Beyond Marriage & The Princeton Principles

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Lately I’ve fallen far short of my previous blogging pace—I’ve been using most of what free time I have outside of work and family obligations to support the Marriage Amendment (and let's be honest… the blogosphere is not the most effective way to do that given most folks here already know where they stand and need little motivation to become politically active… I am trying to reach those who may not be aware of the Marriage Amendment and may only be exposed to the $3 million misinformation campaign planned by the anti-Marriage Amendment coalition). It’ll be great to get back into the swing of things here at NOVA TH once E-Day has come and gone but I have to say it is refreshing to make phone calls and go door-to-door—meeting so many enthusiastic supporters of the amendment!

Speaking of the Marriage Amendment, I am surprised nobody has posted on this yet, but on August 17th the Weekly Standard published an article by Ryan Anderson titled “Beyond Gay Marriage: The stated goal of these prominent gay activists is no longer merely the freedom to live as they want.” This piece is relevant to the debate raging in Virginia because it highlights A) the logical extension of the warm and fuzzy No-Fault Freedom arguments being advanced by same-sex “marriage” advocates; and B) it yet again demonstrates what side can be trusted in this debate—whose claims are unsubstantiated misinformation efforts and whose are not (in this case validating some of the long mentioned concerns held by defenders of marriage).

Anderson’s article discusses the once dismissed “slippery slope” argument: if marriage, as it is currently defined (and as it has been for much of human history), is dramatically redefined (in this case via unelected judges) to no longer mean the unique union of the two complementary parts of the human organism… there will no longer be a satisfactory reason to deny similar benefits/status to a whole host of relationships beyond monogamous same-sex couples. He says:

…Gay marriage's "conservative" proponents have countered that the model of opposite-sex marriage, with its norms of monogamy, exclusivity, and permanence, could apply just as well to same-sex partners. That everything which makes a marital relationship worthwhile to heterosexual spouses, to their children, and to the state would apply to gay couples as well. Essentially, that same-sex partners want the exact same things as straight couples. And that basic fairness requires recognition of their relationships by the government.

Defenders of marriage saw through this. Scholars like Hadley Arkes and Robert P. George noted that by rejecting the grounding foundation of marriage--the unique psychosomatic unity possible only between one man and one woman in conjugal sex--the state would lose the principled basis for refusing to recognize polygamous (one man to multiple women) or even polyamorous (multiple men to multiple women, i.e. group) marriages. For pointing this out, they were called slippery-slope reasoners, scaremongers, and bigots. After all, it was said, no one seriously argues in favor of state-sanctioned polygamy or polyamory; George and Arkes were just slandering the good name and intentions of same-sex marriage activists.

It turns out that George and Arkes's points were not slanderous, but prophetic.

He goes on to discuss the” Beyond Same-Sex Marriage" statement put forward by a group (Beyond Marriage) composed of 250 “scholars, civic leaders, and LGBT activists” recently published as a full-page ad in the “New York Times.” The broad spectrum of relationships endorsed by these same-sex "marriage" activists/leaders is truly shocking:

The statement lists several examples of such relationships, among them "committed, loving households in which there is more than one conjugal partner"--that is, polygamy and polyamory. But this is mild compared to what follows: demand for the legal recognition of "queer couples who decide to jointly create and raise a child with another queer person or couple, in two households." The language is breathtaking. Queer couples (plural) who jointly create a child? And intentionally raise the child in two (queer) households? Of course, no reference is made to the child's interests or welfare under such an arrangement--only to the fulfillment of adult desires by suitable "creations."

If you don’t believe Anderson’s description, go right to the source and read the document itself! Here is a quote directly from the organization Beyond Marriage.org:

Marriage is not the only worthy form of family or relationship, and it should not be legally and economically privileged above all others. While we honor those for whom marriage is the most meaningful personal--for some, also a deeply spiritual--choice, we believe that many other kinds of kinship relationships, households, and families must also be accorded recognition.

And folks, these signatories aren’t all no-name ultra-fringe people! They include Gloria Steinem, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, etc. These are (apparently) respected leaders within the same-sex “marriage” movement.

Anderson concludes his discussion of the Beyond Marriage statement by making the point that there truly is no middle way between the demands of those wishing to radically and fundamentally redefine marriage. He says:

The stated goal of these prominent gay activists is no longer merely the freedom to live as they want. Rather, it is to force you, your family, and the state to recognize and respect their myriad choices. The result of meeting these demands will be a culture, a legal system, and a government that considers a monogamous, exclusive, permanent sexual relationship of child-bearing and child-rearing nothing more than one among many lifestyle choices.

Still think this isn’t a legitimate/real concern? Why don’t you check out the Unitarian Universalists website where they already have a “Polyamory Awareness” support group:

Polyamory Awareness: It is possible to love more than one person at a time with honesty and integrity. If your family is polyamorous or if you have questions, you are not alone. UUs for Polyamory Awareness invites you to join us in providing support, promoting education, and encouraging spiritual wholeness. Speakers available. UUPA, 2111 Lido Circle, Stockton, CA 95207, www.uupa.org.

Or check out this Fox News report on pro-polygamist teens who are rallying to “defend their families” (sound familiar?) out in Utah. Here is a statement from one activist:

"Because of our beliefs, many of our people have been incarcerated and had their basic human rights stripped of them, namely life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," said a 19-year-old identified only as Tyler. "I didn't come here today to ask for your permission to live my beliefs. I shouldn't have to."

Gee… sounds like a very familiar emotional appeal. I would love to hear a same-sex “marriage” advocate explain to me how, if some judge (and that is what is the issue with the Marriage Amendment—opponents want to leave Virginia vulnerable to judicial redefinition of marriage) rips what Anderson eloquently called “the grounding foundation of marriage--the unique psychosomatic unity possible only between one man and one woman in conjugal sex” from the definition of marriage… how do you justify denying these polygamist and polyamorist demands?

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the other aspect of Anderson’s article. He brings our attention to the Princeton Principles, a scholarly document officially titled “Marriage and the Public Good: Ten Principles.” This is document is effectively the opposite of the Beyond Marriage document and uses the best academic findings on marriage and family to verify what we already know—marriage as the union of one-man, one-woman is a unique and valuable relationship worthy of protection. Here at NOVA TH we have some regulars who don’t believe children deserve a mother and a father. They would support alternative relationships designed to deny children exactly that which is so important to their success— a mom and a dad. The Princeton Principles (and Anderson’s concluding comments) strike right at the heart of this fantasy and validate what most of us already know:

Many noted think tanks and sociologists, regardless of political persuasion, have affirmed the findings of the scholars who contributed to the Principles. The Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University and the left-of-center Brookings Institution, for example, confirmed the Principles' claims regarding child well-being. In a 2005 issue of their jointly produced journal, The Future of Children, titled, "Marriage and Child Wellbeing," the editors write in their introduction, "The articles in this volume confirm that children benefit from growing up with two married biological parents." Likewise, the left-leaning research organization Child Trends echoed these conclusions in a research brief summing up the scholarly consensus:

“Research clearly demonstrates that family structure matters for children, and the family structure that helps the most is a family headed by two-biological parents in a low-conflict marriage. Children in single-parent families, children born to unmarried mothers, and children in stepfamilies or cohabiting relationships face higher risks of poor outcomes. . . . There is thus value for children in promoting strong, stable marriages between biological parents.”

While it seems some are willing to discuss the true benefits of marriage (and the negative impact to be had in allowing some judge to radically redefine marriage) in the Virginia blogosphere… the anti-Marriage Amendment campaign has strategically chosen to circumvent the real issue (because they know they would lose) and instead toss out the same tired old red-herring voter confusion tactics we have seen in the 20 other states that have passed similar Marriage Amendments (all unmarried rights will crumble, etc) despite the lack of evidence to support their claims. Want a taste of what we’ll actually see from the well financed anti-Marriage Amendment coalition? Here is one of the unsubstantiated alarmist ads their allies are already running in Wisconsin:

Between this kind of absurd misinformation and the usual “bigot” accusations we can expect a real honest and civil discourse as November looms (note sarcasm). Hopefully the grassroots campaign to defend marriage can withstand this high-dollar misinformation onslaught. Please go to VA4Marriage to signup to help ensure we protect marriage.

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72 Comments

Jack said:

Nowhere to go but down.

Virginia has been rated the best state in the country for business (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/23/AR2006082300002.html?sub=AR).

I'm sure that when the Marriage Ammendment passes, as soon as we are not #1 any more, the libs will be blaming the Amendment for our decline.

Sophrosyne said:

Jack--

I don't doubt it. Even though there would be no connection it would be a step up because they would be talking about actual events rather than their often-claimed, never realized doomsday scenarios.

Great post, Soph. The best argument for the VMA is that once you have same sex marriage, then pretty much anything could be considered "marriage." And that is definitely where we would end up. The polyamory/polygamy movement is not going away.

Those on the left who are intellectually honest admit this:

http://www.villagevoice.com/news/0330,levine,45704,1.html

TLM said:

Wow Sophie! You managed to combine ALL of your pro-amendment campaign points into a single post. Still trying to find a message that works for you??

We too are going door to door (check out http://www.voteNoVA.org for opportunities) and find just giving the voters the full text of the amendment seems to move them to want to vote against it without much prodding from us. Imagine that.

I must say you have been busy looking far and wide for articles to "support" your rather strange points. Your work doesn't make you a bigot (your word not mine), just makes you someone I feel sorry for given such a paranoid imagination!

But why get into all that again? We need to spend our time talking to real voters. I just wish you could see beyond your fears and understand this is about legal protection of property and benefit rights between same-sex couples, not redefining marriage.

You never answer my question why we can't all co-exist with equal protection. Why must it be man-woman marriage with children or nothing?? That leaves no room for compromise, something many of us have always been willing and eager to pursue. Why must we risk our lives, homes, benefits, etc. to make your marriages safe?? Why should we trust the same activist judges you are worried about to protect our rights in a law suit from a distant, hostile family member. Especially since you don't hate us...

Jack said:

Compromise? How does one compromise his principles. Would you REQUIRE that businesses grant pension and health benefits to same-sex partners, even if it goes against the principles of the owners?

We did compromise on that, remember? Now, companies may or may not provide health benefits as it sees fit. But you're not satisfied with compromise. You want more. You want to require that companies treat same-sex couples just like they treat married couples.

It's like Israel trying to compromise with Hezbolla.

Hezbolla: "We want Israel destroyed and all your people dead."
Isreal: "OK, we'll give you half our land, and you can kill half our people."
Hezbolla: "Deal."

Five years later....

Hezbolla: "We want Israel destroyed and all your people dead."
Isreal: "OK, we'll give you half our land, and you can kill half our people."
Hezbolla: "Deal."

Five years later....

Until nothing is left of Israel.

So it was with gun control, too, until the right started fighting back.

No more compromises with sin and evil.

David said:

TLM, the answer to your question, which I doubt you will get from Sophrosyne, is at the Equality Loudoun blog. Besides which, Jack has just proved it true.

Jack, you have it exactly backwards.

The business community had to fight tooth and nail to get the GA to grant them the right to offer health insurance benefits to their own employees's families. It's the free market that "demands" fairness. Most Fortune 500 companies treat their employees fairly because it's good business.

The intent of this amendment is to roll back rights like these, if not directly through the amendment itself, then through lawsuits to challenge such legislation. The claim that this will not happen is the same one we have heard in other states, and those states are now being dragged down by lawsuits filed by anti-gay activists.

zimzo said:

Damn those gays and their fiendish desire to destroy Israel and kill us all after taking away all of our guns! Once again Jack you inject your particular brand of reason and level-headedness into the argument. Gays=Hezbollah. Even Sophie didn't think of that one.

Ah, the slippery slope argument, the hoariest and most ridiculous argument of them all. There are a few wee problems with slippery slope arguments. First of all the slippery slope argument basically concedes that the question at hand isn't really all that bad and in fact might be good, it's only what will inevitable result that's bad. Slippery slope arguments assume that the results are inevitable, whether there is any evidence of causation or not. Where does the slope begin? Where does it end and how exactly do you determine cause and effect?

Why does the slippery slope begin with gay marriage? Maybe the slippery slope actually began with Loving v. Virginia, the 1967 Supreme Court Case that overturned Virginia's laws forbidding blacks and whites from marrying. The trial judge in that case cited the Bible in his decision just as many anti-gay marriage activists do now:

"Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_v._Virginia

The Supreme Court, however, ruled "Marriage is one of the 'basic civil rights of man,' fundamental to our very existence and survival" and lawyers fighting for same-sex marriage often cite this case in their arguments. Clearly, this is where the slippery slope began, if not earlier. Inevitably, this decision, as desirable as it might have been, opened the door for same-sex marriage. Under the rules of slippery slopes, the only way we can close this window is by overturning this decision.

And where does this slippery slope, which began with that dangerous Loving v. Virginia decision, end? After opening the door to gay marriage, you argue, that will open the door not only to polygamy but to people marrying their sisters, their goats and even children! Judges will be helpless to stop it! And it won't end there. Soon people will want to marry their household appliances and when the aliens come (if they aren't already here--Jack keep that gun close by) the aliens will use our weakened marriage laws to force us to intermarry with them and create a race of human-alien hybrids. Because you see there is no stopping a slippery slope once it begins.

Some people, however, benighted as they might be, argue that society can actually evaluate about each of these cases on their own merits and examine the harm or lack of harm to society at each stage of the so-called slippery slope. I happen to think that gays can make a good argument that their marrying does not cause harm to society at large and that laws that prevent them from marrying are based on arbitrary and hoary moral beliefs. The anti-gay marriage forces need to prove that gay marriage IN AND OF ITSELF causes harm to society not only that it will LEAD to something that harms society. Then if someone wants to argue that marrying children or the family pet or multiple partners does not harm society, let them argue that. I can think of plenty or reasons why these kinds of marriages would harm society in and of themselves. I haven't seen any good arguments for why gay marriage would harm society just as I see no good arguments that miscegenation harmed society.

By the way, the article you cite does not validate the slippery slope argument. It argues for a more radical definition of government recognition of partnerships. It does not argue that recognizing gay marriage would inevitably lead to this nor does it represent what gay marriage proponents really want. In fact it is critical of gay marriage proponents for being too conservative and most gay marriage proponents would find the author's propositions radical and absurd. But she does have a point, which is that gay marriage is indeed conservative. That is what is so ironic about this whole debate. Gay marriage proponents are not arguing that we should abolish the institution of marriage and replace it with something else, they actually want to strengthen it by making it more inclusive and strengthen their own bonds by fostering responsibility and commitment. Here's a conservative case for gay marriage:

http://freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/939277/posts?page=7

The slippery slope argument resembles the old gateway drug argument, that smoking marijuana will inevitably lead to heroin addiction. I think most people see that argument is absurd. Otherwise, I bet there are quite a few junkies writing here, which, frankly, judging by the quality of some of the arguments I see here, wouldn't surprise me a bit.

Jonathan said:

I just posted a short and simple explanation of why support for the anti-gay so-called “marriage amendment” is immoral at:

http://www.equalityloudoun.org/?p=364

Simple eh?

When I went to check the URL for my post, I discovered that my busy husband just posted an entry asking why sophrosyne won't answer his questions this can be found at:

http://www.equalityloudoun.org/?p=366

How about it? Care for some dialogue or will you continue to talk past us as if we don't exist?

Jack said:

Zimzo:

You seem to be addressing me throughout your post, but the article I linked to made no mention at all of gay marriage. Perhaps you meant to address Sophie there....

Anyway, I did not say that Gays and Hezbolla are the same, only that they use the same "compromise" tactic, which is agree to a compromise, then take the compromised position as your new base position for further compromise.

The solution to the "slippery slope" is not to go all the way back to the top of the slide, but to make the slide less slick, reduce its angle of descent, and to push back. Those things we have done in the gun control arena, and Israel has done the same with Hezbolla.

Again, you misuse the word "arbitrary" in "arbitrary moral beliefs." Since they are written down in our Book of Law (the Bible), they cannot be arbitrary, which means "not fixed by rules but left to one's judgement or choice." The rules are in the Bible, so they are not arbitrary.

"I bet there are quite a few junkies writing here, which, frankly, judging by the quality of some of the arguments I see here, wouldn't surprise me a bit."

Back to the ad hominem attacks, I see.

zimzo said:

Jack, I was not addressing you in the entire post but I'm not surprised you would think I was. My line about junkies didn't actually specify any hominems but if you think for some reason it was directed at you then I'm sure you have a very good reason for thinking so.

Sophrosyne said:

Oh Zimzo... how I missed you while I was gone.

As usual you fail to even address anything challenging your world-view-- such as the Princeton Principles documents and related studies further reinforcing the obvious: children do best when not willfully denied a biological mom and a dad. But you’ve been in denial about that for many months now so I can understand why you chose to completely ignore it (among other things) and then act like there is no direct reason to support marriage as one-man and one-woman and ONLY the “slippery slope” argument. On that note it is interesting that you see the addition of one more negative related to radically redefining marriage (i.e. the slippery slope argument) as an admission that there is no other reasons supporting the pro-marriage position. There can be more than one reason to support something, right? A good example that comes to mind is saying that the Krystal Knacht in Germany was bad in-and-of itself but also contributed to a slippery slope that led to Auschwitz (and spare me any whining that I am comparing same-sex “marriage” activism to genocide… it’s just the first clear example that came to mind). Is this not an example of the slippery slope argument supplementing other reasons? I can’t believe I even need to point this out.

And your most interesting failure to address the actual post is that you didn’t (maybe b/c you can’t?) respond to the question as to how, once the core of marriage is stripped out, you can deny the polygamist and polyamorist demands? Under what rational? I am extremely curious but I won’t hold my breath waiting for an explanation.

As to your flawed attempt to try and link supporters of the Marriage Amendment to segregation and racism is, as always, absurd. Anti-miscegenation statutes were horrendous, but they did not change the definition of marriage… they only said who could not marry who. The Supreme Court rightly recognized that “the Equal Protection Clause requires the consideration of whether the classifications drawn by any statute constitute an arbitrary and invidious discrimination.”… I suppose you are suggesting that gender as irrelevant as the genetic coding for the pigmentation of one’s skin? I would contend that gender is not irrelevant and arbitrary and that there are real differences between the sexes (which a wonderful thing) and thus the union of the two complementary sexes that make up the full human organism is not equivalent or arbitrarily different from other unions. The studies in the article above bear this out in regards to raising children… having a mom and a dad is the healthiest home for a child (which would seem obvious since by design, every child MUST have a mom and a dad whether they are present or not). As Loving rightfully said, "there is patently no legitimate overriding purpose independent of invidious racial discrimination which justifies this [anti-miscegenation statues] classification." Do you honestly contend that this is the same with marriage despite all the scholarly evidence, biology, and simple common sense indicating otherwise? I don’t know about you but both my dad and mom played irreplaceable roles in my upbringing. And this is not even getting to the underlying point that the essential union of marriage and the procreation that may follow is present in inter-racial marriages while it would not be same-sex “marriages”… there is a dramatic foundational difference you ignore in your hysteric and absurd comparison.

As you can see I am pretty fired up by the spin and would love to respond to more… I guess I have gone soft in going door-to-door and making phone calls because nearly everyone I have talked to see the obvious here and are extremely enthusiastic about the Marriage Amendment. I am about to head out and do some more doors with 3 of my neighbors so that will balance things out!

I’d love to hear you actually respond to the real events/questions in the post!

Jack said:

Zimzo:

An attack can be general and still be an attack. I did not say it was directed at me, only that it was an ad hominem attack.

Jack said:

Zimzo:

Are you ever going to answer my immigration questions?

http://www.novatownhall.com/blog/2006/08/illegal_aliens_crime_and_gang.php

kevin said:

Zizmo: I'm curious to know how the judge cited the Bible in deciding that marriage between races should not be legal. I'm not challenging that he did, I'm challenging his interpretation of the Bible because I've never found that passage. But the Bible says a lot of things, I may have missed it.

"Jack, I was not addressing you in the entire post but I'm not surprised you would think I was." Really? Why so personal? What's going on?

Jack:"Since they are written down in our Book of Law (the Bible)" You do know not everyone considers the Bible their Book of Law, right? Even amongst Christians there appears to be a wide array of varying levels of respect for the laws set in the Good Book.

"It's like Israel trying to compromise with Hezbolla." What? . . .huh? Do explain further because I am soo very interested. . .

Jack said:

Kevin:

Hezbolla negotiates like liberals:

It's simple. Party A wants the value of X to be zero, and it is now 8, which is where party B likes it. So they work out a "compromise" and set the value to 4.

Then, a while later, party A comes back and says, "We want X to be 0, and it's 4 now. Let's compromise." So A and B compromise that X will be 2.

A while later still, party A comes back and says, "We want X to be 0, and it's 2 now. Let's compromise." So A and B compromise that X will be 1.


So B has compromised it's way all the way down from 8 to 1, and A still wants more "compromise."

kevin said:

Well, you can compare liberals and gays to Hezbollah if that's what you want to do, I suppose. It sort of weakens your argument. Better to stick to A and B. Both concepts of "Israel" and "Hezbollah" are so value laden that you never know what you're going to get making a comparison like that.

Both of you seem so angry that your points are suffering. Has there ever been a stalemate in a game of the dozens?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_dozens

Jack said:

The comparison of liberals and Hezbolla is appropriate. Take gun control. The liberals will not be satisfied until all guns are banned. The Brits and Australians compromized themselves down to total disarmament.

kevin said:

Um, ok. Then conservatives=Hizbollah.

Really, to compare anyone but Hez to Hez seems a little over the top.

But it's your choice.

I don't know what social ills have befallen Britain and Australia since they've been, as you put it, totally disarmed. Please do enlighten.

I do think I understand that their murder rate is not the same as ours, though I'm not sure if that has anything at all to do with a lack of guns.

I must say though that I am totally uninformed on the statistics about how gun control is ruining entire nations, thanks to the libs. Do tell.

Jack said:

The crime rates in Britain and Australia have soared.

http://www.lostmyshirt.co.uk/crime_rate.htm

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/1366727/posts

Similarly, the violent crime rates in Canada run about 2x that of the US.

Violent Crimes 2005
477/100k US
949/100k Canada

http://www40.statcan.ca/l01/cst01/legal04a.htm

http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/ucr.htm

As for the murder rate, the WHITE murder rate in the US is on par with Canada. (This is not the race of the perpetrators, but the race of the victims.) The calculations are a bit difficult, because while the US Census has Hispanic separate, the crime stats put most of the in the White category.

charles said:

I don't get the whole hezbollah thing.

A woman out west is suing to get equal protection for her non-marriage "living together" with a male, since non-married same-sex peple get special treatment.

I would note that most employers who give same-sex "couples" the employee benefits of married couples DENY those same benefits to non-married opposite-sex couples.

So when the anti-amendment folks claim that there is a radical departure from the norm in the language that would deny marriage rights to opposite-sex partners who are NOT married, they are lying, because that is already the norm, and in fact makes perfect sense, since the opposite-sex couples can GET MARRIED if they want the rights of marriage.

It's only same-sex partners, and multiple-partner relationships that need a new definition of marriage. That is the only people "threatened" by the marriage amendment.

Which of course does nothing more than provide constitutional protection to laws the anti-amendment people seem to pretend to be happy with at this moment (arguing that we don't need the amendment because the law is already doing the job).

In fact, they want to defeat the amendment so they can then get the laws reversed. That is the purpose of defeating the amendment, but they aren't saying THAT when they go door to door.

It is important that we get the truth out about the amendment and the opponents, because they are doing a good job of obfuscating.

Honestly, polygamy is a lot easier to justify than same-sex relationships. After all, there have been many times when polygamy was officially recognised, while same-sex relationships have never been much more than tolerated on the edges, except in decaying, dying civilizations.

Jack said:

Testing...

I've tried to post here twice, and failed both times.

Jack said:

Let's start with the UK which has a strict gun ban:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?
xml=/news/2002/12/01/ncrime01.xml&sSheet=/news/2002/12/01/ixhome.html


Jack said:

Now, comparing Canada to the US, Canada's violent crime rate is twice that of the US:
http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/ucr.htm
http://www40.statcan.ca/l01/cst01/legal04a.htm

As for the murder rate, the US murder rate for WHITE VICTIMS is on par with Canada's, about 2 per 100k. The numbers are difficult to get from the raw data, because the Hispanics are classified as White for the crime reports. I trust you can run the numbers yourself if you want.

Jack said:

I am sorry, I do not know why I could not post all that at once, but the system would not let me. I suspect it was choking on the links.

charles said:

Yes jack, one link max per post, I think that's the rule.....

I just got the mailing pointing me to the official legaleze-blessed description of the marriage amendment, which shoots down the so-called arguments of the anti-amendment people.

zimzo said:

Dearest Sophie:
We have been over this ground so many times before and I have answered the arguments you have raised in so many other posts that to do so agian makes me sigh with weariness. So I'll try to be brief.

1) You have never proven that a child raised by two parents of the same sex is worse off in any way than a child raised by two persons of the same sex. In fact, studies show other wise. If indeed that was truly the main reason for opposing gay marriage, then there are other things you could be doing with your time that would have more effective results such as banning divorce, banning the raising of children by single mothers and fathers, and bringing our troops home from Iraq, which has certainly wilfully denied many children the right to be raised by two parents.

2) You talk about marriage as if there has been an immutable definition of it for thousands of years. As I have already shown in other posts your "definition" of all of the supposed necessary qualities of marriage have all changed over time in Virginia law from the notion of what constitutes a relative, to what constitutes a child, to what constitutes bigamy, to who can be allowed to marry whom when they are of a different religion or race. You have not shown why the sex of the partners is any less arbitrary than their race or religion. In fact, the whole notion of what marriage means today is a very modern one. Only a century or two ago marriages were largely business contracts and the notion of romantic love was not so prevalent, much to Charles' chagrin.

3) Your notion that the sole purpose of marriage is for procreating and raising children is one that is deeply offensive to infertile couples, couples past the age of child-rearing and couples who have made their own private decision not to have children.

4) Your explanation of the "slippery slope" is simply wrong. "Kristallnacht" did not inevitably lead to the Holocaust. It was a symptom of the race hatred that allowed the Holocaust to happen. And yes, your invocation of the Holocaust here is deeply offensive and not innocent. It shows what your state of mind is very clearly. If you want to invoke Kristallnacht in such a hamhanded way, the analogy actually works better if you say that the anti-gay marriage amendment will lead to rounding up gays and putting them in concentration camps. But I wouldn't make that argument.

5) Finally, stop pretending that this amendment is to "protect" marriage, which is under no danger from gay people, when it is really just a way of attacking gays.

In the end Sophie, if polls are correct, you will probably win this battle, but the cost will not be worth it. Already, many Virginians see Republicans and conservatives as intolerant as illustrated by the plummeting poll numbers for George Allen. And greater and greater numbers of people are accepting gays so you will see yourselves on the wrong side of history if you are not already, just like the people who defended segregation and anti-miscegenation laws.

And Kevin as far as my "getting personal" with Jack, I was just making fun at his taking offense at my supposed "ad hominem" attacks. Though I must say being called a liar by Jack might fit the definition of an ad hominem attack.

Jacob Ash said:

Zim,
with regard to point 1 ...
I am not sure at this point in time there is a sufficiently large enough pool of same sex couples with children to conduct the definitive study you are looking for. Up to now many of the couples used in some of the studies have ASKED to be used in a study (which would cause most social scientists worth their salt to disqualify that family from being used).

Of the few studies that have tried to address this issue one that I am aware of (no link available, yet) compared gay couples (some self selected) with singles moms. The worth of that study in this argument is limited. In case you are wondering, in that study there was a small apparent edge to the couple over the single parent.

Now, it is an interesting argument tack you are trying. Sophrosyne is supposed 'prove' definitively that same sex couples are not as good as heterosexual couples with regard to raising children. The only way to do that is to legitimize gay marriage, and with it adoption. THEN after 10-20 years we can conduct a study. Small problem here, would such a study then cause you to reverse YOUR position? Do you think we could then reverse what would be then the law of the land, 20 years from now?

What then of the cost in human terms if it turns out that there is a decided advantage toward the traditional marriage? Should we be playing with children’s lives in pursuit of your vision of Utopia? I would contend that is incumbent upon for your side of this argument to prove the benefits of the new arrangement before we go down the path of accepting it.

“A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle,” sounded real good or funny to many 30+ years ago. Now we see the benefits of not raising children in a single parent household, and no one is laughing. Studies show that children do way better in two (hetero) parent homes than they do in single parent homes. The human cost of this experiment in social engineering has been huge. Can society take a breather before we go and play “god” with children’s lives again?

-JA

zimzo said:

Well, what you are asking to do is to prevent gay couples, most of whom do not have children, from having rights that straight couples have based on the slim possibility that there might possibly maybe be some harm to children of a minority of those couples. At the same time you propose to do nothing about something you claim actually does harm children--single parents. So how does that make any sense?

Jack said:

Charles:

While I support the Marriage Amendment, I would not put too much trust in the "official legaleze-blessed description." The anti-amendment people are concerned that the amendment will be over-interpreted against them. This fear comes from their own attempts to use the courts to get what they want, rather than the legislative process. They thus believe that the conservatives will resort to the same tactics.

Jack said:

Zimzo:

I said you lied, not that you are a liar. (The difference being the habit of lying, rather than a one-time offense.) I caught you in the untruth with numbers from the FBI. You NEVER produced numbers to support your statement. Of course, you could say, "I was wrong." Then I would accept that you were simply ill-informed, not lying.

zimzo said:

Jack, you're worse at apologizing than George Allen.

Jack said:

Zimzo:

I agree that we should do more to prevent divorce and out-of-wedlock children. One interesting point, though, is that I have read of studies that showed that children whose father had died did not have the same problems as out-of-wedlock children or children of divorcees.

As Jacob pointed out, If gay marriage and adoption are allowed, and does result in harm to society and those adopted children, we cannot give those children their childhood back, and gay marriage would be difficult to repeal, too. THAT defines a slippery slope -- one that is easy to traverse in one direction, but not in the other.

An analogy I often use is Puerto Rico. Six or seven times, Puerto Ricans have voted against becoming a State, but if the vote goes the other way just one time, it's over -- there's no going back. So it is with gay marriage. That's one of the reasons we fight it so hard.

BTW, you did not answer my questions on this topic, either: Assuming you got gay marriage in VA would you force companies to provide benefits to gay "spouses"?

I'll add another that you probably won't answer: Would you force Catholic Charities to allow gay couples to adopt children?

Jack said:

Zimzo:

I did not apologize, but you did say something that was untrue. Were you lying, or just wrong?

Jack said:

I just found and interesting article (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2090-1761776,00.html) mentioning a study of cohabitating couples that same sex couples are less stable that unmarried heterosexual couples.

This is very interesting, because one would expect that the homosexual couples would include those who would married if they were allowed to. So one would expect the gay couples to be MORE stable.

Jacob Ash said:

Zim,
"Slim possibility"? Why are you so sure it is "slim". We lack the data to make an informed judgment either way. We also lack the wisdom as a species to predetermine the outcome, either way.

As for doing "nothing" about single parenthood, in a large sense you are correct. The world is not perfect. We can never make it perfect. We lack the foresight to do so. There is a current valid solution to single parenthood; the single parent can seek to get married.

Any other solution most probably would cause more harm than good. Our attempts in the past of forcing society towards Utopia, by and large has only given us cautionary tales about hubris. Seeking to better society is a worthy goal. Seeking to impose change through undemocratic methods (the courts) has seldom worked.

Not every case is a Brown v. Board of Education; the most noteworthy element of this case was the country’s affirmation of the decision in the civil rights acts in the early 60’s. Trying to impose this template upon all controversies through the dishonest practice of “judge-shopping” has frankly undermined the high regard the courts were held in 40 years ago. Today, the courts have been politicized; much to our loss as a nation.

It is this very practice of looking for sympathetic judges is what has lead to people no longer enacting laws but amendments to constitutions. Thus making it impossible for a any judge to veto the will of the people. It is by these amendments that balance will be restored, for the judges have frankly overreached.

-JA

Jack said:

Jacob:

I must disagree on a couple points. The proper solution is not amendments. Each amendment deals with a particular symptom, and so each may be good in itself, but they do not cure the problem of the judges.

The solution is that, when a judge consistently ignores the clear meaning of the law and the Constitution (either federal or state), then that judge should be impeached.

As for single parenthood -- it is certainly bad. Unfortunately, often the single parent out trying to get a spouse is further neglecting the children. Even worse, a female child such as A.F. is much more likely to be abused by her mother's new husband or boyfriend than by anyone else.

David said:

Sophrosyne, you still haven't answered my questions. They shouldn't be too difficult.

http://www.equalityloudoun.org/?p=366

Jack said:

I answered them, David. Happy now?

Will you please answer the questions Zimzo won't:

1) Assuming you got gay marriage in VA would you force companies to provide benefits to gay "spouses"?

2) Would you force Catholic Charities to allow gay couples to adopt children?

Thanks in advance.

zimzo said:

Jacob:
I find it highly ironic that conservatives are always complaining about the "nanny" state and government butting into people's lives and then they pass laws like the Internet Child Protection Act that seeks to limit adults' access to the Internet on the offhand chance that children might be endangered or pass anti-gay laws to "protect the children" although we know that this particular amendment is not going to guarantee that a single child is going to have the "right" to be raised by a mother and father. All it will do is penalize children who have gay parents. The only reason Sophie even brings up this fallacious justification for the amendment is to cover up the real intent behind it, which is to punish gays because she doesn't happen to like their lifestyle.

And quit with the politicizing judges routine. After Gore v. Bush no one believes that the right-wing wants to take politics out of the judiciary.

Jack said:

Zimzo:

Yes, there are some "big-government" conservatives out there. In the case of the Marriage Amendment, of course, it is being voted on by the people, as in a democracy.

On the liberal side, I find it quite odd that the people who profess not to trust the police and the government want only the police and the government to have guns.

The Supremes have made some bad decisions in the past. Dred Scott and Roe come to mind. I have yet to decide on Gore v. Bush decision, but clearly the Florida Supreme Court made a bad decision. The proper solution was for the Florida legislature to assemble and vote to send its electors for Bush.

Jack said:

Zimzo:

Did you agree with the N.J. Supreme Court's decision to allow Lautenberg to replace Torricelli on the ballot for Senate?

David said:

Thank you, Jack. I appreciate your honesty.

1) Companies are expected to follow the rule of law. If marriage was legally recognized for same sex couples, that answers the question. A business owner might personally object to interracial or inter-religious marriages, but they don't get to pick and choose which marriages to recognize for the purposes of providing benefits. Do you mean to suggest with this question that anyone should be above the law?

2) I would expect ANY agency providing adoption services to operate according to one criterion: The best interests of children. That determination must be made according to the best empirical data available, not a pre-determined ideology.

What many people don't know about the Catholic Charities issue is that Boston Catholic Charities was using that criterion, and was choosing to approve gay and lesbian adoptive homes before the Diocese ordered them to stop. The social workers were doing their best to find the best homes for kids, which is their mission. So it was in fact the Diocese that "forced" the agency to change their policy.

Can you justify using a criterion other than the best interest of children in providing adoption services?

David said:

I should add that I'm not exactly "happy," because Sophrosyne has still not answered the primary question I asked.

Still waiting.

Jack said:

David:

And I thank YOU, but I still wish I could get answers out of Zimzo. :-)

1) You will force companies to support arragements the owners find morally reprehensible. That's what I thought.

2) What empirical data did the Boston chapter of the Catholic Charities use in deciding to place a child with a gay couple?

Soph is traveling this weekend and likely won't be answering or not-answering anything until next week, FYI.

Jacob Ash said:

Jack,
While turning laws into amendments is distasteful, how does one provide a work around for the issue of judge shopping? There are many instances of a priest-in-black blithely declaring something unconstitutional and stopping many popular initiatives dead in their tracks, or, foisting upon the public something unpopular that would never pass popular muster. What I notice is that the political association of the judge is a better indicator of the law’s constitutionality than the law itself.

Zim,

I find it highly ironic that liberals are always reading the minds of conservatives with such pinpoint accuracy. How do you know what is motivating Sophie? Stop putting words into her mouth. Unless you can prove to me that you are telepathic by telling me the color of the shirt I am wearing stop telling me what the intentions of others are, it’s a waste of time. Only someone of god like ability knows the intentions of others. I often am wrong about the intentions of my children, how can you be so cock sure of Sophie’s or my intentions? Do you think you are god like?

I find it even more ironic that you think that you are making a real argument by attacking the intentions of others. How does ones intention’s impact the merit of one’s printed words, and the logic behind those words? Killing the messenger does not address the message.

With respect to Gore v. Bush you are hilarious. First of all one anecdotal case does not a trend make. Second I will concede that both sides of the political spectrum have engaged in this behavior, but, I insist that both sides doing it, does not make it right. The end result is that the legislative branch of government has had its power diminished. The judicial branch is verging on being totally out of control. Considering that most judges (not all) are appointed and not voted in, the result is we have people on the bench who answer to no one and who also are unrestrained in the usage of their power.

We both can point to what we consider to be bad judgments sir. The issue is not left or right, but judicial v. legislative. When faced with a capricious judiciary, a possible recourse of the legislative branch is to amend constitutions in lieu of passing laws. The law this amendment is supposed to replace is damn near identical the worry of those who support the amendment is that some judge will suddenly find the law unconstitutional.
-AJ

Jonathan said:

Jacob says: "Only someone of god like ability knows the intentions of others."

Please tell all of the anti-gay activists you work with who do not have "god like abilities" to drop the use of the term "homosexual agenda". You have some scrubbing to do on this site.

Gnossis said:

AJ (Ash, Jacob?):
"How [do one's] intentions impact the merit of one’s printed words, and the logic behind those words? Killing the messenger does not address the message."

Ah yes, the ad hominem attack (one of Jack's favorite gripes). I guess you weren't yet contributing here when Joe was debunking theories of global warming due to Al Gore's use of private jets: http://www.novatownhall.com/blog/2006/07/al_gore_in_sterling.php

And if you're going to accuse Zimzo of acting omnipotent, why not call out Soph on statements like this one above:
"Here at NOVA TH we have some regulars who don’t believe children deserve a mother and a father."

I'm sure if you scour the (e-)paper trail of comments on this and other topics on this blog you'll find instances where just about everyone here has deigned to "know" his/her interlocutor's thoughts.

I, for one, am definitely god-like. My dog absolutely worships me.

Happy Friday.

Gnossis: whether ye be god or man, you are putting words into my mouth. I was not debunking global warming DUE TO Gore's ridiculous double standard. I was pointing out the double standard as possible evidence Al doesn't believe in everything he's telling others to do. I also don't believe in the global warming stuff, but not as a result of anything Al did.

Plus, I find Al genuinely amusing. I wanted to ask, "You cannot actually believe all this crap, do you?" and see if I could detect a twinkle of camaraderie in his eye, or perhaps a reassuring wink. Unfortunately I did not get the chance.

Jacob Ash said:

Gnossis,
Ouch! (Darn!) I more than see your point here. While I do agree with you I am not responsible for the attempts at mind reading by others regardless of veiw point. I do not support human based omniscience. If I ever engage in this behavior please feel free to hoist up high on this petard. I will eat crow at that point I promise you. Well put Gnossis!

-AJ

Jacob Ash said:

Gnossis,
I am still new here and my trail is as yet short. please do find instances of me engaging in being a mind reader. I really find it to be a useless activity. If I have engaged in such let me know.

As for your Dog, please get me on the phone with him so I may disabuse him of his silly notions regarding your deity. You abviously must be brain washing and oppressing the poor animal. Let me guess, dog bones and chew toys, you fiend!

-AJ

we should all be very aware of what David just admitted above.

Those who claim that the marriage amendment will hurt business have not read it very carefully. The opposite is more likely.

1 - it doesn't change existing law. period. existing law does not affect the ability of private enterprises to offer domestic partner benefits as they choose. Neither will the amendment. according to the amendment, it is government which cannot give same-sex relationships the legal recognition that it gives to marriage. Business may do as it pleases. So may religious institutions or non-profit orgs. Thus, hyperbole about VA losing business over this amendment is just that - another red herring.

2 - if the amendment does not pass, businesses, especially small businesses, are very likely to be hurt. some judge somewhere will repeat the MA debacle and force same-sex marriage on the Commonwealth. Then every business will be forced to treat "married" same sex couples like opposite sex married couples because there will be no legal difference.

Consequence A: this will increase insurance costs dramatically, because the significantly greater break-up and infidelity rate in same-sex relationships leads to a higher sexually transmitted disease rate for these individuals.

I'm not saying there is no such thing as a monogamous same-sex relationship, but studies show that, on average, those who practice homosexual behavior change partners more frequently and have multiple parners more often than average heterosexual couples, let alone heterosexual spouses. And we all know that your number of partners is one of the greatest indicators of your STD risk.

And, insurance companies will charge businesses more for insurance under these conditions because they must cover their costs for treatment and hospitalization. some may go out of business, others may quit offering health benefits, and others may have to lay off employees.

Also, there could be convenience marriages between same-sex people who co-habit but are not sexual with each other.

Consequence B - Eventually co-habitating opposite sex couples will sue for the same "rights" that same-sex couples would then have. And who could argue with them?

Consequence C - back to the slippery slope, and calling it ridiculous doesn't make it so: what happens when a threesome wants to get married? why should two be the logical stopping point if the only social grounding for recognizing a relationship is that you are consenting adults? some bring up the LOVING decision but there is a logical break in the chain that separates such a slippery slope fallacy from the slippery slope argument that we are making. Saying that a man and woman whose skin pigmentation varies can marry each other under the same conditions as a man and woman whose pigmentation does not vary to the same degree is not only morally right but QUALITATIVELY different from saying that same-sex individuals can marry each other.

Jacob Ash said:

Gnossis,
Its JA, I am sloppy in my typing and a little dyslexic.

-JA

Jacob Ash said:

Jonathon,
'homosexual agenda' is an ad hominem attack linked to mind reading? What is the appropo term for the GLBT community getting politcally active w.r.t. any issue? Gnossis got it write, you are just getting PC.

-JA

Jack said:

Jacob:

Sorry, had to work. :-(

"While turning laws into amendments is distasteful, how does one provide a work around for the issue of judge shopping?"

By impeaching the judges as they need to be impeached. I'm not saying we should not be working on these amendments to head-off the judges, only that we ALSO need to start impeaching some judges, so that we don't have to keep passing amendments.

Jacob Ash said:

Jack,
Your solution is the best theoretical one available. The problem is it would NEVER happen in reality. The political cowards would melt away under the harsh glare of the media. Maybe this ammendment might wake everyone up to the fact we are living with an imperial judiciary.

-JA

Jack said:

Then I suppose the first step is to stop electing cowards.

Jonathan said:

Jacob Ashs says:

"'homosexual agenda' is an ad hominem attack linked to mind reading?...Gnossis got it write, you are just getting PC"

Write [right]??? ;-)

Gnossis yoused [used] the term ad-hominem, not me. I asked you to drop the term "homosexual agenda". By definition, ascribing an agenda to an individual ascribes intentions. By [Buy] me lunch Jacob?

"...you are just getting PC" Intentions again? Lunch squared.

Welcome aboard Loudoun Conservative.

David said:

Jack said:

"1) You will force companies to support arragements the owners find morally reprehensible. That's what I thought."

Nice reframing, but I don't have that much power. Your premise, IIRC, was that same sex marriage was legally recognized. Again, are you saying that the personal views of a business owner place them above the law? If an Orthodox Jew finds intermarriage objectionable, are you saying that they, as a business owner, should have the right to deny the usual benefits of employment to such families? I can't believe you're serious about this.

"2) What empirical data did the Boston chapter of the Catholic Charities use in deciding to place a child with a gay couple?"

The consensus of professionals in the field is that gay people make perfectly fine parents, not to put too fine a point on it. Not only that, but gay people are disproportionately able and willing to provide homes to special needs and otherwise hard to place children. Placing such children was something of a specialty for Boston Catholic Charities.

See http://www.equalityloudoun.org/?p=302

for more on that controversy and the inaccurate presentation of it by the anti-gay right, as part of the larger issue of religious liberty.

The consensus policy positions on adoption are linked from our site as well, but I will have to give you those in another comment.

David said:

You can find links to the major professional associations' policy statements on parenting and adoption here:

http://www.equalityloudoun.org/?p=331

David said:

Loudoun Conservative has some things to learn about making unsubstantiated statements.

When the numbers are crunched, it costs considerably less to treat everyone fairly. Most Fortune 500 companies CHOOSE to offer domestic partner benefits to their employees. They don't do this out of the goodness of their hearts, they do it because it makes good business sense. That's why the business community is speaking out against the amendment. It will impair their ability to attract and retain the best employees. Virginia already lost the APA convention, worth about 1M, exactly because of this nonsense. Of course discriminating against people is bad for business.

No, the amendment will not DIRECTLY prohibit private firms from conducting their business as they see fit, but the amendment is only the first step. Yes, we can make an assessment of intent from previous legislation, and so can business leaders.

Finally, regarding your stream of garbage about "multiple sexual partners" and whatnot - this is nothing but an ignorant smear of decent, contributing members of this community. You can't provide a shred of support for these statements that won't be laughed off this board the way Paul Cameron and Dick Black were laughed out of the Senate.

Jack said:

David:

1) "Your premise, IIRC, was that same sex marriage was legally recognized. Again, are you saying that the personal views of a business owner place them above the law? If an Orthodox Jew finds intermarriage objectionable, are you saying that they, as a business owner, should have the right to deny the usual benefits of employment to such families? I can't believe you're serious about this."

I AM serious about this. If the employees don't like it, they are free to do work somewhere else. If you as a consumer have a problem with it, you can do your business elsewhere. That's called "freedom." Find me something in the Constitution against that.

2) "The consensus of professionals in the field is that gay people make perfectly fine parents, not to put too fine a point on it."

I read every one of the links, not a singe one offered even one link to an empircal study. Consensus is not empirical evidence, which was YOUR criterion. Where is the IMPERICAL evidence?

"No, the amendment will not DIRECTLY prohibit private firms from conducting their business as they see fit..."

But that is EXACTLY what you want to do -- force companies to give you benefits they may not want to give you. Just get a job with a company that gives you the benefits you want. That's called "competition." If it's bad for business, that business will go OUT of business.

Jacob Ash said:

Jonathon,
Your demanding I not use a given phrase is an action. I do need any divination skills in this regard. The action is a demand for politically correct speech in this case refrain from using a given phrase 'homosexual agenda'.

Please note that Gnossis sited "Here at NOVA TH we have some regulars who don’t believe children deserve a mother and a father." The quoate he sites is blatantly speculative w.r.t. the beliefs of some of the commentators.

I maintain that I am simply characterizing what you said, not what you thought. If I where to add to my original comment "you are just getting PC, you seek to brow beat me into silence, you do not beleive in the 1st ammendment do you?" then I would be entering into the of the omniscient telepath. Do you see the difference now?

As for lunch, one day. This is a tough ideal to maintain. But I feel it IS worth the try. By stuffing words into your opponents mouth you only wind up shadow boxing. Which is about as useful as talking to yourself while drivng.

-JA

Jonathan said:

Did I forget to say please?

Jacob Ash said:

Jonathon,
Only if you put sugar on it
-JA

Jonathan said:

Seriously Jacob, you agreed not to ascribe motivations to people commenting on the blog:

"I am still new here and my trail is as yet short. please do find instances of me engaging in being a mind reader. I really find it to be a useless activity. If I have engaged in such let me know."

You see how the mainstream press labels our political work (http://www.leesburg2day.com/current.cfm?catid=17&newsid=12418) and if you go to the Equality Loudoun "About" page, you will see our mission statement. There is no mention of an agenda.

Can you explain what the "homosexual agenda" is? If you are to continue to use the phrase in spite of a polite and good-faith request not to, you owe your guests an operational definition.

zimzo said:

I, too, would be very interested to know why it is wrong of me to ascribe an agenda to an individual based on what she has written while you are able to ascribe an agenda to an entire group of people.

Jack said:

Zimzo:

Perhaps it is wrong of you because you are always wrong.

A.D. Hominem said:

You all are giving me a bad name. The proper form for the attack always begins: "You, my friend, are an idiot, and I perceive your agenda is such-and-such" where "such and such" is the most outlandish thing you can imagine.

THAT'S how it's done. If you can't get that right, please stay out of my territory.

Jacob Ash said:

AD,
I bow to your expertise. Would a simple yearly fee allow me a hunting permit and the right to venture into your turf?

-JA

A.D. Hominem said:

Your terms are acceptable to me. I shall require the going rate for a copy of "Whistleblower" magazine, as described here:

http://shop.wnd.com/store/item.asp?ITEM_ID=108

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