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Rev. Powell
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« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2010, 11:00:20 AM »


 I was listening to Mark Davis, my favorite talk radio guy, this morning, and he made some very interesting points on this issue.  I can't begin to make it as eloquent as he did, but his argument boiled down to this:

He said how we feel about the issue is completely irrelevent - or should be - to the court's ruling.  A court must base all its rulings on what the Constitution actually says.  His take was that, according to the 10th Amendment, this is purely a state matter and that the Federal government should have no jurisdiction at all in it.  The invocation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amerndment, in his opinion - and he argued his opinion very persuasively - was irrelevent to this case and baseless.  Each state creates its own marriage and divorce laws, and in this case, he said the will of the state - as expressed by the voters - should be sovereign.


Sorry, but you need to ask Mark Davis how many laws or rulings the Supreme Court has struck down citing the 10th Amendment.  The 10th Amendment is incredibly vague, is usually just interpreted as restating principles of Federalism already inherent in the structure of the Constitution, and has never had a serious role in Constitutional law.

The 14th Amendment does apply here.  If the right to marry is a fundamental right, then states cannot abridge it.  And there is a wealth of authority that the right to marry is a fundamental right.

The legal issue is this: does the right to marry only guarantee a citizen the right to enter into a marriage contract with a person of the opposite sex?  Or is that an irrational and arbitrary distinction, like the former requirement that the right to marry only guaranteed the right to marry someone of the same race? 

I think it's obvious the above question is more a philosophical one than one that has a clear cut legal answer.  I could see it going either way.  However, I would bet that the decision will be overturned by the 9th circuit court of appeals, and if not by them then by the Supreme Court.  That marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman has always been part of the definition of marriage.  Of course states are free to change that definition through legislation, but it doesn't appear to me to be the job of the courts to do so.   
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« Reply #16 on: August 06, 2010, 01:57:39 PM »

Your last comment really sums up the debate overall.  What does marriage actually mean?  I think a big part of the problem is that in order to legally recognize gay marriage, you have to not only radically change the definition of the world's oldest cultural institution, you also are setting the legal precedent that gender is irrelevent and interchangeable at the most basic level.

I'm all for equal treatment of the genders - equal pay for equal work, equal access and advancement regardless of gender, etc. - but equality does NOT mean sameness!  To say that a marriage between a man and a man is the SAME THING as marriage between a woman and a man is to say that a man and a woman ARE the same thing.  They are NOT.  God made us different - and if you don't believe in God, then just say natural selection or evolution or Great Cthulhu or whatever force shaped our natural world - MADE US DIFFERENT.  That difference cannot and should not be legislated away!  Equality, yes.  Sameness, NO!

Having homosexual marriage protected by the 14th Amendment could open all sorts of doors and windows to rampant abuse.  If homosexuality is a natural, inborn behavior, and the law recognizes it and enshrines it as such, how long before pedophiles demand similar recognition and sanction?  What next?  5' 2" guys suing to play in the NBA?  Pimply, overweight teenage boys suing to become "Hooters" girls?

Why can't we recognize that some differences exist for a reason, and that social conventions honoring those differences are not necessarily a bad thing!
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« Reply #17 on: August 06, 2010, 02:44:48 PM »

Comparing homosexuality and pedophilia is, to put it bluntly, asinine. A pedophile rapes children. Two people who love each other is much different from a pedophile. Its very easy to change the definition of marriage... its between two consenting adults.. problem solved. A gay or lesbian couple just want what you, me and every other heterosexual person has.

I value your friendship indy and I mean no disrespect when I say this... God needs to be kept out of it. The bible says a lot of things and people cherry pick what they are going to follow. That is BS. If someone is going to make laws based solely on what the bible says we should all have slaves. Times are changing, like it or not, gays and lesbians are a large segment of the population and they do not deserve to be treated like second class citizens because a book says its immoral. Gays aren't hurting anyone. Them getting married isn't going to hurt your marriage or mine.

If people really want to protect the sanctity of marriage they should outlaw divorce.  My daughter should have every right that my boys have. Because she may love someone that some members of society thinks is wrong is irrelevant. She isnt hurting anyone but I tell ya what. I cant count the number of times I have seen tears in her eyes because of hateful, so called Christians, saying horrible things about her. Now, im done with this topic. Its too close and I obviously cant keep my feelings in check.

I hope I haven't p**sed anyone off, especially you indy
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« Reply #18 on: August 06, 2010, 05:59:57 PM »


 I was listening to Mark Davis, my favorite talk radio guy, this morning, and he made some very interesting points on this issue.  I can't begin to make it as eloquent as he did, but his argument boiled down to this:

He said how we feel about the issue is completely irrelevent - or should be - to the court's ruling.  A court must base all its rulings on what the Constitution actually says.  His take was that, according to the 10th Amendment, this is purely a state matter and that the Federal government should have no jurisdiction at all in it.  The invocation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amerndment, in his opinion - and he argued his opinion very persuasively - was irrelevent to this case and baseless.  Each state creates its own marriage and divorce laws, and in this case, he said the will of the state - as expressed by the voters - should be sovereign.


Sorry, but you need to ask Mark Davis how many laws or rulings the Supreme Court has struck down citing the 10th Amendment.  The 10th Amendment is incredibly vague, is usually just interpreted as restating principles of Federalism already inherent in the structure of the Constitution, and has never had a serious role in Constitutional law.

The 14th Amendment does apply here.  If the right to marry is a fundamental right, then states cannot abridge it.  And there is a wealth of authority that the right to marry is a fundamental right.

The legal issue is this: does the right to marry only guarantee a citizen the right to enter into a marriage contract with a person of the opposite sex?  Or is that an irrational and arbitrary distinction, like the former requirement that the right to marry only guaranteed the right to marry someone of the same race? 

I think it's obvious the above question is more a philosophical one than one that has a clear cut legal answer.  I could see it going either way.  However, I would bet that the decision will be overturned by the 9th circuit court of appeals, and if not by them then by the Supreme Court.  That marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman has always been part of the definition of marriage.  Of course states are free to change that definition through legislation, but it doesn't appear to me to be the job of the courts to do so.   


As to the state's rights issue, well, what if a state's populace decided to outlaw interracial marriage? Would that be OK? I'm sure plenty of god ol' boys in alabama, louisana, mississippi, etc would love to vote on that bill.

No, it would not be because federal equal rights laws trump the rights of people in states to impose their bigotry on others.

We pay taxes on the theory that the government uses the money to serve the public and uphold their rights. If gays pay taxes they should have the same rights as others, period.

And no oennnn's "forcing" the homophobes to "accept" gay marriage. If they don't like living in a country where people can be different than them and not be persecuted, slighted, demeaned or otherwise abused for it, they can get the xxxx out of america.
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« Reply #19 on: August 06, 2010, 08:45:50 PM »


 I was listening to Mark Davis, my favorite talk radio guy, this morning, and he made some very interesting points on this issue.  I can't begin to make it as eloquent as he did, but his argument boiled down to this:

He said how we feel about the issue is completely irrelevent - or should be - to the court's ruling.  A court must base all its rulings on what the Constitution actually says.  His take was that, according to the 10th Amendment, this is purely a state matter and that the Federal government should have no jurisdiction at all in it.  The invocation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amerndment, in his opinion - and he argued his opinion very persuasively - was irrelevent to this case and baseless.  Each state creates its own marriage and divorce laws, and in this case, he said the will of the state - as expressed by the voters - should be sovereign.


Sorry, but you need to ask Mark Davis how many laws or rulings the Supreme Court has struck down citing the 10th Amendment.  The 10th Amendment is incredibly vague, is usually just interpreted as restating principles of Federalism already inherent in the structure of the Constitution, and has never had a serious role in Constitutional law.

The 14th Amendment does apply here.  If the right to marry is a fundamental right, then states cannot abridge it.  And there is a wealth of authority that the right to marry is a fundamental right.

The legal issue is this: does the right to marry only guarantee a citizen the right to enter into a marriage contract with a person of the opposite sex?  Or is that an irrational and arbitrary distinction, like the former requirement that the right to marry only guaranteed the right to marry someone of the same race? 

I think it's obvious the above question is more a philosophical one than one that has a clear cut legal answer.  I could see it going either way.  However, I would bet that the decision will be overturned by the 9th circuit court of appeals, and if not by them then by the Supreme Court.  That marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman has always been part of the definition of marriage.  Of course states are free to change that definition through legislation, but it doesn't appear to me to be the job of the courts to do so.   


As to the state's rights issue, well, what if a state's populace decided to outlaw interracial marriage? Would that be OK? I'm sure plenty of god ol' boys in alabama, louisana, mississippi, etc would love to vote on that bill.

No, it would not be because federal equal rights laws trump the rights of people in states to impose their bigotry on others.

We pay taxes on the theory that the government uses the money to serve the public and uphold their rights. If gays pay taxes they should have the same rights as others, period.

And no oennnn's "forcing" the homophobes to "accept" gay marriage. If they don't like living in a country where people can be different than them and not be persecuted, slighted, demeaned or otherwise abused for it, they can get the xxxx out of america.

You make some good points as to why recognizing good marriage might be just, or good social policy.  I'm not taking sides on the issue, I'm just explaining why, as a matter of Constitutional law, the issue is not so clear cut.

The judge's argument is that marriage is a fundamental right.  To establish something as a fundamental right in terms of constitutional law it must have been a right that has long been recognized in the common law, particularly at the time of the adoption of the constitution.  At that time no right for two people of the same sex to marry was recognized; that marriage was between a man and a woman was part of the definition of marriage.  (It is important to note that racial similarity was never part of the definition of marriage, which is why laws banning interracial marriage were unconstitutional).  That's why this judge may have trouble pinning his decision on the idea that the ban on gay marriages is unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment and I think he may well be overturned. 

Private consensual sexual activity is a recognized fundamental right since Lawrence v. Texas, and a state can't prevent same sex couples from cohabiting or having sex.  Lawrence specifically does not apply to state recognition of gay marriage, but there is a possibility that the SC could use similar reasoning to invalidate California's law.  I am betting that they would not take such a step at this time, instead leaving it to the States to decide, but with the Court moving leftward it could happen. 
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« Reply #20 on: August 08, 2010, 03:28:12 AM »

Thanks, Joe.  While antiquity and precedent should not be the sole deciding issue, I think it is foolish to completely disregard them - especially on an issue like this where the judge's ruling was clearly against the will of a majority of the people, not just in the state, but nationwide.



As far as I was aware, there is majority of support for Gay Marriage rather than against it in America.  May be wrong of course, but I know that most people I've talked to here seem to be for it [though it doesn't change the fact that gay marriage doesn't legally exist here... yet...] 

In any case, I'm glad Prop 8 was overturned.  Marriage has just as much a cultural value to western society as a religious one, and as such I think that it should be legal for any person to marry a person of their choice, as long as everyone consents!


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« Reply #21 on: August 08, 2010, 03:30:57 AM »


Having homosexual marriage protected by the 14th Amendment could open all sorts of doors and windows to rampant abuse.  If homosexuality is a natural, inborn behavior, and the law recognizes it and enshrines it as such, how long before pedophiles demand similar recognition and sanction?  What next?  5' 2" guys suing to play in the NBA?  Pimply, overweight teenage boys suing to become "Hooters" girls?


Incidentally, I don't see homosexual marriage will start cases like your last example, as there is nobody on the planet who wants to see Pimply overweight teenage boys be hooters girls...    TeddyR

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« Reply #22 on: August 08, 2010, 07:06:11 AM »

Actually, one young man filed such a lawsuit last year, I believe.  Idiot.
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« Reply #23 on: August 08, 2010, 12:41:51 PM »

3mn - you know I have loads of respect for you.  I may address some of your thoughts via PM, I don't want to drag you back into this thread against your will.


Judge Dread - I notice that nearly all your posts in this thread are confrontational to the point of rudeness.  You also seem especially eager to throw down the term "homophobe" about anyone who feels legally sanctioning gay marriage is a bad idea. Let me address something with you, to clear the air, as it were.  First of all, I am not afraid of gays.  Fear is the basic definition of "phobia".  I have worked with homosexuals, and my oldest, dearest friend is gay.  He is a frequent guest in my home and he knows that he has my love and respect; if either of us is in any kind of trouble, we can call on each other in a heartbeat. 
   I think what you find so distasteful about me is the fact that first of all, I hold to a definition of marriage that, while it has been honored by every culture in the history of the world, does not agree with yours.  My opinion does not make me a bad person.  Neither does yours make you a bad person.  Secondly, as I have never tried to hide from anyone here, I am a Christian, and I believe that the New Testament passages on sexual sin matter just as much as any of the rest of it.  I AM NO FRED PHELPS.  His hateful rantings are far more offensive to God, in my opinion, than the garden variety sexual sin that plagues so much of humanity.  But I do believe that homosexuality is A sin.  That's all.  Not some horrible sin above all others.  It's just one of many human behaviors that God finds distasteful, and would rather we avoided.
  That being said, my religious views on homosexuality are irrelevant to this debate.  The question is, should the LAW hold homosexual relationships to be the absolute equivalent of the oldest, most established social convention in the whole world, when much of human history argues against it?  I think something that ancient and time-honored should be weighed very, very carefully before being overturned.  And I definitely think that a decision so important, that will affect so many human lives and societal convention, should NEVER be decided by the whim, or even by the educated opinion, of ONE man.  That is the most anti-democratic thing imaginable.  California is one of the most liberal states in the union, but when Prop 8 was put up for a vote, a sizable majority of California's citizens accepted it.  One man should not be able to undo that.
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« Reply #24 on: August 08, 2010, 08:52:27 PM »

...California is one of the most liberal states in the union, but when Prop 8 was put up for a vote, a sizable majority of California's citizens accepted it.  One man should not be able to undo that.
California is also the state that recalled GRAY DAVIS and put ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER in the governor's office.  Let's not kid ourselves about the fickle nature of any constituency.  You're also talking about a voter majority...

The homosexual/pedophile thing... eh, you know better than to make such comparison.   So what?  You have the charity to accept a gay friend.  Your own prejudice informs your opinion, my friend. 
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« Reply #25 on: August 09, 2010, 01:15:34 AM »

When I was working at my store a guy came in and brought up a newspaper with a cover story on Prop 8 getting overturned. He pointed to the happy people in the big photo there and said, "In the Bible they would have put those people to death."

There was nothing I could say to him really. It just confirmed a couple of things I had suspected for a long time.

1) The endgame of all of this homophobia is a Holocaust on American soil. All hatred boils down to an attempt at extermination. I had to pay attention in my history classes to pass and this is what seemed to be the recurring thing that would happen again and again. First they take away a group of people's rights, then they move them apart from everyone else, then they exterminate them. The way to break this cycle is to change the way you think. Think outside of your community, your preconceptions, the bubble you live in, or your religion so that we can all have the same rights.

2) This all comes from religion. The argument always comes from the Bible. Funny how these so-called Christians quote the Bible to deny gay people rights, but ignore the teachings of Christ about tolerance and acceptance - the point of calling yourself a "Christ-ian." Because of the origin of this hatred in religion it should immediately be dismissed because of the separation of church and state in the making of policy in this country.

People say that it will somehow effect marriage if gay people get married. That doesn't work as a concept as marriage is just a concept and cannot be held in your hands. It is an intangible idea that is either a holy joining or just a legal institution depending on your perspective. When my father was married to my mother when she was alive as a child it seemed like a pretty bad thing as they fought like screaming demons. Then he eventually got married to my stepmom and they never seemed that angry and it seemed like a good thing. It is what you make it between yourself and the person you care about.

Hopefully, gay people will be allowed to get married, if not in church then in a court of law. That's all that needs to be done really for tax and financial responsibility purposes. The government should not dictate who can get married and who can't since that would make it far too big. The government should just be there to keep things running and not try to save all of our souls - whether we like it or not.
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« Reply #26 on: August 09, 2010, 01:38:25 AM »




Judge Dread - I notice that nearly all your posts in this thread are confrontational to the point of rudeness.  You also seem especially eager to throw down the term "homophobe" about anyone who feels legally sanctioning gay marriage is a bad idea. Let me address something with you, to clear the air, as it were.  First of all, I am not afraid of gays.  Fear is the basic definition of "phobia".  I have worked with homosexuals, and my oldest, dearest friend is gay.  He is a frequent guest in my home and he knows that he has my love and respect; if either of us is in any kind of trouble, we can call on each other in a heartbeat. 
   I think what you find so distasteful about me is the fact that first of all, I hold to a definition of marriage that, while it has been honored by every culture in the history of the world, does not agree with yours.  My opinion does not make me a bad person.  Neither does yours make you a bad person.  Secondly, as I have never tried to hide from anyone here, I am a Christian, and I believe that the New Testament passages on sexual sin matter just as much as any of the rest of it.  I AM NO FRED PHELPS.  His hateful rantings are far more offensive to God, in my opinion, than the garden variety sexual sin that plagues so much of humanity.  But I do believe that homosexuality is A sin.  That's all.  Not some horrible sin above all others.  It's just one of many human behaviors that God finds distasteful, and would rather we avoided.
  That being said, my religious views on homosexuality are irrelevant to this debate.  The question is, should the LAW hold homosexual relationships to be the absolute equivalent of the oldest, most established social convention in the whole world, when much of human history argues against it?  I think something that ancient and time-honored should be weighed very, very carefully before being overturned.  And I definitely think that a decision so important, that will affect so many human lives and societal convention, should NEVER be decided by the whim, or even by the educated opinion, of ONE man.  That is the most anti-democratic thing imaginable.  California is one of the most liberal states in the union, but when Prop 8 was put up for a vote, a sizable majority of California's citizens accepted it.  One man should not be able to undo that.

Well, I assume you were talking about me, judge death, and all I can say is that I do regard anyone opposing gay marriage as a homophobe. I just can't see them any other way.

 There is not one single reason to oppose gay marriage other than homophobia, whether it;s open or latent. People have challenged and challenged the anti- gay marriage bunch to show one single factual reason why gay marriage should be illegal, so show one single iota of evidence that gay marriage will do one iota of harm to anyone anywhere and they simply say It's bad!" and "It'll hurt everyone!" without one scintilla of empirical data to back it up.

They call their anti gay marriage laws "defense of marriage act" yet show no proof that gay marriage is in any way whatsoever an "attack" on marriage that requires a "defense".

They run commercials picturing gay marriage as a dark storm on the horizon and have people whimpering and sniveling "I'M SCARED!!! because of it.

 Over and over people have demanded the slightest proof that gay marriage harms anyone, outside of religious views which are not legal grounds for discrimination, and all we get is "It's bad! We don't have to explain how!"

 Since the anti gay marriage crowd can't provide one single scintilla of a reason for their anti gay marriage stance I can only presume it's based solely on religious objections or homophobia.

 If that offends, tough.
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« Reply #27 on: August 09, 2010, 05:18:35 AM »


We have an election coming up, and in the midst of campaigning a member of conservative group 'Family First' weighed in on the issue of gay marriage by proclaiming that legalising Gay marriage will legalise child abuse.

http://www.theage.com.au/technology/technology-news/family-first-candidate-wendy-francis-stands-by-gay--slur-on-twitter-20100809-11s5c.html?autostart=1


Interesting article, but I heard her talking on the radio and she kept saying it was a 'social experiment' and her ignorance annoyed the hell out of me.  Her main argument deviated to the usual about a family being a mother, father and child/children rather than two fathers/mothers, and that legitimising gay marriage was dangerous for children and will lead to child abuse. 

Pfft!  I think the evidence would point more towards being in a happy, loving home will be better for a child than specifically a male/female partnership.  Forget about single/divorced parents! Imagine the terror they must inflict!  This candidate is just a hypocrite, who shoots people down for small-minded reasons.   Hatred
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« Reply #28 on: August 09, 2010, 11:27:49 AM »


Well, I assume you were talking about me, judge death, and all I can say is that I do regard anyone opposing gay marriage as a homophobe. I just can't see them any other way.

 There is not one single reason to oppose gay marriage other than homophobia, whether it;s open or latent.

I'm undecided on the issue, actually, but as devil's advocate I can think of a nonhomophobic reason to oppose gay marriage.

The argument goes like this: certain legal benefits accrue to marriage in order to encourage people to form stable unions for rearing children.  Heterosexual unions are far more likely to engage in child-rearing duties than homosexual marriages (though some heterosexual unions are childless and some homosexual couples raise children).  If gay marriages are recognized, society will spend resources in the form of benefits to homosexual couples without gaining the same social benefits they get from recognizing heterosexual marriages. 

The only difference between a heterosexual and a homosexual marriage is the reproductive potential; but that is a key difference that can't be whitewashed.

Of course, this argument suggests that we could reorganize the legal structure by tying benefits to the presence of children in the household rather than to marital status per se.  The problem with that is we don't want to extend the same benefits to people who irresponsibly have children outside of a committed relationship, so we still need some legal status to recognize, and marriage has been around for thousands of years.

The fact is, I'm not 100% sure in principle that the state should be in the business of recognizing heterosexual marriages, as marriage is mostly a religious institution.  As a practical matter marriage is so widespread that it is useful to recognize it to streamline many common legal transactions (for purposes of inheritance, for example).   

It does seem to me that the alternative of marriage for heterosexuals and civil unions which accomplish most of the same thing for homosexuals is inoffensive, even though it smacks uncomfortably  of "separate but equal" treatment.       
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« Reply #29 on: August 09, 2010, 12:49:13 PM »

The fact is, I'm not 100% sure in principle that the state should be in the business of recognizing heterosexual marriages, as marriage is mostly a religious institution. ...It does seem to me that the alternative of marriage for heterosexuals and civil unions which accomplish most of the same thing for homosexuals is inoffensive, even though it smacks uncomfortably  of "separate but equal" treatment.       

I have often wondered why this is not presented more often as the solution, and why anyone would find it unacceptable.

Obviously many churches are not willing to accept and perform homosexual marriages.  Marriage IS largely a religious institution.   If homosexual unions are allowed by law, I'm not seeing how the whole 'separate but equal' comes into it at all: any church proceedings to do with marriage are a purely religious matter and as such not subject to civil law.  Marriages (regardless of creed) are also registered as unions in civil law separate from the 'church' proceedings.  In terms of law, all unions would be equal.  Unions also sanctioned by a church (as a 'marriage') would simply have just that: church sanction.    Big deal.  If it matters that much to be 'recognised' by/in a church one can seek one that will: certainly enough do.  Seems a non-issue to me.  Unless the point is to make all churches 'give in'.   Question

The argument goes like this: certain legal benefits accrue to marriage in order to encourage people to form stable unions for rearing children.  Heterosexual unions are far more likely to engage in child-rearing duties than homosexual marriages (though some heterosexual unions are childless and some homosexual couples raise children).  If gay marriages are recognized, society will spend resources in the form of benefits to homosexual couples without gaining the same social benefits they get from recognizing heterosexual marriages. 

Certainly all the legal benefits of marriage should and would/will apply.  I have toyed with the thought that IF this comes about, what about siblings, relatives (cousins, grandparents) or even friends who combine families under one roof (largely due to single-parenthood) in order to raise their children together in an effort to provide stability and cut costs?  Shouldn't they enjoy the same benefits?  That would only be fair.
 
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