are not sexually attracted to women. Generally, marriage involves some level of sexual and romantic attraction. Surely, it involves other things, but sex is a usually necessary thing that is associated with marriage. I don't think that's controversial. That means that sexual attraction goes to the heart of what marriage is all about; it's necessary; without it, a person is unlikely to get married. It's also immutable; meaning that it can't be changed.

Bearing all of that in mind, if the law forbids people to get married on the basis of sexual attraction and sexual attraction is almost always a necessary factor in the choice to get married, that means that the law is INHERENTLY discriminatory. The law is INHERENTLY discriminatory because of the BASIS (read: sexual orientation) UPON WHICH IT DISCRIMINATES is AN IMMUTABLE CHARACTERISTIC. The other factors are not IMMUTABLE CHARACTERISTICS.

But YYW, why can't pedophiles marry kids and people like ADOL marry animals?

Public policy reasons, that should be manifestly obvious.

etc.

I'll talk about the other stuff in a minute. Keep in mind that the emphasis is not because I'm yelling through the screen, it's to focus your attention where I want it to go to facilitate communicative clarity.
YYW
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11/20/2014 3:34:20 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Other matters...

Why is an ACT immutable? Why is marriage a right?

The "act" of men having sex with men is not immutable; but there is a difference between an act which necessarily corresponds to a sexual identity and the identity itself.

Marriage is a right because our laws say it is a right; but the issue is whether if marriage is recognized as a right to SOME, must it also be recognized to ALL where there are not substantial public policy reasons which stand at odds with that recognition.
YYW
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11/20/2014 3:39:16 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
The issue YYW is that almost every law affects some in unequal ways, but that is NOT what the 14th amendment is about.

The issue you want to talk about is that every law effects some people in unequal ways, and that may or may not be true. My knowledge of American law is probably greater than most, but I make no claim to know everything about it. It's theoretically conceivable that laws must have different effects because even though we're all equal we all have unique backgrounds, but even if that is the case, the following still apply:

1. Gay marriage is still a 14th amend. issue.
2. Taxation in the way that you're talking about it is not.
ford_prefect
Posts: 4,137
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11/20/2014 9:59:46 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Khaos raises some very valid arguments here. Especially the notion that the law is not being applied unequally. Gays are allowed to marry in every state in the union. It may not be to their preferred gender, but they are allowed to marry anybody they could legally marry as straight men in their state. Same with lesbians and straight women. Everyone plays by the same rules.

More importantly, the solution to the marriage debate is very simple. Marriage is a religious institution, and if we want separation of church and state, then the state has no reason to get involved in marrying people. Eliminate exemptions and different brackets for married vs single people, because that is discriminatory for no good reason. For inheritance purposes, each person can designate one beneficiary who would receive their estate minus appropriate taxes, just like spouses do now with marriage. That way Adam can designate Steve or Eve, depending on his preference.

People who want to get married can still do so at their church, which decides who is and is not eligible to be married. But the concept of being married shouldn't mean anything in a legal sense.

Everyone's happy! Except for married people who lose their bs preferential treatment in the tax code, which is a good thing because there is no social incentive to keep handing them tax breaks
FaustianJustice
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11/20/2014 10:41:44 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
But it is based on what you do.
Again, a gay man can marry a woman, so his rights are not impeded because he is gay.
It sucks that he can't marry a man. I agree that he should be able to. However, the question is how is the law unequal to this gay man?

So were I to replace 'black', 'Spanish', or 'Chinese', would I ever find precedent of a change in how law is applied to include them?

It really sucks that a black man can't get married to a white woman. But his rights are not impeded. He could marry a black woman, but doesn't want to. Thats his deal.
Here we have an advocate for Islamic arranged marriages demonstrating that children can consent to sex.
http://www.debate.org...
ford_prefect
Posts: 4,137
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11/20/2014 11:01:21 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/20/2014 10:41:44 PM, FaustianJustice wrote:
But it is based on what you do.
Again, a gay man can marry a woman, so his rights are not impeded because he is gay.
It sucks that he can't marry a man. I agree that he should be able to. However, the question is how is the law unequal to this gay man?

So were I to replace 'black', 'Spanish', or 'Chinese', would I ever find precedent of a change in how law is applied to include them?

It really sucks that a black man can't get married to a white woman. But his rights are not impeded. He could marry a black woman, but doesn't want to. Thats his deal.

Wrong. If the law says, black men cannot marry white women, but white men can marry white women, that's unequal. The law would need to say that no man, white or black, can marry a white woman. Then you'd have an equal law. Well, maybe not equal for white women, but you get the idea
FaustianJustice
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11/20/2014 11:05:59 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/20/2014 11:01:21 PM, ford_prefect wrote:
At 11/20/2014 10:41:44 PM, FaustianJustice wrote:
But it is based on what you do.
Again, a gay man can marry a woman, so his rights are not impeded because he is gay.
It sucks that he can't marry a man. I agree that he should be able to. However, the question is how is the law unequal to this gay man?

So were I to replace 'black', 'Spanish', or 'Chinese', would I ever find precedent of a change in how law is applied to include them?

It really sucks that a black man can't get married to a white woman. But his rights are not impeded. He could marry a black woman, but doesn't want to. Thats his deal.

Wrong. If the law says, black men cannot marry white women, but white men can marry white women, that's unequal.

Yeah, which is why many states had their marriages laws that dealt with race over turned. That is exactly how it was enforced.

The law would need to say that no man, white or black, can marry a white woman. Then you'd have an equal law.

Or, better, and more equal to the woman, we ignore race as a determination for who can marry who. This would promote the widest possible base for everyone to choose based on preference. ;)
Here we have an advocate for Islamic arranged marriages demonstrating that children can consent to sex.
http://www.debate.org...
Khaos_Mage
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11/21/2014 8:11:35 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/20/2014 11:05:59 PM, FaustianJustice wrote:
At 11/20/2014 11:01:21 PM, ford_prefect wrote:
At 11/20/2014 10:41:44 PM, FaustianJustice wrote:
But it is based on what you do.
Again, a gay man can marry a woman, so his rights are not impeded because he is gay.
It sucks that he can't marry a man. I agree that he should be able to. However, the question is how is the law unequal to this gay man?

So were I to replace 'black', 'Spanish', or 'Chinese', would I ever find precedent of a change in how law is applied to include them?

It really sucks that a black man can't get married to a white woman. But his rights are not impeded. He could marry a black woman, but doesn't want to. Thats his deal.

Wrong. If the law says, black men cannot marry white women, but white men can marry white women, that's unequal.

Yeah, which is why many states had their marriages laws that dealt with race over turned. That is exactly how it was enforced.

Is this sarcasm? Because that is what I remember vaguely, that black men could not marry (date or even talk to) white women, but white men could to black women.

The law would need to say that no man, white or black, can marry a white woman. Then you'd have an equal law.

Or, better, and more equal to the woman, we ignore race as a determination for who can marry who. This would promote the widest possible base for everyone to choose based on preference. ;)

Okay, then let's eliminate barriers bases on status (must be single), citizenship (as at least one needs to be a citizen), age (no one under 15 can marry), mental compentency (retards, comatose), and bloodlines (brothers).

How are these laws kosher under the 14th amendment, then? They have the exact same formula: it applies to everyone, but only negatively affects some.

Why can an old or blind man have a large standard deduction on his tax return than a younger non-blind man, all things being equal?

How does the 14th amendment apply to some situations of unequal effects, but not others?
Is it only because there is enough outrage? That is irrelevant, as the law still applies this way, it's just that nobody cares to enforce/challenge it. (good old politics)
Do you see what I am getting at?
My work here is, finally, done.
Greyparrot
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11/21/2014 8:43:06 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
I don't agree that deductions are a 14th amendment violation. The government can decide however it wants to distribute and collect the taxes.

I do take issue with unequal exemptions which state a child is worth more to a poor couple than a rich couple; but that is mostly in the wording of the law and semantics. Most people understand the spirit of these exemptions.
Khaos_Mage
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11/21/2014 9:27:46 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/21/2014 8:43:06 AM, Greyparrot wrote:
I don't agree that deductions are a 14th amendment violation. The government can decide however it wants to distribute and collect the taxes.

I do take issue with unequal exemptions which state a child is worth more to a poor couple than a rich couple; but that is mostly in the wording of the law and semantics. Most people understand the spirit of these exemptions.

Any two persons are allowed to marry, unless they are the same sex.
Any single taxpayer's standard deduction is $3900, unless they are over 65.
All charitable tax donations (to approved charities, another issue, IMO) are deductible from your taxable income, unless you make/donate too much, then it is limited.
Taxes paid to your state are not taxable, unless you make/pay too much.
A personal exemption is worth $3,900, unless you make too much.

I see no difference, since the deduction influences the amount of taxes paid. If I deduct $100, I do not pay (marginal tax rate x $100) in taxes.

In fact, assume I made $10 million in income, and I was married. Further assume I had nothing to deduct except for $1 million between state income taxes paid and charitable deductions.
Now, while MOST people can deduct all of that from their income, I am limited to a deduction of $709K, which results in me paying taxes on $291K for otherwise non-taxable expenses, resulting in me paying an additional $115K in taxes.

This limitation is the lessor of 97% of AGI (after an exemption amount) or 20% of actual deductions.
In other words, I will be taxed on 3% of my income, or 20% of the deductions.
My work here is, finally, done.
YYW
Posts: 36,242
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11/21/2014 9:48:09 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/20/2014 9:59:46 PM, ford_prefect wrote:
Khaos raises some very valid arguments here.

Not really.

Especially the notion that the law is not being applied unequally. Gays are allowed to marry in every state in the union. It may not be to their preferred gender,

Sexual identity is not a "preference."

but they are allowed to marry anybody they could legally marry as straight men in their state. Same with lesbians and straight women. Everyone plays by the same rules.

So, let's say that we decided to tax everyone on the basis of being Muslim. Religion is something that is "actually" a choice. Suppose we pass a law that says all Muslims must pay 50% of their income to the federal government.

Muslims could chose not to practice Islam. The law equally applies to everyone. And yet, we would consider that an absurd infringement upon their right to freedom of religion.

If we're going to protect people's right to "chose" what faith they are, then surely also it must be the case that we should protect people from discriminating because of "who they are."

More importantly, the solution to the marriage debate is very simple. Marriage is a religious institution,

Marriage is a religious institution, but it is not "only" religious. It's also social, legal, and cultural. Just because marriage may or may not happen in a church does not mean that separation of church and state requires that the state not recognize marriage.

and if we want separation of church and state, then the state has no reason to get involved in marrying people.

This is a ubiquitous argument among libertarians, and it's also incredibly weak because it treats marriage as if it is only religious. Let's talk about some things that have their origin in the church:

1. Taxation. In fact, one of the oldest forms of taxation is tithing. Taxation "happens" in the church, but that doesn't mean that taxation is solely a religious activity.

2. Assembly. People gather in churches all the time; many on a weekly basis. Is "assembly" a solely religious activity? Surely not... but "assembly" is about as religious as marriage.

3. Philosophy. In the Middle Ages, and beyond, religious monks were philosophers. Theology, a practice of many religious scholars, is a kind of philosophy. Does that mean that all philosophy is religious? Absolutely not. In the same way, so too is marriage not only religious.

And more importantly, if marriage were "only" religious, then no atheist would ever marry. I know lots of married atheists, and I'm sure you do too. That's sort of the "death knell" to the "marriage is religious" argument.
YYW
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11/21/2014 9:58:39 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/20/2014 11:01:21 PM, ford_prefect wrote:
At 11/20/2014 10:41:44 PM, FaustianJustice wrote:
But it is based on what you do.
Again, a gay man can marry a woman, so his rights are not impeded because he is gay.
It sucks that he can't marry a man. I agree that he should be able to. However, the question is how is the law unequal to this gay man?

So were I to replace 'black', 'Spanish', or 'Chinese', would I ever find precedent of a change in how law is applied to include them?

It really sucks that a black man can't get married to a white woman. But his rights are not impeded. He could marry a black woman, but doesn't want to. Thats his deal.

Wrong. If the law says, black men cannot marry white women, but white men can marry white women, that's unequal. The law would need to say that no man, white or black, can marry a white woman. Then you'd have an equal law. Well, maybe not equal for white women, but you get the idea

Your sensitivity towards racism is good, but your failure to acknowledge how laws which prevent gay marriage discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation is unfortunate.
Khaos_Mage
Posts: 23,214
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11/21/2014 10:36:17 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Law: no man can marry a man
Immutable: being attracted to men
Action: marriage
Result: some people cannot marry whom they want
Issue: equal protection, since this law only AFFECTS a specific group

Law: no person may possess child pornography
Immutable: being attracted to children
Action: possession
Result: some people cannot seek sexual frustration how they want
Issue: equal protection, since this law only AFFECTS a specific group

Law: no one may have sex with an animal
Immutable: being attracted to animals
Action: sex
Result: some people cannot have sex with "who" they want
Issue: equal protection, since this law only AFFECTS a specific group

Law: Standard deduction for elderly tax filers is $1,500 more than younger tax filer
Immutable: age
Action: having income
Result: some people pay more in taxes for being younger
Issue: equal protection, since this law only AFFECTS a specific group

Law: No 16 year old can have sex with a 23 year old
Immutable: age
Action: sex
Result: A 16 year old cannot have sex with whom she wants
Issue: equal protection, since this law only AFFECTS a specific group

Law: Hate crime enhancements
Immutable: race
Action: committing a crime against a victim
Result: some people have a harsher sentence due to their race
Issue: equal protection, since this law only AFFECTS a specific group

How can these laws exist?
I don't care if you agree with them, I don't care if there are other issues preventing it.
The question at hand is: DOES THE 14TH AMENDMENT APPLY?

I've already used Voter ID as an example.
The issue that they are poor does not matter, as the law is applied equally.
Now, Voter ID may qualify as a poll tax, so it is unconstitutional for that reason, but that does not negate the issue in question: why does the 14th amendment not apply?

What qualifies equal protection?
Is it how the law is applied, or the effect it has?
If the former, then gay marriage bans are not unconstitutional, if it is the latter, then a whole host of laws are, since there is always an affected (dare I say targeted) party.

Why should it matter why there is an effect or not (i.e. immutable, circumstance, or by choice), the issue is there is an effect, isn't it?
My work here is, finally, done.
Khaos_Mage
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11/21/2014 10:58:04 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/20/2014 3:34:20 PM, YYW wrote:
Other matters...

Why is an ACT immutable? Why is marriage a right?

The "act" of men having sex with men is not immutable; but there is a difference between an act which necessarily corresponds to a sexual identity and the identity itself.

Marriage is a right because our laws say it is a right; but the issue is whether if marriage is recognized as a right to SOME, must it also be recognized to ALL where there are not substantial public policy reasons which stand at odds with that recognition.

http://www.law.cornell.edu...
The Equal Protection Clause of the 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibits states from denying any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. See U.S. Const. amend. XIV. In other words, the laws of a state must treat an individual in the same manner as others in similar conditions and circumstances. A violation would occur, for example, if a state prohibited an individual from entering into an employment contract because he or she was a member of a particular race. The equal protection clause is not intended to provide "equality" among individuals or classes but only "equal application" of the laws. The result, therefore, of a law is not relevant so long as there is no discrimination in its application. By denying states the ability to discriminate, the equal protection clause of the Constitution is crucial to the protection of civil rights. See Civil Rights.

So, immutable trait or not, a law based on a ACTION of the individual should not be a violation, if the law is not based solely on said immutable trait, which is isn't, since gays can still marry women, bisexuals are not affected necessarily at all, and there is no requirement to get married at all. No status is being legislated against by its application.
My work here is, finally, done.
upsucker
Posts: 14
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11/21/2014 12:55:23 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
The 14 amendment was about equal rights, the gays don't really want rights that are completely equal. What they want is every right the straights have plus one more, the right to re-define marriage.
A real marriage has 2 consenting adults of the opposite sex. There is no mention of what your sexual orientation is.
Gay men already have the right to marry. Of course it is exactly the same right that everyone else has, so the gays have to get a fiance' of the opposite sex.
They want to change that.
So say a gay man wants to marry his wrestling coach, He says "but I don't want to marry a woman" My answer to that is tough **** sweetie,
I want to marry Anne Hathaway. Anne will not consent to marrying me, so there is no way they will give me a license. They wont let me marry the woman I want.
There is a beautiful 16 year old girl who swims in the pool that is in the back yard of the house next door to mine. I want to marry her but in my state, they think she is a child, not an adult until she is 18.
I would love to marry this pretty woman who lives down the street, but she is already married. Even if she wanted both me and her husband, there would be 3 consenting adults so that will never happen.
Now a gay man wants us to lose all of the last 4 words of our definition, so he can marry the coach. As if we have to obey the rules but he doesn't
So, if some judge tells you he has to marry these 2 guys because of equal rights, he is either lying to you, or he is a stupid ***hole who forgot everything he learned about this in law school.
ford_prefect
Posts: 4,137
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11/21/2014 6:42:37 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/21/2014 9:48:09 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/20/2014 9:59:46 PM, ford_prefect wrote:
Khaos raises some very valid arguments here.

Not really.

Yes really.

Especially the notion that the law is not being applied unequally. Gays are allowed to marry in every state in the union. It may not be to their preferred gender,

Sexual identity is not a "preference."

This isn't too relevant either way, but this is not completely true in all cases. I know people who are attracted to both sexes but prefer one, and I also know people who used to be gay but are now straight, or vice versa. Most people however, cannot control if they are sexually attracted to men women children or animals.

but they are allowed to marry anybody they could legally marry as straight men in their state. Same with lesbians and straight women. Everyone plays by the same rules.

So, let's say that we decided to tax everyone on the basis of being Muslim. Religion is something that is "actually" a choice. Suppose we pass a law that says all Muslims must pay 50% of their income to the federal government.

Muslims could chose not to practice Islam. The law equally applies to everyone. And yet, we would consider that an absurd infringement upon their right to freedom of religion.

If we're going to protect people's right to "chose" what faith they are, then surely also it must be the case that we should protect people from discriminating because of "who they are."

This is a better example of a law that is "equally applied" but it is still not perfectly analogous. As you say, the constitution protects citizens from government discrimination due to their religion. If you argue that sexual preference should also be a protected category, that's fine. As it stands, however, this is not the case. I don't really care one way or the other, and if we got rid of government recognition of all marriages, then this wouldn't even be an issue.

More importantly, the solution to the marriage debate is very simple. Marriage is a religious institution,

Marriage is a religious institution, but it is not "only" religious. It's also social, legal, and cultural. Just because marriage may or may not happen in a church does not mean that separation of church and state requires that the state not recognize marriage.

and if we want separation of church and state, then the state has no reason to get involved in marrying people.

This is a ubiquitous argument among libertarians, and it's also incredibly weak because it treats marriage as if it is only religious. Let's talk about some things that have their origin in the church:

Libertarians are morons but even a broken clock is right twice a day.

1. Taxation. In fact, one of the oldest forms of taxation is tithing. Taxation "happens" in the church, but that doesn't mean that taxation is solely a religious activity.

Actually, not all religions do tithing, and of those that do, most do not enforce it strictly in the same way that a state enforces taxation. Taxes and tithes are two different concepts. Taxation does not happen in any church except maybe for small cults.

2. Assembly. People gather in churches all the time; many on a weekly basis. Is "assembly" a solely religious activity? Surely not... but "assembly" is about as religious as marriage.

This is kind of ridiculous. Assembly is not a sacrament. For that matter neither is sitting down, or breathing, although you do these in church too. Nobody would claim that sitting down, breathing, or assembling are proprietary constructs of religion, unlike marriage.

3. Philosophy. In the Middle Ages, and beyond, religious monks were philosophers. Theology, a practice of many religious scholars, is a kind of philosophy. Does that mean that all philosophy is religious? Absolutely not. In the same way, so too is marriage not only religious.

You said it yourself: Theology is a kind of philosophy. So all theology is religious, but not all philosophers are theologians and therefore not all philosophy is religious. So it seems we agree on this.

And more importantly, if marriage were "only" religious, then no atheist would ever marry. I know lots of married atheists, and I'm sure you do too. That's sort of the "death knell" to the "marriage is religious" argument.

Atheists marry primarily in order to receive the official legal benefits that come with marriage. They'd be morons not to, regardless of their religious beliefs. I bet if you got tax and inheritance benefits for taking communion, they would do that too. Doesn't mean the sacrament of marriage or communion isn't religious.

I'm not saying separation of church and state is good or bad. What I am saying is that if the US wants to separate the two, then there is no reason to legally incentivize marriage between a man and a woman, or two men, or two women, or two children, or a seventeen men and three women, or a goat and a chicken... You get the drift. It's discriminatory to single people for no good reason.
ford_prefect
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11/21/2014 6:47:20 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/21/2014 9:58:39 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/20/2014 11:01:21 PM, ford_prefect wrote:
At 11/20/2014 10:41:44 PM, FaustianJustice wrote:
But it is based on what you do.
Again, a gay man can marry a woman, so his rights are not impeded because he is gay.
It sucks that he can't marry a man. I agree that he should be able to. However, the question is how is the law unequal to this gay man?

So were I to replace 'black', 'Spanish', or 'Chinese', would I ever find precedent of a change in how law is applied to include them?

It really sucks that a black man can't get married to a white woman. But his rights are not impeded. He could marry a black woman, but doesn't want to. Thats his deal.

Wrong. If the law says, black men cannot marry white women, but white men can marry white women, that's unequal. The law would need to say that no man, white or black, can marry a white woman. Then you'd have an equal law. Well, maybe not equal for white women, but you get the idea

Your sensitivity towards racism is good, but your failure to acknowledge how laws which prevent gay marriage discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation is unfortunate.

There is not a single law in the world that states that a gay person cannot get married.

But I see what you are saying, and I still think the best fix to make everyone happy in a fair way is to eliminate state sponsored marriage and allow the churches to marry whoever they want. but these marriages should be meaningless in the eyes of the state
YYW
Posts: 36,242
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11/21/2014 6:53:11 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/21/2014 6:42:37 PM, ford_prefect wrote:
At 11/21/2014 9:48:09 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/20/2014 9:59:46 PM, ford_prefect wrote:
Khaos raises some very valid arguments here.

Not really.

Yes really.

Such persuasion.

Especially the notion that the law is not being applied unequally. Gays are allowed to marry in every state in the union. It may not be to their preferred gender,

Sexual identity is not a "preference."

This isn't too relevant either way, but this is not completely true in all cases. I know people who are attracted to both sexes but prefer one, and I also know people who used to be gay but are now straight, or vice versa. Most people however, cannot control if they are sexually attracted to men women children or animals.

Your underlined opinions defy the evidence and positions recognized by all medical and mental health associations, research, etc.

But that established, because some people are bi or poli does not mean that others aren't born gay or straight.

but they are allowed to marry anybody they could legally marry as straight men in their state. Same with lesbians and straight women. Everyone plays by the same rules.

So, let's say that we decided to tax everyone on the basis of being Muslim. Religion is something that is "actually" a choice. Suppose we pass a law that says all Muslims must pay 50% of their income to the federal government.

Muslims could chose not to practice Islam. The law equally applies to everyone. And yet, we would consider that an absurd infringement upon their right to freedom of religion.

If we're going to protect people's right to "chose" what faith they are, then surely also it must be the case that we should protect people from discriminating because of "who they are."

This is a better example of a law that is "equally applied" but it is still not perfectly analogous.

No, it's not, because religion is a choice but sexual orientation (despite your ill informed opinion) is not.

As you say, the constitution protects citizens from government discrimination due to their religion. If you argue that sexual preference should also be a protected category, that's fine. As it stands, however, this is not the case. I don't really care one way or the other, and if we got rid of government recognition of all marriages, then this wouldn't even be an issue.

The constitution forbids unequal treatment under the law; hence our discussion here.

More importantly, the solution to the marriage debate is very simple. Marriage is a religious institution,

Marriage is a religious institution, but it is not "only" religious. It's also social, legal, and cultural. Just because marriage may or may not happen in a church does not mean that separation of church and state requires that the state not recognize marriage.

and if we want separation of church and state, then the state has no reason to get involved in marrying people.

This is a ubiquitous argument among libertarians, and it's also incredibly weak because it treats marriage as if it is only religious. Let's talk about some things that have their origin in the church:

Libertarians are morons but even a broken clock is right twice a day.

*shakes head*

1. Taxation. In fact, one of the oldest forms of taxation is tithing. Taxation "happens" in the church, but that doesn't mean that taxation is solely a religious activity.

Actually, not all religions do tithing, and of those that do, most do not enforce it strictly in the same way that a state enforces taxation. Taxes and tithes are two different concepts. Taxation does not happen in any church except maybe for small cults.

That strengthens my argument... in the event you didn't realize it.

2. Assembly. People gather in churches all the time; many on a weekly basis. Is "assembly" a solely religious activity? Surely not... but "assembly" is about as religious as marriage.

This is kind of ridiculous. Assembly is not a sacrament. For that matter neither is sitting down, or breathing, although you do these in church too. Nobody would claim that sitting down, breathing, or assembling are proprietary constructs of religion, unlike marriage.

Ah! But marriage is not a sacrament in all religions either! So, once again you have failed to make a meaningful point.

Your argument that marriage is "only religious" is as dumb as this suggestion that assembly is "only religious."

3. Philosophy. In the Middle Ages, and beyond, religious monks were philosophers. Theology, a practice of many religious scholars, is a kind of philosophy. Does that mean that all philosophy is religious? Absolutely not. In the same way, so too is marriage not only religious.

You said it yourself: Theology is a kind of philosophy. So all theology is religious, but not all philosophers are theologians and therefore not all philosophy is religious. So it seems we agree on this.

Yes, and yet again you are strengthening my argument. Thanks.

And more importantly, if marriage were "only" religious, then no atheist would ever marry. I know lots of married atheists, and I'm sure you do too. That's sort of the "death knell" to the "marriage is religious" argument.

Atheists marry primarily in order to receive the official legal benefits that come with marriage. They'd be morons not to, regardless of their religious beliefs. I bet if you got tax and inheritance benefits for taking communion, they would do that too. Doesn't mean the sacrament of marriage or communion isn't religious.

I'm glad we agree that marriage is not only religious. That means that your point is one that fails, now, on every count.
ford_prefect
Posts: 4,137
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11/21/2014 7:01:23 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I'm going to skip the back and forth snark because you and I will go at it all day with nothing to show for it. here is what you and I agree on: right now marriage is being used as a legal construct. marriage is also a sacrament in the catholic church. It is also an important part of many other religions.

Here is what I am saying, and you don't have to agree with this but you do have to admit it is not discriminatory to gays or anyone else:

We should abolish marriage as a legal construct. That way, nobody gay or straight or pedophile or goat-lover will be treated differently in the eyes of the state based on who they decide to marry or not marry.

Society has no reason to incentivize marriage. In fact the current system is discriminatory to those who are single. Therefore, marriage should not be a legal or political issue. It should only be relevant within the churches
YYW
Posts: 36,242
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11/21/2014 7:07:52 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/21/2014 7:01:23 PM, ford_prefect wrote:
I'm going to skip the back and forth snark because you and I will go at it all day with nothing to show for it. here is what you and I agree on: right now marriage is being used as a legal construct. marriage is also a sacrament in the catholic church. It is also an important part of many other religions.

I don't think the point that I'm communicating to you registered....

Here is what I am saying, and you don't have to agree with this but you do have to admit it is not discriminatory to gays or anyone else:

This should be interesting.

We should abolish marriage as a legal construct. That way, nobody gay or straight or pedophile or goat-lover will be treated differently in the eyes of the state based on who they decide to marry or not marry.

Have you, perhaps, considered "why" marriage has legal significance?

Gay marriage does not mean that pedophiles have to be able to marry kids or that goat fvckers will be able to get hitched with goats.

Society has no reason to incentivize marriage.

Recognizing marriage's legal status does not necessarily imply that society is incentivizing marriage.

In fact the current system is discriminatory to those who are single. Therefore, marriage should not be a legal or political issue. It should only be relevant within the churches
EndarkenedRationalist
Posts: 14,201
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11/21/2014 7:13:20 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
@Ford, you leave marriage up to the churches alone, I guarantee they won't be marry homosexuals, let alone anyone non-Christian. Leave it up to religious institutions alone, and none of them will marry atheists. That's the problem with libertarians. They think private organizations will magically act in the public good if they're not forced to.

@Khaos, I think it's more an issue of fairness than equality. After all, laws treat criminals different from law-abiding citizens, but it's be absurd to claim prisons are unconstitutional because of equal protection.