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Postdoc position in program development, analysis and transformation

P: n/a

Dear all,

I would like to announce that the department of computer
science of the University of Namur, Belgium, is seeking a
post-doctoral researcher for a one-year fellowship in the area
of

(logic-based) program development, analysis and transformation.
Candidates should not be older than 35 years and hold a PhD in
computer science (or equivalent) acquired within the past five
years at a university outside Belgium.

For more details, please contact Wim Vanhoof (wv*@info.fundp.ac.be)
or visit http://www.info.fundp.ac.be/~cri/Pos...cts/index.html
Please note the deadline for application is april 2, 2004.

Kind regards,
Wim Vanhoof.

------------------------------------------------------------
Wim Vanhoof E-mail: wv*@info.fundp.ac.be
University of Namur Tel. ++32(0)81.72.49.77
Rue Grandgagnage, 21 Fax. ++32(0)81.72.52.80
B-5000 Namur http://www.info.fundp.ac.be/~wva
Belgium


Jul 17 '05 #1
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72 Replies


P: n/a


Wim Vanhoof wrote:
Dear all,

I would like to announce that the department of computer
science of the University of Namur, Belgium, is seeking a
post-doctoral researcher for a one-year fellowship in the area
of

(logic-based) program development, analysis and transformation.
Candidates should not be older than 35 years and hold a PhD in
computer science (or equivalent) acquired within the past five
years at a university outside Belgium.


Doesn't it matter if their belly buttons are inny's or outy's?

kenneth
--
http://tilton-technology.com

Why Lisp? http://alu.cliki.net/RtL%20Highlight%20Film

Your Project Here! http://alu.cliki.net/Industry%20Application

Jul 17 '05 #2

P: n/a
Wim Vanhoof wrote:

Candidates should not be older than 35 years


Hmm. In the US, I think that would be a violation of federal age
discrimination laws. (But IANAL)

Paul
Jul 17 '05 #3

P: n/a
"Wim Vanhoof" <wi****@yahoo.com> wrote in message news:<10***************@news.fundp.ac.be>...
I would like to announce that the department of computer
science of the University of Namur, Belgium, is seeking a
post-doctoral researcher for a one-year fellowship in the area
of

(logic-based) program development, analysis and transformation.

Candidates should not be older than 35 years and hold a PhD in
computer science (or equivalent) acquired within the past five
years at a university outside Belgium.


I'm not close to 35, but it's good to hear how discriminatory people
are. I mean, that such a thing would be posted without
justification... perhaps you are simply the best usenet troll.

Not to mention the sub-month application deadline. Is there something
your department does accomplish correctly?
Jul 17 '05 #4

P: n/a
Oops! "Paul F. Dietz" <di***@dls.net> was seen spray-painting on a wall:
Wim Vanhoof wrote:
Candidates should not be older than 35 years


Hmm. In the US, I think that would be a violation of federal age
discrimination laws. (But IANAL)


The last time I heard, Belgium was not even on the same continent as
the United States, so it would seem pretty irrelevant what US law has
to say.

Unless you were planning to send in a platoon of M1 Abrams tanks...
--
select 'cbbrowne' || '@' || 'acm.org';
http://cbbrowne.com/info/linux.html
Seen in dust on Lucent truck:
"Test dirt - do not remove."
Jul 17 '05 #5

P: n/a
Tayssir John Gabbour <ta*********@yahoo.com> wrote:
Candidates should not be older than 35 years and hold a PhD in
computer science (or equivalent) acquired within the past five
years at a university outside Belgium.


I'm not close to 35, but it's good to hear how discriminatory people
are. I mean, that such a thing would be posted without
justification... perhaps you are simply the best usenet troll.


I don't like such restricitions either (especially since I'm a postdoc
older than 35), but they sound like they are externally imposed. My
guess is some funding agency is trying to draw `young blood' from abroad
to Stimulate Belgian Science and Make Belgium Competitive in a HiTech
World.
Jul 17 '05 #6

P: n/a


Christopher Browne wrote:
Oops! "Paul F. Dietz" <di***@dls.net> was seen spray-painting on a wall:
Wim Vanhoof wrote:

Candidates should not be older than 35 years
Hmm. In the US, I think that would be a violation of federal age
discrimination laws. (But IANAL)

The last time I heard, Belgium was not even on the same continent as
the United States, so it would seem pretty irrelevant what US law has
to say.


The relevance is that even a barbaric thug of a country is sophisticated
enough to outlaw such an asinine job requirement.

Unless you were planning to send in a platoon of M1 Abrams tanks...


Sure. Belgium /could/ develop WMDs, couldn't they?

kenneth

--
http://tilton-technology.com

Why Lisp? http://alu.cliki.net/RtL%20Highlight%20Film

Your Project Here! http://alu.cliki.net/Industry%20Application

Jul 17 '05 #7

P: n/a
Kees van Reeuwijk wrote:
Tayssir John Gabbour <ta*********@yahoo.com> wrote:

Candidates should not be older than 35 years and hold a PhD in
computer science (or equivalent) acquired within the past five
years at a university outside Belgium.
I'm not close to 35, but it's good to hear how discriminatory people
are. I mean, that such a thing would be posted without
justification... perhaps you are simply the best usenet troll.


Wim certainly is not.

I don't like such restricitions either (especially since I'm a postdoc
older than 35), but they sound like they are externally imposed. My
guess is some funding agency is trying to draw `young blood' from abroad
to Stimulate Belgian Science and Make Belgium Competitive in a HiTech
World.


Even if externally imposed, the question remains whether it is legal: some
federal (belgian-flemmish) research funding agency recently lifted the age
barrier completely. Probably not without a reason.

Excluding Belgian PhDs also strikes me as against the European idea that all
within the European 15 or whatever number we will be soon, should be treated equally.
My feeling (as a flemmish Belgian :-) is that this walloon university just doesn't
want any more flemmish people - I am joking: all Belgian universities suffer heavily
from in-breeding. That's probably the reason for this particular requirement.

Cheers

Bart Demoen
Jul 17 '05 #8

P: n/a
I'm pretty sure this age limit is something to do with academic
funding in the European Union. It's not specifically a Belgian
thing.

I'm 53 myself. Before I can open my front door to pick up my
milk in the morning, I have to equip myself with a large club
to beat off the hordes of prospective employers who are waiting
outside to pounce on me waving job contracts and fountain pens.

Peter Hancock

Jul 17 '05 #9

P: n/a

"Kenny Tilton" <kt*****@nyc.rr.com> wrote in message
news:YH*******************@twister.nyc.rr.com...
Unless you were planning to send in a platoon of M1 Abrams tanks...


Sure. Belgium /could/ develop WMDs, couldn't they?


I overheard a friend of mine who once knew a Belgian say he thinks they
already have them. I have emailed the Whitehouse, the tanks should be there
shortly...

--
Coby Beck
(remove #\Space "coby 101 @ big pond . com")
Jul 17 '05 #10

P: n/a
Christopher Browne wrote:
Oops! "Paul F. Dietz" <di***@dls.net> was seen spray-painting on a wall:
Wim Vanhoof wrote:

Candidates should not be older than 35 years


Hmm. In the US, I think that would be a violation of federal age
discrimination laws. (But IANAL)

The last time I heard, Belgium was not even on the same continent as
the United States, so it would seem pretty irrelevant what US law has
to say.


Never the less it is still grossly improper. I actually question the
validity of this post.
Jul 17 '05 #11

P: n/a
> I actually question the validity of this post.

The post is valid. And the original poster did not make the request up
himself, so there really is not much use in ranting on him either.

cheers,
Remko
Jul 17 '05 #12

P: n/a
On Sat, 6 Mar 2004, Remko Troncon wrote:
The post is valid. And the original poster did not make the request up
himself, so there really is not much use in ranting on him either.


I agree. I know Wim personally and I cannot imagine he would ever come up
with such a restriction himself. As some people pointed out, there are
good reasons for age restrictions and honestly, I rather have the
information upfront than silently being put off after the interview
because you are too old (which happens everywhere, even the US). Typical
that the loudest criticism comes from people of a country that is
violating civil rights in a rather grotesk way itself. This is getting
off-topic...

Simon
Jul 17 '05 #13

P: n/a
Simon Helsen <sh*****@computer.org> writes:
On Sat, 6 Mar 2004, Remko Troncon wrote:
The post is valid. And the original poster did not make the request up
himself,


This sounds like a typical restriction for jobs funded by the European
Union. (And, yes, it wouldn't surprise me if the restriction were
violating some law set by the European Union itself.)
Jul 17 '05 #14

P: n/a
Bart Demoen <bm*@cs.kuleuven.ac.be> writes:
Excluding Belgian PhDs also strikes me as against the European idea


[...]

Actually, this is very typical of jobs funded by the EU
itself. Usually under some "mobility of researchers" scheme, where the
fundamental principle is that the researcher work outside his own
country ... that's the "mobility" part :-)
Jul 17 '05 #15

P: n/a
I would imagine that most countries have protections against employment
discriminations like the one mentioned. For example, in the Canadian
Constitution at least, the constitution act prevents lawmakers to enact
laws that discriminate against the mentioned groups (including age).
One could argue that if a law would be passed or a law would not
explicitly forbid the discrimination by age of an employee, it would be
unconstitutional.

When you think about it, asking for someone by age is not necessarly
fair to everyone. For example in our engineering program there are
poeple that are well into their 40's. Poeple that want a second chance
in life. And as a global society I think we have to respect that.

US Law even forbids it. Though this is not expressed through the
(rather weak although revolutionary) US Bill of Rights.

Reference: http://www.eeoc.gov/types/age.html
"The ADEA generally makes it unlawful to include age preferences,
limitations, or specifications in job notices or advertisements. A job
notice or advertisement may specify an age limit only in the rare
circumstances where age is shown to be a "bona fide occupational
qualification" (BFOQ) reasonably necessary to the normal operation of
the business."

Reference: The Canadian charter of human rights states that:
"Equality Rights

15. (1) Every individual is equal before the and under the law and has
the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without
discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race,
national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age, or mental or
physical disability.

(2) Subsection (1) does not preclude any law, program or activity that
has as its object the amelioration of conditions of disadvantaged
individuals or groups including those that are disadvantaged because of
race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age, or mental
or physical disability.(5) "


Jacek Generowicz wrote:
Bart Demoen <bm*@cs.kuleuven.ac.be> writes:

Excluding Belgian PhDs also strikes me as against the European idea

[...]

Actually, this is very typical of jobs funded by the EU
itself. Usually under some "mobility of researchers" scheme, where the
fundamental principle is that the researcher work outside his own
country ... that's the "mobility" part :-)

Jul 17 '05 #16

P: n/a
In comp.lang.prolog Kees van Reeuwijk <re******@few.vu.nl> wrote:
Tayssir John Gabbour <ta*********@yahoo.com> wrote:
> Candidates should not be older than 35 years and hold a PhD in
> computer science (or equivalent) acquired within the past five
> years at a university outside Belgium.
I'm not close to 35, but it's good to hear how discriminatory people
are. I mean, that such a thing would be posted without
justification... perhaps you are simply the best usenet troll.

I don't like such restricitions either (especially since I'm a postdoc
older than 35), but they sound like they are externally imposed. My
guess is some funding agency is trying to draw `young blood' from abroad
to Stimulate Belgian Science and Make Belgium Competitive in a HiTech
World.


Yes, I'm sure that's the case. It used to be extremely common for government
academic research initiatives to have age limits imposed on them. It may
still be not entirely unfair if the idea is to kickstart new careers and
shake up aging faculties. But I think there was also the (rather dubious)
thought behind it that people are at their peak in terms of new research
thinking when they're young, particularly in the more abstract and
mathematical disciplines. The idea that it's unfair to discriminate by age
is a fairly recent one, and while in most countries legislation outlawing
discrimination by sex or trace has been in place for some time, legislation
outlawing discrimination by age may not yet be in place.

Matthew Huntbach
Jul 17 '05 #17

P: n/a
Peter G. Hancock wrote:
I'm 53 myself. Before I can open my front door to pick up my
milk in the morning, I have to equip myself with a large club
to beat off the hordes of prospective employers who are waiting
outside to pounce on me waving job contracts and fountain pens.


It's even worse in Belgium, where barely one-third of the population aged
50 and over is actually in full-time employment(!). People have been known
to sell their grandparents into slavery. Thank <deity> I don't have
grandchildren ...
--
Chris Gray ch***@kiffer.eunet.be
/k/ Embedded Java Solutions

Jul 17 '05 #18

P: n/a
in article c2*************@ID-125932.news.uni-berlin.de, Christopher Browne
at cb******@acm.org wrote on 5/3/04 18:05:
Oops! "Paul F. Dietz" <di***@dls.net> was seen spray-painting on a wall:
Wim Vanhoof wrote:
Candidates should not be older than 35 years


Hmm. In the US, I think that would be a violation of federal age
discrimination laws. (But IANAL)


The last time I heard, Belgium was not even on the same continent as
the United States, so it would seem pretty irrelevant what US law has
to say.

Unless you were planning to send in a platoon of M1 Abrams tanks...


The Netherlands shares a border with Belgium (in case you didn't hear
this the last time) and here age discrimination is forbidden and
only done in a sneaky way. I think the position is already given
away (also because of the short notice), or the boss is 36.
Good luck young man!

Henk Schotel (from the grave).
Jul 17 '05 #19

P: n/a
In comp.lang.functional c7517665 <c7******@wanadoo.nl> wrote:
Henk Schotel (from the grave).


To add my two cents to the discussion on age discrimination, I once
heard the following story: some guy aged 40 went to a club to have some
entertainment. On seeing him a guy in his twenties turned around in
disgust and said to his friend: "Look, now they even already come here
to die!".

Oh well, in this world it is obviously better to live fast and die
young... ;-)

Regards,
Markus Mottl (30 and almost dead)

--
Markus Mottl http://www.oefai.at/~markus ma****@oefai.at
Jul 17 '05 #20

P: n/a
On Fri, 05 Mar 2004 06:00:29 -0600, Paul F. Dietz <di***@dls.net> wrote:
Wim Vanhoof wrote:

Candidates should not be older than 35 years


Hmm. In the US, I think that would be a violation of federal age
discrimination laws. (But IANAL)


How come requiring a US president to be at least 35 isn't
a violation of those same laws?
--
dg
Using M2, Opera's revolutionary e-mail client: http://www.opera.com/m2/
Jul 17 '05 #21

P: n/a
Don Groves wrote:
On Fri, 05 Mar 2004 06:00:29 -0600, Paul F. Dietz <di***@dls.net> wrote:
Wim Vanhoof wrote:

Candidates should not be older than 35 years

Hmm. In the US, I think that would be a violation of federal age
discrimination laws. (But IANAL)

How come requiring a US president to be at least 35 isn't
a violation of those same laws?


Its constitutionally based, meaning you cannot have a law that
superseeds the statements in the constutitions, whatever they may be.
Thats the first article of pretty much any constitution.

If someone would appeal the supreme court would rule in favor of the
constitution.

And that law could probably be judged as antequated though. The US
constitution isn't a "modern" constitution. IT has a lot of stuff in it
that shouldn't be there nowa days. Or sentences that should be re-made,
or dropped. Like the ammendments granting prohabition and then
repealing it.

But that's just my cannuck view of US law :)

Jul 17 '05 #22

P: n/a
Don Groves wrote:

On Fri, 05 Mar 2004 06:00:29 -0600, Paul F. Dietz <di***@dls.net> wrote:
Wim Vanhoof wrote:

Candidates should not be older than 35 years


Hmm. In the US, I think that would be a violation of federal age
discrimination laws. (But IANAL)


How come requiring a US president to be at least 35 isn't
a violation of those same laws?


By definition, no, because it's in our Constitution. A law changing or
removing that age limit would be unconstitutional, and would get thrown
out by the Supreme Court.

But really what you're talking about here can't be discrimination (as
the term is usually meant). Children can't vote, much less hold public
office. It's well-established that children do not have the same rights
as adults until they reach a certain age (what age that is varies from
state to state). You don't, for instance, need a search warrant to
search a child's school locker (with the principal's permission), a
search that would be deemed illegal if it were an adult's personal
locker at work (even if the boss gave permission to perform the search).

Infants are incapable of voting or holding public office or being
drafted into the armed services (or _speaking_ for that matter), so a
line has to be drawn somewhere. Certainly one could debate where that
line should be drawn -- but clearly an age limit on holding public
office isn't unconstitutional, since age limits are everywhere and,
quite frankly, _required_ in the justice system.

--
__ Erik Max Francis && ma*@alcyone.com && http://www.alcyone.com/max/
/ \ San Jose, CA, USA && 37 20 N 121 53 W && &tSftDotIotE
\__/ If the sky should fall, hold up your hands.
-- (a Spanish proverb)
Jul 17 '05 #23

P: n/a
Erik Max Francis <ma*@alcyone.com> wrote
By definition, no, because it's in our Constitution. A law changing or
removing that age limit would be unconstitutional, and would get thrown
out by the Supreme Court.


Which is a fundamental flaw in the U.S. system. Without a formal notion
of human rights that supersedes the constitution, the U.S. would
perhaps be better off having no constitution at all. As evidence,
I present the current sorry efforts to change state and federal constitutions
to make certain discriminatory practices universal.
Jul 17 '05 #24

P: n/a
jo***********@yahoo.com (Joan Estes) writes:
Erik Max Francis <ma*@alcyone.com> wrote
By definition, no, because it's in our Constitution. A law changing or
removing that age limit would be unconstitutional, and would get thrown
out by the Supreme Court.


Which is a fundamental flaw in the U.S. system. Without a formal
notion of human rights that supersedes the constitution, the
U.S. would perhaps be better off having no constitution at all. As
evidence, I present the current sorry efforts to change state and
federal constitutions to make certain discriminatory practices
universal.


You are talking about gay marriage right? If you are there is nothing
preventing a gay man proposing to a woman and getting married or a gay
woman doing the same with a man. So they are not being discriminated
against.

Now no one is stopping them from living together in a monogamous
relationship if they want to. Now the financial and legal benefits
of marriage are there because the social purpose of marriage is to grow
the next generation of citizens and that is very expensive to do. Now
gay(same sex) couples do not produce children so they do not get the
economic drain that regular couples do so why should they get the
benefit's?

We also have a formal notion of rights it is called the constitution
the amendments to the constitution. And the people who wrote the US
constitution were not happy with it they just figured that it was the
best document they could write after years of trying. Also the fact
that the bar is so high for changing it is good because it prevents
all kinds of stupidity from happening. Societies that change too fast
fall apart.

marc
Jul 17 '05 #25

P: n/a
Marc Spitzer <ms******@optonline.net> writes:
jo***********@yahoo.com (Joan Estes) writes:
Erik Max Francis <ma*@alcyone.com> wrote
By definition, no, because it's in our Constitution. A law changing or
removing that age limit would be unconstitutional, and would get thrown
out by the Supreme Court.
Which is a fundamental flaw in the U.S. system. Without a formal
notion of human rights that supersedes the constitution, the
U.S. would perhaps be better off having no constitution at all. As
evidence, I present the current sorry efforts to change state and
federal constitutions to make certain discriminatory practices
universal.


You are talking about gay marriage right? If you are there is nothing
preventing a gay man proposing to a woman and getting married or a gay
woman doing the same with a man. So they are not being discriminated
against.


Oh, brother. Here we go again. (I'm going to be awfully glad when this
issue finally goes away, although it'll probably take 30-50 years.) I'm
getting really tired of hearing the same old arguments against same-sex
marriage, especially because I haven't heard one yet that holds up under
scrutiny.

They (well, ok, we) *are* being discriminated against, in the very real
sense that we are not allowed to marry whom we choose, in a way that does
not affect heterosexuals. In general, a heterosexual person is not
prevented from marrying the person of his/her choice.

Of course, there are consanguinity laws that do affect heterosexual
marriage. I don't have a problem with these; here, the state clearly has
an interest in forbidding such couples from having children, for reasons of
public health. No one has proved that the state has a similar interest in
the case of same-sex marriages.

And, to tie in another favorite anti-same-sex-marriage argument, how does
telling gay men to suck it up and marry a woman (or vice versa) protect the
"sanctity of marriage" (whatever that means)? Then, you have people
getting married primarily for tax benefits. That's not the kind of
commitment that marriage is supposed to be about, and that's not the kind
of commitment that the seven couples in Goodrich v. Department of Public
Health are trying to make.
Now no one is stopping them from living together in a monogamous
relationship if they want to.
Well, not since Lawrence v. Texas, anyway.... (Granted, this wasn't about
their right to live together in a monogamous relationship, but it's pretty
closely related, and it's an indication of how bad things were until very
recently.)
Now the financial and legal benefits of marriage are there because the
social purpose of marriage is to grow the next generation of citizens and
that is very expensive to do.
This argument doesn't hold water. In particular, in its recent decision,
the Massachusetts SJC specifically said that Mass. state law does not
contain any justification for the claim that marriage exists only for the
purposes of procreation.

So, Gov. Romney and Speaker Finneran made some noises about passing a law
that established procreation as the basis of marriage. While this effort
seems to have died off, I think it would have been absolutely wonderful to
have this law on the books. Because then, we could enforce it. Vigorously.

Depending on how such a law would be worded, it would forbid marriage to
those straight couples in which:

- either he or she is naturally infertile
- he's had a vasectomy
- she's had her tubes tied
- she's had a hysterectomy (which, BTW, are sometimes required to protect
the health of the woman in question, regardless of whether or not she
wants to have children)
- they've simply chosen not to have kids
- (sort of extreme, but possible depending on how the law is worded) he
prefers to use a condom.

Is that really what you want?

This isn't just a Massachusetts issue, either. I don't think there's a
state in the union that forbids marriage to any couple that meets one of
the preceding conditions. So it's awfully hard to justify the claim that
marriage is all about procreation.
Now gay(same sex) couples do not produce children so they do not get the
economic drain that regular couples do so why should they get the
benefit's?
Because they may want to adopt children? Because they may have children of
their own from previous straight marriages? Because the benefits of
marriage are also available to straight couples who do not or cannot have
children?
We also have a formal notion of rights it is called the constitution
the amendments to the constitution. And the people who wrote the US
constitution were not happy with it they just figured that it was the
best document they could write after years of trying.
Um, IIRC, the constitutional convention in Philadelphia lasted only a
summer, not "years of trying."

That said, I agree with your argument that the Constitution, and
particularly the Bill of Rights and other such amendments, do serve as our
(legally) fundamental notion of human rights. Trying to add another layer
above that is somewhat problematic.
Also the fact that the bar is so high for changing [the Constitution] is
good because it prevents all kinds of stupidity from happening.
Agreed. This stands a good chance of making sure the Federal DOM amendment
fails. If only state constitutions were as hard to change.
Societies that change too fast fall apart.


This certainly sounds plausible, but do you have any hard evidence to back
this claim up?

Richard
Jul 17 '05 #26

P: n/a
We were discussing age discrimination...

Richard C. Cobbe wrote:
Marc Spitzer <ms******@optonline.net> writes:

jo***********@yahoo.com (Joan Estes) writes:

Erik Max Francis <ma*@alcyone.com> wrote
By definition, no, because it's in our Constitution. A law changing or
removing that age limit would be unconstitutional, and would get thrown
out by the Supreme Court.

Which is a fundamental flaw in the U.S. system. Without a formal
notion of human rights that supersedes the constitution, the
U.S. would perhaps be better off having no constitution at all. As
evidence, I present the current sorry efforts to change state and
federal constitutions to make certain discriminatory practices
universal.


You are talking about gay marriage right? If you are there is nothing
preventing a gay man proposing to a woman and getting married or a gay
woman doing the same with a man. So they are not being discriminated
against.

Oh, brother. Here we go again. (I'm going to be awfully glad when this
issue finally goes away, although it'll probably take 30-50 years.) I'm
getting really tired of hearing the same old arguments against same-sex
marriage, especially because I haven't heard one yet that holds up under
scrutiny.

They (well, ok, we) *are* being discriminated against, in the very real
sense that we are not allowed to marry whom we choose, in a way that does
not affect heterosexuals. In general, a heterosexual person is not
prevented from marrying the person of his/her choice.

Of course, there are consanguinity laws that do affect heterosexual
marriage. I don't have a problem with these; here, the state clearly has
an interest in forbidding such couples from having children, for reasons of
public health. No one has proved that the state has a similar interest in
the case of same-sex marriages.

And, to tie in another favorite anti-same-sex-marriage argument, how does
telling gay men to suck it up and marry a woman (or vice versa) protect the
"sanctity of marriage" (whatever that means)? Then, you have people
getting married primarily for tax benefits. That's not the kind of
commitment that marriage is supposed to be about, and that's not the kind
of commitment that the seven couples in Goodrich v. Department of Public
Health are trying to make.

Now no one is stopping them from living together in a monogamous
relationship if they want to.

Well, not since Lawrence v. Texas, anyway.... (Granted, this wasn't about
their right to live together in a monogamous relationship, but it's pretty
closely related, and it's an indication of how bad things were until very
recently.)

Now the financial and legal benefits of marriage are there because the
social purpose of marriage is to grow the next generation of citizens and
that is very expensive to do.

This argument doesn't hold water. In particular, in its recent decision,
the Massachusetts SJC specifically said that Mass. state law does not
contain any justification for the claim that marriage exists only for the
purposes of procreation.

So, Gov. Romney and Speaker Finneran made some noises about passing a law
that established procreation as the basis of marriage. While this effort
seems to have died off, I think it would have been absolutely wonderful to
have this law on the books. Because then, we could enforce it. Vigorously.

Depending on how such a law would be worded, it would forbid marriage to
those straight couples in which:

- either he or she is naturally infertile
- he's had a vasectomy
- she's had her tubes tied
- she's had a hysterectomy (which, BTW, are sometimes required to protect
the health of the woman in question, regardless of whether or not she
wants to have children)
- they've simply chosen not to have kids
- (sort of extreme, but possible depending on how the law is worded) he
prefers to use a condom.

Is that really what you want?

This isn't just a Massachusetts issue, either. I don't think there's a
state in the union that forbids marriage to any couple that meets one of
the preceding conditions. So it's awfully hard to justify the claim that
marriage is all about procreation.

Now gay(same sex) couples do not produce children so they do not get the
economic drain that regular couples do so why should they get the
benefit's?

Because they may want to adopt children? Because they may have children of
their own from previous straight marriages? Because the benefits of
marriage are also available to straight couples who do not or cannot have
children?

We also have a formal notion of rights it is called the constitution
the amendments to the constitution. And the people who wrote the US
constitution were not happy with it they just figured that it was the
best document they could write after years of trying.

Um, IIRC, the constitutional convention in Philadelphia lasted only a
summer, not "years of trying."

That said, I agree with your argument that the Constitution, and
particularly the Bill of Rights and other such amendments, do serve as our
(legally) fundamental notion of human rights. Trying to add another layer
above that is somewhat problematic.

Also the fact that the bar is so high for changing [the Constitution] is
good because it prevents all kinds of stupidity from happening.

Agreed. This stands a good chance of making sure the Federal DOM amendment
fails. If only state constitutions were as hard to change.

Societies that change too fast fall apart.

This certainly sounds plausible, but do you have any hard evidence to back
this claim up?

Richard

Jul 17 '05 #27

P: n/a
Yoyoma_2 <Yoyoma_2@[at-]Hotmail.com> writes:
We were discussing age discrimination...


Well, if you see gay marriage as a discriminated union, it brings us
back on topic for at least a couple of newsgroups...

:-)

-kzm
--
If I haven't seen further, it is by standing in the footprints of giants
Jul 17 '05 #28

P: n/a
Ketil Malde wrote:
Yoyoma_2 <Yoyoma_2@[at-]Hotmail.com> writes:

We were discussing age discrimination...

Well, if you see gay marriage as a discriminated union, it brings us
back on topic for at least a couple of newsgroups...

:-)


I don'want to comment on the actual, previous or future state of US
civil rights. But lets say that the US should maby model itself after
pretty much every other modern country in terms of civil rights :). So i
guess that was my comment hehe.


-kzm

Jul 17 '05 #29

P: n/a
Marc Spitzer wrote:
Now no one is stopping them from living together in a monogamous
relationship if they want to. Now the financial and legal benefits
of marriage are there because the social purpose of marriage is to grow
the next generation of citizens and that is very expensive to do. Now
gay(same sex) couples do not produce children so they do not get the
economic drain that regular couples do so why should they get the
benefit's?


This argument makes no sense. First, gay people can and do adopt, and this
would presumably be easier for gay couples if they were legally recognized.
Second, there's no legal requirement for married couples to have children,
so childless gay couples should be able to obtain the same marital benefits
as childless straight couples.

Really, you can't argue issues like this on rational grounds. It boils down
to your acceptance of principles. If you fundamentally don't believe in the
concept of same-sex marriage, and perhaps believe that some book written
thousands of years ago prohibits this (alongside its exhortations to kill
all the women and children in the villages of your enemies[*]), then no
amount of rational argument is going to help, and whatever happens will have
to be decided as the result of a political war.

Anton
[*] http://mindprod.com/biblestudy.html references, among many others,
Ezekiel 9:6, "Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children,
and women".
Jul 17 '05 #30

P: n/a
Ketil Malde <ke***@ii.uib.no> writes:
Yoyoma_2 <Yoyoma_2@[at-]Hotmail.com> writes:
We were discussing age discrimination...


Well, if you see gay marriage as a discriminated union, it brings us
back on topic for at least a couple of newsgroups...


It takes all types....
Jul 17 '05 #31

P: n/a
Don Groves <dgroves_AT_ccwebster_DOT_net> writes:

On Fri, 05 Mar 2004 06:00:29 -0600, Paul F. Dietz <di***@dls.net> wrote:
Wim Vanhoof wrote:

Candidates should not be older than 35 years


Hmm. In the US, I think that would be a violation of federal age
discrimination laws. (But IANAL)


How come requiring a US president to be at least 35 isn't
a violation of those same laws?


US courts have recently ruled that the US age discrimination laws only
prohibit discrimination against older workers. They do nothing to
protect younger workers.

The case dealt with pension rights where younger workers were being
given less desireable treatment than older workers. They sued under the
age discrimination statute and lost, since they were not in the age
group that was protected by those laws.
--
Thomas A. Russ, USC/Information Sciences Institute

Jul 17 '05 #32

P: n/a
co***@ccs.neu.edu (Richard C. Cobbe) writes:
Marc Spitzer <ms******@optonline.net> writes:
jo***********@yahoo.com (Joan Estes) writes:
Erik Max Francis <ma*@alcyone.com> wrote

By definition, no, because it's in our Constitution. A law changing or
removing that age limit would be unconstitutional, and would get thrown
out by the Supreme Court.

Which is a fundamental flaw in the U.S. system. Without a formal
notion of human rights that supersedes the constitution, the
U.S. would perhaps be better off having no constitution at all. As
evidence, I present the current sorry efforts to change state and
federal constitutions to make certain discriminatory practices
universal.
You are talking about gay marriage right? If you are there is nothing
preventing a gay man proposing to a woman and getting married or a gay
woman doing the same with a man. So they are not being discriminated
against.


Oh, brother. Here we go again. (I'm going to be awfully glad when this
issue finally goes away, although it'll probably take 30-50 years.) I'm
getting really tired of hearing the same old arguments against same-sex
marriage, especially because I haven't heard one yet that holds up under
scrutiny.


Funny I could say the same thing about pro gay marriage.

They (well, ok, we) *are* being discriminated against, in the very real
sense that we are not allowed to marry whom we choose, in a way that does
not affect heterosexuals. In general, a heterosexual person is not
prevented from marrying the person of his/her choice.
Lots of people are not allowed to marry who they choose, they propose
and get told no, or they are too closely related, and the list goes on.

Of course, there are consanguinity laws that do affect heterosexual
marriage. I don't have a problem with these; here, the state clearly has
an interest in forbidding such couples from having children, for reasons of
public health. No one has proved that the state has a similar interest in
the case of same-sex marriages.
WTF?!?! You are saying to prevent children from being born it is OK
for the state to prevent a class of people from getting married who
want to, because the state does not want those children in existence?
Does this only apply to people who are not members of your class of
people?

My point is that the state has no reason to provide economic and legal
special status to couples who by definition can not produce children and
perpetuate the state by assuming a major financial obligation, caring
for their children.

And, to tie in another favorite anti-same-sex-marriage argument, how does
telling gay men to suck it up and marry a woman (or vice versa) protect the
"sanctity of marriage" (whatever that means)? Then, you have people
I am not talking about that so lets keep it on topic.
getting married primarily for tax benefits. That's not the kind of
commitment that marriage is supposed to be about, and that's not the kind
of commitment that the seven couples in Goodrich v. Department of Public
Health are trying to make.
Well to be honest marriage and love have nothing to do with each other
in the case I am making. The things society give to people who are
going to ensure the continuation of said society, at great personnel
expense, are in society's best interest and gay marriage(as a class of
marriage) does not help society achieve its goals of perpetuation so
why should it get the economic benefits.
Now no one is stopping them from living together in a monogamous
relationship if they want to.
Well, not since Lawrence v. Texas, anyway.... (Granted, this wasn't about
their right to live together in a monogamous relationship, but it's pretty
closely related, and it's an indication of how bad things were until very
recently.)
Now the financial and legal benefits of marriage are there because the
social purpose of marriage is to grow the next generation of citizens and
that is very expensive to do.


This argument doesn't hold water. In particular, in its recent decision,
the Massachusetts SJC specifically said that Mass. state law does not
contain any justification for the claim that marriage exists only for the
purposes of procreation.


First of all courts should not make law, and that is what they did in
this case. And If you wanted to talk about way out in left field that
is a pretty hard court to beat.

So, Gov. Romney and Speaker Finneran made some noises about passing a law
that established procreation as the basis of marriage. While this effort
seems to have died off, I think it would have been absolutely wonderful to
have this law on the books. Because then, we could enforce it. Vigorously.
So you do not support Row V Wade?

Depending on how such a law would be worded, it would forbid marriage to
those straight couples in which:

- either he or she is naturally infertile
- he's had a vasectomy
- she's had her tubes tied
- she's had a hysterectomy (which, BTW, are sometimes required to protect
the health of the woman in question, regardless of whether or not she
wants to have children)
- they've simply chosen not to have kids
- (sort of extreme, but possible depending on how the law is worded) he
prefers to use a condom.

Is that really what you want?
I never said that. But the point is that simple fact is that without
a man and a woman having sex *with each other* it is very unlikely
that you will have children result from said sex act. And with out at
least a reasonable potential for children to exist society has no
interest in supporting you in you lifestyle with special privileges
because you are not even potentially supporting society by possibly
having children. Also there is the fact that with children removed
from the picture there is no reason that both people can not have jobs
that allow them to bring in money and benefits/pensions that the
traditional atomic family did not have. The wife generally worked at
taking care of the kids and house and this did not come with a check.


This isn't just a Massachusetts issue, either. I don't think there's a
state in the union that forbids marriage to any couple that meets one of
the preceding conditions. So it's awfully hard to justify the claim that
marriage is all about procreation.
I never said it was, I said that society's benefit was the continuation
of society and because of that it granted some special privileges to
the class of people that were doing this. It did this out of self
interest.
Now gay(same sex) couples do not produce children so they do not get the
economic drain that regular couples do so why should they get the
benefit's?
Because they may want to adopt children? Because they may have children of


produce not get surplus.
their own from previous straight marriages? Because the benefits of
if they were married to a person with a different count of X
chromosomes, then yes it is possible. And did not society grant them
the special privileges also?
marriage are also available to straight couples who do not or cannot have
children?
but as a class straight couples produce children, and bear the cost of
them, and gay couples do not produce children.

We also have a formal notion of rights it is called the constitution
the amendments to the constitution. And the people who wrote the US
constitution were not happy with it they just figured that it was the
best document they could write after years of trying.
Um, IIRC, the constitutional convention in Philadelphia lasted only a
summer, not "years of trying."

That said, I agree with your argument that the Constitution, and
particularly the Bill of Rights and other such amendments, do serve as our
(legally) fundamental notion of human rights. Trying to add another layer
above that is somewhat problematic.
Also the fact that the bar is so high for changing [the Constitution] is
good because it prevents all kinds of stupidity from happening.


Agreed. This stands a good chance of making sure the Federal DOM amendment
fails. If only state constitutions were as hard to change.
Societies that change too fast fall apart.


This certainly sounds plausible, but do you have any hard evidence to back
this claim up?


Not handy, but I think of a society as people who more or less agree
on a set of rules for behavior and if the rules change too fast large
chunks of the group stop agreeing with them and then you have real
problems.

marc

Richard

Jul 17 '05 #33

P: n/a
"Anton van Straaten" <an***@appsolutions.com> writes:
Marc Spitzer wrote:
Now no one is stopping them from living together in a monogamous
relationship if they want to. Now the financial and legal benefits
of marriage are there because the social purpose of marriage is to grow
the next generation of citizens and that is very expensive to do. Now
gay(same sex) couples do not produce children so they do not get the
economic drain that regular couples do so why should they get the
benefit's?
This argument makes no sense. First, gay people can and do adopt, and this
would presumably be easier for gay couples if they were legally recognized.
Second, there's no legal requirement for married couples to have children,
so childless gay couples should be able to obtain the same marital benefits
as childless straight couples.


I used the word produce, ie make. And as a class gay( male or female)
sex does not produce children. And as a class straight couples who
have sex do, or at least *can*, produce children.

Also the legal assumption for marriage is that there is one person
earning money to support two adults(husband and wife) and some children.
The legal protections granted the adult that stayed home was granted
to them because their job was to raise the kids and this benefits
society.

Also please keep in mind that when I say society I am not talking about
goverment.

Really, you can't argue issues like this on rational grounds. It boils down
to your acceptance of principles. If you fundamentally don't believe in the
concept of same-sex marriage, and perhaps believe that some book written
thousands of years ago prohibits this (alongside its exhortations to kill
I never brought religion in to this. My argument was purely secular,
you want something from society so what does society get from you to
balance it.
marc

all the women and children in the villages of your enemies[*]), then no
amount of rational argument is going to help, and whatever happens will have
to be decided as the result of a political war.

Anton

[*] http://mindprod.com/biblestudy.html references, among many others,
Ezekiel 9:6, "Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children,
and women".

Jul 17 '05 #34

P: n/a
On 22 Mar 2004 14:24:19 -0800, Thomas A. Russ <ta*@sevak.isi.edu> wrote:
On Fri, 05 Mar 2004 06:00:29 -0600, Paul F. Dietz <di***@dls.net> wrote:
> Wim Vanhoof wrote:
>
>> Candidates should not be older than 35 years
>
> Hmm. In the US, I think that would be a violation of federal age
> discrimination laws. (But IANAL)


How come requiring a US president to be at least 35 isn't
a violation of those same laws?


US courts have recently ruled that the US age discrimination laws only
prohibit discrimination against older workers. They do nothing to
protect younger workers.

The case dealt with pension rights where younger workers were being
given less desireable treatment than older workers. They sued under the
age discrimination statute and lost, since they were not in the age
group that was protected by those laws.


Ah, thanks!

--
dg
Using M2, Opera's revolutionary e-mail client: http://www.opera.com/m2/
Jul 17 '05 #35

P: n/a
This is off-topic in a somewhat bizarre manner, and the relation with any
of the comp.lang.* newsgroups above is really hard to see ("discriminated
sums": that's a good one ;-). Well, I can find at least one point of the
discussion which is related to elementary logic.

On Mon, 22 Mar 2004, Marc Spitzer wrote:
First of all courts should not make law, and that is what they did in
this case. And If you wanted to talk about way out in left field that
is a pretty hard court to beat.


Courts should not make law. I absolutely agree. In fact, they have never
done so and even today, are not doing this! People claiming that courts
are making new laws, should take a introductory course in logic. A supreme
court in any democracy has one primary goal: make sure that our body of
laws remains internally consistent. So, when certain laws or bills exist
(or are introduced), it is their role to make sure they do not violate
"soundness" as your theoretical computer scientist would say. In order to
do this effectively, there is a priority mechanism and the constitution is
at the highest level (everyone agrees). In all gay marriage cases where a
court has decided (negatively or positively), they only did something
along the lines of: "this cannot be forbidden, because it violates...", or
"this cannot be allowed, because it violates..." etc. They *never* say
something like "we think this is a good thing, so let us make a law
saying...". This is, of course, why Bush wants/needs a constitutional
ammendment, which is a purely political decision made by a political
person (in this case the executive). It is like changing your axiom
system. Here in Canada, people were criticising along the same lines
because the supreme court of Canada had decided that you cannot forbid a
gay marriage if you want to stay consistent with the "charter of rights".
That latter - I beleive it is tied to the constitution - has a higher
priority and basically says that every person (or every Canadian) is equal
in his/her rights and duties. Forbidding gay people to marry each others
obviously violated the charter, so, they told the government: "change the
laws". They did *not* say "legalize same-sex marriage", even though that
is the obvious answer (I think they recommended it as a possible solution,
but that is something entirely different!) The alternative answer is to
change the charter of rights and make not everybody equal for the law. But
most Canadians wouldn't want that either. Interesting enough, Bush's wish
to change the constitution is also rejected by a majority of the
Americans. Of course, because the body of laws is incomplete and not
entirely formal, judges interprete them one way or the other. This is why
such verdicts are made by several people and voted for. Saying that they
are making new laws is simplistic and wrong.

To me, it seems that people just want a logically inconsistent set of laws
and society ('some sheep are jmore equal than others'). Hence my
recommendation above: they ought to take an introductory course in logic
(or admit hypocrisy - but I do not assume that everybody is like that)

My 5c,

Simon
Jul 17 '05 #36

P: n/a
Marc Spitzer <ms******@optonline.net> writes:
co***@ccs.neu.edu (Richard C. Cobbe) writes:
Marc Spitzer <ms******@optonline.net> writes:

Oh, brother. Here we go again. (I'm going to be awfully glad when this
issue finally goes away, although it'll probably take 30-50 years.) I'm
getting really tired of hearing the same old arguments against same-sex
marriage, especially because I haven't heard one yet that holds up under
scrutiny.
Funny I could say the same thing about pro gay marriage.


Then do. Put your money where your mouth is and explain why our
justifications for asking to be allowed to marry don't hold up. Explain
the overriding interest the state has in preventing us from marrying. The
ability to procreate doesn't cut it; see below.
They (well, ok, we) *are* being discriminated against, in the very real
sense that we are not allowed to marry whom we choose, in a way that does
not affect heterosexuals. In general, a heterosexual person is not
prevented from marrying the person of his/her choice.


Lots of people are not allowed to marry who they choose, they propose
and get told no, or they are too closely related, and the list goes on.


First, I should obviously have said `a heterosexual person is not prevented
*by the government* from marrying the person of his/her choice'. People
who propose and are rejected aren't the problem. Second, I dealt with
people who are too closely related in the following paragraph.
Of course, there are consanguinity laws that do affect heterosexual
marriage. I don't have a problem with these; here, the state clearly has
an interest in forbidding such couples from having children, for reasons of
public health. No one has proved that the state has a similar interest in
the case of same-sex marriages.


WTF?!?! You are saying to prevent children from being born it is OK
for the state to prevent a class of people from getting married who
want to, because the state does not want those children in existence?


(I don't mean to be rude, but you do know what `consanguinity' means, right?)

Yes. Inbreeding produces less healthy children. If you like, I'll gladly
support the right of cousins, even siblings, to marry, so long as they
don't have kids.
Well to be honest marriage and love have nothing to do with each other in
the case I am making. The things society give to people who are going to
ensure the continuation of said society, at great personnel expense, are
in society's best interest and gay marriage(as a class of marriage) does
not help society achieve its goals of perpetuation so why should it get
the economic benefits.
[Snipped lots more of the same.]

Look: as long as married heterosexual couples who cannot have children, or
who can and choose not to, are granted all the economic and legal
privileges that couples with children enjoy, then you cannot deny those
rights to same-sex couples simply because they cannot have children. You
have two options in that case:

- deny the privileges associated with marriage to *all* couples who do
not have children, gay or straight; or

- allow same-sex couples to marry, with all attendant privileges.

Anything else singles out a group of citizens for special treatment and is
thus unconstitutional. (And also plain wrong.)
First of all courts should not make law, and that is what they did in
this case. And If you wanted to talk about way out in left field that
is a pretty hard court to beat.
What law did they make? And why is protecting the rights of citizens `way
out in left field'? For full credit, your answer must also explain why
the judicial decisions in Brown v. Board of Education and Loving
v. Virginia (the decision which struck down antimiscegenation laws) were
not also `way out in left field.'

I'm sorry, but that sort of argument no longer convinces me: too many
people have used it to complain not about a fundamental problem but about a
decision with which they don't happen to agree. Just like the complaint
about "activist judges."
So, Gov. Romney and Speaker Finneran made some noises about passing a law
that established procreation as the basis of marriage. While this effort
seems to have died off, I think it would have been absolutely wonderful to
have this law on the books. Because then, we could enforce it. Vigorously.


So you do not support Row V Wade?


Irrelevant.

No, see, I think this law would be wonderful, in the short term, as an
object lesson. Since it would almost certainly prevent many heterosexual
couples from marrying each other, and might possibly annul existing
straight marriages, it would demonstrate to a large number of people that
legally basing marriage on procreation is a bad idea. One would hope that,
after a short time of that sort of thing, the legislature or the people
would come to their senses and strike the law down.
Also there is the fact that with children removed from the picture there
is no reason that both people can not have jobs that allow them to bring
in money and benefits/pensions that the traditional atomic family did not
have. The wife generally worked at taking care of the kids and house and
this did not come with a check.


A) The wife may generally have been a stay-at-home-mom in the 50s, but an
increasing number of mothers, in straight marriages, are working
full-time jobs today. Lots of straight couples have two incomes too.

B) The benefits of a legal marriage are not purely economic; they also
involve things like hospital visitation rights, custody over adopted
children, bereavement leave, authority to make funeral arrangements,
etc. So, even if gay couples do have an economic edge over straight
couples (which you have not demonstrated), that still doesn't make up
for the inequalities.
Societies that change too fast fall apart.


This certainly sounds plausible, but do you have any hard evidence to back
this claim up?


Not handy, but I think of a society as people who more or less agree
on a set of rules for behavior and if the rules change too fast large
chunks of the group stop agreeing with them and then you have real
problems.


Again, sounds plausible, but without evidence, this is just rhetoric. Show
me the history. We've got lots of examples of societies falling apart: the
fall of the Roman Empire, various dynastic changes in China, various
dynastic changes in India, and so on. Surely you should be able to trace
at least *one* of those instances back to excessively rapid social change.

Richard
Jul 17 '05 #37

P: n/a
Marc Spitzer wrote:
First of all courts should not make law, and that is what they did in
this case.


From Boston.com: "The court, in a 4-3 ruling, ordered the Legislature
to come up with a solution within 180 days."

What is your understanding of the system of checks and balances provided
by the US Constitution? How is the judiciary to check the power of the
legislature and the executive if every petitioner must be told "Well,
son, it may not be fair, nor even constitutional, but that's the law as
written by the legislature."?

Explain your answer.

If you were to walk into a law library, would the books be filled with
the writing of judges, or of legislators?

Does a law student spend his nights reading judgments, or legislation?

--
Cameron MacKinnon
Toronto, Canada

Jul 17 '05 #38

P: n/a
Cameron MacKinnon <cm********@clearspot.net> writes:
Marc Spitzer wrote:
First of all courts should not make law, and that is what they did in
this case.
From Boston.com: "The court, in a 4-3 ruling, ordered the Legislature
to come up with a solution within 180 days."


Now the court in question in this case told the legislature to come up
with a law we like or else and that is not the courts job.

What is your understanding of the system of checks and balances
provided by the US Constitution? How is the judiciary to check the
power of the legislature and the executive if every petitioner must be
told "Well, son, it may not be fair, nor even constitutional, but
that's the law as written by the legislature."?

Explain your answer.

If you were to walk into a law library, would the books be filled with
the writing of judges, or of legislators?
yes, both. Did it once by accident.

Does a law student spend his nights reading judgments, or legislation?


Does watching reruns of the "paper chase" count for an informed
oppinion.

marc
Jul 17 '05 #39

P: n/a
co***@ccs.neu.edu (Richard C. Cobbe) writes:
Marc Spitzer <ms******@optonline.net> writes:
co***@ccs.neu.edu (Richard C. Cobbe) writes:
Marc Spitzer <ms******@optonline.net> writes:

Oh, brother. Here we go again. (I'm going to be awfully glad when this
issue finally goes away, although it'll probably take 30-50 years.) I'm
getting really tired of hearing the same old arguments against same-sex
marriage, especially because I haven't heard one yet that holds up under
scrutiny.
Funny I could say the same thing about pro gay marriage.


Then do. Put your money where your mouth is and explain why our
justifications for asking to be allowed to marry don't hold up. Explain
the overriding interest the state has in preventing us from marrying. The
ability to procreate doesn't cut it; see below.


Please list the arguments and I will be happy to. But could you also
post some links to the studies that show that your dilution of the meaning
of family will not harm this country. For a counter example look at France,
they have a birth rate of about 1.2 children per woman. What this means is
that the population is getting older and they will soon have 1 retired person
per person working. Can you say N++ th republic?
They (well, ok, we) *are* being discriminated against, in the very real
sense that we are not allowed to marry whom we choose, in a way that does
not affect heterosexuals. In general, a heterosexual person is not
prevented from marrying the person of his/her choice.
Lots of people are not allowed to marry who they choose, they propose
and get told no, or they are too closely related, and the list goes on.


First, I should obviously have said `a heterosexual person is not prevented
*by the government* from marrying the person of his/her choice'. People
who propose and are rejected aren't the problem. Second, I dealt with
people who are too closely related in the following paragraph.


Yes you did in the paragraph below
Of course, there are consanguinity laws that do affect heterosexual
marriage. I don't have a problem with these; here, the state clearly has
an interest in forbidding such couples from having children, for reasons of
public health. No one has proved that the state has a similar interest in
the case of same-sex marriages.
WTF?!?! You are saying to prevent children from being born it is OK
for the state to prevent a class of people from getting married who
want to, because the state does not want those children in existence?


(I don't mean to be rude, but you do know what `consanguinity' means, right?)


I just double checked to be sure, close blood relations.

Yes. Inbreeding produces less healthy children. If you like, I'll gladly
support the right of cousins, even siblings, to marry, so long as they
don't have kids.
But the whole purpose of marriage is to have kids from societies POV,
next generation and all that. And same sex marriages produce none so
why should your class get the privileges that go with marriage? And
from society's POV no children should result from incest, because it is
in society's best interest to have close blood relations not have
sex/children with each other, that is why there are laws against just
that behavior and they can not get married.
Well to be honest marriage and love have nothing to do with each other in
the case I am making. The things society give to people who are going to
ensure the continuation of said society, at great personnel expense, are
in society's best interest and gay marriage(as a class of marriage) does
not help society achieve its goals of perpetuation so why should it get
the economic benefits.
[Snipped lots more of the same.]

Look: as long as married heterosexual couples who cannot have children, or
who can and choose not to, are granted all the economic and legal
privileges that couples with children enjoy, then you cannot deny those
rights to same-sex couples simply because they cannot have children. You
have two options in that case:


First of all I am talking about groups, not individuals. And as a
class gay marriages can not produce children as a consequence of sex.
As a class straight marriages do so that class gets the protection
because as a class it perpetuates society. And your class does not so
no brass ring.

- deny the privileges associated with marriage to *all* couples who do
not have children, gay or straight; or

- allow same-sex couples to marry, with all attendant privileges.
In a word, no. Your group does not bring the potential for children
to the table, so why should you get privileges that are there to help
and encourage people to get together to have children and bear the
cost? Just because you want it does not make it a good idea.

Anything else singles out a group of citizens for special treatment and is
thus unconstitutional. (And also plain wrong.)
We single out lots of groups for special treatment in society, for
example men register for the draft, and can be drafted, and women do
not.
First of all courts should not make law, and that is what they did in
this case. And If you wanted to talk about way out in left field that
is a pretty hard court to beat.
What law did they make? And why is protecting the rights of citizens `way
out in left field'? For full credit, your answer must also explain why


What right? Who is stopping you from going out finding a woman, asking
her to marry you, getting her to say yes and then getting married?
Who said gay men can not do that? The same as any other man.
the judicial decisions in Brown v. Board of Education and Loving
v. Virginia (the decision which struck down antimiscegenation laws) were
not also `way out in left field.'
If I remember what little I know about it the court found that as long
as long as things were separate they were never equal and it was
always tilted in one direction. And this conflicted with several
parts of the constitution, including the 14th amendment.


I'm sorry, but that sort of argument no longer convinces me: too many
people have used it to complain not about a fundamental problem but about a
decision with which they don't happen to agree. Just like the complaint
about "activist judges."
All I need to say to that is "Living Constitution".
So, Gov. Romney and Speaker Finneran made some noises about passing a law
that established procreation as the basis of marriage. While this effort
seems to have died off, I think it would have been absolutely wonderful to
have this law on the books. Because then, we could enforce it. Vigorously.
So you do not support Row V Wade?


Irrelevant.

No, see, I think this law would be wonderful, in the short term, as an
object lesson. Since it would almost certainly prevent many heterosexual
couples from marrying each other, and might possibly annul existing
straight marriages, it would demonstrate to a large number of people that
legally basing marriage on procreation is a bad idea. One would hope that,
after a short time of that sort of thing, the legislature or the people
would come to their senses and strike the law down.


Well you will fuck over anyone you can to get your way, how childish.
And there is a very good chance that the politicians who passed that
law would get shot and they know that. That they would get removed from
office is a given and they know that as well.
Also there is the fact that with children removed from the picture there
is no reason that both people can not have jobs that allow them to bring
in money and benefits/pensions that the traditional atomic family did not
have. The wife generally worked at taking care of the kids and house and
this did not come with a check.
A) The wife may generally have been a stay-at-home-mom in the 50s, but an
increasing number of mothers, in straight marriages, are working
full-time jobs today. Lots of straight couples have two incomes too.

B) The benefits of a legal marriage are not purely economic; they also
involve things like hospital visitation rights, custody over adopted
children, bereavement leave, authority to make funeral arrangements,
etc. So, even if gay couples do have an economic edge over straight
couples (which you have not demonstrated), that still doesn't make up
for the inequalities.


No children vs children. And so what you do not as a gay couple bring
anything to the table to justify any special privileges. You just are
saying that since things are not going your way it needs to be fixed.
Societies that change too fast fall apart.

This certainly sounds plausible, but do you have any hard evidence to back
this claim up?


Not handy, but I think of a society as people who more or less agree
on a set of rules for behavior and if the rules change too fast large
chunks of the group stop agreeing with them and then you have real
problems.


Again, sounds plausible, but without evidence, this is just rhetoric. Show
me the history. We've got lots of examples of societies falling apart: the
fall of the Roman Empire, various dynastic changes in China, various
dynastic changes in India, and so on. Surely you should be able to trace
at least *one* of those instances back to excessively rapid social change.


ok Japan after Commodore Perry.
marc
Jul 17 '05 #40

P: n/a
>>>>> "AvS" == Anton van Straaten <an***@appsolutions.com> writes:
AvS> ... Second, there's no legal
AvS> requirement for married couples to have children, so
AvS> childless gay couples should be able to obtain the same
AvS> marital benefits as childless straight couples.

Maybe one ought to question whether those benefits should be there at all.
What are those benefits? The ability to get a tax break when the spouse
is not working? The ability to get insurance through work for the
non-working spouse? Inheritance? Having a say in health matters (as in
pulling the plug)? Husband-wife privilege in court?

I often wonder if the law is making it very advantageous to be married in
some cases and thus making the right to marry attractive. With divorce
rate around 50% (for first marriages, as far as I can tell) maybe people
should be discouraged from marrying? Maybe those benefits (outside of child
rearing stuff) should be available to someone of the person's choosing
regardless of sex and marriage?

Gay love and everything is fine and dandy, but I can't help thinking
all the money and benefits that I missed out on by being a single
person who just happened to be responsible about marriage. Missed out on
them means I funded them in some manner. Why is that injustice not getting
fixed instead of making yet another kind of -- possibly temporary -- union
more attractive?

AvS> Really, you can't argue issues like this on rational grounds. [...]

Indeed. I suspect there's some monetary benefit that people are seeking
the existence of which itself should be questioned in the first place.

cheers,

BM
Jul 17 '05 #41

P: n/a
> This is off-topic in a somewhat bizarre manner, and the relation with any
of the comp.lang.* newsgroups above is really hard to see ("discriminated
sums": that's a good one ;-).


.... and saying that I just wanted to make some publicity for a postdoc
position! :-)

For those that seem to question the validity of my original post (see at the
bottom of this mail):
I can assure you that the position *is* available (and that it was *not*
attributed beforehand, as
was suggested by some). Deadline for applications still is April 2nd.

Regarding the age (and other) restrictions that started the whole
discussion; these are imposed
by the institution that provides the funding.

For the record, my *personal* interest is in finding a postdoc. I don't mind
whether this
person is younger or older than 35, has a PhD from a belgian or a
non-belgian university,
is gay or straight, married or not married,... Nor do I mind whether he or
she has an inner
or outer belly button!

Regards,
Wim.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
------------------
(apologies for multiple copies)
Dear all,

I would like to announce that the department of computer
science of the University of Namur, Belgium, is seeking a
post-doctoral researcher for a one-year fellowship in the area
of

(logic-based) program development, analysis and transformation.
Candidates should not be older than 35 years and hold a PhD in
computer science (or equivalent) acquired within the past five
years at a university outside Belgium.

For more details, please contact Wim Vanhoof (wv*@info.fundp.ac.be)
or visit http://www.info.fundp.ac.be/~cri/Pos...cts/index.html
Please note the deadline for application is april 2, 2004.

Kind regards,
Wim Vanhoof.

------------------------------------------------------------
Wim Vanhoof E-mail: wv*@info.fundp.ac.be
University of Namur Tel. ++32(0)81.72.49.77
Rue Grandgagnage, 21 Fax. ++32(0)81.72.52.80
B-5000 Namur http://www.info.fundp.ac.be/~wva
Belgium
Jul 17 '05 #42

P: n/a
Marc Spitzer <ms******@optonline.net> writes:
co***@ccs.neu.edu (Richard C. Cobbe) writes:
Marc Spitzer <ms******@optonline.net> writes:
co***@ccs.neu.edu (Richard C. Cobbe) writes:

Marc Spitzer <ms******@optonline.net> writes:

Oh, brother. Here we go again. (I'm going to be awfully glad when this
issue finally goes away, although it'll probably take 30-50 years.) I'm
getting really tired of hearing the same old arguments against same-sex
marriage, especially because I haven't heard one yet that holds up under
scrutiny.

Funny I could say the same thing about pro gay marriage.
Then do. Put your money where your mouth is and explain why our
justifications for asking to be allowed to marry don't hold up. Explain
the overriding interest the state has in preventing us from marrying. The
ability to procreate doesn't cut it; see below.

Please list the arguments and I will be happy to. But could you also
post some links to the studies that show that your dilution of the meaning
of family will not harm this country. For a counter example look at France,
they have a birth rate of about 1.2 children per woman. What this means is
that the population is getting older and they will soon have 1 retired person
per person working. Can you say N++ th republic?
Ok.

- Discrimination against a group of people who are distinguished from the
rest of society, due to a factor that they themselves cannot control,
is wrong. (Social conservatives like to argue that being gay is a
choice, not an innate characteristic. While I won't rule out the
possibility for some folks, most of the gay men I know, including
myself, reject the idea that we chose to be gay.)

- The legalization of same-sex marriage will not affect an existing
straight marriage: both spouses in that marriage will still have
exactly the same rights, privileges, and responsibilities as before.

I've seen some folks argue that same-sex marriage will affect existing
straight marriages, in the case where one partner decides that he's
really gay and wants to get married to some guy he's met. I don't buy
this argument: if the husband in a straight marriage comes to the
conclusion that he's gay, the marriage is going to have problems
whether same-sex marriage is legal or not. And legal same-sex
marriages are not necessary to allow a divorce in these circumstances.

- The legalization of same-sex marriage will not make it harder for
straight couples to get married. (It is not, after all, as though we
have a limited number of marriage certificates, available only on a
first-come-first-serve basis.)

- Many gay and lesbian couples want to adopt children. Having the
stability of a legal marriage will make it significantly easier for
those couples to raise their children in a stable home environment.

- Gays and lesbians pay taxes just like everyone else. Therefore we
should be entitled to the same opportunities as everyone else.

- It is not acceptable to say that gay men can marry; they just have to
marry women instead. This is the equivalent of saying that a white man
and a black woman can't get married, even though they have fallen in
love and are building a relationship together, but that's OK, because
he can just go marry some white woman instead.

In your France `counter-example', you have done nothing to indicate that
the aging of the country and the low birth rate has anything to do with
their recent introduction of something approximating Vermont's civil
unions. As a general rule, the higher the standard of living and the level
of education in a country, the lower the birth rate, and France ranks
pretty high in both areas. Nor have you described any reason why this
should lead to the fall of their fifth republic and the introduction of a
new constitution.

For that matter, the US population is also aging, although perhaps not as
badly as France's. That, rather obviously, has *nothing* to do with
same-sex marriage rights, since Vermont's civil unions only became
available as of June 1, 2000, and our population has been aging since the
end of the baby boom, generally reckoned to be in 1965.

To summarize: there aren't any studies that prove that gay marriage will
not cause societal problems. There can't be: there hasn't been gay
marriage to study until roughly the last decade, and that's not long
enough. So any predictions that this will bring about the downfall of our
civilization are purely predictions and therefore not to be trusted.
But the whole purpose of marriage is to have kids from societies POV,
next generation and all that.
<SNIP>
First of all I am talking about groups, not individuals. And as a
class gay marriages can not produce children as a consequence of sex.
As a class straight marriages do so that class gets the protection
because as a class it perpetuates society. And your class does not so
no brass ring.
Last time, and then I'm going to let this issue drop. The claim that
procreation is the sole purpose of marriage *DOES* *NOT* *EXPLAIN* current
practice.

If you want to deal with classes of people, then please explain why
infertile heterosexual couples are grouped in the same class with fertile
heterosexual couples. It's certainly not the case that they can all have
children.

Your class definitions don't fit the rest of your logic.
No, see, I think this law would be wonderful, in the short term, as an
object lesson. Since it would almost certainly prevent many heterosexual
couples from marrying each other, and might possibly annul existing
straight marriages, it would demonstrate to a large number of people that
legally basing marriage on procreation is a bad idea. One would hope that,
after a short time of that sort of thing, the legislature or the people
would come to their senses and strike the law down.


Well you will fuck over anyone you can to get your way, how childish.
And there is a very good chance that the politicians who passed that
law would get shot and they know that. That they would get removed from
office is a given and they know that as well.


First, I'm not actively campaigning for such a law; I'm simply trying to
explain why such a law would be a bad idea. Second, if you really think
that such a law is a bad idea, then what does this do to your claim that
marriage exists only for procreation? The law under discussion would
simply make that enforceable.
And so what you do not as a gay couple bring anything to the table to
justify any special privileges.


We are not asking for special privileges. We are simply asking for the
same privileges, opportunities, and responsibilities enjoyed by everyone
else.
Again, sounds plausible, but without evidence, this is just rhetoric. Show
me the history. We've got lots of examples of societies falling apart: the
fall of the Roman Empire, various dynastic changes in China, various
dynastic changes in India, and so on. Surely you should be able to trace
at least *one* of those instances back to excessively rapid social change.


ok Japan after Commodore Perry.


That's a possibility; there's a lot I don't know about Japan in the 1890s
and 1900s. However, to support your argument, you would have to
demonstrate that the society fell apart simply because of rapid changes
forced by Commodore Perry. Further, you would also have to demonstrate
that allowing same-sex marriage represents a large enough change to cause
the deterioration of our society.

Anyway, I think that's enough of this debate. I think it's fairly clear
that I'm not going to change your mind, and you're not going to change my
mind, and there we are.

For those following along at home, my primary aim in this discussion has
*not* been to convince Mr. Spitzer that same-sex marriage is a good thing.
No, my goal has been to demonstrate to those folks who are still trying to
work out how they feel that the arguments made against same-sex marriage
don't hold water. Continuing this discussion would simply make the same
points over and over again.

Therefore, we now return you to your regularly-scheduled programming
language holy wars. Static vs. dynamic typing, anyone? :-)

Richard
Jul 17 '05 #43

P: n/a
Marc Spitzer <ms******@optonline.net> wrote in message news:<86************@bogomips.optonline.net>...
Now the court in question in this case told the legislature to come up
with a law we like or else and that is not the courts job.
No, the court told the legislature to come up with a law that is
compatible with the state and national constitutions, and that is
precisely the court's job.
But the whole purpose of marriage is to have kids


Hogwash. *Having* kids is easy -- too easy, and notwithstanding the
situation in France, people generally don't need any encouragement to
reproduce.

The hard part, the part that requires societal support, is not having
the kids but *raising* them. That's the process that the institution
of marriage is designed to support, not the biological act of
reproduction. That's why marriage is supposed to be a long-term
commitment. If the purpose of marriage were just to *have* kids
people would be getting married for nine months at a time, and we'd be
celebrating teen pregnancy and single motherhood. It's all about
raising kids, not producing them, and in that regard gays are just as
capable as anyone else (more if my gay friends are any guide).

The idea that gay marriage ought to be banned because society has a
vested interest in producing babies is absurd on its face. If it were
true, the very same argument could be used to ban the marriage of
sterile people (who as a class cannot produce babies), post-menopausal
women (who as a class cannot produce babies). It could also be used
to argue that lesbians should be allowed to marry because they as a
class can (and do) produce babies. The premise that the mere
production of babies is axiomatically a good thing leads to all sorts
of other bizzarre conclusions, like that all birth control should be
banned, and that rape is a good thing as long as it results in
pregnancy.

Finally, I can't help but wonder how many Americans who oppose gay
marriage on the grounds that we are facing an imminent shortage of
babies also support stricter enforcement of our immigration laws. I
don't have any data, but I suspect the correlation is high, because
the mindset that is required to argue against gay marriage is exactly
the same as the one you need to argue against interracial marriage.
Both positions are simply untenable on any grounds other than pure
bigotry.

Erann Gat
ga*@flownet.com
Jul 17 '05 #44

P: n/a
Thomas A. Russ <ta*@sevak.isi.edu> wrote:
+---------------
| US courts have recently ruled that the US age discrimination laws only
| prohibit discrimination against older workers. They do nothing to
| protect younger workers.
+---------------

And they do nothing to protect older workers if they coincidentally
happen to make more than younger workers. A recent (well, a year or
two ago) federal court decision ruled that a company *can* lay off
employees based on the salary they're making, as in, "O.k., people,
everybody in this division with a position lower than Director who
is making over $90K/year is outta here!" And if it just so happens
that the vast majority of the targeted group making over that trigger
amount are "older" workers? Well, tough. It's legal.
-Rob

-----
Rob Warnock <rp**@rpw3.org>
627 26th Avenue <URL:http://rpw3.org/>
San Mateo, CA 94403 (650)572-2607

Jul 17 '05 #45

P: n/a
(this post just an excuse to dump some interesting links on you, that
I've stumbled accross in the last couple of days. it doesn't get much
more off topic than this; I'm off topic and already off topic discussion)
Anyway, I think that's enough of this debate. I think it's
fairly clear that I'm not going to change your mind, and you're
not going to change my mind, and there we are.
You can't argue these things; for some reason, otherwise sane people
decide that they must stick sticks into people who wear towels on their
heads (because for some reason that gets in the way of the first group's
be-nice-to-each-other credo). Similarly, the fact that some woman in
texas doesn't use recreational chemicals is somehow justification for
incarcerating 10-15 % of black males [1] in some states. I guess the
point I'm trying to make is that if you approach this as a rational
discussion, you've already lost. You're either open minded or not.

[1] http://www.hrw.org/backgrounder/usa/race/

Personally, I'm tempted by biblical marriage, but that's just because
they've promised me virgins, polygamy, AND concubines [2] (unclear
whether the concubines were virgins, tho). However, if they don't
deliver the virgins soon, I'll be switching sides.

[2] http://www.thecommongood.org/CGN/3_3...lmarriage.html
ok Japan after Commodore Perry.


The MIT open courseware project has a fascinating [3] (but annoyingly
image heavy---accessibility advocates abandon hope ye who enter) website
on how japanese and western artists painted the same events.

[3] http://blackshipsandsamurai.com/
Therefore, we now return you to your regularly-scheduled programming
language holy wars. Static vs. dynamic typing, anyone? :-)


Kill! Burn the unbeliever!
Jul 17 '05 #46

P: n/a
Johan <jo******@SPAM.ccs.neu.PLEASE.edu> writes:
> Anyway, I think that's enough of this debate. I think it's
> fairly clear that I'm not going to change your mind, and you're
> not going to change my mind, and there we are.


You can't argue these things; for some reason, otherwise sane people
decide that they must stick sticks into people who wear towels on their
heads (because for some reason that gets in the way of the first group's
be-nice-to-each-other credo). I guess the point I'm trying to make is
that if you approach this as a rational discussion, you've already lost.
You're either open minded or not.


Yes. That's exactly what I'm trying to demonstrate here. If we can show
more people that the anti-same-sex-marriage folks are motivated primarily
by hatred, fear, and intolerance, then it becomes that much harder to pass
laws that deny us basic civil rights. In other words, give the anti-gay
folks just enough rope to hang themselves.

Richard
Jul 17 '05 #47

P: n/a
co***@ccs.neu.edu (Richard C. Cobbe) wrote in message news:<t2*************@denali.ccs.neu.edu>...

[...]

Maybe Marc indeed gave poor arguments against gay marrage, but at
least his arguments weren't religious. Some here were just trying to
misrepresent his opinion.

Here's my $0.02. Any ambiguity in the law should be amended (if there
is any). Some laws in some jurisdictions give homosexuals equal rights
(for different or ambiguous meanings of "equal"). The laws have to be
followed (without laws we have anarchy). However, what you are saying
here goes far beyond the legal argument. You are suggesting that
homosexual sex is somehow very moral and natural, and needs to be sort
of encouraged by the state by giving homosexual relationships legal
status.
Jul 17 '05 #48

P: n/a
David Fisher wrote:
co***@ccs.neu.edu (Richard C. Cobbe) wrote in message
news:<t2*************@denali.ccs.neu.edu>...

[...]

Maybe Marc indeed gave poor arguments against gay marrage, but at
least his arguments weren't religious. Some here were just trying to
misrepresent his opinion.
I must not have been paying attention. Can you please quote where this
mis-attribution was made?
You are suggesting that homosexual sex is somehow very moral and
natural, and needs to be sort of encouraged by the state by giving
homosexual relationships legal status.


Fundamentally, society either disallows something, or condones it. Our
laws are not about encouraging anything (appart from not breaking laws),
they are about prohibiting illegal things. In effect, anything not
specifically prohibited is explicitly condoned. This is part of the
fundamental rights that we take as inalienable, and I think a good thing.

Now, whether one thing or anther should be prohibited is another debate
(which we appear to have already had, ad-exhaustion) altogether.
Jul 17 '05 #49

P: n/a
Johan wrote:
{stuff deleted}
Our
laws are not about encouraging anything (appart from not breaking laws),
they are about prohibiting illegal things.

{stuff deleted}

Have you looked at the tax code recently? There are tax laws written to
encourage home ownership, sending the kids to college and all other sorts of
economic tax incentives to encourage behavior that the government feels is
advantageous.

BTW the legal system and our laws need not be logically consistent. They
fundamentally reflect the values of the society however logically
inconsistent societies view points are.
Jul 17 '05 #50

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