Wednesday Roundup: Gay Old Time, Mass Transit Hysteria & More

  • My friend Jacob Sullum — honestly, I have no idea where this guy finds the time to write so much — explains so even the thickest brow social conservative can understand why the gays should be free to marry and adopt, and why it’s none of government’s business in the first place. Meanwhile, the lower primate wing of the GOP will likely take this poll on (most) black people’s attitudes about gays to mount another dead-end offensive. Meanwhile, a few Republicans are starting to get it.
  • The best hope from this story? The “new plan is too ambitious and, perhaps worse, too complicated to pass the Legislature.” Which is nice. Because as hard as it may be for the backers of mass transit schemes to believe, we might need those hundreds of millions a year more than they do. If your idea is so great, you pay for it. Don’t force the rest of us to.
  • The actual content of the story here contradicts the headline. And this one, too. The lazy headline writer trifecta is in play. Submit your find.


  1. Matt says:

    why the gays should be free to marry and adopt, and why it’s none of government’s business in the first place

    That would be nice, if the government would get out of spousal arrangements altogether. Meaning repealing all statutory and commonlaw spousal protections and rights, getting rid of community property, etc. Right? Any couple — or group, or whatever — can decide that they’re “married” by the dictates of their own conscience, and can be “divorced” with the same lack of formality. No court or law should tell them how to divide their property, or require any future support, or make any other requirements on either or any of them based on their private “marriage”. That’s what you meant, right?

    Because if it’s not, and we as a people are going to pass laws regulating, say, how one spouse could have any interest in the property, retirement accounts, government and insurance benefits, and other “stuff” earned by virtue of the other spouse’s career, then shouldn’t we as a people also decide who qualifies as a “spouse” for those purposes?

  2. Matt — yes and no.

    Government should be out of the marriage business, except to the extent that it enforces any other contract. A marriage contract should be treated like any other contract — which only consenting adults are allowed to enter. The terms are up to those signing the contract. Civil court should enforce the terms should the contract need to be dissolved.

    But good points. Thanks for making me clarify.

  3. Matt says:

    I’d agree with you, if marriage contracts were a common thing. Or I’d agree with making them a common thing, and then would want to be a marriage-contract-drafting lawyer. I sure don’t have a marriage contract, or I’d have negotiated a better one.

    Right now, any two people can contract for most private rights — power of attorney, or for division of income, or most other things, regardless to their marital status. That’s not sufficient for gays in several states, who don’t want equivalent civil status, but want to have the label as “married.”

    As far as I’m concerned, the state should only recognize a “civil union” status for any couple, and should be free to restrict that status as their people decide — which is only because the people also decide the privileges and obligations that go with that status.

    “Marriage” used to be, and should be, a religious or private label, distinct from a civil union status. I don’t care who wants to call themselves married, or whether any church or individual recognizes the “marriage”.

    I care about whether the state recognizes a civil union, of whatever type, and what I’m going to end up paying for as a result of the recognition.