Commentary: The Gay Agenda

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gay-marriage-badgeIt seems a number of people, in arguing against marriage equality, believe there is a broader agenda at work here.  Leaving aside the untenable logic of the claim that you might oppose a reasonable reform because you fear the next reform will be less than reasonable, I think marriage equality has taken on a symbolic importance in the broader movement toward civil rights for all.

While I believe marriage equality is an important step, as it begins to equalize critical institutions, and gives same-sex partnerships the same legal status of protection that others enjoy, at the same time I believe it might not even be the most important of changes still to be achieved.

Late in 2012, the FBI released their report on hate crimes statistics for 2011 that showed, while hate crimes for racial bias continue to dominate with 46.9% of 6216 single-bias hate crime incidents in 2011, sexual orientation bias grew from 19.3 percent of all bias incidents to 20.8%, passing up religious bias.

And while all hate crime incidents were down in 2011 over 2010, the absolute number of hate crimes increased (by only 16) for sexual orientation bias.

“The 2011 FBI hate crimes data is a sad reminder that even as we make great strides toward equality under the law, LGBT people face dangers in America,” Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin said in a statement. “We must rid our country of the violence that has devastated our community for far too long.”

That issue came slamming home for Davis residents early last month when Mikey Partida was viciously attacked by Clayton Garzon, with Mr. Garzon yelling the “f-word” as he badly beat Mr. Garzon, leaving him with head injuries, resulting in a brief hospitalization.  Mr. Garzon is now being charged with a hate crime enhancement on the three key charges against him.

hate-crime-statistics

The Vanguard received hate crime data over the last five years from the city of Davis.  And while this is not a frequent occurrence, the number of hate crimes peaked in 2010 and 2011 in this period and fell markedly in 2012.  But there have already been two hate crimes in the city of Davis this year, and both of them involved sexual orientation issues.

But if there is a gay agenda, it is not limited to the issue of hate crimes.

There is the related issue of bullying.  Some studies show that “about one fourth of all students from elementary age through high school are the victims of bullying and harassment while on school property because of their race, ethnicity, gender, disability, religion or sexual orientation.”

In a 2005 study about gay bullying, teens reported that the top reason for the bullying was appearance, followed by their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender expression.

Bullying issues also lead to another frequent problem – suicide and suicide attempts.

A 2011 study published by Dr. Mark Hatzenbuehler in Pediatrics conducted a study “to determine whether the social environment surrounding lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth may contribute to their higher rates of suicide attempts, controlling for individual-level risk factors.”

Dr. Hatzenbuehler found, “Lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth were significantly more likely to attempt suicide in the previous 12 months, compared with heterosexuals (21.5% vs 4.2%).”

Important for those interested in intervention: “Among lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth, the risk of attempting suicide was 20% greater in unsupportive environments compared to supportive environments. A more supportive social environment was significantly associated with fewer suicide attempts, controlling for sociodemographic variables and multiple risk factors for suicide attempts, including depressive symptoms, binge drinking, peer victimization, and physical abuse by an adult (odds ratio: 0.97 [95% confidence interval: 0.96-0.99]).”

He concludes, “This study documents an association between an objective measure of the social environment and suicide attempts among lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth. The social environment appears to confer risk for suicide attempts over and above individual-level risk factors. These results have important implications for the development of policies and interventions to reduce sexual orientation-related disparities in suicide attempts.”

There are even groups and churches that actually practice trying to “undo” a person being gay.  I do not even have words to express my thoughts on this other than to suggest that Christians look themselves in the mirror and ask the simple question: is this what Jesus would do?

Despite the fact that Jesus taught to love the sinner while hating the sin, and despite the fact that everyone commits multiple sins on a regular basis, somehow there is a culture that has taught people to put one sin over another, to ignore the plank in their own eyes, to allow he who is without sin to cast the first stone.

So, yes, there is work to be done on fronts other than marriage equality.   As we have reported, the tide has turned in this country on marriage equality, but clearly a broader-based human rights agenda needs to address these types of problems that persist.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

*** The story of April Chadwell was removed, due to the fact that we believe it was a hoax

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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80 thoughts on “Commentary: The Gay Agenda”

  1. SouthofDavis

    David wrote:

    > It seems a number of people in arguing
    > against marriage equality

    I think that it is a small group that does not want “equality” but a large group that does not want the definition of the word “marriage” (and “husband” and “wife”) changed.

    I have gay friends that just love to refer to their boyfriend/domestic partner/lover as their “husband” knowing it drives people nuts (just like the “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence” and “Davis Bike Church” knew giving everyone religious names drove people nuts.

    If gays just wanted “equality” (and did not want to F with people like the “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence” and (now renamed) “Davis Bike Church”) they could easily get “domestic partner” laws that would give them everything but the right to use the term “married” in legal documents (they could still use it all day with friends and anyone else)…

    P.S. Just think how much harder it would have been for blacks to get “equality” if they wanted equal rights “and” make the government call them “white” on all legal documents…

  2. David M. Greenwald

    “I have gay friends that just love to refer to their boyfriend/domestic partner/lover as their “husband” knowing it drives people nuts”

    That’s a form of passive defiance, it doesn’t negate the fact that they would prefer to be able to legally marry.

    “Just think how much harder it would have been for blacks to get “equality” if they wanted equal rights “and” make the government call them “white” on all legal documents… “

    They aren’t asking to be called “straight” they are asking for the ability to marry legally.

  3. SouthofDavis

    David wrote:

    > They aren’t asking to be called “straight” they are
    > asking for the ability to marry legally.

    and change the meaning of the word “marriage”…

    We all know that there are religious nut balls that don’t like gays, but most of the people that have voted against it (in congress and the over half of the states where it has been on the ballot) just don’t want a change in the (~2,000 year plus)definition of marriage…

  4. hpierce

    I would propose that the government ONLY recognize “civil unions”, be they ‘straight’ or ‘gay’ (another two words “co-opted” by ‘the movement’). All the rights re: taxes, property rights, dissolution of unions, medical rights, etc., would be equal for all. Then the communities of faith, agnostics, atheists, nihilists, etc. could define “marriage” as they wish, but no group would have to accept the others’ definition, and the government would, rightfully, not care.

  5. David M. Greenwald

    “and change the meaning of the word “marriage”…”

    No it doesn’t change the meaning of the word, it changes what is covered under the meeting of the word. At one point marriage was limited to people of the same race. Allowing blacks and whites to marry didn’t change the meaning of the word, it changed the universe of who could marry.

  6. Mark West

    SOD: “just don’t want a change in the (~2,000 year plus)definition of marriage…”

    You mean the definition where women are chattel and a man can sell his daughter for a few acres and a goat and call it a ‘good marriage?’

    I didn’t think so.

    I agree with hpierce. Civil Union equality for all and get the government out of the marriage business.

  7. Mark West

    DP: I am not compromising. The government has defined marriage, and provided a legal benefit to those who are married. That benefit and definition should be available to any two-adult couple regardless of gender, or on the contrary, not allowed to any. I have been married for nearly 29 years. Why should my union provide me a legal benefit that two men, or two women cannot have? As long as the government recognizes ‘marriage’, than any two consenting adults should be allowed to marry in the eyes of the law. Calling those ‘other’ couple arrangements ‘Civil Unions’ is not equality.

    Marriage is both a religious rite, and a civil right. Each religion has the right to regulate their rite as they choose. In terms of the law however there should be no distinction between marriage and civil union, by degree of benefit, or by name. I don’t care which name is chosen, marriage, civil union, or something else, just as long as the same title is used for all.

  8. Growth Izzue

    [quote]As long as the government recognizes ‘marriage’, than any two consenting adults should be allowed to marry in the eyes of the law.[/quote]

    Why just two? There are many who believe that more than two adults should be allowed to marry. Why aren’t their civil and religious rites being considered?

  9. Frankly

    [i]I would propose that the government ONLY recognize “civil unions”, be they ‘straight’ or ‘gay’ (another two words “co-opted” by ‘the movement’). All the rights re: taxes, property rights, dissolution of unions, medical rights, etc., would be equal for all. Then the communities of faith, agnostics, atheists, nihilists, etc. could define “marriage” as they wish, but no group would have to accept the others’ definition, and the government would, rightfully, not care.[/i]

    I agree 100% with this, but it will not satisfy the gay rights activists. And because it will not satisfy them, it becomes clear that there is a larger agenda. And, that larger agenda is boundless and perpetual. Gay right activists will demand that gays are treated differently while they also demand that they are treated the same. They would destroy social structures and entities that refuse this schizophrenic dual demand rather than accept any logical and reasonable alternative. Gay marriage isn’t about eliminating material harm from bias, it primarily serves the agenda of gay rights activists to force others to bow down in defeat so that gays and gay rights activists can feel powerful and accepted.

    Freedom of association and religious freedom are key tenants of our founding and ongoing principles. I agree that we should eliminate the word marriage and all its derivatives from any and all government language. Civil unions for all! However, with respect to culture and religion, private people and private entities that view gay marriage and traditional marriage as separate and believe that they should remain separate, should be left alone with these views and beliefs as long as they do not cause gays any material harm.

    Note to gays, I am not responsible for your happiness. I am only responsible for not causing you material harm. As long as I am not causing you any material harm, please go away and leave me alone and I too will leave you alone.

  10. SouthofDavis

    As hpierce proposes “that the government ONLY recognize “civil unions” is a great idea that will probably never happen…

    Unfortunately BOTH the right and left love the controversy (and fundraising opportunities) that naming issues bring:

    The government would avoid a lot of problems if it just refers to ALL people as Citizens and Non-Citizens.

    We would not have to worry about:

    “handicapped” people suing to be called “handicabable”…

    “illegal aliens” wanting to be called “undocumented workers”…

    “the current “white” senator from MA wanting to be a “person of color”…

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2012/09/27/the-fight-over-elizabeth-warrens-heritage-explained/

    “the “white” wife of the former senator from MA wanting to be “African American”…

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1085273/posts

    Unfortunately putting people in to little boxes (like “handicapped gay person of color” or “straight Christian hunter”) is a game that the political parties play to give special rights to groups in order to get more money and votes.

    I have a dream that someday EVERY citizen in America has the EXACT SAME rights in the eyes of the government…

  11. eagle eye

    Ditto Frankly’s last paragraph.

    There’s a lot of reverse discrimination that occurs: gay men, in particular, discriminating against straight women. This has a long history – e.g., drag queen parodies of women.

    Conversion therapy isn’t a bad thing: Molested young men need to know that they don’t have to be gay just because a gay guy abused them.

  12. biddlin

    Simply abolish civil marriage and any benefit appertaining thereto.That is the only way to satisfy the constitution and the religious homophobes .

  13. Frankly

    [i]I have a dream that someday EVERY citizen in America has the EXACT SAME rights in the eyes of the government…[/i]

    SOD, I agree with this, but you need to take it one step farther. It is not just in the eyes of the government because that is the nebulous perspective that causes so much trouble. When the government tries to see into and control so much of our private lives, there is were we have the conflict. Activists exploit this tendency of politicians and the judicial to constantly overreach attempting to engineer society to something they see as being better. It is simply not enough that gays can create their own boy scouts type organization, instead we get this constant pounding to force the existing Boy Scouts to accept gays. The justification for this type of government behavior is exactly what you suggest… that every citizen has the same rights. What has happened is that the left has conflated rights with outcomes, and in doing so they have developed a method for taking rights away from others in one group, so that outcomes improve for another more favored group. And if they cannot get that done, they will then start working to destroy the less-favored group.

  14. David M. Greenwald

    “And because it will not satisfy them, it becomes clear that there is a larger agenda.”

    I laid out what the larger agenda is – it won’t satisfy them because you are creating a second class status to accommodate them.

  15. David M. Greenwald

    Some info:

    [quote]The American Psychiatric Association’s official web site notes that: “There is no published scientific evidence supporting the efficacy of ‘reparative therapy’ as a treatment to change one�s sexual orientation, nor is it included in the APA’s Task Force Report, Treatments of Psychiatric Disorders. More importantly, altering sexual orientation is not an appropriate goal of psychiatric treatment. Some may seek conversion to heterosexuality because of the difficulties that they encounter as a member of a stigmatized group. Clinical experience indicates that those who have integrated their sexual orientation into a positive sense of self function at a healthier psychological level than those who have not. ‘Gay affirmative psychotherapy’ may be helpful in the coming out process, fostering a positive psychological development and overcoming the effects of stigmatization. A position statement adopted by the Board in December 1998 said: The American Psychiatric Association opposes any psychiatric treatment, such as ‘reparative’ or ‘conversion’ therapy, which is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder, or based upon a prior assumption that the patient should change his/ her homosexual orientation.'” [/quote]

  16. wdf1

    Frankly: [i]It is simply not enough that gays can create their own boy scouts type organization, instead we get this constant pounding to force the existing Boy Scouts to accept gays.[/i]

    If you accept that homosexuality is a choice, then yes, it seems like an unfair proposition to have someone else’s choice forced upon your view of the world. But if you accept that homosexuality is not a choice, but a natural consequence that is not changed any more than autism or eye-color, then discriminating against homosexuals is just as barbaric and backwards as discriminating against someone based on race. Societal norms will probably force churches and the boys scouts to accept gays, because it’s increasingly uncomfortable to be associated with an organization that discriminates like that.

    That constant pounding that you describe is the shift in societal norms.

  17. Frankly

    [i]I laid out what the larger agenda is – it won’t satisfy them because you are creating a second class status to accommodate them.[/i]

    Who said they are second class? Who said civil unions with equal protection are second class? Define second class. How about just “different”? What is wrong with being different?

    I think the “second class” comment is telling because it provide a window into the agenda. But keep in mind that social engineering does not cure personal insecurity and unhappiness. If you feel second class over a label, then maybe personal psychological counseling IS in order.

    Let’s project 10 years from now… two families standing next to each other before being seating for a school orientation meeting. One is a lesbian married couple with two male children. The other is a traditional married couple with two male children. They talk. Both families like each other and are friendly. They set some play dates and exchange phone numbers. As they walk away to take their seats, both families think to themselves…nice family, but we are different because of the difference in our families sexual orientation and because of the lack of a father in one of the families. I hope to hell that that difference does not continue to cause insecurities because I shudder to think want the next top-down social engineering demand might be. For example, eliminate the use of the work “father” or “mother” in schools so as not to cause any hurt feelings and insecurities.

  18. eagle eye

    Of course being gay is a choice. It’s only recently that it became the thing to claim that people don’t have a choice.

    David: My objection to a ban on conversion therapy is that it hampers discussion by therapists when they’re working with men who don’t want to be gay, young men who’ve already been taken advantage of by molesters who’ve done a head trip on them.

    Research also shows that gay male sex is addictive, a choice that’s hard to give up.

  19. Frankly

    [i]That constant pounding that you describe is the shift in societal norms.[/i]

    It is top-down social engineering to force a shift in societal norms.

  20. David M. Greenwald

    “Who said they are second class? “

    Because they want one thing and you are trying to deny them that one thing and offer them something else. By definition there must be a differential there even if it is in name only.

  21. David M. Greenwald

    Eagle Eye: I think the belief that sexual preference is something that can be changed is our point of disagreement here.

    “The APA is not always right!”

    No one is always right, but their view is based on the best available clinical evidence.

  22. biddlin

    “Research also shows that gay male sex is addictive, a choice that’s hard to give up. “
    Really ? It’s that good ? Goes on my bucket-list now, for sure .

  23. Frankly

    Related to the American Psychiatric Association. It is an uber-liberal organization and its lack of professional objectivity and left political bias is well-documented.

    From the book “Destructive Trends in Mental Health: The Well-Intentioned Path to Harm”, by Rogers H. Wright (Editor), Nicholas A. Cummings (Editor)

    [quote]The issue of homosexuality is illustrative of how political correctness and a narrow definition of “diversity” have dominated APA. Wright notes,

    In the current climate, it is inevitable that conflict arises among the various subgroups in the marketplace. For example, gay groups within the APA have repeatedly tried to persuade the association to adopt ethical standards that prohibit therapists from offering psychotherapeutic services designed to ameliorate ‘gayness,’ on the basis that such efforts are unsuccessful and harmful to the consumer. Psychologists who do not agree with this premise are termed homophobic.

    Such efforts are especially troubling because they abrogate the patient’s right to choose the therapist and determine the therapeutic goals. They also deny the reality of data demonstrating that psychotherapy can be effective in changing sexual preferences in patients who have a desire to do so[/quote]
    In a review of this book, I found something very interesting related to the rise of political correctness:
    [quote]•Political Correctness Harbors Hostility
    •Political Correctness Reflects Narcissism
    •Political Correctness Masks Histrionics
    •Political Correctness Functions as Instant Morality
    •Political Correctness Wields Power
    •Political Correctness Serves as Distraction
    •Political Correctness Involves Intimidation
    •Political Correctness Lacks Alternatives
    [/quote]

  24. medwoman

    SOD

    What you are arguing for is a monopoly on the use of the word marriage to mean one man and one woman because that is your preferred definition. Historically within the Judeo-Christian tradition as in many other cultures “marriage ” has not been used exclusively for one man, one woman, but frequently one man and multiple wives, and rarely in cases of extreme gender imbalance in rural societies, one woman and several men (usually brothers). What people who have objections to the use of the word marriage by same sex couples have done is to attempt to appropriate this word which has much more flexibility than they are willing to admit, and pretend that their’s is the only appropriate use.

  25. AdRemmer

    DG – The same APA that also changed criteria re: psychologically normal type pedophiles — That one?

    “In the DSM-IV, the APA changed its criteria in a way that made room for the psychologically normal type of pedophile. A person who molested children was considered to have a psychiatric disorder only if his actions “caused clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning.”

    In other words, a man who molested children without remorse, and without experiencing significant impairment in his social and work relationships, could be diagnosed–at least theoretically–as a “normal psychologically type of pedophile. NARTH brought that DSM shift to public attention.

    The APA stated categorically that it had, in fact, no intention of normalizing pedophilia. However, “man-boy love” advocates cheered the DSM shift as good news, and a door appeared to be opened, because soon afterward, a major journal published a pedophile-friendly meta-analysis of the evidence surrounding the effects of, in particular, homosexual pedophilia.”

  26. wdf1

    wdf1: [i]That constant pounding that you describe is the shift in societal norms.[/i]

    Frankly: [i]It is top-down social engineering to force a shift in societal norms.[/i]

    And you have the 14th amendment to thank for that. I guess you also resent having to accept other races as equal in society? Must be tough.

    How do you feel about cognitive (learning) and physical disabilities? Do you think the law should allow for equal treatment of such people or no?

  27. medwoman

    Frankly

    [quote]Gay marriage isn’t about eliminating material harm from bias, it primarily serves the agenda of gay rights activists to force others to bow down in defeat so that gays and gay rights activists can feel powerful and accepted. [/quote]

    I am quite sure that Edie Windsor, having had to pay approximately $ 300,000 in estate taxes that she would not have had to pay had her partner of 40 years been named Theo instead of Thea, would not agree with this contention. This is a plea for financial equity, not an attempt to destroy any one else’s rights, marriage or religious beliefs. To me, this is about as straightforward as it gets. If you do not see this as material harm, or an injustice I would truly like to know your reasoning.

  28. Don Shor

    Well, the conservatives on this thread have brought in polygamy and pedophilia. So all we need now is bestiality and we have the complete Conservative Anti-Gay Trifecta.

    Gay people are normal and want to be treated as normal.
    Homosexuality is not chosen, any more than heterosexuality. Gay people don’t want people to try to cure them, or consider it acceptable to do so.
    Gay couples want to solemnize their relationships and have the benefits of marriage.
    Some gay married couple want to have children.
    Basically, gay people want the same rights as everyone else. That’s pretty much the so-called “gay agenda.”

  29. Frankly

    “Equal treatment”. I love that term. So, if you are in a wheelchair and I do not select you for my kickball team I am not treating you equal?

    There is no material difference in capability between people of two races all other things being equal.

    However, there are material differences in capability of parenting between gay and traditional married couples (again, all other things being equal). If I am a boy child needing some development help, I will reach a point in my hormonal advances where my two lesbian mothers will not have a clue how I am feeling and hence will not be able to relate to me.

    But then with your 14th Amendment rolled into a tight paper club you will cudgel me until I just ignore this, and threaten to harm me with political correctness-backed attacks unless I both agree to accommodate these differences, and refuse to identify them at the same time.

  30. Don Shor

    [i]However, there are material differences in capability of parenting between gay and traditional married couples (again, all other things being equal).[/i]

    All other things are never equal, and your statement is, as usual, unprovable.

  31. wdf1

    Frankly: [i]But then with your 14th Amendment rolled into a tight paper club you will cudgel me until I just ignore this, and threaten to harm me with political correctness-backed attacks unless I both agree to accommodate these differences, and refuse to identify them at the same time.[/i]

    Until maybe one of your kids comes up to you and says, “I’m gay.” Then you’ll have this Bob Portman epiphany and change your mind about it all.

  32. Frankly

    [i]Until maybe one of your kids comes up to you and says, “I’m gay.” Then you’ll have this Bob Portman epiphany and change your mind about it all.[/i]

    Maybe, but I doubt it. I am actually advocating for that virtual situation (since both my boys have steady girlfriends, I don’t think it will actually be the case) in suggesting separate but equal treatment. I would not want my gay son or daughter materially harmed by bias, but I would want to see social constructs and public services designed to target his or her special needs.

    I think, wdf1, I am just being more progressive than you. I think you and others are shooting for that emotional next step in civil right progress for gays. I am thinking of a more nuanced rational and longer-term solution. I am seeing a need for an evolution in thinking about ALL human differences in general. Are those differences material? I think some people – generally on the left of politics – are so afraid that they, or others they have an affinity toward, will be treated unfairly that they demand all these top-down forced “protections” to manufacture a superficial form of equality that is actually damaging in the long-run because it ignores material difference. It is damaging to the very people they claim to be protecting.

    Get materially harmed, and I will be there to support you and demand it stop. Get your feelings hurt, and I will suggest you put on some big boy pants and learn how to cope… because we all get our feelings hurt.

    Emotions are not material to me even though I feel them just as profoundly as the next person. Emotional intelligence is that process of understanding what is emotionally-driven so we can make rational decisions. Gay marriage is all an emotionally-driven pursuit since there is a rational alternative of equal rights under civil unions.

  33. SouthofDavis

    Medwoman wrote:

    > SOD What you are arguing for is a monopoly on
    > the use of the word marriage to mean one man
    > and one woman because that is your preferred
    > definition.

    I have always said that “nothing offends me” and I don’t care if gays want to get “married”, if the Davis bike church has a “pope” (or if the government wants to rename the Megan’s List “sex offender” database the “gynecologist” database).

    I’m just pointing out is that since “most people” think of marriage as between a man and a woman if you really just want “equal rights” for ALL people an easier way would be to make ALL people have civil unions in the eyes of the government.

    I was just talking to a friend who’s Dad has accused a former employee of screwing up and costing him ~$100K. He has spent over $200K in legal fees trying to get $100K that he will never see (Google “blood from a turnip”) just because he is mad and wants to “win”.

    I know my gay friends would be happy if the pope and every right wing nut ball Republican says “you were right and we were wrong to deny you the right to get married”, but it won’t happen so why not just go for the equal rights and forget the (shove it in their faces) “marriage” title?

  34. Growth Izzue

    Well, the liberals on this thread hate it when you bring polygamy into the equation because they have no logical answer as to why two gays can marry but more than two consenting adults can’t.

  35. wdf1

    Frankly: [i]Get materially harmed, and I will be there to support you and demand it stop.
    ….
    Gay marriage is all an emotionally-driven pursuit since there is a rational alternative of equal rights under civil unions.[/i]

    Except that civil unions doesn’t cover it all. It actually sounds like you’d side with the plaintive in [url]Windsor v. United States[/url], which means you’d favor overturning DOMA.

  36. Don Shor

    What baffles me is why, when thinking of gay couples getting married, many conservatives immediately start thinking of pedophilia, polygamy, and bestiality. I don’t look at you and your spouse and immediately start thinking of those things. The gay couples I know are basically the same as you.

  37. Frankly

    [i]”What is your “logical answer” to why two straight people can marry but more than two cannot?”[/i]

    There is no logical answer, but polygamy marriage, if legalized, would be different and have special needs. I am no more or less biased against polygamy than I am gay marriage. Do you have any argument against polygamy?

    [I]Opposition to gay marriage is all an emotionally-driven pursuit since there is a rational alternative providing equal rights: marriage.[/I]

    For some people that is the case, but not in my case. If all you want is equal rights, then pursuing gay marriage is NOT a rational choice.

  38. Frankly

    [i]What baffles me is why, when thinking of gay couples getting married, many conservatives immediately start thinking of pedophilia, polygamy, and bestiality. I don’t look at you and your spouse and immediately start thinking of those things. The gay couples I know are basically the same as you.[/i]

    Let me try to un-baffle you. The entire thing is because of different sexual orientations. If you can support marriage of two people having a biologically-incorrect sexual compatibility on the basis of love, then why not other relationships on the basis of love? And please don’t write it is because you think there other love relationships are disgusting. Who are you to judge!?

  39. Growth Izzue

    Who said anything about pedophilia or beastiality except you Don? I brought up more than two consenting adults wanting to get married and why is that also not their rite?

  40. Don Shor

    [i]Who said anything about pedophilia or beastiality except you Don? I brought up more than two consenting adults wanting to get married and why is that also not their rite?[/i]

    AdRemmer brought up pedophilia. You brought up polygamy.

    If there is ever a groundswell of support for polygamy, I’m sure we all can have that discussion. As it stands now, polygamy as practiced in America is usually an abusive, coercive situation. So I’m guessing it will be a long time before polygamy might again become an acceptable part of our culture, as it once was in some areas.

    [i]If all you want is equal rights, then pursuing gay marriage is NOT a rational choice.
    [/i]
    It is the most rational choice. Then it is exactly equal.
    What is the problem with gay couples getting married? Why would you make such an effort to give them exactly the same rights but call it something different? What’s the basis for the distinction you’re trying to make?

  41. Frankly

    [i]What’s the basis for the distinction you’re trying to make?[/i]

    Special needs… especially related to their children.

    [I]”polygamy as practiced in America is usually an abusive, coercive situation.”[/I]

    I don’t know where you get your facts to back that claim up. Let’s assume it is accurate. Maybe that is because it is illegal. Maybe if we legalize it all those people would come out of the shadows and work to integrate with the rest of society. Polygamists tend to have a lot of children. They can help improve our dropping birthrates. More importantly though, who are we to prevent three or more people that love each other from getting married?

  42. Don Shor

    [i]I don’t know where you get your facts to back that claim up.
    [/i]
    You can look it up.

    [i]Special needs… especially related to their children.
    [/i]
    The children of gay couples don’t have special needs.

  43. Frankly

    [quote]A June 2012 study published in “Social Science Research” found that the APA’s 2005 study was insufficient because it relied heavily on a small number of “convenience samples” — people linked together or people the researchers know. University of Texas sociologist and professor Mark Regnerus compared answers from almost 3,000 young adults who were raised in various types of households to determine how they fared. The University of Texas Austin published his work, titled “The New Family Structure Study.” One of the study’s conclusions was that 63 percent of children of lesbian mothers fared worse in many ways. They made less money, were more likely to be on welfare, had lower levels of employment, suffered poorer mental and physical health, were more likely to smoke, were more likely to engage in criminal activity and had a poorer relationship with the current partner than children who lived with the mother and father.[/quote]
    [quote]When comparing children of homosexuals with children of married biological parents, the differences in sexuality–experiences of sexual abuse, number of sexual partners, and homosexual feelings and experiences among the children themselves–were among the most striking. While not all of the findings mentioned below have the same level of “statistical significance” as those mentioned above, they remain important.

    At one time, defenders of homosexual parents not only argued that their children do fine on psychological and developmental measures, but they also said that children of homosexuals “are no more likely to be gay” than children of heterosexuals. That claim will be impossible to maintain in light of this study. It found that children of homosexual fathers are nearly 3 times as likely, and children of lesbian mothers are nearly 4 times as likely, to identify as something other than entirely heterosexual. Children of lesbian mothers are 75% more likely, and children of homosexual fathers are 3 times more likely, to be currently in a same-sex romantic relationship.

    The same holds true with the number of sexual partners. Both males and females who were raised by both lesbian mothers and homosexual fathers have more opposite-sex (heterosexual) partners than children of married biological parents (daughters of homosexual fathers had twice as many). But the differences in homosexual conduct are even greater. The daughters of lesbians have 4 times as many female (that is, same-sex) sexual partners than the daughters of married biological parents, and the daughters of homosexual fathers have 6 times as many. Meanwhile, the sons of both lesbian mothers and homosexual fathers have 7 times as many male (same-sex) sexual partners as sons of married biological parents.

    The most shocking and troubling outcomes, however, are those related to sexual abuse. Children raised by a lesbian mother were 10 times more likely to have been “touched sexually by a parent or other adult caregiver” (23% reported this, vs. only 2% for children of married biological parents), while those raised by a homosexual father were 3 times more likely (reported by 6%). In his text, but not in his charts, Regnerus breaks out these figures for only female victims, and the ratios remain similar (3% IBF; 31% LM; 10% GF). As to the question of whether you have “ever been physically forced” to have sex against your will (not necessarily in childhood), affirmative answers came from 8% of children of married biological parents, 31% of children of lesbian mothers (nearly 4 times as many), and 25% of the children of homosexual fathers (3 times as many). Again, when Regnerus breaks these figures out for females (who are more likely to be victims of sexual abuse in general), such abuse was reported by 14% of IBFs, but 3 times as many of the LMs (46%) and GFs (52%).[/quote]

    Good article… [url]http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2012/06/gay-marriage[/url]

  44. Don Shor

    I won’t bother to post the many rebuttals or describe the flaws in Mr. Regnerus’ study. You can look them up, too.
    Children of gay parents don’t have special needs.

  45. David M. Greenwald

    “Well, the liberals on this thread hate it when you bring polygamy into the equation because they have no logical answer as to why two gays can marry but more than two consenting adults can’t.”

    I don’t have a problem with legalizing polygamy IF and I repeat IF you can ensure it’s truly consensually arranged. My concern is that a lot the polygamous relationships seem to involve underaged girls and huge power asymmetries. Furthermore there is nothing to stop a person from having two live in partners or more, or one married and one non-married partner, so I’m not sure what we are preventing other than the abuse that seems to go along with it.

    Pedophilia and bestiality of course involve people or animals, neither of which can consent.

  46. Growth Izzue

    [quote]Well, the conservatives on this thread have brought in polygamy and pedophilia. So all we need now is bestiality and we have the complete Conservative Anti-Gay Trifecta.
    [/quote]

    And this coming from a guy that always rants about generalizations.

  47. Growth Izzue

    [quote]Furthermore there is nothing to stop a person from having two live in partners or more, or one married and one non-married partner, so I’m not sure what we are preventing other than the abuse that seems to go along with it. [/quote]

    LOL, there’s nothing to prevent two gay people from just living together either. I thought this was all about having our government recognize all marriages. Once again, why not marriages that involve more than two consenting adults? Mind you David, I said adults, not children.

  48. David M. Greenwald

    ” there’s nothing to prevent two gay people from just living together either.”

    Yes, that would be consistent with my argument.

    ” Once again, why not marriages that involve more than two consenting adults?”

    Did you not read the first part of my post?

  49. medwoman

    [quote]Well, the liberals on this thread hate it when you bring polygamy into the equation because they have no logical answer as to why two gays can marry but more than two consenting adults can’t.[/quote]

    What liberals do you believe hate it when polygamy is brought into the equation. I do not hate it. I merely feel that it is objectively not part of this “equation”. It is a separate discussion entirely. I do not personally have any objection to polygamy as long as it is a union of social equals. However, historically speaking that is rarely the case. I am unaware of a society that accepts polygamy which does not place the woman in an inferior social or religious status to that of the man. It is in the inequality of individuals with which I have a problem, not the institution of polygamy. If it were the case that women were able to choose multiple husbands freely
    ( polyandry ), as opposed to only having the one man multiple wives option, or women as indentured sexual servant to a group of men, as I alluded to in an earlier post, then I would have no problem with polygamy.

  50. Edgar Wai

    I think a fundamental question that must be answered before anyone can tackle the question regarding gay marriage is this:

    Why exactly should married couple get any benefit from the government?

    If one wants to form a baseball team, there is no governmental law controlling how many people must be in the team, what their genders are, or how much government subsidy it should get.

    When a business partnership is formed, there is no law that governs what gender the partners have to be.

    The concept that marriage deserves government support is outdated and incorrect. The logic was based on the social system where the woman was a dependent, and would not work if unmarried. The law was not concerned with supporting the “marriage”, but the [b]man[/b] who has a dependent. That logic was not robust enough to be applicable to our society.

    If family with children deserves government support because children qualify as common good for the society, then the benefit should be received with the family is having a child or bring up a child. The government subsidy is not for the “marriage”, but for the effort of cultivating the next generation.

    If “marriage” deserves government support because people who have significant others are emotionally stable and are a common good for the society, then the law should subsidize anyone who is emotionally stable, which would not exclude anyone who is emotionally stable but single.

  51. Edgar Wai

    The law is wrong because it anchors the logic on appearance instead of substance. To fix it is to identify the underlying value that the law is trying to address.

  52. jimt

    Edgar,

    You bring in some good points and good questions I think. There is a lot more to it historically of course; but generally heterosexual family and children was encouraged by both secular and religious institutions to strengthen society. Historically, different tribes/societies gained strength in part thru increased numbers; in the past was very important to grow your tribe thru more numbers. This is no longer true; there is a near consensus among scientists of various disciplines that earth is near or above its sustainable carrying capacity for humans. Certainly for human welfare as a whole it is not likely a good idea to encourage larger families. I think your point about emotional stability among individuals is one of the main benefits of committed relationships, leading to increased social stability. So perhaps it will not be such a bad thing for society to allow same-sex couples to participate in the joys and horrors of marriage; sanctioning and strengthening long-term commitments.
    However once marriage is sanctioned, will homosexuality be as carefree and ‘gay’?

  53. medwoman

    SOD

    “I know my gay friends would be happy if the pope and every right wing nut ball Republican says “you were right and we were wrong to deny you the right to get married”, but it won’t happen so why not just go for the equal rights and forget the (shove it in their faces) “marriage” title?

    Because this is not about what people “say” or “admit to”. It is about real equality of treatment under the law and ,yes, real material harm.
    Ask Edie Windsor which she would rather have, her $300K back or an apology from the Pope.

  54. medwoman

    Frankly

    [quote]f you can support marriage of two people having a biologically-incorrect sexual compatibility on the basis of love[/quote]

    I think that this is the real crux of the issue. You see homosexuality as “biologically-incorrect”. However, there is a great deal of evidence from animal behavior that homosexuality is not “biologically incorrect” but is in fact, in many situations, biologically appropriate and adaptive. This is true across many different species. And yes, we are an animal species.

    So what is really being argued is not the biological correctness, but rather the “moral” correctness. To me, since the gender of one’s adult, fully consenting partner does no material harm to anyone else, there is no rational reason to treat an individual who choses a same sex partner any differently from the individual who choses an opposite sex partner. There is no need for special treatment or programs, and no need to protect anyone else. All that is being asked for is equality.

    Again, I ask for your rational, material, and demonstrable proof that there should not be complete equality, right down to the use of that contentious word “marriage” which opponents of gay marriage very emotionally defend as applying only to one man and one woman, which objectively, historically and even Biblically is clearly not its only use. What could be more emotionally and less rationally based than the claim that “morally” marriage is between one man and one woman when the book claimed to the be the infalible word of God clearly states quite the opposite with regard to numbers ?

  55. Matt Williams

    Growth Izzue said . . .

    [i]“Well, the liberals on this thread hate it when you bring polygamy into the equation because they [b]have no logical answer[/b] as to why two gays can marry but more than two consenting adults can’t.

    Who said anything about pedophilia or beastiality except you Don? I brought up more than two consenting adults wanting to get married and why is that also not their rite?

    There’s nothing to prevent two gay people from just living together either. I thought this was all about having our government recognize all marriages. Once again, why not marriages that involve more than two consenting adults? Mind you David, I said adults, not children.”[/i]

    GI, others in this comment thread have addressed your point, but I will add myself to the chorus.

    The logical argument against polygamy is simple equal protection under the law. Regardless of the age of the participants, the dynamics of polygamist marriages virtually guarantee the rights of the existing female spouses are all abridged when the male spouse unilaterally chooses to add an incremental spouse to the family unit. The incremental marriage may truly be consensual between the husband and his new wife, but is that addition consented to by the existing wives and children? The answer to that question is, “Rarely.”

    Further, as noted by medwoman, the societal groups where polygamy is practiced are frequently ones where domination of one sex by the other is the norm. Whiich means the principles of equal protection under the law are at odds with the realities of polygamy where “the one” is invested with a disproportionate amount of power over the members of “the many.”

  56. Frankly

    [i] The incremental marriage may truly be consensual between the husband and his new wife, but is that addition consented to by the existing wives and children?[/i]

    Maybe not the children, but the current orthodox Mormon practice generally includes a requirement of consensus from the existing wives. There is no requirement that children approve of any adult marriage that I am familiar with. Too bad though.

  57. Edgar Wai

    [quote]So perhaps it will not be such a bad thing for society to allow same-sex couples to participate in the joys and horrors of marriage; sanctioning and strengthening long-term commitments. However once marriage is sanctioned, will homosexuality be as carefree and ‘gay’?[/quote]

    In this question, homosexual couples are accountable for the change they requested. If marriage becomes officially inclusive of gay couples, and they found that being gay is no longer “cool”, that is their problem. It is not up to non-gay people to decide for them that they can’t handle the consequence.

    I agree with the point about not dogmatically encourage large family. Therefore in my wording I said “next generation”, which is collective.

    Most of the laws are written based on a context. As society evolves beyond the context, the laws also need to adapt and become more generalized.

    I don’t have a problem with dropping “marriage” as a legal term and use “civil union” instead. I also don’t have a problem with using “marriage” to mean civil union.

    I have a problem with calling one “marriage” and the other “civil union” when all the laws related to them are identical. If they are legally indistinguishable, then use the same term.

  58. Matt Williams

    NYT, 4/1/13: [url]”=http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/02/opinion/brooks-freedom-loses-one.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&_r=0]Freedom Loses One by David Brooks [/url]

    [i]”I don’t think we’ve paused sufficiently to celebrate the wonderful recent defeat for the cause of personal freedom. After all, these sorts of defeats don’t happen every day.

    Over the past 40 years, personal freedom has been on a nearly uninterrupted winning streak. In the 1960s, we saw a great expansion of social and lifestyle freedom. In the 1980s, we saw a great expansion of economic freedom. Since then, we’ve had everything from jeans commercials to rock anthems to political conventions celebrating freedom as the highest ideal.

    People are much more at liberty these days to follow their desires, unhampered by social convention, religious and ethnic traditions and legal restraints.

    The big thinkers down through the ages warned us this was going to have downsides. Alexis de Tocqueville and Emile Durkheim thought that if people are left perfectly free to pursue their individual desires, they will discover their desires are unlimited and unquenchable. They’ll turn inward and become self-absorbed. Society will become atomized. You’ll end up with more loneliness and less community.

    Other big thinkers believed that if people are left perfectly free to follow their desires, their baser ones will end up dominating their nobler ones. For these writers, the goal in life is not primarily to be free but to be good. Being virtuous often means thwarting your inclinations, obeying a power outside yourself. It means maintaining a balance between liberty and restraint, restricting freedom for the sake of an ordered existence. As Edmund Burke put it:

    “Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites. … Society cannot exist unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.”

    Recently, the balance between freedom and restraint has been thrown out of whack. People no longer even have a language to explain why freedom should sometimes be limited. The results are as predicted. A decaying social fabric, especially among the less fortunate. Decline in marriage. More children raised in unsteady homes. Higher debt levels as people spend to satisfy their cravings.

    But last week saw a setback for the forces of maximum freedom. A representative of millions of gays and lesbians went to the Supreme Court and asked the court to help put limits on their own freedom of choice. They asked for marriage.”[/i]

  59. Matt Williams

    (continued . . .)

    [i]”Marriage is one of those institutions — along with religion and military service — that restricts freedom. Marriage is about making a commitment that binds you for decades to come. It narrows your options on how you will spend your time, money and attention.

    Whether they understood it or not, the gays and lesbians represented at the court committed themselves to a certain agenda. They committed themselves to an institution that involves surrendering autonomy. They committed themselves to the idea that these self-restrictions should be reinforced by the state. They committed themselves to the idea that lifestyle choices are not just private affairs but work better when they are embedded in law.

    And far from being baffled by this attempt to use state power to restrict individual choice, most Americans seem to be applauding it. Once, gay culture was erroneously associated with bathhouses and nightclubs. Now, the gay and lesbian rights movement is associated with marriage and military service. Once the movement was associated with self-sacrifice, it was bound to become popular.

    Americans may no longer have a vocabulary to explain why freedom should sometimes be constricted, but they like it when they see people trying to do it. Once Americans acknowledged gay people exist, then, of course, they wanted them enmeshed in webs of obligation.

    I suspect that this shift in public acceptance will be permanent, unless it turns out that marriages are more unstable when two people of the same gender are involved.

    And, who knows, maybe we’ll see other spheres in life where restraints are placed on maximum personal choice. Maybe there will be sumptuary codes that will make lavish spending and C.E.O. salaries unseemly. Maybe there will be social codes so that people understand that the act of creating a child includes a lifetime commitment to give him or her an organized home. Maybe voters will restrain their appetite for their grandchildren’s money. Maybe more straight people will marry.

    The proponents of same-sex marriage used the language of equality and rights in promoting their cause, because that is the language we have floating around. But, if it wins, same-sex marriage will be a victory for the good life, which is about living in a society that induces you to narrow your choices and embrace your obligations.”[/i]

  60. Frankly

    Matt, this treatise from Mr. Brooks is brilliant. It ropes me in with my ideological sensibilities, and then beats me over the head with the same.

    I really have not seen gay marriage from this perspective. It is a perspective that resonates with me more than any other argument to date. It is, in fact, refreshing.

    But I don’t think I buy it. I don’t think we are seeing a self-sacrifice. I think we are seeing more of the demand for unrestricted freedom of restraint. I think we are seeing a tantrum. And a tantrum knows no bounds unless the thrower of the tantrum learns it is not an effective method. I don’t think any gay marriage couple will accept any narrowed choice. As a group they will simply demand special accommodation for their special circumstances. We see the same with other groups. Demanding what they say is equality, but then when winning that, claiming that the difference in outcomes is justification for more special accommodations. This tendency is un-binding. It contributes to the ripping apart of our social and cultural fabric. You said you wanted equality, and now that you have it, you demand something more. A form of affirmative action for gay parents and their children? Special rules and accommodations? You betcha… especially when the risk of “I told you so” increases and those that fear having to admit they were wrong more than they fear death get stirred up.

    I can see that progression occurring very clearly after gay marriage is legalized and accepted. If I am wrong and married gays fully accept their lot and integrate in society with married people in general, then I agree with Mr. Brooks that it will be a victory for the good life. By in France they are outlawing the use of the words “mother” and “father” so as not to offend any gay parents or children of gay parents. In Denmark they are forcing private churches to marry gay couples. I believe this is where we will also go. Continuing that unfettered pursuit of our own self interest without much respect for the common good.

  61. Don Shor

    1. Denmark has a state religion. Denmark is different than the U.S.
    2. Gays are “throwing a tantrum”? Seriously, do you ever frigging listen to yourself?

  62. medwoman

    Frankly

    “But I don’t think I buy it”

    I think that you don’t want to get it.
    Rather than being willing to discuss the issue of the very real material harm ( $ 300,000 ) worth done to Edie Windsor based on the existence of
    DOMA. So rather than being willing to discuss the very real inequities currently in existence in this country, you prefer to invoke imaginary fears because of actions occurring in two other countries. This simply does not sound like rational analysis to me , but rather like insecurity and fear based thought processes which you claim to abhor.

  63. Don Shor

    I would remind you that the ‘gay activists’ who are pursuing litigation about gay marriage are not the ones who initiated all this.
    They didn’t write and pass DOMA.
    They didn’t write and pass Prop 8.
    They weren’t the ones putting gay marriage prohibitions on the ballot.

    It was a specific tactic of conservative Republicans to get traditional marriage initiatives on as many ballots as possible in 2004 – 2008 to boost turnout and help their candidates. Anyone looking at the polling trajectory could tell them (and did tell them) that their majority position was slipping. That, just as with anti-immigration legislation and rhetoric, this was going to hurt them in the long run.

    They prevailed, as we all know. The unfortunate thing for them is, individual rights aren’t really subject to majority vote. And it is a simple matter to find that individuals are harmed, financially and legally, by having their rights restricted.

    Note that the conservative Republicans didn’t press for civil unions. Note that their rhetoric never urged equal but separate treatment of gay couples. They solely sought to restrict the rights of certain individuals based on their sexual preference. And in so doing, they caused specific harm to certain individuals. When you are harmed, and can’t get redress any other way, you sue. So when you have an elderly lesbian who is out hundreds of thousands of dollars because of her inability to marry her partner, you have a legal issue that needs to be resolved.

    Well, as you sow, so shall you reap. And now that the polls have turned, it is the Christianists and hard-right Republicans who are the ones having a tantrum. They’re on the wrong side of history now, and they still don’t understand why. So all they can do is lash out, blame the media, blame the pollsters, insult those ‘gay activists’ who seek their rights. And suddenly, they support civil unions. Suddenly, they support gay marriage in word, but then unleash a steady stream of insults against those who are having to fight for their rights.

    Tantrums are long irrational outbursts that are out of proportion to the situation. Gay marriage activists are not being irrational. Their reaction is exactly proportional to the situation. So I think the tantrums are being held by those who are losing.

    By the way, I’m unaware of any gay couples who think getting married will cause everyone to experience eternal happiness. I don’t think they’re any more deluded in this regard than are straight couples. Yeah, some people might sue about some things. People can and do sue for all sorts of reasons, especially in the United States (I believe lawsuits are much less common in France and Denmark).

    Personally, I’m a lot more concerned about the way Uganda is treating gay issues than I am about France or Denmark.

  64. Frankly

    So, Don, do I take this to mean that you don’t ever see a day where gays and tantrum-throwing gay rights activists demand that churches marry gays?
    [quote]The Washington state-based florist who refused to provide flowers for a gay wedding is now facing a lawsuit from the state attorney general.
    The Attorney General’s Office is reportedly seeking a permanent injunction that would require Stutzman’s business to comply with the state’s consumer protection laws, as well as $2,000 in fines for every violation of the law.

    As the Times points out, however, Stutzman’s attorney JD Bristol has argued claims that his client is anti-gay are “nonsense,” noting, “This is about gay marriage, it’s not about a person being gay. She has a conscientious objection to homosexual marriage, not homosexuality.”[/quote]

    You don’t admit this even as gays and tantrum-throwing gay rights activists demand that the Boy Scouts accept gays and use every trick and angle of the political and judicial systems to punish the Scouts?
    [quote]SAN FRANCISCO — A bill aimed at pressuring the Boy Scouts of America to lift its ban on gay members by making the organization ineligible for nonprofit tax breaks cleared its first vote on Wednesday in the California Legislature.[/quote]

    We will soon hear about new legislation forcing special accommodations for gays in the military.
    [quote]NEW YORK — The Marine Corps has advised its legal staff that spouses clubs operating on its installations must admit same-sex spouses if they wish to remain on the bases.

    It’s a step that the other service branches have not yet announced as they grapple with how to accommodate same-sex couples following repeal of the don’t ask, don’t tell policy that barred gays and lesbians from serving openly.
    [/quote]

    Have you read about the challenges public schools are having ONLY having two bathroom choices: boy and girl?

    Do you want to place some bets on these things occurring? I hope for your case you reject that offer since it is clear they already are.

  65. Frankly

    [i]I think that you don’t want to get it.
    Rather than being willing to discuss the issue of the very real material harm ( $ 300,000 ) worth done to Edie Windsor based on the existence of
    DOMA. So rather than being willing to discuss the very real inequities currently in existence in this country, you prefer to invoke imaginary fears because of actions occurring in two other countries. This simply does not sound like rational analysis to me , but rather like insecurity and fear based thought processes which you claim to abhor.[/i]

    medwoman, you are conflating gay discrimination and hostility toward gays with opposition to gay marriage. Two separate issues, but I am against both.

    See my post above. I would not call them fears. They are realities.

  66. David M. Greenwald

    “So, Don, do I take this to mean that you don’t ever see a day where gays and tantrum-throwing gay rights activists demand that churches marry gays?”

    Its possible someone will – why can’t we evaluate that claim on its merits rather than use it as an excuse to deny a more generalized right?

  67. Don Shor

    Can you imagine those tantrum-throwing inter-racial couples suing over a church refusing to marry them? Or those tantrum-throwing inter-racial couples suing over a justice of the peace refusing to issue a marriage license to them? Just imagine. What a tantrum-throwing bunch of whiners.
    [url]http://newsone.com/2027520/jim-crow-style-white-mississippi-church-refuses-to-marry-black-couple/[/url]
    [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_Louisiana_interracial_marriage_incident[/url]

    People can sue over anything. Whether they can prevail is another question.

  68. Edgar Wai

    Marriage is a declaration of relationship and responsibility. Traditionally, when a man marries a woman, the man is declaring that he will take care of that woman, and form a stable unit of the community. Intrinsically it is a “buddy system” so that everyone in the community is taken care of.

    In that mindset, getting married is the [b]natural[/b] behavior of being responsible, from both sides. The man declares to the community that he will take care of the woman, and the woman declares to the community that she will take care of the man. It is a mechanism that allows the community to transparently distribute emotional resources–to pair up people so that no one is left behind emotionally, so that everyone has someone to love and is loved by someone.

    That was the ethical foundation of marriage, and the reason why polygamy is a de-stabilizing force (if a man has many wives but not vice versa).

    Because there are people who do not understand the ethical foundation of marriage (who gets married for other reasons), laws were created to define expectations and to protect the people from being exploited. However, the existence of laws, without a strong foundation of ethical understanding, tends to make people think only in terms of causes and consequences, instead of the underlying intention and ethics.

    People need to understand that while laws exist, it itself is not ethics. While there are laws regarding marriage, marriage itself is not an institution.

    People think that marriage is an institution because the scope of vision is too small, they are only thinking in terms of what they get and what they gives up (their freedom), instead of the well-being of the overall community.

  69. medwoman

    Frankly

    [quote]See my post above. I would not call them fears. They are realities.[/quote]

    Many things are realities in some areas of the world. That does not make every one of them a realistic consideration here. For example, there are countries that nominally are Muslim, and impose their version of
    Sharia law which includes stoning of women and chopping off limbs for stealing. Would you then say we should not have mosques in this country because it is a slippery slope and will result in us being forced to stone our women. Doubtful, but that is the argument you are using here, just taken to the extreme.

    And I do not believe that I am “conflating” anything. If we have separate rights conferred by the institution called “marriage” with the imposition of discrimination leading to material harm, it does not matter whether or not there is “hostility”, the effect is the same.

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